TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS
FOR THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND
TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES DU
CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION
ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES
SUBJECT / SUJET:
BROADCASTING APPLICATIONS AND LICENCES/
DEMANDES ET LICENCES EN RADIODIFFUSION
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Vancouver Trade Vancouver Trade
& Convention Centre & Convention Centre
Room 8-15 Salle 8-15
999 Canada Place 999, Canada Place
British Columbia (Colombie-Britannique)
February 21, 2000 Le 21 février 2000
In order to meet the requirements of the Official Languages
Act, transcripts of proceedings before the Commission will be
bilingual as to their covers, the listing of the CRTC members
and staff attending the public hearings, and the Table of
However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded
verbatim transcript and, as such, is taped and transcribed in
either of the official languages, depending on the language
spoken by the participant at the public hearing.
Afin de rencontrer les exigences de la Loi sur les langues
officielles, les procès-verbaux pour le Conseil seront
bilingues en ce qui a trait à la page couverture, la liste des
membres et du personnel du CRTC participant à l'audience
publique ainsi que la table des matières.
Toutefois, la publication susmentionnée est un compte rendu
textuel des délibérations et, en tant que tel, est enregistrée
et transcrite dans l'une ou l'autre des deux langues
officielles, compte tenu de la langue utilisée par le
participant à l'audience publique.
Canadian Radio-television and
Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des
Transcript / Transcription
Public Hearing / Audience publique
Broadcasting Applications and Licences/
Demandes et licences en radiodiffusion
BEFORE / DEVANT:
Françoise Bertrand Présidente/Chairperson
Présidente du Conseil/
Chairperson of the Commission
Andrée Wylie Conseillère/Commissioner
Stuart Langford Commissioner/Conseiller
Cindy Grauer Commissioner/Conseillère
Barbara Cram Commissioner/Conseillère
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Lori Assheton-Smith Legal Counsel/
Michael Burnside Hearing Manager/ Gérant de l'audience
Marguerite Vogel Secrétaire de l'audience/
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Vancouver Trade Vancouver Trade
& Convention Centre & Convention Centre
Room 8-15 Salle 8-15
999 Canada Place 999, Canada Place
British Columbia (Colombie-Britannique)
February 21, 2000 Le 21 février 2000
TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
CHUM Limited 10
Questions by the Commission 26
Questions by Commission Counsel 134
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
Questions by the Commission 153
Questions by Commission Counsel 261
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
Trinity Television Inc. 266
Questions by the Commission 284
Vancouver, British Columbia / Vancouver (C.-B.)
--- Upon commencing on Monday, February 22, 2000
at 0900 / L'audience commence le lundi
21 février 2000 à 0900
1 PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Order, please. A l'ordre, s'il vous plaît.
2 Alors, Mesdames et messieurs, bonjour.
3 Mon nom est Françoise Bertrand. Je suis très heureuse d'être de retour dans la ville de Vancouver -- for another hearing, because I remember vividly September 1996 when it was my first hearing as Chair of the CRTC. So I am very delighted to be back.
4 We will be very busy this week for seven days and I apologize in advance for intervenors and people who are interested in every step of our hearing because it will be a long week, but it will be certainly one that will be interesting and stimulating.
5 I would like first to introduce to you the Members of the Panel.
6 First, on my right, Vice-Chair Wylie, Andrée Wylie, who is the Vice-Chair, Broadcasting.
7 To her right, Stuart Langford, who is National Commissioner.
8 To my left, somebody you know very well in the region given that she is the Regional Commissioner for British Columbia as well as for the Yukon, Madame Cindy Grauer.
9 To her left, Barbara Cram, who is the Regional Commissioner for Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
10 The staff that is here today with us because, as you well know, we would never be capable of holding these hearings without your help, your applications, your comments by interventions, but also with the help of the expertise of staff of the Commission. I would like to introduce to you Lori Assheton-Smith, Legal Counsel; Michael Burnside, Hearing Manager; and Marguerite Vogel, Hearing Secretary.
11 Please do not hesitate to consult them should you have procedural questions or any other matters.
12 Today I am welcoming you to a hearing that will consider applications for new television programming services in the Vancouver and Victoria markets, as well as competing applications for licences to operate multipoint distribution systems or MDS, radio communication distribution undertakings.
13 Finally, we will also look at an application for a new English-language Canadian specialty television service.
14 First, the Panel will consider the five applications to carry on television programming undertakings. We will hear the following applications:
15 Trinity Television Inc. wishes to operate an English-language religious television station that would serve the Fraser Valley Region;
16 CFMT-TV has requested a licence to operate a multilingual ethnic television station in Vancouver;
17 CHUM Limited intends to offer an English-language television programming service also in Vancouver.
18 Finally, we will hear from CHUM Limited and Craig Broadcast Systems Inc., both of whom would like to offer an English-language television programming service to the Victoria region.
19 We all know that British Columbia's population has grown over the last two decades at a faster pace than the national average and that Vancouver has been one of the most expanding markets in Canada and that the television revenues grew at a relatively high pace from 1986 to 1998. Those elements were crucial in the decision of 1997 to licence CIVT-TV.
20 Since September 1997, we all know that further fragmentation has occurred in Vancouver as well as in all the markets across Canada, especially created by the tremendous success of Canadian specialty services.
21 Given this evolving environment, today's applicants should clearly demonstrate to us that there is a need in the market for the proposed station and service. The Commission will examine these applications in light of the objectives of the Broadcasting Act and the new television policy issued last June.
22 With this in mind, the Commission will pay particular attention to the following elements which can be found in Public Notice CRTC-99-101:
23 The contribution that the new service will make toward achieving the objectives of the Broadcasting Act, notably the production of local and regional programs;
24 How the applicant intends to promote the development of Canadian talent, particularly local and regional talent;
25 How will the applicant contribute to priority programs nationally as defined by the TV policy;
26 The possibility of concluding program co-investments and co-purchase agreements with Canadian or foreign broadcasters;
27 The new service's proposed audience;
28 The soundness or the feasibility of the business plan, the validity of the market analysis and the advertising revenue forecasts
29 The availability of financial resources to meet the requirements identified in the business plan's financial projects; and
30 Finally, the impact on the existing players in the Vancouver extended market as well as nationally.
31 Of course, while being aware of Canadian television programming, the applicants should also address the needs and the tastes of their respective markets, not forgetting the viewers.
32 In the second phase, the Commission will consider the two competing applications presented by Craig Broadcast Systems Inc. and LOOK Communications Inc. for new multipoint distribution systems, MDS, to serve southern British Columbia.
33 Since May of 1995 it has been the Commission's policy to consider applications for competing broadcasting distribution systems in order to provide an alternative to cable and to support healthy and fair competition in the distribution market.
34 In considering the two competing applications the Commission will be particularly interested in the following issues:
35 The distribution system should allow for more competition in British Columbia;
36 Secondly, it should also permit greater consumer choice; and
37 Thirdly, it should promote the presence of high quality Canadian programming in our broadcasting system.
38 The Commission will also ensure that the goals of the Broadcasting Act are respected.
39 Finally, the Commission will consider an application from Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. to obtain a broadcasting licence to carry on an English-language national specialty programming undertaking. The service is to be called "Food Network Canada Inc." and is intended to replace the existing American service "Food Network".
40 The applicant proposes that this service be distributed via analog by all Class 1 cable distributors who already distribute the American Food Network. In the case of systems that do not already offer the American service on analog, the applicant expects to benefit from any access policy regarding digital distribution on all broadcast distribution systems.
41 En terminant, le Conseil rappelle qu'il a comme objectif de créer un environnement dans lequel les Canadiens puissent avoir accès à une variété de services de grande qualité et où les programmes canadiens sont à l'honneur.
42 De plus, le Conseil vise à renforcer l'industrie de la programmation canadienne en accordant une visibilité accrue au talent et à la création canadienne, autant à l'intérieur qu'à l'extérieur de nos frontières et ainsi favoriser la croissance des télédiffuseurs dans un marché mondial de plus en plus convergeant et concurrentiel.
43 I will now ask Michael Burnside, Hearing Manager to explain the procedures to be followed during this hearing.
44 To everyone, a good hearing.
45 Michael. Oh, it will be Marguerite.
46 MS VOGEL: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.
47 Michael has kindly allowed me to take this part of the proceeding.
48 First I will describe the procedure that will be followed for hearing competitive applications.
49 The hearing will proceed in four phases.
50 Phase I is where the applicants present their application to the Commission. Twenty minutes maximum is allowed for this presentation and questions will follow.
51 Phase II, the applicants reappear as intervenors. They reappear in the same order as they presented as intervenors to other competing applicants. Ten minutes maximum is allowed for this intervention, and again questions will likely following.
52 Phase III, the appearing intervenors appear from the public, and again 10 minutes maximum is allowed and there may be questioning after.
53 In Phase IV the applicants reappear in reverse order to that used in Phase I to rebut any interventions that have been made on their applications.
54 Some general information for the convenience of everyone here, the public files associated with these applications are in our public examination room, in Room 7, and it is the room adjacent to the hearing room. CRTC staff in that room will be pleased to assist you, but please be aware that while an application is being heard the public files associated with it will be in this room and not available for viewing in the next room.
55 There is a verbatim transcript of this hearing being taken by court reporters who are located at the table to my left and slightly behind. If you have any questions about how to obtain all or parts of this transcript, please approach the court reporter for information.
56 Finally, if you want to have messages taken, we will be happy to post them outside of Room No. 7, the public examination room. The phone number in the public exam room is 666-1074.
57 If you have any other questions, please feel free to approach any of the CRTC staff and we will be more than pleased to assist you.
58 Now, Madam Chairperson, with your leave, I will call the first applicant.
59 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Maybe before you do, may I bring to everybody the information that you will see maybe a different time of starting our days in the next few days. We would like very much to really cover all the applications and meet with the intervenors in the time allowed for in the next seven days, so we will start at eight o'clock as of tomorrow.
60 But please stay tuned, we will kind of adapt depending on the speed and rhythm of the proceeding, and we were thinking if ever we were to be quite late that we might use Thursday evening. But, as I say, stay tuned, we will give more precision as we go.
61 Madam Vogel.
62 MS VOGEL: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.
63 I will now call the first applicant, CHUM Limited, who are applying for a broadcasting licence to carry on an English-language television programming undertaking at Vancouver. The new station would operate on Channel 42 with an effective radiated power of 430,000 watts.
64 Whenever you are ready.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
65 MR. SHERRATT: Madam Chair, Members of the Commission, for the record my name is Fred Sherratt. I am Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of CHUM Limited.
66 Before beginning our formal presentation this morning I would like to introduce to you the talented group of CHUM colleagues that are here with us today. In fact, we have so many that I was beginning to wonder who was looking after the store. They are each here because each play big roles in the development of our plans and approach to television in Vancouver and we thought it was important that you have the opportunity to get answers to any questions you might have directly from the people who make it all happen.
67 On my right is Moses Znaimer, President/Executive Producer, CHUMCity Television Group and Vice-President, Development of CHUM Limited.
68 Besides Moses is Jay Switzer, Senior Vice-President, Programming, CHUM Television.
69 On my left, Rob Waters, President of CHUM Television.
70 Beside Ron, Peter Miller, Vice-President, Business and Regulatory Affairs for CHUM Television.
71 Next to Peter is Denise Donlon, Vice-President and General Manager, MuchMusic and MuchMoreMusic.
72 Behind me, starting from my right, Marcia Martin, Vice-President and General Manager of our newly launched entertainment station Star! and Vice-President, Production, Citytv.
73 Next to Marcia, Prem Gill, CHUM Television's Vancouver Ethnic Advisor.
74 Beside Prem, James Ho, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mainstream Broadcasting who operates CHMB-AM Radio, Vancouver. James is a respected Vancouver businessman and very active in the Chinese community here.
75 Next we have Lenny Lombardi, Executive Vice-President, CHIN Multilingual Radio, who we have been working with for over 20 years.
76 Beside Lenny, Dan Hamilton, General Sales Manager, Citytv, the NewVR and CablePulse 24.
77 Finishing our head panel, Sarah Crawford, Vice-President, Social Policy/Media Education, CHUM Television.
78 At the third table, with your indulgence, Madam Chair, Paul Ski on the left, your right, who is Vice-President and General Manager of CHUM's Vancouver radio station CFUN and QM-FM. He has been in that role for the past 20 years in this community.
79 Next to Paul is Hans Jensen, a partner in Bay Consulting Group who did our market studies.
80 Beside Hans, Duncan McKie, President of Pollara Strategic Public Opinions who did our audience research.
81 Next to Duncan we have Peter Palframan, Vice-President, Finance and Operations for Access and Canadian Learning Television.
82 Beside Peter, Paul Gratton, Vice-President and General Manager, Bravo! and Space.
83 Next to Paul, Diane Boehme, Manager, Independent Production for CHUM Television.
84 Next to Diane, Terry David Mulligan, West Coast Host and Segment Producer for Star!, Bravo! and Movie Television.
85 Lastly, Timothy Jim, Chief Operating Officer of CHMB.
86 I would also like to acknowledge the presence here today of Johnny Lombardi, President and CEO of CHIN Radio. Johnny was a pioneer in ethnic programming in this country and in his early days worked with Allan Waters at 1050 CHUM in developing ethnic programming in Toronto. Allan could not be here today, Allan Waters, but he has asked that I give you his best wishes.
87 Now, Madam Chair, Members of the Commission, we will begin our presentation.
88 A terrestrial television station in Vancouver has been a long standing ambition and necessity for CHUM Television. This is the second time in recent years that CHUM has sought such a licence from the Commission.
89 In the next few days you are going to hear a number of applicants, each with its own view of the landscape.
90 There are two big considerations: First, local service, service to Vancouver and Victoria; and, second, the effect of new licences on the Canadian broadcasting system, and the cultural objectives of the country.
91 Madam Chair, I'm sure you remember well our attempt of just four years ago. As you mentioned earlier, it was your first hearing. A lot has happened since then: Baton emerging as the owner of CTV; CanWest expanding into Montreal and buying WIC, the dynamic growth of specialty, your TV policy, just to name a few.
92 The importance we place on Vancouver has meant that, with the exception of Ottawa back in the 1980s, we have not sought new television licences in any other markets. Most notably, we did not apply for Alberta in the competitive round four years ago because we wanted to signal that Vancouver was the one that counted most in CHUM Television's future. This is still the case.
93 Then, as now, we believe that Vancouver needs a vibrant, connected and faithful local station. Last time you awarded that franchise to Baton. It now appears that station will instead become the national CTV outlet.
94 Today, our conventional broadcasting stations, located exclusively in the Province of Ontario, reach approximately 40 per cent of English-language households. Our principal private competitors, Global, CTV and WIC each reach well over 80 per cent. Each buys national program rights and produces its own programs against a national distribution base.
95 To remain competitive, we too must purchase rights on a national basis. This significant disparity between the escalating costs of purchasing such national rights, and our limited reach, is not sustainable. If left to continue, it threatens our ability to maintain, much less grow, the innovative and creative Canadian programming contributions that have been our unique contribution to the system.
96 Our urgent need is to grow into British Columbia. This would permit us to more properly amortize our national rights costs, the same privilege now enjoyed by the other large broadcast groups. This sense of urgency will only be heightened and dramatized should Global be successful in the plan they have put before you.
97 MR. ZNAIMER: Vancouver/Victoria may be a single market for advertising purposes, but Vancouver and Victoria are two very distinct communities for programming purposes. In every examination we have made -- of the communities as a market and of the market as communities -- we have seen the need to bring our experience to bear on two very different kinds of television stations:
98 The ultra urban, ultra modern, richly polyglot and culturally diverse news-minded and movies-orientated Vancouver station that we are presenting today; and
99 The more mainstream series-based, calmer, local/local/local Victoria and Island station that we will be presenting, probably tomorrow.
100 We believe that licensing both these stations is the best way of addressing real television needs at the local level and making a significant, timely contribution to the broadcasting system as a whole.
101 Diversity in that system is one of the pillars of our proposal: cultural diversity, program diversity, diversity of ownership.
102 Cultural diversity in the form of performance, production and management that is sensitive to the emergence of second and third generation ethnic needs and desires, and smart enough to harness their abundant talents.
103 Program diversity in the form of eight hours of priority programming per week in peak time, with an emphasis on major commitments to feature film.
104 Diversity of ownership in the form of a distinctive third Canadian private player prepared to voluntarily take on the obligations of larger multi-station groups and to do it in a way that is complimentary rather than disruptive.
105 With luck, after the WIC process is complete Canada we will have only two national commercial networks aggressively pursuing national foreign network series programming. This will help greatly in redirecting the flow of money away from Hollywood, where it now goes as a result of the bidding frenzy, into Canadian programming.
106 Our company's specialty or signature is specialized television. Our first specialty was local television, local production. In this regard, Citytv Toronto is perhaps our best-known title.
107 As to entertainment, our specialty is long form, feature films and feature length documentaries. We are, and we have for some time now, been the largest private broadcast player in Canadian feature film.
108 In that way what we offer is a distinctive new style of television that is different from and complementary to the generalist, conventional networks and their weekly half-hour and hour-long series approach.
109 Our research, our own practical experience and our community consultations confirm what the interventions before you also make plain, that there are still important, unfulfilled television niches in Vancouver and the lower mainland, such as being local and independent and in control of your own transmitter all the time, such as the need for a new approach to ethnic service and cultural diversity, such as movies, especially Canadian movies, including Quebec movies and world beat movies.
110 When, in a 1996 study, our independent researcher interviewed media directors about the Vancouver extended market, they expressed uncommonly strong opinions about the state of the television advertising industry and the urgent need for another TV station in the city. They told us, essentially, that Vancouver badly needed a "Citytv-style" station.
111 In follow up interviews conducted just last year, 1999, the comments and attitudes were surprisingly simple. There were strongly worded statements about disappointment with VTV, continuing demand for a truly "local" station and the need to serve retailers better with more and better inventory.
112 In other words, what we do -- news, movies, music, diversity, and how we do it, street front, store front and accessible -- still represents a genuine, unduplicated, new television offering for Vancouver for the business community as well as for the viewing public. Savvy Vancouverites know the difference that we can make in providing a heightened platform for dialogue and debate and for the discovery, development and celebration of local talent.
113 While it is true that CHUM Television operates a number of well-known and highly regarded specialty channels popular in this area, everybody knows the war must be won on the ground. We will remain what people around here call "astronauts" until we get a firm operating base in this extraordinary place, this uniquely modern world city, international in populace and futuristic in its outlook, and that also happens to be the second largest, most important English-language market in the country and the "tipping point" for our strategy.
114 MR. HO: There are a number of ethnic television outlets available in Vancouver that target individual ethnic communities with predominantly foreign third-language programming, programming of obvious interest to new immigrants and first generation Canadians.
115 What Vancouver lacks, what most communities in Canada lack, is a smartly produced, widely viewed, local television station committed to airing local ethnic and culturally diverse programming that builds bridges between ethnic communities themselves; from the "ethnic" community to the "mainstream"; and from the "mainstream" back to the "ethnic" community. This is what second and third generation ethnics -- my kids -- want to see.
116 It is this emphasis on building bridges that attracted me to CHUM. After all, Citytv has a 29-year history in multilingual and multicultural broadcasting that people sometimes forget.
117 My own priority with CHMB-AM 1320 is local service -- helping build bridges inside Vancouver's Chinese community and between those communities and other ethnic communities. At last, in collaboration with CHUM Vancouver, we will have the ability to build bridges in the other direction.
118 Another reason that I am here today is that I have enormous admiration and respect for CHUM's creativity. It is not easy to put into program terms the idea that the challenge today lies not in taking traditional elements from traditional cultures to make still more unconnected pockets of multiculturalism, but in taking the consciousness of all these heritages and working to create something new.
119 In the time that I have known them, I have also been impressed with CHUMCity's development in South America and Europe. I am certain a successful entrance into the Vancouver market will facilitate the extension of the Citytv style system and culture to the Far East.
120 I think with CHUM's ideas, Moses creativity and my networking, both local and Far East, that CHUM-TV will be a success both locally and in the export market to the Far East.
121 MS DONLON: I cut my musical teeth living here in Vancouver, learning everything about that business that I could. I have watched Vancouver develop over the last two decades into a cosmopolitan, Asia-facing modern city. I have often wondered what would be different if we had a station here.
122 The passionate positive affirmation that we have heard in response to our approach in our countless community meetings and discussions suggests we would make a big difference and has, quite frankly, inspired us. We sincerely hope that you too get a sense of this passion in the interventions that you will hear over the next few days.
123 Supporting our cultural diversity thrust, and vital all in itself, is our passion for music, arts and culture. With Terry David Mulligan here in Vancouver I am very proud of the support that we have provided for the past 16 years to local music, creative and artistic talent. From Bryan Adams to the Rascalz; from Spirit of the West to Diana Krall, we have not only made a difference to B.C. talent, we have launched careers. But, to be frank, the lack of a station here has meant that I haven't been able to do as much for my musical home town as I wanted to.
124 With a station, I, along with Marcia Martin, Paul Gratton and all of our other station managers and staff, will be able to take the talent -- and not just the musical talent, the arts and theatre, dance and cultural communities -- and take that programming developed by CHUM Television Vancouver across Canada on Much, Bravo!, Star! and our other channels and around the world.
125 The Barenaked Ladies got their start in the Speaker's Corner booth at Citytv. We want emerging Vancouver musicians and artists to have the same opportunity here. What today is in local Vancouver news and information programming can tomorrow be in a magazine show on one of our specialties and ultimately exported to over 130 countries, not to mention the powerful synergies that exposure on our Internet sites can bring. No one else can do that.
126 MR. SWITZER: In addition to the cultural diversity of which Moses and James have spoken, the other two basic building blocks of CHUM Television's Vancouver's schedule are local programming and movies.
127 CHUM-TV Vancouver will air an unmatched 42 hours of local, original, station and independently produced programming each week, including:
128 17 hours of local news;
129 12 hours of locally produced non-news programming focusing on local entertainment and recreation;
130 CHUM Television Vancouver will also air 15 hours a week of quality, original, local ethnic programming, and two hours a week of the first ever prime time Canadian dramatic serial set in the world of television and visibly set in Vancouver.
131 The need for a great leap forward in production and promotion of Canadian movies has been an oft repeated cry over the last couple of years, but few have come to the table with concrete proposals and commitments. We have.
132 CHUM Television Vancouver will -- sometimes alone and sometimes in association with our other terrestrial and specialty stations across the CHUM group, and increasingly in partnership with our friends at the CBC -- enable a quantum leap at each stage of the creative process of Canadian film-making, development, financing, exhibition, promotion and celebration.
133 Madam Chair, Members of the Commission, as you have heard many times of late: It is time for Canadian movies.
134 Could we have the tape, please?
--- Video presentation / Présentation vidéo
135 MR. SHERRATT: Madam Chair, we have covered a lot of ground this morning and there is a lot of detail in our application, but for us it all comes back to the situation we face and the three key things that are unique to CHUM and our applications:
136 We face consolidation in ownership all around, and the necessity to buy national rights to keep ratings and revenues up at our existing stations. Program acquisition costs are fixed whether we have a Vancouver station or not, but without a Vancouver outlet to help pay for the programs we cannot maintain, let alone grow our business.
137 In other words, without Vancouver sharing in ongoing program costs, our stations will not be able to buy or hold top movies or break out series in the future and our business will decline. It's as simple as that.
138 Fortunately, we have a creative team second to none and we have a plan:
139 First and foremost, serving the two distinct communities that are the Vancouver extended market, Vancouver and Victoria, with strong local and culturally diverse programming;
140 Second, commitments to eight hours of priority programming per week in peak time across the CHUM group, with an emphasis on the dramatically under served area of feature film; and
141 Third, ensuring both diversity in the system and the future viability of CHUM Television which is dedicated to the kind of television that clearly complements the two national series-based commercial networks in a way that best takes forward the objectives of the Commission's television policy.
142 Thank you for listening.
143 We await your questions.
144 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much.
145 I am the one who has the pleasure of doing the interrogatory. I will have four major areas of questioning.
146 The first one about the general strategy in which I will include also questions concerning the severability of your application between Vancouver and Victoria.
147 The second area will be more around the business plan, but in relationship to the assessment of the market. I am really pleased that the person from the Bay study is there because we will refer to that.
148 The third area will be the programming, certainly, which is the core of our broadcasting system and which is certainly also reflected in your activities but also in your application. So we will talk about specifically your commitment to local and also in terms of your ethnic proposal.
149 Finally, we will conclude with some elements concerning the independent producers collaboration.
150 Okay. So let's start with the strategy.
151 We were here in September 1996 and at the time you were applying for a station here in Vancouver and a re-broad for Victoria. A lot has changed, as you were mentioned, since 1996 and what does it -- what are the elements that have driven you to make a different type of application at this time and asking for two different stations, one for Vancouver and one for Victoria?
152 MR. SHERRATT: Well, Madam Chair, during the period we were active four years ago, we continued to learn more and more about this great Province of British Columbia. When your call came out this time we decided to step back and take a fresh look at what the needs were in Vancouver and Victoria, the needs in the system and the needs for us as a company in conventional television.
153 You can't spend that amount of time here without realizing that while the advertising community take Vancouver and Victoria as a single market for economic purposes, these are two truly distinctive and different communities, each with their own needs, each with their own desires, each with their own complexion.
154 As that evolved we said "What is our number one role in this process?"
155 Well, the first thing that is important in this process we feel is service to the people in Vancouver and the mainland, and Victoria and the Island, and how could we best serve them with local television.
156 It became clear to us that the way to do that was to provide a local service geared to Vancouver and this vibrant city and that complemented the television services that were here and that to serve the needs of Victoria and the Island we develop a different kind of television, a different approach.
157 It is somewhat akin to the approach we take in Ontario, Citytv and re-broads you have seen across southern Ontario, but is a reflection and -- not only a reflection of but a vital part of daily life in Toronto. It doesn't try to be anything else but Toronto, Toronto, Toronto.
158 Our other stations in Ontario, in Pembroke, Ottawa, Barrie, London, Wingham and Windsor are different kinds of television stations, each contributing and being a part of life in their individual communities. They are as distinct from Toronto as we see Victoria being distinct from Vancouver.
159 So that was the first thrust. We realized that it would cause some discussion and you certainly would want to explore that with us.
160 The one thing we do note, though, is that while it has been Commission policy not to licence two stations to the same licensee in, for want of a better term, the markets as defined for economic purposes, it is a policy, not a regulation. There have been exceptions to it and we think that this is a situation that deserves that kind of consideration from the Commission.
161 It really probably would have been economically easier for us to come back to you and say "Give us a television station that we can do our thing in Vancouver and spill over to the Island and get that audience, but we didn't believe -- we sincerely to this moment don't believe -- that that is the best way for us to provide service to these two communities.
162 As far as CHUM is concerned and our future in conventional television, we are faced with a situation where to be competitive -- particularly in Toronto, but to be competitive in the environment in which we operate -- we find that by and large, particularly for the Toronto station -- buy national rights.
163 Then you attempt to amortize those by selling the rights off, wholesaling them off elsewhere. Against the prices that you have to pay today to get national rights, to both Canadian -- particularly Canadian and foreign programming as well -- you can't amortize that cost against Toronto. We can't get the kind of revenue contributions and have a sure stream of revenue to help us buy those national rights unless we have control of our own destiny.
164 So from a business standpoint it is very important to us that we have assured access to the second largest market in Canada in order to amortize those rights.
165 So it is those two elements, together with the unique kind of television that we do -- it is different than what CTV does, it is different than what Global does, it is designed to be different. They do what they do nationally extremely well. There is no question about that.
166 The two emerging -- it is going to be two networks, I believe. I'm not trying to presuppose the decisions you will make, but that is what seems to be on the horizon -- Canada will be very well served by those national focused networks.
167 But for local television, that's what we do. We do local television and we do it -- we do it, we believe, extremely well. We have to marry that with our programming needs and then there is the kind of production that we focus on, which is long form motion pictures. We made quite an important contribution in that area in the past and we will build on that contribution in the future if we are allowed to enter the Vancouver and the Victoria markets.
168 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Well, thank you.
169 It certainly explains the difference you make between serving the communities and the market question itself or the commercial question itself.
170 But what is the synergy you see in having two stations, one in Victoria and one in Vancouver, for yourself, for CHUM? You know, kind of how does it serve best -- for example, the national right I can understand when you talk about getting outside of strictly the Ontario market and coming into B.C., but you don't need to have two stations in order to do it. You could do it by being in the market of either one, either in Victoria or Vancouver.
171 Why have you decided on a strategy by which you have two stations? What are the synergies that will be beneficial to your company so that it's -- you know, it's not the CRTC that owes anything to CHUM, it's the Canadian viewers. How will it be beneficial to the viewers because of that?
172 You know, it's not clear. I certainly can understand, and your application explains that very clearly how you have seen two different communities and you want to address them with different approaches of broadcasting, but what are the synergies that you draw from having the two rather than one?
173 MR. SHERRATT: Well, first and foremost, we can improve the distinctiveness of each station in serving each community and provide more diversity.
174 The thrust in Vancouver is on feature motion pictures, on local news and building bridges in the ethnic community, bringing the communities together and reflecting each community to the other. The reflection of the different communities in Vancouver to each other is quite distinctly different than the reflection of the communities on the Island to each other. There they are smaller communities.
175 Each station is complementary in this business problem that we face. The Vancouver station is very much akin to Citytv in Toronto and the programming that we will amortize against the Vancouver station is programming from Citytv, whereas the Victoria station would be very much akin to the smaller market stations in Ontario, in Barrie, Ottawa, Pembroke, London and southwestern Ontario. So they are distinctly different television stations, each designed for those communities.
176 Moses, you might want to expand on that.
177 MR. ZNAIMER: I think it's the drift of television really in the last 10 years, but more specifically television (off microphone) a good deal of the criticism that was levelled at television in the early days of television, the first 10 years, the first 20 years, even the first 25 or 30 years, had to do with its form of organization, relatively few channels trying to do a little bit of something for everyone.
178 One of the reasons I think that the specialty channels have been so spectacularly successful is that they can bore down to a point of precision, whether it is by subject matter or by style, which is much more appealing to perhaps a smaller set of viewers, but these viewers are infinitely more loyal and watch those channels with a great deal more intensity.
179 So if we had elected for a large signal that was intended really to be a kind of British Columbia channel resident in Vancouver, we would have necessarily muted our service to Victoria. If we had decided to build a large television station for B.C. headquartered in Victoria, we either would have run into a business issue, if we had been precisely Victoria bound in content, or we would have had to dilute the Victoria content in order to get a little currency in Vancouver, the lower mainland, the rest of the province and that would have been a disservice to Victoria. So choosing both of them is in keeping with what is going on in television today.
180 If I may reinforce Mr. Sherratt's remarks, the programming on the Vancouver station is different from the programming on the Victoria station and so both markets are required to help with this very serious amortization issue. The primary entertainment service of the City-style station is long form features. The primary entertainment service of the Victoria station is series-based. So both outlets are necessary if we are going to keep our heads above water.
181 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So does that mean that your business plan, the way you have drawn it, is really based on the two stations? If ever there would be only one licence it would change dramatically the business plan?
182 MR. ZNAIMER: It would certainly change the business plan, but each variable will change it in a different way.
183 We are prepared to discuss with you the various hypotheses because we have thought about them. Of course, it not only matters which of those licences we get, but which of the other applications you grant licences to. So there are many permutations and combinations and we have a view about the impact of each and every one of them.
184 But from our point of view, what is best, not only for CHUM but for the system overall, is if we get both. Then we can maximize what we can do in turn for the Canadian broadcasting system, and we want to.
185 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Okay. Well, we will certainly have the chance, through the different dimensions of the questioning, to talk about the advantages as we go and the disadvantages and at the end we could come back to that question of severability.
186 Certainly my colleague, Mr. Langford, who will be doing the questioning about the Victoria application, will certainly come back on that because I think it is quite important that we do understand.
187 You were saying in your application, but here as well this morning, that for you Vancouver, Victoria are the two markets that will allow you to have national rights and will make it more financially interesting so that you can reinvest in your projects.
188 You were saying that at the time of the Calgary station you were not there in the run. Does that mean that for you the Victoria and Vancouver proposal would be the last two conventional stations you would like to have in Canada?
189 I'm not talking about the specialty and the digital services, I'm talking conventional.
190 MR. SHERRATT: No, we wouldn't say that. They are essential to us at this time and these are the communities at this moment -- I'm getting feedback here -- that if you take a snapshot of this moment in time, they are clearly the markets that both need and can sustain new services.
191 But, as Moses was just discussing with you, as we move on into this century and get into more and more and more specialized television we see local television getting more and more specialized. It is a matter of the economic balance what you can sustain as you provide more variety, more diversity in the system, both at the national level and at the local level.
192 MR. ZNAIMER: If I may add, there is nice and there is necessary. At some point it might be nice if the opportunities present themselves to add other terrestrial stations, but the ones that are necessary, the ones that will make a difference in our conditions of life, in our ability to take on bigger projects, on our ability to step up to some responsibilities that we have thought the system wants, are these two licences because of the power of this Vancouver marketplace.
193 If we don't get in here, we are locked into a kind of prison and it not only bodes badly for what is going on where we are already operating, but it frustrates the kind of talent that you see sitting at this table. We are capable of doing more and it is not a matter of our own volition, we need your permission to do that.
194 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: And then we will owe you. I didn't like that comment in the article this morning.
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195 MR. ZNAIMER: I'm sorry, what comment is that?
196 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Oh, it is an article in The Globe and Mail and it says that the CRTC owes CHUM in terms of your commitment to Canadian programming. I thought --
197 MR. ZNAIMER: None of us said that.
198 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: -- it is the broadcasting system that has been put in place with the Commission to really kind of make sure the objectives of the broadcasting legislation are met. So it is the Canadian viewers that owe every broadcaster in this country.
199 MR. SHERRATT: If that is the editorial accuracy of The Globe and Mail perhaps the Thompsons should be selling it too, yes.
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200 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Let's talk about the market, because ina lot of your analysis there is the strategy of CHUM, but there is also the fact that you choose this market that has a lot to do with your reading and appreciation of its potential, business-wise, financially.
201 Certainly you can talk about it in qualitative terms as well, but I think there is necessity -- especially that in 1997, not so long ago, we were licensing a new player in the market -- there is a necessity to understand what would be the impact of you coming into the market but, before that, what is your assessment?
202 There have been different elements put in the record, either by intervenors -- and certainly the one by CTV is an important contribution in terms of a different point of view, that is understandable, but it is there -- and how do you reconcile and what is your appreciation?
203 There has been a decline last year in the national sales in the market and a levelling off of the local sales. Wouldn't there be a sign there that there would be saturation in the market as we speak? Or some say, like CTV, that the decline will go on for the next year. You are saying, no, it has been a bump in the road and we are back in business and growth is back.
204 So can you explain to us what are the elements that make you really make that hypothesis? Take the business risk as well and help us understand.
205 MR. ZNAIMER: Madam Bertrand, I will start before Fred and Ron and Hans Jansen and, well, just about everybody, Dan Hamilton -- all of them bring their business views to bear.
206 I go at it a little more intuitively and I said just walk around. The joint is booming. I mean, you can see it everywhere you turn, the cranes, the construction.
207 Then I draw from my own experience and my own reactions. I wanted to come here. I have been trying to come here for some 30 years and I think the population will continue to stream into this part of the country. Some 400,000 or 500,000 people moved into this area in the last decade and the projections are for more of the same. The economies of the Asian countries, the so-called tigers, are all bounding back. It seems to me the prognosis is sensational.
208 As for the economy -- again this is just me as a layman speaking, but I think it is important to distinguish between the general economy and the television economy.
209 Even in the grips of the so-called recession of the last two years the most recent entrant who came in on a projection of some $20-odd-million in sales managed to do 30-plus -- 30-plus. They were stunned. Even today I know that station is doing a gangbuster business. So I have no doubts at all.
210 Having said that, the guys with the numbers can take over.
211 MR. WATERS: I am going to pass this off to Dan Hamilton in a minute, but just before he gives you the detail on those numbers I think the blip you referred to last year was just that, a blip, and I think the indication in the years previous to that were quite a substantial growth in this market.
212 The sign this fall, from what we have seen from the TVB report, is that things are going back up the right direction.
213 I think the experience we had in Toronto one year with that little blip was due to the meters coming into the market. Before, as you know, they had BBM diaries here and they have changed to the meter method. Sometimes that causes a little bit of uncertainty in the market and may have caused a little bit of a downturn in that revenue growth.
214 Obviously the specialty channels take incredible impact on all of us on the conventional side, so there is definitely that specialty influence that has come into the market, but some of those specialty channels are also owned by those broadcasters in the market and I think they have stolen a little audience away from themselves.
215 So, Dan, I will pass it to you for those numbers.
216 MR. HAMILTON: Yes.
217 Madam Chair, there are many ways to define the television spending in a market and you have gotten many different definitions from various intervenors.
218 To give you our methodology of how we define a television market, we like to look at the size of the whole pie and all the elements that make up that pie. We think that is the fairest way to do that.
219 The elements that make up that pie are local dollars, national spot dollars and network dollars. So if you take the total spending in the Vancouver television market and look at all three of those elements, what you get is a pretty vibrant, healthy spending over the last six year period.
220 Indeed, if you look at it compared to other markets in Canada over the six year period, Vancouver has experienced, on average, 6.61 per cent growth, followed by Edmonton at 5.5, Toronto at 5, Montreal at 4.7, Ottawa at 4.3 and Calgary at 4.1. So certainly over a five to six year period this market has grown in TV revenues substantially.
