A politician in Ontario, Canada has turned an otherwise innocuous condiment into a real political football. NDP MPP Taras Natyshak wants to ban the use of Heinz Ketchup at the dining room and cafeteria at Queen’s Park – the halls of power in Ontario.
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Natyshak launched a petition that demands the Speaker of Legislative Assembly of Ontario, direct Dana Hospitality to exclusively serve Leamington French’s Ketchup.
The reason behind the demand to serve only French’s Ketchup dates back to the summer of 2014 when the H.J. Heinz Co. closed its Leamington, Ontario plant, resulting in the loss of hundreds of jobs in the community. The closure also brought an end to the use of Leamington grown tomatoes in Heinz Ketchup.
About two months ago, French’s stepped up to the plate and announced that the company will be using tomatoes grown by Leamington, Ontario farmers in their ketchup product.
The petition reads:
We the undersigned petition the Legislature as follows:
Whereas supporting the Agri Food Industry is good economics, good environmental policy and social practice,
Whereas: The Ontario Legislature has a rich history of promoting Ontario products such as Craft beer, Ontario wine, fruits and vegetables and,
Whereas the ketchup being served in the dining room and cafeteria at Queen’s Park is currently not an Ontario product and,
Whereas French’s Ketchup proudly uses Tomatoes grown in Leamington Ontario, and
Whereas the promotion of French’s Ketchup would greatly support local tomato producers, local workers and communities across Essex County,
Therefore be it resolved that the Speaker direct the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, as part of its Procurement Policy direct Dana Hospitality to exclusively serve Leamington French’s Ketchup.