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A major stakeholder in the industry, the GTHA works closely with the Provincial and Municipal levels of government to represent the interests of our members and build a successful tourism and accommodation sector in the Greater Toronto Area.

  • Accessibility
  • Approved Destination Status

    Approved Destination Status

    Travel to Canada by Chinese citizens will get a boost with the formal signing of the Approved Destination Status (ADS) agreement with China in June 2010. Canada will now be able to market directly to tour groups in China leading to an exciting new opportunity to grow tourism in the GTA through one of the world’s fastest growing outbound tourism markets. In 2012, visits to Canada by Chinese citizens were up 15.5 per cent from the year before, for a total of 273,000 visitors.

    Resources

    The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) has produced the Canadian Hospitality for Chinese Guests Guide - a comprehensive look at the impact that Chinese leisure travellers are expected to have including cultural characteristics and travel demographics. Click here for the Guide

  • Beverage Alcohol
    • Beverage Alcohol

      The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is responsible for administering the Liquor Licence Act (LLA) that covers most aspects of Ontario's beverage alcohol laws. These laws provide the regulatory requirements for responsible sale and service of beverage alcohol in the province. The AGCO is also responsible for overseeing the administration of Special Occasion Permits (SOPs).

      The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), which is responsible for the retail sale of beverage alcohol at Ontario government stores, issues SOPs on behalf of the AGCO. The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), which is responsible for the retail sale of beverage alcohol at Ontario government stores, issues SOPs on behalf of the AGCO.

      Liquor Licence Act Regulatory Changes Now in Effect as of June 2011.

      A series of amendments to Ontario’s liquor laws (Regulation 719 of the Liquor Licence Act) are now in effect. More detailed information is available here.

      Smoking now banned on outdoor patios in Ontario

      The Ontario government has announced a ban on smoking at outdoor patio bars and restaurants, whether covered or not. This law became effective January 1, 2015.

      A restaurant or bar patio is defined as an area:

      • • The public can access to eat food or drink beverages, for a fee or at no cost.
      • • Where food or drinks are served, sold or offered by employees.
      • • That is not a private home.

      Regulations under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act prohibits smoking tobacco in all enclosed workplaces and enclosed public places as well as other designated places in Ontario. Read more here.

      Resources:

    • Special Occassion Permits

      Special Occassion Permits

      The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), which is responsible for the retail sale of beverage alcohol at Ontario government stores, issues SOPs on behalf of the AGCO. SOPs are required for occasional events such as weddings and receptions where beverage alcohol will be served and/or sold. Permit applications must be submitted to a Liquor Control Board of Ontario permit-issuing store 30 days before the event takes place, except for indoor reception events that only require 10 days.A Special Occasion Permit ("SOP") is required if you are planning to sell or serve liquor at special occasions, such as weddings, charity fundraisers and receptions. SOPs are available for any type of location other than a residence, but common areas of multiple unit residential buildings are not disqualified. It is unnecessary to obtain an SOP if an event is already being conducted under the authority of a caterer´s endorsement.

      Application Process for SOP's

      Permit applications must be submitted to a LCBO permit issuing store 30 days before the event takes place except for indoor reception events which require only 10 days notice. For outdoor events, the permit holder must at least 21 days prior to the event.

      Once a Special Occasion Permit is issued, all liquor for the event must be purchased with the SOP at the LCBO, The Beer Store or any Winery, Brewery or Distillery Store. All receipts of liquor purchases under the permit must be available at the event. You must also post your permit at the bar area during your function. If it is a sale event, the levy receipt must be posted as well.

      Application for a Special Occasion Permit and Instruction Sheet.

      Credit Card Slip to include with Application.

      Process for Liquor Sales Licence Endorsements

      Information and the application for Caterer's, Room Service, Mini-Bar and Bring Your Own Wine endorsements is available on the AGCO website here.

      Other Liquor Licence Info:

      Changing your drink pricing during the day

      The AGCO provides flexibility when it comes to changing your drink prices during the business day. There is no limit on the number of times licensees can change drink prices in their establishments, however, when licensees do so, there are some important things to remember. For information please read the AGCO Licence Bulletin available here.

      Resources:

      For further questions contact the AGCO at 416-326-8700, toll free 1-800-522-2876 or access the AGCO website.

    • Liquor Licences

      Liquor Licences

      Liquor licences are issued by the Registrar of Alcohol and Gaming, including Special Occasion Permits issued by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. A Liquour Sales Licence endorsement is for on-premise sale, service and consumption of beverage alcohol. (e.g., at bars, restaurants, hotels, etc.).

      Types of Liquor Sales Licences

      The AGCO issues eight (8) types of endorsements, seven of which allow liquor sales licensees to sell and serve alcohol under specific conditions. Endorsements are additions to the liquor sales licence. Licensees may hold more than one endorsement but endorsements are only valid when combined with an active liquor sales licence.

      Mini-Bar Endorsement:

      A mini-bar endorsement permits the sale of beverage alcohol from a mini-bar dispenser in a room rented by guests in a hotel or motel which has licensed premises.

      Room Service Endorsement:

      A room service endorsement permits the sale and service of beverage alcohol to persons registered as guests in a facility that rents overnight accommodation such as a hotel or motel provided the facility has a liquor sales licence.

      Bring Your Own Wine Endorsement:

      A bring-your-own wine endorsement authorizes the holder of a liquor sales licence for a restaurant or for a banquet room located in a hotel or motel to permit patrons to bring unopened bottles of commercially made wine into the restaurant or banquet room to which the licence applies, for their own consumption. Detailed information on Bring Your Own Wine endorsements can be found here.

      More types of Liquor Sales Licence Endorsements.

      Application for a Liquour Sales Licence Endorsement.

