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ORPP announcement silent on youth employment: Restaurants Canada


August 11, 2015
By Canadian Pizza

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Toronto – Restaurants Canada is urging the Ontario government to address youth unemployment and access to first-time jobs by changing the age of Ontario Retirement Pension Plan enrolment from 18 to 25.

While the association welcomes the provincial government’s move to extend the phase-in period for the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, but is disappointed in the lack of action on youth unemployment.

“Restaurants Canada has always been concerned about the negative effect that higher employment taxes will have on youth,” said James Rilett, the association’s vice-president for Ontario, in a statement. “With unemployment for Ontarians under 25 three times higher than those 25 and over (14.8 per cent versus 5.0 per cent) and students struggling to find first-time jobs, we are asking the government to adapt their plans to protect jobs for youth.”

The restaurant industry is the number 1 source of employment and on–the-job training for young people who have never held a job, the association said. In Ontario alone, 197,700 youth under the age of 25 are employed by the restaurant industry.

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Restaurants Canada asked the government to adjust the age of enrolment in the ORPP to 25 to allow those with no job experience to find jobs while keeping more money to pay for school and training, a change it said would have almost no effect on the final pension payout.

“Youth today are starting their careers later and working longer,” Rilett said. “The government should recognize this cultural shift and help those who are just starting their careers. What young people need is jobs now, not pennies more in 40 years.”

Restaurants Canada has posted more information about its proposal on the website FixtheORPP.ca.

Restaurant Industry Facts:

  • 458,100 people directly employed in the restaurant industry, and 105,000 people indirectly employed in related industries: one of the largest employers in Ontario
  • 34,000 restaurants, bars and caterers in the province
  • #1 source of new jobs