Govt. aid programs helpful but more assistance needed, says ACTA

CEWS extension positive but more help needed, says ACTA’s Paradis

TORONTO — ACTA says it’s happy with the news that CEWS, the federal government’s wage subsidy program, will be extended past the original end date of June 6. However ACTA says the travel industry will need more assistance than many other sectors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Late last week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy measure will be extended past June 6.

ACTA President Wendy Paradis says the legislation allows for the government to extend the program to Sept. 30, 2020. “But as pointed out in ACTA’s ‘ask’ to government, the travel industry will experience a much longer lag in recovery and as such, will require the wage subsidy to be extended to the end of 2020,” she says.

More details on the CEWS extension are expected this week.

Meanwhile the federal government’s rent relief program, dubbed Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA), is expected to open this week, however to date, no changes to the program have been announced, says Paradis. “In daily calls with the federal government, this issue ranks of critical concern,” she says.

ACTA, along with a number of other associations, has identified many cases where landlords are simply not interested in participating in the program, even with provincial eviction bans in place.

Paradis says the recommendation to the federal government is to make the program available directly to the tenant, rather than rely on the willingness of the landlord.

ACTA will continue to lobby government on this point, says Paradis, as well as the fact that the travel industry will lag behind other industries in recovery and an extension of the program will be required.

Paradis is also asking travel agency owners / managers to respond to ACTA’s survey, sent out May 7, asking what federal government financial relief programs they have applied for and whether they were approved. The deadline to complete the survey is Wed. May 13 at 8 p.m. EST. ACTA’s Travel Agency Owner/Manager survey can be found here.

Some ACTA members have not been successful in accessing the current government financial aid programs, says Paradis, adding “this is of interest to the government, however, they have asked ACTA for data. ACTA needs travel agency information to understand any shortfalls in the current government aid programs – thus the request to complete this survey urgently.”

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