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Opinion

What is Canadian content? Addressing the question of definitions

By Janet Yale      

The basic principle espoused in our report is simple: there should be consistent obligations to support Canadian cultural policy for all media content undertakings involved in similar activities, whether foreign or Canadian.

Some have argued that the rules should include cultural markers so that the program 'looks' Canadian.  However, this can give rise to problems with freedom of expression. Should we deny Deepa Mehta, pictured, the acclaimed Indo-Canadian film director and screenwriter, the ability to tell a story set in India when it comes from her Canadian perspective, asks Janet Yale. Photograph courtesy of Commons Wikimedia

On March 4, The Hill Times online published a column by Professor Michael Geist criticizing the Report of the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel in regard to the definition of Canadian content. As the chair of the expert panel that produced that report, I think it is appropriate for me to address the concerns raised by Geist. 

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