Examen des politiques relatives à la télévision canadienne/
Review of the Commission's Policies for Canadian Television
CONSULTATION TENUE À:
288, rue Portage
Le 11 juin 1998
CONSULTATION HELD AT:
288 Portage Avenue
11 June 1998
Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des télécommunications canadiennes
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Transcription / Transcript
Consultation régionale/ regional consultation
Andrée Wylie Présidente/Chairperson
Andrew Cardozo Conseillère/Commissioner
Mike Amodeo Gérante d'audience/ Hearing Manager
Lori Assheton-Smith Conseillère juridique/ Legal Counsel
Gary Krushen Secrétaire/Secretary
TENUE À: HELD AT:
Delta Winnipeg Delta Winnipeg
288, rue Portage 280 Portage Street
Winnipeg (Manitoba) Winnipeg, Manitoba
Le 11 juin 1998 11 June 1998
- iii -
TABLE DES MATIÈRES/TABLE OF CONTENTS
Présentation au nom de/Presentation on behalf of:
Laurie Beachell and David Martin, CCD, 4
Council of Canadians with Disabilities
Art Miki, Pro Canada Committee 14
Richard Paszkowski 22
Teresa Swedick, Winnipeg Community Centre 26
of the Deaf
Bill Linden, Rotary Clubs/Flood Aid '97 31
Jim Knight, Portage District General 34
Hospital Foundation Board
Terry Coles, Maple Lake Releasing 38
Alison Mitchell, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra 49
Ruth Pearce 56
Francis Funk, Portage Community Centre Inc. 66
Daniel Boucher and Renald Remillard, Société 68
Jeff Thiessen, Trinity Television 81
John Reimer-Epp, National Association of 87
Christian Television Producers Incorporated
Andre Harden, Hart Entertainment Inc. 96
Yvonne Swiderick, Manitoba Children's Museum 102
Addie Jason, Hallcrest Career College 113
Karen Fonseth, Winnipeg International 118
Children's Festival/Big Brothers & Sisters
1 Winnipeg, Manitoba
2 --- Upon commencing on Thursday, June 11, 1998
3 at 1605/L'audience débute le jeudi
4 11 juin 1998 à 1605
5 1 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order please,
6 ladies and gentlemen.
7 2 Good afternoon, and welcome to all of
8 you to this public forum on television content.
9 3 My name is Andrée Wylie and I will
10 chair this evening's session. Seated next to me is
11 Commissioner Andrew Cardozo.
12 4 Also in attendance are CRTC staff.
13 To my immediate left, Mike Amodeo, Manager of
14 Applications Review. To his left, Lori Assheton-Smith,
15 CRTC Legal counsel. To her left, Gary Krushen from the
16 Winnipeg CRTC Regional Office. Do not hesitate to
17 consult with any of them if you have any questions
18 about the process we will be following.
19 5 Before I begin I would like to say
20 that we are all very happy to be here in Winnipeg.
21 6 As part of the vision and action
22 calendar for the next three years, the Commission made
23 public last fall one of its major objectives, to get
24 closer to the Canadian population. This allows us, on
25 the one hand, to better take into account the concerns
1 of our fellow citizens and, on the other, to better
2 communicate our decisions to the public.
3 7 This preoccupation of the Commission
4 is in line with the new era where the communications
5 environment evolves at a breathtaking pace, be it in
6 terms of services offered, quality and access to these
7 services, or content. Given this situation, the
8 Commission has deemed it important to consult Canadians
9 as often as possible on major issues such as telephone
10 services in high-cost areas, Canadian television
11 content, and all the issues related to new media.
12 8 The Commission has undertaken a
13 series of regional consultations on access to telephone
14 services in an increasingly competitive environment.
15 At the same time, and taking into account the fact that
16 public hearings will be held next September to review
17 Canadian television content, we are taking the
18 opportunity in this public forum to hear your comments,
19 opinions and suggestions on programming presently
20 offered either by public or private broadcasters.
21 9 What we would like to know from you
22 are your views and perspectives on questions like:
23 10 How important is Canadian TV
24 programming for you?
25 11 Are you a frequent viewer of these
2 12 Do you prefer Canadian to foreign
4 13 Do you think TV programming should
5 reflect and express Canadian values?
6 14 Is TV programming achieving this
8 15 What kind of Canadian TV programming
9 do you enjoy the most? The least?
10 16 We may have a few questions of
11 clarification after some presentations, time
12 permitting. However, I want to stress that our main
13 objective is to hear what you have to say about
14 Canadian television. The absence of questions should
15 not be seen as a lack of interest in your submission.
16 17 In the interest of ensuring that we
17 hear as many participants as possible, I would like to
18 ask that each person limit his or her presentation to
19 10 to 15 minutes.
20 18 Since our meeting is rather informal
21 and aims at facilitating the discussion, I would ask
22 the secretary to call up in turn everyone whose name is
23 on the agenda for tonight. I would like to specify
24 that our discussions will be transcribed and will form
25 an integral part of the record of the September public
1 hearing. Once the Commission has completed the public
2 hearing process it should render a decision sometime in
3 the fall.
4 19 If there are no preliminary matters
5 we will be ready to begin hearing presentations.
6 20 I would like to ask Mr. Secretary,
7 then, to call the first participant, please.
8 21 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam
10 22 I would like to call Laurie Beachell
11 and David Martin, CCD, Council of Canadians with
15 23 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon,
16 Mr. Martin.
17 24 MR. MARTIN: Martin, yes.
18 25 Thank you very much for the
19 opportunity to be here today. My name is Dave Martin
20 and I live here in Winnipeg, and I am the Manitoba
21 representative to the Council of Canadians with
22 Disabilities. I am very pleased to help out with this
23 preliminary presentation I think on some issues of
24 concern to our organization.
25 26 Beside me is Laurie Beachell, who is
1 the National Co-ordinator of the CCD, and the two of us
2 are going to be sharing different parts of our
4 27 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon,
5 Mr. Beachell.
6 28 MR. MARTIN: To begin, I thought it
7 might be helpful for you just to know a little bit
8 about what the CCD is. We are an organization which
9 operates at a national level representing the views of
10 Canadians with disabilities.
11 29 We are an organization of Canadians
12 with disabilities, which means that we have a mandate
13 to be made up of people who have disabilities, and we
14 have a mission to express the views of those individual
15 Canadians on all issues of concern to them.
16 30 The CCD operates at a national level.
17 It is made up of organizational representatives from
18 eight provincial groups and six national organizations.
19 The provincial groups are very similar in nature, they
20 are cross-disability and they are made up of people
21 with all different kinds of disabilities. The national
22 groups are more uni-disability in focus, and by that we
23 mean they may represent one particular disability
24 issue, for example deafness or people who are affected
25 by thalidomide but they have decided to join with CCD
1 to represent their views in a more broad way.
2 31 Over the years CCD has had a great
3 impact on Canadian society. We were instrumental in
4 getting disability included in the Canadian Charter of
5 Rights and Freedoms; we have had effect on the Canadian
6 Human Rights Act to address issues of duty to
7 accommodate. We have had a major impact on
8 transportation systems in Canada to make sure that
9 people with disabilities have access to all the various
10 national modes of transportation. We have affected the
11 Criminal Code and the Evidence Act in Canada so that
12 the needs and concerns of people with disabilities are
13 better served by those two pieces of legislation.
14 32 We have over the years certainly had
15 an interest in the work of this body as well, the CRTC.
16 Communication issues are certainly important to our
17 members and we have made many presentations over the
18 years on a variety of different kinds of issues.
19 33 Maybe I will leave it there for now
20 and ask Laurie to begin.
21 34 MR. BEACHELL: The first issue I want
22 to address, while not clearly a responsibility of the
23 CRTC is one that we believe all major regulatory bodies
24 have to have some understanding of, in that
25 unemployment and the massive unemployment that
1 Canadians with disabilities face is one of the most
2 critical issues.
3 35 Employment equity standards,
4 employment equity practices within the media, which is
5 regulated by the CRTC, is of concern to us. In 1983 we
6 took complaints against the CBC, as well as the
7 national banks, in relation to their hiring practices
8 and their representivity of their labour force in
9 regards to persons with disabilities.
10 36 We do this not only to address the
11 issue of unemployment when we come to the media, but
12 also we believe that by having individuals with
13 disabilities as employees within the systems it creates
14 greater receptivity to the social policy concerns and
15 the portrayal issues and the access issues of that
17 37 We believe employers who have
18 addressed issues of women and visible minorities,
19 probably more substantively than that of persons with
20 disabilities, have benefitted from that by bringing to
21 their labour force an understanding of the critical
22 issues of that community. That has not happened for
23 the disabled community.
24 38 Recent studies and, frankly, since
25 1993 all of the employment equity data shows a
1 continued decline in the representivity of people with
2 disabilities in the labour force, even though CBC, CTV
3 and others have made some outreach attempts in the last
4 few years.
5 39 We bring this to your attention not
6 asking that you play any role in your regulatory
7 authority, but that it is understanding the impact that
8 exclusion from the labour force of most of the
9 multimedia of persons with disabilities, that that has
10 an impact on it programming aspect as well.
11 40 I would like to turn it back to David
12 to talk a little bit about the issues of media and
13 portrayal of persons with disabilities and their
15 41 MR. MARTIN: Thank you very much.
16 42 As you probably will especially
17 appreciate, one of the biggest concerns that Canadians
18 with disabilities have around the media is the way that
19 people with disabilities are portrayed in the media.
20 We see the media as a powerful vehicle in affecting
21 social attitudes throughout Canada, and people with
22 disabilities have come from a history of being devalued
23 and being viewed in a way that is not as positive as it
24 should be.
25 43 We feel the media over the years has
1 had a role to play in those attitudes, many of which
2 are negative, and we are concerned that the media must
3 understand its effect on influencing attitudes around
4 all people that are from a minority perspective and,
5 from our point of view, particularly people with
6 disabilities. Much of the comments Laurie made are
7 relevant to that.
8 44 One of the most dramatic examples,
9 recent examples of how we feel the media has done a
10 very poor job in this area has been some of the
11 coverage around the Latimer case, Tracy Latimer. Our
12 members have been distressed, and often shocked about
13 the way particularly the news media has covered that
14 particular case.
15 45 When the case was initially brought
16 to the attention of the public, almost all of the
17 stories that were in the media were quite negative
18 about Tracy Latimer, and there were very few balanced
19 stories. That we believe had a real effect on the way
20 the general public at-large viewed the murder of Tracy
21 Latimer while there was so much public support for
22 Robert Latimer.
23 46 Since that time, very recently, the
24 CBC during the last round of trials last fall had a
25 number of stories where the disabled community was very
1 concerned about the way they covered the trial, in
2 particular one that was quite noteworthy was an
3 interview which the CBC ran on the national news around
4 the case where they interviewed Robert Latimer himself
5 for 20-some minutes of national news.
6 47 During that time the interview over
7 and over again portrayed Tracy Latimer as a person that
8 was, from our perspective, incredibly negative, and we
9 feel that has had a serious effect on public perception
10 of people like Tracy, and other people with
12 48 A group of disabled Winnipegers
13 complained to the CBC about that. It took them many,
14 many months to contact us and explain their side. In
15 fact, we had to write a second letter just following up
16 on the first letter to find out why they hadn't
18 49 The main point is, the media has to
19 understand its influence on the public mind, and we are
20 quite concerned about events like the interview that
21 was done with Mr. Latimer, and much of the other
22 coverage of that particular case. We need to have much
23 more balanced portrayal of people with disabilities.
24 50 That's all.
25 51 MR. BEACHELL: In your public notice
1 you talk about "reflective of and accessible to the
2 public", and I would like to just spend a couple of
3 minutes talking about access for our community.
4 52 Of critical concern is closed
5 captioning access for persons who are deaf or hard of
6 hearing. While there has been progress, we believe
7 that captioning still remains very much of an add-on
8 after production cost, or where sponsors have been
9 found for that service. But without captioning,
10 basically the access for persons who are deaf, et
11 cetera, is extremely limited. We would like to see a
12 much -- a great deal of encouragement from CRTC to
13 various programmers to ensure greater access for
14 persons who are deaf.
15 53 As well, issues for persons who are
16 print handicapped. The captioning, while useful for
17 one community is not useful for another. For example,
18 you have programming where you get the weather warning
19 saying "Severe thunderstorm" -- or hurricane or
20 whatever warning -- "in the area for the next two
21 hours -- four hours." All of these are little print
22 captions that come across the bottom of the screen.
23 Again, for persons with visual impairment, none of that
24 is accessible. There are times when it is appropriate
25 to voice some of those captionings as well.
1 54 So I think there are a variety of
2 technologies out there that would increase access for
3 persons with disability, and we would encourage CRTC to
4 support and foster their development with those who are
5 regulated by CRTC.
6 55 So in summary, the things we are
7 looking for are:
8 56 We are looking for establishment of
9 clear targets and goals for broad representation of
10 persons with disabilities within the workforce of radio
11 and television.
12 57 We are looking for the establishment
13 of protocols for appropriate portrayal of persons with
14 disabilities within the media.
15 58 We would like to see disability-
16 specific programming that provides the public with a
17 greater understanding of the social policy shifts and
18 impact on persons with disabilities. There is some of
19 that now, but it is very limited. You will certainly
20 see more for aboriginal people and for women, et
21 cetera, where the policy issues around that community
22 are more directly addressed than anything you see on
24 59 What you tend to get on disability is
25 the "super crip" story, you know, and you get the movie
1 of the week about a disability of some kind, doing the
2 usual pity, charity approach to disability.
3 60 We would like to see quality
4 captioning, open or closed, or sign language
5 interpreting be mandatory for all television
6 programming, and should be achievable within three
7 years, we believe.
8 61 We would like to see the development
9 of a barrier identification and removal process within
10 the industry to promote the full participation of
11 people with disabilities.
12 62 And we would like to see greater
13 study and review of the specific issues of print
14 handicapped Canadians in relation to media.
15 63 I think we have kept it to our 12 to
16 15 minutes and tried to give you an overview of some of
17 the issues. We will submit, possibly, a more
18 detailed -- some of this by the end of the month, and
19 we thank you for the opportunity to present today.
20 64 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you,
21 Mr. Martin, Mr. Beachell.
22 65 Of course the written information you
23 have given us will form part of the record as well.
24 66 MR. BEACHELL: Thank you.
25 67 THE CHAIRPERSON: We look forward to
1 getting more information from you.
2 68 Thank you.
3 69 Mr. Secretary, would you call the
4 next participant, please.
5 70 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam
7 71 I now call Mr. Art Miki of the Pro
8 Canada Committee.
9 72 Mr. Miki.
12 73 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good evening,
13 Mr. Miki.
14 74 MR. MIKI: Thank you for the
15 opportunity to speak to your board here, or
16 representatives from the CRTC.
17 75 I am here representing the Pro Canada
18 Committee of Manitoba, and I think, as the name
19 suggests, Pro Canada suggests some reference to unity.
20 76 That is how the committee was
21 initially established during the time that we had
22 debates on Meech Lake and the Constitutional debates.
