COMMENTARY – The Beasley Brothers are the real deal
Many Canadians know the Beasley Brothers, creators of the television show Canada in the Rough, as decent, hardworking farm boys from Ontario. What many don't know is this: while their show is aired in 27 countries overseas and nationally in the United States, these home-grown Canadian boys cannot find a major Canadian television network willing to sell them airtime for their immensely popular show.
Why you ask? The answer is simple: Canada in the Rough shows hunting and firearms ownership in a positive light.
Their show ran on Global TV for eight years until the day Keith Beasley received a telephone call from a Global network executive telling him that the network would no longer sell him airtime for Canada in the Rough. Despite outranking its closest competitor by orders of magnitude, the show would no longer air on that network.
It took some time, but eventually Keith and his brothers learned why:
“It had nothing to do with ratings, and it had nothing to do with what we were. It had everything to do with our content. Our content was guns and hunting. And just like that, the Canadian hunting landscape changed on a dime, and we’ve never recovered from it.”
According to the head honchos at the big Canadian network, hunting is politically incorrect, and Global TV no longer had the courage to continue televising this Canadian outdoor heritage activity.
You can imagine the Beasley Brothers’ shock and dismay. One day they are the producers of an immensely popular television show; the next day, they are seemingly bums on the street without a home. And all of this happened because they dare to show hunting in a positive and ethical light on television.
For many that would be the end of the road. Your passion crushed, you would move on to the next phase of life – whatever that might be. Thankfully, the Beasley Brothers aren't those kind of people.
Instead, they were determined that Global TV's short-sightedness and cowardice would not be the end of their dreams. They were equally determined that this would not be the end of their promotion of hunting – a proud tradition in Canada and part of our national heritage.
Keith Beasley: “Sun [News Network] … when that happened, reached out to us and offered us a helping hand to get us up and without Sun, I don’t know if we would have made it, to be honest. But Sun is no longer here, and we’re back in a fight to find networks that will air hunting and guns.”
The Beasley Brothers became more determined than ever to keep their vision and their promotion of our Canadian heritage activities alive. They found distributors in Europe. They found distributors in Australia. They even landed a distributor in the United States where Ontario Tourism is one of the major sponsors!
Despite the valued assistance of Brian Burk, President of Hockey Operations for the Calgary Flames, the Beasley Brothers still cannot find a Canadian television network willing to sell them airtime for their 100% Canadian content television show.
Keith Beasley: “I met with TSN this year, I met with SportsNet. Two obvious national carriers that should … represent us, that should let us air nationally. They won’t touch us. Why won’t they touch us? I mean soccer’s pretty dang boring, but it’s bigger than us. I get that. But darts is there. Everything outdoors is there. Fishing is even there, but they won’t touch hunting. Why? Because they’re afraid.
Why won’t Tim Hortons sponsor my show? Because every hunter on his way to the duck blind … what does he do? Find me a hunter that doesn’t stop at Tim Hortons at 4 a.m. in the morning on the way to the duck blind in November. Why won’t they sponsor me? One reason: because they’re afraid of the public reaction.”
Keith Beasley makes a very valid point, both for the networks and Tim Hortons. They are both natural fits for his show, yet they will not touch him even with the proverbial ten-foot pole.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) dropped the Canadian content requirement for television stations to operate in Canada, further hurting their chances. In March of 2015, the CRTC announced it had dropped the Canadian content requirement for non-prime-time hours from 55 percent to zero. That’s right: ZERO.
This same CRTC that says pornography MUST be aired on Canadian television, says the Beasley Brothers cannot get their Canadian hunting show – a recognized national heritage activity – on the air.
While millions of Canadians hunt to feed their families each and every year, the Beasley Brothers are ostracized by the Canadian media for showing our birthright in a positive light.
Do you want to do something to help keep our great hunting heritage alive? Write a letter to the following companies expressing your gratitude for their sponsorship of Canada in the Rough. Without the dedicated support of these companies, the Beasley Brothers could not keep their show alive. Even with them, it's still hard. But it is doable – for now.
