On September 27, 2019, the Government of Ontario announced that as of October 1, 2019, the Ontario Film Authority would no longer be operating, and the government is reviewing their motion picture legislation. (Read our web notice from September 27, 2019.)

We understand the Government of Ontario’s letter to stakeholders referred to British Columbia as a temporary solution for the classification of films distributed in Ontario. For this to happen, we required a formal agreement be in place between the Government of Ontario and Consumer Protection BC.

That agreement is now in place. We will now provide classifications for all commercial general release films and trailers that are shown in Ontario theatres.

To get a film classified by our office:
For motion pictures being distributed in BC, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, it’s business as usual because of the details in the agreements referenced above.

To request a classification for a commercial general release film or trailer shown in an Ontario theatre, please contact our classification team (those details are at the bottom of the page). We will update all the information in the Motion Picture Ratings section of our website as soon as possible, including the appropriate steps, fees and forms.

If you are looking to get a film classified for a film festival in Ontario, please contact the Government of Ontario Public Safety and Operations Policy Branch by email at PublicSafetyandOperationsPolicyBranch@ontario.ca or call 416.326.8548.

The need for a formal agreement:
We operate on a cost-recovery basis and we issue motion picture classifications using BC’s Motion Picture Act. These classifications, including the decisions and content summaries that accompany them, are copyrighted under federal law.  We have formal agreements with the Governments of Saskatchewan and Manitoba where we classify films for distribution in their provinces. Essentially, those agreements are a contract for our services, which include the classification process, public education, complaint handling and compliance work. Without a formal agreement, the use of our classifications outside of BC, Manitoba and Saskatchewan would be both unfair to our provincial partners and a breach of Canada’s Copyright Act.

For more information:
We acknowledge that this transition may have been a challenge and that some stakeholders may still have questions. We value our professional relationship with our licensed distributors and theatres, and we will continue to hold ourselves to the standard of service they’ve come to expect from us. We will continue to share new information for our stakeholders on our website and through direct communications as appropriate. We ask for a little patience as we update all our online content and our processes.

Here is a contact list to assist with specific questions:

About Consumer Protection BC:

Consumer Protection BC is the regulator of a variety of sectors and specific consumer transactions in the province. Our mandate is to license and inspect our regulated businesses, respond to consumer inquiries, investigate alleged violations of consumer protection laws, and to classify all general release motion pictures.

For more information about our organization, to read our recent enforcement actions, and to learn about our inspection and complaint-handling processes, please visit our corporate website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca. You can also follow us on FacebookInstagram and YouTube or read our blog for valuable consumer tips and resources.