posted on March 23, 2020
Dear TIAC Member,
Given the ongoing situation related to the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on tourism, TIAC will continue to provide regular information concerning steps the Government is taking to address the situation and ensure we are providing up to date information to Government officials from our members.
Please find the latest update on official announcements and a recap of TIAC’s advocacy work on behalf of our members:
March 23, 2020
- Today, the Prime Minister reaffirmed the importance of social distancing to help flatten the curve of COVID-19., telling Canadians with a strong message to “go home, and stay home.” Social distancing means keeping at least 2 meters away from other people, staying home whenever possible, and avoiding all group situations. There was a warning made to those not heeding this advice, that this is something we must do if we want to slow this virus; “listening is our duty and staying home is our way to serve.” The federal government is launching an advertising campaign with Canadian icons today to encourage Canadians to stay home.
- The Prime Minister will host a call today with Canada’s Premiers to discuss if more is needed for execution across provinces to implement social distancing. They will also discuss economic measures for families and small businesses.
- New measures were announced to support farmers and agri-food businesses in Canada - $5 billion dollars is being made available in lending capacity for farmers and producers through Farm Credit Canada.
- $192 million in new projects will be prioritized under the new Strategic Innovation Fund to support large scale projects such as the development and production of vaccines in Canada. The government will be signing an agreement with companies in Vancouver, Quebec City, and providing funding to the University of Saskatchewan, National Research Council of Canada and BlueDot, in hopes of a long-term solution to the pandemic. Minister Bains has sent a call to action to every educational institution to identify equipment and expertise.
- Canadians abroad were again urged to register with the government. Those abroad are advised to take commercial flights while still available. The government has secured operations needed for Air Canada to charter three flights from Peru, and flights from multiple airlines in the coming days from Morocco, Spain, Honduras, Ecuador, El Salvador and Guatemala.
- Team Canada and the Canadian Paralympic team have made the difficult decision to not send athletes to games this summer.
- The House of Commons will be convening tomorrow at 12pm for emergency legislation. Thirty-two MPs will be present. Legislation will get passed and likely pass to the Senate on early Wednesday morning.
- Implementing the Emergencies Act in the country is being left as a last resort.
- As of March 23, there are 1,432 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, with 20 total deaths.
March 22, 2020
- On Sunday it was announced that the House of Commons will be returning on Tuesday of this week at 12pm for emergency legislation. 32 MPs will be present. Legislation will get passed and likely pass to the Senate on early Wednesday morning.
March 21, 2020
- Last Friday, the Government announced their plan to mobilize industry to fight COVID-19. This plan includes measures to support businesses and manufacturers to rapidly scale up production to develop products made in Canada that will help curb the spread of COVID-19, including critical health and safety supplies, personal protective equipment, testing products and sanitization products.
- These measures are part of the government’s larger strategy, and prioritizes the health and safety of Canadians, ensures the capacity of our health care system, and mitigates the economic impacts on Canadians and Canadian business. More details to be found here https://bit.ly/3beODNQ
- The government continues to work with airlines to bring Canadians home. The first flight to repatriate Canadians was an Air Canada flight from Morocco, which landed in Montreal on Saturday March 21, all passengers are now in a mandatory 14 day self-isolation period. WestJet is planning thirty more flights for Canadians abroad from Monday to Wednesday, while Air Transat is working with the government to fly to closed air spaces, and Sun Wing is offering flights home for free. Canadians abroad are urged to register online with Global Affairs Canada.
March 20, 2020
- Effective as of March 21, Canada & the US reach temporary border agreement to implement non-essential travel restrictions. There is also a reciprocal agreement in which irregular migrants will be returned, amid concerns around screening people at irregular border crossings for COVID-19.
Business measures from Canada’s economic recovery plan for COVID-19
- 500,000 Canadians applied for EI support last week. TIAC encourages members to apply for available business supports from the government as soon as possible.
- The government is:
- Essentially eliminating the payroll tax for three months by providing a 10% wage subsidy to small businesses;
- Helping businesses with cash flow by deferring tax payments until after August 31st;
- Increasing credit available to farmers through Farm Credit Canada.
