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Federal budget generally good news for restaurateurs, customers: Restaurants Canada


March 24, 2016
By Canadian Pizza

Ottawa – Restaurants Canada is pleased to see enhancements in the areas of youth employment, tourism, and immigration, and promises of consultation in many areas of interest to restaurateurs, the association said in a news release.

“We were pleased to see enhancements in the areas of youth employment, tourism, and immigration,” said Joyce Reynolds, executive vice-president of government affairs at Restaurants Canada. “These are all promising initiatives that bode well for the future of our industry.”

There was other good news for restaurants in the budget, according to the association:

  • A renewed youth employment strategy with $165 million in additional funding for vulnerable youths, and other initiatives to expand employment opportunities for young Canadians, including $339 million for an expanded Canada Summer Jobs program
  • A commitment to review spending and the tax system to make it more efficient and effective
  • $50 million in additional funding to promote Canada as a tourist destination
  • Tax breaks that will lead to an increase in disposable income for the middle class
  • Higher permanent resident admissions, with more funding to process permanent residents and settlement programs.

On the flip side, Restaurants Canada was disappointed the government is breaking its election promise to reduce the small business tax rate to nine per cent by 2019. While the rate will decrease this year from 11 to 10.5 per cent, future cuts remain up in the air.

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In addition, changes to the employment insurance program threaten to increase costs and reduce the availability of workers.

“Although we would have liked to see employer EI premiums drop as part of the revisions to the program, there are some positive measures for the industry,” Reynolds said. “We look forward to further consultations with the government on how we can contribute to a strong and growing economy.”