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Naomi Sayers nixed as Liberal candidate for Sault Ste. Marie

Anishinaabe lawyer says social media presence was one of the reasons Liberals rejected her application
02-07-2020-NaomiSayersJH01
Local lawyer Naomi Sayers has been denied Liberal nomination for Sault Ste. Marie riding in the upcoming provincial election.

Garden River First Nation lawyer Naomi Sayers will not be running as the Sault Ste. Marie candidate for the Liberal Party in the upcoming provincial election. 

Sayers says her bid to become the local candidate was rejected by the party due to her social media presence, in addition to unspecified ‘legal proceedings’ and ‘recent information.’ 

“I think that there was probably some sort of pushback internally to not approve me, because it sounds very personal at this point,” she told SooToday.

Sayers complied with the Liberals’ request to obtain her passwords for her social media accounts as part of its vetting process.  

“This is the thing that really irked me: they said if you give us access to your password, we’ll speed up the process,” she said.

Last week, Sayers gave the Liberals a deadline of May 3 to wrap up its vetting process, adding that she was ‘out’ if that deadline wasn’t met. 

“Based on their reasoning, it sounds like they may already have someone else in mind, or somebody else may have stood up, or maybe somebody else was already there,” she said. “I don’t know.”

The local defence lawyer said that she will not pursue another Liberal nomination in the future based on how she was treated. 

“I think at this point, this was the right time for me. I was very forthright and honest with them — here’s my social media, here’s everything you asked for and more, here’s everything that could be a potential issue,” said Sayers. “If it was my social media, if it was all those things that they listed — which they had in early April — to me they were boldly, blatantly lying to me.

“I can’t respect people for that.” 

A former exotic dancer while in her early 20s, Sayers more recently led a legal battle in 2020 to re-open strip clubs that were closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The Anishinaabe lawyer is now considering running in the Sault Ste. Marie riding as an independent.


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James Hopkin

About the Author: James Hopkin

James Hopkin is a reporter for SooToday based in Sault Ste. Marie
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