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Intense lobbying pour la Davie en cette année électorale fédérale

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D’après un texte de Murray Brewster, de CBC News

La SNCN vise le renouvellement de la flotte de navires du Canada. Elle avait été élaborée sous l’ancien gouvernement conservateur de Stephen Harper, mais adoptée par les libéraux.

Dans le cadre de cette stratégie, seuls les chantiers navals Irving Shipbuilding, à Halifax, et Seaspan, à Vancouver, avaient été choisis pour la construction des navires de la Marine royale et de la Garde côtière canadiennes.

À l’époque, le chantier québécois Davie sortait tout juste de la faillite. Il n’était donc admissible qu’aux travaux de réparation et de rénovation des navires déjà existants, et peut-être à la construction de petits navires.

Mais l’Association, qui représente les entreprises qui font affaire avec la Davie, demande maintenant au gouvernement fédéral de revoir sa décision pour y intégrer le chantier naval. Elle prévoit en faire un enjeu majeur lors des prochaines élections fédérales.

Le groupe lancera une campagne en ligne qui débutera mercredi, et qui sera suivie d’une campagne de lobbying auprès des chambres de commerce et des politiciens fédéraux et provinciaux. Il soutient qu’il a déjà l’appui de plusieurs députés fédéraux québécois de toutes allégeances.

Au cours de cette année électorale, il espère utiliser ses nombreux membres et les milliers d’emplois qui y sont associés pour exercer des pressions sur le gouvernement libéral afin qu’il confie tous les nouveaux travaux de construction navale canadiens exclusivement au chantier Davie. La proposition n’enlèverait donc pas de travail à Halifax ou à Vancouver.

Tout récemment, la Davie a obtenu un contrat pour convertir trois brise-glaces civils à l’usage de la Garde côtière, mais l’Association soutient que les besoins canadiens sont plus importants.

« Nous savons que c’est une année électorale et, oui, nous voulons que le gouvernement fédéral et la population en parlent », indique le vice-président de l’Association des fournisseurs de Chantier Davie Canada, Simon Maltais.

M. Maltais considère qu’il est insensé de continuer à exclure la Davie des travaux de construction de navires, alors qu’une grande partie de la flotte côtière est vieille de plus de 30 ans et doit urgemment être remplacée.

Il affirme que la révision de la SNCN permettrait au gouvernement fédéral d’acquérir les navires dont il a besoin et aux entreprises québécoises « d’obtenir leur juste part » du programme.

Un gouffre financier

Selon Simon Maltais, la SNCN s’est transformée en un énorme gouffre financier pour le fédéral.

« On peut appeler ça un gâchis. Ça fait sept ans que ça dure. À l’heure actuelle, il n’y a absolument aucun navire opérationnel à flot qui travaille pour le Canada », dit-il.

Irving et Seaspan ont investi des centaines de millions de dollars dans la modernisation de leurs chantiers et viennent seulement de commencer à produire de nouveaux navires.

Le premier navire de patrouille extracôtier de la Marine dans l’Arctique est en voie d’être équipé à Halifax, et d’autres en sont à diverses étapes de construction.

Trois navires hauturiers de science halieutique, construits à Vancouver pour la Garde côtière, sont en réparation après que des soudures défectueuses eurent été découvertes, l’an dernier.

L’ensemble du programme a été frappé par des retards et des estimations de coûts à la hausse.

L’an dernier, entre autres, Services publics et Approvisionnements Canada a refusé de publier un calendrier révisé des navires qui doivent être construits et livrés par Seaspan, dont un brise-glace lourd et deux navires de soutien interarmées.

Des discussions, mais pas d’actions

Le gouvernement fédéral a déjà débattu d’une refonte de sa stratégie navale, selon des documents obtenus et publiés par CBC News l’été dernier. Mais l’ampleur et la portée de cette « mise à jour » n’y étaient pas précisées.

