Rafferty to be acclaimed as NDP candidate

FORT FRANCES—The Thunder Bay-Rainy River NDP will hold the first of three nomination meetings Thursday night in Fort Frances but with only one candidate running, John Rafferty will be acclaimed.
Rafferty has run under the NDP banner in the last two federal elections, coming second behind Liberal MP Ken Boshcoff both times.
Thursday night’s nomination meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the East End Hall.
Another meeting will be held in Atikokan on Friday at 6 p.m. (EST), with the third taking place Sunday at 2:30 p.m. (EST) at the Da Vinci Centre in Thunder Bay.
Ontario NDP leader and local MPP Howard Hampton will attend the Fort Frances and Atikokan meetings, with federal NDP leader Jack Layton to be on hand for the one in Thunder Bay.
“I’m very pleased about that,” Rafferty said about the attendance of the two party leaders.
The three meetings give party members from across the district an opportunity to meet their candidate, Rafferty noted.
“We think it’s important because the riding is so big,” he said. “People have an opportunity to ask questions.”
The party changed the way nominations happen. In previous years, people could be nominated from the floor of the meeting.
Now, people must declare their intention to run at least seven days before the first nomination meeting.
With a Conservative minority government in place in Ottawa, and a budget expected to be tabled next month, the party wants to be sure it has a candidate in place in case of a snap spring election.