Chamber members vote against the business hours bylaw

A majority of the members of the Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce want to see the business hours bylaw repealed.

A majority of the members of the Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce want to see the business hours bylaw repealed.

A recent Monkey Survey, conducted by the chamber, shows a majority of those who voted would prefer to things as they were.

There was only one question posed: Are you in favour of repealing the Town of Ponoka By-Law No 313-12, which limits the hours of business for Liquor Retail and Off-Sales Establishments between the hours of 10 A.M. and 10 P.M. weekdays, weekend days and statutory holidays?

Chamber president Jim Hamilton said there were 49 votes with 35 members in favour of repealing the bylaw and 14 who wanted to keep it. One member recently requested another survey be sent to members before town councillors meet Feb. 11 to debate keeping the bylaw.

“As chamber president, I hope council considers what the business community has said,” offered Hamilton.

He believes the response sends a strong message to council. A survey was sent out to members last year but the results showed chamber members were split on the issue and Hamilton was unable to provide a conclusive opinion.

“Not enough that we could make a stand,” he said.

As soon as the most recent survey was posted though, most members voted within the first four hours.

Forty-one per cent of the emails sent out were responded to.

Rescinding bylaw takes time

If councillors want to amend the current business hours bylaw, they must follow the proper steps outlined in the Municipal Government Act.

Acting CAO Betty Quinlan advised council of this during a committee of the whole meeting Jan. 23. “You have to have a bylaw to rescind it…then we need to be advised so we can draft it and put it in the package.”

Council will have to go through three readings before the rescinding bylaw could be passed.