President’s Update – May 28th

Tourism Week was very different again this year, MCC participated by helping raise the awareness of our sectors on going challenges with governments and Canadian’s alike. Tourism Week is a seven-day coast to coast event which helps recognize Canada’s tourism economy, and the impact it has on every community across the country.

We continue to call on members to write their MP’s calling for an extension of the wage and rent subsidies and for a coordinated approach to opening borders. MCC has created a template which you can find here. So far, between OMCA and MCC we have had over 80 letters sent, raising the awareness of our sector and helping us open the doors with these MPs. This campaign aligns our voices, so Thank You to all of you who have sent MP a letter. Each and every one helps.

This week, I had the opportunity to meet with the Director of Policy to Canada’s Minister of Transport. This meeting gave the association the opportunity to discuss policy issues we are facing and provide solutions for the Minister’s office to review. We discussed the need for sector specific support and will continue the dialog as we turn to rebuilding our sector. As we continue to increase our advocacy efforts and actions to help keep our industry top of mind for government officials. We continue to meet with provincial and federal officials to detail the challenges we are facing and to highlight the gap in government relief programs.  Please continue to share your stories with your regional MP and MPP. These grassroots connections are so vital to our work. MCC will continue to align our collective voices, however, we can’t do this without you. We need your engagement and support.

Thank you,
Vince Accardi

Get Involved to get the support you need!

On May 18th, Motor Coach Canada wrote the following letter to Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance encouraging the further extension of the CEWS and CERS programs for the hardest hit industries. Since 2021’s peak tourism season will continue to be hindered by public health restrictions, this hardest hit sector will rely on the assistance of the government supports to get them through to a more fruitful 2022 season.

Send Your Letter Today!

MCC members have received a draft template to send to their local MPs in support of this ask. If you have not received yours, please contact info@motorcoachcanada.com to get it.

Send your letter by May 28th and use our below social media posts to get more attention on this ask.

Social Media Messaging for Members

Click here to access the social media images FOR the posts below.

We are asking the Federal government to coordinate and announce a clear border reopening plan. Businesses are dependent on the ability of Canadians and visitors to move freely. We need a clear plan! @YOUR LOCAL MP @cafreeland @melaniejoly @BillBlair @OntMotorCoach @MotorCoachCan

It is vital that the financial supports available through Canada’s Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) be extended until revenues can replace subsidies. @YOUR LOCAL MP @cafreeland @melaniejoly @OntMotorCoach @MotorCoachCan

The planned subsidy reduction and program wind down of Canada’s Emergency Wage Subsidy is simply too steep and too fast! @YOUR LOCAL MP @cafreeland @melaniejoly @OntMotorCoach @MotorCoachCan

The federal government has been present from the early stages of the crisis, offering relief to Canadian businesses. The planned Wage subsidy reduction is too fast and too soon for our recovery @YOUR LOCAL MP @cafreeland @melaniejoly @OntMotorCoach @MotorCoachCan

Click here to access the social media images for the posts above.

Response to Grey Hound Canada – Shut Down

2021-05-13

“Today’s announcement that Greyhound Canada is ending operations is a major blow to Canada’s ability to connect people and communities. It highlights the need for specific government support for private motor coach providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic” stated Vince Accardi, President of Motor Coach Canada and the Ontario Motor Coach Association

Countries around the world are safeguarding their ability to connect residence and communities by providing specific economic relief for transportation service providers. Last week the U.S. Department of Treasury release the details of their Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Grant Program. The $2 billion program will provide grants to eligible motorcoach companies and other transportation service providers that have experienced annual revenue losses of 25 percent or more as result of COVID-19.

“Our members link smaller communities and big cities; they offer an affordable and convenient mode of travel for everyone from essential workers to students. They depend on ridership for revenues and often find themselves competing with government subsidized services. It will be vital to Canadians to ensure that they have transportation options” continued Accardi

Motor Coach Canada and the Ontario Motor Coach Association will continue to work with the federal and provincial government to secure support for private motor coach operators.

