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TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS FOR THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES DU CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES SUBJECT / SUJET: CANADIAN TELEVISION POLICY REVIEW / EXAMEN DES POLITIQUES DU CONSEIL RELATIVES À LA TÉLÉVISION CANADIENNE HELD AT: TENUE À: Conference Centre Centre des conférences Outaouais Room Salle Outaouais Place du Portage Place du Portage Phase IV Phase IV Hull, Quebec Hull (Québec) September 28, 1998 28 septembre 1998 Volume 5 Transcripts Transcription Afin de rencontrer les exigences de la Loi sur les langues officielles, les procès-verbaux pour le Conseil seront bilingues en ce qui a trait à la page couverture, la liste des membres et du personnel du CRTC participant à l'audience publique ainsi que la table des matières. Toutefois, la publication susmentionnée est un compte rendu textuel des délibérations et, en tant que tel, est enregistrée et transcrite dans l'une ou l'autre des deux langues officielles, compte tenu de la langue utilisée par le participant à l'audience publique. Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des télécommunications canadiennes Transcript / Transcription Public Hearing / Audience publique Canadian Television Policy Review / Examen des politiques du Conseil relatives à la télévision canadienne BEFORE / DEVANT: Andrée Wylie Chairperson / Présidente Vice-Chairperson, Radio- television / Vice- présidente, Radiodiffusion Joan Pennefather Commissioner / Conseillère Andrew Cardozo Commissioner / Conseiller Martha Wilson Commissioner / Conseillère David McKendry Commissioner / Conseiller ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS: Jean-Pierre Blais Commission Counsel / Avocat du Conseil Margot Patterson Articling Student / Stagiaire Carole Bénard / Secretaries/Secrétaires Diane Santerre Nick Ketchum Hearing Manager / Gérant de l'audience HELD AT: TENUE À: Conference Centre Centre des conférences Outaouais Room Salle Outaouais Place du Portage Place du Portage Phase IV Phase IV Hull, Quebec Hull (Québec) September 28, 1998 28 septembre 1998 Volume 5 TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES PAGE Presentation by / Présentation par: Cogeco Inc. 1247 Craig Broadcast Systems Inc. 1304 Goldi Productions Ltd. 1340 FNC, Fédération nationale des communications 1363 Epitome Pictures Inc. 1404 Running Dog New(s) Service 1476 1247 1 Hull, Quebec / Hull (Québec) 2 --- Upon resuming on Monday, September 28, 1998 3 at 1302 / L'audience reprend le lundi 4 28 septembre 1998 à 1302 5 5663 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon and 6 welcome back to our hearing. I hope everybody had a 7 nice weekend, whatever was left of it for some of us. 8 5664 Madam Secretary, would you invite the 9 next participant, please; voulez-vous inviter le 10 prochain participant, s'il vous plaît. 11 5665 Mme BÉNARD: Merci, Madame la 12 Présidente. 13 5666 La première présentation sera celle 14 de Cogeco Inc., et j'inviterais M. Audet à nous 15 présenter ses collègues. 16 5667 M. AUDET: Merci, madame. 17 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 18 5668 MR. AUDET: Good afternoon, Madam 19 Chairperson. We wish to congratulate you for your 20 recent appointment as the new Vice-Chair, Broadcasting, 21 and we note that you are now fully immersed in your new 22 responsibilities and challenges. Our greetings also to 23 your colleagues on the Commission's important panel for 24 this hearing, and our special regards to Mrs. Françoise 25 Bertrand. StenoTran 1248 1 5669 My name is Louis Audet, President and 2 CEO of Cogeco. Accompanying me today are, to my right, 3 Mr. Michel Carter, Vice-President and General Manager 4 of our broadcasting arm, Cogeco Radio-Television; to my 5 immediate left M. Yves Mayrand, Vice-President, Legal 6 Affairs, and to his left Christian Jolivet, Director, 7 Legal Affairs, of Cogeco. 8 5670 We appreciate this opportunity to 9 present to you during the next few minutes some of the 10 points and expand on some of the points which we have 11 presented to you in our written submission as well as 12 to answer some of the questions you might have about 13 them. Our presentation will address primarily our 14 television and our production activities within the 15 Cogeco group of companies, and subsidiarily, we would 16 like to address the potential consequences of certain 17 proposed television policy initiatives in our cable 18 distribution operations. 19 5671 I wish to remind you that companies 20 of our group are part of the membership of CAB and CCTA 21 and that we do not intend to duplicate the extensive 22 comments these associations have made to you. 23 5672 Cogeco est présente depuis plus de 40 24 ans dans le secteur de la télédiffusion de langue 25 française. Elle exploite deux stations affiliées à la StenoTran 1249 1 Société française Radio-Canada ainsi que deux stations 2 affiliées au réseau TQS situées respectivement à 3 Sherbrooke et à Trois-Rivières. Avec ces quatre 4 stations et bientôt, sous réserve de votre approbation, 5 les stations affiliées à SRC et TQS qui desservent le 6 marché de Chicoutimi-Jonquière, Cogeco assurera la 7 couverture de Radio-Canada et de TQS à près de 8 1 063 000 téléspectateurs francophones, soit 17 pour 9 cent du marché francophone au Québec. 10 5673 En tant que télédiffuseur régional, 11 Cogeco croit fermement qu'il y a place au Québec pour 12 une télévision locale distincte et de qualité, une 13 télévision qui soit près des gens et à l'écoute des 14 communautés qu'elle dessert. Ainsi, Cogeco est 15 favorable au maintien des politiques actuelles du 16 Conseil relatives au reflet local qui lient la capacité 17 des radiodiffuseurs à retirer des revenus publicitaires 18 locaux à l'offre d'un service local de programmation. 19 5674 Je passerai maintenant la parole à 20 Michel Carter, qui parlera du contexte actuel du marché 21 de la télévision française au Québec. 22 5675 Michel. 23 5676 M. CARTER: Merci, Louis. 24 5677 Le marché de la télévision française 25 au Québec demeure un marché fragile. Les nouveaux StenoTran 1250 1 services spécialisés francophones et anglophones ont 2 accaparé une part disproportionnée de l'augmentation de 3 l'assiette publicitaire au détriment des télédiffuseurs 4 généralistes. Le marché publicitaire de la télévision 5 française est également déprimé par les pratiques du 6 Groupe TVA, qui offre des coûts par point et par mille 7 escomptés, ce qui a pour effet de rendre le marché 8 défavorable à long terme pour tous les diffuseurs et 9 pour le système de radiodiffusion dans son ensemble. 10 5678 Dans ce contexte, nous ne voyons 11 aucune nécessité urgente ou avantage manifeste à 12 modifier la limite actuelle de 12 minutes par heure 13 pour la publicité. On vient à peine d'harmoniser les 14 règles concernant la teneur publicitaire et d'augmenter 15 de ce fait l'inventaire disponible dans l'ensemble du 16 système pour la télévision conventionnelle et 17 spécialisée. 18 5679 Le fait de décontingenter les 19 inventaires publicitaires serait source d'instabilité 20 accrue dans le marché et serait nettement préjudiciable 21 aux intérêts des diffuseurs dans les marchés 22 secondaires et des services spécialisés qui sont 23 indépendants des grands réseaux établis, dont ceux pour 24 lesquels des demandes de licences ont été déposées et 25 qui seront éventuellement étudiées par le Conseil. En StenoTran 1251 1 effet, le décontingentement aurait pour effet 2 d'accentuer la concentration des investissements 3 publicitaires dans les grands marchés canadiens. 4 5680 Quelques brefs commentaires 5 maintenant sur le rôle de la Société Radio-Canada. 6 5681 De nombreux intervenants ont débattu 7 au cours de cette instance du rôle de la SRC dans le 8 système de radiodiffusion canadien. En tant qu'affilié 9 de la SRC depuis 40 ans, nous pouvons témoigner de 10 l'apport crucial qu'a eu la SRC pour le développement 11 de la télévision au Québec. La SRC occupe aujourd'hui 12 fermement le deuxième rang chez les télédiffuseurs 13 francophones généralistes au Québec et constitue une 14 alternative essentielle au Réseau TVA. 15 5682 Malgré nos différends actuels avec la 16 société d'État concernant les modalités de nos contrats 17 d'affiliation et le double emploi dans la couverture de 18 l'information en région, nous réaffirmons sans réserve 19 notre appui au mandat et aux orientations actuelles de 20 la SRC. Au lieu de freiner le développement du réseau 21 français et réduire sa popularité auprès de l'auditoire 22 francophone, comme le voudraient ses concurrents, 23 notamment le Groupe TVA, qui est intervenu dans cette 24 instance pour demander qu'on lui octroie un droit de 25 premier refus sur certaines propriétés attrayantes ou StenoTran 1252 1 pour que la SRC axe sa programmation sur les émissions 2 dans les catégories sous-représentées, encourageons 3 plutôt l'essor de Radio-Canada et permettons-lui de 4 continuer à jouer un rôle de premier plan dans le 5 marché de la télévision au Québec, en partenariat réel 6 avec les affiliés privés. La présence de Cogeco dans 7 ces marchés y assure l'enracinement et la pertinence de 8 la programmation de la SRC et cautionne la permanence 9 d'une voix locale dans les régions de l'Estrie, de la 10 Mauricie et éventuellement du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. 11 5683 Through its indirect subsidiary Les 12 Productions Carrefour, Cogeco has produced over the 13 last four years programs for general interest and 14 specialty networks. The facilities and personnel of 15 Cogeco's stations in the regions are used for that 16 purpose. This amounts to fully regionally-based 17 production which has achieved recognition in the Quebec 18 production sector. In this regard, it is worth noting 19 that Carrefour has been nominated for a second year in 20 a row for a Gémeaux Award for the program "Les petits 21 bonheurs de Clémence", a daily show entirely produced 22 in Sherbrooke for the French network of the CBC. 23 5684 Due to the local broadcasting 24 activities of the Cogeco Group in Sherbrooke and Trois- 25 Rivières, Carrefour is not eligible for funding under StenoTran 1253 1 the Equity Investment Program administered by Telefilm 2 Canada and other private production funds for the shows 3 that it develops essentially for other broadcasters 4 which are large network operators. 5 5685 Cogeco believes that it is time to 6 recommend to the government that a wider use of 7 available funds be allowed and that all broadcasters be 8 afforded fair access to public and private production 9 funds. The producers commonly referred to as 10 independent producers, several of which are now part of 11 large communications concerns, are well entrenched in 12 the Quebec television system and no longer need 13 preferential access to funding. 14 5686 Mr. Louis Audet will now address 15 further the issue of Canadian program funding before 16 concluding our presentation. 17 5687 Louis. 18 5688 MR. AUDET: Thank you, Michel. 19 5689 Just a few words on the issue of 20 Canadian program funding. Allow me to briefly review 21 the current contributions of the Cogeco group of 22 companies. 23 5690 - In fiscal year 1997-1998, the cable 24 undertakings of the Cogeco Group have produced over 25 13,000 of original hours of community programming and StenoTran 1254 1 have contributed approximately $5 million to production 2 funds. 3 5691 - Since its creation in 1991, the 4 Cogeco Program Development fund has provided ongoing 5 support to Canadian program development, and it has 6 further established this year a new funding program 7 aimed at conceiving and producing new telefilms in 8 Canada. 9 5692 - With respect to our television 10 activities, of course, 100 per cent of our programming 11 expenditures are applied to Canadian programming. 12 5693 As part of this proceeding, various 13 proposals have been made with a view to increasing the 14 level of funding for Canadian programming. We do have 15 some concerns with some of these proposals. 16 5694 First, we believe that it would be 17 premature and not constructive at this juncture to 18 review the terms for contributions required from cable 19 distributors due to factors such as the investment 20 required for the timely completion of network upgrades 21 as well as the substantial costs associated with the 22 roll-out of digital technology, and due of course to 23 the fact that the appropriate level of contributions 24 has been set already by the Commission less than a year 25 ago. StenoTran 1255 1 5695 Furthermore, we consider that 2 mandating a financial contribution on account of the 3 non-Canadian specialty services, which have from the 4 beginning played a key role in enhancing the sale of 5 the Canadian specialty services through bundling in a 6 packaged tier, would inevitably impact in the end the 7 fees paid by Canadian consumers for discretionary 8 tiers, of course not to mention the mess that this 9 would cause on the level of international commercial 10 relations if such a measure were to prevail. 11 5696 En terminant, nous estimons que le 12 Conseil a un rôle important et décisif à jouer dans le 13 développement du système canadien de radiodiffusion. 14 L'intervention du Conseil, en effet, demeure 15 essentielle, par exemple lors de l'attribution de 16 nouvelles licences de radiodiffusion, afin d'en évaluer 17 l'impact sur les radiodiffuseurs existants ou pour 18 préserver le caractère distinct de la télévision 19 canadienne. 20 5697 Selon nous, il est toutefois 21 souhaitable que le Conseil laisse à l'avenir évoluer de 22 plus en plus librement les forces du marché et 23 n'intervienne que lorsque celles-ci ne sont pas 24 suffisantes pour protéger l'intérêt public. Dans ce 25 nouveau contexte concurrentiel, le Conseil ne devrait StenoTran 1256 1 plus, selon nous, avoir à appliquer, comme il a déjà eu 2 la sagesse de choisir de le faire en câblodistribution, 3 le critère des avantages significatifs dans le cas des 4 transferts de propriété ou de contrôle d'entreprises de 5 programmation, vu le peu d'obstacles résiduels à 6 l'entrée de nouveaux services sur le marché, la 7 tendance vers la consolidation de l'industrie 8 canadienne et l'obligation dans laquelle se trouvent 9 les diffuseurs canadiens d'investir comparativement de 10 plus en plus de leurs ressources pour assurer une place 11 distinctive pour les productions canadiennes tant au 12 Canada qu'à l'étranger. 13 5698 Voilà qui résume nos principales 14 positions. Mes collègues et moi somes à votre 15 disposition pour répondre à vos questions. 16 5699 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Merci, messieurs. 17 5700 Conseillère Pennefather. 18 5701 CONSEILLÈRE PENNEFATHER: Merci 19 beaucoup, Madame la Présidente. 20 5702 Good afternoon. 21 5703 J'aimerais, si vous êtes d'accord, 22 messieurs, continuer avec quelques questions en anglais 23 et en français, étant donné que vous avez fait la 24 présentation en deux langues et aussi la soumission 25 écrite est en anglais et je n'oserais pas faire la StenoTran 1257 1 traduction de certains de vos propos. 2 5704 Alors j'aimerais commencer par la 3 soumission écrite, à laquelle vous avez fait je pense 4 référence à la page 10 de la présentation orale 5 aujourd'hui. Où je m'en vais, c'est plutôt dans le 6 contexte que vous décrivez dans la soumission écrite, 7 dans laquelle vous mentionnez cinq forces qui 8 influencent l'environnement et le contexte dans lequel 9 on travaille et on propose de faire les politiques et 10 les règlements de l'avenir. 11 5705 I am speaking of the influences and 12 forces at play which you mentioned in your written 13 submission. I would like to take a few minutes to be 14 sure I have understood why you have mentioned these 15 particular elements and why you see them affecting the 16 broadcasting environment the way you do. For example, 17 you have said, and I believe mentioned it again this 18 morning, that the fiercely competitive environment is 19 moving at a great speed. You conclude -- and I quote: 20 "A two-tiered system with a 21 highly dynamic distribution 22 component and a more static, 23 highly-regulated supply side, 24 will not be sustainable in the 25 long run." StenoTran 1258 1 5706 Could you explain exactly what you 2 mean by that, Monsieur Audet? 3 5707 MR. AUDET: Certainly, Commissioner 4 Pennefather. 5 5708 Our concern, as we participate in the 6 evolution of the regulatory framework. is that on the 7 distribution side now there are many licensed 8 distributors who are now engaged in full competition, 9 namely a phone company and a cable company, the two 10 satellite services, the MMDS systems have been licensed 11 and they are now operating in southern Ontario and will 12 begin later this year in Quebec, and of course there 13 are also LMCS licensees who have reportedly acquired 14 substantial quantities of equipment and should begin 15 operating within a year and a half. So there are a 16 number of competitors, and the distribution of services 17 will be a very competitive business indeed. 18 5709 Of course, the regulation of these 19 carriers continues, but we can see it decreasing to the 20 level required to make sure that there is no undue 21 advantage held by any group in particular. 22 5710 Our concern with the evolution of 23 traditional broadcasting is that it is still subjected 24 to what we feel is a heavier regulatory burden, and we 25 can see that in the minds of some operators this should StenoTran 1259 1 shield them from competition. Therefore, we think that 2 is detrimental to the system in the long term. 3 5711 This is not to mean we don't 4 recognize the imperative for the encouragement and the 5 support of a distinctive Canadian character and 6 substantial amounts of Canadian production and 7 programming. That is not to detract from that. But 8 still, we think that the amount of regulation should 9 decrease on the broadcast side as it has on the 10 distribution side. 11 5712 So that was what we meant with that 12 sentence. 13 5713 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you. 14 That's important for the balance of our discussion, I 15 think. 16 5714 Regarding your comment "the consumer 17 is king", which I quote, I assume you are using the 18 term "king" generically. 19 5715 MR. AUDET: Of course. 20 5716 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you. 21 "Who will not be coerced", what does this mean for the 22 cable industry in particular? 23 5717 MR. AUDET: This means that consumers 24 now want to choose what they get, and to date the cable 25 industry has been successful and has used the means at StenoTran 1260 1 its disposal to offer programming packages, initially 2 you might recall on a negative option basis, recently 3 with a good measure of success on a positive option 4 basis, and already this option has been exercised I 5 would say typically by 50 per cent of the Canadian 6 households to whom the latest third tier had been 7 offered. So that 50 per cent is both a great 8 achievement but at the same time a clear signal that 9 not everyone wants to buy every product. 10 5718 So in fact the consumer is asserting 11 her or his willingness to purchase given programming 12 products, and we are at the stage now where people will 13 not accept a given package; they want to pick and 14 choose. That's why the industry is moving in the 15 direction of installing digital video compression 16 decoders which will have all of the abilities required 17 to allow people to exercise the choice they wish the 18 way they want to do it. 19 5719 This technology, as you know, on the 20 cable side has been perhaps a little longer in coming 21 than most of us would have liked, but under the 22 auspices of Cable Labs, an organism which regroups all 23 of the cable companies in North America, the standards 24 have been set, decoders are available today. I know in 25 our case we are not quite convinced that what is there StenoTran 1261 1 today is the kind of platform we would like to develop 2 in the long term, but regardless, within the next year, 3 the product with the performance we are comfortable 4 with for the longer term will be available, and that 5 will be the ultimate instrument of consumer choice and 6 one which the whole Canadian cable industry will 7 embrace. 8 5720 The cost of these, as you know, is 9 substantial; it is about $650 Canadian per terminal for 10 one customer household. So the cost is substantial. 11 The industry to date has had some difficulty in 12 justifying the deployment of such expensive units while 13 at the same time recognizing that that unit would 14 satisfy consumer desire to exercise their free choice. 15 5721 We think that true video on demand 16 will be one of the economic keys that unlocks the 17 feasibility of deploying those decoders. That's what 18 we believe. In order for that to happen, or course, 19 there will have to be some change to how video on 20 demand licences are awarded, in particular granting 21 cable operators freedom to acquire the rights for 22 movies with appropriate Canadian content, guarantees 23 and safeguards of the type the Commission has edicted 24 in the past, which we are quite comfortable with, that 25 would enable, as I say, the cable companies to offer StenoTran 1262 1 true video on demand as one of the keys that would cost 2 justify that important tool that empowers choice by the 3 consumer. 4 1325 5 5722 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you. 6 I am sure you know that there are other processes 7 coming forward in the next few months in which we can 8 discuss some of these issues further. 9 5723 I also note in your presentation 10 regarding this hearing that you do mention the 11 Internet. Am I correct that you are also stating in 12 that sense that you are looking for a less regulated 13 environment as well? 14 5724 MR. AUDET: The Internet is playing a 15 role far beyond what any of us would have thought even 16 two years ago. We are very fortunate that at the end 17 of our last fiscal year, August 31st, we sold our ten 18 thousandth high speed Internet connection to our 19 system. So we are very pleased that these high speed 20 modems are catching on. Consumers enjoy them. Of 21 course, the extremely high speed at which they can 22 access information is key to that. 23 5725 It is now becoming clearer and 24 clearer to us that the Internet platform is really the 25 one that will be the platform of choice for the StenoTran 1263 1 exchange of information, both public and private, all 2 over the planet. It will also become the tool of 3 choice for electronic commerce. 4 5726 Under those circumstances, we are of 5 the view that any attempt to regulate that activity 6 would cause Canada to become less competitive as 7 opposed to more competitive, which should be the intent 8 of the government in current circumstances; to have 9 Canada become more competitive, because it would be 10 unencumbered in its search for knowledge through the 11 Internet tool. 12 5727 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Specific 13 to this discussion, do you think, as was stated by the 14 Council of Canadians, that policies which support 15 Canadian content are contrary to policies which support 16 greater export of greater product? 17 5728 You have mentioned the international 18 environment in which we are working, as well, in your 19 presentation today. This is another point you raise in 20 your opening remarks. It has been a point that the 21 producers have raised, to the effect that assuring that 22 there is Canadian content amidst the environment you 23 have been describing, we should be cautious about 24 supporting the export of that product, because it will 25 thereby not be distinctively Canadian. StenoTran 1264 1 5729 Do you have a comment on that? 2 5730 MR. AUDET: We believe that the 3 promotion promoting Canadian content here would be the 4 right way to go in encouraging people to both produce 5 and display Canadian content software packages on the 6 Internet. But we think that should be of a promotion 7 type of activity as opposed to restricting the free 8 flow of information on the Internet to and from this 9 country and within this country. 10 5731 I think that is the distinction I 11 would make. 12 5732 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: But in the 13 current broadcast environment -- if we just keep with 14 that for the moment -- I am curious to know how you 15 think all these forces at play will support, or not, 16 the present quantity and quality of Canadian 17 programming. 18 5733 MR. AUDET: We have tended to think 19 that there is room for everyone in the system at large, 20 including the broadcasting system, which means that 21 there is ample room for Canadian programs with the 22 current framework, which may be modified of course as a 23 result of these hearings. But by and large, within the 24 current framework there is ample room for Canadian 25 programs to blossom and succeed. StenoTran 1265 1 5734 We don't think the Internet will 2 displace in any way the traditional entertainment 3 approach to television which has prevailed in the past. 4 We don't think that will evolve. But that will not 5 disappear. 6 5735 We think that affords ample 7 visibility to Canadian productions. The Internet, in 8 our mind, is more an exchange of information medium 9 than an entertainment medium. In that sense, we think 10 we should resist regulating the Internet, much the same 11 way we resist regulating the content of telephone 12 conversations. 13 5736 I think that is more what we are 14 trying to get at. 15 5737 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I want to 16 remind you that there will be another hearing in which 17 these issues can be pursued. 18 5738 But the point here is that you have 19 raised a number of important comments that indicate 20 that the current environment for broadcasting in 21 Canadian production is a turbulent one, facing many 22 strong challenges. 23 5739 I was then a little surprised when 24 you concluded that, as a result, we really should not 25 do much at this point, despite these important forces StenoTran 1266 1 at play. 2 5740 MR. AUDET: Speaking from our vantage 3 points, that of our companies, we know what we are 4 doing, the forces we are having to deal with in terms 5 of, for example, rebuilding our cable networks, 6 acquiring the digital platform that will be the choice 7 enabler for consumers. 8 5741 That is why we say we don't think it 9 would be a good idea, for example, to raise the percent 10 of revenues to be sent to a Canadian programming fund. 11 That is the key reason our cable company currently 12 spends about 100 percent of its internally generated 13 cash flow to reinvest in the cable plant. 14 5742 The dividends we send to our 15 shareholders represent under 10 percent of internally 16 generated cash flow. 17 5743 We do not think that is out of 18 proportion. Quite the contrary: we think we are 19 devoting all, if not most, of our resources to 20 upgrading the plant and bringing through the choice 21 enablers. That is on the cable side. 22 5744 On the broadcast side, the Commission 23 is very familiar with the economics of operating the 24 regional TV stations which we happen to operate, as 25 well as the circumstances in which the networks StenoTran 1267 1 operate. 2 5745 And of course we are not a network, 3 so I will not insist on that particular aspect of it. 4 The Commission is well familiar with that. 5 5746 Of course, we believe the Commission 6 has to ask itself, now that we have a set of rules and 7 we have a set of encouragements for people to produce 8 Canadian programs: Is everyone delivering according to 9 that pattern? 10 5747 There may be isolated instances where 11 the Commission will find that individual operators are 12 not in fact delivering their fair share, in which case 13 that would warrant action on your part. 14 5748 I guess what we are trying to get at 15 here is: What is the economic ability of enterprises 16 such as the ones we are representing before you today 17 to contribute more than what they are presently? 18 5749 I have tried to demonstrate that. 19 Right now all our resources are fully committed to 20 achieving what is essential in the near term, in our 21 view, and we think in your view as well. 22 5750 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: You then 23 feel that we should maintain the regulatory framework 24 as it currently is as opposed to making any changes 25 which would address the forces that you have discussed StenoTran 1268 1 in your paper? 2 5751 MR. AUDET: Generally speaking, the 3 levels of contributions, of monetary contributions, 4 which you have edicted for the players in the cable 5 industry and the regional television station operations 6 such as our own, we believe, are adequate. 7 5752 I will restrict my comments to what 8 we know best and what we do. 9 5753 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Just to be 10 clear, you said in your oral presentation that you are 11 aware of the presentations by the CAB and the CCTA. 12 5754 Speaking of the CAB, am I to presume 13 that you support their proposals? 14 5755 MR. AUDET: I think our presentation 15 provides the context in which to decode those proposals 16 to those in which we are in favour and those about 17 which we are less enthusiastic. We recognize that the 18 Commission has the difficult task of striking the right 19 balance between representations of the different 20 parties. And we understand that is not an easy task. 21 5756 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: True. But 22 working together, I am sure we can move forward. 23 5757 That is partly why I was asking the 24 rationale behind your opening remarks and seeing where 25 you would strike the balance. StenoTran 1269 1 5758 If you permit, I would like to ask 2 you for your comment as a major player in the 3 broadcasting production and distribution environment in 4 Canada. What you do think of the CAB's central 5 proposal to set national viewing targets as the 6 ultimate criteria for this framework? 7 5759 In so doing, would you give us some 8 reflection on what that would mean specifically for the 9 French language market. I think you are in a very 10 unique position to make that comment. 11 1335 12 5760 M. CARTER: Merci. 13 5761 Essentiellement, le CAB, qui lui 14 aussi est un organisme pan-canadien, est arrivé avec 15 des objectifs qui sont clairs. Les avantages qu'ils 16 ont, c'est qu'ils fixent un objectif. Maintenant, la 17 grande question est comment vont les radiodiffuseurs à 18 travers le pays faire pour arriver à rencontrer 19 collectivement les objectifs qui ont été fixés? 20 5762 Ce que nous trouvons intéressant, 21 c'est que ça permet à chacun des radiodiffuseurs 22 d'avoir un créneau qui peut être différent de son 23 voisin, mais tous ensemble vont contribuer à en arriver 24 à un objectif commun d'écoute par la population 25 canadienne des canaux canadiens et par la population StenoTran 1270 1 canadienne des émissions canadiennes. 2 5763 En ce qui concerne le deuxième volet 3 de votre question, au Québec, déjà je pense que le 4 Québec est un success story en termes d'écoute par la 5 population des canaux francophones, des canaux 6 canadiens et des émissions canadiennes. Je pense que 7 l'objectif de l'ACR de faire en sorte que le niveau 8 actuel soit maintenu dans le futur compte tenu de la 9 croissance de la compétition qui s'en vient d'autres 10 services spécialisés, l'Internet, qui est un 11 compétiteur en soi au moins pour le temps d'écoute 12 disponible, sera certainement adéquat à notre point de 13 vue. 14 5764 CONSEILLÈRE PENNEFATHER: Alors dans 15 son ensemble leur proposition, qui aussi mentionne une 16 certaine flexibilité pour les radiodiffuseurs... est-ce 17 que pour vous cette proposition va avoir comme résultat 18 plus de programmation canadienne dans les heures de 19 grande écoute? 20 5765 M. CARTER: Je pense que l'objectif, 21 c'est d'avoir plus de Canadiens qui écoutent la 22 programmation canadienne. 23 5766 CONSEILLÈRE PENNEFATHER: Mais est-ce 24 qu'il y aura plus de programmation canadienne? 25 5767 M. CARTER: Est-ce qu'il y aura plus StenoTran 1271 1 de programmation canadienne? À mon avis, ça va 2 dépendre encore une fois de chacun des réseaux, des 3 objectifs que chacun va se fixer pour y arriver. 4 5768 Le Conseil, évidemment, conserve tous 5 les outils qu'il a actuellement, si on pense du côté 6 anglophone particulièrement, le pourcentage de revenus 7 ou le nombre d'heures de production canadienne, ou une 8 troisième alternative que l'ACR a proposée en termes de 9 dépenses dans les catégories sous-représentées... alors 10 le Conseil conserve ces outils-là plus les conditions 11 de licence spécifiques à chaque fois qu'un 12 radiodiffuseur revient devant lui pour assurer, si vous 13 voulez, une certaine quantité de programmation 14 canadienne en ondes, et je ne vois pas comment la 15 programmation canadienne pourrait, compte tenu de tous 16 les outils en place, diminuer. En fait, au contraire, 17 on devrait s'attendre à ce qu'elle augmente. 18 5769 CONSEILLÈRE PENNEFATHER: Good. Je 19 suis d'accord. 20 5770 Est-ce que maintenant on peut se 21 tourner vers les recommandations spécifiques? 22 Premièrement, au paragraphe 20 de votre intervention 23 écrite vous parlez d'équilibrer les besoins de 24 financement en programmation d'émissions canadiennes et 25 les besoins financiers émergeant du système de StenoTran 1272 1 radiodiffusion et de télédistribution, tels que, par 2 exemple, la conversion numérique et les améliorations 3 aux infrastructures dont M. Audet a fait mention. 4 5771 Recommandez-vous donc que le Conseil 5 maintienne le statu quo en ce qui concerne la 6 contribution des télédistributeurs au financement de la 7 programmation canadienne? Et est-ce que vous avez 8 d'autres commentaires sur ce paragraphe? Je dois vois 9 dire que je n'étais pas claire sur ce paragraphe. 10 5772 M. CARTER: Oui, certainement. 11 5773 Notre principale préoccupation, nous, 12 en tant que radiodiffuseur... 13 5774 CONSEILLÈRE PENNEFATHER: Je vous 14 entends très mal, Monsieur Carter. 15 5775 M. CARTER: Excusez-moi. 16 5776 CONSEILLÈRE PENNEFATHER: Merci 17 beaucoup. 18 5777 M. CARTER: On me dit souvent que je 19 ne parle pas assez fort. 20 5778 Notre principale préoccupation en 21 tant que radiodiffuseur, c'est d'avoir l'opportunité 22 d'avoir accès à l'ensemble des fonds de financement qui 23 sont disponibles pour la production. En ce qui 24 concerne l'acquisition par les radiodiffuseurs de 25 productions indépendantes, nous sommes à l'aise avec StenoTran 1273 1 les niveaux actuels recommandés par le Conseil. 2 5779 CONSEILLÈRE PENNEFATHER: Alors c'est 3 un paragraphe qui parle surtout de votre recommandation 4 aujourd'hui concernant l'accès pour les radiodiffuseurs 5 au Fonds de production. Est-ce que j'ai bien compris? 6 5780 M. CARTER: Oui. Nous voulons que 7 les radiodiffuseurs aient un accès complet, par 8 exemple, au Fonds de capital de Téléfilm. 9 5781 CONSEILLÈRE PENNEFATHER: Pourquoi 10 vous pensez que les producteurs, certainement 11 représentés par APFTQ, le CFTPA et d'autres producteurs 12 indépendants, s'opposent à ce que les radiodiffuseurs 13 aient cet accès au Fonds de production? 14 5782 M. CARTER: Depuis quelques années, 15 évidemment, le régime a fait en sorte que la production 16 indépendante soit une petite chasse gardée. C'était 17 certainement approprié il y a plusieurs années alors 18 que la production indépendante commençait. 19 5783 Aujourd'hui, si on regarde les 20 statistiques, on se rend compte que les profits cumulés 21 des producteurs indépendants, si on regarde au Québec 22 et dans l'ensemble du Canada, sont égaux ou supérieurs 23 à ce que les radiodiffuseurs ont comme profitabilité. 24 Alors les barrières qui, à un moment, étaient 25 nécessaires pour s'assurer d'avoir une industrie de StenoTran 1274 1 production indépendante vivante et vibrante, à notre 2 avis, ne sont plus nécessaires aujourd'hui parce que 3 cette industrie-là est aussi forte sinon plus forte que 4 l'industrie du broadcasting comme telle. 5 5784 CONSEILLÈRE PENNEFATHER: Si le 6 Conseil décide en effet de recommander ou va dans cette 7 direction de manière à ce que les radiodiffuseurs 8 devraient avoir accès au Fonds de production, est-ce 9 que vous mettriez ce qu'on appelle en anglais des 10 safeguards, des limites, des conditions? 11 5785 M. CARTER: Si on regarde, par 12 exemple, l'accès des radiodiffuseurs au Fonds de 13 production, il y a une limite quant à la portion du 14 Fonds de production à laquelle les radiodiffuseurs ont 15 accès, ce qui est une forme de safeguard, si vous 16 voulez, pour assurer que les deux industries continuent 17 de vivre dans le futur. 18 5786 L'objectif, ce n'est pas de détruire 19 l'industrie de la production indépendante. D'ailleurs, 20 le jour où les radiodiffuseurs ont accès à certains 21 fonds réservés, ça ne veut pas dire que les 22 radiodiffuseurs vont être capables de faire une 23 production indépendante de dramatiques lourdes, par 24 exemple. Les radiodiffuseurs ne seront pas capables de 25 faire ça. On n'a pas l'infrastructure, on n'a pas StenoTran 1275 1 l'organisation, on n'a pas les talents pour faire ça. 2 5787 Alors ça a bien fonctionné avec, si 3 vous voulez, la proportion accordée au Fonds des 4 câblos; ça pourrait très bien fonctionner de la même 5 façon avec les autres fonds auxquelles les 6 radiodiffuseurs n'ont pas accès... donc une proportion 7 du fonds réservée aux producteurs indépendants et une 8 proportion réservée aux radiodiffuseurs. 9 5788 CONSEILLÈRE PENNEFATHER: En parlant 10 de la production, de la programmation, le Groupe 11 Coscient et l'APFTQ ont proposé de modifier le crédit 12 de 150 pour cent alloué à certaines catégories 13 d'émissions de la manière suivante: 150 pour cent aux 14 fictions lourdes et les dramatiques pour enfants, 125 15 pour cent pour les téléromans plus. 16 5789 Que pensez-vous de cette proposition, 17 et auriez-vous d'autres niveaux ou catégories à 18 proposer pour encourager la production et la diffusion 19 des émissions canadiennes? 20 5790 M. CARTER: Encore une fois, nous 21 sommes membres de l'ACR et nous comprenons que l'ACR a 22 proposé le maintien du 150 pour cent et a proposé un 23 nouveau niveau de 200 pour cent pour certaines 24 productions super canadiennes. Alors nous endossons la 25 position de l'ACR. StenoTran 1276 1 5791 CONSEILLÈRE PENNEFATHER: Merci. 