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Dec 16, 2022

TIABC Voice of Tourism Newsletter – December 16th, 2022



Tis the season when I hear from a few relatives and friends who take delight in sending (via Canada Post) or emailing me their annual year-in-review letter that recounts every vacation, wedding, birthday, funeral, illness, injury, family visit, major purchase, restaurant meal, or concert they’ve experienced during the previous 11 months. Even though I’m already aware of most of their exploits thanks to snippets on various social media channels, I nonetheless enjoy receiving these epistles partly because of the detail and occasional embellishment included in each letter.

Regardless of whether it’s online or on paper, there is something about reading a letter that for me resonates far more than viewing a quick email, text, or social media post. Especially in a professional context, a well-written, comprehensive letter not only tells me something about the writer but also about the recipient. Such is the case for the recently released mandate letters issued by Premier Eby to each cabinet minister, minister of state or parliamentary secretary last week.

In preparing to write a congratulatory note to new or returning ministers that influence the tourism file, I read their individual mandate letters in order to convey brief and relevant information that not only outlines TIABC’s role and assessment on files their respective ministries are responsible for, but also offer to work with them to help resolve various challenges.

To be sure, there are consistencies in every mandate letter that speak to government priorities around attainable and affordable housing, safer communities, improved health care, and a sustainable, clean, secure, and fair economy…most of which are objectives the tourism industry can play a minor or major role in to help government address.

However, there are specific issues that affect the visitor economy referenced in more than a dozen individual mandate letters that TIABC and many of our sector and DMO partners are actively engaged in. For example (by topic & ministry):

Helping rural and Indigenous communities recover from the pandemic – Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport
Developing Indigenous tourism products – Indigenous Relations & Reconciliation
Workforce development – Jobs, Economic Development & Innovation
Employment standards – Labour
Municipal & Regional District Tax –Finance
Land use and protecting wild salmon –Water, Land & Natural Resource Stewardship
Sustainable modes of transportation – Transportation & Infrastructure; Energy, Mines & Low Carbon Innovation
Disaster risk and mitigation strategies – Environment & Climate Change Strategy; Emergency Management & Climate Readiness
Short-term vacation rentals – Housing
Removing barriers to employment for new arrivals – Municipal Affairs
Tenure security – Forests

As referenced earlier, the mandate letters tell us what priorities government plans to focus on (notwithstanding another crisis) over the next year. Therefore, it is incumbent on TIABC to closely evaluate the marching orders ministers have been given to see where we can find common ground and palatable solutions to various issues, and more importantly, where and how we need to spend our time and resources to advocate with sound policy to deal with the other outstanding difficulties our members and stakeholders continue to face.

In the event you haven’t read a mandate letter before, I assure you they’re not as exciting as skimming through a Christmas letter from cousins Joe & Jane Sixpack of Moose Jaw, but they are worth reviewing on a regular basis to better understand government direction and decisions.

I started to write my own year-in-review letter to send to friends and relatives this Christmas. However, I changed my mind because I had nothing more to say after the first line, “The highlight of my year was seeing travel restrictions finally lifted for good in March.”

Walt Judas,

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