Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

Province Forces Popular Local Butcher Out of Business After 46 Years

Karl’s Butcher and Grocery logo

John Bowker of the Roncesvalles Village branch of the indie record store She Said Boom! informed me about this unfair development in Roncesvalles Village:

Today, the Toronto Star spent hours interviewing staff and customers at Karl’s Butchers and Grocery (105 Roncesvalles), which has sold fresh sausages on our street for 46 years. Karl’s has been forced out of business by the province.

In October, the provincial government decided to enforce a harsh, literal interpretation of the 2001 Food and Safety Quality Act. The Province took Karl’s out of the Yellow/Green inspection system operated by the City (where they passed every inspection), and placed it under provincial regulations. According to these regulations, Karl’s is now considered a “manufacturing plant,” because it makes its own sausages. These sausages, which have helped make Roncesvalles famous, are prepared fresh in the store, unlike most sausages which are packaged and shipped from centralized plants.

Under the regulations, Karl’s is forced to pretend it is like some mass-production facility, forced to conform to a massive list of regulations that make little sense for a small, local business – even one dealing with raw meat. The province must even test the water every week, as if they were some rural factory taking water in from a local well. The province is simply incapable of distinguishing between a local butcher and a factory slaughterhouse, and a part of Roncesvalles is being destroyed as a result.

According to Walter Jarzabek of Karl’s, they decided they could not fight the province, and so they decided to close just before Christmas. A lot of local residents are upset. We should be too.

Unless the province can show how a local butcher like Karl’s poses a threat to public health, they should find a way to distinguish a business like Karl’s from the large factory slaughterhouses that are the Act’s intended target. Just because a sausage comes from a box out of a truck does not make it healthier, and it certainly doesn’t make it tastier. The public should have the choice to buy fresh sausages from a trusted and responsible butcher like Karl’s.

5 replies on “Province Forces Popular Local Butcher Out of Business After 46 Years”

Serves them right for voting Liberal.

Ontarians hate commerce nearly as much as they hate private property so they should suck it up when the chickens come home to roost. Indie record store employees and Roncesvalles Villagers think Ontarians like Randy Hillier who fight these *exact* bureaucracies are rednecks, so fuck ’em.

While Marcus’ view is extreme, he does have a point: McGuinty’s gov’t has shown a “protect the people from themselves” mentality that has bordered on the absurd at times. Remember the sushi debacle when the province wanted all sushi to be frozen solid first before serving it? Or McGuinty’s refusal to *even consider* allowing corner stores to sell a bottle of wine, because they “couldn’t be trusted to not sell to children”?

Overall the Libs have done a decent job of managing the province, but this overzealous “gov’t must protect everyone from everything” attitude has to go.

Hey Marcus,

For the record, I love guv’ment-hatin, Toronto-hatin’ blood an’ guts heartland conservatives like Hillier, especially when they stand up in the Legislature and defend local butchers, like he did on December 13. Most folks wouldn’t expect there to be a square centimetre of common ground between Hillier and someone like Cheri DiNovo, but dumb policies will attact opposition from everywhere.

John Bowker
She Said Boom!

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