CAEM Update- March 31, 2021




Over the course of the last month CAEM's President and Executive Director, as well as representatives from Crestview Strategy, have met with over 20 Federal Members of Parliament; Parliamentary Secretaries and high-level policy makers in key Ministries.   Two very important Ministerial meetings took place on March 29th with senior policy advisors in Minister Ng's Office (Small Business & Export Promotion) and Minister Freeland's Office (Finance and Deputy Prime Minister).

All of our meetings have been valuable and productive – allowing us to raise awareness of our industry's struggles and giving us the opportunity to educate government about our economic impact and the key role our industry can play in post-pandemic recovery. 

In many of these meetings we have been joined by CAEM members who have detailed the devastation the pandemic has wreaked on their businesses, their employees, and their communities. It cannot be overstated how important these grass-roots level stories are and how significantly they are resonating with the officials we are meeting.  Your engagement and involvement is essential to our approach and our success.  Thank you.

Now that the Federal Budget has been announced for April 19th, we are working to secure as many meetings as possible prior to this date.  To do this we need your help.  Trust us when we say that the letters you are sending are working.  If you have not already done so, please send a letter to your MP.  The letter is already written for you and you simply need to fill in a couple of fields and press send.  It takes less than 2 minutes to complete and by doing so you will make a significant impact and play a major role in moving our advocacy work forward. 

English letter

French letter

We encourage you to share the link with your employees, colleagues, suppliers and partners.  Every letter makes a difference.  When you receive a response from your MP, please forward it to [email protected] right away and we will walk you through next steps.  CAEM's President and Executive Director attend all meetings and have an effective framework in place.  Prior to the MP meeting we will have a Zoom call with you to share the framework, explain your role in the meeting and answer any questions you may have.  We fully understand that you may not feel comfortable attending an MP meeting and that is perfectly fine – but please do not let that dissuade you from sending a letter.  You just need to send us the correspondence you receive from the MP and we will take it from there. 



  • The Alberta Task Force continues to meet on a weekly basis to support Greg Newton (BMO Centre at the Calgary Stampede) and Arlindo Gomes (Edmonton Expo Centre & Edmonton Convention Centre) in their efforts as members of a new working group formed by the Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation.  This Ministry  has been tasked with “coordinating Alberta's Recovery Plan by supporting job creators and business, diversifying the economy and encouraging innovation.”  
  • Currently trade and consumer shows are scheduled for Step 4  (the final step of re-opening), as part of Alberta's Path Forward Plan.  Step 4 will only be considered when Alberta has less than 150 COVID-19 related hospitalizations.  Based on the information from this Ministerial working group, it appears Public Health is standing firm on keeping trade shows in Step 4 of their re-opening plan, despite attempts to convince them to reconsider.  Notwithstanding this set back,  there may be an opportunity to work with the Government of Alberta  and Public Health, to seek specific exemption requests for certain “low risk” shows, with the goal of working toward a phased re-opening of the sector, ideally in advance of Step 4.  


  • CAEM Board Member from Tradex, Brad Styba, CEM, continues to lead our advocacy efforts in BC with support of the BC Regional Task Force.  Brad recently connected with the COVID-19 Project Director for the BC Provincial Health Office (PHO) and discovered a working group is in place developing reopening plans with Events and Tourism as the focus.  Through this connection Brad was able to resubmit CAEM's Safe Reopening Guidelines, as well as our position letters, directly to this influential working group. 
  • It is worth noting that province wide restrictions were strengthened on March 29th, however Chief Medical Officer Bonnie Henry has noted she is optimistic about the summer and fall. 


  • APEQ (L'Association des professionnels en exposition du Québec) – CAEM's counterpart in Quebec, has retained the services of TRIAX, a provincial public affairs firm, to assist with reopening advocacy.  The approach APEQ is looking to adopt, with the help of TRIAX, is to seek approval from government, to start planning for a select number of hyper-local shows, and to use these shows as a springboard to demonstrate our ability to operate safely.  The goal is to continue working with government into the fall, on a plan to scale-up approvals for larger shows with a wider geographic reach.


  • CAEM's President has been invited to sit on the Gateway Cities Sub Committee as part of the broader Tourism Economic Task Force announced by the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture in mid March.  This is yet another key indicator that CAEM's advocacy work is raising awareness with government.  CAEM's President, Bianca Kennedy is attending these meetings and is giving voice to the unique circumstances and issues faced by the trade and consumer show sector. 
  • The Meeting and Event Spaces Working Group, also formed by the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture   (co-chaired by CAEM President, Bianca Kennedy), submitted a document in December  with recommended changes to the  Guidance for Meeting and Event Spaces document, released last year by the Province.  The most significant change proposed by the group, was a phased re-opening plan, in accordance with each of the 5 zones of public health measures (Prevent, Protect, Restrict, Control, Lockdown), based on a percentage of capacity model (rather than a set  number of people), allowing for larger capacities as areas move into Restrict, Protect and Prevent zones.  The latest update, received last week from the Assistant Deputy Minister, is that the revised capacity limit recommendations are under consideration. The Public Health Measures Table (PHMT), which advises the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) is now discussing this matter, but there has been a delay due to worsening COVID-19 trends.  Although the pandemic situation  is still unsettled, particularly with the variants of concern, the province is making progress with vaccine roll-out and work is underway to carefully consider next steps. 
  • In addition to the work being done with the Ministry directly, CAEM is also collaborating with TIAO (Tourism Industry Association of Ontario), to align on capacity recommendations for hotel venues and other event spaces.

Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses

CAEM is a proud member of the Hardest Hit Coalition.  We are aligned with their messaging and asks surrounding the much needed, critical extensions to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS).

Click here to learn more about the work of the Hardest Hit Coalition and how you can participate in their letter writing campaign.