T&T CEO and Bonnie Crombie address racist tirade at Mississauga grocery store
Both Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and T&T CEO Tina Lee have spoken out following the release of a viral video that captured a racist tirade at a T&T location in Mississauga.
The video, which was recently posted to social media, shows supermarket workers asking an irate, unmasked male to leave the 715 Central Parkway West grocery store for refusing to comply with the brand's well-known mask policy.
"Racist, hurtful and divisive comments like these have no place in our city," Crombie wrote on Twitter and later echoed during a July 9 press conference.
"They’re appalling. We've gotten to where we are today by working together and listening to public health. Let's keep it up and continue to fight this as team Mississauga."
When the man was asked to either wear a mask or leave the Chinese supermarket, he dumped his items on the ground and began ranting, calling the workers communists, not Canadian, and blaming the coronavirus on the Chinese government.
The man also purported that he couldn't wear a mask due to his asthma.
"If I wear a mask, I will have an asthma attack. And these communists are all attacking us -- attacked my wife, this man pushed me," the man announced to the rest of the store. "So you're going to be in trouble. I'm gonna have the police right here at the door."
While the situation briefly looked like it would escalate to violence, the workers eventually succeeded in getting the man to leave.
Lee said that there are options for shoppers who cannot wear masks for medical reasons.
"We are troubled by the recent incident in our store and the video that has emerged on social media depicting an argument between a customer and our staff about wearing masks in our stores," Lee wrote in a statement posted to T&T's website, adding that customers with medical conditions that preclude them from wearing masks are asked approach the customer service desk so employees can do their shopping for them.
"His accusations are unacceptable in our workplace. We are a proud Canadian company employing over 5,200 Canadians across the country, and we happened to be celebrating this very fact in the stores at the time of the incident for Canada Day. These types of incidents are rare, and we believe most Canadians do not share the same view."
A Mississauga resident has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the employees targeted by the individual in the video.
"Watching this video of the T&T employees at the Mississauga, Ontario store be the subject of a racist tirade on YouTube was painful," organizer Cindy L wrote.
"'I am Canadian' was one of the employees’ defence to these hateful words. I am starting this fundraiser to raise tips for the store employees as a thank you for their hard work through this pandemic, trying to keep everyone safe."
The fundraiser has already surpassed it's $1,000 goal.
As of tomorrow (July 10), masks will mandatory in all public indoor spaces in Mississauga.
Cover photo courtesy of T&T’s official Facebook page
With files from Jonah Shinuda
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