Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    It was 22 years ago when I arrived in Canada and chose Calgary, Alberta to be my home.  Leaving my family and friends behind, it was a new adventure for me to be in a new country without knowing anyone.  That was the time I looked for a Filipino community paper and never found any, [...]

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Page added on March 17, 2015

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The Other Side

by Steve & Ludy Tarzwels

I was recently interviewed about living in Calgary and how I liked living here. Of course I love this city and chose it as my home, as opposed to many who just ended up here somehow. Another question asked was how have things changed since I arrived here, some 20 years ago. I replied that the most noticeable change in the past 20 years has been the “Asian Influence.” I was asked to elaborate on that.

I explained that here in Canada we have always had low, middle and high income brackets. Similarly, when shopping, we have had the choice of cheap, average and expensive goods. In other words, if we wanted quality products and were willing to pay a higher price, we had that option. Now, with more Asians used to just buying the cheapest products available, and with more low income earners, many retailers offer only cheap low quality choices. That is because in many countries outside of Canada people have much less funds available, so they buy the cheapest, which are almost always the lowest quality items. Soon, no matter if a person prefers quality products, they will not be available here even when shoppers have the money to spend. That is clearly evident in the dirty, crowded bulk food stores that offer “no name” products.

Another “Asian Influence” item is that Canadians demand good service for their money and if they don’t get it, they will make noise. They will complain, and rightly so, as they desire the most out of their hard earned money. Meanwhile, most Asians avoid confrontation, opposition or speaking up when they don’t get what they have paid for. The business, such as a restaurant, deteriorates to where poor service is all that is offered anymore. Twenty years ago, any business that operated that way would be avoided by everyone and soon went bankrupt. Some retailers, such as those cruddy bulk food stores won’t even bag your groceries or help you get them to your car, even if the buyer is elderly or handicapped! By not providing the staff to give these services, the retailer increases their profit rather than passing the savings on to the customer, as many would expect. The same low class bulk food places have no staff available for customer service which is annoying should one need help, say, in locating a product. A Canadian would walk out and go somewhere else to spend their money, while an Asian would just tolerate it.

Therefore, I would say the biggest change here in Calgary that we have seen in the past 20 years is the loss of both quality and service in the retail business, and with few companies offering these, it will only get worse.









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