221 Yes, we acknowledge that there was a blip and in fact the spending in the market decreased by 6.6 per cent in the year 1998-1999. We believe that is a one year anomaly and we believe there are a number of reasons for that, some of which Mr. Waters alluded to but, just to expand on that, we believe that the continued high cost and short supply of spot inventory and long lead times necessary to purchase TV compared to other markets led to people moving away from doing television in this marketplace or looking at other alternatives.
222 Secondly, concern over the Asian flu and other short-term economic concerns did have more impact in this market than in other markets in Canada.
223 Finally, as Ron alluded to, the initial confusion over the change from diaries to people meters had some impact on spending. We experienced that in Toronto a number of years ago when that conversion was made as well.
224 So we believe that was a one year anomaly in the market.
225 The TVB numbers that we look at for the first three months of this broadcast year, September, October and November of 1999, show that this market is up 2.01 per cent from the previous year three month period and that leads all markets in Canada.
226 By the way, all our numbers and sources are based on TVB information which broadcasters supply their numbers to an independent body who passes them along and that is the source for all the numbers we have used.
227 So, in summary, we think this is a pretty great television economy and a very vibrant and growing one.
228 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: What is your assessment -- you know, there is the hypothesis of whether it is going to be -- there is saturation, there has been a decline and it will go on or, as you say, it's a bump in the road and we are back to growth. As all the good economists say: Let's suppose the problem is solved and move on to kind of our hypothesis.
229 But I think it would be important to understand what is your view in terms of a new player in the market, and your experience as well? Some say that it helps really develop more appeal to television in terms of enlarging the advertising pie for television.
230 What is your view, given your analysis but also your experience in other markets?
231 MR. WATERS: I guess, I think you hit it right on, and Moses talked about it earlier, that we are a different kind of television that we do at CHUM. It's a very special niche kind of television and when we move into a market we often think that we grow the advertising pie because it gives an opportunity to a lot of new retail local accounts to get involved in television that maybe couldn't afford it before.
232 I think the best example of that is the specialty channels. I mean, that is one of the reasons they are doing so well in sales is they are able to offer new national advertisers the opportunity to get into television at a lower price.
233 So I think the opportunity for CHUM to get into Vancouver will see new advertisers coming to television and I think that will grow the market and they will eventually want to be on the other stations.
234 I think that's -- maybe, Dan, if you want to expand on it and give, you know, a little bit of detail about what we do at Ottawa at RO.
235 That's what we do. That's our specialty and I think we will have the least impact on any other one of the stations in this market than anybody else.
236 MR. HAMILTON: Madam Chair, just to add to what Mr. Waters said and your comments about how this market changed with the addition of another station, in fact with the launch of the new station in 1997-1998, the first year of operation of CIVT, the market grew 9 per cent over the previous year, significantly more than any other market or region in Canada. So certainly launch of that station in this market helped.
237 To what Mr. Waters alluded to, we believe we are experts in the area of new business development. When you look at our financial plan or business plan of that $19 million six we say we are going to do here, 35 per cent of that revenue comes from local and over a seven year period grows to almost 41 or 42 per cent.
238 We just didn't straight line a number. That is the power of new business development and our commitment to local television sales, that it would be such a high percentage of our total dollars. That is much higher than you see from the other applicants.
239 Mr. Waters also alluded to how well we have done in other markets and certainly the new RO is a good indication of the kind of new business we have done with the launch of a new station in that marketplace and in the first year of operation 35 or 40 per cent of our retail business on that station were new clients to television.
240 We are also committed to new business development nationally. We have four individuals who do strictly new business development at a national level as well. So they are not just calling on agencies and fighting for share or competing against other transactional business, they are out talking to clients, developing new business and trying to bring new clients into the medium of television.
241 In fact, five years ago we set up an office here in Vancouver for that very purpose and have had a national representative here talking to clients whose head officers are in western Canada and encouraging them to embrace the medium of television.
242 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: What's the impact, then, on the rates? Will there be -- if we were to consider your proposal you are saying that it would bring new players to the advertising pie of television, but what would be the situation on the rate?
243 Would we see -- because you were referring to what could be the explanations of the situation of a decline that the high costs of advertising here is one of the factors. Does that mean that you would bring competition, some may say, although in some areas we don't see that as quickly as we would like, but competition should bring prices down.
244 Have you a forecast on what could be the deflation effect of your presence in the market, especially regarding local advertisers?
245 MR. HAMILTON: We don't believe we would have a negative effect on the cost per points or the cost per spots in the market. That is not what I meant when I talked about the high cost of television.
246 I should have stated, it's not just the high cost of television, it is the long lead times necessary to be able to purchase television in this marketplace. If you were trying to buy a fall 1999 inventory on some of the key shows you would have to buy it in, you know, late May or early June, or whatever, and that made it very difficult for retailers or regional operations, or whatever, to make their decisions that far in advance.
247 So it was a combination of costs of the really good inventory, but also the long lead times necessary to purchase television that made advertisers think about going in other directions.
248 In terms of market pricing, we don't believe that our entrance into the market would change the cost per points at all. We have always charged fair value for our inventory, we are competitive with the other broadcasters in that area, and in a market like this where we truly believe new inventory means new accounts to television and new dollars, it would not create a decrease in the cost of advertising.
249 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Let's talk about the distribution you make in your forecast in terms of the seven years, saying that your local advertising will be about 40 per cent -- is it, or is it the other way around?
250 I have lost my page. Just a minute. Bear with me, I will be back.
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251 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Yes, 40 per cent of local advertising. You see that as being really like ongoing for the seven years.
252 Of course, you put a lot in your application in terms of supporting the communities you would like to reach and serve and talk to. What are the factors that make you believe that you can really count on that 40 per cent? Probably it refers to the elements we were just talking about, but with more in-depth type of details I think it would be important.
253 Because when you look at what is the situation of the other players in the Vancouver market or the British Columbia market, or even English-language in Canada, the percentage you have for local versus national revenues is not the one of the other.
254 So how do you explain that situation and how does it compare to your other stations in other markets in Ontario?
255 MR. WATERS: I guess that is the thrust of our whole application is local, local, local. What we have found at CHUM, by getting involved in the communities and doing the local news we do and involved in the local community with different programs, et cetera, and promotions, and on and on.
256 I mean, I always go back to the breakfast television example at City, the two hours we do live in the morning. I mean, just so much comes through there, so many opportunities you are involved with the public that over time that comes -- you get involved with more and more businesses. They see what you are doing locally and that you care about what is happening in their community and they come forward. They want to be part of that. They see what we do locally.
257 I think that is what Fred explained in the presentation. That is our expertise is local programming and what follows is local advertising. That is how we have built our business. It was in radio, it was in the Maritimes, it's in Barrie, it's at City and that's what we hope to do here.
258 As far as the numbers go, Dan may have the percentages for City or VR, whatever you would like to have, but it truly is the key to our business. I think that is why it is so important for us, why we are here saying we need an operation in this market so that we can continue to do the local programming. Again, that's why we think on the advertising side we will be as little impact as possible because of that thrust on the local sales side.
259 Dan, I don't know if we have the numbers from --
260 MR. HAMILTON: The only comment I would make, Madam Chair, in addition to what Mr. Waters has said, is it's not 41 per cent year one, it's 35 per cent year one, and we believe that over a seven year period that 35 per cent would build to 42 per cent. That 35 per cent is based on historically how we performed with our other stations in Ontario.
261 So, you know, that is our belief in the strength of our local formats. Our local formats develop local business and our emphasis on new business development, both nationally and locally, has brought us those kinds of results.
262 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Do I understand correctly that you are assessing that if you were to come into the Vancouver market you could perform even better than in the Toronto market on local, that there would be more advertising forces here that could be tapped because of the personality that you would present to the advertisers?
263 MR. SHERRATT: Yes.
264 MR. ZNAIMER: You are absolutely correct.
265 MR. SHERRATT: We literally pioneered retail television in Toronto, because you can go back a few years and if you go into historical data that you would have there was very, very little. But we have always been atypical in our split between local or retail and regional and national.
266 We were very atypical in our Maritime operations. More of our business was at retail and regional than national. I think that is very atypical.
267 MR. WATERS: Just to give you one little example that might explain it, our station in Barrie, which was a CBC affiliate for some 35 years, you know, we did well there and, as you may know, we disaffiliated from the CBC and became independent in Barrie.
268 What has changed is, we have more time during the day to do more local programming and, most important, we have more inventory to sell the local clients. Before we were limited because of the CBC tie and we just couldn't meet the needs of our advertisers who wanted to be in prime time.
269 So now in Barrie where we have, you know, an hour newscast when we want to have it and all the rest of the schedule, our retail sales business is so much better because they can get involved. It works. It rings the cash register for us.
270 MR. HAMILTON: Just one final comment I might make, just in a -- also we believe that we can increase TV revenue, so not just bring new clients to television, we think there are ways for us to increase TV revenue from existing advertisers, and that is by the nature of our formats, that is by the nature of doing promotions and events that make the television buy even stronger.
271 So whether it's a forced tune on our station or some kind of special promotion or event like the festival shmooz or like an event in our parking lot, we are very good at creating those kinds of things that bring new money into the medium of television because they bought the spots and the dots but they want to do something beyond that. That sometimes comes from a different budget that they have set aside for promotions or whatever and we think we are very good at developing those kinds of dollars as well and have a good history of doing that.
272 MR. SHERRATT: National advertisers only have one meter that they pay any attention to and that is the people meter, the audience meter. The single most important meter to a retail advertiser is the cash register.
273 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Not only to them.
274 Tell me, in the advertising revenues, given that we are talking about that, you say that you will take 35 per cent from the U.S. conventional and 30 per cent from new revenue all together. The 35 per cent of U.S. conventional, how do you distribute what would come from KVOS and the other players? Do you have any precision on that?
275 MR. HAMILTON: Yes, I can give you the detail on that.
276 You are right, we anticipate 35 per cent of our $19 million six, or approximately $6.86 million, the majority of that revenue would come from KVOS. There are a number of factors that led us to that --
277 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: "Majority" being over 50. So can you be a bit more precise?
278 MR. HAMILTON: I'm sorry?
279 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: "Majority" being over 50. Is it 75 per cent?
280 MR. HAMILTON: Well, okay. In terms of the --
281 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Big question in Canada.
282 MR. HAMILTON: Of the $6.86 million we plan to repatriate, I would suggest that up to 70 per cent of this total could be received through the program repatriation of shows that currently air on the KVOS schedule that we own or project to own the B.C. rights to if granted this licence.
283 Examples are, "Star Trek Voyager", their top rated show, "Blind Date"; "Seinfeld"; "Relic Hunter"; "Lexx: The Series"; "VIP "and "Morey Pauvich".
284 It should also be noted that up to 15 to 20 per cent of the movie titles aired on KVOS would no longer be available to them should CHUM Television be granted a licence.
285 So the total revenue associated with this programming, by our estimates, exceeds $5 million.
286 Now, there are other factors that led us to the total number and some of those factors are the Canadian factor. It's our belief, and evidenced by the research from Bay Consulting, discussions with national and local agencies, that media buyers want and prefer to do business with a Canadian station, all things being equal, and a CHUM television station will provide this opportunity. So that is another strong point.
287 Also, in terms of just the players in the market, KVOS are certainly the most vulnerable. If you look at them in terms of share or in top programs, they rank a distant fifth.
288 So whether they are a Canadian or American station, they are the one that we would take aim at. They are the ones that are most vulnerable to a new formatted station like ours that would certainly attract advertising attention.
289 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: That would be mainly through repatriation of rights of KVOS local advertising that you would --
290 MR. HAMILTON: No, both local and national advertising would come as a result of those shows that we repatriated.
291 I should stress that also we believe it is not just the program repatriation, it is we would then be able to package -- and everybody buys packages in television or buys a selection of different shows -- and we believe that their offering would be weakened without those shows. We would be able to create better packages, our new live breakfast television show and whatever would take away at other inventory they have on their station as well.
292 So it's not just the program repatriation, it is the viewing repatriation as well that brings some of that revenue to us.
293 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Is that true also with this application we are talking about, Vancouver alone without necessarily accounting for the synergy with the Victoria application?
294 MR. HAMILTON: Yes.
295 MR. SHERRATT: Yes.
296 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Okay.
297 When you talk about this $5 million that could be brought back to Canadian broadcasters through the packaging and program rights repatriation, what is the difference you make between local and national here? What is the division you would make here between local and national?
298 MR. HAMILTON: Well, I haven't broken out that division. It's basically the value of those programs based on their estimated ratings on our station based on our estimated sell, our percentage.
299 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Okay.
300 MR. HAMILTON: So I would suggest those shows are worth in the neighbourhood of $5 million to our schedule.
301 I would suggest there would be local accounts that wanted to be in that inventory and there would also be national accounts that want to be in that inventory. So it would be somewhat similar to our 65-35 overall revenue projection.
302 MR. SHERRATT: One thing that I just might point out is that Dan has been able to be very precise in these revenue projections because we have in place an exact program schedule that would be on the air if we were operating the station today, because the programs that are in the schedule are programs that we sell back to the market now. They are programs that we have under licence or programs that we produce.
303 So he has a very precise schedule that he had to work with, and that applies not only to Bellingham but also to the programs that play here in Vancouver on VTV.
304 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: But that is not strictly of that application. Some of them are related to the project for the Victoria market as well?
305 MR. WATERS: There are some in Victoria as well.
306 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: What would be the division between the two?
307 MR. WATERS: Jay?
308 MR. SWITZER: There would be a healthy mix, Madam Chair.
309 Programs that we would repatriate that we may discuss tomorrow include shows such as "Dream Maker"; "First Wave"; "Earth: Final Conflict", some movies, some older "Star Treks", and so on.
310 We have done a lot of business with KVOS volume-wise, not a lot dollar-wise, and it has been frustrating because there has always been -- especially in the case of Canadian series. No Canadian stations here in the market prepared to take these things.
311 So there is a long list of shows that we control that we will repatriate for today's discussion, and there is an equally long list of shows that we will discuss later that also apply to Victoria.
312 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: But the $5 million we have been talking about over the $6.8 million coming from the U.S. conventional, is this $5 million for that Vancouver application alone?
313 MR. WATERS: Yes, it is.
314 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Okay. And it's not strictly advertising, it is also like talking about having proper value and all that?
315 MR. SHERRATT: No.
316 MR. WATERS: No, it's straight advertising dollars.
317 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Advertising, okay. Thank you.
318 What was my question? I lost it.
319 MR. SHERRATT: Don't look at me.
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320 MR. SHERRATT: Look at her, she has the question.
321 MR. MILLER: Madam Chair, while you are thinking --
322 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: I lost my idea.
323 MR. MILLER: -- maybe I can also take a broader perspective as to how we looked at it, because I think not only were we uniquely qualified to do a program-by-program bottom-up analysis but we also did a top-down analysis with Bay consulting and I was actually the person who received them both.
324 I can tell you that they came in remarkably consistent, two independent analyses that both came down to the same conclusion. The total revenue in the market could support the two station applications and from there we were able to develop our revenue projects and our programming proposals.
325 I would also like to mention that --
326 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: The two, you are talking about Victoria and Vancouver?
327 MR. MILLER: Yes, that is the two.
328 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Not KVOS and a new one?
329 MR. MILLER: Yes.
330 But the other interesting thing that is unique about Vancouver is, of course, that the viewing to Canadian services in Vancouver is far lower than the national average and hence this huge opportunity we have, I believe, to repatriate viewing, both because of our schedule and because we, from experience, recognize that people would prefer a local station.
331 The difference is remarkable. This was data that the CMI report filed by the intervenors gave. The average nationally of viewing to Canadian services, as you will recall, is on the order of 72-73 per cent, but in this market it is now hovering about 64, 63, 62 per cent.
332 Also interesting to note is that that went up from on the order of 60 or lower per cent before VTV was licensed.
333 So there is, we believe, this incredible opportunity to create a real Canadian local station here rather than this satellite station that serves the market from Bellingham.
334 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Well, I have two questions.
335 The first one is: The national rates and the sublicensing to KVOS was a way for you not having other stations outside of Ontario to be able to amortize. You know, given the expenses that do require being in one given market and the program commitment, why isn't it the best strategy to pursue?
336 You know, that national -- buying rights question is certainly one that exists and eventually it might even be North American rights and eventually even global rights, but why isn't it the appropriate way?
337 I can understand from a regulator point of view or a legislation point of view, but why isn't it from a business point of view, dollar-for-dollar, not the best strategy to pursue? That was certainly one up to 1996 you were quite pleased with.
338 MR. SHERRATT: Well, not quite pleased. It's one way --
339 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: You were suffering but not too --
340 MR. SHERRATT: It was one that we had to have.
341 We sell programming not only to KVOS but also to VTV. It was always ironic to us that VTV was licensed and put our schedule on the air, but that is another story.
--- Laughter / Rires
342 MR. SHERRATT: But when you have a middleman and it's a buyer's market you don't get very good prices for what you are selling.
343 I think the most telling story that we have, Jay can give you an example of a Canadian program that we are working on right now.
344 MR. SWITZER: It's extremely frustrating in the area -- put aside the American dollars and the American programs.
345 With Canadian programs you are talking about very large licence fees to get indigenous Canadian programs met. In the area of movies you are talking about significant dollars.
346 I will just give you two brief examples that are both recent.
347 In the area of feature films we supported several years ago a Vancouver film produced by Christine Habler and directed by Bruce MacDonald called "Hard Core Logo". It won lots of awards. It is a Vancouver masterpiece, a really extraordinary film.
348 We have the national rights to this film and it cost us many hundreds of thousands of dollars. At any price we could not get a Vancouver broadcaster to play this film, to buy it, to showcase it, to perhaps co-ordination promotion, to glamorize on a national basis. We have more than a dozen films, many of them we showed on the tape, from Vancouver alone in the past three years that there is no home for.
349 I don't blame the local broadcasters because that is not their business. They are in the series business and films are not as important to them. But it is wrong and it is part of why we are here, to solve this Canadian film problem.
350 In the area of series, as you know series are very expensive. We have a produced in Canada a series from Halifax that we are very proud of. It's called "Lexx". It is produced by Paul Donovan and the Salter Street people. Our licence fee for every episode to get this series eligible for other funding is in the order of $175,000 per episode. There are now more than 40 episodes produced.
351 You need national -- you need stations that you have co-ordination with, that you own and that you can co-ordinate.
352 When we come to the Craigs, and we do good business with them in Alberta, you say "Thank you very much". You take the series and it is $5,000 or $10,000. You are thankful for the exposure, but we are talking about hundreds of thousand of dollars and millions of dollars on a national level to get these films made and get these series made. It is part of, as a programmer, why I am so frustrated and so concerned about having to get over this hurdle.
353 MR. SHERRATT: The biggest factor, though, in it's simplest form is you then licence it at a realistic amount that you can licence programming for for the station that you own and operate and the inventory that you have control over that you can sell the time in and amortize it and have a successful business. You can do that much more efficiently if you cut out the middleman.
354 MR. SWITZER: Not to talk much about the American programming, but a very short note is: We have had to, over the last few years, step up to the plate in many cases to buy national rights, frankly, to stay alive. It's not something I come to my principals and wish to do, but if our programmers are to deliver schedules in feature film and in some of the other series that we are discussing tomorrow, we have to be able to play on a national scale or we won't be eligible to get programs.
355 The CanWest group and the CTV group are so large and so powerful and able to purchase programs both deeply and broadly that if we don't offer, even at a lower price, a national licence fee we just won't even be able to bid.
356 MR. ZNAIMER: That is a change in the market. It wasn't that long ago that you could still get decent stuff buying on a market-by-market basis. You can no longer do that.
357 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: But your whole assessment of what is going to happen in your capacity of helping increase the whole advertising pie and because of your own personality of what you bring in terms of that signature of Citytv, the capacity of really interesting more dollars from even players that are not presently on the television, is this taking into account sufficiently the fragmentation that has occurred? Not only the last licence in the market but, you know, the phenomena you are even helping yourself to develop which is the specialty services and their tremendous success?
358 You know, I certainly can appreciate what you are saying as being this year very unique and that it was a bump in the road, and there is also -- and we know viewership is going for specialty services and it is not coming to an end, there are new services that came into play only last September, as you well know, and there will be new ones coming in with the digital distribution.
359 What is really the probability that what you are seeing and that your experts with you are seeing will be a reality?
360 Because our concern is certainly your dollars and your bottom line, that is one point, but also it is your capacity to make real the plan you are proposing here and the proposition you have in terms of programs to the Vancouver viewers. So it is very important to understand your assessment and how much you are prepared to live by what you have here in terms of proposal.
361 MR. ZNAIMER: We are absolutely prepared to live by what we have here by way of proposals. We are offering this application as separate from the other application. They each stand alone. They stand better together, but they do stand alone.
362 Again, I come at this in a rather more intuitive way, but I think we will prosper, not only because the market is dynamic and the economy is on the up cycle again I think, but because we pitch what we do as a specialty format. You have to begin to think of local television as a corporate specialty. I think we are making gains with that idea to the degree that the way lies with specialized service we think some of our buyers have come to understand what our version of the television industry is in specialty channels.
363 MR. SHERRATT: Specialty clearly is cutting in, amongst other things, into people's time, the Internet, all of these things are taking time away from conventional television. I know I will get some chuckles from my colleagues, but the halcyon days of conventional television are passed. It's a new world. It's a real world and it is a different world than it was.
364 But if you take all of the specialties we operate -- and we were pioneers in specialty television. It was 15 years ago that we were really in specialty television with City, it was a specialized kind of television station, but we realized that there was going to be more specialization and more specialization so we decided that if we were going to be fragmented we had better do it to ourselves rather than have somebody else do it.
365 We were able to build our specialty services off of Citytv. That was the dynamic that made it possible. But now, almost 15 years later, we cannot keep Citytv going off of the success of the specialties. They are just not big enough. All of our specialties together do less volume than some major market single television stations. That is the economics of it. As your margins on your conventional stations shrink, and they are, you have to expand that base in order to be able to amortize the costs and do the programming, but we continue to go down the specialties and we can make them work together.
366 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Those are the economies of scale you were talking about in your application?
367 MR. SHERRATT: Yes.
368 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Last question about advertising.
369 You are projecting 25 per cent of your revenues to come from existing Canadian players, which is in fact $4.8 million. What would be the proportion between, not the players themselves but between national and local?
370 MR. WATERS: Again, I think you would stay with the 35 and 65 per cent would be similar to the application of it.
371 MR. SHERRATT: Some of that revenue that would come from other players we think would come back to network. We think the inventory -- tightness of inventory of Vancouver has probably driven some advertisers into network because the first market that is bought in Canada today is Vancouver. When they start planning nationally they buy Vancouver first because if they can't plan and get Vancouver, then they can't execute their plan.
372 So they come here first and some of them are driven into network. We think that some of that money will be repatriated from network.
373 MR. WATERS: Excuse me, Madam Chair, just to go back to your question too about our business and the local side of it.
374 I think it is important that you see -- I'm glad you pointed out the 35 per cent local and that is the thrust of what we do in our conventional stations. Because the specialties can only sell national advertising, they cannot sell retail. That's why we think our conventional stations should be so local and go after those local dollars so they are not going after the same dollars the specialties and the networks are going after.
375 MR. SHERRATT: There is one other problem with specialties and we, along with others in it, are going to have to address: We are selling specialty television too cheaply.
376 MR. WATERS: Both to the advertisers and the cable company.
--- Laughter / Rires
377 MR. SHERRATT: I was thinking of the advertisers because I think we are the only ones probably selling as cheaply as we do to the cable company.
378 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Not yourself.
--- Laughter / Rires
379 MR. ZNAIMER: Madam Bertrand?
380 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Oui? Pardon?
381 MR. ZNAIMER: I thought it might be useful as we are talking about specific numbers now or last year or next year to just recollect that this has been the bonanza market in Canada. The operators who have been lucky enough to be here have made out like banditos and when --
382 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: No accusation.
383 MR. ZNAIMER: Just a metaphor. Just a metaphor.
384 And in this discussion, you know, I kept humming to myself sort of "Don't Cry For Me Argentina". People have done well here and we will all continue to do well here.
385 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: And they still want to do well.
386 MR. ZNAIMER: Yes.
387 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Understandable.
388 You have some audience projections and you have predicted by your plan and the capacity of the market that you could, not the first year but quite rapidly, I think it's the third year, have a reach of 4 per cent market share. Your reach, though, you are assessing that you will be able to get a 68 per cent reach.
389 When we compare those figures to the Toronto situation where you have 7 per cent of the market share and a reach of 44 per cent, we wonder if your share is not underestimated and your reach overestimated. It's only projections I know, but what would be the factors for you that would make it different from the Toronto situation for example?
390 MR. HAMILTON: I have share numbers of 4.1, rising to 4.5 year seven. Is that what you have?
391 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Let me see. I was going from --
392 MR. HAMILTON: And reach numbers of 61 per cent rising to 64 per cent year seven.
393 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Just a minute. I had 3.5 for year one going to 4 per cent year seven.
394 MR. HAMILTON: Okay.
395 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Year three was 4 per cent.
396 MR. MILLER: Madam Chair, this appears to be a discrepancy in what we filed in our deficiencies and what we discovered when we were doing our review over the weekend.
397 I would be happy to file the new numbers that I believe, that contrary to what we filed in our deficiencies which was, as you say, starting in year one 3.5 going to 4 in year four, the actual numbers should have been 4.1 going to 4.5. I apologize for that.
398 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Going to 4.5?
399 MR. MILLER: Yes. The share number should have been 4.1 going to 4.5.
400 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Okay.
401 MR. MILLER: The reach percentage is also different from that filed. Again, filed was 87.5 to 91.5 and they should have been 61 going to 64.
402 MR. SHERRATT: But, Madam Bertrand, I think that was the number. You used something in the 60s as the reach compared to Toronto which --
403 MR. MILLER: Yes.
404 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Which is in the 40s.
405 MR. SHERRATT: Yes. I think that is the competitive environment of the market, the size of the market and the number of signals that are available in the market. There are many more signals available in Toronto so there is loyalty of share. We have a loyal audience. It's a mature loyal audience to Citytv and there are more stations vying for share there. So you can get your share up against your loyal core audience, but you won't reach quite as many people in the market with as many signals as Toronto.
406 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: But my question was: Aren't you underestimating your capacity of getting higher share? Because if we take -- referring back to our conversation about KVOS, for example, you immediately have a possibility of establishing yourself just by that very fact, plus all the elements you were presenting around addressing the local communities with what they haven't had in the market up to now from your assessment.
407 So isn't 4 per cent somewhat low on your -- I know you must be hoping for more, but why are you conservative, given everything you were telling me earlier this morning?
408 MR. HAMILTON: Well, what we have done is taken a look at this marketplace, looked at the share of the other stations in the marketplace and I think KVOS for two-plus has a 4.2 per cent share; KIVT has a 4.7 per cent share, and they have been here two and-a-half years; CHEK at 4.6.
409 So we think the numbers we have used going in are a reasonable estimate of what our share would be year one and what it could grow to. We looked at the market, we looked at the competitors and did our evaluation based on that.
410 Not to go in a whole different direction, but there is no correlation between share and revenue, as I'm sure you know, in many cases.
411 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: But there is between reach and share.
412 MR. HAMILTON: There a correlation between reach and share, yes.
413 MR. SWITZER: Madam Chair, if I might add, the 7 per cent approximate in Toronto that Citytv has achieve, which we are all very proud of, has taken us 28 years. As a programmer, if a year and-a-half from now the programming team in Vancouver were to tell me that in fact they were successful at getting a 4.1 or 4.2 per cent share, I would certainly be very, very pleased with that.
414 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: But given what the advertisers seem to be saying, given your application, and the Pollara study you filed -- although I take that with a grain of salt having been in research myself before -- but still I find that it's a bit conservative and I was wondering why you went the conservative route. That is not the one CHUM has accustomed us to.
415 MR. ZNAIMER: Yes. Well, we may have a flamboyant reputation on the program side, but I think there is a good solid business discipline that also animates the company and it speaks to your question about what happens if the numbers don't come in. Does the public interest still get served? Are these commitments hard commitments.
416 There are various factors that have been mentioned and I can think of one or two more. In this market one station has been particularly dominant and particularly dominant against day parts where stations program their own material. I think that is a an important factor.
417 Of course, we are going ahead with this application in the hope that we are also launching another station in Victoria at probably the same time. That signal also will come back into Vancouver and it will be done by one of our teams and so we think it will be well done.
418 So all those factors together and given that it's a start-up I think it is conservative, but sensibly so.
419 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Okay.
420 Last question with figures. Expenditures.
421 You know that in the new TV policy we have kind of forgotten or abandoned the idea of expenditures as condition of licence. Although this is the case in the TV policy, given that it is not about a renewal of licences proceeding we are in, what do you think, given that it's a hearing where there are five applicants, three for one market, two for the other, if we would take into consideration putting as a condition of licence for a new licence the expenditures commitment? What is your view on this?
422 MR. SHERRATT: Well, I will start and ask others to comment.
423 The percentage of revenue is quite high that we are planning to spend at the outset. We can understand that you would like comfort that what has been promised will be delivered, and we would like to give you that comfort.
424 I guess when you come in -- we had a discussion about this and I think it's around 39 per cent -- 39.1 per cent, which is higher than that national norm. It's ambitious.
425 But if our revenues weren't there, if we didn't meet our revenue projections, the last place you try to steal from is the programming because it is the programming that is going to get you the revenue eventually. But if it's really not there, then you have no alternative but to get some money from wherever you can to survive.
426 I would think we clearly would be prepared to accept as a condition of licence the norm across the country, which I think is in the 35s, but I'm not saying -- I think we would want to talk about it a little more -- that we wouldn't accept a 39 because the spread wouldn't be that big, but it could be just, you know, a key amount.
427 What it would do, as Moses just pointed out to me, it wouldn't cut down where you are going in the long haul, but it might upset the timing.
428 The commitment that we have made that if we are licensed in Vancouver Citytv will now go immediately to eight hours of priority programming, which speaks to your policy, is, we think, an important commitment and recognition of your policy, but yes, we would certainly entertain that, Madam Chairman.
429 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Tell me, when you are prepared to consider a commitment, maybe not 39 but 35, which is the Canadian average, how best do you think the Commission could -- comment dire donc -- follow annually that promise and really make it transparent to the system?
430 Because that was one of the problems we were having and we have discussed it -- well, Madam Wylie did at the time of the TV policy discussion. Expenditures is a difficult thing to pinpoint and really to make comparison between players.
431 So what would be your suggestion in terms of being capable of following the accountability of the expenditures?
432 MR. MILLER: Madam Chair, maybe I can lead off.
433 Obviously in crafting our whole application we were very cognizant of the TV policy. We felt first and foremost we needed to come with a proposal and proposals that build on that policy. So, hence, our emphasis was on the eight hours.
434 We, as you know, already live with expenditure commitments currently. We live with them and the Commission has proposed that we would continue to live with them on specialty services. So we think again the fact that we are used to that approach and we don't believe that has ever been a difficulty, certainly in respect of our dealings with the Commission, then if the Commission chose to go that route with this application, I think the experience we have with specialty reveals that it is workable.
435 I would also mention, however, that if we were to look, in a sense, at the tier of how we approach this, we thought that first and foremost was the eight hours. That was the major commitment.
436 The next most major important commitment was not the expenditure percentage but the special commitments to Canadian programming where we thought there was the greatest national public policy need. That was the feature film commitments of $18 million and the dramatic serial of $6.7 million.
437 So, in a sense, our recommendation would be that if you wanted to ask a special Canadian expenditure commitment from us it would be in those targeted areas and then, as a third option, we would definitely obviously, as Mr. Sherratt has said, consider the more traditional percentage of revenue route.
438 MR. SHERRATT: We would clearly accept that.
439 We were just thinking about how -- you were wondering how are you going to report that, how it's going to be transparent to the public. While our revenue figures and our dollars are confidential in our annual return, there would be no problem in making public the percentage that is a condition of licence. That wouldn't cause us a problem.
440 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Okay. Thank you.
441 About the eight hours you are offering in your approach, although you are not obliged to not be recognized as a larger group given that you are not reaching 70 per cent of Canadian viewers yet you are ready to go eight hours on the whole CHUM group.
442 What would be the situation if we were to licence only Vancouver and not Victoria or only Victoria and not Vancouver? Is it conditional to getting the two licences? How do you approach this?
443 MR. MILLER: To go on our whole system we would need both licences in Vancouver and Victoria, but should we only receive the Vancouver licence, which is the City side of the format, we would go with the eight hours on Citytv. If we were only licensed for Victoria we would go with the eight hours on what we call the NewNet, which is the Ottawa, Barrie, London, Windsor, Wingham system.
444 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Okay.
445 MR. SWITZER: But to add a final bit of clarity, Madam Chair, of course if we win in Vancouver the eight hours inside Vancouver of course stands and is in no way connected to what may happen in Victoria and, of course, the reverse would also be true.
446 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Okay.
447 MR. SWITZER: Locally.
448 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good. Well, thank you.
449 Before we go into the programming arena I would invite us to have coffee and we will come back in 15 minutes.
--- Upon recessing at 1050 / Suspension à 1050
--- Upon resuming at 1110 / Reprise à 1110
450 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: May I call the hearing to order please.
451 We will proceed with the programming questions to CHUM group for their application in Vancouver.
452 Before we start on specifics on programming, I note that you are describing the Vancouver communities as being very different from the Victoria one and that you are bringing the concept of City to Vancouver in your application, which has been developed in Toronto. But I would like to hear you on how you intend to serve the communities of Vancouver differently from the ones in Toronto.
453 Because I know, and I have been learning -- since I was a Canadian, I suppose, but with the help of Cindy it has really developed -- the understanding that Vancouver and B.C. is different, not only Quebec. This is different too.
--- Laughter / Rires
454 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So can you tell us, because I think it really bears an importance in our consideration to understand that you are -- well, are you importing a formula that works well in Toronto here into Vancouver and that may be a pattern, but what elements will really be reflecting the tastes and needs?
455 MR. ZNAIMER: Thank you, Madam Chair.
456 I will begin by making this important point: When we talk about bringing the influence of Citytv what we mean is a set of philosophies. What we mean is, well, an arsenal of production techniques.
457 What we think we have developed, and what a good part of the world thinks we have developed, is a machine for local reflection so that when you pick this machine up and you put it in the middle of Barcelona it will give you back Barcelona. When you apply it to a different place, it gives you a different place.
458 In other words, these are not Toronto ideas. These are a series of mechanisms that better allow each individual environment to reveal themselves.
459 Perhaps the best analogy I can offer is, if you were to analyze MuchMusic and MusiquePlus side-by-side you see that they share certain philosophical principles. They share an operating system. They are both street front and store front. In fact, the schedules have a kind of a mirror construction, but the content is almost 100 per cent different. It is a different milieu, the hit parade is different, the artists that are featured and brought forward are different and there is no mistaking the fact that even if the channels are side-by-side that they each serve their respective communities in a profound and an important way.
460 So we are not bringing Toronto to Vancouver, we are bringing a mechanic which will better allow Vancouver to speak for itself.
461 To the degree that there are also additional and important cultural differences between the two communities they are, in addition, brought out in our applications.
462 Well, let's begin with what is probably the first most powerful thing that strikes you when you arrive in Vancouver. It's true that Toronto has every bit the cosmopolitan complexion that this community has, and yet as you walk the street it is not so apparent because the presence of these ethnic communities is diluted in a much larger population.
463 When you arrive here and you confront the Asian presence, the Chinese presence, the South Asian presence, it's striking and it immediately zooms to the top of the agenda in terms of what we are proposing to do, for example, in this program schedule.
464 If there were a single word that might wrap that up as a slogan that word is "bridges". We think that this is the place to advance the next generation of programming that addresses ethnic needs and cultural diversity.
465 In the first incarnation -- and I know something about this because Citytv was very influential in the first incarnation of ethnic services in Canada, what you had was a series of language pockets. If you were trying to follow this, say on Citytv on a Saturday or Sunday morning, you would find yourself watching a program in Japanese which was then immediately followed by a program in Hindi. Not very likely that the group that was following the Japanese program would stay through to the Hindi program which in turn was followed by an Italian program, and so on.
466 That service was necessary in its time and remains useful today and no one is advocating that any of that should disappear from the scene, but the new and important item on the agenda, of course, is now how to bridge these pockets and begin the task of communication between these different communities and, equally important, from the communities back to the so-called mainstream.
467 As an example of that we are advocating, one program that I think will be an amazing thing for people to confront -- and that is in prime time where the public is used to getting a mainframe, conventional English-language newscast -- we are proposing five days a week to offer newscasts in Chinese and in Punjabi probably, which will then be subtitled through the machinery of open captioning so that the larger community can now look in on the specific ethnic community, get a sense of its agenda, begin to meet its personalities, begin to confront its opinions and have a view to how, well, a given event is being read across all of these different communities.
468 I think that is a powerful and new idea which are proposing in this application then, which really was as obvious as an objective in our Toronto experience.
469 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Still, you know, when you compare MusiquePlus and MuchMusic, certainly there is a difference, although there is a sharing of same artists and same elements, the very language and the French artists being there not that obvious on MuchMusic already is a distinction in itself.
470 Here what you are putting forward is like the ethnic diversity, or the cultural diversity, as you call it, of the city, but there are many other elements, I suppose, from the people of Vancouver that distinguish them from Torontonians.
471 MR. ZNAIMER: Absolutely.
472 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So what would be the other elements --
473 MR. ZNAIMER: Sure.
474 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: -- you put forward to establish still the city's signature, yet, you know, one that would be appealing and where -- especially that you are making the comment that from your assessment what is offered right now in the market doesn't have that local flavour. So I suppose it means more than the cultural diversity.
475 MR. ZNAIMER: I was offering that only as a first example.
476 Another important issue is structural, and that is all the stations in this market at this point are owned by networks or are actually affiliated with networks and so the minds that govern them are network minds. That's straightforward and to be expected.
