In the past, there was a wide range of rating categories and practices in the various provinces. However, the five rating systems outside Quebec now all use categories and logos derived from the Canadian Home Video Rating System.
In general, these categories are:
G: General - Suitable for all ages and audiences. Equivalent to either a G or a soft PG.
PG: Parental Guidance - Parental guidance advised. There is no age restriction but some material may not be suitable for young children. The theme or content alone in a PG-rated film may not be suitable for younger children. Equivalent to either a hard PG or a soft PG-13.
14A: 14 Accompaniment - Persons under 14 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Equivalent to either a hard PG-13 or a soft R.
18A: 18 Accompaniment - Persons under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. In the Maritimes and Manitoba, the child who is accompanied must be 18 or over, and persons under 14 will not be admitted (in a cinema). Equivalent to a hard R.
R: Restricted - Admittance restricted to people 18 years of age or older. No content rated R is suitable for minors. Persons under 18 years of age are not permitted to attend accompanied or otherwise. May contain strong sexual content, prolonged scenes of graphic violence (with or without cruelty), pornographic content, graphic horror, strong coarse language and other really disturbing content that is inappropriate for children and therefore off-limits for minors. Equivalent to NC-17.
A: Adult - Admittance restricted to people 18 years of age or older. Persons under 18 are not permitted to attend under circumstances. Sole purpose of the film is the portrayal of real (unsimulated) sexual activity. Films rated A are banned from all Canadian provinces and territories except in the Maritimes, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. However, importing adult material from the five provinces to any of the Canadian provinces and territories is legal.
Video works that are given Restricted or Adult ratings are legally restricted, and it is against the law (enforced by every council in Canada, but not the board by itself) for anybody under age to obtain such material. In Maritimes and Manitoba, under provincial law, it is against the law for persons under 14 to view a film rated 18A in a cinema, even if accompanied by an adult.