NDP ousts its Laval MP

By Robert Frank

The New Democratic Party has given the orange heave-ho to one of its sitting MPs from Laval.
Last week, NDP campaign director Ann McGrath announced in a statement that the NDP had invalidated José Nunez-Melo’s bid to represent the federal political party in the Vimy riding. The party also deleted his web page on its Internet site.
“They’re pushing me out because of the nomination process,” Nunez-Melo told The Suburban.
“I didn’t agree to accept electronic balloting for a new riding,” he explained in an interview. “It is too small, so everyone can go vote in person. There, you can see that it is the members who are voting. Electronic voting cannot guarantee that. So I disagreed with that.”
Nunez-Melo said that he challenged the NDP’s contention that Vimy is a new riding. He said that Elections Canada had renamed the riding and merely redrew its boundaries, and that the same people sit on the NDP’s Vimy riding association as on its predecessor.
He added that he was astonished by the party’s heavy-handedness.
“It was a reaction that I found very discomfiting,” he said. “I was not expecting that. I was expecting an answer about the acceptance of my demand for not applying electronic voting to this particular riding. But that’s how they came out, so it is already done. There’s no stepping back.”
Although no longer a candidate, as this week’s edition of the newspaper went to press, Nunez-Melo remained an NDP member, though whether he will continue to adhere to the party is dubious.
“I will make a decision afterward about this,” he said.
Earlier this year, La Presse reported that the NDP leadership had recruited the former chair of its women’s committee, Jacinthe Gagnon, to run against Nunez-Melo for the nomination.
Gagnon failed in her bid to become city councillor for the Renaud district during Laval’s 2013 municipal election.
“Women need to engage in political life, get an education, enjoy equitable incomes and live in a violence-, racism- and discrimination-free society,” Gagnon said in a statement last month.
With the Dominican Republic native now gone from the race, Gagnon will face off against cable company CEO France Duhamel for the Vimy nomination.
The race is slated to be decided on Saturday, Aug. 15.
During a Toronto news conference, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair reportedly backed McGrath’s handling of the nomination process and stated that he very much respected the outgoing MPs, who enabled the NDP to become Canada’s official opposition.

José Nunez-Melo

Orange crushed: José Nunez-Melo.

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