Today, the Hon. Erin O’Toole, Leader of Canada’s Conservatives, released his plan to introduce a Dine and Discover program to support the tourism and hospitality sectors.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disastrous effect on Canada’s tourism and hospitality sectors,” said O’Toole. “A Conservative government will act quickly to recover the one million jobs lost during the pandemic and help these businesses get back on their feet.”
Modelled on a similar program in the United Kingdom, this initiative would encourage Canadians to get back into restaurants on days of the week when restaurants tend to have excess capacity.
Through Canada’s Recovery Plan, a Conservative government would introduce a Dine and Discover program to encourage Canadians to support these hard-hit sectors. The initiative would:
- Provide a 50 per cent rebate for food and non-alcoholic drinks purchased for dine-in from Monday to Wednesday for one month, once it is safe to do so, pumping nearly $1 billion into these sectors.
- Launch the Explore and Support Canada initiative with a 15 per cent tax credit for vacation expenses of up to $1,000 per person to encourage Canadians to vacation in Canada in 2022, helping the tourism sector get back on its feet.
- Eliminate the Liberal escalator tax on alcohol.
The customer would immediately receive the rebate, appearing directly on the bill. Businesses would receive their rebate from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) within days of submitting the claim through a CRA portal similar, to that used for emergency business supports.
There would be no limit on the number of times that an individual customer may use the program, but the program would be capped at maximum meal cost of $35 per patron per visit. The program would apply to a wide range of establishments, including but not limited to restaurants, pubs, bars, coffee shops, and canteens.
“Discover”: Explore and Support Canada initiative
Canada’s Conservatives are stating that they will establish an Explore and Support Canada initiative to encourage Canadians to support the recovery of the Canadian tourism and hospitality sectors.
Conservatives are also proposing to create a refundable 15 per cent tax credit for vacation expenses of up to $1,000 per person for Canadians to vacation in Canada in 2022.
For a couple, this would mean savings of up to $300 on their next family trip if they vacation in Canada.
Eligible expenses would include:
- Accommodations, including hotels, motels, and other short-term rentals;
- Restaurant meals, including delivery fees and tips;
- Entry fees to attractions, parks, cultural events, museums, festivals, sporting events, and other attractions; and
- Travel, including car rentals, RV rentals, bus rides, taxi rides, airfare, tolls, and parking.
This program would be intended to benefit Canadian workers in hotels, restaurants, airlines, festivals, museums, and a wide range of businesses in the tourism and hospitality industries.
The Conservatives are claiming that the program would support workers by injecting over $1.5 billion into these sectors.
“We will help Canadians deal with the rising cost of living, while supporting those who work in our hospitality sector,” said O’Toole.
“If you don’t care about securing support for Canada’s tourism and hospitality sectors, you have three parties to choose from in this election. If you do, then there is only one choice – Canada’s Conservatives.”
- Restaurants employ 1.2 million Canadians and contribute $95 billion to GDP.
- The Canadian tourism industry supports 1.8 million jobs and contributes $102 billion to GDP.
- About 533,000 workers in the tourism industry lost their jobs in 2020.