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INSIDER   April 28, 2015 pdf version


»  Federal Conservative Budget 2015 - Overview

Last week Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver tabled the 2015 federal budget. This budget is a continuance of the Government's wider economic policy, The Economic Action Plan that began after the 2008 recession.
 
This is the first balanced budget since the recession of 2008, in which the Government began deficit financed spending to drive economic growth.  The surplus for the fiscal year 2015-2016 is projected to be $1.4 billion. This fulfills a key political promise by Prime Minister Harper and the Conservative Party that was made during the beginning of the recession and deficit spending.  While it was expected that the budget would be tabled in February or March, a sudden drop in oil prices led the government to delay tabling the budget until April. 
 
Media and commentators have pointed to two key decisions that they believe helped the Government to achieve the balanced budget: a reduction in the amount of the Government's contingency fund from $3 to $1 billion for the next three years; and the decision to sell the Government's shares in General Motors, which were acquired during the recession in 2009 to help rebuild the automotive manufacturing industry in Canada. The share sale is projected to bring in approximately $2.1 billion in additional revenue. 
 
The country's federal debt will stand at $617 billion in 2015-16, up by approximately $1 billion. The federal debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to fall to 31.2 % in 2015-2016 and 27.9% in 2017-18.
 
The main focus of this budget is a tax package designed to benefit key segments of Canadian society - families and seniors. Income splitting for families, the boost to the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) and the Child Fitness Tax Credit all will reduce the tax burden for families with young children. For seniors, changes to the rules around Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIF) reducing the minimum withdrawal amounts, and the doubling of the Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) contributions allowed annually are expected to help seniors save more money. 
 
Small Business: Minister Oliver will also reduce the small business tax from 11% to 9% and increase the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption to $1 million for owners of farm and fishing businesses. Budget 2015 also commits the Government to decreasing the tax rate for small businesses from 11 to 9% by 2019, via a yearly 0.5% reduction beginning in 2016.  For businesses both small and large, Budget 2015 reaffirms the Government’s commitment to reduce EI premiums in 2017 by instituting a seven-year break even mechanism to ensure that premiums are no higher than the amount that is required to pay for the program.

Announced tax cuts and rebates include:

1. The Family Tax Cut (which allows for limited income splitting);
2. A doubling of the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit to $1,000 (effective for the 2014 taxation year);
3. An increase of the Universal Child Care Benefit to $160 per month from $100 a month for children under six, and a new $60 per month benefit for children aged six to 17 (effective for the 2015 taxation year);
4. A $1,000 increase in each of the maximum dollar amounts that can be claimed under the Child Care Expense Deduction (effective for the 2015 taxation year);
5. A new Home Accessibility Tax Credit, to support renovations that make homes safer for the elderly and the disabled; and
6. An extension of the Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits period from six weeks to six months.

Budget 2015 also increases the contribution limit for Tax Free Savings Accounts to $10,000 per year, which will allow Canadians to shelter more of their savings from taxation.  Similarly, Budget 2015 reduces the minimum amount that seniors aged 71 or older must withdraw from their RRIF each year.

The government has renewed its commitment to spend new money on infrastructure and transit. It will continue to provide $5.35 billion per year for provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure under the New Building Canada Plan. It will also be investing $750 million over two years starting in 2017-18, rising to $1 billion per year following that in a Public Transit Fund. This new fund will be dedicated specifically to transit infrastructure in large cities. The budget also invests in research, development and technology with a new commitment of $1.5 billion over 5 years. 

The Government has committed to expanding the eligibility for low and middle income students with Canada Student Grants, specifically to students in short-duration education programs. The budget will also lower the expected parental contribution under the need assessment process of the Canada Student Loans Program. 
 
Minister Oliver will also table balanced budget legislation requiring future governments to balance budgets with certain exemptions for unforeseen circumstances and recession.

