Government Action

The Canadian federal government announced several years ago that media violence was a priority, but has done nothing meaningful to address the problem in the intervening years. 

Under the Liberal government, which was in power for many years, violence on television escalated dramatically, and they did absolutely nothing to curtail the brutal violence in other media, so you won't find much in this section on recent federal government initiatives. 

Ontario has a Liberal government that was very active on the issue of media violence while in opposition, but hasn't done much while in power, although they did introduce a legislated classification system for video games (based on the ESRB classifications), that makes it illegal to sell or rent M or AO rated games to minors.

Click here to read the initiatives on media violence undertaken by the NDP government in British Columbia back in 2000. This is old news, but should be a template for other provinces, territories and the federal government.

Also included in this section are initiatives from other countries.

Past government actions

Below are some items illustrating that provincial and federal politicians did care about and get involved in this issue in the past.

Violence: TV biz called to arms - Playback article (1993)

Ontario Film Review Board - to cut or not to cut (1994)

Ontario government to study curbs on violent video games (1993)

Alan Rock, Canadian Attorney General, responds to report on crime cards and board games (1995)

Federal government targets violence (1995)

Alan Rock, Canadian Attorney General, seeks views on curbing violence in entertainment (1996)

Grisly video aimed at Ontario film Review Board (1993)

These sick films have no redeeming value - column from Kitchener Waterloo Record (1993)

Gory entertainment must stop, cities say (1993)

Ontario Liberal Leader, Lyn McLeod, calls for ban on slasher films (1993)

Ontario Liberals call for action to curb violence (1994)

Ontario Liberal party election handout

MPs panel urges ban on exploiting violence (1994)

Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs: Report on crime cards and board games (1994/1995)

Kid video games targeted in rise in violent crime concern (1999)

Letter from Heritage Canada promising changes to tax credit policy (1999)

Articles on court striking down powers of the Ontario Film Review Board to reject films for extreme violence (2004)

Letter to Attorney General Michael Bryant re OFRB court decision (2004)

Court decision on OFRB affects other provinces (2004)

Articles on Film Classification Act - replacement legislation following above-noted court ruling on OFRB powers (2005)

B.C. calls for national strategy on media violence (2000)

B.C. government initiatives on media violence (news releases, etc.) in pdf format - 2000

B.C. discussion paper on media violence (2000)

B.C. Soldier of Fortune Decision (2000)

U.S. FTC report on companies marketing violent entertainment to children and youth (2000)

FTC pursues firms marketing violence to youth (2000)

Violent material marketed to youth - FTC report (2000)

Hollywood violence targets kids (2000)

U.S. Senators push safe harbour tv Bill (2001)

U.S. record executives stiff Senator Joseph Lieberman and C. Delores Tucker (1997)


Harper Conservatives flip flop on plan to restrict federal government funding for brutally violent and/or hateful entertainment (2008)

Canadian torture porn producer, Lions Gate, rewarded with $400 million Quebec government contract (2007)

Ontario government puts funding for video game developers in budget (2006)

Ontario Government acts on sexual harassment in Ontario (2008)

Ontario Government funds violent video game developer, Digital Extremes (2008)

U.S. sub-committee hearing on violent rap and hip hop (2007)

U.S. FCC report on TV violence calls for limits (2007)

Heritage Minister to Meet with CHOI Owners (2006)

Bill C-327 - Reduction of TV violence Private Member's Bill (2008)

Articles on U.S. Senator Clinton's video game initiative (2005)

Senator Hillary Clinton's Speech to Kaiser Family Foundation ( 2005)

Free Radical news release: Ontario government not enforcing regulations on pornographic videos (2005)

Ontario Bill 202 - Crime Redepiction (2005)

Video game legislation update from Ontario Film Review Board (2005)

Manitoba to classify video games (2005)

ESAC Presents to York Police Services Board (2005)

Canadian anti spam roadmap (2005)

Provincial and Territorial Film Boards look to reduce video game violence (2004)

U.K. to criminalize possession of extreme pornography (2005)

Key U.S. Lawmaker Calls for Criminalizing Indecency (2005)

Information on U.S. CAMRA Act (2006)

GTA:SA Prompts Warning in Ontario (2004)

U.S. Senate approves increase in "indecency" fines (2004)

OFRB Classifies Manhunt as Restricted (2004)

Battle over violent video games heats up (2004)

U.S. Presidential candidate slams media (2004)

TV Violence creates bullies says British Education Minister (2003)

CRTC explains their approach to obscene and profane language (2003)

Testimony to Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage re their review of the broadcasting system (2002)

Ontario Office for Victims of Crime - Brief to Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage re their review of the broadcasting system (2002)

Someone has to say enough - Brief to Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage re their review of the broadcasting system (2002)

Britain to examine media influence (2003)

U.S. Senators team up to stop sale of violent video games to children (2000)

Peddling violent movies to kids with TV ads (2000)

Bill 19 - B.C. Video Games (2001)