Ontario’s Conservative Government released its first budget yesterday, and it offers plenty of promises as it also raises a lot of questions needing answers.
The chief pillars of the fiscal blueprint aim to slash the province’s $11.7B deficit by increasing tax revenues from the relaxation of booze and gambling laws and buffer the province’s economy as best it can from the inevitable downturn caused by declining business opportunities with China and the US.
More permissive liquor laws will benefit the live music sector; small tax changes help small and medium-sized businesses and tech entrepreneurs.
Culture industries are favourably acknowledged in the document, but the emphasis focuses on film, TV and the video game industries. The government proposes to streamline its cultural media tax credit administration and certification programs, and cut red tape for video game developers.
For the province’s music industry, arms-length provincial funding body Ontario Creates (formerly the Ontario Media Development Corp or OMDC) provides $15M in annual support through four (4) program streams to record labels, music publishers, music managers, artist entrepreneurs, music promoters, music presenters, and booking agents, and music industry trade, service, event and training organizations.