See link for budget details: http://www.fin.gc.ca/n15/15-044-eng.asp

»  Provincial Budget 2015 Highlights

Two days after the Federal Government released its budget, Premier Wynne’s Liberal Government followed. The Ontario budget follows the government’s “activist centre” mantra, with large investments in public infrastructure, as well as new government initiatives designed to support and stimulate private sector job creation in existing and certain new industries the government envisions as part of the new economy.  The budget avoids any major public sector cut while re-affirming the Premier’s commitment to balance the budget by 2017-18. While this year's budget touches on many of the same priorities as the 2014 budget such as economic development, job creation, a provincial retirement pension plan and investments in transportation and infrastructure, it also includes tough austerity measures and less of a focus on creating a more equitable Ontario.
  
Presented by Finance Minister Charles Sousa, the highlight of the budget is a plan to spend more than $130 billion over 10 years on infrastructure projects, of which $11.9 billion is to be delivered in 2015-16.

To pay for this plan, and the other initiatives proposed, the government will divest some provincial assets, drive new revenue from its previously announced new model for beer retailing, undertake an offering of shares in Hydro One and use current funds held in the Trillium Trust from previous asset sales. 

The budget projects government revenues to grow at an average annual rate of 4.3 per cent over the next forecast period. This means total revenue is projected to grow from $124.4 billion in 2015-16 to $134.4 billion in 2017-18.  

The government is still proposing to balance the budget by 2017-18. It projects a deficit of $10.9 billion in 2014-15 – a $1.6 billion improvement compared to the forecast in the 2014 Budget.  Budget 2015 forecasts deficits of $8.5 billion in 2015-16 and $4.8 billion in 2016-17. 

Key new revenues identified in Budget 2015 include: 
  • $4 billion from an initial public offering of approximately 15 per cent of common shares in Hydro One, with additional share sales in subsequent years. 
  • $100 million from changes to the beer distribution model, phased in over four years.  
  • $1.35 billion currently in the Trillium Trust, representing the proceeds of the sale of the province’s shares in General Motors and other divested assets. 

Measures Affecting Business:
Beer Retailing Reform – Changes to the retail of beer in the Province. The new “Beer Framework” will ensure that small licensees will be able to purchase beer through The Beer Store at the same retail price as consumers. Approximately 9,000 small licensees, over half the current licensees in the province, will be able to benefit from this change. The new Beer Framework allows for licensees with annual beer purchases of less than the equivalent of 250 24 packs to purchase beer at The Beer Store retail outlets at the same price as consumers. Up to 450 grocery store locations will be authorized to sell beer across Ontario.
Beer Tax Rates - Ontario is proposing to increase the basic rate of tax payable by purchasers of beer under the Alcohol and Gaming Regulation and Public Protection Act, 1996. The basic rate of tax would increase by 3 cents per litre every year, for a four year period. The increase dates would be November 1 of 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. 
Infrastructure Funding – The government is touting the largest infrastructure funding program in the history of Ontario. Over $130 billion over 10 years in public infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and transit, including $31.5 billion in dedicated funds through the Moving Ontario Forward Plan. The investments are expected to support over 110,000 jobs per year in construction and related industries. 
Cap-and-Trade System – The government will move forward with a cap-and-trade system and its carbon pricing system. Proceeds from this program will be directed toward key priorities that will help lower greenhouse gases. There will be an overall emission limit (the cap) on those facilities included in the program, and methods of rewarding companies under this threshold. 
Jobs and Prosperity Fund – The government is enhancing the fund by a total of $200 million beginning in 2015-16, this is on top of the original $2.5 billion over 10 years that was announced in January 2015. 
Industrial Conservation Initiative – Originally created in 2014, this initiative is aimed at incenting large and medium-sized electricity users to consume electricity in non-peak periods.  Budget 2015 will lower the threshold for qualifying industrial sectors from five megawatts to three. 
Ontario Youth Jobs Strategy – The government will be renewing this plan with an additional $250 million investment over the next two years. The total investment in youth employment programming will be more than $565 million over the next two years. This will serve up to 150,000 clients and focus on skills development, including apprenticeship training, labour market connections, entrepreneurship and innovation.
Auto Insurance – There will be additional initiatives to reduce the cost of auto insurance for consumers, including, lowering the maximum interest rate charged on monthly auto insurance premium payments; prohibiting premium increases for minor at-fault accidents according to particular criteria and requiring that insurers offer a discount for use of winter tires. 
Retirement Security – The government remains committed to moving forward with the creation of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan and are moving forward with creating the administrative body necessary. A voluntary pooled registered pension plan has been introduced. 
Airbnb -The budget references the “sharing economy,” which includes businesses such as Airbnb and Uber. The government said it will help these “vibrant and emerging sectors thrive” by helping them “comply with existing obligations.”
Underground Economy - Combating the underground economy through improved collection of information and analytics and further measures to address contraband tobacco as well as corporate tax avoidance. A new proposal was introduced in this budget by the government to ban the use, manufacture or distribution of election sales technology which allows the user to duck reporting sales records including taxes being paid by the customer – these are known as “zappers”. 

