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2006-05-18
Montreal, Canada. Residents Declare War On Wal-Mart Saturation

North of the border, Wal-Mart Canada has pushed local communities around in the same trademark way that characterizes the retailer's U.S. real estate operations. The Montreal Gazette this week reported that Wal-Mart's expansion plans have run into strong community opposition from long-time activist who say the city's older neighborhoods will be gutted unless the big box stores are stopped. "We're going all out" said activist Leo Bricault, to keep Wal-Mart out of Montreal districts like St. Michel, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Rosemont and Plateau Mont Royal. Bricault charged that Wal-Mart Canada plans to triple is Montreal stores to 15 over the next two years. A Wal-Mart Canada spokesman said such a growth rate "impossible," and depicted Bricault's statement as "another attempt to demonize the corporation." But a number of merchant groups in Montreal threw their support behind Bricault's statement. "For small and medium sized businesses," a spokesman for one 400-member merchant group responded, "a Wal-Mart can be a death sentence. They're getting closer and closer to the heart of the city -- where you'd expect to see smaller stores thriving and not having them killed by a Wal-Mart. That, for us, is very worrisome." Another merchant told the Gazette, "Wal-Mart would kill a lot of stores on our street. Empty stores won't bring people to our street. Everybody suffers. Wal-Mart creates creates part-time jobs... Wal-Mart creates poverty. People think because they're big, they sell cheap. That's not true. They don't have service, they don't have the human contact, and they sell so much Chinese junk."

What you can do: The Gazette said the press conference held this week in Montreal "amounted to a declaration of war against Wal-Mart Canada Corp." For similar stories, search Newsflash by "Canada."










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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