2021 Election – Tourism Promises Made So Far

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A Summary of Tourism Promises Made to Date

As we enter the election period, NOTO would like to keep the industry informed on the promises made regarding tourism that would benefit our sector. This summary includes items discussed during live events as well as information pulled from the platforms of each political party.

Liberal Party:
On September 1st, the Liberal’s released their full platform titled Forward. For Everyone. Here are the promises made which relate to our sector. 
COVID-19 Supports & Measures:
If re-elected, the Liberal party promises to:

  • Extend the Canada Recovery Hiring Program to March 31, 2022
  • Provide Canada’s hard-hit tourism industry with temporary wage and rent support of up to 75% of their expenses from September 2021 to May 31, 2022 for qualifying businesses experiencing a minimum of 40% revenue loss.
  • Launch a $1 billion COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination Fund to support provinces and territories who implement a requirement for proof of vaccine credentials in their jurisdiction for non-essential businesses and public spaces.
  • Introduce legislation to protect businesses from legal challenges if they require proof of vaccination from employees and customers  
  • Introduce a tax credit for small businesses to invest in better ventilation 
  • Require that travellers on interprovincial trains, commercial flights, cruise ships, and other federally regulated vessels be vaccinated. 

Addressing the Labour Shortage:

  • If re-elected, the Liberal party will expand pathways to permanent residency for temporary foreign workers and former international students, and streamline the application process for Canadian companies hiring temporary foreign workers to fill labour shortages 

Connecting Northern and Rural Businesses to Broadband:  

  • If re-elected, the Liberal party will accelerate the rollout of wireless and high-speed internet in rural and Northern Canada by requiring those that have purchased the rights to build broadband to actually do so by 2025.  

Regional Development Agencies:

  • The Liberal’s recognize the unique challenges faced by rural and northern areas which is why they created two standalone agencies for Western Canada, PacifiCAN, and PrairieCAN, and one for Northern Ontario, FedNor. This will allow the agencies to meet the unique needs of these regions and allow the economies to grow, thrive, and be part of our economic recovery. 

Changes to EI:
If re-elected, the Liberal’s will:

  • Introduce a new EI benefit for self-employed Canadians, delivered through the tax system, that would provide unemployment assistance comparable to EI and lasting for as much as 26 weeks. This could provide support of nearly $15,500. Self-employed Canadians seeking to access this benefit would only be responsible to contribute the portion they would normally pay if they were a salaried employee.
  • Move forward with a stronger and more inclusive EI system that addresses gaps made obvious during COVID-19 with a goal to create a new and modern EI system that covers all workers, including workers in seasonal employment, and which is simpler and more responsive for both workers and employers.

Read more about the Liberal’s platform by clicking here. 

Conservative Party:
On Monday, August 16th, the Conservative Party released their Full Conservative Plan. From that plan we noted the following components that may impact the tourism sector.
Support programs – If elected, the Conservative Party promises to:

  • Wind down emergency COVID support programs in a responsible way as Canadians are vaccinated and the economy re-opens.
  • Create theCanada Job Surge Plan: paying up to 50% of the salary of new hires for six months following the end of CEWS. The government will pay at least 25% of the salary of a net new hire, with the subsidy increasing up to a maximum of 50% based on how long the new hire has been unemployed. The salary maximum will be the same as for CEWS.
  • Create the Dine and Discover Program: provide a 50% rebate for food and non-alcoholic drinks purchased for dine-in from Monday to Wednesday for one month once it is safe to do so.
  • Launch the Explore and Support Canada initiative with a 15% tax credit for vacation expenses of up to $1,000 per person for Canadians to vacation in Canada in 2022
  • Eliminate the escalator tax on alcohol.
  • Canada Investment Accelerator: getting companies spending money and creating jobs by providing a 5% investment tax credit for any capital investment made in 2022 and 2023, with the first $25,000 to be refundable for small business.
  • Rebuild Main Street Tax Credit: providing a 25% tax credit on amounts of up to $100,000 that Canadians personally invest in a small business over the next two years, to get money flowing into main street businesses and create jobs.
  • Main Street Business Loan: providing loans of up to $200,000 to help small and medium businesses in hospitality, retail, and tourism get back on their feet, with up to 25% forgiven. 
  • Reform BDC to ensure that its loan programs are accessible to small businesses.  This will include broadening BDC’s mandate to have it guarantee a portion of loans that Canada’s banks make to small business, in the same way that CMHC guarantees mortgages.   
  • Launch a Super EI that temporarily provides more generous benefits (75% of salary instead of 55%) when a province goes into recession (a 0.5% increase in the unemployment rate, as defined by the “Sahm Rule”). EI will return to normal levels once the recession is over, as evidenced by three months of job gains.

