Local Actor Weighs in on New Film Incentive

Dueck sarcan
Brian Dueck (right) circulates a petition urging the government to institute a new incentive for the film industry in April.

The proposed new Saskatchewan film incentive program doesn't pacify one local activist for the cause.

As members of the film industry in the province call for the removal of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Bill Hutchinson from cabinet, local actor Brian Dueck echoes their unsatisfied response to the new proposed incentive model, saying the non-refundable tax credit won't draw outside investors.

"In short, it won't work because it's not competitive." Dueck said. "There is some benefit for some Saskatchewan-based film companies. The proposal is good based on the ideal that Saskatchewan is going to start its own film industry, but as everyone knows, the film industry is already established and it's international. We can say 'We have this non-refundable tax credit, we really don't know how much that's going to benefit you dollar-wise until it's done', the other provinces are able to say 'what's your budget? This is the percentage we're willing to give you back based on this criteria'".

The new system would invest an estimate of between $300,000 to $1 million a year versus $8 million in the old system.

On Thursday, the SMPIA called on Premier Brad Wall to remove Hutchinson as the province's Culture Minister, saying his actions have brought a $50 million-per-year industry to the brink of disaster. Wall, however, refused to repace Hutchinson, saying he is carrying out the expectations of the provincial budget.

A major cabinet shuffle is expected to be made by Wall this year, possibly as early as June. 

Shawn Mullin talked with Brian Dueck about the province's new film incentive proposal: