Figures suggest people in Nova Scotia film industry working less, earning less

By on March 30, 2016

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HALIFAX—New statistics indicate those employed by Nova Scotia’s film industry are working fewer days and are making far less money since the provincial government eliminated a controversial industry tax credit.

The Atlantic council of the Directors Guild of Canada released figures Wednesday that it said show a sharp reduction in salaries and total days worked by its Nova Scotia members last year.

The guild found that members made $5.9 million in salaries in 2014, compared with $3.1 million last year.

Members also saw the number of days they worked drop to 6,500 last year from 12,000 days the year before.

The group linked the decline to the elimination of the Film and Television Labour Tax Credit last April, which it said has made the province uncompetitive with jurisdictions that offer bigger subsidies.

“One devastating side-effect of the reduction in production in Nova Scotia in 2015 is that many of our experienced crew have left the province in search of work,” said Atlantic guild chairwoman Jennifer Stewart.

The guild said the incentive fund that replaced the tax credit is too intricate and has not stemmed the loss of film work in the province.

Finance Minister Randy Delorey said he hadn’t seen the group’s news release, but added that the extent of the government’s support for the industry will be spelled out in the upcoming budget.

“I think it will be clear to all Nova Scotians the extent to which we’ve supported financially that industry in the last fiscal year,” Delorey said.