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Please note that the Official Languages Act requires that government publications be available in both official languages.

In order to meet some of the requirements under this Act, the Commission's transcripts will therefore be bilingual as to their covers, the listing of CRTC members and staff attending the hearings, and the table of contents.

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                       SUBJECT / SUJET:

                       PUBLIC HEARING ON
                     AUDIENCE PUBLIQUE SUR

HELD AT:                                TENUE À:

Holiday Inn                             Holiday Inn
370 King Street                         370, rue King
Toronto, Ontario                        Toronto (Ontario)

February 1, 1999                        Le 1er février 1999

                          Volume  1
tel: 613-521-0703         StenoTran         fax: 613-521-7668


In order to meet the requirements of the Official Languages
Act, transcripts of proceedings before the Commission will be
bilingual as to their covers, the listing of the CRTC members
and staff attending the public hearings, and the Table of

However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded
verbatim transcript and, as such, is taped and transcribed in
either of the official languages, depending on the language
spoken by the participant at the public hearing.


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.

tel: 613-521-0703         StenoTran         fax: 613-521-7668

                 Canadian Radio-television and
                 Telecommunications Commission

              Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des
                télécommunications canadiennes

                  Transcript / Transcription

              Public Hearing / Audience publique

            Third Language and Ethnic Programming /
       Programmation multilingue et à caractère ethnique


M. Wilson                               Chairperson / Présidente
S. Langford                             Commissioner / Conseiller


D. Rhéaume                              Secretary / Secrétaire
D. Rhéaume                              Legal Counsel/Conseillers
M. York                                 Analyst/Analyste

                          Volume  1
tel: 613-521-0703         StenoTran         fax: 613-521-7668


Presentation by / Présentation par:

Specialty & Premium Television Association                   6

Ukrainian National Federation of Canada                     12

Canadian Serbian Club of Toronto                            20

Odyssey Television Network                                  28

Mr. Rajhbir Samagh                                          34

Bharathi Kala Manram                                        42

The Canadian Ukrainian Immigrant Aid Society                51

Muslim Welfare Centre                                       60

Federation of Indo-Canadian Association                     66

Committee and General Council of Italians Abroad            75

Bharati Kalamaram                                           86

tel: 613-521-0703         StenoTran         fax: 613-521-7668


 1                        Toronto, Ontario / Toronto (Ontario)
 2     --- Upon resuming on Monday, February 1, 1999,
 3         at 1600 / L'audience reprend le lundi
 4         1er février 1999, à 1600
 5  1                    THE CHAIRPERSON:  Good afternoon,
 6     ladies and gentlemen.  I wonder if I could ask you to
 7     come to the table.
 8  2                    For your information, what we are
 9     going to do is start with the first nine parties.  So,
10     any members of the first nine parties who are
11     registered to appear today, if you could come to the
12     table and join us.  It will make it a lot easier for us
13     to go through the presentations.
14  3                    Our Secretary will call the parties
15     to the table.
16  4                    MS RHÉAUME:  We have Ms Krystyna
17     Piotrowski.  Dr. Spiro Flengas.  Jane Logan.  Sundar
18     Raj.  Rajhbir Samagh.  Kamiesh Moorgani.  Veena Kumar. 
19     Mr. or Mrs. Ramamani.  Mr. Mohammed Rafiq.  Mr. John
20     Ha.  The Ukrainian National Federation of Canada.  Bora
21     Dragasevich.  Eugen Duvalko.  Dr. Yvona Bogorya. 
22     Danuta Warszawski.  Wojciech Wojnarowicz.  I hope I
23     said that properly.  Wojciech Maciszewski.  Anna
24     Czajkowski.  Bill Fatsis.
25  5                    MR. FATSIS:  Yes.


 1  6                    MS RHÉAUME:  Major Abbas.  Veena
 2     Dutta.  Zuhair Kashmeri.  V. Basabiah.  Bob
 3     Venkatraman.  Claudio Lizzola.  Arois Babikian.  Spyros
 4     Bourdorkis.
 5  7                    THE CHAIRPERSON:  We have gone all
 6     the way through the list because, as you could tell,
 7     the first nine parties not all of them are here yet.
 8  8                    So, what I would like to do is begin
 9     our public consultation with some comments and then we
10     will move to the first presenter.
11  9                    Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen,
12     and welcome to this series of public consultations that
13     the CRTC is holding to review its ethnic broadcasting
14     policy.
15  10                   My name is Martha Wilson.  I am the
16     Ontario Regional Commissioner for the CRTC and with me
17     here at the table is Commissioner Stuart Langford.
18  11                   For the next three days, today,
19     tomorrow and Wednesday, my Commission colleagues and I
20     are in the process of listening to the comments and
21     views presented by the participants in these
22     consultations here in Toronto, as well as in Halifax,
23     Montreal, Vancouver and Winnipeg.
24  12                   We will also be receiving written
25     comments and documents by e-mail.  All submissions,


 1     both oral and written, will form part of the public
 2     record.
 3  13                   These consultations are part of a
 4     process the CRTC began two years ago to review its
 5     major policies for the Canadian broadcasting system,
 6     including television and radio.
 7  14                   As you know, the goal of these
 8     consultations is to help the CRTC examine the policies
 9     and regulations that were established in 1985 when a
10     Broadcasting Policy Reflecting Canada's Cultural and
11     Linguistic Diversity was issued.  One of the most
12     important goals of this policy is to ensure that the
13     Canadian broadcasting system serves the needs and
14     interests of all Canadians by reflecting their
15     ethnocultural diversity in an effective manner.
16  15                   However, since this policy was
17     issued, Canada's demographic profile has changed
18     considerably, and the amount of third language and
19     ethnic programming available in the Canadian
20     broadcasting system has increased substantially.
21  16                   By looking into these issues around
22     ethnic broadcasting, we are asking:  are the goals of
23     the current policy still valid?  And, is the policy
24     still effective in attaining these goals?
25  17                   Public Notice 1998-135 set out a


 1     series of questions and invited your views in response. 
 2     We are ready to have your comments.  But, before we do
 3     so, allow me to go on to some housekeeping matters
 4     regarding the conduct of this public consultation.
 5  18                   CRTC staff assisting us during this
 6     consultation are Donald Rhéaume , legal advisor.  He is
 7     at the far left at the head table.  Morag York who is
 8     next to me, she is an analyst, and Diane Rhéaume will
 9     be our Secretary.  Margaret Kennedy who runs the
10     Toronto Documentation Centre will be checking people in
11     at the door.  I invite you to call on them with any
12     questions you may have, including any questions about
13     the process today, and for the rest of this proceeding.
14  19                   Our intention is to have this session
15     run until all participants have been heard.  The
16     Secretary will call each presenter in order.
17  20                   To ensure that all parties have an
18     opportunity to make a presentation, we ask that you
19     limit your comments to 10 minutes.  We may wish to ask
20     you questions following your presentation, but because
21     of the unprecedented number of participants who have
22     registered here in Toronto, its quite possible we will
23     not ask questions of each and every one of you.  Please
24     do not interpret this as a lack of interest on our
25     part.  From our perspective, the most important thing


 1     during the public consultations is for us to hear from
 2     all of you and in the interests of time this may mean
 3     that we will not have the opportunity to ask questions
 4     during this phase of the process.
 5  21                   As I have said earlier, the
 6     proceedings will be transcribed and the transcript will
 7     form part of the record upon which the Commission makes
 8     its decision.  So that the people responsible for this
 9     task can provide an accurate record, I would ask that
10     when you speak you press the small white button on the
11     microphone in front of you and make sure that this red
12     light is illuminated.  This activates the microphone
13     and will allow all of the people in the room to hear
14     very clearly what you have to offer.
15  22                   For those of you who prefer to submit
16     your comments in writing, there are comment cards
17     available at the back of the room from the Secretary. 
18     If you have any comments you would like to pass on, you
19     can just write them on a card, sign it and give it to
20     the Secretary before the end of the session.
21  23                   Finally, our plan for conducting the
22     consultation today is to break the parties into three
23     groups.  I will just grab my timetable.  We are going
24     to try to hear the first nine parties who are
25     registered between 4:00 and 6:30.  We will take a short


 1     15-minute break at that point.  We will reconvene at
 2     6:45 and sit until 8:15 to hear the second group of
 3     nine presenters, and then we will reconvene again at
 4     8:30 and go until ten o'clock or until we are finished
 5     in order to her the remaining parties.
 6  24                   So, with those words I would like to
 7     pass it over to Diane Rhéaume who is our Secretary to
 8     call on the first party who is present.
 9  25                   MS RHÉAUME:  The first presenter is
10     Jane Logan, President and CEO of the Specialty and
11     Premium Television Association.
12  26                   MS LOGAN:  Thank you very much.
13  27                   Thank you, Ms Wilson, Mr. Langford,
14     Commission staff.
16  28                   MS LOGAN:  As you know, I am the
17     President of the Specialty and Premium Television
18     Association, SPTV, and we represent the majority of
19     Canada's specialty and pay television networks.  I am
20     proud to note our membership includes four of Canada's
21     five specialty services broadcasting in third
22     languages.
23  29                   Canadian third-language specialty
24     networks play a key role in strengthening the
25     multicultural fabric of this country.  They serve the


 1     social, information and commercial needs of
 2     multicultural communities from a Canadian perspective. 
 3     One of the main reasons Canadians watch television is
 4     entertainment, an objective recognized in the
 5     Broadcasting Act, and third-language services do a
 6     great job of this as well.  They are an important tool
 7     for Canadian families who wish to foster and promote
 8     their linguistic and multicultural heritage and for new
 9     Canadians adapting to life in Canada.
10  30                   Unlike foreign services, Canadian
11     networks have the added value of creating a Canadian
12     context and a Canadian experience for linguistic
13     communities and they can serve as a focal point for
14     multicultural identity in Canada.  They are relevant to
15     Canadians with mother tongues other than English or
16     French and pertinent to their day-to-day lives in a way
17     that foreign networks cannot be.  Their programming
18     provides a forum for the discussion of community issues
19     which do not otherwise find their way into mainstream
20     television.
21  31                   Canadian programming on
22     third-language networks includes local cultural events,
23     interviews and debates with Members of Parliament and
24     community leaders, daily Canadian news reports, and
25     various other information and entertainment


 1     programming.  Each of these lessens the isolation of
 2     linguistic groups and asserts their role in Canadian
 3     society.
 4  32                   The importance of third-language
 5     networks is demonstrated by the fact that they were
 6     among the very first specialty and pay-television
 7     networks licensed in Canada.  Fairchild's Talentvision
 8     network, which serves a regional Chinese audience and
 9     was originally called Cathay, was licensed in 1982. 
10     That's with the very first movie networks.  In 1984
11     Telelatino and Chinavision, now Fairchild TV, followed. 
12     These founding members of our industry have recently
13     been joined by Asian Television Network, serving
14     Canadians of South Asian descent, and Odyssey, serving
15     Greek Canadians.  ATN and Odyssey were licensed in 1997
16     and they are already in operation, distributed by
17     direct-to-home satellite and digital cable.
18  33                   Now, I know we have time constraints
19     this evening and of the many, many questions that you
20     have put forward in your Public Notice, I would really
21     like to focus on the issue of how do we create further
22     diversity through the distribution of more
23     third-language specialty networks within the Canadian
24     broadcasting system.
25  34                   Our written brief which we will


 1     submit March 4 will offer a more comprehensive overview
 2     of the other issues before the Commission.
 3  35                   Let me start by saying that SPTV
 4     fully supports the distribution of more third-language
 5     services in Canada.
 6  36                   Now, I will preface that by saying
 7     there is currently a moratorium on additions to the
 8     CRTC list of foreign services that may be broadcast
 9     here.  We believe this is essential to ensuring that
10     unlaunched licensed Canadian services have first
11     opportunity at limited distribution capacity.  And we
12     also believe that there should be no further additions
13     to the list until the broader framework for licensing
14     new Canadian services has been established, and until
15     the Commission has determined the optimal conditions
16     for digital distribution.  Fortunately, these are major
17     issues on the CRTC's regulatory agenda this year.
18  37                   To give you a broader appreciation of
19     our industry, I'd like to share some fundamentals that
20     have proven true time and again during our 17-year
21     history.  They hold true for specialty networks whether
22     in any language.
23  38                   First, the Canadian market is so
24     small that only one service in each narrow niche can be
25     viable.  This is no surprise since in the United States


 1     where there is an 80 million household cable TV market,
 2     that market is often unable to support competing
 3     narrow-niche specialty services.  I was surprised to
 4     learn myself that there used to be two comedy specialty
 5     networks in the United States broadcasting in English,
 6     but they have since merged.  So that market only
 7     supports one in that very mainstream category.  What
 8     this means is we can't have unrealistic expectations
 9     about the ability of services to compete head to head
10     for programming rights, subscriber fees, audience, and
11     advertising in Canada.
12  39                   Secondly, for this very reason, if a
13     foreign service is distributed in Canada before a
14     Canadian services has a chance to offer the same
15     service, then the business case for the Canadian
16     service is destroyed.
17  40                   Third, foreign services bring
18     diversity, but they do not contribute to the financing
19     or broadcast of Canadian programming, nor are they
20     tailored to the specific needs of people who live here. 
21     They don't have to meet our community standards, and as
22     the Commissioners are aware, the CRTC does not have the
23     jurisdiction to deal with complaints about programming
24     on foreign services.
25  41                   So, with this experience in minds, we


