Examen des politiques relatives à la télévision canadienne/
Review of the Commission's Policies for Canadian Television
CONSULTATION TENUE À:
The Westin London
300, rue King
Le 13 juin 1998
CONSULTATION HELD AT:
The Westin London
300 King Street
13 June 1998
Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des télécommunications canadiennes
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Transcription / Transcript
Consultation régionale/ regional consultation
Andrée Wylie Présidente/Chairperson
Martha Wilson Conseillère/Commissioner
Karen Moore Conseillère juridique/ Legal Counsel
Richard Frith Secrétaire/Secretary
TENUE À: HELD AT:
The Westin London The Westin London
300, rue King 300 King Street
London (Ontario) London, Ontario
Le 13 juin 1998 13 June 1998
- iii -
TABLE DES MATIÈRES/TABLE OF CONTENTS
Présentation au nom de/Presentation on behalf of:
Anne Eadie 5
Greg Mudry and Don Mumford 11
CFPL-TV London, CKNX-TV Wingham,
Alice Brona 22
Harry Ranson 24
Heidi Vamvalis 27
Patrick O'Neil 30
Cliff Lloyd, Executive Director 36
Children's Hospital of Western Ontario
Margaret Williams, City Councillor 42
City of Windsor
Doug Hembruff, Impact Televideo Productions 50
Dianne Haskett, Mayor, City of London 56
Cliff Edwards 65
1 London, Ontario
2 --- Upon commencing on Saturday, June 13, 1998
3 at 1330/L'audience débute le samedi 13 juin 1998
4 à 1330
5 1 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon to
6 you all, and welcome to this public forum on Canadian
7 Television Content.
8 2 My name is Andrée Wylie and I will
9 chair this afternoon's session. Seated next to me is
10 Martha Wilson, the Regional Commissioner for Ontario.
11 Also in attendance are staff members: to my immediate
12 right, Richard Frith, our forum secretary, and Karen
13 Moore, CRTC Legal Counsel. Do not hesitate to consult
14 with them if you have any question about our process.
15 3 Before I begin, I would like to say
16 that we are all happy to be here in London. As part of
17 the vision and action calendar for the next three
18 years, the Commission made public last fall one of its
19 major objectives: to get closer to the Canadian
20 population. This allows us, on the one hand, to better
21 take into account the concerns of our fellow citizens
22 and, on the other, to better communicate our decisions
23 to the public.
24 4 This preoccupation of the Commission
25 is in line with the new era where the communications
1 environment evolves at a breathtaking pace, be it in
2 terms of services offered, quality and access to these
3 services, or content.
4 5 Given this situation, the Commission
5 has deemed it important to consult Canadians as often
6 as possible on major issues such as telephone services
7 in high-cost areas, Canadian television content, and
8 all the issues related to new media.
9 6 The Commission has undertaken a
10 series of regional consultations on access to telephone
11 services in an increasingly competitive environment.
12 At the same time and taking into account the fact that
13 public hearings will be held next September to review
14 Canadian television content, we are taking the
15 opportunity in this public forum to hear your comments,
16 opinions, and suggestions on programming presently
17 offered, either by public or private broadcasters.
18 7 What we would like to know from you
19 are your views and perspectives on questions like: How
20 important is Canadian TV programming for you? Are you
21 a frequent viewer of these programs? Do you prefer
22 Canadian to foreign programming? Do you think TV
23 programming should reflect and express Canadian values?
24 Is TV programming achieving this result? What kind of
25 Canadian TV programming do you enjoy the most? The
2 8 We may have a few questions of
3 clarification after some presentations, time
4 permitting. However, I want to stress that our main
5 objective is to hear what you have to say about
6 Canadian television. The absence of questions should
7 not be seen as a lack of interest in your submission.
8 9 There may also be some issues we
9 cannot discuss because they are otherwise before the
10 Commission formally. In the interest of ensuring that
11 we hear as many participants as possible, I would ask
12 that each limit his or her presentation to 10-15
14 10 Since our meeting is rather informal
15 and aims at facilitating the discussion, I would ask
16 the secretary to call up, in turn, everyone whose name
17 is on the agenda for today, and I would like to specify
18 that our discussions will be transcribed and will form
19 an integral part of the record of the September Public
20 Hearing. Once the Commission has completed the public
21 hearing process, it will render a decision in late
23 11 Before I ask the secretary to invite
24 the first participant to the table, I want to indicate
25 that you are all welcome to sit around the table with
1 us, especially those who intend to participate. I
2 think we will feel better if you are a bit closer.
3 12 So, Mr. Secretary, would you call the
4 first participant please.
5 13 THE SECRETARY: Thank you very much.
6 14 The first person we have registered
7 is Mr. Baer Schwaub. Is Mr. Schwaub here today? There
8 he is -- no, Mr. Schwaub isn't here? Okay.
9 15 As people arrive and they are set to
10 make their presentations, perhaps they could come over
11 and I could check off their names to make sure the
12 order is followed.
13 16 Our second person is Mrs. Florence
14 Warren of London. Is Mrs. Warren here?
15 17 Well, number three, I know is here.
16 We have Mrs. Anne Eadie from London who has a
17 presentation to make.
18 18 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon,
19 Mrs. Eadie.
20 19 We will be, Mr. Secretary, recalling
21 the names occasionally if people haven't had a chance
22 to come and tell us they are here so that we eventually
23 catch everybody. So no one should be concerned. We
24 are here and we are anxious to hear everybody who
1 20 Mrs. Eadie.
4 21 MRS. EADIE: Thank you very much,
5 Madam Chairman and commissioners. Thank you very much
6 for the chance to speak with you this afternoon as
8 22 As a longtime London resident, I feel
9 very strongly about our television programming and its
10 service to our community. I think we currently enjoy
11 exceptional content in programming in this area, which
12 is representative of the culture, the interests and the
13 concerns of our our region.
14 23 Our local programming here in
15 southwestern Ontario is what the community expects. It
16 is programming that reflects the local view and
17 coverage area, providing a force for public
18 involvement. It is responsible and responsive, I
19 believe, and very much in touch with its audience.
20 24 London is a closely knit community
21 and we welcome you here. Yet, it is also a very
22 diverse community, in some ways. But the issues that
23 interest each of us are those that most affect us all
24 at home, whether we are urban or rural, young or old.
25 25 Within the local and Ontario region,
1 three stations, CFPL Television London, CKNX-Television
2 Wingham and CHWI-Television Windsor, cover southwestern
3 Ontario, central and midwestern Ontario, with news,
4 programming and community participation of the highest
5 order. I believe we are currently being served very
7 26 From a news standpoint, of course,
8 the news that is created here is what we want, first of
9 all: news we can touch, news we can feel, news that
10 makes us empathize, that makes us angry maybe or makes
11 us fearful or makes us pleased.
12 27 I would like to tell you that I spent
13 some of my growing-up years in England before coming to
14 Canada, and just as a sort of a point of perhaps
15 discussion or thoughtfulness, one of the differences
16 that struck me most as I emigrated here was that
17 television programming here is much more relevant to
18 ordinary people than over there.
19 28 There were definitely some great
20 dramatic, comedy and children's programs, but the
21 television service in Britain is nationally created and
22 nationally focused. The news, current events and other
23 programs hardly ever touched on local issues and had
24 very little, if any, community involvement or
25 participation. The faces on our screens over there
1 were mere figureheads. They didn't seem like real
2 people and they certainly weren't our neighbours.
3 29 The networks were state-managed and
4 state-run, and nobody ever came to ask our opinion, as
5 thankfully you are doing today.
6 30 While I believe that broad national
7 programming is important to all of us, let's never lose
8 sight of local views, local news, community events and
9 community service. Let us never allow these vital
10 components to take a back seat in the programming mix.
11 31 I would like to tell you a story, and
12 it's a true story, which makes it even more
13 interesting. Over the past 18 years, CFPL Television
14 London has dedicated considerable human resources,
15 financial and technological resources towards the Youth
16 Talent Search, Ontario Competition. It is the largest
17 talent contest in Canada. Last year, the competition
18 attracted more than 500 youngsters, ages 6-21, who
19 performed at stages at 15 fairs and festivals across
20 southwestern and midwestern Ontario, all the way from
21 Collingwood down to Essex.
22 32 They represented more than 100
23 cities, towns and villages. The competition was
24 promoted on CFPL Television as well as CKNX and CHWI,
25 and from these preliminary competitions, more than 180
1 acts performed on the CFPL stage at the Western Fair
2 throughout 10 days in September, providing capacity
3 audiences with some of the finest live entertainment
4 that London has ever seen. The final show, with
5 background material, was taped, produced locally and
6 shown as an exciting and eagerly anticipated telecast
7 on those three stations.
8 33 The winner went on to compete at the
9 national level, with other competitors representing
10 areas from coast to coast, from the Maritimes to
11 British Columbia. The 1998 National Show will be held
12 in Quebec City. And this year, the contingent from
13 southwestern and midwestern Ontario will be even
14 bigger, with the addition of festivals in Teeswater and
15 Windsor to our list of preliminary contest
17 34 Let me give you a short rundown on a
18 few of our past competitors; we couldn't possibly touch
19 on them all over 18 years, but let me tell you about
20 some of them.
