ICYMI: Ontario's first Indigenous-owned winery starts production, provincial COVID-19 measures intensify, and more

Here are seven stories you may have missed in food news this week

Despite countless warnings in the weeks leading up to October 12 regarding the safety of private, large-scale social gatherings, numerous health officials have confirmed that Canadian Thanksgiving was a major contributor to the recent rise of COVID-19 cases across the country. 

Quebec is currently in the second week of its second 28-day lockdown, and while there had been some hope that the first two weeks may yield numbers that could support some form of soft reopening, the province continues to report record-high cases on a near-daily basis.  Meanwhile, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney did impose revised temporary restrictions, but many believe the updated mandates are overdue and fall short of what is needed.

If the news week hasn’t been heavy enough, two more “murder hornets” were recently found in B.C.’s lower mainlaind in the span of five days. Although the upcoming Canadian winter will likely drive the giant hornets southward, traps and surveillance measures have been duly deployed.

Get caught up on these stories and more with today's Canadian food news roundup.

Canadian Thanksgiving is a cautionary tale

Many of the country’s top public health experts have been actively urging our neighbours south of the border to rethink their Thanksgiving plans after new data suggests that Thanksgiving-related social gatherings have been a significant contributor to the recent COVID-19 spikes across the country. 

Despite the numerous warnings, a survey conducted by Ohio State University revealed that two in five Americans still plan to gather with more than 10 people on Thanksgiving. 

Find the full story at Time

Alberta restructures restrictions

After a group of more than 430 Alberta physicians and three major health-care unions pleaded with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney to implement new restrictions to combat the province’s rising COVID-19 cases, the Premier announced on Thursday that the province will begin implementing temporary restrictions for at least two weeks, including a 15-person limit on family and social gathers, the suspension of group-based activities, and reduced hours of operation for restaurants and bars.

Find out more at CBC News.

Quebec restrictions to remain in place

This week, Quebec Premier François Legault confirmed that the province’s updated public health mandates will remain in place for at least two weeks. While many were hopeful that the first half of the four-week lockdown would demonstrate enough success to restructure restrictions, the province has so far been unable to report fewer than 1,100 cases per day. 

Find the full story at Eater.

Toronto restaurant chain secures creditor protection


After several articles surfaced this week citing Toronto restaurant chain King Street Food’s recent financial hardships as a result of the pandemic, the company recently announced that it had obtained relief under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act in order to restructure and stay afloat. 

Prior to the pandemic, King Street Food Company were in the midst of planning a massive expansion. Although they may have to put those aspirations on hold for now, the company does plan to reopen some of its restaurants in the coming weeks and are working on expanding the restaurant group's takeout and delivery options.

Visit Newswire for the full story.

Caldwell First Nation launches first Indigenous-owned winery east of B.C.

Caldwell First Nation is preparing to open the first Indigenous-owned winery east of British Columbia after having its first harvest this past September. The nation, located in Ontario’s Essex County, has also revealed plans to open a restaurant sometime next summer.  

“It's a rare opportunity to be opening a brand new, one of a kind restaurant featuring Indigenous cuisine, and also be able to have multiple varieties of wine that are strictly for your location as well to help tell our story," says Caldwell culinary advisor Bill Alexander.

Check out CBC News for more.

Montreal equips for winter

This week, Montreal Mayer Valérie Plante announced an upcoming project that will see funding upwards of $600,000 to create COVID-19-friendly outdoor spaces throughout the city's 19 boroughs. 

The purpose of the project is to encourage Montrealers to shop locally during the holiday season, while providing shoppers with a place to rest, have a drink, or snack in a warm and safe setting. 

Head to the Montreal Gazette for the full story.

More murder hornets found in B.C.

Two more murder hornets were recently found in B.C.’s lower mainlaind in the span of five days, bringing the total up to five over the last year. Traps and surveillance measures have been set up in proximity to locations where now-destroyed nests had previously been found. Officials are urging anyone who thinks they’ve seen the invasive species to report it

Visit CTV News to find out more.