The owner of an Etobicoke barbecue restaurant has been hit with provincial and local charges after he opened up his location once again for dine-in services on Wednesday.
Licence and Standards have charged the restaurant and its director on bylaw infractions for operating without an official license (a fine of up to $50,000 for a cooperation and up to $25,000 for a director) and for the second time in as many days, Toronto Public Health have since laid a charge against Adamson Barbecue.
“Charges were laid against both the owner as a director of the cooperation as well as the cooperation itself,” Toronto superintendent Dom Sinopoli said.
“Charges were laid in relation to yesterday’s incident in relation to indoor dining. Charges were also laid today under Section 22 public health order.”
Sinopoli said that officers believe Skelly organized the gatherings outside of his restaurant. He will appear in court in March, 2021.
Skelly said he plans on returning to his restaurant for a third-straight day on Thursday and Sinopoli said proper enforcement will be taken in that case.
Toronto’s medical officer of health sent in an order to shut down Adamson Barbecue on Tuesday after the restaurant’s owner defied provincial lockdown measures and hosted patrons for indoor dining.
Police arrived at the location around the time the restaurant opened its doors on Wednesday. They could be seen talking to Skelly inside Adamson Barbecue.
The owner has since left the premises as a crowd of people gathered outside the BBQ joint. Police confirmed that no members of the crowd were charged as a result.
A frustrated mayor John Tory said that he’s not completely satisfied with enforcement’s response and that if it comes to it, he will look to have the restaurant closed down, each day, at 11 a.m.
“Police have many things to take into account, including the safety of other citizens,” Tory said.
“I do not direct law enforcement.”
Skelly made his intentions to reopen for a second-straight day clear on Instagram, posting a story indicating he would arrive at the restaurant and open it for lunch at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.
Toronto and Peel Region entered the ‘lockdown’ stage of the province’s COVID-19 response framework on Monday.
The new restrictions mean all indoor and outdoor dine-in services at restaurants and bars is prohibited. Establishments can still offer take out or delivery services.
Ford responds to Adamson BBQ owner breaking provincial lockdown measures
An irate premier Doug Ford responded to Skelly ignoring provincial lockdown measures after a toned-down Ford showed sympathy for the small business owner on Tuesday.
“I was nice to the guy yesterday, but buddy let me tell you something. You need to shut down,” Ford said.
“You’re putting people’s lives in jeopardy. I always try and be nice the first time but this guy is just totally ignoring public health officials. That’s how this spreads. That’s how we get out of hand like the U.S. and people are dying because of COVID-19.”
“It’s absolutely irresponsible and ridiculous,” Ford added.
An increased number of officers have been deployed in recent weeks to crack down on businesses found not to be compliant with pandemic regulations.
If a person or business is not found compliant with orders under the Reopening Ontario Act, they could be ticketed with a fine of $750 under the Act.
Where prosecuted without issuing a ticket and on conviction, individuals could be fined up to $100,000, and directors and officers of a corporation could be fined up to $500,000.
Any individual convicted of an offence under the Reopening Ontario Act could also receive a term of imprisonment of up to one year.
The maximum fine for a corporation convicted of an offence under the Reopening Ontario Act is $10,000,000.