POLITICS

Nova Scotia film sector meets for third time with government to talk tax credit

04/22/2015 01:36 EDT | Updated 07/16/2015 10:59 EDT
HALIFAX - Representatives from Nova Scotia's film industry expressed optimism a compromise will be struck soon with the provincial government over proposed cuts to a $24 million tax credit.

The group met for more than four hours with officials from the Finance Department on Wednesday. It was the third session of head-to-head talks in about a week.

Screen Nova Scotia chairman Marc Almon said the latest talks were constructive, but he wouldn't release details of what was discussed.

The group's vice-chairman Scott Simpson said he believes the sides are close to an agreement.

"We are confident we are moving forward, said Simpson. "There is a mutual desire to get it done quickly."

Finance Minister Diana Whalen, who was not at Wednesday's meeting, said she understood that "good progress" was made.

She said both sides are getting a better understanding of the respective positions.

"Progress is being made to bring us to a common ground," she said. "That's really where we want to go."

The industry has said a move to reduce the tax credit to $6 million beginning July 1 will drive business away from the province, while the government says the current incentive is too rich for a province struggling with its finances.

Whalen said both sides would continue talks on Thursday.