The province of Quebec has introduced an enhanced film and television production credit that will return 25% of all Quebec-based spending to foreign producers.

The previous tax credit was based on a production’s in province labour spend.

The move comes as Quebec struggles to regain some of the production business it has lost due to a combination of factors, from the general economic downturn to an increase in competition in Canada and around the world and a strengthening Canadian dollar.

The change raises the bar for other film-friendly provinces. Ontario and British Columbia currently offer foreign producers 25% on in-province labour costs while Manitoba offers a 45% credit on in-province labour costs. But the blanket nature of the Quebec scheme — covering everything from hotel nights to equipment rentals and lab fees — easily surpasses the Manitoba figure, given that labour costs typically represent less than half a production’s budget.

As well, the Quebec government increased by 5% the bonus tax credit for special effects, digital animation and green-screen shooting, raising the rate for any eligible production to 30%..

In a statement, Quebec film commissioner Hans Fraikin said, “The entire industry will benefit considerably, in both the short and long term, from these measures. Quebec has returned to the foreground, with tax breaks that are more than typically competitive.”