Internal documents show McNeil government’s film and television fund is capped

September 21, 2015

An internal memo obtained by the NDP Caucus shows the Nova Scotia Film and Television Production Incentive Fund, created by the McNeil government to replace the Film Tax Credit, is capped.

The document obtained through a Freedom of Information request outlines a list of items the government was unwilling to negotiate about with the screen industry. The second item on the list titled “Non Negotiable” states the fund “must be capped/fund – cannot be open ended.” An April 17th email from the Premier’s deputy minister, Bernie Miller, repeats the demand stating it “must be a fund capped.” (See attached).

Premier McNeil has always refused to answer whether or not the new fund is capped. NDP MLA Marian Mancini says it’s time the Liberal government comes clean and admits it placed a ceiling on the program, which amounts to a more than $14 million cut to the screen industry.

“The past several months have been very difficult for those working in the screen industry and even the Liberal Minister of Communities Culture and Heritage, Tony Ince, conceded changes to the Film Tax Credit have had a negative impact, ” says Mancini. “A lot of talented and creative people and their families are now trying to decide whether they can afford to stay in Nova Scotia or if they need to move away. They deserve to know specifically what this Liberal government’s commitment is to the screen industry for the next few years so they can make informed choices. Given that Premier McNeil broke his promise to extend the film tax credit for five years, they shouldn’t be forced to guess.”