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Restaurants Canada addresses government on 5 key issues


November 22, 2019
By Canadian Pizza

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Ottawa – For 2020, Restaurants Canada wants the newly elected federal government to focus on a labour force development strategy, a reduction in taxes and fees for small businesses, and the role of food service in tourism.

In a news release, the organization representing restaurant and foodservice businesses is calling on the federal government to help foodservice and hospitality businesses by working with the association toward five broad goals:

NATIONAL LABOUR FORCE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY

Restaurants Canada is advocating for a national strategy to recognize the critical role of food service as one of Canada’s largest employers, the leading source of first-time jobs for youth and a key contributor to every community across the country.

REDUCTION IN TAX BURDEN AND FEES ON SMALL BUSINESSES

Tax rules need to take into account the impact of inflation and price increases on the burden small-to-medium-sized businesses bear, the association said, citing as an example the $50,000 threshold that was recently introduced for passive investment income. That threshold should increase every year, in line with inflation, Restaurants Canada said. Foodservice businesses would also welcome more fairness on fees that place undue strain on their operations; for instance, the interchange fees that debit and credit card issuers collect, which are often larger than the profit a restaurant operator makes on a meal.

ELIMINATION OF INTERPROVINCIAL TRADE BARRIERS AND LEVEL PLAYING FIELD FOR ALL TYPES OF FOODSERVICE OPERATIONS

Continued leadership is needed at the federal level to encourage the provinces to take down trade barriers so that bars and restaurants can more easily offer their patrons products from across the country, the organization said. Continued pressure on the provinces is also needed to raise the bar for licensed foodservice establishments, as Canada’s beverage alcohol policies currently place many licensed establishments at a competitive disadvantage. Restaurants Canada asks for a repeal of the automatic annual escalator on alcohol excise duties to provide relief for Canadian restaurants and their patrons.

EVIDENCE-BASED POLICIES AND NATIONAL STANDARDS ON SINGLE-USE ITEMS

A whole-of-society approach is needed, recognizing the need for: 1) consumer education; 2) reasonable timelines for alternative innovations to enter the market; and 3) recycling, composting and waste management standards that successfully facilitate diversion from landfill and avoid inefficiencies resulting from patchwork solutions.

EMPHASIS ON FOODSERVICE AS PART OF NATIONAL TOURISM STRATEGY

Foodservice is not only the number 1 source of tourism jobs, our industry is an integral part of every Canadian hospitality experience. Restaurants Canada said it looks forward to continuing to work with the federal government, through its national tourism strategy.

“Government policies can go a long way to support the critical contributions of foodservice businesses to jobs, investment, innovation, tourism, charitable causes and spaces for people to come together,” said David Lefebvre, Restaurants Canada’s vice-president, federal and Quebec. “We welcome the opportunity that a minority government provides for seeking consensus-based solutions supported by a majority of Canadians.”