Telefilm Canada’s Official Response to Sun Media

Montreal – December 10, 2010 – On December 8, 2010, Brian Lilley of Sun Media published the article entitled “Telefilm bosses show a love for limos”. It is essential to Telefilm to share this official response with its clients and partners and to ensure that they are aware of the realities of Telefilm’s administration of its funds.

The following was sent to Mr. Lilley immediately following the publication of his article: 

Dear Mr. Lilley: 

I just read your article on Telefilm which deals, amongst other things, with what was a very successful annual public assembly that it held today in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This important exchange between Telefilm and Canadians across the country was lauded by the industry and by the various partners and stakeholders that we deal with on a daily basis.  We are obviously very pleased with this reaction. 

I find it saddening, however, that you would take advantage of such an opportunity to present erroneous and misleading information to your readers in terms of how Telefilm manages its operations. 

Without entering into the details of each example you presented, what I can say unequivocally is that Telefilm takes its responsibility vis-a-vis Canadian taxpayers very seriously. I can also say that each and every dollar that is spent is done so after considering the most effective, secure and economic options that are available to us. 

It’s thanks to this prudent management of funds that Telefilm was able to re-inject $1.5 million back into the financing of projects and deliver its mandate at an administration cost of approximately 6 per cent. That, by the way, is a decrease from last year when this figure was greater than 7 per cent. 

Denise Arab
Director, Communications

In addition to the above, Telefilm would like to share with you the following information:

Fact 1:  In each and every case that was outlined in the access to information response Mr. Lilley received, Telefilm management and board members were using transportation that was the most reasonable and cost effective possible.

Fact 2:  Telefilm Canada’s mandate is to develop and support the audiovisual industry. This means that we are required to attend festivals, events and markets in Canada and abroad. While we don’t decide where these events take place, what we do determine is how to fulfill this important mandate responsibly. Telefilm Canada management and board members stay at hotels that are part of a pre-approved list, which is provided by Treasury Board. It’s important to note that Telefilm’s travel policy as a whole was developed using Treasury Board guidelines.

Fact 3: Travel expenses in 2009-2010 decreased by 9 percent; it’s forecasted that this figure will decrease a further 20 percent in this fiscal year. 

Fact 4: Telefilm underwent a special examination by the Auditor General of Canada last year and did exceptionally well. The examination revealed no important shortfalls in its management. As the Auditor General’s representative said, this is very rare for a Crown corporation undergoing its first special examination.

Further information regarding Telefilm’s activities can be found in its 2009-2010 Annual Report.