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The colour of your food…

April 9, 2015

A couple of years ago I was privy to a private consultation process (before it went to public consultations) whereby certain powers-that-be in control of the Halifax Farmers’ Market (and their supporters) floated the idea of getting rid of all the “ethnic” food vendors in the market – on the notion that cruise ship passengers come to Halifax to see (and purchase) “authentic¬†Maritime culture” – and not to eat Ghanian peanut soup, eat Turkish borek, or get some piping hot veggie samosas.

To say that we sat around the conference table a bit stunned at the idea, and its obvious racist/xenophobic overtones, would be an understatement.

I asked a colleague if they meant getting rid of everyone and leaving the space to the Mi’kmaq’s? (She kicked me under the table.)

But of course this is not what they meant. (There isn’t a Mi’kmaq to be seen in the market.)

Did they mean Kraft Dinner and Hotdogs then? (A favourite summer lunch down here.)

Preserving “Authentic Maritime Culture” is a term used a lot down here – both officially and unofficially – as the way to keep immigrants and come-from-aways out of the local economic, political, and social power circles.

Now, the Farmer’s Market has come back with a new idea based on their “public” discussions and announced that all “ethnic” vendors will be moved off the busy main floor and relocated to the second floor before the busy summer season starts – they will be moved to where foot traffic is about 80% less than the main.

This will be the death knell for some – maybe most of the vendors.

Which, I suppose, was the intent all along.

Three Halifax businesses have been fined in the last year for not serving Blacks. (Wrap your head around that idea for a while…)

Canada’s national newspaper recently lamented the rampant racism that still exists throughout much of Nova Scotia. Government statistics note that 80% of new immigrants (and their money) leave the province within a year of arriving.

It sometimes looks, smells, and walks like I moved to Georgia or Virginia when we came out here three years ago, but the days of a “whites only” province are numbered.

Either Nova Scotia realizes that immigrants and come-from-aways bring new money, global ideas, vibrant cultures, much needed jobs, and new wealth creation for the province, or the province continues along its current path whereby it dies a slow and agonizing economic death.

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