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Ontario budget threatens youth employment, says Restaurants Canada


July 15, 2014
By Canadian Pizza

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July 15, 2014, Toronto – Ontario's re-release of the 2014 budget
misses the mark when it comes to youth employment, says Restaurants Canada.

July 15, 2014, Toronto – Ontario's re-release of the 2014 budget
misses the mark when it comes to youth employment, says Restaurants Canada.

The budget puts more
upward pressure on payroll costs, which means employers will create
fewer jobs, particularly for young people looking for summer jobs or
first-job experience, said the association in a media statement.

"Our industry lost jobs in June, the same month that the minimum wage
jumped," said James Rilett, vice-president, Ontario, for Restaurants
Canada, in the statement. "This hits youth job-seekers first. They are the ones who pay
for a poor business climate."

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Ontario's restaurant industry is one of the province's largest
employers, with 440,300 direct jobs, including 185,000 employees under
the age of 25. The combined foodservice and accommodation sector in
Ontario lost more than 11,000 jobs in June, according to Statistics
Canada, said the association.

"The new payroll tax on employers and employees that will be created by
the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) is a serious concern for our
members," said Rilett. "Ontario is already the toughest business
climate in the country for foodservice operators. The ORPP adds to
already rising payroll, energy, food and beverage costs, with very
little room to pass these costs along to consumers."

The ORPP also adds to the regulatory burden on small business, as the
province duplicates the red tape of the federal CPP system."We
applauded the government's recent initiatives and legislation to reduce
red tape, but unfortunately the ORPP threatens to undermine that
effort."

Restaurants Canada has proposed several ideas to improve the business
climate for restaurateurs and other foodservice operators:

  • Introduce wholesale pricing on beer, wine and spirits
  • Control payroll taxes
  • Reduce regulatory burden

"We are part of the solution to Ontario's high rate of youth
unemployment," said Rilett. "We need the government to join us at the
table, not put up more roadblocks to hiring."