Wednesday, 16 May 2012 16:25

Writer angry about Sask. film tax credit cut

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Editor:

I am writing you today in an effort to keep up the awareness of the devastating blow the Saskatchewan Film Industry will undergo if the Saskatchewan Party continues its proposed cut to the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit and replacement of it with a non workable non-refundable tax credit.

 

There continues to be a lot of misinformation about the film industry coming mainly from the Saskatchewan Party. They use the term grant to explain the credit as often as possible because it puts people in the mind set that it is a hand out. The former Credit was not a grant - it was a tax credit. Two very different things. The former credit did not take money from health care or nursing resources. It was simply a refund of taxes a production paid when filming here in Saskatchewan.
It did not actually cost tax payers money, it pays for itself through the taxes paid on the money the industry brings in to Saskatchewan.
Without a tax incentive in place Saskatchewan will not be considered as a place for large or small film companies from around the world to make their movies. That will mean they will not employ Saskatchewan actors, make up artists, crew members, production companies, casting directors or agencies, all people who work, live and pay taxes in Saskatchewan. So don't let the Saskatchewan Party tell you people in the film industry don't pay taxes. i do - and so do several hundred others. The same taxes as the guy that works in the tire shop, and the gal that cuts your hair Mr. Wall.
To have Mr Hutchinson stand up in question period on May 15th and say out loud that film industry people don't pay taxes is evidence of just how uninformed your Minister that is responsible for this industry really is. 
It will also mean for many of those people and their families that they will have to leave the province to find work in their profession because there will be no work coming here if Saskatchewan does not have a competitive incentive plan. That is hundreds of Saskatchewan families lost. If they move - you certainly don't get their income tax dollars. And we will have to say goodbye to these friends and family members who may never come back. I myself am already considering relocating to to somewhere I can continue to get professional film work. That would mean my kids will never work and pay taxes in this province.
Mr. Wall, I understand you grew up like my family did, stretching one pay check to the next and then one day found something you were good at and had a passion for and its has treated you well.
Your politics is my acting career Mr. Wall. I have found something I am good at, and it is my passion. I spent 15 yrs in local community theatre (supported by sask lotteries) and finally branched out into film and television and have had some oportunites thanks to the Saskatchewan film and television Industry. (Corner Gas, Moccassion Flats, Renegade Press, InSecurity) and even feature films like Sisu the Death of Tom Sukanen - a real Saskatchewan story told on film here in Saskatchewan. 
I decided to stay here and raise my children while looking for a way to follow my dreams and passion of proffessional acting. The film industries growth and prominence in Saskatchewan has allowed me to do this. And now you are taking that away - so on a personal note, I am truly offended. So much so that I will no longer be able to support your party.
And I would also stress to the Saskatchewan Party to heed the message you are sending to the film students in Saskatoon and Regina. You are taking the opportunity for them to get work in their home provinces out from underneath them. You are telling them, thank you for getting your degree here, now go use it somewhere else. Is that the message you want to send to students? Because that's the message they are getting from all this.
Your not just ending film in Saskatchewan today - you are ending the growth of culture and creativity that would have come from another generation of artists. Is that "Moving Saskatchewan Forward"? 
Remember "Prairie Giant - The Tommy Douglas Story"? Filmed in Regina? I think its safe to say there will not be a movie made about Brad Wall in Saskatchewan.

brian dueck
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Ryan Dahlman

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