posted on December 1, 2020
December 1, 2020 OTTAWA, ON – The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) is encouraged by the sector specific support measures outlined in the Fall Economic Statement presented November 30 by the Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.
“We appreciate the work and commitment that the government has put forward in the FES. It is reassuring that our sector is being acknowledged and that its unique needs are being recognized as we continue to look for hope of recovery through the pandemic. We want to thank the government, specifically Minister Joly, for fighting for the sector,” said Vince Accardi, Acting CEO of TIAC.
TIAC has been working with government and partners to outline targeted support for the sector. As part of the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses, TIAC and its colleagues have been advocating specifically for the following top priorities;
- Increased wage subsidy support;
- Relief from fixed costs; and,
- Access to liquidity.
The fiscal update, entitled ‘Supporting Canadians and Fighting COVID-19’ did recognize and outline hardships specific to the tourism sector, and proposed supports that directly relate to the sector’s asks, though not all requests went acknowledged.
The following commitments are areas of encouragement for the visitor economy:
- Creating the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program a 100% government-backed credit availability loan program at low-interest rates for the hardest-hit businesses.
- Increasing the maximum rate of the wage subsidy program to 75% for the next three periods or until March 13, 2021.
- Extend the current subsidy rates of the Government’s fixed cost relief program, Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy to March 13, 2021, to provide greater certainty to businesses.
- Providing $500 million in additional funding to the Regional Development Agencies to provide financing support to local businesses unable to access other federal financial assistance.
- Anticipated support for airlines and festivals/events.
While it was encouraging to see these proposed commitments made in the House, there is much work to be done to ensure an effective roll out and strategic focus of these programs.
“Tourism businesses have been facing months of reduced or no revenue – and without certainty of support, including timing, they cannot plan for their financial future. We look forward to continued work with the government to ensure these supports get to those who have been hardest hit, on the right terms and as soon as possible,” concluded Accardi.