You are my last hope, business is down and I'm not sure I can make it through the summer.
My store sells sports equipment and clothing and it is harder and harder to compete with the big box American retailers, unfair competitors who have set out to overwhelm and conquer Quebec merchants like myself, using their massive buying power to undersell and by offering an unfair selection that in no way can I duplicate.
I've written to the department of Industry in the hope that they could limit competition or fix prices as they do in the dairy industry.
When I suggested that minimum prices be enforced on important items like running shoes or hockey sticks, they told me that they couldn't or wouldn't do anything because these products aren't manufactured in Quebec,
They did say that in order to qualify for any 'price protection' like the proposed minimum price for French books, it would have to be a question of 'national importance', whatever that means.
I also asked why no law is being proposed to keep all these damn foreign retailers out of our province as they are gobbling up our Quebecois business at an alarming rate, sucking out profits that should deservedly stay here.
The agriculture minister has bravely proposed a new law limiting those creepy Chinese from buying up our farmland, so why not sports retailers too?
How come the government acts selectively, as in the case of 'Rona Hardware,' where it wisely interfered to keep 'Lowes' from snatching this Quebecois pearl, but it does nothing for the little guys like me.
Are we chopped liver?
I asked for relief from the tax department, help from the economic development department, etc.etc. All to no avail, so you are my last hope.
I read with interest those media stories about the OQLF forbidding certain products in certain stores which caused quite the media storm, like in the case of 'pastagate,' and now 'spoongate.'
What a fantastic boon to these businesses as the outpouring of support translated to big bucks in new business .
So I'm begging you, esteemed OQLF, please raid my establishment and find me guilty of some offenses and if it isn't too much trouble, can you lay a complaint over something ridiculous or trivial, something that can capture the imagination of journalists.
I've gone out of the way to provide you ample reason to
raidvisit my premises and I've even gone so far as to submit my own complaints.
I hope they violate your sense of justice and that you make the right decision to put an end to my tomfoolery in presenting stuff in my store that is clearly offensive to sensibilities of all good francophones.
If it isn't too much to ask, could you provide me with one of your nastier inspectors so that the effect of the raid will be amplified.
And one last thing, a request that I understand will be very hard to fulfill.
Could you come this week?
John Q. Merchant