OTTAWA – Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP (Saanich – Gulf Islands), issued the following statement for National Tourism Week:
“This week is an opportunity to highlight the exceptional tourism experiences that Canada has to offer. The tourism sector employs nearly
600 000 Canadians and makes up about 2% of Canada’s GDP: nearly as much as our forestry and agricultural sectors combined.
“Unfortunately, since becoming Prime Minister in 2006, Stephen Harper has consistently undercut tourism. He has eliminated all promotion in U.S. markets, drastically cut the budget of Tourism Canada, removed the GST-HST rebate for foreign visitors, and the list goes on. Canada used to be 7th best tourist destination in the world, but as a result of Stephen Harper’s changes, we have fallen to 18th in the world.
“Canada has an opportunity to regain its status as one of the top seven destinations. The federal government must promote Canadian tourism abroad and maintain our cultural sites, including National Parks, museums, cultural activities, and the service and retail sectors. For National Tourism Week, it is time to recommit our support for tourism and highlight what makes Canada the greatest place to live.”
Bruce Hyer, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP (Thunder Bay – Superior North), continued:
“Canada’s incredible geographical variety is a significant tourist attractor. As an eco-tourism entrepreneur in Northwestern Ontario, I know first-hand the importance of maintaining and supporting this vital industry.
“Unfortunately, Stephen Harper does not seem to understand the importance of Canadian tourism. The 2015 budget acknowledged tourism as a significant sector of our economy, but no funding was committed until after the 2015 summer season. The federal government must reconsider its decision to continually undermine our tourism industry and in doing so, remind the world why Canada is so special.”