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On March 24, 2022, the Saskatchewan government announced that they will be implementing a 6% tax on gym-goers starting in October 2022. From the beginning, FIC had been against this tax and lobbied the Government to stop the implementation of a 6% tax on gym goers starting in October.
This tax would have been an extra provincial sales tax on top of gym memberships. This is something that we did not want for our industry. If implemented, the tax would have deterred individuals from focusing on their mental, physical, immune, and social health. How did FIC advocate?
✅ FIC fought hard against the PST in gyms including key members attending question period at the Saskatchewan Legislature.
✅ FIC published an op-ed in the Regina Post-Leader
✅ FIC did over a dozen media interviews .
✅ FIC launched a letter campaign to the provincial government against the tax.
Currently, FIC has sent out an open letter to the Saskatchewan Government about their decision to side with health:
An Open Letter to the Saskatchewan Government:
Fitness Industry Council of Canada, industry leaders and fitness businesses across the country are applauding the progressive decision today by the Saskatchewan government to reverse the decision to tax gyms. We have argued that fitness is essential, and this bold move proves that not only does the government listen to logic and reason but is willing to adapt and change for the best interests of the people of Saskatchewan.
Since Finance Minister Donna Harpauer presented the provincial budget’s proposed 6 percent tax on gyms, the Fitness Industry Council of Canada has actively lobbied against this decision. In media interviews, I was quoted saying: “At a time when we need to get back to the gym to improve our health and increase our physical activity levels, the Saskatchewan government has put up a stop sign. Balancing the budget at the expense of health makes no sense – our physical and mental health has deteriorated over the last two years. We need to get back to fitness. Gyms have to be part of the healthcare solution.”
Today, you listened.
Today, you told the people of Saskatchewan their health matters
Today, you told fitness businesses across the province that their work matters,
Today, you became a government that stands with fitness.
Today, you became a government that stands for HEALTH.
We applaud you.
Two weeks ago, Fitness Industry Council of Canada released a landmark report that showed that the annual cost savings directly attributed to the work done by the fitness industry amounted to 6.2 billion dollars Canadian. Using data from the federal government as well as research from leading charities such as Diabetes Canada, the objective was to calculate the number of cases of ill health prevented in Canada due to physical activity. Over 2.2 million cases of health conditions were prevented in 2019 as a result of sport and physical activity (A health valuation of sport and physical activity in Canada, 2022).
We know fitness is essential for Canadians. Today the Saskatchewan government chose to be part of the solution!
Sara Hodson, President of Fitness Industry Council of Canada.