 1     suggest the following guidelines for new third-language
 2     specialty services in Canada:
 3  42                   First, we believe Canadians should
 4     have the first opportunity to apply for any new
 5     third-language specialty television license.
 6  43                   Second, after Canadian services,
 7     preference should be given to foreign services who have
 8     Canadian partners and who are prepared to operate as
 9     licensed Canadian services.
10  44                   And third, no new licences should be
11     awarded that compete with existing services.  For
12     example, a second Greek service or a second Italian
13     service should not be licensed or added to the Eligible
14     Satellite Services List.  The only exception we can see
15     to that might be if the existing licensee is the owner
16     of the second service, as is the case with Fairchild
17     which operates both a national and a regional Chinese
18     service.  That might help to mitigate the impact of
19     competition, especially for programming rights, but
20     recognizing that these are very narrow niche services
21     we really wonder about the viability of any two
22     operating in the same niche.
23  45                   SPTV puts forward these thoughts in
24     the hope that other linguistic communities will be able
25     to reap the benefits currently afforded by Canada's


 1     five third-language specialty services to their
 2     specific audiences.
 3  46                   So I thank you for the opportunity to
 4     raise these issues today.  I would be happy to answer
 5     any questions at this time or perhaps in our written
 6     brief.
 7  47                   THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you very
 8     much, Ms Logan.
 9  48                   Madam Secretary.
10  49                   MS RHÉAUME:  The next presentation is
11     by the Ukrainian National Federation of Canada.  If you
12     would like to identify yourselves please.
14  50                   MS DIAKOWSKY:  Thank you very much.
15  51                   I appear before you on behalf of the
16     Ukrainian National Federation of Canada, to which
17     Canadians of Ukrainian origin belong from coast to
18     coast.
19  52                   Ukrainian settlement in Canada began
20     more than a century ago.  Canadian Ukrainians have
21     contributed much to the development, prosperity and
22     welfare of this country by their active and productive
23     participation in all aspects of Canada's national life. 
24     Although staunchly Canadian, the community remains
25     conscious of historical, cultural and spiritual roots


 1     in the lands of its ancestors, Ukraine.
 2  53                   As a distinctive community it has
 3     distinctive needs, which should be satisfied by
 4     Canada's various radio and television broadcast
 5     services.  We are here as listeners and viewers of
 6     Ukrainian programming.  Those who are engaged in
 7     producing and broadcasting them will surely take
 8     advantage of these hearings to present their own views.
 9  54                   Other ethnocultural groups.  The
10     needs of the Ukrainian community are similar and
11     perhaps identical to those of other ethnocultural
12     groups.  With rare exceptions, these groups, among them
13     the Ukrainian, rely on more than one language for
14     intercommunication.  Generally, this is the language of
15     the group, in our case Ukrainian, and one or both of
16     Canada's official languages.  English and French are
17     needed to communicate with fellow Canadians of other
18     origins, as well as those of their own group whose
19     knowledge of the ethnic language is inadequate or has
20     been lost.
21  55                   Demographic trends show that in a
22     generation or two these Canadians of origins other than
23     aboriginal, or whose ancestral origins lie in France or
24     the British Isles, will constitute the majority of our
25     population.


 1  56                   Recognition of right.  A broadcasting
 2     policy which answers the needs of this part of our
 3     population should be seen not as a charity or granting
 4     of a favour, but as a recognition of the rights of
 5     those who provide financial support to broadcasting,
 6     either as consumers of commercial products and/or as
 7     taxpayers.
 8  57                   Questions considered.  The call for
 9     comments asks a number of questions.  We will limit our
10     answers only to those that have application to us as
11     viewers and listeners and to which we can give a
12     constructive answer.  I am going to refer to the
13     document -- the Public Notice CRTC 1998-135 and just to
14     their numbers.
15  58                   Question 2.  While specific policy
16     related to ethnocultural broadcast is necessary, it
17     should also be flexible enough to enable exceptions to
18     be made where warranted.  Canada is so vast in terms of
19     territory and the distribution of ethnocultural
20     communities, so diverse that an inflexible policy might
21     in fact have a negative impact.  Market forces alone
22     may not be able to meet the needs of ethnocultural
23     audiences.  The alternative, presumably, some sort of
24     governmental subsidy, would not necessarily meet the
25     need adequately either.  It might well be subject to


 1     abuse and result in inferior programming broadcast to
 2     non-existent audiences, political interference, et
 3     cetera.
 4  59                   Question 3(a).  A link to the origin
 5     nation is important for informational purposes and to
 6     maintain ties with the ancestral cultural.  It should
 7     not, however, be used to embroil the Canadian community
 8     in political, religious or other conflicts there.
 9  60                   Question 3(f).  Programming that
10     encourages cultural and intellectual expression of the
11     ethnocultural groups as part of the Canadian cultural
12     and intellectual continuum is important.
13  61                   Question 5.  Ethnic programming in
14     English or French is important to serve the needs of
15     those who, while still conscious of their ethnic
16     origin, have lost the ancestral language and are faced
17     with anonymity and social isolation.  Such programming
18     might also be of use to others with an interest in that
19     particular ethnic group.
20  62                   Question 8.  We feel strongly that
21     programming from foreign services might supplement, but
22     cannot and should not replace programming that reflects
23     the experience in Canada.  Such programming should not
24     to alienate the viewer or listening from the broader
25     society in which he lives here.


 1  63                   Question 11.  The classification of
 2     programming into five types as given in paragraph 18
 3     should be maintained.
 4  64                   Fourteen.  Generally speaking, the
 5     type-E programming by non-ethnic broadcasters seems to
 6     be a rare exception.  An increase is desirable and
 7     would have positive social results.
 8  65                   Question 16(c).  Mainstream
 9     broadcasters might increase type-E programming if they
10     were made aware of developments in the ethnic
11     communities which could provide materials for
12     interesting programs.  In this, government offices of
13     all levels that deal with ethnic communities might well
14     be of assistance.
15  66                   Question 17.  Simply, yes.
16  67                   Question 19.  This service could most
17     easily be provided and on a cost-effective basis by
18     type-C and type-E programming.
19  68                   Question 28.  Applicants proposing a
20     national ethnic television network should be required
21     to commit themselves to provide services to the diverse
22     ethnic communities in the regions the network cover, if
23     only through type-C and type-E operations.
24  69                   Question 29.  There should be a
25     balance between foreign and Canadian content.  It


 1     should be required that in the long term the life of
 2     the ethnic community in Canada and the viewing area be
 3     adequately covered.  While foreign programming might be
 4     sufficient for some part of the audience, it should not
 5     monopolize air time.  Local talent should be developed
 6     and encouraged.
 7  70                   Question 31.  In many cases,
 8     financial considerations must be taken into account
 9     when establishing or measuring Canadian content levels. 
10     In some instances, foreign material is inexpensive to
11     utilize.  Analogous Canadian material may be
12     unobtainable or too costly.  A balance should be struck
13     between what is desirable and what is possible.  At the
14     same time, Canadian content levels, no matter how
15     flexibly applied, must remain in place.  Ethnic
16     programmers may not have sufficient Canadian content
17     material to place them on a par with other broadcasters
18     and it would be only realistic to modify these levels
19     if ethnic programming is to continue.
20  71                   Question 32.  In the last decade the
21     availability of Canadian produced Ukrainian music has
22     not kept pace with that coming from abroad.  Production
23     of Ukrainian musical recordings in Canada is sporadic
24     and limited in scope.  There is some change coming, by
25     the way, I should add, with the influx of new


 1     immigrants and the reactivation of many people within
 2     the Ukrainian community.
 3  72                   Question 33.  It should be kept in
 4     mind that in Ukrainian programming in Canada music is
 5     an incidental part and programs devoted solely to
 6     playing music are the rare exception.  This is also
 7     true of other ethnic programming and should be taken
 8     into consideration.
 9  73                   Question 35.  A catalogue of Canadian
10     ethnocultural music recordings should be part of a
11     catalogue of all music recordings made in Canada. 
12     Accordingly, it should be compiled, maintained and
13     financed by those who catalogue Canadian recordings in
14     general.
15  74                   Respectfully submitted on behalf of
16     the Ukrainian National Federation of Canada.
17  75                   THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you very much
18     for your contribution today.  I would just like to add,
19     before we move to the next presenter, that your
20     response to Question 17 is probably one of the most
21     succinctly put answers ever received by the Commission.
22  76                   Thank you again.
23  77                   Excuse me, Commissioner Langford
24     would like to ask a short question.
25  78                   COMMISSIONER LANGFORD:  I don't want


 1     to open a big bad door here, but in your introductory
 2     remarks you indicated that a new broadcasting policy in
 3     your view should not be seen as charity or a favour. 
 4     Is that the way the present broadcasting policy is
 5     viewed in your opinion?
 6  79                   MS DIAKOWSKY:  You know, we seem to
 7     constantly be explaining ourselves as something outside
 8     the Canadian mainstream.  We're not.  Even when ethnic
 9     broadcasting is presented as something, you know,
10     beyond those that are currently looked upon as the
11     Canadians and we are the ethnics.  We are Canadians
12     with an ethnic background and we would like to be
13     treated as such and to be considered very much part of
14     the mainstream, with the exception of course that we do
15     need some special help.
16  80                   I don't know how many of you have
17     tried to raise a bilingual child.  It is not a negative
18     thing for Canada.  It is an amazing thing for Canada. 
19     Can you imagine what it would mean for Toronto hold the
20     Olympics and to be able within its own borders call
21     upon its citizens to host all of the different
22     languages that will be coming to this city, if such a
23     thing could happen.  We have never been looked upon as
24     something extremely positive within the Canadian milieu
25     and we are.  We are.


 1  81                   COMMISSIONER LANGFORD:  Thank you
 2     very much.
 3  82                   MS RHÉAUME:  Could I ask you to read
 4     your name into the record, please.
 5  83                   MS DIAKOWSKY:  Yes.  My name is Daria
 6     Diakowsky.
 7  84                   MS RHÉAUME:  Thank you.
 8  85                   THE CHAIRPERSON:  Madam Secretary,
 9     would you like to call the next participant.
10  86                   MS RHÉAUME:  The next presentation is
11     by Mr. Bora Dragasevich, Producer and Program Director.
13  87                   MR. DRAGASEVICH:  My report is
14     structured on the request of CHIN radio station and
15     does not have 36 points.
16  88                   My name is Bora Dragasevich and I am
17     here in my capacity as producer and program director of
18     the Serbian radio program Radio Sumadija, which is
19     aired every Saturday evening from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
20     over CHIN Radio, 100.7 FM in Toronto.
21  89                   I have held this responsibility for
22     28 years.  I am also one of the founds of the Canadian
23     Serbian Club of Toronto which sponsors our program.
24  90                   I was a school teacher in my youth
25     and I have worked as a mechanical technologicist with


 1     Ontario Hydro where I was employed for 36 years.  For
 2     the past 15 years I have enjoyed retirement.
 3  91                   Background to Radio Sumadija.  The
 4     Canadian Serbian Club of Toronto very early recognized
 5     the need for ethnocultural programming for the large
 6     Canadian-Serbian community in the Golden Horseshoe
 7     region.  We were fortunate to become part of CHIN
 8     Radio, thereby reaching the Serbian community in major
 9     centres where Serbs lived, Niagara Falls, St.
10     Catharines, Brantford, Hamilton, Kitchener, Oakville,
11     Mississauga, Toronto, Oshawa, Whitby and east to
12     Peterborough and west to London.  Thanks to CHIN's
13     access to the ANIK satellite Radio Sumadija also is
14     listened to in Sudbury and in Florida, Ohio, Michigan,
15     just to mention a few places.  Our listening audience
16     has been estimated in the range between 60,000 to
17     100,000.
18  92                   Our audience.  Since its very first
19     broadcast on May 24, 1970, almost 29 years ago, Radio
20     Sumadija has been a community based bilingual
21     Serbian-English language program.  In fact, it is still
22     the only bilingual program serving the Canadian-Serbian
23     community.  Approximately two-thirds of the program is
24     in Serbian and one-third in English, a successful blend
25     which acknowledges the different degrees of integration


 1     of the Serbian community into Canadian society with
 2     English serving as a bridge.
 3  93                   The rationale for having a bilingual
 4     program was, first, to reach the primary audience of
 5     persons who speak the Serbian language.
 6  94                   Second, to reach young Canadians of
 7     Serbian heritage who are more comfortable and fluent in
 8     English, but who remain connected to their Serbian
 9     heritage and who maintain an interest in the heritage
10     of their forefathers.
11  95                   Third, to reach some listeners who
12     are not of Serbian origin and, fourth, to reach
13     families and the old and the young.
14  96                   In fact, as a producer I have heard
15     from persons of many backgrounds who have tuned into
16     Radio Sumadija.  Among them are Italians, Poles, West
17     Indians, Slovines, Croats, Macedonians, Greeks and
18     mainstream Canadians.  They may tune in to the sound of
19     Serbian music or to learn about our culture and
20     community events.
21  97                   Since its inception in the spring of
22     1970, our one-hour program has been broadcast live and
23     not pre-taped.  Thus it brings the most
24     up-to-the-minute information to the community.  Radio
25     Sumadija is a labour of love.  All the speakers, and I


