Ontario premier Doug Ford say he’ll make it illegal for businesses in the province to prohibit employees from wearing poppies after grocery store chain Whole Foods said it has no plans to reverse the policy, even as Remembrance Day approaches.
“I find it absolutely disgraceful. I find it disgusting,” he told reporters in Ottawa on Friday.
“So we’re going to introduce legislation immediately that permits any employee, any employee no matter where you work … to wear a poppy, and making sure that no employer can force someone not to wear a poppy.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters the chain is making a “silly mistake,” and retweeted this message from Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay.
This is absolutely unacceptable — the poppy is an important symbol of remembrance, and it’s more important than ever that everyone support the <a href=”https://twitter.com/RoyalCdnLegion?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@RoyalCdnLegion</a>’s Poppy Campaign this year. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/CanadaRemembers?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#CanadaRemembers</a> <a href=”https://t.co/bpSRcDP7zD”>https://t.co/bpSRcDP7zD</a>
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said in a statement the decision is “stupid” and “shameful.”
“To those of us who have proudly served our country, to those still serving, to the fallen who have paid the ultimate sacrifice — this is not a cause.”
Quick video on Woke Foods. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/LestWeForget?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#LestWeForget</a> <a href=”https://t.co/539QiBD9HL”>pic.twitter.com/539QiBD9HL</a>
During question period Friday, Ottawa MP Pierre Poilievre called on shoppers to boycott Whole Foods. MPs also voted unanimously to call on all employers to allow staff to wear poppies Nov. 5-11.
WATCH | The Whole Foods poppy controversy discussed in House of Commons:
Ottawa’s mayor also spoke out against the chain’s poppy policy…
One of the most ridiculous decisions made by a company in recent memory. Please reverse this idiotic decision and apologize to our veterans for your insensitivity
…as did NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who referred to another Whole Foods dress code policy that’s currently the subject of a lawsuit in the United States.
It was wrong when they banned staff expressing support for Black Lives Matter and it’s wrong to ban the Poppy. <br><br>Canadians shouldn’t lose the right to honour the sacrifices of veterans when they go to work.<a href=”https://t.co/3hEfXgASwS”>https://t.co/3hEfXgASwS</a>
The policy garnered near-unanimous condemnation on Twitter, both toward Whole Foods and its parent company Amazon.
Speaking as an indigenous person here, I’m the granddaughter of two WWII vets. I proudly wear a poppy every year, heck I even have a tattoo of one.
<a href=”https://twitter.com/WholeFoods?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@WholeFoods</a> wearing a poppy is not supporting a cause it’s to pay respect to all those men and women who died fighting for our freedom both in Canada 🇨🇦, the USA 🇺🇸 and around the world 🌎. Please rethink this.
No more shopping at Whole Foods Market then. Plain and simple.
Hey <a href=”https://twitter.com/JeffBezos?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@JeffBezos</a> in Canada we support our veterans by purchasing and wearing poppies. This is not a “cause”.
Whole Foods did not explain its decision to CBC.
An employee of the sole Whole Foods location in Ottawa told CBC she was told by a supervisor that wearing the poppy would be seen as “supporting a cause.”
Poppies are offered in exchange for donations to the Royal Canadian Legion, then worn as a sign of support and respect for the men and women who have died fighting for Canada. Traditionally, they’re removed after 11 a.m. on Nov. 11.