OTTAWA (May 4, 2021) –
As you can imagine, Canada’s 28 accredited zoos and aquariums have been hit hard by the pandemic, the open-close cycle, and limitations due to health protocols have places a significant stress on everyone. Due in part to our Canadian industry standards coupled with the dedicated professionals at our members facilities, our members have managed to maintain the highest standards of animal care.
We have been fortunate that no animal in the care of humans in Canada at a CAZA member facility has been afflicted with COVID-19.
Our ability to weather the pandemic has enhanced by federal government assistance. Qualified members of CAZA have made extensive use of the federal pandemic programs. Through our communications with members, we know:
- 93% of eligible CAZA members are using the CEWS
- 40% of eligible CAZA members are using the Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy
- 40% of eligible CAZA members are using the CEBA
- 33% of eligible CAZA members are using the CECRA
- 33% of eligible CAZA members are using the RRRF
The programs have proven to be a needed bridge between challenging tourist seasons. For that we are grateful.
Of our four budgets asks, two were addressed. The extension of the CEWS and CEBA. However, they are currently expected to begin to be wound down in July and ending early September 2021. Our asks were that existing federal programs continue to the end of the 2021 calendar year. Without a 2021 tourist season that permits more guests to be on site, it’s going to be a challenging Fall. Ideally a such friendly amendment to the budget implementation legislation would be welcomed by many.
The April 19th federal budget contained a lot of information about where $104.1B will be spent, after review we have grouped what we think are most relevant programs into two areas; Heritage Canada and Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
At Heritage Canada, the budget provides:
- $300M for Arts, Culture, Heritage and Sport Sectors
- $19.6M for Building Communities
- $70M for Music Fund
- $15M for Canada Cultural Spaces Fund
For the department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development through the regional development agencies it provides:
- $200M for major festivals
- $500 Tourism Relief Fund
- It also creates a new BC regional relief agency.
We have asked that when ready, through CAZA our membership be briefed on the structure and overall specifics of the programs. Our purpose is to ensure all 28 CAZA accredited facilities in some way can access the programs.
To date, municipal and provincial owned member facilities have been unable to access federal pandemic and other programs, such as the infrastructure program.
Our members are important institutions to the arts, culture, heritage, tourism, and overall fabric of their respective regions. The economic contributions of the 12 million visitors our members welcome each year is vital to each region, the contribution they make to the culture and biodiversity elements are leading edge.
We refer to our member’s contributions as the four C’s : care, conservation, connections and climate change. We think these actions of our members fit nicely with the programs outlined in the budget.
We hope we can count on your support of our members being able to access the programs and will take steps to let said support known.
We are happy to meet with you, virtually these days, to discuss accredited zoos and aquariums needs and their respective place in tourism and culture community.
Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums
cc: CAZA Accredited Member