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Outgoing CRTC Head Says Technology Is Eroding Canadian Culture

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the one-of-us-one-of-us dept.

Canada 404

Patchw0rk F0g writes "Canada's outgoing CRTC head, Konrad von Finckenstein, has some choice words for his successor: Internet and wireless technology has disarmed federal regulators of their weapons to protect cultural identity. The retiring Finckenstein cites over-the-top broadcasting, new Internet technologies and (perhaps most importantly) the fact that the CRTC is antiquated and can't keep up with these emerging technologies as factors in the (still)-growing culture-loss of Canada to the U.S. 'We have now moved into an era where the consumer is in control, and where thanks to the Internet and mobile devices, you cannot control access any more,' he said in one of his last interviews."

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The Canadian MAFIAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792121)

just copies the American version anyways.

wft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792123)

Canada has a culture?

Re:wft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792145)

Canada was formed after looking at the fallout of the american revolution, they didn't want to commit the same mistakes those crazy Americans did.

Re:wft (2)

AshtangiMan (684031) | about 2 years ago | (#38792277)

Trailer park boys.

Re:wft (3, Funny)

stanlyb (1839382) | about 2 years ago | (#38792317)

Canadian what?

Re:wft (2)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 2 years ago | (#38792485)

Apparently I've been wrong since 2003. Kenny vs Spenny is somehow "culture."

Translation from Canadian CorpoSpeak (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792127)

"Technology is eroding the iron hegemony of Bell and Rogers! Sheeple Canadians are starting to wake up and realize they are being bent over a barrel and are getting restless!"

The CRTC is an unelected, largely unaccountable old-boy's club for power-players and lobbyists from Bell and Rogers. The CRTC's only mandate is protecting the duopoly of Rogers and Bell, nothing else.

Re:Translation from Canadian CorpoSpeak (1)

DaMattster (977781) | about 2 years ago | (#38792631)

I guess it is safe to say that "erroding Canada's culture" is okay then. So the CRTC is really a PAC or Lobbyist group.

Anachronism (3, Insightful)

engun (1234934) | about 2 years ago | (#38792131)

This is a guy who's trying to stop the wheel of time from turning.

Re:Anachronism (2)

gfxguy (98788) | about 2 years ago | (#38792449)

Agree... there's no "loss of culture," there's just the gradual, inevitable change in culture that has always happened. At one point in history, of course, there wasn't even a Canadian culture at all.

Re:Anachronism (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792635)

He's actually complaining that they can't control what we watch, or where we get it from, and that it also threatens cable companies' revenues. You are correct, in that he's trying to keep the iron grip in tact.

As a Canadian, we usually have to deal with a certain percentage of Canadian programming and channels. For example, for every 2-3 non-Canadian channels available to be subscribed to there had to be 1 or 2 Canadian channels as well. Actual percentages differ but that is the general idea.

Now that they can't control the above channel lineup due to media being available online to stream (NetFlix, etc) they are now worried about two things:
1) We can watch whatever we want, in whatever percentages we want, without being limited to what's available from our local broadcaster
2) We don't have to subscribe to our local broadcaster, which is the real reason they're worried about this - it is causing a decline in cable subscriptions

I welcome this change, as do many Canadians, as is apparent by the decline in subscriptions and adoption of (more affordable) online streaming services.

If these companies really were offering value for our money, this wouldn't happen - but having to purchase 45 channels when we only really watch 4-5 of them is ridiculous. Being forced to upgrade to digital TV, and pay even more, when we can't even utilize it due to older TVs etc is also ridiculous.

For "basic" cable service, only a few years ago, used to cost around $50/month. If you order it today, it will cost around $90/month. There aren't many more channels to be had that are actually useful; the channel line-up is closer to 200+ channels, but many of them are in foreign languages, are pay-per-view, or are simply radio stations or "home shopping". Not much more value for the added amount we've been forced to pay, unless you speak languages other than English or enjoy watching infomercials or pay-to-watch content.

Good ol' Konrad also has his head in the clouds, as the customer has little to no actual control and only a small handful of choices that reflect what's best for the broadcaster. The major cities (Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal) are a little better than others in terms of providers/choices, but you're usually limited to 1 cable provider OR satellite from a couple different providers, both being equally as expensive since the advent of digital cable.

Re:Anachronism (0)

spidercoz (947220) | about 2 years ago | (#38792659)

Isn't that the conservative m.o.? To halt progress and keep things as they are?

Culture loss? (4, Insightful)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 2 years ago | (#38792133)

culture-loss of Canada to the U.S.

Why is the US pointed at as the reason for their culture loss? I'd agree that the internet is causing some culture loss, but you could also counter by saying it is causing culture gains. I know personally my life has been impacted by the culture of different nations due to the readily accessible nature of information on the computer. In my house you would think it more Asian than American due to the internet.

I also see this at my kids school. Both in style of dress and the behavior of the kids.

