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  • The Low Down

Wakefield: Quebec’s first fair trade town, say what?

By Catherine Sinclair


Last September, inspired by the Halloween trick-or-treat event generously hosted by the residents of Wakefield’s Burnside and Elm streets, I burst out with a Facebook post about using this unique setting to promote the distribution of Fair Trade goods for the occasion. Little did I know that the banana-costumed person handing out, well, bananas, and the volunteers pouring Fair Trade chocolate into trick-or-treater’s bags were part of a vibrant local committee.


Shortly after, at the invitation of the unbeatable Anne Winship (Bean Fair Coffee) and her tireless crew, who have been championing Fair Trade for over 10 years, I joined the Wakefield Fair Trade Committee. Their goal, through in-school workshops, pamphlets, fair trade fairs and handing out many, many bananas, has been to bring another global cause to mind: consumer accountability in creating a just world for workers in the international market for goods. Before I lose you right off the bat due to the compassion exhaustion you’re feeling thanks to all the worthy causes out there, think about this: you, a resident of the Gatineau Hills, are a part of this.


When I moved here from Ottawa in 2011, I noticed the sign on the way in and out of Wakefield Village indicating that La Pêche is Quebec’s first designated Fair Trade town. What on earth is a Fair Trade town?