To the Editor:
It has come to my attention that the City of Thompson is cracking down, for lack of better words, on people who operate home-based businesses, particularly those who handle food (baked goods, perogies, cotton candy, jams etc.) While I do understand that there are certain provisions and bylaws that one must follow when operating any sort of business, I do not understand the sudden outcry that these businesses must immediately cease doing business.
While doing some research, as it piqued my interest, I found online the City of Thompson's bylaw list of definitions and examples of all home-based businesses that are permitted and prohibited in our city. The first thing I noticed was the date of the last revision ... 2006. The signature on the bottom, the late mayor, Bill Comaskey. Here are some examples that I find odd: Janitorial and carpet cleaning services – NOT permitted, interior decorating and design – NOT permitted, music and entertainment services – NOT permitted, satellite dish distribution services – NOT permitted. Teacup reader/fortune teller – permitted, catering services – NOT permitted. I could go on, but the full list is under Schedule B on the City of Thompson's website. www.thompson.ca
Here is the thing that is the most interesting part of all. While under Schedule B, "dating services" are NOT permitted, if you read the bylaw Division V, subdivision 1 escort service, it reads that no person shall engage in or operate the business of an escort service in the City of Thompson unless such person has a valid licence to operate such business. Reading further, all "escorts" must be named under a kept and current list by their employer of the service. So, basically, people who try do what the enjoy doing in their spare time, for example baking cakes, perogies, jams, etc. cannot do so in the City of Thompson because of the 2006 bylaw that prohibits catering of any kind, but they are able to run a successful escort business?
I truly believe there is something seriously wrong here. Can these bylaws be revised? What can be done so that people can enjoy doing what they like doing without facing fines, penalties, and prosecution? Health is definitely the biggest issue when it comes to home-based businesses, and I do agree with it. There are definite laws to be followed there.
My last question is, what will happen to the future of mall bake sales, Mother's Day teas, and rummage sales where people sell their homemade items for small profits?
I may be way off base with my arguments here, so I welcome any comments, suggestions, and corrections from my fellow Thompsonites.