A Message from BCHA President & CEO Ingrid Jarrett
Dear Accommodation Community,

What a week. I know you all are experiencing the hardship of the increased restrictions, and the disappointment that the Covid numbers are going in the wrong direction.

This week, we have met with the Health, Jobs and Tourism Ministries, and are working hard to ensure there is some clarity when possible for understanding what the spring and summer will look like. I also know there have been thousands of cancellations since Monday – spanning into the summer season which is extremely disappointing and concerning – it could be a reflection of the lack of confidence with travellers anticipating what travel will be encouraged by spring and summer. In addition, the additional layoffs due to the cancellations is another significant disappointment for our industry.
It is going to be of critical importance that we, as industry ensure we are aligned and clear with our communications strategy to bolster consumer confidence and communicate proudly the safety protocols we have implemented, and how safe it is to stay in our hotels. It remains our position that it is human behaviour that is spreading Covid – not travel. And, evidence mounts and supports this position as we can identify the lack of adherence to the restrictions can be tracking with the Covid number increases following those incidences.
I also met with Destination BC this week discussing how we can work together to ensure we are leveraging partnerships and marketing with the focus on the best outcomes possible. The team at Destination BC continues to develop marketing plans and initiatives to ensure when we are ready and encouraged to travel, we will have the investment to bolster travel once again.
Nationally we discussed several issues including the hardest Hit campaign, the MP outreach, and the Government contracted isolation and quarantine hotels. It is our intention to support the workforce in these properties to ensure they are prioritised on the vaccination lists by the regional health authorities. The focus on extending CEWS and CERB to December 2021, and revising the caps on the HASCAP program remain key determinants for our advocacy.
This week the Canadian Hotel and Lodging Association met to review the outcomes of the insurance survey, thank you for those of you who responded. We had an afternoon strategic session looking at the issues at hand with the hardening of the insurance market, the pooled program and the potential changes and strategies to mitigate risk. We will update you as we hone in on the opportunities – but given the market remains hard in 2021, we are committed to ensuring the premiums are addressed prior to the renewal date. The HIP program is doing very well, the hotel program premium increases has resulted in loss of members for us, as well as loss of participation in the program. Like all things – we need to ensure it is current and the best value for you, our industry.
Our team at BCHA has heard from many of you this week, by phone, and email. It is important for us that you know our commitment and fierce resolve is unwavering. We will do everything we can to support you as our industry and ensure we can work with government both federally and provincially to ensure that solvency is the first priority and the additional relief measures are addressed and available if at all possible.
We wish you all a safe Easter weekend, with the ski hills closing due to the pandemic – we hope your able to get outside and enjoy the beginning of spring with your households.
Stay Safe,

Ingrid Jarrett
BCHA President & CEO
Todays industry update includes:

  • BC Tourism Recovery Investment Program (TRIP) Proposal
  • Tell Us Your Story
  • Ministry of Labour Update - COVID-19 Unpaid Vaccination Leave
  • ABLE BC: Public Order Clarifications
  • go2HR: Employee Support Options During Circuit-Breaker
  • Application Process Launched for Hiring Tax Credit 
  • In the News
  • More Commercial Recreation Businesses Get a Break on Rent
  • Inter-City Bus Operators and Regional Airports Receive funding
  • Mark Your Calendars
  • BC Chamber of Commerce 2021 Virtual AGM and Conference
For any questions please reach out to our team. 
BC Tourism Recovery Investment Program (TRIP) Proposal
On March 26th, the BCHA, TIABC, and Indigenous Tourism BC submitted the BC Trip proposal to the Honourable Minster Melanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and the Honourable Minister Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. The proposals requests that the Federal Government assist some 200 large and iconic BC tourism and hospitality businesses that have largely fallen through the cracks vis-a-vis substantive relief measures and cannot survive another season without provincial and federal government support.
The proposal outlines the need, rationale and key components of a BC Tourism Recovery Investment Program (BC TRIP) to adapt the HASCAP program. These needs and components have been identified by large employers that own and operate iconic attractions, transportation companies, hotels/resorts and other key assets that drive the visitor economy in our province and in Canada more broadly given BC’s role as a gateway for international visitors.
Download the BC Trip - Federal Government Proposal here.
Tell Us Your Story
A growing coalition of tourism and hospitality businesses and sectors from around the province is adding its voice to a BC version of the “Hardest Hit” campaign to compel federal and provincial governments to work with our sector on a restart plan that includes the lifting of travel restrictions for immunized people and for those that have tested negative for the COVID-19 virus.
As part of our advocacy efforts, we’re aiming to collect information in the form of stories from businesses like yours to inform government on the extent of the impact that travel restrictions have had on the visitor economy since the start of the pandemic.
We encourage you to write your story using the format (template) below to a maximum of two pages. Be as candid as you feel comfortable. By telling your story, you give us permission to share the information with government. We may also call on you to tell your story through social and/or traditional media channels, as well as via industry communiques.
Please send your (maximum 2-page) summary to communications@bcha.com by April 10, 2021.
Background: Business name; location/s in BC; date established; ownership structure; # of full and/or part-time employees.
Primary Customers: Where your customers are from; demographics; who your booking partners are; what primary marketing channels you use.
Revenue Base:  State pre and post-COVID revenues (actual or range & % drop); how much longer you can afford to remain in operation; support programs you’ve applied for and either received or been rejected (state reasons for rejection).
Tourism Supply Chain: List other tourism businesses or other sectors that you work with and how your business supports these enterprises.
Government Decisions: State how federal and/or provincial government orders, directives and measures have affected your business; provide recommendations on what government can do differently or better to lessen the impact on your business.
Community Contribution: Illustrate why your business is a key part of your community and how travel restrictions have impacted you, your employees, your business in general, as well as the community you call home.
Personal Implications: Illustrate the ways the pandemic has affected you personally, professionally, mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually.
Ministry of Labour Update - COVID-19 Unpaid Vaccination Leave
As part of B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan, workers can take the time they need to receive the COVID-19 vaccine without fear of losing their jobs.  
The Province has made regulatory improvements under the Employment Standards Act to quickly bring in a job-protected leave. Part-time and full-time workers will be able to take the time needed to travel and receive the vaccine or to take a dependent family member to receive the vaccine.
Today’s changes also provide unpaid job-protected leave if employees need to care for other family members because of COVID-19, and not only their child or certain dependant adults. As well, they allow workers with underlying conditions, who are undergoing treatment, or who have contracted another illness that makes them more susceptible to COVID-19 to take the leave. With these changes, B.C.’s regulation now fully aligns with the federal Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.

