B.C. eyes provincial truce on movie subsidies

Cost of film tax credits nearing $400m per year, Finance Minister Mike de Jong says

The 2010 movie Tron: Legacy was made in B.C.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong says B.C. is seeking a truce in the long-running subsidy war with other provinces over Hollywood movie production in a bid to contain the high cost of film tax credits.

He made the comments Wednesday at a forum on the economy and jobs at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention, where Vancouver Coun. Adriane Carr asked what the province will do about high unemployment in the Lower Mainland film industry.

“I think we’re being played in Canada,” de Jong responded. “We’re being played one province against another. And the time has come for us to get smart and sit down as provinces and say ‘Here’s what we agree to do in Canada’.”

De Jong said B.C. has already begun exploratory talks with Ontario and Quebec on a reformed approach to film tax credits.

B.C.’s expenditure on film tax credits is nearing $400 million a year.

He said that’s paid out as a percentage of a production’s costs – no matter whether it makes or loses money – treatment other sectors can only dream about.

“I defy you to find a business in British Columbia that wouldn’t like to tally up their labour costs and send it to the government and get a cheque.”

De Jong said B.C. will continue to invest in film tax credits to support the industry, but said the province is at its limit.

“We are not either able or inclined to send more British Columbia tax dollars to a production house in Hollywood,” he said, to applause from delegates.

Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Minister Shirley Bond said production numbers in B.C. are up this year, including major shoots involving actor George Clooney.

She said the government is considering opening a film office in Los Angeles to help sell the advantages of shooting in B.C.

 

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach on path to ban plastic bags

Bylaw will get legal advice prior to third reading

RDN to improve ways to deal with bylaw disputes

New system being explored that will be more efficient and effective

Hotel, restaurant and multi-use residential complex proposed for Resort Drive

Parksville could soon see more rental units, some zoned for commercial use

Inside the music: step behind the curtain at the venerable Vancouver Island Music Festival

Big Read: VIMF in the Comox Valley exemplifies the spirit of an Island summer music festival

ECHO Players’ 2018/19 season announced

Qualicum Beach theatre company to show Peter Pan musical, Enchanted April and more

BC Wildfire merges two Okanagan wildfires

Large plume of smoke seen over the fire was a controlled event

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

POLL: Do you use the bus system regularly

Question of the week, July 17

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Haida Gwaii village faces housing crisis, targets short-term rentals

Housing is tight and the village is pretty close to zero vacancy

Most Read