Today, the Federal Government announced Budget 2023, which focuses on “making life more affordable for Canadian, strengthening our healthcare system, and attracting investments to create good jobs and build the net-zero economy of tomorrow.”
The full Budget can be found here
Please see below for a message from the Office of the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, Randy Boissonnault:
Our office would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued engagement and for the vital role you play as part of Canada’s tourism sector. Through our consultations in 2022, we are thrilled to announce that the Government of Canada has committed to bring forward a new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy that will include:
- $108 million over 3 years for the Regional Development Agencies to support communities, small businesses, and non-profit organizations develop local projects and events.
- $50 million over 3 years to Destination Canada to attract major international conventions, conferences, and events to Canada.
The Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance commits to ensuring that a portion of the funding through the Regional Development Agencies will be dedicated to supporting Indigenous tourism, which is a priority area for the sector.
Budget 2023 also proposes a variety of measures that will further benefit the tourism industry, including:
- Lowering Credit Card Transaction Fees for Small Businesses – the Government of Canada has secured commitments from Visa and Mastercard to lower interchange fees by up to 27, which will help lower costs for small businesses that make up the majority of Canada’s tourism sector.
- Improving Airport Operations – Budget23 proposes $1.8 billion over 5 years to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) to increase its level of service, improve screening wait times, and strengthen security measures at airports. It also proposes to require data sharing and reporting to improve coordination of the air sector.
- VIA Rail – Budget23 proposes $210 million over five years to VIA Rail to conduct maintenance on its trains on routes outside the Québec City–Windsor Corridor and to maintain levels of service across its network.
- Arts and Heritage – Budget23 provides $14 million over 2 years to the Department of Canadian Heritage for the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program, which supports local artists, artisans, and heritage performers through festivals, events, and projects, including Indigenous cultural celebrations and the celebration of 2SLGBTQI communities.
- Electronic Travel Authorization Program – Eligibility for the Electronic Travel Authorization Program to low-risk, trusted travellers will be expanded to include more countries, which will be announced in the coming weeks. The expansion of this program is critical for the ongoing modernization of travel experience to Canada.
- Protecting Passenger Rights – Budget23 builds on the federal government’s recent announcement of $75.9 million over 3 years to the Canadian Transportation Agency by proposing amendments that will strengthen airline obligations and make the adjudication process more efficient.
- Student Work Placement Program – The tourism sector is Canada’s #1 employer of youth. Budget 2023 proposes to provide $197.7 million in 2024-25 to continue creating quality work-integrated learning opportunities for students through partnerships between employers and post-secondary institutions.
- Seasonal EI claimants – The federal government will extend the temporary Employment Insurance support measures for seasonal workers until October 2024.
- National Museums – Budget 23 provides necessary funding six of Canada’s national museums (the Canadian Museum of Nature, the Canadian Museum of History, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the National Gallery of Canada, the National Museum of Science and Technology, and the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21) and the National Battlefields Commission.