TORONTO, May 24, 2012 /CNW/ -
May 24, 2012
The Honourable Gerry Ritz, PC, MP Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
1341 Baseline Road
Tower 7, Floor 9, Room 149
I am writing to you today on behalf of Canada's $63-billion restaurant
industry to express our concern over your government's $12 million
subsidy to a frozen pizza manufacturer's factory in London, Ont.
Canada's restaurant owners are already disadvantaged in comparison to
frozen pizza manufacturers because of unfair federal policies:
A two-tiered pricing system exists under Canada's supply management
system. The restaurant industry's fresh pizza makers are forced to pay
about 30 per cent more for the very same cheese as frozen pizza
Since 1989 when frozen pizza manufacturers were granted access to
significantly cheaper priced mozzarella under the special category 5A
Class, restaurants have struggled to compete with lower cost frozen
To add insult to injury, frozen pizza manufacturers get a second break
as their products escape HST at retail stores, which gives them a
double price advantage.
The restaurant industry recognizes the importance of job creation to the
Canadian economy and communities across the country. As the fourth
largest private-sector employer in Canada, the industry directly
employs more than one million people -- more Canadians than real estate
and leasing, agriculture, mining/oil extraction, forestry and
automotive manufacturing combined.
We create jobs and play a key role in the economy in every community
across Canada. We do this without handouts or special assistance from
government. Our members are deeply troubled that your government is
using tax dollars, paid by our members, as a direct subsidy to their
competitors who threaten their market share and ongoing businesses
viability. This is on top of the $7-million subsidy this same pizza
manufacturer received from the Government of Ontario last year.
Your government's announcement today may be good news for this
foreign-based multinational, but it is precisely the opposite for CRFA
members. They are asking why is your government so ready to give
multi-million-dollar taxpayer handouts to their competitors, while a
"Made in Canada" policy penalizes them.
We have been asking your government for some time for a genuine review
of the supply management system and the introduction of fair dairy
pricing for domestic restaurant operators who are competing for their
livelihood and the local jobs they support - in London, Ont. and in
every community across the country.
I look forward to an opportunity to meet with you to discuss this issue
in more detail.
President and CEO
The Honourable Maxime Bernier
Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)
The Honourable Gary Goodyear, PC, MP
Minister of State, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern
Mr. Joe Preston, MP, Riding of Elgin-Middlesex-London
Mr. Ed Holder, MP, Riding of London West
Ms. Susan Truppe, MP, Riding of London North Centre
SOURCE Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association