When Loblaws Busted Santa....Some flyers, handouts, and a press release


Toronto Action for Social Change

P.O. Box 73620, 509 St. Clair Ave. W

Toronto, ON M6C 1C0

(416) 651-5800; e-mail burch@web.net

Dec. 22, 1997



Santa Claus and two elves were arrested at the Bathurst/St. Clair Loblaws store today while handing out anti-hunger literature. The trio had filled three grocery carts with non-perishable items and, since Santa has no money, donated the food directly to the food drive bin. After leaving the store interior, they were then arrested for refusing to leave the parking lot area where they had been leafletting customers and taken to 13 Division, where they were released two hours later with trespass charges.

The arrests were part of a corporate hypocrite picket protesting the fact that Loblaws and other food drive sponsors are getting good press for supporting the food drive while contributing to the problem of hunger in numerous ways: refusal to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in deferred taxes, donating to the Tories whose cuts have increased hunger, paying their CEOs million-dollar salaries.

"We hoped to show that Loblaws is making a profit off the food drive, when, after a 21% increase in third quarter profits, they should be donating directly to the hungry of this province," says Santa Claus, aka Sara Mackenzie. Two elves -- Matthew Behrens and Frank Showler -- were also arrested.

"We are disappointed that Loblaws would have anti-hunger leafletters arrested and charged on their premises during a food drive aimed at alleviating hunger," added Claus, who notes 7 squad cars were at the scene for the small protest.

An example of the flyer handed out at the store is enclosed. For more information call 651-5800.


Santa Says:

Time to Share

"Business is Business!

And business must grow

regardless of crummies in tummies, you know."

-- The Lorax, Dr. Seuss

Business is Business

Crummies in Tummies

Loblaws owes almost $40 million in deferred, unpaid taxes. Food drive sponsors Ault owes over $45 million and Domtar over $101,000,000.

506,000 children in Ontario and their families officially live in poverty.

Loblaws' third quarter profits rose by 21% in 1997.

44% of food bank recipients -- 20% of them children -- go without food at least once a week, and many must go without necessities such as winter coats to afford food.

Loblaws' parent company, Weston Industries, gave the maximum allowable contribution to the Harris Tories, whose cuts have dramatically increased hunger and homelessness.

More than 71,000 Metro children -- more than could fit in the Skydome -- live in homes needing food bank assistance.

Weston is home to one of Canada's 8 billionaires, W. Galen Weston, whose personal net worth of $1.3 billion ranks him in the group of the 50 richest Canadians. These 50 individuals' total wealth is equal to that of 5 million low-income Canadians

Welfare recipients have been told by to live on a $90 per month food budget while Weston President Richard Currie grosses approximately $116,666.66 per month.

Weston President Richard Currie makes $1.4 million a year, received a $1 million bonus in 1996, and holds $15 million in stock options.

Every time you buy food at Loblaws to donate, Loblaws makes a profit from your generosity. Given that Loblaws is the exclusive grocery chain involved in the food drive, their "charity" seems more a marketing gimmick than an attempt to end the causes of hunger.


To end hunger, we must end greed! Phone (922-2500) or fax (922-0803) Mr. Currie and demand real action to end the causes of hunger.

For more information, contact Toronto Action for Social Change at 651-5800.




Toronto Action for Social Change

P.O. Box 73620, 509 St. Clair Ave. W

Toronto, ON M6C 1C0

(416) 651-5800; e-mail burch@web.net

Dec. 19, 1997



WHEN: Monday, December 22, 1997, 12 Noon

WHERE: Loblaws, 480 St. Clair Ave. West

WHAT: Santa to demonstrate a unique form of non-profit donation to the Xmas food drive as part of a "corporate hypocrite picket."

WHY: To point out the greed and hypocrisy of corporations like Loblaws and other food drive sponsors who support the Harris Tories, fail to pay their deferred taxes, and line the pockets of their CEOs with millions

In a different kind of food drive protest, Santa and the elves will demonstrate how people without any money -- such as those from the North Pole -- can donate to the food drive this holiday season. It is intended to put the true spirit of sharing back into the holiday season.

"It's ironic that companies like Loblaws get such good PR for sponsoring the food drive, because Loblaws and other sponsors, such as Ault Foods, are supporters of the Harris Tories, whose policies continue to contribute to the dramatic rise of hunger in Ontario," says spokesperson Sarah Claus.

