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TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS FOR THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES DU CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES SUBJECT / SUJET: REGIONAL PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION (CBC) / CONSULTATIONS PUBLIQUES SUR LA SOCIÉTÉ RADIO-CANADA (SRC) HELD AT: TENUE À: Hilton Windsor Hotel Hôtel Hilton Windsor Ontario Room Salle Ontario 277 Riverside Drive W. 277 Prom. Riverside O. Windsor, Ontario Windsor (Ontario) March 18, 1999 Le 18 mars 1999 tel: 613-521-0703 StenoTran fax: 613-521-7668 Transcripts 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 Contents. 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. Transcription Afin de rencontrer les exigences de la Loi sur les langues officielles, les procès-verbaux pour le Conseil seront bilingues en ce qui a trait à la page couverture, la liste des membres et du personnel du CRTC participant à l'audience publique ainsi que la table des matières. Toutefois, la publication susmentionnée est un compte rendu textuel des délibérations et, en tant que tel, est enregistrée et transcrite dans l'une ou l'autre des deux langues officielles, compte tenu de la langue utilisée par le participant à l'audience publique. StenoTran Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des télécommunications canadiennes Transcript / Transcription Public Hearing / Audience publique REGIONAL PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION (CBC) / CONSULTATIONS PUBLIQUES SUR LA SOCIÉTÉ RADIO-CANADA (SRC) BEFORE / DEVANT: Barbara Cram Chairperson / Présidente Commissioner / Conseillère ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS: Rod Lahay Broadcasting Planning Services / Service de la planification de la radiodiffusion HELD AT: TENUE À: Hilton Windsor Hotel Hôtel Hilton Windsor Ontario Room Salle Ontario 277 Riverside Drive W. 277 Prom. Riverside O. Windsor, Ontario Windsor (Ontario) March 18, 1999 Le 18 mars 1999 StenoTran ii TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES PAGE Presentation by / Présentation par: Mr. Wayne Lessard 5 Mr. Joe Comartin 12 Mr. Carl Idzinski 19 Mr. Richard Roberts 24 Ms Marjorie Willms 29 Ms Marilyn Gray 32 Mr. Mel Gilbert and Ms Mary Gilbert 36 Ms Marnie McIntosh 43 Mr. Lynn Girty 52 Mr. Floyd A. Brown 59 Mr. James McMillan 64 Mr. Tom Henderson 68 Mr. David Harrison 77 Mr. Harvey Bondy 81 M. Jacques Kenny 84 Pastor Tom Collins 89 Reply by / Réponse par: Ms Miriam Fry 96 StenoTran iii TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES PAGE Presentation by / Présentation par: Mr. Earl Amyotte 103 Ms Patricia Blonde 105 Mr. Ronaldo Agostino 109 Mr. Mark Lefebvre 116 Mr. Kendall McKinney 123 Mr. Mathew Clark 129 Mr. Colin Farquharson, 133 Mrs. Dina Jones and Ms Melanie Jones Mr. Mike Rogers 137 Mr. Conrad Reitz 139 Mr. Ted Wheeler 150 Mr. Vito Signorile 157 Ms Veronika Mogyorody 161 Mr. Chad Grant, Mr. Damian Porter and Mr. Tahric Finn 165 Ms Barbara Cunningham 170 Mr. David Nitschke 175 Mr. Trevor Price 178 Reply by / Réponse par: Ms Miriam Fry 187 StenoTran 1 1 Windsor, Ontario / Windsor (Ontario) 2 --- Upon commencing on Thursday, March 18, 1999, 3 at 1300 / L'audience reprend le jeudi 4 18 mars 1999, à 1300 5 1 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good day, ladies 6 and gentlemen, and welcome to this public consultation 7 on the CBC. My name is Barbara Cram and I am a 8 Commissioner on the CRTC. 9 2 We are here to gather your views and 10 comments on CBC radio and television. In your opinion 11 how should the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation fulfil 12 its role in the coming years. 13 3 Nous sommes ici pour recueillir vos 14 points de vue et vos commentaires sur la radio et la 15 télévision de Radio-Canada. 16 4 Comment croyez-vous que Radio-Canada 17 devrait remplir son rôle dans les années à venir? 18 Voilà le genre de questions auxquelles nous voulons 19 entendre vos réponses. 20 5 The CBC is a national public service, 21 broadcasting in English as well as in French. It plays 22 an important role in the Canadian broadcasting system. 23 6 Today many elements are constantly 24 being added to the broadcasting system as new 25 technologies multiply, converge, open up new horizons StenoTran 2 1 and increasingly offer new services. In this context, 2 we want to know what are your needs and expectations as 3 viewers and listeners of the CBC. 4 7 Given that it is very important that 5 the Commission hears what you have to say, we must not 6 lose sight of the fact that the CRTC is a public 7 organization that serves Canadian citizens. 8 8 In this capacity we are responsible 9 to you. This is why my fellow Commissioners and myself 10 find it vital to come and meet with you to discuss 11 these issues and why we are holding this series of 12 regional consultations from one end of the country to 13 the other in 11 Canadian citizens from March 9 to 18. 14 9 These consultations are designed to 15 give you a chance on the eve of the new millennium to 16 express your opinion on the CBC's role, the programming 17 it offers and the direction it should take at the 18 national, regional and local levels. 19 10 Through these consultations we hope 20 to enter into a new dialogue with you and to hear your 21 comments. Your comments will form part of the public 22 record which will be added to the record of the public 23 hearing on the CBC that will begin in Hull on the 25th 24 of May. 25 11 At this upcoming hearing the StenoTran 3 1 Commission will examine the CBC's application for the 2 renewal of its licences, including radio, television 3 and its specialty services, Newsworld and Reseau de 4 l'information. You can also take part in that public 5 hearing by sending your written comments to the CRTC. 6 If you wish to do so, please remember to refer to the 7 specific licence renewals being examined when you file 8 your comments. 9 12 Now, I would like to come back to 10 today and the consultation. Allow me to introduce the 11 CRTC staff with me today, Mr. Rod Lahay from our 12 Broadcasting Planning Service. Please feel free to 13 call on him for any questions you may have about the 14 process today or any other matter. 15 13 So that you will all have the 16 opportunity to speak, we ask that you please limit your 17 presentation to 10 minutes. As these consultations are 18 a forum designed especially for you and we want to 19 listen to as many participants as possible, we will not 20 ask any questions unless we need clarification. 21 14 At the end of the session, 22 representations of the local CBC stations will have a 23 chance to offer their views, as they are naturally very 24 interested in what we are discussing here today. 25 15 Before we start, I will ask Mr. Lahay StenoTran 4 1 to go over some of the housekeeping matters regarding 2 the conduct of this consultation. 3 16 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 4 17 I have said this before, but I will 5 say it again and I think everybody has already checked 6 in at the front on the outside. If you have not, 7 please do so to make sure you are in the correct room 8 because we have a corresponding consultation going on 9 next door. 10 18 To reiterate Commissioner Cram's 11 comment about the 10-minute presentation, we do ask 12 that you please try to keep them to that time, if 13 possible. The Chair will call breaks at certain times 14 this afternoon. 15 19 We will be calling a group of 10 to 16 start with, so the first 10 people that I call please 17 come forward. Feel free to sit anywhere at this front 18 table. We will be taking you in the order that I call. 19 And if you wouldn't mind, please remember to announce 20 your name prior to speaking so the reporter can get on 21 the record who is actually saying what. 22 20 And if you are here today as an 23 observer, but you do not wish to participate, we have 24 comment sheets on the outside at the front desk. You 25 are more than welcome to fill out any comment you wish StenoTran 5 1 on those sheets. We will take it back to the 2 Commission and it will again form part of the public 3 record. 4 21 The first 10 people, Emilio 5 Bisceglia, Wayne Lessard, Helen Campbell, Joe Comartin, 6 Carl Idzinski, Richard Roberts, Marjorie Willms, 7 Marilyn Gray, Mr. Mel and Mrs. Mary Gilbert, and Marnie 8 McIntosh. Please come forward and we will start, 10 9 minutes per person, with Emilio Bisceglia. The first 10 person, Emilio, please. 11 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 12 22 MR. LESSARD: Good afternoon. 13 23 I want to thank you for coming to 14 Windsor. My name is Wayne Lessard. I am the Member of 15 Provincial Parliament for Windsor Riverside. 16 24 I came from just down the street with 17 Joe Comartin from the picket lines for the CBC 18 technicians. I want to, first of all, commend them for 19 taking the stand that they have for a fair and just 20 contract settlement, but I also recognize that the 21 struggle they are involved in is for more than just 22 that. I believe that it really is in defence of 23 regional programming as well. 24 25 And we are no strangers to this 25 struggle either. I recall in 1991 when the CBC decided StenoTran 6 1 that they were going to close our Windsor station, the 2 people in this community were incensed with that 3 decision and I was part of a massive demonstration of 4 public support at that time. We led a protest of 8,000 5 people down to the CBC station and the result of that 6 was that the CBC changed their mind and re-established 7 local programming, but I believe that that is under 8 threat once again. 9 26 I urge you to make it part of your 10 decision today, that CBC not be permitted to abandon 11 its responsibility to our community and its 12 responsibility for regional programming, especially in 13 southwestern Ontario. 14 27 As you can see, if you look right out 15 the window from here, our neighbours in the United 16 States are less than a mile away. We are smack dab in 17 the centre of the midwestern United States and because 18 of that we are really subject to the domination by U.S. 19 media interest. Really, I believe that it's the 20 presence of a healthy a vibrant CBC that is essential 21 to promote and protect our Canadian cultural identity 22 in a market where it is more common for us to hear the 23 temperature in Fahrenheit, the distance in miles and 24 traffic reports respecting interstate highways that 25 lead into downtown Detroit. StenoTran 7 1 28 Because of our proximity we share 2 much with our United States neighbours, but we are not 3 Americans. I believe that the media has an obligation 4 to promote our apartness from American reality. Our 5 national purpose, our vision statement, so to speak, is 6 really set out in the British North America Act and 7 that is for peace, order and good government. I 8 believe that this is something that needs to be 9 entrenched in the licensing requirements, not only of 10 the CBC, but also in the licences of other broadcasters 11 as well. 12 29 I believe that we are really in 13 danger in this area of being dominated by large United 14 States broadcasting interests. Having said that, I 15 think that the strikers at the CBC are also leading a 16 struggle in defence of public broadcasting generally. 17 30 Since the Liberal commitment of full, 18 stable funding in the 1993 election campaign, we have 19 seen the CBC operation slashed by about $400 million 20 and that has led to a loss of over 3,000 employees. It 21 has also led to a loss of service for Canadians. I 22 want to say in the most strong way possible that I 23 disagree entirely with those who are calling for the 24 privatization of the CBC or the end of public 25 subsidies. I do not support the idea that the private StenoTran 8 1 sector can do for Canadian public interest something 2 that the public CBC can do. There is no evidence to 3 support that the private sector would promote public 4 interest, Canadian public interest. This is really the 5 mandate of the CBC. 6 31 I believe as well that the airwaves 7 in Canada are public property. It is like the air that 8 we breathe. It's like the water that is flowing down 9 the Detroit River outside the windows here and we need 10 to recognize that. 11 32 There was once a time when our 12 federal government recognized this and that they took 13 steps in order to preserve the airwaves as public 14 property. In fact, the CBC station in Windsor was once 15 owned by RKO General and they were required to release 16 that ownership to meet the foreign ownership 17 limitations. 18 33 We also had a government that was so 19 concerned about the concentration of ownership in the 20 media that they commissioned a Senate report. I 21 brought it with me as well. They appointed Senator 22 Davey in 1969 to do this report. As a student at the 23 University of Windsor in communication studies, part of 24 our studies was to review this report. I think that a 25 couple of the things that were in this report from StenoTran 9 1 almost 30 years ago are worth reiterating. 2 34 It starts out by quoting an American 3 jurist, Hugo Black, where he said: 4 "The widest possible 5 dissemination of information 6 from diverse and antagonistic 7 sources is essential to the 8 welfare of the public. A free 9 press is a condition of a free 10 society." 11 35 That's a quote from Justice Hugo 12 Black. 13 36 In the introduction it goes on to say 14 that the more suggestions there are from below, the 15 better will be the decisions made at the top. This 16 assumption is not limited to parliamentary democracies. 17 The big trouble with this assumption, the notion that 18 media diversity equals higher quality is that it 19 happens to be in flat defiance of economics. More 20 voices may be healthier, but fewer voices are cheaper. 21 37 Really, as an elected representative, 22 my concern is that the CBC must exist as one of our 23 public resources so that we can promote and protect not 24 only our national identity, but the political process, 25 the democracy that we enjoy here in this country as StenoTran 10 1 well. I don't want to see the situation that we are 2 seeing happening in the United States right now as we 3 speak. 4 38 I was reading earlier today in 5 Rolling Stone magazine from this month about the 6 passage in 1996 of the federal Telecommunications Act 7 in the United States. What that has led to is the sale 8 of 6,200 commercial radio stations in the last few 9 years and to the point where it is expected with an 10 impending amalgamation between Chancellor Media and 11 Clear Channel Communications of a radio network of 915 12 stations. That's not a route that I want to see us 13 going down in Canada. I would urge that to be 14 reflected in your decision as well. 15 39 I want to say to you, or say to the 16 current government through you that they need to either 17 support the CBC or have the courage to admit what is 18 actually happening. What I see is that it is being put 19 to death by a thousand cuts. 20 40 The current labour dispute is the 21 direct result of government funding cuts. The timing 22 of that dispute and really the timing of these hearings 23 are curious indeed. I think that it has given big 24 business writers and the right wing an opportunity to 25 call for the demise of the CBC as we know it. The loss StenoTran 11 1 of viewers and listeners resulting from this labour 2 dispute will no doubt be used as further evidence to 3 advance these suggestions. 4 41 But I want to say in conclusion that 5 we abandon those things that provide us with our 6 national identity at our peril. We live in a large and 7 diverse nation and one of the things that I think binds 8 us together better than many is the CBC. We need to do 9 what we can to protect that and we need to ensure that 10 it is given an opportunity to take advantage of 11 opportunities that arise in the future where we see 12 satellite dishes, the world wide web and digital TV and 13 high definition TV, see the fragmentation of our 14 markets. 15 42 I think that CBC needs to be able to 16 take advantage of those opportunities, provide itself 17 as a feasible alternative to those large private sector 18 media interests and the strength of our culture really 19 depends on the ability of our public institutions to be 20 a creative alternative that is interesting, challenging 21 and thought provoking. 22 43 I thank you once again for giving me 23 this opportunity to participate. 24 44 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 25 Mr. Lessard. StenoTran 12 1 45 Mr. Secretary. 2 46 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 3 47 I would like to go back to the very 4 first person on the list. Emilio Bisceglia. Are you 5 present? 6 48 Helen Campbell, please. Helen 7 Campbell. 8 49 Joe Comartin. 9 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 10 50 MR. COMARTIN: Thank you, Madam 11 Chair, for the opportunity, as with Wayne, to address 12 you on this occasion and to participate as we go into 13 the next millennium trying to save the CBC. 14 51 The thrust, it seems inevitably as we 15 finish this millennium and start into the 2000 one, is 16 first to maintain what we have in the CBC and then, as 17 I see it, obviously to augment the programming that we 18 receive from them. 19 52 Mr. Lessard has made extensive 20 comments about the history of what happened in Windsor 21 when we lost the TV station for a period of time. Of 22 course, we have never regained the entire programming 23 that we had prior to that loss. 24 53 I don't want to spent a lot of time 25 on this at this point because I know Howard Pawley, the StenoTran 13 1 former Premier of the Province of Manitoba is going to 2 be addressing you later in the day and he is going to 3 be spending some more time on that. 4 54 From my personal perspective, when we 5 lost the CBC-TV station at that time, it was like a 6 withdrawal from an addiction. I really say that both 7 with a bit of humour, but also with a great deal of 8 sincerity because I have been reminded of it, and with 9 the current strike on I think a number of us have felt 10 compelled to boycott the TV station and the radio 11 station here, both in English and in French. I am 12 feeling those same pangs of withdrawal because we don't 13 get in this community anywhere near the same 14 perspective, both in terms of quality or in terms of 15 accuracy, on local news, national and international 16 news when the CBC is not operating at its full 17 capacity. 18 55 Let me just give you one example of 19 how the mirror that CBC gives us is so significantly 20 different than the mirror that we get presented to us 21 from American TV. Let me talk about the crime rate. 22 56 We, across this country, have this 23 phenomenon where Canadians feel that our crime rate is 24 significantly higher, five and ten times higher than it 25 really is, and that is a particular problem in this StenoTran 14 1 community because, of course, on a daily basis we are 2 inundated from the Detroit TV stations with murders, 3 rapes, violent crime at a ratio that is just far and 4 away anything that we have here. 5 57 I want to make two comments about 6 that. One, the CBC I don't think has done an adequate 7 enough job in dealing with that particular problem and, 8 two, they don't have enough money to do it. It is one 9 of the areas of programming that I think we need to 10 have expanded. 11 58 So, for instance, they could do a 12 current affairs program in this area, which we did have 13 through the eighties. We had a variety of current 14 affairs programs and we have lost all of them. Whether 15 that is part of a regular news broadcast or preferably, 16 in my opinion, part of a specific programming that 17 would deal with those types of news events, so that we 18 would see reflected to us the reality of our community, 19 not the one that is half to three-quarters of a mile 20 away. 21 59 I don't know if you are going to read 22 the Windsor Star, but if you do, the one today, I want 23 to assure you that the lead editorial today does not -- 24 does not reflect the attitude of this community. And 25 that editorial is symptomatic of the problem we have in StenoTran 15 1 this community. We have an ideologically biased right 2 wing newspaper chain that puts out that type of an 3 editorial. It's a gross misrepresentation of the 4 reality of this community and its support for the CBC. 5 60 Those two outlets, the TV and radio 6 station from the CBC and the Windsor Star, are our two 7 major sources of news in this community. The CBC, I 8 think, not that I always agree with them, let me assure 9 you, but I think on a regular basis accurately acts as 10 a portrayal for this community. 11 61 Our local newspaper, and it is the 12 only daily we have, does not, whether that's in their 13 editorials or in their news stories or in the stories 14 they choose to cover, it does not reflect this 15 community. 16 62 As with Wayne, I want to touch just 17 briefly on the situation of labour relations for the 18 technicians and what may be happening as of tomorrow 19 with the guild. 20 63 Madam Chair, so you are aware, I at 21 one period of time was I guess technically an employee 22 of the CBC and then I did one of the political panels 23 here, so I know a number of these individuals who work 24 there. I know them well. I know how they work. I 25 respect the quality of the work they have been able to StenoTran 16 1 do in the past and I feel sorry for them because they 2 are not able to continue to make that quality product. 3 64 They have been living, even after we 4 got the station back, with a great deal of uncertainty, 5 and it is back to the initial point I made. There 6 needs to be out of these hearings a demand, a pressure, 7 a requirement that CBC in fact stabilize, so that 8 people do know, whether they are technicians or in the 9 guild, that they do have employment, that they have a 10 reasonable assurance of employment as long as they are 11 performing, as they have in the past, a quality job. 12 65 Because what I have seen here, as the 13 station came back on line and the work that they did, a 14 great deal more stress, a great deal more demand on the 15 products they had to put out, the programs they had to 16 produce and just basically an unfairness of treatment 17 of both the technicians and the people who are in the 18 guild. 19 66 Let me just give you one example. We 20 were the first station, or amongst the first stations 21 and this was a concession by the unions, to allow the 22 reporters and the camera person to be the same person. 23 In a number of times in my career over the last five 24 years I have had those people come to my office, to my 25 home and, quite frankly, they are slugging heavy StenoTran 17 1 material, cameras, supports, trying to do a news story 2 at the same time and then rushing back to the station. 3 An individual cannot maintain that pace. 4 67 So, as part of maintaining and 5 augmenting the CBC, I am asking you to make 6 determinations in that regard, that they treat their 7 staff and their members more fairly. 8 68 Let me just finish my comments with a 9 couple of suggestions in terms of the new programs. I 10 have already mentioned the current affairs. That is 11 badly needed for Windsor, Essex County, for this 12 region. I think it is necessary that local TV 13 stations, including ours, be allowed to actually begin 14 to extend those current affairs into documentary. I 15 want to give you an example of one that they could do 16 here. 17 69 We have in Windsor amongst the 18 highest rates of cancers and heart conditions in 19 Ontario and in the country generally. A good 20 investigative team could shed some extensive and long 21 needed light on that issue. So, if they were given the 22 financial resources to do that kind of documentary it 23 would be very rewarding for this community and 24 something I think the whole country would benefit from. 25 70 I just briefly want to mention, StenoTran 18 1 because I know I am running out of time, the French 2 community here. I grew up in what at that time was 3 essentially, primarily a French community, out at 4 Pointe-des-Roches in Saint-Joachim-Belle-Rivière, here 5 in the Essex County area. 6 71 It really took a dip as we went into 7 the late fifties because we had no programming and the 8 cultural milieu that we had at that time was basically 9 just about lost. 10 72 Because we got French radio I think 11 it was a major plus, but it needs, as with the English 12 side, it needs augmentation. We need to have, and I 13 think this is particularly -- the French radio station 14 I think does a very good job, again with limited 15 resources because of the cuts that they suffered in the 16 last two, three years. But we need more television 17 that is local in the French language. We need them to 18 be doing current affairs and more news in the French 19 language on television. 20 73 Whether we could justify a French 21 television station here I would have to say I have my 22 doubts, but a requirement that the television station 23 and the services that we get out of the central regions 24 provide more local coverage I think is mandatory as 25 well. StenoTran 19 1 74 I see, Madam Chair, I have got about 2 30 seconds, so let me conclude by going back to my 3 initial theme. We are in the new millennium very 4 shortly. We need to maintain what we have had from the 5 CBC. We need to augment that programming. 6 75 Again, thank you for the opportunity 7 to make those comments. 8 76 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 9 Mr. Comartin. 10 77 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 11 78 Carl Idzinski, please. 12 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 13 79 MR. IDZINSKI: I am Carl Idzinski. I 14 am an individual, just a citizen, not a politician or 15 anything. I am going to speak basically to CBC radio, 16 AM, which I listen to quite extensively and most of the 17 shows and everything -- everything has been taken from 18 memory because I have been listening to it so long. 19 80 Thank you for the opportunity to 20 speak. 21 81 The Canadian broadcasting system -- I 22 am proud of the name. It is nationalistic, has a 23 distinct flavour of importance to it and I listen to it 24 every day, starting with "Morning Watch" and ending 25 with "Ideas" at nine o'clock or that time of night, a StenoTran 20 1 little later. 2 82 I have been listening to these shows 3 longer than I can remember. I find the content of the 4 programming interesting and very informative. The news 5 programs let me know what is going on around the world 6 and in our community. Like we have got the world news 7 at the hour and the community news at the half hour. 8 83 I like the interviews with Paul 9 Vaisey who is on "Morning Watch" and government 10 officials. I have heard him hold their feet to the 11 fire and want answers, and I can tell when they are 12 squirming and evasive or when they are forthright, so 13 that really helps. 14 84 I have enjoyed, been enlightened and 15 entertained by Peter Gwozski, now Michael Enright since 16 Peter has retired; Vicky Gabereau, now Bill Richardson; 17 Ken Lang, now Barbara Peacock; "Radio Noon Phone In", 18 the "Six O'clock News" which I consider the best in the 19 world on radio. "As It Happens", directly after, is 20 the best daily news information show that sort of 21 fleshes out the regular news stories, second to none. 22 "Ideas" with Lister Sinclair at nine o'clock. I could 23 talk for hours about this show alone. I feel I have 24 received the equivalent of a few college degrees from 25 all the information I have received from this show. It StenoTran 21 1 is one of my favourites. 2 85 On Saturday I learn about what is 3 going on in politics from the show "The House". There 4 is lots of meat in that show. I listen to "Basic 5 Black". I find it very interesting and informative. 6 "Quirks and Quarks" is an excellent show. I feel 7 especially indebted to it for solving a personal 8 problem of mine which I had for a number of years. 