DAVID ORCHARD’s speaking notes delivered at January 10, 2006 press conference at Liberal candidate Chris Axworthy’s campaign office, Saskatoon, SK. Please circulate!
It is a pleasure to be here today, Chris, to offer you my support in Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, my home riding. My family has farmed at Borden for over a hundred years -- I’m the fourth generation on the farm there -- and I’m pleased you are running once again in our riding.
I’m going to make a few comments about the election and then will be happy to take questions.
Throughout its history Canada has faced two reoccurring perils -- the danger of assimilation into our powerful southern neighbour and the threat of internal breakup.
In my view, this is an important election that we are involved in today. There are serious dangers, I think, for our country. One of the big winners in this election is going to be the separatist movement in the province of Quebec.
In triggering an election at this time, both Mr. Harper and Mr. Layton were prepared to play with the fires of Quebec separatism in an attempt to increase their own positions in the House of Commons. It is a dangerous and a short-sighted effort that could hurt our country badly and give a powerful momentum to those working very hard to take our country apart.
If Mr. Harper wins a minority government, he will be governing with the support of the Bloc, a party whose primary aim, whose number one platform position, is to take Quebec out of Canada. It is not hard to see what the quid pro quo will be. Mr. Harper has said openly that he is prepared to weaken the national government -- the only institution that speaks for all Canadians -- and hand out more of its powers to the provinces. Well, the Bloc will certainly be right there with him on that.
[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on January 17, 2006]