The Northwestern Ontario Tourism Association (NWOTA), together with Kenora District Camp Owners Association (KDCA), were scheduled to present potential solutions that will address the current border issues in Northwestern Ontario at the joint meeting of the Border and Federal Outdoor Caucus in Ottawa today.
“Border crossings have become the single greatest obstacle to the growth of tourism in Northwestern Ontario in the past 20 years,” said KDCA president Harald Lohn.
“Working with the MPs that are the Government of Canada, we can and we will find solutions,” he stressed.
The Outdoor Caucus serves as a non-partisan voice for those who enjoy the traditional Canadian outdoor activities, including fishing, hunting, trapping, and recreational target shooting.
It creates a forum for open discussion by MPs from all parties prior to issues being brought to party caucus forums.
Currently, 79 MPs from all four parties with representation in the House of Commons participate.
“The tourism industry of Northwestern Ontario is almost completely dependent on U.S. visitors,” noted NWOTA president Jerry Fisher.
“Most Americans perceive or have a real concern about the way they will be treated by Canadian and U.S. Customs and Immigration officials,” he added.
“Resolving this is a necessary precondition for future tourism development and economic growth for Northwestern Ontario in general.”
Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP Ken Boshcoff applauded the ongoing efforts of the tourism groups.
“[The] KDCA and NWOTA have been national leaders in bringing Northwestern Ontario’s tourism issues to the forefront,” he remarked.
The KDCA/NWOTA together represent tourism advocacy throughout Northwestern Ontario.
As active lobby groups, they continue to address critical issues facing the tourism industry and the economy of the region.