TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS
FOR THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND
TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES DU
CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION
ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES
SUBJECT / SUJET:
CBC LICENCE RENEWALS /
RENOUVELLEMENTS DE LICENCES DE LA SRC
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Place du Portage Place du Portage
Conference Centre Centre de conférence
Outaouais Room Salle Outaouais
Hull, Quebec Hull (Québec)
June 2, 1999 Le 2 juin 1999
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.
Afin de rencontrer les exigences de la Loi sur les langues officielles, les procès-verbaux pour le Conseil seront bilingues en ce qui a trait à la page couverture, la liste des membres et du personnel du CRTC participant à l'audience publique ainsi que la table des matières.
Toutefois, la publication susmentionnée est un compte rendu textuel des délibérations et, en tant que tel, est enregistrée et transcrite dans l'une ou l'autre des deux langues officielles, compte tenu de la langue utilisée par le participant à l'audience publique.
Canadian Radio-television and
Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des
Transcript / Transcription
Public Hearing / Audience publique
CBC LICENCE RENEWALS /
RENOUVELLEMENTS DE LICENCES DE LA SRC
BEFORE / DEVANT:
Françoise Bertrand Chairperson of the
Commission, Chairperson /
Présidente du Conseil,
Andrée Wylie Commissioner / Conseillère
David Colville Commissioner / Conseiller
Barbara Cram Commissioner / Conseillère
James Langford Commissioner / Conseiller
Cindy Grauer Commissioner / Conseillère
Joan Pennefather Commissioner / Conseillère
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Nick Ketchum Hearing Manager /
Gérant de l'audience
Carolyn Pinsky Legal Counsel /
Alastair Stewart Conseillers juridiques
Carol Bénard Secretary / Secrétaire
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Place du Portage Place du Portage
Conference Centre Centre de conférence
Outaouais Room Salle Outaouais
Hull, Quebec Hull (Québec)
June 2, 1999 Le 2 juin 1999
- ii -
TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES
Presentation by / Présentation par:
English Radio network 2371
Intervention by / Intervention par:
Citoyens de la nation 2635
Margot Hall 2653
M. Auer 2663
Peter Meggs and Douglas Ward 2688
Hull, Quebec / Hull (Québec)
--- Upon resuming on Wednesday, June 2, 1999 at 0915 /
L'audience reprend le mercredi 2 juin 1999 à 0915
11903 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, everyone.
11904 I'm sorry, we are late again.
11905 Mr. Beatty, may I offer you our "voeux de bon anniversaire". We heard once you were gone yesterday that it was your birthday yesterday, and since "les anniversaires ont des octaves" we want to really wish you the best in this last year of your 40s.
---- Laughter / Rires
11906 MR. BEATTY: I think I thank you for that, Madam Chair, although it was not necessary to mention the fact I was going into my declining years.
11907 I am here today, though, to negotiate the present with you.
11908 THE CHAIRPERSON: And the future.
11909 MR. BEATTY: The birthday present.
11910 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: We regard it as a second spring, Mr. Beatty.
11911 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Bénard.
11912 MS BÉNARD: Thank you, Madam Chair.
11913 We will now hear the presentation of the application for the renewal of the English Language Radio network.
11914 Mr. Beatty.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
11915 MR. BEATTY: Madam Chair and Commissioners, thank you again for your hospitality today.
11916 I am delighted to be able to be here with our Vice-President of English Radio, Alex Frame, and his team. Alex just took over as Vice-President of English Radio as of January of this year.
11917 Now, despite his apparent youth Alex is in fact a pioneer member of the radio revolution at CBC Radio, which led to the re-invention of radio really during the 1970s. During all that time which he has remained in CBC Radio, he has remained an unaging revolutionary during all of that period, constantly pushing the envelope, looking for new ways of doing things, but always with a sense of the mission and of the mandate and of the values that animate CBC Radio. He has been with the CBC since the 1960s, so he has a long and distinguished history of contributions to the CBC.
11918 As Alex and his team will tell you, CBC Radio has undertaken in the past few years a further evolution of its programming schedules while over time remaining true to its principles as a unique and thoughtful public radio service.
11920 MR. FRAME: Thank you, Perrin.
11921 Madam Chair, Commissioners, I should begin by saying that I appreciate Perrin's words but, however, when we talk about Perrin's birthday and the looming 50s it makes me feel that I am deep into my dotage here. So if I start to meander or wander off or doze off it really is an issue of age, and I hope you will forgive me.
11922 Let me introduce my team, beginning with the back row.
11923 First, Roger Gauthier. Roger is our Director of Operations and will be happy to answer any questions you may have with regard to the radical changes in technology that have occurred within CBC Radio as well as some of the coverage issues that you may wish to raise.
11924 Beside him is Susan Englebert. Susan Englebert, up until very recently, was our Regional Director for British Columbia. Before that she was the head of our Music Department, the Associate Director of Programming for Radio, Radio Two, and currently is leading the team with regard to the development of Radio Three.
11925 Beside Susan is George Oliver, our Director of Planning, who is prepared to answer any questions you may with regard to finances or coverage issues.
11926 Beside George is Philip Savage who is our Manager of Strategic Projects. He will also be prepared to answer any of your questions with regard to coverage.
11927 In the front row, on my left but to your right, is Esther Enkin, who is the head of our Information Department and in such a role is a very significant manager in the radio service responsible for all of our news and current affairs programming and our chief journalist. Esther has a distinguished career as a working journalist in both radio and television.
11928 To my far, far right is Damiano Pietropaolo who is the head of our Arts and Entertainment Department and is here to answer questions generally with regard to the performance area, music, drama, poetry or comedy. He has agreed to play both roles because currently we have not filled the head of music position in CBC Radio. We hope to do that soon.
11929 Right beside me, to my right, is Susan Mitton. Susan Mitton is here because up to about a week and-a-half ago she was Director of Radio for the Maritime Region, and we asked her to come principally to talk about any questions you may have with regard to CBC Radio's regions.
11930 However, about a week ago she became the Director of Programming for the whole of the radio service. So if there are any hard questions about national programming that I can't answer I am flipping them to Susan right away.
11931 So that is our team.
11932 My opening remarks. I would like to begin by talking about the situation in CBC Radio just about two and-a-half years ago. You may recall that at that point a number of things had an impact on CBC Radio all at about the same time.
11933 The first, and perhaps the most obvious, it was clear then that we were facing a significant budget reduction, somewhere over 20 per cent. We weren't quite sure how much.
11934 Peter Gzowski had announced the previous September that this was going to be his last year as host of "Morningside", and within weeks of Peter making his announcement Vicki Gabereau made the similar announcement with regard to the Gabereau program.
11935 As a result of these things coming together at the same time, the press at that point was filled with doom and gloom stories about CBC Radio. Every time I opened the newspaper I thought I was reading about our own demise. It was as if the people writing about CBC Radio in the newspapers then went to the kind of chicken little school of journalism and the only story they knew how to write was "The Sky Is Falling". That is really the situation that we were facing.
11936 So we decided to do something then that we should have done more frequently, and have done more frequently subsequent to that: We went out and talked to our listeners about the changes we were facing in order to get their reaction to those changes. They were reading the same stories in the newspaper that we were reading. It was a very instructive thing that we did, which is one of the reason why we do it far more often now.
11937 There was one session we had in Ottawa and one of our listeners, who was a man, I think in his mid-30s, a very young man, who said the following to us, he said, "Look, we know you are going through budget cuts. Everybody is going through budget cuts. This shouldn't come as a surprise to you." He was an Ottawa civil servant, so clearly the environment that we were in was not an unfamiliar environment to him.
11938 He also said, "We know that hosts come and go, that hosts can't stay there forever, and that formats come and go. That is something we expect. But if you keep certain principles in mind, certain fundamental characteristics of CBC Radio in mind, we will stay with you."
11939 We explored these principles and really there were three, or perhaps four. Others in the group confirmed his views, and he said: "Look, first of all, what we expect from CBC Radio is a variety of programming. We don't just want national programming and we don't just want regional programming. We don't just want news and current affairs and we don't just want music. We expect from CBC Radio that you will provide us with a range of programming. You keep doing that and we will stay with you."
11940 He said, "The second thing we expect from CBC Radio is we expect thoughtfulness, that we want, from CBC Radio, depth. We want some originality in terms of the ideas that are explored, and we want some innovation in the approach. We want fairness and balance in your programming. If CBC remains thoughtful, then we will stay with you."
11941 The third thing he said is that "CBC Radio has to be a window on Canada for us." They said, "We depend on CBC Radio not to tell us only what is going on in our locality, but also to give us a sense of our country. We depend on CBC Radio more than any other medium to reflect Canada back to itself."
11942 He said one more thing after that, he said, "When you have to make these changes don't get out there and create massive promotional and advertising campaigns about the changes", he said, "talk to us. Talk to us about the issues you are facing, talk to us about the concerns, talk to us about the environment in which you are broadcasting. That is what we expect of you."
11943 So as he started moving through those changes, those four principles really stayed with us and we continued to do that. We made significant changes.
11944 I don't want to spend a long time going through them. I think the others here, who are members of my team, when I finish this partial list, will want to jump in with other things, but we will hold them back for the time being.
11945 But here is the situation that we are in now: More people than ever before are listening to CBC Radio. This has been the case in the past two BBMs. The fall BBM and the spring BBM indicate that in both those books we reached record highs in terms of reach.
11946 There are hundreds of new voices on CBC Radio, both nationally and regionally. There is more news on CBC Radio, both regional and national news, than there ever has been in our history. We are doing more local programming from more locations. Our comedy and our drama is reaching more listeners. There is more arts journalism on CBC Radio, and there are more arts journalists making that journalism. We are breaking more stories. We have enhanced our foreign coverage.
11947 We talk to our listeners and we work more effectively together, both between departments, between programs and between regions and the network, and we continue to be the national electronic stage for Canadian music and musicians.
11948 Those are some of the things that we are very proud of that we have accomplished in the past two or three years.
11949 But I don't mean to pretend that we aren't facing serious challenges currently and in the years to come. It is these challenges that really form the basis of our goals and objectives through the next seven year period, at least as much of that seven year period as we can comfortably forecast at the moment.
11950 I mentioned that our audiences are growing and we have statistical research that indicates that our listeners still believe that the quality of CBC Radio is very high, but we have heard from some of our core listeners that they are concerned about an apparent drop in quality to the service. We have also heard from others that they are concerned about the number of repeats that are on CBC Radio.
11951 So we are taking actions now to address those issues, and I think we would be happy to talk about those actions in greater detail during the morning.
11952 We have introduced a system of program evaluation that is comprehensive and system-wide, and not only clearly and effectively evaluates our program but tied to that is our action plans for program development. We have tied training and development to program evaluation as well, and we have currently put together a team that has been working to analyze the issue and the question of repeats in order to get a better understanding of just what the issue is and to make recommendations with regard to how to address it.
11953 So all these actions are in aid of doing something which I would express as our highest priority, and our highest priority is protecting our core services.
11954 The second initiative that we are taking with regard to that priority is the development of new voices. We introduced the program two years ago "Outfront", which is now on five evenings a week at 8:45 and "Outfront" is a program that only broadcasts the work of freelancers. And in the past year or so over 100 new freelancers have been introduced to CBC Radio, most of whom are under 30 and a significant number of whom come from visible minority communities.
11955 Besides "Outfront" we have developed the same initiative in connection with our ongoing national and regional programmings. And through that initiative at least another 500 new voices have appeared on CBC Radio, some of whom have gone on to have a continuing relationship with us.
11956 Our challenge now is to find a way to integrate those new voices into our programming in an ongoing and systemic way. Our preoccupation with new voices is not principally in order to expand the so-called "talent pool" available to CBC Radio. It is our view that unless we can continue to proactively bring new voices into the system, we will not be accurately reflecting this country back to itself.
11957 That in order to do that, we have to have the widest possible range of perceptions, sensibility and ideas on the air and that if we don't operate proactively in that regard, our concern is that the range of views and ideas on CBC Radio will just narrow over time.
11958 The third initiative with regarding protecting our core service is something that we are just beginning to work on now, and that is to work much closer with our creative work force. In order to establish them as key participants in this strategic development of the radio service -- the kind of changes we went through over the past three years I would say were rough on a number of our producers and hosts, both at the regional level and the network level. The learning curve was extraordinarily steep and the nature of how work was defined was radically different.
11959 We are coming through that now, but it is our view in order to meet the challenges that will face us over the next seven-year period, we have to work much more effectively as a team in order to address those challenges.
11960 And the third element with regard to protecting our core services is accountability. It is a corporate initiative that our President set that CBC must be more accountable, is that we were very happy to embrace that objective and find that it is, in fact, beneficial, very beneficial to the work we do. So what we have started doing in the past year, year and a half, is that in every region of the country, there is at least one public meeting that we hold in which CBC Radio listeners are invited to come and talk to senior network and regional programmers, producers and hosts about CBC Radio.
11961 And at the same time, often connected with those initiatives we do a phone-in regionally to the same people involved in order to talk with them about CBC Radio and participate with Perrin in the national annual review on CBC Radio and on CBC Television.
11962 What we haven't done yet and what we need to move forward in the next licence term is we need to move forward to a stage where that accountability shows up more and more over the air, as well as in public meetings and as well in phone-ins, that we are in a position where we can establish more dialogues with our listeners about our programs.
11963 If protecting the core service is our first priority, reaching under-served segments of the population is our second priority. And I would say it falls into three areas, and one of those we have moved forward with more actively than the other two, and that is use.
11964 We believe that there is a population of over 4 million Canadians who do not use CBC Radio, because CBC Radio doesn't speak to them. And it is my strongly held view that CBC Radio should be providing the same national communication infrastructure, the same national meeting place that it does for older Canadians on Radio One and Radio Two for younger Canadians.
11965 The second group of under-served Canadians for CBC Radio are children. We have tried to address that and are addressing it to some extent through the internet, but it still remains, as far as I am concerned an unmet challenge and one that we need to address.
11966 And the third has to do with our ability to address a demographically changing country, particularly in our major cities. I am thinking principally of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that where the demographics of those cities and the vitality of those cities is not reflected on our airwaves, in our view, as effectively as it should be.
11967 Do we have a specific plan to address that issue at this point? No, we don't. But it is one that we are beginning to address now and that we will be developing a strategy in order to ensure that not only those voices and communities are reflected on CBC Radio, but those communities in fact take value in CBC Radio the way other Canadians do.
11968 The third challenge is to stay relevant to Canadians. I notice that Doug Ward and Peter Meggs are in the room and Perrin mentioned the revolution that occurred in CBC Radio in the early seventies. Doug Ward and Peter Meggs led that revolution. A couple of less unlikely revolutionaries, but nevertheless they did. And I think it is like people that went through the depression, you can never get it out of the system. Well, I worked in CBC Radio in the sixties and I can never get that out of my system.
11969 What that meant was that I was working for a radio service that nationally had something like a four or a five share that had never really woken up, in my view, to the fact that Canadians were watching television and had never adjusted to that environment. In fact, before Mr. Ward and Mr. Meggs went to work there was serious debate, I understand, within CBC Radio as to whether Canada needed a national radio network. That it was that close to becoming irrelevant.
11970 The investment of resources largely was in the evening where we were doing outstanding documentaries. The difficulty was, of course, that most of the listeners were in the morning and we had not paid attention to that.
11971 Well, I fear, given the nature of the changes that are occurring now that there is a danger that that could happen again.
11972 Could I predict the nature of the technological changes that are happening in communication? No, I can't, I don't know what they are. I do know that there are signs of that. We know that in Canada digital radio is rolling out slowly.
11973 We also know that in the United States digital radio is rolling out in a somewhat different way and that there are a couple of major American companies who are on the verge of launching direct broadcast radio systems that each of which would carry up to 100 different radio channels. And that all you need in order to receive this, apparently, is to be able to insert a cassette into your car radio cassette system that modifies it and a downlink about the size of a looney stuck on your windshield and all of a sudden you are driving along receiving about 100 different radio services. And these are radio services, Commission, these are not simply music services.
11974 And at the same time we see these global positioning systems going into high-end cars so that essentially private radios in their helicopters are going to become redundant pretty quick. Because if you got a custom traffic system that not only knows the route you take to work but can tell you specifically the alternatives, and if this becomes more active, then the whole question of survival information and radio is thrown up.
11975 I brought my cell phone, not so I could receive calls but on this phone now, if I were to turn it on, I could get the news headlines. In other words, the news headlines are now available to me on my telephone. I am not sure that I want the news headlines on my telephone, but nevertheless, they are there.
11976 The point I am trying to make is that CBC Radio has to be aware and flexible at the same time. We have to be aware of the way in which people are receiving information in a different way -- I haven't mentioned the Internet -- and we have to be in a position to respond to it.
11977 So that, I think, is a critical issue. There are others I can mention. We have stretch audience growth targets for CBC Radio that are there in order to make sure that we stay relevant. But really, those are our priorities.
11978 Once again, our first priority is the protection of our core services.
11979 Our second priority is maintaining our current level of relevance to Canadians and expanding it to more Canadians through broadening the reach of our current services and through the development of the ways and means of reaching unserved Canadians.
11980 Our third priority is to achieve a level of flexibility that would allow us to respond to a changing social and technological environment.
11981 But in all these priorities, all three of them, we keep in mind those same principles that were expressed so simply by the listener in Ottawa a year and a half ago: that we will continue to reflect this country back to itself; we will continue to be thoughtful; we will continue to provide a variety of programming; and we will continue to talk to our listeners.
11982 Thank you.
11983 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Frame. I would ask Commission Grauer to address you the questions of the Commission.
11984 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you.
11985 Thank you for your presentation and welcome. As you know, we have heard throughout our consultations throughout the country and in written interventions -- and we were certainly mindful of this before we started -- that the CBC is probably one of the national institutions that Canadians value the most, whether they listen or not, and it is a national treasure. So I am mindful of this as I approach my task today in questioning you about your priorities for the next licence term.
11986 What I am going to be doing is really following the same theme as my colleagues have with respect to the other services. You have identified goals, objectives, and priorities. So what I will be exploring is what are the specific programming choices you have made to meet those and how are you going to allocate your resources to the programming that is going to allow you to meet those goals.
11987 I know you have talked a little bit about the performance measurement systems you have put in place and are putting in place. I would like to explore some of those as well.
11988 Before I get started, I am curious: When you started your discussion with your listeners, how did you do this? What were the mechanics? Is that what is continued through to your present dialogue?
11989 MR. FRAME: The first mechanic was really a focus group process where we went into a number of cities, and I remember particularly Halifax and Ottawa. We identified groups of listeners that use CBC Radio a minimum of two hours a day -- some of them use it much more frequently than that -- and that essentially were a cross-section of those listeners. So that was the process that we began with.
11990 The process that we moved to subsequently has been a more open process, much like the process the Commission used in its regional hearings, where we have announced that CBC Radio is holding a meeting to talk about CBC Radio, the people that will be there, and invite our listeners and others to come and ask questions and make comments about the service. That is the same thing we do over the air when we have our phone-in programs.
11991 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you.
11992 What I thought I would just do is review some of the areas I would like to go over today. One is use of compliance. I would like to review the sponsorship.
11993 Then, I want to review the financial picture with you to understand a little better the cuts and how they were implemented and your projections, expenditures and revenues over the next licence term, and in particular the impact on regional operations and on news and public affairs, and essentially your core services. Then, I have some others on programming.
11994 So to start with, what I would like to do is review the issue of Canadian content and Radio One's compliance with its condition of licence in this regard. You have a minimum of 50 per cent of category 2 music.
11995 I think you are aware that during the week of the 10th to the 16th of May 1988, Commission staff analysis found that the Radio One Network only broadcast 45.4 per cent of Canadian category 2 music selections and that this shortfall resulted in CBLA-FM Toronto falling short of its weekly Canadian content requirement with a Canadian content level of 48.3 per cent. Are we in agreement with that?
11996 MR. FRAME: I am afraid we are, Commissioner.
11997 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I believe you explained in the letter that this shortfall was a result of the death of Frank Sinatra and that, given the occurrence of the death late in the week, it was not something for which, in your view, corrective measures were possible. I wonder if you could just tell me a bit about that and what I refer back to is, in decision 93/95, I think, the 1993 renewal.
11998 I think there was also a compliance issue in which certainly the Commission views that the CBC as the public broadcaster really is the role model for the rest of broadcasters with respect to Canadian content. We kind of expect some overperformance. But I think you said that you had instituted a computerized system to track compliance and were going to overschedule higher levels of Canadian content to meet.
11999 I just wonder if you could...
12000 MR. FRAME: Forgive me for being facetious -- I hope Frank Sinatra doesn't die again. If he does again, we will in fact deal with it very differently than we did the first time. We are ashamed of the fact that during that week we were not in compliance.
12001 We, like you, agree that it is the role of CBC Radio to lead the way in the celebration of Canadian music and in the showcase of Canadian music in all the categories to Canadians. That is what we exist to do.
12002 In terms of the measures we took following the last renewal, we did introduce a computerized system called Prolog, which means that we have the ability now to track on an ongoing basis the percentages of category 2 content as well as the other categories. We went through some glitches in the development of that software over time. It took a period of time to train our producers with regards to using the system as well.
12003 One of the things that distinguishes CBC Radio and Radio-Canada from private broadcasters: We don't have play lists. In other words, there isn't seven days of programming that someone sitting in a windowless room creates. Each of our programs go their own way with regard to programming, which makes it a more complicated management issue.
12004 At the same time, we have essentially identified targets over 50 per cent for a significant number of their programs. There are certain programs where that would be inappropriate, programs for example of world music where you want to hear the music of the world or programs like "Finkleman's 45s", which essentially live off 50s and 60s music. But those are the two things we have done.
12005 We have set stretch targets for most of our programs and we have put that system into place. Just one kind of "The dog ate my homework" excuse, if you will allow me, is that on Saturday afternoon, "Definitely Not The Opera" had scheduled an hour-long concert of Canadian music. When Frank Sinatra died late that week, they took that program off the air and replaced it with a special on Frank Sinatra. "Definitely Not The Opera" is a pop culture program. The result is we shifted from what would have been 53 per cent that week to 48, just by that one activity alone.
12006 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I understand we had an unusual situation that week and in order to avoid you having to suffer shame yet again, do you feel confident that you now have something in place which will alert you when something unusual happens and your Canadian content levels may slip below 50 per cent?
12007 MR. FRAME: Yes, I do.
12008 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you.
12009 MR. FRAME: I would say confident and determined, Commissioner.
12010 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: That works for me.
12011 MR. BEATTY: We are also, Commissioner, keeping track of Tony Bennett's health.
--- Laughter / Rires
12012 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I was going to say: Paul McCartney, Tony Bennett. There is a long list.
12013 Now what I would like to do is ask you some questions about the sponsorship proposal that you have made. You have asked for changes to your condition of licence which would permit the broadcaster's sponsorship messages.
12014 I am sure you are familiar with the discussions that Commissioner Wylie had with your French counterparts earlier this week and the revised condition of licence that has been filed with us. I guess what I wanted to clarify is: Is your position consistent with your colleagues in French radio?
12015 MR. FRAME: Yes, completely.
12016 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Completely.
12017 I have a couple of other questions. I understand that you expect the sponsorship to generate $500,000 a year in revenues, with all of it being paid to third parties. Is that correct?
12018 MR. FRAME: It is our estimate that --
12019 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Estimate.
12020 MR. FRAME: -- that the value of this change in the condition of licence would be approximately $500,000. In other words, the value of the programming that we would be able to broadcast would be in the area of $500,000.
12021 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Oh, I see. When you talk about $500,000, that is not the estimate of the sponsorship dollars that would accrue to the third party?
12022 MR. FRAME: I think we actually don't know how much there would be. We see it as important in terms of our ability to reflect Canadian cultural enterprises, but at the same time we don't see it as significant in the context of CBC Radio's base budget and its financial planning. In other words, it would not factor into our financial planning a bit.
12023 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I understand what you're saying.
12024 What I'm getting at, my next question is that in paragraph 142 of your application you say that:
"Many of the CBC Radio's other objectives are dependent on this one." (As read)
12025 I just wanted to know if you could elaborate a bit on that because I'm not sure I quite understand.
12026 MR. FRAME: Yes. I think that the objectives that were referred to when that was written in the fall had to do with our ability to broadly reflect cultural activities at our current and an increased rate. As our finances essentially were solidifying at a particular level, our ability to move into special initiatives, special programming initiatives, was being reduced at that time.
12027 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I'm not sure I follow actually. I do understand what you are saying, what I --
12028 MR. FRAME: Perhaps I can give you a specific example.
12029 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Yes.
12030 MR. FRAME: This is one that we are able to do within the current condition of licence, but there are others that we would not be able to do.
12031 Perhaps I will ask Damiano to talk about the story of the Canadian Literary Awards, that fortunately are still on the air, to show you the nature of the changes that might occur.
12032 MR. PIETROPAOLO: The Canadian Literary Awards have this year celebrated its -- they are going into their 21st year, and they have been instrumental in finding and scouting for new literary talent in this country.
12033 Among the people who have won first prized in the Canadian Literary Awards when they were known as the CBC Literary Competition are Michael Ondatjee, when he was relatively unknown; Carol Shields, when she was not the novelist that she is today.
12034 When he went through the restructuring as a result of the downsizing about three years ago, the issue was: How do we keep this institution going within CBC Radio without the level of resourcing that they required?
12035 It was at that time that private sector sponsorship came to the aid of the Canadian Literary Awards in the form of total sponsorship by the Tilden car company, who took them over and they became the Tilden Literary Awards.
12036 When that company was sold, "Saturday Night Magazine" and the Canada Council, with whom we have a three-way partnership in the administration of the awards, decided that this was a worthwhile effort that CBC Radio should continue. So we went into partnership with the Canada Council, who provide the sponsorship money for the awards, that is they pay the three prizes in the entries of fiction, poetry and personal essay. "Saturday Night Magazine" publishes and administers, with us, the awards.
12037 The net result of that is that new literary talent is both published in "Saturday Night Magazine" reaching numbers in the 400,000, which is unheard of for a small, first-time novelist or short story writer. We broadcast the event on CBC Radio. We are assured of the continued developmental role that CBC has been playing in this country in the area of literary development.
12038 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Do you have something to add?
12039 MR. FRAME: Yes?
12040 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: What I would like to understand better is how will approval of this sponsorship initiative affect that program or, conversely, how would denial of this sponsorship proposal affect that initiative directly?
12041 What I am trying to understand is --
12042 MR. FRAME: Yes, I do.
12043 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: -- where it fits into the overall picture.
12044 MR. FRAME: The reason we cited the Canadian Literary Awards is that within the current condition of licence we were able to make that initiative because Tilden became part of that title.
12045 So in the context of your question, Commissioner, it would not affect the Canadian Literary Awards. I don't mean to suggest that it would.
12046 What we are looking for is the ability to develop sponsor mentions outside of titles which the current condition of licence does not allow us to do. It is our view that if we have that change in the condition of licence we will have considerably more flexibility with cultural organizations to attract sponsorship in order to both mount and broadcast a whole range of cultural activities that are becoming more and more difficult for us to do.
12047 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Okay. I think I understand. We may get back to this in some of the financial matters.
12048 I really wanted to get a very clear idea of when you say a number of your initiatives that are in the proposal are dependent on this, I really wanted to try to get a feeling for what those were just in terms of specifics. But I think we can get back to it when we talk about some of the financial matters.
12049 MR. BEATTY: Could I just take a brief crack at it?
12050 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Yes.
12051 MR. BEATTY: Commissioner, we see our function as serving as a catalyst to promote the arts in Canada, and what this allows us to do is to enter into three-way partnerships with other cultural organizations who then, in turn, can go to private sector sponsor and we can acknowledge the contribution that private sector sponsor makes to the event held by that group.
12052 One could cite, I suppose, the National Arts Centre. If they had a performing arts series to which Air Canada made a contribution by supplying tickets to allow performers to come to the NAC, that we would be able to acknowledge that as a contribution that was made by Air Canada.
12053 What is critical here is that never will CBC receive a cheque for any money, first of all. Secondly, that the benefit for us is in being able to ensure that events take place that otherwise would not be able to take place, and that it makes programming available for us that we might not otherwise have had, and at an affordable rate.
12054 Any time the cultural organization is able to get assistance from a private sector organization it brings down, potentially, the cost of the production for us. It allows us in two ways to benefit.
12055 The first was, as I mentioned, that it may make performances available to us that we simply wouldn't have had access to otherwise.
12056 The second is that we see our role in promoting the arts and culture in Canada as being an essential part of our mandate. By being able to have this flexibility, by having that running room from the Commission, it enables us to do more for the cultural community, to assist them, as yet another partner, to come to a cultural organization and help them to have events take place that otherwise couldn't take place.
12057 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I understand the principle and I understand the arguments in favour.
12058 I guess what I really wanted to know is that as we go forward and consider this particular proposal is to understand when you say:
"... a number of other initiatives that we have committed to will not happen without it." (As read)
12059 It is for us to understand what exactly does that mean and how exactly is it going to impact on your plan. So that is really what I was trying to --
12060 MR. BEATTY: Fair ball.
12061 Perhaps what we can undertake to do is get back to you with examples of the sorts of things that are in mind here. Some of them may be in the pipeline or they may not, but the sorts of things that we have been thinking of as a possibility.
12062 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: That would be good.
12063 The other thing is, I know you have talked about developing guidelines, very strict guidelines that would apply. I wonder if you had given that any further thought or development?
12064 MR. FRAME: The guidelines that are currently in the revised condition of licence we believe put a very high wall around this. We are happy to have the wall placed even higher if it provides the appropriate level of assurance, Commissioner.
12065 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: No, that's okay.
12066 MR. BEATTY: Most importantly, there would be no sponsorship going into information programming, first of all.
12067 Secondly, there would be title mention, name mention, but not descriptor. It would be, "The Ford Motor Company has assisted the National Arts Centre in the preparation of tonight's concert", but not "Ford Motor Company, maker of fine cars". So it would be very, very tightly constrained, only into cultural and artistic programs, and then obviously other standards in terms of taste would also apply to that. We would want to assure that nothing dragged down the tone of the event that we were involved with.
12068 I would want to have us look very closely at anything related to tobacco sponsorship as well. It is an issue that would be of concern to me, certainly, going forward.
12069 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: To which did you say, tobacco?
12070 MR. BEATTY: Tobacco.
12071 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Okay. Thank you.
12072 No, that's good. I just wondered if you had in fact done anything further or if the revised guidelines were in place.
12073 I have some questions now on the cuts and your budget.
12074 First -- it's like this big pie. I'm trying to slice the elephant, as the boss says.
12075 The first question I am going to ask is: Regional operations have been and continue to be a very large piece of English Radio's budget. I guess what I would like to understand first is, I think we had some correspondence with you -- I don't actually have a copy of the letter but I may not need it -- on April 27 trying to understand what is in regional operations.
12076 In other words, what kind of programming is in there? What are the functions of -- what happens in all those costs? Are some of them sort of fixed costs for distribution for broadcasting? I'm really not quite sure. Is the North in there? I'm wondering if someone can tell me. I think it is $61.8 million in here.
12077 MR. FRAME: I think George is probably flipping through his book right now behind me trying to find out the right page. I think we can we can give you that information in some detail and will in just a second, Commissioner.
12078 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Sure.
12079 MR. FRAME: A brief word about the process is that when we went through the process of budget reduction, the way we did is to say: All right. If the financial problem we are facing is 20 per cent, then we will reduce the network budget as it currently exists by 20 per cent and we will reduce the regional budget as it currently exists by 20 per cent.
12080 Since the regional budget was larger, the actual reduction was also larger, but we maintained the same balance. That was the principle that we brought to the table.
12081 George, are you --
12082 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I actually have some specific questions on that. But I really want just to get an idea because I think other direct costs are in there as well. There is some category called "Indirect Costs", so --
12083 MR. FRAME: George, are you ready?
12084 MR. OLIVER: Sure.
12085 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Great.
12086 MR. BEATTY: George is Michael's younger brother.
12087 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Wonderful. What a family.
12088 MR. OLIVER: I am not sure where you want to start first.
12089 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Just a snapshot. I don't even want sort of specifics, but of $61.8 million, what is there, I guess is really the question?
12090 MR. OLIVER: It really includes all the, obviously, the programming costs, both for programs that are produced locally, in other words, produced regionally, but they may be aired nationally or produced locally and aired locally.
12091 As well, there is some of the operational costs and I may defer to Roger on this one, but some of the, for instance, local operations, the local plant are in there, as well. It excludes overall the network transmission and distribution costs.
12092 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: It does exclude those?
12093 MR. OLIVER: Yes.
12094 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Okay. And is the north in there?
12095 MR. OLIVER: Yes, all of the north is in there.
12096 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Just if I can be clear. In the overview of your regional presence that you have sent us supporting calculations -- what document is this, May 26th?
12097 MR. OLIVER: Are you looking at
12098 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Page C-3-4, I am on here.
12099 MR. OLIVER: Yes, is it a four-line bar graph? Yes, okay.
12100 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I notice in here you have under "Regional" and "After Realignments", there is national radio news 1.7, current affairs features 3.4, drama and performance 3.4, sports info tape 1.4 -- I'm sorry, no, music is up there.
12101 So these programming expenses, is that that $7 million and then there is -- is the $61.8 million have more programming in there? Is there more programming in there?
12102 MR. OLIVER: Well, on those specific numbers you are looking at, like, 3.4 for music and the 1.44 drama and performance. That's the value of the programming that is produced out in the regions in those categories.
12103 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: So $61.8 million doesn't include more programming or does it? Are there more programming expenditures in that $61.8 million? Radio services regional operations.
12104 MR. OLIVER: I'm sorry, which line are you looking at?
12105 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I am looking at after the Realignments --
12106 MR. OLIVER: Yes. Oh, I see where you are.
12107 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Yes, $61.8 million.
12108 MR. OLIVER: Yes, what the 3.4 and the 1.4 is is the funds that are controlled on a responsibility basis by the network.
12109 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Right.
12110 MR. OLIVER: But in fact are spent on regional programs.
12111 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: And in $61.8 million, are there more programming funds?
12112 MR. OLIVER: No.
12113 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Regional operations radio services?
12114 MR. OLIVER: No.
12115 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: No more programming?
12116 MR. OLIVER: No, and anything above that, the $68.7 is all the programming and anything below there is non-programming.
12117 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: No, no, sorry. I mean, I know above the $68.7 million; I mean the $61.8 million. Is there regional programming activities in $61.8 million?
12118 MR. OLIVER: Oh, yes.
12119 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Okay.
12120 MR. FRAME: That's entirely -- the biggest single not in there is regional programming for regions.
12121 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: And that is the biggest single not in $61.8 million.
12122 MR. OLIVER: Right.
12123 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Fifty per cent, 60 per cent, 70 per cent?
12124 MR. OLIVER: Of the $61.8 million? It would be a very high percentage. I guess I will turn it over to Roger to tell you about what percentage of the operations are in that.
12125 MR. GAUTHIER: I would say that the amount of money spent or the percentage would exceed 75 per cent making programs.
12126 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: That's good. Thank you. I just needed that to sort of fill out my picture.
12127 Now, when you -- and I may refer to the tables you filed, but I don't think we are going to need them here. On page B-2-A in talking about your cuts, I believe it was $29.4 million between 1994/1995 up to 1997/1998 and that represented 9 per cent of the $319 million.
12128 MR. OLIVER: That's correct.
12129 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Now, we talked about -- I think when you made the reductions that you were proportionate between the national and regional in terms of the cuts and I understand that the global cuts were 2,988 jobs of which 308 were radio. And then of that 308, 240 of the 308 were in the regional operations. Okay, I just wanted to get a sense of that.
12130 You talked a bit about the effect and impact of these cuts in your opening remarks and I know you certainly did in your application and I know on page 34 reductions of this magnitude can be made without some negative impacts. In some cases, these measures have resulted in some loss of depth, thoughtfulness, quality, time available for careful research and painstaking production. And that sustaining the quality of the program service remains a key ongoing challenge.
12131 We did hear from Canadians, as you have, as well. But their concerns were about the decreased quality and quantity of CBC programming over this period of time, local, as well as overall.
12132 You talked a bit about these, but I am just wondering if you could tell me a little bit more about how you respond to these and what the impact, specifically, has been, for instance, in your spending on research, production of public affairs, other programming at the, sort of, local, regional and national level. And the specific impact of these cuts.
12133 MR. FRAME: If you will permit a long answer, Commissioner.
12134 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Yes, please.
12135 MR. FRAME: What I would like to do is I would like to turn the question over to our programmers, to Susan and Damiano and Esther and perhaps Susan Englebert, as well. So you might get two different regional perspectives.
12136 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Yes.
12137 MR. FRAME: But what I would say in advance of that is that two things happened at the same time. That we did go through a budget reduction, but we also introduced new technology and new work methods. So we were certainly reducing the net resource available, but we were, at the same time, addressing the issue of production in a significantly different way.
12138 So part of it is reduction and part of it, I would say, is learning. Learning that by our workforce that they have come a long way in dealing with things in a different way. I don't mean to suggest that there has not been impact.
12139 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: No, no.
12140 MR. FRAME: But I think it has to be kept in mind at the same time.
12141 What I would like to do is start with Esther and then go to Susan and Damiano and then if there is any mop up that Ms Englebert can do, we will go to her after that.
12142 MS. ENKIN: Thanks, Alex.
12143 We hear, too, obviously from our listeners there is concern about quality and we struggle with how one defines it and we know we have to own it. And here's the curious thing. I will get back in a minute to some reasons why I think there may be some perception out there -- but here's the curious thing, since the cuts we had a year in which we won 48 national and international awards. Just this past couple of months, I have been just walking around, you know, while I am going to write another note today congratulating people. "Quirks and Quarks" won three national science awards. We have 13 finalists in the New York Festival which occurs next week, three of which are gold. All of them are going to get bronze, silver or something, but we know, in fact, three are gold, although the specifics are embargoed.
