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EDITORIAL: Film funds must be regional

It’s unaqcceptable that only three communities formally pay for the Okanagan Film Commission

We’ve all known that person who is more than happy to take advantage of drinks, food or tickets but never pulls their wallet out.

It’s not a good situation and can leave the one footing the bill feeling taken advantage of.

Now that scenario is exactly what continues to happen every year when the Okanagan Film Commission comes before the Regional District of North Okanagan for funding. Armstrong, Coldstream and Vernon are the only participants in the formal service so the onus is only on them to come up with the cash - $35,000 requested this year.

Enderby does contribute on its own, and while that could change abruptly as it’s not part of the service, at least the city is doing something right now. Nothing comes from the other jurisdictions and yet they all benefit from the film sector, whether it’s produciton companies using motels and restaurants, or crew actually living here and paying taxes.

Just consider that the OFC’s total annual budget is $229,000 and it provides a $23 million return on investment throughout the entire Okanagan. That’s extremely impressive especially when the region needs stable, well-paying jobs.

The regional district is supposed to be a federation of like-minded communities. That means pooling resources together when it makes sense for residents no matter where they live.

Unfortunately, though, some elected officials stick to a very narrow focus and a tight fist on the purse strings.

If a movie is ever made about the financial inequities at RDNO, maybe it can be called Free Ride.