New rules essentially keep Temporary Foreign Worker Program moratorium on for restaurants

TORONTO, June 20, 2014 /CNW/ - The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) moratorium on the foodservice industry is over in an official capacity only. Government's new changes to the program will make it unavailable or cost-prohibitive to employers, essentially keeping the moratorium in effect.

"We appreciate the TFW program will be technically available, but are concerned by the impact of these changes on our members, their employees and their customers," said Garth Whyte, President and CEO of Restaurants Canada. "In areas of the country where restaurant owners cannot find enough Canadian workers, there will be business casualties that will put Canadians out of a job.  The significantly higher costs for restaurateurs will also force them to raise menu prices for customers. It's currently a no-win situation."

Restaurants Canada is urging government to come up with a national labour strategy that addresses key problems in the Canadian job market, including the mismatch of Canadians available for work with areas suffering labour shortages, and the changing demographics of the Canadian workforce that make it hard to fill vacancies at all skill levels.

"We're challenging government to work with us to address systemic labour shortages instead of putting up more barriers," said Whyte. "We need a labour strategy that allows restaurant operators, many of whom are small businesses, to  affordably hire staff, while ensuring every Canadian who wants a job is employed. We are a people industry. We are ready to do our part and work hard to resolve these pressing issues."

Restaurants Canada 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: MEDIA CONTACTS: Jill Holroyd, Senior Vice President Communications and Research, 416-738-7134. Monday, June 23 onward, please contact Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, Communications Specialist, at 1-800-387-5649 or pvasanthakumar@restaurantscanada.org., http://www.crfa.ca