Media Coverage

Buying Canadian is newsworthy!

We are proud to have received the following media coverage:

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CTV Canada AM – The All-Canadian Bedroom

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© 2012 BellMedia All Rights Reserved.

Related blog post: The All-Canadian bedroom on Canada AM

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CTV Canada AM – Eco-friendly products made in Canada to celebrate Earth Day

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© 2012 BellMedia All Rights Reserved.

Related blog post: Celebrating Mother Earth with Canada AM!

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‘Made-in-Canada’ is hard to find

Excerpt from article:

"There are several websites devoted to “Made in Canada” products, but only one had a good search function: Buy Canadian First, started in 2008 by Isabelle Remy, showcases consumer goods made in Canada, covering all segments of the market from clothing to furniture, toys to sports equipment. Their intent is not to exclude international trade since they love olive oil, coffee and chocolate, but they wanted to “educate consumers on the availability of products made in Canada.

Unfortunately, the website lacks a good home décor section, particularly “Window Treatments” which currently has zero results. I emailed the site to see if they did know of any stores selling made in Canada curtains. They replied that Sears Canada does, but the curtains I liked were, you guessed it, made in China."

Click here to read the entire article.

February 2012.

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The Globe and Mail – Manufacturers wave maple leaf to marketing advantage

Excerpt from article:

"But for some industries, a maple leaf emblazoned on the packaging isn’t sexy enough.

Isabelle Remy, founder of marketing and advertising agency Buy Canadian First, said that, in her experience, cosmetic companies often play down their status.

“If they’re selling to Europe, Canada is not necessarily known for our cosmetic industry – although we have a huge one. But the brand is not there,” she said from Montreal.

And south of the border, it’s hard for Canadians to compete with a strong “buy American” push, she said.

“A lot of [companies] have had to adjust their pitch and call themselves ‘made in North America,’” she said.

Ms. Remy added, however, that there appears to be increased interest in Canadian-made products, and that she is being asked to appear on more TV lifestyle segments to promote Canuck goods.

Her firm took advantage by launching its biggest ever advertising campaign in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Large Canadian-made LED billboards near Toronto’s Eaton Centre promoted Canadian-made items – everything from shoes to food to furniture to music stars like Justin Bieber."

Click here to read the entire article.

January 2012.

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CTV Canada AM - Holiday Gift Ideas Made-in-Canada

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© 2011 BellMedia All Rights Reserved.

Related blog post: Buy Canadian First on Canada AM!

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CTV Morning Live Ottawa – Canadian-Made Holiday Gift Ideas

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© 2011 BellMedia All Rights Reserved.

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CTV Morning Live Ottawa – The All-Canadian Bedroom

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© 2011 BellMedia All Rights Reserved.

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Swag bags for TIFF 2011

In September 2011, we were privileged to supply 200 swag bags for a TIFF party to celebrate the launch of Myriad Pictures’s new Canadian distribution company Cross Country Entertainment. Each bag was filled with great Canadian-made products graciously donated by Canadian manufacturers. Awesome exposure for awesome products Made-in-Canada!

Read more about it here.

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/A\ Morning Ottawa: Back-to-School (part 1)

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/A\ Morning Ottawa: Back-to-School (part 2)

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Copyright © CTVGlobeMedia 2011

Related blog post: It’s Back-to-School week at /A\ Morning in Ottawa!

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CTV Canada AM: Made in Canada week

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© 2011 CTV All rights reserved

Related blog post: It’s all about Made-in-Canada on Canada AM!

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/A\ Morning Ottawa: Outdoor Living

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Copyright © CTVGlobeMedia 2011

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/A\ Morning Ottawa: Canada Day with Roots

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Copyright © CTVGlobeMedia 2011

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/A\ Morning Ottawa: Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

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Win a $1400 Baby Gift Pack from Buy Canadian First and Savvymom.ca – Contest

In May, we held a contest with SavvyMom.ca where one lucky Canadian could win over $1400 worth of Canadian-made baby gear. The contest was hosted on SavvyMom.ca’s website (see the contest page here) and we both promoted the contest in each of our enewsletters, social media networks and on multiple contest forums. The lucky winner, Kathleen Jack was from Duncan, B.C. and was thrilled to win this amazing prize!

