Shoppers entering Quebec's big-box stores now must have COVID-19 vaccine passports
Starting Monday, Quebecers will have to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter big-box stores with a surface area of more than 1,500 square metres, except for grocery stores or pharmacies.
The Quebec government says it put this measure in place to reduce the spread of the Omicron variant.
Premier François Legault specified on Jan. 13 that two doses of a vaccine would be required to enter large establishments, though that will eventually change to three doses.
For a sector hard hit by the labour shortage, the Retail Council of Canada said it worries checking passports will yet be another burden on businesses.
“The real challenge today is to manage the public reaction because there will be longer lineups in front of some stores that offer essential products,” explained RCC president Michel Rochette.
Commercial establishments in Quebec that were forced to close their doors during the last three Sundays can now reopen.
That measure was also put in place to try to limit the meteoric rise in hospitalizations related to COVID-19.
Ten days ago, Premier Legault said he hopes to be able to reopen restaurants, theatres, cinemas and more in the coming weeks.
In addition, the Legault government says it is considering imposing a fine on people who refuse to be vaccinated for non-medical reasons, but the premier says there will be a debate in the National Assembly on the issue before any decision is made official.
The bill could be tabled as early as next month.
-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Jan. 24, 2022. With files from CTV News' Ian Wood.
ANALYSIS: NEW VACCINE RESTRICTIONS
by Genevieve Beauchemin
Quebec bureau chief, CTV National News
Quebec has closed more doors to the unvaccinated. The latest target of the province's strategy is big box stores.
As of this morning, Walmart, Costco and Canadian Tire shoppers must flash a vaccine passport to pass through the entrance.
Retailers say this could lead to long lineups as they scramble to reassign workers to check documents in the midst of a labour shortage across the country. Though many shoppers applauded the strategy this morning, saying, “At least you know everyone that goes there is vaccinated, so there is more safety.”
This follows a series of steps by the provincial government, including a looming tax for those without their shots. That followed imposing mandatory vaccine requirement in order to shop in liquor and cannabis stores.
However, the province is also deploying another strategy. The province's deputy minister of health and social services, Lionel Carmant, has been charged with convincing those who have yet to get their shots to roll up their sleeves.
The measures he announced include a phone line for hesitant Quebecers to speak to a professional about vaccines, pop-up clinics in areas where uptake is low and community outreach.
Critics say that has already been done, but Carmant insisted while he is not trying to "reinvent the wheel," he wants to boost ongoing initiatives.
To date, 92 per cent of adults in Quebec have received a first dose, and Carmant says not all the others are anti-vaxxers. Some are fearful, hesitant, and he is hoping to reach out to some among vulnerable and marginalized groups.
Montreal Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
The decision by police to wait before confronting the gunman at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde was a failure with catastrophic consequences, experts say. When it was all over 19 students and two teachers were dead.
A Dene filmmaker based in Vancouver says he was "disappointed" and "close to tears" when security at the Cannes Film Festival blocked him from walking the red carpet while dressed in a pair of moccasins.
Justice Minister David Lametti is defending the federal government's authority to challenge provincial laws that they believe infringe on the rights of Canadians, after Quebec said Ottawa's reaction to Bills 21 and 96 lacked 'respect.'
A small airplane with 22 people on board flying on a popular tourist route was missing in Nepal's mountains on Sunday, an official said.
Around a hundred people gathered at noon Saturday at the empty Vancouver home where Chelsea Poorman’s remains were found late last month to show their support for her family's call for answers and justice.
Canada and Finland won semifinal games Saturday to set up a third straight gold-medal showdown between the teams at the IIHF world hockey championship.
Riot police fired tear gas and pepper spray at Liverpool supporters forced to endure lengthy waits to get into the Champions League final amid logistical chaos and an attempt by UEFA and French authorities to blame overcrowding at turnstiles on people trying to access the stadium with fake tickets on Saturday.
One week after a severe wind and thunderstorm swept through Ontario and Quebec, just over 48,000 homes in the two provinces were still without power on Saturday.
The devastating storm in southern Ontario and Quebec last weekend damaged thousands of hydro poles across the two provinces. CTVNews.ca gives a rundown of where utility companies get their hydro poles from, as well as the climate challenges in the grid infrastructure.
Toronto police are announcing the arrest of three men in a more than six-month human trafficking investigation that involved an 18-year-old girl.
