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(Mar 02, 2008) Tax credits offered by the federal and provincial governments have attracted many North American filmmakers to Canada. An issue respecting the federal credits has now arisen. In its lengthy bill to amend the Income Tax Act, which has already been passed by the House of Commons, the Conservative Government has included changes that would deny credits to productions considered to be contrary to public policy. The Heritage Minister has explained that the intent of the measure is not to limit freedom of expression, and other Conservative members have stated that it is intended to ensure that the government does not subsidize films that involve extreme violence or child pornography. (Joan Bryden, Senate Liberals Vow to Protect Film Industry from Government Bill, THE CANADIAN PRESS, Mar. 5, 2008, available at http://www.macleans.ca/article.jsp?content=n0305104A.)

The Canadian film industry is generally opposed to the measure, because it fears that it will be used to effectively censure film and video production. In order to become law, the Government's bill will have to be passed by the Senate. The majority of Canada's Senators were appointed by previous Liberal governments, and a number of them have indicated that they will amend the bill to protect artistic freedom. Canada's Senate does not often reject government bills, but as a chamber of "sober second thought," it does occasionally propose changes that necessitate the government reintroducing the bill in the House of Commons. The current Conservative government is a minority government, and the third and fourth largest parties in the House of Commons have already called on the government to change the provision respecting tax credits. The Liberals, who are the second-largest party in the House, have decided to let the Senate deal with the matter first. (An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act, Bill C-10, 39th Parl. 2d Sess., available at http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HouseBills/BillsGovernment.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Parl
=39&Ses=2#C10
(last visited Mar. 6, 2008).)

Author: Stephen Clarke More by this author
Topic: Taxation More on this topic
Jurisdiction: Canada More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 03/02/2008