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Montreal borough can restrict fast food restaurants for health reasons: court

MONTREAL — A Quebec judge has upheld a Montreal borough’s bylaw that limits where new fast food restaurants can open as part of a broader health initiative.

The decision last month from Quebec Superior Court ruled against a number of fast food chains that had sought to quash the municipal law.

Citing a desire to promote healthy eating, the borough passed a zoning bylaw in 2016 that limited new fast food restaurants to two major streets and a shopping centre.

Coun. Marvin Rotrand says he’s pleased the courts have found in favour of the bylaw and says he hopes other boroughs and municipalities will follow suit.

Restaurants Canada, an association representing Canada’s food service industry that was the lead plaintiff, says it is considering whether to appeal the ruling.

It had argued the local lawmakers went too far and that provincial laws do not give municipalities the power to establish zoning on the basis of the personal nutritional choices of their citizens.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 8, 2019.

The Canadian Press