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Government Information


IMMIGRATION

Citizenship & Immigration Canada, Service Canada, and ESDC have a new stream-lined application and approval process for certain worker exemptions in the film and television sector. The new process is titled C14. Some job classifications will still require a Labour Market Assessment. Detailed information on both the new C14 and the standard Labour-Market-Assessment process are to be found here.

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CUSTOMS REGULATIONS

The Federal Government is responsible for overseeing customs regulations in Canada through the Canada Border Services Agency.

Temporary Importation

Under certain conditions, the customs duties and taxes may be fully or partially relieved on equipment, props, costumes, film stock or videotape that are being temporarily imported into Canada for the purpose of filming. A licensed Canada Customs broker can assist an importer in complying with the guidelines. It is also possible for an American supplier to ship goods over the border through their own corporate channels, assuming the cost of duty and brokerage.   

Tariff 9993.00.00.00

Goods may be temporarily imported, free of customs, duties and taxes, excluding the HST, under tariff item 9993.00.00.00, which is recorded on Temporary Admission Permit E29B or an A.T.A. Carnet. 

a)   Goods must not be sold, leased or further manufactured while in Canada;
b)   Use of goods must be specified by importer at time of reporting under the Customs Act;
c)
  Goods are imported in no greater quantity than reasonable for specified use;
d)
  Goods are accompanied by prescribed documents and security deposit satisfactory to the Minister of National Revenue or designated customs officer; 
e)
  Goods are not diverted to a use limited or restricted by regulation; 
f)
  Goods are exported within expiry date of the Form E29B with evidence provided to the Minister of National Revenue or designated customs officer or; 
g)
  Goods are destroyed and destruction is certified by a customs officer or person designated by the Minister of National Revenue (see Destruction of Imported Goods) or;
h)
  
Goods are consumed or expended under prescribed circumstances.

Form E29B

Goods qualifying for full relief of the customs duties and taxes may be imported on a temporary admission permit (form E29B) obtained at the local Canada Border Services Agency office. A security deposit may be required in an amount equal to the duties and taxes which would be due if the goods were being imported permanently. The deposit is refunded when goods are subsequently exported and the E29B is cancelled. Resident producers must pay the HST (which is recorded on Canada Customs Coding Form B3) on temporary importations, but can recover the cost through the input tax credit mechanism. Non-Resident producers may qualify for relief of the HST on a 1/60th basis depending on the applicable provision for HST relief in appendix A of Customs D Memorandum D8-1-1 Temporary Importations. If the goods do not appear in the index they are subject to full HST.

Co-Productions   

Producers working under an official co-production treaty may temporarily import cinematographic, video and sound recording equipment free of customs duties and taxes, including the Goods and Services Tax (HST). Co-production treaties currently exist between Canada and Algeria, Belgium, Common-wealth of Independent States (formerly USSR), Federal Republic of Germany, France, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

A.T.A. Carnets

When time permits, an A.T.A. Carnet may be obtained in the country of origin for items normally eligible on a form E29B. A Carnet is procured at the Chamber of Commerce by completing an ATA Carnet Application Form, and placing a deposit in the range of 40% of the total value of the goods. This security deposit is returned when proof is provided that the said goods have been re-exported out of a foreign country, and re-imported back into Canada. Under normal circumstances, proof of export from Canada is provided by having the Carnet export certificate stamped by Canada Customs when the goods leave Canada. Carnets are valid for one year from the date of issue. Allow four business days for your application to be processed. If the Carnet is required in less than 72 hours, a surcharge will be added.   

To obtain a Carnet in the United States contact:

United States Council for International Business
Washington (202) 371-1316(202) 371-1316
New York (212) 703-5078(212) 703-5078, (866)  786-5625(866)  786-5625
atacarnet@uscib.org
www.uscib.org   

To export temporarily out of Canada on a Carnet, contact: 

Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Toronto: (416) 868-6415(416) 868-6415
Ottawa H.Q.: (613) 238-4000
Montreal: (514) 866-4334(514) 866-4334
Calgary: (403) 271-0595(403) 271-0595
carnet@chamber.ca
www.chamber.ca

Please note that HST is not applicable on commercial shipments, only the GST. HST is collected on personal importations.

