Modernization of the Film Classification Act, 2005.
Bill or Act:
Film Classification Act, 2005
Summary of Proposal:
Significant changes in digital technologies have influenced the film industry and the public's access to film content and film rating information. As a result, there is a need to review Ontario's Film Classification Act, 2005 (Act) and find ways to modernize the legal requirements to better reflect today's film market. A key priority for government is to reduce unnecessary and duplicative burden for businesses while film classification information continues to be made available to the public.
This consultation seeks your feedback on how to modernize the Act and develop a current and efficient policy framework for film classification that ensures consumers have the information they need to make informed viewing choices.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
These changes are estimated to save the film industry a minimum of $1.5 to $2 million per year in film classification and licensing costs.
September 27, 2019
Comments Due Date:
October 28, 2019
Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Policy, Planning and Oversight Division
56 Wellesley Street W, 6th Floor, Toronto, Ontario M7A 1C1
On December 8, 2020, the Film Content Information Act, 2020 received Royal Assent. This new act eliminates film classification requirements and licensing requirements for film exhibitors, retailers and distributors.
To ensure that consumers have the information they need to make informed viewing choices, the act requires exhibitors to provide information to consumers about the film's content in advance of exhibition. The proposed act provides examples of the type of information that could be provided, which include:
• Intended age of the audience of the film (e.g., suitable for 18 years and over)
• Nudity/sexual activity or adult themes
• Coarse/obscene language
• Substance use (e.g., tobacco products, vapour products, cannabis)
Exhibitors must also provide consumers with contact information for any questions and in case there are complaints.
The new act maintains requirements related to adult sex films and video games.
These changes reduce burden on businesses and better reflect today's digital marketplace. Since 2019, the government's collective changes to the film classification system have saved Ontario's film industry approximately $2.5 million per year.
The Film Content Information Act, 2020 comes into effect on June 8, 2021. For a copy of the legislation, please visit e-laws.gov.on.ca at the following link: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/20f36.
In the meantime, current rules related to licensing and film classification requirements continue to apply.
If you have any further questions, please contact the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services by email at PublicSafetyandOperationsPolicyBranch@ontario.ca