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Bill C-10, isn’t it?

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Hey Chris,

I’ve always wondered about Flaherty, so it’s nice to hear (at least superficially) come off as a decent human being.

C-10 (not C-50) seems to be increasingly confusing people. It’s frustrating because it’s become this big morass about “censorship” and “public interest” and “art”. While those are all worthwhile debates, they’re almost entirely obscuring the core of the issue. The actual issue is much closer to your ethanol question, that C-10 is just really broken tax policy.

The only thing I’ll point out to anyone who feels like there may be something to the government position on this one is that tax credits are *entirely* separate from “content funding” (like Telefilm, or the Canadian Television Fund, or the Arts Council or any body that has a pool of government money to support singular productions) all of those have extensive guidelines about what types of productions qualify already. Tax credits are simply a rebate on (a small percentage of) income tax generated by all productions (including, say, US studio films which come to shoot in Canada) to encourage industry growth.

Tax credits are designed as a *guaranteed* incentive to spur production, and are revenue positive to the government (productions only get a tax credit if they generate significant tax income, and even then are rebated a fraction of what they generate 2-3 years after the fact).

The moment you put a subjective judgement about the end product into the equation, the funding system for films and television falls apart completely.

A prime example would be farming subsudies. It is a valid debate to say “should we subsidize the agriculture industry?” However it would be madness to say “We are going to subsidize, $x per kilogram of grain, but after farmers have harvested it all, we will review it to see if the grain is tasty enough – otherwise you get nothing.

But don’t worry, our “tasty” test, although not swelled out will probably be fair.

By the same token, producers need interim loans against their tax credits to use that money to finance a particular film (the fact that a large percentage of this “benefit” goes to banks to support interim financing interest is another matter entirely). No bank is going to give you a loan, if the government has any ability to set
(or introduce) arbitrary guidelines during the production of a film that may disqualify it from receiving a credit.

Regardless of the intent behind the policy (which is valid for public debate) there should be no debate if the legislation is just too broken to implement whatever policy it’s supposed to support.

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mygif

I find the upcoming remake of The Thing to be offensive. Tax that.

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