A pumpkin producer in the Laurentians was surprised to see the police disembark, who asked him to put an end to the U-pick and the corn maze on his farm. However, these activities are permitted by the authorities elsewhere.
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Confusion seems to reign between the institutions regarding the activities permitted or not in the red zone. Raphaël Lauzon, a producer of strawberries and pumpkins from Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, paid the price.
“The firefighters, then the police called me to tell me to stop welcoming people to our home, that the pick-your-own and the maze were illegal. However, people live the experience in a family bubble, and my labyrinth is designed so that people never meet and are always two meters away, ”explained the owner of the Fraisière Lauzon et fils.
After the passage of the police, Mr. Lauzon wanted to check with the Laurentians public health if these activities were indeed illegal in the red zone, which he was confirmed.
Opinions to the contrary
However, other agricultural producers offer U-pick and the route of a corn maze in the red zone without being worried, such as the BM Forget farm, in Laval, or the La Fille du Roy farm, in Sainte-Madeleine in Montérégie. .
Laval’s public health says it relies on the instructions issued at the national level. On the side of the Ministry of Health, it is said that U-pick activities are legal. Nothing prohibits individual outdoor activities or family bubbles, if the distancing measures are respected.
Based on the opinion of the Ministry of Health, the Union des Producteurs Agricoles (UPA) confirms that it has informed its members that U-picking is allowed in the red zone under certain conditions.
“This is good news since the pick-your-own is very important for our producers in Quebec,” continued Jessica Blackburn, spokesperson for the UPA.
Without the pick-your-own, tons of apples and pumpkins could end up in the trash for lack of manpower to pick them up.
To correct the shot
Noting that it is in contradiction with the ministry, the public health of the Laurentians suggested that it could re-evaluate the case of Raphaël Lauzon and his corn maze.
“For us, any organized public activity is prohibited in the red zone. […] It surprises us that this is allowed. Yet if this is the case, we will rectify the situation, ”said Marie-Ève Thériault of the regional public health directorate.