CANCON laws laid down by the CRTC

Bryan Adams. I didn’t watch the SuperBowl, I had no interest in it. When I was young, I looked forward to it every year, not because I liked football, but because I knew that some of the best commercials ever would be aired during the game.
At that time, my family didn’t have cable, so I had no idea that all my friends weren’t seeing them because the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) would block the American transmission. Nowadays, I have cable, but now the big game doesn’t hold any appeal to me because I miss out on all the commercials (thank God for the Internet). This is one thing that has always pissed me off about living in Canada.
Tom Cochrane. Don’t get me wrong, I love my country. I love our culture (yes, we do have one). I love its diversity (ethnological and biological). Hell, I even like its size (to quote a Rick Mercer joke about our size and it’s relation to the U.S., “We’re bigger and we’re on top. If we were in prison they’d be our bitch.”)
What I don’t like is our self-conscious nature. We are so insecure about our culture being overwhelmed from the flashy product from south of the border. So the CRTC enacts the Canadian Content (CANCON) regulations, and thus broadcast Canadian transmissions over American transmissions on cable, and forces radio stations to ensure a percentage of all music played on air is homegrown. I think that these regulations, despite their best intentions, hurt Canadian culture more than they help it and it’s time to get rid of them.
Honeymoon Suite. First of all, to my mind these CANCON regulations pretty much amount to a government agency admitting that the American product is far better than anything we can produce, and so the only way our culture has a chance of survival is if we do our best to block the American broadcast. Well guess what CRTC? No matter how many times I see Jeff Ltd. advertised while watching CSI is it going to make me think that it is a far superior show than the American produced sitcoms.
April Wine. Secondly, how can we ever expect to have programs that can compete with the American product on equal terms, if we automatically give our stuff a boost by producing it just because it is Canadian? If we got rid of these regulations, I don’t think that Canadian culture is going to suddenly evaporate into oblivion. On the contrary, I think that striking down CANCON regulations would in fact force Canadian television and music to become better by removing the government-regulated crutch.
It’s time that we got over our insecurities, and stop handicapping our television networks by forcing them air programs just because they are Canadian rather than because they are good. It’s time to let the Canadian networks compete fairly with the American counterparts, because when you think of it the process of blocking the American broadcasts on cable and satellite television is about as absurd as a guy writing a newspaper column and randomly naming music acts because they are Canadian rather than because they are good.
Oh, what was that? I haven’t met my CANCON quota? Oh, well … uh … Kim Mitchell, and Max Webster. There, that should put me safely over the limit.

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