9 People are going to find this a little bit humorous, 10 but this show solved it. 11 86 I used to have a form of sometimes a 12 sleep disorder. It was kind of like a nightmare where 13 I couldn't move and I talked to doctors about it and 14 they said they couldn't explain it. There was a doctor 15 on the show that explained when the body is going to 16 bed and is not quite relaxed, you can't get into your 17 REM sleep and it is sort of dysfunctional, it may give 18 you a nightmare or lock you into that. 19 87 After I heard that and it was 20 explained to me that disorder has never happened again, 21 and that was with me for years. So, I feel especially 22 indebted to that particular show and I want to thank 23 the CBC for this because I had talked to doctors about 24 that and they couldn't figure out what the heck was 25 wrong with me. StenoTran 22 1 88 The Sunday show "Sunday Morning" is 2 very informative about a lot of topics around the 3 world. Stuart MacLean on Sunday, the comedy show at 4 one o'clock, "Inside Track", and I am not a sports 5 aficionado because I grew up on a small farm from which 6 I listened to the CBC and we are talking about 30 years 7 ago, and though I am not a sports aficionado I find 8 their stories very interesting and I will listen to 9 them, "Tapestry" and on and on. 10 89 The Canadian broadcasting company has 11 been like a family to me morning and night. I don't 12 just sit there and listen to it all day. I am in the 13 car, when I get up in the morning, or sometimes I will 14 listen to it if there is an interesting show or 15 whatever. I can turn it on at any time, any time, and 16 know for certain I am going to hear something 17 interesting. 18 90 I would not necessarily change it 19 from its present format, but I wouldn't like to see it 20 decreased. I hope the old adage here works, "If it 21 ain't broke, don't fix it." 22 91 There's a new adage in a new book 23 out, it says, "If it ain't broke, break it." Well, I 24 have had to deal with some of these companies that 25 broke it. They are still broke and no better for it. StenoTran 23 1 92 The CBC, in my opinion, is fulfilling 2 the role of being an interesting, entertaining and 3 informative broadcasting service. The service on the 4 regional level is excellent, and without taking into 5 account the strikes right now, so I wouldn't like to 6 see those cut, and I hear local stories that I do not 7 read in the newspaper. 8 93 They are presented -- should they be 9 different? Well, they are different because they are 10 presented in a professional and distinct manner. You 11 can always tell a Canadian broadcaster from an American 12 broadcaster by the clarity and the way he speaks and 13 his bearing. 14 94 The special role -- although I don't 15 want too much television, when I do watch it I watch 16 shows such as "Venture" or shows written by Canadian 17 authors and they are very entertaining. Like I said, I 18 wouldn't like to see anything happen to the CBC in its 19 present form. 20 95 Thank you very much for hearing me 21 out. 22 96 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 23 Mr. Idzinski. 24 97 Mr. Secretary. 25 98 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. StenoTran 24 1 99 Richard Roberts, please. 2 100 Come forward, Mr. Roberts. Any 3 place. 4 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 5 101 MR. ROBERTS: I will watch my own 6 watch, shall I? 7 102 MR. LAHAY: Thank you. 8 103 MR. ROBERTS: First of all, I come as 9 a supporter of the CBC. I have been listening to it 10 for a long time. Percy Saltzman stands out in my 11 memory as the first person that I saw. 12 104 At any rate, there are a couple of 13 points that I would like to make. First of all, Radio 14 Canada International, their budget was cut dramatically 15 several budgets ago. As I travel overseas frequently 16 in the summertime and I have really noticed a 17 deterioration in what we can hear certainly in Britain 18 and in western Europe. 19 105 I think it is a real shame that the 20 government hasn't seen fit to put some of that 21 funding -- well, they did put a little bit back in. I 22 shouldn't say they didn't put anything back. They did 23 put a little bit back in, but nowhere near what they 24 had maybe 15 years ago. So, I really think that is 25 something that the rest of the world is missing. StenoTran 25 1 106 If you listen to the overnight 2 programs on the CBC that we get from other countries, I 3 mean they are great and they give us a view of their 4 countries and I think that we should be doing the same 5 thing with ours. 6 107 So, I do think that RCI needs a bump 7 and if you have any influence there that would be 8 great. 9 108 With regard to CBC television, I am 10 not a politician. I don't know where the money would 11 come from, but I think we have to get rid of the 12 flaming commercials. I mean it's appalling to be 13 hearing some tragic story on the news and then you are 14 selling the beer or a car or whatever it is. I don't 15 have an answer for that because I know everything has 16 to be paid for. I don't want to seem foolish, but if 17 it is a public broadcaster then I think we do have to 18 try and do something about the commercial issue. 19 109 We are stealing from the private 20 companies, the private networks. We are sort of 21 under-cutting them in a way, as I see it at any rate, 22 and not helping our own programming. I think that 23 commercials on the television ought to be done away 24 with. 25 110 Now, Radio One, which is what I StenoTran 26 1 listen to most of the time, just a couple of quick 2 points on that. 3 111 I think it would be a great idea if 4 we could somehow, and it would take years I know, but 5 to move away from the big broadcast centres like 6 Toronto and Vancouver and move out to some of the 7 smaller areas, so that we had more -- I remember when 8 Arthur Black's show, for example, was done from Thunder 9 Bay and you had a bit of a window on Thunder Bay as a 10 result of that. 11 112 Now he is out west. I mean Vancouver 12 is a great town, but we sort of miss something along 13 the way. I think there could be a lot done with 14 programs that are done both nationally and say 15 provincially. For example, with the current labour 16 dispute now, we are getting a lot of radio shows -- the 17 morning show in Ontario now comes from Windsor, but I 18 have heard a bit from other areas. Sometimes you get 19 an afternoon show from Ottawa. More of that sort of 20 sharing of what goes on in different centres, either 21 provincially or regionally, if you will, and then put 22 across nationally I think would be great for Canadians. 23 It is nice to know what is going on, sort of across the 24 country, on a more intimate basis perhaps than we would 25 see if it was just sort of a stock national show like StenoTran 27 1 "Sunday Morning" or a show similar to that. 2 113 So, I think that would be something 3 that I would hope that you could bring back. I don't 4 know what is possible and what isn't. 5 114 The last thing I would like to say is 6 that maybe you can do something. I don't know in these 7 hearings if you are allowed to speak or not, but why on 8 earth aren't the corporate plans out for us all to have 9 a look at? I mean they have seven years worth of CBC 10 corporate plans and the quote I read in the newspaper 11 from somebody on the CRTC Commission, I couldn't 12 believe this, it said: 13 "We couldn't release it now 14 because we haven't finished the 15 process of finalizing the 16 documents." 17 115 Now, why don't we have that 18 information? Why wasn't I able to read that in 19 layman's terms also? So that when I came here I would 20 see what was down the line. 21 116 I mean, I know people have to plan in 22 advance and you can't have everybody busting your plans 23 down and doing it again or you will never get on with 24 anything at all, but I do think that sort of 25 information should have been out in the media prior to StenoTran 28 1 now. Do you folks know anything about that? 2 117 THE CHAIRPERSON: If you are talking 3 about the public record on the applications that have 4 been filed, I know there were deficiencies and I 5 know -- in other words, there were some further 6 questions that needed to be answered and then 7 everything would be placed on the public file and 8 available to be seen at each and every CRTC office. 9 118 There is one in Toronto. There is a 10 documentation centre in Toronto that would have the 11 full application. But I don't know about corporate 12 plans. I don't know if they are in the application or 13 not. I would assume they are, but I don't know. 14 119 MR. ROBERTS: Well, according to 15 another -- to the Globe at any rate, they are out 16 there. Or, they are not out there at all. They are 17 away. They are being finished, being finalized. 18 120 THE CHAIRPERSON: Everything we have 19 got will be on the public file. 20 121 MR. ROBERTS: Yes. I just wondered 21 why I couldn't see that kind of thing before this 22 event. 23 122 At any rate, that's all you have to 24 hear from me. We have a wonderful radio system in 25 particular. I would hate to see anything happen to it. StenoTran 29 1 So, work for us there. 2 123 Thank you very much. 3 124 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 4 Mr. Roberts. 5 125 Mr. Secretary. 6 126 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 7 127 Marjorie Willms, please. 8 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 9 128 MS WILLMS: Good afternoon. 10 129 My name is Marjorie Willms. My 11 comments will be brief and personal. My car radio is 12 preset for only two stations, CBC Radio One at 1550 AM 13 and Radio Two at 89.9 FM. 14 130 CBC radio is essential to this area. 15 I listen to CBC Radio One for keeping in touch with 16 local and provincial issues and CBC Radio Two for my 17 favourite classical music. 18 131 With Tom Allan's commentaries on his 19 morning programs and Sheila Rogers' interesting letters 20 and comments, this is a uniquely Canadian slant on all 21 the beautiful music that they bring to us. 22 132 CBC Radio One is very much a part of 23 this community and contributes in many ways to our 24 local and national sense of who we are. Where would we 25 be without Paul Vaisey in the morning, Barbara Peacock StenoTran 30 1 in the afternoon, Bill Baker with the weather and 2 business news and Tom Obin with the local news? We 3 would be much poorer as a community. Please do not 4 underestimate the value of these people and programs in 5 our lives. 6 133 As for television, the only local 7 news originating in Windsor is the CBC. That is, of 8 course, when they are working. 9 134 We lost that broadcast from December 10 of 1990 to October of 1994. This has been referred to 11 by previous speakers. Four years. We felt abandoned. 12 I remember being very frustrated when the news, such as 13 it was, featured a major item about streetcars in 14 Toronto. I stopped watching. 15 135 This area was not being served at all 16 by CBC television during those four years. Needless to 17 say, Windsor is overwhelmed in every way by our 18 American neighbours. Please remember that this 19 tri-county area, Essex, Kent and Lambton, is part of 20 Canada. We need the CBC. 21 136 Regarding national news, I feel that 22 regional news suffers because of "The National" at 10 23 p.m., plus "The Magazine" and a repeat of the news at 24 11 p.m. The regional news does not come until 11:30 25 p.m., which is late for many viewers. I like Peter StenoTran 31 1 Mansbridge, but personally I don't think we need one 2 and a half hours of national. If anyone wants to see 3 Peter Mansbridge repeat himself, let them wait until 4 11:30 and give us the local news perhaps at 11:00. 5 137 One final point regarding 6 objectivity. I noticed most recently a piece by Colin 7 Grey in Vancouver -- this is on television -- about the 8 RCMP search of the home of Premier Glen Clark. The 9 media were there before the RCMP, but Colin Grey did 10 not question their role. His bias was very evident. I 11 can almost imagine his news director urging, "Go get 12 him, tiger." 13 138 Somehow, I have always expected a 14 higher ethical standard from the CBC. Shouldn't the 15 media be reporting the news, not creating or 16 contributing to it? And if they have violated our laws 17 of privacy, should that be tolerated simply because the 18 person involved is a politician? 19 139 Just as a P.S., I would like to see 20 more local talent showcased on CBC in both regional and 21 national programs. Why not a program featuring, for 22 example, the final concert of many of the music 23 festivals across the country. Figure skating is very 24 beautiful, but it is not the only art form our children 25 are pursuing. StenoTran 32 1 140 Thank you very much. 2 141 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 3 Mrs. Willms. 4 142 Mr. Secretary. 5 143 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 6 144 Marilyn Gray, please. 7 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 8 145 MS GRAY: Good afternoon, Madam 9 Chairperson. 10 146 I drove in from Toronto today to be 11 here representing the Black Film and Video Network and 12 as a filmmaker myself. First of all, thank you for the 13 opportunity to express our views, concerns and possibly 14 to come to a solution regarding the Canadian 15 Broadcasting Corporation and its mandate of 16 multicultural representation. 17 147 Public television is an important and 18 necessary form that should reflect the character 19 uniqueness, the diversification of the people in 20 Canada. When used to its fullest, it can give us in 21 comparable programs that can touch and reflect our 22 culture as Canadians. 23 148 The Canadian Broadcasting 24 Corporation, the CBC, is a very important and viable 25 institution for Canadians here and internationally and StenoTran 33 1 it should be protected at all cost. It has quality 2 programs, "The Fifth Estate". One that I really 3 appreciate is "Canadian Reflections" because it 4 showcases films from Canadian filmmakers. 5 149 The CBC has facilities for production 6 and post production and with all these things it is not 7 being utilized to its full potential. 8 150 We are requesting you to take action 9 on a few issues which I present to you today, one being 10 the CBC not following through on its mandate on 11 reflecting the multicultural and multiracial nature of 12 Canadian society, which in turn has become inaccessible 13 to people of colour. 14 151 Also, to ensure broadcasters seek and 15 develop professional peoples of various cultures in 16 various capacities within the industry, be it 17 executives, producers, writers, directors, talents and 18 technical crew. This provides a new diverse range of 19 programs and a skilled workforce. 20 152 Also, the CBC needs to lobby for more 21 monies to help with its present situation and also to 22 change the kind of programs to make it more accessible 23 to a new market. 24 153 At present the CBC is an institution 25 for some Canadians. It has made little gain for StenoTran 34 1 representation for visible minorities, especially 2 Blacks. However, in its news programming it is not 3 unusual to see reporters and anchor persons from 4 various cultural backgrounds. This would be in front 5 of the camera, but this is only one positive aspect of 6 broadcast. 7 154 There are many experiences and 8 stories that are lost because of the roadblocks placed 9 on people of colour, from learning and experiencing the 10 entire range of Canadian broadcasting. It needs to 11 find ways to actively seek out and develop diverse 12 professional groups in order to create programming that 13 can be truly non-stereotypical and reflect all 14 Canadians. This will result in Canadians fighting for 15 and putting the CBC back where it should be, a healthy 16 and unique viable institution for us all. 17 155 The CBC needs to lobby for more 18 funding in order to change programs and make it more 19 accessible to the new market, which would be a younger 20 market because at present most of its programs are 21 geared to an adult audience. Therefore, by changing or 22 including a mandate to include programs for younger or 23 a younger audience, whether it is ages 13 to 35. 24 156 Also, in this instance it is 25 important for the CBC to look to these younger ones as StenoTran 35 1 part of their pool for their executives, their 2 producers and directors. That way we are constantly 3 getting fresh views, new perspectives, more energy into 4 the CBC which it really lacks at this point. 5 157 No one can contest the fact that 6 Canadians are a grossly underrated talented group of 7 people. We have made Hollywood rich. By tapping into 8 the resources of all its people, the CBC can evaluate 9 itself for being a unique people for Canadian 10 programming. 11 158 It could be comparable to the BBC in 12 how it has grown to include all people and a real 13 viable institution for the U.K. 14 159 It is important for the CBC to make 15 these changes, that is building a strong foundation for 16 the survival into the next century, where millions of 17 adults and children can feel their hopes and lives 18 properly reflected. 19 160 To conclude, we urge the CBC to be 20 more aggressive and risk taking in developing and 21 showcasing works of those by visible minorities in 22 mainstream stories. And to you, the CRTC, to oversee 23 that they are acting on their mandate regarding 24 multicultural people. Neglecting to do so will reflect 25 badly on the CBC as a Canadian institution and may, StenoTran 36 1 consequently, result in a loss of a significant number 2 of viewers who will seek and find representation 3 elsewhere that properly illustrate their needs and that 4 would be a very sad thing for all of us because we are 5 all Canadians. 6 161 Thank you very much. 7 162 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Gray. 8 163 Mr. Secretary. 9 164 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 10 165 Mel and Mary Gilbert, please. 11 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 12 166 MS GILBERT: Thank you very much, 13 Madam Chairman, for the opportunity to express some of 14 my thoughts about the CBC. 15 167 During the time at least when I was 16 at home as a mother and a homemaker I welcomed into my 17 home Bruno Gerussi and then Don Harron and Peter 18 Gwozski and -- 19 168 MR. LAHAY: I am sorry, could you 20 please turn on your microphone. 21 169 MS GILBERT: I am sorry. 22 170 I was saying that during the time I 23 was a homemaker and I welcome Bruno Gerussi and Don 24 Harron and Peter Gwozski into my kitchen every morning 25 and over the years their humour, the wonderful StenoTran 37 1 interviews with such a variety of people across Canada 2 just highlighted my days. I became much more aware of 3 the regional diversity of my country. I became aware 4 of the various opinions that I would hear from coast to 5 coast, and I am sure that it was an excellent education 6 and I am sure it made me a much better mother than I 7 would have been had I not had that opportunity. 8 171 I am a recently retired nurse, so as 9 part of the Ontario Nurses Association I was on 10 committee meetings in reconstructing all this 11 downloading and so on that was going on and I know that 12 probably the CBC, like every other institution, has 13 gone through and maybe more must happen to be organized 14 and make people more accountable. 15 172 However, having read often, and Mr. 16 Comartin and Mr. Lessard referred to this too, that the 17 rightist view from the Windsor Star, Andrew Coyne and 18 ultimately maybe from Conrad Black, where it is 19 suggested that the CBC must become more competitive and 20 that we must rule out any government assistance. I 21 just wonder about programs like Radio Two. I too 22 listen to now, my whole life has changed, I am not home 23 so much in the morning, so I do listen to the classical 24 music and I wonder just how much we would -- how many 25 advertisers would be interested in supporting something StenoTran 38 1 like that. 2 173 I know it probably doesn't reach out 3 to a large audience and so this would be another thing 4 that would go against it. Yet, at the same time, I 5 would find that very hard to see that go. I would miss 6 it very, very much. 7 174 Because it has been referred to many 8 times I am not going to go into it, but again I just 9 wanted to re-emphasize that we are a border city and 10 for border communities the CBC is so, so important for 11 us to have here. 12 175 We go to dental offices, doctors' 13 offices, I go to the Windsor Squash for aerobics and 14 formerly the YMCA and all we hear is American music. 15 When I get back into my car and I can turn on 89.9 and 16 hear Sheila Rogers and Jorgen Goth later on in the 17 afternoon it is wonderful. 18 176 Thank you. 19 177 THE CHAIRPERSON: Excuse me, just one 20 minute. Is there still radio interference? 21 --- Off microphone / Sans microphone 22 178 THE CHAIRPERSON: I am sorry, I just 23 didn't want you to compete with the radio. 24 179 MR. GILBERT: Thank you. 25 180 If I may just start by saying the StenoTran 39 1 only thing that keeps this from being like the CBC with 2 Peter Gwozski or Michael Enright is to have somebody 3 here, one person who wants to abolish the CBC 4 completely or another person who at least wants to clip 5 its wings even further. 6 181 Other than that, it is this exchange 7 of opinion in mutual respect, where there is a 8 diversity opinion and many heated discussions have 9 happened on the CBC. There is one permanent value in 10 all that, it is that insisting that everyone be heard, 11 everyone be listened to and respected and out of that 12 there is a tremendous faith in the CBC, as it is in our 13 country, that wisdom will prevail if everyone is heard. 14 182 It is quite different from a talk 15 show where you have to be combative and there has to be 16 a lot of heat, even at times violence at the worst 17 cases, so you will be able to get even a bigger market 18 so you can charge more to the advertisers. If there is 19 no advertising, you can be -- well, some people may say 20 it is dull. We don't have a million people watching or 21 listening to this, but we have people who are 22 interested. 23 183 You noticed that one of the driving 24 dogmas of our time is the attack on elitism. What it 25 really means is what Matthew Arnold called the triumph StenoTran 40 1 or barbarism, where there is no truth to inherit, there 2 is no truth from parents or anybody else, including the 3 CBC, to give to anybody else. There is no truth at 4 all. Everything is relative and we are simply 5 consumers. I wanted to say I am a citizen and, first 6 of all, a taxpayer. I am quite prepared to pay more 7 money to have a better CBC. 8 184 Right now our problem is we keep 9 on -- we hope that they will do a better job. They 10 want to reach out to the youth. It is going to take 11 money. They have no money. They have been trying to 12 do it on the backs of their workers and the workers are 13 saying, "Sorry, you can't. If we are going to make it 14 that way, no thanks." 15 185 It seems to me that if we are serious 16 about having public broadcasting, we will not have 17 advertising. 18 186 I am not a very good spokesperson for 19 CBC television and I will watch promiscuously any 20 sports event. So, the TV -- and it strikes me though, 21 just the very fact that our CBC by having advertising 22 is already a truncated version of CBC. It is already a 23 hybridized, a mongrelized version of what CBC should be 24 I think. 25 187 Anyway, again if I can just StenoTran 41 1 reiterate, it seems to me right now we are expecting 2 the CBC -- and its leaders apparently still have a 3 tremendous desire to accomplish great things, to 4 actually carry out the mandate. The trouble is they 5 are trying to fly across Lake Erie with one wing cut 6 off and we are blaming them they are not doing so well. 7 People are complaining, no sense having the triumph of 8 mediocrity. If we are not going to give them the tools 9 to do the job, we might as well be honest and say, yes, 10 we want everything private. We will take whatever pays 11 and that will be the triumph of the American culture. 12 188 I wish we had people speaking from 13 CTV and from Wayne Stevens and so on. I am sure 14 people -- I know many of my friends watch -- listen to 15 these programs. I am a CBC radio buff. I feel very 16 strongly though that the presence of the CBC in Canada 17 keeps the private stations honest and maybe vice versa. 18 189 I think it is a matter of prudence as 19 to whether the CRTC allows the CBC to -- excuse me, I 20 am a little dry -- to move into these new fields. It 21 seems to me that they would be better to cut their 22 losses and do well at what they can do, rather than 23 survive in a reduced, diminished version. 24 190 I can't see classical music ever 25 getting a huge market. You know, as part of this StenoTran 42 1 triumph of barbarism is the attack on what is called 2 elitism. Elitism, the idea that anybody knows anything 3 that you don't know, that anybody can teach you 4 anything about anything. 5 191 It finally is -- we have rejected 6 that in our Canadian tradition. It seems to me if we 7 give up the belief that the CBC, a politician, a 8 preacher, I'm a retired teacher, if we give up the idea 9 that there are people who can teach, as long as they 10 are listening, if we give up that notion, if we end up 11 simply assuming that nobody knows anything we will be 12 completely helpless before whatever the big wigs want 13 to do. 14 192 The worst chaos in all this matter 15 right now, it seems to me, Madam Chairman, is the 16 growing -- not the belief, it's almost an assumption 17 that people here today don't believe it or at least 18 they are fighting, like myself, to go against it. The 19 assumption that this global economy is absolutely 20 inevitable and human free, there is nothing to be done 21 about it, there are no changes that can be made, that 22 the human element is absolutely irrelevant and all you 23 can do is hang on, enjoy the ride and be one of the 24 winners. 25 193 I reject that, the CBC does too, but StenoTran 43 1 they will have good discussions on it, but they would 2 make sure there would be different opinions, different 3 parts of the country and different cultures being 4 represented. So it will be a good, rousing discussing 5 and out of it everyone who tuned it would be a little 6 wiser, and that's what we are all trying to do I think. 7 194 Thank you. 8 195 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. and 9 Mrs. Gilbert. 10 196 Mr. Secretary. 11 197 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 12 198 We have the final of the first 10 13 presenters. Marnie McIntosh, please. 14 199 Marnie McIntosh, please come forward. 15 200 Thank you. 16 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 17 201 MS McINTOSH: Thank you very much for 18 the opportunity to be here this afternoon and also for 19 the opportunity to visit Windsor for the first time. 20 202 I am going to be speaking to you from 21 a different perspective. I am from a town called Port 22 Elgin, about a five hour drive from here. It's in a 23 rural area and my perspective is considerably different 24 than those of you who live here, so close to the United 25 States. While we are close to Michigan, we don't have StenoTran 44 1 quite the same influence. 2 203 Just to preface my remarks, I am a 3 CBC fan of many years. I grew up with the CBC. I 4 started listening to CHUM, like so many young people 5 did, but my husband very quickly after we got married 6 convinced me that the CBC was where it was at. So, I 7 was there the night Barbara Frum and Harry Brown were 8 arrested on air on the "As It Happens" show and I have 9 been with Gwozski, and then he left and then he came 10 back, and now he's gone again. I can speak more to the 11 radio than to the TV side, so that's probably what I 12 will do. 13 204 In the information that was sent out 14 to me by the CRTC you suggested some points. I guess 15 it's the Girl Guide leader in me, I followed the 16 points. 17 205 The first question that you suggested 18 was: Was the CBC in my view fulfilling its role as a 19 national public broadcaster? I believe that they are. 20 It is very easy to say, as other people have mentioned, 21 the few areas where they are falling down. If they are 22 falling down, it certainly isn't because the CBC isn't 23 trying. I have the greatest admiration for the people 24 who are working there, both in administration and on 25 the front line as broadcasters and technicians. With StenoTran 45 1 the cutbacks that they have endured, I am surprised 2 that they have continued to do so well. So, I would 3 not like to take a negative tone at all about that. 4 206 I suggest that everybody remember 5 what happened to their funding the next time an 6 election comes because I think that was a desperately 7 poor thing to have happen. I am ashamed as a Canadian 8 that that happened to my CBC and our CBC. 9 207 I can't speak, as I say, too much to 10 the TV because I listen to radio mostly. That's where 11 I get my information. We do have two small weekly 12 community newspapers and, of course, we have access to 13 the large city newspapers, but I like CBC because it 14 does give me a national perspective. It places me as a 15 Canadian in the situation of not just being in a rural 16 town, but being part of a greater whole. They give me 17 a perspective on the news that I wouldn't get from any 18 of the other sources that I have available to me. 19 208 I would like to see more focus in the 20 future on where Canada does sit in relationship to the 21 world. I think that with the closing down of so many 22 of the foreign bureaus we have really had a decrease in 23 our ability to hear what is going on in the world from 24 our uniquely Canadian perspective. 