Canadian identity threatened by influx of Angry Whoppers
Photo by Brianna Campigotto
Canadians from Beaver Creek, Yukon, to Cape Spear, Nfld., have been taking long, deep looks into their morning coffees as news of the Burger King-Tim Hortons merger has hurtled the nation into a major identity crisis.
The merger comes at a time when Hockey Night in Canada no longer airs on the CBC, the country’s largest export is Rob Ford news stories, and pleases and thank-yous are down more than 70 per cent nationwide.
“Tim Hortons used to be a place that embodied everything about small-town Canada and quintessential Canadian values,” said Andre Deveraux, a U of O sociology student and part-time Starbucks barista. “It was the easiest answer to the question, ‘What is Canadian?’ Now it’s just another coffee chain.”
He continued, “It’s one thing when you culturally dominate our film, music, television, automotive, fast-food, news, clothing, retail chains, and technology industries, but coming after our national coffee is crossing the line.”
The Burger King-Tim Hortons merger is another sad chapter in a series of defects and defeats Canada has suffered at the hands of corporate America, on par with the departures of Wayne Gretzky, Paul Anka, the Montreal Expos, and Ryan Reynolds’ abdominals.
Rumours continue to circulate about the changes that could be coming to the Canadian institution, including the beloved “double-double” order switching from “two cream, two sugar” to “two sugar, two cream.”
“What about the health impact?” asked Deveraux. “Timbits, danishes, and honey crullers are one thing, but now I hear they’re experimenting with Reese’s cups. Where does it end?”
The menu isn’t the only cause for concern among Canadians.
“It’s a question of sovereignty,” said U of O political science professor Janet Mackenzie. “They could have sent a burger ambassador, a burger minister, or even a burger lieutenant governor, but they sent a monarch instead—a clear challenge to our national autonomy.”
“Burger King has been in Canada since 1968 and that’s ample time to learn our ways and customs,” Mackenzie added. “It’s quite possible that this corporate invasion will be so seamless that average Canadians won’t even notice it’s happened, and by then it may already be too late.”
Further research reveals that foreign operatives have been cultivating Tim Hortons for nearly two decades.
The iconic Canadian company was purchased by the Canadian-esque, if American-owned, fast food chain Wendy’s in 1995, and sold its centralized baking operation, Maidstone Bakeries, to Swiss investors in 2010. Admittedly these Swiss investors hail from a nation that shares several Canadian values, including choice of flag colours, so many will be able to at least pretend that Maidstone is still a Canadian-owned company.
Since Tim Hortons holds more than 60 per cent of the Canadian coffee market, Burger King has plans to expand the quaint Canadian company into an international coffee chain.
“It’s manifest destiny for the 21st century,” said Mackenzie. “You think you’re entering a nice Canadian store and then bam—you’re hit with an Angry American Whopper right between the eyes.”