I was emboldened to read your recent coverage regarding the demise of the SFETC [April 5-18]. I was also depressed. The clarity with which the issue was defined and the comparison to tax breaks afforded other industries only highlights the ridiculous nature of the Sask Party's decision.
Now the decision makers and the right-wing media are hiding behind misinformation. For those who say the province will save $8 million a year, this is also a falsified figure - it ignores the taxes collected on the $50 million of new money that comes in as a result. But even if one ignores the economic benefits for a moment and does some simple math - the proposed savings that might go to health care and roads (as some argue) is equal to $8 per person per year. Less than a pack of smokes or the cost to fix one pothole.
Don't Make Me Move
I just wanted to commend prairie dog on the great job you did covering the issue of the elimination of the Saskatchewan film employment tax credit. I am a stay-at-home Mom, and my family's single income comes from the film industry.
Our family of four will be forced to leave this province within the next few months unless the government creates an incentive program that is as attractive as the film tax credit has been for the past 14 years.
As of this month, every other province in Canada has a film tax credit EXCEPT for Saskatchewan. Already, my husband's company has had to start making plans to transition his business to Halifax as a means of staying competitive and likewise fulfilling his obligations to his funders and the bank.
Many people don't know this, but while the tax credit covers approximately 20 per cent of a film production's budget, the remaining 80 per cent comes from out of province and is thus spent IN the province. This money, along with hundreds of jobs, are already making their way out of the province because of the elimination of the tax credit.
Presumably In Saskatchewan Somewhere
The Film Factor
I am a Swift Current born-and-raised Saskatchewan resident who has worked in the film industry since 1978. I worked in Vancouver for 22 years before returning home in 2000 to work in film in Regina. As many of us do, I have two careers; I am also a nurse working at RGH in Regina.
First, I want to thank the Saskatchewan government for the insight in granting us the extension on the cancelation of the film tax rebate to save the projects currently in production for 2012.
When I started working in Vancouver, the film industry there was small, a few hundred people, much like Regina is today. I watched the industry grow there, much like what is happening here in getting our province on the map, and known around the world for the congeniality and work ethic of its film crews. What I see here, is a core group of experienced people that have spent the last 20 years building a film community capable of providing the services, equipment and people skills required to produce films of any size.
When we go to a small town in Saskatchewan, every business in town knows we are there by the dollars we spend in every business in their town. The hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, flower shops, hardware and building supplies, clothing stores, Laundromats, etc. all flourish and are lifted by our presence. Moose Jaw, Indian Head, Rouleau, Gravelborg and many more would agree that having a film come to town is a very positive experience for the economics of the entire community.
I recall Gravelborg, when Kevin Dewalt's production The Tommy Douglas Story spent around $50,000 just in restoring and repainting main street, and involved the entire populace young and old of that town to work on and be part of the production.
We have a proven history of attracting international producers and celebrities such as Charlize Theron, Woody Harrelson, Dennis Hopper and Jeff Bridges who go home and talk to other film people about the positive experience they had making their films in Saskatchewan.
We have a priceless resource in the best film production studio between Toronto and Vancouver.
We work in a clean industry, which economically stimulates and improves our locations, and leaves them in better condition when we leave than when we arrived.
In the spirit of growth and prosperity,
Axes, Anxiety And Appreciation
I just wanted to express my thanks for your very informative article on the axing of the Saskatchewan Film Tax Credit. This is a great loss to our province and it's important to inform the public of the realities and subsequent consequences of this government blunder. Thank you for doing such a great job.
Why Stop At Video Games?
I read with delight in Emmet Matheson's piece "These Taxpayers Don't Like Movies" [April 5-18] that the Canadian Taxpayer Federation pushed for video games to be from youth correctional facilities and I beg: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! Let's do this! And take away their cable, too. Right now most of these punks are committing their crimes against their fellow poor neighbours. If we're going to send them to Criminal Junior High, let's give them some time to think about who is really hurting them, read and become better informed and learn how to hit bigger and better targets. This way, when they emerge with their Criminal Fraternity Diploma (before moving on to Criminal University, the big house of adult delinquents) they will have learned to target the right victems: the slumlords who are gouging their neighbours for substandard and unsafe housing, or the employers engaged in wage theft and verbal, sometimes physical, often racial and bigoted abuse of their employed friends and relations.
Let's make at least ONE educational institution these kids attend actually TEACH them something worthwhile! Why rule at World of Warcraft when you can be a real life Paladin to those with whom you live?
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