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B.C. restaurant association distances itself from rogue eateries

The British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservices Association (BCRFA) said most of its members are adhering to the no inside dining rule
Diners in this Kitsilano restaurant shouted at public health officials to "get out" when they arrived to shut it down

A provincial restaurant association is distancing itself from the two Vancouver eateries which went rogue over the long weekend, defying public health orders.

A statement released by the British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservices Association (BCRFA) condemned the two places – Corduroy and Gusto – for allowing people to dine inside, despite public health orders to the contrary.

Maskless diners in Corduroy in Kitsilano could even be seen on social media chanting at health officials to get out of the restaurant, after they arrived to shut it down.

Although acknowledging the latest public health orders continue to “be very costly to an industry already struggling as a result of the pandemic,” the BCRFA said thousands of restaurants in B.C. have complied with the closure notice.

"As an industry we need to stand together. There is no place for this type of complete disregard for public safety and the rule of law”, said Ian Tostenson, BCRFA’s president and CEO.

“The actions of a few selfish, arrogant, and irresponsible restaurant owners do not in any way reflect the significant effort this industry has made to ensure public safety.

“As an industry, we have worked too hard to have a few restaurateurs taint our reputation by openly defying the Provincial Health Order.”

The BCRFA is urging the immediate closure, fining and business license revocation of any business who elects to defy health orders.

It said that it’s also looking to the provincial government for additional support for the thousands of responsible businesses and their thousands of employees to help them “through these tough times,” which is estimated to cost the industry around $500 million in lost sales over the three-week order.

As of Sunday, Vancouver Coastal Health documents show that Corduroy was ordered to close due to "contravention of a Provincial Health Officer (PHO) Order issued under Part 4 of the Public Health Act."