Government of Canada announces support to the tourism sector to create jobs and strengthen the economy

GATINEAU, QC, Dec. 17, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Workers and businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of Canada has a plan to support hard-hit sectors, help businesses adapt and thrive, and give Canadians the skills they need to find good jobs as our economy continues to recover.

Today, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced up to $67 million in funding to support Canada’s tourism and hospitality sector through the Sectoral Initiatives Program (SIP). This funding supports 24 projects that will help employers and industry stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality sector to attract and retain skilled workers, build capacity through training and resources, and remove barriers for groups – including women, youth, Indigenous peoples, newcomers, persons with disabilities and LGBTQ2 Canadians – that continue to be under-represented in the labour market. Projects will also provide training opportunities to workers who have been displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic and work to stimulate the economy in Indigenous communities.

Budget 2021 committed $1.78 billion over three years through several new initiatives that support the skills development and training of workers, and provide incentives for employers to hire and retain them. These measures will help create almost 500,000 new job and training opportunities for workers over the coming years. The Government of Canada had committed to creating over one million jobs, restoring employment to pre-pandemic levels, and this was achieved last month.


“The Government is working closely with the tourism and hospitality sector to help address challenges they face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding announced today helps businesses get back on their feet and attract and retain the skilled workers the tourism industry needs. Not only are we supporting Canadians who traditionally face barriers to the labour market and providing workers the support they need to find good jobs, we are also helping the tourism sector bounce back.”
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

“The Canadian tourism sector has been among the most impacted by COVID-19 and the economy of our country will not fully recover until tourism recovers. The funding announced today will help businesses address labour shortages by bringing in and keeping skilled workers, building capacity and ensuring inclusion and diversity in the tourism labour force. Canada’s tourism labour force is key – our welcoming workforce is one of our best assets and we’ll continue to work with partners to ensure they are even better positioned to safely welcome back guests when it is possible to do so.”

– Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, Randy Boissonnault

Quick Facts

  • These 24 projects were selected through an open call for proposals process that ran from January 22, 2021 to March 4, 2021.

  • The tourism and hospitality sector has been one of the hardest hit sectors by the pandemic. According to the Conference Board of Canada’s Briefing: COVID-19 Impact on Tourism Sector Employment and Revenues, it is expected that employment in the sector will remain below 2019 levels until 2023.

  • Outbreaks of COVID-19 that resulted in lockdowns caused tourism employment to drop anywhere from 15{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a} to 23{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a}. As of April 2021, tourism employed 520,000 fewer workers than it had in February 2020, the last month before the pandemic reached Canada, an employment drop of over 25{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a}.

  • The tourism and hospitality sector is a significant source of employment for young workers and newcomers. In 2019, youth (persons age 15–24) held more jobs in tourism than any other age group, representing 34{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a} of Canada’s tourism workforce, and 28{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a} of tourism employees were immigrants or non-permanent residents

  • The Sectoral Initiatives Program will be integrated into the new Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program (SWSP), which received $960 million through Budget 2021 to support key sectors of the economy to implement industry-driven solutions to address current and emerging workforce needs.

  • The SWSP will help employers find skilled workers and connect Canadians with the training they need. It will also provide workers who have been displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic with training opportunities. This program will help businesses and workers prepare for workforce transitions in the rapidly changing green economy, address labour shortages in sectors like healthcare, and help our economy grow.

  • The SWSP will have an expanded scope for large-scale projects that offer a broader range of sector-focused activities, including training and upskilling, and developing solutions for workforce challenges.

  • The SWSP is anticipated to launch calls for proposals early in January 2022.

Related Products

Associated Links

Sectoral Initiatives Program
Backgrounder: Budget 2021 Job Creation
ESDC Funding Page
Follow us on Twitter


List of successful projects


Project Title


Funding Amount

Canadian Tourism Human
Resource Council

Tourism Workforce Recovery:
Helping Restore 100,000s of Jobs
and Build Resilience

Ottawa, ON


Canadian Tourism Human
Resource Council

Maintaining a Foundational Labour
Market Forecasting and Intelligence

Ottawa, ON


Cape Breton University

Cape Breton Island’s Tourism
Training Network

Sydney, NS


Conseil de la Nation huronne-
wendat (Centre de
développement de la formation et
de la main-d’oeuvre)

Tous ensemble pour notre avenir

Wendake, QC


Georgian College of Applied Arts
and Technology

UpSkill Tourism Microcredential

Barrie, ON


Gros Morne Institute for
Sustainable Tourism Inc.

Leadership and Innovation for the
Future of Tourism in Atlantic
Canada (LIFT Atlantic)

Rocky Harbour, NL


Groupe artisanal féminin
francophone de l’Ontario Inc.

La relance de l’industrie hotelière et
touristique comme voie de la
relance économique

Toronto, ON


Hospitality Training Action Centre
Local 75

The Future of Work – Foundational
Skills a Pathway to Recovery +

Toronto, ON


Hospitality Workers Resource

At the Cross-Paths of Skills: A
Model of Intelligent Cross-Sectoral
Career Planning and Development

Toronto, ON


Latincouver Cultural and Business

Creating Paths for Employment in
Tourism and Hospitality

Vancouver, BC


Mount Saint Vincent University

The Ki’nuk Tourism Program at
Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS


Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel

Grassroots Revitalization of the
Ontario Hospitality Journey

Mississauga, ON


Outward Bound Canada

Training Academy for Outdoor

Toronto, ON


Refiner’s House of Prayer

Placement Aid & Skill Development
(PASD) Project

Brampton, ON


Saffron Hub

Women in food entrepreneurship

Whitby, ON


The Conference Board of Canada

The Role of Newcomers and
Temporary Workers in Tourism
Sector Recovery

Ottawa, ON


The Firecircle Ltd.

Transition to Tourism

Ottawa, ON


The Further Education Society of

Pathways: Creating Opportunities
for Indigenous Youth Employment in
Tourism and Government

Calgary, AB


The Immigration Services Society
of British Columbia

Gateway to Tourism/Hospitality
Jobs for Newcomers

Vancouver, BC


The YMCA of Greater Vancouver

YMCA Café Training Program

New Westminster,


Thompson Okanagan Tourism

Hospitality Professional Program

Kelowna, BC


University of Victoria

Indigenous Community
Entrepreneurship Development &
Action Recovery (I-CEDAR)

Victoria, BC


Wheatland Express Inc.

East-Central Saskatchewan
Tourism & Learning Centre

Wakaw, SK


Yukon Literacy Coalition

Yukon Pathways to Success

Whitehorse, YT




SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada



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Christopher Lewis

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