No more jobs in Canada?

While of course there are many reasons for the current way our economy and trade system works, there are opportunities to question and joke about it, too.

Unfortunately, Statistics Canada reported that 61,000 more jobs were lost in March, raising the unemployment rate to 8.0% and increasing the number of Canadians who want to work (but can’t find a job) to over 1.45 million unemployed.

The following quick story (from an anonymous source) speaks to the issues of outsourcing and manufacturing overseas, relating to job losses here in Canada!

Joe Smith started the day early having set his alarm clock (MADE IN  JAPAN) for 6am. While his coffeepot (MADE IN  CHINA) was perking, he shaved with his electric razor (MADE IN  HONG KONG). He put on a dress shirt (MADE IN  SRI LANKA), designer jeans (MADE IN  SINGAPORE ) and tennis shoes (MADE IN  KOREA).

After cooking his breakfast in his new electric skillet (MADE IN  INDIA) he sat down with his calculator (MADE IN  MEXICO) to see how much he could spend today. After setting his watch (MADE IN  TAIWAN) to the radio (MADE IN  INDIA) he got in his car (MADE IN GERMANY) filled it with GAS (from  Saudi Arabia) and continued his search for a good paying  job.

At the end of yet another discouraging and fruitless day checking his Computer (Made In  Malaysia), Joe decided to relax for a while. He put on his sandals (MADE IN  BRAZIL), poured himself a glass of wine (MADE IN  FRANCE ) and turned on his TV (MADE IN  INDONESIA ), then wondered why he can’t find a good paying job in CANADA.

While unemployment continues to become a serious situation, Canadians should also be thankful for the opportunities that are offered to us. Evidently we are far better off than many other nations in terms of prosperity, employment and income levels.

The quoted story should be a call for governments to look at more local, ethical sourcing for manufacturing, with at least a portion of our products. It can even begin just with food products – as the Ontario government is promising $24 million over the next three years to have provincial institutions buy and serve more locally grown foods. McGuinty is also promoting local eating (Pick Ontario Freshness).

Plus, eating locally helps reduce emissions and energy consumption at the same time as maintaining agriculture and related jobs in Canada. The impact of world trade and overall consumption is also an important issue of sustainability, especially when it comes to Earth Day (April 22).

Let’s also focus on Fair Trade. Yes, the story does refer to everything being manufactured overseas, and jobs being unavailable because they’re all being filled in various countries – but we cannot forget the terrible conditions that many of these employees face. Sweatshops and even slavery are still issues of today, in 2009 (! In May you can recognize World Fair Trade Day as well, and we’ll have posts about this on the Speak Up for Change blog.

We know the economy will return to stability in the near future. We also know that significant changes need to be made to avoid such ‘economic crisis’ as is currently exploding out of the United States (Watch The Economic Crisis: Simply Explained in under 10 minutes). Let’s encourage ethical manufacturing, sustainable trade systems, and have fun doing it.