While I do agree that it is important to know where you come from, I don't think it is wrong to embrace other cultures. In essence isn't that pretty much where all culture stems from, the exchange of ideas?

Re:Culture loss? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#38792281)

The French do the same thing (try to protect their culture/language), but ultimately isn't it up to the PEOPLE of France and Canada to decide what their culture will be?

If the people decide they want an interconnected internet-based culture, where they can share ideas around the world, that is THEIR choice and no unelected oligarch has the right to overrule that collective decision.

If the oligarch disagrees then he should be removed from office and put into early retirement. Perhaps his whole office should be removed as well, if its motives are opposite to the wishes of the People it no longer serves.

Re:Culture loss? (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 2 years ago | (#38792389)

The French do the same thing (try to protect their culture/language), but ultimately isn't it up to the PEOPLE of France and Canada to decide what their culture will be?

If you let the people decide what their culture should be without trying to preserve existing things or invent new ones, we'll end up with reality shows passing for art, and Justin Bieberlake running the country.

Re:Culture loss? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792421)

Well, what is and is not art is up to the individual to decide.

Re:Culture loss? (2)

countertrolling (1585477) | about 2 years ago | (#38792555)

...Justin Bieberlake running the country....

That couldn't be any worse than who we have now...

Re:Culture loss? (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | about 2 years ago | (#38792495)

ultimately isn't it up to the PEOPLE of France and Canada to decide what their culture will be? [...] and no unelected oligarch has the right to overrule that collective decision. []

The oligarchs have the power to destroy smaller markets.

Re:Culture loss? (1)

JBMcB (73720) | about 2 years ago | (#38792525)

You have it all backwards. In a democracy, you elect people, then they tell you what to do. See, because you voted for them, they can do whatever they want to you. Yay!

Re:Culture loss? (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 years ago | (#38792283)

Well, the Canadian goal for a while has been to be sort-of-American-but-noticeably-different, so clearly to be influenced by American culture, but nonetheless maintain strong distinct cultural elements. The worry is that with the proximity, ease of travel & information travel, and huge population difference, Canadian culture will tend to converge to just being basically a regional American culture, mostly the same as the U.S. "national" culture, but with some regional variations, the way Texas and California have some regional flavor.

Even in the U.S. people are somewhat worried about that; e.g. Boston used to be more different than the rest of the U.S. culturally, down to people from Boston speaking noticeably differently, regional brands, cuisine, etc., but the differences are weaker today than they were 50 years ago.

Because Canada has a "little brother" problem (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 2 years ago | (#38792289)

Basically Canada is still going through issues trying to figure out what it means to be Canadian. A large part of how many Canadians seem to define themselves as as "not American" hence the "little brother" syndrome I talk about. They are like a little kid who is saying what they are is the things the big kid is not.

This isn't such a problem for the average man on the street, of course, but it is a big issue for the government and various folks. They have a real issue with trying to decide what it is to be Canadian and protecting that. There are even things like laws requiring a certain amount of content on TV and radio to be Canadian in origin.

Re:Because Canada has a "little brother" problem (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about 2 years ago | (#38792375)

It is not the common people "not american" syndrome, but the big companies and politician's "big brother" syndrome. We, the people, don't have any problems with who we are, what we like, and what to do in our free time. As of the government, bought, and sold by our "big brothers".......i could say only one thing %$#^$%#^%$#$.

Re:Because Canada has a "little brother" problem (1)

vadim_t (324782) | about 2 years ago | (#38792645)

Funny thing is that America seems to have the same issue.

Before I started talking people from the US, I've never heard of people being concerned about their 1/4th of Irish or Russian heritage. But in the US that seems to be a common interest. I suppose that's because the US is a relatively new country and other cultures have much more history and tradition.

Re:Culture loss? (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 2 years ago | (#38792297)

Why is the US pointed at as the reason for their culture loss?

They must have seen the Southpark episode aboot Canadians. I'd be pissed too, eh?

Re:Culture loss? (1)

what2123 (1116571) | about 2 years ago | (#38792307)

Personally I thought he was talking about Justin Bieber and losing him the the States. Honestly, he can take him back and keep his access locked into Canada for the remainder of time. He was not a gain to US culture by any means...

Re:Culture loss? (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about 2 years ago | (#38792387)

Pleeeeease, don't return him, keep him, forever.

Re:Culture loss? (1)

Myopic (18616) | about 2 years ago | (#38792333)

I agree with you, and besides, what kind of culture does Canada have anyway? I mean, sheesh, they've only been a country since 1982 [] . Even I am older than that!

Re:Culture loss? (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about 2 years ago | (#38792521)

And USA is a country for less that 200years, but why should i compare them to the 3000 years old china civilization!!!!

Re:Culture loss? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792455)

Canadian culture; We don't know what it is, or how to define it, but it's good. :-)


Re:Culture loss? (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | about 2 years ago | (#38792473)

Because the way we have always done things is the way we should continue to do things. And things should never change! Now get off my lawn! Damn kids and their skateboards...

