Official Response from Media NB over elimination of New Brunswick Film Tax Credit

By Mike Valiquette

Here you go, I’ll let it speak for itself:

New Brunswick media producers outraged with the province’s decision to eliminate the film and television tax credit
Media NB strongly condemns the province’s decision to eliminate the tax credits and film New Brunswick.


Maurice Aubin of Mozus Productions reacts to the budget by pointing out that “Last year the Government of New Brunswick promised a stable tax credit for the next ten years and a regional incentive to help our industry. This commitment convinced producers in the province to stay and develop here. They have reneged on that promise. There will be more than 30 companies here that will be affected. Most will be forced to move to other provinces that support media and they will bring their productions with them. It’s a sad day for New Brunswick film, television and media producers.”


Frank Savoie, of Moncton’s Connections Productions, is sure that the province will lose most of the industry’s lead producers to other provinces. Veteran producers, in both French and English New Brunswick, have built a successful and profitable industry in the province as a result of the tax credits. New Brunswick has exported quality films and television to the international broadcast market for the last two decades, producing tens of millions of dollars of revenues for the province. Savoie says that the province is literally destroying a healthy, low maintenance industry.
“Without a tax credit, there is no industry. If you have no TV and Film industry, you might as well cut all the education components that support this industry, because you would be educating the youth to send them out of the province.”


Production support companies, Film Co-ops, colleges, universities, technicians and producers will suffer a tremendous blow as a result of this decision. “The province does not understand the far reaching damage their decision will cause. This is the worst case scenario for an industry that actually makes money for the province. Saying the decision is short sighted is a gross understatement” says Greg Hemmings of Hemmings House Pictures, who employs 10 full time and 5 part time professionals under the age of 35.


In 2008 the New Brunswick finance department did a study on Moncton’s Connections Productions, one of a many profitable companies in the province. Frank Savoie notes that the results showed clearly that “We have a healthy and profitable industry in the province. Our company produced over 4 million dollars of production that year. 1.6 million came from equity and tax credits, the rest of the money was brought in from outside the province. So in effect, by cutting our tax credits, you will lose most, if not all, the experts that have built the industry in the past 13 years, the infrastructure, and the influx of money from outside sources.”


Gene Fowler of Loogaroo, a thriving cartoon and gaming studio in Miramichi, says: “Everyone knows that we need to grow the economy of New Brunswick. However I believe our new government has been misinformed and has made an error with their decision to cut the NB Tax Credit. Unless they have something else in mind, like a Digital Media Tax credit to take it’s place. If so, they should have highlighted it in their budget announcement. Otherwise, this move will not only effectively kill off Tech industry career paths for New Brunswick Youth. It immediately puts at risk hundreds of existing jobs in the media industry.” Fowler says “Loogaroo was on track to create over 20 new full-time IT jobs this year. Without a competitive tax credit, those animation jobs go to Nova Scotia.”


Industry association Media NB is preparing for their AGM on April 8th. Association executive Gia Milani encourages all industry peers to come to the meeting. “If you’re a TV producer, a cinematographer, an animator or a game designer, now is the time to come together as an industry and collectively figure out what the next steps are. If it is determined that there is no turning back on this decision, many of us will have to leave the province. It’s a sad reality.”


The AGM will begin at 2pm and will be followed by a reception at 4pm with screenings of New Brunswick productions during a reception. The meeting will take place at the Charlotte Street Arts Centre (732 Charlotte Street) in Fredericton. Please join the Media NB Facebook page to stay up to date on the AGM and the future of an important industry.


Contact:
Maurice Aubin
President of MEDIA NB and Producer/ Director of Mozus Productions, based in Moncton
1-506- 866- 1043

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6 Responses to “Official Response from Media NB over elimination of New Brunswick Film Tax Credit”

  1. Thanks for spreading the word Mike.

    #17488
  2. Besides all this, cutting the tax credit is also not a wise move with an election coming up. You can bet citizens of New Brunswick won’t vote for any Conservative candidtes now. Unless, of course, they plan to take that money from NB and use it to benefit a “more important” section of Ontario. In which case, they just might have their minority government back.

    #17490
  3. Travis

    Great article! Leave it to New Brunswick officials to tear the province apart a little bit more. I know so many people going into this industry and I myself was planning on going into it. I’m not going to let this stop me, but I’m definately not going to be staying in New Brunswick for very long either.

    #17491
  4. Sad day

    You would think that this was a healthy tax credit for the province. And if it was helping attract work from out of province or into the U.S. this is a good thing also.

    Look at the video game industry in Quebec. Thousands and thousands of people are employed. Vancouver, another example. Ontario lags behind them but is doing it’s part to catch up.

    If NB was doing the same fewer people would have to leave the province to find work and more opportunities could evolve over a longer timeframe. Canada could be seen globally as a country that is a hotbed of digitial production from coast to coast.

    sad….

    #17506
  5. Matt Taylor

    The government’s decision is unfortunate to say the least. I know of 5 companies in Saint John and Moncton alone that had built themselves the infrastructure, backing, and resources to enact an enormous growth in this field. At least two of them had sustainable and realistic 10 year plans that would have brought dozens of jobs and hundreds of thousands of dollars into the province.

    The recent news has stifled those entrepreneurs and many are making plans to leave. Unless another plan is in the works to support this industry, New Brunswick’s government has made it clear: They don’t want us.

    #17507
  6. Heather

    Up until now the media industry had held it’s own in New Brunswick and was even showing growth against a failing national economy. The elimination of the tax credit has effectively cut that growth. How can we as a province compete with other provinces that actually support and encourage this industry. We can not.

    We have companies with highly trained and skilled workers. We have schools that have industry backed training programs. What we do not have is a government that understands and supports the economic diversity that this industry brings to the province. I understand budget cuts. What I don’t understand is how killing an industry that brings in revenue, stops the brain drain of our younger people, re-patriots a skilled work-force, and creates new business in an industry generating BILLIONS globally is good business.

    #17512
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