Letter to the editor 2, May 14, 2020

Open letter from Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon to Pierre Fitzgibbon

Ministre de l’Économie et de l’Innovation

Dear Minister Fitzgibbon,

Allow me to introduce myself; I am Guy Pilon, mayor of the City of Vaudreuil-Dorion and president of DEV Vaudreuil-Soulanges, formerly the Centre local de développement (CLD).

Like many of my fellow mayors of municipalities that make up the territory of the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM), I am writing to ask you not to delay the reopening, on our territory, of our businesses, and above all, to stop our link to the Island of Montreal regarding this reopening. I would like to make it clear that my intervention relates strictly to businesses and I believe that public health must take precedence in all circumstances. However, some numbers should be brought to your attention. In the MRC Vaudreuil-Soulanges there are, as of today, 454 cases of coronavirus while our region has a population of 150,000 residents. We are far from the figures of Montreal, Laval and even Longueuil. And yet we are treated the same way.

You’re investing hundreds of millions of dollars to support the economy but that money will not work if our businesses cannot open. Currently, big box stores such as Costco, Walmart, Canadian Tire, etc. are open and sell products in competition with other businesses that have not been authorized to open their doors. For example on Monday, May 11, I went to a Canadian Tire outlet where at the entrance was a display of belts and jeans. At the same time, other local businesses like Sail, L’Équipeur, Tommy Hilfiger, etc. are closed. What will happen to our small local shops? They will all have to fight to survive. Allow me to remind you that this situation continues while the pandemic is under control in our region. Twenty minutes from Vaudreuil-Dorion, the retailers in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield are open. In all, 12 of the 23 cities forming the Vaudreuil-Soulanges MRC are located outside CMM and can open their businesses.

This pandemic is a daily challenge for all decision makers in Quebec. I understand very well the enormous challenges you face. However, I ask you to allow the reopening of our businesses and, in this very specific case, to dissociate the City of Vaudreuil-Dorion from the CMM.

Hoping that my request will be taken into consideration, please accept, Mr. Minister, the expression of my distinguished consideration.

Guy Pilon

Mayor of Vaudreuil-Dorion

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