Senator Grafstein Airs Concerns over C-10’s Threatening LanguagePublished on 22 May 2008 Hansard and Statements by Senator Jerahmiel S. Grafstein (retired)
Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein:
My question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate in respect of Bill C-10. No parliamentary leader can deny that the public impression of this proposed legislation to amend the Income Tax Act is affecting Canadians and jobs in a concrete way, and that it will continue to affect film financing in the future. Jobs in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and almost every region of the country are being affected as these projects are shelved due to the uncertainty.
The proposed change in Bill C-10 is shaking the foundation of Canada’s freedom of artistic expression. Groups across Canada are outraged and feel betrayed. Worse, it will crater financing for Canadian television that relies on federal sources.
Honourable senators, allow me to address the leader’s earlier response. It is true that some Canadians will believe that films are too violent or too salacious, but these films simply reflect the current ills of our society. It is better for us to address those ills than to avoid them.
I will quote the comments of Sarah Polley, a Canadian Oscar-nominated actor/writer:
This legislation threatens freedom of expression as well as the very financial foundation upon which this industry was built. Take that away, and many of us would be hard-pressed to understand the motivation to stay here.
The main reason I choose to make films in Canada, and act in Canada, is because public funding allows a level of creative freedom that is simply not possible with private money.
Will the government consider immediately withdrawing this egregious amending bill that is having a devastating impact on Canada’s cinematographic industry: actors, producers, directors, film crews and support businesses that have made this a major Canadian industry and job producer, and start once again with the proper process of pre-legislation and guideline consultation with the industry and others affected?