Speaking before the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal on November 27, Canadian Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Glenn O’Farrell asked Quebec’s Charest government to take a second look at changes made to the province’s tax credits. If the changes stand, O’Farrell indicated that it will threaten the production of Quebec TV programming, and the loyal audiences such shows have generated. Below is an excerpt of his speech. ...And we must also enter into dialogue with the new Québec government to make it aware of the contrary budgetary measures that it has inherited from the previous government…And it is important to remember that the audio-visual producing and broadcasting sector is not only significant because of its cultural purpose. It is a sector with major knowledge-based economic importance, which offers excellent remuneration to the young and dynamic people who work in it. Nonetheless over the last few years, every initiative taken by both levels of government had the effect of penalizing this sector. Yet the story in Québec had a happy beginning with the establishment in 1990 of a refundable tax credit program for cinema and television production. Initiated by Gérard D. Lévesque, who was then Minister of Finance, this program stimulated audio-visual production, contributed to the creation of quality jobs and offered excellent cost/benefits relationships. It was such an effective measure that it inspired practically all the Canadian provinces and the federal government to create their own refundable tax credit programs. ...But then the last government budget, brought down a few days before the provincial election, without prior opinion or consultation, took a step backwards by attacking the Québec tax credit program. The challenge for the new Charest government, which has inherited this situation, will be to recognize the importance of the fallout of this during its next budget.The changes to the Québec tax credit, characterized by general reductions of the refundable tax credit level and the per-production ceiling, are endangering the production industry here.These measures also reconfirm the ineligibility of the private Québec broadcasters’ affiliated stations for access to the tax credits and a number of broadcasting categories. And this is so even when foreign production companies still have access. We find this strange, inappropriate, and unfair.In total, the volume of production that will no longer benefit from the refundable tax credit is estimated at $68 million. It may happen that certain programs will never see the light of day. This represents $43.5 million in salaries for the industry’s artisans, or the equivalent of 1,200 jobs/year.It will destabilize the private French-language television industry and provoke a spiraling shrinkage in this sector. It will also dismantle the independent and affiliate Québec television production industry, with all the negative consequences that this will have on their ability to invest in new program concepts and to develop new markets It will prevent us from maintaining the high proportion of total Québec television viewers who are dedicated to Québec programs. We are therefore asking the new Québec Minister of Finance to reconsider most of the exclusionary measures to eligibility to the Québec refundable tax credit. I would like to stress that these credits bring a revenue to the treasury that exceeds their cost. And now the situation has become even more complex since two weeks ago, with the announcement by the federal government that it will raise the ceiling from 48% to 60% for labour expenses, which give entitlement to the tax credit for total production cost. It is a favourable decision for the entire production industry. However, in light of the budget inherited from the preceding government, this announcement by the federal government risks creating a disadvantage for the Québec production industry, because the other provinces are maintaining or improving their tax credit systems. Production outside of the province might become more advantageous or attractive. We are counting on the new Québec Minister of Finance to be aware of the implications this has.