I have been thinking about this for some time now, and I have been doing what I can to see that I buy Canadian. I got my GM Retiree newsletter for the end of the year, and it seems I am not alone in thinking like this.
Before I copy the newsletter article, I would like to make reference to a couple of other related ideas. Some time ago, I was reading a copy of Motor Trend Magazine, and ran across a very nice ad for of all things, floor mats and trunk liners. It consisted of several high quality pages, in colour. Along with it was a kind of owner editorial piece, the gist of which was that one should buy American. He had a vested interest of course, being an American company, but as he pointed out, he made a very high quality product, but it was actually made in England, and he imported it. So, he moved all his manufacturing to the US. He also bought his manufacturing machinery from a Canadian firm in Brampton ON. He went on to say that when people are laid off, it affects everyone, as in if the guy down the street loses his job, I may very well be next.
I have felt that way for some time, particularly as it relates to our North American Auto industry. The people working in those plants bought food, went to movies, bought homes, bought gas, got haircuts, went to their local restaurant and more. That money worked many times over the money they were paid. Money that went back to a n Asian company left North America for good. The plant workers who were paid to assemble the vehicles in this country, were the only people who got any money, that got circulated. My feeling for years has been that if you work and live here, support the guy down the street who also lives and hopefully works here.
Anyway, enough about me, lets see what this guy has to say about this buy Canadian issue: I quote from the GM Retiree newsletter.
“Christmas 2012 — Birth of a New Tradition”
As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Canadians with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods and merchandise that has been produced at the expense of Canadian labour. This year can be different.
This year Canadians can give the gift of genuine concern for other Canadians. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by Canadian hands. Yes there is! It’s time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?
Everyone – yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about a gift certificate from your local Canadian hair salon or barber? Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement. Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, Canadian owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.
Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down the dollars on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course. There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants – all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half-dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint.
Remember folks, this isn’t about big national chains – this is about supporting your home town Canadians with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open. How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the Canadian working guy? Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day. My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.
OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewellery, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes. Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre. Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.
Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of lights, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip. You see, Christmas is no longer about draining Canadian pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about us, encouraging Canadian small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Canadians, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t imagine.
This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn’t that what Christmas is about?
BUY CANADIAN – BE CANADIAN – The job you save might be your own.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year