477 So there is also the question of the thoroughness of the local personality. You can, in fact, as a professional watching television, see the scene between the bit of cutaway which is supposed to be the local expression and the national program stream.
478 Our proposition is for a station that is local all the time, 24 hours a day, and that can be experienced not only in the big program blocks but even in the relatively subtle little bits in between. That is where the station is frequently revealed, and that is where you can also begin to reveal the city back to itself.
479 We came forward with an innovation many years ago. We began to put cameras all over a community, first on the major traffic arteries and then on some of the beauty spots and we could call upon these shots at all times, they were available to us live in order to give a sense of that city in terms of its weather or a particularly gorgeous moment that would add, even in a small way, to the experience of knowing where you are and enjoying that difference.
480 Vancouver is also known for any number of other important sources of energy. The musical artistic scene here is noteworthy and particular. It is different from what we have in Toronto or indeed anywhere else in this country. We have always had a sense of that and we have done as best as we could with the resources and mandates available to recognize that difference.
481 We have the indefatigable Terry David Mulligan here careening up and down the coast, but there is so much that you can do with one person and the camera.
482 We have known for some time that there is an actual music sound that is particular to this place. There is a particular interest in the environment, in the ecology, there is a nascent high technology scene here that is really quite remarkable and probably links up to what is happening south of the border along the coast and we have the intention of addressing all of those particularities and have done so in the schedule that we are proposing.
483 MR. MILLER: If I can add, Madam Chair, on the structural elements that Moses was speaking to, I think first of all it starts from a philosophy of operation which is that the local general manager has the autonomy to run the local stations. The station is run here and you would know from speaking to any of our general managers here that they run those stations themselves.
484 So central to a Vancouver station is that it is operated from here. That is number one.
485 Number two, we have, in our view, maximized the amount of local programming in the station in a way that we are not aware of any other broadcaster even attempting to do. We have 30-and-a-half hours of station-produced programming, plus another 11-and-a-half hours of independently produced local ethnic programming, for a total of 42 hours. Again, we further break that down into our news programming, there is a newscast morning, noon, suppertime, nighttime, morning show, innovative in a way that not only provides nascent information but celebrates local artistic and musical talent invited to the station to show.
486 Then the non-news programming, which again the Commission has identified as a very important objective. What we bring uniquely is, of course, our ability to develop local talent and to showcase that talent nationally.
487 So not only do we show Vancouver to itself, but we are able to take Vancouver national and international through the medium of produced magazine shows and our other outlets.
488 Denise and others can comment more about that important aspect.
489 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Yes, thank you.
490 If we break down your different -- we will come back to the non-use and non-local because in the programming you are proposing which will be like more the reflection of what is on City, either your national rights of American programs or Canadian ones that you are proposing to develop, there is a strong component that is local and regional, the communities.
491 There is some confusion in our heads comparing different papers that you have produced and we would like to really straighten that out with you this morning. It is about the original local programming.
492 Depending on the document, one being the Executive Summary or in the Schedule 2, there is reference to 29 hours a week of original local programming in comparison to 30.5, and I was wondering which one was the real proposal and eventually the one you would be prepared to commit to.
493 MR. ZNAIMER: Thirty-point-five is the one I am prepared to commit to.
494 Maybe Jay can explain the discrepancy.
495 MR. SWITZER: If there is any discrepancy I will take full responsibility.
--- Laughter / Rires
496 MR. SWITZER: But the program schedule as filed, the Schedule A and the Schedule Bs are absolutely correct as filed in terms of the numbers to us. They add up to 30.5 hours of original local weekly production.
497 In our application page numbers the Schedule Bs would be pages 245 and 246, and in your page numbers I believe they would be pages 52, 53 and 54.
498 There may have been other references elsewhere in various paragraphs of words, but in a technical sense these are the numbers that we are absolutely standing behind.
499 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: And that would be a commitment you would be prepared to make?
500 MR. SWITZER: Of course.
501 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
502 What about the 2.5 hours a week of local ethnic news program?
503 MR. ZNAIMER: Well, I began to explain that.
504 I think it is in some ways the most radical proposition that we are putting forward and we are trying to actually work through in our own minds in detail how that might operate. But the notion is that there would be this half hour every day, that the programs would be run in the dominant language.
505 We are going to take some advice from James, obviously, as to how much Cantonese, how much Mandarin, and in the South Asian languages I know there is Hindi and Punjabi and Bengali, and so on, but there would be the dominant foreign language with the simultaneous provision of subtitling. We intend to do that not only in the news but actually elsewhere in ethnic programming, all with this view of building the bridge.
506 Jay, do you want to add something?
507 MR. SHERRATT: If your question was: Is that a commitment?
508 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Yes.
509 MR. SHERRATT: It is.
510 MR. ZNAIMER: Yes.
511 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Would that be news about ethnic groups in the city, or would it be news done in a language that reflects the cultural diversity of the city?
512 MR. ZNAIMER: Well, both.
513 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Both.
514 MR. ZNAIMER: News needs to be news, but the agenda of those newscasts will be markedly different from the agenda of the mainstream newscast and by following that newscast through the medium of the open captions you are going to get a much deeper understanding of what is happening in each of these communities.
515 MR. SHERRATT: I think one of fascinating parts of it to me, of the concept, is that, well, it's the first half hour of an hour block and the second half hour is English. The anchors in the first half hour will be part of the second half hour because they will be bilingual. In the first half hour they may be doing it in whatever language and explaining or talking about English clips that -- English-language clips and then in the second half hour they will be doing it the other way.
516 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So that is what you meant by the bridging that --
517 MR. ZNAIMER: Indeed, yes.
518 MR. SWITZER: This is a very innovative new approach to prime time local news in a major market station. We are talking about half of this half hour newscast primarily being done in Chinese and the other half primarily being done in Punjabi. It is very innovative in that, to the best of our knowledge, there has never been an attempt to build bridges to communities and to reflect communities in a way that is done integrated inside the conventional newsroom and the newscast.
519 If Prem Gill has anything else to add this would be a very appropriate time. This is most innovative.
521 MS GILL: I would like to add something.
522 We talk a lot about building bridges between communities, but I think a newscast with an approach like this, it's also important that it will be building bridges within the Punjabi community, within the Chinese community.
523 For example, I may be sitting there with my grandmother who predominantly speaks Punjabi and we will get a better understanding by me reading the subtitles, because my Punjabi is not always that great, and her hearing the news in Punjabi will be able to share and make more connections between generations within cultures that there is the constant struggle going on within the community between different generations as there are across the board in all cultures.
524 So I think it is a really interesting proposal, because it is not only building bridges between different ethnic communities and people from various backgrounds, but it's also important within those communities to recognize it will be building bridges between different generations.
525 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: How is the market and viewers reacting to subtitles?
526 I remember a period where there was a strong reaction. Maybe being Francophone myself we have been used to that and for many years there was a degree of tolerance and then at one point there was not the same tolerance.
527 What you are proposing to do asks a certain degree of tolerance and openness. How have you assessed the success of that formula?
528 MR. ZNAIMER: I think it also has to do with how well it's done.
529 I mean, my own recollection, and one of the reasons why, perhaps subtitling, say of cinema, fell into disfavour is it was hard to read. You know, frequently you had kind of white letters against white backgrounds and it seemed to be done in a way mostly about minimizing the costs.
530 There are now new technologies that make it much easier to do and much easier to consume in the sense of reading. In fact, if you go to many bars in town you will see that often they use open captioning while they keep the sound down, say on a MuchMusic. It's a peculiar experience and an interesting one.
531 I think that in this city, in this city people would be particularly motivated. It will have something to do with the generations, but those that I have talked to are really excited about this and are intrigued because they are aware. World events are seen differently in different cultures.
532 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Have you done some focus groups on this?
533 MR. MILLER: Madam Chair, I was responsible for our community consultations.
534 I wouldn't call them focus groups in the official sense of the word, but working with Prem and others, and James Ho, we must have met, quite frankly, on the order of 200 to 300 people. We had this discussion very frankly and, if I can take us back a little bit, I think what is unique about what we are proposing is two elements.
535 First of all, the notion that we have not only people with coloured faces, if you will, on the air, but the resources and the specialty and the production expertise behind the scenes to make sure that it does reflect and be involved in the community.
536 Secondly, what was also vital in the discussions that we had, was that we found different mechanisms of doing the bridging. The issue of subtitling was the favourite response, if you will.
537 Another option which we have provisioned for is the use of sound. What you are familiar with in watching MusiquePlus is often if the interviewer is viewing someone in English they will sort of translate back into the other language. As Sarah Crawford can speak to, it's a vehicle used in the education community that has been very effective in terms of closed captioning.
538 MR. ZNAIMER: Fred has just passed me a little note just to remind me, those of you who have experienced our CP-24 Channel in the greater Toronto area, that is a complex frame with two picture boxes and a fair amount of alphanumerics in it. The text box in that frame has had instant acceptance.
539 So I think that it is a generational thing and because it is better done and because people are more open-minded, I think there will be a great deal of interest in the subtitling.
540 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So you are working on the convergence between computer and the TV box?
541 MR. ZNAIMER: We are indeed.
542 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: You have also promised in your application of 14.5 hours a week of local non-ethnic news. You would be prepared to make that commitment.
543 MR. ZNAIMER: Absolutely.
544 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Okay.
545 What about now the original local non-news type of programming you are promising. You are talking about 12 hours of original and two hours of repeat.
546 Would you care to make a few comments on that?
547 MR. ZNAIMER: Yes, I would.
548 One of the things that we developed, again it is technique and it has become very identified with Citytv, but it is technique which is tremendously effective in revealing the particularity of places. It's called "Speaker's Corner". It's a simple enough idea. We cut the corner off our building, we put up what looks like a phone booth but in fact it is a video booth and it is activated by $1.00 coin, which we then give to charity, and the people speak.
549 It is in that sense, without mediation people who use it don't have to explain themselves, they don't have to get dressed, write a speech, do all the things that kind of inhibits communication. What they do in "Speaker's Corner" is really quite remarkable.
550 So we are proposing, for example, on the one hand, a relatively simple show to do from a production point of view, but hugely revealing of what is going on in town, what is on people's minds, not only from the point of view of opinion but from the point of view of performance. People do wonderful, unexpected and very particularly local things in "Speaker's Corner".
551 On the other end of the scale, complex and costly, we are proposing dramatic evening serial, well, a form of production that I guess French Canada is more familiar with than English Canada in the telenovella sense, and the whole idea of that serial is that it is set in a television station, and since we quite deliberately make our television stations a reflection of the reality of the larger community we think that is a good way of telling the story of the larger community.
552 In addition to that, it will be visibly set here in town so here is another kind of commitment, a first for us really because it is the manufacture of fiction and at the other end of the economic scale from "Speaker's Corner", but both of them will deliver material that is intensely local and very different from what you might find anywhere else.
553 MS DONLON: I would like to add to that, if I could.
554 MR. ZNAIMER: Yes. Why don't you jump in, Denise, because I was going to get to the music stuff.
555 MS DONLON: Yes. Well, more than music, I mean, I think you can really see a community best reflected often in its arts, you know, in the ballet, the symphony, the theatre, the music, the dance, the visual arts. We all know that Vancouver especially is very rich in all of these areas, not only because we have been covering it for years and trying to bring it to a national and international exposure, but also very much a part of the cultural diversity that is present in the area.
556 So, you know, there is an opportunity to do more with, say, First Nations visual art form, you know, Ballet B.C. here is very distinctive versus the rest of the ballet companies across the country, et cetera.
557 So without going into too many specifics there, you can see from the schedule that there are some very aggressive music, entertainment, documentary, concert-type programming in the schedule.
558 Obviously it would be up to the local managers to decide which subjects best reflect the community here. Off the top of my head I can think of three or four documentaries that I would like to see immediately under way with some of the more unusual and distinctive people in the arts and culture community.
559 So the type of programming that we are speaking of is the type of programming that again speaks to the whole idea of building bridges in the community, a Vancouver weekend show two nights a week that can talk about what is happening in town, and not just the mainstream music and arts and entertainment but also the fringes in the cultural ethnic entertainment and drama and theatre that is going on in town.
560 We can also, as Peter mentioned earlier, take the type of programming that is produced here and include it in the specialty programming not only in Canada but also around the world, and there will be --
--- Technical difficulties / Problèmes techniques
561 MS DONLON: -- talk about WestTV, which Marcia is most familiar with, as well as TV Frames. These are both cultural and entertainment music programming that will best reflect the community.
562 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: In your Schedule B you have a fall 2000 kind of proposal or hypothesis where you have five hours a week of local programming in prime time.
563 Would you be prepared to make a commitment of that?
564 MR. ZNAIMER: Yes. We are eager to make that commitment.
565 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: When we were talking about the 12 original local non-news programs, that did exclude the local ethnic non-news program that you have on your weekend schedule?
566 MR. ZNAIMER: Yes.
567 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Okay.
568 Let's talk now about two things I am concerned with. Hearing your KVOS answers about how it would -- you would be in a good position to repatriate rights and revenues, advertising revenues because of the unique situation you have viz-à-viz KVOS, some may say that that means that you bring local news, local non-news programs but the rest will be essentially feature films, which is your signature, but a lot of American programs as well, on one hand.
569 The other question that we may have as well is: If ever we were to consider two licences, one in Victoria and one in Vancouver, how much would be common programs for the two?
570 So the question being, you know: What is the net net?
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571 MR. ZNAIMER: I will begin and I think Jay will want to add something.
572 Very little. And where it exists it will be on the acquisition side in certain kinds of programming.
573 Jay can give you some detail on that.
574 So what we are proposing is two sharply differentiated services, each with their local constituency so that the viewer will be enriched and get a different -- well, not only a different program schedule, but a different viewing experience out of each of these two stations.
575 As to the point you are making about American programming, well, I think that is a constant feature in the schedule of every Canadian station and every Canadian option that is being proposed. Even the multilingual application has an awful lot of American programming in it.
576 What is important in this case is that we will bring that programming back onto a Canadian channel and with it, yet not only the repatriation of programs and revenues but viewing. We think those viewers can develop the habit of watching our station and we will lead them into the very unique portions of the schedule that they can't find anywhere else.
577 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: I guess if you allow me, my question is: I understand that there is, you know, bringing back the rights here and the advertising revenues here. You can have on the local type of programming certainly an input, where my question is really addressing the priority program.
578 What is the advantage on the priority program front if we were to licence CHUM?
579 MR. ZNAIMER: Jay?
580 MR. SWITZER: We have spent some great length discussing this.
581 If I may briefly give you some comfort first on the KVOS area, which you asked.
582 There might be the perception that 10s of hours of programs may be repatriate and that may, I guess, be the fact. But the only thing that matters is the small number of hit programs.
583 It is likely, in terms of the programs I discussed earlier, in both Vancouver and Victoria, it may only amount to three or four hours per week, but those are their top rated hours and therefore are important to the station and therefore would put KVOS much lower in the pecking order and in terms of all of the way time is sold, and so on. It would have a much leveraged effect.
584 So if we can with certainty bring back "Seinfeld" or "Star Trek Voyager", or so on, it can be a small number of hours and make a very big difference.
585 As to priority programming, you raise a very important point. These two applications each on their own have, in this application -- in these applications have eight hours of distinctive, non-duplicated priority programming and it is not our intent to bring a common eight hours. The point here is to add diversity to the markets and diversity to the system.
586 We have had some discussion about what we might be able to do to provide comfort that in fact we are not investing in common priority programs, while at the same time acknowledging that particularly in the area of Canadian feature film it wouldn't be in the viewer's best interests, nor the producer's best interests, to have some shows not seen in the market because a movie that might do very well and score a four or five rating and have a share of 15 or 20 per cent is still not seen by 80 per cent of the people in the area.
587 So what we discussed and what we are very happy to table, and in fact commit to if it's appropriate, is that we would give comfort that no more than 20 per cent of the priority programming on one station would appear on the other in the same broadcast year. That is a very serious and tough commitment in that it gives everyone comfort that we are indeed talking about -- with the exception of occasional movies or a program here or there -- distinctively different and separate priority programming.
588 MR. SHERRATT: I would like to add a question that I had on this when it was being discussed. I think it's a key part of it.
589 There is no intention that they would be simulcast on the two stations or probably even in the same week. In long form programming it might be months later that it would be seen on the Victoria station or vice versa. There is time separation as well as the quantum that is involved.
590 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So when you are saying 20 per cent in same year, that doesn't mean it would be simulcast. It could be apart?
591 MR. SHERRATT: It wouldn't be.
592 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: It would be apart.
593 MR. SWITZER: We would absolutely commit to not simulcasting, but in addition --
594 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: It would be two windows.
595 MR. SWITZER: Primarily for feature films and other specials limit our duplication to 20 per cent in any one broadcast year. That would allow us to premier a new Canadian film in January on one station and perhaps the following summer on the other.
596 MR. SHERRATT: The only time you would get into any simulcasting is in some national emergency or major event where everybody is covering the same thing you might get some duplication. But there is no intention of duplicating any of the local programming or any of the acquired entertainment programming and in simulcasting it.
597 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: You were saying that that is your commitment on the priority program, the eight hours. What about acquisition? Because what you said starting your intervention was that on the acquisition front it would be different than for Canadian content.
598 MR. SWITZER: Yes. We have given this great discussion and it was not a very difficult discussion.
599 We have filed essentially separate applications. These proposals are different schedules. We have discussed and are very prepared to commit to a very high degree of separation and specifically that no more than 10 per cent of the broadcast day of one channel in any way will appear on the other channel in the same broadcast year.
600 We think that gives great comfort to the Commission, to the other players in the system and provides maximum diversity and maximum benefits to the viewers, which is the whole point.
601 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So 10 per cent of a broadcast day in a broadcast year?
602 MR. SWITZER: Yes. And separately, as we just discussed, no more than 20 per cent of the priority programming.
603 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Priority programming.
604 And you would be prepared to have that as a commitment --
605 MR. ZNAIMER: We would.
606 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: -- in your licence if you were to be granted a licence?
607 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
608 I will move now to the ethnic or cultural diversity expression where you say that you will have 15 hours, 10 hours of a certain kind, which would be Punjabi and Chinese, and then one hour per day -- or I'm not sure, one hour or -- that would be five hours, rather, of Italian and Portuguese and others.
609 My question is not the exact amount, but how did you come to that division of 10 hours of Chinese and Punjabi and the rest? You know certainly the market itself, but I suppose it is not because you have a proportion in the market that necessarily you have a market that is responsive to a City concept, for example.
610 MR. ZNAIMER: Well, I will lead on this. Obviously Lenny Lombardi and James Ho will wish to add additional comments.
611 In a way it's obvious, it is where the population bulk is. The Chinese population number is significant, the most significant in this market, and that is followed by the South Asian community and then by quite a substantial difference by the other language groups, the Italian, the Spanish and the Persian, Vietnamese, Korean, Filipino. So that is the big stroke of division.
612 Did I understand the end of your question to be whether or not we knew these communities were responsive to a City-style format?
613 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Well, yes. Because, you know, there are the demographics per se --
614 MR. ZNAIMER: Yes.
615 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: -- but you are talking about trying to appeal to a certain audience.
616 MR. ZNAIMER: Well, that then --
617 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: You know, have you made a correlation between your concept and what you see in those communities as being --
618 MR. ZNAIMER: Yes. We think we have, and again it speaks to this question of first generation versus second generation and third generation.
619 My experience has been that second, third generation people of ethnic origin -- I notionally am one of those -- are interested in retaining a link to their heritage, but they need to have it in a language that they can speak and understand and frequently, you know, some resident Japanese may not speak Japanese. As Prem said, her Punjabi is not the greatest and I no longer speak a very fluent Yiddish, so English becomes particularly important.
620 I think, Lenny, you may want to add something about the research you did at CHIN regarding the emerging importance of English as a kind of a linguafranca -- to mix a metaphor -- for this transitional phenomenon.
621 Once you are dealing in second and third generation, then you are dealing in younger people and it is the younger people who want smart television.
622 That is the other big thing that I have come across in all the people that I have met, that there is a certain kind of a stigma to first generation language programming because it was typically done in conditions of very tight budgets and, you know, very restrictive program machinery, little box studios, and so there is a certain kind of stereotype that goes along with that.
623 Of course, second and third generation people want to have that heritage connection in English in programs that do them proud, in programs that will hold their attention, in programs that speak the modern, highly visual language of the new generation. So we thought that they would respond well to what that same article referred to as the zippy, sexy and fun style of Citytv.
624 Do you want to make a point on --
625 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: We have picked up on different elements of the article.
--- Laughter / Rires
626 MR. LOMBARDI: Madam Commissioner, I would just like to add that is one of the major reasons I am here, as Moses has outlined.
627 CHIN Radio in Toronto has been producing ethnic programs for the last 35 years on both radio and television and from the very beginning when we began with City Television we shared a common vision and saw the need for this type of programming. In fact, City added ethnic programs to their list before CHIN came along to them to produce them. So they were long committed before we came along, but we grew together.
628 One of the interesting things that we have seen happen in Toronto is that there is an evolution going on within ethnic broadcasting today and we see the emergency of second and third generation ethnic Canadians being left out of the true content and the cultural content of the programs that were originally designed for their parents and their forefathers.
629 What we are finding is that that community is being left out. In fact, a common scene might be where kids come home from school or from work and their parents might be watching special programs on the evenings or on the weekends and have no opportunity to really relate because their language skills are quite deficient and they have an opportunity to participate with the family. Nor does anyone else with a language deficiency in that community or even outside that community have an opportunity to tap in.
630 So what we did is we conducted a survey of this phenomenon and we found that there is a very high propensity, a very high desirous level of bilingual format, bilingual programming to the second and third generation part of our community.
631 I think that is what really excited us when City proposed very much the same type of format for their television programs here and we feel that is really the most effective way now to build bridges between those multi-generations within the ethnic communities.
632 But maybe even more importantly is to finally give an opportunity to people outside those communities an opportunity to look into and explore and to understand what their next door neighbour is all about. I think that really is the magic of this format and I think that is what is so exciting to me.
633 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
634 MR. McKIE: If I might add, Madam Chairman.
635 MR. SHERRATT: Go ahead.
636 MR. McKIE: I'm Duncan McKie from Pollara Research in Toronto.
637 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Oh, I'm sorry.
638 MR. McKIE: I'm way back here in the bleachers.
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639 MR. SHERRATT: I was just going to introduce them.
640 MR. McKIE: But I would like you to know, I didn't pay for this seat.
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641 MR. McKIE: We did ask people quite explicitly those who recognized City and there were quite a few in the Vancouver area, as you know, from our research.
642 We asked people if they found that format acceptable and surprisingly those people we identified as being part of the ethnic community here found it more acceptable than those people who weren't a part of the ethnic community here.
643 So I think there has been a recognition amongst the potential audience in the marketplace, especially those who come from ethnic communities, that City does bring an approach which they would find acceptable. It is also more acceptable amongst young people.
644 So you find this correlation in three ways: Acceptable; acceptable to the ethnic communities; and acceptable for the second and third generation in the ethnic communities amongst those people who did recognize City and recognized the format of programming that they bring to the Canadian marketplace.
645 MS GILL: I would just like to add that as a second generation Canadian it is important to acknowledge that I am not a visitor to this country. I was born in Vancouver and I am a Canadian.
646 I think it's important to acknowledge that in this proposed 6:00 p.m. news hour we are not only -- it's not only going to be in a third language, but it is going to be on an English-language station acknowledging that we are the new mainstream, that we don't need to be designated or relegated to a multicultural channel or just to multicultural programming. We are part of the existence of an English-language station.
647 For me personally, I think that is extremely important because I'm not just a second generation Canadian, I am first and foremost a Canadian.
648 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
649 In Schedule B we understood that what you were proposing, the Vancouver metro block, that there would be 8.5 hours of original programs for three hours of repeat.
650 Did we read correctly into it?
651 MR. SHERRATT: All eyes go to Jay.
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652 MR. SWITZER: You did read correctly, Madam Chair.
653 In discussion since I know the team with James Ho and Lenny Lombardi for that block has stepped up their commitments to original and have reduced their amount of repeats. But that was the way it was filed in September.
654 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So what should we read now?
655 MR. SWITZER: The weekend block, the Vancouver metro block on Saturday and Sunday will be original every week.
656 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Meaning how many hours a week?
657 MR. SWITZER: The entire block -- I have it all broken down into sub-pieces. I would have to add it up. But the entire block from 9:00 a.m. on Saturday until 3:00 p.m. on Saturday; beginning 8:30 a.m. Sunday right through until 1:30 p.m.
658 The only one hour that would not be regional every week is the program we have broken out as "Pacific Rim", the sole exception, where we listed 22 original hours each year and that would continue with 22 hours.
659 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Okay. So there would be only one hour of repeat. The rest would be original?
660 MR. SWITZER: Yes.
661 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: And you would be prepared to commit to it?
662 MR. SWITZER: Yes.
663 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Okay. Thank you.
664 Now, my last question is around independent producers and what you have proposed there.
665 I would like to understand how you see your programming developing with the help of the independent producers and how much from the Vancouver region and the B.C. region.
666 Can you give us some clarification on this, please?
667 MR. ZNAIMER: We can. We are focusing our connection and our commitment to commissioning work on this most difficult, most costly and under served area of Canadian feature film.
668 Now, having said that, Jay can begin to give you some detail.
669 MR. SWITZER: Yes.
670 The major thrust and probably most important financial commitment we have made is in the area of feature film. It amounts to a minimum of $16 million for the support of new B.C.-based feature films and an additional $1.5 million of script and concept development.
671 All of those monies, 100 per cent of those monies will be spent with B.C.-based independent producers.
672 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: That is true also of the $1.5 million? We were not quite clear about that because we understood that it would be mainly -- or that there would be like a positive bias towards Vancouver, but we didn't read into it that all of it would be for the B.C. independent producers.
673 MR. SWITZER: If there is any doubt, our intent and our commitment is to spend that exclusively in the local market and those development monies will be divvied up by the local development manager.
674 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Okay.
675 What about your local programming, not the news but the local non-news, the ones from ethnic programs and the ones non-ethnic. Are those things you do in-house or will you work with the independent producers as well?
676 MR. SWITZER: To start with, a major block, 11 or 11-and-a-half hours per week will be produced independently by James Ho and his company in association with Lenny Lombardi in association with the station. Our biggest number of hours will be independently produced.
677 The in-house magazine shows that we have discussed at great length will be produced by the station. Some of the documentaries may be -- music documentaries may be commissioned by independents, but primarily the music and concerts, and so on, will be produced by the station.
678 Where we draw the line in terms of what we do well and what we want to help independents with is feature film. The information and entertainment and magazine kinds of things we can do extremely well and build a critical mass, which Denise may want to speak to. In the area of feature film, that is where we can do the most good with independents.
679 We are talking about $16 million which we believe will help kickstart more than 49 new major independently produced feature films in this market.
680 We have been very, very active for many years. This is not something new. This is not a shot in the dark. This didn't come out of nowhere. In the past four or five years we have been -- from Toronto, just because of the quality of projects that have come across our desk -- supported more than a dozen Vancouver films. It is ironic -- when I say "we" I'm speaking of the Citytv station -- that in the last few years the best projects that have come across Diane Bayne's(ph) desk happen to have been from Vancouver.
681 It is the most important thing we can do. To able to kickstart at least 49 new independent films is the biggest contribution we believe we can make to the independents here in Vancouver.
682 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: What do you do in Toronto? Do you do the same thing where your collaboration with independent producers is mainly on the feature and long form documentaries --
683 MR. SWITZER: Yes.
684 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: -- and magazines are done in-house locally with the station?
685 MR. SWITZER: Yes.
686 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: That is the same thing.
687 MR. SHERRATT: Madam Chair, if we could just take a moment, I would like Paul Gratton, who is our guru in this area, to perhaps give you some idea of the magnitude of work that this $16 million can be levered into.
689 MR. SWITZER: And additionally why the indigenous films here, the independent films are struggling. There is lots of business going on, but the ratio of films that are independent is not where it should be.
690 Paul is the Vice-President and General Manager of Space and Bravo!, but also is very active in the film community, sits on the -- is the Chair of the Qujutro(ph) Award and other things. He speaks with some knowledge.
691 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Yes.
692 MR. GRATTON: Okay. Well, as you know this year British Columbia is extremely thrilled because their production levels have exceeded $1 billion for the first time and have actually -- Vancouver has exceeded Toronto in terms of production activity in the local community.
693 The problem, the fear has always been the amount of indigenous and Canadian production that forms a portion of that.
694 It has always been felt that it is a fragile infrastructure that has been built up because if the exchange rate on the Canadian dollar were ever to reverse itself a lot of the production would flee.
695 B.C. indigenous feature filmmakers have felt that there are two major structural impediments to them getting a proper proportion, if you will, of the feature film money in this country. One is -- basically most of the funds in this country for feature films are triggered by one of two things, either a broadcast licence or a commitment from a Canadian theatrical distributor.
696 In British Columbia there is only one active Canadian theatrical distributor of note, and that is Red Sky Entertainment. A number of them have gone bankrupt over the years. So the feeling is that the industry is concentrated in Toronto and it is very hard to form relationships.
697 There has also not been an active broadcaster who is very interested in Canadian feature films and therefore the indigenous B.C. feature film community really feels that there are major structural impediments.
698 This particular initiative, 50 movies over seven years, would represent such an injection of commitment it would access all kinds of other funds and our feeling is that the talent is here. There haven't been the structural opportunities for B.C. filmmakers to really tell their own stories to their own community.
699 The fact that we have done over 12 over the last few years attests to the fact that we saw the talent here. There was no particular reason for us to licence B.C.-based films except that they were the best scripts crossing our desks. Yet the frustration from the community that there was no local broadcaster that was committed to feature films is a complaint that I have heard at the Canadian Television Fund, where I sit on the Board, it's complaints lodged against Téléfilm.
700 I mean, it's just a structural impediment and we think this is one of the most dramatic commitments that any broadcaster could make to supporting indigenous B.C.-based Canadian feature films. We think it will make the difference -- a huge difference to the community.
701 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
702 What about the initiative of soap opera? You talk about staging it in Vancouver. You are talking about partnering with the CBC to do it. We are glad to see that they have the money to do it --
--- Laughter / Rires
703 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: I couldn't help myself.
704 But what is the plan there? Are you thinking of working with an independent producer at all and would, you know, people from Vancouver be involved?
705 MR. ZNAIMER: We may. We haven't actually locked this one down. In part --
706 MR. SWITZER: The money is locked.
707 MR. ZNAIMER: The money is locked, yes. The money is locked, but how we go about it hasn't been absolutely locked down.
708 I was about to say, in part because we would like to learn how to do this as well, you know. Frequently at hearings like this there is always a discussion of talent and talent is not in the room. Well, talent is in the room and we would like to step up to this challenge of learning how to do it and learning how to do it well. But we have picked a genre that is curiously absent from Canada when you consider just how prevalent soaps and telenovellas are elsewhere in the world of television.
709 It has always been a bit of mystery to me why it hasn't taken root in English Canada. So I think we can make a real contribution. We have been in discussion with the various funding mechanisms in Canada to see whether they might allow another creative team to take a run at this thing, and my general philosophy is the more creative people working the more you are going to get good results. I mean, excellence just needs activity in order to generate the excellence.
710 So the answer to the question is: We would like some involvement in this field ourselves. We are not sure that the rules will change sufficiently to enable us to do that and if they don't we will figure out another way which is almost certain to involve local producers.
711 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
712 That really covers the different questions I had for you.
713 Commissioner Grauer has a question and probably our legal counsel would like to complete my interrogations.
714 Thank you.
715 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you.
716 I just had one question about your ethnic programming.
717 If I understand it correctly, the immigration patterns in Toronto or in eastern Canada differ quite significantly than immigration patterns here, not only in where the immigrants came from but also the timing.
718 I wonder if you could elaborate a bit on that? I think we have several, really, generation or two difference, do we not?
719 MR. ZNAIMER: Yes, I think what you are saying is true, though if you are looking to the largest ethnic group, the Chinese are it in both Toronto and Vancouver, as an example. And, of course, with time you see the fading away of the preponderance of the previous generation's important groups.
720 Lenny can speak to what is going on in the Italian community. There was a time when ethnic programming on Toronto television meant Italian programming. Of course that has evolved.
721 There is also a big social class difference in the nature of the immigrants. For a long time immigrants were refugees, often arriving at the shore without very much and looking for an improved life.
722 Latterly we have had the phenomenon of very well-heeled immigrants who bring with them great resources, great entrepreneurial skills and have a different level of confidence about themselves and about their insistence that they get some service.
723 Did you want to add something to that?
724 MR. SHERRATT: No, but I wondered if James might want to comment.
725 MR. HO: Yes.
726 There is a great difference at this moment between Vancouver and Toronto area. In Toronto, as Moses was mentioning before, when you talk about ethnic market you talk about generally overall a very rounded ethnic market. There is a bit of everybody in there, whereas in Vancouver it is very directed to very distinct Chinese and South Asian.
727 The Chinese market at this moment, in our estimate, is somewhere around 360,000 to 380,000 population. It is almost reaching the same number as Toronto at this moment, except that Vancouver is newer and is a smaller place than Toronto so it is much more heavily concentrated.
728 We did a figure recently, the Vancouver -- just we are talking about strictly Vancouver, the population of the Chinese at this moment is somewhere around 28 per cent. Then if you talk about Richmond, where you land at the airport, it's somewhere around 32 per cent. But if you talk about the whole lower mainland together -- I don't want to bore you with all these figures -- it's somewhere around 24 per cent.
729 So really the Chinese population has increased tremendously and it will continue to do so.
730 What I'm finding, this whole thing is so amazing and so comfortable for me to be with CHUM is that from the experience, from what I'm seeing -- a lot of people will do a lot of lip service, but CHUM is the only group where I have seen they did whatever they said. They will do it. And they will commit to it. It is out of respect to the community, it is out of respect and recognizing the changing demographics.
731 There is one thing that is very important as well that is affecting this community. Yesterday we designed to be a Premier, Dosanjh. It was clearly history in the making yesterday. We are at this moment becoming mainstream. Whatever we do, whatever the Chinese community or South Asian community -- whatever is happening is affecting everyone else. That is something that we can't ignore.
732 Then there is another situation where I'm seeing clearly that is being ignored or not being put is whatever is happening our community is not being broadcast to the mainstream community. A lot of people didn't know that actually what's happening in our community is deeply affecting everybody else: Housing market, cars, school, policing, you name it, every single factor.
733 There is a need. When we talk about communication between cross-generations it is important, but we also wanted to do something that is projecting ourselves and letting the mainstream know what is happening in our community as well. It is very, very important because we are interrelated. We are affecting each other, everything we do.
734 Why is Vancouver being picked by Chinese population? It is not only because of good air, it is not only because of water, it is not only because of the environment, everything is included. Plus, a lot of people didn't know that, that we actually have the best and the most reasonable priced Chinese food here.
--- Laughter / Rires
735 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: And no snow.
736 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you.
737 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
738 Madame Assheton-Smith
739 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Thank you, Madam Chairperson. I just have a few follow-up questions.
740 First of all, Mr. Miller, you indicated that you have some revised audience share and reach projections. Could I ask you to file those with the Secretary when you have a chance, please?
741 MR. ZNAIMER: Absolutely.
742 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Coming back to the original local programming, you confirmed that the commitment is to 30-and-a-half hours, 30.5 hours per week. You also indicated that of that 17 hours will be local news and 12 hours will be local original non-news. That adds up to 29 hours a week and I'm just wondering what the remaining one-and-a-half hours per week will consist of.
743 MR. ZNAIMER: They are the two hours of locally produced magazine-style programming showcasing local musical and artistic talent.
744 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Okay. Thank you.
745 Moving to feature film, are you making a minimum commitment to a certain level of feature films per week?
746 MR. SWITZER: We have made, in this application, a commitment to telecast a minimum of 100 hours of Canadian feature film per year in prime.
747 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Are you committing to a minimum number of Canadian feature films in prime time?
748 MR. ZNAIMER: I think the first question was about film in general?
749 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Yes.
750 MR. ZNAIMER: Could you repeat that question?
751 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Are you making a commitment to a minimum level of exhibitions of feature films per week?
752 MR. ZNAIMER: Well, the schedule provides for one every evening in prime, one every afternoon -- do we have?
753 MR. MILLER: Counsel, the model we have worked on is the model that we have with Citytv, so it isn't a per week commitment, it's the 100 hours --
754 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Per year.
755 MR. MILLER: -- per year commitment of Canadian feature film. So that's what we are proposing here.
756 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: And of those is there a minimum level that will be in prime time, or is that the 100 hours will be in prime time?
757 MR. MILLER: That's all in not only prime --
758 MR. SHERRATT: Just for the record, the reason for that is so that you can judiciously schedule those Canadian movies to maximize audience. You don't want to take a Canadian movie that has a potential in it and put it up against some blockbuster thing that is coming in from the United States. That doesn't give it fair exposure, so you could -- Jay sometimes will move something just because of that. You have to give it the opportunity to be seen.
759 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Thank you.
760 You have made a number of commitments with respect to programming in your discussions with the Chairperson. These include the hours of original local programming per week, the hours of local programming in peak time per week, hours of priority programming per week and priority programming in peak time.
761 Would you accept any or all of your programming commitments as conditions of licence?
762 MR. ZNAIMER: As discussed, yes.
763 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Yes to all of your program commitments? You would accept those as conditions of licence?
764 MR. SHERRATT: I think the list you gave is what we went through with the Chair this morning. We commit to all of those.
765 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: You do commit to all of them.
766 A final technical question.
767 If for any reason Channel 42 were not available in the Vancouver area, would you be willing, ready and able to use another channel?
768 MR. SHERRATT: Yes.
769 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Thank you.
770 Those are all my questions.
771 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Mesdames, gentlemen, thank you very much.
