Canadians have sent more than 312,000 personal messages to their local MPs, asking them to prioritize a plan to safely restart travel and tourism, according to the National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC).
Over the course of many weeks, the NACC reached out to Canadians in every province and territory, requesting them to write the federal government about a travel restart plan.
The association called the response "overwhelming," staying that people in the Greater Toronto Area cared most this issue, making up more than 21% of total participants.
Further, more than 53% of emails sent were from Canadians who live in a riding held by the governing Liberal Party, reports the NACC.
"In response to COVID-19, Canadians have worked hard to establish safe and responsible ways to restart their lives, with all levels of government across the country releasing various plans for the phased reopening of communities and businesses. But so far, the federal government has not released a clear plan to support the safe restart of the travel and tourism sector," the NACC said in a release.
The NACC represents Canada's largest national and international passenger air carriers: Air Canada, Air Transat, Jazz Aviation LP and WestJet.
Collectively, its member airlines carry over 80 million passengers annually, directly employ over 60,000 people and are a critical component of Canada's overall air transport and tourism sector which supports more than 630,000 jobs.
Canada needs a plan
"Canada needs the federal government to design and release a plan that will safely and responsibly restart travel and tourism for everyone; be they travellers, small business owners that depend on the industry, or their employees," the NACC stated. "The results of this grassroots outreach show that Canadians believe it is possible, and necessary, to move forward in a responsible manner..."
The NACC has asked the Government to undertake the following actions as part of a restart plan:
- Rapidly establish a national framework to ease interprovincial travel restrictions
- Clearly communicate to Canadians that they can travel safely by air to visit their favourite Canadian destinations
- Establish reciprocal border agreements with targeted safe countries
"The Prime Minister and his cabinet must take urgent action to support the thousands of business and employees across the country, in communities large and small, that depend on travel and tourism. We can safely restart our industry and take steps to ensure its financial viability through sectoral support, but the federal government must act now," stated Mike McNaney, President and CEO of the National Airlines Council of Canada.
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