You have to know government has grown too big when kids can’t even set up a lemonade stand without applying for a permit and making a contractual agreement to sign away part of their profits.
Last summer, the Andrews sisters aged five and seven, saw an opportunity to make some money for summer camp by setting up a lemonade stand along a busy cycling roadway closed to motor vehicles one day a week for cyclists in what’s called Sunday Bikedays.
This event is under the discretion of the National Capital Commission, a crown corporation that oversees federal lands and buildings in Ottawa and Gatineau. According to accounts, a citizen first lodged a complaint about the young ladies, but the official complaint came from the organizer of the weekly Bikeday event.
In a decision that stunned the nation, officials shut the girls down because they didn’t have a permit.
The NCC’s response to public backlash was to set up a website encouraging kids to attend a “free” workshop – with “free” meaning taxpayer funded of course.
In the end, the NCC did waive the permit fees, but leave it to the government to make official rules for five year olds who want to set up a lemonade stand on a hot, sunny day.
A three page contract on the site shows that not only are kids required to have a permit, but they must also sign off on eight general conditions including one to have signs in both English and French. Additional stipulations require they report their income to the NCC and that 7% of their earnings be given to a charity.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking the solution is for kids to simply move their lemonade stands off federal lands and set up on their own private property. City bylaws also require a permit whether on private or public lands with costs that can range up to almost $800 for a yearly permit.