COVID-19 task force releases impact-assessment survey

The national survey aims to quantify the cost of production interruptions and measure the impact on companies' operations. (Unlocked)
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The COVID-19 task force, an industry group comprised of roughly 10 organizations, has released a survey to assess the financial disruption of the pandemic on the domestic production sector.

The national survey will “help quantify the scope of the financial impact of the ongoing crisis,” said the task force, which plans to share the findings with government officials in the coming weeks as the government begins to develop response packages for the $8.92 billion content sector which provided 179,000 FTE jobs in 2017/18. The deadline for the survey is March 31. Nordicity was commissioned to carry out the work.

The task force, first unveiled last week, is comprised of the CMF, CMPA, Indigenous Screen Office, Telefilm, Association of Provincial and Territorial Funding Agencies (APTFA), Association québécoise de la production médiatique (AQPM), City of Toronto Film Office, Creative BC, NFB, Ontario Creates and SODEC.

The survey aims to capture data on two main fronts. The first is the impact of the pandemic on production: direct costs of production suspensions, carrying costs, and projected costs to ramp-up production when work begins again. The survey’s second section concerns the impact on company operations.

Specifically, the survey asks respondents to provide the number of projects they have in production now, and the projects currently slated for April through June. It also asks respondents about the proportion of its staff that are at risk of being laid off currently, and in the months ahead.

As well, Nordicity has developed a second survey to assess the impact on Canada’s interactive digital media sector.

A spokesperson for the CMPA noted to Playback Daily that, in addition to capturing the financial impact on production companies, the task force will also be working with the unions and guilds to understand, and help communicate to government, the impact on their members and the jobs that are likely to be affected as a result of COVID-19.

Canadian feds update financial aid plan for workers ineligible for EI

The federal government has adjusted its plans for providing financial support for unemployed Canadians ineligible for EI. The previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit have been merged into the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The CERB will provide $2,000 a month from March 15 to Oct. 3 to contract workers, wage earners and self-employed individuals who have lost work due to COVID-19 shutdowns or due to illness for themselves or caring for a loved one sick with the novel coronavirus. Workers that are still employed but not receiving an income are also eligible. The government says applicants should receive the benefit within 10 days of submission.

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