      Hotel/Motel Lobby Areas

      Liquor may now be sold, served and consumed in hotel and motel lobbies that have been licensed. A specific regulatory exemption now permits the lobbies of hotels and motels to be covered by a liquor sales licence, including having them added to existing licences. More information can be found here.

      Resources

      ANNOUNCEMENTS

      Liquor sales licence applications to be posted online as of September 30th - Tuesday, September 10, 2013

      Effective September 30th, 2013, The AGCO will no longer require posting of newspaper ads to inform communities about a liquor application, as they will now be able to obtain this information from the AGCO’s website. Placarding in the storefront windows of establishments is unchanged. For more information read here.

      Changes to Liquor Laws - Friday, August 12, 2011

      Attorney General Chris Bentley is proposing changes to Ontario’s alcohol laws that will remove barriers and restrictions for special events, festivals, and licensed establishments, including allowing all-inclusive vacation packages to be sold in Ontario. The GTHA is participating in the consultation process. The Ministry is interested in hearing your feedback. Responses can be sent directly to the Ministry at consultwithus@ontario.ca For more information read the Ministry press release and backgrounder.

    • Medical Marijuana

      Medical Marijuana

      On September 19, 2011, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal released its decision on the use of medical marijuana in licensed establishments. Section 45(2) of Regulation 719 of the Liquor Licence Act, states: “The licence holder shall not permit a person to hold,offer for sale, sell, distribute or consume a controlled substance as defined in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Canada) on the premises or in the adjacent washrooms, liquor and food preparation areas and storage areas under the exclusive control of the licence holder.”

      The Tribunal found that while licensed medical marijuana users may keep marijuana in their possession at a liquor sales licensed establishment, they are not entitled to smoke marijuana anywhere at the establishment (including a patio, whether covered or uncovered) because of the potential effects of sidestream marijuana smoke on other persons. The result of this decision is that a liquor sales licensee must not permit any patron to smoke marijuana at his/her establishment, regardless of whether or not the patron possesses a medical marijuana licence, and permitting marijuana use is likely to lead to an administrative sanction against the licence.

      The result of this decision means the following for liquor sales licensees:

      1. The prohibitions against permitting illegal drugs in a licensed establishment continue to apply, and liquor sales licensees must not permit illegal drugs to be used or to be possessed.

      2. A liquor sales licensee must not permit any person to consume marijuana anywhere at his/her establishment (including washrooms, patios, etc.), regardless of whether or not the person possesses a medical marijuana licence from Health Canada.

      3. A liquor sales licensee must not permit any person to possess marijuana at his/her establishment. The only exception where a person may possess marijuana in a licensed establishment is when that person can produce a medical marijuana licence issued by Health Canada. Liquor sales licensees must ask to see the medical marijuana licence, and if it is not produced and/or the liquor sales licensee is not satisfied that it is valid for that person, the person cannot stay on the premises.

      Resources:

      Alochol & Gaming Commission Website

    • Mandatory Signage Requirement - Sandy's Law

      Mandatory Signage Requirement - Sandy's Law

      MANDATORY Alcohol Warning Signage

      Due to amendments to the Liquor License Act, effective February 1, 2005 ALL licensed establishments are required to post signs warning that consuming alcohol during pregnancy may result in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The warning sign must be at least 8 by 10 inches in size. It must be prominently displayed in all locations where beverage alcohol is sold or served. Failure to comply with the signage requirements is an offence under the Liquor License Act.

      All restaurants and bars licensed to sell and serve beverage alcohol, all retail stores permitted to sell beverage alcohol (i.e., LCBO, The Beer Store, wine, beer and spirits manufacturers’ stores), and licensed brew-on-facilities are required to post the warning signs. The signs must be posted in English and may be posted in French, and may be displayed in colour or in black and white.

      The Sandy's Law Warning SIgns (English) are available in Black & White here and in Colour. here. French language signs are availible here.

      Resources: For more information please contact the AGCO at 416.326.8700, or by email at Licensing@agco.ca Website: http://www.agco.on.ca/en/whatwedo/signs_sandyslaw.aspx

    • New Alcohol Licensing Changes

      Ontario Expanding Beer Sales to Grocery Stores

      Ontario is moving ahead with its plan to unlock the value of certain public assets to help support unprecedented investments in transit, transportation and other priority infrastructure projects through the Moving Ontario Forward plan. This represents the largest infrastructure investment in Ontario's history.

      In the biggest change since the repeal of prohibition, Ontario is expanding beer sales to up to an additional 450 locations across the province to give Ontarians more convenience and choice, while maintaining a strong commitment to social responsibility. The province will also broaden the ownership of Hydro One to create lasting public benefits and ongoing public protections. Read more here.

  • Emergency Preparedness and Management
  • Finance
    • GTHA Budget Releases

      2015 Provincial Budget

      Budget 2015 Makes Largest Infrastructure Investment in Ontario's History- Government Is Building Ontario Up, Growing the Economy and Creating Jobs. See news release here.

      Read the 2015 Ontario Budget here.

      2014 Provincial Budget

      2014 Ontario Budget Lays Out Plan to Create Jobs and Grow the Economy, Build Modern Transit and Infrastructure, and Help Ontarians with Their Retirement. Read press release here.

      See 2014 Budget here.

      2013 Provincial Budget

      Ontario's 2013 Budget — A Prosperous and Fair Ontario — makes smart investments that will strengthen the economy, helps create jobs for youth and takes action to eliminate the deficit by 2017-18. Read Press Release here. See 2013 Provincial Budget here.

      2013 Federal Budget

      The full Federal budget is available here. The Hotel Association of Canada released the following analysis of the Federal Budget.

      Summary of the 2013 Federal Budget

      Funding for the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) is status quo. The CTC is not mentioned nor is tourism marketing. There is some good news in the budget on Visas in expediting visitors to Canada and the processing of applicants under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. In addition our sector will benefit from the new Canada Building Plan.

