Legault’s call to increase teleworking will hurt Montreal

Already struggling with a significant drop in ridership, businesses in the city center of the metropolis are not at the end of their sentences, if we can trust Prime Minister Legault and a report published on Thursday.

• Read also: Downtown Montreal at a critical point

“Anyone who is able to telework should [le] to do, said François Legault, Thursday. There should be more [de gens] who [le] do, because workplaces are places where there are infections. “

“I know that the Montreal Chamber of Commerce will not like me when I say that, because businesses in downtown areas are suffering a lot,” added the Prime Minister.

This call from Quebec surprised Michel Leblanc, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM). “Mr. Legault must have information that we do not have, he says in an interview with The newspaper. We have to be sure that the government is making decisions based on data. “

The CCMM had received another message from Mylène Drouin, director of public health for Montreal, during a talk on October 13. “The answer was very clear: there were no outbreaks in the office towers. We were aiming for the return of 25% of workers, ”adds Mr. Leblanc.

A trend here to stay

A report released Thursday by the Urban Development Institute (IDU) also tends to show that teleworking is here for good.

“The statistic that I find the most important is that 75% of people now want to spend at least half of their week teleworking, pandemic or not,” said IDU CEO Jean-Marc Fournier.

It is about a “real revolution” which will leave traces, notes the ex-lieutenant of Jean Charest, who points out that the workers account for “30% of the economic life of the city center”.

“We will have to measure this consequence and try to adapt before we are forced to adapt”, he drops.

Mayor Plante announced on Thursday that paid parking would be free on evenings and weekends from November 14 to December 31, a measure valued at $ 1.7 million which aims to help merchants.

“It’s really dead”

Measurements or not, “it’s really, really dead” rue Sainte-Catherine, notes Roger Azuelos, owner of the Emmanuel boutique.

“They announce measures, I hear that all day long, but there is no one circulating here”, assures the entrepreneur.

Its turnover fell 90% from March to May. And since the second wave, “it’s worse than it was”.

“I like being positive, but if no one comes to see me, what can I do? ” he asks.


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