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Premier Ford says Ontario will legislate that no employer can prohibit someone from wearing poppy


Today, at the Canadian War Museum, Premier Doug Ford announced that the province will be introducing legislation that prevents any employer from prohibiting the wearing of poppies. This comes as a reaction to the news that Whole Foods made a controversial uniform policy decision prohibiting employees from wearing poppies while on the job.

Doug Ford speaking at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, November 6, 2020, said banning its employees from wearing poppies at Whole Foods is disgraceful and disgusting.

“I think it’s disgraceful. It’s disgusting'” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford after learning that an Ottawa Whole Foods told its employees they were not allowed to wear poppies on their store uniforms.

The Amazon-owned, high-end grocery chain has 14 locations in Canada including six in the GTA. The news, which comes just a few days before before millions of Canadians are set to pay their respects to veterans on Remembrance Day, has created a huge stir on social media with many people threatening to boycott the store. Some are rallying on social media to picket outside the upscale store’s Yorkville location on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Whole Foods has not said the reason for the poppy ban.

CBC reports that an employee of the Whole Foods in Ottawa says she was told by a supervisor that wearing the poppy would be seen as “supporting a cause.” That it would open up the door so that the store would have to allow or consider allowing other causes.

In addition to Premier Ford’s official stance and his reaction on social media, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau retweeted this message from Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay.

Ottawa’s mayor, Jim Watson also spoke out against the chain’s poppy policy, saying the decision is “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.”

It was just a year ago that controversial Canadian sports personality, Don Cherry was forced to step down by Hockey Night in Canada for speaking out about ‘people’ not wearing poppies, lest we forget.

Whole Foods has said it is supporting the Royal Canadian Legion by donating more than $8,000 to the poppy campaign. It also said employees at all of its stores will observe the traditional moment of silence at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11.

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