23 77 However, it hasn't been restricted
24 just basically to the unity issue, we have been looking
25 at the multicultural issue, having also dialogues not
1 only with the aboriginal people but the francophone
2 group in Manitoba as well with the ethno-cultural
4 78 So as a result our mandate, if you
5 want to call it, has gone beyond just a multiculture --
6 just a unity issue but more to the concerns of minority
7 groups in Manitoba.
8 79 I guess this opportunity to just
9 reflect on Canadian television is one that we felt it
10 was important for us to participate. One of the goals,
11 from our committee's point of view, is that we want to
12 see Canada being a country where minority groups can
13 participate fully and equally, in not only the
14 economic, political and social aspects of Canada.
15 80 Hopefully, that kind of recognition
16 is also reflected in our television, and it appears
17 from a perspective of a viewer that sometimes that
18 doesn't occur. In fact, sometimes we get the picture
19 that Canada is quite a different country than when you
20 walk down the streets of Toronto or Vancouver. So
21 therefore, we have some suggestions that we would like
22 to make regarding changing that image.
23 81 I think the frontline people are the
24 people such as announcers and hosts of current affairs
25 programs. I mean, those are people that we see. Very
1 often, when you begin to -- when you are watching a
2 program basically the people who are in those control
3 positions are usually white and not necessarily
4 reflecting some of the other minorities that exist.
5 82 I often wonder whether people like
6 even David Suzuki, who is from my community, would ever
7 be on the status he is on today had CBC not existed. I
8 sort of feel that the CBC at least has taken some
9 initiatives to provide access to minority groups. I
10 know that a few years ago they had even access programs
11 for announcers in which native, aboriginal as well as
12 people from the different ethnic groups were able to
13 have access to becoming announcers.
14 83 I am just wondering whether these are
15 efforts that could also be something that other
16 networks could undertake or not. Does the CRTC have
17 any power in order to regulate that type of action so
18 that we can get our national networks looking more like
19 what the rest of the country looks like?
20 84 The other aspect is really the
21 decision-making process of any large organization,
22 whether it be networks or individual television
23 stations. Is there or has there been an audit done in
24 terms of ethnic backgrounds or cultural backgrounds of
25 the people who make decisions? Because I think making
1 decisions is an area that has a lot of power and
3 85 So if the power situation is not
4 reflective of our communities, then chances are what
5 happens below may not either. So I'm just wondering
6 whether that is something that the CRTC in terms of
7 these networks, can the employment equity policies that
8 exist with the federal government, can they be applied
9 or not, or are you not under that jurisdiction.
10 86 These are questions I am raising
11 because I think if we knew the answers to that then we
12 know how to react to it.
13 87 Are senior management trained in
14 cross-cultural awareness and sensitive to the various
15 cultural differences that exist within the viewing
17 88 I can think of one example which I
18 was involved in in which we had an issue that we were
19 predominantly trying to indicate that it's really a
20 Canadian issue, and the CBC news showed two flags, one
21 of Japan and one of Canada on an issue that was really
22 basically Canadian, and they gave the impression that
23 people who looked Japanese must be from Japan. I mean,
24 that is the first impression that we got. We certainly
25 contacted the CBC to make them aware of the perception
1 that they were portraying, and on the next showing the
2 same program on the news that flag was gone.
3 89 So I'm glad that they responded, but
4 again, someone made the decision to put that up there
5 and the question is: Were they aware of what they were
6 doing when that occurred?
7 90 Another area is really programming
8 for young children, for young people in our country. I
9 think children's minds are influenced certainly by
10 television to a great degree, and many of the programs
11 they are watching are not really Canadian-oriented,
12 they are American-oriented.
13 91 Are we really creating a group of
14 young people who are more aware of American situations
15 than Canadian, and what are we doing to change that?
16 92 So I would like to see more
17 programming for young people that are distinctively
18 Canadian, and also building on our history and the
19 values Canadians share that are reflected in these
20 programs and not something that is really a reflection
21 of our friends across the border.
22 93 The other part I wondered is, with
23 cable television and you have all these American
24 channels. Are they at all controlled in terms of
25 Canadian content?
1 94 I can't see how they are since, you
2 know, when I look at it there isn't any. But can there
3 be a way of doing that?
4 95 Because I guess if you can't have any
5 controls then we are going to really lose the battle in
6 terms of maintaining our identity. So I am just
7 wondering if that is something that the CRTC could
8 consider, or is there a way of being able to do that?
9 96 I think the other thing, even in
10 relation to Canadian programs I sometimes find that
11 Canadian productions are in a lot of ways British. I
12 have noticed that even people who are speaking, their
13 accents, they have a British accent and I'm watching a
14 Canadian program. So I could see the influence of even
15 within the acting or in the program that is really not
16 distinctively Canadian, it's more -- if you want to
17 call it British-oriented.
18 97 Then when I saw that there has been
19 some change in our Canadian programming it becomes more
20 American than Canadian. So even the dialogue becomes a
21 lot more American, the way they speak.
22 98 So it seems to me that -- and it may
23 be difficult to identify what is Canadian. Maybe
24 that's the problem, is how do we reflect something that
25 looks Canadian and sounds Canadian and people from a
1 different place could say "Gee, that's a Canadian
2 program, not a British program or American program."
3 So maybe that is something that -- it is a concern,
4 because I think that we are gradually losing what
5 appears to be the uniqueness of our own country.
6 99 When it comes to evening current
7 affairs programs and newscast interviews, I rarely see
8 someone from a visible minority background being
9 questioned or interviewed regarding, say, the budget,
10 or some critical issue in our country. It seems that
11 the people who make these comments are generally --
12 appear to be from a non-minority background.
13 100 But then, when you see people from,
14 say, a visible minority background it really relates to
15 issues that affect their community, and then they are
16 being interviewed, but when it comes to issues that are
17 of concern to all Canadians it doesn't appear that that
18 reflection of our society is there in terms of who they
20 101 I recognize that maybe all the people
21 who have the knowledge and the background are white and
22 non-visible, but I'm sure that you could find a few
23 around that would have as strong a knowledge on those
24 issues as someone else would.
25 102 I think that, as I mentioned before,
1 the CBC has -- in many ways I think has attempted and
2 done a more credible job in that reflection than, say,
3 the other channels, and yet the CBC is under attack
4 quite a bit in terms of funding cuts and all of those
5 things. I would hope that -- somehow that's our last
6 vestige of Canadian programming, at least more
7 distinctively Canadian than many of the other channels,
8 and somehow we have to retain that.
9 103 I guess the last part I just want to
10 talk about is again the media, the advertising
11 actually. Do our ads really reflect a diversity? I
12 think in many situations it doesn't, and if they do
13 it's sometimes even made fun of.
14 104 I remember watching an ad with
15 someone of Asian background and they were making fun of
16 the language in terms of the ad. Well, if that's the
17 kind of projection that is being portrayed then, you
18 know, we are creating stereotypes that are really
19 unnecessary and certainly not beneficial to that
20 particular group.
21 105 As far as even advertising, I wonder
22 whether agencies look for people of different
23 backgrounds to ensure that in the commercials that can
24 be a reflection. I don't think that there is a
25 shortage of people who can do the work, it is whether
1 there is really an effort made to ensure that they are
2 part of it.
3 106 So those are comments that I would
4 like to raise. I have just jotted down some of these
5 ideas that I would like to just leave with you.
6 107 Again, thank you for that opportunity
7 of being able to at least share some of the views that
8 we have.
9 108 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very
10 much, Mr. Miki. Thank you.
11 109 MR. MIKI: You're welcome.
12 110 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary,
13 would you call the next participant, please.
14 111 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam
16 112 I now call Mr. Richard Paszkowski.
19 113 MR. PASZKOWSKI: Thank you very much
20 for allowing me and other Canadians to speak.
21 114 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good evening,
22 Mr. Paszkowski.
23 115 MR. PASZKOWSKI: Yes. Can you hear
24 me? Good evening.
25 116 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I can.
1 117 MR. PASZKOWSKI: Okay. Thank you.
2 118 Thank you very much for allowing me
3 and other Canadians to speak, and hopefully to shape
4 Canadian broadcasting.
5 119 Mr. Miki spoke eloquently on much of
6 the topics that I was going to talk on, and I agree
7 fully on what he stated.
8 120 Canada is a vast mosaic make-up of
9 many cultures, English, Spanish, Polish, German,
10 Russian, Japanese, and the list goes on.
11 Unfortunately, something in our culture, heritage and
12 in the essence of Canadianism has been missing.
13 121 We as Canadians have left out one of
14 the original and richest cultures, heritage and
15 language and way of life, and that is the aboriginal
16 segment of the Canadian society.
17 122 They are a proud people. They want
18 and need their own television service that they can be
19 proud of, one that all Canadians will embrace as an
20 important addition to their and our perception of what
21 Canada is. Their lives, histories, culture, beliefs,
22 philosophies have always been portrayed through foreign
23 eyes and values. There is a need, an urgent need to
24 see Canada through the aboriginal point of view.
25 123 Aboriginal journalists and producers
1 should serve aboriginal people in all regions of the
2 country and provide a cultural bridge of understanding
3 between aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities and
5 124 This could also be a conduit for the
6 exchange of information, ideas, entertainment and
7 culture perspectives, contributing to nation-building.
8 125 The Broadcasting Act states that the
9 system should:
10 126 "... serve to safeguard, enrich
11 and strengthen the culture,
12 political, social and economic
13 fabric of Canada." (As read)
14 127 How can this be done without direct
15 aboriginal input?
16 128 To date, the Commission has failed
17 miserably. Aboriginal people have been left out of the
18 Canadian fabric. Their stories must finally be told
19 from an aboriginal perspective, and it must be
20 aboriginal journalists, aboriginal producers and
21 aboriginal technicians who are telling and producing
22 from an aboriginal point of view.
23 129 Unfortunately, the available pool of
24 talented aboriginal people in the broadcast industry is
25 very small, therefore training should be a major
1 concern for the Commission.
2 130 Education and training should be an
3 integral part of any production undertaking. People
4 properly trained in the art of cinematography, audio,
5 lighting, editing, script writing, are always in
6 demand, especially in the aboriginal community.
7 131 I would also request that many
8 Reserves want and need their own television access, and
9 the Commission should make licensing of things like
10 wireless MMDS television easier for the Reserves.
11 132 That's about it. Thank you.
12 133 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very
13 much, Mr. Paszkowski.
14 134 MR. PASZKOWSKI: Oh, and by the way,
15 I am not aboriginal, so I am doing it from another
16 perspective, but I have lived and taught on Reserves
17 and I find the people very sincere, honourable, and
18 they have been misinterpreted so many times.
19 135 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you,
20 Mr. Paszkowski.
21 136 Mr. Secretary, would you call the
22 next participant, please?
23 137 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam
25 138 It is my understanding that the next
1 two on our list have not yet arrived. I will just
2 verify that first.
3 139 Is Mr. Bob Dunkeld in the room?
4 --- No audible response/Réponse inaudible
5 140 THE SECRETARY: And I don't believe
6 that I see Terry Coles here either.
7 141 I will now invite Ms Teresa Swedick
8 of the Winnipeg Community Centre for the Deaf to do her
10 --- Technical difficulties/Problèmes techniques
13 142 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good evening,
14 Ms Swedick.
15 --- Technical difficulties/Problèmes techniques
16 143 THE CHAIRPERSON: We can hear now.
17 144 Thank you.
18 145 MS SWEDICK: Thank you.
19 146 Good evening. I am here as a
20 representative for the Winnipeg Community Centre of the
21 Deaf, and I am representing deaf and hard of hearing
22 viewers in Manitoba regarding closed captioning and
24 147 I am also the Chairperson for the
25 Canadian Association of the Deaf for Television and
1 Closed Captioning Access.
2 148 The question is: How important is
3 Canadian television programming to you? For us it is
4 very important, since we are deaf and cannot depend on
5 the radio for information. We depend on television for
6 the medium of communication for us. Therefore, all
7 Canadian television programming must be fully closed
8 captioned in order for us to receive full access to
10 149 We value the programming because we
11 value Canadian programs and see them as an integral
12 part of programming.
13 150 For more than 20 years we have
14 lobbied for full closed captioning on programs,
15 including commercials, and we have been denied over and
16 over for full closed captioning. For example, with new
17 Canadian channels such as CTV News 1, they have
18 approximately 5 per cent closed captioning; headline
19 sports, 0 per cent; the Comedy Channel, 37 per cent;
20 History Channel, 13 per cent; prime television, 32 per
21 cent; Space, The Imagination station, 27 per cent;
22 Teletoon, 17 per cent; Vision TV, 11 per cent. These
23 are Canadian networks.
24 151 CTV News 1 has promised that they
25 would provide full closed captioning, but that hasn't
2 152 With the lesser percentage there
3 should be a demand that the percentage be upped. So
4 the CRTC has not met our requests to have closed
5 captioning in this regard.
6 153 There are other news channels that
7 are coming from the United States, such as Outdoor Life
8 Network at a 7 per cent; CNBC, 0 per cent; Home and
9 Garden Television, 0 per cent; The Food Network, 0 per
10 cent; and other channels that have been here for many,
11 many years, such as The Learning Channel at 2.5 per
12 cent; The Shopping channel, 0 per cent; Family channel,
13 46 per cent; and CPAC, which includes the House of
14 Commons, 0 per cent.
15 154 You have allowed new networks coming
16 onboard with almost nothing in terms of closed
17 captioning, or very low percentages of closed
18 captioning, while other networks have maintained a
19 60 per cent average for some years.
20 155 I feel that in the future the CRTC
21 must request that new networks, programming, et cetera,
22 must start with a 60 per cent baseline in order to
23 catch up with the other networks and programs that do
24 provide this amount.
25 156 As far as we are concerned, any
1 broadcasters who provide any programming or enter into
2 the television industry can afford to provide full
3 closed captioning, so the question is: Why would they
4 be in television in the first place if they aren't able
5 to do so?
6 157 We would prefer that all programming,
7 including Canadian and United States, as well as
8 foreign television, be fully closed captioned. That
9 way deaf parents could monitor the programming for
10 their children.
11 158 For example, "Southpark" is shown on
12 Global Television at midnights on Friday, and it is not
13 closed captioned, therefore we are unable to understand
14 it and have just learned that Global will be airing it
15 at 10:00 p.m. We are concerned that children will have
16 access to programming because of the VCR. They could,
17 therefore, tape the television program and therefore
18 watch it the next day.
19 159 I have also learned that Global is
20 planning a show that will be aired and it has words --
21 the "F" words will be incorporated in the programming,
22 as well as nipples will be visible on television. I
23 feel that the CRTC must demand that broadcasters and
24 producers not add any words that begin with "F", or the
25 "F" words per se, or any other inappropriate language.
1 160 Another example would be "Melrose
2 Place" which is shown on television at 7:00 p.m.
3 Children are still awake, therefore I feel that it is
4 not the ideal time slot and it should be aired at
5 10:00 p.m. or later. It is ironic that new
6 programming, such as "Love Boat, The Next Wave" is on
7 television at 2:30 in the morning when you compare
8 "Melrose Place" which is aired at 7:00 p.m.
