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Advocacy group asking Premier Ford to create dedicated taskforce to help local restaurants

The hospitality industry has been hit hard by the pandemic and local restaurants and bars are the first to close when there is a spike in COVID cases
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The hospitality industry has been hit hard by the pandemic and local restaurants and bars are the first to close when there is a spike in COVID cases.

These closures happen even though there aren't a relatively high number of outbreaks within the hospitality industry.

Vice president of Restaurants Canada, James Rilett, tells the Mike Farwell Show on 570 NEWS the province doesn't need to target the hospitality industry, because it is already heavily inspected.

"We have liquor inspectors, we have labour inspectors, TSSA inspectors, there's always someone in our restaurants, checking it out. Our records are pretty good. We've always said if there are some bad actors, let's crack down on them, but don't paint them with the same brush."

He said the hospitality industry may be struggling because there is no ministry that oversees them.

"Our supply chain goes through the Ministry of Agriculture, we have a Minister of Finance that oversees the liquor rules, we have a Minister of Labour obviously, we have a Minister of Tourism ... not one minister or ministry is responsible for ensuring our industry is healthy."

Rilett said of the 200,000 hospitality workers in Ontario, 30 per cent have not worked since the pandemic first started.

"About 12 per cent of restaurants have already closed down permanently. Those are restaurants that won't reopen -- and we're expecting that to get a lot worse. We expect that before the pandemic is over, about 50 per cent of all restaurants will have gone bankrupt.

"Everyone should think of their two favourite restaurants and think that next year you probably won't be able to go to one of them."

Restaurants Canada is now asking Ontario Premier Doug Ford to set up a dedicated task force to help restaurants survive during the pandemic.




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