Save the Miramichi – Give ’em Wal-Mart

Every time I visit the Miramichi (which is fairly regularly) I see the many signs entitled “Save the Miramichi!” I have discussed this in a previous blog but I’ll raise it again in light of new information.

I just got finished reading a Maclean’s article on the benefits of Wal-Mart. Anyway, this article says that local organizers in support of bringing a Wal-Mart to the Miramichi gathered 11,276 signatures of folks hoping that Wal-Mart would set up in Miramichi.

Here’s a quote:

“The whole talk of the Miramichi was this petition,” Foote remembers. “Lots of people would say, ‘I’ll sign, but we’ll never get one,’ and I’d say, ‘C’mon, you’ve got to believe!’ “

Now, I won’t begin to try and explain the weird and wonderful world of the New Brunswick psyche – where Wal-Mart would be run out of one town (Rothesay) and enthusiastically supported in another (Miramichi).

My point is that these folks in Miramichi were so passionate about attracting a Wal-Mart that they got 11,000 signatures in an area that might, just might, have 15,000 adults.

“C’mon, you’ve got to believe!” – they said.

Unbelieveable on any one of a number of levels.

Here’s an idea. How about 11,276 signatures in a petition to attract Michelin to the Miramichi? Or some other major manufacturer? How about 11,276 signatures to attract Ubisoft (the French video game developer) to the Miramichi instead of the company coming and raiding its workers? How about 11,276 signatures to demand that the government help the community transition from highly dependent on EI to one that is economically vibrant and growing?

No, it’s much more important to attract Wal-Mart. “C’mon, you’ve got to believe!”

One day, somebody’s gonna figure out how to harnass that misguided passion towards something slightly more important – saving the Miramichi.