9 161 So what is the appropriate
10 contribution of the independent production sector to
11 the evolution of the broadcasting system, and what is
12 the sector's role in achieving public policy
13 objectives? They must provide close captioning --
14 fully closed captioning -- all of the time to ensure
15 that deaf and hard of hearing viewers have access to
16 all programming and broadcasting, including
18 162 My question, therefore, is: Are you
19 listening to us this time, or are you going to continue
20 to ignore our requests again and again?
21 163 I thank you for your time.
22 164 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you,
23 Ms Swedick.
24 165 Mr. Secretary, would you call the
25 next participant, please.
1 166 THE SECRETARY: Again, the next two
2 on our agenda have not yet arrived, so I will now ask
3 Mr. Bill Linden to do his presentation, please.
4 167 Mr. Linden.
7 168 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good evening,
8 Mr. Linden.
9 169 MR. LINDEN: Good evening, Madam
10 Chairman and members of the Board.
11 170 I would like to take this opportunity
12 to speak to you today about my experience as a member
13 of the Rotary Club of Portage and with our local
14 television station MTN.
15 171 I would like to first say that
16 television is a very powerful medium, and for us in
17 Portage, a small community, to have that and/or an
18 opportunity to use that medium from time to time is a
19 great asset to the community and to many of the
20 organizations within that community and certainly
21 stands us well and we feel very grateful and very
22 thankful that we do have that station in our community.
23 172 I would like to relate to last year
24 when we have the flood of the century in Manitoba and
25 it became a very significant problem within the
1 Province of Manitoba, and the Rotary Club of Portage
2 la Prairie, like many other people, felt that they
3 would like to do something in some tangible way to help
4 those people who were affected with this flood.
5 173 At that time, as I am still today, I
6 was the Chairman of the Fund Raising Committee for the
7 Rotary Club of Portage la Prairie, and the President of
8 our Club expressed to me a desire that we should do
9 some kind of financial program to aid the flood victims
10 in some way we could. My immediate thought was to go
11 across the street, because we were at the Arthur Main
12 High School at that time, and talk to Drew Craig, who I
13 knew very well, and knew that -- or felt that he would
14 be very receptive to some idea that I had about a fund
16 174 So we went across the road and talked
17 to Drew and suggested that maybe we could put together
18 with MTN some kind of a fund raiser or a telethon to
19 appeal for funds for assistance to the flood victims.
20 He wondered when I had thought we might put this
21 together, and I thought, well, it would take us maybe a
22 couple of three weeks to do it. He says, "No, that's
23 too far away", he says, "you have to do it now and
24 let's do it this week." This was a Monday, and we put
25 together a telethon by Saturday of that week.
1 175 Getting involved all the participants
2 to put that show together, which was really an ongoing
3 feat for both the radio station and for the Rotary
4 Club. We had to get people to work, we had to get a
5 sponsor, because we needed to do some -- we needed to
6 do it through an organization that had the authority
7 and had the wherewithal to disperse any funds that we
8 might raise, and we did do this through the Salvation
10 176 On the Saturday we did put on our
11 fund raiser, and it was at the Children's Museum at The
12 Forks, and we had participation from people coming by,
13 we had a table outside and we had music and advertising
14 and promotion, and it became a very locally spirited
15 kind of effort.
16 177 Without the co-operation of MTN, of
17 course that would have never happened, and without the
18 kind of the spirit that came from MTN that would not
19 happen. We raised $75,000 that afternoon for flood
20 victims, and that too wouldn't have happened.
21 178 I think that in any community that is
22 lucky enough to have a television station, you have the
23 opportunity through that station to be able to access
24 large crowds and get messages across, as in this case,
25 which we would not have been able to do it other than
1 through the television media.
2 179 So I just wanted to bring that
3 message to the CRTC today, and how the television
4 people can play a large role and a supportive role
5 within communities and support those people such as a
6 Rotary Club who have a program and are wanting to do
7 something on behalf of the greater population.
8 180 Thank you, Madam Chairman.
9 181 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you,
10 Mr. Linden, for your presentation.
11 182 Mr. Secretary, would you call the
12 next participant, please.
13 183 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam
15 184 I don't believe Ms Funk, the next
16 person on the agenda, has arrived yet.
17 185 So I will now call Mr. Jim Knight of
18 the Portage District Hospital Foundation.
21 186 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good evening,
22 Mr. Knight.
23 187 MR. KNIGHT: Good evening, Madam
24 Chair, members of the Board. My name is Jim Knight,
25 and I am Chairman of the Portage District General
1 Hospital Foundation Board.
2 188 I am pleased to share with you a
3 little bit of history of how the Hospital Foundation
4 became involved with the Manitoba Television Network.
5 189 In the summer of 1994 Drew Craig and
6 Gary Matton, the Executive Director of the Hospital,
7 discussed the need for raising funds for such things as
8 equipment and furnishings not funded by government nor
9 otherwise available to the local people.
10 190 During the many months that followed,
11 discussions transpired between Mr. Matton and his
12 staff, along with MTN's senior management and staff,
13 and thus the first Four Hospital Golf Tournament became
14 a reality on August the 23rd, 1995.
15 191 One of the major highlights of these
16 discussions was that it would not just be considered
17 for the Portage and area, it was to be viewed on a
18 larger scale to include what was referred to then as
19 the viewing area of our local Channel 13, including the
20 major hospitals in Steinbach, Morden, Winkler, Carman
21 and, of course, Portage la Prairie.
22 192 The Four Hospital Golf Tournament has
23 become an outstanding well-known, well-respected fund
24 raising event, even outside the Province of Manitoba.
25 In fact, numerous people early in the year contact our
1 Hospital Foundation office to ensure they will be given
2 a spot in a worthwhile and fun event.
3 193 This has truly become a great day for
4 everyone involved. Through the generosity of MTN, not
5 only financially, but also by the staff involvement
6 along with our numerous volunteers from all the
7 facilities, we have raised approximately $20,000 over
8 the past four years to be split amongst the four
10 194 This has gone towards much needed
11 equipment and furnishings for the residents, clients
12 and patients in all of our facilities in this part of
14 195 Without such an endeavour these items
15 of what we refer to as a necessity would be almost
16 impossible to obtain. We sincerely thank MTN for being
17 our major sponsor, and for their support in our health
18 care objectives to enable our facility to acquire
19 specialty units such as having an on-site dialysis unit
20 and on-site chemotherapy services. We have no doubt
21 that this would not have become a reality so quickly if
22 it had not been for the people of MTN and others in
23 supporting health care and meeting the true needs of
24 the people in the area.
25 196 As Chairman of the Portage District
1 General Hospital Foundation, I am sure you are aware
2 there are many individuals and organizations that help
3 our care facilities, but today I would like to
4 sincerely highlight and thank MTN, not only for this
5 endeavour but for their continued support in the
7 197 Our next tournament is August the
8 20th at the links at Quarry Oaks, and we are proud to
9 be associated with MTN to make it another special event
10 this year.
11 198 Some of the monies that we have
12 raised over the period of time, more sophisticated
13 patient monitoring equipment that is normally financed
14 through government. Our main push for monies raised
15 for the betterment of our clients, patients and
16 residents to provide them with the best health care
17 possible. These include printouts for blood pressure
18 rates, defibulators, building and furnishings of much
19 needed palliative care rooms and, of course, the modern
20 birthing bed for our obstetrical unit, and currently
21 plans are for more palliative care beds.
22 199 Thank you for hearing from us.
23 200 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very
24 much, Mr. Knight.
25 201 We will now take a 15-minute break,
1 so until approximately 5:15.
2 --- Recessed at 1700/Suspension à 1700
3 --- Resumed at 1715/Reprise à 1715
4 202 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order please,
5 ladies and gentlemen.
6 203 Mr. Secretary, would you call the
7 next participant, please.
8 204 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam
10 205 I would now like to call Ms Terry
11 Coles of Maple Lake Releasing.
14 206 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good evening,
15 Ms Coles.
16 207 MS COLES: Good evening. I would
17 like to thank the Commission for giving me this
18 opportunity to make a short presentation in person.
19 208 I am from the low end of the industry
20 food chain. My issues are financing for production,
21 access to broadcasters, and the digital future.
22 209 At this point I present concerns
23 rather than solutions. Fortunately your deadline is
24 June 30th for the solution part.
25 210 I am representing my own company, it
1 is Maple Lake Releasing. We do production and
2 distribution of films by independent film makers, way
3 below Atlantis, Alliance, and Credo there are those of
4 us, so we really are low on the food chain. And I am
5 here rather than those producers because we end up
6 shooting on weekends, they use all the equipment during
7 the week.
8 211 I represent film makers from Canada,
9 the United States, Australia, Germany, Scotland and
10 Switzerland who are all working inside and outside the
11 conventional broadcast environment in their home
13 212 Recently I began to expand in
14 acquiring productions from Japan and Australia, and in
15 conjunction with one of the Australian broadcasters,
16 SBS, we are researching whether it is going to be
17 possible to do an international co-production. SBS
18 supports low-level film independent production first,
19 second time. So we are trying to see if we can do some
21 213 Maple Lake Releasing's productions,
22 be they film or video, explore the broadcast,
23 theatrical and home video markets. Most all of the
24 films and the film makers we represent didn't do their
25 productions with a broadcast licence in hand, let alone
1 did some of them ever envision that their films would
2 go to television, let alone that they would be seen in
3 Malaysia, in Switzerland, in France, in Germany, on the
4 basis of a $24,000 investment by the Manitoba Arts
6 214 Where they are broadcast, these film
7 makers that we represent have become the independent
8 staple of many of the broadcast outlets that they are
9 on. We are regularly on the schedules of "Independent
10 Eye" on The Knowledge Network. We just launched last
11 weekend a Canadian produced How-To series on SCN in
13 215 "Space, The Imagination Station" has
14 brought licences and had to renew the licence and they
15 have just started. They ran out the screenings they
16 had acquired.
17 216 We are also on TVOntario, PBS in the
18 U.S., Canal Plus, NSBS Television. Our motto is
19 "Adventure" and every day is an adventure, as you know,
20 in film and television.
21 217 Our biggest issue is financing of
22 productions. Most of the people I work with finance
23 their first film either by living in their parent's
24 basements long after their parents wished they were
25 gone, by working in a day job -- I just acquired a film
1 for the U.S. and her day job she works for Trimark
2 co-ordinating production of animation, and her night
3 job is doing magnificent short experimental animation,
4 which we hope Teletoon will buy, but we are not banking
5 on it. So we represent a lot of experience.
6 218 The principle that the Commission has
7 supported that benefits the people I work with is the
8 one that allows broadcast distribution undertakings to
9 contribute funds to McLean-Hunter and, most
10 importantly, to the Canadian Independent Film and Video
12 219 We hope the Commission will continue
13 to support this option and, to be totally self-serving,
14 if you could up the ante a bit we would really like it.
15 But we won't hold our breath for that either.
16 220 Why we like these funds, particularly
17 the Independent Film and Video Fund, is that they speak
18 to issues of education, under represented categories
19 such as documentary, and they really do support the
20 development of the creators. They allow the funds to
21 be delivered to the film makers in very cost-effective
22 manner, and invariably, whether it is right of the bat
23 or in year two or three of distribution, the majority
24 of those films do find their way to the broadcast
1 221 I could give you one example of one
2 that was shot in Manitoba by a Winnipeg film maker,
3 Paula Kelly. It's called "A Hot Cup of Tea". It's a
4 very sweet, 24-minute educational documentary. The
5 purpose of it under Canadian Independent Film and Video
6 Fund was to explore issues of ageism and racism for the
7 educational market.
8 222 Lo and behold, CBC loves it. They
9 have not only broadcast it once and twice, as per their
10 contract, but they have gone back to Paula and said
11 "Can we have it some more because our audience like
12 it?" Vision loves it, WTN loves it. But they would
13 not necessarily have loved the initial concept had
14 Paula just gone straight from her development, her
15 initial plan with no track record. Prior to that she
16 had done two very short films through the Winnipeg Film
17 Group. She had no credit.
18 223 The real risk investment was made by
19 the Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund, and it
20 has delivered not only to Paula the film maker, but to
21 the broadcasters and the Canadian audiences.
22 224 Paula's story is only one that has
23 happened here in Winnipeg. It has happened over and
24 over again.
25 225 The financing of independent
1 production that is exclusively tied to a broadcast
2 licence I feel very strongly does the audience, the
3 broadcast and ultimately the industry a disservice.
4 226 This is the part of my job that I
5 really love, I love showing a film brand new to an
6 audience, be that audience the programmer sitting in
7 Toronto or in New York or a film festival audience, and
8 you suddenly see on film something that on paper would
9 have never captured them. But they look at it, they
10 see it, and they want to share it.
11 227 A broadcast licence pre-sale as a
12 mandatory requirement for getting any other sort of
13 funding leaves us without the magic that a film maker,
14 in their mind with their camera, subsequently with
15 their performers and their editors, can bring to the
16 screens to all of them.
17 228 Oh, I'm really up. It makes me very
18 excited to see a new film and a new film maker.
19 229 We know that broadcasters are arguing
20 for a greater percentage of the production finance
21 dollar. That is detrimental, we feel, to the very
22 lowest levels of film production, for the $24,000, the
23 $18,000, the $30,000 budget film, and there is a lot on
24 TV that is made that low, and they are getting lower
1 230 Two major broadcast -- two national
2 broadcasters have in their subsequent license contracts
3 the capacity to take a larger ownership of the film by
4 controlling the distribution rights internationally.
5 That gives them a chance not only to recover their
6 license fee but their equity fee.
7 231 For the independents, most of whom
8 work in documentary, that does give them, if their
9 marketing departments do things right, a chance to
10 recover their cost, a chance to reinforce the
11 investment, as well as for the chance for the film
12 maker to recover their equity position.
13 232 Okay. I'm slowing down here, I'll
15 233 Point two, Canadian programming. the
16 Commission's identification of under represented genres
17 has been a major boost in the development of drama and
18 children's programming and, from our experience
19 unfortunately, because of the rest of the financing
20 environment, to a much lesser degree for variety and
22 234 We would hope that the Commission
23 entertains what we have heard through the various
24 grapevines will be solutions to the how do we get more
25 financing to documentary and variety programming that
1 will come in to them on the 30th.
2 235 We are somewhat concerned with the
3 definition of "documentary" that some broadcasters are
4 putting forward with the tie that broadcast -- that
5 documentary equals news. The best of the forum tells
6 stories with a particular point of view clearly
7 articulated and passionately felt. Documentaries of
8 varying viewpoints on the same subject further a
9 democratic dialogue on issues from personal experience
10 of abuse and warfare to new science discovery. They
11 inform future experience.
12 236 We would like to bring to the
13 Commission's attention that documentary needs to be
14 considered in its widest form, not simply as news.
15 237 Okay, whipping through.
16 238 Part three -- we are into the home
17 stretch now -- the digital future.
