RN: David Orchard’s campaign


Jan Slakov

Dear Renaissance List,   Nov. 23

For those Renaissance Network subscribers who have been with us since Aug. 9
(98), you may remember that I endorsed the candidacy of David Orchard for
leadership of the Progressive Conservative party of Canada.

Not surprisingly, David Orchard did not win the PC leadership contest. A
former prime minister (and supporter of "free trade"), Joe Clark, won. But
David did well enough that he has some credibility in the party now. He
apparently intends to keep trying to bring the PC party back to its
pro-Canada, anti-"free trade" roots.

Anyhow, I found the posting below, sent out from the David Orchard Campaign
for Canada, provided some good chuckles and thought you would enjoy it. 

all the best, Jan

PS I do believe the newspaper the Diane Francis article was published in,
_the National Post_, is the paper super-wealthy and super-reactionary Conrad
Black is trying to sell to Canada as a "national paper". I can't imagine it
will do well...

Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 00:13:06 +0000
From: Marjaleena Repo/ORCHARD CAMPAIGN <•••@••.•••>
To: CAMPAIGN FOR CANADA and CCAFT lists <•••@••.•••>


National Post, November 19, 98

          Holding public office should be a privilege, not a right


It is frightening that anti-free trader David Orchard ended up as
runner-up in the Conservative leadership race.

That's because free trade is demonstrably the best public policy ever
adopted by Canada.

Orchard's lapse, and Tory tolerance, is why people should have to pass
a test to determine if they have the knowledge necessary to hold office.

Those who fail should be banned from seeking elected office for at
least five years and/or until they take a course and pass.

Orchard would have flunked because no one who understands the facts
would ever be against trade. Here's why:

Canada's economic growth since 1989 has mostly had to do with the
fact exports are up nearly 114%. In 1989, some $141.46-billion worth
of goods and commodities were sold to the U.S. In 1997, $301.6-billion
were. This is not a matter of opinion. These are Statistics Canada

Taken one sector at a time, the story is always positive.

Agriculture and fishing product sales to customers south of the border
have jumped from $11.78-billion in 1989 to $24.6-billion in 1997,
according to the latest StatsCan figures available.

Energy product exports have gone from $12.28-billion to $27.87-billion.

Forestry has gone from $22.46-billion to $34.942-billion.

Industrial goods - including mining, metals, chemicals and fertilizers -
have risen to $55.43-billion from $31.79-billion.

These figures also show Canada's exports are poised for more dramatic
growth once commodity prices, at record lows, begin to move upwards
in the next two years. That's a fact because the dollar amounts of these
exports are up despite low unit prices, which means dramatically more
units have been sold since 1989.

Even if the number of units remains static, once prices go up the dollar
amount of exports will jump accordingly because each unit will be worth
more. This applies to metals, minerals, chemicals, agriculture, fishing,
energy and forestry products exports, which collectively represent about
half of current exports.

Besides traditional exports, high-tech and other goods are even more
successful since the Free Trade Agreement was signed.

Machinery and equipment sales to the Americans have gone up more
than 170% from $24.9-billion to $67.5-billion. This includes a range
of computer, electronics and software products.

Automotive exports - vehicles and parts - more than doubled to
$70-billion from $34.69-billion before free trade kicked in.

Miscellaneous consumer goods exports climbed more than 400% from
$2.6-billion to $10.67-billion. Large gains were also made in a
category "special transactions, trade" which jumped from $1.5-billion
to $4.061-billion.

Of course, exports are only one part of the economy. If unemployment
is up because more jobs were lost to imports as a result of free trade
than gained by exports, then it would be bad policy. That's also not the

Unemployment in 1989 was 7.5% nationally. It hit 9.2% in 1997, but
last month had fallen to 8.1%, mostly because of the enlightened
economic policies of Alberta, Ontario and Manitoba.

Aha, shout the protectionists. They are wrong.

Jobs have been created in the private sector, but the public sector is
shrinking, as it should. That re-engineering is behind joblessness in
large measure.

The facts are more Canadians have jobs and more are self-employed
since 1989. In 1989, about 13.08 million Canadians worked. In 1997,
some 13.941 million worked. Of this figure, full-time work increased
by 3.5% to 11.291 million from 10.917 million. But self-employment
jumped by nearly 40% from 1.8 million in 1989 to 2.488 million in

By contrast in the public sector in 1989, there were 2.17 million
employed. In 1997, this had been reduced to 2.06 million.

If absorbed, such facts lead to only one conclusion: That free trade is
the best policy Canada has ever adopted.

That's why would-be leaders like Orchard should be weeded out by
testing. It's also why voters who don't know the facts should be weeded
out until they grasp them.

Voting, like seeking public office, should be a privilege not a right.

Like a nation riding a car called the economy, Canada must make sure
everyone understands the rules of the road in order to avoid accidents
and bad drivers. THE END

          Nov 19/98  National Post/Financial Post page C-3

Dear Editor:

If Diane Francis has passed a means test to become a journalist, she
would  never have written what passed for a column on November 10. The
facts as she presented them do not demonstrate that free trade is "the
best policy ever adopted by Canada," and yet anyone who disagrees with
her opinion must be wrong, and should not be allowed to vote or hold
political office until  they share the same point of view as she.