2 5792 Aux paragraphes 35 et 36 de votre 3 soumission écrite vous traitez de la forte concurrence 4 qu'amènera la technologie numérique sur les 5 fournisseurs de services spécialisés et de télévision 6 payante en soutenant que ces derniers feront face à une 7 concurrence féroce. Vous poursuivez en disant, et je 8 cite, que "le Conseil doit être prudent en augmentant 9 les exigences du contenu canadien et de dépenses s'il 10 ne recherche pas des moyens de les protéger de l'entrée 11 de nouveaux compétiteurs." 12 5793 Quand vous parlez de la concurrence 13 et de la protection réglementaire, faites-vous allusion 14 à la concurrence entre les services de distribution ou 15 faites-vous allusion à la concurrence qu'une chaîne 16 spécialisée ou payante pourrait subir de la part d'une 17 autre chaîne canadienne ou américaine opérant dans le 18 même créneau... sports, nouvelles, et caetera? 19 5794 M. AUDET: Vous savez, lorsqu'on a 20 rédigé ce paragraphe, on essayait principalement de 21 faire état de l'accroissement de la concurrence, on 22 essayait de faire état du fait que les consommateurs 23 veulent de plus en plus choisir ce qu'ils désirent et 24 que la vidéo sur demande sera l'outil par excellence 25 pour satisfaire ce besoin-là. StenoTran 1277 1 5795 Malheureusement, la structure 2 industrielle actuelle en est une qui divise les revenus 3 de télévision payante en trois tranches, le quasi vidéo 4 à demande en trois tranches: une tranche pour le 5 détenteur de droits, une tranche pour l'opérateur de 6 télévision payante canadienne et une tranche pour 7 l'opérateur de câble. 8 5796 Dans le moment, les technologies qui 9 permettent de stocker et de distribuer les longs 10 métrages à demande sont arrivées à toutes fins utiles 11 dans une plage de prix économique qui fait qu'on pourra 12 les mettre en oeuvre et les utiliser. Le seul 13 empêchement à ça à l'heure actuelle, c'est la division 14 des revenus en trois parts égales. 15 5797 Donc ce à quoi ce paragraphe a tenté 16 de vous alerter, c'est de dire: Écoutez, cette 17 structure-là ne pourra pas continuer. Il faudrait que 18 les câblo-opérateurs aient la même latitude qu'aux 19 États-Unis, c'est-à-dire que la moitié du revenu va au 20 détenteur du droit et l'autre moitié reste à 21 l'opérateur de câble, et ces fonds-là sont nécessaires 22 pour pouvoir offrir le service. 23 5798 Je pense que c'est en grande partie 24 ce à quoi ce paragraphe-ci s'adressait. À ce moment- 25 là, au moment où on a écrit ceci, déjà, au congrès de StenoTran 1278 1 l'Association nationale des câbles à Atlanta, on avait 2 pu voir les équipements de stockage électronique de 3 films, et déjà on pouvait voir que le prochain 4 empêchement est un empêchement structurel au Canada, ce 5 ne sera pas un empêchement technique. 6 5799 CONSEILLÈRE PENNEFATHER: Sur ces 7 questions du numérique, je veux juste être certaine que 8 j'ai bien compris en termes de... si je peux utiliser 9 le mot "timing". Quand pensez-vous que les Canadiens 10 et Canadiennes vont avoir, à leur maison, accès à la 11 programmation canadienne numérique? Et j'ai parlé de 12 la programmation, pas seulement de la diffusion. 13 5800 M. AUDET: D'accord. Alors votre 14 question est plus large. 15 5801 Écoutez, pour ma part, la réponse à 16 votre question, je ne la connais pas. Je sais que le 17 Comité McEwen s'est penché sur cette question et est 18 arrivé avec une série de recommandations que je serais 19 incapable de vous réciter mais qui m'apparaissaient 20 sages. 21 5802 Je peux vous dire que, comme câblo- 22 opérateur, nous, on se prépare à retransmettre les 23 chaînes numériques quelle qu'en soit l'origine, et le 24 point de pression immédiat en ce qui nous concerne, 25 c'est Détroit; le système de câble que nous venons StenoTran 1279 1 d'acquérir à Windsor devrait être capable de 2 transporter les chaînes de Détroit qui opéreront en 3 HDTV, de pouvoir les offrir. 4 5803 À quelle vitesse? Je pense que le 5 Comité McEwen recommandait que les diffuseurs canadiens 6 se tiennent prêts à offrir de la programmation en forme 7 numérique avec un décalage, si mes souvenirs sont bons, 8 d'environ 18 mois. Est-ce que les opérateurs canadiens 9 vont être en mesure de le faire? Je présume que oui, 10 mais je ne le sais pas. 11 5804 Je sais qu'en ce qui nous concerne, 12 comme diffuseur opérant dans des stations régionales, 13 c'est évident qu'on ne sera pas au début de la chaîne 14 mais bien plutôt à la fin puisque notre flexibilité 15 pour les revenus est très faible dans les stations 16 régionales. 17 5805 Excusez-moi un moment. 18 --- Courte pause / Short pause 19 5806 M. AUDET: M. Carter me signale que 20 les décalages entre les grands marchés et les petits 21 marchés risquent d'être environ cinq ans. 22 5807 Ceci ne nous empêche pas, du côté du 23 câble, de se doter de toute l'infrastructure de 24 retransmission en numérique, à cause d'abord du fait 25 que c'est l'instrument de choix privilégié par la StenoTran 1280 1 clientèle, donc il faut qu'on l'ait, mais également en 2 raison du fait que ces investissements-là sont 3 tellement massifs qu'il y a toujours un délai dans 4 l'exécution du plan. Alors le plus vite nous pourrons 5 commencer, le plus tôt le déploiement sera complet. 6 5808 CONSEILLÈRE PENNEFATHER: C'est une 7 discussion qui date depuis quelque temps, et je pense 8 que c'est un point très important non seulement pour 9 l'accessibilité mais pour la programmation aussi, et 10 c'est certainement le but, mais la question était aussi 11 de savoir si vous pensez que le milieu numérique, c'est 12 une occasion, une opportunity, pour la programmation 13 canadienne au lieu de peut-être un défi ou même pire. 14 5809 Est-ce qu'il y a des opportunities, 15 as we say in English, that digital will bring us for 16 Canadian programming? Should we be overly concerned? 17 5810 MR. AUDET: Well, it is an 18 opportunity that comes at a great cost also, and 19 striking the balance will not be easy, in our opinion, 20 because the costs are substantial. But, on the other 21 hand, we can't ignore it because the competition will 22 have it, so we must have it. 23 5811 I think it has served Canada well to 24 always be at the forefront of new technologies, and in 25 fact in many cases to develop them and promote them. StenoTran 1281 1 In this particular case it so happens that our 2 neighbour, being more powerful, will have broadcast 3 stations on the air before we do, and that's a reality 4 we will have to cope with. 5 5812 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I am sure 6 you would agree, then, that, as the reality for 7 Canadian business emerges, it will be important to have 8 the product, and considering that we all support 9 Canadian product within today's environment and 10 tomorrow's environment, I am sure you will agree it 11 will be important that we all contribute to the 12 creation of or development of digital product as well. 13 1350 14 5813 This brings me to my last question 15 which is really more of a point of information on the 16 development fund. If you could just bring us up to 17 date on how the Cogeco program development fund is 18 working, how many films or programs have been created, 19 what kind of partnerships are being put together. 20 5814 I'm very interested to know if any of 21 these products are reaching Canadian viewers and 22 perhaps viewers elsewhere, such as in the U.S. market. 23 5815 MR. MAYRAND: Maybe as an update, we 24 mention in our verbal presentation that initially the 25 Cogeco fund was set up as a capital fund with gradual StenoTran 1282 1 capitalization reaching $5 million with contributions 2 of $1 million per year over a five year period. 3 5816 The fund was the result of a 4 commitment made back in 1990. Initially, the fund had 5 only one program. It was concerned with mostly script 6 and concept development. The original intent was to 7 foster to the extent possible script and concept 8 development of programs intended for Canadian 9 television that would eventually air in both languages. 10 5817 In practice, this has proved to be a 11 difficult goal to achieve. Most productions, if not 12 all, as a matter of fact have been basically tailored 13 for either the French language or the English language 14 market. 15 5818 We have had a number of contributions 16 to very important series and I don't have the full list 17 with me. I will be glad to provide that to you as an 18 addendum, if you wish. By and large, a number of 19 series to which the fund has been put to task at the 20 script development stage have made it to air over the 21 years, including very high profile series in both the 22 French language and the English language markets. That 23 includes dramas and very substantial productions. 24 5819 Now, more recently, actually this was 25 announced later this spring, the Cogeco fund has set up StenoTran 1283 1 a new and separate program which is not a capital fund 2 project. It's a current expenditure fund, financed 3 essentially through contributions from our cable 4 sector. 5 5820 It was, after consultation in 6 production circles, considered that there was a useful 7 contribution to be made to the production of telefilms. 8 Therefore, we have now at the Cogeco fund a new program 9 entirely devoted to supporting this time at the 10 investment level the production of telefilms. 11 5821 It is really at this point of time to 12 say whether the concept will work well, if it will be 13 successful in terms of ultimate productions. These 14 things take a little while to materialize. However, it 15 has certainly been to our knowledge very well received 16 by production circles. 17 5822 I should emphasize that both programs 18 run by the Cogeco fund are managed completely 19 independently from the Cogeco companies. 20 5823 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you 21 for that information. I would like to thank you for 22 the discussion and sharing your thoughts and 23 recommendations. 24 5824 That completes my questions, Madam 25 Chair. StenoTran 1284 1 5825 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Just a couple 2 of questions I would like to ask you with respect to 3 your oral presentation. 4 5826 One of the comments that you make in 5 your presentation on page 3 is with respect to the 6 present condition of the French language television 7 market. It states: 8 "The new French language and 9 English language specialty 10 services have reaped a 11 disproportionate share of the 12 increase in the advertising pie 13 to the detriment of general 14 interest broadcasters." 15 5827 It's about three or four lines from 16 the bottom of page 3. 17 5828 I noticed when I was reading the 18 submission by Astral that they made two points about 19 the impact of pay and specialty on the conventional 20 broadcasters. They provided some statistics that 21 showed that the market share had dropped very slightly 22 from -- they gave two time periods. 23 5829 Between 1982 and 1987, they quoted 24 the market share for the conventional broadcasters as 25 being 79.4 per cent. Between 1988 and 1997, during StenoTran 1285 1 which there were three waves of introductions of 2 specialty services, the market share dropped to 76.8 3 per cent on average. They have a whole chart full of 4 numbers. 5 5830 They also made the statement that one 6 of the net benefits to the broadcasting system was the 7 growth of the Canadian television advertising market 8 with no negative impact on the advertising revenues of 9 conventional networks. 10 5831 I'm just wondering if you have some 11 research that suggests that their numbers might not be 12 the whole picture that you could put on file with us 13 just to help us understand what you see the market 14 conditions being as opposed to the Astral group. 15 5832 MR. CARTER: Well, we certainly don't 16 disagree with respect to the number of listeners of 17 which you have just talked about. 18 5833 Our comment here had to do with what 19 portion of the advertising pie the specialty services 20 are taking. I have here the statistics from the TVB 21 which is called la télévision 98 that shows that the 22 revenues of the specialty have come up by 18 per cent 23 between 1995 and 1996 whereas at the same time national 24 revenues have come up by 1.5 per cent and local by 2.7 25 per cent. StenoTran 1286 1 5834 All that we are saying is that they 2 grab a larger portion of the increase. That doesn't 3 mean that the conventional broadcasters have decreased. 4 Okay? They just grabbed a larger portion. They 5 grabbed in 1996 28 per cent. They had a 28 per cent 6 increase in their revenues whereas at the local level, 7 for example, our increase was 2.7 per cent. 8 5835 Do you see where we are getting at? 9 The whole pie has increased. 10 5836 COMMISSIONER WILSON: I do. The 11 reason I ask is because the next sentence says: 12 "The advertising market for 13 French language television is 14 also undermined." 15 5837 What you are saying is that in terms 16 of the increase in the advertising market, they are 17 taking more than you are but it's not really 18 undermining you. Is that what you are saying? 19 5838 MR. CARTER: What we are saying is 20 because they are there, they have been the main 21 beneficiaries of the increase of the pie. Therefore, 22 we are more stagnant. 23 5839 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Would the pie 24 have increased if they weren't there? 25 5840 MR. CARTER: Yes. We believe so. StenoTran 1287 1 5841 MR. MAYRAND: If I may, it seems to 2 me that the next sentence you are referring to really 3 addresses the question of price leadership. 4 5842 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Right, but I'm 5 just saying it says "is also undermined". I mean it 6 indicates that what you were talking about in the 7 previous sentence undermines the advertising revenues. 8 5843 MR. MAYRAND: We should have probably 9 said is further or is undermined. 10 5844 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Okay. 11 5845 MR. MAYRAND: We were really 12 referring in that sentence to the issue of discounting 13 and price leadership by the market leader on the 14 conventional side. 15 5846 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Okay. On page 16 8 I just wanted a clarification on one of your points 17 under Canadian program funding and the impact on cable 18 distribution activities. 19 5847 Your third point is with respect to 20 television activities: 21 "100 per cent of our programming 22 expenditures are, of course, 23 applied to Canadian 24 programming." 25 5848 You are talking about your radio and StenoTran 1288 1 television broadcasting undertakings. 2 5849 MR. AUDET: We are talking about our 3 television broadcasting operations. I think Michel 4 Carter could comment on that. 5 5850 COMMISSIONER WILSON: So you spend 6 100 per cent of your -- you don't buy any foreign 7 programming at all. 8 5851 MR. CARTER: No. We don't buy any 9 foreign product. 10 5852 COMMISSIONER WILSON: I was just 11 curious. I have seen very high figures for other 12 broadcasters in the Quebec market, but I haven't seen 13 100 per cent, so I just wanted to clarify it. 14 5853 MR. CARTER: You recall that we are 15 an affiliate, so therefore we carry most of the network 16 programming. 17 5854 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Yes. 18 5855 MR. CARTER: Our programming expenses 19 at local are essentially towards news, public affairs 20 and production that we do for the network, which is 100 21 per cent Canadian programming as well. 22 5856 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Great. 23 5857 Thanks very much. 24 1400 25 5858 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Vous nous avez StenoTran 1289 1 indiqué que, d'après vous, le consommateur est roi. Au 2 Québec, évidemment, la pénétration du câble n'est pas 3 aussi élevée que dans les autres parties du Canada 4 généralement. 5 5859 Si le consommateur est roi, est-ce 6 que le consommateur ne se doit pas de s'attendre à une 7 programmation diversifiée, une programmation canadienne 8 diversifiée sur les réseaux conventionnels, et comment 9 agencez-vous cette proposition avec celle qui voudrait 10 réduire la réglementation des réseaux conventionnels? 11 5860 Est-ce que vous croyez que le marché 12 lui-même assurera que la diversité de la programmation 13 canadienne sur les réseaux conventionnels qui sont 14 recevables sans le câble ou sans payer pour des 15 services discrétionnaires est suffisante pour garder 16 cette diversité de la programmation canadienne et la 17 qualité? 18 5861 M. AUDET: Il y a plusieurs intrants 19 dans votre question; je vais essayer de les toucher 20 tous, et j'en oublierai certainement. 21 5862 D'abord, la radiodiffusion hertzienne 22 offre dans le moment une bonne variété. La plus grande 23 menace à cette variété-là dans la langue française, ce 24 serait d'exiger la spécialisation des chaînes. Par 25 exemple, certains ont suggéré que Radio-Canada devrait StenoTran 1290 1 devenir un service plus artistique, faisant les choses 2 que les autres ne veulent pas faire. Cela, selon nous, 3 serait une erreur parce qu'à la longue ce réseau ferait 4 ce que tous les autres réseaux qui ont tenté de devenir 5 trop élitistes ont fait, c'est qu'il se marginaliserait 6 et serait voué à l'extinction. 7 5863 Donc, pour avoir une bonne variété de 8 l'offre, il faut quand même qu'il y ait une concurrence 9 dynamique, réelle et vibrante où les joueurs ont 10 suffisamment de marge de manoeuvre économique pour 11 prendre des initiatives, tenter des choses qui parfois 12 sont en concurrence et parfois sont distinctives. Mais 13 essayer de les cantonner dans des rôles, selon nous, ça 14 conduit à leur extinction. 15 5864 Alors ça, disons, ce serait le volet 16 de notre réponse pour la radiodiffusion hertzienne. 17 5865 Pour la câblodistribution, 18 évidemment, il y a d'autres facteurs qui entrent en 19 jeu. Le plus important, c'est que ce que le câble 20 avait à offrir comme programmation de langue française 21 distinctive n'était peut-être pas en aussi grande 22 quantité que ce que le câble pouvait offrir en langue 23 anglaise dans les marchés anglophones. C'est ce qui a 24 retardé la progression du câble. 25 5866 Cela étant dit, on serait tenté de StenoTran 1291 1 dire: Eh, bien, offrons plus de chaînes francophones 2 et on fera monter la pénétration du câble. Je pense 3 que ce serait une affirmation juste, mais il faudrait 4 voir dans quel délai. Je m'explique. 5 5867 Nous avons, à l'automne dernier, 6 ajouté les quatre nouvelles chaînes francophones qui 7 ont obtenu des licences, Canal Vie, Musimax, le Canal 8 Nouvelles et Télétoon, qui étaient de très belles 9 additions. Nous les avons ajoutées à notre volet 10 discrétionnaire avec une hausse de tarif 11 correspondante. 12 5868 Il est déjà manifeste auprès de nos 13 clients à qui nous parlons dans des focus groups ou 14 dans des sondages qu'ils en sont à un point où ils sont 15 essoufflés de se faire offrir plus de produits, ce qui 16 nous incite à la plus grande prudence pour l'offre des 17 services à venir. Comprenez-moi bien, je ne suis pas 18 en train de dire qu'on ne devrait pas offrir plus de 19 services francophones à la population francophone. On 20 devrait en offrir, il faudra en offrir, ce serait dans 21 le meilleur intérêt de tout le monde de le faire, mais 22 à ce moment précis il y a visiblement une fatigue chez 23 le consommateur et un délai serait dans l'ordre des 24 choses pour permettre au consommateur de digérer cette 25 nouvelle offre. StenoTran 1292 1 5869 Même si les taux de pénétration n'ont 2 pas chuté beaucoup -- je pense qu'ils sont passés de 82 3 pour cent à 78 pour cent, ce qui n'est pas beaucoup -- 4 le sentiment d'insatisfaction et de frustration, lui, 5 il est palpable. 6 5870 Alors il faudra faire preuve de la 7 plus grande prudence face à l'attribution de nouvelles 8 chaînes, voire même -- et c'est sûrement l'option que, 9 pour notre part, nous privilégions -- différer 10 l'attribution de licences d'un an ou deux pour 11 permettre au marché d'absorber l'offre la plus récente 12 qui vient d'avoir lieu. 13 5871 Je ne sais pas si ces deux volets de 14 ma réponse en fait répondent à votre question. 15 5872 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Ma question n'était 16 peut-être pas claire, mais puisque nous examinons 17 aujourd'hui la télévision conventionnelle et les 18 spécialisées, ma question à vous était: Comment, 19 puisque vous suggérez une certaine déréglementation de 20 la télévision conventionnelle, certainement pas plus de 21 réglementation, et comme certaines parties l'ont 22 proposé, et moins que le statu quo d'une certaine 23 façon... ma question était: Le consommateur qui est 24 roi et qui, lui, décide de ne pas s'abonner au câble, 25 ce qui est assez commun, encore plus commun au Québec, StenoTran 1293 1 comment fait-on ou doit-on, comme agence de 2 réglementation, s'assurer que justement les services 3 conventionnels, dont je voudrais surtout vous parler en 4 ce moment, continuent à offrir une diversité et une 5 qualité de produits au consommateur roi qui, lui, ne 6 veut pas s'abonner au câble? 7 5873 Est-ce que vous faisiez un pont entre 8 la concurrence que les services conventionnels 9 ressentent face aux services spécialisés pour suggérer 10 que c'est plus difficile pour les services 11 conventionnels de garder leur performance ou si vous 12 m'aviez mal comprise? 13 5874 Je regarde maintenant la télévision 14 conventionnelle. Comment la garde-t-on riche, diverse 15 et de qualité et populaire, ce qui est le cas au 16 Québec... comment fait-on maintenant pour garder ce 17 niveau-là précisément pour les conventionnelles tout en 18 déréglementant? 19 5875 M. AUDET: J'ai tenté de vous donner 20 l'opinion qui est la nôtre... 21 5876 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Où vous faites le 22 pont... 23 5877 M. AUDET: ... et la nôtre, c'est de 24 s'assurer que tous les joueurs demeurent pleinement 25 compétitifs sur la pleine gamme, mais peut-être que StenoTran 1294 1 Me Mayrand aimerait ajouter à ce point de vue là. 2 5878 Me MAYRAND: Peut-être pour tenter de 3 répondre plus précisément à votre question, Madame la 4 Présidente, notre point de vue, c'est que d'abord les 5 réseaux conventionnels de télévision du marché 6 francophone, en somme, je pense, de l'aveu de la 7 plupart des intervenants, réussissent fort bien dans 8 les circonstances, et en fait, comparativement, 9 réussissent mieux peut-être que dans l'autre marché à 10 offrir ou à dispenser le genre de qualité et de 11 diversité et de présence d'émissions à teneur 12 canadienne dans différentes catégories que nous 13 souhaitons tous. 14 5879 Les commentaires que nous avons faits 15 quant à la nécessité pour le Conseil d'exercer une 16 certaine prudence et une vigilance ont trait à 17 l'accroissement de l'offre télévisuelle dans ce 18 contexte-là, compte tenu du fait que c'est un marché 19 restreint qui, pour différents facteurs structurels 20 qu'on a tenté de décrire de façon sommaire dans notre 21 présentation orale ce matin, ou cet après-midi 22 plutôt... compte tenu de ces facteurs-là, c'est un 23 marché qui est également vulnérable. 24 5880 Alors je pense qu'on ne parle pas de 25 déréglementation des réseaux conventionnels qui ferait StenoTran 1295 1 qu'on perdrait les acquis; il n'y a pas de proposition 2 dans nos mémoires qui vise ça. Tout ce qu'on vous dit, 3 c'est: Attention, nous avons un acquis important ici, 4 nous avons vraiment une histoire plutôt réussie d'amour 5 entre le public québécois et sa télévision 6 conventionnelle... et là, on n'entre pas dans la 7 question de savoir s'il pourrait y avoir plus ou moins 8 de créneaux spécialisés représentés dans le marché 9 francophone. En tout cas, il y a clairement une forte 10 correspondance, une forte complicité entre le public 11 québécois et ses chaînes conventionnelles. 12 5881 Alors on vous dit: Attention, compte 13 tenu des caractéristiques propres à ce marché-là, qui 14 est beaucoup plus petit, qui est fragile, il faut faire 15 très attention pour ne pas, par l'adoption de nouvelles 16 mesures et l'augmentation rapide de l'offre audio- 17 visuelle, créer une instabilité qui, finalement, 18 produit un effet contraire. 19 5882 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Alors à ce moment-là 20 vous verriez les réseaux conventionnels avec des 21 possibilités diminuées de garder l'acquis à cause de la 22 fragmentation de l'auditoire dans un marché assez 23 étroit. 24 5883 Me MAYRAND: Sûrement. Je pense que 25 la perspective qu'on traçait un peu et à laquelle StenoTran 1296 1 Michel référait tantôt, qui est un peu préoccupante 2 pour les radiodiffuseurs qu'on dit conventionnels, 3 c'est le fait qu'en pratique on n'arrive plus à aller 4 chercher une part proportionnelle de l'augmentation de 5 l'assiette publicitaire. Ce n'est pas encore une 6 décroissance, mais c'est un manque de croissance qui 7 fait que ça va devenir délicat et difficile, plus 8 difficile qu'auparavant de maintenir les acquis. 9 5884 LA PRÉSIDENTE: À ce moment-là, est- 10 ce que vous avez une position quelconque sur, 11 justement, l'intégration horizontale, disons, où il y a 12 propriété commune entre un réseau conventionnel et des 13 services spécialisés, justement pour contrer la 14 tendance à la fragmentation en gardant son auditoire? 15 Si on en perd, au moins on le garde chez soi. 16 5885 M. AUDET: Vous savez, nous, nous 17 sommes favorables à la propriété conjointe ou croisée 18 de tous les services, que ce soit la câblodistribution, 19 la télédiffusion ou la radiodiffusion conventionnelle 20 ou les services spécialisés. Jusqu'ici le Conseil, 21 dans ses décisions antérieures, a exprimé des réserves 22 sur la détention de canaux spécialisés par une 23 compagnie de câble, mais il n'y a pas de doute que le 24 secteur radiodiffusion dans notre compagnie parfois 25 aimerait bien pouvoir offrir un canal spécialisé pour StenoTran 1297 1 maintenir sa croissance. 2 5886 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Vous préconisez le 3 maintien du entry test. Est-ce que dans ce test on 4 devrait examine ou mesurer aussi cette concentration ou 5 cette propriété croisée? 6 5887 M. AUDET: À ma connaissance, vous le 7 faites déjà, n'est-ce pas? Vous le faites déjà, il me 8 semble. 9 5888 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Parce que vous avez 10 établi il y a un moment vos inquiétudes par rapport à 11 l'ajout de services spécialisés. Est-ce que c'est à 12 votre avis pire si ces services spécialisés sont la 13 propriété de services conventionnels? 14 5889 M. AUDET: Je pense qu'il devrait 15 exister une relative liberté pour les compagnies 16 d'offrir les services qu'elles désirent offrir, 17 qu'elles soient ou non propriétaires d'un réseau de 18 câble ou qu'elles soient ou non propriétaires de 19 stations de radio et de télévision existantes. 20 5890 Le Conseil a édicté une 21 réglementation pour s'assurer qu'il y ait égalité 22 d'accès pour les services. Je sais que le Conseil dans 23 le moment a des procédures en cours pour revoir 24 certaines anicroches qui ont été reprochées... 25 5891 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Je parlais de StenoTran 1298 1 concentration horizontale, pas verticale, entre les 2 services conventionnels et les services spécialisés, 3 parce qu'il y a des contradictions quelconques. Vous 4 vous inquiétez de l'ajout de services spécialisés à 5 cause de la concurrence trop aiguë qui rendrait plus 6 difficile aux services conventionnels et aux titulaires 7 du moment de vraiment pouvoir garder les acquis, et 8 caetera, et vous préconisez l'entry test, et caetera. 9 5892 Alors c'est un peu contraire à donner 10 la possibilité à des services conventionnels qui ont 11 d'autres permis spécialisés. Est-ce que ça ne va pas 12 encore plus à l'encontre de ce que vous préconisez, qui 13 est d'essayer de garder ce que vous avez en ce moment 14 sans fragmenter l'auditoire ou sans ajouter de 15 concurrence qui vous semble indue s'il y avait des 16 services additionnels avant deux ans, je crois que vous 17 avez dit. 18 5893 M. AUDET: Je sens le besoin de faire 19 une mise au point. Notre référence au fait qu'il y a 20 cette fragmentation et qu'il y a eu croissance beaucoup 21 plus vigoureuse des revenus des canaux spécialisés que 22 de la télévision conventionnelle, ce n'était pas pour 23 exprimer le point de vue qu'on devrait indûment limiter 24 l'octroi de licences futures, c'était simplement pour 25 indiquer que, dans ce contexte-là, le secteur de la StenoTran 1299 1 radiodiffusion traditionnelle n'a pas les moyens qu'on 2 lui impose des contributions supplémentaires au 3 chapitre de la programmation canadienne. C'était le 4 but de cette intervention-là, tout simplement. 5 5894 Me MAYRAND: Pour compléter, si vous 6 me permettez, Madame la Présidente, très rapidement, je 7 pense que nous n'avons pas dit qu'il ne devrait pas y 8 avoir de nouveaux services dans le marché francophone. 9 On s'est contentés de dire: Attention, dans le proche 10 avenir il y a, d'après nous, un problème. Alors ce 11 n'est certainement pas une interdiction ou un édit ou 12 un préjugé toujours défavorable à l'inclusion de 13 nouveaux services. Et notre réflexion est 14 littéralement stimulée par les commentaires que nous 15 recevons des téléspectateurs et des abonnés du câble 16 dans nos régions. 17 5895 Alors ça, c'est une chose. 18 5896 Par ailleurs, lorsque vous soulevez 19 la question de la propriété croisée, on n'a pas énoncé 20 de commentaire à l'effet qu'il ne peut pas y avoir de 21 croisement de propriétés et des liens horizontaux... 22 5897 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Non, non, c'était une 23 question de ma part. Je ne vous ai pas attribué ces 24 mots. Je vous demandais simplement si le problème 25 était rendu encore plus difficile... StenoTran 1300 1 5898 Me MAYRAND: Pour compléter là- 2 dessus, je pense que notre réflexion à ce stade-ci, 3 c'est que le concept de propriété croisée dans un 4 marché qui évolue vers une plus grande concurrence et 5 une plus grande multiplicité d'intervenants, c'est un 6 contexte qui se prête à parler plutôt de règles ou de 7 garanties visant à s'assurer qu'il n'y ait pas de 8 dominance d'un groupe de joueurs ou d'un joueur et 9 qu'il n'y ait pas de problèmes de préférence indue ou 10 de discrimination plutôt que le phénomène de la 11 propriété croisée ou d'intérêts horizontaux en soi. 12 5899 Alors de ce point de vue là, c'est 13 clairement une évolution du discours et des 14 préoccupations du Conseil par rapport à celles qu'on 15 avait il y a 10 et, encore plus, il y a 15 ans. 16 5900 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Je crois bien que 17 l'intégration que j'appellerais horizontale, où les 18 services de programmation conventionnelle et services 19 de programmation spécialisée ou payante sont sous la 20 même propriété, à mon avis, soulève des problèmes qui 21 diffèrent de ceux que soulève une intégration 22 verticale, où le distributeur a aussi propriété dans la 23 programmation, et nous examinons surtout maintenant ce 24 que moi, j'appellerais l'intégration horizontale dans 25 le contexte du processus d'aujourd'hui. Voilà pourquoi StenoTran 1301 1 je vous posais ces questions. 2 5901 Maintenant, je vais me contredire 3 moi-même puisque je vais vous poser une question qui 4 est strictement une question câble. 5 5902 Est-ce que vous croyez vraiment que 6 le pick and pay, ça va exister, dans le sens où le 7 consommateur va acheter un seul service à la fois? 8 5903 M. AUDET: Je trouve que votre 9 question est excellente. De fait, le pick and pay pur 10 n'existera probablement pas, sans quoi les compagnies 11 feraient probablement faillite. Alors ce que nous 12 entreverrions, par contre, c'est le raffinement des 13 packages. Par exemple, dans le moment, notre troisième 14 volet discrétionnaire au Canada anglais compte 14 15 services. Dans un univers numérique où le consommateur 16 a le choix, probablement que ça pourrait être réduit à, 17 je ne sais pas, moi, cinq canaux par offre et peut-être 18 avoir des offres plus regroupées quant à leur centre 19 d'intérêt. 20 5904 Alors c'est l'évolution qu'on 21 entrevoit pour l'avenir. Ce sera plutôt des sous- 22 groupes un peu plus petits. 23 5905 Par contre, là où le numérique nous 24 offrira d'immenses avantages, c'est celui d'offrir la 25 télévision sur demande, true video on demand. Ça, ce StenoTran 1302 1 sera: "Je veux voir 'Docteur Zhivago' à huit heures et 2 quart ce soir", et "Docteur Zhivago" est dans une 3 librairie de films et le consommateur peut y avoir 4 accès instantanément. 5 5906 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Lorsqu'il s'agit de 6 films... 7 5907 M. AUDET: Donc on aura les deux 8 choses. On aura l'accès au film précis sur demande 9 mais on aura l'accès à des chaînes en quantité moins 10 grande mais quand même par groupements de quatre ou 11 cinq, selon nous. 12 5908 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Une dernière 13 question: Vos soumissions écrites, je ne crois pas 14 que... en tout cas, je n'ai pas trouvé de commentaires 15 à cet effet. Est-ce que vos recommandations visent le 16 marché francophone uniquement ou est-ce que, quand vous 17 entérinez les propositions de l'ACR, vous entérinez 18 celles qui visent le marché anglophone aussi? 19 5909 M. AUDET: De façon générale, nous 20 essayons dans nos représentations de couvrir également 21 les marchés francophones et anglophones parce que notre 22 philosophie, c'est d'être un opérateur canadien. Il 23 s'adonne que nos activités de radiodiffusion jusqu'ici, 24 pour des raisons historiques, ont été principalement au 25 Canada français. Donc peut-être que dans ce cas-là, StenoTran 1303 1 pour ce qui est de la radiodiffusion dite 2 traditionnelle, nos commentaires sont plus orientés 3 vers la radiodiffusion francophone. 4 5910 Autre que ça, de façon générale, nos 5 commentaires devraient être valides à l'ensemble du 6 pays. 7 5911 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Ayant participé à des 8 discussions sans doute avec vos collègues du Canada 9 anglais dans le contexte de l'ACR, voyez-vous le besoin 10 de réglementation plus aigu du côté anglophone pour 11 essayer d'atteindre les succès du côté francophone ou 12 si vous pensez que les propositions de l'ACR vont 13 suffire pour y arriver? 14 5912 M. CARTER: Nous constatons que les 15 recommandations de l'ACR sont différentes, marquent une 16 différence entre les objectifs proposés pour le marché 17 anglophone et les objectifs proposés pour le marché 18 francophone. Par ailleurs, la réglementation actuelle 19 montre déjà une différenciation; si je pense par 20 exemple aux options A et B, en fait elles ne 21 s'appliquent pas au marché francophone, elles ne 22 s'appliquent exclusivement qu'au marché anglophone. 23 Donc il y a déjà une différenciation. 24 5913 Je pense que cette différenciation- 25 là, en tout cas pour celle qui existe, doit continuer. StenoTran 1304 1 5914 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Considérant les 2 succès au niveau de la programmation offerte et au 3 niveau des dépenses, le succès des services 4 conventionnels francophones, j'imagine qu'il faudrait y 5 aller loin vis-à-vis le Canada anglais pour que vous ne 6 soyez pas en conformité. 7 5915 M. CARTER: Oui, c'est exact. 8 5916 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Nous vous remercions, 9 messieurs, et bon retour à Montréal. Au plaisir de 10 vous revoir. 11 5917 M. AUDET: Merci. 12 5918 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Madame la Secrétaire, 13 voulez-vous inviter l'intervenant suivant, s'il vous 14 plaît. 15 1425 16 5919 MS BÉNARD: Thank you, Madam Chair. 17 5920 The next presentation will be by 18 Craig Broadcast Systems Incorporated. 19 5921 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon. 20 Proceed when you are ready. 21 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 22 5922 MR. D. CRAIG: Good afternoon, Madam 23 Chairperson and members of the Commission. 24 5923 My name is Drew Craig and I am 25 President of Craig Broadcast Systems. With me today is StenoTran 1305 1 my father, Stuart, and Joanne Levy, the Executive 2 Director of the A-Channel Drama Fund. 3 5924 We are pleased to be appearing before 4 the Commission today. As you know, we are a third 5 generation, family-owned broadcaster based in Brandon, 6 Manitoba. 7 5925 Exactly one year ago, we launched the 8 fourth English language commercial television service 9 in Calgary and Edmonton, under the name "A-Channel". 10 The stations utilize all digital equipment and are the 11 first new TV stations in Calgary and Edmonton in over 12 25 years. 13 5926 We also operate the fourth English 14 language television service in Manitoba, licensed 12 15 years ago. We were also responsible for launching the 16 first digital MMDS system in Canada. Our SkyCable 17 wireless service is now deployed across the province of 18 Manitoba and has over 10,000 urban and rural 19 subscribers. 20 5927 This hearing is about television 21 policy, and we thought it would be appropriate to tell 22 you a bit about the A-Channel model, and how that model 23 addresses the issues raised in your public notice. 24 5928 The launch of A-Channel has been a 25 remarkable success, and after just one year on the air, StenoTran 1306 1 our stations in Alberta are offering viewers a fresh, 2 innovative and exciting local Canadian programming 3 service. 4 5929 Our commitment to local reflection 5 goes back over 40- years, as Stuart Craig will tell 6 you. 7 5930 MR. S CRAIG: Thank you, Drew. 8 5931 We have always had a unique affinity 9 to local programming. Our Brandon station, CKX-TV, has 10 offered indispensable local service in southwestern 11 Manitoba since its launch in 1954. 12 5932 When we were licensed in 1986 to 13 provide the fourth service in Manitoba, based in 14 Portage la Prairie/Winnipeg, we committed to provide 15 over 15 hours of original local news per week on that 16 station as well. 17 5933 One of the local programs carried on 18 our Manitoba stations is the "Manitoba Farm Report," 19 which has provided a weekly half-hour program for the 20 Manitoba farm community for over 30 years. 21 5934 MR. D. CRAIG: Thank you, Stuart. 22 5935 When we launched the A-Channel 23 stations in Calgary and Edmonton last year, we also 24 committed to local reflection. A-Channel now provides 25 54 hours per week of such programming, including five StenoTran 1307 1 hours of locally-produced news, variety and 2 entertainment programming in both Calgary and Edmonton 3 every week day. 4 5936 We also air a program called "The 5 Sharing Circle." This is a weekly aboriginal magazine 6 program produced by and for First Nation Canadians. 