Socialist Caucus chair Barry Weisleder was nominated as the NDP's candidate in Thornhill last Thursday night. It has just been revealed that within 48 hours of his victory, the party "rescinded" his nomination.
Barry Weisleder, the longtime left-wing NDP activist who was nominated to represent the riding of Thornhill in a nomination meeting last Thursday has had his position rescinded, sources say.
Mr. Weisleder, a 58-year-old Toronto-based substitute teacher, was selected to replace Simon Strelichik as the party's candidate in the Oct. 6 election at what Mr. Weisleder said was the largest, best-attended meeting in Thornhill in years.
But the candidate, who has been a member of the party for 43 years and an outspoken voice from the left, had his nomination rescinded by the provincial secretary, Darlene Lawson within 48 hours after the meeting, according to John Orrett, a member of the NDP provincial executive.
"One would have to say they have done this with the approval of the highest levels of the party, for an elected candidate who was democratically nominated...at one of the biggest meetings in 20 years. I'm pretty sure many of the members of the present executive will vehemently protest the interference in party democracy."
Mr. Weisleder was the chairperson of the NDP's socialist caucus. At the party's federal convention in Vancouver in June, Mr. Weisleder denounced the move to take the word ‘socialist' out of the NDP constitution, saying it would dilute the party's principles.
He was instrumental in "halting that drive to the right", Mr. Orrett said.
NDP officials failed to convince a majority of the 1,572 delegates to approve the change.
While he is "very disappointed" with the decision to remove Mr. Weisleder, Mr. Orrett said he "will continue to work for the NDP as the party with the best platform for working families, but not in Thornhill".