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The major news coming out of last week is the announcement that the federal government will be extending the crucial CEWS and CERS subsidy programs until October 23, 2021. They will also be increasing the rate of support that employers can receive during the period of August 29-September 25, 2021.

A win for our hardest hit sector, this announcement is the direct result of months of sustained and aggressive lobbying on the part of Restaurants Canada through both our grassroots initiatives and influential Restaurant Revival Working Group, and represents an important first step towards securing a sustainable recovery for the foodservice industry.

Meanwhile, as the looming election cycle draws closer, all political parties are starting to test out their campaign messaging. While no date has yet been set, we are working hard to finalize our own election campaign narrative. We will also be preparing to launch our election microsite, encouraging members, suppliers, and anyone impacted by the restaurant industry to contact their local candidates to share their support and our key messages. As a non-partisan non-profit association, we will be sharing our electoral platform with all parties, driving home the reality that the economic and social impacts on our industry will be long-lasting.

Finally, with all jurisdictions nearly open across Canada, we continue to call on authorities to engage with us in developing innovative solutions to protect Canadians, and to ensure that health and safety decisions are made with economic impacts in mind. As provincial governments begin to shift their focus from survival to recovery, we are pushing hard to ensure our industry’s rising labour needs and concerns are met. We will ensure our pre-budget submission reflects the dangerous labour shortages threatening our industry across the country, as we continue to advocate for a national foodservice labour strategy.