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Tim’s takes hit in U.S. culture wars


August 11, 2009
By Brian Hartz



Aug. 11, 2009 – The nationwide obsession with Tim Hortons’
every move is reaching unhealthy levels. Today the doughnut and coffee giant –
and Canadian icon – is reeling from the backlash of bloggers condemning it for
its sponsorship of the upcoming “Celebrate Marriage and Family Day” in Warwick,
R.I., an event organized to rally opposition to same-sex marriage. Until it
backed out in response to criticism, Tim’s had agreed to provide free coffee to
the event’s 250 attendees, which are expected to include traditional families
and heterosexual married couples interested in renewing their vows.

Voicing displeasure with Tim Hortons’ actions is fine, and
entirely justified, but whatever happened to the time-honoured way of sending a
message via one’s pocketbook? Will any of Tim Hortons’ critics have the
willpower to boycott its products? I don’t think so. It’s easy to use the
Internet to foist your opinions on anyone with a computer, but much harder to break habits in order to hit your target where it really hurts – the bottom line.






Aug. 11, 2009 – The nationwide obsession with Tim Hortons’
every move is reaching unhealthy levels. Today the doughnut and coffee giant –
and Canadian icon – is reeling from the backlash of bloggers condemning it for
its sponsorship of the upcoming “Celebrate Marriage and Family Day” in Warwick,
R.I., an event organized to rally opposition to same-sex marriage. Until it
backed out in response to criticism, Tim’s had agreed to provide free coffee to
the event’s 250 attendees, which are expected to include traditional families
and heterosexual married couples interested in renewing their vows.


Now, these Rhode Island anti-gay-marriage folks will have to
find another source of caffeine, but here in Canada, isn’t it time to find a
different source of pride and identity? Being somewhat new to Canada, maybe I have the advantage – some might
call it ignorance – of seeing this from an outsider’s perspective, but Tim
Hortons is a business (owned, until recently, by a U.S. parent company), not a
political, social or cultural organization. I’m neither defending nor attacking its planned sponsorship of “Celebrate Marriage and Family Day,”
other than to say that given the current uproar over same-sex marriage in the
States, it was a terrible business decision.

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Voicing displeasure with Tim Hortons’ actions is fine, and
entirely justified, but whatever happened to the time-honoured way of sending a
message via one’s pocketbook? Will any of Tim Hortons’ critics have the
willpower to boycott its products? I doubt it. It’s easy to use the
Internet to foist your opinions on anyone with a computer, but much harder to
break habits in order to hit your target where it really hurts – the bottom line.

Canada, it’s time to lay to rest the obsession with Tim
Hortons. While I salute its work in achieving the status it currently enjoys
here and abroad, let it be just another business, and let more deserving
Canadian icons take their rightful place at the forefront of this great
nation’s cultural identity.


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