Statement: Conservatives and Tourism Industry Call on the Liberals to Establish a Plan for Safe Reopening

March 23, 2021


Ottawa, ON – Tony Baldinelli, Special Advisor to the Conservative Leader on Tourism Recovery, released the following statement today:

“COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on Canada’s travel and tourism industry, and the journey to recover will take a significant amount of time and effort.

“From the very beginning, Canada’s Conservatives have been calling on the Trudeau government to provide plans for sector-specific support for those hardest hit; for the widespread implementation and use of rapid testing devices; for timely vaccination procurement and delivery to our provinces and territories; and for economic recovery measures to help kickstart our economy on the other side of this pandemic.

“We are now over a year into this pandemic, and the Trudeau government has failed to present Canadians with their plans for these important matters. Restrictions and lockdowns were put in place to buy the government time to get permanent solutions like vaccines, rapid testing, variant testing capacity, and the use of shared COVID-19 data.

“However, the Liberal government has failed to bring these tools to widespread use in Canada. This severely impacts our travel and tourism economy and threatens its potential for a strong rebound.

“The President of the United States and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom have both released public plans for economic reopening, yet the Trudeau government has not yet given Canadians clarity on when regular economic activity and social life will be able to resume as normal.

“Canadians have sacrificed and suffered tremendously throughout this pandemic. It’s time for the Trudeau government to tell Canadians how they are going to get life back to normal.”

"In addition to a safe re-opening plan, Canada’s hotel operators and employees need the certainty of a firm budget commitment from Government that their support for our survival will continue through any lingering pandemic restrictions. It is critical the government announce an extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy to the end of the year, modified to help Canada’s hotels and other hardest hit sectors survive, recover, and restart successfully."
- Susie Grynol, President, Hotel Association of Canada
“Prior to COVID-19, tourism was one of the fastest growing industries in the world. We are here today, over a year into the pandemic, and the visitor economy is still in crisis. We need federal guidance on a policy roadmap so that tourism businesses can understand what conditions are required before border restrictions are relaxed. We need the government to set out the criteria for reopening.”
- Beth Potter, CEO, Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC)
“There is an urgent need to work together to protect Canadian tourism and travel industry jobs and infrastructure by developing plans for recovery.  This plan should include threshold metrics and timelines to facilitate the return of an industry that has been decimated by COVID-19 and is essential to Canadians over the long term, and a significant driver of the Canadian economy.” 
- Wendy Paradis, President, Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA)
“Canada’s tourism industry needs the Government of Canada to proactively develop a Safe Traveller Program to allow low risk international travellers to visit Canada in 2021. Even with the current federal support programs in place, many tourism operators will not survive without border mobility in 2021. Utilizing the increasing availability of vaccines and rapid testing, a Safe Traveller Program will allow for safe cross-border travel while providing assurance to Canadians that guests will not create a surge in new cases.”
- Dominic Dugré, President, Canadian Federation of Outfitter Associations (CFOA)
"In the absence of any activity in 2021, the festivals and events sector could lose most of its staff and resources which will force the permanent cancellation of many events for the future. For this reason, the festivals and events industry is asking federal, provincial, and municipal governments to study successful event test cases in other jurisdictions, support efforts to conduct event test cases here in Canada, and to work with the events sector to develop a framework for the safe return of live in-person events."
- Martin Roy, Executive Director, Festivals and Major Events Canada (FAME)


For more information:

Office of Tony Baldinelli, M.P.
[email protected]