Film / Videotape Importation and Exportation

In the case of film stock or videotape, full duty and taxes, including the GST, are owing at the time of importation. Duty rates vary according to whether or not the film or videotape is raw stock, exposed, or processed. Once the film or videotape is exported, the Producer can apply to the Regional Canada Customs Office for a refund of the customs duties paid. Any GST paid would again be recovered through the input tax credit mechanism.

Destruction of Imported Goods

If any imported items are to be intentionally destroyed during filming, it is important that Canada Customs witness the destruction; otherwise, deposits made on such items may be forfeited.

Additional information: (the following is part of the Customs D Memorandum D8-1-1)
Where the goods are “originating” under the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Canada Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) or the Canada Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA), and the importer presents a Certificate of Origin, a security deposit shall not be taken.

The GST is fully relieved on film only when it is imported temporarily under one of three different sets of conditions:

(a) Motion-picture films, slides, audio and videotapes, and sound recordings devoid of advertising for use in sales meetings or staff training, or giving technical instructions to employees, when imported by non-residents. These goods may not be used for presentations to potential customers or the general public.
(b) Films, videotapes, and slides of an instructive, informative, or documentary nature for entertainment purposes when consigned to social and service clubs, charitable organizations, and other similar groups.
(c) Motion-picture films, videotapes, television and radio programs, and other articles for review by a recognized board of censors.

If the film does not meet one of these conditions the GST is not relieved even though the film is being imported temporarily.

Departmental Contacts

Toronto

Carol Convery, Remissions Officer
Client Services
1 Front St. W., Toronto, ON M5W 1A3
(800) 461-9999(800) 461-9999 F(416) 952-9916
carol.convery@cbsa.gc

Cathy Casquenette
Client Services
1980 Matheson Bld. E., Mississauga ON L4W 5R7
(905) 803-5378(905) 803-5378 F(905) 803-5388   

London

Steve Walters
Client Services
451 Talbot St., P.O. Box 5548, London, ON N6A 4R3
(519) 645-4139(519) 645-4139 F(519) 675-3309   

Ottawa   

Client Services
2270 St.Laurent Blvd. West, Ottawa, ON K1G 6C4
(800) 461-9999(800) 461-9999 F(613) 952-7149   

Hamilton   

Client Services 55 Bay St. North., PO Box 2220, Hamilton, ON L8N 3E1
(800) 461-9999(800) 461-9999 F(905) 308-8615   

Windsor   

Mark Renaud
Manager of Client Services
170 Edinborough St., P.O. Box 1641, Windsor, ON N9A 7K3
(519) 967-4148(519) 967-4148, (800) 461-9999 F(519) 967-4067     

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TAXES   

Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)   

On July 1st 2010 the Province of Ontario harmonized the Provincial Sales Tax and the Federal Good & Services Tax to become the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). The HST rate in Ontario will be 13%. The HST will generally apply to the purchase of goods and the provision of services provided the goods are delivered and the service(s) performed on or after July 1st 2010.

Ontario’s non-recoverable sales tax of 8% has been folded into their newly branded HST therefore these costs for which productions previously paid and absorbed the 8% tax they will no longer need to do so and will now be able to recover those costs. Producers should note that some “PST-able” costs have been excluded from the HST legislation (such as Insurance premiums) and will continue to attract PST as a hard-cost to the production. Also if your company is designated as a “large business” by the HST legislation then further inquiries should be made as to the effect that has on PST/HST responsibilities for the production.

Productions shooting in Ontario will see an effect on their cashflow as they will now be paying 13% on many items that they previously only paid 5% tax on. However in most cases the 13% HST is fully recoverable (note that for meals and entertainment-type expenditures the HST continues to be recoverable at 50%). It is important to note that if your company is considered to be a “large business” under the legislation then there are four (4) types of costs which the HST is not fully recoverable: Energy, Telecommunications, Meals and Entertainment, and Rd. vehicles weighing less than 3000 kgs.   