21 35 The Youth Talent Search was a turning
22 point for Jamie Warren of Hanover. After he competed,
23 he decided to become a professional entertainer and, as
24 we speak, this talented singer-songwriter's first
25 release from his third album just hit the country
1 charts in 6th spot, the highest debut position for any
2 independent Canadian release.
3 36 Richard Szuba from Brantford is
4 performing in a presentation of Mozart's, "The Magic
5 Flute" in Toronto, next weekend.
6 37 Paul McQuillan from London has
7 starred in numerous musical stage performances since he
8 won the competition in 1986.
9 38 Dan Stacey from Stratford is
10 choreographing and dancing in the Mirvish Productions
11 World Premiere of "Needfire," which begins its run at
12 The Princess of Wales Theatre next Tuesday in Toronto.
13 39 The MacAuley Boys of London are now
14 singing their way to international acclaim.
15 40 Beverley Mahood from Waterloo is
16 currently on a tour across the country to promote her
17 first album.
18 41 Kortney Galerno from Ayr, Ontario, a
19 tiny little community about some 70 miles from here,
20 just signed a management and publishing agreement with
21 a major Nashville company. She is now working with
22 Reba McEntire.
23 42 Julie Kryk of Windsor, who competed
24 for the first time in 1997, will appear with Sarah
25 McLachlan on the Lilith Fair Tour this summer.
1 43 And just two nights ago, another
2 group of young people started their journey to possible
3 stardom, just two blocks from here -- well maybe three
4 -- at the International Children's Festival. The event
5 was promoted, hosted and covered as the lead news story
6 by CFPL-Television.
7 44 Would all these talented young
8 Canadians have reached their dreams were it not for the
9 Youth Talent Search? We will never know that. But one
10 thing I know for sure is that this competition could
11 not have grown to become Canada's largest, farthest-
12 reaching and most-emulated talent contest without the
13 interest and strong local support of television.
14 45 Of course, I agree that Canadian
15 television programming should reflect the views and
16 values of us as Canadian citizens, and I strongly
17 support programming that reflects the views and values
18 of the station's coverage area and provides a medium
19 and a forum for public involvement.
20 46 As you consider the future of
21 Canadian television, would you please continue to
22 recognize and encourage the relevance of local and
23 regional programming?
24 47 Thank you ever so much for your
25 interest and your time.
1 48 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very
2 much, Mrs. Eadie, for coming to speak to us. Thank
4 49 Mr. Secretary, would you call the
5 next participant please.
6 50 THE SECRETARY: The next person that
7 is registered is Mr. Larry Albriecht from Stratford.
8 Is Mr. Albriecht here?
9 51 Is Mr. Cliff Lloyd present?
10 52 Mr. Cliff Edwards?
11 53 I guess then, why don't we move ahead
12 to Mr. Mudry and Mr. Mumford from CFPL-TV, CHWI-TV and
13 CKNX-TV, our local television licensees?
16 54 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, Mr.
17 Mudry, Mr. Mumford. This is a very good time for you
18 to appear, with all these flowers around you.
19 55 MR. MUDRY: Thank you.
20 56 THE CHAIRPERSON: So it should be a
21 nice experience. Go ahead.
22 57 MR. MUDRY: Thank you so much.
23 58 Commissioner Wylie and members of the
24 Panel. My name is Greg Mudry. I'm Vice-President and
25 General Manager of CFPL-TV, London, CKNX-TV, Wingham,
1 and CHWI-TV, Windsor. Joining me, and on my right, is
2 Don Mumford, Program and Promotion Manager.
3 59 We are pleased to have the
4 opportunity to offer our comments as the CRTC moves
5 towards the hearings, this fall, that will culminate in
6 the development of a new policy framework for Canadian
7 television programming.
8 60 Unlike large national television
9 broadcast entities, such as Global and Baton/CTV, who
10 have the size and desire to produce programming that is
11 national in scope, we as three of the CHUM group of
12 independent television stations operating solely in
13 Ontario have dedicated our energies to the production
14 of local reflection programming. And as we shall
15 illustrate in our presentation today, it is essential
16 that local programming be enshrined as a crucial
17 component of the new Canadian programming landscape
18 that will emerge as a result of the Commission's
19 deliberations this fall.
20 61 CFPL-TV has served the greater London
21 area since 1953, and CKNX-TV has served midwestern
22 Ontario and the Georgian Bay Region since 1955. More
23 recently, in 1993, CHWI-TV came into existence as a
24 direct response to the public outcry at the lack of
25 local service in Windsor. We now provide the only
1 local television service in these three communities and
2 are proud of the role we play in reflecting the diverse
3 cultures of each.
4 62 In November 1997, the three stations
5 were purchased by CHUM Limited. As stated in their
6 application at last summer's hearing, and I quote:
7 63 "Our television philosophy is to
8 offer viewers a distinctive,
9 original and creative
10 programming mix, featuring an
11 intensely local orientation.
12 CHUM's proven expertise is in
13 the building of successful local
14 independent television service."
15 64 In the short seven months since
16 assuming ownership, CHUM has followed up on this
17 commitment and is actively involved in several major
18 initiatives that will provide an even stronger local
20 65 MR. MUMFORD: In an increasingly
21 globalized environment, one of the greatest threats to
22 communities like Wingham, Windsor and London, is loss
23 of identity. One of the major components of this
24 threat is television. In London, cable alone delivers
25 over 70 different services which provide a wealth of
1 programming from across the country and around the
2 world. Unfortunately, due to the fact these programs
3 are produced for mass audiences, their relevance to
4 local audiences is at best dubious.
5 66 As the only local broadcaster in our
6 communities, one of our most important functions is the
7 interpretation of world, national and regional events
8 to give local meaning and significance.
9 67 The turmoil in Bosnia on network
10 channels is broad and distant and confusing. We
11 recently sent a news crew to that region to follow the
12 lives of Windsorites currently serving in the Canadian
13 Armed Forces. Through the experiences of soldiers born
14 and raised in our neighbourhoods, CHWI-TV's reporter
15 was able to call upon the uniquely local perspectives
16 and sensitivities that enabled our viewers to gain
17 insight into a very complex and tragic situation.
18 68 Currently, "Jesse's Journey, A
19 Father's Tribute," sees Londoner John Davidson walking
20 across Canada to raise awareness and donations for gene
21 and cell research. Coverage of this epic trek is rare
22 or nonexistent on other Canadian channels, despite its
23 national implications. CFPL-TV fills that void by
24 providing weekly reports on John's progress to an
25 audience that cares deeply about his mission. It is
1 award-winning, localized programming such as this that
2 makes television such a vital part of daily life in
3 communities right across Canada.
4 69 News, while deeply significant, is
5 only one type of programming that celebrates the
6 diversity of cultures within London, Windsor and
7 midwestern Ontario. Weekly productions explore
8 particular facets of our experience: "This Business of
9 Farming" reminds os of the tremendous social and
10 economic impact agriculture plays on our lives.
11 70 "Inquiry" provides a forum in which
12 hot, local issues are debated. "The People's Business"
13 closely scrutinizes the political process as it
14 directly affects us. And "Life and Faith" examines the
15 ecumenical mosaic of our communities, both large and
17 71 Our special presentations capture
18 large-scale happenings like parades, Remembrance Day
19 ceremonies and sporting events.
20 72 One of the most challenging and
21 rewarding projects we embarked upon recently was last
22 fall's civic election which demanded that CFPL-TV,
23 CHWI-TV and CKNX-TV each produce their own special
24 broadcasts simultaneously, with each station covering
25 every contest by utilizing live coverage through
1 satellite and/or microwave, and by incorporating a
2 multitude of panellists, statisticians, technicians and
3 reporters. Each station's coverage was uniformly
4 praised for one dominant reason: because all the local
5 stories were told.
6 73 Community service has had a long
7 history with local television across the country, and
8 our three stations regularly make it an integral part
9 of our programming. Who better to capture the
10 excitement and novelty of an albino groundhog
11 predicting the coming of spring? CKNX has been a ready
12 participant in making the Wiarton Groundhog Festival a
13 successful event and Wiarton Willie an ambassador for
14 the area.
15 74 The Windsor and Detroit International
16 Freedom Festival boasts the largest fireworks display
17 in North America. It is an opportunity for our viewers
18 to celebrate the freedoms they enjoy with their
19 neighbours down the street, in the next county and
20 across the river in America. CHWI-TV has played a key
21 role in this great event since going on air.
