To name or not to name: two Halifax restaurants ticketed for violating public health rules
HALIFAX -- A couple of Halifax restaurants are among the latest to be slapped with $11,000 fines for violating lockdown rules.
Police won't say who they are, but some say they ought to be named.
"We issue these releases not to shame the individual, but really we put that information out there to let people know that if they're not following these regulations, as they're supposed to, they should expect to see enforcement," Halifax Regional Police spokesperson Const. John MacLeod told CTV News on Tuesday, adding the force has never named people who get summary offence tickets.
The fines were issued Saturday and Sunday.
The owners each received a summary offence ticket that comes with a $11,622.50 fine under section 71 (1) (a) of the Health Protection Act.
"Maybe they just made a stupid decision to try to get a few dollars, which we don't support, because I think way too many businesses and individuals have sacrificed way too much," Restaurants Canada VP Atlantic Luc Erjavec said.
"To me, that would be the exception rather than the rule. I've worked with a lot of restaurants over the course of the last year, and we have a really fantastic track record in terms of compliance."
"As a whole, the industry is doing a fantastic job, and we just can't accept individual restaurants breaking these rules because they put everyone else at risk."
The Director of Dalhousie's Agri-Food Analytics Lab says eating establishments, perhaps more than anyone else, are well aware of COVID-19 rules.
"In other provinces, you are seeing restaurants being disclosed if they are breaking the law," Sylvain Charlebois told CTV News.
"Honestly, we've been in this pandemic for 15, 16 months now. Restaurant operators know what the rules are. Arguably, there were some confusing moments over the last 15, 16 months, but there's nothing confusing about the lockdown we're in right now in Nova Scotia," Charlebois said. "Restaurant operators don't have an excuse not to follow the rules, and so I certainly would be favourable to see these names being disclosed to the public," he said.
Halifax pub manager Brendan Doherty called the news disappointing, noting his establishment is completely shut down, not even offering take-out food.
I'm sitting here closed right now, about to paint my patio, waiting to reopen, and it's just sad to see people not following the public health directions," he said.
He hopes others won't be tempted to follow suit.
"We're close to the end of it. Just remember where we were this time last year," he said. "We're all in this together as one team, one dream. We're close to summer, and hopefully we're going to have another great one."