Saskatchewan premier won’t reverse decision to cut film tax credit

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Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall told the Canadian film and TV industry Monday that he’s not about to restore his province’s cancelled Film Employment Tax Credit.

“We’re not changing our position of wanting to eliminate the grant. We’re not going to participate in the bidding war that is happening between provinces with respect to these grants,” Wall said Monday after receiving an industry delegation that included Canadian Media Production Association boss Norm Bolen and Ron Goetz, president of the Saskatchewan Motion Picture Association.

Wall’s government last week unveiled its latest provincial budget that proposed saving $8 million a year by cancelling a film tax credit program.

That move unleashed an instant wave of industry opposition, including calls to restore the Film Employment Tax Credit before local talent was lost to rival jurisdictions that maintain tax credits.

While standing his ground on no more tax credits, Wall held the door open to a new subsidy for local film and TV producers.

“But there are perhaps some other things that we can do in terms of innovative policy,” he told a press conference following his meeting at the provincial legislature.

CMPA president and CEO Norm Bolen was not available for comment to Playback Daily at press time.

But Bolen told reporters after his meeting with Wall that Saskatchewan stood to lose millions in inward investment if its film tax credit was not restored.

“By holding to this decision to not participate in that ecosystem, to basically withdraw from the competition, we are dooming the film and television industry in Saskatchewan to oblivion. It will no longer continue to exist if there’s not a resolution found to this,” Bolen argued.

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