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A Patriot’s Guide To Buying Canadian

Delwin Graham - Sep 11, 2018
Given the widening trade war between Canada and the United States, what is a red‑blooded Canadian to do?

Given the widening trade war between Canada and the United States, what is a red‑blooded Canadian to do? Canada is the biggest buyer of U.S. goods in the world. We can show our patriotic spirit by buying Canadian. To this end, we‘ve compiled a list of products that are either made by a Canadian company or, at least, made in Canada. Particularly helpful has been an article by Tom Yun (“A Patriot’s Guide To Shopping During A Canada-US Trade War”, Maclean’s, June 12, 2018).

Ketchup. Perhaps the first skirmish of this war was over ketchup. Heinz caused nationalistic outrage in 2014 when it moved its operations from Leamington, ON, the “tomato capital of Canada”, to Freemont, Ohio. Hundreds of jobs were saved in Leamington after French’s announced that it would source its tomatoes from Leamington. Despite being an American company, French’s managed to become a darling of Canadian patriots. The love continues.

Coffee. Many of the largest coffee brands, such as Maxwell House, Folgers and Starbucks, are American companies. Canadian alternatives are Kicking Horse Coffee and Salt Spring Coffee.

Whiskey. The United States is famous for its bourbon. True Canadian patriots should put down the Jim Beam and pick up J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe, a rye whiskey distilled in Windsor, ON, by the Canadian Distillery, Corby Spirits and Wine. Of course, there is also the famous Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye. Its distillery is owned by a British multinational, Diageo PLC, but the whiskey is made in Gimli, MN, and was named the best whiskey in the world in 2015.

Beer. There is no excuse for drinking American beer.

Orange Juice. Admittedly, not many oranges are grown in Canada. But Minute Maid orange juice is manufactured in Peterborough ON and its American owner, the Coca‑Cola Company, just announced an $85-million investment in the facility.

Fast Food. We know that the hamburger and fries combo is American. However, in a twist of irony, A&W was originally an American-based restaurant chain but it eventually became Canadian. The main company is based in North Vancouver, BC. In addition, CARA Operations Ltd. Is a Canadian company that operates several well-known chains, including Harvey’s, Swiss Chalet, Kelsey’s, Milestones, Montana’s and New York Fries. Oddly enough, Boston Pizza is also Canadian.

Candy. We have quite a few options here. Nestle makes its Coffee Crisp, KitKat and Smarties in Toronto, while Mars produces Maltesers, Milky Way, Three Muskateers, and Mars Bars in nearby Newmarket, ON. Ferrero also has a facility in Brantford, ON, where it produces Tic Tac, Ferrero Rocher and Kinder Surprise (still banned in the U.S.). But if you are looking for Canadian confectionaries, look to Purdy’s from Vancouver, Ganong Bros. from St. Stephen, NB, and Laura Secord of Mississauga, ON.

Toilet Paper. Scott toilet paper is produced by Kimberley–Clark in a paper mill in Chester, Pennsylvania. Charmin toilet paper is produced by Procter and Gamble in a plant in Mehoopany, Pennsylvania. There are alternatives. Cascades is a Quebec‑based tissue-paper company that also has a plant in Toronto. In addition, Kruger Products has plants in Quebec, B.C., and Ontario that manufacture Purex, Scotties and Cashmere.

Yogurt, Milk and Cheese. Canada’s dairy-supply management system has kept the dairy industry primarily Canadian. No problem buying Canadian here.

Ice Cream. American food giants Nestle (Haagen-Dazs) and Unilever (Breyers) dominate the ice cream market in Canada. While each has a plant in Simcoe, ON, and London, ON, respectively, there are a few Canadian suppliers. Chapman’s from Markdale, ON, would be a particularly patriotic choice because in 2009 it sustained a devastating fire to its factory but refused takeover offers from Nestle and Unilever and went back into business with a new facility.

Produce. While the harsh Canadian climate poses a problem for some fruits and vegetables (e.g., avocadoes), it is possible to source a lot of produce from this country – in the summer. Anita Stewart has compiled a list of 150 grocery items that are grown and processed in Canada ( Maybe look to Mexico for produce in the winter.

Carbonated Water. While we are starting to see an American brand of bubbly water, LaCroix, the Canadian market has been dominated by European brands like Perrier and San Pellegrino. One Canadian option is Montellier, which sources its water from Sainte-Brigitte-de-Laval, PQ, and is bottled in Quebec City.

Soy Sauce. Kikkoman’s soy sauce comes from Wisconsin. President’s Choice soy sauce is brewed and packaged in Canada.

Maple Syrup. Quebec produces 72 per cent of the world’s maple syrup. Easy choice.

Cars, Trucks, SUVs. While the US is only threatening to impose tariffs on automobile imports, it would be good to support domestic-made cars and trucks. Canada is the fourth-biggest automaker in the world and motor vehicles are our second-biggest export. The Dodge Grand Caravan and the Chrysler Pacifica are all assembled in Windsor, ON. In Oakville, ON, Ford manufactures the Edge and the Flex, as well as the Lincoln MKT and Nautilus. General Motors manufactures the Cadillac XTS and the Chevrolet Impala, as well as Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks in Oshawa, ON. While there are no Canadian car manufacturers as such, the American “Big Three” are not your only options. Toyota makes the Corolla as well as the Lexus RX in Cambridge, ON, and the RAV4 in Woodstock, ON. In Alliston, ON, Honda has a plant that manufactures the CR-V and Civic.

Cell Phones. Blackberry continues to make quality smartphones. The Blackberry Motion is the alternative to the American Apple iPhone 8, but the Key2 provides the all‑important Blackberry keyboard.

Sports Equipment. Where are all the Canadian hockey sticks? Among the big hockey‑stick makers, Bauer, Warrior and Easton, are all American. Your Canadian options are either CCM or Sher-Wood. In a bit of a turnaround, Sam Bats of Carleton Place, ON, now accounts for 75 percent of the bats in Major League Baseball.

Peanut Butter and Jam. While Kraft Heinz moved its ketchup operations to Ohio, the company still has facilities in Ingleside, ON, and Mount Royal, PQ, making fruit preserves and peanut butter.

Soup. Earlier this year, Campbell’s announced that it would close its Toronto plant and shift operations to its facilities in North Carolina, Ohio and Texas. As an alternative, Unilever’s plant in Brampton, ON, produces dry-soup mixes under the Lipton and Knorr brands. For canned soup, choose Aylmer, Promo or Baxter soups – products under all three of these brands are manufactured at the Baxter’s factory in Saint-Hyacinthe, PQ.