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 October 4, 2016 pdf version

»Ontario’s Hospitality Industry – Unfair Hydro Expenses

Energy expenses in Ontario’s hospitality industry remain to be a heavy burden; a burden that punishes and steals from a business’s success. ORHMA views the government’s recent incentive announcements lame and not going far enough to address a serious and unfair issue.  ORHMA will continue to raise this matter with the province until it is addressed. Please click here to read a letter sent by Tony Elenis, President & CEO of ORHMA, to the Minister of Energy calling for real support. 

»Labour Laws Under Review in Ontario– Get Involved!

The Ontario government is conducting a review of labour relations and employment standards legislation with a view to changes that will have a significant detrimental impact on your business. This is a critically important issue not only for our industry, but for the entire business and employer community. You’re being asked to get involved at the grassroots level to help influence the government’s decisions on the proposed labour law policy options.

As a local business owner and employer, you are in the best position to inform your Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) about the negative impact the proposed changes will have on your business and your employees. Your involvement in our grassroots advocacy efforts will be a significant factor in achieving the outcomes we are seeking. This Call-to-Action contains simple, step-by-step guidance on how to lobby your MPP and engage other local business owners. 

Your immediate action on this issue is extremely important. You have a key role to play in educating your local Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) on the potential impacts of these reforms on your business and employees. Meeting with your MPP is the most high impact way for you to influence what the government does. You are strongly encouraged to meet and speak directly with your MPP about your concerns with the proposed changes. If there are extenuating reasons why you can’t meet with your MPP, you can outline your concerns in a letter, but this is a far less effective approach. 

Your engagement will reinforce the efforts of industry associations and other companies, and will show MPPs that the business community across the province are gravely concerned. Collective action at all levels and across all sectors of the business community are essential to defeating these proposals. Many of our members are engaged and more need to be involved and creating awareness of the impact or concerns you have on labour laws that are being changed.

We ask that you take action in the following ways:

1. Support the KOW (Keep Ontario Working) employer coalition at 
  • enter your email address and click on “Become a Supporter” to join the coalition
  • click on “Take Action” and then click on “Send a Letter to Government” to let your MPP, the Premier, and the Labour Minister know you have concerns with some of the policy proposals under consideration

2. Meet with your MPP 
  • raise your concerns directly with your MPP - customize the meeting request template and speaking points included in this package

3. If you can’t meet with your MPP, outline your concerns in writing - customize the letter template included in this package. 

4. Engage other business owners 
  • reach out to other business owners and encourage them to get involved 
  • work through employer groups in your community (e.g., your local Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, etc.) and participate in additional activities such as group meetings, business roundtables etc.

5.  Report back on your activities
  • share information on your activities and MPP responses with us so we can support you with any needed follow up and gauge our impact at the MPP level – your feedback helps inform the industry’s strategy and ongoing activities

Thank you for your engagement and action. See the guide for your reference and use. Please know ORHMA is advocating and participating in many government meetings to ensure your voice is heard but with your help we can be louder and make a difference.

»Ontario Continuing to Increase Minimum Wage
Ministry of Labour 

Please see the government news release regarding new minimum wage rates that come into effect October 1, 2016. 

»Closing the Gender Wage Gap 
Ministry of Labour

New mandate letters have been sent by the Premier to the Cabinet Ministers laying out the government's goals uniquely written for the responsibility of each Minister. 

The letter to Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour, includes the need of a plan to close the gender wage gap in Ontario by spring 2018.  Currently a 30% gap exists between genders with male workers in the lead. While no details have yet to be announced the plan will end up affecting employer compensation practices likely driven through the Employment Standards Act (ESA).  

»Licensees- Submitting a Temporary Extension Application

Temporary extensions allow licensees the opportunity to serve alcohol in places not usually licensed. This includes outdoor areas such as a sidewalk or street adjacent to the licensed premises. Temporary extensions are customarily requested by licensees to hold special events or to participate in a community festival. A temporary extension may be granted for a specific event but will not be granted to an applicant who is waiting for the issuance of a permanent liquor sales licence.
The Registrar of Alcohol and Gaming may approve a temporary physical extension (indoors or outdoors) for a period of fourteen (14) days or less, if the extension is adjacent to the premises to which the licence applies.

