In 2014 Chris Zmuda opened his “TASTE OF EUROPE” DELI on Douglas Street in Victoria. The Deli was a success.
With three employees, Chris happily served lunches from Polish recipes he acquired from his home country, and he built a loyal group of customers, eager to feast on kapusta soup and handmade pierogies.
Then, at the end of 2014 a new City Council was elected with Mayor Lisa Helps.
Last year (2017) the Deli was turned into a “cannabis sandwich” – stuck between one illegal marijuana store on right side and other one with license on the left side. They were only separated by 20 meters, even though Victoria By-laws require 400 meters. One of them harassed the Deli and it’s customers.
It didn’t take long before Chris noticed a dramatic change in business. “My customers didn’t like it at all. Customers stopped coming because they smelled marijuana drifting into my shop, and loud music from Terp City interrupted both my customers and my employees. My business went into the toilet!”, said Chris.
Zmuda called the police, and he made his complaint many times to the Victoria City Council and Mayor Lisa Helps. But no help from HELPS and the City leadership.
The City management have failed to enforce the federal laws and the City By-laws that should protect the Victoria business community and people who live and work in Victoria from harassment and illegal operations.
So, Chris Zmuda was forced to move to a different location on Yates Street. “I spent my life savings to invest in providing Victorian s a unique kind of flood, and I worked hard to establish my business”, he said. “Now I am broke.”
Zmuda is not alone among downtown businesses and residents when it comes to the impacts of numerous marijuana dispensaries. According to the City, 42 rezoning applications have been submitted, but some of those are for new operations. So far, the Victoria Council has approved 13 applications, but there are 29 more who continue ignore the rules and operate illegally, and they pay no taxes or fines.
Many of the current shops contain enough cannabis to put the neighbouring businesses at risk. Who knows what will happen if Mayor Lisa Helps and her City Council continue their policy of not enforcing their own By-laws.
That is why CHRIS ZMUDA decided to run against the administration of Lisa Helps. He wants to save our great city of Victoria from more disasters like this.
LISA HELPS AND HER COUNCIL HAVE CAUSED A LOT OF PROBLEMS AROUND THE CITY. CHRIS ZMUDA DECIDED WANTS TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS THAT THE LISA HELPS ADMINISTRASTION CREATED DURING THE LAST THREE YEARS.