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May 1, 2003
Mayor's Task Force on SARS Recovery Focuses on Business and Tourism Recovery
  
The Mayor's Task Force on SARS Recovery met with representatives from the
tourism and business sectors today to discuss how to ensure Toronto's economy
and image makes a fast rebound from the effects of the SARS outbreak.

Councillors on the Committee joined Mayor Lastman to speak with representatives
from the business, entertainment, tourism and hospitality sectors including:

¨ Jessica Frasier, Executive Director, Toronto Theatre Alliance
¨ Elyse Allan, President and CEO, Toronto Board of Trade
¨ W.R. Allen, Deputy Minister of Tourism
¨ Bruce MacMillan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Tourism Toronto
¨ Terry Mundell, President, Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association
¨ Rod Seiling, President, Greater Toronto Hotel Association
¨ Bill Kenny, Acting President, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership
¨ Ralph Strachan, Chair, Tourism Toronto
¨ Paul Clifford, Vice-President, Hotel Employees Restaurant Employees
International Union, Local 75

The discussions today highlighted the need for a coordinated effort between all
levels of government to bring back lost tourism that has resulted due to the
SARS outbreak. The Task Force heard of the significant economic loss for
businesses and the hardships faced by employees of the affected sectors.

A provincial representative said the province continues to develop plans, in
coordination with the City of Toronto and Toronto Tourism industry
representatives for how best to utilize the $128 million that the province has
announced for the SARS recovery effort.

The Hotel and Motel Association advised the Task Force that Toronto hotels,
motels and restaurants will continue to provide deals such as two-for-one
offers and value-added packages. The marketing of such offers will be done
through the Toronto Tourism Industry Coalition and promoted by partners.

At the direction of Toronto City Council, the Task Force is moving quickly to
engage Torontonians in a campaign aimed at rebuilding affected areas of the
Toronto economy. On Monday, May 5, 2003 the Task Force will review the
presentations of four full-service agencies. The agencies will be asked to
propose ideas for an immediate short-term, local campaign that will cost no
more than $500,000.

Planning will begin for initiatives that meet the City's longer term recovery
needs, utilizing the remaining $5 million that Toronto City Council approved at
its special meeting in April.

The Mayor's Task Force on SARS Recovery will be reporting on its progress to
Toronto City Council at its meeting in May, 2003.


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