May 25 2021  |  Associations

FDFA re-starts its e-newsletter & offers an advocacy update

By Laura Shirk

Last week, FDFA announced the re-starting of its e-newsletter to provide regular updates about its activities and the status of the Canada-U.S. border. A brief message signed by Barbara Barrett, Executive Director, FDFA, says the association remains focused on seeking federal government support and a re-opening plan for industry members and businesses.

During the pandemic, FDFA representatives have established an ongoing dialogue with local media outlets as a call to action. The association has been featured in a list of print articles and radio interviews to help promote its primary cause. Since duty free stores are regulated by the Canada Border Services Agency as export only businesses, the stores are restricted from pivoting their business model as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Outlined in its May 2021 Advocacy Update, FDFA's next steps include continuing to support its request of the government to provide a specific grant for duty free stores out of the $500 million Tourism Relief Fund that was announced in Budget 2021. The association shares it’s made “headway” on this ask and met with senior members of the Minister of Tourism’s office and other key Members of Parliament.

“We are also working with MP Brian Masse (Windsor West) and researchers at the Library of Parliament to determine the best legislative or regulatory pathway to obtain a clear export designation for the industry.

“In conjunction with its partners at the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, FDFA is working with the Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary Friendship Group and U.S. Representative Brian Higgins to advocate for a safe border re-opening plan from the Canadian and American governments,” says the update.

FDFA promises to continue to earn regional media coverage to amplify its message, raise public awareness and capture the attention of leading decision-makers.

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