22 75 In London, the International
23 Children's Festival is taking place this week, just
24 down the street at Victoria Park. Should you have the
25 opportunity to stroll through the event during your
1 stay here, you will find unique, multicultural
2 entertainment that has made this one of the city's
3 premiere attractions. CFPL-TV has been a major
4 corporate sponsor since the Festival's inception in
6 76 In addition to sponsoring events, our
7 stations are also active in creating and executing such
8 projects. The Junior and Youth Talent Search contests
9 have been produced in partnership with The Western Fair
10 Association for the past 18 years.
11 77 This year's Talent Search involves
12 preliminary competitions in 17 different community
13 fairs throughout southwestern Ontario. In September,
14 the 200 semi-finalists will compete in the finals, here
15 in London, providing a showcase for the tremendous
16 talent in our coverage area and launching careers in
17 the entertainment industry.
18 78 MR. MUDRY: Earlier in this
19 presentation, I mentioned that initiatives are under
20 way to better reflect the constituents in each of our
21 station's local communications. In addition to a
22 substantial recent investment in news facilities, one
23 project in particular has captured the imagination of
24 our viewers.
25 79 It is Speakers Corner, originally
1 pioneered by Toronto's City TV. Our local objective is
2 to build from their experience and have Speakers Corner
3 become the focal point of our interactivity with the
4 viewers of CFPL, CKNX and CHWI-TV.
5 80 Through many years of experience, the
6 people have come to know that they have a voice on
7 their local station. Speakers Corner will now make
8 that voice more personal and will facilitate greater
9 frequency of exposure. Our first unit is now in
10 operation in downtown London. Windsor and midwestern
11 Ontario will have their Speakers Corners by September,
12 and comments will begin to appear on our stations as
13 early as this coming week.
14 81 In Public Notice CRTC 1991-22,
15 "Policy for Local Television Programming", the
16 Commission stated:
17 82 "This concept of local
18 reflection is founded on the
19 principle that the right to use
20 the public airwaves entails a
21 responsibility to those members
22 of the Canadian public resident
23 in a licensee's service area.
24 The Commission therefore will
25 continue to evaluate how
1 television licensees meet the
2 needs and reflect the interests
3 of their local audiences."
4 83 In addition to a flood of foreign,
5 national and regional programming options in our homes,
6 the viewers in London, Wingham and Windsor are
7 fortunate to each have a station which is committed to
8 adhering to the Commission's principle of local
9 reflection. Despite the dangers of being overwhelmed
10 by this almost limitless distant competition, we remain
11 optimistic about the prospects for local television
12 programming because our viewers continue to illustrate
13 their commitment to the service which we alone provide.
14 84 Twice each year, through BBM Audience
15 Surveys, Londoners consistently state their preference
16 for local programming, especially local news. This
17 past spring, the viewership of our local 11 p.m.
18 newscast was greater than both the CBC and CTV national
19 late newscasts combined. Perhaps more telling is that
20 the number one watched program, news or otherwise, was
21 not "Seinfeld," not "ER," not "Traders," and not "Due
22 South." Rather, CFPL's local evening newscast was
23 London's first choice out of all available television
25 85 The communities we serve want strong,
1 local television. Therefore, we urge the Commission to
2 render a decision that will enshrine local reflection
3 as a fundamental pillar of the new world of Canadian
4 television programming.
5 86 We thank you for the opportunity to
6 present our views and would be happy to address any
7 questions that you might have of us. Thank you.
8 87 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr.
9 Mudry and Mr. Mumford.
10 88 I just have one question: how do you
11 see that the Commission would possibly make it
12 difficult for television stations not to do local
14 89 MR. MUDRY: I think that --
15 90 THE CHAIRPERSON: I must rephrase
16 this: must make it difficult for TV stations to do
17 local programming?
18 91 MR. MUDRY: I think, from our
19 perspective, and taking the broader view of television
20 across this country, that we would hope to see a
21 balanced approach in the decision that will be rendered
22 this fall, so that those companies who have the size,
23 the national coverage, the critical mass to develop
24 large programs, large programs of national interest
25 that reflect the various regions and people of this
1 country to each other, that I would think that there
2 would be an opportunity for those kinds of companies to
3 produce that kind of programming.
4 92 And we hope, too, that there is,
5 within this balanced approach and the decision that we
6 hope for, the opportunity for stations like us,
7 independent stations, mid-size stations, smaller
8 stations, to still have the ability to continue to
9 serve their local communities. And I think that that
10 then boils down to a question of how funds are
11 allocated by stations, the expectations that the
12 Commission would have of stations as to how they would
13 expend those resources.
14 93 THE CHAIRPERSON: You will, of
15 course, have ample opportunity to expand on your views
16 in the fall process, but we thank you for being here.
17 Thank you.
18 94 MR. MUDRY: Thank you very much.
19 95 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary,
20 would you see if anyone else is ready to be a
22 96 THE SECRETARY: Yes, we sort of
23 hopscotched over our agenda so far. So perhaps the
24 easiest way of doing it: is there anyone here who is
25 registered to make a presentation, that hasn't
1 presented yet and would like to get an early start on
3 97 THE CHAIRPERSON: In that case, we
4 will take a 15-minute break, which will facilitate
5 perhaps the arrival of people who had indicated their
6 intention to come. So we will break until...
7 98 Oh, we have a participant. I'm so
11 99 MS BRONA: I would like to know if we
12 have a chance to speak to the people who have
14 100 THE CHAIRPERSON: To speak to them at
15 the break or to speak to us about what they said?
16 101 MS BRONA: To respond.
17 102 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Just identify
19 103 MS BRONA: I'm Alice Brona and I live
20 in London. And I'm a faithful CFPL viewer.
21 104 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you kindly
22 spell your name for us please?
23 105 MS BRONA: Brona, B-R-O-N-A.
24 106 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
25 107 MS BRONA: I rely more and more on TV
1 for the news, and I have to say that I often prefer the
2 CFPL version, although I switched over to CBC because
3 Garth Turner was never looking out for my financial
4 interest nor did I need to see a fashion show every
5 night. But on the whole, I prefer the CFPL newsteam,
6 which was friendly, low-key. I just really like their
8 108 And one of my objections to CBC's
9 style is that they not only tell us the news but they
10 tell us what is going to happen in the future. They
11 foretell the future, which I don't like. And now, I'm
12 quite unhappy with what CFPL is doing.
13 109 I think the liaison with CHUM can be
14 beneficial for all of us. We can certainly do with
15 some of the ideas of Moses Neimer, some production of
16 Canadian content, and some of his creativity. That's
17 an asset, but I would like to say that I am troubled
18 that this is more of a media monopoly where, now,
19 because we're tied up to CHUM, we have to have the City
20 TV newstyle, which is absolutely -- well, if I wanted
21 to watch City TV, I would watch it, but I don't.
22 110 And so anyway, I guess that's what I
23 want to say. Yes, let's keep CFPL London. We had a
24 great newsteam better than everybody else. You said
25 yourself it was number one choice and let's keep it
1 that way. And thank you.
2 111 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mrs.
4 112 Mr. Secretary.
5 113 Yes, perhaps -- is there anyone else
6 who would like to make a presentation now?
7 114 Yes, go ahead. If you would identify
8 yourself and kindly spell your name for the court
9 reporter and our benefit.
12 115 MR. RANSON: My name is Harry Ranson
13 and I'm a great believer in public media. I'm sorry --
14 I'm not sorry. Anyway, when I hear that people present
15 their stories about the privatization of private news
16 media, I'm very much scared that we get more and more
17 and more advertising. There doesn't seem to be a limit
18 on that, the sponsors who sponsor the advertising, when
19 we buy the products, and we quite often don't have
20 another opportunity to buy products which aren't
21 advertised. We have to pay for those programs. I
22 prefer to see a strong CBC in Canada.
23 116 Something else I want to say: when I
24 came to this hearing, guess what radio station I had on
25 in the car? The CBC. And the CBC Radio has no
1 advertising at all, and I commend them highly for that
2 because they have been going through some cost-cutting
3 by the government, and they cannot do what they would
4 like to do. They would like to increase this but, you
5 know, everything is going to be privatized. That's
6 what they like to see.
7 117 And like the gentlemen over here,
8 they talk so much about competition, competition,
9 competition, like competing against each other. We
10 have to cooperate, and we can cooperate in a national
11 broadcasting system, like the CBC, and we can get the
12 best programs, like my friend Alice here, she was
13 saying about the TV in London, you know. But I think
14 they're deteriorating very rapidly, the news, you know.
15 They even have to stand up; they can't sit down any
16 more now when they broadcast the news.
17 118 So, I don't know. They pulled the
18 chair from under their behinds, you know, and I don't
19 like that. It's in response to what Alice said -- to
20 City TV, you know. They're going to also have this
21 where people can come and say the thing, you know.
22 Usually, there's teenagers and, you know, people who
23 walk by on the street, and they give a quick remark,
24 you know. That's not very much public input. No, I
25 prefer a strong CBC.
1 119 Like the TV, for example, it's very
2 refreshing also to see the TVO, which has -- they have
3 started to come in with some advertising. I don't like
4 it, but they don't have a chance to exist without
5 advertising. You know, when I grew up, I grew up in
6 the Netherlands, and we had no advertising on the radio
7 and no advertising on TV when TV came into being. But
8 when I came to Canada, the first thing I hear is all
9 kinds of jangling and this and that.
