FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 21, 2013
OTTAWA – Budget 2013 addresses the tax burden, labour shortages and red tape, which are three key concerns of restaurant operators.
The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) congratulates the government for appropriately focusing fiscal evasion measures on the “underground” economy instead of the “above-ground” economy. Following Quebec’s lead to implement sales recording modules or “black boxes” on cash registers would have created a significant cost and administrative burden for restaurants and retailers.
“CRFA is pleased that legislation and enforcement activities will target the producers and installers of sales distorting software instead of Canada’s 81,000 restaurants, the vast majority of which pay their taxes and operate in full transparency,” said Garth Whyte, CRFA President and CEO.
The restaurant industry also faces unprecedented labour shortages from low- to highly-skilled jobs in many parts of the country. CRFA welcomes action to bring more accountability to skills training programs and to help employers recruit and train Canadians that are under-represented in the labour force.
However, CRFA is concerned about measures that will make the temporary foreign worker (TFW) program more costly, cumbersome and difficult to access. The TFW program is already expensive and administratively complex, and is a last resort for employers who would prefer to hire Canadians and permanent residents.
“We do not want to return to the days when businesses were forced to cut hours, shut down parts of their restaurant or close their doors because of a lack of employees,” said Whyte.
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 1.1 million people in communities across the country.