Examen des politiques relatives à la télévision canadienne/
Review of the Commission's Policies for Canadian Television
CONSULTATION TENUE À:
708 - 8th Avenue S.W.
Le 5 juin 1998
CONSULTATION HELD AT:
708 - 8th Avenue S.W.
5 June 1998
Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des télécommunications canadiennes
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Transcription / Transcript
Consultation régionale / Regional Consultation
Françoise Bertrand Présidente/Chairperson
Joan Pennyfather Conseillère/Commissioner
Jean-Pierre Blais Conseillère juridique/Legal Counsel
Marguerite Vogel Secrétaire/Secretary
TENUE À: HELD AT:
Hôtel Ramada Ramada Hotel
708 - 8th Avenue S.W. 708 - 8th Avenue S.W.
Calgary (Alberta) Calgary, Alberta
Le 5 juin 1998 5 June 1998
- iii -
TABLE DES MATIÈRES/TABLE OF CONTENTS
Présentation au nome de/Presentation on behalf of:
Calgary Downtown Association 4
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services 11
Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank 18
United Way Central Alberta 23
Alberta Association of Francophone Parents 28
Alberta Council on Aging 33
Carol Tsutsumi 39
Public Interest Advocacy Centre 49
Christine Wandzura 55
Calgary Flames 60
Patrick Mahaffey 65
WIC Alberta 68
Craig Broadcast Systems Inc. 78
Stephen Carter 87
Peggy Rait 95
1 Calgary, Alberta
2 --- Upon commencing on Friday, June 5, 1998, at 1601/
3 L'audience débute le vendredi 5 juin 1998 à 1601
4 1 THE CHAIRPERSON: My friends if you
5 would allow me, we will start our meeting.
6 2 Immediately, I would like to
7 introduce myself. I am Françoise Bertrand. I am the
8 Chair of the CRTC.
9 3 With me is Joan Pennyfather,
10 Commissioner of the CRTC; quite recently nominated.
11 4 At the table just here on my left is
12 Marguerite Vogel, who is going to act as the Secretary
13 and Manager of the Hearing.
14 5 And to her right is Jean-Pierre
15 Blais, legal counsel at the Commission.
16 6 In the room we have friends also of
17 the CRTC. Cindy Grauer, the Commissioner of B.C. and
18 the Yukon, who has been on tour for the last two weeks
19 and in the high cost proceeding.
20 7 On the right is Susan Baldwin, who is
21 the Executive Director in the Broadcasting Branch of
22 the CRTC; and to her right is Carolyn St-Jacques.
23 8 I would like, very formally, to talk
24 about this meeting today. It is our first. It's about
25 television, about programming in television.
1 9 Of course, one of our preoccupations
2 and concerns, given the responsibility of the CRTC, is
3 also Canadian content.
4 10 What we mean to do in the next few
5 weeks is really to come to different cities in Canada
6 to meet with Canadians, with the public, to talk about
7 television and those programs and to hear views,
8 opinions and feelings and emotions, as well.
9 11 We are taking also the opportunity to
10 meet, although we are on what would have been a podium,
11 we would have liked to make it more round-tabled than
12 the formal way that we are accustomed in Ottawa for
13 more of a formal procedure. We would have liked much
14 more a round table, like a dinner table kind of thing.
15 12 So make yourself at home, even if the
16 setting is not what we had in mind. It will be in the
17 next cities we are going to, but the tone will be the
18 same. It is to be really informal.
19 13 We are here to listen to you. We are
20 preparing for a very important proceeding, because we
21 will be reviewing the policy in television.
22 14 We will be, for the next few months,
23 working very hard trying really to get Canadian points
24 of view, and we start with the public.
25 15 The meetings we are making will be
1 entirely transcript. So, we'll be really in the public
2 record, and we'll be part of the proceeding.
3 16 We will be having a public hearing in
4 Ottawa, with all the stakeholders and the public again,
5 the week of the 23rd of September.
6 17 So, it is really a work of many
7 months, and we are happy to have the launch of this
8 operation in Calgary today.
9 18 So without further delay, because it
10 is Friday, and we are all looking forward to our
11 weekend, I would ask Ms Vogel to probably talk a bit
12 about the way we are going to proceed and to call the
13 first intervenor.
14 19 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam
16 20 Before I say a very few words about
17 procedure, I would like Jean-Pierre Blais to explain to
18 everyone about the translation devices that we have
20 21 MR. BLAIS: Yes. I want to just
21 mention to anybody in the audience that wants to follow
22 in the other official language than the person
23 speaking, there are translation devices available at
24 the back.
25 22 For those who would like to listen to
1 the proceedings or to the conversation, in the other
2 official language, you can find your receivers at the
3 back of the room for the simultaneous interpretation
5 23 THE SECRETARY: Thank you,
6 24 Jean-Pierre.
7 25 I will be calling the names of the
8 people who have registered for this Forum today, and
9 when I do that, if you would be kind enough to step to
10 the table to my left, in front of a microphone; and
11 when you are ready to speak, press the white button.
12 You will notice that the light on the microphone comes
14 26 It is important for you to speak, not
15 slowly, but at a reasonable pace because all of this
16 will be transcribed; and we have court reporters who
17 are going to be trying to keep up with everyone. So,
18 if you could just give that a thought.
19 27 I would like to call our first
20 participant tonight, Mr. Richard White. Please come
21 forward, Mr. White.
23 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
24 28 MR. WHITE: Thank you very much. My
25 name is Richard White. I am with the Calgary Downtown
1 Association -- sorry that I have my back to everyone
2 else here.
3 29 I guess for those of you who don't
4 know what the Calgary Downtown Association is, we are
5 an association of businesses in the downtown. We
6 represent 3,750 businesses, and we are probably the
7 second largest business organization in Canada.
8 30 I was originally asked to speak a
9 little bit on behalf of one of our partners that we
10 have developed over the last year, A-Channel; but in
11 talking to some of the other people, there are probably
12 a few other issues that I will also just mention upon.
13 31 It is the Calgary Downtown
14 Association's position that A-Channel has provided
15 Calgarians with a fresh approach to local television
16 news, in both content and presentation, which I think
17 was part of their application.
18 32 A-Channel's news broadcast has not
19 only increased the public's awareness of downtown
20 issues and events, but they have also increased the
21 visibility of downtown.
22 33 What makes A-Channel's news
23 programming unique is that the majority of the news is
24 done by the reporters on the street, rather than
25 anchors in the studio.
1 34 Hardly a day -- well, no day goes by
2 that you don't see a reporter on Stephen Avenue or on
3 7th Avenue from A-Channel doing some sort of story
4 about one of the downtown issues.
5 35 As a result, they have made downtown
6 streets, downtown buildings, the people downtown much
7 more visible, and especially the Stephen Avenue
8 pedestrian mall and the 7th Avenue transit corridor,
9 which are two of our most important areas. But they
10 have also done lots of things from Chinatown and from
11 Eau Claire, and certainly they have made downtown much
12 more visible to people.
13 36 It is the Calgary Downtown
14 Association's position that A-Channel has been a good
15 community partner. A-Channel has worked with the
16 Calgary Downtown Association to promote and also
17 broadcast, for the very first time, the Santa Claus
18 Parade and our Christmas Ornament Program. Both of
19 these programs were hugely successful, I think in part
20 due to the participation of A-Channel.
21 37 The parade attracted over 25,000
22 people, twice the usual number; and the ornament
23 program, which featured four historical buildings in
24 downtown, was a success in its very first year. It was
25 sold out, and as a result $15,000 was donated to needy
1 charities. So I think that certainly demonstrates
2 their community mindedness.
3 38 It is the CDA's position, or the
4 Calgary Downtown Association's position, that A-Channel
5 has fulfilled its promise to locate in the downtown.
6 39 We wrote a letter of support for
7 A-Channel's application, based partly on the fact that
8 they made a commitment to locate downtown, which they
9 have done.
10 40 Their renovation of a previously
11 vacant building at 7th Avenue and 5th Street has added
12 much needed vitality to the 7th Avenue transit
14 41 The A-Channel studio is very easily
15 visible. The Big Breakfast Show is very obvious when
16 you come in on the LRT train every morning, and
17 certainly in the evening the live weather broadcasts
18 from the street corner have become very popular in
20 42 It is the Calgary Downtown
21 Association's position that A-Channel's has added to
22 the growing downtown vitality. From our perspective,
23 A-Channel has fulfilled its promises, as outlined in
24 the application, and has become an important and
25 integral part of our downtown community.
1 43 Some of the other things that we also
2 -- in doing a little bit of research and realizing that
3 there probably has been a major impact by the
4 broadcasting industry in downtown Calgary.
5 44 I would like to commend all of the
6 broadcasters who are located in downtown now. Shaw
7 Communications a couple of years ago relocated to
8 downtown Calgary, and as a result out of their building
9 they now broadcast, NOW TV, Country 105 and the
10 Canadian Music Television station.
11 45 Also, last year Power 107 and QR77
12 moved into the downtown, and we continue to have the
13 fortunate presence of CKUA in the downtown.
14 46 The reason I mention that is that
15 many other cities have seen their downtowns decline,
16 while Calgary's downtown is actually experiencing a
17 renaissance and thriving, not only as a place to work,
18 but as a place to live.
19 47 Even Calgarians do not realize that
20 the fastest growing community in the city is not in the
21 suburbs; it is downtown. The downtown has been growing
22 for the last two years at 5 percent.
23 48 I think it is, in part, to do with
24 the fact that the broadcasters are downtown: their
25 producers, their researchers, their reporters. They are
1 here. They see the issues. They see the stories.
2 49 The downtown in Calgary is very much
3 the heart and soul of this city; and I think that we
4 are very fortunate to have these broadcasters here to
5 see for themselves the energy and excitement that is
6 generated when you put 150,000 people into a small
8 50 So, I think Calgary is well served by
9 its television, radio and cable stations, all of whom
10 are very community minded.
11 51 I would also like to take this
12 comment -- because I also understand that Telus is very
13 much -- they have to get approval from CRTC for --
14 52 THE CHAIRPERSON: They have the
15 license distribution of television signals, in
16 competition to cable.
17 53 MR. WHITE: Because Telus has
18 certainly been a very major supporter of downtown
19 development, have made a substantial contribution to
20 the Telus Convention Centre, as it is now known and the
21 expansion of the Telus Convention Centre.
22 54 The Calgary Downtown Association was
23 very much aware that Calgary was no longer competitive
24 in the convention business; and they have become a very
25 big player in that and a partner.
1 55 I certainly would like to acknowledge
2 their support in the downtown, in recognizing that the
3 downtown is the proper place for conventions to be held
4 where people can stay in the hotels, see our heritage
5 buildings, visit our Arts Centre, our Glenbow Museum
6 and really see the character and personality of our
8 56 This is not to mean that the other
9 broadcasters are not doing a good job. I think
10 Calgarians, and certainly the downtown as well, are
11 served by all of our broadcasters. But I do think that
12 the ones that are located in the downtown have the
13 ability to probably see for themselves more of what
14 downtown has to offer; and as a result, maybe have a
15 little special ability to be able to report the
16 information and the events in a special way.
17 57 I would just like to thank you for
18 this opportunity and hope that you find this
19 information useful.
20 58 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much
21 for taking the time to come and meet with us, Mr.
23 59 And certainly you are a very strong
24 supporter of A-Channel. And sometimes, you know, at
25 the CRTC in public hearings, we have people who come
1 and support when it is a competitive process in terms
2 of granting a license.
3 60 We often wonder if the people who
4 have supported some people are there afterwards, and
5 definitely you are one of them, after the existence and
6 the granting of license, who is still supporting.
7 61 So, that is good to hear, because it
8 is a very important active relationship between the
9 business community and the broadcasters.
10 62 Thank you for coming.
11 63 COMMISSIONER PENNYFATHER: Thank you.
12 64 THE SECRETARY: Our next participant
13 is Mr. Ian Kershaw, representing the Deaf and Hard of
14 Hearing Services.
15 65 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, and
16 welcome, Mr. Kershaw.
18 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
19 66 MR. KERSHAW: Good afternoon and
20 thank you.
21 67 I'm Ian Kershaw from Deaf and Hard of
22 Hearing Services. I want to thank you for the
23 opportunity of presenting at this Hearing.
24 68 I have kept my comments somewhat
25 focused and brief. I want to talk about two issues
1 relating to programming, and I hope the brevity of my
2 remarks doesn't betray any lack of depth of concern.
3 69 When we talk about Canadian
4 programming, our community would ask that we reflect on
5 what that really means, because when we look at
6 Canadian programming, we are thinking of Canadian
7 productions using Canadian resources with Canadian
9 70 In the minds of the deaf and hard of
10 hearing community, we see that Canadian programming
11 also ensures that programming well and truly reflects
12 the diverse cultures that make up our country.
13 71 It seems that we need to remind
14 ourselves that some Canadians are deaf; some of them
15 are blind; some of them use wheelchairs, and so on.
16 72 Yet, we find that that isn't
17 reflected in the mainstream programming that we see
18 right now and is, in our view, a very serious omission.
19 73 We also find that on the rare
20 occasions that disability is reflected, we often see
21 able-bodied actors portraying disabled people; and to
22 those of us that are in the business, it is painfully
23 clear that the research that was carried out was either
24 minimal or was overlooked in the production.
25 74 Even when we have disabled people
1 themselves playing the part, artistic license seems to
2 overshadow reality. The classic example that we have
3 is of the renowned deaf actor who is featured on
4 television crime series and who now has the hearing
5 world thinking that deaf people can lip read the back
6 of people's heads in total darkness, because of the
7 artistic license that we tend to see take place.
8 75 And whilst it brings a smile to our
9 face, it is a sad fact of life that the viewing public,
10 then having seen that, forms an opinion that that is
11 what reality is, and it is very much far from the case.
12 76 In terms of local programming, such
13 things as local news and such things as breakfast
14 shows, and so on, the support that the disabled
15 community and minority groups get varies substantially;
16 and our observation is that it varies and is subject to
17 the vagaries of news events and other issues that might
18 take precedence over a planned arrangement.
19 77 Whilst the broadcasting community is
20 supportive, the coverage tends to be very ad hoc and
22 78 What we don't see is any planning
23 that might, over a period of time, have some focus to
24 ensure that local community programming has a broad
25 spectrum and covers a wide cross-section of issues and
1 matters so that viewers, and thus the community, can
2 benefit from that wide spectrum and gain a greater
4 79 Particularly, our concern is
5 disabilities because if you look at any broadcasts,
6 clearly according to the things that we see in the
7 media, particularly in terms of the regular programs,
8 not just local news broadcasts, there are no disabled
9 people in Canada. And that clearly is not the case.
10 80 When it comes to people with a
11 hearing loss, 10 percent of Canadians have a hearing
12 loss. One wouldn't think so if you looked at the
13 broadcasting that takes place.
14 81 My second point concerns captioning,
15 and I can't come to a meeting like this but address
16 that issue.
17 82 Whatever the content of any programs,
18 Canadian or otherwise, it is of little value if the
19 viewer with a hearing loss -- and that is 10 percent of
20 Canadians -- have captioning that's either missing, of
21 poor quality or intermittent.
22 83 You only have to watch television for
23 a couple of evenings or a couple of hours to discover
24 that we really do have a long way to go before we get
25 any quality in terms of captioning.
1 84 Now, I know that the CRTC has
2 addressed that matter, and we have suggested, having
3 set some standards, the CRTC actually has an obligation
4 to monitor and ensure that those standards are met.
5 85 We find from our community that calls
6 to the stations -- and usually they don't have a
7 working TTY, so it is difficult for deaf people to make
8 that call -- but it usually means that people say that
9 there has been a technical problem and that they
10 apologize, but that's just the technical issues.
11 86 I can't help but think that if
12 general broadcasting had as many technical problems as
13 captioning does, there would be very little on screen,
14 and there would be an uproar.
15 87 But because it is deaf people and
16 their needs are difficult to voice, ones feels that
17 very often those needs are, therefore, overlooked. And
18 there are very few consequences for any of the
19 broadcasting stations if they don't meet the captioning
21 88 We are also very concerned over the
22 efforts of the Canadian Broadcasting Association or the
23 Association of Broadcasters to have the September 1st
24 deadline for 100 percent news captioning deferred to a
25 later date.
1 89 And whilst the CAB says its members
2 are committed to captioning, the suggestion that the
3 deadline be removed or be delayed would suggest
5 90 There is no doubt in our mind that
6 the technology and resources to meet those targets that
7 have been set, and that were set some while ago, are
8 available were the broadcasters vigorous in searching
9 them out.
10 91 We happen to have two major
11 captioning companies here in Calgary who have prepared
12 and have the resources to provide captioning at a
13 greater level; but there has been a significant silence
14 in the amount of approaches they have received and
15 their calls to the broadcasters.
16 92 So, one can't help but use the old
17 adage of "where there is a will there is a way," and we
18 have our doubts that the will is that deep.
19 93 Although I have to acknowledge that
20 some of the local broadcasters are absolutely first-
21 class, speaking generally, the service and coverage
22 that we get is very patchy.
23 94 So whilst there might be many aspects
24 to the phrase "Canadian content," I think that there
25 will be, from our perspective of the disabled
1 community, some real concern if we don't address the
2 depth of culture and the needs of our community in
3 terms of being reflected accurately and in a ratio
4 which bears some resemblance to the substantial nature
5 of disability in Canada.
6 95 So, I thank you for the opportunity
7 of presenting these issues; and I hope that they will
8 be taken into consideration.
9 96 I would be pleased to entertain any
11 97 COMMISSIONER PENNYFATHER: Thank you
12 very much, Mr. Kershaw.
13 98 We certainly appreciate your coming
14 here today and underlining the importance of diversity
15 in television programming, a reflection of the needs of
16 all the citizens of this country.
17 99 Thank you also for highlighting the
18 importance of captioning and the technical aspects of
19 standards. We really appreciate your words today.
20 100 MR. KERSHAW: Thank you; my pleasure.
21 Thank you.
22 101 THE SECRETARY: Our next presenter
23 today is Ms Christine Wandzura. I don't see anyone
24 reacting to that, so we will call Ms. Wandzura later.
25 102 Is Ann O'Donnell with us this
1 afternoon? She is representing the Calgary Inter-Faith
2 Food Bank.
3 103 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, and
6 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
7 104 MS O'DONNELL: Good afternoon. Thank
8 you. I would like to thank you for the opportunity to
9 speak at this Hearing.
10 105 My name is Ann O'Donnell. I am with
11 the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank Society, and I am
12 representing the organization.
13 106 I will give a little bit of
14 background on our organization, because it fits into
15 what the local media does for us.
16 107 The mandate of the Food Bank is to
17 supply food to families and individuals who are
18 experiencing financial crises. Last year, 1997,
19 110,000 people visited the Food Bank and received our
21 108 In addition to this, we also supply
22 food to other agencies in town: things like drop-in
23 centres, the Mustard Seed and women's shelters, and
24 they also come to the Food Bank for food.
25 109 Each family that comes to the Food
1 Bank must go through a screening process; and if they
2 qualify for food, they will receive approximately one
3 week's supply of food for each member of the family.
4 110 To keep up with the demand for food,
5 we must solicit donations of $6 million in donated food
6 and $2 million in cash donations. As you can well
7 imagine, this is an enormous feat, and we need all the
8 help we can get.
9 111 I am pleased to inform you that we
10 managed to achieve our goal through the community
11 spirit shown by our Calgary media. We, at the Food
12 Bank, are indebted to the local television stations for
13 their ongoing support throughout the year, every year.
14 112 Our TV stations have participated in
15 various events that have raised thousands of dollars in
16 cash and much needed food donations. I will give you a
17 couple of examples, and these are just some of them;
18 they do lots more.
19 113 For many years, the CBC has held an
20 enormous food drive, and they have raised -- during the
21 month of December, and this has brought in thousands of
22 dollars in cash and food.
23 114 In March of every year, Channel 3
24 sends their own staff out to freezing parking lots to
25 collect food, and they do it. They are such soldiers.
1 They do it really well.
2 115 Channel 7 sponsors our "Night with
3 the Stars" event in October and an event that we have
4 in May called "Cans Festival". And we have also
5 appeared on their breakfast show many, many times.
6 116 The A-Channel, a relatively new
7 station in Calgary, has supported the Food Bank since
8 they went on air. These guys have been wonderful --
9 absolutely wonderful -- and they are an excellent
10 addition to the Calgary media.
11 117 After just a few weeks in business,
12 the A-Channel organized an event called "Fifteen
13 Seconds of Fame" and this brought in thousands of
14 dollars, too.
15 118 We have also been on their Big
16 Breakfast Show numerous times; and they have come to
17 our premises and highlighted the Food Bank in their
18 breakfast shows.
19 119 Now TV, another relatively new
20 station, has also helped out the Food Bank and helped
21 us when we have most needed their help.
22 120 All of these events -- and this is
23 extremely important -- have raised thousands of dollars
24 in cash and food donations; and we wouldn't be able to
25 do our job without their support.
1 121 Over and above the events, the
2 stations have supported -- all of them have given us
3 airtime when we needed it. We have been invited to
4 come to their studios and appear on their shows; and
5 they, as I said previously, have come to our own
7 122 They have given us free advertising,
8 run public service announcements; and to be quite
9 honest, the list is endless.
10 123 Thanks to them, they have raised the
11 awareness of the Food Bank throughout the whole city;
12 and people, because of them, are actually being fed.
13 It is quite important that we get this message across.
14 124 The Calgary television stations have
15 been extremely accommodating to the Food Bank. We can
16 say, without doubt, that we would not have been able to
17 serve the many, many people were it not for the
18 absolute dedication to their community.
19 125 On behalf of the Food Bank, keep up
20 the good work, guys! You are doing a great job, and
21 you do really make a difference.
22 126 Thank you very much.
23 127 THE CHAIRPERSON: If I understand
24 correctly -- and I think I do -- you are kind of
25 testifying to the necessity of having television
1 stations to support the Food Bank which you work for.
2 128 But I guess it is the participation
3 and the involvement in the community that you are
4 underlining here as being very important.
5 129 MS O'DONNELL: Absolutely, all of the
6 TV stations -- Calgary is quite a giving city, I think;
7 and all of the TV stations are very community minded.
8 They have a great community spirit, and they have to be
9 applauded for that.
10 130 They don't have to do -- they have to
11 do some community service, we realize this; but they go
12 over and above what they have to do.
13 131 This is the message I would like to
14 convey to you, today.
15 132 THE CHAIRPERSON: It is important for
16 you, for your organization, in your mind, that every
17 television station does that kind of --
18 133 MS O'DONNELL: It is extremely
19 important, and we welcome -- we would welcome more
20 stations to do more because -- I mean I am one
21 organization, one charitable organization.
22 134 But we wouldn't be able to survive.
23 There are so many things happening in our city that we
24 just couldn't -- we wouldn't have the awareness, we
25 wouldn't be able to raise the resources without their
2 135 They need a pat on the back for what
3 they do.
4 136 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much
5 for having come this afternoon, and thank you.
6 137 MS O'DONNELL: Thanks very much.
7 138 THE SECRETARY: I would like to
8 invite David Johnston to be our next presenter, on
9 behalf of Children's Health Foundation of Northern
10 Alberta. We will call Mr. Johnston later.
11 139 Is Mr. Scott Cameron in the room
12 today? Mr. Cameron is presenting on behalf of United
13 Way, Central Alberta.
14 140 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, Mr.
17 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
18 141 MR. CAMERON: Good afternoon. I
19 would like to introduce myself. My name is Scott
20 Cameron. I am the Executive Director of the United Way
21 of Central Alberta, in Red Deer.
22 142 What I wanted to address today was
23 the importance of the community partnerships that we
24 have with our local media, and in particular, RDTV, who
25 has stepped forward as a leader in our community in
1 supporting non-profit organizations, and in particular,
2 the United Way of Central Alberta.
3 143 The United Way of Central Alberta has
4 developed a terrific working relationship with RDTV
5 over the past few years, and their support has been
6 instrumental in positioning our United Way as a viable,
7 trusted and progressive community organization.
8 144 I would like to give you a few
9 examples of how they have been involved and the type of
10 impact that they have had on us.
11 145 In the past three years, we have had
12 two different campaign chairs who have been the general
13 managers at RDTV: Lloyd Lewis and Art Reitmeyer.
14 146 In 1995 when Mr. Reitmeyer stepped
15 forward as our campaign director or our campaign
16 manager, there were a number of things that started to
17 happen, and not only with RDTV but with many of the
18 other media sources in the community.
19 147 One of them, for example, was the
20 design and production of campaign videos, which they
21 have done for us since 1995; and with the 1995 edition,
22 they received national recognition from the United Way
23 of Canada, Sentraide Canada for technical excellence in
24 video production; and consequently, nationally Red Deer
25 is seen on those videos because of the content that
1 RDTV was able to produce locally.
2 148 They have produced videos for us
3 since 1995, and up to and including this year -- and we
4 don't see any break in that trend.
5 149 In the past few years, they have also
6 been able to produce agency vignettes to help foster a
7 deeper understanding of what the United Way is and does
8 in Central Alberta, the agencies that the United Way is
9 able to fund due to our successful campaigns.
10 150 It gives the public a better
11 understanding of some of the social issues and problems
12 that exist in our region, some of those issues that I'm
13 sure people think only happen in the large cities, but
14 in fact are happening in our community.
15 151 We have had tremendous support from
16 the RDTV news crew on various special events and news
17 stories that have involved the United Way and different
18 agencies that we fund.
19 152 Their public service announcements in
20 1997 helped us tremendously when the postal strike
21 threatened to affect so many different charities. RDTV
22 launched a campaign to help people understand that
23 their contributions were still necessary and that we
24 were still working on a time line, and that had a
25 significant impact on our campaign.
1 153 Since RDTV and the different media
2 sources have been involved with the United Way, we have
3 seen an exponential growth in our campaign. While the
4 campaign totals are only one aspect of the United Way,
5 it certainly has brought the United Way forward as a
6 leading organization in our community.
7 154 In addition to the work that they do
8 with us on community levels, internally they have an
9 excellent staff program, an excellent staff work place
10 campaign; and the staff publicly support the United Way
11 and many other charities in our community.
12 155 I think one of the greatest
13 advantages to working with RDTV and our media sources
14 and working with the United Way has been the
15 cooperation and collaboration that we are seeing
16 amongst all of our media.
17 156 The United Way seems to be an
18 organization that they have all bought into or support
19 publicly. In fact, our Publicity and Promotions
20 Committee is made up of all the regional media in Red
21 Deer and Central Alberta; and there is no better
22 Publicity and Promotions Committee that we could have.
23 157 In fact, we have become the envy of
24 Canada when it comes to United Ways and our
25 relationship with the media; and I would tend to think
1 that a great amount of credit goes to RDTV and their
2 leadership in making that happen for us.
3 158 In closing, I would like to thank you
4 for allowing me to have the opportunity to step forward
5 and stress the importance of what our local television
6 station has done for our United Way and the many
7 thousands of people that we are able to touch because
8 of it.
9 159 COMMISSIONER PENNYFATHER: Thanks,
10 Mr. Cameron.
11 160 I think you used the term "community
12 partnership" in the beginning, and you have described
13 what is obviously a very productive one, and it is a
14 true partnership.
15 161 Listening to your words, I can tell
16 that it is both a combination of your work and the
17 media, and I think it was important that you noted that
18 it is not just the promotion of the United Way or the
19 raising of funds but also exposure of the community to
20 each other and to the concerns which you all share as
21 part of that community.
22 162 Have I heard your message correctly?
23 163 MR. CAMERON: You have heard my
24 message absolutely correct. One of the things that I
25 forgot to mention was the access to different
1 departments within RDTV, including the News or the Art
3 164 Two years ago we were producing
4 materials similar to this, the photocopy type. Last
5 year they came on board with their Art Department, and
6 our image is a totally different upbeat, progressive
7 image, thanks to their Art Department. That has
8 allowed us to approach other news media sources, and
9 their Art Departments, to help in other production.
10 165 So it is not just the on-air, it is
11 the background support, as well.
12 166 COMMISSIONER PENNYFATHER: Thank you
13 very much for coming today.
14 167 MR. CAMERON: Thank you.
15 168 THE SECRETARY: I would now like to
16 ask Monsieur Yvon Lefebvre to come forward, please.
17 169 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good day, Mr.
18 Lefebvre, and welcome.
20 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
21 170 MR. LEFEBVRE: Mrs. Bertrand, Mrs.
22 Pennyfather, Mrs. Vogel, Mr. Blais, friends, my name is
23 Yvon Lefebvre, and I represent the Alberta Association
24 of Francophone Parents.
25 171 First, I would like to thank you for
1 having given us this opportunity to express our opinion
2 about television and radio programs in Canada.
3 172 You must know that you are the ones
4 who have expertise in the technology. This technology
5 is developing, and my report is designed to point out
6 what my preferences are, but in a very modest fashion.
7 173 There used to be the telephone.
8 After the war, television entered our households; and
9 antennas and cable came and now with satellites there
10 is even greater accessibility to these TV stations.
11 Now, we have e-mail, and all of that is integrated.
12 174 So, through electricity, the whole
13 country and all those who have electricity can be
14 reached. There is rampant restructuring going on,
15 while waiting to find out exactly what will be decided.
16 175 For those who already have
17 subscribed, it seems that to decide on the best service
18 provider we are going to have to wait for machines that
19 will interpret from one service provider to another.
20 Right now they aren't compatible, so this can cost
21 quite a bit to the user. So, we will have to be
22 patient while we wait for this type of means.
23 176 I don't have much time to spend
24 watching television or listening to the radio, so
25 programs in my language are of prime importance to me.
1 177 CBC has always been there and has
2 always offered us services. With TV 5 and FDI, we now
3 have a larger view of the Francophone world. This,
4 however, still could be improved with the addition of
5 TFO, TVA, and TVQ, and there are many others that could
6 be added. I would like to encourage you to make these
7 different stations available to us.
8 178 You have to remember that in Western
9 Canada, we don't have daily issue in our French
11 179 The CRTC has a policy on religious
12 channels, and I wonder why. I am talking about
13 Christianity, especially Catholicism, which is what has
14 been our religion.
15 180 A religious channel was turned down,
16 and I never understood why. I would like to know if
17 you could give me that explanation.
18 181 The Creator is still here, involved
19 in our planet, and he is the one who has the power to
20 produce ice storms and other disasters that he can use
21 to punish us. You have to be careful and not make fun
22 of your God.
23 182 I would like to thank you for having
24 given me this opportunity, and I hope to be able to
25 speak to you again.
1 183 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr.
2 Lefebvre. We can agree with you in saying that there
3 is going to be even fiercer competition for signal
5 184 This means that the consumers will
6 have a great deal of choice, and so we are concerned as
7 well with the fact that there aren't very many French
8 signal channels being offered.
9 185 We know what our own rules are for
10 allowing distributors to offer services based on the
11 majority in the different markets.
12 186 However, we hope that the technology
13 that is being developed now -- that this digital
14 technology will make all citizens, whether they are
15 Francophone or Anglophone, we hope that they will be
16 able to choose the signal they want, and they will have
17 a whole bouquet of programs.
18 187 We will have a hearing this summer --
19 you might be interested in this -- in order to look at
20 the possibility of extending across Canada the TVA
22 188 So, a decision has not been made yet,
23 but we do recognize that the concern is one that is
25 189 Now, insofar as religious programs
1 are concerned or religious channels are concerned, I
2 don't know exactly what the situation is for EWTN. I
3 don't know if Mr. Blais can tell us.
4 190 MR. BLAIS: This is an American
5 service, and because of twinning rules with Canadian
6 services, it cannot be --
7 191 THE CHAIRPERSON: Because there is a
8 Canadian equivalent. So of course, we favour the
9 Canadian service.
10 192 However, we do have a Broadcasting
11 Act that says that a balanced viewpoint must be given;
12 and both in radio and TV there are signals -- how can I
13 say it?--there are radio and TV signals that are
14 religious signals in the United States. We cannot just
15 see one faith expressed.
16 193 But under our policy, I am sure that
17 there are possibilities because there are Canadian
18 signals. I don't know if they are available here. I
19 would have to look into the matter.
20 194 I know that in radio there are some
21 in Quebec, in Toronto. There are signals that are
22 offered in TV.
23 195 MR. BLAIS: And in Lethbridge, as
25 196 THE CHAIRPERSON: In any case, we
1 will send the information out to you, all the
2 information we have, because I don't want another ice
3 storm in Quebec, that's for sure!
4 197 Thank you very much for
6 198 MR. LEFEBVRE: I would like to thank
7 you, as well.
8 199 THE SECRETARY: Our next participant
9 this afternoon is Mr. Michael Walters. It doesn't
10 appear that Mr. Walters is here right now, so we will
11 recall him later.
12 200 Would Mr. Ivor Dent come forward,
13 please, representing Alberta Council on Aging.
14 201 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon and
15 welcome, Mr. Dent.
17 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
18 202 MR. DENT: Good afternoon, Madam
20 203 First, I would like to commend you
21 and the members of the CRTC in seeing how valuable such
22 opportunities as this are, I think, to the citizens of
23 the country and to the support that really you want to
24 see as members of your Commission.
25 204 However, I may not be as friendly as
1 some of the others, so I think you have heard from me
2 once before, in another arena.
3 205 As a Board member, I represent the
4 Alberta Council on Aging, an organization with members
5 from all areas of Alberta. We work together to assist
6 seniors and ourselves to enjoy more positive lives.
7 206 This submission is designed to
8 persuade television programming -- not you necessarily,
9 but television programming -- to be more senior-
10 friendly by providing programs that enrich and enhance
11 seniors and everyone's lives.
12 207 There is considerable merit in some
13 television today. However, there is also a tremendous
14 opportunity for improvement.
15 208 I will concentrate on the need and
16 visit one possible solution. I am certain that experts
17 will know of many more and can suggest others.
18 209 But I believe that in many parts of
19 Alberta today there are some 72 cable channels
20 available. Of these, the PBS station from Spokane,
21 judging by seniors' comments, seems to be a stand-out
22 among them.
23 210 Alberta seniors comment positively on
24 the drama, films, comedies, particularly British
25 comedies, the music, operas and orchestras, commentary
1 -- although they do wish that it were Canadian -- and
2 all the programs generally on travel, the natural
3 world, senior fitness, and so on, that that channel
4 puts on.
5 211 On almost all other channels, the few
6 good programs and the bad alike, are interrupted and
7 interspersed by shouted, tedious, deadingly repetitive
8 and distasteful advertising. Maybe this advertising
9 can be a blessing for seniors as many probably need
10 more frequent bathroom breaks!
11 212 An educated guess shows that at least
12 45 percent of the Spokane PBS station's funding comes
13 from Canada. Canadians do demonstrate a desire to pay
14 the costs of good programming, for they pay what they
15 do, and they have to pay it without any tax
16 concessions. And I am not suggesting, nor are we
17 suggesting, that there should be.
18 213 Does the existing situation arise
19 from the fact there are so many channels available and
20 such competition exists for the commercial revenue that
21 stations like CRUD or CRAP cannot afford to buy or
22 produce desirable programming.
23 214 Television: What a gift it could be.
24 What a powerful potential, educational, cultural,
25 entertaining and uplifting experience it could be with
1 proper program production and/or purchase. However, the
2 will to improve it must exist and possibly people on
3 the CRTC might be to first think in that area.
4 215 We are repeatedly told that we can
5 afford no better, as a nation, as a province and as
7 216 This has to be false for we already
8 pay formidable additional costs caused by advertising
9 our food, shelter, clothing, transportation,
10 communications. Indeed, all our consumer goods and
11 services include the expense of advertising through
12 radio, flyers, newspaper, TV and so on -- all of the
14 217 Let's find a way to divert, perhaps
15 by way of a surcharge, some of those advertising
16 dollars into producing and/or purchasing outstanding
18 218 For example, the diverted dollars
19 could go to the National Film Board for more of its
20 renowned work. Those programs could be made available
21 to the CBC, to Canadian commercial stations and to yet-
22 to-be established, I hope, Canadian PBS channels, and
23 given to them at little or no cost.
