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
33 Gerrard Street West
33, rue Gerrard ouest
July 4, 2000
le 4 juillet 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
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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
Broadcasting Applications and Licences/
Demandes et licences en radiodiffusion
BEFORE / DEVANT:
Chairperson / Présidente
Commissioner / Conseillère
Commissioner / Conseiller
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Gérant de l'audience
Legal Counsel /
Secretary / Secrétaire
33 Gerrard Street West
33, rue Gerrard ouest
July 4, 2000
le 4 juillet 2000
TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES
Presentation by Mr. Bowland
Presentation by CFMT-Rogers Broadcasting Limited
Presentation by Mr. Colle
Presentation by Ms. Shakir
Presentation by Mr. Nunes
Presentation by Mr. Lai
Presentation by Mr. Viccari
Presentation by Mr. Suekulovski/Ms. Chiappa
Presentation by Mr. Grammaticos
Presentation by Mr. Suppiramaniam
Presentation by Mr. Siu
Presentation by Mr. Yancoff
Presentation by Ms. Petroff
Presentation by Ms. De-Anjelis
Presentation by Mr. Di Iulio
Toronto, Ontario / Toronto (Ontario)
--- Upon commencing on Tuesday, July 4, 2000 0900 /
L'audience commence le mardi 4 juillet 2000 à 0900
1 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the CRTC Public Hearing to consider the renewal of Rogers Broadcasting Limited's television broadcast licence for Toronto, Ottawa, and London, and the renewal of Playland Broadcasting Limited's FM radio licence for Parry Sound.
2 A number of non-appearing items concerning new broadcast licences are also included on today's agenda.
3 My name is Martha Wilson and I am the Regional Commissioner for Ontario. I will be presiding over this hearing. I would also like to introduce the panel's other members, National Commissioner Andrew Cardozo and Andrée Wyle, Vice-Chair of Broadcasting.
4 CRTC staff assisting us at this hearing are our Legal Counsel Donald Rheaume, Hearing Manager Michael Amodeo, and Secretary Diane Santerre.
5 If you have any procedural questions at all, please do not hesitate to speak with them.
6 The first item on the agenda will be the application from Playland Broadcasting Limited to renew its radio licence, expiring August 31, 2000 for CKLP-FM Parry Sound.
7 We will examine a number of issues pertaining to the licensee's compliance with the Radio Regulations 1986. These issues include Canadian content levels and the provision of logger tapes.
8 The second item on the agenda will be application from Rogers Broadcasting Limited to renew its television licence for CFMT-TV Toronto and its transmitters in Toronto and Ottawa.
9 The applicant wishes to maintain licence conditions governing following:
10 Minimum amounts of ethnic programming; The number of distinct ethnic groups served, and the number of ethnic programming broadcast languages; Minimum amounts of Canadian programming; Minimum number of broadcast hours devoted to non-Canadian and conventional English-language programs.
11 Rogers Broadcasting also requests an exemption from the Commission's Ethnic Broadcasting Policy by proposing 50% Canadian content levels during the broadcast day, instead of the required 60%. The
applicant also proposes Canadian content levels of 40% during the evening, instead of the currently required 50%.
12 Playland Broadcasting Limited will first present its radio renewal licence application followed by questions from the panel.
13 The panel will then hear the second item, the application for renewal from Rogers Broadcasting Limited, followed by interventions.
14 Rogers will then have the right to reply to all interventions received.
15 The proceedings of this hearing will be transcribed and filed on the public record. To ensure that the people responsible for recording the transcripts are able to provide an accurate record, I would ask that, when you speak, you press on the small white button on the microphone in front of you. This activities the microphone.
16 However, in order not to create interference, we ask that when you are not speaking, you please turn the microphone off. The red light indicates whether or not the microphone is on or off.
17 I would also ask that you please turn off your cell phones during this proceeding -- I am sure you can appreciate that unexpected noises can be distracting for both the applicants and Commissioners. This has happened quite a few times in recent history. Your cooperation in this regard would be greatly appreciated.
18 We hope to complete this hearing today and may sit past 5:00 p.m. this evening if necessary. I will advise you regarding our schedule as the hearing proceeds.
19 I will now ask the Hearing Secretary, Diane Santerre, to explain any additional procedures to be followed and to call the first item.
20 MADAM SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
21 I would just like to remind each applicant that they have 20 minutes to present their application, including audio/visual presentation, and for all intervenors it is 10 minutes.
22 The transcript will be available the CRTC website seven days after the completion of this hearing.
23 I would like now to invite Playland Broadcasting Limited to present their application to renew their broadcasting licence for the radio programming undertaking CKLP-FM Parry Sound expiring 31st, August, 2000.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
24 MR. BOWLAND: Good morning, Chairperson, Martha Wilson, National Commissioner Cardozo, Andrée Wylie, Legal Counsel Donald Rheaume, Secretary Diane Santerre and Hearing Manager Michael
25 It's lonely up here.
26 THE CHAIRPERSON: You could have brought a friend.
27 MR. BOWLAND: At first I thought I would simply cover the infractions mentioned in licence renewal information provided by the Notice of Public Hearing.
28 However, this is a hearing not only into those infractions, but of the performance overall of CKLP towards a renewal of its licence, and to that end I thought I might provide a quick summary of how we got to where we are and how we keep going.
29 Frankly, I still think this is the best kind of radio there is and the big guys, the amalgamated giants, have lost sight of community broadcasting.
30 I came out of high school in London, Ontario and in 1960 and went right into then CKOX-AM in Woodstock, Ontario, a station that has since lost all its community identity to an amalgamated giant.
31 My job was that of assistant engineer and studio operator. Soon I was on the air as junior announcer.
32 I did stints at CHOW-AM in Welland, CFOR-AM in Orillia, CKNX-TV Wingham, CKVR-TV and CHAY-FM in Barrie. My duties ran from rock jock, music director, program director, technical director, news director to operations manager.
33 While working for CHAY-FM the opportunity came up to purchase the 250 watt AM repeater of the Huntsville station in Parry Sound in 1983. The station was owned by Joe Duchesne, the then owner of the Huntsville station CFBK-FM.
34 I put together a small company-partnership of five people, did a market survey and proceeded to put the process in motion to purchase the station.
35 To my knowledge we submitted the first successful FM First Service application the CRTC licensed.
36 First Service allowed for near AM regulation during a period when FM regulations regarding programming and commercial activity were much more demanding. However, our application brought us very close to being a full fledged FM station and that was because we knew that it would be necessary to accept all of the regulations encompassing foreground and mosaic programming if the station was to grow, and grow we have.
37 On purchasing the station in March of 1986, we immediately began the process of converting to an FM station which was on the air in June of 1986 at 3000 Watts, a 12 fold increase in power.
38 All of this was done on a shoestring budget, used equipment, some purchased, some begged.
39 Three years later, after an uncomfortable tenancy on a Bell Telephone owned communications tower, we built our own communications tower.
40 A year after that we moved out of the damp cramped basement of the small office building we were in to a large second floor office space.
41 We were still operating with the used equipment and scouring the basements of friendly broadcasters for more. There is no way we could have done it otherwise.
42 Just about this time the bottom fell out of the economy and the bank advised us not to write any more cheques. But, we scraped through and went on with the original plan of becoming a 50000 watt station.
43 We had intentionally taken a frequency which would allow for the power increase.
44 And from the beginning the station was a CBC affiliate. That fact created some of the difficulties encountered with the power increase.
45 CBC had originally indicated they would provide an alternate full time transmitter for their programming. That did not come about immediately and we had to resubmit our promise of performance, losing a year in the process.
46 Another difficulty in our history was encountered when it to renewing a lease at the second location. A renovation for another tenant in order to keep it in the building created a great deal of discomfort for us with no consideration for our needs. We decided to move again. It was actually a blessing in disguise.
47 The move into a much newer building and a raw floor space allowed us to design the station for the most ideal configuration. (I have included a magazine article I wrote for Dialogue on the project as part of the handout).
48 This led to some original thinking for layout, use of technology and people's traffic patterns.
49 The planning for this move occurred
during fall of 1998 with the actual move taking place from the end of November to the end of February, 1999. The old lease was up at the end of February.
50 While the new location was being built we began tearing the old location apart since some of the ingredients were going to be moved on an 'as needed' basis by the people performing the construction and engineering.
51 The tearing apart began in November of 1998 as we were going into one of the busiest months of the year, both for programming and revenue. December, Christmas time.
52 Studio equipment was being disassembled. At the same time we tried to create the illusion for the listener that it was business as usual with normal Christmas programming.
53 The station had just broadcast the annual Santa Claus Parade, the date on which we introduce Christmas music to the format. Then the CRTC asked for an analysis of our music and certain logger tapes.
54 As I explained to Suzanne Dufour, she was the chief of the Monitoring Branch of the CRTC, the request could not have come at a worse time of the year, let alone a worse time as far as the physical situation of the station was concerned.
55 The change to Christmas music used to be a convoluted process with our previous computer music system which took some fine-tuning after Christmas formats were invoked.
56 To add to the problem associated with the request for logger tapes, equipment was being turned on and off, and power was being disrupted from time to time to various pieces of equipment.
57 The logging recorder was one of the pieces of equipment which was being affected. If an interruption didn't take us off the air, we didn't worry about it.
58 The logger, because of its location during this period, fell into the category of out of sight out of mind much of the time.
59 To compound that problem, the tape we have been using fell into the beg, borrowed and stolen equipment group mentioned earlier. We never had a "logging tape reader". We do now.
60 The new location allowed us to rethink how the logger should be located and set up. It is located in plain sight in the control room right beside anyone who uses that room and the control room is a combination on-air and production room.
61 That means people are constantly around the logger and are aware of it all day long. Additionally we have all new tape for the logger. Hopefully that will take care of the drop out that may have been occurring as a result of the old tapes.
62 Because of the Y2K bug we had to install a new on-air computer system with updated software and that required a new music selection system.
63 This one will allow us more versatility when it comes to creating enough formats to cover a period like Christmas with an entire cover set of new music formats.
64 When this problem was first brought to our attention by the CRTC request for tapes and music self-analysis, we went back to previous spot checks during SOCAN reporting periods and found our Canadian content, 6:00 a.m. to midnight, was at or above the level required.
65 So what is a typical day like?
66 Most of the time I arrive at the station bout 8:30 in the morning, unless I'm filling in on the morning show or early news shift.
67 First, are there any fires to be put out, technical, people problems, complaints, you name it, the buck stops here.
68 Onto coffee and the newspaper, just in case the wire missed something that's being said about our coverage area.
69 Head to the control room to lay down voice-tracks for the program I've heard from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
70 Correspondence time. Telephone call-backs, e-mails, regular mail, faxes. Find time to talk to the morning show host, the News director,
Sales director. Is everything unfolding as it should? It's about noon, time for a quick lunch at the station.
71 And any number of things can take up the rest of the day. Examples: check out the transmitter (which should be done once or twice a week), help with installation or updating of software or hardware (which seems to happen more and more often), visit a client, chase down dollars from someone trying to avoid paying the bill and maybe some time to read up on new technology, regulation and other items that are changing the way we do radio almost daily.
72 I've even chased down squirrels in, not on, in telephone broadcast wires.
73 Last fall strange noises were coming from our transmitter. These noises consisted of cross talks, stereo drop out, screeching and squawking and at first we thought we had a problem with our old transmitter.
74 It had not been without problems in the past, but we seemed to be able to patch things up and it behaved for a few more months.
75 This problem would not go away and after about a day we realized the noise was coming in on the broadcast lines, as well as we could tell the noise was not coming out of the studio.
76 Bell started to investigate, but in our neck of the woods finding the right person to trace this problem is not always easy. Fully three days after the problem first surfaced, a multi-pair cable which ran through some trees and branches was found to have red squirrels storing food in, and stripping insulation from a, junction box.
77 Another day to repair the damage and add moth balls. But that's one of the stories I could tell you.
78 Meanwhile, we had decided that it was time to also consider a transmitter replacement. Consideration led to doing it. That took up most of last fall.
79 Then came Christmas. The usual mad rush to take care of programming, Santa Claus parades, and once again because of Y2K change in on-air software and to do that new on-air computers.
80 We recorded almost 3,000 selections to hard drive starting in November, brought the new program up and married the traffic interface to it.
81 Result, total chaos from Boxing Day to New Year's Eve. We didn't want to make any changes before then because that would have introduced the dreaded Christmas music situation to the mix.
82 At the last minute everything began to work moderately well. My wife and I went dancing
83 There was no melt down. However, it wasn't until well into January that the new software programs really began to perform as described by the supplier.
84 We're still fine-tuning the music and adding more to the mix, primarily Canadian content, but the problem is to find just the right material for the middle-of-the-road station without sounding redundant
or playing mediocre artists for the sake of their Canadian content.
85 There's lots of country and plenty of rock harder, but our sound is lighter and, therefore, more difficult to fulfill.
86 Besides our regular M.O.R. mix we also program an oldies show Saturdays evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. and a Sunday morning swing show of music primarily from the 40s and 50s from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
87 Finding qualifying Can-Con for these programs can be quite difficult especially if it is to fit the big hit image of the other selections being played.
88 We don't make a lot money from these programs, but continue to believe we should provide the diversity for the broad audience in the area.
89 Let me tell you about some of the service aspects of the station.
90 First and foremost, we provide news on the hour around the clock, all newscasts from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. are local, others are from Broadcast news.
91 In addition, we produce two half-hour news magazine programs a day at 12:30 noon and 5:30 in the afternoon. These programs consist primarily of interviews done in an as-it-happens style.
92 We have two full-time news people generating these newscasts and all the local newscasts contain local material.
93 Local for us is anything in the districts of Parry Sound and Muskoka, that's from the French River south to and into Simcoe County and from Georgian Bay to Algonquin Park.
94 We filed more locally written stories to Broadcast News/Canadian Press than almost any other station of any size in Canada.
95 I believe local news, more than any other ingredient, is the key to a small market survival. For years I worked in news as a TV anchorman and as a radio news director.
96 I also spent a number of years as the Central Canada Director for Radio with the Radio and Television News Directors Association of Canada.
97 I know the thirst for information in the small towns of Ontario and Canada when there are few sources of that information.
98 It's the reason, I believe, we have some of the highest reach numbers for our central market in Canada, an area with a radius of more than 60 kilometres around Parry Sound.
99 We provide detailed weather every hour, with general 48-hour forecasts, marine weather, five-day outlook and road conditions. Our economy rises and falls depending on the weather.
100 Every hour bulletin board items are scheduled. Events of a non-profit nature taking place throughout the broadcast area.
101 Each year the station is involved in a fund raising golf tournament that contributes about $10,000 to the local hospital, so far about $50,000.
102 Then there is the annual Big Brothers and Sisters Radiothon. They take over the station for a day and raise about $8,000 in advertising revenues and pledges. The past the Kinsmen Club has also raised funding for cystic fibrosis research in the same manner.
103 This will be the second year of the station's involvement in bringing together volunteers and private enterprise to raise funding for the Bobby Orr Hockey Hall of Fame and an adjoining arts centre.
104 Through a celebrity golf tournament about $50,000 was raised last year. A similar amount is expected this year.
105 We award a bursary to a deserving graduate of the music classes at our local high school. The school has consistently won awards across North America.
106 And it's all done with a full-time staff of nine, including myself and my wife, Dorothy, who looks after the books and spells off on traffic.
107 These people are loyal, long termers who are here for the lifestyle rather than the dollars.
108 Part-time people include fill-in news, news correspondents and technical support for studio transmitter and computer technology.
109 This level of radio is demanding but rewarding from the standpoint of community accomplishment.
110 You have to work hard for every dollar and our best month is December and it is busiest simply because of the programming demands.
111 The next busiest time is spread out from about the first of May to Thanksgiving, with July and August being the heaviest months.
112 This past weekend is one of our biggest money makers and it's all hands on deck.
113 Civic Holiday weekend will be the last chance to bring in the year, after that we're trying to get a start on the next fiscal and Broadcast year.
114 Over the years I have been president of the local Chamber of Commerce twice and currently serve as treasurer.
115 By the way, I have researched and written all our applications for purchase, licence for FM, power increase as well as any other correspondence required by the CRTC.
116 Add to that application for a licence for Barrie, Ontario in the late 80s, it was one of six, the licence was awarded to Doug Bingly and Rock 95.
117 I write all my own intervention material related to situations in our broadcast coverage area.
118 So as you can see, never a dull moment. Once in a while there is a whole weekend away and even Rare he occasion when we can risk a whole week for a vacation.
120 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Bowland.
121 Thank you for the history of your radio career and your station, as well as the information on your philosophy of radio and your accomplishments.
122 I appreciate the challenges that you face as a small operator, and you are correct when you say -- when you said at the beginning of your presentation that a licence renewal is a time to talk about accomplishments as well as infractions, although I have to say that you wouldn't be here if it weren't for the latter.
123 So it's good to know what kinds of things you're doing for your community, but you are here for a very specific reason.
124 You're appearing before us today following repeated non-compliance of CKLP-FM
with certain conditions of licence, and with sections of the Radio Regulations, 1986, in force prior to the recent amendments related to new provisions contained in the commercial radio policy.
125 Specifically, the Commission renewed the licence of CKLP-FM in 1997 for a three-year term due to non-compliance of its conditional licence regarding the level of hit material broadcast during the week of March 12th to 18th, 1995.
126 During the current licence term a monitor of CKLP-FM revealed that the station broadcast 26.1 per cent of Canadian content in category 2 music which constitutes apparent non-compliance with performing paragraphs 2.2 3 of the Regulations, which requires a minimum of 30 per cent Canadian content in category 2 music over the broadcast week.
127 As well, the analysis revealed that the logger tape furnished for Saturday the 28th of November, 1998 lacked any of the day's programming, an apparent breach of subsection 8(5) and 8(6) of the Regulations.
128 Now, you've gone through quite a detailed explanation of the reasons for that, but public notice for this hearing stated that you should appear to show cause why a mandatory order should not be issued with respect to your non-compliance.
129 As you may be aware, the Commission has on a number of occasions issued mandatory orders for repeated non-compliance.
130 Do you understand what a mandatory order is and what the consequences of not abiding by it are?
131 MR. BOWLAND: I had asked someone, but I found out exactly what the situation is, yes.
132 THE CHAIRPERSON: Perhaps I'll have our lawyer Donald Rheaume just review for you exactly what the mandatory order is and what the consequences are.
133 MR. RHEAUME: Should I do this now?
134 A mandatory order essentially is an order from the Commission that can be made, an order of the Federal Court, which means that if you're in breach of such an order, over and above any kind of action on your licence, can mean a suspension, ratification or prosecution, you can be the subject of contempt charges if this happens.
135 So it's serious business, as one could say.
136 Do you have any comments on that?
137 MR. BOWLAND: No, that's exactly --
138 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is that your understanding?
139 THE CHAIRPERSON: That was my understanding, yes.
140 MR. RHEAUME: Thank you.
141 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thanks, Don.
142 Mr. Bowland, you have been in the radio business for a long time, and based on your comments this morning, you clearly remember the days which are long before my time as a regulator when radio operators had very onerous regulatory requirements you mentioned, a couple of them foreground programming, mosaic programming, there were requirements with respect to spoken word in news.
143 You were in the radio business during those days?
144 MR. BOWLAND: Correct.
145 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you know what it's like to operate a station when you have burdensome regulation governing everything that you do.
146 I imagine it must have been a very demanding time during which to be a radio operator when you had all those regulations.
147 MR. BOWLAND: It took a lot of thought in order to be able to perform all of the -- in fact, I think some of the regulations were good for radio.
148 I think some of the ones that were dropped performed a good service for radio and I was actually surprised when a lot of them were dismissed.
149 For example --
150 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you weren't glad when they were dismissed; you weren't relieved?
151 MR. BOWLAND: To some degree, but not entirely.
152 And as an example of that, we still carry out what is known as mosaic programming even though we don't have to, a lot of stations dropped the mosaic programming immediately, but I thought it served a good purpose and we continue to provide a foreground news program which was originally designed to meet regulations but it worked so well that we kept on doing it and continue to do it to this day, even though it's an added expense, even though we could get -- we could do away with it and probably save quite a bit of money, but I think it would be a disservice to the community if we did.
153 THE CHAIRPERSON: I guess the point that I'm trying to get at is, that when those really burdensome regulations were eliminated there were really only two of consequence that remained, and those two relate to Canadian content and logger tapes.
154 And I mean, I'm happy to hear that you continue to do mosaic programming and some foreground programming, but I guess it concerns me a little bit that you would be involved in doing programming that's no longer required and that the two things that are required under the Radio Regulations have fallen by the wayside.
155 MR. BOWLAND: I don't think that they fell by the way side, I think that our situation at the time prevented us from meeting the regulations appropriately. I'm not saying that what we did was right or that we shouldn't have kept a closer look at what we were doing at the time, but we were going through a stressful situation at the time and it led to some things falling by the wayside.
156 I don't think that that will happen in the future considering once the move was made we made provision to make sure that these kinds of things shouldn't happen.
157 Now, nobody's a hundred per cent perfect and I don't know that in the future we will be, but we'll certainly try and we have made provision to meet the regulations more appropriately considering what we've done now to try and prevent any fault in the future.
158 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, I guess you know what goes through my mind is the fact between your last licence renewal and this one you've been non-compliant not only with the Radio Regulations but also with your condition of licence with respect to hits.
159 And I would have thought that following your non-compliance on your last licence renewal, you're on a short-term renewal, that you would have been more vigilant this time around.
160 In fact, you went from bad to worse, it's a condition of licence now, we're talking Canadian content, which is really the central reason for us to be here.
161 MR. BOWLAND: I appreciate that.
162 At the time that the hits situation occurred it was generally widely known that the regulation was going to change and we were being fairly vigilant about our hits, but I think maybe knowing that the regulation was about to change it wasn't very long after that check was done that they did in fact change, though we dropped our guard on the hits.
163 Now, that was that situation and this is this situation.
164 In this situation, as I've said, the SOCAN and others, one of the worst times that you can ask for anything from our station, not from the standpoint of regulation, but more from the standpoint of what's going on in the station in terms of stress level and the amount of work that's being done by a small staff when they want documentation on lists of music and things of that nature, that November/December is probably one of the worst times that they could possibly ask for lists of music.
165 And the time that the CRTC check came, not only was it that busy time of year, but also we were in the process of, as I said, tearing the place apart literally to try and prepare to move to another place.
166 And I must say that my comfort with my landlord at the time was not very good and we just come through a very stressful period with them as well because they had torn the building apart and we couldn't move out of it in order to escape what was going on at the time.
167 THE CHAIRPERSON: I appreciate that, but why would you be tearing out your logging equipment?
168 MR. BOWLAND: I wasn't really tearing out the logging equipment, we were working around the control room where the logger was located.
169 It was located in such a manner that if any power interruption occurred the logger would drop out. From time to time the logging did drop out.
Particularly the loggers --
170 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you knew that?
171 MR. BOWLAND: We knew that it could happen, but we weren't constantly watching it to see that it wasn't dropped out, i have to frankly say that, because the logger was situated in a manner that made it difficult to see.
172 It's not in that situation any more, but we were frankly just pulling plugs out of the walls and plugging them back in.
173 And if you had seen the wiring mess that we had in that place prior to the move, it was pretty messy and if you pulled one thing out you might disturb something else, even though we were -- as we were trying to stay on the air at the same time?
174 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you have an engineer.
175 MR. BOWLAND: I'm it.
176 THE CHAIRPERSON: I have to tell you, Mr. Bowland, in reviewing the list of non-compliant radio operators, I notice that a large percentage of the non-compliance occurs with the community radio operators which are basically run by volunteers and, I guess in some ways that's understandable, but I am having a hard time understand -- I did run a television station myself for a channel -- I'm having a hard time understanding how a commercial radio operator with resources and staff, full-time staff - I acknowledge the fact that you may have a small staff - would have such a hard time fulfilling those requirements.
177 I mean, you've got two requirements, Canadian content and logger tapes.
178 You know, I know when I was running the channel that I ran I made sure our logging machine was in a place where everybody could see it and check it and everybody knew we had to do that, not just for regulatory purposes but also for insurance purposes in case anybody decided to sue us. So there was another good reason.
179 So I'm just -- I'm having a hard time understanding it.
180 I appreciate everything that you're saying but, you know, with all the other radio operators in the country and with respect to Christmas, you know, great, but Christmas comes every year and you've been in the business for a really long time, so how is it that, you know, Christmas poses an ongoing problem in terms of meeting your Canadian content requirements?
181 It's tough. I mean, you're an experienced operator, you've been in the business since 1960, I was three.
182 MR. BOWLAND: Thank you.
183 When we purchased the system that makes our music selection we didn't realize it had limited opportunity for a number of formats.
184 We found out that when we changed over to Christmas music it was always a week of weakness and you hit us on the week of weakness because we had to really rebuild the formats each time we went to Christmas music.
185 And over the period of a week we would do the fine-tuning which would bring it up to the appropriate Canadian content.
186 The Santa Clause Parade, strange as it may sound, which occurred the Saturday before is traditionally the time the station beings playing Christmas music, not a whole lot of it but enough that it upsets the system.
187 We started almost the middle of November because that's when they hold the Santa Clause Parade and we have to begin at that time because that's when the business community more or less demands that -- if we're going to make a buck at Christmas, then it's because we're playing some Christmas music to create the atmosphere of Christmas on the radio.
188 And by changing over the format at that time, which was in the last week of November, it caused a problem with that system.
189 It wasn't long before it was back up to normal and I say it's coincidence that the tapes were asked for at that time.
190 And as for the logger tapes, yes, the logger was in a bad position, especially during the scuffle of moving or preparing to move the station, and I admit without any reservations that the logger should have been better situated and it should have been attended to in a better manner, but it was a pretty messy and strange place and pretty stressful at the time when we were performing this preparation to move to better quarters.
191 And, frankly, a lot of this was taken into consideration when we did move to the new quarters to make sure this doesn't happen again, because I don't want to be here any more than you want me to have to be here under these circumstances.
192 THE CHAIRPERSON: Did you purchase new logging equipment when you moved into your new facility?
193 MR. BOWLAND: Yes, we did.
194 THE CHAIRPERSON: You did.
195 MR. BOWLAND: We would only had one logger up until that time, now --
196 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you have a back up now?
197 MR. BOWLAND: Now we have two and, for that reason, we're not unable to -- we were unable to monitor, for example, any tape that we wanted to look back on and when CRTC asked for tape I would basically pull the tapes out of the rack and sent them on.
198 Now that we can listen to them and make sure that they are in fact -- they are -- they do have material on them and look for the faults ourselves.
199 THE CHAIRPERSON: So can you listen to them while they're recording to ensure that the logging equipment is working properly?
200 MR. BOWLAND: Yeah, we have a way of monitoring that.
201 THE CHAIRPERSON: And do you run both logging machines at the same time?
202 MR. BOWLAND: No, we don't.
203 We have acquired a second logging machine, both for back up and to be able to read tapes to make sure they did have material on them for spot checks.
204 THE CHAIRPERSON: And how do you know if your logging machine is operating?
205 MR. BOWLAND: It has a monitor built into the machine which allows you to tell whether it is recording in actual factor or not.
206 THE CHAIRPERSON: And how often is that checked?
207 MR. BOWLAND: Several times a day.
208 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
209 And you also said that you replaced your tape.
210 I think you said in your August 13th letter to us that your tape was at the delicate stage?
211 MR. BOWLAND: That would be an understatement.
212 THE CHAIRPERSON: And why is that?
213 MR. BOWLAND: Well, because we had used used tape and, to our knowledge, the tape was working and working well, but we felt, considering it's age -- now some engineers will tell you that tape never wears out, we've been using this tape --
214 THE CHAIRPERSON: No engineer I know.
215 MR. BOWLAND: Well, I'll give you a name, but he said he didn't think that the tape should wear out under normal circumstance.
216 However, the tape was old and we decided, yes, this is the time when we should replace all of the tape.
217 We have replaced all of the tapes and have spare tape in case any is faulty, for example, so if a week were called we would have spare tape to replace it with, all brand new.
218 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
219 I want to turn briefly to the Canadian content.
220 MR. BOWLAND: Mm-hmm.
221 THE CHAIRPERSON: Who's responsible for programming and formatting--
222 MR. BOWLAND: Basically I am.
223 THE CHAIRPERSON: --at your station?
224 MR. BOWLAND: Basically I am.
225 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you said that you bought a new music selector system?
226 MR. BOWLAND: Yes.
227 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Because I noticed when I reviewed our staff analysis of your content, both hits and Canadian content, that there were quite a few errors in them, there were songs that were listed as Canadian content that weren't, there were songs that weren't listed as Canadian content that should have been and the same for hits.
228 Who's responsible for monitoring those levels on an ongoing basis?
229 MR. BOWLAND: There's two of us who -- I am one and there's another fellow in the station who performs the duty of -- you would give him the name music director I guess, makes music selections, particularly with today's music and more recent music, and I guess between the two of us we try to keep tabs on what is Canadian and what isn't.
230 THE CHAIRPERSON: And how do you do that?
231 MR. BOWLAND: We use The Record as one guide, we don't subscribe to all of the publications, mainly as a budget situation.
232 We use --
233 THE CHAIRPERSON: Maybe if you cut back on that mosaic programming.
234 MR. BOWLAND: The mosaic programming.
235 THE CHAIRPERSON: You could afford a guide.
236 MR. BOWLAND: The mosaic programming doesn't cost anything, it takes a little time but it doesn't cost anything.
237 There's a book that's put out which has -- it's put out in Canada which lists most music and indicates whether it's Canadian or not, and we primarily go by it.
238 THE CHAIRPERSON: In your August 13th letter you asked if the CRTC has a master list of Canadian music that you could subscribe to, which we were unable to do because of copyright reasons, but I was just wondering why you would wait until you were in non-compliance to pursue other sources that might help you?
239 MR. BOWLAND: I think I've asked that question before of the CRTC and wondered why that list wasn't made available.
240 If everybody was playing in the same field; that is, as far as the list is concerned, it would make it a lot easier, I would think, for radio stations and particularly ours.
241 The Record seems to be the best publication for our purposes on an ongoing basis and the magazine -- or the book, the name of which I can't think of right off the top of my head, but it's a book on mainly music and lists almost any recording by any artist and it also shows to what degree it complies with Canadian content.
242 And we find that that's a useful book as far as history is concerned, that is, older recordings. And since the station plays music that goes back to the 40s right through to the present, it's important to have a device like that to be able to check whether something is Canadian content.
243 And some artists, particularly older ones going back into the 40s and 50s are not listed in that book and it's hard for us to decide whether they, in fact, should be considered Canadian or not.
244 THE CHAIRPERSON: Since you were found in non-compliance, have you pursued any additional sources that might help you track your Canadian selections?
245 MR. BOWLAND: We have updated the magazine -- I call it a magazine, the book that provides that information and we continue to subscribe to The Record.
246 We find that those are the best two written pieces of material to use for this purpose, but, no, we haven't subscribed to say RPM or some other magazines.
247 THE CHAIRPERSON: Because I'm just looking for some assurance from you that you've taken appropriate steps.
248 MR. BOWLAND: I think we're looking a lot harder at the existing information that we do have.
249 In the previous application, I will point out, that we had listed a song that was considered Canadian by us and at the time the CRTC said that it wasn't and, in fact, we proved that it was, and so it works both ways.
250 We noticed that in the last analysis that we've made a similar assumption on a recording and, in fact, it was wrong.
251 THE CHAIRPERSON: To the best of your knowledge at this moment, is your station's programming in compliance with the regulations and your conditions of licence?
252 MR. BOWLAND: Absolutely.
253 THE CHAIRPERSON: And with respect to the possible issuance of a mandatory order as outlined in the Notice of Public Hearing, do you wish to provide any further evidence to indicate the station is now and will remain in compliance with the regulations and its conditions of licence?
254 MR. BOWLAND: I think all I can say is that we've done everything we think is possible in order to make sure that our logger tapes are recording all the time and that they're recording properly and that we have a back-up situation to take care of them.
255 We have a better music system in place now which can handle the anomalies like Christmas and things of that nature.
256 And, frankly, as a result of this exercise, we've been far more careful about how those formats within that system work.
257 THE CHAIRPERSON: And will continue to be, I suspect?
258 MR. BOWLAND: I should hope so.
259 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you have any questions?
260 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Just one.
261 Mr. Bowland, when we hear community stations, as the Chairman indicated - and of course, their reasons are usually they use volunteers and it is very difficult and it is a different situation when you're speaking to a commercial broadcaster - is your answer this morning not an unconditional yes, or it's difficult do most of it myself, we've done everything we can.
262 When we ask you whether you were in compliance last week and next week, is your answer an non-conditional yes?
263 MR. BOWLAND: I think I said earlier nothing is a hundred per cent, but at this moment in time I would say yes.
264 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: That's not non-unconditional.
265 Are you saying it's impossible for the Parry Sound station to be in compliance because these requirements are too difficult?
266 MR. BOWLAND: I don't think the requirements are too difficult, we have to be more vigilant with what it is we have and how we use it.
267 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: So if we ask you: Are you in compliance this week, will you be in compliance next week; what's the answer?
268 MR. BOWLAND: Yes.
269 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: It is not the end of the world that is required to keep logger tapes and to be in compliance, and if you can't do everything yourself you may have to get your son or your daughter to help, but it has to get done.
270 Thank you.
271 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Bowland.
272 MR. BOWLAND: Thank you.
273 THE CHAIRPERSON: Does legal counsel have questions?
274 MR. RHEAUME: I do not.
275 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
276 Thanks, Mr. Bowland.
277 Madam Secretary, if you would call the next item.
278 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
279 I would like now to invite Rogers Broadcasting Limited to present their application to renew and to amend their broadcasting licence for the television program undertaking CFMT-TV, Toronto, its transmitters expiring 31st of August, 2000.
280 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, welcome.
281 Mr. Sole, Mr. Viner, you can begin whenever you are ready.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
282 MR. SOLE: Good morning, Madam Chairperson, Members of the Commission.
283 I'm Leslie Sole, Executive Vice-President of CFMT.
284 With me today, to my right, is Tony Viner, President, Rogers Media; Madeline Ziniak, Vice-President and Executive Producer, CFMT; Viddear
Khan, Program Controller, CFMT.
285 In the background from your left, Robert J. Buchan, legal counsel for this application; Paritosh Mehta, Independent Production Co-Ordinator; Tom Ayley, Chief Financial Officer; James Nelles, Vice-President of Marketing; Melanie Farrell, Director of Business Development, Language Sales.
286 Helping us this morning, at yet another table, is Malcolm Dunlop our Director of Sales and Kelly Colasanti our Vice-President of Operations.
287 On behalf of the 190 full-time employees at CFMT it's a pleasure for us to appear before you this morning and present our renewal application.
288 We would like to begin with a brief video that highlights the many ways in which CFMT reflects and serves our local community.
--- Video presentation / Présentation vidéo
289 Canada, home of the world's first and longest running multilingual, multicultural television system.
290 CFMT continues to be the role model to other broadcasters from around the world.
291 CFMT is award-winning diversity television known throughout the world and recognized here at home.
292 Rising from the brink of bankruptcy in 1986, to a vibrant public service in our 21st year, CFMT has undergone a remarkable turnaround in a remarkably short period of time.
293 Today, with transmitters in Toronto, London and Ottawa, CFMT produces more Canadian content, more local community reflection and more inclusive local productions than any other private licensee in Canada, 1,000 hours each year, reaching over 22 ethno-cultural groups.
294 Every weeknight, CFMT offers Portuguese, Italian and Cantonese language news, live and with a Canadian focus on local, natural and international issues.
295 Programs such as the award-winning Courage to Stand, and Leon Bibbs, A Step Ahead, are just some of the productions that promote unity and harmony.
296 Programs such as Hong Kong In Transition, an 18-hour live broadcast with Canadian reporters in Hong Kong and from coast to coast nationwide here at home.
297 The Macau Hand-Over, Tiannamen Square, 10 Years Later, and Sat Sri Akaal, A Celebration of 100 Years of Sikhs in Canada.
298 CFMT has provided communities and organizations with more than a million dollars annually in public service announcements, free production and free air time.
299 CFMT's partnership with the Department of Canadian Heritage was manifested in the national award-winning Violence Hurts Us All in 16 languages.
300 The public service that is done by CFMT is invaluable.
301 CFMT was first again in a partnership with the National Archives marking an unprecedented contribution to multilingual television in Canada. We are a television station that is committed to multicultural TV in the most favoured viewing time periods.
302 CFMT is committed to ethnic communities in the core of prime time. In the 8:00 to 10:00 time slot over 90 per cent of the programming is ethnic and over 75 per cent is Canadian. This is the highest level of core prime time Canadian in all of private English television. And on the weekends when people are home, we are 80 per cent ethnic all day Saturday and Sunday.
303 The Canadian broadcast industry prides itself on the inclusion of independent producers, CFMT has nine independent producers on the air, all receiving free air time and all receiving production development grants from CFMT.
--- Italian spoken / Langue italienne parlée
304 CFMT has also featured Canadian drama merging with new languages, recently adapting the TBA International Science Series into five different languages.
305 Placing multilingual television on an equal footing with conventional broadcasters,
CFMT recapitalized facilities, studios, control rooms, cameras, increased their post-production and editing facilities, master control and tripled their news-gathering capability.
306 CFMT continues to invest in the future and is developing the industry through its dynamic scholarship program at Ryerson Polytechnic University.
307 CFMT-TV, 21 years of reflecting the circumstances and aspirations of all Canadians.
308 CFMT, a commitment to the people of Canada, we bring you the world at home.
309 MR. SOLE: As you can see from the video, we have worked very hard over the term of the licence to ensure that CFMT provides the highest quality, most community responsive multilingual and multicultural television service.
310 We are deeply gratified that over 500 individuals, companies, public interest organizations and elected officials have endorsed our efforts by intervening in support of the CFMT renewal application.
311 CMFT has fully complied with and often exceeded its conditions of licence.
312 For example, CFMT is required by
condition of licence to provide programming in 15 different languages, directed towards 18 different ethno-cultural groups each month.
313 On average, we provided programming in 18 different languages and served 20 different ethno-cultural groups.
314 CFMT is required by condition of licence to provide 75 per cent ethnic programming between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. We have averaged well over 90 per cent ethnic programming, and at least 75 per cent Canadian ethnic programming during this time period.
315 We have met all of the expectations established by the Commission in our last renewal decision.
316 CFMT increased its expenditures on Canadian programming by almost 40 per cent over the term of the licence.
317 We substantially increased our support for Canadian independent ethnic producers. We now provide programming for nine independent ethnic producers and employ a full-time independent ethnic production coordinator.
318 We increased the number of hours per week of closed caption programming on CFMT from 17.5 to 62 hours, including all of our news programming, with the exception of Chinese for which there is no captioning technology currently available.
319 We expanded the John W. Graham Multicultural Scholarship Program to provide full scholarships for the entire four years for eligible candidates.
320 Excuse me.
321 The members of the CFMT Advisory Board of Directors continue to be predominantly of ethnic origin.
322 Over the term of the licence, CFMT has provided an average of seven hours of Type B programming, three hours more per week than the expectation established by the Commission.
323 In addition, CFMT has made the conditions of licence and expectations established by the Commission for its rebroadcaster serving Ottawa and surrounding area.
324 We have appointed Ms. Anna Chiappa, a resident of the Ottawa area to the CFMT Program Advisory Board. As well 9888we have actively encouraged members of the ethno-cultural groups in Ottawa to participate in the CFMT program development process.
325 Our priority throughout this licence term has been to improve and strengthen CFMT's ethnic programming and particular our Canadian ethnic programming. That will continue to be our priority over the term of a renewed licence.
326 MS. ZINIAK: Our viewers have told us that it is very important that ethnic programming have the same high production quality as the programming on conventional Canadian television stations.
327 They believe that second class programming makes them second class citizens in their own eyes and in the eyes of others.
328 In response to that concern, CFMT made substantial investments over the term of its licence to improve the quality of its programming.
329 We acquired new digital production facilities, built new and more attractive sets and hired the best on-air talent.
330 We significantly enhanced our ability to cover local issues and events in ethno-cultural communities.
331 We now have eight local full-time field production crews and 11 digital cameras for use by our video journalists.
332 In addition, our news bureaus in Ottawa and Queen's Park ensure that we can bring our viewers an ethno-cultural perspective on all provincial and national issues.
333 We further enhanced community reflection by adding a number of ethno-cultural groups that CFMT now serves on a regular basis. For example, these groups now include Polish, Armenian and Mandarin.
334 Almost half of the groups that we serve have prime time programs including Cantonese, Mandarin, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, South Asian, Italian and Korean.
335 We significantly enhanced the diversity of our Canadian ethnic programming by establishing strong working relationships with ethnic producers independent.
336 We give these producers full access to our production facilities, along with extensive technical and program management training. We also provide them with grants for the acquisition of equipment.
337 Our viewers are interested in events and issues in their homeland countries, in particular, they want coverage of those events and issues from a Canadian ethno-cultural perspective.
338 Over the term of this licence, we have responded to that demand by providing more news and public affairs programming, including more coverage of international news for more groups.
339 As well, CFMT regularly provides special coverage of major international events.
340 For example, we provided 18 hours of live coverage of the Hong Kong Transition.
341 We also provided special coverage of other events that were very important to ethnic Canadians, but which did not attract the attention of the mainstream Canadian media, such as the Beatification of Padre Pio, the Portugal World Expo, the Roman Catholic Jubilee and the Macau Hand-Over.
342 For the Macau Hand-Over we provided trilingual coverage in Portuguese, Cantonese and Mandarin.
343 We have explored many other techniques to increase access to our programming by more groups.
344 We have experimented with multilingual broadcasts using SAP and with alternate language radio broadcasts.
345 Over the term of the new licence, we will continue to undertake a wide variety of initiatives to further increase the quality and attractiveness of our ethnic programming and to reflect local communities.
346 For example, we will increase our commitment to the broad service requirement.
347 In January 2001, CFMT will introduce independently produced Canadian ethnic programming for members of the Arabic and Vietnamese ethno-cultural groups.
