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Budget 2021: A Sign of Progress towards Canada’s Tourism Economy’s Recovery

posted on April 20, 2021
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Today, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, stood in the House of Commons to outline details of the long anticipated federal budget. 
 
The TIAC Team is actively analyzing the over 700-page document, and look forward to addressing the intricacies on tomorrow’s members’ only webinar. 
 
The following is a high-level snapshot of the supports outlined in this evening’s announcement.
 
Budget 2021 proposed supports that total to $1 billion over three years for tourism, starting in 2021-22.
 
SUPPORTING BUSINESS SOLVENCY 
 
Indigenous Tourism 
  • $2.4 million in 2021-22 to the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada to help the Indigenous tourism industry rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
 
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) & Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
  • Extension of the wage and rent subsidies until September 25, 2021, with potential until November 20, 2021. It also proposes to gradually decrease the subsidy rate, beginning July 4, 2021, in order to ensure an orderly phase out in tandem with vaccinations. TIAC has been advocating for an extension to at least end of 2021, and while we welcome this extension, we will continue our work to ensure the hardest hit businesses receive continued support. 
 
Regional Relief and Recovery Fund 
  • $500 million Tourism Relief Fund, administered by the regional development agencies to support investments by local tourism businesses in adapting to the pandemic.
  • $200 million through the regional development agencies to support major festivals and $200 million through Canadian Heritage to support local festivals, community cultural events, outdoor theatre performances, heritage celebrations, local museums, amateur sport events, and more.
  • Proposes extension of the application deadline for similar support under the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund and the Indigenous Business Initiative until June 30, 2021. Budget 2021 proposes to provide up to $80 million in 2021-22 on a cash basis, for the regional development agencies, and to shift remaining funds under the Indigenous Business Initiative into 2021-22, to support an extended application deadline for the RRRF and Indigenous Business Initiative until June 30, 2021. This would support small businesses in rural communities so that they can continue to serve local populations. 
 
Support for Airlines
  • Providing $82.5 million in 2021-22 to Transport Canada to support major Canadian airports in making investments in COVID-19 testing infrastructure.
  • Providing $105.3 million over five years, starting in 2021-22 with $28.7 million in remaining amortization and $10.2 million per year ongoing to Transport Canada to collaborate with International Partners to further advance the Known Traveller Digital Identity Pilot project, which will test advanced technologies to facilitate touchless and secure air travel.
 
CHAMPIONING SAFETY 
 
  • $6.7 million in 2021-22 to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority to acquire and operate sanitization equipment, champion safety.
  • $271.1 million in 2021-22 to CATSA to maintain operations and enhanced screening services at the 89 airports where it works.
 
These measures will help restore Canadians’ confidence in the safety of air travel when public health restrictions and border measures are adjusted. 
 
KEEPING CANADA GLOBALLY COMPETITVE
 
Canada Recovery Hiring Program
  • Introduction of the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program to provide eligible employers with a subsidy of up to 50 per cent on the incremental remuneration paid to eligible employees between June 6, 2021 and November 20, 2021.
  • $595 million to make it easier for businesses to hire back laid-off workers or to bring on new ones.
 
Discovering Canada
  • $100 million to Destination Canada for marketing campaigns to help Canadians and other visitors discover and explore the country.
 
OTHER SUPPORT
  • $101 million over two years, starting in 2022-23, to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, to implement a program for the wine sector that will support wineries in adapting to ongoing and emerging challenges, in line with Canada’s trade obligations. 
 
There are other significant pieces outlined in the budget document that will impact our sector including Affordable Housing, Immigration, reforms to the Employment Insurance Act and Canada Labour Code, Small Business supports, support for Parks Canada Agency and we will provide a more robust update on these during tomorrow’s Budget Update and Fireside Chat with TIAC President and CEO Beth Potter.