Federal budget delivers for Ottawa’s tourism, public service sectors

Excerpt from CBC News Joanne Chianello

The Liberal government’s massive spending budget unveiled Monday tackles everything from child care to climate change to affordable housing, but also contains good news for two of Ottawa’s largest employment sectors: tourism and the federal public service.

Tourism is a direct beneficiary of this budget, with $1 billion in new spending allocated to reinvigorate the pandemic-ravaged industry.

While the government does not appear to have picked up on the tourism industry’s idea to create some sort of credit to encourage Canadians to travel, it is earmarking $500 million for a tourism relief fund to help regional agencies adapt to post-pandemic times, and another $100 million for Destination Canada to push travel in the country.

$23M for NAC

The $1-billion package, most of which is to be spent over the next two years, also includes $200 million for major festivals — events like Bluesfest and the Ottawa Jazz Festival — as well as another $200 million for smaller community cultural events such as fall country fairs.

In addition to the tourism package, the government plans to pay out $300 million over the next two years through a recovery fund for the arts, cultural and sports sectors.

As well, the National Arts Centre (NAC), which the budget document says “plays a vital role in the career of many performing artists, singer-songwriters, dancers, playwrights, choreographers, actors, and directors from across the country,” will receive $17.2 million to address the impact of COVID-19 on the Ottawa institution.

The NAC will receive an additional $6 million specifically to “support collaborations with equity deserving groups to help relaunch the performing arts sector.”

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