The Registrar of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has issued an Order of Interim Suspension of the liquor licence of Family Kitchen located at 73 Erie Street South, Leamington, 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). The Registrar has reasonable grounds to believe that the licence holder will not carry on business in accordance with the law and with integrity and honesty.
The AGCO was advised that on March 6, 2021, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) found the establishment to be operating in contravention of the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA). The licensee was charged with breaching an Order made under the Emergency Management and Public Protection Act (EMCPA) and continued under the ROA. On April 8, 2021, a Declaration of Emergency and a Province wide Stay-at-Home Order was made under the EMCPA. The licence holder has since repeatedly contravened the Orders made under the EMCPA.
On April 9, 2021 and then again on April 15, 2021, an AGCO Compliance Official (CO) attended the licensed premises and patrons were observed dining within the licensed establishment. The licence holder has confirmed to the AGCO that they remain open for dine-in. On April 14 2021 the licensee was again charged with Failing to Comply with a continued Emergency Order, on this occasion by Municipality of Leamington By-law officials.
Those who hold a licence to sell alcohol are responsible for meeting their obligations under the LLA, and to act with honesty and integrity.
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.