A group in Toronto wants to extend last call at local bars until 4 a.m., but both MADD Canada and Mayor Rob Ford have reservations about the idea.
On its website, LastCallTO says, “to be a world class city, Toronto needs world class nightlife.”
It urges people to contact their councillors to push for a later last call, like in New York and Chicago.
“Our nightlife could be better. Our 2 a.m. last call for alcohol cuts our nights short,” the website says.
According to the group, “Toronto is Canada’s largest city, and recently pulled ahead of Chicago to become the fourth largest in North America. Our city should be a top global destination for immigration and tourism.”
It also says the later last call will make it more profitable for bar owners, create jobs, and help to Toronto shed its “ho-hum” image.
But MADD Canada dismissed the arguments as nonsense and said there’s a flip side to extending the party.
“Part of being a first-class city is keeping the city safe,” CEO Andrew Murie told CityNews.ca.
“We want a safe city not a party city … Let’s get real. Real people get killed. Real people get injured. There’s an ugly side to the party side. It’s really unfair to promote it in such a narrow vein.”
Murie said 70 per cent of people charged with impaired driving come from licensed establishments and extending last call would “let [people’s] blood-alcohol level become even higher and release them onto the streets.”
Rob Ford told reporters on Thursday that, without knowing more, he too is against the idea because of the added policing and transit costs that would likely result.
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