Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia film industry worries about future of tax credit

People in the local film industry say that if the province were to get rid of its Film Tax Credit program, the loss would be significant.

The provincial government will announce its plan for the tax credit on budget day on Thursday

Actors Aunjanue Ellis (left) and Cuba Gooding Jr. appear in a scene from The Book of Negroes. Producers behind that miniseries have said without Nova Scotia's Film Tax Credit program, it would not have been made, at least not in Nova Scotia. (Joe Alblas/Conquering Lion Pictures/Out of Africa Pictures/CBC)

People in the local film industry say that if the province were to get rid of its Film Tax Credit program, the loss would be significant.

The tax credit gives producers a portion of their costs back if they hire a crew from Nova Scotia.

Producers behind the television series Haven and miniseries Book of Negroes have said without it, those productions would not have been made, at least not in Nova Scotia.

"Talk about losing Book of Negroes and talk about losing Titanic that came here and filmed here. And all of the wonderful films that we've had over the past 20 years. And that's gonna just stop," said actor John Dunsworth on CBC's Maritime Connection on Sunday.

Dunsworth is best known for his role as Jim Lahey on Trailer Park Boys.

Louise Lalonde is from Charlottetown and cautions that P.E.I. is living proof of what happens when a province gets rid of its industry tax credit. The provincial government cut its program about 10 years ago.

"Anyone who wants to work in the industry has basically moved away," said the project manager with the P.E.I. Screenwriter's Bootcamp.

Halifax filmmaker Marc Almon says Nova Scotia's Film Tax Credit is vital.

"We know it's having a dramatic impact and it's employing well over 2,000 people here in the province and we're talking about highly-skilled jobs," he said.

Nova Scotia's Liberal government will announce its plan for the tax credit when it tables its budget on Thursday.

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