Re:Culture loss? (3, Interesting)

Dr. Hellno (1159307) | about 2 years ago | (#38792505)

This stems from the longstanding conundrum of national identity in Canada. We're a small, mainly English speaking country sitting border to border with the cultural powerhouse of the English-speaking world. So we ask ourselves, how are we unique? What makes us different? And how can we preserve these differences when American culture is so pervasive? It's not a question of embracing other cultures, which we do readily. It's more a concern that our essential character (whatever it is) will be steamrolled by Hollywood media.

Personally I couldn't care less; I already see us as the 51st state. Let us have Pandora and Hulu already!
But for many Canadians, the protection and nurturing of Canadian culture in the shadow of the U.S. is a preoccupation and an imperative.

Re:Culture loss? (1)

bigbangnet (1108411) | about 2 years ago | (#38792511)

That's because the crtc copies whatever it can from the US in the technology departement...most of the time. That's why he's pointing US. no pun intended in his part. most of the decisions of the CRTC are already in process or completed in the US. Also, your right about culture gain. it seems people like Konrad don't know the effect of the Internet and the technology on people. They should have technology and Internet learning sessions..seriously.

Re:Culture loss? (3, Insightful)

Zeromous (668365) | about 2 years ago | (#38792537)

He doesn't claim the US is the cause, it is the symptom of their inability to shield culture from technology.

I think this is why most people in Canada are upset the CRTC even exists to "protect Canadian culture". This backwards notion that culture is static and not subject to disruption is offensive to most Canadians and suspect more than a few Quebecer's within Canada.

Re:Culture loss? (2)

ant-1 (120272) | about 2 years ago | (#38792567)

Why is the US pointed at as the reason for their culture loss?

Because the US is the biggest exporter of culture in the world. It's not a secret that since WWII the US understood the concept of soft power [] and that culture projection is a big part of it. It's good for the diplomacy, it's good for the economy (everybody wants to resemble the americans, listen to their bands, wear their gear, etc.).

It's also very annoying, mainly because it brings uniformity. And because, yes, it crushes other cultures in its path. Not willingly, more like Walmart kills small retailers.

Re:Culture loss? (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 2 years ago | (#38792705)

I'd be more worried about some of the shit I've seen on the net. You seen some of the weird shit comin outta Japan these days????

bad thing? (5, Insightful)

fish_in_the_c (577259) | about 2 years ago | (#38792151)

The consumer ( aka normal people) are in control of their own decisions about information and culture?
Oh no, whatever will we do.

Re:bad thing? (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 2 years ago | (#38792359)

Exactly my thoughts on the matter. I'm a Canadian citizen and the CRTC has always seemed rather Big Brother-ish [] .

Re:bad thing? (1)

Stormthirst (66538) | about 2 years ago | (#38792501)

Perhaps the vast majority of people want to stay in a more socialist country - as Canada is now (for example universal/government run healthcare for all). I know I do. I certainly wouldn't want it to turn into the right-wing dystopia I see America as.

Lol control fail (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792175)

'We have now moved into an era where the consumer is in control, and where thanks to the Internet and mobile devices, you cannot control access any more'. Sounds kinda butthurt to me.

Freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792183)

Let us think for oursevles and decide for ourselves.

Re:Freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792601)

We are Slashdot, we have a party line. Individuality is to be condemned. Yeah, I fully expect someone to rant "but look at all the contrasting views", and it's complete BS. There aren't contrasting views (that aren't immediately modded into oblivion). There are heated arguments over precise little detailed minutiae and minor little trivialities, but it's at the same level as a whole bunch of thieves arguing over whether black or blue is the better color for your getaway car, or should you use a canvas or a leather bag for your ill-gotten loot.

On a related note, will someone wake me up when /. gets back to discussing a wide variety of tech issues in depth and stops being just a place where pirates can engage in mutual onanism? Seriously, I get that SOPA is a threat to all your free stuff because God forbid you should actually get out of your mummy's basement and earn money and pay for shit, but enough already.

'K thanks bye, and thank you for all the fish. No wonder /. is losing readers. Maybe that's why it's become so boring and useless.

Canada Has no Culture (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792187)

Nobody says, "Hey lets go out for some Canadian tonight."

Re:Canada Has no Culture (1)

Hooya (518216) | about 2 years ago | (#38792241)

"Hey let's go out for some Canadian tonight, Eh?"


But what the hell are you talking aboot? You do have Canadian Bacon. That ought to count for something.

Re:Canada Has no Culture (1)

hawks5999 (588198) | about 2 years ago | (#38792271)

I always go out for Canadian (bacon) in the morning.

Re:Canada Has no Culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792517)

Proper Canadians go for Tim Hortons in the morning.

