David Orchard
Media Coverage
  Contacts Schedule What You Can Do ! Home Français

Toronto Sun, Friday, August 2, 2002

Tory brass suspect coup at convention

By Stephanie Rubec, Ottawa Brueau

OTTAWA -- High-ranking Tories are accusing leader Joe Clark of getting into bed with a socialist nemesis they ear is orchestrating a coup at the party's national convention this month. Tories working to oust Clark fear David Orchard, an anti-free trade activist, is attempting to take over the Conservative party and transform it into a socialist one.

High-ranking Tories estimate Orchard has about 250 followers attending the convention, all of whom have been instructed to vote for Clark in the confidence vote. But that's not enough support to guarantee the 50% plus one vote needed to avoid a leadership race. Clark has not said what level of support he requires to stay on as leader.

Orchard first surfaced at the 1999 Tory convention in which he ran against Clark for leader and garnered enough support to force a second ballot.

He has since thrown his support behind Clark, surprising many within the party.

"A lot of Tories are very angry at the pact," said a former Clark supporter who is now working to oust him. "Without David Orchard, Joe Clark would be dead."

Tory President Bruck Easton dismissed concerns about Orchard, noting he's been involved in the party for about five years and shares similar views on the environment and agriculture.

Back Top