If Justin Trudeau does not include in his new stimulus plan the creation of a government compensation program in the event of film interruptions due to COVID-19, it will be disaster in the wonderful world of our film production and television shows.
According to the Canadian Media Producers Association (ACPM / CMPA) and the Quebec Media Production Association (AQPM), some 214 film and television projects will not be able to go ahead since insurance companies are now excluding COVID-19 risks of their coverage.
That's a production volume of more than $ 1 billion and 19,560 direct jobs that will be left behind if the Trudeau government does not remedy the lack of insurance coverage against COVID.
In light of the threatening second wave of COVID-19, the vast majority of Canadian producers do not have the financial backs of enough to venture into project production without being able to rely on such insurance beforehand.
It was last June that the AQPM and the ACPM presented the Trudeau government with a joint proposal for the creation of such a government program of financial compensation in the event of an interruption of filming due to COVID-19.
Among the steps taken so far, the President and CEO of the AQPM, Hélène Messier, specifies that “we have also had virtual meetings with, of course, the cabinet of Steven Guilbeault (Canadian Heritage) on numerous occasions. , that of Ms. Chrystia Freeland (Finance), Prime Minister Trudeau's office and the Treasury Board. ”
Unfortunately, all these steps at the federal level have so far proved fruitless.
For my part, I asked Minister Steven Guilbeault if he was going to support the demand of film and television producers and propose this financial compensation program to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
His response to the Journal : “We have been working on it for several weeks. I am hopeful that this will be resolved soon. ”
Is Minister Guilbeault right to be optimistic? We will find out tomorrow, during the Speech from the Throne to be delivered by Governor General Julie Payette.
Since filming resumed last July, Quebec (through SODEC) is the only province that has temporarily put in place a financial protection program in the event of an interruption related to COVID-19.
The problem ? This Legault government program ends on October 31. This means that as of November 1, all new Quebec film and TV productions (in addition to those not produced up to 51% by the end of October) will no longer be insured against COVID-19.
This will lead to the forced shutdown of productions.
“The paradox is also that federal agencies like Telefilm Canada require such insurance to support feature films, but that this insurance is not available because the federal government is slow to set it up. Find the error, ”says Hélène Messier rightly.
By the way, such a program for filming protection against COVID-19 exists in France, Belgium, Austria, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Come on, Mr. Trudeau, action!