[Hpn] Vancouver, BC, Canada - B.C. group wants pay for filming disruptions - The Associated Press - August 23, 2002

Editor Editor <hccjr@bellsouth.net>
Fri, 23 Aug 2002 09:00:49 -0500


B.C. group wants pay for filming disruptions

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By The Associated Press - August 23, 2002

VANCOUVER, B.C.  The movie industry should compensate
prostitutes, drug addicts and homeless people for forcing them
from their neighborhoods during filming, activist groups say.

In a letter sent to 30 production companies working in Vancouver
this year, the "Housing Action Committee" and the "Vancouver Area
Network of Drug Users" argue that workers in other trades get
compensated for lost wages if film production disrupts their work sites.

"Sex-trade workers must be compensated for displacement they
experience at your hands in the same manner you would compensate
a business if you were to use their locale during operating hours,"
the letter says.

"The same must hold true for homeless people you push from beneath
a bridge or doorway and drug users you move from a park."

Production companies pay federal, provincial and municipal taxes
and fees to film in Canada, but the activist groups want the film
industry to negotiate directly with residents.

Housing-committee member Chris Livingstone said this week that he
lives on the streets, so "film companies are invading my life when
they take over these streets."

Robert Weppler, a spokesman for the groups, said the compensation
was not charity.

"We are demanding the compensation for displacement and inconvenience
that the industry recognizes are due to us," he said in a news release.

Productions worth more than $650 million are filmed each year in
Vancouver, according to the British Columbia Film Commission.

"The downtown east side is a compelling place to shoot because it
has a gritty look which really shows a lot, but it also is a sensitive
area and production companies are aware of that," said Lindsay
Allen, head of the commission.

Government taxes contribute to funding for social programs in the
area, he said.

Film companies make large donations to local shelters and food
banks and regularly donate food and clothing left over from
filming, Allen said.



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