About Us

Launched in 2008, our mission is to promote Canadian companies, their services and the products they make right here at home. We are not an online store and no purchases can be made on the site. We simply direct consumers to points-of-purchase (either online or in brick-and-mortar stores) where they can find Canadian-made products and services.

This current version of the website was launched in September 2015 and is still in BETA mode while we pretty it up. :-)

Isabelle Remy, founder - Buy Canadian First

Isabelle Remy (Photo courtesy of Montreal-based photographer Lisa Howard)

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Who is Buy Canadian First?

The Story, as told by Isabelle Remy, Founder of Buy Canadian First

In late September 2007, my husband Pascal and I were driving back to Montreal from the Eastern Townships (cottage country for you non-Montrealers) when we turned on the radio to hear the traffic news. There was a talk show on about the recent recalls of imported products, such as toys with lead paint, tainted pet foods, etc.

One caller came on and explained how for the past three months, he had been trying to live exclusively with Canadian-made products. He was doing fine with food and drink, clothing and footwear, and even toys for his kids. But he had a problem: the caller had been sitting on the floor for three months now, because he couldn’t find a sofa made in Canada!

A light bulb went on in my head

Wouldn’t it be fantastic, I thought, to have a website exclusively showcasing consumer goods made in Canada, covering all segments of the market from clothing to furniture, toys to sports equipment?

It was such a no-brainer, I could not imagine that such a site did not already exist. As soon as we got home that night, I Googled “Made in Canada” and found a few websites, but nothing close to the scope I was envisioning. For several days afterwards, I continued my research and was convinced of the viability of this venture.

A new Canadian brand is born

We wanted a name that conveyed the concept of buying Canadian first, not buying Canadian only. I could not live without olive oil, coffee, chocolate and other luxuries afforded by international trade. The idea is not to go backwards or hide behind protectionism, but simply to educate consumers on the availability of products made in Canada.

Thus the name Buy Canadian First was chosen!

And a little over nine months later, this site was born thanks to the efforts and vision of the team that was assembled to give it life. I am grateful to everyone who listened to my story, got inspired and supported this endeavour with heart and soul. They are the reason this site is live today.

Merci!

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Manifesto

Our raison d’être is to showcase consumer products made in Canada. We are not here to re-write the Federal Government’s guidelines about what constitutes a Canadian-made product, but rather to respect and follow them. Do we disagree with some of those guidelines? You bet we do, but as long as they are in place we will follow them. We do hope to foster a dialogue through our blog where Canadians can voice their opinions, and we hope to play a small part in updating those guidelines.

Our goal is to promote the “Made in Canada” label by highlighting what is good and positive and wonderful about Canadian-made products and the companies who make them, not by denigrating imported products.

We cannot guarantee the quality of the products featured on our site. Any country is capable of producing low-quality products, Canada included (unfortunately). This is why we ask you — the community — to rate and review the products we feature. We expect to hear about your likes and dislikes, and we welcome them!

We rely on our merchants (manufacturers and retailers) to certify the provenance of the Canadian-made products featured on our site. It is virtually impossible for our team to verify each and every product being added to the site, so we are counting on your support to help weed out any inconsistencies by letting us know if you notice an item that you know for sure does not meet the site’s guidelines.

We welcome your input!

Isabelle and the Buy Canadian First team

 

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