VERNON — Vernon council won't be getting into regulating where liquor stores can be located in the city.
Council has decided not to take action on a request for a one kilometre distance rule between alcohol beverage retailers which the Alliance of Beverage Licensees had sought to protect the city's existing 10 private liquor stores.
Councillor Dalvir Nahal is upset with council's decision.
"We have to think about our small businesses that are already operating here. We are going to create more minimum wage jobs and we will lose some good paying jobs, I can just see it happening. This is what happens every time a big retail store starts to sell something. It's the small businesses that suffer," Nahal told the media.
Loblaws -- which operates Real Canadian Superstores -- says its hoping to get a special license from the province to sell BC wines at its Vernon store.
"Our customers in Vernon are equally exited about the opportunity to purchase wine in grocery stores. A recent poll of more than 1,000 of our shoppers showed that 83% of respondents would support the Vernon RCSS offering BC wine to its customers, and would also consider purchasing BC wine at the store if available," says Gord Chem, Senior vice president with Loblaws in Vancouver.
Mayor Akbal Mund doesn't think having wine sold at the Superstore, for example, would necessarily hurt the private outlets.
"it was brought before us that it was going to impact sales and the number of employees. I don't think it's going to do that, says Mund.
Mund says only 9 per cent of all alcohol sales are wine, and only 2 per cent of that is BC wine.
Councillor Scott Anderson says it's not a city matter.
"If we were to enforce the one kilometre rule, that would be intruding on provincial legislation. Municipalities, and government in general, should be intruding as little as possible on the private sector, so I think competition is a good thing," says Anderson.
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