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 August 15th , 2017 

» Independent Economic Impact Analysis on Bill 148 & Minimum Wage Increases Released
17,300 Jobs At Risk in Ontario’s Hospitality Industry

ORHMA continues to hear daily from our members on the negative impact that Bill 148, Fair Workplaces Better Jobs Act, 2017 will have on their hospitality business. We are working hard to educate the provincial government on such impacts. The Premier and her Cabinet have denied our ongoing request for an economic impact study – ORHMA together with like minded business associations known as the Keep Ontario Working Coalition (KOW) commissioned and released the first and only independent economic impact analysis of Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces Better Jobs Act, conducted by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA). The study revealed that if the legislation is implemented as currently drafted by the Wynne government, there will be significant, sudden and sizable uncertainty for Ontario jobs, economy and all communities. 

The Keep Ontario Working Coalition’s commissioned analysis by CANCEA concludes that these vast, unprecedented reforms will put about 185,000 jobs at risk, greatly impacting Ontario’s most vulnerable workers. The analysis indicates that if the government proceeds with these vast reforms and unprecedented wage increases too quickly, 185,000 Ontario jobs will be at risk in the immediate future: 

  • 30,000 of the jobs at risk for youth under 25 
  • 96,000 employees at risk are expected to be women 
  • Jobs are not the only expected unintended consequences. There is an expected 50 per cent increase to inflation for this year and the foreseeable future, increasing everyday consumer goods and services by $1,300 per household on average each and every year.

CANCEA was commissioned by the KOW coalition to measure the potential impacts of the six key areas of change in Bill 148, including changes to minimum wages, equal pay, vacation, scheduling, PEL and unionization.  In the coming weeks and months, we will release additional components to the economic impact analysis. 

ORHMA will continue to update members on advocacy efforts to work with government to: 
  • adopt a much longer term plan to reach the $15 per hour minimum wage allowing business able time to prepare for implementation. 
  • freeze the liquor server minimum wage to support the industry and support the many workers who deserve better equity. The issue is unique and an improved system is required.
  • freeze the student minimum wage rate as this worker segment does not fall under poverty group needs. Those under 18 obtain their entry-level job development setting them up for future career paths.

ORHMA’s recommendations to the Provincial Government are available for your review.  News Release and CANCEA presentation are also available for more details. To read more on the Keep Ontario Working Coalition, click here. 

» Electricity & Natural Gas Program - Expires August 18, 2017

November 2017 pricing with ECNG Energy is now available and offer expires August 18, 2017! As an ORHMA member, your business can reap the benefit of a large buying group - regardless of your energy usage. The goal of the program is to provide you with the cost certainty and group buying power.  This program eliminates quarterly fluctuating prices from your local utility and also helps you avoid higher retailer pricing. To view November 2017 pricing, click here.  


» Public Health Inspections Approach to Risk
There have been many inquiries from ORHMA’s members on the criteria Ontario’s public health units are following when conducting food premises inspections. The information provided in the “Risk Categorization of Food Premises Q & A” is issued by the Public Health Division of the Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care and guides the local health units to the risk categorization model initiated in 2015. The “Risk Categorization” Toronto Public Health sample form is utilized by the various health inspectors in assessing the risk of the food premise. For your information a typical “Food Inspection Report” sample is provided.  

» OLG Announces New GTA Service Provider
The Ontario Lottery Gaming Corporation (OLG) selected a service provider for its GTA gaming facilities. Ontario Gaming GTALP, a partnership between British Columbia-based Great Canadian Gaming Corporation and Brookfield Business Partners, will take over day-to-day operations of OLG facilities at Woodbine Racetrack, Ajax Downs and Great Blue Heron Casino in early 2018. Over the course of its 22-year contract, Ontario Gaming will have the opportunity to redevelop the facilities to increase the number of slot machines and to open up table gaming at each site. Pickering, Ajax and Whitby will be battling to host the redeveloped Ajax Downs. Ontario Gaming said it will “deliver expanded gaming options and premier entertainment that will enhance the experience of patrons and contribute to the surrounding communities.” OLG will still regulate gambling compliance standards, provide strategic oversight and manage financial contributions to municipalities and the province. In its statement, the OLG said unionized employees will transfer to Ontario Gaming under the terms of their current collective agreement. See news release for more information.

