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Three Rivers wants bylaw to 'level the playing field' for mobile vendors

Coun. Debbie Johnston, right, is shown at a Montague town council meeting in 2018.
Coun. Debbie Johnston, right, is shown at a Montague town council meeting in 2018. - SaltWire file


Three Rivers council wants a bylaw for its growing number of mobile food vendors.

Deputy Mayor Debbie Johnston broached the subject during the town's monthly council meeting on May 11, held via video conference. One of her main concerns was that the town doesn't have any regulations surrounding how mobile vendor staff ought to dispose of greywater, she said.

"We've had some issues in the past, and I'm not exactly sure if we've solved all of them or not."

Her request was on behalf of town's water and sewer corporation, but she noted that mobile vendors have posed other sorts of issues as well – not just with greywater. The purpose of a bylaw would be to level the playing field and ensure all vendors operating across Three Rivers' communities have a guideline to be held accountable to, Johnston said.

"We need to get a bylaw and make sure everyone's treated the same."


  • While Montague didn't have any bylaws surrounding mobile vendors before amalgamation, one other community in Three Rivers did.
  • Coun. Cody Jenkins suggested that council references one of Georgetown's old bylaws - which encompassed mobile and street vendors - to help draft a new one.

Coun. John MacFarlane said that before Three Rivers became amalgamated, Montague's town council at the time decided against enacting a bylaw like this. While Three Rivers doesn't have many mobile vendors in comparison to cities like Charlottetown or Summerside, more are popping up and council has been receiving more requests in the past few years.

The potential bylaw should include food trucks as well as smaller vendors such as hot dog stands, he said.

"We're not creating a new wheel," he said. "It's high-time that we look at other municipalities and draft our own bylaw so that everyone's on the same playing field."

Council ultimately decided to save further discussion for future meetings, with Johnston noting that it likely wouldn't be possible to pull together a bylaw for the 2020 summer season. 

Daniel Brown is a local journalism initiative reporter, a position funded by the federal government.

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