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who had become the first president of esp Foods, remarked that it would have been better if eva had made a committment to central marketing but maintained its own independence. 33

The economic recession in the 1980's also affected the plant severely. A world oil seed glut, competition from government sub­ sidized Alberta crushing plants and a number of other factors resulted in a 9.2 million dollar loss on oil seed operations in 1983. This large loss caused cutbacks in every phase of esp Food operations including an indefinite shutdown of the Saskatoon plant. While the Altona plant was holding its own, it did initiate a work sharing program. 34

eva and D. W. Friesen and Sons had, by 1970, given Altona a solid industrial and manufacturing base, but the absence of other indus­ trial growth had produced a substantial emigration from the town. Unable and uncommitted to drawing new industry to Altona, civic leaders tried to restore the town fortunes through commercial expan­ sion. A survey of Altona's retail trade in 1964 revealed that the town was only capturing 50 per cent of its potential trade and that commercial growth was steadily declining. Spurred to action the town council undertook an urban renewal study which recommended a major facelift to revitalize the downtown core. Unable to secure government funds to undertake the project, local businessmen headed by the Mayor Bill

The Altona Shopping Mall. Opening in 1973 the Altona Mall helped stimulate Altona's commercial growth, but speeded the deterioration of Main Street as busi­ ness relocated to the Mall.