Buying Canadian Matters
Len Hope, Executive Member of the Grey Bruce Labour Council, feels strongly that 'Buying Canadian Matters'.
Hope recently spoke to Saugeen Shores Town Council about the concerns that the Labour Council has regarding the economic downturn, particularly, in the manufacturing sector.
According to hope, the crisis has become paramount in Ontario's economy and will continue to spread if everyone doesn't start to take part and support local Canadian business.
From May to July of this year, Statitics Canada reported job losses of 52,000 in Ontario and the numbers since then have escalated dramatically. Today, approximately 400,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in Canada.
"There are local examples of businesses that have been unable to survive the economic trend of purchasing goods from outside the region, outside the province and outside the country," said Hope. "Local furniture companies, for example, have been forced to close despite the fact that they manufactured superior products. The PPG plant in Owen Sound is closing and the Volvo plant in Goderich has closed because it moved its operations to Mexico."
Rich in natural resources, Canada formerly designed, manufactured and exported high quality products such as cars, ships, buses, food product, furniture and machinery to other countries. Today, Canada exports all the raw materials to those same countries and buys back the finished products.
Raw lumber, for example, is sold to China and then Canada buys back manufactured furniture. As a result, major furniture manufacturers through Ontario are going under. Tomatoes that are grown in Ontario are shipped to the United States and then imported back in canned form. Fruits, such as peaches, have been shipped overseas and, again, imported back into the country as canned goods.
According to the Grey Bruce Labour Council, Canada needs a 'Buy Canadian Act' similar to the American 'Buy American Act'. The Act would set a priority for all government programs and procurements to buy goods manufactured by Canadian companies and workers. In the United States, there is a minimum requirement for 60% of all federally funded public transit projects to be U.S. based.
Hope pointed out that, "Japan and Korea have 'closed economies'. "They ship cars into Canada by the hundreds of thousands and yet only a few hundred 'made-in-Canada' vehicles are allowed into those countries. We need Fair Managed Trade not Free Trade.
13/01/2009 04:23 PM
'Buy Canadian' legislation would simply put us in line
with other nations around the world, and spending our money at home
simply makes sense."
"Although this is the first municipal council we have approached," said Hope, "we are going to put this resolution forward to every Ontario Municipal Council."