      The new federal budget was tabled in Parliament today. It can be characterized as “Staying the Course” towards a balanced budget in 2015 by eliminating the $26 billion deficit to coincide with the next federal election on October 19, 2015. The Harper Government had two objectives in this budget namely to cut the deficit while continuing to spend in its priority areas – infrastructure, manufacturing and skills training. It contains no increases in taxes and no cuts to provincial transfers.

      Canadian Tourism Commission

      Federal funding for the Canadian Tourism Commission remains at $58 million. It is disappointing that the government is not yet recognizing the vital role that marketing plays in our international competitiveness by enhancing this funding. We are following up with the Minister of Finance and the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism indicating that we are missing a golden opportunity that would result in new investment and jobs throughout Canada. We will continue to press the Government to create a success-based funding model for the Canadian Tourism Commission.

      Visas

      The Minister of Finance announced the Government is implementing an “Electronic Travel Authorization System to improve screening of all Visa exempt foreign nationals (excluding US citizens).” This is welcome and encouraging news.

      In addition the Department of Citizenship and Immigration appears to have received the green light to collect fees for Visa processing. “The budget proposes to enable the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to set fees in a timely and efficient manner.”

      Temporary Resident Program or Temporary Foreign Worker Program

      Our industry is heavily dependent on this program. We have strongly advocated that Government commit the necessary resources to enhance and expedite processing. Today the Minister announced $42 million of new money over two years to meet the growing demand under the Program. “Each year, Canada typically welcomes over 1 million tourists, temporary foreign workers and foreign students. These individuals play an important role in fostering Canadian economic development through tourism, trade, commerce, and educational and research activities.”

      Canada Building Fund

      The new Canada Building Fund is a ten year $53.5 billion fund set up to assist in federal, provincial and municipal infrastructure projects. It includes the Community Improvement Fund which now includes tourism. The list of eligible projects has been expanded to include highways, local and regional airports, culture, tourism, sport and recreation. This represents $21.8 billion of the Canada Building Fund and is funded through the Gas Tax Fund payments.

      Department of Foreign Affairs

      In addition to the announcement that our international development agency CIDA is being merged into the Department of Foreign Affairs, there was the announcement of a new Global Commerce Strategy with funding of $10 million over two years. The details are being finalized. This is designed for the better promotion of a cohesive Canadian Education brand but there will be a spin off that will reinforce our Canada brand.

      2012 Provincial Budget

      The Hon. Minister of Finance, Dwight Duncan on March 27, 2012 delivered the Liberal government’s 2012-13 budget; Strong Action for Ontario with a focus is to achieve a balanced budget by 2017-18 through a five-year plan that focuses heavily on a priority commitment to education and healthcare, significantly reducing program spending and containing costs across the public service sector. For every $1 in new revenues collected in 2012, there is $4 of expense measures being taken. Click here for the full GTHA budget analysis. See the 2012 budget on the Ministry of Finance website here.

      Government's Fall Economic Statement Focuses on Electricity

      As of January 1, 2011, Ontario consumers and businesses will see a 10 per cent cut in electricity rates for for five years through the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit (OCEB). Other key highlights: GDP is projected to grow 3.2 per cent in 2010; however it is projected that growth will slow in 2011 to 2.2 per cent in and 2.5 per cent in 2012; Ontario’s deficit will be $18.7 billion in 2010‐11. At this time last year, Ontario’s deficit was projected to be $19.7; Ontario has regained 75 per cent of jobs lost during the recession. To download a copy of the statement click here.

      2011 Provincial Budget

      Minister of Finance, Dwight Duncan has delivered the Liberal government’s 2011 budget, Turning the Corner to a Better Tomorrow. The budget focus is to eliminate the deficit and support economic recovery. For the GTHA analysis as it relates to the accommodation and tourism industry please click here. The 2011 Ontario Budget is available here.

      2011 Federal Budget

      Federal Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty today delivered the “Next Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan—A Low-Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth” in the Conservative government’s 2011 budget. The top priority is to continue to build on the government’s previous stimulus plan and focus on securing continued economic recovery to return to a balanced budget in 2015-16. For the GTHA budget highlights as it affects the tourism industry please click here.

      Fall 2010 Federal Economic Update

      Highlights from Minister Jim Flaherty's Update on October 12, 2010. For the Update highlights click here.

      2010 Provincial Budget

      The Hon. Minister of Finance, Dwight Duncan today delivered the Liberal government’s 2010 budget, Open Ontario-Ontario’s Plan for Jobs and Growth. For the GTHA 2010 Provincial Budget Announcement click here.

      2010 Federal Budget

      Federal Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty today delivered, “Leading the Way on Jobs and Growth”, the Conservative government’s 2010 budget. The top priority is to “finish the work from last year” and bring Canada’s finances back to fiscal balance over the next 5 years with the completion of the Economic Action Plan and the introduction of new measures. The government will not cut spending in provincial transfers or raise taxes, but will slow down stimulus spending in 2010. Read the full GTHA Budget Release here.

    • Phase out the Penny

      Phase out of the Penny

      In the Economic Action Plan 2012, the Government announced it would phase out the penny from Canada’s coinage system. The decision to phase out the penny was due to its excessive and rising cost of production relative to face value, the increased accumulation of pennies by Canadians in their households, environmental considerations, and the significant handling costs the penny imposes on retailers, financial institutions and the economy in general.

      As of February 4, 2013, the penny will be phased out.

      Click here for a toolkit to get information for staff and consumers.

      A PDF poster explaining the changes and how to handle them is available here.

  • Fire Safety
  • Hotel By-Law Requirements
  • Hotel Registration of Guests Act
    • Hotel Registration of Guests Act

      Hotel Registration of Guests Act

      R.S.O. 1990, Chapter H.17

      Consolidation Period: From December 31, 1990 to the e-Laws currency date.

