June 13, 2018 7:25 pm
Updated: June 13, 2018 9:50 pm

Montreal announces construction compensation plan amid Bishop Street woes

Wed, Jun 13: Bishop Street businesses are struggling to stay afloat and some have been forced to close since construction started two years ago. As Global's Billy Shields reports, the city has announced a new investment to help – but is it enough?

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Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante has announced what she described as a first in Canada — a compensation plan for businesses saddled with long-term construction.

“Before, we would just let businesses die,” she said, referring to the city’s past. “Our will was to come up with compensation for businesses.”

Businesses would get $30,000 per year in compensation if they had adjacent construction for six months or more. Work related to an STM construction project, however, would have to run for at least three years for businesses to receive similar compensation, Plante said at a news conference.

READ MORE: Montreal mayor wants to help merchants suffering from road work

 

A construction crane has been hovering over Bishop Street for months.

Billy Shields/ Global News

For some, however, like Elio Schiavi, the gesture was welcome but not enough.

“Last year I lost close to $80,000,” the owner of Ferrari, a restaurant on construction-riddled Bishop Street, told Global News.

Some patrons of businesses on the street voiced a similar sentiment.

“I think they’re going to suffer much more than $30,000 a year,” said Sohrab Saidi, an engineer.

Schiavi has a lawsuit pending against the city. He told Global that, barring a drastic change, he plans to continue pursuing it.

“If something happens and they approach me, have an adjustment somewhere, well of course I’ll give up,” he said.

“Otherwise, what do you want me to do?”

The work on Bishop Street is for a ventilation system for the city’s Métro system. The work is slated to run until 2020.

READ MORE: Woes continue as Bishop Street loses another merchant

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