If you subscribe to TIAC’s weekly COVID-19 update, or have been following the news closely, you’ll know that the end of August saw some significant changes to the Trudeau cabinet, and a complete pause on government operations until September 23rd.
In ‘normal’ times, it would be unusual for our federal Members of Parliament to not be meeting regularly in Ottawa at this time of year. However, as the country is still struggling with the impacts of COVID-19, we have become accustomed to a constant stream of announcements and efforts from Ottawa, with nearly daily announcements on a new or improved initiative to help stabilize the economy.
With the government prorogued for nearly 6 weeks, the governing Liberals have essentially hit the pause button on the government. However, this doesn’t mean that there is not a lot going on behind the scenes. When our politicians return in late September, we expect a Speech from the Throne – which will deliver the government’s vision for recovery, and provide insight into what we can expect from an official Budget. The contents of the Throne Speech and Budget will also put us in a potential election spot – something that our political opposition parties (the Conservative Party, Bloc Quebecois, NDP, and Greens) are likely using this time to prepare for.
This also gives TIAC, other sector organizations, and our members, time to push our message to the government and opposition parties that #tourismcounts. With your help, we sent nearly 900 letters to Members of Parliament this summer asking for additional help for the tourism industry. As a result of these efforts, and continued meetings between TIAC and government stakeholders, we saw results including; 1) The extension of the CEWS Program 2) Additional funding announcements for the RRRF fund 3) further support for businesses to access CEBA loans 4) More significant marketing for domestic tourism.
TIAC works hard every day to ensure the industry is well-heard in government. However, grassroots support from the industry is instrumental in pushing these advocacy efforts over the edge, and ensuring our voice is heard.
In September, when the House of Commons returns to business, you can help our advocacy efforts by:
- Writing a letter – TIAC will be refreshing our call-to-action letters through PushPolitics to emphasize the urgent need for industry support as we enter the off-season in most regions, and continue to operate without a known future for borders re-opening, a second wave, or a vaccine. Letters to MPs are critical in building support for funding projects and assistance – and is something only you can do.
- Share your experience – Whether it’s through an industry survey by TIAC or other organization, a quick email to us, or over social media, we need to hear what support you need, and what programs are working well to support your business. It helps us provide suggestions for improvement and timely feedback to government officials who have a direct impact on how these programs work.
- Be innovative, be kind – In these crazy times, we have seen businesses across the sector offer innovative ways to share experiences with visitors in their communities, and keep the excitement around tourism in Canada alive. While times are stressful, continuing to work hard to show tourism resilience will help us be ready for future business, even if travel looks different. At the same time, businesses lifting each other up and supporting each other will help keep businesses afloat, and a sense of community strong.
- Become a TIAC Member – Times are tough. We know that more than ever, where you chose to invest your money is a difficult decision. TIAC is having to make these same decisions while continuing to work tirelessly on your behalf. However, we cannot exist without the support of our members. We have been so grateful for the ongoing generosity of the industry throughout these times – many of you have already continued your memberships and partnerships with us either in full or taking advantage of our new payment options. Every dollar is reinvested into our efforts to support you. If you’re not a member yet, and are interested in learning more, please click here for more information. Membership starts at just $395 per year.