The Canadian Restaurant Industry needs help now.
A Message from M.P. Larry Bagnell – March 27, 2020
TIAC – Tourism Advocacy Update – March 19, 2020
TIAC continues to advocate for the tourism sector daily. We are committed to providing our members with the most up-to-date information to help businesses navigate this difficult time.
Dear TIAC Member,
Given the ongoing situation related to the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on tourism, TIAC will continue to provide regular information concerning steps the Government is taking to address the situation and ensure we are providing up to date information to Government officials from our members.
Please find the latest update on official announcements and a recap of TIAC’s advocacy work on behalf of our members:
- Following yesterday’s economic response announcement, today, the Government assured Canadians that they are working to ensure the measures announced will be available to Canadians as quickly as possible.
- The Prime Minister said that he will be working closely with the clerk of the Privy Council to talk about support for public servants and ways to ensure Canadians can access support.
- As of March 18, there are 772 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, with 9 deaths. 55,000 Canadians have been tested, with 10,000 since yesterday. Canadians need to be assured that it will take time for social distancing to show results. What is concerning, is the sharp rise in cases as travel is being reduced.
- The government is continuing discussions with the US to implement non-essential travel restrictions across the border. They expect this to come into effect by Saturday, March 21st.
- Small business support was discussed again today. Directly from the Minister of Small Business’ office, here is additional information. The government is:
- Eliminating the payroll tax for three months by providing a 10% wage subsidy to small businesses;
- Helping businesses with cash flow by deferring tax payments until August 31st;
- Increasing credit available to farmers through Farm Credit Canada.
- Introducing a new Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks for self-employed people who are not eligible for EI sickness benefits.
- Establishing a coordinated approach with the financial sector: cutting interest rates to 0.75%, and major banks increasing lending capacity by $300 billion;
- Establishing a Business Credit Availability Program through BDC and EDC worth $10 billion – providing more short-term loans, working capital, and export insurance-credit so that more Canadian businesses are supported.
- Enhancing the Work-Sharing Program to help businesses pay wages so they don’t have to lay anyone off.
TIAC continues to seek more information on how these programs will roll-out for Canadians and tourism businesses.
WHERE TO START
Many Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs are anxious about how to get the help they need in the face of COVID-19. Here are a few good places to start:
- Visit the website for businesses for information about supporting your employees and your business. It will be constantly updated as the COVID-19 crisis evolve.
- Download the Canada Business App to find tailored supports to address your specific needs and questions about COVID-19.
- Consult the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s pandemic preparedness guide to help prepare your business in the days and weeks to come.
More announcements will be made in the coming days and weeks and TIAC continues to advocate for urgent measures to address immediate tourism business needs as one of the first and most impacted sectors in the economy.
- Navigate the crisis; to ensure we are working with other stakeholders and organizations supporting this sector, we are connecting daily with many other organizations to share ideas and push out vital information to as many people as possible. This includes regular calls and email communication to ensure TIAC members and the industry get timely updates on the COVID-19 situation, and what assistance is available to them. Today, these communications included;
- Calls with various elected and government officials, including Minister Morneau’s office and Gudie Hutchings, MP and Chair of the All-Party Tourism Caucus
- Ongoing calls with Destination Canada to rally industry together as co-presenters for the March 20 webinar sign up for The Visitor Economy Webinar
- Calls with ISED officials as well as Parks Canada to discuss on-going initiatives
- Meetings Mean Business Global to discuss impacts on the meetings and conventions sector and share advocacy activities occurring in other countries
- Keep you up-to-date on COVID-19, we invite you to check our website regularly for updates as well as to sign-up for our COVID-19 communications .
In addition to the work TIAC is doing, please review the list of industry support for Canadian businesses, as well as, a list of mental wellness national resources, and keep on the lookout for ongoing updates as we continue to work on your behalf to get through this crisis.
List of relevant and official information sources regarding COVID-19:
- Work-Sharing Program – Temporary special measures
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – Employment and Social Development Canada
- Export Development Canada COVID-19
- Business Development Bank of Canada – Support for Entrepreneurs impacted by coronavirus
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Resources for Canadian businesses
MENTAL WELLNESS: at risk during this time of crisis
The current situation and social distancing measures may be impacting the mental health of stakeholders, their teams and family members. As such, we encourage you take the necessary precautions to stay healthy and to seek help as needed.
Below is a list of national resources that can be of assistance in helping manage the stress around the COVID-19 situation:
- Crisis Services Canada: 1-833-456-4566 or text 45645; 1-866-277-3553 (from Quebec):
- Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
- First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line: 1-855-242-3310
- Native Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-877-209-1266
GOVERNMENT updates and useful links
- Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses
TIAC will continue to represent your interests with government officials and decision-makers throughout this crisis. Please stay safe and let us know what more we can do to help.
President & CEO
Tourism Industry Association of Canada
TIAC – Tourism Advocacy Update – March 18 2020
Dear TIAC Member,
We just received the following message from the office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages:
For immediate release Prime Minister announces more support for workers and businesses through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
March 18, 2020Ottawa, OntarioPrime Minister’s Office The Government of Canada is taking strong and quick action to protect our economy, and the health, safety, and jobs of all Canadians during the global COVID-19 outbreak. The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced a new set of economic measures tohelp stabilize the economy and help Canadians affected by the impacts of this challenging period. These measures, delivered as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses, plus $55 billion to meet liquidity needs of Canadian businesses and households through tax deferrals to help stabilize the economy. Combined, this $82 billion in support represents more than 3 per cent of Canada’s GDP. This wide-ranging support will help ensure Canadians can pay for rent and groceries, and help businesses continue to pay their employees and their bills during this time of uncertainty. This plan builds on coordinated action taken since the beginning of this outbreak, including the more than $1 billion COVID-19 Response Fund, which provided funding to provinces and territories to strengthen critical health care systems. It represents over $500 billion in credit and liquidity support for people and businesses through cooperation between financial Crown corporations, the Bank of Canada, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), and commercial lenders to ensure businesses can continue to operate. The actions announced today are part of Canada’s whole-of-government response to COVID-19. As a first step, this plan aims to stabilize our economy through targeted measures to address immediate challenges faced by workers and businesses alike. It will help ensure that workers have the money they need while they are sick or in isolation, or due to loss of work or a significant reduction in work income, and help support people and businesses experiencing financial hardship because of the outbreak. Canadians should not make health decisions based on their financial needs. As the situation continues to evolve, further measures will be announced to support Canadians, stimulate the economy, and protect peoples’ jobs and livelihoods..
Support for workers Canadians should not have to worry about paying their rent or mortgage or buying groceries because of the COVID-19 crisis. To support workers and their families, the Government of Canada is taking action to:
- Provide additional assistance to families with children by temporarily boosting Canada Child Benefit payments. This measure would deliver almost $2 billion in extra support.
- Introduce an Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks to provide income support to workers who must stay home and do not have access to paid sick leave. This measure could provide up to $10 billion to Canadians, and includes:
- Workers, including the self-employed, who are sick, quarantined, or who have been directed to self-isolate but do not qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.
- Workers, including the self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent or other dependents who are sick, but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.
- EI-eligible and non EI-eligible working parents who must stay home without pay because of children who are sick or who need additional care because of school closures.
- Introduce an Emergency Support Benefit delivered through the Canada Revenue Agency to provide up to $5 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment.
- Provide additional assistance to individuals and families with low and modest incomes with a special top-up payment under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) credit. This measure would inject $5.5 billion in the economy.
- Waive, for a minimum of six months, the mandatory one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits for workers in imposed quarantine or who have been directed to self-isolate, as announced on March 11.
- Waive the requirement for a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.
- Extend the tax filing deadline for individuals to June 1, and allow all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. This measure will result in households having more money available during this period.
- Provide eligible small businesses a 10 per cent wage subsidy for the next 90 days, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Employers benefiting from this measure would include corporations eligible for the small business deduction, as well as not-for-profit organisations and charities. This will help employers keep people on their payroll and help Canadians keep their jobs.
- Provide increased flexibility to lenders to defer mortgage payments on homeowner government-insured mortgage loans to borrowers who may be experiencing financial difficulties related to the outbreak. Insurers will permit lenders to allow payment deferral beginning immediately.
In addition, to provide targeted support for vulnerable groups, the Government is investing to:
- Reduce minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25 per cent for 2020 in recognition of volatile market conditions and their impact on many seniors’ retirement savings.
- Implement a six-month, interest-free, moratorium on Canada Student Loan payments for all individuals who are in the process of repaying these loans.
- Provide $305 million for a new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund, to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities.
- Support women and children fleeing violence by providing up to $50 million to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities. This includes funding for facilities in Indigenous communities.
- Provide an additional $157.5 million to address the needs of Canadians experiencing homelessness through the Reaching Home program.
Support for businesses In the face of an uncertain economic situation and tightening credit conditions, the Government is taking action to help affected businesses. To support Canadian businesses and help them retain their workers during this difficult time, the Government is announcing measures to:
- Allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. This measure will result in businesses having more money available during this period.
- Increase the credit available to small, medium, and large Canadian businesses. As announced on March 13, a new Business Credit Availability Program will provide more than $10 billion of additional support to businesses experiencing cash flow challenges through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada. The Government is ready to provide more capital through these financial Crown corporations.
- Further expand Export Development Canada’s ability to provide support to domestic businesses.
- Provide flexibility on the Canada Account limit, to allow the Government to provide additional support to Canadian businesses, when deemed to be in the national interest, to deal with exceptional circumstances.
- Augment credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector through Farm Credit Canada.
