The provincial government is proposing changes to the Highway Traffic Act, which could benefit Manitoba's film industry.

Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler says legislative changes would provide more options to organizations that require traffic control services for film productions or special events that use Manitoba roads. Changes would also ease the demand on law enforcement for traffic control services.

"Without these legislative changes, organizations may decide to forgo Manitoba as a production location if they face challenges in securing traffic control services," says Schuler.

PR 305 near Ste. Agathe is a popular spot for film crews during the summer months.The changes would allow a traffic authority, either provincial or municipal, to permit certified flag people to temporarily control traffic, in situations where it is safe to do so.

Traffic control on Manitoba roads is currently limited to, in case of emergency, police, RCMP and firefighters, and railway companies and contractors performing road maintenance and construction.

Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Cathy Cox says her government made a throne speech commitment to boost film and television production in the province. She notes the film and video industry is projected to generate more than $250 million into our economy in 2019/20.

"Demand in rural Manitoba for law enforcement to provide traffic control services for film productions continues to increase," says Cox. "This proposed amendment will help the film and video industry continue to grow."

Jane MacLatchy is commanding officer of Manitoba RCMP. She says RCMP in this province has long supported film and television production by providing officers to help direct and control traffic at locations across the province.

"This amendment will allow our officers to focus on core policing duties and will help to ensure that we continue to provide the very best in front-line policing services to our communities," says MacLatchy.

Flag people used to control traffic would need a valid flag person certificate from an accredited training provider. The province provides approval for flag person-training providers in Manitoba.

It was also announced Friday morning that in the 2020/21 budget, a new Manitoba Production Company Bonus of eight per cent will be added to the 30 per cent cost-of-production credit, increasing the total cost-of-production credit to 38 per cent.