The following release was received on April 4 from Ian Tostenson, president and CEO of the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association and is reprinted here in full.
On Monday, March 29, 2021, Dr. Henry issued a Provincial Health Order that resulted in the closure of all in-restaurant dining in British Columbia until April 19, 2021. This order came unexpectedly and continues to be very costly to an industry already struggling as a result of the pandemic. These recent measures have resulted in wasted product and thousands of job layoffs across the province. Despite the financial loss this has caused, thousands of restaurants in British Columbia upheld their commitment to support the public health measures and complied with the closure notice.
A few restaurants, however, have decided to ignore the Public Health Order and remain open.
"As an industry we need to stand together. There is no place for this type of complete disregard for public safety and the rule of law”, said Ian Tostenson President and CEO of the BCRFA. “The actions of a few selfish, arrogant, and irresponsible restaurant owners do not in any way reflect the significant effort this industry has made to ensure public safety. As an industry, we have worked too hard to have a few restauranteurs taint our reputation by openly defying the Provincial Health Order.”
The BCRFA urges the immediate closure, fining, and business-license revocation of any business who elects to defy health orders.
The BCRFA is looking to the Province for additional support for the thousands of responsible businesses and their thousands of employees to help us through these tough times—estimated to cost the industry sales losses of $500 million during the three-week closure. The BCRFA appreciates all the support to date the government has provided around liquor delivery, liquor pricing, delivery fees, the recovery and technology grant programs.