Eduard Hiebert

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The following letter was published in The Hill Times after it had been sent to the Prime Minister etc.

As of this posting I have not even had the courtesy of an acknowledgement of receipt of letter, much less a reply although Reg Alcock had replied to an earlier still claiming what they had done at the WTO was good for us. 

Dear Hill Times Editor (link will open in new window)

Subject: An open letter to PM Martin and 2 Ag related Cabinet Ministers!


PM Paul Martin
CWB Minister Reg Alcock
Agricultural Minister Andy Mitchell

cc     MP Carolyn Parrish

August 29, 2004 A.D.


With the world stage being dominated by extremist and extreme reactions to virtually everything, I want to applaud your restrained reaction to Carolyn Parrish's characterization of the missile defense program as "the US coalition of the idiots." Your restraint is especially laudable in light of a recently signed Norad agreement, which many justifiably fear may actually help Bush advance his Star Wars scheme!

Indeed, during the election debate, thanks to the Bloc and NDP leadership, all doubt was removed that you had signed a Norad deal with the US!  What was not clear was whether you were obscuring what Canadian sovereignty had or had not been given up.  However, on the militarization of space, you too agreed undeniably clearly -- never ever under your watch! 

Your other election promises, from defending the CWB and a vigorous defense of universal public health care (and that this also meant to be free from further privatization), to supporting farmers regarding BSE, to addressing and correcting the democratic deficit... were all music to the ears.

Then, when I saw the actual signed Cancun WTO accord, in contrast to many reports of a WTO breakthrough for Canada, I saw only problems.  I have waited patiently for your  Agricultural related Ministries (Reg Alcock, Minister of the CWB and Andy Mitchell, Minister of Agriculture) to explain, what looks like a serious credibility gap between what your government officials have actually signed at the July 31 interim Cancun WTO agreement and your's and the Liberal's election promises (including each of your further assurances made since then) to defend the CWB, inclusive of its single desk.

I much appreciated Reg Alcock's office, even if by snail mail, dated August 5, advising within one day of receipt of my email, that the Minister would respond to mine in due course.  So far, I have waited in vain for a substantive word from either of your two Ag related Ministers.  However with further public reports, claiming the WTO file and the CWB is so close to your heart, that the WTO file is personally on your plate, I continued to wait patiently for  a reply.

In summary, while I do not advocate MP Carolyn Parrish's talk of the "coalition of the idiots", I much appreciate her action  of exposing and drawing further attention to the development of Canada's involvement in Bush's Star Wars scheme.  Given your government's contradictory actions in signing Norad, signing the WTO, not yet finding a path to meaningfully address the health care, the BSE crisis and democratic deficits, all of which contradict what you promised to do, I wonder if I will ever receive a justification for your sacrifices of Canadian sovereignty and the Canadian Wheat Board.  Mindful of this path of action, your further actions to try to silence those in your caucus, like Carolyn Parrish who have the nerve to speak the truth, I find especially troubling.

I will conclude with an insight I heard but a few short days ago.  Someone told me of a farm leader, who represents 10 million Indian farmers, had some years ago, while in Canada made reference to the non-violent tradition as taught by Ghandi, where you did not harm living things. "When they were trashing Cargill's offices in one of the Indian cities they viewed it as "ransacking the ransackers" and it was  Cargill's actions that were doing violence to life in India.  All the protesters were doing was throwing inanimate desks and paper into the street and burning them and making the point that they wanted Cargill to leave India."

I look forward to your and your Ministers timely reply.


Eduard Hiebert


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