British Columbia Premier John Horgan joined politicians across the country Friday in calling on Whole Foods to drop its Remembrance Day poppy ban for employees.
Staff at the international grocery chain were told not to wear Remembrance Day poppies because they don’t align with the company’s dress code.
“With the exception of those items required by law, our dress code policy prohibits any additions to our standard uniform," Whole Foods said in a statement.
The company said it supports Remembrance Day by observing a moment of silence in its stores on Nov. 11 and donating to the Legion’s Poppy Campaign.
The company reportedly reversed the ban Friday afternoon, saying its intention "was never to single out the poppy or to suggest a lack of support for Remembrance Day and the heroes who have bravely served their country," according to a statement obtained by CTV National News.
NEW: Whole Foods has reversed its policy regarding employees wearing the poppy after swift backlash from Canadians & politicians pic.twitter.com/JXLU9bO4LJ— Heather Wright (@HeatherCTV) November 6, 2020
On Friday, Horgan tweeted: “Wearing a poppy for Remembrance Day and Aboriginal Veterans Day is about honouring people who have given so much in service to others.”
“Give your heads a shake,” the premier added.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa Friday that he thinks Whole Foods “has made a silly mistake that I am hoping they will correct.”
“This is something we see every year almost – some company, some organization, some retail store makes a mistake around support for legions or the wearing of the poppies and it is quickly corrected due to public outcry,” he said. “I think that is certainly what I hope will happen in the process.”
Federal Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole posted a video message online calling the dress code policy "stupid" in a tweet.
“The poppy is not a cause, it is a sign of respect,” O’Toole said. “The sacrifice of Canadians in the past provides the freedom for a US grocery chain to be stupid today … Let’s tell Whole Foods to stop trying to be Woke Foods.”
With files from CTVNews.ca's Johnathan Forani