Re:Canada Has no Culture (1)

captain_sweatpants (1997280) | about 2 years ago | (#38792503)

No one goes out for american food either. Unless you count hamburgers and deep fried meat related products. AKA junk food. American may be good at exporting culture, but your 'cuisine' doesn't compare well.

Re:Canada Has no Culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792613)

If you're living in the US or Canada there is a good chance that what you see as Asian or Mexican foods is just the Americanized version of them. So the next time you're talking about kick ass stir fry just remember that what you're eating isn't what they'd server up in Hangzhou.
And this isn't to say anything bad about Canada either. So don't bother going there.

Re:Canada Has no Culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792711)

the chinese go out for Meiguo Cai, American Food/Cuisine....

Re:Canada Has no Culture (1)

Stormthirst (66538) | about 2 years ago | (#38792515)

As opposed to saying "Let's go out for some American tonight?"

what a name (1)

joren02 (2131408) | about 2 years ago | (#38792191)

Konrad von Finckenstein

Anyone else read "von Frankenstein"?

Re:what a name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792225)


Re:what a name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792325)

no, but it did make me think of

New Meme (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792217)

Scorpion flap or GTFO!

Can we end the CRTC already (4, Insightful)

ThomasFlip (669988) | about 2 years ago | (#38792221)

I'm a native born white Canadian living in one of the most multicultural cities in the world and I can't stand the CRTC. Living here for 25+ years, I don't even know what Canadian culture is, let alone why we need a bureaucracy to defend it. The only people the CRTC are serving are hacky television writers whose shows get put on CBC and cancelled a year later. They are completely out of touch with reality and need to go.

Re:Can we end the CRTC already (2)

GerardAtJob (1245980) | about 2 years ago | (#38792497)

What canadian culture is ?

-1 Big families (this one is phasing out)
-2 Religion (this one is phasing out)
-3 Living with nature (this one is phasing out)
-4 Food stuff (bacon, "tourtiere" and special thing like thoses ) (this one is phasing out)
-5 85% english 15% french (this one is phasing out)
-6 Hockey, and it's not phasing out...
-7 Try to propagate peace and stuff like that beyond the world, which appear to be phasing out.

So you can resume the entire canadian culture with only 1 word : HOCKEY. it's sad.

Re:Can we end the CRTC already (1)

bigbangnet (1108411) | about 2 years ago | (#38792607)

I'm in Quebec, so i consider myself a "Quebecer" so i don't consider myself a canadian first but thats because of patriotism. Anyway, I really think its good to have a canadian culture; at least the history of Canada as a minimum. Thank god those colons in the first years of the colony in Canada. It's not only on CBC they have those problems, HBO and those big networks have this problem too. most shows we see in Canada are imported from the US networks and because some asshole up there think its not making enough money (look at millions of viewers) then they cancel the show and no more "next" season. Unfortunately, it's called business.

As a Canadian... (5, Insightful)

Sepultura (150245) | about 2 years ago | (#38792227)

As a Canadian, here's the solution I'd suggest:
Stop trying to force Canadian content on Canadians!
If the content is good and provides something consumers want then it'll be a success. If it's Canadian-created filler crap then it won't, regardless of how forcefully it's stuffed down our throats.

And don't claim that Canadian content can't be successful on it's own because that's just bullshit. Just look at the music industry to see lots of Canadian content that's successful south of the border for the most glaring example.

Re:As a Canadian... (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | about 2 years ago | (#38792379)

Kids in the Hall. Or, um, um. . .hockey?

Damn you! Get off your lazy ass and go make me some maple syrup! What're you doing on /.? You're jeopardizing your Canadian heritage. If you guys keep spending time on the internet pretty soon you'll figure out what real bacon is. Then Canadian culture will be no more.

Seriously, though, it's cute that the northern territories think they're sovereign. What's next? Puerto Rico?

Re:As an American... (3, Interesting)

Phreakiture (547094) | about 2 years ago | (#38792451)

I'll back up your point about successful Canadian content here in the US. I've also noticed an interesting side-effect of the CanCon rules . . . There's a hell of a lot of CanCon on American TV. A lot of it is pretty good, and you wouldn't notice it except for the northern accents (which don't vary that much from northern states) and an occasinoal "eh", more frequent on documentary/reality shows (e.g. anything with Mike Holmes) than on works of fiction.

Re:As a Canadian... (1)

yoghurt (2090) | about 2 years ago | (#38792533)

Looking at the music industry, perhaps it is the cancon rules that let them get a boost when they are relatively unknown. Maybe that is why we see lots of Canadian content successful south of the border.

Re:As a Canadian... (1)

Stormthirst (66538) | about 2 years ago | (#38792655)

Like - Justin Beiber and Celine Dion? The Americans can keep them.

Seriously, there are some good Canadian produced shows. Flashpoint is an example. Very successful. On top of that, a lot of TV shows are filmed here (Haven being another example) because (I'm told) because the tax regime is conducive. I understand the Quebecois would like to keep their French language - which includes shows and other cultural items being produced in French.

