Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Strange Bedfellows: Liberals and Conservatives, Film Industry Consultations in 2003, Bill C-10

Government Announces Changes to the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit November 14, 2003

That is right 2003.

Someone on Facebook pointed to this press release that indicated the film industry was consulted on these changes.

Today’s proposal results from ongoing consultations with all sectors of the film industry, which were undertaken by the Departments of Finance and Canadian Heritage following Budget 2000.
Liberal Ministers Copps and Manley issued this.

Ok ... the story gets interesting ... the press release makes no reference to the issue before the public now. It does however refer to the Income Tax Act amendments:

Amendments to the Income Tax Act relating to Films and Video Productions

The nasty 13 words "public financial support of the production would not be contrary to public policy" are disclosed twice, connected with the notion of "Guidelines."

"The Minister of Canadian Heritage shall issue guidelines respecting the circumstances under which the conditions in paragraphs (a) and (b) of the definition of "Canadian film or video production certificate" in subsection (1) are satisfied. For greater certainty, these guidelines are not statutory instruments as defined in the Statutory Instruments Act."

A legitimate question arises: was the Film Industry consulted entirely on this? Secondly, were they competent to follow up on the press release and the hyper links from it, putting forth the Amendments also made known that date. The Amendments show "Guidelines" to come, and the critical "contrary to public policy."

With the legislation this old, and since "consultations" already have taken place, where are these Guidelines almost 5 years later? One would think they would be available by now.

It would seem the Conservatives have to tuck in the covers for the beddings the Liberals were going to put in place.

Oddly, today in the House, the Bloc Quebecois stuck up for Canadians interest everywhere by protecting the Quebec interest and so did the NDP. The Bloc moved a motion to amend C-10. The Liberals and Conservatives tied the knot again to defeat this amendment.

The Senate that erstwhile pesky institution that the founders of this country knew was needed, has evidently put pause to both the Liberal and Conservative plans to put in public policy guidelines on the Film Industry of Canada, potentially crippling it immeasurably.

Now being the critical lot I am, would not the Heritage committee also be clued in here, so the claim in the House of no notice, or the slipping in of an amendment, is quite questionable, particularly with the Liberal-Conservative concord on this measure and its age overall since its 2000 year origin.

UPDATE: The Liberals have seen the light and are going to support artistic freedom and expression and of course blame this on the Conservatives:

Liberals to Shed Light on Conservative Censorship Attempt

Wait until the Liberals wake up and see who put in the measure in the first place. They are entitled to now a broader review of what they were going to do. And they are the Loyal Opposition now giving them leeway. The Conservatives now appear to be in a stubborn contest to see who is most unelectable, a context they have a chance of winning bigtime in Quebec and Ontario. Its not always who you vote for that counts but who you vote against. Ask Danny boy, the A.B.C. - Anything But Conservatives - champion. Bet on the NDP getting a new level of invective cast their way in the months to come, cuz like it or not, they can come up the middle here. It might be Jack's election to lose while we vote ABC with no stomach for the Liberals still deserving evidently of being in the penalty box.

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