Former PC leadership contender Orchard speaks at Glendon

The following article was submitted to YFile by Marika Kemeny, Glendon communications officer.

Saskatchewan organic farmer and dedicated environmentalist David Orchard addressed Glendon students at an open lecture on Nov. 29 on the topic of “Canada in a Globalized World”.

orchardLeft: David Orchard

A leadership candidate for the now defunct Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in 2003, Orchard placed second to Joe Clark in the 1998 leadership contest. He continues to operate his family’s 100-year-old farm in Saskatchewan, having successfully converted to organic farming since 1975. Orchard’s strong commitment to the environment also encompasses issues of the burial of nuclear waste on Canadian soil, clear-cutting of our forests, clean air, food and water, and other related topics.

Addressing political science students as well as other members of the community in both English and French, Orchard set out to dispel the impression that he is against free trade. “I am not opposed to free trade; I am opposed to seeing our country dominated and governed by a foreign power. For Canada, globalization really means Americanization. Since our entry into NAFTA [the North American Free Trade Agreement], we trade less and less with other nations, and more and more with the US,” Orchard said . “Furthermore, 75 per cent of Canadian trade is accomplished by American corporations operating in Canada.” Orchard maintained that these companies are not always subject to Canadian law and do not always follow Canadian commercial practices, resulting in a loss of control over business practices, environmental issues and other important concerns.

In a plea to the new generation, he emphasized the importance of protecting Canada’s industries and commerce and maintaining control over its defence and environment. Orchard said he is convinced Canada has sufficient critical mass and economic power to maintain its independence and must not fear retaliation from its powerful neighbour if it disagrees. He also argued it is not too late to withdraw from agreements that put this country at a disadvantage economically or environmentally.