12144 Our investigative journalism efforts is one of the things I am most proud of since I have taken over the department. It has been a very concerted -- you can't do that on the back of an envelope, I will tell you. That's very, very resource intensive. We have done at least ten pieces in the first year. We have been dead to rights each time.
12145 These are stories that have had enormous impact on social and political policy in some fashion. I am referring to things like the series we did on bikers, the vote rigging scandal in Manitoba, the recent series of stories we did on the paedophile ring in Cornwall. That's all original, painstaking. Edith Cody-Rice is here, she will tell you how painstaking we are and how careful we are at journalism which takes enormous resource.
12146 There may be other things that didn't get done, but I think that is so high-end and so unique it is worth making the choices for. And that's maybe some of what the learning was about. It is about making the kinds of choices that deliver a unique and high-end product.
12147 We have done a series of specials. I joked with my folks last year that it was brought to you by the letter "I". A series of specials, both news and current affairs and in some cases Radio Two, arts and performance out of Israel celebrating its 50th anniversary, out of Ireland and the referendum. We did special programming out of Indonesia around the collapse of the economies of southeast Asia. We did the anniversary of India. In comprehensive, rich documentary, editorially significant ways.
12148 So with having said all that, what's the problem -- and the other thing I would like to just put on the record because I am so proud of it, the Massey Lecture this year was Jean Vanier. This is something that Idea (ph) sponsors with Massey and with the publishing company that publishes -- Stoddard (ph) publishes the book every year. Well, that book based on that Massey Lecture series has been on the best-seller list for some months now, I am not quite sure how long. I mean that's high-end, high quality work brought to you by CBC Radio. And we are very, very proud of it.
12149 So where does this come from? I have a couple of issues.
12150 One is, I think, perhaps around some presentation issues, how we sound in some newscasts. As you may or may not know, about a year and a half ago we decided to, instead of having all newscasts delivered nationally, other than the big flagship "World Report Canada" at 5:00, "World at Six", to deliver locally the hourly newscast based on a syndicated service and material generated from the centre, but also from all the regions. So that listeners could have, on an hourly basis, news that's most important to them, whether it be regional, local, national or international.
12151 And we did that as best we could. But in a cut environment, there are people doing things for the first time, either the writing part of it or the presentation part of it and there are some training issues to catch up with, with, I think, maintaining a standard for which we are rightly known. So that could be one thing, it could be a kind of tonal thing in that way.
12152 And truth to tell, it is true that we don't have wiggle room. It is very, very tight, choices are made all the time. And I will certainly let Susan speak for local programming where I think it may be a little more intense. But there is always that concern that the net that was there before is not -- the mesh may not be quite as tightly woven. And certainly, when we are faced with illness or a bunch of big stories at one time, there are hard choices.
12153 And I can't emphasize enough the learning part of it. I was recently reading in another context that economists were very sceptical about productivity gains after massive cuts in every industry. This is global, this is not just broadcasting. But in fact, there is beginning to be a turn around, that they are seeing productivity gains.
12154 And while, you know, I have tremendous respect for the people I work with and I think you know about CBC Radio, it is a vocation, it is not just something we do. We really, really believe in it and if we didn't what we do it couldn't happen with the number of people and resources we have. But we do manage it, we have learnt a tremendous amount and I think that is what has supported us and gotten us to this point and will only stand us to good stead in the future.
12155 So I don't know, Susan, would you like to talk about regional issues?
12156 MS MITTON: Yes. Esther has already mentioned the local newscasts that we have developed in the past couple of years and frankly, the feedback we have had from audiences in the regions has been tremendously supportive of that initiative. But again, it is new, it is early and we are trying to perfect it.
12157 The other initiative that we have taken in this area of assuring that the quality of CBC Radio does not or has not or will not slip is a very massive undertaking of program evaluation. We have ten major markets, 15 smaller markets and we, in the past year, have devised a method of evaluating all that programming -- and I can tell you from doing several of the stations it is 15 hours of listening and I have 40 pages of notes on each location to feedback to folks.
12158 But what we are doing is we are taking ears from outside that location and having them listen to hours and hours of programming, meeting with those locations, all the staff in them and giving them feedback and having a discussion about things like journalistic rigour, like pacing and tone of our programming, like selection of stories, hosting. So it is very intense and there is a lot of material covered and there is a lot of criteria that we talk about. We actually score, as well.
12159 And what we are trying to do there is not to suggest that things are good or bad, but to set a benchmark from the time of these changes so that we can all be striving to improve on areas that we might fall average or -- I haven't seen too many fall short of average, I can tell you that.
12160 But our sense of this is that the quality from this exercise has not fallen off. There are some areas that we have identified for improvement and in this past year have given specific training, by location, where needed to make sure that the standards are kept and in fact improved upon.
12161 So that second tier is happening right now, the second go-round of that. It is early days, we have only done three markets. They will all be done by the end of June, the major markets. And the early word is in fact, we have come up in the critical categories of both journalistic rigour and writing.
12163 MS ENKIN: Sorry, finish.
12164 MS MITTON: Yes. So that is, I mean this quality issue is fundamental to, as Alex pointed out, our thoughtfulness is fundamental to our service and we cannot let the quality slip. We are paying attention to this. It is how much is learning curve and how much is a resource issue. And how much is new ways of working. We went from very strong in the regions, small unit culture to more of a service culture within our stations so that we are cooperating a lot more.
12165 I had a recent example in the Maritimes where we took -- six morning shows, all decided that we would do a substantive series and all run it in our six morning shows on mental health. And I was delighted to just receive word that the Mental Health Association in the Maritimes has put us forward for an award for that.
12166 Now, that's the kind of new way of working that we are coming to. We also do that regionally to the network. There was -- a couple of examples was there was an RCMP anniversary that Regina wanted to celebrate. Well, rather than put the effort in just locally, we engaged the entire network in that process and thereby really made an impact, I believe.
12167 There is other examples of that happening all the time. So the way we are working between regions and network is also upping the quality in my view, because we are getting great synergies out of that. So we are paying attention to it, we are working with it.
12168 Esther alluded to the no wiggle time and no think time, and that is one of the things that we are hearing from our folks. We are actually hearing less of that a little bit than the early days of the radical change that we went through in the last couple of years. We are starting to hear a little less of that.
12169 But backfill, particularly in the regions, is in fact something that we are going to work to come to -- and I am sorry for the jargon. I will tell you what that is.
12170 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: What is "backfill"?
12171 MS MITTON: As Esther alluded to, when somebody is sick in a small location like Moncton, there aren't that many journalists that you can pull in off the street with the kind of skill level that all our employees now have. So it is a real crunch when people either get sick or vacations, less so, because we can plan for that. But it is the short term.
12172 We are working on ways of alleviating that problem. We are working with journalism schools, Kings Journalism School, I understand Ryerson is connected here, in trying to identify folks that will be able to step in and help us out on the short-term. And also that the schools are using the same technology, the desktop editing that we are currently using. So we are, again, working on this area of backfill.
12173 Is that too much?
12174 THE CHAIRPERSON: I don't know if the translator can follow because I don't see anyone with the hearing device, but definitely they would have as much difficulty to translate you as they had with some French-speaking people earlier last week.
12175 MS MITTON: Is it my speed?
12176 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
12177 MS MITTON: All right.
12178 MR. FRAME: Madam Chair, is it the speed or is it the New Brunswick accent?
--- Laughter / Rires
12179 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, one thing certainly is the passion is coming across.
12180 MS MITTON: That's good. I'm glad. I'm glad. I will ask Damiano to follow through, but I think this program evaluation goes directly to the heart of our quality and our concern about our quality. We also do focus group work. We are using research and getting audience feedback, as Alex mentioned, all the time, and if we find specifics like perhaps the delivery of our local cast, we address that and there is a group working on that right now. So I will end there.
12181 MR. PIETROPAOLO: Thank you, Susan.
12182 Commissioner Grauer, one of the things that happened about four years ago when we were going through this massive downsizing is that CBC Radio came together both internally and with its listeners. In terms of the arts, entertainment and music, those of us who work in the field are always a little more scared than people who are in the other areas.
12183 I was at the time developing a new way of doing drama with my team for CBC Radio and it serves now as a model for the whole service. What we wanted to do was to develop forms of dramatic entertainment that would fit in with existing programming at the time. We were talking about "Morningside" at the time but we have a drama presence within it.
12184 I remember a story that happened at the time. We wanted to do "The Stone Angel", the classic novel by Margaret Laurence, and I was negotiating the rights.
12185 I had to call to the New York agent of the estate who said to me -- I said: I want to dramatize "The Stone Angel" to broadcast on "Morningside" so it can reach 400,000 listeners. They said: You mean you want to read it on the radio? I said: Not exactly. I said: I want to dramatize it.
12186 Yes, yes. You want to read it on the radio. I said: No. What we want to do is we want to hire a well-known playwright who will do a dramatic script and who will make the novel come alive as a radio drama form.
12187 You mean you guys are still doing that up there? I said: Yes, we guys are still doing it up here and it is a very unique service that we continue to provide to our listeners and I am your only market in town for these rights.
--- Laughter / Rires
12188 MR. PIETROPAOLO: I was able to get the rights at a much lower fee than they were asking.
12189 I mention that story because even after the cuts, we are still continuing to do that up there. We are still doing that and what we have developed is a way of integrating drama and comedy on the network and in the regions in a way that listeners benefit immensely. I mention two examples.
12190 A few years ago, the question became, as the "Air Farce" moved to television and "Double Exposure" moved to television, we were faced with developing a new comedy. So we were able to put together a small Comedy Development Fund. The Comedy Development Fund is used as seed money in the regions for developing new comedy.
12191 The immense success that we have had with that I can point to by "The Dead Dog Cafe Comedy Hour", which has become a huge, huge hit on "This Morning". We are expanding that next year to a full season.
12192 We have also developed a program called "Medley Off In All Directions", which travels across the country and showcases local talent on the national network schedule, but its mandate is the showcasing of local talent.
12193 As Mr. Frame said this morning, in the arts, entertainment and music area, we continue to remain an electronic touring stage for regional and local cultural content that would not otherwise be able to travel.
12194 One of the things we do on Radio Two, for example, each summer is a festival of drama that is recorded on location. Last year, we went to Halifax, we went to Vancouver, we went to Winnipeg, and we have a summer festival of drama. This is relatively less expensive for us to do than if we were to tape these plates and mount them in the studio on our own.
12195 So what we do basically is remote recording. We went to Halifax and did "The Gospel Oedipus" last year which drew large crowds in Halifax and then was able to tour electronically.
12196 So our mandate remains the same in spite of the cuts and because of new technologies that we have introduced, for instance, such as soundscape editing in music, we now can record a concert with one less person than it would have taken prior to the cuts and are able to maintain a level of service that is commensurate to before the cuts.
12197 Similarly in drama, the introduction of digital recording technology has enabled us to cut the amount of time necessary to produce drama and thereby redirect our resources that would have gone into infrastructure into content.
12198 The other way we have addressed this is by establishing in the arts, entertainment and music area international co-production arrangements. We now have a biennial festival of drama which is heard in Australia. It is heard at the BBC in the U.K., in New Zealand, in South Africa.
12199 It is called "World Play" and for this we are able, through an exchange of programming with these countries, to bring to an audience of close to 70 million -- available audience of close to 70 million, playwrights by Canadian writers that are broadcast internationally and we benefit from their work as well.
12200 I can go on for longer but I think I will stop right there.
12201 MR. FRAME: Do you need more, Commissioner?
12202 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Don't hold back.
--- Laughter / Rires
12203 MR. FRAME: We still have Susan in the back row.
12204 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: If Susan feels she needs to say something, I would certainly never want to...
12205 MS MITTON: Well, I will just -- I will talk about the people's side of things. You have heard about the wonderful programming, but there is no doubt that as we went into the changes, our people were stretched and challenged and I think if you ask them now, would you like to go back, they would say no because they have learned so much and I think they feel very much in control of the product that they are producing.
12206 In the two years that we have been introducing new technology, we have put more money into training. Many of the regions have set up mentorship programs so that people are helping each other to learn and to take control of the product they're doing. I think that they feel very proud of what they have accomplished. Not only are we proud of the product but I think that they are very proud of what they managed to attain over the last couple of years.
12207 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you.
12208 I guess one question with respect to the performance measurements that you have instituted: Do you measure against the goals and objectives you have stated here, for instance, the commitment to journalistic excellence, regional routes? Is that built into your measurement?
12209 MR. FRAME: Commissioner, I am going to ask Susan Mitton to go through what we call the baseline review process in some detail for you.
12210 The short answer is: Yes. I have been involved in program evaluations at CBC Radio now for the past 12 years, and when Susan, along with Rob Renaud(ph), who is Esther's Deputy, designed this system after we went through the changes, I in fact have never seen a more effective and fair system that not only gives you quantifiable and measurable points in the system against the objectives but is accepted both by the people who are being evaluated in those programs, in other words, they acknowledge it.
12211 The problem I always had is that once you said, well, you have a problem here, you have a problem there and a problem there, folks would say, yeah, yeah, yeah, you would go out of town and they would just carry on. But that is not what happens with this process.
12212 MS MITTON: No too, and again, give me a signal if I get going. I will slow down again.
12213 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: If I don't notice, I am sure Madam Chair will.
--- Laughter / Rires
12214 MS MITTON: I appreciate that.
12215 What happens is, as a Director of Radio, I would receive goals and objectives that would flow from, in this case now, Alex Frame from Perrin Beatty, and I would have to interpret those. A lot of our shows -- and by interpret, I mean make sure that the programs I was accountable for in my region reflected those goals and objectives appropriately.
12216 Obviously, each show has criteria that they are to operate under and they could be for a morning show that that show is very connected to the day, sets the listener up for what is ahead for the day, that there is lots of survival information in a timely fashion. So each --
12217 MR. FRAME: Journalistic rigour.
12218 MS MITTON: Journalistic rigour is fundamental to all our information programming, but these... At noon, we have a system where we have a lot of regional shows as opposed to local in our noontime period and they are asked to look at such things as whether they are reflecting the economic drivers of their region effectively, along with great hosting, good pacing, journalistic rigour. So there are nuances that each program would have.
12219 So what happens is that, as I mentioned, outside ears I call them, other colleagues not associated, in other words no vested interest, at that particular location, listen to hours of tape and they have sheets on each program area as well as our newscasts and our arts reporting, everything that that station puts out and is evaluated.
12220 What happens is there is a great long conversation with the station broken down into sometimes smaller groups to agree that the issues that are raised by evaluation are valid and they have input into that. Then, there is an expectation that four weeks later they file a draft action plan based on the evaluation.
12221 Our commitment back to them is that we will supply training tied to that action plan to effect change and improvement. Again, another important element of that is it is revisited on an annual basis so that it is not a one-time exercise and it goes away.
12222 Is that helpful to you?
12223 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Yes. It is helpful for the record to understand how you measure against the goals, I think.
12224 MR. FRAME: If the Commission would like us to file a kind of blank copy of our baseline review, we certainly have that and would be prepared to provide that, just with the criteria and essentially the various elements of programs that are evaluated.
12225 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Quite specifically I guess, one question I have is -- one of your 12 principal strategic directions for the Corporation is to maintain and strengthen regional service. I know that the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting have also talked about giving the local management much more flexibility in developing the programming for each region.
12226 Can you, I guess, tell me a little bit about: Was there a decrease in regional or local responsibility through these cuts? Has there been a change in how much autonomy the regions have and what you plan to do to strengthen it if this is a commitment?
12227 MR. FRAME: If you make them any stronger, they will take over the world, Commissioner.
12228 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Pardon me?
12229 MR. FRAME: There are two regional directors here. So I want to speak about this and I would invite them -- they will have no problem saying -- if they believe I am not telling the truth, they will, believe me, let you know and they will certainly let me know.
12230 This is what happened through the process, from my perspective. We were at a high level of anxiety at the senior management level in CBC Radio with regard to the implications of the reductions that we were facing. I would say, as a result of that, there was, for me, as a Program Director at that time, my behaviour was becoming more and more categorical. It was uncharacteristic of me.
--- Laughter / Rires
12231 MR. FRAME: But this seemed to be happening and we had pulled together -- we had to bring the directors of radio together with our senior network managers in order to work out a strategy. Before the first meeting occurred, three of them independently took me aside and said essentially: Shape up or you aren't going to get anywhere. In other words, you have to bring us into the process of strategic development and decision-making or the results are not going to be happy for anyone, right? Some of the people are here today.
12232 So at that point, we developed a team of people made up of network and regional programmers, who together determined the directions we needed to take and together decided the way we needed to move forward. It was a more open process of decision-making with regard to programming that certainly I had participated in, in the four or five years that I had been Director of Programming. That is where we are now.
12233 Now, I think we have moved to a separate stage -- just moved to it -- is that we have such strong leadership across this country in our directors of Radio and such a talented workforce that the ability and the flexibility to address particular regional issues and modify programming in order to address issues that may be specific to only one region, rather than operate in a fairly constricting national template, is something that we want to talk about and that is where we are.
12234 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Are you saying then: Screw the experience of these cuts and the dramatic changes and the way that everybody worked together as a Corporation, that in fact you have emerged stronger and in fact with a more engaged regional team?
12235 MR. FRAME: Yes, not only stronger as a team but stronger individually.
12236 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Individually.
12237 MR. FRAME: Susan and Esther, I think, may want to pipe in here.
12238 MS MITTON: I would agree with what Alex has just said.
12239 MS ENKIN: Thank God.
--- Laughter / Rires
12240 MS MITTON: But I have had experience as Director of Radio. In the Maritimes, it started basically in 1991 and the change has been fundamental. Not only do I feel that I have flexibility in my own region to interpret market variances, to suggest new challenges, to develop new programming, but what has also changed is I feel equally a partner for the whole system so that I do not feel for one second a poor cousin.
12241 I feel I can be heard when I have thoughts on the network national programming. I feel that I have a responsibility to voice my opinion as a Regional Director in what we put on nationally. I feel that there is a synergy and a one-team approach that has been a fundamental change in the past several years and I think it is a very healthy one.
12242 We have matured to the point where Alex mentioned that we have leave and let to not do a cookie-cutter approach. Regions are very different across the country and we are mature enough now, I believe, to move forward even more so on interpreting regional needs and expression, always tied into our national goals and objectives.
12243 It is a pleasure, in fact, for me to have seen and worked in this newer environment. It challenges all of us and I think it gives Canadians back a service that is again very mature and flexible, in good ways. I love working in this open and collaborative way.
12244 MR. FRAME: Esther, is there anything you want to add?
12245 MS ENKIN: I am building on what Susan said and at the risk of reiterating it, what we came to in that task force, in that process of high anxiety and what are we going to do is we realized that we were so inexplicably linked anyway that we had to do it in a more kind of intentional and smart way. That is where we are now.
12246 Another internal word we use is "integrated schedule". What does that mean? That means synergy. That means the strands are twisting around each other in a way that at certain points in the day it is difficult to know which is which.
12247 Network programmers are becoming increasingly mindful -- we do have five time zones and newscasts are done five times -- of which region it is going to and how it can be crafted to be more appropriate to that region while still being true to its mandate of a national and international perspective.
12248 We created syndication that is a way of addressing regional needs in a central way so that it is a smart use of resources. Five years ago, the likes of a Paul Adams, our Parliamentary Bureau Chief, and Rick McInnis-Rae(ph), our Foreign Correspondent in London, got playtime on newscasts, but now they both do weekly columns through syndication and afternoon shows across the country run them.
12249 Now, they don't have to but they have the option of -- and I'm sorry, I didn't bring the exact number that do. Well, that is region and network resource. Whose resource is that? That is CBC Radio resource being used in smart and appropriate ways.
12250 MS MITTON: Excuse me. May I add just another direction that we are heading in that I think is really important as well? This kind of management and cooperation does not stop at our level. We have been most successful when we have included in any kind of task force, producers, executive producers across the country, again to both look at issues of regional nature and also network.
12251 So we are trying to involve all the time diagonal staff groups that talk about our product -- it is not our product, it is ultimately the Canadian public's -- so that it doesn't stop at a Program Director or Regional Director. We rely on our staff and involve them and that is fundamental, I think, again to both an understanding of the national and corporate objectives.
12252 It is fundamental to buy-in and it is fundamental to a careful harbinging of our resources and inclusion so that I am not unique in having an enthusiasm for what I do. As Esther mentioned, it is a vocation.
12253 MR. FRAME: Part of the CBC's strategic plan is culture change, a culture change in terms of becoming more open to our constituents and our stakeholders, to be more performance-oriented and efficient in the way we do business internally and to be more inclusive with regard to shepherding and exploiting the intellectual resources of our people in order to move to the next stage in our development.
12254 So I hope the President is listening carefully to how responsive we are here in CBC Radio.
12255 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I'm sure he is.
12256 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: And we are.
12257 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I wonder, Madam Chair, if we might take our morning break.
12258 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will be back in 15 minutes.
--- Short recess at / Courte suspension à 1045
--- Upon resuming at / Reprise à 1055
12259 THE CHAIRPERSON: Alors, we pursue. Legal counsel had a document to put on the public record.
12260 MS PINSKY: I would just like to note for the public record that the CBC has filed a response to one of the undertakings taken in the course of examination of the English Television Network. This is a two-page document and it relates to a contribution analysis of professional support's programming.
12261 Confidentiality was requested in respect of the break-out as between hockey, baseball, football and other sports, and that request has been granted. So an abridged version of the document will be placed on the public file. Thank you.
12262 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Commissioner Grauer will pursue with the questioning.
12263 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Speaking of sports, my colleagues took me to task at the break for not asking you: Where are the sports? When are the sports? On radio.
12264 MR. BEATTY: They crept under the TV schedule.
--- Laughter / Rires
12265 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: That's fine. I was just kidding. Sports has been a popular topic over the last few days.
12266 I have one more question about regional programming and then I would like to go on. In paragraph 86, you have explained that:
"An initiative is currently under way to improve the quality of programming in smaller bureaus. We will strive to place even more journalistic and production personnel in the field to cover issues and events happening in their communities."
12267 (As read)
12268 On page 92, you also indicate that:
"Over the past few years, considerable efforts have been made to improve and strengthen all these regional and sub-regional program periods. Integration of news and current affairs into a single journalistic unit made them both more efficient and user-friendly."
12269 (As read)
12270 I know we have talked a little bit about some of that but I just wondered: Are these two linked and could you just expand a little bit about the hiring of new people and expanding this initiative?
12271 MR. FRAME: Yes. I think I will ask Susan and Esther and Susan to respond to this with regard to the nature of the changes and what it has allowed us to do.
12272 Commissioner, if I understand your question, you want to know: a) how we organize ourselves differently now than we did a few years ago; and b) if we are, as we say in the application, and how we are managing to put more people in the field, particularly in regions and sub-regions?
12273 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I am going to assume that this is linked to your strengthening of regional roots initiative as well. So I guess I just want a sense of what that means.
12274 MR. FRAME: Yes. I am going to turn it over to Susan first, but I think it is important that I mention a couple of headlines.
12275 We have mentioned a number of times: London, Ontario, where a year ago, we introduced two journalists into that area of Ontario. We have done the same thing in Grande Prairie in Alberta and in Lethbridge, Alberta, in Bathurst, New Brunswick, and in Cambridge Bay, Northwest Territories. So we have reorganized our resources in order to make those specific achievements.
12276 So I say that in anticipation of letting Susan take a crack at how we organize ourselves.
12277 MS MITTON: Thanks, Alex. What we did in our smaller locations and they are basically -- to give you some context about stations that have 11 journalists working in them. They, generally speaking, do a morning show and either news throughout the day on air or perhaps morning show and an afternoon show. It is generally not the noon involved in a station that size.
12278 What we did was rather than have a morning focus of three or four people doing a morning focus and a separate news group, we thought that the issues that they were covering in a smaller location were probably overlapped quite a bit, and rather than have four brilliant minds over here and four over here, we grouped them together so that again there would be a synergy -- it would allow more effort to be placed by one person. So they could follow one story in that location and do it for both news and current affairs rather than have two people chasing the same story. So that is one change that we put in place.
12279 Another move that is being worked on right now is you mentioned hiring. What we do in the Maritimes is we have a succession plan in place now where we identify the next great reporters, the next great producers, and we try and give those people opportunities, either through vacation, filling in for somebody else or extra training so that we are developing, before the need arises, a number of people to, when jobs become vacant so that we have a good bench strength to draw from for those jobs.
12280 A third area that was mentioned was increased people in the field. In New Brunswick, we had three afternoon shows. I met with the executive producers in New Brunswick. We had over here three afternoon shows on this side of the page and we had some service needs that we felt were not being addressed.
12281 One was that we had nobody on the ground up in Bathurst, which is a part of New Brunswick, heavily populated, an area populated by Acadians. There are always terrific stories up there and we just didn't feel we were on the ground quick enough to get them.
12282 We also wanted -- rather than to take a newscast on a daily basis out of Halifax every hour, we wanted New Brunswick to be able to have their own casts each hour that would include New Brunswick stories, national stories and international stories. But again, we didn't have the resource to do that.
12283 The third area was that we had three stations in New Brunswick, which is terrific, but we weren't feeling that we had enough resource focused on the province as a whole.
12284 So the decision we came to was rather than stick with three afternoon shows, we rolled the afternoon show into one. So we have one afternoon show now in New Brunswick and we have a reporter in Bathurst. We have a provincial newscast on the hour throughout the day that includes local, national and international and we have a journalist devoted to longer form journalism with a provincial overview.
12285 So that is the kind of change we have gone through to improve the service to listeners in New Brunswick and also, frankly, to improve reflection of for instance Northern New Brunswick on the full network. So those are the three steps there.
12286 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: So you eliminated two of the afternoon shows?
12287 MS MITTON: That's right. Some of that went to cuts and some went to redirection to improve the service. So we didn't take it all.
12288 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: No, but I guess what I am really trying to get at is presumably the people in those communities where they lost it may feel they have lost something. How do you incorporate service -- does your remaining afternoon show --
12289 MS MITTON: Take material from the other two locations?
12290 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Yes, structure itself in a way --
12291 MS MITTON: Exactly. We were worried about that and what we did was we left a person in each of the other two locations who has a responsibility to -- or the stations do as a whole -- to feed items into that one provincial show.
12292 The reaction that we had had in the two years that this has been in place has been very positive. The ratings on the show for the province have gone up from what the three individual shows used to be. We feel the quality is good. The show also incorporates material that is offered off of our national syndication service and we think the listeners have responded.
12293 I have had very little and I can't even recall any outside criticism in the last six months at all. I think initially there was understandably some but that is certainly not the case currently.
12294 MR. FRAME: Commissioner, we have done the same thing in Ontario where we had five noon programs at Windsor, Toronto, Ottawa, Thunder Bay and Sudbury. We created a program called "Ontario Noon" that the effect has been the same as the one that Susan described.
12295 However there is an added advantage. This is the only radio program in this province whose mission it is to reflect the whole province. So, actually, it achieved an editorial advantage, plus allowed us to put quality programming in over the noon hour period into regions where the programs were virtually on life support systems. It was just someone largely spinning disks. Now there is real journalism and real reflection going on with the program.
12296 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: And I gather this has been kind of an evolutionary process from 1993/1994, learning to -- you have grown into these solutions, if I can put it that way?
12297 MR. FRAME: I would say we are growing into them.
12298 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: You are growing into them.
12299 MR. FRAME: Still growing.
12300 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Okay. Thank you.
12301 What I would like to do now is look at your revenue and expenditure projections through the next licence term, and I think that is pages C-3-1 through C-3-10 if that is of any use. I think they are pretty straight forward, my questions, but that is certainly where they are.
12302 The tables you have submitted indicate relatively stable funding, if I can put it that way. I am wondering, first of all, I think you show modest year over year increases in the overall budgets, which is presumably due to probably inflation and much else. Is that more or less?
12303 MR. FRAME: Yes. Small revenue --
12304 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Microphone.
12305 MR. FRAME: Sorry. Small revenue projections, but not significant, I would say.
12306 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Right. Has your board made commitments to this kind of funding? Maybe Mr. Beatty can answer that in terms of English Radio's budgets.
12307 MR. BEATTY: I am sorry, I just want to make sure I understand the question, Commissioner.
12308 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: There is this issue of stable funding and you have given us a projection through 2006 and I just wonder how confident are you of the budgets?
12309 MR. BEATTY: Quite, barring force majeure. Barring either significant change to the government appropriation or some catastrophic failure to be able to access the Canadian Television Fund or dramatic impact on our advertising revenues. Failing that, what you are seeing is pretty solid.
12310 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: So are you saying that possibly English television's access to the Canadian Television Fund, if that is impacted, that is going to affect English radio's budget?
12311 MR. BEATTY: Only if there were a major impact. Basically we would be expecting English television to operate within its own envelope, if you like. The only instance where it would spill over into the other service is if there was something that was so major that in order to protect the service itself, we had to go back to the drawing board and knock money loose elsewhere to be able to ensure the survival of the service.
12312 So I am quite confident of the position that radio is in. And indeed when we were dealing with the cuts, our board set as a priority if new money became available, to put it back into radio. So we had the $10 million that was directed funding from government that we split on a 60/40 basis between English and French radio and further when we were able to find some surpluses going through last year, I guess, we were able to put a bit more money into radio, as well. So it has been a priority with our board.
12313 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Without getting too far down the line of television's funding, when you say "major", can you give me some indication of what that means?
12314 MR. BEATTY: I can't. There is no fixed figure that we have. It is similar to the discussion we were having yesterday where we were giving undertakings to the Commission, we think we can achieve, based on anything we see, we think we can achieve the undertakings that we are giving to you. That certainly applies to the allocation to radio.
12315 Should we be finding that we are, you know, tens and tens of millions of dollars short of our anticipated access to the Canadian Television Fund, that may force us to go back to the drawing board.
12316 I don't anticipate that, though, because as Commissioner Cram was pointing out, the criteria, the new criteria that has been set for the fund put a high priority on the type of television programming that we do, conspicuously Canadian cultural content. And while we don't know exactly what our access is going to be we think that we should be fairly successful in terms of achieving whatever goals we have there.
12317 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you.
12318 Just to review it, your budget is projected to go from $121 million in 1999/2000 to about $135 million in 2006. And I see that there is modest year over year increases to regional operations and music, similar to the music budgets which parallel the overall growth of the budget.
12319 Now, when I get to news and spoken word, I see that there is a significant drop in 1998/1999 to 1999/2000. I think it is $4 million, a one year decrease from $32.5 million to $28.3 million; is that correct?
12320 MR. FRAME: George, can you speak to that?
12321 MR. OLIVER: Yes, I can answer that.
12322 That's correct, it is about a 12 per cent decrease after a year in, I guess, 1998/1999 when there was a significant amount of special activity and that was also the year when we had some budgetary concerns in that department.
12323 MR. FRAME: So that figure then reflects one-time releases beyond the base budget as well as some slowness in reaching the new financial levels.
12324 George, am I right?
12325 MR. OLIVER: Yes, that is getting it back in line with the rest of the service to historical levels.
12326 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: If you look at news and spoken word together, I think what you have is 1997/1998, it is about $30,000; 1998/1999 it is about $32,000. And then it goes down to $17,000, $18,000.
12327 The reason I am asking this is, first of all being cognizant of the discussions we have just gone through and the sort of eloquent discussion of getting to where you have gotten with the cuts and the fact that there isn't a lot of wiggle room and then, you know, I see Radio Three pops up with sort of a $7 million budget allocation in a time of modest growth.
12328 I certainly don't want to talk about the merits of Radio Three here, but in terms of discussing the allocation of resources that you have to your stated goals and objectives and what has sort of been, I suppose you could say a stabilized and evolving situation, I just wonder if you could comment a bit on that.
12329 MR. FRAME: We would need George to undertake the actual paper trail to explain those figures and perhaps he will. But I can certainly talk in principles.
12330 The first one is that our funding and our financial levels are fixed. There is no anticipated new impacts on our news and current affairs or spoken word programming through those financial years. In other words, we are still moving to those targets that we set two years ago in order to absorb the 20 per cent financial reduction.
12331 So that is what is happening. And we don't anticipate any further trauma in any of our areas.
12332 The question of Radio Three is that the funding for Radio Three comes from two sources. The largest source is an allocation from our senior management and board of directors in order to have the corporation address an under-served audience and that is $6 million.
12333 The next largest figure comes from the migration of the funding now spent to serve that demographic, particularly on Radio Two over into Radio Three. In other words, once Radio Three is up and running, God willing, is that we will no longer have "Brave New Waves" or "Radiosonic" on Radio Two. So that programming will move over and because we are in very fringe times, will be replaced with programming more appropriate to that network and at a lower cost.
12334 Those are the two principal areas of funding. Not one dollar will be moved from any programming budgets on Radio One or Radio Two in order to fund Radio Three. Not one dollar.
12335 MR. BEATTY: I might just supplement that, as well. In underscoring what Alex was saying about that $6 million, this was money which was allocated from corporate reserves into radio. In other words, it is new money to radio to pay for Radio Three because of the priority that we put upon radio in being able to serve an under-served audience of young people.
12336 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I will come back to this.
12337 Just though to pick up on your point about moving that programming that is now on Radio One and Two, I know that you have said that the introduction of -- paragraph 34:
The introduction of a youth-oriented service Radio Three would benefit listeners to Radio One and Two since some of the youth-oriented program currently broadcast on those schedules could be moved to Radio Three consolidating and clarifying.
12338 In another part of your application, you talked about the importance -- page 10 in your One and Two Promise of Performance you indicate that you intend to expand your programming to broaden your audience. And in the case of Radio One you say:
We are striving to reach more younger Canadians in other segments of society which traditionally do not spend a great deal of time with CBC Radio.
12339 With Radio Two you say:
The audience is significantly older than the audience for all Canadian radio.
12340 And you are implementing programming and promotional strategies designed to make its schedules attractive and accessible.
12341 So I have two questions. I mean, it is a bit complicated, but --
12342 With respect to the Promise of Performance, I wanted to ask what kind of changes you intended to make to Radio One and Two which you have said you were going to accommodate broadening your audience to appeal to younger people. But then you say if Radio Three is approved you are going to move this programming to another service in order to consolidate and better meet the needs of the Radio One and Two audience.
12343 And one other side issue is if you move that programming, you presumably move the funds attached to it. And I take your point and I believe you -- I don't disbelieve when you say that there will be no impact on the existing budgets of One and Two, but I don't see that and I don't see that in terms of some of these initiatives in addition to the overall budgets.
12344 So having sort of off-loaded that, perhaps you could -- and as I say, I really don't want to talk about the merits of Radio Three, because this isn't the time and the place, but it is really to talk about the resources you are putting behind your commitments with respect to the existing services and your core values.
12345 MR. FRAME: I thank you for your question. It is not a confusing question, at all.
12346 But if you allow me sort of the walk through the --
12347 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Yes, please.
12348 MR. FRAME: -- answer.
12349 At the beginning of the morning we talked about younger. In other words, the President is approaching his fifties and I am well into mine. So younger is a relative --
12350 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Indeed.
--- Laughter / Rires
12351 MR. FRAME: -- situation. And when we talk about younger with regard to Radio One and Radio Two, we are not talking about 15 to 25. That is not an achievable demographic in significant numbers. They are there, but not in significant numbers for Radio One or Radio Two.
12352 What is an achievable demographic and is an important demographic for us is 35 to 49. And we have been losing share 35 to 49 even though our numbers are growing. So that is our critical target.
12353 A secondary target would be 25 to 34. But even that is a hard one for us to get at. So our focus is on 35 to 49. I will talk about 25 to 34, as well.
12354 So what we have done and what we are doing when we talk about new voices and reflection, we are also talking about programming that is on CBC Radio One now that is a little edgier than it was a few years ago. It is a little more controversial in some respects and has a range of perceptions and views on it.
12355 I would go so far as to say that some of the programming that is now on Radio One has made some of our older listeners, not all of them and not most of them, a little uncomfortable.
12356 We have done that because we believe that in order to make our programming accessible to more Canadians it has to have a few more edges. And it has to have greater range of ideas.
12357 If you will forgive me, it has to be less nostalgic. And we believe if we do that, then we will have a service that is more attractive to that demographic.
12358 At the same time as we have done that on Radio One, on Radio Two, we have essentially introduced Shelagh Rogers.
12359 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: A multi-tasking --
12360 MR. FRAME: It is the five-hour woman.
12361 And what Shelagh Rogers brings without in any way modifying the values or the mission of Radio Two with regard to celebrating Canadian music and performance, is that what Shelagh brings, she brings accessibility to it. In order words -- and that's with familiarity.
12362 So we make these modifications in our programming in order to expand the demographic south, if you would.
12363 Now, the last point I would make with regard to 25 to 34, when we did this a number of years ago and in our view it is working in spades, is that we introduced "Definitely Not the Opera" on Saturday afternoon and "Definitely Not the Opera" has a large appeal to that demographic.
12364 But when we went on the air and Damiano can attest to this, we had debates with the executive producer at that point. The inclination of the executive producer was to target an audience in its twenties and we said, "No, you have to target an audience higher than that because if you take a look at the audience research, 20-year olds aren't listening to AM anyway. You are just not going to get them on AM, they are not there."
12365 So in order to have a reasonable objective "Definitely Not the Opera" and our comedy, together, we use as a principal goal. And some of our Saturday night programs to essentially reach that 25 to 34-year old audience.
