Windsor-Essex isn’t part of the provincial government’s newest tourism video designed to promote Ontario.
The ad, which airs online and on television, doesn’t feature a city or town southwest of Elora.
The ad is part of the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership.
According to its website, the partnership’s mandate "is to increase tourism revenues throughout the province by creating new and dynamic marketing initiatives and products and by enhancing the marketing resources available to all Ontario tourism operators."
Towns, cities, attractions in the ad:
Niagara Wine Country
Gordon Orr, head of Tourism Windsor, Essex, Pelee Island, told CBC Windsor's Sean Henry that Windsor can't be in the promotional video every year. Last year, Pelee Island was the focus of a provincial ad campaign, Orr said.
"Last year, we had our commercial and this year it’s a montage and we’re not in it," Orr said. "It’s all about balance."
However, some towns and cities, such as Toronto and Niagara Falls, for example, are in the ad almost every year.
"Why not us? Are we the poor cousins? I don’t think so," said Anne Rota, Amherstburg's manager of tourism and culture.
Orr said there are 13 tourism boards in the province and they all can't be in the ad.
"It is a fair statement to say Toronto, Ottawa and Niagara are the key destinations. They’re the Tier 1 destinations. They’re the selling destinations," Orr said. "Because of them, we all do better. It would not be in our best interest to say they shouldn’t be in and all the small cities should be in."
Rota said the local tourism board should have pushed harder to be included in the ad, especially during the bicentennial year of the War of 1812.
"I’m very, very disappointed. In fact, when I saw the commercial, I asked if they really did their homework," Rota said. "Do they really know their history?"
The ad shows shots fired during a War of 1812 re-enactment at Fort Henry in Kingston. Amherstburg, too, is preparing for War of 1812 commemorations during the bicentennial year.
Rota said the first gunshots of the war were fired in Amherstburg, at River Canard.
"I’m going to speak for our own community: there is no other chance. This is the bicentennial year. This is where it began. This is where it happened," Rota said.
While Orr admitted the ad is the province's "signature" campaign, he also said it's "just a snapshot" of Ontario.
"There are other vehicles by which we’re able to promote the War of 1812 and other key signature series," Orr said.
Not the first absence for Windsor-Essex
Windsor-Essex is also missing from the "Ontario Summer Getaways" tab on the province’s website.
Earlier this year, Windsor-Essex was not included on the annual Cruise the Coast map, which promotes Ontario’s Lake Erie shore to motorcycle enthusiasts travelling from the U.S.
That map lops off Essex County. It starts at Wheatley and suggests Leamington is northwest of Wheatley. It’s almost directly south of Wheatley.
The local tourism bureau missed the deadline for paying to be part of that map.