- Introducing a new Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks for self-employed people who are not eligible for EI sickness benefits;
- Establishing a coordinated approach with the financial sector: cutting interest rates to 0.75%, and major banks increasing lending capacity by $300 billion;
- Establishing a Business Credit Availability Program through BDC and EDC worth $10 billion – this means more short-term loans, working capital, and export insurance-credit so that more Canadian businesses are supported;
- Enhancing the Work-Sharing Program to help businesses pay wages so they don’t have to lay anyone off.
WHERE TO START
Many Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs are anxious about how to get the help they need in the face of COVID-19. Here are a few good places to start:
- Visit the website for businesses for information about supporting your employees and your business. It will be constantly updated as the COVID-19 crisis evolves.
- Download the Canada Business App to find tailored supports to address your specific needs and questions about COVID-19.
- Consult the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s pandemic preparedness guide to help prepare your business in the days and weeks to come.
- Contact your bank. Canada’s banks have made a commitment to support businesses and individuals through these difficult times in a responsible, fair, and compassionate way. To help provide some stability for businesses through this time of uncertainty, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer requirement, releasing more than $300 billion of additional lending capacity for Canadian financial institutions.
More announcements will be made in the coming days and weeks and TIAC continues to advocate for urgent measures to address immediate tourism business needs as one of the first and most impacted sectors in the economy.
- Navigate the crisis; to ensure we are working with other stakeholders and organizations supporting this sector, we are connecting daily with many other organizations to share ideas and push out vital information to as many people as possible. This includes regular calls and email communication to ensure TIAC members and the industry get timely updates on the COVID-19 situation, and what assistance is available to them. As of today, these communications included;
- Issuing a press release to call on Government to act on immediate support for Canada’s Travel & Tourism industry, where TIAC warns that without immediate support from the federal government, Canada’s $100 billion+ tourism sector will see monumental job losses over the coming days and weeks
- TIAC’s participation in industry webinar organized by Destination Canada, along with other industry and government partners, where emphasis centered on TIAC’s advocacy focus for COVID-19 support to the government, and practical resources for members and industry facing difficult times. A recording of this webinar will be available on Destination Canada’s website in the coming days.
- Tourism Matters Campaign – make your voice heard! TIAC is once again employing the Push Politics tool/microsite, as a resource for industry to reach out to their Member of Parliament and reiterate the impact COVID-19 is having on local businesses. By sending a letter to your MP, you help TIAC and the entire tourism industry show government that #TourismMatters more than ever, and that our businesses and workers need help NOW. Please do your part by submitting a letter as soon as the platform launches.
To keep you up-to-date on COVID-19, we invite you to check our website regularly for updates as well as to sign-up for our COVID-19 communications .
In addition to the work TIAC is doing, please review the list of industry support for Canadian businesses, as well as, a list of mental wellness national resources, and keep on the lookout for ongoing updates as we continue to work on your behalf to get through this crisis.
List of relevant and official information sources regarding COVID-19:
- Work-Sharing Program - Temporary special measures
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – Employment and Social Development Canada
- Export Development Canada COVID-19
- Business Development Bank of Canada – Support for Entrepreneurs impacted by coronavirus
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Resources for Canadian businesses
MENTAL WELLNESS: at risk during this time of crisis
The current situation and social distancing measures may be impacting the mental health of stakeholders, their teams and family members. As such, we encourage you take the necessary precautions to stay healthy and to seek help as needed.
Below is a list of national resources that can be of assistance in helping manage the stress around the COVID-19 situation:
- Crisis Services Canada: 1-833-456-4566 or text 45645; 1-866-277-3553 (from Quebec):
- Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
- First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line: 1-855-242-3310
- Native Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-877-209-1266
GOVERNMENT updates and useful links
TIAC will continue to represent your interests with government officials and decision-makers throughout this crisis. Please stay safe and let us know what more we can do to help.
President & CEO
Tourism Industry Association of Canada