Well, it didn’t take long for the industry to get a response to its call to make continued support for this country’s travel and tourism industry an election issue.
In Longueuil, Quebec earlier today, Liberal leader, Justin Trudeau made it clear that if re-elected a Liberal government would provide a bridge program to sustain Canada’s hardest hit businesses in order to help the tourism, hospitality, conventions and festival sectors survive the enduring impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Needless to say, the response from industry associations was positive with TIAC president and CEO, Beth Potter stating that: “The commitment made in this announcement will help to ensure the survival of our industry.”
Potter continued: “Six in ten of our coalition members said they would not survive without this kind of transition support. We have been advocating for a tailored, sector specific support program to ensure that Canada’s tourism economy can recover. This program would help get us there.”
HAC president and CEO, Susie Grynol agreed, observing that the “announcement affirms the survival of anchor businesses in tourism, hospitality, events, arts and culture sectors, the large majority of which are locally owned small businesses.”
And HAC’s boss went further stating that: “The Trudeau government was responsive and innovative partners through the first 18 months of COVID-19, and today’s campaign announcement demonstrates the Liberal Party’s continued commitment to critical sectors of the Canadian economy that have been deeply imperiled by the pandemic.”
In announcing the Liberal’s plan to both extend and introduce new emergency supports for businesses and workers, Justin Trudeau said: “Supporting businesses and their workers is at the heart of our plan to create jobs, strengthen the middle class, and grow the economy.”
To provide more help to businesses that have been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to support the creation of one million jobs, a re-elected Liberal government will:
- Extend the Canada Recovery Hiring Program to March 31, 2022, so businesses can hire more workers and Canadians can get back on the job
- Provide Canada’s hard-hit tourism industry with temporary wage and rent support of up to 75% of their expenses to help them get through the winter
- Launch the Arts and Culture Recovery Program that will match ticket sales for performing arts, live theatres, and other cultural venues to compensate for reduced capacity
- Extend COVID-related insurance coverage for media production stoppages to support 150,000 Canadian jobs
- Implement a transitional support program to help bridge workers from the creative industry who continue to be impacted by the pandemic.
This plan builds on previous support that the Liberal government introduced during the pandemic, including:
- Protecting over 5 million jobs with the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
- Helping over 150,000 organizations with support for their rent, mortgage, and other expenses
- Providing additional support to businesses that were forced to close due to public health guidelines
- Supporting Canada’s hardest-hit industries, including the tourism and hospitality sectors, with low-interest loans
- Providing businesses with up to $60,000 in partially forgivable, interest free loans so they could meet their daily expenses
Trudeau also made it clear: “We stood with Canadian businesses through this tough time, but Erin O’Toole’s Conservatives tried to stand in our way. Only our Liberal team will keep fighting for our businesses and our workers, and build a better Canada for everyone.”
In a joint response, the group noted that the forecast for the industry is for another 8 months almost as bad as the preceding 18 months of the pandemic.
And the industry group made it clear that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy have allowed tourism businesses to survive the first 18 months of the pandemic and noted that the program announced today by Justin Trudeau would enable the hardest hit of the hardest hit to survive until they can resume normal operations.
The response also pointed out that members of the Hardest Hit Coalition have been advocating for a bridge program that will only apply to those businesses that are truly hardest hit with a revenue decline of at least 40%.
The group also made it clear that the Liberal campaign pledge is a direct response to the Hardest Hit Coalition advocating for business survival; and observed that that pledge sets the bar for all other political parties and candidates to support and work collectively to pass in the next Parliament.
Go to www.hardesthit.ca for more.