Place of Supply Rules   

  1. Place of Supply Rules for the Provision of Service – The place of supply rule for the collection of HST on services rendered will be based on the provincial address of the recipient of the supply most closely connected with the supply of the service – in the majority of cases for film and television productions this will be the main production office. Note that there are four “determination tests” for the place of supply rule that can be used to determine the proper jurisdiction.

  2. Place of Supply Rules for the Purchase of Goods – There are no proposed changes to the HST place of supply rules for tangible goods from the old GST rules. Therefore any goods sold to a production company located in Ontario will be charged HST.   

Harmonized Sales Tax Inquiries   

The HST is administered by the federal Canada Revenue Agency.  HST rules are available online at the CRA website, “Harmonized Sales Tax for Ontario” located at: www.rev.gov.on.ca/en/taxchange  or contact the CRA in Ottawa, Toronto, or Sunnyside PEI at the coordinates below. The CRA can also be reached in Hamilton for HST Rulings at 1-800-959-55251-800-959-5525   

For further information on how the HST will affect payroll rentals, and reporting, you may wish to contact an Ontario services company. Listings for payroll companies can be found in the Support Services section of the Ontario Production Guide. The OMDC wishes to thank EP Canada for their assistance in preparing this information.

Incorporation and the HST   

U.S. and other foreign production companies should file on a nonregistered basis. It is not necessary to register in Canada if the company is not making supplies or selling goods in Canada – in other words, the company is taking “it” out of the country.   

Filing A Claim   

HST claims should be filed in the name of the film or TV company (to whom the transactions have been invoiced) by a contractual representative (i.e. Production Accountant) of said company. It must be clear on the top sheet of the claim form that the rebate is being requested by a film or television production company. It’s helpful to provide as much information about the show as possible, including the company name, the name of the show and perhaps key cast. Originals of all receipts for purchases in Canada relating to the production must be attached to the claim.

A claim will be questioned or disqualified if the proper documentation is not produced and attached to the claim (i.e. original receipts), or if there are errors or omissions on the claim documentation itself. Application for rebate must be made within one year after purchase. Filing can be done monthly, quarterly or annually. Most companies file claims twice during the course of the production. To obtain forms or clarification of eligibility for rebate, contact:

Canada Revenue Agency

In Southern Ontario - HST Rulings
150 Main St. W., P.O. Box 2220, Hamilton, ON L8N 3E1
(800) 959-5525(800) 959-5525 F(888) 235-4555(888) 235-4555   

In Ottawa - HST Rulings
333 Laurier Ave., 4th Floor, Ottawa, ON K1A 0L9
(888) 235-4555(888) 235-4555 F(1-905)527-0790
gst-hstrulings-sor@cra-adrc.gc.ca
www.cra.gc.ca   

HST claims are to be filed with:   

Revenue Taxation Canada Domestic Rebates
Summerside Tax Centre
275 Pope Rd., Summerside, P.E.I. C1N 6A2
(902) 432-5604(902) 432-5604 In Canada only (800) 565-9353(800) 565-9353   

Tracking   

Once a claim has been received at Summerside, it is vetted and assigned a document locator number. The client or production accountant should obtain this number in order to track the claim from start to finish. It’s important to deter-mine that the documents have been received and are in the system. The complete process takes about 6 - 8 weeks and the production can have the cheque mailed to the U.S. or to the production accountant or other signatory acting on their be-half.   

Audit   

Not every claim is subject to an audit. A paper audit and review of the original documentation may be enough evidence upon which to base a HST rebate. A physical audit may require an auditor to fly to U.S. or foreign headquarters of a production entity.   

Harmonized Sales Tax Rebate for Visitors   

Individuals visiting Canada may apply for a rebate of HST. 100% of the HST paid on most goods exported will be refunded provided:

  • The goods were bought for use outside Canada and proof is provided that they were removed from Canada within 60 days;
  • Original Bills of Sale, or original itemized receipts accompany the Application;
  • Application for rebate is made within 1 year of date of purchase and application is made for a claim of $14.00 or more.   