10 120 Most of the advertising, as far as
11 I'm concerned, in the media in Canada is brainwashing.
12 They're brainwashing the people too; private
13 enterprise, and this is all better for you. Look at
14 the results, what they're doing now. Canada is going
15 down the drain because of all this. It costs too much.
16 I would like to see what Canada spends on advertising
17 and promotion and what does it do. People can't buy
18 more to eat than what they need.
19 121 So here you go, you know. They waste
20 so much money. Also, all those private stations, you
21 know, they use a lot of energy for their broadcasting,
22 and we live in an age when we have to cut down on our
23 energy. And this, I believe, is a very valid point, to
24 really cut down on a station here, a station there.
25 How many stations is there, and how many do we need?
1 122 That's all I have to say. Thank you.
2 123 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr.
4 124 Is -- yes.
7 125 MS VAMVALIS: I would like to say
9 126 THE CHAIRPERSON: If you're not
10 registered, would you kindly identify yourself and
11 spell your name please?
12 127 MS VAMVALIS: Yes, I'm Heidi Vamvalis
13 and I'm an avid CBC listener. I think that public
14 broadcasting is one of the most important -- it is the
15 most important broadcasting in the country. It has a
16 lot of substance. It has no interruption from
18 128 We live in an age where we are
19 constantly bombarded, bombarded, bombarded by
20 advertising, advertising, fragmentation. You know,
21 you're fragmented. Your mind becomes fragmented. You
22 can't even think. You know, news that are given in
23 little bite-size, where the CBC you can continue to --
24 there's a thought process there. You can finish and
25 you can think, and there is that kind of focus and
1 clarity that a lot of broadcasters don't have anymore,
2 and our society is becoming so saturated with the
3 marketeers constantly competing for our dollars,
4 competing for everything, and also being subsidized.
5 129 I would like to see how many private
6 companies are subsidized by taxpayers' dollars and,
7 yet, these are the people that are saying: We cannot
8 afford public broadcasting. We cannot afford our
9 Canadian institutions. And yet, when the truth comes
10 out, you will see that so much has been very much given
11 to these private corporations. And I think, to me, the
12 CBC is sacred and it should be very much preserved.
13 130 And I don't find any kind of quality
14 other than that here in Canada, and no matter how many
15 broadcasters I've heard and watch programming, it's
16 deteriorating. We have a 500-channel universe, and how
17 much time do people have to watch? What you want is
18 quality. Get the riffraff out, and let's have some
19 quality and substance.
20 131 Thank you.
21 132 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms
23 133 Yes?
24 134 MS BRONA: I would like to say I do
25 appreciate community television here in London. We're
1 very lucky here with our community TV channel. There
2 are some things that would never get in the news, in
3 the newspapers or on CFPL. And for instance, I
4 appreciate very much the broadcast speakers such as
5 Linda McCuaig and Maude Barlow, who come to London to
7 135 I also want to comment that during
8 the action days that were held at Queen's Park in
9 October, a year ago, it was not reported by any media,
10 other than Roger's Community Television. The numbers
11 were distorted. It was kept out of the news. So I
12 think we have to value community broadcasting.
13 136 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mrs.
15 137 Is there anyone else here at the
16 moment who wants to make a presentation?
17 138 So we will take a break until 2:30,
18 and we may have some of our registrants here by then.
19 So we will resume, then, in 15 minutes.
20 139 Thank you.
21 --- Recessed at 1410/Suspension à 1410
22 --- Resumed at 1430/Reprise à 1430
23 140 THE CHAIRPERSON: (Off mic) is here,
24 and rather than have Mr. O'Neil wait, we thought we
25 would hear him and see if there is anyone else. It may
1 be that the afternoon will be a litte "décousu" in
2 French, which means not quite woven very tightly, but
3 if that's what's necessary to ensure that we give
4 everybody the opportunity to appear, that's what we
5 will do.
6 141 So, Mr. Secretary, would you call Mr.
7 O'Neil please.
8 142 THE SECRETARY: Yes. Mr. Patrick
9 O'Neil please. And you can sit wherever you want.
12 143 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, Mr.
14 144 MR. O'NEIL: Good afternoon. (Off
16 145 THE SECRETARY: Excuse me. Could you
17 push the button on your microphone? That way, we will
18 have you recorded --
19 146 MR. O'NEIL: Okay. Thank you.
20 147 I just wanted to start by thanking
21 the Committee for hearing me. I'm a private citizen,
22 not part of a -- well, not representing any interest
23 group today, and I think it's very generous that I have
24 this opportunity to speak with you today.
25 148 I just wanted to share what my idea
1 of television broadcasting should be. I think it
2 agrees very much with the CRTC's policy, but part of
3 that policy, I don't think, is being implemented
5 149 I think that television is a very
6 effective medium to serve Canadians, to entertain them,
7 and to inform them and to cultivate debate of important
8 ideas in our society. I was reading the CRTC fact
9 sheet, and it says that television should present a
10 wide range of programming. And right now, I don't
11 think that's being done to the extent that it could be
12 in regards to religious broadcasting.
13 150 I received a pamphlet in the mail
14 about six months ago from an organization called the
15 Canada Family Action Coalition, and it outlined to me a
16 number of issues about recent applications for single-
17 faith religious broadcasters to have their own
18 networks. And I believe there were 13 consecutive
19 applications that were denied on the grounds that the
20 programming was religious in nature, and therefore, not
21 appropriate. That's something I don't understand
22 because religious programming is available on public
24 151 Every Sunday morning, you can see
25 church services broadcast throughout the region,
1 throughout the country and, on occasion, even in prime
2 time, there's the odd Billy Graham Crusade being
3 filmed. So it seems to me that there is demand, that
4 there is the interest to watch this, but there isn't
5 the consistency for people who are looking to find this
6 programming. I think that, by allowing some single-
7 faith broadcasters, people will know where to turn when
8 they're looking for that programming, and they will be
9 able to receive it.
10 152 So the question that I wanted to
11 address, that I read off your sheet, is what will
12 consumers demand in the future? I believe this is
13 exactly what they will demand. They will demand not
14 just one but several single-faith broadcasters
15 representing different faiths so that there is balance.
16 But they will want those networks to present a
17 consistent view of what their beliefs are.
18 153 They will not want a television
19 station like Vision TV, for instance, to present maybe
20 a Protestant Christian perspective and then a Hindu
21 perspective, then a Muslim perspective, then a Catholic
22 perspective. I think, by doing this, the viewers do
23 not know what perspective is being offered to them and
24 they cannot really understand and really criticize the
1 154 However, if there's a network that
2 you know is from a Catholic perspective, then the
3 viewers can prepare themselves and realize that
4 everything being offered there is from that
5 perspective. So I believe they are going to demand
6 this, and I believe they are going to demand it in
7 greater numbers because of Canada's aging population.
8 155 Church attendance has been declining
9 in especially mainstream churches, for a number of
10 years. And part of this reflects that many people from
11 the younger generation are not attending, but also that
12 it's the people from the older generation -- they are
13 the people who are aging who have this spiritual
15 156 Because they are aging and they are
16 not able to participate as fully in their church
17 families as they have in the past, I believe they will
18 want to start to have the opportunity to inform
19 themselves on developments and to train themselves
20 spiritually by using television as a means to inform
22 157 That's simply a brief overview of the
23 reasons that I think religious broadcasting single-
24 faith networks should be treated as any other network,
25 that if they can show that they will be able to support
1 themselves, through donations or through advertising,
2 that they will be granted licenses like any other
3 station. I don't believe it's just to have other
4 restrictions on religious broadcasting simply because
5 of the nature of their programming.
6 158 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr.
8 159 You are aware, of course though, that
9 the Commission has already licensed two religious
10 television stations. One is on the air in Lethbridge,
11 and one will be in the Toronto-Hamilton area. But I
12 guess your comment is about single-faith as opposed to
13 the Commission's existing policy of balance when it's
14 over the air.
15 160 Single-faith would be possible as a
16 specialty network, of course, but no one has -- as long
17 as it follows the tiering rules that the Commission has
18 established -- but no one has applied yet for such a
20 161 We thank you for your comment.
21 162 MR. O'NEIL: Now, could I just ask a
22 question on what did you mean by a specialty network?
23 163 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, for example,
24 TSN is a specialty network. And in the sense that it's
25 not transmitted over the air but is carried by cable
1 instead and is considered a specialty network. So
2 MuchMusic is a specialty network, the History Channel,
3 these channels that are other than conventional
4 television over the air.
5 164 And I suspect that your problem is
6 that you think the Commission should license over-the-
7 air stations without having to abide by the balance
8 policy which is in existence at the moment.
9 165 MR. O'NEIL: Absolutely. I think
10 that the balance policy does not really provide
11 balance. I think, with the technology we have for
12 many, many channels, the best way to provide balance is
13 to allow several different single-faith broadcasters.
14 Basically, any broadcaster that has the audience to
15 support a station should be allowed.
