The Edmonton Journal, Saturday, July 17, 1993
Public snaps up anti-free-trade text
By Sherrie Aikenhead
The RCMP have called him manipulative, scheming and
argumentative, but many Canadians admire David Orchard.
Right now, they love his anti-free trade book.
The Fight for Canada has sold out in Toronto and is
in its second printing with sales topping 8,000 copies.
About 100 Edmontonians gathered this week at the main
library for his book launch.
The Saskatchewan farmer, who leads Citizens Concerned
About Free trade, has struck a chord with the unemployed
and with information-starved Canadians who want to know
more about the North American Free Trade Agreement with
Mexico and the United States.
He's using the book as a rallying cry to motivate
people to take on another free-trade battle in the
upcoming federal election. “Canadians have always
resisted U.S. attempts but this election is crucial,” he
said in an interview Friday.
As Orchard calls upon Canadians to defeat the deal,
it may seem like déjà vu. In 1987, 7,000 ordinary folks
concerned about the Free Trade Agreement with the United
States formed the non-partisan lobby group. (Membership
has now grown to 9,000.) At that time, Orchard was held
for 25 minutes in an unmarked car for yelling at
then-prime minister Brian Mulroney and a file ended up
in RCMP records. That hasn't discouraged him from
pursuing his cause.
His first hurdle is to get the Liberals to change
their policy to renegotiate the deal with the United
Orchard is calling for a temporary coalition between
the New Democrats and the Liberals to join forces and
rip up the agreement.
Combined, more people voted for the opposition
parties than the Progressive Conservatives. This
election, the Liberals should leave Western seats to the
New Democrats, he believes, and the New Democrats in
turn shouldn't run candidates in Eastern Canada.
On open-line radio shows, he's urging Canadians to
write Liberal Leader Jean Chretien and exact a promise
to cancel the deal.
His book is filled with what he sees as consequences
of the Canada-U.S. deal.
"People see the dramatic effects of losing jobs. Now
were locked into a deal with Mexico and I don't think
most people have a clue what's in it."