772 MR. SHERRATT: Madam Chair, thank you, and thank you for your very thorough examination this morning. We appreciate it and we appreciate the Commission's efforts in this regard.
773 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Well, thank you very much.
774 We will stop for lunch. We will be back at quarter to 2:00.
775 Madame Secretary, which applicant will be --
776 MS VOGEL: It will be the Rogers application.
777 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 1220 / Suspension à 1220
--- Upon resuming at 1350 / Reprise à 1350
778 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
779 Madam Secretary.
780 MS VOGEL: Our next applicant is CFMT-TV, a division of Rogers Broadcasting Limited, who are applying for a broadcasting licence to carry on a multilingual ethnic television programming undertaking at Vancouver. The new station would operate on Channel 42 with an effective radiated power of 30,700 watts.
781 The Applicant is also proposing a rebroadcasting transmitter in Victoria, British Columbia on Channel 53 with an effective radiated power of 18,400 watts.
782 You may proceed whenever you are ready.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
783 MR. SOLE: Madame la Présidente, Members of the Commission, I am Leslie Sole, Executive Vice-President of CFMT Television. I have asked the other members of our panel to introduce themselves this afternoon.
784 MR. VINER: I am Tony Viner, President of Rogers Broadcasting Limited.
785 MR. LOH: Mason Loh, Vice-Chair of Community Advisory Board LM-TV and Managing Partner of Loh and Company, a law firm in Vancouver.
786 MS ZINIAK: Madeline Ziniak, Vice-President and Executive Producer, CFMT-TV.
787 MS JAFFER: Mobina Jaffer, Partner in the law firm of Dohm(ph) & Jaffer and a Chair to the Advisory Board to LM-TV.
788 MR. NELLES: Jim Nelles, Vice-President of Sales & Marketing, CFMT-TV.
789 MR. KHAN: Viddear Khan, Program Controller at CFMT-TV.
790 MR. AYLEY: Tom Ayley, Vice-President, Financial Operations, CFMT-TV.
791 MR. IP: Jackson Ip, Director of Program Development and Community Liaison.
792 MR. MEHTA: Paritosh Mehta, Independent Community Production Co-Ordinator.
793 MR. SOLE: Also at the table behind, from the Commission's left we have Dr. Heather Martin who will be our Commissioning Editor, Documentaries, if you approve this application.
794 We also have the authors of our studies, Lock Sing Leung, President of LLS Market Research Incorporated; Ken Koo, President, Koo Creative Group Incorporated; Bruce Neve, Vice-President, Media, The Media Edge; and Jane Armstrong, Senior Vice-President, Environics.
795 Also, Aidan O'Neill of the law firm Johnston & Buchan is our legal counsel for this application.
796 Ms Jaffer will begin our presentation.
797 MS JAFFER: I am pleased to appear before you at such a historic time in the life of this province and Canada. The election of Mr. Dosanjh yesterday as the leader of his party and as Premier of British Columbia is a clear and powerful demonstration that we live in a multi-ethnic and multicultural society.
798 Here in the lower mainland, we have a large community of Canadians from Europe, South America, Africa, South Asia and Asia whose mother tongue is neither French nor English. We are not a small minority of the population, yet we live without real access to one of the most commonly used media in this country -- Canadian television programming in our native languages.
799 As a result, we are limited in our ability to interact as a community within our original cultures, as well as within the broader Canadian society as a whole.
800 Therefore, we become isolated and lack a true sense of identity.
801 A common experience is that the cultural life of immigrant families deteriorates. The customs that they use to guide their lives are based on the cultural practices of their homeland at the time that they came to Canada. They are frozen in the past. They have no clear sense of how a culture and customs have evolved in their homeland countries. At the same time, they do not have access to the information that they need to become more fully integrated into modern Canadian society.
802 If we are frozen in the past, or uncertain about our relationship to modern Canadian society, how can we deal effectively with broader social issues that all Canadians face: Like societal or family violence; like equality between men and women; or discrimination based on sexual orientation?
803 Canada has a unique identity in the world community. That identity is directly related to our history of successfully embracing multiculturalism. The CRTC has played an important role in protecting this country's commitment to multiculturalism. There is an urgent need for you to affirm these values and to provide the opportunity to all of us to become truly integrated into the fabric of this province and Canada.
804 MR. SOLE: We are here today to present our application for LM-TV, a new multilingual television station to serve ethnic audiences throughout the lower mainland and Victoria.
805 We have prepared a short video presentation featuring Canadian recording artists Neil Donell and Lisa Dalbello to show you the people we intend to serve and to provide a brief overview of our application.
--- Video Presentation / Présentation vidéo
806 MR. SOLE: There are three principal reasons why we believe that the approval of our application would be in the public interest:
807 One, public demand for multilingual television programming;
808 Two, the social value of what we are proposing; and
809 Three, the contribution to the local community and to Canadian creative talent.
810 First there is a broad and deep public demand for increased access to multilingual television programming. This demand will increase as the ethnic population continues to grow.
811 Currently there are approximately 800,000 people of ethnic origin in the lower mainland and Victoria, more than the entire population of Winnipeg or Hamilton or Quebec City, all of which have local television services. By 2006, there will be almost 1.5 million people of ethnic origin in this market.
812 The market research that we filed with our application clearly shows that there is intense demand in this market for what we are proposing. In a survey of over 1,000 Chinese and South Asian Canadians by Environics, nine out of ten respondents said that they or someone in their household would be interested in watching programming on LM-TV.
813 Support for LM-TV is strong across all segments of the ethnic audience, including those members of ethnocultural groups who are most fully integrated into Canadian society.
814 For example, over 80 per cent of respondents under the age of 40 and who speak English said that they personally were interested in watching ethnic programming in their mother tongue on LM-TV.
815 Our findings confirm what the Commission heard during the extensive public consultations it undertook last year on the ethnic broadcasting policy. Based on those hearings, the Commission took note in Public Notice 1999-117 of:
"...the high demand by Canadians for programming in a variety of languages."
816 MS ZINIAK: Social value is the second reason why we believe that the approval of our application would be in the public interest.
817 Based on almost 15 years of experience at CFMT, we know that effective multilingual television broadcasting is about more than just reflection.
818 Effective multilingual television broadcasting gives people information that they need in a way that they can understand. It provides newcomers with information on how to enrol their children in school, how to access medical services, how to pay their taxes and how to deal with family violence and other important social issues.
819 Multilingual television helps people who feel isolated by language or culture. It gives people the tools and information that they need to participate more fully in Canadian society.
820 We will do this by providing ethnic audiences with a full multilingual television service. LM-TV will offer 75 hours of ethnic programming each week, including 63 hours of Canadian programming and 21 hours of ethnic programming in prime time.
821 We asked LLS Market Research to examine the attitudes of members of the Chinese, South Asian, Korean and Filipino ethnocultural groups towards local media and to probe their interest in LM-TV.
822 That research clearly shows that members of ethnocultural groups believe that LM-TV would make a significant contribution to their lives, to the lives of their children and to the interaction between generations.
823 The participants in the LLS Market research study are concerned that media coverage of their community tends to emphasize negative or sensational events. They believe that English-language media in Vancouver talk about them, not for them, and that their voices are not heard. They believe that LM-TV would contribute to a more balanced portrayal and would give them a voice that they now lack.
824 MR. LOH: I am often asked by the local English-language media to give them the perspective of the Chinese community on the issues of the day. However, there is no single, easy answer to that question.
825 The Chinese community is diverse. There are many different views and opinions. We need more than the occasional sound bite. We need broadcast services that are prepared to invest time and energy to allow us to develop our views and to present those views on a consistent basis. We need broadcast services that will allow us to exchange information and to discuss our diverse points of view. As we come to know ourselves better, we will also be better equipped to come to know others.
826 LM-TV will allow us to express who we are through our language and our culture, while at the same time affirming the social and political values that underpin Canadian society.
827 MR. SOLE: Service to the local community and support for local and regional Canadian creative talent is the third reason why we believe the approval of this application would be in the public interest.
828 LM-TV will provide over 38 hours of very distinctive, local Canadian programming each week.
829 Our local programming will directly respond to the broad service requirement that the Commission set out in the new ethnic broadcasting policy. We will provide programming in at least 15 languages to no less than 18 different ethnocultural groups.
830 LM-TV will employ 138 people and will enter into strong working relationships with local, independent, ethnic producers. We will also implement the independent British Columbia ethnic initiative to support the growth and the development of independent ethnic producers from many of the smaller ethnocultural groups.
831 We will spend over $6.8 million to undertake a number of significant initiatives to strengthen the local reflection, to serve the local community and to support Canadian creative expression.
832 We will spend $1.8 million to enhance our local programming by establishing a multilingual television news bureau in Victoria and by hiring ethnic freelance reporters in other Canadian cities and in the Asia-Pacific area. These initiatives will increase our ability to bring a consistent Canadian ethnocultural perspective to the coverage of provincial politics and to other domestic and international issues. As well, the LM-TV news bureau in Victoria will establish an important presence for multilingual television at the British Columbia Legislature.
833 Recently, we worked with the British Columbia government to produce "The Courage to Stand", a special award winning program that examined issues of hatred and racial conflict based on the events in Oliver, B.C. involving a local Internet access company. Given the success of that program, we propose to spend $350,000 over the term of the licence to produce more special programs that will examine new issues and emerging needs in the community on an immediate basis.
834 In addition, we will spend $4.5 million to support documentary filmmaking in British Columbia.
835 Of that amount, we will spend $3.5 million to licence no fewer than 50 new documentaries produced by British Columbia-based documentary filmmakers. These documentaries will address contemporary or historical themes and the issues of relevance to ethnic audience and will be broadcast in prime time on LM-TV and CFMT. We expect that this commitment will trigger a total investment of up to $15 million in new documentary production in British Columbia.
836 We will spend $100,000 each year to support script and concept development for documentary programs in British Columbia. We will strengthen the international marketing capabilities of B.C.-based documentary filmmakers by providing grants of $45,000 each year to cover the cost of attending international film festivals and markets and for marketing materials.
837 We will hire Dr. Heather Martin, a B.C.-based documentary filmmaker and an experienced Commissioning Editor. She will implement these important initiatives.
838 In addition, we have worked with the British Columbia Institute of Technology to establish a scholarship program to support the study of broadcast journalism by over 40 students of ethnocultural origin. This initiative will entail expenditures of $175,000.
839 We appear before you today as a dedicated and proven team of multilingual television broadcasters. We are eager to take on the challenge of establishing a new local multilingual television station in Vancouver by combining local broadcast talent and creative resources with our experience.
840 MR. NELLES: In addition to the many benefits that it will have for local audiences, we believe that LM-TV also will benefit the ethnic broadcasting industry in British Columbia.
841 LM-TV will complement other ethnic broadcasting services by offering the members of many different ethnocultural groups free, over-the-air access to a basic level of programming in their mother tongue.
842 Based on our experience in Ontario, we are confident that LM-TV will expand the third language advertising market in British Columbia, to the benefit of all ethnic broadcasting services.
843 Over the past decade, CFMT has almost doubled its third language advertising revenues and has increased its national third language advertising revenues by 500 per cent. Our efforts to develop these advertising markets made it easier for other services to sell third-language advertising.
844 Today, there is a flourishing ethnic broadcasting market in Ontario, with many more ethnic services generating substantial third-language advertising revenues than there were 10 years ago.
845 LM-TV also will have the least competitive impact on the incumbent English-language television stations.
846 LM-TV will not compete with English-language television stations in the peak revenue-generating 8:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. prime time viewing period. When the four English-language private television stations in this market are simulcasting popular U.S. programming, LM-TV will be offering ethnic -- and predominantly Canadian ethnic -- programming.
847 LM-TV will compete with KVOS for non-news viewers in the early and late evening viewing periods. Just as we have done so successfully in Ontario, we will employ a highly effective counter programming strategy to repatriate viewers and advertising revenues to the Canadian broadcasting system.
848 MR. VINER: Madame la Présidente, Members of the Commission, we have set out three principal reasons why we believe that the approval of our application would be in the public interest:
849 One, LM-TV will meet the broadly based and deep demand in this market for increased access to multilingual television programming.
850 Two, LM-TV will make an immense social contribution by providing programming for ethnic audiences that is for them, and which gives them a voice in the mainstream of the Canadian broadcasting system.
851 Three, LM-TV will significantly increase the choice and diversity of local programming in the Vancouver television market and will make a substantial contribution to the development of local and regional Canadian creative talent.
852 LM-TV will be a full multilingual television station. As shown on the chart beside me, it will fill an obvious hole in one of Canada's most ethnically and linguistically diverse markets by providing 75 hours of high quality multilingual television programming each week. It will serve the objectives of your new ethnic broadcasting policy and contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Broadcasting Act.
853 As my colleague Mr. Sole said, we are eager to take on the challenge and excited by the prospect of serving ethnic audiences in this market.
854 MR. SOLE: Thank you, Tony.
855 We look forward to any questions or discussions that would follow.
856 Thank you.
857 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much.
858 It is going to be Vice-Chair, Madam Wylie, who will be asking the questions.
859 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.
860 Mr. Viner, I understand Mr. O'Neill is your lawyer and that he is a copyright expert. Didn't you know Mrs. Bertrand has a copyright on this?
861 MR. VINER: No, I didn't, but I will speak to counsel about that.
862 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Speak to her lawyer.
--- Laughter / Rires
863 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: As long as it has been taped, no problem.
864 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: That's right.
--- Laughter / Rires
865 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: I have a number of questions.
866 Your application may be as zippy as CHUM'S but it is certainly more complicated to figure out exactly where we are with the programming, the multicultural programming, the English programming and the Canadian content, et cetera, so I have a number of questions to get a better, clearer picture of what your commitments are.
867 Then I will have some questions about the projected revenues and the possible impact on the market.
868 But first I would like to discuss with you, since this is a multilingual application, how you arrived at the groups that you would serve.
869 To do that, in part I looked at the table that you attached yourself to Part I of your Application at page 30, which shows, for example, that German is the second largest cultural group and yet it only has, I think, a proposal of some 30 minutes of programming a week, whereas the Chinese community already has -- there is already two specialty services in the market.
870 So I am a little curious about how you arrived at the choice of the groups that you intend to program to.
871 MR. SOLE: Well, after 15 years we have developed internal policies to lead us to these decisions.
872 Paritosh Mehta, who is responsible for those policies, might give you an idea of just what process we used in reaching our different decisions.
873 MR. MEHTA: Thank you, Leslie.
874 Commissioners, as a part of my job as an Independent Community Production Co-ordinator I receive about 300 proposals every year. As you can imagine, it's a very complicated process picking up, you know, how we choose the language.
875 At CFMT we have devised a process called an ethnic policy procedure, which we have already filed with the Commission. There are six criterias we look for when we choose the language. Now, keep in mind, there is no single criteria -- we take all the cumulative criteria together.
876 The first one is the language. We take into account the extent and need for language retention in a particular community.
877 Second, we look for culture, the evidence of diversity, politics, religious, arts, leisure, the origins of a particular language.
878 Third, we also look at link to the homeland, the respective community strengths and the need for information from back home.
879 We also look at immigration patterns, the population base and immigration patterns of a language-specific community.
880 We look at reasons for immigration, date of arrival.
881 Television programming. We look for availability of researchers, producers and skilled people from within the particular community to produce a program.
882 Finally, we also look for commercial infrastructure within the particular community to produce -- to kind of support a program like this.
883 We have employed this criteria very well at CFMT and hence we have kind of exceeded our compliance by producing about 20 languages for 19 different cultures.
884 Let me give you an example about how these things work. For that let me give you the example of how we choose the Tamil program in Toronto at CFMT.
885 This is a relatively new community in Canada. A large part of the community has come to Canada as refugees. Many of the people, young and old, are having difficulty integrating in the Canadian system because they have a problem with the language and they are essentially Tamilese speaking people. They understand very little English.
886 This community also maintains a strong link to its homeland and yearns for programming from back home. The program "TV Shalom", what it does is essentially twofold: It provides information and community news in Tamil, but it also helps in maintaining the culture, which I think is very important.
887 Furthermore, there is a large commercial infrastructure within the particular community which helps support the program.
888 So these are some of the steps that we take in order to choose a particular program or a language at CFMT.
889 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: One of the steps you took was to have a survey by Media Edge. When I look at it, at page 16 it says that the Chinese community -- the key findings include:
"...that the Chinese communities continue to be the best served by the media, although somewhat under served by local news and in terms of programming reflecting local lifestyle." (As read)
890 So later on we can discuss just how this is met by the application viz-à-viz the Chinese community, but this surely is one means that you have put in your application of finding out where the need was and the Chinese community considered itself the best served, according to the results of the study you commissioned.
891 So I'm rather curious about the fact that it is so predominantly the group that you will program to compared, for example, to the South Asian, if we skip over number two which is the Germans. I find it -- I still am fascinated by the choice in the circumstances.
892 I understand there is obviously a commercial aspect to this which you put at the end, of course, of your list -- maybe Mr. Viner didn't.
893 But in the ethnic policy at paragraph 23 the Commission says that it will look at the distinct groups that will be served based, obviously, on demographics, on the services already available, the degree of support shown, which you mentioned, by local community organizations and that these will be relevant factors.
894 So with regard to the South Asian, in order to understand better just what is the comparison of service between the two, when you say "South Asian", what are the language groups that -- when I look at your program schedule it is difficult to know just how much programming you would consider being targeted to the South Asian group because sometimes it says "South Asian", which I suspect is because it is programming in English, and then sometimes it's "Hindi, Punjabi".
895 What are the number of hours that are skewed to what you consider to be the South Asian community so that we can compare it to the Chinese?
896 MR. SOLE: We can give you the numbers group by group and how we have defined them, if you would like, or I could --
897 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Well, my specific question was South Asian. You have prime ethnic programming, which I understand to be Chinese and South Asian, and then ethnic diversity where there are a large number of groups targeted with sometimes -- oftentimes as little as half an hour a week. So let's focus on the two large groups.
898 In order to compare the number of hours to the Chinese compared to the South Asian, what do you consider in South Asian?
899 MR. SOLE: Viddear.
900 MS KHAN: Thank you, Leslie.
901 Commissioner Wylie, the sample schedule provided shows 16.5 hours for the South Asian community. That can be broken down as follows: 7.5 of these hours are in English to target the entire community; two hours will be in Hindi; two hours in Punjabi; one hour in Tamil and four more hours in various languages in the acquired hours. That totals 16.5 hours.
902 MR. SOLE: And the Chinese?
903 MS KHAN: In Chinese programming there is a total of 20 hours, 16 hours in Cantonese and four hours in Mandarin.
904 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: In the other smaller groups you use the criteria that your colleague outlined earlier to choose the other groups that you target programming to?
905 MR. SOLE: On a general basis, yes. It's not, you know, completely without population.
906 I think Madeline, as the Executive Producer in Ontario, might be able to give you a little more insight on -- it's not as rigid as just following those five guidelines.
907 MS ZINIAK: Thank you, Leslie.
908 I would, however, like to use the German example because I think it is a very good one in representing the dynamic and the process at which we begin to build a schedule and then I will use this as an example.
909 I think it's important to note that we do recognize that there is a significant number of people in the lower mainland and Victoria of German ethnocultural origin, but in developing our schedule and establishing the amount of German programming, for example, that we would provide, we did follow the established procedure. We also consulted with the local community to ascertain the level of interest specifically in German programming.
910 These consultations would lead us to conclude that there is not as high a demand in the German ethnocultural group for language programming as there is for ethnocultural groups. Specifically, it is the list that Paritosh did outline, but that does work together, not singularly.
911 The conclusion that we had in the lower mainland was confirmed, for example, by a positive intervention from the Mennonite Central Committee from British Columbia. They expressed their support for LM-TV, but they did not express an immediate need in having access to German programming. These findings, frankly, are also confirmed by our experience in Ontario. CFMT has not received a proposal for German programming in over nine years, but this doesn't mean that we won't in the future.
912 I think it is important, in our conclusion on the schedule that you do see before you, that in that way we have concluded that at present time a half of German programming would respond to that demand for such programming in the market.
913 But as we work and have long term relationships with communities, and we have to in order to thoroughly understand their needs, I would like to demonstrate the bit of complexity that there is in working with these communities where we do have to actually intrinsically work with them on various committees and to actually work with them towards goals of multiculturalism, work with them on family violence initiatives, for example.
914 I think it is important to note, although a schedule is a schedule which is represented by a half hour program, this is appointment television for many communities.
915 For example, the Armenian community in southern Ontario is around 20,000. They perhaps have an air time of Saturday morning, but this is the only time that they have the time to watch a program in their language where they are very proud of people in their community like Adam Egoyan who will speak some Armenian on that program and is a role model for that community and that is why they do make the time to watch that.
916 Although a schedule is represented, one could see it is only a half hour program, but indeed it is very important for those communities to have and it is appointment television.
917 I could say that in other programs that we have had where we know that actually people have changed their lifestyle around, for example, some of the telenovellas that we have. We actually conducted focus groups which happened to be in the evening at the time that our telenovellas were running and, unfortunately, the focus group had to be stopped because the people involved actually went and watched the programming that was offered on CFMT-TV.
918 I think this demonstrates certainly the kind of appointment television that is important to these communities, specifically with smaller communities where perhaps this is the only kind of -- the only program that you do have.
919 MR. SOLE: I think I would add to that, Commissioner Wylie, by saying this is Canadian content. This takes preparation, this takes a broad range of talent, a great number of people. When we see one hour of Korean, it is one hour of Korean in digital with the support of field cameras and professional journalists. It is not the stereotypical multicultural or ethnic programming from the 1970s.
920 So we emphasize the fact that you can connect to Canada on a weekly basis for an hour with news and public affairs. We don't think an hour is insignificant and the communities certainly tell us that it isn't. I think it's quite important.
921 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: I was more curious about the emphasis on Chinese given the market here --
922 MR. SOLE: Yes.
923 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- and also given the study, the Environics study that you have deposited which was conducted, if I understand, only among the Chinese, the South Asian, the Korean and the Filipino.
924 MR. SOLE: That's correct.
925 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: The numbers show that those who speak Punjabi -- I'm looking at page 6 of the Environics study -- expressed the most interest in watching the proposed station and also that the South Asians, nine out of 10 report viewership of Rogers multicultural channel, I think 91 per cent. Considering they seem to be the established interest, how many hours did you say of programming would be in Punjabi?
926 MR. SOLE: Two.
927 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Two hours a week.
928 MR. SOLE: But I would add to that that there is going to be five hours in prime time of IndoCanadian or South Asian news every weeknight.
929 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: In English. In the English language.
930 MR. SOLE: In English, but in context. If we go to Surrey and the reporter finds someone who wants to speak on the events of the day in Punjabi, they will speak in Punjabi and we will subtitle it in English.
931 Maybe Mobina can give you a sense of the South Asian IndoCanadian community and the inclusiveness of doing something like our news approach.
932 MS JAFFER: Thank you, Leslie.
933 Commissioner, the South Asian community comes from many parts of the world. I myself come from Africa, some of us come from Europe, some of us come from India, some of us come from different parts of India where we speak in Hindi, we speak in Urdu.
934 So as a community for the last five years that I have been working with CFMT on bringing the same kind of programming to Vancouver we have heard that what the community wants is news content that -- a local news content. It can be in English, but it has to be related to the community.
935 Let me tell you, at this point it is easier for the community sometimes to get news of India, news of Africa than news of what is happening on the streets of Vancouver.
936 One of the issues that I'm sure all the Commissioners are aware of is, for example, the issue in the Temples, in our Temples of tables and chairs. Unfortunately, this issue we believe has only been portrayed from the mainstream media, not from the community point of view. What the South Asian community wants is a way to be able to see themselves, their issues reflected on news.
937 It really came home to me when I was in Toronto when I saw the issue -- unfortunately the sad issue of the Columbine killings. That same evening I happened to be in Toronto and I saw on CFMT that they had gone to speak to South Asian children in the schools about this issue. What I saw was a voice for the South Asian children to speak about how they felt about the Columbine issue, how they saw racism being played out in their schools and how they felt that there needed to be more communication with their parents.
938 The need for our community here is to have our stories told by us and not about us.
939 MR. SOLE: I think I would like Mason Loh to add maybe some perspective on the same topic only from the Chinese community's point of view.
940 MR. LOH: Yes.
941 Commissioner Wylie, the Chinese community, as you said, has some very good specialty Chinese broadcasting service as provided by the Fairchild group. They do their job very well. However, the need is not satisfied by a long shot.
942 As I understand it, the specialty channel by Fairchild is by subscription only and it reaches a household penetration of about 28,000, but the community here is made up of about 80,000 households. So that gives you an idea about the penetration.
943 But in terms of the actual access issue, the community here I think needs a free over-the-air station.
944 To give you an example, my in-laws are senior pensioners and they were immigrants from Hong Kong a few years ago, and they rely -- they are very loyal customers of Fairchild TV. However, every time I go to their house for dinner, you know when -- they always have the station on and they really enjoy the program. However, from time to time they will make comments about the cost of subscribing to the service.
945 I have to say that they are one of the more fortunate households that could afford it as compared to many households probably couldn't, because a basic cable channel here in Vancouver probably works out to be about $10 a year for the channel. The specialty channel for Fairchild works out to about $400 a year. So I don't blame my in-laws for giving those complaints from time to time.
946 Then there is also the issue about editorial diversity and choice issue, because Fairchild is very good at what it does, but I think when it comes to coverage of news and current affairs, which is the area that we are talking about with this application, we really want to emphasize the news, Canadian news, local news, national news and current affairs. We want to bring those things to the community to inform them, to help them to integrate, to participate in Canadian life.
947 We think that diversity and choice would help the community to grow to be more integrated with Canadian society.
948 MR. SOLE: I would make one summary point. Everybody has been using the words "new millennium" so I guess I will use it today and then promise not to use it again.
949 We are about to reach an era where there is going to be truly unbelievable choice. That choice is going to come into this country in any myriad of languages, probably all languages in one way or another. Because this country is so committed to diversity in its complex social and cultural make-up there should be a Canadian voice. There should be somebody, some source to interpret Canadian issues on a regular basis for the larger ethnocultural groups.
950 I think that Fairchild is a wonderful choice of entertainment, the same with Telelatino or ATN, but I think as we look at the chart behind me that says a million, four, eight, eight in 2006, there has to be an interpretation of Canadian events available for the new ethnocultural Canadians.
951 Finally, Commissioner Wylie, today it is South Asian and Chinese. In 10 years we really don't know.
952 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: But if you do get a licence only for seven years we can expect that your plan is to have your main languages Chinese and South Asian --
953 MR. SOLE: I'm sorry. Our experience in Ontario is that the so-called entry time period is around 30 years. We haven't been a country that has done this long enough that it could be clinical, but the Italian community in Ontario is large, many of them speak English, and I can tell you that our Italian newscast is still very healthy because it talks about what is going on in Toronto, what is going on at Queen's Park.
954 I would say, yes, it's probably true that South Asian, Cantonese and Mandarin will be the most powerful forces in this first licence period. I think that would be a safe assumption.
955 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: And then you would commit to, I guess, a number of other languages. In the 15 languages, then you would remove Mandarin, Cantonese and the South Asian languages that you have mentioned and the rest of the 15 would be some of the languages we see in the application, and those could change?
956 MR. SOLE: Do you mean would we make a commitment --
957 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Your commitment is to 15 languages --
958 MR. SOLE: And 18 cultures, yes.
959 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- and 18 cultural groups.
960 So 15 languages. How would you count this, since this would be a commitment of your licence. Would you say that you have to remove from the 15, Mandarin, Cantonese, four different South Asian languages and then there would be other ethnic diversity languages which may --
961 MR. SOLE: We think that --
962 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- vary over time.
963 MR. SOLE: That would be the sum. The sum would be 15. The sum has been 15 traditionally.
964 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: No, but not 15 over and above your prime ethnic. It would be the prime ethnic including the variety of South Asian languages are included in the 15?
965 MR. SOLE: Is the suggestion that our 15 and 18 --
966 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: No. We just want to know.
967 MR. SOLE: Well, yes. Yes, we could do that.
968 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: You did that. You said 15 groups. I'm trying to ascertain whether these 15 language groups include --
969 MR. SOLE: Yes.
970 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- four South Asian languages --
971 MR. SOLE: Yes, they do.
972 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- two Chinese, Mandarin and Cantonese.
973 MR. SOLE: Yes, they do.
974 MR. VINER: I think, Commissioner Wylie, it is important to note that we have said at least 15 languages and 18 groups. We have the same commitment at CFMT in southern Ontario. In fact, we do 22 languages.
975 Perhaps Madeline can explain, but we often have 13 weeks of programming in a certain language, because that is appropriate, the size of the group and the infrastructure and the talent that is available, and then we will follow that with another in a completely different language at the same time on the schedule, another group.
977 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes. Mr. Sole, I am not suggesting it is not enough. It's the opposite. Because 30 minutes a week sometimes is not sufficient.
978 MR. SOLE: My friends and colleagues will tell you that I am very easily confused.
--- Laughter / Rires
979 MS ZINIAK: I would just like to add that for us it is very important. We nurture communities that perhaps isn't even seen on the station yet, and that is our long term commitment.
980 We have had some wonderful experiences, for example, with communities that have come forward that we have assessed through our ethnic policy procedure and have come to the conclusion that perhaps their entry could be in some areas such as the community channel.
981 For example, our Russian programming went through that kind of development and actually manifests now in Toronto, in Ontario to, you know, more than two hours of original programming. But the procedure was, we actually did ask them to become involved with the community channel and they honed their craft there and then progressed.
982 I think this is what we do. We have been doing -- and it has been very successful. Because many communities perhaps aren't ready immediately for commercial broadcasting and in this way we have been able to nurture and guide them.
983 We have also -- I think it is important that this schedule has that kind of flexibility. We have had some situations where we have been able to respond to some -- unfortunately sometimes some crisis such as the Polish flood relief, earthquakes in different parts of the world where at times we weren't actually broadcasting regularly in that language, but took the opportunity, because we have worked with these communities, to do a one hour special in that language.
984 This is what is so important when you are working and guiding with different communities to be able to ascertain who was there in the community.
985 So, as Mason as said, often we get asked for a very quick answer for ethnicity. There isn't a quick answer. It's a long term commitment. You have to know who is in the community, establish a healthy advisory board that will speak to -- Mobina will speak to, and certainly work with this to really penetrate and gain the trust of these communities.
986 Because certainly sometimes even the police can't gain the trust of many communities because of their predisposed fear. It is important for people here in the broadcasting industry to have relationships that those can trust -- this is the best way to get a story -- and to hire those from those communities.
987 MS JAFFER: If I could just --
988 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Mr. Sole should trust me, I am just trying to make him be so persuasive that the Chinese licensees won't even appear in intervention.
--- Laughter / Rires
989 MS JAFFER: Commissioner, if I may, in the last five years as we were hoping that you would see fit to grant us the licence, getting ready for this, I have been sent by Tony to Toronto to observe the advisory board and I have seen it very fluid as before the Italian language played a very pivotal role at CFMT and as the needs of the community have changed the Chinese community have now more hours in Toronto than the Italian community, and this would sort of -- it would be changing as the needs of the community would change.
990 MR. VINER: Commissioner Wylie, I'm sorry, I just hate to jump in here but I just don't want to leave the wrong impression with respect to the Chinese community.
991 There are approximately 300,000 people in the Chinese community. We are proposing 16 hours of service to them, free over-the-air service. I think it is fair to say they are the best served. They said that they were the best served.
992 I think Jane Armstrong may want to comment on that. But just because they are the best served, they may not be well served. It is our argument that currently they are under served because they don't have any free over-the-air programming.
993 Jane, do you just want to just review that part of the study?
994 MS ARMSTRONG: Sure. Thank you, Tony.
995 My name is Jane Armstrong, I am from Environics. Environics is a research company that has been one of the premier research companies in Canada for the last 30 years.
996 In 1998 we conducted a survey among South Asians and Chinese and we asked them a number of questions. One of the questions we began with was, you know: What are you currently watching? Then we asked them: How satisfied are you?
997 Among the Chinese group, the group that we are talking about right now, we found that just 13 per cent actually said that they were very satisfied with the programming that was available to them at that time. Another 56 per cent said they were somewhat satisfied. So a considerable number of people were satisfied. But only 13 per cent were very satisfied.
998 Then when we went on and asked them about the idea of the new station, a station that would provide local and national news and programming in their mother tongue, we found that there was not just wide demand but there was intense demand.
999 We found that six out of 20 Chinese residents of the lower mainland said that they would be very likely to give the station a try, and about four out of 10 said that they would be very interested in watching the station.
1000 Together, when we added up the "very" and the "somewhat" who said that they would be likely to give the station a try or be interested in it, we got nine out of 10 saying that they would be interested.
1001 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Now, that study, as I read from it before, showed that the need that the Chinese perceived was a need for more local programming, which I suspect is not found, as you indicated, as easily on the national specialty services.
1002 But when I look at the amount of local programming which you would offer to the Chinese, if I look, let's say, at 6.1 of Part 2, your Promise of Performance, I find what 2.5 hours a week of original local news programming to the Chinese.
1003 MR. SOLE: Yes. The prime time newscast, yes.
1004 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: And another 8.5 hours of news supplied by CFMT, which will obviously not be local.
1005 MR. SOLE: Another 2.5 --
1006 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Of repeats? No.
1007 MR. SOLE: No.
1008 An explanation of the schedule, we can go through the numbers. I will quickly explain the --
1009 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Well, they don't have to be exact.
1010 MR. SOLE: Okay.
1011 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: I'm just curious about the small number -- the small number of local programs offered to the Chinese community, which is your main third language community, considering what is present in the market now and that you have said at length in the last five or 10 minutes that yes, there are specialty programming -- two specialty services that offer Cantonese and Mandarin programming, but this local programming that is lacking -- well, it's not like I find a whole lot of Chinese local programming, local news on the service.
1012 MR. SOLE: Maybe Viddear can put the Chinese programming into different compartments and then we can discuss them.
1013 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Well, I'm focusing on local. So the Chinese programming, for example, that will be produced and exchanged with CFMT, you would have to explain to me how local that is.
1014 So other than the news, what would be the local Chinese programming that would offer diversity to that group? I know there is the problem of over-the-air and paying services --
1015 MR. SOLE: Yes. Okay.
1016 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- but I am looking at the ethnic policy and a desire to see to it that there is diversity added to the market.
1017 You will hear about it from the specialty services, the Chinese ones, so this can be a rehearsal.
--- Laughter / Rires
1018 MR. SOLE: Okay.
1019 As a result of this application, we are proposing a new Chinese morning show. It will be a national morning show. It will originate in Ontario but would not exist without LM-TV.
1020 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: But it's not going to be local?
1021 MR. SOLE: No, it's not, but it is going to be national. That is a sort of the sense of what community we are talking about.
1022 So no, it will not be produced in British Columbia.
1023 Two-point-five 2.5 hours in prime time of local news nightly I think is the very succinct answer. That would be 2.5 not each night, over the Monday to Friday period.
1024 MS ZINIAK: If I can add, when we are taking a look at programs such as the "Lower Mainland Chinese Report" which is in British Columbia and also our newscast, our newscast will have a local component, a half hour local component.
1025 We have found through focus groups and, of course, through deliberations in the community that key of course is local information and the synergy that has to exist also with issues.
1026 For example, when we are doing the national newscast we want a comparative story on -- this is a real story, where the recent refugees came via boat to British Columbia. The Chinese community in British Columbia reacted very differently than that of the Chinese community in Ontario. At this point in time we know it's key for the community to hear the different perspectives, political perspectives from this community. This would be the kind of story that would be in the newscast, which could be -- which would be the local component as well.
1027 So in the first time national newscast for the Chinese community it would include very much so a half hour local component which was shot here, was produced here by local reporters and specifically dealing with local issues.
1028 Yes, the national component would also be there, but so would the half hour like a newscast would have.
1029 MR. VINER: Commissioner Wylie, if I could just address myself briefly, though, to this, we are extraordinarily proud of this national initiative. If we are licensed for LM-TV this is one of the things we would be able to bring to the table that we wouldn't otherwise be able to do.
1030 We made the selection based on the research that we had done and the conversations that we had with the communities which said -- and I know Mobina has a South Asian example -- we are out of touch with the communities in Toronto. This is an important part. So what we have done really has been a response to that. That was a response to what our viewers wanted.
1031 It think it's equally important to note that this is not a one-way street. We have a tremendous South Asian community here in Vancouver and we are proposing a national South Asian newscast as well to tie together the two communities. That will originate here in Vancouver and it enables people in Toronto to have programming that they wouldn't otherwise have.
1032 Mobina, you may just want to talk about that experience.
1033 MS JAFFER: One of the things that. Commissioner, we heard when we were speaking to groups is that the Rockies also apply to us and often we are cut out from what is happening in Toronto, what is happening in Ottawa. There is an absolute thirst to hear from the communities across the country.
1034 I myself am a refugee from Uganda. When Canadians brought us to this country we were spread out across the country. I have relatives who live in Toronto. As 25 later our issues are the same but we are separated by the Rockies and sometimes we lose touch because we do not know what is happening to them.
1035 We have a great need to know what is happening in Toronto. You may not think that, but for our community that is local news because that is how we come to know what is happening to those communities.
1036 Plus one of the things, that if you see fit to grant us this licence, which will be very important for us, is the bureaus. The bureau in Ottawa, the bureau in Victoria. You know, now the Premier of our province will be able to communicate with us in Punjabi if you see it appropriate to grant us the licence. He will directly be able to talk to us in Punjabi.
1037 We have a number of MPs in Ottawa who speak Punjabi who will be able to speak to us from Ottawa on issues.
1038 I will give you a very specific example. When the landing fees issues arose, which is a very important issue in the immigrant community, MPs spoke to the Toronto community through the bureau. I very distinctly remember Sheila Copps speaking in Italian to the Italian community about the landing fee. I heard Mr. Gravelle speak to the Punjabi community. This was in Toronto.
