Licensing hold up makes no sense

Editorial

It’s difficult to understand what the holdup is all about with respect to Kaleden’s Lakeside General Store’s application to have its agency liquor store license reinstated.

The store lost it through a previous operator’s incompetence, and the Grewals have been struggling to get it back since purchasing the business in October of 2010.

Apparently, new liquor licensing regulations put the store within proximity of other agency outlets – according to liquor agency licensing bureaucrats, who seem to be the ones standing in the way of the Grewals’ application.

This is a situation that really must be assessed using common sense and good judgement, as opposed to relying on enforcement through strict adherence to the law.

Kaleden is an isolated community. Without a local agency, residents must drive if they wish to purchase alcohol. It’s also a community made up of many senior citizens, some who have limited means with which to get out of the community. Kaleden also serves an increasingly larger tourist population, who use the campgrounds, local park and boat launch during the summer months.

Without a local liquor outlet, there may be temptation by some to drive after having consumed alcohol to another community to get more. This prospect, which could be negated by having a local outlet, flies in the face of the province’s recent toughening of impaired driving laws.

Lastly, it must be pointed out that one of the nearest communities to Kaleden – that being Okanagan Falls- currently has three outlets serving a community of roughly the same size.

Local MLA John Slater has called it “ludicrous” that Kaleden doesn’t have its own liquor outlet. It’s time the bureaucrats took a realistic look at this ludicrous situation and corrected it.