CDN-NDG borough can set up zoning to limit fast food: judge

FAST FOOD CDN-NDG

A Quebec judge has ruled that the borough of CDN-NDG has the right to say where new fast food restaurants can operate on its territory.

The court case pitted the city of Montreal against the restaurants association, Restaurants Canada which argued that the borough shouldn't be allowed to dictate where and what its residents can eat. 

New zoning rules introduced in 2016 meant that new fast food joints could only open and operate in three specific areas in CDN-NDG.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Marc-St Pierre ruled that it's well within the powers of the borough to zone such things as cell phone towers and strip clubs.

"The court ruling basically says that municipalities don't have a limited mandate to just fix potholes and take away the snow but reflect broader concerns of their citizens," said Snowdon councillor Marvin Rotrand.

Rotrand said the zoning change was in line with their plan to promote healthy lifestyles in the face of what he calls a growing obesity epidemic.

"(The plaintiffs) basically looked at municipalities the way municipalities were in the 1950s. We said, in the 2000s things have changed," Rotrand told CJAD 800.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation said it was pleased with the ruling.

"Obesity (levels) have tripled since 1980," said spokesman Kevin Bilodeau.

Restaurants Canada told CJAD 800 that it won't comment while it studies the ruling and that it has 30 days to decide whether it'll appeal.