The New Faces of Tourism
Meet the New Cabinet Ministers Related to Tourism
Today Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Cabinet were sworn into office at Rideau Hall. On behalf of our Board of Directors and members across the country, TIAC extends our sincere congratulations to the new political leadership and welcomes the opportunity to work with this team to advance the interests of Canada's travel and tourism industry.
TIAC is committed to increasing international visitation to Canada through continued investment and development of world-class experiences and the elimination of policy barriers that undermine Canada's ability to compete for global market share. As a leading national advocacy organization, TIAC has proven to be an effective industry voice and works collaboratively with governments to find practical solutions that spur economic growth and job creation.
Prime Minster Trudeau reduced the size of his Cabinet from 43 to 31 ministers and demonstrated the importance of Tourism by elevating our representative from a junior ministry to a full Member of Cabinet. Please see a list of the new Ministers in our industry's priority departments:
Hon. Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism
Serving as our industry's voice at the Cabinet table, TIAC will be calling upon Minister Chagger to further advance a renewed Federal Tourism Strategy focused on improving Canada's international competitiveness as a global destination. We will promote the role and value of national tourism brand advertising in the United States and around the globe. TIAC believes that an early investment in nation brand advertising through Destination Canada will not only help generate tourism demand, it is also a powerful vehicle to communicate a country's values, including quality of life, cultural diversity and environmental stewardship - a message we believe the Minister will endorse.
Hon. John McCallum, Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Refugees
TIAC has been instrumental in advancing reforms to Canada's visa and travel documentation policies. We intend to work with Minister McCallum to develop a modern and efficient immigration system and find ways to ease or eliminate access barriers, like cumbersome travel documentation requirements for legitimate travellers. TIAC will also call on the government to deliver on its campaign promise to lift visa requirements for Mexican travellers. We will also look to discuss the expansion of programs such as CAN+ that expedite visa issuance and the expansion of Visa Application Centres in key markets across the globe.
Hon. MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister for Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
After experiencing a summer where labour shortages undermined potential record visitation levels, TIAC is eager to meet with Minister Mihychuck to work together to find short term remedies and long term solutions to the labour challenges facing many tourism businesses and communities today. TIAC and other industry organizations agree that the temporary foreign worker (TFW) program is not a desirable or long term solution; however the abrupt decision to cancel the program without transition or recourse has had detrimental impacts across the country. In the short term, TIAC and the industry urgently ask the government to consider establishing a tourism stream in the TFW program, like that available to the agricultural sector.
Hon. Marc Garneau, Minister for Transport
TIAC welcomes the opportunity to work with Minister Garneau to address what we believe to be the top issue undermining Canada's global tourism competitiveness; the price impact of fees, taxes and levies imposed on air travel to and within Canada. Our industry anxiously awaits the results of the Canadian Transportation Act Review and TIAC looks forward to finding practical solutions that will re-balance the cost burden off of the ticket buying public and improve Canada's competitive positioning in the fierce world travel market.
Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Minister for International Trade
Travel and Tourism is Canada's largest service export industry generating $17.2 billion in export revenues and serving to augment Canada's key industry sectors. Minister Freeland understands the important role that travel and tourism play in our country's export strategy. Travel fosters trade: people do business with people they know and travel increases awareness and familiarity. TIAC looks forward to working with Minister Freeland to increase trade by expediting the movement of people across our borders. Unlike other sectors that ship Canadian products to foreign markets, tourism requires foreign customers to travel to Canada to purchase experiences.
TIAC has drafted letters of congratulations to all key ministers in tourism-related portfolios, where we outlined priority issues for each and expressed our enthusiasm for a meeting in the coming weeks. Copies of these letters will be available on the TIAC website in the coming days. We will also be inviting these ministers and many more MPs to the Tourism Congress and Canadian Tourism Awards in December where we hope you will have the opportunity to meet them and let them know what our industry is all about.