Read Christine Innes' letter to supporters here
Bullying allegations 'totally baseless and without merit'
Christine Innes sent out the following email to supporters on Thursday afternoon, shortly after the news that the party had barred her from contesting any future nomination:
Dear [name removed],
I am writing to provide an update to my email to you on Monday.
I am quite shocked to have to tell you that the Liberal Party of Canada has informed me via email this morning that it has decided to not approve my candidacy for the coming by-election in Trinity-Spadina, or for any riding in the 2015 general election.
The party leadership had previously told me they would only approve my candidacy for the by-election in Trinity-Spadina, if I agreed in writing prior to the by-election to run in a pre-assigned riding that would be determined by the Leader of the Party’s unelected backroom advisors.
I could not, in good conscience, sign a document-which made no attempt to hide that this new “riding assignment” practice was now the standard practice of the Party. This seems to be at variance with the Leader’s commitment to open and fair nominations. I did make it clear to party leadership, however, that I had an open mind about which riding I would run in in 2015, and would work closely with them after the by-election to ensure the Party’s best interests were served. That commitment was not good enough for them which is why they will not approve my candidacy. It was made clear to me that if I did not submit to their demands that they would “still get their way”. I am now incredibly saddened that those same people have now not only manufactured allegations of apparent “intimidation and bullying on young volunteers” by my team, but made them public. These allegations are totally baseless and without merit and were never brought to my attention, as one would have expected in a Party governed by due process.
As someone who has fought long and hard for our Party and our inclusive values, it is not possible for me to reconcile our Leader’s repeated commitment to open and fair nominations and to ensuring a “new way of doing politics” with a practice by the party leadership to pre-allocate ridings. I was particularly pleased by our Leader’s commitment to openness as my focus within our party has always been on recruiting, mentoring and welcoming new people. The Canadian public’s cynicism about politics can only be erased if we as a Party refuse to accept back room deal making and intimidation.
So, it is with much disappointment that I share this news with you. As you know, we had built an enormously passionate and talented team of friends and neighbours. Hundreds of us were ready to hit the streets. I want to thank all of you who have volunteered with and for me over the years, and taken out memberships to support my candidacy. For me, politics has always been about bringing people together to build stronger communities. I truly believe that we must use our political system to build a more compassionate society, one that cares for people of all ages and abilities, provides opportunities for newcomers and youth, takes pride in our wealth of culture and diversity, and ensures no one is left behind.
Your friendship and support means the world to me.