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Canadian COVID-19 Update | Tuesday, May 5

May 6, 2020

TIAC’s Advocacy Update

  • TIAC’s President & CEO participated in a regular phone call with the Associate Deputy Minister of ISED where she raised a number of issues:
    • A push for more details of industry specific aid and recovery funding for the tourism sector following two consecutive daily announcements by the Prime Minister that tourism sector specific relief is coming;
    • Difficulties for many tourism stakeholders to access existing programs, including small businesses, seasonal businesses and owner—operated businesses. It was re-emphasized that TIAC’s last survey showed that only one-third of tourism businesses are able to access any federally-announced programs to date;
    • A push to extend the wage subsidy program to September 20th as contemplated in Bill C-14 which established the program and beyond that well into recovery for tourism as the hardest hit industry;
    • Raised problems with the rent subsidy as many landlords are refusing to participate in the program.
  • TIAC’s President and CEO had discussions with the Tourism Minister’s officials today outlining struggles of industry stakeholders to access existing programs, including the BCAP loan facility; the need to extend the wage subsidy; ensure better alignment with industry needs; and the need to ensure government support well into recovery for the most hard hit industry. 
  • On May 12, Destination Canada will host another industry webinar featuring Minister Joly. TIAC’s President and CEO will also participate on this call to provide an update on advocacy efforts on behalf of the industry. 
  • The Institute of Hospitality and Tourism Research at Ryerson University has embarked on a research study to look at the policy actions of Federal and Provincial governments in response to the COVID-19
    • In cooperation with TIAC and Provincial and Territorial Industry Associations, the research will analyse government policy initiatives, and how they impacted tourism sector businesses 
    • TIAC is pleased to collaborate with Ryerson University on this project and hope that this research will shine a tourism lens on government policies and help inform government responses to any future crisis.

In case you missed it … 

  • TIAC launched a survey assessing the impacts of COVID-19 on Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) and gauging how existing tools are being accessed and what more is needed to address the needs of Canada’s DMO operators. 
  • For operators looking for information on how to prepare to safely reopen their operations in the coming weeks, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has a series of bilingual guidelines available to businesses regarding COVID-19
  • Please note that tomorrow, we will be launching a survey of industry stakeholders to assess specifically your experiences in accessing the BCAP loan initiative. We understand that some stakeholders are having difficulty accessing this important program. It is imperative for TIAC to obtain detailed feedback on how existing programs are being received and whether industry is actually able to access these programs. Please stay tuned for this survey. We appreciate that you are being asked to provide a large amount of information to us and other associations at this time, however, your feedback is instrumental in helping us advocate for changes and adjustments to existing programs. Please know that your feedback is vitally important!

Government Announcements

  • Today, the Prime Minster acknowledged the hardships food producers and farmers are dealing with during COVID-19. The government is investing $252 million to help the agri-food industry;
    • The government intends to work with all parties to increase credit line of Canadian Dairy Commission. Many farmers are dealing with an excess of animals and produced food with restaurants and hotels being closed.
    • The government is launching a surplus food program with a $50 million fund – the government will buy large quantities of products that may be going to waste and redistribute them to organizations addressing food security. This will ensure vulnerable Canadians have access to fresh food and farmers can still receive revenue.
  • The PM also reiterated that announcements to provide sector-specific relief for tourism are forthcoming although no announcements were made.

Looking Ahead – COVID-19 Recovery

Several provinces have begun announcing plans for reopening economies. Timelines and actions vary, but can provide businesses and workers with information on what to expect in the upcoming weeks and months. TIAC will continue to add links to provincial recovery plans as they become available: 

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