The warehouse will employ over 300 people and be up and running by the 2020 holiday season. It will be Amazon’s 12th distribution centre in Canada, but its first in Quebec. (The Logic)
Talking point: Amazon currently offers free one-day shipping for Prime members in 19 Canadian cities, including two in Quebec: Montreal and Quebec City. This new warehouse will help the company offer fast shipping to more of the province. That puts pressure on rivals like Walmart, which recently expanded its online grocery delivery to 200 locations, and Loblaw, which has its own Amazon Prime-style loyalty program that includes free delivery. Amazon is increasingly showing an interest in Quebec; the firm’s cloud division, for example, is looking to invest up to $1 billion over 10 years in the province. Maja Vodanovic, mayor of the Montreal borough Lachine, where the warehouse will be located, welcomed the announcement, saying it will bring much-needed jobs back to the area. But distribution warehouse jobs can sometimes be a mixed blessing. As my colleague Catherine reported in July, Amazon held a meeting with delivery companies on blocking unionization attempts—after which, an ongoing lawsuit alleges, some firms went bankrupt and union organizers lost their jobs.