Dear Editor: In response to George Heyman's July 12 letter, Libs Need to Act on Film Industry, I want to assure the B.C. film industry that I share their concerns and am working diligently to ensure we remain competitive. The B.C. Liberal government has increased labour tax credits three times since 2004, from 11 per cent under the NDP to 33 per cent today. For Canadian-controlled production companies, the rate is 35 per cent. This year, $378 million in tax credits have been earmarked to help the industry.
Our Digital Animation or Visual Effect initiative provides a refundable tax credit to help companies with their digital animation or visual effects work. In 2010, our government added the B.C. Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit to help businesses that develop interactive digital media products.
Tax credits are only one factor that companies use to decide where to base their productions. This is why we're listening to the industry to keep B.C. at the forefront of film production.
In January 2013, we launched BC Creative Futures, a three-part strategy to support sustainable, long-term success for the creative sector.
In my party's platform, we have pledged to work with Ontario and Quebec to establish a rational film incentive policy across Canada to prevent unaffordable industry support systems, open a B.C. Film office in Los Angeles to encourage television and film production in B.C., and include post-production in the digital tax credit.
Over the next few weeks, my government and I will sit down with film industry leaders to seek ways to continue to meet the needs of this very important sector. Approximately 25,000 British Columbians work in the industry and I'm very optimistic that the future is bright for B.C. film.
Jane Thornthwaite, MLA