TORONTO (September 9, 2020) –

Dear Ministers:

As Canada’s airlines, airports, hotels, travel agents and other key stakeholders in Canadian tourism, we have been working together to ensure consistent safety measures for the public and to help rebuild public confidence in the safety of travel.

We are writing today to extend our request for a summit of tourism ministers to underscore the dire challenges facing our sector and to work toward common solutions. We had previously written to the federal government with a request to organize this summit, but recognize that provincial and territorial ministers also played a key role in coordinating and initiating sector specific dialogue.

As you are likely aware, our organization was originally formed in Spring 2020, with the mission of promoting a responsible reboot of the travel and tourism industry. We sought to do this by prioritizing safety, enacting policy changes that preserve our industry, and encouraging adherence to new, evidence-based regulations. Our industry was among the hardest hit when governments across the country first shut down the economy in the early stages of the pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, this sector provided 1.8 million jobs across the country. Since the onset of the pandemic and the government restrictions that followed, it has been devasted. These losses were felt particularly hard with reduced demand during the critical summer travel season. Employers in our sector have experienced significant job losses and declines in revenue. Urgent action must be taken to prevent these economic and job impacts from becoming permanent.

While we appreciate that there is still much that is unknown about COVID-19 – and considerable uncertainty on what the future will look like – we also understand that dialogue has never been more important.

As we have stated in previous correspondence, we believe that industry and government share joint responsibility for re-establishing public and consumer confidence in the safety of travel. Mitigating the deleterious effects of the pandemic on our sector will require a coordinated response from all levels of government. Just as the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has liaised with its provincial and territorial counterparts throughout the crisis, so must the federal government work with its counterparts to restore our sector.

Our situation is dire and demands an urgent response. To that end, we would like to reiterate our request to work with your offices to establish a summit of federal, provincial, and territorial tourism ministers to discuss and formalize an approach to safely restarting the sector, to unite as a sector in our approach to rebuilding public confidence, and to identify the federal and provincial governments’ roles in supporting this effort.

We recognize that governments across the country have been hard at work to put in place measures that protect the public, and we acknowledge the need to protect the most vulnerable among us and to mitigate future waves of infection. At the same time, we know that success will only come if we work together, and we are keen to get started. We would be happy to take a lead role in organizing this event and discussion, and look forward to receiving your response in the coming days.

With sincere thanks in advance,

Perrin Beatty
President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Don Cleary
President, Marriott Hotels of Canada

Charlotte Bell
President and CEO, Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC)

Susie Grynol,
President, Hotel Association of Canada (HAC)

Mike McNaney,
President and CEO, National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC)

Ferio Pugliese
SVP, Air Canada Express and Government Relations, Air Canada

Steve Sammut
President and CEO, Rocky Mountaineer

Yves Lalumière
President and CEO, Tourisme Montréal

Andrew Gibbons
Director, Government Relations & Regulatory Affairs, WestJet

Addressed to: 

The Honourable Mélanie Joly
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
235 Queen Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H5

The Honourable Lisa MacLeod
Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries
438 University Ave., 6th Floor
Toronto, ON M5G 2K8

The Honourable Caroline Proulx
Ministère du Tourisme
900, boulevard René-Lévesque Est
Bureau 400
Québec (Québec) G1R 2B5

The Honourable Lisa Beare
Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture
Room 151 Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC V8V 1X4

The Honourable Doug Schweitzer
Office of the Minister
Jobs, Economy and Innovation
425 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
T5K 2B6

The Honourable Gene Makowsky
Tourism Saskatchewan
Room 315, Legislative Building
2405 Legislative Drive
Regina, SK, S4S 0B3

The Honourable Ralph Eichler
Ministry of Economic Development and Training
358 Legislative Building
450 Broadway
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0V8

The Honourable Caroline Wawzonek
Industry, Tourism and Investment
P.O. Box 1320
Yellowknife, NT X1A 2L9

The Honourable Jeanie Dendys
Department of Tourism & Culture Government of Yukon
Box 2703 Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6

The Honourable David Akeeagok
Tourism & Cultural Industries
P.O. Box 1000, Station 1500 1104A Inuksugait Plaza
Iqaluit, NU X0A 0H0

The Honourable Geoff MacLellan
Department of Business Centennial Building
1660 Hollis Street, Suite 600 P.O. Box 2311
Halifax, NS B3J 3C8

The Honourable Matthew MacKay
Department of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture 3rd Floor North,
Shaw Building 105 Rochford Street PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

The Honourable Bruce Fitch
Tourism, Heritage and Culture
Marysville Place Floor: 4 P. O. Box 6000
Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1

The Honourable Bernard Davis
Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
P.O. Box 8700 Confederation Building
St. John’s, NL A1B 4J


cc: The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister of Canada and Minister of Finance

The Honourable Patty Hadju, Minister of Health

The Honourable Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario

Monsieur François Legault, Premier Ministre du Québec

The Honourable John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia

The Honourable Jason Kenney, Office of the Premier

The Honourable Scott Moe, Premier of Saskatchewan

The Honourable Brian Pallister, Premier of Manitoba

The Honourable Caroline Cochrane, Premier of the Northwest Territories

The Honourable Sandy Silver, Government of Yukon 4

The Honourable Joe Savikataaq, Premier of Nunavut

The Honourable Stephen McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia

The Honourable Dennis King, Premier of Prince Edward Island

*The Honourable Blaine Higgs, Premier of New Brunswick

The Honourable Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

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