      No amendments.

      Definition

      1. In this Act, “hotel” means a separate building or two or more connected buildings used mainly for the purpose of catering to the needs of the travelling public by the supply of food and also by the furnishing of sleeping accommodation of not fewer than six bedrooms as distinguished from any other building or connected buildings used mainly for the purpose of supplying food and lodging by the week or otherwise commonly known as “boarding houses” or of furnishing living quarters for families and having a dining room or restaurant commonly known as “apartment houses” or “private hotels”. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.17, s. 1.

      Register to be kept

      2. A register shall be kept in every hotel in which shall be entered the name and usual place of residence of every person admitted as a guest in the hotel and occupying a room therein alone or with another person. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.17, s. 2.

      Offence

      3. The owner and the manager of a hotel who fails to keep the register required by section 2 or to see that the particulars required by section 2 are entered therein, or who knowingly and wilfully permits an untrue statement as to the name or place of residence of a guest to be entered in the register is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $100, and in default of payment may be imprisoned for a term of not more than three months. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.17, s. 3.

      Offence

      4. Every person who applies for admission as a guest in a hotel and who registers under or represents himself or herself as bearing some other name than his or her own, or who in registering or procuring admission to a hotel, makes a false statement as to his or her ordinary place of residence, is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $100, and in default of payment may be imprisoned for a term of not more than three months. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.17, s. 4.

      Notice of rates to be posted

      5. In every room used for sleeping accommodation in a hotel there shall be kept posted in a conspicuous place a notice specifying the rates charged for the room. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.17, s. 5 (1).

      Offence

      (2) Every owner and every manager of a hotel who fails to keep posted the notice required by subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $500. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.17, s. 5 (2).

      View the Hotel Registration of Guests Act online here.

  • Innkeepers Act
    • Innkeepers Act

      Innkeepers Act Innkeepers Act: Section 6 requires innkeepers to post, in a conspicuous place, in every guest room and office a copy of the wording provided in section 4 which outlines the limitation of the innkeepers’ liability. Section 4 states:

      Limitations of innkeeper’s liability

      4. (1) No innkeeper is liable to make good to any guest any loss of or injury to goods brought to the inn, not being a horse or other live animal, or any gear appertaining thereto, or a carriage, to a greater amount than the sum of $40 except, except where default or neglect (a) where the goods have been stolen, lost or injured through the wilful act, default, or neglect of the innkeeper or the innkeeper's employee; or unless deposited with him for safekeeping (b) where the goods have been deposited expressly for safe custody with the innkeeper. R.S.O. 1990, c. I.7, s. 4

      Conditions of liability

      (2) In case of such deposit, it is lawful for the inn keeper, if the innkeeper thinks fit, to require, as a condition of liability, that the goods shall be deposited in a box or other receptacle, fastened and sealed by the person depositing the goods. R.S.O. 1990, c. I.7, s. 4 (2).

      A consoldated version of the Innkeepers Act from 2005 is available in PDF format here.

      The original non amended Innkeepers Act, 1990 is available in the Service Ontario elaws here.

  • Labour
    • Labour

      Labour The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) sets out rights of employees and requirements that apply to employers in most Ontario workplaces. The ESA sets out the minimum standards that employers and employees must follow. The Ministry of Labour, through its Employment Standards Program enforces the ESA and its regulations. A copy of the Employment Standards Act Guide can be found here.

      Employers are required to post the most recent version (6.0) of the Employment Standards Poster published by the Minister of Labour in the workplace where it is likely to come to the attention of employees. The poster must be displayed in English. If the majority language of a workplace is a language other than English, and the ministry has published a version of the poster in that language the employer is required to post a copy of the translation next to the English version of the poster.

      Changes in the law that come into force on May 20, 2015 also require employers to provide employees who are covered under the ESA with a copy of the most recent version of the Employment Standards Poster. For more information, click here.

      PDF- English version of the Employment Standards in Ontario poster is available here.

      Holiday Pay

      Under the Employment Standards Act, Ontario has nine public holiday days: New Years Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. While some employers give their employees a holiday on Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, the first Monday in August, or Remembrance Day, the employer is not required to do so under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA).

      Special rules may apply for paid public holidays for hotel, motel, tourist resort, restaurant or tavern employees. For more information about your specific situation related to holiday pay, please contact the Ministry of Labour Information Centre at (416) 326-7160 or 1-800-531-5551.

      More information on Public Holiday Entitlements can be found here.

      Statistics Canada

      Estimates of employment and average weekly earnings for all employees, by industry, including Accommodation can be found here.

      Preventing Violence in the Workplace

      New requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act came into effect on June 15, 2010. The workplace violence tool kit and accompanying guide will assist employers in complying with these new requirements by helping them to develop workplace violence and harassment policies and programs; assess risks of workplace violence including situations involving handling of cash, dealing with potentially violent clients, working alone, working in high-crime areas, protecting valuable goods and transporting people or goods; and identify possible ways to control those risks.

      There will also be information on how to deal with domestic violence in the workplace, including how to develop a safety plan.

      What employers need to know is available here.

      The tool kit and guide are available on the Ministry of Labour's website at here.

      New Training Standards For JHSC Certification

      Ontario has released new training standards that will help improve worker safety by providing consistent, quality training for the certification of Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) members. For more information, click here.

      Advisory on Repetitive Strain Injuries

      RSIs - or Repetitive Strain Injuries - are one of the most common work-related injuries in Ontario. Nearly four out of ten injuries requiring time off work in Ontario are a result of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), an umbrella term that includes RSIs. Read more here.

