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2000-02-24
Surrey, B.C. No Place for Wal-Mart in 6-3 Loss

Wal-Mart is without a home in Surrey, British Columbia. As we mentioned in a February 18th entry (see newsflash below), residents in Surrey (pop. 325,000) had organized to keep Wal-Mart out of the Scott Road residential neighborhood. The City Council took its vote on February 22, and the results were 6 to 3 in favor of the neighborhoods. Another Wal-Mart gets slam-dunked! "Wal-Mart is the biggest retail corporation in the world", said opposition leader Cathy McCashin. "People kept telling me I was the underdog, but I never felt that way." The Mayor of Surrey, Doug McCallum, who supported Wal-Mart, tried to paint a yellow Mr.Smiley face on Wal-Mart's defeat. "Council supports Wal-Mart," he told Lower Mainland reporters, "but the location didn't fit into the neighborhood properly. We encourage them to find a better location." Residents told the City Council that their homes would lose $5,000 or more in value if the 100,000 s.f. Wal-Mart were to be built. "This was about family, and what it means to be human," McCashin explained. "All the way along, it felt like the pieces were falling into the right places." And Wal-Mart was definitely not in the right place in Surrey.

What you can do: Wal-Mart claims that it was "surprised" by the loss in Surrey. A Wal-Mart spokesman kept referring to a telephone poll the company conducted that "showed 75% support" for Wal-Mart. "We're disappointed, but we respect the process," said Wal-Mart. "We will be reviewing our options. Obviously a large number of people want another Wal-Mart in Surrey." That kind of quote just shows once again that Wal-Mart never learns from its defeats. Even in the midst of a loss, Wal-Mart will say that "large numbers of people" want them. They never admit they chose the wrong location. They never say: "The neighbors made some good points." And as for their telephone poll, fortunately for the people of Surrey, polls don't vote. The City Council did vote, and they turned Wal-Mart out. "No Place for Wal-Mart" reads the Lower Mainland section headline.










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

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