This budget will be debated in the legislature in the days ahead and will pass as the Liberals have a majority. ORHMA will continue to keep you updated on the measures that impact your business. 

For full budget details see link: 
Read the 2015 Ontario Budget 
Read the Budget speech 
Read highlights of the 2015 Ontario Budget 

»  ORHMA Appeared At Queen’s Park Hearing Seeking Amendments on Menu Labelling Legislation

The Standing Committee on General Government had over 180 persons seeking to provide in put into Bill 45 The Healthier Choices Act which includes a prohibition on the electronic cigarettes and legislating menu labelling in the province. ORHMA was picked by the committee to provide comments and we did. Click here to read our remarks.

At the time of publication of this issue The Standing Committee on General Government was meeting for clause-by-clause consideration of Bill 45, An Act to enhance public health by enacting the Healthy Menu Choices Act, 2014 and the Electronic Cigarettes Act, 2014 and by amending the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. ORHMA will continue to be at the table seeking input into this legislation. Once clause by clause is complete this bill will return to the legislature for third reading.

»  Municipal Affairs - Street food Vending – City of Toronto Update


Last week the City of Toronto Municipal Licensing Standards (MLS) Committee had a meeting to discuss LS3.1 Chapter 740 Street Vending – One year review. Both Tony Elenis and I attended. Tony was a registered speaker and provided comments – he was drilled by the Councillors on proximity as almost all supported less distance between a food truck and a restaurant. Councillor Matlow drove the need to revise proximity– he was obtaining support through the Mayor’s office and the meeting took 4 hours to iron out changes – it was brutal to watch two years of stakeholder consultations fizzle within minutes – politicians wanted relaxed rules.
 
Prior to Committee meeting ORHMA – ORHMA Toronto Region had met and or spoken to all the Councillors that are on the MLS Committee – we knew there was a risk of losing the 50 m proximity from bricks and mortar. In our meeting with the The Mayor he had told us to our face that he was very supportive of relaxing this requirement within the bylaw – he strongly believes in the free market and competition as a good thing. 

The staff at MLS have all along agreed with ORHMA – ORHMA Toronto Region that there is a need for proximity but nobody anywhere has a study to justify one way or the other what the exact distance requirements should be. City of Hamilton has 30 m – City of Calgary has 25m - Yesterday in a much heated debate both sides agreed begrudgingly on 30 m. This item will proceed to Council May 5th and or 6th. We have been told that the 30 m will have support to proceed at Council. The 30 m proximity will allow for approximately 900 food truck locations – this is an estimate by MLS.
 
Folks this could have been 15 m or 25 m – we negotiated long and hard – neither side of this debate is satisfied.

