Films that “proselytize children to be homosexuals” should not receive government tax credits, a rightwing activist told a Senate committee studying Bill C-10 Apr 16.
“Go watch Breakfast with Scot,” said Charles McVety, president of the Canada Family Action Coalition. “Tell me that’s not training a child to be a homosexual.”
McVety grabbed national headlines in Feb when he took credit for the clause in C-10 that would deny tax credits from films with “gratuitous” sex and violence.
Accompanied by the group’s executive director Brian Rushfeldt, McVety dodged senators’ questions about his meetings with Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, and officials in the Prime Minister’s Office.
Liberal Senator Wilfred Moore asked McVety point blank whether he had met with the government, yet McVety would not give a yes or no answer. He said he had spoken with many MPs over the years, including Day, but then minutes later denied meeting with any of them.
“We didn’t even know about this until it was on the front page of the Globe and Mail,” said McVety.
Throughout the committee meeting, senators pointed out inconsistencies and fact-twisting in the group’s presentation.
Rushfeldt claimed that a colleague of his could not receive funding to care for her autistic child, because “billions” had been spent subsidizing films, including what he calls “pornography.”
“There’s never been a tax credit for a pornographic film as per the current rules,” Liberal Senator Pierrette Ringuette later noted.
McVety also presented a poll that showed low support for public funding of pornography, and he tried to say that it showed the public supports the proposed film content guidelines in C-10.
But Liberal Senator Yoine Goldstein was quick to point out McVety’s manipulation of fact.
“Have you seen Angus-Reid survey that deals with the guidelines?” he asked in a heated tone. “48 percent of Canadians agree that C-10 should not be passed with the powers it now has.”
McVety and Rushfeldt were followed by presentations from arts industry groups, all of which spoke out against the film clause.
Presenters noted that the current tax credit system works fine as it is. They said that new, vague content guidelines could destabilize funding for the film industry, because tax credits are not awarded until after a film is done production. Banks would be less likely to fund edgy films if they believe that the film may be denied a tax credit under new restrictive guidelines.
The committee is scheduled to hear from more of the arts industry Apr 17.
One thing is certain: the committe’s chair, Conservative Senator David Angus, will be sure to turn his microphone off when he’s finished speaking. Angus was caught on tape at the Apr 10 committee meeting, when he accidentally left his mike on and said that Heritage Minister Josée Verner “hates” C-10. No such slip-ups at the Apr 16 meeting.
“The meeting is adjourned,” he said. “And the microphones are off!”