Monday, May 14, 2012

Film industry supporters rally outside Saskatchewan Legislature

Film industry supporters rally outside Saskatchewan Legislature

Dear Film Industry supporters:

If the credit was actually doing what it was supposed to be doing, why has the volume of business done dropped 66% since Corner Gas left town?

To Kim Coates, with all due respect, if you really believed what you were saying, why haven't you pushed your Hollywood brethren to produce more films in the province?  Why, when you are a producer on a film, have you not pushed to use Saskatchewan as a location?

And to Mr. Cuthand, I don't know of a single person in the film "industry" in Saskatchewan that can do it as a full time job.  Perhaps you can point us to someone?  It's a $25 million industry - if there were truly people doing it full-time as a career, there are precious few of them.

The fact is that an industry that can not survive without government grants isn't an industry at all, and it most certainly isn't in "partnership" with the government to produce their product.  With the rest of Saskatchewan's industries in boom this one is one of the few that is in decline when it should also be booming.  Where's the sense in that?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dear Saskatchewan Film Industry:

Let me provide an answer from the Premier for you:  Get Bent

According to this article, 42 of 51 US states and territories have a program to attract movie and film projects.  The remaining 9 either have no tax incentives or do not charge state tax in the first place.

In Canada, 10 of the 10 provinces and 1 out of the 3 territories also have an incentive program in place.  The new incentive for Saskatchewan gives a non-refundable credit which essentially exempts that project from provincial tax in the province.  Just like New Hampshire, the provincial government fully realizes that this isn't competing with any other program, but that's the point.

They aren't going to compete.  They don't want to compete.  We are in the midst of a boom.  We have oil and gas, potash, uranium, diamonds, gold and coal to extract.  We have 10,000 jobs being advertised per month on in a labour market of 500,000 and change.  We have agriculture and manufacturing and construction going on around us.  All of these industries are screaming for employees.  All of them need to recruit from out of province.  So why would we give an incentive to 1 industry which, in its best time reflected .15% of GDP in the province (yes, that's 1/6th of a percentage point) when that industry is clearly not going to develop to anything larger than a cottage industry?

Actually, scratch that, building cottages generates more GDP in the province than the film industry in a given year.

So why, Mr Goetz and the SMPIA, should the elected Premier of the province remove his elected Minister in charge of your file for no other reason than you can't bully them into giving you what you want?

Like I said off the top... Get Bent.  Saskatchewan will be just fine without your "industry".