Coronavirus Information for TMA149 Members – April 30, 2020

April 30, 2020 – To our Members,

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Please note that eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit has continued to develop over the past two weeks. We believe the changes and clarifications provided on the CERB Questions and Answers site provide our members with increased opportunity to be eligible for the benefit.

Here are some highlights from what we understand:

  • For self-employed contractors business income, net of expenses, of up to $1000 per four week application period, still allows for the applicant to be eligible for the full benefit that period
  • The applicant must log in and complete steps for each period in which they qualify and wish to receive the benefit
  • Royalty payments, such as copyright residuals paid by SOCAN or MROC, which are received as a result of work in a previous period should not be counted towards the maximum $1,000 of business income
  • Pension payments should not be counted towards the maximum $1,000 of business income

Two important remaining questions we received from members relate to the timing of payments, especially cancellation and guarantee payments, and the applicability of HST to the CERB. To serve our members we solicited an opinion from the accounting firm which provides TMA149 with its annual audit, Hogg, Shain and Scheck. That opinion is available for all members here. As a summary:

  • Payments for cancellation, guarantee payout and any completed work should be recognized when they are received or on the date they are contractually expected to be received.
  • CERB payments are not HST applicable, and members should not deduct or remit HST related to CERB payments.

Please note that currently an applicant can only receive the CERB for maximum four periods. In the re-opening plans from Ontario, as well as those from other Provinces and other jurisdictions the removal of restrictions on large gatherings are only included at the final or post-final stages. We will begin work with partners to ask government for an extension of the CERB for workers, including musicians, who rely on the removal of these restrictions. Those who are already in dialogue with their MP’s are also advised to begin these conversations.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

For those who are structured as corporations there may be a way to receive support through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy for your own wages and those of any other employees, instead of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. We advise that for any further advice or support for this benefit you ask your accountant.

HST Remittance Deferral

As a reminder, the government will allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer until June 30, 2020 payments of the Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST).

Auto Insurance Discounts during Covid-19

Our Home & Auto Insurance partner thePersonal is offering special support at this time, along with many other insurers. You will receive a specific message from thePersonal in the coming days in order to access benefits, or you may visits www.thepersonal.com/tma149.

Save Live Arts

Please remember to consider and ask your contacts to consider signing onto a set of asks of all levels of government under the title Save Live Arts. You may review the asks and sign the petition at www.savelivearts.ca. These asks will be updated in the coming days and weeks to report on goals already achieved and provide updated goals given what reopening may look like for the live arts.

Covid-19 Town Hall #4 – Friday May 8, 2020 @ 10:00 AM

We are going to hold our next town hall for members to ask questions and share resources on Friday May 8, 2020 @ 10:00 AM. Please join us with the details below:

Topic: TMA149 Covid-19 Town Hall #4
Time: May 8, 2020 10:00 AM America/Toronto

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85276991388

Recording of April 24, 2020 Town Hall

The recording of the April 24, 2020 Town Hall may be found here.

Suspension of Dues Penalties and Reinstatement Fees, Extension of Life Member Dues Deadline

In response to the economic needs of our membership the Board of Directors of TMA149 has decided to make a motion to the membership to suspend all late fees, penalties and reinstatement fees found in Articles 14 1(c), (2), (3), (4) and (5) of the TMA149 By-Laws. This means that if you fall behind on dues you will be able to bring your membership into good standing by simply paying for missing quarters. Further to provide relief for our longest standing and most senior members the Board of Directors has extended the deadline to pay for 2020 Life Membership from April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.

TMA149 Health Benefits

Further, although no rule changes were required, the Board of Directors wishes to clarify that all members who have been diagnosed with, or tested positive for, Covid-19 may apply for support to the TMA149 Health Benefit and Extended Health Benefit, as well as the Federation’s Lester Petrillo Memorial Fund for Disabled Musicians.

TMA149 and CFM Office

Our office is physically closed and we are working from home. Although we are still accepting phone calls, mail and courier delivery, we ask that you access services by email whenever possible. Those working please do continue to send contracts, reports, dues and pension contributions. Please note the Canadian Office of the Federation is open for electronic services and accepting P2 applications by mail for those planning a post-Covid tour.

Covid-19 Update Archive

We are archiving these updates here, and there are other resources listed.

Resource List
We also wanted to repeat and add to our list of additional resources:

Again feel free to reach out to myself or any of our office staff with specific requests including regular business inquiries.

