• John Jantak

Pilon welcomes stores reopening in Vaudreuil-Dorion


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon welcomed the news that small stores in our region will finally reopen on May 25 following the lead of the Island of Montreal.

With most stores set to reopen on May 25 across the Island of Montreal, except for indoor shopping malls, Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon welcomed the news because it means many retail outlets in the off-island municipality can also finally begin operating again.

The reopening of our regional stores comes one week after Mayor Pilon penned an open letter that was published in The Journal last Thursday, May 14, calling on the provincial government to consider allowing off-island municipalities that are a part of the Communauté Métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM), including Vaudreuil-Dorion, to reopen stores ahead of Montreal.

As part of the CMM, stores across several off-island municipalities, including Vaudreuil-Dorion, have had to remain shut even though COVID-19 self-isolation measures were slowly being lifted in other parts of the province that have had fewer virus cases and deaths compared to the Island of Montreal.

Few COVID-19 cases

Mayor Pilon asserts that Vaudreuil-Dorion has reported very few cases of COVID-19 which means that the city should not be to subject to the same kind of restrictions that were imposed elsewhere. “There are a lot more cases in Montreal so we should not be attached to them,” he said.

While there is some trepidation there could be a resurgence of new COVID-19 cases because of the store openings, the province could shut down Montreal-area stores again. If that were to happen, Pilon said he wants to make sure stores in Vaudreuil-Dorion remain open to ensure their survival.

High financial cost

The mayor said he’s conscientious of the health implications that could occur as stores reopen but added the financial cost of keeping small stores closed could also be severe especially if they have to shut their doors completely. He noted that stores and other small businesses in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, about 20 minutes southwest of Vaudreuil-Dorion, have already started operating again.

“It was not fair for our small retail businesses especially with the big-box retail outlets that were allowed to stay open and selling things they wouldn’t normally sell. This is that part that I found very hard for our smaller businesses – the fact that they have competition but cannot do anything to fight for their survival,” said Pilon.

“I’m very happy with the the news because now the smaller stores will reopen and they will be able to fight back and regain their share of the market,” added Pilon.

Financial help from DEV

As president of Développement (DEV) Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Pilon said the organization is doing what it can to help small businesses survive. The organization has already provided over $1 million in financial assistance, said Pilon.

“This shows that the needs of small businesses are very large. Each day they lose because their businesses are shut makes it harder for them to recover. When all the costs are taken into consideration it’s been very hard on the small business owner,” said Pilon.

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