Pot activist Jodie Emery says the Liberal Party of Canada is being dismissive of her nomination to run as the candidate in a Vancouver riding.
She is one of four candidates under review to become an official nominee in the riding of Vancouver East, which is currently held by NDP MP Libby Davies. Davies has announced she won’t seek re-election.
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Emery claims her supporters have received emails from the Liberal Party saying they have no affiliation with her. She says it sends a discouraging signal to would-be supporters.
"Please note that the Emerys have no role in the Liberal Party of Canada, are not affiliated with the Liberal Party of Canada and the party does not endorse their planned cross-Canada tour in any way," said an email from Louis Langlois on behalf of the Liberal Party to one of Emery's supporters.
Emery said the party is lumping her brand with that of her husband, Marc Emery, who is also known as the 'prince of pot.'
"I'm a little bit hurt that the Liberal Party is dismissing my campaign, and blaming it on my husband, but that just gives me more reason to run even harder as my own woman," she told CBC Vancouver host Andrew Chang.
"I think it has to do with my husband saying he wanted to go on a cross-country promotional tour, which was misrepresented as a Liberal-endorsed event. It's not."
"But the news, a lot of it was generated in national media talking about my desire to run, a lot of it made the Liberals nervous because it talked about my husband, not me."
Although the party's leader Justin Trudeau has called for open nominations in every riding, she says that's just not true.
She said she understands why the Liberal Party might have a preferred candidate in some ridings, but they should be upfront about it.
Liberal Party of Canada says process is fair
In an email statement, Liberal Party of Canada spokesman Olivier Duchesneau said the party's response to Emery's supporter just stated facts.
"She has no official role at the LPC, meaning she is not a member of the LPC national board of directors," said Duchesneau. "She is not a member of any LPC commission’s board and is not a member of any Liberal riding executive. As our response email stated, all Canadians are welcome to enter our open nomination process."
Duchesneau said the Liberal Party has held more candidate nomination meetings with multiple contestants than any other party.
"Every candidate is treated fairly by the LPC and its Greenlight Committee and we will have an open nomination race in Vancouver East as in all 338 ridings."
Last year, Trudeau came under fire over allegations by Sikh Liberals that prominent businessman Barj Dhahan was forced to withdraw his bid to become the Liberal candidate for Vancouver South because the party was favouring a different candidate, Harjit Singh Sajjan.
Trudeau denied accusations the process was undemocratic and said he is "extremely proud" of how open it is.