24 219 Finally, let's tell the Canadian
25 government to release its stranglehold on the CBC.
1 Give back its funding and provide funds for another CBC
2 channel -- yet another CBC channel -- one without
4 220 Madam Chairman, thank you for the
5 opportunity to say something like this on behalf of our
6 segment of Alberta seniors. I believe such
7 opportunities as this, I repeat, deserve our sincere
9 221 I would like to present to the CRTC
10 through you, Madam Chairman, with a senior friendly
11 tool kit, the development of which was sponsored by the
12 Alberta Council on Aging through a grant from Health
14 222 Interestingly enough, it contains a
15 short video, produced at a reasonable cost, which is a
16 humorous look at the so-called "generation gap".
17 223 Thank you so much.
18 224 COMMISSIONER PENNYFATHER: Thank you
19 very much. I am sure it is not often that we hear such
20 an eloquent comment on the importance of quality
21 programming and the existence of quality programming in
22 this country through such organizations as the NFB and
23 the CBC -- speaking very objectively, of course!
24 225 You do raise a very important
25 question which I believe is at the centre of our
1 discussions starting today and throughout the next few
2 months. And I am sure we all appreciate very much the
3 public comment you have made on the value of television
4 to our society -- and programming.
5 226 It is very interesting to hear from
6 the Council on Aging and the obvious work that you are
7 doing in terms of the support, not only for seniors in
8 our society, but our society as a whole, as health
9 changes in this country are changing your role as well.
10 227 Again, we are talking about
11 partnership. How that all will come together in terms
12 of some of your suggestions, we are looking at all
13 different kinds of solutions over the next few months.
14 So we really appreciate your giving some time to not
15 only the problems but the solutions as well.
16 228 Would you like to add anything to
17 that, Madam Chair?
18 229 THE CHAIRPERSON: No.
19 230 COMMISSIONER PENNYFATHER: Thank you
20 very much.
21 231 MR. DENT: Thank you.
22 232 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will watch the
23 video, that's for sure. Thank you very much.
24 233 THE SECRETARY: Our next presenter is
25 Mrs. Carol Tsutsumi.
1 234 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon and
4 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
5 235 MS TSUTSUMI: Thank you. Good
7 236 Thank you for this opportunity.
8 237 Canadian television programming is
9 extremely important to all Canadians whether they
10 realize it or not.
11 238 This programming should reflect our
12 views, and when we are lucky enough to see some
13 Canadian written and produced material, we see that it
14 does reflect our very unique Canadian views.
15 239 We believe in the dignity of all
16 members of society, and we reject the attempts to teach
17 and perpetuate misogynistic attitudes, sex role
18 stereotyping and glorification of violence.
19 240 I am concerned, firstly, about
20 children's programming; secondly, about adult
21 programming; and finally, about the long-term effects
22 of such programming.
23 241 Consider Sailor Moon, a very popular
24 show originally from Japan -- signs in the background
25 are written in Oriental script.
1 242 Proponents hail it as a unique
2 breakthrough in providing a strong role model for
3 preteen girls, as it stars a girl. It is a good
4 counterpart to the usual male role models, they say.
5 243 In reality, there is always a male
6 who comes to the rescue and issues statements of wisdom
7 to diffuse the crisis.
8 244 In reality, there are some harmful
9 lessons being perpetrated here.
10 245 Some of the dialogue in the show is
11 as follows:
12 246 "It's what's inside that counts
13 lady, but you wouldn't
14 understand that."
15 247 "No, you can't be on my team.
16 You wear so much perfume lately
17 that I can't stand to be around
19 248 "Here is my good-bye gift to you
20 -- a bomb to blow into
21 chopsticks, a lot more valuable
22 than the junk gifts you gave
24 249 "Neither of you has a boyfriend,
25 so you are stuck with us cats."
1 250 A girlfriend asks:
2 251 "I thought I was your
3 girlfriend. Why are you with
5 252 He replies:
6 253 "I can't go anywhere without you
7 checking up on me."
8 254 She laments:
9 255 "Darrien left me. There must be
10 a logical reason. I will figure
11 it out and win him back."
12 256 Another character says:
13 257 "You need to apologize or you
14 will lose him for good."
15 258 Girls begin to believe that anything
16 is better than to be without a boyfriend, even
17 tolerating belittlement, insults and criticism.
18 259 They learn through this show to
19 tolerate all the behaviours of victims of abuse, to
20 blame themselves, believe put-downs, minimize the
21 seriousness, to feel ashamed and secretive, to be
22 confused because love and affection are present at
24 260 In addition to the negative message,
25 the tone of the message is negative. Cranky voices are
1 used all the time in this show. Imitation of that tone
2 of voice gets to be a habit in real life.
3 261 Another cartoon, a foreign cartoon,
4 is Power Rangers with its name calling, derision and
5 punishment as ideals, not to mention the kicking.
6 262 Let me quote from one episode. Lace
8 263 "You are pathetic. I am going
9 to destroy you. I have to
10 penalize this guy."
11 264 What do the children see? -- that the
12 resolution to conflict is violence.
13 265 Since toy manufacturers market toys
14 through children's television shows such as the ones
15 above and Masters of the Universe, GI Joe and
16 Transformers, children are watching fun violence and
17 bringing their courage to imitate it with their toys.
18 266 The violence is kept uppermost in
19 their minds through products such as pyjamas and
20 cereals with logos of these heroes and heroines.
21 267 The supposedly good Sesame Street
22 show teaches rudeness. Statements on one episode --
23 well, repeated episodes:
24 268 "You dummy."
25 269 Ernie says to Bert:
1 270 "Turn down the radio."
2 271 The reply is:
3 272 "Turn it down yourself."
4 273 And the attitude:
5 274 "I am bored."
6 275 Compare these to a Canadian
7 children's show such as Mr. Dressup. The tone is very
8 low key and so not overstimulating, as are the
9 aforementioned shows with their fast-paced, emotional
11 276 Good manners are learned by example,
12 and greeting protocols are demonstrated. For example:
13 "Welcome to our house" and "Good-bye" at the end.
14 277 The children are exposed to socially
15 acceptable ways to negotiate and are exposed to and
16 therefore begin to develop a sense of humour.
17 278 Mr. Dressup fosters discovery,
18 creativity and divergent thinking. Children, after an
19 episode in which Mr. Dressup role plays at being a
20 robot, cowboy, musician and ball player, use their
21 initiative to role play peaceful situations, not
22 fraught with sexual overtones.
23 279 One episode covers all the curriculum
24 areas one would expect to see in a good kindergarten
25 program from music, through science, to construction.
1 280 Mr. Dressup constructs a musical
2 instrument out of found objects. He connects a mouth
3 piece to one end of a hose and funnel to the other to
4 create a trumpet.
5 281 Some parents complain because of the
6 activities done, children ask for the same materials
7 such as glue, scissors, felt pens and dressup clothes,
8 and this is too messy and untidy for some parents. But
9 ultimately, it develops the better adjusted, all-around
11 282 Can pro-social TV such as Mr. Dressup
12 make a difference? According to research cited by
13 Sterling Honig in "Television and Young Children," in
14 the periodical Research and Review pro-social TV
15 increased task performance, self-control, tolerance for
16 delay, cooperative play, and verbalization of feeling.
17 283 Now, for the adult programming. Some
18 foreign, so-called erotic movie was on our TV. I see
19 nothing inherently wrong with eroticism.
20 284 However, this was mislabelled. There
21 was no eroticism to it at all. It was misogyny of the
22 worst ilk.
23 285 Two women hired a man to star in
24 their video. They had him straddle a sawhorse and put
25 weights on his feet. They put a table saw close to him
1 and then informed him that they were going for dinner.
2 When they came back he was dead.
3 286 As bad as the fact that the man was
4 snuffed was the message that women are evil. When
5 women are evil, they are far more evil than men.
6 287 Compare this to a Canadian-made show,
7 starring Marc Strange. There was nudity in the context
8 of tender, caring emotions. The nudity was not used
9 for sensationalism but was a natural part of the story
10 and the plot.
11 288 How does all this affect people long
12 term?-- both those who watch the misogynistic and the
13 violent and those of us who have to negotiate our way
14 through life with these "hate" watchers.
15 289 Dr. Slaby, senior scientist at the
16 Education Development Centre and lecturer at Harvard
17 University, is a developmental psychologist who has
18 investigated violence for nearly 25 years.
19 290 He spoke at the Alberta Teachers
20 Association convention in Calgary, in 1994. My summary
21 of his address is always follows: He refuted the
22 allegations that there have been no studies that prove
23 that media violence increases violent behaviour.
24 291 Citing only two such studies, a 33-
25 year and a 22-year longitudinal study, he states
1 emphatically that there is much proof supporting the
2 fact that violence breeds violence.
3 292 The media makes sure the violence is
4 clean, justified, effective and manly, thereby
5 increasing one's appetite for it. Then the media
6 moguls can say, "We are just giving you what you want."
7 293 The effects of TV and film violence
8 according to Dr. Slaby's research are: The aggressor
9 effect - it increases meanness; number two, the victim
10 effect - increases fear, mistrust and self-protective
11 behaviour; three, the bystander effect - it increases
12 callousness, insensitivity and behavioural apathy;
13 number 4, the appetite effect - it increases desire for
14 media violence and participation in violent events.
15 294 The remedies to TV violence: Number
16 one, reduce violent programming; two, require TV to
17 serve the educational needs of children regarding
18 violence; number three, require truth in labelling
19 regarding violence; number four, develop critical
20 viewing thinking skills regarding violence; number
21 five, develop effective public health education
22 campaign involving media and outreach activities to
23 prevent violence.
24 295 In conclusion, having pointed out the
25 deleterious content of some foreign programming and
1 having contrasted that with the much superior Canadian
2 content, I plead with you and demand from you
3 programming that we know we need, not what some think
4 they want after having had their appetites developed by
5 someone other than themselves.
6 296 One American Vietnam veteran, in a
7 post-war evaluation of how he could have carried out
8 the atrocities that he and some others did, lamented
9 that, "American males are allowed two emotions: to hate
10 and to be horny."
11 297 We need a choice to watch
12 entertainment that allows us, as Canadians, to have a
13 glimpse into the human condition to see the gamut of
14 human emotions, as opposed to being limited to the
15 foreign content emphasizing the worst in human nature.
16 298 Whether we want to admit it or not,
17 given that TV is automatically a powerful teaching
18 instrument and not just an innocuous presence, and
19 given that all age groups watch many hours of TV, we
20 have need to have programming that will help develop
21 and maintain pro-social beings, not contribute to
22 gallows fodder.
23 299 Thank you.
24 300 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very
25 much. It certainly addresses a very interesting point
1 of view, the questions that we will be addressing the
2 next few months.
3 301 As you know, the violence issue is a
4 very important one to the Commission. There has been a
5 long process on this, and there has been a
6 collaborative effort from the industry to really take
7 responsibility and really kind of do and participate in
8 the education of the public and the responsibility of
9 the public itself in terms of the icons that are shown
10 when there are some violent programs.
11 302 But I retained from your presentation
12 something more interesting, and it is your comparison
13 with Mr. Dressup and even Sesame Street. I was a bit
14 surprised -- and I remember the days where my daughter,
15 who is now 26 -- but I remember the days where she was
16 watching Mr. Dressup, Polka Dot Door and Sesame Street.
17 303 It is an interesting thing you are
18 bringing, the way we treat the questions or we do
19 programs is differently, even if we don't have that as
20 being an objective or a goal, but just by being who we
22 304 If we want to promote Canadian
23 values, and our sense of identity and what makes us so
24 different, I retain from your presentation that it is
25 very important that we cherish somehow Canadian content
1 for that very reason, and especially for our children.
2 305 So, thank you for having taken the
3 time to share that with us.
4 306 MS TSUTSUMI: Thank you.
5 307 MS VOGEL: Our next presenter is Mr.
6 Stephen Carter. I don't see Mr. Carter.
7 308 I would like to invite Mr. Ed Wolf to
8 make his presentation, please.
9 309 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, Mr.
12 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
13 310 MR. WOLF: Good afternoon. My name
14 is Ed Wolf. I appreciate the opportunity to appear on
15 behalf of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre.
