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e-3027 (Business and trade)

Initiated by William Morrison from Ottawa, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • Canada’s travel and tourism industry was hit first by the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been hit hardest, and it will take the longest to recover;
  • Policies implemented by the Government of Canada in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are forcing many businesses to temporarily and permanently close through no fault of their own;
  • These current policies are creating a serious unemployment issue in Canada that would otherwise not exist, if these decisions were based on evidence, science, and facts;
  • The Government of Canada has delayed too long in providing sector-specific support and relief to those hardest hit travel and tourism sectors; and
  • Public confidence and demand for travel domestically and internationally has plummeted to an all-time low since March 2020.
We, the undersigned, Citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:
1. Present a sector-specific tourism recovery plan on or before the date of the 2021 Federal Budget;
2. Ensure this tourism recovery plan addresses the specific needs of the many travel and tourism sectors across Canada;
3. Ensure this tourism recovery plan supports the urgent and complete development, implementation, and deployment of Health Canada approved vaccines and rapid testing devices;
4. Ensure this tourism recovery plan includes sector-specific health guidelines, which enable sectors to resume work operations in a safe and responsible manner; and
5. Use this tourism recovery plan as a tool to begin restoring public confidence in travel and tourism.

Response by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Mélanie Joly, P.C., M.P.

The health and safety of Canadians is the Government of Canda’s top priority. The Government of Canada continues to work with provinces and territories to take the measures that are necessary to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 and its variants in Canada. To date, the Government of Canada has invested over $1 billion to secure access to promising vaccine candidates. This includes up-front payments that companies require to support vaccine development, testing and at-risk manufacturing. Subsequent payments are contingent on vaccines passing clinical trials and obtaining regulatory approval.

The Government of Canada recognizes that pandemic restrictions have taken a very heavy toll on jobs, businesses, and communities. The tourism sector was the first hit by COVID-19, the hardest hit, and will be among those that take the longest to recover.

From the start of the pandemic, the Government of Canada has introduced broad-based measures to support the Canadian economy, many of which have helped the tourism sector. This includes financial support for employees who cannot work because of COVID-19, subsidies for wages and rent, and loans to provide liquidity relief. Approximately $9.7 billion was  estimated in the Fall Economic Update to have flowed to tourism businesses through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, Canada Emergency Business Account and the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance.

In addition, the Government of Canada has introduced measures targeting the tourism sector. For example, in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, the Government of Canada announced the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program –  a new credit facility that provides government-guaranteed, low-interest loans of up to $1 million for businesses in the hardest hit sectors, like tourism and hospitality. This program was launched on February 1, 2021.

The Government of Canada also earmarked 25 percent of the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to tourism businesses, representing $500 million. The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund provides assistance to businesses to allow them to continue their operations, including paying their employees, and supports projects by businesses, organizations and communities to prepare now for a successful recovery.

The Government of Canada will continue to work with partners and stakeholders to identify effective ways to support the recovery of this important sector.

Open for signature
December 9, 2020, at 5:07 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
February 7, 2021, at 5:07 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Tony Baldinelli (Niagara Falls)
February 26, 2021 (Petition No. 432-00574)
Government response tabled
April 12, 2021
Photo - Tony Baldinelli
Niagara Falls
Conservative Caucus
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