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/A\ Morning Ottawa: Outdoor Living

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Copyright © CTVGlobeMedia 2011

Related blog post: Buy Canadian First on /A\ Morning Ottawa: great summer products made in Canada!

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CityTV BT Winnipeg: Holiday Gift Ideas – Part 1

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Copyright © 2010 by Rogers Broadcasting Limited

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CityTV BT Winnipeg: Holiday Gift Ideas – Part 2

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Copyright © 2010 by Rogers Broadcasting Limited

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CityTV BT Winnipeg: Getting Ready for Winter – Indoor

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Copyright © 2010 by Rogers Broadcasting Limited

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CityTV BT Winnipeg: Getting Ready for Winter – Outdoor

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Copyright © 2010 by Rogers Broadcasting Limited

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Profit Magazine: Local Heroes

Excerpt from article:

"Isabelle Remy, founder of BuyCanadianFirst.ca cites an Angus Reid survey showing that 43% of respondents want to buy more Canadian-made products but have trouble finding them. Her Montreal-based website addresses this by connecting consumers with 600 member Canadian firms that sell everything from food to rubber boots and electronics. Popular categories on the site include allergy-sensitive foods, apparel and eco-friendly furniture.

“There is fabulous opportunity in anything baby-related because of safety,” says Remy, adding that cookware, dishes and glassware are also popular—due, in part, to concerns about lead and Bisphenol A."

Click here to read the entire article.

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CTV News Montreal: Why Buying Canadian is important



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Copyright © CTVGlobeMedia 2010

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Win a $2000 Care Package from Buy Canadian First and Green Living Online – Contest


In May, we held a contest with Green Living Online where one lucky Canadian could win over $2000 worth of locally-made (i.e.: Canadian-made) goodies, dubbed a ‘Care Package’. The contest was hosted on Green Living Online’s website (see the contest page here) and we both promoted the contest in each of our enewsletters, social media networks and on multiple contest forums. The contests received over 51,000 entries, making it Green Living Online’s single most successful contest ever! The lucky winner, Steve Rodgsky was from Winnipeg, Manitoba and was overjoyed about winning!

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CityTV BT Winnipeg: Spring cleaning for the mind, body & soul & Made in Canada eco-friendly products


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Copyright © 2010 by Rogers Broadcasting Limited

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/A\ Morning Ottawa: Spring fashion


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Copyright © CTVGlobeMedia 2010

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YummyMummyClub.ca – Win a $1000 online shopping spree at BuyCanadianFirst.ca – Contest



In March, we held a contest with Yummy Mummy Club where one lucky Canadian could win a $1000 shopping spree on BuyCanadianFirst.ca. The contest was hosted on the Yummy Mummy Club’s website (see the winners page here) and we both promoted the contest in each of our enewsletters, social media networks and on multiple contest forums. The contests received over 22,000 entries, making it the Yummy Mummy Clubs’s second most successful contest! The lucky winner, Rachel Mayette from Calgary, Alberta was ecstatic about choosing her prizes!

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Win a $1000 shopping spree with Steven and Chris & Buy Canadian First – Contest



In January, we held a contest with CBC’s own Steven and Chris where one lucky Canadian could win a $1000 shopping spree on BuyCanadianFirst.ca. The contest was hosted on the Steven and Chris website (see the contest page here). Steven and Chris promoted the contest on their TV Show and we both promoted the contest in each of our enewsletters, social media networks and on multiple contest forums. The contests received over 25,000 entries, making it Steven and Chris’ most successful contest (surpassing a “Win a Kitchen Makeover Contest” they ran at the same time!) The lucky winner, Mark Cheung from Toronto, Ontario was shocked that he won!

