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