The not too distant future is still a long way away for people who are really suffering, and ketamine is a tool that’s available right now.
Dr. Joe Flanders, Founder and Managing Partner, Mindspace
According to Mindspace, ketamine can have psychedelic and dissociative effects at certain doses and "a rapid antidepressant effect."
Ketamine is currently legal in Canada for medical purposes and, as Mindspace puts it in a statement, "[it's] not currently subject to the same regulatory hurdles as some other psychedelic substances."
“We fully expect to be working with both MDMA and psilocybin [which is found in magic mushrooms] for treating mental health issues like depression, PTSD, and addiction in the not too distant future,” said Dr. Joe Flanders, a clinical psychologist and the founder of Mindspace.
The press release explains that Mindspace offers a range of approaches to therapy including psychological services, group programming and workshops, mindfulness training, and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.
The government plans to deploy a vaccine passport system only "once the possibility of having access to two doses of a vaccine has been offered to the entire Quebec population aged 12 and over," according to a Thursday press release.
The target date for that benchmark is September 1.
Moreover, it would only be used if there's a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in the province — or, as the Ministry of Health puts it, "only if there is a deterioration or change in the epidemiological situation in a given territory that would justify its use."
The idea is that the vaccine passport would give Quebec an option other than simply locking down non-essential sectors again.
What activities could require a vaccine passport in Quebec?
In its press release, the Ministry of Health listed a number of non-essential services for which a vaccine passport could be required.
These include activities it identified as "high risk" ("gyms, team sports, bars, restaurants, etc."), as well as "moderate or low-risk activities involving a larger number of people," like festivals and sports games.
The vaccine passport would not be required for essential services.
In a statement, Dubé called the current state of infections in the province "encouraging," but said officials are "closely monitoring the emergence and spread of variants."
The passport, he added, would enable fully vaccinated Quebecers to maintain some level of normalcy.
"In the event of a further increase in cases, with the deployment of a vaccine passport, adequately protected individuals will be able to continue with their daily activities, and the economy and public sectors will be able to remain open," Dubé said.
The ministry encouraged Quebecers aged 12 and over to get their second vaccine doses this summer.
Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on the vaccines and can answer any questions you may have. Click here for more information.
The feds have proposed a retail tax on certain luxury goods sold in Canada effective January 1, 2022.
This means extra tax when you buy luxury cars and private aircrafts priced over $100,000, or boats priced over $250,000 — cause that's definitely something all of us were planning on doing next year (note the sarcasm).
Excise duties are paid by businesses rather than consumers, meaning you won't have to pay the tax if you're just a vape user. But it does mean that vaping products will likely get more expensive to make up for it.
The new duty on vaping would apply to all vaping liquids, regardless of whether or not they contain nicotine, but not to cannabis vaping products.
There's also a proposed increase in excise duties on tobacco products in the budget — up by $4 per carton of 200 cigarettes, along with corresponding increases for other tobacco products.
Again, you won't be paying more taxes on cigarettes but the price could go up because the tobacco industry will want to recuperate the costs.
Netflix, Prime Video & other video streaming platforms
The government wants companies from outside of Canada that sell and supply digital services to Canadians to start collecting and paying GST/HST.
This includes video streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and so on.
Crave is homegrown so it won't be impacted.
The measures would come into effect on July 1, 2021.
Experts told the Canadian Press that companies will probably add a GST/HST charge to subscribers' bills or add the price of the tax to the total sale price.
The same way Netflix would be required to collect and pay GST/HST, so too would non-Canadian music streaming platforms, such as Spotify.*
The government's GST/HST proposal also covers "non-resident distribution platform operators" like Google Play.*
Tax lawyers Rob Kreklewetz and Stuart Clark explained in a blog entry that vendors and operators will collect the correct amount of GST/HST based on the consumer's "usual place of residence as determined by their billing address, SIM card, IP Address, and/or banking information among other indicators."
*This article has been updated. An earlier version of this article included Apple Music & the Apple App Store; however, Apple opted to start charging GST/HST voluntarily in 2019.
Canada's Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland said that the new federal budget measures "will lift nearly 100,000 people out of poverty."
Legislation to increase the federal minimum wage would tie it to inflation and include "provisions to ensure that where provincial or territorial minimum wages are higher, that wage will prevail," according to a press release.
"This will directly benefit over 26,000 workers who currently make less than $15 per hour in the federally regulated private sector," the government said.
Sysco is a major food distributor around Montreal and other metropolises around the world.
Since March, the food industry has been adapting to government protocols pertaining to hours of operation and whether or not dining rooms are permitted to stay open.
This has led to changes in the way that customers buy and consume food and beverages.
Dubois offered insight into what this means going forward.
Answers have been edited for clarity.
What main trends in consumption have you noticed since the start of the pandemic, particularly in Quebec?
Support Local: Consumers are more and more conscious of their environmental footprint when making food purchasing decisions and are willing to pay extra to support local, much like Sysco’s recent campaigninviting Quebecers "to support local restaurateurs."
The rise of "insperiences": Cooking fatigue is setting in and recreating at-home restaurant experiences is a thing now, by ordering combo/family meals from local restaurants.
Prioritizing sustainable takeout containers: At the onset of the pandemic, businesses had to turn to quick solutions for takeout containers and sustainable options were put on the back burner. Now, with the new laws coming up in 2021, restaurateurs are thinking ahead and testing sustainable options.
Convenient Takeout: Visiting restaurants' social media platforms before placing orders has become the norm now for Quebecers. Ordering online directly on restaurants' websites has also increased.
Renaissance of QR Codes: QR codes have provided contactless options to quickly access menus, place orders, pay the bills, etc.
How has supply/demand in the food industry shifted since the beginning of the pandemic?
On the restaurant's side, we have noticed an increase in the "Ghost kitchen" concept (i.e. a delivery-only restaurant). This concept helps cut the costs and increase profits by selling grocery-type items (sauce, frozen dishes, etc.).
Since pick-up/takeout and delivery are mandatory to stay in business, third-party delivery services have expanded their territories to be able to service more remote locations. We're also seeing an increase in in-house delivery services to avoid third-party delivery fees.
Experts are predicting that in 2021, two different food profiles will be trending: Comfort food with modern and global cuisine inspired twists and providing healthier options.
Sysco Grand Montreal reported that 33% of their sales team saw higher demand for fruits & vegetables during the pandemic. This aligns with Quebecers' needs for healthier eating and for functional foods that provide benefits and nutrients we need during a pandemic.
What effect do you think Quebec's curfew has on the province's restaurant industry?
Allowing restaurants to continue delivering food and alcohol after curfew can help, but most restaurants still have to use third-party delivery services, which can severely affect their bottom-line profits.
Many restaurants rely on foot traffic and are experiencing a big hit with this curfew. Restaurants are also experiencing a lot of food waste — Restaurateurs have had to throw out enormous quantities of food.
The ongoing shortage of staffing is also a big issue since the beginning of the pandemic.