Since 2007, Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) has been the voice of Canadian commercial fitness clubs. Our goal is to be a unified voice for the industry, to ensure that owners and operators understand current issues affecting their businesses, and to ultimately better our industry.
Here is a list of the latest industry updates:
• In June 2015, Re:Sound, Goodlife Fitness Centres Inc., Fitness Industry Council of Canada, Zoom Media Inc. and Mood Media Corporation sent the Copyright Board of Canada a new agreement for certification of Re:Sound Tariff 6.B, 2013-2017. This settlement agreement cuts Re:Sound’s original request of $18.59 per member per year to approximately 34 cents per member per year to use music in fitness areas.
• In March 2015, there was a Notice of the Board from the Copyright Board of Canada for the Statement of Proposed Royalties to Be Collected by SOCAN for the Public Performance or the Communication to the Public by Telecommunication in Canada of musical or dramatic-musical works for 2016. The hearing will be in April 2017. FIC will monitor the situation for the industry. For now, fitness facilities are to pay SOCAN fees for Tariff 19 and Tariff 15A.
Ontario Consumer Protection Act
• In February 2016, the Ontario government began contacting fitness clubs to determine if their membership agreements were consistent with Ontario Consumer Protection laws. Apparently the Ontario government has received a large number of consumer complaints about the fitness industry. FIC contacted the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services Ontario and has offered to work with it to spread information about contract compliance.
• As of April 2015, Consumer Services Ontario is entitled to “inspection power,” meaning that it can enter and audit a fitness club from a consumer protection standpoint. If a club does not comply it is provided with a warning letter, which is a notice of proposed compliance in 30 days. FIC will be educating clubs on these requirements so they are in compliance with regulations and do not feel threatened.
Adult Fitness Tax Credit
• FIC is currently developing a strategic plan with our government relations firm, Sussex Strategy Group, to continue our efforts for an adult fitness tax credit that will suit the newly elected government. We have submitted a pre-budget consultation document for review as well as context for inclusion in the Speech from the Throne. We may adjust our initiative to fit the government’s new mandate.
National Health and Fitness Day
• June 4 will be FIC’s third year promoting National Health and Fitness Day (NHFD). The government passed Bill S-211 in December 2014, which established the first Saturday in June each year as National Health and Fitness Day.
As an FIC initiative, we have been encouraging participating fitness clubs to waive their drop-in fees for this day. The goal of NHFD is to introduce more individuals to healthy lifestyles to reduce the healthcare costs attributed to preventable diseases.
To register as a participating club, visit www.gympass.ca.
Caloric Menu Legislation/MenuTruth.ca
• With the assistance of Sussex Strategy Group, we continue to monitor the development of menu licensing. In May 2015, the government passed Bill 45, the Making Healthier Choices Act, which will require calories to be posted on chain restaurant menus that have 20 or more locations in Ontario. It is inevitable that this licensing will go federal since provinces are initiating this same action on their own.
• In March 2016, a Senate committee began calling for a national campaign to combat obesity, including a possible new tax on sugar-sweetened and artificially-sweetened beverages along with a ban on food advertising that targets children.
Prescription to Get Active
• In February 2016, a committee was created for the Prescription to Get Active initiative (Rxtga). This committee includes the primary care network, municipalities, doctors, fitness facility owners/operators, university researchers and health and wellness organizations. Two meetings have taken place, and FIC is a participating committee member helping to develop the program. From this committee, sub-committees have been created to report on trial and satellite programs (such as the cardiology program at World Health Calgary).
• Rxtga is forming a federal not-for-profit organization. This initiative will allow doctors from across the country to prescribe exercise to patients, and patients will be able to fill their prescriptions at participating fitness facilities.
Has Your Facility Contributed Yet?
FIC operates thanks to contributions from fitness clubs! To become a supporting member, clubs with fewer than 1,000 members contribute $500 per year, and clubs with 1,000+ members contribute $1,000 per year. We look out for harmful legislation and promote initiatives that benefit our industry. Your help will ensure the sustainability of our association.
To make your contribution, contact Trisha Sarker, FIC executive director, at 780-908-1710 or visit us online at www.FICDN.ca