ABLE BC: Public Order Clarifications
In the update earlier this week, bars, pubs, restaurants, and food courts are closed for indoor dining until April 19, 2021 at 11:59 pm. Patio seating and takeout or delivery is allowed.
A copy of the public order is still not available but will be posted here. More information is available on this government website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do these restrictions impact winery, brewery, or distillery tasting rooms?
Yes, they do. Breweries, wineries, and distilleries are allowed to remain open for takeout, delivery, or service on the patio.
Sampling: we have confirmed that a customer can sample product inside a manufacturing facility for the purposes of determining if they wish to purchase it. I.e., having a sample of wine before buying a bottle. But customers cannot come into the facility, sit down, and have a drink.
Do these restrictions impact private clubs?
It is our understanding these restrictions impact all licensed establishments, including private clubs. In all prior orders for food and liquor-serving establishments, private clubs have been included in the restrictions.
What is considered a patio?
The intention is to have an area with open, unimpeded air flow. A glassed-in or winterized patio or solarium would not qualify unless the barriers to airflow are removed. We expect a clearer definition of a patio from the PHO shortly.
Can I set up a temporary patio? How do I get government approval?
To set up a temporary patio, you need to apply for a Temporary Expanded Service Area through the LCRB. You can do so until October 31, 2021. If you already have a TESA, it is valid until October 31.
Food primaries, liquor primaries, and manufacturers can apply for TESA here.
The LCRB has been reviewing and approving completed applications for TESAs in approximately five days.
The permanent structural change process is also available and work is currently being completed to streamline and identify efficiencies to improve this process.
How do I expand my redline boundaries?
You will need LCRB approval to do so. Login via your BCeID, click temporary expansion, and follow the steps from there. We also recommend contacting your municipality to find out how they're handling temporary expansions. Many municipalities have elected to defer to the Province, but the City of Vancouver, for example has a different process.
Do patrons have to wear a mask while on the patio?
Patrons must wear a mask whenever they are not seated.
Can patrons use the washrooms indoors?
Yes, but patrons must wear a mask when going to and from the washroom.
Do I have to layoff staff? What options do I have?
First and foremost, we encourage employers to provide lots of open, transparent, and ongoing communication with your staff.
Make it clear to staff this is not an option, but a public order: indoor dining is not allowed and you have no choice but to close your indoor service. Continue to communicate with your staff throughout the next several weeks.
Employers may want to consider working with staff to adjust schedules, reduce hours, have staff take vacation, or encourage work-sharing.

