City cash would help businesses

The Editor,

Re. "Coquitlam councillor's 'buy local' clause defeated" (The Tri-City News, May 28).

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Good on Coquitlam Coun. Bonita Zarrillo and her supporters on council for championing a "buy local" clause in Coquitlam's procurement policy, one that would favour local businesses in cases where two proposals seem of equal merit.

Our local businesses could use the help. Nowadays, they are all too often selling to a public with tapped-out savings and credit cards, and facing powerful national and international competition.

The reasons councillors Terry O'Neill et al offered for nixing the clause are both feeble and preposterous. Yes, grief from a lawyered-up multinational corporation claiming trade deal hardship is a very real possibility. So are earthquakes and lightening strikes. Coun. O'Neill and company have taken refuge behind abstract maybes in preference to addressing legitimate needs.

Buy local is expensive? Won't create jobs? The city of Coquitlam budget for 2014 is $248 million. A mere trickle from this pot would be a godsend to a host of vibrant startup businesses.

Hopefully, at the next election this fall, Coquitlam business owners will have a long and inconvenient memory when O'Neill and company profess their undying devotion to free enterprise.

Doug Rolling,

Port Coquitlam

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