(Mar. 12/14) Ontario introduced its promised menu labelling legislation on Feb. 24. If passed, this legislation will require chain restaurants with more than 20 operations in the province to post calories on menus and menu boards.
When does it take effect?
Operators do not have to post calories on menus yet. Government will debate this legislation in the spring. If passed, it will take effect in early 2015.
What is Restaurants Canada doing?
Restaurants Canada has opposed this legislation since its inception, advocating instead for a national roll-out of the Informed Dining program. Informed Dining provides consumers with the full picture of nutritional information prior to ordering. A recentpublic opinion poll shows it meets consumer needs much better than calorie posting does. Click here for more information.
Should the Ontario legislation proceed, we’ve been assured that:
- sodium posting is not included in the legislation;
- menu labelling rules apply to retail foodservice for a level playing field; and
- no municipal bylaw can supersede the provincial law.
Our win on municipal bylaws is especially significant, as it prevents areas like Toronto from fulfilling threats to impose strict menu labelling laws on city restaurateurs. We will continue to push government to further amend this legislation to meet the needs of our members and consumers.