Charlie Don’t Surf’s Lael Ross prepares an indoor table Tuesday, May 25. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Charlie Don’t Surf’s Lael Ross prepares an indoor table Tuesday, May 25. (Aaron Hinks photo)

White Rock, South Surrey restaurants welcome indoor diners once more

Marine Drive one-way debate could be back on the table, says councillor

The debate over whether to turn Marine Drive into a one-way route might be back on the table now that the province has lifted restrictions on indoor dining – according to one council member, at least.

Tuesday afternoon, Premier John Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the province’s four step restart plan.

Step one of the plan, which started May 25, allows indoor and outdoor dining at restaurants as long as there’s an existing WorkSafeBC safety plan in place. Restaurants are also to be mindful of table spacing and other COVID-19-related safety guidance, such as masks and physical distancing.

At its regular council meeting May 10, White Rock council voted to close the north lane of Marine Drive until the end of September. It was the second time council voted on the matter, resulting in a 6-1 decision.

The move was aimed at allowing waterfront restaurants more table space to offset a severe and continuing threat to the survival of the businesses as a result of provincial health orders banning inside dining. City staff recommended against the one-way option, citing safety concerns that included emergency vehicles not being able to access the area when it’s busy.

READ ALSO: White Rock council votes to make Marine Drive one-way route

READ ALSO: White Rock’s Marine Drive lane closure awaits traffic plan

Tuesday, Coun. Helen Fathers said the lifting of dining restrictions makes the one-way plan worthy of another council discussion.

Fathers, who initially voted against the proposal, then changed her vote when the motion was reconsidered, described it as an agonizing decision. It was the first time she has changed her vote during her four terms as councillor, she said.

“There’s significant amount of risk involved, so it absolutely changes my mind,” Fathers said of the restrictions being lifted. “I don’t know if there’s going to be enough votes to redo the decision, but I think with the indoor dining, I think the conversation needs to be rehashed, definitely.”

Fathers said she’s received both negative and positive feedback from White Rock residents on the decision to turn Marine Drive into a one-way, but “overwhelmingly, it was negative.”

The decision to lift indoor dining restrictions doesn’t change much for White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker, however.

“The intention with Marine Drive was not just about the lack of indoor dining, it really was designed to try and help the businesses climb back out of the hole that has been created by COVID,” Walker said Tuesday.

“The intention was to help facilitate putting the businesses back on their feet. My belief was, and certainly I believe that council’s direction was, that even if the indoor dining was reopened to whatever level, we will leave this in place for the period we agreed to.”

Walker said he does not yet have details of when Marine Drive will be turned into a one-way route, but expects it will be sometime in June.

Jan’s on the Beach owner Janet Wait said while she was happy the indoor dining restrictions were lifted, she was disappointed with the lack of notice.

Because restaurants were not given a heads-up, Wait was unable to prepare by stocking ingredients and meet staffing needs.

“People have things planned and we do our schedules two weeks in advance. You can say, can anybody come in tomorrow? We’re open… But people have lives, too, right,” Wait said.

Charlie Don’t Surf manager Kyle Grant was also grateful the restrictions were lifted. Grant said that Marine Drive seating, combined with indoor dining, brings Charlie’s up to 100 per cent of its pre-COVID-19 capacity.

Gradual reopening planned

Step two of the province’s four-part plan, beginning June 15, will allow for outdoor social gatherings of up to 50 people and play dates, but indoor gatherings will stay capped at five visitors or one additional household. Organized indoor gatherings up to 50 people will be allowed, while the province will begin to consult with various sectors about larger outdoor events. Masks will remain mandatory inside public spaces.

The third step, which is to start July 1, will see a “return to usual for indoor and outdoor personal gatherings.” July 1 is also when masks be recommended, rather than mandated.

Step four, the step we have all been waiting for, is expected to start Sept. 7.

If vaccination rates hit 70 per cent of eligible individuals, social gatherings will return to normal and large organized events can resume, as long as more than 70 per cent of B.C. is vaccinated, and if hospitalizations continue to drop.

The dates of each step is not set in stone. The dates will be pushed back depending on the number of COVID-19 cases, the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 and the number of people who have received at least one dose of vaccine.

City of White RockCoronavirusRestaurants

Just Posted

Fleetwood Park Secondary School’s 2021 commencement ceremonies were held over the course of two days, June 10 and 11. Grads went through a small, distanced ceremony in groups of four, with up to four members of the grad’s household. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s 2021 grads find creative ways to celebrate in another year of COVID-19

This year’s Grade 12 students were unable to have any large-scale events

People were lined up around the fields at a drop-in vaccine clinic at Newton Athletic Park on Tuesday (April 27, 2021), which is one of the high-transmission neighbourhoods that are being given vaccine priority. This clinic was one of at least three to open in the city on Tuesday. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s weekly cases continue to drop, push for 80% vaccination rate citywide

BCCDC reports 263 cases for Surrey the week of May 30 to June 5

Dooris Raad was last seen in South Surrey’s Ocean Park neighbourhood on June 7. (Surrey RCMP photo)
Scales of Justice, Image courtesy Creative Outlet
Scales of Justice, Image courtesy Creative Outlet
Teacher’s elbow injury case against Surrey School District, WorkSafeBC struck by judge

Judge says processes put in place by legislation, collective agreement must be followed

Friends of Bear Creek Park held a ‘yellow-ribbon event’ on Saturday (June 12, 2021), with protesters at 84th Avenue and King George Boulevard and 84th Avenue and 140th Street. People were asked to tie a yellow ribbon in their yard “to celebrate and to show support for our trees in Bear Creek Park.” (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Protesters hold ‘yellow-ribbon’ event at Surrey’s Bear Creek Park

People asked to tie a yellow ribbon in their yard to ‘show support for our trees’

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read