Today, Jamie Baillie moved to restore investor confidence and stability to film production in Nova Scotia by bringing back a refundable film tax credit. The former tax credit was killed by Stephen McNeil’s Liberals in 2015, breaking a key election promise.
“McNeil showed he does not understand the film industry or its importance to our world-class competitive, modern Nova Scotia economy,” said Baillie. “That’s not leadership. We will work with industry to restore and grow film production. Together, we will create real opportunities for skilled workers in this province.”
A Progressive Conservative government will invest $34 million in a refundable, Nova Scotia film tax credit. Nova Scotian productions, including newer and smaller filmmakers, will be given more opportunities and access to funding. We will also make the process move at the speed of business.
McNeil’s sudden decision to axe the film industry tax credit had real and long-lasting consequences. Chris Reardon, a Halifax-based set photographer for productions shot in Nova Scotia and around the world, believes a restored film tax credit would renew international investment in the province.
“The international film community embraced Nova Scotia as a vibrant and talented asset to production with abundant locations and a skilled work force,” said Reardon. “The economic engine developed into a $180 million plus per annum cash flow to business communities around the province, but was severed by the Liberal government with as yet unknown ulterior motives.
“Attempts by the Liberal party to swim upstream and salvage some credibility is stifled by an unintelligent overview of how the global film industry works relative to film incentives,” continued Reardon. “For the future, the Nova Scotia Community College developed media arts training for Nova Scotians, yet denies them the ability to live and work in Nova Scotia. So many from this great talent pool created through the Nova Scotia film industry over the years have left the province to work in other areas of Canada and Europe. Let’s get the agenda straight with intelligent, non-partisan decisions and bring the industry and its international economy back to Nova Scotia.”
Baillie emphasized the importance of a stable tax credit model. “Our refundable tax credit will be predictable. It will earn the confidence of producers and investors. Rebuilding the film production industry is a key element of our plan to grow a modern and dynamic economy, and keep our youth here at home.”