TLMEP: “I want the freedom I was promised, and I don't have any freedom”, says the pastry chef from Jonquière

TLMEP: “I want the freedom that I was promised, and freedom I don’t have any”, says the pâtissière from Jonquière

The owner of a pastry shop in Jonquière in Saguenay, Stéphanie Hariot.

The owner of a pastry shop in Jonquière in Saguenay, Stéphanie Hariot, chose to reopen her dining room this week to express her exasperation with the restrictive sanitary measures that prevent her from working properly. After respecting all the measures for two years, she says she is “at the end of it” and will continue to defy them, she said on the set of Everyone talks about it, Sunday evening.

Become despite herself the symbol of the exasperation of many merchants, the pastry chef from Jonquière received a lot of support from customers. However, she explains that she does not want to launch a dissidence movement, her action is individual. “I'm a radical woman and I'm not one to let myself die slowly. […] I have always respected them [sanitary measures], I have been vaccinated twice. I want the freedom I was promised, and I don’t have any freedom,” says Ms. Hariot, owner of the business, V!te desSINs.

François Legault sees the light at the end of the tunnel and optimistic scenarios would foresee a reopening of businesses in early February. Stéphanie Hariot does not really trust the future dates that will be given, because she specifies that for two years there have been many inconsistencies. “I'm bout, I don't feel like dressing up as a Hasidic Jew to have rights. […]”

In Canada, sanitary measures are respected at a very high level, explains the professor in the psychology department, Roxane de la Sablonnière. During the pandemic, she was able to consult thousands of Canadians and shows a slight drop in compliance with the measures based on two factors: clarity and consistency.

“If there is a drop, it is still quite slight. […] It’s multifactorial, but what one notices is whether it’s clear. That is to say, how do we perceive and is it consistent? When people perceive it's less clear and consistent, they tend to adhere less to the measures.” Roxane de la Sablonnière adds that these two factors can be badly experienced by the population. “We must redouble our efforts in these cases to explain well.”

The pastry chef from Jonquière, “don't back down”

Ms. Hariot says she is worried about the financial consequences that could arise for her business. The Public Health Act provides for fines of $1,000 to $6,000 per day, which can be doubled. “Like everyone who would be in my shoes, I am concerned. If I protest it’s because we are getting poorer and poorer so it will go wrong somewhere if I have to pay $6,000,” explains Ms. Hariot. The V!te desSINs business has been visited by the police on several occasions.

Stéphanie Hariot refuses to be taken over politically or to be exploited. The leader of the Conservative Party of Quebec, Éric Duhaime, would have approached her. “I fight for myself, I only represent myself. Some may find themselves in me, but I'm not going to let anyone foam their personality.”

Ms. Hariot, true to her principles, will reopen her dining room next Thursday. “I'm not backing down,” she says.

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