Last week, Shawn Fraser, Executive Director of Carmichael Outreach announced that he would be running for the Ward 3 seat on Regina’s City Council this fall. To kick off his campaign, Shawn issued a shop local challenge to himself and his family – they have committed to only shopping at businesses in Ward 3 for the next month. He also invited all Ward 3 residents to join him. So, this week our Friday Feature is Shop Your Ward!
Political campaigns aside, I think this initiative is great. When citizens support local businesses it builds an understanding of and a commitment to the place they live, it provides opportunities for neighbours to meet and share information, and it helps to promote the development of mixed-use, complete communities (something citizens have said they want to see more of during the Design Regina process).
I think it would be great to see people doing this all over the city! By shopping in your ward (both at small local shops and at chain stores), you are supporting a service in your community instead of pushing it to go elsewhere. Keeping businesses and amenities in neighbourhoods helps to encourage new patterns of development and may even encourage other small businesses to take root.
So to start off this lovely May weekend, I’d like to extend Shawn’s challenge to all citizens of Regina. Take the next month and try to shop exclusively in your ward. Visit your old standby shops (your local corner stores and coffee hangouts), but also take the time to dig deeper and find new or lesser-known shops as well. It might even help you to identify what services are missing in your local community that you can advocate for!
We here at RUE want to know what you find! Perhaps we can start a google map of local shops for citizens to share!
I too will be taking up the challenge from my temporary home here in Toronto. I just looked up my local ward and will be doing my best to shop within it – I’ll need to do some research to find the more affordable shops in the area… though I suppose there is always Honest Ed’s! ;)
Have a great weekend!
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