Ontario Making Patios Dog FriendlyPublished on
Removing Unnecessary Barriers for Restaurants to Meet Customer Needs
November 2, 2019 3:00 P.M. Ministry of Health
UXBRIDGE — Ontario is giving consumers more choice and helping businesses stay competitive by reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens, while maintaining public health and safety.
Today, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, was joined by Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board and MPP for Pickering—Uxbridge, and Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister for Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, at The Second Wedge Brewing Company to announce that Ontario is proposing to permit restaurants the option to allow dogs on patios and in areas where low-risk foods like pre-packaged foods, fresh fruit and most snacks are sold alongside beer, wine and spirits.
"Certain rules create unnecessary barriers for local businesses to truly meet the needs of their customers and limit choice for consumers," said Minister Elliott. "While protecting the health and safety of Ontarians will always be our key priority, the proposed changes to allow dogs on restaurant patios and areas where low-risk foods are served will better align Ontario to other provinces and jurisdictions while making it easier for dog owners to enjoy a meal out on the patio."
Currently, pet owners are limited to restaurants and patios that have leash-friendly railing nearby. These proposed changes would make it easier and more enjoyable for dog owners to have a meal out and provide greater flexibility for business owners. If passed, this change will come into effect January 1, 2020.
The Ontario government is seeking public and sector feedback on the proposed regulation changes until November 27.
"We are a government that listens. When The Second Wedge first came to me to explain the effects this unnecessary and burdensome red tape has on their business and others like it across the province, I knew our government had to find a solution," said MPP Bethlenfalvy. "Thanks to the work of Minister Sarkaria, Minister Elliott, and my team, we are bringing about responsible, sensible reforms that ensure businesses can provide consumers with the services they want."
"Through the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, we're making common-sense improvements to Ontario's regulatory framework—freeing businesses to create jobs and easing burdens on hardworking families," said Minister Sarkaria. "Cutting red tape isn't all about business. It's also about giving Ontarians the freedom to pursue the things that matter to them—like enjoying Sunday brunch with a four-legged member of the family. Many thanks to Ministers Bethlenfalvy and Elliott for their work in offering this choice to families across the province."
This is part of Ontario's thoughtful and targeted approach to reduce regulatory burdens across several sectors, including farming, trucking, construction, health care and restaurants. It will provide direct benefits to people in their everyday lives, while also making it easier to do business, create jobs and grow wages.
"The Ontario government is creating the right environment for local businesses to succeed by removing ineffective regulations," said Rob Garrard, Co-Founder and Owner of The Second Wedge Brewing Co. "They are championing companies like ours by allowing us to make smart, responsible and popular decisions that communities are asking for."
- Currently, the Food Premises Regulation under the Health Protection and Promotion Act does not allow any (except in limited circumstances) live animals to be present in any rooms of food premises where food is prepared, packaged or served.
- The Ontario government has taken more than 100 actions to modernize and streamline regulations, reducing overlap with the federal government and municipalities, updating old requirements and simplifying complicated rules.
- Ontario’s Open for Business Action Plan has set a target of reducing the cost of complying with regulations affecting businesses by $400 million annually by 2020 to help business keep, grow and create good jobs.