348 As well, in the very near future, we expect to introduce a series of Legacy programs for members of the black community.
349 We will provide more extensive coverage of events and issues in ethno-cultural communities in the Ottawa area.
350 To do so we will spend $1.5 million over the term of the new licence on the operation of the CFMT Ottawa news bureau.
351 The bureau will have the resources necessary to cover both national issues and local community events.
352 In addition, CFMT will provide at least 100 hours of cross-cultural programming every year.
353 We agree with the Commission that ethnic broadcasters have a special responsibility and a unique ability to provide programming that promotes communication between ethno-cultural groups.
354 MR. SOLE: There have been many significant changes in the environment for ethnic broadcasting since CFMT's licence was renewed in 1992.
355 The ethnic media market has become much bigger and much more competitive. There are now many more ethnic television, ethnic print and ethnic radio choices.
356 We projected in 1992 that there would be a significant increase in the ethnic advertising market in Canada. The ethnic television advertising market alone has grown by over $14-million.
357 We expected at that time that CFMT would take a larger share, or at least hold its share of this larger market. In fact, CFMT now has a smaller share.
358 Over the term of this licence, our national ethnic advertising revenues have increased. However, most of the growth in the ethnic television advertising market has been in the retail sector, and all of that growth has gone to ethnic specialty channels.
359 Both Telelatino and Fairchild have aggressively entered the retail ethnic advertising market. They have much more inventory to sell at low prices that we cannot match.
360 As a result, our ethnic advertising revenues have not increased over the term of the licence. We have had to work very hard just to stay in the same place.
361 We expect competition to become even more intense over the term of a renewed licence. In the greater Toronto Area alone, there are now nine radio stations that provide ethnic programming and four Canadian ethnic specialty services.
362 The new ethnic broadcasting policy allows conventional television stations to increase the amount of ethnic programming that they provide.
363 In addition, there are 47 applications for new third language category 2 specialty services currently before the Commission.
364 We anticipate there may also be requests to place more foreign third language programming service on the eligibility list.
365 As such, notwithstanding the significant ongoing improvements in CFMT's ethnic programming, we do not anticipate that it will generate substantially greater advertising revenues over the term of the new licence.
366 CFMT, like other Canadian over-the-air television broadcasters, will continue to be dependent upon foreign non-ethnic programming to generate the revenues to support its Canadian programming.
367 MR. VINER: In Public Notice CRTC 1999-117, the Commission established a new policy and regulatory framework for ethnic broadcasting in Canada. You arrived at that policy following extensive consultations all across the country.
368 We believe that policy provides a solid foundation for ethnic broadcasting in this country for many years to come. CFMT was guided by the new policy as it prepared this renewal application.
369 The ethnic broadcasting policy places strong emphasis on reflection of the local community, on the broad service requirement and on cross-cultural programming. All of those elements of the policy are addressed in this application.
370 The policy also reaffirmed the validity of the 60% ethnic and 40% foreign non-ethnic business model.
371 In this renewal application, we are proposing that the conditions that are currently attached to the CFMT licence be carried over into the new licence. Those conditions contain two variances to the general rules in the new ethnic broadcasting policy.
372 First, CFMT is seeking to retain the variance whereby it is allowed to provide 50% Canadian content over the broadcast day rather than 60%; and 40% Canadian content in prime time rather than 50%.
373 This variance allows CFMT to acquire and broadcast a limited amount of high quality third language television programming.
374 Our audience enjoys this type of programming and wants to have access to it. This programming is a very effective way to attract audiences to CFMT and to the Canadian programming that it provides.
375 Second, CFMT is seeking to retain the variance that requires it to schedule 75% ethnic programming between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
376 This variance serves two purposes: It ensures that CFMT serves its ethnic viewers during the core prime time period when the majority of the viewers are available, but it also ensures that CFMT will not compete with conventional television broadcasters during the core prime time period when those broadcasters generate the majority of their advertising revenues from U.S. simulcast programming.
377 We believe that these two variances are reasonable and offsetting.
378 In return for the right to provide a limited amount of foreign third language television programming and a lower Canadian content requirement, CFMT provides predominantly Canadian ethnic programming in the core of prime time from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
379 These two variances, combined with the other conditions attached to its licence, have allowed CFMT to provide a high quality, community-responsive, multilingual and multicultural television service over the current licence term.
380 We believe that this same package of variances and conditions will allow CFMT to perform equally well over the term of the renewed licence and would be the best and most effective way to ensure that CFMT contributes to the achievement of the objectives of the ethnic broadcasting policy.
381 Madam Chairperson, Members of the Commission, we appreciate this opportunity to review our past performance and to set out for you our plans for the future.
382 We welcome any questions that you may have for us.
383 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Viner, Mr. Sole, Ms. Ziniak for your presentation.
384 Commissioner Cardoza will be handling the questioning -- the lion's share of questions, although Vice-Chair Wylie and I may have a couple of questions to tack on at the end.
385 And before I turn it over to him to begin his questioning, I just wanted to mention that we did provide the Applicant this morning with a couple of summaries of financial information with which Commissioner Cardoza can question them.
386 The sheets were provided for ease of reference for the Applicant, but they do fall under the confidentiality rules and they will not be made available on the public record.
387 So I just wanted to put that on the record, that the Applicant's have received those sheets and Commissioner Cardoza will be questioning on those I believe for the most part.
388 And I'll let Commissioner Cardoza begin his questioning.
389 At some point we'll stop and take a short break, and then come back and finish up before lunch.
390 MR. SOLE: Terrific.
391 MR. CARDOZA: Thank you, Madam Chair.
392 Mr. Sole, Mr. Viner, Ms. Ziniak and Mr. Khan.
393 What I'll do is go through the questioning in four general areas which will be -- I'll start with programming; and then talk about the general financial situation; third, the comparison to other broadcasters, primarily other ethnic broadcasters; and lastly, the cost of ethnic programs.
394 And I'll just remind you, from my perspective, that the purpose of the questioning is really to try and get as much information for us on the record and for our information.
395 This is not an interrogation. If it feels like that, I apologize, but I'm bound to pursue over the course that I've set and I hope you don't mind.
396 The sound is okay? You can hear me fine?
397 MR. SOLE: I can hear you fine. Thank you.
398 MR. CARDOZA: Sometimes these rooms are not as we desire them.
399 We notice there's a little room where we meet which has beautiful windows on the other side but we can only look at the real world during our breaks.
400 Let me start by asking you very generally how you would define CFMT in one sentence.
401 MR. SOLE: In one sentence, CFMT is a uniquely Canadian privately-owned television service that serves the broad cosmopolitan and ethnic market of southern Ontario.
402 MR. VINER: You know, if I could add to that, Commissioner Cardoza, even though I can never be as succinct as Leslie can.
403 MR. CARDOZA: We'll put a comma there.
404 MR. VINER: To me, CFMT is unique in all of the world. We have visitors from across the world, from Italy and from France, from Australia and from the United States, all of whom want to understand how we can provide quality of service that we currently provide to 22 different groups in 18 different languages, all within a commercial context without government subsidy or grants.
405 And so I would think my view of CFMT, frankly, is that it's a unique product of the Canadian broadcasting system that occurs nowhere else, not only in Canada but in the world.
406 MR. CARDOZA: And how does your English language programming fit into that definition?
407 MR. VINER: English language programming we have long acknowledged, like every other conventional broadcaster, Commissioner, provides -- is the engine that pulls the train. We've used the analogy frequently.
408 But our English language programming is the programming that provides the necessary financial resources in order to ensure that we have the highest quality, most competitive Canadian ethnic programming.
409 The economics of CFMT are pretty simple: We lose some money on our Canadian produced ethnic programming because we want to make it of the highest possible quality.
410 We make a little bit of money on our ethnic acquired programming, although the numbers are small, and we have ethnic acquired programming to attract viewers to our Canadian produced programming.
411 And, overall, we make a little, we lose a little money or break even on our ethnic schedule.
412 On the rest of our schedule, we pay all of the overheads, pay for the cameras, we pay for the sales, we pay for research, we pay for programming development and we provide a return to the shareholders.
413 So that's sort of the economic model on which CFMT is based.
414 And, like other conventional television stations, we know there are audiences for that English language programming that we acquire and schedule on CFMT, and most often we repatriate those audiences who might otherwise be watching them on border television stations, and we use that money to support our Canadian produced programming.
415 I should point out that when I talked about the model just then, when I said that we lose money and we make a little money on the ethnic, it's important to note that I'm talking about direct costs;
that is, the cost of acquiring ethnic produced versus the revenues that it brings in.
416 There is no overheads in those -- in those particular costs. The 40% of our schedule pays all of our other costs, all of the overhead costs.
417 MR. CARDOZA: So that's primarily the economic perspective and the role of the English language programming.
418 But I'm wondering in the way you think of how a viewer looks at CFMT, they're not concerned about the economics of it necessarily, they see a range of programming.
419 So how do you think you position your channel overall, its overall programming from the perspective of how the viewer is going to see it.
420 Does that fit in or is it too --
421 MR. SOLE: Are you specifically --
422 MR. CARDOZA: The English is part of the programming. Do you see that the viewer looks at that as a package, or does a viewer look at it in two segments?
423 MR. VINER: I think the viewer looks at it in a number of segments.
424 People view television programs, although I think frankly our television station has a greater individual identity than other television stations.
425 You know, Leslie may wish to comment on this, but unlike many other conventional television stations who can use foreign programming to pull audiences to their Canadian programming, that's an advantage that we don't have simply because we might have an English language program followed immediately by a Portuguese program.
426 The ability to pull those viewers across is based on their ability to understand the language.
427 Leslie, do you have anything to add?
428 MR. SOLE: I think the homogenous view is difficult to quantify or even to describe.
429 The combination of our English schedule outside of an economic model is not designed, nor do I believe other Canadian stations are, to be harmonic.
430 So we have a certain image in the Cantonese community, we have another image in the Armenian community, in the Italian community, et cetera, et cetera.
431 Our English programming's image is designed to, as Tony described, get the highest possible audiences to provide the best possible financing for our Canadian content.
432 When I'm describing CFMT to students, I'll say that like Global uses Friends and Seinfield to bring you Traders and other Canadian drama, CFMT chooses to use the Simpsons and Frasier to bring 22 groups homeland and primarily Canadian content.
433 So it's very difficult to explain the range of service because within each one of those groups the image is slightly different.
434 The Italian image in some peoples' minds is of an older demographic. On the other hand, the Chinese is a baby boomer demographic, and most recent immigration from eastern Europe is even a younger or Russian -- is a younger demographic.
435 So the umbrella of how we position the station is a Canadian service for third culture Canadians or third ethno-cultural Canadians that drives its economic engine, as Tony said, from programming the most popular U.S. programming.
436 MR. CARDOZA: Okay, thanks. At first you had a quite a bit of trouble with my question, but I think your answer has usefully answered what I was trying to get at and I thank you for that.
437 Now, I have a couple of more questions on the English part and I'll come back to the other language programming as well, which I would like to get some more information on.
438 With regards to the English then, are you looking at it issue on its own; is there a certain type of programming that you would define, can it be defined by genre, by age that you're trying to appeal to or gender; is it more comedy, is it more family or anything of that kind?
439 MR. SOLE: Currently it's comedy and television is cyclical. You've heard every Applicant say that.
440 The trend -- we are in the syndication business and we go to NABET and to the LA screenings looking for audience and advertiser attractive syndicated programming, best described as non-network or rerun programming that will allow us to attract the highest audiences.
441 I have to tell you that in the last seven years it's been talk shows and comedy that have served us, not necessarily in that order, best.
442 But we don't consciously have a programming philosophy. We are not a station that pursues 18 to 34-year-old women or any sort of microdemographic, we have to pursue a broad audience.
443 MR. CARDOZA: It doesn't make more sense from the perspective of you selling your advertising of being able to have a loyal group of people that are going to come to you and you can turn around to your advertisers and say: This is who we --
444 MR. SOLE: 18 to 49-year-old adults, that would be the advertising by the demographic, we would appeal to adults under 50.
445 MR. VINER: I think that Leslie has touched on that although we don't have a definitive strategy necessarily or philosophy, the strategy has been, the tact has been to acquire comedy programs and then talk show programs generally through the day.
446 MR. CARDOZA: Right.
447 MR. VINER: And I think we have been successful, Jim can tell us, but we do attract by and large a younger audience than the other conventional television stations to our English language programming.
448 MR. NELLES: That's correct, Tony, are generally are quite strong in the adults 18 to 34, as it was noted earlier, it is the advertisers who ultimately determine who they're after and adults 18 to 49 probably would be our key and very broad demographic.
449 MR. CARDOZA: One of the things we've been talking about at the Commission, and including in our new television policy of last year, is requiring the English language broadcasters to reflect the cultural diversity of Canada.
450 Let me just ask you about your English programming, recognizing that it isn't Canadian and, therefore, wouldn't necessarily be reflecting the discussed Canadian.
451 Do you sense that, or do you pay any attention to how your English language programming reflects the diversity, let's say, of North America?
452 MR. SOLE: Yes. We are, and primarily because it's U.S. programming in all likelihood it will be more representative of urban American markets, not that they're not applicable but, as you said, we're attracted to programming that does have a broader cast.
453 We're attracted to talk shows that do have a broader constituency and these are in our case because we need to generate the audiences, I would define them as tie breakers.
454 Sister Sister is a young skewed situation comedy of which we could have chosen from three or four areas, but because we felt that all of these programs would perform at about the same level, the tie breaker was the fact that they were two African American twins.
455 Montel Williams was chosen over Liza Gibbons because he brings somewhat of a ethnic perspective to a talk show host.
456 So I wouldn't say that we pursue American ethno-cultural or diversity-based programming, but in the case where we can, it's certainly the decision that we tend towards.
457 MR. CARDOZA: Is it something one should expect of CFMT if the programming in other languages is catering to diversity very centrally, so overall there is no question that your station does reflect diversity more than anybody else; is it fair to expect that your English language programming would actually pursue that actively, not necessarily the programming but at least somewhere along the schedule?
458 MR. VINER: Well, Mr. Cardoza, I think Leslie has indicated the times in which we can pursue it.
459 Reality is though that we can't bid for programming against other conventional broadcasters.
460 And we have to weigh in the balance whether or not, what our English language programming provides, I think that we would come down on the side, not without some sense of balance, or perspective, but we would come down on the side that what is crucial to this station is its language programming, and it is key to us to generate revenues through our English language programming in order to ensure that we have the highest possible quality language programming.
461 We have 190 people at CFMT that work at CFMT. Every single one of those people is involved with our language schedule. What our -- now, they're not involved with our English language schedule, you know, we buy English language programming once a year, we turn over the sale of it to a third party agency. All of our production people, all of our sales people, all of our traffic, everything is involved in that language schedule.
462 So we would come down on the side of producing, you know, not without limit, but producing enough revenues that we can continue to provide the highest quality language program that's possible to do so.
463 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
464 Two more questions with regards to English programming, but they're sort of crossing over into the area of multicultural stuff, and I'm just wondering whether you have considered having programming that would be in English but of primarily a multicultural character, either talk shows or other kinds of programs that would deal with the diversity of the viewership of Toronto, Ottawa and London?
465 MR. SOLE: I'll ask Madeline Ziniak to respond.
466 MS. ZINIAK: Thank you.
467 We value, sir, with the importance of cross-cultural communication, we hear this from communities that we work with and we have throughout the seven-year licence term of our several specials that we have done with the help of communities.
468 For example, the most recent documentary, The Courage to Stand, that dealt with hate crime on the internet was one most recently.
469 We have done specials as well where we worked in cooperation with the Chinese business community as well the South Asian and the Italian business community as far as the mayoralty debate. So that was in English as well, where issues are shared by communities and as communities work together.
470 And we have been able to do this in the form of specials and documentaries.
471 We also produced unprecedented, a Greek Macedonian debate, first time ever this was produced in English, where the two communities came together and debated what's in a name as far as those communities were concerned.
472 Toronto City Hall is not able to bring these communities together. And this is where we went beyond being a television station.
473 And so we have responded when possible to such issues in the form of specials and documentaries.
474 MR. SOLE: And, Commissioner Cardoza, I would add to that that we're encouraged by the new policy, by 117.
475 It encourages ethnic broadcasters to do more cross-cultural programming up to 10% in the English language, and in our in chief this morning we have made a minimum commitment of a hundred hours a year.
476 We think this is an important dimension as the new Canadians come from a multiplicity of source dialogue is going to be critical, so we are encouraged by the new policy.
477 And we are embarking on a program policy that is ratified, as we said, to do at least 100 hours a year and they would be talk shows and -- they would be more than talk shows, but that's the one form where differing groups have an opportunity to air their opinions on Canadian circumstances.
478 MR. CARDOZA: Is there anything more you can say about that, the hundred hours of the two hours a week?
479 MR. SOLE: On average it would be two hours a week. We think it would be more intense during electoral periods. We think that issues that are undefined today naturally come up in ethno-cultural communities.
480 Part of it will be discussing with independent producers and our own producers what they see this new opportunity to look like and, honestly, the rest of it will be able to react with the seven-day news department, to developments that we found out to be the most important, developments of currency.
481 Where something happens in a specific community and it needs more than a sound bite on Channel 9, it needs a half hour.
482 Madeline was modest in bringing together the difficulty in bringing together the two leaders of these two differing communities.
483 We'll be able to do that on a much more fluid basis, and I wouldn't venture to say what those conflicts or opportunities might be, but I think we can be assured that they will be there and we'll have the opportunity to respond relatively quickly.
484 MS. ZINIAK: If I can add also, we have seriously looked at different pilots that we've considered such as a meet the ethnic media, meet the press.
485 We know that the ethnic media here in Ontario does not have an opportunity to discuss issues in a forum where they can actually share a debate and we've taken a look at this as well.
486 MR. CARDOZA: And have you ever thought to having a regular weekly program, I think either the kinds of program that you've mentioned, Ms. Ziniak, in terms of a dialogue between the Greek and Macedonian communities is awfully useful, but it also strikes me there are things every week that happen, weekend, which may not be conflicts between groups, but issues such as racism, immigration, those sorts of things.
487 MS. ZINIAK: We have been working with the Canadian Ethnic Journalists' and Writers' Club in discussing coverage of forums, working with different departments in Canada as well and looking at foreign issues, international and local issues.
488 So that is right now in discussion. And certainly this is the only organization that brings together both print and electronic media and this is -- our objective is to be able to be a further vehicle for the expression of such views.
489 MR. SOLE: The 100 hour estimate included a weekly show yet untitled and yet unformatted.
490 We expect that there would be 50 hours of - and these are minimums - but 50 hours of, I don't want to say opportunistic, but currency-based programming and seeking to put together a weekly hour that would be there on a regular basis.
491 But it's not formatted and I can't quite describe it, but it is along the lines of what you're talking about.
492 MR. VINER: Meet the Press was taken.
493 MR. CARDOZA: We can do better than the Americans.
494 MR. VINER: There's no question, Commissioner. But I think that captures the flavour, you know, of Madeline's great participation in the Canadian Ethno Journalist Association and we thought that provides a forum to do exactly as you describe, which is, there doesn't have to be a crisis, there is an opportunity for several journalists to get together around a round table in English and describe and discuss the issues that are occurring in the various communities that are of common interest or, frankly, of specific interest so that others will have a better opportunity to understand what's going on.
495 So that's part of the sort of 50 of the hundred hours we were proposing.
496 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
497 Yes, certainly as Ms. Ziniak mentioned, there's certainly an issue of current matter on timing that we've heard about, anyone who has watched on CFMT.
498 One other question in terms of English and multicultural. To what extent do you currently have bilingual programming or programming for particular ethnic communities that may be either in English or in English and another language, and I'm thinking particularly not just for English-speaking ethno groups such as Caribbean groups, but say communities who have another language but a second generation, whatever, who don't speak a whole lot of their own language and want programming in English?
499 MS. ZINIAK: We have -- what we have done is we've approached this in a variety of ways.
500 For example, our nightly newscasts in Italian, Cantonese and Portuguese have English bullets and this is there for those, No. 1, who perhaps don't have the fluency of the language or for intergenerational audiences.
501 We also of course do programming like for the South Asian community perhaps which is bilingual, it could be in Hindi and in English.
502 We've also done interviews with individuals who perhaps could not command the language as well, let's say in Armenian or Polish, and we have incorporated interviews and have actually had translation there in their language or vice versa.
503 So there's a variety of ways that we have been able to approach this.
504 MR. SOLE: We did a series called Jump Cut that explored that exact point. Where would predominantly English-speaking Italians find themselves on an emotional or entertainment scale with all things Italian, and I think we did 26 half-hours, and that was done in English with what would be called common currency Italian that a second and third generation person might understand.
505 We're delighted that category E is now in our purview and we were somewhat limited by A, B, C, D, E in terms of making these investments.
506 So I think that what we've done a lot of it and English is used by many ethno-cultural groups either in splashes or in bites and we do not edit it out, we leave it in. We think it's not uniquely Canadian but particularly Canadian that some words don't translate.
507 So I think you're going to witness, in the case of CFMT and the new broadcast policy for ethnic television, a growth in that area.
