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 June 6 , 2017 

» Come Golf With Your Industry Pals 

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 Updating Labour Laws & Committed to $15.00 Minimum Wage by 2019

Last week, in a campaign-style speech, surrounded by union members and workers’ rights advocates, Premier Kathleen Wynne betrayed the hospitality industry and promised to increase Ontario’s minimum wage to $15, if her government is re-elected. This is a 32% increase within 18 months, with an increase to $14 by 2018 and $15 by 2019. Wynne said the labour market and economy are failing many Ontarians, noting that new technologies and automation continue to put jobs at risk. She said the role of government is not to let the market “sort it out,” but is to take a stand “to ensure that the people of Ontario are given every chance to thrive and achieve their potential during this time of dramatic change." Wynne mentioned the risk President Donald Trump poses to Canada’s important trade relationship with the United States, requiring government action that is “bolder and better” during these volatile times. Wynne said Ontario must ”double down” on its strong economy and balanced budget in order to create more new jobs and must “protect the wages and the well-being of [Ontarians] by being bold and inventive.” Wynne is also ensuring equal pay for part-time workers and increasing the minimum vacation entitlement as part of a major labour overhaul. To see Wynne’s speech, click here

MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE: Premier Kathleen Wynne made the announcement in response to a government-commissioned report that included 173 recommendations addressing precarious work. The report didn't examine the minimum wage, which is currently indexed to inflation and had been set to rise from $11.40 to $11.60 in October (and remains so). She says the minimum wage will increase to $14 an hour on Jan. 1, 2018 and will rise to $15 by 2019. About 30 per cent of Ontario workers currently make less than $15 an hour.

The special minimum wage rates for liquor servers, students under 18, hunting and fishing guides, and homeworkers will be maintained, and will increase by the same percentage as the general minimum wage. Subsequent minimum wage increases after January 1, 2019 would continue to be tied to Ontario’s Consumer Price Index, providing reliable annual increases for workers and predictability for businesses.

Minimum Wage Categories

Current to Sept. 30, 2017

Oct. 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2017

Jan. 1, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018

Jan 1 2019 to Sept. 30, 2019

General Minimum Wage

$11.40 per hour





Students under 18 who work not more than 28 hours per week when school is in session, or work during a school break or summer holidays

$10.70 per hour





Liquor Servers

$9.90 per hour




Equal Pay


Wynne also announced that part-time workers will get equal pay for doing work equal to full-time staff.




In yesterday’s announcement, Wynne noted the minimum vacation entitlement will be increased. Instead of getting two weeks of vacation, workers will be able to get three weeks of paid vacation a year after five years of employment with a company.




Wynne included provisions for scheduling. The changes to workplace laws will change the rules for scheduling, including making employers pay three hours of wages if they cancel a shift with fewer than 48 hours notice.


Personal Emergency Leave


Wynne believes employees have the right to take up to 10 days of personal emergency leave each year, two of them paid.

Wynne did not include joint employer or provisions that specifically target the franchise industry or franchise business model. Although franchising specifically was not targeted, the government's proposals do contain a number of provisions which will have an impact on Ontario businesses. Those include: Card check certification for the building services sector, home care, and community services industry (CFA will reach out to these segments of our membership separately)

There are other elements to her plan. She heard that enforcement is key to making this work -- so they are stepping that up.

To read more on the announced changes, click here. 

MEDIA: ORHMA and various members provided the media with comments on these policies. We also circulated a press release and interviewed by media.

ORHMA has submitted a letter on this matter to the Premier, Minister Flynn and Cabinet Ministers. See letter attached. We will be submitting further comment in the coming days.

See government announcement for more details. 

As you know we are part of the Keep Ontario Working Coalition made up of several like minded business associations. See press release from the Keep Ontario Working Coalition regarding today’s announcement attached.

TIMING: The province will introduce legislation with these policies and others in the Fall 2017 – they will consult at first reading – ORHMA remains participating in several discussions with all elected officials and staff to educate them and seek an economic analysis on the impact these policies will have on the restaurants, hotels and accommodations in Ontario. We are searching for an Economist that can be subjective on the impact this will have in Ontario.

RESPONSE: We continue to encourage you to reach out to your MPP and let them know how these new policies will impact your business. We would like to hear from you too – send us an email about how the $15.00 minimum wage and other new labour laws will impact you and your business.

ORHMA will continue to work with the coalition and other like minded associations to advocate opposing such drastic costly changes. 

