While Canada’s $107 billion dollar financial relief package provided many benefits specifically targeted to the travel agency community, the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) is expressing concern regarding the legislation’s timeline.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday provided more details on the 75% wage subsidy, up to $58,700 for all workers. This is aimed at all businesses, big and small, from “10 to 1000 employees,” to encourage companies to stay the course and re-hire anyone that was laid off last week.
Earlier in the week it was announced that employees, as well as contractors and part time employees who are not normally covered by Employment Insurance (EI), would qualify for the Emergency Relief Fund for 16 weeks. After that point, while employees could apply for EI, the future for Independent Contractors is uncertain.
According to ACTA President Wendy Paradis, the government’s financial concessions are in line with the association’s lobbying efforts. However, she will continue to argue for a longer term perspective. “ACTA has made it clear to the government that 16 weeks will not be enough for independent travel agents due to the uniqueness of the impact of the pandemic on the travel industry.”
While the industry is poised to benefit from the financial aid package, Paradis is taking exception to the time frame. “We have also made it clear to our government contacts that we expect that the Travel Industry will have a longer recovery and experience some unique issues compared to most other industries. Special programs and consideration will be required to support travel agencies and travel agents.”