Shows canceled at his vineyard: Mario Belzat prepares his response

Forced to cancel 45 shows scheduled for his vineyard this summer, Mario Belzat doesn’t want to stop there. The singer and businessman hired a lawyer to assist him at the Commission for the Protection of the Agricultural Territory of Quebec (CPTAQ), which prepared a report accusing him of several crimes that he considered “exaggerated”.

Mario Belzat was startled in the last few days when he read all the charges brought against him by a government commission for exploiting his vineyard.

Non-compliant terrace and septic installations, performance hall too large, produce boutique and food menu not compliant with regulations: The list of issues listed at Domaine Pelchat Lemaître-Auger is long, two shared in the 35-page report. weeks ago.

“It’s small”

However, the singer assures that he has acted within the standards by seeking all necessary clearances and authorizations at every stage. Instead, he finds that the inspectors who came to see his vineyard were “exaggerating” and that they wanted to “find fault” with him. “They invented some, but they invented others to fully express their statement,” he said magazine.

He gives an example of how he was accused of installing excessive septic systems, which may have overshadowed other future projects he had in mind. “This is completely wrong […] The surveyor’s layout plan clearly indicates that we are within 5,000 square meters including the access road approved by CPTAQ. I don’t know why they say that. It’s trivial.”

Support from the village

To organize his file, Mario Belzat hired a lawyer who would help him make a new request for accreditation from the CPTAQ. His request includes the opportunity to perform for an audience of 250 people, which is currently prohibited by the commission on agricultural land.

The singer has extra support in his approach. The municipality of Saint-Joseph-du-Lac, where its vineyard is located, announced its support to Mario Belchat and in 2021, the MRC of Deux-Montagnes adopted a new development plan recognizing “activities complementary to agriculture. As reception or performance venues on the farm, these projects specialize in the production of alcoholic beverages. If integrated into agricultural activity.”

Mario Belsad wants to assure people that they will be reimbursed

While waiting to see if there will be a common ground with the CPTAQ, Mario Belsad will have to end his 2024 summer season performing at the estate. Over the past few days, he has received several emails wondering how ticket refunds work.

“The next few weeks are going to be an absolute nightmare,” he said. People are worried and afraid that we will go bankrupt. We won’t go bankrupt, we’ll all repay the 9,000 viewers one by one. But it will take time.”

To help fill the coffers a little, the singer and his wife have decided to offer an alternative opinionated wine tasting this summer. The move, at a cost of $75 plus taxes, is accompanied by local cheeses and charcuterie.

“We’re going to explain our program and our wines to them,” says Mario. There will be no event. I am not allowed to sing. I’m not even going to sing a cappella!”

Some of Domaine Pelchat Lemaître-Auger’s violations were criticized by CPTAQ in its report:

  • By building a performance hall instead of a winery, the singer may have deliberately chosen not to honor the terms of the accreditation granted to him. [bâtiment ou installation servant notamment à la production et à l’entreposage du vin].
  • The site of the first agricultural building constructed in 2010 to be used for vineyard operations Mr. Belchat’s wife’s personal painting studio would also have been converted into a sewing room.
  • From this shop Mr. Although Belsad has pulled out, the store will sell promotional products, ceramics, jewelry, clothing and fragrance mists.
  • The food offered on site does not consist of local products, as they serve squid, Portuguese sausage and Italian products.
  • An agricultural building converted into a residence for foreign workers without authorization or declaration of ownership.

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