Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: David Orlikow (1918-1998)

Municipal official, MLA (1958-1959), MLA (1959-1962), MP (1962-1963), MP (1963-1965), MP (1966-1968), MP (1968-1972), MP (1973-1974), MP (1974-1979), MP (1979), MP (1980-1984), MP (1984-1988).

Born in Winnipeg’s North End on 20 April 1918, son of Louis Orlikow (?-1965) and Sarah Cherniack (1892-1927), half-brother of Lionel Orlikow, he was educated at the Workman’s Circle School, St. John’s High School, and University of Manitoba, where he studied pharmacy.

He was elected a school trustee in 1945, beginning an unbroken 43-year political run that graduated to Winnipeg City Council, then the Manitoba legislature, where he won the St. John’s constituency in the 1958 and 1959 general elections. He won nine consecutive federal elections in 1962, 1963, 1965, 1968, 1972, 1974, 1979, 1980, and 1984 before his defeat in 1988. He described himself as a “right-wing Social Democrat” and had little patience with the doctrinaire wing of the New Democratic Party. He was famed as a watchdog of human rights, public health, labour and cultural affairs in the House of Commons.

He and wife Velma Jessie “Val” Orlikow had a daughter. In recognition of his community service, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977).

He died at Winnipeg on 19 January 1998.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Haffner House (71 West Gate, Winnipeg)

Sources:

Death registration [Sarah Orlikow], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Obituary [Louis Orlikow], Winnipeg Tribune, 24 March 1965, page 32.

The Canadian Directory of Parliament, 1867-1967, edited by J. K. Johnson, Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa [Library and Archives Canada], 1968.

“Cancer claims unwitting CIA victim Orlikow,” Winnipeg Free Press, 25 May 1990, page 4.

Obituary [Velma Jessie Orlikow], Winnipeg Free Press, 26 May 1990, page 54.

Obituary, The Jewish Post and News, 22 January 1998, p. 10.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

We thank Oliver Bernuetz for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 27 December 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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