What cultural identity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792229)

If I recall, only Quebec can claim a cultural identity. The rest of canada can only claim to have a mash of british and US culture.

Re:What cultural identity? (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 2 years ago | (#38792535)

no the newfies have there own bizarre culture to, inbreed though it may be, no one can deny that they are unique. for people who have never heard of newfoundland think red necks with less brains and guns, mixed with more irish and 200 years of inbreeding

Weapons to protect cultural identity? (4, Insightful)

Freddybear (1805256) | about 2 years ago | (#38792273)

'We have now moved into an era where the consumer is in control, and where thanks to the Internet and mobile devices, you cannot control access any more,' he said in one of his last interviews."

You say that like it's a bad thing, Konrad.

Canadian Culture? What's that aboot? (0, Troll)

scorp1us (235526) | about 2 years ago | (#38792275)

Canada is a colony of the crown, much like Australia. It is primarily a British-US culture save for some belligerent Frenchies in the East.
Canada's original culture was North America Indian including Eskimos (Inuit), which have been marginalized by western culture.
Canada's best comedies are take-offs of British shows (Canda's worst Driver) and their original stuff "Corner Gas" is marginally funny. (Kenny vs Spenny, Kids in the Hall, etc successes are short-lived) Anyone sufficiently funny winds up in the US (Lorn Micheal's, Micheal J Fox, etc) however these people are more "American" than Canadian.

Don't get me wrong, I love Canada. But the culture isn't original, it is derivative at best, copied at worst.

Re:Canadian Culture? What's that aboot? (1)

scorp1us (235526) | about 2 years ago | (#38792313)

Ok, I forgot to mention Drake, who is a lovely blend of wrapper and Canada's values. It's almost comical when compared to the US gansta/thug rapper image.

Re:Canadian Culture? What's that aboot? (1)

hhw (683423) | about 2 years ago | (#38792397)

Canada is a colony of the crown, much like Australia. It is primarily a British-US culture save for some belligerent Frenchies in the East. Canada's original culture was North America Indian including Eskimos (Inuit), which have been marginalized by western culture. Canada's best comedies are take-offs of British shows (Canda's worst Driver) and their original stuff "Corner Gas" is marginally funny. (Kenny vs Spenny, Kids in the Hall, etc successes are short-lived) Anyone sufficiently funny winds up in the US (Lorn Micheal's, Micheal J Fox, etc) however these people are more "American" than Canadian.

Don't get me wrong, I love Canada. But the culture isn't original, it is derivative at best, copied at worst.

Canada hasn't been a colony since 1867. What makes Lorn Michaels and Michael J. Fox more American than Canadian? If anything, can you not say that American culture is affected by Canadians?

Re:Canadian Culture? What's that aboot? (2)

stanlyb (1839382) | about 2 years ago | (#38792433)

Battlestar Galactica, SG......

Re:Canadian Culture? What's that aboot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792633)

The only time Michael J Fox is funny is when he's trying to balance a stack of expensive ceramic plates in his hands.

Re:Canadian Culture? What's that aboot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792681)

Sure the US can pump out more but it's still a crap shoot whether it's going to be genius or insipidness.
In the end the ratio of good to bad is the same for TV shows. One difference I find though is in movies.
Few Canadian movies have moved beyond a juvenile obsession with taboo subjects.
Maybe Americans got their fill during Geraldo's talk show days, now it's good enough to have "Who's my Baby's Daddy?", with out
Nazi lesbian hookers and what not.

What a tool.... (1)

Exit_On_Right (2466888) | about 2 years ago | (#38792285)

“We have now moved into an era where the consumer is in control, and where thanks to the Internet and mobile devices, you cannot control access any more,”

And thank God for that. What country does this guy think he lives in? I'd expect that in communist China but in Canada? Ouch.

I suppose it's just one more example of a government being unhappy about losing control of the minds of its people. In all honesty, if Canadian content can't compete with American then it deserves to lose.

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loose luddite (1)

Kikuchi (1709032) | about 2 years ago | (#38792321)

Internet and wireless technology has disarmed federal regulators of their weapons to control cultural identity.


Canadian "culture"? (0, Troll)

Chas (5144) | about 2 years ago | (#38792329)


and a territory full of angry francophone separatists.

Not sure if that fulfills the requirements for a "culture".

Re:Canadian "culture"? (3, Insightful)

Baron_Yam (643147) | about 2 years ago | (#38792509)

There is more to it than that; we're more socialist, and less warlike. We have a smaller percentage of visible blowhards among our citizens travelling the world as tourists. We don't have isolationism or protectionism as a political philosophy. We don't (and honestly, couldn't if we wanted to) support puppet dictatorships to further our own ends.

Of course, the USA is a big place. So is Canada. Both countries have a wide variety of cultures within them, and I'm speaking only of the 'international persona' of the two nations.

Also, 'Eh' went out of style a long time ago. And we have milk in bags.

