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June 21, 2005
For Immediate Release

“Canadian cattle producers have every right to have their voices heard in that court. I am thrilled that the Conservative Party of Canada will be able to be there to defend our cattle industry.”

OTTAWA – Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) Members of Parliament/ Rick Casson, Diane Finley, and Ted Menzies announced Monday that 70 CPC Parliamentarians have been granted amicus standing in the
R-CALF vs. USDA court case in Billings, Montana. Included among those Conservative Parliamentarians is Yorkton-Melville MP Garry Breitkreuz.

“Canadian cattle producers have every right to have their voices heard in that court,” said Breitkreuz following the decision by US District Court Judge Richard Cebull to grant amicus status. “I am thrilled that the Conservative Party of Canada will be able to defend our cattle industry.”

The 64 Conservative Members of Parliament and six Conservative Senators will be the only representatives of Canada’s legislature at the July 27th, 2005, hearing when Judge Cebull will hear the case for a permanent injunction against live Canadian cattle and beef exports. Canada’s Liberal government attempted to receive amicus status but was denied by Judge Cebull. Despite Conservative pressure on the Liberals to appeal the decision, the Liberals chose to remain idle, prompting the CPC to submit its own application.

“Canada’s Liberal government has no ability to defend the Canadian cattle industry in the Billings court case,” said Breitkreuz. “They could have appealed the Judge’s initial ruling keeping them out, but they simply didn’t care enough to get involved, and that’s inexcusable.”

Judge Cebull denied the Conservatives’ attempt to join the action as intervenors, claiming that their application was too late in the process. Intervenor status would have allowed the Conservative Parliamentarians to examine witnesses and bring fresh evidence in this case. The Conservative Parliamentarians’ delay was caused by their attempt to get the Liberal government to represent Canadians in the U.S. courts, but the government never sought such status from the court.

Amicus status will allow the Conservative Party of Canada to collectively submit to the court a brief of no more than 10 pages for the July 27th hearing. This is the first time that Opposition Parliamentarians have been given the right to defend their country’s national policies in a foreign court. The CPC amicus brief will be formulated by our solicitor, Barry Appleton, following consultations with industry stakeholders. Judge Cebull has also recently accepted amicus briefs from the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and the Alberta Beef Producers (ABP).

“Our fight for the Canadian cattle industry has been unwavering, and we are prepared to do the same in that Billings court,” said Breitkreuz. “We will defend our vital cattle industry even if the Liberal government will not.”