Updated Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Friday, February 22, 2008

An Open Letter...

... to the CRTC, Heritage Minister of Canada and the current Canadian Government.

To Whom It May Concern,

I’m writing to you today to express my dismay at the current direction it would appear that the CRTC is heading.

With Canadian TV experiencing such resurgence in both quality and interest I can’t help but wonder why anyone would want to try to mess with the formula. Yet it would seem that the CRTC is not only talking about but actually considering the utter disembowelment of the CTF - the program that is single-handedly leading the charge of distinct and exciting Canadian content.

Frankly, it just doesn’t make sense.

For a long time Canadians like myself have had to sit through whatever American programming our cable coms deemed fit to buy for us. In fact, I grew up in this kind of ‘American-content-only’ environment. And though I laughed throughout the seasons of Fresh Prince and Cosby, was captivated by shows like Seinfeld and Friends and X-Files and, now, Lost – through it all I’ve wondered to myself “Why can’t WE do stuff like this?”

It would be years after the end of Saved By The Bell that I would learn about amazing shows like Degrassi and even later when I’d learn about its Next Generation. In truth, I first heard about Trailer Park Boys from the stoner just down the street from me and his roaring approval – only to be surprised by how much of a hoot it was. I only found out that the brilliant show Intelligence existed when a friend of mine recommended it to me wholeheartedly, saying “This is deep stuff, man – and it’s CANADIAN”, as if that fact alone would blow my mind.

The Writer’s strike down South put me back in touch with Canadian TV in its current form and I was surprised by how absolutely captivated I was by it. In the absence of my usual American fare, I found myself addicted to watching episodes of The Border and JPod and soon found myself wanting to see what else was out there.

Since then I’ve checked out episodes of Little Mosque on the Prairie and Sophie and while they’re not quite my type of fare, I can see that they’re well-made shows. More importantly they are, undeniably, Canadian in every possible facet. These shows are all indicative of the kinds of programming that we are capable of in this country and I really, truly feel that the CRTC’s potential plan to split the CTF will irrevocably crush any hope of this new wave’s continuance in the future.

If where we are is any sign at all of where we're going, if it is any hint at all of the greatness to come, then I ask you – as a Canadian and as a Viewer - to allow the CTF to continue to function in its current form. Don’t stifle the brilliance that has only just begun to emerge out from under the smothering American blanket.

Thank you,
Brandon Laraby

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