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Employer Perspectives: Barriers & Enablers to Accessible Workforce Entry

The Project

Persons with disabilities (PwD) in Canada face many barriers to meaningful first-time employment. But research on employer perspectives–including barriers and enablers employers face in recruiting and hiring PwD–and actionable solutions are still needed, especially in the context of COVID-19 recovery.

The Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) and the CNIB Foundation are working to understand what employers need to support PwD and to help develop the Employment Standards, tools, and resources that will get them there.

The Ask

BHER and CNIB would like to invite you to a 60-minute discussion on your perspectives and experiences with recruitment and hiring for PwD.

The Benefits

These discussions are an opportunity to help develop solutions to shared challenges. They are also a space to network and share stories and best practices with employers from across the country.

The findings from this project will be used to help inform new Employment Standards for the Accessible Canada Act, and to build employer tools and resources to support universal accessibility and help with regulatory compliance in recruitment and hiring.

All findings, tools, and resources will be made publicly available and shared directly with participants.

 All participants will receive a $100 choice gift card as a token of appreciation for your time and insights.

Who Should Attend?

HR & talent leaders from federally regulated and other large private sector organizations. Expertise in accessibility or equity, diversity, and inclusion is not required–we are simply looking to understand your experiences and needs in your roles.

Discussions will focus on…

  • You/your organization’s experiences with strategies for recruiting, hiring, and supporting PwD
  • Barriers your organization faces in recruiting, hiring, and supporting PwD (e.g., biases/misperceptions across your organization, capacity challenges, financial barriers, etc.)
  • Examples of success stories or what has worked to support PwDs in your organization
  • The resources, tools, or other supports that would actually be useful to address barriers and needs in your organization
  • How the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted attitudes, barriers, and experiences around recruiting and hiring PwD

Please note that the sessions will be recorded for research purposes. All identifying information will be kept strictly confidential and anonymized in public content.

Session Dates and Registration

Upcoming sessions are being held through May and June, including:

  • Thursday, May 19 @ 4:00 – 5:00 PM Eastern
  • Thursday, May 26 @ 4:00 – 5:00 PM Eastern

Click here to register.

If you have any questions, concerns, or would like more information, please contact: Maria Giammarco, Sr Lead, R&D at maria.giammarco@bher.ca.


About BHER

The Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that brings together Canada’s largest companies and leading post-secondary institutions.

About CNIB

Founded in 1918, the CNIB Foundation is a non-profit organization driven to change what it is to be blind today. We deliver innovative programs and powerful advocacy that empower people impacted by blindness to live their dreams and tear down barriers to inclusion.

How Canadians do business has changed. To stay competitive and grow, small and medium-sized businesses need to adopt new digital tools.

Recently launched by the Government of Canada, the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) can help get your business online, give your e-commerce presence a boost or help digitalize your business’s operations. CDAP provides funding and support to businesses, as well as training and work opportunities for young Canadians.

The program offers two grant options:

The Grow your Business Online grant helps small businesses take advantage of e-commerce opportunities, by providing:

  • Access to a network of e-commerce advisors for advice and support
  • Up to $2,400 to buy new e-commerce tools

The Boost Your Business Technology grant helps small and medium-sized businesses adopt new digital technologies, by providing:

  • Free digital assessment tool to evaluate your own digital readiness
  • Up $15,000 to consult a digital expert and develop a digital adoption plan for your business
  • Up to $100,000 in interest-free loans from BDC to implement your digital adoption plan
  • Funded work placements for students or recent graduates who can help with digital transformation

Visit the Canada Digital Adoption Program website today!

The Government of Canada has announced that its Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) will soon be accepting applications, with the launch planned for March 3, 2022. This will be an opportunity for eligible small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), including tourism businesses, to access grants, expert digital advice, 0% interest loans, and work placements to help boost their e-commerce presence and digitize how they run their businesses.

The program will be delivered through two streams: CDAP Stream 1 will help SMEs take advantage of e-commerce opportunities, while Stream 2 will help businesses develop and implement digital adoption plans and leverage youth placements to help apply new digital tools.

Click here to download a one-page overview of the program or click here to visit the CDAP website.

Tourism HR Canada invites employers, students, and educators to a virtual info session for its Propel Student Work Placement Program on Wednesday, January 19, at 1:00pm Eastern Time.

Propel offers tourism and hospitality employers access to up to $7,500 in wage subsidies when they hire a post-secondary student for work-integrated learning: an internship, a co-op placement, a work experience placement, and more.

