City Briefs: Sunday Drinking and Safety on 4

This week at the Municipal Services Committee: local bar owner Jason Perrino queried current liquor regulations barring bars from selling liquor on Sundays while allowing sales at restaurants and clubs; and a motion is brought forward to figure out a solution to the Highway 4 safety problem.

Fair and equal imbibing

Jason Perrino, the owner of After 8, brought a motion to MSC requesting an amendment to the by-law that prevents bars from selling liquor on Sundays and holidays, but allows restaurants and clubs to do so.

Councillors Wong and Bell spoke up in support of the motion, Wong pointing out that “if [bars] can’t make the revenue they’ll close. It’s a pretty simple question of supply and demand. I say we do this.”

Adrian Bell also pointed out that for tourists coming through town, Sunday is an unfortunate day to pass through the downtown area. “They come in on Sundays and everything’s closed. On Sunday, it really is a ghost town.”

Councillor Vanthuyne also added his support, suggesting that council “make it fair and equal.”

The motion will come to council next week.

Fixing Highway 4

Also on the agenda: a proposal from councillor Wong to improve safe transit for pedestrians and bikers along Highway 4. The proposal zeroed in on two issues: safety between Niven Lake and the downtown, and crossing the highway. Wong summarized the current situation by saying, “You stand there, wait for a break in the road, and run for your life.”

Though the highway technically belongs to the GNWT, Wong proposed finding a “short-term solution,” given that a long-term fix was not anticipated by any of the members to be finalized any time soon.

Councillors Konge and Vanthuyne disagreed with the proposal. “We’ve done our due diligence giving people routes to downtown,” said councillor Konge. “If you’re concerned about your safety, take alternate routes,” added Vanthuyne. Both councillors brought up the existing network of trails, with Vanthuyne suggesting that council could look at laying down gravel over the rocky outcropping on part of the Niven Lake Trail and thereby making it a viable route for strollers and bicycles.

Other councillors were not impressed by the suggestion. “It’s not at all true,” said Adrian Bell of Konge’s comments on the trail network. “We’re doing our residents a disservice. Let’s put the question to Yellowknifers,” said Bell.

Wong brought forth the motion, which requires city administration to contact the Department of Transportation for the GNWT and return to council with options for a short-term solution for Highway 4. Wong’s motion will come to council next week.

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