OF all people, Christy Clark should understand the importance of a vital film industry. She has spent millions of dollars of taxpayers' money recently to create her own short films about where Canada starts.
The premier is quick to point out that $285 million in labour subsidies awarded to local productions is already quite generous. Movie and television productions bring more than a billion dollars into the province each year. The province's generosity is not in question, only its ability to count.
Quebec and Ontario are each offering tax credits of 25 per cent on all production costs.
Those costs are certainly steep, but can we afford for B.C. to give up an industry that takes pictures and leaves only footprints and money in its wake?
Film productions fill government coffers directly through taxes and fees and indirectly through the wages that are spent in local economies. The motion picture and animation industries employ 35,000 people in this province, approximately 5,000 of them on the North Shore. That's a huge contribution to the North Shore economy.
Capilano University opened the largest film school in Western Canada last year, in part because it seemed like the industry of the future. That next generation of filmmakers is now looking at a future where only post-apocalyptic movies will be shot locally.
Canada may start here, but if Clark has her way, movie productions are going to spend it over there.