I saw the title of this blog written boldly on a FORD truck on my way to Oshawa right next to a “Made in Canada and proud” sticker. This fellow driver instantly made me think of a recent episode of Harry’s Law I watched last week. In the episode Harry is arrested for driving a Mercedes SUV through a small town in Ohio that passed a law that no foreign cars can be driven in their town. The creators of this law likened themselves to President Herbert Clark Hoover who signed the Buy American Act in 1933 which required the United States Government to prefer U.S. made products in its purchases. Harry fought the law, but this time, Harry won.
Seeing this sticker also immediately got my back up for a few reasons.
- I own a foreign car and it is my prerogative to.
If all we all just “bought Canadian” then who’s to say countries we trade with will continue buying from us.
- This statement has so many holes in it.
Yes, we have a FORD plant here in Canada, many I believe, but FORD is an American company. We also have plants in Canada producing parts and cars for FORD; heck, my Dad works for one of their suppliers. But FORD is not a Canadian company in the truest of senses. So technically this “Made in Canada and Proud” person isn’t practicing what they preach – Technically anyway. Not only that, but we have TOYOTA plants and HONDA plants here as well that employs Canadians – so should people working for those “foreign” companies with plants on Canadian soil lose their jobs because they work for companies that originated in a foreign country? A job is a job isn’t it?
I understand that this person is stating their opinion or perspective and probably showing support for people in their family who have been affected by the lay-offs in the automotive industry. My father will eventually fall victim and has fallen victim to such cuts. He was laid off for months before my wedding, only to be called back for 4 weeks and laid off again, called back again and living in this back and forth limbo for 2 years. He lives with the constant threat of lay-offs and pay cuts and at his age it will be difficult for him to find another job. But that’s just the way of the world now, men and women of my parents generation who went into the labour workforce in the 70’s and stayed with the same company for 30 plus years.
Such blanket statements like this bumper sticker are misleading, and if listened to, could cause more damage than good. If every country had this attitude, it will also lead to Canadians losing jobs, as we produce many goods/services in Canada that are purchased by foreign countries – it’s the give and take of the world.
This sticker brought me back to the late 80’s when my parents bought their first brand new car. Never people to purchase things above their means, and just coming out of debt due to travel back and forth to Nova Scotia to visit my terminally ill Grandmother for a few years, all they could afford was the new to the Canadian Market Hyundia Stellar. As mentioned above, my father works for a company that makes parts for GM and FORD, one day after work he came out to the parking lot of his work to find his brand new car had been keyed from hood to trunk on the passenger side. Why? Because someone he worked with didn’t like the fact that he didn’t purchase a “North American Car”. Malicious and immature acts like that stem from comments like the title of this post – So just because I drive a foreign car doesn’t make me less Canadian or make me the cause of the decline in the Canadian job market.
I am a proud Canadian, and support Canadian business when possible or affordable, but if something made in Asia, Europe or Mars gets me more bang for my buck, then I’m in!