Kudos to the stars and filmmakers for taking their fight against the industry-destroying Bill C-10 to Ottawa today. Stories here, here and here.
As stated here previously, what's most offensive and confusing about these proposed changes is the double standard when it comes to American or other foreign productions made in Canada.
Currently, Canadian producers that receive an indigenous tax credit can offset 25% of their labour costs, while foreign producers that tap the production services tax credit can offset 16% of labour costs. While the percentage is smaller, the dollar figure is generally much higher due to the larger budgets involved with U.S. productions.
The new rules will only threaten Canadian productions, while foreign productions won't have to worry about losing their lucrative tax credits.
"If you're going to have a double standard, at least have a double standard that gives the Canadian industry a leg up," says director Martin Gero, whose debut film Young People Fucking has been a lightning rod during the current debate, said in an interview this week.
"Why would you limit the industry you should be supporting, while helping the industry that doesn't need it? Everyone wants to make it about censorship, but really, it's just terrible business, ill-conceived from start to finish."
To me, this double standard undermines the entire intent of these new proposals. It appears tax credits will still flow to "offensive" American productions that are "contrary to Canadian public policy" and in greater amounts. So Charles McVety's tax dollars will still go to productions he deems offensive.
These provisions in Bill C-10 do nothing more than threaten to destroy the domestic Canadian film and TV industry.
"I know very few filmmakers that would risk trying to try to make a film that was controversial or pushed the envelope or was even interesting in any way if this bill was in place," filmmaker Sarah Polley said today.