(July 26/17) Over the last two weeks, Restaurants Canada’s James Rilett attended the government’s minimum wage hearings across the province. He also presented our industry’s perspective at the hearing in Hamilton. Below is a summary of what took place and what we can expect.
The hearings – A done deal
It was clear from comments made by members of the committee that the government would not back down from its minimum wage plan. Although the hearings heavily leaned toward big labour and social activists, every hearing featured restaurant owners speaking strongly on behalf of our industry. Restaurants Canada thanks our members who attended and participated.
Restaurants Canada is fighting for you
On the day of our presentation in Hamilton, we released our minimum wage survey results that showed 81% of restaurateurs will be forced to cut jobs. At the hearing, the Liberals tried to undermine our concerns, but we stuck to the facts and highlighted the negative consequences of this drastic wage hike. See our presentation to the committee here (VIDEO).
“”It’s easy to brush this aside as doom and gloom but what if I told you your mortgage payments were going up 30 per cent (the $15 an hour mark represents a 30-plus per cent increase from the existing minimum wage)? This is the frustration of food operators. They need time to restructure their businesses.”
Hamilton Mountain MPP Monique Taylor (NDP) countered, “I was a server when no smoking came into effect and it was ‘The doors are closing; we’re never gonna survive.’ Yes, there are hurdles but they thought the sky was falling then and they survived.”
Rilett scoldingly parried that the smoking was phased in, some restaurants did go under, adding that her tone did not help the conversation. “To say ‘the sky is falling’ is to belittle businesses that people spent their life creating.””
James Rilett quoted in The Hamilton Spectator, July 20 (Read the full article.)
We need your feedback
The government says it will work with us to soften the blow of this unprecedented minimum wage hike. Tell us what you think would help to alleviate the impact on your business. E-mail James Rilett with your suggestions.