CRTC says “Take off, eh” to the extra 2 minutes

Its more than a little ironic that the CRTC picked this week to announce changes to the advertising rules in Canadian television broadcasting. As of September 2007, Canadian broadcasters will no longer be restricted to 12 minutes of commercial programming per hour, with as much as 14 minutes at their disposal. By September 2008, 15 minutes of commercial time (25% if you’re counting) per hour will be allowed and in 2009, the limits on commercial minutes will be lifted completely by the CRTC.

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A life well lived

Last night’s edition of The Hour on CBC contained the final TV interview for one of Canada’s most remarkable people. Dying of cancer, “Canada’s Conscience” June Callwood invited George into her home for a final chat with Canadian television media. It was a wonderful interview that was perhaps a bit more personal than I expected, given her wealth of life experience in social reform in Canada and globally, but regardless of that (maybe even because of it) its well worth a few minutes of your time whether you’ve heard of June Callwood or not.

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I was hungry, did you feed me?

I haven’t raved much about The Hour this year … I like their new format, and I continue to enjoy George’s direct style (I do wish he’d get a bit more in-depth in some cases, but in others, he does fine), but he’s fallen into the curse of excellence … the expectations are so high, it takes something even more spectacular to provoke comment. This past week, he had an especially wonderful interview with Tony Campolo, Bill Clinton’s spiritual adviser. He said something so profound, I’ve rarely heard it from another “Christian” since the main Man himself …

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Much ado about Garth

Well, it seems the last few days have been a bit interesting in Canadian politics, as much of an oxymoron as that would appear to be. But the fact is, its been nowhere near as interesting as talking heads have been trying to make it. It seems that the national media is out to paint Garth Turner as a turncoat, no matter what it takes. Perhaps its because he was so vocal about the David Emerson affair, as Rex Murphy seemed to think in his editorial on the National last night … the media is looking for ways to paint him with the same brush, but as much as I usually respect Murphy’s “rants” (and I use that word with high respect … his “rants” are pithy and cogent, with a point honed to razor sharpness, whether I agree with the point or not), he and others trying to paint Turner’s joining of the Liberal party as an example of just the sort of party jumping he opposed in the Emerson affair are missing the point completely on this one.

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“… numéro vingt neuf, number twenty nine …”

I wanted to make a post earlier in the week about the retirement of Ken Dryden’s #29 jersey by the Montreal Canadians, but the day of the retirement ceremony was also the day I posted my tribute to the late Gump Worsley, and on that day I felt strange about bumping Gump down the page, even in favour of a goalie as great as Dryden. In fact, I have a feeling Dryden himself might appreciate the desire not to stealGump’s thunder, even on such an important day for him.


Ken Dryden from his playing days … in classic pose, waiting for action … getting ready for the play … Dryden in classic puck-stopping form. Pictures fromCouchmaster.ca, and Legends of Hockey (the last two) respectively.

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The Return of the Good Doctor

When the North American television industry celebrates longevity in a fictional, episodic series, shows like M*A*S*H at 11 seasons, or older ones like Red Skelton or Gunsmoke at 20 seasons end up at the top of the list, discounting “soap-opera” type daily dramas. But over in the UK, for 26 seasons from 1963-1989, Doctor Who ran continuously. Add to that a movie, and now a new 9th and 10th Doctor for at least couple of seasons starting in 2005, and you have perhaps the longest running fictional TV series that isn’t a daily-run soap opera.

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The Canadian Quilt in Action

Canada’s multiculturalism is often referred to as a patchwork quilt, but its often not really clear what that actually means on the ground, in real terms. One example of what that phrase means may very well be starting on the CBC, in the guise of new sitcom, Little Mosque on the Prairie. Its always hard to tell after only a single example of any show, especially the first episode of a brand new series, but so far, this one looks very promising.

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