Rocky Boots: https://www.rockyboots.com/contactus
Beretta Shotguns: http://www.beretta.com/en/
Steiner Canada: http://www.steiner-optics.com/contact-us
Stoeger Canada: https://www.stoegercanada.ca/consumer/AboutUs/ContactUs
Sako Precision Rifles: http://www.sako.fi/
Yamaha Off-Road Vehicles: https://www.yamaha-motor.ca/our_company/contact_us.php
Federal Premium Ammunition: http://www.federalpremium.com/company/contact_us.aspx
Bass Pro Shops: http://www.basspro.com/
Elite Archery: http://www.elitearchery.com/contact/
Excalibur Crossbows: http://www.excaliburcrossbow.com/content/contact
RealTree Outdoors: http://www.realtree.com/contact
Ram Trucks: http://www.fcacanada.ca/en/contact_us.php
Ontario Tourism: http://www.ontariotravel.net/en/plan/contact-us
As Keith Beasley said to us: “If not you … Who? If not now … When? If not here … Where?”
It’s up to each of us individually to ensure that companies championing our hunting heritage be told we appreciate them and their support. It’s a simple gesture, but a critical one. Supporting these companies is a no-brainer when they defend and promote our proud hunting heritage so faithfully.
Then write a letter to the following television networks and politely request that they carry Canada in the Rough on their network. Explain that Canada In The Rough is 100% Canadian content and that hunting is designated as a heritage activity in Canada. It’s in their best interests to support Canada’s rich outdoor heritage.
It’s equally critical that Canada’s national television networks know we want to see our outdoor heritage activities on the airwaves. If they hear from enough of us, perhaps they will see the light. Send the message that hunters are not barbarians, but ethical Canadians who feed their families with what we harvest – and that we harvest this food humanely.
Hunting is a legitimate outdoor heritage activity. Bill C-501, an Act respecting a National Hunting, Trapping and Fishing Heritage Day, was passed into law in 2014. September 2015 will be the first time Canadians will celebrate our hunting heritage on a national scale.
A big THANK YOU to Keith Beasley for making a presentation at the Canadian Shooting Sports Association’s 2015 Annual General Meeting. He is arguably the most humble, genuine and honest presenter of hunting we’ve ever met.
If you would like to listen to Keith’s entire presentation at the CSSA Annual General Meeting, please visit this link: http://s3.amazonaws.com/CSSA/Audio/CSSA-AGM-Presentation-by-Keith-Beasley-Canada-in-the-Rough-FINAL.mp3
“Allan Rock said he came to Ottawa with the belief that only the police and military should have firearms. I believe that firearms ownership is a right, but a right that comes with responsibilities.” – The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety
HELP SUPPORT THE GREAT WORK THE CSSA DOES TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. DONATE HERE
FEDERAL PUBLIC SAFETY MINISTER, RCMP CLASH OVER BANNED RIFLE (By Douglas Quan | National Post | June 29, 2015)
The federal public safety minister’s office has asked the Mounties to review its decision to classify a rifle as prohibited after it roused the ire of gun enthusiasts.
This is not the first time the government has taken issue with the way the Royal Canadian Mounted Police has classified a gun and the latest spat reflects its push to obtain greater control over such decisions.
The conflict started when the RCMP classified a Mossberg-brand rifle, the Blaze, as non-restricted, but ruled the Blaze-47 was prohibited.
Gun enthusiasts were perplexed. They say both .22-calibre rifles are virtually identical, except the Blaze is fitted with a black-plastic stock, whereas the Blaze-47 has a wood-coloured stock.
Tony Bernardo, executive director of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, said he suspects the Mounties classified the Blaze-47 as prohibited because of its resemblance to an AK-47 assault rifle.
But Bernardo, who called the public safety minister’s office last week to complain about the gun’s prohibited status, said the Blaze-47 is no different from thousands of “fun guns” used for informal target practice and shooting tin cans.
“They’re not remotely the same” as an AK-47, he said. “Racing stripes on a Mustang doesn’t make an Indy 500 car.”
The RCMP declined to comment Monday, but a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney confirmed a review is under way.
”The minister’s office has asked the RCMP to review the prohibited classification of the Mossberg Blaze-47 22 LR rifle to determine whether it was made in error,” Jean-Christophe de Le Rue said in an email.
