Canadian actors group denounces FTAC claim


TORONTO -- Canadian actors on Tuesday angrily condemned a group representing Hollywood below-the-line workers for enlisting Washington in its bid to stem the northward flow of U.S. filming.

"We will fight this attack on Canada's film industry and insist on the right to provide support to our industry," ACTRA president Richard Hardacre said.

Hardacre was reacting to the filing of a complaint with the U.S. Trade Representative by the Los Angeles-based Film and Television Action Committee.

In a formal petition for relief under section 301(a) of the 1974 federal trade act, FTAC is urging that Washington call for a halt to Canadian subsidies that it argues unfairly lure U.S. productions across the border.

"It's difficult to find a Canadian film in a Canadian theater with all the U.S. blockbusters dominating our screens," Hardacre said. "Yet this upstart organization has the nerve to insist studios stop filming in Canada."

FTAC plans to ask the USTR to negotiate with the Canadian government in a bid to end tax credits and other lucrative incentives it offers foreign producers. Should that fail, the group wants action initiated through the World Trade Organization.

FTAC executives could not be reached for comment Tuesday.