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National Post, 15 January, 2008

Orchard: an 'open book' not a 'loose cannon'

by Marjaleena Repo

Re: Dion Plays To Win With Orchard Snub, John Ivison, Jan. 10.

I wish John Ivison would make a serious effort to find a more apt description of David Orchard than "potential loose cannon," as the term refers to an irresponsible and reckless individual whose behaviour, either intended or unintended, endangers the group he belongs to. If anything, in a phrase-to-phrase combat, Mr. Orchard is an "open book" whose writings and speeches are available in book form and in numerous articles, accessible on his website for the investigative mind. Not a loose cannon item among them, they are thoughtful and well-researched articles and speeches on topics of importance to Canadians. Mr. Orchard's work has gained him an impressive amount of respect and support from his fellow citizens. His political history is equally lacking in "loose cannon" behaviour, unless critical thinking and principled actions are considered such.

On a more serious matter, Mr. Ivison repeats the canard that David Orchard "has long opposed … gay marriage." As his longtime friend, advisor and campaign manager, I have yet to hear or see words to that effect come from his mouth or pen. Can Mr. Ivison direct me to the source, and failing that, cease in the use of such inflammatory language designed to smear Mr. Orchard's reputation?

For the information of your readers, David Orchard is (as are probably most Canadians) neither a vocal supporter of gay marriage nor its virulent opponent, and believes in live and let live.

Marjaleena Repo

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