12366 Is that helpful, Commissioner?
12367 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Actually it is very helpful with respect to one piece of my questioning that I hadn't appreciated that different demographics.
12368 I think what remains is I see suddenly going from nothing -- a budget of $7 million from Radio Three and I see mostly a modest year over year growth for the overall budget.
12369 And this is again not to discuss the merits of Radio Three, but when we are reviewing the terms and conditions of your licence renewal, your mandate and your strategy and your commitments and I think that the primary one that you have gone over is the highest priority is the ongoing protection of core services, overall both with radio and the corporation as a whole. It is strengthening regional roots, it is commitment to news, public affairs and spoken word, which is the heart of the CBC.
12370 So my questions are, you know, are the available resources which all of us know to be limited going in that direction. That's really what my question is and I appreciate Mr. Beatty's point that this money for Radio Three is new and separate, but I don't see that. Now, maybe it is something we can come back at in Reply. I don't have my calculator to add up all my --
12371 MR. FRAME: We can break down that $7 million, Commissioner, if you wish. We can do it now if you would like.
12372 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I don't know that I really -- I guess I am less interested in breaking down the $7 million that is going to Radio Three than I am in looking at the overall budgets and seeing where the commitments are to Radio One and Two. And something is coming from somewhere, is what I am saying, to find the money for Radio Three and I just wonder where it is coming from, because I see $4 million out of news and spoken word.
12373 MR. FRAME: We are not moving any money out of news and sports or spoken word, is that -- and it is important that we are -- and we are not draining any funds away from our current programming, except that youth programming that I mentioned in order to fund Radio Three. We absolutely aren't. We absolutely won't. And that when I talk about protecting the core services, it is very clear that in order to do that one must husband those funds in a very, very efficient manner.
12374 And efficiency in this case is not a euphemism for cuts. I am talking about genuine productivity and efficiencies.
12375 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: No, and I believe what you are saying. But with respect to productivity, I think -- you know, I know that I have the productivity improvement chart and I know that English Radio has projected $2.1 million, I think, of productivity improvements.
12376 But I also know that you say in your application that it is extremely unlikely that future productivity improvements will equal in magnitude those of the recent past. And I raise this because I think that English Radio has probably generally not been -- you see as a well-run service, if I can say that. I believe there aren't a lot of great productivity improvements that can be achieved.
12377 MR. FRAME: I don't know about great productivity improvements. It is a highly inventive service at the same time as it is and has been historically well run. And the technologies are changing that they are allowing greater flexibility.
12378 Our current collective agreements allow us greater flexibility. That we very much are in a learning mode and our leadership is committed to that learning and understands now the nature of productivity and how to approach it. In order to approach it effectively, the more of your people you can buy into the objective, the more satisfactory it is going to be. And that is what the process that is undergoing going up.
12379 But there is more. We have a budget of approximately $100 million. If you can't get productivity inside a budget of $100 million then there is a problem.
12380 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: No, and I see here $2.1 million, this is on productivity --
12381 MR. FRAME: Exactly.
12382 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: -- improvements and expenditure reductions implemented in 1999/2000.
12383 MR. BEATTY: Let me --
12384 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: What I am trying to do is, when I look at this and I see the expenditures --
12385 Perhaps the easiest thing for you to get back to me on is when I see news and spoken word and the year over year -- the combination of those two and a sudden drop in $4 million.
12386 MR. FRAME: We will make -- and I would hope within 24 hours, I think, George?
12387 Within 24 hours we should have that broken down.
12388 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Okay.
12389 MR. FRAME: I hope that satisfies Counsel.
12390 MR. BEATTY: And that is a vastly more efficient turn-around than we would have done in the past with information, Commissioner.
--- Laughter / Rires
12391 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I appreciate that.
12392 MR. BEATTY: If I can just go back to the point that you were making, it is quite correct that I don't think we will be seeing the pace of efficiency improvement going forward that we have had to endure over the course of the last four years.
12393 Over the course of the last four years we have had to slay that $414 million monster and that has meant a traumatic wrenching change in the way in which we do business. An improvement in efficiency that is dramatic. And we have picked a lot of the low hanging fruit. You start first with the areas where the impacts aren't evident or where it is easy to do and it gets progressively more difficult as you go along.
12394 So it leaves you with the 2 per cent per annum target that we have set for ourselves and the issue then becomes, is this achievable, is it reasonable as a target? Now, I believe that it is reasonable.
12395 Now, it is a pace which is slower than the pace that we have had to set for ourselves over the last four years, but it is one which will free up money for us to put back into new initiatives and into improving current services.
12396 Even if we didn't want to redirect some of this money into new initiatives, I think it would be good in any case to set a target like that for ourselves to force ourselves to constantly go back to the drawing board and ask ourselves, "Are we sufficiently modern in the way in which are doing business? Is there a better way of doing this? Can we think outside of the box? Can we get better value for taxpayers from the money?"
12397 Now, this sort of a target is certainly not unheard of in other organizations, it is one which is imminently reasonable when you sit in the context of what other businesses, other industries are doing. But it will continue to stretch us, as it should.
12398 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: And I have no doubts of your initiatives in this regard.
12399 What I am really trying to get at is are the productivity improvements you are gaining, are the resources that are going to be coming available to you going to meet your stated priorities and objectives with respect to core services? That is really the theme of this. It is not to question what you are doing in this regard, but to sort of get a reality reading about it and to say where is the money going.
12400 MR. BEATTY: We will. Let me give you an example of the sort of way in which we are finding new efficiencies and that is with regard to our use of new media.
12401 And Commissioner Colville raised this with me the first day, what is your role in new media, how do you see it.
12402 One of the very important roles the new media plays is as a laboratory for us. We are learning a great deal as we begin to experiment in that area very inexpensively about techniques which are useful to us for application to our core services.
12403 For example, when Hong Kong was handed over to the Chinese, French Radio sent a reporter from Washington to cover the hand-over. That reporter filed reports simply using a laptop computer and IBMNet. The cost of doing that was the cost of a local call into the internet. The reports found their way to Montreal and went on air. There were no leased lines, there was no transponder space, there were no studios that we had to rent.
12404 Similarly, Alex or one of the others could tell you about the experiment that "Definitely Not the Opera" did -- sorry -- yes, "DNTO" did with what they referred to as a studio in a laptop.
12405 And the experimentation that we are doing there opens up ways both for us to do our conventional business more efficiently and effectively than we have, but also dramatically to change the way in which we conceive of the medium itself.
12406 To move out of studios, to decentralize dramatically and to put into the hands of individuals much more creative control than ever at any time before in our history. And we are seeing taking place as a result of these new technologies and experimentation that we are doing, literally a re-invention of the medium. Literally a re-invention of the medium that requires us to go back to the drawing board and rethink how we conceive of it.
12407 Radio Three, and again, I won't go into Radio Three in detail, either -- Radio Three is conceived from the outset as programming a bitstream, not as conventional radio in the sense that we may have thought of it in the 1960s or 1970s. And it is designed to be interactive, it is designed to both use conventional broadcast radio, but to use new technologies as well.
12408 It is something wholly new, unlike anything we have known before either in Canada or abroad in the provision of services. It is a re-invention of the medium.
12409 What "DNTO" has done is to help to pioneer in this area and to open up the, sort of, imaginative new ways in which we can provide radio services to people in the future.
12410 Alex can tell you about that experiment because it is a particularly exciting one.
12411 MR. FRAME: I will. But first I wanted to go back to your question, Commissioner, and try to give you every assurance possible that not only will we not touch the budgets of our existing programs on Radio One or Two in order to address new initiatives. That whatever productivity gains we are able to achieve will be focussed on our core services.
12412 And I think that is what you were saying, you are going to basically make these so-called productivity gains and then you are going to roll them over into Radio Three. But when I said that our first priority is the protection of our core service, I meant it. And I will give you that assurance.
12413 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Just one question before we leave this then. If you don't get Radio Three, where will this money go? Where will the identified funds in your budget go if you don't get Radio Three?
12414 MR. BEATTY: I can't tell you, Commissioner, at this point, because Radio Three is our highest priority. And what we have done is to go through the money that was available at a corporate level to look at the priorities from each of the media and --
12415 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: So, it is not part of Radios budget then?
12416 MR. BEATTY: No, no. It was allocated to Radio because we felt that the initiative of Radio Three was so important that it was identified as a corporate initiative allowing us to serve a whole under-served group of Canadians whom we couldn't reach in any other way. And to provide for young Canadian artists an opportunity to be heard on the airwaves when they are being shut out of commercial radio.
12417 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Okay.
12418 MR. FRAME: Commissioner, my Director of Planning wants to make a point of clarification if you will allow him and Mr. Pietropaolo is prepared to talk a little bit about the "DNTO" if you have time.
12419 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: You know what, it is not that I don't want to talk about it, it is that I believe -- I don't need persuading on that point and I do have some other questions.
12420 MR. FRAME: We hear you. All right.
12421 MR. OLIVER: Just with respect, Commissioner, to your concerns about the reductions in spoken word. The material I will file with you within 24 hours, I understand, will show that over time it is very consistent, the percentage breakdown between the various categories of spoken word, both historically and in the future.
12422 However, over the last couple of years there are fluctuations. For example, even in a year where between 1996/1997, 1997/1998 where overall the radio budget went down by $7 million. For strategic and other reasons, the drama and performance budget, for example went up by 20 per cent, to invest in, I understand, comedy development and drama specials and increases in arts journalism.
12423 Similarly in the radio news, it went up significantly the following year. So this is really reinvesting or reallocating some, for instance, surplus carry-over money or one-time funding strategically for programming objectives.
12424 What I am suggesting to you is that over the long haul those categories stay in sync.
12425 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: You are going to file something with us. Would you do one other thing, would you take the budget, let's say from where you start here, which is 1996/1997, take out the Radio Three money from the overall and see what it looks like. Could you do that for me, just take out that?
12426 MR. OLIVER: It is already done, I have it here.
12427 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Great, thank you.
12428 I think I better move along here so we can finish by lunch.
12429 I am now down, as my colleague would say, to the short snappers. I think we have finished with the --
12430 MR. BEATTY: We will try to make our answers short snappers too.
12431 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: On page 102 of your application you explain you have a longstanding internal policy to ensure that a minimum average of 5 per cent of all the Category 3 musical selections you broadcast are composed by Canadians. We believe this is a significant commitment to Canadian composers. I know this 5 per cent average remains a firm internal policy and commitment.
12432 You have said:
"We believe it is a firm internal policy and we don't believe it is appropriate to enshrine it as a condition of licence on a weekly basis because of the nature of programming. Our programming varies significantly from week to week." (As read)
12433 Could you just tell me a little bit about why you wouldn't be willing to enshrine that?
12434 MR. FRAME: I think I will reiterate what we say in our application, that our commitment is firm. Probably most weeks we can be above 5 per cent.
12435 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Yes. I think you are, yes.
12436 MR. FRAME: But the nature of our programming is such that the music isn't necessarily woven through the broadcast day, so that it is entirely possible that one week we might be up to closer to 10 per cent because of something like the Winnipeg New Music Festival or a special programming that is being broadcast on two new hours. Others we may be below it.
12437 We also feel it isn't necessary to make it a condition of licence inasmuch as it is bread and butter for us anyway, and it simply defines what we are doing in a narrower way than we would like to be able to do it.
12438 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Is has been raised, as you may know, by several intervenors, and I'm just wondering if you would be willing, then, to look at it over a longer period of time, maybe not a week, a month, or do you have the same concerns with respect to a --
12439 MR. FRAME: We would be happy to look at it over a long period of time, if that is what the Commissioner wishes, and get back with a response. Is that satisfactory?
12440 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Yes.
12441 What would be reasonable for you to meet what you are already achieving, I guess is what I am saying.
12442 MR. FRAME: Yes. What we would look at is, all right, we want to make sure that we achieve this minimum and we want to do it in a way that is most effective for our listeners in the way that we program our service. Is that --
12443 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Right.
12444 MR. FRAME: All right. Fine.
12445 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you.
12446 Could you elaborate a bit on your archive project? Not too much. What I am really after is whether you see any possibility of it generating any revenues at any point? I know that --
12447 MR. FRAME: George, is that --
12448 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Actually, you don't have to elaborate. I know what the archive project is, so you don't need to elaborate on that.
12449 MR. FRAME: The question of revenues?
12450 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Yes. Do you see it as possibly generating any revenues down the road?
12451 MR. FRAME: We have not contemplated revenues coming out of radio for the archives project, unless they are hiding something from me.
12452 I actually think they are, Commissioner.
12453 MR. BEATTY: I think the answer, Commissioner, would be some potentially, but limited. We might have some performances that one could take and CBC Records, for example, would be able to put out, but the commercial value is limited.
12454 The whole archives project for the whole of the corporation -- and Louise Tremblay will correct me if I'm wrong -- is, I think, over $40 million to stabilize and to catalogue and to make more accessible our archives, because we currently run the risk that a substantial part of the audio-visual heritage of Canada is turning to vinegar. The initiative that we are taking, the priority we have set on this, is less a commercial return than it is to make sure that that heritage isn't lost.
12455 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you.
12456 Are the entrepreneurial activities listed here what was formerly known as CBC Enterprises, and does that include CBC Records? No?
12457 MR. FRAME: No. CBC Enterprises was at least -- included both radio and television on the English side, and I believe actually was a corporate initiative. The entrepreneurial activities listed there are essentially borne in and managed by CBC Radio and I think are on a very modest scale.
12458 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: They are very modest, but what would they involve?
12459 MR. FRAME: Well, CBC Records is included in there.
12460 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Records is.
12461 MR. FRAME: The licensing of some music is in there, the tapes and cassettes, the Glen Gould Studio and some licensing of SCMO, which is the FM side band. I think that is pretty well all of them at this point.
12462 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: You make a modest profit I think in that, do you?
12463 MR. FRAME: Really, particularly with CBC Records and the Gould Studio, our objective is to cover our costs. We have managed to do that. Because we see these principally as services and we want them to be self-supporting services so they don't drain money away from the others. We make a nickel, a dime, something like that.
12464 MR. OLIVER: Our profit for last year in total from all of those activities was $190,000.
12465 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I'm sorry?
12466 MR. OLIVER: A hundred and ninety thousand.
12467 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you.
12468 I just have some technical questions.
12469 Your long range plan lists the transmitters needed to provide the Radio One service to communities with populations over 500, and many of these transmitters I know have been implemented over the years and you have reached now 97 per cent of the population, but I believe some of them remain outstanding. I'm just wondering if you have a plan, a schedule or a timetable, with respect to implementing these, and do you have an estimate of what the capital costs might be.
12470 MR. FRAME: Yes, we do have a plan and I will turn it over to our Director of Planning and he can let you know the specifics of it, as well as, I think, the capital costs.
12471 Mr. Gauthier may have a sense of the costs as well. There are both capital and operating.
12472 MR. OLIVER: I think I might start with Roger. Roger has the detailed list on the -- the longer list of the --
12473 MR. GAUTHIER: For Radio One we are planning to add some gap filler for the service extension in William, Shelbourne, Kincardine and Bancroft. Also, we have in our capital plan Clarenceville, Regina, Montreal and Amherst, Springhill, Nova Scotia.
12474 For Radio Two we have Paris, Sherbrooke, Quebec City and Sudbury.
12475 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I wonder if you could give us the schedule of this and the timetable, file that with us?
12476 MR. GAUTHIER: We will provide it to you.
12477 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you.
12478 MR. FRAME: I think -- and Roger, please correct me if I'm wrong -- it is a fairly narrow window we are talking about here with implementation of these, is it not? It is relatively recent. Soon we will be doing this.
12479 MR. GAUTHIER: Yes, that is right.
12480 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: So this is a short term target you have to be doing this?
12481 MR. GAUTHIER: That's right. Yes.
12482 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Would that include -- on the FM side I know that there is a goal of extending the stereo services to 50 per cent of the population in each province to at least 75 per cent in the longer term. That was in 1998 and in 1993 we reiterated that goal with respect to the percentage of the populations.
12483 I know you have met this goal in some provinces but not in others. Specifically, Radio Two reaches 43 per cent of Newfoundland, 48 per cent of Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick and British Columbia are at about 67 per cent. Alberta and Nova Scotia are a little short. Is that in your plan in terms of when you are going to reach those kinds of targets for Radio Two?
12484 MR. FRAME: Our plan with regard to coverage extension on Radio Two is pretty well at its limit, with the exception of those that Roger has mentioned.
12485 We believe we have met the expectation of 75 per cent of the whole population and will be closer to 78 per cent within the year.
12486 We are 48 per cent in Saskatchewan and, as you say, 43 in Newfoundland. Given the nature of the investment we would have to make in order to reach 50 per cent, particularly in Newfoundland, and that the funding is limited, our determination has been to put in to those areas where the greatest number of Canadians would be served.
12487 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Then what I hear you saying is that this objective of 75 per cent in each province is one that you have backed away from?
12488 MR. FRAME: Commissioner, I'm sorry, but my understanding was the objective was 50 per cent in each province and 75 --
12489 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Well, 50 per cent in the short term in 1988 with 75 per cent of the longer term, and then 1993 reiterated. So I'm just wondering, in a 10-year period are you still looking at that as a shorter term?
12490 MR. FRAME: I think the cost --
12491 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: So 50 per cent is your objective, is that --
12492 MR. FRAME: That is correct.
12493 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: That's correct.
12494 So I will have the schedules for the 50 per cent.
12495 I think that's it.
12496 That's it for me, Madam Chair.
12497 Thank you very much.
12498 Oh, is there anything you would like to add?
12499 MR. FRAME: Not at this time. Thank you for asking.
12500 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
12501 We have other Commissioners who would like to raise some questions, and certainly legal counsel as well.
12502 I will start with Vice-Chair Wylie.
12503 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Good morning.
12504 With regard to Category 3 music, of music composed by Canadians, we will hear SOCAN, for example, as one of the first intervenors. My understanding is that Ms Louie is coming, and I'm sure we will hear about how much they feel is available.
12505 I think I understand the problem about measuring it weekly, but if it were measured monthly, for example, would you be able to make a firmer commitment and could you increase it?
12506 I understand that there are times, weeks perhaps, where it is lower because it is not easily managed into the schedule, but do I understand that if the Commission measured it differently you would be prepared to make a commitment to at least 5 per cent? Could you make a commitment to more? This is Category 3 by Canadian composers.
12507 MR. FRAME: If the Commissioner would allow it, we would like a little time to think about this.
12508 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: And you will come back and let us know?
12509 MR. FRAME: Yes. As I said, just a very short time. Because I want to make sure I understand all of the implications of it.
12510 The 5 per cent is not a problem for us, and playing music composed by Canadians is something that essentially we know is our responsibility to do and we want to do it.
12511 I just want --
12512 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: I thought I heard you say that it was a problem to make a firm commitment to 5 per cent measured on a weekly basis. Am I wrong?
12513 MR. FRAME: What I said with regard to a weekly basis is that it does vary week-to-week, that some --
12514 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Sometimes it is lower than 5 so it is a problem if it is 5 per cent on a weekly basis.
12515 MR. FRAME: Yes.
12516 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: But it may not be if it is longer.
12517 You know that SOCAN is proposing 15 per cent and we would look to see how helpful it would be, because I understand some weeks you are above the 5 per cent, so whether that would make a difference over the month to try to strive to more.
12518 Now, with regard to repeats -- because I am in that demographic that is more important to you for Radio Two -- I have a sense that there is more repeats in the last two years. Can you identify for us what your plans are for the future term with regards to how many programs are simulcast on both networks, Radio One and Two, and what is the level of repeats and how much has it increased?
12519 It is more noticeable, obviously, when there is a verbal or spoken component to the program, for example if it's a program that speaks about the life of one artist and plays his or her performances in between. It is noticeable if you hear it more than once during the week. So is it because I am at the age where I don't calculate properly or --
12520 MR. FRAME: Watch how you answer this, please.
12521 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- has there been indeed repeats? Is that something that the networks have tracked? Because it is an obvious way of cutting costs, isn't it, but it can result in a level of annoyance or lack of loyalty or a sense that you don't get the quality you used to have. There were some people as old as I am who came to our consultations who made the same remark, about Radio Two in particular I believe, where it is noticeable because the spoken component is lower.
12522 MR. FRAME: Commissioner, this may come as a surprise to you, but the repeats that exist -- the repeated programs between Radio One and Radio Two are not driven by economic considerations. Obviously there is some economic advantage, but it is very low down there.
12523 I can talk, if you wish, about each and every one. What you will find is that the programs that migrate from Radio One to Radio Two, programs like "Madly Off In All Directions", the comedy program, programs like "Vinyl Cafe", that they migrate to Radio Two because they have a significant performance component to them and they are appropriate to that network. Our belief is that Radio Two listeners should hear them as well as Radio One listeners.
12524 In moving in the other direction, you have on "OnStage" at the Gould(ph) and "Sound Advice" and the jazz programs which I heard from Radio Two that are moved to the Radio One schedule on Sunday evening as well as "That Time Of The Night" that is heard on both networks. They exist on Radio One in order to provide music programming to those parts of the country that don't receive Radio Two. In other words, our repeats are driven principally by strategic intent, and secondarily or tertiary, by financial considerations.
12525 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: What you have been speaking about now I wouldn't necessarily call repeats. I would say double exposed or simulcast on both networks. What about repeats on the same network?
12526 I understand that -- what is the level of the double exposed one? I have here figures of 6.5 hours but it seems to be a mixture of what I would call simulcast -- not simulcast, not the same hour, but exposed on both networks as opposed to repeated on the one network. Do you have hours that splits the two?
12527 MR. FRAME: Yes, we have some hours and I believe, George, that Philip may have some --
12528 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: There's George or else we will have to get Michael. I think I saw him.
--- Laughter / Rires
12529 MR. SAVAGE: I would like to invite Michael up just to have him at the back table again but we actually did file with you earlier that we put the level as a total of 19 hours per week that are double exposed.
12530 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Of double exposed?
12531 MR. SAVAGE: Yes.
12532 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Repeats now on the same network?
12533 MR. SAVAGE: No, no, sorry. That is the specific figure for the doubled exposed programs.
12534 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: No, but I am asking you: What are the repeat hours -- repeated hours?
12535 MR. SAVAGE: Well, it will vary from week to week, depending on the programming, but in essence, we have it as about 10 per cent on Radio One.
12536 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Ten per cent on Radio One is repeats in the same week?
12537 MR. SAVAGE: Yes.
12538 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: What about on Radio Two?
12539 MR. SAVAGE: It is more difficult to calculate and I would ask Damiano to explain the nature of the music programming because I am not the expert there. But because there are relatively few programs that are -- I don't think there are any programs that are repeated specifically on Radio Two. But there are concerts which may be repeated.
12540 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes, and one would hardly notice. What I am talking about here is where there is a verbal component or an oral component so that it is apparent that an arts tonight type of program is repeated, where it is not just a concert at the NAC, which will be announced and will play, with applause or whatever, for whatever time it takes. Not that type of program, the programs that include a verbal component where one would notice and it would be less appealing. The radio station would be less appealing as a result.
12541 MR. FRAME: Commissioner, perhaps Damiano can correct me but I am not conscious of any systemic repeats outside of concerts, which essentially we will play in the early afternoon and we will play after 8:00 in the evening and where there is a 15 per cent duplication of audience between the two time periods, according to...
12542 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: When you speak about concert, do you mean just a concert that -- are you saying that is just concerts? For example, I have heard in the last 6-8 months, more than twice I think, a program on Ida Haiden(ph), the violinist, because it was very striking, so it was very noticeable, more than once absolutely.
12543 I am just wondering to what extent Radio Two is moving towards more of -- and also your views as to whether repeats on radio have the same value or appropriateness for the audience as repeat does on television because we have heard interesting comments about how radio is a more intimate, intellectually engaging medium. My feeling would be that repeats are not good on radio -- of verbal content because you notice very much.
12544 MR. FRAME: I think that with regard to the specific example you mentioned, I believe that was probably an editorial decision made by a program.
12545 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: So there are repeats then?
12546 MR. FRAME: Yes, but they are not systemic. By that, I mean --
12547 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes and that is what I am trying to get at: What are your intentions for the future and that is something that, as programmers, you are aware of -- of the sense that people get that the arts report ideas, the type of program about Ms Haiden that I noticed, in part because it was so striking -- her story or her biography or whatever you want to call it?
12548 But would it not to be more conducive to keeping your audiences if there were more repeats?
12549 MR. BEATTY: Alex, would there be a difference between repeats in the same week and repeats in the course of a year?
12550 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Or every two weeks or close enough.
12551 MR. BEATTY: I suspect what you are referring to is over a longer period?
12552 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: I didn't "agendize" it. But there is a feeling, when we had the consultations, that the value of radio has decreased in part by repeats, by more repeats. So I would like to know -- I mean my feeling is really anecdotal. I don't think the double exposure, I would imagine, doesn't create the same problem because you may not have the same people listening to both. Especially, Radio Two tends to be a musical background type but there are programs like "Ideas", "Tapestry", and so on. Do you repeat those?
12553 MR. FRAME: Not in the same week but we will essentially have the best of "Tapestry" or the best of "Ideas" through the summer and we will fold that in. Could I give you --
12554 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: How often? If it is not weekly, monthly or whatever, we would like to have a better feeling of where you are at on that.
12555 MR. FRAME: Yes. I have two different but I hope not contradictory answers. The first is that we have heard the same thing the Commission has heard, with regard to the concern that is out there about repeats, and that is why I made specific reference to it in my opening remarks.
12556 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes, I noticed.
12557 MR. FRAME: That we acknowledge that. We are trying to understand in clearer detail what the issue is and with what segment of our audience it is an issue. So we have put together a work group. We did this last fall because this emerged through the first year of the changes. That work group has only recently been able to get together because it consists of producers and that labour issue through the early part of this year slowed things down.
12558 So we are right now in the midst of trying to get a better understanding of it. We will do research into it to essentially measure the level of concern and with whom that concern exists.
12559 I guess there are three parts to this answer. The second part is that fundamentally, I believe that it is important to repeat our material. I believe that the level of investment in the quality of the material that CBC Radio develops on a regular basis means that we should make significant moves to make sure that it is essentially heard by a large audience.
12560 If we only broadcast it once, then it is -- we for example, every evening, broadcast "This Morning... Tonight" at 8:00, as we did prior to that with "The Best of Morningside". If we didn't do that, that segment of our listeners that can't get to the radio between 9:00 and noon every day would never have an opportunity to hear any of the material that is essentially generated on "This Morning" or "Morningside".
12561 So there are important strategic and programming reasons why we should repeat. What we have to learn how to do is to do it intelligently and to learn the nature of where we should put these materials in order that we can minimize irritation and maximize the number of listeners.
12562 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: I would suspect that in radio I am not the expert you are but that maximizing the audience on night television may indeed irritate your loyal audience is what we were told and that your efforts would be perhaps -- it is more expensive obviously to produce other programming.
12563 Added to that, now we have five hours of Shelagh Rogers. I love Shelagh Rogers but that also has a tendency to give the same feeling that they are cutting corners and overexposing and repeating.
12564 Of course for us then, the question becomes, as Commissioner Grauer has raised, why other radio stations, if it is necessary to cut back through repeats and through overexposure of journalists or music experts on the radio stations or networks they already have. I mean those questions are raised because there is always this feeling that repeats are cost-cutting measures.
12565 MR. BEATTY: Could I take a shot at part of that, and Alex will correct me if I am wrong, but what our programmers in radio explained to me is that there are essentially two different types of audience that you are talking about here: one, the person who gets up in the morning, leaves the radio on in the kitchen or wherever they are all day, and listens throughout the day. Frequently, the complaints that you receive about repeats are people who have the radio on constantly and indeed do hear that material more than once.
12566 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Surely, you don't want to lose that audience?
12567 MR. BEATTY: No, we don't. The other audience though that we have increasingly, and Alex explains to me that it is increasingly a nature of the demographic that we are attracting now is people coming in and out of radio over the course of a day, people who are able to listen to it at specific times during the day, not able to listen to it throughout the day, and who want to have a chance to have access to some of the material that may have been on, on times of the day when they weren't available.
12568 What you get is you please one group or the other in essence. What we have done in our focus groups is to ask people: What is your reaction to this? We have been trying to get data back from that as well as from the public meetings that we hold and similarly, the public meetings that you have held.
12569 It is particularly among those people who tune in for lengthy periods during the day, who leave the radio on throughout the day, that the issue of repeats becomes an issue. But for people who drift in and out, who listen to it at specific times, what they are looking for often is access to material that they wouldn't otherwise be able to hear.
12570 Is that correct, Alex?
12571 MR. FRAME: Yes. I would go just a step -- to add to what Perrin has said, if there was an unanticipated downside to the budget reductions, it is that every time you heard a kind of a squeak on CBC Radio or something wasn't exactly as it had been, then you got reaction from people saying: Oh-oh! That's the cuts. Oh-oh! That's the cuts.
12572 We here would say: Boy, I'm sure hearing a difference in that program or that program in fact probably had an increase in budget. But all this stuff was doing exactly as you say. It was leading people to make assumptions.
12573 Shelagh Rogers is on the air for five hours every day because we wanted to establish companionship. We wanted to be able to create a more effective relationship between the host of that program and the listeners and that is how we were able to do it.
12574 The results has been that in the latest BBMs we have gone up one share point in the "Take Five" period over what it had been previously. In other words, people are staying with Radio Two longer as a result of that program, which is what we had wanted to have happen.
12575 Can I just tell one story, Commissioner? No? All right.
12576 THE CHAIRPERSON: (Off microphone)
12577 MR. FRAME: All right. Fine.
12578 We did one of these phone-ins -- Harold Redekopp and I did a phone-in in Winnipeg with our listeners to talk about CBC Radio. One listener phoned in and said -- it began like this.
12579 He began by saying: I rate your "Local Morning" show an 8 but I am giving "This Morning" only a 7.5 and he went through the entire schedule. I thought when he got to that time of night which ends at 1:00 in the morning that he would end. But then, he went on: And on Radio France, I am giving a 4. Material from Switzerland gets an 8 and Netherlands gets a 9, and I don't know why you put Radio Australia at 4 a.m.
12580 We have listeners -- I don't know how they do it but they are with us for 24 hours a day and have educated opinions about everything they hear. We cherish this, Commissioner. This is not something that you want to dismiss and we take that level of commitment to our service very, very seriously.
12581 So the work we do is a balancing act.
12582 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes and remember that your more popular demographic is arthritic and rheumatic and more easily irritated.
--- Laughter / Rires
12583 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: So we would like to know if you could give us some better view of what is the level of repeats over --
12584 MR. FRAME: Mr. Commissioner, we will give you the level -- we will certainly give you the material of the level of --
12585 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: And make a difference -- double exposure is a different matter for me because -- I don't know that but it may well be, certainly the man that you think is a loyal listener obviously doesn't listen to radio AM because there is no hours left in his day. So he has FM on or Radio Two, as it is now called and therefore, for that audience, repeat spells less quality, to a certain extent.
12586 MR. FRAME: Commissioner, we will get that information to you --
12587 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: And what your commitments are in that sense so that there is a response possible to this perception, whether it is false or not, that we hear through consultations.
12588 MR. BEATTY: We would be pleased to do that. If I could just underscore one point that Alex was making, and I would ask him to confirm if it is correct. If you were to write him a cheque today as the Head Programmer for CBC Radio, the chief priority for that cheque would not be to reduce the number of repeats. What drives those scheduling decisions is largely a desire to make the programming available to audience.
12589 Now there may be specific areas where decisions are taken on the basis of budget but I think -- and Alex was making a very important point here, that I don't want to be lost, and that is that because these changes took place at a time when we were dealing with major reductions in budget, all changes that we make to the schedule tend to be attributed to budget. In many instances, changes that were made by our programmers were made as a result of programming decisions that even if budgets that remained unchanged would have been taken anyway.
12590 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes, again, money is a question of choices and apportionment and so on. And maybe there is a way of staying inside the Chaîne culturelle or the cultural Radio Two concept and nevertheless rejuvenate or attract new audiences. And that, I suspect, takes money and choices that are made that we are obviously having to look at is there a way of doing that rather than saying, "Well, we will do something else. We will get another network going to attract the audiences we are not getting".
12591 So it is a question of repeats, it is a question of rejuvenating the whole concept, which I am a listener of CBC Radio and it goes from Mozart to prepared piano on Saturday nights.
12592 I mean is there another way of making it a Chaîne culturelle which is appealing to a broader range of demographics?
12593 MR. FRAME: As I have said, we have a group of people looking now at repeats. If they were to come back to us in September -- which is when they are due to report -- and say categorically repeats are a problem for the majority of our listeners, we could take those repeats off the air inside a month without another dollar in the service and program it differently.
12594 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: But I did slide into a different concept which was forgetting repeats, you talk about that there was no financially based or driven decision, that was another idea. Is there some way of rejuvenating these services by focussing on that rather than looking for funds to start a new network and so on? And it is not only repeats, it is also style, it is also new formulas, et cetera, which is another concept than repeats.
12595 MR. FRAME: We are -- what I said earlier is that the highest priority we have is the protection of our core service and that includes the rejuvenation. We have gone through a period of rejuvenation and an introduction of a number of new programs unprecedented in the history of CBC Radio. The only time anything approaching this occurred was in the seventies.
12596 We approached these changes strategically. We did not approach it as a cost-cutting exercise. We approached it in a way that said, "How can we provide an even more effective service to our listeners on both Radio One and Radio Two?" This continues to be our highest priority.
12597 But at the same time CBC Radio has one fundamental mission and that is the celebration of Canadian culture and the reflection of this country back to itself. If there is significant parts of this population that we do not manage to do this with, as far as I am concerned that is a fundamental problem for us. As fundamental as weaknesses on either CBC Radio One or Two.
12598 MS ENGLEBERT: Commissioner Wylie, I was under the impression that perhaps you were trying to ask us if there was a way that we could incorporate younger programming into our present schedule and that that would attract new audiences to us.
12599 And I think that what we have found at CBC Radio in the English section is that the way people listen to radio, and I am sure that you are probably aware of this, is that they listen in large chunks and they listen to a certain kind of programming. And I think that we at CBC have been very conscious of that, which is why we have CBC Radio Two with its cultural programming, principally music programming and why we want to move the youth programming which I think so many of our listeners find irritating over to a new network.
12600 It is the same situation with Radio One in that we found that our listeners want news and information and they want it in a network in a long stream. And it is extremely difficult for us to attract a young audience who tend to tune in to listen to the radio in a stream. They don't look at their watch and say, "Oh, it is Saturday night, seven o'clock, the opera is now finished. I shall tune in and listen to Canadian music". The listening patterns just don't work that way.
12601 And so consequently that is why we are attempting to put forward a new network to bring these young listeners to us.
12602 THE CHAIRPERSON: If you will allow, we will stop here, have lunch and then come back, not for repeats but to pursue some more questions in areas that we would like to pursue and explore with you from other Commissioners and the legal advisor also has a few questions. That should not be very long, but we would have a more complete survey of everything if you would allow.
12603 We will be back at 2:00.
12604 Thank you.
--- Luncheon recess at 1220 / Suspension pour le
déjeuner à 1220
--- Upon resuming at / Reprise à 1405
12605 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.
12606 We would like to continue. If you would allow, you need to make an announcement, Madam Bénard? Non, ça va?
12607 Alors, if you allow, the Vice-Chair Wylie still has a question, and then there is Commissioner Pennefather and then Commissioner Langford, and then I have a few short questions. So it should not take all afternoon.
12608 Thank you.
12609 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Good afternoon.
12610 I'm glad there is nothing filed yet so I can have this conversation before you file your plans for adding transmitters in the rest of Canada where you are not reached.
12611 My understanding is that in New Brunswick Radio Two is available to 67 per cent. Are those the numbers? British Columbia 67, Saskatchewan 48, Newfoundland 43.
12612 To be as cantankerous with you as I was with the French Radio Network I will ask the same question, which is: The extension of service of Radio Three since 1988 has been something that the Commission has pressed you with, and the goal was to reach, if I recall, 75 per cent, which you only, in 1999, reach in six provinces.
12613 Now, to the person from Saskatchewan, from New Brunswick, from British Columbia, from Newfoundland, the fact that 74 per cent or 75 per cent of the entire Canadian population receives Radio Two is small comfort, because there is less than 50 per cent receiving it.
12614 I know we are not here discussing Radio Three, but I want to know what is behind the idea that extending Radio Two to a greater proportion of the population is not a larger plan. I know it's expensive, but it is no more expensive than setting transmitters for Radio Three, and those transmitters will not be placed in the places in Newfoundland, in New Brunswick, in Saskatchewan, and in British Columbia where Radio Two is not available. In other words, it will be in the larger centres, not where there is only one CBC available.
12615 So what is the capital that you are prepared to put forward and in what time frame to expand that coverage? Because money again is choice. Do you perfect what you are doing now or do you do something different, or can you do both?
12616 MR. BEATTY: Commissioner, let me start and Alex and his team can follow through in much greater detail.
12617 You, with your final sentence, captured what my response is. It is not an either/or situation, it is a question of our ability on a measured basis to do both.
12618 We consider both of these to be different sides of the same coin, the coin being: How do you better serve the Canadian population? How do you reach groups of the Canadian population that you aren't reaching adequately today.
12619 One of them is essentially a physical question: How do you make the signal physically available to people who can't receive it today?
12620 The other relates to service itself: How do you provide a service that speaks to these people and can be attractive to them and serve their needs?