16 311 I inquired of the CRTC a few years
17 ago what it would cost to attempt to put a radio
18 station together. They said the application would
19 probably run about a million dollars.
20 312 My main concern is diversity in the
21 media, and Conrad Black has limited that quite a bit in
22 the press, and our radio stations and TV here seem to
23 be very much lacking balance.
24 313 Perhaps the main aspects of it are
25 that the business position is presented very heavily,
1 and I would say it is not a very balanced presentation.
2 Even when some stations, TV and others, put on some
3 kind of a panel, it is often composed of the type of
4 columnists that we have in the Conrad Black papers. I
5 feel that is a severe lack of balance in public
6 interest matters.
7 314 The VLTs in Alberta, for instance,
8 are now around for six or seven years, and we are only
9 beginning to hear some of the downsides of the VLTs,
10 which take 2.5 billion a year out of Albertans. Their
11 take is so excessive that it exceeds the petroleum and
12 natural gas royalties.
13 315 Things of this sort have an effect of
14 downloading on to the public all manner of public
15 services, to the detriment of Medicare, social services
16 and education.
17 316 Things that have so long well
18 deserved support, like the Children's Hospital and
19 others, now have to rely on lotteries and things of
20 that sort.
21 317 I find that the media of TV and radio
22 do not adequately bring both sides of these issues
23 forward. It is extremely out of balance.
24 318 The Lubicon, for instance, have
25 endured 60 years of lack of treaty and many
1 discriminatory takings of both their trees and their
2 petroleum and natural gas rights. These things do not
3 get adequate airing in the press, and to me it's a form
4 of racism.
5 319 We have largely what I would call
6 "red neck" radio in Alberta, as far as talk shows go.
7 The hosts tend to either screen the people that come on
8 to the programs or make sure that they dump them or
9 insult them fairly quickly, or cut them off.
10 320 I would say that it's a need for some
11 kind of a modestly funded, easily applied approach to
12 independent radio, like a volunteer radio -- they have
13 them in the U.S.
14 321 One is called Radio Free Berkeley.
15 They had to go around in a truck and broadcast for a
16 time to keep from being pinpointed because all the
17 volunteers were saying things that the FCC didn't want
18 to hear. They were finally granted a license.
19 322 It seems to me that it is time for
20 radio in Canada, which is cheap enough that volunteers
21 could make some use of it, would be funded in a
22 volunteer way. If it costs a million dollars to apply,
23 that would wreck the promise of such an approach.
24 323 I am very familiar with the National
25 Energy Board, and I don't know how the members of the
1 CRTC are selected. But the National Energy Board is
2 entirely staffed with people who are seconded largely
3 from industry.
4 324 In attending there for 25 to 30
5 years, as an intervenor, we have never -- public
6 interest groups have never won a single issue in front
7 of that Board.
8 325 While I wouldn't claim to demean this
9 Board that way, if it costs a million dollars to
10 approach it for a radio station, that is extremely
11 difficult to justify, as far as I am concerned.
12 326 The downloading of public interest
13 funding in Alberta has reached an extreme where I think
14 there are some 250 new charges and fees that amount to
15 $350 million a year.
16 327 People do not realize adequately --
17 and they don't hear it adequately -- that funding of
18 public interest matters needs to be based on ability to
19 pay, rather than who wants to win a home, or something
20 like that, for the Children's Hospital. It is simply
21 out of sight in our community here to bring these
22 things forward.
23 328 The Mayor has -- I won't keep you too
24 long -- the Mayor has an enviro show down at City Hall
25 now. It is totally superficial and trivial. They have
1 skits and things like that which are entertaining to
2 grade schoolers.
3 329 But the real issues of environment --
4 the Bow River basin, over logging in the foothills and
5 many pollution concerns, air emission concerns, the
6 watershed -- are not in any way dealt with.
7 330 Our city, as an environmental entity,
8 does no audits. Our province does no audits, and our
9 national or federal things -- and these matters do no
11 331 For public interest advocates to get
12 these matters on public media is well nigh impossible.
13 And that is why I am here today, to bring these things
14 to your attention.
15 332 The matters are very difficult for
16 public interest people, who deal in that, to approach
17 in any way and get attention.
18 333 It is very valid to say that some of
19 these radio stations are simply "red neck" radio. They
20 do not have any pretence of balance, and they are ugly
21 toward people who would like to bring things to their
22 listeners' attention.
23 334 I don't know whether I am out of time
24 yet or not.
25 335 COMMISSIONER PENNYFATHER: Thank you,
1 Mr. Wolf. You have raised some important issues
2 centered on the importance of diversity in programming
3 in television and radio in this country.
4 336 MR. WOLF: I am a little hard of
5 hearing. I can't hear what you are saying.
6 337 COMMISSIONER PENNYFATHER: I'm sorry,
7 I will speak louder. Is that better?
8 338 I am saying that your remarks are
9 very important in terms -- particularly as I understand
10 your theme to be diversity in programming, across the
11 system throughout this country.
12 339 I am sure that we will want to
13 consider a number of points similar to that as we go
14 through upcoming reviews on campus radio, on community
15 radio because, of course, we must look at all forms of
16 radio in this country, not just commercial radio, which
17 is, I think, one of the issues you were particularly
18 concerned about.
19 340 Would you like to add anything?
20 341 THE CHAIRPERSON: No.
21 342 MS PENNYFATHER: Thank you very much
22 for bringing your points to us today.
23 343 MR. WOLF: I would like to conclude
24 with a quote to this effect: "Barbarism is the system
25 to which no appeal can be made". Jose Ortega y Gasset
1 said that.
2 344 It is very much, it seems to me, what
3 we are burdened with in public media today.
4 345 Thank you.
5 346 COMMISSIONER PENNYFATHER: Thank you
6 very much.
7 347 THE SECRETARY: Our next presenter is
8 Mr. Ron Bremner, and I don't see him here.
9 348 Is Mr. Ian Proctor here?
10 349 Then I would like to recall two of
11 the earlier presenters: Christine Wandzura. Has she
12 arrived? Could you come forward, please.
13 350 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon and
14 welcome to the meeting.
15 351 MS WANDZURA: Good afternoon. Sorry
16 I'm late. I believed my appointment was for 5 o'clock.
17 352 THE CHAIRPERSON: No problem.
19 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
20 353 MS WANDZURA: Thank you for the
21 opportunity, first of all. I don't have anything
22 formal prepared, and the reason for that is I am
23 speaking here on behalf of the A-Channel and the
24 positive impact that it has had on our organization
25 over the past couple of months.
1 354 I work for Kids Cancer Camps of
2 Alberta, and over the months of April and May, the
3 A-Channel has provided some on-air opportunities for us
4 that have really helped us increase the awareness of
5 our organization in the community and has had some
6 pretty big impacts on some of our children that
7 participated in the program.
8 355 First of all, our goals are to
9 provide programs and activities that improve self-
10 esteem, sense of control and allow kids to be kids
11 again. In a phrase: To regain a precious piece of
12 childhood that cancer has tried to take away from them.
13 356 In April, I did an interview on
14 A-Channel with one of our campers, and he is a young
15 man that has gone through a great deal of treatment and
16 has endured a lot of side effects.
17 357 The interview that we did with
18 A-Channel that day was a really good experience for
19 Christopher. He was presented at the end of the
20 program with a Roots hat that are very hard to get a
21 hold of.
22 358 He has endured a lot of ridicule from
23 his classmates, and quite literally when he was given
24 this Roots cap -- a very simple gesture on behalf of
25 the A-Channel -- he went back to school where he has,
1 as I said before, endured a lot of ridicule because of
2 his size, because of the effects of cancer and the
3 treatment, that it has had on him, that he was just
4 able to function a lot better within his junior high
5 school setting. That was an important thing that I
6 really wanted to bring forward to you today.
7 359 The next thing is in mid May, we did
8 what was called "The Big Sleepover" at A-Channel. It
9 was, in fact, bringing a piece of what we do so well
10 with the kids out in the wilderness into the studio.
11 360 It was just an incredibly remarkable
12 experience for the kids that participated in it. What
13 they did was talked about camping programs all week,
14 and with the assistance of our program coordinator,
15 brought awareness of the Kids Cancer Camps and what our
16 programs do for kids, as well as just camping programs
17 overall, in general, to the public.
18 361 It culminated Thursday night with the
19 kids coming and sleeping over in the studio, getting
20 the tents sponsored, so they did some fund raising for
21 us, too.
22 362 But the big thing was that it in fact
23 pulled our goals of what we try so hard to do
24 throughout the year in giving the kids back some kind
25 of experience that they are going to be able to take
1 with them, no matter where that road lies for them.
2 363 So, they made a video that night and
3 did their own Big Breakfast Show, which was just
4 incredible. They had the videos ready for them the
5 next day. The kids took them home with them.
6 364 They slept over in the tents, and the
7 next day did the whole show with the host of the show.
8 365 I think a couple of the kids -- since
9 then one wants to go into broadcasting, which isn't an
10 unlikely thing for kids to do, especially after making
11 their own video.
12 366 Another child that has been affected
13 very adversely from cancer and its side effects -- this
14 is a little anecdotal message that was given to me by
15 his mother today -- his treatment has left him very
16 much autistic-like and he does not speak a lot to other
18 367 Since his appearance -- and he
19 actually was speaking to the host of the show, Dave
20 Kelly -- he has started talking again at school, and
21 his mother is just totally flabbergasted.
22 368 I think it is because he was met so
23 positively by Dave and the experience that he had that
24 Dave just brought him out, and he was able to witness
25 that afterwards by watching the video that they had
1 produced for the kids, that he saw what he could do,
2 and it had an incredible effect on him.
3 369 I don't know how long it's going to
4 last, but what we take for now is just gravy in this
6 370 So that is all I wanted to say to you
7 today. I cannot thank A-Channel enough for the
8 experience, the exposure, the help with our fund
9 raising, the overall awareness of our small
10 organization. It has just had a really positive impact
11 on us.
12 371 Thank you.
13 372 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you
14 very much. It's certainly very moving to hear you talk
15 on the importance of that kind of partnership and that
16 kind of involvement from a television station.
17 373 The necessity of the involvement in
18 the community is certainly what has made the success of
19 the broadcasters in Canada. Thank you very much.
20 374 MS WANDZURA: Thank you.
21 375 COMMISSIONER PENNYFATHER: Thank you.
22 376 THE SECRETARY: I would like to
23 recall Mr. David Johnston.
24 377 I notice that Mr. Bremner has
25 arrived. Would it be convenient for you to give your
1 presentation now, Mr. Bremner?
2 378 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.
3 379 MR. BREMNER: Good afternoon. How
4 are you today? Welcome to Calgary.
5 380 THE CHAIRPERSON: We are very well,
6 thank you.
8 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
9 381 MR. BREMNER: My name is Ron Bremner,
10 and I am President and CEO of the Calgary Flames, and
11 as you can see, we are not playing hockey!
12 382 I am pleased to be able to be here to
13 say a few words on behalf of Calgary 7 Television.
14 383 I should state for the record that we
15 do have a business relationship with Calgary 7. They do
16 carry our hockey broadcasts, but I can tell you that
17 unequivocally, as a former broadcaster and someone
18 who's been involved in this business for many years,
19 this organization goes above and beyond both their
20 commitments to their partners and to the public, vis-a-
21 vis their obligations through their Conditions of
23 384 There are on Calgary 7 from time to
24 time promotional spots called "The Spirit of Calgary".
25 But I guess what I would probably like to talk to you
1 about today for a few minutes is "The Spirit of Calgary
3 385 Calgary 7 goes out of their way to be
4 able to commit people, resources, time and attention to
5 be able to try and focus on aspects of the community,
6 to be able to help those that are less fortunate, and
7 to be able to also put under the microscope some of
8 those unique aspects and characteristics of Calgary
9 that make this marketplace and make this city and this
10 region so dynamic.
11 386 They do not go about it in a
12 traditional way, shall we say, and just play lip
13 service to doing their obligations to the community.
