The former immigration minister John McCallum stepped down recently to start his life as a diplomat. His sudden exit left a vacuum which needed to be filled. One leading candidate for the vacant position is Juanita Nathan, a school board trustee from Markham-Thornhill.
Nathan has recently accused the Liberals of setting up the contest so that it would favour another person who is also running for the same position, her rival, Mary Ng, who is a senior staffer to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. According to Nathan, she does not think that the Liberals are following the rules in a fair and equitable manner, which is the reason why she felt that she needed to voice her concerns about the issue.
Speaking of the issue, it apparently is of the cut-off date that has been selected to register new Liberals, which also happens to be an important factor of the nomination process. That’s because it determines who will be allowed to vote come election time, which has been set for April 3. Nathan says that over 2,000 people that she had registered as Liberals are now considered to be ineligible since the party retroactively set the registration cut-off date for Feb 14, which just happened to be the day that she began entering names into the system.
It was the Liberals who did away with the membership fees just last summer, which was considered a positive step, but all those who are interested in taking part in the nomination votes still need to be registered in order to do so.
Meanwhile, Ng also says that she had lost registrants. Setting up retroactive sign up deadline is not something new, since parties have done it in the past and it is still practiced today. It prevents would be candidates from having to wait until the last minute and putting the officials in pressure with the last minute paperwork.