Filming for the newest Liam Neeson action film Hard Powder was supposed to begin filming in Alberta's national parks on Monday — that is until Parks Canada refused to provide the necessary permits.

The film was denied after the organization learned one of the characters in the movie, a gang leader, was Indigenous.

Tom Jackson, who plays the role of the character in question, had written to Parks Canada assuring them he had provided consulting with the script. Despite that, the film was refused and is being shot in British Columbia instead.

"I applaud the sensitivity that they're having relative to what they think would be the imaging of First Nations people given all the reconciliation talks these days," Jackson told CBC Radio's Saskatchewan Weekend from his home in Calgary. 

"It's nice, it's good to have somebody sensitive and to understand that they should be sensitive."

Lost opportunity

Jackson said he thought the refusal may have been an overreaction, adding that the decision is a costly missed opportunity for the province of Alberta.

He said filming there would have pumped a sizeable amount of money into Alberta's economy.

"The industry is always, always being promoted by the province, inviting people to come to the province and then a hurdle came up which is sending our production [away] also," Jackson said.

Uncharted territory

Jackson said the character was something different for him.

"I've always had a fence up ... to play characters that were stereotypical, guys who ride horses," Jackson said. "We're more than that. This is a new age, this is a new time."

The role was a challenge, he said.

"They allowed me to read over the script and allowed me to say my piece about whether or not I thought this was appropriate or not," Jackson continued. 

With files from CBC Radio's Saskatchewan Weekend