16 166 I don't think it is truly providing
17 balance if you stick on a religious broadcaster the
18 condition that they have to be presenting information
19 that is contrary to their specific faith. That no
20 longer provides balance. It weakens the credibility of
21 the station that claims to be representing a certain
22 religious viewpoint.
23 167 THE CHAIRPERSON: We thank you for
24 your views, Mr. O'Neil. They will form part of the
1 168 Mr. Secretary, would you see if we
2 have another presenter at this time.
3 169 THE SECRETARY: Yes, we have
4 registered and present with us Mr. Cliff Lloyd. Mr.
8 170 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, Mr.
10 171 MR. LLOYD: Good afternoon. My name
11 is, as you know, is Cliff Lloyd and I'm the Executive
12 Director for the Children's Hospital of Western Ontario
13 Foundation. I'm here today to provide opinion to a
14 newscaster, a news report, to come out, talking about
15 the review of the Canadian television programming
17 172 My concern is that with the
18 relationship that we have now with the local station,
19 CFPL, CKNX and CHWI-TV -- these three have been
20 tireless advocates for the Children's Hospital of
21 Western Ontario, though the Hospital's single, largest
22 and most important event, which is the Children's
23 Miracle Network Telethon.
24 173 The Children's Hospital of Western
25 Ontario, for your information, is the only specialized
1 hospital in this area that is devoted entirely to
2 children and serves critically ill and injured children
3 from more than 100 communities around. The
4 sophisticated diagnostic techniques and the specialized
5 surgery procedures, many are only for Children's,
6 requires additional funding that is not received from
7 the Ministry of Health.
8 174 Children's has been designated by the
9 Ministry of Health as a regional trauma centre for
10 southwestern Ontario. And as a regional resource,
11 Children's encourages the development of high-quality
12 child health services throughout the region. Teaching,
13 research and patient care are combined to provide
14 world-class paediatric medical care.
15 175 And I think, just to give you a
16 background of basically some preliminary history that
17 we have with the three local stations and the fact
18 that, as I read into the press release, indicates that
19 I may be overreacting to certain policy changes that
20 may be identified as excluding the local content that
21 we require to be successful.
22 176 To give you some information on the
23 Foundation, they're a charitable foundation that's
24 developed and organized for the charitable
25 contributions that are made to Children's Hospital of
1 Western Ontario. Our Foundation advances the well-
2 being of children, and it raises and manages and
3 disburses funds to the Hospital.
4 177 The Children's Miracle Network
5 Telethon, which links 160 children's hospitals
6 throughout the North-American continent, is the single
7 most largest event to support the Hospital. It has
8 contributed in a major way to the growth of the
9 Hospital and to the continued existence of the
10 specialized programs that people at the Hospital are
11 able to provide.
12 178 Since the Telethon inception in 1986,
13 CFPL-TV, CKNX and, since 1985, CHWI-TV have been
14 enthusiastic and committed partners. Management and
15 staff provide tremendous leadership. They support the
16 Telethon through a number of community-based venues
17 that promote the care of child health in our area.
18 179 The leadership for the Telethon is
19 paramount on their ability to be able to continue in
20 community-based results in being able to provide us, at
21 the Foundation and the Hospital, with community
22 relation-type events that are able to be broadcast and
23 can carry it over southwestern Ontario because it is
24 our big major event that enables us to provide for the
25 type of funds that we're able to raise.
1 180 Perhaps even more importantly, the
2 Telethon is the largest significant contribution in the
3 building of awareness for our Hospital. So the fact
4 remains that we need to have their association. We
5 need to have them to continue on with the type of local
6 community broadcasting that they do.
7 181 The Children's Hospital, as I
8 mentioned before, is a specialized paediatric facility
9 that serves the area from Windsor to Owen Sound, as far
10 east as Kitchener and Waterloo, and we also provide
11 paediatric critical-care transport from the areas as
12 far away as Sault Ste Marie and Thunder Bay.
13 182 Incidentally, it happens to be the
14 only 24-hour, 7-day operating a children's emergency
15 facility between Winnipeg and Toronto. So it's vital
16 that it remains there and it's vital that we have the
17 opportunity to utilize local television broadcasting to
18 be able to continue to support and to raise the funds
19 that we do here.
20 183 We have worked with CFPL-TV, with
21 CKNX and CHWI in Windsor, through their staffing,
22 through their reporters, through their editing, and
23 they are available to us when we have certain events.
24 They are available to us when we need to go out and
25 publicize and to broadcast and to promote our Telethon
1 and local events leading up to it. It's not just a
2 two-day weekend or 23 hours of television service that
3 they provide to us to do the Telethon but it's the many
4 things that they do, prior to and leading up to that,
5 that brings the awareness and enables us to do what we
6 can do.
7 184 Since 1986, the Telethon has grown
8 from being able to raise, the first year, $250,000, to
9 last weekend, on May 30th and 31st, to $1.7 million.
10 So over that period of time, we have been able to raise
11 for the hospital, locally here, over $17 million. So
12 you can see the reason that we wish to continue to have
13 local support and the community involvement that we
14 have received. We have received it from the station
15 before it changed hands. We continue to receive it
16 from the present owners, and the indication is that
17 that partnership and that agreement and that commitment
18 continues to go on into the future.
19 185 I guess what we have done is we have
20 been able to work an extremely close relationship with
21 the staff working at the station. We have been able to
22 work through their Advertising Department because they
23 ensure and allow us available at point-of-sale
24 advertising prior to the Telethon, and point-of-sale
25 advertising after it.
1 186 The News Department is always there,
2 ready to help us when we're out at any event. They're
3 there with filming crews. They're there with
4 reporters, and they're prepared to take part in
5 enabling us to do the things that we require and bring
6 the attention and the awareness to the local people
7 within that broadcasting area, through the three
8 stations: Wingham, Windsor, and London.
9 187 I think, to summarize quickly, it's
10 obvious that one cannot have a television without a
11 television station, and we are very fortunate to have
12 one here. But by the same token, we need to be able
13 for them to maintain their community involvement
14 because we need to be able to work closely with not
15 only the management but with the station, with the
16 owners, with the reporters, with the staff, with the
17 camera crew, because they devote their time, and
18 they're out and they spend a lot of help to enable us
19 to do that.
20 188 For these reasons, CFPL-TV, CHWI and
21 CKNX are truly the Children's Hospital of Western
22 Ontario's community partners. Without their local
23 presence, our Telethon would not make the major
24 contribution that it does, and our concern is that if
25 there are changes planned or if there are anticipated
1 changes made to the way that they handle their local
2 community broadcasting now, then we are in jeopardy in
3 being able to raise the type of money that we need to
4 raise to support programs, as I indicated earlier in my
5 opinion, that are not covered by the Ministry of
7 189 Thank you very much for your time.
8 190 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr.
9 Lloyd. Thank you for coming to visit us.
10 191 Mr. Secretary, do we have any other
11 party ready and willing to make a presentation?
12 192 THE SECRETARY: Yes. At the end
13 table, we have Councillor Margaret Williams
14 representing the City of Windsor.
15 193 Councillor Williams.
18 194 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon,
19 Councillor Williams.
20 195 COUNCILLOR WILLIAMS: Good afternoon.
21 196 Madam Chair and Madam Deputy Chair,
22 as you have heard, my name is Margaret Williams. I am
23 a City Councillor with the City of Windsor. Michael
24 Hurst, our Mayor, unfortunately could not be present
25 today and he sends his regrets. He asked me to present
1 the comments of the City of Windsor to this meeting.
2 197 Windsor's special problems in
3 broadcasting are not new to the Commission. The City
4 of Windsor has appeared before you a number of times in
5 the past with respect to the importance of local
6 broadcasting and it is doing so again.
7 198 Canadian television programming is
8 extremely important to Windsor. Nowhere in Canada has
9 this been so manifestly demonstrated, as it was a few
10 years ago when the CBC abandoned the only local TV
11 programming in our community. Canadians in Windsor and
12 Essex County desperately wanted television which
13 reflected their views and values.
14 199 The Mayor at that time, John Millson,
15 vividly described to you the sorrow, the anger, the
16 feelings of abandonment, even betrayal felt by our
17 citizens. Eight thousand protesters demonstrated in
18 the streets one cold December afternoon.
19 Schoolchildren donated loonies to the cause. Fifty-
20 seven thousand citizens signed petitions.
21 200 I know this because I coordinated the
22 collection of these signatures and it took less than 10
23 days to do so. These were unheard of numbers of people
24 demanding to receive Canadian -- and let me repeat--
25 Canadian broadcasting services.
1 201 In its time, the Commission has heard
2 many a protest to permit more and more American
3 services. Here was a much larger instance of protest.
4 It was a case of Canadians vehemently demanding at
5 least some kind of parity with other Canadians in
6 receiving full local television services.