Misrepresentation: unemployment "hit 9.2% in 1997," the implication
being this figure is the upper limit of unemployment in Canada over the
last 10 years. when in fact the unemployment rate was over 10% for
1991-94. Also, more Canadians have jobs today than 10 years go because
the population has increased. Omission: the unemployment rate in Canada
was equal to that of the States 10 years ago, and now it’s almost
double. Omission: roughly 70% of all trade between Canada and the U.S.
is intra-corporate. Yes, our exports have gone up dramatically, proving
the point that we are selling off our resources at a breakneck speed; we
could be using them here in our own country build up industry. A country
that doesn’t control its own resources doesn’t control its economy.

Misrepresentation: David Orchard is against trade. In fact, Orchard
believes we should be pursuing multi-lateral trade instead of putting
all of our eggs in one basket with the States. Orchard is against NAFTA
for specific reasons, not the least of which is it threatens  the
sovereign right of our government to pass laws, a point aptly
illustrated by the recent MMT decision.

It’s a toss-up which is more scary: Diane Francis loose presentation of
the facts or her Orwellian assertion that everyone who disagrees with
her regarding free trade must be wrong and needs some reconditioning on
a low protein diet.

Stuart Hollet, Vancouver

Dear Editor:

If people should be tested for office, who would conduct the
inquisition? Not, we hope, Diane Francis, after reading her article
which contains only positive statements about free trade, leaving the
reader to believe she has a modicum of bias.

Her remarks on David Orchard reveal her discomfiture with this man, or
is it fear? Being so sure of her position, let her debate Mr. Orchard,
and I for one would pay to watch; it would be a sellout.

Here’s an opportunity for a journalist to come from the relative safety
of the printed word into the public arena; throw your hat in, Diane, or
be barred from journalism for 5 years.

Dr. Philip McCormack, Vancouver


Dear Editor:

This is just a brief letter of gratitude regarding Ms. Francis’
hilarious column of November 19/98.

Who would have guessed, after all these years , that she had such a
reckless and precariously offbeat sense of humour.

I can imagine how hard it must have been for her to keep her composure
as she was suggesting, in that delightfully mock-serious tone of hers,
that citizens ought to  be  required to pass a course before being
allowed to vote.

Remembrance Day, and the sacrifices of our veterans, for our freedoms
and democratic "privileges", being so fresh in our minds, that one
really broke me up.

And a screening test for political candidates! Looking at the current
crop sitting the the present House of Commons, I wonder if there would
be anyone left to run the country!

But the best by far was the wholly ludicrous suggestions that free trade
has been a benefit to Canada. Well, they say that the best humour is
based on tragedy.

I would like to thank Ms. Francis for the belly laughs. The only problem
is that, from now on, I will never again be able to take anything she
says seriously.

Yours, with tears running down my cheeks;

Wayne Harrington, Toronto

Dear Editor:

Ms. Francis’ tongue-in-cheek suggestion that those who seek public
office should first pass a test, didn’t surprise those of us who have
followed her journalistic career for the past fifty years. (It was
tongue-in-cheek, wasn’t it, Diane?) The article was amusing with her
batting about Stats Can numbers as nimbly as one might dart around a
private squash court.

I have to interpret Ms. Francis’ comments in the spirit of misguided
joking around, as any other interpretation is too frightening to
contemplate. Anytime someone suggests that "voting, like seeking public
office, should be a privilege not a right," I tend to feel they are just
a teeny weeny bit undemocratic.

So, in the spirit of good-natured fun, I have a test for Ms. Francis. 
Of course, I would never suggest she should leave the country should she
fail it miserably.

1 Which so-called "free" trade agreements were rejected by the Canadian
people in the 1988 and 1983 elections?

2. Is wanting to have job, at a decent wage, in your home town, called

3. a) is an 8.1% unemployment rate good news, and
b) is a panhandler considered an entrepreneur?

4. Essay question: define sovereignty.,

If Ms. Francis has trouble answering these questions, you might suggest
she pick up a copy of David Orchard’s book, The Fight for Canada. Not
only will it satisfy her passion for "facts," it will help her
understand the connection between corporate greed and job loss and it
may even instil in her a little healthy loyalty towards her country of

Doreen Lalor, Toronto


Dear Editor:

I thank Diane Francis for illuminating, if only inadvertently, the real
kernel at the heart of the right’s comic book view of Canadian economy
and governance.

I’ll simply roll my eyes once more and leave the child’s play of
refuting her, ahem, analysis of the "benefits" of free trade — and the
uncited, ungainly statistics she employs in her apology for it — to
others. What intrigues me is the glimpse Ms. Francis reveals not only of
the usual anti-democratic, dissimulative and hysterically defensive
belligerence nor even of the faddish promotion of every recherche
economic nostrum of the 1920s that we have become used to from the
right, but of the essential vulgarity at the core of such thinking.

Tolerance, Tory or otherwise, is indeed "frightening" the to febrile
mind. To project such fears on the body politic, however, is less a
failure of vision than a failure of sensibility. A dog with its jaws
clamped jealously on the banquet scrap demonstrates something of the
same sensibility.

Your slip is showing, Ms. Francis. One might have expected your
colleagues at the Post to have cautioned you about it. But then, they
probably suffered the same flaw in their basic upbringing that you

George Higton, Toronto
Note that letters in response to Diane Francis column can be emailed to:
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