Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association

Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association

September 05, 2007 08:09 ET

Campaign Promises Costs Industry

New holiday promise will cost hospitality industry $43 million dollars, says ORHMA

Attention: Business/Financial Editor, Food/Beverage Editor, News Editor, Travel/Tourism Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 5, 2007) -
The provincial Liberal Party announced yesterday it would establish a new statutory holiday in February, if elected. This would be Ontario's ninth paid statutory holiday of the year. On being asked what the additional day off would cost the Ontario economy, the campaign chairman refused to say.

Under the provincial Employment Standards Act, employees qualify to be paid for the public holiday if not actually working the day and, if working, time-and-a-half or regular rate plus a substitute day off. Assuming two thirds of the 415,000 hospitality employees would be working on some shift over the 24 hour period of the holiday day at time-and-a-half, and an additional third on days off would need to be compensated for the holiday, an additional statutory holiday would cost the industry an estimated $43 million. In 2005, Statistics Canada estimates salaries and wages for the Ontario foodservice and accommodation sector totaled $15.6 billion and accounted for 39% of the operating expenses for accommodation and 31% for foodservice. Almost 6 out of 10 businesses are independently owned and operated.

"This is another example of how the provincial government fails to consult with the hospitality industry about the impacts of its policies that cost the industry money", said Rob Evans, President and CEO of the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association.

"The provincial government has imposed several programs over the past year-and-a-bit that have significant negative impacts on our industry. These include raising the minimum wage 28% over the next three years, imposing the deposit-return program on empty wine and spirits containers resulting in an estimated $85 million added annual expense, applying province-wide anti-smoking legislation and now the mandatory licensing and registration of security guards and door persons. Most of these policies were done with little or no consultation with our industry."

Continues Evans, "Our industry cannot sustain government continuing to place financial burdens on our shoulders. While government can afford to give its own employees another holiday that would be paid for out of taxpayer dollars, private industry does not have the same luxury. We would urge all political parties leading up to the provincial election to be aware of what their campaign promises cost and who ultimately pays the price for them."

The ORHMA is Canada's largest provincial hospitality industry association with more than 4,000 members representing 11,000 businesses throughout Ontario.

For more information contact Rob Evans, President and CEO, at 905-361-0268 / 800-668-8906 ext 320.

Contact Information

  • Rob Evans, President & CEO, Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association
    Primary Phone: 905-361-0268 ext. 320
    Toll-Free: 800-668-8906
    E-mail: revans@orhma.com