Multi-Level Lobbying: ACTA Targets Provincial Support for Trade
Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw
has frequently reported the efforts of the Association of Canadian Travel
Agencies (ACTA) to garner federal government support for travel agencies and
advisors across the country.
But not all
regulations and COVID-related relief fall under national jurisdiction.
recognizes that specific support at other levels of government is also needed
to help travel agencies and advisors survive in this near-zero revenue scenario.
The organization is now providing an update about its lobbying efforts at the
provincial level - including requests specific to the regulated provinces of
Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.
Provinces: Maximum rent subsidy for agencies
successful in asking the federal government for a revised program bypassing the
landlord and helping tenants. But as rent regulations are under provincial
jurisdiction, ACTA is also lobbying provincial governments.
travel agencies access to the full 90% rent subsidy on a retroactive basis as
many landlords did not apply for the subsidy.
to the maximum rent subsidy in all provinces, ACTA is targeting regulations and
relief specific to regulated provinces.
Waive all 2021 TICO fees
made a written submission to the Ontario Fall 2020 Pre-Budget Consultations
asking for the provincial government to waive all TICO mandatory consumer
compensation fees and renewal fees for 2021 to help Ontario travel agencies
reduce fixed expenses.
it has been "very active" in Quebec lobbying the Office de la
Protection de Consommateur (OPC), the Quebec Ministries of Justice and the
Economy, and the Premier’s office for the following support and relief:
Waive all OPC fees for 2020 and 2021 and formally allow the
issuance of Future Travel Vouchers (FTV) and the coverage of FTV claims
against the Quebec consumer compensation Fund, similar to the steps taken
TICO in Ontario.
Protect agency commissions. The Quebec fund currently has $142
million and there are 35,000 refund requests for passengers. The maximum
pay-out permitted is 60%. That leaves only $85 million to cover $99
million in requested refunds, meaning customers would not be refunded the
full value of their trip. ACTA recommends the Quebec government
change the legislated maximum pay-out permitted. In addition, if the
Quebec government approves these consumer refunds, ACTA is urgently
requesting that travel agency commissions are protected.
Reduce the financial burden for travel agencies. ACTA has called on
the OPC and the Quebec government to look at further actions including:
reducing the amount of the Bond and the length of time to five
replacing costly review engagements with a verification statement
for travel agencies with gross sales under $2 million. That would align
Quebec with TICO’s recent regulatory change. In addition to the recent
changes to working capital and financial reporting requirements in
Ontario, security deposits can also be returned after two years.
Columbia: Waive 20/21 fees, remove working capital minimum & security
lobbying the BC Premier, Minister of Public Safety and Consumer Protection BC
waive all Consumer Protection BC fees for 2020 and 2021;
remove the minimum working capital requirement and instead require
travel businesses to only have positive working capital; and
reduce the security deposit by 75% on a temporary basis. This would
free up capital for travel businesses.
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.