The Liberal government never bothered to do an economic assessment of their PCR testing requirement for vaccinated travellers on one of Canada's largest tourist attractions.
The news of the lack of study on local businesses came by way of an order paper question posed by the Conservative MP for Niagara, Tony Baldinelli, who wanted to know the economic impact of the Liberals' strict PCR testing policy on the Niagara tourism industry.
“FedDev Ontario is unable to provide an estimate on the amount of lost tourism revenue in the Niagara Region as a result of the PCR requirement for vaccinated travellers.”
The Niagara region, with the falls as the focal point, is one of the largest tourism draws in Canada. When the Liberals closed the border to travellers in early 2020, the region felt like a zombie movie, with empty streets and closed shops when normally towns were buzzing with visitors.
Those travellers never really came back, even when the last wave of COVID receded, and now businesses in the area are struggling to entice customers.
Though the Liberals did not do an economic assessment, the bulk data of border crossings month-by-month tells the tale of the financial fallout of the COVID lockdown and PCR requirements to the businesses in the region. The Rainbow Bridge crossing saw an 80% drop in crossing when comparing the numbers from November 2019 to November 2021. Queenstone saw a two-thirds drop and at Fort Erie: 134,287 travellers crossed in November 2019, when the same month in 2021, just 41,694 people crossed.