Licensing and Standards Committee
Item: LS3.1 Chapter 740, Street Food Vending – 
Amended 50m proximity – 30m
 
Committee VOTE Yes: Councillors Palacio Karygiannis, De Baermaeker, Di Giorgio; Matlow 
Committee VOTE No: Councillor Mammoliti (he was a restaurant owner in the past and did not want to see chaos)
Councilllors: Shelley Carrol; Mary-Margaret McMahon both spoke supporting change in proximity.
 
See link for more details: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2015.LS3.1
 
ORHMA in the Media:

»  Tourism Gains from the Federal Budget 

Federal Minister Joe Oliver's first budget in this role made commitments to grow much required tourism support. "Economic Action Plan 2015 proposes to provide additional support to the Canadian Tourism Commission to embark on a new marketing campaign in the United States, in partnership with the tourism industry. Details will be announced in the coming months. Canada’s tourism sector is an important contributor to our economy, comprising 178,000 businesses across Canada in industries such as transportation, accommodation, food and beverage services, recreation and entertainment, and travel services.

Building on the Canadian Tourism Commission’s strong track record of marketing Canada to visitors from all over the world, Economic Action Plan 2015 proposes to provide additional support for the Commission to lead a new initiative, in partnership with the tourism industry, to promote Canada to travellers from the United States. This targeted campaign is expected to attract a larger number of American visitors to destinations across Canada, helping to promote economic activity and job creation in the tourism sector. Details will be provided in the coming months after the Government consults with important stakeholders in the tourism sector.” 

This sets the tone to the much prompted "Connecting America" promotional campaign much covered by ORHMA in many presentations and stated in previous newsletters. 

The time is right as our biggest feeder market and bordering this country is attributed to critical shortfalls to Ontario's and Canada's tourism revenues failed to a grand scale by the hospitality industry. There are now over $120 m US citizens with passports- this is 100% over the number of passport users back in 2001. Off course the U.S. Economic recovery is a huge boost.  All good even though funding details have not been announced. 

Moreover in addition to trade, infrastructure and transportation improvements the announcement on Electronic Travel Authorization will be extended to Brazil and Mexico. The budget on this is $15.7 million over five years.  A smart decision to support traffic growth from two of our promising emerging nations.

The budget will also reduce the small business tax from 11% to 9% . 

Not much has been announced on the temporary foreign workers program or better stated a sustainable program which the Hotel Association of Canada has been working. Stay tune on this one. 

The country's federal debt will stand at $617 billion in 2015-16, up by approximately $1 billion. The federal debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to fall to 31.2 % in 2015-2016 and 27.9% in 2017-18.
 
The budget is balanced, with a projected surplus of $1.4 billion this year, increasing to $4.8 billion in 2019-20. Hooray! 

»  Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP; Bill 56)

Ontario’s proposed pension plan has been moving along with public hearings in committee ending on March 31. Along with ORHMA most of the speakers at the public hearings continued to be against this proposal. One amendment has passed that of requiring the Minister of Finance to provide the Legislature with a cost benefit analysis by the end of 2015.

Third Reading debate on Bill 56 in the legislature started on April 27th with a goal to pass the bill by the second week of May. There will be two additional Bill’s that will lead to enactment of the ORPP.  The plan is expected to begin on January 1, 2017. 

See ORHMA’s presentation here.

»  OEB Sets New Summer Electricity Prices for Households and Small Businesses

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) announced new time-of-use (TOU) electricity prices for households and small businesses starting May 1. The price is increasing by approximately $5.71 per month on the “Electricity” line, and about 4.6% on the total bill, for a household that consumes 800 kWh per month.

Increased costs from Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) nuclear and hydro-electric power plants make up about half of this increase. Costs from new generation sources are another driver, representing about one-third of the increase.

The OEB is also introducing a new 2:1 ratio between on- and off-peak prices that will benefit customers who shift their use to the cheapest time period. The new off-peak price is half the cost of the on-peak price.

