|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