It came as no surprise when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the official move this past Sunday to call an election. We have a short 36-day period before we go to the polls, though.
Already, the parties have launched their campaigns, with lots of meat to them. What we've seen so far from the platforms that will affect our sectors include:
Introduce a temporary wage subsidy and rent subsidy stream for sectors like hotels, tour operators, convention centers and festivals experiencing a minimum of 40% revenue loss until May 2022. (Similar to CEWS and CEBA, something CAFE and our peers have been advocating tirelessly for). Qualifying businesses in these sectors would be able to access a maximum subsidy rate of up to 75%, commensurate to their revenue loss, in order to help cover fixed costs like wages and rent.
A matching program to address revenue loss for cultural venues. The program will match revenue coming from the sale of tickets for venues that are subject to reduction in audience or attendance capacity due to measures imposed by local health authorities until May, 2022. Admissible venues will include performing arts and culture venues, live theatres, and museums. The government will ensure that funds provided by this program will be used to support workers in the industry.
To help the tourism and hospitality sector, O’Toole will provide a 50% rebate for food and non-alcoholic drinks purchased for dine-in from Monday to Wednesday and give 15% tax credit for vacation expenses of up to $1,000 per person for Canadians to vacation in Canada in 2022 (another request submitted by CAFE and our colleagues)
What can you do?
We are grateful for these promising announcements, but there is still room to make an impact. We encourage you to contact ALL your local candidates addressing your concerns for our sector. Some points to highlight:
Will fair and exhibition venues be considered cultural venues and eligible for the matching revenue for ticket sales program?
Will you be a champion to ensure fair and exhibition organizations are eligible for new and existing funding, such as the Building Communities through Arts and Heritage grants, Tourism Relief Fund, etc.?
There still exists a clear lack of recognition for fair and exhibition organizations in the federal government (outside of the pandemic). Will you help our industry get clear access to a federal department in order to create and access ongoing funding programs?
How can you reach your candidates?
When they show up at your door, be prepared with these questions
Show up to campaign events
Call or email them
Send a tweet to their account
Find the list of candidates in your area by typing your postal code at this website. These candidates want to hear your voice, and this is our chance to voice our concerns before a new government is formed. As always, in reaching our to your candidates, CAFE is happy to support you in your endeavours and we look forward to hearing the results of your conversations.
The more voices they hear, the bigger our impact, so please take a few minutes to share your concerns with your local candidates.