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Vacation at home this summer instead of heading south

['Commentary with Geoff deGannes']
['Commentary with Geoff deGannes']

Commentary with Geoff deGannes

As trade tensions escalate between Canada and the U.S. as a result of threats by President Donald Trump to punish us with more tariffs, we are hearing that senior Canadian government officials are quietly drawing up a list of ways for Canada to retaliate against the United States.  

Meanwhile, Canadians from coast to coast to coast are finding their own ways to fight back. Using hashtags like #BuyCanadian, #BoycottUSA and #BoycottUSProducts, Canadians are refusing to buy American and instead opting for “Made in Canada” products.  

Added to the trade issue is the global public outcry the current zero tolerance immigration policy that the Trump Administration has instituted that is separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexican border. The growing online conversation is serving to show solidarity with and among Canadians against the hateful words and actions of the American president.  

As we prepare for our summer vacations, it may be an opportune time for Canadian families to do their part in delivering a message to President Trump by refusing to vacation south of the border.

The U.S. remains a popular destination for Canadians and according to Statistics Canada, overnight trips from Canada to the U.S last year went up about 5 per cent with Canadians crossing the border 20-million times.  Journalism professor Mark Bulgutch writes in the Toronto Star that tourism is a big business for the Americans worth 1.5 trillion dollars. He says ordinary Canadians can certainly apply some pain to that industry by simply not crossing the border.

With the United States having seen a decline in visitors from other parts of the world in the past year, imagine the economic impact if this country was to keep its tourism dollars on this side of the border.  

As Bulgutch points out, “in Canada, your Canadian dollar is worth 100 cents. You don’t need a passport and the person at the amusement park probably isn’t packing a gun.”  

Those of us fortunate enough to live in the Maritimes don’t have to travel far to enjoy the great outdoors and the natural amenities that abound in this part of the country. Surprisingly, few of us take the time to explore our own backyard during the summertime.  

Many folks probably know as much about places like Boston, Bangor, and Tampa Bay as they do about some of the destination areas right here in Atlantic Canada.  Personally, I’ve discovered so much more about this area while playing host to family and friends visiting from elsewhere. In Cumberland and Westmorland we are blessed to live between two picturesque coastlines with the Bay of Fundy and Northumberland Strait.

A growing reluctance on the part of Ontarians and Quebecer to travel south this summer for their vacations because of the “Trump effect” could generate a greater flow of west to east tourism traffic which would certainly benefit this region.  Maritime campgrounds, hotels, restaurants and other tourist destinations would welcome the additional dollars from Central Canadian visitors that normally would be spent on the other side of the Canada-U.S. border. This subtle form of protest is one way for the ordinary Canadian to deliver a message to the president that we won’t be pushed around.

Geoff deGannes is the past chairman of the Tantramar Radio Society. His daily commentaries can be heard on 107.9 CFTA.

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