City of Iqaluit reminds residents that selling prepared food requires a business licence

“Failure to do so may result in a fine of $250 to $10,000”

The City of Iqaluit is reminding residents that the sale of prepared food requires a business licence. This does not apply to Nunavut Inuit selling country foods, or individuals giving food away for free or to bake sales. (File photo)

By Dustin Patar

The City of Iqaluit is reminding residents that selling prepared food requires a valid business licence.

“If a person is found to be operating a business in violation of Bylaw 859, they shall receive a written notice of their offence or offences and be given seven calendar days to take sufficient action to be in accordance with this bylaw,” said a city-issued news release.

“Failure to do so may result in a fine of $250 to $10,000, depending on the size of business and the number of offences in a calendar year.”

Nunavut Inuit do not require a business licence to sell country food.

The Government of Nunavut’s country food serving guide can be found on their website.

A business licence is also not required for those giving prepared food away for free or for bake sales.

“The City recognizes the benefits of home cooking as a healthy activity for families and individuals,” said the release.

“The City also encourages entrepreneurship among Iqalummiut.”

For more information about how to apply for a business licence, you can visit the city’s website or contact Geoff Byrne by email or phone at 979-5619.

For information about food safety that the Government of Nunavut provides, visit their website.

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(24) Comments:

  1. Posted by Snarky Joe Inuk on

    Fellow Inuit, in my opinion there is a way around this. Under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement 5.7.30 which is:

    5.7.30 . . . an Inuk shall have the right to dispose freely to any person any wildlife lawfully harvested. The right to dispose shall include the right to sell, barter, exchange and give, either inside or outside the Nunavut Settlement Area.

    So to me, if you want to sell some items that aren’t “country food”, like butter chicken or meatloaf, just put a piece of “country food” in it.

    • Posted by Our World Is Changing on

      If correct, that only applies to part of the Iqaluit population. It doesn’t seem to apply to non-beneficiaries.

      Better open your eyes and look at how our city is changing. If the census stats are correct, it won’t be long until Iqaluit is not Inuit majority.

    • Posted by Bob’s Your Uncle on

      This is not about Country Foods or rights under the NCLA! So nice try, but the NLCA doesn’t precede Canadian Law or Food Safety Standards such as ISO 22000 Food Safety Management Systems, ISO 9001:2015 Quality Mgmt Systems. So, NLCA doesn’t apply to non-country foods. Period! Do your research!

      Second, what if someone gets sick or dies from these homemade foods? Who will you cry about not protecting the public then? Who will the affected person(s) ior families sue or have criminal charges brought against? Hmmm? Will you then blame City of Iqaluit? GN? NTI? And why do restaurants and grocery stores who sell food to the Public, have to maintain and comply with Health standards, but freelancers do not?

      • Posted by Jimmy Two Shoes on

        Please do YOUR research. The NLCA as a constitutionally protected document does precede other legislation. With it’s status it does have a trickle down affect on pre-existing laws as well as anything to be drafted. Nice try! But you are right that it does not apply to non-country foods. And death from FB food?? Going into panic mode and using extreme examples is an effective way of stressing your point but in this case it just comes off as alarmist….chill, people can be asked to stop selling food without the drama. Piluaq.

      • Posted by snarky Joe Inuk on

        TO: Bob’s Your Uncle.

        You didn’t do your own research!The NLCA 2.12.2 says:

        Agreement to Prevail

        2.12.2 Where there is any inconsistency or conflict between any federal, territorial and local government laws, and the Agreement, the Agreement shall prevail to the extent of the inconsistency or conflict.

        Do your research!!!!

        • Posted by Beneficiaries Are Not the Target of This Bylaw on

          Why are people babbling on as if this is an issue? It doesn’t apply to beneficiaries’ ‘country food’, but it would apply to beneficiaries selling non-country food.

          This by-law has little or nothing to do with beneficiaries though. It is clearly aimed at the rapidly growing non-beneficiary population of Iqaluit who are making money selling their traditional food. This market is unregulated and the sanitation and hygiene conditions need to be monitored.

          This is a good initiative, and as the population of Iqaluit becomes more diverse and more like the rest of Canada these sorts of businesses will only grow in number. It is good that Iqaluit has started to put in place a mechanism to maintain safety and hygiene.

          I have concern about much of the country food that I have the opportunity to buy. Not all suppliers are created equal and limit myself to one or two trusted suppliers. It would be nice if there were a cleanliness/reliability rating system for country food suppliers.

      • Posted by What death from FB uncle bob on

        I am a frequently customer of food sales and fundraisers in town and not aware of anyone dying in town during all this time. I have had bad cases of food poisoning from a eatery in town though.

        No need to make up stories to try to sell this crappola by-law. There is not a single ethic restaurant in this backward town and homemade sales are the only way to enjoy them so City of Iqaluit should just focus on shitty road, sewer and water repairs!