The many benefits? Students gain paid hands-on learning and mentoring in their field of study. Employers acquire much-needed early talent to help with the recovery of the industry, as well as assistance with wages. Post-secondary institutions complement their programming by connecting students and the workplace.

Join this one-hour virtual session to learn:
• What work-integrated learning is, why it matters, and how it can benefit your business
• Who qualifies for the Propel program
• Where to post a job
• How to apply for a wage subsidy
• What information you’ll need
• When the subsidy is available
• How Tourism HR Canada can support you

A Q&A component will follow the presentation. Registrants can submit questions in advance via the registration form.

Join Tourism HR Canada on Wednesday, January 19, at 1:00pm Eastern for a full look at this newly available program to support the hard-hit tourism and hospitality sector.

Click here to register.

This program is funded by the Government of Canada’s Student Work Placement Program.

Please be advised that an error with the Government of Canada’s Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP) calculation spreadsheet may have resulted in some applicants mistakenly receiving a message that they were not eligible for application period 22 (October 24 to November 20, 2021).

The following information is taken directly from the THRP website. If you have any questions or concerns, please visit the webpage for contact information.

Error in spreadsheet for wage and hiring support may have affected your eligibility

A previous version of the spreadsheet for wage and hiring may have shown you were not eligible for the THRP, when in fact you may be eligible.

Who this error may affect

You may have been affected if:

  • You were applying for period 22 (October 24 to November 20, 2021)
  • You used a version of the spreadsheet for wage and hiring (version 2021-1) that was available between Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at 6:00 am ET and Friday, December 24, 2021 at 12:00 pm ET
  • You indicated you are a qualifying tourism or hospitality entity and had both a current-month revenue drop and 12-month average revenue drop over 40%
  • Step 5 in the spreadsheet showed a zero dollar amount and gave the message that you were not eligible for the THRP

This error was only present in the calculation spreadsheet for wage and hiring support.

What to do if you think you have been affected by this error

If you did not apply for period 22:

If you already applied for the HHBRP – Wage or CRHP for period 22:

  • Contact the Business Enquiries line at 1-800-959-5525 to make your THRP – Wage application

Parliament HillOn October 26, 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the members of the new federal cabinet. Tourism HR Canada wishes to congratulate the ministers on their appointments.

Our organization looks forward to working with the ministers to revitalize the visitor economy and support the 1 in 10 workers employed in the sector. The ministers whose mandates traditionally align with our work are:

  • The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance
  • The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
  • The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development
  • The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
  • The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
  • The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development
  • The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario
  • The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
  • The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
  • The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
  • The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
  • The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

Tourism HR Canada also wishes to thank The Honourable Mélanie Joly, who has been appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Her dedication to the tourism sector in her previous role as Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages helped showcase and strengthen the economic importance of the sector in Canada.

Read the official announcement here.

View the full list of cabinet members here.

Tourism HR Canada congratulates Board Director Vince Accardi on his new role as President of the Ontario Motor Coach Association (OMCA) and Motor Coach Canada (MCC).

OMCA and MCC’s Chair, Marc Laplante, announced last week that Vince will officially start with the organization on April 19.

Vince has strong ties to Tourism HR Canada, having served on its Board for several years. Previous to this, he worked at the organization for over a decade, most recently as its Vice-President, Marketing and Business Development.

“The Tourism HR Canada team and Board of Directors look forward to continuing to work with Vince in his new capacity at OMCA,” stated Philip Mondor, President and CEO of Tourism HR Canada. “He is passionate about building a world-class tourism economy in Canada, and he brings extensive knowledge and experience that will strongly contribute to the recovery of the sector.”

In 2017, following his tenure at Tourism HR Canada, Vince joined the team at the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), where he served as Director of Policy and Stakeholder relations and then Vice-President, Stakeholder Relations and Business Development. He has led TIAC’s advocacy efforts since November, including the launch of the 2021 Tourism Recovery Plan, as the Acting CEO. His last day at TIAC will be April 8.

North Vancouver, B.C., March 19, 2021 – Capilano University (CapU) and Fleming College are pleased to announce a new 2 + 2 block agreement that allows Tourism and Hospitality diploma graduates from Fleming College to continue their education and complete a Bachelor of Tourism Management degree at CapU. This agreement, which came into effect on March 1, opens a new pathway for both current students and recent graduates of Fleming College.

