VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — With indoor dining now restricted because of the rise in COVID-19 cases, Vancouver’s mayor says he plans to introduce a motion that would further expand restaurant patios.
Councillor Sarah Kirby Yung says she’s happy the city is looking for ways to help. However, she says this has already been covered by the Temporary Expedited Patio Program — a program borne out of a motion she brought forward last year.
“When I heard the news today that we were going to be facing a lockdown of in house dining for the restaurants, I immediately asked staff if we needed to do anything else with any more direction from the council in order to expand patios, the size of them, the number of them,” says Kirby-Yung. “Staff assured me that the motion that I bought forward last year gave them all of the direction they needed, and we already had these processes in place to be able to respond to this demand.”
New rules announced are difficult but necessary to get rising #COVID19 cases under control. As always I fully back Dr. Henry.
— Kennedy Stewart (@kennedystewart) March 29, 2021
According to Kirby Yung, close to 400 restaurants have taken advantage of the program, and she’s waiting to hear if the Mayor’s motion will bring anything new to the table.
“I think we all need to support our restaurants, but we’re already doing patios and so all we need to do is ramp up what we’re doing, and let restaurants have their patios, issue more permits for patios, bigger patios if that’s what needed, and try to be sensitive to fees this year, which is one reason why we made the temporary patios free.”
Mayor Kennedy Stewart’s motion also calls for staff to work with the industry to identify other ways to help struggling businesses.