25 209 While we still do receive coverage, StenoTran 46 1 and I think some of the other people have mentioned 2 this, from overnight services, British and Australian 3 reports and so forth, they reflect their needs and 4 their spin on events. They don't reflect ours. I want 5 to hear about it from my point of view, from our point 6 of view. 7 210 I greatly fear that there is going to 8 be an Americanization of the international news 9 coverage that we receive, as more and more of the 10 content comes from wire services. Certainly I have 11 heard that expressed here too because of the proximity 12 to the United States, but even where I live in a small 13 town I feel it too. 14 211 Where would I like to see them going 15 in the new millennium? I think part of the national 16 mandate of the CBC is a cliché. You have heard it many 17 times, I am sure, in your travels across Canada. I am 18 sure you are going to hear it again from me to start. 19 212 Their mandate is to keep us together 20 as Canadians. Their mandate is to help us learn to be 21 Canadians with all that that entails. This they must 22 continue to do because I think it is absolutely 23 critical and they have to begin to develop a younger 24 audience. Again, the lovely lady from Toronto 25 mentioned this as well. StenoTran 47 1 213 They started using the Net and I 2 think that's a good place to start, but I really think 3 that they have to expand upon that. I would like to 4 see them begin to build an awareness of the CBC in 5 younger people by producing a youth service, something, 6 but specifically designed to be relevant to the needs 7 of the young people, to reflect their concerns, to 8 speak in a voice that they can listen to and that they 9 can identify with. 10 214 Let's use the people that they know. 11 Some people here have mentioned that as well. We have 12 brilliant young people, not only in the CBC who should 13 be brought along, both for the public face and behind 14 the scenes in administration, but we have wonderful 15 young musicians and athletes and personalities who 16 would love the opportunity that Barbara and Peter and 17 so many others got years ago in the heyday, the golden 18 era of CBC. 19 215 Personally, I love listening to Peter 20 Gwozski. One of my favourite possessions is a picture 21 of him that my daughter got in Ottawa. She stopped him 22 in a mall and asked if she could take his picture for 23 her mother but, as I say, I love Peter Gwozski. I grew 24 up listening to him. I like to listen to Michael 25 Enright now, but I am not sure that my grandsons StenoTran 48 1 wouldn't rather hear from Ross Rebagliatti. I really 2 don't think that they need to hear Gwozski's voice any 3 more. He was of an age with me. He spoke to me. He 4 still speaks to me, but they need a younger voice. 5 216 This should also, and this is the 6 younger CBC, be a vehicle where they might be able to 7 take some tips from YTV and Citytv, those broadcasting 8 groups now that are appealing so well to young people. 9 They are reaching the young people and they need to be 10 aggressive. They need to advertise this youth service, 11 or whatever they are going to call it, take some risks, 12 just like the woman from Toronto said, be aggressive 13 and take some risks. That is as far as my good notes 14 got. 15 217 I think we also, if I could put one 16 slightly negative point in, I think that we have to, as 17 the new millennium approaches, rectify any of the 18 reception problems that seem to exist across the 19 country to eliminate the pockets where service can't be 20 picked up. We have the technology. There is no reason 21 why with a little money we couldn't eliminate that if 22 this is actually going to be a national broadcasting 23 corporation. Let it speak to all of our people, not 24 just those of us who are lucky enough to live within 25 transmitter range. StenoTran 49 1 218 One of the other questions you had 2 was should the programming provided by CBC radio and 3 television be different from that provided by other 4 broadcasters? You're damned right it should. It 5 should take a national perspective for us. It should 6 fight -- continue to fight, I should say, the dumb down 7 of media content that seems to be appeasing or 8 appealing to a common denominator that is continually 9 sinking lower and lower. Yes, it should because CBC 10 makes me think. Rex Murphy can also drive you to 11 distraction, but he makes me think. 12 219 CBC challenges me to re-examine my 13 ideas and my preconceptions. It exposes me to new 14 music and new people and new ideas that in my community 15 I would never have the ability to hear or meet any 16 other way. It has been my university. I left school 17 figuring I was really stupid at 16. I'm not really 18 stupid, but CBC was one of the reasons that I finally 19 came to that realization, that and my husband. 20 220 It has given me a confidence that I 21 didn't have before in my ability to communicate with 22 others because I could listen to people across this 23 wonderful country and realize that I could do that. 24 221 It has provided me with a voice where 25 I can speak to other Canadians through "Cross Country StenoTran 50 1 Checkup" and so many of the other programs. I can even 2 call a "sad goat" if I want to. 3 222 Recently, I was given something by a 4 very dear friend which I, unfortunately, didn't bring 5 with me today. It was an excerpt from the inaugural 6 speech that Nelson Mandela gave many years ago. In it, 7 and I will have to paraphrase because I don't have it 8 here, he asked the people who were listening to him, 9 "Who are you to say that you should be brilliant, 10 gorgeous and talented?" And his reply to them was, 11 "Who are you not to be." 12 223 He went on to say that it is not our 13 inabilities that we are afraid of and our inadequacies 14 we are afraid of; it's our strengths that make us 15 afraid. He said that it doesn't serve the larger world 16 for us to be less than we have the potential to be. 17 Instead, we should be being all we can be, doing all we 18 can do and being the best that we can be at whatever we 19 choose to do. 20 224 He said that that empowers those 21 around you to reach their true potential as well. I 22 think that is what CBC does for me and for Canada and 23 what it has to continue to do. It empowers me as a 24 person and it empowers me as a Canadian. 25 225 I don't know how much you can do. StenoTran 51 1 Coming from just a person like me though, I would like 2 to make a request, one Canadian to another. Can you 3 use whatever you have at your ability or your 4 discretion to strengthen and support the CBC? My 5 grandsons are coming along. My children are already 6 committed to the CBC, as I am, but I want someone in 7 the future to be able to pose a question that I didn't 8 even know needed asking. "Who are you to be gorgeous, 9 brilliant and talented?" I want them to still be there 10 to tell my grandsons, "Who are you not to be." 11 226 Thank you. 12 --- Applause / Applaudissements 13 227 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 14 Ms McIntosh. 15 228 I am going to ask Mr. Lahay to call 16 the people who were amongst the first 10 who were not 17 at the table, just to see if they are here now. 18 229 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 19 230 Emilio Bisceglia. Helen Campbell. 20 231 THE CHAIRPERSON: If they are not 21 here, we will then take a 10-minute break and be back 22 here, by my watch, at 25 minutes after. 23 232 MR. LAHAY: I would like to also 24 suggest that if you have a copy of your presentation 25 that you wish to leave here with the Commission, we StenoTran 52 1 would be more than pleased to make a copy. 2 233 Thank you. 3 --- Recess at 1415 / Suspension à 1415 4 --- Upon resuming at / Reprise à 1430 5 234 THE CHAIRPERSON: Could we start 6 again, please. 7 235 MR. LAHAY: We are going to call the 8 next presenters, please, the next list. 9 236 Lynn Girty, Mr. F.A. Brown, James 10 McMillan, Richard Langs, Tom Henderson, Wendy Fraser, 11 David Harrison and Pastor Tom Collins, Harvey Bondy, 12 Jacques Kenny. Would you please come forward and take 13 a position at the table. 14 237 We will start, please, with Lynn 15 Girty. 16 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 17 238 MR. GIRTY: Thank you. 18 239 My name is Lynn Girty, and I am a 19 farmer in the neighbouring County of Kent. I am a long 20 time CBC listener. We have a bunch of radios within 21 the shop, tractors, trucks, cars, house, and they are 22 all tuned to either 88.1, which is how I get the 23 Windsor station, so you know where my biases are. 24 240 I have also had the pleasure of 25 working with the Windsor people, both TV and radio, and StenoTran 53 1 from that standpoint I will probably keep my remarks 2 fairly general. 3 241 CBC radio and TV has historically 4 been, and should continue to be the media forum that 5 all Canadians can depend on for believable news, 6 Canadian entertainment and the venues that Canadians 7 stay in touch with each other. 8 242 As I stated before, I am extremely 9 supportive of all the CBC venues. I have an 10 opportunity to see some of the TV when I get a chance 11 to get in there. 12 243 In this new era of -- 13 --- Technical difficulties / Problèmes techniques 14 244 MR. LAHAY: Sorry about that. 15 245 Okay, please carry on. 16 246 MR. GIRTY: Thank you very much. 17 247 I started to talk about this 400-plus 18 media system that we are having around, or developing 19 because of globalization or whatever other term you 20 want to use for it. 21 248 In that kind of an environment it is 22 even more important than ever that the CBC continue to 23 be what it always has been in the past, and that is the 24 only network that does connect Canadians to Canadians, 25 and does in fact give us information, entertainment, StenoTran 54 1 talent that is relevant to our country. 2 249 Now, I can't speak too much about the 3 American networks. I had a chance to listen to a 4 little bit. I have removed myself from that venue. 5 They are totally irrelevant to my needs. 6 250 I have a classic example. I got 7 forced to listen to a couple of news programs relative 8 to the Clinton issue. If you listen to the Canadian 9 venue and you listen to the American venue, you 10 wouldn't know it was the same story, except that they 11 did use Clinton's name so you assumed it had to be. 12 251 So there is no correspondence to -- I 13 mean, the American networks, they must be great for 14 Americans. They are absolutely useless to Canadians. 15 252 We believe the regional and the 16 national networks work together, and thus the regional 17 programming, must be increased. The national CBC 18 system, because of the cuts, has lost a lot of its 19 effectiveness and relevance to Canadians because it 20 doesn't have sufficient regional networks. 21 253 If you have to apportion money out, 22 CBC absolutely has to develop its regional network 23 system, because without it, then it becomes no 24 different than the rest and it has no relevance to 25 Canadians. StenoTran 55 1 254 The relevant part of the Canadian 2 system on the national level is all the information it 3 gets from the regional networks and, if you want to 4 extrapolate into the international scene, it gets the 5 same kind of information from the international scene. 6 When it starts spewing out American material, you can 7 tell instantly. 8 255 This, of course, means that there has 9 to be a difference in the way it is funded. I am not a 10 fan of corporate advertising, never have been. It is 11 what every other network is stuck with, I understand 12 that. Canadians must have one that is different from 13 the rest. 14 256 Every other station -- every other, I 15 want that repeated -- is affected by the advertising 16 that they have to have. There are just countless times 17 that you can see reports, see entertainment, see 18 programs that either didn't or did get on or were 19 altered because of the advertising that didn't have any 20 relevance to what was right or wrong or truth or false. 21 It was because of the corporate advertising. 22 257 We had the classic example here today 23 of the local paper. I used to take that local paper. 24 When that paper changed ownership, that paper changed 25 totally. That paper is irrelevant now to people, my StenoTran 56 1 people in Kent County. It has very little 2 listenership,. It's kind of like the funnies now. If 3 you want a funny break and read something that has no 4 relevance, you get "The Windsor Star". 5 258 That is kind of unfortunate because 6 there are people there I'm sure that would like to 7 print what they know to be fact but are prevented from 8 doing that. 9 259 We have that in the electronic media 10 as well. I have the pleasure of listening to some of 11 the regional stations that do their best, but they are 12 very much influenced by that advertising. That 13 corporate advertising must be eliminated from CBC. 14 260 If we have to have any at all, it has 15 to be rendered insignificant. Insignificant to me is 5 16 per cent or less, and then it doesn't matter whether 17 they kick in or not, and I would suggest that is where 18 it has to go. 19 261 The current strike that we have right 20 now is directly the responsibility of the federal cuts. 21 There is no other reason for that to happen. If you go 22 farther with it, the issue of the federal cuts to CBC 23 had nothing to do with money. 24 262 The amount of money that the CBC got 25 before was, again, insignificant in the total scheme of StenoTran 57 1 things in Canada, yet it had everything to do with the 2 issue of lobbying by, of course, corporate interests, 3 and the political mandarins of the day wanting to 4 control the news. That, unfortunately, is something 5 that has to be stopped. 6 263 I also have a belief that we can't 7 allow this kind of influence on the media that we saw 8 with Terry Milewsky and the APEC crisis. That is not 9 acceptable in Canada. There are ways to ameliorate 10 that. I recognize we have to have public 11 accountability and therefore you are going to have to 12 have boards, but that immediate infusion of their 13 power, political power, has to be stopped. That can't 14 be allowed over the longer term. 15 264 I think, in conclusion, the one thing 16 that I get out of CBC more than anything else is the 17 fact that it is relevant. I get to talk to Canadians, 18 I want to talk to Canadians, I use the phone lines 19 through the stations, I get to hear what's going on 20 from the regional networks. That is one of the things 21 that has been stopped and I don't like to see it 22 stopped. 23 265 I think one of the quotes that I 24 would like to end with that says it about as well as I 25 could, and it is out of this week's issue of Maclean's, StenoTran 58 1 and it's Anthony Wilson Smith who I would have to 2 suggest has not historically been a fan of CBC, but he 3 makes a couple of lines and I would like to quickly 4 read them. 5 "Management seems unable to 6 accept that it can no longer 7 afford to do all it now does." 8 (As read) 9 266 That is completely true. That has 10 everything to do with funding and nothing to do with 11 reality. 12 "The CBC is the only network 13 that tries to speak to all 14 Canadians." (As read) 15 267 Correctly. I agree with that 16 totally. And this is Maclean's who was trying to do 17 the same thing, and admits it is still the only network 18 that can do it. 19 268 Finally, it says: 20 "In a 400-channel universe it is 21 an inevitable part of 22 globalization. A healthy, 23 clearly Canadian CBC becomes 24 more, not less important than 25 ever before." (As read) StenoTran 59 1 269 I would submit that we do everything 2 we can to get their licence back. I'm not sure how far 3 you can go on the political scene, but at least you can 4 make comments to them that the only way this can be 5 effective is it has to be with public dollars, which is 6 not a tax dream. It just matters squat in the scheme 7 of things in the Canadian funding. 8 270 I thank you very much for this 9 opportunity and I wish you well in trying to keep CBC 10 for all of us. 11 271 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 12 Mr. Girty. 13 272 Mr. Secretary. 14 273 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 15 274 Mr. F.A. Brown, please. Mr. Brown. 16 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 17 275 MR. BROWN: My name is Floyd Brown, I 18 am a retired pharmacist living in Forrest, Ontario. 19 That is between Sarnia and London. 20 276 I want to first of all, Madam Chair 21 and Mr. Lahay, commend you most heartily on having a 22 democratic process which is not that frequent coming 23 out of Ottawa. 24 277 Our Brown family lived in Windsor, 25 this Windsor community for over 70 years. Growing up StenoTran 60 1 here in the 1930s and 1940s, I and my mates felt we 2 were second class American citizens. Our cousins to 3 the north in Detroit and Dearborn were the real North 4 Americans. 5 278 Canada was a name, a Union Jack, 6 perhaps a Canadian ensign in the school, perhaps "God 7 Save The King" every once in a while, but the real 8 country was the United States, the real flag the Stars 9 and Stripes: Except for one thing, CBC radio, 740 AM 10 it was then. 11 279 This radio spoke about Canada 12 continually. We had to know, as children, if hazily, 13 that there was a country Canada out there, even though 14 places like Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, Vancouver were 15 only names on a geography. It was only when I attended 16 the University of Toronto that I began to realize that 17 Canada was an important, separate, vital, progressive 18 country. 19 280 Then all the journalism I and my 20 family had listened to on CBC during these formative 21 years began to have real meaning. CBC had given us an 22 ingrained core mental image that became real away from 23 the razzle-dazzle of American and big city Detroit. 24 281 Throughout the last 60 years of my 25 life CBC has remained my source of good -- and I mean StenoTran 61 1 good -- world and national information. 2 282 The modern CBC, and CBC TV in 3 particular, has been floundering. This is primarily 4 due to a true massacre of funding cuts and, 5 secondarily, to that management problem. I think the 6 massacre is being perpetrated by a business-free 7 enterprise or private enterprise, political philosophy 8 of the present government, and profit hungry private 9 and powerful media corporations. 10 283 They see some further profit in CBC's 11 great legacy of fine journalists, the bright directors 12 and programmers. They want the red meat of CBC and may 13 leave the entrails to we Canadians, those of us who 14 want less or even no American advertising, cop shows 15 and computer-generated cartoons. 16 284 CBC has been perhaps the best 17 training ground for actors, journalists, directors and 18 technicians. Look at the rise in the viewership 19 Mr. Herendorth(ph) gave to TVO when he went there. We 20 have only to look at Laurier Lapierre, Patrick Watson, 21 "This Hour has Seven Days"; David Suzuki's "The Nature 22 of Things"; "Witness"; "The Fifth Estate" to see 23 journalism that far exceeds even anything PBS can do. 24 285 More recently, as mentioned, this 25 Terry Milewsky affair and the APEC. StenoTran 62 1 286 In truth, my friends, my associates 2 want no jingle-jangle advertising on our CBC radio. If 3 Mr. Chrétien's government is too poor to afford a 4 decent national broadcaster, the worst case scenario, 5 revert to the poll or the ratio tax of the '20s and 6 '30s. But I don't think that is true, as has been 7 pointed out. 8 287 This year the Chrétien government 9 will give even more taxpayers' money, corporate 10 welfare, to private broadcasters from the Canadian 11 Television Fund. It is wrong to give public money to 12 private for-profit corporations. 13 288 Chrétien has extended the stay of 14 CBC's lame duck president, further confusing all of 15 CBC. He is meddling his political agenda into our 16 broadcast system. The Liberal Party has, unbefitting 17 such a national party, allowed the publicly unseen 18 Board of Directors of CBC to be stacked with party 19 hacks, not professionally motivated telecommunications 20 specialists. 21 289 Steady budget cuts have reduced the 22 quality and quantity of regional and local programming, 23 whereas the need of our Canadian nation for the 24 Year 2000 and beyond is increased regional and local 25 programming to increase the strong ties of community. StenoTran 63 1 290 My CBC radio out of London gives very 2 little Windsor news, a city with which I have many 3 strong ties, and CBC TV is a disaster for London, 4 Sarnia and Windsor news. 5 291 The stated pressured attempts by this 6 current government to centralize the control and 7 programming by an Ottawa-based management is totally 8 against good community programming and smacks of this 9 government's big brother approach to governing. 10 292 The CRTC must somehow, some way, 11 ensure the independence of CBC radio and television 12 news services and totally divorce government 13 interference in news delivery. Manipulation of the 14 news by central government can be democratically 15 extremely, extremely dangerous. The name Goebels can 16 be remembered. 17 293 It seems to me CBC's primary function 18 is to tell Canadians about Canadians and, secondarily, 19 to tell Canadians about the world. To that point, the 20 correspondence should be restarted, restored in London, 21 Paris, Moscow, Southeast Asia, et cetera. 22 294 In summary, I believe CBC needs the 23 financial cuts restored, and I include the National 24 Film Board in this area. It needs more local 25 programming and a new form of management totally StenoTran 64 1 divorced from government political control and it 2 should leave all commercial advertising to the private 3 for-profit corporations. 4 295 Finally, CBC may need another network 5 to appeal to the youth of our nation to foster the 6 Canadian nation, especially among the teenage youth who 7 are presently overwhelmed by the U.S. media from 8 Disney, New York and Hollywood. 9 296 Thank you, Madam Chair. 10 297 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 11 Mr. Brown. 12 298 Mr. Lahay. 13 299 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 14 300 James McMillan, please. 15 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 16 301 MR. McMILLAN: I have just come from 17 the City of Toronto. I can't understand why you 18 couldn't have one of these in the City of Toronto as 19 your venue, but I found out the closest we could get 20 was Windsor. I have come by bus down there and I 21 finally got out to your Cabol venue and found out that 22 you were no longer there. I wasn't told last week when 23 I phoned CBC in Ottawa that it had been changed and I 24 finally got here. 25 302 Up until now, the CBC "Newsworld" has StenoTran 65 1 been my main channel for news, until this past 2 November/December. But I went down to Quebec and I 3 couldn't believe it. The only time that other than two 4 parties are stated on the CBC or any other English 5 media in Canada here was when the Leader of the Action 6 Démocratique, Mario Dumont, won the debate. 7 303 That was the only time they told us 8 in Ontario and throughout the rest of Canada that there 9 was more than two parties in the Province of Quebec. 10 It shook me because Action Democratique in the Province 11 of Quebec had candidates in every riding. Mario Dumont 12 took 500,000 votes, with no help from the English media 13 at all. 14 304 I couldn't believe that the CBC, paid 15 for by the people of Canada, and many of the supporters 16 of Mario Dumont, their money pays for the CBC and yet 17 they never mentioned the Action Démocratique as a party 18 in Canada. They almost left it as if it was a 19 referendum and it was either choose between the 20 Liberals and the P.Q. It is unbelievable that this 21 could happen in my country, where I listen 90 per cent 22 of the time to CBC "Newsworld" back in Toronto. 23 305 We have 300,000 francophones in the 24 City of Toronto and a lot of them had the right to vote 25 in Quebec. Throughout the Province of Ontario there is StenoTran 66 1 about 1 million francophones and anglophones from 2 Quebec who want to know what is going on in Quebec. 3 Instead of that we get from our news media, and the CBC 4 really let me down and let down the people who are 5 paying for CBC broadcasts during that two-month period 6 of that election. It was unbelievable. They kept 7 saying "the Liberals, the P.Q." with no mention of the 8 other two parties that fielded more than 24 candidates 9 in the ridings in Quebec. 10 306 The Equality Party had 24 candidates. 11 There was no mention whatsoever by the English media at 12 all for the Equality Party. There was no mention of 13 the Action Démocratique candidates. It is time to do 14 justice. It is unbelievable, during that election no 15 mention. 16 307 As soon as there was a by-election, 17 14 days later after the election in the area of Mason, 18 where nobody came in to interfere at all, the Action 19 Démocratique came from nothing up into second place and 20 they would have been second place in the Province of 21 Quebec had the English media given them a fair chance. 22 308 You are not quite as bad as the CTV 23 network which left their opinion booth in Montreal in 24 the Eaton's Centre with the cord cut for the last 10 25 days of the election, so nobody could get even an StenoTran 67 1 opinion out on the CTV. 2 309 But it shocks me when I find that the 3 CBC and all the other English media saying the one 4 thing that really shocked me. They kept pushing, it is 5 either the P.Q. or the Liberals. The Action 6 Démocratique are the only party in Quebec, other than 7 the Equality Party, that doesn't stand for separation. 8 They took 5 per cent without any help from the English 9 media at all. They took 5 per cent away from the P.Q. 10 and they took 4 per cent away from the Liberals and 11 they kept Mr. Bouchard from ever getting that amount 12 over 51 per cent. 13 310 I ask why did the English media do 14 this, and especially the station that I like to listen 15 to, CBC "Newsworld". It's 26 in Toronto. I don't know 16 what it is in Windsor. But this has really shocked me 17 and I have got no answers back. 18 311 When I sent to the CRTC, they sent me 19 the folder showing me that these meetings were going to 20 be taken place. 21 312 I have heard great portions from 22 these gentlemen here, as I sat back there, patting the 23 CBC on the back and, yes, I like the CBC. But they 24 should be fair. At least this was not a referendum in 25 Quebec. This was who was going to govern the Province StenoTran 68 1 of Quebec for the next four years. Instead of getting 2 just one seat with 500,000 votes, Mr. Dumont would have 3 been the Opposition leader had he had a fair chance 4 with the English media. 5 313 I thank you very much. 6 314 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 7 Mr. McMillan. 8 315 Mr. Lahay. 9 316 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 10 317 Richard Langs. Richard Langs. 11 318 Tom Henderson. Please turn on your 12 microphone, Mr. Henderson. Thank you. 13 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 14 319 MR. HENDERSON: Commissioner Cram, 15 staff, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you. 16 320 As a lifelong resident of Windsor and 17 on behalf of the people of Windsor and Essex County let 18 me welcome you to this unique corner of Ontario, the 19 automotive capital of Canada and the most southerly 20 city in the country. 21 321 I am a retired secondary school 22 mathematics teacher and, for lack of a better term, a 23 CBC radio and television super fan. With me to be 24 seen, and not heard over there, is Carl Morgan, a 25 career journalist and retired editor of the "Windsor StenoTran 69 1 Star". Today's submission is a blending of both of our 2 views. 3 322 For the record, we represent no lobby 4 group. We have no axe to grind. We have no hidden 5 agenda. Our sole purpose is to add our voice to 6 thousands of others who simply believe in the need for 7 a publicly funded national radio and television 8 network. 9 323 We also believe that the CBC provides 10 a world-class service, but that it can and should be 11 better. It is a service that should not be allowed to 12 survive merely on life support. It should be 13 encouraged to grow stronger and bolder and in so doing 14 enrich the lives of Canadians everywhere. 