If you work a minimum wage job, then you can expect a raise this year. On Friday, Quebec announced that it would be increasing the minimum wage by $0.75 on May 1, 2022.
This means minimum wage in the province will be bumped up from $13.50 per hour to $14.25 per hour — a 5.56% increase. Employees will earn approximately $1,406.25 more (before taxes and deductions) per year if they work 37.5 hours each week for 50 weeks of the year.
For tipped workers, the new hourly rate will be $11.40 an hour, which is $0.60 more an hour than they're currently required to make.
"The health crisis is creating significant challenges for businesses and workers in Quebec. In this context, I am announcing today a significant and consequent increase in the minimum wage," said Jean Boulet, minister of labour, employment and social solidarity in a press release.
This minimum wage increase comes at a time when COVID-19 is impacting supply chains, driving up food prices among other costs of living, as experts predict continued inflation. With this wage increase, Boulet said the government also wants to increase the "purchasing power" of workers.
"On the one hand, we want the most vulnerable workers in society to be better paid, in order to increase their purchasing power and reduce poverty. On the other hand, we are making sure that this increase respects the financial capacity of businesses to pay without harming their competitiveness," he said.
The concept would have seen the Rays split their time between Tampa Bay and Montreal, which the Journal de Montréal described as a "marriage of the Expos and the Rays" with shared custody. The plan involved building two new stadiums — one in the Tampa Bay area and one in Montreal.
In September, Tampa Bay Rays President Matt Silverman even announced that the Rays would be unveiling a "Tampa Bay-Montreal" graphic at Tropicana Field, the team's home stadium, to promote the project during the MLB playoffs. But he abruptly backtracked after facing backlash from fans.
The federation's Quebec director, Renaud Brossard, said in a statement, "the Rays are welcome to play in Montreal, but Quebec taxpayers aren't going to pay for a new stadium."
Updates on the "sister city" plan subsided in November when the Montreal Baseball Group, the folks behind the push to bring back a Montreal baseball team, said they wouldn't be making any more announcements about the baseball project any time soon.
“We must continue our approach with rigour until we are able to share a complete and inclusive vision that will elicit the support of the community,” said Stephen Bronfman, who has been leading the charge to bring Major League Baseball back to the city.
However, it now looks like Bronfman and his team will have to go a different route in order to give Montreal another chance at a baseball team.
"With the split-season plan no longer an option, the Rays’ future is unclear beyond the expiration of their use agreement at Tropicana Field following the 2027 season," said MLB's Adam Berry.
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 considered 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.
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.
Montreal rent prices have been on the rise for months — and a new report from rental platform liv.rent shows the trend continuing into 2022 with the average price of a one-bedroom rental reaching $1,300 in January.
That's a record high since August 2021. It also means rent in the city is up $64 since December when prices took a dip, averaging $1,236 a month.
Before those of you who are planning on moving this month — or this year — have a complete meltdown, note that liv.rent's report also shows us Montreal's most affordable and most expensive neighbourhoods for renters so, at the very least, you can make an informed decision about where you might want to live.
The liv.rent report, which scrapes data from multiple listing sites, compares the average price of rent in 11 popular Montreal neighbourhoods: the Plateau-Mont-Royal, Downtown, Saint-Henri, Westmount, Verdun, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Côte-des-Neiges, Saint-Laurent, Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Villeray-Parc-Extension and Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.
Hochelaga-Maisonneuve is the cheapest neighbourhood for renting an unfurnished one-bedroom apartment with an average price of $1,071. The most expensive neighbourhood for the same thing is Downtown where unfurnished three-and-a-half apartments average $1,607 a month, according to the liv.rent report.
The difference in rent between the two neighbourhoods is around $500 on average per month.
Last month, Côte-des-Neiges — which is known for housing a good chunk of university students — ranked the least expensive on the list.
Côte-des-Neiges still appears to be the least expensive for furnished apartments, with an average price of $872 compared to $1,108 for an unfurnished apartment. These figures defy statistics since, for most of the other neighbourhoods listed, it's more cost-effective to rent an unfurnished apartment than a furnished one.
In general, based on liv.rent's data, furnished apartments cost an average of $146 more per month for a total of $1,752 more per year. So it's up to you if you'd rather run to IKEA.