12621 What we have been certainly doing and what we will continue to do is to infill and to continue to extend the physical reach of our existing services of Radio One and Radio Two. We will look for new ways of doing that as well, both through adding new transmitters, looking at digital as another means of improving coverage, looking at expansion onto cable and onto direct-to-home satellite, as well to make sure that even the most remote areas where you may never be able to put a transmitter in anywhere near that at least the signal will be available from satellite.
12622 None of these is a perfect answer. We will never get 100 per cent coverage, nor do you expect that we would do that, but our goal will be constantly to attempt to make it more available to Canadians.
12623 In the case of Radio Three what we are looking at is a group of young Canadians who simply aren't exposed to public broadcasting, and not because there isn't a public broadcasting signal that is available for them but because the content that we are programming today doesn't speak to their needs and their realities. Our goal in trying to serve all Canadians has been to try to ensure that using whatever technological tools are available to us that we are able to provide content that is high quality, that is relevant and interesting to them.
12624 One of the things we did, Commissioner, in the survey that I referred to before by Polara, was to ask Canadians whether or not they supported the concept of a Radio Three. Some 50 per cent of them said that they strongly supported it; 36 per cent somewhat, which would be an 86 per cent total; 8 per cent somewhat opposed; and 4 per cent strongly opposed.
12625 Now, that doesn't mean that we put all of our eggs in the basket of Radio Three or that we abandon or obligation to continue to extend the signal of our present service. They are not mutually exclusive goals. They are two sides of the same coin. We will continue to do everything in our power to extend relevant services to Canadians who are under serviced today by what we are able to do with our present structure.
12626 Alex can talk to you in terms of priorities financially and otherwise.
12627 MR. FRAME: Commissioner, as you know, that is the issue, is what is the best way to use the funding available to us in order to provide the greatest service to Canadians.
12628 In terms of Newfoundland, for example, in order to get up over 50 per cent we would require an investment of over $500,000 in capital, not to mention the operating, which is a significant amount of money. Whereas more recently, because there was movement already under way in Sudbury, we were allowed to extend Radio -- we had the opportunity to extend Radio Two service in Sudbury because there was work all going on at a fraction of that cost.
12629 So what we are doing on an ongoing basis is we are looking for opportunities to extend service in a way that essentially is economically within our means. It continues to be a critical issue, but it is a critical issue for us among critical issues.
12630 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: With regard to digital, I'm sure I will have fallen off even your oldest demographic by the time that that is an answer in small places, in Newfoundland, Saskatchewan, because that is not where new services go, neither Info Plus, neither Radio Three, neither digital. These new services will go where Radio Two is available.
12631 So for us, to the greatest numbers of Canadians possible, in both languages, as resources are available, or whatever the words are in the Act, means that no matter how extensive it is at the end to cover all of Saskatchewan or all of Newfoundland or all of British Columbia -- of course it gets progressively more extensive because the transmitter costs the same and you only have so much population, but that is the public mandate, to extend service to as many Canadians as possible. With funds available for other things it means that maybe you will reach another demographic on one province, but some people will have very little service.
12632 I just wanted to make sure that I express that frustration before you give us your timetable for extending Radio Three, by going back to the 1995 decision and to the 1988 -- 1993 decision and 1998 decision with regard to Radio Two.
12633 MR. BEATTY: We have noted that, Commissioner, and certainly take it on board, and I stress again --
12634 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: I am in your older demographics.
12635 MR. BEATTY: I stress again that our goal is constantly to extend service. We will not be satisfied until we have made it just as widely available as possible.
12636 The issue for us is that issue of service extension. The only question here is whether we should measure service extension only in terms of geography, or should we consider both geography and other demographic groups. Our answer on that would be that we should do both.
12637 This has been a policy which has been understood and accepted both by government and by the Commission in the past, as we have looked, for example, to -- I guess we have applied for successfully for Newsworld and RDI. We have done so adding services which initially were most available in cabled areas before we have been able to completely make our radio signal available to all Canadians living in all parts of Canada. But we have continued to operate on both of these tracks to extend services.
12638 What we would be hoping to do, and we give you the insurance it is our intention to continue to pursue that, is to extend service both on the basis of geography and on the basis of demography.
12639 Our concern is, of course -- I understand the track imagery -- that we need some explanation for the bifurcation and we have to see whether the switching makes sense in light of the expectation. So in whatever you file with us we want to know where, when, how and why not.
--- Off microphone / Sans microphone
12640 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Pennefather.
12641 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you, Madam Chair.
12642 Good afternoon. I would like to pursue another aspect of the mandate and your objectives.
12643 Your objectives, which are on page 24 of the application, in several instances refer to:
"... a forum of choice for Canadians presenting a wide diversity of views; the richest possible vision of our reality, complexity and identity; respect, reflect and celebrate Canada's diversity; be the forum of choice among all Canadians for an exchange of ideas, creative cultural expression and presentation of talent ..."
12644 I name but four. I take from that, as related to the corporate plan as well, a concern regarding the diversity of programming reaching new voices. You did reference that this morning in reaching your voices and also in reaching under served segments of the population:
"... ensure CBC Radio is a valuable part of the lives of newer Canadians."
12645 But I was surprised to hear you say right after that that "We have no particular plans in this regard."
12646 I was wondering, considering that under your strategy as well you do talk about a new voices initiative, if you could give us how you intend to undertake these objectives -- not only those four but the other objectives do carry that theme as well -- when there are no specific plans. I assume you would want to correct that. Also, to tell us and perhaps submit to us later as well, what are your specific commitments in this regard.
12647 MR. FRAME: Commissioner, from our perspective we are looking at two related issues but different issues.
12648 On the one hand is the question of: If you listen to CBC Radio, are we providing an accurate reflection of the country in which we live? That is an objective for which there is a very clear and explicit strategy. I can walk through the strategy for you.
12649 The second is the question: Are we serving the widest possible audiences. That has a specific strategy relative to Radio Three and the younger demographic.
12650 Where we have yet to develop a specific strategy is in addressing the changing demographics, or in fact the changed demographics of our major cities, and providing a radio service, a public radio service that essentially has value to that cross section of Canadians in those major cities.
12651 So those are the areas.
12652 With regard to new voices, what I think I will do is I will let Esther speak a little bit about what our strategy is, and perhaps Susan as well, if you would allow.
12653 MS ENKIN: In its most structured form the new voices initiative expresses itself on a program called "Outfront", which is a 15-minute program five nights a week. In its first year of existence, 120 freelancers contributed, 25 per cent of which were visible minorities; 70 to 80 per cent of the content was provided outside of Toronto, and it is literally everything from a celebration of frogs on Denman Island as a harbinger of spring to some pretty serious personal essays around issues of ethnicity, of being a new Canadian, a whole range of things.
12654 It is only a first step. The woman who produces it, Judy McAlpine, is the most committed and dedicated person I have seen and is really working -- and there is a whole range of other material and efforts that are funded and explicitly targeted within network programs, as well as regional programs -- and I will let Susan talk about the regional component in a minute. And it does all come together. We do speak to each other as a concerted effort.
12655 Out of that group of people a significant percentage are now getting -- that might be your entry point, but then you get some work on a local program where you get hired if there is an opening.
12656 For instance, this summer Judy is bringing in one of the young contributors who will work as summer replacement, will be involved in putting together the summer schedule, but will also have an opportunity to sit in at story meetings, contribute ideas, "As it Happens", the news department. So it is a kind of mentoring and a very deliberate way of bringing people in and a very deliberate way of saying, "Who are the people we aren't reaching? What voices aren't we reaching?"
12657 On a broader -- so that is a very kind of intentional targeted way of working. On a more general way there is a real challenge and an ongoing discussion about how we treat stories, what sensibilities we bring to them, what voices aren't we hearing and we have varying degrees of success in doing that. And I think one of the indicators of success are going to be as we hire and that's a long-term strategy.
12658 I sit on an advisory board for one of the schools of journalism for their graduate program. And it is a discussion there, too. "How do we broaden out this business?" How do we attract people from some of those groups that Alex alluded to that are now kind of an important demographic in our country. How do we matter to them. And that isn't in a token way, you know if you get a person of a certain ethnicity then they can bring stories about that, no, that isn't what we want. We want a kind of sensibility and a way of looking at things and that's a slower process but one we are very conscious of and one that we have embarked on.
12659 Unfortunately in a period where you are not expanding quickly you don't get large numbers but you do find other ways of doing it, as I outlined, with a smaller task and smaller projects where you expose people to CBC and CBC sensibilities to other ways of looking at things.
12660 And I think Susan might be able to talk about some of the new voices initiatives in the regions.
12661 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: That is very helpful, but it would be helpful to have that as specific strategies. If you could submit that to us, as well, it is left fairly vague in the application beyond the new voices project itself how that breaks down and those different aspects you have just described.
12662 As well, if, and I don't know if this is true, in the outreach that you have been describing to phone-ins, town meetings, new connections with the audience, if this specific aspect of changing the voices, changing the perspectives, assuring greater diversity as part and parcel of your strategy and if you could articulate that and your commitment related to these objectives, what they translate into and specific actions that would be very helpful.
12663 MR. FRAME: So if I understand you, Commissioner, we should lay out in specific terms the nature of how our new voices strategy works and what its goals and objectives are and secondly, our accountability strategy what the specific expectations are with that, as well. Is that correct?
12664 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Yes, because to achieve these goals, I know there are a number of different steps that you would want to take. You have referred to them, but as a plan, as a strategy I was concerned when you said there was no specific plan that that be placed clearly on the record.
12665 MR. FRAME: Yes. We will be happy to do that. The new voices strategy itself is close to two years old now, so it is not difficult to talk about.
12666 When I said we have no plan, I was talking about that other aspect. And if you were to ask us to provide you with a plan with regard to ensuring that our services are appropriate for a wider demographic within our major cities, I think it would take us about six months to come up with that plan. In other words, we haven't yet done the degree of analysis of discussion and strategic development necessary to provide it. But it is in that area alone that --
12667 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: In that area alone. So in that area alone, could you also complete your commitments in terms of how you are going to go about putting that plan together.
12668 If it is going to take another six months or whatever, what are the steps you will take so that we can look at how you intend to approach this particular area --
12669 MR. FRAME: Be happy to do that.
12670 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: -- since it is in so many of the objectives.
12671 I have another question is Objective 7 and 8 which refers to exchange between English and French programs and cultures, building bridges among Canadians, which is also part of this overall strategic plan.
12672 If I am correct, as paragraph 97 puts this into greater detail, that's on page 32, there may be other references, where you refer to ongoing exchange programs, co-productions, cooperation and two programs on Radio One.
12673 In terms of what is actually on the air, I have managed to find "A Propos" on this schedule but not "C'est La Vie". That's question number one, have I misread the schedule and where has that show gone?
12674 I took the one out of my kit here. Is it there?
12675 MS ENKIN: It is Friday nights in the little box. Friday nights.
12676 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: The little tiny box, "C'est La Vie"?
12677 MS ENKIN: It is Friday night --
12678 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Got it.
12679 MS ENKIN: Friday night at 7:00.
12680 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: All right.
12681 And number two is, is that the way -- in terms of what ends up on air approach this exchange between French and English or throughout the schedule are there other aspects to this that you would like to describe to us because I am not sure if the two programs is what takes that objective -- two objectives, in fact, fully into play.
12682 MR. FRAME: Yes, it is multi-faceted. I am going to ask Damiano to talk about a lot of activity in the music and cultural area in terms of exchanges between Radio-Canada and English radio and he may make reference specifically to our joint initiative around the Young Composers Competition, the Young Performers Competition and the Choral Competition. All of which are joint initiatives between CBC Radio and Radio-Canada.
12683 What you see with "A Propos" and "C'est La Vie" are two very specific intentions to make the Francophone cultural reality aware to more English Canadians. That is its goal, so that it increases -- to increase understanding of that culture and those are specific opportunities in areas where that happens. It also happens with some regularity on both our national and regional programming.
12684 Radio-Canada and ourselves have had an ongoing series of meetings over the past couple of years which have resulted in occasional exchanges of people. We have had reporters and journalists go and work for Radio-Canada and they have done the same thing with us on an ongoing basis.
12685 We are overdue for our next meeting in order to accelerate that process so that we actually begin to identify targeted numbers of individuals who are capable of reporting to both services and in both languages. For both of us, that will provide an opportunity to extend our reporting strengths on both services.
12686 So we are moving toward that and I anticipate that that meeting will probably occur either later this month or in September.
12687 I will turn over to Damiano now who can talk about a number of joint initiatives with Radio-Canada.
12688 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you, I am sorry I couldn't find "C'est La Vie". I guess it is my demographic, as well. Although it is a little small, so I assume the smallness means it is what, ten minutes?
12689 MR. FRAME: No, no. It is 30 minutes.
12690 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Half an hour, okay.
12691 MR. FRAME: Thirty minutes once a week.
12692 MR. PIETROPAOLO: It is just Friday.
12693 MR. FRAME: It is an outstanding program, Commissioner. It is just terrific. We are very proud of it.
12694 MR. PIETROPAOLO: Thank you. Alex has already mentioned our collaboration in music. And just this morning here in Ottawa a press conference was announcing the Young Performers Competition which is a joint cross-cultural initiative between SRC and the CBC Radio. And that is in its 30th year of operation.
12695 Similarly with the Young Composers Competition. And of course within the music area we broadcast a lot of music from Montreal and other areas and vice versa in terms of an exchange program.
12696 But there are other initiatives going on in spoken word programming. On an annual basis, we mount a live-to-air production in a drama production. Last year we did "Sink Arman of the Main"(ph) in English and French. This year, I believe this week Radio-Canada is broadcasting "La Chaîne culturelle" in DAO which is a joint commission of CBC English Radio and La Chaîne culturelle from Nancy Houston(ph) and she is performing in both languages.
12697 As well, there have been initiatives with our English colleague in Montreal, Patricia Puchinska(ph) to make available to us the winning entries of the literary competition -- the French language literary competition which we translate and broadcast into English.
12698 But a new initiative which I take great pride in describing is that we have in English Radio a series of mystery stories which take place across the country and after a number of years, we are able now and developing an eight episode series which is set in Montreal, which is both cross-cultural and trans-border because it is also set in upper New York State and that is in development for broadcast in the fall.
12699 So if anything we are increasing our cross-cultural activities in both music and spoken word programming.
12700 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you very much.
12701 Thank you, Madame Chair.
12702 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Langford?
12703 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: I just have a couple of questions.
12704 The first one is probably just a "yes" answer, I think. I just want to be clear because I am going to refer back to sponsorship if you can believe it. But in just very few minutes we are going to change our hats here and if not be quite taking on your role, we are going to be taking on part of it because the Intervenors will come and we will be explaining what we think we heard from you and I just want to be absolutely sure on the sponsorship.
12705 Is the sponsorship situation what was described in that hand-out during the Radio-Canada -- and it applies equally to the French and the English side?
12706 MR. FRAME: Yes.
12707 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: That is it, I am happy with that. Some narrative isn't in an exact art form sometimes and I wasn't sure after I listened this morning whether I was hearing exactly the same thing.
12708 MR. BEATTY: Could I bootleg in something that I should have mentioned this morning?
12709 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: It is almost now or never.
12710 MR. BEATTY: That I think is an important consideration, as well.
12711 Commissioners this morning were raising question about what is it that you can and can't do under the regulations today and one of the important points that was made is that we can run programs that have the name of the sponsor in the title if it is an integral part of the program itself that we are covering.
12712 What we can't do is acknowledge the contribution that is made by a sponsor to an event if it is not in the title.
12713 What you have today is an incentive built in to the system for cultural organizations wanting to partner with the CBC and to give recognition to somebody who would like to invest in the cultural activity to change their name and put in the name of the commercial sponsor in the name because it is the only way that they can get the recognition. They can't get it by the CBC simply saying, "The National Arts Centre want to express their thanks to Ford Motor Company or to Air Canada for the assistance that they gave". Whereas you could have the Ford Motor Company Concert Series at the National Arts Centre.
12714 If you look at it from our point of view of not wanting our schedule to appear highly commercialized, the current system creates an incentive to make it more commercialized if we want to partner with third parties than would happen if we had the change in the Condition of Licence that we are looking for.
12715 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: You probably should have just said "yes".
--- Laughter / Rires
12716 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Now I am going to ask another question.
12717 You said earlier this morning, and I think it was you, Mr. Beatty, I have got your name beside this, but you can certainly hand it to Alex, that sort of goes with the office, if you want.
12718 Somebody said no sponsorship will be going into information programming. And of course, information programming is a bit of a term of art. So what if we went to Michael Crabb(ph) and "The Arts Report", is that information programming and could he give a plug to the good folks at Ford who are doing something like you just described?
12719 MR. BEATTY: I will exercise that prerogative and hand it over to my colleague.
12720 MR. FRAME: Commissioner, yes, it is information programming and no, he couldn't.
12721 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Now that's the way to answer a question.
12722 MR. BEATTY: I could go back to the previous one and take it --
--- Laughter / Rires
12723 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: You will never get yourself in trouble with that kind of answer.
12724 Now, I want to go back to just something now that you said, Mr. Frame. You were talking -- you and Ms Enkin and Ms Mitton, a number of you were tossing around the idea that in an ironic sense the cuts and the re-engineering that they forced upon you were sort of one of the best things that ever happened, in a sense. I mean, nobody applauds what happened to families and people who lost their jobs and that sort of thing and I am not trying to make you wear that. But in the sense that it re-energized you and it got you to look at things differently and to discuss that and some of the programming ideas that came out of it.
12725 But when we were out and about in the Maritimes, and in the rest of the country, in the places I visited during our consultation, we heard a somewhat different take on that and we were hearing by and large, I think it is fair to say, from big fans of the CBC and huge fans of CBC Radio. So these were committed people. More than once we heard about the people who have three radios on in their house and they are on all day and the dogs listen and the cats listen and the budgies listen, everybody listens to the CBC and they are great fans.
12726 So these are people, you know, that are not in the undecided column. But having assured us of what major fans they were, a good many of them went on to indicate that they felt a loss of local representation, that despite -- and I asked a similar question to Mr. Redekopp yesterday on the TV side -- all the graphs and the pie charts that show so much "regional" input and output, that very intimate local presence they felt was missing and they felt that that was costing them -- I am going by memory now but I am sure if I were to search through the transcripts from those hearings I could find it. I am thinking particularly in Sidney up in Cape Breton and in Charlottetown -- to a lesser degree perhaps in Edmonton, but some there too -- they felt a loss in local news -- really local news, not news from Halifax for people in the Maritimes, but really local news -- they felt the loss in local information if they are a farmer, some farm reports, those were the sorts of programs they felt had gotten the axe, and then they felt a loss on a national basis as well and there were a number of presenters who spoke nostalgically and with some sense of loss about the switch over from the Gzowski show to the Enright/Avril Benoit show and it wasn't a personality problem. What it was is that they didn't feel they were getting that opportunity to have their say at the centre that they got from the old Gzowski "Morningside" format and in a particular way -- and I am sorry to go on so long but I am trying to do this in just one hunk and then let you comment -- they felt that there was a big loss when that format show went away in the sense of local talent getting a chance to be exposed to the nation and a number of people -- I remember a woman in P.E.I. who was a Gaelic singer, I think, who came to us and I am afraid I don't remember her name but had gotten her start on the Gzowski show, her real start, obviously she sang in church halls and that sort of things but her real break was on the Gzowski show.
12727 So I don't know -- I guess my question is this: I understand the same question I had for Mr. Redekopp. I am very sympathetic to the realities of a dollar. I understand the cutbacks, I understand your pride in what you are doing and what you have been able to do and the growth of your audience, but is there any hope in three, four, five years that we might see some of that replaced on radio?
12728 MR. FRAME: Commissioner, I want to make sure -- I hear three questions and I think the first question I heard, if I could reinterpret is, "Are you people really masochistic? Did you really enjoy what happened over the past three years with regard to this budget reduction?" The second question I heard had to do with essentially the quality and comprehensive nature of our regional services, particularly in smaller locations like Charlottetown and Sidney and I am going to ask Susan to speak to that.
12729 And the third was about the nature of what happens when a major Canadian institution beloved of large numbers of Canadians disappears and is replaced, in particular terms one of the things that it achieved was the show casing and actual development of Canadian talent. When I first appeared, I mentioned the Bare Naked Ladies as another example of CBC Radio and in this case it was "Morningside" providing the first platform for that talent. And I am going to let Esther speak to that third question. But I am going to speak to the first question.
12730 What we were trying to say and perhaps not saying it clearly enough, is when we went through changes that we were forced to go through we first wrapped ourselves in our values and then we asked ourselves how, given what we have to go through anyway, can we provide the best and most effective service we can for Canadians? And what we are saying if you were to ask us, "If you had the choice, would you have gone through what you went through?" I would have said, "I would like to negotiate it." But we had no choice.
12731 What I think you heard coming from this team is a deep level of pride in how we approached it and what collectively we were able -- with our producers and our hosts and our technicians -- what we were able to achieve. So that's the first question.
12732 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: I promise I won't interrupt again because I really did talk too long. It was supposed to be a question. It was longer than Lincoln's famous speech --
12733 MR. FRAME: It was an exhausting question.
--- Laughter / Rires
12734 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Yes, it sounded like a Warner Troyer question.
12735 What I meant was -- I did understand the source of the pride. I understand that it was reluctantly experienced but it is still a source of justifiable and healthy pride. What I was wondering is whether you have a sense of the loss as well -- not the pain but the loss that the viewers face?
12736 MR. FRAME: That is a good question. I want to answer this question but -- I have mixed feelings, to be honest, I have mixed feelings. To do anything that agitates the relationship we have with Canadians is bothersome to me. Seriously bothersome to me but staying relevant and moving forward with this country, even though it may agitate some of our listeners, is something I believe we have to do.
12737 So I don't have a simple answer for your, Commissioner, because it's both those things and when you've got a service that has managed to achieve that level of relationship with the listener, to have been called by so many of our people their lifeline, that essentially there is something critical there. But it is our job to make sure that that lifeline remains a vital and effective and realistic force in their lives and that reality you have to with great care be prepared to make changes and adjustments. And it is a highly risky business.
12738 I hope that answers your question.
12739 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Yes, it does, and I know I am going to hear from your colleagues but it surprises me a little. I appreciate the candidness of it but I think that we heard in the regions and the smaller communities is that -- to focus on "Morningside" -- was a movement from -- never the lifeline -- but certainly a conduit to the centre, a conduit to the nation from these people to a kind of a very different show, a valuable show. They value the new show but it is not the same show and they feel they will never get anything like that back again and I wonder whether -- and maybe I am going to hear from your colleagues on this -- but the question is, and the question I put to Mr. Redekopp yesterday, which he answered honestly and said, "No they aren't" -- but if the question is "Will we ever be able to go back to what these people want? Is there ever going to be room in the budget and in programming to reach into that very -- I can't think, my words are escaping me -- but into communities so closely, into local communities?
12740 MR. FRAME: The answer, Commissioner, is an emphatic yes. Essentially it is where we are going. I don't whether you know this or not, it's another age reference. I produced "This Country in the Morning" with Peter Gzowski. I did that in the early '70s. I was there when Peter and I left "This Country in the Morning" at the same time, after three years and I left CBC Radio shortly after that and watched what happened. I watched as one program followed another with a lifespan of a year, 18 months, then another, finally beginning to track only when Don Harren took over as the host of "Morningside" and then into full flower, once again, when Peter went back into that period by "Nine to Noon".
12741 Well I am very proud to say that that isn't going to happen again and it clearly isn't happening. What we have now is we have a head of that department, we have an executive producer, we have hosts and a talented workforce doing "This Morning" and what they are doing, month after month, year after year, is they are building that relationship, they are learning as they go, they are not -- and they were asked in absolute terms not to try to emulate "Morningside", not to try to go back and what we believe will happen is that our listeners will go forward with us, they will go forward to reach that point again although the characteristics of that point when we reach it the second time may be somewhat different than the characteristics that are there now.
12742 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: But that is a show that deals with national, international major issues and the other show dealt with that as well -- the show that you are so proud of, the "Morningside" show and rightfully so -- but it also had that very intimate local sense -- not regional but local sense. And I am not suggesting -- and I want to make this very clear -- that it would make me in any smile or happy or feel good for you to say, "Right, Enright out, Gzowski back in". Enright is fine, Enright is superb as is his sidekick Avril Benoit -- his colleague, I should say. I have to be careful around this table I could be walking with a limp if I am not careful.
--- Laughter / Rires
12743 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: She is the head of the show.
12744 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Yes, right, as my co-host would say here. Yes, she is the head and her pal Enright there, her "boy toy".
--- Laughter / Rires
12745 Really all I am saying is this: They are very different, obviously, and the people that spoke to us -- I am bringing the message here -- the people that spoke to us, a good many of them, said they missed that and what I am asking you is, some time, somewhere in the next seven years will there be the resources to bring that kind of intimate local voice back to radio nationally, as well as keeping the new Enright/Benoit format?
12746 MR. FRAME: If I don't let Esther jump in here, she's going to swallow the mic so I am going to turn it over.
12747 MS ENKIN: I guess the point I want to put on the record -- and we hear that too and we understand it and I think Alex was trying to give you the context of what that might be -- I guess people mourn loss and it takes a long time to get over it, but what I want to make very clear is if people are missing a sense of intimacy it isn't because the local stuff isn't there and it is not an issue of money. If they're not hearing it then we have some tonal problems and perhaps we have some, you know, some choice of stories but I want to address that but it is not an issue of money.
12748 The fact of the matter is on "This Morning" Dick Gordon every Monday has gone to the smallest communities and presented 20 minutes, 25 minutes of radio about a man who has the flag of every country in the world and raises it as the ships go by coming up the St. Lawrence. What is more Canadian? He has been all over Nunuvit, he has been all over the Northwest Territories, he has been to southern Ontario, he has been to Quebec. The regional reports still exist on "This Morning". Peter Hope brings the voices of the north on a regular basis on Mondays. Next year, in fact, the "Northern Reports" to reflect the reality of Nunuvit. Avril was in Cambridge Bay when our bureau opened there. We have been to Nunuvit twice.
12749 So we still have the respect for the needs of local community and that show very strongly has a mandate of telling Canadian stories to each other. If people feel disconnected from it, I think some of it is getting used to it, I think they are going to grow with us. I mean, my answer is also an emphatic yes but there may be some tonal issues here, but what I wanted to really make clear is that it's not a financial issue because some of the same kinds of activities with the same mandate are going on and in terms of the music, I could if you really wanted detail, bring you more. I apologize I don't have it at my fingertips but there is a regular Friday feature which is a live performance and there still is Gaelic music, there may not be as much as there was, but there is young Canadian talent appearing regularly on "This Morning" and I would be glad to provide you with a list of who they are.
12750 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Absolutely. You have enough paper to generate -- I am just here to listen and I am here to bring -- I feel a part of the job that I have here is to bring a sense of what I heard out there. That is what I heard.
12751 MS ENKIN: But the primary thing I just really want to put on the record here is I believe that that show is dedicated to a vision of Canada, to being a window on Canada and I have to respect people's feelings, I have to try to understand what they are and I think Alex has tried to explain to a certain degree with it is, but that this not an issue of money at all.
12752 MR. FRAME: Good. Commissioner, would you like to hear the issues regarding the regional concerns that you expressed.
12753 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: I would, actually, if my fellow Commissioners can bear it. It is an important issue to me. I would like to hear it.
12754 MS MITTON: Thank you, I appreciate the opportunity because I too, with you, Commissioner Langford, was in Sidney, I was in Moncton, and I was in Charlottetown. My sense of what we heard was that the people in those communities were having, for the first time, an opportunity to speak directly to the CRTC which they really appreciated as did we in being able to listen to it.
12755 Some of the issues that were raised I think were born out of a period of nervousness for about two years running when there was an axe. It seemed to be hanging over -- and a lot of doubt in people's mind whether local programming through this period of cuts was going to be there at the end of the day and I think that some of that was an expression of "For heaven's sakes, don't take any more away from us". But the reality of what was done during the cuts was with the exception in our region of six stations of New Brunswick afternoon shows, which was a decision we made locally to improve service elsewhere.
12756 The reality is we have introduced half-hour breaks in Sidney and in Charlottetown at the bottom of the clock so they in fact have more local news opportunity. There have been other initiatives that have in fact increase presence on holidays and so forth and in fact have supplied more local material.
12757 In the performance area, Theresa Doyle, who was the wonderful musician that spoke at the hearings, mentioned the sense of a lack of performance opportunity locally. In fact I moved to radio in '91 and at that time the performance department had been regionalized quite a bit before that.
12758 So again I am not so sure that some of that was in the sense of loss over a long period of time and I think that we have come to grips -- or have tried to -- with ways in the performance area where our producers are out and they have a responsibility of covering the entire region and developing new talent, not only in our local or our regional performance shows, both classical and variety, but also recommending to "This Morning" and other programs on the network to get these folks exposed.
12759 So I sense that, again, we lived in the regions wish such uncertainty that that really had an impact on our listeners, long-standing listeners with a great sense of ownership and a great sense of history of CBC Radio. So I interpret it slightly differently, I guess, is what I am saying though I must say absolutely took it to heart but I really believe that there is an acceptance that the regions are the foundation, basically, of CBC Radio across the country and again it builds local, regional, national and there is a huge synergy.
12760 I will go back, if you will allow me just another point. Some of the sense of loss of local too is that in our afternoon shows, for instance, and this came out in Charlottetown, there was a sense that we are hearing not as much local material. We are now hearing national material in what used to be a purely local time slot. Again -- in fact this was strategic on our part because when we were looking at serving the audiences better, we piloted three versions of afternoon shows and we used producers from across the country who were currently doing afternoon shows to make these pilots. One was a national afternoon show, one was a co-hosted through new technology of a national host and a local host, and the third was a local host with national material inserted into it.
12761 The focus groups that we did -- and I think we did five in different cities across the country, as I recall -- came back and said they preferred the locally hosted but they had no problem with the -- in fact, they loved hearing about a story out of Regina on the shows. They liked hearing material from across the country and would accept it as long as it was good quality which leads me to my last point.
12762 We were in a situation where we were expecting people to do two hours of programming and we were squeezed with no wiggle room and felt in fact that this would make sure that the quality was maintained by being able to take the best material from across the country and weave it in.
12763 So I mean, yes, if you count minutes -- but there are targets of four to six and they have some play obviously within that target but that was to help them as well maintain the local at a quality level that the listeners would continue to appreciate.
12764 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Aren't you glad I didn't have three questions?
--- Laughter / Rires
12765 Thank you very much.
12766 MS ENKIN: All right.
12767 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I was wondering, you mentioned at one point in the discussion this morning about archives and I was wondering if there is a general policy, kind of a corporate policy about archives -- and there must be -- and what is the access policy about it? Is it archive that is reserved strictly for in-house kind of use or is it available, for example, if I am a private broadcaster and I want to do something on Frank Sinatra, for example, and go back to the best moments. I was wondering if there is a general policy of access, accessibility of those archives?
12768 MR. BEATTY: Yes there is, Commissioner, and certainly one of things we do to try to generate some revenue is to give people access to the archives and try to make them available to others on a commercial basis. In addition to that, we realize that we are sitting on an important part of the audiovisual heritage of Canada. We want to ensure, first of all, that it is preserved.
12769 We have a massive project underway right now, the "Maison Radio-Canada" in Montreal, I would invite you to visit that. Underground we are building in the storage vaults, in an area that was created at the time the building was built but never fully completed, to allow us warehouse materials properly in the first place. We are moving to stabilize those because we are running a very -- we are losing these archives today, many of them, because they are literally turning into vinegar. We have to catalogue them to ensure that we know exactly what is on them so that if you wanted to come to us and have access to them you would know what was there and we have to look at ways of making them available in terms of finding media that work. In some cases, we even have problems that media in which they are stored are no longer accessible because the technology is obsolete.
12770 This is one of the areas when I spoke to the Commission on the first day and I said in some cases we would want to have authorization to go back to the government for special projects for one-time funding. One area where I think it would be very appropriate to do that would be for CBC's archives to ensure that this national heritage is properly preserved, catalogued and made available to people and I may be personally going beyond where I should at this point with my colleagues, but I would be personally prepared to see us looking at an arrangement if the federal government were to invest the money that was necessary to preserve those where we would be able to discount it and make it available that much more cheaply to others coming in and having access to it, because the point of it should be to open it up as much as possible to Canadians.
12771 THE CHAIRPERSON: But is there presently a policy, you know, kind of a general document where it is clear either it is not available because of the support not being appropriate, but if it is not the case, if it is an appropriate support can somebody from the public get access?
12772 MR. BEATTY: I don't know if there is one single document, but certainly in radio -- you can comment Alex on your policy?
12773 MR. FRAME: If there is a policy I am not aware of it. I believe that with regard to the old, old audio there is not a terrific or ongoing demand that has caused us to create a policy with regard to its distribution at this point.
12774 So I suspect, once again, that things are dealt with on a one-off because they only really arise on that one-off. I want to confirm my suspicions with my colleagues in the second row to make sure that I am not way off base here, Commissioner -- Chair.
12775 MR. GAUTHIER: Well perhaps, I can add to that. We haven't got the resource base to have a service accessible to the public. What we are in fact doing is trying to preserve within our own means our material.
12776 MR. OLIVER: And certainly our inclination -- sorry, Roger.
12777 MR. GAUTHIER: Also, some of this material is tied to -- not royalty payment, but to make it accessible to the public, there has to be some form of payment, either made to the actors or to the playwrights or so on. So some of them are tied to other legal issues.
12778 MR. OLIVER: I guess my understanding as well as that I am not aware of a policy, and I think it is for the reason that Alex outlined. Coincidentally, we had an inquiry from some of the universities to have access to some of our archived material for some of their course material. But we don't have it all.
12779 MR. GAUTHIER: On that, if I may add, there is, in the area of radio drama, a longstanding agreement with Concordia University in Montreal, where there are archives of drama scripts and tapes going back to the 40s for these students in the university.
12780 THE CHAIRPERSON: I was just raising the question because it is another way of prolonging, in a way, the public service, and given that it is a treasure, it is certainly part of our heritage and you certainly, with all the people who have worked with you over the years, have created that treasure. Yet, it belongs to all Canadians. So it seems that, especially going forward with new media kind of means to be able to get access will be very important, it seems.
12781 MR. BEATTY: Absolutely, Madam Chair.
12782 THE CHAIRPERSON: And not to the exclusion of the CBC.
12783 MR. BEATTY: No, absolutely, and that is why, despite all of the cuts in all of the other areas where we would like to make investments, we have committed ourselves to a multi-year project of over $40 million to preserve and catalogue and make available our archives. We have not counted simply on commercial revenues because we don't believe there is that commercial value there to do that.
12784 The other thing that would happen is that if you were counting simply on commercial revenues to do that, you would be conserving certain types of archive that has a commercial value but not others, and you simply don't know. As you point out, with new media coming along, we can perhaps make use of this archive in a way we never dreamt of at the time that we acquired it.
12785 If you look at the tapes that we have today of René Lévesque when he was on Radio-Canada, nobody had any idea what an important figure in our national history he was going to be and if you were looking when he was --
12786 THE CHAIRPERSON: Or Mr. Pelletier.
12787 MR. BEATTY: I'm sorry?
12788 THE CHAIRPERSON: Or Mr. Pelletier.
12789 MR. BEATTY: Or Mr. Pelletier or for that matter, the current Governor General, Mr. LeBlanc, so that if you were applying some sort of an archival policy based on the evident importance, in those days, of an individual report, many of those tapes would be simply gone. What we want to do is to ensure that we don't lose that element of our national patrimony.
12790 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, let's say my comment is really with a concern to make it accessible to others and not strictly -- and I guess I'm sorry I made a mistake in my English -- it is not to the exclusion of the CBC but rather exclusive to the CBC.
12791 MR. BEATTY: Yes, absolutely.
12792 THE CHAIRPERSON: It seems that there are other people out there that could also in a different manner kind of make good use of that material that all together Canadians have been kind of supporting over the years.
12793 MR. BEATTY: Yes, and we see it as a revenue source that will allow us to put money back in for conservation.
12794 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Langford is asking if you kept his news reports.
--- Laughter / Rires
12795 MR. FRAME: Yes, we have all of them, Commissioner.
12796 THE CHAIRPERSON: Keep them for a long time. You will get a good price on that.
--- Laughter / Rires
12797 MR. FRAME: We have all of his reports, Commissioner, and we will -- in fact, we won't determine what we are going to do with them until we hear the outcome of this hearing.
--- Laughter / Rires
12798 MR. BEATTY: But the Stuart Langford Library does have a certain ring to it, we felt.
--- Laughter / Rires
12799 THE CHAIRPERSON: But we want to share the revenues of the Commission with you though.
12800 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Otherwise, I will meet you behind the building and buy the negatives at $1,000 apiece.
12801 THE CHAIRPERSON: I want to touch upon the sponsorship matter. In television, we have been raising that question about advertising and how advertising -- it is not the fact or the presence per se of advertising that is a concern and that has been raised over the regional consultations and over the years. At the Commission right now, it is not that it is to be banished and it's a sin.
12802 The understanding we are trying to get from that proceeding and with you as experts is: How is advertising -- the fact that it is there -- kind of constitute a change of perspective, kind of bringing a band into the way we are choosing, selecting programs for Canadians? That is: Is it conveying an idea or a band that is not totally to the best way of serving public interest? That is why we are asking that question and kind of raising it in French and in English in television.
12803 But in radio -- and we have heard that sometimes and we have asked that in French as well -- we have the impression that there are many dimensions, the medium itself being one, but also the way it has been done, that there is a very strong attachment. Mr. Langford was referring to some kind of observations we have heard in terms of before and now, but even when we heard those kinds of observations, there was a strong attachment and a very strong loyalty to what is the CBC Radio in French and English.
