Taking care of business — the personal becomes political

Cowichan Valley residents let their money do the talking to labour minister and local MLA Graham Bruce

The Campbell Liberals have elevated business to the top of their most preferred special interest group with tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations and gutted collective agreements to help out health employers. But Cowichan Valley residents are quietly and effectively making their disapproval known by taking their dollars away from two local grocery stores where labour minister Graham Bruce or members of his family are owners.

According to media reports from Duncan, normal profits are down and familiar faces have disappeared from the regular customer crowd at Bruce’s Grocery and Chemainus Foods. That’s because Bruce and his government’s policies have outraged union members, community activists and many others who have taken their business elsewhere.

“Because of the Liberal Government’s policies, hundreds of residents in the Valley are uncertain about their next pay cheques and their futures,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt.

“People are speaking a language that Gordon Campbell, Graham Bruce and the rest of the Liberals understand, profit. Cowichan Valley residents are saying, `We don’t like what you are doing so we are not spending our hard-earned money at your stores.’

“It’s a simple message delivered by consumers in a market-driven economy — just the way the Liberals like it.”