OTTAWA, CANADA - The City of Ottawa is granting 20 new street food vendor licences mid-January — but only if the applicants successfully jump through some pretty ludicrous hoops.
These hoops include annual fees paid to the city ranging from $1,400 to $6,800, depending on whether it’s a truck or cart.
There’s also the various certificates: For propane tanks, for health inspections and the controversial and unnecessary food handler certificate. The font of the cart’s name is also regulated — it must be at least 7 cm.
But none of this excessive regulation should be a surprise. It’s unfortunately the way we’re heading as a society. No, it’s the moral angle that makes this process so condescending and anti-business.
“The goal of this initiative is to increase the diversity of food offered on City streets,” reads the application. In other words, the city is mandating affirmative action for food.
They’ve convened a committee of food experts as well as public health officials to pore over the applications. The applicants will be judged on their business plan, including their marketing and finances. No business should have to be judged by government on such matters.
But the best part of this nonsense is 40% of the grading is based on the applicant’s explanation of “how the menu/concept reflects the diversity of our City and will contribute to Ottawa’s street food scene.”
Find the entire article by Anthony Furey at the ottawasun.com <here>