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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Last night, in case you were distracted by the Osama news, the Harper Conservatives gained a very solid majority of 167 in the 308-seat Canadian Parliament. For the next five years, barring a dozen disastrous by-elections, the Conservatives can do what they want.

It will be interesting to see what that is, exactly -- interesting, and to those of us in the Canadian arts, a little terrifying. Canadian productions are heavily subsidized so long as they fulfill requirements of including Canadian creative talent and setting shows in Canada. The Conservatives are, as I understand it, generally in favor of letting business do as it pleases. To what degree they will loosen content regulations in the film and television industry is the big question. I doubt we'll see a sudden influx of money into the Canada Media Fund. But will they allow US media conglomerates to buy up Canadian media conglomerates? Will they abolish the Canadian content requirements, decimating showbiz here? I don't think anyone outside Steven Harper's inner circle really knows.

In Québec, culture is the third rail of politics; the Conservatives missed winning a majority in 2008 because they stepped on it. Ironically, the day after voters deserted the separatist Bloc Quebecois, my Facebook account is filled with calls for Quebec independence. Will a right-wing, corporatist government push this left-wing, culturalist people to secession? And if so, is there a place for anglophone artists here?

These are the questions whizzing around in my corner of the world. How about yours?



I have a question for you:

If you were in charge, what would you do? Do you think Canadian content needs government regulations to survive, or would less rules inspire more creativity?

By Blogger Blitzen, at 5:26 PM  

My question is how is someone who gets less than 40% of the vote deemed to have a majority? I know the answer, but Christ.

By Blogger David, at 6:32 PM  

@Blitzen: get rid of the content rules, and there will be as much English film production in Canada as there is in, say, Austin, TX. There might be the occasional low-budget drama financed by passionate filmmakers, but there wouldn't be anything resembling an industry. And, certainly, no TV.

There might be some French Canadian production -- there's a real market for it here -- but there would be a lot less. And we'd be poorer for it.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 7:48 AM  

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