Members of Toronto Action for Social Change, who have been organizing corporate hypocrite pickets at Loblaws for the past two years, feel that the greed of individuals and corporations is a largely unaddressed factor when considering the issue of hunger.

"Loblaws owner Weston Industries pays its president $1.5 million a year, over $50,000 each biweekly paycheque, while thousands of kids in this province do not get enough to eat. We need to ask why that imbalance exists," says Claus.

TASC believes Loblaws makes a profit off the food drive and that, rather than relying on the good will of its customers year after year to fill donation bins with food purchased at its stores, should show community responsibility to eliminate the causes of hunger: individual and corporate greed. TASC has been involved in numerous anti-hunger protests; 16 of its members were acquitted earlier this year of criminal mischief following arrests for planting vegetable gardens at Queen's Park.

For more information call 651-5800.



"Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice that make philanthropy necessary." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.


How many hungry people in Ontario could be fed with $200 million?

As the season of sharing is once again upon us, and so many in our midst face hunger and homelessness, we are all called to share what we have with those in need. But as Dr. King points out, we should also be asking why poverty exists in the first place, and one major factor is the greed of corporations and corporate heads who refuse to share their resources.

Why $200 million? That's the amount of deferred (unpaid) taxes owed by three corporate sponsors of the Xmas Food drive (Loblaws, Domtar and Ault Foods) added to the stock options of President Richard Currie, Weston Industries (which owns Loblaws). Perhaps if they spread this wealth around a bit, we wouldn't have so much hunger in Ontario to begin with. Both Loblaws and Ault were major supporters of the Harris Tories as well, whose cutbacks have further increased the level of human misery inthis province.


Domtar $101,000,000 (deferred taxes owing as of 1994)

Ault $45,231,000 ((deferred taxes owing as of 1995)

Loblaws $39,700,000 (deferred taxes owing as of 1994)

Richard Currie $15,000,000 (value of his stock options, 1996)

Total $200,931,000

"Deferred taxes are really tax breaks Ottawa has provided to business over the years in allowing them to write off their plant and equipment at artificially fast rates. Since the taxes are almost never paid, the money amounts to an interest-free loan from Ottawa, without any collateral required or any due date." -- Linda McQuaig, Behind Closed Doors


1. Join Santa and the Elves at the Loblaws Corporate Hypocrite Picket Monday, December 22, 12 noon, at 480 St. Clair Ave. W (steps from the St. Clair W. subway)

2. Support the work of organizations building alternative, non-profit solutions to the crisis of hunger.

3. Phone (922-2500) or fax (922-0803) Richard Currie with your concerns. We have written numerous letters, all unanswered, to Mr. Currie, inviting a dialogue on sharing the wealth (personal and corporate) of this province.

For more information contact the End Hunger Division of Toronto Action for Social Change at (416) 651-5800.



Will the executives of Loblaws and parent company Weston Industries be sharing their millions in salary and stock options with the hungry during this season's food drive? Come to Loblaws and find out!


Join Santa Claus and the Elves for a Seasonal Corporate Hypocrite Picket and Non-profit Example of Sharing

Monday, December 22, 12 noon-1 pm

Loblaws, 480 St Clair Ave. W

(steps from the St. Clair West Subway, just east of Bathurst Street)

This holiday season, as the Harris government cutbacks continue to force yet more people into long lineups at food banks, we encourage you to give what you can to help, but to also look at why hunger exists in the first place: individual and corporate greed, and a refusal to share the resources of our province.

Loblaws gets good PR points as a corporate sponsor of the food drive, but their corporate practices contribute to the problem. Loblaws, which owes some $40 million in deferred taxes and contributed the maximum amount to the Tories' election campaign, saw third quarter 1997 profits rise a staggering 21%. A chunk of that money goes to pay Richard Currie, the president of Weston Industries (which owns Loblaws), $1.4 million a year (or a biweekly gross paycheque of $53,846.15), Currie's recent million-dollar bonus, and Currie's $15 million in stock options. That's the kind of dough that could feed hungry mouths all year round!

Join us to call on Loblaws to stop profiting off the food drive, to show real community accountability, and to help end the causes of hunger in Ontario.

For more information call Toronto Action for Social Change at 651-5800.

Oh, and have a greed-free holiday and new year!

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