MONTREAL (Aug. 25/16) –Restaurants Canada today filed legal proceedings to contest the validity of an amendment to a zoning bylaw in the Montreal borough of Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. The bylaw amendment defines certain businesses as “fast-food restaurants” and confines them to a few select areas. The Borough has stated that the bylaw change is intended to improve citizens’ health.
Restaurants Canada considers the modification to the zoning bylaw to be illegal, making it necessary to be declared invalid by a court of law. Zoning must be regulated according to common characteristics of land occupancy and their effect on the neighbourhood, which is not the case with the new category of use proposed by the Borough. In addition, the definition “fast-food restaurant” (“restaurant rapide”) is illegal, as it relies on criteria that have no link with nutritional health.

Nutritional health is an important societal issue, and restaurants have responded by offering healthier menu choices, along with more nutrition and ingredient information. However, the law does not give municipalities the power to establish their zoning on the basis of the personal nutritional choices of their citizens.

Restaurants Canada is a growing community of 30,000 foodservice businesses, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and suppliers. We connect our members from coast to coast, through services, research and advocacy for a strong and vibrant restaurant industry. Canada’s restaurant industry directly employs 1.2 million Canadians, is the number one source of first jobs, and serves 18 million customers every day.

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