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and Altona Industrial Developments convinced the Aetna Garment Company to open a clothing factory in town. Outside of this company and a Ready Mix cement plant; Altona attracted few new industries. More and more industries locating in southern Manitoba chose Winkler or Morden.
Some of the reasons for Altona's failure to attract more industry included the fact that the town refused to grant tax concessions to new businesses. There was also the growing belief that locally controlled or 'homegrown' industries and businesses were more stable and com mitted to the community." A more important and encompassing rea son, perhaps, was a change of attitude among the town's business elite.
The Loewen Manufacturing Co. Ltd. Founder J. L. Loewen began operation of Loewen Manufacturing Company in his garage in Rosenort in 1962 manufacturing and selling discer bearings directly to farmers and small dealers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In 1963, Mr. Loewen decided to expand his production, sales and facilities, and-after reviewing local labour availability, decided to move to the village of Old Altona. There he built a new shop and added new equipment, which allowed him to expand the company's production and sales volume. The company now also produces cylinder bars, tow bars, duplex drill hitches, feeder chains, conveyer raddle chains, bug and wind deflecters, concaves, beet puller rims, and wheels. An expansion, in the spring of 1977, of 8,000 sq. tt. brought the plant size to 12,000 sq. ft. The plant is shown here during further expansion in 1982, when it expanded to approximately 35,000 sq. ft.
Both evo and D _ W. Friesen and Sons profited from an overabun dant supply of non-union labour and larger industry would only create competition for available labour driving wages up. This large industry, D. K. Friesen noted, might have the undesirable effect of providing a perfect breeding ground for union activity." At any rate by the late 1960's and early 1970's Altona's town building strategy had begun to change.