Toronto, Dec. 12, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Restaurants Canada remains concerned that the Wynne government has again failed to understand how their policies are hurting consumers. Today, Liberal MPP Yvan Baker introduced a private member's bill related to ?all-in pricing' without considering the ramifications this proposal will have by adding to costs and creating confusion for consumers. The introduction of this private member's bill follows a long line of policy changes that do little other than impose additional cost and red tape on businesses across the province.
"I had a good discussion with Mr. Baker last week and he assured me that this was in no way coming from concerns about the foodservice industry," said Steve Virtue, Interim Vice President, Ontario, Restaurants Canada. "I'm concerned that Mr. Baker introduced an omnibus measure rather than providing the government with the tools to be more surgical and go after the problem sectors."
Restaurants Canada believes that the all-in pricing model will result in increased costs for consumers and deliver confusion. It will also result in an enormous strain for restaurateurs who operate in multiple jurisdictions. "I reminded Mr. Baker that his government's menu labeling regulations have created significant confusion for consumers, while the rules are not being enforced evenly across the province," said Virtue. "I asked him to remain mindful that this would represent significant operational costs, whether for a small independent restaurant or a larger multi-chain restaurant."
The foodservice sector is already bracing for a host of new financial and administrative costs that will result from Bill 148. Restaurateurs face little choice but to pass costs on to consumers, given the substantial increases to operational costs. The total increase in minimum wage costs by January 2019 will be 31.6% in just 18 months. When combined with costly changes to labour legislation, the total hit is $1.8 billion to the province's restaurant industry. The overall impact on the Ontario economy includes more than 185,000 jobs at risk, with at least 17,000 of those jobs in foodservice.
"Heading in to the 2018 election, we hoped that the Liberals would spend their time focusing more on progressive policy leavers that help create economic opportunities across the province rather than creating additional costs, regulatory burden and red tape for business," said Virtue.
Restaurants Canada is a growing community of 30,000 foodservice businesses, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and suppliers. We connect our members from coast to coast, through services, research and advocacy for a strong and vibrant restaurant industry. Canada's restaurant industry directly employs 1.2 million Canadians and serves 18 million customers every day.
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