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Quebec Has A New Benefit That'll Give Between $275 And $400 To Households That Qualify

Make some room in your wallet. 3.3 million Quebecers are about to get some extra cash. Finance Minister Eric Girard has announced an "exceptional" new Quebec benefit program that will give $275 to single residents and $400 to couples who qualify for the solidarity tax credit.

The government's goal is to help middle and low-income Quebecers with a cost of living that's ballooning as the global economy recovers from the pandemic.

At a press conference, Girard said those payments will begin in January, 2022.

"The Quebec economy is currently experiencing an exceptional recovery thanks to the mobilization of Quebecers and a successful vaccination campaign," the minister said in a statement.

"The significant improvement in public finances allows us to help Quebecers cope with the cost of living and to take action to accelerate economic growth by addressing labour shortages and stimulating business productivity."

The benefit is part of a larger investment package that also includes money to help address the province's labour shortage, increase the refundable tax credit for child care expenses, create 37,000 new subsidized child care spaces and reduce the province's waitlist of surgeries.

Perhaps of particular interest to young Quebecers are scholarships that are part of the plan to address the labour shortage. University students in a three-year program in "health and social services, education, early childhood education and care, engineering, information technology, or construction" will be eligible to receive a $15,000 scholarship.

The scholarship increases to $20,000 for people in a four-year program. College students in similar programs will be eligible to receive $9,000.

Several factors determine eligibility for Quebec's solidarity tax credit, which aims to compensate for "the regressive nature of certain taxes," according to a document from the Ministry of Finance.

The credit is divided into three parts:

  • a "component relating to the Quebec sales tax (QST);"
  • a "housing component;"
  • and a "component relating to residence on the territory of a northern village."

The ministry explains that the income cap for the first component is $50,645 for a person living alone and $55,912 for a couple.

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There's An Anti-Curfew Protest Happening In Montreal Tonight

The protest starts at 10 p.m. on Saturday night — the same time curfew begins.

To ring in 2022, Premier François Legault re-imposed a province-wide curfew starting on New Year's Eve. Quebecers are now told to stay in their homes from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and are subject to a $1000 to $6000 fine if caught outside during these hours unless they meet the government's exemption criteria.

And it seems as though many are not happy to have to undergo yet another curfew in Quebec. So much so that an anti-curfew protest in Montreal is already planned for 10 p.m. on Saturday, January 1, at 770 rue Sherbrooke Ouest.

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Igloofest Montreal 2022 Has Officially Been Cancelled

Guess you'll have to find somewhere else to wear your colourful snowsuit...

Sad news for all music festival lovers in the city. After the announcements of the province-wide curfew, the closure of restaurants, and indoor gatherings being prohibited, it is now the turn of the winter festival Igloofest Montreal 2022 to report its cancellation for this year's edition.

In an Instagram story on December 30, following François Legault's 5 p.m. press conference that day, Igloofest announced that the event usually held in the Old Port of Montreal has indicated that it will not be able to receive festival-goers between January 13 and February 5 due to new health measures.

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Private Gatherings In Quebec: Here's What Is And Isn't Allowed Right Now

Outdoor gatherings are still permitted — for now!

This December 30, it felt as though a massive wave smacked the province as the provincial government announced the arrival of even stricter health measures. In addition to the implementation of the curfew, changes regarding private gatherings in Quebec have been made and come into effect on December 31.

"The vast majority of Quebecers respect the instructions, but there is a minority who do not follow the instructions. Even if private gatherings are prohibited, we know that a minority will party very late. It will be all Quebecers who will suffer the consequences," wrote the Prime Minister in a Facebook post.

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New year, same continuous record-breaking numbers for our province. On January 1, Quebec's daily COVID-19 case count saw the highest number we've seen since the start of the pandemic, reporting 17,122 new infections in the past 24 hours.

For the first time, Quebec announced over 17,000 new daily cases. The previous record was broken the day prior when the province reported 16,461 new cases. This marks five days in a row that Quebec has shattered its daily record.

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