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If the Harper government approves Burger King’s takeover of Tim Hortons, four out of five cups of coffee in Canada will be purchased from a U.S. company. (Ben Nelms/Bloomberg)
If the Harper government approves Burger King’s takeover of Tim Hortons, four out of five cups of coffee in Canada will be purchased from a U.S. company. (Ben Nelms/Bloomberg)

THE CONVERSATION

Aug. 30: This week’s Talking Point – Burger King’s takeover of Tim Hortons – plus letters to the editor Add to ...

Burger King’s takeover of Tim Hortons has readers, print and digital, digesting what foreign control would mean in the land of double-doubles. ‘National identity? Would you like fries with that, Canada?’ asks an ex-pat reader

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Now Canadians can’t even run a coffee shop?

Richard Seymour, Brechin, Ont.

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I gave up on Tim Hortons long ago. The icon has become too closely associated with the Harper and Ford brothers voting demographic. I do not enjoy political flavour with my coffee.

I would also challenge the size of the supposed dominance of Tims (no apostrophe!) in the market. In Ottawa, a local chain, Bridgehead, is heavily patronized by discriminating imbibers. Perhaps there are similar operations in other regions.

I shed no tears about Tim being swallowed by the Whopper.

Ian Guthrie, Ottawa

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After U.S.-based Burger King’s acquisition of Tim Hortons, could a start be made to undermining the anti-tax culture that has been so effectively fostered by the subtler fans of “small government” – those who have heeded Milton Friedman’s advice to “starve the beast” – by getting members of the public to see tax avoidance for what it is: a legally protected form of freeloading.

Alistair M. Macleod, Kingston

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National identity? Would you like fries with that, Canada?

Frances Cochrane, Seattle (formerly Calgary)

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RRRoll Up The Rug: Hands off my Timmys! It’s been Tim-love ever since my dad took me for my first Timbit in the late 1970s.

You can just bet that after this deal goes through, someone will louse up a good thing. What do Brazilians know from doughnuts? Eh? Feh!

Gilda Stern, Montreal

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Another icon, Canadian Tire, frequently displays for sale large pictures of Canadian events. Not long ago, one such picture in a major Toronto store featured four hockey players. Two players were identified; one, Tim Horton, was not. I was shocked.

Think of the money they lost – maybe. Essentially Canadian? What’s the moral? And I wonder what the man himself would have thought of this?

Jean Smith, Toronto

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We’re looking forward to having Tim Hortons in St. Louis, Mo.

My first taste of Tim Hortons came in Erie, Pa., in December, 2008. A nice, warm bowl of chicken noodle soup, a glazed doughnut and a cup of hot tea.

Eric Bueneman, Hazelwood, Mo.

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The flashy front-page images of a fatty sugar treat and a salty, red-meat sandwich made me uncomfortable when I realized these two icons symbolize the worst of the unhealthy, modern North American diet.

Karl Raab, Vancouver

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I wish they would go back to making a good variety of fresh doughnuts.

Martin Rainbow, Toronto

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Tim Hortons assures us it is joining a global company, and asserts its commitments to Canadians. It states it is “privileged to have such a place in our community and in our guests’ lives.” I’m unsure who these guests are. Is the term “guests” a euphemism meaning its customers, or does it refer to its global partners, to be headquartered in Canada?

Bob Tilton, Oakville, Ont.

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Tim Hortons, don’t ever change, sweetheart.

Nicki Sullivan, Halifax

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Canada is more than snow, Rob Ford and Tim Hortons. I like Tim Hortons but I wouldn’t care if they all closed tomorrow.

Lukas Dettlinger, Windsor, Ont.

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I’m a small business person in Nova Scotia and I do my best to avoid chains of any kind in favour of local business. I don't drink tea or coffee.

That said, I do take the kids to Tims because of its tremendous support of minor hockey and soccer. Their grassroots support makes them almost feel local, so they are my one exception.

I’m hoping Burger King leaves this part of their business alone.

Jennifer MacLeod, Halifax

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I fell in love with my soulmate over a cup of tea and a muffin; to this day I replay every moment in my head.

It was my first trip to Canada and he introduced me to Tim Hortons. It was love at first sight for me, for the love of my life and my fondness for Tim Hortons.

Lucinda Jensen, Ogden, Utah

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Re Doughnuts Go Deeper Than Potash (editorial, Aug. 26): What a silly premise! If I had piles of money, I could start another doughnut company. But can we replace our natural resources, such as potash, or replenish the oil we take from the tar sands? No! Your whole argument is wrong.

Patricia Margetts, Dundas, Ont.

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Tim and Wendy made for poor bedfellows. What are the odds for Tim and the King?

Jake Rogers, Edmonton

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ON REFLECTION Letters to the editor

Aboriginal responsibilities

Re An Inquiry Is Legitimacy (Aug. 29): Sadly, if Matthew Coon Come, Grand Chief of the Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee, had read the two inspired opinions that appeared beside his tired woe-is-me contribution, he would have had an effective answer to his perennial complaint (Are Native Leaders Ready To Be Part Of The Solution?; You Can’t Just Denounce Ottawa – Aug. 29).

With maturity comes responsibility. It’s time for our aboriginal leaders to grow up.

Marshall Pollock, Toronto

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Don’t shun an inquiry

Jeffrey Simpson makes interesting points about the causes and rates of violence against aboriginal women and girls, but these points would be all the stronger were they to come from an official inquiry (Posturing Is The Only Reason For An Inquiry – Aug. 27).

His argument that premiers and opposition leaders want an inquiry “without any clear idea of what such an inquiry could uncover” is downright weird. Knowing the outcome in advance makes the need for an inquiry moot, discovering new insights is a reason to have one.

Benjamin Shinewald, Toronto

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uOttawa went too far

Re Allan Rock Replies (letter – Aug. 27): Allan Rock has got it wrong again. To penalize everyone participating in the University of Ottawa’s men’s hockey program – to generalize the punishment to catch within its net people who did nothing wrong – is unethical.

By that reasoning, it would be entirely justifiable to suspend the whole of the University of Ottawa, and suspend Mr. Rock himself from his job as uOttawa’s president.

Daryl Collard, Victoria

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Have to know it to teach it

Re Ontario Pupils’ Math Scores Tumble (Aug. 28): Most elementary school teachers are woefully unequipped to cope with teaching math, given how few of them have university degrees, or even courses for that matter, in the subject.

The school at which I work teaches the Singapore Math curriculum, and when we looked for a lead teacher, found that out of almost 100 applicants, just three had a degree in the subject.

Fortunately, we were just looking for one.

Adam de Pencier, Trafalgar Castle School, Whitby, Ont.

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