July 9-13, 2020

Dear Tourism Stakeholders,

The TIAC Team is pleased to provide you with this update on the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, including the steps government is taking to address the situation. We are working hard to make sure the industry’s voice is heard by government, and that you have the information you need to keep your business going in these uncertain times.

Please find the latest updates on official announcements and a recap of TIAC’s advocacy work on behalf of Canada’s Visitor Economy:

TIAC’s Advocacy Update

Today, the government confirmed that the CEWS program will be extended until December 2020, a measure that TIAC and others have been pushing for in recent weeks to support businesses through recovery  TIAC is extremely pleased to see this important program extended. TIAC’s President and CEO has been in contact with a number of government officials today emphasizing the importance of providing details concerning the program extension and the conditions for businesses to qualify as clarity is critical for business planning purposes.

We are told that details are imminent and TIAC expects more to be announced later this week. Please rest assured that we will communicate all details related to this important program as soon as they become available. Tomorrow, TIAC’s President and CEO is scheduled to speak with Minister Joly to discuss, among other things, the state of the industry, the work being conducted by the tourism roundtable and other matters.

Last Friday, TIAC’s President and CEO participated on a bi-weekly call with ISED officials including Associate Deputy Minister Paul Thompson during which she emphasized the importance of the CEWS program, its extension and ensuring clear communication of any conditions for businesses to qualify.   The President & CEO also reported that TIAC’s latest survey will soon be closed, at which point TIAC will share important data concerning the CEWS, BCAP and RRRF programs.  Discussions on labour issues, with an emphasis on dealing with upcoming provincial layoff deadlines were discussed and are ongoing.

Government officials reported that the Industry Council (which includes tourism/transportation) met recently and that the urgency of developing a communications stance that focuses on recovery/safe travel rather than lockdown is being discussed.

TIAC has long advocated for a change in the narrative towards a more recovery/safe travel focus and is pleased to see discussions taking place through the Industry Council Table led by ISED.

Late last week, employment numbers were released by Statistics Canada, showing that unemployment is decreasing across the country  The tourism sector added 243,900 jobs back into the economy in May and June, mostly full-time employees  TIAC is hopeful that continued government support will continue to increase employment numbers and help the sector get back to business.

Twenty31’s latest report on the ‘State of the Industry‘ is available now on the TIAC website Canadian Heritage has released Phase II of emergency COVID-19 funding for cultural, heritage and sports organizations. Those in the live music industry and organizations who did not get approved for phase I funding in the program should look at FACTOR’s funding criteria, who will distribute funds on behalf of government.

Government Announcements

Today, the Prime Minister announced that the wage subsidy will be extended until December, as was expected following the additional $50 billion allocated to the program in last week’s Fiscal Snapshot.

Details on the extension’s criteria are expected to be announced imminently.

The government will also provide an update on the federal/provincial Safe Restart program later in the week.

With the international border closure deadline approaching, the Prime Minister was asked about a timeline for reopening the border in today’s news conference.

The Prime Minister did not provide any new details, but did note the government would have more information later in the week.

It has been noted that the volume of travellers across the border has increased recently and the government has bolstered screening efforts at 36 points of entry across Canada.