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Representatives from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of Canada and the Canadian Camping and RV Council (CCRVC) visited Parliament Hill on May 2 to discuss the impacts of the steel and aluminum tariffs on the industry and the need for implementation of a fair tax regime for small private campgrounds across Canada.

According to a press release, the RV sector, like many other industries, is part of an integrated North American market. With 95% of its RV products imported from the United States, steel and aluminum are major components for RV production and increased costs for either material because of the current tariffs have a significant impact on the affordability of industry products. North American RV dealers are reporting price increases as a result from imposed tariffs.

“We are advocating that the government of Canada maintain pressure on the U.S. to lift the steel and aluminum tariffs. While Canada has started the process to ratify the CUSMA, the government should ensure that ratification in Canada hinges with the removal of these tariffs” said Herb Cowen, chairman of the board for RVDA of Canada. “The government should also provide additional support the industries impacted by these tariffs.”

Recently, the Canadian government removed the 10% retaliatory tariffs on U.S.-built recreational boats that resulted from the tariffs on steel imported from that country to the United States.

RVing and camping in Canada generate considerable economic benefits and the manufacturing, purchasing, servicing, and use of recreation vehicles contribute billions to the Canadian economy each year. In 2017, the RV industry supported 66,000 jobs and $6.1 billion in total spending. There are over 4,231 campgrounds including 2,347 privately owned operated across Canada, each offering a unique experience for Canadians and international visitors.

“The promotion of the RV sector and proper infrastructure in our existing parks are crucial to the growth of the RVing and camping industries, as well as a prosperous Canadian tourism sector,” said Cowen. “Although the RV industry contributes billions to the national economy, campgrounds across Canada need infrastructural improvements in order to accommodate new camping and RV technologies.”

The Canadian Camping and RV Council continues to advocate the federal government to endorse change in the current Income Tax Act or to enact other legislative changes that would clearly distinguish small family-run campgrounds with less than five full-time employees as an “active business” and thus eligible for the small business tax rate.

“As it stands, small campgrounds are faced with a potential 300% tax increase and remains to be a significant threat not only to small private campgrounds but also to the entire RV and camping industry” said Robert Trask, CCRVC’s chairman. “A fair tax regime by the Canada Revenue Agency is critical for Canadian Private Campgrounds to make the necessary investment and infrastructural upgrades that enable Canadians and visitors alike to experience all that Canada has to offer.”

“Together, the RV and campground industries play an important role in the health of Canada’s tourism sector and make a significant contribution to Canada’s economy. The need to develop policies that support all travel and tourism, and recognize RVing as a prosperous tourism activity are essential to the RV industry,” concluded Cowen.