Windsor mayor breaks COVID restrictions at restaurant, just hours after urging zero tolerance

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Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens broke COVID-19 regulations Wednesday last week when he dined at the Nico Taverna restaurant with seven other people at the table.Hours earlier, Dilkens was among mayors in the region who called for a “zero tolerance approach” to COVID-19 enforcement.

At the time, Windsor-Essex was under yellow “protection” status as part of Ontario’s COVID-19 response – and the maximum number of people allowed to be at a table was six.

CBC News was made aware of the incident after receiving a photo of the dinner group which was posted on Instagram.

After inquiries from CBC News, Dilkens made a statement to city council on Monday afternoon. He called the incident an “unfortunate mistake on my part” which “should not have happened”.

“As mayor, I have a responsibility to set an example and show everyone in our region that we must follow all restrictions and guidelines to the letter,” he said.

Although Dilkens did not receive a ticket or notice of rule violation, he said he would make a donation of equivalent value to Windsor Goodfellows. The amount is $ 750.

Two other people present at the dinner will also make donations, the mayor said in his statement.

Gordon Orr, Executive Director of Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, will donate to Maryvale Adolescent and Family Services. Canadian Club Whiskey Brand Ambassador Tish Harcus will donate to Hiatus House Windsor.

Nick Politi, the owner of the restaurant, says he takes responsibility for the incident. Politi says that at the time of booking the first week in October it was allowed to have 10 at a table.

“We just let them do it. I don’t really have a good explanation, ”he said in an interview. “Things like that, with a few more people at a table, we were a bit [relaxed] on I’ll admit it. ”

Politi said the province’s new color-coded response framework has at times been difficult for restaurants to follow.

He reached out to people who have made reservations to let them know that the number of people who can be seated at a table has changed.

Windsor as of Monday is in the province’s orange “restriction” level, and the maximum number allowed to be at the same table in a restaurant is now four.

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