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TORONTO, April 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Registrar of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has issued an Order of Interim Suspension of the liquor licence of Simmering Kettle located at 531 BRYNE DRIVE, UNIT B2, BARRIE, for reasons of public interest and safety. The interim suspension takes effect immediately. At the same time, the Registrar has also issued a Notice of Proposal (NOP) to revoke the establishment’s liquor licence for infractions of the Liquor Licence Act (LLA), including the requirement that the licence holder act and carry on business in accordance with the law, with honesty and integrity, and in the public interest.
The AGCO was advised that on April 7, 2021, Barrie By-Law issued a Part 1 Provincial Offences Notice (PON) to establishment for a breach of a continued Emergency Management and Public Protection Act Order (EMCPA) under the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA), as it remained open for dine-in contrary to the ROA. On April 8, 2021, the Simcoe-Muskoka Public Health Unit (SMPHU) issued a Part 3 Summons for a breach of a continued order under the ROA.
On April 10, 2021, AGCO Compliance Officials attended at the licensed premises to conduct a follow-up inspection and speak with the LOR about the aforementioned incidents. Upon entering the licensed premises, COs noted that staff and patrons were not masked. Before they identified themselves, COs were offered a table for dine-in.
Once they identified themselves as AGCO COs and asked to speak with the person in charge, they were advised that the owner was not at the premises. They explained that they were at the premises to follow up on the SMPHU findings. COs were advised that Public Health was in the day before and that there was a court date and that it was none of the COs business. Staff refused to provide their name to the COs.
The situation escalated very quickly. Patrons gathered and demanded that the COs leave the premises because they were trespassing. They pointed to a sign on the door to that effect. Approximately 7-10 patrons began chanting “get out – get out”. None of the patrons were wearing masks as they moved towards the COs.
The CO advised the Staff member that they were failing to facilitate the inspection and then they departed the premises for their own safety. 3 patrons followed the COs outside and to their cars all the while filming, berating and threatening them. At no time did Staff intervene or attempt to diffuse the situation.
Those who hold a licence to sell alcohol are responsible for meeting their obligations under the LLA, and to act with honesty and integrity. A licence holder must allow access to police officers or AGCO Compliance Officials acting in the course of their duties during or after hours of operation.
The AGCO regularly conducts compliance activities at liquor licensed establishments across the province and commends the vast majority of licensees for operating responsibly.
There are consequences for licence holders who do not meet these requirements, including the possibility of an Order of Monetary Penalty, a temporary suspension of the licence, or in the most serious cases a revocation of the licence.
An establishment served with an interim suspension or a NOP has the right to appeal the Registrar’s action to the Licence Appeal Tribunal, which is an adjudicative tribunal independent of the AGCO and part of Tribunals Ontario.
- The LLA provides the AGCO with the authority to carry out inspections of licensed establishments for the purposes of determining whether there is compliance with the Act and its regulations. Police officers also have this authority.
- A licence holder and/or manager must:
- Allow access to police officers or AGCO Compliance Officials acting in the course of their duties during or after hours of operation
- Ensure police officers or AGCO Compliance Officials acting in the course of their duties are given unobstructed access to the premises including adjacent areas
- Liquor Inspections and Your Obligations | Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (agco.ca)
- See Section 15 (6) and 6 (2)(d) Liquor Licence Act (LLA)
ABOUT THE AGCO
The AGCO is responsible for regulating the alcohol, gaming, horse racing and private cannabis retail sectors in Ontario in accordance with the principles of honesty and integrity, and in the public interest.
The AGCO is a regulatory agency with a governing board that reports to the Ministry of the Attorney General. The agency was established on February 23, 1998 under the Alcohol, Cannabis and Gaming Regulation and Public Protection Act, 1996.