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EDMONTON, Alberta, April 21, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BGE Indoor Air Quality Solutions, the leader in providing filtration and indoor air quality (IAQ) solutions throughout Western Canada today announced a strategic partnership with Kaiterra, a global leader in high-accuracy air quality monitors and data solutions for industrial use, businesses, and consumers around the world. The reseller partnership enables BGE to sell Kaiterra’s two signature commercial-grade products, the Sensedge and Sensedge Mini.

Commenting on the new strategic business relationship, Ian MacGillivray, VP Sales & Marketing of BGE said, “This partnership with Kaiterra is very exciting for our company as it allows us to build on our pursuit of delivering clean air to organizations and their buildings. By using technology and data, Kaiterra’s solutions allow us to actually measure the levels of contaminants in the air - making the invisible, visible. This in turn provides building owners, operators, tenants and guests a visible display of the quality of the air in their building and a way to diagnose potential IAQ problems.”

“As the world continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, air quality has never been more important. Now thanks to accurate sensors and monitoring technologies, we can address any potential risks before they start to impact our health and wellbeing,” says Liam Bates, CEO and co-founder of Kaiterra. “At Kaiterra, our goal is to provide a wide range of accurate, reliable, accessible monitoring solutions so that building owners and facility managers can make data-driven decisions to improve their IAQ. We are excited to work with BGE to bring our air quality monitoring solutions to more commercial and industrial customers across Western Canada.”

 
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VICTORIA, BC – April 2021: Fairmont Empress, Canada’s Castle on the Coast and the recipient of Accor’s Planet 21 Unesco Sustainable Tourism Awards gold medal, announces several key initiatives and updates just in time for Earth Day.

Bee Well Signature Program

Starting April 22, 2021, with a focus on sustainability and self-care, Fairmont Empress launches the Bee Well at the Empress program. Using honey produced by the hotel’s millions of honeybees, Bee Well at the Empress is a combination of education, entertainment and experiences, with offerings that connect Empress Honeybees to the hotel and community.

“Raw honey has phytonutrients, which have antibacterial and antiviral properties to help boost the immune system and fight sickness,” says Alex Thorne, Director of Operations at Fairmont Empress. “Using the raw honey we produce here at Fairmont Empress in our kitchens and at the Willow Stream Spa provides our guests and diners with a sustainable way to live a healthier life.”
As part of Bee Well at the Empress, raw honey will be further integrated into a variety of experiences and services at the hotel. From cocktails in Q Bar, specialty spa treatments at Willow  Stream Spa, to educational virtual tours of the hotel’s apiary, Fairmont Empress looks to connect its honeybees with guests, diners and the Victoria community.

Travellers looking to further experience the Bee Well at the Empress program can book the Wellness at the Empress package, which features raw honey in a specialty wellness tea service as well as an optional Willow Stream Spa treatment at a discounted rate.

Eco-Friendly Hotel Upgrades

Completed in March 2021, Fairmont Empress underwent an extensive $3 Million building improvement project that included mechanical system modernization and energy efficiency upgrades. The project included the replacement of the steam heating system with a high efficiency hydronic heating system, replacement of two 1960’s era steam boilers with three high efficiency hot water boilers, replacement of domestic hot water tanks with new high efficiency tanks, and upgrades to the hotel’s building automation system. These upgrades improve the hotel’s energy efficiency, and reduce the overall carbon footprint, allowing Fairmont Empress to be more sustainable and energy efficient.

 
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April, 21st 2020 (Victoria, BC): To commemorate Earth Day (April 22), Inn at Laurel Point is raising the bar for sustainability. In addition to partnering with One Tree Planted to support reforestation on Vancouver Island, the hotel has become the first in North America to sign onto The Climate Pledge.

Starting April 22, Inn at Laurel Point will launch a 30-day reforestation initiative that plants one tree for every reservation booked through May 21. Trees will be reforested on Vancouver Island in partnership with One Tree Planted, a non-profit that collaborates with businesses and individuals to achieve a clean climate, protect biodiversity and support healthy forests. As of 2020, One Tree Planted has reforested more than 15 million trees around the world.

