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City councillor wants to see a cap put on delivery fees charged to Toronto restaurants

Last Updated Oct 27, 2020 at 2:50 pm EST

A restaurant in Toronto displays a "Take Out Only" sign on March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Toronto City Councillor Michael Ford says he will table a motion at City Hall this week to put a temporary cap on the commission fees third-party food delivery companies charge restaurants.

The Etobicoke North representative says the fees – which can run as high as 30 per cent – are an undue burden on businesses already struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ford says independent restaurants help drive Toronto’s economy, are a “vital part” of this city’s culture and “everything possible” must be done to help them remain open.

He also points out that Restaurants Canada, a not-for-profit association representing the food service industry, estimates that without support, roughly 40 per cent of independent restaurants could be out of business by March 2021.

The issue is something his uncle, Premier Doug Ford, has raised several times in recent weeks.

Earlier this month the premier even went so far as to threaten to “put down the hammer” on third-party food delivery companies, calling them “greedy” and telling them to lower their rates.

“They’re making a fortune […] more money than they’ve ever made in their lives,” said the premier. “Don’t be greedy. I can’t stand when people are greedy.”

Watch: Ford threatens to “put the hammer down” on food delivery companies

The City of Toronto does not have the municipal authority to regulate the food delivery companies, so Coun. Ford is calling on the province to help facilitate the move.

The premier, when asked Tuesday about his nephew’s motion, said he would be talking to Toronto Mayor John Tory about the issue.

“If they need our support, we’ll be there to support them,” he said.

Watch: Ford says province will support city’s efforts to impose cap on fees

The motion is expected to be addressed when City Council meets on Wednesday.