TORONTO – On Thursday, the Registrar of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) announced that it’s moving to suspend the liquor licence of J.A.K.K. Tuesdays in Kingston, Ontario.
The AGCO says that it’s moving to suspend the establishment, located at 642 Progress Ave for reasons of public interest and that the interim suspension is effective immediately. It plans to revoke the licence altogether.
“At the same time, the Registrar has also issued a Notice of Proposal (NOP) to revoke the establishment’s liquor licence for infractions of the Liquor Licence Act (LLA), including the requirement that the licence holder act and carry on business in accordance with the law, with honesty and integrity, and in the public interest,” wrote the AGCO on Thursday.
According to the news release, compliance officials had attempted to provide “education” to the licensee regarding the requirements of the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA). The owners of J.A.K.K Tuesday’s asserted that they have no intention to comply with the ROA.
The move comes after officials received many complaints regarding the establishment’s position on vaccine certifications and its commitment to refuse COVID-19 protocols while operating its business.
“Several complaints regarding the establishment’s non-compliance with the ROA were received by the Kingston Public Health Unit,” wrote the AGCO.
“By-law officers visited the establishment on or about September 23, 2021 and made observations of non-compliance with the ROA. On September 24, 2021, City of Kingston By-Law officials charged the licensee with violations of the ROA,” they added.
As early as September 14th, the business could be seen displaying “Say no to Vax Passports” and “All welcome at JAKKS.”
“The hospitality sector has been hard hit by the pandemic. The vaccine certificates are allowing businesses to keep operating while protecting the safety of their patrons,” The AGCO said on Thursday.
Recently, the business became more defiant as it gained a cult-like following among those who don’t support COVID-19 vaccine mandates. He was recently featured on right-wing platforms such as Rebel News, where they promoted him through a “We won’t ask campaign.”
In the interview, the owner admitted that he had received a $2000 fine on the day that compliance officers inspected the establishment.
J.A.K.K Tuesday’s was among 50 businesses that chose not to comply with COVID-19 rules. The list of businesses has now grown to over 70, with additional businesses making mention of it through social media groups.
According to the AGCO, an establishment served with an interim suspension or a NOP has the right to appeal the Registrar’s action to the Licence Appeal Tribunal, which is an adjudicative tribunal independent of the AGCO and part of Tribunals Ontario.
It’s unclear if the establishment intends to appeal the decision. As of this morning, JAKK Tuesday’s was still hiring employees.
The AGCO says it will “continue addressing situations where that responsibility is being disregarded,” meaning there could be additional licence suspensions in the future.
Correction: There are over 70 businesses that will not support the vaccine mandate around the Kingston area with some businesses privately promoting it on social media.