CRB, EI extensions welcome news but more needs to be done to help retail travel sector: ACTA

ACTA supports Quebec government’s decision to waive OPC permit fees until Feb. 28, 2022

TORONTO — ACTA says it is “very pleased” to hear that the Quebec provincial government will waive the OPC permit fees from March 31, 2021 until Feb. 28, 2022.

ACTA has been one of several organizations calling for this relief for travel agencies.

“Without assistance, many travel agencies will not survive the current lockdowns and government restrictions on travel,” said ACTA President, Wendy Paradis.

The Office de la Protection du Consommateur (OPC) collects hundreds of thousands of dollars annually from Quebec travel businesses, adds Paradis.

ACTA had asked numerous times that the Quebec government extend financial relief and waive all OPC fees.  

ACTA is also calling on the OPC and the Quebec government to look at other options to reduce the financial burden for travel agencies including:

  • Reducing the amount of the bond and the length of time to five years.
  • Replacing costly review engagements with a verification statement for travel agencies with gross sales under $2 million which would align Quebec with Ontario’s measures.

ACTA is also encouraging the Quebec government to ensure that travel agencies will not face barriers and are eligible to apply for aid under the Aide aux Entreprises en regions en Alerte Maximale (AERAM).

This funding program is designed to help businesses that have been partially or completely closed due to the mandate of a public health authority.

With governments strongly reinforcing the message to not travel, travel agencies and travel agents have been effectively ‘shuttered’ since March 2020, and therefore, must be eligible under this program, said Paradis.