One Thumbs Up and One Thumbs Down …

… although the down is mainly surprising in only one context.

First of all the good up. City council is set to consider/implement a Sidewalk Cafe Extension trial run. From the Monday April 28 agenda:


Council has expressed interest in allowing sidewalk cafes in the downtown and directed staff to investigate the pros and cons of sidewalk cafes and draft a policy to allow them.

A sidewalk cafe is an outdoor eating and drinking area which is part of a restaurant establishment extending on to municipal property (sidewalk, parking stalls and/or street right of way). They are known to exist in places such as Kelowna, Nelson and Victoria and staff have researched these and other communities guidelines and policies documents.

The purpose of this report is to update Council on what staff believes are the pros and cons of sidewalk cafes, present a draft policy, and to explain what staff believes is an appropriatemethod to implement such a policy.

That’s the up.

The down: City council and the Salmon Arm Chamber had joined forces in requesting that there be a meeting with petroleum companies over the high gas prices in Salmon Arm. The lack of competive pricing is viewed by most as a cartel-like situation here in town.

The responses that came in? No thanks but here’s some PR pablum that completely reinforces the idea that they are content with exploiting a lack of competition.

From Suncor (PetroCan):

With respect to your specific concerns, our records indicate that retail fuel prices at our branded Petro-Canada locations in Salmon Arm and surrounding communities are within 2 cents per litre of each other, on average, over the past 90 days. The price variance between our site in Salmon Arm and largerurban centres further away can be greater.

and …

Smaller communities in general provide marketing challenges that are different from larger urban areas. Some of these factors include higher transportation and distribution costs, and fewer retail operators.

There’s also a response from Armstrong Coop noting their member rebate program.

Both companies indicate that they won’t attend a public meeting with other petroleum companies to engage in any discussion of pricing lest they be charged for conspiracy over pricing under the Competion Act.

* From Items 12 and 13 in the Informational Correspondence slated for this Monday’s council meeting.

My Oh My – I never thought that I’d ever see more double-speak than in one of Colin Mayes’ pressers.


Author: Tim Lavery

Aim High Salmon Arm It matters

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