The video, taken Thursday, shows a group of people confronting Prime Minister John Horgan, who is at a table with seven other people. This prompted some netizens to accuse him of breaking the rule that there can only be six people seated at a table.
But this is not the case.
While regional restrictions in the central Okanagan have recently been extended to the rest of the interior, the rules affecting restaurants, pubs and bars have not. This means that restaurants like the one Horgan ate can seat more than six people per table.
Jeff Guinard, executive director of the British Columbia Alliance of Beverage Licensees, says the expansion of some rules, but not others, has been confusing.
“I think the government and regional health authorities haven’t done a good enough job of making it clear,” he told NEWS 1130.
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“From their point of view, they’re only talking about the rules they’ve extended. They didn’t bother to mention that we are not expanding the restrictions on the hotel industry regarding group sizes and hours of operation and in some sense, why wouldn’t they extend them, n ‘is this not ? But it would have been very helpful in the beginning if they had just said it clearly enough. “
He adds that as soon as the expanded restrictions were announced, he was receiving calls and emails from restaurants and bars.
“We literally had inspectors who walked into some of our establishments and said they had to close at 10 am, to which we replied, ‘No, we are not doing that,’” he said. added.
The restaurant where Horgan was filmed having dinner, Sir Winston’s Pub and Liquor Store, has been confused with some online giving the establishment bad reviews, accusing them of bending the Prime Minister’s rules.
Owner Jovan Badhan told NEWS 1130 that was not the case and that Horgan was sitting with a group of seven because the rules allow it.
“We have served our clients for some 20 years and we have never given anyone preferential treatment based on their background, career, race, whatever they are,” he said.
While people who have confronted Horgan can be heard complaining that they have been told they can only have six at their table, Badhan says his restaurant has been welcoming groups of more than six people since the rules went down. are relaxed.
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He also thinks there has been confusion over the rules.
“I really think there is poor communication and a misunderstanding of the rules imposed on us in different regions,” he said.
“The message gets pretty convoluted when it changes every four weeks and when different regions are under different restrictions and I think that’s what happened in this case. People don’t understand where we are, what restrictions are placed on us in relation to Vancouver, Victoria, even Kelowna.
Badhan believes part of the anger and frustration stems from opposition to the province’s vaccine passport, which is expected to go into effect next month.
“As a business we have had a lot of hardship over the past year and a half and I don’t think we should be portrayed in a negative light just because a high profile politician has visited our establishment.” , he added.
When contacted for comment on the video and the reaction, Prime Minister John Horgan’s office said the people who filmed the video were wrong and the Prime Minister had not broken any rules.
NEWS 1130 contacted the person who filmed the video.