Jusqu’à présent, les représentants du gouvernement ont plutôt insisté sur le fait qu’ils étaient toujours attachés à la stratégie actuelle d’avoir recours à seulement deux chantiers navals.

Pour l’analyste Dave Perry, spécialiste de l’approvisionnement et du programme de construction navale, cette campagne de lobbying risque de mettre le gouvernement fédéral mal à l’aise, mais il doute qu’elle permette d’intégrer le chantier Davie à la stratégie navale canadienne. « On a parlé de faire moins que ça », dit-il.

Au cours de la dernière campagne électorale, les libéraux se sont engagés à investir massivement dans la Marine et à améliorer son système d’approvisionnement.

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Future of Ottawa: Chefs with Kathryn Ferries

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This week in the Future of Ottawa series, we’re taking a deep dive into the bar and restaurant industry—what it’s like now and where it’s headed. Read on for a guest post from Kat Ferries on the future of chefs, or read posts from Quinn Taylor on bars or Justin Champagne on fine dining.

Kat Ferries is Sous-Chef at Stofa Restaurant and a 2020 San Pellegrino North American Young Chef Social Responsibility Award Winner.

Apt613: What is the current landscape for chefs in Ottawa?

Kat Ferries: There is such great talent in Ottawa with so many chefs either being from here originally or have returned after traveling and have since opened some incredible restaurants. Many chefs have focused menus that really highlight their strengths, their heritage, and their passion for food. Dominique Dufour of Gray Jay, Marc Doiron of Town/Citizen, Steve Wall of Supply & Demand, Daniela Manrique Lucca of The Soca Kitchen, and so many more are all cooking up beautiful and delicious food in this city.

If you care to make a prediction… Where is the food industry in Ottawa going for chefs in 2021?

The industry right now is, unfortunately, in a really tough spot. The pandemic has been so devastating on mental, physical and emotional levels for so many and I know that many of my friends in this industry are burning out. There are many discussions happening on work/life balance and what is healthy for everyone. Some may never return to the long, hard hours we are expected to put in day after day and instead opt for a more flexible schedule or hire more staff to lighten the load on everyone, with some even leaving the industry indefinitely. Some may throw themselves back into this industry 10x as hard and create some of the best restaurants and concepts we’ve yet to see. I think all that will happen after the pandemic though.

For this year, it’s mostly about survival and finding happiness in creating what we can in the spaces we have while following all the laws and guidelines from public health officials. I think we will see more chefs creating experiences for guests that we otherwise wouldn’t have: think pop-ups, virtual dinner clubs, cocktail seminars, collabs, etc.

Where in your wildest dreams could the Ottawa culinary community grow in your lifetime?

I would love to see the Ottawa community support more small, local restaurants so our streets are bustling late into the nights like they are in Montreal, New York, or Europe. Having a local restaurant to frequent should be so much more commonplace, where you can enjoy a night out more often than just Friday or Saturday night. I would also love to see many more of our local chefs highlighted for the amazing food they create!

What is the best innovation to take place in your industry since the pandemic started affecting Ottawa?

Turning all our restaurants into mini-markets for customers to enjoy the food and wine of their favourite places at home. We have bottle shops for all your wine, beer and cocktail needs as well as menus that reflect what each restaurant does best. Some have even pivoted to a point where they are 100% a store and have paused any type of “service-style” dining.

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Future of Ottawa: Fine Dining with Justin Champagne

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This week in the Future of Ottawa series, we’re taking a deep dive into the bar and restaurant industry—what it’s like now and where it’s headed. Read on for a guest post from Justin Champagne on the future of fine dining, or read posts from Kathryn Ferries on chefs or Quinn Taylor on bars.

Justin Champagne went to culinary school at Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver. He got his start in fine dining restaurants at C Restaurant under Chef Robert Clark, then at Hawksworth Restaurant under Chef Eligh. He staged at three-Michelin-starred Atelier Crenn under Chef Dominque Crenn before moving to Ottawa and spending five years at Atelier, working his way up to Sous-Chef. He’s now the Head Chef of Bar Lupulus.

