Tag Archives: bill c-10

Premier supports tax aid for racy film

The controversial new Canadian movie Young People F—ing has an improbable champion in Premier Dalton McGuinty.

While McGuinty admitted he was “not familiar” with the romantic comedy that opens nationwide tomorrow, he defended the fact it qualified for and received an Ontario film tax credit.

The premier also took a swipe at the federal Conservative government’s proposed legislation, Bill C-10, that threatens to strip such tax credits from movies that Ottawa deems offensive. “I’m not particularly in favour of getting involved in censoring various artistic endeavours,” he said yesterday.

“I just think there’s trouble down that path if we start making those calls as elected officials when it comes to what has and what does not have artistic merit.”

McGuinty cited architect Daniel Libeskind’s Royal Ontario Museum extension as a work of art that has generated some negative publicity. “There are a lot of people who commented on the Crystal at the ROM. They say they don’t like it. I think it’s fantastic, I think it’s provocative,” he said.

“But I just don’t think we politicians should be getting into lending shape to building designs, what poetry is acceptable or not, and what movies are acceptable or not.”

Young People F—ing’s producer Steven Hoban praised the premier’s stance, saying he was “really happy” to hear McGuinty’s support when it comes to film tax credits.

The locally made movie, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, cost $1.4 million and received a $120,000 federal tax credit and an $80,000 provincial credit, said Hoban.

“A movie like ours wouldn’t have happened without the tax credits. We’d be making it in New York state,” he said from Oakville.

Hoban noted the cast and crew of Young People F—ing paid more in federal income taxes than the production received in tax credits.

There are 127,000 people working in a domestic movie industry that has already been battered by a strong Canadian dollar, he added.

NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo (Parkdale-High Park) said she was “relieved” by McGuinty’s comments, because the federal government’s moves with Bill C-10 are ominous.

But Progressive Conservative MPP Bob Runciman (Leeds-Grenville) supports the planned federal legislation. “It’s a difficult area when you get into censorship, but in terms of government funding and tax dollars I think there should be a clear demarcation in terms of what’s suitable for tax dollars to support,” said Runciman, adding he didn’t know much about the film, but the title suggests something “taxpayers would probably not be too damned enthused about their money going to be put into.”

Source: Toronto Star

Canadian finance minister pushes for C-10

TORONTO — Canada’s finance minister has threatened to force a national election to ensure passage of Bill C-10, a proposed bill that would end tax credits for Canadian films and TV shows deemed offensive.

Finance minister Jim Flaherty told the Senate Banking Committee that Bill C-10 was a matter of confidence and should not be amended to ease censorship fears from Canadian actors and filmmakers.

Flaherty said that his proposed legislation was a matter of taxpayer dollars, and not curbing edgy, controversial films as critics argue.

“I’m in a stewardship position with respect to how taxpayers’ money is spent, and there are many demands in Canadian society and many needs that need to be addressed,” he told the Senate committee. “One of them is not the financing of movies or videos depicting hate, extreme violence and pornography.”

Flaherty added that failure to pass Bill C-10 will oust Canada’s current minority government and trigger a national election.

The legislation passed through the House of Commons last October, and remains hung up in Canada’s upper chamber.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Polley attacks Bill C-10

Some of the biggest guns in Canada’s creative community – including Oscar-nominated actor/writer Sarah Polley – are heading to Ottawa today to protest against a controversial provision on film and TV tax credits now before the Senate banking committee.

The high-profile group of writers, producers, directors and actors say they will take the federal government to task for trying to push through an amendment to the Income Tax Act that could cripple the financial foundation that supports Canadian-made film and television.

“This legislation threatens freedom of expression as well as the very financial foundation upon which this industry was built,” Polley said yesterday. “Take that away, and many of us would be hard-pressed to understand the motivation to stay here.”

“The main reason that I choose to make films in Canada, and act in Canada, is because public funding allows a level of creative freedom that is simply not possible with private money,” Polley added, whose feature-film directorial debut, Away from Her, was nominated this year for two Academy Awards.

The actress’s comments come a week after Canadian Heritage Minister Josee Verner faced an onslaught of questions about why her department should have the power, as a provision proposes, to cut off tax benefits for productions that contain graphic sex, violence or other content that the government finds offensive.

Equally upsetting to Canada’s cultural sector is the fact that this so-called “morality hammer” applies only to Canadian TV and film projects. Hollywood and other foreign productions that apply for tax credits get a free pass.

“I can’t think of an issue that has galvanized people in the arts community the way this one has,” said Polley. And the idea that Bill C-10 applies only to Canadian productions and not to Canadian tax credits subsidizing American productions is “horrific,” she added.

“That’s one of the more amazing things about this bill. Why should Hollywood studios, who apply for our tax credits, not be subject to the same criteria? The whole thing is sloppy. Of course we shouldn’t invest in movies filled with excessive pornography or hate. That makes sense, and there are rules [under the Criminal Code] to prevent that. But there are a lot of things that have not been rigorously thought through.”

Actress Wendy Crewson (ReGenesis, 24, Air Force One), who is travelling to Ottawa on behalf of ACTRA, said the amendment affecting film and TV tax credits has to be re-addressed. “Freedom of speech is at stake,” she said. “It underlines the kind of dismissive attitude this government has to the cultural sovereignty of this country.”

The provision is buried in an omnibus bill that is primarily intended to implement the taxation of non-resident trusts and foreign-investment entities and implement amendments to the Income Tax Act.

Last week, Verner said she would wait a full year to wield new powers to deny film and television producers tax credits – should those powers be granted to her.

Under the amended legislation, the government would be able to pull financial aid for any film or TV show it deems to have crossed a line, even if other government agencies, such as Telefilm Canada, have already invested in them.

Verner told the committee she would allow members of the entertainment industry to draft guidelines to establish what would not qualify for the credits, and how those guidelines should be applied.

But sources in the production, legal and business community say that the proposed guidelines have already been drafted and a copy circulated internally. Verner’s office denies those reports.

Source: Globe and Mail