April 13th, 2011
(TORONTO) -- In an election first, Canada’s political parties have identified food policy as a priority for our country. As we debate the future of food in Canada, I am writing on behalf of the over 30,000 members of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association to remind you that Canada’s restaurant industry has an essential role to play – and is too important to ignore.
When you are out on the campaign trail, remember that restaurants aren’t only a good place to stop for a snack and a photo op. Restaurants are major buyers of local food, and our innovative and creative chefs are the ones who really stir up interest in Canadian food products. In addition, restaurants are economic engines in communities across the country. We are the fourth-largest private-sector employer in the country, creating more than 1 million jobs. We generate over $60 billion in annual sales and represent nearly 4% of Canada’s GDP. We are the number one source of first-time jobs and 1 in 5 jobs for youth in Canada is in our sector.
Beyond the economics, we are integral to the social fabric of the country. Restaurants are at the heart of communities across Canada and bring together people of all ages and backgrounds. When Canadians go out with their friends and family, their top activity of choice is dining in a restaurant. And, unlike other industries, restaurants are present in every community across the country.
In this federal election, to our members across Canada the most important question is: Does your party recognize and value the contribution that restaurants make to the economy and communities across Canada?
We are also asking for your views on seven federal issues that impact Canadian restaurants: payroll taxes, red tape, credit card fees, unfair tax treatment under the GST/HST, labour shortage, healthy living, and supply management. I would be pleased to meet with you during this campaign to talk about your party’s vision for Canada’s restaurant industry and to further discuss the issues that this important industry faces.
(original signed by)
President and CEO
Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association
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