Restaurants Canada statement on Temporary Foreign Worker Program suspension

TORONTO, April 25, 2014 /CNW/ - Restaurants Canada (formerly the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association) is disappointed with Minister Kenney's decision to suspend the Temporary Foreign Worker Program for the food services sector, and is committed to working with the federal government to correct any abuses, restore the integrity of the program and expedite our sector's access to it in regions of severe labour shortages.

The restaurant industry employs 1.1 million Canadians and is the number one source of first-time jobs for young people. About 2 per cent of the industry's employees are temporary foreign workers. In areas of the country with severe labour shortages, the TFW program is vital, allowing restaurants to remain in business, and to continue to provide jobs for their Canadian employees.

The majority of restaurant operators using the program operate in complete compliance and it is unfortunate that their businesses and employees will be hurt by this broad-stroke approach. Albertans in particular will remember what it was like a few years ago to find restaurants closed because of a shortage of workers.

Restaurants Canada provides its members with ongoing updates and checklists to facilitate their compliance with TFWP requirements, and will continue to work with Minister Kenney and its members to ensure the future viability of the program.

Restaurants Canada (formerly the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association) is a national association comprising 30,000 businesses in every segment of the foodservice industry, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and their suppliers. Through advocacy, research, and member programs and services, Restaurants Canada is dedicated to helping its members in every community grow and prosper.  

Canada's restaurant industry directly employs more than 1.1 million Canadians, contributes $68 billion a year to the Canadian economy, and serves more than 18 million customers every day.

SOURCE Restaurants Canada

For further information:

Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, Communications Specialist, 416-649-4254 or pvasanthakumar@restaurantscanada.org; Joyce Reynolds, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs, 416-649-4219 or jreynolds@restaurantscanada.org