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North Vancouver mayor puts weight behind restaurant industry advocating to ease some licensing

Last Updated May 12, 2020 at 7:07 pm PDT

(iStock photo)

North Vancouver mayor has her staff looking into ways to help some local restaurants and pubs over the next few months

The mayor contacted the attorney general 'to advocate for increased flexibility in outdoor dining and liquor licencing'

NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — North Vancouver’s mayor is calling on Attorney General David Eby to ease licensing for business owners of restaurants, breweries and pubs to allow greater flexibility for patio dining and liquor sales.

Mayor Linda Buchanan says she’s spoken to several business owners of restaurants, pubs, and breweries and says they are asking for opportunities to reopen business safely during the ongoing pandemic.

“Physical distancing keeps residents and workers safe, but many businesses won’t be able to reach a sustainable sales capacity unless they increase their outdoor dining and take-out,” she says in a release.

Although, Buchanan clarifies with NEWS 1130 just what that type of flexibility for licencing she means.

“Changes to any patio licences have to be permanent, so we’ve been asking for flexibility for that, to make any expansion of patio space to be temporary,” she says.

Buchanan adds there are also logistical challenges as expected.

“We need to take into account pedestrian movement, so there will be planning of what’s the appropriate streets? What would need to happen if we were to close down streets and where would we then redirect traffic?”

Municipalities also have the ability to create a bylaw that can designate public space for the consumption of liquor as well. Buchanan has asked her staff to look into all these things.

The mayor says during the summer months people will need ways to socialize so the city is “committed to supporting residents and assisting businesses find innovative ways to operate and build consumer trust.”

She adds they’ve streamlined the process to be on the timeline of the BC Restaurants Association — which she’s said in the past — it’s unlikely any eatery will be open fully again before June 1.