Some helpful tips: 

  • A single notification letter outlining the details of your event can be submitted to the AGCO indicating local building, fire, health and police departments have been notified accordingly (individual letters to these departments are not required). 
  • Applications must be signed by the licensee or a manager who has signing authority. The application cannot be signed by a transfer applicant. Only one signature is required from a director or officer of a corporation. 
  • Applications for temporary extensions to be held outdoors require a letter of non-objection from the municipal clerk in the related municipality. While applications will be accepted without this letter the temporary extension will not be issued until a non-objection letter from the municipal clerk is received. 

For further information on temporary extensions please, refer to the AGCO web page or call AGCO Customer Service at 1-800-522-2876 or 416-326-8700.

»Ontario Liberals’ huge green energy about-face shows renewables aren’t so doable after all
Terence Corcoran – Financial Post 

One should never underestimate the ability of politicians to convert massive policy failure into a dazzling display of green concern for the welfare of voters. That’s the trick now being attempted by the Liberal government of Ontario as it begins to unravel parts of its financially disastrous green energy program.

To read the complete article, click here. 


»Canada: Consumer Price Index, August 2016

Food prices were up 1.1% year over year in August, after rising 1.6% in July. Prices for food purchased from stores recorded their smallest year-over-year gain since June 2010, up 0.4% in August. On a year-over-year basis, the meat index decreased in August, after increasing in July, and the fresh fruit index posted its first decline since December 2013. Prices for food purchased from restaurants rose 2.5% year over year in August, following a 2.7% gain in July. Click here to read more. 

»International Visitation Growth 

Statistics Canada

The latest figures released by Statistics Canada show a booming year for international visits to Canada and Ontario. Overnight visitation year on year comparisons for the first seven months of 2016 are up 11% for Canada and 11.8% growth for Ontario. Travel from the USA as well as China, Korea and Mexico showed strong gains. Travel growth is now nearing the 2000 visitor numbers that have not recovered since Sept 11th  2001. 

Domestic travel by Canadian Residents are positive. Residents of Canada year on year visitations for the first seven months of 2016 to the USA dropped by 14.6 % while 13.1% less Ontarians traveled south of the border. 

»Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators

This user friendly, interactive tool has been updated with data from July 2016. 
• Border Crossings
• Accommodation Statistics
• Travel Price Index
• Economic Indicators
• Consumer Response Indicators

The Current Performance Tool is available here. 


»Energy Into Action

Energy Into Action was held September 21st at the International Centre, Mississauga and brought together almost 900 attendees including customers, vendors, contractors and utilities working in  the electricity and gas sector. This year included  a new component - EIA Innovation and Continuous Energy Improvement Awards. This represents the first time companies were recognized for their efforts as an entire facility and/or organization by both electricity and gas.  Companies were nominated by their utilities for both innovation and the ability to create a culture of conservation at their location, hopefully inspiring the process of doing even more with innovative and creative ways to save energy or retrofitting existing equipment and systems at their facility.

Nottawasaga Inn Resort was the winner from PowerStream territory in  the large  Commercial category. PowerStream’s  Raegan Bond, VP of Conservation and Demand Management & Robert Gregoris, Sales Specialist presented the award to  Raymond Bongiorno, Engineering Manager .

Congratulations Raymond and team for being an energy conservation champion and leader!


»Join the 1000+ Businesses Like Yours Who Have Made The Change
PowerStream and Collus PowerStream 

Small businesses like yours are now enjoying a more efficient refrigeration system, improved lighting, less moisture (frost or “sweat”), and best of all - lower electricity costs every month. How? By upgrading their commercial refrigeration system for FREE with up to $2,500 in upgrades from the Business Refrigeration Incentives program.

We do all of the work from start to finish. We know that running your business is hard work, leaving you with little time or budget to worry about energy efficiency – so leave all of the arrangements to us.

Your competition is already saving on average $100 per month from this FREE program, and you can too. Call us at 1-855-215-8063 or visit to get started. No sweat.


  • EquipHotel Show- Paris, France -- November 6 – 10, 2016 – For more information, visit website.

  • Ontario Tourism Summit – November 21-22, 2016 – The Westin Ottawa – For more information and to register click here.

  • Goodlife Fitness – Health & Wellness Leadership SummitNovember 28, 2016 – Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 9am – 4pm. Register today and save 40% with Promo Code ORHMA

  • The Canadian Food & Drink Summit November 28 & 29, 2016 – Toronto, Ontario – Marriott Eaton Centre – Register today and use code PRM5 for a ORHMA member discount or register via email.