The Leader of the Official Opposition and Critic responsible for the Charter for Regions, Ms. Dominique Anglade, accompanied by Ms. Isabelle Melançon, critic for Tourism, and Mr. Monsef Derraji, Critic for SMEs and Innovation, proposed that government provide Quebec’s municipalities with the funding required to offer all hoteliers a break from property taxes in 2020.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, in Montreal and Quebec City alike, one out of every five hoteliers polled admitted not being able to take care of their second property tax instalment payment. These numbers sound the alarm on the more than precarious situation facing an industry that is operating in slow motion.
Everyone in the hotel industry agrees when we say that the CAQ government’s programs are poorly adapted to the reality on the ground and to people’s needs. I have spoken with our hoteliers, who are passionate Quebecers, and they are not interested in becoming further indebted when we know that the impacts of the crisis will continue to be felt for many months or even years. Fears of closure are generalized throughout the sector and that is why we are proposing that the Government provide Quebec’s municipalities with the means to offer hoteliers a break from property taxes for 2020. We need a quick response from the Minister of Tourism on our proposal. She needs to demonstrate that she is aware of the issues facing our tourism industry and stop waving numbers around. She must recognize that the situation is going poorly and stop working on wall-to-wall programs that are disconnected from our cities and regions.
–Dominique Anglade, Leader of the Official Opposition and Critic responsible for the Charter for Regions.
Our hoteliers have experienced enormous economic losses since March and it goes without saying that the summer season was as disaster throughout Quebec. For too long now, I have been telling the Minister of Tourism that the real crisis in the hotel industry is the lack of liquidity. In response, she boasts about her communication plans and tells me that she has money for the industry. Unfortunately, and I am not the only one to say so, 92% of her assistance plan is made up of loans. I have met with industry stakeholders, I listened to and worked with them to find credible solutions that reflect the realities on the ground. What I am proposing is that, through Quebec’s municipalities, the government offer all hoteliers a property tax break for 2020. We must save the 44,000 jobs that depend on the hotel sector. Let’s not forget that hotels are at the heart of a whole tourism and economic ecosystem and generate a billion dollars in direct and indirect economic profits and hundreds of millions in tax revenues for governments. Let’s act now.
–Isabelle Melançon, Tourism Critic
The economic realities of hoteliers are far from positive. The industry is struggling to survive the devastating effects of the current pandemic and many have doubts about the coming months. For a long time now, we have been asking the CAQ government for direct assistance to provide our SMEs with a little breathing room. Unfortunately, it is clear that the solution retained by the Minister of Tourism is one in the form of loans, choosing to leave our hoteliers to their own devices in this difficult context. By accepting our proposal, the government has the chance to change course and show that it is concerned about our entrepreneurs and Quebec’s families. The worries about closures are generalized throughout the sector, there is an urgent need to act in the name of a real economic recovery plan for our tourism industry.
–Monsef Derraji, Critic for SMEs and Innovation
Recall that according to the data available to us, the measure is estimated at $200M for all of Quebec, which includes:
• $80 to $100M for the Greater Montreal Area
• $80M for the National Capital Region.