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New bylaw leaves some vendors in the cold

After 13 years of selling mittens, tuques, T-shirts and scarves in an outdoor stall in the ByWard Market, Berhe Hagos said he is being forced out of business.

After 13 years of selling mittens, tuques, T-shirts and scarves in an outdoor stall in the ByWard Market, Berhe Hagos said he is being forced out of business.

Due to a new bylaw regulating vendors in the market, Hagos was denied a permit to operate and will have to close up shop in April, while he said others selling identical goods have been granted a permit.

“It’s not systematic. It’s absolutely nonsense,” said Hagos yesterday. “I gave them the same information. We applied for the same stuff, but they accept others. Why? I cannot answer,” said Hagos.

Most of Hagos’ winter stock is knit items from Nepal. The items are similar to those sold at several other tables in the market.

Another vendor whose permit was not renewed also expressed confusion as to why he was rejected when other stalls selling similar merchandise were approved. He asked that his name not be used as he hoped to meet with market managers to work on his application.

When the new bylaw came into effect, vendors had to apply for new permits. City markets manager Philip Powell said venders had months to review the criteria and out of the 42 arts and crafts applicants, only five were denied permits.

“We worked as hard as we could to be as inclusive as we could,” said Powell. “It’s a reality that there are some applications that just didn’t make the grade as far as what council had defined as art and craft.”

Applications were scored by a judged panel, where to be accepted, vendors needed 70 points out of 120. If vendors were rejected, they had an opportunity to adjust their application and resubmit it.

Seniority had no impact on the initial application, but it will have an impact on stall placement.

 
 
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