 1     as the producer, volunteer our time to ensure that our
 2     Serbian heritage is broadcast to the community.  Our
 3     team of speakers arrive from great distance through all
 4     kinds of weather.  All are university graduates and
 5     professionals who are dedicated to the retention of our
 6     Serbian culture and language within the mosaic of
 7     Canadian society.
 8  98                   Among the English speakers who have
 9     grown up listening to Radio Sumadija, our radio team of
10     volunteer speakers has been acknowledged with the
11     Ontario Voluntary Service Awards for periods of serving
12     from five years to 25 years plus.
13  99                   What kind of information do we
14     deliver during our broadcast?  Radio Sumadija
15     programming includes a wide variety; announcements of
16     community events in the entire region sponsored by our
17     churches or by community organizations, lectures,
18     exhibits, concerts, job announcements, humanitarian
19     activities.  We report the activities of our youth and
20     the student groups, folklore and cultural groups,
21     sports teams, choirs, women's groups, political groups. 
22     We offer news and commentaries on events happening
23     overseas.  We announce cross-cultural events of
24     interest, such as conferences, boards, sponsored by the
25     Greek and Armenian communities.  We offer reviews of


 1     the latest books published in Serbian or English about
 2     the Serbs, all of interest to them.
 3  100                  Newcomers are attracted to listening
 4     LINC and TOEFL classes.  Radio Sumadija has presented
 5     overviews of Serbian literature, history, religion and
 6     customs in both languages.  We bring news of Canadian
 7     government initiatives, such as changes in the
 8     Immigration and Citizenship Act.  We draw to the
 9     attention of our audience upcoming mainstream
10     television and radio programs which may be of interest
11     to them.
12  101                  We announce CHIN sponsored and other
13     general interest multicultural events; the CHIN picnic
14     or Christmas Around the World.
15  102                  On a more personal note, we broadcast
16     song dedications celebrating family events, as well as
17     obituaries.  We also announce events of ethnocultural
18     interest happening elsewhere in Canada, such as the
19     dedication of the new Serbian Community Centre in
20     Vancouver; the latest exhibit of the Serbian Heritage
21     Museum in Windsor, or the conference on Canadian unity
22     held in Vancouver, plus we have commercial ads which
23     advertise the services of our community business
24     people.  All these different features serve a wide
25     variety of listening audience.


 1  103                  I firmly believe that there is a
 2     concrete need for programming such as ours directed to
 3     an ethnocultural group because it offers both
 4     information and entertainment.  It harmonizes the
 5     various regions and activities of the community
 6     creating a network of interest and supports, and it
 7     reaches out with something for everyone.  It also
 8     assists newcomers bridge the gap between the homeland
 9     which they have left and their new home in Canada when
10     they hear the familiar and learn about the new.
11  104                  Being the multicultural country that
12     Canada is, may I use this comparison, a beautiful
13     Christmas cake in which every ethnic group contributes
14     its share to enhance the flavour of the cake.  The
15     dough which binds this Christmas cake is made of two
16     founding nations, French and English, together with the
17     original Canadian inhabitants, our native people.
18  105                  All ethnic groups contribute to the
19     embellishment of Canadian culture by their own cultural
20     contribution.  Just as the fruits and nuts are blended
21     together for the full flavour of the Canadian Christmas
22     cake, this imagine of the Christmas cake represents the
23     harmonization of many cultures which make up Canada.
24  106                  Multiculturalism is an inherent
25     characteristic of Canadian society, entrenched with the


 1     passage of the Multiculturalism Act and reflects 47 per
 2     cent of the total Canadian population.
 3  107                  The question which has been asked
 4     frequently is:  Does multiculturalism contribute to
 5     Canadian unity or to the Balkanization of the Canadian
 6     nation?  I am fully convinced that no ethnocultural
 7     group in Canada is working against Canadian unity. 
 8     This was proven during the recent Quebec referendum
 9     when the future of Canada was decided by the ethnic
10     vote.  So too Canadians of Serbian heritage contributed
11     to Canada's culture and development and Canadian unity.
12  108                  Our future programming.  The Serbian
13     radio program strongly believes that it is in the
14     public interest to have a station such as CHIN which
15     enhances and contributes to the Canadian mosaic and the
16     quality of our Canadian society.  Over almost three
17     decades of broadcasting our program it has become
18     almost a Canadian institution which has kept up with
19     the times by offering something of interest to all age
20     groups.
21  109                  The immense population growth in the
22     Serbian community over the past decade in particular,
23     ensures the continuing need for such programming for
24     the ethnocultural group.
25  110                  Regular financial support from our


 1     community ensures the continuation of our broadcasts. 
 2     However, within the domain of the federal government
 3     multicultural legislation and Canadian heritage
 4     founding programs, it would be helpful if the federal
 5     government made more funding available to stations such
 6     as CHIN to ensure the continuity of ethnocultural
 7     broadcasting.  This financial support could then be
 8     passed down to the individual programs which currently
 9     pay sizeable hourly fees, $600 per hour.
10  111                  At the same time, ethnocultural
11     communities in smaller cities would welcome access to
12     ethnocultural broadcasting in their language.  Thus, we
13     believe, it would be advantageous to expand CHIN
14     broadcast territory to reach London, Windsor and other
15     cities.
16  112                  Conclusion.  Thanks to its long
17     affiliation with CHIN Radio, Radio Sumadija has earned
18     its place as a Serbian/Canadian institution.  God
19     willing we hope to continue to broadcast our program
20     for many, many years.
21  113                  I thank you for this opportunity to
22     make this presentation on behalf of the Serbian radio
23     program Sumadija.  Thank you.
24  114                  THE CHAIRPERSON:  We thank you, Mr.
25     Dragasevich.  You obviously have a long experience in


 1     this area.
 2  115                  MR. DRAGASEVICH:  Twenty-nine years. 
 3     I am also the editor of the newspaper and I am also a
 4     member of the Canadian Ethnocultural Council, CEC,
 5     which held meetings a couple of days ago, last Saturday
 6     and Sunday, right in Toronto.
 7  116                  THE CHAIRPERSON:  We appreciate your
 8     passion.
 9  117                  MR. DRAGASEVICH:  Thank you.
10  118                  THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you.
11  119                  Madam Secretary.
12  120                  MS RHÉAUME:  The next speaker is Mr.
13     Bill Fatsis, Vice-President of Odyssey Television
14     Network.
15  121                  MR. FATSIS:  Thank you.
17  122                  MR. FATSIS:  Commissioners,
18     Commission staff and members of the public, I am
19     pleased to appear before you today.
20  123                  My name is Bill Fatsis and I am the
21     Vice-President of Odyssey Television, a digital Greek
22     language program undertaking licensed by the Commission
23     in September, 1996.  To my left is Odyssey's
24     Vice-President for Corporate Affairs and Legal Matters,
25     Mr. Jack Prattas.


 1  124                  Although Odyssey will be part in a
 2     written submission to the Commission later on this
 3     month, we appreciate the opportunity to participate in
 4     these consultation hearings today in the Commission's
 5     review of ethnic broadcasting.
 6  125                  We believe the current framework has
 7     been critical to the development of distinctive
 8     Canadian ethnic services.  While at this time we have a
 9     few suggestions aimed at refining this policy, we are
10     here today primarily to gain the perspective of viewers
11     and listeners.
12  126                  Before we do that, we are proud to
13     report that Odyssey launched in December, 1998.  The
14     service is currently available via the direct-to-home
15     undertaking, StarChoice, and in some areas of the Shaw
16     Cable system, primarily in Ontario.
17  127                  The past two and a half years have
18     been agonizingly difficult for Odyssey due to its
19     frustration to find any distribution space among
20     Canada's main cable and DTH distribution undertakings. 
21     It is an area to which the Commission must focus as it
22     reviews ethnic broadcasting.  We wish, however, to
23     express in a public way our appreciation and thanks
24     primarily to StarChoice and Shaw Cable for literally
25     saving Odyssey from being totally devoured by "grey and


 1     black market" Greek TV distributed to Canada via
 2     American DTH undertakings.
 3  128                  With the introduction of digital
 4     technology, which gave birth to the much awaited
 5     opportunity for third-language communities to be served
 6     fully and completely with their own TV channels, we
 7     believe ethnic services should be provided the same
 8     access to distribution systems as other specialty
 9     services in the general community.
10  129                  "Grey and black market" products are
11     a very serious threat to the very existence of
12     third-language program undertakings.  These products
13     are allowed freely to advertise in the Canadian ethnic
14     markets, including in Canada's mainstream CRTC
15     licensees which are allowed to carry ethnic
16     programming.
17  130                  The CRTC's present policy, in our
18     opinion, is almost totally inadequate to deal with this
19     serious problem facing all specialty programmers and
20     most specifically the more vulnerable ethnic
21     programming undertakings.  In recent weeks and months,
22     these grey-market products seek other avenues through
23     Canada's distribution undertakings which plan to
24     sponsor them on the eligible satellite list.
25  131                  We strongly support, therefore, the


 1     Commission's current approach which refuses to add a
 2     foreign service to the list of eligible satellite
 3     services which would be competitive with any Canadian
 4     specialty service.  This continued protection is
 5     crucial to the viability of Canadian ethnic
 6     programming.
 7  132                  Furthermore, Canada's cultural
 8     minority communities must be afforded more time to
 9     apply for their own specialty service before a foreign
10     service is allowed to be added on the list.  Also,
11     preference must be given for such foreign service
12     through regulatory framework to seek partnership with
13     existing Canadian programming licensees for that
14     specific language program.
15  133                  We do not view the development of a
16     national conventional ethnic network as being in the
17     best interest of ethnic viewers or the Canadian
18     broadcasting system.  Their existence, even on a
19     regional basis, was based on the CRTC's past inability
20     to license a single language ethnic service due to
21     scarcity of broadcast frequencies afforded by analog
22     technologies.
23  134                  We believe that with the transition
24     to digital the opportunity should be provided to each
25     ethnic community to develop a service which best suits


 1     its needs.  The creation of a national network reflects
 2     an approach to ethnic broadcasting whose day has long
 3     since passed.
 4  135                  Like all Canadians, ethnic viewers
 5     want to access a variety of programming in their
 6     language of choice, available at times to suit their
 7     schedule.  This variety may be best served with full
 8     single-language Canadian services and not by a national
 9     multiethnic network, the economics of which on a
10     regional basis have proven to be either a failure -- or
11     for most languages needing subsidization by mainstream
12     programming -- or to be very unstable.
13  136                  Finally, we believe the current
14     policy framework has been critical in the development o
15     Canadian ethnic services and that it continues to be a
16     valuable and important component of our broadcasting
17     system.
18  137                  Accordingly, it is our view that the
19     focus of this review should be on refining the existing
20     policy in order to ensure it continues to serve
21     Canadians and the Canadian broadcasting system.
22  138                  We look forward to listening to the
23     remaining submissions over the next two days and would
24     be pleased to answer any questions the Commission may
25     have.


 1  139                  Thank you.
 2  140                  COMMISSIONER LANGFORD:  I have a
 3     question, sir, if I might.  I am very interested in
 4     your views on the national conventional ethnic network,
 5     its time has gone and I think I listened to you closely
 6     and I think I made careful notes, but there will be a
 7     transcript.
 8  141                  I wonder what solutions you would
 9     have for some of the smaller, though, broadcasters who
10     are struggling and of course could rely on something
11     like a national ethnic approach, obviously, to come in
12     on the coattails of their stronger brothers in
13     broadcasting or whatever, what advice would you have --
14  142                  THE CHAIRPERSON:  Or sisters.
15  143                  COMMISSIONER LANGFORD:  Brothers and
16     sisters, of course.
17  144                  MR. FATSIS:  Yes, indeed.
18  145                  COMMISSIONER LANGFORD:  What advice
19     would you have in that area?
20  146                  MR. FATSIS:  Yes, Commissioner
21     Langford.  Many times we have dealt with this question
22     among the other ethnic specialty services and, indeed,
23     it's a very interesting question.
24  147                  We believe that the measure as it is
25     now and as it should be is the market forces that


 1     should advocate whether a digital ethnic service should
 2     survive or a conventional on their broadcasting system. 
 3     Therefore, for the smaller communities that their
 4     market cannot support them, we think that a joint
 5     application between two or three languages might be the
 6     solution, something that has proven to be effective,
 7     especially in the first years by Telelatino with the
 8     split language carriage that they have between Italian
 9     and Spanish-speaking programs.
10  148                  Of course, in the station experience
11     it is a lot easier because the common language is that
12     of English, so you know, many cultures, many minority
13     groups can be adequately served without licence, but we
14     believe that a joint application might be the solution
15     in the future for the smaller communities.
16  149                  COMMISSIONER LANGFORD:  Thanks very
17     much.
18  150                  MR. FATSIS:  Thank you.
19  151                  THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you very
20     much, Mr. Fatsis.
21  152                  Madam Secretary, if you would call
22     the next party.
23  153                  MS RHÉAUME:  The next speaker is Mr.
24     Raghbir Samagh.


