On July 3, the freshly minted Liberal majority government in Ontario unveiled its priorities in the Speech from the Throne. As anticipated, the Throne Speech confirmed that the same budget that was presented on May 1st that triggered the election would be re-introduced.
What does this mean for the music community?
In terms of the Throne Speech, the cultural and creative industries fall under the “building a dynamic business climate on a foundation of fiscal responsibility” theme. Specifically, the Throne Speech says that the cultural sector will benefit from the Jobs and Prosperity Fund. Though that’s the only concrete mention of the cultural sector in the actual speech, there are other provisions that may impact the music and cultural industries – at least tangentially. For example, there is mention of introduction of new legislation and regulations that would “expand oversight of government agencies and the broader public sector.” This will very likely impact funding organizations that the music (and cultural industries) rely on.
Since it’s relying on the budget…
While the Throne Speech presented the government’s objectives in the broad sense, the details included in the budget presented on May 1 give more perspective on what’s likely in store when the budget is officially reintroduced. The budget documents specifically enshrine promoting Ontario’s entertainment and creative cluster as one of the priorities for the 10-year, $2.5 billion Jobs and Prosperity Fund. While not specifically listing any new initiatives, the budget document mentions the creation of the Ontario Music Fund in 2013 as well as re-affirms the need to make sure that the entertainment and creative cluster is “a pillar of this province’s new economy and one of its best job creators – especially for young people.” It’s also worth noting that corporate taxes are currently being reviewed in Ontario, which may have implications for the Ontario Sound Recording Tax Credit.
Read the full-text of the Throne Speech here: http://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2014/07/building-ontario-up-speech-from-the-throne.html