Tim Horton's Truck
flickr photo shared by scazon under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

It used to be that whenever I travelled internationally, the first thing I would do upon arriving back in Canada is head straight for the nearest Tim Horton’s and grab a large coffee, one and a half cream, one and a half sugar.  When I was on the road a lot, if you wanted to find me, you would need to look no further than a Tim Horton’s in whatever city I was holed up at the time.

Tim’s is a Canadian icon, and is spreading worldwide.  They have a few select locations in the US, had a store in Kandahar while Canadian troops were deployed in Afghanistan.  They have 19 stores in the Middle East, including Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.

The Middle East, of course, is known to be oil-rich territory, and, as such, the countries are very prosperous.  These countries are also very severe dictatorships.  Saudi Arabia is known to be one of the most oppressive regimes around, with a religious police force that has been reportedly allowed school girls to die in a fire rather than allow them to escape because they were “not properly covered.”

Tim Horton’s is perfectly willing to do business in locales such as this; and as far as I’m concerned, such business decisions are based on economics rather than politics.  Tim Horton’s can’t save the world.  It isn’t their aim to save the world either – their aim is to make money by selling coffee.

This week, coincidentally the day after their annual fundraiser, Camp Day, Tim Horton’s twitter feed announced they had cancelled the fourth week of a 4-week advertising campaign bought and paid for by Enbridge Pipeline.   This cancellation was in response to a twitter, email and online petition sponsored by SumOfUs where people, most of whom never buy coffee at Tim Horton’s anyway, sent tweets critiquing Tim Horton’s for allowing a “crappy tar sands company” to advertise on their internal TV channel.

And Tim Horton’s caved in.

Oil and Gas, love it or hate it, is a cornerstone of Alberta’s economy.  People who work in the oil and gas sector are highly trained, professional, and hard-working people, all of whom, being Canadian, love their Tim Horton’s coffee.  These are the hands that feed Tim Horton’s.  And, by caving to pressure from the Starbuck’s Latte Crowd, Tim Horton’s has, first of all, enabled these activists (many of whom drive gas-powered cars, use petroleum-based plastic products, eat food transported by gas/diesel-powered trucks) in their campaign to damage our economy, all in the name of junk science and political activism.

In short, Tim Horton’s bit the hand that feeds them.  Because the message Tim Horton’s has sent is this:

If you scream loud enough, we will bow to your wishes, hoping that you’ll go away and leave us alone.

This, make no mistake, is a bullying campaign on the part of the those who want to control the rest of us.  They will use whatever tactics they can to shut down companies they don’t like, market sectors they deem to be “not good enough” for their ideology, and industries that they find easy to scapegoat.

Yes.  Scapegoat.

One of the best ways to gain power is to find someone to blame for the ills of the society.  We saw it happen in Europe during the Great Depression (the Jews).  We see it happen in the Middle East (Down with America), and we see it happen here (Big Oil, Multinational Corporations, Big Money, etc.)  It’s not “us”, they say, “we are not to blame.  We are being kept ‘down’ by Them.  They want to exploit us.  They want to keep us from success.  They want to rape us.”  And so on.

And Tim Horton’s bowed down to them.

And I cannot support that.  You do not stop a bully by doing what they want you to do.  You stop a bully by standing up to them.  You get in the bully’s face and you resist.  You push back.  Hard, fast, and you show the bully for what they are:  a coward.  When you do that, the bully loses their power.

And this is how you deal with these activists.

I call on you, my reader, to join me in this.  If you want a coffee, or a sandwich, or a hot chocolate, help send a message to Tim Horton’s that you, like me, will not stand for enabling and caving in to bullies, by hitting Tim Horton’s where it hurts – on the bottom line.

Join me; and  boycott Tim Horton’s.

Oh, and if, after reading this, you still don’t get it, or don’t agree with me, then you really and truly never will.

Steven Britton Deep Stuff, My Stuff, Opinion

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