North Island – Powell River MP Rachel Blaney received unanimous support for a motion condemning Whole Foods and its owner Jeff Bezos for banning poppies from staff uniforms. Photo contributed

North Island – Powell River MP Rachel Blaney received unanimous support for a motion condemning Whole Foods and its owner Jeff Bezos for banning poppies from staff uniforms. Photo contributed

Whole Foods reverses stance on poppy ban after Parliament passes condemnation

North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney got unanimous support for motion condemning company

  • Nov. 6, 2020 11:30 a.m.

North Island-Powell River MP and NDP Critic for Veterans Affair Rachel Blaney received unanimous support for her motion condemning grocery retailer Whole Foods for its ban on employees wearing poppies on their uniform.

The company, however, later reversed its policy and allows its staff to now wear poppies.

Blaney rose on a point of order Nov. 6 to ask for unanimous consent to introduce a motion stating: “That this House condemn Whole Foods and its owner Jeff Bezos for banning its employees from wearing poppies on their uniform and demand that the policy be reversed immediately.”

The grocery chain, a subsidiary of Amazon (owned by American multi-billionaire Jeff Bezos), sparked outrage when it was revealed that wearing a poppy in honour of Remembrance Day violated the company’s uniform policy and would not be allowed at any of the retail locations including 14 in Canada.

But later on Friday, the company issued a statement saying, “Our new unified dress code policy is intended to create consistency and ensure operation safety across all of our stores. Our 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. We appreciate the thoughtful feedback we have received from our customers. Given the learnings of today, we are welcoming Team Members to wear the poppy pin in hnour of Remembrance Day. As was previously planned, we will also be observing a moment of silenc eon November 11, as well as making a monetary donation to the Legion Poppy Fund. “

RELATED: Whole Foods criticized for preventing employees from wearing poppies

Before Whole Foods reversed its positon, Blaney said of the earlier poppy pin ban, “This is disheartening and disrespectful – to the employees, to veterans and their families, and to all Canadians.”

Blaney later tweeted out her acknowledgement of the change of heart:

All members participating in the hybrid sitting of the House of Commons granted unanimous consent to hear the motion and subsequently passed it unanimously as well.

“Especially this year when mass public gatherings for Remembrance Day will not occur, everyone should be allowed to wear a poppy for Remembrance Week,” said Blaney. “Thanking those who sacrificed for the freedoms our country stands for isn’t controversial or political. The support from all parties for this motion is evidence of that.”

This story has been updated at 2:55 p.m. Nov. 6 to acknowledge Whole Foods change of position.

p>Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A family of ducks that lives near Saanich Municipal Hall recently welcomed 11 ducklings and took them for a swim in the koi pond outside the offices. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Pair of ducks make Saanich Municipal Hall a nursery for 11 hatchlings

Family of ducks spent time in koi pond before heading down to Swan Lake

Habitat Acquisition Trust has received provincial funding to help restore Garry oak ecosystems on southern Vancouver Island. (Photo by Jeremy da Silva)
Central Saanich park among sites for local Garry oak restoration projects

Habitat Acquisition Trust received $140,000 in funding for 12 projects

Architect’s rendering of the 7 Erskine Lane development, showing the view from the east and south. (VDA Architecture Ltd. image)
View Royal green-lights residential development on Erskine Lane

First of two developments near Victoria General Hospital will provide 71 housing units

With the help of a $110,000 federal grant, Saanich will be adding 22 new EV chargers for its municipal fleet to reduce emissions from district operations. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich adds 22 new EV chargers for municipal fleet to reduce corporate emissions

Federal grant adds $110,000 jolt to project, installation to be completed fall 2022

Andrew Swanson was arrested Wednesday after he was wanted for an alleged choking assault and for obstructing police. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Victoria police arrest Andrew Swanson on warrants for alleged choking assault, obstruction

A member of the public spotted Swanson and called 911 before police came and made the arrest

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you plan to travel on the Victoria Day long weekend?

It’s the unofficial start to the summer season. A time of barbecues,… Continue reading

A worker rides a bike at a B.C. Hydro substation in Vancouver, on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
BC Hydro report raises safety concerns as pandemic prompts jump in yard work

Incidents involving weekend tree trimmers, gardeners and landscapers have risen 30% since the pandemic hit

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

People line up for COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in clinic at Cloverdale Recreation Centre on Wednesday, April 27, 2021. Public health officials have focused efforts on the Fraser Health region. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)
B.C. reports 1st vaccine-induced blood clot; 684 new COVID cases Thursday

Two million vaccine doses reached, hospital cases down

Most Read