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Amazon moving across the border threatens Canada

In the age of search engine wars, a struggling book industry and cultural imperialism, ABJ’s Antonia McGuire sits in on an online discussion forum that dissected the issue of Amazon, an American e-commerce company setting up shop across the border and why Canadians are so worked up about it.




Lurking over the highly controversial topic in the online forum, I felt a tad odd and, for two good reasons. As the editor of an American publication it is of interest to keep taps on such issues in order to relate to readership. As a Canadian citizen, it is kind of like looking at the situation from vastly different set of glasses. Good thing I wear glasses, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to see—but that’s beside the point.

The topic du jour (Canadian sic) is a highly sensitive one because of it tends to be a sore spot—the idea of yet another American company impeded on its country’s culture—hits a patriotic nerve in a way that Canadians haven’t yet been promoting, until arguably the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, as fiercely as their fellow neighbors (American sic).

If Canadians are really serious about protecting their culture, they (or we) should be brave enough to stand up and promote it… whatever it is. It seems with the melody of voices—French, English, the several First Nations and so many others—and the renewed debate of whether multiculturalism is really working has them on the defensive. And no wonder, a successful American e-commerce company has yet again narrowed in on their market—to capitalize and make profit—setting up shop in their back door.

 In the Globe and Mail moderated forum Canadian Booksellers Association vice-president Mark Lefebvre who took questions from participants, except for mine. Basically, he argues that competition is key. “We all need competition. It’s great for consumers. What might not be so great is if a behemoth comes into Canada and wipes out the ability for any competition to exist, leaving a single, non-Canadian owned entity running the show.”  What do you think?

To view the entire forum, please visit:

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