These recommendations address short-term and immediate actions that can be taken to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the IDM industry–short cash runway is the most critical risk–as well as measures that should be implemented to ensure the recovery and growth of our industry in Ontario.
The recommendations documents have not been made public yet by the Ontario government. That said, they are in line with IO’s advocacy priorities and timeline at the provincial level. IO and the IDM Council members want to thank the industry members for your participation in IO’s weekly town hall meetings. It has been and will continue to be instrumental in crafting recommendations that are well-tailored to our industry.
IO is preparing for a presentation to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, which is holding sector-by-sector hearings on the impact of COVID-19 and recommendations for economic recovery. The hearing will take place on June 30th and IO’s main focus will be on the importance of modernizing the OIDMTC in order to remain competitive and stimulate growth.
In that regard, Insert Coin is helping us by leading a comparative analysis between the Quebec and Ontario tax credits. We are also gathering information on other jurisdictions that are amping up their efforts to retain or attract companies with their tax credits or other incentives. For example, some of our Ontario studios have been approached by Nova Scotia to open remote offices — without a physical space — and leverage their tax credit. Eidos has just announced its expansion in Sherbrooke, Quebec. The highly desirable Quebec tax credit likely played a key role in that decision.
Canadian Heritage is working on a Phase 2 emergency fund to cover companies that are affected by the COVID-19 crisis but were not eligible for the Phase 1 CMF emergency fund.
Upon learning about this, IO and fellow IDM/Games trade associations across Canada contacted Canadian Heritage, and are now expediting a recommendation for Phase 2. We will be working on it over the weekend and on Monday since time is of the essence. IO also had the opportunity to meet with industry leaders to discuss ideas for Phase 2. Thank you all who participated in the discussion meeting on Phase 2 and in the town hall this week.
In the end, we don’t have great expectations for Phase 2 since its budget will apparently be quite small considering the size of the industry in Canada. That said, we appreciate the fact that Canadian Heritage now recognizes that Phase 1 only covered a small portion of our industry with its requirement for having been a recent client of the CMF.
We encourage you to participate in IO’s weekly town halls (Register Here) to keep informed on IO’s advocacy efforts, an share ideas and information reach out to us with feedback on impacts, current relief measures and potential new ones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Measuring the Impact Recovering Strong:
We previously shared the Ontario results of the CMF-Funded national survey: “Measuring the Impact of COVID-19 on the IDM Industry” produced by Nordicity. We now also have an infographic of key findings that the IDM Council shared with the provincial government here.
This data is already outdated. To continue to provide updates and impacts of the crisis on our industry to government stakeholders, we are partnering with the CMF and Nordicity to release a series of short monthly surveys that will monitor changes over the next six months. More to come on that.
Interactive Ontario continues to advocate for the IDM/Games Industry and will up update the community regularly on the work being done. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to connect with us at email@example.com.