Canada’s broadcast regulator is rewriting the rules that protect Canadian television programs, hoping it can nurture better, more popular shows by reducing the quantity that has to go to air.
To steer producers and broadcasters in that direction, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is drastically reducing the number of hours each day when Canadian programs must be broadcast. And it is scrapping a policy that has protected some niche channels from direct competition.
Instead, the CRTC chose to maintain substantial Canadian-made content in prime-time evening hours, while giving broadcasters new freedom to program the rest of their schedules and concentrate production dollars on fewer, high-quality shows – even if it puts some producers and channels out of business.
That noise in the background is the snap of the buggy whip. I did love the line about "puts some producers and channels out of business." Perhaps including a network that showed far more Canadian content than the CBC. A network for which the sun no longer shines. For those imagining that the CRTC is little more than the bodyguard of Canada's rent seeking broadcasting clique, here's your proof.
Defenders of our Trudeaupian era broadcasting regulations, however, will point to widespread popular support:
A majority of Canadians say the country needs government policies to protect Canadian culture from being subsumed by American and other foreign influences, although 24 per cent of people say there’s no such thing as a unique Canadian culture to begin with, according to a new Angus Reid Institute report published Wednesday.
Alright put it another way: Do you believe the government of Canada should protect warm happy puppies from evil snarling German shepherds? Note the presumption. It is not asked whether it is the responsibility of the government to protect warm happy puppies or whether that is the responsibility of their respective owners. The question really means: Do you want puppies killed by German shepherds?
This isn't to say that millions of Canadians don't sincerely believe that Ottawa must defend our culture against the scourge of American cop shows. They believe it, like they believe in multiculturalism and socialized health care, because it's taught in the schools. Guess who sets the curriculum? The Canadian Great & Good has been convinced since Simcoe waded ashore that Canada is one generation away from becoming an American state.
The thinking is an old fashioned Tory paternalism that gets reinterpreted every generation. The underlying logic has remained unchanged for more than two centuries: Canada is an artificial construct that ordinary Canadians are too stupid to appreciate. They must be coddled and cajoled into maintaining their loyalty to the Canadian nation state.
Go back to that last quote. 24% of Canadians don't believe there is a unique Canadian culture. If you look at the regional numbers there are significant variations. In Atlantic Canada 88% of residents believe there is a unique Canadian culture but in, wait for it, Quebec it's only 63%. So the most loyal part of the country, and the region with the most homogenous Anglophone population, people think Canada is something special. In the most disloyal part of the country, the one threatening to leave, their perception is that Canada is a money dispensing machine paid for by crass Red Necks in Ontario and Alberta.
In these types of surveys we should, as a matter of course, exclude the opinions of Quebec based Francophones. Yes there are some loyal Quebecois and they should always be encouraged but they're a tiny minority in a sea of greed and apathy. For most in La Belle Province their Quebec includes Canada simply because it's a cozy billet in a bankrupt world.
Another group whose views should be taken skeptically is immigrants. If you showed up yesterday what properly formed opinion can you possibly have on Canada beyond that it's cold and rich? Possibly that many of its old stock natives are an amazing pack of well intentioned suckers. The typical immigrant to Toronto doesn't see a distinctive Canadian culture because it doesn't exist in the Imperial Capital. Much of the older parts of the city, at least those areas not yet converted into condos, are ethnic enclaves. Growing up in one of these ethnic enclaves I can well recall spending many a Saturday morning going from store to store with my mother and not hearing a word of English. Even in the chain stores.
Yes there is such a thing as Canadian culture. It's not radically different from American culture. But then again so what? Do you imagine that the cultures of Portugal, Spain and Italy are radically different from one another? Or that the various cultures of Central Europe, language aside, are vast worlds apart in their manner of life and political views? Think of the countries of Latin America. Fiercely patriotic everyone yet, from an outsiders perspective, what is the difference between Chile and Peru?
We do not need the CRTC or the CBC or any successor organizations to save Canada from the fickleness of ordinary Canadians. Nations exist as acts of popular will. If this country was on the verge of surrender to the American colossus there would already be a political faction, as there was in the Newfoundland of the mid-1940s, calling for annexation. There is no Canadian Joey Smallwood. Nothing even close. A quick drive through Detroit, Buffalo or Newark, to say nothing of a few minutes of American news, is enough to reaffirm the loyalty of any Canadians whose faith is wavering.
Canadians can spend their time from dawn to dusk watching American programming, much of it created by ex-pat Canadians, and still feel no less attached to our fair Dominion. Canada is a tougher place than its leaders imagine it to be.
The Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced that young Canadians across the country now have until April 2 to enter the 2015 Canada Day Challenge.
The Canada Day Challenge is a nationwide contest that invites young Canadians to explore Canada’s history, culture and identity and to discover what makes our country so great. In order to allow more young people to take part in the Challenge, the new deadline to submit entries is now April 2, 2015.
Be original; be creative; take up the 2015 Canada Day Challenge! You can find more information at the Canada Day Challenge 2015 website, including the complete contest rules, entry forms and learning resources.
Here's my entry: What makes Canada a great country is that I can still get away with calling this a waste of time and money. What makes Canada a less great country than it used to be is that the government thinks it fit and proper to conduct such a pathetic PR exercise. If the schools are not teaching children the history, culture and identity of Canada then the schools need to be fixed.
