Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

March 03, 2008 19:01 ET

Canadian Heritage: Statement

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 3, 2008) -

By the Honourable Josee Verner
Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women
and Official Languages

Bill C-10 and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit

Recent media coverage has speculated about the Government's intention to police the film industry to prevent the production of movies with provocative titles or themes like those in Eastern Promises, Borderline, or Ma fille, mon ange.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Our Government is deeply committed to freedom of expression and will continue to support the creation of edgy, entertaining Canadian content.

Under the current rules, the creator of a film that includes content that may be subject to prosecution under the Criminal Code could technically still be eligible for a film tax credit under the Income Tax Act. This is a legal absurdity; a loophole that successive governments-first Liberal, then Conservative-have worked to close. This is a matter of good housekeeping, consistent with previous policy and what is done in other cultural sectors.

The amendment contained in Bill C-10 is not a new concept. It was first announced in 2002 by former Liberal Finance Minister John Manley and again in 2003 by former Liberal Heritage Minister Sheila Copps. The current government has introduced precisely the same amendment. It was approved by the current House of Commons with all party support on October 29, 2007. Moreover, four out of ten Canadian provinces have precisely the same wording in their film tax credit regimes. Three additional provinces employ very similar concepts.

Bill C-10 has nothing to do with censorship and everything to do with the integrity of the tax system. The goal is to ensure public trust in how tax dollars are spent. The modifications in question will affect a very small number of the over 1000 productions that receive tax credits annually. We will act with great care to ensure there is no adverse effect on film financing practices in the industry.

The movies we go to see at theatres and film festivals will continue to be eligible for tax credits. The measure contained in Bill C-10 addresses only the most extreme and gratuitous material, not mainstream films such as Eastern Promises, Borderline, and Ma fille, mon ange.

It is the role of government to support the efforts of our artists, creators, and key players in our cultural industries. Canadians can be assured that we will continue to do so with passioon, respect and transparency.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage,
    Status of Women and Official Languages
    Dominic Gosselin
    Press Secretary
    Canadian Heritage
    Donald Boulanger
    A/Chief, Media Relations