In recent news, not so much abortion but morality, particularly the kind or morality — or lack thereof — found in today’s movies. The artistic community has its nose out of joint in light of a new bill that would give the federal Heritage Department the power to deny funding for films or tv shows it considers offensive. At least, that’s what the CBC tells us. Driving with the radio on, I was treated to much weeping and gnashing of teeth from concerned artists promising a descent into China-styled censorship and the end of audacious, creative movies — by which they must mean movies that cannot get a message across without repeated appeals to sexually graphic images, gratuitous violence and other delicious morsels of entertainment.
When they say “deny funding” what they mean is deny a tax credit. A tax credit worth 11% of salaries paid to Canadian employees in the making of the movie. What this means, really, is that offensive movies will still be created, produced and distributed in Canada, only that offensive movie-makers will have to do it on their own dime. Which they already did, strictly speaking, since a credit reimburses money already spent on salaries.
China is not around the corner. Not because of this bill, in any case.
Rebecca adds: … but why expect Canada’s chattering classes to grasp this rather unsubtle difference? After all, the suggestion that we not use taxpayer dollars to fund elective abortions inevitably results in protests that evil conservatives want to create a world of back alley abortions, in which doctors and women in desperate straits are thrown in jail. Just as the body politic increasingly wants everything undesirable to be criminalized, so it wants everything legally permitted to be federally funded.