Yaishia Wishlow assistant manager at Dolly’s Fish Market said the effects of halting in-restaurant dining are devasting to businesses and employees. The restaurant is empty on March 30. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Yaishia Wishlow assistant manager at Dolly’s Fish Market said the effects of halting in-restaurant dining are devasting to businesses and employees. The restaurant is empty on March 30. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Prince Rupert restaurant owner ‘furious’ over circuit-breaker closures

“Our provincial Premier should be [expletive] spanked to allow this …” — Charmayne Carlson

Some Prince Rupert restaurant owners are crying out about the B.C. government’s March 29 announcement to cancel all in-house dining for three weeks to prevent increased transmission of COVID-19.

Charmayne Carlson, owner and manager at Dolly’s Fish Market, told The Northern View that the move is ‘devastating beyond belief’ and will force many restaurants into bankruptcy. The decision to close in-restaurant dining is detrimental to the province, she said.

She is so ‘furious’ she had already contacted North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice by 9 a.m. on March 30 and was on her way to calling the rest she said.

“They are killing our province. They are killing business … Our provincial premier should be [expletive] spanked to allow this. I’ll never vote for him again. This is over the top.”

Interim Leader of the Official Opposition Shirley Bond stated in a March 29 press release that for weeks people have heard from Premier John Horgan vacations could be planned and the province was on the right track despite rising hospitalizations and case numbers.

“Today’s announcement was a gut punch to people in every corner of the province who have done everything they were asked and more to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Bond stated. “British Columbians have worked extremely hard to follow the lead of Dr. Henry and public health officials but John Horgan’s mixed messages and lack of clarity has caused a lot of confusion and anxiety.”

The government’s decision to close indoor dining at restaurants leaving only delivery or take-out affects the whole community and not just the business owners, Carlson said.

Upset and shaken at the move which gave restauranteurs less than 12 hours notice to close up shop, Carlson said she had to make some very hard ‘instant’ decisions and phone calls yesterday ‘slashing’ half of her staff, who are like family, into layoff positions with no income.

“It’s out of my hands. I was crying because these people want to work and they can’t make rent as it is,” she said. “It’s not about me. I’ll manage. I am about the community.”

Carlson said employment insurance claims for her staff will take longer to come through than the three-week “circuit breaker” closures declared by the Province.

“They will have no money, no tips. Labour costs money. If no customers are coming through the doors then there is no money,” Carlson said.

READ MORE: CERB is competition for restaurants looking to hire or recall staff

Having owned the fish market and restaurant for more than 20 years, she said she feels like she has been ‘thrown in the fire’ by the decision as she is ‘just holding the line’. She said she is furious and knows there are smaller businesses that will not make it through.

She said the closure decision should have been made for regions with higher COVID-19 counts and higher risk factors.

The business owner points out that the majority of adults in Prince Rupert were vaccinated for COVID-19 and the community has been following the rules, plus at Dolly’s, they are stringently following protocols with masks and plastic partitions between tables.

“We follow all the protocols. We follow everything they set in front of us. I’m [expletive] mad as hell. This is a total gut punch. The decision is hindering everyone and forcing bankruptcies. God help us,” she said.

Ocean View Hotel and Restaurant owner Tom Chang said the decision is not good for the restaurant industry.

“It is a real blow to the food and beverage industry,” Chang said. “It will kill off the batch that has been hanging on for the past year. This may be the last blow for them … not good.”

READ MORE: New restrictions are as disappointing as warm beer


 
K-J Millar | Journalist 
Send K-J email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID019 cases number have dropped dramatically according to the BC CDC epidemiology mapping for the week of April 11 to 17 . Nurse Angie Z. gets a thumbs up from Delores Campbell, one of the first of 9,008 residents to be vaccinated in the Prince Rupert community vaccination clinics in March. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View.
COVID-19 Case number plummet in Prince Rupert

BCCDC mapping shows a dramatic decrease in pandemic case number in the Prince Rupert region

Dreamfish are hung on the fence at Annunication School in Prince Rupert on April 17 as part of the Stream of Dream eco-education program teaching about local watersheds and salmon habitats. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Stream of Dreams fish swim the fence at Prince Rupert School

Students at Annunciation school learned about watershed protection and salmon habitat

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Registered Nurse, Teresa Friesen immunizes Dunrovin resident, Richard Brophy. Resident’s at the home were the first in Quesnel to receive COVID-19 vaccines. (Submitted Photo)
COLUMN: Vaccine floodgates should be opened

This editor’s column first appeared in the April 14 edition of the Quesnel Cariboo Observer

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on property

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. sees 1,006 COVID-19 cases Thursday, ‘alarming’ 502 in hospital

Vaccine bookings for people aged 60 and older set to start

Most Read