-END-

Motor Coach Canada (MCC) is a national association representing motor coach and tour operators in Canada. MCC is the national association representing the interests of private motor coach operators and bus operators supplying scheduled, charter, transit, and tour services.

Ontario Motor Coach Association (OMCA) represents motor coach operators and tour operators providing scheduled service, chartered bus service and organized tours throughout Ontario, and across provincial and international borders.

Inquiries: info@omca.com

Business Pulse Survey – Due May 14th

MCC has released a new survey to get a pulse on the motor coach industry and better serve and support our members. Survey responses will be aggregated, and all individual and company information will remain confidential.

The aggregated results of this survey will help the association provide compelling fact-based statements when lobbying for the needs of the industry. We appreciate your time and effort as we ask you to share as much information as possible about your company and operations.

This survey will ask details about your activity, income and expenses pre-pandemic and today. To save time, please have this information ready when beginning the survey. You will receive a confirmation after submitting the survey which will include a copy of your answers. If you have any information to add/change after you’ve submitted your answers, please send them to info@motorcoachcanada.com.

This survey is to be completed by motor coach operators and the deadline to submit your response is Friday, May 14th.

Week Three – A Message from the MCC President

Thank you for your membership and support of MCC.  

This week, I was pleased to confirm MCC’s participation on the Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s Tourism Recovery Committee. This strategic advisory committee is informed by a dedicated group of industry leaders representing all sectors of the tourism economy and chaired by TIAC’s Board Chair. Members include representatives from; destinations, attractions, festivals and events, conventions, hotels, tour operators, airports, airlines and now motor coach and group travel.

Recently, Dr. Tam released a report that noted when 75% of adult Canadians have received their first vaccine, and 20% have received both shots, restrictions can be eased without the fear of overwhelming our healthcare system. This week, the Federal government confirmed that Canada will align policy on ‘vaccine passports’ with international allies. While both announcements give reason for us to be cautiously optimistic, we know that many communities are still dealing with increasing case counts and limited access to vaccines. These factors do increase the uncertainty over travel resuming for the summer season. However, we can all play a part in reaching the 75% marker, so please roll up your sleeves and encourage your friends, coworkers and families to do the same.

MCC’s dedicated team continues to advocate on behalf of our members. We are here to support your businesses and to support the restart of the travel economy. Over the next few weeks, we will be releasing a few surveys to get a pulse on what is working and where we will need to focus to support our members. Please take the time to fill these surveys in, the data is vital in our advocacy efforts.

For quick daily updates, please remember to connect with us on Twitter. If you are not a member and wish to learn more about the benefits of joining MCC, please contact us.

Take care and stay well.
Vince Accardi

Motor Coach Canada is Hiring a Safety and Regulatory Affairs Strategist

MCC/OMCA is looking to fill the position of Safety and Regulatory Affairs Strategist as a contractor or as a full-time employee.

POSITION OVERVIEW

The Safety and Regulatory Affairs Strategist directs, manages, and where possible, provides subject matter expertise and interpretation on Ontario and Canadian safety and Operations regulatory activities and services provided by the OMCA/MCC to all members and associated stakeholders. This position assists OMCA / MCC members to meet regulatory compliance while mitigating impacts to Operations.

The Safety and Regulatory Affairs Strategist represents and promotes the interests of the OMCA/MCC before all levels of government, to other industries and to the public at large, in line with OMCA/MCC’s policy directions and strategies.



Interested organizations and candidates are invited to submit their proposal /resume in confidence by May 13th, 2021 to info@omca.com with a covering letter describing their interest and suitability for the position and compensation expectation.

WEEK TWO – A MESSAGE FROM THE MCC PRESIDENT

I’d like to start with a big thank you to all the members who continue to welcome me to the association, so kindly. In my second week at MCC, I continue to prioritize connecting with members, partners, and government officials. In short, this has made for very busy days learning about the priorities of our members, and industry.

