By Letter to the Editor on May 1, 2021.
Under provisions of the City of Medicine Hat Licensing Bylaw an appointed License Inspector has the authority to suspend or cancel a Business License. Section 5.2 gives the authority to a License Inspector to “refuse to grant a license or, to revoke or suspend any license if, in his opinion, there are just and reasonable grounds for the refusal of the application or for the revocation of suspension of the license.” The owner would of course have the ability to appeal the decision to city council which should immediately be upheld. If open defiance of issued orders is not grounds to proceed with the suspension or cancellation of the business license, what is?
In addition Section 10.4 of the Licensing Bylaw states, “Upon request by the Medical Officer of Health or the Building Inspector so to do, the License Inspector shall suspend the license of any licensed premises concerned and shall not reinstate such licensee until the Medical Officer of Health or the Building Inspector certifies that the premises concerned are again fit to be used.”
I certainly hope these provisions are being considered and enacted as soon as possible to ensure the health and safety of the entire community.
Having decades of experience enforcing municipal bylaws in two provinces and working with Public Health Inspectors in both jurisdictions, I am confident the use of these provisions are not only enforceable at a local level, but would be upheld by courts.
If the city is truly concerned about the health and safety of our community, they will take steps to move on this issue sooner than later, and council would uphold the decision of staff to enforce the provisions of the Licensing Bylaw.