Publications

  • Rebate For Artistic Works For Export Policy Paper P195R
  • Doing Business In Canada - HST Information for Non-Residents RC4027
  • HST General Rebate RC4033     


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FEDERAL TAX CREDITS & CO-PRODUCTION INFORMATION

Department of Canadian Heritage /Canada Revenue Agency   

The federal government offers the following two tax credit programs for eligible film and television productions:

Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit Program

The Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit (PSTC) is available to Canadian as well as foreign-based film producers to stimulate job growth in the film and television industry in Canada. The PSTC is a refundable tax credit in respect of an “accredited production” and provides an “eligible production corporation” a tax credit equal to 16% of the qualified Canadian labour expenditure incurred after February 18, 2003.   

A production must meet certain cost minimums and be of an eligible genre to qualify as an accredited production. Further-more, the claimant must be an “eligible production corporation”, i.e. a corporation, the activities of which in the year are primarily the carrying on through a permanent establishment in Canada of a film or video production business or a film or video production services business. Finally, the “eligible production corporation” must either own an accredited production or have contracted directly with the owner of the accredited production to perform production services.   

The qualified Canadian labour expenditure for a production refers to all amounts which are “Canadian labour expenditures”, which are eligible amounts paid to Canadian residents for services rendered in Canada. Remuneration paid to corporations for services provided by Canadian individuals may be eligible where it is paid to taxable Canadian corporations. Remuneration paid to a non-Canadian corporation will not be included in the Canadian labour expenditure of an eligible production corporation even where the services were provided by Canadian individuals.   

The PSTC program is co-administered by the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canadian Audio Visual Certification Office (CAVCO) and by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). CAVCO’s role is to issue an accredited film or video production certificate with respect to an accredited production. The CRA is responsible, among other things, to review tax credit claims and issue timely refund cheques to claimants.   

The PSTC legislation provides that where a corporation has claimed a Canadian film or video production tax credit (CPTC) in respect of a production, no claim may be made to obtain the PSTC for the same production.     

Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit Program   

The objective of the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC) is to encourage Canadian programming and to develop an active domestic production sector. The CPTC is available at a rate of 25% of the qualified labour expenditure of the production. Included in this amount are eligible salary or wages and remuneration incurred after 1994. Eligible salary or wages and remuneration qualifying for this credit may not exceed 60% of the cost of the production, net of assistance. The tax credit is therefore limited to 15% of the overall cost of production.

This refundable tax credit program is jointly administered by the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO), and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).The legislation governing the tax credit is found in section 125.4 of the Income Tax Act and section 1106 of the Income Tax Regulations. Producers may submit applications to CAVCO for a Canadian film or video production certificate (Part A) and a certificate of completion (Part B) under this tax credit program.

To make a tax credit claim, a production company must include the following with its T2 Corporation Income Tax Return to the CRA:

  • a complete prescribed Form T1131, Claiming a Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit
  • a copy of the Part A certificate and, if applicable, the Part B certificate issued by CAVCO in respect of the Canadian film or video production.   

When applying to CAVCO, producers can apply for a Canadian film or video production certificate (Part A) before or during production to facilitate film financing and the claiming of a tax credit at the end of the first year of production. Producers must apply for a certificate of completion (Part B) once the production has been completed; such a certificate confirms that the production was completed. If a certificate of completion has not been issued before the production's certification deadline, the production will be an excluded production. The CRA will refuse any tax credit claimed in the year and will reassess the corporation for any tax credit previously allowed.   

Responsibilities of the CRA: To provide assistance to claimants; interpret and apply section 125.4 and all other provisions of the Income Tax Act and the Income Tax Regulations that may have an impact on the credit; review or audit the film tax credit claims within a reasonable time frame; and provide timely refund cheques.   

Responsibilities of CAVCO: Under the CPTC program, CAVCO performs two distinct functions: Canadian content recognition, and estimation of the eligible expenses of production. In order for a production to qualify as Canadian content for tax credit purposes through CAVCO, the production must meet specific criteria for key creative personnel and project costs.   

Canadian Content

Among the criteria which must be met for a production to be eligible for the CPTC are the following (Note: official treaty co-productions are not governed by the same rules):   

1. All individuals occupying producer-related positions (other than those receiving exemptions permitted in limited circumstances) must be Canadian.

