Lack of COVID-19 Insurance Jeopardizes 214 Canadian Projects, Producers’ Surveys Find

A total of 214 camera-ready Canadian film and TV projects worth C$1,093,479,381 ($830 million) are at risk because of lack of COVID-19 insurance, two separate surveys by Canadian producers’ associations have found.

The projects, which would directly generate 19,560 jobs, are at risk unless the government launches an insurance program for productions. Insurers around the world do not include pandemic cover, and in many cases policies are specifically worded to exclude COVID-19.

In June, the Canadian Media Producers Assn. (CMPA) and the Association québécoise de la production médiatique (AQPM) submitted a joint proposal for the creation of a government-backed insurance program. No initiative has been announced by the Canadian government yet.

“We’ve met with government officials across multiple ministries to discuss our proposal, and although they acknowledge the urgency of this issue, months have passed without any action,” said the CMPA’s president and CEO Reynolds Mastin. “While governments in the United Kingdom, Australia, France and elsewhere have addressed the insurance issue for their production sectors, producers in Canada are losing millions – and in some cases facing bankruptcy – because of the lack of a federal program.”

“The implementation of a federal government-backed insurance program is the missing piece that would allow hundreds of productions to come to life and create thousands of jobs for creators and crew members,” added Hélène Messier, president and CEO of the AQPM. “Because of this unjustifiable delay, the federal government is not only jeopardizing the economic prosperity of an entire sector, but drastically reducing the number of Canadian productions on our screens in the coming months to the benefit of foreign productions.”

The CMPA and AQPM independently conducted surveys of their members between Aug. 31 and Sept. 9. The surveys were completed by 148 production companies across Canada.

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