Ottawa

Kingston, Ont., pub loses liquor licence for breaking pandemic rules

Ontario's alcohol licensing agency has removed the ability of a Kingston, Ont., sports pub to serve alcohol because the business owner broke pandemic rules.

J.A.K.K. Tuesdays said on Facebook it refused to ask for proof of vaccination

The taps will be dry at a pub in Kingston, Ont., because the business repeatedly broke pandemic rules, according to the province's licensing agency. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

A Kingston, Ont., sports pub can no longer serve alcohol as Ontario's alcohol licensing agency, the AGCO, has removed its licence for breaking pandemic rules.

The decision comes about a week after J.A.K.K. Tuesdays shared on Facebook it wouldn't enforce the province's proof-of-vaccine rules, which came into effect Sept. 22.

The AGCO said in a Thursday news release officials with the pub told the agency on Sept. 10 it wouldn't enforce the Reopening Ontario Act, which covers vaccine rules along with what's allowed under Step 3 of the province's reopening plan.

The pub also posted signs saying it wouldn't follow the rules.

Kingston's public health unit received several complaints about the pub and on Sept. 24, bylaw officers charged the business owner after watching the pub break the reopening act, according to the agency, which said one of its officials also saw the pub break the rules.

J.A.K.K. Tuesdays changed its profile picture last week to show an anti-vaccine mandate message. (J.A.K.K. Tuesdays/Facebook)

The news release said the liquor licence will be suspended and the agency will move to permanently take it away for public safety. The pub can appeal.

"We appreciate and recognize all the establishments that are taking this responsibility seriously and will continue addressing situations where that responsibility is being disregarded," AGCO CEO Tom Mungham said in a statement.

Provincial officials have said asking people to show proof they received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in high-risk places will save lives and the hospital system, while avoiding the types of shutdowns seen last winter and spring.

This is the first publicly reported liquor licence suspension in Ontario since the proof-of-vaccination system began.

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