June’s MP Report

MP Blake Richards
MP Blake Richards

Canada’s tourism sector is an important contributor to our country’s economy. It is a $90 billion industry that employs more than 1.7 million Canadians in every region and is important to every community across the country.
That is why, every year at the end of May and beginning of June, we celebrate Tourism Week in Canada. This grassroots initiative is designed to bring attention to the many benefits of tourism in the Canadian economy and highlight opportunities for industry and government to continue working together to further expand this growing sector.
We know first-hand here in Canmore how important tourism is for the local economy. But did you know that tourism helps to support more than 178,000 businesses across Canada from coast-to-coast-to-coast?
Over the last several years, I have had the opportunity to travel across the country to meet with stakeholders and learn about the key issues, opportunities, and challenges of their local tourism sectors. Collaboration between tourism partners and all levels of government is important in order to seize opportunities and continue to build on the ongoing success of the industry.
From 2011 – 2015, I was Chair of the Parliamentary Tourism Caucus and am proud of the achievements that were made for the industry under our
Conservative government.
We came through on Connecting America, providing $30 million over three years for a Destination Canada campaign to improve our global competitiveness in attracting more U.S. travelers to Canada. We secured Canada Approved Destination Status for Chinese tourists, significantly increasing tourism from China and helping to support jobs and growth across the country. We made visa improvements and modernizations to expand Electronic Travel Authorization eligibility to low-risk travelers from priority markets. We invested more than $3 billion to make improvements in our national parks.
And now, in my role as Official Opposition Critic for Tourism, I look to these successes as a solid foundation as I continue my collaboration with operators, small business owners, and other stakeholders across the industry.
As we celebrate Tourism Week, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the local tourism operators and workers in the hospitality industry for the hard work they do to make Canmore such a welcoming place to visit. People from all over the world visit the community and are treated to first-class experiences that they will remember for a lifetime.
Thank you
Blake Richards
Member of Parliament

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MP Blake Richards
Blake Richards was first elected to the House of Commons in 2008 and again in 2011 in the electoral district of Wild Rose. He was re-elected in 2015 as the Member of Parliament for Banff-Airdrie, one of the largest and most diverse ridings in Canada. Mr. Richards grew up on  his family’s farm near Olds, currently lives in Airdrie, and is a member of the Royal Canadian Legion’s Exshaw branch. Prior to his election as a Member of Parliament, he was a real estate agent and volunteer firefighter.