April 4, 2001
volume 12, no. 94

Canadian TV Regulators Can't Control Porn

    OTTAWA, Apr. 3, 01 (CWNews.com/LSN.ca) - The Canada Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has recently acknowledged its inability to monitor and, therefore, censor violent and degrading pornography that is illegal in Canada.

    An expose by the CBC TV program The Fifth Estate last Wednesday dealing with the substance of two hard core pornography channels made available by the Bell ExpressVu satellite TV service showed Bob Warren of the Ontario Film Review Board visibly disturbed while responding to questions and viewing content, reports Thomas Langan of the Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL). CRTC representative Pierre Blais said that there are far too many channels to monitor.

    He did say, however, that they would look into the evidence produced by Fifth Estate regarding Bell ExpressVu which is owned by Bell Canada's parent, BCE. "Only after Gartner pressed him several times did he indicate the CRTC would look into the matter," wrote Sid Adilman in the Toronto Star newspaper. "This proved to be academic because BCE, informed about The Fifth Estate's report, pulled the channels off Bell ExpressVu a few hours before the program aired. License renewal application hearings for BCE's CTV take place next month. Renewal is a shoo-in, but BCE would not want embarrassing questions about its other broadcasting service."

    The hard-core pornography is troubling enough by itself, but what makes the current revelations even more disturbing for Canadian Christians is that they come in a context of aggressive anti-Christian discrimination by Canada's communications regulator. "What we find most disturbing is that [the] CRTC has been rejecting application after application for religious programming," notes Langan.

    "EWTN, the largest religious broadcasting service in the world, applied at the same time as Playboy four years ago. Though Playboy was accepted on the first round of applications, EWTN is in need of support to be licensed now. The CRTC felt it necessary to protect Canadians not from disturbing pornographic images, but from programming that is based on the moral values and principals upon which Canada was founded. Where is the balance that Heritage Minister Sheila Copps speaks of so regularly and so proudly?"

April 4, 2001
volume 12, no. 94
News from the Universal Church
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