TV producer flees Regina after tax credit cut
Vérité Films, the TV production house behind the comedy series Corner Gas and InSecurity, is moving its headquarters from Regina to Toronto because Saskatchewan has ended its refundable film tax credit scheme.
President Virginia Thompson said there is no longer a viable way to finance projects in Saskatchewan with the cancellation of the film tax credit.
"Vérité will maintain a satellite office with one production executive in Regina with the hope that things will improve in the province," she said in a statement Wednesday, adding that she and writer/director partner Robert de Lint would have liked to stay in Regina after working there since 1997.
"Our future is in Toronto now, where our projects can be financed. That said, should a new program be put in place that makes it possible for us to film in Saskatchewan, we would love to bring production back to the province."
Thompson estimated 600 skilled technicians, artists, crew, digital media and support staff would be affected by the loss in production jobs in Regina.
In its March budget, Saskatchewan announced an end to the 15-year-old tax credit, effective June 30, 2012. It has introduced a scaled-down, non-refundable tax credit.
The cut was greeted with protests by film and TV production workers and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall met with producers but could not be convinced to change the policy.
The departure of a high-profile producer such as Vérité puts further pressure on the province.
Vérité estimated it had brought more than $100 million in production to Saskatchewan, after making Gemini-winner Corner Gas, Renegadepress.com, Incredible Story Studio and the CBC series InSecurity over the last 15 years.
All its series TV production has been in Saskatchewan, but it has had a Toronto satellite office focusing on development since 2008. The company will consolidate and move its headquarters and future production to Toronto.
Regina-based Partners in Motion announced last month it was thinking of leaving Regina.