An Open Letter to Premier Brad Wall: On Film, Family & The Real Meaning of Rock & Roll

Hello Mr. Wall,

We didn’t get formally introduced but we met briefly this past weekend at Cypress Hills Provincial Park.

It was my son who was on the otherwise empty outdoor ampitheatre stage, singing and dancing, when you walked by.

As you passed, you joked about enjoying the free show then carried on your walk with your wife and dog. Later, when we passed you on the path as you were heading back the other way, you joked again, this time saying how disappointed you were that you wouldn’t be able to catch the encore.

I didn’t say anything to you at that time as I recognized you were on a holiday and enjoying time with your family as was I.

But today, I write this letter in the hopes you might take a moment to consider the deeper meaning of what your words implied on that sunny day last week.

As unpolished as it was, my son’s actions were a performance, a performance that brought a smile to your face and a moment of humour to your day.

That’s the same impact that the Saskatchewan film industry has on people around the province and indeed, around the world, every single day.

Or should I say “that’s the impact the film industry used to have” as your recent cancelling of the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit is already seeing dozens and will eventually see hundreds of creative, entrepreneurial citizens and some of our most dynamic small companies leave our province.

Those leaving includes husbands and wives who will no longer be part of their communities, companies that will no longer share our stories with the world and neither to pay the taxes that help our province grow. (Those leaving also includes a number of people (including 41% of owner-producers who responded to a recent survey) who count themselves as supporters of your party.)

The children of the families who leave will now give their performances on the tempting outdoor stages of parks in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario instead of here in Saskatchewan where they were born and where they belong.

Please, on behalf of all the Saskatchewan residents – and especially those who have have young families, like me and like you – I’m asking you to reconsider your decision.

Thank-you,

Jason Hammond (and my five-year old future rock & roller son, Pace)

[Addendum: You won’t have to look very long at this blog to see that I am an NDP supporter.  But I strongly believe that this isn’t a partisan issue as the film tax credit encompasses topics that are important to both the NDP and the Sask Party – small business, tax base and future growth and so on.]

Comments 2

  1. Janet CRaig wrote:

    Jason…very well written..thanks for sharing.
    Love it.
    Janet

    Posted 10 Jul 2012 at 11:03 pm
  2. Linda wrote:

    Well said Jason. Thank you.
    Also leaving, tax dollars,spouses that include engineers, city planners (Saskatoon), nurses (yes more than one), and many others. Their children who were born here (in aid of repopulating the province when it was not ‘the have’ place to be), play on sports teams, pay school taxes for etc.
    What a grave error. Even if a production company could financially produce a feature or series in Saskatchewan today, they could not – there is no longer enough crew remaining. This will take YEARS to repair the damage done.
    Such a shortsighted and poorly executed cut (100% not cost savings!).

    Posted 11 Jul 2012 at 1:45 pm

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