Pubdate: Tue, 26 Nov 2013
Source: Trail Daily Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2013 Trail Daily Times
Author: Val Rossi
Cited: Sensible BC:


Ferraro Foods is offering an apology to customers and canvassers who 
may have felt uncomfortable following an incident in front of its 
store on Saturday.

Petitioners for the Sensible BC campaign were near the store 
collecting signatures for its petition for the Sensible Policing Act 
to decriminalize marijuana possession.

Ferraro Foods asked the canvassers to move off of its property when 
customers made complaints about the canvassing.

A video on Sensible BC's Facebook page and YouTube captures 
storeowner Danny Ferraro saying "we're asking everybody to ignore 
them" while he greets customers, in some instances standing between 
the customers and a canvasser.

Now Sensible BC is looking into pursuing legal action.

"I think that when it comes to the Recall and Initiative Act there 
were some laws broken," said Sensible BC Kootenay West campaign 
organizer Susan Yurychuk. "I mean you can't persuade or compel an 
individual to vote or refrain from voting for and against an 
initiative and he was standing there asking people to ignore us and 
Danny is so entitled to his opinion but this is an Elections BC 
initiative and you can't do that, it's against the law."

Yurychuk said the organization is not trying to start a war or drive 
customers away but what occurred simply isn't right.

"We don't want this to happen," she added. "Ferraro Foods is a great 
store, it's been in Trail forever, it's one of the better stores you 
can go to. . .

"This is not the first place and this isn't the worst place that 
things have happened," said Yurychuk. "It's just an uneducated, 
unawareness problem that exists and if people really took the time to 
look into it they would see that it's a good thing."

Via its Facebook page, the grocer states that everyone has the right 
to their freedom of speech but the grocer's affiliations remain with 
the community, "not in political or religious arenas."

The note included an apology to its customers for making anyone feel 
uncomfortable and states that Danny would like to apologize to the 
canvassers in person. Volunteers were back at it again on Monday, 
when Ferraro's in Trail offered up tea and cookies as nice gesture.

"We respect and encourage our customers to comment good and bad, 
allowing us to continually strive forward providing our customers 
with the highest standard of service," noted David Ferraro. "Ferraro 
Foods is a second-generation grocer that have community roots dating 
as far back as 70 years ago and have remained committed to our 
communities throughout."

The RCMP, said Yurychuk, have also received a complaint for an 
officer's conduct that day.

Trail RCMP Cpl. Dave Johnson said police made two separate stops at 
Ferraro's "to keep the peace."

"We attended just to ensure that both parties were abiding by what 
they needed to do and that Sensible BC were in fact on public 
property, on the sidewalk, which is fine and (acted) more as a stand 
by," he said.

Yurychuk said intimidation is happening all across the province and 
Sensible BC is responsible for notifying Elections BC, which 
determines whether legal action should follow.

The Kootenay West riding is nearing its goal of 3,200 signatures, 
with approximately 300-500 more to get, though numbers aren't 
stacking up the same across the province.

If the organization collects over 400,000 signatures from all across 
B.C. by Dec. 5, then there will be a provincial referendum to 
decriminalize marijuana possession in 2014.

Sensible BC is also calling upon the B.C. government to pass the 
Sensible Policing Act, which will stop police from searching or 
arresting otherwise law-abiding citizens for possession of marijuana.

The act also demands the federal government repeal marijuana 
prohibition, and mandates the B.C. government to figure out the rules 
needed for a legal marijuana system provincially.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom