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» Save the Date! ORHMA’s 14th Annual Provincial Golf Tournament

Join the Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) for our 14th Annual Golf Tournament on Wednesday, June 21 at Nottawasaga Inn Resort & Conference Centre in Alliston. ORHMA’s Annual Golf Tournament brings Ontario’s hospitality industry together and is one of the best opportunities to reach the leaders and opinion-influencers in our sector! For participation details, click here. 


» Ontario Minimum Wage Increasing – Plan Your Budget Accordingly

The recent announcement made by the Ministry of Labour to raise minimum wages for workers across the province is in line with Ontario's economic growth plan, as they aim to improve living standards for individuals and working families. The wage increase will officially go into effect October 1, 2017 which will allow businesses and workers room for adjustment. The current wage increase comes after a 2014 legislation change proposed by the Minimum Wage Advisory Panel that suggested minimum wage increases should correspond to Ontario's Consumer Price Index (CPI)-a measure of inflation.

Click here for more information.

» Marijuana Legalization  – Federal Government Set Date July 1, 2018

Ontario provincial government has responded to reports that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will legalize pot by July 1, 2018 revealed little about the province’s strategy to regulate the substance: the Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi said “we have not made any policy decisions,” but noted the province’s cross-ministerial panel on marijuana legalization is focused on public health and protecting youth.

The Finance Minister Charles Sousa said the government plans to divert much of the revenues from pot sales to fund addiction treatment. The Transportation Minister Steve Del Duca said he has “grave concerns about the impact on road safety” related to impaired driving. Government officials said no decisions have been made on the  appropriate age limit for marijuana sales or whether pot will be distributed and sold by the province via the LCBO, or whether it will continue to be sold in private dispensaries. PC MPP Steve Clark said his party is waiting until legislation is tabled to comment. Clark called for continued consultation with the police.

To view recent media on this topic click here.

» Community Accessibility Forums 2017

The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario will be presenting a series of nine regional forums for municipal Accessibility Advisory Committees (AACs) in spring 2017. As you know, in 2017, Ontario will commemorate its 150th anniversary. The theme of the forums is “Accessibility: Honouring the Past, Showcasing the Present and Inspiring the Future.”

The target audience for the forums are  members of municipal AACs and municipal staff who work with and support these committees. As well, we hope to attract community organizations and businesses that provide services to or support people with disabilities.

The forums will provide a legislative update on the progress that the Ontario government is making in implementing the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and making Ontario accessible. It will also give attendees the opportunity to network with their peers and colleagues.

Jim Kyte, a former National Hockey League player with a profound hearing disability, will be the keynote speaker. He is a noted motivational speaker and Dean of the School of Hospitality and Tourism at Algonquin College. Other accessibility champions will also share success stories and personal perspectives of accessibility.  

Registration is now open. Click on the date below to register, or visit and search for “Accessibility Forum” in the city of your choice. Register soon, as spaces are limited.

April 19, 2017, London - Best Western Lamplighter Inn

April 26, 2017, Windsor - University of Windsor

May 3, 2017, Stoney Creek - Liuna Gardens

May 10, 2017, Sault Ste. Marie - Delta Sault Ste. Marie

May 17, 2017, Ottawa - Carleton University (bilingual)

May 23, 2017, Kitchener – Crowne Plaza

June 1, 2017, Toronto - Intercontinental Hotel

June 7, 2017, Sudbury - Radisson Sudbury Hotel

June 14, 2017, Thunder Bay - Victoria Inn

For  more  information  on  the  forums  and  to  register  click  here.

If you need help to register, please contact the Accessibility Directorate  of Ontario at; phone 1-866-515-2025, TTY 1-800-268-7095.

» Ontario Boosting Cultural Tourism in Communities Across the Province

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport

Ontario is supporting 45 art and cultural events that celebrate the province's rich culture and heritage, attract visitors and grow local economies.

Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, made the announcement today at Ryerson University's Ryerson Image Centre, which will host exhibits for the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival--the world's largest photography event. With support from the province, this year's festival will feature Canadian photography at over 200 exhibitions across the Greater Toronto Area and is expected to attract over one million visitors. 

Examples of other projects being funded through the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund (OCAF) include:

  • Franco-Fête 2017, a festival that celebrates Ontario's francophone culture with performances in the Ottawa region.
  • The Confederation Plays, in Toronto, which explore the history of confederation through four key figures: John A. Macdonald, Louis Riel, Wilfred Laurier and Chief Big Bear.
  • A Taste of Greece, a cultural event in London that features traditional Greek dancing and music, including several traditional dance troupes from communities across the province.
  • The Stars and Thunder International Fireworks and Music Festival in Timmins. The eight-day event will include daily musical performances by Indigenous, French and English artists. An international fireworks competition will wrap up the festivities each night.

The Fund helps strengthen cultural tourism, which boosts local economies, creates jobs and draws visitors to communities across the province. This year's recipients also feature initiatives that commemorate Ontario's 150th anniversary and are expected to attract an attendance of approximately four million people. 

To read the complete article click here.

» Complete Your AODA Report on Compliance

This year all sectors – private, non-profit and public – must submit accessibility compliance reports by December 31, 2017.
Learn more about requirements and who has to report at

» Niagara Region to Host 2021 Canada Summer Games

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport

Ontario is pleased to announce that the Canada Games Council has selected Niagara Region to host the 2021 Canada Summer Games. 

In August 2021, Niagara Region will welcome approximately 4,600 athletes from across Canada to compete in 17 sports over the course of two weeks.

The province is supporting Niagara Region to help plan and deliver the Games through the Games Ontario program.

The Canada Summer Games were established as a legacy of the 1967 centennial and are the country's largest multi-sport event for youth. By supporting these Games, the province is providing opportunities for Ontario's amateur athletes to gain the elite competition experience they need to excel on the world stage. 

High-profile sport events like the Canada Summer Games also generate significant economic activity for the host community and help build strong and capable local volunteers.

To read the complete article click here.

» MPPs  Vote  For  Ontario’s  Top  Craft  Beers

Ontario Craft Beers to be highlighted at the Legislative Assembly in 2017/2018

Members of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario gathered at Queen's Park on Monday, March 20, 2017 to sample and vote for their favourite fresh, local Ontario Craft Beers during the 12th annual 

Ontario Craft Brewers' Legislative sampling event.

Hosted by Hon. Dave Levac, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Ontario MPPs and Queen's Park staffers were invited to sample a wide selection of craft beers from 32 craft breweries from 26 ridings across the province and cast their votes in favour of the craft beers to be highlighted at the Legislative Assembly for 2017-2018.

"The annual OCB tasting is one of the highlights of the year at Queen's Park," says Speaker Levac. "MPPs and staff enjoy sampling the amazing variety of beers, voting for their favourites and socializing with local, independent craft brewers."

Voting ballots were given to the guests allowing them to vote for their favourite beers in specific style categories, as below. The winning craft beers of the 12th annual Speaker's tasting event are:

Speaker's Choice: Black Oak Pale Ale, Black Oak Brewing Co.

Ale: Old Credit Amber Ale, Old Credit Brewing Co.

Lager: Beau's Lug Tread, Beau's All Natural Brewing Co.

Stout: Russian Gun Imperial Stout, Grand River Brewing Co.

Pilsner: Steam Whistle Pilsner, Steam Whistle Brewing Co.

Porter: Porter After Nine, Bobcaygeon Brewing Company

Specialty: Skullpucker Dry Hopped Sour Ale, 5 Paddles Brewing Co.

"This is a great opportunity for Ontario Craft Brewers to showcase our premium quality products to government and industry stakeholders," says Garnet Pratt Siddall, president & CEO of Side Launch Brewing Company and chair of Ontario Craft Brewers. "We want to show our appreciation and gratitude to the Ontario government for its support. We continue to create jobs in Ontario communities and the government's ongoing support will move us closer to our goal of having a brewery in every city and town in the province."

Thirty-two Ontario Craft Breweries poured 100 different Ontario Craft Beer brands for government members and staff guests, pairing their samples with delicious hors d'oeuvres made with Ontario ingredients supplied by Saffron Catering Company. The event was sponsored by Policy Concepts Inc. 

» Excise Tax Impact to Licensees – Recent Federal Budget

The following are estimate numbers but accurate enough to give you a sense of overall impacts.

The increase for excise on spirits is $0.07 on a 750 ml bottle of whisky, gin, vodka etc.  When you take into account LCBO mark-up and HST this is about $0.20 on a bottle.  Spirits has the highest excise rate by far.

Wine – the excise increase on a 750 ml is just over a penny and a half.  Total price impact is about $0.02.

Beer – the increase in excise is $0.0062 per litre, so not even a full penny.  On a 24 of 341 ml bottles total price impact is $0.05


The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) administers the Excise Duty taxes through  the Excise Act . All alcoholic beverages full under this act with various tax fee formulas applied to domestic vs  imports and to the different categories in spirits, wine and beer. 


Canadian produced wines utilizing Canadian grown grapes does not pay federal excise tax.  (the excise duty on Canadian wine was eliminated in 2006)


Excise duty is applied through a tier system based on annual production from a brewery without any requirement of brewing domestic grown agricultural ingredients. 


The Excise Duty is applied at $11.696 per litre of absolute alcohol (LAA), which is the equivalent of $3.51 per 750ml bottle of spirit at 40% alcohol by volume (ABV). (rates are listed prior to the recent federal budget increase.


» ORHMA Welcomes New Supplier: Flanagan Foodservice

Proudly Canadian and family-owned, Flanagan's is the largest Canadian owned, independent foodservice distributor in the country. From our early days as a food wholesaler, we've grown to provide full service to more than 6,000 restaurants and foodservice operations across Ontario. To each and every customer, we offer uniquely personalized service, along with the attention to detail, reliability and range of quality products you need to grow your business.

Our success comes from truly understanding the realities and opportunities our customers face every day. Flanagan Foodservice is the flexible alternative for companies like us - personal, progressive and agile.

Click here  to be directed to website.


» ORHMA Responds  Re: Bell & Rogers Sports Programming Changes

As you know Bell and Rogers have both sent notices to restaurants and bars that they will have to pay for sports programming packages separately from other channels they may be paying for. The sports packaging is based on a valid liquor licence and seat capacity. We have heard from Bell that a bar with 100 seats would pay approximately $120.00 per month  for the sport programming plus additional costs for other channels but we know for many of our ORHMA members these costs will be in the thousands.

We are outraged with these policy changes that both Bell and Rogers  have imposed on our members and only giving until April 21, 2017 to notify Bell and Rogers if they are keeping their sports programming.

Bell and Rogers have a firm deadline of May 1, 2017 – if owners and operators of restaurants and bars have not notified of keeping their sports channel they risk disruption and reconnection fees. This new policy from Bell and Rogers is for all of Canada not just Ontario.

It would be rather professional of Bell and Rogers to extend this deadline and phase their changes in so businesses can plan their budgets accordingly  - nobody had a heads up to plan their budgets or seek alternate options for what they provide to their guests for viewing. This is truly an unfortunate additional cost to businesses with a liquor licence.

The attached letter was sent to the Canadian Commissioner of Competition and copied to the Federal Minister responsible for this area regarding Bell and Rogers changing their sports programming packages. We have also contacted CRTC- Bell and Rogers seeking answers and requesting a delay for implementation. We have also spoken to Bell directly and requested a delay and further discussion on cost increases. 

» You’re Invited to the Largest Food Innovation Trade Show in North America

Discover the latest and greatest food innovations & trends at SIAL Canada! ORHMA is an important partner of SIAL Canada and is pleased to offer a very special rate of $40 for the 3 days of the show! ($80 regular price). To take advantage of this special offer, simply use promo code SIALORHMA17 when you register. For more information on this event, click here.


» Ontario Foodservice Sales Growth – January 2017

Stats Canada


Overall Ontario sales for the food services and drinking places industry showed an increase  (+6.88%) from Jan 2016 to Jan 2017 .Total year on year growth is up at (+6.88%).

The full service sales in Jan 2017 showed an increase in growth from the previous year of Jan 2016  by (+5.83%) with limited service posting a increase of (+8.73%).

Drinking  places  showed a increase in growth by (+7.88%) and special food services showed a increase compared with 2016  by (+1.63%).

In the month of Jan 2017 YTD, Full service places revenues increased from Jan 2016 YTD by (+5.83 %) with limited service also showing an increase of  (+8.73%). Drinking places registered a increase of (+7.88%). Special services also increased YTD by (+1.63%).


Sales for the food services and drinking places industry increased (+5.60%) from previous month. In Jan, all 4 of the industry sectors posted increases compared with Dec, Special Food Services sector increased by (+1.90) and Drinking places showed a  increase  of  (+3.50%) The other two remaining sectors showed increases in the same time period. Full Service Restaurants Sector, increased by (+5.20%) and also Limited Service eating places showed an increase of (+7.00%).

  • ·     Flanagan Foodservice Show – Wednesday, April 5, 2017 – Kitchener Memorial Auditorium- 400 East Ave – Kitchener,ON  - 9:00am – 5:00pm  To register click here.

  • OTEC: LX Leadership Foundations 3-day boot camp – April 11 – April 13, 2017 9:00 am – 4:30 pm – OTEC Learning Centre, 21 Four Seasons Place Suite 300 – For more details, click here.

  • Chop Chop Social Media Seminar – Tuesday April 11, 2017 – 9am – 1pm – Hungry Amoo – 74 Ossington Ave, Toronto, Ont – Click here for more info and to register.

  • Community Accessibility Forums 2017 - various locations and dates. Click here for more info and to register.

  • ·     Flanagan  Foodservice  Show – Wednesday April, 26, 2017 – Garson Community Centre – 100 Church Street – Garson, ON – 9:00am – 4:30pm – To register click here. 

  • ORHMA Simcoe Region Hospitality Gala - Thursday April 27, 2017 - Quality Inn Midland. For more details, click here.

  • SIAL Canada Trade Show – May 2-4, 2017 – Enercare Centre – To receive special rate please use Promo Code SIALORHMA17. For more information and to register click here.

  • OTEC: Service Excellence: May 9, 2017 - 9:00 am – 4:30 pm – OTEC Learning Centre, 21 Four Seasons Place Suite 300 – For more details, click here.

  • OTEC: Training and Facilitation Excellence:  May 10-11, 2017 - 9:00 am – 4:30 pm – OTEC Learning Centre, 21 Four Seasons Place Suite 300 – For more details, click here.

  • OTEC: Service Excellence Designated Trainer Program – May 9-11, 2017 9:00 am – 4:30 pm – OTEC Learning Centre, 21 Four Seasons Place Suite 300 – For more details, click here.

  • ORHMA London Region – Annual General Meeting – Tuesday May 16, 2017 – Time 3:30pm – 5:00pm – Courtyard by Marriott

  • ORHMA Annual General Meeting - Tuesday June 20, 2017- Nottawasaga Inn Resort and Conference Centre- For more information, email 

  • ORHMA 14thAnnual Golf Tournament- Save the Date!  Wednesday June 21, 2017 – Nottawasaga Inn Resort and Conference Centre. For participation details, click here.