FIC Submits Recommendations on behalf of the Fitness Industry as part of Federal Pre-Budget Consultation Process

FIC Submits Recommendations on behalf of the Fitness Industry as part of Federal Pre-Budget Consultation Process
By Fitness Industry Council of Canada

By Fitness Industry Council of Canada

From December 14, 2022 to February 10, 2023 the federal government invited all Canadians to share their ideas as part of a pre-budget consultation process on how to best support Canadians, Canadian businesses, and the Canadian economy.

 

In response, Fitness Industry Canada (FIC) developed and submitted 3 recommendations on behalf of the fitness industry.

Recommendation 1: Include fitness tax deduction as medical expense

We recommend that the government include gym memberships and services as a medical expense, making it tax deductible by changing the term “not eligible” to “eligible” in the “Athletic or fitness club fees” category in Line 33099 on the federal tax form.

Research produce by 4Global and Sheffield Hallam University a reported (August 2022):

  • $6.19CAD billion of social value of individuals can be attributed to activity taken part in health and fitness clubs in Canada.
  • Over 2.2 million cases of health conditions were prevented in 2019 as a result of sport and physical activity participation {including over 600k each for coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and depression).
  • The total value of the health savings generated by sport and physical activity in 2019 was $23.4CAD billion.

 

In June 2022, a global study released by Deloitte, stated “in Canada, a per capita investment of $2000USD in activity would deliver a return on investment within only one year” (Deloitte et al., 2022). 

 

If Canadians could claim their gym memberships as a medical expense, for virtual or in-person Canadian businesses, more people would be encouraged to improve their overall physical and mental health, boost the economy by invigorating an industry that has been hard-hit by the pandemic, all while creating employment opportunities. This fitness tax deduction will draw attention to what the fitness industry has to offer and stimulate economic regrowth.

 

Recommendation 2: Implement programs to incentivise fitness

Governments across the globe have launched programs to incentivise their citizens to get healthy by increasing physical activity and promoting fitness. FIC recommends that the Canadian government follows the leadership of places like the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Japan – that have recognized the importance of investing in the economic health and wellness of their citizens.

 

As governments across the globe develop programs dedicated to the health and wellness of their citizens, we recommend that the Canadian Government do the same. We believe investing in Canadians in the way that others global leaders have with their citizens, will ultimately impact both healthcare costs as well as achieve our own health outcomes.

 

Recommendation 3: Economic stimulus package for fitness businesses

With the ending of the CEBA loan, many fitness facilities are being forced to close their doors permanently. Therefore, we recommend that the government develop an Economic Stimulus Package in the amount of 20-million dollars for fitness facilities that have suffered financial loss due to the pandemic. This Economic Stimulus Package will focus on creating employment opportunities, building back the economy and assisting businesses dedicated to the health and wellness of Canadians.

 

Our recommendation for an Economic Stimulus Package funding to rebuild fitness facilities will support the economy by bringing back businesses, improving the health of Canadians by getting them back into facilities in their local areas, and reduce net-healthcare costs in Canada.

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.

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