The first line of an article by Dave Stephens at LighthouseNow.ca entitled, almost unbelievably, “Premier calls for end of negativity from film industry”, goes like this:
‘Nova Scotia’s premier says it’s time for the province’s film and television industry to get back to work and stop complaining about the controversial changes his government made to the film tax credit in its spring budget.’
It is scarcely credible to me how much aloofness, cold-bloodedness, and sheer willful ignorance can be compacted into one line. But here we have it–a miracle of linguistic efficiency, proof in black and white that the premier of Nova Scotia not only doesn’t know how much suffering his wrongheaded administration has caused throughout a once-thriving industry, but also just… doesn’t… care.
The thing is, Mr. Premier–and I can’t even believe I need to explain this to you, but apparently I do–the people of Nova Scotia’s film and television industry would like nothing better than to get to work. In fact, that’s all they ever wanted.
But the decision of your administration, under the incompetent hand of former finance minister Diana Whalen, to slash the labour subsidy that was provided to production crews is the reason they can’t get back to work.
All the work is going elsewhere, you see. And the reason for that is the Slashing.
Premier McNeil went on to opine:
“I would argue that the negative press that the industry has been putting on themselves has been more detrimental to the sector than any change we made… If you’re somebody looking to invest in this province and all you hear is negativity about a very good subsidy, what are you going to do? You’re going to think long and hard before you decide to come this way.”
That’s right, Mr. Premier. The reason these productions are suddenly no longer coming to Nova Scotia isn’t because it no longer makes financial sense for them to do so. It’s because our people are a bunch of whiners who put negative press on themselves.
The sheer amount of WTF packed into this article is astonishing. It’s nearly as dense as a neutron star.
Once upon a time, I might have been persuaded the government had no choice but to cut the film subsidy in order to balance the provincial budget. I know first-hand how hard it is to do just that. I tried once, using a web tool the NDP government set up for just that purpose. It was impossible. I gave up after twenty minutes. I couldn’t decide whether to cut funding to education or the elderly. Either way, I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself.
And that was just a simulation. So I can only imagine how hard it is to do it in real life.
But one thing I didn’t do, even in that simulated setting, was blame any one sector for its own decline immediately after I’d yanked the rug out from under it.
And I certainly didn’t make them out to be a passel of crybabies.
Boo hoo, film people! So you can’t pay your mortgages or feed your families?
Well, you have only your own negative attitudes to blame.