Gatineau restaurant dumps American goods in anti-Trump move
LaLa Bistro in Buckingham sector of Gatineau.
Joanne Schnurr, CTV Ottawa
Published Thursday, June 14, 2018 4:39PM EDT
A Gatineau restaurant is getting rid of its California wines and Heinz ketchup in protest over the President's anti-Canadian comments. It's a sentiment that is resonating with many across this country. If you're a bridge player, this is called the Trump card. And while this isn't a game, many Canadians are looking to make a move that will send a message south of the border.
With its whimsical decor and eye-catching color, LaLa Bistro is making a statement on the streets of Buckingham. But its impact is being felt far beyond the borders of this area of Gatineau.
Inside, this eclectric, artsy restaurant is serving up wholesome fare, but not on the menu anymore are Californian wines and anything else the restaurant owners' can ditch with a "made-in-America" stamp.
“In response to Trump?” asks one customer of her server, then gives her a fist bump.
Carole Lajeunesse is the co-owner LaLa Bistro, “We have to do something to stand up for our country,” she says, “Enough is enough.”
Comments over the last few days from both U.S. President Donald Trump, who warned that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had “learned” and that his actions were going to cost Canadians, and from White House trade advisor Peter Navarro that “there is a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with Donald J. Trump, have fuelled the desire to fight back in a calm Canadian sort of way by boycotting American goods.
“Until this is done fairly and until they fix this mess,” says LaLa Bistro customer Elaina Martin, “I don't want to be bullied and I don't want my country bullied either.”
“What President Trump is doing is wrong,” adds customer Jennifer Ogden, “and it's going to harm not only Canadians but all of North America.”
On its Facebook site, LaLa Bistro is overwhelmed with support from other businesses and residents pledging to follow suit, even coming to this restaurant to show it.
“We agree with what they're doing here,” says customer Danielle Savard, in French, “That’s why we came here to this restaurant today. Why not show our support by eating here.”
“We need more people, more businesses to stand up,” says Shannon Ogden.
Will it have an impact? Well, LaLa Bistro believes every little bit counts; even one tiny restaurant in a corner of Quebec that most Americans have never heard of, at least not until now.
“This is the way we use our strength and fight back peacefully,” says customer Elaina Martin, “Money talks, for sure.”
One Gatineau bar we spoke to said it is following LaLa Bistro's example, getting rid of American wines. And the owners have cancelled their annual golf trip down south.