Ontario moves to cap delivery app fees in lockdown regions

By News Staff

With many restaurants struggling to stay afloat through the COVID-19 lockdown, the province is set to unveil legislation on Thursday that will make sure food delivery apps aren’t taking advantage.

Ontario is moving to cap the fees these apps impose on restaurants in regions where indoor dining is prohibited, a senior government source says.

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The Progressive Conservative government is poised to introduce the legislation that would give the province the authority to temporarily limit how much apps such as UberEats and DoorDash can charge restaurants in the grey or lockdown COVID-19 restriction zone for their services, according to the source.

Toronto’s mayor, John Tory, released a statement ardently supporting the move.

“The Supporting Local Restaurants Act introduced today would cap fees charged by food delivery companies in areas, like Toronto and Peel Region, where indoor dining is prohibited,” Tory said.

“This is the right thing to do and will help our restaurants who are working to provide takeout and delivery options right now.”

Documents obtained by The Canadian Press say companies who contravene the proposed law could face fines of up to $10 million.

The source says the limit has not yet been set but the province is looking at something similar to what was done in New York City, which recently capped delivery app commission fees at 20 per cent to help restaurants weather the pandemic.

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The bill also aims to protect the pay of delivery drivers and ensure companies don’t restrict their delivery zones or cut out certain restaurants, the source says.

“We will continue to do everything we can at the City to help those restaurants get through this pandemic,” Tory added.

The proposed law is meant to provide temporary relief to restaurants who are now forced to rely on delivery and takeout orders as their only source of revenue due to COVID-19 restrictions barring indoor service, the source says.

With files from The Canadian Press

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