“Capilano University’s School of Tourism Management is thrilled to partner with Ontario’s Fleming College,” said Stephanie Wells, chair of the School of Tourism Management at Capilano University. “We are confident our graduates will be equipped to help lead the post-pandemic economic recovery efforts in tourism and hospitality across Canada.”

The block transfer agreement applies to graduates of Fleming’s Ontario College Diploma in Tourism -Global Travel and Ontario College Diploma in Hospitality – Hotel and Restaurants Operations.

“Hospitality and tourism have been two of the hardest hit industries over the course of this pandemic,” said Maureen Adamson, Fleming College President. “With people eagerly waiting for the opportunity to travel again when it is safe to do so, Fleming’s cross-country partnership with CapU will prepare our students with the skills and training that will be in high demand.”

Ontario and BC represent Canada’s most significant tourism economies, with one in 11 jobs depending on the tourism industry.

CapU has been a leader in tourism education in Western Canada for over 40 years. Its School of Tourism Management offers students globally experienced faculty, experiential learning and impactful community engagement.

This agreement expands the University’s reach to students in Ontario. It opens opportunities for tourism and hospitality diploma graduates from Ontario to broaden their education with deeper learning and work experience opportunities in Vancouver and the Sea-to-Sky region.


About Capilano University
Capilano University is a teaching-focused university based in North Vancouver, with programming serving the Sunshine Coast and the Sea-to-Sky corridor. The University offers 94 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, in areas as diverse as film, early childhood education and tourism management. Capilano University is named after Sa7plek (Chief Joe Capilano), an important leader of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nation of the Coast Salish Peoples. We respectfully acknowledge that our campuses are located on the territories of the LíỈwat, xʷməθkʷəỷəm (Musqueam), shíshálh (Sechelt), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and SəỈílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

About Fleming College
Fleming College respectfully acknowledges that we are situated on Michi Saagiig Anishinaabeg lands and territory. Located in the heart of Central Ontario, Fleming College has campus locations in Peterborough, Lindsay, Cobourg and Haliburton. Named for famous Canadian inventor and engineer Sir Sandford Fleming, the college features more than 100 full-time programs in Arts and Heritage, Business, Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, General Arts and Sciences, Health and Wellness, Justice and Community Development, Skilled Trades and Technology, and Continuing Education. Fleming College has more than 6,800 full-time and 10,000 part-time students, and 80,000 alumni.

For more information, or to schedule interviews, please contact:

Linda Munro
Capilano University
t: 604 220 8937
e: lindamunro@capilanou.ca
www.capilanou.ca

Amar Shah
Fleming College
t: 705-749-5530 x 1370
e: amar.shah@flemingcollege.ca
www.flemingcollege.ca

Tourism HR Canada congratulates Beth Potter on her appointment as the new President and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC).

Beth has a long and distinguished career in Canada’s tourism sector, including most recently serving as the President and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO). She is a recognized leader with more than 30 years of experience in the not-for-profit and tourism industries and has worked with a variety of boards and committees, including her recent contributions to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s tourism recovery efforts.

Tourism HR Canada welcomed Beth to its Board of Directors in August 2020, and looks forward to continuing to collaborate to support tourism’s recovery and rebuild a skilled, resilient tourism workforce.

“Beth’s powerful advocacy on behalf of the tourism sector in Ontario has been instrumental in ensuring support for our hard-hit sector,” stated Philip Mondor, President and CEO of Tourism HR Canada. “Her extensive experience and passion for the tourism industry will be a tremendous asset at the national level, and we are delighted at this opportunity to work with her as part of the incredible team at TIAC.”

Beth will begin her new role on March 15, 2021.

TIAO’s Vice President for Membership and Business Development, Carol Greenwood, will serve as interim President and CEO for the provincial association.

View the full news release on the TIAC website.

Finance Canada has launched the Government of Canada’s annual Pre-Budget Consultations, ahead of Budget 2021. This process invites all Canadians to share their ideas and what matters most to them, to inform and guide Canada’s growth plan and feed into the measures and investments that will make up Budget 2021.

When COVID-19 is under control, the government has a plan to make smart, targeted investments that jumpstart the country’s economic recovery and begin to repair the damage done by the pandemic. These pre-budget consultations are an opportunity for Canadians from across the country to share their ideas and priorities for how the government can best invest to create jobs, strengthen the middle class, and build a greener, more competitive, more inclusive, and more resilient economy.

All Canadians are invited to share their ideas through an online questionnaire at LetsTalkBudget2021.ca, which will be available until February 19, 2021.