A controversial plan approved by Vancouver City Council earlier this month to ban bars and nightclubs on the Granville Entertainment District (GED) from allowing new customers to enter establishments has been put on hold.
Modelled after a similar program in Sydney, the ban was to take effect on July 1 as a one-year-long pilot program to help manage crowds outside of the bars and nightclubs. This means doors will be closed at 2 am, but those who area already inside the venues can remain until 3 am.
However, the municipal government now says the start date for the pilot program will be delayed until City officials properly consult with the affected businesses on potential impacts and how to implement the changes.
“It is important to the City to continue our collaboration with the GED bars and clubs as we move from policy-making to implementation and the success of the pilot will rely on the readiness and participation of all of the impacted establishments,” reads a statement issued by the City to Daily Hive.
Representatives from the Vancouver Police Department, Vancouver Coastal Health, and the provincial government’s Liquor Control and Licensing Branch will also be involved in this working group, which is expected to convene in about two weeks.
In the statement, the City says it intends to implement its pilot program, and it does not expect the ban will start any later than October.
City Council’s decision on June 14 to ban late-entry, as one of a number liquor policy changes, was met with criticism from both the establishments and the Hospitality Vancouver Association.
“This is a very complex issue that requires thoughtful and pragmatic dialogue among all impacted parties,” said spokesperson Tania Richards in a statement earlier this week.
“To arbitrarily implement a decision, on very short notice, without dialogue with the affected businesses is poor policy and has the potential to result in millions of dollars in lost revenue and jobs.”