Border measures – If elected, the Conservative Party promises to:

  • Deploy rapid testing at all border entry points and airports to screen new arrivals. Everyone entering Canada (by land as well as by air), irrespective of their vaccination status and whether they are considered an essential worker, will be required to take a rapid test and possibly a PCR test upon arrival.
  • Develop a clear, evidence-based strategy for re-opening our border with clear timelines and metrics. Restore urgency, rationality, and consistency to border regulations.
  • Quickly close the border to travellers from hotspots where new variants are detected.

Supporting Rural Canada – If elected, the Conservative Party promises to:

  • Ensure that rural Canadians have their voices heard and their concerns addressed whether they live in rural Nova Scotia, or rural Saskatchewan, or a remote community in Northern Ontario, or anywhere else in the country.
  • Building digital infrastructure to connect all of Canada to High-Speed Internet by 2025
  • Appoint a Minister of Rural Affairs to Cabinet.
  • Set aside a portion of federal infrastructure funds for projects in rural areas.
  • Ensure that Canada’s tourism strategy supports rural tourism and encourages Canadians and visitors from around the world to explore remote parts of the country, including the hidden gems that are off the beaten path.

Read more about the Conservatives’ platform by clicking here.

If elected, the NDP promises to:

  • Make changes to EI: To help make ends meet while on EI, the NDP will create a low income supplement so that no one who is relying on EI regular or special benefits to stay afloat receives less than $2,000 a month. The NDP would also make EI available to people who quit their jobs to go back to school, to provide necessary childcare, or to protect their health or the health of immunocompromised family members. To help Canadians in seasonal industries, the NDP would bring back the former Extra Five Weeks pilot project and make it permanent.
  • Put in place a federal minimum wage starting at $15 an hour and rising to $20 an hour, indexed to the cost of living.
  • Ensure the small businesses wage and rent subsidies continue until small businesses are able to fully reopen.
  • Put in place a long-term hiring bonus to pay the employer portion of EI and CPP for new or rehired staff.
  • Put an end to gouging by capping high credit card merchant fees at a maximum of 1%.
  • Recognizing that a shortage of workers is a major barrier for many small businesses operating in rural areas, the NDP would make important new investments in training Canadians and boost support to traditionally underemployed groups, ensuring that they can access good jobs that pay a fair wage.
  • NDP will also work to restore the Ontario Northlander to support the crucial transportation link for communities and businesses alike in Northern Ontario.
  • Deliver high-speed rural broadband to all communities in Canada without delay, and ensuring that reliable cell phone service is expanded to every area of Canada – while keeping rates affordable for families and businesses.

Read more about the NDP’s platform by clicking here.

Green Party
COVID-19 & Small Business Supports:

  • Extend wage and rent subsidies until COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions are fully lifted.
  • Hold the small business tax rate at no more than 9%.
  • Reduce the paperwork burden on small businesses by eliminating duplicative tax filings and red tape.
  • Ensure all new legislation considers the impact on small businesses.
  • Reduce bureaucracy and streamline approvals for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to adopt technologies.
  • Promote entrepreneurship training and business support, especially for women, young, racialized and Indigenous entrepreneurs.
  • Establish a federally funded Green Venture Capital Fund of $1 billion to support viable small local green business start-ups.
  • Subsidize the implementation of new clean technologies across all SMEs

Supporting the North:

  • Address disparities in delivery, access, and funding for rural services
  • Establish a parliamentary committee to collect information on place-based needs in rural and remote communities, including the state of funding for rural services in the context of the economic/social realities faced by those communities, and develop recommendations on how these gaps can be closed in ways that work at the local level.
  • Make investments to expand transit services and infrastructure.
  • Invest $500 million in 2022-23, rising to $720 million by 2024 to develop regional rail networks and strengthen rail connections between regions.  
  • Provide affordable and accessible internet services across Canada, including rural areas.
  • Continue to support the Universal Broadband Fund, and retain that funding with an additional $150 M annually over 4 years to reach communities at the lowest end of the eligibility spectrum  
  • Break up telecom monopolies through changes to CRTC regulation to allow for more equitable treatment of rural consumers

Read more about the Green Party’s platform by clicking here

People’s Party of Canada
The People’s Party of Canada does not have any plans in their platform to support tourism specific issues. 

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