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Re: “Early risers jump the gun at the Farmers' Market

The strange opening hours is just one sign of the shifting priorities for the market.

For years, various groups have wanted to get more shopping areas down on the old container piers to service the tourist industry, in particular the cruise ships that dock there. A permanent, 7-days-a-week market with more emphasis on crafts and souvenirs seems designed to satisfy that need. Now, I have no problem with a waterfront shopping mall to service the tourists. But trying to turn Halifax's farmers market into that shopping mall is one of the most misguided things I've ever heard of.

Has anyone done any digging to see where the pressures for a new market location came from in the first place? Yes, the current location is often busy and crowded. One reason it is so busy and crowded is the popularity and charm of the location. I know several people who say that one of the main reasons they go is the charm of the old brewery. Sure, putting the market into a big waterfront warehouse will give more room for vendors and shoppers. But will they still want to go there? Not to mention that the new location is somewhat more inconvenient for residents (but - surprise, surprise - more convenient for the tourists).

The location, the hours, the emphasis on permanent stalls - all these things point to a market whose priority is not bringing farmers' good to people who live in the city, but servicing a completely different clientele. Unfortunately, it's probably way too late to stop this hugely misguided plan.

Posted by johan_koch on 12/05/2009 at 9:32 AM

Re: “Smoking mad

Trying to paint the decision to have cigarette ads in The Coast as some sort of freedom of speech issue is laughable, and Kyle Shaw should be ashamed of himself. He says they won’t censor things that are “legal yet controversial”. Would you accept ads from a company like Shell, trying to greenwash their reputation and fudge their environmental history? What about from some anti-choice group, calling for the banning of abortion? Maybe you would, I don’t know any more.

There are two reasons The Coast published those ads. The main one is that they gave you a huge pile of money. With tobacco advertising restricted to very few locations, I am sure they were ecstatic to find someone willing to give them space in their publication.

The second reason is that smoking still has a cool and edgy reputation, at least amongst some losers, and The Coast is apparently desperate to pander to that group. Comparing smoking to drinking, getting tattoos, and having sex (as if they were all equivalent activities with the same degree of risk), which Shaw does, only enforces the smoking mystique amongst their target demographic and makes it seem like a desirable activity. Well done!

Posted by johan_koch on 04/03/2009 at 8:20 AM

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