Vancouver city council votes to expand street vendor program

Vancouver city council has voted to expand the city's food vendor program by up to 60 additional sites over the next four years.

Under the expanded program, street food vendors will have to meet nutritional requirements defined by provincial health officials in order to obtain a permit.

Seventeen vendors that were selected as part of a pilot program in the summer will be incorporated into the regular street food vending program.

NPA councillor Suzanne Anton questioned what she called the "nanny state food police" guiding the selection of new vendors based on nutritional requirements.

"Where’s the dividing line between being food police and being nutritionally good?" she asked.

"I would hate to think that you’re going around measuring food content."

City staff said the nutritional requirements won't mean "celery sticks," but will be reasonable.

Vendor Jason Apple, whose business Roaming Dragon serves up Chinese, Japanese and Korean fusion meals, said the expanded program is a "step in the right direction."

"It's nice to see the city looking at different ways of bringing street food to Vancouver," he said.

Chester Carey of ReUp Barbeque said he's apprehensive of some of the requirements.

"Given that we were only able to succeed because it was a lottery system, I hate to see somebody else robbed of that opportunity," Carey said.

He views the guidelines as requiring a significant time investment up front, which he worries might be challenging for those "without deep pockets to begin with."

The expanded program will incorporate 30 new food vendor permits downtown and 30 outside of the downtown area.

The new vendors will be selected by a panel of locals, including chefs, a food blogger and a nutritionist.

Currently, the city has 80 food vendors, which mainly sell hot dogs and non-perishable food items in the downtown core.



lorena Schwarzenberg Castillo

Feb 27, 2011 at 4:14pm

very interesting information!