15 324 That, in our view, is of paramount 16 importance and we truly appreciate the opportunity to 17 express our views as plainly and as honestly as we can. 18 325 When such an opportunity presents 19 itself, the natural temptation is to craft an eloquent, 20 impassioned plea,d arguing for the need for a publicly 21 supported national network as an integral part of the 22 Canadian mosaic and one that is necessary if we are all 23 to continue to bind together as a nation and that's 24 what we started out doing. 25 326 However, on sober second thought, we StenoTran 70 1 decided to take a different tack and speak more 2 specifically about the unique needs of living in this 3 sunny corner of Canada, a mere stone's throw from one 4 of the most economically and culturally powerful 5 metropolitan regions of the U.S. midwest. 6 327 From the windows of this hotel you 7 can see the Detroit River, a slender boundary between 8 Ontario and Michigan. So narrow that it would have 9 been an easy challenge for the late jolting Joe 10 Dimaggio to crack a sharp line drive from the top of 11 this hotel smack into the middle of downtown Detroit. 12 We're close and at times painfully close to the United 13 States. 14 328 Depending on how you view things, 15 Windsor is the American gateway to Canada or the 16 Canadian gateway to the U.S. midwest. Windsor is often 17 labelled as perhaps the most Americanized city in 18 Canada. This is neither good nor bad to those of us 19 who have grown up in this challenging environment. 20 Neither should it come as any great surprise when you 21 glance at the numbers. 22 329 Windsor and Essex County boasts a 23 total population of less than 400,000, while the 24 Greater Detroit region is home to around 5 million. 25 330 In such circumstances, the analogy of StenoTran 71 1 the mouse and the elephant, trite as it may be, takes 2 on real meaning. For that reason alone it is 3 imperative that Canadians living in this border region 4 have access to a strong, aggressive, vibrant television 5 and radio presence that can provide a nationalistic 6 voice as a reminder that we are Canadians through and 7 through and that we are not just another suburb of 8 metro Detroit. 9 331 If you haven't already seen for 10 yourself, let me tell you that two Detroit newspapers, 11 the "News" and the "Free Press" and "USA Today" jostle 12 with the "Windsor Star", "The Toronto Star", "The Globe 13 and Mail" and "The National Post" for strategic street 14 corner spots for their newspaper sales boxes right 15 outside the building. 16 332 Fortunately, our Canadian print 17 media, local and otherwise, have built a strong base of 18 loyal readers and remain dominant in the marketplace. 19 Although the American papers are marketed aggressively 20 and are highly visible, they are usually, though not 21 always, purchased as a second paper. It's a 22 longstanding habit that is unlikely to end in the near 23 future. 24 333 Regrettably, the status of the 25 Canadian electronic media is a much different story. StenoTran 72 1 Six powerful, rich and seductive private American 2 television networks, not even counting cable, as well 3 as about 50 radio stations, are perched figuratively on 4 our doorstep. Together the U.S. radio and TV stations 5 have corralled a disproportionate market share relative 6 to those on this side of the river. 7 334 We say that not as a negative 8 reflection on the effects of our home base media, but 9 only as a statement of fact. It's a daily, nasty 10 battle. 11 335 Although our Canadian privately owned 12 commercial stations have acquitted themselves well on 13 the local scene, there is no way they can counteract 14 the stifling American presence. They cannot be 15 expected to hold back the American tide and the larger 16 job of representing all of Canada to all Canadians. 17 That is a task that can be undertaken only by a 18 national publicly operated and fully funded network 19 such as the CBC. 20 1500 21 336 In stressing fully funded, we are 22 painfully aware that despite budget surpluses, our 23 government in Ottawa continues to insist there is 24 barely enough in the bank to pay for basics such as 25 universal health care and upgraded military and so on. StenoTran 73 1 337 On the other hand, we are also aware 2 that in politics, as in private enterprise, it is the 3 squeaky wheel that gets the grease, and for that reason 4 we hope that our united squeaks will help convince the 5 Liberal government that the CBC deserves a much larger 6 slice of the public pie than they are presently 7 getting. 8 338 So, how important is the CBC to 9 Windsor and Essex County? To answer we only have to 10 reflect back to 1990, when someone in the CBC hierarchy 11 faced with another round of spending cuts decided that 12 when all else fails you amputate. Without warning or 13 apparent good reason Windsor's CBC-TV station became 14 one of the severed appendages. 15 339 Incredibly, that single, thoughtless 16 action triggered an amazing, spontaneous grassroots 17 protest. Thousands of angry men, women and children 18 poured into the streets on a cold December day and 19 marched to the TV station about a kilometre west of 20 where we sit today. With a single voice they let it be 21 known that they were outraged and embittered. Not that 22 it did much good. The decision makers, curiously 23 insulated from the real world, dug in defending their 24 decision without much logic. 25 340 It took another four years and a StenoTran 74 1 change in government before the decision was reversed 2 and Channel 9 was back on air. That may have been a 3 victory, but it was a pyrrhic one at best. 4 341 Trust, as we all know, can be 5 eggshell thin and someone at CBC cracked that shell. 6 The damage was irreparable and the CBC lost a ton of 7 goodwill, much of which has never been fully recovered. 8 Sadly, it will happen again if bureaucratic bean 9 counters refuse to loosen the public purse. Should 10 that happen, local CBC radio and television outlets 11 will be ill equipped to perform the job they are 12 supposed to do. In such circumstances, there will be a 13 further erosion of loyal listeners and viewers. 14 342 If that happens, CBC's detractors 15 will crow, "See, we told you, no one wants a publicly 16 funded radio or TV network," and many might argue that 17 this is the case. But is it really? We don't think 18 so. 19 343 While we can't support the position 20 statistically, there is ample anecdotal evidence and 21 that evidence comes not from en elitist minority, but 22 from grassroots Canadians everywhere. 23 344 From time to time Radio One sends out 24 a message of particular interest to long-distance 25 truckers and farmers working in their fields, the last StenoTran 75 1 people in the world you would expect to be tuned to CBC 2 and the response is, invariably, overwhelming. 3 345 Calls flood in from prairie grain 4 farmers, oil rig operators and 18 wheelers chugging 5 from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island. They thirst for 6 the kind of broadcasting that can only be delivered by 7 a publicly supported national network. 8 346 And there are others, like my own son 9 who now lives and works in Michigan. He longs for 10 those moments when time is his own and he can dial into 11 Canadian happenings through the CBC. 12 347 Aside from letters and phone calls, 13 it is his only real link to home. 14 348 In his one year living across the 15 border, he has met many Americans who have a greater 16 understanding of the Canadian psyche because they 17 regularly tune into Radio Two, "As It Happens", "The 18 Fifth Estate", our local news programs and the list 19 goes on. 20 349 To a person, these Americans 21 acknowledge they are richer for it. Make no mistake, 22 there is an enormous difference between Canadian and 23 American cultures and CBC is one of the few unique and 24 distinct elements that sets us apart. 25 350 That might not seem so apparent to StenoTran 76 1 those who live further than we do from major border 2 regions, border points, or those living in larger 3 cities and enjoy a greater mix of Canadian 4 broadcasting, but for those of us living in the deep 5 shadow of the American metropolis it is a daily fact of 6 life. 7 351 We came here today not to defend or 8 to attack the practices and polices of the CBC or its 9 employees. Certainly, there are many things that could 10 be done differently, but that's a whole different 11 matter. In fact, we came here as staunch, loyal 12 Canadians to tell you that in our humble opinion a 13 national radio and TV network needs to be nurtured and 14 nourished. 15 352 To do anything less is unforgivable. 16 To silence the CBC would be unconscionable. 17 353 Thank you. 18 354 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 19 Mr. Henderson. 20 355 Mr. Lahay. 21 356 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 22 357 Wendy Fraser, please. Wendy. Wendy 23 Fraser. 24 358 David Harrison and Pastor Tom 25 Collins. StenoTran 77 1 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 2 359 MR. HARRISON: Thank you for the 3 opportunity to speak with you today. My name is David 4 Harrison and I am representing Faithville Productions. 5 We have a television production facility that produces 6 Christian children's programs. 7 360 I understand that you are interested 8 in hearing how well CBC is serving the public on a 9 regional, as well as a national level. As well, you 10 wish to know if there is a special role the CBC should 11 play in the presentation of Canadian programming. 12 361 My concern is the level of service 13 that we are seeing regionally. Here, locally, CBC 14 Windsor provides five hours of local programming per 15 week. These five hours consist of two half hour news 16 programs per day, Monday to Friday, a half hour at 5:30 17 p.m. and another at 11:30 p.m. The 11:30 is primarily 18 a recut of the original material presented at 5:30. 19 There is approximately two minutes and 30 seconds of 20 new material, plus sports highlights, that are produced 21 for the late news package. 22 362 What I am pointing out here is that 23 there is a gross lack of relevant programming for our 24 local community. News of the day has its place in our 25 lives, but is this the only reflection of what is StenoTran 78 1 important to Windsor, Essex and Kent Counties? The 2 typical minute and a half news story keeps us well 3 informed as to the latest developments of Windsor's 4 gambling establishments, city hall's successful 5 legalization of prostitution and downtown 6 revitalization. 7 363 But what of matters of Canadian 8 culture specific to this area, family concerns, 9 relevant content other than the news of the day that 10 speak to and for the people of Windsor, Essex and Kent 11 Counties? 12 364 CBC Windsor should be that platform. 13 How? By opening up the time slots in the schedule for 14 open line programs, public affair specials produced 15 here locally, by creating a way for program producers 16 of this region to reach the public. 17 365 CBC Windsor TV produces just five 18 hours per week, Monday to Friday. Does anything happen 19 here on the weekend? That five hours equals the amount 20 of air time devoted here in Windsor to Toronto's local 21 newscast. Each night from 6:00 until 7:00 we are 22 treated to such culturally relevant information as 23 traffic congestion on the Don Valley Parkway to fires 24 in Etobicoke. 25 366 All of this is relevant to Toronto, StenoTran 79 1 but a waste of valuable resources here in Windsor. 2 367 Faithville Productions and broadcast 3 entities like us would at least like the opportunity to 4 reflect our community, its values, its accomplishments, 5 its talents and its viewpoints. 6 368 As CBC enters its licence application 7 phase, its condition should be set so that the CBC is 8 distinctive from private broadcasting. We don't need 9 more of the same. We do not need local Toronto news, 10 especially if we as taxpayers are footing the bill. 11 369 The essence of CBC should consist of 12 program producers working in a process that is 13 organized around the ever-changing needs of the local 14 community. It should serve the interests of the 15 public. The structure and philosophy of the CBC should 16 respond to the consumer. CBC should operate from the 17 viewer back, not the top down. 18 370 Five hours of local news doesn't 19 accomplish this. Are you aware that five hours here in 20 Windsor is given over to foreign content, a British 21 soap opera and an American cooking show? Please don't 22 let people tell you that there isn't room on the 23 schedule. The only thing there isn't is the will to 24 open up the airwaves to truly serve the public. 25 371 As members of the CRTC, it is your StenoTran 80 1 task to set the terms and condition for CBC's licence 2 renewal, a licence that will see us into the new 3 century. Hence, plans for such things as Radio Three 4 are proposed. Shouldn't the resources that already 5 exist be used in a culturally relevant and responsible 6 manner? 7 372 The question put before us today is: 8 Is there a special role that the CBC should play in the 9 presentation of Canadian programming? The answer is 10 yes. CBC, and more importantly regions such as CBC, 11 should play a greater role. There is content 12 available. There is air time available. 13 373 There are Canadians, the people of 14 Windsor, Essex and Kent Counties who contribute to our 15 national fabric that need to be seen and heard. What 16 needs to be changed is the accessibility, but realize 17 that change is not change until it is changed. 18 374 The CBC requires a clear and precise 19 mandate that represents the accessibility to the people 20 that are paying for it. 21 375 Thank you very much. 22 376 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 23 Mr. Harrison. 24 377 Mr. Lahay. 25 378 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. StenoTran 81 1 379 Harvey Bondy, please. 2 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 3 380 MR. BONDY: Hi. My name is Harvey 4 Bondy. I do two types of television shows on our local 5 cable community access channel. Both shows are very 6 successful. I do one-on-one interviews with high 7 profile people such as the Honourable Herb Gray, who is 8 the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, Michelle Ramsay, 9 Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights 10 Commissioner, and Dr. Joy Brown, and the list is 11 endless. 12 381 I do another show that is the 13 benchmark called "Get Busy With Living". This show is 14 a live call-in show for people with disabilities. It 15 has roll-in segments throughout the show such as 16 disabled scuba diving, disabled gardening, and profiles 17 on local people that have overcome their obstacles. 18 382 The show has a lot of informative 19 items that anybody who has or knows a person with a 20 disability could use. That is why I call the show "Get 21 Busy With Living". It acts as a sounding board for 22 people who just want to express their views. This is 23 may fourth season, and I love doing the show. I am the 24 host and producer. 25 383 But as successful as these shows are, StenoTran 82 1 they are limited to people who have cable. 2 384 When I became disabled I decided 3 right away that I was going to do something else, which 4 brings me to the CBC. I have come forward to the CRTC 5 panel to tell you that we need the CBC to give us an 6 objective look at what is happening in our community. 7 385 I get a lot of story lines from the 8 CBC, but one issue that seems to stand out in my mind 9 is a story that got action. I will site the railroad 10 crossing issue. I have been talking about this 11 incident for long before a fellow was tragically caught 12 in a railroad crossing in Chatham. He was killed, 13 because he could not get his wheelchair out of the 14 crossing before the train came. This was tragic. It 15 could have been avoided if the tracks were in repair. 16 386 I know that there are many tracks in 17 disrepair, but the tracks that the public are using as 18 a right-of-way to get to where they are going should be 19 fixed. 20 387 Now, the CBC decided to get me 21 involved with this project, and I went down with a 22 reporter, Cory McKrindle(ph) and did a story about 23 this. Could this happen anywhere? Here in Windsor for 24 example. 25 388 The CBC ran the story before the StenoTran 83 1 weekend, and because of the massive exposure of this 2 issue, that very weekend they decided to fix the 3 tracks. 4 389 Now, that is the power the CBC wields 5 in certain areas. There have been a lot of other 6 examples of success stories that the CBC has done for 7 people with disabilities. I think the CBC is an asset 8 to the area because we are bombarded with American 9 television. People come from the other parts of Canada 10 and they think we think differently than the rest of 11 Canada. That is true because of the American 12 influence, because of their broadcasts. 13 390 I would like to see more Canadian and 14 local content on the CBC so that we understand what the 15 rest of Canada understands. Windsor is expanding 16 quickly, and one reason is the casino. I imagine some 17 of the panellists are going to go to the casino, or 18 have at least heard of it. 19 391 Detroit is embarking on a casino 20 venture that will put American influence to this area. 21 I believe that more dollars should be coming to this 22 area so that we can keep our Canadian profile. 23 392 Also, just to let you know, I know 24 television and also I am available after the strike. 25 393 Thank you. StenoTran 84 1 394 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 2 Mr. Bondy. 3 395 Mr. Lahay. 4 396 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 5 397 Monsieur Jacques Kenny, s'il vous 6 plaît. Mr. Kenny. 7 398 M. KENNY: Merci. 8 399 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Une seconde, 9 monsieur. 10 400 Who are you? 11 401 PASTOR COLLINS: I am Pastor Tom 12 Collins. I was with David Harrison, but I also have 13 some things I want to present. 14 402 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. We will hear 15 Mr. Kenny and then you. I'm very sorry. 16 403 PASTOR COLLINS: No, that's fine. 17 PRÉSENTATION / PRESENTATION 18 404 M. JACQUES KENNY: Messieurs, 19 Mesdames. Je tiens à vous souhaiter la bienvenue dans 20 notre belle région du sud-ouest. Il fait bien de 21 savoir que le Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des 22 télécommunications canadiennes est toujours à la 23 recherche des commentaires des citoyennes et des 24 citoyens sur les services de la Société Radio-Canada. 25 405 Je m'appelle Jacques Kenny et StenoTran 85 1 j'habite la ville de Lasalle en banlieue de Windsor. 2 Je me présente aujourd'hui pour parler sur deux sujets. 3 Premièrement, le réseau RDI et, deuxièmement, la 4 station de radio de langue française locale, CBEF. 5 406 Je dois vous dire que j'ai beaucoup 6 hésité avant de venir vous parler. Cette hésitation 7 était due au fait que cela fait plusieurs années que la 8 francophonie locale réclame le service RDI pour la 9 région par le biais de lettres, de pétitions et de 10 présentations. 11 407 (Sans microphone...) déconcerté en 12 faisant une courte recherche auprès d'amis et de 13 collègues et que dans la ville reine le réseau RDI 14 n'est pas disponible aux francophones de cette région. 15 408 Hors, ma consternation fut grande 16 lorsqu'on m'a annoncé que malgré plusieurs 17 présentations, rien n'avait bougé de leur côté non plus 18 et, je me dois de vous le dire, on m'a conseillé que ça 19 ne valait pas la peine et le temps de vous faire une 20 présentation. Rien ne bouge! Et quand même, me voilà 21 devant vous. 22 409 Chers membres du Conseil, je ne passe 23 pas beaucoup de temps devant la télé, mais je suis un 24 adepte des nouvelles. Je visionne surtout "News 25 World", "The Journal" et les grandes chaînes StenoTran 86 1 américaines, en plus des émissions de nouvelles de la 2 SRC et TVO. Malheureusement, RDI ne fait pas partie de 3 l'équation. 4 410 Lors du recensement fédéral de 1991, 5 la population francophone du centre et du sud-ouest de 6 l'Ontario s'élevait à 165 920 personnes, soit 30,33 7 pour cent de la population de l'Ontario. Si la ville 8 reine et notre région n'ont pas encore accès au réseau 9 RDI, et ces deux communautés à elles seules doivent 10 sûrement représenter un minimum de 40 000 francophones. 11 Quel pourcentage de la population francophone du centre 12 et sud-ouest y a accès? 13 411 Je ne répéterai pas tous les 14 arguments possibles sur l'importance du RDI puisque, 15 j'en suis certain, vous les avez tous entendus, à 16 plusieurs reprises, et depuis plusieurs années. 17 412 Force est que le service RDI est pour 18 moi, non seulement un outil d'informations, mais un 19 outil de survie, un outil de culture, un outil de 20 sensibilisation. Je suis votre client. J'attends le 21 service que vous me promettez depuis longtemps. 22 413 Messieurs, mesdames, vous avez le 23 devoir, sinon le pouvoir, d'assurer ce service dans nos 24 communautés, et ce sans nuire aux autres réseaux de 25 langue française. StenoTran 87 1 414 Quand passerez-vous à l'action? 2 L'assimilation est galopante. Si vous ne pouvez pas, 3 ou ne voulez pas, nous aider dans notre coin du pays, 4 il existe une probabilité que les remparts 5 linguistiques seront bientôt chez vous. 6 415 Je vais maintenant dire quelques 7 paroles au sujet de la station de langue française 8 locale CBEF. Il y a eu énormément de progrès depuis 9 ses débuts en 1970. Nous avons subi un roulement 10 extrêmement élevé au sein de son personnel. Une 11 meilleure stabilité semble se dégager de nos jours. 12 416 Je constate que des membres du 13 personnel ont choisi d'élire domicile parmi nous. Je 14 ressens que ces gens veulent faire partie à part 15 entière de notre communauté et nous les accueillons à 16 bras ouverts. 17 417 Je privilégie écouter les émissions 18 locales de CBEF, ainsi que l'émission Ontario 30. 19 J'apprécierais si on ajoutait un autre 30 minutes à 20 l'émission Ontario 30, afin de pouvoir en connaître 21 davantage sur ce qui se passe en Ontario français. 22 418 Mes quelques autres suggestions 23 d'améliorations sont les suivantes. Il y avait une 24 émission pour les ados il n'y a pas longtemps à CBEF, 25 conçue et préparée par eux, sous la direction habile StenoTran 88 1 d'un chargé de projet. Le programme a été coupé, 2 question de sous. 3 419 Trouvons les moyens pour rétablir une 4 programmation pour eux. Élargissons aussi le montant 5 d'antenne alloué aux émissions locales. Permettons un 6 caractère communautaire plus étendu. Je dois féliciter 7 l'équipe de la station CBEF. Ces gens ont réussi à 8 percer dans les communautés francophones de la région. 9 420 Cette présence officielle et 10 personnelle aux diverses célébrations et activités 11 communautaires est appréciée de toutes et de tous. 12 Bravo et félicitations à ces gens. 13 421 Je ressens vraiment que CBEF est ma 14 station locale. Il est important d'agrandir et de 15 renforcer ces liens. De grâce, arrêtons de couper dans 16 les budgets et commençons à les augmenter. 17 422 Messieurs et mesdames, je vous ai 18 mentionné plus tôt qu'on m'avait conseillé que c'était 19 une perte de temps de faire une présentation. Sachez 20 que j'ai suivi mes propres conseils. Sachez aussi que 21 vous ne me verrez plus devant vous. Arrêtons de nous 22 consulter et passons à l'action. 23 423 Je tiens à vous remercier de m'avoir 24 accordé ces quelques minutes de votre temps précieux et 25 ose croire que mes quelques paroles et suggestions, StenoTran 89 1 aussi humbles qu'elles soient, ont atteint leur but. 2 424 Merci. 3 425 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Merci, Monsieur 4 Kenny. 5 426 Mr. Lahay. 6 427 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 7 428 Now to Pastor Tom Collins. 8 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 9 429 MR. COLLINS: First of all, I would 10 like to thank you for this opportunity to share today. 11 I think that what is going on in this room is one of 12 the blessings of being a Canadian, to be able to share 13 our views and feel free to do so with all the ladies 14 and gentlemen here today. 15 430 To give you some background, my name 16 is Tom Collins, I am a Pastor here in Windsor. I was 17 born and raised here in Essex County, and my job is to 18 minister to young children. 19 431 Five years ago I was looking for a 20 new way of teaching children God's word. I find that 21 we just can't get up and talk to kids any more, with 22 computers and televisions we need to get their 23 attention. So what we did in our gymnasium at our 24 church, we built a town, called it Faithville, and we 25 put on a live performance every Sunday morning for some StenoTran 90 1 325 children that come through there. 2 432 From the success we saw of that, and 3 how that ministered to children, we decided to put it 4 on video and eventually to television, because we 5 realize that not every church can do that type of 6 thing. 7 433 So that's where I begin today. I 8 will open by referring to a letter that I received from 9 the CBC on October 23, 1996 in reference to our inquiry 10 about our locally produced family Christian program. 11 In summary, we were told -- and I quote and it's on 12 this letter here: 13 "After careful consideration I 14 feel this program is not really 15 suitable for a 16 non-denominational, broad appeal 17 broadcaster." (As read) 18 434 The letter continued to suggest that 19 we might try sending our material to the Vision Network 20 and wishing us the best of luck. 21 435 Well, we have done that with Vision. 22 We have been on Vision, and we receive mail from 23 children all across Canada. 24 436 But with CBC being a public 25 broadcaster, that is my next point that I want to StenoTran 91 1 share. Our country's heritage began with people who 2 believed in God. Allow me to share with you a quote 3 taken from the first church service held in Montreal 4 that clearly and boldly stated that the purpose of the 5 colony was to bring about the glory of God, from John 6 Cabot to the writing of "O Canada". God keep our land 7 glorious and free has been sung with moving and 8 heartfelt devotion ever since. 9 437 This rich heritage of profound belief 10 in God did not stop there, but continued through the 11 ages. This is clearly seen by all who have ever 12 visited Parliament Hill. The inscriptions at the top 13 of the Peace Tower are taken from Proverbs 29:18 and 14 Psalms 72:8: 15 "He shall have dominion also 16 from sea to sea." (As read) 17 438 And on the left facing west are the 18 words: 19 "Without a vision the people 20 perish." (As read) 21 439 Bearing all this in mind, Madam 22 Chair, to be told that a Christian family program does 23 not represent the broad sector of people is 24 reprehensible, in fact in many ways is an insult to 25 those men and women who gave their all for what they StenoTran 92 1 believed. 2 440 On August 12, 1996 we were sent 3 notification confirming that our program was recognized 4 by the CRTC to be 100 per cent Canadian. For your 5 future information, our certification number is C12811. 6 441 It is my understanding that CBC is 7 basically government funded. It is also my 8 understanding that the government offers equality to 9 all. 10 442 Subsequent to our letter from the 11 CBC, our program has been accepted on two Christian 12 networks in the United States. We are seen across the 13 United States, Africa, Central and South America and as 14 far north as Greenland. As well, people from other 15 countries are looking for this program in their 16 language. 17 443 We are told that Canada is hungry for 18 Canadian programs using Canadian talent. We have such 19 a program, but have been forced to look toward foreign 20 broadcasters due to the apparent lack of interest. I 21 find this to be contradictory. How do we justify that 22 our program is desired in other countries and yet 23 rejected by our own public broadcaster? 24 444 I am fully aware, as I am sure you 25 are, that the CBC does air programs that introduce StenoTran 93 1 varying opinion. I do not negate their right to do so. 2 That's one of the great things about being around this 3 table today for all of us to share our beliefs and 4 feelings. However, I only ask for a level playing 5 field. 6 445 I would expect that a government 7 funded broadcaster would be held responsible to fulfil 8 their role nationally and locally, introducing not just 9 a few ideas or lifestyles but meeting the needs and 10 entertainment requirements of the country as a whole. 11 446 Some might say that our program 12 exemplifies only one sector of the people. However, I 13 would say that our program does not simply exemplify a 14 minority, but rather a lifestyle dedicated to the 15 fundamental truths laid out by our forefathers and 16 continued today. 