» Two New Ontario Ridings – Legislation this Fall

The Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi announced he will introduce legislation this fall to create two new Northern Ontario ridings ahead of the next election. This is in response to the final report from the Far North Electoral Boundaries Commission, which recommended improving representation in the province’s two largest ridings: Kenora–Rainy River and Timmins—James Bay. The new ridings, Kiiwetinoong and Mushkegowuk, will represent large Indigenous and Francophone populations. Kiiwetinoong and Mushkegowuk are in addition to the 15 new ridings that were legislated last year and will bring the total number of ridings in the June 2018 election to 124, up from the current 107. See final report for more information.

» Metropolitan Outlook – Forecast

Recently, the Conference Board of Canada’s “Metropolitan Outlook” forecasted moderate 2017 growth in most of Ontario’s mid-size cities. Oshawa is expected to lead the way with 2.5 per cent growth, followed by Windsor with 2  per cent growth. However, the economy is projected to remain sluggish in Sudbury and Thunder Bay, with the latter expected to see just 0.2 per cent growth. For more information, click here.


» Welcome QUASEP: A Group Purchasing Provider

ORHMA is pleased to announce QUASEP as a new commercial member.  QUASEP’s offering delivers ORHMA members with many benefits that enable operators to run their business more efficiently and effectively. Highlights of QUASEP include:  cash rewards on many trusted foodservice name brands, discounts on a wide variety of essential hospitality products and services (including linens, uniforms, catering and merchandising products, office supplies, and maintenance), a weekly communiqué featuring exclusive promotions and program highlights, access to the QUASEP member’s portal, a dedicated locally-based Account Management Team, and a FREE membership. For more information and to read more click here.  Want to get started and take advantage of a free QUASEP membership? Please contact:  Angelo Colalillo, 1.800.331.9433, or visit the QUASEP website 


» Get Up To $2,500 in Refrigeration Upgrades

For restaurants, hotels and motels, refrigeration can represent a significant portion of electricity costs. Toronto Hydro’s Business Refrigeration Incentive (BRI) program is a fast and easy way to upgrade your commercial refrigeration equipment and help reduce energy use. If your business qualifies, you could be eligible for up to $2,500 in rebates.  Contact Toronto Hydro at 416-542-3388 to schedule a free onsite refrigeration energy audit.   READ MORE (please link to

» “Can I Take Your Order?” Make Your Menus Inclusive for Everyone
Accessibility Professionals of Ontario

The Information and Communication section of the Integrated Accessibility Standard clearly states that a business is required to make their public information available in an accessible format upon request, unless an undue hardship prevents this from being possible.  So what does that mean exactly for the restaurant and hospitality sector?  The following are some tips and tricks to help you navigate what can often be a confusing piece of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Read more.

» Is the traditional hotel rating system still relevant?
STAY Ahead Hospitality

In the time of traditional hotels ratings were the best and most important method for guests to evaluate and choose their hotel to stay at. Reputation also played a good part but the ratings system was overwhelmingly important both to the potential guests and the property operators. As years went by they were updated to reflect advances in comfort and technology, but generally speaking still adhered to the main conditions that included cleanliness, maintenance, standards of furniture, physical attributes, degree of comfort and luxury and of course service. To read more, click here. 


» Ontario Adds 25,500 Jobs in July

Ministry of Economic Development & Growth

Ontario's economy continues to perform strongly, adding 25,500 jobs in July. There was an increase of 17,600 full-time jobs and 7,900 part-time jobs. Employment in Ontario is up 137,900 jobs, year over year. The province's unemployment rate has been below the national average for 28 consecutive months. Read more.

  • ORHMA Windsor Region 19th Annual Golf Tournament – Sunday September 10, 2017 – Fox Glen Golf Course – For more details, click here.  
  • Women in Tourism & Hospitality Conference – Monday September 18, 2017, Park Hyatt Hotel, Toronto – For more details, click here. 
  • Yorkville Tour & Networking Reception - Gardiner Museum, 111 Queens Park, Toronto, Tuesday, September 19, 2017 – 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Click here for more details.
  • Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM) Canada West and Canada East – Featuring a full day of networking and education sessions focused on retail facilities management. Canada West Date:Vancouver, BC - Tuesday October 3, 2017 Time: 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM; Canada East Date: Toronto, ON - Thursday October 19, 2017 Time: 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM. To register, click here.