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Thu Jun 15 12:54 pm  #1


Would You Pay A Tax On Broadband Internet To Support Cdn. Shows?

There was lots of talk about this on the various radio blabbers Thursday after this article appeared in the Globe and Mail. So if you'll pardon the following long winded editorial, I can see why.
 
It’s because a federal government committee is now back to suggesting they tax all broadband Internet connections, since so many Canadians are cord-cutting the cable and satellite out of their lives and streaming everything they want to see online. That means that fewer people are contributing to a mandatory Canuck programming fund used to make future CanCon, leading to broadcaster and producer cries of unfair competition and poverty.
 
For now, Prime Minister Selfie and his Ottawa cronies have rejected the idea, knowing it would provoke a huge backlash from consumers who are already being nickel and dimed to death by their existing and endless charges. (They’re very careful NOT to call it a Netflix Tax, but rather an Internet Levy.)
 
Here’s my problem with such an idea. I don’t have kids, but I used the school system when I was younger, so I don’t object to helping fund that. And I see my doctor when needed, so I have no issue with helping to fund health care in my taxes. And I drive on the roads, so even though I may not use every highway, it seems reasonable to help pay for their maintenance, as well. (Although the amount we pay for all these services is another matter entirely.)
 
But after wracking my brains (and trust me, they've been wracked way too many times over the years) I could not come up with a single Canadian show I’ve watched in the past five years. And I very much doubt there are any waiting in the wings that will one day be worth my while. So in essence, it’s being suggested that we should pay for something many of us never use or want, and which, unlike health care, is hardly a necessity.
 
Similarly, I don’t smoke or drink, so the so-called "sin taxes" on those products don’t affect me. If you want to indulge, fine – there’s a price to pay for that. But imagine if I had to fork over the taxes on a carton of cigarettes without ever actually buying one. That, in my mind, is outright theft.  

It can be argued that The Internet has become, for better or worse, an indispensable part of our lives, from communicating to bill paying and keeping up with news. Taxing something that integral to daily life to help fund another Trouble With Tracy is just plain wrong. 
 
I say all this coming from someone who made a pretty good living in Canadian TV and radio for decades, so some could call that hypocrisy. But the shows I worked on (all news) were ratings and advertiser dependent and as far as I know, were not directly supported by taxpayer dollars.
 
Taxing high speed Internet access must make the eyes of federal politicians, who have never met a charge they didn’t like, grow wider. But not being a public or civil servant, my paycheque hasn’t grown any larger. And despite the arguments about “level playing fields” and “fairness,” it’s unconscionable in my mind to force me to pay for something I never use.
 
It may not happen this time. But rest assured this one is not going away. I’m pretty sure it will keep coming back until they find an excuse to put it in. And then it won’t be a stream coming out of your screen. It will be steam coming out of your ears.

Globe & Mail: Committee calls for new Internet tax to help media industry

 

Thu Jun 15 1:41 pm  #2


Re: Would You Pay A Tax On Broadband Internet To Support Cdn. Shows?

No.

 

Thu Jun 15 1:59 pm  #3


Re: Would You Pay A Tax On Broadband Internet To Support Cdn. Shows?

Let the shows be successful or die. Welcome to capitalism.

 

Thu Jun 15 2:16 pm  #4


Re: Would You Pay A Tax On Broadband Internet To Support Cdn. Shows?

As a kid, I watched Friendly Giant [who didn't], Forest Rangers and Razzle Dazzle [with Howard the Turtle] My younger sister watched Albert J. Steed[because she liked horses]. As an adult, the only Canadian shows I made a point of watching because I thought they were well done and I actually enjoyed them were Street Legal and Degrassi. Oh I forgot the original Littlest Hobo.

 

Thu Jun 15 2:26 pm  #5


Re: Would You Pay A Tax On Broadband Internet To Support Cdn. Shows?

We're already overtaxed as it is.

'Eff 'em.

 

Thu Jun 15 2:49 pm  #6


Re: Would You Pay A Tax On Broadband Internet To Support Cdn. Shows?

I'd pay more to see less Canadian content.

 

Thu Jun 15 2:51 pm  #7


Re: Would You Pay A Tax On Broadband Internet To Support Cdn. Shows?

I'm nearly done reading Mike Myers' book 'Canada'.  It's a light, interesting read, but one thing he is extremely passionate about, and grateful for, is CanCon, the CBC, and all the other taxpayer-funded stuff that Canadians like to gripe about.  He credits all the above with helping him get where he is, as well as for the success of many other Canadians in Hollywood and New York.  Obviously, talent, hard work and a little luck helped too, but he's very thankful for the cheesy Canadian productions he grew up on, and later participated in.

