By Jenna Murphy

OTTAWA, August 15th, 2008 ( – This week another Canadian pay-television pornography channel was approved by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the Canadian federal government’s broadcasting sector.

In its proposal, “Northern Peaks,” produced by Real Productions, differentiates itself from the handful of already existing pornographic channels offered in Canada in that it is “Canada’s first adult video channel offering significant Canadian adult content.” It promises that at least 50% of its pornography will be produced in Canada.

“I think as Canadians there is a bit of a tiredness in seeing all American stuff,” Shaun Donnelly, president of Real Productions, said on Friday.

“There is always that thrill for something that is local and you get the sense that these are people you can meet at the supermarket.”

Reportedly it is precisely this point on Canadian content that resonated well with the CRTC, whose responsibility it is to oversee and enforce self-created Canadian content laws.

Indeed, what may be the most disconcerting for those opposed to pornography is not so much the fact of the existence of the station, since there are already several other pornographic stations in Canada, but the way in which the Canadian government embraced the proposal as a commendable attempt to market more “patriotic” pornography.

Gwen Landolt of REAL women (Realistic, Equal, Active for Life) a non-partisan, inter-denominational organization for women’s issues and advocacy, states that this decision on the part of the CRTC was short-sighted and “detrimental” to Canadian culture.

“[The decision to approve Northern Peaks] is denigrating to society, number one. Number two: it is about money grubbing to the detriment of women and children and families, as so many studies have shown the negative effects of pornography.” says Landolt. “I do not believe this is what most Canadians really want or think or approve of.”

Dr. Judith Reisman, the president of the Institute for Media Education and a writer and researcher on pornography has backed up Landolt’s claims about the detrimental effects of “adult entertainment”, observing that pornographic images “override cognition and cause dramatic changes in the viewers’ behavior.” Research has shown, she said, that the images stay in the brain forever and can “impair [one’s] capacity to love” or worse, lead to “brutal sexual crimes.” (

Dr. Mary Ann Layden, co-director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Cognitive Therapy has discovered in her research that as an addiction, pornography builds upon itself, forcing the addict to seek progressively more extreme experiences.

Before “Northern Peaks” is given its formal license, at least one cable or satellite provider must add the channel to their service list. The channel has three years to be contracted or else the license will expire.

To respectfully voice concern to the Canadian Government:

The Honourable Stephen Harper
  Office of the Prime Minister
  80 Wellington Street
  K1A 0A2
  Fax: 613-941-6900
[email protected]

  The Honourable Josée Verner
  Minister of Canadian Heritage (*to whom the CTRC is responsible)
  Ottawa, Ontario
  K1A 0A6
  Or send an online message through:

  See related coverage:

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