Roadblocks we don’t need

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Geez, Parks Canada is going to start having wi-fi hotspots in some of its nature vistas and Melmerby Beach can’t even have a refreshment service. Stack the two side by side and how much sense does that make?

But seriously, a local business operator received a disappointing answer recently after applying to set up her mobile canteen at the sandy summer getaway. Jacinthe Bennett, owner of Jiggy Java, was told by the Department of Natural Resources that her menu didn’t follow guidelines – although the response said having such a service at a provincial park wasn’t a problem.

Interesting – Bennett was planning to offer such fare as water, Gatorade, apples, bananas and other snacks. That sounds like a good idea for a place where people are soaking up the sun and heat – food items that rehydrate, and provide minerals and electrolytes.

Nova Scotia Parks had issued a request for proposals, with the Merb included among possible sites, and identifying a number of stipulations: such as a focus on healthy food and beverages and the nutritional content.

Bennett told The News she wishes the government had worked with her to adapt the menu to what it deems appropriate. Instead, when she heard back in June she was given a few days to submit a 59-page request for a proposal.

Readers of The News story offered some interesting comments on ngnews.ca, all supportive, saying it’s the kind of service needed at Melmerby and encouraging Bennett to try again next year. Also mentioned is the unnecessary red tape put in the way of small business by our provincial bureaucracies.

Indeed, it’s not the kind of outcome we like to see when the provincial government, on the other side of its mouth, crows about the virtues of small business boosting our economy.

This might be just one small illustration of what’s standing in the way of the efforts of business. If it’s this tough for such a straightforward operation, what does something a touch more complicated face?

Organizations: Department of Natural Resources, Gatorade

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Recent comments

  • Jim
    July 13, 2014 - 08:52

    A similar issue happened at a beach near New Waterford a year or 2 ago. DNR staffers were blindly following an outdated policy. With political pressure from elected officials the deputy at the time made sure common sense won out.