2. For the purpose of the CPTC program, “Canadian” is defined as a person who is, at all relevant times, a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.  Among other requirements in the Income Tax Regulations, the production company must also be the exclusive worldwide copyright owner of the production. For live action productions, the production must earn a minimum of six points based on the following key creative people qualifying as Canadian:   

Director 2 points
Screenwriter          2 points
Lead Performer             1 point
Second Lead Performer 1 point
Art Director             1 point
Director of Photography 1 point
Music Composer               1 point
Picture Editor                 1 point   

At least one of the Director or Screenwriter, and either the Lead Performer or Second Lead Performer must be Canadian. As well, the two points for screenwriter position will be obtained only if all screenwriters are Canadian, or if both the principal screenwriter and the author of the work on which the production is based (where the work is published in Canada), are Canadian.   

3. Animation productions must earn a minimum of six points, based on the following key positions qualifying as Canadian: 

Director           1 point
Scriptwriter & Storyboard Supervisor    1 point
First or Second Voice   1 point
Design Supervisor       1 point
Music Composer          1 point
Picture Editor 1 point
Layout and Background 1 point
Picture Editor 1 point
Key Animation 1 point
Assistant Animation/ In-Betweening 1 point
Camera Operator & Operation, where
operation is performed in Canada    1 point   

At least one of the Director or Scriptwriter/Storyboard Supervisor, and at least one of the First or Second Voice Performers must be Canadian. The key animation must also be done in Canada.   

4. At least 75 per cent of all production services costs must be paid to Canadians. Such costs do not include the following: 

  1. remuneration paid to the producer 
  2. remuneration paid to creative personnel
  3. legal
  4. accounting
  5. insurance
  6. financing costs   

Also, at least 75 per cent of post-production processing and final preparation (laboratory) costs must be paid for services provided in Canada.

5. Under the Income Tax Regulations, there are several categories of ineligible productions, including talk shows, news, current events and public affairs programming, and those, other than documentaries, all or substantially all of which consist of stock footage.   

For further information on the program contact:   

Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO) 
Department of Canadian Heritage
25 Eddy St., 8th Floor  (25-8-0), Gatineau, PQ K1A 0M5
(888) 433-2200(888) 433-2200 F(819) 934-9828
www.pch.gc.ca/cavco   

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
Contact information for the CRA’s regional Film Service Units is available on their website at:  
www.cra-arc.gc.ca/filmservices


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PAYROLL REQUIREMENTS   

Employment Standards of Ontario requires a minimum of 4% Vacation Pay for all employees, based on gross earnings, as well as an employer contribution for Canada Pension. Information may be obtained from:   

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
1 Front St. W., Toronto, ON M5C 1J7
(800) 959-5525(800) 959-5525
www.cra-arc.gc.ca   

Sub-contractors and/or loan-out corporations that qualify as independent contractors under the guidelines of CRA, are responsible for deductions and remittances for their own employees. Some unions require benefits to apply to loan-outs; please refer to specific contracts. The CRA recognizes all performers to be independent contractors, thus no government fringes are applicable.   

A list of film payroll services is available in the Support Services section of the Ontario Production Guide.

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WITHHOLDING TAX   

Non-Residents Providing Services – Behind the Scenes

As a non-resident person providing services in Canada you are subject to a tax withholding of 15% of your gross income earned in Canada. This is not a definitive tax but it may be applied against your final Canadian tax liability if you have one. This withholding may exceed your Canadian tax liability however and administratively, on application to the CRA, you may receive a complete or partial waiver of the withholding requirement.   

You can make an application to the CRA to have this withholding reduced or eliminated by claiming that your income from services in Canada will not be taxable, as you do not have a fixed place of business in Canada through which you are operating.   

To address these types of requests, the CRA has administrative waiver guidelines in place. Under these guidelines you may qualify for a waiver if you meet one of the following tests:   

a) You are an individual (excluding corporations) providing non-employment services and will earn less than $5,000 (CAN) in the calendar year in which those services will be provided; or,

b) You are providing non-employment services in Canada for the first time and you will physically be in Canada for less than 180 days under your contract or engagement; or,

c) You have provided non-employment services previously in Canada within the current calendar year and the previous three calendar years (and if there are signed contracts, in the future three calendar years) and the total number of days of presence for all those services in Canada will not be more than 240 days, and your current calendar year contract is under 180 days.  In addition to the above guidelines, you may still obtain a waiver if you satisfy the criteria under the “Withholding Tax Waiver Guidelines for Behind the Scenes (BTS) Personnel in the Film and Television Industry.”   