12804 We had the impression, and it has been said many times, that the fact that it is commercial-free, that is very important. That is part of the attachment. It makes for being more one of theirs, being part of the family.
12805 So I am just wondering: The sponsorship, even if it is with all the precautions we have heard about with you this morning and with Mr. Lafrance last week, isn't it bringing a way of selecting, choosing that will be different?
12806 I am looking at -- what you said on page 97 was that your original performance would count on the sponsorship. Does that mean that there would be an original performance -- like two years ago, you would have chosen just because you would have seen fit that that is the best performance to choose, where now, even if it doesn't come directly to you, you might choose in function of revenues that you can get or in the capacity of giving recognition for some sponsors that do support cultural, very valuable initiatives. But still, will that bring a filter to your choices?
12807 MR. BEATTY: Commissioner, stated another way, will it have a steering effect upon what we put on air? The answer is no, except to the extent that we will have some programming available to us that might not otherwise have been available serves as a catalyst to allow other cultural organizations to have events which likely would not take place without it.
12808 That means then that this programming becomes available to us and wouldn't have otherwise. But will it cause us to move away from one type of programming to another? No. It will be made on the basis of artistic merit.
12809 THE CHAIRPERSON: If pushed further, what kind of absolute guarantee can you give the Canadian public that you will not choose strictly the performance that will come with that third-party type of sponsoring?
12810 MR. BEATTY: We will start by giving you that assurance flatly here and unequivocally on the record: You are the guardian of that at the end of the day.
12811 There are two elements, I think, that people can look to. The first is the integrity of the people that you are dealing with here. I won't be here. You can make your own judgment though as to whether these folks are vandals wanting to abandon the values that underlay public broadcasting. I think they are people who believe deeply in it and who would leave the Corporation if we commercialized radio. But beyond that, the other check is you.
12812 We have proposed conditions of licence that constrain as tightly as possible what we would be permitted to do to that which we have explained to you. We will have to come back to you.
12813 If our performance doesn't measure up to the commitment we make, you have the right -- and you have it on the record from us in terms of this commitment -- you have the right and the responsibility to protect the public interest.
12814 MR. FRAME: Madam Chair, I would absolutely underscore what the President has said and go a step further. If you were to grant us this condition of licence for a period of time and we came back before the Commission, I would invite not only our listeners to essentially -- in whatever scientific approach seemed appropriate to the Commission -- but also the cultural and artistic organizations in this country to come forward and to say whether or not they believe that as a result of this we have denigrated the quality of the cultural material that we are presenting to Canadians, that we have skewed and tainted our processes of choice, or that this in fact has provided an enhancement in a whole range of areas, from literary endeavours to new music, which is what I believe will happen.
12815 I don't believe that there will be a narrow skew toward a certain popular kind of culture that will happen as a result of this. I think there will be a range. Many of the things that we will be able to do -- many of them that we can't imagine yet -- in an environment when essentially strategic partnerships are what many cultural organizations are doing in order to grow and in order to continue to benefit their audiences.
12816 That is what I think will happen and whatever assurances are required I would feel great comfort in giving them.
12817 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, you are talking here about a level of 50 hours of original performance. In your vision, how much of those would be accompanied by a sponsor in the future? The way I see it -- and I won't be there either when you come back for your licence --
--- Laughter / Rires
12818 THE CHAIRPERSON: It seems to me that one indicator might be that if there is a percentage that is with a sponsor and a percentage that is not, then it has not totally been the criteria by which you kind of -- I'm sorry I am losing my voice -- is not the absolute criteria and kind of a guarantee or an indicator for the Canadian public, that it has been really a matter of choice and what is the best performance, given the public interest, wouldn't you say?
12819 MR. FRAME: Yes. I would say the first part of your question with regard to the 50 hours that we currently broadcast -- I have trouble coming up with an answer to your question with regard to what percentages of that would be, but I know it would be small.
12820 I think what is likely is that the percentage of that 50 hours would be small and also the likelihood that that 50 hours would increase. There would be more original performance on CBC Radio Two and CBC Radio One as a result of this, a change in the condition of licence.
12821 THE CHAIRPERSON: So that would be an indicator?
12822 MR. FRAME: It would be an indicator, absolutely.
12823 THE CHAIRPERSON: A percentage --
12824 MR. FRAME: Yes.
12825 THE CHAIRPERSON: A small percentage and a higher number of hours --
12826 MR. FRAME: Yes.
12827 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- would be a way to kind of assess. Maybe before we come back together at the end of the hearing, you can maybe give without having a precise number, maybe a range that could be, over the years, what you could anticipate as being the support you are looking for.
12828 MR. FRAME: That's right. What I have to do, Madam Chair, is I have to make sure that Mr. Pietropaolo isn't in charge of this. Otherwise, he is going to double the number of original performance hours for us. So we will certainly address it because it is an important thing and an important target.
12829 MR. BEATTY: We also need Alex to talk to French Radio as well to make sure that anything we are talking about on the English side makes sense on the French side as well.
12830 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: And Michael.
12831 MR. FRAME: That's right. We won't leave Michael out for sure.
12832 THE CHAIRPERSON: On this subject, I think Commissioner Cram has an additional question on this. I will come back with the last one after.
12833 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Commissioner Grauer asked you about a code and I think what the Chair is talking about is -- and I will give you a ludicrous example, say Mr. Loewen(ph), who owned a very huge, wonderful funeral home business, barring his bankruptcy now, and had a lot of money.
12834 And Mr. Loewen to buy for you or to pay the Nigerian Ballet to perform. And then the next month it is the Nigerian Folk Dancers and then the next month it is the Nigerian Symphony and then the next month it is -- and I mean, that's -- so you have a choice of this program that is provided to you free, essentially free, or maybe another ethnic type of folk dancer or ballet or something else.
12835 And I think that is what the issue that we were trying to get at in terms of influence on programming, because to me that is the conundrum right there.
12836 MR. FRAME: Well, Commissioner, the first thing is that we wouldn't be talking to Mr. Loewen in the first place. Is that Mr. Loewen, in order to get the Nigerian Ballet would first have to make contact with an existing cultural organization within Canada and that cultural organization would have to mount this and make this initiative. Then, if they felt it was of value, they would approach us and at that point we would go into a partnership with them, with the funding going to them from the third party not to us. So there is already a bit of a screen there.
12837 The second part of it is that except if Mr. Pietropaolo had the opportunity to double the actual number of performance hours, which we could go crazy with it, is that our creative heads have to be very selective because they are not judged on quantity, they are judged on the quality and effectiveness of the material that they provide to our audiences.
12838 So the fact that they can get it free is not really very significant if what they are getting is dreck. We simply will not be interested in it and it is not significant enough to drive us.
12839 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Sorry, it would then be initiated by the particular performance agency and you sort of would have no contact with the sponsor, is that --
12840 MR. FRAME: And I will -- let's say that --
12841 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Because I missed that subtly.
12842 MR. FRAME: Yes, Mr. Loewen basically was crazy about George Walker's plays. So he went to the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton and said, "All right. From now on I will write you a cheque for X number of dollars, but you can only put on George Walker's plays". Even though George Walker is a terrific playwright then they are going to have trouble getting bums in seats after a little while because people would want a larger variety. And that is what is going to be a determining factor for them and it will, therefore, also be the determining factor for us.
12843 MR. BEATTY: Mr. Loewen would be original, but we did used to give airtime to Bagley's(ph) Funeral Parlours, as I recall over the years.
12844 COMMISSIONER CRAM: The last question for me is you talk on page 97 of your original performance programming activity will be further supported and enhanced through partnerships, internet enhancements and further use after broadcast.
12845 The internet enhancements. What is it exactly and how much does that cost and is it the new media initiative or is it the separate budget? What is it?
12846 MR. FRAME: The internet has a whole range of applications and relationships to CBC Radio, including info-culture and CBC Radio for Kids and CBC Radio's participation in CBC news on the internet, CBC.ca.
12847 What we are doing more and more frequently, and I can give you one example -- in fact it would probably be better if Damiano gave it to you. It is an idea that originated with some of his arts journalists with regard to Canadian visual arts. A relationship between Canadian visual art galleries and CBC Radio.
12848 Historically CBC Radio has not been the best medium for the showcase of Canadian visual arts. But it is one of our few shortcomings.
12849 COMMISSIONER CRAM: The only one.
--- Laughter / Rires
12850 MR. FRAME: But Damiano has had an idea just to correct that, and go ahead.
12851 MR. PIETROPAOLO: It is one way for an arts journalism program to deal with the visual arts is to go into partnership with the publicly funded National Arts Galleries in the country and to develop programming that is of interest to listeners who can then get an enhancement of the oral experience through a visual experience on the net. So that it is a way of using convergence technology for our listeners to get a better, more satisfying experience in the area.
12852 THE CHAIRPERSON: But is that enhancement that ends up on the net, is your initiative, is that you who are kind of setting the page in order?
12853 MR. PIETROPAOLO: In this particular case, yes. We have full editorial control over this, yes.
12854 THE CHAIRPERSON: What I am interested in knowing is that kind of activity covered by the $20-some million of new media, or is it within the program budget.
12855 MR. PIETROPAOLO: In using the new technology, we are exploring possibilities of producing content that has an audio release as well as a net release.
12856 The visual arts initiative is one. We are also developing two dramatic series, they are in pilot form now. One is an adaptation of the concept in Alice in Wonderland where Alice, instead of falling through the rabbit hole falls into the internet and is able to navigate on the net. It has an entertainment and a pedagogic quality as well.
12857 And we are planning this, if it is successful as an audio series for young people who will then be invited to see it, as well and work with it and interact with it on the net. And this type of co-production happens with new media and it happens with the traditional aspects of it, of acting, writing, fees and so on are paid from arts and entertainment, but the graphic and other content is being held by the new media.
12858 MR. FRAME: Madame Chair, to your question with regard to how is it funded, is that each initiative can funded in a number of different ways. There is a budget held for new media that we have and can access in order to undertake particular initiatives.
12859 Within CBC Radio itself, I think you will see from our financial pages that the actual financial contribution is some place around $200,000 into new media initiatives.
12860 But what that doesn't show, and I think it is important to point out one way or another, is that our programmers more and more see the internet as a very important supplementary part of what they do. That whether it is developing text, whether it is the nature of the data and other that we can put on the air on election night over the net while we broadcast, or whether it essentially has to do with visual supports to documentary materials and other reports or simply it is a way of communicating with our listeners, it is a very important supplementary element of broadcasting for CBC Radio today. And it is becoming more so every day.
12861 THE CHAIRPERSON: So when you say it is around $200,000 emerging from the program budget of the radio itself over the next five years, how do you see that budget growing?
12862 MR. FRAME: Frankly, I don't.
12863 THE CHAIRPERSON: You don't see how or how much or --
--- Laughter / Rires
12864 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- you don't see it grow?
12865 MR. FRAME: I don't believe that that budget will be growing over the next five years. I think that what will be happening and that I won't be able to control, is that our programmers with their discreet program budgets will on their own initiative be moving to invest more of their program dollars on the internet because they see a critical synergy between what is happening on the net and what is happening over the air.
12866 THE CHAIRPERSON: Today, in 1999, how much of the program budget is devoted to that kind of initiative as we speak?
12867 MR. FRAME: On a program by program basis or overall?
12868 You see, we have essentially in the way we have allocated our budgets, we have allocated, as I say, about $200,000, $225,000.
12869 MR. OLIVER: Yes, it is $225,000, the corporate group chips in about 975 on top of that.
12870 MR. FRAME: Yes.
12871 MR. OLIVER: Toward radio sites.
12872 MR. FRAME: So that is our commitment. As I say, you will find people throughout the radio service who, by hook or by crook are creating an internet presence for their programs because they believe in it. Essentially they have overtaken us in a number of cases.
12873 MR. PIETROPAOLO: An example of that is "Definitely Not the Opera" in Winnipeg which uses convergence technology as a production tool in the program itself and it has a very interactive relationship with its audience. And they have done this within their existing budget, not through any additional funds from me or from Alex.
12874 THE CHAIRPERSON: But I guess my question is, the component in which the program costs, the program budget is, what would be the proportion of that money as we speak already involved in kind of reaching out through the net. Let's put it that way.
12875 MR. PIETROPAOLO: With respect to "DNTO", it had a budget of X dollars four years ago and about two years ago they called me up and said, "Look at our website". And they had not asked for any money towards that website and I looked at the website and they had the most interesting and interactive website on CBC Radio according to some listeners and/or viewers. And they did this within their own budget because they are acquiring the skills using the new technology which is a very affordable technology that they use.
12876 They are able to broadcast programs from Los Angeles on a phone line and to produce them on the laptop computer.
12877 THE CHAIRPERSON: But there are dollars that exist in program budgets as we speak which are extending the reach through the net. Like you are saying, it is not that it is new money, it is not marginal money or excelgenous(ph) budget. But within the program budget, I understand, is already some activities that do address new technologies, new ways of reaching out.
12878 So what I am trying to figure is in the program costs as we speak, what would be the percentage today in 1999 of what could be that reach out to the net and eventually in three, five, seven years, do you see that, let's say it is 5 per cent today, do you see that it is going to become 10, 20 per cent?
12879 MR. FRAME: No. We don't.
12880 THE CHAIRPERSON: It is just to understand.
12881 MR. FRAME: Yes. Madame Chair, I will try to make it clear is that if we were to actually -- first of all, you need to measure it in terms of the overall resource available to the program, rather than the dollars available, because it isn't a matter of discreet dollars. So you would never see a line item on that that would say "Internet activities $60,000". You might see something that says, "Internet activities $25.00" or something like that.
12882 So, when you said is it done on the margins, the answer to that question is that is exactly how it is done. And it is done on the margins, portions of people's time because they believe it is an important program activity. And so it is seen as essentially part of their central program activities.
12883 And if I was to say or Esther or Susan was to say, "All right. Stop doing that on the internet and we will recoup the savings in order to do X", there would be no savings. There simply would be not a dollar available because that's not the way it works.
12884 And in terms of your question with regard to where we see this going over the years. We don't see it going anywhere. We see it operating much the way it is currently. Unless we decide in certain areas to take particularly discreet and funded initiatives and we have not taken those decisions.
12885 MR. BEATTY: If you look at the contribution being made by the media vis-à-vis the corporate contribution on the internet, it is a large contribution but it is not easily quantifiable. It is large because it involves the intellectual property that is being developed for the main services. So you get radio or TV reports that were done for "The World At Six" or for "The National" which will be made available, there is no incremental cost there to radio or TV for doing that, but there is no way that out of internet budget we could have generated that original report.
12886 The other areas in terms of time that people devote their time because they believe it adds value to their program to re-purposing material or to adding something else that is new. An example of that would be if one of our morning shows was going to have an author coming through town and wanted to discuss his or her new book. They couldn't read a chapter over the air, but you could post the chapter to the net, let people know that it is there, give them a chance to see it and then discuss it on air when the person is there.
12887 Now, again the incremental value of that, you don't measure in dollars and cents, but without the contribution that is made by the media, we could not have the web presence that we have for the budget that we have allocated for new media.
12888 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, I understand very well. I am just trying to understand given that in the strategic plan and the constellation idea, the new media initiative is a very important component. But it is like a corporate initiative the way I have understood and they are each a star within the constellation as we know them have their own initiative and their links. So there is already some resources kind of creating that presence as we speak.
12889 And we are just trying to get a sense of what it means over and above the initiative and the $20-some million, there is also other dollars that may serve the more conventional way of doing programs, but at the same time, that is serving that purpose.
12890 MR. BEATTY: In honesty, Madame Chair, we can't tell you how much that is in that we don't and can't quantify that. We do know that you couldn't mount the internet effort without the existence of the conventional media.
12891 And the internet presence came first out of the media. It was not initially a corporate initiative, it was initially within the media, within programs or within the service lines, people saying, "Look, there is a new way of reaching audiences here. We want to experiment with that".
12892 It was only after we began to realize that something very profound was happening here that would allow us in a coherent way as a corporation to provide a whole new service to Canadians that you found the corporate presence coming in.
12893 We have tried to strike a balance. It is highly decentralized. There is a pool of money available to put into internet activity that the media can apply for. We try to ensure coherence in what we are doing. We have an integrated web page for news as opposed to having each news program having its own web page and so on. But it is still a highly decentralized organization that relies on initiative from within the media themselves.
12894 But what we are seeing taking place here is a rethinking of the very nature of the conventional media.
12895 PBS, if you talk to them, will tell you that they see what goes on air as being the executive summary of their work, that the time that they commission programming, they commission it with a view in mind to an integrated presentation that involves both the internet and what goes over air.
12896 Increasingly, when our programmers are doing their work, they take a much more holistic approach and think of designing programming that will reach audiences simultaneously through the web and over our conventional services.
12897 An example of that is on the French side where we did a partnership with l'UQAM and l'université de Montréal. We did programs on "The Lives of the Pharaohs", I believe, which were broadcast over "la chaîne culturelle" and were also available for credit courses from around the world over the internet. It was a program conceived in partnership with the universities from the outset for both a broadcast and the web presence as opposed to being conceived strictly as a broadcast program that was then dumped on to the net the way that in the previous generation you might have done that.
12898 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, maybe you see the kind of concern or the question is just to assess. It is not to say that it is not an interesting initiative. It is just to assess in times where we know that the funds are so rare and how much of the initiative and the budgets that already are devoted to programs do you see today being used to kind of create that presence on the net and how much of those budgets do you see in the coming years to be gradually devoted.
12899 MR. BEATTY: That is very legitimate and it is something we are feeling our way along with ourselves above the line. With corporate contribution we are looking at ear marking that two per cent we talked about earlier.
12900 Just to give you a context, if you were to compare that with NBC, for example, it would dwarf -- NBC's budget would dwarf what CBC is looking at.
12901 More interesting in a sense is looking at other public broadcasters, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the BCC. The BBC has developed an integrated digital strategy and is investing several times what we are on the net and has today the single most heavily travelled web site in Britain.
12902 I have an article from the Sydney Morning Herald about the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's activities. This article values, and I find the figure hard to credit, frankly, but it values the ABC's web activities at $500 million Australian, roughly $500 million Canadian. The debate that has broken out in the ABC is whether the ABC should be selling shares in its internet activities to generate capital that it can then put into paying for the digitization of its conventional broadcast services because it has developed so much value in the internet site.
12903 But what is interesting is that in perhaps the three most relevant public broadcasters, PBS, BBC and ABC, each of them has moved very aggressively and to a strong new media policy.
12904 THE CHAIRPERSON: I cannot help smiling, Mr. Beatty because sometimes PBS is used as being a model and sometimes we were told that you do not want to be a PBS of the north.
12905 MR. BEATTY: Well, absolutely. This is an instance where they are an inspiration to us.
12906 THE CHAIRPERSON: It is a smile.
12907 Legal counsel has a question.
12908 MS PINSKY: Thank you, Madam Chairman.
12909 First I just wanted to follow up with the conversation that you had with Commissioner Grauer this morning, as well as Commissioner Wylie, with respect to extension of service and just to clarify what the CBC's position is, specifically with respect to the long-term objective that the Commission placed in the last two renewal decisions to extend service to serve at least 75 per cent of the population of each province.
12910 What is the CBC's position with respect to this long-term objective? Does it continue to be appropriate?
12911 MR. FRAME: We believe that the financial situation is such that it is going to be extremely difficult for us to achieve 75 per cent of the population in each province.
12912 MS PINSKY: That is the long term?
12913 MR. FRAME: That is in the long term.
12914 It is very hard for us to predict the long term at this time, counsel.
12915 MR. BEATTY: But that there is a constant extension of service.
12916 MR. FRAME: We continue to look at it. We are very aware of it and will continue to be aware of it and any opportunities we have to move on these initiatives in a way that is more cost effective than those currently available to us, we will take those opportunities.
12917 MS PINSKY: Okay. Then with respect to the sponsorship condition of licence, and we talked about the various types of constraints that would be put on the condition to limit the nature of the sponsorship, one of them is stated here as saying that:
"Any moneys contributed by the partner must be contributed to a third party and not to the licensee."
12918 I was not sure whether I heard you refer earlier this morning to the fact that the money would be contributed to a cultural organization. The question -- is there an intent to limit the third parties who can receive the money?
12919 MR. FRAME: No, that was one example. There may be others that we haven't contemplated at the moment. I think that the thrust of that language is to demonstrate that the money would not flow to CBC and not to indicate where it would flow.
12920 MS PINSKY: Okay. Thirdly, I just want to clarify that the CBC is proposing as a condition of licence, for each of Radio One and Two, to broadcast at a minimum, the 50 per cent of all musical selections within content Category 2 and 30 per cent of all musical selections within content Category 3 as Canadian and that is on a weekly basis. So the commitment would be during each broadcast week, the minimum level of Canadian selections would be within Category 2, 50 per cent, and Category 3, 20 per cent.
12921 MR. FRAME: Yes, this is essentially -- which is a current condition of licence.
12922 MS PINSKY: That is correct.
12923 MR. FRAME: That is right.
12924 MS PINSKY: Okay. I just wanted to clarify when you would be in a position to fulfil the undertakings that you have made this morning and early this afternoon in response to questions. You have made a variety and we would want them before the reply stage and preferably by Monday afternoon.
12925 MR. FRAME: I will just check with my colleagues, counsel, and I believe that that is fine.
12926 We have no problem and I am sure if Michael was here he would say the same thing.
12927 THE CHAIRMAN: He is printing it now.
12928 MS PINSKY: Okay. I just wanted to mention that the CBC has placed on the public file as requested a survey entitled "Perceived Value of CBC Newsworld Among Cable Subscribers" dated April 1999. So that will be placed on the public record.
12929 As well, the CBC has placed on the public record their response to questions put forward by the Commission to the CBC on Friday, May 28, relating to advertising on CBC English and French-language television. They have placed an abridged version on the public record and have requested confidentiality in respect of certain of the information contained in the letter.
12930 The Commission has determined that confidentiality will be afforded to certain of information and not to the latter which would be the overall impact of a reduction in advertising on the services and so the CBC will be providing a revised version for the public record.
12931 MR. SAVAGE: Excuse me. If I might make one point.
12932 There were two things I wanted to clarify that we talked about more in terms of the long-term filings with the Commission.
12933 If I am correct, one of them was the repeat task force findings and that is not complete so I just want to clarify that that is something we were willing to file with you when that is completed.
12934 Perhaps we could take this off line and meet afterwards.
12935 MS PINSKY: That is fine, thank you.
12936 THE CHAIRPERSON: I meant to bring a precision with the television yesterday. We didn't kind of review the questions we had had with the TV French network because we had asked for information that were provided but certainly when we come back at the rebuttal phases next week, the advertising issue concerns the French network as well as the English one. So I wanted to make sure that it was clear that we would not take anyone by surprise and that we would raise that question again next week.
12937 Vice-Chair Colville had also some more precisions needed on the one that documents --
12938 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: About sports --
12939 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: This doesn't relate to radio so I put this question, Mr. Beatty, to you and perhaps through you to your people just for when, again, when we come back next week.
12940 At great personal risk of being branded a sports luddite when it comes to this issue, I think I explained the other day the context why we were asking these questions and I think you understood.
12941 You filed some information with respect to the expenses and revenues with particular sports categories and that is quite helpful for a better understanding of the context of this issue here.
12942 In that filing, and this was in response to the questions that had been posed earlier, you have indicated direct program costs, which largely I presume were the rights, and then direct labour costs. I assume the direct costs, in particular, the direct labour costs are the crews that work on the particular programs covering a hockey game or a football game or whatever. So largely those would be the camera crews, announcers and on-air personalities. Would that be correct?
12943 MR. BEATTY I believe that is right, Commissioner. I would have to double check with colleagues to find out for sure.
12944 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: So I presume then that there would be -- I am not sure how you would characterize this but indirect costs associated with -- I presume when we talk here about a net contribution overhead, some of the overhead would be overhead that is there because we are in the sports business.
12945 For example, sales people who would sell advertising. There would have to be more sales people because they are selling as for those programs. There would have to be people in accounting who would take care of the billing for that sort of activity. There would be the people who actually go out and undertake to buy the rights for these programs, which wouldn't, I presume, be covered by these direct labour costs.
12946 I am wondering whether you could give us either a precise figure or if not a precise, at least an estimate of what those indirect costs would be for sports so we could get a sense of what sports costs.
12947 MR. BEATTY: Commissioner, I don't know what degree of precision we can give you, particularly where obviously it is a percentage of a person's time but let me go back on it. I will be glad to take it up with my colleagues and see what degree of precision we can provide. I would be very pleased to do that.
12948 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Yes. And again, I didn't expect you to be able to answer that today, and indeed, I didn't expect you yourself would necessarily have that information in your own head. I just wanted to sort of through you to your own people, if we could get an estimate --
12949 MR. BEATTY: Gladly.
12950 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: -- as to what that reasonable estimate of what that currently is, recognizing it may well be parts of people's times and so on.
12951 MR. BEATTY: Yes, we would be pleased to do that.
12952 THE CHAIRPERSON: If I can propose that Michael would get with the legal counsel and in terms of the kind of more precise information we are looking for. Maybe that would be helpful.
12953 Thank you and that would leave the last word thanking you for your kindness.
12954 Mr. Frame, I would not want you to leave thinking I wasn't impressed by you and your panel or by CBC Radio. But as a regulator, I want to tell you and Mr. Beatty that I was very impressed by your Panel's insistence that pressure from the outside, albeit in the form in that case of cutbacks, make them re-examine their priorities, more productive, more effective, more focused and more happy.
12955 Thank you very much for your help and assistance. Thank you.
12956 MR. FRAME: Thank you very much for your patience.
12957 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
12958 We will take a break and be back at five past four.
--- Short recess at / Courte suspension à 1550
--- Upon resuming at / Reprise à 1620
12959 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Rebonjour. Nous poursuivons avec une autre phase de l'audience que madame Bénard va nous présenter -- but I will let her do that and maybe I can give some direction for the rest of the afternoon.
12960 MS BÉNARD: Thank you, Madam Chair. Before we start the intervention stage, I would like to state for the record that we have had a few cancellations. Item 18, British Columbia Film, Item 23, Lois Hole and Item 53, Tapestry Films Ltd. have advised that they will not be appearing any more.
12961 There have also been some changes in the order in which the intervenors will appear and I would invite everyone to consult the daily schedule which is posted at the entrance.
12962 And finally in this phase, the appearing intervenors will have 10 minutes to make their presentation.
12963 The first intervention will be by SOCAN, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada / La Société canadienne des auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs de musique.
12964 Monsieur Valiquette?
12965 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Bonjour. Avant de vous passer la parole, j'aimerais dire que -- we will hear all the intervenors that have been mentioned in terms of today. We will stop at 7:30.
12966 So we will do all the intervenors today. Bienvenue.
12967 M. VALIQUETTE: Madame la Présidente, mesdames et messieurs les Conseillers. Bonjour. Good afternoon.
12968 Mon nom est Gilles Valiquette, je suis auteur, compositeur et président de la Société canadienne des auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs de musique, mieux connue sous le nom de la SOCAN.
12969 Aujourd'hui, je suis en compagnie de madame Alexina Louie qui est membre du Conseil d'administration de la SOCAN et qui est présentement compositeure en résidence de la "Canadian Opera Company".
12970 Je suis également avec le chef du Contentieux de la SOCAN, maître Paul Spurgeon et avec la directrice du bureau de la SOCAN à Montréal, maître France Lafleur.
12971 Avant d'aborder la question des idées de la SOCAN sur la Société Radio-Canada et sur la Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, permettez-moi de vous décrire brièvement le mandat de notre Société.
12972 La SOCAN est une association canadienne sans but lucratif qui représente les compositeurs, les paroliers, les auteurs-compositeurs et les éditeurs d'oeuvres musicales de toutes les régions du Canada et de tous les pays du monde.
12973 Au nom de nos membres canadiens actifs, qui se chiffrent présentement à plus de 20 000, et en celui des membres de nos sociétés affiliées à l'échelle mondiale, nous administrons les droits d'exécution des oeuvres musicales.
12974 Le droit d'exécution est la partie du droit d'auteur qui reconnaît au titulaire de l'oeuvre musicale le privilège exclusif d'exécuter ou de diffuser son oeuvre ou d'autoriser ces actes en contrepartie du paiement d'une redevance. Autrement dit, le droit d'auteur c'est le salaire du créateur.
12975 Et en tant que créateurs de contenu canadien, nous tenons à ce que le Conseil continue de consolider et de faire respecter ses règlements en matière de contenu canadien pour la bonne raison que dans le texte même de la Loi sur la radiodiffusion toutes les entreprises de radiodiffusion sont tenues par le législateur d'accorder la priorité à la promotion du contenu canadien.
12976 Nous appuyons vigoureusement les efforts de la SRC et de la CBC pour se faire les championnes des arts et de la culture au Canada, chacun à sa manière, et pour servir ainsi de modèles aux autres entreprises canadiennes de diffusion radiophonique et télévisuelle.
12977 En tant que radiodiffuseurs public nationaux du Canada, la SRC et la CBC ont, selon nous, un rôle important à jouer pour la promotion et la diffusion des oeuvres musicales canadiennes dans notre société par le biais de la radio et de la télévision.
12978 Pendant le reste de ce plaidoyer, j'aimerais souligner certains des points les plus importants du mémoire préliminaire de 15 pages que nous avons déposé auprès de votre organisme. Vous voudrez peut-être référer au sommaire exécutif de trois pages qui précède le mémoire proprement dit.
12979 Je vous ferai personnellement part des idées de la SOCAN sur la Société Radio-Canada tandis que Alexina Louie vous expliquera notre point de vue face à la Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Une fois notre plaidoyer terminé, Alexina, Paul, France et moi-même serons heureux de répondre à vos questions.
12980 Tout d'abord, en regard à la radio française de la SRC, la SOCAN aimerait souligner les deux points suivants. Premièrement, on nous a laissé entendre que Radio-Canada souhaiterait réduire son engagement de 95 pour cent en faveur de la musique vocale de langue française. A l'heure actuelle, la radio de la SRC s'acquitte de cet engagement en faisant jouer ces chansons françaises du Canada, de la France et d'ailleurs.
12981 La SOCAN s'oppose à une réduction du nombre de chansons canadiennes-françaises mais ne s'opposerait pas à une réduction du nombre de chansons françaises d'origine autre que canadienne-française, c'est-à-dire de chansons d'origine de France, Suisse, Belgique ou autres pays de langue française, si ces dernières étaient remplacées par de la musique canadienne autre que français ou anglaise.
12982 Deuxièmement, la SOCAN s'inquiète de la question qui est soulevée par le Conseil à la page 4 de l'Avis 1999-3 relativement à la non-conformité apparente du réseau français de radio, la Première Chaîne, et du réseau français en stéréo, la Chaîne culturelle, avec les conditions de licence se rapportant aux pourcentages minimums de musique canadienne de la catégorie 2.
12983 La SOCAN soumet que le Conseil devrait déterminer s'il y a eu non-conformité et que s'il s'avère que tel est le cas, il devrait prendre les mesures nécessaires pour faire respecter les règles relatives au contenu canadien.
12984 Maintenant pour ce qui est de la télévision française de la SRC, la SOCAN appuie vigoureusement les efforts de Radio-Canada pour promouvoir l'utilisation d'oeuvres musicales canadiennes dans sa programmation télévisuelle.
12985 L'émission "La Fureur" en est un bon exemple. C'est la preuve qu'une émission de variétés musicales peut attirer un vaste auditoire. C'est là un pas dans la bonne direction mais la SRC devrait, pour remplir son mandat culturel, offrir un plus grand nombre d'émissions destinées à promouvoir les oeuvres de nos auteurs et de nos compositeurs.
12986 On ne peut pas mettre en valeur la musique canadienne et les vedettes canadiennes sans offrir de débouchés aux talents de chez nous à la télévision française et à la télévision anglaise.
12987 Nous proposons donc que la licence de Radio-Canada devrait comporter un engagement en faveur de l'inclusion dans sa grille-horaire d'au moins une émission d'une heure de variétés musicales hebdomadaires où les musiciens et interprètes canadiens performent.
12988 Nous croyons que Radio-Canada peut et devrait, au cours des sept années qui seront couvertes par le renouvellement de sa licence, augmenter cet engagement à trois émissions de variétés musicales hebdomadaires d'une heure.
12989 Juste avant de céder la parole à Alexina Louie, et en référence à la clause 36 de notre mémoire, j'aimerais souligner que les propos de madame Louie concernant le contenu canadien des catégories 2 et 3 s'appliquent aussi bien à la SRC qu'à la CBC.
12990 Madame Louie.
12991 MS LOUIE: Good afternoon, Madam Chair, commissioners, ladies and gentlemen.
12992 As Gilles mentioned, I am a classical music composer and I am currently composer in residence at the Canadian Opera Company. As you may be aware, I have also written a letter to you in which I mentioned that the CBC has been of primary importance in my career.
12993 I would also like to add that in today's global and information economies, the CBC's role as a vehicle for Canadian music and a means for Canadians to access Canadian music is more important than ever. I will deal first with CBC Radio and then I will conclude with a discussion of CBC Television.
12994 SOCAN would like to raise the following four points regarding CBC Radio.
12995 First, we note that on page 4 on your Notice, the Commission raised the issue of the CBC's compliance with the conditions of licence and expectations set out in Decision 93-95, including:
"...the apparent non-compliance of the English-language Radio network (Radio 1)... with conditions of licence related to minimum levels of Canadian music in category 2."
12996 SOCAN submits that the Commission should continue to determine, on an ongoing basis, whether there has been any compliance and, if so, the Commission should take the necessary steps to enforce its Canadian content rules. My colleague, Paul Spurgeon, would be pleased to expand upon this.
12997 Second, as a result of the growing amount of Canadian musical works, we submit that conditions of licence related to minimum levels of Canadian music in category 2 should be changed as follows: the 50 per cent threshold should be increased to 60 per cent immediately; and over the next five years, this threshold should be increased to 70 per cent through equal annual increases of 2 per cent.
12998 Likewise, the conditions of licence related to minimum levels of Canadian music in category 3 should be changed as follows: the 20 per cent threshold should be increased to 30 per cent immediately; and over the next five years, this threshold should be increased to 40 per cent through equal annual increases of 2 per cent.
12999 Third, given that the body of Canadian musical compositions is constantly expanding, SOCAN submits that a 15 per cent minimum weekly level of Canadian composed category 3 music should be a condition of the CBC's licence.
13000 Fourth, I and other Canadian music composers believe that the Commission should encourage the CBC to continue to commission more original musical works and to increase its Canadian music development activities, including live concerts, recordings, partnerships and competitions.
13001 With respect to CBC Television, SOCAN would like to make the following two points.
13002 First, we are concerned that when CBC cancelled the highly successful series, "Rita & Friends", Canadians found themselves without a regular musical variety show. Shania Twain and Bare Naked Ladies were not international stars when they first appeared on that program.
13003 As Gilles mentioned, to develop Canadian music and Canadian starts, there must be regular showcases for Canadian talent on both English and French public television.
13004 Sporadic specials are not enough.
13005 We therefore submit that the CBC's licence should contain a commitment to include at least one weekly one-hour musical variety show to showcase Canadian music, musicians, and performers.
13006 We also believe that given the proven success of these shows, within the next 7-year licence period the CBC can and should increase this commitment to three weekly one-hour musical variety shows.
13007 Second, given that SOCAN's members compose the musical works that are used in many of the CBC's Canadian programs, we strongly support the CBC's commitment to Canadianize its television programming.
13008 To conclude, I would like to say again that SOCAN supports the efforts of the CBC and Radio-Canada to champion Canadian music -- both in their own right, and as benchmarks by which other Canadian radio and television broadcasters should be measured.
13009 We thank the Commission for this opportunity to provide our views in this important hearing and we would now be pleased to respond to your questions.
13010 Merci beaucoup, monsieur Valiquette, madame. Je demanderais à madame la vice-présidente Wylie de vous poser des questions en français.
13011 CONSEILLÈRE WYLIE: Bonjour, monsieur Valiquette, mesdames, monsieur Spurgeon.
13012 We of course understand and are not surprised by the focus of your intervention because it is what you are interested in. However, as you have heard us discuss over the last few days, well, week-and-a-half by now, is all very much a question of equilibrium or balance or the optimal use of resources and of exhibition time given that there is only 24 hours every day. So I would like to focus on some of the areas where you want increases and understand better how you arrive at the suggestions.
13013 Maintenant, je ne sais pas, monsieur Valiquette, si vous avez eu l'occasion d'écouter les présentations qui ont été faites par Radio-Canada et la CBC parce qu'on a augmenté dans certains... on a fait des prévisions ou on a pris des engagements un peu plus élevés dans certains cas qui vous intéressent. Est-ce que vous êtes au courant?
13014 M. VALIQUETTE: Nous étions ici ce matin pour la présentation.
13015 CONSEILLÈRE WYLIE: Non, mais pas avant.
13016 M. VALIQUETTE: Oui.
13017 CONSEILLÈRE WYLIE: Alors, je vais peut-être en discuter avec vous. Mais d'abord, je voudrais, monsieur Valiquette, discutez avec vous de cette idée ou de cette requête de Radio-Canada de baisser de 95 pour cent à 85 pour cent le contenu français dans la musique vocale.
13018 Le but ou la raison pour justifier ce changement ou cette modification serait de pouvoir y insérer de la musique vocale canadienne mais de langue autre que l'Anglais et le Français. L'engagement qu'ils sont prêts à prendre c'est que peut-être ce 10 pour cent de moins ne soit pas utilisé pour de la musique de langue anglaise. Maintenant, je comprends que vous vous voudriez aller plus loin et vous assurer que ce soit de la musique canadienne?
