Despite what Culture & Community Spirit Minister Lindsay Blackett may have said at the recent Banff World Television Festival, it is hard to dispute the quality of the classic Canadian-filmed televison like Viper (filmed in Calgary and Vancouver from 1996 to 1999).

In all seriousness, I do not necessarily disagree with Minister Blackett’s comments when taken in context. There are some good Canadian television programs that have been produced and there are many of less than stellar productions. I expect that we will soon hear the protectors of haute-cutur poo-poo Minister Blackett’s comments as un-Canadian or those of a backwards Albertan, but as rude as it may have been at the time, the comments might be what Canadians needed to hear. And the sentiment is probably shared by a wide swath of Canadians.

I love the CBC (and listen to CBC Radio each day), but as a western Canadian, I have a gag reflex each time I hear about another cheesy CBC television program about life in Prince Edward Island in the 1890s or a characterization of what a person in Toronto thinks life in the West is like. Other than the occasional episode of Mantracker and the clever and quirky jPod (which is now cancelled), Canadian television has not given me much to get hooked on.