Very Little for Independent Cultural Workers in Federal Budget

When I watched the budget speech I was thinking that it was frustrating that the incumbent manufacturing sector was receiving various tax incentives, rather than pushing those incentives towards independent knowledge workers which will increasingly be where job growth is seen as we progress out of the industrial economy.

While not worded that way (they focused only on cultural workers, with some of their members using industrial production methods), PWAC noticed this type of problem as well in their press release.

March 20, 2007: After high-level consultation with the federal government, the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) was looking for more focused support for cultural professionals than appears in yesterday’s federal budget.

At its National Conference in Ottawa last May, PWAC shared the disquieting results of a comprehensive Canadian Professional Writers Survey with the current government through meetings with the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Ministry of Labour. The report’s recommendations included specific tax incentives for the creation of Canadian written content.

As a representative of small business owners, PWAC acknowledges potential benefits to our members from new provincial transfers, the capital cost allowance and increased funding for skills training, but remains disappointed that the importance of cultural workers to the overall economy is not addressed.

“What's really missing from this budget,” former PWAC President Tracey Arial notes, “is a recognition that self-employed creators are important knowledge economy workers. Cultural sector investment pays this country back at an incredible rate of return, yet professional creators remain economically threatened.”

PWAC has also advocated strongly for increased and sustained funding for all Canadian cultural workers through the Canada Council for the Arts. PWAC remains committed to working with this government to strengthen Canada’s vital cultural economic sector.

PWAC, established in 1976, is the national organization representing 600 freelance writers and journalists in Canada.