Rural Council Update:

Urgent Notice re: Vendor License Harmonization

Spring is almost here and the Rural Council is gearing up to meet the many challenges and opportunities on the horizon. As you may know, Janne Campbell, President of the West Carleton Rural Association (WCRA) has been asked by Bob McKinley to chair the Rural Council on an interim basis. She has accepted with enthusiasm, especially given that many of the WCRA issues are the same ones that the Rural Council is working on. We hope to have a working constitution and a published list of our officers and directors in place by the end of April.  Communication is high on our agenda and we plan to keep you informed of our activities by email, through the media and via the website (www.ruralcouncil.ca).

We would like to draw your attention to the City of Ottawa’s Vendor License Bylaw harmonization. The city is once again taking the one-size-fits-all approach and is suggesting downtown licensing fees and selling space regulations for suburban and rural vendors. For example, a farmers’ market would be required to pay $3000 annually and each vendor would be asked to pay $250 per day. This may be feasible in the City core where numbers are sufficient to support these costs but in the rural areas, the fees will shut down rural vendors and entertainment events. Stakeholders are very concerned and consumers should also be concerned about the loss of fresh local produce and events.

A WCRA subcommittee of stakeholders (Andy Terauds, Jack MacLaren, Larry Shouldice and Peter Kondruss) has drafted a response to the City’s proposed licensing fees and regulations. The premise of the response is to “keep it simple” and to ensure that licensing fees are in keeping with the economic realities of the area (rural, suburban, and urban). The committee is seeking support from all groups and individuals and is asking them to send a united message, based on the document entitled Stakeholders’ Response Document, to the City of Ottawa mayor and councillors.Without a means of selling produce locally, farmers’ markets and roadside vendors will be gone soon. Other basic arguments are included in the document. These can be expanded on and added to but the basic message must be on the same principles from everyone (not necessarily in that order). A convenient list of councillors and their contact information can be found at http://www.ruralcouncil.ca/Mayor_and_councillors.htm.  You should also send your message to jules.bouvier@ottawa.ca or call him at (613) 580-2424 ext. 25616. Mr. Bouvier is responsible for the coordination and preparation of this bylaw.

The committee also intends to present Mayor Bob Chiarelli and Council with a single document (Stakeholder and Consumer Support Document) showing support from as many organizations and individuals as possible. If you would like to lend your name or the name of your organization or group to the document to be presented to the Mayor and Council, please contact Shirley Dolan at 623-0675 or by email at sjdolan@storm.ca.

You will find the following documents on our website at www.ruralcouncil.ca. (They are also attached for your convenience.)

Licensing Regulations Notice

The City of Ottawa harmonization proposal

Categories and Fees

City of Ottawa licensing fees recommendations

Stakeholders’ Response Document

The template for the common message to be sent to the Mayor and Council

Stakeholder and Consumer Support Document

A draft of the document to be presented to the Mayor and Council showing support for the common message

Please pass this message on to friends, neighbours and relatives and support your local producers as they open for business this spring.


Janne Campbell

Interim President for the Rural Council


 

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