Saturday, February 14, 2009


The CRTC (the Canadian Radio-Television & Telecommunications Commission) has said that they are considering a major overhaul of regulations guiding Canadian TV.

Here's what they are looking at.

For every dollar that Global, CTV, CITY and others spend on buying Los Angeles product, they would have to spend the same amount on Canadian programming.

(Curiously, the CBC is not in this sandbox, which raises again the question of why CBC needs or wants to show Jeopardy and why my tax dollars should pay to broadcast American fluff 'n stuff that I can see or avoid on a hundred other channels.)

Australia, being plunked "Down Under," a zillion miles from everybody else has had the wonderful and necessary luxury of creating much of its own culture, including some marvelous films and TV programs.

But here in what is still pathetically, annoyingly called "Hollywood North," we are a tiny and insignificant branch plant of the Santa Monica mafia.

Let's be clear.

Global - now reeling on its last heels from the world economic tsunami and bad family management and trading at pennies - made its original fortune out of Barber Greene by being simply the best buyers of American TV schlock.

There is only one small problem with this model.

Do not actors and writers and cameramen and makeup artists and costumers and carpenters and cooks not have the same right to a livelihood as other Canadians, who have invested time and money in study and training for their chosen professions?

At the moment, the average income for a Canadian actor is just over $20,000 a year.


Now, I don't really believe that the CRTC will actually demand of CTV, Global and the rest that they match dollar-for-dollar spending on Canadian production with Yanqui acquisition. The TV folk will scream bloody murder.

And given the other realities of the Internet, DVD's, the iPhone, downloads and so on, this demand would probably break the back of the local industry before it helped your starving artists.


If Canada - the B-movie - ever hopes to have some pride of accomplishment in these areas, the time was yesterday, or at the latest, today.

Stand back and pull up the popcorn for...


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