In addition to repopulating Vancouver Island’s forests, Inn at Laurel Point has joined The Climate Pledge, an initiative co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism in September 2019. A commitment to meet The Paris Agreement a decade early, the initiative has garnered over 100 signatories across 16 countries, including global brands like Microsoft, IBM and Verizon. Businesses that sign on to The Climate Pledge are encouraged to facilitate joint action, collaborating with fellow signatories to address critical climate challenges. This month, Amazon and Global Optimism will welcome Inn at Laurel Point as the first-ever hotel in North America to join The Climate Pledge.

As a signatory to The Climate Pledge, Inn at Laurel Point agrees to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis; implement decarbonization strategies in line with The Paris Agreement including renewable energy, materials reduction and other strategies to eliminate carbon emissions; and neutralize remaining emissions with quantifiable, permanent and socially beneficial offsets, with an overarching goal of achieving net-zero annual carbon emissions by 2040 – a decade ahead of the Paris Agreement’s deadline.

Inn at Laurel Point is well-positioned to lead the change for hotels collaborating with nonprofits like One Tree Planted and signing on to The Climate Pledge. The first carbon-neutral hotel in British Columbia since 2009, the property employs several innovations to minimize its carbon footprint, including:

  • Hydrothermal technology to cool rooms with ocean water;
  • Reducing water consumption by 15 per cent, and reducing energy use per room by eight per cent, through the use of low-flow shower-heads and LED lights, as well as training staff to minimize energy and waste;
  • Diverting more than three-quarters of waste from landfills;
  • Donating unused bath products to Soap for Hope, an initiative by environmental brand Diversey;
  • Upcycling worn-out sheets into bandages for developing nations; and
  • Offsetting its remaining carbon footprint through local investments in nature.

Guests who stay at Inn at Laurel Point can rest assured they are contributing to the hotel’s climate initiatives: a small percentage of each room sold is allotted to the property’s Carbon Neutral Fund, which helps to protect old-growth forests and wildlife habitats for grizzly bears and wolves in the Great Bear Rainforest.

“We’re honoured to work with One Tree Planted to repopulate forests in our home of Vancouver Island, and it’s particularly gratifying that our guests can take part simply by booking a room,” said Reverend Canon Ian Powell, general manager of Inn at Laurel Point. “Together with joining The Climate Pledge and our ongoing efforts to eliminate our carbon footprint, we hope to inspire hotels locally and around the world to commit to sustainable operations – not only on Earth Day, but every day of the year. Together, we can make a real shift in the fight against climate change.”

To learn more about Inn at Laurel Point’s sustainability initiatives and special offers, or to book a stay, visit www.laurelpoint.com

 
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COAST SALISH TERRITORY (Vancouver, BC) – April 20, 2021– Yesterday, April 19, 2021, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, released Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience, the Government of Canada’s plan to finish the fight against COVID-19 and ensure a robust economic recovery for all Canadians. Although the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) is glad to see investments being made to Indigenous tourism, Indigenous people and their communities, and tourism in general, ITAC is extremely disappointed and confused with the amount dedicated directly to the Indigenous tourism sector given the harsh realities Indigenous tourism businesses are facing at this time.

“Right now, Indigenous tourism businesses are severely struggling and the industry is at risk of collapsing without significant funding," says Keith Henry, President and CEO of ITAC. "Indigenous tourism is a key economic driver for many Indigenous communities in Canada and this federal budget has largely missed the mark for the Indigenous tourism industry leaving Indigenous tourism businesses behind. The federal government has consistently stated, including the finance minister yesterday, that there is no more important relationship than with Indigenous people so it is disappointing to see little direct support for the Indigenous tourism sector.” 

