SMPIA Requests Cabinet Minister to be Removed
On Thursday, the Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association called upon Premier Brad Wall to remove Bill Hutchinson as the Minister of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport and replace him with someone who has a better understanding of the film, TV and digital industry. In the SMPIA Press Release, Ron Goetz states: The actions of this Minister have brought a $50 Million annual industry to the brink of disaster. He has consistently ignored our concerns and brought forward a program that will not work. We respectfully ask the Premier of Saskatchewan to remove this Minister and replace him with an individual that understands the issues and will help us develop a program that will work for the industry. The Province announced the elimination of the longstanding Film and Tax Credit during the 2012-13 Budget. Since that announcement the industry has been working to develop a new incentive program that will enable the industry to remain competitive. The industry presented a draft plan to the Minister with the intention of working with the government to develop a new incentive program. The following day the Minister announced a program that was not endorsed by the industry and has a significant flaw that makes it unworkable. The program contains a non-refundable tax credit and the industry requires a refundable tax credit.
Goetz adds that there is still time for the government to develop a program that will keep the industry alive in Saskatchewan, but the longer this process takes, the more difficult it becomes for the industry to attract outside investment.