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.

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

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

Just Posted

Surrey baseball association loses ‘a true giant’ in Bruce Lawson

Longtime volunteer ‘always gave his heart and soul to Surrey Canadian and the game of baseball’

Surrey School District forecasts up to 30 per cent of students will return to class this week

Education Minister Rob Fleming said on June 1, about 60,000 B.C. children returned to school

Clover Valley Beer Festival cancelled

Cloverdale beer fest falls victim to COVID-19

South Surrey’s Darts Hill Garden Park to re-open – by appointment

City of Surrey-run garden will be open to visitors Thursday through Saturday

Surrey Mounties respond to report of shots fired in Cloverdale

They took 12 people into custody but found no evidence shots were actually fired

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

B.C. NDP says Andrew Wilkinson is wrong about federal link

Parent, superintendent, trustee report smooth return to classrooms in B.C.

The biggest challenge is convincing families that it’s safe, some say

Two more COVID-19 cases reported by Langley long term care facility

One resident, one staffer have tested positive for the coronavirus

Most Read