7 The program is produced as a joint venture of our 8 Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Brandon stations, using 9 separate crews working out of Calgary, Edmonton and 10 Portage la Prairie, with the program assembled in 11 Winnipeg. 12 5937 This is the only aboriginal 13 television magazine program running weekly in prime 14 time in the prairies, and we are very proud of its 15 quality and the increasing response the program is 16 getting from our audience. 17 5938 In addition to our focus on local 18 programming, we also introduced a new element to the 19 Alberta model, namely a significant mandate in support 20 of long-form Canadian drama. And to tell you more 21 about it, I will ask Joanne Levy to provide some 22 details. 23 5939 MS LEVY: Thank you, Drew. 24 5940 Madam Chairperson and members of the 25 Commission, the A-Channel Drama Fund will spend over StenoTran 1308 1 $14 million in our first licence term to develop and 2 exhibit original Canadian movies made in Alberta. To 3 date, we have licensed 12 movies with combined 4 production budgets of about $35 million. Seven of our 5 movie projects are complete and an eighth is half way 6 through principal photography. 7 5941 One of the ,movies that we completed, 8 called "Ebenezer," was sublicensed to Baton and 9 received a national exhibition last December. Another 10 of our movies, "Heart of the Sun," premiered at the 11 Montreal International Film Festival in August and will 12 also show at the Vancouver Film Festival this Thursday 13 evening. 14 5942 Other stations in the private 15 television sector in Canada have tended to concentrate 16 on series drama rather than on long-form drama. A- 17 Channel was launched with a national strategy for long- 18 form drama, which was strongly applauded by all of the 19 Canadian creative community and by Alberta producers. 20 5943 Our strategy for long-form drama is 21 based on the concept that independent television 22 stations or station groups can work together to provide 23 a national window for distinctive Canadian dramatic 24 programming. 25 5944 In order to accomplish this, A- StenoTran 1309 1 Channel pays national licence fees for films made by 2 Alberta-based producers, and then we arrange for the 3 broadcast of those films in other markets across 4 Canada, in exchange for offer an exhibition window for 5 Canadian drama produced outside Alberta. 6 5945 Just to give you some detail, the 7 licence fee paid by A-Channel is, as we mentioned, a 8 national broadcast fee. So, for instance, a film 9 costing $2 million could receive a $300,000 national 10 broadcast licence fee from the A-Channel stations. A- 11 Channel schedules these films in its own Canadian Movie 12 Night and also arranges to have them broadcast on other 13 stations across Canada, through reciprocal program 14 arrangements with other station groups and group 15 owners, such as Baton, CHUM and WIC. 16 5946 MR. D. CRAIG: Thank you, Joanne. 17 5947 At this point I want to the time to 18 correct the record. The program schedule for our 19 Winnipeg station filed by the Friends of Canadian 20 Broadcasting last week failed to note that we run a two 21 hour Canadian movie in prime time every week on that 22 station, just as we do in both Calgary and Edmonton. 23 5948 Our stations in Calgary, Edmonton and 24 Winnipeg are making very significant expenditures on 7, 25 8 and 9 Canadian programs, over 6 per cent of our ad StenoTran 1310 1 revenues in Winnipeg and over 11 per cent of our ad 2 revenues in Calgary and Edmonton. 3 5949 And these expenditures are producing 4 viewing results. We are proud to report that the 5 Canadian movies aired on our stations are achieving 6 viewership numbers comparable to many of the Hollywood 7 movies being shown on the A-Channel stations. 8 5950 Notwithstanding the success that we 9 have achieved in developing a business model based on 10 Canadian local and underrepresented programming, the 11 proper regulatory environment and policies are crucial 12 to ensure that we and other broadcasters are able to 13 continue to support Canadian programming. 14 5951 In particular, our strategy of 15 focusing on long form Canadian drama and the successes 16 we have achieved to date would not have been possible 17 without public funding. 18 5952 In putting forward our A-Channel 19 model, we do not suggest that this is the only approach 20 or that this is necessarily appropriate for other 21 stations. However, we believe it is working well in 22 the circumstances in which it has been introduced. 23 5953 In our written submission we made 24 several recommendations to the Commission regarding how 25 private broadcasters could better fulfil their duties StenoTran 1311 1 under the Broadcasting Act with respect to Canadian 2 programming. I would now like to restate some of these 3 recommendations. 4 5954 First, we urge the Commission to 5 expand the definition of "underrepresented" Canadian 6 programming to include documentaries. By limiting the 7 current definition to Categories 7, 8 and 9, the 8 Commission has made it more difficult for independent 9 documentary makers to find a berth in prime time. 10 5955 Second, we agree with the CAB 11 proposal to extend the 150 per cent drama credit 12 outside of prime time. This would provide a major 13 incentive to support the airing of 10 out of 10 point 14 drama in daytime. 15 5956 We also support the concept of a new 16 200 per cent drama credit for "distinctively" Canadian 17 drama in peak time. This would stimulate support for 18 programs that are the most difficult to finance. 19 5957 We also think that a 200 per cent 20 scheduling credit should apply for Canadian "made-for" 21 TV or theatrical feature films, given the size of the 22 budgets required for this category of long-form drama. 23 This idea is reflected in the Australian content rules 24 which, as we understand it, give a significantly higher 25 scheduling credit for longer form drama programs. StenoTran 1312 1 5958 Finally, we agree with the 2 introduction of a peak time exhibition incentive, which 3 would allow licensees to reduce their daytime Canadian 4 content according to a formula for each half hour per 5 week of Category 7, 8 and 9 programs exhibited in peak 6 time above and beyond current commitments. 7 5959 By implementing these 8 recommendations, we believe that broadcasters like 9 ourselves will be better able to concentrate their 10 support on certain underrepresented Canadian program 11 areas, and to schedule these programs more effectively 12 and maximize their audience. 13 5960 Thank you very much for the 14 opportunity to share our experiences with you. 15 5961 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Madam 16 Levy, Messrs Craig. 17 5962 I would ask Commissioner Pennefather 18 to address some questions to you, please. 19 5963 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Good 20 afternoon. 21 5964 I would like to ask you a number of 22 questions and clarifications regarding in effect the 23 recommendations which you have repeated here today and 24 look at the broader picture. First, a couple of 25 questions on the model and particularly the long-form StenoTran 1313 1 drama, and thank you for the information you brought to 2 us today about that. 3 5965 In addition to what you have 4 mentioned, in terms of the other financiers of the 5 projects is there investment through the Telefilm 6 Equity Investment Fund -- in other words, these are 10 7 out of 10 projects? 8 5966 MS LEVY: So far, of the 12 projects 9 that we have committed to there were three that had 10 Telefilm as part of their plan. Two of them were 11 turned down, so that of the essentially eight that have 12 been made so far only one has Telefilm Equity financing 13 in it. 14 5967 The rest, there are three of the 15 eight that have been made with neither licence fee 16 top-up or Telefilm, so of the five that are left that 17 have been made, only one -- they all have licence fee 18 top-up in them and one also has Telefilm. 19 5968 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And the 20 average budget for each of the -- 21 5969 MS LEVY: The average, up until this 22 eighth, which is a very much higher budget than most, 23 the average was around $2 million. So, we had a high 24 of about $3.4 million and a low budget of $1.3 million 25 in terms of the production budget. Now with this StenoTran 1314 1 eighth I think our average will probably be closer to 2 $2.5 million to $3 million because it sort of skews 3 things higher. 4 5970 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: It's an 5 interesting approach. In general, who are the other 6 partners then in the financing of the films? Is film 7 the correct -- shall I call it long-form drama or film? 8 5971 MS LEVY: Well, whichever one you 9 wish. We have a number of feature films as part of our 10 roster. We like feature films. Some of them are MOWs. 11 5972 In the case of one of our television 12 movies it had a huge presale to the United States, so 13 there was a Showtime sale there and that was very 14 important to getting that project completed. Again, 15 that was one that has neither Telefilm nor licence fee 16 top-up in it. 17 5973 Other investors for those that have 18 gone completely private have been Screen Partners which 19 offers time variable contingency insurance financing. 20 So, there are various partners that come to the fore, 21 but generally those that have been able to do the best 22 have been those that have substantial foreign presales 23 as part of the financing package. That's really, 24 really important. 25 5974 We are also extremely proud of the StenoTran 1315 1 fact that these movies have that kind of international 2 appeal and are giving exposure to our crafts people and 3 our stories, not only across Canada, but across the 4 world. 5 5975 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: That, 6 obviously, was one of the points I was getting to is, 7 as you know, the discussion here and elsewhere in the 8 milieu, obviously, is the exportability of product not 9 only artistically, but also in terms of financial 10 arrangements. So, there is and you are planning for a 11 U.S. market for these long-form dramas? 12 1435 13 5976 MS LEVY: Our producers that are 14 partnering with us in these projects -- and I suppose 15 we are, as they say, just the renter, but we like to 16 think we are the key renter -- we are the ones who 17 trigger it. They are obviously interested in a wider 18 business, but I don't think that that needs to 19 compromise the quality of the story or the quality of 20 its relevance to a Canadian audience. 21 5977 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I'm sure 22 you have been following the debate in fact regarding 23 distinctive Canadian vis-à-vis -- and I use "vis-à-vis" 24 in different ways -- exportability, and that's a 25 simplistic way of saying -- StenoTran 1316 1 5978 MS LEVY: I don't think they are 2 mutually exclusive. In fact my experience has been 3 that a good movie, well made with a universal appeal, 4 can travel anywhere and can also be successful. 5 5979 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And are 6 you getting good reception in Canada with Canadian 7 viewers? 8 5980 MS LEVY: In most cases, we started 9 licensing, in effect, triggering even before we went on 10 the air and we have only been on the air for a year. 11 So, we have had limited experience actually exposing 12 some of our products to Canadian viewers because they 13 have mostly been in production or post-production and 14 because a number of ours are feature films that require 15 theatrical release, we haven't had a change to see how 16 many of them get that far. 17 5981 I must say that I have been part of 18 the feature film review and the rest of that sort of 19 process and it is still extremely difficult in this 20 country for a domestic feature film to find a screen. 21 So, in many cases the broadest possible Canadian 22 audience for these feature films will be on television. 23 5982 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Was your 24 reference "finding a screen" a television screen? 25 5983 MS LEVY: No, a theatrical screen. StenoTran 1317 1 I'm just saying if it wasn't for television, these 2 movies would not get seen by most Canadians. 3 5984 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: The other 4 day we had representatives from AMPIA and I am sure you 5 have seen their intervention and presentation. They 6 did express some concern in fact about air time for 7 their programs. 8 "...we currently face a 9 situation where at some stations 10 the only air time that is 11 available for our programs is 12 the back half-hour... We 13 despair that soon we will have 14 nothing but rebroadcast 15 stations..." 16 5985 I didn't get a sense of how the model 17 was impacting on the local community. Is this just a 18 question of timing or why weren't they more -- 19 5986 MS LEVY: It's also genre. When they 20 are talking about the back half-hour of the news, they 21 are generally talking about half-hour one-off 22 documentaries that are extremely difficult to find a 23 home for nationally. I sit as the broadcast 24 representative on the board of AMPIA and I know from my 25 associations with the independent producers the StenoTran 1318 1 difficulty that they face outside of Craig Broadcast 2 Systems because we actually live there and can talk to 3 them where they live. Their difficulty is finding the 4 champion in the local affiliate who can take their 5 cause and take their program to the national 6 programmer. 7 5987 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: You are 8 doing that, but you are saying your focus is long-form 9 drama? 10 5988 MS LEVY: Our focus is long form, so 11 in the case of someone who is doing a half-hour one-off 12 documentary, there will be some opportunities for 13 people to have that material programmed. We haven't 14 moved in that direction and that's outside the drama 15 fund and outside my authority. 16 5989 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I remember 17 not only from today but from chatting with you and with 18 a number of people from the community in Calgary during 19 our regional consultations this point not only about 20 certain genre but about implication -- we say in French 21 implication -- in the community and also you have 22 mentioned today your tradition in local programming. 23 This is an area I would now like to discuss. The AMPIA 24 made a recommendation that: 25 "...regional productions be StenoTran 1319 1 given a 50 per cent bonus when 2 the CRTC calculates the hours of 3 Canadian programming in the 4 under-represented categories 5 broadcast by a Canadian 6 broadcaster towards their 7 condition of licence." 8 5990 This is over and above current 9 regional bonuses. What is your comment on that 10 proposal? 11 5991 MR. D. CRAIG: I think that's a very 12 innovative approach and I think that we recognize the 13 difficulty in producing regional programs. It's 14 tougher to produce it as a regional broadcaster than it 15 is as a national broadcaster. We have to assume a 16 great deal more risk when we produce it in the region. 17 As Joanne mentioned, our trigger, as an example, on our 18 drama fund is about $300,000 typically to trigger the 19 LFP side of things or the Telefilm side of things. 20 5992 When we look at ad revenue in Alberta 21 that we could generate through that production, with 22 two plays of that film delivering a reasonable audience 23 share somewhere in the range of three to four rating 24 points, we could typically deliver about $50,000 in ad 25 revenue back to the station. So, there is a tremendous StenoTran 1320 1 risk. 2 5993 What we have to do is rely on sales 3 to other stations. We have to carve out other windows 4 so that we allow the film to get a pay run, maybe a 5 theatrical release. So, we have to be flexible. It's 6 much more difficult as a reasonable broadcaster to 7 trigger the fund and take that risk. So, I think we 8 would be very encouraged by an incentive for regional 9 producers. 10 5994 Joanne may want to speak to the 11 regional incentives currently at the LFP, which seem to 12 be under attack, but we are certainly concerned that 13 the LFP continues to give regional producers an added 14 incentive. 15 5995 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: As you 16 comment further, you might also -- I note that 17 Saskatchewan Communication Network has a position that 18 regional programming should be afforded a time credit 19 synonymous with a 150 per cent drama credit now in 20 effect. In other words, there is two proposals there 21 that are looking at possible support to regional 22 programming. If you could clarify for us the 23 definition of "regional", because this is another word 24 that is used and when we have you here we really want 25 to get a sense of what that means. StenoTran 1321 1 5996 MR. D. CRAIG: I will just give you 2 -- I will let Joanne clarify the definition as we see 3 it, but I think another important aspect to a regional 4 incentive is if the Commission were to grant a regional 5 incentive to one of our movies, as an example, over and 6 above the 150 per cent, if it was a 10 out of 10 -- so, 7 let's say it was a 200 per cent project -- and other 8 broadcasters got that benefit. In other words, let's 9 assume we produce it under our model. What it would 10 then do would provide an incentive for other 11 broadcasters to licence that film and play it 12 nationally because they would get that regional 13 incentive. 14 5997 So, I think there is another sort of 15 side incentive to this regional discussion because it 16 would provide incentive for other broadcasters to buy 17 our product. 18 5998 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Move it 19 around the country, in other words. 20 5999 MR. D. CRAIG: Yes. 21 6000 MS LEVY: It would make the regional 22 production travel with the product to wherever it 23 landed for broadcast or cablecast in the case of pay 24 television, for instance. The definition of regional 25 that we use in Alberta is our province, but we are StenoTran 1322 1 certainly cognizant of regions being defined under 2 Telefilm and other rules as those areas outside the 3 major production centres of Toronto and Montreal. 4 6001 We encourage co-productions between 5 the producers in Alberta and those in other provinces 6 as well. So, we are trying to take full advantage of 7 all of the regional incentives and all of the regional 8 tax credits and all of the regional whatever is out 9 there because, especially for long form, they are so 10 expensive to produce, you have to find every means to 11 raise the money. 12 6002 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Local, on 13 the other hand, on which we spent quite a bit of time 14 in Calgary with many presenters talking about what that 15 meant in terms of support for community events 16 programming, what does "local" mean? 17 6003 MS LEVY: I think it means more the 18 sort of city boundaries or the more closely defined 19 boundaries or, in our case, our broadcast sort of 20 footprint, if you like. 21 6004 MR. D. CRAIG: I would agree with 22 that definition. 23 6005 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Because 24 you in fact have presented a picture and a strategy 25 model which combines these two, what would seem, great StenoTran 1323 1 extremes of local programming and long-form drama 2 hitting United States markets. 3 6006 MR. D. CRAIG: Right. 4 6007 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And you 5 talk as well about regional programming. We talked 6 about it from the point of view of incentives and 7 access to audiences and financing, but if you look at 8 the CAB's suggestion, for example, or proposal the 9 regulatory framework that we are talking about more or 10 less adjusting or not is fundamentally based, in their 11 view, on a setting of national viewing goals for 12 Canadian television. 13 6008 I understand you support the CAB's 14 submission, so I am very interested in having your 15 perspective on this proposal, particularly in terms of 16 what it means if you think audiences for local, 17 audiences for regional, audiences for national. How do 18 you adjust all of that? 19 6009 Getting audiences for Canadian 20 programming has been the point from the very beginning, 21 I would assume, the Broadcasting Act and policies and 22 regulations. Why this now and why do you support this 23 proposal when, obviously, you have smaller audiences 24 for a large part of your programming? 25 1450 StenoTran 1324 1 6010 MR. D. CRAIG: I think in hearing our 2 oral presentation you understand what aspects of the 3 CAB proposal we support. 4 6011 We are not a national system. I 5 think it is important for us -- 6 6012 Our focus is on two areas. One is on 7 an intensely local service, but also providing a 8 platform for regional producers to access a national 9 licence fee. 10 6013 In our particular case, we are 11 focused on news and we are focused on national drama. 12 I think that the local programming that we do provides 13 the personality for the station and the attachment to 14 the community. 15 6014 In essence, what the local 16 programming does is create a platform that you can get 17 a viewer to tune to, to play this larger scale 18 programming within. 19 6015 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: The 20 viewing targets -- it is not clear to me if you think 21 that is -- 22 6016 MR. D. CRAIG: Generally speaking, I 23 think the whole notion of the industry focusing on 24 getting more viewers to watch Canadian television is a 25 very noble one. StenoTran 1325 1 6017 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: What about 2 more viewers for Canadian programs on Canadian 3 television? 4 6018 MR. D. CRAIG: Absolutely, it is a 5 very noble one. 6 6019 We fully expect the Commission, on 7 top of those, to look at the station's individual 8 commitments that will vary market by market. 9 6020 I think it is very positive to look 10 at an industry-wide goal being the garnering of more 11 audience share for Canadian programs. We would all 12 like to see that. 13 6021 I think it is something we should all 14 work toward. 15 6022 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I would 16 like to go through some of the other points you 17 support, to be sure I understand why in your particular 18 circumstance, in your particular approach to 19 broadcasting, the Craig Model, why you are interested 20 in this. 21 6023 Several intervenors from the 22 independent production sector disagree with the 23 practice of allowing television stations to add CTV's 24 financial support in the calculation of their expenses 25 in Canadian programming. StenoTran 1326 1 6024 According to them, instead of 2 providing increased opportunity for additional Canadian 3 programs to be produced, this practice only replaces 4 one financing source with another, without necessarily 5 increasing the quantity of high quality Canadian 6 programs. 7 6025 What is your view on this proposal? 8 What is your comment on that practice? 9 6026 MR. D. CRAIG: On the practice of? 10 6027 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Of 11 allowing television stations to add CTF financial 12 support in the calculation of their Canadian 13 programming expenses. 14 6028 Is this appropriate? Is this 15 helpful? Is this something we should be concerned 16 about as the independent production sector is concerned 17 about that? 18 6029 MR. D. CRAIG: I think that the whole 19 notion of the top-up was to provide a higher quality 20 product. I would like to think that it would be tied 21 to audience: the more we spend, the higher the 22 audience level would be. 23 6030 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: You think 24 it will end up with more being spent by the 25 broadcasters on Canadian programming? StenoTran 1327 1 6031 MR. D. CRAIG: I believe so. 2 6032 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Not less. 3 6033 MR. D. CRAIG: We are certainly 4 taking full advantage of it right now. If you look at 5 where we are in percentage terms on 7, 8 and 9, I think 6 it demonstrates our commitments to those categories. 7 6034 So we certainly have stepped up to 8 the plate in terms of our expenditures on 7, 8 and 9, 9 and we are taking full advantage of using these funds 10 to make better programs to get audiences. 11 6035 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: In 12 paragraph 30 of your written submission you say that 13 you: 14 "...agree with the CAB proposal 15 to extend the 150% drama credit 16 outside of prime time." 17 6036 And I think you repeat that today. 18 "As an incentive to run ten out 19 of ten Canadian shows in 20 daytime." 21 6037 I want to be clear why, as well in 22 paragraph 32, you also say that: 23 "...a peak time exhibition 24 incentive would allow licensees 25 to reduce their daytime Canadian StenoTran 1328 1 content..." 2 6038 How do the two come together? 3 6039 MR. D. CRAIG: I think they are two 4 different proposals. 5 6040 The whole notion of being able to 6 take credit in daytime for Canadian drama, in our view, 7 is going to benefit two key program genres; namely, 8 children's programming and potentially daytime serial 9 television -- both of which have had a hard time 10 finding shelf space. It is tough to make a business 11 case for those types of genres. 12 6041 I think it would certainly assist the 13 producers of children's programming and potentially 14 open up a new market for daytime serial television. 15 6042 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: But is it 16 to the detriment of drama in peak time? 17 6043 MR. D. CRAIG: I don't think so. 18 6044 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: You think 19 the two will occur. 20 6045 MR. D. CRAIG: Yes. The thresholds 21 have been established by the Commission in terms of 22 what those numbers would be over the course of a 23 licence term. 24 6046 Option B, as we all know, is very 25 explicit in terms of those numbers. So I don't see it StenoTran 1329 1 as in any way reducing that commitment . 2 6047 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I think we 3 have heard -- just so I am clear -- a number of 4 broadcasters and the CAB speak to the need for greater 5 flexibility in scheduling. 6 6048 Do you agree with this approach? 7 6049 MR. D. CRAIG: Yes, I do. 8 6050 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: With this 9 in mind, how is this going to end up with more Canadian 10 programs in prime time? 11 6051 MR. D. CRAIG: I think you can find 12 audiences in those shoulder periods of peak time. So 13 it would be nice to have the flexibility. 14 6052 For instance, in our case in Alberta 15 where the U.S. signals come to us on a Pacific feed 16 from Spokane, there is an opportunity to program 17 Canadian programming that is free and clear of big U.S. 18 network simulcast material. 19 6053 It would seem logical that there is 20 an opening, if you will, for Canadian programming in 21 that time period, between 7:00 and 8:00, and that could 22 garner perhaps a larger share of audience than it might 23 otherwise against a U.S. network show. 24 6054 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: You feel 25 you should have a certain degree of flexibility to StenoTran 1330 1 program foreign programming in peak time, and then to 2 play certain kinds of Canadian programming in positions 3 where you think they would do well. 4 6055 But what I read is that that could 5 end up in less Canadian programming in prime time. Do 6 you agree that it would be less Canadian programming in 7 prime time? 8 6056 MR. D. CRAIG: I don't think there 9 would be less. I think it just might open up an 10 opportunity and a better business case to garner 11 audience with a Canadian program, as opposed to playing 12 it up against, in certain cases, an American program. 13 6057 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: But here 14 is where the audience focus would drive that thesis; to 15 say we will put the Canadian programming where it gets 16 audience. That may not be in prime time, which is of 17 course what the independent production community's main 18 point is; that that is where Canadian programming must 19 be secured and in fact increased. 20 6058 Do you see a contradiction here? 21 6059 MR. D. CRAIG: Yes, there is a 22 contradiction, although there are two sides to the 23 argument. You want to have the flexibility, as a 24 programmer, to put that show in the spot that is going 25 to garner the greater audience share. StenoTran 1331 1 6060 We have had cases ourselves with 2 programs that garner greater audience shares outside of 3 prime time than they did in prime time. 4 6061 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: You also 5 stress the importance of including documentaries in 6 under-represented categories. They will draw 7 audiences, but they may be flexible in terms of 8 numbers. So numbers alone don't speak. 9 6062 You would be interested in running 10 Canadian documentaries in peak time against, let's say, 11 a "Seinfeld" or against a high draw? 12 6063 MR. D. CRAIG: We are supportive of 13 expansion of the definition. We don't have any direct 14 plans to get into the documentary game. We are very 15 clearly focused on long form, and that is where we are 16 going to stay. 17 6064 We support the spirit of expanding 18 it. We know that producers have come to us with lots 19 of documentary projects. 20 6065 One comes to mind. We are airing a 21 two-hour documentary this November in prime time, 22 between 7:00 and 9:00. 23 6066 What we are supportive of is the 24 whole expansion of 7, 8 and 9 into the documentary 25 genre. StenoTran 1332 1 6067 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: The model 2 that you have discussed in your submissions -- and I 3 think today you mentioned the importance of aboriginal 4 programming in that model. 5 6068 Could you repeat for us how you feel 6 this model, both from the inclusion and focus on local 7 programming and long form drama, really does provide 8 more space in the Canadian television system for 9 diversity of programming -- and by that, I mean 10 cultural diversity. 11 6069 MR. D. CRAIG: I think we have always 12 recognized that it is a great privilege to have a 13 broadcast licence; and that we need to reflect the 14 community that we live in and that we do business in. 15 6070 Certainly in our particular market 16 focus on aboriginal programming is very appropriate. 17 It is garnering significant audience share, as well. 18 It is good television and it is good business. 19 6071 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So 20 conventional television should see cultural diversity 21 as good business. 22 6072 MR. D. CRAIG: We think so. 23 6073 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And you 24 could go forward with that as things are now? We don't 25 need to tell you to do that, in other words. It is StenoTran 1333 1 good business to go forward. 2 6074 MR. D. CRAIG: That is correct. 3 6075 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Speaking 4 of the future -- which is perhaps less far away than we 5 think -- what is the timeframe you are looking at for 6 the launch of digital transmission? 7 6076 Do you have comment, then, on the 8 availability of Canadian digital programming? 9 6077 MR. D. CRAIG: First of all, I should 10 point out that when we built our new television 11 stations, they were some of the most state of the art 12 facilities in North America. They are a full digital 13 facility, from news gathering to the end product. 14 6078 We are in essence, with our new 15 operations, ready for digital transmission. We have 16 digital transmission facilities for our Edmonton stick, 17 as an example, by way of off-air distribution. We have 18 an antenna that is ready for it. 19 6079 So our transition is going to be 20 relatively simple and easy. 21 6080 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: When will 22 that be? I am sure I did not understand the timing. 23 6081 MR. S. CRAIG: I sit on the Committee 24 for Canadian Digital Television. I am one of the three 25 broadcasters that sits on that committee. We are very StenoTran 1334 1 excited about what is happening. 2 6082 I think we are probably two or three 3 years away from the first stations going on the air. I 4 know there are some tests being done, new transmitters 5 being put in to test the digital signals to see how far 6 they would go. That is one of the proposals that is 7 before us right now. 8 6083 I would hope that we could tell you 9 in the very near future that the Alberta stations will 10 probably be one of the first ones to go on the air, 11 because we are basically ready. 12 6084 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: In terms 13 of supply, the movies that we license are all shot on 14 35 millimetre film. 15 6085 Thank you very much, Messrs. Craig 16 and Joanne Levy. Those are all of my questions. 17 6086 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner 18 Cardozo? 19 6087 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you, 20 Madam Chair. 21 6088 I have a question on local 22 programming following on a number that Commissioner 23 Pennefather had asked you. 24 6089 I guess it relates to the history of 25 Craig; that you do quite a bit of local programming. StenoTran 1335 1 But is it your sense that you do more than a number of 2 other broadcasters? 3 6090 MR. D. CRAIG: Yes. 4 6091 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Why is that? 5 6092 MR. D. CRAIG: It has become apparent 6 that we are one of the few broadcasters that is not in 7 the specialty game. We recognize that the future for 8 local Canadian conventional private broadcasters is to 9 do a very good job in local programming. 10 6093 It is important that the Commission 11 does not forget that. As they say, I think that 12 provides the station with its personality and its 13 connection to the community and provides the platform 14 for all these other programs that we want to produce 15 that may have national significance. 16 6094 We just upped our local production in 17 Alberta, effective about two weeks ago, to 27 hours a 18 week. So we just added another two and a half hours a 19 week of local programming. 20 6095 We are doing more in our market than 21 anybody else is. We think there is a great business 22 case for that, and we think that differentiates us from 23 everybody else on the dial, including the U.S. 24 stations, and including the specialty channels. 25 6096 We can do something that no one else StenoTran 1336 1 can, and that is by providing that connection to the 2 local community. 3 6097 COMMISSIONER CORDOZO: Is that good 4 for your ratings or is it a big risk? 5 6098 MR. D. CRAIG: It is a tremendous 6 risk, but we think there is a huge upside. 7 6099 We have committed significantly over 8 and above what we did in our Application. But the way 9 we viewed it, from a business perspective, is we said: 10 There are two ways to do this. We can phase it in or 11 we can throw it all at the wall and hopefully it is 12 going to stick. 13 6100 We have had tremendous results. All 14 the local new shows that we produce actually have some 15 numbers after the first year on the air, and are being 16 very widely accepted by the communities that they 17 serve. 18 6101 I think it is important to note, too, 19 that the model we used in Alberta was that each station 20 would have local autonomy. The Edmonton station and 21 the Calgary station are two separate units. Their news 22 programs operate independently of each other, and they 23 have different personalities in terms of how they 24 approach their local communities. 25 6102 We think that makes good business StenoTran 1337 1 sense. 2 6103 COMMISSIONER CORDOZO: Some of the 3 ideas that are coming before us on this matter are 4 suggesting that we should provide increased incentives 5 or increased requirements on broadcasters to do more 6 local programming. 7 6104 Are you in favour of that or not; 8 inasmuch as if we do and they did, would that be good 9 or bad for your competition? 10 6105 MR. D. CRAIG: From our perspective, 11 we hope you don't. We are probably going to do more if 12 they do less. 13 6106 COMMISSIONER CORDOZO: Thank you. 14 6107 Thank you, Madam Chair. 15 6108 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Craig, you 16 mentioned being involved with the digital television 17 endeavour. Your colleagues Mr. McEwen and Mr. Sward 18 were here on Saturday discussing some of the 19 implications with the Commission. 20 6109 Given the very widespread penetration 21 of cable and reliance on cable in Canada for receipt of 22 video programming -- which is larger in the States and 23 is more entrenched, is older -- when you mention in 24 three years there would be some substantial movement on 25 the part of broadcasters, do you see broadcasters StenoTran 1338 1 spending large amounts of money, especially if you are 2 talking about retrofitting as opposed to building new, 3 spending a great amount of money on digital television 4 until and unless cable digitizes? 5 6110 MR. S. CRAIG: The arguments of the 6 cable companies, of course, is that they are going to 7 need more spectrum in order to fit the digital signals 8 into their service. 9 6111 I might mention to you that we are 10 already in a digital distribution system with our Sky 11 Cable System in Manitoba. We are limited in the 12 spectrum that we have there and available to us. 13 6112 It is going to use more spectrum, 14 because there is more information that is going to have 15 to be transmitted. 16 6113 I think it is about time the cable 17 companies got to work and started putting in some of 18 these boxes. We are putting them in every day, so I 19 can't see what the hold-up is there. They should be 20 going forward faster, in my opinion. 21 6114 THE CHAIRPERSON: You may or may not 22 want to answer this question, especially since it is 23 not probably the proper context. 24 6115 There have been many numbers bandied 25 around about the extent to which your over the air MDS StenoTran 1339 1 system is able to dislodge cable, so to speak. 2 6116 What is the proportion of your sales 3 of MDS that represents disconnection from cable; and 4 secondly, from cable in the city or cable that is a 5 state of the art system as opposed to a marginal cable 6 system that has very little spectrum or has fewer 7 channels than a state of the art system. 