Timmies is a positive force in any community’s universe

Roadside litter is not the fault of the business

To the Expositor:

I am writing this as an opposition piece to the letter that Monique Dowse wrote to the Manitoulin Expositor on December 27, 2017 (‘Opposition voiced to potential Tim Horton’s in Little Current, Page 4).

I grew up in Little Current, and now I personally work at a Tim Horton’s franchise in Hamilton. (I have done just about every job for the company that there is.) From what I have read the store would be equal or bigger to the current location that I work in. We have 39 employees at my location. Fifteen are full-time (getting 32 hours a week or more), 10 are medium time (getting 20 to 32 hours a week) and 12 are part time students (anywhere from 10 to 20 hours a week, in the summer their hours increase, also two are co-op students). Our store has approximately 38 seats for people to enjoy their coffee and other items. This increases (year-round) employment opportunities for both adults and for students. Our drive through is what is called a “27 stack” meaning that 27 cars can fit in the drive thru at peak periods (I have seen locations in smaller towns such as Wiarton that have a bigger stack volume of a drive through, called a double drive through, Espanola has one).

An Island Tim Horton’s will force competition which is good for any business that is currently on the Island. Also, Tim’s is open 24/7/364 a year. I can tell you right now that snowplow operators and just general night shift workers (hospital employees etc.) love that they can get a coffee or send someone for coffees any time of the day or night to keep them going. 

As for the litter on the roads. That is not the fault of the company. It is the fault of the person who threw that cup (or whatever) out the window of their car instead of taking it home, or finding a garbage can to properly dispose of it. Also, Tim Horton’s does community clean ups more than three times a year. I have participated in them and I can tell you we pick up more than just Tim Horton’s generated garbage (one year we had a full case of empties that we donated (the money not the bottles) to the Tim Horton’s Children’s Foundation. Also, we got the community involved in the process. Or to combat litter even further, bring your own reusable mug to Horton’s (we don’t care what logo is on it) we will wash it out for you and you save $.10 and the landfills, and the environment, in the process.

Tim Horton’s also has Timbit Hockey (there is a benefit to Little Current) where the company pays for kids to learn to play hockey which is still big on Manitoulin. Also, the Tim Horton’s Children’s Foundation sends kids to camps outside of their geographical location (so kids from Manitoulin Island could possibly end up at a camp in Alberta or Nova Scotia) for two weeks. The owner of my store sends at least six kids a year that are selected by schools, community groups etc. She gets approached by teachers at the local elementary schools all the time for kids they feel would benefit from the experience. They still mentor these kids after the experience is done. Some of the kids end up becoming councillors at the camps for summer employment while attending college and university.  

When I mentioned the traffic study to the owner of my store I asked her how many traffic studies were done before the shovels even went in the ground and she replied at least four. Two by the city and two paid for by Horton’s itself. I am not as sure as to why Tim’s is a big issue for traffic when clearly if you have been to Little Current on Haweater Weekend there are other bottlenecks in the town such as the Beer Store, downtown stretch and the grocery stores across the street from each other etc. Plus, eventually the bridge is going to be replaced or moved. It can’t go west so it is going to probably end up further east on Meredith Street. 

“I for one sincerely hope that this is not approved. Why ruin a peaceful environment with this unwanted franchise? If you want to patronize Tim Horton’s go to Espanola. It would give you a break from shopping at Giant Tiger, Canadian Tire or Freshco. Or move.”

I am not sure why people have “to move.” I am not understanding why that comment was even made. Why should people have to move in order to find employment opportunities on Manitoulin Island? There is a guy (Denis Lefebvre) who wants to create jobs on the Island and any time someone wants to do something on the Island which will increase job opportunities on Manitoulin it is always met with anger or NIMBYism. 

I get that Little Current wants to keep its small-town charm. Tim Hortons is not going to destroy that. If anything, it will be integrated into the local community. The one Tim’s location in Port Dover doesn’t even look like a typical Tim’s location. In fact, if it wasn’t for the sign you would assume it was just a local mom and pop shop. 

At the end of the day if Tim’s is in fact built people will still go wherever they want. They will still patronize The Anchor, Three Cows, Elliott’s and Loco Beanz, any of the other businesses that serve coffee in Little Current, if they wish. Horton’s will not change that fact.

Neil Ballantyne