Pace of Ont. 'fair workplaces' bill concerning: Restaurants Canada
Toronto – Restaurants Canada told a committee on Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, that the proposed legislation could put more than 17,000 food-service jobs at risk.
Ontario MPPs have sent Bill 148 to committee for final considerations before it faces third and final reading in the Legislature.
The bill has become infamous as the "minimum wage" bill, but the 64 amendments to various pieces of legislation have severe implications for the food-service industry in Ontario.
On Oct. 30, Restaurants Canada was called before committee to provide expert testimony on Bill 148, known as the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act.
Joyce Reynolds, executive vice-president for Restaurants Canada, presented the industry’s concerns on the significant implications for our sector and told the committee the proposed legislation could put more than 17,000 jobs at risk in the food-service sector.
Reynolds told the committee the food-service industry is not opposed to the minimum wage adjustments in Ontario. “We are, however, very concerned about the pace of implementation. The aggressive timelines will compromise the ability of the sector to absorb all of these additional costs," she said in her testimony.
Since the introduction of the proposed legislation, Restaurants Canada has expressed concerns about the pace of implementation and the "burdensome" nature of the regulatory changes on business owners, the association said in a news release. "Restaurants Canada and its members support the incredibly talented and hardworking staff who make the industry so vibrant and exciting."
“We have grave concerns that countless small businesses and entrepreneurs will be placed at risk of closure, downsizing and reduction of service to the communities they serve,” Reynolds said.
Ontario’s restaurant industry directly employs nearly 473,000 Ontarians, roughly seven per cent of the province’s total labour force. Restaurants Canada continues to call on members to reach out to their MPPs and candidates in advance of the spring Ontario election.
Alberta's minimum wage recently went up from $12.20 to $13.60 on Oct. 1, the fourth increase in as many years for the hospitality industry in that province.
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