  2. Posted by Targeting on

    It’s not really clear who they’re targeting with this. Mayor on twitter is claiming that it’s to stop people living in GN subsidized apartments from running unlicensed kitchens.

    There’s so many takeout options in this town…i don’t understand why people take a chance ordering from an illegal kitchen.

    • Posted by Northern Guy on

      A quick scan of Facebook will tell you exactly who this is aimed at. There are any number of individuals selling prepared foods/meals on an ongoing basis. Not only should busines license requirements be enforced but also the health code.

  3. Posted by Rankin Inlet too? on

    I wonder if Rankin Inlet has the same policy? We have a lot of people here who sell prepared foods on the facebook sell swap page.

  4. Posted by Pops on

    The facebook comments for this article are really depressing. People read a headline and interpret it as negatively as they possibly can. I know this happens everywhere but it’s really bad in Nunavut.

  5. Posted by Fred on

    Too much turning a blind eye by regulators and authorities. Inuit are selling all kinds of “illegal” items on FB. From the prepared foods, home made sewings with corporate logos, “red caps” and even seeing cigarettes and weed being sold through FB. Even still see the “raffles” going on without lottery licenses. Seems to be that everything is OK because no one is doing anything about it. Is this the “normal” in Nunavut? Sure seems to be and it will continue until people are charged for these illegal activities.

    • Posted by Slim on

      Guns! Don’t forget there’s often firearms for sale on FB in almost every community group

      • Posted by Head south young man on

        If you don’t like it I’m sure there’s a more law abiding, bylaw friendly in the south. It’s a different world up here and it just adds to Iqaluit’s character!

  6. Posted by Sharing Funeral Expenses & Gain experiences on

    People who sell anything they can, including food, sometimes are trying to cover a deceased loved ones funeral expenses. This is like salt to a wound.
    And young people gain more experience by selling food/baked goods as their skills develop. Seems to send a wrong message to our young.
    If it’s a GN staff housing issue, then the GN should look into enforcing their rules to their staff.

  7. Posted by Baking lady on

    …. then the city, or community should provide an indoor, or outdoor weekly market venue. And if there are times when it cannot be done publically then permitted are weekly home sales.

    Buyers choice weather or not to buy, if you get a belly ache dont go back. Kitchen looks clean, enjoy!

    This is the GN trying to put its thumb down on anyone trying to make a side buck. Shamefully article in times like these where Nunavutmiut can’t even work in their own territory. People should appreciate the commerce, and I for one always enjoyed the goodies.

    Knowing everyone around you, for the most part, people learn what to expect. Reputations are built. Everyone is healthy. There are better ways for the GN and NunNews to make a buck here.

  8. Posted by Jimmy Two Shoes on

    Bake sales are exempt from the license as well. So this isn’t really a topic on health/safety since there is already a risk in that type of food prep too. Baked goods are defined as anything cooked with dough or batter. Pogo’s, egg rolls, and even calzone can fall under this category and be sold without a license. Honestly, that exemption is there because there are so many bake sales of cupcakes and muffins for fundraising so why not just expand it to include all food? Oh right, the poison! The poison! FB food death! Right Bob’s Your Uncle?

    • Posted by Wormy Worms Wormed Wildly on

      Clearly you’ve never bought wormy country food from some of the more sleazy sellers on facebook? I have no doubt that many people have gotten sick from fb country food. I’ve often wondered how many people have picked up parasites from some of the crap that people feel safe selling.

      Some sort of quality control on country food sales would be good for consumers.

      • Posted by Wormy Food on

        The only time I ever bought country food that turned out to be full of worms was. in Toronto.
        It looked fine in the package. But after I paid for it and left the store I fiscovered that the side of the fish that I had not been able to see was covered in worms!

        • Posted by Got My Pusher…I Mean Supplier on

          I wish that I had that good luck. I have my ‘supplier’ and will buy from no one else because I’ve had such bad luck with unethical country food sellers.

  9. Posted by Iqaluit guy on

    I guess Gambling is more important than food

  10. Posted by so does this apply for all of Nunavut or only iqaluit on

    So they want to enforce this in Iqaluit but not for all of Nunavut?
    City of Iqaluit should just stop this unfair measure as no other community in Nunavut is expected to do this except Iqaluit.
    It is so common for people to cook and sell food out of their homes. SO why pressure Iqaluit on this and this doesn’t apply anywhere else? Silly.

  11. Posted by Northerner on

    Would a weekly or bi-weekly “farmers market” in Iqaluit in a public space not help to deter people from selling products out of their homes?

  12. Posted by MONICA A CONNOLLY on

    The City’s announcement is unnecessarily frightening. Individuals selling food out of their homes are not subject to a $10,000 fine for operating without a license – that is for large companies. Tiny home-based businesses could get a maximum of $1,000 for a fourth (or more frequent) offence.
    The City needs to look carefully at this bylaw. Its only value in the case of home cooks is to allow food safety inspections. Cut the paperwork and the fees to a bare minimum.

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