Police say a coyote bit a child in a west end Toronto park on Saturday afternoon.
A person is dead after a fire erupted in an apartment in the city’s east end Saturday morning.
Rough road to recovery for N.B. duty-free shop – still holding out hope border traffic will increase
A N.B. duty-free shop owner at the U.S.-Canada border says high fuel costs and lingering requirements at the border are hurting business.
Two special prosecutors tasked with taking on Nova Scotia's human trafficking cases are sharing some insight into what's currently happening in the province's courts.
Vinyl lovers packed a community centre in Riverview, N.B., Saturday in search of a hidden gem or the missing piece to their collection at the bi-annual Moncton Record Expo.
St. Aidan’s Anglican Church unveiled a new art installation Saturday, in anticipation for pride month
As the provincial election campaign winds down the bid to secure critical votes heats up, with two party leaders, Doug Ford and Andrea Horwath, making a stop in London on Sunday.
The Glen Cairn community and Glen Cairn School collected over 1300 boxes of mac and cheese to create a domino line that would then be donated to the London Food Bank
A small but passionate group gathered Saturday to protest the Ford government and autism therapy wait times outside PC MPP candidate Vic Fedeli's campaign office on McKeown Avenue.
The Sudbury Defeat Depression Walk/Run returned to Bell Park on Saturday, as the COVID-19 pandemic eases and normal events resume.
A long line of cars wrapped around the Humane Society's parking lot in North Bay Saturday morning as dozens of cats and dogs got microchipped.
A spark on special teams gave the Calgary Stampeders the momentum they needed to beat the B.C. Lions 41-6 on Saturday.
Back on the track: Calgary high school athletes compete in city championships for first time since pandemic
More than 600 athletes from 29 schools competed Saturday in the first Calgary high school city championship competition since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
A group of volunteers spent their Saturday morning outfitting a Calgary home with new appliances, furniture and food for a family in need.
The Kitchener-Waterloo Dixieland Jazz Club held a rumpus New Orleans-style wake on Saturday, in remembrance of its long-time director Nancy Pauli. Pauli passed away in February at the age of 81.
No driver's license was needed for a group of high-schoolers driving their own electric vehicles through the University of Waterloo campus on Saturday.
From crayons to corks, car seats, bicycles and batteries, the second semi-annual Re: Purpose Fest took place in Guelph Saturday afternoon.
A wave of resignations among Northern B.C. health-care workers – including half the doctors in the intensive care unit of the region’s biggest hospitals – is raising alarms among civic leaders already calling for an audit.
Volunteers in Vancouver are stepping their efforts as the city continues to see a rise in property crimes.
An emotional rally outside City Hall Saturday afternoon called for more permanent solutions to help keep Edmonton's Chinatown a vibrant community.
A slo pitch league in St. Albert is helping seniors stay active and have fun on the field.
A street in north Edmonton will bear the name of a Ukrainian dance company to honour their more than 50 years worth of contributions to the local arts and culture scene.
When 96-year-old Frank Davis woke up Saturday morning from his home in London, Ont., he never expected to find himself grasping the bars of a motorcycle that had played such a crucial role in his life
A two-year hiatus is now over for the Windsor Optimist Youth Band. The group was reunited Saturday during an open recruitment and alumni day celebration.
Windsor Regional Hospital is postponing a number of non-emergency diagnostic imaging scans due to an international shortage of contrast dye.
High school students from the Prairie Valley School Division gathered in Lumsden to build and support the LGBTQ2S+ community with the third annual Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Student Summit.
Environment Canada released a rainfall warning Saturday afternoon predicting 30-50mm of rainfall for the southeast corner of the province.
Hydro Ottawa is entering the "last phase" of restoring power to homes and businesses following a devastating storm over a week ago, with the goal to have the grid back on by tonight.
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING | What you need to know about the return to school on Monday
Hydro Ottawa crews continued to make progress through the weekend restoring powering to thousands of customers across Ottawa.
A bright, blue sky with plenty of sunshine greets Ottawans and Ottawa Marathon participants Sunday.
A major fire ripped through a three-story Saskatoon apartment building in the 300 block of 108th Street W overnight on Friday.
The Prince Albert Police Service is investigating a homicide after a man was shot in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders along with other football teams in the province have declared a weekend in September as “Football Weekend” in the province.