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Skills Development

Want a job in porn? Ottawa can help Add to ...

Here's a little mystery for Globe and Mail readers to ponder.

Did the Conservative government of Canada - the same government that tried so hard a year ago to prevent money from flowing to movies they considered obsene - actually give a Montreal company a grant to train people to edit pornographic films?

Ads on Kijiji and another classified site suggest that it did. (Copies of the ads are here and here, should they mysteriously be taken down.)

For those of you who don't want to go to the trouble of clicking on the link, the ad is asking for a "Final Cut Video Editor" with some specific qualifications. The applicants must have a university degree, they must be under 30 years of age, they must be Canadian citizens or landed immigrants, and they must have graduated in the previous semester. Why? Well, as the ad explains: "The Canadian Government is sponsoring this job position."

Oh, and there is one more caveat. The ad says: "This job is in the Adult industry. If you are not comfortable with this, please do not apply."

Interestingly, both the Human Resources and Skills Development and the Heritage departments are offering internship grants under something called Young Canada Works.

The qualifications at both departments are roughly the same. Those wanting an internship must be between 16 and 30 years of age. They must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents. And Heritage requires they be recent graduates from a college or university.

The ad also appeared this spring on Craigslist, another popular online classified site. Like the other ads above, it did not name the potential employer. But anyone interested was asked to e-mail a guy called Lakemaker. So we did.

The person who e-mailed back refused to identify what company was the lucky grant recipient. We asked whether this was a Young Canada Works grant. He responded that it was "through another program." We asked whether what program it was and he said: "Sorry, that is confidential information."

So we went to HRSDC and asked if they had given any recent grants to porn studios in Montreal. They referred the query to Heritage. Heritage referred the matter back to HRSDC.

We were stymied. Until we came across the Kijiji ad above, which fortuitously provided the postal code for the business in question.

There are no pornographic filmmakers at that Montreal address. But there is a company called Hot G Vibe that sells adult sex equipment online. It boasts "an array of naughty male sex toys and lustrous female sex toys."

When we called Hot G Vibe and asked if they make pornographic films, they said no. But they do apparently make exclusive videos to demonstrate the use of their products.

And one of the principals of the company is listed as Andrew Lakemaker.

In fairness, there is no proof that the grant was ever actually awarded. Both of the federal departments proactively disclose the names of grant recipients. Unfortunately, the most recent disclosures are for the period ending on April 30. So we will have to wait to see what turns up in the next round.

But it is fun to remember a quaint little film called Bubbles Galore. Back in the late 1990s, the Canada Council helped to pay for it with a grant of $60,000. In fact, it was little more than a lesbian porn flick.

The Reform Party - one of the predecessors of the current Conservative government - was up in arms.

Chuck Strahl, who is now the Indian Affairs Minister but was then the Reform Whip demanded to know "Why does [then heritage minister Sheila Copps] feel that money spent on this kind of trash is in Canadians' interests?"

 

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