Media Statement - McDonald's Canada response to CBC's The National

TORONTO, April 25, 2014 /CNW/ - On April 24, 2014 CBC News' The National aired edited segments of a confidential conference call between McDonald's Canada President and CEO, John Betts, and company franchisees.

The call was scheduled by McDonald's Canada to discuss, with candour, our concerns about the use of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in our restaurants, the immediate and effective steps we were taking to address any issues and to express our deep concerns about media coverage by the CBC.

McDonald's Canada has built a strong reputation for being open, honest and transparent in all our communications and dialogue with consumers.  We do not shy away from accepting responsibility and taking ownership in areas where we can do better.  We recognize that we have work to do to make things right with regard to our use of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

From the very outset, McDonald's Canada has acted swiftly and forcefully to investigate and address any and all allegations.  We do not tolerate any misuse of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, any breach of employment standards or any infractions of any kind against our employees. McDonald's Canada immediately launched a comprehensive review of our corporate and franchised restaurants that use the program and earlier this week announced our decision to voluntarily freeze all Labour Market Opinions (LMOs) on a temporary basis.  We are also engaging an independent third party audit of all our corporate and franchised restaurants that employ temporary foreign workers.

McDonald's Canada is a responsible, ethical and caring employer. We have demonstrated this clearly in our actions in this matter. McDonald's hires Canadians first. We have a longstanding track record of job creation in Canada, with 85,000 employees across the country. Most importantly, we are committed to helping thousands of young Canadians every year find the critical first job experience that can launch a career.

McDonald's Canada is deeply disappointed by the reckless disregard of the facts and absence of basic fairness shown by the CBC. The CBC has continually misrepresented our employees and ignored its responsibility to provide objective and balanced reporting to the public. Throughout, we have cooperated with the CBC to assist the accuracy of its coverage but the CBC has repeatedly omitted facts and pertinent information provided by McDonald's. Instead, the CBC has relied on a handful of disgruntled individuals, mostly ex-employees, to attempt to tarnish the reputation of one of Canada's leading employers.

We strongly object to the CBC's coverage of this issue and have previously expressed our views to their Ombudsman.  Where McDonald's Canada has made mistakes, we have admitted them openly and acted promptly to repair them. We sincerely believe that a few isolated incidents across our system have been exaggerated by the CBC to serve its own agenda rather than the public interest.

Canadians deserve all the real facts in this matter and Canadians also deserve better from their national broadcaster.

SOURCE McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Ltd.

For further information:

McDonald's Media Relations
tel:1-877-786-3342