Actually Cpl Cirillo was armed but his service rifle had no bullets. That was not an oversight:
The commanding officer in charge of the Ceremonial Guard in Ottawa says soldiers who watch over the National War Memorial should not carry loaded guns – even in the wake of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo’s death.
Maj. Michel Lavigne says soldiers have not been armed with real bullets since the October crisis in 1970 – and they shouldn’t do it now.
There might be valid safety reasons for this policy. The Honor Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider at Arlington does not carry live ammunition, apparently to prevent an accidental discharge. Then again the Tomb is often crowded with visitors and armed police are nearby. It's also a busier place than the National War Memorial in Ottawa.
My suspicion is that this policy has more to do with civilian squeamishness than any practical or ceremonial need. That while Canadians are prepared to mourn our fallen the actual work and rituals of soldiering makes them uneasy. There is something quintessentially Trudeaupian about soldiers without bullets. The form of a thing retained but its essence removed. The early Trudeau years didn't quite see the Canadian Forces reduced to a parade ground force, but it wasn't for lack of trying. That anti-military spirit still persists in many quarters of modern Canada.
Given that Cpl Cirillo was shot in the back it's unlikely live ammunition would haver changed the outcome for him. That said there were two other sentries on duty at the time of the shooting. Cpl. Kyle Button and Cpl. Branden Stevenson tried to stop Zehaf-Bibeau. However a rifle without a bullet is little more than a club and they were forced to flee under fire from Zehaf-Bibeau.
This begs a very obvious question the MSM has been careful to avoid asking: How difficult would it have been for a trained shot to have ended this rampage then there? Instead Zehaf-Bibeau proceeded to storm Centre Block and menace the lives of MPs, the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Official Opposition.
It was a matter of luck this incident didn't become the bloodiest massacre of a democratic leadership in modern times. But instead the MSM is consumed about whether this was a terrorist act or the deranged behaviour of a sick man. This is despite a video that has come to light where Zehaf-Bibeau clearly stated his reasons and intentions. He was a self-proclaimed jihadist who lived several minutes longer than necessary, perhaps, because the Queen's soldiers were not properly armed.
I was still in the sixth form when I first heard of Kamuzu Academy. My Greek teacher had read about a school in the African bush where pupils in boaters and Eton collars sweated over Homer and Virgil in the glare of the tropical sun. The school, he told us, was the obsession of Malawi’s dictator, Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda. Banda wanted his country’s most gifted children to learn Latin and Greek as a preparation for political leadership. Equipped with the lessons and ideals of antiquity, they would one day govern with wisdom and moderation. Plato’s ideal Republic would be reborn in central Africa.
Apple is saying that the watch will provide a “full day” of use on one charge, approximately 18 hours. It’s unclear what that means and how long a charge will last if you’re addicted to Instagram or handle a lot of email. It’s likely to be similar to what you can get from the Moto 360 and a little less than what the Samsung Galaxy Gear S offers. Charging is done inductively through a magnetic pad, and the Apple Watch Edition houses the pad in a leather box meant to mimic the boxes of high-end luxury watches.
A major criticism of the Apple Watch is that while it has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, it does not have GPS or cellular connectivity, meaning it needs to be tethered to an iPhone to access the Internet, map your run, or notify you of email.
As far as I can tell those who purchase the Apple Watch, among whose numbers I will not be counted, will spend a few hundred dollars to avoid having to reach into their pocket and use their iPhones. The device's health monitoring features can easily be replicated by a far cheaper device, a device you'll be less afraid to damage when you work out.
Yes it's very pretty and very stylish but one of the minor advantages to having a smartphone is that you don't have to bother wearing a watch. Effectively you're paying to re-create a problem that was solved years ago: Wearing a cumbersome device that basically does one useful thing and a bunch of less important things.
The investment of $196,099, provided through FedNor’s Community Investment Initiative for Northern Ontario (CIINO), will enable the Township of Pickle Lake to establish a local economic development office and hire a full-time economic development officer for a three-year period. The officer will coordinate the development of a three-year strategic plan and investment readiness strategy, and support local marketing efforts. Identified as a local priority, this initiative will help attract private sector investment to the area and support business development and growth.
As of the 2011 census the Township of Pickle Lake has 425 residents. That's $461.41 per resident being spent to develop business in an Ontario village about 500 clicks north of Thunder Bay. It's actually closer to Winnipeg than Sault Ste. Marie. As will surprise no one the riding is held by Tory Greg Rickford who won the seat in 2011 by some 4,712 votes.
A small but persistent victory for our constitutional traditions:
Would-be Canadians will have to keep taking an oath to the Queen after the Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday refused to hear a challenge to the citizenship requirement.
The decision by the top court leaves intact an Ontario Court of Appeal ruling that upheld the "symbolic" oath.
At issue is a provision in the Citizenship Act that requires would-be citizens to swear to be "faithful and bear true allegiance to Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, her heirs and successors."
As with the insistence on removing face coverings, which was unfortunately struck down, swearing allegiance is a small act that shows a willingness on the part of the oath taker to adhere to Canadian values. Oaths are sworn publicly and with the identity of the taker clearly visible. This is a long established tradition for obvious practical reasons.
Canada was founded upon monarchial principles, indeed in no small measure this country exists because of its historical allegiance to the Crown, and the prospective Canadian is asked to recognize that fact. It costs them not a cent and no more than a moment of their time. If Canadian citizenship means so little to them, if we bending more than half way in so many respects is not enough, then it is a prize they do not deserve.
Better men and women than you or I have paid a fair higher price for Canada.