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Hollywood Loves HST

With 2010 drawing to a close, citizens of Ontario and British Columbia have now undergone nearly six months of life under the new Harmonized Sales Tax. For the most part, the population of both provinces are not pleased as the combined tax of 13% is definitely making certain expenditures more expensive than they used to be.

There is, however, a group of people who is quite happy about HST taking effect in these provinces, particularly in Canada’s west coast. Hollywood film companies see great benefits of the HST being part of British Columbia. Both B.C. and Ontario (predominantly Vancouver and Toronto specifically) are extremely popular sites for movie shoots.

This fact is so well known that Toronto has actually earned the nickname “Hollywood North”. Earlier today, Hayley Woodin of QMI Agency reported that film corporations in Los Angeles believe that HST makes shooting films in British Columbia more appealing to investors.

As a result, Stephanie Cadieux, who is British Columbia’s Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister, has been meeting with studios such as Columbia Pictures and Warner Brothers in Los Angeles to discuss ways to further the partnerships between the province and Hollywood’s major film studios.

According to Woodin, “the B.C. Film and television is a billion dollar industry, employing between 25,000 and 35,000 people.” Apparently, this industry is destined to significantly grow in the province. And why not? Vancouver, British Columbia is the site many movie shoots, including those for the extremely popular Twilight vampire movie series.

Said Cadieux about why B.C. makes a great place for Hollywood studios to shoot movies: “We are in the same time zone, we are the third largest production facility in North America (and we have) fantastic locations that can pretty much simulate any part of the world. The HST provides an added benefit to the companies: it is not the sole benefit.”

Nevertheless, citizens of British Columbia remain very vocal about their displeasure over the new Harmonized Sales Tax. Evidently, having wildly popular vampires and werewolves roam around in their backyards aren’t incentive enough for most B.C. residents to welcome HST.

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