14 387 Many stations, as I am sure you are
15 aware and I have been aware in the past, will simply do
16 the minimum amount to be able to comply with their
17 obligations to the community. They may not really put
18 a lot of resources, a lot of time, but they will read a
19 script or simply showcase a few things from the
21 388 Through the Spirit of 7 commercials
22 that Calgary 7 has aired, they have put a tremendous
23 amount of time and resources into showcasing this
24 community in a very creative, innovative and smartly
25 packaged manner to be able to give the viewer the
1 opportunity to see what the community is doing in a
2 very, very professional manner. They entertain the
3 public with their community service work.
4 389 I think that is important because the
5 viewers today are bombarded by so many messages that if
6 you don't do it in a creative way -- albeit it's
7 something that you want to provide to the community and
8 let them know what the right things are that are
9 happening out there -- they won't watch.
10 390 The other aspect that I think is
11 important is the total commitment of the staff,
12 especially the on-air people of Calgary 7, to be able
13 to put back into the community.
14 391 Someone once said that the difference
15 between managers and leaders are that managers do
16 things right, but leaders do the right thing. I can
17 tell you from personal experience that the people at
18 Calgary 7 do the right thing in the community.
19 392 Time and again, I have been at
20 functions and on podiums with people like Ed Whalen --
21 who just celebrated over 50 years in broadcasting --
22 Linda Olsen, Gord Visutti(ph), Grant Polluck and others
23 from Calgary 7 who give up a tremendous amount of time
24 to go out and make a difference in the community and to
25 really be able to use their professional expertise, to
1 be able to use their resources, to be able to use all
2 of the tools at their disposal, both creative and
3 otherwise, to be able to help those who may not be in a
4 position to help themselves.
5 393 I think last weekend was a very good
6 example with the Children's Telethon. They did a
7 tremendous amount of work there, and I know -- having
8 been involved in these efforts in an earlier life in
9 Vancouver with telethons, I can say they do it in a
10 very, very professional manner, with outstanding
12 394 So I think the essence of my message
13 today would simply be that these fine individuals and,
14 collectively, fine team at Calgary 7 really do not only
15 live up to their obligations in the community, but
16 exceed them by a wide margin in terms of what I think
17 anyone, whether they be on your side of the table or on
18 the community's side of the table, might normally
20 395 COMMISSIONER PENNYFATHER: Thanks
21 very much for coming. I really appreciate, and I know
22 the Chair appreciates hearing, as she said earlier, how
23 things are really happening out there in the community.
24 396 I am sure we appreciate your telling
25 us the story of how Channel 7 is supporting the
1 community at large, and best of luck.
2 397 MR. BREMNER: Thank you very much.
3 398 THE SECRETARY: I would like to
4 recall Michael Walters. Has he arrived?
5 399 Stephen Carter...?
6 400 Mr. Ian Proctor...?
7 401 Madam Chair, this might be an
8 opportune moment to take a break. We are in your
10 402 THE CHAIRPERSON: What a good idea.
11 Let's take a break, and we will be back in 15 minutes
12 and maybe that will allow time for the people to
14 403 Thank you.
15 --- Recess at 1726 / Suspension à 1726
16 --- Resumed at 1750 / Reprise à 1750
17 404 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will begin
18 again. So we will pursue -- I don't know if we have
19 some participants or intervenors who have arrived
20 405 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam
21 Chair. I would like to invite Patrick Mahaffey to
23 406 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.
24 407 MR. MAHAFFEY: Good afternoon.
25 408 THE CHAIRPERSON: It is almost good
2 409 MR. MAHAFFEY: You are right, 10 to
4 410 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome.
6 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
7 411 MR. MAHAFFEY: My name is Patrick
8 Mahaffey. I am not representing any particular group,
9 although I must say that the only way I heard about
10 this Hearing was through a mailing from the Friends of
11 Canadian Broadcasting, whom I support.
12 412 First of all, I must say that I am
13 not an active TV watcher -- I haven't been for most of
14 my adult life -- largely because I have a feeling of
15 the low quality, and a concern about the superficiality
16 of most programming has led me to feel that it is
17 really a waste of time. But that is a gross
18 generalization, I know.
19 413 However, I must admit that TV is
20 probably the most influential medium in the modern
21 world, so obviously it is an important issue. So, I
22 thought I would just express a few opinions, since I
23 have heard some of them this evening and some I have
24 not from other presenters.
25 414 I am primarily concerned about the
1 American domination of programming content in Canada,
2 and I know that is an ongoing issue and struggle.
3 415 On the other hand, I am concerned and
4 disappointed about the popularity of the American PBS
5 station in Alberta. It is disappointing that we aren't
6 able to achieve something like that in a Canadian
8 416 It is unfortunate that it has such a
9 large membership and then such large donations from at
10 least Western Canadians. It just seems to me that is a
11 siphoning off of a lot of private funds which could
12 perhaps help more local programming.
13 417 I strongly support the CRTC's
14 requirements for substantial Canadian content in all
15 types of programming for private TV stations. I hope
16 that continues.
17 418 And finally, regarding public
18 television, I am very upset about the continuing
19 decline in funding to CBC, which really should be our
20 flagship, I think, in TV in Canada and a role model for
21 private broadcasting.
22 419 That is all I have to say. Thank
24 420 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very
25 much. I was wondering, listening to you, what is your
1 assessment --
2 421 Although you have said that you don't
3 watch much TV -- but I understand very much, and
4 especially with your belonging to Friends of
5 Broadcasting, your strong support for the CBC -- what
6 about the special channels in Canada? Do you find they
7 are a plus in the landscape of television? Do you
8 feel, in terms of what they bring, in terms of Canadian
9 content it is valuable? Do you have any ideas about
11 422 MR. MAHAFFEY: I am not familiar with
12 most of them so I shouldn't really say.
13 423 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much
14 for having taken the time to come and meet with us.
15 Thank you.
16 424 THE SECRETARY: Our next participant
17 is Mr. Jim Bagshaw, WIC Canada.
18 425 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.
19 426 MR. BAGSHAW: Good afternoon, and
20 thank you and indeed welcome to Alberta and welcome to
22 427 I understand you are going to have
23 the opportunity to spend some time in our mountains,
24 and I hope our weather is warm and delightful for you.
25 428 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very
3 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
4 429 MR. BAGSHAW: My name is Jim Bagshaw.
5 I am President and CEO of WIC Alberta, which consists
6 of television stations ITV in Edmonton; CICT in
7 Calgary; RDTV in Red Deer; and CISA in Lethbridge.
8 430 WIC will be filing a formal
9 submission at the end of this month in response to the
10 policy review on Canadian television and will be
11 appearing at the Hearing this fall.
12 431 This sweeping review is occurring in
13 the context of an increasing globalization of the
14 communication environment and expanding choices for
16 432 As the Commission has noted, we will
17 all collectively need to come up with innovative
18 strategies to ensure the continued success of Canadian
19 television programming in the next century.
20 433 There will likely be a great deal of
21 emphasis on Canadian drama in these proceedings. WIC,
22 as a major broadcaster, has great interests in ensuring
23 the Canadian under-represented programming continues to
24 thrive nationally and attract attention worldwide.
25 434 The purpose of my appearance here
1 today is to say that we should also not lose sight of
2 the critical role that broadcasters play in their local
3 communities at a station level.
4 435 Through our news and public affairs
5 programming, our support of local organizations and
6 charitable events, local broadcasters are deeply routed
7 in their communities. It will, therefore, also be
8 important in these proceedings to ensure that
9 broadcasters continue to have the resources to cover
10 breaking news stories, broadcast live telethons in
11 support of worthy local causes, and generally to
12 maintain that vital link to their communities and their
13 local audiences.
14 436 In this increasingly competitive
15 broadcasting environment, financial resources are
16 finite. The trick will be able to come up with a
17 framework that balances competing objectives and
18 achieves maximum benefits for all elements of the
19 broadcasting system.
20 437 I welcome the opportunity today in
21 addressing items that may not necessarily come in our
22 normal regulatory process. Quite often we get, I
23 think, caught up in the headlines when we think of
24 Baton and WIC and CanWest and all the national systems.
25 In reality, we are all local and very involved in our
2 438 WIC, for example, is not a national
3 system. We are a variety of stations. We are CTV
4 stations; we are CBC; and we are independent stations.
5 439 In Alberta, we are three independent
6 stations and one CBC station. Our oldest station is 43
7 years old; our youngest, ITV in Edmonton, is 25. All
8 of those years have been dedicated to community
9 commitments and local and community involvements.
10 440 In preparation for today, I asked my
11 management earlier in the week to provide me with what
12 we have done in the community in the last year. I
13 received a list literally of hundreds of involvement
14 that we have, so I certainly don't intend to burden you
15 with that today. My intent will be just to review a
16 few highlights.
17 441 I would like to start off with news,
18 simply because news is such a major item for us.
19 442 We are committed to news in a very
20 large way. Our staff complement in Alberta is 400; 190
21 of those are dedicated to producing news seven days a
23 443 We produce 67 hours of news a week
24 between ITV and Calgary 7 alone. News for us is a top
25 priority. We know Albertans depend on it.
1 444 We have a very unique weather system.
2 It is unique in Canada. It's a weather metric system
3 that broadcasts weather live as it is happening, so
4 that you can find out temperatures throughout the
5 province anywhere from one of our stations; for
6 example, finding out what the temperature might be if
7 you want to go skiing in Lake Louise, in Calgary or
8 Edmonton or any of our markets.
9 445 We are there in times of crises.
10 Recently, there was a major flood in Lethbridge. CISA,
11 our station there, covered live reports all the way
12 through to the finish of the floods, produced
13 documentaries that ended up with a CANPRO and CAB Gold
14 Ribbon Awards for both.
15 446 Following on the heels of the floods,
16 the worst fire in a century occurred in the same area.
17 CISA was there again to provide coverage all the way
18 through the fire, the events and finally ending with
19 PSAs looking for support from the community to help the
20 survivors of the communities that had to be evacuated.
21 447 That same kind of dedication to
22 Calgary's worst snowstorm just recently, approximately
23 a month and a half ago, was again brought to the table
24 through our Calgary 7 newsroom. Our reporters were
25 actually digging people out of the ditches between
2 448 If you recall during the Gulf War
3 everybody relied on CNN. We like to think that
4 Albertans turn to us when there is a local crisis.
5 449 In regards to community, as I
6 mentioned, we have hundreds of events that go on all
7 year from all of our stations. We provide roughly $2
8 million in PSA support a year.
9 450 On top of that, there are many
10 programs that we produce separate from the PSA support,
11 such as farm and safety programs in our Lethbridge
12 station, to "Grow a Row" for food banks, to "Coats for
13 Kids" in our Edmonton and Calgary stations.
14 451 We do the First Night Celebrations in
15 Edmonton for New Years, through to the WIC Cares Big
16 Brothers and Big Sisters campaign that we are doing
17 nationwide this year, and of course, through to larger
18 events like telethons.
19 452 The Children's Miracle Network
20 Telethon was on this weekend, and between Calgary and
21 Edmonton, we generated $3.2 million. That money stays
22 locally here to help our kids.
23 453 We created an ad campaign a few years
24 ago, "If you drink then drive, you're a bloody idiot".
25 That campaign cost us over half a million dollars in
1 production and roughly $2 million in airtime.
2 454 It got the message through. Not only
3 did we receive acclaim in the province, but national
4 acclaim in Canada and international acclaim.
5 455 Gord Steinke, our anchor in Edmonton,
6 unfortunately had his sister killed two years ago by a
7 drunk driver. Gord has become a very high profile
8 speaker for us in regards to that very key issue.
9 456 One other unique item we started in
10 Edmonton, and I thought I would like to mention, is a
11 program called "Women of Vision". It is news features
12 that we feature throughout year, and we feature the
13 accomplishments and visions of one woman each month.
14 457 We culminate that with a very large
15 luncheon on International Women's Day and salute those
16 12 women that have been featured throughout the year.
17 458 The luncheons have become very
18 popular. In the last two years, we have had 700 people
19 at each. We are moving into a new location because we
20 could have well oversold that. We are now expanding
21 that same Women of Vision into Calgary, and we actually
22 start it next week, on June the 10th.
23 459 The money from the luncheons are used
24 for scholarships for young women.
