COVID-19 Updates > Tourism Advocacy Update – July 16-20, 2020
posted on July 20, 2020
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Today’s COVID-19 Update is one of many examples of the work the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) does on behalf of its members. TIAC has been the industry’s voice during the COVID-19 pandemic providing advocacy, leadership, and support to all operators. As a not-for-profit organization, our work is only possible because of paid members and partners. TIAC members fuel our work for the benefit of all tourism stakeholders.
July 16-20, 2020
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. 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:
TIAC’s Advocacy Update
- Late Friday afternoon on July 17th, the Government of Canada released new details on proposed changes to the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program – announcing that the program would be extended until December 2020. Changes include a top-up for those businesses hardest hit, with a maximum base CEWS rate for employers with a revenue drop of 50% or more.
- Recognizing that the new criteria for the CEWS program are very complex, TIAC is still working through this with outside counsel to navigate through the new calculations and what they mean for tourism businesses seeking to access the program. We are also still in discussions with government officials as the program has not yet received approval in the House of Commons.
- TIAC hopes to have additional, plain-language details available soon for tourism sector businesses to help you navigate through the new program and hopefully get the support you need. In the coming days and perhaps beyond this, we will be pushing to have the new Safe Harbor Principle, which applies for July and August, to be extended through December, especially for businesses in the tourism sector which have been hardest hit.
- The full details of the new program can be seen here.
- The President and CEO made a presentation during a webinar organized by Conference Centres of Canada on Thursday, July 16th to discuss TIAC’s work supporting the industry, our priorities and challenges as we navigate through this difficult period.
- On Friday, July 17, the President and CEO participated in a bi-weekly call with officials from Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) where she urged government to allow international students to enter the country for the upcoming semester, among other things.
- Following the government announcement concerning proposed extensions and changes to the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy Program (CEWS) on July 17, the President and CEO spoke with Minister Joly’s office as well as officials in the Finance Department to express concerns regarding the complexity of the new proposal in an effort to better understand the mechanics of the proposal.
- TIAC and the Hotel Association of Canada are collaborating on next steps concerning the proposed amendments to the program.
- As covered above, the most significant government announcement last week dealt with updates to the CEWS program, which is before the House of Commons this week for approval.
- On Thursday, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister held a press conference announcing a pan-Canadian recovery agreement with the provinces and territories, noting that the federal government will be investing $19 billion dollars for operational costs for cities and municipalities to help Canadians get back to work safely and prepare for a potential second wave.
- The federal government noted that it hopes this will give provinces stability for the next 6-8 months. The plan has seven pillars:
- Testing/contact tracing
- Senior support via long term care homes, homecare, and palliative care
- Paid sick leave
- The money must be targeted to these areas and provinces cannot shift money around between the buckets.
- The Prime Minister also confirmed on Thursday that the border closure with the United States has been extended until August 21st.
In Case You Missed It …
- The latest edition of Twenty31’s industry dashboard is now available on the TIAC website
- Thanks to you, we are closer to reaching our letter writing campaign goal to garner 1000 letters by the end of this week. If you haven’t already done so, please go to TourismCounts.ca and click “Send your Letter” to help us reach our goal. Your voice is important and we need to make sure government decision-makers know that tourism counts!