MEDIA RELEASE, March 15, 2005
Conservative party nixes David Orchard’s
member-observer status at convention!
David Orchard, twice leadership candidate for the
Progressive Conservative Party, has had his
member-observer status yanked by the Conservative Party
leadership just before the convention.
Orchard, like all former PC party members, had his
party membership automatically renewed until the end of
2004. He renewed it again in early February to attend
the Montreal convention as a member-observer, wanting to
witness the evolving nature of the Conservative party.
His registration for the convention was sent and paid
for online, the receipt of which was confirmed later by
phone. Consequently, Mr. Orchard made travel and hotel
arrangements to attend the convention which begins in
Yesterday, (March 14) he was notified by the
executive director of the party, Ian Brodie, that his
observer registration was being cancelled because he was
not a member! “Since your membership has expired and has
not been renewed, you are not eligible to be an
observer,” Mr. Brodie wrote.
When it was pointed out to Mr. Brodie that the
membership had indeed been sent and when Mr. Orchard
re-sent it online, Mr. Brodie made it clear today that
it was not a question of not having renewed, but that
Mr. Orchard’s membership was now rejected by the Party's
Interim Joint Council. In his words, “The Committee has
decided to decline your application for membership.” No
reason was given.
The Conservative Party is publicly declaring itself
to be a “Big Tent” party, ready to present a moderate
face to the electorate. The “Big Tent” appears not to be
big enough to tolerate the presence of David Orchard,
even as a convention observer!
Mr. Orchard has been urged by many Conservative party
members to attend the convention, to see for himself
that the party is a changed party, welcoming all,
including David Orchard and his substantial support base
in the former PC Party, to join its ranks. The
leadership of the party has now delivered a contrary
message, that it won’t tolerate David Orchard even as an
observer of its proceedings, and it has taken
extraordinary measures to prevent him from attending.
For more information, contact Rose-Marie Larsson,
Media Coordinator for David Orchard, tel: 604-215-5580,