Whole Foods bans staff from wearing poppies at Toronto stores and people are livid
Whole Foods, the upscale American grocery chain with 14 locations in Canada — including six in the GTA and three in Toronto specifically — has just made a controversial uniform policy change that prohibits employees from wearing poppies while on the job.
The news, which comes just days before Remembrance Day, understandably has many up in arms, with people threatening to boycott the chain and even picket outside of the brand's Yorkville store in Toronto on Nov. 7.
Attn @WholeFoods!— Mark McQueen (@markrmcqueen) November 6, 2020
Countless veterans & their families have made sacrifices most of us cannot comprehend, all in an effort to keep our nation free.
Please rescind your divisive #Poppy policy or Torontonians shall picket your Yorkville store tomorrow. @RoyalCdnLegion #topoli
The company has yet to explain why, exactly, they're opposed to the symbol, though one staff member who has worn poppies to work in previous years told the CBC that her supervisor this year said that wearing one would be considered "supporting a cause," which is apparently not allowed.
Don Cherry supporters seem to be particularly outraged by the new policy — lest we forget how Cherry was fired from his longtime position as the face of Hockey Night in Canada for his comments about fewer and fewer people recognizing veterans with poppies these days.
Cherry fans are taking to social media to say that this is a "logical next step" after cancelling Cherry and that it is "what Toronto liberals want," among other things.
Many are also noting what they feel is a lack of poppy wearers in major Canadian cities like T.O.
Have you seen downtown Toronto? No one wears a poppy. He's right to call out people who love Canada's way of life but don't acknowledge the sacrifice that allowed this. A fair criticism is not xenophobic— ThoughtsByMatt (@ThoughtsByMatt1) November 6, 2020
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is among those speaking out on the Whole Foods matter, calling the move "disgusting and disgraceful" on Twitter this morning and demanding that brand apologize and rescind the rule immediately.
He also vowed to bring in new laws to prevent employers from ever doing something like this again, writing on the social media platform a few hours later "we will introduce legislation that prohibits any employer from banning their staff from wearing a poppy during Remembrance Week."
It’s disgusting and disgraceful that @WholeFoods has banned poppies for their employees. We will always stand with our veterans. Whole Foods should apologize and immediately reverse this decision. Everyone should wear a poppy #lestweforget.— Doug Ford (@fordnation) November 6, 2020
The supermarket giant, which was notably purchased by Amazon three years ago, has stated that it will still be marking the 11 a.m. moment of silence on Nov. 11, as well as donating thousands to poppy purveyor the Royal Canadian Legion.
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