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MPs tight-lipped

Anonymous — April 1983

According to a Toronto Star poll conducted in February, Prime Minister Trudeau and External Affairs Minister Allan MacEachen were among a two-thirds majority of MPs refusing to say yes or no to cruise tests in Canada.

The most adamant “No” reported in a Star article dated March 16 came from another Liberal, Irenee Pelletier (MP — Sherbrooke). “To permit an American neighbour to test the cruise in our back yard it totally ridiculous.” Pelletier said. “We can’t be a part of those who wish to spread the atomic bomb. Sooner or later we could blow this planet up. It’s got to stop.”

The strongest “Yes” reply in favour of cruise tests also came from a Liberal MP — Jesse Flis (Parkdale — High Park) approves of cruise testing in Canada because he said he was “elected to represent my constituency. They are practically 100% behind me on this issue.” Two days after Flis’s statement appeared in the Star several Parkdale constituents picketed his riding office in Toronto. In addition, CANDIS has received calls from Parkdale residents asking for his Ottawa address. You can write to him in care of the House of Commons, Ottawa KIA 0A6, and the postage is free. Parkdale for Peace. a community based group, would also like to hear from you. Contact Rob Fairley at xxx-xxxx or Lisa Makardiuk at xxx-xxxx.

Only four Tories out of 101 questioned said they opposed cruise tests. Most. including Joe Clark, refused to say yes or no. Tory leadership candidates David Crombie, John Gamble and Michael Wilson said they favoured the tests.

All NDP MPs questioned said they are against the testing of the cruise.

What you can do

Your opinion does count, and you can make it heard in a number of ways. Here are a few: