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The Uncertain Future Of Quebec Culture

1465 words - 6 pages

The Uncertain Future of Quebec Culture

Gaetan Tremblay, a professor of communications at the University of Quebec at Montreal and deputy manager of the Group of research on cultural industries and social computerization (GRICIS), is a leading researcher for public policies in the field of communications. Tremblay is an advocate of public policy that defends against cultural imperialism by countries such as the United States . In particular, Tremblay studies the effects of the media on culture in Canada especially in a province like Quebec which is distinct from the rest of English Canada.

Tremblay's article on the Americanization of Quebec culture is slightly more than a decade old, ...view middle of the document...

S Department of Commerce would like to deregulate the communications industry and how horrible this would be for Canada . He points out that once this happens the U.S will pressure Canada to do the same. Yet, he seems to forget that Canada is a sovereign nation that does not have to give in to U.S pressure. Canada sets its own policies without being influenced by others. It has and will always be this way. Quebec is already officially recognized as distinct, it is entrenched in the constitution. Simply put, it does not get any better than that.

In the next part of the article, Tremblay addresses the amount of American programs on Quebec television. Tremblay believes that the policies that are currently in place were only put in because of a belief that the identity of Quebec is in danger. What is there really to be afraid of? From Tremblay's own data the perceived danger is more of a myth. Nearly two thirds of all production in Quebec is Canadian in origin, it actually increased by 4% in the late eighties. (Tremblay, 1992) Upon further analysis, Tremblay points to the policies that are in place, and claims they cause the high amount of production. This leads him to further his call for more policies. However, this is simply not the case when you look at other parts of Canada that have roughly the same policy. The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has a fixed quota at 60% of television content must be Canadian, for English Canada, but this does not cause a rise in the production of Canadian content. (Donaldson, 1970) Tremblay is clearly picking and choosing the facts and interpreting them in his own way. Later in the article, he even admits that if American content reached 50% on Quebec airwaves it would not constitute an all out invasion. (Tremblay, 1992)

In the next part of the article, Tremblay discusses the viewer preferences of the Quebecois. Tremblay says, “The Quebecois, like Canadians insist that they have quick and easy access to American content”. The Quebecois clearly want access to the content. When something is wanted and not forced upon, it cannot be classified as an invasion, as Tremblay has done. “Communications in Quebec is distinctive in that Quebec there is the existence of two competing media serving different culture but yet they both still reinforce the character of Quebec .”(Tremblay, 1998) Tremblay said this himself, a few years later in an article published in 1998. Even with the airing of American content the French culture is still being served. As long as the Quebecois are being served, it nullifies any invasion.

In the final part of Tremblay's article, he takes a look at how Americans like to export there television shows for syndication in other parts of the world. Tremblay claims that when Americans export there shows, they do it in a nature that undercuts new Canadian production. Broadcast rights for a show will cost only about $150 000 but if the same show was to be...

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