While 'tis the season for holiday shopping, some people are quickly finding out their idea to shop local and support small businesses aren't going to go as planned.
Recently, the Peterborough Regional Farmers Market opted to strictly enforce the mask mandate. This meant that a few regular patrons who claim to be mask exempt were no longer allowed to go about their usual Saturday morning shop.
While the market mission statement claims to be all about direct contact with farmers and promote space for community groups, it appears this is no longer being facilitated under the guise of “safety,” in wake of the alleged pandemic.
A few e-mails were forwarded to me from the concerned vendors and patrons of the market. They were questioning the implementation and outcome of this seemingly discriminatory policy. But, in response, the market chose to send a generic response, citing “safety” concerns.
So, I hit the street to get the opinion of those feeling the effects of continued discrimination from previously cherished community events. My interviews include a gentleman who fled communist Romania and fought back tears while speaking to me about what he is witnessing here in Canada.
I also caught up with some masked vendors on their way out of the market — most of whom were either not wearing their masks properly, touching their masks constantly or even had visibly dirty masks on!
This coverage included an altercation with local police who were enforcing the mask mandate under the guise of a Trespass to Property Act, despite not actually issuing any fines under that law! You can check out that video separately.
It seems as though there are bullying tactics being employed by various levels of enforcement despite the exemptions that are clearly outlined as per the Reopening Ontario Act, Regulation 364/20.
So much deflection to my concerns leaves me wondering: does the disrespect of legal mask exemptions constitute a provincial offence and, if so, who is enforcing it?