Farmers’ Market – Alive, Well and Safe

June 27, 2008


There was a letter to the editor today in the Mercury suggesting that the City of Guelph is working to close the farmers’ market.

I know this is going to have many people concerned, so let my response be unequivocal. Why on earth would we close the farmers’ market?  Period. Or, make any changes to the market without the full input of the vendors and patrons who make the market such an unqualified success and fundamental part of our community? Good grief!

City staff has been engaging vendors and the Executive Board at the Farmer’s Market in a fully collaborative and transparent consultation process to revamp the policies/procedures and bylaw governing the market’s operation.  They are old and outdated.

This work is good news.  The health of our Farmers’ Market is being taken seriously and is no longer being ignored.  The City is committed to an inclusive process with all vendors of the market.  The vendors will have four opportunities to express any concerns on the new policies, procedures and by-laws by the time this matter is presented to Council. 

The letter also suggests that the naming of the space in front of the new City Hall as “Market Square” is part of the plan for dislocation.  The naming is historically-based and is completely unrelated to the Farmers’ Market.  It is simply what the area used to be called.

So to all heading to the Farmers’ Market tomorrow, enjoy in peace!


About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

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7 Comments on “Farmers’ Market – Alive, Well and Safe”

  1. Cam Guthrie Says:

    Mayor Farbridge:

    Thank you for your response to that letter as it concerned me as well.

    Cam Guthrie

  2. Mary Gaines Says:

    Mayor Farbridge:
    I too would like to thank you for your quick response to that letter.
    After reading it over more than once, I began to wonder about the integrity and the capability of the executive member that penned it!
    What a lot of phooey!

  3. Mary McIntosh Says:

    Thank you Karen for your response. I can hardly believe that this person KC would have the gumption to write so many untruths, not to mention a city newspaper printing such a letter without checking into its’ validity.
    I am relieved to hear our farmers’ market is safe and well, and applaud the City for maintaining and keeping it running.

    Sincerely, Mary

  4. Matt Shacklady Says:

    Is there a timeline you can share for the revamp of the policies and procedures?

    Will the general public have a say in it?

  5. Ewen Lewis Says:

    Thank you for your response to the letter to the editor in the Mercury, Karen.

    As an elected member of the Farmer’s Market Executive Committee and vendor at the market, I would like to say that the consultation between the city and the committee to date has transpired in a spirit of collaboration to bring the by-laws up to date, to continue to maintain the vibrancy of the Market and to find ways to make it even better for everyone who is fortunate to frequent this microcosm of the Guelph community, vendor and patron alike.

    Here’s to a great Market full of amazing people in a spectacular city!

  6. kfarbridge Says:

    Matt, staff are still working with the vendors at this time. They held a general meeting with the vendors to identify existing issues. The Vendor Executive and the Market Clerks have been meeting frequently to discuss the issues, reference other Market by-laws and guidelines and to propose resolutions.

    There will be a future general meeting of the vendors on the proposed resolutions.

    The tentative timeline at this time is to have a report come to Council’s Emergency Services, Community Services, and Operations (ECO) Committee of Council in September but this will depend on whether there needs to be additional discussion with the vendors and the Vendor Executive. So this may be delayed to later in the Fall.

    The ECO Committee meeting would be the first opportunity for the public to get involved in what is being proposed. The ECO Committee will ultimately make a recommendation to Council. The Council meeting when this recommendation is heard would also be an opportunity for public input.

    Karen Farbridge

  7. Mary Gaines Says:

    Speaking of the Farmer’s Market.
    Mayor, does the city have any plans with regards to participating in the World’s Longest BBQ which was started last year by a great cookbook author Anita Stewart.
    The event challenges and encourages Canadians to buy local ,buy fresh and make it a nation wide event on the 2nd of August. Just register and list what your menu is.
    I saw this in the paper and thought what a wonderful opportunity it would be to demonstrate that OUR Guelph Farmer’s Market is alive and well.

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