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by Mary Soderstrom

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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Why Didn't Joe Oliver Buy Canadian Shoes?

So the federal government is going to aim for more industrial growth?  What does it mean when Finance Minister Joe Oliver buys New Balance shoes for his big speech? 

Much was made of the fact that the shoes go with a zero deficit or "balanced" budget.  But I didn't see anyone comment on where the shoes were made.  At best they were made in the US (New Balance says one in four of the shoes it sells are), but none of the production is in Canada. 

Given that footwear once was a big Canadian industry, that's really telling.  As The Globe and Mail noted 18 months ago, Canada has lost its manufacturing edge, and it won't come back easily. And when I tried to find just how many shoes have been made lately in Canada, all I got on the Stats Can website was a cryptic remark that six monthly stats on footwear manufacturing--begun in 1926--were discontinued in 2005.

'Nuf said. 


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