Petitioners want liquor store to stay open Mayor signs petition

March 18, 2005

About 1,500 residents of Penticton, including Mayor David Perry and Councillor Dan Ashton, have signed a petition calling on the Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) to scrap plans to close the Martin Street liquor store.

"We're delighted to have the support of Mayor Perry and Councillor Ashton," said BCGEU Local 505 Chair Karl Wolfe.

"The residents of Penticton have made it clear that they want the LDB to keep the Martin Street store open," said Wolfe. "At the same time we have to think about the customer traffic generated for all the other stores in the mall where the liquor store is located. These businesses will suffer dramatically with closure of the LDB store."

"The LDB's work to create a "signature store" by enlarging an existing store is welcome, but it falls short of what was expected. Just as a matter of customer service, it's clear Penticton should have at least two public liquor stores. The Martin Street store did $5 million in business last year. It makes a significant contribution to the provincial treasury to help pay for vital public services," said Wolfe.

A copy of the petition was presented to MLA Bill Barisoff (Penticton-Okanagan Valley) on Friday, March 11. Barisoff said he would take the petition to the minister responsible for the LDB, Solicitor General Rich Coleman.

"In Kamloops, residents pressured local MLAs and the government reversed the LDB's plans to close two stores in that community," said Wolfe. "They should make the same decision here."

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Contact: Chris Bradshaw, BCGEU communications, (604) 291-9611