The Famed 'Earth is Flat Award' For June 1996

This valuable trophy was originally created by myself to reward those, chiefly from the left, who characterized best the intellectual vacuum that often exists in the world.

The first winner of the first web edition of The Earth is Flat Award is none other than the Canadian Federal government itself and Ralph Goodale the Federal Agriculture Minister for their attack on a farmer who only attempted to practice free trade and capitalism.

David Sawatzky was charged late last year with illegally exporting grain to the United States. Sawatzky was recently acquitted by Winnipeg judge Arnold Conner. Sawatzky is a member of Farmers for Justice, a group of farmers who are attempting to break the monopoly on grain sales held by the Wheat Marketing Board. Farmers for Justice plan to send loaded grain trucks across the Canada-U.S. border to challenge the Wheat Board's monopoly. The provincial government in Alberta has declared its support for the farmers and is offering help in their efforts to get past the Wheat Marketing Board.

Judge Conner acquitted Sawatzky after determining the Customs Act was unclear about Sawatzky's need for a license to export grain.

The government's answer to this support of capitalism? It immediately amended the Customs Act to ensure that farmers must go through the government to sale grain. The Federal government acted by having the Governor General sign an Order in Council that would amend the poorly worded regulation.

This action by the Federal government is immoral. Capitalism, like democracy, is only effective when it's citizens are allowed to take full advantage of its benefits. If the Federal government made a similar move to limit political freedoms in this country, then the citizenry would be up in arms. When capitalism itself is attacked, only some farmers in our Western provinces protest.

So this month, the award is especially deserved. Maybe the government will regulate this award...

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