Provincial NDP table mandatory film consultation bill

The NDP have put forward a bill to lock in mandatory consultation with the film industry before any changes to the tax credit go through.

Before tabling the bill in Province House Tuesday, NDP leader Maureen MacDonald said it’s important to have mandatory consultation with the film industry in legislation since there’s no longer a department that could properly inform the finance minister of the full impact of a tax credit cut going from covering 65 per cent of a production to 25.

“They have wiped out the institutional and organizational memory and expertise within government,” MacDonald said about the former Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism becoming the Department of Business, and Film & Creative Industries also being cut.

“All they have left are financial accountants … to tell them, and that obviously leaves out a big chunk of information,” MacDonald said.

MacDonald said the previous NDP government made a mistake by not holding any consultation before cutting funding for the Yarmouth ferry, and hopes the Liberals don’t have to learn their lesson “the hard way” with the film industry.

Finance minister Diana Whalen said Monday her department did talk with the industry before the budget was delivered last week, and had position papers showcasing their opinions.

She has also said the tax credit ranks among the top in the country, which Nova Scotia can’t afford.

However, MacDonald said the film industry is sector that is actually “pulling its weight.”

“We need to fight for every single, solitary job and economic opportunity that we have,” MacDonald said.

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