event. It was a renewed opportunity for manufacturers, suppliers, dealers, and campground operators to showcase the latest RV products, participate in educational opportunities and celebrate the RV lifestyle together.
March also brought us the federal government’s 2019 budget. There were several measures which will benefit our members. Budget 2019 introduced the Canada Training Benefit, which will support workers with the cost of training, provide income support during training, and offer job protection so that workers can take the time to get the skills they need. Eligible workers between the ages of 25 and 64 can accumulate a credit balance at a rate of $250 per year, up to a lifetime limit of $5,000. The credit can be used to refund up to half the costs of taking a course or enrolling in a training program. This bodes well for those looking to attend skilled training courses.
Budget 2019 also proposes to provide $58.5 million over two years, starting this year, to the Regional Development Agencies for the creation of a Canadian Experiences Fund. The Fund would support Canadian businesses and organizations seeking to create, improve or expand tourism-related infrastructure such as, accommodations or local attractions, or, new tourism products or experiences. We are reaching out to understand more about this fund and how our industry, including campgrounds, can participate in this project.
The government introduced an EI Small Business Premium Rebate. Starting in 2020 any business that pays employer EI premiums equal to or less than $20,000 per year would be eligible for a rebate to offset the upward pressure on EI premiums resulting from the introduction of the new EI Training Support Benefit.
We will be speaking to government about these proposals during our upcoming advocacy day on May 2nd. The RV and Camping Industry Hill day is an excellent way of making our industry’s voice heard. Thank you to all those that participated in our member advocacy survey to help establish our current messages, which are as follows:
The government of Canada should continue to aggressively pursue the lift of the steel and aluminum tariffs by the United States. While Canada has started the process to ratify the CUSMA, the government should ensure that ratification in Canada coincide with the removal of these tariffs. The government should also provide additional support to the Canadian industries impacted by these tariffs.
Due to the geographic constraints of the existing programs, the Government of Canada should create an Apprenticeship Travel Grant that could be used by those who are required to travel in order to undertake an apprenticeship training program. This Grant should be targeted towards those enrolled in programs that are not offered in their city, town or province. This Grant should be a taxable cash grant of $2,000-$4,000 per person per year in order to provide support for such items as travel costs, lodging, and care arrangements for families.
Have a fabulous spring season.
All the best,
Herb Cowen, Chairman of the Board
RVDA of Canada