Quebec on break: “this is major, this is a disaster”

Le Québec sur pause: «c’est majeur, c’est une catastrophe»

Quebec sum large employers and SMES are considered non-essential to close their doors in less than 48 h, resulting in the surprise or even a shock in many cases.

“It is major, it is a disaster,” said the CEO of the Conseil du patronat, Yves-Thomas Dorval, a few minutes after the press point of the prime minister, François Legault, on the evolution of the pandemic.

He wasn’t the only one surprised by this announcement by the government regarding thousands of businesses across the province. They will have to close for three weeks. Some of the patterns with which The Journal was discussed, did not expect such a measure.

  • LISTEN to the chronic policy of Remi Nadeau, parliamentary Bureau chief in Quebec city for The Journal de Québec and Le Journal de Montréal, at QUB Radio:

The Corporation of the industrial parks of Quebec is even of the opinion that the government is going too far with the shutdown of economic, fearing the multiplication of bankruptcies.

Evolving list

At 15: 30, Monday, several companies still did not know if they were considered essential. Others were in a state of shock before the obligation to close.

Molson Coors, Labatt, Canac, aluminum or even Manac, which designs and manufactures semi-trailers, the transportation industry is still in business, were still waiting for answers. The list of companies essential has finally been released in the end of the day.

  • The minister of public Safety, Genevieve Guilbault, commented on the situation at QUB Radio:

“It’s going to have consequences that are significant economic, social consequences and psychological consequences,” warns Mr. Dorval, indicating that, on Monday morning, he was still to discuss the measures to be taken in construction to the safety of people.

It must be said that the construction industry is also a break for three weeks. Last July, almost 160,000 workers who had left the shipyards of Quebec for the construction holidays.

Give back the money, and soon

For the canadian Federation of independent business (CFIB), there is an urgent need that the government is committed to economic measures which will provide quick liquidity to the companies.

The CFIB proposes, in particular, the suspension of payment of the QST and the GST / hst and wage subsidies of up to 75 % of the income of workers who are laid off due to a health emergency.

The government Legault is already planning to release $ 2.5 billion to support Quebec companies.

“You need to send a message to reassure the business community”, said François Vincent, vice-president at CFIB. The economic announcements are important and necessary to allow the companies to leave in hibernation and to be present during the resumption of the activities,” he continued.

A point of view shared by the Quebec Manufacturers and exporters who believes that the loans will not be enough to save some companies.

“This is a dark day for all companies in Québec, and the manufacturers are no exception. The government’s directive may be necessary from a point of view of public health, but it must be accompanied by an appropriate support for the businesses here; more needs to be done, and quickly,” says the CEO Véronique Proulx.

– With the collaboration of Jean-François Cloutier.


The announcement of the closure of businesses deemed non-core for three weeks has shaken thousands of Quebec companies, small owners to large plants. If some traders have accepted with philosophy, others have seen their concerns to climb up a notch.



Filbert Lazar, employed at the plant Héroux Devtek, was well happy to be part of the core businesses and does not lose his job.

The total confusion reigned again on Monday evening in most of the large companies in the aerospace sector in Quebec. On Monday evening, Bombardier and Airbus felt they were unable to confirm if their staff would be invited to remain at the house this morning.

To add to the blur, some companies such as Pratt & Whitney Canada, Héroux-Devtek, and we felt they were safe from closure because of their manufacturing activities and maintenance for the military sector.

“We just got a memo that tells us that it is considered an essential service until further notice”, we has shared Monday Filbert Lazar, tackler in Héroux-Devtek’s development and steward of the plant in Longueuil.

– Martin Jolicoeur and Francis Halin



For its part, Rio Tinto will be able to continue its activities in the Saguenay, the aluminium industry is part of activities that are considered essential.

However, the company will operate in slow motion, to comply with the requirements of the government Legault.

Earlier Monday, the complete suspension of activities had been mentioned, which had raised a lot of questions.

