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MTL Blog's 8 Biggest News Stories Of 2022

The Queen died THIS year. Feel old yet?

Staff Writer
Queen Elizabeth II greeting fans in Sussex, Canada. Right: A Sunwing plane takes off.

Queen Elizabeth II greeting fans in Sussex, Canada. Right: A Sunwing plane takes off.

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It's been an eventful year, from that Sunwing flight to the Rogers' network outage to Canada getting a king for the first time in a very long time. With the head-spinning pace of news, it can be hard to keep track of the biggest stories of 2022, so we've compiled a handy list of some of the most newsworthy happenings of the past year.

The Sunwing flight. Just, all of it.

If you don't remember how this drama went down, here's the nutshell recap. A Sunwing charter flight from Montreal to Cancun took off amid mandatory vaccination and mask-wearing requirements. Videos showed maskless passengers up to all kinds of maskless vapery and alcoholic tomfoolery, but that's not all — those passengers were revealed to be Quebec influencers and reality tv stars!

The event was featured on the Tonight Show and parodied by a québécois comedian, and one of the passenger's mothers apologized for them. The federal government launched an investigation, Justin Trudeau called them a bunch of "ostrogoths" on national television, and several ended up getting fined.

The organizer of the infamous trip was James William Awad, the owner of a mysterious enterprise called 111 Private Club and a sprawling, gaudy complex outside the city full of statues of himself.

Oh, and the woman filmed hitting a vape on board was a pilot, who got her license temporarily suspended. Whew.

Quebec had an election

Quebec's provincial election went off without a hitch for François Legault's CAQ, who quickly took the lead and won another majority. The Parti Québécois wasn't so lucky, losing seats and remaining virtually wiped out. To add insult to injury, a Québec Solidaire candidate was filmed stealing PQ flyers. At least she dropped out of the race before it could get any worse.

The Liberal Party snagged the opposition, while Éric Duhaime got flack for speaking down to women nurses and teachers before losing to a CAQiste.

Queen Elizabeth II died

On September 8, 2022, we all woke up unaware that the date would go down in history books as the day Queen Elizabeth II died. Two days later, King Charles III was formally proclaimed sovereign of Canada. Trudeau announced a federal holiday for the Queen's funeral, but unfortunately, it only applied to federal workers, and Quebec decided not to grant its residents the day off. Quebec politicians did express their remorse at her passing, and one Montreal British-style pub opened extra early to show the funeral. Since then, it's been announced that special black two-dollar coins are being created to honour the Queen's reign.

Rogers' network went out

For a brief yet obnoxious period, the Rogers cellular and data networks went down on July 8 of this year. It even affected payments, leaving many in Montreal unable to order ridesharing services, pay for things using Interac or download mobile tickets. Eventually, we learned that a maintenance update to the company's core network made several routers malfunction. A class-action lawsuit was then proposed that would grant every affected Rogers customer a cool $400.

Lotto draws were suspended

In early September, Lotto 6/49 draws were indefinitely suspended as employees went on strike. Ticket holders were able to either validate their tickets prior to the interruption, or simply wait until it ended. And end it did, less than a week later, when a tentative agreement was struck between the striking employee union and Loto-Québec.

Justin Bieber visited Old Montreal

After his March 29, 2022, concert at the Bell Centre, Justin Bieber made a stop at SSENSE, which had been transformed into a pop-up version of Bieber's clothing brand, Drew House. He was spotted writing "Justice" on a message board in the store after hugging Drew House co-founder and creative director Ryan Good.

Quebec raised the minimum wage

This year, Quebec raised the minimum wage by 75 cents to $14.25 per hour. The base pay for employees who make tips also went up 60 cents to $11.40 per hour. Once the change was implemented, many called for an $18 minimum wage — and even Legault accidentally admitted the minimum wage is still too low for most to survive.

The largest T&T in Canada opened in Montreal

National Asian grocery chain T&T announced their newest and largest store in Montreal, which was also their first foray into the Quebec market. This December, the store finally opened, with MTL Blog and other media getting a special sneak peek at the sprawling store. The chain's high-powered CEO, Tina Lee, also shared eight of her favourite products now available at the new location.

This article's right-hand cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

    Willa Holt
    Staff Writer
    Willa Holt is a Staff Writer for MTL Blog focused on apartments for rent and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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