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Wednesday, 25 July 2012 14:26

Sask gov't wants to help film industry

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Editor:
I would like to share some insight with your readers into an article published recently on the front page of the Prairie Post.


The article referenced the end of the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit (FETC) grant program as a reason that some companies are planning to leave Saskatchewan.
I can assure you, that here in Saskatchewan, a great deal of thought and hard work went into producing the only balanced provincial budget in Canada. By being both fiscally prudent and visionary, Premier Wall and Cabinet produced a budget that looks to the future and focuses on growth. It is what Premier Wall refers to as Keeping the Saskatchewan Advantage.
We want growth in Saskatchewan because with growth we have more money for health care to improve the lives of those living with disabilities, and for assistance to seniors who are living on low incomes. We want growth to keep reducing the debt and keep taxes low. We want growth to help develop our entire cultural sector.
We want to be able to sustain and enhance our already enviable quality of life.
One of the many tough decisions that had to be made in this year's budget involved eliminating the increasingly ineffectual Film Employment Tax Credit. Functioning primarily as a continuing grant, it was no longer viable in light of the ever-increasing competition between some provinces and U. S. states on who can offer the biggest incentive.
That did not mean government was abandoning the industry. On the contrary, government proposed a three part strategy to work with industry which included a non-refundable film tax credit that would help Saskatchewan-based producers who pay taxes in Saskatchewan, a repurposing of the Canada-Saskatchewan Sound Stage, to turn it into a business hub for established and upcoming companies and an incubator for multimedia and digital innovation. In addition, government met with film industry representatives and at their request extended the FETC for an additional three months to cover this summer's production plans.
Ministry officials are finalizing plans for a series of consultations starting in late summer. These consultations will include focus groups and an opportunity for online submissions, and will inform government as we are proceeding with our commitment to work with creative industry members to develop a comprehensive plan that will cover and support the entire sector, including film. Working together, we will come up with a plan that will make Saskatchewan stronger for everyone.
Kevin Doherty, Saskatchewan Minister of Parks, Culture and Sport

Read 1149 times Last modified on Wednesday, 25 July 2012 14:31