It has been a long time coming. Certain Montreal areas will henceforth (as of Monday May 25th) allow stores to open 24 hours a day. The decision comes after a request from Montreal’s mayor Coderre to the Quebec government to label certain sectors in Montreal as tourist zones. This zonage qualifies any store in the area to be open all day and night, effectively ignoring the Quebec labour laws against such practices. As such, Jacques Daoust, the minister of finance, announced today that every store between Saint-Catherine West all the way to the end of the Village, and down through the Old Port will fall under this new jurisdiction.
More specifically, this new statute will affect Chinatown, the Old Port, the Casino Area, the Village, the Downtown Core, the Quartier de Spectacle and the Latin Quarter. While it is true that previously the casino and old Montreal already had a version of this statute, they will see it renewed for another five years, until 2020. Though stores will by no means be forced open for these hours, some will no doubt take advantage of these new regulations.
It remains to be seen what businesses will be specifically allowed to open. It seems that the statute is not specific except to say businesses selling goods. If the statute indeed covers restaurants and bars, it will be a major coup for Denis Coderre as he had previously tried to keep bars open until 6:00am and failed. This was due to the Liquor Board rejecting the mayor’s proposition outright back in June of last year. However, Mr. Coderre may have found his way around their rejection through the tourist zoning. We certainly hope that is the case! However, some point out that the original request specifically excluded bars and restaurants even if the statute does not. A clever game of politics will no doubt be played following this decision. It seems like the next logical step to allow bars and restaurants to follow suit and so it remains to be seen what will come of it. Perhaps Montreal might even see metros and buses running later? We can certainly dream!
Featured image: IG user @cynthiatheberge