This recession will change the face of our country. Many, many businesses will go bankrupt. Heritage buildings will be foreclosed and become in danger of being torn down. Community initiatives, no matter how successful, will be threatened.
There are things we can do and now is the time to take them seriously. The short form is: Shop locally.
If you like your downtown core and/or your shopping mall, spend your dollars there. Otherwise a year from now you might be left with boarded up stores and newspapers blowing on empty pavement.
Put away the US catalogs. Unbookmark your US retail web sites (including amazon.ca). Stay away from Wal-Mart.
Shop at your local independent bookstore, hardware store, cheese shop, clothing store - anywhere you would be sad to see go bankrupt. If their prices are too high for you now, give a voucher at Christmas that you'll buy the item in the after-Christmas sales.
Buy a ticket to your local theater, music or dance group. Ballet BC has shown how fast the recession can bankrupt an arts group.
Book your winter travel to British Columbia (if you want to get away from the snow) or Quebec (if you want to ski). You can still take a Caribbean cruise: just wait till after the recession. Make a commitment that for one year (2009), you will do all your travel within Canada.
I'm not just preaching as I write this: I realize that these are things I must do as well.
More ideas? Please weigh in!