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Buying local keeps jobs in Newfoundland and Labrador. Even yours.

Remember last winter when we were hit with power outages & snow storm after snow storm? The supermarket shelves were bare (except for whole wheat bread which everybody hate) because trucks couldn’t get across the gulf.

I started thinking about how sustainable are we as an island.

Should we be relying on the mainland to feed us?

What amazes me is, we are an island with 26,000 miles of coastline & thousands of miles of unused land. Yet we buy bacon from BC, potato chips from Ontario & bread from Winnipeg.

I just visited our grandchildren in Alberta. Driving from Calgary to Edmonton I was fascinated by the number of farms there. Every piece of land is either growing crops or raising cows, goats, and pigs.

Surely Newfoundland and Labrador can do the same.

It seemed like every community I went to in Alberta had a specialty: A meat market where preservatives were not used, fresh vegetables pulled from the ground, locally made clothes and crafts.

It can be done here.

Look at Fogo Island. Who would have thought Fogo Island could be turned into a tourist destination for the rich and famous? It took the brilliant mind of Zita Cobb. Ms. Cobb should be the Minister of Municipal Affair and Environment, Natural Resources, Tourism and Culture, Finance. Hell, let her run the government.

Every community in this province should have a Zita Cobb. Newfoundland and Labradors biggest export is intelligence. Our young people are leaving to find work elsewhere.

Just recently my daughter dragged me downtown to go shopping. The first thing I thought was ‘I hate downtown! The parking is terrible.’ I chastised myself for that afterwards.

We went to this beautiful little boutique called, Ethereal Boutique, 199 New Gower Street. It’s owned and operated by 28-year-old Meagan Warren. She opened this classy boutique in September 2017. Her clothes are anywhere from daily wear to haute couture and all reasonably priced. Meagan is a young person trying to make a go of it in downtown St. John’s, an area that desperately needs to be revitalized. I easily found a parking spot right in front of her store. Buying a sweater from her instead of online means that she can work and live in this province as apposed to buying a sweater from China, where our money leaves the province.

I admit I also shop online but lately I have been more conscious of it. Maybe because my own sons had to go away to find work.

I am sure Newfoundlanders and Labradorians eat more potato chips than anyone else in the world. Then why aren’t we growing our own potatoes and making our own chips! Why, during every snow storm, must we run out to the supermarkets like maniacs to get the last bag of Smokey Bacon when the factory should be in The Goulds.

Why are we buying bread from a company located in Winnipeg? There are several local bakeries to buy bread from.

I know what you’re going to say. I can’t buy my groceries all over town, I’m too busy. I get that. I buy the Sobey’s locally made Newfoundland bread. Sure, Sobey’s is a national chain, but they sell products made by local companies and they employ local people to produce other goods, like bread.

We should be a self-sufficient island.

When a storm stops the ferries from crossing and shuts down the airports, it shouldn’t stop our food supply chain.

What would happen if a national crisis hit? Like a war where food would be distributed to the bigger centers first. Where it would be too expensive to burn the fuel to send trucks or planes to a remote island.

We need to utilize all this empty land around us. We need to support farmers and local businesses. We need more entrepreneurs like Zita Cobb and Meagan Warren.

We should not be reliant on trucks & ferries from the mainland to survive a snowstorm.

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