Bill Morneau dons shoes from Edmonton’s Poppy Barley for budget day

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WATCH ABOVE: Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau will wear a pair of shoes from Edmonton company Poppy Barley to present the government's budget. Caroline Gault dropped by Global News Morning to talk about what it means for the local shoemaker – Mar 21, 2017

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau will wear a pair of shoes from Edmonton company Poppy Barley when he tables the federal government’s budget on Wednesday.

Caroline Gault, Poppy Barley director of content and community, said the minister’s office contacted the luxury leather shoemaker about 10 days ago about getting involved in the annual ritual.

“He selected the ‘Edmonton Oxford’ — we name all our men styles after the major cities in Canada — so this makes it even more of an Edmonton story that it was the ‘Edmonton Oxford.'”

The black Edmonton Oxford is described as their “classiest, dressiest shoe,” made with calf leather and has lockstitch soles.

“So we shipped it out to him last week and then he wore them yesterday at the press event and will wear them tomorrow for the budget announcement,” Gault said while speaking with Global TV’s Mike Sobel Tuesday morning.

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Canada’s federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau takes part in the pre-budget ceremony of putting on new shoes at the Nelson Mandela Park Public School in Toronto, Monday March 20, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

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Poppy Barley was chosen because it’s a female-founded, Canadian business that showcases innovation in the e-commerce space by being the first company in North America to offer custom-made fashion boots online, and believes in ethical and transparent manufacturing.

“I think it says we’re doing something right, I guess,” Gault said. “It was very exciting to have that incoming discovery and pitch from them.

“We are absolutely honoured and thrilled and you just can’t buy that kind of exposure and validation, so it was a very exciting day yesterday.”

Morneau tweeted a photo of the press event, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau re-tweeted to his three million followers.

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Gault said the social media reaction has been “insane.” She said the company had notifications coming in on Twitter every one to two minutes all day long. She said the company’s daily website traffic also increased by 300 per cent on Monday.

While Poppy Barley is known for its custom work, Moreau has a standard size 12 foot and was able to order a ready-made pair of the Edmonton Oxford style for $250, instead of a custom pair which costs $398.

Poppy Barley was founded in 2012 by sisters Kendall and Justine Barber with the help of Startup Edmonton. It initially offered custom-made women’s boots. It later expanded to flats, ankle boots and leather bags, and in 2015 began making men’s footwear.

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