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"MADE IN CANADA"

There was a time, not that long ago, when the phrase "Made in Canada" meant that the item was of very good quality, would last a long time and could be purchased for a fair price. It also meant that Canadians made the items and so good paying jobs were available to support families and support a good standard of living.

 

The All Weather Fighter Interceptor CF-100 was stationed in North Bay Ontario for many years. The "Canuck" was designed and made in Canada. 

During this time (in the 1950's) Canada had a population of only about 14 million people and the Canadian aviation industry designed and produced the Avro CF-100 "Canuck" the best all weather fighter interceptor in the world at the time. They then designed and built initial copies of the Avro Arrow the best fighter aircraft in the world and one which even today is faster, flies farther and higher than modern day aircraft. We cancelled the Arrow product before the aircraft was placed into service due to defense department cuts. 

The Avro Arrow was an aircraft so far ahead of it's time that even now it exceeds some modern aircraft. An entire aerospace industry in Canada vanished when it was cancelled. How close was it to entering service? We will likely never know for sure as the story is still shrouded in mystery. Some people say it was fantastic others say there were significant problems. Over 14,000 staff at Avro and 15,000 more employees in the supply chain were fired and all six copies of the Arrow were destroyed in 1959. . 

And then in 1969  came the Canadair CL-215 water bomber the only aircraft in the world designed specifically to fight forest fires. It was the best aircraft of it's type in the world and was then updated to to the Bombardier 415 with even more powerful engines and nicknamed the "Super Scooper" because in only 12  seconds it could swoop down to the water scoop up a plane load of water and drop it on a fire. The super scooper is built like a tank and can withstand the severe wing loads in a fire zone. 

Canadians once also produced quality clothing, footwear, electronics, tools, machinery and many other consumer products. Canadian workers had jobs to go to to support families and to help live a good life in a nice home with a car and a boat and perhaps even a trailer or cottage for summer getaways. In some Canadian towns sons and daughters worked at the same factory their parents worked at and several generations may have worked producing the same quality products. A main point here is that in addition to supplying natural resources Canada also had a manufacturing industry which made consumer products from these natural resources. 

And then something bad happened. Somebody got it into their head that an "open playing field" and "free trade" was a good thing. Open the borders to trade they yelled and screamed and they made it so. And gradually more and more items were manufactured offshore where labor was cheaper or in bigger economies where factories ran three shifts and were able to bring unit costs to an absolute minimum. Production was shipped off shore and production machinery was wrapped up and sent to plants in Japan, China the USA and other areas. Every time production left Canada it and the wealth it produced never came back. Canadians drifted from manufacturing jobs to service jobs where incomes were generally lower or to jobs in the oil patch exporting crude oil. Canada even stopped making hockey sticks and pucks!!!

Many Canadians were not happy with the imported goods. Yes the goods were cheap but they broke or provided poor service or they were manufactured with dangerous products. And when they went to look for a Canadian product they found there were none. Suddenly people discovered that products were being mislabeled. "Produced in Canada" or "assembled in Canada" was not the same as "Made in Canada" Sometimes the product was made in China and only assembled or packaged in Canada. Very often the brand name was an old Canadian company that had been purchased only to use it's brand in our market. 

We found that countries that we thought were our friends were actually not buying certain Canadian aviation products because they wanted to protect their own industry. The Canadian product was better and there was so called free trade but they found reasons not to buy a "foreign aircraft" or other products. However, they did expect us to purchase their products! And we let them get away with it!

In the case of the Canadian designed and built CL215 and 415 Water Bombers we have a product that all Canadians can be proud of. It is simply the best water bomber in the world! And it is made in Canada. It is time that our government acted to protect our interests and our products and this product is an excellent example.  We can start by forming a water bomber command in our Air Force. Not only would this save billions of dollars of forestry products each year it would also provide good employment for thousands of Canadian workers and generate wealth that would stay in Canada and that would support our communities. Canada could export this aircraft all around the world where fires occur and water is available. Simply stated Canada has the best product in the world and we need to continue producing this aircraft and market it!

 

 

 


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