BURNABY—CUPE BC’s Ten Percent Shift campaign began its second phase last week with a keynote address by CUPE BC President Barry O’Neill to a well-attended luncheon co-sponsored and hosted by the Prince George Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Labour Congress, and the North Central Labour Council on Tuesday. Earlier, O’Neill gave Prince George-area CUPE members a “sneak preview” of the campaign on Monday night.
Attendees at the luncheon included Prince George Mayor Dan Rogers, several incumbent city councilors and a number of candidates for the November 19 local election. The luncheon featured a meal cooked entirely from local food—the first time the Chamber has offered a local-first menu for one of its luncheons. Chamber officials said they are planning to continue that approach in the future.
“We’re not trying to stop anything with this campaign, we’re trying to start something new,” said O’Neill. “A resilient, sustainable local economy is a vital component of strong communities, and we believe that the Shift will give citizens the tools they need to adopt a “local first” mindset.”
O’Neill unveiled the first phase of the Ten Percent Shift campaign earlier this year. The Shift encourages people to calculate their annual household expenditures and shift ten percent of their spending to local first, ideally locally made products from a locally owned independent business. The new phase of the campaign includes a significantly improved website that provides more tools for British Columbians who want to use their consumer spending to strengthen their local economy and community.
British Columbians who are interested in supporting their local economy are encouraged to take the Ten Percent Shift Pledge, which will give them access to a database of locally owned businesses and locally made products. Shifters will also be able to post tips and suggestions for other Shifters and promote local businesses.
O’Neill’s presentations in Prince George were followed by Shift presentations by CUPE staff in McBride, Valemount and Mackenzie. Preparations are underway for an extensive tour of the province to promote the campaign.
CUPE members are encouraged to visit www.tenpercentshift.ca to take the Pledge and learn more about how shifting consumer spending can improve local economies and give communities the tools they need to provide strong public services.