March 13, 2020
TORONTO — Today, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, issued the following statement in response to the impact of COVID-19 on Ontario’s heritage, sport, tourism and culture industries:
“The health and well-being of Ontarians is our government’s number one priority. Based on the advice of Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, and the experts at the province’s Command Table, we have been taking decisive steps to contain the virus and continue to protect the public. We continue to work with our public health partners across all ministries to ensure that the appropriate plans are in place to respond to any scenario.
As a measure of prudence, the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries has convened a series of advisory groups with leading sector stakeholders in Ontario’s $74-billion heritage, sport, tourism and culture industries to ensure the government is provided with the most up-to-date information on economic impacts. By working in partnership with professional and amateur sports organizations, airlines, hotels, restaurateurs, film and television producers, as well as other tourism and cultural attractions, the government will be supported with real-time information that includes attendance records, revenue and labour impacts. This information will help inform any action that may be required to protect Ontario jobs and support impacted businesses.
We are also speaking regularly with our agencies and attractions to proactively initiate the latest health, safety, and cleanliness protocols to protect the public and staff members. We are in regular communication with Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries agencies and attractions, including the Royal Ontario Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, Ottawa’s Shaw Centre, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Science North, Ontario Science Centre, Niagara Parks Commission, Destination Ontario and others. These touchpoints provide an opportunity to share best practices and collectively monitor the impacts to the sector.
We will continue to provide updates to the sector and the public as the situation evolves.
Our chief concern is the health and safety of all residents, visitors, and staff across the province. We want to thank all of the employers, community partners and frontline workers who are actively working to address this challenge and keep everyone safe and healthy.”