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Posted 14 May 2001   For week ended May 04, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 09May01

By 'Editor, LDSCaNews'

Cardston's Mormons Struggle With Sunday Shopping

CARDSTON, ALBERTA, CANADA -- Mel Tagg, mayor of the Town of Cardston and former president of the New Zealand Wellington Mission (1989-1992), announced that the heavily LDS town will remove its 22-year-old Sunday shopping bylaw.

Tagg admits that the decision is a direct result of the large Canadian grocery chain Extra Foods buying land in Cardston. He maintains as well that town council has recognised that the bylaw is based on Christian principles and not all town residents are Christians and not all Christians in Cardston practice Sabbath observance on Sundays. Similar arguments were the reason behind nearby Lethbridge shutting down their anti-Sunday shopping bylaw 11 years ago.

Up until Extra Foods land purchase, the issue had never come up before the town counsel, partly because of the strong religious practices of the citizens and partly because it's still a small town. Religious practice will continue to be the norm and where the majority of the town are Latter-day Saints whom are taught by Church leaders to avoid Sunday shopping, little may actually change.

Though Tagg feels other businesses may follow Extra Foods' suit, Randy Shipley thinks otherwise. At least in his case. Shipley, a worker in the Cardston Alberta Temple, owns the Cardston IGA, which would be a direct competitor to Extra Foods. "I don't plan to be open Sundays," Shipley told the Herald, adding that while he's somewhat concerned about competing with Extra Foods, ultimately customers will choose where they want to shop and one day a week in Cardston won't make a difference.

Mark Jensen, president of the Cardston Chamber of Commerce and also a Latter-day Saint, admits the issues doesn't seem to be much of a concern for Cardston residents. However, he also recognises the need to look at both sides of the issue when a company the size of Extra Foods enters a community the size of Cardston.

"Progress is progress but we have to hope that what happens is in the best interests of the community."

Lethbridge Herald, 28 April 2001


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