North Bay Mayor Vic Fedeli is keeping up his letter-writing campaign to convince a United States mayor to buy Canadian goods.
This time, he's targeted Mayor George McCain of Tallassee, Alabama, a town of 6,000, where the City of North Bay recently bought $6 million worth of water meters manufactured by Neptune Technology.
This fall, Fedeli decided to rail against the 'Buy America' stimulus funding provisions with a letter-writing campaign aimed at select U.S. mayors in communities where North Bay made municipal purchases.
“Can you imagine if my country had restricted us with a similar policy?" writes Fedeli in his latest letter. "One of your leading manufacturers, an integral employer in your community, would not have received that order and may be forced to lay people off.”
So far, he's written to the mayors of DeKalb, Illinois; Cortland, New York and Brandon, South Dakota. North Bay purchased a fabricated water tower, a water treatment system and fire pumper truck respectively from companies in those towns.
In his Oct. 26 weekly newsletter, Fedeli calls his strategy an “unbelievable success” that has stirred plenty of debate. Fedeli said North Bay's desire is to support Canadian companies, but also get the best value and lowest bid, for taxpayers “no matter their location.”
Fedeli has received a letter of commendation from Michael Wilson, Canada's outgoing ambassador to the U.S. and was interviewed on CBC News Network (formerly Newsworld) and CBC Radio.
The controversial 'Buy American' clause in the U.S. government's stimulus package gives priority to U.S.-made iron, steel and other manufactured products for American infrastructure projects.
Fedeli asks the mayors and their municipal councils to request Washington drop the 'Buy American' provision.