Restaurant association head says “immediate action” needed to make workers, customers safer

With restaurants across the city continuing to deal with safety issues, the head of the Manitoba Restaurant and Foodservices Association says plans to bring in safety measures are moving at an unacceptable pace.

Shaun Jeffrey says he’s been involved in meetings with Winnipeg’s mayor and Manitoba’s justice minister over the last little while, but doesn’t feel they’re getting anywhere.

“Our industry is still recovering from the pandemic, and we just do not have the capital funds available to be able to support the installation of a $7,000 security system,” Jeffrey said.

“We need some sort of investment moving forward until some of these larger-scale programs that the government is working on can get into play. This is a short-term problem, and we need short-term relief.”

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He says the safety situation for his members is bad and getting worse.

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“This is unfortunately just not moving fast enough, we need to be able to move forward in protecting these people in our business just trying to make a living.”

This comes after the recent temporary closure of the Osborne Street Starbucks due to crime concerns in the area.

Winnipeg Mayor Scott Gillingham says he had a good discussion with Jeffrey recently and they’re working to make Winnipeg a safer community for everybody, no matter where they live.

“We have good groups working on the frontline and we just need to pull them together now,” Gillingham told 680 CJOB’s Connecting Winnipeg.

Jeffrey says his organization is looking for the government to put them in contact with experts so they can be a channel of information to help patrons and employees.

“That’s really all we’re asking for is to work together in an expedited manner to get some of these programs in play.”

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