VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart has taken to Twitter Saturday, saying he’s going to explore all options — including a possible court injunction — to stop the owners of a Kitsilano restaurant that continues to defy public health orders.
Corduroy restaurant is one of a few local restaurants that has resisted the provincial health order banning restaurants from serving their customers indoors.
Owner, Rebecca Matthews has spoken at several rallies where she’s questioned the accuracy of COVID-19 testing, railed against the media, and said she has “lost all trust in our government.”
On Friday, the restaurant held a rally outside where dozens of supporters gathered — many unmasked, standing close together, and hugging.
The Vancouver Police Department did not issue any tickets to the organizers or those in attendance, according to an email from a spokesperson.
“The protest was peaceful and not unlike the hundreds of other demonstrations our officers monitor throughout the year,” said Sgt. Steve Addison.
— CityNews Vancouver (@CityNewsVAN) April 24, 2021
A post on Corduroy’s Instagram says the protest aimed to “bring awareness to the incredible harm done to ALL small businesses this last year.”
The post claims the “big guys” have made millions, and accuses the government of trying to “wipe out” small businesses.
Stewart tweeted Saturday to say he’s looking into what the city can do.
“The decision by Corduroy restaurant owners to continue to flaunt public health orders despite the city suspending their business license is unacceptable. I am exploring all avenues to put a stop to this,” it reads.
The decision by Corduroy restaurant owners to continue to flaunt public health orders despite the City suspending their business license is unacceptable. I am exploring all avenues to put a stop to this- including a court injunction. #vanpoli
— Kennedy Stewart (@kennedystewart) April 24, 2021
Vancouver City Councillor Sara Kirby-Yung suggests any legal action to stop the owners of Corduroy from continuing their defiance may be a non-starter, noting the restaurant’s business and liquor licenses have already been suspended.
“I think the city should use all the tools it has at its disposal for any businesses that are not complying with provincial health orders. And in the case of Corduroy … they had their business licenses suspended by the city, which is the one tool that the city of Vancouver has,” Kirby-Yung says.
The city suspended the restaurant’s business licence on April 4 and the suspension was lifted on April 20. However, the City of Vancouver adds the Vancouver Coastal Health closure order remains in effect so if the Corduroy chooses to reopen in defiance “the City would suspend their business license again and take further action.”
“Failure to comply with a business licence suspension may result in violation tickets, City Council revoking an existing Business Licence, and refusal of a business licence for the next five years,” an email from the City to NEWS 1130 reads.
Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth has told NEWS 1130 earlier this month that the eatery is facing a range of repercussions, listing various agencies that have the authority to levy fines or otherwise intervene.
– With files from Lisa Steacy