Bill C-10 sucks, report Ang Lee, Trailer Park Boy
Following in the footsteps of Sarah Polley’s C-10 protestations, it’s practically the march on Montgomery these days up Ottawa way. Robb Wells, better known as the comically Machiavellian Ricky on Trailer Park Boys, went before the CRTC last week to demand more Canadian content on our TV screens. While he was at it, the Star reported that he took an overdue shot at cable maven Jim Shaw, the Alberta tight-ass whose complaints about Trailer Park Boys merge with C-10 to form a nexus of idiocy.
From the Star:
Throughout these proceedings, cable and satellite companies have told the CRTC they need more flexibility on how they carry, package and market TV services partly because Canadians themselves yearn for more U.S. programming.
Not so, says Wells, who argues there is an inherent danger in giving a small group of cable and satellite companies too much control over what Canadians can see on TV. He points to Trailer Park Boys’ own experience with Shaw Communications Inc. The Alberta-based cable and satellite giant once launched scathing public criticism of the hit series, taking out newspaper ads to argue that taxpayers’ money had been squandered on a program “about the dysfunctional residents of a mobile home park.”
“There is a great example where he [Jim Shaw] didn’t necessarily agree with the content of our show, but there are many people out there that do agree with it. It is truly Canadian,” Wells said. “I think it is up to Canadians, and not the cable companies, [to decide] what they are going to watch in Canada.”
Right on, bra.
Even film director Ang Lee got in on the act over the weekend. He suggested that even while making films in China—not exactly a bastion of artistic freedom—he hasn’t suffered anything like what C-10 promises. Beyond that, his comments (as reported in the Globe) betrayed a certain tragic insight into the reality of the artistic life in Canada. He says he wants to set his next film in Vancouver. “I hope it’s a hockey movie. I want to make a movie where Canadians win, not always Americans.”
In the meantime, our fearless Minister of Whatever It Is She Thinks She’s Doing, Josée Verner, responded with a statement that sounds vaguely like that old SCTV parody of Cold War Russian TV:
I’m surprised about the comments of Mr. Ang Lee, director of the world acclaimed movie Brokeback Mountain… Our government is determined to ensure freedom of expression and will continue to support the production of entertaining and high quality content… We are reaching out to industry to work with them on Bill C-10. Together, we will find the best solution for the industry, for Canadian citizens and taxpayers.
Apparently the mandate of her ministry doesn’t include serviceable grammar or any prohibition against stating the obvious.