NDP Leader Tom Mulcair made a campaign stop at the Summerhill Winery in Kelowna this morning to make his pitch to promote tourism and support small and medium sized businesses if elected as Canada’s next prime minister.
“The Okanagan is increasingly earning great respect for the quality of its wines and its tourism industry,” said Mulcair. “Our commitment to Destination Canada will bring more American tourists north, boosting the region’s economy and creating good jobs.”
Mulcair said an NDP government will attract more visitors from the United States with a $30 million investment in Destination Canada (formerly the Canadian Tourism Commission), for its Connecting America campaign.
Mulcair said an NDP government would also reduce the small business tax rate from 11 to nine per cent, which he says would help tourism operators invest in growth and job creation.
“Our plan for change will create jobs and support economic growth right here in Kelowna and across the country, repairing the damage that Liberal and Conservative cuts have done to Canada’s tourism industry,” said Mulcair.
Canada’s tourism industry supports 600,000 jobs across the country. But the number of visitors from the United States has dropped by 4.6 million between 2002 and 2014, according to the NDP.
“It is high time for Ottawa to boost investment in promoting the Canada Brand so regions like the Okanagan can better compete with emerging tourist destinations,” said Mulcair.
Mulcair also acknowledged the serious forest fire situation the Okanagan is facing and reiterated his pledge to invest in coordination, training and equipment for forest fire response.
Mulcair was joined at the campaign rally by NDP candidate for Kelowna- Lake Country Norah Bowman.