A Whole Foods employee in Ottawa told the CBC that a supervisor told her wearing the poppy would be considered “supporting a cause.”
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She said she had been shocked and dismayed at the change, as she had been able to wear a poppy as a symbol of remembrance in the past.
Whole Foods said it is supporting the Legion by donating more than $ 8,000 to the Poppy Campaign and that its store workers will still observe the traditional moment of silence at 11 am on November 11.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has since called the Whole Foods rule “disgusting and shameful” and called on the grocery chain to reverse its decision.
As more political leaders responded, Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan said all Canadians should be able to wear a poppy, no matter where they work.
Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh tweeted: “It was a mistake when they banned staff expressing support for black lives and banning the poppy is wrong,” and Conservative leader Erin O ‘ Toole, also weighed in, tweeting, “The sacrifice of Canadians in the past gives an American grocery chain the freedom to be dumb today.” Let’s tell Whole Foods to stop trying to be “wake food”. The poppy is not a cause, it is a sign of respect.
It’s disgusting and shameful that @Whole foods banned poppies for their employees. We will always be with our veterans. Whole Foods should apologize and reverse this decision immediately. Everyone should wear a poppy # let’s not forget.
– Doug Ford (@fordnation) November 6, 2020
Canadians wear poppies as a souvenir. We wear them to honor the sacrifices made by our veterans for our freedoms and values. All Canadians should be able to wear the poppy, no matter where they work. https://t.co/daBJBAeKu1
– Harjit Sajjan (@HarjitSajjan) November 6, 2020