We don’t do that here anymore
There’s an environmental slogan that goes something like this: “ Think globally; act locally.” Unfortunately, as far as our industrial base, this what it seems to be: “ Import globally, but screw the local communities, screw the local economy.”
What prompted me to put these thoughts onto ‘ paper’ ( and the web) was a local historical marker I recently noticed. Look at the photograph I took of it.
If you recite the names of any local communities, I can give a name of an industry or industries that used to be in them, but have been uprooted and shipped out of the country, to places such as the United States, Mexico, China…
If you say Cornwall, Williamstown, Alexandria, Smiths Falls, Chesterville… I can respond with Domtar, Beach Furniture Ltd., Cornwall Spinning Co. for Cornwall, Kraft Foods for Williamstown, Consoltex for Alexandria, Hershey’s for Smiths Falls, Nestlé’s for Chesterville… The list of local closures and transfers to other countries goes on and on.
For now, our box stores are doing well by selling us cheap, foreign made goods. Check out the labels on what you buy. They’re invariably marked as being made in distant places such as China, Japan, Bangladesh and Mexico. We are left with little more than warehousing facilities, distribution centres and shopping malls, all to store, distribute and sell foreign made goods.
Our college graduates migrate to the big cities for job opportunities; our young teachers go Japan, South Korea and China to instruct ESL ( English as a Second Language). Call a 1-800 number for information and you’re most likely to be trying to communicate with someone in India.
Ah well, we still have jobs such as making pizzas, flipping burgers, collecting bridge tolls, mowing lawns, grading gravel roads in the summer and plowing the roads in the winter.
Fortunately, there are some careers that will still be in demand locally, and will remain here until the Palestinians and Israelis find a way to live in harmony, suicidal extremists no longer wreak havoc in schools, places of worship and markets - and until the lowlevel replacement for the bridge that connects Cornwall with Cornwall Island is built. There will always be local job opportunities in the fields of carpentry, plumbing, roofing, wiring, masonry and pizza delivery.
LOCALHISTORY–Indayslonggone, ruralcommunitiessuchasLochGarrywerethriving. Today, mostareindecline, withemptylotswherelocal industriesonceservedthelocalarea. Ahwell, the economyofChinaisthriving.