“We have already lost so much,” says Henry. “Prior to Covid-19, the Indigenous tourism sector celebrated its most successful year to date in 2019, with 1,900 Indigenous tourism businesses, 40,000 Indigenous tourism employees and a contribution of $1.9B in revenue to Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP). Today, the economic effects of the pandemic have reached catastrophic levels, with many businesses forced to shut their doors permanently and as a result, only an estimated 1,000 Indigenous-led tourism businesses and 15,284 employees remain part of the industry. ”

The federal budget included support for Indigenous entrepreneurs, which among other items, included $2.4M to be allocated directly to ITAC. However, outlined in ITAC’s 2020-24 Strategic Recovery Plan with the goal to respond, recover and rebuild the Indigenous tourism industry across Canada to levels experienced in 2019 by 2024, ITAC needed $50M from 2020 to 2024. Furthermore, ITAC created a Second Wave Responsestrategy with a recommended investment of over $18M in emergency support to further stabilize the industry from more infrastructure and economic losses. The total combined ask was $68.3M and was made clear to federal partners, ministers and the federal finance committee. In 2019-20, ITAC operated a $20M budget fulfilling all obligations and is now being reduced to $2.4M, representing less than 3% of the original ask. Given these circumstances, ITAC will not be able to provide the programs it envisions for the recovery of the Indigenous tourism industry and is now worried about the risk of seeing a full collapse of the sector.  

Despite this glaring oversight by the federal government to earmark direct funding through Indigenous-led solutions to sustain the Indigenous tourism sector, as the national entity representing the interests of Indigenous tourism businesses and protecting the future of the industry, ITAC will keep advocating for recognition as a separate entity within the tourism sector and fighting alongside its members to ensure their survival.

“Also absent from the budget was the recognition that Indigenous-developed, managed and led solutions are absolutely necessary to provide our community with easier access to programs outside of the traditional systematic bureaucracies,” said Henry. “Indigenous people and businesses simply do not fit into these systems and, therefore, historically have been unable to access support from federal programs. After demonstrating our ability to support our businesses through grants and marketing initiatives throughout 2020, we had hoped that the federal government would once again partner with us to administer directed support to our industry. We worked diligently with our industry partners to put together a plan toward recovery – which offered viable solutions and a timeline for bringing our industry back – but as of now, ITAC has not been engaged to resume our role nor do we have the funding necessary to bring this plan or any other programs to life at this point.”

In a detailed action plan to target the next stage in recovery and resiliency, ITAC developed 32 key objectives to rehabilitate the industry and provide much-needed direct support to its members - which increased to a record-breaking 977 members as of March 31, 2021, demonstrating the leadership and trust ITAC has within the industry - and to secure its network of provincial and territorial Indigenous tourism organizations as well as to stabilize ITAC’s national operations. With these objectives in place, ITAC had planned to allocate a $14M budget in this 2021-22 Action Plan to support this recovery through expedited initiatives spearheaded by an Indigenous-led and coordinated approach. These initiatives, designed to strengthen the development of the Indigenous tourism industry across Canada, include but are not limited to: business grants; domestic marketing campaigns; provincial and territorial support; research and sentiment analysis; as well as the implementation of a helpline for both mental health and business development support to access programs.

With an unprecedented amount of spending in the federal budget, the Indigenous tourism industry seems to be left behind. The Indigenous tourism sector needs a national, coordinated, Indigenous-led approach in order to respond, recover and build resiliency from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and this federal budget largely missed the mark for the Indigenous tourism industry in Canada. Indigenous people use tourism as a means to rediscover and share their culture with the world and this is yet another blow to preserving Indigenous languages, cultures and way of life. Indigenous tourism provides differentiation to Canadian experiences and this is a missed opportunity by the federal government to truly reconcile with Indigenous people and to highlight one of the most sought-after and in-demand experiences in the country.

 
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Vancouver, April 20, 2021: BC’s major tourism and hospitality sectors welcome tourism-related investments announced in today’s provincial budget but say it may not be enough to save some businesses until such time travel restrictions are lifted and inter-provincial and international travellers can once again visit British Columbia.

The Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC), BC Hotel Association (BCHA), Association of Beverage Licensees (ABLE BC), and Restaurants Canada (RC) acknowledge and appreciate the Province’s commitment to support tourism recovery including help for major anchor attractions, as well as funds to continue the Small and Medium-sized Business Recovery Grant Program and the promise to extend the Circuit Breaker program in view of impending travel restrictions. At the same time, access to further recovery contingencies the Province budgeted will be needed to help countless businesses hanging on by a thread.

Finance Minister Selina Robinson acknowledged the hard-hit tourism and hospitality sector noting it will be challenged by health measures for some time. She also referenced recovery contingencies that remain an option for the sector as the pandemic lingers.

The Province’s 2021 budget included the following allocations related to the tourism and hospitality industry:

  • $195 million to continue the Small & Medium-sized Business Recovery Grant Program
  • $100 million to support tourism recovery including help for major anchor attractions
  • $20 million for community destination development grants to help with new tourism infrastructure like trails and airport improvements
  • $83 million (over 3 years) in operating and capital funding for BC Parks to expand and improve trails and backcountry infrastructure, add new campsites, purchase new land to expand parks, improve the Discover Camping reservation system, and support existing park infrastructure
  • $6 million in capital improvement grants for the Arts Infrastructure Program

Funding for tourism recovery is included as part of the Province’s $3.25 billion for pandemic and recovery contingencies this year including more than $1.1 billion in unallocated funds for unanticipated recovery measures. Government has also set aside $1 billion in 2022/23 and $300 million in 2023/24 for similar purposes.

QUOTES:

Walt Judas, CEO, TIABC

“New money to help the tourism and hospitality is certainly most appreciated. Aside from working with government to ensure that available funds flow to tourism businesses as quickly as possible, we will continue to advocate for further relief to access the unanticipated recovery measures that the Province committed to for situations such as the impending travel ban and ongoing border closures that have left our industry in a desperate state. We recognize that many tourism businesses may not survive absent of further support, so we look forward to our dialogue with the Province in the days ahead to find additional ways to help.”

Ingrid Jarrett, President/CEO, BC Hotel Association

“We’re glad to see the $120 million allocated for support for the tourism sector to assist anchor attractions, for community destination development, and to implement recommendations from the Tourism Task Force. We also acknowledge Minister Robinson’s comments that one of the reasons for the significant amount set aside for contingency funding was to allow government to assist hard hit sectors such as tourism, which continues to experience harm from the ongoing and changing nature of the pandemic. Our members have seen revenues that have, on average, dropped by 70% while fixed costs have only dropped by 4.6%. This has an effect on workers, families and communities. We look forward to continuing to work with the Province to identify ways to help our members, their employees, and the communities they serve.”

Jeff Guignard, Executive Director, ABLE BC

“Today’s budget shows how seriously government is about supporting BC’s beleaguered business community throughout this crisis. We are enormously appreciative of this quick action, but let’s be clear: BC’s hospitality sector is facing an existential crisis. We will need significantly more support in the months and years ahead to avoid massive bankruptcies and job losses while we struggle to get back on our feet.”

Mark von Schellwitz, Vice President, Western Canada, Restaurants Canada

“We appreciate the additional support earmarked for struggling restaurants announced in today’s budget given that 80% of BC’s restaurateurs are currently operating at a loss or barely breaking even. A recent Restaurants Canada survey indicates that 90% of our members require ongoing government support to survive the pandemic. We look forward to continuing to work with the BC government on supports to help BC’s third largest employer survive and contribute to BC’s post pandemic recovery.”

In a normal year, BC’s $21.5b+ tourism and hospitality industry consists of some 19,000+ businesses that employ over 320,000 people – more than half of which service the visitor economy directly. The sector enjoyed several years of record results for visitation, revenues and other key measures in most regions of the province until the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded in March of 2020. Currently, tens of thousands of employees remain sidelined while tourism revenues have declined by more than an estimated 70 percent.

 

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