OTTAWA, April 21, 2015 – Today’s budget is loaded with treats for everyone, but more could have been done on several key issues facing restaurant operators – the number one job creators in Canada in 2014.
“This budget makes some much-needed headway on labour shortages,” says Joyce Reynolds, Executive Vice President, Government Affairs. “There are thousands of restaurants struggling with unfilled positions, particularly in Western Canada. Today’s measures will help to some degree, but the problem demands much broader action.”
The budget includes these actions to address the labour shortage:
- Targeted programming to support youth and immigrants relocating to areas where job opportunities exist.
- A new, one-stop national labour information portal in addition to pre-announced investments in improved labour market information.
- New labour market programs for Aboriginals.
“On a more solid note, we’re pleased the government reduced the small business tax rate from 11 to nine per cent over four years, which will help many of our members,” says Reynolds. “At the same time, it missed the opportunity to follow the lead of the European Union and regulate credit card interchange fees – a big-ticket item for any foodservice operator that accepts credit cards. Even though the government negotiated a 10 per cent cut to credit card fees, Canada’s fees will be five times higher than the EU’s come this fall.”
Restaurants Canada is one of Canada’s largest business associations, with more than 30,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and other foodservice providers. Canada’s restaurant industry generates $72 billion annually in economic activity and employs more than 1.2 million people in communities across the country.