Cabinet urged to block porn channel

August 22, 2008
National Post
By Glen McGregor (Canwest News Service)

OTTAWA - A faith-based conservative family group has said it would like the Harper government to intervene to block a broadcasting licence issued to a new Canadian pornography channel.

The Canada Family Action Coalition wants the Conservatives to quash last week's decision by the Canadian Radiotelevision and Telecommunications Commission to grant a licence to adult film network Northern Peaks.

The licence granted to Alberta-based Real Productions requires the new channel to broadcast 50% Canadian content. That means Canadian young people will be enlisted to work on -- and in some cases appear in -- porn films, says Charles McVety, president of CFAC.

"It is to the public detriment to fuel an industry where women are degraded and treated as sex objects," he said.

Mr. McVety says by setting such a high Canadian content requirement, the CRTC is effectively stimulating the growth of the domestic porn industry. "If private companies want to engage in such activity, it's not criminal in this nation, and they're free to do so. But for the government to use to public resource to promote such degradation shows how detached the bureaucracy is from the Canadian people."

He also says both CRTC and the cable companies give preferential treatment to lucrative porn broadcasters but give short shrift to religious programming. He is concerned the CRTC will allow cable companies to offer the station on a free trial for a number of months.

Under the Broadcasting Act, CRTC decisions can be appealed to Cabinet, although it is unusual for Cabinet to overturn a decision, particularly one based on content.