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 Dr. 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 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 April 7, 2021, Barrie By-Law issued a Part 1 Provincial Offences Notice (PON) to the 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 (CO) visited the licensed premises to conduct a follow-up inspection and speak with the licensee about the incidents. Upon entering the licensed premises, the COs noted that staff and patrons were not masked. Before they identified themselves, the COs were offered a table for dine-in. Once they identified themselves as AGCO COs, patrons gathered and demanded that the COs leave the premises because they “were trespassing.” The CO advised the staff member that they were failing to facilitate the inspection and then they departed the premises for their own safety.
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.
This is a very difficult time for all Ontarians. The hospitality sector has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, and we understand and share the concerns faced by those whose livelihood depends on it. The AGCO has been working hard with business associations and government to find ways to support the sector while also doing our part to protect the public, which is a role we take very seriously. We know the vast majority of licensed establishments are also doing their part, despite the toll it’s taking on them. We never like taking these actions, but we have a mandate to protect the public and ensure the safety of our staff and we will not hesitate to take the actions needed to do so.
Tom Mungham, Registrar and CEO, AGCO
- 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.