God, The Devil and Mark Hebscher

Pray for me. I’m scheduled to go toe-to-toe with Charles McVety, president of the Canadian Family Action Coalition, this afternoon on CHCH’s Live @ 5:30 with March Hebscher and Donna Skelly.
McVety is the gent who took credit for successfully lobbying a couple of Harper government ministers and getting a last-minute morals clause snuck onto a Bill before the senate for third and final reading. That reading has been suspended and the Bill sent back to committee after Canadian TV and film producers, various Guilds and the general public got a whiff of this late last week. That anti-Bill C-10 Facebook site is up to 14,395 members and counting as of 10:14 a.m. this morning.
McVety told the Globe and Mail last week that films promoting homosexuality, graphic sex or violence should not receive tax dollars, and backbench Conservative MPs and cabinet ministers support his campaign.
The amendment to the tax credit, if it becomes law, would allow government bureaucrats to pass judgement on matters of artistic merit. “It sounds like something they would do in Beijing,” filmmaker David Cronenberg told CBC News.
If you had a chance to challenge McVety on this issue, what you say? TV Feeds Your Family invites your comments. Post them here. I’ll study them on the road to Damascus–er, Hamilton.

16 Responses to “God, The Devil and Mark Hebscher”

  1. Anonymous

    please say thank you to McVety
    because Bill C-10 is long overdue

    if Canadian film-makers want to create anti-American socialist propaganda which denigrates traditional values and promotes immorality then let them do it with their own money – not with my tax dollars

    the State has no business in the cultural industries – this isn’t Cuba or North Korea

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    It’s also worth noting how opponents to Bill C-10 are trying to turn it into a religious issue – which is exactly what secular progressives do – they blame the “neo-con” religious right – try making those same arguments about Islam….

    Canada’s television industry has been hijacked by fanatical left-wingers and social engineers who are taking aggressively promoting socialism….

    but GOD is a conservative and GOD will ensure that Bill C-10 passes despite a “grassroots movement”
    of a few thousand people – all of whom are unemployed workers in Canada’s television industry…

    Reply
  3. David Kahane

    Go get ’em, Tiger. We socialists and other fanatical left-wingers (who are the only ones, of course, who oppose state intervention in culture implemented through obscure provisions in a tax bill) will look forward to news of how it went.

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  4. I would be interesting in knowing where he would come down on someone trying to make a movie like The Passion of the Christ in Canada. That movie, which has been aptly called “The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre” is one of the most violent spectacles I’ve ever endured — should something like that receive tax credits?

    What about foreign productions? If a movie made by an American company using Canadian talent and crews was found objectionable, should it be denied tax credits?

    Does he even understand what tax credits are, how they work, and why they exist?

    Does the government that provides these inducements even understand them?

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  5. Ask him about specific titles that have already received tax credits…

    “Brokeback Mountain” – filmed in Alberta and depicting a homosexual relationship that is legal and can even be sanctified by marriage under Canadian law.

    “Juno” – shot in Vancouver with a primarily Canadian creative component and condones or at least accepts Teen sexual activity and pregnancy.

    “Eastern Promises” — which includes brutal violence and nudity combined and got nominated for a couple of major awards, including tonight’s Government sponsored Genies…

    “Little Mosque” which regularly makes fun of (denigrates?) Christians…

    “The Boys of St. Vincent” which depicts children being abused by members of the clergy…

    And maybe ask him how he’d like it if Canadian churches, which now have tax free status, had their performance reviewed by the Department of Justice, which could require them to give money back if any of them had molested children, not reported a confessed crime or maybe just couldn’t prove they had actually gotten anybody into heaven.

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  6. Good luck Bill
    The thing that worries me the most about this Bill is the use of the word “promote” so I’d like some clarification of that please.
    Maybe there is a larger debate to be had about the importance of tax dollars to the industry and the precarious position that a Bill like this can place filmmakers and producers under but right now the fight is halt this Bill – funding might always boild down to a case of personal preference but placing limits on what stories can be told based comes is just censorship and, in my opinion, untenable.

    I also suppose, that as a Christian and a lefty employed in the broadcasting industry I feel pretty strongly that one of the best things about working in teh Canadian creative industrires is the fact that there are so many different people here with so many different stories to tell. I don’t necessarily agree with all of them but do feel strongly that the more I learn and can appreciate about the situation of others the more strongly that I feel that my faith is one of love, celebration and understanding. Maybe that sounds a little saccharine but it is what I feel and I would hate for the opinions of a few to restrict the potential for creativity in the industry.

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  7. The following is from noted Canadian Director Ken Girotti … a number of points to raise with ….

    Why is this happening in my country? Why when even the U.S.A, the country that invented the term ‘religious right’ is moving inexorably to the centre, am I having to fight something like this insidiously stupid amendment to Bill C-10?

    We in Canada are moving backwards. The US election campaign is illustrating in bold relief just how irrelevant the ‘religious right’ down there has rendered itself. John McCain is a pariah within the far right of his own party. On the other side of the line a woman and a man of colour are duking it out (although the fight may already be over) for the centre. There is a decreasing appetite for war, for suspension of civil liberties and for invasion of personal privacy. So why is Canada being dragged back to a Rush Limbaugh/Ernest Angley stone age?

