December 11 2018  |  Industry News

FDFA government relations team attends high-level meetings

By Hibah Noor

The Frontier Duty Free Association (FDFA)’s government relations team has reported a productive November.

At the FDFA Convention in Toronto, members had the opportunity to meet with Ontario’s Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli, Parliamentary Secretary Michael Parsa and MPP Bob Bailey.

In Ottawa, Executive Director Barbara Barrett met with Minister Bill Morneau at the Economic Club of Canada breakfast following the Fall Economic Statement.

They briefly discussed duty free stores and small business taxation issues. Barrett will be meeting with the Minister’s Director of Policy and the Director of the sales tax division at Finance Canada to discuss the Road TRIP initiative.

Support and partnership with other tourism industry stakeholders is key to the advocacy goals of the government relations team.

Barrett attended the Tourism Industry Association of Canada annual congress in November. She met with the Minister of Tourism, Mélanie Joly, MP Alaina Lockhart, MP Gord Johns, MP Blake Richards as well as the President and CEO of Destination Canada, David Goldstein. They discussed tourism and duty free-related issues.

“We have reached out to Minister Joly’s office to ensure that FDFA members are included in the consultation process for the new National Strategy on Tourism,” said Barrett.

Speaking about future meetings, she continued: “At the provincial level, our continued engagement with government is paying dividends. The government of Ontario has recently announced that they will be adopting a Quebec-like system to combat the distribution and sale of illegal tobacco. They will double the number of officers in their Contraband Tobacco Enforcement Team, and will provide grants to local police to take on more investigation into illegal tobacco activities.

“While this is great news, more is to be done. Our initial talks on the Visitor Rebate Program are generating great interest in Ottawa. We are meeting in the coming weeks with Members of Parliament and government officials to discuss further. We will continue our engagement with government officials and stakeholders to ensure that our members’ concerns are considered in the decision-making process.”

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