STATEMENT FROM THE PROVINCIAL FILM COMMISSION AT CREATIVE BC
B.C. MOTION PICTURE INDUSTRY CAREFUL RESTART DURING COVID-19
PHASE 3 OPENS JUNE 24, 2020 | B.C.’S RESTART PLAN
EMPLOYERS IN B.C.’S MOTION PICTURE INDUSTRY CAN NOW RESTART ALL PRODUCTION ACTIVITY with covid-19 safety plan
- Today, June 24, 2020, the Province of British Columbia officially announced the start of Phase 3 of B.C.’s Restart Plan. In this phase, the Province welcomes all production activity to restart, resume or begin with employers’ COVID-19 Safety Plans implemented and in place – from domestic production companies to international studios creating content in B.C.
- Also in support of this restart, Safety Guidelines are published here today by the B.C. Motion Picture Industry COVID-19 Best Practices Coalition, establishing government/industry alignment. The Safety Guidelines are the product of collaboration and agreement between 27 participants including domestic and international employers, labour organizations and associations.
- The Safety Guidelines are made for industry by industry, and combine with the basic Protocols published earlier this month by WorkSafeBC, to strengthen the resource base from which employers can draw as they create and implement their own COVID-19 Safety Plans, which are required for all productions during the global pandemic.
- Federal border restrictions remain in place and a 14-day quarantine is still required for anyone entering the province on a valid work permit or otherwise.
- The ongoing roll-out of supportive resources by the Coalition for industry employers will include the Pandemic Production Guide, including department-specific guidance, all to be published soon. These assets will further support employers of any size to access specific and detailed health and safety protocols, guides and practices developed by industry for industry during COVID-19.
All links, resources and details are provided below:
CURRENTLY AVAILABLE EMPLOYER TOOLS AND RESOURCES
B.C. Motion Picture Industry COVID-19 Best Practices Coalition
Employers must develop and implement their own safety plans. Actsafe Safety Association is a resource for consultation, expertise and guidance for employers in B.C.’s motion picture industry.
CREATIVE BC IN PRODUCTION LIST
The provincial film commission at Creative BC maintains the In Production list with up-to-date information, production dates and contacts for all shows that wish to share their information with the media and the public. Please consult this list to see what productions are currently active or planned across the province.
NOTES AT THE TIME OF THIS NEWS BULLETIN
GATHERINGS: The Provincial Health Office order on Mass Gatherings does not apply to the presence of workers at a workplace/worksite when engaged in their work activities. However, limiting the number of people in a workplace is an important way to ensure physical distancing is maintained.
- Stay current with information coming from the Provincial Health Office and the Provincial Health Officer’s “Orders, Notices and Guidance“.
- Stay apprised of changes through the BC Centre for Disease Control Event Planning page.
BORDER: Federal note: As restrictions are eased in provinces across Canada, and the film and television sector looks to resume production with new health and safety precautions in place, some cross-border travel will need to resume, in order for key film and TV production workers, such as actors and directors, to perform their work. As of June 23, 2020, the following points outline the current Government of Canada regulations for Foreign Nationals seeking entry into Canada for employment:
- B.C. TRAVELLERS AND EMPLOYERS ORDER: Stay apprised of changes through the “B.C. Travellers and Employers Order” under the Provincial Health Officer’s “Orders, Notices and Guidance“.
- VALID WORK PERMITS: Provided that they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and that all other immigration admissibility criteria are met, travellers with valid or approved work permits will be permitted to travel (See links below for supporting documentation). o The type of work that is being done in Canada is not relevant for the purpose of determining whether travel is discretionary or non-discretionary. The CBSA has taken steps to ensure that this misconception is dispelled at the ports of entry.
- QUARANTINE REMAINS IN EFFECT: In accordance with the existing federal order by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), all travellers must quarantine for 14 days upon entering Canada (in this case British Columbia) and will need to submit a B.C. self-isolation plan and complete the federal ArriveCAN application for approval prior to their return to B.C., or upon arrival. The B.C. self-isolation plan can either be completed/submitted online or using a paper form (although the recommendation is to complete/submit the form online before travel to B.C.) At this time, PHAC has not identified any alternatives to this measure. Supporting tools:
- TESTING: Dr. Bonnie Henry’s written letter to businesses seeking to conduct private testing of asymptomatic employees outlines how routine testing of asymptomatic people is not recommended in BC, however employers who wish to implement screening and testing measures – understanding that there are limitations to this approach as per the letter – must comply with B.C. legal frameworks, (including but not limited to B.C. human rights, employment standards, applicable collective agreements, privacy law and existing and future Provincial Health Officer orders, notices and guidance). The B.C. Centre for Disease Control offers all information on B.C.’s approach to testing.
AVAILABLE SOON: PRODUCTION AND DEPARTMENT LEVEL GUIDE UNDER DESIGN
With workforce health and safety during the pandemic as the key priority for industry, Subcommittee Chairs of the Coalition will lead further consultations at the department level to deliver more detailed guidance: the “Pandemic Production Guide,” including department-specific guidance. The Subcommittee Chairs represent CMPA-BC Producers’ Branch and the BC Council of Film Unions, working with the motion picture industry’s safety association, Actsafe.
- The Guide and Guidance are technical resources to support productions of all sizes with access to high quality, informative tools for workplace safety and to assist in reducing the risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission in the workplace.
- The Sub-Committee is working diligently to develop these tools. Sign up to receive the Coalition’s Safety Guidelines and receive the Guide and Guidance when ready.
- Employers can enhance their productions’ COVID-19 Safety Plan with these detailed and supportive resources.