LETTER: Keep away from the drive-through

The garbage and exhaust produced as a direct result of the business’s success is “externalized,” to use economic jargon.

Congratulations to Nelson City Council for passing a new zoning bylaw that does not allow for any new drive-through restaurants in the city.

This move is in keeping with a stated desire to reduce Nelson’s greenhouse gas (mainly CO2) emissions. Drive-through restaurants are a throwback to the early 1950s when fossil fuel was abundant, cars were synonymous with freedom, doctors were still appearing on cigarette advertising, and climate change was unheard of.

Times change and business models must also evolve to reflect the new reality. A business model that relies entirely on selling food in single-use containers and utensils to people waiting in a line of idling cars is not a socially or an environmentally-responsible one.

The garbage and exhaust produced as a direct result of the business’s success is “externalized,” to use economic jargon. The City/RDCK pays for most of the waste disposal and the automobile exhaust costs are spread like a fog over the entire population, ultimately contributing to global climate instability.

Tim Hortons, one of the rumoured drive-throughs often mentioned as “missing” from our city, is worth looking at more closely. Its public image is carefully crafted and “woven into the fabric of Canada.”

It is the largest publicly-traded fast food chain in North America with 4,304 outlets. Their baked goods are prepared in a factory in Brantford, Ontario and trucked over 4,000 km to BC where they are “finished” in local franchises. Most of their coffee is roasted in a $30 million facility in Hamilton. Their famous “roll up the rim to win” campaign demands that you purchase a single-use disposable cup in order to be able to win.

The allegations of unfair working standards made by Filipino temporary foreign workers at the Fernie franchise are not isolated; they exist in several locations across Canada and investigations are ongoing.

One has to ask why a company cannot find local employees able to pour coffee and sell doughnuts in a place like Fernie.

The number of thriving local coffee shops in Nelson, each distinct and offering a slightly different selection of locally-produced foods and Nelson- or BC-roasted coffee is a testament to Nelson’s entrepreneurial spirit. If your friendly barista has been working for the same coffee shop for close to 10 years, it seems likely that their wages and working conditions are quite acceptable.


David Beringer


Just Posted

Finding support at Community Connect

The 10th annual event offered free services, clothing and food on Saturday

RDCK calls for reversal of Sinixt extinction

The board opposed a land transfer to the Westbank First Nation this week

Nelson city council to update banner policy

Council will revisit the wording of the policy at its December meeting

Forecasters promote avalanche safety awareness

Avalanche Canada advising backcountry enthusiasts to get proper training and equipment.

Meteorite fragments found near Crawford Bay

The pieces came from the fireball that exploded over Kootenay Lake in September

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Man pleads guilty to Leafs recycling depot theft

Dezmond Waggoner had been charged with theft over $5,000

Nelson Leafs stretch winning streak to six

Jack Karran scored twice in the Leafs 6-3 win over Fernie

Nelson city hall selling bear-proof garbage bins

The city has purchased 100 bins and is charging residents $205

COLUMN: Will West Kootenay forests survive?

As with most things around ecology, the answer is not simple, says columnist Greg Utzig

Julien Locke races to NST World Cup berth

Black Jack cross-country skier Julien Locke races to first place at World Cup qualifier

B.C. reporter reflects on covering Charles Manson

Charles Manson, leader of a murderous cult, died on Sunday at 83

Most Read