1039 We didn't get that. National news does not mean that it is not local news. National news means what is happening in our country. Our country is large, and to me that is still local news. If I was able to hear from Mr. Herb Dhaliwal in my language what is happening in Ottawa, that would give me power and knowledge of what's happening in my country.
1040 MR. LOH: Commissioner, I just want to add to that the Chinese community perspective from Vancouver is -- in some ways is not dissimilar to what Mobina has talked about in the South Asian community. I think those opinions and views are reflected in the schedule and how the management devised this schedule.
1041 I think I understand the CRTC is quite concerned about localization of programming, but in a broader scheme of things I think in English language programming that may be something that is very key because, you know, you need to segment the market and you need to make sure that the local views are represented.
1042 But in an ethnic programming situation it might not be the same because we don't have a lot of service. That is why we are trying to get this station on the air. When we don't have very much service, you know, whether it's local news, whether it's national news, they are both important.
1043 Because for the immigrants, for the people who don't have access to English language or French language, they need to know what is happening in the street in their city. They also need to know what is happening in Toronto and what it is happening in Ottawa, because everything affects them. What the station tries to do is bring these communities to the whole realm of Canadian life and not just Vancouver.
1044 MS JAFFER: I would like to, Commissioner, give you one example if you will let me.
1045 When the international conference was happening on AIDS in Vancouver, I happened to be in Toronto and I saw -- in English, but I saw AIDS being discussed in South Asian community. Now, I'm sorry to tell you I didn't realize that AIDS existed in South Asian community. Now, that's foolish, it exists in every community, but it's not reflected in our media.
1046 What was very interesting for me, not only was AIDS being discussed in the South Asian community, but it was being discussed in the whole rainbows of communities, for example, Madrasi community, the Gujarati community, the Bengali community, the Urdu community, the Punjabi community.
1047 From my point of view, you know, for the first time I saw a mother, my classmate, whose child was suffering from AIDS on that program and I thought, "Wow, this is something I never see. I do not see faces that look like me being reflected and discussing issues that are important to me."
1048 AIDS is an important issue in the South Asian community too, but we would very rarely see that in the mainstream. So even though it is English, it is issues that are important to the community that would be reflected.
1049 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes, my questions are directed more at the Chinese community. We have two services already in Vancouver and your surveys and your comments earlier point to the fact that you are going to serve them more locally. I'm just trying to test to see how much diversity will be offered to the Chinese community.
1050 I understand it's free, it's over-the-air, but is it going to be something over and above or different from what is offered already? The South Asian community --
1051 MR. SOLE: It's going to be --
1052 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- is not served in the same manner, so that is another story.
1053 MR. SOLE: Canadian. It's going to be Canadian. It is going to be about Canadian topics, it's going to be about Chinese Canadian perspectives.
1054 MR. LOH: It will be different because, as we mentioned, there will be a Victoria bureau, there will be an Ottawa bureau so we are bringing those news, especially political news directly to the community.
1055 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Good answer. I hope that the licensees of the Chinese services are listening.
1056 Now, your main effort in Canadian content is towards documentaries. Fair enough. So I understand that it would be $4.5 million over seven years for the production of 50 documentaries under a program called "British Columbia Documentary Premier Series", which would be $3.5 of the $4.5 million, and then a documentary marketing and development program, which would be $1 million over seven years, and what I will call, loosely, script and concept development at $45,000 a year, which adds up to $4.5 million.
1057 I would like you to explain further the extent to which this money will go to ethnic producers, particularly -- I think in your presentation today you said all of it would go to B.C. producers?
1058 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1059 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: How much of it would go to ethnic documentary filmmakers?
1060 MR. SOLE: Dr. Heather Martin is sitting behind me. I'm not used to this format so I don't know quite where she is, but I'm sure she can be helpful on -- I think we have agreed on the numbers as you have mentioned them and now if it is down to the process I would like to have Heather answer the question.
1061 DR. MARTIN: Thank you, Leslie.
1062 Madam Wylie, I would like to preface my answer by saying as a member of the independent filmmaking community here in Vancouver how excited I am about this initiative.
1063 As you know, the local independent community is largely a documentary community. Even the filmmakers here who make feature films, for example Mina Shumm(ph) who made "Double Happiness", start in documentaries and documentaries are their bread and butter.
1064 Typically these filmmakers make a feature film every three to four years. In between they make documentaries. This is how they make their living.
1065 Seventy-five to 80 per cent of B.C. independents tend to work in documentaries. Yet this kind of initiative, recognizing the strength of the documentary independent industry has never been seen her by any broadcaster.
1066 I have -- looking at Téléfilm figures for example, you will see that typically applications to Téléfilm from Ontario are 50 per cent or less documentaries, and yet there are documentary commissioning editors in Toronto. I was one of them.
1067 Here in B.C. where typically an overwhelming number of applications to Téléfilm year-after-year are from documentary filmmakers, there is no documentary commissioning editor here. There is no full time position supporting documentaries within a broadcasting operation, and certainly there are not the kinds of high licence figures that we see reflected in this application, the strong support for development, the strong marketing initiative that is reflected in this application.
1068 Now, in terms of the ethnic component of the documentary strand, documentaries also fit very well into the mandate of multilingual, multicultural and cross-cultural broadcasters such as LM-TV will be.
1069 Documentaries tend to be about social issues, public affairs, political issues, and those kinds of topics fit very well into, first of all, a primarily news and public affairs station, and certainly the kinds of stories that are being told here are often stories that reflect where we come from. As we expand, as our population base expands, those stories more and more are becoming ethnic stories.
1070 So, for example, I will give you examples of documentaries that are being made right now that are being funded by broadcasters and others that would like -- documentary filmmakers would like to make that would fit very well into the mandate of this station but can't find broadcaster support.
1071 Am I too close to the microphone? Okay.
1072 So, for example, Linda Ohama is one of our stronger documentary filmmakers and up to now she has managed to get funding for her documentaries, though it is always a struggle. Linda, of course, is a second generation Japanese Canadian. Any of her documentaries would fit very well into this strand.
1073 "Obasan's Garden", which is her latest about her grandmother's garden that was confiscated by the Canadian government during the Second World War when the family was shipped to Alberta. A very strong documentary.
1074 "A Last Harvest", which was her documentary about the family farm in Alberta that was created after the war. Two years ago that farm had its last season. The family sold the farm. She made a beautifully affecting film about that story that would fit very well into the strand. That kind of documentary has international legs. NHK of Japan phoned her out the blue and asked to buy that documentary.
1075 So those are the kinds of stories that would fit into the strand that are being told here and are being supported, but there are others by perhaps less experienced filmmakers that are not being supported.
1076 Three years ago there was a story called "The Apartment" that Barry Gray wanted to make, and "The Apartment" was going to be at the height of the Serbian/Croatian conflict. There were refugee families from Serbia and from Croatia in an apartment building, in one apartment building right here in the west end living in a very uneasy mix right at the height of the conflicts. Fabulous story. It would have fit very well into the mandate of this station, would certainly have been a very strong documentary, would have had international legs. He could not find a broadcaster for that story.
1077 So those are the kinds of stories that are being told, or that could be told if these filmmakers got a licence here.
1078 So the kind of strand that we are envisaging will be wide ranging and within the mandate of a multicultural and cross-cultural station we will be looking at a wide range of stories and the stories will be about telling our stories to each other. We are all part of this multicultural society and we all fit here. Certainly in this strand all our stories will be relevant.
1079 Some will be local stories, such as the ones that I have described; some will be cross-cultural stores, people for example, Nora Patridge(ph) who was an artist in Argentina, came here during the whole crisis in Argentina. There is a wonderful documentary, "My Art Shall Rise Up" by Cindy Leeny(ph), that would fit in very well.
1080 There are also international stories told by Canadians, new Canadians and Canadians who have been here a long time, international stories from a Canadian point of view. Again, some of those have been made.
1081 Nettie Wild's films have been made, but Nettie tells me that she has been told her films will never -- the kind of international stories from the Canadian perspective that would really work for a multicultural audience she says there isn't the funding any more. She cannot make those films. I think this initiative would allow those kinds of stories still to be made.
1082 Another example, there is a young company here who started off in Bombay. They made films, documentaries in Bombay for the BBC on various topics. They have been in Canada for six years, working in Vancouver for two years. They are currently doing a documentary about "The Changing Face of Democracy in Bombay" which is commissioned by the BBC.
1083 Very, very important topic, as you know. That would really explain for our audiences why so many people from South Asia are coming here.
1084 It has been commissioned by the BBC. No local broadcaster, no Canadian broadcaster is interested. It is not a Canadian story.
1085 Well, of course it's a Canadian story. It's being told from the point of view of somebody who has chosen Canada, has chosen the freedom that Canada gives them, the perspective that Canada gives them, to tell this story. Those films would also fit into this strand.
1086 So in terms of the way that we would spend the money, obviously existing filmmakers here who have the strength, who have honed their craft, would certainly get some of these licences. These are very healthy licences.
1087 I mean, the other wonderful thing about this initiative, when you look at the amount of money written in, nothing like that has been seen here. There is some local support for documentaries. They tend to be licences in the $10,000 to $15,000 range, which will trigger, I don't know, a documentary for $70,000-$80,000.
1088 Pat Barker did a film. Her licence was ten-fifteen from VTV. She managed to make a fabulous film for -- her budget was $80,000, she only got $60,000, she did not get paid for her work as animator, narrator, on and on and on, director, producer, won the best cultural documentary award from Hot Docs(ph).
1089 So documentaries are being made but with very low licences.
1090 With this kind of licence, a license of up to $70,000 per film, you can trigger easily a documentary of a $300,000 to $500,000 budget. That takes into account -- because this is only a first window in B.C. we are giving, they can cobble together partnerships with TVOntario, who we have been talking to who would be interested for other first windows in Canada.
1091 They could get second windows in Canada from educational and other broadcasters. On a case-by-case basis we could also share first window, for example, with Vision who have been wonderful supporters, one of the few really strong supporters of documentaries across the country.
1092 These films would also get money from the various funding agencies, from international distributors and from international broadcasters because there is this market initiative, $45,000. I mean, the thing about B.C. filmmakers are making these stories that are strong local stories, like Linda Ohama's story was a very local story, has international legs, but how do you make those international contacts?
1093 In her case NHK phoned her, but a lot of our filmmakers not only is it a $1,000 cup of coffee to Toronto, but it is far more than that to Latin America or to Europe. So this $45,000 marketing initiative would allow them to make those international connections to sell those stories.
1094 That is a long answer --
1095 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes.
--- Laughter / Rires
1096 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: My aim was to ascertain how much of this money is actually pegged for ethnic producers.
1097 Because if I look at your response in addition to question 18 you say:
"The B.C. documentaries will be scheduled from 10:00 to 11:00 p.m. Monday to Friday within the English entertainment block shown." (As read)
1098 When you talk about your project in Schedule C at page 4 you say that:
"It will help the station to develop and broadcast in prime time documentary material of an ethnocultural nature in English and hopefully other language versions for international marketing." (As read)
1099 Is there any part of this sum, whether it is the $100,000 a year or the $3.5 million over seven years that is pegged for ethnic producers or is it simply to produce films, documentaries that have an ethnocultural -- there is a difference between the two. That's what I want to know, because it's not evident --
1100 MR. SOLE: No, it's not evident.
1101 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- to me what it is going to be used for.
1102 All the subjects that you have mentioned, yes, can be speaking to ethnocultural groups, but I want to know whether any of this money is pegged to the communities that you want to serve since this is your core program, the documentary programming.
1103 MR. SOLE: Yes. To respond to this morning's recollection of the call, this is the one place that we recognized where we could contribute to priority programming. Drama doesn't fit what we do, and music and variety, these aren't formats.
1104 What has changed since the application, and I think I should just sort of lay it on the table, is that we found that Sunday night would be a better time. Not 10 o'clock for example.
1105 We have chosen documentaries because they are ethnoculturally friendly. It is a world format.
1106 What Heather described with a great deal of enthusiasm is the fact that ethnocultural documentary producers will have an open and wide access to take these funds from here, to put it in blunt terms.
1107 We haven't put it in any categorization. The commissioning editor will look at the proposals as they come in and the decisions will be made on the sensitivity that this is funded by a multicultural station.
1108 I can tell you that documentaries are the -- I don't want to say easiest, but they are the most comfortably translated or transcreated form of priority programming that we could put them into a multiple of languages.
1109 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: So it will be an open door.
1110 I heard Ms Ziniak earlier saying that you nurture the community. You could nurture the ethnic independent producers as well by saying there is a certain percentage of this money that is to further that kind of production so that our service will be better over time and will develop and nurture these communities.
1111 MR. SOLE: Well, I think --
1112 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: But what I hear you saying is you don't have -- you have not pegged a certain amount of this program for ethnic producers.
1113 MR. SOLE; No. But it's very good advice. I think that guidelines --
1114 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: It's not advice, it's a question.
--- Laughter / Rires
1115 DR. MARTIN: If I can just elaborate a bit, I know I gave a long answer, but the one part of the application of this initiative that I didn't talk about was the $100,000 a year in development money.
1116 Now, some of the producers that I mentioned, like Linda Ohama or indeed already ethnic producers, but of course not all of the established producers who tell international and ethnic stories are ethnic producers.
1117 The Selwyn Jacob here at the NFB has identified a group of about 40 emerging ethnically diverse filmmakers. Not all of these filmmakers have had much experience. Those who have, of course, especially they have strong stories because these are the ones -- we would obviously have criteria for strong stories. Some of them would get the production money immediately.
1118 Others, there is this very strong initiative, $100,000 a year that is not necessarily tied to production, so that younger filmmakers, emerging filmmakers, ethically diverse filmmakers in particular who have a very good story, who may not have much experience would definitely, we hope, get the lion's share of this money.
1119 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes, but my question was the same and the answer I think I have is that neither the $3.5 million, nor the $100,000 a year, nor the $45,000 is particularly pegged to ethnic producers.
1120 MR. VINER: Commissioner Wylie, that's correct. I just wanted to clarify, though, that each part of our programming really has a different purpose. Our news and public affairs are in third languages and they have a specific purpose.
1121 What we had hoped to accomplish with this documentary initiative was as a result of both our research and our community consultations was the ability to tell ethnocultural stories, and to have those ethnocultural stories told to the communities at large and across the country. So the purpose of this was to tell the story to those who would not otherwise hear it.
1122 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: In the Schedule H at page 2 which tells us what the B.C. documentary Premier special is, there was two parts to it.
1123 One is 50 documentaries over seven years and some is:
"...the purchase of documentaries previously produced in British Columbia as well as the rest of Canada covering topics of interest to ethnic viewers." (As read)
1124 So part of the $3.5 million would be used for these acquisitions?
1125 MR. SOLE: No, that would be more of an operating cost. We are saying in the theme, as Heather said, it is our intention to take 50 documentaries and multiply that by the 70,000 to arrive at the $3.5 million. Those are new productions.
1126 At the same time, in our investigation of documentaries in Canada, something that we are worldly famous for, there is an opportunity to develop an ethnic strand, as Heather described it, meaning a weekly window in prime time where there is historical material that has never been put into Cantonese or Punjabi or Italian that would be very beneficial.
1127 We are always looking for ways to do creative Canadian content other than news and public affairs and we thought as we were building this relationship with the documentary community this would be yet another dimension.
1128 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: That is additional. Previously produced would simply mean that it is already in existence. It is shelf product.
1129 MR. SOLE: For example, there is a series on science in Quebec that was done in French. We bought that, we translated it into five different languages. It would have never left -- it was sold all over the world in French, but in Canada we are discovering and can be and intend to be yet another window for Canadian producers.
1130 I could speak to priority programming by saying we run "Street Legal" in Italian, we run "Destiny Ridge" in Portuguese, but we really said how are we going to meet PN-99-101 because it really isn't about us.
1131 We are more of a 99-117 station, so we thought documentaries would be the area we picked. So we have a number of initiatives in there.
1132 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Over and above this plan you have what is called "Independent British Columbia Ethnic Initiative". This is outside of the $4.5 million?
1133 MS ZINIAK: Yes, it is.
1134 COMMISSIONER WYLIE:
"To produce local independent ethnic programs to serve a minimum of seven additional ethnocultural and linguistic groups." (As read)
1135 What would be this programming? Would that be the magazines that we see in the various languages in the programming?
1136 MR. SOLE: The schedule actually says ICBCE. It shows this --
1137 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: That would be?
1138 MR. SOLE: This is -- Madeline can explain it better than I -- it's --
1139 MS ZINIAK: This is again an initiative that we have had some experience in and this is, once again, nurturing some of the independent producers that we know are there in existence.
1140 What we would do with the independent British Columbia ethnic initiative is to, number one, work with the independent producers.
1141 The independent producer is certainly responsible for content, editorial direction and our role as a broadcaster is to supply them with the facilities available to produce their product, such as cameras to go out in the field to shoot material, studio facilities, as well as editing facilities, and we may do things like produce the introduction of their program for them and perhaps share some new services that they can't afford.
1142 For example, if something happens of great interest in Rumania, a crisis, we would allow them to use some of the footage that we already have coming in-house.
1143 Also, they would also be able to retain 85 per cent, perhaps, of the revenue, the retail revenue that is available to them.
1144 So these are independent producers. For example, presently we work with nine independent producers in Ontario and the relationship certainly is one that has allowed us to be quite diverse as well as develop these producers who don't have, perhaps, all of the facilities that they would like to be able to be competitive on an on-air broadcaster. So we assist them in this way.
1145 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Those would be representatives of smaller groups that need the Ziniak touch for nurturing?
1146 MS ZINIAK: Yes.
--- Laughter / Rires
1147 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: When we speak of bringing diversity to the ethnic or the ethnocultural market, which is Vancouver and the lower mainland and Victoria, it is difficult not to take into consideration the existence of the multicultural channel on Rogers.
1148 I mentioned earlier that one of the surveys that you have actually supplied with your application mentions a very high -- I think it was 91 per cent of South Asians. I don't recall if it said particularly the Punjabi who watch that channel.
1149 So it raises the question, of course, of whether that channel will continue to exist if you were given a licence.
1150 MR. SOLE: Tony.
1151 MR. VINER: We are advised by Rogers Cable, Commissioner Wylie, that they have filed a --
1152 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: You do talk to them occasionally?
1153 MR. VINER: I do.
--- Laughter / Rires
1154 MR. VINER: I do.
1155 That they filed a licence renewal and that the Rogers multicultural channel continues to be identified in that licence renewal.
1156 Our company generally has three year planning horizons and I know the Rogers multicultural channel continues to be in that three year planning horizon.
1157 I think -- what I am advised by my colleagues at cable, is that the Rogers multicultural channel provides them with what they believe is a competitive edge in a culturally diverse community. So quite apart from altruistic motives there is a strong business motive of why they would retain it.
1158 I would only comment on the high levels of viewing to this channel though, Commissioner Wylie, demonstrates -- the fact is, there isn't much other programming and there are high levels of viewing to this channel, in part because there is no other alternative for those people.
1159 The Rogers multicultural channel does a wonderful job. I know -- just for the record because I don't need to remind the Commission -- that it doesn't have -- there is no Cancon requirements and there is no Canadian content requirements on the multicultural channel and there are no production facilities. These are independent producers who bring programming primarily -- primarily directed to the homeland, and they do a fine job of it, but I just wanted to make those points.
1160 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: There is a suggestion in a few places in your application that this would give them an opportunity to become involved, the better ones who have been nurtured longer, to produce programming for LM-TV.
1161 So from your tentative answer I gather you haven't factored into your plans co-operation or use of these particular producers or --
1162 MR. SOLE: We have consulted with these producers all along for the last five or six years.
1163 Maybe Madeline can give you a little more information than that.
1164 MS ZINIAK: We have had some very good opportunities in the last six years and seven years to meet many of these producers who are presently working with the multicultural channel. I think this speaks very much to the different phases and evolution and development of multilingual media in Canada.
1165 I think certainly the multicultural channel has a definite role in the media landscape as does an over-the-air commercial broadcaster such as CFMT-TV.
1166 We have seen in our different relationships with different independent producers that this could be, if they wish, another step for them because, number one, it enables them to work with crews, to have facilities, the station would have different capabilities and they are able to develop their craft.
1167 Many, for example, have been broadcasters in their homeland, but don't have quite the capability, both from a production facility point of view to really get into their craft. Many of whom we have met with have expressed the desire to perhaps develop in this way.
1168 So this is not dissimilar from some of the relationships that we have previously formed and we look forward to certainly going through a program proposal procedure with them, but we have spoken to them and look forward to future development, if they wish.
1169 MR. VINER: I apologize, Commissioner Wylie, for my tentativeness.
1170 We have met with all of the producers several times. It is exactly at this group that the IBCEI, the Independent British Columbia Ethnic Initiative, is directed.
1171 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: When there is a suggestion, at least in the surveys, that if we introduce another 20 hours a week of Chinese programming it is going to have a negative impact on the existing services, the attempt is always to say, "Well, no, no, people will watch more. They won't stop watching what they watched before."
1172 So we can expect that will be true for your multicultural channel too?
1173 MR. VINER: Yes.
1174 MR. SOLE: Yes.
--- Laughter / Rires
1175 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Presumably, as some of this programming gets on to the over-the-air station perhaps other smaller groups that don't have the same opportunity will have a greater one and get Ms Ziniak's nurturing and we will all have more in the end.
1176 MS ZINIAK: Yes.
1177 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Do you want to sit town there? You are doing a great job.
--- Laughter / Rires
1178 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: The English language programming now, which is, of course, presumably the basis, the financial basis of -- in large part -- I think it's as much as 80 per cent of the revenues, correct, at least at the outset.
1179 Is that exaggerated?
1180 MR. SOLE: No, it's not.
1181 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: It will be all non-Canadian, will it?
1182 MR. SOLE: That's correct, yes.
1183 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Although you suggest it is not going to be in prime time, it is actually going to be certainly some close to 8:00 and from 8:00 -- from 10:00 to 12:00?
1184 MR. SOLE: It is going to be in very competitive times. We are not -- as referenced by most broadcasters in this country, we are not any different. Ethnocultural broadcasters required revenue-generating American programming to support their Canadian initiatives and their service to the production community and to the audience.
1185 What is different about us is that we -- and the distinction that we will make repeatedly -- is between eight o'clock ten o'clock at night where the lion's share of the money is made, we are ethnic. That in itself defines the lighter impact and the lower impact that happens when we are entering into a market.
1186 But we do, when we are in the English part of the schedule, we try to be the most watched station in the market.
1187 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: There is also an argument that you will -- you say you will be competitive, but you won't -- you will counter program.
1188 MR. SOLE: Yes. We think that --
1189 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: In what way will that programming between, let's say, 10:00 and 11:00 and 7:00 and 8:00, be different from what we are seeing on the American stations and the Canadian stations?
1190 MR. SOLE: Well, I'm not sure it will be very different at all. I think it will be better.
1191 I mean, this is a pool of programming where you want to get the highest, most popular programs that you can charge the highest advertising rates for so you can support your initiatives of Canadian content.
1192 So to say it would be different, generally I describe our English programming as syndicated, reruns, very popular comedies, things of that nature.
1193 MR. VINER: Commissioner Wylie, the counter programming I think which Leslie describes and you mentioned, though, really relates to the U.S. stations and that the U.S. stations currently when the Canadian stations are programming news the U.S. stations are programming the sort of popular U.S. syndicated programming.
1194 What we have done in Ontario is we will also run popular U.S. programming. We don't run -- we don't compete against Canadian news. We compete for the smaller, frankly, audience that is available that is a non-news audience. So we counter program the Americans.
1195 We are different from most Canadian stations because they are running news between 6:00 and 8:00 or 6:00 and 7:00 or 5:00 and 7:00, where we run our news between 8:00 and 10:00. I guess that's -- I hope I have clarified that.
1196 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: We will discuss a little later the whole revenue generation and the possible impact on the market which, of course, everybody is going to get KVOS. How easy is it going to be to get programming that will be -- is it going to be more difficult than in Toronto because of the presence of the popular American channels?
1197 MR. SOLE: We honestly believe it is not going to be any more difficult, in some ways it might be better.
1198 We believe we are the station -- and you have heard this before but I really want you to believe this this afternoon -- that can affect KVOS the most.
1199 At six o'clock at night Canadian stations are running news and public affairs, as Tony said. KVOS comes into the market and fills their programming with pizza commercials and movie commercials and the kind of advertisers that -- Canadian advertisers that don't want to buy or can't afford news.
1200 Our experience in Toronto is, if we compete with -- in the case of Toronto WU-TV, we change the nature of the market. We give the Canadian advertiser an alternative at six o'clock, especially retail advertisers, and the opportunity for us to affect KVOS is because we are the same kind of station as KVOS.
1201 Between 6:00 and 8:00 we do popular syndication and rerun. We think with Toronto and British Columbia we have a stronger bidding position than they do with just British Columbia so we think we will be able to get the best programming, and then again at 11 o'clock at night the circumstances are very similar.
1202 So these are U.S. stations that don't have news departments, they don't have local production and they live off Canadian markets. They do that by counter programming Canadian news.
1203 Well, we are a Canadian station that has a Canadian mandate that serves ethnocultural groups that can repatriate that market because we can go into those times and we can get the Canadian advertisers back into Canadian stations.
1204 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Before we leave programming -- and if the Chairperson allows we will take a break because you are really hitting your stride there, Mr. Sole.
1205 MR. SOLE: Just my luck.
--- Laughter / Rires
1206 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- "Multicultural Quorum" and "New Monday" and "Whatever".
1207 "Multicultural Quorum" and "New Monday" will be in languages other than English, will be in third languages.
1208 MR. SOLE: No, they will --
1209 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Will be in English, excuse me.
1210 MR. SOLE: Yes, they will be.
1211 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: "Whatever" will be partly in English and partly in a variety of third languages, depending?
1212 MR. SOLE: "Whatever" could be all in Punjabi one week, it could be all in English one week. It is going to be in English probably most of the time, to answer practically, but it --
1213 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Including "Whatever"?
1214 MR. SOLE: Yes. I thought particularly "Whatever".
1215 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Oh, I thought that was --
--- Laughter / Rires
1216 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: I thought "Whatever" -- that's the program for young people that sometimes it could be in languages other than English?
1217 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1218 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes. But not the other two?
1219 MR. SOLE: No. The other two will commonly -- well, yes, they will be in English.
1220 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: They will be in English totally.
1221 With regard to third language, it's not clear when we do the calculation whether we have 50 per cent third language, but you know the ethnic policy --
1222 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1223 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- requires, unless there is an exception.
1224 Is that what you would be prepared to commit to is 50 per cent third language?
1225 MR. SOLE: We are prepared to comply entirely and completely with Public Notice 117.
1226 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: The difficulty is sometimes programs are mixed, have English in them, but so you would be prepared to commit to 15 language groups, 18 --
1227 MR. SOLE: Eighteen cultures.
1228 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- cultural groups and 50 per cent overall programming in third language?
1229 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1230 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: When we come back we can talk about the synergies between LM-TV and CFMT and then the market projections, which include, of course, repatriation.
1231 Mr. Sole has given us a good preface.
1232 Thank you.
1233 MR. SOLE: Thank you for the tip.
1234 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: We will break for 15 minutes.
--- Upon recessing at 1530 / Suspension à 1530
--- Upon resuming at 1550 / Reprise à 1550
1235 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: We will be hearing the three applications we had planned on hearing today so we will proceed with the LM-TV group now and then we will take another break and proceed with the Trinity application.
1236 We would like to apologize ahead of time, some coffee will be brought to us so that we can do a proper questioning all through the day.
--- Laughter / Rires
1237 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Madam Wylie.
1238 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Thank you.
1239 I would like to look now at the synergies that you propose between CFMT and LM-TV should it be licensed, so I picked some various areas in your application where there is that synergy.
1240 The Chinese national news, for example, 3.5 hours will be supplied by CFMT.
1241 Five hours of Italian and Portuguese news --
1242 MR. SOLE: In combination.
1243 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- will be supplied by CFMT, and some magazine programming as well.
1244 "Multicultural Quorum" will be shown on both services.
1245 If I look at page 5 of Schedule B and do a calculation, would I be right to say there will be about 24 hours a week of ethnic programming provided by CFMT?
1246 MR. SOLE: Viddear Khan.
1247 MS KHAN: Thank you.
1248 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Is that approximately right?
1249 MS KHAN: The programming that will be shared between both stations will be -- there will be five hours of Cantonese and Mandarin, as well as 2.5 hours of South Asian national news, and I believe, yes, "Multicultural Quorum", "New Monday" could be shared with CFMT, as well as all of the other magazine type of programming aired on LM-TV and produced by LM-TV.
1250 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: But I still don't have an answer as to whether 24 hours is about 19 per cent of the weekly schedule.
1251 MS KHAN: I would say it's about 16 hours.
1252 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Sixteen?
1253 MS KHAN: Yes.
1254 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: If you look at your supplementary brief at page 23, you also say that:
"The multicultural documentary programming will have a first broadcast window in British Columbia and a second window at CFMT-TV." (As read)
1255 So there could be, in fact, quite a few hours of programming other than the previous -- the scheduled programming?
1256 MR. SOLE: Yes, there could be synergies in a general sense. One and one is three in many occasions.
1257 In the case of the documentaries, they would run in both Ontario and British Columbia.
1258 The programs that you have talked about will run in Ontario and British Columbia. A new national South Asian newscast will run in Ontario and British Columbia but will be produced here.
1259 We are very optimistic that some of the other South Asian programming that is produced here, and in fact any one of these programs over a period of time could end up running in Ontario and vice versa.
1260 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: And in your programming vision in Schedule C that is a very important aspect of it, that there will be synergies between the two services.
1261 You also talk about co-operative production to licensed Canadian producers that will produce documentaries that are of interest to both.
1262 In your financial projections you say that:
"CFMT is provided to the new service at no cost, programming produced by CFMT, and that all the programming expenditures included in the application are new and CFMT's base costs and commitments to Canadian production have not been reduced in any way through charges to the new service. No transfers of any existing costs between the two." (As read)
1263 But would it be fair, nevertheless, to say that if you were to be granted this licence with this vision of synergies between the two that both services -- well, CFMT will become cheaper to produce, won't it, that you program? It's not showing on your financial statements because you say you don't --
1264 MR. SOLE: The way we have written this application the answer would be no, it would not be cheaper because we have chosen not to take any of the CFMT expenditures and put it into this application.
1265 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: No, but when you say you will spend $4.5 million on documentaries and that is one of the reasons why we should give you a licence, which your application may well be mutually exclusive, that $4.5 million will go to enrich CFMT as well and therefore make CFMT cheaper than last year to program.
1266 MR. SOLE: In that exact case, CFMT will pay additional licence fees for those documentaries.
1267 This is for British Columbia only. The $4.5 million documentary fund is indigenous to this market.
1268 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes, but those programs will be shown on CFMT.
1269 MR. SOLE: And it will cost CFMT money to run them.
1270 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Although you are not showing any costs.
1271 MR. SOLE: It would show in CFMT's costs.
1272 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: It's not showing as revenue in LM-TV then?
"Programming produced by CFMT is provided to the new service at no cost." (As read)
1273 MR. SOLE: Right.
1274 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: What about the programming that is produced by LM-TV and is shown on CFMT, it will be purchased at cost or purchased -- what will happen? It will be purchased?
1275 Suppose it's not a co-production between the two, it is out of your $4.5 million and it goes to a documentary producer in Vancouver --
1276 MR. SOLE: Right.
1277 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- and then it is shown on LM-TV and on CFMT as well?
1278 MR. SOLE: If we were to pay a $70,000 licence fee for a documentary made in British Columbia we would pay for it through LM-TV. Subsequently, when it ran on CFMT a new licence fee would be negotiated for Ontario.
1279 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: And what about the multicultural program and "New Monday" and possibly the "Whatever" program?
1280 MR. SOLE: Right now they are reflected as a goodwill exchange between two stations with common ownership. There is no economic representation in either station.
1281 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Will LM-TV pay for the news that is produced in Toronto and shared with LM-TV?
1282 MR. SOLE: If the two initiatives in Chinese, as an example, the morning show and the prime time national newscasts, those will be paid for proportionately by both stations.
1283 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: So there will be synergies --
1284 MR. SOLE: Oh, absolutely.
1285 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- and cost-effective exchanges, which is, of course, excellent, but it brings me, of course, to asking you: Have you tried to -- is there a way of calculating what this advantage would be?
1286 MR. SOLE: Sure.
1287 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Have you done that?
1288 MR. SOLE: Yes. If we took a modest licence fee for the Ontario content on the sample schedule and we ran it over the seven years we would be saving LM-TV over -- somewhere in the neighbourhood of $3.5 million.
1289 Tom can give you the arithmetic on how we got to that conclusion.
1290 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Intuitively you know that it is beneficial, of course, because of this exchange and the effort, the vision to exchange it between the two, which is laudable, but you probably won't be surprised as to where I'm going.
1291 Why are the Canadian content and ethnic programming exactly the same as they are for CFMT if you are now going to have the benefit of two stations and of the expertise you gained? Because we are always trying to look for the best deal for the viewer.
1292 There is an advantage.
1293 MR. SOLE: Sure.
1294 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: If we were to give you that licence, your plans are obviously to use the funds that you are putting forward as one of the reasons why you should be licensed will go to enrich CFMT, and yet the commitments are identical.
1295 MR. SOLE: I would -- the commitments are identical in --
1296 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: I said Canadian content and the amount of ethnic -- Canadian content in general. It's patterned on CFMT?
1297 MR. SOLE: Yes, they are both patterned the same. The benefits are that neither one of these stations currently have a Chinese morning show. That would be a result of synergies.
1298 Neither one of the stations have a national South Asian newscast. That would be a result of these synergies.
1299 Neither one of these have a Chinese national newscast. That would be a result of these synergies.
1300 And, on top of all of that, we think that the quality will go up because the number of hours that each licence is obligated to produce, the money would be more spent on fewer hours and more money on each hour, and we think we are going to be able to reduce the number of repeats in both markets.
1301 So it is hard to explain in dollars and cents. It really is synergies that are going to result in a higher quality product in two ethnocultural markets.
1302 MS ZINIAK: If I can add, we have had some very real examples where we naturally would produce a one station story. Perhaps it is a key story on citizenship values or immigration that we would -- actually one producer would produce and then what we would do is we would share it with all of the producers of the different languages. The local talent would introduce the story, but it was produced in one place.
1303 Similarly, we recently partnered with the Heritage Department on the family violence initiative where we produced, in 16 languages, a public service announcement based on the theme that violence hurts us all. We produced this really for the whole country and it was a challenge to get it on anywhere.
1304 Certainly the federal government did identify that there needed to be a lot of work in this area.
1305 So this is one perfect example where it is integral to the station where we have done it and we are simply looking for a place to be able to share that kind of a message where it would be most effective.
1306 So we did have some frustration in being able to spread that kind of a PSA throughout Canada. We produced it, and that is an example of a synergy that we would have welcomed.
1307 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: What you are speaking of now, is that the $350,000 for community relative programming or a PSA per se?
1308 I meant to ask you whether that $350,000, by the way, was additional to the $4.5 million?
1309 MR. SOLE: Yes, it is additional/
1310 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: And it is not the B.C. ethnic initiative either?
1311 MR. SOLE: No.
1312 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: This is similar to the Oliver story?
1313 MR. SOLE: This came out of the -- when we were meeting with the different ethnocultural groups it became very clear that no one was immediate with their concerns and that there were -- and Oliver was a great example and before we committed to this we thought we would try to do it.
1314 It's in-depth news or "newsumentary" -- I don't like those merged words, but that might describe a news story that needs in-depth treatment that is not in that news budget where you have to have more than one camera, where you have to hire people that are not in your market.
1315 We tested that out and when we talked to the British Columbia government we made the contacts and when we looked at that particular circumstance we said "We are going to need a budget to do this. This is going to be important to provide a platform for debate or instant reflection on ethnocultural issues in the lower mainland and Victoria."
1316 So we said "Well, we should identify that initiative as something above and beyond and commit and explain that there are opportunities to do news specials or community specials. That is the one example that we would give, "The Courage To Stand". It's not part of the documentary fund, it's not part of the Independent British Columbia Ethnic Producers Fund, it is a separate standalone initiative that would give ethnocultural news departments sort of the big budget to do something that maybe a network might do.
1317 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Are you committing to doing one a year? That is, I think, what is suggested.
1318 MR. SOLE: Yes. Our sense of it is it is an immediate thing, it's timely, it's topical. I am going to probably be scolded later, but my guess is in this licence period we will probably spend more than $350,000. It's not how many you do, it's --
1319 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: You may not have one one year, you --
1320 MR. SOLE: We might have six the next, yes.
1321 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes. But the money is a commitment, the $350,000 as a minimum?
1322 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1323 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Now to go back to my theme of why not more if you have two licences, considering the synergies.
1324 As you know, the Commission has been looking at groups of licences by the same licensee and plans to look at them together. Would you be surprised if you were licensed that that may be the approach taken by the Commission, that these two services will not be discrete?
1325 MR. SOLE: That they would be in the future reviewed at the same time?
1326 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Or even now I'm suggesting that maybe we have to be convinced that there shouldn't be more if you have the possibility of these synergies, that more should be expected.
1327 MR. SOLE: I don't think that we have any opposition to saying that CFMT and LM-TV really are one body of work and that the Commission would like to discuss that body of work on a singular basis in totality for the system. I think we would be comfortable with that.
1328 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: When is CFMT up for renewal?
