Fitness Industry Council outraged over Saskatchewan government’s fitness tax

EDMONTON, Alta., March 24, 2022 /CNW/ – Fitness Industry Council Canada (FIC) is indignant at the Saskatchewan the government’s announcement to introduce a 6% tax on gym goers from October.

“That makes no sense,” says Sara HodsonPresident of the Fitness Industry Council of Canada“This comes at a time when we are trying to get people back to the gym, improve the health of Canadians and increase our levels of physical activity. Saskatchewan the government is putting in place a deterrent. »

Yesterday, the Minister of Finance of Saskatchewan, Donna Harpauerpresented a budget that included a $463 million deficit for fiscal year 2022-2023. The province plans to add a 6% provincial sales tax on sporting events, museums, rodeos, concerts and gymnasiums. The tax increase will add $35 million in the budget to address the backlog of surgeries and hospital beds caused by COVID-19.

“They want to balance the budget at the expense of health care,” says Hodson. “Our physical and mental health has deteriorated over the past two years and physical activity is essential to reverse this trend. We need to be part of the health care solution. This tax will prevent many Saskatchewanians from joining a gym.

In 2012, research was conducted at Queen’s University in kingston who found the cost of physical inactivity in Canada has been $6.8 billion – from direct health care costs to higher mortality rates and lost productivity. The FIC is calling on the federal government to make gym memberships tax-deductible in federal elections — citing the cost savings of a physically active population. “We think the true cost of physical inactivity is much higher now,” Hodson says.

“This budget appears to be short-sighted and reinforces a downstream approach to the health of our residents,” says Brenda Yungwirth the owner of the LIVE WELL exercise at Regina. “The objective is to support the surgical waiting list and to recruit health personnel. If healthy activities such as gym memberships were encouraged instead, our residents would become less dependent on health treatments. Ironically, by adding DVT to gym memberships, an additional deterrent to health care promotion and disease prevention is being put in place.”

SOURCE Fitness Industry Council Canada

For further information: To book an interview with Sara Hodson and FIC representatives, please contact Erin Phelan, Director of Communications, FIC/ LIVE WELL 416-822-8621 [email protected]

Lucas E. Kelly