first_imgNova Scotia’s film, television and new media industry continues to draw top name stars to the region and accolades for local productions — contributing more than $100 million to provincial coffers last year as a result. The Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation said today, May 19, that $67.8 million was invested by local productions in the 2004-05 fiscal year and $35.7 million resulted from productions based outside the region. “With a new industry strategy in place, enhancements to the film industry tax credit, and increases in the equity programs of the film corporation, Nova Scotia’s film industry is poised for yet more positive growth in the next few years,” said Ernest Fage, Minister responsible for the Film Development Corporation. “We look forward to the film industry’s continuing contribution to the provincial economy as well as to the national and international cultural landscape.” Local producers continue to put Nova Scotia on the entertainment industry map by creating award-winning, audience-generating programs and films. In 2004 there were 39 locally produced projects including the prequel to the film Trudeau, the fifth season of the Trailer Park Boys, and many variety, lifestyle, and documentary programs. One of the feature films shot this past year, Whole New Thing, was pre-selected for the Cannes International Film Festival. Guest production brought Hollywood stars like Tom Selleck, Kathy Bates, Christina Applegate, and Mariska Hargitay to the province. Nova Scotia hosted six movies for television, including The Riverman, Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas, Plain Truth, Ambulance Girl, Stone Cold, and Just a Baby. In addition, segments for two television series were filmed in Nova Scotia — the animated series Bromwell High and the popular Life Network series, Taking It Off. In the past year, local producers brought 18 brass statuettes home from the 19th annual Gemini Awards, the result of an outstanding 40 nominations for Nova Scotia filmmakers. “Nova Scotia’s film industry has had another exceptional year,” said Bonnie Kirby, chair of the film development corporation’s board of directors. “Our homegrown productions continue to find audiences nationally and internationally, while Nova Scotia’s reputation as an outstanding film location grows each year.” The industry and the film corporation released a strategy paper early in 2004 that will guide the growth of the film industry for the next five years. The document, called Nova Scotia Film, Television, and New Media Industry: Impact Analysis and Long-Term Strategy, has been embraced by all in the industry as an important step toward continued success. On March 8, Premier John Hamm announced that the government is increasing both the Nova Scotia film industry tax credit and the film corporation’s equity funds. The tax credit helps local film companies bring valuable resources to the table to generate new business opportunities, and it positions the province as an attractive location for foreign film productions. The equity program provides key trigger funds for local film and television projects and helps Nova Scotia producers leverage funds from other sources. “We have already seen benefits from both,” said Ann MacKenzie, chief executive officer of the film development corporation. “We have seen an unprecedented sense of partnership among industry stakeholders around strategy initiatives. We have seen an increase in new business development leads as a result of the tax credit enhancements and with the increased equity funds, we have already seen local producers secure financing for 14 productions that will be filmed this year.” The Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation is a provincial Crown corporation reporting to the Minister of Economic Development. The corporation provides a wide range of programs and services to build the capacity and competitiveness of the province’s film, television and new media industries.last_img read more

MONTREAL — Opponents of oil and gas development in Quebec say they’re prepared to ramp up their fight amid expectations that the provincial government could release new regulations on resource extraction in the coming weeks.At the end of last year, the government passed legislation to enable production of oil and natural gas. In May, Natural Resources Minister Pierre Arcand said rules governing that activity would be released a month later and since then, both industry and opponents have been eagerly waiting for them.Carole Dupuis of the Regroupement vigilance hydrocarbures Quebec, which opposes oil and gas development, said her group will take their battle to communities in an effort to prevent an energy industry from taking off in the province.“If our politicians aren’t there to defend us, the public will defend itself,” said Dupuis.Patrick Bonin, a climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace, said the push towards fossil fuel development runs counter to the province’s global commitment to combat greenhouse gas emissions.“If the government was serious about its intention to respect the Paris Accord, then obviously there wouldn’t be any project to get the green light,” he said.While the province may be better known for its wealth of hydroelectricity, it has plenty of natural gas. According to both the Quebec Oil and Gas Association and Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, it’s believed to have enough natural gas to meet its needs for at least a century.About 15 per cent of the estimated 176.7 trillion cubic feet of gas mainly in the Utica Shale formation along the St. Lawrence River is believed to be recoverable, the Canadian Energy Research Institute says. A similar proportion of the 43.6 billion barrels of oil is recoverable primarily beneath Anticosti Island, though on Friday the government announced an end to drilling there.The regulations will permit fracking — which has riled some — but questions remain over where drilling will be allowed.A de facto moratorium on fracking has been in place since 2012, but the law passed in December will allow for it as long as companies secure authorization under the Environment Quality Act and social licence (though it’s still unclear what constitutes social licence).Arcand was unavailable for comment, but a spokesman said the government’s goal is to have the strictest legal framework on energy development in North America.Pierre-Olivier Pineau, a professor specializing in energy at the University of Montreal HEC business school, said the government can’t politically afford to have regulations that aren’t stringent, even if the chances of widespread production are slim.Junex (TSX-V:JNX) and Petrolia (TSX-V:PEA) are seeking to extract oil and gas in remote regions of Gaspe, and Pineau said he believes they won’t face much opposition, partly because they’re in economically stressed areas.Neither energy producer responded to requests for comment.Michael Binnion, CEO of Calgary-based Questerre Energy Corp. (TSX:QEC) and president of the Quebec Oil and Gas Association, said he hopes the regulations will be strong enough to gain public confidence that their water, air and land will be protected.It will then be up to energy companies to secure social acceptance from communities, something Binnion concedes is largely lacking. Questerre Energy has drilled test wells on about 405,000 hectares it holds in the Utica Shale formation.“We don’t think the regulations by themselves are going to open a floodgate at all,” he said. “We think the regulations could open the door to a discussion about the benefits and impacts.”Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter. read more