For more information contact the Film Services Unit located at the Toronto Centre Tax Services Office (below) or the Film Industry Services pages of the CRA web site at:   

www.cra-adrc.gc.ca/filmservices


Should you not qualify for a waiver; your income will be subject to 15% withholding tax. Your final tax liability will then be determined once you have filed the appropriate Canadian Income Tax Return, and any potential refunds or additional tax liabilities will be determined at this time.   

Non-Residents Providing Services – Actors   

Effective January 1, 2001, rules apply to actors performing in Canada. They will be subject to a 23% withholding tax. If they desire, this can end their liability of tax to Canada. However they can elect to file a return if they think their liability is less than the 23%.   

Further information on these guidelines may be obtained from the CRA at:   

Toronto Centre Tax Services Office
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
Contact: Film Services Unit
1 Front St. W., Toronto, ON M5J 2X6
(416) 954-0542(416) 954-0542, (416) 954-0534 F(416) 954-8528
www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/nonresidents/film   


Employer Health Tax   

The Employer Health Tax (EHT) is payable by the employer to the Ontario Ministry of Revenue. Tax rates applicable are based on total annual Ontario remuneration, and range from 0.98% on total annual payroll of $200,000 or less, to 1.95% on total annual payroll in excess of $400,000. Note that new corporations are exempt for one year. Sub-contractors and/or loan-out corporations qualifying as independent contractors are responsible for their own Health Tax premiums.   

Workplace Insurance   

Workplace Insurance may be obtained from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board upon application for coverage of employees and/or sub-contractors. The 2007 premium rate for film production is .94/$100 of gross salaries to a maximum earnings of $69,400. Most unions and associations require this coverage for their members. Please note that the Board does not automatically cover foreign workers and must be specifically applied for.

Persons who the Board considers “Independent Con-tractors” and Stunt Performers are not covered under the production company’s insurance with the Board. The WSIB allows the exclusion of cast, however it must be noted on the application form.   

More information may be obtained at:   

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)
200 Front St. W., Toronto, ON M5V 3J1
(416) 344-1000(416) 344-1000 F(416) 344-4684
www.wsib.on.ca   

STATUTORY HOLIDAYS   

2015 2016
New Year’s Day - January 1 New Year’s Day - January 1
Family Day - February 16 Family Day - February 15
Good Friday - April 3    Good Friday - March 25
Easter Sunday* - April 5 Easter Sunday* - March 27
Easter Monday* - April 6 Easter Monday* -March 28
Victoria Day - May 18 Victoria Day - May 23
Canada Day - July 1 Canada Day - July 1
Civic Holiday* - August 3 Civic Holiday* - August 1
Labour Day - September 7 Labour Day - September 5
Thanksgiving - October 12 Thanksgiving - October 10
Christmas Day - December 25 Christmas Day - December 25
Boxing Day - December 26 Boxing Day - December 26   

When the holiday falls on a normally scheduled day off, then another workday will be designated as the holiday for the purposes of determining the paid day off and the rate of pay for the holiday worked.   

*Not a paid holiday for all of the technical unions and businesses.   

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HEALTH + SAFETY   

Duties and Responsibilities   

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (the Act) is based on the Internal Responsibility System. Employers of the film and television industry have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of all persons associated with the production and the general public. The Act requires notification be made to the Ministry of Labour inspector or delegate in the event of fatal or critical injuries at the workplace. The “Safety Guidelines for the Film and Television Industry in Ontario – 5th Edition” published June 2009 should be consulted to learn more about health and safety in the film and television industry. There may be internal Union, Guild and Organization and/or Production Company reporting policy systems.   

In the context of film and television workplaces, inspectors with the Ministry of Labour will apply the requirements of the Act and the relevant regulations made under the Act such as the Regulations for Industrial Establishments, the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) Regulation, and the Regulations for Construction Projects. Ministry inspectors will also be made aware of these Guidelines, but it is important to remember that their responsibility is to apply and enforce the law and they are not bound by or obliged.   

