Labelling GMO – a letter to my MP

To: Carla Qualtrough, Liberal MP, North Delta., carla.qualtrough@parl.gc.ca.
cc: Terry Beach, Liberal MP, Burnaby BC, terry.Beech@parl.gc.ca
Dated Sunday, August 20, 2017
Subject : Bill C-291 – regarding labelling of genetically modified food.

Honourable Ms Qualtrough,

I write to you with regard to bill C-291 which aimed to amend the Food and Drug Act and include a clause to mandate labelling of genetically modified foods in Canada. This bill got defeated in the parliament with 216 Nay votes and 67 Yea votes. You voted against it, as did virtually all of the conservatives and most of the liberal MPs. A handful of Liberal MPs voted in favour of labelling GMOs, Honourable liberal MP Terry Beach of Burnaby BC being one of them. This letter is copied to him since he is referred here.

Common sense tells me that GMO aught to have been labelled, irrespective of what science says about it, of if one prefers to eat or avoid genetically modified food. It is the right of the people, I feel, to know what they are eating, and GMO is one such information that aught to have been identified to consumers.

But I do not write this letter regarding what I feel aught to have been or what my idea of common sense is.

I write this letter for two specific reasons. These are

1) To inform you that in my view you have violated the duty you were to perform when you got elected to represent us, by making your own decision to vote against the bill instead of checking with your constituents first.

You have often held meetings in Delta to gather public opinion on various issues. I have received invitations from your office to attend such meetings and have attended a few and voiced my concerns there. I presume the reason you hold such meetings is to gauge the opinions and feelings of the constituents and to reflect them back in Ottawa.

However, you failed to invite us to express our opinion on this important issue of labelling GMOs which has great relevance to food safety and general health as well as food security, preservation of biodiversity and independence from corporate ownership of living organisms. How I know you avoided checking public opinion is that you failed to hold a meeting on this and I did not receive an invitation from your office to attend any such meeting.

2) Since in my view you may have violated the sacrosanct duty that you were constitutionally required to perform, I believe I may have a reason to question your suitability in performing the task of a public servant to protect our interest. I therefore might decide to perform my citizens duty, to alert voters that you may have assumed dictatorial powers and decided to make unilateral decisions on what the people of Delta should know about their food.

In my book, only two kinds of persons can make such unilateral decisions for the people. These two are – a dictator, or an emperor. I do not believe you are either, though I suspect you might have forgotten what your specific duty is.

I write this letter to you not expecting an answer per se. I know politicians are usually quite good at staying silent on questions that they would rather not answer.

I am nonetheless writing this to publicize and circulate it among voters within my capacity, and also to set an example for other citizens, in Delta and outside, to take a queue and question their own respective representatives about what authority they had in making decisions without checking with the people first.

While I do not expect any response, I shall be glad to receive one, to discuss how you voted against this bill. Either way, this letter is going to be public.

If I do not succeed in changing your behaviour with regard to voting on sensitive bills, I sure hope to change views of a few of the citizen voters with regard to their perception of their representatives in our parliament.

If you find this letter a bit harsh, you will forgive me, since I do not feel particularly amicable after seeing how you voted against this bill.

Thanking you
Tony Mitra
10891 Cherry Lane Delta BC.

A response received from the office of Ms Carla Qualtrough. This is a good omen. Among all the letters I have sent to various MPs, MLAs and Mayors and councillors in Canada,very few will come back with a response.

However, this is an example that, if one tries hard enough, one might get a few responses time to time. More importantly, perhaps this is a sign that if enough folks approach their representatives, there will be a collective pressure that might translate into positive movements in our government to represent issue of vital importance for our people.


Reference:

List of who voted which way on C-291

Another video on the same issue I made two months ago

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