We don’t do that here any­more

Seaway News - - AUTO TALK - Nick Wolochatiuk

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.

Pho­to­byNick­Wolochatiuk

LO­CAL­HIS­TORY–In­days­long­gone, ru­ral­com­mu­ni­ties­suchasLochGar­ry­w­erethriv­ing. To­day, mostarein­de­cline, with­empty­lotswhere­lo­cal in­dus­trieson­ce­servedth­e­lo­calarea. Ah­well, the econ­o­my­ofChi­naisthriv­ing.

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