Council passes bylaw that prohibits pharmacies, clinics in Mission downtown

Councillors Jenny Stevens and Nelson Tilbury voted against the bylaw

Mission council passed a bylaw prohibiting pharmacies and medical clinics in the area last Thursday.

“This council is committed to the positive revitalization of the downtown core,” said Councillor Dave Hensman, adding he wants it to be a profitable place for businesses and a desirable destination for shoppers. “It will be a journey with speed bumps and hard days.”

“We’re holding the line … to revitalize downtown,” added Coun. Tony Luck. “Sometimes we need to take drastic steps and this is a drastic step.”

However, Luck pointed out council isn’t restricting this business in Mission; the pharmacy just can’t set up shop downtown.

The overwhelming voice at the public hearing in June moved Coun. Jeff Jewell to support the bylaw.

“If it’s important to so many people, I’ll take heed of it,” he said.

But not all council members agreed with the move. Couns. Jenny Stevens and Nelson Tilbury opposed the bylaw as both felt it was aimed at one business, Life Pharmacy, which was rumoured to be a marijuana clinic and needle exchange.

Those rumours were unfounded and fears unjustified. The bylaw alone will not benefit the community as a whole, said Stevens, who opposed the legislation earlier.

Coun. Nelson Tilbury said he once listened to the rumours, but now knows they are incorrect.

“I feel like I’ve been used; I feel like I’ve been played,” explained Tilbury, who noted the way the applicant has been treated is “appalling.”

The applicant has launched legal action against the district. The district filed a response on July 24.