March 8, 2013

EDMONTON – Restaurateurs in Alberta are applauding the provincial government’s budget commitment to reject introducing a new sales tax or raising taxes. Alberta’s low tax environment and lack of provincial sales tax is one of the most important reasons why Alberta continues to lead the country in economic growth and consumer spending.

It is encouraging that Alberta’s 3.7 per cent increase in consumer spending once again leads the country. The restaurant industry is dependent on consumer spending for its success, and it is a key reason why Alberta’s $9-billion restaurant industry continues to grow and create jobs in every community in the province. Introducing a sales tax would reduce consumer spending and jeopardize Alberta’s economic success.

“With all the recent debate about introducing a sales tax in Alberta, the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association is pleased that the government once again emphatically rejected the possibility of introducing a provincial sales tax in the budget,” said Mark von Schellwitz, CRFA’s Vice President, Western Canada.

“Every time governments introduce or increase consumption taxes, the restaurant industry and its employees suffer — especially when food purchased at grocery stores is exempt but food sold in restaurants is taxed,” added von Schellwitz. That was certainly the case in 1991 when GST was introduced in Canada and more recently in 2010 when HST was implemented in British Columbia.

Alberta’s restaurant industry generates $9 billion annually in economic activity, serves 2.5 million Albertans every day and directly employs more than 130,000 people in every community across the province. That’s 6.1% of the provincial workforce.

CRFA 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 $65 billion annually in economic activity and employs more than one million people in communities across the country.


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