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Economic Development Minister Melanie Joly speaks in the House of Commons, on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, on Jan. 31, 2020.

Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

The federal government is announcing a $46-million aid package for the tourism industries of Quebec and Atlantic Canada, which have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Economic Development Minister Melanie Joly said $30-million is earmarked for Quebec, with about $13.5-million going toward small and medium-sized business in the tourism industry.

Ottawa will be giving another $16-million to local tourism associations across the province that can help their members adapt to COVID-19 safety measures and promote their destinations.

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About $20-million had been allocated in the federal budget while about $10-million is new money previously announced in May.

Meanwhile, Ottawa is giving about $12-million to the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, which will fund 79 tourism projects across the four Atlantic provinces.

Atlantic Canada is also receiving $4.5-million for its various tourism marketing associations to help them promote local events and boost travel across the region.

Most of the funding for Atlantic Canada is coming from money already in the federal budget.

“The tourism sector and the 1.8 million people it employs across Canada have been hit hard by the slowdown caused by COVID-19,” Ms. Joly said in a statement. “We are working with businesses so they are ready to reopen and to help Canadian tourism to flourish once again.”

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says there were more than 254,000 people tested for COVID-19 across Canada in the past week – the highest number of tests in a single week since the pandemic began. The Canadian Press

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