When it comes to an animal-loving country like Canada, the rules around pets in public are somewhat strict.
Animals in restaurants are still generally frowned upon and animal-based cafes (such as cat cafes) are few and far between–and not nearly as fun or interactive as they are in Japan. That said, it looks like the Doug Ford government is looking to make life a little easier for animals lovers.
Recently, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, appeared at The Second Wedge Brewing Company to announce that Ontario is proposing to give restaurants the option to allow dogs on patios and in areas where low-risk foods such as 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,” Elliott said in a statement.
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“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.”
If passed, this change will come into effect on January 1, 2020.
The province is seeking public and sector feedback on the proposed regulation changes until November 27.
“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. As of now, pet owners are limited to restaurants and patios that have leash-friendly railing nearby.