Advocacy Timeline

Tracking Key Wins & Industry Successes

The BCHA is deeply committed to cultivating positive change at the national, provincial, and community level through our advocacy work. Explore a number of recent key advocacy wins below in our advocacy timeline! 


the 2023 advocacy report

Learn about the advocacy activities and successes the BCHA led in 2023

Unlocking positive change

At the federal, provincial, and community levels
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the 2022 advocacy report

Unlock the positive change made within BC's accommodation sector, resulting from the BCHA's actions

Driving Positive changes

To serve the best interests of the sector and our members
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    • The Federal Government announced the expansion of the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP) to include chefs and cooks, providing another source of workers for jobs that are in high demand in our sector.
    • The EMPP allows skilled refugees to immigrate to Canada through the economic programs, providing access to a new pool of candidates. The program connects employers with skilled refugees overseas, through organizations that have partnered with Government. It now includes chefs and cooks, positions that many of our members are desperately in need of.
    • For more information about the EMPP and how to hire through the program:
      • the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC), Sean Fraser and the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, Randy Boissonnault announced that work permits will be extended to family members of Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW). What this means for members is that the partners and family members of TFWs will also be eligible to work in Canada. This will be done through a phased approach beginning in January of 2023, in a temporary 2-year measure. The phases are as follows:  
      • Phase 1:  Family members of the high-wage stream of the TFW program or the International Mobility Program can apply  
      • Phase 2: Family members of the low-wage stream of the TFW can apply  
      • Phase 3: Consultations will begin to assess whether agricultural workers will be included in this measure.  
      • Minister Fraser also announced a 20% increase to the number of applicants eligible for the International Experience Canada (IEC) program.  
      • Our members will now have access to nearly 90,000 candidates to help fill labour gap. The IEC Program allows youth from Canada’s partner countries to work and travel in Canada for up to 2 years and includes the Working Holiday, International Co-op and Young Professionals categories. Applicants will be able to apply as of January 9, 2023. 
        These are both steps in the right direction, and each step will lead us to a better suite of policies that support our future workforce. We are pleased to see this progress. 


    • The Government released their Fall Economic Statement 2022 (FES) and have allocated an additional $1.6 B to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) over the next six years to address delays in processing applications. 
    • The FES also includes new spending for a Youth Employment and Skills Strategy Program including $400M to the Canada Summer Jobs program. This may be helpful to the industry in the ramp up to next summer. As expected, the FES signaled an overall shift to fiscal restraint with fewer spending commitments.
    •  On November 17, a series of changes were made to the BC Provincial Nominee Program’s (BC PNP) Skills Immigration streams.​
      The changes include updating the Skills Immigration registration scoring system to increase immigration to regions outside the Metro Vancouver Regional District.
    • People with experience working or studying outside of the Metro Vancouver Regional District may claim additional points if they have a qualifying job offer in that region. Eligibility was also adjusted for the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP) to include job offers from a regional employer in B.C. in any skilled occupation. Learn more. 


    • Minister Sean Fraser announced a new temporary measure aimed at alleviating Canada’s historic labour shortages. This policy change will allow over 500,000 international students already in Canada to work more hours by reducing the 20-hour limit. The limit will be lifted temporarily on November 15 until the end of 2023.
    • The Minister also announced that the government will be creating a pilot to automate the process to approve study permit extension applications. ​


    • Starting October 1, 2022, all COVID-19 border requirements, including vaccination, mandatory use of ArriveCAN, and any testing and quarantine/isolation requirements will end for all travellers entering Canada whether by land, air or sea.
    • The evidence-based removal of COVID-19 barriers at the border is an important step forward for the hospitality and tourism industry—along with the wide-network of ancillary businesses that rely on the tourism ecosystem—providing the predictability and certainty our sector needs. The BC Hotel Association has long-advocated for these critical changes and welcomes this exceptional news. Learn More


