The Government of Canada announced its 2023 budget on Tuesday evening, entitled ” A Made-In-Canada Plan”. This budget focuses on strengthening the middle class and quality of life for Canadians.
Some key highlights from the 2023 Federal Budget relevant to the Tourism and Hospitality Industry include:
- A new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy to chart a course for growth, investment, and stability in Canada’s tourism sector. Components will include:
- $108 million over 3 years, on a cash basis, starting in 2023-24, to the Regional Development Agencies to support communities, small businesses, and non-profit organizations in developing local projects and events.
- $50 million over 3 years, on a cash basis, starting in 2023-24, to Destination Canada to attract major international conventions, conferences, and events to Canada.
- Capping the planned increase of the federal excise tax on beverage alcohol at 2% for one year, down from the previously announced 6.3%.
- Commitments from Visa and Mastercard to lower interchange fees for eligible small businesses, while also protecting reward points for Canadian consumers offered by Canada’s large banks.
- More than 90 per cent of credit card-accepting businesses will see their interchange fees reduced by up to 27% from the existing weighted average rate. These reductions are expected to save eligible small businesses in Canada approximately $1 billion over five years.
Other highlights include:
- $14 million over two years for the Department of Canadian Heritage to support the Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program which supports local artists, artisans, and heritage performers through festivals, events, and projects, including Indigenous cultural celebrations and the celebration of 2SLGBTQI communities.
Labour and Workforce:
- Extending the Seasonal Employment Insurance support that provides up to five additional weeks for seasonal workers in 13 economic regions, until October 2024.
- $197.7 million to the Student Work Placement Program in 2024-2025 to continue creating work-integrated learning opportunities for students through partnerships between employers and post-secondary institutions.
- $5.4 million over three years, starting in 2023-24, to Employment and Social Development Canada to ensure that the Work-Sharing Program continues to provide timely support to Canadian workers and businesses.
- $1.8 billion over 5 years to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) to increase its level of service, improve screening wait times, and strengthen security measures at airports.
- Eligibility for the Electronic Travel Authorization Program to low-risk, trusted travelers will be expanded to include more countries, which will be announced in the coming weeks.
Hospitality NL is working with our national partners to monitor budget updates as they develop. To view the 2023 Federal budget, visit the link below.