Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Council to send one kilometre rule for liquor stores to Public hearing in August

A plan by the City of Prince Rupert to put in place a one kilometre rule between establishments selling liquor is set for a public hearing in August, with Council setting the scene for the public consultation during last Monday's council session.

Following a short presentation from City Planner Zeno Krekic which provided some background to a recent study on the issue, the city's council members weighed in on the discussion.

Only Councillor Blair Mirau took the view that the proposed regulation was one that for the most part is only adding to more red tape in the community for local business to deal with, noting that he believes City Council has more important priorities to deal with, pointing to the need for land use guidelines as something the city council should be focusing its attention on.

The remainder of those that spoke to the issue however, were strongly in favour of the proposal portraying the plan as one that is designed to protect jobs at those establishments in place in the community.

The moves for the most part appear to be designed to keep liquor sales out of the city's two grocery stores, with Councillor Cunningham noting that the the city has enough liquor establishments in place at the moment and that there is a need to ensure those jobs remain in the community, noting that the city has already lost one establishment and that he has concerns that others could follow.

For her part, Councillor Thorkelson outlined her belief that the city already has a significant problem when it comes to liquor and she doesn't want to see the city add to those issues.

In addition to the city's BCLC outlet, Prince Rupert currently host four independent establishments that sell beer, wine and liquor.

Belmont Beer and Wine Store
The Liquor Warehouse
Spirits of Cow Bay
11th Avenue Liquor Store

The locations of Prince Rupert BCLC outlet and four private
commercial liquor sales options in the city.

You can review the discussion on the theme from the City's Video Archive, starting at the one hour twenty five minute mark.

The Public Hearing process for late August may come in for some criticism however, with many residents still out of town for vacations, some might suggest that a topic that offers the community a chance to speak out on the option of convenience and choice when it comes to liquor sales, should best be offered up for consideration later in the fall when the majority of the city's residents are back home.

As it sits on the schedule for the moment, the public will be asked to provide their guidance for Council on the issue at the Public Hearing to be held prior to the August 22nd City Council session at 7 PM.

More background on discussion from last Monday can be found from our City Council Timeline of last week, while further notes related to the long running issue can be found below:

January 2016 -- Council to hear report on issues related to possibility of Wine stores in Grocery Stores in Prince Rupert

October 2014 -- Changes in provincial liquor licensing still a concern for some on Council

Further items related to City Council discussions can be found on our archive page here.

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