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Canadian restaurant assn. is OK with provincial wage hike

Raising Quebec’s minimum wage to $10.55 (Canadian) on May 1 is “reasonable,” “fair” and “balanced,” the nation’s largest hospitality trade group said yesterday in response to the announced hike by the provincial government.

The new hourly minimum is the equivalent of $9.11 in U.S. currency. In Canadian terms, the increase amounts to 20 cents per hour.

“Any increase in labor costs is hard to absorb or pass on to customers, but today's announcement is reasonable," said Jean Lefebvre, vice president for Quebec-based Restaurants Canada. "Keeping the increase in line with inflation means that restaurant owners will continue to create jobs and investment."

Like their counterparts in the United States. Canadian restaurateurs are a top employer of first-time job holders. The industry collectively employs 1.1 million people nationwide and 268,700 in Quebec alone.

Restaurant Canada represents 30,000 restaurants nationwide.

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