NDP MPP Taras Natyshak calls on Queen's Park to serve French's ketchup

Essex MPP Taras Natyshak, will be tabling a petition at Queen’s Park requesting that the dining room and cafeteria at Queen’s Park switch from Heinz to French’s ketchup.

Heinz stopped ketchup production in Leamington, Ont., in 2014, while French's uses only Leamington tomatoes

In my fridge at home, it's Leamington made French's ketchup, NDP MPP Taras Natyshak said in a Facebook post. (Taras Natyshak/Facebook)

Essex NDP MPP Taras Natyshak, will table a petition at Queen's Park requesting the dining room and cafeteria at Queen's Park switch from Heinz to French's ketchup.

The petition reads:

"Therefore be it resolved that the Speaker direct the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, as part of its Procurement Policy direct Dana Hospitality to exclusively serve Leamington French's Ketchup."

H.J. Heinz Co. closed its Leamington, Ont., plant in June 2014, putting hundreds of people out of work and ending the partnership that lasted more than a century between the company and community.

The ketchup giant opened its first Canadian plant there in 1909.

Billionaire Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and its partner 3G Capital paid $23.3 billion US to buy Heinz in 2013.

Months after the deal, Heinz announced a global restructuring and multiple plant closures, including the Leamington facility, southeast of Windsor.

Enter the French's Food Company, most famous for its mustard.

Company president Elliott Penner promised in January to use only Leamington-grown tomatoes in its line of ketchup.

On Feb. 29, French's said it will triple its tomato paste made from those famous Leamington tomatoes and processed at Highbury Canco, which operates out of the former Heinz plant in Leamington.

"This is an opportunity for Queen's Park to demonstrate leadership and support local production and industry through our procurement policy.  I am asking everyone to sign the paper version of this petition which will be located through Windsor Essex County and at my constituency office as well as on my website under the Petitions tab.  I will be tabling this petition beginning next week and hope to add many signatures from across Ontario" Natyshak said in a release.

French's claimed last week that it sold out of its ketchup, not long after an Ontario man's Facebook post about the product went viral.

Brian Fernandez bought a bottle of French's ketchup in Orillia, Ont., and ended up learning a lot about a plant out in Leamington, Ont, that makes the brand's ketchup.

Fernandez wrote a Facebook post on about his made-in-Canada discovery.

Within a few days, more than 107,000 people shared his post, along with their Canadian pride. 

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