How should I navigate this with my customers?
  •  Post signage in your establishment indicating indoor dining is closed until April 19th due to current health restrictions, but your patio (if applicable) is open.
  • If you do not have patio, encourage customers to make reservations with you for after April 19.
  • Ask customers to support your business in other ways. Town Hall Brands and Daily Hive shared some helpful ideas:
  • Take advantage of spring weather and dine outside on patios
  • Order Easter dinner to-go
  • Gather outside and order take-out
  • Order take-out to enjoy at home
  • Support and talk about your favourite establishments on social media
  • Buy gift cards and use them later
  • Keep customers informed as regulations change and when you are able to reopen indoor dining
go2HR: Employee Support Options During Circuit-Breaker
With the recent COVID-19 “circuit breaker” restrictions announced by B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer (PHO), Doctor Henry, restaurants, bars,pubs and other food and liquor service establishments have been substantially impacted. Employers are looking for options to help support and retain their employees, particularly through the next few weeks.
Strong communication plays a critical role in employee retention. Be sure to provide lots of open, transparent and ongoing communication with staff. Keep them informed about changes in the business, what they are and how it will impact them – personally - in their employment. Encourage employees to ask questions.
Short-term changes in operations may mean needing to adjust schedules, reduce hours, encourage vacation time, etc. Where possible, encourage discussions with employees and include them in decision-making. Not only does this help generate buy-in, they may suggest options that you hadn’t previously considered.
Below are a few programs that employers may also want to consider, if they’ve not already done so:
Work-Sharing (WS) is a program that helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer.
  • The program provides Employment Insurance (EI) benefits to eligible employees who agree to reduce their normal working hours and share the available work while their employer recovers.
  • Work-Sharing is an agreement between employers, employees and the Government of Canada.

A temporary layoff is when an employee earns less than 50% of their regular weekly wages (averaged over the previous eight weeks that they worked), with the plan that the employee will return to a regular work schedule.
  • Layoffs are not automatic. Employees must agree to be laid off or layoffs must be part of the employment contract. If an employee doesn't agree to the layoff, it may be considered a termination of employment.
  • If the employee won't be returning to work, the layoff is a termination of employment.
  • If an employee is laid off, they're still considered to be employed. Any benefits and entitlements (including vacation and leaves of absence) are protected.
  • Laid off employees may choose to file for Employment Insurance (EI).

Employees who are laid off, may want to apply for EI. Depending on each individual’s situation, they may or may not qualify for regular EI benefits.
  • Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) - Provides income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) - Provides income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19.

  • If employers have not previously needed or applied for CEWS, they may want to consider doing so.

If you have any questions regarding these programs or require any other human resources-related support for your team, please contact go2HR via phone: 250-469-1032, email: gbrunner@go2hr.ca or visit our COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions webpage.
Application Process Launched for Hiring Tax Credit 
The provincial government has launched the online application process for the Increased Employment Incentive (IEI) hiring credit. It earmarks up to $190 million for businesses that hired new workers, rehired people who were let go, or increased workers’ hours in the last quarter of 2020.
The credit could equal up to 15% of any increase in total eligible payroll paid in the last three months of 2020, as much as $2,230 per employee. Firms can apply until December 31, 2021. 
The credit is available to all BC employers except for public institutions and political parties.
For more information visit here.
More commercial recreation businesses get a break on rent

The B.C. government is providing an additional $1.87 million to assist more businesses that hold eligible tenures for fishing and hunting lodges, guest ranches, ecotourism lodges, seasonal campgrounds and other commercial recreation operators...

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The BC Government is providing an additional $1.87 million to assist more businesses that hold eligible tenures for fishing and hunting lodges, guest ranches, ecotourism lodges, seasonal campgrounds and other commercial recreation operators during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commercial recreation operators that hold Land Act tenures or Park Act permits may be eligible to have the annual base rent that they pay to the Province waived for one year. This is on top of the $1.36 million allocated for rent forgiveness in September 2020, which benefited 592 Land Act tenure holders and 443 Park Act permit holders.

Many commercial recreation businesses operating on crown land continue to be impacted by travel restrictions during the current pandemic. This rent forgiveness will assist another 398 Land Act tenure holders ($1.84 million in rent forgiveness) and 40 Park Act permit holders ($31,525 in rent forgiveness).
The provincial government announced 20 inter-city bus operators and 55 regional airports have received funding to provide essential transportation services. The money will support operations between April 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022. It will be used for operating costs as well as payroll, rent and other overhead costs.
Inter-city bus operators, regional airports receive...

Twenty inter-city bus operators and 55 regional airports are approved to receive funding to help them stay open and provide essential transportation services to British Columbians.

Read more
Mark Your Calendars
BC Chamber of Commerce 2021 Virtual AGM and Conference
Friday May 28 - Saturday May 29

Time to block your calendars — the BC Chamber of Commerce is inviting you to its virtual AGM and Conference, taking place May 28-29, 2021.
During a year where connection means more than it ever has, this event brings together Chamber members from across the province to share what's on BC's mind, connect deeply about business priorities, and debate policies that will drive the BC Chamber's advocacy efforts for the years ahead.
Watch your inbox for more event details to be shared in the coming weeks!
Save the date — don't miss out!

Save the date here