    • On April 7, 2022, the 2022 Federal Budget titled “A Plan to Grow our Economy and Make Life More Affordable” was released. There were a number of positive highlights that were a result of a uniformed advocacy campaign on behalf of the Hardest Hit Coalition, of which the BCHA is a member. We thank our hotel members for their incredible efforts to support this campaign.
      • Strong signals point towards borders staying open in the future
      • Significant investments to reduce the immigration processing backlog for temporary and longer-term workers
      • A new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy
      • Noteworthy investments into affordable housing, including rental and new homes
      • On April 4, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development & Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker program under the Workforce Solutions Road Map, providing hoteliers with better access to the program!
        • Effective April 30, 2022:
          • Accommodation and Food Services will be among seven sectors in which employers will be allowed to hire up to 30% of their workforce through the TFW Program for low-wage positions for one year.
          • The policy that automatically refuses LMIA applications in regions with unemployment rate of 6% or higher will end.
        • Effective immediately:
          • Addressing seasonal peaks, there will no longer be a limit to the number of low-wage positions that employers in seasonal industries. In addition, the maximum duration of these positions will be increased from 180 days to 270 days per year.
        • Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA’s) will be valid for 18 months, an increase from 9 months. (Prior to COVID-19, LMIA’s were valid for 6 months).
        • The maximum duration of employment for High-Wage and Global Talent Streams workers will be extended to three years. This will help workers qualify for permanent residency, contributing to our long-term workforce.
      • The Provincial Government announced that as of April 8, 2022 at 12:01 am, businesses are no longer required to check BC Vaccine Cards for entry into a variety of social settings. In addition, businesses are no longer required to use COVID-19  Safety Plans, and instead, have been encouraged to transition to Communicable Disease Prevention Plans.
      • The Federal Government announced a policy that will allow over 50,000 international students to stay and work in Canada for an additional 18 months if they are applying for permanent residency in 2022. The announcement can be found here.


    • The Government of Canada announced that as of April 1, 2022, fully vaccinated travellers no longer need to complete a pre-entry test for entry into Canada. They may still be selected for random tests on arrival but are not required to quarantine. This was a long-awaited milestone for our tourism and hospitality sector. The BCHA was delighted by this announcement as we have been advocating for these changes at both the federal and provincial level since the implementation of border testing. 
  • BC Government Launches Plan to Revitalize Tourism, Creating Opportunities for People
    • Province of BC launches a new three-year roadmap for rebuilding and revitalizing tourism, creating jobs and opportunities for people and communities in every part of the province.
    • The renewed Strategic Framework for Tourism responds to the call to action from the sector to support its recovery from COVID-19. It outlines a roadmap for a more resilient tourism sector by rebuilding to 2019 levels by 2024.


  • Budget 2022 | Speculation Tax Exemption Made Permanent & BCHA Recap
    • On February 22, Premier John Horgan and Minister of Finance Selina Robinson delivered Budget 2022 which earmarked $25 million in funding to support the tourism sector’s continuing recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
      • Among the details outlined, the BCHA is thrilled that changes have been made to the Speculation Tax — the temporary exemption for strata accommodation properties has now been made permanent.  
  • Provincial COVID-19 Measures Relaxed
    • On February 17th, the Province of BC relaxed a number of COVID-19 measures that meant:
      • Indoor personal gatherings can return to normal
      • Indoor and outdoor organized gatherings can return to full capacity, with dancing allowed, and masks and BC Vaccine Cards required
      • Indoor seated events can be at full capacity, with masks and BC Vaccine Card required
      • Fitness centres, adult sports, and swimming can return to full capacity, with no tournament restrictions, and masks and BC Vaccine Cards required
      • Restaurants, bars, and nightclubs can be at full capacity, no table limits, and mingling allowed, with masks and BC Vaccine Cards required
  • PCR Testing Replaced with On-arrival Rapid Antigen Tests
    • Following advocacy efforts to remove barriers to travel, the Federal Government announced changes to COVID-19 border measures. The changes included: 
      • Fully vaccinated (two Health Canada approved doses) Canadians and International travellers will be able to cross the border without a PCR test
      • A Rapid Antigen Tests (RATS) will be required (performed by a professional)
      • Canada will be moving from the current level 3 travel advisory to level 2
      • Children under 12 will no longer be required to quarantine for 14 days and they will not require a test or to be vaccinated
      • Random testing will still be conducted at the airport, however, people will no longer be required to quarantine while waiting for the results
      • All airports that previously accepted international flights will be able to do so once again
  • Province Launches Business Events and Conferences Restart Fund
    • After a lengthy and highly collaborate advocacy campaign, the Province of BC announced that business events and workforce support initiatives, such as hiring and retaining employees, in the tourism sector will receive more than $9.3 million over the next two years as part of the Tourism Recovery Initiatives Action Plan.
      • The Business Events and Conferences Restart Fund will provide up to $5 million this fiscal year and up to $3 million next year to help restart business travel with funding to community destination management organizations (CDMO) that were significantly involved in attracting and hosting business events, conferences, and exhibitions before the COVID-19 pandemic.
      • An additional $1.5 million will help fund dedicated human resources specialists in five tourism regions over the next two years.