The federal cabinet recently acquired expanded powers that allow it to override RCMP gun-classification decisions after Bill C-42, The Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act, received royal assent.
Under the new law, the cabinet now has the authority to remove restrictions on guns after getting “independent expert advice.” De Le Rue would not say who would provide that advice.
Bernardo said his association has recommended to the government the idea of creating a panel of experts, consisting of the RCMP and industry representatives, to make gun-classification decisions.
“Certainly you want more than one opinion,” he said. “We need to apply the law equally and uniformly.”
‘They’re not remotely the same’ as an AK-47. ‘Racing stripes on a Mustang doesn’t make an Indy 500 car’
However, government opposition critics have said gun-classification decisions should remain in the hands of law enforcement.
Giving discretionary authority to the cabinet to classify guns opens it up to “lobbying by gun interests to make arbitrary changes, should it wish, for political purposes,” and jeopardizes public safety, NDP MP Murray Rankin said in the House of Commons last month.
However, Kathryn Harrison, a political science professor at the University of British Columbia, believes there is nothing inherently wrong in the government having the final say on classifying guns.
Such decisions turn on both the facts and on “value judgments,” she said.
If Ottawa ever were to override an RCMP decision, however, it would have to be transparent and explain to the public who was consulted and how the decision was arrived at, she said.
With a fall election looming, Harrison said the Conservatives have clearly identified gun owners as forming part of their traditional support base and are doing what they can to keep them happy.
That relationship was tested last year after the RCMP changed the status of Swiss Arms-brand rifles and some Czech-made CZ-858 rifles from restricted or non-restricted to prohibited. The guns had been legal in Canada for years.
In an effort to quell the backlash, Blaney admonished the “unelected bureaucrats” who ordered the reclassifications and swiftly introduced a two-year amnesty that would shield owners of those rifles from criminal prosecution for possessing them.
In August, he followed up by tweeting a photo of himself holding up his newly acquired firearm possession and acquisition licence.
“Proud day,” he wrote. “Next up: hunting safety course.”
Blaney’s staff did not respond Monday when asked if he had completed the hunting course.
UPCOMING CSSA TRAINING COURSES – The CSSA is teaching Club Level Safety/Train the Trainer and Range Safety Officer courses at its headquarters: 116 Galaxy Boulevard, on the following dates:
- July 25th and 26th
- August 22nd and 23rd
Room is still available and the only requirement is that anyone attending be a CSSA member. Book your space now as class size is limited to 20 students! To RSVP, please phone Monday to Friday at (416) 679-9959.
LOOKING FOR UPCOMING GUN SHOWS AND MATCHES? Visit: http://cssa-cila.org/upcoming-events-matches/
CANADA IN THE ROUGH – TURKEY TIME!
It's opening day of the Ontario Turkey Season and Kevin Beasley is joined by Rob Dykeman, President of Excalibur Crossbows. Having roosted the birds the night before, opening morning is sure to be a success! Later, Kevin and Paul Beasley have a group of toms trashing their decoys, but the cameraman gets in the way!
See the teaser: http://www.canadaintherough.com/turkey-time/
Canada in the Rough can be found on OLN, WILD TV, and CHEX. For a full schedule, visit: http://www.canadaintherough.com/schedules/
HANDGUN, AMMUNITION STOLEN FROM PEEL REGIONAL POLICE OFFICER'S CAR IN BARRIE (CTV Barrie | June 27, 2015 | updated June 28, 2015)
Barrie police are investigating after a Smith and Wesson .40 calibre handgun and ammunition was stolen from a vehicle belonging to a Peel Regional Police officer.
According to investigators, the theft happened from a vehicle that was parked in the driveway of a home on Rose Street, sometime between 8 p.m. on Friday and 5 a.m. on Saturday.
The vehicle belongs to a Peel Regional Police officer who lives in Barrie. Police say the officer’s duty belt, which contains the handgun, 46 rounds of ammunition, pepper spray, a baton and handcuffs, was stolen.
Investigators say force was used, while stealing the equipment.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.
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CANADIAN SHOOTING SPORTS ASSOCIATION | CANADIAN INSTITUTE FOR LEGISLATIVE ACTION
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