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Niagara Falls
Friday, July 12, 2024
Baldinelli: Vaccines crucial to helping our economy recover

Tony Baldinelli
Special to The Lake Report

Tourist visits are vital for Niagara-on-the-Lake's economy. Many NOTL small businesses depend on people travelling domestically and from abroad, to come visit and enjoy all that our picturesque town has to offer.

There is no doubt that vaccines are the best tool we have to support economic recovery and one day return our lives to normal. We need the federal government to succeed in securing a reliable and timely vaccine supply, so Canadians can be protected and our economy can begin to recover.

So far, unfortunately, the Trudeau government has failed to do this.

According to Our World in Data, as of Feb. 19, Canada ranks 52nd in the world for vaccines administered per 100 people. This is unacceptable and we need the federal government to do much better.

Just last week, I was promoted to the House of Commons standing committee on industry, science and technology. In the coming months, this committee will play an essential role, focusing on Canada’s economic recovery from this pandemic.

Our committee is undertaking two studies. One deals with our domestic manufacturing capacity for a COVID-19 vaccine and the other is an examination of the accessibility and affordability of telecommunication services in Canada.

The Trudeau government has left Canada with the lowest vaccination rate, the biggest deficit and one of the highest unemployment rates in the G7.

In January, another 213,000 Canadians lost their jobs and, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, there is real fear that another 160,000 to 200,000 small businesses could permanently close due to COVID-19.

The journey ahead to achieving economic recovery is a massive undertaking. We need all the tools and all the ideas we can collect to succeed.

As such, this past week, in my role as special adviser to the Conservative leader on tourism recovery, I was pleased to meet virtually with representatives of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada. We discussed their policy suggestions and I learned more about their proposed plans to help bring about tourism recovery in Canada.

I was also pleased to help host a virtual tour across Niagara for Conservative leader Erin O’Toole.

While visiting with us, Erin gave a keynote speech at the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce in the morning, followed by a local tourism round table with Niagara Falls stakeholders in the afternoon.

Our goal was to hear directly from industry representatives, so we can better understand their challenges going through this pandemic and learn what they need to help tourism recover.

One theme through all these meetings was clear: vaccines are urgently needed to help secure our economic recovery.

Canadians want their lives back to normal. We have endured enough and I hear your frustrations every day about the continuing lockdown.

As your member of Parliament, you have my promise that I will continue holding this federal government to account and will raise those issues of importance to the residents in the communities of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Fort Erie and Niagara Falls.

Tony Baldinelli is Conservative MP for Niagara Falls riding.

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