    • Workplace Safety

      Workplace Safety and Training

      Workplace Safety and Training Ministry of Labour: New Certificate Training Standards

      Ontario’s Ministry of Labour has released two new certification training standards expected to take effect in early 2015. The standards build on existing certification training requirements, and aim to ensure consistent, high-quality training delivered by qualified instructors who meet specific delivery requirements.

      What’s new

      Under the 2014 JHSC Certification Training Program Standard,

      • • Part One training would be 3 days in duration, instead of the current 2 or 3 days
      • • Part Two training would be 2 days, and must be taken within 6 months of Part One. Currently, some Part Two training is available in one day
      • • 1-day refresher training would be required every 3 years for JHSC members certified under the new standard.

      Under the 2014 JHSC Certification Training Provider Standard, training providers would be required to apply to the ministry to deliver an approved JHSC certification training program. Among the highlights:

      • • training provider requirements that outline compliance with legislation, insurance, course materials, learning needs, alternate delivery modes and evaluation
      • • training instructor requirements that outline qualifications and delivery
      • • training evaluator requirements
      • • a code of ethics.

      The Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS) provides certification training. For more information visit their website found here.

    • WSIB

      Workplace Safety & Insurance Board

      Workplace Safety & Insurance Board Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS)

      Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) provides industry-specific health and safety products, training that can be found here.

      WSIB’s online services

      The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is always working to find faster, easier and more efficient ways for employers to do business with us. As part of this work, the WSIB has been adding to their suite of online services, introducing online statements and payments this year. More about online services here.

      WSIB Premium Rate Reduction of 13.2% Announced

      September 14, 2016: Today, at the WSIB Annual General Meeting, WSIB announced that beginning in 2017 the average premium rate will decline by 5%; the first rate reduction in more than 15 years. The WSIB also announced that another 5-10% total reduction to the average premium rate may be considered between 2018-2019. This will depend on the health of the economy and other financial results. For rate groups that impact GTHA members:

      Rate Group 921: Hotels, Motels and Camping will see a premium rate reduction of 13.2% from $3.10 in 2016 to $2.69 in 2017.

      Rate Group 919: Restaurants and Catering will see a premium rate reduction of 8.1% from $1.72 in 2016 to $1.58 in 2017.

      The GTHA has been involved in the WSIB file for a significant amount of time. The GTHA President & CEO Terry Mundell is Chair of the General Business Advisory Committee of the WSIB that meet on a regular basis with WSIB Chair Elizabeth Witmer and President & CEO Thomas Teahen to provide input on issues that benefit both injured workers and employers.

      Read more about the announcement here.

      Rate Framework Modernization Update

      The WSIB has updated the Rate Framework Modernization website to provide a new message from the Chair and President & CEO announcing the approval of the Rate Framework by the WSIB’s Board of Directors, available here.

      The WSIB is committed to ensuring the Rate Framework is implemented in a manner that fosters stability. Starting in 2017, the WSIB will undertake further education and outreach efforts, including further discussion on the promotion of occupational health and safety, to ensure a broader understanding of the new approach.

    • Minimum Wage

      Minimum Wage

      Minimum Wage Ontario is raising the general minimum wage from $11.25 to $11.40 on October 1, 2016 - the third consecutive year it has increased.

      Minimum wage rates for liquor servers, students under the age of 18, hunting and fishing guides, and homeworkers will also increase at the same time.

      In 2014, the government passed legislation to tie minimum wage increases to Ontario's Consumer Price Index (CPI), providing annual, reliable increases to workers and predictability for businesses.

      For complete information, refer to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and its regulations.

      Minimum Wage Rates

      Minimum Wage Rate

      Rates from Oct. 1, 2015 to Sept. 30, 2016

      Current Rates as of Oct. 1, 2016

      General Minimum Wage

      $11.25
      per hour

       $11.40
      per hour

      Student Minimum Wage

      $10.55
      per hour

       $10.70
      per hour

      Liquor Servers Minimum Wage

      $9.80
      per hour

       $9.90
      per hour

      Hunting and Fishing Guides Minimum Wage

      $56.30
      Rate for working less than five consecutive hours in a day

      $112.60 
      Rate for working five or more hours in a day whether or not the hours are consecutive

      $56.95
      Rate for working less than five consecutive hours in a day

      $113.95
      Rate for working five or more hours in a day whether or not the hours are consecutive

      Homeworkers Wage 

      $12.40
      per hour

      $12.55
      per hour

      General minimum wage - This rate applies to most employees.

      Student wage - This rate applies to students under the age of 18 who work 28 hours a week or less when school is in session or work during a school break or summer holidays.

      Liquor servers wage - This hourly rate applies to employees who serve liquor directly to customers or guests in licensed premises as a regular part of their work. "Licensed premises" are businesses for which a license or permit has been issued under the Liquor Licence Act.

      Hunting and fishing guides wage - The minimum wage for hunting and fishing guides is based on blocks of time instead of by the hour. They get a minimum amount for working less than five consecutive hours in a day, and a different amount for working five hours or more in a day--whether or not the hours are consecutive.

      Homeworkers wage - Homeworkers are employees who do paid work in their own homes. For example, they may sew clothes for a clothing manufacturer, answer telephone calls for a call centre, or write software for a high-tech company. Note that students of any age (including students under the age of 18 years) who are employed as homeworkers must be paid the homeworker's minimum wage.

    • Changing Workplaces Review

      Changing Workplaces Review

      The Changing Workplaces Review Reviewing the changing nature of the workplace 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.

      The Interim Report and Guide follow public consultations held in 12 cities across Ontario in 2015.

      The Interim Report identifies approximately 50 issues and over 225 options of varying size and scope.