13019 M. VALIQUETTE: Si vous me permettez, madame Wylie, premièrement, j'aimerais mentionner que personnellement et plusieurs de mes confrères sommes très reconnaissants face à Radio-Canada. Je vous dirais sincèrement que je crois que si ce n'était pas de la participation de Radio-Canada dans ma carrière personnelle, je ne serais probablement pas ici aujourd'hui. Les créateurs ont toujours trouvé à Radio-Canada un respect que nous avons eu de la difficulté à trouver ailleurs.
13020 Maintenant, pour répondre plus directement à votre question, nous comprenons que dans le pourcentage de ce qui est joué au niveau francophone, ce que nous disons c'est que nous favorisons essentiellement la musique canadienne. Nous voulons garder la composante canadienne-française qui dans la réalité des choses, dans le pourcentage total, mérite d'être conservée.
13021 Ceci dit, nous sommes ouverts à l'idée de baisser le pourcentage à 85 pour cent si l'autre 10 pour cent est essentiellement de la musique canadienne autre que la musique anglaise. Radio-Canada fait jouer des oeuvres françaises à travers le monde, puis on va retrouver dans cette programmation-là des chansons qui nous viennent de la France, de la Suisse, de Belgique et d'ailleurs. Alors, c'est surtout à ce chapitre-là que nous serions prêts à accepter une variation sur le thème, si vous voulez.
13022 Alors essentiellement, ce que nous voulons garder c'est la composante canadienne et la composante canadienne-française qui est inclue là-dedans.
13023 CONSEILLÈRE WYLIE: Ça serait assorti aussi, selon vous, si nous retenions vos propos, d'une augmentation de 10 pour cent du contenu canadien en même temps. Alors, la musique de catégorie 2 irait de 50 à 60 pour cent, et en plus, on devrait jouer plus de pièces canadiennes de la catégorie 2.
13024 Si on jouait, disons, le maximum de 10 pour cent de pièces canadiennes de langue autre que le Français et qui feraient peut-être disparaître toute musique vocale provenant de la France, de la Belgique, parce que le résultat serait d'augmenter encore plus que jusqu'à 60 pour cent les pièces de catégorie 2 vocales qui devraient être jouées pour rencontrer ces exigences. Est-ce que je comprends bien?
13025 Est-ce que je comprends bien? Votre proposition ce serait qu'il ne faudrait pas diminuer le nombre de pièces musicales vocales...
13026 M. VALIQUETTE: Canadiennes-françaises.
13027 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Canadiennes-françaises, donc en perdant ce dix pour cent-là à d'autres langues canadiennes, il y aurait une augmentation assez sérieuse des pièces canadiennes-françaises si on assortit ça avec votre désir d'augmenter de 50 à 60 pour cent le contenu canadien.
13028 M. VALIQUETTE: Oui.
13029 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Il y aurait un effet indirect.
13030 MADAME LAFLEUR: Si je peux me permettre?
13031 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Allez-y.
13032 MADAME LAFLEUR: Le 50 pour cent est un minimum, ce n'est pas un maximum, c'est un minimum qui est imposé par le CRTC. Radio-Canada, dans sa proposition ce matin, s'engage à utiliser au plus un cinq pour cent de pièces vocales anglophones qui peuvent être très bien canadiennes donc on peut se retrouver à 45 pour cent de contenu, si on veut, canadien-français. Ce que les compositeurs québécois et canadiens-français hors Québec ne veulent pas c'est qu'ils sont ouverts à ce que les multi-ethnies participent et soient jouées de façon plus importante à la radio de Radio-Canada mais pas au détriment de ce qui leur est accordé présentement. Alors quand on parle d'un contenu qui est de 95 pour cent de contenu francophone, ce n'est pas nécessairement un contenu québécois ou francophone hors Québec.
13033 Donc on veut seulement s'assurer que le minimum qui est déjà alloué au contenu vocal canadien soit conservé.
13034 CONSEILLÈRE WYLIE: Comme vous le savez, la Première Chaîne est une chaîne plutôt de contenu oral et il y a peu de musique comparativement, disons, à la Chaîne culturelle ou à la Chaîne commerciale. Vous ne pensez pas que ça serait assez difficile vu le peu de temps alloué à la musique de la catégorie 2 de rencontrer ces exigences et quand même d'apporter une diversité à l'auditoire parce qu'à la Première chaîne il n'y a que peu d'heures. Je ne me souviens plus exactement. Du côté anglophone j'ai noté, je crois, que c'est six heures de musique et c'est surtout le soir parce que c'est surtout une chaîne à contenu oral.
13035 Vous ne pensez pas qu'il y aurait difficulté à ce moment-là d'offrir une diversité de musique si on augmentait à 60 pour cent et qu'on leur permettait -- et vous semblez être d'accord avec cette réduction à 85 pour cent mais sans réduire le contenu vocal canadien, de provenance canadienne de langue française.
13036 MADAME LAFLEUR: Nous ne croyons pas qu'il n'y aurait pas de diversité offerte -- qu'il n'y aurait pas de place à plus de diversité en ne réduisant pas le contenu canadien-français des oeuvres parce que finalement les auteurs-compositeurs, comme Gilles le mentionnait, ont trouvé une règle très attentive auprès de la CRC et c'est surtout sur les ondes de la CRC que leurs oeuvres, dans le cas des chansonniers, des chansons sont jouées, et ces oeuvres ne sont pas entendues sur les télévisions, les radios commerciales. Donc les auteurs-compositeurs ne pensent pas qu'en réduisant finalement leurs oeuvres... Enfin, on a l'impression, finalement, que l'on pourrait offrir de la place à "Panorama"(ph), à "Cache-Trou" très bien, tout en préservant leur présence sur les ondes.
13037 M. VALIQUETTE: Si vous me le permettez, l'autre dimension que j'aimerais ajouter à ça c'est que pour nous où Radio-Canada a été, je dirais, essentielle dans le cheminement des créateurs chez nous, c'est qu'on s'est souvent, pour ne pas dire toujours, servis de Radio-Canada comme modèle. Moi j'aimerais souligner le fait que dans votre révision -- qui pour nous la conclusion de ça va être très importante -- ça serait important de garder cette réalité. C'est une réalité qui est précieuse parce que c'est où la barre va se situer. Tous les autres diffuseurs seront mesurés à cette barre-là puis c'est important à notre avis d'offrir à la Société canadienne le miroir maximum de ce qu'elle est parce qu'essentiellement c'est le travail de l'artiste.
13038 CONSEILLÈRE WYLIE: Au niveau de la télévision de langue française, est-ce que vous êtes au courant que la SRC s'est engagée à 18 "Beaux Dimanches"? Vous semblez inquiet du niveau des émissions de variétés musicales et vous suggérez qu'il y en ait dès maintenant de façon régulière, c'est-à-dire chaque semaine. Vous êtes au courant sans doute des coûts ou des difficultés de la gérance de telles productions ou du montage requis. Est-ce que vous pensez que ça serait possible de tourner ce bateau-là aussi rapidement pour arriver au barème que vous suggérez dès maintenant?
13039 M. VALIQUETTE: Bien, encore quand je vous ai dit que j'étais reconnaissant il y a quelques instants, moi je suis arrivé au moment où on avait à Radio-Canada plusieurs émissions de variétés mais je dirais des émissions de variétés qualifiées dans ce sens que -- et puis je l'ai mentionné dans ma présentation -- nous pouvions "performer" et surtout c'est que nos créations étaient amenées, je dirais, de façon intègre et ça pour un créateur c'est important, c'est essentiel.
13040 C'est sûr qu'il y a des considérations d'argent mais au-delà de ça il y a une considération de respect aussi. Alors présentement on se retrouve dans une situation où c'est sûr que la musique est importante. On va parler beaucoup de musique mais les lieux ou les endroits où les émissions, où les artistes "performent" sont de plus en plus rares. Il n'en reste quasiment plus.
13041 Je fais un parallèle avec le domaine du sport, par exemple. On a beaucoup d'émissions qui parlent de sports mais jamais ça n'enlève le fait que tous les samedis soirs -- et même plus souvent certaines semaines -- on a nos sportifs, nos "hockeyeurs" qui performent. Alors ce qu'on voudrait faire nous c'est rétablir cette balance-là. Évidemment, on ne s'attend pas, pour être réalistes -- parce que ce que vous avez dit est très important et nous sympathisons avec les problèmes de Radio-Canada et c'est vrai que ça coûte cher -- on ne s'attend pas à avoir des émissions tous les soirs de la semaine mais au moins si on en avait une je crois qu'on serait sur la bonne voie et travailler dans le sens d'en avoir plus.
13042 Je pense que c'est important de présenter aux Canadiens leurs artistes puis certainement la télévision est un déclencheur pour des carrières et l'impact que ça peut avoir je ne peux pas le calculer. Encore aujourd'hui je me promène, je parle à des Canadiens qui se souviennent d'émissions que j'ai faites à Radio-Canada il y a plusieurs années. J'en suis surpris à toutes les fois mais tout ça pour dire que ces émissions-là que nous faisons ensemble ont leur propre vie et quelque part c'était apprécié ça.
13043 Alors nous ce qu'on veut c'est commencer à travailler dans ce sens-là et on croit sincèrement qu'une émission par semaine c'est faisable et que ça n'est pas exagéré.
13044 CONSEILLÈRE WYLIE: Nous avons commencé avec douze du côté francophone. Dans la demande de Radio-Canada nous en avons maintenant 18 -- c'est bien ça, Madame Pennefather -- et 24 du côté anglophone. Donc il y a toujours des possibilités, évidement.
13045 M. VALIQUETTE: Si vous me le permettez, nous apprécions beaucoup les 18 émissions. Nous aimerions, par exemple, que ce soit spécifié clairement quel va être le nombre de ces 18 émissions-là qui seront des émissions...
13046 LA PRÉSIDENTE: De variétés.
13047 M. VALIQUETTE: Bien oui, musicales où la musique est en vedette plutôt que d'être une partie.
13048 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Parce que ça pourrait être d'autres arts.
13049 M. VALIQUETTE: Bien voilà. On a des "talk shows", on a toutes sortes de trucs, je pense que c'est bien qu'on en ait mais ça prend aussi...
13050 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Ça sera la revendication d'autres intervenants.
--- Rires / Laughter
13051 Maintenant, à quoi attribuez-vous, à quoi est-ce que la SOCAN attribue cette absence? Est-ce que vous l'attribuez seulement à l'engagement des radiodiffuseurs cette absence de programmes qu'il y avait autrefois, ou qu'il y ait besoin maintenant d'une relance ou d'une relève de ce système de vedettes? Est-ce que c'est, à votre avis, le seul critère ou la seule raison pour une réduction?
13052 M. VALIQUETTE: Non, je ne crois pas que c'est conscient à ce point-là. Je n'ai pas eu l'occasion d'en discuter avec mes confrères mais si je peux me permettre une opinion personnelle pour l'avoir vécue -- je pense que pendant longtemps on a cru que le domaine des variétés ça allait bien, qu'on avait peut-être pas besoin de s'en préoccuper autant que dans d'autres domaines alors on a laissé aller et je dirais qu'il y a des choses parallèles qui se sont passées.
13053 Par exemple, quand on regarde l'emphase de certains programmes de supports financiers, souvent les variétés sont mises de côté ou pas incluses. Alors à un moment donné, de fil en aiguille, une année ça tombe de six, à cinq, à quatre et là on est obligés -- on se réveille aujourd'hui avec la réalité que là peut-être il faudrait juste remettre le truc à l'endroit. Moi je ne crois sincèrement pas qu'on a des gens qui se lèvent le matin et qui disent, "On va mettre moins d'émissions musicales". Mais je pense que quelque part sans le savoir on est tombés un petit peu de côté et je pense qu'il faut juste prendre conscience de ce qui se passe...
13054 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Reprendre des plumes de ce côté-là et peut-être pas aussi lentement que les télédiffuseurs le voudraient mais pas aussi rapidement que la SOCAN le désire.
13055 Madame Louie, on English radio we have discussed with Radio Two the question of category 3 music and their apparent difficulty to even log or manage to find an average of five per cent, during the week, of Canadian composers and the suggestion that perhaps if we measured it monthly it would be easier to reach five per cent or slightly more and you suggest a 15 per cent weekly requirement.
13056 What are your assurances or indices that CBC and Radio-Canada are wrong when they say that it is difficult to get sufficient Canadian-composed music to reach even the level, the weekly level, that is required of them at the moment?
13057 MS LOUIE: With regard to that I brought a few catalogues that might be of interest and that I can leave with you, if you would like.
13058 THE CHAIRPERSON: Or maybe to the CBC. Maybe they need some help.
13059 MS LOUIE: The first one with that regard is the Canadian Music Centres Distribution Service and the Canadian Music Centre exists to promote and disseminate the music of Canadian composers. In its library right now, as of 1997, there were 14,000 scores, individual scores on the shelf and in this 1997 catalogue there are 10 pages of fully composed Canadian compositions for everything from accordion to full orchestra to string quartets.
13060 And with each passing year, this particular distribution service, for the last two years has increased that distribution of Canadian content by 60 new CD's each year and that is just the Canadian Music Centre.
13061 I have also brought for you the CBC's own catalogues of CBC produced compact discs, which include --
13062 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Canadian composed though isn't --
13063 MS LOUIE: -- approximately 25 per cent Canadian composed and there are about 300 CD's in that catalogue. In increasing yearly. In fact, I was told that the CBC records themselves increases a whole CD devoted to a single composer's work. Five of those are being released each year. So that is the CBC's own catalogue.
13064 I also have Marquee Classics(ph). I just went and collected a few. Marquee Classics also has a number of fully composed Canadian CD's and in several of their other CD's there are 10 to 30 per cent Canadian content -- Canadian written compositions.
13065 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: And that would go to support your comment that with the expanding availability of Canadian composed music, they should certainly reach 5 per cent weekly and in your view they could reach 15 per cent weekly?
13066 MS LOUIE: That is the way that we feel. The other situation, of course, is the picking up of live concerts on which our music appears. So it is not just compact discs that are available, but also there is nothing wrong with replaying our music, much the same as we hear Beethoven's Fifth oh so many times on the airwaves.
13067 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: With the live concerts, you mean a live concert, for example in Ottawa or Toronto or Montreal where there is a portion that may have been composed by the resident composer or a Canadian --
13068 MS LOUIE: Or whomever, yes.
13069 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- composer and that may or may not be available on CD, it may just be inside that presentation --
13070 MS LOUIE: Exactly.
13071 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- which has been taken at broadcast time.
13072 MS LOUIE: And if it is good hopefully it will be put on CD.
13073 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes. There is some discussion by the CBC and by Radio-Canada, so monsieur Valiquette soyez confortable si vous voulez aussi vous adresser à cette question which is over and above the special programs, of course, the CBC tells us they also do documentaries, they do arts reports, they have capacity inside other informational programs to expand the knowledge and attention to artists and musicians and performers.
13074 Do you think that that is an important component even, from the point of view of the SOCAN or are you only interested in actual performance? I know that is how the rights accrue, but do you think that is an important component of CBC Radio and CBC Television, as well. But on Radio it is fairly obvious when you are a CBC or Radio-Canada, certainly CBC listener.
13075 MS LOUIE: Are you referring to the contests, the various contests that are available?
13076 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: No, I am referring to information programming or before the
13077 MS LOUIE: The arts news, for instance?
13078 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- promoting the concerts or arts or speaking about Canadian musicians?
13079 MS LOUIE: Absolutely, of greatest importance. The more that our names are brought before the public, the more our music can be accepted and loved as part of the Canadian culture. If nobody knows that it exists, how are they to know how good the music really is.
13080 I can speak from my own experience that I have been interviewed numerous times on the CBC for various different kinds of programs. You spoke highly of Gzowski, for instance. Peter Gzowski has interviewed me three or four times that I even had a half hour television show with Peter Gzowski at one point. All of this goes to create for you a career and that career is built on many different plateaus and it takes a lifetime to generate the interest in your being and your music. And the CBC has accomplished that for me.
13081 I was just saying to Paul some very interesting anecdotes. I was on tour with an orchestra to Calgary last summer and somebody in the concert rushed up to me and said, "I love the fact that I have this opportunity to speak with you and I have to tell you that if I had a choice of a Desert Island disc, I would take your music". And that's not because my music is heard in a little concert hall that holds 200 people, but it is because the music and my comments about my music, my craft, my art and my desire is broadcast across the CBC and they know me.
13082 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: So although your recommendations are quantifying how much category 3, how much category 2 --
13083 MS LOUIE: Yes.
13084 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- how many specials, you are -- also you value, as well this part of -- which is apparent in your written intervention, this part of the CBC's role in giving greater exposure, perhaps not in performance, but which is an important aspect.
13085 We are delighted, Ms Louie -- yes?
13086 MR. SPURGEON: A couple of things.
13087 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: And I think I did not say your name properly.
13088 MR. SPURGEON: That's fine. It is "Spurgeon" as opposed to a "poisson".
13089 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes.
13090 MR. SPURGEON: Just a couple of points further to the question about the way that music is counted, I think that is important.
13091 We read the position of the CBC regarding Radio-Canada and the suggested change to "Chaque Moi" instead of each week. I think it is an important thing to consider.
13092 We have a couple of concerns with that, that change. You have heard the word "ghettoization" of music and I am not suggesting that the CBC would do that. In other words, ghettoize the music at a certain time so that they can count it up and qualify, you know, on Tuesday night between whatever, 12:00 and 6:00.
13093 But the potential would exist if it is counted in a way other than as it is currently counted, which is a two-part test, being broadcast each week must be by a Canadian and then reasonably done throughout -- in a reasonable manner throughout the broadcast day.
13094 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: So that you don't have suddenly a long program where we only hear Ms Louie's works?
13095 MS LOUIE: At 4:00 in the morning, for instance.
13096 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: No, no, that has to be before midnight.
13097 MR. SPURGEON: Obviously if something happens like Frank Sinatra dies and there is a change, that's fine. But we are not talking about that.
13098 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Poor Frank Sinatra, he never knew how popular he would be.
13099 MR. SPURGEON: That's right.
13100 But that is a concern. And as I say, the potential exists. We are not suggesting the CBC would do that, some broadcasters would.
13101 The fact that it would create a precedent for broadcasters, in other words by doing that in the CBC, the CBC would create I think, an opportunity for broadcasters to say, "Well, no, we should have" --
13102 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: But you know that we have mechanisms in place now to address that apparent difficulty.
13103 MR. SPURGEON: I think that is important.
13104 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: We are not about to change it tomorrow.
13105 This is exactly what counting from 6:00 to 6:00 and over the week, but I understand what your point is.
13106 MR. SPURGEON: And I think that is why it is important and the CBC suggestion we applaud them where they state that they would be prepared to do -- and you will recall this document, the music utilization report. I think that is excellent. The idea that there would be transparency in their operations in that detail would create confidence in the system and would allow us, obviously, to monitor on a regular basis every three months or whatever what they are doing to ensure that they are complying with the regulations.
13107 I think that is excellent and if they could do that, certainly it would be a benefit to all of us.
13108 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Well, we certainly thank you for appearing before us, monsieur Valiquette, madame Lafleur, monsieur Spurgeon and madame Louie to share some time with us and perhaps you can share your information with the CBC and the SRC if you can be helpful.
13109 And we do take into consideration your suggestions and again, you have to recall that we are here to try to find a reasonable equilibrium. It is always welcome to hear the interest of each group. We can half guess what they are going to say or write, but it is always of value to have a chance to discuss them with you.
13110 Thank you very much.
13111 M. VALIQUETTE: Merci beaucoup, madame la commissaire. J'aimerais, au nom de mes confrères auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs, vous dire comment nous apprécions d'avoir la chance de venir vous parler directement. Nous sympathisons beaucoup avec votre travail. Ce n'est pas simple, ni facile, mais on est tous dans le même bâteau. Merci bien.
13112 CONSEILLÈRE WYLIE: Priez pour nous.
13113 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Merci infiniment. Thank you.
13114 MS BÊNARD: Thank you, Madame Chair.
13115 The next presentation will be by CIRPA, the Canadian Independent Record Production Association, Mr. Chater.
--- Short pause / Courte pause
13116 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.
13117 MR. CHATER: Good afternoon.
13118 Good afternoon, Madame Chair and Commissioners.
13119 CIRPA, the Canadian Independent Record Production Association appreciates the opportunity the Commission has extended to appear at the hearings to discuss some issues that CIRPA's members wish to address with regard to the operation of CBC Radio and Television.
13120 CIRPA has addressed a selection of issues in their written brief and we would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of these.
13121 CIRPA's members feel that a strong and well run Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is of critical importance to Canada's future cultural well-being, particularly in light of the rapidly advancing technologies and the change in international realities that are currently occurring.
13122 CIRPA does not subscribe to views recently expressed in the press and certain private sector interests about the funding and operations of the corporation. These comments, in CIRPA's view represent a lack of understanding of the realities of today's world.
13123 By contrast we subscribe to the view expressed by Harriet Riguli(ph) in the recent Globe & Mail article that few Canadians begrudge the tax dollars that go into the CBC. A view with which both CIRPA and its members agree.
13124 This being said, there is also always room for improvement and the suggestions that follow are those which CIRPA feels would be of benefit to all interested parties.
13125 Specifically we will briefly comment upon the following:
13126 One, in radio the issue of Canadian content, the issue of children's programming, the issue surrounding CBC records and the support for original programming in various music genres on Radio Two.
13127 In television, the lack of music and variety programming, particularly given the success of Canadian artists and musicians, not just in Canada but around the world.
13128 And three, in new media, CIRPA supports the position and objectives of the corporation to expand its activities and become involved in future technologies in a positive and constructive manner.
13129 First the radio issues. As CIRPA stated at the hearings on private radio, the amount of Canadian content product for a wide range of music genres continues to grow and the success of Canadian artists and creators in Canada and around the world continues to increase.
13130 Therefore, it would seem an appropriate moment for the Commission to consider the CIRPA proposal to raise the level of Canadian content of category 2 music on radio to 60 per cent and category 3 music to 30 per cent effective as of the decision that is planned for December.
13131 Also, CIRPA would suggest that there should be additional increments of 2 per cent per annum in both categories over five years to reach a level of 70 per cent in category 2 music and 40 per cent in category 3 music by the year 2005.
13132 Due to the structure and programming of Radio One, and to a less extent Radio Two, with their considerable emphasis on the spoken word compared to the high level of music found on most private radio stations, this would mean adding only a few more Canadian selections to the play list to reach these Canadian content levels.
13133 This would, in CIRPA's view be easily attainable given the amount of Canadian produced product currently being released, plus the large catalogue of material that has been built up over the last three decades in a wide variety of musical genres.
13134 As we stated in our written brief, CIRPA has some particular concerns with regard to both CBC Records and the issue of children's programming. We feel the brief gives a clear picture of our concerns, but should the Commission have questions, we will be happy to respond.
13135 Second, television issues. CIRPA would once again reiterate its concerns expressed in our written brief regarding the dearth of almost any music or variety programming in time slots that have major audience potential. The points raised in our written brief speak for themselves. The reality is that there is no regular music or variety show in the schedule.
13136 CIRPA continues to be surprised and concerned with this situation, particularly when given the comparisons provided in the CBC's field research material which appear to indicate that music and dance programming are more successful in 1998 than in 1991. In 1991, scheduling of this programming was at 3.6 per cent of the total programming and viewership at 2 per cent of the total, while in 1998, scheduling had dropped to .4 per cent of the programming in total, while viewership had only dropped minimally to 1.8 per cent of the viewing total.
13137 Third, new media issues. As we stated in our written brief, CIRPA spent many years building up and refining an extremely detailed and complete data base of Canadian content recordings that is searched from many different fields.
13138 Given the corporation's push towards new media, it would seem appropriate to discuss areas of potential corporation and services that could be provided by CIRPA to help in the development of a major promotional and sales tool for Canadian recordings as a supplier of information to government, industry and the Canadian public.
13139 We thank you for your time and attention. We would be happy to answer any questions that the Commission may have at this time.
13140 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. I would ask Commissioner Grauer to address you with the questions of the Commission.
13141 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you. Welcome.
13142 MR. CHATER: Thank you.
13143 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: What I would like to do is -- I will just go through some of the areas that I think were in your written brief.
13144 MR. CHATER: Okay.
13145 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Then you can expand as you wish.
13146 At first I have a question with respect to the corporate mandate and the structure in the strategic plan and your support for the CBC's new media initiatives which you commented on and supported.
13147 We have had a number of discussions over the past ten days about priorities and choices and how the corporation might move forward and what I wonder if you just expand a bit on your support, why you support it, particularly given the range of choices that the corporation has facing them.
13148 MR. CHATER: Sure. I think that equally this could apply to private radio, as well and this is, as you heard Perrin Beatty say earlier when discussing this very issue, the reality of today's technology is that they are rapidly becoming inter-mediated rather than dis-intermediated. And you are finding that in many cases that you would be doing things as a broadcaster which would have tines that weren't there even a year ago.
13149 For example, let's take a private broadcaster, CHUM, who are on the net as CHUM AM and FM. Also, are looking at ways of expanding through digital radio their whole system and what they do and what they can do with their radio station. This could equally well apply and probably won't have to apply to the CBC or any other public broadcaster that the -- in other words, I think Mr. Frame was saying one thing that didn't do well was visual stuff, but they probably can in the future. I guess he was being a facetious but he is very right.
13150 The reality is that you will have the opportunity to utilize what was before strictly a medium in -- this was audio, this is visual, never the twain shall meet. They will meet and become more and more interrelated. I mean, this is, I think, the reality and the reality is as you get a technology savvy population, they will expect that to happen. They will say, "Okay". Whereas I, being old and decrepid would say, "Geez, just radio". Other people would say, "Well, that's nice. Now what can you do for me?" I want, I think somebody said executive summary and I would agree with that. I mean it is generally radio or any broadcast medium.
13151 You, by definition, can't give the whole picture. You can give it, as I am sure you do and we do, we get stacks and stacks of information for a hearing like this, some of which you use and some of which you don't. But it is all available and probably valuable to someone, but generally I don't know what you do, but we just stick it away in a drawer and that's it.
13152 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I was thinking also in terms of the choices. You expressed a desire to see the CBC be doing more in some areas which takes money.
13153 MR. CHATER: Yes.
13154 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: And so I guess it is a matter of what we grapple with as we come forward with this is talking to them about how they make the choices they do with respect to where they put their resources. So it is --
13155 MR. CHATER: Yes, I know what you are saying. Let me go back to it, maybe I missed something, but let me think. I don't think playing more Cancon doesn't cost any money, that's free. I mean, you are playing more or less it is the same price.
13156 Again, even with doing TV variety shows or music shows, well, obviously that spot would replace another spot which one would assume would be a whatever, public affairs, documentary, nature, whatever. There would be obviously a cost to that, a cost involved with that. So one would assume that there wouldn't be that much difference in between the cost of the two programs, therefore it wouldn't be, I don't think what we are suggesting there will be that much difference in cost.
13157 I mean, I think I know where you were getting at earlier with regard to is this in fact new media, is it more cost, could the money be saved and spent somewhere else or is it in fact money -- there is X money and it would be spent anyway.
13158 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Yes, and I wasn't really trying to get anything specifically, it is really just getting a sense from you about what you and your members, if you had to make a choice, where would you go, that's all. It was not really --
13159 MR. CHATER: Okay. Give the CBC more money, how's that.
13160 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Unfortunately we don't have a cheque book.
13161 But I know you talked about your desire to see them be doing more variety programming. Have you spoken to them at all about this with respect to the cost of this kind of programming as opposed to some of the other kinds of programming that you were talking about?
13162 MR. CHATER: Yes. As I think I mentioned in the main brief, this came up at a particular seminar at Canadian Music Week and it was sort of a bit of a -- how shall put it, inconsequential discussion. It didn't really get to the point.
13163 The indications were at that point, from people that were there, there wasn't that much difference in certain programming costs between A, B and C, it was a question of which they thought would deliver the best audience and which would do best as opposed to, you know, which they felt there weren't substantive cost differences between them.
13164 Obviously in some, if you were travelling around the world four times obviously there would be -- to do an Anne Murray or Rita MacNeil show, whatever, in one spot, there wouldn't be that much cost.
13165 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: So your understanding is the cost is the same and I'm wondering if the same funds are available through the Canadian Television Fund.
13166 MR CHATER: As we understand, yes.
13167 To be honest, I'm not an expert on the Canadian Television Fund, but we understand that programming is programming is programming, you can apply for whatever programming you like within the bounds of the law and libel suits, and there is no reason that you couldn't put 10 music programs on. If someone desired they could apply for 10, whatever they were, variety programs, music programs, whatever.
13168 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Now, are you aware that the CBC has committed to doing 24 performance presentations a year? They haven't committed to music, but they have certainly committed to performances on television?
13169 MR. CHATER: Well, performance. It obviously could be dance, could be whatever.
13170 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Could be anything.
13171 MR. CHATER: It could be anything. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
13172 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: No, no. I know.
13173 MR. CHATER: Let me say, we do have a certain self-interest in music.
13174 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Of course you do, but I just wasn't aware if you knew that they had made that commitment.
13175 MR. CHATER: Yes. Again, unfortunately it was not that clear as to what -- there is nothing wrong with any of it. I have nothing against any of the other stuff, they are all friends of ours, however I am here to defend our interests.
13176 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Absolutely.
13177 Also on that same subject, I know in your written presentation you talk about that the CBC has a duty to provide certain kinds of programming, and you include music in that.
13178 MR. CHATER: Yes.
13179 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I wonder if you could just sort of expand for me a bit about what other kinds of programs you think the corporation has a duty to provide?
13180 MR. CHATER: Good public affairs, good news. Well, I think it was pointed out during the course of today, Alex Frame I think was right that in my view -- again, this is a point they were discussing with the Gzowski show, that this is a very valuable -- things like this are very valuable.
13181 For example, a couple of weeks ago I was in Whitehorse. Well, if you have been there you know it's not very large and it is a long way from anywhere, yet they have a CBC Radio -- and I'm a star having been on the show there -- but seriously, it is very doubtful if you would hear a Nova Scotia -- a few weeks ago I was in Sydney, the opposite end of the country, it is very doubtful if you would hear a local artist played on a local radio station. Obviously it is impossible to hear it in Whitehorse. On the CBC you could do that.
13182 To me the duty of the CBC -- it is in the Broadcasting Act -- is to provide to Canadians a window on the world backwards and forwards, and music is obviously -- well, not obviously but we think is one of the key means to communicate in today's world.
13183 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: So really a balance of these various --
13184 MR. CHATER: Yes. I mean, we are not saying music is the only duty, there is a duty to do good news, good public affairs, good everything.
13185 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: In the area of children's programming, and in particular radio, I don't know if you heard the CBC this morning talking about how people listen to radio and the difficulty they have with programming to a lot of different demographics. I know that you have suggested that there should be more children's programming, in particular in both television and radio, but I just wonder if you could comment on that discussion we had.
13186 MR. CHATER: Yes. The answer to that question is, yes, it is difficult because you are dealing with a wide range of demographics. But in general, if you look at the way children's programming is programmed on other networks ,or on other television networks, it is usually often in block programming, it is at a certain time, maybe Saturday morning for example of whatever, or late afternoon you will find children's programming quite often.
13187 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: On television.
13188 MR. CHATER: On television, yes.
13189 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I was thinking of radio and then I do want to talk about television.
13190 MR. CHATER: Even the same. Well, obviously you wouldn't do it late afternoon on radio because late afternoon is a prime drive time, but it would be something -- if I were programming, which I don't, but I will offer my free advice not knowing much about it, but I would say you could look at places you could do that and say, "Okay, we are going to do that." Whether that will be a well-known fact, for example, or an advertised fact, "This will be available in a two-hour time block on Saturday morning" or whatever, and establish that reality of it, like the current CBC programming you know what is coming on at mid-day on Saturday.
13191 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Yes.
13192 MR. CHATER: You could slot it in there some -- or it doesn't have to be then but just a spot that will be a good time for kids.
13193 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: So you are of the view that that could have some success?
13194 MR. CHATER: Yes. I mean, CBC to me is different programs different from a private station. A private station, you listen to a private station you are listening to whatever, speech, country, rock, but you know when you put the station on that is what you are going to get, and if you don't get it, you're gone.
13195 But CBC to me is much more block programming, they are programming in time blocks. Specific things like "As It Happens" is on every night. You know it is on every night. It is always there. The news is right -- the news is there and right behind it is "As It Happens". Well, you know that is coming every night, or not every night, five nights a week.
13196 But the reality is, that to me is block programming, which the CBC has -- not any different mandate but a different way of programming than does private radio.
13197 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Have you had any discussions with them about this -- with CBC?
13198 MR. CHATER: Not recently. But I am going to have lunch with Perrin Beatty next week, how is that.
13199 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Pardon me?
13200 MR. CHATER: I'm going to have lunch with Perrin Beatty next week, how is that.
13201 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Good. That's excellent. So you can raise all these questions directly with him as well.
13202 MR. CHATER: Yes, exactly. That was the reason for it.
13203 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: In television you also talk about the need for:
"... the pressing concern that CBC open the door for Canadian children's TV that is non-animated and music-based." (As read)
13204 MR. CHATER: Yes.
13205 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: That there is:
"... an ongoing place for this type of gentle music-based child-focused television." (As read)
13206 What I wanted to know is, are you -- we have a lot of animated programming on and you are suggesting non-animated and I'm wondering why, if you have any particular --
13207 MR. CHATER: Because I can't draw. No, seriously.
13208 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Or is it -- I fully understand that it's the music --
13209 MR. CHATER: Just in case you don't know, we have a division called "Serve Us Kids" which is --
13210 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Yes, I do.
13211 MR. CHARTER: -- obviously it's to serve the kid's groups who are the Sharon, Lewis and Brahm of the world, and the people you all know.
13212 There is, it seems, a proven ability over the years that these people can entertain and who will be looked at. Obviously, as we all know, there is a problem with kids -- not a problem with kids, a problem with kids growing up fast and all of a sudden wanting to hear the Spice Girls, but they didn't before. The window is much smaller, but it is still there. I mean, it is still definitely there. It may have been in the old days eight or nine years, now it is probably five or six.
13213 But it is still there and it would seem that this is a particularly strong Canadian entity, if you like, a success story over the years of children's entertainers, performers, what have you, who are live. I mean, it doesn't happen in Britain, it doesn't happen much in the States. As you say, there is a lot of animated stuff but not nearly so much live. Our members feel it is the relationship, the live relationship between -- as opposed to animated.
13214 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: To show my ignorance here, with respect to animated children's programming is there much Canadian music that is attached to or is an integral part of much of the Canadian animated programming? Because I know certainly I think Canada is now the number one exporter of children's programs.
13215 MR. CHATER: In some cases yes, in some cases no. It depends on the producer. It depends who the producer -- whether in fact they contract for particular composers who may or may not be Canadian obviously.
13216 For example, I know there is a thing that CBC are going to be putting on an Anne Murray special "Hippo in my Tub". In fact, I know the music is being written in Nashville for that.
13217 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Generally is this an area that is of concern to you, or is it a growth area for you and your members?
13218 MR. CHATER: Yes. We are concerned --
13219 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I'm trying to get a sense of, the whole area of animated children's programming is very big, and it is very big in Canada --
13220 MR. CHATER: Yes, absolutely. Yes.
13221 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: -- and have you been able to engage in that and participate in that and grow with that?
13222 MR. CHATER: Our members are involved with it. Of course, by definition, it is somewhat different. Obviously you are doing animated programming to which there is music attached, there are the two entities, whereas it is not a live person doing whatever, or a live group doing it, or a Sharon, Lewis and Brahm show where they are doing a show which they are doing live.
13223 Obviously one would hope there will be as much Canadian music as possible in those shows and members will be pushing to get in the animated stuff and it's good for them.
13224 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: What is the difference to your members, other than not appearing on a show --
13225 MR. CHATER: Money.
13226 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: -- I mean, if it's the music?
13227 MR. CHATER: No, no.
13228 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: No, I really do want to know this. They are paid less if it is for animated programming?
13229 MR. CHATER: Well, I mean, unless it is them specifically where they would say, "Okay" -- let's take Sharon, Lewis and Brahm for example.
13230 If they were in animated form, well obviously it would just be a version of them. They would be paid to use the name as part of the negotiated package to use it --
13231 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I see.
13232 MR. CHATER: -- but if it were -- I don't know, whatever. If it's just the music they get paid "X" dollars to do the music. That would be it.
13233 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: So it is really a matter of supporting well-known high-profile Canadian musical performers --
13234 MR. CHATER: Yes.
13235 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: -- as opposed to less well-known but still Canadian, other composers or musical performers.
13236 MR. CHATER: Yes. Again, it is the same as, for example, as raised by SOCAN, the Rita MacNeil show where there were many, many artists on that show who at that time or later were not that well known but became well known, and many in fact didn't become well known but they got exposure nationally. This would be the same sort of thing.
13237 Obviously there was a remark by Ms Louie: You can play to 200 people in a concert hall in Calgary but you can play to 50,000 on television or 100,000 on television just like that.
13238 The record business has changed. This is an aside, but the record business has changed very, very radically over the years with the advent of videos. Whereas before you had to tour, now you can be a hit without every leaving town. In fact, you may not be able to play very well but you look great on video.
13239 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Sponsorships. You talk about support for the Corporation sponsorship initiatives, but you talk very specifically about your database of Canadian recordings and interest in partnering with them in that way.
13240 Do you have any comments on the other sponsorship issue that we have discussed, which is --
13241 MR. CHATER: This would be more my -- CIRPA per se doesn't. Personally I have no -- there are some concerns about and some not. I think as the Chair said, sometimes PBS is good, sometimes PBS is bad, depending on the decision, but this one you know PBS does that sort of thing.
