TORONTO — ACTA is rallying the travel industry to join its new letter-writing and phone campaign that urges the government to extend financial aid to independent travel agents.
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program is set to expire this fall, and even earlier on Aug. 29 for those who applied mid-March, at which point all indications point to it switching to the Employment Insurance (EI) program.
With legislation on changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program being passed in the House of Commons on July 21, with approval by Senate and Royal Ascent pending, details on how the CERB and/or EI and CEWS have yet to be confirmed.
ACTA is concerned that Independent travel agents, who are not currently eligible for EI benefits, may be left without aid when CERB ends. It is now actively working to draw to the government’s attention that the CERB program is a “lifeline” to this group and travel agents and must continue in some form of sector-specific aid.
“As the federal government makes changes to the EI program this summer, we implore the government to include self-employed workers in an EI type program, similar to the United States’ CARES Act,” said Wendy Paradis, President of ACTA.
ACTA has also noted that a large segment of the 24,000 businesses and individuals selling travel are women and small businesses. Over 30% of travel agents are independent entrepreneur contractors who will continue to require financial aid, given that travel advisories remain in place and many borders remain closed.
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, ACTA’s new letter writing and phone call campaign is being launched in support of Canada’s independent travel agents. ACTA is asking industry members to download the template from its website and send it to their MP on an urgent bases. Also available is a phone script for those who wish to call their MPs directly.
Go to http://acta.ca/acta-letter-writing-campaign for more information.