|Following a tele-townhall on March 26, the Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries provided a 10-point action plan for her Ministry moving forward:
I announced some changes we are making to respond to the challenges our industries and sectors are facing.
1. I’ve re-purposed the Tourism Development Fund to the Tourism Development and Recovery Fund and increased the fund from $500,000 to $1.5 Million
2. I’m working with industry partners on an online marketplace and town centre for all Ontarians to access concerts, art, digital gallery and museum tours and attraction pre-purchases. I’ve made an initial investment of $150,000 to match community contributions to give musicians a platform to perform concerts from the safety of their homes.
3. Destination Ontario is actively working on a marketing program that will let the world know that when they are ready to travel and when we are a safe environment to accept them back, we will be ready.
4. Our government will be allowing all licensed restaurants, bars and pubs to sell and deliver unopened alcohol at their establishments.
5. We have provided lists of Hotels to MOH, MOLTC and MCCSS to be used in the event hospitals, LTC’s, VAW Centres need capacity due to social distancing. Yesterday’s economic statement earmarked $341 Million if this is required.
6. For our film and TV industry we are revising regulations so we can allow contract and freelance workers to receive Ontario’s three refundable film and TV tax credits while at the same time working to streamline the time it takes to complete them.
7. For our emerging artists, we are retooling our $7 Million Ontario Music Fund to get more money into their hands immediately during this crisis.
8. As we know the Olympics have been postponed and many of our sport hosting events have been cancelled. Each year we invest $10 Million into our athletes through Quest for Gold and Sport Hosting events. Despite these postponements and cancellations this money will still be available.
9. Celebrate, OAC, OCAF or Trillium Grant will flow even if events are forced to cancel. We will invest almost $200 Million in 2020.
10. Local libraries, community museums and our governments agencies and attractions will see their money flow very quickly so when it is safe to do so, they can open their doors again to the public.
Guest speakers on the tele-townhall included Beth Potter, President & CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) and Josh Basseches, Director & CEO of the Royal Ontario Museum.