Increasingly I find as I shop in our local stores that I am not being given any choice as to where the products are made or come from.
While it is understandable that the stores we shop in are working hard to give us the lowest price, the question I ask is, are they not carrying this too far? Personally I am proud to be Canadian, proud to celebrate a lifetime of working to make Canada a better place to live.
A retailer of goods, in an effort to offer the lowest price for his or her goods, in a way has forced manufactures to search oversees for the most economical (cheapest) labour market, taking jobs that once were Canadian and shipping these jobs overseas. Now these same stores that operate in our community have little to offer us except products made in those distant lands.
I would like to see our retail outlets proudly mark Canadian-made goods so that it is not necessary to study the very fine print that says ‘made in an offshore country.’ Stores could put a maple leaf symbol as part of their shelf signage, or on their price stamp; manufactures could also put a maple leaf symbol beside the Bar Code.
I know, I know the argument that it is not where it is made that sells the product, it’s the price, and when the only criteria is price, our choice to decide for ourselves is taken from us. Possibly if we, as shoppers could quickly see that the product is Canadian, we may gladly pay a little more for the product. A trip to the grocery department of our big box stores displays canned food products from where; don’t we have Canadian farmers anymore?
It might be very interesting to take an actual audit of our big stores to see how much support they do give to our Canadian manufacturing industry. The very people that these stores are selling these offshore products to, are often the same former employees that have lost jobs to these offshore manufactures of goods that were once made in Canada.
Store managers, by loading your shelves only with offshore goods, you are taking away our right to make choices for ourselves. In a crisis, increasing dependence on offshore suppliers could come back to haunt each of us.