 1  154                  MR. SAMAGH:  Commissioners, ladies
 2     and gentlemen, thank you very much for allowing me to
 3     appear before the Commission on a matter that concerns
 4     the ethnocultural community of Canada.  The issues
 5     before the Commission are crucial to the broadcast
 6     industry, the ethnocultural communities and the country
 7     as a whole.
 8  155                  My name is Raghbir Singh Samagh.  I
 9     migrated to Canada in 1965 as the vice-principal of a
10     high school.  I have seen the community develop,
11     especially the south Asian, for the last 34 years.
12  156                  I am the producer of Gurbani TV
13     program on Vision TV since 1990, the only Sikh
14     religious program which is run on a non-commercial,
15     non-profitable and non-political basis.
16  157                  I am a volunteer member of the board
17     of directors of South Asian Family Support Services and
18     Elspeth Heyworth Centre for Women since 1989.  We deal
19     with senior citizens, family conflict, battered women
20     and the generation gap.
21  158                  I am here to deal with only three
22     specific issues which have come to my notice through
23     our clients.  One is the adequacy of the broadcast
24     industry to serve the ethnocultural community.  The
25     second question is the effect of demographic changes


 1     and how to cope with this change and serve the
 2     ever-changing Canadian community.  The third is the
 3     development of the Canadian ethnocultural talent versus
 4     the foreign services to serve the ethnocultural
 5     communities.
 6  159                  The adequacy of the program and the
 7     industry is a debatable point.  IN 1973 when the first
 8     Asian program came on CITY-TV for half an hour, the
 9     Asian community elevated it to itself.  The program was
10     initiated by Mr. Shan Chandrasekar.
11  160                  One thing is definitely sure, that
12     TV, radio and the print media is the one that helps
13     immigrants to be good Canadians as well as good
14     Indians, Polish, Greeks, Punjabis, Muslims, Hindus and
15     so on and that is what the Canadian multicultural
16     policy advocates.
17  161                  We in Canada can be good Canadians as
18     well as good Sikhs, and this is a privilege which is
19     available only in Canada.  I don't think that there is
20     any other wonderful policy in the world.
21  162                  The South Asian community especially
22     is very grateful to the Commission when the Commission
23     realized the need of the service to the South Asian
24     community and granted a broadcasting licence to the
25     Asian Television Network in 1996.  The whole community


 1     was most happy to get the service and did not even
 2     think about paying $14.95 price per month as a premium.
 3  163                  But their gratitude changed to
 4     frustration when they could not get the service due to
 5     the following reasons, and these reasons have come from
 6     other community groups and all those.
 7  164                  One, the extra change the cable
 8     companies demand for the box rentals, which makes that
 9     $14.95 to $30 per month approximately.
10  165                  Then, on top when a customer asks for
11     the Asian channel he has to buy a basic service.  It
12     may cost $5.  It may cost $7.  It may cost $10
13     depending upon the cable company.
14  166                  Those people who are living in
15     multiple units, apartment buildings, are at the mercy
16     of the landlords, are at the mercy of the owners
17     because the access is not there for them on the basis
18     either due to the contract with the cable company or
19     the refusal by the landlord to put the antenna dish at
20     the appropriate point in the apartment or the building.
21  167                  Then, especially for senior citizens
22     who are the most lonely group especially in the
23     community, financial restrictions lie there for those
24     who are living independently and those who are living
25     dependently they have to go to their sponsoring


 1     children.
 2  168                  But we have found out that the
 3     satisfaction of the service is the most where the local
 4     cable companies have provided the Asian channel on the
 5     basic cable package.
 6  169                  Regarding the effects of the
 7     demographic changes and how to cope with them, you
 8     don't need to be a genius to see the changing patterns
 9     of population.  You walk on Yonge Street or you go to a
10     shopping mall and you see real Canada.  There are 160
11     countries that are being represented in the Greater
12     Toronto Area.  There are 100 languages which are being
13     spoken in the Greater Toronto Area.
14  170                  Twenty years back, 25 or 20 years
15     back, nobody could ever imagine that a turbaned Sikh
16     will be a Member of Parliament.  Nobody could think
17     than a South Asian origin person would be the Revenue
18     Minister of Canada.  Nobody could even dream that
19     Punjabi will be the second most spoken language in the
20     Peel Region, French in Halton, Chinese in Toronto,
21     Italian in York and French in Durham.
22  171                  The ethnocultural community is a part
23     and parcel of Canadian culture.  This is a reality. 
24     They are proud of the TV/radio programs they own,
25     whether it is Italian, whether it is Greek or South


 1     Asian.
 2  172                  South Asians are proud of ATN.  It is
 3     a window through which they and their children relate
 4     to their cultural heritage, customs and traditions. 
 5     The elders connect themselves to the land of their
 6     origin through news, documentaries and other features
 7     of the programs provided by the channel.
 8  173                  ATN is proud of the service it offers
 9     to the community and the community is grateful to ATN
10     for the service it provides in terms of PSA's covering
11     of the community functions and then broadcasting them
12     without any financial burden to the community
13     organizations.
14  174                  The South Asian community is very
15     much sure that the local production of ATN will
16     increase, thus providing the opportunity to the younger
17     generation to be part and parcel of the ethnocultural
18     broadcasting industry.  Canada is a land of
19     opportunity, irrespective of cast, creed, origin, race
20     or religion.
21  175                  The third point which I would like to
22     bring to the notice of the Commission is the
23     development of the local ethnic talent and the foreign
24     programming being brought or to be brought.  I am
25     speaking of this from my own experience.


 1  176                  About 25 years back there was a
 2     Canada Day and the organizers were scrambling to find
 3     some Asian group to dance.  There was UNO day and there
 4     was a group in Toronto in Nathan Phillips Square and it
 5     was 1970 and they are looking for groups, dancers,
 6     singers and the different type of costumes so that they
 7     could represent the United Nations, but it is not -- it
 8     is different now.  It is different because every
 9     ethnocultural community has developed into such a group
10     that there is a talent of singers, there is a talent of
11     artists, there is a talent of performers and those are
12     at this moment scrambling to expose themselves to take
13     part into the cultural programmings of the
14     ethno-cultural broadcasters.
15  177                  They need a chance and if any
16     broadcaster on television is given the encouragement to
17     bring the talent, bring the talent from outside, the
18     programming from outside, where will these people go?
19  178                  The community as a whole demands and
20     the broadcaster as an industry has a responsibility to
21     bring those people in.  For example, for the South
22     Asian community it is time to produce a Hindi movie, a
23     Punjabi movie, a Punjabi drama, a Hindi drama produced
24     in Canada, not brought in from India and not brought
25     from anywhere else.


 1  179                  With this it will not only be harmful
 2     to the community, but it will be harmful to the
 3     broadcaster because it will be a rope around the neck.
 4  180                  So, therefore, depending upon taking
 5     all these things into consideration, the ethnocultural
 6     talent, the ethnic culture drama, movies and art at
 7     this moment requires the same protection, requires the
 8     same chance to develop and grow as the English and the
 9     French has done so far.  It will be a boon to those
10     people, I am talking about the Asian community -- the
11     South Asian community, which comprises of basically
12     people from India, Bangladesh, Sir Lanka, Pakistan and
13     all these people.
14  181                  Those languages which are coming from
15     Pakistan they have to be developed because no matter
16     from where we come, whether we come from Pakistan or
17     from India or Ukraine or all that, we still want to
18     keep the link.  We still want to keep the language.  We
19     still want to keep the traditions, but we want to be
20     good Canadians.
21  182                  Thank you very much.
22  183                  THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you very
23     much, Mr. Samagh.
24  184                  MS RHÉAUME:  The next presenter is
25     Mr. Subramanian from the Bharathi Kala Manram.


 2  185                  MR. SUBRAMANIAN:  Good afternoon,
 3     respected panellists of the CRTC, distinguished guests,
 4     ladies and gentlemen.
 5  186                  It is a privilege to have been asked
 6     to address the CRTC panellists this day on a subject
 7     that is so vital to the well-being of some the half a
 8     million or more members of ethnocultural groups who
 9     have settled down in Canada over the past three
10     decades.  I am talking about the Asian groups.  We
11     mention that while the majority of these have migrated
12     from the Asian continent, there are also people from
13     South Africa, Guyana, Sri Lanka, Trinidad, et cetera,
14     so they are coming from all different parts of the
15     globe.
16  187                  I will introduce myself.  My name is
17     Narain Ram Subramanian.  Most commonly people know me
18     as Ramamani and it is the family name.  Me and my wife
19     Lakshmy Subramanian, my son Raja and his wife Janaki re
20     all proud Canadian citizens.  We are in Canada for more
21     than 23 years now.  We migrated from India.
22  188                  I worked 20-plus years for the
23     Ontario government and, among other things, was myself
24     involved in public hearings all over Ontario on issues
25     relating to occupational health and safety.  My wife,


 1     son and daughter-in-law are all part of the Canadian
 2     workforce, paying their due share of taxes, et cetera.
 3  189                  For almost 15 years now, in addition
 4     to my regular office work, I have been involved very
 5     actively with community work, charity and fundraising
 6     activities such as the United Way, cancer research and
 7     so many others, and also social work in terms of
 8     religious/cultural affiliations.
 9  190                  I have been an office bearer of
10     Bharathi Kala Manram, a registered not for profit
11     cultural organization since 1985.  For the past four
12     years I am the President of this prestigious
13     organization.  Bharathi Kala Manram, which was
14     established in 1969, so we are in the 30th year, is one
15     of the premier cultural organizations serving a number
16     of communities in terms of its activities to promote
17     and present performing arts in both classical music and
18     classical dance originating essential from India.
19  191                  On an average, 20 high-profile events
20     are put on stage and the annual attendance is around
21     20,000 people.  Manram works closely with all three
22     levels of government in Canada and has received
23     Grants-in-Aid from all of them.  We have a regular
24     operating fund coming from Metropolitan Toronto, now
25     the City of Toronto.  In addition, Manram collaborates


 1     with other cultural organizations, including the
 2     Harbourfront Centre which is a separately supported
 3     system, in promoting harmony among peoples through arts
 4     and culture.
 5  192                  Another hat that I wear is I am the
 6     Secretary for the past three years of the Hindu Temple
 7     Society of Canada in Richmond Hill, Ontario.  I have
 8     been a director on this temple's board for the past
 9     nine years.  The Hindu Temple Society of Canada, also
10     known as Ganesa Temple, is one of the largest highly
11     traditional Hindu temples in the North American
12     continent and it has a membership list of over 15,000
13     people of all faiths, the majority being Hindus.  I say
14     this, other faiths, because there are so many other
15     faith groups which come and worship in our place
16     because they like the worships or the way we do things.
17  193                  Among other duties, I am actively
18     involved in taking groups of students of all ages,
19     seniors and other people from all faiths on a tour of
20     the temple and explain aspects of Hinduism and the
21     services we offer at the temple.  I make mention of
22     this because I want to establish how I have a contact
23     with so many other different communities and a large
24     number of people.
25  194                  In terms of my association with


 1     Bharathi Kala Manram and the Hindu Temple, I
 2     practically come in contact over the years with over
 3     100,000 people, mostly belonging to the ethnocultural
 4     denomination and know their social/cultural bends.
 5  195                  Having stated my social/cultural
 6     background, I now turn to the aspects of this hearing. 
 7     I would like to make the following submissions.  I am
 8     essentially making three points which I thought were
 9     the crucial points that were enunciated by this body.
10  196                  The service rendered to the
11     ethnocultural communities or the third-language groups,
12     or the same, by the existing broadcasting system is
13     deficient and needs to be revamped.  The reasons for
14     this simple statement are this:
15  197                  Lots of changes have taken place
16     demographically over the past few years; more and more
17     immigrants from the Asian continent and Sri Lanka have
18     come in.  The number of seniors has grown steeply and
19     many of them have no knowledge of English or French. 
20     The population of ethnocultural communities is widely
21     spread out in Canada.
22  198                  Now, one media report was that we
23     have 47 per cent of visible minorities in Toronto. 
24     That talks for the ratios that are now being
25     established.


