ACTA and NACC on new Cabinet: “We will begin our advocacy immediately”

ACTA and NACC on new Cabinet: “We will begin our advocacy immediately”

TORONTO — ACTA and NACC are both eager to work with Prime Minister Trudeau’s new Cabinet, announced earlier this week, to ensure the travel industry’s timely recovery.

The two organizations have released official statements, expressing their intent to work alongside returning ministers and new ones.

ACTA, in particular, says it’s pleased to see many of the ministers it has built strong relationships with over the past 18 months remain in important federal Cabinet roles, including: Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland; Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development; Mélanie Joly, who takes over as Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra.

Said Wendy Paradis, ACTA President on Oct. 26: “We will begin our advocacy immediately with personal letters going out today to each minister, explaining key points and priorities for our sector. While we were pleased to see several measures take place last week that will ease the way for travel to resume, there is still work to be done on several fronts.”

Wendy notes that the travel industry is still in need of support, with key priorities that include the following:

  • The extension of financial support to independent travel agents and furloughed travel agency employees
  • The immediate rollout of the new Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program
  • The easing of the ‘avoid all cruise’ travel advisory for fully vaccinated travellers
  • The removal of the pre-departure molecular COVID-19 test for fully vaccinated travellers returning to Canada

Mike McNaney, President and CEO of NACC (National Airlines Council of Canada), which represents Canada’s largest national and international carriers like Air Canada, Air Transat, Jazz Aviation and WestJet, also offered his support to the new federal Cabinet, and welcomed the news of the re-appointment of Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Minister Alghabra and the new Cabinet,” said McNaney. “Decision made by the federal government in the coming weeks and months will continue to directly impact the future of Canadian aviation, our employees and the communities we serve.”

Though NACC is encouraged by the lifting of Canada’s non-essential travel advisory and new plans for standardized proof of vaccination, it shares many of the same concerns ACTA has about ongoing policies.

In its statement, NACC says: “With federal policy now requiring aviation employees and passengers to be fully vaccinated as of Oct. 30, the government needs to end other measures implemented prior to the full vaccination mandatory, such as mandatory PCR testing pre-departure for fully vaccinated travellers coming to Canada.”

NACC noted that in May, the government’s own COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel recommended the removal of pre-departure PCR testing for fully vaccinated passengers, recognizing that testing at both departure and arrival is excessive.

“Steps must also be taken to enable children under 12 to be exempt from de-facto home quarantine upon returning to Canada,” adds NACC.