According to reports, Canadian Heritage officials recently met with film/television lobby groups to 'allay fears' surrounding the so-called censorship provision in the Conservative government's bill affecting tax credits on offensive TV and film productions.
Heritage requested consultation with the groups to discuss a provision on film/TV tax credits in the Conservative government's Bill C-10, an act to amend the Income Tax Act, which has passed in the House of Commons and is now before the Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Trade, and Commerce.
The bill would give the government flexibility to deny tax credits to television and film productions with graphic sex, violence, or other offensive content.
The government has said it will publish guidelines to help determine tax credit eligibility for productions.
The fuss started earlier this year when Charles McVety, an evangelical activist/president of the Canada Family Action Coalition, urged the Conservative government to legislate the tax credit amendment, meeting with government officials to tell them that films promoting homosexuality, graphic sex or violence should be prevented from receiving tax credits, as it could be perceived the Conservatives condone such themes.
Film and television lobby groups say the provision will give Cabinet subjective control to deny tax credits to TV and film productions.
"Our Government is deeply committed to freedom of expression and will continue to support the creation of edgy, entertaining Canadian content," the Conservatives said in a March 3 statement.
"Under the current rules, the creator of a film that includes content that may be subject to prosecution under the Criminal Code could technically still be eligible for a film tax credit under the Income Tax Act.
"This is a legal absurdity..."
TV series that would immediately become affected by the amendment would include Trailer Park Boys for promoting drug use, The L Word for promoting lesbianism and Tripping The Rift for promoting inter-species sex...