OTTAWA - Liberal Senators on the Senate’s Banking Committee, including BC Senator Mobina Jaffer, introduced sweeping amendments aimed at correcting financial insecurity within the film industry over C-10, a bill that would allow the federal government to screen the content of films and deny tax credits to projects it deems offensive.
“Liberal changes to this bill are aimed at protecting Canada’s film industry, which employs some 125,000 Canadians and contributes more than $5B to the Canadian economy on an annual basis,” said Senator Mobina Jaffer.
The Banking Committee has heard months of compelling testimony from witnesses such as National Bank of Canada Senior Manager Elaine Morissette, who said, “C-10 would impact our ability to lend against the tax credit, and in fact, on funding Canadian content in general because we need certainty… if we do not have clarity on production eligibility for tax credits, it will be almost impossible to provide the funding.”
The Liberal amendments proposed would remove the Heritage Minister’s ability to refuse a tax credit on the grounds of “public policy” or issue guidelines about film content. The changes would also limit the denial of film tax credits to films that contravene Canada’s Criminal Code, and require the Heritage Minister to consult with the Justice Minister prior to denying a film tax credits. Modifications to the legislation also put in place the ability to appeal a decision regarding tax credits to the Federal Court.
Liberal members believe these amendments will help settle the funding uncertainty Bill C-10 has created. “We are removing the Conservative government’s ability to censor and interfere with Canada’s film industry with these legislative changes,” said Senator Jaffer.
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