Give me Convenience or Give me Death - J. Biafra
It's undeniable - Wal-Mart is good for working families. Oh sure those of you with time to do research have countless accurate facts proving in no uncertain terms that Wal-Mart is a vindictive, evil company that is destroying the world. But you know what? With $20 in the bank, two screaming kids and an unemployed husband, you could name a store Hitler's and families will still shop in droves if you offer cheap runners and KD by the pound.
As Wal-Mart supplier Steve Dobbins accurately stated: "We want clean air, clear water, good living conditions --yet we aren't willing to pay for anything manufactured under those restrictions."
That's right kids Wal-Mart is coming to town and it all started with a referendum question so skewed that even staunch Wal-Mart opponents were tricked into voting yes.
The question itself was posed at a different time in our history. More than a vote for Wal-Mart, it was a vote for change, and boy howdy has Squamish changed. Our main industry of logging has been kicked in the teeth so many times their dentures are fit by shoe sizes. Plus all the good paying government jobs have been eliminated. On the other side there is now a full steam ahead university, and of course we're hosting the Olympic Games. Nowadays instead of leaving, every month hundreds arrive in Squamish because we're an oasis away from the big box hell that engulfs much of our society.
So the referendum was held in old Squamish and since then we have chosen a new direction - or have we?
At this moment in time our Mayor and Council still have the power to say no, but I fear they won't. Sure, almost everyone who voted for them is against Wal-Mart, but that referendum hangs over their heads like an axe.
Lucky for Wal-Mart, our mayor and council appear to be easily bought. Wal-Mart has agreed to spend $25,000 on a consultant to personally tell downtown business they're screwed. Plus, we have admitted that we will happily bend over for a measly $100,000. It's estimated, that will be covered in less than 10 hours after they open the doors.
Come on! Don't be the cheap backwater whores Wal-Mart is playing us for. If you're going to sell your soul to the devil you don't just ask for a steak sandwich, you go for the cow! Demand a percent of their profits. How about creating a big box tax? Lay the pressure off the working families and stick it to the people who can afford it for a change. A small percentage of profits from the Squamish store can go to the woman's shelter or other community initiatives. If they don't like it, fine! Tell them there are plenty of other people willing to play in our Olympic playground.
Step up council. Now that we're playing with the big box boys it's time to show some backbone.