1329 MR. VINER: Right now.
1330 MR. SOLE: Yes, immediate.
1331 Conveniently the Commission asked us to file our renewal documents on February 15th.
1332 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: But you see where I'm coming from is, yes, you may buy something at cost but you will be the licensee of two multilingual services where the large group served. The Chinese group is quite prominent in both, and South Asian as well in a sense, and you have throughout put forward as an advantage these synergies but nowhere does it say "As a result this is what we are going to do."
1333 MR. VINER: Commissioner Wylie, if I can just summarize -- it has been a good discussion.
1334 First, I think Leslie made clear that the $3.5 million is spent only in British Columbia and there is no savings -- we would run it on CFMT but we would pay a licence --
1335 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: If you have terrific programming that is generated as a result, it is advantageous. It is a specialized area of programming --
1336 MR. VINER: That's correct, yes.
1337 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- and it is not going to be purchased by Global.
1338 MR. VINER: Well, remember we get the second window in Ontario. I would just point that out. It's the second window in Ontario so that the documentary producer has the opportunity to sell it to someone else. So there is not a saving per se in that.
1339 Leslie has pointed out there is another sort of $3 million that we could have put into the application and had LM-TV acquire programming from CFMT and we are not doing that. This is incremental.
1340 I think the response to the question about what more is there we tried to answer by saying a brand new Chinese morning show, a brand new Chinese national newscast, a brand new South Asian national newscast, but the money that we have -- the synergies result in a higher quality -- more and higher quality programming.
1341 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Which should accrue in part -- advantages accrue to the viewers --
1342 MR. VINER: Yes.
1343 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- and to the licensee.
1344 MR. VINER: I would agree with that.
1345 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: So your commitments in Canadian content, then, are the same as with CFMT. So it is 50 per cent throughout the broadcast day and 6:00 to midnight 40 per cent.
1346 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1347 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: And 50 per cent between 7:00 and 10:00.
1348 MR. SOLE: No. The condition of licence for CFMT is between 7:00 and --
1349 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: No, I mean for LM-TV.
1350 MR. SOLE: They are identical. From 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. we are making an obligation that we will not broadcast any less than 75 per cent ethnic content Monday to Sunday, every night of the week.
1351 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: But some of it could be foreign.
1352 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1353 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: So I thought if I look at your application at 5.4, 7:00 to 10:00, 50 per cent Canadian content. No?
1354 MR. SOLE: It's 8:00 to 10:00. I'm sorry.
--- Pause / Pause
1355 MR. SOLE: Go ahead, Tony.
1356 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Eight to 10:00 is?
1357 MR. VINER: It's 75 per cent.
1358 MR. SOLE: No, it's another question, Tony.
1359 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Okay, 5.4, it's in the application unless it is --
1360 MR. SOLE: Go ahead, Tony.
1361 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Section 5 in Part 1 where Canadian content commitments are laid out, 50 all day; 6:00 to midnight, 40; 7:00 to 10:00, 50 is what I have. This is Canadian content.
1362 Presumably this will be ethnic programming because you won't have Canadian foreign.
1363 What mistake am I making when I do this?
1364 MR. SOLE: No, I'm not sure that there are any mistakes being made and if there are they will be mine. I didn't have the application.
1365 So we are looking at 5.4:
"With reference to the scheduling of Canadian programs during the evening identify a block of three consecutive hours." (As read)
1366 We have chosen 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and we are saying that we will achieve 50 per cent.
1367 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Why do I have 10? Do I not have the last -- has that been revised?
1368 MR. SOLE: No, it says 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.
1369 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: To 10:00.
1370 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1371 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Oh, I thought I heard you say 11:00.
1372 MR. SOLE: And our commitment is 50 per cent.
1373 I'm just so used to the regular conditions of licence that that one caught me off guard. I apologize.
1374 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: In your supplementary brief at page 26, and today, you have said that you would have 75 per cent ethnic programming between 8:00 and 10:00.
1375 MR. SOLE: That's correct.
1376 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Okay. Now, can we go down this card and ask you if you can identify how much of this programming during ethnic hours will be third language? Has somebody calculated that?
1377 MR. SOLE: So how many of these hours will be non-English?
1378 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: No, will -- well, yes. Third language.
1379 Why not put it into third language, neither French nor English in that chart.
1380 MR. SOLE: Because we make a very passionate case for English-language ethnic programming, so we are looking for the --
1381 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: But now I understand the passion.
1382 My question is: Can you separate in that chart how much of these hours will be third language as opposed to English? Or if you haven't done it you can give it to us some other time.
1383 MR. SOLE: I would be happy to do that tomorrow morning. I could approximate it, I think, though.
1384 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: And whether these are commitments as well --
1385 MR. SOLE: Yes. That chart?
1386 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- that you wouldn't mind conditions of licence committing you to that.
1387 MR. SOLE: To 75 hours ethnic, to 63 hours ethnic Canadian, 21 hours in prime time, 10.5 in core, 20 -- yes, we would commit to these as COLs, conditions of licence.
1388 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: I assume that adds up to the -- this is expressed in hours. It adds up to the percentages?
1389 MR. SOLE: Yes, it does.
1390 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: We would like to know whether or not you would be prepared to make a commitment to third language within these percentages as opposed to cultural programming in English, to ethnic programming in English.
1391 Because you could have a lot of English-language programming, Type E in those hours. We would be interested in knowing in these block hours how much is third language.
1392 MR. SOLE: I understand. You mean tomorrow we will give you that information of the 75 --
1393 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: You don't have that.
1394 For example, from 8:00 to 10:00 how much of that will be in third language as opposed to English?
1395 MR. SOLE: In this schedule?
1396 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Well, this schedule I suppose is a block schedule, but what are your plans in that regard.
1397 MR. SOLE: Okay.
1398 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: In where and in what proportion the third language programming will be positioned.
1399 Now, if we go to the market, and we had this discussion this morning with CHUM as well and we wanted you to have the opportunity to answer to it as well.
1400 You have a survey which you have put forward to calculate how much money and how much growth there is in the market. So the Media Edge survey at page 32 -- I don't know if you have that -- it's the whole question of the growth that has been calculated and presumably used as your projections and your prediction of growth, which doesn't seem -- has not taken into consideration what someone will say a decline, others will say a mere blip in TV advertising revenues in the year that ended before you filed this.
1401 You say that a conservative estimate of 3 per cent annual growth -- or Media Edge says -- has been used increasing to 5 per cent in 2000, when in fact there was quite a reduction not a growth.
1402 I want to know whether this growth has been used to then forecast your revenues and what is your answer as to whether it is a blip or whether forecasting on the basis of that growth that was in fact a decline makes any difference in your revenue projections.
1403 MR. SOLE: I think Jim Nelles would be well suited for this particular line of questioning.
1404 MR. NELLES: Commissioner Wylie, we have arrived at our revenue projections through a number of different sources. One of those was to engage the Media Edge as an independent body to kind of take a look at the market. They are the fourth largest buying agency in Canada and, as a result, they buy a lot of time in British Columbia and in Vancouver.
1405 To the specific question about the Media Edge's study, I might ask that Bruce Neve, who is here with us today, answer that question.
1406 MR. NEVE: Okay.
1407 I am Bruce Neve, Vice-President of Media of the Media Edge, which is a media buying operation. As Jim said before, it is the largest purchaser of TV air time in Canada.
1408 I guess I would like to start by saying that our in-market experience and the experience of the industry is that Vancouver continues to be a seller's market where demand outstrips supply of inventory in the marketplace.
1409 Based on the most TV upfront in the market, those clients that were ready -- and agencies to move early to purchase inventory for this current season saw rate increases of renewing inventory of plus 8 to 10 per cent in the market.
1410 Those clients that did not get approval, and agencies to approve and purchase inventory until late in the season, found the Canadian conventional stations to either have a shortage of inventory or even be sold out for the fall season.
1411 We believe Vancouver continues to be a dynamic and a vital market and our projects really look at the longer term success in the Vancouver market where conventional broadcasters have seen, quite frequently, double digit revenue increases on a year-over-year basis.
1412 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: So you agree with the blip theory?
1413 MR. NEVE: Yes, I do.
1414 MR. NELLES: Commissioner Wylie, if I may just follow up.
1415 In accordance with what Bruce has said, we have also reviewed numbers from the television bureau, and I believe you are familiar with some of those, to gauge a sense of the overall market size.
1416 This is a very, very strong market by television standards in this country and it has been for a number of years. And yes, that blip is there.
1417 Maybe there is some nurturing going on, I'm not sure, for future years, but certainly at the present time, despite that, inventory is very, very scarce.
1418 We noted this past summer many of the agencies, including OMD here in Vancouver, the largest agency in the country, indicated that TV was basically locked up until mid-December as a result of buying going on in late June and early July and through the balance of the summer months.
1419 If I may, without getting too obscure, the buying process is such that the top rated programs on CTV and on Global and some other stations are the first ones purchased, those core prime programs. They are the ones that everybody is running after at that time of year and they are locked up here very, very quickly.
1420 Where we believe we can compete, and that is the reason that we argue that we have the least impact on the market, is that we are after the fringe areas, albeit near prime -- we mentioned the 7:00 to 8:00 earlier -- but we believe that the purchasing of that time -- and in fact we know -- goes on after those core prime, those great new series or the returning strong series. That buying takes place a little later.
1421 In Ontario, in southern Ontario, you have the opportunity to -- after you bought Global and after you bought CTV, come back to CFMT or to CKVR or the CP-24 or City and purchase time.
1422 That option does not exist to anywhere near the same degree in this market. That is why it is our belief that our station perhaps has the least impact on prime time for the larger stations, but has a very strong impact on KVOS. I know the Commission has heard that before, but we really --
1423 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Poor KVOS.
1424 MR. NELLES: -- but we truly -- we kind of play -- in the limited time that we have in English that is kind of where we play.
1425 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Now, if we look at it from the optimist end of the telescope, then, if I took page 33 of Media Edge and I calculated the growth of the advertising television revenue and got a percentage of what LM-TV would propose to take out of the market, would it be fair to say it would be around 4.7 per cent, 5 per cent, and that historically CFMT has been about to achieve about 15 per cent of Toronto's total ad revenues.
1426 So my question is: Have you possibly underestimated the amount of revenues you will be able to generate, which my point is it's about 5 per cent of what you predict will be the total pie and in Toronto you are able to get 15 per cent historically. Is that correct?
1427 MR. NELLES: That's correct. It could be a little bit less sometimes.
1428 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: And why the discrepancy?
1429 MR. NELLES: I think the discrepancy or the difference, perhaps, is a result of the difference in the dynamics of those two markets. Here in Vancouver we are dealing with a market that is roughly $295 million all-in, all-in. That is network and national spot and local.
1430 In Toronto, that market is a shade under $500 million. As a result of that $500 million that is available, there are more stations programming in prime time and people like Bruce Neve need to buy more fringe.
1431 So it's possible that if we overachieve there it is because the advertisers and their clients -- advertising agencies and their clients are looking for more fringe.
1432 In this market that would not be quite the same, and that is why we looked at our year one revenue, if I may, as coming from a number of key areas.
1433 We said that in year one we would be looking for about f$3.6 million -- that is the 24 per cent from off-air. Speciality -- and I will come back to that in a moment -- is worth about $2.4 million. That is about 16 per cent, two per cent from radio, about $300,000. New accounts not currently on the air, that is about 22 per cent for $3.3 million.
1434 The last data I will give you is about 36 per cent or $5.4 million of our anticipated ad revenue in year one is from increased spending by existing advertisers.
1435 LM-TV is really a composite of all of these sources from an ad sales standpoint.
1436 I will use that word "nurture" one more time. When it comes to language advertising we really have to do that. We have been doing it in southern Ontario for many years.
1437 I can mentioned that with the language, the Chinese market in Toronto for instance, in 1993, before Fairchild, was about $2 million. That was our $2 million. Fairchild went on the air in 1993. Since that time we have grown by another million and Fairchild's total revenues I believe are about $6 million. So we actually grew the pie. That is a phrase that is often used, but it's very, very key.
1438 That comes about as a result of working with individual advertisers on perhaps a retail basis or sometimes on a national basis and -- or in some other cases having an English advertiser that transcreates the size that they would like to run their creative in the language of comfort for a constituency that they are after.
1439 I will be brief, but one story that I love to -- that I really like is our experience with the Wal-Mart people who are very bright marketers and certainly across Canada.
1440 In southern Ontario when they first came we, doing what we do, tried to appeal to their best instincts and get them to put some time and money -- or some money in our station. That did not happen, and the reason it did not happen -- and this was for third language -- was because they said that they weren't ready.
1441 So we worked with them. They said that they weren't ready, not in terms of not having ad spend available for us, they were not ready because what might happen is that people from the Portuguese community or the Chinese community or the South Asian community might arrive in their stores and ask questions about what they saw the night before on an evening newscast on CFMT.
1442 They are bright marketers. They went away for a couple of years and they came back and they said -- it was the first time it ever happened to me -- they said "Now we are ready to advertise." And they did and have placed campaigns in Portuguese and in Chinese and in South Asian and Italian, and that has been renewed for a number of years.
1443 I shouldn't go on, but that is an example of how we do nurture advertisers and we have been doing that for a long time. In fact, I think the language market when CFMT began was probably about -- or at least when we took over it, was roughly $7 or $8 million. Today in the greater Toronto area it would be worth about $22 million.
1444 So we do grow the market and we hope to grow it in third language and we hope to grow it in terms of English as well.
1445 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: I was looking at the same page as you where you have a table to show the sources of projected revenue, but existing off-air television station has an asterisk which tells us that it will be mostly from U.S. stations.
1446 I think what you are predicting is $5 million will be repatriated from U.S. stations of the 80 per cent of your revenues which will come from your English-language programming?
1447 MR. NELLES: That's correct, Commissioner Wylie. I think roughly $5 million.
1448 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: What proportion of that would come from KVOS?
1449 MR. NELLES: Most of it. Certainly most of the $5 million would come from KVOS. They are located in the Seattle/Tacoma market which is the 12th largest market in the United States and it is a very, very hot market.
1450 So they exist solely as a catch basin for ad spending in Vancouver and we are going after them.
1451 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: In the survey that -- or in the analysis, rather, that was prepared, was the presence of CIVT and its repatriation taken into consideration? Do you know?
1452 MR. NELLES: We looked at CIVT as -- we looked at the entire market. Referencing the television bureau figures, they capture local and national and network. We, therefore, would absorb the CIVT numbers into those overall numbers.
1453 No doubt CIVT has had some success in repatriating some dollars from KVOS, I'm not sure how much. Their core, of course is their prime time programming. In that sense they would be, perhaps, trading some share with existing broadcasters.
1454 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Since you are quite precise about how much money you expect to repatriate, do you have any -- you don't know how large the pie and how much has flown to CIVT or at least is less than it was the year before CIVT was on the air?
1455 MR. NELLES: Commissioner Wylie --
1456 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Because eventually CK -- KVOS -- I do want it to be Canadian -- they don't have an unlimited amount of revenue that can be repatriated.
1457 MR. NELLES: No, that is absolutely fair.
1458 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: What do you think is the size right now of the Canadian money that flows there and what has been the difference that CIVT has made, because you would have to factor that in to know that you can take $5 million.
1459 MR. NELLES: Our belief is that KVOS still remains at roughly that $25 million figure. I know it was presented in 1998 as part of -- by the CAB. It is a figure that we are quite comfortable with. It is a figure that we have cross-referenced with Telecaster.
1460 To your earlier point, I believe that it is not an unlimited amount of dollars that will continue to go to KVOS, but as long as we keep hearing people talking about this market with rates going up 8 to 10 per cent every year, and as long as we find that people simply are unable to place -- the agencies are unable to place the commitments that they have made on behalf of their advertisers, then KVOS will still wind up, as I say, as a bit of a catch basin for people trying to secure fringe rating points in this market.
1461 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: In the second source of revenue, 16 per cent from existing specialty television services, that has two asterisks and it tells me that revenues sourced from national English language specialty services.
1462 Won't you take any from the specialty services that are ethnic?
1463 MR. NELLES: I think I put those two asterisks there, Commissioner Wylie. I believe that it will be English.
1464 If I go back, just because there are two issues there, one is the impact on other existing language services, third language services in this market, I think the impact is entirely positive.
1465 I think that, as I mentioned before, the way we have grown Chinese ad spend in the greater Toronto area is indicative of what we hope to do here. We are fiercely competitive with one another, but in the process we wind up getting more people looking at third language advertising expenditures as yet another vehicle in a very crowded universe of opportunities.
1466 At this point I might ask, with your permission, for Ken Koo, of Koo Creative, to comment. He has some -- just on the language issue and increases in language ad spend, he has some extra comments.
1467 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes. And perhaps comment on, in your supplementary brief at page 17 you say that -- and it is related to this belief that the 16 per cent will be taken from English language specialty services -- you say there that you will:
"...endeavour to counter program newscasts against the entertainment programming provided by Fairchild and on Talent Vision to offer local viewers a broader range of unique programming choices in that time period." (As read)
1468 Isn't counter programming attempting to have something more interesting during those periods to take the viewer away?
1469 MR. SOLE: As a programmer, counter programming is creating a reason for people who aren't watching television to watch television.
1470 When there is nothing but news on and you counter program you usually take something to attract non-news viewers to the TV. So when there is an exclusive genre on, if there is all sports on American networks on the weekends, you will see that one station will run movies. I think that is what we mean by counter programming.
1471 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: I am assuming here that it would be locally produced programming of special interest, let's say to the Chinese community, at a time when Fairchild is showing entertainment programming in the hope that instead of the entertainment they will watch the news.
1472 So I'm curious. Again, this is a rehearsal for the intervention as to why this 16 per cent doesn't come at all from the services that to some extent you will compete against.
1473 MR. NELLES: Just before I offer Ken Koo's comments, it is about choice and this is, in that particular area, a very significant community. The fact that people have more options to watch will allow them to watch more television. We have seen that in southern Ontario and I think we complement each other very well.
1474 But I might ask Ken Koo or Mason to comment perhaps.
1475 MR. KOO: This is Ken Koo from the Koo Creative Group. I'm the President of Koo.
1476 I think the key point here is there is a demand for free over-the-air language advertising alternative and that is reaching alternative audience that are not in the subscribing channel these days.
1477 If I may, we are one of the largest Asian advertising agencies nationally and we are the largest in B.C. So we are very much in touch with the national and regional advertising that are in the ethnic advertising markets.
1478 Our view, which resulted in our research, is that there is definite demand for free over-the-air language advertising alternatives to the advertisers and actually the viewer as well because of the additional reach.
1479 Free over-the-air language channel will reach more viewers and I think also at the same time may encourage longer viewing hours, therefore giving us, ad agencies, to ask for an increased advertising budget in the ethnic area, therefore not necessarily in the expense of the existing station.
1480 Basically I think better and more competitive choices are always better for the industry as a whole. It always encourages programming diversity, it always encourages a fair price structure. In short, I think more choices are good for my client, the advertisers, as well as the consumers.
1481 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Now, Mr. Viner, let's talk about the future. How would being licensed for LM-TV fit into your broader corporate strategy with regard to ethnic broadcasting?
1482 MR. VINER: Well, I think it's important, Commissioner Wylie, to say that this application to serve this huge community in Vancouver and the lower mainland stands on its own. There are the synergies which we have discussed with CFMT, but what we are applying for today is an intensely local service to serve only the people in the lower mainland except with respect to the programming that we are exchanging.
1483 So I don't know if that answers your question, but we don't have -- there is no other particular broad plan. I will leave you to ask about the network.
1484 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: I am thinking back to the broadcasting policy review, and I think you said at that time, or someone from Rogers said that once there was a stable, high quality free, over-the-air multilingual television service in Montreal and Vancouver, that would be the time, perhaps to look at more of a network of -- so are you saying now that you will remain with CFMT, LM-TV and the multicultural channel and that is all you have in your horizon at the moment.
1485 MR. VINER: I would never want to limit the future.
1486 I think that to take those remarks in context, Commissioner Wylie, we believe that if we bring third language services to markets in Canada they have to be locally reflective, simply because, you know, the ethnic make-up in each market is different.
1487 Is there a possibility that all of the participants, all of the ethnic participants might work together in a network-like way to provide higher quality programming? Certainly. Would we be interested in exploring that with the other broadcasters? Certainly. But for the moment and for today this is our chief concern.
1488 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: One more small question about reporting.
1489 I forgot to ask you, there is no mention in your application that I recall about report -- devising a way of reporting to the Commission on your local service to the ethnic communities. It is paragraph 41 -- maybe, Mr. Sole, you have lost track of that -- that we will expect:
"...licensees to report on the progress of their initiatives in their subsequent licence renewal. It would be helpful for licensees to indicate in their plans how they will subsequently evaluate their progress. This is under the rubric `local content'." (As read)
1490 Have you thought of how you would set up a system to satisfy that requirement?
1491 MR. SOLE: I think we would -- I think quarterly reports would be fine, from our perspective.
1492 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Or at licence renewal it would be more a question of -- but anyway, maybe counsel can pursue the question of how you -- what it is that you will keep track of to be able to show at renewal time whether you have --
1493 MR. SOLE: Like a checklist?
1494 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes. Not necessarily. I don't think it is necessarily intended to file with us, it's just so that you have kept track of the local content to report at licence renewal.
1495 Counsel may want to pursue that.
1496 Apparently my colleagues don't have questions, so before I pass you to counsel I will give you five minutes to answer any questions I didn't ask.
--- Laughter / Rires
1497 MR. SOLE: Mobina.
1498 MS JAFFER: I just want to add, I am the President of the YWCA of Canada and one of the things that we have been working with CFMT in is translating issues on violence against -- in the family and it has been very effective that we have had in 16 languages that CFMT has -- because the YWCA does not have resources in other languages, they have been able to give us the tape and also distribute it for us across the country.
1499 One of the things that Madeline was saying, was that -- Ms Ziniak was saying, that it's difficult sometimes. They were able to give us the tapes, they were able to help us distribute, but it was difficult for us to find resources or places to distribute in different languages.
1500 The other thing that we found very useful, what Madeline was talking about and maybe she can add in a minute the heritage, the kind of programming that we do.
1501 It's very important for women in the ethnic community who come here, often very isolated -- and when this tape was done and when I went to Mississauga one of the things a woman said is "I didn't even know that these kinds of programs existed".
1502 What you would do -- I can only talk about Toronto because we haven't had the experience here, is what you do is you give voice to women who are completely isolated by these public service announcements. This plays a very important role for women to integrate.
1503 The other thing is that the public service announcements that continuously CFMT has done on different programs that exist, English-language programs that exist, sometimes the only place that women get news of what is happening in the community is through these programs.
1504 You know, Commissioner Wylie, when you were talking about half an hour Armenian, the story that came to my mind was that when I was leaving CFMT to go to the airport there was an Armenian taxi driver and he said to me very clearly "I completely have my life around this Armenian half an hour program. I don't drive a taxi that day because that is the only way I keep in touch with the community."
1505 As a community person, yes, I agree with you that the half an hour or the hour that you get in each language is not enough, but it is better than no hours.
1506 MR. LOH: Commissioner, I would just like to again add something to one question you raised.
1507 You were quite interested in the issue about services to the Chinese community, whether it is satisfied or not. I want to add to that two points in terms of the issue of choice and, I guess, access for fairness issue.
1508 On the issue of choice I would like to say that Fairchild TV -- I am a fan, big fan of Fairchild TV. They do a wonderful job serving the community. As I mentioned, my in-laws and many members of my family cannot live without that station. There are very good, talented and dedicated people working at that station.
1509 But what we are proposing here is an emphasis on news and current affairs. That is what we are good at and that is what we think the community needs. Not that we think, actually I know what the community needs.
1510 When you are talking about news, I started out in the beginning when we did the presentation, I mentioned that in the community there is a diversity of opinion when it comes to news issues, public affairs issues. There are controversial issues in the community where diversity of opinion needs to be presented.
1511 In the Canadian context we have issues like the boat people issue and in the political realm we have -- Mobina mentioned about some ethnic politicians we have in our governments. In British Columbia we have two ethnic Chinese members of the Provincial Legislature of different political parties, and federally we have three Members of Parliament of ethnic Chinese origin and from different political parties.
1512 When it comes to a controversial issue it is important that the media goes to the source and be able to present different points of views to the community. That is in the Canadian context.
1513 But in the wider context, in the international context, there are some very controversial issues relating to or interesting to the Chinese community such as issues like the June 4th massacre, Tiananmen Square issue, and also things like the Taiwan independence or reunification with the mainland China issue. Those issues are very controversial within the community. It is important for the media the different sources of media that can present those different diversity of views to the community.
1514 In closing, I would like to say, Commissioner, I would like you to consider kindly that we all know that Vancouver is diverse ethnically, culturally; Toronto is also; Montreal also, but in Toronto we have a CFMT, in Montreal we have CJNT, in Vancouver we don't have a free over-the-air ethnic television station and we really need one.
1515 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.
1516 Thank you, Madam Chairperson.
1517 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
1518 Madam Assheton-Smith will have a few questions for you, our legal counsel.
1519 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Thank you Madam Chairperson.
1520 I just have a few questions in the areas mainly of closed captioning and children's programming.
1521 With respect to closed captioning, what proportion of your ethnic programming would you be prepared to close caption in each broadcast year during the course of your licence term?
1522 MR. SOLE: I would have Viddear, our Program Controller, answer that question.
1523 MS KHAN: Thank you, Leslie.
1524 The sample schedule shows a total of 60 hours overall of closed captioning. This is both English and ethnic.
1525 I will break it down into ethnic hours, which is 12.5 hours of the present schedule.
1526 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: So you are not in a position to prepare to commit to close caption at least 90 per cent of your English-language programming by the year 2002?
1527 MR. SOLE: Yes, we are.
1528 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: You are?
1529 MR. SOLE: I heard third language ethnic. Ninety per cent of our English programming by 2002?
1530 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: I'm sorry, 60 hours both English and third language.
1531 MS KHAN: That's right.
1532 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: But by the end of licence term you would be able to reach the 90 per cent English. You don't know which percentage of third language by the end of --
1533 MR. SOLE: It is so reliant on technology. We will do the maximum amount the technology will allow. But in English, yes, the 90 per cent promise is fine with us.
1534 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: And with respect to English-language local news, would you be able to commit to 100 per cent of that, including local live news segments by the end of your licence term -- I'm sorry, in your first year of your licence term?
1535 MR. SOLE: In the English language?
1536 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Yes.
1537 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1538 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Thank you.
1539 You have indicated in your application that you will have two-and-a-half hours a week of children's programming called "Kids Time at LM" and you also refer to a number of after school specials and it is uncertain how many hours will be included of these.
1540 What is the total number of hours of children's programming that you will be broadcasting each week?
1541 MR. SOLE: Three-and-a-half.
1542 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: What proportion of that would be English versus third language?
1543 MR. SOLE: It would be predominantly third language, so 80 per cent third language, 20 per cent English.
1544 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Thank you.
1545 Just two more final questions.
1546 There was much discussion about your spending commitments and you indicated a number of these in your opening remarks at pages 12 and 13.
1547 You have indicated you will spend over $6.8 million to undertake significant initiatives to strengthen local reflection.
1548 You have indicated that you will spend $1.8 million to enhance local programming by establishing a multilingual television news bureau in Victoria and hiring ethnic freelance reporters in other Canadian cities and in the Asian-Pacific area.
1549 In addition, you have indicated that you will spend $4.5 million to support documentary filmmaking in British Columbia.
1550 Would you be prepared to accept these spending commitments as conditions of licence?
1551 MR. SOLE: They are all acceptable conditions of licence, yes.
1552 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Great, thank you.
1553 Just one last technical question.
1554 You are probably aware that other applicants wish to use Channel 42 in Vancouver and Channel 53 in Victoria. If, for any reason, either one of these was not available, would you be ready, willing and able to use another channel?
1555 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1556 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Thank you.
1557 Those are all of our questions.
1558 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Mesdames, messieurs, thank you very much for your collaboration this afternoon.
1559 Thank you.
1560 We will break for about 15 minutes and then we will proceed with the next applicant.
--- Upon recessing at 1645 / Suspension à 1645
--- Upon resuming at 1700 / Reprise à 1700
1561 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
1562 Madam Secretary.
1563 MS VOGEL: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.
1564 Our third applicant is Trinity Television Inc., who are applying for a broadcasting licence to carry on an English-language religious television programming undertaking in the Fraser Valley region.
1565 The new station would operate on Channel 66 with an effective radiated power of 18,000 watts.
1566 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good afternoon and welcome.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
1567 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Good afternoon, Madam Chairperson, Commissioners and staff.
1568 My name is Willard Thiessen and I am President of Trinity Television Incorporated. The application before you today is to obtain a licence to carry on a television programming undertaking station as a single-faith owned, balanced religious broadcast service that will meet the requirements of the Broadcasting Act as well as the Religious Broadcasting Policy, 1993-78.
1569 With me today, starting on my immediate right in the front row, I am very pleased to introduce to you, Mr. Albert Lo, Director of Programming Balance for Trinity in British Columbia, and incoming board member at Trinity.
1570 On my far left is Reverend Bernice Gerard, a former Vancouver City Councillor, current President of Sunday Line Communications, and a well-known television broadcaster of religious programming across the country.
1571 Next to Bernice is Mr. Jeff Thiessen, Vice-President of Trinity Television and Project Manager for this application.
1572 Mr. Ottmar Kramer, Chartered Accountant, long time financial advisor to Trinity and General Manager of Finance for MTS Mobility. That is during his day job.
--- Laughter / Rires
1573 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Next to Ottmar is Mr. Jim McLennan, most recently Chief Operating Officer of Metro Marketing West in Vancouver, the national sales arm of CanWest Broadcasting, where Jim successfully grew the company into the premier representative firm in western Canada, managing the sales interests of more than 50 television stations in major markets in Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Australia and South America.
1574 In the second row, starting on my right is Mr. Bob Meisner, Television Production Manager and Director of Trinity; Mr. John Reimer-Epp of Deeley, Fabbri, Sellen and legal counsel for Trinity; and Mr. Richard Edwards of Edwards & Associates, the former Director of Programming Services & Regulatory Affairs at Videon CableSystems.
1575 Madame Chairperson, we are pleased to appear before you today with an application that is unlike all the other applicants before you at this time. It is an application with a difference in geographic marketplace, in programming and viewer demographics, in ownership and charitable structure, in fundamental goals and objectives and in day-to-day operation.
1576 At the time of release of PN-1993-78, the Commission announced the opening of the door for Canadians to have access to a wider range of religious programming. At that time CRTC advised that the results of public consultation clearly showed religious values play an important role in the lives of many Canadians.
1577 The Commission noted that its policies should -- may I quote -- allow the freest possible communication of these values, however Canadians do not want our system to:
"...imitate the hardcore fund-raising, intolerance, and other excesses often found in American televangelism".
1578 End of quote.
1579 While almost seven years have passed since first reading that announcement, we at Trinity Television remain excited about the potential of 93-78 and the tremendous opportunities we now have before us as Canadians.
1580 We are delighted to be before you today with an application that we strongly believe fits beautifully, not only the letter but also the spirit of what is communicated in PN-93-78. We have truly been looking forward to this day for a very long time.
1581 MS GERARD: My name is Bernice Gerard.
1582 The majority of residents of the Fraser Valley are sincere religious people who are dissatisfied with the manner in which conventional television portrays religion and spirituality. The values generally portrayed on mainstream television today do not reflect the values of our community whatsoever.
1583 It is also our feeling that the values frequently presented on mainstream television have a negative impact on our society and do not reflect our principal values, which most often have roots in our individual spirituality. For this reason, many of us simply do not enjoy watching conventional television a regular basis. Simply put, as time passes the gap between conventional television programming and what we and our families find worth watching, and indeed even appropriate to watch on mainstream television, is widening and we are not happy about this.
1584 Madam Chairperson, ladies and gentlemen, I am truly excited to be here today as a long standing member of this community to represent Trinity Television Incorporated as an incoming Member of the Board. The Thiessen family are well-known and respected for the work that they have done in the television media and this application represents a substantial commitment by a wide range of people.
1585 I am excited about the opportunity we have here to make a tangible difference in our community by providing viewers of the Fraser Valley with a meaningful alternative to conventional television. I am excited to be able to be part of a fresh, vibrant concept in programming by providing people of our region with the local programming they are desperately wanting in their lives.
1586 While the Fraser Valley as a region has a great depth of faith and religious expression, there is presently no local religious television service available to viewers. Other than the benefits of receiving a U.S. originated Christian radio station that is not bound by regulatory requirements for balance, there is no local service actively programming into this marketplace. This means that the religious aspects of life in the Fraser Valley remain seriously under represented on television and the Canadian Broadcasting System is currently not adequately addressing the religious needs of people.
1587 As a national broadcaster of Christian programming, I have devoted a great number of years of my life to trying to make a genuine difference in the community, both globally and locally. The people of Trinity Television have earned my trust and I know together we will earn the trust of the Fraser Valley community as a venue for television viewing and exploring spirituality in daily life.
1588 We want to be relevant, interesting, thought provoking, enjoyable and challenging to our viewers of every religious conviction. I know that Trinity takes seriously the need for as well as the responsibility and value of developing such programming that will be distinctive to the Fraser Valley.
1589 MR. LO: Madam Chairperson, my name is Albert Lo. For many years now I have served in various capacities involving employment equity, multiculturalism, human rights, and television broadcasting.
1590 It is my passion to contribute and work toward a more tolerant and harmonious society in Canada. It is with this in mind that I accepted Trinity Television's invitation to participate in the CFVT local project.
1591 As Director of Programming Balance for Trinity, my role will be to ensure that our station provides a fully balanced religious broadcasting service that will satisfy both the letter and the spirit of the religious broadcasting policy. This commitment to freedom of expression, balanced by tolerance, is on that we sincerely give to you. It is a statement driven by my own personal conviction and years of involvement in this community. I am convinced the Board of Trinity is equally sincere in this regard.
1592 In order to achieve balance, CFVT will work closely with the faith groups in the Fraser Valley to facilitate the various religious expressions.
1593 We will also ensure that there are many opportunities throughout our schedule for respectful, non-confrontational expressions of differing points of view and dialogue on specific topics or events of religious concern.
1594 In order to accomplish this, we will provide two different types of programming: faith specific and issue and event-oriented.
1595 Faith specific will include programming by specific major faith groups. Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh, faiths are currently reflected in the programming schedule filed with the Commission. Representatives in each of these communities will independently produce programs in order to meet the needs of their own specific community.
1596 I have personally met with many representatives of the diversity communities of faith and we are in the various stages of finalizing agreements to produce programming on CFVT.
1597 Examples of these agreements have been filed with the Commission and I am excited to be working with these representatives to ensure that quality, balanced programming is always reflected on our service. We have committed production facilities, airtime, equipment and expertise as needed to assist producers and guarantee a high level of production quality.
1598 CFVT will be the voice of the community and programming will be produced by, for and about the local community. Issue and event-oriented programs have been scheduled to permit the widest possible group of viewers to see and participate in the discussion and exploration of religious issues.
1599 Programs in this category will be produced from an impartial, objective viewpoint and will primarily be in the form of topical call-in programs or documentaries. By optimizing opportunities for interaction, viewers will be able to hear and evaluate points of view not otherwise heard throughout the programming day on CFVT, or anywhere else.
1600 The programming schedule will include at least 12.5 hours of original balance programming per week during prime time and a total of at least 18 hours of balance per week, including the choice Saturday time slots preferred locally.
1601 The guiding principle to be considered, by myself as Director and the Programming Balance Committee, when monitoring programs for broadcast is to have the utmost respect for our viewers and their right to have differing points of view on all matters, especially those pertaining to religious subjects. Programs will be reviewed for both balance considerations as well as controversial subject matter as set out in the CFVT Policy Manual filed with the Commission.
1602 Trinity is committed to providing a positive role reflecting the moral, spiritual, religious and cultural diversity of the community we serve. The more integral to the community CFVT becomes, the more we are able to serve the needs and interests of the growing and diverse Canadian population of religious people.
1603 We are deeply committed to the development of Canadian expressions through programming about religion that reflects Canadian attitudes, opinions, ideas, values, spirituality and artistic creativity.
1604 We are equally committed to offering a uniquely Canadian approach to religious television by showcasing programs of specific relevance to residents of the Fraser Valley.
1605 MR. McLENNAN: My name is Jim McLennan.
1606 My involvement with the Vancouver Market is reflected in sales numbers that have been made available to you. Having experienced the start-up situation of CFMT Toronto, I can attest to the inherit difficulties incurred by being overly aggressive in estimating and, to that end, CFVT is projecting extremely modest levels of advertising revenues and, relatively speaking, will not require much in the way of finances to flourish.
1607 Normal advertising revenues will be supplemented with charitable donations, and supplementing that will be stations controlled brokered airtime program sales.
1608 As a Sales and Marketing consultant with over 39 years actively involved in the broadcast industry, I anticipate that CFVT will attract new advertising revenue from three main sources:
1609 The first of the these sources is the nontraditional supporter, one not well suited to traditional advertising due to having a narrow religious target market.
1610 Second, and equally important, is our local advertiser. They will be able to participate in television as the cost to reach their community will now be of a scale that the costs tied to the wasted coverage area that other stations deliver will no longer be a factor. We will be the answer because we bring economy of scale and pricing to the local advertiser.
1611 A third group of advertisers are those that which buy all markets, such as government accounts and will, therefore, add CFVT to their venue list without reducing their advertising expenditure with other licensees.
1612 As much as we would like to attract the National Advertiser per se, we realistically have to accept that this will be limited, and this has been taken into account in arriving at our projections.
1613 CFVT is projecting an average of 40 per cent of the total day and prime inventory by the end of year one, with an increase of only 10 per cent over the seven year term of the licence.
1614 As you are aware, this estimate is far below industry standards for conventional broadcasters, but quite adequate for a nonprofit organization.