This means customers who shift use to evenings and weekends will see a greater reward for doing so. Through recent OEB consumer research, Ontarians have signaled a need for pricing that provides greater incentives to conserve. Giving customers incentives and opportunities to reduce their bills by shifting their time of electricity use is a key objective of the OEB’s price plan.

This ratio shift was also recommended by Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner who called on the OEB to significantly widen the peak to off-peak price differential in his 2014 Annual energy conservation report, Planning to Conserve. The 2014 Annual Report of the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario also noted that the former ratio may not be sufficient to encourage ratepayers to shift their electricity use behaviour.

New summer TOU hours will also take effect May 1. This chart outlines TOU prices and the times they are effective as of May 1, 2015:

Category

Time(s) – Summer

(May 1-Oct 31)

Price

Change

Off-peak

Weekdays 7p.m.-7a.m.

All day weekends and holidays

8.0¢/kWh

( ↑ 0.3¢)

Mid-peak

Weekdays 7-11a.m. and 5-7p.m.

12.2¢/kWh

( ↑ 0.8¢)

On-Peak

Weekdays 11a.m.-5p.m.

16.1¢/kWh

( ↑ 2.1¢)


The OEB reviews electricity prices twice each year based on updated cost forecasts and they are designed to recover the actual cost of electricity. The forecast includes a number of variables, like estimated changes in the total cost of power from Ontario’s diverse mix of generating stations. Key elements of the Independent Electricity System Operator’s outlook for the power system over the next 18 months, such as forecasts of electricity demand and of new generation sources coming online, are also factored in.

If you have concerns with your cost of energy, please call Fatima Finnegan at the Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association at 905.361.0268 or 800.668.8906.  

»  Union Pearson Express to Launch June 6

Ontario Newsroom, Office of the Premier - New Service Will Strengthen the Economy, Ease Congestion, Foster Tourism and Create Jobs 

Union Pearson Express (UP Express) will go into service June 6, giving people a fast, reliable option for travelling between Toronto Pearson International Airport and the city's downtown core.

Premier Kathleen Wynne made the announcement today while taking part in the inaugural ride on the dedicated express train. The service will launch in time to serve visitors to the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.

The government is investing more than $130 billion over 10 years in public infrastructure, the largest infrastructure investment in Ontario's history.

UP Express is one of $16 billion worth of projects underway to modernize transit infrastructure in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

Through Moving Ontario Forward, the government is investing an additional $31.5 billion over 10 years to build transit, transportation and other priority infrastructure inside and outside the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, supporting over 20,000 jobs per year on average in construction and related industries. On April 16 the government announced it is able to enhance funding for Moving Ontario Forward because it is acting on recommendations from Ed Clark's review of government assets. This will unlock $4 billion, every dollar of which would be set aside for transit and transportation infrastructure.

With the launch of UP Express, Toronto will join the ranks of global cities with a seamless airport-to-downtown connection -- enhancing the region's competitive advantage, reducing gridlock and promoting tourism. The trip between Canada's two busiest transportation hubs will take just 25 minutes, and trains will depart every 15 minutes.

Making the largest infrastructure investment in Ontario's history is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan. Click here to read more.

»  Ontario Unlocking Value in LCBO Lands

Ontario Newsroom, Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure - Proceeds will fund Infrastructure across Ontario

Ontario is one step closer to unlocking value from the LCBO head office lands including over 11 acres of waterfront real estate in downtown Toronto.

A Stage 1 request for proposals (RFP) was issued by the government in September 2014 for the sale of the site, which includes the LCBO head office, warehouse and the Queens Quay store. The Stage 1 period has closed and the proposals are now under review.  The next stage in the process will see a shortlist of proponents established later this spring, who will be invited to submit bids in Stage 2 of the RFP process.