18 239 Until October of last year I was a
19 Canadian member of the Board of Directors of Prairie
20 Public Broadcasting which operates out of Fargo and, as
21 you know, feeds into Manitoba. During my six year
22 tenure on that Board we heard lots of whispers of the
23 digital future, what it was going to mean, and what it
24 means to that station and the finance environment
25 therein, as well as the production environment therein,
1 seems to have some lessons for public broadcasting in
2 Canada, and also some very scary moments for producers.
3 240 One of the assumptions underlining
4 digital telephone is that while entertainment is
5 driving its launch, education is going to drive its
6 staying power. In a case in which we are all digital,
7 on whatever format, if we are not supporting
8 documentary financing, places like the Canadian
9 Independent Film and Video Fund, which have a primary
10 educational mandate, we will face a serious problem of
11 what the content will be in the digital world.
12 241 While we know that it will show us
13 "Baywatch" and "Melrose Place" on a single band in
14 unbelievable sound and vision, at the same time it has
15 the capacity to deliver to us simultaneously high
16 school in french, the director's narration of his
17 feature film, literacy training and straight data
19 242 Our concern when I was on the Board
20 of Prairie Public Broadcasting was first, how are we
21 going to finance the physical transition of a station
22 that has nine transmitters and covers the territory,
23 and after we factored in everyone's contribution,
24 American, federal contribution, we still had to come up
25 with $23 million U.S. -- which this morning was
1 $33.8 million Canadian -- just to get a signal from
2 Fargo, North Dakota to cable services in Canada, if we
3 were keeping public broadcasting.
4 243 Now, in the case of Prairie Public,
5 they share transmission facilities with two American
6 conventional services, so the costs are horrific.
7 244 We spent two years worrying just
8 about the cost of production of the physical
9 transformation, and no time worrying about where the
10 content was coming from to fill this. But the bottom
11 line, not only from Prairie Public but from PBS, was
12 that that content had better come to the broadcasters
13 for free because they weren't going to have any money
14 to pay for it.
15 245 Public broadcasting in the U.S. gets
16 a substantial amount of its programming free, while
17 they pay and they tell us all on pledge drives about
18 the costs of their main ticket, anywhere -- giving
19 stations anywhere from 30 to 40 per cent is gifted and
20 they just pay for the transmissions costs.
21 246 The American solution has in part
22 been to sell off bandwidth in auctions, which brings
23 in, I believe, $3 billion, part of which they use to
24 pay off the debt.
25 247 My only question to the Commission at
1 this point is: Has that model been considered as a
2 possibility for raising financing to cover the -- what
3 are going to be the extraordinary costs. CBC has more
4 than nine transmission towers in various sites in
5 Manitoba that will have to be made digital in order to
6 reach everyone.
7 248 The concern that we have is, first,
8 making sure that it is going to go digital and, second,
9 that they are going to have at least $0.50 to pay us
10 for the content at the very end.
11 249 I was going to say one other thing,
12 but I have already taken up too much time, and that
13 other thing was that we were thrilled with the
14 announcement of the Stentor fund for multimedia several
15 years ago. I represent a screenwriter who is also a
16 multimedia developer and he pursued the options with
17 great vigour.
18 250 He and his colleagues, some of whom
19 were able to access financing, came up against a
20 terrible reality for those at the lower end of the food
21 chain: Never give up your day job, because you are
22 never going to be able to finance your project without
24 251 We know that at the low end we cannot
25 expect to have all of our concerns addressed. We do,
1 however, believe that we are the future. We are the
2 people who innovate. We are the people who four years
3 down the line, after having given you, the Canadian
4 broadcast public, that television show, the comedy show
5 that was honed for free on the local cable access
6 station, something magnificent for Canadian
7 broadcasters, that we will be able to have some
8 financial support, some view that we can make what we
9 do passionately financially viable.
10 252 Thank you for your time.
11 253 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms Coles.
12 254 Mr. Secretary, would you call the
13 next participant, please.
14 255 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam
16 256 At this time I would like to call
17 Ms Alison Mitchell for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
18 257 Ms Mitchell.
21 258 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good evening,
22 Ms Mitchell.
23 259 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Ms Mitchell,
24 would you just make sure that your microphone is turned
1 260 MS MITCHELL: Thank you. Can you
2 hear me now?
3 261 The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra you
4 might say is somewhat peripheral to the broadcast
5 industry. Certainly some of what we do is represented
6 on television, but I am here to talk a little bit about
7 a specific project that we have for which local
8 broadcasters play an important role.
9 262 So the purpose of my presentation is
10 to show how local broadcasters -- and I give the
11 examples of MTN and CanWest Global have played and do
12 play a significant role in supporting the WSO, Winnipeg
13 Symphony Orchestra.
14 263 As Canadian viewers are offered an
15 increasingly global range of program choices, it is
16 essential that they continue to have access to a wide
17 selection of high quality locally produced programming
18 that reflects their needs and interests.
19 264 My presentation will focus, as I
20 mentioned, on the WSO's New Music Festival which we
21 present annually. It is one of our most high profile
22 events, and I will just give some indication of how
23 local broadcasters like MTN and CanWest have helped to
24 enhance its presence and profile in the community.
25 265 Just to give you a bit of background
1 on the festival, we presented the first festival in
2 1992, and the concept was to present solely the work of
3 living composers with an emphasis on Manitoba and
4 Canadian composers.
5 266 Of course, the audience for this type
6 of music has always been much more limited than that
7 for traditional orchestral repertoire and it made the
8 festival a very high risk undertaking for us.
9 267 However, the initial festival was a
10 huge success, artistically and in terms of audience.
11 We attracted an audience of over 10,000 people. That
12 was for the nine nights of the festival. Since then
13 the festival has continued to thrive and last year --
14 or this year's festival, 1998, reached the 15,500 mark,
15 the highest attendance to date.
16 268 Although the festival draws its
17 audience largely from the local community, it has
18 achieved a national and even international profile.
19 Other orchestras in Canada, such as the Edmonton and
20 Toronto Symphony Orchestras are now looking to the WSO
21 as a model for the creation of their own festivals.
22 269 I want to talk about the role of
23 local media in the success of our festival.
24 270 Throughout the years that the WSO has
25 produced the New Music Festival the local media has
1 been extremely supportive. They have played a
2 tremendous role in raising the profile of the festival
3 within the local community and beyond.
4 271 The focus that local media such as
5 MTN and CanWest has given to the festival has been
6 essential to its continued success. Because the
7 festival audience comes primarily from the local
8 community, local broadcasters are extremely valuable
9 partners in building awareness and ultimately
10 contributing to audience development for the WSO.
11 272 Through their coverage and reporting
12 of the WSO's New Music Festival these broadcasters have
13 helped provide a strong local presence for the
14 festival, making it part of the local identity and
15 consciousness. They have assumed the risk along with
16 us of shining the spotlight on innovative, cutting-edge
17 programming being produced within the community.
18 273 In their role as media sponsor of the
19 festival, MTN has contributed significant marketing
20 support on an annual basis since the very beginning,
21 and in doing so they have helped to enhance the profile
22 even further -- the profile of the festival that is.
23 274 Just to conclude, the value of
24 locally based broadcasters to local arts organizations
25 like the WSO is inestimable. They play a significant
1 role in enhancing the profile of the orchestra and
2 supporting such initiatives as the New Music Festival,
3 a role which would never be assumed by other members of
4 the global communications industry.
5 275 Their continued viability and growth,
6 both as members of Manitoba's corporate community, and
7 as producers of programming that reflects the needs and
8 interests of Manitoba viewers, is essential to the
9 livelihood of our organization and to the continued
10 development of initiatives like the New Music Festival.
11 276 It is our hope that the Canadian
12 television industry will develop their coverage of the
13 arts and arts programming to an even greater extent.
14 Televising performances of companies like the WSO would
15 contribute to the local production industry, increase
16 the access that local viewers have to the art produced
17 in their own community, and enhance the development of
18 art and artists in the community.
19 277 As Canadian viewers are exposed to an
20 increasingly global communications environment, it is
21 essential that local producers build alliances with
22 local broadcasters to strengthen their presence and
23 ensure their continued survival. Only local
24 broadcasters can and do reflect the interests and
25 activities of their community to local viewers, and
1 without a communications policy that is supportive of
2 the local broadcaster the needs of Canadian viewers
3 cannot properly be served.
4 278 Thank you very much.
5 279 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you,
6 Ms Mitchell, for your presentation.
7 280 Can we ask you what role you play in
8 the orchestra?
9 281 MR. MITCHELL: I am the Public and
10 Media Relations Manager.
11 282 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, I see.
12 283 Thank you very much.
13 284 MS MITCHELL: Thank you.
14 285 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary,
15 would you call the next participant, please.
16 286 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam
18 287 At this time we have no further
19 registered presenters available to do their
20 presentations, however I would like to ask if there is
21 anyone in the audience who would like to do a
22 presentation at this time?
23 --- No audible response/Réponse inaudible
24 288 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you,
25 Mr. Secretary.
1 289 We will adjourn, but we will stay
2 here until 7:00 and hear people as they arrive. So
3 anyone who would like to stay with us and keep us
4 company is welcome.
5 290 The session was supposed to be 4:00
6 to 7:00. It is the end of the work day so it may be
7 that some participants, or potential participants are
8 delayed or expect that they can appear later, so we
9 will stay until 7:00 as was announced.
10 291 Thank you.
11 --- Recessed at 1740/Suspension à 1740
12 --- Resumed at 1800/Reprise à 1800
13 292 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, ladies and
14 gentlemen. We will now resume.
15 293 Mr. Secretary, would you please call
16 the next participant.
17 294 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam
19 295 At this time I would like to call
20 Ms Ruth Pearce.
21 296 Ms Pearce.
22 297 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good evening,
23 Ms Pearce.
2 298 MS PEARCE: This is quite a
3 spontaneous presentation. I did not attend this
4 meeting with a view of giving a presentation. I am
5 actually rather reluctant to do so because, frankly, I
6 have given up on TV.
7 299 When my husband drew my attention to
8 this hearing he did not know it was TV only, he thought
9 it included radio. I had just returned from Ottawa so
10 I didn't read it very quickly, I just phoned in.
11 300 However, I do have some very
12 significant concerns I think that have not really been
13 addressed to this point, mainly, on that aspect that we
14 really must know our own culture in order to retain
15 that culture.
16 301 We are in the position of being a
17 very large, far-flung country bordered by a very large
18 powerful neighbour. Perhaps I am particularly aware of
19 that because I am a historian of the U.S., and I know
20 from the founding days of that nation they have had an
21 implicit and explicit stated belief that the eyes of
22 the world are upon them. They shall be a model for the
23 rest of the world to follow. That comes from John
24 Winthrop, the early puritan who was the first Governor
25 of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
1 302 If you follow the history of the U.S.
2 you will find those same words, that same sentiment
3 echoed right up explicit in Ronald Reagan's inaugural
4 address and since then as well.
5 303 This is not intended as Yankee-
6 bashing, it is intended very much as a concern that
7 Canadian TV has a very strong, powerful role to play in
8 ensuring that our specifically Canadian culture, our
9 specifically Canadian way of life is retained.
10 304 My concern is that I do not see that
11 happening, the little bit that I watch. Part of the
12 reason I don't watch is because I don't see that
14 305 I am extremely concerned at the
15 drastic cuts that have been to the CBC because of the
16 value of the CBC in just that role of transmitting all
17 aspects of Canadian culture to other Canadians. That
18 is gone.
19 306 The opportunities for Canadians to be
20 able to talk to other Canadians has gone. We need to
21 have the opportunity for Newfoundlanders to talk about
22 their way of life, the values that they hold dear, to
23 the market gardener that I was talking to in Ottawa
24 just a couple of days ago.
25 307 When I made comment to him about --
1 as we were purchasing fresh produce, I made comment to
2 him about how it was the French, along with the Scots,
3 who first explored and opened up this country. And he
4 said, "Yes, I guess you're right."
5 308 And I mentioned to him about
6 Lagimodiere. I don't know how many of you here know
7 about Lagimodiere. I hope most of you know about
8 Lagimodiere Boulevard.
9 309 Well, Lagimodiere was this delightful
10 voyageur, a young man, full of spirit, and of course he
11 was out at the Red River Settlement, The Forks here,
12 and he went back and he saw this pretty young woman, I
13 think her name was Marie, and decided he would marry
14 her with, of course, the most fervent promises that he
15 was ready to settle down.
16 310 Well, yes, for a couple of months,
17 and then the itchy feet got him and he wanted to take
18 off again, which was fine except that he expected Marie
19 to stay home and be the dutiful little French Canadian
20 wife in absentia.
21 311 She had other ideas. "Wherever you
22 go, I go." Well, he was shocked to his boots, but
23 there was no way that he could stop her.
24 312 So Marie Lagimodiere was the first
25 white woman -- with one exception we won't worry
1 about -- to come to the Red River Settlement, with
2 rather embarrassing consequences because, of course,
3 Lagimodiere already had a country wife and about three
4 kids already, who was more than a little surprised when
5 he showed up with another one, which created just a
6 little bit of problems.
7 313 To make this little story short,
8 Marie Lagimodiere had the first white baby born in Red
9 River -- in Manitoba.
10 314 Lagimodiere himself really had kind
11 of itchy feet, as I have mentioned, and he wasn't
12 content to stay here, so she had the first white baby
13 born in Saskatchewan, and she also had the first white
14 baby born in Alberta.
15 315 That one was interesting, because he
16 bought a nice little mare for her to ride on, as she
17 was about eight months pregnant when they took off and
18 the thing that wasn't -- that they didn't fully realize
19 is that this little mare had been trained as a buffalo
20 hunter, and so when the mare caught sight of a buffalo
21 herd she took off after the herd, of course, and not
22 surprisingly Marie had the baby the next day.
23 316 Now, wouldn't that make a marvellous
24 TV series? Wouldn't that get our kids interested in
25 Canadian history? Wouldn't that give Quebeckers a much
1 better idea how this country is their country? The
2 west is their country. And wouldn't it give the
3 westerners a heck of a lot better idea of how the
4 French are an integral part of all of Canada?
5 317 Let's get over this quibbling and the
6 segmentation, and television can do it. But it's not.
7 And it's not doing it in part because of these drastic
8 cuts that have taken place.
9 318 We have to have a television
10 broadcasting system that has all of us talking to each
11 other. I'm talking about the Newfies in the outports
12 talking to the salmon fishermen on the west coast, that
13 market gardener in Hull, talking to the prairie wheat
14 farmers. Then we will bring this country together.
15 319 And that is the kind of role that
16 television in Canada should be playing. And it's the
17 kind of role that it should be playing so that we can
18 retain our culture. Because if we don't do this type
19 of thing we are going to lose it. We are going to be
20 swallowed up by that gigantic whale that lives next
21 door to us.
22 320 This is not a concern just of
23 Canadians. You have the French in particular in France
24 being concerned about the Americanization of the global
25 culture. Unless we make use of all of our resources,
1 unless we stand up and get to know ourselves through
2 the media that is available to us, then we will just
3 simply become a part of the American culture.
4 321 And I don't know about the rest of
5 you, there are a lot of things that I very much admire
6 about the U.S., but I don't want to be an American. I
7 am a Canadian and I value Canadian culture. We have a
8 heck of a lot going for us.