17 447 The new Constitution Act point 2 18 clearly gives us fundamental freedoms. Point 5 grants 19 us equality rights. The Constitution Act 1982 states 20 in part that the national government and Parliament and 21 the provincial governments and legislatures are 22 committed to promotion of equal opportunities for the 23 well-being of all Canadians. 24 448 I believe that according to our 25 Constitution the CBC has gravely misrepresented a large StenoTran 94 1 sector of our country and impeded our right to equal 2 opportunity. Canada has been called a Christian 3 country whereby we are to assume that the majority of 4 the people believe in God. 5 449 I believe for the CBC to remain 6 relevant and accountable as a government funded 7 broadcaster they must first begin to utilize the full 8 scope of talent, ideas and beliefs represented in 9 Canada as a nation. 10 450 Presently the CBC focuses mainly on 11 informational programs, sports and only a few 12 entertainment programs. Whether this is due to a lack 13 of purely Canadian material or a selection process of a 14 few who are trying to speak for all, I feel that the 15 CBC must take responsibility to allow the 16 representation of all individuals in Canada. 17 451 In closing here, as I have listened 18 this afternoon, I keep hearing -- one thing that keeps 19 coming up, and that is to have programming for our 20 youth. I have brought a program to the CBC for young 21 people, for families, and I'm not saying that other 22 things they are doing are not important, I am just 23 asking that the CBC be fair to all individuals. 24 452 I was raised on a farm and one thing 25 that I know, the things that we plant today will be StenoTran 95 1 tomorrow's harvest. The things that we put into our 2 children today will be the leaders for tomorrow. This 3 country is too precious of a country not to build in 4 our children the character and the love of God that 5 they need to know about. 6 453 I share with children that God says 7 that they are his workmanship. He is very proud of 8 them. Every person has a gift. God has designed every 9 person with a gift. And you know what, God is proud of 10 our children. God is proud of each one of us because 11 we are his workmanship, his handiwork. You know, if we 12 make something, we are proud of that thing. God has 13 created us, he is proud of our children. Our children 14 need to know that. 15 454 If we look at today's "Windsor Star" 16 there are two very devastating stories about families 17 within our community here. We need to give our 18 children and our families hope, and part of the 19 CBC's -- what I feel part of their mandate, is to open 20 the door up so that it can be a level playing field to 21 give our families and our children of tomorrow an 22 opportunity to choose what is best for them. 23 455 Thank you. 24 456 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Pastor 25 Collins. StenoTran 96 1 457 I'm now going to ask Mr. Lahay to 2 call all of the people who were on our list and who 3 have not yet spoken in case they have arrived a little 4 late. 5 458 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 6 459 Going through the list once again, 7 Emilio Bisceglia, Helen Campbell, Richard Langs, Wendy 8 Fraser. 9 460 No response, Madam Chair. 10 461 THE CHAIRPERSON: We now come to the 11 portion where CBC is allowed its say. 12 462 Do you need a few minutes? We will 13 take a 10-minute break. 14 --- Recess at / Suspension à 1530 15 --- Upon resuming at / Reprise à 1543 16 463 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will reconvene 17 with Miriam Fry. 18 REPLY / RÉPLIQUE 19 464 MS FRY: That's correct. 20 465 THE CHAIRPERSON: Go ahead. 21 --- Technical difficulties / Problèmes techniques 22 466 MS FRY: My name is Miriam Fry. I am 23 the Regional Director of Radio for Ontario. I am 24 speaking on behalf of my colleagues Bruce Taylor, who 25 is the Regional Director of Television for Ontario, and StenoTran 97 1 Maryse Leureau(ph). They are both in the other room at 2 the other consultation. She is representing 3 French/English and Television here. 4 467 I first want to thank the CRTC for 5 arranging for these consultations and giving us the 6 opportunity to hear directly from people. 7 468 I was at hearings and consultations 8 in Sudbury two days ago and there are a lot of themes 9 that are the same. I suspect they are probably the 10 same elsewhere in the country, although I haven't had 11 the privilege of attending those. 12 469 But people feel very, very strongly 13 about the CBC and they feel that they have a right and 14 a responsibility to praise and to blame it. We have 15 been taking notes all afternoon and we certainly will 16 be getting back to everybody individually who have made 17 comments. 18 470 I have heard that Windsor is 19 certainly a unique place in Canada. You only have to 20 look out the window to know that. As a result, the 21 importance of local and regional coverage of the 22 community is perhaps even more crucial here than in 23 other places. 24 471 I have heard that it is really 25 important for people in this area to hear the stories StenoTran 98 1 of other Canadians, to feel a part of Canada, and to 2 tell their stories as well so that other Canadians will 3 know about the unique situation of Windsor. 4 472 I just want to let those people know, 5 particularly the person who had the question about our 6 application. Our application is definitely going to be 7 made public. All our applications will be posted for 8 viewing on the CBC web site by the end of the month, as 9 well as at all CBC locations across the country. If 10 people have any further comments, they can put those 11 comments on the public record by either writing us or 12 the Commission or, of course, by appearing in person at 13 the public hearings in Hull. 14 473 So thank you again for giving me the 15 opportunity to hear from the people of Windsor. 16 474 THE CHAIRPERSON: I simply wish to 17 thank each and every person for being here and for 18 giving us their opinions. We value them highly. 19 475 I want to thank the court reporter, 20 and we will now reconvene at six o'clock this evening 21 for the remainder of the people. 22 476 Thank you. 23 --- Recess at / Suspension à 1545 24 --- Upon resuming at 1800 / Reprise à 1800 25 477 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good evening, StenoTran 99 1 ladies and gentlemen and welcome to this public 2 consultation on the CBC. 3 478 Bonsoir, mesdames et messieurs et 4 bienvenue à la série de consultations concernant la 5 Société Radio-Canada. 6 479 My name is Barbara Cram. I am a CRTC 7 Commissioner. 8 480 We are here to gather your views and 9 comments on CBC radio and television and your opinion 10 on how should the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 11 fulfil its role in the coming years. 12 481 Mes collègues du Conseil et moi-même 13 nous sommes répartis la tâche d'entendre les points de 14 vue qui nous seront soumis par les participants au 15 sujet du rôle de la Société Radio-Canada au cours des 16 prochaines années. 17 482 The CBC is a national public service, 18 broadcasting in English as well as in French. It plays 19 an important role in the Canadian broadcasting system. 20 Today many elements are constantly being added to the 21 broadcasting system as new technologies multiply, 22 converge, open up new horizons and increasingly offer 23 new services. 24 483 In this context, we want to know what 25 are your needs and expectations as viewers and StenoTran 100 1 listeners of the CBC. Given that, it is very important 2 that the Commission hears what you have to say. We 3 must not lose sight of the fact that the CRTC itself is 4 a public organization that serves Canadian citizens. 5 484 In this capacity, we are responsible 6 to you. This is why my fellow Commissioners and myself 7 find it vital to come and meet with you and discuss 8 these issues and why we are holding this series of 9 regional consultations from one end of the country to 10 the other in 11 Canadian cities from March 9 to 18. 11 I must say, however, this is the first time I have had 12 a consultation overlooking the U.S.A. 13 485 These consultations are designed to 14 give you a chance on the eve of a new morning to 15 express your opinion on the CBC's role, the programming 16 it offers and the direction it should take at the 17 national, regional and local levels. 18 486 Through these consultations we hope 19 to enter into an open dialogue with you and hear your 20 concerns. Your comments will form part of the public 21 record which will be added to the record of the public 22 hearing on the CBC that will begin in Hull on the 25th 23 of May. 24 487 At this upcoming hearing, the 25 Commission will examine the CBC's application for the StenoTran 101 1 renewal of its licences, including radio, television 2 and its specialty services, "Newsworld" and "Reseau de 3 l'information". 4 488 You can also take part in that public 5 hearing by sending your written comments to the CRTC. 6 If you wish to do so, please remember to refer to the 7 specific licence renewals being examined when you file 8 comments. 9 489 I would like to come back to today. 10 Please allow me to introduce the CRTC staff with me 11 today, Mr. Rod Lahay, who is with our Broadcasting 12 Planning Service. Please feel free to call upon him 13 with any questions you may have about the process today 14 or any other matter. 15 490 So that you will all have an 16 opportunity to speak, we ask that you please limit your 17 presentation to ten minutes. As these consultations 18 are a forum designed especially for you and we want to 19 listen to as many participants as possible, we will not 20 ask any questions unless we need clarification. 21 491 At the end of the session, 22 representatives from the local CBC stations will have a 23 chance to offer their views as they are naturally very 24 interested in what we are discussing here today. 25 492 Before I start, I would ask Mr. Lahay StenoTran 102 1 to go over some of the housekeeping matters regarding 2 the conduct of this consultation. 3 493 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 4 494 Another reminder, if you haven't 5 already done so. If you have not checked in at the 6 front desk but you are planning to be a presenter 7 tonight, please make sure you do. You may be in the 8 room next door rather than this one. 9 495 Again I would ask, to reiterate 10 Commissioner Cram's comments, for your ten minute 11 limit, if possible. 12 496 We will be calling groups of ten this 13 evening. When I call your name, if you wouldn't mind 14 coming to the front table here, have a seat and we will 15 be taking you in that order as well for your 16 presentation. 17 497 Also, please remember to announce 18 your name when you start. If you are a group and more 19 than one is speaking for the group, again please 20 announce your name so it will be on the exact court 21 reporting. 22 498 To start with, I will go through the 23 list. The first list of ten people tonight: Trevor 24 Price, Earl Amyotte, Barb Duke, Patricia Blonde, Olive 25 Weaver, Joyce Whitaker, Ronaldo Agostino and Mike StenoTran 103 1 Vonella, Mark Lefebvre, Barri Cohen, Wes Chalmers. 2 499 Would those people please come 3 forward to sit at the front desk here. 4 500 Thank you. 5 501 Also a reminder for anybody in the 6 audience who is not a presenter tonight, however, you 7 would like to give your comments, there are comment 8 sheets at the desk on the outside. Please feel free to 9 make any suggestions or any comments on the CBC and 10 leave them with the lady at the front. 11 502 They will also form part of the 12 official record for this proceeding. 13 503 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just to be clear, 14 if any of the individuals who Mr. Lahay has called, if 15 you could all come and sit before a microphone and then 16 we will take you in the order in which he has called 17 you. 18 504 MR. LAHAY: Once again in the order I 19 called, Trevor Price. Earl Amyotte. 20 505 Okay, sir. Please proceed. 21 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 22 506 MR. AMYOTTE: Thank you. 23 507 Earl Amyotte. I am representing here 24 the pro-life movement in this country. The pro-life 25 movement, Campaign Life, is headquartered in Toronto. StenoTran 104 1 We also have a lobby office in Ottawa. 2 508 I am requesting from the CRTC here 3 today that the CBC be defunded and privatized, thus 4 saving the Canadian taxpayer millions of dollars. 5 509 We feel that the CBC is biased and 6 prejudiced to the pro-life movement here in this 7 country. A case in point was the airing of the 8 documentary "Thou Shalt Not Kill" on January 19. There 9 were many, many errors and also very many inaccuracies 10 in that documentation. 11 510 The CBC on December 19 sent a film 12 crew down here to Windsor to film any activities that 13 take place with a group of pro-life people across on 14 the American side. That was never aired in the 15 documentary and we feel that the CBC did not want to 16 air that documentary because it showed the pro-life 17 people in a peaceful and non-violent manner. 18 511 We also feel that the reason why this 19 was not shown is that the CBC wanted to put a spin on 20 this, showing that any of the violence that we abhor 21 that takes place in the pro-life movement is part and 22 parcel of all of the pro-life movement not only in 23 Canada, but also in the States. 24 512 In the documentary we were shown 25 pictures of aborted babies. The commentator at that StenoTran 105 1 time indicated that these were false and that there was 2 no documentation to back up that these were indeed 3 aborted babies. 4 513 As such, again I reiterate that in 5 all of this, putting it succinctly, we would ask that 6 the CBC's licence not be renewed. We would ask that 7 the CBC be privatized, given the fact that there are 8 many radio stations across this country who are not 9 funded -- radio stations and TV stations that are not 10 funded by the public in general. 11 514 We feel why should the CBC be funded 12 and as such we ask that it be privatized and we also 13 ask that it be defunded. 14 515 Thank you very much for listening to 15 my comments. 16 516 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. 17 Amyotte. 18 517 Mr. Lahay. 19 518 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 20 519 Barb Duke. Barb Duke. Patricia 21 Blonde. 22 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 23 520 MS BLONDE: My name is Patricia 24 Weaver Blonde. I am speaking for myself and Olive 25 Weaver. We are from Chatham Kent. StenoTran 106 1 521 For 30 years for myself and for my 2 mother even longer, we have enjoyed CBC broadcasts. 3 For me it's the first thing I hear in the morning and 4 often the last at night. 5 522 It has been my way while working at 6 home of maintaining contact with the larger world. It 7 has also been a way of continued education for me in 8 subjects I had not even thought of. It has also been a 9 chance to have my say with the talk-back programs and 10 also to listen to other ordinary people's viewpoints 11 across the country. 12 523 CBC has been my source of information 13 on who is up and coming in the Canadian music and 14 literary field, frequently putting me ahead of my local 15 stores' supplies of books and CDs. Frequently it takes 16 me months to get what they play on CBC. 17 524 Through international news reporting 18 and newscasts, we have had a balance to our information 19 that otherwise is mainly from the United States. To 20 understand the crisis that other countries are 21 experiencing, it is invaluable to hear it from their 22 personal expression. 23 525 There has been great reporting by 24 Peter Mansfield, Alison Smith, Wendy Mesley and Don 25 Newman. However, it is too bad that we have lost some StenoTran 107 1 reporters from some of the countries, no doubt due to 2 budget restrictions, I imagine. 3 526 I do enjoy waking in the middle of 4 the night to hear the news from Europe or Australia or 5 some other place. It's very interesting to hear the 6 way they are broadcasting the same news I might have 7 heard coming from the States and a very different point 8 of view. 9 527 I have also learned a great deal 10 about the art of interviewing. Both those that are 11 skilful at drawing the subject out from the guests and 12 those who do not pay attention or have an agenda of 13 their own have shown me in graphic detail what works 14 and what doesn't. 15 528 On the whole, I appreciate the effort 16 made to have a mature and not vulgar broadcast, 17 although lately some hosts seem to be slipping a little 18 in that department. I look to the CBC to enlighten, to 19 educate, to entertain and to inform me and I am not 20 often disappointed. 21 529 Radio Two has a good, broad selection 22 of music. "CBC Newsworld" is especially talented in 23 the regional, national and international coverage. The 24 BBC section certainly gives us a different slant on the 25 world information. StenoTran 108 1 530 CBC-TV has had good family movies 2 such as "Emily of New Moon" and "Anne of Green Gables". 3 Suzuki's "Nature of Things" is also very interesting 4 and educational. The experimental plays with Daryl 5 Duke was an experience to feed the brain with new 6 concepts and ideas. This kind of program helps to 7 counter the general pop that is fed through the local 8 commercial radio. 9 531 Canadian content is important to me 10 since there are few other avenues for me to hear 11 homegrown and produced talent. International programs, 12 especially from overseas, help counter the States' 13 influence as well. 14 532 Local interviews are also vital since 15 we do live in the community. However, the regional and 16 national information needs to be there as well. 17 Emphasis outside of Toronto is very important since 18 there are a lot of Canadians not of that area, culture 19 and mindset. 20 533 In the future I hope that programs 21 will exist for every age group, even if I do not like 22 to listen to all of them. I hope that being a Canadian 23 media will be obvious and something to be proud of. 24 With the large area that our country covers and the 25 multi-ethnic interest and age diversity that it StenoTran 109 1 represents, it will be a challenge to reach everyone, 2 but the attempt is needed if we are to hang together as 3 a country and a society. 4 534 If the only way for the CBC to 5 continue is to be a public broadcast type station with 6 fundraising necessary, I would be willing to pledge 7 towards it. 8 535 Thank you. 9 536 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms 10 Weaver Blonde. 11 537 Do I take then that Olive Weaver who 12 is on our list will not be here? 13 538 MS BLONDE: That's correct. She is 14 here, but I am speaking for her. 15 539 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. 16 540 Mr. Lahay. 17 541 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 18 542 Joyce Whitaker. Joyce Whitaker. 19 Ronaldo Agostino and Mike Vonella. 20 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 21 543 MR. AGOSTINO: Good evening, ladies 22 and gentlemen. 23 544 My name is Ronaldo Agostino. Please 24 allow me to introduce Mike Vonella. We are both 25 communications study students at the University of StenoTran 110 1 Windsor. 2 545 We would like to take this 3 opportunity to discuss the CBC's role in the future of 4 Canadian television and radio. 5 546 The belief is that the CBC's and the 6 CRTC's role as organizations is to serve Canadians all 7 across the nation. Canada is a mosaic of cultures, 8 beliefs and values which should all be represented by 9 the CBC. For this reason, we feel that in the next 10 millennium the CBC should focus more on regional and 11 local coverage to satisfy the needs of many Canadians 12 as they possibly can. 13 547 Toronto is big, but not bigger than 14 Canada. In a city like Windsor, we are overwhelmed by 15 the American mass media. The constant debate is also 16 focused on the lowering of Canadian content 17 regulations, but how much lower can we possibly go? 18 548 Why? Is Canadian radio and 19 television not strong enough to compete with the rest 20 of the world? On the foreign market between the years 21 of 1992 and 1996, the sale of Canadian programs 22 increased 287 per cent according to the Canadian 23 Association of Broadcasters. 24 549 According to a poll released on 25 September 23, 1998, that was commissioned by the CRTC, StenoTran 111 1 79 per cent of English speaking Canadians had named an 2 American show to be their favourite, so why aren't 3 Canadians watching? The no-brainer would be that the 4 CBC cannot compete with American broadcasters because 5 of limited financial resources. This may be the case, 6 but it has been shown over time that people will watch 7 quality Canadian programming. 8 550 In our opinion, American media is all 9 about the hype. Their television and radio is no 10 better than ours. It's just promoted to the mainstream 11 and, as in many cases, Canadians fall into their trap 12 as well. We are led to believe that the American 13 programming is better than ours, so most people won't 14 even give the CBC a chance. 15 551 In the fall of 1998, I had the 16 pleasure of being an assistant host at CBC Windsor's 17 open house. This gave me some very important insight 18 behind CBC and a chance to personally meet CBC viewers 19 and listeners. My duty was to sit with Jonothan 20 Torrence, host and star of "Jonovision". 21 552 My first observation was directed 22 towards the people in attendance. The majority of them 23 had to be at least over the age of 40. Sitting with 24 Jonothan Torrence, a CBC personality directed towards a 25 younger audience, it was evident that not many people StenoTran 112 1 were there to see him. 2 553 The lineup was right across from me. 3 CBC's fans waited to meet with Shelagh Rogers, host of 4 CBC Radio's "Take Five". She was the star of the day, 5 but even the people who went to see her complained that 6 she didn't talk enough. 7 554 Speaking to one of the producers of 8 the show, he told me that the CBC itself demanded that 9 Shelagh not talk so much. I didn't understand it. Why 10 doesn't the CBC give Canadians what they want? It was 11 obvious that they wanted to hear Sheila. 12 555 My major concern of the day had to be 13 the lack of younger people visiting the open house. 14 Sure, there was young kids, but only because they 15 tagged along with their parents. The majority of the 16 people were adults. Where were all of my friends and 17 people my age? Could it be that the CBC has let a full 18 generation of viewers slip through their fingers? It 19 appears so. 20 556 Now the CBC's biggest challenge 21 heading into the next millennium is how can they get 22 young adults back and not lose the younger generation 23 before us? 24 557 Our suggestion is simple. Instead of 25 the CRTC focusing so much on Canadian content when StenoTran 113 1 renewing the CBC's licence, they should focus more on 2 quality instead of quantity. Produce entertaining 3 Canadian programming, concentrating more resources to a 4 smaller number of shows while improving the quality. 5 Once this happens, then we believe that more 6 advertisers will want to be on the CBC, creating more 7 revenue and an opportunity to tap more Canadian 8 television. 9 558 We questioned a university student on 10 his thoughts of the CBC and he replied: 11 "During the afternoon hours of 12 Sunday, March 24, 1999, I found 13 myself in front of the 14 television watching a show on 15 CBC called 'Wind at my Back'. 16 The show had some basic concepts 17 that would look good on paper. 18 However, the lack of creativity 19 and the poor execution on the 20 part of the actors, combined to 21 create an episode that was 22 sub-par and lacked quality 23 entertainment value. One of the 24 reasons why people in Canada 25 don't watch Canadian programming StenoTran 114 1 is because of the entertainment 2 factor. The acting was seedy 3 and the program had a shortage 4 of enthusiasm. I found myself 5 dazing off half way through the 6 show. With the current CBC 7 lineup, I do not think I will 8 find myself watching anything 9 except 'Hockey Night in Canada', 10 unless the schedule changes some 11 time in the near future." 12 559 It is evident that the CBC has done a 13 mediocre job in targeting younger audiences. What 14 appeals young Canadian adults to the American pop 15 culture is their ability to relate. What we mean is 16 their ability to promote and market the mainstream 17 commodities. 18 560 It's simple. Television programming 19 is a fad and Americans are the finest at attracting 20 trendy audiences. Once a craze dwindles, American 21 broadcasters change their format to tailor the new 22 demands of their audiences. 23 561 We feel that for the CBC to take 24 steps in order to compete, they must improve the visual 25 quality of their programs because at times it is StenoTran 115 1 extremely dull. 2 562 Certain shows look inferior and 3 unprofessional in comparison to American television. 4 Although potentially good in content, audiences will 5 not keep the channel tuned in to poor visual 6 television. Secondly, the energy and excitement pales 7 in comparison to American TV. With this in mind, many 8 shows on the CBC have made early exits. 9 563 Nevertheless, CBC's comedy and 10 variety shows are very funny. The CBC should attempt 11 to model its success of programs, such as "This Hour 12 has 22 Minutes", with others. The comedic talent 13 fabricated from Canada speaks for itself. However, we 14 must give them assurance that staying in Canada is as 15 beneficial as the United States. It comes down to 16 establishing our own identity and culture. 17 564 Culture is frequently referred to as 18 art, literature, classical music, values and beliefs 19 and how society conforms to these characteristics. 20 Culture is a whole way of life, the media shapes it and 21 the government attempts to mould it. Culture is a 22 cohesive in which society is held together. 23 565 It is the personality, the symbols 24 and the values in which an individual is patterned. 25 Abraham Rotstein defines it best: StenoTran 116 1 "Culture as 'language', used in 2 the larger sense of the term, is 3 thus one of a broad, if not the 4 broadest feature of the unity 5 and coherence of a society. It 6 is the essential binding feature 7 without which any semblance of 8 orderly discourse and 9 interaction would disappear." 10 566 Finally, it is the CBC's duty to 11 provide Canadians with not only cultural programming, 12 but with programming that is culturally entertaining in 13 its news, information, educational and dramatic 14 programs. 15 567 Thank you very much. 16 568 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. 17 Agostino and Mr. Vonella. 18 569 Mr. Lahay. 19 570 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 20 571 Just a quick reminder that if any of 21 the presenters wish to leave a copy, the Commission 22 would be pleased to accept them at this time. 23 572 Mark Lefebvre. 24 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 25 573 MR. LEFEBVRE: Good evening. StenoTran 117 1 574 My name is Mark Lefebvre. I am a 2 native of Windsor, university graduate, father and 3 husband and a performing artist. I am also President 4 of the Board of Directors of Artsite Incorporated, 5 which is an artist run centre for the contemporary 6 arts, funded by the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts 7 Council, the City of Windsor and individual and 8 corporate members. 9 575 Growing up in Windsor, mind you, this 10 was I believe the last city in Canada to receive cable, 11 I was enamoured of American TV and radio, not just 12 entertainment but also news programming. A number of 13 people in Windsor still get their daily news from one 14 of the three American stations rather than tuning in to 15 the Canadian stations here in Windsor. 16 576 CBC was for "Hockey Night in Canada" 17 and CBC Radio simply did not hold any interest for me. 18 I received my Canadian news via the Canadian newspaper. 19 577 At some point in my growth I realized 20 how important it was to have and develop a Canadian 21 identity, especially right up against a large U.S. city 22 like Detroit. We here in Windsor interact with 23 Americans as commuting workers, tourists and business 24 people and also as friends and family. 25 578 There is an imaginary dotted line StenoTran 118 1 that runs right down the middle of that river. That is 2 the front line where the global battle to resist the 3 American cultural juggernaut is waged daily. 4 579 I believe the CBC has given me a 5 sharper sense of who we are as people. The myth of an 6 ambiguous Canadian culture I think is erroneous. I can 7 easily define myself in terms beyond a major reaction 8 to our large neighbour to the south or, in this case, 9 to the north, or to former colonial powers overseas. 