13242 It doesn't bother me that much on PBS. Some people might be bothered by it. I'm just speaking personally rather than severally.
13243 On the other hand, CBC Radio has been sponsor-free, ad-free for 25 years, and looking at the ratings it works very well. The ratings for CBC across the country at worst have dropped minimally, even with increased competition across most major markets, and in some cases have increased, and they are very, very steady and have been over the last 10, 15 years.
13244 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: So when you talk about looking for opportunities with respect to your own database -- if you are meeting with Mr. Beatty next week presumably you will have to discuss that with him.
13245 MR. CHATER: Oh, I might just bring that up.
13246 It is more to do with new media. This is not specifically to do with -- it is more if in fact the corporation is going to proceed with this, and if in fact everybody agrees it should do so, we think we might have something to offer and we might be, at the same time, talking to private broadcasters and to telcos about it too. This is not just one place to go, but it is -- given the CBC's current Web site, and given what they have said in their briefs, it would make sense to talk, let's put it that way.
13247 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I see. With respect to the issue of the Canadian composers -- I'm getting a little tired at the end of the day -- the content levels for Canadian composers and the matter of measuring it over a period of a month as opposed to a week. I don't know if you heard those discussions.
13248 I wonder if you could just give me your comments on that?
13249 MR. CHATER: Briefly, we would prefer weeks to months, in a perfect world. We may be open -- I can definitely go and look at this -- a plug for our database again -- again, go in and check on this, as we can search by Canadian composers.
13250 I'm sure our Chair, Mr. Rosen, of Marquee Records would appreciate the plug he got earlier: Go and buy his records.
13251 But seriously, we can, hopefully at least, give the Commission some assistance on everything we know that is available, both search by Canadian composer and just is Canadian per se.
13252 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Did you hear the CBC's concerns and rationale for doing it differently, that they certainly have no concerns with respect to playing them, but to have some flexibility with respect to ensuring that they meet the levels we set.
13253 MR. CHATER: Yes.
13254 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I just wonder if you --
13255 MR. CHATER: Again, we are reasonable people. If sitting down with them there is a clear case that this would make sense, we would certainly be very interested in discussing it and would not necessarily be opposed to it. We would not be opposed or support it or anything like this. How is that for a political answer.
13256 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: That's very good. Very good.
13257 I just have one more question. Certainly you are clear about your Canadian content levels and your desire to see them increase.
13258 You have made a comment under the heading of "Regional Stations" in your written submission, and in there you say:
"A strong CBC is critical to the future cultural well-being of Canada and that it be expanded in consideration of evolving realities of international trade agreements and the rapid growth and diversity of technological advances." (As read)
13259 I wasn't quite sure how that related to the regional aspect of the CBC.
13260 MR. CHATER: Actually I could summarize it in one word -- or two words "More competition". The reality of what that -- actually, that is not a very well phrased sentence, that really wasn't, but never mind. I wrote it. It was my fault.
13261 But the reality is, what we were trying to get at with that was that with increasing competition, with cross border in many ways, whether the Internet or wherever it may be, I mean the necessity of strong -- both national and regional outlets of the CBC, in our view, increases that they will provide the initial point, if you like, or contact.
13262 For example, in Nova Scotia they will provide the initial point of contact for new artists to get air play and then hopefully get on the national network. At least the local station would advise them. Because there is no doubt there will be more and competition, if you like, for people's time from all sorts of media.
13263 So really that is what we were trying to get at, the fact there would be yet more competition. You need the strength to be able to produce the stuff.
13264 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: So if I can paraphrase, in a more competitive environment strengthened and enhanced regional presence is a good thing.
13265 MR. CHATER: Yes. Yes.
13266 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Okay.
13267 MR. CHATER: What is the famous line: The world is global but everybody is local, or something like that.
13268 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: No, it's: Think globally, act locally, or something. Is that it?
13269 MR. CHATER: That's it, yes. Yes.
13270 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I don't have any more questions. I don't know if you have anything to add.
13271 MR. CHATER: Just one point. We don't mind Frank Sinatra dying, as long as he doesn't keep doing it, that's fine.
13272 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I think we all agree with that.
--- Off microphone / Sans microphone
13273 MR. CHATER: Okay, okay. I heard that this morning. I looked at the picture, he is not that good.
--- Off microphone / Sans microphone
13274 MR. CHATER: Okay, fine.
--- Laughter / Rires
13275 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you very much, Mr. Chater, for coming up here today.
13276 MR. CHATER: Thank you.
13277 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Thank you, Mr. Chater.
13278 MS BÉNARD: La prochaine présentation sera celle du Citoyen de la Nation, Citizens for a Democratic Nation. J'inviterais monsieur Bertrand à s'avancer.
13279 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Bonjour, monsieur Bertrand. Bienvenue.
13280 M. BERTRAND: Cela me fait plaisir d'être avec vous. Est-ce que je commence tout de suite?
13281 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Bien sûr.
13282 Monsieur Bertrand, si vous voudriez allumer votre micro, s'il vous plaît.
13283 M. BERTRAND: Alors, c'est un grand plaisir, madame la présidente, mesdames les commissaires, messieurs les commissaires, d'être avec vous aujourd'hui.
13284 Je pense pouvoir vous dire tout haut ce que des centaines de milliers de foyers québécois disent tout bas. La grande question: Est-ce que c'est vrai que c'est infecté de Séparatistes à Radio-Canada?
13285 Je représente un mouvement qui est le plus grand mouvement, le plus important mouvement qui défend les droits et libertés. C'est ce qui nous a amené devant les tribunaux, jusqu'en Cour suprême du Canada, protester contre la sécession unilatérale, et évidemment, nous n'avons pas eu de grande sympathie vis-à-vis Radio-Canada et tous les tenants du nationalisme québécois.
13286 Je m'apprête à vous dire que je vous soumets respectueusement, comme je le ferais devant un tribunal de droit commun si j'avais une poursuite en jugement déclaratoire contre Radio-Canada pour violer sa propre loi.
13287 Donc, je vous soumets respectueusement... je soutiens, pour ne pas dire j'accuse Radio-Canada de violer sa loi constitutive, d'agir en fraude à la Loi sur la radiodiffusion et de détournement de pouvoir dans une programmation qui vise de façon systématique à favoriser, à refléter la mentalité séparatiste et nationaliste au Québec.
13288 Pour pouvoir étayer mon argumentation, bien sûr que je me dois de vous référer à la loi constitutive que vous connaissez mieux que moi, la Loi sur la radiodiffusion. Je m'en remets à l'article 3(1), paragraphes m) et l) qui dit bien: N'est-ce pas que dans la programmation on doit avoir une programmation qui est principalement et systématiquement canadienne -- "typiquement" est le mot exact -- typiquement canadienne.
13289 J'ai regardé dans le dictionnaire. Le mot "principalement" veut dire avant tout canadien et "typiquement" veut dire sur un modèle idéal... selon un modèle idéal canadien. Voilà ce que Radio-Canada doit faire et ne fait pas. C'est une radio qui est typiquement nationaliste québécoise, qui n'est pas canadienne et qui ne reflète pas la réalité du Canada.
13290 Deuxièmement, on dit dans la Loi aussi qu'elle doit, Radio-Canada, dans sa programmation, participer au partage de la conscience canadienne ou nationale et de l'identité nationale.
13291 On ne parle pas de "consciences nationales", ce qui ferait l'affaire des Séparatistes si on admet la théorie des deux nations et des deux peuples. C'est bien de l'identité canadienne dont il s'agit et de la conscience canadienne.
13292 Radio-Canada a trahi son mandat à sa mission de façon éhontée, et évidemment, personne ne s'est plaint peut-être à vous. Je le fais cet après-midi, et pour savoir ce que j'entends par mentalité séparatiste et mentalité nationaliste, c'est un état d'esprit.
13293 Cette mentalité c'est un état d'esprit qui tire son origine dans une manifestation de rejet vis-à-vis tout ce qui est canadien, de ne pas accepter l'histoire, les conséquences de l'histoire et de la géographie. Radio-Canada se fait le porte-parole de tous ceux qui haïssent le Canada, qui haïssent le système, qui dénoncent le système, tous ceux qui se disent des victimes et leur donne grand écho.
13294 Cette mentalité chez les intellectuels nationalistes québécois a des effets pervers que nous dénonçons, nous Citoyens de la Nation, évidemment sans avoir jamais d'écho. Mais cela est une autre question.
13295 Cette mentalité nationaliste séparatiste a plusieurs courants de pensée, dont le principal est le nationalisme politique centré exclusivement sur le Québec... le Québec... Québec partout, exploité éhonteusement par les intellectuels nationalistes, dont plusieurs se retrouvent à Radio-Canada, dans le but de fournir une justification légitime à l'électorat ou à la population pour obtenir ce qu'ils veulent, par exemple, les politiciens des votes et d'autres peut-être des cotes d'écoute.
13296 Alors, voilà pourquoi dans mon accusation, je vous disais que Radio-Canada reflétait la mentalité nationaliste et séparatiste.
13297 Maintenant, la question que vous voudriez me poser c'est: Est-ce que c'est possible d'avoir une programmation qui soit typiquement canadienne, qui reflète vraiment le Canada? Je vous réponds que oui. Ce serait une programmation qui refléterait l'histoire du Canada, pas l'histoire qu'on m'a enseignée qui visait à nous détourner de notre vrai pays, le Canada.
13298 Mais aujourd'hui, moi, après avoir quitté cette religion nationaliste, je constate comme plusieurs que le Canada c'est nos ancêtres français, avec d'autres, qui l'ont fondé, qui ont donné un nom, un drapeau, un hymne national, et ça ce n'est pas reflété à Radio-Canada. Ce pays, nous le partageons maintenant. Ce pays que nos ancêtres ont développé, nous le partageons avec l'Indien, avec l'autochtone qui nous a reçus, qui nous a accueillis, qui nous a aidés. Ce n'est pas refléter dans la programmation. L'autochtone est complètement oublié.
13299 Nous le partageons aussi avec l'Anglais, avec qui nous avons eu des différends mais avec qui nous avons bâti la plus grande démocratie au monde. Et ce n'est pas reflété dans un des articles à l'article 3 dans un des paragraphes. Il est bien dit qu'on doit refléter aussi les problèmes et les difficultés des minorités dans les provinces. Quand est-ce que vous voyez ça à Radio-Canada?
13300 Quand on parle des anglophones au Québec, c'est pour montrer qu'ils réclament des droits qu'ils ne devraient pas réclamer parce que les nationalistes leur ont enlevé le drapeau. L'hymne national n'est plus chanté au Québec. On a suspendu l'anglais dans l'affichage. On essaie de le suspendre devant l'Assemblée nationale et les tribunaux. Donc, quand on monte les Anglais, c'est pour démontrer qu'ils réclament des choses qui ne sont pas acceptables.
13301 Alors, une programmation devrait refléter l'histoire telle qu'elle est, l'histoire de nos pionniers, des défricheurs, ceux qui ont bâti ce pays. Cela c'est ce que j'appelle l'identité.
13302 Notre identité canadienne c'est aussi de pouvoir contester quand on prétend que la Constitution ne fonctionne pas, qu'elle ne marche pas. Des centaines de milliers de Québécois croient qu'elle marche. Tout ce que nous avons dans ce pays est le résultat d'une contribution de tous nos compatriotes dans toutes les provinces et dans tous les domaines. C'est faux de dire qu'elle ne marche pas.
13303 Une programmation de Radio-Canada devrait montrer que nous avons appris ensemble la paix, le progrès, le partage dans ce pays, un des seuls pays au monde d'ailleurs qui n'a pas connu de guerre civile. Ce n'est pas reflété dans la programmation.
13304 Nous nous classons premier depuis cinq ans aux Nations Unies pour la qualité de vie, l'éducation, l'expectative de vie. Au lieu de rire de ce trophée que nous donne les Nations Unies, on devrait faire des programmes pour expliquer pourquoi nous sommes les premiers au monde. Ce pays, nous pensons que si nous le perdons, nous allons perdre une partie de nous-mêmes.
13305 Donc, une programmation devrait refléter notre identité, c'est-à-dire notre histoire commune avec les autochtones et aussi avec les Anglais, mais particulièrement avec ceux et celles qui sont venus des autres pays, nous apportant leurs richesses pour que nous développions un Canada qui sera unique au monde. C'est ça. C'est ça l'identité.
13306 C'est ça la conscience et quand on parle de conscience, madame la présidente, la conscience c'est quelque chose qu'on a en soi. C'est des valeurs et des principes. Quand on dit: J'agis selon ma conscience, j'agis selon mes principes. Or avoir une conscience canadienne, cela doit être dur pour les journalistes séparatistes de Radio-Canada.
13307 Et là, j'arrive à ma conclusion. Ma conclusion -- je vous avais demander tout à l'heure de m'avertir s'il restait deux minutes parce que je voulais respecter le temps que vous m'aviez alloué.
13308 Alors, dans les circonstances, est-ce que ce n'est pas utopique de penser qu'on pourrait avoir une société nationale de Radio-Canada qui respecterait son mandat?
13309 Je soumets que ce n'est pas utopique si les trois conditions suivantes sont remplies.
13310 La première: Si le CRTC, si vous, commissaires, vous rendez les décisions qui s'imposent dans un cas de ce genre, aucun pays au monde ne tolérerait ce que Radio-Canada fait. D'ailleurs, j'ai des collègues avocats dans les autres pays. On n'a pas trouvé un exemple du genre au monde où on favoriserait -- on aurait une sympathie pour la destruction de son propre pays à même les deniers de la majorité qui est contre le nationalisme québécois.
13311 Donc, cela prend, de votre part, une décision pour mettre les balises à Radio-Canada pour qu'ils comprennent qu'ils doivent mettre leur culotte vis-à-vis leurs employés, comme on fait, nous, comme employeurs.
13312 Deuxième condition: Que Radio-Canada ait le courage, la loyauté de respecter le mandat que lui a confié le législateur. Si on veut changer la loi et dire que cela reflète les deux nations, ce sera une autre chose. Mais pour le moment, ce n'est pas la loi. Donc, que Radio-Canada respecte son mandat et oblige ses employés à le respecter, sous peine de sanctions avec un code de déontologie parce que vous savez que c'est la seule corporation... c'est les seuls professionnels qui n'ont pas de corporation professionnelle.
13313 Donc, on ne peut pas les traduire en discipline pour avoir violé leur mandat, mais ils peuvent se donner un propre code de déontologie et enfin, dans la mesure où les employés de Radio-Canada, et particulièrement les journalistes, auront la loyauté vis-à-vis l'ensemble de la population canadienne, l'honneur vis-à-vis leur conscience et le courage de démissionner s'ils se sentent incapables de participer au partage d'une conscience et d'une identité canadienne.
13314 Les trois conditions étant remplies, je pense que nous pourrions enfin avoir une société d'État, une société nationale, Radio-Canada, qui ne participe pas à aider à détruire son pays.
13315 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Merci, maître Bertrand. Je demanderais à madame la vice-présidente Wylie de vous adresser les questions du Conseil.
13316 CONSEILLÈRE WYLIE: Je n'ai qu'une question vraiment. Je me demande si vous avez déjà fait une plainte particulière au Conseil sur un programme en particulier. Est-ce que vous avez déjà fait plainte au Conseil des allégations que vous faites maintenant?
13317 M. BERTRAND: Personnellement, non, mais je sais que plusieurs membres des citoyens de la nation ont fait des plaintes officielles à Radio-Canada parce qu'on m'a envoyé des copies, comme Président. Nous avons reçu personnellement... d'ailleurs, j'ai des bénévoles ici dans la salle du bureau de Montréal qui me confirment avoir reçu des centaines de plaintes par facs, par téléphone et autrement, sur la conduite de Radio-Canada vis-à-vis CDN, particulièrement le Président de CDN.
13318 Un confrère américains avec qui j'ai travaillé dans la cause sur la sécession à Philadelphie me disait: Aux États-Unis, monsieur Bertrand, un citoyen qui attaquerait un gouvernement sur un projet de sécession aurait la télévision derrière lui et les journalistes. Comment se fait-il que chez vous vous avez un réseau comme Radio-Canada qui supporte le gouvernement contre le citoyen?
13319 Alors, cela vous donne une idée. Ce n'est pas seulement Radio-Canada, mais ici on parle seulement de Radio-Canada. C'est pernicieux. C'est subtil.
13320 Je vous donne un exemple. J'étais heureux d'entendre le mot "Canada" aujourd'hui de la part de nos artistes. On n'entend jamais cela au Québec. C'est Québécois et ça n'existe plus le Canada. Julie Payette n'est pas une canadienne; c'est une astronaute québécoise même si partout dans le monde on dit que c'est une Canadienne. Villeneuve c'est un courseur au Québec, québécois, mais partout ailleurs, il se décrit lui-même comme un Canadien.
13321 Le "Ô Canada!", le samedi soir au hockey, il est chanté à la télévision anglaise, mais nous on a les placoteux sportifs qui font les commentaires pendant que le "Ô Canada!" joue et on commence la partie radiodiffusée quand la rondelle est mise au jeu. On ne nous fait plus entendre le "Ô Canada!". On a sorti les symboles et Radio-Canada participe, et quand on veut détruire un pays, on s'attaque d'abord aux symboles.
13322 Alors, pour répondre à votre question: Non personnellement, je n'ai pas fait de plainte, mais je connais des gens qui se sont adressés à l'ombudsman et cela n'a rien donné. Donc, j'aimais mieux venir m'exprimer ici devant vous parce que vous avez une autorité, vous avez le pouvoir et je pense qu'il y a trop de monde qui ont perdu confiance dans Radio-Canada pour adresser des plaintes comme cela.
13323 CONSEILLÈRE WYLIE: Est-ce qu'à votre avis le Conseil de presse serait un autre forum où vous pourriez porter plainte ou est-ce que cela a déjà été fait?
13324 M. BERTRAND: Non. Je ne crois pas non plus au Conseil de presse.
13325 CONSEILLÈRE WYLIE: Vous ne croyez pas ou vous n'avez pas porté plainte?
13326 M. BERTRAND: Non, personnellement. Je vais être franc avec vous, je ne crois pas. C'est une autorité morale et comme ces gens-là ne veulent pas avoir de corporation professionnelle pour les régir, moi si je fais une gaffe, je peux être rayé du barreau. Eux autres se pensent au-dessus de tout le monde et puis ils jugent tout le monde. Ils font des commentaires sur tout le monde.
13327 J'ai été décrit en fin de semaine encore comme un ultra-fédéraliste. Alors, ces gens-là, ils ont un Conseil de presse qui n'a qu'une autorité morale. La seule place où j'ai confiance c'est ici et la fois suivante ce sera devant un tribunal de droit commun pour plaider ce que j'ai plaidé devant vous. C'est une violation flagrante à leur loi.
13328 CONSEILLÈRE WYLIE: Nous sommes flattés que vous avez cheminé de la Cour suprême du Canada à chez nous.
--- Rires / Laughter
13329 CONSEILLÈRE WYLIE: Surtout monsieur Langford. Il est très, très flatté.
13330 J'ai une autre question. J'oubliais. Vous vous adressez aussi à la programmation de Radio-Canada et exigez qu'elle réponde mieux aux besoins particuliers des différentes régions canadiennes. Je ne sais pas si vous avez suivi le processus que nous avons engagé mardi dernier, mais nous avons beaucoup discuté justement de réflexions régionales et d'apport régional dans la programmation, et le Conseil se penche d'habitude assez sérieusement sur des exigences à ce niveau-là.
13331 Est-ce que vous croyez que vous êtes surtout intéressé du côté SRC ou dans votre plaidoyer, mais je suppose que ce commentaire est à l'endroit de CBC aussi?
13332 M. BERTRAND: Oui, absolument.
13333 CONSEILLÈRE WYLIE: Est-ce que vous avez d'autres commentaires à faire au niveau de la SRC? L'apport régional, comment voyez-vous que cela pourrait être amélioré à côté de la CBC?
13334 M. BERTRAND: Bien, si on veut développer une conscience nationale, donc, une conscience canadienne et une identité canadienne, nécessairement, il faut savoir ce qui se passe au Manitoba, en Acadie, et en blaguant aujourd'hui, je disais, à la limite, il faudrait peut-être transférer le siège social de Radio-Canada au Manitoba; puis là on aurait vraiment une dimension canadienne. On arrêterait d'avoir une dimension séparatiste ou nationaliste. C'est infecté. Ça sent. Ça respire. Tout est là.
13335 Cependant, je voudrais souligner, puisque vous m'en donner l'occasion, que cela ne signifie pas que les Séparatistes n'ont pas le droit de s'exprimer. Il n'en est pas question. Un journaliste fait son devoir. Il rapporte ce que les Séparatistes ont fait, les nouvelles, et caetera. Là où je m'en prends à Radio-Canada c'est dans les émissions d'affaires publiques où elle a le choix des invités.
13336 Il faut que Radio-Canada... il faut que les administrateurs surveillent ces gens-là, qui peuvent être des Séparatistes s'ils le veulent, mais pour empêcher qu'ils fassent valoir leur opinion personnelle au-delà de l'opinion qui transcende dans la loi, donc, de toujours inviter des gens qui ont une tendance à attaquer le Canada, puis à vouloir le détruire.
13337 J'ai donné des exemples dans mon texte. Jacques Parizeau, cela fait combien de fois qu'on l'invite? Il n'est pas membre d'aucun mouvement. Il n'est pas président d'un mouvement. Chaque fois qu'il va là, c'est pour attaquer le Canada.
13338 Falardeau, le cinéaste, haït le Canada, puis les Anglais, puis les fédéralistes. On l'invite pendant une heure de temps. Je ne dis pas: cinq minutes pour dire, je suis content. Le Canada m'a versé 1 million pour tourner mon film. Mais pendant une heure de temps.
13339 CONSEILLÈRE WYLIE: Il était très content alors?
--- Rires / Laughter
13340 M. BERTRAND: Ah oui, vous avez vu qu'il était content.
13341 CONSEILLÈRE WYLIE: Pendant une heure.
--- Rires / Laughter
13342 M. BERTRAND: Vous avez vu qu'il était très content. Alors cela, il faut être clair que je n'ai pas objection du tout. Au contraire, il faut montrer que c'est un problème.
13343 Mais d'un autre côté, il faut toujours se rappeler qu'elle doit être principalement et typiquement canadienne et avoir une conscience et une identité. Cela veut dire que quand quelqu'un attaque le Canada, il faut tout de suite que Radio-Canada aille à côté de quelqu'un qui va défendre cette identité. Et c'est cela qui n'existe pas.
13344 Maintenant, je voudrais ajouter ceci. Je sais que j'ai lu dans les journaux que madame Fortin a répondu par anticipation à une question que vous alliez lui poser, que Radio-Canada reçoit aussi des plaintes des Séparatistes qui prétendent que c'est trop fédéraliste et elle dit: Vous voyez comment c'est équilibré. C'est 50:50.
13345 Bien, moi je pense que c'est une réponse honteuse: honteuse parce que s'il y a 50 pour cent des gens qui sont insatisfaits, cela veut dire que le travail n'est pas fait. Aucun employeur n'endurerait d'avoir 50 pour cent de son travail mal fait par ses employés. Ce n'est pas une réponse.
13346 Je sais que... parce que vous avez parlé des plaintes tantôt, c'est impossible... On se présenterait devant un organisme comme le Conseil de presse, puis on nous dirait: Oui, mais par contre, il y une autre émission de monsieur un tel. C'est un ensemble.
13347 Quand j'étais un Séparatiste, nous savions tous que jamais on n'aurait pris le pouvoir en 1976 sans Radio-Canada. C'était notre meilleur allié. Il s'agissait de grouiller et de faire une assemblée, puis on savait qu'il viendrait; puis là, il mettrait les caméras pour montrer cela en manchette; puis là, il inviterait les gens à débattre sous le prétexte que c'est la liberté d'expression. Parfait à la liberté d'expression mais à l'intérieur du cadre fixé par la loi.
13348 Pensez-vous que Radio-Québec, si un jour le Québec se séparait, tolérerait d'avoir à sa télévision nationale des gens qui voudraient faire de Montréal un État séparé? Poser la question c'est y répondre. C'est pour cela que les Séparatistes partout dans le monde ont le droit de s'exprimer, mais on ne leur fournit pas régulièrement une télévision payée par 90 pour cent de la population qui ne veut pas la sécession.
13349 CONSEILLÈRE WYLIE: Mais vous devriez être au moins un peu réconforté par le fait que les gens de Radio-Canada n'ont pas quitté la pièce encore aujourd'hui malgré votre présence ici.
13350 Nous vous remercions de votre participation. Nous sommes toujours content d'entendre les gens nous exprimés leurs inquiétudes. Il y a évidemment au Conseil un processus de plaintes qui permet justement aux gens de s'exprimer.
13351 Nous vous remercions et nous vous souhaitons un bon voyage.
13352 M. BERTRAND: Est-ce que je peux vous rajouter un petit quelque chose?
13353 CONSEILLÈRE WYLIE: Oui. Allez-y.
13354 M. BERTRAND: Juste un petit quelque chose. Quand les gens ont su que je venais aujourd'hui devant vous, il y a toute sorte de monde qui m'ont demandé de vous transmettre le message que je vous fais là, y compris les politiciens, y compris des gens qui n'oseraient pas vous le dire parce qu'on vit dans un monde où les gens n'osent pas attaquer la presse. Personne ose dire des choses contre les journalistes.
13355 Alors, à plus forte raison quand il s'agit de Radio-Canada. Vous devez -- et je vous le suggère respectueusement -- tenir cela en considération. Ce n'est plus acceptable que la société d'État participe et contribue par sa sympathie à la destruction du Canada.
13357 CONSEILLÈRE WYLIE: Merci, monsieur Bertrand. Merci, madame.
13358 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Merci, maître Bertrand. Vous étiez à RDI.
--- Applaudissements / Applause
13359 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary.
13360 MS BÉNARD: Thank you, Madam Chair.
13361 I would now invite Margot Hall to come forward.
13362 MS HALL: Welcome. Thank you.
13363 Ladies and gentlemen, I can't help but be impressed with all the things that Mr. Bertand said and what a wonderful country and democracy that we are living and that I am asked to appear here today.
13364 Now, first of all, you have to realize I am a staunch and proud Canadian who has been raised, educated and entertained on CBC programs, largely on radio programs. This presentation is based on a discussion paper among friends who make up a part of the loyal CBC audience.
13365 We fully support the application for licence renewal of all stations and channels across the country, east to west, north to south in order to enhance our awareness of the strength of our country. The following comments cover on-air language, radio programs and TV programs.
13366 As far as language is concerned, on-air staff need to adhere to a standard of spoken word thereby preserving our unique language culture in both English and French.
13367 In the radio area, radio keeps us up to date, amused, informed and really, if you realize, from feeling lonely and isolated. It gives us a feeling of being a link in the imaginary chain of Canadians across the country. We enjoy, in the drama area, "Roomers and Boarders," native plays heard on "This Morning" and there used to be a wonderful taxi drama from Toronto.
13368 In the music area, "Saturday Afternoon at the Opera", "The Vinyl Café" with Stuart MacLean, Ross Porter's "After Hours" and I am currently enjoying his series about Frank Sinatra.
13369 Danny Finkleman's "Finkleman's 45," Shelagh Rogers "Take Five," "Disc Drive" with Jurgen Gothe and "The Trancontinental" with Otto Lowy.
13370 In the informative area, "Ideas" with Lister Sinclair has been a wonderful education area and I hope that Lister Sinclair is not going off the air. We appreciate Barbara Budd and Mary Lou Finlay at 6:30 in the evening. "This Morning" with Michael Enright and Avril Benoit and also the book reviews and the readings. Then "Richardson's Roundup" in the afternoon is also a very entertaining program.
13371 In the news area, the local news on the half hour is much appreciated but we would also like to have more news from other provinces would be appreciated. What I appreciate very much is the history stories by Bob Johnson at 8:40 a.m. on the Radio One, the national news on the hour.
13372 If I could make a comment here, the very credible news readers need to pay attention to grammar and diction. In commercials, the lack of interruptions for commercials makes Radio One and Two hold our attention. Please do not introduce commercials on Radio One and Two.
13373 Publications in the radio area, we would like to see a daily program. Radio listeners need to have a full listing in newspapers of programs each hour of each day.
13374 As far as TV is concerned, the presentation of TV programs, drama, documentary, news and sports from a Canadian perspective is providing a strong bridge across the country. We enjoy in the drama area, "Anne of Green Gables," "Emily of New Moon," "Street Legal" and "Da Vinci". In the documentary area, "Adventure," "Marketplace," "The Fifth Estate," "The Health Show".
13375 In the interviews, we like Pamela Wallen and certainly the program, "Life and Times" is fantastic.
13376 In the news, "Newsworld" presents balanced views in a straight forward manner. Peter Mansbridge is a steady voice in a chaotic world. People we want to see and hear are like Adrianne Clarkson, David Suzuki, Eleanor Wattel, Shelagh Rogers, Lister Sinclair, Wayne Rostad, Rob Clipperton and I must put in a special plug for Mary Cook. I do miss Mary Cook on the Saturday morning program.
13377 In conclusion, we recommend: (a) renewing the licences; (b) give the CBC the funds to carry out its mandate from Parliament; and (c) maintain and upgrade current programs rather than adding new radio stations and TV channels as outlined in the Ottawa Citizen on March the 26th. CBC unites Canadians from coast to coast. Shouldn't it be given the best possible system? Aren't we worth it?
13378 Thank you very much.
13379 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Is it Mrs. Hall?
13380 MS HALL: Margot, Ms Hall.
13381 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Ms Hall, I just thank you very much for going to the effort of conducting your own survey and finding out what people in your --
13382 MS HALL: My age group.
13383 COMMISSIONER CRAM: -- group of friends feel about CBC. In a lot of ways a lot of us are sort of children of CBC and we grew through it.
13384 I want to start first with your TV and you said you thought the presentation of drama, documentary, news and sports is providing a strong bridge. Then you say what you enjoy in drama, documentary, interviews, news and people. What about sports?
13385 MS HALL: I am sorry. I don't watch -- there is far too much hockey.
13386 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Now, that is a surprising point.
13387 MS HALL: I am sorry but I am not into it.
13388 Many people, many of my friends watch the golf but the hockey or the baseball or -- I am sorry but I don't.
13389 COMMISSIONER CRAM: What do you think about the Olympics though?
13390 MS HALL: Oh, fabulous, fabulous. Brian Williams, there was -- oh, yes, I certainly followed the Olympics and Brian Williams was fabulous as a coordinator, oh, yes. I do watch the Olympics.
13391 COMMISSIONER CRAM: You talked about no advertising in radio.
13392 What do you think about advertising in TV?
13393 MS HALL: Well, when it comes -- if I am watching a CBC TV program and the advertising comes on, I am inclined to switch to TV Ontario, and then I go back to whatever program.
13394 COMMISSIONER CRAM: You are surfing. Is that --
13395 MS HALL: I guess that is the term.
13396 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Do you inevitably surf back to --
13397 MS HALL: Yes. Well, yes, mostly I would go back but I have to say that most of my entertainment is with the radio. There is not much on the TV as far as I am concerned. There are certain dramas that I find are very good but mostly I listen to the radio from early in the morning to late at night.
13398 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Is it because of the issue of advertising or that you just like the medium better:
13399 MS HALL: No, it is the content, the content.
13400 COMMISSIONER CRAM: The content of the radio.
13401 MS HALL: The content of what is on the CBC radio amuses, entertains and keeps us from feeling lonely. I mean, I live alone and the radio is the thing as far as I am concerned.
13402 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Let's talk about radio.
13403 You talked about more news from other provinces would be appreciated. If you were programming for CBC, and I don't know if Mr. Frame is here, but if you were doing that, how would you do that?
13404 MS HALL: Well, you know, sometimes if they can put some of what is happening in Halifax or what is happening on the west coast could be included. Our morning program on the CBC with John Lacharitie(ph) is very good. But local stories from outside our area, I think, many people turn on the radio first thing in the morning and you have a six to nine program --
13405 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Local programming.
13406 MS HALL: Local programming.
13407 But there are many interesting stories from other parts of the country and I think that you realize that I feel that the CBC unites us coast to coast but is that we want to be links in the chain, if we could have a little bit of programs or something from other areas of the country.
13408 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Sort of a half-hour magazine kind of thing?
13409 MS HALL: Well, I am not saying how much.
13410 I appreciate from, I guess -- I don't know whether you realize we have been here since 10:00 this morning and I appreciate the CBC's presentation and the problems that they must have in allocating such a percentage for such music or drama or this sort of thing. But I like to hear information from across the country.
13411 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Commercials. You have been here since 10:00 in the morning and you have heard them talking about what they are proposing. Probably the best way to say is it is like the "Texaco Opera".
13412 MS HALL: The Saturday noon sponsored by Texaco.
13413 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes. Would you have a problem with that?
13414 MS HALL: No, no. But it would seem to me that it would be the thin edge of the wedge. You start with that and where do you go? I realize it is money and as I have mentioned in our brief here, it seems to me that the Government of Canada should give the CBC the funds to do the job. Aren't we worth it?
13415 COMMISSIONER CRAM: The problem is we are not the cheque writers here, are we?
13416 MS HALL: Well, I appreciate that.
13417 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Ms Hall, were you an English teacher?
13418 MS HALL: No.
13419 COMMISSIONER CRAM: No.
13420 MS HALL: I grew up in Montreal. I have lived in Ottawa since 1952. I never worked for the government.
13421 MS HALL: Anyway --
13422 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I was just wondering if you could help them with their grammar and diction.
13423 MS HALL: Yes, yes. All right, fine.
13424 COMMISSIONER CRAM: On a volunteer you could do that.
13425 MS HALL: Yes, very definitely. Any day in the week.
13426 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Those are all my questions. Thank you very much, Ms Hall, for all of your efforts and for spending the day.
13427 MS HALL: We have enjoyed doing it.
13428 COMMISSIONER CRAM: We have enjoyed you, thank you.
13429 MS HALL: Thank you very much.
13430 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you for your participation. Thank you.
13431 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Bénard.
13432 MS BÉNARD: Thank you, Madam Chair.
13433 The next presentation will be by Monica Auer.
--- Short pause / Courte pause
13434 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon. Welcome.
13435 MS AUER: Madame la présidente, Commissioners and Commission staff, good afternoon.
13436 My comments deal with five issues: the game of broadcasting, level playing fields, complimentarity, goals and money, and the role of the referee.
13437 Almost every Canadian listens to the radio or watches TV. Perhaps not as many know why Canada's broadcasting system is unique or why it has private community, and in particular, public elements such as the CBC.
13438 It has been said that our system evolved because years ago, radio frequencies were scarce, broadcasting had a special role to play and the commercial marketplace could not meet all public service needs. This is why the CBC was created.
13439 Some say things have changed. The spectrum is not scarce, many broadcasters meet broadcasting special roles and funding agencies help pay for things like Canadian programming. Do we even need the CBC any more?
13440 But that is not the whole story of how our system came about. In 1932, Prime Minister Bennett said first that Canadian broadcasting should come from Canadian sources, free of foreign interference or influence to communicate matters of national concern and to disseminate national thought.
13441 Second, he said that Canadians, public ownership in broadcasting would give everyone a chance to enjoy and benefit from its programming.
13442 Third, he said that broadcasting used a natural resource that should benefit all Canadians and not just private interest.
13443 Parliament therefore decided that the nation's broadcasting system should inform, enlighten and entertain. It also decided that a special national broadcaster should exist with particular responsibilities to reflect Canadians and their values. That is why the CBC was established.
13444 The CBC is not special because of its public funding but because of what it does. None of the reasons for which Canada first established its own independent broadcasting system has disappeared.
13445 In 1999, the CBC still plays a central role in our broadcasting system. But just what should the CBC be doing? The 1991 act takes five pages to spell out its goals but two syllables really sum it up nicely, CANCON.
13446 Public, private and other broadcasters must reflect Canadian experience in the social, visual and linguistic idioms of our country. We expect the CBC to be Canadian but privately owned broadcasters, the other major element in our broadcasting system, also faced this goal when challenged.
13447 Warm and fuzzy culture aside, the Canadian broadcasting system has created jobs, money and wealth. In 1996, with revenues of $2.4 billion, Canada's 600 privately owned radio and television stations employed almost 17,000 people, held assets worth $3.4 billion and offered shareholders some $1.1 billion worth of equity. Broadcasting is big business and private players control more than two thirds of it. But everybody knows that the CBC is an important player in Canadian broadcasting yet there are many others now.
13448 CTV runs the national English-language conventional televisional network, has 24 television stations and holds interests in 7 specialty television networks.
13449 Just four companies, Rogers, CHUM, CTV and Power, between them run 100 radio or television stations and in the last 12 years, such groups have started some 60 new national networks distributed by satellite. Unlike the CBC, these companies were not created for public policy reasons but for private ones. It is true that at least half the programs they schedule at night are Canadian and in 1997, fully 58 per cent of private broadcasters programming money was devoted to Canadian programming but they are in this game for a reason. Over the last five years, private television broadcasters' profits have grown by almost 22 per cent.
13450 On the other hand, while the Canadian programming spending rose 3 per cent, their foreign programming expenditures grew 43 per cent. In fact, private broadcasters spent over four times more on foreign drama than they did on Canadian drama.
13451 Two years ago, the CBC, on the other hand, with its two television networks, spent just $26 million on foreign programming. They spent the remaining $767 million in their television programming on Canadian content. Between 7:00 and 11:00 in the evening, 93 per cent of the programs they broadcast were Canadian. In television, at least, the CBC clearly put its money into its mandate.
