Saskatchewan 2020 Election update: Platform comparisons

Published October 22, 2020

Restaurants Canada represents a growing community of 40,000+ members with political opinions that are as diverse as the industry itself. But one thing our members all agree on is that running a foodservice business is incredibly challenging. According to the latest available data from Statistics Canada, the average Canadian restaurant has a profit margin of less than 5 per cent — and this was the case even before the COVID-19 crisis began.

According to a Restaurants Canada survey conducted in September, the majority of Saskatchewan’s restaurants are either losing money or barely scraping by in the face of the ongoing pandemic: 48% of survey respondents said they are operating at a loss and 28% said they are just breaking even.

An estimated 10% of Saskatchewan’s independent foodservice establishments have already permanently closed due to the impacts of COVID-19 and Restaurants Canada expects that another 40% might not be able to survive beyond March without all levels of government stepping up to provide as much support as possible.

A menu for recovery

With Saskatchewan heading to the polls on Oct. 26, Restaurants Canada has shared a Menu for Recovery with all major parties seeking to form the next provincial government, containing recommendations to help the foodservice sector pull through and continue contributing to vibrant communities across the province.

Since sharing these recommendations, Restaurants Canada has been encouraged to see campaign commitments from Saskatchewan’s political parties addressing a number of our key asks.

Below is a breakdown of all the policy pledges made in the five key areas where Restaurants Canada has called for solutions.

Cash Flow

The Saskatchewan Party would:

  • Reduce electricity bills by 10% for a year.
  • Reduce the small business tax rate for the next three years.

The Saskatchewan New Democratic Party would:

  • Reinstate startup loans for rural small businesses.

Rent & Tenant Protections

No further commitments have been made in this area to date.

Labour

The Saskatchewan Party would:

  • Continue the new immigration category for the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program to help international students stay in the province as entrepreneurs and attract business investment after graduating.
  • Continue to provide the Re-Open Saskatchewan Training Subsidy to reimburse eligible employers 100% of employee training costs in order to support the safe re-opening of the province’s economy.
  • Full commitment to implement a $35 million Saskatchewan Tourism Sector Support Program allowing eligible hospitality and event/attraction operators to apply for a one-time, non-repayable emergency payment. Of this funding, $5 million will be used to support marketing and increasing demand for Saskatchewan tourism experiences.

The Saskatchewan New Democratic Party would:

  • Ban dress codes that make women less safe at work, including mandatory high heels.
  • No longer apply the province’s indexation formula for minimum wage increases (which goes against a key Restaurants Canada recommendation) but instead institute a plan to support small businesses with less than $200,000 in payroll with a monthly rebate as they adapt to the implementation of a $15/hour minimum wage by 2024-25. The rebate would be an amount equal to 25% of the cumulative increase in the minimum wage multiplied by the number of minimum wage hours paid to employees. The rebates to the small businesses each year would be as follows:
    • 26.25 cents per employee hour at $12.50 in 2021-22 ($1.05 increase in minimum wage)
    • 51.25 cents per employee hour at $13.50 in 2022-23 ($1.00 increase in minimum wage)
    • 76.25 cents per employee hour at $14.50 in 2023-24 ($1.00 increase in minimum wage)
    • 88.75 cents per employee hour at $15.00 in 2024-25 ($0.50 increase in minimum wage)

Alcohol

The Saskatchewan New Democratic Party would:

  • Reduce the craft beer levy to help Saskatchewan’s producers compete across the country.

Foodservice Sector Support & Red Tape Reduction

The Saskatchewan New Democratic Party would:

  • Work with small businesses and industry representatives on a province-wide Buy Saskatchewan campaign.

Election resources

Restaurants Canada encourages all members in British Columbia to make their voice heard on Oct. 24.

Visit our Saskatchewan election resources page to learn more about our policy recommendations, how to engage your network and vote!

If you have any questions or would like more information, you can get in touch with Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Western Canada, at mark@restaurantscanada.org or 1-800-387-5649 ext. 6500.

Marlee Wasser

Nam dapibus nisl vitae elit fringilla rutrum. Aenean sollicitudin, erat a elementum rutrum, neque sem pretium metus, quis mollis nisl nunc et massa. Vestibulum sed metus in lorem tristique ullamcorper id vitae erat.

More from Marlee Wasser

STAY IN THE KNOW

SIGN UP FOR RESTAURANT'S CANADA NEWSLETTER

RC Insider gives you snackable bites of must-read industry news and timely research, as well as useful tools and tips, every two weeks.