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Les Britanniques quitteront l’Union européenne le 29 mars, prévient Theresa May

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La chef du gouvernement, dont le leadership sera soumis à un vote de défiance au Parlement cet après-midi, a déclaré sans détour aux élus britanniques : « La politique du gouvernement est que nous quittons l’Union européenne le 29 mars. »

Selon Theresa May, l’Union européenne n’acceptera pas de toute façon de reporter ce délai en l’absence d’un plan crédible de négociation.

Pour elle, le seul espoir de trouver un nouvel accord de sortie avec l’UE, à dix semaines du Brexit, est d’appuyer son gouvernement lors du vote de défiance qui doit avoir lieu cet après-midi à la Chambre des communes.

Le gouvernement May sur la corde raide

Un politicien parle debout pendant que ses collègues assis l'écoutent.Jeremy Corbyn, chef des travaillistes aux Communes à Londres à la période des questions. Photo : La Presse canadienne / AP

Les députés britanniques ont infligé mardi soir une défaite cuisante à Theresa May en rejetant par 432 voix contre 202 l’accord de sortie de l’Union européenne qu’elle avait négocié avec Bruxelles à moins de trois mois de la date de sortie officielle du pays du bloc européen.

Évoquant une « défaite catastrophique » pour le gouvernement lors de ce vote « historique », le chef de file de l’opposition travailliste, Jeremy Corbyn, a aussitôt déposé une motion de censure qui sera débattue ce matin avant d’être soumise au vote de la Chambre des communes, vers 14h (HNE).

Pour Jeremy Corbyn, l’ampleur de la crise dans laquelle est plongé le Royaume-Uni exige l’instauration d’un nouveau gouvernement muni « d’un mandat frais ».

Estimant que Theresa May ne tend pas la main aux autres partis pour sortir de l’impasse, le chef travailliste a ajouté que l’incertitude qui plombe le pays ne peut que grandir si elle demeure aux commandes du gouvernement.

Theresa May a besoin de l’appui de 318 des 650 députés de la Chambre pour éviter d’être renversée.

Pas de réouverture de l’accord prévient l’UE

Pour le président de la Commission européenne, Jean-Claude Juncker, le risque de Brexit désordonné s’est considérablement « accru ».

Mercredi matin, la Commission européenne a déclaré que l’accord de retrait du Royaume-Uni n’est pas ouvert à la renégociation et que pour l’heure, Londres n’avait pas demandé un report de la date du Brexit qui demeure jusqu’à nouvel ordre le 29 mars prochain tel que stipulé dans l’article 50 du Traité sur l’Union européenne.

Le ton était cependant moins tranchant du côté du négociateur en chef des Européens, Michel Barnier qui a pour sa part estimé que l’Union européenne avait négocié de bonne foi pendant un an et demi avec Londres et que c’est désormais aux Britanniques de parler. Selon lui, après avoir clairement exprimé ce qu’ils ne veulent pas, il est temps maintenant pour les députés britanniques de dire ce qu’ils veulent.

Michel Barnier prend la parole au parlement européen.Michel Barnier, chef négociateur pour l’UE, s’adresse aux députés européens au lendemain du rejet du Brexit par les Britanniques. Photo : La Presse canadienne / Jean-Francois Badias/AP

Le négociateur en chef de l’UE, qui prenait la parole mercredi devant le Parlement européen, a par ailleurs invité les 27 pays membres à se préparer à une sortie du Royaume-Uni sans accord.

Affirmant que l’UE est toujours disposée à s’entendre avec les Britanniques, Michel Barnier a prévenu qu’ils devront cependant faire des compromis pour sortir de cette impasse.

Si le Royaume-Uni choisit de faire évoluer ses propres lignes rouges à l’avenir et qu’il fait le choix de davantage d’ambition d’aller au-delà d’un simple […] accord de libre-échange, alors l’Union européenne restera immédiatement prête à accompagner cette évolution.

Michel Barnier, négociateur en chef de l’Union européenne

Le négociateur en chef de l’UE a cependant prévenu que le « backstop » ne pourrait pas être écarté. L’opposition d’une large part des parlementaires britanniques s’est précisément concentrée sur cette clause de sauvegarde qui doit empêcher le rétablissement d’une frontière physique entre l’Irlande, qui demeure membre de l’UE et l’Irlande du Nord, qui fait partie du territoire britannique.

Angela Merkel croit toujours à un accord

À Berlin, la chancelière Angela Merkel a aussi tenté de calmer le jeu en déclarant : « Nous avons encore du temps pour négocier. »

Affirmant regretter l’issue du vote d’hier, Angela Merkel a précisé que c’est à la première ministre britannique Theresa May qu’il incombe désormais de dire à ses partenaires européens comment elle souhaite procéder pour sortir de cette impasse.

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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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