 1  199                  The needs of this large group in
 2     terms of radio and TV programs and coverage is great
 3     and varied.  Many of them have no access -- I read the
 4     words, no access to these facilities because of two
 5     factors:  one, the high cost of the cable service
 6     system.  This high cost has been explained by the
 7     speaker who was here before.  He explained the cost
 8     factors involved in the cable system.  And, two, the
 9     high cost of dishes in addition to the impossibility of
10     setting up dishes in residences other than
11     privately-owned homes.  I mean this factor has been
12     established by the previous speaker.
13  200                  Almost 90 per cent of the
14     ethnocultural people live in apartments, so that adds
15     to the number of people who have no access or very
16     little access to the cable system or the programs for
17     which they look.
18  201                  Cable system operators have no
19     sympathy toward these groups because they seem to be
20     happy working with the mainstream population, which
21     perhaps is economical enough.
22  202                  Now, I want to state -- bring forward
23     one or two examples here.  Being part of the group,
24     Bharathi Kala Manram, where we put in a minimum of 20
25     events a year, some of them highly profile ones, that


 1     whenever we have a big program and we invite either the
 2     CBC or the CTV or any other major TV groups, the first
 3     question is:  Is the minister coming?  Then we say we
 4     don't have a minister coming, then they don't respond
 5     to our request any more.  So that has become a
 6     political issue, whether a minister comes then you get
 7     a service.  If the minister doesn't come, you have no
 8     service.  So, that is the deplorable situation that we
 9     are in.
10  203                  Now, item three, around 1996 this
11     body, the CRTC, granted an exclusive channel for
12     multicultural broadcasting to the Asian Television
13     Network and we were all very happy for this because we
14     thought that was going to serve us in a big way.  Of
15     course, over the past three years ATN or Asian
16     Television Network has made grade strides to serve the
17     diverse multicultural communities all over Canada,
18     especially in Toronto.  They are still developing, as
19     far as I know.  However, its efforts to serve the vast
20     majority of ethnocultural people have been thwarted by
21     reasons that I have indicated in item two above, that
22     the TV channels won't work with them in a way that will
23     benefit the communities that ATN is serving.  Thus, you
24     pay for the basic cable and then you pay for the
25     third-language broadcasting and then you pay again for


 1     the special converter.  So these are all the added up
 2     costs which many people and, as I say, especially the
 3     seniors and the people in the low-income groups cannot
 4     afford.  So that is where I was telling that they are
 5     the first to do something to the benefit of the
 6     community they serve have been thwarted by this sort of
 7     systems which are there.
 8  204                  I don't want to say anything else
 9     about that particular system because it is very clear
10     what I am trying to say.
11  205                  In order for ATN to grow to its full
12     capacity and potential, the CRTC and other government
13     agencies have to work hard to remove the obstacles that
14     exist currently.  Also, the CRTC should hold on to the
15     current moratorium in terms of not importing foreign
16     services because such imported services may only do lip
17     service because it is my belief that they cannot serve
18     because they are not part of this ground.  They are not
19     part of the Canadian mosaic.  They are from the States
20     or from anywhere else.  All their service is limited in
21     a way that it is a money-making situation.  So, that is
22     why they cannot serve the needs of the population that
23     is here.
24  206                  Such services will definitely impair
25     the development and projection of Canadian-made


 1     programs that are so important to our multicultural
 2     mosaic.
 3  207                  Now, we all know and it has been
 4     openly declared that Canada is a multicultural society,
 5     or it has a big image all over the world as being a
 6     mini-world, that is that all the population groups and
 7     if there was a catastrophe and the whole world died and
 8     Canada remained, I mean you still have all the species
 9     here and that is how I project my point of view.  So,
10     this is a place where all the cultural groups, the
11     language groups, all people are assembled in this one
12     country, I mean Canada.  Every other country cannot be
13     said in the same bracket.  You take England, you take
14     any other country and although there may be some other
15     communities, but there are restrictions, there is no
16     freedom as we have here.
17  208                  So, it is necessary that the growth
18     of local TV programs and other coverages be
19     strengthened, they be given the necessary incentives to
20     grow.  It will be in the interests of Canada because we
21     always say that we need the Canadian content.
22  209                  Going back to my own organization, we
23     are developing so many young students in classical
24     music and dance areas and we are in a position to make
25     our own concerts and dance groups and other cultural


 1     public performances or performing arts, but we don't
 2     have the needed support system to cover those programs.
 3  210                  Actually, I am on the advisory board
 4     of the A Space Gallery and they are doing a biennial
 5     2000 in the year 2000, that is next year, and that is
 6     going to serve all of Ontario and all the programs will
 7     be conducted by local groups.  There are no imported
 8     programs.  In that particular situation my advice to
 9     this committee was never mind what you do.  You are to
10     arrange for people to do their performances and all
11     that and the communities will work, but what kind of
12     coverage you have for these.  If it is an Indian
13     program, how does the Italian community know about
14     that?  We don't have the system in place to cover all
15     those things, like TV coverage or any other coverage
16     and that is what we need today.
17  211                  The third-language group or the
18     ethnocultural people, they need more services in terms
19     of serving their needs and in that reference I also say
20     that the Asian Television Network has been a yeoman's
21     service to the communities that are involved in this
22     and their growth potential should be looked at first
23     before any other schemes are put in to bring in other
24     programs.
25  212                  When I was talking about


 1     third-language group I was also including other groups
 2     like the Italians, the Chinese and others who have been
 3     included and we have talked about previously.
 4  213                  I think that brings my presentation
 5     to a close.  I will close my presentation now and I
 6     thank you for your attention.  Thank you.
 7  214                  I am available for any questions.
 8  215                  THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you very
 9     much, Mr. Subramanian.
10  216                  MR. SUBRAMANIAN:  Thank you.
11  217                  MS RHÉAUME:  The next speaker is Mr.
12     Eugene Duvalko, Executive Director of the Canadian
13     Ukrainian Immigrant Aid Society.
15  218                  MR. DUVALKO:  Thank you.
16  219                  Good evening.  I would like to thank
17     the Commissioners and their staff for allowing us the
18     opportunity of presenting our comments on the current
19     state of ethnic radio, television programming and the
20     CRTC policies.
21  220                  As mentioned, my name is Eugene
22     Duvalko.  I am the Executive Director of the Canadian
23     Ukrainian Immigrant Aid Society, but also this evening,
24     and I guess it's evening already or well on its way, I
25     would like to present my views based on my experience


 1     as a co-host of Radio Minietest (ph) radio show in the
 2     mid-1980s.
 3  221                  The Canadian Ukrainian Immigrant
 4     Society is a non-profit community based organization
 5     founded in 1974 and incorporated in 1977.  It is
 6     supported by the well-established Ukrainian Canadian
 7     community in Toronto and we have fairly good links and
 8     a close relationship with other Ukrainian communities
 9     across Canada.  We are run by an elected board of
10     directors and I am responsible for the management of
11     the day-to-day business.
12  222                  What we do.  We decided or we have
13     chosen as a mission to provide the best possible
14     settlement services for newcomers to Canada, including
15     pre-arrival information and a comprehensive range of
16     essential services and to guide clients towards
17     successful long-term integration into Canada.  We work
18     with family reunification, family and refugee
19     sponsorship.
20  223                  We have also made it a point of our
21     mission to create a link between the Ukrainian-Canadian
22     organizations and mainstream agencies that exist that
23     are sensitive to newcomer needs and to build these
24     links into a partnership between newcomers and their
25     hosts.


 1  224                  We are also willing to work with
 2     other service providers and governments to ensure that
 3     the acceptance and settlement of newcomers is fair,
 4     equitable and reflective of Canada's and the clients'
 5     needs.
 6  225                  Although CUIAS was initially
 7     established to serve the Ukrainian-speaking immigrants,
 8     we have over time had the opportunity to provide
 9     service for many immigrants from eastern Europe,
10     Byelorussia, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia,
11     Poland, Bosnia, Croatia, Yugoslavia, the Balkans and
12     central Europe.  We have several English classes on two
13     sites and we deal with an increasingly multi-ethnic
14     client group.
15  226                  The reason why I mention these
16     criteria is to pass on to you that we are dealing or we
17     have dealt with as our clients people who are consumers
18     of the ethnic medium, radio and television.  In
19     carrying out our mandate we also are consumers of the
20     ethnic radio and television medium.
21  227                  Our agency is heavily involved with
22     the ethnic community.  This community is responsible
23     for our creation as an agency and is responsible for
24     the agency's capacity and ability to help newcomers
25     arrive to Canada.  As an agency we have used the ethnic


 1     media for advertising, promoting, informing and also to
 2     reaching out to clients and supporters.  I believe a
 3     great measure of our fundraising campaigns are
 4     successful based on the fact that there is an ethnic
 5     media available for us to reach clients to get our
 6     message across.
 7  228                  We deal with some 1,500 newcomers per
 8     year that take advantage of our client services.  Now,
 9     if we sum that over the last 20 years there is a
10     significant number of potential consumers of ethnic
11     medium and, in fact, these immigrants and also the many
12     thousands of visitors that visit Canada from the
13     Ukraine every year rely on ethnic programming for much
14     of their information initially.  They rely on this
15     information to find out what social events, cultural
16     events, some local news, international news and
17     all-Canadian news.
18  229                  As an agency, we have come to rely on
19     ethnic medium to outreach to our potential clients. 
20     This is one of our strategic vehicles of reaching
21     precisely the people that we feel we can best help. 
22     Other than having somebody on sort of a greeting stand
23     at the airport, it is very hard to reach and help these
24     people who are trying to make a new life in Canada and
25     are very grateful that there is an agency such as


 1     ourselves.  So, it is the link that we have with our
 2     clients.
 3  230                  We have also noticed that the ethnic
 4     medium, the radio and television and print, although we
 5     are not talking about print this afternoon, is a
 6     vital --
 7  231                  THE CHAIRPERSON:  We don't regulate
 8     that.
 9  232                  MR. DUVALKO:  Pardon?
10  233                  THE CHAIRPERSON:  We don't regulate
11     that.
12  234                  MR. DUVALKO:  So we will stick to the
13     radio and television parts of the ethnic medium -- is a
14     vital component of ethnic economies.  These are sort of
15     the unique goods and services available within a
16     particular ethnic group that exist in parallel to a
17     mainstream economy, particular foods, particular
18     services that are ethno specific rely on the ethnic
19     media as a vehicle of communication for spreading the
20     word of assisting in the exchange of those goods and
21     services.
22  235                  I am not sure if any previous speaker
23     has addressed that, but I think media has an important
24     role in trying to be the medium of this economy.
25  236                  Ethnic media also provides for better


 1     targeting of market segments.  For example, our
 2     agencies when we want to reach the older community, the
 3     more established communities for support, we approach
 4     one Ukrainian radio program.  If we want to outreach to
 5     clients who are newcomers to Canada, we will approach a
 6     different -- a recent radio show and I think with our
 7     improved technology market segmentation is not a
 8     negative aspect.  It's a positive aspect that you can
 9     actually get to more precise -- you can get to your
10     target audience a lot more effectively.
11  237                  The Ukrainian community is very
12     diverse in its interest, so a one size fits all
13     approach to programming will not apply -- does not
14     apply well to the Ukrainian community.  Having a
15     flexible or a varied access to the medium has
16     encouraged the development of several new programs in
17     Ukrainian broadcasting that is interesting, innovative
18     and diverse.
19  238                  We have noticed that our clients not
20     only watch or listen to the Ukrainian programs in
21     Toronto, but there is a spillover and an interest and
22     they follow what appears on the Polish, the Russian
23     shows.  So there is an overlap between viewership and I
24     think that strengthens the multicultural aspect.
25  239                  As an agency that encourages


 1     settlement in Canada and integration in Canada we are
 2     very much in favour of locally produced programming and
 3     feel that this should be a requirement in any
 4     broadcasting licence.
 5  240                  Often I see this programming is of
 6     better quality.  It is done in a manner that is
 7     consistent with the Canadian way of storytelling, uses
 8     main corporates or has a higher chance of incorporating
 9     the Canadian method of journalism and is also
10     reflective of our Canadian-based community.
11  241                  But, however, I would find that there
12     is also a place for news programs from overseas from
13     the home country.  Mainstream programming does not
14     provide enough news about the parts of the world that
15     certain Canadians have a particular interest and
16     connection.  So, if we can sort of the Cancon sort of
17     split between local produced and foreign produced
18     content, we feel that the weighting should be heavily
19     placed on Canadian content, but not to the elimination
20     of overseas content.
21  242                  On a policy level or more sort of a
22     philosophical level, I think that the CRTC must bolster
23     the aims and objectives of Canada's Multicultural Act
24     in its implementation of the ethnic media policy.  The
25     Act gives us clear instructions to institutions such as


 1     the CRTC to foster and encourage development of a
 2     multicultural rich fabric of Canadian society.
 3  243                  I want to conclude my brief notes to
 4     the Commission, that it is the position of the Canadian
 5     Ukrainian Immigrant Aid Society is that we want to see
 6     the retention of programming in a primary language
 7     services and maintain it as a requirement for an ethnic
 8     broadcasting licence.
 9  244                  We are intrigued by the concept of
10     cross-cultural programming, but that should occur in
11     addition to services in a primary language.
12  245                  That sums up our brief submission.  I
13     thank you for your time and attention.
14  246                  THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you very
15     much, Mr. Duvalko.
16  247                  Commissioner Langford has a question
17     for you.
18  248                  COMMISSIONER LANGFORD:  I was
19     interested, sir, in your comments near the end about
20     the difficulty of any policy which might exclude
21     foreign content because you are having difficulty
22     filling with locally-produced content.  Do you have any
23     more guides?  We have heard other views about that from
24     other speakers, some differing from your own.  Could
25     you flesh that out a little more?  Do you have any