Apt613: What is the current landscape of fine dining restaurants in Ottawa?

Justin Champagne: Ottawa punches well above its weight class when it comes to quality restaurants in general. Fine dining is no exception to that—we have some amazing chefs here that are doing really great things. We also have some phenomenal sommeliers in town that are a huge factor when it comes to a guest’s experience in a fine dining restaurant. While there are some fantastic fine dining restaurants in town I do believe there’s room for more, and definitely room for more creativity and unique styles of cooking! I think we’ll see more small fine dining restaurants opening up, “micro-restaurants” where there’s maybe 20 seats. This will be over the next few weeks as the industry did take a big hit financially with COVID-19, but we still have a lot of great young chefs who have the fire inside of them to open their own location!

If you care to make a prediction… Where is fine dining going in Ottawa in 2021?

I’m not sure it’ll be 2021 or 2022 with the way the vaccine rollout and stay-at-home order is going, but I do expect there to be a wave of people looking to go out to fine dining restaurants. We’ve been cooped up cooking for ourselves or ordering takeout for over a year now. People are getting antsy and ready to go out and have fantastic meals again with exceptional wine and not have to worry about doing all the dishes afterwards!

Where in your wildest dreams could fine dining go in Ottawa in your lifetime?

That’s the fun part about “fine dining,” it can go anywhere and it can mean many things. Fine dining is about amazing service and well thought out, unique food that the kitchen spent hours fussing over, being meticulous in execution. Outside of that, you can have a lot of fun and be creative in different ways. My wildest dream I guess is that fine dinning restaurants begin to thrive and are able to charge without backlash the kind of prices that they need to charge in order to keep the lights on and pay their staff a proper living wage!!

What is the best innovation to take place in your industry since the pandemic started affecting Ottawa?

I’m not sure if I would really say there’s been a best “innovation” in my industry during the pandemic, but I will say that seeing the “adaptability” by all the restaurants in Ottawa has been incredibly inspiring. Ottawa’s food scene has always been a tight-knit community, “everyone helping everyone” kind of mentality. And this pandemic has really helped show that—restaurants helping restaurants through all of this!

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Ottawa’s Giant Tiger chain celebrating 60 years in business

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OTTAWA — An Ottawa staple, along with what might be the most famous cat in Canada, are celebrating a milestone Monday.

Giant Tiger is 60 years old.

“It all started with a very simple idea,” says Alison Scarlett, associate VP of communications at Giant Tiger. “Help Canadians save money every single day. Bring them products that they want and need. When you focus on those core principals, it really is quite simple to succeed.”

In 1961, Gordon Reid opened the first Giant Tiger in Ottawa’s ByWard Market. The company now has more than 260 locations across Canada and employs roughly 10,000 people.

“If you were at our store on opening day 60 years ago, the in store experience would be a little bit different from your local Giant Tiger store today. So that’s changed. A lot of our products and offerings have changed or expanded as Canadian consumers wants and needs have changed or expanded,” says Scarlett.

The homegrown department store continues to be a favourite for many shoppers looking to for the best deals on everyday products.

Helen Binda has been shopping here for decades.

“Many years. I can’t remember when. I’ve always loved Giant Tiger. It’s always been a good store for me.”

“I think its amazing and I think that we need more department stores,” says shopper Fay Ball. “And if it’s Canadian, all the better.”

The Canadian-owned family discount store carries everything from clothing to groceries, as well as everyday household needs. They’ve also expanded their online store and like most retailers provide curbside pickup during the pandemic.

“Doing what is right for our customers, associates, and communities. That has enabled us to be so successful for all of these years,” says Scarlett.

To celebrate, Giant Tiger is hosting a virtual birthday party at 7 p.m. Monday with live musical performances from some iconic Canadian artists.

You can visit their Facebook page to tune in. 

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