8 6117 MR. S. CRAIG: I can tell you that 9 the first people who wanted to sign up for our service 10 are the ones in the rural areas, because they did not 11 have access to cable. We now have our system in a 12 position where it is very reliable. 13 6118 I cannot give you the exact numbers, 14 but I know last week we signed up 500 homes in the 15 cable area. So things are going well. 16 6119 THE CHAIRPERSON: That represent 17 disconnection to cable. 18 6120 MR. S. CRAIG: Yes. 19 6121 THE CHAIRPERSON: You mentioned that 20 MDS had larger spectrum, or could have larger spectrum. 21 But you would see, I gather, a problem in deploying 22 digital television if the cable operators do not 23 digitize. 24 1505 25 6122 MR. S. CRAIG: Yes. I think that's - StenoTran 1340 1 - and I think that they have to obviously put the 2 Canadian signals on first. That should get priority 3 and the U.S. networks involved. 4 6123 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 5 much. 6 6124 Thank you, Madam Levy and both Mr. 7 Craigs. 8 6125 We will now take a 15 minute break so 9 we will be back at 25 after. 10 --- Short recess at / Courte suspension à 1508 11 --- Upon resuming at / Reprise à 1530 12 6126 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary, 13 would you invite the next participant, please. 14 6127 MS BéNARD: Thank you, Madam Chair. 15 6128 The next presentation will be by 16 Goldi Productions Limited and I would invite Mr. Goldi 17 to start the presentation. 18 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 19 6129 MR. GOLDI: Thank you, Madam Chair, 20 Commissioners. 21 6130 My wife just said I could start first 22 because she always has the last word at home. 23 6131 We are going to entertain you a bit 24 here, give you some insight away from the sort of 25 bureaucratic kind of regulatory talk you are used to. StenoTran 1341 1 We would like to give you some insight into what a 2 Canadian family production company experiences under 3 the system the way it is now set up. 4 6132 We have been doing this for 20 years, 5 not for profits, but we have been doing it for 20 6 years. 7 6133 MS GOLDI: What do you mean not for 8 profit? It's supposed to be for profit. 9 6134 MR. GOLDI: We started as teachers. 10 We were teachers for many years before we started film 11 producing. Because we saw that in schools there was 12 very little or no programming, in 1979 we turned in our 13 teachers' pension, got a loan from the government for 14 $55,000 at 17 per cent interest and started making our 15 business making Canadian heritage programming for 16 schools in the Northwest Territories. 17 6135 I will give you a couple of the ideas 18 of the kinds of films we produced. We did one called 19 "Dene Family". We thought as teachers that Indian kids 20 didn't have a very good family view of their community 21 from the kind of material that was out there, so we did 22 a wholesome family, pro-family show about native kids 23 in the settlements and in the communities. 24 6136 It won first prize at the American 25 Indian Film Festival in San Francisco. Sesame Street StenoTran 1342 1 picked it up. All kinds of things happened to it. 2 6137 Another program that we did, also 3 with our own funding, was "Cold Water, The Silent 4 Killer". It was a program to save lives in the 5 Canadian outdoors because many of our friends in native 6 communities had died this way. We made ultimately a 7 series of four films, which we also did with our own 8 money mostly and distributed across Canada. 9 6138 The federal government picked it up 10 for the Department of National Defence for all their 11 survival training schools and so on. 12 6139 We also did, finally, a film called 13 "My Land is My Life", also from our interest in trying 14 to produce for native people a view into the outside 15 world of what family life was like for northern native 16 people. 17 6140 It won a bronze award behind a 18 National Geographic silver and a PBS gold at Houston. 19 It won a finalist at New York. The Canadian government 20 made into one of its first CD Roms, installed it in the 21 British Museum, the Canadian Museum of Civilization. 22 Another film that came from our hearts. 23 6141 We ultimately came to Toronto about 24 ten years ago. I guess before and after that we 25 started a series of about seven films on young people StenoTran 1343 1 exploring their communities across Canada, Quebec, 2 Halifax -- seven cities altogether. These films we 3 funded with our own money as well because there was 4 very little money available to do this kind of 5 programming. 6 6142 What kind of reception did it 7 receive? At the Western Canada Film Showcase were 32 8 distributors from all over the world came to show their 9 videos. The Alberta Motion Picture Association people 10 picked the ten top videos from the 100 most highly 11 recommended videos. 12 6143 Of the top ten, we had four. They 13 said no producer or distributor had ever achieved that 14 before. In the other group, two were from National 15 Geographic, one from the NFB and there were none in the 16 top ten from CBC or TVO, but there were four of ours. 17 It gives you an idea of the kind of reception that our 18 quality of programming has received. 19 6144 When we moved to Toronto, we finally 20 -- we did all kinds of federal government work as well. 21 I guess one of the reasons we're here is because we 22 entered a competition which ultimately saw 251 23 proposals from across Canada go to Life Network and the 24 Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund for possible 25 investment in developing into a television series. StenoTran 1344 1 6145 They picked ten, of which we were 2 one, to give development funding to. We called it 3 "Outdoor Adventure Canada". Of those ten, about two 4 went to air and production. Ours was one. It went on 5 air in September of 1996. 6 6146 We ultimately produced 26 shows and 7 it has been on air on Life Network ever since September 8 until last week, so it has been running non-stop. The 9 show has received fantastic reviews from all the people 10 who have seen it. 11 6147 We got fantastic viewer mail from all 12 over Canada which is on our web site. We publish it 13 all on the web site that we have. It has fantastic 14 ratings. For instance, Trina McQueen at Discovery was 15 very pleased when she had a show that consistently got 16 a hundred thousand. Well, our ratings for our show 17 were 120s, 140s, 180s, 190s. 18 6148 On the week of the Olympics when all 19 eyes were on the CBC, we got 216,000. Ontario 20 Ploughing Match got 208,000, if you can believe it. 21 "Westward Ho, The Wagons", which was a wagon train we 22 took across southern Saskatchewan and Alberta, got 23 193,000. 24 6149 Our top ratings for different shows 25 got 27, 28, 216, 232, 237, 242, 244 which everybody StenoTran 1345 1 agrees are phenomenal ratings for a specialty channel. 2 6150 We also have won a lot of awards, an 3 unprecedented number of awards. Right now we have so 4 far received in the past year 46 awards for 54 per cent 5 of our programs. Over half of the shows we did have 6 won medals. 7 6151 We have got two golds, ten silvers, 8 twenty thirds, bronzes, six finalists, three awards of 9 merit from Houston, New York, every place you go. I 10 won't belabour it. I can give you the things here. 11 But, wherever we went, we were the top Canadian in 12 medals wherever we went. 13 6152 For instance, at the North American 14 Outdoor Wildlife Film and Video Festival, we won -- 15 where the CBC had programs, Great Canadian Parks had a 16 program, the NFB had a program, so did Keg Productions. 17 We won the gold medal, we won the bronze medal -- the 18 silver medal. We won both first and second prize, plus 19 an award of merit for videography. 20 6153 At every festival we have attended, 21 we were either the top Canadian medal winner or the top 22 overall medal winner, which is how we ended up with 46 23 medals. 24 6154 When we are talking about quality 25 Canadian programming, we need quality Canadian StenoTran 1346 1 programming. What are we talking about? We are 2 talking about ratings. They were fantastic. What 3 about viewer response? Read them on our web site. 4 They will make you cry. And look at the medals our 5 show has won. 6 6155 Yet all this stuff was produced in 7 the second year, the ratings without any promotion by 8 our broadcaster. They said "We can't promote a show in 9 its second year. You are out of luck this year. We 10 can't promote all our shows", so "Outdoor Adventure 11 Canada" was not promoted. 12 6156 We got our ratings of a hundred and 13 two hundred thousand just by word of mouth. When our 14 first show for the season, which was not announced, 15 went to air, "Whale of a Tale", we got 104,000. On its 16 first re-run when people started becoming aware of it, 17 we got 237,000. 18 6157 MS GOLDI: Excuse me. Just to 19 interject. Our broadcaster in their glossy to promote 20 the wonderful things they are doing and the wonderful 21 things they are going to do, they happen to have taken 22 the very week of that show called "Whale of a Tale" on 23 Newfoundlanders and humpback whales and whale watching, 24 that show which was their top show. That's the week 25 they picked to tell their potential, I don't know, StenoTran 1347 1 stockholders, whoever it may be, what a great 2 percentage of the Canadian viewership they are getting. 3 6158 They didn't say it was our show. We 4 just -- when we saw this, we went back and looked and 5 we said "Sure enough, that's the week". 6 6159 MR. GOLDI: We were the top show on 7 Life that week and we had been cancelled the week 8 before. 9 6160 I guess all we are saying in the 10 upshot is in spite of producing by every measure a 11 fantastic series, all Canadian on all-Canadian topics 12 on all-Canadian locations with fantastic viewer 13 response, ratings and fantastic medals from all kinds 14 of international film competitions, the show was 15 cancelled by the broadcaster. 16 6161 It was replaced with a show that was 17 not Canadian. The only thing Canadian in it was the 18 man who picked up the cheque. It was a show which 19 featured flying American tourists to Africa and doing 20 crocodile analysis and things like that. 21 6162 MS GOLDI: That's the pilot. 22 6163 MR. GOLDI: That's the pilot for that 23 show which was a one hour. I guess you can see that we 24 are upset that so much foreign programming is coming in 25 and squeezing out home grown product of the kind that StenoTran 1348 1 we like to produce. 2 6164 MS GOLDI: Do you want to clarify -- 3 6165 MR. GOLDI: Go ahead. 4 6166 MS GOLDI: I just wanted to clarify 5 the program that is replacing ours is a similar kind of 6 program, but it's shot in other parts of the world. 7 It's getting more Canadian money. We had cable 8 funding, but when I had inquired about the potential 9 for telefilm equity film -- I won't say who said this 10 because they don't want to hear it -- they told me it 11 was too Canadian actually, it's not an export kind of 12 show, so I didn't bother applying for telefilm. 13 6167 I told it was too Canadian by a kind 14 person who was saving me the trouble of filling out the 15 paperwork, which I appreciated. 16 6168 The show that is replacing ours, 17 which is shot all over the world, taking tourists to 18 different places, to archaeological digs, to nature 19 places, a similar kind of thing to the thing we did in 20 Canada, has telefilm and cable funding and obviously is 21 a Canadian content show. It obviously qualifies for 22 the Canadian content qualification. I guess it 23 probably has Canadian writers and so on. 24 6169 We are very upset, needless to say, 25 about what Canadian content is. It happens. It's not StenoTran 1349 1 just that one. I mean I'm not just picking on that 2 one. We watch television a lot because we like to see 3 what the competition is doing. We check the credits. 4 We see all the time shows that are repackaged. 5 6170 Foreign footage is repackaged with a 6 Canadian voice or they stick a Canadian host on there. 7 American footage, European footage, whatever it may be 8 and its Canadian content. I can't believe that it's 9 Canadian content. The broadcasters get their brownie 10 points for Canadian content. I think it's time this 11 changed. 12 6171 I know the CRTC is addressing this. 13 I know you are doing it in different hearings. We just 14 would like to put in our two cents worth because it's a 15 real tough thing on people who really want to produce 16 Canadian stuff, not because we don't like the rest of 17 the world. We have been in the rest of the world. We 18 spent a couple of years in East Africa with CUSO. We 19 have travelled all over the place. 20 6172 We wouldn't object actually to doing 21 world jaunts on taxpayers' expense. It's just that we 22 happen to have spent a lot of time being committed to 23 getting Canadian documentary programming into schools 24 on air and so on. I think that makes the point. 25 6173 Another thing -- StenoTran 1350 1 6174 MS BÉNARD: Ms Goldi, I'm sorry, you 2 have run quite over your time. If you could resume. 3 6175 MS GOLDI: Okay. 4 6176 MS BÉNARD: Thank you. 5 6177 MS GOLDI: Do you want me to just sum 6 up? Okay. 7 6178 The one other thing that I am very 8 concerned about is the power of consolidating 9 broadcasters, broadcasters as producers and as 10 distributors. Small companies like us are really 11 threatened. Now, in my written submission I wrote some 12 material on that. 13 6179 I figure if broadcasters become 14 producers and get access to the funding, companies like 15 us are dead in the water. We will get some shows, but 16 we will get the little amounts of money and the 17 broadcasters' companies will get the big amounts of 18 money. 19 6180 There's a lot of issues that I drew 20 to your attention in my written submission. Just 21 listening to our experience, I hope you will realize 22 there are lots of other people like us across Canada. 23 6181 Thank you. 24 6182 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr. and 25 Mrs. Goldi. StenoTran 1351 1 6183 Commissioner McKendry. 2 6184 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: Thank you, 3 Madam Chair. 4 6185 Thank you for your presentation and 5 thank you for coming to talk to us today. 6 6186 I will start by asking you a couple 7 of questions about "Outdoor Adventure Canada" and your 8 experience with that program. Then I will talk a 9 little bit more generally about some of the broader 10 points you made in your written submission. 11 6187 One of the things that struck me in 12 your written submission about "Outdoor Adventure 13 Canada" and you touched on it earlier, is that not only 14 has it had significant recognition within Canada, 15 apparently it has had significant recognition outside 16 Canada as well, I notice on the list of awards that you 17 have cited here. 18 6188 Is that a common thing for a Canadian 19 documentary, to receive that kind of international 20 recognition as well as domestic? 21 6189 MR. GOLDI: No, it's not for those 22 who are in the business. They can't believe the kind 23 of awards that we have won internationally for our 24 show, let alone a cable show, but by the same token, we 25 killed ourselves. StenoTran 1352 1 6190 We are sort of at the peak of our 2 career. We are all peaking at this age, you know. We 3 put the best possible amount of work into this show 4 that anybody could. We have friends who produced one 5 hours for Discovery who did a very good job, but they 6 spent less time editing than we did on our half hour 7 shows. 8 6191 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: Now, the Life 9 Network, who owns the Life Network. 10 6192 MS GOLDI: Atlantis. Oh, sorry, 11 Atlantis Broadcasting. 12 6193 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: And I 13 understand from your submission that you tried to 14 negotiate a distribution deal with Atlantis or they 15 tried to negotiate one with you. 16 6194 MS GOLDI: We were approached by 17 Atlantis just after they had renewed our show for the 18 second year. Well, he said he was just going off to 19 Cannes and would we sign a contract right away, would 20 we consider signing a contract. He wasn't pressuring 21 me. He just said there was a short time. 22 6195 We have been distributors in the 23 non-theatrical market across Canada and we have also 24 talked to other film makers a lot about distribution, 25 so we know an awful lot of the problems. We have got a StenoTran 1353 1 lot of film maker friends who have never received 2 anything back much from their distributors. We also 3 have heard lots of distributors say "You're crazy to be 4 in production, you should be in distribution. That's 5 where the money is". 6 6196 We are fairly suspicious and we are 7 fairly careful and we would like to have lawyers go 8 over the contract. Basically in this case, I told the 9 person that the deal he was offering was unacceptable 10 because it had open ended expense accounts for the 11 distributor, but I said I would be glad to discuss 12 better terms at a later date. He said "Well, this is 13 the time because I'm going off to the show". Later I 14 phoned him back and I never got a return call. 15 6197 I don't know. I'm not saying it had 16 anything to do with the situation. It may or may not 17 have. But it left a big question mark because not long 18 after that we were told that our show was not going to 19 be promoted that year, by somebody else, not directly 20 by him. I don't want to get sued by Atlantis. I can't 21 afford it. 22 6198 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: I realize 23 Atlantis is a much larger company than your company, 24 but do you regard Atlantis as a competitor to your 25 business? StenoTran 1354 1 6199 MS GOLDI: No. We were very glad 2 that they picked up our show. I mean we are glad to 3 have had two years' work with them. 4 6200 MR. GOLDI: We were on good terms 5 with everybody. 6 6201 MS GOLDI: Yes. 7 6202 MR. GOLDI: Atlantis. Jan Platt, 8 before she left, picked our show. Before she left she 9 said "John, a lot of shows that look good on paper 10 don't perform very well, but your show which looked 11 great on paper has thrilled us no end", and then she 12 left Atlantis and a new administration came in. All 13 the Executive Producers at Atlantis loved our show. 14 6203 MS GOLDI: We don't know what 15 happened in between. 16 6204 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: What I want 17 to get at here is there's a written implication in your 18 written submission that because Atlantis owns life, 19 your program was terminated. Is that the impression 20 you wanted -- is that your position? 21 6205 MS GOLDI: No. I don't think it's my 22 position. I guess I should change that and say it left 23 a question in my mind and whatever the question is, I 24 think I would like to see separation of powers. That's 25 within the CRTC's regulatory power to do that. StenoTran 1355 1 6206 We have got big players there 2 becoming distributors. Quite a few of the people who 3 own specialty channels are becoming distributors. It's 4 not just Atlantis. Other ones are. There's pressure 5 on their producers to possibly hand over their stuff 6 for distribution. It's a very uneasy situation. 7 6207 The answer to your question is no, I 8 don't want to implicate Atlantis. 9 1550 10 6208 You put a question in our mind and I 11 think it is something that would make a lot of small 12 producers very uneasy. You don't want a big company 13 being your broadcaster and also suggesting that perhaps 14 they should also distribute your product if you felt 15 uncomfortable with that. 16 6209 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: So, I take it 17 then the reason that this highly successful program on 18 a number of levels, whether it is viewers or awards, 19 was cancelled is that it didn't have in the view of 20 Life an adequate international orientation? Is that 21 what it comes down to then? 22 6210 MS GOLDI: Well, that I would 23 definitely agree with because when it was being 24 cancelled and I asked what's the reason, we were told 25 our foreign product does very well for us and we were StenoTran 1356 1 also told what it was being replaced by, which is the 2 show I described. Of course, after I spoke to Michael 3 MacMillan about it, our foreign product does very well 4 for us. We never heard about it again and I don't 5 think the person who said it -- oh, I am sure the 6 person who said it to me probably heard about it, but 7 that's all I can conclude. 8 6211 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: How will you 9 change your business after being told by Telefilm that 10 your program or an idea you had was too Canadian, and 11 in light of your experience with Outdoor Adventure 12 Canada what's the point of view of business people 13 trying to run a successful business? Will this cause 14 you to refocus your business at all? 15 6212 MR. GOLDI: We are constantly 16 refocusing our business. We have had a lot of success. 17 For instance, the PBS Acquisitions Director in Buffalo 18 said, "Your show is fantastic. We want to broadcast 19 it." 20 6213 So, Americans really like our hard 21 core Canadian shows. So, we are going to have to look 22 to the U.S. to make a living. The U.S. produced "Ken 23 Burns." There hasn't been one produced in Canada and I 24 don't think there ever will be, as long as keep mixing 25 up the Industrial Fund with the Heritage Fund. It's a StenoTran 1357 1 conflict that will never be resolved. 2 6214 You can't make something for Canadian 3 Heritage that will sell in Bucharest. How many 4 Yugoslavian television series developed by Yugoslavian 5 TV to talk about Yugoslav heritage have come to Canada? 6 None. How many from Bulgaria? And it works the 7 opposite. 8 6215 Stuff which we produce to teach our 9 young people about their culture, heritage, history -- 10 6216 MS GOLDI: Or our adults. 11 6217 MR. GOLDI: -- just will not travel 12 overseas. 13 6218 MS GOLDI: In order to make a living, 14 unless things change in the funding sense, we are 15 obviously going to have to do the international stuff, 16 but we would rather concentrate on Canadian, but as 17 long as are in competition for Canadian funds that are 18 going to Canadians who are doing overseas stories we 19 haven't got a chance. Actually, we have two proposals 20 and after this. They may be dead in the water because 21 they are into the same broadcaster and one is a similar 22 kind of series on Canada and one is on an international 23 series. 24 6219 We would rather do the Canadian one. 25 There still is not nearly enough programs about Canada StenoTran 1358 1 on television. 2 6220 MR. GOLDI: You see, we don't doubt 3 there should be an Industrial Fund, but Bombardier, 4 which makes lots of money overseas and produces a good 5 product, does not tap the Heritage Fund to make a go of 6 it. They tap a separate Industrial Fund. Why isn't 7 there an Industrial Fund for overseas export which does 8 not bleed off the local stuff for Canadian consumption? 9 6221 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: This leads me 10 to a question I wanted to ask you, on page 2 of your 11 written submission you state and I will quote: 12 "Documentaries should only be 13 classified as Canadian if they 14 are shot in Canada." 15 6222 This is a view that contrasts with 16 the view that we were given by the Canadian Independent 17 Film Caucus and Vision I think as well would not agree 18 with the view you are putting forward. Vision told us 19 the primary criteria for deciding whether or not 20 something was Canadian was the primary target audience, 21 so that a Canadian could go somewhere and shoot 22 something that may or may not be relevant to -- or not 23 have a Canadian perspective, but as long as it was 24 directed towards a Canadian audience then it should be 25 Canadian content. Are you members of the Canadian StenoTran 1359 1 Independent Film Caucus? 2 6223 MS GOLDI: Yes. 3 6224 MR. GOLDI: Joan was on the executive 4 for several years. 5 6225 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: It's a 6 difficult issue for us to hear from an association that 7 is taking a view that is the opposite of your view and 8 then we hear from producers such as yourself who have 9 another view. How do we reconcile in your mind the 10 views of an association that represents I think they 11 said 300 producers with comments from individual 12 companies? How do we balance those? 13 6226 MR. GOLDI: The problem is always who 14 do you listen to. Do you listen to film-makers or do 15 you listen to the viewers, the people of Canada. 16 6227 Film-makers love travelling the world 17 and making shows and saying, "You have to see this 18 fantastic show I have done." This has been a complaint 19 from teachers from coast-to-coast for 20, 30 years; 20 film-makers are not making stuff overseas or in Canada 21 that is of any use to any viewers, but film-makers -- 22 and the CBC was one of the worst misbehaved of this 23 kind until Perrin Beatty brought them home. 24 6228 We have strong views. We don't think 25 that when you put Asian-Canadian subject matter on TV StenoTran 1360 1 for the first time that you should put a film on 2 selling children into prostitution, paid for by the 3 taxpayer, in front of Canadians. If that's the first 4 exposure that Asian kids in Toronto have to seeing 5 themselves on CBC "Witness" and they see a program 6 where their people and life people back in India is 7 portrayed as that, that's negative stuff that I don't 8 think the taxpayer should be paying for. 9 6229 MS GOLDI: I think we have to divide 10 things into two things. I have no objection to people 11 doing programs in other parts of the world. My 12 objection is to Canadian taxpayers' money supporting 13 those documentary programs, when we are not doing 14 programs in Canada. 15 6230 If something is shot overseas because 16 it is genuinely part of a Canadian story, like if you 17 are doing a person's war story, you might want to go to 18 Europe because that's part of the story if you are 19 taking the person. I mean I would stretch it that far, 20 but that's as far as I would stretch it in terms of 21 Canadian funding. 22 6231 There are a lot of shows that have 23 absolutely nothing to do with Canada which are great 24 documentaries. They are fascinating, but why when 25 there is so little money -- I mean $100 million or so StenoTran 1361 1 went in one day in April. Obviously, there isn't 2 enough money around and there is probably not going to 3 be a lot more. So, let's allot it to shows that tell 4 Canadian stories and that are shot primarily in Canada, 5 when we are talking documentary. 6 6232 MR. GOLDI: For instance, the ebola 7 story, a great documentary, but why is a Canadian 8 taxpayer paying for a show which praises the work 9 American doctors are doing in combatting the ebola 10 virus? 11 6233 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: We started 12 out talking about Outdoor Adventure Canada and let me 13 just end my questions with one more question about it. 14 6234 What happens next with Outdoor 15 Adventure Canada? Is that the end of the road or is 16 there a possibility that you can sell that program 17 somewhere else? 18 6235 MS GOLDI: After we got our 19 broadcaster to get rid of what they cutely called the 20 blackout clause, now we can start peddling it. 21 6236 We had a clause in our contract. 22 This is another thing I did not put in my submission 23 and I would like to see the CRTC getting into putting 24 some limits on what broadcasters can put in contracts. 25 We had in our contract a clause that if our broadcaster StenoTran 1362 1 chose not to renew it for another season we were not 2 allowed to take it to another broadcaster for two years 3 after the end of the term -- the term being five years. 4 In other words, the show was dead and gone. 5 6237 Now, when I yelled and screamed the 6 clause was finally signed away, but by then it was too 7 late for me to go to another broadcaster. So, we would 8 like to see it revived, but we now have to go to other 9 broadcasters. So, by then it may be dead and gone 10 because, generally, you can't interrupt a series for a 11 year. 12 6238 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: Thank you. 13 6239 Those are my questions, Madam Chair. 14 6240 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 15 much, Mr. and Mrs. Goldi. 16 6241 MS GOLDI: Thank you very much for 17 inviting us. 18 1600 19 6242 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Madame la Secrétaire, 20 voulez-vous inviter l'intervenant suivant, s'il vous 21 plaît. 22 6243 Mme BÉNARD: Merci, Madame la 23 Présidente. 24 6244 La prochaine présentation sera celle 25 de la Fédération nationale des communications. StenoTran 1363 1 PRÉSENTATION / PRESENTATION 2 6245 Mme LAROUCHE: Madame la Présidente, 3 Mesdames, Messieurs les Commissaires, bonjour. Merci 4 d'avoir accepté de nous accueillir à cette importante 5 audience du CRTC. 6 6246 Permettez-moi d'abord de vous 7 présenter mes collègues: à ma droite, Pierre Roger, 8 qui est secrétaire général de la Fédération nationale 9 des communications et, à ma gauche, M. Yvan Sinotte, 10 qui est conseiller à la Fédération nationale des 11 communications. 12 6247 La FNC représente 7 000 artisans du 13 secteur des communications, dont 11 syndicats, chez les 14 principaux télédiffuseurs privés et publics 15 francophones, y compris dans les régions du Québec. La 16 FNC représente également 2 000 travailleurs autonomes 17 qui travaillent dans le secteur de la production 18 indépendante. Ils sont membres de l'Association des 19 professionnels de la vidéo du Québec et membres de 20 l'Association des journalistes indépendants du Québec. 21 6248 La Fédération n'a pas l'intention, au 22 cours de cette audience, de remettre en question 23 l'ensemble des règles qui régissent l'industrie de la 24 télédiffusion et de la production télévisuelle. La 25 Fédération souhaite quand même que cette audience StenoTran 1364 1 contribue à protéger et consolider l'industrie de la 2 télédiffusion et de la production. 3 6249 Il nous apparaît essentiel d'évaluer 4 le fonctionnement actuel de ce secteur d'activités pour 5 nous assurer qu'en dépit des pressions économiques et 6 technologiques nous serons en mesure de garantir au 7 public l'accessibilité à une programmation diversifiée 8 et de qualité, et ce, à des coûts raisonnables. 9 6250 Les règles actuelles de financement 10 de la production télévisuelle font partie des mesures 11 qui permettent de promouvoir l'expression des identités 12 culturelles. Les mesures dites protectionnistes ne 13 suffissent plus, ce qui renforce l'importance de 14 favoriser le développement de produits nationaux 15 concurrentiels qui obtiennent également l'adhésion du 16 public. 17 6251 Avec l'invasion des produits 18 étrangers, facilitée par les nouvelles technologies, 19 les télédiffuseurs doivent pouvoir offrir des contenus 20 qui se distinguent de ceux offerts par les concurrents 21 internationaux et qui font appel aussi à des moyens de 22 production permettant d'offrir des produits de niveau 23 concurrentiel. 24 6252 Le passage au numérique sera coûteux 25 pour les télédiffuseurs, ce qui favorisera sans doute StenoTran 1365 1 des fusions et des concentrations d'entreprises. Le 2 Conseil devra s'assurer que les différentes initiatives 3 de consolidation servent réellement l'intérêt public et 4 offrent des avantages tangibles. Il pourrait fixer des 5 exigences pour protéger la diversité et la qualité des 6 programmations et de l'information ainsi que le 7 maintien des services locaux et régionaux. 8 6253 Les diffuseurs doivent obtenir 9 l'assurance qu'ils demeureront une partie importante du 10 processus de production télévisuelle pour s'engager 11 dans le développement technologique. Comme rien ne 12 garantit que le niveau et le système de financement de 13 la production demeureront les mêmes, il est essentiel 14 de préserver et d'encourager la capacité de production 15 des télédiffuseurs. 16 6254 Les télédiffuseurs conventionnels 17 doivent aussi conserver une part de marché convenable, 18 ce qui est loin d'être assuré par la multiplication des 19 services spécialisés. Une augmentation mal contrôlée 20 des services de télédiffusion pourrait conduire à une 21 dilution des contenus et même à une télévision à deux 22 vitesses, soit l'une pour les riches, l'autre pour les 23 pauvres, d'autant plus que pour protéger leur marché 24 les diffuseurs conventionnels veulent s'implanter dans 25 les services spécialisés. StenoTran 1366 1 6255 Les règles du CRTC et le système de 2 financement de la production ont réussi à stimuler la 3 production, la diffusion et la promotion d'émissions 4 canadiennes de haute qualité. Les entreprises de 5 télédiffusion doivent demeurer actives dans le 6 processus de production puisqu'elles détiennent un 7 savoir-faire qui a généré la production d'émissions de 8 qualité. 9 6256 Les entreprises de télédiffusion 10 doivent pouvoir exercer un contrôle sur la production 11 des contenus car elles sont en fait les seules 12 responsables de l'application des règles du système de 13 radiodiffusion. Les règles d'attribution du 14 financement doivent donc davantage tenir compte des 15 responsabilités qui sont confiées aux télédiffuseurs 16 par le Règlement de 1987 sur la télédiffusion et par 17 les conditions de licence. 18 6257 Il devient primordial que des 19 critères objectifs, comme la qualité et les besoins des 20 télédiffuseurs en matière de programmation, guident la 21 distribution du financement. Les dérapages constatés 22 lors de la distribution des budgets du Fonds des 23 câblodistributeurs le printemps dernier démontrent que 24 l'attribution du financement n'est pas toujours 25 tributaire de critères favorables à l'application des StenoTran 1367 1 exigences reconnues par le règlement du CRTC. 2 6258 L'intérêt du public ne réside pas 3 uniquement dans la diffusion de dramatiques 4 canadiennes. Tous les Canadiens doivent avoir accès à 5 des émissions de qualité, diversifiées et reflétant 6 leur réalité. Cela implique aussi la diffusion 7 d'émissions et d'information destinées aux populations 8 locales et régionales. 9 6259 Nous croyons que les réseaux et les 10 propriétaires de plusieurs stations doivent rencontrer 11 ces exigences, d'autant plus qu'il s'agit aussi d'un 12 moyen particulièrement utile de rencontrer les 13 objectifs du Conseil en matière de contenu canadien. 14 6260 Les réseaux et les propriétaires de 15 plusieurs stations devraient se voir fixer un taux de 16 programmation produite localement et régionalement pour 17 le bénéfice de ces auditoires. 18 6261 Pour maintenir une programmation de 19 qualité, il demeure aussi essentiel de préserver la 20 capacité des télédiffuseurs d'assumer pleinement leurs 21 responsabilités, en évitant de créer des coûts 22 d'acquisition d'émissions démesurés et en évitant de 23 centraliser la production dans le secteur de la 24 production indépendante. 25 6262 Il faut bien sûr freiner certaines StenoTran 1368 1 pratiques des télédiffuseurs qui, pour obtenir du 2 financement, transfèrent à la production indépendante 3 certaines émissions qu'ils produisaient et peuvent 4 encore produire. Cela nous prive de ressources pour la 5 production des émissions des catégories sous- 6 représentées. 7 6263 Nous croyons qu'il faudrait fixer un 8 taux de diffusion et de production d'émissions 9 destinées aux enfants. Au Québec, il s'agit d'une 10 catégorie sous-représentée chez les télédiffuseurs 11 privés depuis l'adoption en 1980 de la loi qui interdit 12 la publicité destinée aux enfants. En 1993, sans la 13 contribution de Canal Famille, Radio-Canada et Télé- 14 Québec, les enfants au Québec n'auraient eu accès qu'à 15 six heures d'émissions par semaine. 16 6264 Sans un financement suffisant, la 17 Société Radio-Canada peut difficilement assumer 18 pleinement son rôle auprès du public et des 19 télédiffuseurs privés. Depuis le début des années 20 quatre-vingt-dix, Radio-Canada a subi des diminutions 21 des crédits parlementaires de plus de 20 pour cent. Le 22 télédiffuseur public, qui devrait pouvoir offrir des 23 contenus distinctifs, se retrouve malheureusement 24 parfois dans l'obligation d'offrir une programmation 25 qui s'apparente à celle des télédiffuseurs privés. StenoTran 1369 1 6265 La situation financière de la SRC a 2 aussi des effets négatifs sur les stations régionales 3 affiliées. Cette année, la SRC a renégocié à la baisse 4 ses contrats avec ses stations affiliées du Québec, et 5 la perte des revenus des stations régionales risque de 6 nuire à leur capacité de produire et de diffuser des 7 émissions destinées aux populations qu'elles 8 desservent. 9 6266 Il reste encore, bien sûr, beaucoup à 10 faire pour que l'ensemble de la population francophone 11 canadienne hors Québec puisse avoir accès à des 12 contenus de qualité adaptés à sa réalité culturelle. 13 L'exigence de contenu canadien demeure prioritaire dans 14 un contexte de mondialisation et de développements 15 technologiques pour protéger l'identité culturelle 16 propre aux deux communautés. 17 6267 Il est préférable de maintenir le 18 cadre réglementaire actuel en limitant à 12 minutes la 19 publicité par heure puisque les émissions des 20 télédiffuseurs peuvent puiser dans différentes sources 21 et formes de revenus qui ne sont pas calculées à 22 l'intérieur du minutage autorisé par le Conseil. Il 23 faut surtout éviter que des téléspectateurs soient 24 découragés d'écouter leurs médias et les télédiffuseurs 25 conventionnels parce que surchargés de publicité. StenoTran 1370 1 6268 En conclusion, la Fédération aimerait 2 vous dire que nous souhaitons réellement qu'il sera 3 possible de garantir un avenir viable à l'industrie de 4 la télédiffusion qui, au cours des prochaines années, 5 aura à assumer d'importants investissements en 6 technologie, notamment dans le numérique. Les 7 télédiffuseurs doivent obtenir la garantie qu'ils 8 continueront d'occuper une place importante en 9 production et en diffusion avant de s'engager davantage 10 dans les investissements nécessaires au virage 11 numérique. 12 6269 L'utilisation de fonds publics à des 13 fins de production doit permettre: de produire des 14 émissions des catégories sous-représentées; de produire 15 des émissions qui ajoutent réellement au contenu 16 canadien et qui se distinguent de celles 17 traditionnellement produites à l'interne par les 18 télédiffuseurs; et aussi de réaliser les objectifs de 19 programmation des télédiffuseurs. 