If Tuesday’s federal budget was an attempt by the Conservatives to apologize to Canada’s culture community for the devastating cuts of the last year, they missed a major cue.

Canada’s $5-billion film and TV industry is a proven job generator and gives government a lot of bang for every dollar invested. By not making a significant investment in this industry, Conservatives passed on an opportunity to create thousands of well-paying, creative, skilled jobs and, in turn, stimulate Canadian economic growth.

A healthy cultural industry is in everybody’s interest — culture not only enriches our lives, it enriches our economy. More people work in culture than work in agriculture, forestry, mining, oil and gas — combined.

Our cultural industries already contribute more than $85 billion — or 7.4 per cent of Canada’s real gross domestic product — and more than 1.1 million jobs. ACTRA had presented a number of concrete job-creation ideas in the pre-budget process; unfortunately, the government didn’t include any of them in yesterday’s budget.

These practical solutions would have fuelled Canada’s $5-billion film and TV industry and added to the more than 125,000 full-time jobs our industry creates across Canada:

• Increased long-term funding for the Canadian Television Fund, Telefilm Canada, the CBC and the National Film Board;

• A new fund for new media productions that would come from a levy on the revenues of Internet service providers;

• Increased tax credits to encourage film and TV production across the country.

We also pitched the idea of re-introducing “income averaging” for tax purposes over a five-year period to provide fair and equitable tax treatment for self-employed Canadians, such as performers. We’re pleased to see renewed commitments to the Canadian Television Fund and New Media Fund. However, this is basically a status quo budget for our industry and a missed opportunity to use the job-creating power of our industry to its full potential.

Simply put, Canadian performers are surprised the government is passing on such a no-brainer.