      The review is considering how the Labour Relations Act, 1995 and Employment Standards Act, 2000 could be amended to best protect workers while supporting businesses in our changing economy. Workplace trends that are being examined in the consultation include:

      • • The increase in non-standard working relationships such as temporary jobs, involuntary part-time work, and self-employment.
      • • The rising prominence of the service sector.
      • • Globalization and trade liberalization.
      • • Accelerating technological change.
      • • Greater workplace diversity.

      The scope of the consultations is set out in the Terms of Reference for the Changing Workplaces Review.

    • Sexual Violence and Harrassment Action Plan Act

      Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act

      Legislation Aimed at Stopping Sexual Violence and Harassment in Effect Sept. 8, 2016

      Bill 132, the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), will come into effect on September 8, 2016. The act aims to make workplaces, campuses and communities safer and more responsive to the needs of survivors and to complaints about sexual violence and harassment.

      The legislation includes several amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). These amendments will enhance employer responsibilities with respect to workplace harassment that occurs in the workplace, including sexual harassment, by:

      • • providing a new workplace sexual harassment definition;
      • • requiring new elements that will need to be included in workplace harassment programs;
      • • adding new employer duties that will help to protect workers from workplace harassment.

      To support compliance with the new requirements, the Ministry of Labour has created a Code of Practice. The Ministry is also developing fact sheets and updating its guidance material to help workplaces comply. A dedicated enforcement team has also been established to respond to complaints and enforce the Occupational Health and Safety Act requirements.

  • Private Securities & Investigative Services
    • Private Securities & Investigative Services Act

      Licensing

      Security guards and private investigators must carry a valid licence at all times while on duty. Security guards must identify themselves and show the front of their licence to anyone who asks to see it. This includes employers, police and members of the public.

      Security guards and private investigators are responsible for adhering to the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005 and its regulations, including the Code of Conduct regulation.

      Failure to comply can lead to charges.

      Training

      As of October 1st, 2015, the Ministry if Community & Correctional Services is introducing changes to Ontario Regulation 26/10, Training and Testing.

      Key changes are as follows:

      1. Change from “Curriculum” to “Syllabus”

      2. First Aid/CPR Training

      3. Clarification of Online Training Requirements

      4. Training Certificates

      For more details and information, click here.

      Resources:

      For further information regarding licence renewals, application processes, and training and testing requirements, please contact the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services Private Security and Investigative Services Branch:

      Website

      Telephone (Toronto area): 416-212-1650 Toll free: 1-866-767-7454

      Email: PSIS.PrivateSecurity@ontario.ca

  • Renting to Minors
    • Renting to Minors

      As Hoteliers, you’re in the business of renting rooms. At the basic level, renting a room involves creating a valid and enforceable contract with your clientele. And it makes good business sense to operate on the principle of establishing a valid and enforceable contract for each and every transaction. Difficulties arise, however, when Hoteliers are asked to rent rooms to minors. For example, when is a contract between a hotel and a minor valid and enforceable?

      If a contract is unenforceable against a minor, why can’t a Hotelier implement a policy prohibiting the rental of hotel rooms to minors? Are there ways to minimize the risks of a complaint of discrimination being filed against the hotel for declining to rent a room to a minor?

      The Bulletin available here addresses these difficulties and provides practical strategies for addressing the liabilities associated with renting hotel rooms to minors.

  • SOCAN
    • Music Licenses: SOCAN & Re:Sound

      Music tariffs are not applicable to your business if you are playing broadcast radio such as AM or FM radio stations. However, if you choose to broadcast other forms of background music or provide music for other purposes like dancing, you are required by Canadian Copyright law to remit royalty fees to one or both of two entities in Canada.

      SOCAN and Re:Sound are legally empowered by the Copyright Board of Canada to charge and collect music royalty fees from restaurant and hotel owners. Both entities have agents that visit restaurants and bars to ensure they pay the proper licensing fees.

      Re:Sound formerly the Neighbouring Rights Collective of Canada (NRCC), represents the performance rights of artists and record companies and it pays royalties to its members in Canada. Re:Sound also has reciprocal agreements with many other countries to collect and distribute royalties.

      SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) does the same for composers and music publishers. It also remits royalties to international organizations for performances in Canada of foreign copyright-protected works, and pays Canadian music creators and publishers when their music is performed abroad.

      The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) is advocating federally on our members behalf on the variety of music tariffs that the industry is required to pay. Please see the links below for more information.

      1. A summary of the tariffs that are most likely to apply to members;

      2. A one-page chart that summarizes the tariffs;

      3.. A one-page summary of copyright obligations;

      4. A one-page timeline of the tariff certification and appeal process.

      Music royalty fees exemption extended

      The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) has negotiated an exemption of fees under Tariff 5A, 5B and 5C for the period of January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2009 for music royalty fees paid to SOCAN. Re:Sound has agreed to extend the deadline for payment and fee exemption of October 31,2012 to the new date of March 31, 2013. In n order to receive the exemption of the years 2008 and 2009 payment must be made by March 31, 2013. Please click on the link below for more information.

      1. Re:Sound memo on fee exemption extension to March 31, 2013.

      ANNOUNCEMENTS

      Frequently Asked Questions - Friday, April 26, 2013

      What are the differences between Socan and Re: Sound? Read here.

  • Taxation
    • Taxation

      GST/HST

      Long Term Stays (30 days or more)

      Generally, you have to charge the GST/HST when you rent out a suite or room in a hotel, motel, inn, or boarding house or provide similar accommodation. However, you do not have to charge the GST/HST if situation 1 or 2 applies.

      Situation 1

      The rental of a residential unit (for example, a hotel room, suite, or apartment) is exempt if it is rented for $20 or less per day of occupancy, regardless of the rental period.

      Situation 2

      The rental of a residential unit is exempt if the unit:

      • • qualifies as a residential complex, or is a residential unit (for example, a hotel room, suite, or apartment) in a residential complex; and
      • • is rented as a place of residence or lodging by the same individual for a continuous period of one month or more.

      Note:

      When monthly room rentals are exempt from the GST/HST, how often the room charge is billed (for example, daily, weekly, or monthly) does not change the exempt status, as long as the arrangement gives the tenant or customer continuous use or possession of the same room for at least one month. More information can be found here

      Resources:

      For more information on taxation, tax bulletins, etc please click here for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

    • Foreign Convention & Tour Incentive Program Rebate

      Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program Rebates

      The Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program (FCTIP) provides GST/HST relief to non-resident consumers and non-resident non-GST/HST-registered businesses for short-term accommodation in Canada included in a tour package and for certain properties and/or services used in the course of conventions held in Canada. More detailed information such as definitions, forms, calculations and eligibility can be found on the Canada Revenue Agency website here

      The 2017 Federal Budget announced some changes to the FCTIP.

      After further consultation with the government the cut to part of the FCTIP is part of a larger effort to address tax measures that have had a limited impact, have had low take-up, or duplicate other forms of federal support. Specifically, Budget 2017 proposes to repeal the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) rebate payable to non-resident tourists and non-resident tour operators in respect of the accommodation portion of tour packages. We now have clarification that the tour packages component is being dropped but the conventions component is not. Therefore, instead of "FCTIP" the "Tour" portion is being dropped and will now be "FCIP." Components applicable to the conventions sector will remain the same. According to Government officials, the rebate is complex and costly to administer, and benefits only a narrow segment of the Canadian tourism industry. The Government will instead invest in enhanced tourism marketing as shown through commitments to stabilize Destination Canada's budget at a level of $95.5 million going forward, and invest millions in indigenous tourism and the collection of tourism statistics.

    • GST/ HST on Accommodation

      Charging GST/ HST on Accommodation

      Please see below information from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website relating to GST/ HST on Accommodations.

      For the full CRA Report on GST/HST Information for the Travel and Convention Industry click here.

      "Generally, you have to charge the GST/HST when you rent out a suite or room in a hotel, motel, inn, or boarding house or provide similar accommodation. However, you do not have to charge the GST/HST if situation 1 or 2 applies.

      Situation 1

      The rental of a residential unit (for example, a hotel room, suite, or apartment) is exempt if it is rented for $20 or less per day of occupancy, regardless of the rental period.

      Situation 2

      The rental of a residential unit is exempt if the unit:

      ■ qualifies as a residential complex, (please see definiton of "residential complex") or is a residential unit (for example, a hotel room, suite, or apartment) in a residential complex; and

      ■ is rented as a place of residence or lodging by the same individual for a continuous period of one month or more.

      Note: When monthly room rentals are exempt from the GST/HST, how often the room charge is billed (for example, daily, weekly, or monthly) does not change the exempt status, as long as the arrangement gives the tenant or customer continuous use or possession of the same room for at least one month.

      Is my establishment a residential complex?

      We consider your establishment to be a residential complex if more than 10% of all of the residential units (hotel rooms, suites, apartments) in your establishment are rented for continuous possession or use of 60 days or more."

  • Tips / Gratuities Legislation: Bill 12
    • Bill 12: Protecting Employees' Tips Act

      Bill 12: Protecting Employees' Tips Act

      New on the Ministry of Labour website is a dedicated page on Tips and Other Gratuities featuring a new guideline and FAQ:

      English: Ontario.ca/tipsandgratuities

      French: Ontario.ca/pourboiresetgratifications

      Starting June 10, 2016, it will be illegal for employers to keep a portion of employees’ tips and other gratuities, except as permitted by the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA).

      These rules affect employers and employees covered by the ESA in workplaces where tips and gratuities are received – such as at bars, restaurants, hair and nail salons, catering firms and taxis.

      The changes come as a result of Bill 12 Protecting Employees’ Tips Act, 2014.

      VIDEO: Watch an educational video on Tips and Other Gratuities. Learn about the new rules around the handling of tips and othr greatuities in the workplace.

      What are considered tips and gratuities?

      Tips and gratuities include money voluntarily given by a customer for customer service. It could be given to the employee directly, like money left on a table or bar for a server. Or it could be given to the employee indirectly, like a tip paid using electronic payment like debit or credit, or in a tip jar.

      Tips and gratuities can also include any service charges imposed by an employer on a customer that the customer intends or assumes would be given to employees (e.g., banquet hall service fees, catering service fees, group table service charges).

      What will be prohibited?

      Employers will be prohibited from withholding, making deductions from or causing the employee to return tips and other gratuities. There are two situations in which this prohibition does not apply:

      • If the employer collects and redistributes the money among its employees, a practice often referred to as “tip pooling.”
      • If a statute or a court order authorizes it.

      Employers can’t make deductions from tips for things like faulty work, cash shortages, or lost or stolen goods.

      Employers will generally be prohibited from sharing in a tip pool. The exception is if the employer owns all or part of the business, and he or she regularly performs the same work to a large degree of:

      • Some or all of the employees who share in the tip pool, or
      • Those in the same industry who would normally receive tips.

      For example, this exception would apply if a restaurant owner spent a substantial amount of his or her time serving food or in the kitchen doing the same work as staff members who receive a portion of a tip pool. The same standard applies to directors and shareholders of corporations.

      ONTARIO REGULATION 125/16

      made under the

      EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS ACT, 2000

      Made: May 4, 2016

      Filed: May 6, 2016

      Published on e-Laws: May 6, 2016

      Printed in The Ontario Gazette: May 21, 2016

      TIPS AND OTHER GRATUITIES

      Credit card charges

      1. For the purposes of subsection 14.1 (2) of the Act, a tip or other gratuity does not include the portion of a service charge or similar charge imposed by a credit card company on an employer for processing a credit card payment made to the employer by a customer, as determined in accordance with the following:

      • 1. Multiply the total amount of the tip or other gratuity by the greater of,
        • i. the per cent charged by the credit card company for processing the payment, and
        • ii. 1.5 per cent.

