MASSE IN THE HOUSE: Masse Questions Minister on the HST and Tourism
December 3rd, 2009 - 7:24pm
Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the Minister of State for Tourism revealed at committee yesterday that the government has yet to study the impact the HST will have on tourism. That is astonishing and negligent. This is the fourth largest industry in Canada. It has also suffered enormously because of U.S. passport laws.
This country's tourism industry has now become a deficit of $3.3 billion and Canada is also one of the world's most expensive places to travel to. The HST will make this worse. Will the government shelve the HST or is it willing to send the tourism industry over the brink?
Hon. Diane Ablonczy (Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), CPC): Mr. Speaker, tax harmonization, as the House knows, is a matter for provincial jurisdiction. We have to respect that.
At the federal level, I can assure my colleague and the House that we will continue to deliver for tourism, as the House saw in the economic action plan, with additional money including $40 million over two years for the Canadian Tourism Commission to promote Canada as a travel destination, $150 million over two years for national parks and historic sites and $100 million over two years for marquee tourism events that draw thousands to Canada. We are supporting tourism.