April 28, 2021
We continue to review the 2021 Federal Budget to better understand what it means for our sector. As I mentioned last week, while we welcome new programs and relief support, gaps and shortfalls remain along with much uncertainty.
We are pleased to see the government considering plans for border reopening. As outlined in our 2021 TIAC Tourism Recovery Plan
, we have been calling on the government to work with industry to implement a national testing strategy and use global data to inform a reduction or elimination of quarantine measures. Countries around the world have amended their approach to quarantine. They have done so using evidence-based data that supports a reduced quarantine and testing regime as a more effective way to protect their local populations. We are championing this issue and asking for the government to set a target day and work with us to re-open borders.
In addition, we are investigating CEWS and CERS. The crisis our industry faces will not disappear overnight, support will need to be maintained.
We will continue to advocate on your behalf and ask for your help by forwarding your concerns and issues to Beth@tiac-aitc.ca
. We meet regularly with Federal officials and share industry stories so there is a better understanding of where program gaps exists and challenges remain specific to our industry.
We are in this together.
President & CEO
Tourism Industry Association of Canada
Dear Tourism Stakeholders,
The TIAC Team is pleased to provide you with this update on the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, including the steps government is taking to address the situation, as well as highlights of our recent advocacy efforts. We are working hard to make sure the industry’s voice is heard by government, and that you have the information you need to keep your business going in these uncertain times.
Please find the latest updates on official announcements and a recap of TIAC’s advocacy work on behalf of Canada’s Visitor Economy:
Since the budget announcement, TIAC has been at work analyzing the supports that affect our sector, and continuing to refine our advocacy messaging for those pieces that were not addressed in the budget.
We have participated in a number of meetings over the past week to discuss contents of the budget with the Minister of Economic Development, and champions for the sector from all parties. We want to ensure that our position on the budget is clear, and define next steps to learn more details about the proposed supports. Our work continues to ensure we are at the table to guide the efficient and effective roll out of proposed support and relief programs for tourism businesses.
Yesterday, TIAC participated in an Industry Roundtable Discussion where we were able to provide feedback on a draft report outlining proposed Border Reopening Measures. We will continue to be involved in the consultation and will share the published report when available.
Our members are our priority. Please reach out with any comments or questions on advocacy initiatives to email@example.com
Last round of debate on the federal budget, implementation bill expected soon
- Debate on the government’s 2021 budget in the House of Commons has taken place. In the likely event that the government gains enough support, Finance Minister Freeland is expected to table a budget-implementation bill, allowing for the roll out of new federal supports.
- Release Link: https://bit.ly/3xnX1Gt
New online tool, Destination Tracker, developed to assist travelers with international COVID-19 regulations
- The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Air Transport Association (IATA) have developed a free online tool to guide travelers regarding international and domestic rules pertaining to travel and tourism.
- The tool is intended to “boost confidence and accelerate recovery of the tourism sector when borders reopen.” Information included in the tool:
- Infection rates, positivity rates, and vaccination roll out by destination/country.
- Air travel regulations, including test and quarantine requirements.
- Destination measures, including public health requirements, transit regulations and other measures related to restaurants and attractions.
- News Link: https://bit.ly/3aFvruS
Canada bans flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days
- As of April 22, the federal government announced a 30 day ban on flights from India and Pakistan amid concerns over rising COVID-19 cases and new virus mutations within both countries.
- In the past several weeks, 100 international flights arriving in Canada have carried at least one positive COVID-19 case, with 32 of those flights originating from India.
- All commercial and passenger flights will be suspended, but cargo flights will continue.
- Release Link: https://bit.ly/2Prtcnq
Vaccine Passports Expected: Trudeau
- The Prime Minister acknowledged that proof of vaccination is likely to be expected to travel, but the government is not yet ready to decide on what that may look like.
- Release Link: https://bit.ly/3u15CNm
B.C. increases funding and expands eligibility for business supports
- The B.C. government is adding more than $75 million to the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant, bringing the available funding for hard-hit businesses to more than $125 million.
- The grant has been open to approximately 14,000 businesses, including bars, breweries and restaurants, but will now be open to more than 5,300 hotels, motels, and other short-term accommodations impacted by restrictions from the April 23rd emergency order.
- With the increased funding, eligible businesses will receive up to $20,000 to help cover expenses, including wages, rent, maintenance and utilities.
- Release Link: https://bit.ly/2R4EWg8
Alberta to pass paid leave time for vaccinations
- The Alberta government has announced that they will be introducing amendments to the Employment Standards Code to provide working Albertans with up to three hours of paid leave to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
- If passed, the changes will take effect the day the bill receives its first reading. Paid leave will be available to both full and part-time employees regardless of length of employment.
- News Link: https://bit.ly/32UjoWd
Northwest Territories allowing for remote tourism activities to resume
- The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO) is allowing for remote tourism activities to resume in the Northwest Territories (NWT) for the 2021 summer season.
- NWT Tourism Operators will be required to submit a Remote Tourism Operators COVID-19 Operations Plan to OCPHO for authorization to host out-of-territory clients at remote sites.
- Tourism operators must demonstrate that they can carry out businesses with limited to no contact between travelers and NWT residents.
- Release Link: https://bit.ly/3dIOwxY
Montreal International Jazz Festival plans to return in the fall
- The Montreal International Jazz Festival has announced that they are planning to host their 2021 event between September 15th and 19th.
- Currently, organizers are planning to host both virtual and outdoor shows.
- No rules have been set for crowd sizes, as they will depend on public health guidelines.
- News Link: https://bit.ly/2QO7cDs
Manitoba expands vaccine eligibility
- The government of Manitoba has announced expanded eligibility for vaccinations.
- Those living and working in the Northern Health Region and those who work in the Seven Oaks west area of Winnipeg are now eligible to book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine.
- All individuals over 18 in these regions must work within one of the following sectors:
- Front-line educator or child-care provider.
- Food-processing facility worker.
- Essential business frontline worker.
- Anyone working within food service industry (e.g. restaurants or food banks).
- News Link: https://bit.ly/2S7u1CP
Government of Nova Scotia has implemented new restrictions amidst rising cases
- The government of Nova Scotia has announced the following restrictions as cases have risen in the past several days:
- Gathering limits for close social groups (indoors and outdoors) is now limited to 10 people province-wide.
- Non-essential travel is not permitted for individuals beyond their local community.
- Tighter restrictions limiting non-essential business operations have been put in place in several regions, including Halifax County, Guysborough County, and Hants County.
- News Link: https://bit.ly/3xAYKIO
Ontario lowers age threshold for COVID-19 vaccine eligibility in hot spots
- The Ontario government announced that individuals aged 45 and up in one of Ontario’s 114 high-risk neighborhoods are now eligible to schedule a vaccine appointment at a mass immunization clinic.
- The threshold was previously at 50 years and up for high-risk neighborhoods.
- Other adults over the age of 18 in hot spots can also get the vaccine, but they must be booked with mobile pop-up clinics organized by local public health units.
- The government has also announced that child-care workers in licensed settings will also be eligible for a vaccine appointment.
- News Link: https://bit.ly/3aFahNe
- Release Link: https://bit.ly/3tZ962H
Ontario government passes 2021 budget bill to protect health and jobs
- The Ontario government has passed Bill 269, Protecting the People of Ontario Act, enacting new budget measures into law.
- The bill includes $16.3 billion in health investments and $23.3 billion in economic supports and protections.
- More information on investments and programs available can be found here.
- Release Link: https://bit.ly/3aMae26