Public market to travel in NDG
Article mis en ligne le mercredi 18 août 2010
Fans of neighbourhood markets can easily locate where local produce is being sold by visiting www.marches-de-quartiers.ca. This practical site was launched in July by the Conseil régional de l’environnement de Montréal (CRE), a non-profit group that promotes environmentally-friendly local and regional development.
There’s a real concern about eating safe and affordable food. 2001 statistics revealed that 1.8 million Canadians don’t consume enough healthy food, especially employment insurance beneficiaries, single-family homes, young families, and members of cultural communities.
City administrations forced many local markets to close in the Sixties so that food could be sold almost exclusively in supermarkets, but the notion of eating for a cheaper price while helping local farmers sell their products still finds an echo in society. As well, citizens are turning to urban agriculture. Some want a green roof and even the right to have chicken pens on their balcony.
Montrealers were allowed to raise chickens in their yards until 1966. Today anyone doing this is subject to a $100 fine. So a group (CRAPAUD) launched a petition to get the Ville-centre onside. It’s noisy, say some, it’s dirty, say others. The animal rights groups will want to put in their two cents worth too.
Daniel Trottier, who runs an open-air city market on the northeast corner of Cote des Neiges and Jean Brillant, remembers when live chickens and rabbits were sold 40 years ago. “The Corporation de gestion des marchés publics de Montréal might allow selling chickens in large markets such as the Jean Talon or Atwater markets, he says, but not here. There is no place for chickens close to the fruit and vegetable counters, no room to expand,” he says.
Merissa Neudelman, spokesperson for the NDG Coalition for Food Security, says that access to fresh fruit and vegetables is important. “When they’re not affordable, many people on low incomes won’t be adding fruit and vegetable to their diet,” she explained.
Last year, when the NDG market was at Benny and Monkland, a good mix of clients shopped there. This year the Coalition is defining four different sectors. “We have experience with food security and low-income residents. We want to make sure that we can reach all different kinds of people in NDG,” she said.
In November, the Coalition is inviting anyone interested in the future of public markets in NDG to a meeting to come up with a long-term plan for NDG’s seasonal market.
Citizens groups formed the NDG Coalition in 2009 in order to make fresh and healthy Quebec produce accessible to everyone.