508 MR. CARDOZA: Okay. I've got a few questions on third language broadcasting which is, of course, the core of what you do and certainly one of the things that comes out in the interventions, and I think it's been said a long time about CFMT is that what you would have provided is third language programming with quality, that it's moving away from the blue and pink flood lights in the background to something which is more substantive, which may still have flood lights in the background but does deal with issues more seriously, has a lot of stuff out on the street on coverage of events and so forth.
509 Could you describe for us a little bit of what you do in terms of how you get these programs going and perhaps describe for us one of your flag ships or your most improved programs?
510 MS. ZINIAK: No. 1, I think it's key to have the issues at hand and we do this not only hiring the best people we can, but also using our advisory committee. And this is a resource as far as research and really keeps the pulse of the issues from the community so that we're right on the money as far as kinds of issues that we deal with.
511 Very important also for us to be able to have the languages that are most important for our schedule.
512 Our schedule is a fluid entity and we try our utmost to be most reflective of the languages that are best served to the communities.
513 An example of emerging communities that we've worked with for many, many years is the Polish community.
514 This was a community that we started looking at and finally did produce a pilot and this program now is a success story, where we actually were ahead of the game as far as the demographics that we knew that there would be a lot of immigration coming forward, a lot of dynamics from the community that should be reflected, and also one should say that also there is a compelling business story to that as well.
515 And on the international scale as well, we have had the opportunity where Polish broadcasters have sought to use our stories because they're interested in what the Diaspora -- the Polish Diaspora are doing in certain issues.
516 So that is in one way a success story.
517 MR. VINER: Just a problem with a public hearing, of course, is that it's not the time to hid your light under a bushel and Madeline is modest about her achievements.
518 I think Polish is a good example, but there is -- in every one of the smaller language groups that we have on the air are examples.
519 On average Maddy and Paritosh would work with the various groups, just to describe the process, for up to a year and a half to try to get them in a position where they can -- they're prepared to go on the air that they have got sufficient content, sufficient performers and talent, support from the community.
520 And it's important that -- to Maddy and to the group, that journalistic standards are maintained, that it's not sort of a singular point of view and work closely with our program advisors in order to ensure that programming is balanced.
521 What we've done recently in the last two or three years is we have provided smaller groups with the opportunity to make our schedule in perhaps a 13-week cycle.
522 That 13 weeks usually enables them to produce some good programming, to have good community support, but they are small enough groups that they frankly can't sustain a 52-week program on our schedule.
523 Going in they know that they're going to have 13 weeks and they are going to try to produce programming, maintain those programs and then perhaps come back the following year.
524 That way a 52-week time slot can be devoted to four different groups, and also those -- it's not just the biggest groups that make the schedule, it's smaller groups who have the appropriate infrastructure, language retention and those issues - which Paritosh can explain to you on how we make the decisions - but I think Tamil, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian are all examples of the success stories, Commissioner, as you describe them, that CFMT has achieved and that that's really under the leadership and responsibility of Madeline who, along with Paritosh, works extraordinarily closely with these groups.
525 I would only say that it's interesting that 500, as you alluded to the 500 odd interventions that we've received in support of our renewal, I think is indicative not only of the wide-spread support that we have throughout the community, but also to the balance that Madeline and Leslie and others have been able to achieve.
526 Because, as you know, in many of these communities it is a difficult thing, there are different groups and every one wants access to the air, and because Madeline and CFMT has been fair and balanced and transparent, there's very little discontent among all of the language groups that we serve or that are available throughout southern Ontario.
527 MR. METHA: Can I also add that the
the decision process is defined by CFMT's ethnic policy decision.
528 Commissioner, I receive about 300 proposals every year and what I look for in response to these proposals, one is language, second is culture, third is link to the homeland, fourth is immigration patterns, fifth is availability of talent to the particular community, and sixth is the commercial infrastructure.
529 You only find this with the Commission and by applying these particular criteria we have been very successful so far.
530 MR. CARDOZA: Okay. And so when a proposal comes in, are you also looking at people who can do that, or with some kind of experience and how much support can you give them if they don't have it or they just have a bit of experience.
531 MR. MEHTA: We take the proposals through the entire stage.
532 Once -- normally what happens when a community or a person calls in, it's generally by a telephone call, I take the producer through the entire process of what it means to come on television. We look for talent within the particular community. I dig through the entire process of what we look for in the proposal, we require a demo tape, what the demo tape should consist of.
533 Everything, try to -- and also, we also teach them what the broadcast policy is, whether they need a C number.
534 All this process we look for and we take this entire process.
535 MS. ZINIAK: One of the opportunities that we do have, No. 1, is to assess the potential who is out there both journalistically and talent, and from that base we take them in and train them and develop them as talent, and that could mean anything from conditioning to the Canadian values of broadcasting and working that in jointly with perhaps some of their experiences from other countries.
536 MR. VINER: We do our best to try to train people.
537 We can't always find people who are skilled in their on-air presence within a particular language group, so we try to train them.
538 And we're proud to say that many of the people that we have trained and started at CFMT are sprinkled throughout the Canadian broadcasting system as richer and more successful television stations hire them away from us, but --
539 MR. CARDOZA: Name no names.
540 MR. VINER: We name no names, but seriously we're happy with that. And I think that that training extends also incidentally to the non-on-air side, to camera people, to technical staff, where we'll hire people who have perhaps had experience in another country but because of language difficulties or whatever aren't able to be available to be hired for other television stations, and we take them on.
541 And we also do an extensive amount of training. So it's something I'm proud of.
542 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
543 I notice from your application that you list 18 distinct ethnic groups and 15 languages, but I think I heard somewhere 22 or something.
544 MR. VINER: That's the condition of licence, Commissioner Cardoza, is 15 and 18.
545 MR. CARDOZA: Right.
546 MR. VINER: But you will hear 18 and 22, which is 18 languages and 22 different groups, and if you took a cumulative number of groups and languages it would be 28 different groups and I'm not sure how many different languages.
547 I think what we tried to demonstrate is that we consistently outperform our conditions of licence and we have taken seriously the broad service mandate that's enshrined in the new ethnic policy, but something that we have been doing for a number of years.
548 MR. CARDOZA: How do you make those decisions to ensure there's always more demand than you can put on the air.
549 MR. VINER: Well, I'll ask Paritosh to elaborate, but I think as he started to say that he gets 300 different applications and we have -- annually, and we try to work with people, we don't just sort of get the application and say: Okay, that's yes and okay that's no.
550 To those people, we try to work with them, we try to get them to understand what our objectives are and try and help them, bring them along so Maddy or Paritosh at any time have maybe five or six or seven groups in the pipeline who are beginning to understand the process.
551 You know, we give them grants to buy equipment, we train them on the various equipment, we tell them what the journalistic standards are.
552 But perhaps Maddy or Paritosh can outline the criteria that we've used, frankly, for the last -- '85, ever since 1985 or 1987, the last 21 years.
553 And, as I said, I think that they're all balanced and they're fair and transparent.
554 MS. ZINIAK: Before Paritosh gets into the criteria that we've been using as the ethnic policy procedure, I just want to use an example as far as the programming that we have that evolved and one of the groups is Russian.
555 We were speaking to the Russian producers for several years, we suggested because this was new to the market that perhaps they try the community channel.
556 They did so, they were at the community channel for a few years and as they evolved and had a better handle on both the market and the audience, then we incorporated them into our schedule.
557 So CFMT-TV is part of the evolution, if you will. We know that many begin in media either from print or radio, community programming and then develop into a commercial broadcaster.
558 And this certainly minimalizes the risk both for the producers, the ethnic producers as well as ourselves. And we've done that with several communities, and we're happy to say that they're on our schedule and have fared quite well.
559 Now, Paritosh will certainly go through the exact criteria.
560 MR. MEHTA: Thank you, Madeline.
561 Commissioner, as I mentioned earlier, we look for language and for language in particular we look for extent and need for a language retention in the particular community.
562 For culture we look for the extent of diversity that is there in a particular community. We look for origin, language, where the language comes from, geographical proximity of the language to a specific neighbourhood.
563 We look for the link of homeland, what the respective communities' strengths and sentiments and emotional attachments, what information from the particular homeland.
564 We look for immigration patterns, population base and immigration patterns of language of specific communities, reasons for immigration, date of immigration, size of community, large enough to attract advertising.
565 We also look for, as I mentioned earlier, talent within the particular communities.
566 A lot of times there are many smaller communities who want programs but there are very few journalists from that particular community who can report from that, you know, for their concerns and that is a concern for us.
567 We take them through the process and we -- I coach them on how they need to go through the entire process.
568 We also look for commercial infrastructure, whether there's a strong retail base to attract advertising.
569 And as I mentioned earlier, we have filed this for the Commission and we have been very successful so far in applying this criteria.
570 MR. VINER: The thing -- one of the differences I'd just like to draw your attention to, Commissioner, between CFMT and many conventional television broadcasters is that we don't have brokered programming, we don't sell the time to someone who then takes the complete responsibility to sell advertising, and we feel that we lose control in terms of -- in terms of ensuring that there's balanced editorial. And so I think that's a distinct difference in the decision that we made.
571 You know, arguably it would be more profitable or easier for us simply to accept brokered programming, and that generally when you look at some of the brokered programming - I don't mean to be critical - but generally when you see third language programming on conventional television that's brokered programming, it's been sold to that producer by the television station and that television producer produces the best show they can and tries to get as much money as they can, and we don't do that.
572 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
573 What are the -- you talked about nine independent producers. How are they different from non-independent?
574 MS. ZINIAK: Independent producers are those who have produced and use facilities, a majority of the facilities outside of CFMT-TV.
575 Many of them have come to us from other stations and they produce the program in their language and have the ability also to have second windows perhaps in other stations.
576 So they have a first window perhaps in CFMT-TV and try to do other things.
577 And I should say also that we try also to assist them by providing grants. Most of the grants have gone towards technical development for
578 As well as being able to, for example, create openings for them that are of excellent quality and of a competitive nature.
579 As well as being able to share footage perhaps that we have from an international news source.
580 And also we embrace them in a sense that if we do hold editorial board meetings with leaders -- political leaders across the country, we invite them and it's all seen as part of CFMT-TV.
581 But certainly as independents, they have freedom and flexibility to do what independent producers do.
582 MR. CARDOZA: So these are not dramatic series not drama series, the same type of programming which is a top news format?
583 MS. ZINIAK: Mainly public affairs kind of programming.
584 MR. CARDOZA: These are being done independently.
585 In terms of recruiting people to do programs, to what extent does community cable help, whether it's Rogers or Shaw in this area? Is there ethnic programming on the community cable channel which are graduated or moved to CFMT?
586 MS. ZINIAK: Yes. We've had, I mentioned Russian recently. We've also had the same experience, for example, with the Armenian community and in the Ottawa area when we were having community outreach sessions with both the Somalian community and Arabic community, that was one of the places that we looked to to see where there was already an involvement and an education with broadcasting or cable casting, and this has proven to be very much an evolution and one that has served us very, very well.
587 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
588 MR. SOLE: Madeline is from cable television, Commissioner Cardoza.
589 MS. ZINIAK: And proud of it.
590 MR. CARDOZA: And I'm glad somebody is.
--- Laughter / Rires
591 I had an illustrious career there one time too.
592 Let me ask you about PSAs. You mentioned The Courage to Stand, which I suppose was a PSA program or documentary, but the Violence Hurts Us All, was that a series of PSA programs?
593 MS. ZINIAK: Yes, that was a project that we're very proud of, in case others say I'm too humble about things, but certainly this was a project, a partnership that we formed with the Heritage Department and we were part of the Family Initiatives Violence Committee that identified the desperate need for communicating and conditioning specifically ethnic communities to Canadian morays and values, specifically that violence is not acceptable.
594 The challenge there was, No. 1, was to produce a PSA in 16 languages and then to be able to broadcast this PSA across the country where necessary.
595 So the Federal Government did indeed identify the need for this kind of communication and it was part of an education process.
596 We did this. The commercial production station, commercial production unit at CFMT-TV produced this. CFMT-TV was the first to donate over $500,000 in air time, and this actually kicked off many other language stations as well as commercial broadcasters, English and French broadcasters, to donate air time.
597 And we made this PSA available to specialty services as well as traditional broadcasters. We worked with both the CAB and the CCTA to make this available.
598 And I think the Heritage Department did an assessment and have ascertained that this PSA has been on more than 15,000 times across Canada in 16 languages and we have seen and heard from, for example, the Peel Regional Police that we have effected woman coming forward and actually recording violence in their families.
599 MR. VINER: Commissioner Cardoza, I would also, this was a tremendous achievement by Madeline and CFMT, but routinely the United Way, charitable foundations throughout the Greater Toronto Area rely on CFMT to reach that very crucial audience segment that is not reached by conventional television and we frequently transcreate commercials or public service announcements in order to ensure that those important messages reach smaller audiences.
600 MR. SOLE: And I would just add that one third layer, and that is that Madeline has talked about things of general public service to all Canadians, Tony has talked about public service that's available to all Canadians but not communicated to ethno-cultural groups, and the third layer is that there are causes and there are public service organizations within ethno-cultural groups that strongly need our support that aren't as famous as United Way or National Violence campaigns but are very important to the Greek or to the Armenian community in terms of fund raising in their neighbourhoods and community.
601 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
602 The John Graham scholarships, you mentioned they had been expanded I think it was on the video. What does that mean?
603 MR. SOLE: Ryerson went to three to four years and our costs went up by 33%.
604 MR. VINER: Which we were happy to do.
605 Paritosh is a graduate of Ryerson and was a recipient of the scholarship and if he's -- and we believe he is representative of the quality of those scholarship winners. We're delighted with our investment.
606 MR. CARDOZA: He must have taken a good question on answering questions at public hearings. He's doing well.
607 MR. SOLE: It's a mandatory course I believe.
608 MR. CARDOZA: One question on the Queen's Park bureau.
609 How does that work? Surely you don't have 16 people in different languages working there, do you?
610 How do you -- like, what do you do there to provide material to different language shows and how many different languages will be interested in a hot story out of Queen's Park?
611 MS. ZINIAK: We've identified it's extremely important to communities and it works very much like our Ottawa bureau where we have senior correspondents who are there, who are able to identify the key issues necessary for our nightly newscasts or even our weekly newscasts and we actually ask politicians, for example, if they're able to, to express their opinion or answer in the language that they're able to speak, and we've been able to capture many issues in language.
612 If not, we also get, of course, answers in English that our reporters then either on site or at the studio will tailor to the language necessary.
613 But our senior correspondents are able to ask questions and our politicians answer in languages that are appropriate.
614 But this is very much often a one-station story type of thing which I would mean that we would be able to get the answer and then we introduce it and discuss it or analyze it by particular reporters in that language so we're able to incorporate the answer in a variety of shows.
615 Politicians certainly enjoy this, they see themselves sometimes in eight different languages, and it's a benefit to the issue as well as to the reporter.
616 We also have the capability to go live when necessary and we think it's also very important for Queen's Park to see and hear different journalists in different languages and that's I think all part of the evolution in Canada as well for multilingual media to integrate with traditional media.
617 MR. SOLE: And I think we ask different questions.
618 MR. CARDOZA: But might you have somebody who - this is really getting picky but just for my curiosity on this - might you have somebody going around asking questions in English say and then a particular MPP responding in the language they are looking for?
619 MS. ZINIAK: Yes, that is precisely it. We've had -- we've also had senior correspondents who are lucky enough to do the beat, like Enzo Dimauro who would actually ask in Italian where possible, the same with Chinese reporters and others.
620 So that is the way --
621 MR. SOLE: That is done. David Battistelli will say to a Cantonese-speaking MP, I'm going to ask you this question in English and I would appreciative it if you would answer it in Cantonese, and that's how it works.
622 MR. CARDOZA: I've certainly seen him at work and I'm glad he hasn't posed his questions to me in that way, but I could see how that would work.
624 One question on the schedule.
625 You've talked about the 8:00 to 10:00 period as being 75% Canadian/90% ethnic.
626 Does that mean that three, or three of the four-half hour slots within that are ethnic Canadian and the fourth will be ethnic foreign?
627 MR. SOLE: The schedule that's in our application is a half hour of Italian, this is Monday to Friday, sir, a half hour of Italian news from 8:00 to 8:30, an Italian serial drama which is imported and one hour of Chinese news, which is Canadian.
628 The only other hour of non-Canadian program takes place on Saturday between 8:00 and 10:00 and it's the first half of a Chinese movie.
629 So you have two and a half plus the one hour of movie, three and a half hours of non-Canadian but it's all ethnic.
630 MR. VINER: The reference I think on the tape, Commissioner, was it's over 90% ethnic. Over the course of a year there is, you know, times when it's not and that's sort of Monday through Sunday I believe, Leslie.
631 So you know, we're almost a hundred per cent ethnic, but...
632 MR. CARDOZA: Okay. So to go back to the schedule that you've filed with your application, the eight o'clock Studio Aperto is --
633 MR. SOLE: Canadian-Italian.
634 MR. CARDOZA: Okay. And Tellenovella is Italian?
635 MR. SOLE: Yes.
636 MR. CARDOZA: And the Chinese Newsline is...?
637 MR. SOLE: Canadian. And the remainder of the programming is Canadian with the exception of 9:00 to 10:00 on Saturday which is the first hour of an imported Chinese movie.
638 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
639 That's the seven days?
640 MR. SOLE: That's the seven days, and that's where we get the 90%. It's in excess of 90, but...
641 MR. CARDOZA: Right. I wonder if I could stop there. I have got a few more with regards to programming, and then we'll go to financial segments, if that's okay with you.
642 Madam Chair.
643 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner.
644 We'll take a break until 20 minutes past 11:00, 15 minutes.
--- Upon recessing at 1103 / Suspension à 1103
--- Upon resuming at 1120 / Reprise à 1120
645 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome back.
646 Commissioner Cardoza, will pursue his questioning.
647 MR. CARDOZA: Thank you, Madam Chair.
648 Welcome back.
649 As I said, I'll go through just a few more programming questions.
650 First, one of the things I've been curious to understand is how Rogers Communications Inc. works in terms of their relationship with Rogers Media and Rogers Cable.
651 For example, I assume you know Mr. John Tory and others, and in our relationship with you, you're separate licensees, so we tend to deal with each licensee differently.
652 But one of the things that has come to us and is primarily more in the local Ottawa area, is an issue of carriage where as you're aware that Telelatino is not available in Ottawa and black television moved from analogue to digital recently.
653 Is there an opportunity for you Rogers Media, and CFMT in particular, to make a case to Rogers Cable if it's in your interest or if you think it's worthwhile, to have those type of programs more available to viewers in the way they are, say, in the Toronto market or is there an element of there being competition with Telelatino?
654 MR. VINER: Commissioner Cardoza, as you'll hear Ted Rogers say on a number of occasions that each of his divisions, each of the divisions of Rogers Communications which include wireless, cable and media each have their own separate boards of directors and their own separate financing, and although we cooperate with one another, it is the business imperatives of each division that are foremost.
655 I'm not -- I don't know anything about cable, I really and truly don't.
656 I believe that the issue that you referred to with respect to Ottawa has far more to do with the availability of channels on the Ottawa cable system because of the number of French channels that are also required to be carried, but I have to qualify that and say I absolutely don't know.
657 With respect to anything that Media might do, the companies are completely separate and, you know, I know and like and respect and think John does a wonderful job, but issues such as carriage, they will do what they have to do in order to ensure the success of the cable company, and I will do what I have to do in order to ensure the success of the media company.
658 And those, as I say I'm responsible to a separate board of directors, I have separate financing. So I'm really, you know, I have a different group to whom I report.
659 Now, we try to do -- we try to cooperate on promotional issues and other areas, but that's -- we don't have any other -- our business imperatives are the exclusive purview of the individual divisions.
660 MR. CARDOZA: So as part of the Rogers family you don't play a role in either sensitizing them or talking to them about relations?
661 MR. VINER: Sure. You know, we talk to -- I talk to John and we would talk to cable as they would talk to us about issues, but ultimately the decision with respect to those kinds of things are related to their own business imperatives.
662 We have had discussions, you know, about whether or not they could carry Telelatino and I think that they will tell you that -- what they tell me is that it's a channel capacity issue but, beyond that, Commissioner Cardoza --
663 MR. CARDOZA: I'm not asking to define them, I'm just asking what your role has been in this process.
664 MR. VINER: We -- you know, I'm sure I would do things differently if they could persuade me to do them, and I'm sure they would do some things differently if I could persuade them to do them, and it doesn't always work out that way.
665 MR. CARDOZA: Keep trying.
666 Let me ask you about the suspensive condition of licence with regard to sexual portrayal and violence.
667 In a general way can you tell me how you define your relationship with CBSC and tell me whether they perform a useful service for you as a broadcaster?
668 MR. VINER: I think I'll let Maddy respond since she is both responsible for our programming and on the CBSC board.
669 MS. ZINIAK: As a member of the Ontario Region of the Canadian Broadcasters Standards Council, I have to say that CBSC plays a key role in determining and contributing to the complaints process and I think in respect to our interest of course at CFMT and as a member from the broadcast arena, my interest is that ethno-cultural issues and issues such as defamation as it refers -- as we take a look at different codes is important, and I'm personally happy to contribute in areas such as that.