The Guidelines have been prepared by representatives of the industry on the Section 21 Committee Health and Safety Advisory for the Film and Television Industry to assist employers/producers, supervisors and working professionals in determining the ways they may best comply with their obligations under the Act and the relevant regulations. Following the recommendations and the guidelines does not relieve the workplace parties of their obligations under the Act.                    

The Guidelines recommend realistic procedures to develop methods for identifying potential hazards in the work environments in order to protect those working in the film and television industry. Safe procedures do not involve losing the appearance of risk that can be such a vital quality of the production. The Guidelines are intended to assist people involved in the industry and not replace legislated requirements. To determine their legal workplace duties and rights, employers/producers, supervisors and working professionals are urged to refer to the actual legislation.   

All Publications are available from:   

Service Ontario Publications
(416) 326-5300(416) 326-5300 (800) 668-9938 F(613) 545-4223
http://www.publications.serviceontario.ca   

A copy of “Safety Guidelines for the Film and Television Industry in Ontario” can also be obtained at www.filmsafety.ca

or from the Ontario Media Development Corporation, (416) 314-6858(416) 314-6858.   

Beneficial publications include:

  • A Guide to the Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • A Guide for Joint Health and Safety Committees and Representatives in the Workplace
  • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS); A Guide to the Legislation
  • Safety Guidelines for the Film and Television Industry in Ontario
  • Child Performers Guideline   

Ministry of Labour Offices   

Central Region - Mississauga
1290 Central Pkwy West, Mississauga, ON L5C 4R3
(905) 273-7800(905) 273-7800 (800) 268-2988 F(905) 615-7078   

Central Region – Toronto East
2275 Midland Ave., Unit 1, Toronto, ON M1P 3E7
(416) 314-5300(416) 314-5300 F(416) 314-5410   

Central Region - Toronto North/West
1201 Wilson Ave., Bldg. E, Downsview, ON M3M 1J8
(416) 235-5330(416) 235-5330 F(416) 235-5090   

Central Region - Newmarket
1110 Stellar Dr., #102, Newmarket, ON L3Y 7B7
(905) 715-7020(905) 715-7020 (888) 299-3138 F(905) 715-7140   

Eastern Region - Ottawa
347 Preston St, Tower III, 4th Fl, Ottawa, ON K1S 3J4
(613) 228-8050(613) 228-8050 (800) 267-1916 F(613) 727-2900               

Eastern Region - Kingston 
Beechgrove Complex, 51 Heakes Ln, Kingston, ON K7M 9B1
(613) 545-0989(613) 545-0989 (800) 267-0915 F(613) 545-9831   

Eastern Region - Peterborough
300 Water St. N., South Tower, Peterborough, ON K9J 8M5
(705) 755-4700(705) 755-4700 (800) 461-1425 F(705) 755-4724   

Western Region – Kitchener/Waterloo
155 Frobisher Dr., Unit G213, Waterloo, ON N2V 2E1
(519) 885-3378(519) 885-3378 (800) 265-2468 F(519) 883-5694   

Western Region - Hamilton, Halton, Brant
119 King St W, Ellen Fairclough Bldg, Hamilton, ON L8R 3J2
(905) 577-6221(905) 577-6221 (800) 263-6906 F(905) 577-1200   

Western Region - London
217 York St., 5th Floor, London, ON N6A 5P9
(519) 439-2210(519) 439-2210 (800) 265-1676 F(519) 672-0268   

Western Region - Niagara
301 St. Paul St., 8th Floor, St. Catharines, ON L2R 7R4
(905) 704-3994(905) 704-3994 (800) 263-7260 F(905) 704-3011   

Western Region - Windsor
4510 Rhodes Dr., Ste 610, Windsor, ON N8W 5K5
(519) 256-8277(519) 256-8277 (800) 265-5140 F(519) 258-1321   

For a complete list of Ministry of Labour offices, please refer to the “Safety Guidelines for the Film and Television Industry in Ontario” handbook, the Blue Pages of the local telephone directory (under “Health and Safety”), or the MOL website at: http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/about/reg_offices.html

