Film industry supporters rally outside Sask. Legislature
Saskatchewan's film industry is making another big effort to get the Film Employment Tax Credit back by rallying outside Saskatchewan’s legislative building.
Dozens of bikers and many more supporters filled the street outside on Monday at noon to make their anger known.
When the group pulled out of Saskatoon at around 8 a.m. in the morning they were 100 strong but that number swelled as more bikers joined in Davidson and other communities along the way. Along the way, production semis and pedestrians joined the bikers and drove from the sound stage in Regina to park outside the premier’s office. (Brad Wall was inside at the time.)
There were a few well-known faces in the large crowd, including Saskatoon actor and current Sons of Anarchy star Kim Coates. He still cannot understand why the government has taken this decision.
After a roaring speech to the crowd he told the media, "We were this little province that always could, and now we actually are, they want to rid of us of that culture."
The government has proposed a non-refundable tax credit but those at the rally maintain it is based on the corporate income tax model that won't work for their industry.
Virginia Thompson is president of Verite Films and was one of the producers of Corner Gas. In the last decade, Thompson has produced four series in Saskatchewan which she said adds up to $100 million of production value. She contends that produces $600 million in economic activity for the province.
Saskatoon-based director and producer Doug Cuthand was among the protesters. He's not expecting the government to reverse the decision.
"It's the nature of government not to turn back on the decision they make, it's a loss of face but they have to realize that they're ruining people's lives. They are taking away an industry," he said.
Cuthand is among those who believe ending the film tax credit will spell the end for Saskatchewan's film industry.
"There's a lot of people in this province that have made a good living off of the film industry and it's not a freebie," Cuthand said. "It's a very tough industry to work in and a very tough industry to run as a business too."
Cuthand says the government needs to realize film and the arts play an important role in maintaining Saskatchewan's strong economy.
Thousands of people signed a petition urging the government to reinstate the film employment tax credit. That petition was given to the NDP at the rally to hand over to the premier.
Edited by News Talk Radio's Adriana Christianson with files from Chris Carr and Sarah Mills