  • Province Announces Funding for Indigenous Tourism Industry
    • Indigenous Tourism BC received $3.7 million to assist with COVID-19 recovery and help Indigenous tourism fully recover to 2017-18 levels. The funding was provided to Indigenous businesses and communities with access to tourism planning, training and mentoring services. Funds also provide support for Indigenous businesses in purchasing new digital and online tools, delivering training programs to assist businesses in developing marketable tourism products, and working with interested First Nations to develop and market tourism experiences.
  • Province Launches Tourism Accommodation and Commercial Recreation Relief Fund
    • Following a strategic advocacy campaign orchestrated by the BCHA and sector associations, the Provincial Government announced eligible accommodation providers and tourism operators were granted access to grants to alleviate fixed cost pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As much as $15 million was provided through the Tourism Accommodation and Commercial Recreation Relief Fund through three streams:
      • one for B.C.-owned large accommodation providers employing more than 150 people;
      • the second for Indigenous-owned large accommodation properties employing more than 100 people and located on reserve;
      • and the third for tenure and BC Parks permit holders that operate as tourism businesses.
  • Federal Government Launch Intake for COVID-19 Recovery Programs
    • In response to an aggressive advocacy campaign to pass Bill C-2, to deliver support to Canada’s ailing hardest hit sector, the Federal Government announced intake for and added details for COVID-19 Recovery Programs. Programs updates announced include: 
      • The Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, which provides support through wage and rent subsidies to, for example, hotels, tour operators, travel agencies, and restaurants, with a subsidy rate of up to 75 per cent. 
      • Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program, which provides support through wage and rent subsidies to support  organizations that have faced deep losses, with a subsidy rate of up to 50 per cent. 
      • The Canada Recovery Hiring Program, which witnessed a subsidy rate increase from 20 per cent to 50 per cent. The increased rate was developed to help organizations continue to hire back workers and create the additional jobs Canada needs for a full recovery.
  • Provincial Government Launched Relief Grant for Businesses Forced to Close Due to Omicron Restrictions
    • The BC Government announced that businesses that were mandated to temporarily shut down through public health orders because of surging COVID-19 cases are eligible to receive a new one-time relief grant of up to $10,000.
    • Relief grants of between $1,000 and $10,000 were provided to eligible businesses based on their number of employees, following the similar formula to the previous Circuit Breaker Relief Grant that supported businesses in the spring of 2021.  
2021 Report Card

In 2021, the BCHA worked to move the needle on a wide array of key priorities for the sector to support with industry development now and far into the future. We had regular meetings with officials in many government organizations at a senior level, including Tourism, Arts, Culture, and Sport; Finance, Jobs Economic Development Innovation and Recovery; Energy Mines; Clean BC; and Municipal Affairs and Housing. Regular engagement ensured that a constructive dialogue around current challenges and possible solutions.

We also worked with hoteliers around the province to engage with local government, to help them understand the challenges facing the industry so they had the opportunity to advocate on our behalf. 

Explore some of this work in our 2021 advocacy report included below.