Doughnut drama in Canada


While Americans endure the impeachment drama in our nation’s capital, Canadians are embroiled in a controversy of their own. Doughnutgate.

It’s true. Our neighbors to the north are up in arms about a photo of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leaving a Winnipeg bakery with what appeared to be seven boxes of doughnuts.


Just to be clear, Trudeau did this to himself. He’s the one who sent out the photo.

“Picked up some of Winnepeg’s best to keep us going through another full day of Cabinet meetings,” he tweeted. “Thanks for the fuel, @OhDoughnuts. #shoplocal” The doughnut shop was happy about the free publicity.

“We can confirm he carried these out the door,” the shop tweeted. “Pretty sure Health Canada would agree everything is okay in moderation.”

Some folks thought it was great the prime minister would go to the trouble of promoting a local business.

Others, though, found the purchase to be a bit extravagant. After all, the shop says its “regular” doughnuts go for more than $2 apiece (almost $3 apiece in Canadian dollars). And the shop’s “specialty” doughnuts go for even more.

One Twitter user pointed out the prime minister could have picked up a dozen doughnuts at Canadian restaurant chain Tim Horton’s for less than half what he paid at Oh Doughnuts.

“Just another elitist selfie moment,” that Twitter user complained.

Others accused Trudeau of setting a bad example.

“I don’t see doughnuts as part of the new Canada food guide you pushed down our throats just a few months ago,” one woman tweeted. “Did you use your own credit card for this?”

Oh Doughnuts defended itself, pointing out that its doughnuts were made using locally produced ingredients and that its employees all earned more than minimum wage.

“Our pricing reflects our respect for our employees, the environment and our commitment to quality, local goods,” it said.

The shop said it appreciated the prime minister’s business on a cold January day.

Most of the criticism was directed at Trudeau.

Some questioned his work ethic.

“Canadians would like to know,” one tweeted. “Exactly what does a ‘full day’ mean to you? Three hours? Four?”

Another critic observed that he had attended a few important business meetings in his day.

“We normally sent the new guy, or the least useful guy, to go get the coffee and doughnuts while we worked,” he tweeted. “Seems like nothing has changed. …” And then there was this.

“Finally, a job he’s qualified for,” one man tweeted. “Uber Eats delivery.”

The critics got little sympathy from south of the border.

“Dear God,” one Twitter user said, “If you want a president to complain about, please come to the U.S. We’d trade our issues for yours in a second! Count yourself lucky.”

Some offered a trade: “You get Trump. We get Trudeau.”

Others defended the prime minister.

“Canadians really worried about this?” one asked. “America would love to have such a generous president. No judgement, but treasure your leaders when they are good. And Justin is a good man, dang it!”

Americans, meanwhile, find themselves entranced or disgusted by the drama playing out in the U.S. Senate.

We know how it will turn out. The president will be acquitted, and the two sides will return their attention to this year’s election.

Our only uncertainty is the final vote. Will members of either party break ranks? Does it matter?

We watch the proceedings, or we ignore them. And we yearn for a time when we, too, might get riled up over a few boxes of doughnuts.

Kelly Hawes

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