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Manitoba Offers More Aid to Film and TV Industry

March 6, 2020 12:10 PM | Entertainment

Movie Shoot

WINNIPEG — Film productions in Manitoba will find it easier to control traffic around their sets with new flexibility from the province.

The Manitoba government is proposing changes to the Highway Traffic Act, giving provincial or municipal traffic authorities the ability to permit certified flag people to temporarily control traffic, in situations where it is safe to do so.

“Manitoba Film and Music supports the amendment to the Highway Traffic Act which would allow certified flag people to manage traffic flow where appropriate for film shoots,” said Rachel Rusen Margolis, CEO and film commissioner, Manitoba Film and Music.

“This amendment would ultimately result in savings for film productions shooting on provincial highways, providing an additional incentive for off-shore productions who choose Manitoba as a shooting location.”

Under the current law, traffic control on Manitoba roads is limited to emergency personnel, railway companies and contractors performing road maintenance and construction.

The move is also being lauded by Manitoba RCMP, who say the legislative changes will free up officers to focus on core policing duties rather than traffic control.

Those controlling traffic will still need to obtain a valid flag person certificate from an accredited training provider in the province.

In a separate announcement Friday, the province announced the 2020-21 budget will include a Manitoba Production Company Bonus of eight percent will be added to the 30 percent cost-of-production credit, increasing the total cost-of-production credit to 38 percent.

“We are pleased to support Manitoba’s successful film production industry and continue to elevate our province’s reputation as a destination for film and video production, and a place where young Manitobans want to build their careers in that industry,” said Finance Minister Scott Fielding.

“This has been a robust year for the film production industry, as demonstrated by the increased demand for the credit to the current in-year forecast amount of $42.5 million from our 2019 budget amount of $31.5 million.”