(Sept. 23/14) Toronto city councillors agreed to scrap the ill-conceived requirement for operators to get a letter from an MPP to support their Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) application, for new or amended licences. The Integrity Commissioner’s decision against these letters squashed this effort to create obstacles for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Even though this particular issue was addressed, the underlying problem still exists. Certain city councillors and their supporters want to create roadblocks to growth in their communities, due to unfounded fears of exponential nightclub growth and the impact of rising property values on renters. These councillors are trying to link City bylaws, such as those on litter and noise, to the AGCO liquor licence. This goal should concern all licensees.

Restaurants Canada will not support agreements that needlessly place more restrictions on liquor licences. We will continue to inform councillors about the valuable city-building benefits our members bring to the table.

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