20 6270 Les responsabilités confiées aux 21 télédiffuseurs par le CRTC doivent être prises en 22 compte dans le processus de production des émissions. 23 6271 L'atteinte des objectifs contenus 24 dans la Loi sur la radiodiffusion repose sur un réel 25 partenariat entre les télédiffuseurs et les StenoTran 1371 1 producteurs. 2 6272 Voilà. Ça complète notre 3 présentation verbale. Merci. 4 6273 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Merci, Madame 5 Larouche. 6 6274 Une de vos préoccupation principales 7 est l'apport de la production locale et régionale dans 8 la réalité de télédiffusion canadienne; et dans votre 9 soumission écrite et dans votre soumission orale 10 aujourd'hui vous y faites référence et vous suggérez 11 que les réseaux, les propriétaires de multi-stations, 12 de plusieurs stations, devraient se voir fixer un taux 13 de programmation produite localement et régionalement 14 pour le bénéfice de ces auditoires. 15 6275 Nous avons eu différents producteurs 16 nous élaborer leurs inquiétudes à cet effet-là et ils 17 ont suggéré, comme vous, qu'il y ait un taux ou un 18 pourcentage de programmation canadienne qui soit locale 19 ou régionale, mais nous avons eu évidemment des 20 soumissions différentes de certains producteurs de 21 certaines provinces. 22 6276 À votre avis, est-ce qu'il s'agit de 23 production qui a une allure locale et régionale, qui 24 est à propos de sujets locaux et régionaux, ou 25 simplement qui serait produite par soit des StenoTran 1372 1 producteurs... le télédiffuseur, évidemment, est local 2 ou régional, mais si c'est une production acquise d'un 3 producteur, est-ce que si le producteur est régional ça 4 suffit ou est-ce qu'il faut que le sujet traité soit 5 régional? 6 6277 Nous avons eu des soumissions 7 différentes à cet effet. 8 6278 Mme LAROUCHE: En fait, nous ne sommes 9 pas fermés, nous, à une approche mixte. Il est 10 pensable que des régions puissent contribuer au contenu 11 des réseaux sur le volet national. Mais ce qui nous 12 préoccupe particulièrement, c'est l'espace qui est 13 réservé par les réseaux et les propriétaires de 14 plusieurs stations aux régions pour leur permettre 15 d'avoir davantage d'information qui concerne les 16 populations régionales et aussi des émissions comme on 17 en a vu déjà et on n'en voit plus à caractère culturel 18 qui s'adresse directement aux populations concernées, 19 donc dans les régions. 20 6279 On a vu une diminution importante du 21 nombre d'heures produites par les régions pour les 22 régions et on aimerait bien que soit intensifiée la 23 contribution des réseaux et des différents 24 télédiffuseurs à la programmation régionale. 25 6280 M. Sinotte aimerait apporter un StenoTran 1373 1 complément d'information là-dessus. 2 6281 M. SINOTTE: Travaillant sur le 3 dossier de Radio-Canada particulièrement, où je suis 4 détaché en exclusivité, cette question-là de production 5 des régions pour les régions refait continuellement 6 surface dans les population concernées. Quand on a 7 fermé les stations de Radio-Canada en région les gens 8 se sont retrouvés avec des centres de diffusion 9 éloignés de chez eux et avec une perte nette 10 d'information au sens large du terme... je ne le prends 11 pas comme uniquement de la nouvelle, mais avec une 12 perte d'information au sens large les concernant. 13 6282 Je ne sais pas si vous vous rappelez 14 ces audiences où Radio-Canada avait annoncé la 15 fermeture des stations et s'était présentée ici au CRTC 16 et où on avait parlé de fenêtres, fenêtres pour les 17 régions dans la programmation nationale. On s'est 18 retrouvés avec des fenêtres fermées et avec des 19 rideaux, et les régions ne se voient plus. 20 6283 Il y a un effort qui se fait 21 actuellement sur le plan de la nouvelle pour l'est du 22 Québec, à partir de Québec, comme ça se fait un peu 23 pour Windsor au réseau anglais, mais ça ne peut pas 24 compenser pour ce que les régions recevaient 25 précédemment. StenoTran 1374 1 6284 Donc si cette dynamique-là est vraie 2 pour les régions concernant Radio-Canada, il est sûr 3 que la même dynamique existe pour les radiodiffuseurs 4 privés qui également sont en région. 5 6285 Moi, je me rappelle une période où 6 Télé-7, par exemple, à Sherbrooke, CHLT-TV, produisait 7 beaucoup pour la région de l'Estrie. Je me rappelle 8 d'une période où CFCM-4 produisait beaucoup pour 9 Québec. Je me rappelle d'une période où, à Chicoutimi- 10 Jonquière CKRS et la station affiliée à TVA 11 produisaient beaucoup localement et régionalement. Ça, 12 ça n'existe plus. On ne fait plus d'affaires 13 publiques, on ne fait plus d'émissions de services, on 14 ne fait plus d'émissions consacrées au tissu local et 15 reflétant les préoccupations locales. 16 6286 Donc c'est sûr que les populations 17 actuellement sont perdantes parce qu'on a relâché 18 complètement les obligations à cet égard, et moi, je 19 pense que le CRTC a une lourde responsabilité sur cet 20 aspect-là de la question. Les régions, si elles sont 21 désertées, c'est sans doute parce qu'il y a des gens 22 qui ne se reconnaissent plus dans leur région; et le 23 miroir des régions passe par l'écran de télévision, 24 qu'on le veuille ou non. 25 6287 On pense que les radiodiffuseurs StenoTran 1375 1 régionaux devraient avoir accès à des ressources pour 2 être capables de produire des émissions qui ressemblent 3 à leur auditoire. 4 6288 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Comment faudrait-il 5 s'y prendre si vous voulez que le CRTC s'immisce dans 6 cette question et essaie d'assurer qu'il continue d'y 7 avoir cette fameuse programmation miroir, je crois, la 8 programmation dont vous parlez, qui reflète justement 9 la communauté à elle-même et qui est produite 10 normalement soit par des producteurs régionaux, mais 11 pas nécessairement, ou par le diffuseur régional lui- 12 même? Comment faudrait-il s'y prendre? Exiger un 13 certain niveau de dépenses, un certain nombre d'heures? 14 6289 Vous parlez aussi de la 15 globalisation, je crois, de la programmation et 16 évidemment du désir alors de faire de la programmation 17 qui est vendable ailleurs, qui est exportable. Comment 18 équilibrer... quels mécanismes réglementaires 19 suggéreriez-vous pour qu'on ait un meilleur équilibre 20 entre cette globalisation ou cette mondialisation d'un 21 côté et le désir de la population de recevoir cette 22 réflection miroir, et évidemment le désir des 23 producteurs régionaux et locaux de pouvoir produire et 24 exhiber ou diffuser ou voir diffuser leur 25 programmation? StenoTran 1376 1 6290 Mme LAROUCHE: On n'a pas réfléchi en 2 profondeur à l'ensemble de la mécanique, mais on disait 3 qu'un taux ou un nombre d'heures hebdomadaires pourrait 4 être fixé serait une mesure intéressante, et à notre 5 avis la production locale et régionale pourrait être 6 classée dans les catégories sous-représentées au niveau 7 de la production télévisuelle. 8 6291 Par rapport à la globalisation, ce 9 que j'aimerais vous dire, Madame la Présidente, c'est 10 que ce qu'on constate au Québec -- et je pense que 11 c'est généralisé à travers le monde -- c'est qu'avec la 12 globalisation il y a une tendance lourde des 13 populations à vouloir se donner des outils de 14 communication qui sont rapprochés de leur réalité. On 15 a vu une montée des médias, des journaux communautaires 16 notamment, et on pense que le fait d'offrir aux 17 populations régionales et locales des services de 18 qualité reflétant leur réalité ne va pas à l'encontre 19 du fait qu'on est une société aussi qui est en train de 20 se globaliser. 21 6292 En même temps qu'on a besoin de se 22 projeter vers le monde, je pense qu'on a aussi besoin 23 de se regarder de notre point de vue et voir d'où on 24 part vraiment avant de se projeter. Et ce que révèlent 25 plusieurs analyses entre autres, c'est que, oui, avec StenoTran 1377 1 le développement mondial il y a une forte tendance 2 aussi pas nécessairement au repli sur soi mais une 3 forte tendance à vouloir se rapprocher aussi et à mieux 4 cerner nos racines. 5 6293 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Quand vous préconisez 6 un système où les télédiffuseurs demeureraient, je 7 crois que vous dites une partie intégrante du processus 8 de production, évidemment vous représentez ceux qui y 9 sont impliqués. Nous avons donc les producteurs soi- 10 disant indépendants qui veulent réaffirmer leur intérêt 11 à produire pour les télédiffuseurs et les 12 télédiffuseurs qui veulent eux-mêmes se lancer 13 davantage en production. Donc tout le monde parle des 14 effets nocifs de cette concentration verticale. 15 6294 Vous semblez dire qu'il est important 16 que les deux puissent y oeuvrer. Est-ce que vous 17 retenez les inquiétudes de ceux qui nous parlent des 18 effets nocifs de l'intégration verticale entre 19 télédiffuseurs et producteurs? 20 6295 Mme LAROUCHE: Je vais demander à mon 21 collègue Pierre Roger de répondre à votre question, 22 Madame la Présidente. 23 6296 M. ROGER: Madame la Présidente, tout 24 d'abord, en termes de représentation, nous représentons 25 aussi des gens du secteur de l'industrie de la StenoTran 1378 1 télédiffusion et nous représentons également tout près 2 de 1 400 artisans du secteur de la production 3 indépendante au Québec. Alors on pourrait dire qu'on 4 est un peu coincés aussi en termes de représentation 5 parce qu'on représente les deux types de travailleurs 6 dans l'industrie de la télévision. 7 6297 Évidemment, c'est une industrie qui 8 est fragilisée depuis quelques années. Ce dont on se 9 rend compte, c'est qu'il y a d'un côté les 10 télédiffuseurs, il y a de l'autre côté les producteurs 11 indépendants, et chacun veut évidemment sa part des 12 subventions pour arriver à produire comme tel. 13 6298 Ce qu'il est important de noter là- 14 dedans, c'est qu'il ne faudrait pas que les décisions 15 soient prises évidemment pour faire qu'on pourrait 16 mettre en péril cette industrie de la production 17 indépendante qui a été mise au point depuis quelques 18 années. Par contre, ce qu'on remarque et là où on a 19 des inquiétudes, c'est qu'au niveau des télédiffuseurs 20 traditionnels, avec l'ajout de canaux spécialisés et la 21 venue de la télévision numérique, on pourrait voir une 22 diminution de la qualité du produit télévisuel offert 23 au niveau des télédiffuseurs traditionnels, parce que 24 plus il va y avoir de canaux... là, je pense que c'est 25 une réalité qui est inévitable, et je pense que la StenoTran 1379 1 qualité de la production va s'en ressentir comme tel. 2 Ça, c'est sûr. 3 6299 L'arrivée de la télévision numérique, 4 ce qu'il faut comprendre là-dedans aussi, c'est qu'elle 5 va être beaucoup plus coûteuse au niveau des 6 télédiffuseurs qu'elle ne va l'être au niveau des 7 producteurs indépendants. Les infrastructures de 8 production et de télédiffusion sont essentiellement la 9 propriété des télédiffuseurs. 10 6300 Le virage numérique, il y en a une 11 partie qui s'effectue par le changement normal des 12 équipements à l'intérieur d'une station de télévision 13 ou même d'une maison de production, et ces coûts-là 14 sont des coûts semblables aux anciens équipements; on 15 renouvelle les équipements, mais les nouveaux sont 16 numériques. 17 6301 Par contre, au niveau des 18 télédiffuseurs généralistes traditionnels, eux, ils 19 auront à assumer le coût du changement du système de 20 transmission numérique, c'est-à-dire le parc 21 d'émetteurs pan-canadiens. Simplement ce coût-là va 22 s'élever à 500 millions de dollars pour 10 ans. 23 6302 Alors il faut s'assurer que les 24 télédiffuseurs auront la capacité de mettre en place 25 les investissements nécessaires, et pour ça il faut StenoTran 1380 1 s'assurer qu'ils puissent avoir les ressources 2 financières d'y arriver comme tel, sinon on risque de 3 handicaper notre système de télédiffusion comme tel. 4 6303 Évidemment, quand on parle 5 d'intégration verticale, c'est déjà un fait accompli 6 dans beaucoup de secteurs au Québec. On l'avait tantôt 7 avec M. Audet, Cogeco, où il y a une certaine forme 8 d'intégration verticale du côté câble et télévision; on 9 la retrouve du côté Vidéotron/TVA au Québec, où eux 10 sont déjà en intégration verticale importante et ils 11 cherchent même à aller à l'horizontale, comme vous 12 l'avez mentionné aussi, avec TVA qui demande des 13 licences de canaux spécialisés et Radio-Canada qui fait 14 la même chose, pour essayer de s'assurer de conserver 15 des parts de marché parce qu'ils sentent que leur part 16 de marché s'effrite avec la venue des canaux 17 spécialisés et ils ont peur de ne plus être en mesure 18 aussi d'offrir des produits de qualité. 19 6304 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Alors vous voyez là 20 le coût, justement, de la numérisation pour les 21 télédiffuseurs...vous y voyez une raison pour laquelle 22 le Conseil ne doit pas être trop sévère et empêcher les 23 télédiffuseurs de se lancer dans la production. 24 6305 Mme LAROUCHE: Moi, j'aurais tendance 25 à dire, quand on parle des télédiffuseurs, quand on StenoTran 1381 1 nous dit "les autoriser à se lancer dans la 2 production", que depuis les débuts de la télédiffusion 3 ils sont des producteurs. Malheureusement, la manière 4 dont les choses ont évolué, ils ont perdu une place 5 importante. 6 6306 Nous, on pense que le modèle actuel, 7 où cohabitent production indépendante et 8 télédiffuseurs-producteurs, est un modèle intéressant. 9 Cependant, ce que nous constatons, c'est 10 qu'actuellement les télédiffuseurs, pour être en mesure 11 d'offrir une production de qualité, subissent des 12 pressions économiques importantes liées au coût 13 d'acquisition des émissions et ont de la difficulté à 14 investir ailleurs que dans l'acquisition des émissions. 15 Certains ont même dû se départir complètement de leurs 16 effectifs et de leurs équipements en matière de 17 production. 18 6307 Compte tenu de l'évolution de 19 l'industrie, et comme on n'a pas de certitude quant au 20 niveau du financement et au type de financement qui 21 sera maintenu pour la production au Canada, notre 22 inquiétude est de savoir comment vont réagir les 23 télédiffuseurs. Qu'est-ce qui se passera dans dix ans, 24 dans cinq ans, si les télédiffuseurs ne sont plus en 25 mesure de produire de contenu et n'ont plus le savoir- StenoTran 1382 1 faire en matière de production de contenu? 2 6308 À notre avis, ils ont été des 3 producteurs efficaces dans le passé et ils doivent 4 demeurer des joueurs dans l'industrie de la production, 5 mais on ne veut pas concentrer non plus la production 6 chez les télédiffuseurs, pas plus que chez les 7 producteurs d'ailleurs. 8 6309 M. ROGER: Permettez-moi, Madame la 9 Présidente, si on pousse le raisonnement peut-être à 10 l'extrême, il y aurait un danger à long terme d'arriver 11 à une télévision, comme le mentionnait tantôt, à la 12 lecture du document, Mme Larouche, à deux niveaux; 13 c'est-à-dire que si le processus va trop loin on 14 arrivera un jour avec des télévisions généralistes qui 15 vont produire un contenu dont la qualité sera évacuée, 16 et le produit de qualité se retrouvera seulement sur 17 les canaux spécialisés ou à travers les 18 câblodistributeurs. À ce moment-là, le public canadien 19 devra payer pour avoir accès à un contenu de qualité, 20 alors qu'actuellement il y a un grand contenu de 21 qualité qu'on retrouve chez les télédiffuseurs 22 traditionnels. 23 6310 Ça, il ne faudrait pas l'oublier. 24 Les télédiffuseurs traditionnels ont actuellement quand 25 même une part de marché encore intéressante au Canada, StenoTran 1383 1 qui est près de 70 pour cent, mais il faudrait faire 2 attention pour éviter qu'elle ne s'effrite trop 3 grandement au cours des prochaines années. Il faut 4 s'assurer qu'ils puissent avoir les ressources de 5 continuer à offrir un produit de qualité pour que les 6 Canadiens puissent avoir accès gratuitement à ce 7 contenu. 8 6311 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Mais vous ne suggérez 9 pas ici qu'il serait impossible que l'industrie de la 10 production dite indépendante ne continue pas à offrir 11 des contenus de qualité... 12 6312 M. ROGER: Non, non... 13 6313 LA PRÉSIDENTE: ... ou parlez-vous 14 ici de la production qui serait généralement celle des 15 télédiffuseurs, comme les nouvelles, l'information, et 16 caetera? Parce que si le télédiffuseur ne produit pas 17 la programmation mais qu'il achète de la programmation 18 de qualité produite par des producteurs canadiens 19 indépendants et qui sont diffusés à la télévision 20 conventionnelle, je ne vois pas l'effet que vous 21 suggérez. 22 6314 M. ROGER: Ce qui peut arriver, c'est 23 que s'il y a effritement des parts de marché des 24 télédiffuseurs traditionnels, eux n'auront plus les 25 mêmes moyens financiers pour acquérir des émissions; StenoTran 1384 1 donc ils devront acquérir des émissions à des coûts 2 moindres, donc automatiquement des émissions qui sont 3 de moins bonne qualité. Et les émissions de qualité, 4 on les verra à la télé payante ou par les différents 5 services de télédistribution, où là, ça va être les 6 consommateurs canadiens qui devront payer pour avoir 7 accès à ces contenus de qualité. 8 6315 Je ne veux pas amener une vision trop 9 pessimiste de l'avenir de la télévision au Canada, mais 10 je dis simplement qu'il faut faire attention pour 11 essayer de conserver nos télédiffuseurs traditionnels 12 et de maintenir aussi les producteurs indépendants, 13 parce que c'est un bon système aussi. 14 6316 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Vous parlez ici du 15 Canada français. 16 6317 M. ROGER: Oui, principalement. 17 6318 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Il est, évidemment, 18 un peu tôt pour s'inquiéter indûment de l'effritement 19 de l'écoute des stations conventionnelles de 20 télévision. 21 6319 Mme LAROUCHE: Si on... 22 6320 M. ROGER: Bien... 23 6321 Mme LAROUCHE: On veut tous répondre. 24 6322 Si on parle du Canada français, il 25 faut l'admettre, on a quand même en matière d'adhésion StenoTran 1385 1 publique un niveau qui est assez enviable, c'est vrai. 2 Cependant, on pense qu'on a atteint justement un niveau 3 d'adhésion du public lié à la qualité des contenus qui 4 n'est pas tributaire strictement de l'apport des 5 producteurs indépendants. Ils y sont pour quelque 6 chose, parce qu'effectivement ils ont contribué 7 fortement à améliorer les programmations, mais les 8 télédiffuseurs aussi y sont pour quelque chose, et 9 actuellement ils peuvent se payer une programmation qui 10 permet de maintenir l'adhésion populaire. 11 6323 Par contre, dans les prochaines 12 années, ils auront des investissements majeurs à faire 13 dans le développement technologique, dans le virage 14 numérique, au niveau des émetteurs et peut-être qu'ils 15 auront moins d'argent pour faire de l'acquisition 16 d'émissions. Alors est-ce qu'on va les exclure tout à 17 fait de la capacité de production canadienne? Ce 18 serait dommage. Ça leur permettrait peut-être de 19 réduire les coûts. 20 6324 Il faut voir aussi que le système 21 actuel, au niveau de l'acquisition d'émissions et du 22 financement de la production, n'est pas parfait. Nous, 23 on estime qu'il s'agit d'un modèle fort utile qui a 24 permis d'améliorer la qualité des contenus télévisuels. 25 6325 Cependant, il y a des pratiques au StenoTran 1386 1 niveau de l'acquisition des budgets et au niveau aussi 2 de la vente des émissions qui ne sont pas toujours 3 utiles au système canadien de télédiffusion. On vous 4 parle dans le mémoire de ce qui s'est passé lors de 5 l'attribution des budgets du Fonds des 6 câblodistributeurs au printemps. Quand on dit "premier 7 arrivé, premier servi", c'est-à-dire que le premier 8 producteur arrivé ou le premier représentant sur les 9 lieux avait accès au budget; il n'était aucunement 10 question des besoins des télédiffuseurs en matière de 11 programmation. Or, on pense que les télédiffuseurs, 12 qui ont une responsabilité envers le système et qui 13 auront des charges importantes à assumer au cours des 14 prochaines années, devraient avoir davantage de 15 contrôle sur ce qui est produit pour leurs services de 16 télédiffusion. 17 6326 M. SINOTTE: Je voudrais juste 18 compléter. 19 6327 Historiquement, la Fédération 20 nationale des communications... moi, je contribue à la 21 rédaction de mémoires devant le Conseil depuis une 22 quinzaine d'années. Historiquement, la fédération a 23 toujours été favorable à un système où il y avait 24 l'apport des producteurs indépendants mais sur la base 25 de l'innovation. D'ailleurs, c'était l'esprit qui StenoTran 1387 1 prévalait. Lorsque l'industrie de la production 2 indépendante s'est constituée, c'était sur la base de 3 l'innovation, c'est-à-dire qu'on allait produire là ce 4 qu'on ne retrouvait pas dans la production des 5 radiodiffuseurs. 6 6328 Or, on a vu le glissement avec les 7 années et les produits ont commencé à se ressembler, et 8 il y a eu comme une espèce d'uniformisation qui s'est 9 établie. Ça, c'est un peu regrettable parce que ce 10 n'était pas ça, l'esprit du départ. 11 6329 Et vous faites bien, Madame la 12 Présidente, lorsque vous dites "la production soi- 13 disant indépendante". Effectivement, c'est une 14 production indépendante dans sa gestion mais publique 15 dans sa finance. Et l'argent dont profite la 16 production indépendante, c'est l'argent dont Radio- 17 Canada ne dispose plus maintenant. 18 6330 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Mais qui donne un 19 produit que le télédiffuseur peut vendre. 20 6331 Mme LAROUCHE: Oui. Ça, nous ne le 21 rejetons pas. Ce que nous disons simplement, c'est: 22 Soyons prudents. Il ne faudrait pas affaiblir indûment 23 les télédiffuseurs pour maintenir une industrie de la 24 production saine. On pense que l'industrie de la 25 production est sur ses rails, va bien, doit être StenoTran 1388 1 maintenue, doit continuer de cohabiter avec la 2 production des télédiffuseurs cependant. 3 6332 Comme on le dit, il y a un 4 glissement. Il y a certains télédiffuseurs qui font 5 maintenant produire à l'externe ce qu'ils produisaient 6 à l'interne. Et là, on ne parle pas de valeur ajoutée, 7 on parle de produits uniformes à ceux qu'on produisait 8 il y a 10, 15, 20 ans et qui, soudainement, se 9 retrouvent à la production indépendante alors qu'on a 10 les studios et qu'on serait en mesure de les produire à 11 l'interne. 12 6333 Alors pour nous, ce n'est pas un 13 ajout à la qualité de la programmation et ça nous prive 14 de ressources qui pourraient servir d'autres types de 15 productions plus lourdes. 16 6334 M. ROGER: J'aimerais peut-être, 17 Madame la Présidente, apporter une nuance aussi. 18 6335 Il y a parfois des produits 19 télévisuels qui sont fabriqués aussi par les 20 producteurs indépendants mais dont tous les droits ne 21 sont pas nécessairement achetés par les télédiffuseurs. 22 Parfois le télédiffuseur va acheter les droits pour un 23 certain nombre de diffusions et parfois le produit va 24 continuer à être diffusé en vidéocassette ou dans 25 d'autres sortes de formats, et ces profits-là vont StenoTran 1389 1 aller aux producteurs indépendants, pas nécessairement 2 aux diffuseurs. 3 6336 Je compléterais tantôt aussi, quand 4 on parlait de télévision numérique, il y a un point 5 important qu'il faut se rappeler... et il n'y a 6 personne encore, je pense, qui en a parlé. Ça va 7 coûter à peu près 20 pour cent de plus produire une 8 émission en haute définition numérique. Alors ce sont 9 des coûts qui vont accaparer des ressources financières 10 importantes qui sont déjà investies dans la production 11 actuellement. 12 6337 S'il y a une augmentation de 20 pour 13 cent dans les coûts de production, on va sûrement avoir 14 moins de produits comme tel. Et si on augmente les 15 canaux de distribution, les chaînes spécialisées, on va 16 sûrement se ramasser en bout de ligne avec peut-être 17 une qualité d'émissions diminuée. 18 6338 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Maintenant, au 19 paragraphe 2.4 de votre présentation orale vous faites 20 un commentaire avec lequel le Conseil, évidemment, ne 21 peut pas... que le Conseil entérine. Justement, vous 22 reliez ou faites le pont entre le passage au numérique 23 qui sera coûteux et qui favorisera des fusions, des 24 concentrations d'entreprises, et que le Conseil devrait 25 s'assurer que les différentes initiatives de StenoTran 1390 1 consolidation servent réellement l'intérêt public et 2 offrent des avantages tangibles. Évidemment, le 3 Conseil historiquement et maintenant continue à croire 4 que ces consolidations-là devraient avoir comme 5 résultat une meilleure offre de programmation au 6 public. 7 6339 Est-ce que, à votre avis, le Conseil 8 devrait obtenir des fameux bénéfices tangibles ou est- 9 ce que le Conseil, quand il permet la concentration ou 10 quand il fait face à des propriétaires qui ont 11 plusieurs licences, devrait avoir des exigences 12 différentes justement pour s'assurer que la 13 programmation offerte... qu'il y en a plus et qu'elle 14 est de meilleure qualité parce que l'entreprise a plus 15 de force initiale? 16 6340 Mme LAROUCHE: Nous, en tout cas 17 traditionnellement, lorsqu'il a été question de 18 consolidation ou de concentration d'entreprises, nos 19 exigences ont beaucoup porté sur l'apport de ces 20 radiodiffuseurs au niveau du contenu régional, local et 21 au niveau de l'information, notamment parce qu'ils ont 22 une structure... certains se consolident en faisant des 23 acquisitions en région, d'autres verticalement; ça 24 dépend évidemment de la manière dont la concentration 25 est faite. Mais pour nous, des avantages tangibles, ça StenoTran 1391 1 veut dire améliorer l'accessibilité à des contenus de 2 qualité, à des contenus d'information et à des contenus 3 qui reflètent la réalité des téléspectateurs. 4 6341 Ça dépend toujours du modèle de 5 concentration dont il est question. Ça peut être une 6 consolidation qui va permettre d'établir une tête de 7 réseau sur plusieurs régions. Le modèle peut 8 déterminer quel genre de demandes ou d'exigences on 9 peut fixer. 10 6342 Si on parle de réseau, notamment de 11 réseaux nationaux, il me semble qu'il est normal qu'on 12 leur fixe des exigences quant aux services aux régions 13 notamment. 14 6343 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Le modèle, 15 évidemment, est important parce qu'il y a plusieurs 16 intervenants qui nous disent que justement la 17 concentration va à l'encontre de la production locale 18 et régionale parce que, lorsqu'il y a réseau -- c'est 19 peut-être encore plus vrai au Canada anglais -- il y a 20 une tendance à produire pour toutes les stations et à 21 mettre ses sous dans la production plus nationale que 22 locale. Alors à ce moment-là il y a une perte plutôt 23 qu'un gain. 24 6344 Évidemment, dépendant de l'optique, 25 si la production nationale dans les catégories sous- StenoTran 1392 1 représentées devient de meilleure qualité et plus 2 d'heures de production, il y a certaines parties qui 3 diraient: On a justement eu un avantage tangible pour 4 les auditoires résultant ou découlant de la 5 concentration. Alors il s'agit d'équilibrer les deux. 6 6345 Mme LAROUCHE: Oui. Je vous dirais 7 que pour nous, dans les catégories sous-représentées, 8 on pourrait parler d'émissions à caractère régional et 9 local notamment. Pour nous, ça fait partie, lorsqu'on 10 se promène en province, des catégories sous- 11 représentées, et il nous semble qu'un réseau qui est 12 établi nationalement devrait réserver des espaces et 13 prévoir des effectifs suffisants en matière 14 d'information, en matière de programmation, dans les 15 régions pour être en mesure de desservir les 16 populations où ces réseaux s'établissent. Pour nous, 17 c'est vital. 18 6346 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Maintenant, dans les 19 catégories sous-représentées -- ma dernière question -- 20 vous avez soulevé dans votre soumission écrite et 21 également dans votre soumission orale aujourd'hui la 22 problématique de la programmation destinée aux enfants. 23 6347 Comment significative est 24 l'incapacité d'y insérer de la publicité? Quelle est 25 la part de ce problème-là dans l'absence ou la semi- StenoTran 1393 1 absence de programmation destinée aux enfants? 2 6348 Mme LAROUCHE: Il y a deux écoles de 3 pensée là-dessus. Ce que je peux vous dire, c'est que 4 ceux qui ont légiféré nous disent que ça n'a pas eu 5 d'impact réel sur l'apport de revenus des 6 télédiffuseurs et que cette législation est un prétexte 7 pour ne plus investir dans la programmation destinée 8 aux enfants. Cependant, quand nous lisons les 9 documents du Gouvernement du Québec et nous amenons en 10 référence ce document, le document établit clairement 11 que les télédiffuseurs privés, à partir du moment où il 12 y a eu entrée en vigueur de la loi, ont diminué le 13 niveau de production d'émissions et de diffusion 14 d'émissions destinées aux enfants. 15 6349 Alors on peut dire que ça n'a pas eu 16 d'effet, c'est peut-être un prétexte -- peut-être; nous 17 ne le savons pas -- sauf qu'une chose est claire: 18 depuis, le nombre d'heures d'émissions destinées aux 19 enfants a diminué de façon considérable, et on pense 20 qu'il faudrait essayer d'y voir, d'autant plus que le 21 problème qu'on voit par rapport aux émissions destinées 22 aux enfants, comme on le dit dans le mémoire, c'est que 23 sans Canal Famille, Télé-Québec et Radio-Canada, les 24 enfants auraient eu très peu d'heures, c'est-à-dire six 25 heures par semaine d'émissions leur étant destinées. StenoTran 1394 1 Or, Canal Famille est accessible par le câble. 2 6350 Nous, on dit: Enlevons Canal 3 Famille, il en reste combien d'heures d'émissions 4 destinées aux enfants? Alors nous, on pense, bien que 5 ça demande un effort des télédiffuseurs, y compris 6 financier, qu'il faut ramener aux responsabilités des 7 télédiffuseurs la nécessité de diffuser du contenu 8 destiné aux enfants. 9 6351 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Nous voyons au Canada 10 anglais, même s'il n'y a pas ces mêmes restrictions de 11 publicité, il y a aussi beaucoup de revendications à 12 cet effet, qu'il n'y a pas assez de programmation 13 destinée aux enfants sur les stations conventionnelles, 14 et il y a certaines parties qui ont demandé au Conseil 15 d'établir un certain nombre d'heures exigé par semaine 16 de programmation destinée aux enfants et diffusée aux 17 heures qui seraient les heures normales d'écoute des 18 enfants. 19 6352 Est-ce que vous pensez que cette 20 approche est nécessaire au Canada français, ou qu'elle 21 serait utile? 22 6353 Mme LAROUCHE: Un nombre d'heures fixé 23 aux télédiffuseurs en matière de... 24 6354 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Oui. Il y a plus 25 d'une partie du côté télédiffusion anglophone qui a StenoTran 1395 1 suggéré une exigence de trois heures par semaine, qui 2 est je crois une exigence que la FCC aux États-Unis 3 demande de ses télédiffuseurs. 4 6355 Est-ce que vous pensez que c'est une 5 solution d'avoir une exigence horaire? 6 6356 Mme LAROUCHE: Ça aiderait sans doute, 7 oui, à augmenter le niveau de production et de 8 diffusion. 9 6357 M. SINOTTE: Au même titre que la 10 programmation régionale. Tant que les radiodiffuseurs 11 n'auront pas une obligation de le faire, il est clair 12 qu'entre le rendement des actionnaires et les dépenses 13 de programmation, le rendement des actionnaires va 14 l'emporter. 15 6358 C'est sûr que les émissions pour 16 enfants, ça ne sera jamais rentable comme on l'entend, 17 comme la programmation régionale, ce n'est sans doute 18 pas rentable parce que c'est difficile de vendre de la 19 publicité nationale là-dedans. Mais à un moment donné 20 je pense que le Conseil a l'obligation d'arbitrer le 21 conflit, si on veut, et de le faire à la faveur des 22 auditoires. 23 6359 LA PRÉSIDENTE: On nous a parlé plus 24 d'une fois de ce dossier de la publicité dans la 25 programmation destinée aux enfants et qu'il y a un StenoTran 1396 1 dossier actif en ce moment qui essaie de changer la 2 forme de la législation, et il y a d'autres parties qui 3 disent que la législation n'empêche pas, c'est une 4 mauvaise interprétation, et caetera. 5 6360 Est-ce que c'est un dossier que vous 6 suivez, puisque vous semblez avoir un intérêt bien 7 spécial à la diffusion d'émissions destinées aux 8 enfants? 9 6361 M. ROGER: Si je peux me permettre, 10 Madame la Présidente, à ce qu'on en connaît, je pense 11 qu'il n'y a pas d'évolution dans le dossier. La Loi 12 sur la protection du consommateur est claire: il ne 13 doit pas y avoir de publicité dans les émissions pour 14 enfants diffusées aux Québec... c'est-à-dire qu'il peut 15 y avoir d'autres formes de publicité, mais pas destinée 16 aux enfants. Alors évidemment, c'est très difficile 17 pour un télédiffuseur de vendre une émission pour 18 enfants avec des produits qui ne sont pas destinés aux 19 enfants; le public qui regarde ces émissions-là sont 20 des enfants comme tels. Mais il n'y a pas de véritable 21 évolution, je pense, dans le dossier actuellement. 22 6362 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Peut-être que vous 23 auriez avantage à revoir les commentaires de l'APFTQ, 24 je crois, à ce sujet qui disait justement qu'on avait 25 fait une étude de certaines catégories qui avaient StenoTran 1397 1 l'allure de la publicité chez Télé-Québec et qu'on 2 avait déterminé que ce n'était pas vraiment un 3 problème, qu'il s'agissait d'interprétation. 4 6363 M. ROGER: Ça dépend aussi, parce 5 qu'évidemment il y a eu des types d'émissions où 6 l'émission en elle-même est une publicité. Il y a des 7 émissions avec des personnages animés pour les enfants 8 et on retrouve les personnages en vente dans les 9 magasins. Alors l'émission elle-même est une 10 publicité; c'est une façon déguisée d'offrir un contenu 11 aux enfants, mais c'est souvent pas très éducatif, 12 malheureusement. 13 6364 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Voilà. Alors c'est 14 une question d'interprétation, évidemment. Mais c'est 15 un sujet d'importance, je suppose, à cause du manque 16 d'heures de diffusion destinées aux enfants, et sans 17 doute, comme M. Sinotte nous le répétait, une 18 justification peut-être pour un manquement sérieux à 19 une certaine catégorie de programmation. 20 6365 Mme LAROUCHE: Moi, j'aimerais 21 renforcer ce que M. Sinotte disait. 22 6366 Bien sûr, on reconnaît la nécessité 23 pour l'ensemble des gens de l'industrie d'aller 24 chercher des revenus et de rentabiliser ce qu'ils 25 diffusent. Cependant, on pense qu'il y a encore un StenoTran 1398 1 niveau de responsabilité qui doit être maintenu et 2 protégé par le Conseil et, dans des cas comme ceux-là, 3 où parfois l'argent prend le dessus sur la 4 responsabilité, on pense qu'il est important que le 5 conseil réagisse. 6 6367 M. SINOTTE: Juste pour rajouter, 7 actuellement au Québec il n'y a pas de remise en 8 question de cette réglementation qui interdit la 9 publicité destinée aux enfants. Le consensus social 10 est encore favorable à cette question-là. C'est pour 11 ça que nous, on ne le remet pas non plus en question et 12 on pense que la société ne veut pas le retour à la 13 période où, effectivement... parce qu'il y a eu des 14 raisons pour lesquelles ça a été adopté, cette loi-là. 15 C'est parce qu'on pensait qu'il y avait certains abus 16 et, en tout cas qui se dégage actuellement, il n'y a 17 pas une remise en question de la loi et de sa 18 pertinence. 19 6368 Donc, pour nous, on ne voit pas 20 exactement pourquoi on devrait suivre une évolution qui 21 est peut-être existante dans l'esprit de certains 22 producteurs mais sûrement pas dans la société 23 québécoise en général. 24 6369 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Je vous remercie, 25 Madame Larouche, Monsieur Roger et Monsieur Sinotte. StenoTran 1399 1 6370 Conseiller juridique. 2 6371 Me BLAIS: Vous avez piqué ma 3 curiosité quand vous avez dit que les frais de 4 production dans un environnement numérique pouvaient 5 être aussi élevés que 20 pour cent de plus. Sur quoi 6 vous vous basez pour en venir à ces conclusions-là et 7 de quel genre de frais on parle? 8 6372 M. ROGER: Je me base sur des 9 conférences que j'ai suivies du côté américain dans les 10 expositions; je pense entre autres aux grandes 11 conférences qu'il y a à Las Vegas à tous les printemps 12 au niveau de la télévision. Aussi, entre autres, le 13 chiffre que j'avance est le chiffre qui a été publié 14 dans le rapport qui a été remis par le Comité pour la 15 télévision numérique au Canada, un document que vous 16 avez reçu; j'ai vu quelqu'un le montrer l'autre jour à 17 la table à l'avant. Alors c'est à l'intérieur de ce 18 document-là où on cite le chiffre de 20 pour cent 19 d'augmentation des coûts de production. 20 6373 Quand on dit "les coûts de 21 production", ce ne sont pas simplement les équipements 22 et l'acquisition. On pense aux décors, parce qu'en 23 télévision numérique les décors devront être plus 24 détaillés, plus minutieux, donc ça va coûter plus cher. 25 Les studios devront dans certains cas être réaménagés StenoTran 1400 1 parce que l'écran va être plus large, ce qu'on va aller 2 chercher. Tout ça va amener des changements importants 3 comme tels. 4 6374 Me BLAIS: Je comprends. Merci. 5 6375 À la lumière de vos recommandations 6 et dans le cadre de ses délibération le Conseil aura 7 possiblement à s'interroger sur des définitions, comme 8 "production locale" et "production régionale". Je ne 9 vous demanderai pas, à moins que vous soyez à l'aise 10 dès maintenant de le faire, de me donner des 11 définitions aujourd'hui, mais est-ce que ce serait 12 possible de nous fournir des définitions, ce que vous 13 entendez par "production locale et régionale" d'ici le 14 15 octobre? 15 6376 Mme LAROUCHE: Oui, on pourrait le 16 faire, mais je peux vous donner une idée. 17 6377 C'est plus facile pour la radio, mais 18 il fut un temps où, en télévision notamment, on 19 pourrait arriver dans une région du Québec... et encore 20 là on va peut-être avoir un langage différent, un 21 vocabulaire différent, parce qu'il y a les régions 22 canadiennes mais il y a les régions québécoises, et 23 dans ces régions il y a différentes localités. Par 24 exemple, une ville est une localité, et il fut un temps 25 où on avait plusieurs bureaux chez un télédiffuseur, StenoTran 1401 1 par exemple, pour alimenter dans une même région 2 certaines localités de cette même région. Alors on 3 pouvait avoir un service de nouvelles ou un journaliste 4 qui était présent dans les localités et des émissions 5 qui provenaient de ces localités pour alimenter 6 l'antenne régionale. 