In Solidarity, Michael Murray, Executive Director

Coronavirus Information for TMA149 Members – April 16

April 16, 2020 – To our Members,

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Yesterday we heard encouraging comments from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau regarding the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the potential to earn partial income and still qualify for the benefit. Prime Minister Trudeau’s address from April 15, 2020, included the following:

“Today I can announce we are expanding the Canada Emergency Response Benefit to include people making up to $1000 per month…If you earn a thousand dollars or less per month you can now apply to the CERB…[also] royalty payments will not prevent creators from qualifying for benefits under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).”

As of 5:00 pm on April 15, 2020 the Canada Emergency Response Benefit website, including the Questions and Answers on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, did not yet reflect the announced changes. We also could not find any published amendments to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Act or regulations that would put the announced changes into practice. The most official indication of changes comes from the following unanimous motion from the Speaker of the House of Commons on April 11, 2020, then replaced by a motion from Jagmeet Singh, representative for Burnaby-South and Leader of the NDP :

“That, notwithstanding any standing order, special order or usual practice of the House, paragraph r) of the order adopted earlier today be replaced with the following: the government implement measures without delay to address gaps in the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, or other programs, existing or proposed, to address the needs of seasonal workers, those who have exhausted their EI benefits, students, owner/operators, those who continue to receive a modest income from part-time work, royalties, and honoraria, and that, in addition, the government work to ensure essential workers who receive low wages will receive additional income support during this time of crisis, and commit that those who have applied in good faith for and received benefits through CERB or other programs to support them through this crisis will not be unjustly penalized.”

As soon as we are aware of official changes and we have answered additional questions we will bring you more on the benefit,which is now open for applications.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

For those who own or run companies with employees, or who may be wondering what support their engagers or employers may be eligible for, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy has been put into place through the passing of Bill C-14 and the accompanying changes to the Income Tax Act within that bill. Applications for the subsidy are not yet open at the time we wrote this letter.

HST Remittance Deferral

As a reminder, the government will allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer until June 30, 2020 payments of the Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST).

Auto Insurance Discounts during Covid-19

We are passing this message on from our Home & Auto Insurance partner thePersonal and understand similar discounts may be available from any of your auto insurance providers.

In an effort to support its clients, The Personal is offering an auto insurance premium discount to clients who are staying at home. As people are currently driving their vehicles less, The Personal wants to reflect this situation, offering this discount to clients whose commuting habits have significantly changed and who are only using their vehicles for essential trips to such places as the pharmacy or grocery store. This discount is open to people who, for example, are now working from home or have lost their job, or to anyone who is self-isolating. The discount will be calculated over a three-month period and will be in proportion to the annual mileage declared on their insurance contract. Eligible clients who are interested in receiving this rebate should apply by May 31 at : www.thepersonal.com/tma149 This news can be found on our dedicated landing page at www.thepersonal.com/covid-19-en

Save Live Arts

Please remember to consider and ask your contacts to consider signing onto a set of asks of all levels of government under the title Save Live Arts. You may review the asks and sign the petition at www.savelivearts.ca.

Covid-19 Town Hall #3 – Friday April 24, 2020 @ 10:00 AM

We are going to hold our next town hall for members to ask questions and share resources on Friday April 24, 2020 @ 10:00 AM. Please join us with the details below: Topic: TMA Covid-19 Town Hall #3
Time: Apr 24, 2020 10:00 AM America/Toronto Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/98197536089 Meeting ID: 981 9753 6089

Recording of April 8, 2020 Town Hall

View Recorded Meeting Here

Suspension of Dues Penalties and Reinstatement Fees, Extension of Life Member Dues Deadline

In response to the economic needs of our membership the Board of Directors of TMA149 has decided to make a motion to the membership to suspend all late fees, penalties and reinstatement fees found in Articles 14 1(c), (2), (3), (4) and (5) of theTMA149 By-Laws. This means that if you fall behind on dues you will be able to bring your membership into good standing by simply paying for missing quarters. Further to provide relief for our longest standing and most senior members the Board of Directors has extended the deadline to pay for 2020 Life Membership from April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.

TMA149 Health Benefits

Further, although no rule changes were required, the Board of Directors wishes to clarify that all members who have been diagnosed with, or tested positive for, Covid-19 may apply for support to the TMA149 Health Benefit and Extended Health Benefit, as well as the Federation’s Lester Petrillo Memorial Fund for Disabled Musicians.

TMA149 and CFM Office

Our office is physically closed and we are working from home. Although we are still accepting phone calls, mail and courier delivery, we ask that you access services by email whenever possible. Those working please do continue to send contracts, reports, dues and pension contributions. Please note the Canadian Office of the Federation is open for electronic services and accepting P2 applications by mail for those planning a post-Covid tour.

Covid-19 Update Archive

We are archiving these updates here, and there are other resources listed.

Resource List

We also wanted to repeat and add to our list of additional resources:

Again feel free to reach out to myself or any of our office staff with specific requests including regular business inquiries.

