» Labour Issue: Campaigners push for $15 minimum wage in Ontario
Ontario labour groups are hopeful that Premier Kathleen Wynne and her Liberal government will follow Alberta's example to increase minimum wage to $15 an hour. The current minimum wage sits at $11.40 an hour-and less than that for students and liquor servers. Those campaigning for the wage increase believe that it will be beneficial both politically for the Liberal government, as well as for the people relying on minimum wage. The current Ontario minimum wage of $11.40 an hour rises yearly in accordance with inflation rates. Pam Frache, the provincial co-ordinator of the Fight for $15 & Fairness group, has argued in favour of the wage increase despite arguments that a higher minimum wage will hurt Ontario businesses.
Labour Minister Kevin Flynn has stated that the minimum wage is due for review in 2019. He has also expressed that while a minimum wage increase is appealing to the public, the decision would bring "ramifications that go beyond that first initial political appeal." A poll conducted by Forum Research last fall has indicated that two-thirds of Canadians are in favour of a national $15 an hour minimum wage, with 72 per cent approval among federal Liberal voters and 84 per cent among federal NDP voters. Andrea Horwath, the Ontario NDP leader, has expressed her party's support for the $15 minimum wage increase in a speech last April, and said that "if the Liberal government won't do it, then Ontarians will have an opportunity in two years to elect one that will."
» Delivery Charges -Another Ulcer to Hydro Bills
Much has been stated about the Global Adjustment and its impact to businesses. Another deadly expense line showing up on hydro invoices is the delivery charge which is around 30% of the total cost. While the electricity generated is even across the province the delivery charge varies widely according to different rates set by the local hydro distribution centers. These charges do add up as these increase according to usage. There is a change arriving to calculate delivery rates to a flat amount but its eight years away. Ontario’s Hydro One's customers are billed delivery charges according to divisions of urban, medium density and low density (rural). Opportunities exist to remove delivery charges all together.
Here is the distributors list and their various delivery costs:
|| Delivery Rate
|Hydro One - medium density
|Hydro One - low density
| Hydro One - urban
| Horizon Utilities (Hamilton)
| EnWin (Windsor)
| Hydro Ottawa
| Greater Sudbury
| Thunder Bay
| Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro
» ORHMA is Fighting Proposed Toronto Patio Fees
On Monday January 30, ORHMA and members of the Toronto Region participated in consultations with the City of Toronto Municipal Licensing and Standard (MLS) about patio fees in Toronto. The City of Toronto's draft patio fee proposal is available here. ORHMA is very concerned that these fees for some establishments are to increase by up to 1000%. The feedback MLS heard from ORHMA and stakeholders has been extremely helpful, and has been taken into consideration during this review. Furthermore, ORHMA has been in conversations with Mayor Tory’s office who has expressed support of the industry’s views and has voiced his commitment in supporting fee reductions. Although ORHMA members understand the need from MLS to increase the fees, we prefer that the increase to be aligned with the cost of inflation as opposed to driving restaurants to close their patios in Toronto. The feedback MLS heard from stakeholders was extremely helpful, and will be taken carefully into consideration during the review. MLS remains in consultations with ORHMA and we encourage your emails or calls with any questions you may have. Should you have any questions contact us. MLS will prepare a final report for Committee consideration in April 2017. To read more on Patio Fees in Toronto, click here.
» Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Canada’s growing labour shortage is a major problem for the hotel industry. Hoteliers are already finding it difficult to recruit enough workers and the situation is getting worse. In the years ahead, the challenge of finding enough people to fill hotel jobs will intensify. To read more, click here.
» Complimentary AODA Info Session for Hotels & Restaurants
Please join us for this information session to help you understand: Accessibility For Ontarians With Disabilities Act (AODA) and the Employment Standard . You will be given an overview of the Accessible Employment Standard of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), and you will learn about your requirements to make your employment practices more accessible; including how to hire, retain and provide career development opportunities. This will enable you to understand the impact to your business, standards, compliance and the benefits to employers who hire and accommodate people with disabilities. We want to ensure that hospitality operators understand the AODA law and we are here to help. We encourage you to share this invitation broadly within your hospitality industry networks. The information sessions will take place in the following cities for your convenience. Please register according to your location here.
» Greater Toronto Airports Authority Proposes Transit Centre at Pearson Airport
Last week, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority released plans for a proposed transit centre at Toronto Pearson Airport. The proposed centre would be connected to Mississauga bus transit, the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, the Finch West LRT, the Kitchener RER and the province’s future high-speed rail concept. It would be located on airport lands and would also be used for passenger security screening. The GTAA said it has engaged in preliminary discussions with all levels of government about the project, but no funding promises were included in the announcement. To read more, click here.