7 6378 Ce qu'on peut faire, c'est s'engager 8 à vous soumettre d'ici le 15 octobre un texte qui vous 9 préciserait davantage quelle est, vue du côté 10 francophone du Canada, la définition de "région" et 11 "localité", parce qu'il y a quand même des distinctions 12 importantes. 13 6379 Me BLAIS: Donc vos recommandations 14 portent surtout au niveau du Canada français. 15 6380 Mme LAROUCHE: Oui. 16 6381 Me BLAIS: D'accord. 17 6382 Et -- je voulais juste le préciser 18 pour les fins du dossier -- dans vos précisions de 19 définitions, est-ce que c'est fenêtre, miroir? Est-ce 20 que c'est suffisant que la production soit produite 21 localement? Par exemple, on pourrait penser à une 22 production qui, dans son contenu, est régionale mais 23 est produite dans une autre région, par exemple. Donc 24 à préciser dans votre réflexion ce que vous voulez 25 dire, à la lumière de tout ça, par "l'expression locale StenoTran 1402 1 ou régionale". 2 6383 Mme LAROUCHE: Nous allons vous 3 envoyer un document qui précisera tout ça. 4 6384 Me BLAIS: Merci bien. 5 6385 Mme LAROUCHE: Merci. 6 6386 Me BLAIS: Ce sont mes questions, 7 Madame la Présidente. 8 6387 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Il est intéressant 9 d'entendre les gens de l'Alberta, par exemple; pour 10 eux, l'Alberta est une région, le Manitoba est une 11 région. Au Canada français vous parleriez de 12 Sherbrooke ou le nord, peut-être, de la province ou la 13 région du Saguenay. 14 6388 Mme LAROUCHE: Oui. 15 6389 M. SINOTTE: La Société Radio-Canada 16 aussi n'a pas la même définition des régions. Pour 17 eux, des régions, ce sont les plus grands ensembles, 18 tout ça. 19 6390 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Évidemment. 20 6391 M. SINOTTE: Donc autant on est, 21 autant on peut avoir de définitions, effectivement. 22 6392 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Il s'agit pour le 23 Conseil et pour tout le monde de déterminer quel est 24 l'intérêt ou qui sont ceux qui nous parlent de 25 régionalisme ou de production locale. Mais c'est très StenoTran 1403 1 bien. Il faut entendre les propos et les intérêts de 2 tout le monde. 3 6393 Alors nous vous remercions de votre 4 apport et de vos commentaires écrits et oraux, et vous 5 aurez évidemment l'occasion d'en ajouter. 6 6394 Mme LAROUCHE: Merci beaucoup, Madame 7 la Présidente. 8 6395 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Merci et au revoir. 9 6396 M. SINOTTE: Merci beaucoup. 10 6397 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Madame la Présidente, 11 would you invite the next participant, please -- 12 6398 Mme BÉNARD: Merci, Madame la 13 Présidente. 14 6399 LA PRÉSIDENTE: ... Madame la 15 Secrétaire, pardon. Je n'abandonne pas mon rôle. 16 6400 Mme BÉNARD: Merci, Madame la 17 Présidente. 18 6401 The next presentation will be by 19 Epitome Pictures Inc., and I would invite Ms Linda 20 Schuyler and Mr. Stephen Stohn to come forward. 21 6402 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Bonjour, Madame 22 Schuyler. Vous nous aimez bien; vous êtes de retour. 23 6403 Mme SCHUYLER: Je ne parle pas 24 français. 25 1655 StenoTran 1404 1 6404 THE CHAIRPERSON: I will repeat this 2 in English then. I said you like us a lot since you 3 are back. 4 6405 MR. SCHUYLER: For someone who has 5 never done this before, I seem to be here quite a bit. 6 6406 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's nice to see 7 you again. Go ahead when you are ready. 8 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 9 6407 MS SCHUYLER: Thank you. 10 6408 We very much welcome the opportunity 11 to amplify our submission and respond to some of the 12 issues that have been raised by other organizations. I 13 am Linda Schuyler from Epitome Pictures. Our corporate 14 perspective is very much that of a small to medium- 15 sized company. We have a history of working on one 16 project at a time beginning nearly 20 years ago with 17 the various permutations of the "Degrassi" series, 18 continuing with numerous documentaries, the dramatic 19 "Liberty Street", and now with English Canada's first 20 prime time soap opera, "Riverdale". 21 6409 With me is Stephen Stohn, partner in 22 the entertainment law firm Stohn, Henderson, Director 23 of Epitome Pictures and executive producer of 24 "Riverdale", the HGTV series "Savoir Faire", and the 25 1999 Juno Awards. StenoTran 1405 1 6410 A cornerstone to our submission is 2 our strong support for the CFTPA 10/10/10 plan. One 3 important question which has arisen over the last few 4 days is the extent to which both branches of the 5 10/10/10 plan are necessary. There is no question that 6 increasing shelf space for Canadian programming will 7 require increased financing, but we believe there are 8 at least three ways to introduce flexibility into the 9 amount of new programming which is required and the 10 practical question of how that programming will be 11 financed. 12 6411 The three components of our proposal 13 are: One, the introduction of low-cost, high-volume 14 drama into the programming mix of private broadcasters; 15 two, a three-way program recognition credit for 16 Canadian drama programming; and, three, increased 17 licence fees from private broadcasters, but with the 18 blow softened by the three-way program recognition 19 credit. 20 6412 As you know from our written 21 submission, the studios we constructed to produce our 22 "Riverdale" series are already digital. The three-way 23 camera shooting style for "Riverdale" is a new 24 phenomenon for North American drama and it is the 25 concept of low-cost, high-volume drama aimed at prime StenoTran 1406 1 time. But elsewhere in the world this type of drama is 2 a mainstay of prime time schedules. In fact we studied 3 in Britain on the sets of both "Coronation Street" and 4 "Eastenders" as part of our research. 5 6413 We strongly believe that within an 6 overall programming mix, there is a significant role to 7 be played by low-cost, high-volume drama such as 8 "Riverdale". Right now the costs of producing 9 "Riverdale" and, therefore, the licence fees required 10 to broadcast it are approximately one-half of that of 11 conventional prime time drama. The benefits of low- 12 cost drama to a broadcasting system which faces a 13 squeeze on funding mechanisms is self-evident. 14 6414 At the same time, in Britain, 15 Australia, Europe and elsewhere in the world where such 16 programs are integral to their broadcasting systems, 17 there are not only immediate financial benefits, but 18 also long-term structural and training benefits. These 19 programs act as a training ground for actors, 20 technicians, writers and directors and can then 21 springboard into high-end drama shows and make those 22 even better. 23 6415 So, in summary, we submit that a 24 mature broadcasting system benefits from a diverse mix 25 of low-cost through high-cost drama. StenoTran 1407 1 6416 Stephen? 2 6417 MR. STOHN: The second component to 3 our proposal is a three-way program recognition credit 4 for Canadian drama programming; namely, that basic 5 Canadian drama would be entitled to a 100 per cent 6 credit, enhanced basic Canadian drama would be entitled 7 to 150 per cent and identifiably Canadian drama 200 per 8 cent. 9 6418 We would like to step back for a 10 moment and say that on the public side we applaud the 11 CBC's move to a virtually all-Canadian line-up and on 12 the private side we believe that CTV should receive not 13 just recognition but congratulations for the strong 14 levels of Canadian drama programming they will be 15 presenting this year. But even CTV's strong 16 performance will fall short of the full 10/10/10 CFTPA 17 plan. If the Commission wished to find a way to bridge 18 some of this gap, one response might, of course, be to 19 reduce the 10-hour target to a slightly lower level. 20 Another response might be to change the definition of 21 "first-run" so that more plays would qualify as first- 22 run since this would have the same practical effect as 23 lowering the 10-hour objective. 24 6419 But we submit that a third response 25 should also be in the mix; that is, to implement a 200 StenoTran 1408 1 per cent credit for identifiably Canadian drama 2 programming. There are three positive features to this 3 response which are not captured in either of the other 4 two. First, the broadcaster is given a high degree of 5 flexibility. One broadcaster might find success in 6 programming a mix of more basic Canadian programming, 7 while another might be quite pleased with the ability 8 to reduce the shelf space devoted to Canadian 9 programming, but making that programming really 10 Canadian, identifiably Canadian. 11 6420 Second, the 200 per cent approach 12 provides a real incentive to broadcast the type of 13 programming which we all probably agree is the most 14 desirable of all, programming which reflects Canada to 15 Canadians. The third feature is also the third 16 component of our proposal. Increasing shelf space for 17 Canadian programming will require increasing financing 18 and part of that financing must come from increasing 19 broadcaster licence fees, but broadcasters will be more 20 than willing to pay proportionately higher licence fees 21 for programming which receives higher CRTC credit so 22 that the programs which are the most dificult to 23 finance, identifiably Canadian programs, would embody a 24 real incentive for increased licence fees. 25 6421 In this context, we would also like StenoTran 1409 1 to comment on the somewhat push/pull demands which are 2 made on Canadian programming. On the one hand, there 3 is a strong basic desire to produce programs which 4 reflect Canada to Canadians. On the other hand, there 5 is the desire that these programs be commercially 6 attractive enough to reach the largest possible 7 domestic and international audiences. 8 6422 We suggest that these conflicting 9 demands cannot be normally met and should not be 10 expected to be normally met by each single program or 11 series. Rather, they should be met over the full 12 spectrum of Canadian under-represented programming. We 13 suggest it is entirely appropriate that there be 14 different types of Canadian programming, some of which 15 is Canadian in many respects, but is primarily geared 16 towards international success, some of which is 17 primarily focused on telling Canadian stories to 18 Canadians regardless of the international market and, 19 finally, some which lie between the two extremes. 20 6423 We are hopeful that our 100 per 21 cent/150 per cent/200 per cent proposal duly reflects 22 the spectrum of possible programming while giving 23 broadcasters flexibility to decide their own particular 24 programming mix. This broad spectrum approach differs 25 from the CAB proposal for a national system-wide StenoTran 1410 1 umbrella focusing on numbers of viewers as the 2 fundamental standard. Although we agree that, on 3 average, the audience should be the ultimate measure, 4 we feel the CAB proposal is too narrow in its goals and 5 would lead to a lowest common denominator approach, the 6 antithesis of diversity. 7 6424 MS SCHUYLER: So, in conclusion, the 8 three components of our proposal are: One, the 9 introduction of low-cost, high-volume drama into the 10 programming mix of private broadcasters; two, a three- 11 way program recognition credit for Canadian drama 12 programming: and, three, increased licence fees from 13 the private broadcasters, particularly for the 14 difficult to finance identifiably Canadian drama 15 programs with the incentive offered by the 200 per cent 16 credit for these programs. 17 6425 It is our position that there is a 18 valuable contribution for small to medium-sized 19 companies such as Epitome to make to the broadcasting 20 system. Such companies have contributed 21 disproportionately well in the past, particularly in 22 producing programming which pushes the boundaries of 23 conventional broadcasting, and they can be expected to 24 continue their innovations and contributions in the 25 future. StenoTran 1411 1 6426 Our long-term objective at Epitome is 2 not to grow significantly in size. As we set out in 3 our submission, we feel there is a strong argument that 4 creative projects are often best fulfilled by smaller 5 organizations and certainly in our case what we love 6 most is the process of creating, developing, writing, 7 producing and editing, much more so than the management 8 and bureaucratic functions that will be required if we 9 grew significantly in size. 10 6427 We hope that sharing some of our own 11 experience with you has given some flesh and blood to 12 our submission that there is a unique role for small to 13 medium-sized companies to play in creating innovative 14 programming which reflects Canada to Canadians. We 15 thank you again for the opportunity to make these 16 remarks and would be happy to answer any questions you 17 might have. 18 6428 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. 19 6429 Commissioner Cardozo? 20 6430 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you, 21 Madam Chair. 22 6431 Thank you, Ms Schuyler, Mr. Stohn. 23 It's nice to see you back again. It will be shorter 24 this time than the last time you were here. 25 6432 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are not being StenoTran 1412 1 critical, are you? 2 6433 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: No, no, I'm 3 not commenting on your last performance. 4 6434 THE CHAIRPERSON: Or mine, I would 5 hope. 6 6435 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Or the 7 possibility that my fellow Commissioners may have a lot 8 more questions. I am the lead gun here. 9 6436 Just a couple of questions first on 10 some of the things that you have talked about today and 11 then I want to talk to you about some larger questions 12 as somebody who has been in the business for a long 13 time and is also in the centre of the whirlwind quite a 14 bit. 15 6437 What you are asking us here in terms 16 of small and medium-sized producers, what is it that 17 goes beyond what was talked about in the CFTPA proposal 18 as one of the key issues, understanding the value of 19 low-cost, high-volume drama, and if that's the case, 20 what do you want us to do about that other than value 21 it and say it's nice? 22 6438 MS SCHUYLER: What we are making the 23 case for here is diversity of voice and we feel very 24 strongly that it's the small to medium-sized companies 25 that will provide that. I guess one of the places that StenoTran 1413 1 I look is to how we have treated multiculturalism in 2 this country. We had a very different approach to it 3 than they had in the United States and this is very 4 similar to what's happening with our production 5 community. 6 6439 In the United States they tend to 7 have studios whereby the studios can be somewhat 8 interchangeable. What we have grown up with here is 9 smaller voices from one country to the other, which I 10 think have done an extremely good job of creating and 11 keeping diversity on our airwaves. 12 6440 So, if I am asking you, "How can you 13 support that" rather than just acknowledge that it's 14 good, perhaps one of the ways is by recognizing that a 15 lot of our success has been due, in fact, to the 16 support from public financing, particularly from 17 Telefilm Canada, and we know that there is some 18 question as to whether broadcasters should have access 19 to this. This is a system that has worked really well 20 in the past to support independent production and I 21 guess what we would be asking is that that system be 22 maintained and that it be used as the sole use for the 23 independent producer and not be expanded to 24 broadcasters. 25 6441 MR. STOHN: If I could just add, the StenoTran 1414 1 one hallmark of our submission which is not necessarily 2 a focus of the CFTPA is, of course, this focus on 3 identifiably Canadian programming itself. So, to us 4 small to medium-sized producers have a particularly 5 good track record in this area. So, anything that 6 gives an incentive -- and we have, of course, suggested 7 our three-way credits being one of those incentives -- 8 gives an incentive not only to identifiably Canadian 9 programming, but also to the small to medium-sized 10 producers who have had such a good track record in 11 producing it. 12 6442 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: The only point 13 about the three-way program recognition, 100/150/200, 14 is the conundrum that the more we give to some 15 programs, the less hours there will be overall. So, 16 one suggestion is just do 100 and that's it. 17 Otherwise, to go another route, you would give some 50 18 per cent, but let's not get into that. 19 6443 MS SCHUYLER: I think what we have 20 stated very clearly off the top, we only see this 21 three-prong credit working in conjunction with the 22 CFTPA 10/10/10 plan. So, we would need to have a 23 combination of hours and dollars in order to make this 24 work, but we are recognizing that there is a serious 25 financing gap here. StenoTran 1415 1 6444 So, one of the ways of doing it -- 2 yes, if somebody chose to do all 200 per cent 3 programming, they could achieve their 10-hour objective 4 in prime time with five hours of programming, but that 5 would then be that we would have five hours of very 6 identifiably Canadian shows. So, one could argue that 7 there would be a real benefit to that, rather than 8 having 10 hours of industrial Canadian, which is 9 nothing wrong with that, but that could be a 10 broadcaster choice. 11 6445 We know that to reach the 10/10/10 12 benchmark is very, very difficult. So, what we are 13 trying to build in there is some incentive so that we 14 can get an opportunity for the most Canadian of 15 Canadian shows to find a home in the broadcasting 16 system. 17 6446 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Good 18 rationale, but the conundrum is still there. But that 19 is helpful. 20 6447 Let me go to the first of my larger 21 issue questions. I think you get the award for using 22 the Multiculturalism Board without being asked to do 23 so. The issues give me some trouble in this hearing 24 because there seems to be really a strange reluctance 25 to deal with the issue. I raise it with you because I StenoTran 1416 1 think you will be comfortable talking about it. Are 2 you? 3 6448 MS SCHUYLER: The very first 4 documentary film I ever made was about that. 5 6449 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Just a yes. 6 6450 MS SCHUYLER: So, yes. 7 6451 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So, you are. 8 You did "Degrassi", so you know about the stuff, you 9 have talked about it for a long time, but I feel like I 10 have to ask because I have asked a couple of other 11 people and they just about went pale when I raised the 12 topic. It's like a social disease or the hottest topic 13 in broadcasting. To me it's simply dealing with the 14 reality of today and tomorrow. You have done 15 "Degrassi", you are one of the leading people. Perhaps 16 "King of Kensington" was the only one that preceded you 17 that dealt with diversity. 18 6452 I was thinking about this this 19 morning as I was dropping my kids off to school. They 20 are halfway through elementary school. I stopped and 21 looked at the line-up for kindergarten and for some 22 reason the kids in that line-up were a lot more diverse 23 than in the upper grades. I cast my mind back to when 24 my kids were in kindergarten three, four years ago and 25 there were probably one or two non-white kids in the StenoTran 1417 1 group and today there were about 10 out of the 15 who 2 were non-white. Even in the white kids there were 3 probably some immigrants from Russia and Bosnia and 4 places like that. There seem to be a lot in the 5 neighbourhood where the school is. 6 6453 Then you go back to your television 7 set and you look at the industry and, with respect, the 8 people who have been coming here, they don't resemble 9 that kindergarten class at all. If you think of 10 television as such a powerful medium where the 11 television image becomes reality, that classroom 12 becomes the aberration, in fact it's the other way 13 around, the classroom is a reality that's going to be 14 there forever. 15 6454 I guess I shouldn't go lecturing you, 16 but this all occurred to me and I thought maybe I could 17 ask you why it's such a hot topic, why we can't talk 18 about it and why we don't see that much of it on the 19 screen. Why is it difficult to do? 20 6455 MS SCHUYLER: I feel we might be 21 having a conversation about preaching to the converted 22 here. I couldn't agree with you more. I am the proud 23 recipient of the very first ever multicultural award at 24 the Geminis, which I believe is now called the Canada 25 Award, and it was for the multicultural representation StenoTran 1418 1 that we did in "Degrassi". It is a theme that has been 2 there in my work ever since my first documentary and if 3 you take a look at "Riverdale", which I have on the air 4 right now, it's an ensemble cast as well. You will see 5 strong representation from the Greek community, from 6 the black community. There are many, many ethnic 7 minorities that are represented in my huge cast that I 8 have. 9 6456 By being represented, I think it's 10 really important that what I try to do as a producer is 11 not to have those roles filled by just some secondary 12 person who might be a background character, but they 13 are actually front and centre characters where a 14 dramatic story spins around them. So, it's a very hard 15 question to put to me because I am completely sold that 16 that is what we need to be doing. That is what I hope, 17 that if we were to introduce this 200 per cent credit, 18 when we say that we are reflecting Canada to Canadians, 19 that would have to be a very important component of 20 that. But you are talking to someone who is already 21 sold on the issue. 22 6457 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I am wondering 23 if people say to you, "Don't talk about this", or 24 anything like that. 25 1720 StenoTran 1419 1 6458 MS SCHUYLER: I haven't run into 2 that. 3 6459 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: There is in 4 society the whole sort of backlash thing about 5 employment equity and affirmative action, where it is 6 all turned around to be promoting people who are not 7 qualified, and all the rest of it. We have heard all 8 of those kinds of arguments. 9 6460 I am wondering if any of that filters 10 through into the broadcasting debate that says: Well, 11 don't be just politically correct and stick this or 12 that kind of person in because it fills some 13 politically correct quota. 14 6461 MS SCHUYLER: But we can't produce 15 programming that is politically correct. We have to 16 have stories spun around interesting characters because 17 they are interesting characters. 18 6462 I welcome all sorts of ethnicities 19 and we are quite happy to spin stories around that. 20 But to try and sit back and say that we are going to 21 produce politically correct programming, I think is a 22 bit of a recipe for disaster. 23 6463 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: You don't 24 think the flip is there is no fall-out for dealing with 25 these issues economically -- StenoTran 1420 1 6464 MR. STOHN: If I could answer that in 2 a small way: Oddly enough, the international 3 marketplace is the one area where we found this 4 reluctance; where our international distributor, in 5 selling the show, has chosen specifically to produce 6 promotional reels which emphasize not the diverse side 7 of the show but the characters who are non-diverse. 8 6465 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Which 9 countries was he trying to sell to? 10 6466 MR. STOHN: In general -- you will 11 think this is odd. You would think that in Europe when 12 you are making sales, you would celebrate the 13 diversity. But the caution out there expressed by our 14 distributor has been: No, we want the more American 15 look. 16 6467 It is a very distressing thing to 17 hear, and it is something that we tend to close our 18 eyes to because we don't have to deal with it 19 ourselves. 20 6468 The show that Linda produces is the 21 show that she wants to produce. But the way of selling 22 it internationally is unfortunately slanted in a way 23 that is non-diverse. 24 6469 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And you don't 25 get that from advertisers or promoters domestically? StenoTran 1421 1 6470 MR. STOHN: No, not in Canada. 2 6471 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: This used to 3 be a problem in advertising 10, 20 years ago, when they 4 didn't show non-bites in advertising for goods. 5 6472 But you have not found that in 6 promotion here. 7 6473 MR. STOHN: No. 8 6474 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: That helps a 9 bit in understanding some of this stuff. 10 6475 I was surprised that groups like the 11 CAB, who talked about diversity in their written brief, 12 and that the way you respond to a growing diversity is 13 to have additional specialty channels. And only when I 14 asked them a very leading question did they say: "No, 15 no, that is not what we really meant to say. We would 16 kind of like to see diversity happening in the 17 programming, but we don't want to count it." 18 6476 So the new adage of "if you don't 19 count it, it won't happen" -- which applies to viewers 20 -- does not apply to diversity; but somehow it will 21 happen with diversity when you don't count it. 22 6477 Changing subjects, let me ask you 23 about one of the other comments that was made a couple 24 of days ago by Jim Macdonald -- who of course is 25 President of WIC Broadcasting but also a key member of StenoTran 1422 1 the CAB -- in terms of some of the things that you have 2 asked for today, and that others have asked for since 3 the beginning of this hearing. 4 6478 Let me quote a couple of sentences: 5 "We are here today...to try and 6 provide a 'reality check' as 7 opposed to a blank cheque, for 8 the forces of 'make them do 9 more'." 10 6479 Later on in that same page, it says: 11 "The 'do more' proposals you 12 have heard are simply not 13 consistent with the economic 14 viability of the engine that 15 pulls the system." 16 6480 Can you see his point of view? 17 6481 MR. STOHN: Really, when we come 18 forward with our three-way program recognition credit, 19 I think off the top we are saying: "Yes, we see the 20 CFTPA 10-10-10 plan, and we do realize that some 21 flexibility is required." 22 6482 In fact, the CFTPA itself, in its 23 submission, I think tried to underscore the point that 24 they were flexible to hearing how best to achieve the 25 goals. StenoTran 1423 1 6483 Our three-way credit in effect would 2 pull back from that 10-10-10 system, because it would 3 give some flexibility to a broadcaster to, in some 4 cases, do as little as five hours of first run dramatic 5 programming in prime time. 6 6484 This was really our way of trying to 7 say: "Well, yes, maybe Jim Macdonald does have a 8 point." And rather than taking just a simplistic 9 approach and saying "well, does that mean we do the 10 9.7-9.7 approach, or is there some other way", we hope 11 that our program recognition credit, our three-way 12 credit, actually has some additional positive features 13 as well as addressing his concern. 14 6485 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: That is 15 building on what you said when you were here with CFTPA 16 and some of the thoughts you have had since then? 17 6486 MS SCHUYLER: Yes, very much so. As 18 I said earlier on, we understand that it is difficult 19 for broadcasters. 20 6487 But in your question, were you also 21 asking us to comment on the broadcasters wanting to use 22 the audience as the measure? 23 6488 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I didn't ask 24 that, but feel free to comment on it. 25 6489 MS SCHUYLER: I would like to give StenoTran 1424 1 you a little anecdote about a review that came out on a 2 show. It went something like this: "Mundane 3 characters, dreary music, depressing themes. This show 4 will never last its first run." 5 6490 That review was about a show in 6 Britain called "Coronation Street". And 36 years 7 later, "Coronation Street" is topping the charts of 8 British television, gaining in excess of 18 million 9 viewers per week in a country that has about 65 million 10 population. 11 6491 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And you are 12 trying to put a dent in that. 13 6492 MS SCHUYLER: If one were using a 14 ratings model alone, "Coronation Street" would not have 15 lasted its initial run. 16 6493 You can come up with similar stories 17 of "Party of Five" in the States, of "Seinfeld" in the 18 States, who if they had been purely asked to perform 19 just in their first season would never have lasted. 20 6494 So although we support -- and we do 21 understand what the broadcasters are saying about how 22 at the end of the day an audience measure has to be the 23 final measure. We are very, very cautious about this 24 approach, that it is just across the board. 25 6495 We have spoken quite a bit today here StenoTran 1425 1 and at the CFTPA about the importance for diversity of 2 voice. We really believe that if that kind of system 3 is implemented, there will be no room for risk-taking; 4 there will be no room for hearing smaller stories or 5 taking a chance on a series that might have a shaky 6 start but might end up being around for 36 years. 7 6496 We are very, very cautious about that 8 model. 9 6497 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Let me move to 10 another issue of, depending how you put it, funding 11 that goes to production companies. 12 6498 On page 5 of your written submission, 13 you say: 14 "...the policies adopted by the 15 CRTC should protect and nourish 16 the role of these companies..." 17 6499 That's small and medium sized 18 companies. 19 "...as prime creators of 20 distinctive and innovative 21 content." 22 6500 Louis Audet of Cogeco this morning 23 had a different opinion. His view is that a wider use 24 of available funds be allowed and that all broadcasters 25 be afforded fair access to public and private StenoTran 1426 1 production funds. 2 6501 And then he goes on to say that 3 independent producers -- he is talking primarily about 4 in the Quebec milieu -- no longer need preferential 5 access to funding. 6 6502 Can you outline for us your argument 7 about why producers should get access to these funds 8 and broadcasters should not. 9 6503 MR. STOHN: I think there may be 10 three points that we could make here. 11 6504 First, it is difficult to respond to 12 this without appearing self-serving. 13 6505 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Of course you 14 will be self-serving. But what I am looking for are 15 arguments as to what is in it for the viewer. 16 6506 MR. STOHN: Our view simply is that 17 the current system has worked extremely successfully to 18 date. Independent producers have accessed these funds, 19 and the result is a proven track record of high quality 20 diverse programming. 21 6507 There is no indication that giving 22 broadcasters access to Telefilm funding -- and that is 23 what we are really talking about. Broadcasters do have 24 access to the top-up funding and a whole array of other 25 funding mechanisms. So we are really just talking StenoTran 1427 1 about this one pot of telefilm. 2 6508 There is no indication that giving 3 them access to this funding would improve the quality 4 or the diversity of the program. There is the danger, 5 though, of permanent damage to small to medium sized 6 companies if broadcaster access to this funding, which 7 is already becoming scarcer, were further diluted by 8 broadcaster access. 9 6509 Having said that, though, I think we 10 have some sympathy with the overall position in some 11 ways. And there are two related issues to this. 12 6510 One is whether broadcasters should be 13 able to participate on an equity basis in television 14 programs. We have heard a lot about if they could only 15 participate in the back end of programming, this would 16 make a big difference to them. 17 6511 Our response to that is to welcome 18 them with open arms. 19 6512 If broadcasters want to be equity 20 participants in the programming, that would be 21 wonderful. The one thing we ask is that the licence 22 fee component be a separately negotiated arm's length 23 negotiation on that licence fee. And we know what the 24 licence fee thresholds are through the public funding 25 organizations. StenoTran 1428 1 6513 That first tranche of licence fee 2 should not get encumbered by additional rights. 3 6514 But after that point, if the 4 broadcasters want to come in and on a reasonable basis 5 participate in equity, in the same way that any private 6 investor or Telefilm would come in, we would welcome 7 that. 8 6515 The second aspect is broadcaster 9 ability to distribute programming. In some ways, this 10 is a similar issue. 11 6516 Again, we would welcome that addition 12 to the system, as long as there are adequate safeguards 13 built in to ensure that they don't use this 14 distribution activity to leverage a decrease or an 15 encumbrance of the licence fees. 16 6517 In this regard, I think we looked 17 quite favourably at the CTV/Baton proposal, which would 18 have allowed some safeguards, and I think recognized 19 that there should be some safeguards, including perhaps 20 Telefilm Canada acting as a final arbiter of the 21 fairness of these mechanisms. 22 6518 Indeed, perhaps that same approach 23 could be used in terms of actual equity investment as 24 well, just to ensure that it is at arm's length and at 25 market rates. StenoTran 1429 1 6519 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I am still not 2 clear. What is the crux of your argument as to why 3 this -- 4 6520 Is this whole mechanism an industrial 5 policy or a cultural policy? Is the reason preference 6 is given to production companies and not to 7 broadcasters an industrial policy issue or a cultural 8 policy issue? 9 6521 MR. STOHN: I will answer first and 10 then Linda may want to add something. 11 6522 In our submission, the point we are 12 trying to make -- and it is a somewhat esoteric point 13 to make, although over the years I have been absolutely 14 fascinated by the whole problem of management in the 15 arts. 16 6523 I spent a long period of my life in 17 the music industry. You would look at different music 18 companies, like Warner Brothers or Sony, who had a 19 completely different approach to management. 20 6524 But the central problem that they 21 faced was: How does a large organization produce 22 creative projects? And it is a real problem. 23 6525 They have approached it in different 24 ways. We see in the record industry where they split 25 themselves off into highly competitive separate smaller StenoTran 1430 1 record companies. We see in Canada where the large 2 production companies are doing more co-productions with 3 smaller companies to get the energy and the creative 4 drive, not to just produce cookie-cutter types of 5 programs but diverse programs, programs which push the 6 boundaries. 7 6526 So we are really saying that the 8 smaller companies do have a role to play, and they are 9 not the only ones who should be doing this programming. 10 But they have been doing it, and doing it fairly well. 11 So why would you take the chance of watering down and 12 perhaps permanently damaging them at the expense of 13 broadcasters who have had the ability in the past to 14 produce this programming; have had access to LFP top- 15 up; have much larger capital reserves than the small 16 producers; but have not produced it to the level by any 17 means that these small to medium size companies have. 18 6527 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: You don't feel 19 a broadcaster could throw a small amount of cash at an 20 in-house producer and get the same product as something 21 that Epitome produces. 22 6528 MS SCHUYLER: The interesting thing 23 about "small amount of cash" is that if a broadcaster 24 at this point throws 20 cents in to an independent 25 production, they get a dollar's worth back. StenoTran 1431 1 6529 And that is not just because of 2 Telefilm. 3 6530 I think the point is that there is 4 nothing stopping broadcasters producing these kinds of 5 shows right now in the under-represented categories. 6 It is very interesting to look in the licence fee top- 7 up area. They are able to access, I believe it is, to 8 a third. Over the last two or three years, they have 9 only accessed about 5 percent of that. 10 6531 So what we have demonstrated from the 11 independent production community, from one side of this 12 country to the other, is a great yearning, a tremendous 13 drive to want to tell stories. We have taken on the 14 challenge of using a 20 percent licence fee -- which we 15 hope to see increase. But we have taken a 20 percent 16 licence fee and one way or another, we have pieced 17 together the little bits and pieces of financing, 18 public and private, that have 100 percent financed our 19 show. 20 6532 A producer inside a broadcaster would 21 not have that ability to do that. 22 6533 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So you are 23 saying there is a sort of dynamic cultural element and 24 an economic industrial element to the current system. 25 6534 MS SCHUYLER: Absolutely. The growth StenoTran 1432 1 of independent production in this country goes back to 2 1983 when Telefilm began their real broadcasting 3 initiative. They did have a double imperative. They 4 were building up infrastructures and companies, and at 5 the same time wanting to hear a cultural voice. 6 6535 There has been tremendous success. 7 6536 If you look at where we were in the 8 early 1980s to where we are now, in terms of company 9 building, I just have to -- 10 6537 I look with awe at my friend Michael 11 MacMillan. He was graduating from Queen's at the same 12 time that I was leaving the classroom, and we both 13 started independent production companies at the same 14 time. I look at this mega-merger that he is 15 undertaking, with a huge amount of respect and 16 admiration. 17 6538 We have done a tremendous job in this 18 country in terms of industry building and 19 infrastructure building over the last 15 years. What I 20 think you are going to see now is more and more 21 emphasis on the cultural message. 