NEWS
05/13/2015 15:12 EDT | Updated 05/13/2016 01:12 EDT

Ontario says time has come to consider national movie ratings system

TORONTO - Ontario wants to see greater consistency in film ratings across Canada.The province announced Wednesday it would create the Ontario Film Authority, which will incorporate the duties of the Film Review Board to classify, but not censor, every movie before it can be shown in theatres.Consumer Services Minister David Orazietti said he'd also like to talk with other provinces about creating similar standards across the country for rating films."We're certainly not attempting to impose any type of Ontario standard on other provinces in terms of how they see their ratings systems evolve," he said. "It's something that I think has reached a sort of natural progression point here."The film sector and movie goers both would benefit from more consistency and a greater co-ordination of standards on a ratings system, added Orazietti."I just think it helps to raise the profile of the industry and the ratings system nationally, and I think that's a conversation that would be helpful to have with other provinces," he said. "There's an opportunity to work more co-operatively across jurisdictions to create greater standardization of those ratings."Ontario and Quebec have their own ratings systems while most other provinces use a movie's classification from central Canada or from the United States, where the classification process is voluntary.Popular movies like "The Hunger Games" were rated differently in all three jurisdictions, getting an all-ages G in Quebec, a 14A in Ontario — meaning kids 14 and under must be accompanied by an adult — and a PG13 in the U.S.Ontario has five movie rating classifications: G, PG, 14a, 18a and R for restricted, which means anyone under 17 must be accompanied by an adult. Quebec has four movie rating classifications: G, 13+ — which means kids 13 and under must be accompanied by an adult — 16+ and 18+, which require people to be a minimum age to view the movie.The standards and ratings for what is seen in cinemas has evolved "considerably" over the last 40 to 50 years and the people classifying the movies in Ontario are keeping up with the changes in society, said Orazietti. However, no changes are contemplated to the province's classification system at this time, he added."I think the ratings systems that are in place today reflect those changes and also reflect the value of Ontarians and other provinces quite frankly," said Orazietti. "Ontario families can continue to count on the system that helps parents make informed decisions on movies."Follow @CPnewsboy on Twitter