Pointe-Saint-Charles protests SAQ closure

Residents of Pointe-Saint-Charles and SAQ union members marched through the streets Friday morning, protesting the impending closure of the local outlet.
Protesters delivered bottles containing messages opposing the closure of the SAQ outlet to Blais' office. (CBC)

Dozens of people marched through the streets of Pointe-Saint-Charles Friday morning, protesting the looming closure of the local Société des Alcools (SAQ) outlet.

The march, organized by the SAQ employees' union and community group Action-Gardien, started at the liquor outlet on Charlevoix Street and proceeded to MNA Marguerite Blais’ office.

There, organizers delivered a petition containing the signatures of more than 4,000 opposing the closure as well as wine bottles containing messages.

The store is scheduled to be shuttered on March 31.

The union says the store is profitable and there is no reason to close it.

The SAQ denies that, saying the store isn’t making enough money and their newly renovated store across the Lachine Canal attracts more business.

"The big majority of people in Pointe-Saint-Charles are already going to shop at Atwater," said Renaud Dugas, spokesperson for the SAQ.

Blais wasn’t at her office Friday morning, but said she supports the efforts to keep the outlet open. She said has made an appeal to the SAQ and there is nothing more she can do to prevent the closure.

Residents in Pointe-Saint-Charles said the closure is a blow to the revitalization of the neighbourhood, especially since the SAQ is a provincial government monopoly.

Dugas said the SAQ has a mandate from taxpayers to have "sound and disciplined management," and the decision to close the store is in line with that.

After the closure, the closest outlet will be across the Lachine Canal near the Atwater Market.