, Anne-Sophie Poiré and Arnaud Koenig-Soutière
Bars are once again scratched by the new health measures in the orange zones decreed by Public Health on Sunday, while restaurants feel they have been spared.
“We are coming closer than ever to a new closure [of bars], which would be more than catastrophic for the owners,” warns the president of the Union of Quebec bar tenants, Peter Sergakis.
The new restrictions announced by the government thus revive the concern and incomprehension of bar owners who are cut off by one hour of operation daily in addition to those already lost during deconfinement.
“Every hour of operation is super important to our survival. The hours at the end of the evening are paid hours, ”argues Martin Vaillancourt, owner of the Le Corsaire microbrewery in Lévis.
The tenants, however, believe they have proven to the government their determination to enforce health measures, and say they are “better placed” to monitor revelers, especially since the police have been present since Friday.
“If the bars close earlier, it's not true that people will stop drinking, will stay at home and listen to shows on TV. And clearly, I don't think there is the same rigor [to respect the measures] in parties as in bars, ”says Rémi Dumas, co-owner of the Le Blind Pig brewery in Montreal.
Glad to be open
Restaurant owners contacted by Le Journal , who expected worse, say they are “relieved” and “happy” to just be able to stay open.
” It's good news. They spared us, that's good for morale, ”says Yannick Parent, owner of Bello and Bûche in Quebec.
Yannick Parent, restaurateur
“It's a good compromise because it's more gradual,” adds the owner of Saloon Bistro Bar in Montreal, Philippe Demers. In March, we went from everything to nothing. ”
And according to many, the new measures “will not change much” in their business.
“We always close at 11 pm at the latest. And going from 10 to 6 people per table is not dramatic, as we had already seen a reduction in groups ”, explains the manager of L'Gros Luxe on Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, Maïda Penkarski.
“When the Prime Minister says that we are not in the second wave while the chief scientist of Quebec, Mr. [Rémi] Quirion, affirms that we are there, there is reason to ask many questions. “
– Dominique Anglade, leader of the Quebec Liberal Party
“When you don't explain to people the reasons for the measures they are asked to follow, you shouldn't expect them to listen without flinching. The government should do more to explain to Quebeckers what is behind this decision. “
– Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire
“The question of decision-making transparency remains. If the orange zone measures were recommended by Public Health, why not apply them in full? What is the role of politics in the decisions and on what factors does the government base itself? “
– Joël Arseneau, Parti Québécois spokesperson for Health
Interview by Marc-André Gagnon, Parliamentary Office