THE APPLE SCORE – CANADIANS 2 – FOREIGNERS 17
Living in apple farming country, occasionally when in the grocery chain store, I look at the apples on display. There are a few questions that come to mind when I see there are 17 varieties from other countries and only 2 Canadian. Why would these apples from several countries dominate our Canadian store only days before we start to harvest our own apple crop? There was a time when we only ate Canadian apples. Not only apples from other countries were on display in that store but raspberries from Chile were also enticingly laid out, in the very middle of our raspberry harvesting season. And those were wrapped in one use plastic. And, at the same time as we harvest peas there were attractive packages of snow peas, FROM CHINA”. A further count was made of the fruit counters where 27 imported fruits were displayed and 6 from Canada.
The economics of it is not rational. Our economy would be strengthened by producing all the apples we need in Canada. The money received for them would be spent in Canada. In fact it would be spent several times over, by the farmer, farm labour and farm expenses, would be spent to provide income to many other workers in Canada. They would in turn spend it again and again. The taxes required to pay our health and all other social services would be paid for, whereas it is not earned on imports. The cost, and polluting use of fossil fuels, spent in shipping from New Zealand, Chile and elsewhere would be avoided.
The claim of a seasonal need for imported fruit is not a valid excuse. Controlled atmosphere storage, and other methods, will preserve perishable fruit year around. Local apples and other products could be available nearly year around. Instead of investing in foreign stocks, Canadian investment should be in building Canadian production. Instead of allowing money deposits in tax havens it should be invested in Canada. Instead of the banks’ creating money for speculation and consumer credit, money should only be created by the Bank of Canada, for productive investment in the real economy of Canada.
Canada has a trade deficit with every country from which we import. The need to pay in USA dollars for the consumer goods we import are causing real problems for our country. We sell our natural resources and degrade our environment to pay for imports, taking away the wealth of our country from future generations. We allow foreign investment to own our industries and housing stock, for which we will pay them back for generations. And now we are encouraging foreigners to own or finance our common infrastructure. What we are eating today is not being paid for today, we are getting it on credit.
What kind of a country is Canada, that does not even produce the food we need???