NDP promises to bring back Film Employment Tax Credit if elected

The NDP candidate for Regina-Lakeview says an NDP government will bring back the Film Employment Tax Credit.

Carla Beck says after the Sask. Party cut the tax credit in 2012, there’s been a significant loss to the Saskatchewan film industry.

Beck says it has driven people out of the province.

“We’ve seen them move to BC, to Manitoba, but this is something that is one of those places where it would be so wise for the government to invest, to bring back that film industry,” Beck said. “We’ve seen Netflix building additional sound studios (in BC) while our studio here sits empty.”

Beck says the loss of this tax credit has had a huge impact on the economy.

“When that decision was first announced, there was huge outcry,” Beck said. “The Chamber of Commerce at that point pegged the direct loss of the film tax credit to the coffers of this province of over $40 million, that’s likely to be much higher when we see some of the gains that we see in Manitoba and BC.

“Of course, the recent Percy Schmeiser documentary being filmed in — of all places — Manitoba.”

Beck says the loss of the tax credit has had a major trickle down effect.

“Take a stroll down 13th Avenue or down Hill Avenue or over here on 14th Avenue, talk to caterers, talk to small businesses, talk to people who do lighting crew,” Beck said. “We used to have two and a half crews in this city that would be able to take on two major films at a time, but there was also spin-off benefits to all of those small businesses.”

The Sask. Party has since responded, saying the NDP’s estimation of a ‘net-cost’ for the film tax credit of $1,3 million annually is a use of potential tax revenue from estimated increased economic activity, and called their estimation inaccurate. The party adds Manitoba’s program costs the provincial government $15 million per year.

More from 620 CKRM