Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Text of letter from Premier Wall to the SAA.

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June 30, 2010

Cynthia Dyck
President
Saskatchewan Arts Alliance
205A -2314 11th Avenue
REGINA SK S4P OK1

Dear Ms. Dyck:

Thank you for your letter of June 3, 2010, in which you express concern on behalf of the delegates of the 2010 Arts Congress regarding our government's decision to wind down its operation of the Saskatchewan Communication Network (SCN).

I assure you that our government recognizes and understands the concerns from the film and television industry. We understand the concerns regarding job losses and we are working with the sector to find new, innovative ways to move forward. Saskatchewan's film and television industry will continue to receive support through SaskFilm and our globally competitive Film Employment Tax Credit.

Our government made a commitment to the taxpayers that the 2010-2011 Budget would be balanced, forward-looking and responsible. There were a number of difficult choices in the budget, and the decision to discontinue SCN was one of them. After much consideration, we determined that the broadcast operation of SCN was not within the core business of Government.

The broadcast network provided some important services to the public and we are finding effective ways to ensure those continue. Televised distance education, the Legislative channel, and connectivity for public safety services will be maintained. In addition, we are exploring ways to broadcast SCN programs through other mediums, including SaskTel Max on Demand service.

Over the past several weeks, our government carefully reviewed and evaluated Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from groups interested in acquiring SCN's broadcast operations and assets. On June 21, 2010, our government announced the EOI put forward by Bluepoint Investment Corporation had been selected.

As part of its proposal to acquire SCN's assets, Bluepoint Investment has made a commitment to purchase Saskatchewan-made programming and to develop digital content, which will support the film and television sector in the province. This is one way that Saskatchewan's stories will continue to be told. We are very pleased with this outcome and believe it represents the best value for taxpayer dollars.

I have forwarded your letter to the Honourable Bill Hutchinson, Minister of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport, for his consideration.

Thank you for writing.

Sincerely,

signed by

Brad Wall
Premier

cc Honourable Bill Hutchinson
Minister of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport