Thursday, April 17, 2008

Film stars call on senate to stop censorship and fix Bill C-10

Canadian film stars Wendy Crewson and Sarah Polley are calling on the Senate to stop censorship and amend Bill C-10. In its present form, the Bill gives the Minister of Heritage power to deny tax credits to any film or television production the Minister believes to be contrary to government public policy objectives.

"Canadians are tolerant, we celebrate our differences, and we do not demand conformity or uniformity. Artists firmly believe any measure that limits our freedom of expression, as Bill C-10 does, is both undemocratic and profoundly un-Canadian," said Wendy Crewson.

The proposed changes to the production certification process would create enormous instability in the film and television industry undermining the ability of many productions to secure private financing and get off the ground. This uncertainty would cost thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity, effectively crippling one of Canada's most important cultural sectors.

"Bill C-10 will cause a chill on production from the financing side. With this uncertainty, banks will be reluctant to provide financing to cover tax credits and they will shy away from any controversial or daring work if there is any risk to a key part of the overall financing structure. As the chamber of 'sober second thought,' we appeal to the Senators to strike the relevant provisions from the Bill," said Sarah Polley.

Ms. Polley and Ms. Crewson are appearing today before the Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce that is considering Bill C-10, amendments to the Income Tax Act.

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