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CBC first reported that an employee of one of the Whole Foods stores in Ottawa was told she couldn’t wear a poppy because it contravened the company’s ban on wearing symbols of causes.
The poppy is available in the weeks leading up to Remembrance Day on Nov. 11 to honour the country’s veterans and their sacrifices.
Donations are accepted in support of veterans.
“Whether you chose Canada or were born here, we all get to enjoy values like freedom, democracy and respect for others,” the Royal Canadian Legion’s poppy website says. “Veterans stood up for those rights but it’s up to us to uphold them.”
Whole Foods says its uniform includes an apron, coat or vest, hat and name badge, and staff are expected to follow the dress code policy and standard uniform.
“Whole Foods Market honours the men and women who have and continue to bravely serve their country,” the company said in a statement. “We support Remembrance Day in all of our Canadian stores by observing a moment of silence on Nov. 11 and by donating to the Legion’s Poppy Campaign.
“With the exception of those items required by law, our dress code policy prohibits any additions to our standard uniform.”
After Whole Foods refused to change course, Ford said his government will introduce legislation that would not allow companies to ban their employees from wearing poppies.