670 I think as an arm's length body, both the membership of broadcasters and private members is very useful in adjudicating different complaints.
671 MR. CARDOZA: I wonder sometimes whether the presence of the CBSC doesn't serve a flip service that wasn't intended, where a broadcaster might run a certain program that is questionable or problematic and/or whatever and say, I'll keep running it until CBSC tells me there's a problem with that.
672 Is there that kind of possibility that the suspensive condition of licence becomes one where the broadcaster can suspend their judgment and leave it to the CBSC to define the parameters, or do you define your own parameters?
673 MR. VINER: Well, I think I'll let Maddy and Leslie expand on this, Commissioner Cardoza, but I would say this we're in the audience business and we're very responsive to our audience, and long before a complaint would reach the CBSC it would reach us and we do our very best to respond reasonably.
674 If a viewer writes us a letter we respond, and we don't wait for it just to go through the machinations especially as it relates to our language programming.
675 Maddy and Paritosh work very closely with our programming advisory council to ensure that the programming we either acquire or produce is fair and balanced, as I said earlier.
676 So we do maintain our own standards. But it is -- I think all broadcasters are sensitive to censure by CBSC but they're also sensitive to their own audiences and response their own audiences have to their own programming.
677 MR. SOLE: On this changing process I would make one comment, if this is a general question on how it is it working.
678 What may appear to be happening is when we get a complaint that had formerly gone to the CRTC it will go to the council before it comes to us.
679 So in the past where we would get direct response from the Commission on a complaint, it now goes to the Broadcast Standards people and then it comes to us.
680 So I don't think -- it's a process where we're not waiting for something to happen, it just goes through one more step before it gets to the licensee.
681 MR. CARDOZA: Is that a delay from your perspective?
682 MR. SOLE: I think I couldn't comment. I think the viewer in some cases feel it's, you know, it's two layers instead of one, but as Tony said, we have an obligation internally that if someone writes to us about the contents of our programming, without regard for any governing or regulatory body, we respond.
683 MR. VINER: I think it's important to note that generally we get complaints first.
684 Generally, not always, generally people who want to complain about our programming or some aspect of our programming pick up the phone and Maddy fields those calls.
685 So we have a pretty good sense of where the complaints are.
686 MS. ZINIAK: Actually we do have a viewer response line that we monitor regularly and our information program coordinator listens and monitors these complaints and usually the viewer, if it's a negative, you know, sometimes we do get positive as well.
687 MR. CARDOZA: Yeah.
688 MS. ZINIAK: They would tell us, you know, I'm not happy and perhaps I'll write to the CRTC.
689 So we do have interaction with many of the viewers at that point.
690 MR. CARDOZA: And your third language program also has been and will been, as you're requesting, subject to CBSC?
691 MS. ZINIAK: Oh, yes, very much so.
692 And if I can add, it's been a valuable experience for the committee for the Ontario Region for me to be able to share a lot of the standards in defamanation and, of course, the codes are inherently there, but also to supplement that kind of information within ethnic communities, for example.
693 MR. CARDOZA: Program line-up that you've got currently, looking at the latest TV Guide, say in the 10:00 to eleven o'clock period is what you're intending, is the kind of programming you're intending, like Frasier and Third Rock, NewsRadio?
694 MR. SOLE: Yes.
695 MR. CARDOZA: Yes.
696 MR. SOLE: You mean this coming fall?
697 MR. CARDOZA: Yes.
698 MR. SOLE: Yes, it will be three situation comedies.
699 MR. CARDOZA: A couple of questions about closed captioning.
700 You mentioned that you've exceeded what we expected in the last licence renewal. We noted I think that you had 17 1/2 of the time and we wanted you to do a bit more, and you've done 62 hours per week.
701 MR. SOLE: Yes.
702 MR. CARDOZA: I noticed in the application there was a reference, 'all news reports made by its news anchors would be closed captioned'.
703 Can you explain to me what that means and whether it's the whole program or just the parts that have news and anchors, or just give me a sense of what is captioned currently?
704 MR. SOLE: The technology that we use to prompt our news and our news anchor allows us easy live or virtually live closed captioning by using the script and playing it underneath the anchor.
705 That's what we mean by the anchors are captioned.
706 MR. VINER: Perhaps Kelly Colasanti, our Vice-President of Operations can respond to this question.
707 MR. CARDOZA: I think you answered the question, I'm not understanding the answer necessarily, I guess the technical --
708 MR. COLASANTI: I guess the question is if our newscasts are captioned, they are using a newsmaker system that does the captioning for us.
709 We also use real-time captioning that we sub-contract out to a broadcast captioning firm that does that real time as well.
710 MR. CARDOZA: And the captioning is in the language of the program?
711 MR. COLANSANTI: Yes.
712 MR. CARDOZA: So if you wanted to do -- I think Ms. Ziniak you were talking about subtitles in a different language to make it more understandable, you then run into a problem with captioning?
713 MS. ZINIAK: Yes, that is correct.
714 We've had some very good success stories, for example, with Portuguese language captioning where we have overcome the difficulty of the cedillas. Now we actually caption that all in large letters.
715 There are some technological challenges for Cyrillic alphabet and Chinese, for example, as well.
716 So if we take a look at different fonts for different alphabets, that is the technological challenge. But Roman, we're able to do this with Roman.
717 MR. VINER: Mr. Cardoza, I've just -- because of the closed captioning, we can't do subtitles in English, so Maddy I think has described how we do the news bullets in English--
718 MR. CARDOZA: Right.
719 MR. VINER: --which makes it more accessible, and we've also -- the Macau Hand-Over is an example of a program where we employed the secondary audio program where we actually broadcast in three different languages.
720 So I just -- if you were getting at the access issue that's how we try to tackle that because we have the requirement to provide closed captioning in the language of broadcasts.
721 MR. SOLE: The process of real time subtitling, which I think was the third part of the question, it's an Italian broadcast with Italian closed captioning for Italian hearing challenged viewers and what's the possibility of adding English to the bottom text, that's not here yet.
722 It's possible. There are two fundamental problems, firstly of all there is not, as Kelly said, real-time captioning depends on a number of links and until real-time captioning is able to go from Italian to English instantly we won't be able to subtitle newscasts.
723 We've heard that there will be internet technology and this is a bit of futurism stuff in the next 10 to 12 years that will read and translate in less than a second, and we're monitoring that technology closely.
724 MR. COLASANTI: We've done a number of things as well, if I may add a little more to that.
725 We did a test at one point where we took Italian subtitling captioning and tried to translate into English and because of the actual delay in the process it didn't make any sense, but we worked with broadcast captioning on that scenario.
726 And also for Chinese, we've purchased a Chinese character generator to allow us to do opening captioning subtitling as well.
727 MR. CARDOZA: So of the 62 hours that you do currently is in Italian, Portuguese and South Asian news; is that correct?
728 MS. ZINIAK: Yes..
729 MR. SOLE: And English.
730 MR. CARDOZA: And which English programs?
731 MR. VINER: Virtually all the American programming.
732 MR. CARDOZA: So they are all captioned too?
733 MR. VINER: Yes.
734 MR. CARDOZA: And you're beginning to get something in Chinese I understand?
735 MR. COLASANTI: No. We have a Chinese character generator that allows us to do <TER> subtitling, it's not closed captioning. There is no technology that currently allows us to do Chinese characters...
736 MR. SOLE: Canada and the United States are somewhat advanced. When we buy programming from -- and programming produced in other languages there just doesn't seem to be the same impetus behind serving hearing impaired people in other countries and, therefore, the technology is...
737 MR. CARDOZA: So does that make you somewhat of a leader in the language. Is that what you're doing?
738 MR. SOLE: In terms of closed captioning, I'd say yes.
739 MS. ZINIAK: I'd say yes in general.
740 MR. CARDOZA: I think the lights out from the bushel.
741 She's really showing off now.
742 Okay. General financial viability,
A few questions in that regard.
743 If I go to the profitability figures that we have from you, I notice there was a considerable jump in your PBIT from '98 to '99 and the first thought that comes to mind is congratulations, well done, and then yet another success story.
744 What would you attribute this to being over this one-year period that you would have an increase?
745 MR. SOLE: I can talk from a general operating point of view and then Jim might give you some background on the revenue.
746 We had concurrently three successful situation comedies at the same time for the first time in the Simpsons, in Frasier and in Third Rock From The Sun, and what happens, and this is, it's congratulations and it's all a great deal of good luck.
747 So when that happens, you'll see that -- when you have three in a row like that revenue reflects it, and that revenue went to the bottom line.
748 Jim, do you want to mention what the market was like to in '99.
749 MR. NELLES: In '99?
750 MR. SOLE: Right.
751 MR. NELLES: '99 was by all measures a very strong year certainly for us.
752 As Leslie's mentioned, we were the beneficiaries of some very strong rating performance, we've noted before, adults 18 to 49 and adults 18 to 34 as being important, and last year ratings in those demographics came across very strongly.
753 And so it was natural that we would bundle up in terms of English language revenue there.
754 On the third language side, however, with the movement of a lot of retail competition we noticed that numbers were down a little bit.
755 But certainly for English last year was a great year.
756 MR. CARDOZA: Is part of that the general economic situation as well that you've got more advertisers available to you?
757 MR. VINER: Commissioner, that's absolutely correct.
758 Last year was by all standards I think a pretty good economic year.
759 I think that certainly the conventional networks I believe did well, and specialty services I think I'm correct in saying had a good year, and we were able to jump on with some rating point performance because in that particular area, of course, it is driven by ratings, we were able to have a good year as well.
760 But it is a bit of an exception over the seven-year period but we are certainly very pleased, sir.
761 MR. CARDOZA: And to what extent does London and Ottawa help you from the perspective of national time sales?
762 MR. VINER: I think London/Ottawa are helpful to us, certainly from the English sector. I would say that most of the stations in southern Ontario ALSO have distribution through much of southern Ontario, so we're all sort of on a competitive platform that is somewhat similar.
763 We don't have anywhere near the number of prime time ratings that those competitive stations would have, so we may not reflect or be able to monetize our distribution quite as much as they would.
764 MR. SOLE: My explanation -- sorry.
765 MR. CARDOZA: Just to finish that part about national time sales, I'm not thinking just of the economic conditions in London and Ottawa, but the fact that you've got three major centres, does that make you more attractive for national time sales from the adviser's point of view?
766 MR. VINER: Yes, it does. Certainly our distribution in Ottawa and London complements Toronto.
767 As I say, our competitive stations emanating out of this market are certainly there. We do not have the ability to sell local, of course, though in any of those markets--
768 MR. CARDOZA: Right.
769 MR. VINER: --so we would not be...
770 MR. CARDOZA: Your local time sales are for Toronto?
771 MR. VINER: Are strictly Toronto, that's correct.
772 It's important to note that rather than necessarily providing us an advantage though, Commissioner, it sort of puts us on an even footing with Global and CITY and CTV and Chum and ONtv, all of whom have the same distribution that we do.
773 MR. SOLE: I was going to describe it much the same way.
774 It's not what they have done so much as what it would be like without them. We're allowed to take our advertising to market and offer the same markets, so that keeps us in the same price value range.
775 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
776 I had a question on how advertising is sold and to what extent your programming, when you're selling advertising for your English programs, to what extent the presence of your programs in other languages is an asset?
777 When you go to sell your advertising in English, to what extent are you able to deliver a larger product to the advertiser that where they could advertise on English as well as on the other language programs.
778 MR. SOLE: That's an initiative that we take very seriously. We endeavor to market CFMT in third language as well as English all the time.
779 The reality for many of the advertisers and certainly for advertising agencies is that they look at their English language purchases quite differently than they look at their third language purchases.
780 When they look at English language they tend to use the currency of Neilson and BBM viewing trends and all that sort of thing.
781 That's not available to us from the standpoint of third language sales. There we have to use research that attempts to denote who our viewers are, perhaps their consumption habits and those sorts of things and there just aren't the economies of scale to have sufficient people meters, if you will, or diaries in Portuguese community or the Italian community or many of the other communities.
782 So we wind up having to certainly raise the flag at all opportunities, but we really have to push business development. And Melanie Farrell may wish to comment on that. She's charged with working with national advertisers, agencies, clients in an effort to encourage them to and to help them into third language.
783 MS. FARRELL: We actually have a national sales force that is specifically dedicated to presenting to national advertisers the benefits of advertising in languages. There is three people, myself included, and we do about 300 presentations a year.
784 MR. VINER: It's important, Commissioner Cardoza, our greatest source of frustration that the reality is that the presence of our ethnic schedule does not assist in the sale of advertising time to traditional advertisers, no matter how frequently and we do all the time make presentations on the ethnic diversity available in southern Ontario and the importance of that market and Melanie and Jim and Malcom, we've done research that showed the consumption patterns of various ethnic audiences, but as Melanie will tell you it's an uphill battle.
785 We are able to convince certain advertisers, and we're proud of those advertisers that we've brought on stream, that they should advertise in our language programming, but almost in every case they've done that as a special out of a special budget, promotional budget or a trial budget, an experimental budgets and the churn for those advertisers in language sales, the moment they run into a sales problem or recession or downturn in the economy, that's gone.
786 We can't -- we have been unsuccessful in persuading them that they should use CFMT as a regular important crucial part of their ongoing strategy.
787 And, as you know, television is a national sales medium. And, unlike radio, which is 75/25 and radio 75% local, 25% national, it's the opposite in television.
788 Until we are able to persuade all of those advertisers to advertise on our language schedule in a regular, recurring, frequent way, then we'll have trouble generating revenue from that schedule.
789 What happens, of course, is that, you know, general cutbacks occur and an advertiser will say: I'm going to cut my schedule, my advertising schedule by 10% and what they do is they cut us 100% first our language schedule, that gets cuts first and then they cut back in conventional media, in conventional television.
790 So it's a struggle. We do our very best but it's a struggle.
791 MR. SOLE: I would add one thing, and this is a question that has come up in our own business meetings.
792 We have two are distinct islands of revenue, the 60% ethnic schedule and the 40% conventional schedule. We are unable to, because of the language of the creative material, and as Tony and Jim have said, the marketing plans of the various advertisers, exploit them together.
793 Where a regular, or a normal or conventional, station CFTO or Global or CITY can take the revenue and the advertiser interest generated from a high-rated American simulcast and create revenue for the Canadian content by developing packages, we do not have that advantage.
794 We're able to take various elements of the English schedule and package them together and even less so, but in some cases we can do that in the ethnic schedule.
795 So the idea that a car manufacturer would buy some non-ethnic U.S. and a portion of Cantonese or Italian news is highly unlikely.
796 In the case of our competitors, it is very common place because you have to buy both to get the high-rated one.
797 MR. VINER: But I should add, we try. We offer to transcreate commercials, we offer to take the creative and transcreate it into a language and we have been successful in some regards, and we also try to produce different commercials for them themselves.
798 But it's an uphill battle.
799 MR. CARDOZA: Can I take you to the definition you provided to us in your April 10th letter which was the response to the deficiency question, page 6 of that.
800 Just a couple of things on this. In the first columns, 1998 to 1999.
801 MR. VINER: Commissioner, I just want to clarify, is this the ethnic and non-ethnic and advertising revenues and program costs, 50% of the total is that --
802 MR. CARDOZA: That's right.
803 MR. VINER: Yes, thanks.
804 MR. SOLE: Just while we're flipping through our pages I just wanted to make sure we all were on the same page.
805 MR. CARDOZA: So that first column is program costs; am I right?
806 MR. VINER: Yes, I believe so.
807 Tom, are you there?
808 I'm going to ask Tom Ayley our Chief Financial officer who prepared this.
809 MR. CARDOZA: And the second column is program revenues. Okay.
810 MR. VINER: That's fair.
811 MR. CARDOZA: I just wanted to understand a bit more the figures between '98 and '99 if you can come down to those, the programming costs went, for the ethnic Canadian programming, went from 33 to 40% and the revenues went from 16 to 11%.
812 We did some calculations out of that by using the real figures and coming out with a percentage at the end of that which showed the margin for the Canadian ethnic programming went from -7% in '98 to -56% in '99.
813 So it's quite a considerable increase in the margin with regards to Canadian ethnic programming and I'm just wondering what would account for that.
814 THE CHAIRPERSON: Excuse me, Commissioner Cardoza is referring to one of the sheets you were given earlier this morning.
815 He's referring to both sheets. So if you have both of those sheets in front of you, I think it will be helpful.
816 MR. CARDOZA: Yes, it's the sheet you've got there.
817 So if you use that second sheet, so you go to the end of the page, the third last column on the right-hand side value.
818 MR. VINER: Under margins?
819 MR. CARDOZA: Yeah, under margins.
821 MR. VINER: Yeah.
822 MR. CARDOZA: If you go to the third last column, your figures show -7% to -56%.
823 In my experience, and I understand this isn't a rare occurrence, but at time of licence renewal sometimes broadcasters show some very sorry figures just about the time of their licence renewal, and I just want you to assure me that that's not what this is, that this is -- that these figures do reflect the reality in that you're not just trying to ward off this over zealous regulator trying to get more blood out of a stone.
824 MR. VINER: Commissioner Cardoza, I think Maddy and Leslie may want to add.
825 I think on a going forward basis we're showing that that 40% level is you know 39, 38 throughout our licence renewal period.
826 We did do a special, Courage To Stand, we're very proud it. To be honest with you, we didn't think of it in terms of our licence renewal treatment.
827 We had an extension during that time and we did a Courage to Stand as one of our programs that was unusual because of this issue that had occurred in British Columbia.
828 So that was a circumstance driven by our service to our audience, not by any requirement for licence renewal and there may be -- I don't know what the specific other -- I can remember that one.
829 MS. ZINIAK: What we found is that what was very effective was to be able to have the flexibility to respond with specials.
830 Mr. Viner did indicate one. We had others where we specifically reacted to key issues in the community, we embarked on doing special series as well, but also sort of one-shot specials. Like we did Diwali for the Hindu community and others, and Eads, for example.
831 So different specials that we did once and we found that this was a very effective way, both from an audience point of view, and also had maximum or interesting impact all around, one can conclude perhaps with advertisers piquing interest.
832 MR. SOLE: I would also say that some of the margin on that investment isn't here yet.
833 We did 52 half hours of a vegetarian South Asian cooking series that would be expensive up front but would be good for a number of years. It's,
Quite Evergreen. So it would cost a lot of money in the year of production, but will return in the next four or five years.
834 We did a series called Gwai Lo Cooking, that would be expensive in the up-front part but would have revenue in 10 years to come.
835 And those would have been exceptional expenses on a normal basis.
836 So that I think are the large investments.
837 There were two or three Evergreen programs, Sat Sri Akaal is good for a number of years in terms of broadcasting.
838 MR. VINER: I think it's important, though, Commissioner Cardoza, we used a phrase in our presentation which is 'running harder to stay in the same place' and Leslie indicated that, you know, that the biggest language groups, which are Italian and Chinese, they are the biggest, they have the most revenue potential, are being serviced well and aggressively by Telelatino and Fairchild, and also those are the groups that have the most newspapers, the most radio, the most -- so that's the most competitive.
839 And we are having to spend money and program development both in producing programs for Polish and Tamil and areas where there are smaller language groups, Korean, Japanese.
840 We'll give you all the examples if you'd like them. But the issue is that these are both expensive to produce and unlikely to produce revenue or not as likely to produce revenue as the larger groups.
841 So I think that this -- what we're looking at is a change, we're not complaining about it but I think it's a change that has occurred in the marketplace that we're reacting to.
842 MR. CARDOZA: So the one-year increase in costs that we're looking at and the one-year decrease in the margins, I have a hard time understanding whether -7 to -56 is an increase or a decrease, but it's something very big.
843 Is that due to all these factors, the one-time shows that you've been doing, or is it the advertising, or is it the competition where the others are catching up to you?
844 MR. VINER: I think it's fair to say it's a combination of the three things that have been mentioned.
845 One is the specials that we've done that are unique.
846 The second is the investment that we've made in programming to see if we can produce programming that we can sell elsewhere or that will appear in our schedule in years to come.
847 And the third is just the changed revenue potential given the larger number of groups that we're attempting to serve.
848 MR. CARDOZA: And of the first two there was more of that type of programming done in '99?
849 MR. SOLE: There were over 150 hours.
850 We did a joint venture with a company that's now called now TBA International Motion in Quebec to take a science series, sir, as we mentioned on our tape, and put it into five different languages.
851 We would not normally do 125 hours of programming but the opportunity was there and so the investment was made.
852 As for the other series I mentioned, if -- to take a financial overview of all of the elements because we're recalling specific things.
853 I might ask Tom to try and put a summary answer on this in terms of money in/money out.
854 MR. AYLEY: Thanks, Leslie.
855 There's two basic elements that cause the change, and assuming we've got all the average numbers in all the right places, because this isn't normally how we do our accounting, so we had to go back and put these in this order.
856 But the first thing that caused that change is a drop in revenue of $1.7-million or something and costs did go up by about a million dollars, and I think we heard how that happened
with all the special projects we had.
