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June 5, 2006

Banning nuts at a local stadium?

Here's a interesting editorial from the Edmunton Sun. I have to agree with the writer, the tail is waggin' the dog here. Unlike the West Michigan baseball team that created one peanut-free day, this stadium banned peanuts altogether. In my opinion, this ends up hurting the food allergy cause more than helping.

It looks like another case of a very small tail wagging a very large dog. Not an unusual state of affairs under the Sir Winston Churchill Square pyramids these days.

Without any apparent debate, forewarning or public consultation the city hall bureaucrats have taken action into their own hands and slapped a peanut-possession ban on patrons at Commonwealth Stadium.

This because one Eskimo fan wrote a letter of complaint about how her son with a peanut allergy gets "anxious" coming to the football games.

Even though Commonwealth is an outdoor stadium where we would have to assume peanut odour is quickly defused in the fresh air, city hall has ruled and the football club has fallen in line.

Commonwealth will now be a "peanut-free" facility and Eskimo season ticket holders will be warned to keep their nuts at home, or suffer the consequences.

In typical city hall fashion, nobody has a clue about how the ban will be enforced since there appears to be no bylaw in place to back it up.

And does this include candy bars with peanuts in them? Or what about fans who may have cooked a meal in peanut oil before attending a game? Are they going to be forbidden entry too, just in case they have a whiff of nuts on their clothes? The ridiculous length to which this argument can be taken knows no bounds.

The same kind of knee-jerk reaction occurred when city facility managers decided to cloak arena ice surfaces with a shroud of black mesh because a girl in the United States was struck by a puck and died.

Now parents must watch their kids play hockey and lacrosse through an annoying chicken wire screen in yet another case of severe city hall overreaction.

Although nobody is going to be seriously compromised by not having a sack of salted peanuts to munch while attending a football game, the arbitrary way the bureaucrats went about the nut ban raises some questions about who is in charge at city hall these days.

City councillors should have asked if the one child with the peanut allergy problem could have been accommodated without compromising the vast majority of Eskimo fans.

The question must also be raised, if peanuts are dangerous in Commonwealth, why can they be safely consumed in other city facilities? Or even on the street? Should they even be sold to the general public?

Certainly living with an allergy - whether it be peanuts or an array of other substances - can seriously restrict one's lifestyle. But in the Commonwealth case it appears to negatively impact large numbers of other people as well.

It's time for city council's peanut gallery to give Edmontonians some straight answers.

source: EdmuntonSun.com

Posted by David at June 5, 2006 11:52 AM