With a federal election set for September 20, the Ontario Restaurant, Hotel, and Motel Association (ORHMA) is looking to inform the foodservice and hospitality industry on how the three largest political parties have pledged to support the sector through their party platform.
Foodservice and hospitality still need significant governmental support to aid its recovery from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here’s what the Conservative, Liberal, and New Democratic parties have pledged in their respective party platforms:
The Conservative Party platform commits to:
- Taking immediate action to help the hardest-hit sectors including hospitality and tourism.
- Supporting small businesses and recognize that to rebuild, Canada will need thousands of new small businesses.
- Implementing a national rapid screening program to allow businesses and public institutions to remain open in the face of future variants.
The Conservatives’ plan to get Canadians back to work includes four major initiatives to create jobs:
- Canada Job Surge Plan: paying up to 50 per cent of the salary of new hires for six months following the end of CEWS.
- Canada Investment Accelerator: getting companies spending money and creating jobs by providing a 5 per cent investment tax credit for any capital investment made in 2022 and 2023, with the first $25,000 to be refundable for small business.
- Rebuild Main Street Tax Credit: providing a 25 per cent tax credit on amounts of up to $100,000 that Canadians personally invest in a small business over the next two years, to get money flowing into main street businesses and create jobs.
- Main Street Business Loan: providing loans of up to $200,000 to help small and medium businesses in hospitality, retail, and tourism get back on their feet, with up to 25 per cent forgiven.
The platform also pledges to introduce a Dine and Discover Program that will provide a 50 per cent rebate for food and non-alcoholic drinks purchased for dine-in from Monday to Wednesday for one month once it is safe to do so, pumping nearly $1 billion into this sector.
The Conservatives also promise to eliminate the Liberal escalator tax on alcohol, as well as address credit card and debit card fees by strengthening the Code of Conduct to better protect consumers and small businesses from fraud and things like unwarranted chargebacks that can be devastating for them.
If re-elected, the Liberal Party platform pledges that they will take every step necessary to help hardest-hit businesses like those in hospitality, create middle-class jobs, and ensure no one is left behind in their recovery.
Included in the Libery Party platform are the following commitments:
- Introducing a temporary wage subsidy and rent subsidy stream for sectors like hotels, tour operators, convention centers and festivals experiencing a minimum of 40 per cent revenue loss.
- Granting qualifying businesses in these sectors access to a maximum subsidy rate of up to 75 per cent, commensurate to their revenue loss, in order to help cover fixed costs like wages and rent.
- Making this subsidy available between September 2021 and May 31, 2022.
New Democrats (NDP)
The New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) also unveiled an election platform with a number of commitments to support industry, including:
- Ensuring a continuation of the wage and rent subsidies until small businesses are able to fully reopen, as well as a long-term hiring bonus to pay the employer portion of EI and CPP for new or rehired staff.
- Ending price gouging by capping high credit card merchant fees at a maximum of 1 per cent.