ACTRA Toronto

ACTRA Toronto

April 02, 2009 11:21 ET

ACTRA Toronto Applauds Bill 165 Supporting Rights of Ontario Artists

Private member's bill would recognize artists under Employment Standards

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 2, 2009) - ACTRA Toronto supports a private member's bill which would see artists recognized under Ontario's Employment Standards Act. Bill 165, introduced yesterday by NDP MPP Peter Tabuns, seeks to extend the definition of employee to cover artists as independent contractors, ensuring they would be protected by the Act's provisions.

"We applaud Mr. Tabuns' efforts to support artists," said Heather Allin, President of ACTRA Toronto. "Artists are key to Ontario's economic and cultural well being. They are the kind of creative workers the government claims are the future. Yet artists lack the basic rights that many other workers in this province have."

The introduction of the bill comes more than two years after a report commissioned by the Minister of Culture recommended legislative changes to help artists who are poorly paid and lack many of the supports other workers have. So far, the Ontario government has not responded substantively to this report.

"ACTRA and other artists' organizations have been calling for better employment rights for artists for years," added Allin. "Supporting creative industries takes more than bricks and mortar, it means supporting the creators as well. Passing this bill is an important step towards that goal."

Arts organizations, including ACTRA Toronto, have been asking for a number of legislative changes which would help artists, including the implementation of a fair and equitable collective bargaining process, stronger legislation for the wellbeing of child performers and tax changes recognizing the ebb and flow of artist earnings.

ACTRA Toronto is the largest organization within ACTRA, representing over 15,000 of Canada's professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. As an advocate for Canadian culture since 1943, ACTRA is a member-driven organization that continues to secure the rights and respect for the work of professional performers.

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