TORONTO, August 11, 2015 – Restaurants Canada welcomes the provincial government’s move to extend the phase-in period for the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, but is disappointed the government did not address youth unemployment and access to first-time jobs by changing the age of ORPP enrolment from 18 to 25.

“Restaurants Canada has always been concerned about the negative effect that higher employment taxes will have on youth,” said James Rilett, the association’s Vice President, Ontario. “With unemployment for Ontarians under 25 three times higher than those 25 and over (14.8% vs 5.0%) and students struggling to find first-time jobs, we are asking the government to adapt their plans to protect jobs for youth.”

The restaurant industry is the number one source of employment and on–the-job training for young people who have never held a job. In Ontario alone, 197,700 youth under the age of 25 are employed by the restaurant industry.

Restaurants Canada asked the government to adjust the age of enrolment in the ORPP to 25 to allow those with no job experience to find jobs while keeping more money to pay for school and training. This change would have almost no effect on the final pension payout.

“Youth today are starting their careers later and working longer,” said Rilett. “The government should recognize this cultural shift and help those who are just starting their careers. What young people need is jobs now, not pennies more in 40 years.”

Restaurants Canada has posted more information about its proposal on the website

Restaurant Industry Facts:

  • 458,100 people directly employed in the restaurant industry, and 105,000 people indirectly employed in related industries: one of the largest employers in Ontario
  • 34,000 restaurants, bars and caterers in the province
  • #1 source of new jobs

Restaurants Canada is a growing community of 30,000 foodservice businesses, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and suppliers. We connect our members from coast to coast, through services, research and advocacy for a strong and vibrant restaurant industry. Canada’s restaurant industry directly employs 1.2 million Canadians, is the number one source of first jobs, and serves 18 million customers every day.


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