7 202 Why the vehemence, the loss, the
8 betrayal? Because as do no other Canadians,
9 Windsorites know how important it is to have local news
10 and current affairs. We are awash in U.S. media:
11 adjacent to six strong U.S. TV stations, five less
12 powerful ones, and 54 U.S. radio stations. The
13 concerned demonstrators were people who love this
14 country, wish to participate fully in it and want their
15 children to grow up as real Canadians.
16 203 Since that time, a number of events
17 have happened. Baton Broadcasting, now CHUM, sited a
18 transmitter, CHWI-TV, which we affectionately call
19 "Chewy", to reach into Windsor. On this station, CHUM
20 broadcasts 10 hours a week of local Windsor news and
21 affairs, material gathered by a staff in Windsor, which
22 is assembled and presented by CHUM's CFPL-TV London
24 204 We are particularly pleased that this
25 service exceeds the original commitments and may be
1 increased further. Then, CBC partially restored its
2 local service to about half of its former offering and
3 we are grateful for this. CTV, on the other hand, no
4 longer provides the small local presence it once did.
5 However, local cable service has made strong efforts to
6 reflect city and county matters.
7 205 In total, this is far better than
8 nothing, which we faced six years ago, but it fails by
9 comparison to the local television services available
10 and required by you in comparably sized Canadian cities
11 and far less than the television service we once
12 enjoyed. From Friday evening to Monday evening, there
13 is a local TV news blackout. We receive no local news
14 on television between Friday night and Monday night.
15 206 This emphasis on local broadcasting
16 is not to suggest that national programs of artistic
17 and cultural merit or even of pure entertainment value
18 should not occupy our airspace. Far from it, but there
19 is a fear that, in trying to tailor a broadcasting
20 strategy, a one-size-fits-all approach may be sought.
21 207 There are fundamental differences in
22 terms of the various locations and differences in the
23 broadcasting structures which serve the communities.
24 Let me try to make this a little more clear.
25 208 In the case of Windsor, with the
1 exception of the CBC transmitter, no Canadian
2 television station -- Global, CTV, CHUM, et cetera --
3 can locate a transmitter close enough or strong enough
4 to provide a clear signal into Windsor homes. To do so
5 would mean that any U.S. content on that signal would
6 have to be purchased at Detroit market prices, which
7 are greater than those charged for release in all of
8 Canada outside of Windsor. Essentially, Windsor people
9 can only get the Canadian private stations and their
10 local Windsor programs through subscribing to our cable
12 209 Prior to CBC cancelling local
13 service, its strong efforts to fully cover local news
14 and current affairs had succeeded in producing some
15 very respectable ratings, considering the huge
16 competition from across the border. When CBC cut its
17 local service and reduced local staff, which was 130,
18 cut it by 84, it probably hoped to maintain the local
19 audience and revenue. The result was not positive.
20 210 In the 6-7 p.m. period, the CBC has a
21 28 share. Without local content, it quickly lost
22 almost three-quarters of its audience, and what had
23 been a strong lead-in to the rest of the evening
24 evaporated. The point is that the closely watched
25 local service not only met a great number of local
1 needs, it was also essential to promote and build an
2 audience for the "national" offerings later in the
4 211 It is doubtful the CBC has yet to
5 recover the credibility and strong support it once had
6 in our community, although I know that our local
7 manager is here and I don't want him to take that in a
8 negative manner. In this extreme situation, the
9 Windsor case demonstrated that the fist line of defence
10 to cultural spillover lies in strong local identity and
11 services. It's a grassroots approach which may become
12 even more important in the future, and here is an
14 212 As we enter the era of the
15 multichannel direct broadcast satellites, the local
16 service is only available by switching back to a
17 rooftop antenna or rabbit ears. In Windsor, U.S.
18 dishes with only U.S. services are readily available.
19 The primary reason for many not to switch from cable to
20 a cheaper U.S. dish is the absence of much of the local
21 content, which is only available in Windsor on cable.
22 213 We have said little about the
23 importance of local television broadcasting to a
24 community of 350,000 people. To be without it made it
25 more difficult to pursue a number of initiatives for
1 strengthening our local economy, increasing tourism,
2 developing, for example, the Riverfront Project, and
3 other issues. The restoration of local service has
4 improved the breadth of community involvement and
6 214 One area of concern has been public
7 safety. At times in the past, emergency instructions
8 in a local crisis came only from U.S. stations. Most
9 recently, the only notification of a killer tornado
10 just a few miles across the border came from U.S.
11 stations. Since then, our Canadian stations have made
12 efforts to improve the situation. While remote
13 messages help, in times of civil emergency, there
14 should be a local presence.
15 215 Municipalities are under increasing
16 pressure to provide services as the federal and
17 provincial governments download responsibilities to the
18 lowest level. With this occurring as a backdrop,
19 changes in broadcasting's structural regulations, which
20 do not recognize the necessity of maintaining and
21 promoting solid community information choices, have a
22 very real potential to work to the detriment of the
23 interests of municipal government.
24 216 The Commission must safeguard the
25 community's right to define itself through the
1 televised media available to it. If it does not ensure
2 that there are enough local choices to fulfil this
3 role, we believe decreasing awareness of issues on the
4 part of our citizens and a consequent decline in their
5 participation in municipal democracy will result.
6 217 In all the proliferation of channels
7 and fragmentation of audience the importance of strong
8 local programming acquires greater importance. As the
9 CBC proved in Windsor, a channel without local roots is
10 severely disadvantaged.
11 218 In its deliberations, the Commission
12 should be very well aware that a holistic policy
13 dedicated to enhancing the national objectives could,
14 if it forces a reduction in local service, not only
15 sacrifice a vitally important cultural area, it could
16 be destructive to the success of the larger policy.
17 219 Thank you for listening.
18 220 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you,
19 Councillor Williams. I'm sure many people at the CRTC
20 and at the CBC remember former Mayor Millson's
21 impassioned pleas. It seems there have been some
22 results, and we will probably hear from you at the
23 upcoming renewal.
24 221 It's important to make your views
25 known, and we're happy that you came to speak to us
1 today. And take back our best wishes to the Mayor.
2 222 COUNCILLOR WILLIAMS: Thank you. I
3 just wanted to (off mic...) He's a retired professor
4 in the School of Communications Studies.
5 223 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon,
6 Professor Evans.
7 224 MR. EVANS: Good evening.
8 225 THE CHAIRPERSON: And thank you for
9 visiting us.
10 226 MR. EVANS: Thank you.
11 227 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary,
12 would you call the next presenter please.
13 228 THE SECRETARY: Yes. Is there anyone
14 who is registered for the proceeding that hasn't made
15 their presentation yet? I've had nobody who has
16 reported to me recently.
17 229 If not, is there anyone else here who
18 has some remarks that they would like to make?
19 230 Yes, Mr. -- is it Hembruff, who is an
20 Independent Producer?
23 231 MR. HEMBRUFF: That's correct. Doug
24 Hembruff, Impact Televideo Productions. I actually
25 just came to hear what was going to happen at the
1 proceedings today, but I have two brief things that I
2 wouldn't mind mentioning.
3 232 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, Mr.
5 233 MR. HEMBRUFF: I noticed in the
6 newspaper article on Thursday that was advertising
7 today's event that one of the five areas you would like
8 to discuss was ways of fostering alliances within the
9 industry -- that's the broadcast industry -- to create
10 good programs.
11 234 One of my areas of concern, as an
12 Independent Video Producer and Television Producer, is
13 that there are far too many of us out there with the
14 wherewithal, the equipment and talent to produce
15 television programming but not the marketing clout to
16 get it on air. Usually, it's a buyer's market, and it
17 requires a full-time salesperson just to find the
18 financing to do a block of 13 programs. And there are
19 an awful lot of us out there now with really good
20 equipment, the talent, but not the infrastructure to
21 tie a bunch of people together to make good-quality
22 Canadian programming. And I don't see anybody out
23 there helping us independent producers.
24 235 Recently, we tried to help ourselves
25 by forming a local organization called FEMA, Film and
1 Electronic Media Association. We started it last
2 December. It now has 85 members. It will probably
3 have about 200 local members in this region of Ontario
4 by the end of the year. That's one attempt to get it
5 together, but I would like to know whether the CRTC can
6 recommend other methods because most of us simply do
7 not have a full-time salesperson to get out there and
8 find the financing for a block of 13 programs to put it
9 together. Lots of us have the equipment now that cheap
10 non-linear equipment is here and readily available.
11 236 That's my first question. Perhaps
12 you would like to answer that, and then, I will mention
13 the second one.
14 237 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Hembruff, I
15 don't have any comment to make as to how you can manage
16 your business. You're obviously aware of the funds
17 that are available through various organizations to
18 help the production industry, but beyond that, I would
19 be remiss to make further comments about --
20 238 MR. HEMBRUFF: That's part of the
21 problem though, is independent video producers aren't
22 always aware of the funds that are available, and
23 usually, the hoops that you have to jump through to get
24 at those funds are significant. They require so much
25 time that as an independent producer, there's no time
1 left to actually produce the programming.
2 239 We need help, as an umbrella
3 organization, to get quality programming together.
