It was a letter that was neededbelieves the owner of Domaine Renard in Percé, Suzann Méthot, who confirms having agreed to sign the letter after being approached by two other signatories.

There is a bit of opposition being heard and those in favor had not been heard yet, so the letter seemed the best way to detail everything because there is a bit of confusion in understanding of this feeshe explains.

Suzann Méthot says she is in favor of the tourist fee of $1 imposed on visitors for each transaction of $20 or more.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Marguerite Morin

There does not seem to be any opposition against a tourist feesays Ms. Méthot.

She believes that it is the regulations that are most challenged. This is the way to apply it and to go and collect the money from the tourists who come here, it is perhaps at this level that there may be oppositionshe adds.

Merchants may find that they already have enough, but it’s no more complicated than applying the GST and the QST. It’s one more item to punch on a crate. »

A quote from Suzann Méthot, owner of Domaine Renard de Percé

Suzann Méthot also believes that the by-law can be applied as it is and that the moratorium requested by the Committee of Citizen-Commercials of Percé is not necessary.

There could be a transitional period where there would be no penalty for incorrect application and where the City could provide support to merchants. That might be a way to break the deadlockshe says.

Tourists on the quay of Percé.

Each summer, approximately 500,000 people visit the village of Percé (archives).

Photo: Radio-Canada / Bruno Lelievre

The co-owner of the Pit Caribou microbrewery, Jean-François Nellis, also a signatory of the open letter in favor of the royalty, also believes that the current regulations are not abusive.

He explains that Percé cannot continue to develop its infrastructures and its tourist offer when there are only 3,000 inhabitants who inherit the financial burden of maintaining the infrastructures used by 500,000 tourists a year. It is, he says, a small pool of people who pay municipal taxes to maintain infrastructure that people from all over the world will use.

What we want is a user-payer tool, and I totally agree with the City of Percé because the citizens are neck and neck. »

A quote from Jean-François Nellis, co-owner of the Pit Caribou microbrewery

On Thursday, a trader whose name appeared on the open letter said he had not agreed to sign it. The communications firm that released the letter said it was a misunderstanding and that his name would be removed.

In response, the Comité de citoyen-merchants sent us an email accusing the mayor of Percé, Cathy Poirier, of conveying false information in this file.

Cathy Poirier in her office at Percé City Hall.

“It’s an open letter that is co-signed by those who wanted to say it publicly,” says the mayor of Percé, Cathy Poirier (archives).

Photo: Radio-Canada / Marguerite Morin

The latter ensures that the letter is an initiative of the citizens, and not of the City.

Many traders had come forward privately to say they supported the levy and understood the principle. However, following the municipal council where we saw some opponents come forward, for several merchants it was quite important to come forward. [publiquement]explains the mayor.

A city divided

If she recognizes that unanimity will be difficult to achieve in this file, Cathy Poirier maintains that she wants at all costs to avoid a conflict between traders whose positions differ. I don’t want to know who is for and who is against and how many are on one side or the other. We don’t want it to be a fight, and that’s very important for traders too.i, comments Ms. Poirier.

We don’t want confrontation, what we want is harmony, that’s what we wanted from the beginning. »

A quote from Cathy Poirier, Mayor of Percé

However, tensions are already being felt within the Gaspé village.

In the municipal council chamber of Percé, several people wearing a mask are seated or standing for lack of space.

About sixty merchants and citizens appeared before the municipal council of Percé on the evening of May 3, which gave rise to a rather tough questioning session (archives).

Photo: Radio-Canada / Marguerite Morin

The director of the Coop Bon Ami de Percé, Stéphane Langlois, insists on remaining neutral on the issue, but he does not hide his discouragement at having to impose an additional measure on his employees and customers.

After two and a half years of pandemic, it’s not pleasant to put people outside because they don’t want to put on a mask or wash their hands. Currently, there are people who wrote on social networks that they were going to boycott the Coop in relation to the royaltyhe laments.

This is yet another request to our employees, especially cashiersadds Mr. Langlois.

There are even employees who have talked about leaving because things are getting more and more complicated. We are already struggling to hire the full staff for the summer season. »

A quote from Stéphane Langlois, director of the Coop Bon Ami de Percé

He also points out that the Coop has approximately 300 members and that many of them do not live in Percé, but in neighboring villages such as Grande-Rivière, which means that they would have to pay the $1 royalty as soon as they buy $20 or more of prepared meals.

Grocery foods are not covered by the levy.

I could not say that we follow or we do not follow, we will wait to see how it will work with everything that is coming. I know traders have asked for a follow up to all of thissays Mr. Langlois.

With information from Marguerite Morin



Reference-ici.radio-canada.ca

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