857 We had also taken some special initiatives to try and be more competitive in Chinese with some new talent programs, we expanded to six nights a week with news, et cetera, about that time and there's always a little lag in revenue whenever you do something like that.
858 I think the Asian flu kicked in just about the time that we were trying to make some efforts in our Chinese language programming that stifled us.
859 And we were also coming up, 1998 was the World Cup year and our sales are always better on all of our programming in our European languages when that happens.
860 So if you notice I guess it's the fourth or fifth column over, there was a huge drop in revenue from year to year.
861 MR. CARDOZA: Mm-hmm.
862 MR. AYLEY: Indicating that the programming was causing the biggest change in the margin, and then Tony and Leslie have mentioned an increase in expenses that we incurred as well.
863 We initially -- I just have one comment, it goes to your opening remarks. That we had initially thought we were going to have a licence renewal of course in 1999, not 2000 and under no circumstances have we gone in to do anything with the books, per se.
864 I hadn't looked at this report, to be honest with you, that closely when we prepared it and when I saw the actual numbers for the early years that indicated that there was potentially revenue in excesses over our basic costs of doing Canadian programming. I was very surprised because that is news to me.
865 My hunch is in preparing this for you that -- the source information for you, that we may have some Canadian English creeping in here that is causing the older numbers to look better than they were. That's my only thing I can come up with, so I spoke to our --
866 MR. CARDOZA: Are you speaking of Canadian?
867 MR. AYLEY: Well, we're speaking of Canadian ethnic here.
868 MR. CARDOZA: Right.
869 MR. AYLEY: And I think some Canadian English revenues in past years may have just got in there somehow.
870 I don't know how I might have done that.
871 MR. CARDOZA: And which would have been...?
872 MR. AYLEY: To make early years look better than they really are.
873 MR. CARDOZA: Which would have been the Canadian English programs?
874 MR. AYLEY: Like the interest specials that we do and some of the programs that we do that may be a lot of this as English.
875 MR. CARDOZA: Non-ethnic.
876 MR. AYLEY: Non-ethnic.
877 Because I was surprised when I saw these numbers, that there's certainly no way that we make any margin ever on any of our Canadian-produced programming.
878 MR. CARDOZA: With regards to second windows, who are the second windows things that you are planning with some of the shows you mentioned that are available to CFMT?
879 MR. SOLE: We now have come to a distribution agreement with Motion International, if I can call them that because I'm not too sure TBA is going to be called TBA again, MIPCOM, so we have a multi-year agreement for the international marketing of the science show that goes into effect this fall and we will receive a percentage for our transcreation of that material.
880 The Carsey Werner International Distribution Company has been selling Veggie Table, initially in Southeast Asia. We've had two sales, one in Sri Lanka and one in Malaysia.
881 The Gwai Lo Cooking show has just begun to be marketed through the internet and on a domestic basis in Canada and in terms of licence agreements, they are in third-party hands.
882 We are optimistic that our friends at Global will be taking a window on Veggie Table for the prime network some time in the next 24 months.
883 MR. CARDOZA: That's in -- what language is it in?
884 MR. SOLE: English.
885 MR. CARDOZA: It's English.
886 MR. COLE: It's a vegetarian cooking show that focuses on meatless diet hosted by two South Asian women with a great deal of South Asian influence in terms of the cuisine.
887 MR. CARDOZA: Yeah.
888 And does the multilingual channel then, a station in Montreal provide a second window on any --
889 MR. SOLE: Yes, they do. They are running some of our programming. They've had a very difficult time paying for it, as you might imagine.
890 We have a great deal of affection for the trouble they're going through, being formerly a troubled station ourselves.
891 So you will see a broad range of our Canadian content, and in cases some imported programming that we have national rights to on CJNT.
892 MR. CARDOZA: Okay. Can I just come back to this long sheet one more time, and just go over the last -- the third last column again looking at the whole span of it.
893 What I note is from 1992 to 1998 for the Canadian ethnic programming margin has been around -- ranging between 14% and -7%; whereas for the 2000/20007 projections and the new licence it ranges from -27 to -37.
894 Are you saying that from here on in you're expecting -- how would you explain why you're expecting this considerable negative margin for the next licence period as opposed to the current licence period?
895 MR. VINER: I think Tom touched on it. We haven't -- so far as I know we never made a positive margin, Tom, on Canadian produced programming.
896 Did you suggest a reason?
897 MR. AYLEY: The only program that I can recall that on a consistent basis, because occasionally there will be some changes, but on a consistent basis would be our Chinese news, it's an hour long, it's prime time -- core prime time and it is a good revenue driver and occasionally it will cover its costs, its direct costs.
898 The others just do not. We have just invested so much in them that the small communities and small population bases that we serve, it's impossible and that's why I apologize again for -- when I see the numbers that are here from 1992 to 1998, I know I must have done something wrong when I was giving you some numbers.
899 I may have -- I must have included some Canadian revenue that was not ethnic but would have come from our user repetition. That's the only thing I can think of, what we know.
900 I checked with our controller who is with us today and we both looked at that this with the same thought that the last year, particularly because of our investments that we're making, and looking at 199 -- at 2000 and ahead, that this is more typical of how we see it internally in our management statements.
901 And so we've just forecasted basically a similar trend as Leslie was alluding to earlier, we're serving smaller groups, we're developing our South Asian which takes a lot of money to invest in programming to get the credibility you want for both advisers and viewers. So that this trend I think is what we will see in the future.
902 MR. SOLE: I would describe it from an operational point of view, and I'm not great with specific numbers.
903 We are going to have spend more on Canadian ethnic programming in the next licence period to stay relatively in the same revenue position. That would be my summary of it, and the assumption that went behind it.
904 We cannot step back on the advancements that we've made in our Canadian production and we wanted to be realistic in view of the competitive environment and advertising sales.
905 So I think that's why these are -- they somewhat stabilize between 27 and 37 here on a rolling basis, and I think we're looking at a television station in Ontario with an established reputation and an absolute base quality that has to be maintained and a revenue picture that is not quite as aggressive as the cost picture.
906 MR. CARDOZA: So are you saying that the figures should have been in the -27 to -37 for the first licence period too?
907 MR. AYLEY: That's how I would see it absolutely, yeah, and I would appreciate the opportunity actually to meet after just to straighten it out because this I don't think is representative of our margins.
908 And whether we have inadvertently excluded some element of revenue or cost or misallocated it in doing our numbers, I can't say off hand but this is all -- but our total Canadian expenditures, for example, right off the CRTC return for 1999 are less than the number that is shown here.
909 So there's obviously some English Canadian that's been put in there or I'm not sure, and I apologize for that, but we -- I've mentioned to CRTC staff earlier that we have worked very hard with CRTC staff over the years to make sure that we are doing our accounting properly for all of our costs because there was an issue in 1986 when Rogers took over as to the true meaning of Canadian content and ethnic content and dollars and cents associated with those.
910 So we spent a great deal of effort for many years filing annual returns and reports with the CRTC that were based on various criteria that we had agreed on.
911 I think it was Doug Wilson at the time, but to make sure that we were doing it right and I think Doug even pointed out a few areas where we could add some Canadian content that we hadn't.
912 So I really must apologize for that because we've -- it's not our history that we know.
913 MR. CARDOZA: Okay. One question on the English programming that you're considering at this point, the hundred hours that we talked about earlier.
914 That would come -- your proposal is that that would come out of the 60%?
915 MR. SOLE: Yes, yes, that would be part of the cross-cultural 10%, if I could call it, ethnic English.
916 MR. CARDOZA: And is that possibly a revenue generator?
917 MR. SOLE: There's nothing to indicate that it will perform in any material way better than other ethnic programming, but it will be easier to promote. We are optimistic that it should have possibly broader advertiser support.
918 So we haven't factored in our projections any additional revenue as a result of that being in English, but we think it will be more audience attractive over time once we establish the programming.
919 MR. VINER: The truth of the matter is that particular type of programming doesn't attract huge advertiser interest and we're not looking at it on that basis as a huge revenue generator for the station.
920 MR. CARDOZA: Depends who you get on the show sometimes.
921 MR. VINER: It does.
922 MR. CARDOZA: How much entertainment and how much content?
923 MR. VINER: You're absolutely right.
924 MR. SOLE: It really depends what they say.
925 MR. CARDOZA: And what they say.
926 Okay, a couple of questions on comparison to other broadcasters.
927 You talk about the presence of Telelatino and Fairchild. Given that there is some difference in distribution certainly for Fairchild and for certain cities for Telelatino, can you account for the amount of harm, if I can use that word, or the degree to which they have affected your sales?
928 MR. SOLE: It's quite simple.
929 Fairchild and Telelatino, compared to CFMT, have massive amounts of ethno-specific inventory and, as a result, they're able to offer advertisers a great deal of frequency at a very low cost.
930 And particularly in their ability to sell retail advertising where price is very important, if we were to sell our commercials at those advertising rates, our financial position would be less positive than is illustrated here.
931 So they have a relatively inexpensive consistent supply of homeland entertainment that they can buy more cheaply than we can because of the number of hours they'll buy.
932 They then can take that programming to market, both nationally but particularly on a retail basis, and sell it at very inexpensive volume rates and, over the course of the year, increase their sum advertising in both Italian, Spanish and Cantonese and Mandarin. I meant to separate those two.
933 But that's how it seems to be working.
934 We are losing clients because they can get more commercials for a much lower cost.
935 MR. VINER: And against the largest language groups. They provide excellent programming that attracts audiences and they can sell it at a cheaper rate than we can because they have more inventory.
936 I'm not whining about that, it's just the reality of the marketplace. And that is what is forcing us to try to develop other language groups on our schedule.
937 MR. CARDOZA: How many hours less would you have now as compared to say five, four years ago in Italian and Cantonese and Mandarin?
938 MR. SOLE: As a total they would be about the same. They're a little different from each other than they were, but I think Viddear can give you the actual numbers.
939 Do you mean compared to '92?
940 MR. CARDOZA: Well, from what I understand you said that you've reduced the number of hours of programming in Italian and Chinese languages; is that correct?
941 MR. SOLE: We have rebalanced them.
942 If we take those two largest most economic appealing groups, they are now more in balance than they were when we renewed this licence last time, but the total hours of the two groups in sum would be about the same.
943 MR. VINER: We have reduced the number of hours of Italian language programming and we have increased the number of hours of Chinese.
944 Still, you know, relatively speaking a very small percentage, again I'm not complaining, but a very small percentage of inventory versus Fairchild in the case of Chinese. In the case of Italian we have half an hour less; is that right?
945 MR. SOLE: Yes.
946 MR. VINER: On a nightly basis
947 MR. CARDOZA: Monday to Friday?
948 MR. VINER: Monday to Friday. So we've reduced it, we've increased our Chinese.
949 But I think the comment remains, relative to the specialty services we have a very small proportion of inventory to sell to advertisers who are interested in those particular language groups.
950 MR. CARDOZA: So do you have the number of hours that you have reduced Italian from, say, five years ago.
951 Is that one that is handy?
952 MS. KHAN: I don't have the number of hours in 1992 per se, but I've got hours that we're doing now and the current schedule per week.
953 Total number of hours in Chinese would be 19 hours, that's Cantonese and Mandarin
and in Italian it's 15 hours.
954 MR. CARDOZA: And do you have the hours for a previous year, going back a few years?
955 MR. SOLE: I think the difference in the last five years is there's three and a half hours less Italian and there are three hours more Chinese.
956 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
957 I'd like to move to the last subject which is cost of the ethnic programming.
958 In the '92 renewal the Commission encouraged you to decrease your reliance on foreign conventional programming and to increase the amount of ethnic programming.
959 Overall your profit margins are looking quite nice, and by reading the intervenors' comments I get a sense that the people really like what you provide in terms of multilingual programming and that if I hear this and hear what we've heard in our ethnic policy review of last year people want more.
960 So if the Commission were to increase the level of ethnic programming that you would provide what would you suggest?
961 For example, more Canadian ethnic programming or foreign ethnic programming or more evening or daytime?
962 Is there a way to do it with least negative effect on you, such as ramping up?
963 MR. VINER: Commissioner Cardoza, this is an issue that we've wrestled with and I want to try to be helpful to the Commission.
964 If the Commission requested us to increase the percentage of Canadian ethnic programming, you know, we could do it. We've requested that we remain at 50% for the reason I outlined in my presentation, which is that we want to have ethnic-acquired programming to play in prime time to attract audiences and to provide lead-ins to our Canadian programming.
965 With respect to our conventional English language programming, you're looking at these numbers, look at 1999 and, you know, I have to say that we are already at a significant disadvantage to our competitors who sell English language conventional programming.
966 If you looked at -- Leslie and Madeline and the others have done an excellent job this year in a very unusual year to provide English language programming that's been profitable to us.
967 That hasn't been the case over the course of the last seven years necessarily and it's important to note that when we did our projections last time we missed them for the first five years, we were wrong for the first five years.
968 And I don't suggest that we're going to be wrong for the next five or over the course of our licence renewal, but we need -- so we could increase our ethnic Canadian. It would be very, very difficult for us to reduce our foreign conventional.
969 We're already, as I said, disadvantaged with respect to our competition. We already have a limited amount of inventory.
970 If we aren't so fortunate in acquiring shows that attract audiences, then what happened in 1995 when our PBIT was minus a million dollars and on exactly this model, on exactly this model, that year would have been disaster.
971 So the television business is by no means certain. We can't control what other broadcasters do. We can't always guarantee that we're going to be successful.
972 So, as I said earlier, the economics are fairly simple: We lose a lot money on our Canadian produced, we make a little bit of money on Canadian or on ethnic-acquired and everything else is all of those program development, all of the investment we've made in digital, all of our overheads, our accounting, our sales, our research are all paid for and are returned to our shareholder, are all paid for out of that foreign conventional.
973 If we don't reach a critical mass of ratings point we drop off the chart.
974 Other broadcasters can, as Leslie has pointed out, can use their Canadian inventory to bundle with their American or their foreign in order to provide advertisers with across-the-board advertising campaigns and we can't do that. We already are squeezed in that regard. We aren't able to leverage our language programming against our foreign programming.
975 So the suggestions, we could increase our Canadian ethnic, we prefer not to, but we understand it's popular and we could do that.
976 You may -- so that's one area that we've indicated that we could have some flexibility. I would prefer not to do it for the reasons I've outlined. We could do it.
977 You know, the other -- I think the important thing to note too, Commissioner Cardoza, is not only do we have this 40%, we have this prohibition.
978 MR. CARDOZA: Can I just ask you to wait a second because --
979 MR. VINER: We have this prohibitions between 8:00 and 10:00 core prime time and for the reasons that I've tried to outline, that's a key condition.
980 It guarantees and assures the Commission and the communities that we will broadcast in languages in core prime time between 8:00 and 10:00.
981 In fact, as Leslie has pointed out, we average greater than 75% Canadian in that corridor,
where our conventional competitors would be -- the highest conventional competitor would be 25% Canadian in that corridor.
982 That's the heart of prime time and where the vast majority of the revenue generating capabilities occur.
983 So not only do we have 40%, but we have -- but also we have 40% that's limited to the fringe areas of the schedule.
984 So we have an inventory constraint at 40% and we have scheduling constraint.
985 So I don't know if I've correctly answered your question.
986 MR. CARDOZA: Let me just sort of get at a couple of other things.
987 In terms of ethnic programming during prime time, say 6:00 to 10:00, 6:00 to 11:00, you've set aside 8:00 to 10:00 as being the ethnic block.
988 Is there any room to expand that block?
989 MR. SOLE: We've set aside 8:00 to 10:00 Monday to Friday and all of Saturday and Sunday night.
990 MR. CARDOZA: Right.
991 MR. SOLE: And so as we -- our turn around mission was to run ethnic programming when people were home and when they could watch it.
992 So, as Tony said, the offsetting variances to the policy are that between 8:00 and 10:00 the audience is at home and on Saturday and Sunday evening the audiences are at home, and I would make a case that in ethnic television all day Saturday and Sunday as a result of Canadian history and ethnic television are considered relatively good times, and in the case of Saturday and Sunday we're in excess of 80% ethnic.
993 And in the case of 8:00 to 10:00 like we're 90% ethnic seven days a week, and then other than an hour on Sunday we're a hundred per cent ethnic on Saturday and Sunday night.
994 MR. VINER: But in answer to your question, if we were to lose a half an hour of conventional foreign programming outside -- you know, we expand 8:00 to 10:00, I think is the way you put it, I think it would destroy the flexibility that CFMT has.
995 And to take half an hour from prime time would substantially hurt the station.
996 You know, again, 1999 is a bit of an anomaly and maybe we're going to be right on our forecasts, and maybe no other Canadian television station is now going to increase their ethnic programming although they can under the new ethnic policy, and maybe Fairchild and Telelatino aren't
going to get broader distribution or improve their service or maybe, you the digital -- the 47 applicants for digital won't have a name hacked on us.
997 We've tried to be optimistic in our going forward, but there are -- and we understand the Commission's desire for us (a) to provide better Canadian programming, but I think that what you heard both in the interventions and in the people that appeared before you, is what people seek is quality of programming.
998 And we've been able to provide that quality of programming because of the way in which this balanced model occurs, and we have never hesitated to invest in our language schedule because of it.
999 But I'm just concerned, terribly concerned that this model which I think is the jewel of Canadian broadcasting system, and I really believe that would be endangered because 1999 was a very good year, 1995 we lost a million bucks. You know, that can occur as frequently as the other.
1000 MR. CARDOZA: Okay. So there isn't a half hour or an hour say from after 5:30 before 8:00 or after 10:00 that you think would be most appropriate for additional ethnic, whether Canadian or foreign ethnic?
1001 MR. VINER: Commissioner Cardoza, I don't want to appear to be uncooperative or intransigent, it's just that -- could we take a half an hour?
1002 Sure, but I think that it would so affect the importance of our schedule, which is the language, our ability to produce high quality language schedule to invest in all of the things that we've talked about that -- and so disadvantage us with respect to our conventional competition, we have you know virtually hundred per cent English inventory to sell, that we would drop off the radar screen that by simply an arithmetic saying: Well, you know, if you took a half an hour you'd lose this much money.
1003 I think that the loss that we would suffer would be exponential. We wouldn't be a viable advertising alternative in many ways for advertisers and for advertising agencies.
1004 And it's possible that the effect of dropping half an hour here or there would have a significantly greater impact on the financials of the station than simply by sort of multiplying what the margin is by the number of hours.
1005 So I think there's a real danger.
1006 MR. CARDOZA: What's the prospect of taking this 100 hours that we're talking about, that you've talked about, as being over and above the 60%?
1007 Because it would have a larger audience ability, greater accessibility to people who speak English and, therefore, a larger reach.
1008 MR. VINER: On a 6:00 a.m. to midnight basis?
1009 MR. CARDOZA: Yes, on a 6:00 p.m. to midnight -- well, put it at 6:00 a.m. to midnight or 6:00 p.m.?
1010 MR. SOLE: It would have the same impact financially as taking away a two and a half hour comedy.
1011 MR. CARDOZA: Why two and a half hours?
1012 MR. SOLE: The hundred hours, I'm using round numbers because I'm -- a hundred hours a year over 50 weeks is two hours a week, that's the situation comedy is two and a half hours a week.
1013 So it would be --
1014 MR. CARDOZA: Sorry.
1015 MR. VINER: Look, Commissioner Cardoza, again, I just -- I think the likelihood, I think it would be good programming, but the likelihood, the reality is that we wouldn't draw anywhere near the kind of audience that entertainment programming would draw.
1016 And I think I said earlier, I think we would do this as part of our mandate to serve our communities and it's important programming, but it's not necessarily the type of programming that draws huge audiences and advertisers and, again I'd like to be cooperative, there are, you know, as I said, I think we could go up to 60% Canadian but our ethnic-acquired would suffer somewhat.
1017 But we are sort of - I don't know how - I need to stress this, that we are just sort of on the edge with respect to our English language schedule now.
1018 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
1019 Let me leave you with a few things that I'd like to get an answer from you, and they're sort of a mathematical quiz, but I'm anxious, I understand the impact of it, I'm not just doing it as a mathematical thing.
1020 I thought Mr. Ayley would be most interested in providing us the answer and I will just give this to you, perhaps you can come back to us at the end of the day with a reply to the answers, unless legs you can provide them off the top now.
1021 But can you estimate for us how the following type of changes would affect ad revenues or programming expenditures for the following four scenarios.
1022 No. 1 an increase of ethnic programming from 6:00 p.m. to midnight or between 6:00 p.m. and midnight from 50 to 60%.
1023 And increase of ethnic programming between 6:00 a.m. to midnight from 60 to 70%.
1024 An increase in Canadian content between 6:00 a.m. and midnight from 50 to 60 and an increase in Canadian content between 6:00 p.m. and midnight from 40 to 50%.
1025 If you could provide us with the costs of those. And here's a fourth -- fifth issue as well, and this goes to the other page we had circulated and provided to you, which was that one which had some information that's public and some that's confidential.
1026 And talk about replacing one hour of non-ethnic U.S. programming with one hour of foreign ethnic or Canadian ethnic programming.
1027 MR. VINER: Thank you, Commissioner Cardoza.
1028 We have only -- we have a bit of a problem with the second sheet, so that you're aware that there's an issue with respect to this sheet.
