Posted by: Mike Soron | June 2, 2010

Responses to the Tofino food and big-box ban

As Vancouver gets ready to roll out street food, Tofino is also rethinking its retail food system, moving to ban retail and fast food chains.

A new poll from Angus Reid Public Opinion found 60% of 1,003 Canadians, and 69% of British Columbians support the move. Forty-five percent believe banning large-format retail will help smaller, local stores; 45% also find a fast food ban will encourage healthier eating. A bit more than a third of respondents think such moves would be rights infringing, in both cases.

As the study points out, however, while Canadians support the move by a 3-to-1 margin, most aren’t so eager to see a ban implemented in their own city.

In Vancouver’s case, the existing street food ban reminds us that urbanites don’t get to eat and shop wherever they like already. “Rights” in this area are already “infringed”, (assuming such a thing should be called a right). But from the perspective of the study, almost any regulation could be considered “rights infringing.’

What do our readers think? Would a wider ban be positive for Vancouver, or would it take us away from the liberalizing pro-street food path we’re currently on?

(PDF of the full study).

– By Mike Soron

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