 

Thu Jun 15 3:13 pm  #8


Re: Would You Pay A Tax On Broadband Internet To Support Cdn. Shows?

Screw CanCon. Screw it good. Stab it. Burn it. Bury it deep in the ocean and then drain it and fly it into deep space. Then let the aliens capture it and probe it rectally.

 

Thu Jun 15 3:22 pm  #9


Re: Would You Pay A Tax On Broadband Internet To Support Cdn. Shows?

Here's another point about how stupid this thing could be. Suppose you DIDN'T cancel your cable or satellite service but also kept your Internet connection with your provider. I think that still encompasses millions of Canadians.

Under this scenario, it appears you'll be paying the same tax twice. That hardly seems fair. 

     Thread Starter
 

Thu Jun 15 3:29 pm  #10


Re: Would You Pay A Tax On Broadband Internet To Support Cdn. Shows?

The PM nixed the tax this morning.
CRTC says all cell phones sold in Canada after DEC 1st must be unlocked.

 

Thu Jun 15 3:35 pm  #11


Re: Would You Pay A Tax On Broadband Internet To Support Cdn. Shows?

Mike Cleaver wrote:

CRTC says all cell phones sold in Canada after DEC 1st must be unlocked.

And, starting on that day, existing cell phones must be unlocked for free. Can you say rate increases?

 

Thu Jun 15 4:25 pm  #12


Re: Would You Pay A Tax On Broadband Internet To Support Cdn. Shows?

I have actually enjoyed a number of Canadian productions recently.  

Having said that, I oppose a tax on broadband Internet to support Canadian productions.  They really should stand on their own.  Besides, only a minute percentage of my monthly Internet bandwidth goes to watching streaming/downloaded video.

It reminds me of the levy placed on blank CDs to help compensate for people ripping and burning.  All it did was give those people licence to keep stealing since they felt they were "paying" for it now.
 

 

Thu Jun 15 4:46 pm  #13


Re: Would You Pay A Tax On Broadband Internet To Support Cdn. Shows?

Mike Cleaver wrote:

The PM nixed the tax this morning.

Yes and I noted that in my unfortunately overlong rant. But my point is that it's bound to come back. I've already heard several groups on the air this afternoon, including ACTRA - which represents actors, among others - agitating for why this is so badly needed. All of them have been saying it's a matter of fairness.

What about fairness for beleaguered taxpayers, who may not watch the shows made with these funds and who are already doling out a small fortune in levies? Culture or not, there is something fundamentally unfair about forcing people to pay for programming they never, ever watch. For many, that's already CBC TV.

Adding on to that burden is simply indefensible.

But with so many special and powerful interests pushing it, I predict you'll keep hearing about it more and more until someone finally forces it through.

God help us. (I have it on good authority He doesn't watch Can Con, either...)

     Thread Starter
 

Thu Jun 15 7:22 pm  #14


Re: Would You Pay A Tax On Broadband Internet To Support Cdn. Shows?

The good thing about a 'levy' as opposed to a tax, is that you pay tax on the 'levy'. So its double your pleasure for the government.

I can't stand the left wing droning of the CBC, but I cannot opt of of supporting it with my tax 'contributions'. What is the difference with the levy?

Although the gov't may have rejected a levy for the time being; you can bet your T4 this will be implemented sooner or later. Likely sooner.

 

Thu Jun 15 8:24 pm  #15


Re: Would You Pay A Tax On Broadband Internet To Support Cdn. Shows?

Canadian shows will fly of their own volition.  If they suck... ... ...toodles.  I'm not paying jack-shit to support shit no matter where it originates.  That said...1/2 the channels on TV can up and fly.  Who needs 'em?  Not the smart folk who've already jettisoned them.  The industry is outta control.  Too many outlets playing way too little of any real worth or value.  Water flavoured Coke would never fly so why watch this tripe?  [or listen to it for that matter.]

CAN CON...is FAKE entertainment.  Make it or fail based on talent not ethnicity or country of origin.  Otherwise?  It's... ... ...racist.  I ain't payin' for it with my time OR with taxes.  Our stagnant music and tv show industries need a wake-up call.  Mediocrity is unacceptable.

American 'contribution's need a serious upgrade too.  [starting from the white house on down.]


The less 'Cyber Space' knows about me the better.  As a result I do not use my real name.  I would be willing to use yours' though.  No?  OK then.  So you 'get' it.  We're good.