July 23, 2015 - 8:30 AM
KAMLOOPS – A petition aimed at getting city council to drop a motion aimed at limiting where alcohol can be sold in Kamloops is slowly gathering support.
The Kamloops Wine Trail has started a petition in an attempt to lobby city council to vote against a proposed motion that would place distance parameters between liquor vendors.
“We want to show that there is public support for this initiative,” director Trish Morelli says.
They hope the petition will garner 1000 signatures. Although she says 'it’s a lofty goal' Morelli is confident that the petition will draw support.
The province has agreed to allow grocers to sell B.C. local wines in store, but the motion brought forward by Coun. Marg Spina might make this impossible.
“Any grocery store definitely has a liquor store within one kilometre of it,” Morelli says of the wide radius included in the proposed changes.
She adds the province has done their due diligence; there is no evidence to suggest there is any public safety or health issue by placing wine in grocery stores.
Morelli says when it comes to competitive disadvantage between small retailers and large chains the customer experience and expertise differs greatly between the business models.
“Each of the independents have a strong business model on their own with loyal customer bases,” she says, adding the point is to expose consumers to wines they wouldn’t have been otherwise, which creates a broader market for B.C. wines.
Morelli says there are a set number of licenses available for the entire province therefore Kamloops will not be inundated by liquor vendors.
A public hearing on the matter is scheduled for July 28.
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