Production J Tax Rule Change Decried by Julie Snyder, Pierre Karl Péladeau

Production J Tax Rule Change Decried by Julie Snyder, Pierre Karl Péladeau

Quebec City (Quebec) 5 July 2015 – Julie Snyder – TV personality, businesswoman, and Parti Québécois leader Pierre Karl Péladeau’s bride-to-be – spoke out in a press conference decrying a recent change to rules regarding tax credits for producers of media products.  Mme Snyder is president and CEO of Productions J, a major television content production firm behind major hits like the Québec versions of Star Académie and La Voix.

The Liberal government recently changed the rules regarding eligibility of tax credits for independent production companies, making Productions J ineligible for the tax credits because its owner, Julie Snyder, is not an “independent” owner.  As she is the common law spouse of Pierre Karl Péladeau, who is still the majority shareholder of major media conglomerate Québecor, her firm is no longer considered an “independent” production firm, but rather dependent on Québecor.

Productions J is the only firm affected by the change.

Holding back tears, Mme Snyder affirmed that without the tax credit – which can represent up to 20% of her company’s budget – her company is unable to remain competitive and would have to shut down production or sell.  Initially reluctant to comment, M. Péladeau would later in the week state he feels the change in law was “pettiness” (“mesquinerie”) by the Liberal government, targeting Mme Snyder for her relationship with him.

Liberals however say the rule had only recently been changed by the Parti Québécois government in 2013.  Before then – and throughout the majority of Production J’s major hit-producing times – Productions J had not been eligible for the independent producers’ tax credit.  They claim they were only changing the rule back to its original form, as it has been established by the PQ government a decade ago.  Critics took this further, pointing out that the rule allowing Productions J to get the tax credit had been changed in the final leg of the PQ government, mere weeks before M. Péladeau and Mme Marois announced M. Péladeau’s candidacy.

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