March 27, 2012
The Honourable Brad Wall
Premier of Saskatchewan
226 Legislative Building
Dear Premier Wall,
On behalf of the 22,000 members of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Radio and Television Artists (ACTRA), many of whom have had the privilege of working in your province, I am writing to urge you to reconsider your decision to scrap the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit.
In recent years Saskatchewan has become a growing center of film and television production excellence, thanks in no small part to the support of the government’s tax credit. To kill this vital tax credit now, at an incredibly vulnerable time in the industry’s growth and development, is to irreparably damage the sector’s prospects beyond its means to recover.
You suggest that since the tax credit’s introduction in 1998 this initiative has cost your government $100 million, yet in 2008/09 alone film and television production in Saskatchewan accounted for nearly $75 million worth of economic activity and created over 1,200 jobs.
Many cherished and beloved Canadian productions such as Corner Gas, Little Mosque on the Prairie, The Englishman’s Boy, Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story and InSecurity would never have been shot in Saskatchewan without the benefit of this crucial tax credit.
During challenging economic times such as these, Saskatchewan runs the very real risk of permanently hobbling its film and television sector as other production centres utilize their own robust tax credits to attract multi-million dollar productions to their jurisdictions.
In comparison, Ontario, a province struggling to balance its budget, acknowledges the intrinsic value a healthy film and television production tax credit brings to its economy. In a budget tabled today the Ontario government has promised to leave its current film and television tax credit regime untouched, despite deep spending cuts across the board. Ontario clearly recognizes that its production capacity is an important driver for economic success.
Given the gravity of the situation and the economic fallout that will occur as a result of the Saskatchewan government’s ill-considered decision, I encourage you to extend your film and television production tax credit and preserve the financial integrity of our shared creative economy.
I would love the chance to come out for a cup of coffee and speak more about this subject with you if you can make the time.
President, ACTRA National
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