9 322 We need to talk to each other so that
10 we can recognize that there is strength in diversity.
11 We need to talk to each other so we can get over this
12 whole bit about equality, all the provinces being
14 323 I have six kids. Those six kids are
15 great. Hopefully they are all treated with equanimity
16 and understanding, but I have never seen six people
17 more different than they are. And I'm not going to
18 treat every one of them exactly the same. I'm not
19 going to say because one of my boys wants to play
20 hockey that all of them have to play hockey. That's
22 324 And that is the sort of thing that we
23 must recognize, and we must recognize it by using the
24 media that we have. If we start doing that I might
25 even start watching TV, but I'm sure not going to until
2 325 We need to look at the history of the
3 country, and I will just simply refer you back to the
4 example of Lagimodiere. We need to have a far better
5 idea of how this country developed. And it can be done
6 in an exciting, interesting, exhilarating, attention-
7 grabbing way.
8 326 Because we are not dull. You know,
9 we talk about these dull Canadians, and it is the
10 Americans that have all the interesting history. Well,
11 come up with something U.S. I haven't come up with
12 anything yet that can touch the Lagimodiere story.
13 327 I mean, I still have this vision of
14 Marie Lagimodiere eight and-a-half months pregnant
15 pounding across the prairie trying to hang onto this
16 horse while it is trying to round up the buffalo. I
17 mean, that beats Daniel Boone any day, and besides
18 which, hey, it has women in there too.
19 328 Okay. I think if we could be looking
20 at our television programming in terms of searching out
21 and presenting, maybe using some of those independent
22 producers to look into this sort of thing, we could
23 help overcome the divisiveness of this country and get
24 people -- all Canadians to know each other better.
25 329 This applies particularly to kids. I
1 now have had six kids and now I have eight grandkids,
2 and they are growing up not really knowing their own
3 country. Now, some of them are in French immersion,
4 I'm happy to say, but again I will return to my
5 Lagimodiere example, wouldn't it be great if some of
6 the marvellous kinds of adventures, the heroes and
7 heroines that we have within our own Canadian history,
8 that we have right in the Red River Valley here, if
9 they were on intimate terms with them.
10 330 We need that kind of thing, and if
11 there is anything I could leave the CRTC Commission
12 with, it is the strongest possible urgings that we must
13 develop Canadian television for Canadians.
14 331 Yes, this is a social agenda, I'm not
15 talking big profits but, you know, if we did it
16 right -- and we can do it right, we have the people
17 with the competency, the ability, and the talent to do
18 it -- maybe some of those independent stations would
19 take a lesson from the CBC -- now adequately funded
20 having had its budget updated with some of the
21 surpluses that we have now -- and let the CBC set the
23 332 Let the CBC really build on this kind
24 of mandate, with decent funding to do it. Let them see
25 the kind of audiences that would turn out for this, and
1 then maybe the independent stations would follow that
2 model realizing that there is profit to be made from
3 Canadian history, from Canadian values, from Canadians
4 getting to know each other.
5 333 Thank you.
6 334 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you,
7 Ms Pearce, for your passionate presentation, but if you
8 go back to Ottawa don't tell my husband this story. I
9 wouldn't want him to get expectations.
10 --- Laughter/Rires
11 335 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner
13 336 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you very
14 much, Ms Pearce. That was a very -- as Commissioner
15 Wylie said, very passionate and nice to hear.
16 337 One thought, it seems to me that you
17 should be on TV telling that story, and perhaps
18 somebody should be offering you a show to do that kind
19 of story on a regular basis.
20 338 One of the things we are looking at
21 is the role of the variety of different kinds of TV
22 broadcasters that there are, and I'm wondering if you
23 have any thoughts about whether the kind of issue you
24 are talking about should be covered primarily by CBC or
25 other private sector conventional broadcasters like CTV
1 and Global, or the specialties, and I'm thinking of,
2 for example, The History Channel.
3 339 Do you have any thoughts about who
4 should be taking the lead on this type of thing now
5 that we have this array of channels?
6 340 MS PEARCE: Well, I would like to see
7 much -- I think my response there would be to have this
8 kind of approach, this perspective on all of the
9 mainstream channels, because if you are going to slot
10 this sort of thing off, shunt it aside to The History
11 Channel, how many people are going to watch The History
13 341 This is something that should be an
14 integral part of our daily life, that we should be
15 living it, breathing it, drinking it.
16 342 Yes, it should be mainstream CBC,
17 with the hope that the other mainstream channels would
18 pick up on it and realize the value of it. Because
19 while I gave an example from history in the Lagimodiere
20 story, what I am really talking about is Canadians
21 getting to know each other.
22 343 My concern is, if it shunted off to a
23 specialty channel, off to the side so to speak, then
24 all that is going to be happening is continuing the
25 divisiveness. You divide and cover one little segment
1 of something here, another little segment of something
2 there, another little segment of something over there,
3 rather than it becoming an integral part of the fabric
4 of Canadian television life.
5 344 In other words, what I would like to
6 see is Canadian life being represented on Canadian
7 television in the broadest possible sense.
8 345 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you,
9 Ms Pearce, for your presentation.
10 346 Mr. Secretary, would you call the
11 next participant, please.
12 347 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam
14 348 At this time I would like to call
15 Ms Francis Funk of the Portage Community Centre
19 349 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good evening,
20 Ms Funk.
21 350 MS FUNK: Good evening.
22 351 I am a music teacher, a music
23 adjudicator and examiner, and I get to travel all
24 across Canada judging at different festivals. I am
25 also, as was mentioned, a volunteer on the Board of
1 Directors for the Portage Community Centre
3 352 An exciting thing is happening in
4 Portage la Prairie, and that is that we are building a
5 theatre facility. It will be a new professionally
6 equipped theatre and we hope that it will invigorate
7 the heart of our city.
8 353 We have an independent television
9 station in Portage la Prairie, MTN, and I have only
10 bouquets to give to MTN. They have been very involved.
11 Mr. Drew Craig has been on our Board. They have
12 allowed us facilities to hold our board meetings, they
13 have allowed us to have the use of their secretary to
14 do up minutes, and right now we have Mr. Shane Neufeld
15 who is on our program committee.
16 354 They have been very, very supportive.
17 They have put together a corporate video for us, they
18 have sponsored community fund raising meetings, they
19 have done a commercial spot for us. They were
20 excellent when we had George Fox come to Portage
21 la Prairie, even though we didn't have a theatre
22 facility at that time, and we discovered with that
23 particular event that over 38 per cent of our attendees
24 were from out of town. So we were especially
25 appreciative of MTN doing this commercial for us.
1 355 Of course, coming from a background
2 of music I would like to see more of those events being
3 televised, particularly the national competition that
4 is held in Ottawa this year, and it just travels across
5 the nation from year-to-year.
6 356 However, I feel that our particular
7 television station really does help to make us aware of
8 what is happening in our community and within the
10 357 So I am not here to give you a
11 history lesson, I am just here to say that I think
12 things are working for us with MTN, and I am very
13 appreciative of that particular television station.
14 358 We hope that you will come to Portage
15 la Prairie and take in one of our events. Our opening
16 performer will be Frank Mills, and that will be
17 happening in January of 1999.
18 359 So I end my presentation with a big
19 bouquet. That's it.
20 360 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Funk.
21 361 Mr. Secretary, would you call the
22 next participant, please.
25 362 LE SECRÉTAIRE: Merci, Madame la
2 363 J'appelle maintenant Monsieur Daniel
3 Boucher et Monsieur Renald Remillard de la Société
5 364 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Bonsoir.
6 365 M. BOUCHER: Bonsoir.
7 366 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Messieurs Boucher et
9 367 M. BOUCHER: C'est ça.
10 368 Merci beaucoup. Bienvenue au
11 Manitoba. Ça nous fait plaisir de vous accueillir chez
13 369 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Nous vous remercions.
14 370 M. BOUCHER: Je voulais tout d'abord
15 dire que j'ai beaucoup apprécié les commentaires de la
16 dame qui parlait de Jean-Baptiste Lagimodière.
17 371 Thank you very much. Your comments
18 were very much appreciated.
19 372 I agree with everything that you
20 said. You were right on the money. I won't repeat
21 what you said, because I can't repeat what you said.
22 It was very well done.
23 373 Alors merci beaucoup.
24 374 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Le nom de votre femme
25 n'est pas Marie, j'espère?
1 375 M. BOUCHER: Non, non. Mais Monsieur
2 Remillard est un descendant des Lagimodière. Et moi,
3 je joue au golf avec un Lagimodière dans deux jours,
4 puis lui a une femme... je vais vérifier, en tout cas.
5 Lui est un descendant direct.
6 376 Je suis le président et directeur
7 général de la Société Franco-Manitobaine, et Monsieur
8 Remillard est le responsable du secteur politique de la
9 Société Franco-Manitobaine. Nous, notre rôle, on est
10 l'organisme porte-parole qui protège et promeut les
11 intérêts de la communauté francophone du Manitoba.
12 Nous sommes aussi membres de la Fédération des
13 communautés francophones et acadiennes du Canada.
14 Alors notre travail, c'est d'oeuvrer à faire connaître
15 la communauté et de revendiquer pour ses droits.
16 377 On voulait toucher plus
17 particulièrement aujourd'hui aux questions d'accès à la
18 programmation francophone dans nos régions. C'est un
19 gros problème. C'est un gros problème, pour plusieurs
20 raisons. Il y a d'excellents produits qui existent au
21 Canada. Il y a d'excellentes façons de se faire
22 connaître au Canada. Mais malheureusement, dans les
23 marchés comme les nôtres, souvent ce qui arrive c'est
24 que les règlements ne nous permettent pas d'avoir accès
25 à cette programmation.
1 378 Je vous donne quelques exemples. Par
2 exemple, le Réseau des sports, qui est un réseau assez
3 intéressant, à ce qu'on me dit. On ne l'a pas ici,
4 mais je l'ai déjà vu quand je me suis promené un peu
5 dans l'est -- j'y vais assez souvent. Le Réseau des
6 sports, justement, avait le contrat pour les Jeux du
7 Canada l'année dernière, pour diffuser en français. Et
8 nous à Winnipeg ici, on n'avait pas d'accès au Réseau
9 des sports. On n'a pas vu la programmation en
10 français. Alors c'était quand même très problématique
11 par rapport à ça.
12 379 Un autre exemple, c'est le RDI, un
13 excellent outil pour se faire connaître partout au
14 Canada. Lorsqu'on regarde "l'Ouest en direct", par
15 exemple, qui est diffusée de Winnipeg, moi je connais
16 bon nombre de Québécois et Québécoises qui ont appris à
17 nous connaître par l'entremise du RDI. Mais un des
18 problèmes ici, c'est que plusieurs de nos communautés
19 rurales n'ont pas accès au RDI. Et nous, on trouve ça
20 déplorable. On trouve que le CRTC devrait imposer
21 certains règlements ou imposer des règlements qui vont
22 donner le reflet du Canada.
23 380 Et quand je parle du reflet du
24 Canada, je touche un peu aux commentaires qu'a faits
25 Madame. Le reflet du Canada, c'est qu'on vit dans un
1 Canada qui est bilingue d'un océan à l'autre. Ce n'est
2 pas un Canada qui est francophone au Québec et
3 anglophone à l'extérieur du Québec. Nous, on le dit
4 depuis longtemps. Mais nous, on a le droit de le dire
5 parce qu'on le vit, ça. On est ici. Moi je viens du
6 Manitoba, j'ai vécu au Manitoba toute ma vie. Et
7 Monsieur Remillard aussi, et j'en connais bien
9 381 Malheureusement, on a tendance à
10 penser que si le Québec a ce qu'il veut au niveau de sa
11 programmation, au niveau de ses produits, tout le monde
12 est content. Bien, ce n'est pas tout le monde qui est
13 content. Il y a les francophones à l'extérieur du
14 Québec qui ne sont pas nécessairement contents.
15 Premièrement, on n'a pas d'accès. Deuxièmement, le
16 produit ne reflète pas toujours -- mais ça, ce n'est
17 pas votre problème, c'est le problème de Radio-Canada.
18 Mais le produit, "le Téléjournal" ne reflète pas
19 nécessairement les intérêts ou les dossiers de la
20 francophonie manitobaine, ou même du restant du Canada.
21 La francophonie, c'est une chose. Alors pour nous,
22 c'est problématique. Alors nous, ça nous cause
23 certains problèmes.
24 382 Nous, c'est une lutte constante...
25 on est toujours en train de lutter pour avoir notre
1 place, ou connaître notre place, dans tout le système.
2 Nous, on reconnaît que la télévision, la radio, par
3 exemple, ont une influence énorme sur nos vies.
4 Malheureusement, c'est un outil qui n'est pas toujours
5 à notre disposition, comme j'ai dit tout à l'heure, et
6 qui n'est pas fait pour la minorité, qui est fait pour
7 la majorité. Et pour nous, ça, c'est quand même très
9 383 Nous, on doit constamment solliciter
10 les câblodistributeurs pour nos produits. C'est très
11 difficile. Eux, ils travaillent du côté de la
12 rentabilité, ils travaillent du côté du dollar. Et
13 nous, on travaille du côté de nombre de personnes qui
14 sont souvent... qu'on a souvent des marchés qui sont
15 très petits.
16 384 Pour nous, ce n'est pas acceptable
17 d'utiliser le marché comme excuse, et la rentabilité
18 comme étant le point dominant dans les décisions.
19 Nous, on pense que le CRTC devrait imposer certains
20 règlements, devrait se baser, par exemple, sur des
21 règlements dans la Loi sur les langues officielles,
22 devrait peut-être trouver un certain pourcentage où il
23 serait absolument nécessaire d'offrir une programmation
24 en français. Si on prenait, par exemple, 5 pour cent
25 dans une région, le RDI devrait être disponible.
1 385 Si on va à des régions... il y a des
2 villages chez nous qui ont 83 pour cent de la
3 population qui sont francophones, ils n'ont pas accès
4 au RDI. C'est un non-sens. Pour nous, le RDI c'est
5 notre produit, c'est fait pour nous, c'est fait pour
6 qu'on se connaisse. Alors pour nous, c'est un gros
8 386 Ce sont des questions qui sont quand
9 même très importantes. Il y a une concurrence
10 incroyable au niveau des marchés canadiens, des marchés
11 américains. Nous, on se fait perdre dans tout ça.
12 Nous, on ne peut pas se permettre de perdre du terrain.
13 On doit continuer à trouver notre place, et on veut
14 vraiment refléter le Canada.
15 387 On a récemment fait un voyage à
16 Ottawa de lobbying et d'information, auprès de
17 politiciens, de partis politiques, et cetera, de
18 fonctionnaires. On a reconnu qu'ils étaient étonnés de
19 notre communauté, étonnés du dynamisme de notre
20 communauté; et c'est parce qu'ils ne nous connaissaient
21 pas. Ils disaient, mon dieu, on ne savait pas que vous
22 existiez, on ne savait pas que vous étiez là, on ne
23 savait pas que ça marchait comme ça, on ne savait pas
24 que vous aviez un collège universitaire de
25 Saint-Boniface, par exemple, qui existe depuis 1818.
1 On ne savait pas que vous aviez un réseau d'écoles
2 françaises. On ne savait pas ci, on ne savait pas ça.
3 388 La télévision peut être un forum pour
4 nous permettre de se connaître. Et quand on parle
5 d'unité canadienne, c'est ce que c'est l'unité
6 canadienne. C'est de se connaître et de se parler,
7 comme Madame le disait tout à l'heure, et c'est de
8 communiquer c'est quoi le vrai visage du Canada. Et
9 nous, on pense que la télévision, et les règlements qui
10 entourent la télévision, et les règlements que vous
11 faites au niveau de la diffusion des produits,
12 devraient refléter l'image du Canada et devraient
13 respecter les minorités et ce que les minorités ont
14 besoin pour survivre. Alors pour nous, c'est quand
15 même un point absolument essentiel.
16 389 Je ne sais pas si tu avais des points
17 à ajouter à ça?
18 390 M. REMILLARD: Peut-être un des seuls
19 points qu'on avait, c'était... je sais que lorsqu'on
20 s'est déplacé à Ottawa il y a déjà un an, un an et
21 demi, on entend beaucoup la question de la nouvelle
22 technologie qui s'en vient, puis à toute fin pratique
23 qui va un peu régler le problème pour les minorités
24 comme la nôtre, là, qui vont capter les signaux, puis
25 on peut choisir un peu nos produits qui s'en viennent.
1 Malheureusement, c'est que ça ne règle pas le problème
2 à l'heure actuelle.
3 391 C'est un problème quand même qui date
4 de plusieurs années. Comme je vous dis, c'est très
5 commun d'avoir des appels au moins de producteurs, de
6 personnes qui, par exemple, habitaient en Ontario,
7 habitaient au Québec, déménagent au Manitoba, nous
8 téléphonent, puis ensuite ils disent, comment ça se
9 fait qu'on n'a pas TFO, comment ça se fait qu'on n'a
10 pas telle chaîne, on l'avait au Québec.
11 392 Malheureusement, il y a beaucoup de
12 Franco-Manitobains et Franco-Manitobaines qui, s'ils ne
13 connaissent pas le produit, ils ne vont pas
14 nécessairement le demander non plus parce qu'ils ne
15 savent pas qu'est-ce qu'ils manquent. Mais les gens de
16 l'extérieur ou les gens qui ont voyagé ou qui se sont
17 déplacés et qui connaissent ces produits-là, on a
18 généralement des personnes qui disent, bien, pourquoi
19 est-ce qu'on ne l'a pas ici au Manitoba. Alors c'est
20 une façon... je pense que c'est quelque chose qui
21 illustre l'importance de la télévision et l'importance
22 de capter ces signaux-là. Parce que les gens qui
23 habitaient dans d'autres milieux où ils avaient ces
24 services-là les apprécient et nous approchent pour,
25 justement, revendiquer qu'on puisse recevoir ces
2 393 Alors c'est un peu la toile de fond
3 du problème.
4 394 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Merci beaucoup,
5 Messieurs Boucher et Remillard.
6 395 Vous êtes sans doute au courant du
7 projet de TVA, et nous espérons que vous vous y
9 396 M. BOUCHER: Oui. On l'appuie à 100
10 pour cent.
11 397 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Ça me fait plaisir de
12 savoir ça. Je pense qu'on vous a peut-être vus devant
13 nous au moment de l'audience sur le troisième réseau?
14 Est-ce que vous n'étiez pas participants?
15 398 M. BOUCHER: Non.
16 399 LE PRÉSIDENT: Non? Ah! C'était une
17 autre organisation, alors, d'une région hors-Québec
18 mais francophone.
19 400 M. BOUCHER: Oui.
20 401 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Nous vous remercions.
21 402 Monsieur Cardozo, je crois, a une
23 403 CONSEILLER CARDOZO: Merci, Madame.
24 404 Je m'excuse si je pose mes questions
25 en anglais.
1 405 There is the TVA project that
2 Commissioner Wylie has mentioned, the other is that
3 some of the French specialty applications will also be
4 heard later on this year, so you may want to consider
6 406 Which are the channels that -- which
7 are the French channels that you do get in this area at
8 this time?
9 407 M. BOUCHER: Radio-Canada, RDI, TV-5,
10 TVA. Mais ce n'est pas partout. C'est ça qui est un
11 des problèmes.
12 408 Dans la région de Winnipeg et de
13 Saint-Boniface, évidemment nous avons accès à ces
14 postes. Mais dans les régions rurales, souvent ils
15 n'ont pas accès.
16 409 L'autre chose qui a été un problème,
17 c'est lorsqu'on a réaménagé les canaux lors des
18 derniers postes qui sont entrés en ondes, il y a des
19 postes qui sont tombés très loin dans la chaîne des
20 postes francophones, alors les trouver ou d'avoir
21 accès, c'était devenu un problème. Alors des gens
22 pendant longtemps n'ont pas eu l'accès au RDI à
23 Winnipeg. Puis ils ont organisé ça, les câblos. Mais
24 si on ne s'était pas plaint, RDI disparaissait, parce
25 que eux... we didn't have a spot on the roster.
1 C'était vraiment ça la réponse.
2 410 Alors nous, on a besoin d'une
3 certaine protection par rapport à ça. On ne peut pas
4 se permettre de laisser ça aux câblodistributeurs.
5 Quoique on a une bonne relation avec les
6 câblodistributeurs, je dois vous dire. On a cultivé
7 une relation avec Shaw Cable et Videon ici à Winnipeg
8 -- et ils sont très sympathiques, en passant -- sauf
9 que eux, c'est la rentabilité, et eux, s'ils ne se font
10 pas pousser par le CRTC, ils ne le font pas. Puis
11 nous, ce qu'on demande au CRTC, c'est de nous donner un
12 coup de main par rapport à ça. C'est vraiment le point
13 qu'on fait le plus important aujourd'hui.
14 411 M. REMILLARD: Il y avait peut-être
15 un autre point, parce que c'est une des choses aussi
16 qu'on voit de plus en plus, justement, par exemple,
17 avec TFO... puis il y a certaines chaînes, par
18 exemple, qui...
19 412 Il y a de la production qui pourrait
20 se faire au Manitoba. Il y a des ententes qui sont sur
21 le point d'être conclues, justement, afin qu'il y ait
22 une production et que ça puisse être diffusé à
23 l'échelle nationale. Alors c'est aussi un moyen pour
24 nos communautés, ou certainement notre communauté, de
25 se faire connaître à l'extérieur des frontières du
2 413 Alors ça, la télévision, si par
3 exemple TFO, les chaînes de télévision ne sont pas ici,
4 ils ont beaucoup moins intérêt à investir dans la
5 région et aussi de diffuser nos artistes, nos
6 spectacles, et cetera, à l'extérieur. Alors ça devient
7 un outil de développement pour notre communauté. Ce
8 n'est pas tout simplement que nous autres on est un peu
9 passif puis on reçoit les contenus de l'est, mais aussi
10 on peut contribuer au niveau de la production et au
11 niveau culturel par rapport, justement, de montrer
12 aussi le visage du Manitoba français à l'extérieur de
13 l'ouest canadien. Alors c'est un échange. Ce n'est
14 pas juste une question... parce qu'on est, je pense,
15 des consommateurs. On peut aussi devenir des
16 producteurs, puis je pense que dans notre communauté on
17 a des gens qui sont très créatifs. D'ailleurs, vous
18 connaissez déjà Daniel Lavoie, alors c'est tout
19 simplement une petite contribution de la communauté
20 francophone du Manitoba. Mais il y en a beaucoup
21 d'autres, des gens qui ont énormément de talent et qui
22 voudraient bien travailler dans le domaine des
23 communications, dans tout ce domaine-là, puis qui sont
24 prêts à contribuer.
25 414 CONSEILLER CARDOZO: Merci, Madame la
2 415 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Nous vous remercions.
3 C'est un bon point que vous faites, parce qu'il
4 faudrait qu'on vous voit plus souvent et même quand il
5 n'y a pas d'inondation. Je regarde souvent les
6 nouvelles en français, et c'était évident qu'il y avait
7 beaucoup de Franco-Manitobains, quand on faisait la
8 couverture de l'inondation. Mais je suis d'accord avec
9 vous qu'il faut dépasser ce genre de désastre pour vous
11 416 Nous vous remercions, Messieurs
12 Boucher et Remillard. Bonsoir.
13 417 M. BOUCHER: Merci beaucoup.
14 418 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary,
15 would you call the next participant, please.
16 419 THE SECRETARY: Yes. Thank you,
17 Madam Chair.
18 420 I now call Mr. Jeff Thiessen of
19 Trinity Television.
22 421 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good evening,
23 Mr. Thiessen.
24 422 MR. THIESSEN: Good evening,
25 Ms Wylie, Mr. Cardozo, CRTC staff, as well as fellow
2 423 I wish to thank you for allowing me
3 to be here this evening. It is always a pleasure to
4 speak with both of you.
5 424 My father, Willard Thiessen is away
6 and unable to be here tonight, but he does send his
8 425 I also wish to thank both of you
9 recently for making a decision which I trust will
10 benefit religious producers in Canada by licensing of a
11 new station in Toronto.
12 426 There are three points which I wish
13 to make tonight regarding Canadian programming and what
14 it means to me, the first being the importance of the
15 CRTC regulations regarding Canadian programming.
16 427 The second, the importance of
17 continuing the practice of limiting the usage of
19 428 The last point would be the process
20 of licensing single faith broadcast facilities.
21 429 It is very clear in our minds that
22 the reason we have an opportunity at all to be here to
23 have a television program is due to the requirements on
24 broadcasters to have Canadian programming.
25 430 When our first program began in 1976
1 with CKND it was because Don Britton was having trouble
2 fulfilling his obligations to produce Canadian local
3 programming. When the presentation was made by my
4 father to do both of those things, that station opened
5 the door for a win-win situation which continues to
6 this day.
7 431 Since that time, 22 years later, we
8 have grown and flourished and have an increased
9 audience and viewership across Canada.
10 432 However, when the policy changed in
11 1991, when the Commission no longer required television
12 licensees to make quantitative commitments to local
13 programming in categories other than news, CKND
14 eliminated an entire shift of technical crew. That
15 meant they were unable to produce their longest running
16 programming, "It's A New Day", which is our program, in
17 their facilities.
18 433 That chain reaction forced us to find
19 other facilities to do the program from, and we began
20 development of our current building. This was in spite
21 of a terrific relationship with station management.
22 The reason this happened is that all broadcasters are
23 basically motivated by the bottom line.
24 434 If the CRTC in any way relaxes the
25 rules on broadcasters regarding Canadian content, I
1 have no doubt that one of the last incentives for
2 stations, including any new religious stations, to
3 include program producers like Trinity Television will
4 be gone. We, or other producers, cannot compete with
5 the deep pockets of U.S. religious programmers, and it
6 would destroy the very industry which the CRTC has
7 tried to foster with policy changes.
8 435 We believe that the Canadian
9 religious programmers have a different perspective than
10 those from the foreign sources and would hope that the
11 CRTC will not bow to the wishes of broadcasters to make
12 more money at the expense of a production industry. I
13 believe that, like in 1991, when policy changes
14 stations do what will help their shareholders the most,
15 not what is best for Canadian production.
16 436 Last year during the network hearings
17 several broadcasters were making a point to make
18 infomercials produced in Canada Canadian content, and
19 this too would have a serious impact on programmers
20 like us. Because we do not have the opportunity to air
21 our programs during prime time, the day time slots are
22 the next best alternatives, and having to compete for
23 air time with programming which is one long commercial
24 would be next to impossible.
25 437 In addition, I believe it would
1 further erode production values in Canada. As more
2 channels become available let's offer Canadians better
3 television, television which makes them think, to
4 better themselves, to understand the world in a new
5 way. The right to broadcast is a privilege which
6 should come with responsibility. I believe that one of
7 the biggest responsibilities is to provide television
8 that is worth watching.
9 438 The last point that I wish to make is
10 regarding licensing of religious broadcasting stations,
11 and Trinity Television has been actively involved in
12 that process since 1992. It has devoted most of its
13 disposable income investing in this potential
14 opportunity, and when I was at the hearing in Saskatoon
15 I was amazed at the flexibility which the Commission
16 extended toward the Lethbridge application. I returned
17 to our organization convinced that the CRTC was
18 committed to helping organizations like ours get
20 439 I wish that that same flexibility
21 could have continued. After being denied on five
22 applications and spending hundreds of thousands of
23 dollars and several years of my life, I have not had
24 the opportunity to speak once with a Commissioner. It
25 seems that the process hasn't included a dialogue for
1 us to understand the Commission, nor the Commission to
2 understand us.
3 440 I do wish to say that the staff has
4 been very helpful and I want to thank them for their
5 help, but I believe that at times they didn't know the
6 answers either. So much energy could have been saved
7 if dialogue could have happened throughout those years.
8 441 I have a motto in my office:
9 442 "Courage is the capacity to move
10 from failure to failure without
11 losing enthusiasm in between."
12 (As read)
13 443 I am trusting that I will be able to
14 live up to that model.
15 444 In conclusion, I would wish that as
16 the Commission deliberates on the comments made tonight
17 you would remember that Canada is made up of proud
18 Canadians. We wish to be different. We have our own
19 identity and we must have the tools to be unique.
20 Although the broadcasters are doing a good job now,
21 they should be encouraged to do more.
22 445 Thank you for your time tonight.
23 446 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you,
24 Mr. Thiessen, and please extend our best wishes to your
1 447 MR. THIESSEN: Thank you.
2 448 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
3 449 Mr. Secretary, would you call the
4 next participant, please.
5 450 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam
7 451 At this time I would like to call
8 Mr. Reimer-Epp of the National Association of Christian
12 452 MR. REIMER-EPP: Good evening.
13 453 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good evening.
14 454 MR. REIMER-EPP: I am here this
15 evening in my capacity as a Director and legal counsel
16 to the National Association of Christian Television
17 Producers Incorporated -- a long title, but a short way
18 of saying that religious producers across Canada have
19 joined together and are joining together to form an
20 association to further their interests and to create
21 more opportunities for Christian broadcasters and
22 religious television producers in Canada.
23 455 This Association brings together
24 producers from various parts of Canada and continues to
25 add numbers from across the country. The vision for
1 such an organization has been held dear by a number of
2 individuals over recent years and has now begun to take
3 on a life of its own.
4 456 Our purpose as an Association is to
5 foster, support and facilitate the production and
6 distribution of new religious programming for a
7 Canadian audience, programming made by Canadian
8 producers who are both established in the television
9 industry and those who have to date only dreamed of
10 making programming.
11 457 The primary way in which the
12 Association intends to pursue its goal is by applying
13 to the Commission for a licence to operate a
14 discretionary religious service.
15 458 I would like to answer, from the
16 Association's point of view, a number of the questions
17 posed at this forum today.
18 459 With respect to Canadian programming,
19 Canadian programming is a burning desire in both the
20 hearts and minds of members of our Association, as well
21 as producers of Christian and other religious
22 programming across Canada.
