Four Edmonton grocery stores that Sobeys was forced to sell by the Competition Bureau will not be affected by restrictive agreements that have created so-called food deserts in mature neighbourhoods.

All four stores are in mature neighbourhoods, which prompted council to ask if the locations would be subject to covenants – controversial agreements which keep new grocery stores from opening where others have closed.

In a report for this Tuesday’s Executive Committee, city administration says the provisions of the Competition Bureau agreement will ensure other grocery chains can open in those locations.

Ward 10 Coun. Michael Walters says this is good news.

“We, as a city, made sure that we had a voice in that issue because we’ve heard from citizens for years in neighbourhoods where grocery stores have left and not come back,” he said.

The Competition Bureau ordered Sobeys to sell at least 23 of the western Canadian stores it acquired in the Safeway purchase.  

Last week, it was announced the outlets were sold to Federated Co-operatives which will keep operating them as grocery stores. Employees will also get to keep their jobs.

The Safeway Mill Woods, IGA Ottewell, the Sobeys Hawkstone and Sobeys Gold Bar are the stores that will be transferred to Federated Co-operatives.