QUEEN’S PARK – Doug Ford must stem the damage to Northern Ontario tourism during this pandemic by including businesses in COVID-funding programs, said MPP Mike Mantha (Algoma-Manitoulin), the NDP’s critic for Tourism, during question period Tuesday.
“Ontario’s tourism industry is suffering, they are frustrated and crying out for help,” said Mantha. “In my riding of Algoma-Manitoulin, many outfitters such as Michele and Tom Watson at Kaby Lodge, have lost over 90 per cent of their clientele due to the border restrictions.
“Taking on further debt is not an option for these tourist outfitters or many others within the tourism sector.
“Premier, the bleeding continues while this government stands by and does nothing. Businesses are dying, and so is Ontario’s tourism.
“Will this government step up and expand emergency programs to ensure that all Ontario tourism-based businesses are included?
Mantha said the Ford government should be taking basic and urgent measures to help tourism-based businesses such as immediate grants that have greater eligibility. Too many businesses are not qualifying for help under the province’s current criteria, and funding is far too limited.
New Democrats have proposed a series of solutions through the NDP Save Main Street plan to help small businesses keep their head above water.
“Will this government take these business-saving measures, expand the eligibility to the Ontario Small Business Support Grant today, and ensure that our tourism industry survives this unprecedented crisis?”