 1     sense of any kind of a split?  Have you given it that
 2     kind of thought in your mind?  Are we looking at 60/40,
 3     80/20.  I don't want to pin you down, but how much
 4     thought have you given to that?
 5  249                  MR. DUVALKO:  My experience with
 6     watching or consuming the ethnic -- the third-language
 7     programming, Ukrainian third language programming that
 8     you see in Toronto, that programming is limited because
 9     there are only several hours per week of programming. 
10     So, just by doing local news and the local interest
11     stories you have used up your whole hour of air time.
12  250                  There isn't really room for what I
13     have seen in other programs showing films, whole movies
14     and so I guess we are biased more to what we can cram
15     in one hour of programming and my response would be
16     roughly two-thirds, one-third split in favour of local
17     programming and sort of cap it at one-third foreign
18     because the nature of our shows aren't vehicles for
19     longer cultural I guess films, foreign-made movies or
20     just downloading of foreign material.
21  251                  COMMISSIONER LANGFORD:  Sir, is the
22     real problem then you just need more time, I mean above
23     and beyond all things you just need access to more
24     time.  Is that it?
25  252                  MR. DUVALKO:  More is better, or more


 1     is preferred, but of course with economic
 2     considerations you can't.
 3  253                  COMMISSIONER LANGFORD:  Thank you.
 4  254                  MR. DUVALKO:  Thank you very much.
 5  255                  MS RHÉAUME:  Our next speaker is
 6     Major Abbas of the Muslim Welfare Centre.
 8  256                  MR. ABBAS:  To start with, I would
 9     like to say a few words in Arabic.
10     --- Arabic spoken
11  257                  MR. ABBAS:  That means that I start
12     in the name of Allah, God.
13  258                  My name is Mohammed Abbas, but
14     somehow I joined the army and that was during the
15     Second World War in 1943.  I was commissioned as an
16     officer.  So they started calling me Captain Abbas,
17     Lieutenant Abbas and now I am known as Major Abbas
18     because I retired from the Pakistan Army in 1970 and
19     since then I have been drawing a pension from the
20     government and sometimes I feel that I should give it
21     up, but I don't know what is going to happen in the
22     future.  I have to think of that also.
23  259                  So I have -- I mean since long I
24     adopted a motto that a service to humanity is a service
25     to Allah, that is a service to God.  I don't think you


 1     all know, I have been walking around the globe and so
 2     far I have walked over 10,000 kilometres, particularly
 3     through the poor areas, the poor countries and slum
 4     areas, to see how humanity is faring, I mean less
 5     fortunate ones, how they are passing their time.
 6  260                  We are the fortunate ones.  We are in
 7     Canada.  We have enough to lead a luxurious life, but
 8     at the same time we have enough to spare some for the
 9     less fortunate ones.  So I have been roaming about.  I
10     have been touring the world and by the grace of God I
11     was declared the first person in the modern world to
12     walk 2,500 kilometres alone across the Arabian Desert. 
13     I have that honour, but that honour has been bestowed
14     upon me by Allah because what I do I do for humanity
15     and my motto being service to humanity is service to
16     God, so whatever I do to help humanity it goes to him.
17  261                  Now to come down, I was walking and I
18     was on my way to China.  I came here to Toronto, Canada
19     by walking and hitchhiking.  I left Beshara, which is
20     the northern part of Pakistan and en route I was
21     helping the charitable organizations such as UNICEF.  I
22     was a charity walker for them.  I used to walk for
23     children.  I used to walk for the needy and I used to
24     walk for everybody who needed my help and I did it.
25  262                  When I came to Toronto I went


 1     straight to the Arthritis Society because I am a
 2     chronic patient of arthritis.  My hip it affected and
 3     both of my knees are affected.  I was in bed with
 4     arthritis and I couldn't get up.  I approached them and
 5     said I want to help the Arthritis Society in Canada.
 6  263                  They looked at me and they looked at
 7     my beard and they said, "Oh, you want to walk from
 8     where to where?"  I said I will just walk from Toronto
 9     to Ottawa.  They said, "Do you know the distance?"  I
10     said, "Yes, I have calculated everything," and I walked
11     out and I would like to walk for the Arthritis Society.
12  264                  So, in those days they wee having
13     some research program, an arthritis research program. 
14     They promoted me to walk and Pakistanis and other Asian
15     country -- members of those countries they supported me
16     with finances.  So my first walk was from Toronto to
17     Ottawa and this was due, of course, with the help of
18     Allah, but maybe as the main thing it is whatever you
19     do the media is the main thing to propagate what you
20     are going to do or what you have done and by that you
21     achieve a lot.
22  265                  So my first walk in Canada was from
23     Toronto to Ottawa and that is about 450 kilometres, and
24     then there were three subsequent walks all for the
25     Arthritis Society.  My friends asked me to set up


 1     something else and so I started off in 1993 with the
 2     Muslim Welfare Centre.
 3  266                  You all will be surprised to know
 4     that I had to borrow $14,000 from a friend of mine.  I
 5     had no money in my pocket.  I set up an organization in
 6     a small room that is 12 by 12 and I started a food
 7     bank.  Now I am proud to say that I am proud of my
 8     community, the Southeast Asian community, they came to
 9     my aid and now we own a property which is worth over a
10     million dollars.  We are running three food banks.  We
11     have bought a Muslim welfare home for needy women and
12     children.  We have got a Muslim Institute of Computer
13     Technology and all this combined together we are
14     working on that and it is all due to the support of the
15     media because everything you do, as I already said, the
16     media should be there to support you.  Particularly I
17     am grateful to ATN, Asian Television Network.  They wee
18     always behind me and they were the pushing force and
19     they did what we desired.
20  267                  The community is ever increasing. 
21     Every day there are so many people coming into the
22     welfare centre, so we know, from Southeast Asia.  So we
23     have to look after them also and for them the best
24     thing is to propagate your cause through the media. 
25     Again, it comes down to media.


 1  268                  We are there to put, to put in hard
 2     work, but the media is there to convey what we are
 3     doing, what we feel, to the world and they are doing
 4     it.
 5  269                  I won't take much of your time, but I
 6     would like to say that to progress, for the Southeast
 7     Asian community to survive here and to prosper we need
 8     some television network which should carry our message
 9     to every nook and corner of the world.  That should be
10     the attitude and I feel that that is being done and
11     recently just an example, somebody said, "Major Abbas,
12     will you be able to skydive?"  It was just a joke.  I
13     am 78 now.  It was just a joke.  I took it seriously. 
14     I formed a team, a skydiving team, and I was the leader
15     and I jumped 10,500 feet, 6,000 free fall and the rest
16     with a parachute.
17  270                  Why did I do it?  Because I have the
18     urge to help humanity.  If you go to the slum areas, I
19     would request any of you to walk along with me and see
20     under what conditions they are living there.  Children
21     are dying of hunger, whereas our children are thriving
22     here.  So all those things, you know, that motivate you
23     to take all sorts of life endangering experiences to
24     raise funds for the sake of humanity and to end it, I
25     am grateful to you all for giving me a kind listening. 


 1     I am grateful indeed to you all and I am grateful to
 2     the media and I am grateful to almighty Allah, to God
 3     for giving me the strength and I hope to continue until
 4     my end.  That is my motto.  I don't want to die in a
 5     cosy bed in an air conditioned room.  I should die
 6     while serving humanity.  I feel that I am created by
 7     Allah for that purpose because I have been walking for
 8     all the organizations throughout the world and now I
 9     want some rest here in Canada.
10  271                  My wife is here.  We have been
11     married for the last 50 years and she is the only wife
12     and she is the driving force.  She pushes me forward
13     and she works with me.  Mind you, she had a heart
14     transplant, everything, but she is with me.  She has
15     the urge to serve humanity.
16  272                  So I would request that let us give a
17     chance to work and do something through the media and
18     through our own efforts.
19  273                  Thank you.  I would say may Allah
20     bless you, may God bless you.  Amen and Amin.
21  274                  THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you, Major
22     Abbas.  Thank you for sharing your story with us and
23     your views on how the media can support the kind of
24     work that you do.
25  275                  My father also was commissioned in


 1     1943 and was in World War Two.
 2  276                  MR. ABBAS:  I am hard of hearing.  I
 3     will get my hearing aid.
 4  277                  THE CHAIRPERSON:  We will send you a
 5     copy of the transcript and you can read it.
 6  278                  Thank you very much for being with us
 7     today.
 8  279                  MR. ABBAS:  I am glad to hear that. 
 9     We may have met somewhere.  Was he in Burma.  I was in
10     Burma.
11  280                  THE CHAIRPERSON:  It is quite
12     possible you ran into each other.
13  281                  MR. ABBAS:  It is so nice.  There are
14     so many veterans of the 1939-1945 war.  I was one of
15     them.
16  282                  THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you for being
17     with us today.
18  283                  MR. ABBAS:  Thank you.
19  284                  May I take a sweet?
20  285                  THE CHAIRPERSON:  By all means.  I
21     have an extra one here if you would like it.
22  286                  MS RHÉAUME:  The next presentation is
23     by Mr. or Mrs. Basabiah, President of the Federation of
24     Indo-Canadian Association.


 1  287                  MR. BASABIAH:  It is Mister.
 2  288                  Madam Chairperson, ladies and
 3     gentlemen.  My name is Veluvolu Basabiah.  I am an
 4     economist by profession and I am living in Canada since
 5     1962, September and I am a citizen of Canada.
 6  289                  I am very glad to have this
 7     opportunity to appear before you this evening to make a
 8     brief presentation on behalf of the Federation of
 9     Indo-Canadian Associations, which is a number of
10     organizations of various cultural organizations in
11     Toronto.
12  290                  The Federation comprises many of the
13     major Indo-Canadian Associations of Toronto.  It was
14     formed in 1973 as Mr. Santishar, by prominent barrister
15     as the Chairman.  I was its first President when it was
16     structured as a corporation in 1974, as a non-profit
17     corporation without share capital.
18  291                  The Federation has participated in
19     many ways over these years to voice and articulate the
20     interests, aspirations and concerns on behalf of the
21     Canadians of origin in India.  We have presented briefs
22     and we have held cultural programs to participate and
23     contribute in celebrating festivities and historic
24     occasions with Canada.  The most important one was the
25     Worlds of Asia Festival that we organized with the help


 1     of Harbourfront.
 2  292                  We have communicated with each other
 3     and we have communicated with the mainstream and we
 4     have used all forms of media to do so and they are
 5     very, very co-operative, both to ethnic as well as the
 6     mainstream media.  We have stood together for one
 7     Canada and, in fact, we still stand together for one
 8     Canada and we have contributed in our small way in the
 9     development of a distinct Canadian culture, that is a
10     bilingual and a multicultural distinct Canadian culture
11     to be cherished by all Canadians.
12  293                  I am the President of the Federation. 
13     As I said, I came to Canada in 1962 and my wife came to
14     Canada in 1964 and our daughter was born in Canada.  We
15     have seen many changes, as well as growth and progress
16     in our national institutions and policies during these
17     years in Canada.  We have been part of that process of
18     evolution also.  This process continues.
19  294                  We see the wisdom in Canada's
20     bilingual policy as it is enshrined under our
21     Constitution.  We also see the profound vision behind
22     Canada's policy on multiculturalism and it is also
23     enshrined within our Constitution.  The scope for the
24     said policy, as well as the constitutional
25     interpretation and articulation of that policy on


 1     several fronts remains unlimited and will be seen to be
 2     vast as we evolve and keep evolving with time. 
 3     Canadian society will remain vibrant and alive and will
 4     not stultify.
 5  295                  We are keenly interested in all areas
 6     concerning art, media, radio, television and all forms
 7     of communications and technological developments and
 8     legislative and regulatory framework within which these
 9     operate in Canada.
10  296                  We support Canada's unwavering and
11     strong stand on protecting its culture.  The culture is
12     multiculture.  This policy survives even after the Free
13     Trade Agreement has increased the pressures and the
14     general direction is towards deregulation.  Canada
15     needs the regulatory regime and needs protection to
16     maintain its cultural integrity.
17  297                  We support the existing policy of the
18     CRTC on multicultural broadcasting and licensing.  If
19     anything, this area needs more protection and
20     nurturing.  We need a Canadian brand of multicultural
21     programming.  We need to support our up and coming
22     artists, writers, actors, performers and all the
23     talented and promising and the very gifted new
24     generation of Canadian born multicultural members of
25     our society.  We need to support and nurture the up and


 1     coming Canadian multicultural producers and
 2     broadcasters and we need to give them additional
 3     support to form a solid foundation to build upon.
 4  298                  In that context we need to continue
 5     affording protection to licensed multicultural
 6     broadcasters to continue to develop their own Canadian
 7     brand of broadcasting with increasing Canadian context
 8     in every way.
 9  299                  We want most definitely a made in
10     Canada by Canadians and for Canadians.  We also need to
11     continue a policy which will ensure that a licensed
12     broadcaster is the representative of the community to
13     which it caters.  Whenever there is any program by any
14     ethnic group, the CBC, CTV or any national television
15     network must give it coverage.  For example, I can tell
16     you in our community, that is the East Indian
17     community, every weekend there are at least 10 to 20
18     programs, cultural or other programs, so they cannot go
19     everywhere.  So whenever there is any such program, we
20     request from our broadcasters, like ATN and other
21     networks, to come and film us and they do.  They are
22     very co-operative.
23  300                  We see mutual interests for
24     communities and for entrepreneurs who are also part of
25     the community.  WE shall have a role for the community


