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National Post, August 18, 2006

Repairing the Orchard file
Re. Dion's support stranger than fiction, Aug.17
Letter to the editor by David Orchard

I read with amusement John Ivison's lively and mostly accurate piece. But in the accompanying "David Orchard File," the National Post included opposition to the World Trade Organization as part of an extensive catalogue of my sins.

I have long been a defender of Canada as a multilateral trader, and as such an advocate of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and its current designation as the WTO. Under the GATT/WTO, Canada both retains its sovereignty and had better trade access to the US market than under the Canada/US "free trade agreements," which are damaging our sovereignty and have brought us tariffs -- including on our wheat and soft wood, unless we pay one billion dollars not to have them -- and numerous other harassment.

As leader of the Liberal Party in 1988, John Turner stoutly defended the GATT and equally strongly opposed the FTA, calling it "the Sale of Canada Act." To Pierre Trudeau it was "a monstrous swindle." Many other Canadians of all political stripes share my desire to keep control of our economic and political destiny in Canadian hands while trading widely and profitably around the globe.

Nor did I oppose "Canadian participation in Kosovo" -- I opposed the NATO bombing of the former Yugoslavia in 1999 and Canada’s participation in that illegal "humanitarian intervention."

As for "leaving" the Tory party, the Tory party was merged out of existence in 2003, taken over by Mr. Harper’s Alliance. So I didn’t leave anything. The PC party no longer exists. What exists is Mr. Harper’s northern branch plant operation of President Bush's Republican party, which finessed its way into power pretending to be Tories (Bleus in Quebec). I had to chose another home or remain homeless. I chose the Liberal party.

Regarding my Web site featuring a cartoon lampooning Peter MacKay’s hand writing, it is more of a self critical jest; the agreement between MacKay and myself at the 2003 PC convention was not in Mr. McKay’s hand writing but my own -- which is admittedly atrocious.

Sincerely yours,

David Orchard

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