I just received this appeal from the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild to actively oppose Bill C-10. If you haven’t heard, Bill C-10 intends to eliminate tax credits to Canadian film and television producers if the content is deemed “inappropriate”. It makes me a little weak in the knees to think that we’re even considering this kind of legislation. I think this is one of the silliest and most regressive attempts at censorship I’ve seen in a long time. If you feel the same way, read on to see the letter from SWG, and send a letter to one or all of the legislators listed at the end.
No doubt you have been following the debate on Bill C-10 which would require that a committee of public servants rule on the “suitability” of Canadian film and television productions, and subsequently, their eligibility for funding. The Writers’ Guild is gravely concerned about the implications of this bill and is working with the Saskatchewan Arts Alliance to oppose it. The Arts Alliance yesterday issued a news release to which we added our signature indicating our opposition.
In addition to the news release, we are asking concerned members to participate in a letter-writing campaign. Below is information on mailing and e-mail addresses along with a sample letter for you to use, or alter, as you see fit.
Bill C-10 is currently at third reading and is under review by the Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce which is meeting tomorrow so there is some urgency to this request.
If you have any questions regarding the campaign, please feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com.
Thanks for your participation.
CALL TO ACTION: Bill C-10
March 4, 2008
Slipped into the Conservative government’s Bill C-10 Amendments to the Income Tax Act, is a change that would allow Canadian Heritage to pull financial tax credit aid from Canadian film and television for productions “contrary to public policy” standards.
The amendment is a grave threat to free creative endeavour. Tax credits could be denied after the completion of work where anything is deemed to be of an explicit sexual nature, denigrates or is excessively violent without educational value. This amendment amounts to censorship of the most serious, arbitrary and offensive kind and could set a far-reaching precedent for similar future repression. Such censorship will have a chilling effect on artistic production. Guarantee of freedom of expression is an important bedrock of Canadian society and must be protected.
It is important that opposition be voiced immediately if the amendment to Bill C-10 is to be stopped. The Bill has passed 2nd reading at the Senate and is now under review by the Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce. Please act.
1. Call or email your objections to Saskatchewan Senators and your MP.
2. Send the following short letter, or better yet, write your own to the 8 members of the Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce.
3. Circulate this appeal widely.
Emails and addresses for Senators, MPs and the Standing Committee are below.
I wish to express my opposition to the changes to the Income Tax Act proposed in Bill C-10 that bring in broad censorship in the name of “public policy” to the production tax credit system. There are at present adequate protections of public interest in the hands of the federal government. Guarantees of freedom of expression are an important bedrock of Canadian society. Please ensure that these offensive censorhip proposals are removed from Bill C-10.
Your name and address.
(Note: Stamps are not needed for letters mailed to these addresses.)
Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce: Contact Information
Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce
The Senate of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A4
W. David Angus firstname.lastname@example.org
Yoine Goldstein email@example.com
Michel Biron firstname.lastname@example.org
John Trevor Eyton email@example.com
Mac Harb firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobina S. B. Jaffer email@example.com
Paul J. Massicotte firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael A. Meighen email@example.com
Wilfred P. Moore firstname.lastname@example.org
Pierette Ringuette email@example.com
David Tkachuk firstname.lastname@example.org
Saskatchewan Senators: Contact Information
Senate of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A4
Andreychuk, Raynell email@example.com
Dyck, Lillian Eva firstname.lastname@example.org
Gustafson, Leonard J. email@example.com
Merchant, Pana firstname.lastname@example.org
Peterson, Robert W.
Tkachuk, David email@example.com
Saskatchewan MPs: Contact Information
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
David Anderson Anderson.Da@parl.gc.ca
Dave Batters Batters.D@parl.gc.ca
Garry Breitkreuz Breitkreuz.G@parl.gc.ca
Brian Fitzpatrick Fitzpatrick.B@parl.gc.ca
Ralph Goodale Goodale.R@parl.gc.ca
Ed Kormanicki Komarnicki.E@parl.gc.ca
Tom Lukiwski Lukiwski.T@parl.gc.ca
Gary Merasty Merasty.G@parl.gc.ca
Gerry Ritz Ritz.G@parl.gc.ca
Andrew Scheer Scheer.A@parl.gc.ca
Carol Skelton Skelton.C@parl.gc.ca
Bradley Trost Trost.B@parl.gc.ca
Maurice Vellacott Vellacott.M@parl.gc.ca
Lynne Yelich Yelich.L@parl.gc.ca