March 14th, 2022
NDP: Liberals cutting support to Canada’s struggling tourism industry
OTTAWA- Workers and small businesses in Canada’s tourism industry have been some of the hardest it by the COVID-19 pandemic. And now, just before the start of an important work season, the Liberal government is cutting the support people need to keep their businesses afloat and workers employed. Richard Cannings, the NDP's Small Business and Tourism Critic, is calling for the Liberals to reverse their plans to end help for people.
“Canadian tourism businesses and workers have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. These businesses have depleted their savings, cut costs to the bone, and have reached their debt limits, forcing some of them to lay off staff,” said Cannings. “Although they have managed to survive this far, these businesses are in danger of going under and workers being let go unless the federal government continues to fully fund the help they're receiving.”
The Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP) was designed to help businesses get back up and yet before businesses are able to do that, the funding is being cut by 50 per cent and worse, will end in May. The program is also hurting many small businesses who need help, as it requires businesses to show a revenue loss of 40 per cent or more for each month an application is made. This requirement excludes many seasonal tourism operators from the funding they need—and many tourism businesses in Canada are highly seasonal.
“These tourism businesses play a vital role in local economies, attracting visitors and creating great jobs. We must do everything we can to make sure they are not lost,” added Cannings. “We are urging the Liberal government to extend the support and make sure it works better for all businesses by including seasonal businesses. New Democrats will keep fighting for small businesses, their workers, and the help they need to keep their doors open.”