Thunder Bay – COVID-19 Update – Ontario is seeing COVID-19 case numbers climb. Over the past few days government officials along with health unit officials have been forced to enforce legal requirements for businesses across the province.
Wild West Wings, a restaurant in Belleville has seen it’s liquor licence revoked.
Another restaurant, JAKK Tuesdays in Kingston has seen the Ontario Sheriffs and police take possession of the restaurant property on Saturday.
— Johnny Fondue (@EatsFood2) November 13, 2021
A group of protestors had barricaded themselves in the restaurant and were reportedly removed.
Kingston Police were enforcing an Ontario Superior Court injunction to enter and vacate the premises as early as Friday evening.
“Based on social media posts showing large numbers of people, including several children, at the bar on Friday night, out of an abundance of caution they opted to slightly delay the enforcement”, commented Sgt Steve Koopman of the Kingston Police speaking to media. “We think delaying it was the right move, because when we arrived (on Saturday morning) there were only about ten people with the youngest being 15 and the others being adults”.
This latest move came after the Ontario Alcohol and Gaming suspended the liquor licence in September after the establishment decided apparently not to enforce laws requiring proof of vaccination as well as masking rules.
The Registrar of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has issued an Order of Interim Suspension of the liquor licence of J.A.K.K. Tuesdays, located at 642 Progress Ave, Kingston ON, for reasons of public interest and safety. The interim suspension takes effect immediately.
At the same time, the Registrar has also issued a Notice of Proposal (NOP) to revoke the establishment’s liquor licence for infractions of the Liquor Licence Act (LLA), including the requirement that the licence holder act and carry on business in accordance with the law, with honesty and integrity, and in the public interest.
On September 14, 2021, the Government of Ontario released regulations and guidance to support businesses and organizations in implementing proof of vaccination requirements, which took effect on September 22, 2021. As of that date, patrons entering certain settings must provide the required proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, along with valid identification.
Prior to the announcement, on September 10, 2021, AGCO Compliance Officials (CO) visited the premises and met with the licensee. During the inspection, the COs provided education to the licensee regarding the requirements of the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act (ROA). The licensee responded that he did not intend to comply with the ROA. There was signage posted at the establishment indicating that it would not comply with the ROA requirements.
Several complaints regarding the establishment’s non-compliance with the ROA were received by the Kingston Public Health Unit. By-law officers visited the establishment on or about September 23, 2021 and made observations of non-compliance with the ROA. On September 24, 2021, City of Kingston By-Law officials charged the licensee with violations of the ROA.
An AGCO CO attended the premises after the provincial offences notices were served on the establishment and on the licensee. The CO made observations and noted that the licensee continued to act contrary to the ROA.
Protests against COVID-19 restrictions have been ongoing.