CUPE BC President Barry O’Neill took the Ten Percent Shift campaign on the road in the Kootenays this past week.
The tour held nine events in seven communities in six days, attracting hundreds of Kootenay residents to hear how making a ten percent shift in consumer spending to local first can bring enormous benefits to local communities.
“I’m really pleased with the very positive response the Shift is getting from a wide range of audiences and communities,” said O’Neill. “Our message is simple: if we can all pull together and adopt a new way of thinking about how we spend our dollars, we can make a huge difference and make local economies—and the communities they support—more sustainable and more resilient.”
Beginning on Saturday in Castlegar, O’Neill presented the Shift campaign to an enthusiastic group at an event featuring local food and beverages. From Castlegar the tour moved on to Grand Forks to attend a community celebration put on by the CUPE locals and the HEU. They’d rented the recreation facility and offered free swimming to all. Nearly 200 Grand Forks kids enjoyed a free swim, as well as hotdogs and caramel corn.
On Monday the tour moved on to Nelson for two Shift presentations. Monday night O’Neill put on a presentation attended by Mayor John Dooley and MLA Michelle Mungal, as well as several dozen residents. On Tuesday the tour moved on to Nelson, and presented the Shift to the Nelson Rotary Club’s breakfast meeting.
From Nelson the tour traveled to Creston for a noon presentation to the Chamber of Commerce, and an evening reception featuring local food and drinks.
O’Neill presented to a luncheon at the Fernie Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, and to a public town hall in Cranbrook on Wednesday night at the College of the Rockies. The event was organized and hosted by the CUPE local.
The final event of the tour was a luncheon in Invermere on Thursday hosted by the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club. MLA Norm MacDonald attended the event, along with a full house of local business owners and residents.
Next week the Shift tour moves to Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.