10 580 Whereas the railroads connected this 11 huge country in the last century, radio and television 12 connects us now. 13 581 There is no private broadcaster with 14 the capability or the resources to adequately report on 15 the doings everywhere in Canada. As a small example, 16 CHWI, the private broadcaster in Windsor, their local 17 newscast originates from London, not Windsor. 18 582 I also feel that newspapers are 19 increasingly becoming propaganda tools of elite 20 corporate interests. Conrad Black is not getting my 21 money. 22 583 I do not subscribe to cable, nor do I 23 have a satellite dish, but it if I did, I would not 24 tune in to CBC because it was the same as everyone else 25 but because it was unique. I think CBC should present StenoTran 119 1 programming and increase funding to the production of 2 Canadian programming, everything from costume dramas to 3 comedy satire to the performing arts and, yes, to 4 hockey. 5 584 I think the CBC should hire from and 6 emulate the best of private broadcasting to correct the 7 threat of inertia, the so-called public surface. There 8 is a fine line there because there is also the threat 9 of becoming a parrot to the U.S. style of broadcasting. 10 585 The CBC I think in reporting on 11 Canadian politics should focus on immediacy. Canadian 12 politics is much more dynamic and variable than its 13 American counterpart. I think we can do a better job 14 of presenting more up-to-the-minute reporting and 15 possibly becoming more interactive in the next 16 millennium. 17 586 I know myself I have never in my life 18 been polled, yet public policy is constantly being 19 pursued as far as public opinion polls. It is a very, 20 very small percentage of the population that is polled 21 daily on large issues. I think there has to be a way, 22 possibly through our television sets and our remote 23 controls, that we as Canadians can have a more 24 democratic system of polling. 25 587 There is a direct relation between StenoTran 120 1 money spent and local and regional voices. When money 2 is cut, that's the first thing that's cut. It's ironic 3 that we finally have a TV anchor in Windsor who is from 4 Windsor, Jennifer Gates. I feel this is very 5 important, having someone who understands the issues of 6 the community from the inside rather than having to 7 learn about it from a city from the outside. 8 588 As far as radio is concerned, I just 9 read something about the CBC proposing a third network, 10 a youth network. Whether this is true or not, I'm not 11 sure. Whether this is a good idea, I think perhaps a 12 better idea might be an overhaul of Radio Two rather 13 than starting a new network. 14 589 Also, I think a youth network is a 15 misnomer. Perhaps it should be called "Forty and Under 16 Radio". I feel that CBC Radio does not speak to me. 17 590 If CBC could put out programming as 18 diverse and challenging as National Public Radio does 19 in Detroit, people would take notice. I think that 20 wall to wall classic music and flaccid radio dramas do 21 not appeal to most people. 22 591 Lastly, I would like to speak about 23 autonomy. I think CBC TV and radio does not have to be 24 free of commercials, but they must be free of the 25 corporate agenda, which includes government at all StenoTran 121 1 levels. 2 592 I think this should include the 3 freedom from censorship and/or persecution of reporters 4 and the employment of scab labour practices during 5 legal strikes. 6 593 Our Canadian tolerance comes not from 7 being meek and docile, but from our willingness to see 8 an issue from all sides. We should not let jingoism 9 and demagoguery blind us with convenient sound bytes 10 about global market forces and political partisanship. 11 594 A national public broadcaster can and 12 should continue to strive to look and listen and tell 13 all the things of concern to Canadians. We are, all of 14 us, Canadian culture and we must be allowed to know 15 ourselves. 16 595 Thank you. 17 1830 18 596 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. 19 Lefebvre. 20 597 Mr. Lahay. 21 598 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 22 599 Barri Cohen, please. Ms Barri Cohen. 23 Wes Chalmers. Wes Chalmers. 24 600 Okay. That concludes what we have of 25 the first ten. I would like to just go through the StenoTran 122 1 list again to make sure that some people have not come 2 in late. 3 601 Trevor Price. Trevor Price. Barb 4 Duke. Barb Duke. Joyce Whitaker. Barri Cohen. Barri 5 Cohen. Wes Chalmers. Wes Chalmers. 6 602 We will go through the second set of 7 ten, please. 8 603 Thank you very much for your 9 presentations. Again, I say if you have a presentation 10 you wish to leave with the Commission, please feel free 11 to do so. 12 604 THE CHAIRPERSON: Transcripts are 13 available on the Web at our site or, if you wish, you 14 can ask for a hard copy by writing to the CRTC or 15 phoning the 800 number. 16 605 MR. LAHAY: Our next set of ten 17 presenters, please. Kendall McKinney, Ryan Bayley and 18 Mathew Clark, Dina Jones, Mike Rogers, Mr. Reitz, Ted 19 Wheeler, Vito Signorile and Veronika Mogyorody, Chad 20 Grant, Barbara Cunningham and David Nitschke. 21 606 Please come forward and have a seat 22 at the front table here. We will start when everybody 23 is seated, please, with the first one. 24 607 Kendall McKinney. I will start again 25 just to see who is here. Please, again would you StenoTran 123 1 identify yourself when you speak. If there is more 2 than one person in any group, please subsequently 3 identify yourself. 4 608 Kendall McKinney. 5 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 6 609 MR. McKINNEY: Good evening. My name 7 is Kendall McKinney. I have got a very informal 8 presentation that represents my personal views. 9 610 I wish to start out by saying that I 10 am an avid CBC Radio listener, less so a consumer of 11 the TV service of any nature. The purpose of these 12 hearings, of course, is to review the licensing 13 requirements. 14 611 The comments that I have to make, of 15 course, will reflect some licensing concerns but will 16 also touch upon policy matters which the CRTC I 17 recognize does not have direct control over. 18 Nonetheless, I believe the whole purpose of this 19 proceeding is to reflect the views of the public and 20 should be reflected back to the funding agencies for 21 the CBC because that's really the key to the whole 22 importance of the CBC. 23 612 Whether it's radio or TV, the issue 24 that we are talking about here is fundamentally 25 Canadian content above and beyond the Canadian content StenoTran 124 1 regulations that may be found in radio, television or 2 any other media such as might be found in C-55 3 currently. 4 613 The issue is also public broadcasting 5 as opposed to corporate values. It was said by the 6 previous presenter, and I think rightly so, that the 7 electronic media is to Canada in its second century 8 what the railways were to it in its first century. 9 614 The CBC is a deliberate exercise in 10 nation building. That policy objective should be 11 reiterated, recognized and reflected in licensing 12 requirements. It is unique. Quite unlike other 13 private licensed electronic media, it should not be 14 compared directly to those electronic media for reasons 15 that I will get into. 16 615 For example, simple reasons of 17 quality, alternative views and voices, simple ability 18 to hear each other, to see each other, to see our 19 stories, our history, our views, our people, our 20 places. The reason why this has to be done through a 21 public broadcaster with proper funding and with a 22 deliberate Canadian orientation is due to simple market 23 reality. 24 616 As has been referred to earlier, we 25 sit across from one of the most saturated medium StenoTran 125 1 markets in North America, especially in radio, in the 2 form of Detroit. The market reality that is created by 3 simple market forces is a lowest common denominator 4 form of broadcasting, try to get the most for the 5 least. 6 617 The market driven broadcasting is 7 loyal to stockholders, not to fellow citizens. It is 8 overwhelmingly American in its orientation. That's no 9 shot against the Americans or their broadcasting. It's 10 simply the fact that it overwhelms us by the simple 11 volume of their broadcasting capabilities. 12 618 Mere economics dooms a Canadian 13 production that will reflect any of the values to which 14 I have alluded so far, no matter how good they are, 15 although there has been some criticism of the quality 16 of that broadcasting. Even if it was to be the best 17 quality all the time, it would still be a problem 18 without public support and licensing requirements that 19 reflect that. 20 619 Just as a Canadian moose may be a 21 very strong and healthy animal, it is always going to 22 lose in a head to head competition with a woolly 23 mammoth. It's simply a matter of size. That cannot be 24 gotten around. 25 620 There is no such thing as a level StenoTran 126 1 playing field with a market that is ten times your 2 size. You will hear American stories. You will hear 3 American views, American voices and American places in 4 broadcasting if it's allowed to go to simple market 5 forces. It can't be gotten around. 6 621 In the alternative, where else but 7 through a public broadcaster such as the CBC are we 8 going to see, hear and share Canadian stories, stories 9 about our history? Nowhere else except CBC was going 10 to run a story, a film on the Avro Arrow. Nowhere else 11 have I or do I ever expect to hear or see anything 12 about the debacle at Dieppe. 13 622 We are sitting across the street from 14 Dieppe Gardens here memorializing it. Without CBC, how 15 many Canadians would ever have a chance of knowing 16 about why Dieppe is important and why there is a 17 memorial to them right here in this town. 18 623 Whether it's the controversy over 19 "The Valour and the Horror" or the less controversial 20 but equally educational "Canada Remembers", it informs 21 me about the seminal events that cast a shadow even 22 into this part of the century of Canada's war history. 23 624 This is an event that marked my 24 parents' generation. If I am to understand them, I 25 must understand that and where do I hear or see StenoTran 127 1 anything relating to that on the commercial media? The 2 answer is "I will not". 3 625 Or its ideas. I might mention the 4 "Ideas" program on CBC radio. You can get a pretty 5 good education right there just listening to that one. 6 Or "This Morning Magazine". Whether it's the arts, 7 whether it be classical through Radio Two, although I 8 might add that Radio Two could do a little bit better 9 if it was dedicated programming all the time instead of 10 just part time, or whether it's popular culture through 11 DNTO. 12 626 Again, I emphasize that it's not an 13 issue of quality. The quality, as I can tell you from 14 my experiences in the Canadian music community, be it 15 folk music or be it classical, is there, but if there's 16 no place, no forum for those songs to be sung or for 17 the arts to be discussed or for the literature to be 18 read, then it might as well not exist at all. CBC 19 provides that forum. 20 627 It's also a matter of diversity. 21 Whether it be in the news through simple news 22 broadcasting or through programs such as "As it 23 Happens" or Cross-country Checkup" on radio, it's all a 24 matter of very unique perspective that cannot, will not 25 and never has been addressed through any other forum. StenoTran 128 1 628 As I said, and I will wrap this up, 2 the threats come simply from the dominance of the 3 reality of the American market. We are not Americans. 4 We are Canadians. We have our own unique perspective, 5 history, a million stories to tell. They will not be 6 told through the American media because they have their 7 stories to tell. 8 629 Although when listening to them, now 9 and again, I want to hear my neighbours that are a 10 little closer to me first and my neighbours that are 11 across the river second, not the other way around. 12 630 It's a threat from corporate values, 13 you know, the values of profit first and lowest common 14 denominator versus the values of our fellow citizens in 15 a deliberate attempt to build this nation to what it 16 can be, should be and, God willing, with our help will 17 be. 18 631 It is a matter of a threat to a 19 valuable contributor to this whole process that is 20 dying by 10,000 cuts, one position at a time. Right 21 now we have got front-line workers who provide us with 22 all this information, with all this broadcasting, out 23 on strike right now, maybe more going, just as there 24 was eight years ago, thousands of people marching on 25 this street right in front of this hotel, because we StenoTran 129 1 realize that there has to be some mechanism to call a 2 halt to the madness that is destroying the broadcaster 3 of our national dream. 4 632 I would urge the CRTC to use whatever 5 offices and mechanisms are at their disposal to apply 6 pressure to call a halt to what is threatening both the 7 quality of the existing broadcasting, its future in its 8 entirety. 9 633 These values can only be made real, 10 can only be put into play if the adequate funding is 11 there so that there are good quality people in adequate 12 numbers able to earn a secure living by telling us our 13 stories. 14 634 Thank you. 15 635 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. 16 McKinney. 17 636 Mr. Lahay. 18 637 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 19 638 Ryan Bayley and Mr. Mathew Clark. 20 Please state your name if you are going to talk first 21 and then second, please. 22 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 23 639 MR. CLARK: Good evening, 24 Commissioners. I am Mathew Clark and this is Jeff May. 25 640 As an individual speaking as a part StenoTran 130 1 of the public for the City of Windsor, I am glad to be 2 here tonight. I will try and keep this as short as 3 possible. 4 641 Thank you. 5 642 A little over two weeks ago I spoke 6 with CBC spokesperson Ms Ruth Ellen Soles. One of the 7 questions raised was the fact that the CBC in the new 8 strategy was to eliminate all U.S. programming. 9 643 I brought to her attention the fact 10 that on Sunday nights CBC airs movies produced from The 11 Wonderful World of Disney, an American production 12 company. Ms Soles responded by saying that the CBC 13 considers The Wonderful World of Disney under a 14 category "best television programming from the rest of 15 the world". 16 644 After investigation, I found Decision 17 No. 94-437, issued on July 17, 1994, that you, the 18 Commission, does mention the term "best of the rest" in 19 a paragraph under Canadian content. You refer to this 20 as the best television program for the rest of the 21 world, excluding U.S. programming. 22 645 You state that "the best of the rest 23 should be interpreted as embracing a diversity of 24 programming whose sustained and sustaining equality 25 extends beyond the normally found in standard U.S. StenoTran 131 1 commercial network fare so abundantly available to most 2 Canadians". 3 646 From my point of view, Disney does 4 not fit under the category "best in the world". It's 5 just CBC's way of sneaking in an American produced 6 movie into a category which it's not suited for. To go 7 along with the CBC is holding a Disney contest which is 8 advertising their Web site 9 647 For a person to win, they must watch 10 specific Disney movies and follow the specifications 11 brought forth. Why can't CBC hold other types of 12 contests promoting Canadian shows during prime time? 13 648 As we have seen a decrease in 14 American programming on the CBC, there are still 15 concerns on this topic. 16 649 Looking at the CBC lineup, I was 17 amazed to see that "The Simpsons" and "Wonder Years" 18 are still being broadcast. There have been reductions 19 in U.S. programming by the way of eliminating soap 20 operas in place of Canadian ones. It's all fine and 21 dandy, but why "The Simpsons" and "Wonder Years" still 22 being aired? 23 650 Decision No. 94-437, section 3, part 24 (c), states: "Particular emphasis on redeveloping the 25 television service so that eliminating U.S. programming StenoTran 132 1 from television schedules to be replaced by new 2 Canadian programs and high quality non-U.S. foreign 3 material". By still airing "The Simpsons" and "Wonder 4 Years", the guidelines are not being kept. 5 651 Our next concern is involving the 6 amount of sports being broadcast on the CBC. I was 7 under the impression that the CBC stated a new strategy 8 to reduce the place of sports being broadcasted except 9 for that of hockey. 10 652 When talking to Ms Ruth Ellen Soles, 11 she responded by saying that the reduction of sports 12 was never mentioned by the CBC. Decision No. 94-437 13 encourages CBC to replace some of its professional 14 sports coverage with under-represented programs. 15 653 The Commission's reasoning was that 16 alternative sources of such coverage to sports are now 17 available to most Canadians. The fact is that CBC 18 sports coverage is widespread and in fact may be taking 19 up valuable air time for other programs. 20 654 This being said, I was wondering 21 whether CBC had actually spoken on this topic or, as Ms 22 Soles claims, the CBC has never spoken about this 23 topic. 24 655 In conclusion, we feel that our 25 points are valid and hope you consider this when StenoTran 133 1 renewing the CBC's licence. 2 656 Thank you. 3 657 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. 4 Clark, and is it Mr. May? 5 658 MR. CLARK: Yes. 6 659 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 7 much. 8 660 Mr. Lahay. 9 661 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 10 662 Dina Jones, please. Dina Jones. 11 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 12 663 MR. FARQUHARSON: Mr. Lahay, Ms Cram, 13 allow me to introduce my associates, Mrs. Dina Jones 14 and Ms Melanie Jones. My name is Colin Farquharson. 15 664 We have come here today to bring to 16 your attention how we feel that the CBC is not 17 fulfilling their role as our national public 18 broadcaster with respect to the independent film making 19 community. 20 665 As we head into the new millennium, 21 we need to move away from the high degree of 22 preferential treatment in a documentary film unit at 23 the CBC. This inequity can be seen in the way the CBC 24 favours the same producers and directors by giving them 25 numerous assignments while lesser known independents StenoTran 134 1 struggle to find work. 2 666 According to Guy Lepinsky's article 3 entitled "Fortress CBC", and it appeared in last 4 summer's edition of "The Ryerson Review of Journalism", 5 it states that out of 49 original documentaries which 6 aired on the series "Witness" between 1995 and 1998, 7 nearly half were produced or directed by current or 8 former CBC employees. 9 667 More specifically, former CBC 10 producer Brian McKenna and Gord Henderson had seven 11 documentaries aired. Also, former CBC reporters Gerry 12 Thomson and Josh Freed had seven documentaries aired 13 between the two of them. This favouritism limits the 14 amount of diversity while concurrently restricting the 15 Canadian viewer. 16 668 The documentary focus program "Rough 17 Cuts" claims to speak with voices previously unheard or 18 with visions that have not been screened on more 19 traditional news programs. Unfortunately, this program 20 airs on "CBC Newsworld" which, being a news network, 21 falls under "all journalistic policy and practice of 22 the CBC". Also, "Newsworld" has a budget of only one 23 tenth as much as the English CBC. 24 669 With regard to "Rough Cuts", the CBC 25 claims that they will continue to take risks with StenoTran 135 1 newcomers, but the old cliche stands with the addition 2 that experienced individuals in the production team 3 benefit and protect traditional CBC editorial and 4 journalistic excellence. 5 670 "Rough Cuts" senior producer Gerry 6 McIntosh even conceded that because "Rough Cuts" is 7 aired on a news network, the documentaries need to 8 follow journalistic policy. This requirement 9 undermines the guidelines that are set out for the show 10 which appear on the show Web site. 11 671 The first paragraph states 12 "Innovation, diversity, independence and cost-effective 13 production are the hallmarks of 'Rough Cuts'". Nowhere 14 does it read that the viewership of the show expects a 15 journalistic tone and to keep that in mind if you are 16 planning to submit a proposal. 17 672 It's a well known fact that Canada 18 excels in the production of documentary films and 19 documentaries written, produced and directed by 20 Canadians are very unique. However, it has become 21 increasingly obvious that there needs to be some new 22 blood let into the CBC. 23 673 The independent production sector 24 shouldn't have to struggle to find an audience because 25 this is where today's new ideas and originality can be StenoTran 136 1 found. 2 674 We feel that the CBC can rectify this 3 situation in part by considering the idea of 4 considering the idea of commissioning the production of 5 mini-docs. Now, mini-docs are a terrific way for 6 young, less experienced film makers to hone their 7 skills on shorter five to seven minute projects before 8 taking on larger full length documentaries. 9 675 Not only would this fill segments of 10 shows that aren't quite long enough for their allotted 11 time slots, but it would also allow for many new, 12 aspiring documentary film makers to release amusing and 13 contemporary work. 14 676 Possibly a one hour show specifically 15 devoted to broadcasting these films would help the new 16 film makers. It would help them a great deal. As 17 well, broadcasting these films during the evening 18 instead of having mobile programming signing off for 19 the broadcast day would also be a great benefit. 20 677 In the CBC's mission statement they 21 profess that the CBC will lead the way in producing 22 meaningful programming that reflects the diversity of 23 Canada, using people with diverse talents and 24 perspectives. In truth, the CBC is failing members of 25 the independent documentary film industry in Canada. StenoTran 137 1 678 To conclude, we feel that when 2 inexperienced and independent film makers are denied 3 the opportunity to broadcast their work nationally, the 4 state of the industry suffers as well. 5 679 Thank you. 6 680 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. 7 Farquharson, and is it Ms Jones and Ms Jones? 8 681 MR. FARQUHARSON: It is. 9 682 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. 10 683 Mr. Lahay. 11 684 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair, 12 our next presenter, Mike Rogers. 13 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 14 685 MR. ROGERS: Good evening. My name 15 is Mike Rogers. I am an avid CBC listener. I just 16 want to give my two cents worth since I have the 17 opportunity. 18 686 I think that the CRTC has to save the 19 CBC from ruination. As some people have already 20 alluded to, we can't compete with the Americans. It's 21 not a level playing field. Canadians need a voice on 22 the global playing field. 23 687 I feel that this CBC network provides 24 that. They might have some problems and they maybe 25 need to refine some things, but overall I think we are StenoTran 138 1 doing pretty good in giving Canadians a chance to 2 showcase what talents they do have and get a voice when 3 they might otherwise not be heard. 4 688 I don't have a television. I haven't 5 had one for 14 years. The big reason is because of the 6 Americanization. I listen to CBC all the time. I find 7 it's very beneficial. I have two little girls who have 8 grown up to know what CBC is and know what Canadians 9 are. In Windsor, that's quite different. I'm not 10 originally from here. 11 689 I think shows like "Cross-country 12 Checkup", the morning shows that are on, like right now 13 things are sort of in limbo with all the strike action, 14 but when things get on track, it's good to be able to 15 turn on the radio and know that you are going to have 16 some kind of Canadian viewpoint. For us to lose that, 17 it would be very sad. 18 690 We have a local radio station that's 19 a private station. You don't even know it's Canadian 20 because they market themselves as American even though 21 they have their network and employees from Canada. 22 They still market themselves to the American audience 23 for advertising dollars. Canadians, people away from 24 here, wouldn't know that it was a Canadian station. 25 691 That's where the dollars talk. StenoTran 139 1 Advertisers go where the money's at. 2 692 CBC doesn't have a large audience, 3 but we still need to have a voice. I think it's very 4 important for us as Canadians to stand up for our 5 nation and not let government funding cause the 6 ruination because of all the money that is spent on 7 different things the government does, this one of the 8 few examples of money well spent, in my opinion. 9 693 I can't say enough. There are some 10 people here that agree. Some will disagree. I think 11 we have to stand up for ourselves and be Canadian. I 12 can't really fill up the ten minutes. I just wanted to 13 make sure I had my two cents worth. 14 694 I hope that this leads to some good 15 viewpoints. I appreciate the opportunity. 16 695 Thank you. 17 696 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. 18 Rogers. 19 697 Mr. Lahay. 20 698 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Commissioner 21 Cram. 22 699 Mr. Reitz, please. 23 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 24 700 MR. REITZ: Thank you. 25 701 My name is Conrad Reitz. I am here StenoTran 140 1 just as an ordinary citizen who listens to the radio, 2 watches TV and plays on my recently acquired home 3 computer system. 4 702 While a professional librarian, I 5 work at the University of Windsor. I have been living 6 in Windsor for 34 years. I'm due to retire next year 7 and I can see me in my declining years still spending 8 my time listening to the radio, watching TV and playing 9 around on my home computer. 10 703 When I was preparing this 11 presentation, I got a bit concerned because it sounded 12 very dogmatic. I was a bit concerned that it may sound 13 negative and un-Canadian. 14 704 I was really surprised and pleased at 15 the number of points that I wanted to make that other 16 people have been making all along, maybe attached a 17 different spin to it, but the same points were made 18 over and over again. I hope that what I have to say 19 will reinforce some of these points. 20 705 I also wanted to make a particular 21 point of making a distinction between CBC radio and CBC 22 television. Talking about them in the same breath and 23 comparing them is like comparing apples and oranges. 24 Let me first address CBC radio. 25 706 We have got three radios now in our StenoTran 141 1 family, two in our house and one in our car. All three 2 are tuned constantly to CBE 1550. Why is that? 3 Because CBC radio provides us with a window to the 4 world, to Canada and to our local community. 5 707 Through programs such as "Morning 6 Watch" and "Crosstown" we are kept informed of events 7 and happenings in Windsor and the tri-country area by 8 people like Paul Vaisey and Barbara Peacock who come 9 into our homes on a daily basis and who we look on as 10 friends and members of our family. 11 708 On the regional and the national 12 basis, I have come to rely on CBC Radio for 13 authoritative news, features and current events, 14 national, regional and locally, through such great 15 programs as "The World at Six", "As it Happens", 16 "Cross-Country Checkup", "Sunday Morning" and for 17 entertainment and culture, I turn to DNTO "Ideas" and 18 CBC Radio Two, although I would like to reinforce a 19 point made by somebody this afternoon about the 20 dreadful reception of Radio Two and the weak signal 21 which is really something that should be addressed. 22 709 The great thing about radio is I can 23 do other things while listening to my favourite program 24 like driving my car or sitting at my desk at work or 25 keeping busy on my own computer, reading, gardening, et StenoTran 142 1 cetera. 2 710 All I can say about CBC radio is keep 3 up the good work and more of the same. The problem is, 4 of course, that the vast majority in CBE's listening 5 area are usually tuned into other station. CBE has 6 less than 7 per cent of the audience share. Fifteen 7 per cent listen to its main competitor, CKOW, and 6 per 8 cent to CKWW. 9 711 Sixty-four per cent of our local 10 citizens tune in to American stations. That in itself 11 doesn't bother me. CBE caters to a small, select group 12 of informed citizens. It does, however, raise an issue 13 that is central to the question that must be answered 14 about CBC Television which is where should the emphasis 15 be placed? This has come up constantly in other 16 presentations. On popularity and market demand or on 17 quality? 