Canadian Imports are American Culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792353)

Canadian imports are American culture, or Hollywood culture at least. So, much U.S. films & music use Canadian star who come here to make more money than is possible there. William Shatner, Dana Carvey, & Celine Dion are all is Blackberry from RIM. Where is the effort to keep them inside your borders?

As if this is a bad thing. (2, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#38792371)

"We have now moved into an era where the consumer is in control, and where thanks to the Internet and mobile devices, you cannot control access any more,' he said in one of his last interviews."

Good. Out with the old, in with the new. Seeya, sucker.

I would like someone to define "Canadian culture" for me, because I can't seem to find a single one that you can call "Canadian."

Is it English Canada or French Canada, or is it Polish, Scottish, Chinese, or Malaysian?

That's not to even bring up Greek Town over by Queen St East.

Ouzo for everyone!


As it should be (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792383)

You cannot control and regulate culture. Cultures evolve, and yes, often in directions you may personally disapprove of.
In the end, it isn't your call.

You shepherd culture Individually. Support the values you hold dear. Pass on your history. Practice the traditions that mean something to you.

This is as it has always been. It isn't your to control.

Culture is of the people. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792385)

And if the people decide to change, then the culture changes.
You cannot preserve it by writing laws to restrict them.

CRCT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792391)

I assume that CRCT is Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des télécommunications canadiennes? sometimes I wish people would spell out acronyms.

Things change. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792413)

Culture always changes. There's always some loss, but there's also always some gain. Holding onto that to the past that desperately inhibits the future.

Canadian culture isn't "eroding" any more than the US's is. Things change. We aren't forcing it on your citizens... your citizens just like it. Get over it and realize that culture is a huge group idea and no one has the authority to control what direction it goes, and any attempt always seems to fail, and I doubt you're willing to go the totalitarian route.

People like him (1)

bigbangnet (1108411) | about 2 years ago | (#38792419)

People like konrad makes me puke. I can`t believe someone or a bunch of people (the board of crtc perhaps ?...notice the lack of capital letters in crtc...they don`t deserve it) supported that guy. With that kind of talk and thoughts towards canadians, Internet and the whole technology no wonder why the canadian technology is so retarded and back in the dark ages. I'm a canadian and I'm ashamed of what my country thinks about technology. The bad part in in this Konrad is not the only one who thinks technology is going to fast and they can't keep up; just look in the political world. They don't give a positive feedback too. FFS, everything is in place to give more culture to canadians, the technology is there, the brain is there, the creativity is there but almost no one is using it yet. Since when did you go in a school and used technology properly ? Hell, most technologies are blocked in schools, most people in schools (ie: teachers) don't know what to do with the Internet or hell technology all together. No one wants to use it. By the way, Konrad doesn`t know squat about culture. He could start raising his fist to his own government and give more money to the cultural department...seriously. In my province, the only culture we learned was the american indians in the early ages in Quebec. I mean, don`t want to piss anyone off but i don't care about that alone. I want to know more about the political world..well anything to do in our age...give me culture..not only math, my language and some idiot philosophy classes. A whole world exists out there.

The reason I submitted this... (0)

Patchw0rk F0g (663145) | about 2 years ago | (#38792423)

...was to point out the facts that

a) Canada has no culture. We've always been parasitic in our cultural identity; what little concept we have of a "Canadian culture" sprouted between 1916 and about 1975. Before then, culture immigrated with the masses; since then, it's been subsumed by global influences -- and yes, mostly from the U.S. That's mainly proximity, and puts us in company with a shitload of other countries.

b) The CRTC sucks. Sucks balls, as a matter of fact. I used to be a long-distance reseller; I've dealt with the CRTC on a person-to-committee basis many times. As a body, it's antiquated, stone-aged in its thinking, and yes, usually takes the easy way out by bending to the whims of the big telecom and media entities. It, like it's affiliates in the States and overseas, needs to get their asses in gear and up to speed with what's really happening in the tech world today. It doesn't just risk reputation or stagnation on its current route: it jeopardizes the Canadian public and its technological future in the same way that SOPA and PIPA affect domestic Internet users. Which brings me to...

c) If we're arguing that Canada has become Americanized, then the biggest risk of this is that Canada will adopt the same type of idiotic, tech-blind, censorious legislation that is represented by SOPA and PIPA. If we can import and be influenced by Jersey Shore, Mitt Romney, Kelly Ripa, and Mickey Mouse, how much influence will bills of this magnitude have on our weak-kneed politicos when the U.S. turns around and threatens to increase border security or stop buying natural resources if we don't toe the line?

There. There's the fodder. Have at it, Slashers!

Misguided attempts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792443)

The law requires a certain level of promotion of Canadian culture in all productions.
So try to create a deep-space sci-fi with Earth long gone, with promotion of Canadian culture elements.
Or a document about origin of humans in Africa, with promotion of Canadian culture elements.
Or a canadian-themed movie about Ancient Greece.

