July 30th, 2013

Conservatives must settle the labour dispute with diplomats, says the NDP

OTTAWA — The government must negotiate in good faith and quickly reach a fair agreement with Foreign Service officers so that Canadian tourism is no longer negatively affected, said Official Opposition International Development, Americas and Consular Affairs Critic, Hélène Laverdière (Laurier–Sainte-Marie).

"The Conservative government’s bad faith handling of the labour dispute with Canada’s diplomats is hurting the country’s economy", said Mrs Laverdière.

The Conservative's refusal to negotiate with the diplomats has resulted in delays to the issuing of visas, which has forced a large number of foreign tourists to change their vacation plans. In the short term alone, the tourism industry faces a loss of almost $300 million.

Under the Conservatives, Canada has had difficulty maintaining its share of the international tourism market—thanks to underfunding of the Canadian Tourism Commission and the implementation of airport fees that are much higher than Canada’s competitors.

“I fear that this dispute will drag on and have long-term negative repercussions on Canadian tourism,” added New Democrat Critic for Tourism and Small Business, François Lapointe (Montmagny–L'Islet–Kamouraska–Rivière-du-Loup). “This is a hard blow to the millions of Canadians who work in the country’s restaurants, hotels, boutiques and museums.”