The 2019 annual fee for the Tourism-Oriented Directional Signing Program (TODS) was going to double and in some cases triple this year and many small and rural businesses said they would have to remove their highway signs. The PCs have announced that they have frozen increases for 2019 and will phase them in beginning in 2020, which gives small businesses time to budget and plan.
The signs are key for these small and rural businesses to advertise on highways. Villages, like Westport, feel the benefit of these signs as it draws tourists into the municipality who might have passed us by.
Thanks for listening and acting Ontario government!
Here is the media release from MPP Clark.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2018
ONTARIO FREEZING TOURISM SIGN PROGRAM RATES FOR 2019: CLARK
(BROCKVILLE) – Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark says Ontario’s Government for the People is making life more affordable by bringing relief to tourism operators who rely on the province’s Tourism-Oriented Directional Signing Program (TODS) to generate a positive economic in the riding and across Ontario.
In April 2018, the Liberal government signed a contract with Canadian TODS Limited towards the end of their administration. The people of Ontario have expressed their concerns about this contract, and the significant fee increases being placed on small business owners across the province.
“I’m proud that our government has listened to small business owners and tourism operators, including those in Leeds and Grenville, who have expressed their concerns,” said Clark. “We have worked with Canadian TODS Limited – the third party responsible for the delivery and maintenance of the TODS program – to freeze all price increases for 2019.”
“Our Government for the People has heard clearly from tourism operators across the province about their concerns regarding the fee increases associated with the TODS program. The Liberal government deliberately froze prices for 10 years, ignoring the cost of inflation and completely failed to communicate with TODS customers,” said Michael Tibollo, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “We are taking real action to ensure businesses and customers have time to adjust to the increased prices, and we look forward to continuing to work with Canadian TODS Limited over the coming year to look for ways we can help mitigate this price increase.”
The TODS program is designed to provide motorists with signage on provincial highways to direct visitors to tourist attractions, operations and services.
“Our Government for the People was elected on June 7 with a clear mandate to respect the taxpayers of this province and to restore trust and accountability in the province’s finances,” said Jeff Yurek, Minister of Transportation. “We heard loud and clear from small business owners across Ontario, and have fixed a problem that the previous government created. Today we’re providing relief to small business owners, as we do our part in promoting and strengthening tourism in Ontario.”
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