Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association is organizing its first ever restaurant industry summit on the Hill. I personally would like to welcome to Ottawa CRFA Immediate Past Chairman of the Board Gerard Curran, President Garth Whyte, Executive Vice-President of Government Affairs Joyce Reynolds, and their entire delegation. I congratulate them on this proud achievement.
As a former restaurateur myself, I appreciate the tremendous contribution the restaurant industry makes not only to the economy of Canada, but to its social fabric as well. The experience one gains working in the restaurant industry goes far beyond food and drink. Lessons in customer service, teamwork, organization and commitment all provide skills and training that are vital to success in any job.
Based on a study conducted by the CRFA, 22% of Canadians found their first job in the restaurant industry compared to 16% in retail. Simply put, Canada's restaurant industry puts jobs and economic growth on the menu.