Surrey councillor Mandeep Nagra, left, wants to make it easier for private liquor stores to set up shop in Surrey. What do you think? Email us at (File photos)


OUR VIEW: Surrey councillor’s liquor store pitch is pathetic

On a council that says no to cannabis shops and ride-hailing, Nagra thinks we need more booze stores

What does Surrey really need?

A new rink in Cloverdale, some would argue. More police officers to patrol our streets. Better street signage. More help for the down-and-out.

Maybe better bus service? More support for the arts? Free parking? And as we approach winter, expect to hear motorists clamouring for a swifter response to fixing potholes.

What about ride-sharing? That would sure be nice, wouldn’t it?

Take your pick – there are a lot of things this city could well use.

But do we really need a liquor store within stumbling distance of every drinker in Surrey?

A lot of people in Surrey are puzzled by our front page story in the Oct. 11 issue (you can read some of our readers’ reactions by clicking our Facebook post below).

It featured an idea championed by Councillor Mandeep Nagra to “create more business opportunities” by enabling more liquor stores to open in Surrey.

READ ALSO: Amid cannabis shop ban, Surrey councillor questions move to allow more liquor stores

After all, there’s only six liquor stores along North Delta’s side of Scott Road, between 64th and 96th avenues.

Only six, he notes. Heavens!

How many more do we need?

Surrey already has its fair share.

“I know this file,” says Councillor Brenda Locke, who was the executive director of the BC Liquor Retailers Association for 15 years. “Surrey has more liquor licenses than any other city, per capita, in B.C.”

Nagra’s pitch is especially puzzling given Safe Surrey Coalition’s prohibition approach to cannabis.

Maybe we need more nail salons, pet shops, recycling depots, barbers, cobblers, haberdasheries, fish markets, butcher shops… or maybe not.

But one thing is certain – the last thing our city needs is more liquor stores.

Nagra should know that. After a year on council, this is the best he can offer residents?

Give your head a shake, Mandeep.

– Now-Leader

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