Letter: Content rules vital to growth of Canadian entertainment

Claim that Canadian content regs do not help spread Canadian productions to other markets is false

Content rules vital to growth of Canadian entertainment

In a recent letter to the editor (“Canadian content rules just encourage poor quality”, July 30) the author made the claim that strengthening Canadian content requirements will not help the spread of Canadian media elsewhere. I could not disagree more.

It is through the Canadian content requirement that our film and television industry has had the opportunity to grow and develop to the heights of success they now enjoy. By maintaining these regulations, we are creating an environment for our artists to continue to grow and develop while providing the needed economic stimulus and support to the industry to facilitate this goal. The benefits are there for everyone.

Currently playing on U.S. Netflix are some of Canada’s best: Sensitive Skin, Can You Hear Me?, The Tudors, Travelers, Trailer Park Boys, Schitt’s Creek, Between, Anne With an E, Heartland, Alias Grace, Working Moms, Frontier, Wynonna Earp and Kim’s Convenience.

The claim that Canadian content regulations do not help spread Canadian productions into other markets is false. Without these regulations these productions may never have come to fruition and would not now be in foreign markets.

Another claim the author made was that Canadian content was being forced on unwilling viewers. No one is forcing anyone to watch TV. Turn your set off.

The author asked if readers thought the United States had rules governing the proportion of nationally produced content. This seemed an interesting question because the LCR (Local Content Requirement) quotas came about in response to the sudden and threatening influx of American films at the end of WWI by several European countries. They saw this as a perceived danger to their cultural expression. From the GATT to the WTO and most recently the UK 2021 AVR, content quotas are seen by the holders as the advancement of cultural considerations and by the United States as the advancement of essentially economic considerations. So no, I do not think the nation responsible for the creation and continuation of LCR quotas across much of the world, dating back to 1920, has any need for rules governing the proportion of nationally produced content.

Do yourselves a favor and explore some of the amazing offerings your fellow Canadians have provided for your entertainment. You might not like what I like, and I might not be interested in what you are interested in but that is what is wonderful. There is something for everyone. Music, books, plays, movies, TV, art; what is your Canadian cup of tea?

Dara Quast

Cobble Hill