Re:Misguided attempts (1)

dorix (414150) | about 2 years ago | (#38792551)

Does Anachronox [] count? The universal currency used in that game is the Canadian dollar.

Leave me alone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792457)

The CRTC has no business messing with so called "culture loss". We make up our culture with our individual decisions about what we enjoy and value. Thats it.

Re:Leave me alone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792677)

Fail...fucking massive fail,
"The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization, or group"

You're born into a culture your individuality doesn't define it and the man was right, American media destroys culture.

Worldwide phenomena (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 years ago | (#38792469)

Many governments around the world are trying to control the internet, to stifle the democratization of information and access. In the end they will lose.

Re:Worldwide phenomena (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about 2 years ago | (#38792585)

Which end? Whose i mean?

Wrong label (2)

koan (80826) | about 2 years ago | (#38792529)

They aren't losing to American culture, American media makes "anti-culture" defined by self-interest, reactionary thought, celebration of ignorance, 0-empathy thinking, and vengeance over justice.

As a Canadian... (1)

sapgau (413511) | about 2 years ago | (#38792549)

As a Canadian I say this: (as has been discussed many times before)

- What is Canadian identity? First of all we need to accept that we IDENTIFY very strongly with the US (culturally, economically, strategically). So denying it does not grant us identity, just makes us look like hypocrites. The strongest Canadian values we have are our (misunderstood) compassion and generosity. Many times I have witness how Canadians jump to help in times of need without hesitation and I recognized that as truly Canadian.

- There are way more important issues for the CRTC than being the cultural champion for our society (that is actually the job for Heritage Canada [] We have a pressing need for guaranteeing communication access to all Canadians (internet, phone, cell phone) as a competitive service and not serving special interests groups (Bell, Rogers, Shaw, etc). Monitoring profanity and violence is non existent in radio and some tv shows, surprising for a conservative government. More access to diverse cultural (and political) views from varying parts of the country.

So in essence, the same ridiculous quotes from the Harper government to distract Canadians from the real issues and convince them of the virtues of his schemes.

...consumer is in control (1)

ThinkDifferently (853608) | about 2 years ago | (#38792581)

Oh, the horror.

Bad thing (2)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 2 years ago | (#38792583)

'We have now moved into an era where the consumer is in control, and where thanks to the Internet and mobile devices, you cannot control access any more,'

Did he actually manage to make that sound like a bad thing?

the real cause (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#38792603)

I got to thinking about why other places preserve their culture in person and online despite being online and it's pretty obvious. It's not the internet's fault that everyone in Canada is too far away from each other to maintain sufficient interaction to preserve their culture. Speaking two main languages across the country probably doesn't help either.

I have a solution: (1)

Frag-A-Muffin (5490) | about 2 years ago | (#38792617)

...the fact that the CRTC is antiquated and can't keep up with these emerging technologies as factors...

Doesn't that say it all?? Here's my solution: disband the CRTC and use the money to fund local bands/artists. Maybe setup a new "record label" that is a little more in-tune with society of today, not of yesteryear. There's a lot of things we could do with the money! (Our money mind you!)

Nationalist Culture (3, Informative)

Verloc (119412) | about 2 years ago | (#38792619)

All the posts I'm reading are "Canada has no culture". Seriously?

Of course Canada has a culture; Quebec has a more unique example, but for English Canada there are a lot of cultural similarities between their culture and the United States' culture, so most of those characteristics are subsumed under the US cultural umbrella. Canada's resulting perceived culture is more fragmented, less in your face than other cultures. We could easily lose these fragments and become more 'international' (though most English speaking Canadians get information from english speaking countries, so that means the US and UK mostly). All nationalist cultures will face this in the coming years.

The question, really, is does this constitute a problem? It's a question of identity: 'what cultural groups do you identify with?'. Nationalism has a very real hold on our identity. We need that feeling of belonging to something, and everybody is born into a nation. However, online experience has already show us that 'virtual reality' provides that feeling of belonging and the groups with which we identify and to which we belong have changed drastically. This is a fragmentation of previous groups, and of course the previously established cultural groups are going to fight back.

Of course, the results of this fragmentation remain to be seen. Maybe it's better to belong to a group that all your neighbours belong to so that we share something in common with them, and some weak nationalism has a greater value then we currently understand. Maybe the explosion of smaller groups will allow a stronger connection within the group while a weaker without. I personally think that both are useful, and that Canadians should want to understand their culture, just as all other nations should want to understand their own culture. Having to legislate it in fear of losing it shows mistrust on one side and disinterest on the other, an ugly combination.

Hmmm... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#38792649)

It would appear that the Canadians are eroding Canadian culture by choosing American products(is it even logically coherent to be able to erode 'your' own culture? Is it even logically coherent for a population as large and geographically dispersed as Canada to have 'a' culture?).

