Girls squeezed out of lemonade stand over paperwork get apology, second chance
Published Monday, July 4, 2016 11:48AM EDT Last Updated Monday, July 4, 2016 2:43PM EDT
OTTAWA -- Two Ottawa girls whose lemonade stand was shut down over the weekend because they didn't have the right permit could be back in business by the end of the week -- but they still need the paperwork.
The agency responsible for policing federal lands in Ottawa apologized Monday to Eliza Andrews, 7, and Adela Andrews, 5, after a conservation officer put a stop to their efforts to raise money for summer camp.
The sisters had set up the stand on a grassy median of an Ottawa parkway that's closed to vehicular traffic on Sundays and opened to cyclists, roller bladers and others on foot.
They had hoped to raise enough money for camp, but after selling over $50 worth of refreshments to parched pedestrians, they were told by a National Capital Commission officer to pack up and leave because they didn't have a permit to conduct business on NCC property.
On Monday, the NCC said the junior conservation officer acted in good faith applying federal land use rules but the situation could have been dealt with better.
Lemonade stand: We reviewed the situation with Junior Conservation Officer on duty. We believe it could have been handled differently. 1/3— NCC-CCN (@NCC_CCN) July 4, 2016
Lemonade stand: We met with the Andrews family this morning to apologize and see how we can support Eliza and Adela going forward. 2/3— NCC-CCN (@NCC_CCN) July 4, 2016
We have made great efforts to animate Capital green spaces and shorelines & will continue to encourage these entrepreneurial activities. 3/3— NCC-CCN (@NCC_CCN) July 4, 2016
"We believe the situation could have been handled differently," the NCC said in a statement.
"Children's lemonade stands are a time-honoured summer tradition that contributes to a lively capital and the NCC wants to encourage these activities whenever possible."
The girls' father Kurtis Andrews told media outlets Sunday the officer, while polite, showed him a map to indicate the property belonged to the NCC and told him that a permit was required to sell anything on it.
Andrews offered to pay for a permit on the spot but said he was not given the opportunity.
NCC officials met with Andrews and his daughters early Monday, gave them a permit application and said sorry for the mixup.
"First, we apologized for the inconvenience," said NCC communications director Nicholas Galletti.
"We think (lemonade stands) are the kinds of things that normally we would encourage," he said.
Galletti said he expected the Andrews' permit application would be expedited in time for the girls to set up their stand next weekend.
Before the apology was issued, a local eatery had offered to send the two kids to summer camp -- and to support other renegade lemonade stand operators if need be.
Patrons of the Union Local 613 restaurant quickly responded on social media, offering their own financial support and space to sell lemonade.
Restaurant co-owner Ivan Gedz stood by the offer Monday, saying he can relate to the plight of the little girls, given his establishment's red-tape nightmare while trying to open a patio for its customers.
"There's absolutely reasons why regulations are put in place," said Gedz.
"But to just come by and shut the stand down is kind of ridiculous."
Seriously: What a bone-headed decision. The NCC should apologize to the girls and invite them to restart their lemonade stand. 3/3— Pierre Poilievre (@PierrePoilievre) July 3, 2016