22 6539 I know that the CTC -- now called the 23 CTF Fund -- after the big run that happened last April, 24 is seriously having to examine what are its priorities 25 for financing shows. I know you are going to see a StenoTran 1433 1 much stronger cultural imperative come out of that fund 2 this year, which certainly pleases us as independents 3 who very much are producing the distinctively Canadian 4 shows -- which again plays back to our three-way bonus 5 system, whereby these kinds of shows should be 6 supported in bonus throughout the system in various 7 ways. 8 6540 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Speaking about 9 priorizing and your friend Michael, should he get the 10 same access to the fund as -- I don't want to say "as 11 you" -- as the small or medium sized companies? 12 6541 Should there be any kind of 13 preferential scheme of things within the whole gamut of 14 independent producers? 15 6542 MR. STOHN: Certainly to date 16 Atlantis has been a producer of high quality 17 identifiably Canadian shows, as well as programs that 18 are less identifiably Canadian. 19 6543 I don't think we would see any reason 20 that they should not carry on accessing these funds. 21 The way that the CTF is now set up, there are caps so 22 that each individual corporation can only access the 23 funds to a certain cap level, to avoid one organization 24 from taking over the fund. 25 6544 Of course, with the merger of StenoTran 1434 1 Atlantis and Alliance, they would be falling under one 2 corporate cap. In that sense, they would be cut back a 3 little bit. 4 6545 We work very closely with Atlantis 5 and Alliance. Michael is a friend. 6 1735 7 6546 Atlantis distributes all our product 8 internationally. We look on the merger as a positive 9 thing. I don't want to pick on him or the merger, but 10 I'm just wondering whether there should be any kind of 11 preferential for the small and medium as opposed to the 12 large. 13 6547 MS SCHUYLER: I think what should be 14 the deciding factor here is content. If Michael 15 MacMillan's company is going to do a show like 16 "Traders" or as Alliance had "North of 60", these are 17 the sorts of shows that they would not undertake if 18 there was not public funding for it. 19 6548 I think what would happen if we 20 didn't see Alliance Atlantis getting public funding, 21 then we wouldn't see shows like "Traders" and "North of 22 60" being produced. They are quite able to keep their 23 company going, their bricks and mortar paid and 24 everybody happy just with industrial shows. 25 6549 I think it really is not should they StenoTran 1435 1 get funded or not, it's what are the shows that they 2 are trying to get on the air is whether they should be 3 funded or not. 4 6550 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thanks very 5 much. That covers my questions. 6 6551 Thanks, Madam Chair. 7 6552 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner 8 Pennefather. 9 6553 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you. 10 6554 I, too, will take advantage of your 11 particular expertise and experience, but in children's 12 programming just to clarify if part of your game plan 13 here involves children's programming. I think the 14 CFTPA recommended a certain number of hours per week. 15 Was it three? Do you have a similar formula for 16 children's programming? 17 6555 MS SCHUYLER: We hadn't included it 18 here. We know that the broadcasters are saying that 19 they should be getting 150 per cent for Canadian shows 20 out of prime time. 21 6556 Our proposal is very much tied in 22 with the CFTPA 10/10/10 solution. I suppose there 23 could be an argument though if one is thinking about 24 the 60/50 rule that perhaps you could look at a credit 25 like this for children's. StenoTran 1436 1 6557 I actually feel quite badly about not 2 being able to answer your question well because, as you 3 know, children's programming is something that I have 4 worked at for a long time. We didn't really address 5 that, did we, Stephen? 6 6558 MR. STOHN: No, we didn't. To 7 respond specifically to the question of 150 per cent 8 which would normally be outside of prime time for 9 children's programming, for instance children's drama 10 programming even, the proposal which has been discussed 11 by the CAB has talked about 150 per cent credit. If 12 that's as far as it went, we would all be quite 13 supportive of it. 14 6559 The second part of the proposal 15 which, as I understand it, would claw back some of the 16 10/10/10 or whatever out of prime time sort of throws 17 the monkey wrench in the works. 18 6560 At the risk of having our cake and 19 eating it too, and I don't even think it's that way, 20 yes, I think we would be very supportive of 150 per 21 cent credit outside prime time for drama programming, 22 including children's programming, but not if it 23 requires a dilution of the presence of Canadian 24 programs in prime time. 25 6561 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Which has StenoTran 1437 1 been one of the themes we are trying to track, which is 2 what any suggestion means. You can take many different 3 perspectives, but what any suggestion means for the 4 presence of programming in prime time, Canadian 5 programming. 6 6562 Perhaps it's too long a discussion, 7 but I'm also sure you agree that children are watching 8 prime time and this relates to Commissioner Cardozo's 9 questions as well. 10 6563 I guess if I asked you then what 11 identifiably Canadian content is, and I don't mean it 12 facetiously because we have also had important 13 discussions around that, and you have drawn some 14 interesting distinctions here. 15 6564 I am going to assume that children 16 are watching identifiably Canadian programming and ask 17 you just to define it for me. What is identifiably 18 Canadian in this perspective here so that I am clear? 19 6565 MR. STOHN: You have really touched 20 on a very interesting and key question, particularly in 21 the children's programming area, because the way that 22 we have looked at identifiably Canadian programming 23 really is that there is an element that somebody 24 looking at a screen can say "Oh, yes, that's a Canadian 25 character. That's Paris, Ontario. That's something StenoTran 1438 1 that I know". There's a reference to -- 2 6566 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: "Is there 3 a place called -- Oh, yes, I remember." 4 6567 MR. STOHN: There's a reference to 5 Lucien Bouchard or there are other references that 6 really bring the story home, or there's simply locales. 7 Yes, we see that it's set in Vancouver and it's not 8 Vancouver trying to look like New York or Chicago or 9 L.A. It is really being Vancouver or a smaller centre. 10 6568 In the area of children's programming 11 and in the area of animation, quite often some of those 12 distinctions just aren't as easily met. In an animated 13 cartoon, you don't have the backgrounds that identify 14 immediately the show as Canadian. 15 6569 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Unless 16 it's the sweater. 17 6570 MS SCHUYLER: Yes. In "Dudley the 18 Dragon", well, you know, Dudley the Dragon is not 19 necessarily Canadian. He's not non-Canadian. What do 20 you do with these kinds of shows? 21 6571 I guess our personal Epitome response 22 has been twofold. One, for the purpose of the public 23 funding and for the CTF, these shows which are, you 24 might not say identifiably Canadian but they are not 25 non-Canadian, do deserve to be in the mix. StenoTran 1439 1 6572 In terms of our three way program 2 recognition credit, we have said well, the truly 3 identifiably Canadian shows do have an inherent 4 encumbrance built within them possibly. That is that 5 the exportability will have a tendency not to be as 6 high as in shows that are either not non-Canadian or 7 specifically non-Canadian. 8 6573 What we have said is well, those 9 shows, and this includes children's shows and animation 10 shows but any other kind of drama shows that are not 11 identifiably Canadian, have the benefit of potential 12 increase for an export sale and, therefore, that's why 13 we haven't gone to the 200 per cent credit there. 14 6574 We do applaud these non-Canadian 15 shows and that's why we say we really think yes, they 16 do deserve the 150 per cent credit and they deserve 17 access to all the public funding stream. 18 6575 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So the 19 identifiably Canadian for audiences of all shapes and 20 sizes is a show in which there is a sense of place. Is 21 that how you describe identifiably? 22 6576 MR. STOHN: That would be one 23 element. Another possibility is a sense of character, 24 knowing that these are Canadian characters. 25 6577 I mean, I think we could probably go StenoTran 1440 1 down a list of shows and probably wouldn't have too 2 much difference if we went down the list and said well 3 is "Due South" a Canadian show? 4 6578 Well, even if it's shot in Chicago or 5 parts of it are in Chicago, that's a Mountie out there 6 and yes, that's reflecting Canada to Canadians. "Cold 7 Squad" is set in Vancouver. "Riverdale" clearly is set 8 and talks in Canadian voice. 9 6579 Shows like "Sigh Factor", which are 10 wonderful shows and they are highly Canadian, I think 11 even achieve ten out of ten points on the CAVCO scale, 12 are not identifiably Canadian and don't pretend to be. 13 They are done already with the foreign pre-sale before 14 they even started shooting. 15 6580 MS SCHUYLER: I think another 16 component of our proposal is that the writing be 17 Canadian and not just the writing, but also the story 18 editing and also the creative producers. I think we 19 agree with the Writers Guild here. Often you will find 20 that the writers are Canadian, but the actual show 21 runner might be foreign. 22 6581 The show runner is the story editor 23 who ends up having a huge control over the voice and 24 what really is in those scripts. For our identifiably 25 Canadian, we are also asking that the writing right StenoTran 1441 1 through from story editor, show runner, all be 2 Canadian. 3 6582 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay. If 4 these identifiably Canadian programs are for prime 5 time, as I assume, you are suggesting that the 6 incentive will be one thing to bring along the 7 broadcasters in terms of carrying these shows in prime 8 time, I mean peak viewing hours. 9 6583 Is there enough money in the system 10 to do that? From all the sources that we have talked 11 about with these identifiably Canadian eliminated 12 export, just for the sake of discussion, granted 13 "Degrassi" sells, but just for the sake of discussing, 14 you said they are less exportable, perhaps rightfully 15 so. 16 6584 What other financing options are 17 there? Is there enough to make this happen? 18 6585 MS SCHUYLER: Well, along with our 19 increased bonus, we do expect increased licence fees. 20 If one was expecting a 25 per cent licence fee as a 21 threshold, we would be expecting at least a 32 per cent 22 licence fee for an identifiably Canadian show which is 23 getting the double bonus. 24 6586 It's still a benefit financially to 25 the broadcaster and yet it is an increased contribution StenoTran 1442 1 towards the budget for the producer. 2 6587 It's not that these shows will not be 3 able to get some export. It's that they are not being 4 written for an export market right off the top. 5 6588 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: No. I 6 understand that distinction. It's just in order to be 7 sure that we eliminated that piece. 8 6589 MS SCHUYLER: Right. 9 6590 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: This comes 10 back to my point earlier about the Council of Canadians 11 in fact saying that an export strategy is contrary to, 12 in your terms, an identifiably Canadian programming 13 strategy if we draw some very hard lines just to make 14 sure we all know what's up here. 15 6591 Okay. Thank you very much. 16 6592 MS SCHUYLER: Thank you. 17 6593 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner 18 McKendry. 19 6594 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: Thank you, 20 Madam Chair. 21 6595 Earlier today we had a presentation 22 by Goldi Productions. One of the points they made to 23 us was that in their view being too Canadian was a 24 marketing problem in terms of getting exhibition and a 25 problem in terms of getting funds from the government StenoTran 1443 1 agencies. Is that your experience? 2 6596 MS SCHUYLER: Although we can 3 sympathize with the Goldis on that, no, that has never 4 been our experience. We have had tremendous support 5 for the shows that our company has done over the years 6 from Telefilm Canada. 7 6597 It is true that what we are talking 8 about here is a very important crux of what we are 9 talking about in Canadian content. You know, on the 10 one hand we are asking shows to be exportable and on 11 the other hand we want them to be identifiably 12 Canadian. The two thoughts are very, very difficult to 13 reconcile. 14 6598 It's a huge problem for all of us in 15 the industry and it's a problem for you as you look 16 through how we are going to deal with this Canadian 17 content. 18 6599 Where I guess I come from at the end 19 of the day is I want to be putting stories for and 20 about Canadians on the screen. Stephen is absolutely 21 right that when our shows are sent out for export, the 22 promotion reels are quite severely edited so that there 23 is only a certain viewpoint that seems to be going out 24 there in the promotional material. 25 6600 Because of this problem, and it's a StenoTran 1444 1 huge one that we face in this country, we can't though 2 let the exportability of shows be the sole driver of 3 what we are doing. If we do, we might as well just 4 stop with regulation right now and just say "Okay, just 5 let it be a free and open market and there you go". 6 6601 If we really want to try and protect 7 some of our airwaves for Canadian stories, and we live 8 in the most difficult country in the world for that, my 9 feeling is maybe we won't be able to have public 10 funding for our shows the day we stop sharing a border 11 with the United States. 12 6602 Until then, we are living beside the 13 largest exporter of entertainment product in the world. 14 We share a language with them. We have the smallest 15 per capita support of the cultural industries when you 16 look at Britain, Australia, France and we have to 17 producet all our culture in two official languages. 18 6603 I think we do a tremendous job with 19 what we have there. We are never going to reconcile 20 this export -- what drives an export and what we are 21 creating for Canadians which is why I think it's very 22 important that we look at the system as a whole. 23 6604 There are going to be some shows, 24 which are your industrial shows, which are your job 25 creators, your industry builders, that are very StenoTran 1445 1 important to the system and they are often going to 2 come into the system with very substantial pre-sales 3 and do a good job internationally. 4 6605 Then you are going to have the other 5 end of the spectrum which are those shows -- "North of 6 60" has not sold anywhere outside of Canada and yet 7 "North of 60" was a very important show for CBC to 8 running. It ran for five years. People in the remote 9 communities responded to that show. 10 6606 Our point is it's not that you can't 11 reconcile export and creative, but you can't expect it 12 all from each individual project. We can expect it 13 from a system at large, but each show cannot do that. 14 The moment you ask each show to do that, as I said, we 15 might as well give up. 16 6607 What we have to do is provide a 17 broadcasting landscape where the flexibility is there 18 for this mixture. That's partly why we really like the 19 CFPTA 10/10/10 plan and we like our three point credit 20 plan because we feel by a combination of these we are 21 allowing broadcaster flexibility to order things that 22 are highly Canadian and might not sell internationally 23 or they can order the industrial, but the mix has to 24 come from the system as a whole and not from each 25 individual show. StenoTran 1446 1 6608 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: In your 2 experience, do contracts between independent producers 3 and broadcasters for a series contain a clause that if 4 the broadcaster cancels the series, the producer cannot 5 sell the series to somebody else for an extended period 6 of time? 7 6609 MS SCHUYLER: We have over the 20 8 years dealt pretty much exclusively with the CBC. That 9 type of clause has existed and is the source of 10 extended negotiation in each contract. Sometimes we 11 have been able to get that clause removed and sometimes 12 we have not succeeded in getting that clause removed. 13 6610 Obviously to us it's an egregious and 14 unconscionable, horrible clause. You have taken all 15 this risk to produce a show and then if the broadcaster 16 doesn't want it, you would say well, at least I should 17 have a chance to go to another broadcaster and get that 18 window. 19 6611 Yes, that clause does exist in the 20 CBC and I don't know to the extent that it exists with 21 respect to the private broadcaster. 22 6612 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: In your view, 23 do distributors who are also broadcasters offer 24 inadequate distribution deals to independent producers 25 in return for broadcast exhibition? StenoTran 1447 1 6613 MS SCHUYLER: I can answer that in 2 the one show that I am involved that Linda is not, the 3 "Savoir Faire" show which is one of HGTV's prime shows. 4 6614 In that case we received a licence 5 fee between the Canadian and U.S. exhibition because 6 there was a licence fee from both HG in the States and 7 HG in Canada which virtually covered the production of 8 the show and it was just a pure licence fee. It ended 9 after a few years. 10 6615 Independently of that, we have 11 ourselves approached Atlantis Broadcasting, and they of 12 course are the owners of HGTV, and have negotiated a 13 distribution arrangement, but as far as I can tell, it 14 has been entirely at arm's length. In fact, they have 15 bent over backwards to make sure that there was no link 16 between the two. The negotiation of the distribution 17 happened many months after the negotiation of the 18 initial licence agreement. 19 6616 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: Thank you. 20 6617 I'm glad you are back for a number of 21 reasons, but I am also glad you are back because I have 22 a follow-up question about your digital facility that 23 you talked to me about the last time you were here. 24 6618 I just wanted to be sure that I 25 understood correctly. You indicated that there was StenoTran 1448 1 loan financing from a bank with respect to this 2 facility. I assume that that financing was obtained on 3 the basis of a business case that you put to the bank 4 about the virtues of converting to digital from a 5 business point of view. 6 6619 Do I have that right? 7 6620 MS SCHUYLER: Can one get a loan any 8 other way? If so, I would like you to tell me. 9 6621 MR. STOHN: Although to be fair, 10 banks and particularly Canadian banks being as they 11 are, and we love our bank which is the Royal Bank -- 12 6622 COMMISSIONER WILSON: No advertising 13 allowed on this channel. 14 6623 MR. STOHN: The fact is that a large 15 part of the financing was backed by a great deal of 16 security, not simply a business plan but the land, 17 buildings and other assets, tangible and intangible, at 18 any time or from time to time of Epitome Pictures, so 19 it's not simply the business case for digital. That 20 would be an oversimplification. 21 6624 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: I suppose 22 that explains why the CEO of a major broadcaster last 23 Saturday called your move courageous. 24 6625 MS SCHUYLER: Courageous or stupid. 25 We like to think of it as courageous and we like to StenoTran 1449 1 think that we have been thinking forward to the new 2 digital world. 3 6626 We have taken a risk. Who knows? 4 Obviously it was a calculated risk. It was a risk that 5 was necessary to get a show done at a time. We had an 6 order to do a soap opera. We needed to produce it on 7 video. It would have been very short-sighted not to 8 have gone digital. 9 6627 There were a lot of circumstances 10 that converged at the time to make this choice. 11 Hopefully over time it is going to prove to be a wise 12 choice. 13 1755 14 6628 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: Thank you 15 very much. 16 6629 Those are my questions, Madam Chair. 17 6630 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner 18 Wilson? 19 6631 COMMISSIONER WILSON: I just want to 20 ask one question of clarification. It's about your 21 friend Michael again because I'm not sure that I 22 understood your answer. 23 6632 I think you made a comment about the 24 decision being driven by content, on who gets funded, 25 but the point that has been raised by the broadcasters StenoTran 1450 1 is that it's incongruous that a broadcaster-affiliated 2 production company can't access the EIP, but that 3 production companies which hold broadcasting licences, 4 like your friend Michael, can. I am just wondering. I 5 need your help to try and reconcile this in my mind. 6 They are both vertically integrated companies, so 7 what's the difference? 8 6633 MR. STOHN: It's a very -- it's a 9 good question: What is the difference? I guess one 10 thing we can say is that the existing system that has 11 worked well for a number of years had included Telefilm 12 funding for the production sector. That has included 13 small to medium-sized companies and it has included the 14 large publicly-traded companies. 15 6634 In what we have said and talked about 16 the creative drive of small to medium-sized companies, 17 you might expect us to be saying, "Well, really, that 18 funding then should be reserved to those small to 19 medium-sized companies", and I guess what we are saying 20 is, "Let's just look to what has worked in the past and 21 why try and change the system, why bring in the 22 broadcasting element." 23 6635 COMMISSIONER WILSON: If it ain't 24 broke. 25 6636 MR. STOHN: Exactly. That's the StenoTran 1451 1 short answer. 2 6637 COMMISSIONER WILSON: I guess, 3 actually, I am just recalling something, I think, that 4 Michael MacMillan said, which is that there are 5 safeguards that are in place in terms of projects that 6 they get funding for and they can't be shown on the 7 channels that they hold licences for. 8 6638 MR. STOHN: Yes. Certainly in that 9 side, you are absolutely right. I don't think Atlantis 10 Alliance produces shows that are on the Life or HG 11 network. I could be wrong on that, but they 12 certainly -- 13 6639 COMMISSIONER WILSON: I don't think 14 they are allowed to. 15 6640 MR. STOHN: Yes. 16 6641 COMMISSIONER WILSON: I think there 17 are conditions of licence or something that prevent 18 them from doing that. But if there were -- let's say 19 we thought it would be inconsistent to exclude the 20 broadcasters if there were safeguards in place that 21 were similar to that. How would you feel about that in 22 terms of their access to the equity investment program? 23 6642 MR. STOHN: So, if a broadcaster -- 24 6643 COMMISSIONER WILSON: A broadcaster- 25 affiliated production company. If there were StenoTran 1452 1 safeguards in place in terms of how they accessed the 2 funds and where the programming is going. 3 6644 MR. STOHN: I guess we would have to 4 say -- I mean we would fall back on two things. One is 5 the small companies being ones that have out-performed 6 in the past, but, secondly, it's hard to get too down 7 on a situation. If the affiliated production company 8 were willing to say, "We are producing not for the 9 broadcaster, we are producing for the CBC" or if we are 10 a CTV-affiliated production company, "We are producing 11 a show that's going to run on Global", it's hard. Your 12 question is very good because how could we say that 13 that independent production company with the safeguard 14 built in shouldn't have access. 15 6645 Where the real problem comes is where 16 the CTV-affiliated production company decides that it 17 wants to produce itself for CTV. It is then the 18 gatekeeper that triggers the licence fee, that triggers 19 all the other funding and then is the ultimate 20 recipient of it and not only that, but the broadcasting 21 licence that goes along with it. Your question is very 22 good. 23 6646 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Thanks. Your 24 answer was very good. 25 6647 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner StenoTran 1453 1 Cardozo? 2 6648 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you, 3 Madam Chair. 4 6649 The questions by my colleagues 5 triggered two small questions that I wanted to ask just 6 to complete some of these thoughts. With regards to 7 exportability of programs, what kind of proportion do 8 you earn on programs exported -- on the export of the 9 program versus what you are earning on the sale of the 10 program domestically? 11 6650 MR. STOHN: I will just start in. It 12 does vary. The "Degrassi" series -- there were five 13 years of the "Degrassi Junior High" and "Degrassi High" 14 series and those were initially funded approximately 15 the following way. Obviously, it varies all over the 16 map. Each individual episode was approximately covered 17 by one-third licence fee from CBC, one-third licence 18 fee from PBS and one-third other funding, which would 19 include Telefilm funding or producer investment, 20 whatever. 21 6651 Over the years, the "Degrassi" series 22 -- two of the series are now in a recouped position. 23 Actually, a third is now in a recouped position as of 24 the most recent period, two are almost in a recouped 25 position. StenoTran 1454 1 6652 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Sorry, what is 2 a recouped position? 3 6653 MR. STOHN: Sorry, "recouped" means 4 that final third through sales internationally 5 primarily, but also that includes subsequent sales 6 within Canada to, say, the Showcase Network. So, 7 overall that would be a roughly 50/50 mix over the 8 years, but clearly a show like "Degrassi", which, of 9 course, has been tremendously successful here and is 10 still shown in about 80 countries around the world, 11 there is a lot of risk involved and when broadcasters 12 talk about wanting the back end of the show, I'm not 13 sure that they really mean the back end of a show that 14 takes 10 years to recoup its production costs. 15 6654 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: But -- 16 6655 MR. STOHN: In the case of -- sorry. 17 6656 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Don't get this 18 wrong, but are you selling it for peanuts abroad? 19 6657 MR. STOHN: No, it just takes a long 20 -- the production costs are high and -- I mean I will 21 give you an exact example. Recently "Degrassi" was 22 sold for $10,000 U.S. an episode in Germany. Well, 23 that's nice, particularly with the way the U.S. dollar 24 is, that's another $15,000, but if you are producing 25 shows, which nowadays conventional drama can cost $1 StenoTran 1455 1 million an hour, $15,000 and $15,000 there adds up. 2 6658 In the case of "Riverdale", it's very 3 important on shows to reach a magic number, which is 4 usually 65 episodes, in order to really start 5 triggering international sales, and we are not there 6 yet. So, the international sales have been very low to 7 date. The other factor with "Riverdale" is, of course, 8 serial dramas traditionally take two or three years to 9 build a core audience. So, we will wait to see on 10 that. 11 6659 But if one were going to the bank to 12 find the financing to produce "Riverdale" and to build 13 a digital studio and basing it on the back end foreign 14 sales, that would be a difficult scenario because those 15 are highly speculative. 16 6660 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So then this 17 whole business of exportability production is really 18 quite a stab in the dark. 19 6661 MS SCHUYLER: The most money to come 20 from the international market is on your pre-sale. If 21 you can negotiate a pre-sale internationally, that's 22 where you get your top dollar. You should ask -- and I 23 am sure you will -- Atlantis about this because they 24 have a figure that is sort of the maximum that you can 25 get and I think it's around $200,000 an hour if you StenoTran 1456 1 sell -- do you know the figure, Stephen? Steve Sward 2 was talking about it the other day. 3 6662 If you don't do your pre-sales and go 4 in and get a good licence fee off the top before you 5 even roll into production, there is sort of a maximum 6 figure that you can expect because the types of numbers 7 that Stephen just gave you for Germany, you can go 8 through country-by-country what the expectations can 9 be, and Telefilm do this all the time. They ask us for 10 our projected sales plan. You look at Australia and 11 you say, "We might be able to do maximum there $20,000 12 a half hour", you go through Germany, you go through 13 France. 14 6663 But these are not large ticket items 15 because if they are not coming in in a co-production 16 capacity right off the top, then you are out there 17 after their domestic shows, after their co-productions, 18 after all the American shows. Then with the few little 19 bits of shelf space they have left, they have a lot of 20 negotiating power because there is a lot of product and 21 not a lot of shelf space. 22 6664 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So, is the 23 $10,000 the average, is it high, is it low? 24 6665 MR. STOHN: That might be about an 25 average. Clearly, the smaller countries can be as low StenoTran 1457 1 as a couple of hundred dollars almost an episode. But 2 the real difference, I think, that Linda is talking 3 about is whereas if you were to do a pre-sale up front, 4 say, to a U.K. broadcaster where you might be able to 5 achieve o50,000 or $100,000 an episode, if you tried to 6 make that sale after the fact, you are probably limited 7 very much to about a fifth of that amount. 8 6666 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And how many 9 of those countries are running it in English and how 10 many are dubbing it? 11 6667 MS SCHUYLER: Dubbing is interesting 12 because this is another factor that you have to bring 13 into account when you are selling internationally. For 14 instance, we have a situation now whereby somebody 15 wants to buy "Riverdale" in France, but it's not enough 16 of a sale that will warrant the high-quality dubbing 17 that they require. So, we have to wait until we can 18 piece together a couple of other French sales so that 19 then there will be enough money coming in from that so 20 that you can dub it. 21 6668 In other markets -- we just sold to 22 Poland. I think probably they are just subtitling in 23 Poland and, therefore, there isn't that expense to it. 24 But each market has its own discrete set of 25 requirements and its own discrete set of limits as to StenoTran 1458 1 what they can pay. 2 6669 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And you do the 3 dubbing here. Do you have any control over it? 4 6670 MS SCHUYLER: No. For the most part, 5 again it's a case-by-case issue. Mostly it's handled 6 by our distributor and in this case our distributor is 7 Atlantis. 8 6671 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thanks. 9 6672 Thanks, Madam Chair. 10 6673 THE CHAIRPERSON: Ms Schuyler, was 11 "Coronation Street", in your view, an indigenous 12 product or an exportable product when it was first 13 criticized as being depressing and had no future? 14 6674 MS SCHUYLER: Indigenous. In fact -- 15 6675 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you call it 16 indigenous now? 17 6676 MS SCHUYLER: Yes. 18 6677 THE CHAIRPERSON: Why is it that we 19 all know what it is? 20 6678 MS SCHUYLER: Interestingly enough, 21 we know what it is here in Canada because it plays and 22 does extremely well on the CBC. 23 6679 THE CHAIRPERSON: But it doesn't in 24 other parts of the world? 25 6680 MS SCHUYLER: It doesn't sell a lot. StenoTran 1459 1 They haven't bought it in the States because they can't 2 deal with that wacky accent. They are fine with the 3 BBC English, but -- well, even that they have some 4 trouble with, but that north Manchester accent is 5 indecipherable to the American ear, so it hasn't sold 6 there. 7 6681 THE CHAIRPERSON: I was at dinner at 8 Ottawa U, so was Commissioner Pennefather, on Saturday 9 night celebrating their 150th anniversary gala and Alex 10 Trebek, who actually was in my class when I was an 11 undergraduate -- there is a person who knew exactly 12 what he wanted to do and did it, but he said -- some of 13 the banter he treated us to was, what's the definition 14 of a bilingual person and of a trilingual person and 15 then a unilingual person, and the answer was an 16 American. So, you have driven this further now. It's 17 accent as well. 18 6682 Mr. Stohn, you were speaking of the 19 CAB and the credits and clawing back. My recollection 20 -- well, in their submission they say, on page 2 of 21 their first appendix, that they believe that minimum 22 requirements for Canadian content within peak viewing 23 hours are not necessary. So, they would have the 24 credit if it's in peak hours and presumably clawback 25 from daytime since they have no requirements in peak StenoTran 1460 1 hours. 2 6683 Your proposal, which follows the 3 CFTPA 10/10/10, is that the 10 hours is in peak viewing 4 hours. So, your clawback is even worse, is it not, 5 because when you get 150 or 200, you claw back from 6 peak viewing hours since you appear to believe that 7 peak viewing hours -- you endorse that proposal -- is 8 important. 9 6684 MR. STOHN: Yes, you are absolutely 10 right. In other words, what we are saying is there is 11 the 10/10/10 -- that the focus is the peak viewing 12 hours and we are prepared to introduce that flexibility 13 in the 10/10/10 within the peak viewing time if the 14 shift is towards this really identifiably Canadian 15 product. 16 6685 THE CHAIRPERSON: But their credit 17 would also be identifiably Canadian product, but it 18 would possibly claw back from daytime. I am just 19 focusing on what Commissioner Cardozo raised, which is 20 this problem of these credits clawing back hours. You 21 criticize the CAB for this clawback, but your clawback 22 is smack in prime time. So, instead of 10/10/10, you 23 are going to get 5/10/10. 24 6686 MR. STOHN: Yes, so perhaps I should 25 withdraw any criticism of the CAB for clawing back. StenoTran 1461 1 6687 THE CHAIRPERSON: At least that's how 2 I understood your comment and it piqued my curiosity 3 because Commissioner Cardozo talked about this 4 conundrum of these credits actually clawing back. So, 5 when you claw back from the peak viewing hours, which I 6 understand the CAB doesn't believe in overall other 7 than maintaining the 60/50, the clawback becomes fairly 8 severe because it's in peak viewing hours. 9 6688 MR. STOHN: Yes, and really I think 10 we were starting out and saying the 10/10/10 is that, 11 an achievable objective, even over the transition 12 period. 13 6689 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are you wavering on 14 that? 15 6690 MR. STOHN: Yes. 16 6691 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you think the 17 CFTPA should? 18 6692 MR. STOHN: I believe personally, 19 yes, that there needs to be some flexibility on that 20 and that is why we have suggested this flexible three- 21 way credit, to provide some relief to the full 22 10/10/10. 23 6693 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is there any other 24 way of making it less severe if you are now finding 25 that perhaps it's a bit stringent and that you started StenoTran 1462 1 with as much as possible so you couldn't be negotiated 2 down to zero, which is what my children did all their 3 lives. They started wanting to stay up all night and 4 then it ended up being if you came in at 1:00 in the 5 morning, you were a great kid. 6 6694 If we go back to page 4 of your oral 7 presentation, you talk about the 10/10/10 and then you 8 talk about this 100 per cent or 150. Do I 9 misunderstand something or is the 100 per cent simply 10 the status quo? 11 6695 MR. STOHN: Exactly. 12 6696 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. It just 13 sounds good that way, but it's simply what one gets if 14 one has a Canadian number for an hour of programming. 15 6697 MR. STOHN: Exactly. 16 6698 THE CHAIRPERSON: And then you talk 17 about the 150 and then the identifiably Canadian at 200 18 per cent. You say you want to step back and look at 19 how difficult this may be and then you go on to say in 20 the large middle paragraph: 21 "If the Commission wished to 22 find a way to bridge some of the 23 gap, one response --" 24 Of the Philistines, I guess: 25 "-- might be of course to reduce StenoTran 1463 1 the 10 hour target to a slightly 2 lower level." 3 6699 To that you say "no". 4 "Another response might be to 5 change the definition of first- 6 run so that more plays would 7 qualify as first-run, since this 8 would have the same practical 9 effect as lowering the 10 hour 10 objective." 11 6700 To that you say "no". 12 6701 In the next paragraph you say, "We 13 will tell you how to do it so that we don't have this 14 horrible reduction and then you proceed with a plan 15 that gives a credit, which has the effect of lowering 16 to half in one circumstance, to five. 17 6702 I understand the other side, which is 18 it's going to be distinctly Canadian programming, but 19 the CFTPA has told us -- and Ms Schuyler, you told us 20 -- put programming in peak viewing hours that is 21 Canadian and people will watch it. So, this type of 22 clawback, what is its value? If it's thematically 23 Canadian to the point where it has the disadvantage of 24 not being exportable and it also means that it's 25 reducing the number of hours in peak time, is that StenoTran 1464 1 helpful? 2 6703 MR. STOHN: If I can respond -- and 3 then I know Linda will want to respond as well -- in 4 the oral remarks I don't think we said "no" to 5 reductions or to the first two. I think what I was 6 trying to say was that in the mix we think a credit 7 should be considered if you are going to try and bridge 8 the gap between the 10/10/10 that the CFTPA has put 9 forward. If you say, "If that really is too high a 10 standard for the broadcasters to achieve, the full 11 10/10/10, how can we soften that blow in a way that 12 also incentivizes the kind of productions that we find 13 most desirable", that's really what -- 14 6704 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you could 15 reduce it to seven instead of effectively giving a 16 means of reducing it to five. 17 6705 MR. STOHN: Exactly, yes. There is 18 different ways. You could make it a 10/10/7 rule or a 19 10/7/10. 