» Ontario Labour Legislation Introduced – Legislates New Minimum Wage
Bill 148, Fair Workplaces & Better Jobs Act
Ministry of Labour

On the last day of the legislature sitting Ontario’s Labour Minister Kevin Flynn  introduced Bill 148, Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs Act. The bill legislates the increase to the minimum wage and other government responses to the Changing Workplaces Review introduced earlier last week. Bill 148 was referred to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, which was given permission from the House to meet over the summer to study the bill. The House voted unanimously to grant the workplace reform legislation first reading. For more information, see legislation

Legislation timing:
  • The committed  will meet June 22 and/or  23 to decide hearing dates for this summer.
  • The legislation will then appear back in the legislature September 2017 for 2nd reading.
  • It may or may not go back to committee for clause by clause before 3rd reading that is determined by the liberal government.
  • See below a list of committee members – we will meet with them advocate with you on these policies.

Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs


Peter Milczyn 
LIB / Etobicoke--Lakeshore


Ann Hoggarth 
LIB / Barrie


Yvan Baker 
LIB / Etobicoke Centre
Toby Barrett 
PC / Haldimand--Norfolk
Han Dong 
LIB / Trinity--Spadina

·Victor Fedeli
PC / Nipissing

 Harinder Malhi 
LIB / Brampton--Springdale

·Cristina Martins 
LIB / Davenport

·John Vanthof 
NDP / Timiskaming—Cochrane 

» Wynne’s  Liberals Lose The  Sault Ste. Marie Byelection

On Thursday June 1, after a sweeping victory in Sault Ste. Marie, Ross Romano is Ontario’s newest MPP. Romano finished with 40.3 per cent of the vote. This is the fifth by-election the PCs have won under leader Patrick Brown. The party has not won an election in this riding since 1981. NDP candidate Joe Krmpotich finished in second, seven points down from Romano with 33 per cent of the vote. The Liberal Party failed to retain the seat held by David Orazietti for 13 years. Candidate Debbie Amaroso received 22 per cent of the vote. Voters cast 5,919 in favour of Amaroso, just over half of the 10,391 votes cast for Romano. Krmpotich received 8,535 votes. NDP leader Andrea Horwath said, “the much bigger fight lies ahead” in 2018 and that Krmpotich will not stop fighting for Sault families.

This is a blow to Premier Kathleen Wynne who spent the last six weeks dolling out voter-friendly programs, like the Fair Hydro Plan and the $15 minimum wage. In a statement Wynne congratulated Romano on his win, but added that by-elections are always tough contests for governing parties and that the Sault is a riding that has changed hands many times. 

» Ontario Legislature Adjourns For The Summer

Last Thursday June 1, 2017 the Ontario legislature adjourned for the summer. The fall session is scheduled for September 11, 2017. The provincial government passed several bills along with introducing BILL 148, FAIR WORKPLACES & BETTER JOBS ACT.

The following 12 government bills passed third reading since the budget was tabled:

  • Bill 39, Aggregate Resources and Mining Modernization Act;
  • Bill 65, Safer School Zones Act;
  • Bill 68, Modernizing Ontario’s Municipal Legislation Act;
  • Bill 84, Medical Assistance in Dying Statute Law Amendment Act;
  • Bill 87, Protecting Patients Act;
  • Bill 89, Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act;
  • Bill 96, Anti-Human Trafficking Act;
  • Bill 114, Anti-Racism Act;
  • Bill 124, Rental Fairness Act;
  • Bill 127, Stronger, Healthier Ontario Act (Budget Measures);
  • Bill 132, Fair Hydro Act; and
  • Bill 134, Budget Measures Act (Housing Price Stability and Ontario Seniors Public Transit Tax Credit).

» Government's proposed amendment to WSIA re Chronic Mental Stress

In response to the Government of Ontario’s proposed amendments to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (WSIA) to include coverage for work-related chronic mental stress, the WSIB has developed a proposed service delivery model and is seeking feedback on the supporting draft policy. To assist stakeholders to understand the WSIB’s proposed approach to implementing this proposed legislative change, a background document  has been developed.   

» Ontario Releases Food & Organic Waste Discussion Paper

The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change is developing a Food and Organic Waste framework to reduce the volume of food and organic wastes ending up in the disposal stream. The province’s Climate Change Action Plan and the Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario: Building the Circular Economy commits the ministry to develop an action plan. The ministry is in the process of developing a framework which will include an action plan and a policy statement to reduce food and organic wastes. ORHMA is part of the MOE stakeholder working group on this matter – we have participated in various discussions and want to ensure this is a voluntary measure not a mandatory policy. We would like to hear from you on the paper attached – please let us know your thoughts on this as the government is seeking to have a framework in place by end of 2017.