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 /A\ Morning Ottawa: Back to School


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Related blog post: I love /A\ Morning Ottawa

Copyright © CTVGlobeMedia 2009

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CTV’s Canada AM: Made-In-Canada Back-To-School


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Related blog post: Another exciting adventure on Canada AM!

Copyright © CTVGlobeMedia 2009

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CTV’s Canada AM: Buy Canadian First


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Related blog post: Buy Canadian First on TV twice in one week

Copyright © CTVGlobeMedia 2009

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/A\ Morning Ottawa: Buy Canadian


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Related blog post: Buy Canadian First on TV twice in one week

Copyright © CTVGlobeMedia 2009

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When only Canadian will do

Original Article Here.

Muchmor magazine, February 2009 issue.

"These days more and more people want to buy Canadian if they possibly can. The “buy locally” mantra has been embraced by many Canadians and with this in mind an entrepreneur from Quebec set up a website which allows vendors of Canadian products to showcase their wares and for fellow Canadians to purchase them.

Last year an Angus Reid survey revealed that 43% of Canadians were trying to buy Canadian products rather than foreign produced goods but many had problems finding them. This got Isabelle Remy of Montreal thinking….what if there was a website which showcased Canadian products?

Last year she took on the task of developing such a website which would showcase everything from furniture to clothing and all things in between. Isabelle wanted to build a vehicle by which fellow Canadians could search for and find Canadian-made goods and from there BuyCanadianFirst.ca was born.

“It’s a pro-Canadian site, not anti-globalization or boycott imports,” Isabelle stressed. “We wanted a name that conveyed the concept of buying Canadian First, not buying Canadian only.”

Since this First idea Isabelle has built the website and launched a business with several staff.

So what does it offer shoppers?

The website has catalogues of products which visitors can search and view. There are many categories including electronics, clothing, gifts, furniture, home wares, food and even musical instruments. Each product is listed with a photo, description and link to the sellers website for purchase or a link to retail outlets carrying the product.

“We are not a transactional website,” says Melissa Thibodeau, Partner and Director, Marketing & Business Development, “we showcase the products and allow the buyer to trade directly with the seller.

“All products must meet the guideline set by the federal government stipulating that the “Made in Canada” or “Product of Canada” label can only be used if at least 51% of the value has been made in Canada. Some of our products carry the Super Canadian icon meaning that 100% of the product is made in Canada. This has to include the packaging and labelling too.”

Buyers can also see if items are made by Aboriginals, are eco-friendly or recycled by way of easy to identify icons.

“We cannot guarantee the quality of the products featured on our site.” says Isabelle.”Any country is capable of producing low-quality products, Canada included (unfortunately). This is why we ask our shoppers to rate and review and take ownership of the products. We expect to hear about their likes and dislikes, and we welcome them!”

And what about merchants?

Merchants become members of BuyCanadianFirst.ca in order to promote their Canadian products. The site puts their products in front of motivated and targeted customers and directs the sales to them via links to websites, promotional microsite or traditional brick and mortar retail outlets.

“We offer specialized tools and services to assist members in their business to consumer as well as with their business to business efforts, allowing them to continue to grow and remain in Canada and thus continue to employ Canadians.” says Melissa.

Member packages start from $500 per year and can be customized to suit the needs of the company depending on the type and number of products they want to showcase.

So, what’s next for BuyCanadianFirst.ca?

“We are still a very young company.” says Melissa, “but already we are seeing a huge growth. Since launching in August 2008 we have seen an increase of over 400% in unique visitors. Most of our traffic comes from the big cities such as Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg but we have visitors from all over Canada.”

“We want to build a community of buyers and sellers who have a common goal: to  promote the “Made in Canada” brand.” says Isabelle, ‘By choosing products made closer to home, consumers support Canadian jobs and the local economy while also cutting down on the environmental costs of moving products around the world. We want to promote the great and wonderful things made in Canada and the companies who make them”

© Content Copyright Muchmor Media 2008
 
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This season, think inside the blue box

Original article here.

Susan Pigg, Living Reporter – The Toronto Star, November 28, 2008

"Dreaming of a green Christmas?

