What Qualifies As Canadian Made?

- jim Young

“I am not Anti-American, but I am strongly Pro-Canadian.” - John Diefenbaker


I recently saw a FaceBook post encouraging me to buy Strub’s pickles because they are made with cucumbers grown in Canada and prepared by Canadian workers.

So I googled it. Apparently, while Strub’s facilities in Quebec, Ontario and B.C. still process and package their pickles year round, during the winter months, the pickles are actually procured in the U.S.


Do they still qualify as “Canadian Pickles”? Should I only be buying Strub pickles at certain times of the year?


I have recently switched ketchups. After learning that Heinz sold its processing plant in Leamington and moved their ketchup operations to the U.S., I switched to French’s.


Now I’m being told that’s not good enough because, although tomatoes for French’s Ketchup are grown and processed in Canada and the ketchup is manufactured in Canada, the French’s company is actually U.S. owned, whereas Primo Ketchup meets ALL those Canadian qualifications.


So I googled Strubs again but I couldn’t find any information as to whether their company is U.S. or Canadian owned.


I want to support Canadian business but seriously, just how much time should I be expected to research every product I buy to determine if they are fully Canadian, non-Canadian or just partially Canadian? And if they are just partially Canadian, just how Canadian are they? A little bit Canadian or a lot Canadian?


Hell, Molson’s Canadian and Tim Hortons aren’t even fully Canadian anymore but does it make me less of a Canadian to purchase their products?


Then, once I make up my shopping list, how many stores do I have to visit to procure the brands I have selected? Costco ain’t gonna carry them all.


Costco recently started carrying French’s Ketchup, but they don’t carry Primo. Does that make French’s Ketchup an acceptable compromise?


Maybe I shouldn’t be shopping at Costco at all since they are U.S. owned. However, a lot of my Canadian friends work at Costco even if it’s not really a Canadian company. 


Should I not support my Canadian friends if they are employed by a U.S. company?


For the record, I also once worked for Costco and I can tell you it’s a pretty good company to work for. It is certainly much better than some fully owned Canadian companies I have worked for. All paid me in Canadian dollars, by the way.


Here’s the problem. One Canadian Store that sells Primo Ketchup, might not sell Strub’s pickles.


Should I be expected to drive from Canadian Store to Canadian Store to Canadian Store (but not Costco or Walmart) to fill my shopping cart with only products that are owned AND fully manufactured in Canada?


As a true Canadian I suppose I should be willing to pay a little extra to shop at a fully owned Canadian company that sells only products that are made by other fully owned Canadian companies.


But wait. I’m not really totally “Canadian” am I? My maternal grandparents were Scottish. My Scottish blood likes to send me to the best deals and that leads me back to Costco.


However, my wife was born in the U.S. so perhaps I have a responsibility to help support some of her American families too.


So here’s what I think.


My Scottish heritage will send me to Costco for the best prices. I will purchase French’s Ketchup because it’s mostly Canadian, to support my countrymen but it is also a little bit American and will help support my wife’s countrymen at the same time.


Is everyone ok with that?


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