Repeal Edmonton Hookah ban

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           As you all know the city of Edmonton voted to ban hookah lounges effectively as of July 1st, 2020 to the dismay of compliant hookah purveyors across the city. Not to long ago, the city requested all hookah purveyors to install specific ventilation systems to remain in good standing with the city. At that time, struggling hookah providers spent thousands of dollars on expensive ventilation systems believing their businesses would be permitted to thrive well into the future, free from the immediate risk of closure. Today, we are emerging from a public health emergency. Small businesses owners, through no fault of their own, were prevented from operating their businesses for a long period of time, causing them to incur crushing loses. In the wake of this outbreak, small businesses have been truly devastated, particularly ones owned by hard working diverse Albertans. The recent decision to ban hookah in our city will have further devastating consequence for small businesses struggling to keep afloat in the aftermath of the global public health pandemic. All small business owners are proud, hard working Albertans who unanimously deserve a fighting chance to contribute to Alberta’s economic engine. Hookah purveyors in Edmonton are bewildered by the cities decision to suddenly disallow them to serve hookah at their many establishments. Given that they had invested large sums of money in order to fully comply with government stipulations, it seems both very premature and unwarranted to execute this current ban. Hookah providers, being a part of the small business community, are at an overwhelmingly, great risk of loosing their businesses should this ban proceed. Hookah lounges are predominately owned by the African, Arab, and east Indian community and is cultural pastime enjoyed by various cultures and communities in Edmonton All things considered; we greatly believe it would be in the best interest of the city of Edmonton to revisit its decision to ban Hookah.

 

Thank you kindly,