This is a scandal? That’s adorable

Photo by Cindy Colford
Photo by Cindy Colford

During the recent Liberal Caucus retreat in Winnipeg, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was photographed picking up several dozen doughnuts from a local business called Oh Doughnuts. Almost immediately, there was an apparent backlash against Trudeau for purchasing doughnuts at the specialty bakery rather than from Tim Hortons. The complaints centered on the PM’s spending taxpayer money on fancy, expensive doughnuts, rather than from a Canadian institution like Timmy’s.  There were cries that he was an elitist, he was out of touch, un-Canadian, and fiscally irresponsible.

Tim Hortons is perceived to be as Canadian as the Mounties, Canadian Tire money, and comparably laughable scandals. While Tim Hortons may have started out as a Canadian company, it is now majority-owned by a Brazilian hedge company. The arguments against Trudeau kind of fell apart once supporters of Oh Doughnuts came to its defence. Oh Doughnuts is locally owned and operated with two locations. They use locally-sourced ingredients and offer their employees a living wage. Meanwhile, Tim Hortons has also been under fire recently for its poor labour standards, locking out employees, and its poor environmental record.

In short order, the social media posts could be divided into a few different streams: Pro-Timmy’s, Pro-Oh Doughnuts, and “Really?” The pro-Timmy’s faction were outraged that the Prime Minister used taxpayer money to pay as much as $47 per dozen for premium doughnuts. In fact, it was likely much less because they got a discount because they ordered in advance and didn’t get any specialty or premium doughnuts. It was also apparently Trudeau, and not taxpayers, who paid. The customers and fans of Oh Doughnuts came to their defence. The defenders also seemed to frame the argument as one of favouring small businesses over large corporations. The third, and by far largest faction were those who were annoyed that, with everything else happening in the world, it had even become an issue. Global News even went as far as to create a poll which asked “Should the PM have bought Tim Hortons instead?” A shocking 13,413 people responded to the poll. 7.2% said ‘Yes’, 41.4% said ‘No’, and 51.4% said ‘Don’t care’. Media both nationally and internationally picked up on the story, even going as far as a segment on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”. The general consensus among those stories was this so-called scandal paled in comparison to those being experienced in other countries (such as the impeachment of President Donald Trump, Brexit, Coronavirus, etc.).

I have lived in Winnipeg for a few years now and I can attest that Oh Doughnuts are amazing. They have a variety of interesting and creative flavours, as well as several gluten-friendly and vegan options. Unfortunately for me, as a result of this whole “scandal”, Oh Doughnuts has been selling out even earlier every day since the media latched onto it. This means that there are fewer doughnuts for me. I’m not saying that Tim Horton’s doughnuts aren’t good, it’s just like comparing hamburger to steak, or fish sticks to smoked salmon. Not necessarily better, just different. With this publicity, I’m sure that Tim Horton’s has possibly seen an increase in business with those who are not Trudeau supporters and are buying their doughnuts to “own the libs”.

facebook This is a scandal? That’s adorable. The Oh Doughnuts Scandal

Twitter Doughnutgate. This is a scandal? That’s adorable.

6 thoughts on “This is a scandal? That’s adorable

  1. What a great article! Fortunately for me I was able to completely miss this “scandal” in the news! Im sure if I did see it, however, I would be within the 51.4% of people that don’t care. Im glad you brought light to a subject like this, something that is so ridiculous and obscene being put under the microscope for everyone to nit pick at. The joys of social media! Everyone can get ahold of pretty much everything and then voice their opinion on it. I agree with your point that this unimportant event made news while other major things are happening in the world (Coronavirus, Trump). Sometimes I think articles like this are used as a distraction in order to make the world forget about the bigger things happening else where.
    I looked up Oh Doughnuts and OH BOY do they look good- jealous you get to experience them and TOTALLY understand why Trudeau decided to support them- I also love what the overall company stands for! At least at the end of all of this a small local business made news, and is flourishing now for it. Yay for them!
    Well written and easy to follow article, and a conversation starter!
    Great read!

  2. This was great!! I hadn’t heard about this “scandal” I sure wish I could try some of those doughnuts though. Sad that this is what some people focus on. Can’t please everyone.

  3. oh gosh, I’m so glad you wrote about this!! Since I saw this story in the news I’ve been legitimately dumbfounded that this was even newsworthy! (Don’t let me get my conspiracy theory cap on… LOL)
    Coming from Winnipeg, I’ve also tried Oh Doughnuts, and they are AMAZING. There’s a reason they sell out everyday and frequently have long lines! They’re a great business, and I’m glad they’ve been benefitting from this “scandal.”

  4. Love your title and I agree with tmoher, I would really like to try one of those doughnuts! I hadn’t heard of this in the news, but hope that Oh Doughnuts got a lot of press out of this and more customers.

  5. Loved your article. The fact that this was a scandal is just ridiculous. Just because he is the Prime Minister of Canada doesn’t mean that he has to only have Tim Hortons. There are bigger things to worry about in the world. This scandal is not something that should be considered a scandal.

  6. I think that the only one to really lose out on this was Bronuts, another specialty bakery in Winnipeg. They also have fancy doughnuts, and they’re also really good. Unfortunately, they didn’t get any publicity.

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