$500 is million not enough for tourism sector

Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
2021-05-25 15:57 [p.7332]

Mr. Speaker, like my hon. colleague from Kenora, I have tremendous concerns for the tourism sector. Unlike him, I do not think that the $500 million announced comes close to what is needed for the sector. There was a further billion dollars announced for Destination Canada to advertise Canadian tourism, which normally I would cheer. I have had owners of very substantial tourism operations in my own riding express sad concern that the promotion from Destination Canada, the $1 billion, will be for places that no longer exist.

How can we move to do more to assist the tourism sector as we move forward through a very tough year for it?

Eric Melillo (Kenora)
2021-05-25 15:58 [p.7332]

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands. That is why I noted that I was cautiously optimistic about the funding that has been allocated in this budget. I am happy to see it, but we know that tourism operators are really hurting and they need a lot of support.

To the member’s question, what I have been hearing across my riding is that there is only so far that these programs are going to go. There is only so much these programs will be able to do to keep these businesses afloat. At the end of the day, what they need is a plan for a safe and gradual reopening so that they can get back to operating and have the capacity that will allow them to make the profits that they need. That is especially true in northwestern Ontario, as many tourists come primarily from the United States. It is very important.