Since July 1, it has been possible for people who have had to recover from unemployment due to the pandemic and for people who have not been studying full time in the last 12 months to register for one of the training programs of the Program for the requalification and the accompaniment in information technology and communications (PRATIC).
Whether it's a college or university program, a certificate, an attestation of college studies (AEC) or a diploma of specialized graduate studies (DESS), among others, there are 142 training programs waiting for future students.
In Montreal alone, nearly sixty college programs and 20 university programs are available, and a total of 15 in the Capitale-Nationale region.
There are, for example, ACSs in programming, multimedia production, mobile application development or graphic design, to name a few.
The complete list of training courses offered by region can be found on the government website.
Thanks to a budget of some $39.6 million, financial assistance of $650 per week will be offered to 2,500 Quebecers for the duration of their full-time training. A $1,950 bursary will be awarded to graduates.
Who is eligible to enroll in PRATIC?
Two criteria will determine if a person is eligible to register for PRATIC. You must be unemployed and not have been a full-time student in the 12 months prior to applying.
The government suggests that you contact the Services Québec office in your area and an agent will determine with the future student if PRATIC corresponds to his/her needs.
Remember last year when it seemed that every week there were new COVID-19 rules that the Quebec government would spring on us and we all felt really down? Well, it's the same thing this year, but instead of misery, we're feeling optimistic because this summer's new COVID-19 rules have an eye towards a pandemic-freefuture.
One of the major changes coming on Monday is that you no longer have to maintain a two-metre distance between other people.
According to the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS), "the distance to be respected between people from different residences will be lowered from two meters to one meter, both outside and inside."
There are still two situations that require two-metre distancing, however: "singing activities" and "high-intensity exercise in gyms," according to the government.
Wearing a face mask is still mandatory in all indoor public spaces.
Let's get flexible
No, not like that!
We're talking about stores, festivals, sporting events, and other activities with potentially large crowds.
As of Monday, there won't be any capacity limits inside retail stores. While you still have to maintain a one-metre distance, there will be no more annoying lineups outside.
Moreover, in venues with fixed seating, people from different households only need to keep one seat between them and other parties. One-metre distancing is still required in common areas.
Finally, "at amateur events where spectators are seated in bleachers, bleachers or fixed seating, the maximum number of spectators permitted per sports venue is 50 indoors and 100 outdoors."
The government has also reminded Quebecers that "since June 25, adequately protected people" — i.e. people with two doses of a vaccine — "no longer have to follow the recommendations on distancing and wearing a face covering during gatherings in private homes."
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.
MTLàTABLE is back with set menus at your favourite eateries!
MTLàTABLE is back this year, and around 100 Montreal restaurants are participating in the city-wide food festival between June and October. You can get three-course meals at some of the city's best eateries starting at $20.
MTLàTABLE has revamped its format for 2021 complete with table d'hôte menus, fresh local produce and prizes you can win for simply dining out.
You can filter your preferences by neighbourhood, price, cuisine and more.
Contests & weekly draws
Each meal you buy at the festival's participating restaurants makes you eligible to win one of five weekly draw prizes like a $50 SAQ gift card and a $75 pre-paid VISA card to spend at the participating restaurants.
There are also eight 'Food & Fun Packages' to be won throughout the event, which include two nights in a Montreal hotel.
All you have to do is scan a restaurant's QR code every time you visit to earn a 'fork' and participate in the weekly draw.
Quebec-grown produce & food products
This year's edition of the festival will also focus on fresh seasonal harvests in Quebec, with recipes tailored to in-season produce.
In June and July, restaurants will serve dishes with beets from the Montérégie region, strawberries from Île d’Orléans and raspberries from the Eastern Townships, as well as broccoli from the Capitale-Nationale region, zucchini from the Laurentians and other green vegetables from Quebec.
In August, field tomatoes, leeks, blueberries, and green beans from across the province — from Bas-Saint-Laurent to Lanaudière — will adorn restaurant plates across Montreal.
In September and October, the fall harvest begins, and restaurants will serve soups and stews that include Quebec carrots, morels, oyster mushrooms, eggplants and acorn squash.
Autumn brings the return of apples to Quebec orchards, and restaurants will make use of locally-grown apples on their dishes toward the end of the festival.