Stone "never less proud" than after Kamloops council wine vote

By James Peters
June 9, 2016 - 12:49pm Updated: June 9, 2016 - 2:34pm

KAMLOOPS — Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone is calling on Kamloops council to revisit its decision not to allow Save-On Foods to sell BC wine at its Sahali store.

Stone says he's not sure if certain councillors want to see Kamloops revert to prohibition days, or have a "nanny state" mentality, but he has never been less proud of Kamloops council than when it made that decision.

"I will say this, the decision that council took on this, I think was completely wrong, totally inexcusable, and they should revisit this decision. I have never been less proud of Kamloops city council than I was in watching them with this particular decision." 

Premier Christy Clark recently received a letter from a group of international ambassadors, warning her that the province's regulation allowing only BC wine in grocery stores contravenes international trade agreements.

But Stone says the number of licenses BC will issue is far below what would violate any trade deals, and the letter was little more than a tactic.

"Any suggestion, whether it's expected from ambassadors from other countries like Chile, or Australia, or similar suggestions from Kamloops city councillors, or retailers in Kamloops that we are in violation of trade agreements is just simple nonsense," said Stone. 

Stone says he's not sure why Kamloops council would stand up for international wineries, but not for its own local wine-making industry.

"I expect these kinds of letters and strategies from foreign ambassadors, whose job it is to protect their wine industries. What I don't understand is why city councillors in Kamloops, and retailers would be going to the same lengths to stand up from Australian wineries and Chilean wineries, as opposed to standing up shoulder to shoulder with the wineries in Kamloops."

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