The RFP requires the final purchaser to provide the LCBO with a new head office and downtown retail store to lease. The LCBO retail store must be in a new building in the Queens Quay area.

Net proceeds generated from the sale will be directed into the Trillium Trust, which helps fund roads, bridges, transit, transportation and other key infrastructure projects across the province.  On April 16, 2015, Ontario moved ahead with its plan to unlock the value of certain public assets. This will provide the province with approximately $4 billion to build new transit and other priority infrastructure projects through Moving Ontario Forward.

Investing more than $130 billion over 10 years in public infrastructure - the largest infrastructure investment in the province's history - is part of the government's plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan. Click here to read more.

»  Ontario Takes Another Step to Close the Gender Wage Gap

Ontario Newsroom, Ministry of Labour - Province Appoints Steering Committee to Inform New Strategy

Ontario has appointed a new Steering Committee to lead the development of a wage gap strategy that will work to close the wage gap between men and women.  The Steering Committee members are:
  • Linda Davis, Past-President of the Business and Professional Women's Clubs of Ontario
  • Dr. Parbudyal Singh, leading expert in human resource management and labour relations
  • Emanuela Heyninck, Ontario's Pay Equity Commissioner
  • Nancy Austin, Executive Lead for the Ministry of Labour

The gender wage gap is a complex issue caused by many factors including workplace discrimination, unequal gender representation in the workplace and a higher proportion of caregiver responsibilities falling to women. All women across the economic spectrum are affected by the wage gap, but the gap is more pronounced for women who are minorities, Aboriginal, newcomers, or living with disabilities.

  • This year the committee will consult with diverse groups across the province to:
  • Examine how the role of women at work, in their family, and in their community is affected by the gender wage gap
  • Understand how the gender wage gap specifically affects women in the workforce across the economic spectrum
  • Assess ways in which government, business, labour, other organizations, and individual leaders can work together to address the conditions and the systemic barriers that contribute to the wage gap
  • Understand other factors that intersect with gender to compound the wage gap and determine how those factors should be addressed

The committee will report back to government in early 2016 with the results of their consultations and with recommendations that will help shape the province's Gender Wage Gap Strategy.

Closing the wage gap between men and women is part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire. Click here to read more.

»  Premier Wynne to sell 60% of Hydro One

Ontario Newsroom, Office of the Premier - Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the government is adopting recommendations from the Premier's Advisory Council on Government Assets, chaired by Ed Clark, and is unlocking the value of certain public assets. By modernizing alcohol sales and broadening the ownership of Hydro One, Wynne said the province can pay off Hydro One’s debts and generate $4 billion that will be set aside for infrastructure investments.

Ontario's Liberal government has announced that they will sell 60 per cent of electricity utility provider Hydro One to the private sector. Hydro One will be sold with an initial public offering of 15 per cent on the stock market.  Valued up to $15-billion on the open market, selling 60 per cent of Hydro One would raise $9-billion, of which $5 billion would be used to pay off the electricity system debt and $4-billion put into the Trillium Trust for transit and infrastructure projects.


 Brampton Hydro One will be sold as a separate company to a group of local distribution companies: PowerStream Holdings Inc., Enersource Corporation, and Horizon Utilities.  These four companies will merge and the Ontario government will receive either $607 million in cash or a 17 per cent stake in the new company.
 
The Premier maintains that the government will retain a 40 per cent stake and minority shareholders will be limited to 10 per cent ownership.  Canada's major banks, pension funds, and foreign firms like the U.S. holding company Berkshire Hathaway have expressed interest in purchasing portions of Hydro One, which currently owns 97 per cent of the province's transmission grid.
 
The idea to sell Hydro One comes from a published report by the Premier's Advisory Council on Government Assets, a government-appointed panel chaired by former President and CEO of TD Bank Ed Clark.  Wynne said the government will introduce legislation this spring that would, if passed which it likely with a majority government, guarantee that net proceeds from the ownership changes to Hydro One and any net proceeds from the merger will go to the Trillium Trust and be used to finance transit, transportation and other priority infrastructure projects across the province. Click here to read more. 

