From September 2015
Dear Mayor and Member of Council:
I am writing to you on behalf of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG), which represents independent and franchised grocers here in the City of Toronto and across the country. Some of our members in Toronto that you would be familiar with are Longos, Summerhill Market, Sun Valley Supermarket, Pusateris, Kitchen Table, Highland Farms, Coppa’s and Fiesta Farms.
As you are no doubt aware, the City’s holiday shopping bylaw was recently challenged in the courts by one of our members, successfully. This was again successful on appeal and has resulted in the City Solicitor bringing forward a report to Council on September 30th.
It is our view that this recent court decision and the report by the City Solicitor presents Council with an opportunity to review and update the current bylaw to ensure it acknowledges the new realities of retail, changing customer demands, reflects the multicultural makeup of the population and eliminates the subjective designation of five tourism exempt areas in the City of Toronto.
As Unifor recently stated, studies show retailers don’t make any more money by staying open, as consumers simply shift their spending. We agree. This is not about generating more revenue for retailers, but simply allowing them to make the proprietary decision to open or close, depending on what the community itself wants. Some grocery retailers do not for example, stay open on Boxing Day, as is their right, because many consumers opt to not shop for groceries on that day.
The current bylaw provides a framework that picks “winners and losers” on the retail landscape of this city. A framework that is clearly out of date, inconsistent, contradictory and inequitable. The City has changed. Retail has changed. It’s time for Council to ensure this particular bylaw reflects those changes.
We appreciate your consideration and look forward to engaging with the Mayor, Council and City staff in moving forward in this area. Thank you.
© 2017 Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers