National News

Montreal facing questions on sudden patio closing during busy Grand Prix night

By The Canadian Press

Published 11:44 PDT, Mon June 10, 2024

Montreal's administration is facing questions after fire prevention officers ordered a number of restaurants to shut their packed outdoor seating areas during the busy Grand Prix weekend.

City hall opposition group Ensemble Montreal is joining its voice to those calling on the administration and the fire department to explain why shocked customers were ordered off the patios on Peel Street at around 9 p.m. on Friday during one of the busiest nights of the year.

Sandra Ferreira posted a tearful video to social media on Friday describing how uniformed officers arrived at her family's Ferreira Café and ordered her to clear the outdoor seating area because it did not conform to municipal bylaws.

She said there had been some back and forth with inspectors on the placement of patios and the tents covering them in the weeks preceding the Montreal Formula One race, but she was under the impression that her setup had been allowed.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said the city is meeting with relevant parties to find out what happened, but says it's clear there was a big communication problem.

Ensemble Montreal says the meeting should be held in front of city council so the public can get answers on what it's calling a "monumental fiasco" that tarnished the city's reputation.

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