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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Slow melt at high elevations near Revelstoke this spring

At one location on Mt. Fidelity there is double the usual snowpack for early July

Summerland Ornamental Gardens remain closed

Staff and volunteers continue to weed and maintain plants

Canada’s deficit result of investing in Canadians: Minister of Middle-Class Prosperity

Minister Mona Fortier said the government is working on the next steps as the economy restarts

From baseball stars to forest fires: Southeast Fire Centre water bomber has an interesting past

Tanker 489 is stationed in Castlegar this year, but in the 1960s it belonged to the L.A. Dodgers.

Morning Start: Naps could save your life

Your morning start for Wednesday, July 9, 2020

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Summerland Blossom Youth Ambassador Program to hold coronation

Event will be held by video as a result of COVID-19 precautions

Vernon shutterbugs capture rainbow

A rain event July 9 made way for a glorious sight

Pooch abandoned at Penticton doggy daycare suffered from oral disease

A fundraiser for Okie held by the BC SPCA surpassed its goal of $1,700

Couple shaken up after homophobic encounter at Kelowna mall

‘We’re not in the States; we’re not in some little hick town; we’re in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. And it still happens’

Summerland to allow in-person attendance at July 13 council meetings

Two meetings will be held at Summerland Arena Banquet Room to accommodate public

Most Read