The fault lines on Brandon’s Sunday shopping debate have already been drawn, for differing reasons, as city councillors voted 7-4 on first reading of a bylaw allowing businesses to open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Couns. Garth Rice (South Centre), Jan Chaboyer (Green Acres), Len Isleifson (Riverview) and Jeff Harwood (University) all opposed the measure.
Harwood said he didn’t see that the extended shopping hours were required.
“I’m not opposed to Sunday shopping, but I’m opposed to extending it three hours,” Harwood (University) said. “I don’t think it’s going to make that much of a difference and I also think it was a knee-jerk reaction by the province to the feds upping the limits people can bring back from the United States.”
Isleifson said his opposition to the proposed hours comes from a belief the city may be rushing into the decision and more consultation is required to see if those are the appropriate hours.
Coun. Stephen Montague (Richmond) and Corey Roberts (Rosser) were the chief proponents for the new shopping hours.
“Recently the province announced that on Aug, 1, three hours can be added to the Sunday shopping law,” Montague said. “This allows municipalities to decide whether to allow businesses to open. We feel it should be up to the businesses themselves to make that decision.”
The bylaw will require second and third reading before it becomes law. The next council meeting where that can be considered is July 23.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 10, 2012