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July 09, 2009

Comments

Nadine Warren

I find these blogs disingenuous to say the least. MEC is looking after its bottom line, and should be sanctioned for continuing to use factories in Asia who will frankly, never comply with North American or European child labour standards. This rhetoric is simply covering up the fact that product is still being assembled by children. Move production to Canada, yes prices will go up, but so will customer loyalty and the knowledge that at least one company puts its ethical duty to children FIRST.

HC

Hi Nadine,

I appreciate your views. It's disconcerting for many Canadians to see stuff made everywhere else but in Canada. Part of me shares those sentiments.

As I've written in many previous blogs buying only made in Canada is untenable for a whole bunch of reasons. Here are two reasons:

1. Economic. There's a simmering sentiment amongst the US Senate and Congress to introduce tariffs and trade policies to encourage "buy US". The rationale for this is driven by the highest unemployment rates the US has seen in decades. If such policies are introduced it will terribly impact the Canadian economy given over 70% of everything we produce goes south. Canada's economy is dependent on trade.

It's ironic, many Canadians want made in Canada but if every country took this "make in your own country" position (especially the US), Canada would be in a terrible spot.

2. We're all human beings - There's 2.5 billion people in Asia alone. About 1.5 billion in China. All these people are really no different than you and me. They aspire for health, stability, leisure and a better tomorrow. The vast majority want the world a better place for their kids. There are thousands of factories that find child labour repugnant. Many of our factories fall in that category.

Thank you for your valid comments. As members of a common human race throughout this world, we have an obligation to be engaged with our fellow human being. This means commerce, culture and interaction. This is not simply rhetoric. This is a commitment to equality and fraternity: the basic pillars of human rights.

HC

Libby Stoker-Lavelle

To H.C. -
Thank you for engaging so frankly in this discussion with your customers through this blog. As a long-time member of MEC, I appreciate your efforts to be open with your customers about the economic and social issues associated with ethical sourcing. I'm also thrilled to hear about MEC's efforts to collaborate with other brands in order to make change feasible for factories. By reaching out to other businesses, you are setting a great example for other companies and enhancing the meaning of Corporate Social Responsibility. I appreciate your efforts. Good luck!

HC

Hi Libby,

Thank you for your support. We've just started phase 1 of a pilot involving four other brands and I hope to be reporting on it shortly.

Cheers

Guy


I must say I was once a MEC member and enjoyed many of the products at your store. However, after looking at labels of many of your products, I am disenchanted to read CHINA on so many of them. While I understand the need to keep prices down and outsource products where needed, I am interested to hear what percentage of your products in stock are local. As so many consumers are becoming aware of the need to support local producers, I would like to hear what MEC is doing about this. Ethical sourcing doesn't mean much, we don't see what's happening in your sourced factories. As MEC becomes less and less a local business, I for one would like to see you source more local producers.

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