ICYMI: Ontario loosens liquor laws, crickets coming to London, ON, suffering migrant workers and more

Here are six news stories you may have missed

Now that we’re a few months into the pandemic and provinces are reopening, many organizations are focusing on initiatives to help rebuild damaged industries and impacted communities. 

As a measure to help the hospitality industry in Ontario, the government has loosened restrictions surrounding the sale and service of alcohol. Also, in Ontario, the world's largest indoor cricket farm will be built to provide this superfood to the masses.

In Atlantic Canada, the government is funding the development of foodservice training videos through the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick to help restaurateurs provide more consistent and streamlined training to new employees. 

Aside from the hospitality industry, those with jobs in the agriculture industry, particularly migrant workers, are facing unprecedented hardships and dangers due to COVID-19, and issues around hygiene and safety are surfacing with the help of a hotline.

Also affected by substandard living conditions, Ottawa prisoners are on their second hunger strike as a response to violations of an agreement by authorities to offer healthier food, hygiene products and increased access to reading materials and television.

In Manitoba, Indigenous communities who live off the reserve are receiving funding from the federal government to assist with issues like food security, mental health support and education support.

Ontario government announces changes to liquor laws

As a direct response to the challenges that the hospitality industry is facing, Ontario has decided to amend its liquor laws to assist the hospitality industry, giving residents more freedom when getting alcohol delivered, as well as allowing boat operators to serve and sell alcohol while docked.

Some of the changes made include the ability to get alcohol delivered into private spaces such as office buildings, more delivery options when ordering from LCBO and The Beer Store, removing the delivery person's requirement to receive a signed receipt, and giving boat operators the ability to sell and serve alcohol. 

Find out more from Global News

Government of New Brunswick funds foodservice training videos

The New Brunswick government is putting $54,000 towards the creation of foodservice training videos, aimed to assist new employees that are joining the industry, while helping restaurateurs re-establish their businesses faster. Although these videos will not replace special qualifications such as bartending, they will give employees an overview of what their everyday work should look like, and will cover many different positions in the industry and their respective tasks. 

Read more about this at Restobiz.ca.

Cricket processing plant coming to London, ON

A new superfood processing plant is coming to London, Ont., but unlike traditional health food production facilities, this plant will be home to the world's largest indoor cricket farm. Aspire Food Group, the industry leading company at the forefront of this facility, is planning a 100,000 square-foot plant, which will occupy 12 acres of land and employ approximately 60 people. It will be another step towards normalizing eating bugs for their nutrient-rich properties.  

While being a significant protein source, insects also have many beneficial minerals such as iron, zinc, and magnesium. Compared to traditional meat products, 100 grams of cricket equates to almost the same amount of protein while containing less fat, making it a lower calorie option. 

Read more about this from CBC.

Migrant workers' conditions decline during the pandemic


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Migrant workers are the blood of many agricultural operations in Canada, but they are among the hardest hit by COVID-19. Since the pandemic began, what was a hotline for employment insurance and rights information has transformed into a lifeline for migrant workers to report on hazardous working conditions. Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, a hotline that allows the migrant workers to contact them whenever they need it, has noted a dramatic increase in serious calls about racism, a lack of hygiene, and a lack of food, despite the fear of the consequences of whistleblowing. 

Learn more about this from CBC.

Off-reserve Indigenous communities in Manitoba to receive federal funding

The federal government announced that $8.4M would be going towards off-reserve and urban Indigenous organizations in Manitoba through the Indigenous Community Support Fund. The funding is being provided to assist 17 organizations in creating care packages for vulnerable populations, ensuring that food is available, increasing mental health assistance, and creating an education support system for children.  

Reduced jobs and other issues exacerbated with COVID-19, leading to many children, Elders, and families not having even basic needs met. 

Read more from the Winnipeg Sun.

Prisoners in Ottawa on their second hunger strike


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Inmates at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre are currently on a second hunger strike to protest their facility's living conditions after a lack of response from authorities regarding their first protest. Their first strike lasted 31 hours and concluded with an agreement that outlined changes like healthier food options, the availability of hygiene products, and more access to television and reading materials.  

Inmates also went to court, alleging a violation to their constitutional rights due to appalling conditions in response to COVID-19. 

Find out more from Global News