18 712 My quarrel is not so much with CBC 19 television as it is with television as a medium. I 20 would probably be considered to be a difficult and 21 deviant viewer, at least that's what I thought of 22 myself as inclined to some other people talking that 23 don't watch television at all for the reasons that 24 bother me about television generally as a medium. 25 713 My 15 hours in front of the tube each StenoTran 143 1 week consists, I have to admit, of watching movies, 2 documentaries, musical shows and stock car racing. 3 Almost all my TV watching is confined to the History 4 Channel, Bravo!, Space, Vision, Discovery, A&E and TNN, 5 with the occasional network stock car racing movie and 6 a smattering of PBS and, of course, I have to say 7 Elwy's "Saturday Night at the Movies" on TVO. I 8 wouldn't miss that for anything. 9 714 As far as I'm concerned, what we get 10 from CBC's local Channel 9 is indistinguishable from 11 the programming of the other Canadian commercial 12 channels. It is not at all clear to me what is meant 13 in this context by public broadcasting. 14 715 Supposedly our tax dollars go to 15 support the CBC, but surely the primary financial 16 support comes from advertisers. Millions and millions 17 of dollars are involved in sponsoring the Olympic 18 Games, "Hockey Night in Canada" and the nightly news. 19 716 Whenever I do force myself to watch 20 the 11 o'clock national news, I am bombarded with inane 21 commercials about the merits of maxi pads and 22 detergents, mouthwash, mutual funds, hardware stores, 23 on and on and on. The only difference I can see, quite 24 frankly, between the CTV and CBC news is one of the 25 news readers has more hair than the other. StenoTran 144 1 717 How does the CBC differ in this 2 respect from CTV as far as the viewer is concerned? I 3 have been told that public broadcasting will tackle 4 themes that private broadcasters will avoid. If it 5 wasn't for the CBC, who would carry Meech Lake 6 discussions, political conventions and celebrations 7 live, matters of vital concern to the majority of 8 Canadians. 9 718 It has also been suggested that a 10 public broadcasting system will report with more 11 integrity, honesty and openness on issues of the day 12 because it is accountable to the public whereas private 13 broadcasters are accountable only to their sponsors. 14 719 If it is inherent in the nature of 15 journalism, I would hope that public or private that 16 reports should have integrity, honesty and openness. 17 What is the difference between having a sponsor or the 18 government or a lobby group looking over the network's 19 shoulder trying to stifle stories on investigations 20 that might cause embarrassment. Dare I mention the 21 examples of "This Hour has Seven Days" and "The Valour 22 and the Horror" 23 720 While doing research for this 24 presentation, I spent some time watching shows that I 25 previously avoided like the plague, like "22 Minutes" StenoTran 145 1 and "The Beatty Show" and Julie Gordon and "The Red 2 Green Show". I can really see no difference between 3 these shows and the inane drick(ph) that pollutes the 4 barren wasteland that many connect with television. 5 721 Then, of course, it would be a dull 6 world, I'm sure we will agree, if we all liked the same 7 thing. However, it does raise the question: Is 8 Canadian drick to be preferred to American drick? 9 722 The problem with CBC television as it 10 is presently constituted is it tries to be all things 11 to all people. It tries to cater to popular taste 12 while attempting to satisfy the more discriminating 13 viewer. It tries to be a national network promoting a 14 sense of Canadian identity while at the same time 15 paying lip service to local and regional coverage. As 16 a result, it fails dismally on most counts. 17 723 I think that it's national news is 18 superficial and extreme with very little hard news and 19 a surfeit of information type feature stories. 20 724 CBC news, in effect all Canadian 21 television news, presents a selective and distorted 22 view of Canada. Most Canadians, for instance, have a 23 preconceived notion of issues relating to Quebec that 24 they have assimilated from television. This point was 25 made very strongly by the gentleman from Toronto this StenoTran 146 1 afternoon. 2 725 The CBC has attempted to involve the 3 public in debates on current issues such as this and 4 others through the medium of townhall meetings, but 5 these have all been selective, staging, manipulative 6 and lacking credibility. 7 726 I suppose we in Windsor should be 8 grateful that the CRTC has decided to pay us a visit, 9 particularly in view of the fact that a group of 10 citizens had to fight tooth and nail to keep a CBC 11 station in Windsor a few years ago. However, local 12 news coverage still leaves a great deal to be desired. 13 727 CHWI does a far better job with local 14 news. I have yet to receive an explanation as to why 15 it is necessary to have "The National" on three times 16 in one evening, at nine o'clock on "Newsworld", at 10 17 and 11 on Channel 9. This means that the local news is 18 shunted to 11:30 p.m. when all normal Canadians are in 19 bed and the rest are up watching David Letterman or Jay 20 Leno. 21 728 Many of us only get home from work at 22 six o'clock. They, by missing the local CBC television 23 news, have to put up with the so-called regional news, 24 which consists almost entirely of the latest murders 25 and real estate scams in Toronto. StenoTran 147 1 729 The only comprehensive regional 2 coverage that I have been able to find is provided by 3 the Global Network at 11 o'clock in its "Ontario 4 Report". Is it any wonder some of us tune in to 5 Channel 6 or, better by far, "The World at Six" on the 6 radio? 7 730 I have to admit though I heard that 8 Jay Leno did include an Essex County reference in a 9 monologue a couple of nights ago when he made a crack 10 about the hullabaloo surrounding a local restaurant. I 11 should mention I heard this on CHWI six o'clock news. 12 731 Normally CBC television is justified 13 on the grounds it provides the only real Canadian 14 content we have, that Canadian content must be 15 protected at all costs. 16 732 I grew up in a country that didn't 17 have TV, believe it or not, until the late seventies, 18 supposedly in order to protect the large 19 disenfranchised majority of the population from 20 foreign, that is to say American influences, and giving 21 them perhaps ideas above your station. 22 733 I would really like to know what the 23 difference is between this type of state control and 24 the policy of cultural protection as implemented by the 25 CRTC. I would be interested to know what share of the StenoTran 148 1 local market the CBC has and what percentage watches 2 American television in order to demonstrate how 3 effective this cultural protectionism is. 4 734 Considering the question as to the 5 role that the CBC should play, which is a fundamental 6 question we have been asking ourselves, should play in 7 the presentation of Canadian programming, my response 8 is why should the CBC present the programs at all? 9 735 Why can't the CBC be turned into a 10 production company, possibly by amalgamation with the 11 National Film Board? It could then concentrate on 12 producing outstanding documentaries, dramas and 13 features like, and these have been mentioned repeatedly 14 today, "Boys of St. Vincent" or "Butterbox Babies", 15 "Allo, Allo", "Dionnes", "Anne of Green Gables", 16 "Witness", "Marketplace", et cetera, et cetera, or 17 entertainment specials featuring Canadian performers? 18 736 In marketing them aggressively, the 19 television stations make work. Make those available in 20 Canada, in the U.S. and in the rest of the world. If 21 they are of high quality and sufficiently interesting 22 and entertaining, they will find their own market, 23 however specialized that may be. 24 737 Surely two objectives will be 25 achieved. It will inform Canadians about themselves StenoTran 149 1 and their country and inform the rest of the world 2 about Canada. 3 738 In its present form, the corporation 4 is an inadequate unsatisfactory hybrid, neither a 5 public nor a private broadcaster, but a bit of both. I 6 think that the time has come for the CBC and for 7 Canadians to decide what it is to be. 8 739 I don't under any circumstances want 9 my remarks to be construed as favouring privatization 10 of the CBC because that's not what I'm saying at all. 11 I'm also not advocating that the marketplace should be 12 the prime determinant, but rather acknowledging, as has 13 been mentioned previously, the fact that this is the 14 way things are in the television industry. 15 740 I don't have any answers, only 16 questions and concerns. To sum up, I think the major 17 issue that CBC Television has to decide for itself is 18 whether to focus on popular programming or on quality 19 programming and whether or not it should concentrate on 20 producing and marketing these programs rather than 21 competing with the commercial networks in the very 22 expensive and risky undertaking of transmitting these 23 programs to a fickle and to a dubious audience. 24 741 Thank you. 25 742 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. StenoTran 150 1 Reitz. 2 743 Mr. Lahay. 3 1905 4 744 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 5 745 Mr. Ted Wheeler, please. 6 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 7 746 MR. WHEELER: Thank you. 8 747 Ted Wheeler. I am speaking on my own 9 behalf. My views are my own. I am a very pro CBC 10 listener. 11 748 Does the CBC fulfil its role as a 12 national public broadcaster? In my estimation, as a 13 national public broadcaster, the CBC, clearly fulfils 14 its role as a viable and valuable source that bonds our 15 vast country together, bringing a level of unity that 16 literally stretches from coast to coast. 17 749 It is the only means by which 18 Canadians are invited to contribute their views on any 19 subject matter. I base this comment on personal 20 experience. 21 750 As a professional truck driver, I 22 routinely listen to CBC throughout the day as I go 23 about my job. I wake up to "CBC Overnight" in the 24 morning, followed by local programming at 6:00 a.m. My 25 interest is peaked by interesting and informative story StenoTran 151 1 lines and news content that affects my world. 2 751 National news on the hour and local 3 news on the half hour keeps the information current and 4 relevant. Paul Vaisey, our regular local host, 5 captures our interest not only in how he questions his 6 guests, but how he invites all his listeners to voice 7 their opinion on the subject at hand. 8 752 In so doing, our community is built 9 in a way that is not possible otherwise. This 10 community's citizens gain a sense of belonging and 11 interconnectedness as they share their views and 12 opinions. 13 753 At 9:00 Avril and Michael of the 14 "This Morning" program introduce the audience to an 15 eclectic assortment of guests from Canada and beyond, 16 interspersed with music and personal opinions. 17 Programming in this realm includes regular regional 18 reports from across Canada as well as interviewing 19 guests from around the world regarding world issues. 20 754 This not only strengthens the link we 21 have as Canadians, but on a broader scope connects us 22 internationally as well. Ultimately we, the listeners, 23 are able to form a more personal and informed view of 24 the country in which we live relative to the larger 25 world around us. StenoTran 152 1 755 At 12:00 noon, the "Radio Noon" 2 program continues the theme with more regional news and 3 views, followed at 1:00 with "The Phone-in Hour" and 4 always relevant questions and guests. 5 756 The "Monday Garden Show" seems to be 6 a most popular theme and I'm sure could run all day. 7 757 At 2:00 p.m. from Vancouver we are 8 introduced to Bill Richardson who hosts "The Roundup" 9 and each day offers the listener a recap of important 10 events from previous days' broadcasts. Moreover, he 11 provides a forum for listeners to voice their opinion 12 on anything of importance to them and music requests. 13 758 We can say hello to loved ones or to 14 a country full of people going through life together. 15 Further, in keeping with this tradition, CBC recently 16 used this program to invite Canadians "to blow their 17 own horns" in support of Canada Day. 18 759 From coast to coast, calls came in 19 from people who care about Canada, once again 20 strengthening the bond felt as Canadian citizens. As 21 an individual, I felt more one with our country. 22 Moreover, there is serious programming as well as 23 comedy, something for everyone. 24 760 When 4:00 p.m. comes, it is back to 25 local news and views. Road and weather reports help StenoTran 153 1 the day shift make it home and the night shift to start 2 their jobs. It is refreshing to hear from local 3 specialists in many fields of interest such as in 4 nature, computers, et cetera, along with the constant 5 opportunity to offer personal feedback, again something 6 for everyone. 7 761 As my workday ends, the 6:00 p.m. 8 national news presents extended news coverage, followed 9 by "As It Happens" at 6:30 which opens us up to the 10 world. This basically ends my time with CBC Radio on 11 any given day. 12 762 I definitely believe that CBC fulfils 13 its role of keeping the people of Canada informed. No 14 other corporation has done better at allowing citizens 15 from coast to coast to participate in our democracy. 16 It affords the opportunities that are not possible 17 anywhere else. For example, citizens are encouraged to 18 call from telephones no matter where they are, whether 19 in the home, the car or office. Also, we are invited 20 to use e-mails and faxes. 21 763 Could it be better? Yes. 22 Terminology could be improved. For example, when 23 program hosts people with disabilities, they should 24 introduce or speak of the individuals before naming the 25 disabilities. For instance, it is better to state StenoTran 154 1 "people who are blind" and not "blind people". 2 764 Moreover, in my estimation, hosts 3 sometimes offer poor examples of the use of terminology 4 such as the term "geek", the word "got" which is a 5 personal affront to myself -- I just hate that word -- 6 and "stuff". 7 765 In reality, the use of these types of 8 words lowers the calibre of programming in that they 9 seem to talk down to the listener and/or fail to 10 respect the guest. 11 766 However, further changes would 12 require both increased funding by the federal 13 government as well as reduced tinkering by upper 14 management. For example, the 90 second local news 15 breaks which interrupt the flow of programming is found 16 in "This Morning" program, "Radio Noon Phone-In" and 17 "The Roundup", fail to add significant input in my 18 estimation, thus they do not serve a seemingly 19 worthwhile purpose and should possibly be re-evaluated 20 at this time. 21 767 Moreover, due to funding cutbacks, 22 significant employees were laid off who highly 23 contributed to the quality of programming we once 24 enjoyed. For example, subsequent to staff reduction 25 was an apparent loss of local programming like StenoTran 155 1 "Personality Profiles" on the "Crosstown" program. 2 768 Now, in reference to the television 3 station. Since the television station reopened, local 4 news has been restored. This is of particular 5 significance since we live in a border town that 6 bombards us with U.S. news and information. 7 769 Likewise, any news we receive from 8 the CBC in the Windsor area mostly originated from 9 Toronto which made the citizens of Essex County feel 10 that they were not a part of Canada either, thus we had 11 a complete lack of autonomy in the Windsor area. 12 770 The restoration of the local news 13 program is highly significant to the area, yet I feel 14 that so much more could be done at a local level. For 15 example, Windsor provides courses in communication and 16 drama at both university and college levels, yet 17 nothing seems to be supporting these educational 18 programs in terms of presentations to the public via 19 local television for those of us who do not have cable 20 television. 21 771 Nationally, "This Hour", "Air Farce" 22 and other comedy programs are an excellent platform for 23 airing Canadian talent and satire that is not available 24 on other stations. Likewise, significant programs such 25 as "Marketplace", "Venture", "On the Road Again", "Wind StenoTran 156 1 at my Back", "Road to Avonlea" and "Coronation Street" 2 are British imports and would not be shown without CBC. 3 772 In conclusion, regionally or 4 nationally, it all comes down to funding. In my 5 estimation, good is not cheap and cheap is not good, at 6 least on a consistent basis. 7 773 While this committee can recommend 8 renewal of a licence, if funding isn't increased, then 9 programming will continue to suffer at all levels. 10 Locally, the corporation should allow greater autonomy 11 for their own workforce which is highly trained and 12 skilled so they are able to show the area in a more 13 personal and exciting way. 14 774 Nationally, I feel the CBC does a 15 good job of showing us a wonderful cultural diversity 16 and lifestyles that comprise the Canadian landscape. 17 775 Should the program be different from 18 other radio and TV outlets? It should be different in 19 that radio should remain commercial-free and be 20 non-biased, which is a problem with other radio 21 outlets. This has ultimately eliminated 22 sensationalistic comments and programs and commercial 23 programs in the CBC programming thus far which is much 24 appreciated. 25 776 CBC television should continue to air StenoTran 157 1 local news, but at more reasonable times such as at 2 11:00 p.m. rather than 11:30. Moreover, while I'm not 3 a hockey fan, I think CBC does a good job of airing 4 hockey and other sports such as the Olympics and figure 5 skating programs. 6 777 We as a country cannot afford to be 7 without the CBC in my estimation. I feel the overall 8 cost spread over all taxpayers is a very good value for 9 dollars spent. If the federal government continues to 10 cut funding and upper management continues to tinker 11 with the operation, then we will all lose a most 12 valuable resource and Canada will cease to exist in its 13 present form. 14 778 In short, we might question what 15 would Canada be without the CBC. 16 779 Thank you very much. 17 780 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. 18 Wheeler. 19 781 I have to ask, did you change your 20 name when you became a truck driver to Wheeler? Sorry. 21 782 Mr. Lahay. 22 783 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Mr. Wheeler. 23 784 Vito Signorile. I'm sorry if I am 24 mispronouncing your name there. 25 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION StenoTran 158 1 785 MR. SIGNORILE: Vito Signorile here. 2 786 I have rather general comments to 3 make, in a way repeating what I think is becoming a 4 mantra: Save the CBC. I certainly want to join my 5 voice in that mantra as well. 6 787 Every country worthy of being called 7 a nation protects its borders. We in Windsor have a 8 right to expect that any Canadian government, no matter 9 what party, would zealously protect and nurture our 10 collective identity as Canadians. In this process, 11 there is a central role for a publicly owned and 12 publicly controlled broadcasting company. 13 788 The "Windsor Star" in a recent 14 editorial compares the CBC to a propaganda machine like 15 "Pravda", the official newspaper of the former Soviet 16 Union. That the Soviet Union was a totalitarian state 17 is unquestionable, but it is ironic that a totalitarian 18 newspaper, subject to the censorship policies of its 19 owners and its advertisers, should complain about 20 propaganda from the CBC. 21 789 "The Star" failed to note that, 22 unlike Pravda and its own publication, the CBC is a 23 creature of a democratic system of government and was 24 designed to nurture that system. If anything, the CBC 25 should be strengthened and made more independent so StenoTran 159 1 that it can continues to do its job. 2 790 Indeed, until recent cuts by the 3 federal government, the CBC had been doing quite an 4 outstanding job of putting Canadians in touch with one 5 another and with the world, a job it continues to do 6 but with every increasing difficulty. 7 791 It has also been invaluable as a 8 medium ready to challenge the political and cultural 9 presumptions of the country. On radio, such programs 10 as "This Morning", "As It Happens" and "Ideas" are to 11 my mind without parallel anywhere in the world. 12 792 On TV we are blessed with meaningful 13 and penetrating programs such as "The Nature of 14 Things", "Witness", "The Fifth Estate", "Marketplace" 15 and "The Journal". Even comedy shows like "The Royal 16 Canadian Air Farce" and "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" can 17 be counted on to make significant commentary on our 18 political and social life. 19 793 The same applies to local 20 programming. Local TV news and radio shows like 21 "Morning Watch" and "Crosstown" are an essential 22 element in the lives we Windsorites live daily as 23 Canadians. 24 794 We now witness in the private sector 25 a love affair with "infotainment", a blurring of the StenoTran 160 1 distinction between information and entertainment. 2 This is a fatal mistake for we stand to lose a powerful 3 and much needed vehicle of information and civic 4 values. 5 795 The CBC has been and must remain a 6 source of honest, truthful, courageous news and 7 analysis. This will not be attained by putting the 8 whole of our media into private hands. 9 796 It is the task of governments to 10 guarantee the necessary independence of information 11 that our common existence as citizens of this nation 12 requires and it was the promise of the present 13 government to do so. 14 797 It should live up to its promise and 15 put the CBC on a regimen of full and stable funding. 16 But even this would not go far enough. The fundamental 17 importance of the CBC for our ability to function as a 18 nation dictates that it must be independent of any 19 sitting government. No government, no matter how large 20 its majority, should have the option of destroying or 21 diminishing the heartbeat of our nation, the oxygen of 22 our democracy. 23 798 The CBC must remain in the public 24 domain, but like the Supreme Court, it must also be 25 free of interference from whatever party happens to StenoTran 161 1 form the government. 2 799 As our national conscience, as the 3 pre-eminent vehicle of our self-awareness as a nation, 4 it remains a national treasure. Surely it should not 5 be up for sale. 6 800 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 7 Mr. Signorile. 8 801 Mr. Lahay. 9 802 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 10 803 Veronika Mogyorody, please. 11 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 12 804 MS MOGYORODY: Thank you. 13 805 My name is Veronika Mogyorody and I 14 will probably be saying and reflecting most of what 15 people have said already, but these are my own personal 16 viewpoints. 17 806 I would like to begin by saying that 18 I believe Canada has one of the best public 19 broadcasting systems in the world, and that as 20 Canadians our quality of life is dependent upon having 21 access to the type of programming the CBC has to offer. 22 807 In a time of increasing fragmentation 23 throughout the world, the CBC offers Canadians a kind 24 of social cohesion. Through its vast programming it 25 effectively reflects the kind of relationship we have StenoTran 162 1 as a people within a multicultural nation. Our 2 identity as individuals is contextualized within the 3 framework of the larger national community. 4 808 Living in Windsor and having close 5 American neighbours, we are constantly bombarded with 6 the crass and pedestrian cultural products that the 7 United States so slickly turns out. It is absolutely 8 essential that the CRTC recognizes the important role 9 the CBC plays in preserving Canadian identity in 10 Canada's southernmost city. 11 809 I would like to think that Canadian 12 broadcasting isn't threatened by the current 13 viciousness that questions all forms of state 14 involvement and culture and social life. The structure 15 of the CBC should not come under attack because the 16 public sector is generally under attack, or because 17 privatization is seen as desirable by particular 18 politicians. 19 810 Canadians should have the right to 20 universally available radio and television service that 21 is free of charge and does not discriminate against the 22 poor or those living in inaccessible areas. 23 811 In the last few years the cable and 24 satellite industries have gained considerable 25 importance in Canada, yet the idea that these private StenoTran 163 1 stations can be the central agent for the promotion of 2 Canadian culture is absolutely ludicrous. 3 812 Let's face it: For most of these 4 private companies programming and funding decisions are 5 made primarily from the perspective of economic gain 6 and financial responsibilities to shareholders. 7 813 Most stations represent special 8 interest groups, and each of these groups is treated as 9 a distinct unit within the population. This may be 10 fine when concentrating on the delivery of specialized 11 material, but we need a Canadian broadcasting station 12 that goes beyond a myopic view of what is relevant or 13 sellable. 14 814 We must recognize that the 15 marketplace, and specifically private sector radio and 16 television, generally don't have the mandate or goal of 17 representing all Canadians. When I tune into or turn 18 on the CBC I know I will get information about this 19 country and all its citizens from each of its three 20 coasts. 21 815 Most of the media content being 22 generated today from America and many Canadian sources 23 has no other aim than to amuse, flatter, excite, 24 mystify or titillate. The public is held hostage to 25 endless commercials. I find this incessant bombardment StenoTran 164 1 of marketing propaganda intrusive, repetitive, 2 unproductive and infuriating. We need asylum away from 3 this objectionable commercialization of the entire 4 world. Thankfully, CBC radio has managed to fight off 5 the worse of this degradation. 6 816 In conclusion, I would hope that the 7 members of the CRTC panel recognize that the CBC is 8 respected and appreciated for its balanced coverage of 9 news and current affairs, and that it offers quality 10 programming in a variety of areas such as the arts, 11 humanities and sciences, which is valued by Canadians 12 for its inclusiveness and representation of the entire 13 country. 14 817 The CBC continues to fulfil its role 15 as a national public broadcaster and serves the needs 16 of its viewers at both the regional and national 17 levels. As we approach the new millennium it is 18 important to acknowledge that the CBC is one of the few 19 remaining platforms for the intelligent exchange of 20 knowledge, culture, criticism and experimentation. It 21 needs to be left flexible and it need to be left 22 intact. 23 818 Thank you. 24 819 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 25 Ms Mogyorody. StenoTran 165 1 820 Mr. Lahay. 2 821 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 3 822 Chad Grant, please. 4 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 5 823 MR. GRANT: Hello, ladies and 6 gentlemen. 7 824 I am a student from the University of 8 Windsor and so are my colleagues Damian Porter and 9 Tahric Finn. I wish to address a problem that I feel 10 can be corrected. 11 825 One of the CRTC's mandates is to 12 reflect the wishes of the community. In one of the 13 CRTC's decisions, 94-437 from July 27, 1994, the CBC 14 was expected to increase the representation of 15 multicultural minorities in the mainstream programming 16 of both networks in a manner that reflects 17 realistically the participation in a Canadian society 18 and that will help to eliminate negative stereotypes. 19 But, in my opinion, the CBC has failed to accomplish 20 this nationally and regionally. 21 826 The census that was done from 1996 22 shows that there are over 570,000 blacks in Canada. As 23 we near the Year 2000 it is safe to assume that this 24 figure has increased substantially. The fact of the 25 matter is that there are very few blacks in CBC's StenoTran 166 1 television programming. 