Wearing the mask: retailers angry at having to play the police

Port du masque: des commerçants furieux de devoir jouer à la police

Already out of breath, traders digested bad to be forced to play the police in ensuring that their clients wear a mask in addition to being subject to fines if they do not comply adequately.

“It is tabarnak. […] It comes to pass through a difficult period in which we have put in place the rules of health to reopen. There, they give us the responsibility to manage the people with masks. It makes no sense,” says the Journal, the CEO of La Vie en Rose, François Roberge.

On Monday, the government announced that the wearing of the mask will be mandatory in enclosed public places from Saturday.

The traders will be exposed to fines that may vary between 400 $ and 6000 $, while the consumers will be spared of sanctions, at least until the 1st of August.

Only to traders

For Mr. Roberge, it is illogical to give fines only to merchants. He said he was “gobsmacked” by the news, which puts its organization and its employees “in an uncomfortable situation”.

“What I find deplorable is that these are the traders who are penalized and which will have to play the police. […] Is that, in the metro, the authorities will also give fines to Société de transport de Montréal for the people who don’t wear a mask?”, request the business man.

According to the CEO of Groupe Boucher Sports, the government erred in imposing the mask across the whole of the province. He estimated that it would have been preferable to target regions as well as industries. It is also “exaggerated” to put this responsibility on the backs of the retailers.

“It makes no sense. I had asked that one module per sector of activity for not that it becomes a cannon to kill a fly because it had too many big parties in Montreal with no control,” notes Martin Boucher.

“Here, we target some areas where there was no problem. Also, I do not understand that no one module not on a regional basis. There are balances outstanding in certain regions”, adds Mr. Martin Boucher.

The businessman, who holds 28 franchises in Quebec under the banners Sports Experts, Atmosphere, Hockey Experts and the Warehouse of The Hockey, believes it will be difficult to track customers in stores to ensure that they retain their mask.

For Owen Stroll, Pants Above the centre of the city of Montreal, the rule of the mask mandatory is going too far.

It includes its relevance in the transport, but not in his shop deserted.

“You don’t see customers to talk, you can’t hear what they say, this is not a way to be in business, it is fâchant”, lance-t-il.

Financial difficulties

The canadian Council of the retail trade is concerned, for its part, the impact of this measure on businesses already in financial difficulties.

Some may be forced to put extra staff at the entrance of their store.

“It is certain that it is not content to play the police. […] He’s going to have to manage the people who think that the COVID-19 is a farce,” said spokesman Jean-Francois Belleau.

“For those who are exempt medically of the mask, is that the government will ask citizens to get medical certificates?”, he asks.

For the owner of the Intermarché Boyer, all consumers refusing to wear a mask, and this even due to health problems, will be denied access to the facility. He wishes to avoid “playing doctor” and the squabble between the employees and the customers.

“I’m going to propose ordering by telephone or through the Internet, and deliver their groceries. (…) I’m going to put an employee at the store entrance to inform people. This is going to be zero tolerance,” replies Franck Henot, who welcomes the initiative to limit the risks of a second wave, but regrets the fact that he will have to play it to the police.

On the side of the Conseil québécois du commerce de detail, the DG Stéphane Drouin says that the request of the government to the port of the mask is not applicable in its current form. The organization mentions that the retailers do not have to pay for clients ‘ recalcitrant.

“Since the beginning of the crisis, the retailers have acted responsibly. Impose on them the responsibility of complying with the mandatory wearing of the mask, under the threat of substantial fines, so they already assume significant additional costs, is very difficult to accept,” he concludes.

The government Legault has asked retailers on Monday to contact the police in conflicts with consumers.

– With Hugo Duchaine

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