Less than a week before the federal election, the Canadian government has dropped a controversial bill that would have allowed it to pull tax credits from films and TV shows it felt were not in the public interest.
Filmmakers, actors and producers have been ferociously battling the proposed law, which they described as censorship, since it was announced at the beginning of the year. They upped the ante during the election campaign, taking their protests to the streets.
With the Conservative government slipping in election polls, Prime Minister Stephen Harper finally gave in to the pressure.
“It’s good news, but the threat in the first place was so fundamentally outrageous,” said Kevin Tierney, who produced 2006 hit police buddy movie “Bon Cop, Bad Cop.” “I hope it’s an indication of Conservative desperation.”
The announcement was slipped into the Conservatives’ election manifesto, published Tuesday. But it has taken a day for the news to filter out. The manifesto notes that although the bill’s “proposals were approved unanimously by the House of Commons, we will take into account the serious concerns that have been expressed by film creators and investors.”
The Harper government has also been under fire for $45 million in cuts to arts programs, including one that financed film schools and a program to aid independent filmmakers.
The election takes place next Tuesday.