Media and Communication in Canada Term Paper

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The name of the town also changed from Bytown to Ottawa about fifty years later. The future of the town permanently changed when Queen Victoria decided to change the capital to the city in 1857 for the entire United Province of Canada. Then came the fires and "The Great Fire of 1900 started in Hull, turned into an inferno at the lumber mills and crossed the river into Ottawa." (History of Canada's Capital Region) This fire cut down half of the town and destroyed the main source of occupation for the town - lumber mills. It also destroyed over 2000 houses. Again the fire struck in 1916 and this time the attack was at Parliament Hill. Everything was destroyed and the only item left was the library of the Parliament. Yet the town was destined to be the capital and in 1958, the full area of 4,600 square kilometers was declared as the capital region. This included Quebec, Ontario and 27 other municipalities including Ottawa and Hull. (History of Canada's Capital Region)

The English speaking Canadians came from the American colonies between 1775 and 1783 and fifty thousand of them settled in Nova Scotia meaning Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island of today; Ontario and Quebec. The reason for their travails was the support for the British and this made them loose their properties in America. This changed the future of Canada, and helped in the continuation of monarchy in Canada for over 200 years. (the History of Republicanism in Canada) the departure of French Canadians continued from Canada and even during the period of 1840 to 1930 there were 900,000 persons who left Canada to settle in United States. This matter is no longer taken seriously by the present residents of Quebec. The movement was indeed surprising since the French language is dominant only in this part of the continent, and there have not been many more departure subsequently. (French Canadian Emigration to the United States, 1840-1930)

Does the French speaking part have separate media? Do they have to pay for it? Do they receive funds from the Canadian government?

The Canadians of English speaking type and French speaking type have specific stations which cater to their needs. These stations also air group opinions "regarding regional, provincial, national and international events." (the Bonding and Fragmenting of Canada - in terms of Mass Media) the presentation and value judgments differ with the group that the presentation is being made to. This sort of differential treatment according to language occurs in Canada in all spheres, and yet "It seems to fragment Canada yet simultaneously it preserves our nation as a multicultural country and provides support for some cultural identity on a regionalized or provincial level." (the Bonding and Fragmenting of Canada - in terms of Mass Media) Regarding the government, we have seen that they also follow this principle with regard to their television channel.

How effected is Canada by globalization? How much is the local industry acting and investing?

In Canada there has been a predominance of cultural fare from United States for more than a century. According to Mary Vipond author of the Mass Media in Canada "by 1914 almost every Canadian city and town had a movie theatre and more than 60% of the movies shown in them were American, the rest were from Britain and France." (on guard for Canada's culture) This was reflected even 1920s when there were large sales of magazines like Saturday Evening Post and ladies Home Journal in Canada. There was also the practice of listening to broadcasts of American drama and musical radio broadcasts. It is clear that there was widespread distribution of American culture for 90 years and the driving forces were first marketing strategies and then globalization in the present era. It is easy to transfer American culture to Canada - "70% of Canadians share a common language with Americans and almost 80% live within 100 kilometers of the U.S. border." (on guard for Canada's culture) There are also some justifications provided for use of American TV programs, and the main logic provided is that this provides TV programs at much cheaper rates than preparing Canadian programs. The viewer ship is also claimed to be high, probably to justify the use of these programs. The advertising charges remain the same and the profits thus improve. (the Bonding and Fragmenting of Canada - in terms of Mass Media)

Does Canada protect media in Canada from the U.S.A.

As per the rule in Canada, the networks from America are offered the choice of channels on a 4+1 basis. What the means is that an American cable TV network has to show one Canadian channel for showing 4 American channels. This is the rule for the basic network and other American channels have to be shown on a pay channel level. For most cities this means that "UPN and the WB are not available on basic cable, due to lower demand for those networks." (Media in Canada) at the same time, if the city is near the border, then they are free to offer on American channels on basic network, and the ratio is not of importance. There are also rules which say "cable companies cannot offer a new American service if a comparable Canadian service already exists." (Media in Canada)

At the same time if the Canadian service has started after the American service is already in the package for the cable, then it does not have to discontinue the American channel. In terms of production of film and television products, the aim is to reach North American audiences and Alliance Atlantis and Lions Gate Production has been successful in this regard. Now there are a lot of items being produced at Toronto and Vancouver and they are now second only to Los Angeles. But Canadians do not have much of a chance to see a Canadian movie, as theatres don't show them. "A Canadian film is usually considered a runaway hit if it makes as little as $1 million at the box office." (Media in Canada)

What problems does the Canadian media system face today?

The success is the system and this has led to French Canadian films being more successful. "The language difference makes Quebec audiences much more receptive to Canadian-produced film. In most years, the top-grossing Canadian film is a French-language film from Quebec." (Media in Canada) These difficulties have led to a "situation where the film producers in Canada have to depend on government bodies like Telefilm Canada and CBC television." (Media in Canada)

How strong is local production? And what media does Canada import?

The discussions on this are already done.

What kind of mandatory media are/exist in Canada?

The concept of mandatory media had been taken up by Canada even before United States. This was done as a part of educational reform in Ontario in 1987. "In 1987, Ontario adopted mandatory media-literacy training in over 5,000 schools for all students in grades 7-12." (the Case for Media Education) This made Ontario the first area where formal media education was made necessary. This is a matter still being discussed by the education experts. (the Case for Media Education)

How does the government accommodate the immigrants by letting foreign products in?

Minority and multicultural media in Canada

Canada now has 14 full service radio stations for providing programs for different ethnic groups. Even other radio stations for the mainstream audience also provide separate ethnic oriented programs and there are 60 such stations. "Toronto's CHIN, for example, broadcasts in over 30 languages. In the field of print media, there are more than 250 ethnic newspapers, representing over 40 cultures, including 7 non-English dailies."(Ethnic Media in Canada) There is also ethnic television and there has been a station in Toronto, CFMT-TV which was granted a license in 1979 and is now broadcasting programs in 22 languages for the Ontario area. There are also similar stations in Montreal and Vancouver. (Ethnic Media in Canada) the level to which this has gone can be understood from the fact that "Federal counterintelligence officers say they uncovered a well-financed Chinese government plot to muzzle criticism of Beijing's human-rights record in Canada's Chinese-language news media in the aftermath of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre." (Globe and Mail: CSIS warned Ottawa of Beijing media plot) This was pointed out by Michael to who is the representative for Canada in the World Council of Chinese Pro-democracy organizations. There were two journalists of a Chinese community newspaper in Ottawa who had to resign as the Chinese complained about their articles which criticized the human rights record of Beijing. (Globe and Mail: CSIS warned Ottawa of Beijing media plot)


Communications in Canada. Retrieved at;jsessionid=241j7biggxb81?method=4&dsid=2222&dekey=Communications+in+Canada&gwp=8&curtab=2222_1&sbid=lc04aAccessed on 24 June, 2005

Ethnic Media in Canada. Retrieved at…

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