Toronto liquor-license limbo finally ending
Yesterday, the city’s licensing and standards committee voted to quash a rule requiring prospective liquor licensees to bolster their applications with letters of support from their area MPPs—who, as it turned out, weren’t really in a position to provide them, creating a catch-22 of sorts (and leaving lots of aspiring booze-serving establishments in a state of arrested development). The reference-letter rule arose out of a squabble between the city and the province about who should bear responsibility for enforcing certain conditions attached to liquor licenses—things like keeping sidewalks clean and noise levels down. Earlier this year, the AGCO abdicated responsibility for that kind of post-licensing enforcement, prompting the city to turn around and add a bunch of administrative hurdles to the licensing process itself. Surprisingly, the ploy seems to have worked. According to the Globe, the AGCO has not only recommitted to its enforcement role, but has also agreed to take municipal bylaws into account when granting licenses and imposing penalties on current licensees. The licensing and standards committee’s decision is subject to approval by city council next week.