WINNIPEG, MB. - The City of Winnipeg arbitrarily added a $500 administrative fee for patio permits this year.
The Manitoba Restaurant Association claims 10,000 restaurants have already closed in our province. The negative financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to put a burden on Winnipeg restaurants and families. Now the city has chosen to add to the financial stresses our small businesses are facing. Councillor Klein (Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood) was not impressed with the added fees and will introduce a motion that will instead support these small family-owned restaurants in our community. Klein said, “this government has offered no plan to help re-launch our local economy, and that is unacceptable. Our community needs its leaders to take the lead developing a solid path forward. People want to feel confident this government has their best interest and future in mind. They want hope not more fees.” Klein will introduce a motion to forgive the cost of patio permits for restaurants this summer, including the elimination of the newly introduced Administrative fee of $500.00. Klein said, “this is a small gesture and is the least we can do to help each other as we return to a new normal. Whatever happened to the slogan, One with the strength of many? We need to help each other; we don’t need more businesses closing.”
Klein questioned why this government doesn’t consider the impact of losing another 5,000 restaurants and 10,000 jobs would have on our city over the next few years. “I’m sure this government will say that there is a cost to all this, those costs are not tangible." said Klein. The staff are already working, these permits do not require hiring additional staff in any department. In fact, permits are down, so we have the time and resources to help our community members when they need it most, which is now.”
"This government needs to be focussing on improving its service levels and partnership approach," said Klein. We have a government that sticks to the old school ways and political spin as directed and that's a fundamental problem at city hall. I would surround myself with the best people, not YES people."