Call for compensation over road work losses grows louder as Montreal moves
Published Thursday, June 14, 2018 5:45PM CST
For the second year in a row, drivers are dealing with road work on Ellice Avenue. But they're not the only ones suffering.
Tiffany Ritchot-Marsden manages Jem Insurance. She says the construction is driving away customers and putting a dent into the bottom line.
"It's difficult for people to get to the location, it's difficult to park and the businesses all along here feel it," said Ritchot-Marsden.
Now a major Canadian city is set to ease the financial burden of road work for its storeowners. Ritchot-Marsden hopes Winnipeg will follow suit.
"I think that's an excellent idea, particularly when construction is dragging on," said Ritchot-Marsden.
The City of Montreal is offering businesses that are losing money because of prolonged road work up to $30,000. It would apply to projects more than six months long, retroactive to 2016.
Jonathan Alward with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business says his organization has been lobbying for this type of help.
"It's obviously a bold step Montreal has taken and we're really pleased to see it. Hopefully other municipalities will step up and offer the same kind of compensation," said Alward.
The CFIB says nationwide, 65,000 businesses are impacted by street construction annually.
"That's not just dust and debris, but that's high lost revenues and 20 and 30 percent," said Alward.
Councilor Matt Allard, Winnipeg's new infrastructure chair, says Montreal's plan is worth exploring.
"I think it's an idea that merits looking into further,” said Allard.
But he cautions offering compensation could eat away at the city's record road repair budget.
"I think the bottom line is less roads are getting fixed for less dollars,” said Allard.
The CFIB wants to make this an election issue. It's already met with Brandon’s mayor and says it has plans on meeting with Brian Bowman next month."