Then why not go for the recyclable real tree this holiday season instead of the faux Tannenbaum, made of metal and PVC derivatives, that eats up boatloads of oil on its way from China to your living room?

Better yet, what about a small potted version that grows – not just glows – as you cart it in from the garden each year?

How about sending e-cards or email updates to friends and family, instead of the tree-felling greeting- kind that only just get tossed with the non-biodegradable tinsel, anyway?

It may seem like too much work to be eco-responsible when your to-do list is already as long as Santa’s. But you could aim for “the 20 per-cent rule” – a reasonable cut in conspicuous consumption – and stuff a few stockings with a pocket-sized book that spells out pretty clearly why The Most Wonderful Time of the Year isn’t all that wonderful for the environment.

Green Christmas: How to Have a Joyous, Eco-Friendly Holiday Season (Adams Media, $8.99) focuses on the staggering extent of the holiday hangover south of the border and, since no one seems yet to have amassed similar seasonal statistics here in Canada, the numbers are worth bearing in mind.

“There’s all this extra stuff – the packing that comes in the boxes, the wrapping paper, the ribbon, not to mention the toys and everything that comes with them,” says Jennifer Base Sander, who co-authored the recently released book with her husband and sister.

“Any parent knows all the garbage you have to move out of your living room on Christmas Day. We wanted to open people’s eyes to that and ask them to re-evaluate: Do you really need all this stuff?”

Household waste increases 25 per cent at Christmastime, Sander says, and since the Twelve Days of Christmas stretch into a month in the U.S. – where Thanksgiving signals the official start of a month of eating, drinking and splurging – that piles up into 2 billion pounds of garbage per week.

Enough holiday cards are sold in the U.S. to fill a 10-storey football stadium and kill 300,000 trees. That’s on top of all those glossy catalogues that consume 8 million trees a year and produce a truly global footprint as many are delivered around the world.

Creating a Christmas to remember can translate into a lot we’d sooner forget, such as the brutal drain on electricity and even risks to your health, say the Sanders – including the petroleum-based paraffin candles that may set the mood, but can also emit toxic chemicals from toluene to benzene and formaldehyde.

Then, of course, there are all those toys from China.

Even if they aren’t tainted with lead, they are made of plastic that tends to break – often Christmas Day – but never biodegrade.

Not to mention the less-than-good cheer they spread on their oil-guzzling journey from, say, Beijing to Vancouver.

That’s why, even in the midst of this economic downturn, some consumers are opting to buy less, but spend more, for locally made toys or handicrafts, says Peter Sander.

Or they’re clicking on websites such as chinafreexmas.com that, contrary to its name, does in fact sell some toys made in China.

(Canada’s own version, buycanadianfirst.ca, launched just three months ago and, if you use the keyword “organic” you’ll find items from healthy lip balm to baby blankets, but not many toys.)

“I think people are becoming more aware,” says Sander in an interview from his California home, admitting he was shocked when he tallied up the environmental fallout of everything from Christmas parties (mounds of discarded food, drink and disposable plates and cutlery) to holiday travel.

“They’re starting to come to their senses and saying, `We need to be good citizens here.’”

You can start out with something as simple as buying a real tree, he says. In most cases they are locally grown, rather than crafted by distant conglomerates, and more than 90 per cent are collected curbside and turned into garden mulch.

Instead of shiny tinsel and fake garland, he adds, buy the real stuff, which looks, and smells, authentic and can also be converted to garden cover.

“That’s why I like the 20 per cent rule. The idea isn’t to cut out everything because obviously the kids are going to be disappointed and other family members are going to think you’ve gone off your chair – or you’re just cheap.

“But if everybody cuts back 20 per cent on what they give, on how many lights they hang, on the amount of food they put out at the Christmas party …

“But don’t shut down completely. Everybody still needs a holiday.”

© Copyright Toronto Star 1996-2009
 
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CBC News: Shop Local

Jessica Browne – CBC News, November 24, 2008

 

Click the image above or click here to watch the TV report.

Copyright © CBC 2008

 
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BuyCanadianFirst promotes Made in Canada products

Original post here.