Lest my opening mislead, though, I would argue that the technological developments that the CRTC flunkie is complaining about are eroding the CRTC's ability to 'protect' 'Canadian culture'; but they are also eroding any need(we can argue about whether there ever was one; but there is a framework for arguing that there was) for that ability at the same time and by the same means.

Traditionally, 'culture' came in two flavors: small-scale, organic, locally-produced stuff, which is produced spontaneously, for basically nothing, for some mixture of pleasure and local consumption. Interaction with any broader market is limited; but capital costs are virtually zero, and operating costs are subsistence level. The other flavor, substantially newer, was the 'national culture' which really only existed in a coherent sense with the advent of modern printing technology, reliable mail, radio, TV, national distribution networks for recorded media, etc. This stuff is almost exclusively produced as an economic matter(even if some author or violinist or something does it for the love of the art, it ain't getting printed, taped, or mass-distributed unless some bean-counter says so). Its production and distribution tend to be moderately to heavily capital intensive, fairly centralized, and with considerable economies of scale.

Now, if you give any credence to the argument that the preservation of 'national culture'(to the degree that such an animal exists, and to the degree that such an animal is seen as "authentic" rather than as a bland, homogenous, destroyer of small-scale local cultures within the nation), Canada had a problem: traditional broadcast media and mass-market printed matter all reward capital investment and economies of scale(marginal cost of a paperback or an additional listener, fuck-all. Fixed cost of media empire or initial production, huge). Since the US is much larger, population wise, and modestly wealthier, it makes overwhelming economic sense that most of the 'culture' companies would be large US conglomerates producing 'American'(whatever that means in this context) culture tailored to appeal to American customers, and sold incidentally to anybody else who was interested. Thus, a competition between the 'Canadian' and the 'American' mass-culture businesses would likely favor the 'American' ones(the scare quotes are because, as businesses, the locations barely matter, they are probably both Delaware corporations operating as subsidies of multinationals headquartered at a P.O. box in the Cayman Islands, their 'location' just refers to their intended market). Now, America happens to have been historically superb at such contests(being reasonably populous, quite wealthy per-capita, and good at grabbing creative people from various messy collapses into war and mayhem of the 20th century); but the phenomenon isn't uniquely American, the same outcome would hold between any two nearby countries of sharply dissimilar market size with competing mass-culture industries.

However, the various effects of the internet(which do weaken the CRTC's abilities) also weaken the traditional dynamics of mass-culture sale. If the only way for something to hit the radio is because ClearChannel decides to put it there, Canadian music might have a problem. If technology radically reduces the cost of production and distribution of mass culture, it suddenly becomes much easier for the organic, local, semi-recreational, Canadian grassroots cultural producers to spread their stuff far and wide. Even if the means by which they do so are scary American companies, those scary American companies now exert much less cultural pressure. An American record label isn't going to sign you, and distribute, unless they think you'll appeal to the audience they want and make them money. Youtube is too automated to give a fuck what they are distributing. Only the stuff that attracts mass attention or DMCA flack even gets a human glance. It's an 'American' company; but it has neither the resources, nor the self-interest, to somehow impose 'American' cultural standards on what passes through it.

Distribution through non-corporate-controlled means, like bittorrent or your own http server are, of course, even less subject to any remote control.

If one wishes, of course, one can take the position that any intervention to 'preserve' a 'culture' is always nonsense, as a free-marketeer probably would(or one could take the ideologically very different; but somewhat overlapping in this specific instance, stance that the notion of 'Canadian Culture' or 'American culture' is really just a whitewash of the centralization and sometimes destruction of previously diverse local cultures, and either one is already a homgenous imposition unworthy of protection, as a very left-leaning market skeptic or very right-leaning economic nativist might); but if you accept the general outlines of the CRTC's cultural remit, I would argue that it is simultaneously true that technology is destroying the CRTC and that technology is destroying the need for the CRTC(and that, incidentally, technology created the CRTC's power and the need for the CRTC, back when broadcast media were invented. They haven't always existed, and actually didn't until fairly recently...)

They failed? Good. (2)

Lazarian (906722) | about 2 years ago | (#38792665)

I'm happy to see that the CRTC has failed in their mission to shove their vision of "Canadian culture" down our throats so far. I'm even happier to see the CBC sweating as they are getting grilled by Sun News as to how they account for the billion + a year they get from taxpayers.

But I suppose since I'm not First Nations or Quebecuois, I'm just not good enough to be considered part of Canadian culture in their eyes.

If it were up to these guys, all that would be on Canadian tv would be Road To Avonlea and Corner Gas.


Immigration is a much bigger problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38792685)

Are you kidding me?

I think out-of-control immigration to Canada is a much bigger threat to Canadian culture.

Years of government "multicultural" policies have led to entitled immigrants with no respect for Canadian culture, expecting everything to be changed around to suit them.

Of course everyone turns a blind eye since they're afraid of being being attacked as anti-immigrant (or whatever).

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