Despite the ban, the “Vite des sins” pastry shop owner refused financial help because she did not respect sanitation measures by opening her dining room last January.
Also read: Jonquière pastry chef received her fine
Stephanie Harriet said in a letter received Friday that Promotion Sagune had refused to grant the financial assistance she had requested last March, under an emergency assistance program for small and medium-sized enterprises set up by the ministry. Economy and Innovation to help businesses affected by the closure order.
“I speak, in the simple fact that I am dying, my democratic freedom of expression has been completely abolished! Because I did not respect the rules that you should not say anything in public, the promotion policy, unfortunately, could not help me under the funds policy, ”said Stephanie Harriet, owner of Wit des Papu.
The letter explains that despite the employer having all other eligibility criteria, “any request made publicly against any company that violates the rules in force in Quebec will be denied its request for financial assistance.”
Priscilla Nemey, Director of Promotion Saguenay, added, “Any company wishing or wanting to benefit from this financial assistance must comply with all applicable standards, regulations, decrees and ministry directives of companies subject to Quebec. Can be seen, as well as if it is publicly claimed not to respect the rules in force ”.
“Unfortunately, the policy on this matter is very clear,” she concluded.
On January 21, Stephanie Harriet decided to open her dining room in protest against the sanitation measures.
She anticipated and paid a fine of more than $ 1,500 given to her for violating the terms.
The owner is punished a second time for his stunt and wonders why.
“I said ‘at one point, it’s enough and I’ve said it publicly on social networks and even on TV.” Well, the government is punishing you because you said it publicly. ” ”, She said.
A total of 370 business files have been processed under emergency programs for small and medium businesses in Saguenay. The Financial Development Agency has provided nearly $ 9.9 million in loans and non-performing loans to businesses in the region. However, this is not the case with the “Wit des Sins” pastry.
“I mean, I’m going to have to do some research on the media and social networks to see if the promotion is flexible or anything like that. They spy on what we publish and if it does not work according to government directives, they tick in the small box: not acceptable. And I call it control, ”said Stephanie Harriet.
“If I had stayed in the shade like some restaurants secretly ate and made my customers eat, I would have received my subsidy. Not only does she not seem supportive of me there, now, I feel “scarred” to say that she, too, is in a lot of trouble, “she added.
Despite all the setbacks for defying health measures, Stephanie Harriet did not regret moving forward. She said she would do it again if she had to do it again. Despite this rejection she has no intention of giving up and will continue to run her pastry shop until her lease expires in at least three years.