– QMI agency



The 500 workers of the factory and the distribution centre Molson are considered by Quebec as essential and will therefore continue to make beer, learned The Newspaper.

“Molson is going to continue its operations because they fit into the category of “food processing”, which is not covered by the obligation to close”, has confirmed on Monday, at the end of the day, Eric Picotte, president of the Teamsters union of Molson.

For Labatt, The Newspaper has not managed to join the company or by the union yesterday. The brewery has recently indicated that she was prepared to make antiseptic for the hands.

– Francis Halin



On Monday, the company Newmont announced that it had ceased mining at its mine Éléonore in Northern Quebec.

“Newmont has decided to limit the on-site staff to comply with the restriction of the government […] on the move”, she said. Osisko has also cut its production outlook to 2020 until further notice.

“We are analyzing the meaning of “minimization” of which mention is made [in the list of essential services],” responded the mining Association of Quebec.

– Jean-François Cloutier


Canam group, which manufactures metal-based components, will close at midnight today its five factories at the request of Quebec. This measure will have an impact on the 1600 employees. The office staff will be able to work from home. The manufacturer of semi-trailers Manac could also be forced to close its facilities. Yesterday, at 17 h, the company still had no response from the government as to whether it was considered a company essential. Approximately 950 workers could be affected. Bombardier recreational Products closes its plant in Valcourt in the eastern Townships.

– Jean-Michel Genoese Gagnon and VAT New



“I know that my customers will just go back to the convenience store to buy cigarettes,” says Jonathan Adams, manager of the shop vaping Vapit to Verdun, which will close today.

Several have a “need of their products” to vape, but being unable to stop smoking from one day to the next day, ” he recalls. For what is the viability of the trade, all depend on the length of the closure. “If it’s just three weeks, it is okay. But if it is two or three months…”, let-t-he fall.

– Dominique Scali



A mechanic from the Maisonneuve district, Montreal, has decided to close his gas station to avoid that his trade to be a source of spread.

“It is sure that there is less traffic than usual, but all the world must come inside to pay. With the machine Interac… there are too many contacts,” said Yves Malo, the Garage Yves Malo et Fils. He followed suit so not all the shops are forced to close.

“Everyone already had his appointment for tire changes”, let t-it still fall. “We are very proud of him [François Legault]. We embarked on what he asks. We want to get to the end [of the pandemic],” he concludes.

– Dominique Scali



Approximately 68 000 workers, who work in 25 industrial zones in the region of Quebec, may find themselves without employment in the next three weeks, lamented the fact that the Corporation of the industrial parks of Quebec.

The government’s announcement Legault has had the effect of a bomb, Monday, for the president of the Corporation, Pierre Dolbec.

“The two arms I have fallen to the ground… Honestly, I don’t understand. There is a gang who will not sleep tonight. Just here in Quebec, it is 3000 businesses. There, he comes to send 68,000 people at home”, he stood at the end of the wire, believing that the State is going too far.

“It will put companies on the ass. There are industries that are going to lose millions by doing a shutdown. It is quite nightmarish. I would understand if it was in the same situation as Italy, but it is far to be there.”

— Jean-Luc Lavallée



The construction on the major projects of Hydro-Québec is also facing the axe from the quebec government. The site Roman-4 will be almost completely discharged in the course of the next few hours ; 325 workers are expected to leave the shipyard located a few hundred kilometers of Havre-Saint-Pierre.

Essential services will still be maintained. Electricians, plumbers and fitters-line will including in the facilities.

– Pierre-Paul Biron



“There were still a few people each day who come to buy a plant to cheer you up,” says Nathalie Garneau, owner of the Atelier floral Les 4 saisons, at Verdun.

His employee, Jane Gourd, put the key in the door for the next three weeks yesterday evening. The two experts of the floral design will take turns during this time to care for plants, even if the trade will be closed. They take this closure with philosophy. “Nothing happens for nothing. It’s going to bring us a time of reflection,” said Ms. Garneau.

– Dominique Scali



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