25 460 Another unique thing we are doing in
1 the community is a similar meeting to this, only not
2 quite as formal, called our "Community Forum". It is
3 very much like the town hall meeting, the difference
4 being that our anchors act as hosts and we go visit
5 community halls at their request and bring their
6 concerns to the community through features on our news.
7 461 From the programming side, along with
8 our news events, we produce now more local programming
9 than we ever had since sign-on. A large portion of
10 that is news, but we are involved in many special
11 events throughout the year, such as the Calgary
12 Stampede, Klondike Days, Crime Stoppers, The Miracle
13 Network, that I just mentioned, and the First Night
15 462 More recently we just produced the
16 AMPIA awards that ran on our stations throughout the
18 463 As well, we have several programs
19 that are under development by local folks that we are
20 hoping to turn into series. Actually, there are six
21 underway at the moment.
22 464 As a point of interest, one of our
23 reporters from Calgary 7 is accompanying Sheldon
24 Kennedy on his rollerblade event across Canada. He
25 will be with him for three months, and we will be
1 producing and airing a documentary at the completion of
3 465 In summation, the local WIC
4 television stations are here to provide a vital link
5 with the local community. News, special celebrations,
6 local crises and community events are all relayed
7 because we are here.
8 466 All the news specialty channels and
9 distant signals provide none of what we do. We make a
10 tremendous difference to the local community.
11 467 That concludes my remarks here today.
12 I am pleased to note that we did have some positive
13 folks here today.
14 468 I thank you for your time, and any
15 questions I would be happy to answer. Thank you.
16 469 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very
17 much, Mr. Bagshaw. I would be interested to know how
18 you envisage here maybe in Alberta, rather than from a
19 national point of view, but the reality -- you know,
20 what kind of difference you make between your presence,
21 as a broadcaster in the community, and the role
22 fulfilled by the community channels in the distribution
23 system of broadcasting.
24 470 Do you see a difference, and can you
25 qualify it for me, please?
1 471 MR. BAGSHAW: Community channels you
2 mean that appear on cable?
3 472 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, exactly.
4 473 MR. BAGSHAW: Well, there is a
5 dramatic significant difference. I think it has to do
6 with the professionalism that we bring to the market,
7 the people that we bring to the market.
8 474 Most community channels employ
9 students to air their products. We, as you know, spend
10 a great deal of money to provide this infrastructure.
11 475 Community efforts are really driven
12 to a large degree by our news departments, and news is
13 a very, very intense and large effort by all
14 broadcasters right across the country.
15 476 So I think that it is just a quantum
16 leap of differences between the two.
17 477 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you find -- just
18 a last question, because we are here to listen, and
19 that kind of exploration will be much more the ones of
20 the proceeding coming in September.
21 478 But I would be curious to know when
22 you talk about your involvement in the community, is it
23 something that you reach out yourself, or do you find
24 that just being already present by the news and the
25 information and public affair presence that there are a
1 lot of people will come to you that --
2 479 Is it a two-way street, or do you
3 find that it is yourself going out and fetching the --
4 480 MR. BAGSHAW: I think it is very much
5 a two-way street. We certainly do look to support in
6 any effort that we can. By our very presence, we have
7 a lot of people come forward, there is no question.
8 481 But I can't think of any event that
9 any broadcaster -- and I am not meaning just us -- but
10 any event that any broadcaster would turn away.
11 482 We probably go the other way too far
12 sometimes with events that we perhaps don't need to be
13 involved in, but we believe it is a commitment of being
14 part of the community. And we do go far above and
15 beyond what is suggested in the normal regulatory
16 parameters, and hence why I welcome this opportunity to
17 let you know that.
18 483 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very
19 much. You did that very eloquently, and it is helpful
20 for us, too, in terms of understanding and feeling the
21 community. Thank you.
22 484 MR. BAGSHAW: Thank you.
23 485 THE SECRETARY: Our next presenter
24 this evening is Mr. Drew Craig, President of A-Channel
25 486 THE CHAIRPERSON: Hello. Bring all
1 the chairs you need. It is a real team, I see.
2 487 Welcome, Mr. Craig.
4 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
5 488 MR. CRAIG: Thank you. Madam
6 Chairperson, Commissioner Pennyfather and Commission
7 staff, I would like to welcome you to Calgary and thank
8 you for this opportunity to appear before you today.
9 489 We, like you, would like to apologize
10 for our formality, too, but we wanted to take this
11 opportunity to tell you what we have been up to in the
12 last few months.
13 490 My name is Drew Craig, President of
14 Craig Broadcast Systems; and it is a great pleasure for
15 me to introduce to you some of our management team, who
16 are part of the A-Channel system.
17 491 Appearing with me today is Joanne
18 Levy, Executive Director of the A-Channel Drama Fund.
19 492 Beside Joanne is Jim Haskins, General
20 Manager, A-Channel in Edmonton; Dixie Baum, Promotion
21 Manager, A-Channel Calgary; and Mark Campbell, Director
22 of News and Entertainment Programming in Calgary.
23 493 The last 12 months have been
24 extremely busy, exciting and challenging for our
25 company. We designed and built two state-of-the-art
1 digital television facilities in both Calgary and
2 Edmonton, at a total cost of over $20 million.
3 494 We now employ close to 300 full-time
4 staff in Alberta.
5 495 The two stations launched last
6 September within two days of each other. They were the
7 first new television stations in Calgary and Edmonton
8 in over 25 years.
9 496 We hit the ground running day one,
10 with over 50 hours per week of local production, with
11 our Drama Fund in full gear and with a highly
12 competitive program schedule driven by a huge promotion
13 and marketing effort.
14 497 The launch, however, was not without
15 its challenges and start-up problems. We can all
16 chuckle a bit about those when we look back on them and
17 reflect. But everyone involved in the start-up looked
18 upon this as a great privilege to be part of Canadian
19 television history.
20 498 We are very proud of the look of the
21 service today. After just eight months on the air, we
22 have offered the viewers in Alberta a bright,
23 innovative and exciting local Canadian program service.
24 499 Viewers have responded
25 overwhelmingly. Recent BBM figures confirm that we have
1 already achieved an audience of over 13 percent in both
2 markets in the critical weeknight primetime periods.
3 500 The A-Channel stations both showed
4 solid growth spring over fall, but while this is
5 encouraging, we are still at the building stage.
6 501 I would like to now introduce Mr. Jim
7 Haskins, our General Manager in Edmonton, to talk about
8 A-Channel's service in the province's capital.
9 502 MR. HASKINS: Thank you, Drew. While
10 there are many similarities between A-Channel Calgary
11 and A-Channel Edmonton, the two stations are separate
12 and distinct.
13 503 For A-Channel Edmonton, decisions on
14 which local events, groups and stories are featured in
15 our local programming are made in Edmonton, and not in
17 504 Since the launch, we have seen the
18 station totally immerse itself in the community. Our
19 interactive television environment is located at the
20 corner of one of the busiest intersections in the city
21 - Jasper and 102 Avenue.
22 505 Our building is almost wall-to-wall
23 windows, allowing the community to see us work and also
24 allowing us to interact with the public, and this has
25 worked tremendously. For example, we had 250 people in
1 our studio for breakfast one day. That was during the
2 Championship Final Rodeo.
3 506 This year, A-Channel Edmonton was
4 also proud to broadcast Edmonton Oilers hockey; and
5 through a temporary network license, we were able to
6 send our games commercial free, via satellite, to
7 thousands of viewers in northern Alberta. And once
8 again, the response was terrific.
9 507 Our local programming not only
10 reflects the news, public affairs and sporting events
11 of our community, but also the entertainment, arts, and
12 cultural side.
13 508 Our nightly, half-hour-long local
14 entertainment program "Wired" has given close to 300
15 local musical groups a primetime live television
16 audience; and as well, nearly 100 Edmonton area
17 festivals, theatre groups and dance companies have been
18 featured in the short period of time that we have been
19 on the air.
20 509 I will now turn to Mark Campbell, the
21 Director of News and Entertainment Programming in the
22 Calgary operation. Mark...
23 510 MR. CAMPBELL: Thanks, Jim. I am the
24 news guy, so I will give you a brief synopsis of that.
25 511 In less than nine months, A-Channel
1 has helped define what we hope and believe is a new
2 local newscape in both Calgary and Edmonton.
3 512 With over four and a half hours of
4 locally produced news, variety and entertainment
5 programming in both markets every weekday, we believe
6 we provide a level of reporting that is fresh and
7 innovative, as Drew has mentioned. We believe that it
8 is second to none to any station across the country.
9 513 We do not provide a headline service
10 that relies on stories that are being fed out of
11 Toronto or New York. In fact, you will not hear CBS,
12 NBC, or ABC in any of our programs.
13 514 We are local, all of the time. It is
14 something we are very proud of.
15 515 Certainly a good example of this is
16 "The Big Breakfast". It is a live, two-hour morning
17 show produced in our store-front studio on 7th Avenue
18 in Calgary and on Jasper Avenue in Edmonton.
19 516 The Big Breakfast is a blend of news,
20 weather, traffic -- truly a day-in-the-life reality
21 here and in the market in Edmonton.
22 517 We feature live local musical bands,
23 in-studio interviews and live community events every
24 morning, every day.
25 518 Another example is our program
1 "Wired", Calgary and Edmonton's only local program
2 dedicated entirely to arts and entertainment in both
3 cities, produced in primetime Monday to Friday.
4 519 A third example is "Sharing Circle",
5 Alberta's only First Nations' program, using Native
6 reporters in Edmonton and Calgary.
7 520 I have a bit on the BBM numbers now.
8 In the fall of '97, all of our programs landed on the
9 board after five weeks on the air and entrenched
10 themselves. In the spring of this year, our local
11 programs doubled -- even tripled -- in audience.
12 521 While we certainly recognize we have
13 a long way to go, we are very happy about our progress
14 to date, and we certainly look forward to a very long
15 career here in Alberta.
16 522 I would like to pass it over to Dixie
17 Baum, our Promotions Manager.
18 523 MS BAUM: Thank you, Mark.
19 524 A-Channel is proud to have supported
20 literally thousands of charities, community
21 organizations, theatre and arts groups, and local
22 performers since our launch last fall.
23 525 Our enthusiastic commitment to
24 supporting local events has strongly entrenched
25 A-Channel into the community.
1 526 For example, following A-Channel's
2 promotion of the event, the Jingle Bell Run for
3 arthritis saw a funding raising total of $65,000.
4 There was a 40 percent increase in participation, and a
5 larger venue was required to accommodate the leap in
7 527 Through our four and a half hours of
8 local programming per day, A-Channel responds to the
9 needs of local community groups daily.
10 528 We also work hard to remain
11 interactive and easily accessible to Albertans. Our
12 Web site currently averages half a million hits every
13 month, and many people use the A-Channel's chat site as
14 a forum for community issues, as well a vehicle to
15 respond to A-Channel programming.
16 529 Now let me turn over to Joanne Levy,
17 our Executive Director of the A-Channel Drama Fund.
18 530 MS LEVY: Thank you, Dixie. Good
19 evening, Madam, Madam Pennyfather.
20 531 The A-Channel Drama Fund is scheduled
21 to spend $14 million over the license term to develop
22 and exhibit original Canadian movies, made in Alberta.
23 532 When Drew and I appeared before you
24 last November in Ottawa, during the National Network
25 Hearing, I mentioned that three movie projects had
1 already been completed.
2 533 Today I can tell that you one of
3 those movies, called "Ebenezer", has been sub-licensed
4 to CTV, and it got its national exhibition last
6 534 All of which is to say that we have
7 started to accomplish our plan of offering national
8 license fees to Alberta's independent producers so they
9 could access other financing which, of course, is
10 essential if they are to produce Canadian movies, both
11 for theatrical and television audiences.
12 535 At this point, A-Channel has licensed
13 12 movies with production budgets totalling $35
15 536 Our fourth movie is in post-
16 production right now. Our fifth movie is halfway
17 through principal photography, and our sixth and
18 seventh movies are in pre-production.
19 537 It is very satisfying to visit the
20 sets of some of these movies, to see talented young
21 actors getting bigger and better roles with each
22 successive movie, and they are getting a chance to work
23 with some real veterans.