 1     in the community's air waves.
 2  301                  We need to watch out against
 3     unfettered free market forces.  Culture is an area
 4     which is prone to commercial exploitation and to a box
 5     office and money-driven deterioration of quality and
 6     standards.  It is the responsibility of the society to
 7     ensure that we protect our air waves from commercial
 8     free market manipulation.
 9  302                  As an Indo-Canadian Federation we
10     thank the CRTC for licensing SATV of the ATN group as a
11     premium pay specialty multilingual broadcaster.  We
12     have come a long way since ATN started with half hour
13     and one-hour programming.  We have seen ATN grow with
14     us as an integral part of our community and are very
15     glad that it has now grown to the full-fledged
16     television broadcaster with a 24-hour a day and seven
17     days a week multilingual broadcasting station.  This is
18     in keeping with the growth and the needs of the
19     community.  ATN continues to be a part of the community
20     it caters to and we see it as one essential and
21     integral part of the platform upon which the community
22     will meet together, talk together, communicate with the
23     mainstream and find an avenue to build an entire local
24     Canadian ethnic art and entertainment industry upon.
25  303                  We want Canadian content to be there


 1     and to be increased gradually.  You see, if we really
 2     want to see programs made in our old country it is
 3     really not at all a problem.  We can import them and
 4     obtain movies.  There is no need for any television
 5     station here and they can play those movies 24 hours,
 6     but that is not what we want.  Our children have to
 7     learn something.  Our children have to participate. 
 8     They have to perform and that is more important to us. 
 9     They are going to be here.  They are Canadians.  They
10     are not going to -- just like our generation, they are
11     not going to look at the old country.  They are part
12     and parcel of this community.
13  304                  We want that to be increased
14     gradually, this Canadian content.  The new licensee
15     ought to remain viable if we have to build a future
16     upon it.  There is no danger of monopolistic abuse
17     within a regulated and vigilant regime such as we have
18     under the CRTC.
19  305                  We further urge a more even playing
20     field.  Having a licensed station and having all the
21     talent and programming is not enough until there are
22     ways and means to distribute the same.  Carriage is
23     more important and without carriage everything is
24     meaningless.  You can grant permission or a licence or
25     whatever it is to start a magazine and a newspaper, but


 1     if you don't give a discount which the other newspapers
 2     get to mail those papers and magazines it is useless. 
 3     It doesn't do any good.  It won't reach the
 4     subscribers.  It won't reach the public.  It won't
 5     reach the readers.
 6  306                  This is where we urge that a way be
 7     found to facilitate carriage without additional
 8     burdens.  The community understands the subscription
 9     and $15 per month is a price which proves the
10     commitment.  Then to have to pay for purchasing a
11     satellite or to pay for digital boxes and to have to
12     carrying these additional burdens is not conducive to
13     the development of a healthy and flourishing industry. 
14     It is really becoming problematic.  ATN got a licence
15     and they started this two years ago.  At least 70 per
16     cent of the South Asian community homes don't have that
17     program because it is too expensive.  They don't mind
18     to pay $15, but they have to buy digital boxes and a
19     satellite.  They can't afford that.
20  307                  We urge that access be granted on a
21     national basis and without imposition of charges and
22     fees over and above the subscription fees.  We are not
23     asking you to waive the fees.  People are prepared to
24     pay the $15 or $10 or whatever it is, but it should not
25     be too problematic and it should not be too expensive.


 1  308                  We have enjoyed total support from
 2     ATN and continue to do so.  We have used the television
 3     time they have given us to carry out relief oriented
 4     fundraising and to communicate with our community as
 5     and when we have needed.  Whenever we want anything to
 6     be announced they did it without charging anything and
 7     I am really proud of them.  They have never charged a
 8     single penny.  I have been dealing with them for the
 9     last quarter century and I never paid them a single
10     penny to announce anything.  Whenever there is any
11     program they sent a crew.
12  309                  We raised $19,000 in 1976 when there
13     was a big cyclone and tidal wave in southern India and
14     we did that fundraising with the help of the Canadian
15     Red Cross and we met then I believe it was Premier
16     Davis, the Canadian Red Cross and myself and he donated
17     another $60,000 and it all went to the Canadian Red
18     Cross and to the Indian Red Cross.  We raised that with
19     the help of the media, not only SATV, but the other
20     media broadcasters also helped us.
21  310                  Since I have close contacts with ATN
22     I have been mentioning ATN several times.  We see
23     ourselves having a regular presence on ATN as part of
24     our commitment to the community.
25  311                  Thank you.  I am done.


 1  312                  THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you very much
 2     Mr. Basabiah.
 3  313                  MR. BASABIAH:  Thank you very much.
 4  314                  THE CHAIRPERSON:  Madam Secretary, I
 5     believe we will call two more parties.  We have
 6     actually finished with the first group of nine, but we
 7     are a little ahead of schedule and I think we have a
 8     couple of people here who would like to make their
 9     presentation and then we will break after that.
10  315                  MS RHÉAUME:  The next part is Mr.
11     Claudio Lizzola of the Committee and General Council of
12     Italians Abroad.
14  316                  MR. LIZZOLA:  Thank you.
15  317                  Ladies and gentlemen, my name is
16     Claudio Lizzola and I represent the Comites of Toronto. 
17     Comites means Committee of the Italians Abroad, and the
18     CGIE of Canada, which means General Council of the
19     Italians Abroad.
20  318                  Under the supervision of the Italian
21     General Consul of Toronto, more than 600 Italian social
22     and cultural associations have been involved in the
23     appointment of the Comites of this city.  As far as the
24     CGIE of Canada is concerned, its five members were
25     democratically elected by the members of the five


 1     Comites of Canada reunited in the Italian Embassy in
 2     Ottawa.
 3  319                  Every city or area of the world with
 4     more than 3,000 Italian citizens has its Comites and
 5     the Comites of each country elect their members of the
 6     CGIE.  The CGIE is an organ that meets in Rome under
 7     the presidency of the Italian Foreign Affairs Minister. 
 8     Both the Comites and the CGIE are created and regulated
 9     by a law of the Italian Parliament in full conformity
10     with the legal system of the countries where these
11     institutions operate.  They are the organs of
12     democratic representation of the Italian communities
13     around the world vis-à-vis the official Italian
14     government representatives such as Italian embassies
15     and consulates.
16  320                  Furthermore, they can take
17     initiatives, and I quote the law "... to maintain the
18     bonds of our compatriots with the Italian political and
19     cultural reality and the promotion of the Italian
20     history, tradition and language."
21  321                  IN more than one way, the Comites and
22     the CGIE that I represent constitute the transmission
23     belt between the Italian communities outside Italy and
24     the Italian government.
25  322                  In Canada there are more than 1.5


 1     million people that claim to be of Italian origin;
 2     600,000 only in Toronto.  Half of them still have
 3     Italian citizenship or double citizenship.
 4  323                  After English and French, and
 5     considering that Chinese is actually divided in two
 6     languages, Mandarin and Cantonese, Italian is the third
 7     spoken language in Canada.
 8  324                  The Italian community is second to
 9     none in terms of respect of the law, laboriousness,
10     love for this country and smooth integration in the
11     Canadian society.  We take pride for the very important
12     contribution we made in building Canada and with
13     loyalty and affection we will continue to do so.  In
14     Canada we have planted very solid roots.  We live here,
15     we work here, we will die here and our sons and
16     daughters will carry on in the future.
17  325                  But we are also proud of our heritage
18     and our culture from which, by the way, all cultures of
19     the western world have profoundly drawn in the past
20     centuries.
21  326                  IN a broad sense, to Italians,
22     culture is not something we learned from the books.  I
23     dare to say that we were born with it.  It's in our
24     genes.  We have been baptized in centuries old romanic
25     or gothic or baroque churches.  When we were kids we


 1     played in piazzas designed by the master architects of
 2     the Renaissance.  We grew having around the soft
 3     landscapes that you see in the background of Leonard's
 4     paintings, and we swam in the same sea painted by
 5     Botticelli.
 6  327                  Italy is a country where natural
 7     beauty, history, art, culture and tradition are so
 8     pervasive and strictly interwoven that since countless
 9     centuries are part of the Italian way of being, like
10     red cells of the Italian blood.
11  328                  These are the elements that for all
12     Italians living outside their country are sorely
13     missing.  For most of us Italian-Canadians, Canada is
14     now our country, but a piece of our heart is still
15     there, in Italy and it will always be.
16  329                  We love hockey and we watch CBC, but
17     we also go wild over Italian soccer.  We are moved to
18     tears watching Fellini movies in Italian and we are
19     deeply interested in everything that happens in the
20     country we left so many years ago.
21  330                  Despite the numerical weight of the
22     Italian community, the available Italian TV programming
23     is vastly insufficient.  In addition, what we receive
24     is not always fresh, not always interesting, not always
25     culturally valid and -- this is very important -- there


 1     are no choices to speak of.
 2  331                  But the issue is not only about the
 3     desire to have more Italian TV content, but also about
 4     the need to receive it in Italian.  This is
 5     indispensable for the older people and for the younger
 6     generations as well.
 7  332                  We, Italian-Canadians, are very
 8     worried about the destiny of our native language in
 9     this country.  We want to maintain it as much alive as
10     we can, and we do not spare efforts in supporting
11     Italian schools, institutions and all other means that
12     can contribute to achieve this goal.  If we let the
13     Italian language disappear from our communities, our
14     culture will eventually disappear as well and an
15     immense patrimony will be lost forever, not only for
16     all Italian-Canadians, but for Canada a s a whole.
17  333                  We are now in an age of instant
18     communication and technological wonders.  The virtual
19     reality of live television coming from where we were
20     born can help us to live again our memories, show our
21     children the places where we came from and, in short,
22     it lets us draw strength from our heritage.
23  334                  The means to stay in touch across the
24     oceans are available.  The two major Italian networks,
25     RAI and Mediaset, are already available 24 hours a day


 1     on American satellites.  Other Italian programming is
 2     on its way.  But in Canada, American satellites are
 3     illegal to receive.
 4  335                  Our fellow Italian-Canadians keep
 5     telling us that they want more around-the-clock timely
 6     and original Italian programs.  They also want the
 7     right of choice between more than one programming,
 8     exactly what our friends south of the border have.
 9  336                  As a community, Italian-Canadians
10     don't want to enter into the discussion on how to
11     protect the Canadian identity by limiting the flow into
12     Canada of American made TV programming and other media. 
13     This is strictly, we believe, a Canadian political
14     issue that we prefer to leave to the elected Members of
15     Parliament.
16  337                  On the other hand, we don't want that
17     the issue of Italian-speaking television be caught in a
18     dispute that really doesn't have anything to do with it
19     because, I am sure you would agree, in no way Italian
20     television programming can pose any threat, or even
21     cause any kind of interference with the Canadian
22     identity, culture and heritage.
23  338                  The right to have access to all
24     available information, especially if it is not
25     otherwise or sufficiently provided, is a fundamental


 1     right of every individual and the very concept of
 2     democracy is based on the free exchange of ideas and
 3     information.  On the other hand, denying access to
 4     information is nothing else than censorship.
 5  339                  In a free country, as long as there
 6     is a carrier or a broadcaster willing to carry a
 7     certain programming and a market willing to pay and
 8     support it, we think that the people have the right to
 9     watch it.
10  340                  On behalf of the Comites of Toronto
11     and the CGIE of Canada, I respectfully ask the CRTC to
12     liberalize to the maximum extent the access into Canada
13     of all foreign TV programming spoken in a language
14     different from English.
15  341                  Ladies and gentlemen, thank you.
16  342                  THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you very
17     much.
18  343                  Commissioner Langford has a couple of
19     questions for you.
20  344                  COMMISSIONER LANGFORD:  Thank you.
21  345                  I was very interested in your
22     concluding comments where you called on us to free up
23     some access to Italian programming and certainly I can
24     understand that.  People want programming that they
25     understand in their own language.


