The ground shook under the feet of street vendors when the city of Montreal announced in mid-April that it would be distributed only to those requesting the public starting May 2023. Press Spent mornings with delivery people who are uncertain about continuing their jobs.
Posted 8:00 pm
“It hurt me when Plante announced it,” Steve Arsenalt said, touching his heart. On the other hand, he clung to almost thirty bags of advertising flyers. “It’s been my job for 15 years, I’ve worked with other street vendors and we all need it to survive. What happens to us? I do not know. ⁇
The Mayor of Montreal, Valerie Plante, announced on April 11 that residents wishing to receive the publication would need to obtain a sticker from the city. In Mirabell, the first municipality to adopt such a by-law announced in late April that it was completely suspending the distribution of advertising bags due to a lack of transcontinental profitability. Montreal argues that Publisac represents 10% of the materials processed at the Lachin Recycling Plant.
“However, she does not complain about Amazon, it produces pollution,” said Steve Arsenalt, whose voice is mixed with the sound of his metal cart. “If you look at the bins wandering around on the day of recycling, it is not true that the publicsacks represent 10% of the content. Amazon boxes take up a lot of space. ⁇
Steve Arsenalt started distributing Publisac 15 years ago and he has been a distributor for years. He hired about fifteen street vendors to cover the areas of Rosemont, Villere, Westmount and Montreal North.
The vending machine saw many students and retirees, but also homeless, ex-prisoners, illiterates and immigrants.
There are a lot of street vendors who can’t work in Tim Hortons. They were not made for it. There are some customers, so they do not serve the customer.
Steve Arsenalt, Publisak Delivery Man
“Even if the person is intoxicated, if they are good and on their own, I will give them a chance. Our society is sicker than we think, “said Steve Arsenal, himself a former alcoholic.
To work outside
Slightly further from Côte-des-Neiges, Yves Perron Mountain Sites Avenue runs up and down each step at brisk speeds. “I’m a village boy! I like working outdoors,” said the man who started serving Publisak at the age of 20. He is now 55. “But sometimes I stop at the big ends.”
The man takes a break and opens up about his alcohol problem. “I grew up in a family that was addicted to alcohol. Our father was an alcoholic. My sisters are addicted to alcohol. Our uncles were addicted to alcohol. I grew up there and I loved them, ”he explained.
Hawker was also able to get out of the homeless last January. He found a one-room apartment in the Plateau Mont-Royal and thanks to the social reunification program for the first three months of his rent. 1er May, he must pay his first rent himself.
Yves Perron was not surprised by Valerie Plante’s statement that she wanted to limit the distribution of Publisak. “She’s been talking about it for a long time,” he said. If I lose my job I will get another job. Preferably outdoors. ⁇
But he fears other colleagues, such as J.-F, who left the street three months ago. “He’s in danger of falling,” he worries.
End of month
Chantale Santerre did not digest the announcement of a voluntary registration system in Publisac. “When I heard that, I said to myself: ‘I need to find another job.’ ⁇
The 53-year-old woman is already working as a bartender and customer service at A&W. She began offering Publisac in October to meet her needs. For 1000 Publisac distributions, she earns $ 200. She shares the amount with her Boyfriend Who would give him a hand.
“If you are fast, it can take two or three hours,” she says. But in some neighborhoods, it can take up to seven hours, she adds.
Chantale Santerre loves the freedom that a street vendor job gives her. It starts at the time she wants, she takes the break she wants. When she thought about the idea of losing her job, her language faded. “Wait for the next election, you! I’m not the girl who usually goes to the polls, but I’m going to go this time, ”she insisted.
However, there is a possibility of further delays in the upcoming elections.
- PublicSac number distributed each week in Montreal