A Tim Hortons in Calgary has pulled a doughnut decorated like a poppy after an outcry on social media.
The uproar began when a Calgary Twitter account Crackmacs posted a photo of the doughnut with the caption: “‘Poppy’ themed donuts a local Tim Hortons is selling. No profits going to any kind of charity. Thoughts?”
People soon did begin sharing their thoughts, and plenty were upset that the franchise was using the poppy without permission. “I think it’s disrespectful to try and monetize Remembrance Day,” wrote one Twitter user.
However, John Rathwell, the general manager of the Calgary Poppy Fund and Veterans’ Food Bank, says he hopes no one gets into too much trouble over the doughnut.
“It was all good intentions, I understand. Nobody was out to hurt anybody,” Rathwell told the Canadian Press.
However, he was quick to note that the poppy is a trademarked symbol, and one that is considered sacred to many. “The poppy symbol is a registered trademark and permission should be asked,” he said. He explained that in situations like this, it’s best to partner with an official veterans’ organization to raise money for charity.
Tim Hortons has since put out a statement about the doughnut: “The restaurant owner, who independently owns and operates this restaurant in Calgary, will be matching and donating 100 per cent of the poppy donut proceeds to the Royal Canadian Legion.”
As for Rathwell, while he doesn’t approve of the doughnut, he appreciates the effort to commemorate Remembrance Day. ” I thought somebody taking that initiative during this time of remembrance is an admirable thing.”