I am a traitorous self-hating Ghomeshi-like fiend for shopping in New York!


Earlier this week, Industry Minister James Moore announced new measures the government hopes will eliminate the cross-border price differential. I believe this initiative will do little to to close that gap and that if it was useful at all, it was useful politically to the Conservatives who hope to be seen by voters as more consumer-friendly than the alternative. I tried to connect the politics of Moore’s announcement with my recent purchase of a snow blower, a purchase I made in the United States after discovering a significant cross-border price difference, in a column published in most of our newspapers Wednesday.

For my troubles — trying to explain Conservative consumer-first politics and my snowblower purhase — readers of our newspapers are accusing me of terrible things.  For example, Barry R. from Kingston, Ont. says:

After our reading your Sun Media article in the Kingston Whig today , our regard for you took a Jian Ghomeshi–Bill Cosby type tumble. Not as severe , obviously , but none the less your remarks were irresponsible , thoughtless and very un-Canadian … Should we all be over there shopping , David?!!
Perhaps you don’t understand the relationship of retail jobs , taxes etc. lost here by cross – border shopping and maybe you haven’t considered how very much our local Canadian merchants contribute to minor sports ,clubs and so very many causes —–HERE—- NOT in New York state.
We do hope that you do recover the esteem that you jettisoned when you write a reversion imparting us with your customary wise opinions.

Tom H. accused me of being a Tory lover:

Ho hum more hero worship from David Akin.  Apparently you have no respect for yourself, or your readers who may not be in love with Captain Smirk like you are.
You forgot to mention all of the tariffs (Tax increases) your hero has introduced in the many omnibus bills this government is known for,of course to do this you might have to turn a critical eye Harper’s way. We all know that will never happen don’t we?
National bureau chief of the worst piece of trash newspaper in Canada — and a supporter of cross border shopping — you must be so proud.

Russ H. , having read the very same column that prompted Tom H. to accuse me of Harper hero worship, is disappointed to discover that it reveals me “attacking Conservatives” and that why don’t I just admit I am a Trudeau booster:

Why did you find it necessary to include the comment, “It doesn’t matter that any New Democrat or Liberal would say the same thing” in your column attacking the Conservatives for the attempt to diminish price discrepancies between us and our neighbors to the south?
They may say the same thing, but does it mean anything?
Trudeau talks of open nominations also, but we know what that means, nothing.
I always expect these jabs against any policy that the Conservatives come up with from [Sun columnist Warren] Kinsella, but it seems more and more apparent that you are a Trudeau booster yourself. That too is OK, just come out of the closet.

Eileen O. of Owen Sound, Ont. believes my snowblower purchase reveals me to be un-patriotic! (She also sounds a bit jealous that I’m two hours to the nearest U.S. mega-mall and she would be probably a five hour drive to the nearest U.S. factory outlet in Flint, Michigan)

Aren’t you the patriotic one, supporting the American economy rather than your local one which pays taxes which pay for the roads you drive on to get to the U.S!
Certainly it can be frustrating and puzzling why so many of our consumer products are priced higher than in the States but retailers’ income taxes here help support a medical system not available to Americans. I never understood why the current government in Ottawa increased the dollar amount of duty-free goods for travelers abroad, thus encouraging more cross-border shopping, especially when this is only a real option to those who can afford to travel or who, like you, live close to the border. It’s definitely not a benefit for Canadians who live longer distances away.
Overall, I’m dismayed at people like you who brag about their savings by shopping in the United States.

Finally, I am accused of betraying my own people by Wayne T.:

This will sound petty to you but for years I have been trying to educate others that Scottish people are NOT CHEAP !

No-one seems to care EXCEPT us SCOTTISH PEOPLE…We’re NOT CHEAP!!!!!!

This is only my second email to complain about something.

Stop making remarks like….”my penny-pinching Scottish heritage”.

You have set us back another 50 years by making those stupid comments….can you please not say those types of things again?

And those were the polite ones!

4 thoughts on “I am a traitorous self-hating Ghomeshi-like fiend for shopping in New York!”

  1. Those negative comments, some diametrically opposed as to your political leanings, just go to prove that much is in the eye of the beholder.

    For the record, though, I believe in supporting our own businesses, especially since the Americans — or more specifically Obama –, supposedly our best friends, are trying to screw us with their anti-oilsands stance and their protectionist policies.

  2. David did exactly what I would have done. He saved $600. initially and had to pay the sales tax of 13% on the purchase price which still leaves him around $500. more than had he purchased the snowblower in Ontario. I however DISAGREE on the purchase of groceries. Maybe it is just Florida but I spend much time there and groceries cost much more there than they do in Toronto. oranges that have a sticker on them saying “Florida Produce” on them cost more there than here. $1.69 pound there compared to $1.29 here. Baked goods much more as well as cereal, and canned goods.

  3. I shop in the states all the time. Not only are the prices better but the selection is better also. The biggest thing though? Customer service rules in the states. Unlike here where there is inadequate staff and they treat you as if you in their way of an easy day.

  4. David,
    So you’re a frugal Scottish bargin hunter. You saved $500 (once the tax was paid), but it took you min 5 hrs of your time (travel, shopping, customs, etc) time is money you know, and min 400 kms of gas and wear & tear on your vehicle.

    I bill my time at $100/hr so any “savings” you got would be dissolved at my rate. But let’s say you’re a poor nationally syndicated columnist and you only make $50/hr, that still erodes half of your savings.

    My Honda Civic, which would not be able to transport your snowblower, takes 6l per 100 kms on the highway, so a total of 24 l of gas @ abt $1/l brings your “savings” down to just over $200. Now I suspect your vehicle takes more gas than my Civic, so your “savings” is miniscule.

    However, I also suspect, you spent far more time and purchased more than just a snowblower, perhaps even fuelling up prior to crossing back over in Canada, thus increasing your savings. And a 4 hour drive with the family makes for a nice family day excursion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *