Laura Mae Lindo MPP, Kitchener Centre

Government of Ontario

Ford’s cap on delivery fees has come too late for many, and does not apply to all businesses

Published on November 26, 2020

QUEEN’S PARK – NDP critic for Economic Growth and Job Creation Catherine Fife (Waterloo) released a statement in response to the Ford government finally introducing a cap on fees imposed by delivery apps: 
“Small restaurants are barely hanging on. For those in lockdown, take-out and delivery are their only options to keep their doors open. The Ford government should have taken action months ago, but they dragged their feet and did not listen to small business owners who asked for help. This news comes too late for the many restaurants and bars that have been forced to shut their doors forever. 
In June, I asked the Ford government to introduce a cap of no more than 15 per cent on delivery fees charged to restaurant by third-party delivery apps, and this was a key part of the NDP’s plan to Save Main Street. New York introduced a cap on fees in May, and other North American jurisdictions including San Francisco and Chicago, have taken action, while the Ontario government stalled and delayed. 
The government’s proposals today only apply to regions where indoor dining is prohibited, leaving small businesses in the rest of the province who also rely on delivery services to stay afloat, without protection from these costly charges. Doug Ford is telling all Ontarians to stay home and order-in, but he’s only choosing to protect restaurants in regions under lockdown. 
His government has also failed to secure guarantees from delivery companies that service will not be reduced or that the burden will not be shifted to the delivery workers, with the Minister admitting this morning that he only has “assurances” that this won’t happen. There continues to be few protections for gig workers – who put their own health at risk to deliver food – to ensure they don’t lose out. App delivery workers already earn meagre pay without basic labour rights, misclassified as ‘independent contractors’, and they should not see their income cut as a result. The government refers only to workers being able to ‘file complaints’ if their compensation or payments are reduced – this is a far cry from a guarantee or what precarious workers need for protection at this time.
Restaurants in every corner of this province are struggling. Doug Ford has forced us into longer and deeper shutdowns because of poor pandemic planning, and restaurants are paying the price through no fault of their own. This limited measure alone is a step in the right direction, but more comprehensive supports need to be made available to small businesses.”