 1  346                  But we have heard from others as well
 2     that there are some problems in that area, that we have
 3     to find a balance, that if we let in these American
 4     satellite transmissions 24 hours a day Italian
 5     programming that meets one need.  On the other hand, it
 6     may deprive local Canadian artists, talent and whatever
 7     from getting started.  People will have their fill. 
 8     There isn't enough room in the niche, as we heard
 9     earlier on this side of the table, for everyone.  How
10     do you answer that?  How do we find a balance?  If we
11     throw open the doors and do ask you ask, how do we
12     protect these other programs?
13  347                  MR. LIZZOLA:  I think it is very
14     simple, the answer.  This is a free country and culture
15     is the most free of the assets an individual has. 
16     Nobody can tell me that I have to watch a Canadian or
17     an English or a French or a Jewish or an Italian actor
18     if I don't want to.  I have the right to watch what I
19     want if it is available, and especially if it is not
20     available enough.
21  348                  COMMISSIONER LANGFORD:  But
22     availability by your own submission is something of a
23     problem because of cost for low-income people and
24     elderly people.
25  349                  MR. LIZZOLA:  No, no, the cost --


 1     what I was trying to drive through here is that I am
 2     not peddling any licence for anybody.  There are
 3     already two licences for Italian programming in
 4     television here in Toronto, but I know that there are
 5     other -- there is more Italian programming that wants
 6     to come into this country and maybe not this year, but
 7     maybe the next one, but if the legal system does not
 8     allow them to get here, well, they won't be able to.
 9  350                  They will also face the problem of
10     finding somebody who wants to carry their program and
11     to distribute them to the Italian communities, but
12     probably at a cost.  Again, there is a country where
13     there is -- let's say everything is free.  Nobody tells
14     me if I have to buy Adidas shoes or Canadian-made
15     shoes.  I buy the shoes I want; so is culture.
16  351                  I want to buy my culture, which is
17     not to say that I don't buy also yours or the other
18     cultures, but it is very important -- Italians come
19     from a place where our culture, history are one thing
20     with us.  What can be provided or what can be created
21     here in Canada can't match, can't satisfy that kind of
22     thirst and maybe people are not able to formulate with
23     words, but it is in their art.  We know it.  We speak
24     with people.
25  352                  COMMISSIONER LANGFORD:  You spoke


 1     with some passion earlier about the notion that if your
 2     language isn't cultivated and fed with communities it
 3     may die and if your language dies here in Canada your
 4     culture will die, but at the same time don't you feel
 5     an equal need to feed the young Italians in Canada who
 6     want to make their own programming, who want their own
 7     voices heard, who perhaps can't compete at this point
 8     with Botticelli and the Renaissance churches, but given
 9     an opportunity could begin to.  Do you feel that we
10     have some duty, we Commissioners, to try to find a
11     policy that will balance both those needs?
12  353                  MR. LIZZOLA:  I am not saying that
13     this should not be there.  I am pretty sure that if I
14     had a son who plays very well the guitar and I can have
15     him playing on Telelatino for instance, I would do
16     everything to speak with my friends at Telelatino to
17     have 15 minutes for him.
18  354                  But that is important for him.  It is
19     important for progress in this community and I want
20     this to stay and to continue, but that doesn't exclude,
21     shall not exclude that other programming that is more
22     wide and more -- let's talk about soccer.  We have
23     here -- you know the Italian people are crazy about
24     soccer.  Probably they want to have Italian television
25     just for that, to be cynical in a way, but I believe


 1     there is some truth in this.
 2  355                  You know that RAI is already
 3     broadcasting Italian soccer because they have the
 4     licence to do so in Italy.
 5  356                  Next year the rights of Italian
 6     soccer games will go back to the clubs, to the soccer
 7     clubs.  RAI will not have the rights to Italian soccer
 8     as they have it now.  I don't know to what extent they
 9     will have it.  Perhaps they will have nothing.  We will
10     have a riot here if there is no Italian soccer in the
11     Italian communities and there must be the possibility,
12     the capability, a set of law already and a set of law
13     means liberty in being able to open up new channels and
14     new Italian programming that may carry those new soccer
15     games.
16  357                  COMMISSIONER LANGFORD:  But you do
17     see and I appreciate the soccer, but you do want us to
18     help to get your son's electric guitar out of your
19     basement and somewhere else.
20  358                  MR. LIZZOLA:  Sure.  A soccer game
21     lasts 90 minutes and I'd like to have -- I am not
22     speaking against a Canadian-Italian or Canadian
23     produced ethnic programs actually.  I am part of that
24     because I have a talk show, for instance, on the radio,
25     on CHIN radio, but that doesn't mean that the two


 1     things can live together.
 2  359                  COMMISSIONER LANGFORD:  Thank you
 3     very much.
 4  360                  MR. LIZZOLA:  It was a pleasure
 5     talking with you, ladies and gentlemen.  Thank you.
 6  361                  MS RHÉAUME:  The next presentation is
 7     by Mr. Ram Venkatraman of Bharati Kalamaram.
 9  362                  MR. VENKATRAMAN:  Good evening,
10     ladies and gentlemen.
11  363                  Actually, I represent a couple of
12     organization, Bharati Kalamaram is a cultural
13     organization which I have been associated with since
14     1969.  The President of that, Mr. Subramanian, has
15     already presented that and he gave you a speech a while
16     ago.
17  364                  I actually appear before you today on
18     behalf of an organization called the Canadian Council
19     of Hindus.  This is a member organization which
20     represents nearly a quarter of a million Hindus in
21     Ontario and there are 60 to 70 Hindu congregations.
22  365                  My name is Krishna Ram Venkatraman
23     and I am a computer engineer by profession.  I work for
24     the Ministry of Health in Ontario for the last 30
25     years.  I have been involved in community service since


 1     1969 when I came here and in 1973 we started a society
 2     called the Hindu Temple Society of Canada, which has
 3     built one of the finest and the best Hindu temples in
 4     Richmond Hill.
 5  366                  Around 1980 the Ontario Council of
 6     Multiculturalism formed a Task Force on Interfaith TV
 7     Programming and the Media.  I had the privilege of
 8     sitting on it and representing the Hindu point of view. 
 9     The deliberations of that task force finally ended up
10     in the formation of the organization which now all of
11     us know as Vision TV.  I was part of the task force
12     writing up the Vision TV programming standards and
13     actually I was part of writing the ethnical
14     broadcasting standards for religious programming.  I
15     know how you represent any particular religious group
16     and you make sure that alternative ideas are given
17     freedom to discuss that and you don't condemn somebody
18     else without giving them the opportunity to respond
19     back to you.
20  367                  Another output of that particular
21     task force is the formation of the Canadian Council of
22     Hindus because we realized that we don't have an
23     organization which speaks for the Hindus as a whole. 
24     Also, there is a lot of need for the government
25     agencies, hospitals, churches and schools when they


 1     deal with the community of the Hindu faith, they have a
 2     lot of questions.  So out of all that the CCH has now
 3     grown up.
 4  368                  We do all kinds of representations on
 5     behalf of the Hindu community.  One of the biggest
 6     projects which we are proud of is we have got a
 7     hospital visitors program of which I am a licensed
 8     pastor in Ontario.  We do pastoral services, visitor
 9     services in all the hospitals and we visit people who
10     don't get visitors normally.  Also, we help out the
11     hospitals in treating Hindu patients in terms of
12     dietary restrictions, funeral arrangements or various
13     things with which we get involved.  The same thing goes
14     with the prison, dealing with Hindu prisoners and the
15     courts.  There was a lot of questions about taking an
16     oath on the Bible or something else.  In all of these
17     matters we have been dealing with that and I have been
18     representing the Hindu community in terms of interfaith
19     work.
20  369                  When the Pope visited here in Toronto
21     I was with him for the interfaith prayer.  I
22     represented the Hindu community.
23  370                  In all of this what is relevant to
24     what we are talking about, the current speech or the
25     sponsorship of why I am here is basically to request


 1     the CRTC to continue the licensing and activities of
 2     ATN.
 3  371                  I will tell you why we particularly
 4     from the Hindu community, we are quite behind ATN's
 5     activities.  Right from 1968-69 when I met the current
 6     professionals of ATN, which is Shan Chandrasekar and we
 7     have been involved in multicultural and multifaith and
 8     interfaith programming and I was present with them and
 9     I worked with them and when they applied for the
10     City-TV, the first multicultural programming came on.
11  372                  Even before the CRTC at the last
12     couple of years I was one of the sponsors and
13     represented to them get the ATN original licence
14     because they have helped the community in all its --
15     you see, I can talk about -- I do interfaith work, but
16     do I get that work to the community is I need the
17     media.
18  373                  ATN has been with us, ATN and the
19     professionals who work at ATN and the different
20     companies before that, like particularly Shan and Jai
21     and the crew we have had interfaith dialogues and I
22     produced for about two and a half years every Saturday
23     a half an hour program in Hindu which we put on Vision
24     TV.  The ATN facilities were used for it.  There was
25     particularly no cost at all really because they are


 1     part of the community, the South Asian community, the
 2     people involved in ATN.
 3  374                  They see us as an organization that
 4     has been doing this work for the past couple of years. 
 5     They have got a long history and they are part of the
 6     community and they are very well respected in the
 7     community.  We would like that to continue.
 8  375                  The current discussion about full
 9     access type of thing, and you see I live in an
10     apartment in Thorncliffe Park.  It comes under the
11     Rogers Cable domain.  I do not have access to satellite
12     communications and the landlords do not allow a
13     satellite to be put in and I am stuck with Rogers and
14     whatever they come up with, the ME-TV and that type of
15     thing.  So, I don't have free access to ATN
16     programming.
17  376                  I am sure, particularly Toronto being
18     the multistoreyed tenants haven in the whole of North
19     America, next to New York I suppose this is the maximum
20     amount of people living in apartments and they do have
21     this access problem.  So, if ATN can be licensed or
22     whatever so they can come up with an access solution we
23     are all for it.
24  377                  In terms of actually doing the work,
25     they have been an integral part of the community in


 1     doing the interfaith work and the multicultural work. 
 2     The Hindus themselves in the census of 1981 gave us
 3     only about 80,000 Hindus in Ontario.  In the decades
 4     after that the current estimate is about a quarter of a
 5     million people in Canada, particularly in Ontario most
 6     of them.  The big influx from Sri Lanka and the
 7     Caribbean which brought in people who rely on the media
 8     for the Hindu cultural activities.
 9  378                  I am involved in the settlement of
10     the newcomers through the temple, through the Council
11     and through Bharati Kalamaram in terms of culture and I
12     do this.  It is not only for us to enjoy the cultural
13     programs which we get from home, but we have to
14     interpret to our children here.  I have two children
15     born in Canada, but not only that, we have to interpret
16     to the Canadian community at large because after all we
17     are going to live here and our children are going to
18     live here.
19  379                  So, the media like ATN is an absolute
20     necessity.  So, I don't think the CRTC has got any
21     question about it.  They have no doubt about it that we
22     are even talking about it here.
23  380                  The question is why particularly ATN. 
24     All I am telling is that at least from our community
25     point of view they have an excellent track record. 


 1     They have helped on heritage for the last 30 years, the
 2     people who are involved in it have been involved in
 3     this field and they are the pulse of the community.  I
 4     would like to put the whole Hindu community's voice to
 5     please continue giving whatever rights to licence and
 6     the need for better access to the community.
 7  381                  Thank you.
 8  382                  THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you very
 9     much, Mr. Venkatraman, for sharing your views with us
10     this afternoon.
11  383                  I think we are going to take a break
12     now.  We will return at twenty minutes to seven.
13     --- Short recess at 1820 / Courte suspension à 1820
14     --- Upon resuming at 1845 / Reprise à 1845
15  384                  THE CHAIRPERSON:  Welcome back,
16     ladies and gentlemen.  I apologize for our delay.  We
17     were grabbing a quick sandwich for dinner in
18     anticipation of being here many more hours, but I am
19     not sure that is going to be the case.
20  385                  I wonder, Madam Secretary, if you
21     would mind doing a role call and we will just see if
22     any of the remaining presenters are here to speak to
23     us.
24  386                  MS RHÉAUME:  I will start from the
25     beginning again.  Ms Krystyna Piotrowski.  Mr. Sundar


 1     Raj.  Mr. Kamiesh Moorgani.  Ms Veena Kumar.  Mr.
 2     Mohammed Rafiq.  Mr. John Ha.  Dr. Yvona Bogorya. 
 3     Danuta Warzawski.  Wojciech Wojnarowicz.  Wojciech
 4     Maciszewski.  Anna Czaijkowski.  Veena Dutta.  Zuhair
 5     Kashmeri.  Aris Babikian.  Spyros Bourdorkis.
 6  387                  That is the end of the list.
 7  388                  Is there anybody else who is the room
 8     today who is scheduled either today or Wednesday, but
 9     who would like to do their presentation now?  We would
10     invite you to do so.
11  389                  THE CHAIRPERSON:  I think what we
12     will do is we will take a 15-minute break and we will
13     check back just to see if anybody wanders in for the
14     post-dinner hour time period.  We will be back here
15     about five after seven.
16     --- Short recess at 1850 / Courte suspension à 1850
17     --- Upon resuming at 1905 / Reprise à 1905
18  390                  THE CHAIRPERSON:  One last time, is
19     there anybody in the room who is registered for today
20     and who would like to appear?
21  391                  In view of that I think we will
22     adjourn for today.  We have a very busy day tomorrow. 
23     A number of parties have moved from today to tomorrow. 
24     So we will adjourn for today and we will reconvene
25     tomorrow at 4 p.m.


 1     --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1906, to resume
 2         on Tuesday, February 2, 1999 at 1600 / L'audience
 3         est ajournée à 1906 pour reprendre le mardi
 4         2 février 1999 à 1600

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