23 460 I think most Canadians know that deep
24 down they have a sense of identity which distinguishes
25 them from our neighbours to the south. They have the
1 sense that they are different in many ways, in many
2 cultural aspects of Canadian society, and in particular
3 with respect to religion.
4 461 The importance of programming that is
5 specifically Canadian produced is probably the most
6 significant in the area of religion, more so than any
7 other area in our submission. There are vast
8 differences between the Canadian view of religion and
9 those of American religious program producers in
11 462 By way of example, Canadians do not,
12 by and large, subscribe to a religious point of view
13 where spirituality and patriotism are synonymous.
14 463 The programming which is presently on
15 the air which has religious content oftentimes is
16 American in origin, and the Association's position with
17 respect to that is that it does not reflect back to
18 Canadians a uniquely Canadian perspective on what
19 religion is all about and, as a result, it is our
20 submission that the Commission should do everything in
21 its power both to promote the making of Canadian
22 religious programming and, equally as importantly, to
23 foster the distribution of Canadian religious
24 programming which will in turn drive production.
25 464 The Association firmly believes that
1 Canadian programming by and large does reflect the
2 views and values of Canadians more accurately than
3 foreign programming. However, the bulk of what is
4 available to viewers in Canada is not Canada, and that
5 is, I suppose, where our most significant point comes.
6 465 In the religious television area the
7 competition from American producers of religious
8 programming is growing exponentially as technology
9 makes airwaves available to Canadians that are,
10 unfortunately, often difficult to control, even by the
11 Commission. In the onslaught of this competition it
12 is, in our submission, the Commission's responsibility
13 to facilitate the growth and development of Canadian
14 religious programmers, because we are by no means
15 financially ready to go head-to-head with that American
17 466 There is presently only one
18 speciality service offered to Canadians that deals with
19 our spiritual needs, that being Vision Television.
20 This venue is limited in the amount of air time which
21 it can and does make available to Canadian producers.
22 Our members, for example, most often cannot access
23 Vision because of its cost and because Vision is full
24 to capacity, or close to it.
25 467 Canadian religious programmers will
1 not develop into a competitive industry until there are
2 more venues available for distribution of religious
3 programming. We encourage the Commission to continue
4 to open up competition in this area within Canada.
5 468 We acknowledge in the same breath,
6 and congratulate the Commission on beginning this
7 process by granting the broadcast licence to CTS in the
8 Toronto area. Please do not stop in Toronto. Please
9 place the implementation in policy 1993-78 on the fast
10 track, in recognition of the fact that Canadians have
11 something important to say about religion and spiritual
12 issues that will be lost as our borders become more
13 permeable to American programming.
14 469 The Association would ask that,
15 please, the Commission not breach that border
16 prematurely by relaxing the enforcement of Canadian
17 content requirements or by reducing those requirements
18 all together.
19 470 Thank you for your time this evening.
20 471 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you,
21 Mr. Reimer-Epp.
22 472 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you,
23 Madam Chair.
24 473 Thank you, Mr. Reimer-Epp and
25 Mr. Thiessen. Nice to see you both again.
1 474 On a personal note, I should just say
2 that the first time we met was at the hearing back in
3 Toronto in December when I was relatively new on the
4 Commission, and I figure if I have seen somebody twice
5 in two different hearings I am now officially a veteran
6 Commissioner, and this makes me feel like I have
7 finally made it. So thanks for being here just for
9 475 MR. REIMER-EPP: We are happy to have
11 476 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thanks also
12 for your gracious comments about us having your
13 licensed your competitor in that hearing. I think it
14 is very gracious of you to put it that way.
15 477 A couple of questions about the
16 Association. How many producers are there now in
17 Canada who are doing religious production?
18 478 MR. REIMER-EPP: I'm sorry? I missed
19 the last part of the question, I'm sorry.
20 479 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Approximately
21 how many producers are there in your Association, and
22 others who are doing religious production?
23 480 MR. REIMER-EPP: In Canada our
24 estimate would be approximately at -- over 50 in any
25 case, who are presently producing.
1 481 In terms of interest in becoming
2 involved in production, and I think that is where the
3 Association's greatest excitement is, there are
4 hundreds in those areas. People who would -- and
5 organizations that would love to and have excellent
6 ideas by have to date had no way at all of realizing
8 482 With respect to the Association, we
9 were a little earlier today than we intended to be. We
10 understood we were up for 8:30 and I was going to stop
11 back at the office to get a list, so I can't provide
12 you with that information right now.
13 483 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Feel free to
14 send that to us at a later time.
15 484 MR. REIMER-EPP: Certainly.
16 485 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: You talked
17 about trying to compete with the American producers and
18 that that was quite a daunting task. To what extent do
19 you think religious producers will be able to export
20 Canadian product, either to the United States or to
21 other countries?
22 486 Because one of the issues we are
23 facing and looking at during this hearing is, in
24 Canadian program production overall we have a
25 relatively small market here to cover costs. So on the
1 one hand one wants to have distinctively Canadian
2 production, and I think increasingly people want to see
3 that distinctively Canadian production can also be
5 487 MR. REIMER-EPP: Yes.
6 488 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And it can. A
7 lot of shows are doing that.
8 489 So do you see that potential in
9 religious broadcasting and production?
10 490 MR. REIMER-EPP: We certainly do. I
11 mean, I think the obvious first stop for a Canadian
12 production is going to be Canadians, and our goal would
13 be primarily to begin to answer those needs within
15 491 Having said that, an excellent
16 Canadian production has unlimited potential to go
17 elsewhere as well, and particularly in the United
18 States where in our -- this is a subjective opinion,
19 but in our opinion there would be a lack of variety in
20 many cases of views about religion. And people are
21 people no matter where they are, so there may be a
22 hunger for that sort of programming there as well, just
23 that it is not currently being done.
24 492 So I think the potential is unlimited
25 for Canadian programs.
1 493 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay.
2 494 MR. REIMER-EPP: Yes.
3 495 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thanks.
4 496 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you,
5 Mr. Reimer-Epp.
6 497 Did you have something else,
7 Mr. Thiessen?
8 498 MR. THIESSEN: I would love to just
9 add to that if possible, one last comment.
10 499 Thank you for your graciousness.
11 500 One great example of what you are
12 inferring to, Mr. Cardozo, is the program "Sunshine
13 Day", which we have produced in our facilities, and
14 that particular program is on four different satellite
15 networks in the States now. It is on in Australia,
16 South Africa, Russia throughout, and there are about
17 four other satellite communist -- former communist
18 countries that it is on, and it has been translated
19 into many languages already. So I would say that that
20 has been very successful in actually being exported.
21 501 The unfortunate part is, it isn't
22 even broadcast here in Canada.
23 502 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you,
24 Mr. Thiessen.
25 503 On behalf of my colleague, thank you
1 for making him a full-fledged Commissioner.
2 504 Mr. Secretary, would you call the
3 next participant, please.
4 505 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam
6 506 I now call Mr. Andre Harden of Hart
7 Entertainment Inc.
10 507 MR. HARDEN: Thank you, everyone.
11 508 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good evening,
12 Mr. Harden.
13 509 MR. HARDEN: Thanks.
14 510 Good evening to you both, and thanks
15 for extending this conversation through probably a
17 511 I feel after listening for a bit that
18 I should apologize before I present. I actually only
19 found out about the meeting today and hurriedly
20 prepared my stuff, but not without giving it due
22 512 I am 26 years old and my schooling
23 has been in critical thinking and world view studies.
24 513 I have been involved in theatre with
25 intentions to move into film for about the last nine
1 years, and as of last year I began a film company Hart
2 Entertainment. So at this point I don't have a lot of
3 history to share, but I do hope that I have a good
5 514 I had four questions that I have
6 looked at and provided an answer to.
7 515 The first is: How important is
8 Canadian television programming to me?
9 516 To that, the principle is extremely
11 517 The second question: Do I agree it
12 should reflect my views and values as a Canadian
14 518 I am unsure what the question means.
15 Are you suggesting that the views and values of
16 Canadian citizens are unified? As for my -- like I do
17 not have the views and values of Canadian citizens, but
18 I have the views and values of myself, one Canadian
19 citizen. I know that my views and values do not
20 synchronize with the views and values of every other
21 Canadian citizen. I think the question assumes that it
23 519 But without prior understanding of
24 the scope and degree to which being a Canadian citizen
25 actually forms and shapes my views and values, the
1 question -- the effectiveness of the question loses a
2 lot of its meaning.
3 520 That prior understanding of what
4 forms views and values I think is an area that has been
5 largely unresearched and unconsidered in anything but a
6 superficial manner. It is a phenomenally large
7 generalization and a nationalistic one, and it
8 marginalizes other factors which may shape a person's
9 views and values.
10 521 The question assumes that the primary
11 formative factor in shaping views and values as it
12 pertains to television viewing is national citizenship.
13 522 Part of the weakness for me in the
14 discussion is that the terms used are not clearly
15 defined. I think a person could speak to answer and
16 communicate something -- believe they have communicated
17 something clearly, but because of the lack of common
18 definition it could be misunderstood.
19 523 The third question: Do I think that
20 Canadian programming does reflect my views and values?
21 524 Again, Canadian programming is a
22 broad topic. Some programs do ring true to me, and
23 some ring false.
24 525 Are you asking if I think Canadian
25 programming is Canadian? The answer I would give is,
1 if the program is made by a Canadian citizen it
2 presumably is an example of the maker's views and
4 526 Again, unless we are talking about
5 propaganda films, which I know we are not, I don't see
6 how being a Canadian citizen should affect my views and
7 values in an exceptionally significant way. Rather,
8 the views and values of the film makers affect the
9 larger perception of what actually constitutes Canadian
10 programming, as the term is used collectively to
11 identify a body of work that is actually very diverse.
12 527 To use a generalization of my own,
13 Canada is known for being very pluralistic, and if that
14 is true then something that is Canadian will be
15 recognized as being every view and every value,
16 including monism.
17 528 That which is understood today as
18 Canadian programming does not portray every view and
19 every value. It seems weighted toward coming of age
20 stories and stories that deal with sexuality or
21 politics. But there are also people like John Candy,
22 Ivan Reitman, all Canadians who are making the kinds of
23 shows they want to make and which are not thought of as
24 being Canadian.
25 529 If Canadian programming continues to
1 be defined in terms of content rather than the nature
2 of the people actually originating the material,
3 several problems arise. I think the most grievous is
4 that any artist who is a good artist is not primarily
5 striving to make a film or a work for a niche or a
6 fringe group, whatever the fringe group may be, be it
7 members of a nation, members of a club or members of a
8 family, they are in fact striving to make a work for
9 people, other human beings. Even if their work is
10 targeted at a group, they are not trying to connect
11 with the groupishness of the group, but with the
12 humanity of it.
13 530 The fourth question: What type of
14 Canadian programming interests me?
15 531 Allan Dwon, a pioneer of hundreds of
16 silent movies and inventor of the first moving shots,
17 many film techniques, in the infancy of television
18 Allan Dwon said that he thought this marvellous
19 invention of television was one of the greatest
20 opportunities to bring art and meaning into every man's
22 532 So Allan Dwon I think saw the
23 potential of television, but today a television set is
24 readily referred to as an "idiot box" or a "boob tube".
25 533 The programming that interests me is
1 the sort of programming that actually increases the
2 value of the human being and the value of the human
3 experience. I want to see programs that teach me how
4 to be a better person. I want to learn how to be a
5 better person by vicariously participating in
6 narratives which creatively offer me new ways of
7 understanding the world around me and the relationship
8 that I have with my world.
9 534 These benefits can be understood
10 cognitively, ethically, or however, and the material
11 may be proscriptive, where we learn from a bad example,
12 or prescriptive where we learn from a good example.
13 535 But by engaging in these stories or
14 myths the storytellers can help me to see where I am
15 going wrong and where I am going right. They can
16 provide some sort of measuring stick against which I
17 can lay my life. If Canadian story makers are
18 empowered to do this through the easing of commercial
19 and political pressures, I think they can significantly
20 impact people's lives for the better, more so than they
21 are doing already.
22 536 Also, in order to truly make better
23 reality, we need carriers and distributors whose
24 primary mission is to significantly impact people's
25 lives for the good. Carriers and distributors whose
1 primary mission is to make money have, in a true sense,
2 sold out humanity for profit.
3 537 So not only am I interested in seeing
4 programs that are primarily significant, I am
5 interested in making programs that are primarily
6 significant and secondarily commercial. It is my hope
7 that actions can be taken to make this an easier
8 mission for me to accomplish in Canada with a product
9 that is understood to be Canadian.
10 538 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you,
11 Mr. Harden.
12 539 Thank you for your presentation.
13 540 Mr. Secretary, would you call the
14 next participant, please.
15 541 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam
17 542 I now call Ms Yvonne Swiderick of the
18 Manitoba Children's Museum.
21 543 MS SWIDERICK: Good evening, and
22 thank you for this time.
23 544 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good evening to
25 545 MS SWIDERICK: Thank you.
1 546 My concern, or perhaps the
2 perspective I will try to voice is the one for the
3 children, the children of our region.
4 547 As Public Relations Co-ordinator for
5 the Manitoba Children's Museum, but having also served
6 in the capacity of Communications and Marketing Manager
7 for the Symphony and the Manitoba Opera, among others,
8 it has been my responsibility these past 15 years to
9 contribute to the audience development and overall
10 financial health of several non-profit gems of our
11 culture and heritage in Manitoba.
12 548 I speak to the local broadcasters
13 that the children have access to. Without ongoing
14 support and commitment of our local broadcasters to
15 partnering with us in bringing the best of local
16 children's programming to our shared market, the
17 organizations I have represented would not have
18 accomplished even a half, a third of their box office
19 goals, their ticket goals, meeting our projected
20 revenues, or brought the degree and the quality of
21 programming that we believe is essential to modelling
22 the citizens of tomorrow.
23 549 We speak for the Manitoba Children's
24 Museum from the point of shrinking marketing budgets,
25 shrinking advertising in a non-profit sector that over
1 the last 15 years in this region has been forced to
2 make very lean programming decisions and to incorporate
3 very creative solutions to build audience awareness and
4 immediate response from prospects.
5 550 This is where media sponsorships and
6 the partnering with local broadcasters has made the
7 difference for us. The media kind of partnerships I am
8 speaking of entail on-site presentation and presence of
9 broadcasters, and it is a common component of our
10 current programming at the Manitoba Children's Museum,
11 as it is on most non-profits.
12 551 In particular I would like to speak
13 of MTN, who has partnered with us, even today, to
14 maintain a permanent exhibit called the "Say What"
15 booth, in which well-known children's personalities,
16 local personalities that are seen on Saturday morning
17 programming, after school programming and on regular
18 weekdays, these personalities currently invite children
19 who are visitors to our museum at The Forks to think
20 and record and later broadcast themselves what they
21 would like to be when they grow up. That theme changes
22 every few weeks depending on what the programming is in
23 the museum.
