CUT! Ontario film tax credits reduced, a knock to industry’s tax stability (BNN)
Posted by Nordicity in Toronto on Apr 25, 2015

"In Toronto, last year, we saw almost $700 million worth of domestic production. That's something we always wished for - a robust domestic industry in this country. And now we have it."

Those comments were made by the president of ACTRA Toronto, David Sparrow, in a recent BNN interview. ACTRA is the union representing professional performers working in Canada’s English media.

Just one day after Sparrow's remarks, the Ontario government unveiled its 2015 budget, which included plans to reduce tax incentives for the film industry.

  • Ontario Production Services Tax Credit (OPSTC) – reduced from 25% rate to 21.5%
  • Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects Tax Credit (OCASE) - reduced from 20% rate to 18%, affecting those contracted for visual effects on-set and in post-production.
  • Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit (OFTTC) – Ontario will not treat government equity investment in a production in the same manner as other forms of assistance. The province estimates it will add roughly $7 million in 2016–17 for the industry.

Sparrow says ACTRA Toronto is “surprised” and “deeply concerned about the impact of these cuts on foreign productions currently shooting or planning to shoot in Ontario.”

He maintains that a critical component of Ontario's success has been the predictable tax benefits system. “Stable tax credits, along with a healthy balance of domestic and foreign work, have helped turn Ontario into the third largest production centre in North America, creating thousands of good jobs in the process,” said Sparrow.

Peter Lyman, senior partner with Nordicity, echoed the importance of tax incentives in a BNN interview just before this latest decision: "The key to Canada, up until recently in some provinces, has been stability in the tax credit system."


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