Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Great Toronto Street-Food Debate

While much of Toronto's media celebrates the imminent arrival of Biryani, Pad Thai and Bulgogi carts on the City's street corners, The Globe's Margaret Wente isn't so pleased.

Ms Wente takes on Toronto City Hall for politically-correct over-regulation of street food in Toronto:

Once upon a time, I used to think that the job of city government was to fix the potholes, police the streets, clear the snow and pick up the garbage. How wrong I was! Now I know that the most important job of city government is to enforce healthy eating habits among the populace, promote diversity and (perhaps contradictorily) harass hard-working immigrant micro-entrepreneurs until they wonder why they ever moved here.

...In New York, the customers are allowed to judge the street food for themselves. Naturally, that would never do in Toronto, a city run by control freaks who think street food should be about social justice and nutrition. Don't get me started on the bottled water. It's been banned from city premises because it's anti-environmental. From now on, thirsty citizens will just have to drink Coke.

See Ms. Wente's Please stop nannying us, Toronto.

She has a point.

While I'm all in favour of zealous regulation on food safety issues, I'm not so sure City Council should be in the business of  setting - or limiting - the menu selections for Toronto's street cuisine.

Variety is the spice of life.  

(And Tums are my friend.)

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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