24 552 These same MTN personalities that we
25 have access to, the puppets, for example, Beav and
1 Buckley, have participated in remote live broadcasts in
2 the museum for our literacy campaign called "McDonald's
3 Celebrity Storytelling".
4 553 Not only did the MTN crew prepare
5 special programming, including reading the story "Pizza
6 For Breakfast" to some very excited audience members
7 live, they also produced a number of pre-promos to help
8 us create excitement for our first MCM month-long fund
9 raising pledge drive, encouraging families to read and
10 be rewarded.
11 554 This partnership with MTN is ongoing
12 and it is fruitful on many levels, and is community-
13 based. It is not only a matter of financial resources
14 for us to produce and buy air time that benefits the
15 Children's Museum in this and in other local
16 broadcasting teams like this, but it is the perception
17 in our regional audience that our own child's voice and
18 message have access to our local broadcasters, that
19 that child's voice can actually be seen and heard from
20 the springboard of their own local landscapes, the
21 landmarks that they call their own.
22 555 We have also a very special
23 relationship with Global Television, and on May 1st the
24 Children's Museum launched the first infrastructure
25 gallery in North American called "Wonder Works". Over
1 100 supporters, partners and donors made this complex
2 dream of bringing the concepts of power, construction
3 and resource management to children ages 2 to 14 a
5 556 Global, or CKND Television, has
6 committed a year long support, and I hope in the future
7 a three or five-year long support partnership with us
8 for this permanent interactive gallery to help the
9 children be the architects of their own community and
10 to discover how infrastructure affects their lives.
11 557 Through editorials, PSAs, contests,
12 children's programming features, and other types of
13 programming that they do with us, Global builds in the
14 Manitoba children's minds the awareness of the
15 invisible underpinning of our communities from potholes
16 to water and waste management, and it does this in a
17 playful way that does not seem like work or does not
18 seem like paid advertising.
19 558 Even those children who do not have
20 an opportunity to visit "Wonder Works" are receiving a
21 message that will positively impact on their natural
22 curiosity and developing of a sense of social
23 responsibility for their communities.
24 559 Now, briefly in conclusion, local
25 access to children's programming from the perspective
1 of non-profits and, in particular, the Manitoba
2 Children's Museum, I believe can only be achieved
3 through having healthy local broadcasters who have the
4 resources and are prepared to be involved hands-on in
5 community events, and in the community's development,
6 in particular the child's mind.
7 560 It is truly rare for local
8 organizations like ours to be picked up nationally
9 based on local broadcasts, and it is even rarer for a
10 specialty network, such as Life, to consider the
11 Children's Museum of interest to its geographically
12 disconnected audience.
13 561 MCM's ability to maintain a vibrant
14 presence in our community is unquestionably linked with
15 the vibrancy of our local children's broadcasters.
16 562 Thank you.
17 563 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very
18 much, Ms Swiderick.
19 564 MS SWIDERICK: Thank you.
20 565 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you for your
22 566 Mr. Secretary.
23 567 THE SECRETARY: I'm sorry for the
24 brief delay, Madam Chair.
25 568 I now wish to call Ms Addie Jason of
1 Hallcrest Career College.
2 569 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good evening.
3 Would you like five minutes?
4 570 MS JASON: (No audible response/
5 Réponse inaudible).
6 571 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will give you
7 some time.
8 572 Commissioner Cardozo has a question
9 for Ms Swiderick.
10 573 MS SWIDERICK: Certainly.
11 574 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I just wonder
12 if you can give us your thoughts about children's
13 programming-at-large. You have mentioned MTN and
14 Global, and I'm wondering what your thoughts are about
15 the kinds of children's programming that are accessible
16 to people in Winnipeg.
17 575 MS SWIDERICK: So you are speaking
18 also of YTV and Teletoon and all kinds of cable that
19 are flown in to us?
20 576 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Yes. And any
21 comments you have about whether you know which ones are
22 Canadian produced.
23 577 MS SWIDERICK: Well, the slicker it
24 is the tendency is for it not to have originated from
1 578 I have some knowledge from the point
2 of view of my own child, who is eight, and his friends
3 and the circle of my teenage friends as well. It is
4 very easy for them to be swept up in the glitter and
5 the well-thought-out and well-marketed programming that
6 comes in to us, and less easy to build a friendship
7 with some of the local programming that seems sometimes
8 less well-funded.
9 579 But in the long run, I think the
10 cherished personalities are the ones that have a
11 connection with their own life and that the child finds
12 a common ground with.
13 580 So for us as parents, for example,
14 who have to make decisions about what programming to
15 give our children access to, those that have the values
16 and that speak to the pace that the child can take are
17 the ones that we choose.
18 581 Unfortunately, not all parents are
19 maybe as thoughtful in that as myself, and so what I do
20 find is often the children are unable to resist some of
21 the wilder, the more flashy programming that is
22 available and is not local.
23 582 I don't know how much further to go
24 on that.
25 583 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay. No,
1 that's good.
2 584 Can you tell us just a little bit
3 about your museum?
4 585 MS SWIDERICK: Yes. The Manitoba
5 Children's Museum is now just over 12 years old, and it
6 moved to The Forks site over five years ago. We serve,
7 with our budget -- our operating budget is just over
8 $1.5 million. We serve over -- half of our visitors
9 are actually school groups that come and book for
11 586 The premise of the galleries, the
12 premise of the museum, which initially began in the
13 core area, was to bring to birth an interactive
14 educational environment for children to feel safe and
15 feel comfortable to explore and to touch and to see and
16 to make mistakes.
17 587 To that end we have a very high tech
18 environment in some ways. We have an internet gallery
19 for our older demographic, which we partner with MTS,
20 our local television -- our local telephone partners.
21 588 In addition we have a real roll-
22 playing aspect to the gallery where we have an actual
23 train, a 52 Diesel train with cabooses that the
24 children can interact on.
25 589 The "Wonder Works" gallery itself has
1 about 80 exhibits that deal with electricity, water
2 waste management, the building of roads, the aqueducts
3 that bring water to our city, fresh water, and how that
4 is treated and managed.
5 590 So we are targeting ages 2 to 14, but
6 in truth our school programming probably goes up to
7 about 8 or 9 with great interest. We keep them
8 enthralled up to about that age. A different kind of
9 programming is in place for older children.
10 591 So primarily our revenue base is
11 ticket and membership sales. That means that we try to
12 bring in repeat family members, foster care homes,
13 Child and Family Services kinds of arrangements, where
14 there is an ongoing relationship to some of the
15 programming that is happening, that it is not on a one-
16 time basis.
17 592 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Are you linked
18 to other museums like the Children's Museum at the
19 Canadian Museum of Civilization?
20 593 MS SWIDERICK: Regularly. Our web
21 site, for example, on regular exchange e-mail-wise, and
22 on very many levels. Besides attending and being
23 members of the Association of Museums, we attend those
24 conferences and all as well.
25 594 We rely on each other for expertise
1 and for exchange of information. We have had several
2 inquiries recently on our new "Wonder Works" gallery
3 and are asked -- have been asked now for the prototypes
4 and the plans for some of the exhibits, since that is
5 such a new thing that has never been tackled in North
6 America before.
7 595 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay, thanks.
8 596 I would just draw to your attention,
9 you mentioned your internet site. We are having a
10 hearing later on this year on new media and that might
11 be a hearing you would be interested in. It is likely
12 to take place around November, with a deadline for
13 input probably a month or two before that. A public
14 notice should be coming up within a month on that, but
15 you might want to keep an eye on that from our web
17 597 If there are others too who are
18 interested in new media issues, please feel free to
19 send in submissions on that as well.
20 598 MS SWIDERICK: Gladly, yes.
21 599 Thank you.
22 600 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you,
23 Madam Chair.
24 601 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you,
25 Ms Swiderick.
3 602 THE CHAIRPERSON: Ms Jason, are you
4 ready now?
5 603 MS JASON: As ready as I am ever
6 going to be.
7 604 I guess I find myself in an unusual
8 position here, in that my 14-16 hour-a-day work
9 schedule doesn't allow me to watch much television.
10 605 However, you have several questions
11 here on the importance of Canadian television
12 programming and whether they reflect our views, and so
13 on, and I think certainly as a citizen I can speak to
15 606 One of the things that I think is
16 important in Canadian television is -- for me, in any
17 event, are some of the news magazines, some of the
18 documentaries that are done, some of the arts programs.
19 They are uniquely Canadian, and those are the kinds of
20 things that I think Canadians are interested in.
21 607 We are too often besieged by work
22 from other countries and don't frequently enough have
23 an opportunity to see what our own people can do. I
24 think that is a highly motivating factor for the young
25 people in our country, to see the kind of fine
1 television programming that Canadians can in fact do.
2 608 The other part of this that I think
3 is important, as a business person, is the advertising
4 aspect. Non-Canadian channels tend to advertise
5 multinationals. They can't be bothered with small,
6 local businesses, and probably would charge so much we
7 couldn't afford it anyway.
8 609 Having smaller Canadian channels to
9 go to to advertise our services and our products is
10 very, very important, particularly in the small
11 business world. It is the only kind of television
12 advertising that we can possibly afford, and it reaches
13 a local audience, and it is that local audience that is
14 interested in our wares and our services. So I think
15 it would be a shame if we didn't have that kind of an
16 option for small and local businesses.
17 610 One of the things that I have done
18 with a local television station, MTN, I know very well
19 that I could never do with a non-local non-Canadian
20 kind of an organization.
21 611 We recently -- I own Hallcrest
22 College, it's a business college, we do a lot of
23 computer programs, business programs, and recently
24 began a one-year journalism program. We launched that
25 last year, and while we were doing our pilot project
1 approached a number of people with a view to getting
2 some sponsorship for scholarships for people who really
3 wanted to get into that industry, into that career, and
4 were not able to because of financial reasons. They
5 may not have been able to access funds from somebody
6 like the EI fund, they may not want to go into the kind
7 of debt that student loans puts them in.
8 612 So one of the people that have
9 sponsored a student for each year is MTN.
10 613 Now, what they have done for us is
11 truly unique, in that they have produced a video
12 commercial on our behalf advertising that scholarship
13 program. We are getting free advertising from them
14 equivalent in value to what it is going to cost us to
15 provide free training for one individual for that whole
16 program. It is quite a costly program, it is a year
18 614 They have been most co-operative. I
19 have two people from MTN on my advisory board, who not
20 only looked at the curriculum but also will be
21 determining who the scholarship winners are.
22 615 My program was designed and written,
23 the curriculum, by two local journalists who work with
24 a Canadian company, and I truly believe that without
25 that kind of co-operation we would not have reached a
1 tenth of the people.
2 616 I can tell you that those
3 advertisements started to run very recently and we have
4 had -- I didn't count them up, I should have counted
5 them before I came, but we have had many, many
6 inquiries to date about that program as a result of
7 that kind of co-operation from a local station.
8 617 I do not believe that I would have
9 been -- although I didn't approach them, I don't think
10 that I would have been successful. It is pretty hard
11 to get past the receptionist in most of the larger non-
12 Canadian stations, even on the telephone.
13 618 What they have done is not just
14 benefitting me and my business, which in turn pays
15 taxes and benefits the country as a whole, but I think
16 that they have benefitted our local society in that
17 they have made people aware that such a program exists,
18 and it means that any number of people will end up with
19 some good training and an excellent career path, and
20 they will be employed and able to earn a living rather
21 than them being supported by government.
22 619 So those kinds of things, they may
23 not seem sort of directly related, but I do think that
24 the fallout of not having that would be very grave.
25 620 I think that the Canadian stations
1 do -- as your questions asks, I think they do more so
2 reflect our value system than, for example, the
3 American value system, and the two are really quite
4 different. As a mother, I would rather have my
5 children learn those Canadian values than some values
6 from another country.
7 621 I guess that kind of wraps up what I
8 wanted to say. This particular station -- they are not
9 the only ones, by the way, there are several other
10 local companies in the media that are going to be doing
11 this kind of sponsorship, but in terms of the
12 television end of it they certainly are unique, and
13 they will be working with us for the apprenticeship
14 part of the program, and hopefully our students will
15 end up working there one day.
16 622 So I thank you for the opportunity to
17 speak with you today.
18 623 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you,
19 Ms Jason. We thank you for coming.
20 624 Mr. Secretary, would you call the
21 next participant, please.
22 625 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam
24 626 I now call Ms Karen Fonseth of the
25 Winnipeg International Children's Festival.
3 627 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good evening,
4 Ms Fonseth.
5 628 MS FONSETH: Good evening.
6 629 My history, I would like to speak on
7 behalf of two organizations that I have run. Presently
8 I am the Executive Director of the Winnipeg
9 International Children's Festival, and prior to that I
10 was the Executive Director of Big Brothers & Sisters of
12 630 On a local level, specifically MTN,
13 what they brought to the table was unlike what any
14 other organization could do, especially on a national
15 or international level.
16 631 Not only are they extremely committed
17 to the community, they approached us and specifically
18 wanted to make a difference in the lives of children
19 throughout the province.
20 632 What they were able to do in the
21 restructuring of Big Brothers -- when I started at that
22 organization there was a very good chance that they
23 were going to close down, and Winnipeg stood to lose an
24 organization that had been around for 25 years.
25 633 Not only did they cover the story,
1 they produced spots for us, they promoted the
2 recruitment of new big brothers, and they helped us
3 fund raise. So I would say that that station is
4 specifically responsible, or played a very large role
5 in Big Brothers of Winnipeg continuing to be located in
6 this city.
7 634 Secondly, with the Winnipeg
8 International Children's Festival, we of course have
9 served thousands of kids over the past 15 years. When
10 I took over the Children's Festival the flood had
11 devastated them last year, and without the help of MTN
12 stepping up to the plate this year there was a very
13 good chance that there would not have been another
14 Children's Festival.
15 635 With their help, we had a record-
16 breaking year. We have pretty much erased any chance
17 of a deficit this year. MTN stepped up to the plate,
18 they covered the festival, they helped promote it. Not
19 only did they cover it from a news perspective, they
20 covered it from -- they recorded 30 second spots and
21 went above and beyond the call of duty. They also
22 helped me recruit additional local media in the
23 Winnipeg market.
24 636 So again, speaking on behalf of those
25 two organizations I can say without the local
1 programming and the interest in the Winnipeg community
2 in Manitoba, those two organizations would have been in
3 grave danger.
4 637 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very
5 much, Ms Fonseth.
6 638 Mr. Secretary, would you call the
7 next participant, please.
8 639 THE SECRETARY: At this time we have
9 no more, to the best of my knowledge, of any of the
10 registered participants available in the room.
11 640 I would just like to confirm for the
12 record that my understanding is correct, that there are
13 no more people present in the room wishing to make a
15 641 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you,
16 Mr. Secretary.
17 642 I guess that concludes our evening.
18 643 We wish to thank all participants for
19 taking the opportunity to bring us their views during
20 this evening's session, and they can rest assured that
21 their comments will form part of the record when we
22 consider the issues discussed.
23 644 At this time I would like to thank my
24 colleague as well for his participation, and the staff
25 for their assistance, as well the court reporter, the
1 technical personnel, and the interpreter.
2 645 I wish everybody a good rest of the
4 646 Good night.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing concluded at 1925/
6 L'audience se termine à 1925