An organic grocery store chain has retreated from a ban on poppies worn by employees following a strong public and political backlash late last week.
Sparking outrage on social media, provincial legislatures and the House of Commons, Whole Foods quickly reversed the poppy-wearing ban for store employees — a ban that the company initially justified as an issue with employee uniforms.
The ban was roundly criticized in the House of Commons, as numerous politicians spoke out against the ban and even unanimously passed a motion to invite Whole Foods CEO John Mackey to appear before a veterans affairs committee to explain the company policy.
Rob Morrison, the MP for Kootenay-Columbia, said it was ‘unbelievable’ that a food company in Canada, even though it’s American-based, was forcing employees to not wear poppies.
“It’s pretty un-Canadian, when you think about it,” Morrison said on Friday, before Whole Foods reversed course to allow employees to wear poppies.
“When you look at the number of our men and women who lost their lives in war…to not have respect for that is just inexcusable. It’s just unbelievable.
“And the poppy campaign is 100 years old.”
In a statement on Friday, Whole Foods said it reversed the ban and planned to make a donation to the Royal Canadian Legion’s poppy campaign.
With files from the Canadian Press