4 Right now, it's only the big players who have a lot of
5 bucks behind them and full-time people that can access
6 these various sources of money, that can actually put
7 the programming together.
8 240 There's a lot of latent talent out
9 there that, for a lack of organizational skills, isn't
10 getting used to be put towards good-quality Canadian
11 programming. And it is a buyer's market. So it's
12 really hard to get stuff to market.
13 241 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are welcome,
14 Mr. Hembruff, to contact the Commission if what you
15 want is more information as to what funds are
16 available. But you will understand that the Commission
17 doesn't administer these funds and I quite understand
18 what you are telling us.
19 242 Feel free to speak to Mr. Frith
20 after, if you wish, and find out how you can get
21 information from us, but as to how the rules are set
22 and whether they ought to be changed, your
23 representations would probably have to be directed
24 towards the administrators of these funds.
25 243 MR. HEMBRUFF: Thank you.
1 244 The second comment I wanted to make
2 was just in agreement with the gentleman who was
3 talking about single-faith religious programming
4 stations. I happen to agree with his comments in that
5 I believe the CRTC should be allowing single-faith
6 religious programming in Canada. As I understand it,
7 only the Lethbridge station is single-faith and that
8 the Huntley Street application, which was granted a
9 month or so ago, is multi-faith.
10 245 In the United States, they have
11 perhaps taken this to an extreme, with several hundred
12 single-faith religious television stations available.
13 And some of them aren't particularly compatible with a
14 Canadian's idea of how religious programming should be,
15 maybe not as conservative as Canadians would like to
16 see, but if certain rules and regulations were put in
17 place, particularly with regard to pleas for money, or
18 if the stations were made commercial rather than non-
19 commercial stations where they had to actually
20 advertise, as regular stations do, I believe there is a
21 place for single-faith religious stations in Canada.
22 246 And I also believe that if the money
23 is there, through commercial sponsorship, and the
24 viewers are there, the market should dictate that, not
25 the CRTC. If the market can pay for it, then it should
1 be there in the form of single-faith, not multi-faith
2 television stations.
3 247 THE CHAIRPERSON: Your views will be
4 part of the record, but I would like to point out that
5 both the Lethbridge Station and the Crossroads stations
6 are subject to the same policy -- of the Commission's
7 religious policy, which requires balance.
8 248 MR. HEMBRUFF: So, the Lethbridge
9 Station is multi-faith?
10 249 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. It's
11 interesting that you think it's single-faith.
12 250 MR. HEMBRUFF: I was under the
13 impression it was single-faith, perhaps because --
14 251 THE CHAIRPERSON: So if they are
15 within their -- if they are behaving within their
16 policy, it shows it can't be this bad, if you think
17 it's single-faith.
18 252 MR. HEMBRUFF: Yeah.
19 253 THE CHAIRPERSON: But anyway, we
20 thank you for your views.
21 254 MR. HEMBRUFF: I was just going to
22 say: I was at the CRTC Hearing last December when
23 Huntley Street applied, as well as Trinity Television
24 applying -- in fact, I was an applicant on behalf of
25 Trinity -- and I was pleased to see that the CRTC did
1 finally grant the Crossroads application, which is a
2 step in the right direction.
3 255 I'm just a little dismayed though the
4 number of years it takes to actually get an approval
5 for that sort of thing. Regular commercial stations
6 don't seem to have to jump through the hoops that
7 religious stations have to do to get an application.
8 They have been very perseverant in getting that far. I
9 don't know how many years and how many times they have
10 applied before they finally were successful. I don't
11 think it should be that difficult, especially when
12 there are the funds.
13 256 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand.
14 Thank you, Mr. Hembruff, for making a presentation
15 before us.
16 257 Mr. Secretary, do we have any other
18 258 THE SECRETARY: Yes, our next
19 presenter is Mayor Dianne Haskett of the City of
23 259 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon,
24 Mayor Haskett.
25 260 MAYOR HASKETT: Good afternoon. How
1 are you?
2 261 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's nice to be in
3 your City.
4 262 MAYOR HASKETT: Thank you. Do I push
5 the... oh, it goes on automatically, I see. Great.
6 263 I would like to welcome you here to
7 London, first of all, and thank you for allowing those
8 in the London area to have the opportunity to make
9 representations to you.
10 264 I should say, at the outset, I'm not
11 an expert on broadcasting or on the CRTC. Even though
12 my background is that I am a lawyer -- I have been a
13 practising lawyer since 1980 -- I won't be able to
14 quote to you the ins and outs of your own Statute and
15 Regulations and so forth.
16 265 I just have some very simple thoughts
17 to share with you, as the Mayor of the City, some
18 concerns and feelings that have come to me in my
19 capacity as the Mayor, and I won't be very long. I
20 just wanted to pass these few thoughts on to you.
21 266 The first thing that I wanted to
22 convey to you, of paramount importance to Londoners, is
23 that a community focus be maintained in our local
24 broadcasting. I, from time to time, read futurists and
25 read various philosophers who talk about the future as
1 it is unfolding, and it's quite consistent, in all of
2 these writers, that as the world grows increasingly
3 complex, people are finding their sense of identity and
4 their sense of security within their own neighbourhoods
5 and within their own cities.
6 267 And we are certainly seeing this in
7 London. London is no different than any other
8 community. We are finding, for example, on rezoning
9 applications that might have an impact on a community,
10 something that might have an impact on the environment
11 within the City of London, people are very, very
12 actively involved and concerned and don't hesitate to
13 come forward to City Hall and become part of the
14 process because this is something they relate to and
15 they understand. It's their neighbourhood. It's their
16 future, and they're trying to secure a good future for
17 their children.
18 268 So this sense of community and sense
19 of being integrated and involved with one another in
20 the community, I believe -- and this is the background
21 that I have been receiving from others -- needs to be
22 reinforced by good information and good coverage, for
23 example, of local events. The City of London has been
24 described on a number of occasions as being the most
25 connected city in Canada. This first started because
1 of our information technology connections.
2 269 We have more fiber optic connections
3 per capita than any other city in Canada. Because of
4 the extensive investment of Bell Canada, Rogers and
5 others, the City of London is so well connected among
6 its institutions, its businesses -- of course, we, for
7 a long time, have had a site on the Internet and so
9 270 This is a very, very well-connected
10 community from a technological standpoint, but over
11 recent years, it has become a very well-connected
12 community, people-to-people. And we believe that that
13 was one of the reasons that we won the 2001 Canada
14 Summer Games, that we were able to convince those that
15 were making the site selection that here was a
16 community of people who could really pull together and
17 really support something that was for the good of the
19 271 Well, we want to be able to maintain
20 that sense of community and identity, and we know the
21 important role that broadcasters can play in that and
22 that broadcasters have played in that. If I can tell
23 you that our local media have been extremely good
24 corporate citizens, supporting not only our bid for the
25 2001 Canada Summer Games but events throughout the
1 course of the year. One of the events that is a
2 regular, very popular event among Londoners, at least
3 10,000 Londoners turn out for the lighting of the
4 lights every year in December.
5 272 Jesse's Journey is something that is
6 very close to Londoners and you may have heard of it,
7 with John Davidson walking across the country because
8 of his concern over his son's Duchesne Muscular
9 Dystrophy. This is something we're all very involved
10 with as a community but that we don't hear about on the
11 national news, and we're very much hearing about on our
12 local radio and television. And we want that to be
13 able to continue.
14 273 Local news as well is very important
15 to Londoners and, you know, in some ways, I suppose, as
16 the Mayor, it would be great if there was a blackout
17 and no news and we wouldn't have any criticism. But
18 the fact of life is that it's important that all
19 members of a community are very well-informed and know
20 all sides of the issue.
21 274 And there are programs as well on
22 radio and TV that, on purpose, bring about -- not so
23 much bring about controversy, but allow the free
24 expression of controversy, both sides of an issue, in
25 order that people can hear both sides fully and so that
1 they can begin to form their own opinions in a well-
2 informed fashion. So we just see that as being so
3 important in London that that be able to continue, that
4 it be constantly supported and constantly maintained.
5 275 We believe, as well, that we are
6 unique in this way as Canadians. I'm sure this is not
7 just a London story, but if you go to the United States
8 and you watch TV wherever you might happen to be
9 visiting, you do not get the sense of that community
10 and what is going on in that community.
11 276 You get all of the national
12 syndicated programs and the local news but very little
13 of a real sense of community, other than maybe on the
14 cable, the cable channel for that community. So that's
15 something that we are proud of, as Canadians and as
16 Londoners, that we feel we're connected through our
17 corporate broadcasters.
18 277 I wanted to share one other thing
19 with you, and as I was preparing to come here today, I
20 thought, what kind of input have I had in my office
21 other than what I have just shared with you? I have
22 had some input in my office about the desire among
23 Londoners for more religious broadcasting. And I just
24 heard a couple of moments of the last speaker; he may
25 have been touching on the same topic.
