NEWFIE’S Pub, at the corner of Victoria and Brodie, is on the move. Or at least they hope to be.

The owner of Newfie’s Pub is reportedly planning to lease space in a new one-storey building at 126 Simpson St. between Victoria and Miles streets. The building is essentially complete on what was previously a vacant lot the owners purchased from the city.

But there’s a catch. The new building doesn’t come with a liquor licence and a new licence must be obtained. The owner/manager of Newfie’s, Don Perry, has applied for a licence to sell liquor in an indoor and outdoor area (AGCO file#: 293930).

All such applications are open to public review and any resident may object to the application. But many residents of the Simpson Street area where Newfie’s is wanting to move told me they could not object to the application. You could only make a submission online and needed to provide your email address. Some of the residents of this area have no Internet access and no email address, effectively cutting them off from the opportunity for their opinions to be heard.

As a resident of the neighbourhood I submitted such an objection. And I think it might not be too hard for you to figure out why.

I’ve seen this business have a detrimental effect on the surrounding neighbourhood. The street location in general has been busy for police and the news media has reported cases of brawls, multiple stabbings and a licence suspension for drunkenness on the property.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has decided to hold a public hearing to consider the concerns of residents with respect to the licence application. But their idea of a public hearing isn’t very public, and isn’t a hearing. It is a conference call that is scheduled for June 27 and you are sent the information to participate.

I have asked them to consider hosting a real public hearing. There are a variety of schools and private halls (legions, for example) that would be ideal for just this kind of a gathering.

In the interest of fairness to the people that will have to live near Newfie’s, a real public meeting needs to be held. Then, and only then, will there be full public input into this liquor licence application.

Robert Reukl

Thunder Bay

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