Another troubled Plateau-Mont-Royal merchant is upset with the borough's "anti-car" mayor. In a long open letter to Luc Ferrandez, pâtissier-chocolatier Yves Jacot, the owner of Le Petit Fourneau on Rachel Est, says he has no choice but to close his pastry shop, open since 2007, because of a significant decline in business over the last three years. Jacot attributes the drop in sales to what he describes as endless roadwork, and a sharp spike in on-street parking meter costs, coupled with a reduction in overall parking spots. "Borough officials make our lives much harder, we are not respected as business owners, or listened to, and it's frustrating," claims Jacot in his statement (translated). This barbed passage, in particular, stands out:
Mr. Ferrandez, on the eve of the last municipal elections, I met with you face to face in front of my shop. We spoke for a long time. You had never heard of Le Petit Fourneau. You promised me, like others had before, to come visit. Yet I never had the pleasure to offer you some of my croissants, or to enjoy your vision of a municipal Fantasy.
I'm closing today, and I'll tell you why. I'm closing because since your election, I've worked very hard to find innovative solutions to counter all the obstacles that the city's imposed on me. And whenever I've bounced back, you've returned with new initiatives paid for by the borough's small business owners.
Le Journal de Montréal writes that Jacot is pessimistic about his ability to sell the business because "when you say that it's in the Plateau, people don't call back. I'm leaving without a retirement fund, or any money, but at least I have good memories, and no debts." Le Petit Fourneau's owner will start a new job as an employee at another chocolatier next week. Meanwhile, Luc Ferrandez's party, Projet Montréal, says that disproportionately onerous taxes are to blame for the plight of small business owners in the Plateau.