It’s funny—I would definitely consider myself a nationalist: I love being Canadian, love traveling throughout Canada, and I am one of those nerds who cries during especially potent Tim Horton’s commercials. But I’m not a passive nationalist, either. I know a lot about Canadian history, politics and culture. I love this country—even when I hate some of the things we’re doing (especially in politics). And I’m putting my money where my mouth is, too, because if I have a choice I’ll buy Canadian (my fave stores in Vancouver are the ones that carry local and sustainable products, as I’ve definitely mentioned before…what up, Body Politic!).
But then again…no. I’m kinda also a traitor. Because if someone—even someone I don’t particularly know or like all that much—were to walk up to me right now and suggest we hop in a car and make a shopping run for the border, I’d do it. I’m doing it tomorrow, in fact (what up, Seattle!). And there’s a very good reason for that: it’s cheap. And plentiful. And in a huge store. So I go down to Bellingham and hit the outlet malls, the Wal-Mart, the Target. And I do so without shame, or thinking about singing O Canada in the aisles.
But maybe I should be more conscientious. If we’re all buying cheap goods from the US, which are actually from China, we’re not exactly being patriotic.
Why am I thinking about this, even as I’m packing a bag and grabbing my passport? Well, today I stumbled across this article about Sears lowering their prices to compete with those very US stores I always go to. This is especially potent now as Target and Wal-Mart become more prevalent in Canada, too (as the article mentions). Pretty soon, it may not take a border run to get my cheap and plentifuls; maybe someday soon I’ll have the same from Sears. Is this good or bad? I’m not sure—I’ll still try to shop at my local and sustainable stores as much as possible—but a girl’s gotta pay the bills! And if shopping cheap means supporting the Canadian economy, too, then I’m on board.
image via FinancialPost