Victoria votes to request extension to patio liquor licence program

Victoria votes to request extension to patio liquor licence program

Victoria council has voted to write to the B.C. government asking for an extension to the patio liquor licence program that was implemented as part of the pandemic.

The current program is set to expire June 1, and Victoria is requesting it be extended to Oct. 31, 2022.

“The COVID-19 pandemic had a profoundly negative impact on the hospitality industry including restaurants, coffee shops, and bars,” the motion reads. “The City of Victoria’s flexible patio permitting served as a timely lifeline for many hospitality industry businesses and increased vibrancy and economic vitality downtown and in village centers.”

READ MORE: Victoria council votes unanimously to make the first pandemic patio permanent

Jeremy Loveday, councillor for Victoria said the patio liquor licence program would help businesses recover after two years of being impacted by the pandemic.

“I’m really hopeful that this extension will be granted through the summer,” Loveday said in Thursday’s council meeting. “I think after two years of pandemic hardship, many hospitality businesses really need a strong summer to be able to survive and get back on good footing.”

READ MORE: Patios in B.C. can apply to become permanent under new liquor regulations, dependent on municipality

Lisa Helps, mayor of Victoria noted although pandemic restrictions have been eased, continuing to allow patios will bring more customers, especially those not comfortable being back inside restaurants.

“This is a summer where there are going to be people who still don’t feel comfortable going into packed restaurants and having these patio areas available with essentially little red tape is good for businesses also good for people who are still getting used to the new reality,” Helps said. “And I’m optimistic that the province will hear this advocacy as it’s coming not just from the city but from other cities as well as small businesses and the business members of the business community themselves.”

Now, Helps will send a letter to Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general, on behalf of the city requesting that the program be extended.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!