1029 MR. CARDOZA: Yeah, that's fine.
1030 MR. VINER: It might have a significant impact on those number.
1031 MR. CARDOZA: Did you want me to repeat anything?
1032 MR. SOLE: Just the last two, the replacement of one hour U.S. in what context daily, monthly? Replace one hour.
1033 MR. CARDOZA: Per -- can you do per hour?
1034 MR. SOLE: Well, do you mean what's the impact of taking one hour of U.S. out and replacing it with one hour of Canadian ethnic and/or --
1035 MR. CARDOZA: Or foreign ethnic.
1036 MR. SOLE: Okay.
1037 And the second replace was...?
1038 Was that an and/or?
1039 MR. CARDOZA: No, it was replacing the one hour non-ethnic U.S. programming with either foreign ethnic, question 1, Canadian ethnic, question 2.
1040 MR. SOLE: Okay.
1041 MR. VINER: The way in which we buy programs, just to be clear though, you know, this means -- this would likely mean we would buy two fewer half hour strips, is that --
1042 MR. SOLE: I take the revenue from a typical hour.
1043 MR. VINER: Okay, I just wanted to be sure of that.
1044 MR. CARDOZA: If it helps to provide a half hour cost on that last question...
1045 MR. SOLE: Okay, thank you.
1046 MR. CARDOZA: That concludes my questioning.
1047 Thank you very much.
1048 THE CHAIRPERSON: Vice-Chair Wylie.
1049 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: I have some questions, thank you, Madam Chair.
1050 You know why you are here, in 1992 the Commission asked -- said that it would monitor whether over the seven-year renewal if there were indicators that would allow it to think that it could require you to increase the Canadian content and increase the amount of ethnic programming, and since then the Commission has allowed you in 1995 to do infomericals and has given you the possibility of retransmitting over the air in Ottawa and you implemented a transmitter there in 1993 and also in London, Ontario.
1051 And, Mr. Viner, you made a comment you may regret by saying you put us on an even footing with CTV and Global which leads me then to ask why can't you do 60/50 Canadian content?
1052 MR. VINER: I think it's a reasonable question, and I think that the reason, what offsets -- what doesn't put us on the equal footing with Global, Commissioner Wylie, is this 8:00 to 10:00 lack of flexibility in scheduling which Global and CITY and the others do not have and is the largest source of their revenues.
1053 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: I was of course being facetious. Usually it's somebody else on your team who makes these unfortunate comments.
1054 So I'd like to understand better how the mechanics of the financial information work. Can you hear me, it's flickering?
1055 And first I'd like to ask Mr. Ayley, when you talk about that some English programming has crept in in the last two or three years, do you do any Canadian English programming that isn't ethnic?
1056 MR. AYLEY: Primarily --
1057 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think we have a little problem with the sound system.
1058 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: We can hear you. Can you hear me?
1059 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mine is also flickering.
1060 MR. VINER: And I don't know if this is a comment on my participation, but mine won't go off.
--- Laughter / Rires
1061 THE CHAIRPERSON: Let's just take one minute and try and figure out what's happening with the sound here.
1062 Maybe now would be an appropriate time to take the lunch break. That will give us some time to figure out.
1063 I hope that you all can hear me, since I don't have a microphone.
1064 SPEAKER: Yes, you do.
1065 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh I do now. I don't know if we all do.
1066 I think we'll take the lunch break and just check out the sound system at the same time and we'll come back in one hour.
1067 It's quarter to one by my watch, so we'll come back at a quarter to two.
--- Upon recessing at 1245 / Suspension à 1245
--- Upon resuming at 1345 / Reprise à 1345
1068 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, and I'm hoping that our sound system will work for the afternoon without further interruptions.
1069 Vice-Chair Wylie you may proceed with your questions.
1070 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Thank you, Madam Chair.
1071 I was asking you whether you sell commercial ads in interstitial programming?
1072 MR. SOLE: No, directly we do not.
1073 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: But presumably there's a cost to producing them.
1074 MR. SOLE: The interstitial programs?
1075 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Yes.
1076 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1077 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: I want to ask you some questions using this sheet that you were given and you seem to have a bit of a problem with it.
1078 When I look at the ad revenues, and by the way I'm quite aware that this is confidential material, I won't use exact numbers and I won't even use percentages.
1079 The advantage of having it before you and you know what the differences when I say there's a difference.
1080 When I add -- if I look at your returns for 1998 and 1999 and the ad revenues here it's correct, it adds up.
1081 MR. AYLEY: That's correct.
1082 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And are you saying that these sheets don't allocate the cost of producing interstitial and, therefore, skews the numbers.
1083 What is your problem with these sheets?
1084 MR. AYLEY: Okay. We had a quick look at it at break, myself and our controller, and we noted that in the programming cost area included in the numbers on the long sheet are items such as commercial production music licence fees and you might say the big programming number, and we have tended to use the line on the application -- on the annual return that says total Canadian programming year.
1085 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Yes. But are you suggesting that the percentage allocation here of ad revenues to the categories of programming on this sheet is wrong, that the calculation has been made against the total revenues as opposed to the ad revenues?
1086 I don't have a calculator so I didn't do it.
1087 I assume that the staff that use -- you provided the percentages.
1088 MR. AYLEY: Yes, we did.
1089 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And you provided the exact numbers?
1090 So you're saying that when it says 7% allocated to this and that the percentage allocated is calculated against total revenues rather than only ad revenues; is that it?
1091 MR. AYLEY: Let me just check that.
1092 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And, if so, it's a very small difference; isn't it?
1093 MR. AYLEY: Well, in some years.
1094 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: In the scheme of things.
1095 MR. VINER: Commissioner Wylie, I hope we're talking about the same page. We're talking about this particular --
1096 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Well, no, no. I have questions related to this page across where numbers were taken and the staff calculated percentages. I want to question from this page.
1097 Were you not given a long page like this?
1098 MR. VINER: Yes, yes, we were.
1099 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Okay. And if I look at the revenues for -- well, let me provide a context.
1100 It's not perfect to look at '98 to '99, it's not, but it's certainly more of an indication of direction for us than projections.
1101 And if we look at your revenues they have increased and it would also seem to me that since you were given Ottawa/London there would be increase in national sales.
1102 And you answered, well, we're not allowed to sell local, but that's not where the major increase is.
1103 The major increase is in national sales and it would make sense that it would take a while for that to show and then eventually it shows.
1104 And that's what we're discussing here is, given that you're allowed to do infomercials and there's a healthy sum generated slowly since 1995 and there is an increase in national sales columns by whatever you mentioned, you had three very successful American programs, it could also be Ottawa/London.
1105 And what we're looking at, to be fair, is: Should you get closer to the policy and have a smaller exception to it. So that's the context.
1106 So I don't understand the answer, we can't do local in Ottawa/London because the increase in local from your revenues is the usual increase but there's a big jump in national.
1107 So these are the numbers.
1108 The ad revenues that were used on this sheet, unfortunately I did not -- I had the application with me but I did not compare. But what you're saying is that the percentage, for example, in the very first line after ad revenues where it says percentage of ad revenues allocated to Canadian ethnic, foreign ethnic U.S. and then programming costs, that the staff calculated these or you calculated these percentages against the total revenue rather than the ad revenue.
1109 MR. AYLEY: We did the ad revenues.
1110 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And that skews the number?
1111 MR. AYLEY: We did advertising revenues.
1112 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: You would agree with me that it would not be a major change in the percentage, and given that I'm not going to attach my questions to the exact percentage, the percentage of other revenue under sales indication, et cetera and other is relatively small as a ratio of the ad revenue.
1113 MR. AYLEY: It's approximately five to 10%.
1114 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Yes, okay.
1115 So there would be a slight in the calculation -- a slight change in the percentage because the calculation is not made against the total revenue number which is what you did, or --
1116 MR. AYLEY: It's the other way around, we did just advertising revenue and the long
sheet you're looking at includes --
1117 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Includes all revenues?
1118 MR. AYLEY: Other revenue.
1119 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: I see, okay.
1120 MR. AYLEY: But the impact is not --
1121 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Is not -- is -- certainly directionally is not very different.
1122 Now, have you tried to -- let me ask you first. When you applied for transmitter in Ottawa and one in London, do you recall whether you had anticipated additional national revenues as ad revenues as a result?
1123 MR. AYLEY: I believe we did, yes.
I don't recall those numbers offhand, but...
1124 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And did you ever -- and when you were preparing for this renewal, did you attempt to identify what could be attributed to London and Ottawa and whether it matched your projections when you applied?
1125 MR. AYLEY: I did not do that, no.
1126 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And do you have any idea of what that would be?
1127 MR. SOLE: Commissioner Wylie, what's happened in the ensuing years with ONtv, CITY and others having Ontario distribution, is that our national revenues are blended throughout that region.
1128 There's a rate structure for national advertisers that now includes those markets as a pre-assumption.
1129 There is very little information on national advertising for London or for Ottawa. So when we talked about a leveling, we talked about CFMT being in the same geographical competitive rate structure as the other Ontario systems in the Golden Horseshoe.
1130 So it is virtually impossible for us to say as a result of London and Ottawa our sales have increased by this percent or that percent.
1131 What's happened is Ontario is bought in the same fashion that Toronto used to be bought. So it's difficult to isolate what the effect of those two markets would be on any of the television systems.
1132 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: But as a broadcaster you say that your national revenues increased because it was a lucky year and you had three successful American program.
1133 Can't I also say you may not be selling as much or as well or at the same price if you didn't have London and Ottawa today?
1134 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1135 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Yes, okay.
1136 So you can't sort it out, but most broadcasters would say, as you say, that CITY-TV, ONtv that this is a benefit that probably translates into better sales.
1137 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1138 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Along with the successful American programming?
1139 Okay, yes.
1140 MR. SOLE: It would be the sales of those American programs that would have increased.
1141 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Right.
1142 Now, if we look at this long sheet, I'd like to understand it better, and I take -- we certainly are thankful for the amount of information you have given us and separating the allocation and the program costs, and I take your point as well, Mr. Ayley, that there is a difference because of the fact that the calculations may have been made in one case against advertising revenue only and in the other against all revenues. But I'm trying to see whether we can make anything from this.
1143 And when I look at the difference between '98 and '99, was quite an increase in revenue and a small increase in the programming costs for Canadian ethnic programming, and a substantial decrease in your U.S. non-ethnic programming costs or expenditures, and for ethnic programming, when I look at that column, I assume it's foreign programming that is not conventional; that is, is ethnic programming; would you agree?
1144 There's Canadian ethnic, foreign ethnic and U.S. non-ethnic; right?
1145 MR. AYLEY: Correct.
1146 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: In both the U.S. or ethnic -- sorry, foreign column there's a decrease of some importance in the cost of programming.
1147 And despite that your revenues have a substantial increase.
1148 MR. AYLEY: That --
1149 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Okay. So -- well let me finish.
1150 Why can't I conclude from that that the direction you're going into due to your cleverness as a broadcaster seems to be that even if you reduce the amount of money you spend on foreign programming, you're so successful at what you buy that despite an increase in the Canadian you still make more money.
1151 MR. AYLEY: Start with the foreign costs.
1152 CFMT is slightly different than other stations, we commit to programs for 10 years at a time in some cases.
1153 And what happens is in the first year of the program we amortize a large amount of our commitment and that decreases from year to year.
1154 So what you're seeing between '98 and '99 is programming that we've owned for a longer time that has less amortization impact on our expenses and without adding new programming.
1155 If you go to 2000 and you add - and I'll give you an actual example - Third Rock From The Sun, that number will be begin to come up again.
1156 So programs like Frasier are most expensive in their first two years and they become less expensive in the ensuing years, yet if the ratings remain the same, the sales are maintained.
1157 So unlike Global or CITY or other stations that buy programming on a per week basis, on a per hour basis every year, our U.S. programming costs go up and down depending on the age of the syndicated properties.
1158 MR. VINER: I think, Commissioner Wylie, you can see that pattern merge if you look over the course of our actual.
1159 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Yes. Why don't you walk me through that by using that column, U.S. non-ethnic beginning in '92.
1160 MR. VINER: Yeah. Well, we prefer perhaps not to use numbers, but what happens --
1161 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: No, no, you don't have to, just show me the years to indicate your point.
1162 MR. VINER: Well, what Leslie -- yeah, we're up 20%, one year down 20%, up you know 40%, down 40, up 10, up 20, down 30.
1163 The amortization to which Leslie referred is that we take 50% the first year, 30% of the cost the second year and 20 the third.
1164 And so our programming amortization follows this pattern. We're always -- occasionally Leslie invites me on buying trips and we're not as successful every year. So, you know, we have to write off a program. We take all of the write-off against that programming because we drop it from the schedule, that doesn't work.
1165 And so rather than amortize the cost over several years we just write it off in that year and that results in a huge swing in our costs for foreign-acquired -- U.S.-acquired programming.
1166 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Now, if I look at your revenues it wouldn't necessarily translate into a similar increase in revenues.
1167 See, what we're looking at here is a decrease in programming costs which is only about half of the increase in revenues, and it leads me to believe that you're improving your situation and possibly because Ottawa and London is kicking in, plus your greater experience, your ability to program and do it better and make more money than you did in 1995, your terrible year.
1168 MR. VINER: Commissioner Wylie, just to be clear though, if we take a program like the Simpsons and it runs for three years and it attracts two rating points every year, it's the same show but our costs attributable to it fall each year because we take a larger write-off in the first year than we do in the second or third, the result is that our revenue can stay the same and your costs can decline.
1169 Now we constantly have to refresh the schedule and not all programming works that way. You know, a lot of them decline, the revenues decline with the cost and some of the margins relatively stay the same.
1170 But that's how the seeming anomaly can occur that our revenues can stay the same or increase.
1171 If, for example, the rating point you were getting $500 a rating point in one year and $550 the next and you had two rating points in a show you could -- your actual revenue could increase but your costs would decrease even if it's the same show.
1172 I'm sorry if that's a bit of a long winded answer, but...
1173 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Why is it that you buy for 10 years because it's a better deal? Financially.
1174 MR. SOLE: That's the way it's sold. When you by rerun programs you buy a number of original episodes and a number of plays of each episode over a duration and generally six years is the shortest cycle that's sold and up to 12 years.
1175 That's the way they've been sold long before we were in business.
1176 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: But I still find it difficult to reconcile this decrease in programming costs and the substantial increase, more than has been seen before, in your revenues between '98 and '99.
1177 Some of it must be attributable to a better economic situation in Ontario, and also to the addition, I think it was about 35% addition to your potential audience, because if you say: Well, yes, better economic but we want the exception anyway for seven years because that may not last, then of course my reaction is: Would you rather a short term?
1178 So that if we decide in our lack of wisdom to increase your Canadian content or your ethnic content we can at least check whether you're doing poorly because the indicators were not anything we should have relied on.
1179 MR. VINER: I'm not sure how I answer all of those questions.
1180 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: No, no, it's only one question.
1181 Do you think that the answer -- the indication is here is that you're improving your situation.
1182 There are a number of factors that would lead one to believe that that makes sense because since we last saw you we allowed you to do infomercials, there's a healthy sum being generated, we gave you a transmitter in London and one in Ottawa, so those would normally indicate that your situation would improve.
1183 I understand your reservations about the way programming is purchased and it is true that there are sometimes decreases in years that you pointed out, but if it's the Ontario situation economically that is better for everybody, therefore it improves your situation as well, but you say: Don't rely on these indicators because this may not continue, take our projections instead, forget the historical '98 to '99 it's a blip, then my reaction is: Well, maybe what we should do is increase it for a few years, give you a short-term renewal and look to see whether it is a blip and you're now having a problem.
1184 And in any event, even if you had seven years and you had a problem you can come back to us.
1185 MR. VINER: Commissioner Wylie, our expanded distribution didn't occur between '98 and '99,
1186 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Yes, but Mr. Viner, we all know it takes a while for it to show up, you don't just get your transmitter going in a new area, which is like a new station, and record increases right away.
1187 It would make imminent sense that we would see them a few years later.
1188 MR. VINER: Yes, conceptually I think that's true. I don't think we particularly have any evidence to suggest that it's just kicked in in that year.
1189 I think that there are other broadcasters who have similarly expanded their reach who perhaps aren't doing better and there would be other reasons for that.
1190 I'm not denying that the expanded reach has been helpful. I think that the expanded reach has been helpful for us for three or four years to be perfectly honest, not last year.
1191 I think as I've tried to explain poorly, I'm afraid, that one of the reasons that we've become more profitable is that we have roughly the same schedule delivering roughly the same ratings points at a higher cost per point and lower cost.
1192 I think that is the largest contributor to our success, and I'm sorry that I haven't been able to explain that very well.
1193 But this -- the way in which our system works, because we are mostly syndicated on the English side, is that our programming costs decline over time if - and Leslie has referred to the fact we have got three successful shows, so we haven't had to write anything off - and so it's shown a large disparity.
1194 Is that a result of increased distribution? Yes, but I think the larger factor is the one that suggests that the economy has done better and we've been lucky. We haven't written off any shows, and I'd like -- I think we're better at things than we were before, but I don't want to bet that we'll be that lucky forever.
1195 And, you know, what has happened is that other conventional television broadcasters have aggressively moved into this area and very frequently outbid us, so we have to be nimble and agile, and I think that's the reason.
1196 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Of course when we look at programming costs that affects percentages, but there's a real increase in revenues beginning in 1997 and 1998 and dramatically, you know, continuing between '98 and '99 which is a real increase in revenues at that point, it has nothing to do with programming cost, that's the amount of money you're taking in.
1197 It's when we start calculating percentages that your comments are obviously valid and seem to be shown over the manner in which you buy programming, but your revenue stream is increasing and which would lead us to question whether you can't ramp up closer to the policy in Canadian content because it is an exception you have.
1198 It's an exception that you had in 1992 and we forewarned that we would look at whether you couldn't come closer to the policy rather than establishing a policy that is 10% and giving you an exception 10% lower in Canadian content when you appear to be doing well.
1199 So I would like to discuss with you and give you the opportunity to tell us what it is that could work; either it's a ramp up that is ratcheted according to how well you're doing, whether we should have a short-term renewal to test whether we're expecting too much?
1200 What is it that you -- and you don't have to answer right away, but that you would be prepared to find is the most appropriate way of the Commission getting closer to the policy further from an exception in light of the numbers we have before us?
1201 Because you may indeed get something that is not livable. So in case, what is it that would be more workable, more fair, we'd take into account the risk, because the numbers of your revenues don't...
1202 So you've discussed with Commissioner Cardoza a number of ways in which this could be done.
1203 Obviously the Commission's interest is for you to be closer to the policy. You are the jewel. We will be hearing shortly probably an application in Montreal where they have a hundred per cent ethnic and we'll have to discuss there what the rule is.
1204 Well, is the rule going to be the 10% less than the ethnic policy in Canadian content, because that's what is imposed here with healthy revenue numbers.
1205 So help us do something, if we do anything, all of this is hypothetical, but if we were to do something what would make sense. You know what the policy is the 60/40 ethnic which, of course, the more ethnic the better, but Canadian content is 60/50 and you are, as you mentioned, all over Ontario like everybody else, why can't you do closer for that policy requirement?
1206 And if we are to ramp it up, what would be a sensible way of doing it and there's many ways of doing that.
1207 That's it, Madam Chair.
1208 MR. VINER: Thank you, Commissioner Wylie. I appreciate the spirit in which your question is asked.
1209 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: I'm not sure.
1210 MR. VINER: I do appreciate it, I'm sincere.
1211 Two things I'd like to mention because you mentioned that our real revenues were ramping up over the last number of years, and I agree with that, although I would refer you to the first five years where they ramped down. I think that that can happen too, so just...
1212 The other issue, and you referenced the policy, and we appreciate that, and we acknowledge that what we've asked for is a variance from that policy.
1213 But, again, I would like to say that the other variance from policy that we've requested because we think it's important, is that we be limited in the English language programming that we schedule between 8:00 and 10:00.
1214 But having said that, perhaps we should think about this because Leslie is concerned I'll give away the store.
1215 But I had already said that, you know, we could do 60% Canadian over time, it would require us to drop some ethnic-acquired.
1216 If you ask me what a sensible way to do it and the Commission didn't buy our argument the reason for our request, I think that I would be prepared to suggest that we would go to 60% over the course of our licence so that at the end -- conclusion of our licence we would be at 60%.
1217 The problem with a short-term renewal or coming back is that, you know, we get to 1995 and we come before you and you say it's a blip. We get to 1999 and I come before you and say it's a blip.
1218 And so I think that overall if we could move to 60% I think we could do that by the end of the licence term.
1219 The ethnic-acquired programming in prime time is key to us, it's important for the viability of the station and I would prefer to be able to play that -- to schedule that in prime time.
1220 So if you're asking me what I would like and would be sensible is to keep that at 40% over the course of our licence and examine that at the conclusion.
1221 So I'm trying to be helpful.
1222 I don't want to do it, I don't think it's good for the station, I don't think it's good for the system. This is my opinion because I think our current economic model serves the viewers because it allows them to have programming from their homelands in a limited way, which they like.
