Bong shops, money lenders targeted by Esquimalt

Esquimalt council proposes reduction in restrictive zone, but tighter regulations for drug paraphernalia shops

A proposed three-kilometre ‘no-go’ zone around schools that would have effectively banned businesses selling drug paraphernalia in Esquimalt has been reduced.

The B.C. Community Charter prevents the outright ban or prohibition of any legitimate business, but allows for restrictions and tighter regulation on such businesses. With that in mind, Esquimalt council on Monday asked staff to rewrite bylaws to create a 500-metre safe zone, but increase business licence fees in line with liquor-licensed establishments, and restrict opening hours and public advertising or marketing efforts of such firms.

Coun. Tim Morrison said the extra licensing fee revenue could be directed toward community grants that support positive, healthy living initiatives for youth and children.

The Bong Warehouse, operating in Esquimalt’s village centre, has been in the centre of efforts to restrict certain types of business in the township. The proposed changes would, among other things, limit its opening times to daytime hours from its current 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. opening.

A separate category for higher licence fees and restricted hours would apply to money lending stores. A majority of respondents to a resident questionnaire undertaken by the municipality supported tightening regulatory measures against both types of businesses.

“The plan is to have (any changes) come back in November in time to have it communicated to businesses,” Morrison said. “We also allowed for a six-month grace period so no one business is put in an awkward position financially.”

Monday also saw a discussion on mascot use, prompted by Bong Warehouse’s use of a giant bong costume for streetside promotion. Council proposes that exceptions be made for special events, community celebrations, charitable sporting events and community protests.

ddescoteau@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Retiring Oak Bay geriatrics doctor shares his philosophy

‘People are unacquainted with death,’ Dr. David Brook said

Your summer 2019 outdoor movie roundup

Enjoy free outdoor movies in Greater Victoria this summer

International conference to boost Indigenous languages comes to Victoria

Chiefs, politician, academics and Art Napoleon to attend

BC Summer Reading Club is back at the Greater Victoria Public Library

BC Summer Reading Club is back at the Greater Victoria Public Library

WATCH: Thousands gather for National Indigenous Peoples Day at Royal Roads University

Day to embrace and celebrate culture and lives of Indigenous peoples

Wildfire burning in coastal forest

A fire beside the Sea to Sky Highway is burning up a steep slope

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

VIDEO: Two more pride flags have been stolen from Langley woman

Lisa Ebenal was “angry” and “fed up” after the latest theft. Then people started showing suppport

B.C. couple who has raised 58 children turns to community amid cancer diagnosis

Family who raised, fostered and adopted many kids hoping to gain some precious together time to fight cancer

Canucks acquire forward J.T. Miller from Lightning

J.T. Miller, 26, had 13 goals and 34 assists for the Lightning last season

Most Read