ICYMI: Manitoba foodservice workers eligible for vaccinations, Dairy Queen franchisee struggles with City of Calgary, and more

Catch up on some of the week's biggest food news stories

Although the work they've done on the front lines since the onset of the pandemic has been deemed essential, most workers in Canada's food and beverage have still yet to become eligible to receive vaccines.

As a result–as well as due to what many in the industry perceive to be an overly lenient approach from health officials to extend enforcement of safety guidelines to customers–some believe provinces should legislate sick days and pandemic pay, while expediting vaccination eligibility for those in high risk areas. 

After reevaluating its approach to vaccination timelines, it looks like Manitoba is set to become among the first to take such measures. Earlier this week, the province announced that it will begin extending access to people working in certain front-line jobs, such as grocery stores, convenience stores, and restaurants.

Catch up on these topics and more with our recent roundup featuring some of the week’s biggest food news stories.

Grocery workers frustrated with lack of vaccinations and pandemic pay

Metro Inc. is one of the few Canadian grocers offering pandemic bonuses to employees

Despite having to cope with the stress and anxiety of being on the front lines on a near-daily basis, most Canadian grocery workers have still not received a vaccine or any kind of pandemic pay boost. 

Although many grocers have taken steps to reduce the risk of transmission to staff and some have even begun offering bonuses or gift cards as a form of compensation, a great deal of workers across the country still feel as though their safety and hard work is being overlooked by both their employers and provincial health officials. 

Visit The Globe and Mail for the full story.

Manitoba restaurant, grocery store, and school employees to become eligible for vaccine

Due to a surge of new infections and the volatility of vaccine supply and distribution, Manitoba is set to become one of the first places in Canada to update its eligibility requirements for various hot spots across the province. 

The new vaccination timeline extends eligibility to anyone over the age of 18 living in geographic areas with high rates of transmission or serious illness, as well as people working in certain front-line jobs, including schools, grocery and convenience stores, and anywhere that provides food. 

Find more information regarding Manitoba’s updated approach at CBC News.

Calgary property owners face pushback from city in attempts to rebuild burned down Dairy Queen

Photo of Tuxedo Park Dairy Queen via Google Maps

For the past year, following the loss of their Tuxedo Park Dairy Queen that burned down in 2019 due to an electrical fire, owner Sheila Gordon and franchisee John Shim have faced numerous obstacles from the City of Calgary in their efforts to rebuild their business.

Instead of simply rebuilding, the city wants Gordon to redevelop the space into a multi-story building that contains a Dairy Queen, but does not include a drive-through. Gordon has since appealed the city’s decision, stating that she is not a developer and that eliminating the drive-through would be a death sentence, but is still waiting for the city to deliver its final decision. 

Find the full breakdown at CTV News.

Canadian restaurateurs offer insight into effects of pandemic

Similar to our own pandemic-related anniversary series, The Globe and Mail recently reached out to a selection of Canadian restaurateurs to get their feedback on how the past year of restrictions has affected their lives.

Industry professionals like Toronto’s Martine Bauer, Saskatoon’s Christie Peters, Vancouver’s Abdallah El Chami, and more provided their perspective on the inequities and strengths of the Canadian hospitality ecosystem, revealing the complexity of loss, determination, and resilience within the industry. 

Head to The Globe and Mail for more.

Regina’s The Big Easy Kitchen chef Warren Montgomery passes away

The wife of The Big Easy Kitchen chef Warren Montgomery spoke out this week following the tragic passing of the Regina chef after contracting the U.K. coronavirus variant. Roshelle Montgomory said she had previously been vocal on social media regarding COVID-19 fatigue, but after witnessing her husband’s battle in an overcrowded ICU, she’s now urging others to take the virus seriously. 

In addition to a $30,000 GoFundMe campaign initiated by a friend and neighbour, the Regina community has rallied to support the Montgomery’s through various initiatives and donations. 

Head to CBC News for the full story.