CanCon conundrum

Canadian journalism FoundationA majority of Canadians say we should stop worrying about imposing Canadian Content rules, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of the Canadian Journalism Foundation. The poll also found that four in ten Canadians would be swayed by a review that said a show or event was lousy or not worth seeing.

The poll was commissioned in conjunction with an upcoming CJF forum “Arts Journalism: Staying Critical in the Digital Age” to be held at Innis Town Hall in Toronto on April 20. The forum will be moderated by Bronwyn Drainie, Editor of the Literary Review of Canada. Panellists include Kamal Al-Solaylee, Assistant Professor at Ryerson and former theatre critic at the Globe and Mail, Seamus O’Regan, co-host of CTV’s Canada AM and host of Arts & Minds and The O’Regan Files on Bravo!, and Globe and Mail columnist and feature writer Kate Taylor, currently on leave as the Atkinson Fellow for 2009-2010. Further information about the event is available here.

CanCon Conundrum

Canadian television stations are required to broadcast a certain proportion of Canadian Content (60% overall) in order to acquire and maintain their license to operate, and Canadians are split over whether this practice should continue or not.

One half (47%) of Canadians say they ‘value and care about having more Canadian content made and broadcast because it fosters our national culture and it is critical to promoting our unique identity as a people’. However, the other half (53%) more closely agrees with the sentiment that ‘we should stop worrying about and imposing Canadian content rules on the TV industry because we know what our identity is and we should just care about and value creating good entertainment that anyone will tune into, and if it happens to be Canadian in content and/or production, all the better’.

Reviewing the Reviewers

The poll also found that Canadians appear to be paying attention to those who critique and review movies, plays, shows and other forms of entertainment-and in many cases they are heeding their advice.
According to the poll, most Canadians (77%) either ‘always’ (17%) or ‘sometimes’ (60%) make a point of reading or hearing a review of a movie or show either online, in a newspaper, on the radio, etc, before going to see a movie, play, show or some other form of entertainment. And four in ten (40%) of all Canadians would actually heed the advice contained in an unfavourable review and avoid that activity and find something else to do, whereas six in ten (60%) say they’d go anyways to find out for themselves.

The above findings are excerpted from “The Canadian-Content Conundrum”, an overview of the poll results prepared by Ipsos Reid. This overview and comprehensive data tables are available here.


The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) is a not-for-profit organization that promotes excellence in journalism by celebrating outstanding journalistic achievement through an annual awards program; by operating journalism websites, (English) and (French), in cooperation with the country’s leading journalism schools; and by organizing events that facilitate dialogue among journalists, business people, politicians, government officials and academics about the role of the media in Canadian society.

For further information and press inquiries: Heather McCall, Program Manager, Canadian Journalism Foundation,, (416) 955-0630