VICTORIA, BC, May 25, 2011 /CNW/ - Today's changes to the HST amount to
"very little, very late" for the province's restaurant industry and
their customers, according to the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices
"We can't believe that this is the only HST announcement," says CRFA
President and CEO Garth Whyte. "The fact remains that the cost of a
restaurant meal is still going up because of the HST, and to add insult
to injury the government is raising taxes on our members."
Public opinion polls and town hall meetings have clearly shown that
British Columbians recognize the negative impact of the HST on the
restaurant sector. Restaurant sales in British Columbia have been
trailing the rest of Canada since the HST was introduced.
Contrary to the report from the Independent Panel on the HST, which
relied on preliminary Statscan data, restaurant sales in B.C. were flat
( -0.1%) between July 2010 and January 2011, compared to a 1.7%
increase for all of Canada. Excluding British Columbia, sales in the
rest of Canada rose 2.0%.
A survey of CRFA members conducted in March, 2011 found that many
restaurant operators are experiencing more dramatic effects:
Nearly nine in 10 (87%) respondents reported a drop in sales since HST
took effect, with an average decrease of 15% between July 2010 and Jan.
2011 compared to a year earlier.
In the same survey, 68% of B.C. restaurateurs said they will vote
against HST as it is currently structured in the upcoming HST
"Our members will be disappointed that today's announcement contains no
sector specific measures to reduce the unique negative impact of the
tax on BC's restaurant industry," says Mark von Schellwitz, CRFA Vice
President, Western Canada. "Today's announcement does nothing to
convince more restaurant operators to support the HST."
British Columbia's $10-billion restaurant industry is the fourth-largest
private-sector employer, providing 161,000 jobs in communities across
the province, including 75,000 jobs for young people under the age of
CRFA is one of Canada's largest business associations, with more than
30,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions
and other foodservice providers. CRFA works to create an environment
that allows restaurant operators in every community to grow and
SOURCE Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association
For further information:
Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, Communications Specialist, 416-649-4254 or firstname.lastname@example.org