Tag Archives: Canadian Tire

Canadian Tire still doesn’t wave the flag in Quebec

Canadian Tire’s Quebec flyer for this week: Mentions Canada Day, but no Canadian flag on sale

I guess we should be used to it: Canadian Tire is still downplaying its Canadianness in Quebec.

I wrote about this a year ago when someone spotted that the chain was running different flyers inside and outside this province, with the ones inside the province being noticeably less patriotic. At the time, the company said it wasn’t hiding its Canadianness in Quebec, even though the bilingual flyer outside the province had “Canada Day” on it and the one inside didn’t.

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Canadian Tire not so Canadian in Quebec

Canadian Tire bilingual flyers for Ontario and Quebec

It’s the latest chapter in Canadian companies playing down their Canadian-ness in Quebec. (Remember when Tim Hortons cups here didn’t have maple leaves on them?)

For this week’s flyer, Canadian Tire produced different versions for Quebec and the rest of the country. This is partly because the flyer is for a week starting June 24, and the flyers in Quebec can’t show Friday specials since stores were closed in Quebec on Friday.

But there’s also that big special on a $10 Canadian flag. It’s not in the Quebec flyer, not even on the back page. And while the bilingual flyer on the left (for Alexandria, Ont.) notes that the specials are for Canada Day, the one on the right doesn’t mention it.

Maybe there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for this. The Quebec flyer covers both the Fête nationale and the run up to Canada Day, so maybe Canadian Tire didn’t want to be seen favouring one holiday over the other. The inside pages reference both holidays at the top. And you’ll notice the product shots in Quebec have Quebec flags in the background.

Or maybe, like Tim Hortons, Canadian Tire thought it was best to play down Canadian patriotism so it doesn’t piss off the separatists.

Montrealer Ted Duskes, who spotted this, writes:

Talk about pandering. This is the second year in a row that they have pulled a similar “disappearing flag act”.

Are they really “Canadian Tire” or are they planning a name change to go along with the missing “Canadian Tire” that they have removed from their red triangular logo. Maybe the new logo is blue, with a fleur-de-lys, but only for Quebec.

They really know how to annoy a 45 year (formally) loyal customer.

I’ve contacted Canadian Tire to ask for an explanation. Here’s what I got back from Communications Manager Sébastien Bouchard:

Canadian Tire has a long history in Canada, including Quebec, and we are proud to be a true Canadian retailer. Our country spans from sea to sea and, like other retailers, our customer marketing vehicles vary from one region to another. This year, in Québec we decided to use a red background with white maple leafs to create a color theme that clearly reflects the Canada Day long weekend. True to our roots, this year’s flyer was definitely designed to celebrate life in this great country of ours.

In other words, a non-answer.

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Sharx: Canada’s credit hell

Sharx Pool Bar at Ste. Catherine and Guy

Sharx Pool Bar at Ste. Catherine and Guy

Sharx, a pool/bowling bar on Ste. Catherine St. W.,  has a reputation as an elegant, relaxing place to spend an evening and have fun with your friends. It’s a perennial favourite in the Mirror’s Best of Montreal under the “best pool hall” category, which it won again this year.

But thanks to an article in the New York Times on Sunday, it now has the additional honour of being the most credit-unfriendly place in Canada.

It’s not Sharx’s fault, but apparently, according to a study done in 2002 based off data from Canadian Tire credit cards, 47% of people who used their cards here missed a credit card payment over the next 12 months. That’s higher than anywhere else in the country.

(Of course, this only applies to people who use Canadian Tire credit cards at Sharx. Perhaps those who use cash or bank-issued cards are more trustworthy with credit?)

Thankfully, such fine-tuned criticism of people’s credit card histories isn’t the norm (yet), because of concern from the industry that people might resent the companies knowing so much about them.

Especially when they can’t always be trusted with that data.