Feds choose to omit tax deductions for fitness memberships in federal budget

 

With many gyms and fitness studios having been closed for large swaths of the country over the last 13 months, many Canadians have noticed a negative impact on their health--both physical and mental.

However, the Government of Canada chose not to include a proposal in the upcoming budget that would have made fitness more accessible for Canadians.

The Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) was disappointed to learn a proposal to have gym memberships and services as a tax deduction included in the federal budget for the upcoming year was denied.

“We understand that there were a lot of demands on the government in this budget, but the ask wasn’t simply for the benefit of the fitness industry - it was for all Canadians,” Scott Wildeman, president of the FIC, said in a news release.

“The fitness industry has been decimated by the pandemic, suffering financial ruin and tremendous job losses. We were hoping this tax deduction would help breathe life back into the industry. But we will move forward, with or without government support, because we are resilient, and exercise benefits all Canadians," he continued.

Sara Hodson, the advocacy lead for the federal tax deduction, expressed disappointment in the decision, particularly because of the data presented regarding the importance exercise has on both physical and mental health.

“We presented the government with considerable data about the protective health benefits of exercise, for chronic illness and improved mental health, and how exercise can be used to reduce hypertension, protect the heart, and improve blood sugars,” Hodson said in the same release.

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