2 827 An example of this is how CBC does 3 not reflect regionally its ethnicity in the casts of 4 Black Harbour. Nova Scotia has always had a large 5 black population. Out of the 800,000 residents in Nova 6 Scotia there are approximately 35,000 blacks living in 7 Nova Scotia according to the 1996 census. Out of the 8 10 cast members from Black Harbour, not one of them is 9 black. This is an unrealistic portrayal, to believe 10 that there are no blacks living in Nova Scotia making a 11 living out of fishing. 12 828 You cannot ignore the fact that black 13 Canadians have made a large, positive impact on Canada. 14 One does not have to look further than the festival 15 known as Carabana. The amount of money that is poured 16 into the hotel, restaurant and entertainment industry 17 is a large sum of money, but there still remains a 18 negative misrepresentation of blacks in Canadian 19 television, that was supposed to be dispelled from the 20 CRTC's decision. 21 829 MR. PORTER: Good evening. My name 22 is Damian Porter. 23 830 Television is the most influential 24 forum of media present in today's society. It provides 25 the public with thousands of images and volumes of StenoTran 167 1 information through the news, sitcoms and dramas. We 2 believe that the majority of images and information 3 provided to the Canadian public about black people and 4 the black community are inaccurate or negative. 5 831 Although the bulk of this information 6 comes from the American stations, which outnumber their 7 Canadian counterparts, it is essential that the CBC 8 strives to give accurate portrayals of black Canadians. 9 832 For example, Yale University scholar 10 Martin Gillins(ph) points out that although only 29 per 11 cent of poor Americans are black they make up 65 per 12 cent of the poor people depicted on television. It is 13 these types of negative images that Canadians get from 14 TV which must be combatted. 15 833 A Canadian example of this is shown 16 by the inaccurate perception of Caribbean-born 17 immigrants. In an Angus Reid Southam news poll of 18 1,508 Canadians taken in 1994, 51 per cent supported 19 the view that certain racial or ethnic cultural groups 20 are more likely to be involved in crime than others, 21 when in fact government figures indicate that less than 22 1 per cent of all Caribbean-born immigrants in Canada 23 wind up in penitentiaries. 24 834 This perception, unlike most, can be 25 attributed to portrayals in Canadian media. For StenoTran 168 1 example, when Ben Johnson was awarded the gold medal 2 for the 100 metre dash in 1988 the headlines were 3 "Canadian Wins Gold". However, after his positive 4 steroids test he was the disgraced Jamaican-born 5 sprinter. 6 835 The CBC needs to provide programming 7 which portrays black people accurately in relation to 8 the black communities in Canada. 9 836 MR. FINN: Good evening. I am Tahric 10 Finn. 11 837 An example of programming that fits 12 this niche -- or did fit this niche is the program that 13 was aired on CBC called Straight Up. However, the show 14 didn't receive the exposure that it needed to take off. 15 The show was run for six weeks in its first season in 16 1996. It was then run for seven episodes two years 17 later in 1998. The momentum brought on by its early 18 critical acclaim contributed -- or momentum brought on 19 by its early critical acclaim was then lost. This 20 obviously contributed to its failure. 21 838 Since the show catered to a younger 22 audience advertising could have been more effective had 23 it been directed to this audience, meaning ads on 24 alternative radio stations, billboards, bus shelters, 25 et cetera. StenoTran 169 1 839 A relatively low budget show such as 2 this had the ability to turn some profit as well as 3 attract a much needed younger audience to the CBC. 4 840 Having had the opportunity to live on 5 an international border, I realize that black Canadians 6 have a rich culture that has yet to be given the 7 reflection it requires, and it is much different than 8 the American culture. 9 841 Since the majority of black Canadians 10 live in large cities, i.e., Toronto, I have seen a 11 fairly representative cross section having lived in the 12 Toronto area myself. Most of my peers are first 13 generation Canadians, therefore black Canadian culture 14 is a fairly new one. 15 842 The 1996 census states that visible 16 minorities represent 11.7 per cent of the total 17 population. Nearly 45 per cent of Canada's population 18 acknowledges some degree of non-British or French 19 ancestry. 20 843 Canadian immigrants are no longer 21 strictly western Europeans. Therefore, programming 22 must become more reflective of the population. The CBC 23 needs to use their resources to fill in where the 24 American stations aren't filling in instead of trying 25 to compete. StenoTran 170 1 844 That's it. 2 845 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 3 Mr. Grant, Mr. Porter and Mr. Finn. 4 846 Mr. Lahay. 5 1930 6 847 MR. LAHAY: Thank you. 7 848 Barbara Cunningham, please. 8 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 9 849 MS CUNNINGHAM: My name is Barbara 10 Cunningham. 11 850 I am a radio listener, not a TV 12 viewer. Thus, as much as I would dearly love to defend 13 everything about the CBC, it is only fair to confine my 14 remarks to what I know well from my own experience. 15 851 I first became acquainted with the 16 CBC in the mid-60s when I was housebound as a young 17 mother with two babies. I was a newcomer to Canada 18 then from the U.S. I used to start most days with 19 Morningside. That program made me feel connected to 20 other people -- other adults to be specific. 21 852 Over the years I was also repeatedly 22 amazed and touched by how strongly I felt connected 23 through that program to this country and its concerns. 24 853 This sense of connection eventually 25 broadened to include many other CBC programs that have StenoTran 171 1 become part of my life. Bits of Music & Company on the 2 way to work; pieces of Take-Five or Ontario Today while 3 running errands during my lunch hour; going home with 4 Disc Drive and Jorgen Goth's Inimitable Musings; after 5 supper with As It Happens; and, later on, Danielle 6 Charbonneau and her classy French Undertones in music 7 for a while; then Lister Sinclair's Ideas when I'm 8 feeling highbrow at night; and even the occasional 9 dabble with the Royal Canadian Air Force -- Farce. 10 --- Laughter / Rires 11 854 MS CUNNINGHAM: And I miss my early 12 Sunday afternoons with Clive Gilmour, time spent with 13 Barb Kerr, Vicky Gaverone, of course Peter Gwozski. I 14 was there at Windsor's gathering in the local CBC to 15 witness his final Morningside program and I have the 16 commemorative mug to remind myself permanently of that 17 remarkable event. 18 855 I listen to the CBC news every day, 19 morning and evening, and I love my little ritual of 20 checking my watch at 1:00 to be sure it's still in tune 21 with the CBC. 22 856 The CBC really is a part of my life. 23 Sometimes I don't even know what show I'm listening to, 24 and it doesn't matter. I'm simply grabbed by what I 25 happen to tune into. Sometimes it's a radio play or a StenoTran 172 1 story being told or a reading of poetry. Sometimes 2 it's a discussion or an interview or a piece of music, 3 and I sit in my car listening rather than going about 4 my next errand. 5 857 Stewart McLean's Vinyl Cafe is a good 6 example. I caught snippets of his stories for some 7 years before it registered with me that Morley and Dave 8 were a couple and they were always on the same program 9 at the same time of the week. 10 858 I was lucky enough to receive a copy 11 of Maclean's latest book for a Valentine gift this 12 year, and when I brought it to the office to share with 13 my coworkers I had a delightful surprise. As I walked 14 around with the book here and there several times 15 through the day, Morley and Dave lovers popped up in 16 the most unexpected places. 17 859 And as much fun as that was, it is a 18 particular pleasure of a different kind to introduce 19 newcomers to Morley and Dave and the Vinyl Cafe. In 20 fact, it has been my pleasure to share the CBC in 21 general with coworkers and friends. I have made it a 22 point to get the CBC radio schedule, make copies of it 23 for interested people, and to leave extra copies lying 24 loose in the lunchroom awaiting fate. 25 860 The CBC has had an important impact StenoTran 173 1 on my life. More than any other specific influence, it 2 was the CBC that gradually led me to think of Canadians 3 as "us" and of Americans as "them". Eventually, this 4 change in perspective and attachment led to my becoming 5 a Canadian in 1975. 6 861 As an American immigrant I was 7 admiring, even a bit puzzled at first, by the CBC. We 8 had nothing like it back home, even counting National 9 Public Radio. 10 862 As a Canadian I love the CBC and I am 11 enormously proud of it. 12 863 I worry that the CBC technician 13 strike is occurring during these CRTC hearings. It is 14 an unfortunate coincidence which surely does nothing to 15 help the CBC, but seven years without a raise -- of 16 course there is no money for a raise. The CBC has had 17 its budget amputated year after year with nothing but 18 further cuts in sight. It is such an easy target. And 19 yet, the CBC struggles on, still doing its job with 20 ever decreasing funds, under increasingly difficult 21 circumstances. 22 864 I am frustrated and I am really 23 worried. I listen to the young fellow down there 24 talking about how there is no chance for young film 25 makers, I listen to concerns about excessive sports StenoTran 174 1 programming, I hear about cheap U.S. reruns. I mean, 2 these things are happening because we don't have enough 3 money for good Canadian programming. 4 865 I ask you not to extinguish the CBC. 5 If it were privatized then quality radio, at least, 6 would disappear from my life and the lives of so many 7 others like me. Whatever would take its place would be 8 like everything else on radio, and we already have more 9 than enough of that. 10 866 Recently I read a letter to the 11 editor in some newspaper which said that the only 12 people who cared about the CBC were its employees who 13 were trying to protect their jobs and that the CBC 14 should be privatized. I was deeply offended by that 15 remark, and then I became frightened, because opinions 16 like his might prevail unless ordinary people like us 17 come out of the woodwork to tell everyone what the CBC 18 means to us, and I am very happy to see lots of us here 19 tonight. 20 867 Thank you. 21 868 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 22 Ms Cunningham. 23 869 Mr. Lahay. 24 870 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 25 871 David Nitschke, please. StenoTran 175 1 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 2 872 MR. NITSCHKE: Thank you for this 3 opportunity. 4 873 About seven years ago I began 5 listening to CBC One and Two. I was 25 years old at 6 the time and had just graduated from university and 7 began my career as an electrical engineer. 8 874 My comments today are about CBC 9 radio, not television. I don't watch TV. 10 875 The CBC appeals to me in several 11 ways: It provides me with thought provoking 12 programming. Among my favourites, Tapestry, Ideas, As 13 It Happens, Quirks & Quarks, and Cross Country Checkup. 14 876 I look to the program hosts as role 15 models for my own inquisitive mind. 16 877 On Morningside, I like the way Peter 17 Gwozski made his guests feel important, be they an 18 average Canadian or a Prime Minister. I actually 19 employ his cap-in-hand approach in many of my business 20 dealings. 21 878 I like the way Bob MacDonald can 22 simplify complex scientific principles so that I can 23 understand. I employ those same techniques myself. 24 879 I find the hosts of programs 25 inquisitive and ready to learn from their guests. I StenoTran 176 1 try to emulate this. 2 880 CBC radio is portable. I can listen 3 to programs while driving, cooking or working in my 4 shop. This portability appeals to my desire to 5 multi-task. Unlike reading or sitting in a class, the 6 CBC can inform and entertain wherever you can put a 7 radio. 8 881 The style of interview-based news 9 coverage is unique. I have never heard any other radio 10 news program use this technique to the extent the CBC 11 does. To me, this is the best style of news 12 presentation since it is straight from the horse's 13 mouth, so to speak. Listeners can judge for themselves 14 the credibility of what is being said rather than being 15 spoon fed from a prepared interpretation. 16 882 Canada is a big place and there is no 17 other system that binds us together as well as the CBC. 18 The CBC is a vehicle where we can share our views and 19 listen to our fellow Canadians. 20 883 I don't believe that the CBC can be 21 everything to everyone, and I don't believe that the 22 CBC is perfect. Every system has its flaws and every 23 system can be improved. However, I do believe the CBC 24 does satisfy a vital niche. 25 884 I find it difficult to imagine what StenoTran 177 1 my life, not to mention radio programming in general, 2 would be like without the CBC. I don't want to be 3 shouted at by raucous early morning radio hosts. I 4 don't want to listen to what someone else considers the 5 top 40. I don't want to be spoon fed the same drivel 6 day-in, day-out. I do want to be informed and 7 entertained by intelligent commercial-free radio. 8 885 Just one of the things I would like 9 to say is that I have really enjoyed listening to the 10 variety of comments this evening. I wish I was as 11 erudite as your visitors here this evening and 12 presenters. I wish I had thought of a lot of things 13 that they thought to say, and I want to thank you for 14 the opportunity. 15 886 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 16 Mr. Nitschke. 17 887 That is the end of our list. What I 18 am proposing is that Mr. Lahay would call all of the 19 individuals who did not answer our first call, and if 20 there are no further individuals wishing to make 21 presentations, then we will hear from CBC, and I'm sure 22 we would all like to hear from CBC. 23 888 Mr. Lahay. 24 889 MR. LAHAY: Thank you, Madam Chair. 25 890 Trevor Price. StenoTran 178 1 891 MR. PRICE: Yes, right here. 2 892 MR. LAHAY: Okay, Mr. Price. Please 3 have a seat at the table. 4 893 Barb Duke. Barbara Duke. Joyce 5 Whitaker. Joyce Whitaker. Barri Cohen. Barri Cohen 6 and Wes Chalmers. Wes Chalmers. 7 894 If any of those people are here, 8 please come to the front table. 9 895 Thank you. 10 --- Pause / Pause 11 896 THE CHAIRPERSON: Go ahead, 12 Mr. Price. 13 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 14 897 MR. PRICE: I apologize for not being 15 here earlier, but I failed to get any information about 16 the change of venue and went to the Caboda Club and 17 then raced down here, and I'm glad I didn't miss it. 18 898 I have heard with interest the other 19 presenters and, of course, coming near the end rather 20 than at the beginning I would be repeating a lot of 21 remarks made by other people and I would choose not to 22 do that. 23 899 However, I will try to deal with the 24 four questions which you sent out as questions which 25 you wanted comments on. StenoTran 179 1 900 I have written a prepared statement, 2 but rather than read that I will take points which I 3 believe may be somewhat different than what other 4 people have said. 5 901 I came here from Britain in the 6 1920s -- my 20s rather, not the 1920s. I'm not that 7 old. 8 --- Laughter / Rires 9 902 MR. PRICE: I was raised on the BBC 10 and thought that there was no finer broadcasting system 11 in the world than the BBC, which I believe the Canadian 12 Broadcasting Corporation has modelled itself on to some 13 degree. 14 903 The BBC does hold the lamp of public 15 broadcasting for the rest of the world, and that fact 16 is attested to by the fact that many other broadcasting 17 systems throughout the world -- and I have been to 18 Australia and New Zealand and across the United States 19 and Canada -- do purchase and use a lot of BBC 20 programming, both radio and television. 21 904 However, I am pleased to say that 22 having been an avid follower of the CBC for all the 23 time that I have been in Canada, over 40 years, it has 24 made me a Canadian. When I came to Canada -- and it 25 was on an impulse -- about all I knew about Canada was StenoTran 180 1 Rosemarie and Gentille Alouette, and not a whole lot 2 about this country. 3 905 It was the CBC which actually has 4 given me a deep and profound knowledge of this country 5 and an appreciation of it as a place to spend my life 6 and to raise my family. It has really made me a 7 Canadian. 8 906 It does that because it explores 9 every aspect of Canadian life. It has done that in 10 many ways, through drama, through documentaries, 11 through the news, through the exchanges of opinions 12 across the country, and more and more you get to sort 13 of feel just what different parts of the country are 14 like. 15 907 Now, one of the big problems with the 16 CBC is that in the time of diminishing government CBC, 17 like a lot of other services, has felt the axe, and the 18 quality has depreciated. I would like to mention a few 19 things which I feel are not as good as they used to be. 20 908 I always enjoyed the very deep and 21 profound analyses that were made in The Journal and the 22 great interviewing of Barbara Frum. I'm sorry to say 23 that the magazine which has replaced it does not 24 compare with that. And it is not entirely the fault of 25 the personnel working on the magazine, it is a result StenoTran 181 1 of deep cuts that have been made in the budget, because 2 The Journal was a very expensive program. 3 909 The foreign coverage of the CBC is 4 rather poor, and that is because it doesn't have the 5 correspondents all over the world that the BBC has, and 6 it has to use the BBC quite often for news and coverage 7 of places where trouble suddenly erupts and we have 8 nobody on the spot. 9 910 Now, the CBC has often been 10 criticized for being liberal, even left wing. That, I 11 think, is because it does represent the views of 12 ordinary people, and not the views so much of the 13 corporate elite who hold positions of power and control 14 most of the private media in this country. 15 911 When they talk about the beauty of 16 competition and let the marketplace decide what 17 Canadians can choose to listen to, it is a sad fact of 18 life that a very small group of people in this country 19 who have a particular point of view, are in a position 20 to foster this point of view, and there isn't really 21 very little competition. 22 912 Now, the CBC faces a very difficult 23 problem coming up to the next millennium, and that was 24 one of the issues which you asked us to address. 25 913 We are now coming into, on cable TV, StenoTran 182 1 a 70-channel world, possibly in a few years we will 2 have the 500-channel world, and with so much to choose 3 from is there sufficient support to support a public 4 broadcasting system, which is quite costly and which 5 might not offer a whole lot of difference from the 6 1,001 choices that are out there. 7 914 Well, my answer to that is that we 8 probably need the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, or 9 something like it, more than ever. 10 915 Now, many of the presenters here 11 tonight spoke very strongly in favour of the radio and 12 what they had gotten from it. There was a much less 13 great approval of television. 14 916 Now, if you cast your mind back to 15 some years ago, both radio and television got part of 16 their revenue from commercial sponsorships, 17 advertising. It was decided, beneficially I believe, 18 to make the radio not supported by commercial 19 advertisements, and that gave it the freedom to be more 20 experimental and actually improved the quality of the 21 radio and made it what it has been, and so valuable in 22 terms of the depth and quality of all kinds of things 23 that the radio covers, information, news, 24 entertainment, music, drama, poetry, reading from 25 Canadian literature, et cetera. StenoTran 183 1 917 There is much less praise for CBC 2 television. When it comes to the hockey cup finals and 3 it is TV every night all night long and the news is -- 4 used to be put on very late and cause me much upset. 5 Now of course it can come through on Newsworld -- I got 6 to thinking: Well, what if TV, like television in 7 Britain, was not commercially supported? 8 918 Now, the fact is that since the major 9 cuts were made the CBC has to be -- has become more 10 dependent upon selling advertisements, but although it 11 is very difficult to get the revenue and budget figures 12 of the CBC, the information which I have been able to 13 glean tells me that something like $400 million of 14 revenue comes from advertising. You might say: Well, 15 they can hardly do without that. 16 919 However, of that $400 million I 17 believe -- and someone may be able to correct me -- 18 something like $205 million is spent on the 19 infrastructure and employees needed to get that 20 advertising. So the net profit is less than 21 $200 million, which in broadcasting and media terms is 22 chicken feed. It's not a huge sum of money. 23 920 I would say that it would be a brave 24 and pioneering experiment for CBC to be cut loose from 25 the commercial world and become a truly public StenoTran 184 1 broadcasting television network, and have its revenue 2 from other sources. 3 921 Now, I have a suggestion for three 4 steps to substitute the revenue that it would lose and 5 also, of course, to increase the revenue so that the 6 programming can be brought up to the level that it once 7 had. 8 922 First of all, I think CBC could 9 relinquish sports coverage. It has held onto sports 10 coverage tenaciously because that is where the most 11 profitable advertising comes from. 12 923 It could also give up advertising and 13 grant it over to the private sector. In return for 14 these concessions to the private sector, the private 15 sector, through its license fees, would support public 16 broadcasting because it would be getting sports, which 17 it obviously would greatly desire, and it would have a 18 clear field to get commercial advertising. 19 924 I'm not saying that cable revenues 20 and private sector broadcasting revenues would be 21 sufficient to make up for the shortfall and to increase 22 the CBC budget. The government obviously has to kick 23 in quite a bit more. Now, it is improving the transfer 24 payments to the health service and to education, so I 25 think it is time to do it for the CBC. StenoTran 185 1 925 The CBC is the mainstay of Canadian 2 culture and identity, and the Minister of Heritage, 3 Ms Copps has said that it is very important, along with 4 many other countries, to resist the flood of 5 American -- I won't call it culture, but media output 6 which pours over the rest of the world as a product. 7 Because they call their film an industry and their 8 broadcasting an industry and the output a product. 9 926 However, most countries in the world 10 cherishing their national identity, their national 11 culture and wishing to develop it and make it grow, see 12 a public broadcasting system which puts that first as 13 very important. 14 927 The third thing I think would be that 15 if the CBC television was to concentrate on quality -- 16 and I hate to bring the BBC in again, but as the BBC 17 has done -- then we would be able to sell those 18 programs across the world. We do sell some right now, 19 but I think that the quality could be improved if we 20 were to concentrate on what is essentially a niche 21 market. 22 928 It is pretty evident here from the 23 people who have been here tonight that there is a 24 niche, and without being an intellectual snob I would 25 say that these are the people who are the thinking StenoTran 186 1 people, who are public opinion leaders, and it is the 2 quality of the CBC's influence which must be looked at 3 and not all this ratings business which says that 6 per 4 cent listen to the CBC and all that. 5 929 The people who are fervent supporters 6 of the CBC are the influential people in this nation. 7 And the CBC is absolutely essential for democracy, 8 because despite the critics from right wing interests, 9 if you listen to programs like The House, which gives 10 the political spectrum on a Saturday morning; As It 11 Happens, which interviews politicians in the evening; 12 interviews on election coverage and the magazine 13 program on television, and so on, all parties are given 14 their fair share. Since the Reform Party has become 15 the Official Opposition they have enjoyed a very large 16 segment of CBC coverage. 17 930 So who can say that the CBC is not 18 unbiased and not objective? Much more so than the 19 newspapers that we read. The "Windsor Star", which 20 used to have an objective editorial now and again is 21 completely coloured in its views and would have us 22 become -- judging by its views on many things, the 23 environment, broadcasting, and so on -- a satellite of 24 the United States and would throw open the doors to CNN 25 to make Canada a branch plant. I hope that never StenoTran 187 1 happens. 2 931 Thank you. 3 2000 4 932 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 5 Mr. Price. 6 933 It is now CBC's turn in the hot seat, 7 or rebuttal. 8 REPLY / RÉPLIQUE 9 934 MS FRY: My name is Miriam Fry. I am 10 the Regional Director of Radio for Ontario. 11 935 I have colleagues in the other room 12 listening to the other presentations: Bruce Taylor, 13 who is the Regional Director of Television for Ontario; 14 and Maryse Leureau, who is representing French radio 15 and television tonight. 16 936 I first wanted to thank the 17 Commission for facilitating these presentations to take 18 place and for giving us the opportunity to hear from 19 all of you. Usually we hear from people when they pick 20 up the phone to complain about something specific that 21 they didn't like, or sometimes even that they liked, 22 and it was really wonderful to hear from people in a 23 much wider area. 24 937 We are going to make a point of 25 getting back to each person individually to address StenoTran 188 1 some of the concerns that were raised, at least those 2 over which we have control. 3 938 I certainly heard from people tonight 4 about the importance of CBC in their lives, and 5 obviously as someone who works in radio I really 6 appreciated the comments about radio. I think it is 7 really wonderful that people feel that it is both their 8 right and their responsibility to talk about the good 9 and the bad things about CBC, because that means that 10 people feel strongly the CBC belongs to them. 11 939 The importance of the local station 12 came through very loud and clear tonight, as it did 13 this afternoon as well. 14 940 So once again, thank you all very 15 much. 16 941 My colleague, Michael Harris, would 17 like to say a few words. 18 942 MR. HARRIS: I am Michael Harris. I 19 am from English Network Television in Toronto, and I 20 have a cold. Partly I think I have a cold from -- I 21 attended CRTC sessions in St. John's, Moncton, Sydney, 22 Charlottetown and now this one, and this is the last 23 one. 24 943 What I would like to say, I would 25 like to thank the CRTC and I would like to thank you, StenoTran 189 1 because I think more than pouring over overnight 2 ratings, or worrying about the budget, or worrying 3 about the strike, that listening to the thoughtful 4 opinion of people who care about public broadcasting is 5 a better clue for us to keep us at least within sight 6 of the right path, if not on it. I appreciate the 7 trouble you have all gone to, and be assured that your 8 message is getting carried back. 9 944 So thank you, and thank you. 10 945 THE CHAIRPERSON: This concludes the 11 consultation. 12 946 I want to thank each and every person 13 for coming and giving us their thoughts. I want to 14 thank the technical people, I want to thank our staff, 15 the CRTC staff, and CBC. 16 947 Thank you very much. 17 948 Oh, Mr. Signorile? 18 949 MR. SIGNORILE: Just a question. 19 950 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. 20 951 MR. SIGNORILE: I would like to ask 21 if these two people from the CBC might tell us, if they 22 do have ideas on this, what we as the public can do to 23 further the restoration of the CBC. 24 952 Would that be out of place? 25 953 THE CHAIRPERSON: Actually, yes, StenoTran 190 1 because it is a public hearing. It is our public 2 hearing, the CRTC. 3 954 I think these people might, however, 4 be walking outside the room in a few seconds. 5 --- Whereupon the consultation concluded at 2003 / 6 Le consultation se termine à 2003 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
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