Three West Vancouver restaurants are accusing the provincial government of drowning them in red tape.
The District of West Vancouver and the local police department gave the businesses permission to operate temporary pop-up locations in Millennium Park for the summer.
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But B.C.’s Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch has refused to give them liquor licences.
“We were told we were going to get our liquor licence but we got denied a few times because we didn’t fit in any category,” Geoffroy Roulleau of Feast Restaurant said. “We’re not a special event. We are a restaurant in a park.”
District of West Vancouver Mayor Mary-Ann Booth says she has sent a letter to B.C. Attorney General David Eby urging him to look into the matter, saying local businesses need all the support they can get amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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“Look, we’re in a unique time and I know the the the government has done a lot to try to accommodate new businesses, but we just didn’t really fit into an existing category,” Young said.
“And I think we just need some more flexibility to really make this happen.”
Bradly Hall of the Savary Island Pie Company says alcohol sales are needed to make the pop-up locations viable.
“We need these opportunities to create revenue to pay our employees,” he said. “I’m an employer. They are employees. And without the revenue, without these opportunities, we won’t be able to keep our employees employed.
“It’s really simple.”
In response to questions from Global News, Attorney General David Eby’s office said, “The ministry is aware of this issue and is working with the District of West Vancouver.”
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