Today’s special: A heaping helpin’ of defiance along with a side order of civil disobedience!
Welcome to Adamson Barbecue, a popular Texas-style BBQ restaurant in west-end Toronto.
While slow-cooked, meaty delicacies are the house specialty at Adamson, owner Adam Skelly has been doing a slow burn since midnight on Sunday when the province put the City of Toronto and Peel Region into a Stage 1-style, near-total lockdown. Spas, eateries, theatres, and gyms were yet again ordered to shut their doors in order to "flatten the curve" of the Wuhan virus.
But, as usual, the lockdowns disproportionately targeted small businesses like Skelly's. Just about 400-metres away from Adamson Barbecue is a bustling Costco, where it's business as usual. Funny how that works...
Adam Skelly came to the decision that enough was enough. On Tuesday, the rebellious restaurateur decided to fire up the grill and open his restaurant's doors in defiance of the 28-day provincial pandemic shut-down order.
In an Instagram video post he made on Monday evening, Skelly says “For anybody who is a fan of freedom and sovereignty, the right to choose what you wear, where to go, who to have over at your house, what businesses you can go to, I would love to meet you.”
And on Tuesday morning, there was Skelly at the door to greet hundreds of hungry — albeit happy — freedom fighters.
Unfortunately, Toronto Police Service and bylaw enforcement officers also showed up, and they weren't there for the baby back ribs. While no tickets were immediately issued, police have said charges are likely coming later this week.
Under the Reopening Ontario Act, Skelly could face a minimum fine of $10,000, or potentially up to $100,000 plus a year in jail.
In the meantime, the question arises: is Adam Skelly a one-man gang? Or in the days and weeks ahead, will other businesspeople in lockdown mode (and on the brink of bankruptcy) also throw open their doors in defiance of the government?