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2021 RV & Camping Industry Lobby Day

In partnership with the RVDA of Canada, the Canadian Camping and RV Council holds an annual advocacy event in Ottawa, giving our members a voice at the Federal level. Board members meet with MP’s, members of  Senate, and staff to communicate important issues facing the industry.  The opportunity for connection with government representatives is incredibly valuable to our Association’s efforts to support members. Pertinent and important topics of conversation are outlined below.

Representatives from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of Canada and the Canadian Camping and RV Council (CCRVC) are meeting virtually with Parliamentarians this week to discuss the recovery measures needed to support the RV and camping industry post-crisis, and the need for implementation of a fair tax regime for campgrounds across Canada, according to a press release

The pandemic has affected the way we live, work, socialize and significantly disrupted the global supply-chains, the release states. For the RV industry, 2020 was a particularly challenging year. RV sales were down as a result of COVID-related lockdowns and mandated shutdowns across Canada. Current inventory and supply chain challenges continue to affect dealers. The sector is in critical need of support post-crisis. “There is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel but we are not out of the woods yet. And, more is to be done. With the vaccination campaign ramping up, the federal government needs to focus on providing ongoing support to struggling businesses and on targeted recovery support for key sectors such as the RV and camping sector,” said Gord Bragg, Chairman of the Board of RVDA.

“The RVDA of Canada and the CCRVC are committed to making RVing and Camping a recognized element of Canada’s tourism sector. We look forward to working with all Parliamentarians to develop sound policies to support and facilitate the recovery of the RV and camping sector post-crisis,” added Mr. Bragg.

RVing and camping in Canada generate considerable economic benefits. The 

manufacturing, purchasing, servicing, and use of recreation vehicles contribute billions to the Canadian economy each year. In 2019, the RV industry supported 67,200 jobs and there was $6.2 billion in total spending. There are over 4,231 campgrounds 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. The RVing industry contributes billions to the national economy, but campgrounds across Canada need infrastructural improvements in order to accommodate new camping and RV technologies.

A fair tax regime and investment in the necessary infrastructural updates for small businesses would benefit the family-owned campgrounds and RV dealerships that enable Canadians and visitors alike to experience all that Canada has to offer. As it stands, private campground corporations are being threatened by a near 300% tax increase. Chairman of CCRVC, Robert Trask, explains this represents “a significant concern not only to small private campgrounds, but also to the entire RV and camping industry.”

“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 post-pandemic, are essential to the RV industry,” concluded Trask.

The Canadian Camping and RV Council (CCRVC) is a national, volunteer federation of the Provincial Private Campground Owners Associations, their Campground members, the RVDA of Canada and the Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association (CRVA). CCRVC was incorporated in 2013 with a mandate to provide for the betterment and to support the Canadian RVing and Camping Industry in Canada. Canada’s RV and Camping Industry includes 2347 Private Campgrounds, 450 RVDA Dealers and CRVA Manufacturers who collectively employ over 66,000 Canadians and generate over $3.3 Billion in Tourism spending and $6.1 Billion to the Economy in Canada.

In a survey conducted by the Association in 2016, it was found that over 5.8 million Canadians or 22% of the adult population enjoyed camping as a lifestyle. Private Campgrounds offer an opportunity for middle-class families to spend time together, create life-long memories and discover Canada’s natural landscape. Camping is an affordable activity for the middle class and creates a strong sense of community that is unique to this form of travel accommodation across Canada, particularly during these difficult pandemic times where international travel has been strongly restricted.

ISSUES AND POLICIES CURRENTLY IMPACTING PRIVATE CAMPGROUNDS

1. CCRVC strongly advocates that the Government of Canada recognize the income earned by campgrounds as “active business income” for the purpose of determining eligibility for the small business deduction.

Small Private Campgrounds throughout Canada continue to advocate the Federal Government to endorse change in the current Income Tax Act or enact other legislative measures that clearly distinguish small family run campgrounds with less than 5 full time employees as an “active business” and thus eligible for the small business tax deduction.

Income Tax Act s. 125(7) A specified investment business is a corporation whose principal purpose is to derive income (interest, rent, dividends and royalties) from property, unless the business employs more than 5 full time employees. Income from property would include rental or leasing income from land or buildings, but would exclude income from renting or leasing moveable property such as machinery and equipment. A specified investment business is not eligible for the small business deduction and the income is taxed in the corporation in the same way that investment income is taxed.

The classification of a Campground being assessed as a “Specified Investment Business” is ambiguous and up to arbitrary determination by the Canada Revenue Agency and the issue remains to be the #1 threat to not only Private Campgrounds, but to all RV and Camping Industry Stakeholders.

The threat that a Campground Owner may be re-assessed or denied the SBD in any given year has resulted in businesses holding back infrastructure investments and improvements and/or hiring additional seasonal staff at a time when the camping industry has become more important than ever before. We are asking for your help to finally address our Industry’s ongoing #1 concern in the upcoming Federal Budget so that we can better provide for Canadian Campers that need to get outdoors and recreate during this difficult time.

2. The RV and Camping Industry has been successful at attracting new consumers to the RV Lifestyle. However, at a time when RV activities is increasing, the number of camping destinations have been declining, resulting in a need for more campgrounds and campsites to align availability with our growth.

The RV industry is growing in popularity with young Millennials and retiring Baby Boomers and this has become increasingly apparent with a surge in demand during the pandemic. Campsites across Canada are now booked months in advance and the shortage in campsite indicates a need to develop new destinations for consumers.

To remain viable, the RV Industry asks to work along with Government policy makers to not only increase the number of Federal, Provincial and Private Campsites available to our consumers, but to help enhance their experience with increased Wi-Fi capabilities, services and infrastructure improvements in RV Parks and Campgrounds. Without these improvements, we risk disenchanted consumers leaving our lifestyle altogether.

Canada has a tremendous natural heritage with magnificent landscape and pristine waters. It is important that all Canadians be able to experience and explore what this country has to offer, both these pandemic times and into the future. The Federal government should provide more funding to Destination Canada to advertise about domestic tourism to Canadians.

The RV and Camping Industry would also be interested in participating in the Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus along with other like-minded groups who conduct business in Canada. We would be grateful to be included in critical discussions that will have impact on the future of the Canadian RV and Camping Industry.

2019 RV & Camping Industry Lobby Day

Canadian RV and Camping Industry is on Parliament Hill urging the Government to continue to aggressively pursue lifting the Steel and Aluminum Tariffs and to implement a fair tax policy for small private campground operators.

OTTAWA, May 6th, 2019 – Representatives from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of Canada and the Canadian Camping and RV Council (CCRVC) visited Parliament Hill on May 2nd to discuss the impacts of the steel and aluminum tariffs on our industry and the need for implementation of a fair tax regime for small Private Campgrounds across Canada.

The RV sector, like many other industries, is part of an integrated North American market. With 95% of our 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 our products. North American RV dealers are reporting price increases resulting from imposed tariffs.

“We are advocating that the government of Canada maintain pressure on the US 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 of RVDA. “The government should also provide additional support the industries impacted by these tariffs.”

RVing and Camping in Canada generate considerable economic benefits. 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 2347 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. 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 5 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” continued Trask.

“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 Herb Cowen.