ADVOCACY & COMPLIANCE TOOLS

Access, knowledge and results are the foundation of ORHMA's government relations activities.  ORHMA represents the industry's interests at all levels of government.  Through our specialized in-house government relations experts, our provincial Board of Directors and our local Regional Boards, the Association provides pertinent and timely advice on industry-specific issues to politicians across the province.

We continue to remain diligent in assisting our members and Ontario's hospitality industry with enquiries while remaining on the frontlines advocating for our sector. 

Current Advocacy 

ORHMA’s Government Relations represents hospitality business interests with the Government of Ontario and to City Halls across the province on issues such as taxation, business regulation, beverage alcohol, labour issues, public health, tourism and municipal by-laws and much more. We lobby all levels of government for policies that favour the overall outlook of your business environment. 

  • Workforce Solutions - Immigration & Workforce Policies: ORHMA continues to advocate for changes on a number of proposed immigration amendments at both provincial and federal levels. This includes changes to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. Driving change to policies to ensure stability in workface coming into the industry and avoid red tape to secure top talent.   

  • Municipal Accommodation Tax – Working to ensure benefits for destination tourism growth.

  • Short Term Rental Accommodations - ORHMA has been a direct participant in establishing a short-term rental framework and has seen success in many Ontario cities including the cities of Toronto and London. Recently, ORHMA has participated in a number of consultations across the province and has submitted recommendations on STR regulations to Norfolk County, Brantford, Windsor, Lambton Shorts, Brampton, Lakeshore, St. Catharine's, Vaughan and more. The goal is to introduce stronger regulations to support enforcement. 

ORHMA WINS

  • Beverage Alcohol Pricing – ORHMA persistently urged government to consider a price reduction for beverage alcohol products purchased through the LCBO as a lifeline to persevere through the negative impacts of the pandemic. As a result, licensees will see a savings of 20% in comparison to retail prices effective January 1, 2022. This is a game changer and major WIN for ORHMA and the hospitality industry.

  •  Beverage Alcohol with Take-Out & Delivery: Following the closure of indoor dining, ORHMA immediately urged government to permit the sale of beverage alcohol with take-out and delivery orders in order to support businesses with increasing their profit margins as much as possible during the lockdown periods. ORHMA was thrilled when government had made this into a permanent service. 

  • Patio Extension: ORHMA has been a key participant to the temporary expansion of outdoor patios commencing in 2020. This initiative which has proven to be a lifeline for Ontario restaurants has now been extended to January 2023. ORHMA continues its discussions with government to make this extension permanent.

  • WSIB Rate Reduction: The hospitality industry in Ontario will see a decrease to their WSIB rates by 10.5%. Legislation has been introduced to flow any WSIB surplus back to businesses. 

  • Credit Card Rates (Canadian Settlement): Canadian Credit Card Settlements: If your business has accepted VISA and Mastercard credit cards between March 23, 2001, and September 2, 2021, you may be eligible to receive money from class actions settlements. The class action suits claimed that VISA and Mastercard conspired to set higher interchange rates and restricted a business ability to surcharge or refuse their higher credit card use. ORHMA signed on to this class action suit back in 2016. 

  • Energy – A portion of renewable energy costs are now funded by the province reducing commercial insurance costs. 

  • Property Tax - ORHMA has been actively pushing for property tax reductions, which is a hot advocacy item on our agenda. ORHMA was an active participant in the reduction of the Business Education Tax (BET) a component of Property Tax. This tax reduction reduced all high BET rates to a rate of 0.88 per cent. This represents a reduction of an average of 30 per cent for the many businesses that were subject to the highest BET rate in the province. We are currently engaged with Ministry of Finance calling for a fair property reassessment to reflect depressed revenues.