The Village of Radium Hot Springs council meeting was a brief agenda with only a few issues requiring further discussion from councillors. Items discussed included the official adoption of Bylaw 429, approval of the 2016 financial statements, discussion over CanWest Propane sale, and a Lake Windermere District Lions Club beer garden request.
Council discussed the pending acquisition of Canwest Propane by Superior Plus Corp. Councillor Mike Gray brought forward concern that the purchase means only one major propane distributor. He recognized that there are other providers in the area, but Superior Plus Corp. would be the largest distributor if the acquisition was approved.
“When you’re in a position where one company is providing a vast majority of the service in one area, if they have captured that huge percentage of that market, it can prevent new competition from arising. That’s concerning. I think competition is what ensures we have fair prices,” said Gray.
Gray asked council to consider voicing these concerns to the Competition Bureau, the independent law agency that ensures business competition.
“What I’m proposing is we make a motion to pen a letter to the Competition Bureau,” said Gray.
Gray stated to The Echo that he wants the Competition Bureau to be aware of the community’s situation in regards to the reliance of propane.
“I just want to make sure the Competition Bureau is aware how reliant we are on propane here in the valley. We’re not like most areas that use propane casually; for us it’s a necessity for heating, cooking, many other things for many homes,” said Gray.
The council discussed sending a letter to voice their concern of having a monopoly in the community controlling the propane prices.
“In the end, I don’t think it would hurt to send in a letter,” said Councillor Tyler McCauley.
Council made a motion to write to the Competition Bureau requesting that it ensure the businesses act competitively.
Pulling out all the stops for cycling club
Village Council was presented with a request from the Lake Windermere District Lions Club. The club was asking council for use of the ball diamond, Brent’s Cook Shack and the arena area for when the club hosts the Elbow Valley Cycle Club on May 20th and 21st when the club’s cyclists make their way to Golden.
Approximately 450 cyclists will be in Radium and the Lions are asking for the ball diamond for camping space; the arena area will be used for cooking and serving meals to the cyclists. The Lions were also seeking permission to operate a beer garden on Saturday, May 20th.
Council granted all requests made.