John Vanthof
Commissioner, Board of Internal Economy

I appreciate that question. There are many businesses in my riding that have applied and have received the initial payment and will receive the second one, and they needed it. But there are also many businesses in my riding and throughout Ontario that, because they weren’t cookie-cutter, are having an incredibly hard time getting access to that program, and I have made the finance minister aware of that. I have sent a couple of cases to his deputy. So, is that a worthwhile program? Yes. Should it be available to more businesses? Absolutely.

And again, it’s not always ours to criticize. The fact that you’ve now opened it up to mom-and-pop tourism outfitters—we have been pushing for that since the pandemic started. We have pushed and pushed and pushed, but sadly—again, that is needed. But it was needed eight months ago, because I’ve lost several of those operators, a lot of those operators, because they’re mom-and-pop businesses. They work for themselves. They don’t have a pay schedule, and we’ve lost those people. We needed that program 10 months ago. We needed a targeted program for tourism’s mom-and-pop months ago.