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We need to make sure that Ottawa hears our plea. We need attractions across the country to help draw attention to the lack of federal government response to the Tourism Industry in Canada in light of the current COVID crisis.  

Tourism is Canada's 5th largest industry employing 10% of our countries workforce and representing 2% of our GDP.  A report  by Destination Canada predicted within 60 days that 61,000 tourism businesses would close their doors forever, throwing 1.7 million Canadians out of work.  This report was drafted on March 27; we are now 34 days into the 60-day window, and we have not heard anything regarding support for the tourism industry.  

Students received $9 billion yesterday, but the industry sector that employs more students than anyone has yet to receive anything.  What is the point of propping up individuals if their jobs and livelihoods fail?


Advocate on behalf of attractions

The Honourable Mélanie Joly is the Minister of Economic Development, and has the responsibility for Tourism.

You can reach her via email at

Or send her a letter at:

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
235 Queen Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H5

 We would also advise you to share our message with your local MP.  You may locate them and their contact information at:

Tell them that your sector, your livelihood, is too important to the cultural and economic fabric of Canada for them to do nothing.  It is time the stand up and help save our businesses.  This is not a handout, but a thank you for the years of economic activity and taxation your company has provided this country and the government.  Now, in the face of a catastrophic failure, they need to act.

Here is a template letter that you can use:

Dear [MP/Minister]

I am writing today to add my voice to the plea that you Save Our Attractions.  Tourism is the 5th largest industry in this country and employs 10% of our workforce.  But it is even greater than that.  It is the welcoming face we display to the world, the lure that gets people to come and experience the greatest country in the world first hand.  They get to experience a little bit of Canada and take that back with them wherever they go.

We understand everyone is hurting.  This crisis is unlike anything we have experienced in our lifetimes.  Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures.  Our industry is about to undergo a catastrophic failure, and 1.7 million direct jobs are on the line.  Our country's ability to recover economically is dependent upon our tourism industry being vibrant and ready to welcome guests back to Canada when the time is right.  Until that time, we need your help.  Not a handout, but a recognition of the contribution this industry has to Canada's wealth and viability, and the role it plays in making our communities liveable.  It isn't just about economics (although that is significant) but our very way of life as well.

Our industry needs immediate aid.  A report by Destination Canada stated that in 60 days, 61,000 of our tourism businesses in this country would fail, accounting for 1.7 million jobs.  Those that survive those 60 days will be under significant pressure, and will most likely fail in the next 12 to 14 months.  That report was dated March 27;  May 26th is 60 days.  The countdown to save our industry is on.

We need the following to secure our industry's survival:

  1. A forgivable loan provided by the banks but funded and guaranteed by the federal government paid back through newly generated HST. 
  2. A government grant made up of the HST earned by the business during the last two quarters of 2019.
  3. Extend the CEWS to the end of QT 3 2020 or one additional quarter following the end of a lockdown: The detrimental effects of the COVID-19 Virus to tourism operations have far-reaching implications beyond the end of the current lockdown. It will be a gradual slow road to recovery stemming from health control and consumer confidence views taking a toll on the business’ fiscal operation. 
  4. Reduce Insurance Premiums for the Length of the Shutdown: Insurance companies should be required to provide a rebate on liability insurance premiums paid during the shutdown. With no employees or customers in their locations, there was limited liability and little to no claims requiring payouts by the insurance companies. This time of lockdown should not be a boon to the insurance industry at the expense of small business.
  5. Adjustment to the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program: Freeze all commercial evictions backdated until April 1.  Increase the rental allowance to business from 50% to 75% and remove the provision that the landlord is required to apply. Include in the program any commercial leases/licenses businesses have that include their location of operation (such as open lands or dock space). Extend program until the end of September.

How you choose to respond to our needs will help define your legacy in Parliament.  Were you there or not when Canadians needed you the most?  I look forward to your reply.  Remember, May 26th is coming quickly.