Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

December 14, 2006 12:00 ET

ARTISTS IN AGREEMENT

McGuinty's Promise of Status of the Artist Legislation Long Overdue

Attention: Arts/Entertainment Editor, Assignment Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 14, 2006) - Today at Queen's Park professional artists and cultural workers united to release a Statement on the long overdue, but much needed, Status of the Artist Legislation in Ontario. The Statement is signed and supported by over 30 artists' organizations from Ontario and across Canada representing thousands of artists.

Status of the Artist legislation would provide basic income security and benefits to cultural workers and artists and while campaigning to be Premier, Dalton McGuinty promised to bring in such legislation within the first two years of his mandate. Now the election is less than a year way and artists and cultural workers are still waiting.

As noted today, there is still time for Premier McGuinty to do the right thing. Ontario's artists and cultural workers are calling on the Premier to act immediately to fulfill his promise to introduce Status of the Artist Legislation.

Here is the Statement:

Preamble

In Ontario, many professional artists and cultural workers are unable, under current legislation, to improve their working conditions and livelihoods through collective bargaining, a right presently enjoyed by six million other Ontario workers.

During the 2003 provincial election campaign, the McGuinty Liberals promised to introduce Status of the Artist legislation to improve the lives and incomes of Ontario's artists in the cultural sector. This promise was re-iterated on May 15, 2006 by the Minister of Culture in her statement to the Legislature promising legislation that would "…improve the socio-economic status of the artist, recognize and enhance the labour status of artists…"

Yet, despite months of consultations, the Ontario government has failed to introduce legislation that would deliver improved minimum working conditions, enhanced economic and social benefits and collective bargaining rights for professional artists and other self-employed cultural workers.

Statement

The Ontario Federation of Labour is calling on the Ontario Government to introduce within its current mandate, a Status of the Artist Act which, at a minimum, must include both of the following:
* Labour standards and taxation measures to immediately improve the working lives of artists in Ontario including:
- protections for child performers;
- access to training and professional development programs and funds;
- tax measures favourable to artists (income averaging and/or exclusions of certain incomes from provincial taxes); and
- protections for senior artists.

* A consultative process leading to the creation and enactment within 24 months of an appropriate labour relations mechanism encompassing a collective bargaining procedure for all professional artists and producers/engagers in the province of Ontario.

Conclusion

It is time for the Government of Ontario to implement meaningful and appropriate legislation that meets the diverse needs of professional artists, other cultural workers, engagers and producers in advance of the October 2007 Ontario Election.

Signatories to the Agreement

* American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada - AFM
* ACTRA National (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists)
* ACTRA Toronto Performers
* Brantford Musicians' Association
* Canadian Actors' Equity Association (Equity)
* Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists
* Canadian Conference of the Arts
* Canadian Freelance Union (CEP Local 2040)
* Canadian Artists Representation / le Front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC - National)
* CARFAC - Ontario
* Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP)
* CEP - Ontario Region
* Directors Guild of Canada (DGC)
* Directors Guild of Canada - Ontario
* Guild of Canadian Film Composers
* International Alliance of theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE)
* IATSE Local 00822 - theatrical Wardrobe Union
* MayWorks!
* National Association of Broadcast Employees & Technicians (NABET) Local 700 CEP
* Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
* Professional Writers Association of Canada
* Toronto Musicians' Association - AFM Local 149
* Workers Arts & Heritage Centre
* Writers Guild of Canada
* Writers' Union of Canada

cope343 /For further information: Terry Downey
OFL Executive Vice-President
416.578.3230 (cellular)

Pam Frache
OFL Education Director
416.578.3472 (cellular)/ IN: LABOUR, MEDIA, POLITICS, OTHER

Contact Information

  • Dana Boettger, OFL Communications Director
    Primary Phone: 416-441-2731
    Secondary Phone: 416-443-7665