Thursday, December 16, 2010

Charles McVety was for Censorship before he was Against It

Charles McVety, the best spokesman for the Conservative Party a partisan Liberal could ever hope for, has come out against censorship despite being for it.


Dennis Buchanan said...

I think it might be the other way around: He favoured industry freedom in the past and now he opposes it.

In the past, he defended his position on government funding of the film industry on the basis that it wasn't censorship because the private industry could still do whatever it wanted. So he opposed censorship then. But now, when the private industry refuses to air his show, that's wrong.

Though it seems to be kind of lost on him that the CBSC is a private industry organization, arm's length from the government. Seriously impacts his concerns about procedural fairness, natural justice, and the Charter.

Worse, he's playing fast and loose with the facts (again): He's asserting that he is "permitted no appeal", unlike any other process in the developed world. The CRTC does have a process for reviewing decisions of the CBSC, and it's a hearing de novo - i.e. without reference or deference to the CBSC decision-making process.

It's not technically an appeal - that much is true - but (and I explain this because of his penchant for semantics when being accused of "misleading") if you want to draw that kind of technical distinction, then it becomes patently false that this breaks with the traditions of "civilized nations". I could point you to a large number of Canadian Tribunals with informal processes, relatively lacking in procedural protections for litigants, which have no right of appeal. (There are other avenues of review in these processes, however, which are to varying degrees comparable to the CRTC review process.)

He's also talking too much about "crimes". Far too fond of invoking criminal language ("convicted", "miscarriage of justice", "crimes", "found guity").

In Canada, 'crimes' encompass a very small range of acts, as set out in a handful of Federal statutes. Other offences against statutes (Provincial and Federal) are sometimes referred to as quasi-criminal offences, and prosecutions thereunder do use criminal-type language. Procedural protections in criminal and quasi-criminal prosecutions are paramount, as a consequence of the Charter. The burden of proof is "beyond a reasonable doubt", and you're "innocent until proven guilty". These are only in criminal or quasi-criminal prosecutions.

In civil matters, even when we're dealing with breaches of statutes - for example, if I'm alleging that you failed to provide me with my entitlements under employment standards legislation, and therefore broke the law and owe me money - none of that language is used. The standard of proof is a "balance of probabilities". A finding of liability isn't a finding of "guilt", or a "conviction". In general, there's no punishment applied.

(Incidentally, this also applies to his comments about the CHRC, about the Commission's "100% conviction rate" in proceedings under s.13. Which is factually wrong, terminology aside. The number of s.13 complaints is still fairly low, which makes percentage-based statistics meaningless anyways...but in some cases the Tribunal has declined to order any meaningful award, and it didn't take me long reviewing the s.13 jurisprudence to find at least one complainant whose s.13 complaint was dismissed.)

Jim (Progressive Right) said...

No, he doesn't favour industry freedom. Yes, he advocates that private industry could still pay for it, but the truth is, Canadian productions do not get made without tax incentives.

Production A and Production B both apply for tax credits. The "Content Approval Board" reviews Production B's content and deems it inappropriate and denies it the credit.

A gets made, B does not.

That's censorship.

Either all get tax credits, or none get tax credits. That's true industry freedom.

Anonymous said...

McVety is just a hypocritical pompous windbag. Unfortunately he has had the ear of some influential politicians. Hopefully those days are over.

He has a long history of lying, misdirecting and completely misleading in order to support his ridiculous opinions. You don't have to look any further than the credentials he claims for himself. He attended U of T for two years but did not complete his degree (flunk out?). He then obtained a BA and an MA from his father's non-accredited college, followed by a questionable doctorate from the California State Christian University (again, not an accredited college). And then there is the honorary doctorate from the Russian university.

But I hav noticed that he has removed his bio from the Canada Christian College web site.