The broadcast watchdogs north of the border are nipping at the heels of Howard Stern.

When Stern took his provocative radio show to Canada back in September, he apparently "surpassed the permissible" by calling French Quebeckers "scumbags" and "peckerheads."

At least that's the ruling of the unamused Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, which has just issued a weighty, 93-page decision castigating the self-professed King of All Media's invasion of their fair land.

The council, a self-policing broadcast group, says Stern offended practically everybody in their country--including women, minorities, homosexuals, children, grannies, decent citizens and their families, mounties and especially the French Canadians, whom he called "complete pussies," too inept to get their language preferred over English.

So far, the council has tallied 1,070 complaints regarding Stern's broadcasts. It has ruled that the two Canadian stations that carry the morning show--Montreal's CHOM-FM and Toronto's CILQ-FM--have violated the national ethics code by carrying the "abusively discriminatory" remarks.

The punishment? Each station must read a summary of the council's decision on the air. They must also find a way to "conform" to the code. "If they take [Stern] off the air, that conforms," a Canadian broadcasting official told the Hollywood Reporter. (However, axing Stern seems a bit drastic, since his show has helped boost both stations' ratings.)

Stern--who has seen his employer, Infinity Broadcasting, pay $1.7 million in fines to the FCC in the States--says he wishes the Canadians would lighten up. "I can't imagine anybody would take what I say seriously."

But the Canadians aren't backing off. One Quebec cabinet minister took a page out of Stern's book, pronouncing the Private Parts star a "racist, narrow-minded sewer rat."

(UPDATED 11/12/97 12:15 p.m. PT)

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