From now until May 22nd 2016, you will be able to buy wine while you wait for the metro in Montreal. It's all in order to promote the SAQ's new app. They have installed virtual stores at Berri-UQAM and Square -Victoria, like you see in the cover photo above.
The shops are "virtual," so you can't physically pick up your poison there, but the process is quite simple. You just need to open the app on your cell and scan over what bottle of wine you want to buy on the on the wall.
To retrieve your bottle(s) you'll have to go into an SAQ of your choosing. All in all it is a good way to avoid the late-night lines and weekend rushes at the SAQ, as well as "window" shop for brands you may want to try out.
The SAQ also announced that it will extend the opening hours of 270 stores across Quebec until 10pm on weekdays and until 6pm on weekends.
Tensions have been running high in Quebec as the province contends with the latest COVID-19 wave. And at an SAQ on Thursday, it apparently came to blows.
"At 6:00 p.m., there was a 9-1-1 call made for a conflict between a customer and an employee in a store location on Pie-IX Boulevard," said Caroline Chevrefils, a spokesperson representing the Montreal police.
According to the police report, an argument began between a 39-year-old employee and a 57-year-old customer "about the sanitary measures" in the SAQ location. CTV reported that the employee working at the cash register was allegedly not wearing a mask.
The customer, who CTV identified as Mario Gosselin, told the outlet that he felt uncomfortable being served by the as-yet-unidentified employee and asked for a different cashier. Management was called over the phone, and Gosselin was reportedly informed that the SAQ was not required to serve him. Gosselin told CTV that he slammed the phone down in frustration, leading to the physical altercation between the two men.
“I thought he was killing me," Gosselin told CTV reporters. According to Chevrefils, the two men didn't need any medical assistance.
The SPVM spokesperson confirmed that the next day, January 14, the customer went to a police station to press charges.
"The investigation is ongoing," Chevrefils added. The SEMB-SAQ, the SAQ's union, confirmed that an internal investigation is also underway.
The SAQ told MTL Blog that the employee has been suspended pending its own investigation.
"There is no tolerance for any act of violence, whether it be from an employee towards a customer or from a customer towards one of our employees," a spokesperson said.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
As of January 18, entry into the provincial liquor and cannabis stores, the SAQ and the SQDC, will require vaccine passports.
Health Minister Christian Dubé announced this news during a recent press conference on January 6, saying, "I hope this will be an additional incentive for some to go get their first dose."
But the same rules will not apply to either store's staff members.
SAQ spokesperson Linda Bouchard told MTL Blog that "as is the case for all other establishments that must apply for the vaccination passport (cultural and sports establishments as well as bars and restaurants), vaccination is not mandatory for employees in the course of their work."
However, SAQ employees will be required to show proof of vaccination if they wish to purchase items in the stores, even if these purchases are made while they are already in the branch for work.
As for the rules for SQDC employees, spokesperson Fabrice Giguère explained to MTL Blog that "as per the sanitary measures actually in effect, our employees are not obligated to be vaccinated. At the moment there is no mandatory vaccination in Québec. Therefore, the vaccination status of our employees is the same as everywhere else."
Unvaccinated Quebecers will still be able to order alcohol and cannabis from Quebec's liquor and cannabis stores and get it delivered right to their doorstep.
Plus, this means you can avoid the long lines, going outside in the cold weather and being surrounded by crowds of people.
It seems money motivates. On the day that the premier announced an anti-vax tax, Quebec saw a spike in first vaccine dose appointments, according to Health Minister Christian Dubé.
In a Wednesday morning tweet, the minister said 5,000 people made appointments on January 10 and 7,000 made appointments on January 11, the day of the announcement — "the highest number in several days," he noted.
Dubé called the figures "encouraging."
Vaccination :\nLes prises de rdv pour la 1\u00e8re dose continuent d\u2019augmenter. Environ 5K rdv ont \u00e9t\u00e9 pris le 10 janvier et 7K hier, notre record depuis plusieurs jours. Les rdv ont \u00e9t\u00e9 pris dans toutes les tranches d\u2019\u00e2ges. \n107K doses administr\u00e9es hier \n\nC\u2019est encourageant!
— Christian Dub\u00e9 (@Christian Dub\u00e9)
The upcoming fee for Quebec adults who refuse to get a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will be an additional "health contribution" to compensate for the disproportionate burden the unvaccinated are placing on the health care system, Premier François Legault said Tuesday.
He noted that while only 10% of the adult population is unvaccinated, people without a vaccine dose occupy 50% of intensive care unit beds.
"All adults in Quebec who don’t accept to go get at least a first dose in the upcoming weeks will have a bill to pay because there are consequences on our health network," the premier said. He assured that people who can't receive a vaccine for medical reasons will be exempt.
Legault said the tax would be "significant" but didn't clarify how much exactly. He also did not say when the "bill" would go out.
The anti-vax tax is just the latest measure the Quebec government is imposing on the unvaccinated. On January 18, the provincial liquor and cannabis stores, the SAQ and SQDC, will require the vaccine passport. Dubé warned other businesses will require customers to have the health pass in the coming months, too.
The announcement that Quebec would start requiring vaccine passports at SAQ and SQDC locations has sparked conversations around access to legal pot and booze in the province.
Quebecers can actually order alcohol and cannabis from the Société des alcools du Québec and Société québécoise du cannabis and get it delivered right to their doorstep. Added bonuses? No waiting in line, no venturing out in the cold weather, no chance of encountering potentially aggressive crowds and a significantly lower chance of catching or spreading COVID-19.
How do I order SAQ and SQDC products for delivery?
For the SQDC, your order should arrive between one and three working days if you select standard delivery via Canada Post. However, there are also same-day express delivery options for several cities in the Greater Montreal area and the Quebec City/Mauricie region.
How much does it cost?
In addition to the cost of the products, SAQ delivery costs $12 per order.
Standard SQDC delivery is $5 per order, while same-day express delivery costs $9 per order.
Any special rules I should know about?
You have to be of legal age to purchase these products, which is 18 or older at the SAQ and 21 or older at the SQDC. You'll be asked to provide proof upon delivery.
Also, the maximum amount of cannabis you can buy at once is 30 grams.