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Black Friday!

December, 02. 2013

By: Terry Hand


"Black Friday!"
It is the day when Americans and now Canadians (The Hudson Bay Company) get to go to the local community centre, "The Mall," and buy products they didn't make and don't need, using funds they don't have, resulting in more debt they don't need or want.

They buy products at 70% off which are still overpriced based on the manufacturing costs, which gives buyers the opportunity to brag about the great deals they got at Wal-Mart, not realizing that Canadian (or American) dollars are then sucked out to head offices south of the border or to corporate offices in other countries.

It's a love-hate relationship because now they also get the opportunity to bitch about the lack of jobs, the economy, and the continual increases in taxation. This is particularly true in cities and towns in northern parts of the province. Some towns even campaign for a Wal-Mart to come to their communities, so that small local businesses that spend their profits back into the community creating jobs can be put out of business.

When will people realize that we cannot spend Canadian dollars in businesses where control resides somewhere else, and expect to have a vibrant and sustainable economy?

The solution to the problem is to rebuild local economies if we want to provide a future for our children. We must establish a whole versatile industry of entrepreneurs in outlying regions of the province where mills, forestry, and mining were once a mainstay but are no longer viable and sustainable.

These new industries can grow and produce high grade organic products for community sustainability and sale. Reviving lost and abandoned skills, leather tanning, fishing, winter sports such as cross country skiing and in-season hunting lodges, wrangler ranches, mountain bike trail riding, white-water rafting, canoeing, survival training, and other tourist-themed destinations, and what about movie filming locations, wildlife photography excursions etc. can add outside currency to local communities.

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. Chemainus, on Vancouver Island, was a doomed town until the community came together and decided on a plan of action. Today Chemainus is world-renowned for its murals. Tourists come year round from all corners of the world to view and photograph the murals. Chemainus is now a vibrant community with an awesome theatre, gifts stores, restaurants, a new major hotel, and other thriving businesses.

Cowichan sweaters are sold around the world and have been since the 1890s first out of mountain goat wool and dog hair using the traditional spindle and whorl, Now they are made of sheep wool, the sheep being introduced to Vancouver Island in the 1850s. The traditional Cowichan Sweater is still a strong sustainable industry using old skills and traditions to both employ and generate local community income.

A Saskatchewan couple bought, as pets, two alpacas. Soon after, they began to show the animals, and after winning several prizes, they went into full-time commercial alpaca ranching in 1997, breeding and selling Alpacas and the fine quality wool they produce. Today Ring Ranch is probably the largest alpaca ranch in Canada with a breeding selection of over one hundred animals and sales to customers around the world.. This is a renewable and sustainable industry which creates continual employment.

Waiting for government to provide jobs will do nothing for the economy because we know from experience these jobs will not materialize. The few jobs that do will be construction jobs building pipelines, storage facilities, roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, and other infrastructure. These projects will all outlive the workers who built them, which makes most of the jobs temporary.

BC Refed is committed to:
1. Revitalizing communities all over British Columbia with a focus on sustainability;
2. Providing employment opportunities by improving and building necessary infrastructure and services as required; and
3. By better managing the labour market throughout the entire province.

If you have comments or ideas, please contact us by email, phone, or regular mail.
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