AQMAT calls for essential designation for hardware

Hardware stores were considered essential businesses under Quebec’s first round of lockdowns. With the vaccine pass expanded to large-surface retailers this week, however, the industry hasn’t made the cut. Quebec trade group AQMAT says that needs to change, and that it has the support of all three opposition parties in Quebec’s National Assembly.

Liberal leader Dominique Anglade, who defected from Premier François Legault’s CAQ in 2015, decried the lack of an exemption “incoherent”. “If you have a burst pipe, you need supplies, said Vincent Marissal, who represents a Montreal riding for the left-wing Quebec Solidaire. Joël Arseneau, parliamentary leader of the Parti Québécois, said it’s on the government to explain why hardware stores were deemed essential previously but not now.