Ottawa Farmers' Market turned into shit show — City technocrats screw farmers big-time

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THE Ottawa Farmers' Market has become a beloved shopping experience at Lansdowne over the years.

It is therefore very unfortunate how the City of Ottawa is destroying this beloved Lansdowne Park Market experience and institution with both shocking and bizarre discriminatory policies.

It has become apparent during this pandemic that there is one set of rules for businesses owned by billionaires and another set of rules for farmers and other small business enterprises.

The coronavirus has exposed disparities of power between billionaire owners and struggling independent farmers which manifest in how local government treats these two groups.

The result is the implementation of rules and regulations during the pandemic which have everything to do with political influence and absolutely nothing to do with public health.

In the City of Ottawa, if you're either an establishment like Loblaws, owned by the billionaire Weston family, or like Whole Foods, owned by Jeff Bezos of Amazon, you get to open normally as long as you seek to encourage "physical distancing."

But if you're a farmer who is the backbone of Canada, and who we can thank for growing the food which supports multibillion-dollar enterprises from Loblaws to Whole Foods, then you should expect technocrats at the City of Ottawa to jerk you around with arbitrary rules which are not being applied to supermarkets.

For many weeks the City of Ottawa has closed down the farmers’ market while leaving all major supermarkets and independent grocery stores open as essential services under decree by Premier Rob Ford and the Government of Canada. Why are potatoes and other produce bought from farmers and sold to you at American-owned Whole Foods and in places like Loblaws, Farm Boy, and Metro considered part of essential services but farmers who want to sell you their very fresh and healthy produce in an open-air market are not an 'essential service'? Does that make sense? No, it doesn't.

You could plainly see the extent of the senseless measures enacted by City of Ottawa technocrats last Sunday.

The market had less than 1 per cent of its usual traffic. The so-called "Click and Collect" system resulted in a barren environment and god awful shopping experience to the extent that for many farmers it was not even financially worthwhile getting out of bed to setup operations.

This is the kind of so-called “new normal” that we don’t need and that will destroy the livelihood of farm families, some of which have roots in Canada going back more than 100 years.

The City of Ottawa technocrats even banned dogs from the market, as if dogs were a source of the coronavirus. How outrageous is that?

So, it’s okay for American-owned Whole Foods on the other side of Lansdowne Park to open up with an indoor grocery store but our local Canadian farmers who are in an outdoor market ought to only be allowed a relative handful of customers in any given hour?

The City of Ottawa's "Click and Collect" system is a "dog's breakfast." The Ottawa Farmers' Market and its vendors can work out effective physical distancing measures that are every bit as good as Whole Foods, Loblaws, and other self-policing supermarkets without the needless interference of city technocrats who are obviously bullying our farmers with totally messed-up bureaucracy.

It is apparent that City of Ottawa technocrats are waging some kind of psych ops war against our local farmers in the name of the coronavirus. This is a complete moral outrage and it's up to us as Canadians to defend our local farmers from being jerked around by a clique of technocrats whose idea of a gourmet meal is probably a microwaved doughnut at Timmies and a Big Mac at McDonald's.

It is the spirit of the democracy that Canada represents for everyone and all groups to be treated with equity.

The current "Click and Collect" system on display last Sunday at the Ottawa Farmers’ Market was a farce and shit show, to say the least. It ought to have been left in the minds of the apparatchik megalomaniacs who dreamed-up this preposterous scheme. 

The essential destruction of the Ottawa Farmers’ Market presents a lesson to us all that, for technocrats in and beyond the City of Ottawa, the coronavirus seems to represent an opportunity and excuse to socially engineer society under the economic control of a ruling clique of multi-billionaire families and big business interests. These technocrats place no value on community. They view farmers as expendable fodder. They have no respect for rights and freedoms, along with dogs. Their project to destroy society has been put into the sham rubric of a duplicitous approach to public health which lacks any integrity whatsoever.

The good leaders of our City of Ottawa need to restore the rights and dignity of our farmers, who ought to be respected as providing an essential service under a Government of Ontario mandate. There can be no more essential service than the provision of food, and that is what the Ottawa Farmers’ Market is all about.  The market’s vendors should be left to do so free of pugnacious interference by apparent junk-food-loving technocrats who must think that food originates from a cardboard box.

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There are 4 comments on this post

Any chance of delivery?
Even the technocrat quebec has allowed farmers markets to open... Under same rules as supermarkets.. Ie it is deemed essential... And it is up to the market to determine the number of people it can let in and how to manage flow to achieve social distancing. As a vendor at lansdown... As a producer of fresh food.. I can tell their is a public demand for fresh food. As a vendor at lansdown i can say that managing the cluck and collect has it s technical challenges and a few advantages... However the overall experience and particularly for customers makes me doubt of it s viability. I feel sorry for our clients to go through this process. I m thanksfull for them to encourage us by doing so but would understand them if they feel frustrated and discouraged...
It time to "click and cancel" City of Ottawa's, as well as many other municipality's Rules & Regulations regarding Farmer's Markets. Essential Services should be void of political interference when it involves corporate versus local small businesses operating principles. Consumers are entitled to access safe, healthy, nutritious and sustainable food sources. The current interpretation and decisions determined by City staff regarding Farmer's Markets, bear little relevance and understanding of provision of essential pure agricultural produce. It is about time we all wake-up and start to live right, now!
Just check Wakefield’s Farmers Market in Quebec... is doing well .. people respect the distance.. there is not music or picnic tables like before but people are happy to go choose and pick their products and go.

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