Plenty of wine to go around in Kamloops

Two & Out
By James Peters
May 20, 2016 - 1:58pm

KAMLOOPS — Tracking the decisions of this particular Kamloops council, it's interesting to see those that coincide with the public will, and those that doesn't.

The move to keep the Westsyde pool on life support, for example, was one that the public spoke up loudly to support, even if it wasn't in the interest of the majority of Kamloops taxpayers. 

The choice to ban smoking in public parks was a popular decision, if unenforceable, and the choice to ban residential pesticide use was an unpopular decision, and also unenforceable. 

This week's vote not to allow Save-On Foods to sell BC wine on its shelves fits squarely in the unpopular category.

Shoppers want it, Save-On wants it, and local wineries want it.

Not only that, the decision delves into protectionist territory where local government shouldn't tread.

Now before you accuse me of simply sticking up for my corporate cousins, you should know that we count several independent liquor stores among our best clients. 

If you're going to take that road, know that it travels in two directions, and neither one is comfortable. 

It is very, very easy for shoppers to find their way to both a grocery store and a liquor store. 

But when local wine producers say that they simply don't have enough shelf space to market their products, it becomes clear that government does not need to step in to save one business at the expense of another. 

We all want small, locally-owned businesses to survive and thrive.

The best way to ensure that happens is by continuing to spend our money there.

Even if the grocery store was allowed to sell BC wine, there are plenty of products liquor stores can sell that Save-On can't.

The pie is big enough to allow Save-On Foods or another grocery store to take a limited cut.