Guelph Mercury, March 4, 2002
"Accurate story to a degree"
by David Orchard
David Orchard sets the record straight on his position on international
I read with interest your story, "Globalization called
threat to sovereignty" (Guelph Mercury, January 29, 2002).
I commend your paper and your reporter for covering this topic
which is of such vital significance for our country and write to
correct a couple of errors which made their way into an otherwise
The article opens by describing me as "a staunch opponent of international
trade." Actually the opposite is true. As a farmer and an active
Canadian living in one of Canada's most trade dependent provinces
(Saskatchewan) I have always advocated mutually beneficial international
trade. My criticism is of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
and NAFTA and more precisely, clauses in those agreements that are
damaging our sovereignty as a nation.
While claiming to improve international trade these agreements
have actually led to the opposite results -- witness the softwood
lumber case, U.S. attacks on the Canadian Wheat Board, limits on
steel, hogs and wheat exports etc. etc. At the same time Canada
is increasingly trading with only one country, the U.S., and less
with the world. In addition, more and more of Canada's international
trade is actually being conducted by U.S. corporations and their
For fifty years prior to the FTA the standard of living for Canadians
rose; in the twelve years since the signing of the FTA our standard
of living has fallen. At the same time our country's economy is
being assimilated into that of the U.S. We are even being told it's
time to consider adopting a common currency with the U.S. -- which
would mean an end to what remains of Canada's fiscal and economic
So, it's not international trade that I oppose, but rather those
sections of the trade agreement that are hurting our economy and
costing us our independence to boot.
The second correction refers to the Americans being defeated at
the battle of the Plains of Abraham (in 1759). This is incorrect.
French and English speaking Canadians and their aboriginal allies
defeated and repulsed the Americans when they invaded Canada in
1775 and again in 1812-14.
David Orchard is the author of The Fight for Canada -- Four
Centuries of Resistance to American Expansionism and was runner-up
to Joe Clark in the 1998 federal Progressive Conservative leadership
contest. He farms in Borden, SK