My dear Friend Rick Dennis sent me an email from his sister Candace and her husband Paul in Saskatchewan about the things we take for granted when buying our household products from light bulbs to toothpaste. Who cares? We should!

My feelings about free trade have changed considerably over the years from the time when I was a diehard union president in the ’80’s to now  an entrepreneur into free trade and capitalism. Yet, there is Canadian pride, well a national pride, most have embraced lately.

Funny enough I represent senior Mexican interests in Canada finding Canadian technology companies to export product to Mexico. Why? Mexico is more than aware that Canadian products are high on the efficiency, reliability scale and although are not cheaper represent value, the way we used to view ‘Made in USA’ products.

I’m proud of the products we make in Canada. We are innovative, fair, believe in Fair Trade, and buy Canadian when given choices and see reliability as more valuable than price.

I give you another Canadian’s view:

One light bulb at a time…

A physics teacher in high school, once told the students that while one grasshopper on the railroad tracks wouldn’t slow a train very much, a billion of them would. With that thought in mind, read the following, obviously written by a good Canadian.

Good idea . . . one light bulb at a time . . . . Check this out. I can verify this because I was in Lowe’s the other day for some reason and just for the fun of it I was looking at the hose attachments. They were all made in China. The next day I was in Home Hardware and just for the fun of it I checked the hose attachments there. They were made in Canada. Start looking. In our current economic situation, every little thing we buy or do affects someone else – even their job. So, after reading this email, I think this lady is on the right track. Let’s get behind her! She said: My grandson likes Hershey’s candy. I noticed, though, that it is marked made in Mexico now. I do not buy it any more. My favorite toothpaste, Colgate is made in Mexico now. I have switched to Crest. You have to read the labels on everything.

This past weekend I was at Wal-mart. I needed 60W light bulbs. I was in the light bulb aisle, and right next to the GE brand I normally buy was an off brand labeled, “Everyday Value.” I picked up both types of bulbs and compared the stats – they were the same except for the price. The GE bulbs were more money than the Everyday Value brand but the thing that surprised me the most was the fact that GE was made in MEXICO and the Everyday Value brand was made in – get ready for this in -Canada in a company in Ontario.

So throw out the myth that you cannot find products you use every day that are made right here.

My challenge to you is to start reading the labels when you shop for everyday things and see what you can find that is made in Canada – the job you save may be your own or your neighbour’s!

If you accept the challenge, pass this on to others in your address book so we can all start buying Canadian, one light bulb at a time! Stop buying from overseas companies! (We should have awakened a decade ago . . .)

Let’s get with the program. .. Help our fellow Canadians keep their jobs and create more jobs here in Canada.

If President Obama insists on a “Made in America” policy, which is commendable of him to support American workers, we should do likewise.

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