With the federal government’s announcement of Bill C-2, an Act to provide further support in response to COVID-19, the fitness industry can breathe a sigh of relief. Now, fitness businesses are able to apply for financial support to rebound and rebuild as a part of the program supporting hospitality and tourism. Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) persistently lobbied the federal government to be recognized as a hard-hit industry. Today’s announcement, to have the fitness industry included in a program for further support, is more evidence that the relationship between the fitness industry and the government is strong.
“We are proud of our lobbying efforts and the relationships we have built with our federal and provincial governments. Today’s announcement showed us that our political leaders are listening,” says Sara Hodson, President of Fitness Industry Council of Canada and CEO of LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic. “We have lobbied on behalf of our industry to prevent more businesses from having to close their doors. Bill C-2 provides much-needed subsidies to help us rebound. Our members are very pleased that the government has listened to our concerns.”
Bill C-2 will provide targeted support benefits such as wage and rent subsidies. Prior to the announcement, the fitness industry was excluded from these financial assistance programs.
The Canadian fitness industry has suffered huge losses since the pandemic began in March 2020, with over 40 percent of businesses closing their doors, and even more job losses. FIC will continue to lobby the government to make gym memberships a medical tax deduction, a proposal submitted to the Liberals in February 2021, but not passed. More than 40 percent of Canadians surveyed in July 2021 said that a tax deduction would motivate them to purchase a gym membership. Such an initiative would support Canada’s health and economic recovery.
Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) is the not-for profit trade association that represents the voice of fitness facility operators across Canada. Representing more than 6,000 facilities with more than six-million members nationwide, FIC pursues a legislative agenda in the hope of bettering the fitness industry for both consumers and operators. FIC aims to work with both industry and government to improve the health and physical activity levels of Canadians.