20 6706 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you are not 21 discarding that altogether? 22 6707 MR. STOHN: I think we have given our 23 thought as to one way which incentivizes programming, 24 so we think it's an interesting thought to throw into 25 the mix, but clearly you could reduce any of the 10s StenoTran 1465 1 and that's a simple way of addressing it. We just want 2 to propose this incentivized way of achieving a similar 3 kind of objective. 4 1815 5 6708 THE CHAIRPERSON: It runs against 6 some other concerns that are brought to us, such as 7 anglo-Canadians want to see American type programming, 8 and we want to be able to make exportable programming. 9 This very distinctive programming runs against that. 10 6709 If it is a 10, already it is 11 Canadian. 12 6710 MR. STOHN: Yes. Although what we 13 have tried to say here is not that it should not be a 14 10, but that if it is a 10 with the more American 15 programming that you have suggested, one broadcaster 16 might well choose to keep it at the 10 but with the 17 more American programming. Another broadcaster might 18 say: "Hey, if I can do some really Canadian 19 programming, I can get some credit for it, keep some 20 American simulcast shelf space and put more money into 21 this programming." 22 6711 I guess what we are trying to say is 23 that that is a good range of possibilities. And we are 24 not saying which way it should be. 25 6712 THE CHAIRPERSON: What we should StenoTran 1466 1 retain from this is that 10-10 is quite difficult. 2 6713 MS SCHUYLER: Even as the CFTPA made 3 its submission, we knew that 10-10-10 was difficult. 4 But we maintain strongly that it should be what we 5 should be aiming for; that where the creativity and the 6 flexibility has to come in is in how we are going to 7 implement this. 8 6714 I did say, when I was here with the 9 CFTPA panel, that there would be various different ways 10 that different people who appear in front of you will 11 have recommendations. 12 6715 What is critical about the 10-10-10 13 plan -- and it is the same with the Director's Guild 14 plan of the 7-7-7 -- is that we are tying money to 15 hours. That linkage we do not want to lose. 16 6716 All we are trying to do today is say 17 that if there is a way of keeping the system very alive 18 and having a great mix in it, and if we are combatting 19 this conflict between culture and exportability, we 20 feel that this plan is a way of bringing that into 21 consideration; keeping the 10-10-10 plan in place and 22 giving the broadcasters flexibility. 23 6717 They can still do 10-10-10 of 24 industrial programming. That is fine. 25 6718 THE CHAIRPERSON: You consider StenoTran 1467 1 "Riverdale" an indigenous program. 2 6719 MS SCHUYLER: Yes. 3 6720 THE CHAIRPERSON: Have you given any 4 hope of exporting it ever? 5 6721 MS SCHUYLER: Well, it is already 6 available to our friends in South Africa and in Poland. 7 6722 My feeling is -- and it was the same 8 with my "Degrassi" experience -- that you have to start 9 out with a particular point of view when you are a 10 storyteller and when you are a producer. If you start 11 out from the point of view that we have a co-producer 12 in Australia and a co-producer here in Canada, and we 13 have to make both of those markets happy, that is a 14 different way of approaching your scripts than when I 15 say I've got CBC as my broadcaster, and the Canadian 16 public are my first audience. I approach my story- 17 telling differently. 18 6723 If at the end of the day it does 19 speak to more than Canadians and it is exportable, that 20 is a tremendous bonus and a delight. But it is not 21 what is driving the creative force right off the top. 22 6724 THE CHAIRPERSON: One last question, 23 Mr. Stohn. 24 6725 You raised the matter of how you 25 would welcome broadcasters to invest equity into StenoTran 1468 1 programming. 2 6726 I found the spot in the CFTPA's 3 proposal, at page 27, where they say: 4 "We welcome broadcasters' 5 investments in our programs but 6 these equity investments should 7 not be considered as a portion 8 of the licence fee. Such 9 investments are intended for 10 business purposes, not to meet 11 the obligations of the Act." 12 6727 So if you had a $10 million 13 requirement -- since you endorse the 10-10-10 -- do you 14 also take the position that that equity investment 15 should have absolutely nothing to do with meeting the 16 $10 million? 17 6728 I gather that that is what is 18 intended by "such investments should be for business 19 purposes, not to meet the obligations of the Act"; that 20 none of that money should go toward satisfying spending 21 requirements. 22 6729 MR. STOHN: Yes. 23 6730 THE CHAIRPERSON: So coupled with 24 your welcoming the broadcasters in equity, not for 25 meeting the 10. StenoTran 1469 1 6731 MR. STOHN: That is correct. 2 6732 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 3 much. 4 6733 Counsel Blais. 5 6734 MR. BLAIS: I just want to clear up 6 three points with you. 7 6735 The first one -- and Ms Schuyler, you 8 will appreciate this, in view of your teaching 9 background. I am going to send you home with a bit of 10 homework 11 6736 MS SCHUYLER: I thought I was off the 12 hook at the end of today. 13 6737 THE CHAIRPERSON: We have only gone 14 to junior high and high school. 15 6738 MR. BLAIS: It is following up on 16 your discussion with Commissioner Pennefather when you 17 were talking about this notion of identifiably 18 Canadian. 19 6739 What came from that discussion were 20 very subjective factors, I would suggest. You were 21 talking about sense of play, sense of character, the 22 origin of the author -- although that raises questions 23 about new Canadians telling stories about the country 24 they come from. 25 6740 Would it be possible for you to StenoTran 1470 1 provide us in writing with a definition of what you 2 mean by "identifiably Canadian"? 3 6741 And in doing so, keep in mind that we 4 will have to incorporate it, according to your 5 suggestion, into a regulatory framework. We need 6 something that is fair to everyone; that is not vague; 7 and does not create an undue regulatory burden on the 8 Commission to administer. 9 6742 It is quite clear that there are a 10 lot of hours of production being produced out there. 11 6743 The assignment is that. But I do 12 give you an extension to the 15th of October. 13 6744 Secondly, again when you were talking 14 about the identifiably Canadian issue, you mentioned 15 the fact that licence fees might have to be raised 16 because it may have an impact on exportability. 17 6745 I want to be sure that you are not 18 looking to us to help you raise those licence fees. 19 6746 Are you? 20 6747 MR. STOHN: No. We are hopeful that 21 it would follow, perhaps not as neatly as night follows 22 day. But the CTF, for example, already sets certain 23 minimum thresholds. Those threshold would simply be 24 increased and that the broadcaster should be quite 25 happy to take a program which one day was getting 150 StenoTran 1471 1 percent credit and now it is suddenly getting a 200 2 percent credit. So you would think that the licence 3 fee again should be a third on top, and that would be 4 something that they would be quite happy to participate 5 in. 6 6748 MR. BLAIS: That would be the effect 7 in the marketplace. 8 6749 MR. STOHN: Yes. 9 6750 MR. BLAIS: The third point I want to 10 clear up is with respect to the 150 percent credit. 11 6751 Right now we apply that in terms of 12 the regulations but not necessarily in terms of the 13 various COLs out there, the Conditions of Licence. 14 6752 Is it your view that it should be 15 extended, as well, to COLs? 16 6753 MR. STOHN: I am not sure I entirely 17 understand the question. 18 6754 If it were part of the regulations -- 19 6755 MR. BLAIS: Exhibition requirements 20 related to content do not necessarily base themselves 21 on this 150 percent credit. It is a factor that is 22 linked to the Canadian content regulation, the TV 23 regulations per se. 24 6756 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Stohn, are you 25 confused by COL? It is Condition of Licence. StenoTran 1472 1 6757 MR. STOHN: Well, Condition of 2 Licence, yes. 3 6758 I had thought, without being expert 4 in this area, that this would be included in 5 regulations. I don't know what the difference would be 6 to including it in Conditions of Licence as well. 7 6759 MR. BLAIS: Let me try to explain it. 8 6760 The 150 percent is used when we come 9 to calculate the 50-60 percent under the TV regs, but 10 not necessarily under exhibition requirements that are 11 made as part of particular licensees' Conditions of 12 Licence. 13 6761 MR. STOHN: If I am understanding you 14 correctly, then it would seem appropriate that it would 15 be both in the regulation and in the COLs. 16 6762 MS SCHUYLER: I am not sure about 17 that, Stephen. If it was there in regulation, I am not 18 sure why it would be necessary to have it in the COL. 19 6763 MR. BLAIS: Right now we have both 20 COLs and regulations that deal with Canadian content. 21 It is additional obligations or obligations that relate 22 more specifically to the circumstances of a given 23 licensee. 24 6764 MS SCHUYLER: But if a COL included 25 -- and I don't really know much about this -- a certain StenoTran 1473 1 amount of hours, could those hours not be made up under 2 our scheme of doing various types of programming; some 3 of which would get bonus one way, another or another, 4 and it would be up to the licensees to decide how they 5 would make up that number of hours requirement? 6 6765 MR. BLAIS: Precisely. That is the 7 point; that the 150 percent could be used theoretically 8 for more than just meeting the 50-60 rule. It could be 9 used to meet Condition of Licence. 10 6766 Perhaps what I could suggest is that 11 you give it some thought, and it could be part of your 12 written submissions in the final phase. 13 6767 MR. STOHN: Yes; thank you. 14 6768 MS SCHUYLER: I would like to respond 15 briefly, though, to this rather awesome homework 16 assignment that you so easily tossed out there -- 17 6769 THE CHAIRPERSON: Ms Schuyler, I 18 think it is not that difficult. 19 6770 Your proposal and the CFTPA's have an 20 additional component where everyone would have to do 10 21 hours per week of first run Canadian programming in 22 particular hours, and 150 percent credit would be 23 attributable or usable if you had a Canadian program 24 during that period. It would give you a break on the 25 10 hours during that period. StenoTran 1474 1 6771 What we do not have right now from 2 most licensees -- we have maybe a combination for two 3 licensees -- is a requirement of particular -- 4 6772 We have a 60 overall requirement and 5 a 50 requirement from 6:00 to midnight, but not what 6 you propose, 7:00 to 11:00, 10 hours of Canadian 7 programming per week. 8 6773 The question, I gather, is: Would 9 you want that 150 credit to go to reducing the 10 10 hours? And I suspect that the answer is "yes", from my 11 conversation with you earlier. 12 6774 If someone did a 200 percent credit 13 program one week, that week they would only have to do 14 five hours to be in compliance during that particular 15 period, 7:00 to 11:00. 16 6775 MR. STOHN: That is correct. You 17 mentioned 7:00 to 11:00 -- 18 6776 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, it is the 19 CFTPA -- 20 6777 MR. STOHN: Yes. We were talking in 21 the 8:00 to 11:00, which is a particular question with 22 respect to us since "Riverdale", as you know from our 23 submission, is one of the very few first run dramas 24 that runs in the 7 o'clock -- 25 6778 THE CHAIRPERSON: Am I right about StenoTran 1475 1 the CFTPA proposal being 7:00 to 11:00? 2 6779 MR. STOHN: 8:00 to 11:00. 3 6780 MS SCHUYLER: No. Prime time is what 4 we define as 7:00 to 11:00. But the credit would be 5 8:00 to 11:00. 6 6781 THE CHAIRPERSON: 8:00 to 11:00; 7 excuse me. That's right. 8 6782 Did I confuse things, counsel? 9 6783 MR. BLAIS: Perhaps we can have some 10 discussion off-line to make sure that you understand 11 the preoccupation, and that way you can get your answer 12 on the record appropriately. 13 6784 I think you had some preoccupations 14 concerning the so-called homework assignment. 15 6785 MS SCHUYLER: Yes. Obviously, what 16 you have asked is a very serious question, and it is a 17 huge question. 18 6786 I do know that right now on the board 19 of the CTF they are grappling with exactly this 20 question as they try to make the fund go to support 21 more identifiably Canadian shows. 22 6787 In order to come up with a response 23 to your question, it would be done in discussion with 24 the CTF. I know, as well, that they are grappling with 25 this. It would be wonderful if somehow we could come StenoTran 1476 1 up with a definition that would work for everybody. 2 6788 We will certainly work on it. 3 6789 MR. BLAIS: Good. We will be seeing 4 them later on, as well. Perhaps I will give them the 5 same homework assignment. 6 6790 Thank you. 7 6791 THE CHAIRPERSON: Not that I watch 8 "Degrassi High" that often, but if you don't do well, 9 we will not detain you or suspend you. 10 6792 We certainly appreciate your coming 11 back again. You see what happens when you are popular. 12 It is very tiring. It is now 6:30. 13 6793 Enjoy the rest of your evening. 14 6794 MS SCHUYLER: Thank you very much. 15 6795 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary, 16 please. 17 6796 MS BÉNARD: Thank you, Madam Chair. 18 6797 The next presentation will be by 19 Running Dog New(s) Service, Mr. Stephen Wiggins. 20 PRESENTATION / PRESENTATION 21 6798 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good evening, Mr. 22 Wiggins. I hope it is helpful to you to appear today 23 rather than tomorrow. 24 6799 For the record, TOUT ÉCRAN ne 25 participera pas oralement mais, évidemment, leurs StenoTran 1477 1 soumissions sont au dossier public. 2 6800 Please go ahead. 3 6801 MR. WIGGINS: As a small producer, it 4 means that I save one more room at the Ramada Inn. 5 6802 THE CHAIRPERSON: We are happy to 6 accommodate. 7 6803 MR. WIGGINS: I am a Canadian 8 independent documentary producer. My name is Steven 9 Wiggins. 10 6804 I am here to describe the process I 11 encountered during my attempts to obtain a broadcast 12 licence to air my documentary film. 13 6805 Articulating this is strong enough in 14 itself to act as a self-censoring mechanism -- 15 6806 You will have to excuse my 16 nervousness. I was scheduled to speak tomorrow, so I 17 am a little off balance. I had a white shirt pressed 18 and a tie and a jacket, because I respect the CRTC. I 19 respect public broadcasters. I am here out of respect 20 for this hearing. 21 6807 I speak to challenge the myth that 22 Canada produces timeless long form documentary films on 23 difficult subjects freely. We once did. I speak in 24 the hope that we can renew tradition. I believe my 25 story is telling. StenoTran 1478 1 6808 I am here to talk about content over 2 context. Whatever it is about the current system, it 3 failed my film. 4 6809 My topic is tainted blood, or perhaps 5 I should say it was. My topic was tainted blood, and I 6 did my homework. As an emerging producer, I knew that 7 no public broadcaster should, or could, risk taxpayer 8 money. 9 6810 Several years ago I was taken by the 10 considerable effort government made to suppress the 11 Krever Inquiry. The former Red Cross helped and, of 12 course, there were lawyers -- 18 months of them, as I 13 recall. 14 6811 I wanted to record those individuals 15 infected in this vacuum when it was unclear if their 16 voices would ever be heard. 17 6812 During this period I travelled across 18 Canada, visiting households and those individuals 19 infected. To do this properly, I convinced the best 20 engineers to assist me. Lorne Tulk has over three 21 decades of experience at the CBC; Vic Parsons, the 22 esteemed journalist of two and a half decades with 23 Canada Press and the author of the definitive book "Bad 24 Blood: The Tragedy of the Canadian Tainted Blood 25 Scandal". StenoTran 1479 1 6813 Vic Parsons introduced me to the 2 reticent community of those infected with HIV, Aids and 3 hepatitis. 4 6814 My team in place, I crisscrossed 5 Canada between Newfoundland and British Columbia. I 6 recorded those Canadian voices when government tried to 7 censor public inquiry to reflect Canadians honestly to 8 Canadians. 9 6815 When I had gathered as many words and 10 images as I could, I approached the public 11 broadcasters. TV Ontario and the CBC acted abysmally. 12 6816 I expected that this work would be 13 cross-checked and scrutinized; and once verified, I 14 would be given an opportunity to earn a licence on 15 merit. 16 6817 I knew I had to do what a public 17 broadcaster could not contemplate: 20,000 kilometres 18 of travel; 100 location remotes; legal clearances; 19 lights, cameras, action... 20 6818 I knew that CBC could not film in 21 this manner. So I did. 22 6819 I expected to prove our licence merit 23 by content and relevance, not pitch or context. 24 6820 I listened when the Canadian 25 Independent Film Caucus told me about vertical StenoTran 1480 1 predatory integration. I know a bit about Option B. I 2 am told that out of every dedicated tax dollar, 17 3 cents reaches the producer. I learned that of 49 4 "Witness" documentaries produced in 1997, over half 5 were delivered by former or current CBC employees. 6 6821 I knew about diversity and mandates 7 and broadcast licences. What I was not prepared for 8 was how contemptuous those public broadcasters are 9 toward the truly independent filmmaker. 10 1835 11 6822 In the fall of 1997, having spent 12 several years gathering and editing this material, I 13 approached the public broadcasters and after some 14 efforts I was successful and granted an opportunity to 15 showcase some of the assembled rough material. 16 6823 This is the stage when my experiences 17 turned for the worst and in summary, I can only 18 conclude that the broadcasters acted dishonestly, 19 discourteously and unprofessionally. Original material 20 was ignored, lost and required my considerable efforts 21 to retrieve. 22 6824 Correspondence reported our meeting 23 inaccurately, forcing me to concentrate my efforts on 24 confrontation about dishonest reporting of our history. 25 6825 To speculate on why public StenoTran 1481 1 broadcasters turned mute to further inquiry is 2 pointless, but in summary, it is their blindness to 3 courteously and professionally respond to our 4 considerable efforts. That's what concerns me most. 5 6826 Specifically, why, as guardians of 6 the single most ingredient, the broadcast licence, with 7 which to disseminate our documentary with Canadians, 8 they dismissed a promising dialogue and how there is no 9 avenue for accountability. 10 6827 Ultimately, it is a question of why 11 our documentary remains apart and removed from any 12 possibility for further viewing and judgment by those 13 Canadians who believe their tax dollars go to support 14 exemplary Canadian documentary production. 15 6828 The NFB pronounced and I quote: 16 "Your proposal reflects the type 17 of socio-cultural subjects that 18 the NFB has supported over the 19 many years that we have been 20 producing films and we 21 congratulate you on your effort 22 in preparing and researching 23 this subject." 24 6829 This documentary film was awarded a 25 total of two thousand, five hundred dollars. StenoTran 1482 1 6830 While it is sad that all of my 2 resources spent on attempting to articulate this topic 3 to a Canadian audience were wasted, my point in 4 describing this experience today is to inquire what it 5 is about this system that despite the extraordinary 6 efforts of professionals, ensures my production cannot 7 ever consider telling another story beyond this one. 8 6831 I have no solutions to offer this 9 Commission, just this story of not producing a 10 documentary rather than showing an audience the 11 finished film. 12 6832 I had the vision to document events 13 before they became our history. If those same public 14 broadcasters had considered my material one year ago 15 when I presented it to them, I believe that this film 16 would be complete and able to air nationally today. 17 6833 Is it not ironic that the words of 18 those individuals who our government attempted to 19 censor are silenced yet again? 20 6834 Broadcasters must be denied direct 21 access to production funds. Those funds should be made 22 available to truly independent documentary producers. 23 Broadcasters must be denied direct access to broadcast 24 licences allowing access to production funds by their 25 direct connection to non-arms length productions. StenoTran 1483 1 6835 As it stands now, current practice 2 limits funds available to truly independent production 3 companies and discourage a meaningful dialogue between 4 producers and broadcasters. The result if 5 self-censoring among those producers granted a licence 6 held by the broadcasters. 7 6836 The CRTC must separate the selection 8 criteria of suitable content of documentaries from the 9 broadcaster to remove the prohibitive control and 10 censorship they exercise which determines the most 11 inexpensive, speedily produced monster-home/life and 12 times film airs rather than the "large scale" 13 thoughtful documentary Canadians believe they produce. 14 6837 If this separation is accomplished in 15 a meaningful way, the kind of false dialogue that I 16 experienced with CBC and TV Ontario can be eliminated, 17 enabling broadcasters to restrict their efforts to air 18 and to schedule programs that offer independent 19 producers the true opportunity to envision meaningful 20 and honest content that both challenge and inspire our 21 national audience and result in documentary films 22 worthy of international audiences. 23 6838 This might also resolve another 24 aspect whether government directs our money to agencies 25 that do not offend or embarrass otherwise. StenoTran 1484 1 6839 There are two quotes that I would 2 like to contrast. One is by E. L. Doctor: 3 "Creativity is like driving a 4 car at night. You never see 5 further than your headlights but 6 you make the whole trip that 7 way." 8 6840 The other quote is from Mark 9 Starowicz. I am sure you are aware he is ahead of 10 documentaries at the CBC. 11 "What I am good at is the most 12 unpleasant part of the job: the 13 politics of the CBC." 14 6841 Thank you. 15 6842 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. 16 Wiggins. 17 6843 Commissioner McKendry. 18 6844 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: Thank you and 19 thank you for coming to Hull to meet with us. 20 6845 I have a couple of questions about 21 your particular experience that you have described to 22 us and then I have some questions that flow from that 23 particular area in relation to the recommendations that 24 you set out at the end of your written submission. 25 6846 I noticed you say in your written StenoTran 1485 1 submission, and you repeated that, I think, earlier, 2 you spent several years gathering and editing this 3 material. How long did it take you to put this 4 together? 5 6847 MR. WIGGINS: I actually began the 6 collecting of the interview material in August of 1996. 7 Winter forced me to stop in early February of 1997. I 8 edited the material. 9 6848 I would like to give you an idea of 10 the content. We were able to speak to 60 individuals 11 at a hundred remote locations between St. John's, 12 Newfoundland, and Victoria, British Columbia. The 13 transcripts of those digital audio conversations total 14 6,000 pages. We were able to digest the 6,000 pages, 15 to distil those to an audio edit script of under 200 16 pages. 17 6849 To come back to your original 18 question, I approached the broadcasters, having 19 gathered my material, edited my material, approximately 20 one year ago, in the fall of 1997. There was 21 considerable work that I had done before August of 1996 22 to prepare for this trip. 23 6850 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: Thank you. 24 6851 I take it you have only tried to sell 25 the film to TV Ontario and the CBC. Have you StenoTran 1486 1 approached any of the other potential buyers for your 2 film? I'm thinking, for example, of the specialty 3 channels that exist in Canada. 4 6852 MR. WIGGINS: My focus at the time in 5 November of 1997 was on the public broadcasters. I 6 think it's very important that I share something that I 7 am ashamed of now. 8 6853 The public broadcasters told me that 9 Canadians didn't want to know about this topic, that 10 they didn't want to hear the material. Our household 11 believed them and we stopped further work on the film 12 at that time. 13 6854 I allowed them to second-guess my 14 vision. I am ashamed because if I had finished, if I 15 had somehow found the resources, the energy to edit 16 that material, then I would have had a film that could 17 have aired, at least to a small audience in an 18 auditorium, in a gym, instead of now being here telling 19 you about a film that's not finished. 20 6855 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: I guess 21 what's leading me to ask this question is the market, 22 as I understand, in Canada wouldn't go beyond TV 23 Ontario and the CBC. For example, we had on Saturday 24 an independent producer tell us of her experience of 25 shooting a film in South Africa on her own initiative StenoTran 1487 1 without any financial support other than her own 2 resources and, I suppose those of her family. 3 6856 She was shooting it because she had a 4 passion to shoot this film. It was a film about the 5 role of women in the new South Africa. She had 6 approached buyers or potential buyers of her film, 7 showing them rough cuts and ultimately found one. In 8 this case it happened to be Vision. 9 6857 I guess what I am wondering is have 10 you explored or do you think you should explore any 11 other opportunities other than the CBC or TV Ontario? 12 6858 MR. WIGGINS: I guess I can answer 13 that honestly. I am a touch hesitant because I haven't 14 signed a formal contract and it puts a slightly 15 different perspective on this discussion. 16 6859 Don Haig is our Executive Producer. 17 This is, as I qualified it, not formalized in a legal 18 sense but I have a great deal of confidence in our 19 relationship. 20 6860 Don, as an example, produced the two 21 hour Nettie Wild documentary on Chiapas that had two 22 hours on CBC just this past week. Don Haig was awarded 23 an Oscar for the documentary on Artie Shaw. Don Haig, 24 if there's a broadcast to be obtained, a broadcast 25 licence, I have every confidence that he will obtain StenoTran 1488 1 that. 2 6861 The perspective that I talked about 3 is that Don Haig is 66 years of age. He has produced 4 documentaries for longer than I have been alive. I 5 think you can understand what I am alluding to. He's 6 on the inside. 7 6862 The content hasn't changed. The film 8 material didn't change from the day that I distilled it 9 to today. The only difference is who tells the 10 broadcasters context, not content. 11 6863 I may be lucky. I may get a chance 12 to have this film finished. The experience with Don 13 Haig was an angel descending from the heavens. I want 14 to try and focus the CRTC to look at my experience not 15 as sour grapes because there are some tremendous 16 moments of triumph in it. 17 6864 The context, and as I said earlier 18 whatever it is in the system, the system couldn't, 19 wouldn't or didn't want to look at my topic. I just 20 set out to tell a Canadian story. I didn't have time 21 because of the vacuum in which the Red Cross and the 22 Canadian government had held the Krever Inquiry at the 23 Supreme Court level of Canada. 24 6865 I didn't have the luxury of trying to 25 find an Executive Producer or make the pitch. I had to StenoTran 1489 1 go out and get that material then. 2 6866 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: Let me ask 3 you about one of your suggestions or recommendations to 4 us in your written submission. You ask us, and I quote 5 here, it's on the last page of your submission: 6 -- separate the selection 7 criteria of suitable content of 8 documentaries from the 9 broadcaster to remove the 10 prohibitive control and 11 censorship they exercise --" 12 6867 I'm wondering if you can elaborate on 13 this and specifically, I'm wondering if you are 14 suggesting that the broadcaster would have to take 15 content selected by another party. Is that what your 16 recommendation boils down to? 17 6868 MR. WIGGINS: Let me start with the 18 first part of your question. I believe it centres 19 around the relationships with independent production 20 houses or non-arm's length production houses. 21 6869 If a broadcaster can award himself a 22 broadcast licence or at least a production house with 23 an intimate relationship, then the topic I believe is 24 secondary to the context of the funding mechanism. 25 This is what marginalizes the funds and the broadcast StenoTran 1490 1 licences available to me. 2 6870 As an example, I spoke about 3 "Witness" in 1997. Out of 49 documentaries 4 commissioned, over half were done by the CBC or former 5 CBC employees. In fact, one individual was responsible 6 for seven. 7 6871 Now, I don't believe that one 8 individual can produce seven diverse content 9 documentaries in one broadcast season. More 10 importantly than that, because I'm not particularly in 11 humiliating myself or another film maker in attempting 12 to balance who's content is superior, it's the 13 unreasonable relationship when context broadcast 14 licence funding triggers in a relationship. A 15 symbiotic relationship is what's more important to a 16 broadcaster, i.e. the mechanisms of producing over the 17 content. 18 6872 I don't know if I have answered your 19 question very clearly. 20 6873 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: Well, you 21 certainly have helped me understand your view. I guess 22 the bottom line of my question is if we did what you 23 are suggesting, does that mean that the broadcaster 24 would have to accept content that was determined by 25 somebody else? StenoTran 1491 1 6874 MR. WIGGINS: I'm sorry, I had 2 actually slipped that second part of the question which 3 I did want to address. I contemplated that and I don't 4 have an easy answer. The last thing I want to do is 5 tell anybody what they have to air. 6 6875 I happen to believe that those two 7 contrasting points have a middle ground. I believe 8 that CBC as an example should be subjected to the same 9 content selection criteria that my film would as 10 opposed to short-circuiting and immediately go from 11 broadcast licence to funding. 12 6876 I don't think that immediately 13 connects to CBC being told by an outside party what 14 they have to air. 15 6877 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: During the 16 proceeding, and I don't know whether you have had an 17 opportunity to consider any of the other submissions 18 that have been made to us with respect to 19 documentaries, but there have been several submissions 20 about steps we can take to give documentaries in a 21 general higher profile in prime time, for example, by 22 allowing more credit and so on than they receive now. 23 6878 Do you have any thoughts about that 24 as a documentary film producer? Is there anything you 25 think we could do or should do to give documentaries a StenoTran 1492 1 higher prominence? 2 6879 MR. WIGGINS: I believe that I said 3 in my statement that I would try and leave the Canadian 4 Independent Film Caucus, which I was a member of, the 5 opportunity to debate policy because they are certainly 6 well equipped, more so than I am. 7 6880 I do know a little bit about specific 8 categories, under-represented categories. I don't know 9 the history, but I do know that documentaries have been 10 precluded and, therefore, marginalized from prime time 11 viewing. 12 6881 The networks have absolutely no 13 incentive, in fact there are disincentives, to air long 14 form documentaries during prime time. That to me is 15 unacceptable. To quote the Canadian Independent Film 16 Caucus, there should be a level playing field. 17 Documentaries should be brought up to par with the 18 under-represented categories. 19 6882 In fact, the credit should probably 20 be over 100 per cent because I truly believe that 21 documentaries reflect Canadian stories to Canadians 22 more accurately than any other genre. 23 6883 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: Thank you 24 very much. Those were the questions that I had for 25 you. StenoTran 1493 1 6884 I wish you well with your film. It's 2 a topic that hasn't gone away, so perhaps you will be 3 able to find an opportunity to have it exhibited. 4 6885 Thank you very much. 5 6886 MR. WIGGINS: Thank you. 6 6887 I had a vision once. I perhaps 7 shouldn't have swayed from that vision. I should have 8 finished that film. 9 6888 Whatever is going to unfold will 10 unfold, so it's very important for me to not try to be 11 remembered at this Commission that these are the sour 12 grapes of a film maker who's topic was turned down. 13 6889 A commissioning producer at CBC or 14 TVO should have every right to exercise a subjective 15 decision on what he is responsible for. That's not my 16 point. My point is that the dialogue based on merit 17 didn't occur. I believe that dialogue didn't occur 18 because the broadcasters are not motivated to air long 19 form documentaries as we spoke about and, (b) the 20 non-arm's length relationship that I spoke about, and I 21 used "Witness" as an example, prohibits their interests 22 in any meaningful discussion with people outside that 23 particular envelope. 24 1855 25 6890 So, I am here to talk more, to focus StenoTran 1494 1 more about the way business is done -- or, excuse me, I 2 am here to talk about the business of telling stories 3 to Canadians, not the business of how stories are told. 4 Canadians want to hear Canadian stories, Canadians 5 don't want to hear CBC telling Canadians how CBC tells 6 Canadian stories. I have a story to tell and I am 7 confident that it will be heard and seen at some point. 8 6891 Thank you for your interest. 9 6892 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: Thank you 10 very much. We greatly appreciate hearing from people 11 such as yourself who are struggling to make films and 12 struggling to see their visions carried through. So, 13 it's very, very helpful to us to have people such as 14 yourself come and talk to us. 15 6893 Thank you. 16 6894 MR. WIGGINS: It's not a particularly 17 good way to get a broadcast licence. So, I am sorry if 18 I was nervous to begin with. I hope I articulated 19 clearly. 20 6895 COMMISSIONER McKENDRY: You were very 21 clear. Thank you. 22 6896 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner 23 Cardozo? 24 6897 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: It seems to me 25 you have two stories to tell. One is the tainted blood StenoTran 1495 1 and the other is the business of making films, which 2 you have told us very passionately. 3 6898 I don't have a question, it's just to 4 let you know that one of the things you said in your 5 comments and which was in your written brief helps 6 answer the question that I have been asking a few 7 witnesses, which is, "Why should production funds go to 8 -- why should broadcasters not be eligible for the 9 production funds that independent producers are 10 eligible for", and I think you have outlined in your 11 written submissions some of those arguments very 12 pointedly. I just wanted to note that and thank you 13 for that. 14 6899 MR. WIGGINS: I am glad that they 15 connected. Thank you. 16 6900 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner 17 Pennefather? 18 6901 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Mr. 19 Wiggins, thank you for bringing the question of freedom 20 of expression information in this country to our 21 attention. My only comment is to hope, indeed, that 22 you can conclude your relationship with Mr. Haig. He 23 is probably one of the greatest demonstrations of how 24 that is done in this country and I do hope and I wish 25 you well in your association with him. StenoTran 1496 1 6902 MR. WIGGINS: I believe in Don Haig. 2 He has only come on board between the time that I 3 submitted my draft, which I believe was June 20th or 4 thereabouts, and this actual hearing. I had some 5 consternation about introducing that relationship and I 6 think it's very important that we contemplate for a 7 moment not only that he, by his merits of his history 8 -- I think I believe that I understood and I said that 9 he has been producing documentaries perhaps as long as 10 I have been alive -- maybe not quite so, I don't want 11 to tell on his age that accurately -- but what about 12 the person that Don Haig didn't get a chance to speak 13 to? 14 6903 I referred to him as an angel because 15 I am blessed that he found me and I am blessed that he 16 understands and shares my vision, but how many other 17 filmmakers are there out there that he cannot talk to? 18 6904 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Well, he 19 has covered a lot of ground over the years and I should 20 encourage you, in my experience, that they are there. 21 6905 MR. WIGGINS: Few and far between. 22 6906 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: But they 23 are there. 24 6907 MR. WIGGINS: Thank you. 25 6908 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. StenoTran 1497 1 Wiggins. Have a good trip back. You will go back with 2 your clean shirt and your clean suit. You should 3 consider that a bonus. We enjoyed having you. 4 6909 MR. WIGGINS: Thank you. 5 6910 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will now adjourn 6 until 9:00 o'clock tomorrow morning. 7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1900, 8 to resume on Tuesday, September 29th, 1998 9 at 0900 / L'audience est ajournée à 1900, 10 pour reprendre le mardi 29 septembre 1998 11 à 0900 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 StenoTran
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