McDonald’s Canada still fighting to change junk food reputation

The first Canadian McDonald's restaurant opened in Richmond, B.C. in 1967.The head of McDonald’s Canada wants you to know one thing as the Golden Arches prepares to mark their golden anniversary. “I will tell you straight out that the reputation we have for food is absolutely unfair, unrealistic and a total . . . fill in the blank,” president and CEO John Betts says, slamming his hand on a table during a recent interview. “It’s baloney.” Next year, McDonald’s will mark 50 years in Canada, an important milestone for a company that continues to fight a reputation for unhealthy eating. Since taking the helm of the Canadian operations eight years ago, Betts still finds himself trying to stop critics from using McDonald’s as an example of where not to eat. It’s an effort he sees as critical if the fast-food giant is to thrive at a time when Canadians are more nutrition-conscious. Known for its signature Big Macs and shoestring french fries, McDonald’s seems to be constantly overhauling its menu in an effort to satisfy customers’ preferences for healthier and more local choices. More