Heri – Montreal Tech Watch, August 14th, 2008
 

BuyCanadianFirst wants you to do one thing, which is … buy Canadian products, as the name suggests.

 

BuyCanadianFirst

In case you didn’t get the concept, they included a generous amount of maple leafs in the website’s design, bright reds and whites, plus 16 instances of the word “canada” in the homepage.

The venture in itself was started last October by Isabelle Rémy, who wanted to gather in one place all consumer products made by Canadian companies. There is a more elaborate story here; where she links the website’s inception to the rise of globalization and the wish to offer an alternative to imported products.

The back story is cool and inspiring; although this is the kind of project that I would have expected to come from a federal agency. Or maybe from a trade association which would want to advertise a category of products. Melissa Thibodeau, the Director of Marketing and Business Development explains though that it’s a private venture and they’ve planned from the beginning a variety of revenue models, from listing fees, affiliate marketing, advertisings and also sponsorships.

BuyCanadianFirst has for instance a whole media / blog section which I guess is geared at driving traffic to the website and also build up an audience of Canadians interested at buying regularly Canadian-made products.

The second section of the website is an exhaustive product database, with the aim of covering all consumer goods. You can’t buy directly the products though as they refer you to the store or manufacturer of the product.

Since I am not a heavy shopper, I am not really planning to use regularly BuyCanadianFirst. I do know though that there will be an audience for the website, in a world where most consumers don’t buy anymore for the inherent functionality of a product but mostly for its different emotional value or the product story. Good luck then to the buyCanadian team!

Copyright © Montreal Tech Watch 2007
 
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Website puts emphasis on Canadian products. Allows visitors to browse catalogue and review products

Original article here.

Mike King – The Gazette – Friday, August 01, 2008

"West Island entrepreneur Isabelle Remy is a strong supporter of Canadian goods and services. Realizing the difficulty in finding a single destination on the Internet where consumers can find and learn more about made-in-Canada products, Remy undertook the task last fall of developing a website to fill that niche. She founded BuyCanadianFirst.ca nine months ago and today is scheduled to officially launch a website that exclusively showcases all segments of the domestic market – everything from clothing and furniture to toys and sports equipment.

 

 

 

 

(BuyCanadianFirst.ca founder Isabelle Remy in her Dorval office wearing a Canadian-made dress and holding a stuffed beaver toy.)
Photograph by : JOHN KENNEY, THE GAZETTE

“Half of the website is the product catalogue that is being populated by the vendors themselves and through affiliate accounts,” Remy said yesterday from he Dorval office that employs a staff of eight. The other half of the site is the blog, which will offer content about these products and companies as well as lifestyle, shopping, the environment, culture, achievements and good news,” the managing director added. “The glue that will tie the whole site together is the community – registered embers will be able to leave comments, share, rate and review almost everything on the site,” explained Remy, whose business background has been n the importing/exporting of frozen fish, fruits and vegetables. Her latest endeavour will create an online marketplace by gathering the most accurate and comprehensive made-in-Canada product listings from retailers, manufacturers and artisans across the country. about 150 of them responded to a free three-month-long pre-launch promotion to get on board sight unseen.

There will be different pricing packages for small, medium and large companies wanting to list their items.

Reflecting the personal principles of her own and of the employees, the site won’t list pornography or tobacco-related products.

“It’s a pro-Canadian site, not anti-globalization or boycott imports,” Remy stressed. “We wanted a name that conveyed the concept of buying Canadian first, not buying Canadian only.”

She pointed out that, by choosing products made closer to home, consumers support Canadian jobs and the local economy while also cutting down on the environmental costs of moving products around the world.

Remy is aiming at the 43 per cent of people polled by Angus Reid last year who said they are trying to buy more products made in Canada, but have problems finding them.

The fledgling firm acknowledges it can’t guarantee the quality of the products featured on the site, which is one of the reasons members will be invited to rate and review items.

“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.”

For more information, visit www.buycanadianfirst.ca"

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2008

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