Saskatchewan film industry should be a bigger priority than McCartney concert

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The following is an open letter to Premier Brad Wall.

A few weeks ago you proudly announced that Paul McCartney was coming to Regina. That is great, but too bad you weren’t that encouraging to our own, home grown, culturally, talented people within our own province. In the fall of 2012, six months after you had eliminated the film tax credit, 45 per cent of the people associated with the film industry, plus their families, planned to leave our province. Another 10 per cent were leaving, but may be keeping a reduced presence in Saskatchewan. The rest were planning a career change. There were about 850 people employed in the film industry per year.

Just last week, a motion was made by the Wildrose Party in Alberta, to boost their film tax credit by six percent, so they would be on par with B.C. and Ontario, who both offer 35 per cent. Then Alberta could share the opportunities of companies who come to Canada with their film projects. Manitoba just secured their film tax credit for another five years. Doesn’t this indicate that the film industry is a profit making business for the provinces?

The Chamber of Commerce have reported that a mistake was made, when you eliminated the film tax credit in Saskatchewan. The Chamber found out that $6 were generated out of every $1 that was invested. You say you have and are offering little programs to the film industry, but obviously they are not efficient and do not match the credits that the other provinces are offering. People in the industry are still moving out of Saskatchewan.

Why do you not learn from the examples of our neighboring provinces or take the professional advice from the Chamber of Commerce businessmen?

Maybe someday you could be proud of the accomplishments, which there have already been many, including Gemini awards won, of our own Saskatchewan citizens instead of someone out of our country. Please reinstate the film tax credit.

Edith Mead - Hazlet

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Alberta, Regina Ontario Canada Manitoba

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  • Responding
    May 22, 2013 - 11:44

    Good comment Edith, I fail to understand Wall's opposition to a diversified economy.