- Launch an Insured Mortgage Purchase Program to purchase up to $50 billion of insured mortgage pools through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). As announced on March 16, this will provide stable funding to banks and mortgage lenders and support continued lending to Canadian businesses and consumers. CMHC stands ready to further support liquidity and the stability of the financial markets through its mortgage funding programs as necessary. The Government will enable these measures by raising CMHC’s legislative limits to guarantee securities and insure mortgages by $150 billion each.
The six largest financial institutions in Canada have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges, such as pay disruption due to COVID-19, childcare disruption due to school or daycare closures, or those suffering from COVID-19. As a first step, this support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products. The Government of Canada will continue to monitor evolving economic conditions and seek greater relief measures should it be necessary. In order to move forward with implementing these new measures needed to provide timely support for Canadians and to ensure the Government has every tool at its disposal to address potential challenges that may arise, the Government intends to introduce special legislation and seek the approval of Parliament. The Government of Canada will continue to take further action as required to prioritize the health and safety of Canadians, stabilize the economy, and mitigate the economic impact of this pandemic. Quotes“No Canadian should have to worry about paying their rent or buying groceries during this difficult time. That is why we are taking the strong action needed to stabalize our economy and help those impacted by the COVID-19 virus. Together, we will get through this difficult time.”—The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada “These are extraordinary times and we must take extraordinary measures. The Government of Canada will do whatever it takes to ensure that the health of Canadians is protected, families and businesses are supported and our economy remains strong, even in the face of uncertainty. I am working with the financial sector, the Bank of Canada, my provincial and territorial colleagues, and my counterparts from around the world to keep coordinating on significant actions to protect the Canadian and global economy. Canadians can rest assured that we are ready to take all necessary measures to meet the challenges ahead.”—The Hon. Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance Related Product
- Prime Minister outlines Canada’s COVID-19 response
- Government of Canada takes action on COVID-19
- Canada outlines measures to support the economy and the financial sector
TIAC – Tourism Advocacy Update – March 17 2020
Dear TIAC Member,
Given the growing global COVID-19 crisis and its impact on the travel economy, we want you to know what we are doing on your behalf. Since this crisis began, TIAC has been communicating daily with numerous senior federal government officials to ensure the devastating impact on the tourism industry is top-of-mind as Government establishes a stimulus package in the coming days to address this situation. We are also working collaboratively with many other national, provincial and territorial organizations to share information and support efforts to ensure government relief and recovery measures address the very real and immediate need to support the tourism sector as one of the earliest and hardest hit industries during this crisis.
As many other organizations are doing across Canada, the entire TIAC team is working remotely until this is over. But we are here for you every day and for the duration of this crisis, and beyond. In addition to our daily website updates on COVID-19 which began several weeks ago, we will provide you with regular advocacy updates so you know the steps we are taking on your behalf.
Given the quickly evolving situation over the past few days, our President and CEO has had numerous discussions with various government departments, including officials in the Finance Minister’s office and Minister Joly’s office, Tourism opposition critics, Blake Richards and Gord Johns, as well as consultations with several organizations representing tourism stakeholders. At the urging of the CEO, the TIAC Board held an emergency board meeting on Saturday, March 14 to discuss preparing an urgent request asking Government to consider several federal fiscal stimulus measures for the sector, including those employed in it.
As TIAC represents all sectors of the travel economy, our submission reflects our support for the entire industry. As you will see in the attached letter we are calling on government to act quickly as the travel economy is one of the first and most severely impacted sectors of not only the Canadian economy but also the global economy in the immediate term. We emphasized that travel-related businesses of all sizes are experiencing abrupt and direct impacts that will have long-term disastrous repercussions unless short-term relief measures are put in place immediately to keep businesses afloat during the crisis. At the same time, we reminded government that this is also one of the sectors that has the greatest potential to rebound quickly and significantly contribute to the recovery of the Canadian economy as a whole.
TIAC has continued discussions with Government officials from several key Ministers’ offices this week, including Minister Bains at Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) as well as the Finance and Tourism Ministers’ senior advisors. Senior representatives from the Bank of Canada reached out to TIAC President and CEO yesterday to discuss the severity of impacts where the need for action in the form of bold and immediate measures that ensure the survival or our businesses and workforce was stressed. These discussions are on-going – we have connected the Bank of Canada with other stakeholders to provide additional information – and will continue to communicate with them.
Additionally, TIAC is in regular contact with other National, provincial and territorial sector organizations to help ensure communications align messaging and data.
As representative of all sectors of the travel economy, we fully support the submissions filed on behalf of the Canadian Airports Council (CAC), the National Association of Canadian Carriers (NACC), the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC), the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) and others like the Canadian Society of Association’s Executives’ (CSAE) call for support for Not for Profit Associations. We know these are very difficult times for you, your organizations and your teams. We will continue to work on your behalf and will not rest until this is over. We will continue to work on obtaining relief and recovery measures to help you through this as a top priority. Please continue to monitor our website https://tiac-aitc.ca/for regular daily updates, as well as our social media activities and posts.
Together we will get through this.
President & CEO
Tourism Industry Association of Canada