24 538 For instance, Graham Green has had
25 roles in two of our movies, and he is the star in
1 another one that is in pre-production right now.
2 539 Wendy Crewson, Jessica Steen, R.H.
3 Thomson and Shawn Johnston are just a few of the
4 Canadian actors that we are very proud to have brought
5 to Alberta on our sets.
6 540 Along side our production
7 commitments, our development commitments are giving our
8 writers opportunities to hone their skills and tell our
9 stories. From historical drama, to romantic comedy, to
10 sort of the edgy urban thrillers, we are making a
11 difference that all Canadian viewers will be able to
13 541 MR. CRAIG: Thank you, Joanne. As
14 Joanne described, A-Channel is not only focused on its
15 local mandate but plays a much larger role in the
16 context of the Canadian broadcasting system.
17 542 Our model to commission long form
18 movies from Alberta producers as well as to run
19 Canadian movies made elsewhere in the country on the
20 service is working.
21 543 Again, we thank you for this
22 opportunity to appear here today and to give you this
23 progress report. We would be happy to answer any
24 questions that you might have.
25 544 THE CHAIRPERSON: We have no
1 questions. Your presentation is quite clear.
2 545 We are quite happy to see that you're
3 really fulfilling the promises that you had given at
4 the time of the competitive hearing, and we are quite
6 546 There was also presentation today
7 testifying to the fact that you're active in the
9 547 So thank you for having participated.
10 Thank you for your warm welcome in Calgary, and it
11 seems that we will need it in the weather to come in
12 the next few days. And good luck to you .
13 548 MR. CRAIG: Thank you very much.
14 549 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
15 550 THE SECRETARY: Our next participant
16 this evening is Mr. Stephen Carter.
17 551 THE CHAIR: Good evening, Mr. Carter.
19 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
20 552 MR. CARTER: Good evening. My name
21 is Stephen Carter. I am the Chair of the Calgary
22 Professional Arts Alliance, a local group of artists,
23 professional artists, ranging from visual arts to
24 performing arts, and virtually any professional artist
25 who wishes to join us.
1 553 I am also the General Manager of the
2 Pleiades Theatre, which is a small-scale theatre
3 company here in Calgary.
4 554 I am here to talk about Canadian
5 programming and how it affects us.
6 555 There are two basic ways that
7 Canadian programming affects the arts in Calgary.
8 There are the local programs that feature companies and
9 artists in the community; and in addition, there is
10 programming that is developed, produced or post-
11 produced in the local area.
12 556 I will start with the local
13 programming. The folks from A-Channel were just up
14 here, and we have seen a remarkable change in the past
15 few months, since their entry and the change of Shaw's
16 community channel to NOW TV. We have seen a lot more
17 focus on the arts from all of the local stations.
18 557 And how has this impacted the arts in
19 Calgary? It has created a new artistic fervour, if you
20 will, for different groups. That ranges everywhere
21 from large groups, like Theatre Calgary and Alberta
22 Ballet, right down to smaller professional groups, like
23 my own, the Pleiades Theatre.
24 558 In addition, it reaches all the way
25 down to depths that were never really focused or
1 covered before. For example, we have a small group in
2 Calgary known as the Cappucino Players. They are
3 currently performing, in our venue, in a small 227-seat
4 theatre for 10 days.
5 559 We have had local coverage by the
6 television stations covering them. This is the first
7 time, perhaps ever, that a smaller company like that
8 has been given feature-length interviews and such to
9 draw more people to the arts in Calgary.
10 560 This benefits our organizations
11 immensely. We have seen tremendous increases in our
12 ticket sales as a result, we believe, in part because
13 of the increased coverage and increased awareness of
14 the arts in Calgary.
15 561 The changes from CBC that are
16 anticipated in the future will also help us, as they
17 have a more local flavour and more local focus. We are
18 looking forward to that and having our additional --
19 our members will get additional coverage which will
20 help us, again immensely.
21 562 But perhaps the most important
22 element of Canadian programming that will affect each
23 of our individual members is programming that is
24 developed our produced or post-produced in this city or
25 in the surrounding area.
1 563 Traditionally, we have lost artists
2 to major centres -- like Vancouver, Toronto, Los
3 Angeles, New York -- as they go in search of larger
4 paydays, larger roles, and larger exposure.
5 564 This is a drain on our community. It
6 takes away artists that are valued to us, whether they
7 be visual artists or talent in front of the camera. We
8 would like them to stay in the city. It lets us develop
9 a broad-based and vibrant city that has more and more
10 talent that is focused here.
11 565 Over the past few years Alberta has
12 become something of a "hub" of television and film
13 production, and it is continuing to grow. But still we
14 are losing actors to Toronto and Vancouver on a very
15 regular basis.
16 566 I will speak from the acting side, as
17 I am based in theatre; and I have the most experience
18 in that end.
19 567 I know that every summer whenever a
20 major production comes in, whether it's financed
21 locally or financed through Disney, or whoever, our
22 actors are able to earn enough money working in a
23 production like that to actually be able to stay in
24 Calgary for the theatrical season -- the traditional
25 theatrical season.
1 568 Smaller theatre companies like ours
2 are now able to hire larger named actors who can stay
3 in the city and are able to stay at home with their
5 569 I know of one such instance where one
6 of our local actors for the first time has been able to
7 spend the entire year in Calgary, financed in no small
8 part due to his Canadian television appearances that
9 have been filmed in this city.
10 570 That is a tremendous asset for all of
11 us, and we look forward to seeing that type of
12 production continue as we want to expand our base of
13 artists that are locally based.
14 571 The more artists that we have in this
15 city, the more likely it is that our art will flourish.
16 We will become recognized as a centre for arts.
17 572 In much the same way that Edmonton
18 tends to have an artist-based community that stays in
19 their community, we want to have that same thing here
20 in Calgary.
21 573 That basically concludes my
22 presentation. Thank you very much for hearing me today.
23 574 If you have any questions, I would be
24 happy to answer them.
25 575 COMMISSIONER PENNYFATHER: Thanks
1 very much. The positive news that you have brought
2 about the artistic community here, I am sure, is music
3 to everyone's ears -- pardon the late-night pun!
4 576 Just a few clarifications. I am
5 interested in your saying that in fact the promotion
6 you're getting on local television is bringing people
7 to the theatres.
8 577 Sometimes there is concern that the
9 programming will keep people at home. That is
10 encouraging news.
11 578 Is this reaching to a broad section
12 of the community, from the old to the young?
13 579 MR. CARTER: In the fine arts -- in
14 the so-called fine arts, we constantly battle a group
15 of people that come to see us. We feel that 3 percent
16 to 5 percent of the population actively participates in
17 the fine arts, on a regular basis.
18 580 Whether it is 3 percent or 10
19 percent, it is really irrelevant. We have to increase
20 that in size of number.
21 581 The people who watch television or
22 rent videos from the local video rental or go to the
23 movies is a much higher percentage. We are not in a
24 competitive mode with them.
25 582 We are just in a competitive mode
1 with awareness. That is our main enemy, and that is
2 what television, radio, newspapers all can help us try
3 and fight.
4 583 COMMISSIONER PENNYFATHER: Terrific.
5 In terms of loss of talent, it seems to be a common
6 theme in this country. In your case, you are talking
7 about loss of talent to larger centers, be it Edmonton
8 or Toronto.
9 584 Just again, what is the most
10 important thing, in terms of keeping that talent here?
11 585 MR. CARTER: Work.
12 586 COMMISSIONER PENNYFATHER: Is it work
13 with Canadian production or work with all kinds of
14 producers in the province, mainly American producers?
15 587 MR. CARTER: I think there is a fine
16 line. If you asked any artist, they would take the
17 work wherever the paycheque came from. Disney is a
18 player, for example, in Calgary; and I know a lot of
19 our artists took a paycheque from Disney last year.
20 588 But I also know the average size of
21 that role when the person took a paycheque from Disney.
22 They were happy get the walk-on as the teacher for that
23 particular episode. It was a nice payday --
24 589 They paid them well, but then they
25 were gone the next week, and they never were back.
1 590 Whereas when a series like "Lonesome
2 Dove", a series like "North of 60" shoots in the
3 surrounding area, they can be looking at a complete
4 year, a full year, of being on, not necessarily in a
5 principal role, but in a role that will be continued to
6 be featured.
7 591 Canadian programming will support
8 them to a much larger extent, if that answers the
10 592 COMMISSIONER PENNYFATHER: It does.
11 Thank you for bringing artistic and artists' points of
12 view to today's discussions. Nice to see you here.
13 593 MR. CARTER: Thank you very much.
14 594 THE SECRETARY: Madam chair, at this
15 point I would like to ask if there is anyone in the
16 room who would like to make a presentation that hasn't
18 595 I don't see anyone, Madam Chair. I
19 believe those are our presenters.
20 596 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you
21 very much. I would like to thank everybody who has
22 participated this afternoon --
23 597 Do you want to come forward? Yes,
1 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
2 598 MS RAIT: Yes, I am Peggy Rait, and I
3 came here also because I received a letter from Friends
4 of Canadian Broadcasting, from CBC, but I didn't really
5 know quite what to expect.
6 599 Although I am a senior, I don't know
7 that this is particularly relevant to the programming.
8 I don't unfortunately see PBS because I don't have
9 cable, and I haven't felt that it was worth it to me
10 for the one station.
11 600 But I hear a great deal said of it;
12 and I think, too, that it is unfortunate that it is
13 necessary for so much support to go there which could
14 better stay here.
15 601 I don't know if it is appropriate for
16 me to say anything about sound and captioning. I have
17 a hearing aid. My hearing is very poor.
18 602 I have found, since getting a new TV
19 a few years ago, that the captioning, closed
20 captioning, is very useful. Perhaps I depend upon it
21 sometimes when I needn't, but I think it is very
23 603 I have heard other people say, who do
24 not have real hearing problems, that they do have a
25 great problem, which I have, with particularly
1 documentaries and so forth with crashing background
2 music, and so forth. And it goes on and on, and it has
3 nothing to do with the program really, except perhaps
4 to keep the attention of people who might not be
5 interested in what the program is about anyway. I
6 don't know.
7 604 I think this is just something that
8 could be kept in mind. It is actually troublesome.
9 One can't hear a narrator often, and this seems to be
10 getting more and more common.
11 605 I will say that I have depended a
12 great deal on CBC, and it is very important to me. I
13 think that the CBC programming is becoming less
14 satisfactory, just in many ways.
15 606 I feel that CBC needs a tremendous
16 amount of support. I think it is very unfortunate that
17 Prime Minister Cretien had promised increased money, I
18 think a few years ago; and instead, the money is
19 dwindling away.
20 607 I do think that in Canada we need the
21 support; and wherever people can be encouraged to
22 support CBC also, good. But if people aren't
23 interested in their programming, that is not to be
25 608 I do think that it is of utmost
1 importance that we keep CBC going and keep it going
2 with good quality.
3 609 Thank you.
4 610 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very
5 much. That was a conclusion.
6 611 I would like to thank everyone for
7 having participated in this first town hall about
8 Canadian content.
9 612 Some people at the break were asking
10 me if it was what we had expected. Well, yes and no.
11 We want more and we'll need for that to go from city to
12 city and to come back again.
13 613 Probably we would have to spend the
14 entire week, and we cannot pretend in only one town
15 hall to have met all the people of Alberta and have
16 heard all the comments about Canadian television.
17 614 But certainly what we have heard and
18 listened to this afternoon is helpful, is an eye-
20 615 I often find that sometimes at the
21 office or in a public hearing we talk about elements
22 that don't have always full life.
23 616 When we come in the cities of Canada
24 and we meet the people of Canada, it really means
25 something, and especially when we talk local news and
1 community programming and being in touch with the
2 communities. It has much more flavour and sense when
3 we are in Calgary and other cities.
4 617 So thank you for having taken the
5 time to come and talk to us about those elements that
6 are very important in Canadian programming.
7 618 To all, have a good weekend; and we
8 will be in touch because it is an ongoing process for
9 the next month that is very important, and we count on
10 your continuous participation.
11 619 Thank you.
12 620 COMMISSIONER PENNYFATHER: Thank you.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing concluded at 1832/
14 L'audience se termine à 1832