Canadians have a new rule that they want everyone in the country (and around the world) to start following: Stop associating Tim Hortons with Canada.
Stop calling it a symbol of Canadian identity. Stop the lie that all Canadians still love it. Because the truth of the matter is, it isn’t even Canadian anymore.
It used to be Canadian-owned and operated. But when Brazilian firm 3G Capital, (which also owns Burger King) bought it out in 2014, Tim Hortons became a fully foreign brand. Since then, Canadians stopped identifying with the coffee shop, even though its name belongs to a full-fledged Canadian hockey legend.
More than this, a series of scandals involving the mistreatment of employees and the slashing of their benefits worsened the brand’s already tarnished reputation, with several people calling their recent behaviours very un-Canadian.
Want to trigger Canadians? Call Timmies Canadian
Harjit Sajjan, the Canadian Minister of National Defence, shared a photo on Twitter in which he is standing inside a Tim Hortons restaurant in Latvia.
“Few things are more Canadian than sharing a cup of Tim Hortons coffee with friends,” he writes as the caption:
Few things are more Canadian than sharing a cup of Tim Hortons coffee with friends @RaimondsBrg / Peu de choses sont plus canadiennes que de partager une tasse de café @TimHortons avec des amis @RaimondsBrg ☕️🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/LvkA2XiyUu— Harjit Sajjan (@HarjitSajjan) July 10, 2018
Sajjan probably thought that the Tim Hortons photo was a “sure bet” for appealing to Canadian pride. But it ended up having the exact opposite effect.
Canadians were clearly offended by Sajjan’s promotion of the brand and proceeded to flood his feed with acid-tongued responses. They also accused him of unfairly “endorsing one private company over another” for political purposes.
How is drinking coffee grown in another country from a foreign owned company at all Canadian. Maybe give a locally owned cafe some business.— Richard Campbell (@wrychrd) July 11, 2018
Tried Second Cup? It’s an actual Canadian coffee company— Dr Doug aka Douglas Hunter (@DWHauthor) July 11, 2018
Exactly how much is Tim Hortons paying you for your endorsement? Personally I find it utterly ridiculous to have someone in a government office to be endorsing one private company over another. Mostly I find it condescending that you feel the need to tell me what Canadiana is.— Charlie Plante (@charlieplante80) July 11, 2018
Actually there are hundreds of things more Canadian. 🇨🇦— Mel (@gotgranola) July 11, 2018
There’s nothing Canadian about Tim Horton’s anymore. Their parent company is Brazilian owned— Andy Pelipiak🇨🇦 (@apelipiak) July 11, 2018
Stop turning terrible private companies into national symbols— bitchy ban noodle cup (@CDangerC) July 10, 2018
They treat their employees like crap.— ᴎiwbƎ (@edwinmundt) July 10, 2018
You know Tim Hortons hasn't been Canadian in years, right? And their franchises have been fighting minimum wage increase for years?— Rob Bieber Ⓥ🌈 (@rob_bieber) July 11, 2018
Oh do be serious. Tim Hortons is owned by a Brazilian conglomerate. They are horrible to their staff and their coffee sucks. There is nothing Canadian about Tim Hortons.— Rae Deeton5 (@Rae0014) July 11, 2018
Your right Canadians enjoy sharing coffee with friends, the vast majority of us avoid @TimHortons because it's simply not a Canadian company any longer, and should not be advertised by the Canadian Government especially considering how they treat their employees.— Redaxela76 (@carpe_diem_ppl) July 12, 2018
I hate timmies coffee it tastes bitter it causes heart burn. I love McDonalds coffee. Its smooth tastes good and consistency is there. Timmies lack it— Meaghan Lenning (@Megsixo88) July 11, 2018
Tim Horton's coffee sucks. Stop that lie about Canadians loving it.— ChupaPlata (@tucannaco) July 11, 2018
Sorry, Tim Hortons. You’ve lost your people.