Porn Again

Rating: NNNNNif glad day bookshop owner John Scythes has his way, those Ontario Film Review Board inspectors who come into.


Rating: NNNNN

if glad day bookshop owner John Scythes has his way, those Ontario Film Review Board inspectors who come into his shop scoping the shelves for racy videotapes and DVDs will be no more. Scythes, who has had his share of run-ins with Canada Customs over their confiscation of porn, has now launched a constitutional challenge against the Theatres Act.

In a notice filed in court, Scythes’ lawyer, Frank Addario, argues that “the powers granted the OFRB under the act to prohibit the exhibition and distribution of film in Ontario are significantly broader than those approved by the Supreme Court of Canada” in the 1992 Butler decision, which defined porn and obscenity according to the more flexible “community standards” rubric.

“Provincial legislation impermissibly intrudes on the federal government’s exclusive jurisdiction over the criminal law.” Addario also argues that the act’s provisions allowing the OFRB “to ban all representations of non-violent and non-degrading explicit sex and scenes where there is undue emphasis on human genital organs” violates the freedom of expression protections under the Charter.

Scythes was recently charged under the act with allegedly offering for sale a videotape, Descent, that was not yet approved by the film board. He faces a maximum fine of $25,000 or one year imprisonment if found guilty.

At the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations, Lisa Elliott says the government cannot comment on matters before the courts.

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