Today, the Governor General presented a Throne Speech on behalf of the government, which outlines the government’s priorities and legislative agenda. The focus of this speech was economic recovery in the face of COVID-19, and measures that will help Canadians and the economy return to prosperity. The Throne Speech will lead to a vote of confidence in the House of Commons in the coming days, and could be key in deciding if Canada will hold a federal election in the Fall.
TIAC was thrilled to see that, after relentless advocacy efforts by our team and sectoral partners, hardest hit businesses, such as those in travel and tourism as well as the visitor economy, are a priority to the government strategy moving forward. In fact, travel and tourism was among the only industries directly mentioned in the speech as a sector in need of further support. Support measures such as the extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program through the summer of 2021, investment in liquidity measures including enhancements to the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) and Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), and further support for industries that have been the hardest hit, including travel and tourism, hospitality, and cultural industries like the performing arts. These measures have the potential to provide much needed relief to many of you in the coming months as we wait for a return to conditions that will support a flourishing industry.
TIAC was also pleased to hear that the government is investing in technologies to improve COVID-19 testing, including faster and safer tests and a vaccine strategy once one becomes available. These measures will be key to returning inbound travel to pre-COVID-19 levels, and aide in the return of normal travel activities.
Other highlights include:
- Support regional routes for airlines;
- The largest investment in Canadian history in training for workers;
- and acknowledgement that Immigration remains a driver of Canada’s economic growth
TIAC will keep members apprised of further information that arises from this government business. Our work is not done. While this speech is a great sign that the government understands and is committed to our industry’s needs, they are not yet implemented. TIAC will continue to work hard on your behalf to keep the government accountable to these promises.
TIAC also wishes to thank our partners who worked so hard to make this happen and the many who joined the coalition of Canada’s hardest hit businesses. This was a great group effort!