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Potential downtown grocers won't get help from city

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City hall won't get directly involved in any effort to subsidize a downtown Winnipeg grocery store.

City council voted 13-3 Wednesday to shelve a motion calling on the city to get involved in efforts to combat the so-called food desert in the inner city.

Residents of the Portage-Ellice neighbourhood have been without a full-service grocery since the closure of Zellers in The Bay building. Those residents include seniors, several of which appeared before council to appeal for action.

Council, however, voted to leave the task of helping a grocer operate downtown to CentreVenture, the city's arm's-length downtown development agency.

Couns. Ross Eadie (Mynarksi), Jenny Gerbasi (Fort Rouge) and Harvey Smith (Daniel McIntyre) voted against this plan.

Gerbasi and Eadie said the city has a responsibility to aid downtown residents. Mayor Sam Katz and St. Norbert Coun. Justin Swandel said CentreVenture can do this more efficiently.

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

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