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N.B. mayor joins film tax credit fight

A mayor in northern New Brunswick is joining the fight to get the Progressive Conservative government to reinstate its film tax credit that was cut in this week's budget.

A mayor in northern New Brunswick is joining the fight to get the Progressive Conservative government to reinstate its film tax credit that was cut in this week's budget.

Antoine Landry, the mayor of Caraquet, said his small seaside town in northeastern New Brunswick has seen huge benefits from one television production in recent years.

Over the past four years, 300 cast and crew members from the Radio-Canada series Belle Baie have packed local restaurants, hotels and stores.

"An impact of more than $10 million in New Brunswick and the area here," Landry said.

"So it's quite a bit of money, especially in the low season, the fall season."

Landry is joining producers lobbying David Alward's government to reinstate the New Brunswick film tax credit.

Finance Minister Blaine Higgs announced in his budget speech on Tuesday that it will be terminated in 2011-2012.

Producers argue that for every dollar invested in an independent production, $7 is injected into the local economy.

Landry agrees with those numbers, and argues the  province would be hard-pressed to find other industries with such high returns.

There has already been talk of New Brunswick film producers taking their operations to Nova Scotia.

The tax credit cost the provincial government $2.7 million last year, down from a high of $4.4 million in 2008-09.

The New Brunswick government had offered companies a maximum of 40 per cent of salaries paid to New Brunswick residents as a way to encourage the industry.

The government bumped up the tax credit for films made in rural New Brunswick.