Medical masks and social distancing are new additions to this year’s farmer’s market in Vernon amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Medical masks and social distancing are new additions to this year’s farmer’s market in Vernon amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

UPDATE: Petition added to efforts to bring crafters back to farmers’ markets

Local market losing money, members and customers due to provincial health regulations

Vernon wants to see artisans and crafters return to their tables at farmers’ markets amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I can go to Walmart, I can go to a big box store and I can buy a decorative cup made in China but I can’t go to a market and buy a decorative cup made here,” Coun. Scott Anderson said at the Feb. 22 council meeting, where it was passed that the city would send a letter to the health minister urging non-food vendors be deemed essential.

“This is another example of the discriminatory policies that are killing small businesses, promoting large businesses and generally distorting the economy in favour of the large chains,” Anderson said. “While achieving very little to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

The Vernon Farmers’ Market has been operating a deficit, according to Anderson, due to low attendance from vendors and members of the public due to restrictive public health orders issued Jan. 8 banning gathering and events.

“The BC Association of Farmer’s Markets has been given no formal reason for the ban,” said Anderson, “Other than that Farmer’s Markets are arbitrary (sic) classified as ‘events’ instead of markets, and the public health order disallows non-food items at events. This is not a reason, but rather a claim that the reason it’s disallowed is that it’s disallowed.”

A petition has also been started to bring non-food vendors back to B.C.’s markets. More than 700 people have signed the online effort, at change.org.

The Vernon Farmer’s Market is still open and runs its modified indoor market Fridays inside Kal Tire Place 11-3 p.m., but hours have been extended until 4 p.m. for the last four indoor markets.

The market adheres to strict COVID-19 protocol with physical distancing, one-way aisles and one shopper per household where possible.

Coun. Kelly Fehr opposed Anderson’s motion, in support of current restrictions.

“In light of the COVID variance and the third wave I’m not sure now is the time,” Fehr said.

READ MORE: Vernon chamber lobbies for non-food vendors at farmers’ markets

READ MORE: Spring normalcy not likely, with more events curbed by COVID in Vernon


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ArtartistCoronavirusLocal Business

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

(Photo of an RV posted to Flickr by user Greg Gjerdingen)
Vernon dumps sani-station temporarily

City councillors voted to close sani-station instead of relocating it temporarily

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
67 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty people in the region are hospitalized with the virus, 11 of whom are intensive care

Lumby resident Dan Hill was at Vernon’s Polson Park to celebrate 4-20 by giving away free marijuana joints to people of age April 20, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Lumby man back in Vernon with free joints, cupcakes on 4-20

Dan Hill is trying to help people of age relax during a stressful April with marijuana giveaway

Police are seeking the public’s assistance identifying a man who allegedly robbed a Vernon business the evening of Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (RCMP photo)
Police search for man who allegedly robbed Vernon business with weapon

The suspect is said to have threatened an employee before running off with two bottles of liquor

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Kate Budau’s flat tire outside of Glenmore Elementary School on Monday. (Contributed)
Kelowna mom searches for Good Samaritans who helped her change a tire

Woman looking for two dads who helped her after her tire popped in the Glenmore Elementary School drop-off area on Monday

John Wekking, Merritt Road Report - Facebook
 Coquihalla Road Report
Wildfire sparks off Coquihalla in Merritt

The wildfire is located near the Dollarama off of Highway 5

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

A lit cigarette tossed from a passing car is believed to be the cause of a grass fire which was only held to a ditch by the quick action of passersby in Salmon Arm on April 19. (Pixabay image)
Passersby fight Salmon Arm roadside grass fire believed started by flicked cigarette

Dry conditions prompt warning from resident, fire department

Most Read