In a bid to support the struggling food and beverage industry in Ontario, the Ford government is planning to continue to allow alcoholic beverages to be served with takeout food indefinitely.
The loosening of previous regulations prohibiting takeout alcoholic beverages came as part of an emergency order in March, which also closed bars and prohibited dining in in restaurants in an effort to lower the transmission rate of the novel coronavirus.
The measure had originally been set to sunset on December 31stof this year, along with the rest of the emergency order.
According to CP24, Associate Minister Prabmeet Sarkaria confirmed in a press conference that the legislative processes which would make this particular measure permanent are underway.
Sarkaria, the Associate Minister for Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, also mentioned a wider legislative package This comprehensive package would include measures such as permanently allowing 24/7 deliveries to restaurants, wholesalers, retailers, and distributors.
As well, there would be grants of up to $1000 to offset the cost for small businesses of obtaining PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for up to nine of their employees.
“In the 100 roundtables (with small businesses) I have had almost every single one of them mentioned a need for PPE reimbursement so this is really targeting those who are impacted the most,” commented Sarkaria during the press conference. “These are the businesses that have been the hardest hit from a cash flow perspective and they need the support to help cover these expenses.”
“We have had the opportunity to hear from small businesses and restaurant owners that were impacted by this pandemic and this has been a measure that has really helped them so we are committed to making it permanent,” Sarkaria said, referring to the pending permanent legalization of alcohol delivery with food orders.
The Toronto City Council has already enacted a similar measure as part of its five point plan to help restaurants and bars stay afloat.