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  • Writer's pictureLorna Hamilton

McDonald’s Breaks Ground

From left, back row, Ken Corbett, Vice President & Project Manager, Kor-Alta Construction Ltd., Deputy Mayor/Councillor Greg Barr, Councillor Justin Thompson. From left, middle row, Councillor Rob Pulyk, Councillor Richard Yaceyko, Manager Economic Development, Mary Lee Prior. From left, front row, Matt Anderson, Site Supervisor of Kor-Alta Construction Ltd., Franchisee James Richer, Town of Vermilion Mayor, Caroline McAuley, and Franchisee Tamara Richer during the groundbreaking of the new Vermilion McDonald’s Restaurant on May 31. Photo Lorna Hamilton

On May 25, crews broke ground for the new McDonald’s Restaurant scheduled to open in September of 2021, with a 24 hour Drive-Thru.

McDonald’s Franchisees James and Tamara Richer, Ken Corbett, Vice President & Project Manager, Kor-Alta Construction Ltd., Matt Anderson, Site Supervisor of Kor-Alta Construction along with Town of Vermilion Council members Mayor Caroline McAuley, Deputy Mayor/Councillor Greg Barr, Councillor Justin Thompson, Councillor Rob Pulyk, Councillor Richard Yaceyko, CAO George Rogers and Manager Economic Development, Mary Lee Prior visited the site for a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction on the brand-new Vermilion McDonald’s restaurant on the corner of 42nd Avenue and Highway 41 on May 31.

Franchisee James and Tamara Richer currently live in the Vegreville area and have been McDonald’s Franchisees since 2007 and they operate restaurants in Vegreville, St. Paul, Wainwright, and Bonnyville and said, “We love being in this part of the province. In each of these communities, we have incredible restaurant teams, customers, neighbours, and partners.”

James also states that they always thought it would be great to have a restaurant in Vermilion and that McDonald’s has been looking at how best they can serve smaller communities, and that Vermilion was the best spot for them.

“We are so excited to partner with Mayor McAuley and the council and are grateful for their support thus far,” said Richer.

James also went on to explain that McDonald’s goal is to always hire local employees in all of their 1,400 restaurants nationwide and advertise locally, provincially, and nationally to fill their staff needs. This includes in-store and online advertising, refer-a-friend programs, and job career fairs.

“If the hiring goals are not achieved first through domestic efforts, we undertake international recruiting following all regulatory and legal obligations set out by the Government of Canada. Our specific hiring process – finding the best fit with the specific role- mirrors the process we undertake when hiring domestically,” stated James. He also went on to say that their general contractor for the project, Kor-Alta Construction Ltd. has a local office in Vermilion and they have also been working with a few sub-trades from the surrounding area.

Manager of Economic Development, Mary Lee Prior says she is hopeful that the new restaurant will benefit the community.

“We are hoping that McDonald’s will create additional jobs as well as pull in some additional visitor traffic into Vermilion off the Yellowhead Highway 16 that may not have stopped before, from there our hope is they will stay and explore Vermilion,” commented Prior.

Prior also went on to say that we are lucky that they have chosen to invest in Vermilion.

“We are very excited to have McDonald’s invest in Vermilion. It has been a long courtship and it is nice to finally see construction begin,” said Prior.

James shared that he started with McDonald’s as a 16-year-old kid and that the journey has been incredible.

“After 40 years with McDonald’s, understanding how to talk and relate to people has been my greatest asset. As a family man with both my kids, Michael (Operations Supervisor) and Jessica (People Supervisor), as well as a niece and nephew in the business, I totally understand how important it is for youth to get a job and feel valued in the community. Our entire family is extremely looking forward to getting to know the Vermilion community better,” said James.

Prior also said that if you are looking to invest in Vermilion you can call 780-853-7747 or email

Mayor Caroline McAuley said that they are very excited that McDonald’s has decided to invest in our community.

“It isn’t just about the job opportunities the business will provide once open, so many local businesses will also be contracted to help with the construction of the restaurant! This has been a three-year relationship with McDonald’s thus far and will continue in the future,” commented Mayor McAuley.


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