1615 With respect to donation targets, our experience suggests that this revenue stream will be the strongest during the pre-launch period and first year of operation.
1616 Over time, as the station start-up matures and the launch period for this new service fades, these donations will level off to consist primarily of program specific donations. We are completely confident of this level of support based on past experience with existing programs and events we produce and the indications of support that we have already received.
1617 CFVT predicts an average sell-out rate of 70 per cent for foreign-brokered and 30 per cent for Canadian-brokered, resulting in sales of slightly over $1 million by year seven. This prediction is conservative based on our discussions with Canadian and foreign religious brokers.
1618 We expect Trinity will be in the enviable position of choosing to broadcast only those foreign programs which are most appropriate to a Canadian market and which will build a stronger relationship with our viewers, as we are not profit-driven.
1619 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: The heart of our entire proposal is the dedicated people in the community that comprise our infrastructure and, of course, our programming.
1620 CFVT is committed to providing a strong, vibrant, new element to local Canadian content. We will reflect the local community of Fraser Valley and contribute to the development of a distinct, balanced, religious television industry that will truly contribute to the identity of Canadians.
1621 We feel strongly that the application before you captures the essence of the single faith owned, balanced religious broadcast service that will meet the requirements of the Broadcasting Act as well as the religious broadcasting policy.
1622 Over the seven year licence term, CFVT will spend $4.8 million on the production of new programming and $4.7 million to purchase Canadian programming. We will also spend over $100,000 on script and concept development in order to help boost the relatively underdeveloped religious television production industry in our country.
1623 While Trinity will be operating with relatively small budgets in comparison to the larger conventional broadcasters, we are genuinely interested in making a difference where we can and our commitment is not insignificant. We propose to add a new voice within the community that will enrich the diversity of expression and bring new possibilities to the local industry.
1624 Madam Chairperson, the Trinity application before the Commission is an application with a difference! Exclamation mark! It's an application to receive approval to provide a new service to a distinctive community of interest not currently receiving service.
1625 This community of interest represents a tremendous constrained demand that has been vocal in expressing their desire to be served. It is also an area that is unique and cannot be suitably served by undertakings originating in Toronto or the United States.
1626 Our application will meet the requirements of the Broadcasting Act, as well as the religious broadcasting policy of the Commission.
1627 The entire reason for our existence since 1975 is to serve our community, not provide a financial return to our shareholders, unlike conventional ownership structures. The foundation of Trinity's existence as a charitable organization contributes significantly to the reasons why our programming, production and our business plan will work successfully.
1628 In our operation, the profits will be directed back into the station, into the community and into the products reflected on our programming schedules.
1629 The application will also work because of the support we receive from the community, as evidenced in the letters filed in our application. They are from a large cross section of faith groups, individuals and families who want Trinity to succeed in providing a positive role reflecting the moral, spiritual and cultural interests of the community we serve.
1630 Trinity has had many successful years of experience in the industry in which we speak. Trinity Television Incorporated is an established producer of television programming and operator of modern television facilities, with over 25 years of experience in the industry. Trinity produces as much or more local programming daily than most other local television stations in the country.
1631 Since incorporating, Trinity has produced over 6,000 hours of local programming. In addition to being among the most prolific independent producers in the country, the quality of our existing television production facilities is well respected in the industry and ranks among the largest in the country.
1632 Trinity's financial projections in this application are modest, yet realistic and responsible. Revenue is derived from a number of traditional and nontraditional sources, including local under served advertisers and committed charitable donors.
1633 By the admission of most incumbents and licensee hopefuls, no material or appreciable negative impact will be experienced by other licensees on existing or future advertising revenue as a consequence of licensing trinity in this marketplace. Evidence filed with the Commission by the incumbents in the Vancouver market suggest that Trinity will have a less than a 1 per cent impact in this area.
1634 We believe that there is simply no tangible objection on file that would suggest a reason for our application not to be granted.
1635 With the approval of our application, myself and the team at Trinity will be pleased to demonstrate the credibility of our word to the Commission by taking a lead role in Canada of simultaneously setting a positive standard of adherence to the regulations and providing religious programming that is successful in meeting the needs of the local community.
1636 As reiterated by the Commission on February 11th in Decision 2000-40, there is a strong need for emerging local religious broadcasters in markets where there currently are no local religious television services. We are very much looking forward to the prospects of fulfilling that role in the Fraser Valley!
1637 I hope that we have given you a picture of what CFVT is all about. We are excited about the potential for the Fraser Valley and look forward to answering any questions you may have for us.
1638 That, Madam Chairperson, concludes the formal portion of our presentation, but before I turn it back to you our legal representative has something, I believe, to deal with at this point in time.
1639 MR. REIMER-EPP: Good afternoon, Madam Chairperson.
1640 The secretary had asked me to put on the record that there has been a small confusion in the numbering placed by the Commission on our application.
1641 Just for the sake of clarity, I would like to draw to your attention that pages 458 through 411 as they appear in the application should in fact -- to be in accordance with the order they were filed -- be moved and placed behind page 292.
1642 I trust that hasn't been a difficulty in evaluating the application, but just to have that on the record.
1643 Thank you.
1644 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much.
1645 I would ask Commissioner Cram to be addressing you with the questions of the Commission.
1646 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you. Thank you, Madam Chair.
1647 Just to put something else on the record, I will be using the terms CFVT and Trinity interchangeably for the Fraser Valley station. When I am referring to the original mother Trinity, if I can call it that, I will be saying Trinity Winnipeg, just so we are clear and the record is clear.
1648 I wanted first to ask you about Trinity Winnipeg and the 6,000 hours of local programming.
1649 Who have you programmed for and what programs have they been?
1650 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: For the record, we began a program called "It's A New Day" which aired -- began airing in 1976 and continues to air on Global Winnipeg and is syndicated across the country in many Global stations as well as the "A" channel stations and some other independent stations as well, a CBC affiliate station in Kenora for instance.
1651 Another program that we began production of more recently which airs on the "A" channel in the Winnipeg area is called "Light Talk" and began airing about 18 months ago. It, like "It's A New Day" is a five day a week program, one hour per day.
1652 In addition to these two programs, which are ongoing and both of them are carried live in the local marketplace, we have produced a program called "Follow Me". It was an original children's program that was co-produced between ourselves and Global, which was at that time CanWest or the CanWest station in the Winnipeg market.
1653 It was a co-production and "Follow Me" was a half hour program that aired in a number of western markets for quite a number of years. We have about 99 segments of that children's program that are still in the can, they are still -- they are not dated. They are children's programs. Children just dressed a little differently on some and the host dressed a little differently then than they do today.
1654 Then a second program began in the mid-80s called "Follow Me" which -- pardon me, "Sunshiny Day", which aired again in Global but it was not co-produced. That was entirely produced by Trinity Television ourselves. A program that aired in the local market for a considerable period of time, aired in a variety of other markets in western Canada and continues to air actually on three or four -- and more possibly, because we are not able to keep track of it -- satellite stations in the United States, is carried in some foreign countries as well in their markets and continues to reap response.
1655 We continue to get mail from that program from all over the world, which is very gratifying and encouraging. But those four programs basically encompass the majority of the programs that we produced, I believe.
1656 Pardon me. In addition to that we did produce a half hour program that was a news-type -- a Christian news program, a religious Christian news program called "Kingdom Report" which aired for some period of time on CTS in the Toronto marketplace.
1657 During that period -- it was also carried for about three years as a segment of "It's A New Day" but had its own identity, its own billboards front and back, and had its own identity as such. But it gave us an opportunity to understand what religious news was about. We carried stories from around the world and it is now -- it has changed to the extent that we now carry a segment that we used to -- where it carried all of the news inputs from around the world, we now carry a segment on our daily program that reflects that perspective.
1658 We have worked with other religious groups that produce programs. We worked with an Anglican group in Winnipeg who produced a program called "Essentially Jesus".
1659 Bob, what is the other one? I should let you do this.
1660 COMMISSIONER CRAM: You might want to let Mr. --
--- Laughter / Rires
1661 COMMISSIONER CRAM: First I want to start with your programming and there is the issue of the alternate points of view programming.
1662 You referred to it, I believe, Mr. Lo, when you were speaking and the idea was that the ultimate points of view programming would be broadcast in prime time and produced by local faith groups. You filed four contracts, I believe.
1663 Now, you have referred to six groups when you were speaking, Mr. Lo, unless my count is off, so I take it you have been speaking to other groups?
1664 MR. LO: Yes, indeed.
1665 COMMISSIONER CRAM: You have spoken to, you say Christian -- so Christian, you are saying, is included in the alternate points of view programming or are they excluded?
1666 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: In reality, to provide balance Christian is going to be the -- is the dominant religion that is represented on the station. We simply included it because there are times to provide an alternative point of view there will be a Christian, there will be a Buddhist, there will -- and far more than that.
1667 One of the things that we feel quite strongly about bringing to the table is that balance isn't only a matter -- it's not only giving different representatives of religious groups an opportunity to speak, but it is a matter of ensuring that a diversity of viewpoints are presented regarding all issues of public concern.
1668 There are times -- we put the Christian simply because as we were reflecting on this somebody said "The word Christian isn't mentioned anywhere in there, let's make sure we at least get it on the table."
1669 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So this is the half hour we are talking -- I think it's 9:30 to 10:00 at night.
1670 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: No, I'm sorry.
1671 COMMISSIONER CRAM: No.
1672 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: That half hour will not include any Christian programming.
1673 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
1674 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: When it was other faiths that are included in this block there is that we realize there are other religious groups that we have not yet obtained contracts with. We want to provide opportunity for groups that may not be large enough where they currently exist to produce a weekly program but may produce a monthly program or an occasional program, and we want to provide a slot in our prime time programming schedule where groups will be encouraged to participate and provide an alternative perspective and their viewpoint.
1675 COMMISSIONER CRAM: If I am reading it right, then, you are referring to Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh faiths. If my recollection of the file is correct, there were only four contracts that you had filed in terms of this half hour programming in prime time.
1676 Who is the additional one? I can't even remember any more.
1677 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: We do not have a contract on file -- I should let Mr. Lo answer this.
1678 MR. LO: The contract with the Buddhist group is still being finalized. We are having ongoing discussions and we are in the final stages of being finalized. We just haven't had the opportunity to, you know, get it finalized and put on the record at this point.
1679 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Just as a matter of interest, are those the Tibetan Buddhists that came here in 1972 as a result of the refugee --
1680 MR. LO: No.
1681 COMMISSIONER CRAM: No.
1682 Are you also talking with other groups in addition to these you have listed?
1683 MR. LO: Yes, indeed.
1684 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Who else are you speaking with?
1685 MR. LO: I have been speaking to groups representing Confucianism, Eching(ph) from which Feng shui is derived from, which is becoming quite a popular subject in Canada and in fact North America, and also on Taoism.
1686 COMMISSIONER CRAM: In terms of the Moslem faith at least, it is not mono -- how do I put it? It is not a single -- there are various sects within that. How do you propose to deal with that? There are Shiites and Sunnies and --
1687 MR. LO: Yes, indeed.
1688 Our objective here is to have the producers from the individual faith groups to produce the programs and what we are trying to achieve is to seek out the viewpoints from the various faith groups by reaching out with the various communities in due course. All of those things in terms of a broad spectrum of viewpoints will be achieved over a reasonable period of time.
1689 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Now, the five groups that you have mentioned here, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh faiths, are any of them presently involved in any sort of television productions?
1690 MR. LO: My understanding is they are involved in various types of programs over the years simply because -- for example, the individuals or the group, the Sikh faith, they cover all 36 Sikh societies, recognized Sikh societies in British Columbia and representatives of that community have been involved in all kinds of television programming on the other commercial channels. However, they have expressed to me personally that they felt that the religious perspectives and religious matters have not been covered in most instances.
1691 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes. I noticed that your agreement is with the umbrella Sikh society.
1692 MR. LO: That's right.
1693 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes. So they have been producing in other areas, but not in religious programming, is that --
1694 MR. LO: That's right.
1695 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Do you know about the others?
1696 If I recollect, the Jewish one was a particular Temple, wasn't it?
1697 MR. LO: Yes. Temple Shalom.
1698 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes. Have they been involved in production before, do you know?
1699 MR. LO: They have not. The individual who signed the agreement has not because he is a Rabbi, but he has people in his Temple --
1700 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Congregation, yes.
1701 MR. LO: -- who are involved in television programming.
1702 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay. Do I take it that you have talked to all of these individuals and discussed not only their willingness to be involved, but also their -- if I can call it their practical capability to do that?
1703 MR. LO: Oh, indeed. We have had discussions at length and also I would like to point out the fact that Trinity is then ready to provide free air time and technical support to help bring that about.
1704 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes. That is actually in the contracts.
1705 MR. LO: Yes.
1706 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes.
1707 You recognize that we would be looking at you providing these types of alternate points of view programming throughout any seven years to any licence should we approve your licence.
1708 What are your backup plans? What if, say, the Sikhs can't provide you with any further program or a problem arises, what are your backup plans?
1709 MR. LO: I have been in discussions with a number of people from the Sikh community and, in fact, because of my prior involvement in the employment equity arena and also the outreach experience with the various multicultural societies I have person contacts with a number of Sikh friends who are experienced in television production.
1710 However, because of the individuals who have signed that agreement actually represent them so these other individuals are the backup people who are ready to fill in the gap, so to speak, if -- there would be no possibility of that coming about.
1711 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Perhaps, Mr. Lo, for the benefit of the record and my fellow Commissioners who may not have read the full file, you can sort of put your biography on the record for us.
1712 MR. LO: Yes.
1713 COMMISSIONER CRAM: No, you can tell us. Just tell us.
--- Laughter / Rires
1714 MR. LO: Okay.
1715 By way of introduction I guess for seven years while I was working with the federal housing agency, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, I was the regional representative for the Visible Minorities Advisory Group and for the last three years I was the President of the National Advisory Group for Visible Minorities working on employment equity, also to deal with diversity management training, sensitivity training for management, also to sit in consultation with, for example, the Deputy Minister's Advisory Council that included 16 Deputy or Assistant Deputy Ministers representing different government departments.
1716 For that matter, we also talked about race relations and there were seminars that were held.
1717 I actually have a list here that included myself and representatives from, in fact, the Commission itself. It was a pleasing experience to be able to work with people of diverse cultural and religious backgrounds and to promote understanding, harmony.
1718 Also we worked on initiatives such as the International Day For The Elimination Of Racial Discrimination with my counterparts, the Advisory Group for Women, Advisory Group for Disabled Persons and Advisory Group for the Natives. We have come a long way.
1719 I was quite pleased, actually, the four groups were able to put together an effective plan for the corporation which enabled Canada Mortgage and Housing to be given recognition by the federal government and it was recognized with the first Visions Award that was given by the Human Resource Development Canada.
1720 Throughout that period of time I also had numerous experiences to reach out to the communities.
1721 I was given a lot of support by senior management to reach out to, for example, locally, the multicultural societies to go on television and local radio to discuss issues of relevance to our daily lives, sensitive issues that people don't really like to talk about, particularly religion, and also what would be the coming values that would really pull Canada together and make us that much prouder as Canadians in the eyes of the world. We are really ahead of the game.
1722 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Do I understand it correctly, Mr. Lo, that you are going to be in charge of the Balance Committee, or at least starting off in charge of the Balance Committee?
1723 MR. LO: To start off, actually, we have already obtained the agreement of the individuals to sit on this committee which is going to be at arms length from the Board of Directors. It will be comprised of five individuals from five major faith groups and I myself have accepted the position as Director of Programming Balance to ensure the daily monitoring of the programming.
1724 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Oh, so you won't be on the committee. You are going to be on top of them. Is that the idea?
1725 MR. LO: Not on top of them, no.
1726 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I don't mean it hierarchically speaking at all. Please don't get me --
--- Laughter / Rires
1727 MR. LO: I will be -- I actually will be reporting to the committee to the Chairman.
1728 COMMISSIONER CRAM: These individuals on the Board, you say you have received their agreement in principle?
1729 MR. LO: Yes.
1730 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I don't know whether I should -- the idea, if I read the application correctly, was that they were going to be on for -- there was going to be staggered terms for two years at a time. Have you decided upon a Chair and --
1731 MR. LO: As far as that, we haven't gotten to that stage yet, simply because we are still at this application stage.
1732 Of course, we already have had discussions with the various faith groups as to the terms of the office and representatives from all those faith groups are ready.
1733 Over a period of time when we elect people, the individual faith group will elect their own representative on a term basis. This would have to be agreed upon by the representatives of the five major faith groups themselves. It is not something that we are going to impose on the faith groups because that is simply not something that we would stand for.
1734 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So and what they will do then is they will meet and, if I have it correct, they are supposed to report quarterly in writing. Is that your concept?
1735 MR. LO: I'm sorry?
1736 COMMISSIONER CRAM: The committee is going to meet and they are supposed to report quarterly in writing?
1737 MR. LO: This committee is going to meet once a month and it has the -- it is going to have a lot of discretion as to how much day-to-day monitoring they want to do. But in all practicality, obviously they would not be able to handle everything.
1738 So as far as the daily monitoring goes, it would fall on my shoulder as Director of Programming Balance. Again, one person, obviously, would not be able to handle the job and so I would have a staff who is going to report to me and we are going to monitor the programs, both on a -- we are going to preview all the programs, and also when there is a program being broadcast -- staff would be making a lot of the programs.
1739 Then after a broadcast, the broadcast of a particular program, we are going to have a post broadcast review to make sure that if certain viewpoints are not reflected then what we are going to do is go into the various communities throughout connections with the faith groups to obtain the expertise, the experts and specialists for a specific subject matter and try to ensure that there is a very broad spectrum of viewpoints to be presented to the viewers so that a reasonably objective viewer would be able to draw his or her conclusion. That is how we are going to do it.
1740 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I just want to go back to one question.
1741 Do I understand it, then, that what you are trying to do is essentially keep these five groups, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh on as the sort of main alternate faith groups. Is that the concept?
1742 I said before what if the Sikhs for some reason cancel. Let's take another. What if the Jewish people have to cancel? I mean, what are your backup plans for something like that, in the event something like that happens?
1743 MR. LO: Well, as far as the Jewish groups, once again we are not going to simply just sit there and hope that everything will run the way it is going to run.
1744 As a matter of fact, other than preparing for this particular presentation today I have been having and maintaining ongoing discussions with the various faith groups to make them aware that there are opportunities that might become available -- and I used the word "might" simply because we have not obtained the licence yet. But we hope that we will get the licence and so on that basis many people that I have spoken to, they are very excited and they are ready to back us up in every shape and form.
1745 COMMISSIONER CRAM: In your application -- and perhaps Mr. Thiessen I should direct this to you -- you stated that there would be 18 hours of original balanced programming a week and 12.5 hours of original prime time. Would you accept that as a condition of licence?
1746 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Can I just make one proviso.
1747 We are showing 18 hours, but I am showing 2.5 hours of repeat programming. So I am 2.5 hours short of original, but we will show we are very willing to accept and, if need be, I will do another 2.5 hours of original.
1748 But we programmed the schedule the way we have prepared it. We believe we will be able to present a balanced perspective and we would accept that as a basis of licence.
1749 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay. So subject to your reservation right now about the issue of the repeat.
1750 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: The repeat, yes.
1751 COMMISSIONER CRAM: On the not specific points of viewer programming but on the balanced programming -- and I believe, Mr. Lo, you called that issue and event-oriented programs. Is that what you called that in terms of open line and that kind of programming?
1752 You know that what we have said is it is not sufficient that listeners have the opportunity to participate but that you need effective plans to ensure different points in view, in other words that your guests on the open line are from different faiths.
1753 You have "Fraser Valley Live" programmed here. It appears to be an open line show. What are your plans in terms of guests showing the alternate point of view?
1754 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: I will start on that if I might --
1755 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Sure. I'm sorry.
1756 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: -- and then I will have Albert continue on after this. He is the one with the contacts.
1757 As we were looking at crafting a program schedule that we felt could best meet the requirement for balance, and we realize that to give it only to specific faith groups would not ensure that. No matter how many you gave it to, it would still not ensure that -- I mean, faith groups just are the way they are, "I want to present my view, not yours."
1758 So we realized that was a factor and we realized there had to be some programs that we had a distinct and definite input into where we could call forth -- and this is where in our logs, for instance, in our program, we are discovering there are certain points of view just are not coming out.
1759 Then these programs that we are looking at -- if I might refer, "World Report" is the first, the second on is "Focus" and the third, then, is "Fraser Valley Live". They are actually crafted in such a way that they could be a continuum to deal with specific issues if we chose. They may not necessarily be that way, but they could be that way where "World Report" could deal with the issue that is not being well addressed.
1760 We would be sending out a camera, possibly, to get some stories out there from the community to present views that aren't being presented and put them in stories and include them in the "World Report", the half hour news program that deals with religion.
1761 Then following that, we would then bring people from the various faith communities, but not necessarily only faith communities because sometimes there are issues that have faith interest but there may be leaders in other places or people who have training, universities, colleges and other places that would have a way of communicating things.
1762 The form in the "Focus" program, it might be two, three or four or five different people that would be brought into that program now where the host would then encourage the diversity of opinion to come forth and then this program will flow into the live -- or the response program where viewers then can respond and interact directly with the panel members that come from that diversity.
1763 As I mentioned again, they may not just come from the faith communities. We may have to go beyond that to get the diverse point of view that is needed.
1764 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I understand the philosophy.
1765 What plans have you made in terms of -- is there any more in terms of putting structure in this to ensure that?
1766 MR. LO: Well, in terms of the structure to ensure that all viewpoints are going to be reflected -- once again, when we are doing this phone-in obviously we cannot force people to phone in. A lot of times maybe you get a batch of phone calls and the viewers they all represent one particular viewpoint.
1767 But because we are going to keep program logs and we are going to do the post monitoring, and also all of that in the absence of the meetings or the decision that is made by the Programming Balance Committee, I will make the interim decision as the Director. However, my decision is subject to review by the committee itself.
1768 So the committee is not only going to review my decision, it is going to also review the program logs, if they so choose and also, if there are situations where certain viewpoints are not reflected, then in addition to our own individual efforts as part of the management team to go out and obtain the different viewpoints and representation, the Programming Balance Committee, by virtue of the fact that they are represented by people from the various faith groups, they also have the opportunity to make recommendations and to also give input as to the propriety and appropriateness of certain programs or whether certain extra measures should be taken.
1769 Also because of the autonomy of the committee itself, management is going to take the input from the committee and put it into practice.
1770 COMMISSIONER CRAM: On Fridays you talk about the smaller faith communities having that -- I think it's that half hour. Could you give me examples and what have you done towards finding -- are there Jains in the community or -- J-A-I-N, you know -- Shintus or, I mean, what have you done in relation to that.
1771 MR. LO: We have spoken to the community groups. We have tried to reach out, but at the same time, again, because we are at a point where we don't want to go out there and basically rouse up everybody and present a misleading kind of a piece of information in terms of obtaining the participation or the input from all the other faith groups.
1772 Obviously what is going to happen is that we are going to promote the opportunities that we have here at CFVT. In terms of the other faith groups, there are directories of those faith groups and extra effort is going to be made in terms of personally contacting those groups to make them aware of these opportunities. Of course, you know, we cannot really dictate whether they participate or not, but the door is open.
1773 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Will there be live Christian services during the daytime or in the daily schedule?
1774 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Actually, at this point we have not scheduled any live Christian programming. It will all be either alternative or -- it will basically be the balanced programs. It will be live.
1775 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I want to go back again to the committee, not very heavily though.
1776 I take it, then, that all members of the committee will not be Christian?
1777 MR. LO: No. Again, because it is a Programming Balance Committee, and also because the committee is structured in such a way that they have a free hand to review every program and, therefore, there would be representation from the Christian groups too.
1778 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I'm missing this.
1779 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: What is your structure now, Albert? What is the structure of your committee of the faith group? One Christian, one --
1780 MR. LO: One Christian, one Jewish, one Hindu, on Moslem and I would have to look at -- one Sikh, I'm sorry.
1781 COMMISSIONER CRAM: One Sikh.
1782 Would you anticipate that that would change over time? Would you eventually perhaps replace one with an aboriginal or is that etched in stone?
1783 MR. LO: We are prepared to consult with the community itself.
1784 COMMISSIONER CRAM: What you are saying is the communities themselves are choosing these individuals?
1785 MR. LO: Well, each faith group. Each faith group can nominate a representative.
1786 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: If I may just add, we look at this as a fluid situation. This is not a fixed, cast in stone situation.
1787 From where we are today, we have something to start with. We believe it goes a long ways towards meeting the needs. We aren't sure that it is going to ideally meet it. Our commitment, though, is to meet that in some way.
1788 If along the way -- and I'm sure there will be groups that are going to say "We don't get representation here". Whether downstream we will have to bring groups in that say, you know, for a one year term we provide, say, one or two chairs that are rotating more of the smaller -- or groups that are not represented at all here, if that is a -- we are wide open to that.
1789 It is how can we best do the job and yet provide -- we know we will have to -- we may have to go out to help draw the people to come and be involved because sometimes people are so involved in their own religion they don't -- or their own interests, they don't want to necessarily come into another group and take an interest.
1790 But we believe we will find people of every faith group that we -- and we will be very open. We want to be monitoring the community, we want to be hearing what the community is saying, have our ears wide open and respond to the needs of the community as best we can.
1791 If I can just --
1792 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I only have one concern, and don't tell my mother I said this: Would there ever at any time be more than one Christian on this committee?
1793 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: At this point in time that is not our intention. I don't see that happening. We don't feel that we need an equal share like three Christians and three non.
1794 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Because the idea is to ensure diversity and so --
1795 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Precisely. And how can we ensure that if we have -- we just don't want to go there.
1796 MR. REIMER-EPP: If I may just interject here --
1797 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Please don't take anything I said as in any way meaning to upset my mother.
1798 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: No.
--- Laughter / Rires
1799 COMMISSIONER CRAM: She hasn't raised a -- you know.
1800 Anyway, Mr. Reimer-Epp.
1801 MR. REIMER-EPP: Commissioner Cram, if I can just interject.
1802 The committee presently as it is structured in the policy manual is limited to one representative of each faith group quite decidedly. It would take an actual change to the policy manual to effect anything different.
1803 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
1804 MR. REIMER-EPP: So presently it is set up to stay that way.
1805 COMMISSIONER CRAM: How are changes made to the policy manual?
1806 MR. REIMER-EPP: At the discretion of Board of Directors.
1807 Now, of course I mean in good faith to do that. To change this committee could not be done without the consultation and co-operation of the committee. I think that would clearly undermine the purpose of it. But the bottom line would be, of course, that it is up to the Board to make those decisions.
1808 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
1809 The next issue is covering hot topics, general public concern issues. I'm going to use abortion and please don't think that it is an issue in my mind at all, but I want to sort of see how you are going to achieve the balance that we in our decisions have spoken about in getting different perspectives on issues like homosexuality, abortion, euthanasia, you name it.
1810 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: These are issues that it would be interesting because amongst some of the faith community you would have a hard time getting the diversity among the faith community. In fact, many of them would all line up on the same side.
1811 So this is one of the reasons when I mentioned before to provide the diversity we might have to go outside of the faith communities to bring a perspective to those issues.
1812 But first of all let me -- there is a more fundamental issue that we want to bring to the table, that only if issues would be considered religious in the sense -- or having a -- we do want to remain a religious station as such and where the impact in religious community and effect the way the community looks at these things we will address, even if the alternative is a nonreligious perspective, we want to make room for that as well.
1813 So that the hot topics -- I suspect that we -- we suspect, as we have been talking about this, we realized in formulating our perspective on this that there may be more issues that we have no idea of that will come along the stream.
1814 But if in fact they impact the religious community, the viewpoints of the religious community, we realize we will have to bring in an alternative point of view, and maybe more than one, to the table to enable us to -- for people who view the station, even if they are of -- they will hear a viewpoint that is different from the religious community.
1815 COMMISSIONER CRAM: That again will be monitored by Mr. Lo. Is that the concept?
1816 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Yes. Some of these issues we realize that the Balance Committee may not be the -- although it is our primary balance watchdog, so to speak, we are committing Mr. Lo and the staff that work for him, and it will be our production staff, when they are recognizing and realizing that we are talking about an issue now and it is not being addressed, we as the station have the ultimate responsibility of ensuring that balance is provided on the station. It isn't the Balance Committee that has that responsibility, it's us.
1817 So we are going to be going out of our way to ensure that we log the issues when they are brought on. The producers will have that responsibility and then we will have to -- we will go to the community to find the diverse perspectives and bring them on-board, and there is room in the "Focus" program particularly that will give opportunity for that, for those issues to be raised.
1818 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Have you started developing your -- I call it a rolodex -- have you started developing your rolodex on these issues or the people who you can phone up or not?
1819 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Actually we have not yet in this area.
1820 The experience we have had in the Winnipeg market, we are doing a program that is a nonreligious program. It is an issue-based program called "Light Talk". Contrary to what some people told us, it is actually being very effective.
1821 We have been able to tap into a broad spectrum of the community, from the educational institutions, the university, the colleges, but we have also gotten into the media, we have gotten into other areas, we have gotten to the religious communities and they have responded, and we have found that if we treat issues fairly we are able to find people that will come out and deal with it.
1822 Where we deal with respect and understanding and the fact that we allow a divergence of viewpoints without -- one of the things we have to really guard against is that there are some people who have a very strong -- will sometimes come out in a way that demeans the other person and we want to avoid that in every way that we possibly can. We really believe that dealing with issues that are different must be done so with respect to the person that is expressing those points of view.
1823 COMMISSIONER CRAM: That is on the program that is on the Craig station?
1824 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: That is on the Craig station now, yes.
1825 MR. REIMER-EPP: If I may just pick up on the point that Willard made about the meaning and issues of that nature.
1826 Of course it is covered in our policy manual very specifically so that those types of situations will be remedied. That is s very deliberate thing.
1827 COMMISSIONER CRAM: You actually consider it to be a Board of Directors issue as opposed to the committee issue, the balance issue?
1828 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Yes, I do. Because ultimately we as a station -- the station will be governed by the Board of Directors.
1829 I mean, they own the -- Trinity Television is a charity and the Board have the ultimate responsibility. So the Board itself ultimately has the responsibility of ensuring that we meet all of the requirements of the Broadcast Act and the Commission's requirements.
1830 By the way, that will be through the station manager.
1831 I just want to say that our station manager -- they will be watching these things, but ultimately it goes to the top. But I don't see the Board of Directors monitoring the station on a regular basis.
1832 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Is there some mechanism the same as Mr. Lo was talking about for this post mortem monitoring? Say you have "Focus" or "Fraser Valley Live" -- I forget the names -- and you are talking about euthanasia, is there then going to be a sort of a monitoring, a post monitoring?
1833 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: I will pass this on to Mr. Reimer-Epp.
1834 MR. LO: Yes, indeed on a life program obviously, like when we monitor a life program and based on the log, the program log that is kept, we have to review it after the fact.
1835 Also, when we see some viewpoints that are not expressed obviously we have to take some steps and that includes going to the community to seek out the other points of view to be presented to the viewers.
1836 Also, the Balance Committee is free to make recommendations based on the monitoring reports as to what is happening there.
1837 Like both the management, the staff, the Director, that is myself and the committee, so everybody would be working together in the same direction.
1838 MR. REIMER-EPP: With respect to those issues that aren't balance related, the program manager will be the -- I'm sorry, the program director will be ultimately responsible for overseeing those things. That becomes a management issue, all the aspect of a policy manual that are covered -- that cover issues outside of balance become the responsibility of station management.
1839 That clearly is going to use many of the same mechanisms that balance uses in terms of logging and reviewing programs before and after. So many of the same mechanisms, but a different group for actually maintaining those records.
1840 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
1841 The application talks about microprograms throughout the week. What are these going to be about? Who is involved? When are they going to be broadcast?
1842 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Programming is my area.
1843 We want to -- we realize that we aren't looking at a huge area, we are looking at a very specific area of territory that we would be covering and that we are focusing our attention to. We want to bring our identity to that community or bring that community to itself. We wanted to help that community identify itself.
1844 We believe there are a lot of stories that that community needs to hear about itself. These aren't long. Individual -- this may be about artists, it might be about children, it might be about school initiatives, it might be about a lot of different things, but having a spiritual or religious perspective.
1845 We feel that to help meet the needs of the community we want to bring a cohesiveness to the community and we want to help -- you see, the faith specific programs will tend to be in one area and some groups will say, "Well, I'm just not going to watch during that time."
1846 But if we bring identity in small excerpts, in small stories, in human interest stories that are covered within a two minute segment and play them at diverse times throughout the day, at various times, that is the kind of program we are looking at and we will have a producer in charge to put those together. They will be tightly edited, just nicely put together. They will be human interest, they will have a warmth to them, but they will bring an identity to the community.
1847 We believe it will help to bring a cohesiveness and a sense we belong. They are part of my community and help bring identity to it that way.
1848 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So would I be right in saying probably not longer than two minutes each?
1849 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Oh, these are two minute stories or less.
1850 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
1851 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: In lieu of playing advertising during that time, because we aren't selling out all of our advertising, we will be running these programs, these mini, mini, mini, mini stories throughout the day -- at various points of the day and around the. They are vignettes. Maybe that is the best way to put that.
1852 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Vignettes, okay.
1853 They would have a religious --
1854 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Yes.
1855 COMMISSIONER CRAM: -- spiritual angle?
1856 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: They will have a religious root to it or a purpose for it.
1857 We are not going to be taking about gardens -- I'm just saying, but it will have --
1858 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Not that there is anything wrong with gardens, but, yes.
--- Laughter / Rires
1859 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Wrong word with "gardens", I'm sorry.
1860 COMMISSIONER CRAM: No, no, no. No, no.
1861 In your letter of November 29 of last year you talked about children and youth programming and you said you would commit to 6.5 hours a week for children 2 to 11 and 8.5 hours a week for young adults 12 to 17.
1862 Would you accept that as a condition of licence?
1863 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Yes.
1864 COMMISSIONER CRAM: In the supplemental brief you talked about a production of more than 24 hours a week of new regional Canadian programming. What do you mean?
1865 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Well, our schedule now the way we show it airing it with -- we are actually showing 26 hours in our schedule now of new local or regional programming and we are committed. We are committed to -- we are saying 24 hours.
1866 In our policy, programming policy, our intention -- and we have indicated this in our application -- is that we want to make the local programming work. We want to give a voice to the community.
1867 We believe that the local community is the best voice to speak to. There are people within the community who can speak well to themselves and so we want to facilitate that, we want to encourage it, and we are committed to that.
1868 COMMISSIONER CRAM: When you say "regional", is that in the terms of the TV policy? Is that what that -- the priority programming. Is that what you mean?
1869 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: I should have made it 25.5 hours and said "local only".
1870 I have one program that is aired or that has been produced on Vancouver Island now. He desperately wants to be on-board and I thought that fits the regional characteristic of this and I included his half hour program a week in that.
1871 But other than that we would be having 25.5 that would be local within the reach of the station itself.
1872 Am I right?
1873 MR. REIMER-EPP: Just to further answer the question, I believe that you were referring to whether or not this is going to be priority programming?
1874 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes.
1875 MR. REIMER-EPP: It is. That is the intention.
1876 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay. So the word "regional" is the terminology of the television policy?
1877 MR. REIMER-EPP: Correct.
1878 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
1879 In terms of foreign programming, you say that as you get more money you will have additional agreements with -- aside from the one that you presently have, with others in the States, the U.K. and Australia.
1880 Have you looked into that?
1881 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Very briefly.
1882 We have been in -- I haven't been directly involved. A very good friend of mine has been involved in working with the U.K. There is a channel that has just come on-stream relatively recently in the U.K. and someone that I know well is working in that area.
1883 The things are changing in the marketplace and we love to bring -- if we are bringing in foreign programming we would like to bring an expression that is more international rather than American, and that is something we want to work at.
1884 Where we can we would like to substitute what we are showing now as American programming, we would like to bring in other religious programming from other parts of the world.
1885 We believe that would bring a diversity and it would actually -- it would enhance what's happening. We see very little -- in fact we don't see any of that now in our marketplaces. I would like to see at least a little bit of it come in.
1886 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So there is some available, you believe, in the U.K. and --
1887 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Oh, we know it's available, it's just a matter of we have not made the arrangements to go out and obtain it.
1888 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Then you have scheduled faith movies from, I think it's 8:00 to 10:00 on Saturdays and Sundays at night.
1889 Can you tell us what these are about? Are they Canadian, foreign?
1890 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Yes. They will be faith programming. We are not counting it in our Canadian content at this point because we don't want to be limited to it.
1891 We include it in our application, just a whole listing. We found one of the libraries in the States that had material available -- religious material available and some of the product that was mentioned there might not fit what we would call "religious", but yet most of the items in it would. They were so diverse, all the way from "Ben Hur" to -- you know, there is "The 10 Commandments", and so on, which were obvious ones to us. But we were surprised at the kinds of listings that we came up with that most of us had never heard about.
1892 We realized there is material available to us that has a religious context that we have not aired in our communities and we would like to bring some of that into the station and provide an opportunity for our community to see some -- we have been very limited in the area of -- you know, there is the odd movie that comes out now that is a faith perspective movie, but they are few and far between. We would like to bring an alternate opportunity for people to see these kinds of things.
1893 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Are they in the public domain?
1894 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Pardon me?
1895 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Are they in the public domain?
1896 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Do you know that we have included a small amount, but most of them are actually available. There are libraries in the States where you can obtain them for a very limited fee.
1897 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So even if they call them religious, you would then do your own religious screening.
1898 Is that what I hear?
1899 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: We have realized that what some people call religious doesn't fit the category that we have embraced, which is the definition of religion that the CRTC had put down. We clearly accept that as being the basis of all our programming and we will surround ourselves with that particularly.