We have confirmed our association’s participation in the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses. This advocacy coalition is comprised of businesses and associations in the tourism, travel, hospitality, arts, festivals, and business events sectors, who have been the first impacted by Covid-19 and will be the last to recover. The coalition continues to focus on Federal business support programs and access to liquidity.

As I get settled into MCC, I will continue to ensure MCC’s members stories are shared with government officials and our partner associations. Our team is working hard to support our members and we will continue to advocate on your behalf.

Thank you for supporting MCC!
Vince Accardi

A Message from the MCC President

From: Vince Accardi, President, MCC

It’s the start of my second week with MCC and I’d like to start with a big thank you to all the members and partners who have welcomed me to the association. Your kind words of encouragement have been appreciated. I’d also like to thank the team for keeping the association moving forward during our leadership transition. 

Last week started with the tabling of the federal budget. The budget did include extension of businesses support programs like the CEWS, CERS, and Lockdown Support which are available to businesses that have suffered a loss of revenue due to the pandemic. It also included new Canada Recovery Hiring Program which employers eligible for CEWS would generally be eligible for this hiring subsidy. And although the budget did not specifically address the financial asks of the motor coach industry, it does lay the groundwork for supporting the tourism sector’s recovery, totaling $1 billion over three years.  This includes $500 million Tourism Relief Fund that will be administered by the Regional Development Agencies to support investments by local tourism businesses in adapting to the pandemic and investments in festivals, attractions, sports, and tourism marketing,  

We have much work ahead of us and we won’t stop advocating for you. I look forward to leading the association into recovery and to serving you, our members!

Take care and thank you for your support,
Vince Accardi

2021 Federal Budget Analysis

Below is an analysis of how the 2021 Budget will affect MCC members

The much-anticipated Federal Budget was announced April 19th and while the full budget document is over 700 pages, we want to bring focus to the good-news items for our members. 

The items that will support most of our members are the supports for businesses, like CEWS, CERS, and Lockdown Support which are available to businesses that have suffered a loss of revenue due to the pandemic.  

Wage Subsidy Extension 

  • Set to expire in June of this year, the budget proposes that the CEWS program be further extended to September 25th, 2021.  
  • It also proposes to gradually decrease the subsidy rate, beginning July 4, 2021, in order to ensure an orderly phase-out of the program as vaccinations are completed and the economy reopens. 
  • The government will seek the legislative authority to have the ability to further extend the wage subsidy program through regulations until November 20, 2021, should the economic and public health situation require it beyond September 2021. 

Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support Extension 

  • The CERS program, payable directly to tenants, and the Lockdown Support for businesses significantly affected by forced closures are both set to expire in June 2021. The Budget proposes to extend the rent subsidy and Lockdown Support until September 25, 2021.  
  • It also proposes to gradually decrease the rate of the rent subsidy, beginning July 4, 2021, in order to ensure an orderly phase-out of this program as vaccinations are completed and the economy reopens. 
  • The government will seek the legislative authority to have the ability to extend further the program through regulations until November 20, 2021, should the economic and public health situation require further support beyond September 2021. 

Introducing a new Canada Recovery Hiring Program 

  • The new $595 million Canada Recovery Hiring Program will make it easier for businesses to hire back laid-off workers or to bring on new ones by providing eligible employers with a subsidy of up to 50 percent on the incremental remuneration paid to eligible employees between June 6, 2021, and November 20, 2021.  
  • Employers eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would generally be eligible for the hiring subsidy, however, an eligible employer would be permitted to claim either the hiring subsidy or the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy for a particular qualifying period, but not both. 
     

Although the budget did not specifically address the financial asks of the motor coach industry, it does lay the groundwork for supporting the tourism sector’s recovery. The recovery of festivals, attractions, sports, agriculture, and tourism as a whole will, of course, increase demand for motor coach tourism.  

