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Controversial Vancouver restaurant shut down for not following COVID-19 regulations

Restaurant ordered to close

Corduroy, the Kitsilano restaurant which has long defied public health regulations aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, has been shut down by health authorities.

On Oct. 20, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) served Rebecca Matthews, owner of Corduroy, a closure order due to communicable diseases and contravention of a Provincial Heal Officer order, according to VCH's website. Matthews uploaded a video of the interaction on Corduroy's Instagram account.

"It's still a health hazard and it's been going on for a while," a VCH employee says to Matthews after telling her about the closure order. He notes that face coverings are central to the closure, along with issues the health authority has previously discussed with the business owner. Complaints have also been lodged, he adds.

Matthews asks to talk to him about the order, but he explains he's only there to deliver the closure notice; further inquiries should go to his manager.

"You're being ordered to close, that's that," says a second VCH member. A Vancouver Police Department officer was also in attendance, the video shows.

"We've already discussed this so, we're going to go," says the first VCH person, as Matthews protests.

"You realize I'm a mother of four children, right?" Matthews responds.

"Shame on you," calls out someone inside the restaurant to the health authority employees as they leave.

In her Instagram post with the video, Matthews says she's planning to continue her fight.

She also notes that VCH staff came to the restaurant on Oct. 19 to talk with her, but she wasn't around. Previous posts talk about how she's hopeful a closure order wouldn't be coming.

Matthews and Corduroy have a history of ignoring the provincial health orders and regulations regarding COVID-19, including the mask mandate and the enforcement of the BC Vaccine Card. It is unclear if the closure is related to non-compliance with the BC Vaccine Card mandate.

This spring it was shut down for violating public health orders when it opened to indoor dining as the pandemic hit its highest point in B.C. (new cases spiked to over 1,000 per day the same week). When VCH employees first arrived to give Matthews the closure notice patrons shouted and chanted at the officials until they left.

In response, the city suspended Corduroy's business license and provincial regulators suspended their liquor license. At the same time the provincial restaurant association distanced themselves from Corduroy and legal experts questioned Matthews's defense strategy. Mayor Kennedy Stewart also threatened legal action.

More recently Matthews openly stated Corduroy wouldn't be enforcing mask mandates or the province's vaccine passport requirements.



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