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29 February 2008

It's Not Just Us

Our neighbor to the north, the Canadian Soviet Socialist Republic, is discovering the joys of a Conservative government combined with wingnuts:

A well-known evangelical crusader is claiming credit for the federal government's move to deny tax credits to TV and film productions that contain graphic sex and violence or other offensive content.

Charles McVety, president of the Canada Family Action Coalition, said his lobbying efforts included discussions with Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day and Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, and "numerous" meetings with officials in the Prime Minister's Office.


Mr. McVety said films promoting homosexuality, graphic sex or violence should not receive tax dollars, and backbench Conservative MPs and cabinet ministers support his campaign.

Canada is semi-famous for it's support of its movie industry (Actually, many countries not called the "United states" are famous for their support of their film industry. But I digress.) so this action isn't sitting well mith some:

Arts groups say they will fight the change. Director David Cronenberg and other big industry names warned that the edgy, low-budget films that have garnered Canadians international acclaim will be at risk.


Mr. Cronenberg, whose most recent film was the Oscar-nominated Russian mob thriller Eastern Promises, called the move an assault on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

"The irony is that it is the Canadian films that have given us an international reputation [that] would be most at risk because they are the edgy, relatively low-budget films made by people like me and others that will be targeted by this panel," he said.

"The platform they're suggesting is akin to a Communist Chinese panel of unknown people, who, behind closed doors, will make a second ruling after bodies like Telefilm Canada have already invested."

The efforts to undo the Enlightenment continue.

As a side note, I'd like to point out that the Globe and Mail is Canada's second largest (circulation-wise) daily newspaper. I mention this because of the following paragraphs of the story cited:

Films with controversial subject matter, such as Lynne Stopkewich's acclaimed necrophilia film Kissed and Atom Egoyan's Where The Truth Lies (which got an NC-17 rating in the United States for a scene involving a threesome) could lose the right to tax credits under new public policy guidelines.

Works by Martin Gero, the director of Young People Fucking (which opens in theatres in Canada in April), could also get a once-over from the panel.

Notice that a profane word was used. Not in a gratuitous way but simply to refer to a title. To those of us living in a country in which no "respectable" "news" organization would ever do such a thing (not even to quote the Vice President of These United States) it's quite refreshing.



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