    The roots of the Canada’s Conservative party have their base in what many view as the most Americanized of Canadian provinces: Alberta. Yet when I’ve traveled and worked there I’ve met nothing but open minded, free thinking individuals. While Ed Stelmach may well be on the way to completely isolating his province with his tilt toward letting energy development run amok, and his complete avoidance of any kind of environmental control or anything in the same area code as sustainability, I don’t think for a second he is an accurate representation of his constituency.

    So, what I find hard to understand; what angers me the most, is how a small, unbelievably narrowly interested group like the Canada Family Action Coalition can so completely co-opt the machine of government. How can this group do it in such a way that the government would decide to bury legislation so deeply in a bill that it got to third Senate reading before it popped up on anybody’s radar?

    Where do I live? Did I go to bed and wake up in Myanmar, or worse, Florida? How in the hell did it get to this? And why do I have to now court a case of carpal tunnel syndrome and write, fax, phone, email and scream at my federal representatives to put a stop to this lunacy?

    What in the hell is happening to Canada?

    There’s more to this than the rights of artists and creative people. There is much more at stake than just my livelihood and that of my colleagues in the film and television industry.

    What’s at stake is what it used to mean to be Canadian. Canada used to be a country that represented altruism in a self-interested world. Canada likes to claim it pioneered the notion and application of peacekeeping. Canada was universal health care, equality of education, all colours of the rainbow under one umbrella of opportunity and freedom.

    Not any more I fear.

    I feel angry because I feel helpless. If this issue continues to be viewed as a “cultural” problem it will be largely forgotten within the next week or two by the majority of Canadians who don’t have time for such ‘high-minded’ arguments as the right to free speech and the intricacies of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This issue must be seen for what it is, the tip of a socio-political iceberg which threatens the very meaning of what it is to be Canadian.

    I’m angry. And as long as this fight continues to be the ‘cultural’ abstraction that it is for most of my countrymen and women, I’ll find it difficult to channel that anger.

    We need to blow this one up real good

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  8. A good card to play is that by removing government support of the arts from an arms-length organization and putting it directly under control of people who work for the Heritage Minister, you’re killing political satire.

    How can you do political satire on TV when the people you’re sending up can directly yank your funding? Bang, there goes one of the most successful genres of Canadian TV…

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  9. Hmm, what would I say, besides “bite me”? What makes him think they’re his tax dollars to protect? They’re mine too. Oh, and gay people pay taxes, as do filmmakers and people who aren’t frightened of adult content in adult fare. If he wants to get into a debate about whether to support the arts, or what kind of art to support, let’s have that debate with all our voices in the mix — where I have confidence more thoughtful voices than his would prevail — instead of sneaking it into a bill like this.

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  10. Anonymous

    I think Sarah Polley said it best on CBC last night. My tax dollars go to health care, schools, and other programs I dont use, or havent used in years. I dont want to hold back tax dollars for services I dont use because this is how we have a society. If he wants to get into picking and choosing where dollars go . then I choose for churches to no longer be tax exempt.

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  11. Anonymous

    lajhbzganonymous 5:34 PM
    “Sarah Polly said it best… I choose for Churches to be no longer tax exempt”

    Sarah Polly is a communist and so is anon 5:34…
    it is only the secular progressives and hard-core liberals who object to Bill C-10…

    And for the record, McVety kicked your ass Bill. You kept accusing him of censorship and as he said, this isn’t about censorship, go make your lousy liberal movies, which will only be seen by a handful of people, just don’t ask Canadians to pay for them…

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  12. Nice job Bill… Mr. McVety looked confused and flustered AGAIN … reminded me of vintage Falwell. It never ceases to amaze me how narrow these cowboys are.

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  13. Nice Bill.

    Hey, remember when the religious were the MOST educated, reasoned thinkers?

    Except for that whole crusade thing, that was probably for the best, no?

    By the way, can we start calling Anon-with-the-time-and-date-stamp-responses “rainbow wig?”

    Or maybe “John 3:16?”

    By the way, not stickin up for the Lord with your name is the same as denyin him three times. Just sayin…

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  14. Anonymous

    Will someone please ask McGrath to go on a diet. He looks like he’s ready top explode.

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  15. Whether or not you like or approve of Canadian production is beside the point. Many Canadian industries have been supported with tax breaks. Just because I don’t drive a car doesn’t mean I don’t think the auto industry doesn’t deserve the help it’s gotten. People are all quick to think of the show they dislike and disapprove of and saying it shouldn’t gain government support. That’s like saying I don’t like sports cars or hatchbacks. Why should I support them? Tax incentives help keep some Canadian industries alive. Bill C-10 will gut the Canadian television industry and that would be a loss of thousands of jobs. Sad for me. Sad for the country.

    It’s also the thin edge of the wedge. What’s next? Books? Mordecai Richler, Margaret Atwood Michael Ondaatje have all explored sex and violence in their works and that has been a government supported industry. Want to get rid of them too?

    Good work Bill. It’s nice to see you out there fighting the good fight.

    Reply

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