It appears that Bob Groeneveld may have had a bad night and gotten out of the wrong side of the bed, or had absolutely nothing of real importance to comment about in his column [Sign says it's free for the jerks, Dec. 18 Odd Thoughts, Langley Advance].
He goes on and on about nothing other than how he is irked about the few shoppers who apparently try to take advantage of a possible freebee at the check-out. I have never witnessed this occurrence myself, but I guess it does happen.
He then leads up to what appears to really bothers him: over-the-border shopping.
The only reason people shop over the border is because they get ripped off here by retailers who sell exactly the same thing for 30 per cent or more than what is available 30 minutes south.
I personally have experienced this discrepancy in prices. A product I wished to purchase here was priced at $800, but on further investigation, I found that the item could be ordered directly from the factory, shipped to the border, and with all taxes and duties, was under $400.
Quite frankly, I don't believe shipping costs from the border to Chilliwack could ever amount to another $400.
Now if he had said that we should buy Canadian, then tell me, just what products are available that you can honestly call Canadian-made?
Everything in our local stores, is made outside the country. I would like to buy Canadian, but there is very little made here. Farm produce is the one possible exception, except when it's out of season.
Groeneveld calls these shoppers jerks, but then, what about all the Canadian manufacturers who chose to relocate their plants outside Canada and outsource all their manufacturing? I do believe this does impact us to a great degree. I wouldn't be surprised if the clothes he is wearing were made in Asia.
Now the government wants to bring in workers from China. Please explain to me why, what with all our unemployed, we cant find people here to fill these jobs? If they aren't experienced, train them.
I must point out that local retailers are not the only ones to blame for price discrepancies, but must include all levels of governments and the people.
It may be oversimplifying the situation to say that greed is the driving force. All the frogs in the pond think they are special, and should be driving a Rolls Royce.
If you can't be competitive, then don't be surprised if shoppers go elsewhere.
Richard Parent, Chilliwack