Ontario paves way for new red tape reductions

Published November 6, 2019

The Ontario government kicked off its fall session in the legislature on Oct. 28, immediately tabling new legislation and a number of regulatory amendments to reduce red tape for businesses.

If passed, these proposed legislative and regulatory changes will result in the following good news for foodservice operators:

  • 24-hour liquor service in airports. Under the newly tabled Better For People, Smarter For Business Act, 2019, airport bars and restaurants beyond airport security would be permitted to increase their liquor service hours by seven hours from the current 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. allowance. This would bring Ontario in line with rules elsewhere in Canada, and globally.
  • Pooches on patios. Under proposed amendments to the Health Protection and Promotion Act, 1990, restrictions would be eased so that restaurants and breweries can decide whether to allow dogs in outdoor eating areas, like patios, and inside food premises where only beverages, prepackaged and/or low risk foods are served.
  • Calorie labelling exemption for in-store advertisements without prices. Under the Healthy Menu Choices Act, 2015, foodservice premises with 20 or more locations in Ontario, including chains of grocery stores, are currently required to post calories for all standard food items sold or offered for sale. A proposed exemption would add clarity so that inspectors would no longer be able to expand the definition of this requirement to compel calorie information accompany any picture of a menu item displayed within a restaurant, including wall murals.
  • Calorie labelling exemption for catering menus. Another proposed exemption to the Healthy Menu Choices Act, 2015 would clarify that the requirements do not apply to catering menus.

If you have any questions or would like more information, you can get in touch with James Rilett, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Central Canada, at jrilett@restaurantscanada.org.

Marlee Wasser

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