Friday, July 6, 2018

Calling All Steadfast Canadians

Being pro-Canadian instead of complacent and meek in the face of American tariff oppression can take many forms. Perhaps the strongest expressions of how we feel are to be found in our purchase and travel choices.

Tim Harper reports that many are making those choices:
If Canadians are, in a typically understated way, spending their vacation dollars at home, taking a few extra moments at the grocery store to determine where that ketchup was made or buying Ontario rather than California wines, a national statement is being made this summer.
While technically not a boycott, it is a means of condemnng the Trump administration and its mistreatment of traditional American allies.
It is not a boycott to decide to holiday in New Brunswick rather than Maine.

If I decide to forego an annual baseball and beach jaunt to the U.S., or as TVO’s Steve Paikin wrote, the U.S. doesn’t deserve his money, or Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson or NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh courteously decline an invitation to a July 4th party thrown by the U.S. ambassador in Ottawa, we are not bringing the White House to its knees.

Nobody shouted their decisions from the barricades. We’re not boycotting. We are making individual decisions.
Increasing numbers are making those individual decisions:
A Nanos Research poll published by The Globe and Mail Thursday showed 73 per cent of respondents were “likely or somewhat likely” to stop or cut back travel to the U.S.

Another 72 per cent said they were “likely or somewhat likely” to stop buying American products and 68 per cent said they were “likely or somewhat likely” to stop purchasing goods from U.S. retailers.
Others are taking even stronger measures. Martin and Carole Lajeunesse, co-owners of a restaurant in Quebec, decided that national integrity needs strong expression:
Martin ... suggested they pull the American wines from their menu. They asked the server who runs the restaurant’s Facebook page to post a notice, and she wrote, in French, “In solidarity with our Canadian jobs, LaLa Bistro suspends the sale of wines from the United States for an indefinite period of time.”
And the resistance is spreading:
Many Canadians who’ve had it with Trump just crave a chance to do something, almost anything. For instance, in Halton Hills—a collection of communities northwest of Toronto that adds up to a municipality of 61,000 people—the town council voted unanimously for a resolution to “encourage residents and businesses with the town to become knowledgeable about the origin of the products and services that they purchase [and] consider avoiding the purchase of U.S. products where substitutes are reasonably available.”
Individual empowerment is not just a lofty ideal. Everyone can realize it:
In Ottawa, labour lawyer Scott Chamberlain ... on a recent grocery trip for his family, ... found himself standing in front of a display of oranges from the U.S. and others from Morocco, so he picked the Moroccan produce, then decided to see if he could buy an entirely “Trump-free” grocery cart. “It wasn’t out of anger . . . it was more out of solidarity,” he says. “I was really proud that people set politics aside to put a common front together to support Canadians. It was an attack on all of us.”

Chamberlain has altered his travel plans, too. He has family in the Maritimes whom he visits three to four times a year, but now instead of driving through New England, his family will stay in Quebec and New Brunswick hotels.
Merideth Broughton, a paramedic living an hour north of Calgary in Torrington, Alta., has made the same decision. She had planned to travel throughout the U.S. Midwest with her dog Scout this summer:
But between the trade tariffs and the horror of detained migrant children, Broughton just won’t do it. “I can’t in good conscience contribute to that economy or that government,” she says. Instead, she and Scout will stick to the Badlands of southern Alberta and wander through Saskatchewan to visit friends and family.
Want to get in on the action? Here are two videos that may help inform your choices:


  1. .. I see this movement (awakening) as a fascinating guerilla phenomena. Its an individual decision, followed by individual action. A few of us, like you, me, Steve Paikan etc are exchanging views.. but its a silent cultural event. I don't send a tweet at Donald Trump.. I just do my thing.. feel bad for individual companies losing market and value.. But Trump is America's problem.. not mine. I can find everything I need in Canada.. or adapt as required. And America's economy gets another mouse sized bite taken from it.. The bigger bite is people like Steve Paiken.. who now choose not to do the family trip in the USA.. and perhaps PEI will instead benefit. And the Paikens or folks like them, will eat lobster or scallops, catch a minor league baseball game or camp near the Bay of Fundy and buy local.

    This is what is called 'natural consequences' in social work.. and anyone who suggests we can placate Donald Trump.. or expand out NATO spending is nutso.. We have American patrol boats, confronting Canadian lobstermen in our territorial waters.. seeking illegal immigrants. And we can't get a chopper overhead, or a Coast Guard vessel.. or a Search & Rescue patrol out there to say 'What are you doing? Get out of our waters, pronto!'

    Trump will likely bankrupt many border states who's economy is integrated with Canada or Mexico. China just turned to Russia for its massive soyabean annual purchase.. the list goes on and on.. and maybe soon, Robert Mueller will lower the boom.. & more losers like Greg Pruitt will go spend more time with their families..

    1. Whatever damage is inflicted on the American economy will likely go unnoticed by the Orange Ogre, Sal, but perhaps the aggregate will be enough to influence Americans' voting choices in the future. If not, at least these times might result in a reawakening of Canadian pride that too many have allowed to grow dormant.

  2. Here's the text of my Independence Day email I sent to an old American buddy:

    "Happy Independence Day, the day on which Americans can celebrate achieving freedom from your previous king. It would have been a fitting day to get rid of the current king."

    1. You are being kind and restrained, Mound, when you associate Trump with kingship. I have more unflattering designations that I would be happy to send along.