Council made a motion Tuesday directing staff to draft a bylaw that would ban franchises in Tofino utilizing a section of the official community plan which discourages future development and location of large-format retail chains and fast-food chains that do not reflect the character of Tofino, according to Coun. Stephen Ashton who proposed the motion. The Vancouver Sun
Tofino city council motions to ban McDonald’s, Starbucks and even Tim Horton’s
March 10, 2010
There was a sign in my high school library that said “There are more libraries in Canada than McDonald’s and Tim Horton’s franchises combined”. I doubt that’s true anymore, and Tofino BC city council is taking steps to change that.
Franchises that already run in Tofino would not be shut down as this would imply rocking the boat a bit too much.
Tofino city council believes the existence of many of these franchises would erode Tofino’s character. While they’re probably right, there’s this pesky thing called “The Charter of Rights and Freedoms” that might get in the way. They have to tread carefully though.
There is some precedent for taking such a measure. One community passed a bylaw which banned any restaurants without table service. Not sure if that’s the way to go…but it’s a start.
If Tofino is successful, though, a lot of other ‘character’ towns will likely jump on the bandwagon to preserve their unique vibe. Imagine, a city without double doubles and big macs…weird.