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‘It will not happen again,’ Montreal mayor wants answers after terraces closed on Grand Prix weekend

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Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante would like a post-mortem by Monday after fire department officials told a number of restaurants to close their terraces on Peel Street during Grand Prix Friday night.


Plante said in a news conference on Sunday that she understands that the fire department (SIM) has a job to do, but she is concerned about the tone that was set on one of the biggest weekends of the year for downtown businesses.


“Of course we will never compromise with security and the firefighters did their work in terms of making sure that there is nothing that goes against the security of citizens and visitors,” she said. “That being said, where I’m disappointed and I’m definitely looking for more answer is how it was done on Friday.”


On Friday, during one of the busiest nights of the year for restaurants and bars, during Grand Prix weekend, officers from the Montreal fire department (SIM) ordered some bars to close their terraces for code violations.


Ferreira Café was one such establishment and owner Sandra Ferreira posted a tear-filled message about the ordeal on her Instagram that was viewed and liked tens of thousands of times.


Plante wants to know the timeline of what happened in the days and weeks leading up to Friday.


“Also, I want to have a conversation with the business owners, restaurant owners as well this week with the fire department,” said Plante. “If there are things they don’t agree on, we need to find solutions because we’ve done it before.”


“This will not happen again. It did not happen before and it will not happen again.” 


The fire department told CTV News that Ferreira Café was aware of its non-compliance more than a week prior to their arrival. The issue, the SIM said, was the width of the tent surrounding the terrace.


— with reporting from CTV News Montreal journalist Max Harrold.

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