Ah, Quebec. You have to hand it to them.

While New Brunswick diddles around trying to attract feature films with a squirt gun, Quebec brings a bazooka.

The Societe generale de financement du Quebec (SGF), the provincial government’s investment arm, will finance up to 35% of production costs of television and feature film productions shot in Quebec for a four-year period for an aggregate investment of up to $140 million. The transaction will encompass a broad range of future Lionsgate television and feature film productions in the Province of Quebec, including the planned October 2007 production of Lionsgate’s next Punisher film, starring Ray Stevenson (from HBO’s hit series Rome) and directed by Oscar (R) nominee Lexi Alexander.

Now, I know that some of you will scoff and say this is a waste of taxpayer dollars. You may be right but:

“SGF is pleased to participate with Lionsgate in this exciting venture which will have a significant impact on Quebec’s filmed entertainment industry,” said SGF’s Chairman of the Board, President and General Manager, Pierre Shedleur. “We anticipate the creation of more than 6,700 full-time equivalent jobs, generating total wages of $270 million”.

Yes, it is true that it is hard to compete with Quebec. They will spend $140 million to create $270 million in total wages. I hope that they are high paying wages in order to get anything like a payback on that investment.

But my point is still valid. While we sit around and debate whether or not New Brunswick should put piddly amounts into attracting firms here, Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia and others are serving up serious dough.

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