»  New Employment Standards Poster (v6.0) Coming May 1, 2015

Ontario Ministry of Labour - On May 1, 2015, a new version of the Ministry of Labour’s Employment Standards Poster will be published (version 6.0).  This replaces version 5.0.  

The poster describes important rights and requirements under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and must be posted in the workplace where it is likely that employees will see it.  If the majority language in the workplace is something other than English and the ministry has published a version in that language, the employer must post a translated version next to the English version. 

An employer who is required to post the poster and who fails to post version 6.0 on or after May 1, 2015 would be in violation of the ESA.

How can I get copies of the new poster?
As of May 1, 2015, version 6.0 will be available in English and French at Ontario.ca/ESAposter and for the cost of shipping and handling from ServiceOntario Publications, 1-800-668-9938. 

Multilingual versions will be available at Ontario.ca/employmentrights.

»  WSIB Rate Framework Reform 

The much anticipated Rate Framework is drafted and now in the consultation stage. Once adopted essentially will change the Schedule 1 classifications and the way premium rates are set. The Secondary Injury and Enhancement Fund (“SIEF”) and experience rating programs will be eliminated while changing claims management by employers.  These are very important proposed changes. 

This reform stems out of the Stanley report which dealt with recommendations to straighten WSIB including taking care of and eliminating its unfunded liability.   

Goals of this Reform: 
  • Employers Pay a Fair Share for Workplace Coverage 
  • Balance Premium Rate Stability and Responsiveness
  • Simplify the Process for All to Understand it and be Involved 

At its implementation this reform will see 22 classes being introduced eliminating the existing system’s  800 plus classification units. The 22 classes follow the North American Industry Classification System (“NAICS”). The new system will see each employer have one single account versus today’s multi accounts.  The premiums are meant to be adjusted by risk guidance in the past six years of claim experience and insurable earnings. Risk models are being adopted by various government compliance departments including the AGCO.  Employers will be classified according to their risk. The current experience rating programs in NEER, CAD 7 and MAP will be terminated.  

Key Items in the Reform to be considered: 
  • NAICS structure as an suitable grouping of employers
  • The 22 proposed classes – the elimination of two Hospitality Industry classes (919-Catering & Foodservice and 921-Hotels,Motels and Camping) and introduction of a new class named Leisure and Hospitality
  • Long dormancy costs  shared equally by all employers as a collective cost, or be charged to the individual employer;
  • Unfunded liability and its calculated elimination – can lead to premium rate reductions 
  • Time taken for claims experience - class premium rate setting purposes
  • Establishing rate bands under the proposed six past years – is the time frame correct as it sets the risk model
  • Yearly employer rate fluctuations Rate -  employer protection   
  • Surcharging employers – methodology and if it should continue   
  • SIEF relevancy  under the new proposed Rate Framework.

The ORHMA is part of the consultation process and is asking for comments on the proposed WSIB Reform. Employers can also participate and submit written submissions directly to WSIB. 

Working group sessions are held in April and May for employer and worker groups. The submission deadline is June 30th 2015 click here for more information

»  Are You Ready? Conference

A free one-day conference that will explore the Games as a catalyst for advancing accessible tourism. The conference will feature innovative business leaders and accessibility advocates, networking opportunities and real-life stories.

Thursday, May 7, 2015
Networking breakfast: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Panel discussions and keynotes: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Building a Movement reception: 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Ryerson Athletic Centre
50 Carlton St., Toronto

Why Participate?
  • Learn how improved accessibility positively impacts the bottom line. 
  • Learn how businesses can be promoted on the TORONTO 2015 tourism portal. 
  • Connect with members of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee, accessibility experts, athletes and other business leaders. 
  • Be part of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games legacy.

