Adding to my wish list

Nana's Blog - Lois Pereplitz
Written by ECA Review

There is a post going around good old Facebook calling on Canada to open its own factories and manufacturing plants and quit buying so much from other countries.

I totally agree.

Canada used to be so much more independent. Our stores were Canadian and the majority of the products in them were made in Canada. 

We didn’t buy from other countries what we could make ourselves. We used what we made and only sold the surplus, and we didn’t sell everything and then have to go buy back what we need. 

We used our own resources and made almost everything we needed from the lumber for our buildings to our own blue jeans.

Yes, blue jeans and that story is a good example of our manufacturing downfall.

Who remembers GWG blue jeans and jackets? To the people of my generation, they were the designer clothes of the day. They were made by the Great Western Garment Company.

The Great Western Garment Company was founded in 1911 in Edmonton, Alta. by Charles A. Graham and Alexander Cameron Rutherford, (Alberta’s first Premier). 

The advertising slogan for their jeans was “They wear longer because they’re made stronger”. They were also about 30 per cent cheaper than red tab Levi’s.

GWG provided clothing for the military of both world wars producing 100,000 pieces of military clothing per month. 

This made it the largest clothing manufacturer in the British Commonwealth.

So, what happened? 

Well, probably a lot of things combined but I can think of two. 

Designer jeans – the people who could afford it like having the big names and bling on their jeans, while the people who couldn’t afford them just wanted some inexpensive good jeans to wear. 

This left the plain good quality jeans out in the cold and the Great Western Garment Company sold out to Levi Strauss.

Since it is largely our fault that we have lost so much of our manufacturing, I guess it is up to us to try and correct that. 

We need to buy more made in Canada products. They are not as easy to find as they used to be but we just need to look. 

Shopping in Canadian stores is a good place to look.

I try to buy Canadian products when I can, especially foods. I like knowing that the food I buy has passed our high health standards.

I have added a few things to my wish list.

I wish we would quit selling our companies to other countries.

I wish Canadian products were the majority again.

I wish I could buy a pair of GWG jeans.

I wish I could know that the gas I put in my car was 100 per cent Canadian.


by Lois Perepelitz

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