Store owner fears injunction will mean shutdown

Sueann Musick
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NEW GLASGOW – A local entrepreneur will be heading to court Friday to fight an injunction he says could drastically affect his business.  

Charles Patton, owner of Water N’ Wine in New Glasgow, said he was served a summons Wednesday afternoon to appear in a Halifax courtroom today to face an injunction imposed by the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation ordering him to refrain from mixing, storing or fermenting wine in his store.  

“This could pretty much shut us down,” said Patton who was on his way to Halifax to meet with two other businesses that have also been named in the court order.

The injunction application was served 18 months after the provincial government introduced liquor laws aimed at preventing businesses from allowing customers to brew beer or ferment wine within the store.  

Patton spoke out against the change in legislation when it was passed in December 2011 – and believes that’s the reason he is one of three businesses being targeted in the injunction.

“We were starting to relax and thinking they weren’t going use it, but once you relax, that is when they get you,” he said.

The court documents state that the liquor corporation wants the Nova Scotia Supreme Court to stop the business owners from providing any service that involves mixing, storage and fermentations of alcohol in their stores.  

Patton said in December 2011 that he had more than 700 customers who take advantage of his storage space and let their wine ferment in his back shop. His customers buy the wine-making kits from him and then pay him a fee for storage and use of equipment. The customers spread the yeast themselves which allows the fermentation to begin and he doesn’t touch the kit once the process has started.

He said three business owners, which also includes Wine Kitz Halifax and Wine Kitz New Minas, were meeting in Halifax Thursday afternoon to discuss their options and determine which lawyer would be representing them in court.

Patton said he’s hoping the court will adjourn the case to a later date so that their lawyer will have time to look over the court documents.

Meanwhile the Progressive Conservatives are accusing the NDP government of treating U-vint retailers as criminals rather than businesspeople.

“Instead of creating a climate that welcomes and helps businesses, like Wine Kitz, to prosper, the Dexter NDP continues to put up roadblocks,” said Conservative MLA Alfie MacLeod. “Job creators should be freed up from red tape and unnecessary government interference in order to help spur growth in our economy.”

Organizations: Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation, Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Progressive Conservatives

Geographic location: Halifax, NEW GLASGOW

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  • willy willard
    January 11, 2013 - 12:08

    so sad to see another buisness close.i can not go to vogue opitical.to get new frames because there s no where to park and im unable to walk up from the parking lot .along walk the town of new glasgow better get of the pot .and try to keep small stores open in the down town..or we are going to see tumble weed blowing down main street.

  • Keith Peppard
    January 11, 2013 - 11:49

    My wife and I are about to move back to NS, the Province of our birth. We have placed our home in NB For Sale. Now, with this news, do we (a) cancel the sale of our home or (b) carry on, move back to NS and work against the ndp? You will note - small letters for small minds.

  • worrid shop keeper
    January 11, 2013 - 10:13

    Well, being that the town seems to be turning a blind eye to all the business' closing downtown due to a total lack of support, why not let the Dexter government start shutting down more. I'm sure it will take the heat off Mr. McMillan. I can almost picture Mr. McMillan and his few faithful followers singing "all hail the chief"as he leads a small attack to save Mr. Pattersons store. Well folks , this play has been in action for months, and nothing was done to confront this government decision then, so why start now. Stay, on your high horses, your mayorship(s),, keep refraining from doing some advertising to help our depleted downtown, keep the streets and sidewalks unplowed to keep the seniors out,(we know this because the other day, an elderly lady came into our store almost in tears because she couldnt get over the snow bank to fill the meter and was fearful of getting a $10 ticket. However, she needed our services), and just keep continuing your total lack of support for the struggling downtown business. Some of yopu may say i'm blowing hot-air, however, ,we have been in business downtown for over 11 years, and WE see it every day.

  • John Niblett
    January 11, 2013 - 10:00

    This is a crazy case of big brother, this is a harmless business providing a service which helps local people, total wast of government time and money.

  • Head in Sand
    January 11, 2013 - 08:57

    So who, exactly, voted this anti-competitive dictatorship into power?

  • Dawn F.
    January 11, 2013 - 08:41

    This is so typical of our NDP party. Heaven forbid that a small business can flourish in our community. Well lets hope that the court officials see what this is really about.. Good old tax dollars.. and allows these business to grow instead of shutting them down and putting more people on the EI line. Best of luck to you Charles.. Hopefully we will still have a business in our area.

  • Sambo
    January 11, 2013 - 08:20

    What a waste of taxpayer money. Mr. Patterson has a great store and a well run business. Only the government would screw up a great business and supplier of much needed job and tax revenue. How about offering a license to these guys and let then keep their business flourishing? Oh what that would be common sense. We can't have that.

  • Johnny smoke
    January 11, 2013 - 08:01

    Remember the pre election mantra "For the people" I guess that we were so star stuck that we did not listen to the full wording of that slogan. To repeat in fullest verse it was and I quote: "For the people's taxes" and if by any chance any escape our quest we will bring in retroactive legislation to cover our butts and fill our coffers. There are many multi million corporations out there to be assisted and it is our sworn duty to ensure that none of them, their C.E.O.'s or shareholders suffer. As far as the "Little guy" is concerned well they should know by now that our government is not there to serve them, where did they ever get such a foolish idea.

  • PCBrewer
    January 11, 2013 - 01:19

    I have been brewing wine for years and have been a customer of Water and Wine most of them. Why the government is wasting time and money on a honest man trying to make an honest living is outrageous. There are better places this time can be focused. Good luck to all named in the outrageous court case...