In Solidarity, Michael Murray, Executive Director

Coronavirus Information for TMA149 Members – April 5, 2020

April 5, 2020 – To our Members,

During the past week we have been working with the Federation, and other partners, to advocate for clarity around the “no work” eligibility requirement for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.  We have communicated that if our members are not allowed to earn a small portion of their regular income while receiving the benefit that it will be difficult for our membership to take advantage of the benefit.  We know many of you have been writing your Members of Parliament and other officials to advocate for the same clarity and changes, and that many petitions and efforts have been established with similar objectives. We also know that a number of Senators asked questions along the same lines in the sitting of the Senate itself. For instance please see the comments from Senator Miville-Dechêne in the Senate on March 25, 2020.  The answers to those questions will give those seeking flexibility in the CERB little assurance, and so far our appeals and those of others have been largely ignored. As a result:

  1. We advise those who lost work due to Covid-19, and have experienced fourteen consecutive days of no income, apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit beginning tomorrow April 6, 2020.
  2. For those who do not meet the above criteria we have added a chance to share your story on SaveLiveArts.ca to help us continue to advocate to government.
  3. It is not clear to us what would happen if the “no work” requirement was relaxed at some point after applications were open.  We do know that the CERB is taxable income and that if at a later date the government finds an individual to have received the CERB in error, that the benefit will be due back to the government without interest.  We also know that the application process will not involve proof of lost work.

We wanted to highlight the newest measures that may help members and/or their engagers: The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy has been planned in order to support employers through a subsidy equalling 75% of wages paid to employees, up to a maximum per employee. Legislation is still required to put this benefit into effect and questions remain about whether subsidy of independent or dependent contractors’ wages would be included. The government will allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer until June 30, 2020 payments of the Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST). Out of the many self-streaming platforms that have emerged, musictogether.ca is the latest and is backed by the Ontario government to support production costs and artist fees. Toronto Arts Foundation and Toronto Arts Council introduced the TOArtist COVID Response Fund, unfortunately the fund was quickly oversubscribed and is currently suspended until TAC recapitalizes.

TMA149 Initiatives

Save Live Arts

Please remember to consider and ask your contacts to consider signing onto a set of asks of all levels of government under the title Save Live Arts.  You may review the asks and sign the petition at www.savelivearts.ca.

Wednesday April 8, 2020 – Covid-19 Town Hall #2

We are going to hold another town hall for members to ask questions and share resources this coming Wednesday April 8, 2020.  Please join us with the details below: Topic: TMA149 Covid-19 Town Hall #2
Time: Apr 8, 2020 10:00 AM America/Toronto Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/269076204 Meeting ID: 269 076 204
Password: 077598 One tap mobile
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Meeting ID: 269 076 204
Password: 077598
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/abX5Filt8k

Recording of March 25, 2020 Town Hall

https://tma149.ca/2016-01-26-02-05-12/press-releases/349-coronovirus-information-for-tma149-members

Suspension of Dues Penalties and Reinstatement Fees, Extension of Life Member Dues Deadline

In response to the economic needs of our membership the Board of Directors of TMA149 has decided to make a motion to the membership to suspend all late fees, penalties and reinstatement fees found in Articles 14 1(c), (2), (3), (4) and (5) of the TMA149 By-Laws.  This means that if you fall behind on dues you will be able to bring your membership into good standing by simply paying for missing quarters. Further to provide relief for our longest standing and most senior members the Board of Directors has extended the deadline to pay for 2020 Life Membership from April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.

TMA149 Health Benefits

Further, although no rule changes were required, the Board of Directors wishes to clarify that all members who have been diagnosed with, or tested positive for, Covid-19 may apply for support to the TMA149 Health Benefit and Extended Health Benefit, as well as the Federation’s Lester Petrillo Memorial Fund for Disabled Musicians.

TMA149 Office

Our office is now physically closed and we are working from home.  Although we are still accepting phone calls, mail and courier delivery, we ask that you access services by email whenever possibleThose working please do continue to send contracts, reports, dues and pension contributions.

Covid-19 Update Archive

We are archiving these updates here, and there are other resources listed

Resource List

We also wanted to repeat the list of additional resources:

A number of other relief funds have been established for those and other Covid-19 Resources, please review this list put together by CARFAC. Again feel free to reach out to myself or any of our office staff with specific requests including regular business inquiries.

In Solidarity, Michael Murray, Executive Director

TMA149 Town Hall Meeting

RECORDING – Covid-19 Town Hall for TMA149 Members

Please view a ZOOM recording of the town hall streamed on March 25th, 2020, along with the chat here:

Click to View