A Stoney Creek bar that’s already been in hot water for violating COVID-19 rules is once again facing charges under the Reopening Ontario Act.
Cause and Effect on Stone Church Road has received three new charges: one for playing music too loudly and two related to not following masking rules.
Previously, the restaurant and bar was charged multiple times in March for being open and operating past permitted hours, serving liquor past permitted hours, exceeding the maximum capacity of people allowed at the business, violating face-covering rules, and not conducting contact tracing.
The business was also charged in December 2020 for not following rules related to masking.
Paul Johnson, director of Hamilton’s emergency operations centre, said bylaw officers will respond to complaints from the public when issuing fines, but he said they’ll also revisit businesses that haven’t followed the rules in the past.
“For those who have had a history, we do check back in and make sure that there is compliance around it,” said Johnson during Monday’s COVID-19 media briefing. “We’re not trying to be a thorn in their side. But … some of these things are not new.”
Only one other Hamilton business was charged in the past week: a salon on Upper James Street on Saturday for reopening early. Personal care services will be allowed to reopen as of Wednesday.
Johnson said most businesses are following the rules, with many patios across the city operating since the province entered stage one of its reopening framework.
“The vast majority of these patios … they’ve been doing really well. So for those who choose to just not get it or feel that this is something that is a minor inconvenience that they’ll pay no attention to … we’ll be there and enforcing it,” Johnson said.
“If you’ve had enforcement before, there’s a good chance that at some point we’ll pop by and just to make sure that there’s still compliance there.”
Global News has reached out to Cause and Effect for comment on the charges but did not hear back by the publishing deadline.
The Stoney Creek bar also came under fire last summer when several images and videos posted online, alleged to have been from the restaurant, appear to show several moments of little physical distancing.
Johnson didn’t indicate whether the business will be facing stricter consequences for not following COVID-19 rules, which happened when the city and the province took action against a tattoo parlour on Concession Street that refused to close its doors when required to do so.
He said there will be an “ongoing discussion” about Cause and Effect, adding that the city does have the power to take further action.
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