Canadian Media Essay

Canadian Media Essay

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In 1968 a Broadcasting Act was passed that forever changed the face of Canadian media. The act, part of an attempt by the Trudeau administration to centralize Canadian cultural activity, replaced the Board of Broadcast Governors with the Canadian Radio-Television Commission (CRTC). The CRTC, much more powerful than the Board of Broadcast Governors before it, did not waste time in making new Canadian content requirements. On February 12, 1970 the commission proposed an increase to the content levels, requiring television stations to broadcast at least 60 percent Canadian content (an increase from the previous minimum of 50 percent), and “30 percent for AM radio” (Edwardson, 200). For a country that seems to pride itself on its free speech, the Canadian government has a long history of telling its citizens what to listen to, watch, read, and say. The government should act as a tool in our hands rather than a bind around our throats, and should not be allowed to intervene in our personal choices so long as they do not harm other citizens.
Perhaps the most debated, and controversial, issue concerning censorship is hate speech. The Criminal Code of Canada states that anyone “who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace…is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years” (Criminal Code, 1985). It can be argued, however, that such laws are unconstitutional, and violate the rights of Canadian citizens. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that every Canadian citizen has the right to “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communicatio...


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... the leader of a white supremacist group known as the “White Nationalist Party of Canada,” and Smith, party secretary, were in charge of publishing and distributing party magazine The Nationalist Reporter. Seized copies of the Nationalist Reporter contained articles with the opinions “that members of minority groups are responsible for increases in the violent crime rate” and that “The best way to end racial strife… is by a separation of the races” (R. v. Andrews). While this “hate literature” could definitely be considered racist and bigoted, at no point does the case summary mention the contents of the magazine calling for acts of violence against any particular group. While the type of views expressed in the Nationalist Reporter and other hate publications are offensive and close-minded, they are simply views, and we as Canadians have no right to not get offended.

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