With Omicron causing COVID-19 cases to surge across the province, Quebec's frontline healthcare workers are being stretched thin as they manage full hospitals, administer boosters and more. As a small token of appreciation, McDonald's Canada is offering them free coffee and tea for the month of January.
Beginning on January 7, the complimentary hot beverages — either a medium McCafé Premium Roast Coffee or Tea — will be available to all frontline healthcare workers at participating locations. They will also be offered to vaccine volunteers, medical testing centre employees and pharmacy workers, as well as emergency services and military personnel.
If you work in one of these fields, all you have to do is go to a participating McDonald's and show them your valid work ID. The offer applies both at the counter and at the drive-thru.
"Throughout the pandemic we saw our franchisees finding creative ways to support their communities in times of need and that's what we're seeing again here today with the free coffee offer," said Gemma Pryor, senior director of the McDonald's Canada Impact Team, in a statement.
In March 2020, McDonald's Canada launched the same initiative to thank frontline workers as the first known cases of COVID-19 began to spread across the country and around the world.
"Now, we are bringing back the offer for a limited time amid the continued push for Canadians to get their vaccine or booster, alongside the ongoing challenges of treating and testing patients in the pandemic. It's a simple gesture of appreciation for those who continue to be on the frontline, protecting and caring for our communities across the country," reads a press release.
In Quebec, a vaccine passport is required to access many businesses and activities deemed non-essential, including restaurants and bars.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
In its January 20 report, Quebec reported a decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations for the first time in weeks. There were a total of 3,411 COVID-19 hospital patients, 14 fewer than the day before. 285 people were in intensive care — that number remained unchanged.
The January 20 daily report comes as the Institut national d'excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) releases its latest hospital occupancy projections. The institute noted that though hospitalizations are still high, they seem to have plateaued between January 8 and 14.
In the next two weeks, the INESSS projects the number of new patients admitted to a hospital every day will drop to around 200 (Quebec reported 352 new hospitalizations on January 20). Total hospitalizations, meanwhile, will drop to "about 3,000," according to the forecast — "still well above the level 4" occupancy level "recently defined by the Ministry of Health," the INESSS says.
The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care is also expected to stabilize.
The INESSS notes, however, that these projections don't take into account changes in health measures, nor the potential effects of the reopening of Quebec elementary and high schools on January 17.
The province also tallied 6,528 new COVID-19 cases on January 20, though official case counts are inaccurate since PCR tests are no longer available to the general public.
There were 98 more deaths linked to the disease.
Premier François Legault is set to hold a press conference Thursday afternoon alongside Health Minister Christian Dubé and interim public health director Dr. Luc Boileau.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
If you've ever taken stock of Montreal's countless sushi spots (despite that the city is nowhere near an ocean), you might've gotten the hunch that Montrealers love sushi — and, according to a new ranking by Chef's Pencil, you'd be right. Montreal was just named the 11th most "sushi-crazed" city in the world outside of Japan, which means we're officially sushi-obsessed.
Sushi is one of those foods that works well for just about any occasion. Celebrating a birthday? Sushi. Catching up with old friends? Sushi. A random Tuesday night? Sushi. No wonder it's so popular here.
Since simply reading this article has likely brought your perpetual sushi craving up 10 notches, here are some of Montreal's best sushi restaurants. You're going to want to try them because a city that's this into sushi has only the highest of standards.
Why You Need To Go: Chef Antonio Park has made a name for himself — both here in the city and also around the world — thanks to his amazing sushi. One meal at his namesake restaurant in Westmount is enough to see why.
Why You Need To Go: Not one but two locations bring you bright, colourful fusion maki creations — from Bob Marley rolls, made with fish tempura and yogurt sauce, to Marvin Gaye rolls made with fried shrimp, sweet miso and lobster. As it says on the Saint Sushi website, "At Saint, it's good vibes only!"
Who needs a trip to Italy when you've got a taste of it in Montreal's very own Verdun? In the age of COVID-19, with dining rooms currently closed, we've got you covered on a must-try spot that is bound to fulfill all of your takeaway needs. BOSSA is an Italian restaurant and grocery store that prides itself on being family-run, and their signature sandwiches certainly set them apart.
Located on rue Wellington, BOSSA offers over 20 varieties of hot and cold sandwiches. From their sausage and peppers mix ($11.95) and prosciutto mortadella ($12.95) to their roasted chicken sandwich fixed with pesto, dried tomatoes, and a balsamic reduction ($12.95), you'll be salivating just thinking about it — we certainly are!
BOSSA owner, Daniel Lo Manto had been working in the restaurant business for over six years and figured it was time the neighbourhood got a much-needed "Italian centred" lunch spot. In addition to the restaurant's fully packed sandwiches, their menu also includes an array of authentic Italian pasta dishes and pastries made with fresh ingredients — items the BOSSA owner said stem from the recipes and techniques of his grandparents.
"There's a lot of heritage in this place, and a lot of love!" Lo Manto told MTL Blog.
When asked about the recipe he's most proud of, Daniel boasted about the porchetta sandwich ($11.95). However, in terms of popularity, it comes in second to their must-try chicken parm ($12.95), made with basil oil, mozzarella, chicken cutlet, parmesan and hot peppers.
The job consists of helping clients by answering calls, advising them and building customer loyalty. According to the job listing, the main goal is "understanding the needs of members and clients" by offering them a "unique" and "personalized experience."
In addition to the hourly wage, some employees also receive a shift bonus, depending on the hours they work.
Plus, there are benefits. Employees are entitled to up to $400 per year to spend on physical activity and get a 20% discount on annual public transit passes. There's even the possibility of having tuition fees reimbursed and joining a group RRSP.
The job listing also says you can "customize your career development path with guiding support from your manager" so there may be room for growth within the company.
The company is looking for candidates who can "learn with agility" and appreciate differences in individual customer needs as well as candidates who are "customer-focused" and "action oriented."
Other than that, there are no job requirements listed so you don't need previous call centre experience.
Once hired, new staff members have access to a complete training program paid for by the company.
If you're outside the Montreal area, the company is hiring for the same job in Quebec City, Lévis, Rimouski and Gaspé. It's currently a remote gig due to the pandemic but eventually, you may need to work from the Granby office. That said, according to the listing, Desjardins is open to hybrid working arrangements.