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Thu Sep 28 2:51 pm  #1


Federal Gov’t. Fiddles Over CanCon While The Industry Burns

Over a year ago, the Liberal government in Ottawa decided to spend millions of your dollars to see how Canada can compete in a digital world. In other words, how can we force more CanCon on you when you have so much other choice?
 
The results of that expensive probe were revealed on Thursday when Heritage Minister Melanie Joly unveiled the big plans. And this is just my opinion, but it turns about to be just about what you'd expect from the feds – a ton of taxpayer money spent with very little concrete action to show for it. (I actually read her whole speech – the things I do for this board!)
 
With your indulgence, because it’s long, here are a few of the highlights:
 
NETFLIX
 
This has been the big headline maker so far.
 
The streaming service has decided to spend $500 million on CanCon shows, without any indication anyone will even watch them. But hey, it’s cheaper in the end than imposing the dreaded “Netflix tax” that local producers here have been demanding.
 
Since I don’t subscribe to Netflix, I suppose this won’t affect me. And for those who do, it’s easy to believe they’re off the hook, too. But they’re wrong. As CKTB mid-morning host Tom McConnell noted on his show Thursday, he was watching Netflix on the weekend when a pop-up appeared between shows advising him the service was raising its rates $2 a month.
 
But hey, at least it’s not being called a “tax!”
 
LOCAL NEWS
 
While insisting that local news is the bedrock of Canada’s democracy, Joly then deflated that balloon by telling already struggling newsrooms, you’re S.O.L. if you think we’re going to help you. From her speech: “Our approach will not be to bail out industry models that are no longer viable. Rather, we will focus our efforts on supporting innovation, experimentation and transition to digital.”
 
In other words, sorry guys but no money for TV, radio or newspaper newsrooms because you’re out of date and we won’t try and save you.
 
To the Rogers and Bells of the world, this likely means one thing: more layoffs. Get your resumes ready! Not that there’s any place left to submit them…
 
(Interestingly, the Toronto Star’s article on this aspect focused almost totally on newspapers, with few words about electronic media.)
 
But wait there’s more – they also pledge to “strengthen the mandate” of the CBC. (Because taxpayers haven’t spent enough money on a service no one in this country watches that’s overly friendly to everything the Liberal government says and does.)
 
If you read this far, here are a few other highlights:
 
-Increased funding to the Canadian Media Fund, to finance more Canadian productions. (Whether anyone will actually want to see them seems beyond the point.)
 
-A $1.26 billion Strategic Innovation Fund.
 
-Review The Copyright Act. (Didn’t they already spend several years and millions of dollars doing this?)
 
-Review The Broadcasting Act with the CRTC. (But no details on what that might actually entail or when it might be finished. With all the vested interests at play, this one scares me the most.)
 
-An international cultural trade mission to promote Canadian content around the world. (Because we shouldn’t be the only ones who have to suffer with it!)
 
-Laying out some money for a partnership between Ryerson and Facebook for a “digital news incubator” whatever that means. “Participants will receive start-up funding and mentorship to accelerate innovative ideas that contribute to the digital development of journalism.” No word, of course, on whether anyone will ever see or read this stuff, but doesn’t everyone look good throwing all this money at it?
 
-Making “diverse Canadian content easily discoverable on all platforms available in Canada.” (I’m not sure why, but the phrasing of this worries me. Does this mean CanCon is going to be pushed to the top of every search list regardless of whether you want to see it or not?)
 
Finally, one last observation. In her speech, Joly admitted something we already know – Canadian internet and wireless rates are among the highest in the world. “Our government won’t increase the cost of these services to Canadians by imposing a new tax,” she assures. “We’ve lowered taxes for the middle class, and we will continue to do that.”
 
So she admits the Bells and Rogers of the world are essentially gouging us but says “well, we’re lowering your taxes.” I haven’t noticed any real lessening of my taxes. Have you? But my Internet and phone bills never stop going up. Too bad they didn’t focus more on that aspect. Now THAT would be Canadian content I’d pay attention to.

 

Thu Sep 28 3:51 pm  #2


Re: Federal Gov’t. Fiddles Over CanCon While The Industry Burns

CanCon is starting to feel more con than Can and Netflix dollars aren't gonna Netfix the problem.

Oh Canada

 

Thu Sep 28 6:37 pm  #3


Re: Federal Gov’t. Fiddles Over CanCon While The Industry Burns

I would pay more to have less Canadian content.