The 2021 Budget proposes supports that total to $1 billion over three years, which includes: 

  • Major Festivals 
    • $200 million through the regional development agencies will support major festivals. This would ensure they can continue to celebrate our artistic excellence and unique character. 
       
  • Community Festivals and Events
    • $200 million through Canadian Heritage will support local festivals, community cultural events, outdoor theatre performances, heritage celebrations, local museums, amateur sports events, and more. 
       
  • Helping Visitors Discover Canada  
    • $100 million will go to Destination Canada for marketing campaigns to help Canadians and other visitors discover and explore the country. 
       
  • Tourism Relief Fund 
    • $500 million Tourism Relief Fund will be administered by the regional development agencies to support investments by local tourism businesses in adapting to the pandemic. 
       

 
Other tourism-related funding includes: 

  • Indigenous Tourism
    • $2.4 million will go to the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada to help the Indigenous tourism industry rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.  
    • This will not only help our indigenous destination members but it will help keep travel close to home and on our local highways.  
       
  • Performing Arts and Community Events 
    • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $49.6 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to Canadian Heritage for the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program ($14 million over two years, starting in 2022-23), the Canada Arts Presentation Fund ($16 million over two years, starting in 2022-23), and the Celebration and Commemoration Program ($19.6 million over three years, starting in 2021-22). 
       
  • Agriculture 
    • $101 million over two years, starting in 2022-23, to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, to implement a program for the wine sector that will support wineries in adapting to ongoing and emerging challenges, in line with Canada’s trade obligations. The government will continue to be there for Canada’s domestic wine industry and the jobs it supports. 
    • This support will help local wineries prepare for the influx of winery tours when restrictions are eventually lifted.  
       
  • Arts, Culture, Heritage and Sport Sectors  
    • $300 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to Canadian Heritage to establish a Recovery Fund for Heritage, Arts, Culture, Heritage, and Sport Sectors  
       
  • Supporting Safe Air Travel 
     
  • Continuing to Protect Air Travellers 
     

Other important budget areas that may affect our members, directly or indirectly, include: 

  • Motor Vehicle Safety Act 
    • The budget also commits funding for Transport Canada to continue core motor vehicle safety oversight activities in 2022 and beyond, which include monitoring and enforcing compliance with the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, enforcing its regulations, and developing new regulations to modernize safety oversight.  
    • MCC will be investigating further into how that affects the motor coach industry.  
       
  • Recovery Support for Youth Sports  
    • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $80 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to Canadian Heritage to remove barriers to participation in sports programming and to help community organizations kick-start local organized sports that are accessible to all. 
    • A boost for youth sports teams and tournaments will mean an increased demand for sports team transportation and travel.  
       
  • Supporting Jobs and Growth in All Communities
    • $700 million over three years for the regional development agencies to support business financing. This would position local economies for long-term growth by transitioning to a green economy, fostering an inclusive recovery, enhancing competitiveness, and creating jobs in every corner of the country.
    • The federal government will work to make FedNor a standalone regional development agency and strengthen the economic development of Northern Ontario.
       
  • Sectoral Workforce Solutions
    • ​Working primarily with sector associations and employers, the new $960 million Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program (budgeted over three years) is introduced to help design and deliver training that is relevant to the needs of businesses, especially small- and medium-sized businesses, and their employees. This funding would also help businesses recruit and retain a diverse and inclusive workforce.
    • MCC will stay tuned to the developments of this program and hopes to use the Sectoral Workforce Solutions program to help support our members. 
       

MCC will continue to monitor the unfolding of this budget and will continue to work diligently at helping our members access the support that they need. We will also be working with Provincial and Federal governments and our partners on a framework for opening borders.  

If you have any questions, concerns, or require clarification on anything included in the budget – please reach out to info@motorcoachcanada.com and we will gladly assist you.   See the full budget here.