“A criminal for serving bacon & eggs”: Diner faces $500K FINE for reopening

Jason Lake recently re-opened the doors to his restaurant, the Minden 50’s Diner. He was serving up bacon and eggs and hash browns and coffee. It wasn’t long before a few Ontario Provincial Police officers and health inspectors dropped by. But they weren’t there to order the daily special. Rather, it was to warn Lake to shutdown his restaurant immediately – or else.

Or else what, you ask? Or else the entrepreneur would be fined $500,000 under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Oh, I almost forgot: Lake could even face up to a year in jail!

Gulp… pass the Pepto-Bismol, please…

Indeed, has it come down to this in Ontario? Violent offenders are being released from correctional facilities in order to maintain appropriate “social distancing” yet an entrepreneur who just wants to serve up some hamburgers and fries for the community is deemed Public Enemy #1?

And Lake (who voted for Ford) insists he was doing everything possible to ensure safety at his 68-seat restaurant – including eliminating half of the diner’s seats. But that didn’t matter in the eyes of the authorities.

Sadly, Lake says if he doesn’t get back into business soon he’ll be facing bankruptcy and his staff will be out of work. But recently, Premier Doug Ford announced that the province will remain under the Emergency Act until July – at which point it might be extended yet again.

And yet, for what reason? Minden, Ontario, is hardly a raging hotbed for the Wuhan virus. And why can one go to a sit-down diner in Sweden but not in Canada?

Indeed, whatever happened to Doug Ford’s pledge in 2018 that if made premier (mission accomplished) Job One would entail that Ontario would be “open for business.”

But where’s the openness? A recent survey indicated that Ontario is ranked ninth out of 10 provinces when it comes to economic liberty (only Newfoundland ranks worse.)

In any event, Lake was let off “lightly” for his insubordination, being served with one of those $880 Wuhan virus pandemic tickets.

In the meantime, Lake is now pondering whether he will reopen his eatery later this month. After all, he sadly notes that getting slapped with a $500,000 fine will be irrelevant if he has to declare bankruptcy.