This is going to be one of the most direct posts I have written. I simply cannot let the irony, hypocrisy and sneakiness of what I saw today go by the wayside. The major news networks have politely alluded to what I am about to say. But because of the politics involved, they have been too polite and too tactful to use straight talk to call out what they too are seeing. So if they’re not going to do it, then I will.
(Radio Canada’s “polite & tactful” attempt to explain the whole tax credit humdrum: http://ici.radio-canada.ca/audio-video/media-7309274/le-fonctionnement-des-credits-dimpot)
Julie Snyder announced today that she can “no longer make television productions” at her production company, Productions J. (Whatever that means???)
Here is the 24-hour news channel LCN link to Julie Snyder’s news conference: http://tvanouvelles.ca/video/4328615372001/julie-snyder-se-dit-laquoforceeraquo-dabandonner-la-production-demissions-point-de-presse/
Here is the LCN video news story on the event: http://tvanouvelles.ca/video/4328956566001/julie-snyder-abandonne-la-production-tele-reportage/
Here is the LCN written story on the event: http://tvanouvelles.ca/lcn/artsetspectacles/general/archives/2015/06/20150629-114846.html
Careful though. She has not stated she is “closing shop”.
We will soon find out what her plans are for her company. I am sure they will be interesting. Perhaps she will morph herself into some other type of shareholder in her company. Perhaps she will sell it to a high profile individual to ensure the production company remains front-and-centre in the nationalist limelight, and in the “hearts and souls” of the public (after all, if you’re a de facto politician like Julie Snyder, what is the good of holding a media company if you cannot Orwellingly control on a massive scale capture the hearts and minds of viewers).
Snyder’s states her reason is that she is no longer able to operate her company owing to being shut out of government tax credits (a fancy name for free government handouts… otherwise known as a subsidy).
This could quite easily leave the public with the impression that Productions J. can no longer be profitable without subsidies (although note she has quite interestingly avoided using the word “profitable”, so I’m left to wonder if profits are truly an issue here).
In March, 2015, the Couillard government eliminated tax credits for production companies whose productions are purchased by only one media outlet and for those who are not at arms length from their main clients (by way of family relations). The reason was that such production companies are basically in-house extensions of the purchasing company (Productions J. produced only for TVA, whereas other production companies – such as Fabienne Larouche – produced for various networks).
Let me give you a perfect example:
Imagine you own a grocery store which employs “baggers” to bag groceries. Now imagine that competing “packaging companies” are entitled to a 14-20% government rebate on their overall expenses (including salaries) so as to compete better against other companies in the packaging industry. But you, as a grocery store owner, come up with the wild idea that if you spin off your team of 6 grocery baggers as a separate company, operating within your grocery store, the government will give you the equivalent of 14-20% on the total value of the groceries being bagged, and 14-20% of your salary expenses.
And better yet, you don’t have to open yourself up to any competition from other grocery baggers. What a gift from heaven; free taxpayers money and you don’t have to do anything to get it. That’s a similar situation to the one we’re looking at with Julie Snyder’s production company (the bagging company) and her relationship with TVA (the grocery store).
Tax credits are in place to allow production companies to be more competitive when competing against each other to obtain production contracts.
However, if a company is guaranteed to get a contract (and full profitable payment) under an exclusive arrangement (such as that which appeared to exist between Productions J. and Julie’s de facto spouse’s company, TVA), then it could be argued that the tax credits were useless, and a waste of tax payers money.
Under such circumstances, subsidies only serve to make money for the production company, by transferring taxpayer’s money directly into the company’s balance sheet.
In March, 2015, the Couillard government declared enough was enough, and ended such a tax credit scheme.
Subsidy restrictions should be in place for any production company which is in an exclusive relationship, even if Julie Snyder did not own a production company (am I wrong?).
I do not see a plethora of other production companies in Québec coming to the defense of Julie Snyder or saying the government is wrong (in fact, the premier went so far as to say that the entire productions industry has been rejoicing at the rebalancing of the tax credits).
Giving production companies free money when they do not need to compete against other companies does not make sense. Especially when other companies desperately need the funds – considering that they have to lower their production bids (and profitability) in order to compete and secure business.
The hypocrisy in Julie’s claims
Before February, 2014, a production company like Julie Snyder’s was not entitled to such tax credits.
Julie Snyder was apparently doing just fine before February 2014, even without the tax credits (La Voix and Le Banquier were at the height of television ratings. And correct me if I’m wrong, but was Star Académie not just a teeny-weeny little bit of a success? Just a little?).
But then came along Julie Snyder’s friend Pauline Marois and the PQ government in the winter of 2014. Marois’ government graciously doled out the tax credits to companies like Julie’s. This occurred just before hubby (PKP) jumped into the arena with both feet, and a fist in the air, to join Marois’ plan for the world (it looks like the table was being set).
