We're no fans of protectionism -- least of all, regulation coming out of the People's Republic of Canada. However, with Stephen Harper at the helm, things have gotten better for our mildly dull, if not downright slow, neighbors to the north. Case in point: The National Post reports today that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has just approved a new porn channel, on the condition that it show 50% Canadian content.
Canucks are used to their media being regulated like that. The CRTC's "Can-con" (Canadian content) requirements force radio stations to play about 35% Canadian content. That guarantees that every third song you hear on the radio in, say, Markham, ON will be either by Broken Social Scene or Nickelback. It's really hit or miss up there and even Bryan Adams once complained that Can-con promoted mediocre content. Coming from Bryan Adams, that's saying a lot.
This isn't the first time Canada has regulated its porn channels like this. According to the NP article:
"Last December, the CRTC approved a French-language digital channel called Vanessa, operated by Montreal-based Sex Shop Television. The licence* required only 20% Canadian programming. In 2003, the CRTC approved Hustler Canada, which airs primarily foreign content."
*[Editors note: Canadian spelling wreaks havoc on your spell checker.]
Howard Stern once remarked that Canada was only known for three exports: whores, hockey, and William Shatner. Sure, they have a lot of other exports like oil and gold propping up the currency formerly known as the "Hudson Bay Peso", but are the streets of Toronto filled with drunken 18 year-old American frat boys with pick axes looking for the next Comstock Lode? Of course not. And with few exceptions, they're not looking for Tie Domi, either. When throngs of college-aged tourists from across the border ask for a Canadian hooker, they're not talking about TJ.
What Canada is known for is its attractive and often easy women, according to people familiar with the matter. It's good to see the Canadian government ensuring quality control.
An even better thought: Andrea Dworkin must be spinning in her grave.