For more information, please contact: areyouready@toronto2015.org
Conference is free! Reserve your space.

»  ORHMA’s 12th Annual Provincial Golf Tournament

Join the Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) for our 12th annual golf tournament on Tuesday, June 2nd at Lionhead Golf and Country Club in Mississauga. It promises to be a memorable event – and one of your best opportunities to reach the leaders and opinion-influencers in Ontario’s hospitality industry.

You can register as a player, bring a foursome, sponsor a tee or be a title sponsor so that your company has prime exposure to people who matter to your business’s success.

We expect 144 members to attend this year’s tournament and encourage you to register early. We hope to see you there!  Access the registration package here: www.orhma.com/2015golf.aspx 

»  ORHMA Invites You for the Third Edition of SIAL Canada in Toronto 

The International Food and Beverage tradeshow, will take place at the Direct Energy Centre, form April 28 to 30, 2015. The Toronto edition promises to be a source of inspiration and innovation for the entire agri-food industry. 

With 800 exhibitors coming 45 countries, SIAL Canada also features incredible events and activities, including:

Cheese by SIAL workshops: Come and attend a semi-private tasting of four different kinds of cheese matched to wine and beer. It will be an hour well worth it! 

Click here to register now and Benefit from a complimentary badge . Use the Code orhma15 to register online.

»  Industry Events
  • May 04, 2015 ORHMA London Hospitality Awards. Click here for more information.
  • May 06, 2015 – Save the Date! ORHMA Waterloo Region Annual General Meeting, Delta Waterloo, 110 Erb Street West, Waterloo, ON N2L 0C6.
  • May 07, 2015 – ORHMA Simcoe Region Annual General Meeting, 3:30 pm at Monte Carlo Inn, 81 Hart Drive in Barrie. Click here for more information.
  • May 11, 2015 – Save the Date!  ORHMA Toronto Region Annual General Meeting, Details TBA
  • May 11, 2015 – Save the Date!  ORHMA Windsor/Essex Region Annual General Meeting. 6:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn & Suites Ambassador Bridge, 1855 Huron Church Road, Windsor, ON. Click here for more information.
  • May 12, 2015 – ORHMA London Region AGM. 3:30 - 5:00 pm at Idlewyld Inn and Spa. Click here for more information.
  • May 14, 2015  - ORHMA Ottawa Region AGM. 9:00 a.m. at Restaurant Interational - Algonquin College, 1385 Woodroffe Avenue, Ottawa. Click here for more information.
  • June 01, 2015 – ORHMA’s Provincial Annual General Meeting – Save the Date!
  • June 02, 2015 – ORHMA’s 12th Annual Provincial Golf Tournament, Lionhead Golf & Country Club. Click here for registration package and sponsorship opportunities.       

Other Industry Events       
  • April 28-30, 2015 - The Third Edition of SIAL Canada in Toronto, The International Food and Beverage tradeshow, will take place at the Direct Energy Centre. Click here to register now and Benefit from a complimentary badge. Use the Code orhma15 to register online.
  • April 30, 2015 - Baker & McKenzie LLP’s The Human Rights Code Webinar. Topics covered include Protections Relating to Hiring, Discrimination, Harassment, and The Anatomy of a OHRT Complaint and Recent Developments. Click here to register.
  • May 05, 2015 – OTEC Service Excellence Workshop (Full day - Toronto) – provides participants with industry-leading skills and tools to create exceptional service experiences, gain customer loyalty and learn customer recovery techniques (register online)
  • May 05-07, 2015 – OTEC Service Excellence Designated Trainer Program (Full day - Toronto). This three day workshop covers everything you need to know to deliver OTEC’s industry-leading Service Excellence workshop within your organization, including information on adult learning principles and how to create a learner centric environment (register online)
  • June 25, 2015 – Save the Date - 61st annual GTHA/ Tourism Toronto Golf Tournament. Click here for more information. 
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