Calgary restaurant’s permit suspended for failing to comply with COVID-19 restrictions

A Calgary pizza restaurant is without a food handling permit after failing to comply with COVID-19 restrictions.

Alberta Health Services confirmed that AHS Environmental Public Health suspended Without Papers Pizza’s food handling permit on Sept. 30, as a result of receiving 33 complaints about the operator’s non-compliance with orders of the chief medical officer of health that were put in place to protect public health.

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“AHS public health inspectors always seek to work collaboratively with businesses and organizations to ensure compliance with CMOH orders and current public health measures,” said Diana Rinne, senior communications adviser with AHS in the North zone.

“Our first step is always education. It is only when significant risk is identified or continued non-compliance is noted that AHS resorts to enforcement action.”

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A sign at Without Papers Pizza in Inglewood states: “We are not in compliance with the City of Calgary bylaw 65M2021.”.

Carolyn Kury de Castillo/Global News

The sign on the door at Without Papers Pizza in Inglewood clearly states: “We are not in compliance with the City of Calgary bylaw 65M2021” — the city’s vaccine passport bylaw.

The bylaw requires many businesses and organizations to require proof of vaccination, a recent negative COVID-19 test or a valid medical exemption letter to gain entry.

Without Papers Pizza didn’t respond to requests for comment. On Sunday, the sign on the restaurant door said: “We accept all, may they be vaccinated or unvaccinated as being equal in their humanity and afforded the same dignity and equity as such.”

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The owner of Mossleigh Bar N Grill southeast of Calgary had chosen not to opt into the province’s vaccine passport system until this weekend. She says the government rules have been dividing the small community.

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“I know who walks through the door in this community. I know who is vaccinated and who is not vaccinated, and that makes it harder,” said owner Cassie Rowse.

“You can’t win. One of the reasons I haven’t announced anything is I know the minute I do, that’s when we will start getting the threats and the bullying and ‘Why are you doing this? Why are you being a sheep? Why are you not standing up to the government?’”

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The owners of the British Teahouse in High River chose to close indoor dining two weeks ago rather than opt into the vaccine passport system, but their revenue dropped sharply when they were limited to takeout, so the owners said they will opt into the province’s restrictions exemption program — also known as a vaccine passport — later this week.

“We didn’t feel it was our responsibility as a brand new small business to pick and choose who came into our establishment to eat,” said owner Rebecca Mason.

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“We had a lot of support from people who didn’t support the program, but that on its own isn’t keeping our business going. We have to make a choice between losing our business and doing something that we believe in.”

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