CHPC Committee Report
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Ms. Christine Holke David
On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to thank the Committee for undertaking its review of the Canadian Entertainment Software industry, and express our appreciation to all those who appeared before the Committee to share their perspectives.
I am pleased to provide the Government’s response to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s Report on the Entertainment Software industry. The Government supports your interest in this innovative, global industry.
The Committee’s report highlights several of the significant shifts facing the industry as it diversifies from its traditional platforms (game consoles and PCs) to a broad range of mobile devices (smart phones and tablets), from retail sales to digital distribution, and from the packaged goods model to service-based business models like ‘free-to-play’, all while keeping ahead of rapidly evolving technologies.
The 2013 Economic Action Plan reflects our Government’s focus on jobs, growth and prosperity for Canadians. The entertainment software industry is an excellent example of the growth prospects of Canada’s digital economy. With double-digit growth rates and high-quality jobs, Canada’s entertainment software industry is a world leader in terms of employment, quality and its ability to speak to global audiences.
It is in this context that I am pleased to receive the Standing Committee’s report. This Government has already taken steps to support this vibrant Canadian cultural industry which are consistent with the spirit of the recommendations in the report. I wish to take this opportunity to inform you of some of our initiatives and programs undertaken by our Government over the past several years.
The Government of Canada has been a partner of this industry for many years, supporting its development of new intellectual property and new technologies, while providing sector development support and exposure to foreign markets. In the 2013 Budget, the Government introduced, or expanded, a number of measures which will encourage the success of small- and medium-sized businesses which make up 88% of the entertainment software industry. The Government extended and expanded the hiring credit for small business, reduced the red tape burden for small businesses and encouraged investment in broadband and connectivity through programs like the Building Canada Fund.
In addition to these measures, the Government provides support through a number of actions and initiatives which, while not directly targeted at the Entertainment Software industry, provide support for it and create the conditions for success. For example, the Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax incentive program provides broad-based support for research and development activities, lowering the cost of the associated labour. The Government will continue to review and adjust these tools to ensure that they continue to be pertinent to industry.
The Government recognizes the potential of this innovative Canadian industry and has been investing in its success through a number of federal interventions, including direct development support through the Canada Media Fund’s Convergent and Experimental funding streams. In addition, the Fund supports a number of sector development activities (conferences, markets and industry research) across Canada, which enables industry talent to learn best-practices, exchanges ideas with their peers and conduct new business. Additionally, the fund facilitates the industry’s access to global markets like the annual Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco. The Government will continue to revise and update its efforts to promote the success of this industry both nationally and internationally.
I will continue to work with my colleagues to make sure the Government avails itself of the tools needed to ensure the continued success of the Entertainment Software industry going forward.
Thank you again for your contributions to the Government’s work, and this welcome opportunity to discuss what we are doing for this industry.
The Honourable Shelly Glover, P.C., M.P.