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Economy

There’s no free lunch.. But an O’Toole Conservative Government will pay for half of yours

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News Release from The Conservative Party of Canada

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.”

Through Canada’s Recovery Plan, a Conservative government will introduce a Dine and Discover program to encourage Canadians to support these hard-hit sectors. This initiative will:

  • 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. 

“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.

Backgrounder

To get Canadians back to work, the federal government needs to focus on helping the hardest-hit sectors, including the hospitality and tourism sectors. To support these sectors, Canada’s Conservatives will introduce a new Dine and Discover program.

“Dine”: Restaurant refund initiative

Once it is safe to do so, Canada’s Conservatives will support the recovery of the restaurant sector by providing a 50 per cent rebate for food and non-alcoholic drinks purchased for dine-in service from Monday to Wednesday.

Modelled on a similar program in the United Kingdom, this initiative will encourage Canadians to get back into restaurants on days of the week when restaurants tend to have excess capacity.

The customer will immediately receive the rebate, which will appear directly on the bill. Businesses will 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 will be no limit on the number of times that an individual customer may use the program, but the program would cover a maximum meal cost of $35 per patron per visit. The program will apply to a wide range of establishments, including but not limited to restaurants, pubs, bars, coffee shops, and canteens.

This will support workers by injecting nearly $1 billion into the restaurant, hospitality, and tourism industries.

“Discover”: Explore and Support Canada initiative

Canada’s Conservatives will establish an Explore and Support Canada initiative to encourage Canadians to support the recovery of the Canadian tourism and hospitality sectors. Conservatives will 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 will benefit Canadian workers in hotels, restaurants, airlines, festivals, museums, and a wide range of businesses in the tourism and hospitality industries.

This will support workers by injecting over $1.5 billion into these sectors.

Quick Facts:

  • 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.

 

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Alberta

Alberta premier visits U.S. capital to talk North American energy security

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Washington – Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is in Washington in an effort to convince Capitol Hill lawmakers that his province is their best bet for North American energy security.

Kenney is meeting with journalists today in advance of his testimony Tuesday before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

That hearing, to explore the “energy and minerals” partnership between Canada and the U.S., will also feature virtual testimony from Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson.

Nathalie Camden, Quebec’s deputy minister of mines, and Electricity Canada president Francis Bradley are also scheduled to testify.

Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage and Environment Minister Jason Nixon are part of Kenney’s delegation.

Tuesday’s hearing comes at the invitation of the committee’s chairman, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin — a moderate Democrat and a critical swing vote in the evenly divided Senate — who paid a high-profile visit to Alberta last month.

Kenney has long been a vocal champion of the role Alberta plays as a reliable and trustworthy source of energy to the U.S., a message he believes resonates even more since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February.

And Manchin has proven a valuable ally, as a vocal critic of U.S. President Joe Biden’s Day 1 decision to cancel the controversial Keystone XL pipeline expansion between Alberta’s oilsands and refineries on the Gulf Coast.

“The Keystone XL pipeline is something we should have never abandoned. Now we wish we hadn’t,” Manchin said during his visit.

The White House, meanwhile, has repeatedly rejected the idea that allowing the project to go ahead would have eased the pressure on gasoline prices in the U.S., which have spiked due to rampant inflation and widespread international bans on the import of Russian energy.

But Kenney’s visit this week may have as much to do with turbulent domestic politics in Alberta as with the shifting global geopolitical landscape.

Kenney returns home Wednesday, when he will learn the results of a United Conservative Party vote on whether he should continue as leader and premier.

Just last week, he rejected “unequivocally, period, full stop” the idea of calling an election a full year ahead of schedule in hopes of restoring a measure of party unity and maintaining his grip on power.

The governing party has been roiled by bitter infighting in recent months, including public criticism of Kenney from within his own caucus, that will culminate Wednesday in the results of the leadership review.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2022.

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Economy

Canadian Association of Energy Contractors raises drilling forecast for the year

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CALGARY — The Canadian Association of Energy Contractors is raising its forecast for oil and natural gas drilling following what it said was a robust first quarter due to stronger than expected oil and gas prices.

The association says it now expects 6,902 wells to be drilled this year, up 6.9 per cent from its original forecast in November last year for 6,457.

Oil and gas prices soared earlier this year after Russian invaded Ukraine and a ban on Russian oil imports by U.S. President Joe Biden.

The revised drilling outlook projects operating days 62,121 for the year, up from the original forecast for 58,111, while the number of active rigs is expected to be 170, up from 159.

The forecast also suggests there will be more jobs in the sector with up to 37,409 direct and indirect positions for year, compared with earlier expectations for 34,925.

However, it notes that labour shortages are expected to be a drag on the industry for the remainder of the year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 10, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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