      Commencement

      2. This Regulation comes into force on the later of the day section 1 of the Protecting Employees’ Tips Act, 2015 comes into force and the day this Regulation is filed.

      Transition — collective agreements

      14.5 (1) If a collective agreement that is in effect on the day section 1 of the Protecting Employees’ Tips Act, 2015 comes into force contains a provision that addresses the treatment of employee tips or other gratuities and there is a conflict between the provision of the collective agreement and this Part, the provision of the collective agreement prevails.

      Same — expiry of agreement

      (2) Following the expiry of a collective agreement described in subsection (1), if the provision that addresses the treatment of employee tips or other gratuities remains in effect, subsection (1) continues to apply to that provision, with necessary modifications, until a new or renewal agreement comes into effect.

      Same — renewed or new agreement

      (3) Subsection (1) does not apply to a collective agreement that is made or renewed on or after the day section 1 of the Protecting Employees’ Tips Act, 2015 comes into force.

  • Tourism
    • Tourism

      Regional Tourism Organizations

      Ontario is paving the way for a stronger, more competitive tourism industry by supporting the industry as it forms new regional tourism organizations (RTOs) in each of the province’s 13 new tourism regions.

      RTOs will be independent, industry-led, not-for-profit organizations responsible for building and supporting competitive and sustainable tourism regions. They will help attract more visitors, generate more economic activity, and create more tourism jobs across the province.

      RTOs are currently being developed by tourism partners in each of Ontario’s 13 tourism regions. To get involved in the developing RTO for your region, please see the RTO contact information page.

      This regional approach builds on extensive consultations with stakeholders and key recommendations from Discovering Ontario: a report on the future of tourism.

      Find your region. The RTO map provides an overview of the counties and/or municipalities located in each of Ontario’s 13 new tourism regions and three northern sub-regions. Click on a region for more detailed information.

      Federal Tourism Strategy

      In October 2011, the Federal government announced Canada's inaugural Federal Tourism Strategy. A copy of the Tourism Strategy is available here.

      Tourism Quick Facts

      Visit the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport to get Quick Tourism Facts. Available here in PDF format.

      Ontario, Tourist- Oriented Directional Signs Program

      The TODS (Tourism-Oriented Directional Signing) Program is being offered through the Ministries of Tourism and Transportation. This program permits qualifying tourism operators to place their business signs along Provincial roadways.

      The TODS program provides wayfinding and directional information to travellers throughout the Province of Ontario. Signs on the freeway display the buiness name and icon or logo. Ramps, Kings Highway and Municipal Road signage include the turn direction and kilometres to direct the motorist to the operation.

      TODS Provincial website: http://www.ontariotods.interstatelogos.com/state/home.aspx

      City of Brampton TODS application is available here.

    • Connecting America

      Connecting America

      Connecting America is Destination Canada’s new marketing initiative launching in the US in the spring of 2016. Together with businesses and destinations across the country, we’re ready to invite American travellers to Look Up and see Canada as their next destination.

      Innovation and working closely with partners and their own brands will be key to our success. At the same time as we work together to increase general US leisure travel to Canada, industry and our own research tells us that there’s great opportunity to drive even more business from sectors like skiing, angling, culinary, golf and festivals & events…just to name a few. For this reason, we’ve launched a new program that’s looking to co-invest in creative marketing proposals from tourism sectors like these that will drive incremental business into Canada.

      For more information about the program or to submit a proposal, click here.

    • Electronic Travel Authorization

      Electronic Travel Authorization

      Six-month grace period on Electronic Travel Authorization welcomed

      Some travellers and diplomats are breathing a sigh of relief after the Canadian government announced a six-month grace period on a new mandatory security screen. As of March 15, 2016, visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada are expected to have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid Canadian visa. However, from March 15, 2016 until fall 2016, travellers who do not have an eTA can board their flight, as long as they have appropriate travel documents, such as a valid passport. Read more here.

      TIAC Confirms that Tourism Business Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) are Exempt from All TFW Caps

      TIAC is pleased that Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, the Honorable MaryAnn Mihychuk has made it easier for tourism businesses to access labour that is badly needed for the 2016 season. Following consultations with the Minister and the Departmental Director of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, TIAC has confirmed that tourism occupations are considered "low-wage seasonal positions" that are therefore eligible for these exemptions. Read more here.

  • WHMIS
    • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)

      Update to Workplace Hazaedous Materials Information System ( WHMIS)

      The Ontario government has amended the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the WHMIS Regulation (R.R.O. 1990, Regulation 860) made under the OHSA to adopt new, international standards that are part of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

      The amendments to the OHSA and WHMIS Regulation affect various requirements governing labels and safety data sheets for hazardous workplace chemicals. Also affected are definitions, terminology and provisions that protect confidential business information related to hazardous workplace chemicals. The changes reflect amendments to the federal Hazardous Products Act and new Hazardous Products Regulations, which came into force February 11, 2015.

      The new requirements in the OHSA and WHMIS Regulation come into effect July 1, 2016.

      To give workplace parties time to adjust to the new requirements, there will be a transition period to gradually phase out the old requirements.

      • Employers have until May 31, 2018 to continue to receive and use hazardous products with either the old WHMIS labels and safety data sheets or the new ones.
      • Employers have from June 1, 2018 to November 30, 2018 to bring any hazardous products still in the workplace with the old WHMIS labels and safety data sheets into compliance with the new requirements.
      • By December 1, 2018, the transition to the new WHMIS labels and safety data sheets must be complete.

      During the transition, employers must ensure workers are trained on both the old and new labels and safety data sheets for as long as both are present in the workplace.