Toronto is trying to recover $187,000 the City says it was forced to dole out after Adamson Barbecue owner Adam Skelly failed to obey and follow public health lockdown measures.
On Nov. 26, Skelly was arrested and hit with several charges including mischief and obstructing police after he opted to defy COVID-19 health protocols by hosting patron for in-person dining, subsequently breaking health regulations imposed by the city and the province.
If Skelly doesn’t pay up by the end of December, City spokesperson, Brad Ross says they are prepared to take skelly to court, “our legal division is looking at its various options and that option now really is going to be a statement of claim.”
“We had to take enforcement action which resulted in overtime costs, associated with keeping the premises closed, ensuring that the premise was secured, that Mr. Skelly did not you know attempt to go back in and yet reopen again,” Ross said.
Ross says it’s not unusual for individuals to be on the hook for failing to follow the law.
“We haven’t had to do anything like this during the pandemic that I’m aware of, but in this case, the City and by extension, the taxpayers of Toronto, had to bear significant costs associated with enforcing the law,” Ross says.
Ross says this is not about the protests, but rather Skelly’s decision to defy the law and risk public health, “the law is quite clear on the Reopening Ontario Act — this is a public health emergency.”
That includes policing costs and having to change the locks.
Skelly was eventually granted and released on $50,000 bail.
Skelly eventually raised over $337,000 for his legal defence through crowdfunding.
In a previous post on Instagram, Skelly said he was fined after “begging with authorities,” and his legal team is ready to go to work.
He mentions the crowdfunding was set up to cover legal expenses of any small businesses that decide to go against provincial lockdown orders.
Poor BBQ Dude Bro. Police ain’t cheap ???? pic.twitter.com/i73b0DhnQs
— Caryma Sa'd – Lawyer (@CarymaRules) February 20, 2021
It was later revealed that Skelly never operated under a business licence at his original Leaside restaurant, located at 176 Wicksteed Avenue in East York.
Ross confirmed Skelly received multiple summonses from the city regarding the matter. At the time, Carlton Grant – executive director of municipal licensing and standards – said that the Adamson Barbecue owner has been defying regulations for some time.