Butcher’s By-Law

This “infamous” by-law was passed by the Village Council on Friday October 29th 1880 to protect the existing butcher stores (owned by Messrs. Austin and Cochrane). The By-law prohibited anyone from selling fresh meat in quantities less than a quarter carcass. The by-law was passed to prevent farmers, unlicensed vendors, and other store owners from slaughtering an animal and selling it from their waggons or stalls. John D. Naylor was a Fenelon Township shoemaker who was fined on November 8th [FFG 13 Nov 1880; 2] for selling meat within the village. There was great indignation amongst the public and local farmers (at least according to the Gazette who championed the cause of free trade). The resulting competition and debate resulted in better prices for meat, and the by-law was finally repealed a year later [FFG 5 Nov 1881; 2]. The issue of business regulations and fair dealings, however, remained topical for much of the decade.

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