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Victoria News Group, December 12, 2002

Orchard Out to Revive Tories

by Don Descoteau

For three straight federal elections, the Progressive Conservative party has been completely shut out by B.C. voters. David Orchard wants to change that.

The Saskatchewan grain farmer, who finished second behind eventual winner Joe Clark for the PC leadership back in 1998, is in Victoria Tuesday (Dec. 17) as part of a cross-Canada tour trying to drum up support for his party. He's hoping to entice people from both sides of the political spectrum with his ideas on strengthening Canada's sovereignty with more independent foreign and fiscal policy. "I think the PC party, if it's going to re-connect to the people, has to have a big issue, a big idea.

That idea, he states, is defending Canadian sovereignty, a la the John Diefenbaker Conservatives of the 1950s and '70s.

He complains about the growing number of Canadian corporations that have foreign ownership, our assimilation with the U.S. in terms of defence and foreign policy and Canada's dependency on its neighbours to the south for economic stability.

"If we had a policy that touched on some of these issues, I think we would connect with not only Alliance voters, but Liberal, NDP, Green Party and Bloc Quebecois voters, all across the political spectrum." Orchard is an outspoken opponent of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Orchard's appearance in Victoria will be in Room 100 of the Fisher Building at the Lansdowne campus of Camosun College. The Dec. 17 meeting starts at 7:30 p.m.

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