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Vernon bistro intent on defying vaccine passports may lose liquor licence

FILE PHOTO
FILE PHOTO
Image Credit: (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

The owner of Midtown Bistro in Vernon said she is willing to face fines and lose her liquor license in order to avoid enforcing COVID-19 vaccine passports on her customers.

Owner Kelly Lacroix said in a video posted to the Bistro’s Facebook and Instagram today, Sept. 25, she is trying to avoid "discriminating" against people who are unvaccinated.

“If I have to give up our liquor license at this point and just go to takeout – if that’s what I have to do to not discriminate – that’s what I’ll do,” she said. “I’ve never broken any other rules to risk this piece of paper. Years of being a good girl has gotten me what? They’re about to take my piece of paper for simply not discriminating.”

She said she was told if she loses her liquor licence, she'll never get it back again.

As of Sept. 13, restaurants and some other establishments have been required to ensure all patrons have had their first dose of the vaccine through the B.C. Vaccine Card. On Sept. 27, they will be required to ensure customers have both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The plan is supported by most health professionals and doctors, met with tepid approval by most businesses but also met resistance with several establishments. 

READ MORE: Chinese restaurant in Okanagan Falls taking hiatus while vaccine passports roll out

A day prior, Lacroix posted a video saying she met with a liquor inspector along with other restaurant owners who are against vaccine passports. After that meeting, she felt optimistic that a compromise could be reached.

But the new plan was quashed.

“Well, liquor inspector called me back this morning saying his higher ups said no-way, no-how.”

Lacroix has will be closing the restaurant on Sept. 26 and 27, and will have to change the delivery model, but assures supporters she has not caved. She said she's "exhausted" trying to go through the paperwork and figure out her next steps. She said she's working closely with other restaurants opposing the vaccine pass, as well as with lawyers and "Rebel Media."

“The thought of a restaurant full of people getting fined just didn’t sit right with me. I’ll take the fine, but if they’re going to fine you guys. I know people keep saying that they can’t actually fine me, and this and that. You know we’re going to figure things out. So bear with us.”

"We just need to get our ducks in a row to protect ourselves and you."

READ MORE: Penticton brewery changes course, will require proof of vaccine


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