Insurance coverage for Sidewalk Patio and Sidewalk Café Encroachment Policy to remain constant

During COVID-19, a patio policy was put in place to allow restaurants to have outdoor patios to facilitate ‘al fresco’ dining when indoor usage was prohibited due to the pandemic.

Businesses were however, required to carry $2Million in additional insurance coverage under the Sidewalk Patio and Sidewalk Café Encroachment Policy which was then to be reviewed each year.

“I really like the idea of outdoor patios but there are other outdoor uses and seasonal leases where we require $5million in insurance coverage,” pointed out Deputy Mayor, Diane Huber. “I would hope that, at some point, that there is a review made of other situations for community groups, such as the Fishing Club, or the Harbourlite restaurant, to ensure that we are not extending something to one that should be inclusive of other situations that are making use of public lands as well.”

Under the recommendation made at Council on Monday’s meeting (March 27th) of Committee of the Whole, the change stated that “… Council approve the insurance provision required by participating establishments remain at $2,000,000 permanently.”

Vice-deputy Mayor Mike Myatt and Councillor John Divinski questioned the wording “… permanently…”  Mayor Luke Charbonneau however, ensured that Council could amend or change the policy at any time.

CAO Kara Van Myall also explained that the policy was previously to be brought forward each year for review but the new recommendation was simply to avoid having to review the policy annually.

“I think this is a good, positive change and that the $5million coverage is heavy anyway,” said the Mayor.  “I think it’s worth reviewing insurance requirements across the board and whether the $5million threshold is required.  It is a significant rate increase from $2 to $5million for a business owner to pay and is a great burden to impose.”

The recommendation:  “That Council approve the patio insurance threshold currently outlined in the Sidewalk Patio and Sidewalk Café Encroachment Policy as $2,000,000 in liability insurance as part of the permanent changes to the Policy” … was Carried.