January 30, 2012

Cutting the cord on Canadian content: Protectionism in Canada’s Communications Industries

HALIFAX, NS- Canadians are controlled when it comes to how we communicate with one another, how we access information and what kind of information we access. It’s time to limit the federal government’s control, to wind down Canadian content requirements and foreign ownership restrictions in the communications sector.

There is a long history of protectionist measures in Canada’s communications industry, with arguments for and against Canadian ownership and content requirements. The latest AIMS paper examines the history and justification behind these protective measures to determine how relevant and effective they really are.

Radio Free Canada: Ending Protectionism in Canada’s Communications Industries, by author Ian Munro, analyses the arguments for ownership and content requirements, and the ramifications of these policies, to determine their relevance, efficacy, and desirability, in today’s world of convergence, digitization, and globalization.

“Protectionist measures limit competition and deny Canadians the freedom to make their own choices regarding the media content they consume,” says AIMS President and CEO Charles Cirtwill.

Munro finds limited evidence to support Canada’s protectionist measures. Technology is also rendering them impractical and irrelevant. Munro points out that even without technological changes, the existence of content requirements still cannot force Canadian’s to watch or listen to the mandated content.

“Munro makes it clear that the arguments in support of content requirements and foreign ownership restrictions are weak. It’s time to re-evaluate protectionism in Canada’s communications industries.”

To read this paper click here


AIMS is an independent, non-partisan social and economic public policy think tank based in Halifax, NS. It examines such crucial issues as public education, health care, public finances, equalization, natural resources, Atlantica and demographics.

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