Actor/comedian Marc McKinney 1, Tories 0

Due to its popularity slipping in the polls, Variety reports that the Conservative Party of Canada (colloquially known as the Tories, and yes, this is based on their roots as former British loyalists during its colonial days in the 1800s) dropped a bill from its platform that would have allowed it to pull tax credits from films and TV shows it felt were “not in the public interest” in anticipation of next week’s election.

In other words, in response to public opinion and with the support of actors like comedian Mark McKinney (yes, the one from Kids in the Hall), a conservative government is reversing its stance on a bill that would have effectively let the government deem what movies could be made and what movies are too pornographic or violent to make.

Let me repeat that one more time: Canadian conservatives who are noticing that the people of Canada don’t like them very much are changing their political stances in order to get elected.

If only the U.S. political parties worked like that, eh?

As reported in the Toronto Star, McKinney said that as good as the news is, it’s not enough: “[It’s] fantastic news, but I don’t think it’s anything we should be grateful for at all. This is like a man who steals your wallet and then kicks you in the face and then says, `Sorry about kicking you in the face.”

One of the reasons why this is such good news is that for almost a year, Prime Minister Steven Harper and other Tories cut $45 million CDN from federally funded arts programs, stating that such things didn’t matter to “ordinary Canadians.” The fact that people in the arts have made this one of the key platform issues in the election and it got the party to back down is freaking amazing.

This post has been brought to you by my own election fatigue and the wish that in the U.S. we could regularly overthrow the government just like the Canadians can.

Posted on October 9, 2008 at 06:20 by Trisha Lynn · Permalink
In: News

5 Responses

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  1. Written by Jacob Moore
    on 2008-10-10 at 00:59

    Awesome to see you once again reporting on Canadian-related items. But don’t give us TOO much credit; the Canadian government, while I suppsose more responsive, still gets away with plenty of stuff we don’t like. There are parts of it that are downright archaic (the term “Tories” only hints at what I’m talking about).

  2. Written by speedbat
    on 2008-10-10 at 04:47

    Cool to see some Canadian news, now if we could only get them to change that horrifying Bill C-61 (its a copy right bill that in part grants access to corporations to see what we have on our computers).

  3. Written by Trisha Lynn
    on 2008-10-10 at 05:41

    @Jacob: Again, I blame my election fatigue, but I also think that government censorship of film is an evil thing, no matter what form it takes.

    @speedbat: Good luck on that one. While doing my crash course on Canadian conservatives while writing the article, I read that yours are coming closer to being more like ours, and that’s not a good thing.

  4. Written by Lethal Interjection
    on 2008-10-11 at 00:02

    Interesting that you cite McKinney and not Sarah Polley, as she has been the most vocal opponent of this bit. Mostly because she is one of the most known Canadian independent actor/directors (plenty of others are proudly Canadian, but are pretty entrenched in Hollywood and with studios and such).
    I am against it too, naturally. I understand the idea of censorship (particularly when it comes to the public’s money), but the problem with it always comes to who’s decision is it? You can’t put a committee in charge of it, and I’m not even sure I would want it to be democratic majority choice (if that were even possible). It is such a difficult line, and ultimately I prefer there to be none.
    I was particularly appauled by Harper saying it doesn’t matter to common people. While true, to a degree, there are plenty of laws passed every year that don’t matter to common people. While he isn’t wrong, it was a brutal thing to say. I mean, I care. My sister cares considerably more (and isn’t even involved in cinema in any way).
    Actually, speaking of Canadian cinema… I’m looking for a movie. I don’t know what it is called, and I don’t know any actors, but it is Canadian, and I saw it on TV years back. It is about an author who gets sent to a oceanside cabin to spend time writing his second book. He meets a girl on his beach and falls in love. As the movie wears on, you find out that he stole the book from someone, and it ends up being her. They fight, she ties him to a bed and leaves him for days, etc. Eventually she leaves him in tied to an office chair in the ocean to be drowned in high-tide, and then you find out she doesn’t exist, but is a manifestation of his guilt/imagination. I’ve been trying to hunt it down for about 5 years, and I can’t find anything. It isn’t Swimming Pool or Secret Window. I’ve spent hours on the internet in general and on IMDb. It is independent Canadian film, and a fantastic film, but I can’t find it, and it has eaten at me. I thought I’d share it in one more place, in case someone might know.

  5. Written by Trisha Lynn
    on 2008-10-12 at 08:21

    @Lethal Injection: Considering that the Variety article didn’t mention any Canadian stars being proponents or opponents of the measure, it took some digging before I could find a good soundbite. Had I spent a little long time on the search, I’m sure I would have come up with something good from Polley.

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