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Unedited version of "Shafting by Yaffe based on factoids, canards," Vancouver Sun, Friday, January 25, 2008

On being yaffied

by Marjaleena Repo

Barbare Yaffe, in her column "Maverick Orchard finds a new party to tangle with" (Van Sun Jan 11) coins a new term, "orcharded," to describe the shafting of an individual. I'm now coining another term for the very same phenomenon, and that is being "yaffied." It means a person being shafted by someone who writes about them without knowing the first thing about them and is willing to invent facts to fit their personal prejudices and fantasies.

Ms. Yaffe builds her column with so many factoids and canards, that one does not know where to begin. David Orchard is not an "organic produce businessman; " he is a farmer! He is not a "social conservative, " as Yaffe claims, by any stretch of the imagination, and our columnist, of course, offers no example of what she has in mind, being satisfied with name-calling (she also casually calls Orchard "oddball," "nuisance," not a "comfortable fit for the Liberals." leaving the reader to imagine what she might mean with these derogatory terms.) Yaffe also writes that Orchard is "critical of any Canadian alignment with the U.S.," but fails to explain what she can possibly mean with that, unless it is just a code word for another media cliché that Orchard is "anti-American. "

She presents the struggle in the Progressive Conservative Party to prevent its takeover by the Canadian Reform Alliance Party as a cartoon, where David Orchard got "no respect" (he was 2nd to Joe Clark in the 1998 leadership race among five candidates and was a kingmaker in 2003 with his second largest number of delegates at the convention — some lack of respect!) When Peter MacKay betrayed the whole party and its very constitution, that was merely "pragmatic," according to Yaffe, whereas David Orchard was a publicity-seeker ("stood before every microphone") who made "a fuss" over the illegitimate takeover and Peter MacKay's oh-so-pragmatic betrayal of the signed agreement between the two of them. Yes, Orchard sued, but there were 22 others who were part of the lawsuit to prevent the extinguishing of the historically significant founding party of Canada, including the great grand niece of Sir John A. Macdonald. When the new Conservative party seized $70,000 of the donations made by individuals to Orchard's leadership campaign, he sued and won. What would Yaffe had done under similar circumstances?

Yaffe writes that "on becoming a Liberal he [Orchard] declared his intention to run in the northern riding." In truth, Orchard joined the Liberal party in January 2006 and declared his willingness to run in the northern riding in October 2007, after being repeatedly asked by the leader and both national election co-chairs to run for a seat in Saskatchewan. Not only was he encouraged to do so, but he was assured that there would be a fair nominatin race and no appointment in that riding.

Yaffe adds a misquote from David Orchard and tops her column with pidgeonholing the opposition to the NDP MLA's appointment s a Liberal candidate in Desnethe-Missinippi -Churchill River as "Orchard backers," when the protest is based on the slight of riding members who were, in a true colonial fashion, deprived of their right to choose their own candidate. Close to 200 northern residents gathered in Prince Albert on January 12 to demand that the appointment be lifted and the nomination process be allowed to proceed, a meeting organized by mayors, First Nation chiefs and other residents of the north, among whom were supporters of both candidates, David Orchard and John Dorion.

In conclusion, I hope that Barbara Yaffe never has an occasion to write about me, as I don't look forward to being yaffied by her!

Marjaleena Repo is a senior advisor to David Orchard. She can be reached at (306) 244-9724 or at

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