Barrie mayor urges Ford to lift restaurant capacity limits

Barrie's mayor urges Premier Doug Ford to allow restaurants to increase capacity in a letter issued Wednesday.

"I am writing today on behalf of the more than 400 restaurants in Barrie," Jeff Lehman wrote. "This is a critical sector of our economy, employing more than 7,000 people."

Lehman said several restaurant owners and managers were dealing with additional public health requirements, adding to an already struggling sector.

The mayor remarked on the province's controversial move to exclude restaurants and bars from venues allowed to operate at full capacity.

"Surely, if an indoor facility, such as a concert or banquet hall, can hold tens of thousands of individuals packed close together, restaurants with diners at separate tables cannot represent a greater threat," Lehman stated.

The mayor concluded his letter to the premier by noting that with patio season coming to an end, "time is of the essence."