On our way back from a lovely family afternoon out at the local streetcar museum, we hit up a McDonald’s for a quick bit of dinner on our way home. There we found a new promotion:
So far so blah.
But then I looked closer:
I’m upgrading my phone shortly, so hopefully you won’t have to suffer such poor-quality images in the future. But for now, allow me to transcribe:
“Not valid with any other offer. At participating McDonald’s restaurants in Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic Canada, Alberta, Northwest Territories and Lloydminster, SK.”
First: What is Atlantic Canada? I know it’s a colloquial designation for the four Eastern provinces (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador), but I didn’t expect to see it referenced in legalese at the bottom of promotional copy. Apparently the term is semi-legitimate, as there is an official arm of the federal government called the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency/Agence de promotion économique du Canada atlantique. Neat.
Second: Oh good, Quebec gets the promotion, too. Quebec gets left out of many things advertised to the whole of Canada because of stricter laws governing gambling (including sweepstakes. Tim Hortons has to bend over backwards to make Roll Up the Rim To Win work there) and advertising (especially to children).
Third: What did Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, and the other two territories (Yukon and Nunavut) do to be left out? Nunavut seems obvious: there are no McDonald’s restaurants there. But there’s at least two golden arches in Whitehorse, and scads in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and BC. Must be some sort of legal something.
And that brings us to the titular mystery: Why, of all of Saskatchewan, is Lloydminster spared? Is it the one city where there’s competition? Is it to do with that urban legend about an older burger restaurant in Western Canada someplace that was called McDonald’s first? Is it because it’s licensed under a special food services employer contract that….
It’s because Lloydminster Saskatchewan is here:
It straddles the border between the provinces Alberta and Saskatchewan. Alberta has the McDonald’s promotion. Saskatachewan doesn’t. Lloydminster, AB has two McDonald’s restaurants. Lloydminster, SK has one. It would be unfair to deny the Albertan restaurants the promotion, and unfair to exclude the Saskatechewanian restaurant. So what is McDonald’s to do?
They have to add a rider on their promotion to all corners of the Great White North that proclaims that there is one city (barely) in Saskatchewan in which you can partake of a five dollar meal deal.