Nova Scotia

Screen Nova Scotia meets with province to talk about industry losses

An 'emergency meeting' with Nova Scotia officials Monday did little to provide a way to stem the flow of film companies who are packing up and leaving the province due to changes in the Film Tax Credit.

'We need to address this lack of business confidence'

​Marc Almon, chair of Screen Nova Scotia speaks with reporters after a meeting with the provincial Minister of Business Mark Furey (CBC)

A discussion billed as an "emergency meeting" requested by Screen Nova Scotia with the government ended with a promise to continue discussions, but little progress was made toward improving the outlook of the provincial film and television industry.

Last week, representatives from Screen Nova Scotia called for an immediate meeting with government officials. The urgency followed a surprise announcement that SIM Group would be closing its Nova Scotia offices

The company provided film and television studios with many tools they used to create content — cameras, lighting, equipment and production support.

It was just the latest blow to the local film industry following changes to the Film Tax Credit.

In June, the Liberal government eliminated the $24-million film tax credit, which offered rebates of up to 50 per cent of labour costs. It was replaced with a $10-million fund that allows producers to claim up to 25 per cent of all production costs.

Monday's meeting was between Mark Furey, Minister of Business, and a group of Screen Nova Scotia representatives including the organization's chairman Marc Almon.

"We need to address this lack of business confidence," Almon told reporters following the meeting. 

"I think that we can do that in partnership with government," he said. "But it is required for both parties to work together in addressing this issue."

Discussions lasted nearly two hours — almost double what was initially scheduled.

"Some very good discussions," said Furey. "We'll continue those discussions over the next period of time and I look forward to those opportunities."

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