13452 But at this hearing, the CBC has, as usual, pointed out that its budget has been cut. Haven't we heard this all before? But since 1976, the CBC's budget has been cut nine times. Its operating appropriations have gotten smaller. There are now $378 million lower than they were in 1984. Have your incomes gone down as much?
13453 What is left works out to a full $2.09 per Canadian per month. For this, virtually every Canadian receives a broad range of entertaining and informative programs in both official languages, on radio and on television. By comparison, two specialty services, RDS and TSN, together cost roughly $2.29 a month.
13454 But even as its income has gone down, the CBC has been given some new jobs and its costs, even for things like municipal taxes or water or tape, have gone up. Faced with similar crisis in finance, private broadcasters have cut costs wherever possible. Some have sold their assets and moved on. The private sector has sought and has obtained some operating flexibility from the CRTC.
13455 But unlike private broadcasters, the law limits the CBC's response. Regardless of its funding, it must provide its radio and television services from coast to coast to coast.
13456 Its services must be predominantly Canadian in content and character. The CBC must provide a range of programming and it must provide equitable radio and television services in both official languages. It cannot sell out or move on.
13457 So in response to budget cuts, the CBC has earned more money from non government sources. It has cut its staff by 45 per cent. It has lowered affiliation payments and those are just a few of the things that it has done. It did not reduce its commitment to Canadian programming.
13458 In similar straits with such erratic funding, how many other broadcasters have actually increased the amount of Canadian content they offer to Canadians?
13459 Other countries have similar services at dissimilar costs. The BBC, we all know it, costs $4.8 billion to run last year. The American's PBS television service alone cost $522 million US to run. Put another way, the BBC cost every Briton 22 cents a day. The CBC costs every Canadian 7 cents a day.
13460 It has been said that Canadians have the best broadcasting system in the world. It works because the elements of the system work together and depend upon each other. But as the old saying goes, "things change." The Commission has asked Canadians how the corporation should carry out its "complimentary" role in relation to the private sector.
13461 What does "complimentary" really mean? Is it just a better way of saying "different"?
13462 Most people already agree that the CBC's programming is different from that of other broadcasters. But if complimentarity means that the CBC should do only things that other broadcasters do not, cannot or will not undertake, questions come up. The CRTC's mandate exists in the act.
13463 Can the CRTC now decide on its own that the CBC's present functions should change and if so, just how would complimentarity work exactly? Should the CBC's programming compliment the separate schedules of privately owned radio and television stations in every city? Should the CBC submit its programming schedules for the CRTC's approval on a yearly basis or perhaps every season?
13464 Would privately owned stations simply be allowed to veto the CBC's programming decisions or is the Commission simply proposing a condition of license to limit the specific type of programming it carries on its conventional services? Legally, can the CRTC constrain the CBC's carriage of "a wide range of programming that informs, enlightens and entertains."
13465 Certainly it is true that more niche broadcasters now exist. Is the public's interest better served if some CBC programs are transferred to these broadcasters? What does this do for the 3.2 million households who cannot get or cannot afford such specialty services and is it entirely appropriate, with the greatest respect, for the CRTC to intervene directly in broadcasters program acquisition practices.
13466 In 1991 when WIC sought approval to acquire CHCH TV, some intervenors worried that this would increase competition for foreign programming thereby raising prices for all. They proposed that the CRTC constrain with its purchase of national programming rights.
13467 The CRTC concluded that such suggestions were neither reasonable nor practical. The Commission said in its view, any such requirement would be an unwarranted departure from its practice not to intrude in the program acquisition activities of the broadcasting industry.
13468 Ultimately, it will be the broadcasting industry itself and the individual business decisions of its players that determine the extent and impact of the competition for foreign programming and consequent increases in prices for such programming.
13469 If the Commission now changes this policy for the CBC, will it also treat private conventional broadcasters the same way? How exactly does complimentarity fit with the Commission's move from constraint to competition and from a more judicial to a more collaborative approach, from detailed regulation to broad parameters?
13470 To ensure balanced support for all types of Canadian programming, don't broadcaster, including the CBC need "flexibility to decide how best to respond to market needs?"
13471 In the end, who would choose the specific program categories from which the corporation could build its program schedule? Whose interests would the CRTC be serving?
13472 The corporation is now applying to renew its licenses for full seven-year terms. Many would probably like to see the CBC's television schedules reduce their advertising or schedule fewer "commercial" programs.
13473 Will this save the CBC money? What, in particular with a smaller budget, should the CBC not do once it loses, let's say, a quarter of its operating budget. And if the CBC's television services drop commercials from their schedule, what impact will this have on the CBC's privately-owned television affiliate?
13474 Without new revenue sources and declining public funding, where should the CBC get money to program its services?
13475 Others have argued eloquently that the CBC should just sell off its hardware. It should distribute its programming to Canadians by other means, say satellites. That might work for the 72 per cent of Canadian households that now subscribe to cable. What about the other 3,195,225 Canadian households who don't, can't or can't afford to subscribe?
13476 At a hypothetical average cost of just $10.00 a month for cable and satellite, it would cost those households a little more than $380 million just to receive the CBC services that they now get over the year. The CBC now spends $64 million to get them those services "free" over the year. Whose idea is more efficient?
13477 If dumping the CBC's transmission hardware is such a good year and would save so much money, why hasn't the CBC sold its transmission system already? How have all of the CBC's directors, the minister, Heritage Canada, the Treasury Board, the Department of Finance and the Auditor General managed to miss such substantial savings? If this is really such a great way to save money, why haven't privately owned conventional broadcasters already done the same thing? Why haven't they gotten rid of their transmitters?
13478 This is an old idea that has been around for a long time but unlike fine wines it hasn't improved with age. In fact, rather than giving up its engineering expertise, many private broadcasters apparently want the CBC to keep up its good work in digital design, digital/audio broadcasting or the actual construction of its transmitters.
13479 As long as the CBC spends money that benefits the entire system, private broadcasters can reduce their own spending. Perhaps this is why private broadcasters support the CBC in this area.
13480 Many people want more different programming from the CBC for children, for the regions, for local areas. It costs money.
13481 What should the CBC cut to pay for it? Private broadcasters have offered to help out, for a price, to produce and provide some of its programming or individual events in particular markets. Should the CBC now direct more public funds to privately owned broadcasters?
13482 Canadian private broadcasters have themselves emphasized the need for fair and equitable regulatory treatment of and fair and sustainable competition among all existing and new participants in the Canadian broadcasting system. They have appreciated the Commission's flexibility, regulatory streamlining and approval of larger ownership groups. Has as much been done for the CBC?
13483 Some may think that the CBC enjoys special privileges through its public funding. Apart from the rather dubious advantage it enjoys from erratically reduced funding, the CBC must also report annually to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, appear yearly before Parliamentary Committees, file annual five-year budget plans with the Treasury Board and undergo yearly scrutiny from the Auditor General and the Commission of Official Languages.
13484 How many private broadcasters clamour for those advantages, too. And how many private broadcasters have functioned without being able to borrow money, even for a few months to cushion and plan around unexpected financial problems? Just how level is the playing field in Canadian broadcasting?
13485 For instance, of the 60 or so specialty services now licensed, private interests own all but two. Should the CBC be seeking new licences if public funding for its existing conventional services is declining? One big reason that other broadcasters give for establishing these new business ventures is to generate new income.
13486 Last year, for example, CHUM earned over $30 million in new subscriber revenues from its nine specialty services. With just three services, NetStar earned a little bit more, $157 million. Why shouldn't the CBC earn new money from new services, too? Would it spend the money it earns frivolously?
13487 Where privately owned specialty services allocate 42 per cent of their expenses to Canadian programming, over 80 per cent of the CBC services expenses go towards Canadian programming. They still put their money where their mandate is.
13488 Perhaps the CBC's existing conventional services are more than adequate to serve its audiences. If so, why did CHUM move forward with MuchMusic, it already had CityTV --
13489 MS BËNARD: Ms Auer --
13490 MS AUER: I will skip in one minute to my conclusions.
13491 Whose interests are being served if the CBC is benched in this kind of game? One big problem we have is that the real player at the table isn't even here, the Minister of Canadian Heritage isn't here to tell us what is going to be happening with the CBC's funding football, as I have called it. CBC's proportion of government expenditures is falling and it has been falling for 20 years.
13492 Does the government really want to keep the CBC around, or is it planning to dismantle it piecemeal slowly and sell it off to private interests. What does the government really want from the CBC?
13493 I would like to close by mentioning how much I appreciate the fact that you face a difficult task. Shifting through all this information is daunting. Making decisions like this is usually thankless. And blessed as it is with so much advice from so many, you have a really tough task ahead of you.
13494 I have four recommendations, then I am done.
13495 One, if the Commission really wants even more and better input from people like me, the average person, better data must be made available to the public and not just about the CBC, but other major broadcasting groups, as well.
13496 Two, the CBC, I believe is performing as well as can be expected with unparalleled financial constraints, give it full seven-year licence renewals. Don't move its goal posts further apart by adding new expectations or conditions to its licence.
13497 Three, allow the CBC to be a full-fledged member of the broadcasting system. Let it go where the industry goes. In concrete terms, this does mean new specialty services. Let the CBC into this game and onto the field.
13498 And four, if the CBC isn't going to be playing on this level playing field, push for a new source of funding for the CBC. You have heard about the CBC's financial problems for the last quarter of this century. Do you really want to hear about them for the next 25 years?
13499 We are not in a game, this is big business, but Canada's public broadcaster really does deserve a crack at the same playing field.
13500 Thank you very much, I do appreciate the time you have given me.
13501 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Langford?
13502 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: I get all the easy work.
13503 Well, first of all I want to thank you but before even I do that, we have to put Tony Burman out of his misery.
13504 MS AUER: I heard a "but".
13505 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Does he get the eight cents or not for Newsworld? That's the one question you didn't answer and he is just sitting there chewing his nails.
--- Laughter / Rires
13506 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Newsworld has applied for an eight cent a month increase and Burman wants to know whether he should get it over there and you have answered all the other questions. What do you think?
13507 MS AUER: If you say no to that increase, where should the CBC get money to improve Newsworld's programming?
13508 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: So is that a "yes"?
13509 MS AUER: That's a yes. If the sports services can get over $2 a month from me, I would really like them to get eight cents into news and current affairs. Democracy deserves it, doesn't it?
13510 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Well, I was going to put you down as undecided, but I think we are moving you into the yes column.
13511 MS AUER: Yes, yes, yes.
13512 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: I am a product of the, I guess, sixties and seventies, I know we all say that these days.
13513 There used to be a story, you mentioned the BBC -- have we got time for a story, Madame Secretary?
13514 It used to be a story that went around in the --
--- Laughter / Rires
13515 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: It is a hard crowd up here.
13516 There used to be a story that went around in the --
13517 MS AUER: He is an engineer.
13518 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: -- BBC in the seventies about the death of Noel Coward. And --
13519 MS AUER: I thought it was Frank Sinatra.
13520 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: -- the BBC retained Peter Ustinov to do a full documentary obituary on Noel Coward. And Ustinov was working away on it in the BBC headquarters and he kept getting bothered every day by a young composer who wanted to the eulogy, he wanted to write the music for the documentary and he kept bothering him and bothering him. Every day he would come in and say, "Mr. Ustinov, it is great, you have got to listen to it".
13521 And finally Ustinov said, "All right, all right. Play me the bloody music". And the composer sat down and he played away feverishly for 20 minutes and he turned around on the piano bench and he said, "Well, what do you think?" And Ustinov is reputed to have said, "I think it would have been better if you had died and Noel Coward had written the music".
13522 And I say that because I have a feeling that you have set the bar very high for us. That's a wonderful piece of work you have done.
13523 MS AUER: I think you are more than up to the task.
13524 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: And people may wish that you were sitting up here and that I had given the intervention.
13525 But having said that, and having complimented you, I would like just a little more, because you have obviously given this an incredible amount of thought, this is almost a Ph.D. on broadcasting and regulation.
13526 Where do you see our role because in a way you have fudged it by having a wish list wouldn't it be nice if the Minister were here and wouldn't it be nice if this. But, we are here and we have the role and I think you will agree with that under the Act. But you seem to have some doubt as to what role we should be playing and maybe you could give us a little more on that.
13527 MS AUER: I think the Minister could be here. I am not sure whether under the Act the Commission is empowered to require the Minister to appear.
13528 Other broadcasters, when they sit at this table usually provide seven-year funding plans. The CBC does the same thing, but unlike the private broadcasters, it doesn't know what it is going to get three years from now.
13529 If the war in Europe cost the government more money, is the CBC going to share in a funding cut again next year? Surely that will throw every plan it has given you today out the window.
13530 In terms of the Commission's actual role, I seem to recall that several years ago in response to concerns about the availability and financing of Canadian programming, the Commission established what became later known as the Canadian Television Fund. It required or it encouraged, I should say, some cable companies to refund part of the Capex provisions.
13531 Why can't something like that be done for national public broadcasting? Some people might be upset that well, how can we give the CBC more money and one way around it would be to give public broadcasting more money.
13532 It seems to me that we spend a lot of time saying we have to treat everybody with scrupulous equal interest so that we can't give one side of the equation, let's say the public side more than we give the private side. But at this point I think things have tilted in the other direction and I think public broadcasting in the public interest deserve the same kind of treatment.
13533 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: But things do tilt and you know, whether you use sort of a windmill analogy or a -- what are those things that kids ride on -- the ferris wheel analogy, things go around, you have your time in the sun, you have your time in the shadow.
13534 You are making a very eloquent plea for us to basically just say yes. But times could change and surely you will agree, or I hope you would agree, that we do have a role and you don't want us to get into programming you said, but surely we do have a role to oversee. And even if you don't agree with that, the people to press to change that role would be Parliament, not us, we have a statutory role here as we would have for any private licensee that comes before us to do some fact finding.
13535 And I am surprised in a way at just how much the tenor of what you are saying seems to urge us to simply back away completely from that role. And it may be that you are quite legitimately concerned with the state the CBC is in now. But we could have a different CBC if we backed away. We could have a CBC that perhaps you wouldn't like.
13536 So do you worry about that possibility that the pendulum could swing, to use yet another metaphor?
13537 MS AUER: You have introduced so many interesting ideas I am going to do them backwards.
13538 The CBC isn't going away after this. You are going to see it again in one year, two years, seven years, whatever licence term you give it. So it is not just going to fade off into the sunset without any kind of accountability.
13539 I am suggesting that the CBC be given the same type or at least the same level of flexibility that private broadcasters have been getting for, what, 25 years now. I seem to recall that the FM policy in the 1960s started off with some fairly tight requirements. Where is that FM policy now?
13540 Things have changed. We have streamlined, we have given the private sector more operating flexibility so that they can produce more Canadian programming. Why should the CBC which is doing more than anybody else in terms of Canadian programming be given more stringent conditions under which to operate? Is that reasonable? I don't happen to think so, but that is just my view.
13541 Am I making a particular plea for the CBC? With the greatest respect Commissioner, I don't think I am pleading for anything. I am trying to present a reasoned discussion of why when we have two major elements in our broadcasting system, public and private, the public system should be accorded some of the same treatment that the private sector has already enjoyed itself.
13542 And finally --
13543 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: I think I meant pleading as in the judicial hangover sense, you know of that sort of pleading.
13544 MS AUER: I will accept that. I just don't want to be accused of emotionalism.
13545 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: No, there is no emotionalism in your voice whatsoever.
13546 MS AUER: The transcript won't show it in any event.
13547 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Let the record show that you are as cool and collected as a cucumber.
13548 MS AUER: Thank you.
13549 I would like to say, however, in response to your very first point that you mentioned that things are tilting in the system. That is the Commission's role. The Commission is there to supervise how well the system is implementing the objectives of the Act.
13550 And since the Act establishes the public sector and the private sector, certainly it is within the Commission's mandate to try and see how that tilting mechanism is working.
13551 And with respect to the notion of particular programming, certainly the Commission has a role to play in programming, that is what the Act is all about. Is it appropriate however, for the Commission to say, "You, Station Number X, because your competitor doesn't like what you happen to be doing well, we want you to give that other station that opportunity. Give up so that that other station can profit". I don't think that is reasonable. I don't think it is equitable. I think it is unfair.
13552 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Thank you very, very much.
13553 MS AUER: You are welcome. It has been a pleasure. Well, no it hasn't, but you know, we have to say that.
13554 THE CHAIRPERSON: Excuse me. You seem to be quite knowledgable in the matters of the Commission.
13555 MS AUER: Shouldn't everybody be?
--- Laughter / Rires
13556 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, well, you seem to be much more than others.
13557 I would like to make a precision that we have been making with some intervenors. We are raising questions at this point in time, it is a proceeding that started long ago with the Public Notice. We went through regional consultation, it is now the public hearing. It is not by our questions, it is not determination, it is questioning.
13558 So I would think that we haven't rendered any decision yet and we are exploring and that is why we are very appreciative of people like you and all the intervenors that have subscribed to the proceeding are helping us with the analysis that we will have to make after the hearing.
13559 MS AUER: You are very kind. If I may just respond to a certain extent in the form of dialogue here.
13560 I think the Commission, and I have had very limited experience with other regulatory agencies has one of the best systems that I have ever seen. Everybody complains about you, well, heck, I mean if you have to read so much material, why wouldn't people complain.
13561 But at least there is a very thorough public process. Certainly the Commission is known to render fair and impartial decisions after its public hearings. But I think in raising specific questions alarm bells start to be sent off, particularly when in the past, the Commission task forces on broadcasting, the Minister, everybody seems to have said, "No, no, that will never happen".
13562 But once you see, as one of the other intervenors has mentioned, the thin edge of the wedge, perhaps the public should respond with a certain vigour. And I am talking about complimentary.
13563 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your participation.
13564 MS AUER: Thank you.
13565 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
13566 MS AUER: I hope you get to go home soon.
13567 MS BÊNARD: I would now invite Mr. Peter Meggs and Mr. Douglas Ward to come forward.
13568 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome, well it is hard to say "welcome", you have been with us since the beginning of the day. Welcome and la parole est à vous.
13569 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, it is hard to say "welcome" as you have been with us since the beginning of the day.
13570 Welcome, et la parole est à vous.
13571 MR. MEGGS: Thank you very much.
13572 A very interesting day we have sat through, too.
13573 We welcome this opportunity and appreciate the opportunity to speak to the question of a policy change being proposed by CBC Radio to introduce commercial partnerships into its schedules.
13574 In our written intervention you will notice that we have responded to CBC's application for an amendment which would give CBC the authority to broadcast a wide range of sponsorship mentions in CBC radio networks.
13575 Our concerns, and you have seen them in our intervention, were briefly that we felt that CBC Radio was departing from a non-commercial policy that for the past quarter century has enhanced its distinctiveness in Canada and which defines most publicly-owned broadcast systems throughout Europe and the world like the BBC.
13576 We were concerned that the amount of revenue generated by such a move would not outweigh the aggravation that would be felt by CBC Radio's loyal audience, the real partners of CBC radio who support it through their taxes, that adding a commercial partner would place programmers in a position of divided loyalty, that the government could perhaps reduce CBC's budget by the amount raised through commercial activity, that what looked alarmingly like creeping commercialism could grow from the nine partnerships into full-blown commercials and make CBC Radio sound like any other commercial broadcaster.
13577 We also expressed the concern that commercial activity would not be limited to arts and music programming but would be extended in time to news and information as it has been in the case of "The National" and other information programs on CBC television.
13578 Those were the concerns of our written intervention of May 4, 1999, but in the last couple of days we have learned of a dramatic change in CBC Radio's request of this Commission.
13579 As of May the 24th, CBC Radio has significantly amended its proposal requesting a much reduced kind of sponsor recognition. This new proposal suggests far less sponsor mention than the previous one, which was said to have contemplated perhaps more than a minute, a minute or more, of commercial sponsorship messages.
13580 CBC's first proposal raised the spectre of recommercializing the radio networks. This new proposal hardly dispels that possibility and it leaves us with several unanswered questions, and we would like to bring some of these to the Commission's attention.
13581 I will turn it over to Doug Ward.
13582 MR. WARD: Thank you, Peter.
13583 It has been a bit of a rush for us because we have only seen this new proposal in the last day and a half, so we can't come to any strong conclusions in light of the new proposal and we doubt that you can either. The fact that it is untested I think raises serious questions about whether it should be something that would be approved for seven years, for example, and I will come back to that point.
13584 So really, not having the evidence of a number of years under this new policy, we can only guess what might happen and speculate, and we thought we would raise some of those questions.
13585 The first thing I think the Commission should ask is whether the existing policy with the Texaco clause in it is sufficient or whether it was just a minor change. That might be all right. It has been all right for the Texaco Metropolitan Opera, for the Bell Shaw Festival and the Bank of Montreal Stratford Festival. I understand and we heard today why that may not be sufficient, but maybe a very little change in the existing policy is required.
13586 We are concerned, and I hope you will be concerned, about partnerships that will favour series that only have a wide appeal. One can understand why a sponsor might only want to be part of a sponsorship that would get the most people in a tent, and it might not reflect the wide range of cultural tastes that our audience for CBC expects of us.
13587 For example, a sponsor's interest might be peaked by a series on Beethoven and not by one on a Canadian composer. This could encourage program producers to play it safe and to place the interest of the sponsor before the interests of the audience and discourage the creativity and programming that we have come to expect. Would producers be required to market a series and find a partnership before winning approval from their supervisors? Could it happen that producers with good marketing skills but with a proposal of less merit might see their proposal win out over a producer with fewer marketing skills and a damn fine proposal?
13588 We already know that there are producers who are proposing works and they are asked now if they can get partners. One has to wonder how far that is going to go under a new policy.
13589 We note that the Canadian Conference of the Arts, in its submission, supports CBC Radio's new amended proposal. One of the things they have asked for is for the CBC to hold everything right now and have a major consultation through the arts community on this new policy. We believe that is a very important part of any moving ahead with this if it happens and that that consultation process should include not only the arts groups but the musicians union and ACTRA and other key players. We need their input and the possible impact on program costs before the Commission would approve such a request.
13590 There is the question of: How would CBC Radio handle a partnership presented to them that involved a company whose activities they might not wish to promote? President Beatty raised a question of cigarette sponsorship, tobacco sponsorship, and we know how big a role duMaurier plays. Having been frozen out of many other ways to advertise, they have latched onto the arts the way others have latched onto other things.
13591 Do we really want an organization that is mainly paid for by the taxpayer to now become a shill for duMaurier?
13592 What happens in those sponsorships where you have 10 or 15 sponsors who make an event work? Are we going to hear 10 or 15 names in a row in the broadcast?
13593 CBC Radio's latest proposal contains the words "sponsorships will not be sought for information programs." Well, I like to hear that, but I think that Peter and I are a bit from Missouri. This was corporate policy from the beginning of the CBC. Such programs were sacrosanct, but commercial pressure and reduced budgets gave CBC TV "The National" and many other commercial-ridden TV information programs. What guarantees are there that that wouldn't happen?
13594 We are to get enhanced programming through these sponsorships. That enhanced programming is going to become an important part of the overall fare. People aren't going to want to get rid of that enhanced programming, but what if that enhanced programming comes with a price that we don't want to just say "Ford Motor Company", but "Ford, maker of fine cars" or "maker of the Mustang" or "maker of the Mustang which is better than" some other car.
13595 For all of these reasons we would ask you to question very carefully this policy that is being proposed by the CBC. We would suggest if you favour it at all that you not include it in a seven-year approval and, in fact, we would probably support a seven-year licence for CBC Radio.
13596 But this is a totally untested new policy. It is something that CBC says will improve and enhance programming, will improve and enhance the resources for private arts organizations, public arts organizations and it will not be creeping commercialism.
13597 If you are inclined to support this, and we are not recommending it, but if you are I would hope that you would ask for an annual review of the impact of this new policy. You haven't had time to look at it carefully. You are not going to have time between now and when you have to have a decision out. There will not be time for a consultation in the wide public or with arts organizations.
13598 We understand the pressures that the CBC is under, but we don't want to see something set in motion today that could cause serious problems to the non-commercial aspect of CBC radio. In television you have the zapper. In radio you do not. The commercial is there. It is linear and we know how much of an irritant it has been, and that is why we got out of it, especially as we got into information programming, and it has been a very important aspect of the success of CBC Radio.
13599 CBC Radio, in spite of any commercial interest, will always be paid for by the taxpayer: 85, 90, 95, 98, 99 per cent. Commercials would only make a slight difference. Sponsorship would only make a tiny difference. To have something that really the taxpayer has paid for but then just becomes a billboard for a few advertisers is simply not fair. It doesn't pay the way and it shouldn't be given that kind of pride of place.
13600 So we would ask you to ask very serious questions of the CBC and question whether in fact it should go ahead and, if so, I would hope you would give it a rigorous trial and require that over the years.
13601 Finally, the sad part of all of this is that the CBC started with the idea of maybe moving into commercial sponsorship up to a minute an hour, maybe a couple of minutes an hour, to raise money for CBC Radio. CBC Radio is now underfunded. I know you have said that you are not the people who write the cheques, but I think it is important to raise this issue whenever we can at a hearing like this.
13602 It was lovely to hear the brave words of CBC managers, and we have both been them. We were all told when we were managers not to whimper about the budget cuts. We learned that very early on, and you didn't hear any whimpering today. People were talking about how they have been able to renew things and all that. But you also heard around the edges: there is no wiggle room, there is nobody to replace somebody who is sick, there is not enough thinking time. These are very, very important early warning signs about the underfunding of a national treasure. So from our point of view, this whole debate has been cast wrongly.
13603 It is a public service. We are not asking the fire department to go out and get 3 per cent funding by putting ads on the side of the fire trucks. This is a lean, efficient service. It needs a little more public funding to maintain its excellence. That should come from the federal government.
13604 Mr. Chrétien and the Premier of Ontario who made these enormous cuts in the last few years are now putting money back into things where they found they made mistakes, and somehow we have to get the message back, "You have made a mistake here. This is one of the things that Canada does best and it needs better funding. It has an enormous mandate. Provide the funding."
13605 Thank you.
13606 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
13607 I can just say, as I was saying to Mr. Languirand in French, how honoured we are to have you participate in this proceeding.
13608 Thank you very much for caring after all those years and after having done so much already, and keep caring and keep wanting to make a difference in this public broadcasting system that is really, as you were saying, a treasure in our country.
13609 If you would allow it, although it is a bit late, I would like to ask a few questions to really pick your brains a bit.
13610 I think your position on the sponsorship is quite clear, from your written intervention as well as today, although you are saying that with the changes proposed it is not as negative maybe in terms of the perception that you had at first, but still it is unknown territory that is a dangerous slope. That is how I am interpreting your comment today.
13611 You heard me with the radio this morning or this afternoon when I was asking for indicators that we could use in terms of safeguards to make sure that it wouldn't be a slippery slope. In your opinion, is there any way to find indicators, a percentage of either some manifestation that could not exceed a certain amount or even a certain amount of value of that sponsorship? Do you think it could be, if ever that measure was to be reported on, every two or three years or every year? Are there ways, in your view, that could alleviate --
13612 MR. MEGGS: I don't know just what rules could be put in effect, but something has to be done to circumscribe this situation, it seems to me, it seems to both of us, because we have seen in the past the effects of commercialism. We have seen it in other media. We have also seen it in public broadcasting/ public television in this country and in the States where it started out as sponsor identification only. It has grown from that and it will grow from that, it seems to us.
13613 Now, I'm not being very helpful I'm sure, but I do feel that perhaps Doug's suggestion that we review it every year until we are sure about this policy -- we don't want to hold back events that could happen on CBC Radio. We are not trying to do that. We are simply saying that before that happens in a commercial sense, before we start mentioning companies or products, I think we should have some strict guidelines by which this could be measured.
13614 MR. WARD: It may, for example, be that right now they are saying there will be value-added, but it may be in the future that the Toronto Symphony Orchestra will get money from Air Canada and get the same amount of money, but promise that there will be a tag at the top and tail of the program. No new money, so there has been no enhancement of programming. There has been no new money to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and yet we now have two commercial mentions in a program that never had them. Well, who has won there?
13615 THE CHAIRPERSON: Air Canada.
--- Laughter / Rires
13616 MR. WARD: Voilà.
13617 In fact, at one stage you probably remember CBC was going to be called Air Canada. Do you remember when --
13618 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I do.
13619 MR. WARD: So that is the kind of thing I think if we were to move that way we would -- now, once you say, all right, have a trial, it's very hard to back off of a trial. Our position would probably be that we don't need this new policy, that we will find ways to -- CBC will find ways to make do. It's hard not to continue to say "we", but we are intervenors today.
13620 But if you did, we would just say please have a rigorous trial period and monitor this over a number of years, because we all know how these things slide and how, oh, gosh, the lawyers find brilliant ways to make -- you know, like, just by adding the name of your advertiser into the name of your cultural event that is sacrosanct: the duMaurier this or the Bell that.
13621 So the lawyers will work on these things and we have to make sure along the way that we don't throw the baby out with the bath water.
13622 THE CHAIRPERSON: Given your experience also, I can't remember exactly the forecast over the seven years, I think it was about $500,000 to start with and maybe go up $100,000 to 500,000 per year. With your knowledge, do you think that there would be other ways, I know that it has been said many times and certainly everybody will recognize that there have been drastic cuts, especially when you take every layer of cuts that have been done over the years, it really amounts to a very large sum of money.
13623 But the money that could be brought from the sponsors, is it money that could be found elsewhere in the budget already devoted to the CBC?
13624 MR. WARD: Well, Mr. Frame has already said that there will be no new money to the CBC from this and that any of the sponsored programming, if it is lost to the CBC, they will still be able to do everything.
13625 The basic problem of underfunding will only be solved by the Federal Government.
13626 THE CHAIRPERSON: But at the Radio, your knowledge and expertise, do you think that the elements that were given today, the fact, for example of the repeats that we were talking about with Vice-Chair Wylie is really a matter of choice to reach the audience. That if there was more money through funding or through another type of distribution of the money within the CBC, do you think the same choices would be done and do you think they are the best to reach the audiences?
13627 MR. MEGGS: If I may say so, Madame Chair, it is very difficult when you are retired to look back with any -- to look on the present situation with any expertise at all. I wouldn't want to comment on how things could be juggled within the CBC today. I am not familiar with it. I am a listener like other people. I guess that is why I care.
13628 But I think it is difficult for us to do that. Perhaps you can -- do you have any thoughts on that?
13629 MR. WARD: There are a couple of things I would say. Number one, CBC Radio with the cutting 10 to 20 per cent over the -- starting with the Mulroney cuts and then the Chretien cuts has become very efficient, very effective and very economical.
13630 And just in terms of what it delivers to this country, I think it is unparalleled and when I look at the things it should be doing, the whole business of having back up or backfill, which was the word Susan Mitton mentioned, I don't think repeats is a huge problem, because some repeats are very valuable. The repeats of a morning show in the evening for people who couldn't hear it worked very well. It is the endless repeats in the summer and endless repeats in the evening that are the problem.
13631 We don't have enough foreign voice -- Canadian voices overseas, foreign correspondents. We don't have enough regional radio stations. There are huge areas of this country, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, over a million people, not a single CBC reporter in that whole area. There could be a little bureau in there the way there is in Victoria. And probably across country there are 10 or so black holes of that size.
13632 So for very little money you could have a major impact and I don't want to second guess the board any more than Peter does about priorities, but I just know how efficient CBC Radio has become and what a bang you can get for quite a small investment. So I just think that somehow we have got to get more money into the CBC and the board has got to understand what the payoff is in radio.
13633 THE CHAIRPERSON: Another question and there is my colleague, Vice-Chair Wylie, who has one for you, as well.
13634 There has been some discussion and comments over the regional consultation we have had about a lot of attachment to the radio. Of course, it is a genre that is a medium in itself, you cannot make comparisons.
13635 But given what has been your immense impact on the public radio here in Canada, do you think if you were still working at the CBC that you would have a report similar to the one you wrote about the radio in terms of freeing the television from commercials or decreasing, maybe, the commercial time on television?
13636 MR. WARD: Is your question about television?
13637 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
13638 MR. WARD: In 1966 I had dinner with Gerard Pelletier and he said, "You know, I just had lunch with your president, George Davidson, and I said to George Davidson, how much money do you take in on commercials on television? And George said, about $25 million a year". And Gerard Pelletier, Secretary of State, responsible for the CBC said, "If I give you $5 million a year incremental for the next five years, will you get out of ads?" And George said, "No." He said, "It is a good link to the marketplace" or something like that.
13639 Well, boy, we lost an enormous opportunity. I mean, for $25 when the economy was expanding like crazy under the Trudeau government, they were prepared to take CBC out of ads.
13640 CBC Television seems to have lost its way after that because of the terrible urgency to bring in a whole lot of money by running American programming. And it has taken a long time to turn around.
13641 But today, I don't know. It would take $300 or $400 million, I suppose to get out of commercials today. And I think that probably the people who run CBC Television today would say they would have priorities beyond getting out of commercials well before that in order to improve the Canadian service.
13642 THE CHAIRPERSON: What you are saying is when commercials are present and it seems to be what drives you, too, in terms of your opinion about the sponsorship is you don't make the same choices in terms of programming and the way you serve the public?
13643 MR. MEGGS: I don't think you do at all, if I may just interrupt here, because CBC Radio has a partner now, it is the Canadian audience. Sponsors are another partner and they have other interests. And I think sponsorship of any kind diverts the attention to that other interest and I think you have to keep an eye on it all the time.
13644 Both Doug and I have worked under several presidents and have watched this situation develop in the past and I think it was always politically unwise, if I may use the term, to suggest that amount of money that television needed to get out of commercials be brought out from the government again, because it seemed to be unwise even to raise the question.
13645 I don't know what the situation is today, $300 or $400 million is a lot of money. But you cannot have the kind of system that the BBC has in television with the kind of system we have with commercials. You just can't do it.
13646 So it seems to me that we have heard what the BBC cost today, it costs a great deal of money and it costs it through licence fees and that sort of thing. That is the direction they have taken. It is not always popular, I gather, to pay that kind of money. But they do it and they have several networks as a result of it.
13647 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. I would ask Vice-Chair Wylie.
13648 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Thank you.
13649 If I may go back to the sponsorship, you suggest -- your first choice is that we not grant this amendment. Your second choice is if we grant it that we monitor it, we get to know more about it. You have maybe a trial.
13650 What would be the test for you or the litmus paper test to see whether it is harmful or it is not? I mean are there any mechanisms that would allow one to see whether it is working properly?
13651 For example, how would one know short of complaints, I suppose, whether it had any impact on the choice made of what special presentation or concert or program you would put on because you are driven by the sponsor. How would one test that?
13652 MR. WARD: In 36 hours we haven't been able to come up with any great intelligence on this.
13653 But one could hire lawyers who could come up with these things. Not that I want to give --
13654 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: You think there are solutions?
13655 MR. WARD: -- any more work to lawyers.
13656 But this is the kind of thing that one could work on these things. Some of it is very subtle and you will never know. If it is a Beethoven series or not a Scrioben(ph) series because Honda likes Beethoven -- I don't know why they would, but you will know that there was an influence there perhaps.
13657 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: So hopefully you are not a sponsor.
13658 MR. WARD: Right, right. So I don't know how you would track that. But I mean, what they are saying is the programming will be enhanced. Well, measure that.
13659 Arts organizations will have better leverage and be enriched even financially, well you can measure that.
13660 And then third, you can measure at least the sound. You can measure what CBC sounds like overall. What that extra top and tail says, you can measure that.
13661 What you can't measure is the insidious thing that we have both talked about, the producer who says I would really like to do a documentary on this and not that, because I know Bata Shoes might want something done in Prague this year.
13662 And then who is making the decisions and who is running what when at the end of the day, 99 cents on every dollar that CBC Radio gets is from the listener and the taxpayer and not from Bata Shoes or Bell Canada.
13663 MR. MEGGS: I think we pride ourselves on having an arms' length relationship with government. I don't know how we measure that in broadcasting, but you have to have the same kind of protection, it seems to me for arms' length relationship with sponsors. And that is difficult. I don't know how you measure it, but it is something that has to be watched, it is there.
13664 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: One measure, of course, that was suggested was they would do, I think it was 60 more of this type of special presentations over their licence term. I suppose you could measure whether it appeared to have increased the number of special events.
13665 But I also find it difficult, we haven't heard -- perhaps the CBC in Reply will have some suggestions as to how if one had some concerns how one would test whether it is insidiously negative or not.
13666 It is difficult to see what those tests would be, but perhaps they will have some idea. Obviously they have suggested a Condition of Licence with some fences around it, but if your preoccupation is the overall effect in sound, I suppose, but the overall effect of what choices are made, then I find it difficult to imagine how one would test that and get a level of comfort.
13667 But perhaps they will have some response.
13668 MR. MEGGS: It is difficult, too, because you wouldn't know which series had been proposed and turned down.
13669 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Unless you had some evidence or complaints from those who were trying to get something done.
13670 Thank you very much. Thank you, Madame Chair.
13671 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Meggs, Mr. Ward, thank you very much for having participated in our proceeding.
13672 MR. WARD: Thank you.
13673 MR. MEGGS: Thank you.
13674 THE CHAIRPERSON: And having sat with us all day. Thank you for your patience.
13675 MR. MEGGS: You sat with us, too. Thank you for the privilege.
13676 MS BÊNARD: This concludes our list for today, Madame Chair.
13677 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. We will be back at 9:00 tomorrow morning. Thank you, good night.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1855, to resume
on Thursday, June 3, 1999 at 0900 / L'audience se
termine à 1855, pour reprendre le jeudi 3 juin
1999 à 0900