1 278 But people have been saying that they
2 would like to see more religious broadcasting and with
3 a Canadian flavour, whether it's the availability of
4 paid time on local channels or an extension of
5 satellite broadcasting, not just programs through
6 satellite with an American flavour, which I'm sure some
7 people appreciate. Those are some calls that I have
8 received in my office over the course of the last year
9 that relate to broadcasting.
10 279 But I would just like to sum up. My
11 paramount concern, that I mentioned at the outset,
12 which is our request that you not put too great a
13 burden on our local broadcasters to deal with national
14 concerns, that you let them have the leeway and that
15 you let them retain the resources that they need to be
16 able to reach out to the community in terms of all that
17 is going on in our community on a daily and a weekly
19 280 I'm more than happy to answer any
20 questions that you might have.
21 281 THE CHAIRPERSON: We thank you very
22 much, Madam Mayor, for taking the time to appear before
23 us, and your comments will form part of the record of
24 the Canadian TV proceeding. We were happy to hear from
1 282 MAYOR HASKETT: Thank you very much.
2 283 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
3 284 MAYOR HASKETT: I hope you enjoy your
4 time in London.
5 285 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I'm sure we
6 will. It certainly was better weather when we arrived
7 here than when we left Ottawa. So that's a good
9 286 MAYOR HASKETT: You have been inside
10 probably all day. It's getting better every minute.
11 287 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's a good
12 beginning. Well, we may stay all week.
13 288 MAYOR HASKETT: I should say one
14 other thing you might have interest in.
15 289 When we applied for the Canada Summer
16 Games, we were judged on a number of different
17 categories. One thing that, of course, they were very
18 impressed with was, as I said, the community spirit.
19 It rained and poured here, just a torrential downpour,
20 and yet thousands turned out to say how welcome we
21 would make all of the delegates and athletes should we
22 get the Canada Games. And they said, if Londoners turn
23 out like this in the rain, what will they do in the
25 290 But the other thing that you might be
1 very surprised to know is that we scored a higher level
2 on bilingualism than Ottawa, and I don't think our
3 Ottawa neighbours were very pleased with that, but it's
4 because we took that so seriously. We made sure that
5 from the beginning of the day to the end, in a seamless
6 process, it was from English to French, to French to
7 English, all day long, whether it was on the tour buses
8 or whether it was on the soccer fields or on the
9 baseball diamonds or whether it was in the public
10 presentations at the rally. And it wasn't one person
11 speaking and then being translated, it was just a
12 seamless process.
13 291 So we are very committed to
14 bilingualism here in London as well in the sense of
15 making it very clear that we are a broad community. So
16 I just wanted to pass that on to you as well.
17 292 THE CHAIRPERSON: Our
18 congratulations! And I must mention, before leaving
19 you, that Commissioner Wilson is a graduate of Western.
20 So she has already given me a little tour from the
21 airport and pointed out all the hot spots.
22 293 Thank you.
23 294 MAYOR HASKETT: Okay.
24 295 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
25 296 Mr. Secretary, do you have another
2 297 THE SECRETARY: Yes, we do. Our next
3 presenter is Mr. Cliff Edwards.
4 298 Mr. Edwards.
7 299 MR. EDWARDS: Thank you very much.
8 300 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, Mr.
10 301 MR. EDWARDS: Good afternoon.
11 302 I would like to thank the Commission
12 for allowing me to speak this afternoon. My name is
13 Cliff Edwards.
14 303 I will give you a little bit of my
15 background. I probably bring a slightly different
16 perspective to the proceedings this afternoon. I have
17 a music background, basically as a performer and a
18 producer. I have also been a television producer. I
19 presently am a concert hall theatre manager and I teach
20 marketing to broadcasting students at Conestoga
21 College. So I have quite a varied background.
22 304 First off, I would like to say that I
23 believe strongly that Canadian television should
24 reflect the views and values of its Canadian citizens.
25 It is important that programs like "Traders" and "Due
1 South" and "On the Road Again" and "Road to Avonlea"
2 are produced because they do reflect Canadian life on a
3 national scale.
4 305 It's obvious by their success that
5 Canadians want and will continue to expect programmers
6 to produce competitive, reflective national programs in
7 prime time, and it is important that the CRTC encourage
8 and enforce television networks to produce Canadian
10 306 As an example of the CRTC and an
11 aside to this comment, my background, as I said, is in
12 music. In the late sixties, I was involved in a Pop
13 Music group and, at that time, there was no Canadian
14 content regulation for radio. We were experiencing a
15 difficult career and we decided to record without
16 expecting or understanding what was about to happen.
17 And in late 1969, when we released a couple of records,
18 at that very same time, the Can Con Regulations for
19 radio came about.
20 307 And the effect of that Regulation
21 dramatically affected the future of the recording
22 industry in this country. Many, many recordings from
23 the early 1970's were huge successes throughout Canada
24 and the United States, one of which was ours. And
25 since that time, the Canadian music industry has grown
1 at a tremendous rate. And I believe a large part of
2 that responsibility is credited to the CRTC and their
3 commitment to Canadian Content Regulations in Radio.
4 308 I say that as an aside because it is
5 important that, in television, the CRTC encourage and
6 enforce, once again, television networks to produce
7 Canadian shows. It's also important that television
8 stations within large urban centres reflect their
9 populations with programs directly aimed at their
10 demographic. In cities like Toronto, Vancouver and
11 Montreal, where there are many cultural diversities,
12 news and information and variety programs should
13 reflect their audience's tastes, and I believe in most
14 cases they do.
15 309 But unfortunately as we move into
16 smaller communities, it seems the amount of local
17 programming is reduced and, in some cases, news is the
18 only local content. The population in these areas feel
19 they are not being served by their local television
20 stations. I have a direct interest in the importance
21 of this comment. I'm a manager of the theatre, the
22 Town Hall Heritage Theatre, a little community in
23 Wingham, Ontario, which is just north of here.
24 310 The television station in Wingham, at
25 one point in history, was a vibrant, local station,
1 producing news, community events, music and other
2 programs which reflected the rural life of the citizens
3 it served. In recent times, this kind of programming
4 has been lacking and, except for news coverage, this
5 area seems to have been totally forgotten.
6 311 Recently, the television station CKNX
7 and the Town Hall Heritage Theatre produced a live
8 music show combining the original Barndance performers
9 with some local country talent to a sold-out theatre
10 audience. The show was taped, broadcast, and a VHS
11 copy offered to both the theatre and the Barndance
12 Foundation as a fundraiser, to be sold, with proceeds
13 going to both organizations. More of this must happen.
14 312 I recognize that television has
15 changed dramatically, with greater choice offered
16 through specialty channels, et cetera, and the problems
17 associated with rising costs, fragmentation,
18 duplication spill, and many other factors. However,
19 the need for local programming still exists. Smaller
20 communities need to feel they have a voice.
21 313 Finally, what I am saying is that
22 networks must contribute to national Canadian programs
23 reflecting the views and values of all Canadians. They
24 must continue to produce programs to serve their larger
25 urban population areas, particularly in those cities
1 with cultural diversity, and finally, should develop
2 new partnerships with smaller, more rural communities.
3 We cannot sacrifice local programming in favour of only
4 a national perspective. It's all important.
5 314 Thank you very much.
6 315 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr.
7 Edwards, for your presentation and for coming to visit
8 with us.
9 316 Mr. Secretary, do we have another
11 317 THE SECRETARY: We may have run into
12 a lull.
13 318 Are there any people that I haven't
14 recognized, that have registered for the proceeding,
15 that haven't made a presentation yet or is there anyone
16 that has just happened upon us that would like to
17 contribute to the proceedings?
18 319 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will take a 15-
19 minute break until 10 to 4:00, or maybe slightly
20 longer, to ensure that we don't miss anyone, since we
21 were slated to be here longer. So stay with us if you
22 want to get to the end. Thank you.
23 320 So, in 15-20 minutes, we will resume.
24 --- Recessed at 1530/Suspension à 1530
25 --- Resumed at 1610/Reprise à 1610
1 321 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary.
2 322 THE SECRETARY: Yes. Maybe we should
3 call the roll. I'm just checking to see if Joy
4 Roberts-Johnstone is here.
5 323 All right. Is there anybody else who
6 is either registered or has shown up to witness
7 proceedings today who would now like to make a
9 324 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr.
10 Secretary. In that case, we will consider our day's
11 proceeding to have come to a close.
12 325 We certainly wish to thank all
13 participants for taking the opportunity to bring us
14 their views during this evening's forum. I think it
15 has been a fruitful evening. We have heard some of you
16 and as explained earlier, rest assured that your views
17 will form part of the record when we consider the
18 issues discussed.
19 326 I also wish to remind participants
20 that they have until June 30th to file written comments
21 with the CRTC on Canadian television issues, and any
22 such comment will form part of the Canadian TV policy
24 327 I thank my colleague for her
25 participation and the staff for their assistance, and
1 as well, the court reporter and the technical
3 328 This meeting is now adjourned. Thank
4 you to all of you.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing concluded at 1610/
6 L'audience se termine à 1610