Andrew, Ken et al,
The issue re: Canadian reception of foreign signals is one of distribution and enabling reception, not reception itself.
It isn't, nor has it ever been, illegal for an individual to receive a foreign signal. I don't even think BEV, the RCMP or the CRTC are pushing for that kind of legislature, or even inferring this.
The situation is that certain Canadian companies have paid for the domestic distribution/exhibition rights of content for all of Canada, and have built businesses and business models around the advertiser or subscription fees associated with this content. If a vendor openly sells equipment in Canada that allows Canadians to view content from a foreign rights holder -- the Canadian holder (channels/networks represented by the CRTC) is naturally going to go after them because it devalues their investment (which is protected by law).
This isn't about going after the consumer for something they are doing wrong -- it's about going after vendors who are openly selling goods which contravene legally-supported protection of purchased domestic rights for content. If they didn't make an effort to go after these vendors, there would effectively be no protection for Canadian rights holders, and therefore really no such thing as domestic rights.
BTW, different people holding rights to material in different countries is what is keeping a lot of content off of the Internet as well: There is no way to control or determine who in which country is able view what content.
This is also why Canadian feeds are substituted for U.S. network feeds on Canadian cable systems and satellite services: The Canadian channel has paid for the rights to the material in Canada, and should gain the benefit of the advertising.
This is all pretty straightforward. Regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies aren't now, have not been, nor ever likely will be interested in going after the consumer/end-user. Legislature and legal precedents aren't murky or confusing in this regard. It's also not some kind of big business conspiracy.
Ask yourself this: If you paid a LOT of money for a Burger King franchise that, in it's contract, stated specifically that you were the only Burger King store permitted to operate in that area -- wouldn't you be pissed if you woke up one morning and there was another Burger King across the street? You'd probably be pissed enough to pursue it in the courts, if necessary. You wouldn't, however, try to have Joe Consumer arrested for walking into the other store to buy a burger.
So, once again - the consumer with a grey-market dish has nothing to fear from the RCMP or CRTC or BEV or *Choice. Companies selling systems to Canadians are the target.
(Just so we're clear, I'm not defending anything one way or another -- just clarifying exactly the way things are and why they are the way they are. A lot of people are confused, or like to spread "Urban Legends" around this issue, and -- as I said -- it's all pretty straightforward).