Councillors of a civic committee acknowledged the need for a full-service grocery store in the downtown area and instructed the city’s development agency to make the issue a priority.
But the committee did not follow the suggestion of a new report that said subsidies are needed to attract a grocery store operator downtown.
There was no formal request to the committee to implement subsidies to secure a downtown grocery store, but the city’s downtown development agency said other Canadian communities had such subsidies or are considering them.
Members of the committee were divided on the need for subsidies.
Councillors Jenny Gerbasi and Mike Pagtakhan, whose wards encompass parts of the downtown, said considering some form of subsidy might be worthwhile if a potential grocery store plan is ever presented to the city.
But suburban Coun. Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan) said the city shouldn’t be involved in offering subsidies to businesses.
"If there is a demand (for a grocery store), the market will provide it," Browaty said.
The downtown grocery store feasibility report was presented to the downtown development committee this morning by CentreVenture Development Corp. The committee instructed the agency to report back in 60 days with an update on its search for a grocery store operator.