No Frills has finally responded to backlash and criticism after one of its Toronto stores began to enforce a new policy that many in the local community deemed "racist", "discriminatory" and "shameful". The short-lived and controversial new policy was at the Durante’s No Frills store in North York. The policy, which was plastered on the windows of the store, informed residents that they would no longer be able to bring personal shopping devices into the store. Reusable bags, trolleys, strollers, and backpacks were all banned from the location. 

JFAAP (Jane Finch Action Against Poverty), a grassroots advocacy group in the community, was among the first to bring the issue to the company's attention after sharing an open letter to the store’s owner on Twitter:

"This policy is a direct attack on residents of the Jane-Finch community, especially low-income individuals and families. It is discriminatory, racist, ableist, ageist and sexist. It also does not adhere to accessibility policies that are mindful of the environment,” reads an excerpt from the letter which was tweeted out Wednesday afternoon.

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No Frills later responded to the group via the Twitter thread, claiming that the whole situation had just been one big misunderstanding:

“Hi JFAAP, the store owner recently posted a sign requesting that customers, use in-store baskets and carts instead of backpacks, personal trolleys or the bottom basket on their strollers, to hold their groceries prior to payment,” read a statement from the account.

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“Unfortunately, this has led to a misunderstanding by customers that these are banned from the store. We apologize to our customers for the confusion. The sign was taken down yesterday, and we are working with the store owner to create a sign that better explains the policy,” the statement continued.

JFAPP later updated the situation by saying the No Frills in question had taken down the signs and “cancelled” its controversial policy. The organization thanked its followers from helping spread the message before pointing out the battle is never over and that the “struggle continues”. See their full statement below:

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