You’ve probably heard about this, but earlier this week there was a protest by 1000 Ontario film industry workers outside of the Ontario legislature. They were appealing to the province for larger tax credits for foreign productions. The meteoric rise of the Canadian dollar is driving American productions elsewhere:
“Film and television is our life’s work,” Goy, a 12-year veteran of CBC-TV’s popular Royal Canadian Air Farce, told an enthusiastic crowd. Beside her on the stage was a car with its front end smashed against a wall decorated to symbolize the 11 per cent foreign-production tax break Ontario currently provides the industry–a pittance, critics say, compared with the up to 40 per cent available in places like Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
I don’t know enough about tax credits as a strategy for drawing international business. That approach was a critically important step that brought Ireland increased prosperity through the nineties. However, surely there’s a point where tax credits become defacto subsidies? Maybe not. Macroeconomics isn’t my bag. It’s not even my clutch purse.