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Tories ask Liberals for plan to help restaurant, hospitality, tourism sectors

Chairs are turned upside down on the bar at a closed restaurant, amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. COVID-devastated bars and lounges as well as the country's hard-hit cannabis sector will have access to $40 billion in new credit being made available via the government's business bank, its CEO said on Sunday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The Opposition Conservatives are calling on the Trudeau Liberals to come up with a plan specifically to help the nation’s restaurant, hospitality and tourism sectors.

Many of them were either among the first to close due to public health concerns related to COVID-19, or have seen dramatic declines in business as consumer spending drops.

A handful of Conservative critics say in a statement this morning that the government must give these businesses the tools to open their doors again.

The party also says such a plan would help businesses retain workers through the pandemic, especially in areas with historically high unemployment.

WATCH BELOW: Many Toronto restaurants say they won’t survive coronavirus closures

 

Among the ideas being proposed are temporarily allowing owner-operators to qualify for the federal wage subsidy program as well as refunding a year’s worth of GST remittances to small businesses.

A report last week by the parliamentary budget officer estimated that refunding federal sales tax to small businesses would cost Ottawa’s coffers about $12.9 billion