TORONTO, ON (May 14, 2024) – ACTRA Toronto performers and allies attended Question Period in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario before heading outside for a rally yesterday afternoon at Queen’s Park to engage the Government of Ontario to assist the union in ending what is now a two-year lockout by the Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA) of ACTRA performers who work in commercials.

This unprovoked, unfair and unjust attack on some of the most precarious workers in our economy has cost ACTRA members their jobs, their dreams, their hopes and, in some cases, their homes.

While ACTRA performers in Ontario struggle to make ends meet, agencies of the Government of Ontario have continued to work with some locking out advertising agencies to produce non-union ads with tax-payer money.

During Question Period, MPPs Dr. Jill Andrew and Jamie West both questioned the Government of Ontario about how they would assist ACTRA in ending the lockout. The Hon. David Piccini, the Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development of Ontario, recognized that government agencies like “Destination Ontario, Metrolinx and OLG, do seek advertising services” and committed to “calling after Question Period the heads of all three agencies” to have a “conversation with them because I recognize that government does have a role here” and “we want a deal here between both bodies [ACTRA and the ICA].”

Following Question Period, ACTRA Toronto performers held a rally in front of the Legislative Building to again call on the Government of Ontario to assist in ending the lockout. ACTRA Toronto performers impacted by the lockout as well as labour allies posed three key asks to the government:

  1. immediately stop using locking out advertising agencies; and
  2. take all necessary steps to update Ontario Labour Law in general and the Ontario Employment Standards Act in particular to make it clear that performers and so many other precarious workers in the Ontario economy have the same protections, rights and recourse as other Ontario workers; and
  3. actively encourage the return of the parties to the bargaining table to resolve their dispute.

“It was made clear yesterday that ACTRA Toronto performers have been heard by the Government of Ontario following Minister Piccini’s remarks during Question Period,” says ACTRA Toronto President David Gale. “We look forward to an update from the Government about the conversations with the heads of the three agencies as well as how we can work together on a path forward to end this labour dispute.”

ACTRA Toronto is the largest organization within ACTRA, representing over 15,000 of Canada’s 28,000 professional performers working in recorded media in Canada. An advocate for Canadian culture since 1943, ACTRA is a member-driven union that continues to secure rights and respect for the work of professional performers.



Media contact: Jennifer McGibbon, Public Relations Officer, 416-642-6710,