« Which fast food chain do you consider the healthiest? | Main | Older workers being forced into retirement »

February 23, 2022

More Walmarts in Canada: good or bad?

It seems everyday there’s a new, big-bad corporate piñata for the world to beat on.

AIG is fulla crooks. Toyota knew it was killing drivers. They’re all saints compared to Madoff!

And while there’s absolute merit in each of those attacks, no one takes it worse and more often than the Cruella de Vil of fat cat conglomerates: Walmart.

Anti-Walmart sentiment isn’t hard to find anywhere – see Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price  – and it’s sure to rear its head again after today’s news the superstore will open 35 to 40 centres in Canada later this year.

The Canadian Press reports the world’s largest retailer won’t reveal the specific locations until a few months from now, but the new enterprises will add to the 70,000 Canucks it employs already.

According to Walmart’s estimates, up to 6,500 jobs in retail/construction will be created by the openings.

Now, it’s interesting to speculate how this will all play out. Normally, “Walmart is evil!” sentiment spews pretty viciously from an announcement like this, with sceptics chastising the retail giant for the collapse of local manufacturing and subsequent rise in overseas production.

But, this is still the tail-end of a pretty vicious recession. Unemployment continues to hover near 9-10% in many areas of the country, and people need to work: bottom line. (Note how Walmart and other labour whipping boys always lead their releases now with “will create X-thousand” jobs, where once that info was absent.)

So, will Canadians leave the retailer be and let it open its stores without backlash?

Uh, maybe not.

“They will keep building ‘em, if you keep buying from ‘em!” writes Scotma on a CBC comment board filled with anti-Walmart opinion. “Who cares about screwing local Canadian businesses and employment standards when you can save a few pennies buying crap made in China at Walmart!”

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



Post a comment


Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...