Another day, another corporate welfare announcement. Last week, electric taxis were in the news. The week before, it was video games. This week, it’s extra goodies for film and TV producers who commit to bring more productions to Quebec. It’s the Oprah Winfrey model of government: “And you get a subsidy, and you get a subsidy, and you get a subsidy! Everybody gets a subsidy!”
Quebec Premier François Legault, currently on a four-day California mission, has offered unspecified additional financial assistance in exchange for a guarantee of a certain consistent level of filming over a period of three to five years. Foreign producers, by the way, already get tax credits when they produce television series and films here: 16% for labour costs related to special effects and computer animation, and 20% for certain other admissible expenses.
Here’s a thought: If every company seems to need a tax break before agreeing to do business here, in cinema and in other areas, maybe our taxes are just too high! And maybe we should lower them across the board for all companies instead of having politicians favour those that make for the best headlines.