Montreal merchants who say they are poorly informed by Quebec fear they will have to close their doors again when the city goes into the red zone.
“I'm afraid because for the moment, we have no information, we don't know anything. The government tells us that they do not want to close businesses, but at the moment, their speech is incomprehensible, they are only contradicting each other all the time ”, deplores Serge Poirier, owner of the gym Haltères & Go, located in Rosemont, to Montreal.
For him, as for several traders met by Le Journal , the transition to the red zone makes fear the worst.
“We do not know anything about what can happen to us, as was the case during the first wave, laments Mr. Poirier. We don't know if we're going to close and for how long, so I'm sure I'm afraid of losing everything. ”
According to him, the government's lack of transparency on this issue makes things even more difficult and prevents it from preparing for the worst.
“For the moment, it is true that the government leaves us a little to ourselves, says Gabriel Abissidan”, of the Gabriel shoe store, on Ontario Street, in Hochelaga. “We would like to have information on how our season is going to go and help us in the long term,” he explains. That said, he believes it will be done without closure.
Claude Roy, owner of the Limasson neighborhood bookstore on Masson Street in Rosemont, believes that Quebec could give a little more guidance in its plan.
“We know that orange is worse than yellow, and that red is worse than orange, but we don't know what red will trigger. Does that just mean that there are going to be closures? Asks Mr. Roy.
And if the closure is scary, it is mainly because the first wave of coronavirus has already brought a heavy financial burden for traders. With the government loans, many got into debt and could not survive with a second lockdown.
For Claude Roy, lowering the Iron Curtain again would be catastrophic.
“I haven't even finished paying my two months late spring, so that would put me in debt, and maybe there won't be any way out,” he explains.
According to government working documents that leaked nearly two weeks ago, the move to the red zone meant that many businesses were going to have to close their doors.
However, the premier of Quebec, François Legault, had wished to reassure the population by affirming that the measures could vary according to the situation.
For example, bars and restaurants were eventually to close in the orange zone, which is not currently the case.