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Vancouver Sun and National Post, Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Orchard to get $77,000 from Conservatives

TORONTO – David Orchard's battle with the Conservative Party of Canada appears to be over – at least for now.

At a court hearing in Toronto on Tuesday, both sides agreed that Orchard – the Saskatchewan grain farmer, who ran against Peter MacKay for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party in 2003 – will receive about $77,000 from the party to recoup him for campaign donations he collected during the leadership race.

That dollar figure was agreed to in December 2004, but the sticking point was wording in a final deal that prevents either side from pursuing the matter further.

Outside the courtroom, which was filled with his supporters, Orchard declined to say if he'll pursue a separate lawsuit against MacKay over a deal that saw the farmer agree to support his leadership rival in exchange for MacKay's word that he would not merge the Tories with the Canadian Alliance.

MacKay won the leadership and later reneged on his promise by orchestrating the union of both parties.

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