1900 COMMISSIONER CRAM: The business plan, I think we are at you Mr. McLennan, or maybe --
1901 First I wanted to talk about market share and in terms of the market share -- now maybe that is not you.
1902 Is it you, Mr. McLennan?
1903 MR. McLENNAN: Yes.
1904 COMMISSIONER CRAM: There is a reference here to the market share in your projections going from 1 to 1.5 in year one and then up to year seven.
1905 That is for the Vancouver market?
1906 MR. McLENNAN: No. No, I think what we have done is we have looked at the micro BBM and we have gone through the area that we are serving, which is about 850,000 people, and we are using that as our numbers.
1907 We looked at Vision, actually if you go back a little bit how we got there, is we took Vision and how it came into the marketplace out here. It is very hard to get numbers that make any sense, quite honestly, especially with the nature of programming that we have because it doesn't get big.
1908 So we have to deal in the reality that maybe numbers don't tell the whole story. So we have to sort of be creative and look at what has happened and try to apply it to what we are doing, which is what we did.
1909 We have less than a 1 per cent share seven years later and I don't think that is a threat to anybody in the business, but we know from experiences that we have had in the business that rating points and shares and audience don't make a difference to this kind of station. We know from the support that we have had from viewers, and that is the measure of our success.
1910 Does that answer your question?
1911 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Well, sort of.
1912 Then I compare Vision to your projections in year one. Your projections are a reach of 270,000 people, 350,000 hours of viewing and a 1 share, but Vision only has, and this is now, 259,000 hours, a 1 share and 191,000 people. That is after being around for five years.
1913 MR. McLENNAN: Yes. I can only answer that as we have tried to put the best we could looking at the micro BBM in our particular area, and that is the number that sort of came out to us.
1914 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So you pulled it out of your own micro BBM?
1915 MR. McLENNAN: Yes.
1916 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
1917 There was another reference in your application to a survey of 2,400 supporters. Does this mean donors? Where did these 2,400 people come from?
1918 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: That's a good point. I mean, we didn't go out to get a -- this is a very biased group of people. These are people that have been supporting television programming at one level or another somewhere along the way, but we approached them with a concept of -- and asked them --
1919 Really I need to let Mr. Reimer-Epp deal with this, or he and Jeff can deal with it, because they were the ones who were working on this particularly.
1920 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: We actually didn't really get into it in a major way other than to send out a small sample in our newsletter and just say "If you would like to, we would like to have you fill out this form, this questionnaire."
1921 A significant number of them actually responded and said "Yes, we would like to fill out that questionnaire", in spite of the fact they had to mail it in to us.
1922 So it isn't scientific, it wasn't meant to be, it was just to provide some kind of indication of support from this particular area, the Fraser Valley area, what they are thinking.
1923 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So these people were on your newsletter?
1924 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: On our mailing list, yes.
1925 COMMISSIONER CRAM: On your mailing list.
1926 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Yes.
1927 COMMISSIONER CRAM: And it went out with your newsletter?
1928 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: That's correct.
1929 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
1930 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: We are not talking Environics here, we are talking our own.
1931 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I understand that.
1932 How did they know about you?
1933 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: We actually are on the station here on Global and have been for the last number of years.
1934 So, yes, we have had a presence in the B.C. area for a very long time as well as being on Vision as well. So we are into this market in two different ways right now.
1935 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
1936 Have you done any survey of the general population?
1937 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: No, we haven't. We have done that in the past and at that point it didn't get us a licence so --
--- Laughter / Rires
1938 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: We couldn't afford another one.
--- Laughter / Rires
1939 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: But other ones have been done in the past and fairly significant ones too, so we have an indication from both the ones we have done ourselves and other people have done. So we decided instead we would go to the people who we are targeting, the people who would actually be supporting and the people who we feel are going to be impacted by this station directly.
1940 MR. REIMER-EPP: Commissioner Cram, I think it is probably fair to say that we are very aware that there is demand in the Toronto market and that back in 1992 there was demand across the country for a specialty channel.
1941 There is no particular reason that we are aware of to think that the Vancouver, in particular the Fraser Valley markets are significantly different, so significantly different from the country as a whole and from the Toronto area that that general level of interest can't be assumed to be here as well.
1942 We chose to supplement that by our own survey which indicates to us that among people who are involved in religion and who are regularly involved, that they do support the station. So on that basis there is certainly a strong foundation to start from and that was the purpose of this approach.
1943 COMMISSIONER CRAM: And yet I guess, then, it comes down to the surveys in the past ostensibly having translated themselves into viewership for other stations. Is that --
1944 MR. REIMER-EPP: I think what Jeff may have been meaning is that the Toronto surveys resulted in the licence, just not for us.
1945 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes, but when you look at the viewership, if you are talking about a substantial demand, there does not appear to be a substantial demand for Vision, nor for Crossroads in terms of share.
1946 MR. REIMER-EPP: You are meaning in terms of share?
1947 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Actual share, yes.
1948 MR. REIMER-EPP: Yes. I believe Mr. McLennan's comment earlier might be the best way to address that in that the numbers sometimes don't reflect the level of support which actually comes through from viewers to an organization like this one which has another way of measuring that support, which is donations.
1949 If they are coming, you certainly know that people are watching and liking what they are seeing. That is something -- that is an advantage, I suppose, that a conventional service doesn't have.
1950 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay. So you talk about share, but share isn't everything because there is a bonus sort of thing in terms of the donation and the --
1951 MR. McLENNAN: We have a different way of measuring and it s a very clear way and it's dollars and cents.
1952 When a person responds to our program that is going on in the Vancouver market they get response, they get support, because they want the program in the marketplace. The market is growing for us, so therefore we can feel very comfortable that the demand for what we have is very much needed in this marketplace.
1953 It is a community spirit that we are trying to bring here and it is a spirit that is being received by the community and it is a question: Can we go into the territory of the Fraser Valley and do a better job in there for them? We believe we can and that is where we are coming from.
1954 You can have all the figures and numbers in the world, but the reality of it is that there are people out there who need what we have and we would like to do it.
1955 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Do you think also, though, in terms of the demand, especially in the Valley, is there is the other issue of what else is available in the Valley?
1956 I am assuming people have access to Vision. What else is available in the Valley for religious programming?
1957 MR. McLENNAN: I would like to start by saying there are alternatives, of course there are.
1958 You have the KVOS, for example, as must be running the neighbourhood of 10, or 8 to 10 hours -- I'm guessing, I haven't looked at it lately, but they are carrying a lot of religious programming.
1959 There is limited programming at CKVU, there is BC-TV is carrying religious programming. So yes, there is programming going into the Fraser Valley, no question about it.
1960 Radio stations are getting in. We alluded to the American stations across the border which are not far away that are coming up here and they are carrying programming. So, yes, there is.
1961 But the difficulty that we have here is that the community has no place local that it can tie into and the stations are limiting their program to more of a national perspective rather than a local perspective.
1962 So here we bring a new picture to the community and the picture is involvement, and that's what they don't bring. We believe through this type of programming basis we can bring that involvement. It is a step forward.
1963 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Do I really understand that the only sort of semi-local -- and I use that advisedly -- religious programming then is that radio in -- it's starts with Layton or something?
1964 MR. McLENNAN: Lynden.
1965 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Lynden?
1966 MR. McLENNAN: Lynden, Washington, yes.
1967 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes. It's semi-local in the sense that it is --
1968 MR. McLENNAN: Oh, yes, it is certainly heard up here.
1969 COMMISSIONER CRAM: What is its share in the Fraser Valley?
1970 MR. McLENNAN: I can't answer the question. I don't know.
1971 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: I don't know.
1972 COMMISSIONER CRAM: A big share or a small share? No idea?
1973 MR. McLENNAN: Probably small if you look at a BBM.
1974 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
1975 So when you say in Section 10 of your application that you have a feeling that there is a dramatic growth in the numbers and a proportion -- I think it is of individuals interested in programming, Christian programming and religious programming since 1991, and you say your programming is based on this assumption, where does that come from?
1976 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Actually I'm glad you asked that just because I think everybody in this room would probably start seeing how Hollywood is starting to change some of their philosophy in programming to a certain extent.
1977 "Touched By An Angel" has actually grown and had a lot of success and there are a number of other programs.
1978 I think even who we wouldn't expect to are starting to see a rise in interest in spirituality. That is, I guess, where I'm coming from, is that there is a backlash to some of the -- probably the deepest, darkest parts of Hollywood that people are saying "I have had enough of", and even some of the family or the mainstream broadcasters are starting to change some of their philosophy in programming.
1979 So there is a return, I think, from the broad community that may have not thought of themselves as religious before are starting to think of themselves more in terms of what is there out there that is more than just a commercial world and they are thinking more along the lines of spirituality nowadays. That has been documented in Macleans and a number of other articles on a return of spirituality in this country and especially in this area.
1980 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Moving on to revenues.
1981 In your broadcast policy manual, I think it is Section 2.1, you talk about not having more than 12 minutes an hour of advertising. You would accept that, of course, as a condition of licence?
1982 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Yes, we would.
1983 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Now, I thought you also talked about not more than 8 minutes an hour for children. Did I read that?
1984 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: I believe that that is part of our policy, yes.
1985 MR. REIMER-EPP: I can confirm that that is, yes.
1986 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Would you accept that a condition of licence?
1987 MR. REIMER-EPP: Yes, we would.
1988 COMMISSIONER CRAM: If I remember correctly also, it was not the -- advertising was actually not directed at children?
1989 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: I believe that's right. Yes, that is correct.
1990 COMMISSIONER CRAM: It sounds like I have read your policy more recently than you, Mr. Thiessen.
1991 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: I think you have.
1992 Pardon me, I will have the others who have read the policy respond.
1993 MR. REIMER-EPP: I can confirm that that is the case, Commissioner Cram.
1994 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I wanted to go on to brokered programming and that as a source of income. I guess that comes from the -- am I right, Mr. McLennan, that comes from the 8 to 10 hours that KVOS has? Can you explain it?
1995 MR. McLENNAN: The programming will come, we anticipate, not as -- I don't think we are going to in the first year or first two years take very much from anybody. I think our difficulty will be establishing ourselves as a candidate for business. But we have used numbers that reflect the possibility of either coming from a KVOS or another station as an add-on.
1996 Religious broadcasters, and I have been involved with them -- and this is how Willard and I first met -- religious broadcasters have no fear of going into a place where there is a highly religious community, whether it is American or Canadian and, yes, KVOS has a lot of American religious broadcasting going on, as do the Canadian stations. We would offer just another window of opportunity, and that is the way they look upon it from that point of view.
1997 So yes, I would say we might have some of KVOS's programming if it meets our criteria.
1998 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So how is -- if I have it right, you will be buying brokered programming from the U.S. Is that the concept?
1999 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Brokered programming is where they buy time from us.
2000 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes, I'm sorry. I get it reversed.
2001 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Right.
2002 There are many people from organizations that are looking for opportunity and we will be selective in those that we choose for programming. We feel strongly about this.
2003 In the 93-78 statement regarding religious broadcast policy when it came out, one of the statements was made there there was a concern that there be an opportunity within the Canadian marketplace for religious programming to be developed that was distinct and different and unique to Canada.
2004 That has been something that has been deep within our hearts from before we began -- I began television -- I left the industry for that particular reason, is that I believed there was a place and a need within the Canadian environment for something other than what we were seeing from the United States.
2005 At that time almost all of our programming was coming in from the United States. There has been some change over the last 25 years.
2006 But I still strongly believe that there are Canadians who have a gift that has not been expressed.
2007 One of the greatest difficulties for the development of the expression of a gift is a lack of opportunity for it to get developed. Our current commercial marketplaces are very expensive. It is a miracle that we are on television.
2008 If we had not had a station in the Winnipeg market, a small station in a small market that was very sensitive to what we wanted, and a station manager that was willing to take a chance and risk on somebody who was a novice, we would not be here today.
2009 But because of the manager of the Global station there who saw something in us that I think we wanted -- we wished was there but weren't at all sure it was, but he took a chance on us, and so his -- they literally subsidized us, in a sense because they were willing to. Through that we ended up being in the marketplace across Canada today, literally our program aired from coast-to-coast, but it started because someone believed in us.
2010 We want to be that kind of a station. Because others have done it for us we feel strongly that there is a development of Canadian programming that Canadians want.
2011 When I began the thing that I struggled with most was the fact that I felt nobody would want to watch us after they had watched the slick Canadian programs. The shock we had was that that in fact -- we found that not to be true, that they actually picked our program instead, which still blows me away.
2012 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: You said slick Canadian programming. You meant slick American programming.
2013 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Pardon me, slick American programming. We don't know how to do slick Canadian programming. I shouldn't say that.
2014 COMMISSIONER CRAM: If I have it, then, your hourly price of that is $300. Is that it?
2015 MR. McLENNAN: Three hundred I believe is correct.
2016 COMMISSIONER CRAM: How did you decide on that?
2017 MR. McLENNAN: It was just based on a figure that we know that you have different markets right here in Vancouver, we looked at our share that we felt we could deliver to somebody. We felt that our going-in position should be low and it is low and it is achievable and it works for us.
2018 So we really took it backwards into this number and we said, "What can we do to get people to be responsive to our programming?" So we came in that direction and arrived at that number.
2019 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Talking about donations, we are talking about $650,000 in year one from individuals and businesses.
2020 Have you sort of broken it down between individuals and businesses or not?
2021 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: It will probably be dominantly individuals, but there are businesses that want to help us.
2022 In recent years that number for Trinity Television has been an increasing amount for some reason and we suspect that coming into the Fraser Valley marketplace there will be businesses in the community that will want to help get this station on air.
2023 We suspect initially it will possibly be a higher percentage than what it is downstream because there is a -- when we developed our broadcast facility in Winnipeg, when we went into it we were in a place where we didn't have a lot of resources and over the next year-and-a-half or two years we received an additional $1 million into our donation towards a building. That was kind of like a one-time response from people across the country and then it settled right back down to where it was in regular growth pattern.
2024 We believe that this the kind of word we are hearing. When I talk to people in the Abbotsford and Mission and Maple Ridge areas, I have talked to business people in the area, what I hear from there is that there is an interest in them to help make something happen that wouldn't happen without that kind of gifting. So I suspect that that will come on-stream, but there are also very many individuals who have committed themselves to us and said "We are going to help you make this happen." So it will be a combination.
2025 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I take it somebody has given you a piece of paper that may have that actual breakdown?
2026 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: It may have more answers.
2027 I will let somebody else answer that because I don't know how to read the paper very well.
2028 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: We actually have it broken down. It was one of the questions that the CRTC asked us.
2029 It breaks down between personal and corporate and these are what we feel are very close guesstimates of what would be in fact the case.
2030 So in this case we are looking at some station donations of about $200,000 from the personal people in this community saying yes, they want to be involved in helping the station happen; and $150,000 from corporates at this time for the first year. So for a total of $350,000 towards the station donation.
2031 Then we break that down into people who want to donate towards other programs and very program specific. That is where it is going to go later on.
2032 It will continue to grow as people say "Yes, I want to get involved in making that program good and viable and healthy so it can, you know, go forward into other markets and make it look better." There will be people who will donate towards specific programs rather than the station.
2033 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay. So you have the $350,000 sort of one-timers, you know, "I want to wish you all the best" -- and I don't mean to be derogatory in any way.
2034 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: No, no, not at all.
2035 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Then you have the other individuals who want to support actual programming.
2036 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Right.
2037 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes.
2038 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: That's exactly what happened in this case in Vision, as an example, where people have said "Yes, I want to donate to a specific program on Vision, but I don't want to donate to all of Vision", just they have something in mind where they want to help it out to happen.
2039 We see it the same way happening here where they will just say, "Yes, I want to get involved in a particular program." We find that actually right currently with our programs, that there are certain programs they want to help and we have, you know, lines on our revenue sheets where we have to make sure that the money goes to those particular programs now, currently.
2040 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Those particular ones, if I understand it, you are going to be doing on-air acknowledgements of support?
2041 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Right. Not necessarily to the individuals giving, but to say thank you very much for your gifts that have made this program possible.
2042 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Oh, okay.
2043 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: But not saying that, you know, "To Joe Henry, thank you."
2044 COMMISSIONER CRAM: "We want to thank Joe's body shop for" --
2045 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Right.
2046 Not necessarily. We are more than happy and delighted to include it as a commercial message or as a -- because we will be a commercial station, or as an acknowledgment at the end of a program: Thank you for the generosity towards us to make this program possible.
2047 There is no problem for us to do that as long as it is included in that 12 minutes of advertising in the hour.
2048 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay. So if you do acknowledge that IBM gave you money for that program, it would be part of your 12 minutes?
2049 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Yes.
2050 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
2051 Any other acknowledgements would be thank you everybody for supporting this?
2052 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Right, exactly.
2053 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Would that be included in your 12 minutes?
2054 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Yes, it would.
2055 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
2056 You then talked about in terms of source of revenue, repatriation, 20 per cent in year one, $250,000 repatriation of U.S. radio and TV.
2057 What do you think is the total amount of advertising revenue that U.S. radio and TV take out of Canada in that market?
2058 MR. McLENNAN: In dollars and cents through donations into the United States? Is that what you are referring to?
2059 COMMISSIONER CRAM: No, I was talking about revenue, you know, in terms of actual advertising revenue.
2060 MR. McLENNAN: The U.S. stations.
--- Pause / Pause
2061 COMMISSIONER CRAM: How much money do they take out of Canada?
2062 MR. McLENNAN: That is not a known figure. It's the American stations, they don't -- there is no knowledge on it.
2063 But we can assume that they are taking a fair amount of money out of Canada through their programming that is getting into Canada through donations. We know that as a fact. That's big.
2064 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Oh, donations.
2065 MR. McLENNAN: Donations to the programs that are running on the American stations and so Canadians are supporting those programs down there because it seems to fit their own personal interests.
2066 COMMISSIONER CRAM: On KVOS and on the radio?
2067 MR. McLENNAN: I'm sure. They wouldn't be on the station unless it was returning something to them because these -- the American broadcaster has a tendency to ask for financial support so the program can air on that station. So that is the return. And they are on the station for many years so I would have to presume that there is a revenue flow from Canada to the United States that is significant.
2068 In my dealings, if I can just talk about something that involved me many years ago, but I used to deal with the Jimmy Swaggart group at Baton Rouge, Louisiana and the PTL group, and I --
2069 COMMISSIONER CRAM: They were very successful at one time.
2070 MR. McLENNAN: -- can tell you, you would be surprised at how much money left Canada every month. There is enormous amounts of money leaving Canada to support those two ministries. Incredible amounts.
2071 So I hope I have answered your question, but that is where the money goes.
2072 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So when you talk about repatriating the advertising and the donating, if I read your application right you said $65,000 would be coming from -- and I thought it was advertising -- from the radio in Lynden.
2073 How did you come up with that if you couldn't figure out what the total Canadian money that goes down there is?
2074 MR. McLENNAN: Well. we know from experience that there is a lot of money down there, so therefore we can take a shot at what we think might be attributable to Canada or could be first coming into Canada through the programming that we may be able to offer them up here. That will then bring the remainder in.
2075 I think we can make it grow based on the fact that they have the program now, we have a very good marketplace and we are radio rates. We are not television rates. So it becomes very attractive to them to be here because they know the market is here because they are already enjoying it. Because, you see, when a person sends a cheque we know -- they know where it comes from.
2076 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I find it interesting.
2077 So you would also, in addition to getting advertising revenue, at the end of the day the goal is to get the donations that also follow that?
2078 MR. McLENNAN: Very much so.
2079 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Do you think it is a one-to-one ratio? For every $1.00 in advertising that would go to that station there would be $1.00 of donation?
2080 MR. McLENNAN: I'm not sure where you are taking me here.
2081 I think what we are really talking about is two things. We are talking about a person or a group -- let's take KARI, that are on that station, and they would buy that maybe out of Los Angeles and they would run their program there. The dollars will go straight to the client or to Los Angeles and they will pay the air time to the station. So the station never sees those dollars, it just gets paid by the advertiser or the --
2082 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I get your point. Okay.
2083 Is Trinity, and this Trinity, CFVT, going to have charitable tax status?
2084 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Actually it is going to be the same organization we will just have a division that will be --
2085 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Oh, it's going to be under Trinity?
2086 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: It will be under Trinity, but it will be an autonomous division as far as the management and the organization, but we will have the tax status that we currently have.
2087 We are not a different organization, this is just a division of the organization here.
2088 COMMISSIONER CRAM: In terms of donations again, Mr. McLennan, you talk about 26 per cent in year one and that is because of the bump, you know, and then 13 per cent in year seven.
2089 You have been in, it sounds like, religious programming and financing for some good length of time, does this sound realistic?
2090 MR. McLENNAN: Do you want me to answer that?
2091 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I'm asking you.
2092 MR. McLENNAN: Yes. Absolutely, yes.
2093 COMMISSIONER CRAM: And the dollar numbers, are they achievable?
2094 MR. McLENNAN: I believe they are, yes.
2095 Looking at what we have been doing in other places and having been involved in a start-up situation once before, I can assure you these are achievable.
2096 COMMISSIONER CRAM: And the start-up situation you did before, were the numbers concomitant to this?
2097 MR. McLENNAN: Oh. my gosh, no. No, no.
2098 This was in Toronto and it was the people that were sitting before you earlier today when they were putting together Channel 47 in Toronto. That we had different numbers and you can go back into your own records and see what they projected for their year end.
2099 It was a very difficult first year for those of you who were around because of the wrong numbers. So it was imperative that we put together realistic numbers that we can get to, otherwise we have to have a real big problem at the end of the year.
2100 I think we have resolved that comfortably because of the fact we have three streams of income coming in and we have a cushion. So all of that brings together a very comfortable position.
2101 Remember, we don't have to pay the kind of shareholders that are looking for their income from our operations so it isn't that we are trying to achieve a profit centre here because everything that we make is going back into it.
2102 I think you have to think a little differently in relation to this particular broadcaster due to the fact that they are here to bring the word, to work with the community, that is a small-town type community, and what they are attempting to do is put together with the support of that community to move forward.
2103 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I'm sorry, Mr. McLennan, I may have misapprehended your answer or I may have misstated the question.
2104 What I was getting at was donations as a percentage of a source of revenues in a religious station and I thought you were talking about start-up of -- if I can say so -- an ethnic station where there would not have been the contributions.
2105 So what I'm talking about is in the religious programming, in the religious programming area -- and I take it you have worked for people who may or may not be seen in Canada as more illustrious than Mr. Thiessen, is that, the 26 per cent and the 13 per cent, is that realistic?
2106 MR. McLENNAN: Yes.
2107 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: It's not.
2108 If I might just say, this is not a typically realistic situation. Mr. McLennan's exposure in the past has been with selling time to particular groups of organizations that have purchased time --
2109 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
2110 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: -- and if those groups don't grow every year they don't stay in the long run. Because they have to -- well, they have to at least cover their costs and see a reasonable return going back to the organization back home after the air time has been purchased.
2111 But what we are speaking about here is the fact that we are not selling a program, we are selling a station. In selling a station we see the start-up response strong because we are now selling an opportunity. But once that opportunity is in place and going people don't support the operation, now they want to support that which you are doing on the station. So we see the increase coming to the programs that are aired on that station and they will, I suspect, they will be there but then they will grow.
2112 When we came to Vancouver it took us three years before we covered our costs, but now we exceed our costs in this area by a considerable amount that enables us to now contribute towards the resources back in Winnipeg to do the work.
2113 That is what I suspect, this will have an initial boom impact, but we see it as ramping down towards the station but programs ramping up clearly as a result as people get involved.
2114 As Mr. McLennan wasn't involved in that kind of thing and we have been, excuse me for answering for him. I'm sorry.
2115 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I wanted to go to the program specific donations.
2116 Have you been working on that already or have you got people lined up ready to contribute to specific programs?
2117 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: The only programs -- the programs that we are currently doing in this area, well really it is only one which is "It's A New Day", is currently obtaining -- and I don't want to quote the figure because I don't need to tell Global what we are doing in this area where. We still negotiate contracts with them so I don't want to go on record with that, but we obtain resources beyond what we are receiving.
2118 Specifically what we see happening -- and this is airing on a -- we receive donations in this area from two airings, the one is on Vision at 5:30 in the morning, between 5:30 and 6:30 where most of the people aren't up, and then there is the group who watch us on the Global station at 10 o'clock in the morning.
2119 The very fact that we come on-stream with "It's A New Day" bring -- we are airing now, we will be airing it on CFVT between 11:00 and 12:00 in the evening as an additional play from what we have now, which brings us for the first time into something approaching prime time in this market.
2120 We suspect that just airing it in that place will give us a viewership that far exceeds anything we could dream of even in the Fraser Valley that we get now at 10 o'clock in the morning.
2121 Our anticipation is that that will be program specific donations that will be coming in to Trinity Television and we are not counting that as part of this because that is going to a program now, but we see that in all likelihood.
2122 Should we have difficulties -- we are not anticipating any with the station, but obviously then "It's A New Day" could be buying time -- we are not showing it that way now -- from the station in Maple Ridge and actually contributing to the station and ensuring its viability. But it is the only program that we have particularly gone to and said -- you know, we have talked to some of the other program producers and we said "Are you interested in being on?" and the response has been a resounding "Yes." But how that plays out in the long term --
2123 COMMISSIONER CRAM: In real life, yes.
2124 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Yes. Real life is always another question.
2125 COMMISSIONER CRAM: In terms of donations and solicitations and the on-air fund raising, you do have guidelines on that.
2126 MR. REIMER-EPP: Yes, we do.
2127 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I would like you to just sort of briefly go over the guidelines and the limitations and then the disciplinary.
2128 MR. REIMER-EPP: Certainly.
2129 Just to draw your attention to the policy manual which was attached to Schedule 29, solicitation of funds is an essential part of what an organization like this one does and so the regulation is in part governed by Revenue Canada and in part something which we need to seriously impose upon ourselves in order to ensure that we are dealing properly and ethically with these things.
2130 I can say that the policies in the manual have been adapted from the Vision policy manual which is already on file with the Commission, so it is a tried and true set of guidelines, if I can put it that way.
2131 This is on page 148, according to the Commission's numbering.
2132 Commissioner Cram, would you like to go through all of them individually or how would you like to -- did you have specific questions about certain ones of them?
2133 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Maybe its probably sufficient just to say that is, it follows Vision. Are there any differences from the Vision?
2134 MR. REIMER-EPP: That's a question I can't answer off the top of my head. It has been adapted somewhat, but not -- more edited than adapted.
2135 We haven't taken out any principles which were essential to what Vision was doing.
2136 Some of the ones which I think are the most important besides the 12 minutes is not targeting -- or not including solicitation in programs targeted to children or youth. That is an obvious one but one that is critical.
2137 Number three is really one which I think is significant in light of the quotation that Willard read in his opening speech about foreign programming.
"Solicitation must be respectful of the viewer and not intimidate the viewer in any way. The wording and tone of solicitation cannot place undue responsibility on the viewer to respond to the appeal or be unduly alarmist, creating unrealistic expectation, threatening divine consequences..." (As read)
2138 Things that everybody shudders when they hear. I mean, you need to know that we shudder too and that this is in here to completely preclude that type of shenanigans. I will use that word. It probably hasn't been on the record for awhile.
2139 It goes on and some of these reflect Revenue Canada. The donors intention, of course, has to be respected. If there is a particular request as to what this gift should be used for, it has to be used in that fashion and those funds are therefore restricted.
2140 Fund raising consultants. We have no plans to use these, but if that ever did arise there are provisions there for disclosing those types of arrangements.
2141 I won't read all of them. The primary ones I think I have covered.
2142 You asked about discipline and that is Section 6 of the policy manual.
2143 This is something which is indicative, I think, of the station's ultimate responsibility for everything that goes to air, including advertising and solicitation and essentially 24 hours a day.
2144 When you are talking about a program producer, though, there is obviously human error that comes into things.
2145 So there is a system of two warnings, both of which are in writing and which set out exactly what the problem is and what the station expects to be done to rectify that problem.
2146 Where the problem arises out of something relating to balance, that would be something which Mr. Lo and the committee would deal with. Anything else falls to station management and that is expressed in the policy as well.
2147 On the third infraction -- and I should say that an infraction would be triggered by a number of things including complaints from viewers, including complaints from other programmers, including complaints from staff for that matter. This is something where really anything that comes into the station regarding a particular program forms part of the file, if you will, on that program.
2148 On the third infraction there is a suspension and to be reinstated the producer has to go through a series of steps to do that, which are outlined there, what they are going to do essentially to ensure it doesn't happen again.
2149 On the fourth infraction, that program is banned from the station permanently. There is no appeal from that. Once that decision has been taken, it's done.
2150 On the third strike, if I can call it that, if it is a balance related issue it is the Balance Committee which makes the decision about whether that program is reinstated. So that's not something that is resting with station management, that is resting with the Balance Committee.
2151 Have I answered your question?
2152 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes, thank you.
2153 I wanted to get into the Cornerstone agreement and you have filed a contract with Cornerstone showing that initially the programming you are going to be getting will be at little or no cost. It also says the agreement is renewable.
2154 What I don't know is if it is renewable on the same terms and how long it would be renewable in terms as to the low cost.
2155 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Yes. It is actually the -- this is an ongoing arrangement that they have with other broadcasters as well and it has been an ongoing relationship in the past. We have no reason to believe, they have given us no reason to believe that it wouldn't continue on.
2156 They have a secondary -- they have two relationships. I think this is an affiliation type of contract situation that was here. There are a number of programs.
2157 Because there are programs that we do not carry it's a non -- there is another relationship we look for where we must carry programs which we have chosen not to enter into because we would lose autonomy in the situation and we have chosen not to go there at all with them.
2158 On the basis of the arrangement we have with them, we use whatever programs we want from them. They are using some of our programs right now. They use our children's program in fact, it has been one of their shows.
2159 So the idea is that there may be barter or contra relationships where a program that they find satisfactory, in order to obtain it we may exchange programs so to speak. But there is no indication that there would be an increase in cost to us in the future.
2160 MR. REIMER-EPP: Commissioner Cram, if I can elaborate briefly.
2161 Our understanding is that this is their standard agreement and clause 8 of the agreement says that it is automatically renewable for additional periods of time provided that neither party chooses to terminate the agreement.
2162 So if the agreement is in fact renewed it is on these terms.
2163 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
2164 MR. REIMER-EPP: There are other, as Willard was saying, other options which expand the programming available, but for the programming that this agreement relates to, it is on these terms.
2165 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
2166 Are there similar agreements, you were talking about the U.K. and Australia, are there similar types of agreements that are available when you are talking little or no cost?
2167 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Yes, there are. The intent is that you exchange programming.
2168 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
2169 Your plans include an increase in Canadian programming when you gain financial momentum.
2170 If Mr. McLennan, for all of his good work, is incorrect in the revenue projections, what happens then to your Canadian programming and your investment in Canadian programming?
2171 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: What we are asking for as a condition of licence would be a percentage of revenue and we would be willing to abide by that for the term of the licence. So we are anticipating financial viability.
2172 We feel that these are conservative, but in the event that they do not attain the goals that we want we will still be doing programming and we will still be doing local programming and our programming budget will be a percentage of revenue.
2173 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Gross revenue.
2174 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Yes.
2175 COMMISSIONER CRAM: What percentage are you suggesting?
2176 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Well, I think in terms of our actual application we are asking for a COL of, I think, 40 per cent.
2177 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Now, to Winnipeg.
2178 Do I understand it that Trinity Winnipeg is going to provide some of the programming? There was a children's program, "It's A New Day" and the call-in program.
2179 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: No. The call-in program will not be coming. When we have analyzed it we don't believe it meets the criteria of being a religious program. We didn't set it up that way. In fact, we set it up the other way around. We have experience doing non-Christian programming, so to speak.
2180 We did learn how to work with the call-in programming and it has been extremely encouraging to find the diversity of calls coming in. That has encouraged us to go this way and we believe we can do balance with it because of what has happened there.
2181 But the "Sunshiny Day", "Follow Me" are two children's programs that we have that are in the can and they will be here and they will be aired here, as well as "It's A New Day". So those are the three programs at this point in time that we see coming from Winnipeg because they are existent programs.
2182 We aren't at this point in time planning any new programs in Winnipeg to meet the needs of this particular station. The new programs that we do will be done in the Fraser Valley.
2183 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
2184 So when you talk about -- you say they are in the can, what about the inventory that you have, the 6,000 hours programming?
2185 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Pardon me. That does show up on the Saturday and Sunday evening slot called "It's A New Day Classics" and we will be pulling some of the old programs and possibly repackaging some elements of them.
2186 But many of the programs we have done really are not time dated in the intent as the content but, you know, I look a little older now than I did in those days and so we are going to want to be current, more current, but we feel with the classics there are some particular program series that we have done that people continue to come back to us and say "Would you please give us that one again."
2187 They are kind of the ones that you -- I mean, this religious programming and you may not see it as classical, but there are some programs out there that people just would like to see again.
2188 Some of the guests and the talent that we had on those programs are no longer doing the kind of things they did at that time and so it would be fun to do some of those programs. I have some in my mind right now, but we see that as just a kind of a fun program to do on the Saturday and Sunday nights.
2189 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Are there any synergies that may be available between Winnipeg and the new stations?
2190 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: We believe there could be.
2191 I think the greatest synergy that we bring to -- we want to bring to the Fraser Valley station is the philosophy and the spirit with which programming is happening and the kind of -- there is a spirit of production and relationship that we have in the station that is wonderful and we are wanting to export that if we possibly can to the Fraser Valley area.
2192 In the community -- in Winnipeg we have had an extremely positive relationship with the broad community and probably if there is anything that we -- and I believe there is a synergy because we have developed relationships in this whole Valley area through "It's A New Day".
2193 We have strong relationships with people throughout this community. In fact, some events that used to be carried initially were just done on the west coast, actually one of them happened last summer in Winnipeg, because of the relationship we developed with organizations in the Vancouver area.
2194 So there is -- that is a synergy of relationship rather than production and we feel that is actually more valuable than the production.
2195 There may be production there. We have talked about some elements that we might do in Winnipeg and air here, but then we thought, but there are some elements we want to do here and they would fit into "It's A New Day" for instance in Winnipeg and so having another production facility would actually enhance what we do in Winnipeg, never mind enhance -- we don't see us enhancing here as much because we already have "It's A New Day" here, but we could bring elements from here out there.
2196 We might actually produce "It's A New Day" from Fraser Valley for periods of the year. There are times of the year when we might be able to put --
2197 COMMISSIONER CRAM: When it's awfully cold in Winnipeg.
2198 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: You heard me.
--- Laughter / Rires
2199 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: So we have thought of actually maybe producing a duplicate set in the studios here
2200 The program is exportable very easily in that sense, so we may actually end up doing more here than we do in Winnipeg as a result of this.
2201 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Year one and two you have a projection of a net income of over $500,000 and then it goes down. Not coincidentally your programming costs go up.
2202 Why did you design it like this, and yet now it seems things have changed because we are talking about a percentage of gross income.
2203 MR. KRAMER: I will answer that.
2204 What we are looking at in year one and two is building up a reserve, to have a healthy reserve there. So in years one and two creating quite a bit of positive cash flow and a net income and then thereafter that really investing that back into the programming and into the programs to really more of a nonprofit break even situation.
2205 So years one and two we are really trying to build up a strong cash reserve so that if there are any problems or we need any capital expansion that we have funds available and then from there on we would be looking at more of a break even situation.
2206 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
2207 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Commissioner Cram?
2208 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes? I'm sorry.
2209 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Just to follow up on that, we are looking for a COL of 40 per cent, but we believe that this actually will -- that we have designed the revenues and assumptions, we feel that the same thing will happen and even if we have a COL of 40 per cent that doesn't mean we can't spend 60 per cent. That is one of the joys of being a charity.
2210 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Being a nonprofit.
2211 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Yes. Other guys won't -- I don't think Moses would say that, but we will.
2212 COMMISSIONER CRAM: My last question, and it is a term that was used by one of the intervenors that I don't think even exists.
2213 "Morphing" and the fear that you will metamorphosize yourselves and start competing with conventionals.
2214 As Commissioner Wylie was saying to the people with Rogers, here is your rehearsal: What do you say to that?
2215 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: We haven't, as an organization, changed from our policies that we began with 25 years ago. What we started with then we are doing today. We are a religious organization that is committed to doing religious programming. That is the reason we are in the marketplace now.
2216 This station we feel opens a doorway for us to continue that at a level we have not been able to in fact enhance it and we are committed to being a religious station just as we are applying for this. We do not intend to morph.
2217 The programs, we hope to do programs that will be appealing to the marketplace, absolutely, but they will be religious programs and they will meet the criteria of religious programming as set out by the CRTC. We are committed to that. Absolutely.
2218 If we morph into being successful, that would be wonderful. I would like to see that happen.
2219 I hope that we give the commercial stations a real competition in some of the programming, but it won't be because we are using Hollywood, it will be -- or if we do use Hollywood it will be religious Hollywood because something new may happen out there.
2220 We are in touch with some people out there who are working at changing Hollywood. If some of that happens -- I don't know if we can afford it, but maybe we are going to have a Hollywood north of the border or a new station up in this area that produces some programming that will impact our community. We look forward to that day, but it will be religious.
2221 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
2222 Thank you.
2223 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Are there other questions. No.
2224 That concludes our interrogation for you, Madam and gentlemen.
2225 Thank you very much.
2226 Would you like to add a final comment? No?
2227 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Thank you for the privilege.
2228 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much.
2229 To everybody, we will see you tomorrow morning at eight o'clock. Have a good evening and good night's sleep.
2230 Thank you.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1910, to resume
on Tuesday, February 22, 2000 at 0800 / L'audience
est ajournée à 1910, pour reprendre le mardi
22 février 2000 à 0800