01/20/2015 12:29 EST | Updated 03/22/2015 05:59 EDT

Luc Ferrandez, Plateau borough mayor, singled out for red tape

The Mayor of Plateau-Mont-Royal has been called out by a national business group as the municipal leader who did the best job of making things difficult for small business owners.

In its annual red tape awards, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business pointed to Projet Montréal's Luc Ferrandez for a rule banning plastic patio chairs that "forces restaurants with slim profit margins to spring for more stylish seats."

"The small business community is standing up in protest," the CFIB said in a statement.

But Alex Norris, the Projet Montréal councillor for Jeanne-Mance, defended Ferrandez and his party's decision to introduce the ban on plastic chairs.

He said the rules are based on the recommendations of local retailers themselves.

"The Plateau has the most beautiful terrasses anywhere in the city," he told CBC.

"One of the things we do is ban advertising on our terrasses, we require a certain amount of greenery on our terrasses, and yes, we don't want cheap PVC furniture on our terrasses. It's because of these rules that we have extremely handsome terrasses."

Norris said the rules have been in place since 2010, and since then the number of terrasses on The Plateau has more than doubled.

François Vincent, Quebec's provincial affairs director for the CFIB, said the award is aimed at raising awareness among the general population that much regulation can have a negative impact on businesses. 

Overall, Quebec received a B+ by the group for its attempts to cut red tape.