Pyrotechnic Event Approval   

To apply for event approval, you must present to the Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) Please allow (preferably) ten working days before the event:   

  • A complete Event Approval Application (or approved form)
  • A Pyrotechnic Special Effects Certification Card (or facsimile)
  • A Pyro Effects Plan or Letter of Intent   

Pyro Effects Plan / Letter of Intent   

The AHJ may request a Pyro Effects Plan or letter of intent. A letter of intent is usually satisfactory for film/television productions and should include:

  • Copies of Event Approval and Pyro Effects Plan / Letter of Intent must be available on set
  • Locations and dates for filming of effects
  • General description of the scene
  • Effects to be used and their fabrication
  • Anticipated result
  • Safety measures to be taken
  • Method of determining safety distances Authorities Having Jurisdiction 

Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) include:

  • Fire Chief / Fire Protection Officer
  • Film Commissioner
  • Police Forces (incl. Explosives Technicians)
  • Provincial Occupational Health & Safety Organizations (or equivalent)
  • Designated representatives for event approval or site inspections   

Demonstrations   

A demonstration may be required to determine if the effect can be performed safely. It is understood that this is not always feasible in film/television production, due to the one-off nature of many performances.   

For information on the certification of pyrotechnics and pyrotechnical personnel, please refer to the Pyrotechnic Special Effects Manual or contact:   

Explosives Regulatory Division
1431 Merivale Rd., Ottawa, ON K1A 0G1
Contact: Rachel Robbins (613) 948-5172(613) 948-5172 F(613) 948-5195
www.nrcan.gc.ca/mms/explosif

Electrical Installation Inspections   

All electrical equipment used and electrical installations performed by the Entertainment Industry must be inspected by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA). While the Electrical Safety Authority recognizes the unique nature of the electrical installations performed by the industry, they also have a responsibility to ensure that safety is not compromised. The emphasis of these inspections is to prevent fire, shock and property hazards.   

Production Managers are responsible for obtaining and filing applications. Forms are available at most equipment houses (Whites, Panavision, P.S.). Entertainment Industry Electrical Inspection Guidelines are available at the OMDC (416) 314-6858(416) 314-6858. For more information please contact:   

Electrical Safety Authority Customer Service
Wiring Inspections Contact: Tom Elford
(416) 678-0332(416) 678-0332, (877) 372-7233(877) 372-7233
tom.elford@electricalsafety.on.ca

Equipment Inspections Contact: Sam Cocuzzi
(416) 991-4181(416) 991-4181 F(800) 559-5358
sam.cocuzi@electricalsafety.on.ca
www.esapa.biz  


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FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES   

Telefilm Canada   

Telefilm Canada is a Crown Corporation reporting to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage. Head-quartered in Montreal, Telefilm provides services to the Canadian audiovisual industry by means of four regional offices located in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax.   

Ontario Office
100-474 Bathurst St., Toronto, ON M5T 2S6
(416) 973-6436(416) 973-6436 TF: (800) 463-4607(800) 463-4607 F(416) 973-8606

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)   

The Broadcasting Act established the CRTC to regulate and supervise all aspects of the Canadian Broadcasting industry. The CRTC grants licenses for radio, television, cable, pay-TV and specialty services.   

The procedure for the recognition of Canadian programs is set out in CRTC Public Notice 2000-42 and CRTC 1999-205. Certification Numbers may be obtained by applying to the CRTC directly. The criteria are similar to those used by the Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO), which require six out of ten points and 75% of expenditures to Canadians. For further application procedures and forms contact:   

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
Ottawa, ON K1A 0N2
(877) 249-2782(877) 249-2782 F(819) 994-0218
www.crtc.gc.ca
Fact sheet: www.crtc.gc.ca/canrec/eng/canrec.htm  

Department of Canadian Heritage Canadian
Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO)
25 Eddy St., 9th Floor, Room 038 (25-9-0)
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M5
(819) 934-9830(819) 934-9830 F(819) 934-9828 (888) 433-2200(888) 433-2200
bcpac_cavco@pch.gc.ca
www.pch.gc.ca/cavco 

CAVCO administers the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit program and Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit Program.


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