Twentieth century was a century of technological progress, century when most of democratic and social principles were realized on practice, which made society more open, liberal, free and advanced. Human progress is dynamic and its development reached unseen results in last decades. New means of technology such as telecommunication, wireless communication, internet and simply development of transportation and interaction of different countries had introduced new concept to our world, concept of popular culture, culture of popular stereotypes which is resulted by means of mass media.
Mass media and press are often called fourth "power" which supplements three existing powers and contributes to the development and simply to the nature of relations on different levels in society. Its informative purposes have an essential meaning for society, as they provide people with different kind of information, help them to form their opinion about different evens, help them in creating their point-of-view and they also stimulate passive and active participation of people in cultural, social and political development of the country they live in.
Besides mass media, the influence of simple communication and interaction on society in Canada is great. It resulted that Canadian society is one of the most developed and liberal in Western hemisphere and the ideas of social equality and social justice were accepted in Canada earlier than in the U.S.A., even though the U.S. proclaimed democracy and democratic development already in the 18th century. Canadian society didn't know what is slavery and a lot of slaves who escaped from the U.S.A. found hostile in Canada. Canada may be an exception from the most of former UK major colonies, where the original Anglo-Saxon culture was modified and transformed under the influence of other cultures. Canada is populated by diverse ethnic groups from all over the world: Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa and nearly culture had made a contribution to Canadian culture, forming its uniqueness. The changes due to globalization and changing dynamics of communication had a bit different nature than they had in the U.S.A. It may be explained by different factors: the major one is historical. For a long time Canada remained in direct dependence from the metropolis of Great Britain, while the U.S.A. got independence in 1776. So the immigration rate to the United States was higher for a long time and the country's population was increased by constant immigration, caused by advantageous political and economical situation of the U.S.A. Still it was immigration predominantly from Ireland and than from German which formed the basis of future American nation, society and its culture. Americans adopted mostly values similar to Anglo-Saxon and it also resulted in the language, which is different from British English standard.
In Canada the situation was a bit different which caused cultural diversity within the country and particularities of language. It's important to know that one third of Canadians is French speaking and two-thirds are English speaking, so interaction of two different lingual groups brought to the development of local language standard, which was also influenced by lingual particularities of immigrants whose language was different from English and who had more favorable conditions for preserving their culture if to compared to other countries. That's why massive immigration to Canada which started in the second half of the last century made a considerable impact on different aspects of Canadian society. It influenced language, it influenced manner of pronunciation, creating unique Canadian accent which often sounds similar to Eastern European, it caused colloquial language simplicity, etc.
Understandably Canadian culture is very similar to American, as the U.S.A. is the closest Canada's neighbor and historically the ties between two countries are more than close as both nations share pretty much the same cultural origins, values, etc. According to the article Canadian Communication and Cultural Policies: Coping with Globalization and Digital Media:
'While Canada's situation is not entirely unique, as a country geographically situated alongside the United States, with three-quarters of the population sharing the same language, and both countries sharing similar cultural origins (ethno-linguistic proximity, as Straubhaar (1991) labels it), elements of certain issues and challenges that are being addressed in debates over regionalization and globalization have been grappled with in Canada over a long period of time and in a number of different ways in Canadian communication and cultural policy debates. Over the 1990s the government in Canada has increasingly tried to position Canadian industries and Canadian communications policies for the new environment."
In order to develop effectively functioning system of communication which will provide all essential functions of media and simple interaction on the level that responds to the standards dictated by time, particularities of Canadian culture, government had to develop new legislature that would control and regulate digital communication in country new telecommunications act of 1993 which had following objectives:
"In the area of broadcasting, the Commission is responsible for implementing the policy outlined in Section 3 of the Broadcasting Act. This policy calls for, among other things, a comprehensive national broadcasting system owned and controlled by Canadians, offering a variety of programming of high standard and opportunities for the public to be exposed to differing views on matters of concern. It also states that Canadians are entitled to a range of broadcasting services in English and French, as resources become available. . In the area of telecommunications, the Commission's role is to regulate telecommunications in Canada with a view to implementing the policy set out in Section 7 of the Telecommunications Act. This involves balancing the interests of consumers and Canadian telecommunications carriers, ensuring that rates, where regulated, are just and reasonable, and that carriers do not unjustly discriminate between customers (CRTC, 1995a)."(from Canadian Communication and Cultural Policies: Coping with Globalization and Digital Media)
Changes that took place in recently starting from 1960 ies had introduced a new concept of communication for the most part of the world and for Canadians of course. As satellite communication and internet communication were introduced, they began quickly spread all over the world, introducing the standards of interactivity and availability to new customers. Today it would be difficult to find Canadians who can imagine their life without telephone, cell phone, television and internet. In the epoch of rapid globalization, interactivity had become a new principle in communication practices and digital means of communication had become more than usual things to be used in daily life, as they guarantee proper functioning of society, economics and safety of the country. Availability of different information either on internet or on television and in press about different events from daily life that often have no relationship to one another caused the spread of stereotypes, and probably this stereotyping refers to a high percentage of information which is perceived from mass media sources. This often creates contradictions caused by mutually non-corresponding facts and subjectivism.
The results of such dynamically changing communication process cause different sorts of dilemmas, resulted by difference of what happens in reality and how it is reflected to viewers and readers by media sources. In modern Canadian society it refers to a set of aspects: gender, race and political relations. Variety of information, changing standards caused by the development of communication and its universality as well as changing standards and values caused by changes of world tendencies result social contradictions and misunderstanding. It refers to hidden racism, when foreigners are refused to be hired on prestigious jobs, in incomplete principles of social equality and gender problems, which had affected Canadian politics. The problems that exist in society on the routine level also penetrate to politics and become barrier for state effective functioning:
'When Tremblay and Belanger (1997) examined the portrayal of party lead-ers in political cartoons in major Canadian newspapers during the 1993 election, for example, they found that over one half of the cartoons in which the two female leaders appeared portrayed them in sex-typed ways as witches, say, or Cinderellas. Similarly, Robinson and Saint-Jean (1991,1995) report that depictions of female politicians in Canada have relied on a succession of sex-based stereotypes evolving from "spinster" to "super-woman" and "one of the boys" (see also Norris, 1997; and Ross, 1995). Even when women are not being framed in stereotypically feminine terms, though, gender biases may still be present. These biases are more subtle, but they are also more insidious because they are embedded in the conventional language of political news ... Evidence of gender biases in television news coverage of women in politics tends to be anecdotal, typically coming from interviews with the women themselves. Given the power of the medium and its importance as the primary source of information for many voters, there is a clear need for more systematic study of the treatment that female politicians receive in television news."(from Conventional Coverage/Unconventional Politicians: Gender and Media Coverage of Canadian Leaders' Debates)
So the contradictions in different situations of "how it is" and "how it has to be" mark on the weak points of social system and on changes that have to be made in order…