Independent Advisor Association Pleased With New Canada Recovery Benefit
Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw
In reaching a deal with the NDP, the federal government is introducing new COVID-19 benefits which fill gaps left by the expiring CERB program.
One of these new programs is the “Canada Recovery Benefit” (CRB), designed to support workers such as independent travel agents who are self-employed, or don't qualify for Employment Insurance, but still require income support.
The CRB will pay $500 a week -- the same amount of support as CERB -- for up to 26 weeks.
Under proposals announced by the Liberals in August, the CRB initially paid $400 a week, but was increased to $500 after pushback from the NDP.
The Association of Canadian Independent Travel Advisors (ACITA), which has been lobbying for an extension to CERB, reached out to Open Jaw to say it is "pleased" a resolution has been reached.
"This means that the Canada Recovery Benefit will go ahead and independent travel advisors, who have been some of the hardest hit in our Industry, will be able to continue to receive support as travel slowly rebounds," said ACITA co-founder and TTAND agent, Judith Coates, in an email to Open Jaw.
Since the association launched about four months ago, it has hosted personal Zoom meetings with over 40 MPs and federal ministers who, says Coates, have "unequivocally" expressed support for independent advisors once they learned of the delay in payment between the booking and the commission.
"Travel advisors have been working tirelessly on behalf of their clients over the past six months, handling cancellations, future travel credits, re-booking for 2021 and 2022, and assisting with insurance claims. We applaud the government for recognizing that independent travel advisors earn their revenue in a unique way, and would not normally be eligible for EI," Coates told OJ.
Anna Kroupina Journalist
Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.