Lowest price not always best for interest of society


By Bruce Rhodes


October, 2004


Re: Think Canadian when making shopping choices, September.


I commend you for your editorial and share your view there are many compelling reasons for us to buy locally and that to pay the lowest price for a product is not necessarily in the best long-term interest of our society.

So long as the quality of a locally-made product merits my consideration, I'll tend to buy locally-made items over those made elsewhere.


For example, my wife and I went furniture shopping in Thornhill.


We told the sales clerk up front we preferred to buy furniture made in Canada and we were not interested in furniture made overseas, even if it was cheaper.


Part of the reason we gave is we do not want to support businesses abroad whose treatment of and compensation to employees falls short of fair and reasonable standards.

Another main reason that we buy from local suppliers is the environmental consideration.


We buy wine from Ontario wineries rather than wine from outside the province, in part because we know that less energy was expended to get the product to our local store than if the wine had been shipped from California or France.


The same story goes for food: we buy Ontario-grown produce, even if it is more money than its US equivalent.

I, too, am disturbed by the prospect of the Bay and Zellers being swallowed up by yet another American retail giant.


I suppose each of us, as consumers, can request or insist on Canadian-made products wherever we shop.


Thank you for raising awareness of this issue with your readers.