(Nov. 23/15) Prime Minister Trudeau has released letters to his new Ministers, saying what he expects them to accomplish. Here are some of the assignments that might impact Restaurants Canada’s discussions with the government:
- The Minister of Health will “promote public health by: …introducing new restrictions on the commercial marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children, similar to those in place in Quebec; bringing new tougher regulations to eliminate trans fats and to reduce salt in processed foods…; and improving food labels to give more information on added sugars and artificial dyes in processed foods.”
- The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food will “develop a food policy that promotes healthy living and safe food by putting more healthy, high-quality food, produced by Canadian ranchers and farmers, on the tables of families across Canada.”
- The Minister of Finance must “enhance the Canada Pension Plan to provide more income security to Canadians when they retire.” He must also support the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour to modernize employment insurance and the job training system.
- The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour should “help Canadians get the skills they need for good, quality jobs.” The EI program will be made more accessible to immigrants and younger workers, and less punitive to unemployed workers. More generous and flexible leave for caregivers, more flexible parental leave, a fair wages policy, and more flexible work arrangements are also on the table.
- The Minister of Families, Children and Social Development will lead a Canadian poverty reduction strategy.
- The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship will resettle 25,000 refugees from Syria, and focus on family reunification immigration programs. He will also reduce application processing times for sponsorship, citizenship and other visas.
- The Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development should improve the quality of publicly-available data, restore the long-form census, and assist the Minister of Finance to ensure tax measures are efficient, and encourage innovation, trade and the growth of Canadian businesses.
- The Minister of International Trade will “implement the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and consult on Canada’s potential participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).”
- The Minister of National Revenue will help the Canadian Revenue Agency crack down on tax evaders, and will work with international partners to adopt strategies to combat tax avoidance.
Overall, the Prime Minister hopes to operate with a renewed sense of collaboration, and to set a higher bar for openness and transparency. This should provide new opportunities for Restaurants Canada to be part of the conversation on policies that matter to you.