OTTAWA, March 9, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The soft-core porn web show “Hard,” which Canada’s state-funded broadcaster CBC had been making available at taxpayers’ expense on its French language website in Quebec, has been canceled after the CBC was called on the carpet by members of Parliament, including Prime Minister Harper and Heritage Minister James Moore.

The story came to light last month when Brian Lilley of Sun News Network’s program Byline showed a censored clip from the show.

The program, produced in France by a private company, was purchased by the CBC for an undisclosed amount and was made available on a Radio-Canada website called tou.tv.

Lilley remarked that CBC spokesman Marco Dube defended the program, saying it was not pornographic but suitable for anyone over the age of sixteen. “Hard is not considered a pornographic program. It is rated 16+,” Dube wrote by email to Sun News, adding that the show is popular in other parts of the world and that “Radio-Canada does not air pornographic series on any of its platforms.”

After Heritage Minister James Moore and the office of Prime Minister Stephen Harper criticized the CBC for showing soft porn, CBC president Hubert Lacroix still defended the program saying, “This series is a web series that’s been very successful in Europe. Also, it’s a series that is in line with the mandate of tou.tv.”

Heritage Minister James Moore said, “This programming cannot be defended. Having now seen the show in question, it raises serious concerns about some programming decisions being made with taxpayers’ dollars by CBC/Radio-Canada.”

Andrew MacDougall, a spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, issued a statement saying, “This content is clearly adult in nature and should not be available to children. While the government doesn’t control CBC’s content, we are confused by their decision to purchase sexually explicit content and make it available to children. The CBC’s mandate is to deliver quality programming to the regions and rural areas, not this material.”

Members of Parliament across party lines followed suit in condemning the CBC for airing porn with taxpayers’ money.

NDP MP Peter Stoffer (Sackville-Eastern Shore) said, “If this is the RDI using French actors through our tax system in order to produce this, I would say it is not a good use of taxpayers’ dollars. I think most Canadians and Quebecers would say, ‘What the heck is going on here?’” in a Sun News report.  He added, “To allocate dollars for things of a sexual nature like this would make most Quebecers and most Canadians uncomfortable.”

“I can understand promoting the French language, but I certainly would not support anything that involves porn, that’s for sure,” said Liberal MP Lawrence MacAulay, (Cardigan) while Conservative MP Rob Merrifield (Yellowhead) said, “I don’t think my constituents would like paying for any television programming made outside of Canada. It doesn’t look right to me.”

Tory MP John Williamson, (New Brunswick Southwest) the former head of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, said, “This kind of programming should not be on a broadcaster that is funded by taxpayers, that receives a billion dollars a year, this kind of industry does not need tax dollars to support it.”

The outcry prompted the CBC to first move the raunchy show from prime time to after midnight. “In line with its policies and programs to ensure that the Hard series is not seen by children, Radio-Canada has decided to restrict the spread between midnight and 4 am (EST) today,” the French language network advised on its Facebook page.

This was followed by a statement posted March 8 on the series’ webpage that stated, “This show is no longer available on tou.tv. Visit our site regularly to know when the show might resume.”

Marc Pichette of Radio-Canada told Le Devoir that the CBC will not resume broadcasting the porn show.

“In the case of the Hard series, this automated message is not entirely appropriate because we do not intend to repeat this series. We prefer to present a series that is available at all times,” Pichette said.

Contact info:

The Office of the Ombudsman, Radio-Canada
P.O. Box 6000
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3A8
e-mail: ombudsman@radio-canada.ca
website: www.radio-canada.ca/Ombudsman/

Prime MInister Stephen Harper
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Phone: 613-992-4211
Fax: 613-941-6900
EMail: stephen.harper@parl.gc.ca