Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Student Protests Hurting One of Montreal's Biggest Bar-Hopping Streets: Quebec Student Protests Hurting Bar District

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Student Protests Hurting One of Montreal's Biggest Bar-Hopping Streets: Quebec Student Protests Hurting Bar District

Article excerpt

MONTREAL - Bar hopping, shopping and dining out in downtown Montreal are taking a hit due to ongoing student protests that business owners say are chasing their customers away due to traffic headaches.

The owner of downtown landmark Ziggy's Pub, frequented by the late author Mordecai Richler, said his patrons aren't sticking around for after-work drinks. He estimates business has dropped 60 per cent.

"A lot of people, as soon as the day is finished, they get into their cars and go back home," said Ziggy Eichenbaum, whose pub is on Crescent Street, a well-known destination for restaurants and bars.

"You walk around downtown at night and you could take a bowling ball and throw it," Eichenbaum said Wednesday.

"If you don't hit a student, you won't hit anybody. You won't hit a client."

The demonstrations over increased tuition fees of several hundred dollars per year continued on Wednesday with a group of student protesters storming into a downtown university, many of them with their faces covered by masks, and disrupting classes.

The student unrest has lasted 14 weeks with almost daily demonstrations. Only one-third of Quebec students are actually on declared strikes, but the conflict has created considerable social disorder and has included smoke bombs that shut down Montreal's subway system.

The Quebec government was looking at the possibility of adopting emergency legislation -- a law reportedly laden with financial penalties for people who have played a role in encouraging the ongoing disruption, which began in late February.

The owner of Thursday's restaurant, also on the popular Crescent Street, said he has about 20 per cent fewer customers, which he called the "difference between a profit and a loss."

"It's been devastating," said Bernard Ragueneau. "Nobody wants to go downtown. We're actually being held hostage."

Tourists and locals aren't frequenting the street as much, going from bar to restaurant to bar as they normally do, because of the demonstrations, he said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.