Province proposes new licensing fee system for restaurants

Dave Stewart
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Operators will be given two-month grace period

Over the coming months, Prince Edward Island will be updating regulations to ensure the highest levels of food safety in food serving establishments.

A new licensing classification system has been proposed for all establishments on P.E.I. that make and sell food.

The Department of Health and Wellness has conducted a review of the Eating Establishments and Licensed Premises (EELP) Regulations which govern food safety within the province.

Ryan Neale, senior environmental health officer, says the changes have come in to make sure that the Island’s food safety requirements meet national standards and provide the necessary regulatory authority to ensure compliance with the regulations.

The new licensing fees reflect, as close as possible, licensing fees across the Maritimes.

“There hasn’t been a good review since 1979. The regulations themselves were rewritten,’’ Neale said.

The fees themselves haven’t been adjusted since being implemented in 2001.

Licensing fees have been adjusted from the old range of $25 to $100 to $37.50 to $150.

Class 1 now refers to operations primarily where food is consumed on site but also includes bakeries and supermarkets (Class 1A). These fees are $150 per year. A sub-category for smaller businesses with less than 25 seats will offer a lesser fee (Class 1B) of $75.

Class 2 refers primarily to operations where food is purchased for consumption off site. The fee is now $55 annually.

Class 3 covers short-term temporary food service operations from one to 10 days per year. The fee for that temporary event will now be $37.50. Class 3B multiple temporary events will run $55.

Class 4 refers to community/church halls and will not carry a licensing fee as is currently the case.

Neale said all establishments are being given a two-month grace period to get used to the new fee structure. That means no one will be penalized for operating without a valid licence through June 1.

“The amendments came at a time in March when people are ready to get their applications in. It would have been fairly rushed for them to understand all the changes and apply under the correct classification,’’ Neale said. “We just didn’t want to place that burden on operators. We wanted to give them the opportunity to contact us to discuss those amendments.’’

The department will still monitor food safety and flag any business found to be violating the rules.

The department indicates that even with the proposed change in fees they cover less than 30 per cent of the total cost of the province’s annual food safety program.

Neale said the new classes of licences reflect the primary functions of business.

For more information on the new regulations, go to

Organizations: Department of Health and Wellness

Geographic location: Iceland

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Recent comments

  • cry baby
    April 23, 2014 - 19:37

    Don't all of you complainers know it costs money to run a business? Yes we have free enterprise but it still costs money to get that enterprise from idea to reality.

  • Truth Seeker
    Truth Seeker
    April 22, 2014 - 10:03

    They're not taxing restaurants, they're taxing us again. Any responsible business owner will past this cost down the customer as they should. Little by little we're being taxed and fee'd out of the middle class and into poverty. I don't like that year after year I work harder and harder to increase my household income and yet my lifestyle gets worse. More time at work, less time with family and the kids are missing out on activities we used to be able to provide time and money for. Crime, addiction and floating bodies are on the rise as well.

  • it's ok....
    April 22, 2014 - 09:35

    55 bucks for a food truck is peanuts. Now that they have to "chip" in, maybe it'll shut some people up and stop whining. Free Enterprise baby.

  • Billy
    April 22, 2014 - 09:19

    Now, how about some inspector s who know what they are doing, to make this all worthwhile.

  • Can You Believe IT
    April 22, 2014 - 07:40

    Can you believe it , another tax grab by Wes & Robert on top of the 200+ they already have put in place in the last year or so . Unbelievable the gaul these two have .

  • james
    April 22, 2014 - 07:19

    What about my kids lemonade stand?

    • Peter
      April 22, 2014 - 13:09

      Be patient ... They'll get to your kids in due course .. and find a way to make them pay.