Coincidentally, I am told that Marois’ party headquarters were conveniently down the hall, on the same floor of the same office building in which Productions J. was located.
But now Julie says she can’t operate without the subsidies. She offers no explanation why she could operate without them year-after-year until only 16 months ago. But for the purposes of her heart-tugging plea to the public today, she pleaded that she simply can’t live without them (sounds like a Mariah Carey song).
In grand style today, Julie summoned Québec’s cameras to her press conference so she could tell the world that she is a victim of Philippe Couillard’s heinous tactics. She claims that her professional life as a producer has come to an end.
Life apparently is very rough. And if you’re Julie Snyder, it is apparently very, very rough (but hey… separatism won’t be rough for anyone! Nope – not a soul. Life will be marvelous for us all. After all, we rejoice in broken families, a broken people, and having all of our hearts ripped out and trampled on).
In real show-biz sensational style, why would you steal the limelight for only yourself when you could wrestle it away from your foes at the same time?
Snyder’s choice of day on which to cry us a river is even more interesting. She certainly has proven to be quite a show-biz officiado – in extrēmus.
At the start of the press conference, the score was Julie-0, rest of the world (ROW)-1. But it looks like she had every intention to settle that score, and then some.
- During the press conference, she brought a lawyer on stage to say she is a victim of the provincial Liberals. This is an apparent attempted score against the Liberals. (Julie 1, ROW-1)
- She had another lawyer on the other side of her saying Snyder is the victim of sexism and none of this would be happening if she were a man (Really? Does that mean PKP is a woman disguised as a man? After all, he is under the same pressure to divest himself of his own media empire). The “sexist” card she is pulling relates to a joke the CAQ leader made many months ago. This is an apparent attempted score against the CAQ. (Julie 2, ROW-1)
- She held her press conference on the same day that the Couillard Liberals were making their first major multi-billion re-investment announcement to create jobs – the Québec maritime strategy. Julie’s chosen day looks like an apparent attempt to one-up the Liberals by taking the cameras off them, and to squarely refocus the lenses on poor, suffering Julie. (Julie-3, ROW-1)
- Her press conference was also held on the same day as the Trudeau Federal Liberal’s environmental platform announcement (environmental matters are very close to the hearts of many Québecois). Again, it appears to be Julie’s attempt to take away the attention the Federal Liberal’s announcement would garner in same-day headlines. Interestingly, Julie’s friends in the Bloc (foes of the Federal Liberals) directly benefit from such a move. (Julie-4, ROW-1)
But at the end of the day, apparently Julie is the only person hard done by in this world. After all, she would never do anything sneaky herself.
I can’t wait to see how she “crafts” the fate of her company.
Some last thoughts for Julie
If you, as a business person, are going to very publicly enter politics in such a high-stakes game of ruining and tearing apart one of the finest countries in the world, and the lives of millions of people who desperately care for each other (regardless of which side of the linguistic line they fall), then you better be ready to ride a good number of sharp bumps in the road – Especially if your business is one in which you intend to use to elevate your status so as to win hearts and minds.
I view today’s performance as a move to mark political points and garner public sympathy.
Just as you are fighting for a new country… there are way more people in Canada (both in Anglophone Canada and in Québec) who have a deep emotional interest in fighting with full hearts to keep their Francophone-Anglophone family together.
When things don’t go your way, don’t cry a river to say you’re a victim of politics when you created the politics yourself (I believe you stepped into the political arena before your husband did).
If you make your bed, get ready to lie in it.
If you perhaps are not in the know, here is an earlier post I wrote explaining who is Julie Snyder — Her background from media-personality to present-day de facto politician: Click here for post #263
Here is an excellent report from RDI (in French) with the numbers to support much of what I just stated above: http://ici.radio-canada.ca/audio-video/media-7309560/mur-video-julie-snyder-abandonne
MAJOR ADDENDUM CONFIRMING EXACTLY WHAT I PREDICTED WOULD HAPPEN: 2015-07-13
Gee, guess what happened…
Julie, for a “secret” amount ($1??) sold Productions J to her friend / VP, Benoît Clermont. Cermont will continue to make the same ‘ole, same ‘old TV productions (La Voix, etc.).
Wow, he must have been very well paid all these years to be able to buy Productions J outright. But he won’t talk to the media, so we know nothing about the “transaction” (and likely never will).
As of last Friday, rumour has it that Julie will be heading back to the TV studios and will once again take the limelight as the host of Le Banquier.
Sale of Productions J = Didn’t end up cutting the umbilical cord in the end anyway (leave it to Julie to find a way around it).
Star-cum-politician = roadmap to her ultimate goal, regardless? Quoi de neuf !?!