Friday, December 18, 2020

Toronto Police charged licensee with failing to comply with ROA order


The Registrar of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has issued an Order of interim suspension of the liquor licence of Bar Karma located at 512 Queen St West, Toronto, for reasons of public interest and safety.

The Registrar 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 and with honesty and integrity. 

According to information provided by the Toronto Police Service (TPS), on December 13, 2020, at approximately 12:45 a.m. members of the TPS responded to a complaint of a noisy party at this location.

When they gained access, TPS members observed more than 10 people inside, not wearing masks or other PPE, and not social distancing. They also observed evidence of alcohol consumption. 

As a result, the TPS laid charges against the officers/directors of the corporate licensee who were both present at the establishment. The corporation and its officers and directors were charged with failing to comply with an order made during a declared emergency, contrary to the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act (ROA). 

Those who hold a licence to sell alcohol are responsible for meeting their obligations under the LLA, and to act with honesty and integrity. Since December 1, the AGCO has conducted many compliance activities at liquor licensed establishments in Toronto and commends the vast majority 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 a NOP has the right to appeal the Registrar’s proposal to the Licence Appeal Tribunal, which is an adjudicative tribunal independent of the AGCO and part of Safety, Licensing Appeals and Standards Tribunals Ontario.


“During this second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, we all have a shared responsibility to act in the public interest. This is particularly true for all those who hold a liquor licence in Ontario. By far most licence holders are in compliance with the ROA. However, for those that are either unable or unwilling to comply, the AGCO will not hesitate to take the appropriate regulatory action including revoking a licence.”

Tom Mungham, Registrar and CEO, AGCO



AGCO Communications


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.

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