 

Thu Sep 28 8:19 pm  #4


Re: Federal Gov’t. Fiddles Over CanCon While The Industry Burns

betaylored wrote:

CanCon is starting to feel more con than Can

Starting?  Wheel that back about 47 years.  Can/"con" has met international standards merely by holding just mere multiple notches south of 'steady' while the content quality of international shyte has just so obviously plummeted.

ALL of this horror supported by OUR Canadian radio and TV stations...much to our collective detriment.  The lowest common denominator...ie:  dumb for dummies ... has been the goal for at least these past 35 years.

Mission accomplished.
 


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.
 

Thu Sep 28 8:31 pm  #5


Re: Federal Gov’t. Fiddles Over CanCon While The Industry Burns

To me, the greatest irony isn't that Canadians can't make good TV. A large number of series, including "Designated Survivor," "Arrow," "Supergirl," "Riverdale" and more are all filmed here for U.S. TV, using Canuck crews and in some cases, Canadian actors. 

So we have the talent. Canadian programming was always so bad because there was never any money sunk into it and it looked cheap compared to what was coming out of the American networks. In many, but not all ways, that's still the case. 

While the idea of CanCon is supposedly to help Canadians "tell their own stories," I suspect the true motive is to help the very profitable TV and film industry in this part of the world thrive. If that's true, then they're doing just fine and the regulations are no longer necessary. 

Making shows most Canadians won't watch is just an exercise in stupidity, although saying that would never be seen as politically correct in this day and age. But boy, does it bring in a lot of money for the cities and the various levels of government. And that, to me, is why they cling to it so tenaciously.

It ain't about the Great White North. It's about the Great Green North. 

     Thread Starter
 

Thu Sep 28 8:44 pm  #6


Re: Federal Gov’t. Fiddles Over CanCon While The Industry Burns

One has to include the main ingredient.  WHO writes the stories?  There are so few who can write a really GREAT story for a dramatic show...let alone a whole seasons worth.  Or 5 seasons?  And 10 seasons?  NO - B O D Y.  Comedy?  Nope.  Comedians need jokes.  Singers need songs.  Those days have fallen by the wayside as we were forced by the CRTC to accept 25 and 30 and then 35% worth of low-bar Canadian content.

It never had to be good let alone world class.  And although some of it was...most of it wasn't.  And now?  The bar is set so low that pouring maple syrup on a prairie-dog is well above and beyond good enough.  Yes we DO have some talented people here.  BUT...not that many.  Can Con has been a waste of our collective time and effort.

It's a hoax.


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.
 

Thu Sep 28 9:49 pm  #7


Re: Federal Gov’t. Fiddles Over CanCon While The Industry Burns

I was being sarcastic when I said "starting."

There are great canuck story tellers out there O.Codger. Linwood Barclay... Louise Penny...

Canadian Guy Gavriel Kay wrote an amazing trilogy called The Fionavar Tapestry. It would make an epic t.v. show, AND would capture the Game of Thrones audience in a heartbeat. It's BETTER than GOT, and to cast it? Let's start with Emmy award winner Tatiana Maslany, a canadian.

Pretty sure a few sowny readers/contributors could name some more canadian talent worthy of support.

 

Thu Sep 28 10:35 pm  #8


Re: Federal Gov’t. Fiddles Over CanCon While The Industry Burns

whats wrong with using Canadian money to pay for Canadian stories... rather than funding foreign prods to promote their intrests?  current rules provide allowances for funding to US productions if they have Canadian crews.  isn't that counter intuitive?

Last edited by splunge (Thu Sep 28 10:38 pm)

 

Sat Sep 30 12:19 pm  #9


Re: Federal Gov’t. Fiddles Over CanCon While The Industry Burns

RadioActive wrote:

But wait there’s more – they also pledge to “strengthen the mandate” of the CBC. (Because taxpayers haven’t spent enough money on a service no one in this country watches that’s overly friendly to everything the Liberal government says and does.)

I do.  And a quick look at their stories from the last few days shows that they have stories on the Liberals flubbing tax reform, a costly legal fight between the government and a girl who needs braces, the RCMP's lack of equipment for officers, the government being too vocal subsidizing Bombardier, flubbing information gathering on drug abuse in native communities.  That's not bad for a slow news week in Ottawa.