Today, the ministry released a discussion paper on addressing food and organic waste in Ontario. The intent of this document is to provide an early opportunity for input into the framework on the following discussion topics:

1.      The Scope of the Food and Organic Waste Framework
2.      Actions to reduce food and organic wastes going to disposal
3.      Actions to support processing capacity and end-markets for food and organic wastes

For additional details, please visit the Environmental Registry here

» Environmental Commissioner of Ontario Released Report

The Environmental Commissioner Dianne Saxe released a report on the energy and climate footprint of municipal water use in Ontario. The report entitled “Every Drop Counts: Reducing the Energy and Climate Footprint of Ontario’s Water Use” found that water and wastewater systems account for almost 40 per cent of municipal energy use and represent $260 million in energy costs.   The Environmental Commissioner said in order to stop costs from increasing, the province and municipalities need to install more efficient pumps, adopt high-efficiency water fixtures and target summer outdoor water use. Saxe also recommended more municipalities consider converting their wastewater plants into facilities that can generate energy from the biogas contained in sewage sludge. This approach is used in Denmark and Sweden and systems are in the early stages in Hamilton,  London, Stratford and Simcoe County, as well as the Toronto Zoo. To read more, click here.


» You Got the Power - Event for Hospitality Operators
You’re invited to join the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), in partnership with the Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA), the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) and the Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM) for the You Got the Power event.

June 14, 2017
7:30 am to 3:15pm
International Centre
6900 Airport Road, Toronto
Come learn how you can save energy, manage your utility costs and help your business.  Hear about the latest in energy efficiency programs in Ontario and about available training and support.

Learn from your peers about their energy efficiency projects, how they got them approved and what some of the added benefits were.
Meet and network with other retail and hospitality operators and put the “face-to-the-name” with the province’s largest local hydro companies and gas distributors.
The business case for energy efficiency is clear – it cuts costs. Investing in energy-efficient equipment upgrades and energy management practices can also lead to many additional benefits like increasing sales, customer and employee comfort and contributing to corporate sustainability goals.
There is no cost to attend.
This event is open to retail and hospitality operators only and seats are limited. To register, click here. 


» The big brand battles over what a hotel room should look like.
Stephen Ayers, STAY Ahead Hospitality

A very interesting article by Tammy La Gorce in the New York Times on May 26th got me thinking again about the state of our industry and the ‘infighting’ that is going on to design the ‘best possible’ room  for the new generations of guests. Tammy states that with more than 500, yes, you read correctly, five hundred hotel brands operating in the global markets, there are ‘smaller and smaller slices of the market for hotels to capture’. To read more, click here.  


New $10 Commemorative Note Now Available

Starting today, 1 June 2017, the $10 bank note marking Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation is now available to Canadians through their financial institutions.

The Canada 150 bank note celebrates Confederation with a unique design depicting our history, land and culture.

40 million notes will be issued and will circulate alongside the existing $10 note.  As this note is being issued in limited volume and may be retained by Canadians, circulation may be limited. Retailers should contact their equipment suppliers or manufacturers with any questions about machine compatibility. 

This commemorative note has some new security features and others that are similar to those of the current Polymer series notes.  These features make the note easy to check and difficult to counterfeit. 

Visit the Bank of Canada’s website for educational tools to help you recognize this historic addition to Canada’s currency. 


» Ontario Foodservice Sales Growth – March 2017


Overall Ontario sales for the food services and drinking places industry showed an increase (+10.42%) from Mar 2016 to Mar 2017 .Total year on year growth is up at (+8.42%).

The full service sales in Mar 2017 showed an increase in growth from the previous year of Mar 2016  by (+14.69%) with limited service posting an increase of (+8.12%).

Drinking  places showed an increase in growth by (+8.74%) and special food services showed an increase compared with 2016  by (+4.68%).

In the month of Mar 2017 YTD, Full service places revenues increased from Mar 2016  YTD  by (+10.60%) with limited service also showing an increase of (+8.04%). Drinking places registered an increase of (+8.16%). Special services showed an increase YTD  by (+0.79%).


Sales for the food services and drinking places industry increased (+3.60%) from the previous month. In Mar,2 of the industry sectors posted increases compared with Feb. Special Food Services sector decreased by (-1.00) and Drinking places also showed a decrease of (-1.90%) 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 (+3.40%).

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

  • Changing Workplaces Review: ORHMA Speaker Event/ Information Session: Thursday June 8, 2017, 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM, Liberty North, Barrie. To RSVP, email 
  • You Got the Power - Event for Hospitality Operators - June 14, 2017 - International Centre - 7:30 am to 3:15pm - For more information, click here. 

  • ORHMA Provincial Annual General Meeting - Tuesday June 20, 2017- Nottawasaga Inn Resort and Conference Centre. All members welcome- For more information, click here. 

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