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Aug 13, 2012 07:11 AM

Marché Jean-Talon becoming Loblaws

Interesting articles in La Presse this morning:

The administration is making life hard for Jacques Rémillard (Ferme Jacques et Diane) one of the few remaining true producers. Mr. Jacques cannot pay a 200$ a day fine or buy a 65000$ truck right now. On the other hand new farmer markets are opening everywhere a craving for real producers. Jacques is bound to go elsewhere. It's going to be a great loss for the Market.

If real producers like Jacques get out of JMT, what's going to remain of the Marché? A Loblaws with paying parking?

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  1. It is a public relation nightmare. I see no other option from JTM to let that go.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Maximilien

      Indeed. I am writing a complaint and boycotting JMT at least until Thursday when Jacques Rémillard comes back to the market.

    2. On its Web site, the Cororation de Gestion des Marchés Publics de Montréal states its mission: « To give Montrealers access to local produce in their public markets that relate to their values »
      This could almost look like a joke. But it's not funny at all. It's a shame, it's a disgrace.
      M. Rémillard is ont of the best producers, maybe the best. JTM has to back up, apologize and change its policies. Period.

      1. La Presse columnist Marie-Claude Lortie has commented on this in her blog: and there is an article about the issue on the front page of the local free newspaper, Le Journal de Rosemont/la Petite-Patrie.

        I haven't found a petition or other organised campaign in favour of these farmers and "grandfathering" their old truck. Many friends and neighbours would be interested in signing one. I'd miss their produce terribly if it moved elsewhere; probably somewhere I couldn't really access weekly.

        12 Replies
        1. re: lagatta

          from what i gather, the bylaw was on the books. lack of enforcement is not a free pass. this guy can rent a truck while he arranges something permanent. the world changes, the market is more crowded than ever before.

          1. re: catroast

            Well, they can fine and remove all generic products not sourced locally if they need space for all I care. Like MC Lortie said so well, there is plenty of generic food in all supermarkets on the island, people go to these markets (Jean-Talon/Atwater) to get local, fresh products and things they cannot find elsewhere.

            The market is more crowded because eating fresh and local is "in fashion". Keeping and helping guys like M.Remillard is essential.

            Its probably just another city bureaucrat trying to flex his atrophied muscle.

            1. re: CaptCrunch

              Bah... People go to the market for the "idea" of fresh and local and they leave with Peruvian asparagus and California strawberries.

              1. re: SnackHappy

                Its still a step in the right direction! With better labeling we might actually go somewhere!

              2. re: CaptCrunch

                people go to JTM because it is outside, bustling and nice to look at. JTM is a business like all others.

              3. re: catroast

                His truck does not move during the day, he keeps there to hold produces during the day.

                Stupid rule, stupid bureaucrats; it's a mess.

                1. re: catroast

                  The truck does not bother anybody, it's not moving and the alleys are closed on weekends. Again this morning I saw plenty of trucks, garbages and lifts trespassing over the blue line. Yet Jacques Rémillard is the only one getting fined.

                  He asked for a delay so he can find another truck for next season but the market admin is uptight about it. Yesterday I heard the *&?*? market manager on the radio proposing to 'cut the truck'.

                  It's still a perfectly good truck and a new one is more than 65,000$. Even renting one comes at a price. That's a lot of carrots to sell for a family farm with 2 employees. We are not talking about Canadawide fruits here.

                  You can stick to the letter of the law but if our producers are pushed out of the market, we will be left with a open air supermarket. Not sure I want this for JTM. Been raised with this market and I don't like what I see.

                2. re: lagatta

                  Here's an update from MC Lortie this morning as well as a link to a petition for clearer labelling at the market:

                  Let's share in the hopes that la Corporation des Marchés Public takes heed.

                  1. re: quicuisine

                    Not sure that I agree with her points though. When she states:

                    ...Mais pouvez-vous me dire pourquoi j'achèterais des mangues au marché Jean-Talon plutôt qu'à la fruiterie du coin...?

                    She ignores one very good reaon for this... the MJT works as a nearly-complete one-stop-shopping experience because I can get items that are local and more exotic in one place. I do support labelling to indicate what is/is not local, but I am less likely to make two trips for food shopping in a week and would likely turn my attention to Loblaw's if MTJ became a "local production only" institution.

                    1. re: buspirone

                      I also sometimes pick up lemons and limes there (JTM is closer to my house than any chain supermarket; the only "supermarket" closer to my house is Milano.

                      But products should be labelled. I hope most people know that no lemons are produced in Quebec, or in Ontario for that matter, but garlic from far away is a common sight.

                      I haven't found any more news on the petition or other means of support for farmers, but yesterday, there were a lot of cameras pointed and reporters asking questions of Jacques and Diane Rémillard (I bought some great little radishes there).

                      I find Loblaws particularly expensive tor produce - rarely buy it there.

                      1. re: buspirone

                        I am not entirely against buying imports at MJT. They certainly have a shorter buying circuit than a chain. But that would also be true of a Fruit store. That's what Nino and Chez Louis are after all.

                        That said you are bound to go to a supermarket anyway for some pantry items. White vinegar, ball park mustard etc... Come to think of it, even milk is not that widespread at MJT. I know 3 sources and 2 are not technically part of the Marché.

                    2. re: lagatta

                      Petition with a clear label for the Rémillard is now online at

                    3. Jean Talon Market dispute resolved

                      By Susan Semenak, The Gazette October 2, 2012
                      MONTREAL - After a summer of turmoil, Jacques Rémillard and his son Patrick are all smiles again, handing over Moroccan beets and Polish parsnips for their customers to taste.

                      Read more:

                      1. Good to hear it's been resolved. I'm still concerned about exactly who grows the food and where it actually comes from at some of the stands.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Daiya

                          It has becoming easier this year.

                          Quebec flag for Quebec grown.
                          Canada flag for Canada grown.
                          "Plane" for everywhere else.

                          1. re: Maximilien

                            Yes, but there are stories about mislabeled things (e.g. Quebec garlic) and some of the booths sell and re-sell food from larger industrial operations. Sometimes sellers give you the answer you want to hear. In any case, I am happy to have learned more about the Ferme Jacques et Diane.