1223 It enables, frankly, the economic model to work. It's the only economic model that works, it's the only one, it's the only one that's ever been proven to work.
1224 And, frankly, you're interested in protecting the other broadcasters, but it keeps us out of their territory in terms of what we're going to bid on against them.
1225 So we always felt that our flexibility with respect to Canadian content scheduling is offset by our inability to schedule English language programming at a time where most other Canadian television stations derive 60% of their revenues.
1226 And we don't have that opportunity. We're an independent stand-alone station. We have no opportunity to amortize our Canadian programming over other markets. We have no opportunity to buy in conjunction with other Canadian television stations. So we are disadvantaged in several ways.
1227 So in the spirit of cooperation that would be my proposal, if we could go up by, you know, an appropriate amount over the course of seven years.
1228 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Mr. Viner, the 8:00 to 10:00 can't I turn your argument around and say: It's actually a sign of your cleverness to put ethnic programming at that time because your station is in such a situation that you would probably have difficulty purchasing programming and go head-on-head with your competitors.
1229 I suppose you're going to say you could have the advantage of substitution as well.
1230 But in a sense, isn't that one of the -- yes, it is a concession to the regulatory system to do it during 8:00 to 10:00, but is it not also a clever way, financially or commercially to schedule an ethnic broadcaster, an ethnic station; isn't it, to not go head-to-head during those hours with the Globals of the world or CTV if they're actually programming high powered American programs.
1231 MR. VINER: I suppose that you will likely say you lose the simulcast opportunity and you'd be right, you've been most complementary, Commissioner Wylie, on the intelligence of my management team, I think I should be rightfully excluded from your remarks.
1232 I would only say this, that this same management team, given additional flexibility between 8:00 and 10:00 --
1233 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Could do other things.
1234 MR. VINER: --could do an awful lot of other things.
1235 And so I think that given the track record and the group here, if we were allowed to have flexibility between 8:00 and 10:00 in our English language programming that we could find ways in which we would significantly improve our revenues.
1236 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Yes.
1237 I have heard you say that Saturday and Sunday in an ethnic station is unlike a conventional one, still good broadcast time and surely there are other ways of increasing Canadian content without jeopardizing the 8:00 to 10:00, which is, you know, economics obviously, don't want to do one thing at the expense of another, which is also the direction of the policy.
1238 But I repeat, to allow the exception up to 10% would be basically saying that our policy of expecting 60/50 Canadian content is wrong because your numbers are healthy, and to say that we should only request 50/40 is going to put a new ceiling to the Canadian content contrary to the policy.
1239 MR. VINER: Commissioner, I understand that. I note that the policy does allow the Commission the opportunity to change the Canadian content by exception.
1240 But I take your point.
1241 We believe that originally these were offsets because of -- for all of the reasons that I have stated. However, if it was the Commission's wish for us to move to 60% over the course of our licence, I believe that we could accommodate that.
1242 I would like it to be staged only because we've made commitments to acquire programming that we can't get out of, and I would also ask that the Commission consider maintaining the exception with respect to the prime time, at least as an offset to that 8:00 to 10:00, because if we're -- we really do need the ability to program acquired ethnic in prime time.
1243 It seems to me that it's -- that the system would not be well served to force us to have both limited flexibility between 8:00 and 10:00 and then provide us no flexibility on Canadian in prime time.
1244 That to me would be very, very difficult. But if we could go to 60% overall over the course of our licence in a staged way, we would find that acceptable.
1245 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Thank you very much.
1246 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Viner, you said a few minutes ago that CFMT is, when you look at what's with CJNT with a 100% ethnic programming model and it hasn't worked, and as Commissioner Wylie said: We'll be entertaining an application from them probably in the not too distant future, and that CFMT really is the only successful model that you've developed since you took over the channel.
1247 I wonder if you can just refresh my memory. During our ethnic policy, our ethnic broadcasting policy review, what position did you argue with respect to Canadian content?
1248 You said at the beginning of the hearing that you thought it was a good policy and it provided a good foundation, but you are running the only successful ethnic or multicultural channel in the country and are you're making the argument that it's successful because of that exception.
1249 MR. VINER: That's correct.
1250 THE CHAIRPERSON: So do you remember what position you argued during the ethnic broadcasting policy.
1251 MR. VINER: Leslie.
1252 MR. SOLE: I don't think we made specific comments on Canadian content.
1253 We argued that the -- and I'm one of the few people that have been around since the beginning, the original conditions of licence were co-authored between the new owners of CFMT and the Commission and that's where this set of unique conditions came from.
1254 Our basic message at the ethnic review was that our model served us well and that 60/40 was a functional and supportive system, that was fair, in the context that every broadcaster gets 40% U.S. and that we felt the future of ethnic television in Canada would be developing high quality Canadian content.
1255 I don't think we commented on the levels of Canadian content.
1256 MR. VINER: You know, I think, Commissioner Wilson, this CFMT is the result of a collaborative process as Leslie has said and, you know, extremely well balanced.
1257 There are -- we have a broad service mandate, we have to serve smaller communities. Other Canadian stations have to invest in drama.
1258 We've got lower Canadian content and in return we've got an inability to access the most profitable time periods for U.S. simulcast.
1259 It's a balance that's worked extremely well.
1260 CFMT was not a financial success; CJNT has not been a financial success. The predecessor to Talent Vision was not a financial success.
1261 So our model seems to work and I think it's worked well and I think that we've discharged our mandate.
1262 So I don't believe we have -- I think our position at those hearings was that 60% ethnic/40% foreign was a model that had worked and I don't think we particularly addressed Canadian content, although we would not ask for production in Canadian content.
1263 THE CHAIRPERSON: It seems to me though that if you come here and Commissioner Wylie has already questioned you on this issue, but you come and say we'd like to maintain the 50/40 exception for the balance of the licence term, that because you are the only successful multicultural channel in the country, that de facto becomes the policy, as she said, it becomes the ceiling not the floor.
1264 So that's where I'm trying to -- I'm trying to understand.
1265 MR. VINER: You're quite right, Commissioner Wilson, the policy doesn't say anything about 8:00 to 10:00, so that's an exception as well.
1266 The policy doesn't say anything about 8:00 to 10:00.
1267 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mm-hmm.
1268 MR. VINER: So if you said, Mr. Viner, we expect you to live up to the policy and the policy is 60%/40%, 50/40, no 8:00 to 10:00, that would be acceptable.
1269 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1270 Let me just ask you a couple of other very short questions.
1271 Couple of things that you said could affect your performance, your revenue performance in the future. One was other broadcasters doing ethnic programming under the ethnic broadcasting policy that you're aware of, are there any other broadcasters besides CITY-TV doing ethnic programming?
1272 MR. SOLE: Yeah, there's -- from time to time CHEX will have a program on.
1273 THE CHAIRPERSON: Where is that?
1274 MR. SOLE: Peterborough.
1275 THE CHAIRPERSON: Peterborough, okay.
1276 MR. SOLE: Hamilton has been in and out of doing ethnic programming.
1277 It's -- right now CITY is the only consistent broadcaster that does bartered programming on the weekend through a local radio station, but there are other -- in this period Channel 11 had ethnic programming, and we think that as we all watched Canada change the temptation to do Canadian content in third language is covered, it will be entertained, it will at least be looked at.
1278 THE CHAIRPERSON: Even though from your model it doesn't make money?
1279 MR. VINER: Well, brokered programming does make money.
1280 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's true.
1281 MR. VINER: And you can sell the time and get Canadian content.
1282 MR. SOLE: Sorry, the licensee makes money on brokered programming with no risks.
1283 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, that's a good point.
1284 I just want to ask you one other thing. One of the other factors that you mentioned was specialty channels and their effect on your ability to generate revenues through your third language programming, particularly for the Italian and Chinese communities.
1285 In Vancouver you applied for a station very similar to CFMT, at 21st February, 1999 Public Hearing that application was heard.
1286 In a letter dated November 26, '99 pertaining to that application you said that you didn't contemplate having any quantitative effect on the financial performance of Fairchild or Telelatino.
1287 Why is it the opposite in Toronto?
1288 MR. VINER: It's just that, we don't have any quantitative --
1289 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, but you're saying that they will have an effect on you.
1290 MR. VINER: Right. And so in Vancouver where they're established it's even a higher hill for us to climb.
1291 So our Vancouver correspondence was that a station like ours that serves 15, 18 groups will not have a material financial effect on a large ethnic group like Chinese that has in excess of a hundred hours.
1292 The economics will always be in their favour when it comes to selling air time to Chinese advertisers.
1293 THE CHAIRPERSON: So in Vancouver.
1294 MR. SOLE: Vancouver.
1295 THE CHAIRPERSON: In Toronto though you're saying that they will have an impact on you.
1296 MR. SOLE: They have had an impact on us. And in Vancouver, if they can have an impact on us here where we exist and are established, we are saying we would have no impact on them where they were established in Vancouver, we would not hurt their business case.
1297 MR. VINER: Just to be clear, Commissioner Wilson, we're losing to them a little bit.
1298 They can flood the market with inventory, provide audience attractive programming, entertainment programming from the homeland.
1299 So, you know, they can have an effect on us; we're having trouble having an effect on them. So, yes, they can certainly, you know, as I say, flood the market with inventory and have an attractive programming.
1300 So I don't think that because they have an effect on us that necessarily the opposite is necessarily true.
1301 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1302 Thank you.
1303 I think Commissioner Cardoza has one additional question.
1304 Oh, sorry.
1305 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Sorry, Mr. Cardoza.
1306 THE CHAIRPERSON: Everyone is eager to talk today.
1307 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: I just want to be sure, Mr. Ayley, that I understand.
1308 This sheet I believe was produced from the numbers at page 6 of the deficiency letter response; is that correct, dated April 10th?
1309 MR. AYLEY: Yes.
1310 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Now, you'll notice there that it does say in defence of the staff percentage of total ad revenues which is what the staff has used to calculate the sideways sheet I've just given you, correct?
1311 MR. AYLEY: Well, I don't believe so.
I think the information --
1312 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Well, do you have page 6?
1313 MR. AYLEY: Yeah, I do.
1314 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: It says percentage of total revenues, and I believe these are the percentages that were used.
1315 MR. AYLEY: Of advertising revenues.
1316 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Yes, of advertising revenues.
1317 Is what you're telling me now that it should have been percentage of total revenues, that you calculated the percentages from there and, therefore, there's a discrepancy with our percentages up and down?
1318 Is that what I understood you to say?
1319 MR. AYLEY: No, I'm saying that it says advertising revenues but the long form includes other revenue.
1320 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: I don't think so.
1321 The long form, I did the calculation, if I added national revenues, local revenues and infomercials I get that total.
1322 MR. AYLEY: I've excluded infomercials.
1323 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Ah.
1324 Well, why shouldn't that be revenues?
1325 MR. AYLEY: Well, because it's identifiable as either--
1326 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Okay.
1327 MR. AYLEY: --English or ethnic.
1328 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: So that's the only difference. It's not -- I had misunderstood that you had calculated it adding in syndication and so on. It's only -- infomercials are excluded from this figure?
1329 MR. AYLEY: On our numbers, yes.
1330 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: So then when I apply that to that other sum there's a discrepancy.
1331 What I wanted to satisfy myself with, Madam Chair, is there anything else that you find wrong with this sheet?
1332 MR. AYLEY: There was some discrepancy as well in terms of what programming costs were, where we have limited our -- when we did our percentages we limited our numbers to the line on the annual return that says total Canadian programming aired, for example, and We did not include commercial production or music licence fees or write-offs, and that's--
1333 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And this will be --
1334 MR. AYLEY: That will have an impact on application.
1335 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And this would be operating --
1336 MR. AYLEY: And I think the staff has tried to give us the benefit of doubt by going right to the bottom, but really...
1337 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Right. So anything else that --
1338 MR. AYLEY: That's the only thing I've noticed so far.
1339 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Apart from that and I think we agreed that the variations would not--
1340 MR. AYLEY: Not that great.
1341 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: --be very large, that the directional -- the direction of the expenses and revenues with the comments that were made to us to explain some of them would approximate, but I just want to make sure we take your comments into consideration.
1342 MR. AYLEY: I would still like to look at the earlier years a little bit when I get home.
1343 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Yes, and reply since you have the sheet with you, you may want to make sure that we are with you as to how this works.
1344 Thank you. Thank you.
1345 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Cardoza.
1346 MR. CARDOZA: Yes, Madam Chair, just one follow-up question, Mr. Viner, in your conversation with Commissioner Wylie.
1347 On the issue of going to 60% Canadian content over time, over the course of the licence term, I just want to understand, would that Canadian content be regular English or would it be ethnic programming?
1348 MR. SOLE: To put it in Canadian content, this is -- let me be a bit interpretive.
1349 This seems to be an effort to have CFMT come in compliance with the policy of 60% Canadian content and 50% prime time.
1350 What we're suggesting is to accommodate the Canadian, which will cost us more money, we will have to eliminate the programming that has the lowest yield.
1351 And as Tony mentioned earlier, in our case, like other licensees, the 40% of U.S. programming that runs Canadian conventional television, we would need that or this would be more than a discussion of a few dollars, it would be millions and millions of dollars without that.
1352 So if we were to go to 60% Canadian content and 50% in prime time, or as Tony suggested 60% overall would be more comfortable for us with no change in prime time, there still -- in that case, there still would be some ethnic imported.
1353 But on the policy as it's written in all likelihood the thing we would remove from the schedule would be ethnic foreign.
1354 MR. VINER: My guess is that it would be language programming, Commissioner Cardoza, but I was trying to respond to a question that Commissioner Wylie posed and tried to be constructive and I didn't specify because I don't have a business plan for it.
1355 We're an ethnic station and so my first thought is, my instinct is that it would be language programming, but I haven't thought it through thoroughly and as I, just to repeat, my request because we have that other prime time prohibition, that we consider maintaining 40% even if we went to 60% over the -- 40% in prime time.
1356 MR. CARDOZA: And would that not drop your overall ethnic amount? If you increased Canadian content and dropped the foreign ethnic, would that Canadian content be English language?
1357 MR. VINER: Well, my guess is it would not be but if you're asking me, have I done the math...
1358 MR. CARDOZA: No, I understand you haven't done the math because we asked that question. Now, you may have anticipated my question.
1359 MR. VINER: I didn't anticipate just that question, which is my fault not anyone else's.
1360 Look, my guess is that we would add language programming. We don't have --
1361 MR. SOLE: We are by policy bound to 60/40.
1362 The new Canadian content would in all likelihood be Canadian ethnic programming.
1363 MR. VINER: I don't know how we could do it in any other way.
1364 MR. CARDOZA: So all you'd be doing is replacing the Canadian ethnic group.
1365 MR. SOLE: If we were to try to compete with the other broadcasters with main stream English Canadian content, we would be disadvantaged at a multiple of levels, we don't have the average market, we don't have the news gathering.
1366 So in all likelihood we would extend the brands we have.
1367 MR. VINER: The likelihood is that we would lose some of the ethnic-acquired but I think we could come up with some alternative programming, given time, if that was the Commission's requirement, we would do our very best to honour it, would honour it.
1368 MR. CARDOZA: I understand. Thanks.
1369 Thank you, Madam Chair.
1370 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner.
1371 Legal Counsel, one question?
1372 MR. RHEAUME: Just a couple of clarifications.
1373 What was referred to as the long page, a bunch of numbers, left to right, your projections for 2000, I notice that you have your accountants and your numbers people here, are you in line to meet those projections, if I could ask, they're confidential numbers of course.
1374 MR. AYLEY: I believe so.
1375 THE SECRETARY: Your microphone, please.
1376 MR. AYLEY: Yes.
1377 MR. RHEAUME: The ad revenue?
1378 MR. AYLEY: Yes. But the problem I'm having with qualifying that, unfortunately, is that we do calendar year financial statements, but the fall was in pretty good shape, so I would say yes.
1379 MR. RHEAUME: So we're roughly 10 months in the year.
1380 MR. AYLEY: Yeah.
1381 MR. RHEAUME: So you would be in line to meet these projections?
1382 MR. AYLEY: Yes.
1383 MR. RHEAUME: How do you arrive at the projections?
1384 MR. VINER: Excuse me. We're not -- just to be clear, we're on the calendar year though, just...
1385 Okay, fine.
1386 MR. RHEAUME: I appreciate that.
1387 How does one arrive at projections for year 2004, let's say, what are your assumptions?
1388 Because I notice, I'll tell you the point of my question is, I notice that you have some pretty flat years in your projections until 2007, some are good, some are average, some are relatively flat.
1389 How do you arrive at those?
1390 MR. AYLEY: The basics that we have use in the application, I think were put in the application, because it's a seven-year period we just use inflation as a starting point and looking at recent behaviour in programming costs we have seen it coming in programming costs as well we have seen it coming in from the U.S. as well as our assumption, we would have a similar 10% ethnic component or foreign ethnic component, and looking at increased buying that's going on in general really we doubled the inflation for a lot of our programming costs and for revenue, I guess we were somewhat aggressive given the amount of competition that's on the horizon, we did retail I think at a half point above inflation and national is physically one point above inflation.
1391 So they should appear fairly steadily through there.
1392 I don't recall making many changes to that.
1393 MR. VINER: And I think just to add to that, that would be aggressive, aggressive if you looked at conventional television.
1394 All of the growth in television advertising has come because of specialty services at the expense of conventional television, so...
1395 MR. RHEAUME: But surely, Mr. Viner, you'll agree that if we look at 1998-1999, and you explained that's an exceptional year, one could not construe the projections and that revenue as conservative, as aggressive I would probably call it more cautious than --
1396 MR. VINER: Jim, what's the experience?
1397 MR. NELLES: In terms of looking at the last couple of years, we were the beneficiaries, as we alluded to before, of some good rating point performances. A couple of rating points in two and a half hour shows incremental could basically account for the advertising difference between '98 and '99.
1398 As we look ahead, and if I look at the most recent revenue numbers from the television bureau both for the Province of Ontario, Toronto and for Canada in general, as Tony alluded to, retail advertising is down considerably, national spot advertising is flat and specialty is up significantly, I believe up about 11% and that includes conventional network.
1399 If one isolates specialty out of conventional network, it's even more significant.
1400 So that would probably be one of the reasons that hopefully we would be constructively cautious as we look out.
1401 And the other aspect of course is that for the most part our competition bundles services, and so it's lonely Local when you're stand-alone and when other services can combine some of their various elements, then they will just be all that more competitive.
1402 MR. RHEAUME: Mr. Viner, is it fair to say that if you meet these projections you don't have a problem with the 60% Canadian over the licence term?
1403 MR. VINER: If we meet these projections we don't have a problem in the way I've described it.
1404 Certainly, as you can say, we don't have a problem. Our profitability will suffer. I think we made that clear.
1405 If we meet the 60% and are able to maintain the exception that I've indicated, we'll be hurt less, so...
1406 MR. RHEAUME: What would be the suggested formula to go from the current level to 60% over the licence term, because we're talking a condition of licence--
1407 MR. VINER: Sure.
1408 MR. RHEAUME: --we might as well discuss it.
1409 MR. VINER: Sure. We're going to have a chance. I mean, if you'd ask me I'd say 10 divided by 7.
1410 But I haven't, you know, sorry, I haven't given it greater thought than that.
1411 MR. RHEAUME: Well, maybe you can come back in rebuttal.
1412 Something else maybe you want to consider when you come back.
1413 MR. VINER: 1.1427 something, I think is the number.
1414 MR. RHEAUME: You're an accountant.
1415 MR. VINER: I'm not. I sell television time for money.
1416 MR. RHEAUME: The non-Canadian non-ethnic programming, you have a conditional licence that allow you to go to a maximum of 40% for the day and 50% in the evening, 60 at night, but you're not using anywhere near that over the last three years, so why would you be so insistent that this has a crucial significance for your operation.
1417 MR. VINER: Thank you for the opportunity to clarify that. Leslie.
1418 MR. SOLE: We are using it. If we're referring to this long sheet that the non-ethnic U.S. is 35%.
1419 MR. RHEAUME: Go ahead.
1420 MR. SOLE: The assumption made in the footnote that the 218.5 hours is put in with Canadian non-ethnic programming, it really is intrinsic and critical to that 35% and the numbers work something like this:
1421 That 35% by show title, by half-hour time slot results in 40% U.S. programming.
1422 What's happened here is the interstitial has been isolated and removed because it's Canadian content. What it is is Canadian content that bridges U.S. programs.
1423 So if you take the term Canadian ethnic and make it truly Canadian ethnic, you take the term foreign ethnic and make it foreign ethnic and you take non-ethnic U.S. and make it English non-ethnic you end up back near 40%.
1424 And that interstitial, now as I said there's no revenue from it, it's used because American programming allows more commercial units than Canadian.
So that's where that 35% may be somewhat misleading.
1425 MR. VINER: If you thought Frasier was a half-hour show and it really isn't, but you thought it was, and you put together all your half-hours you will see we use the full 40%.
1426 MR. RHEAUME: I see. And that's for the last three years I guess.
1427 The problem that I'm referring to, a letter was sent to you in January to Mr. Sole where we actually give you figures according to your own logs.
1428 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1429 MR. RHEAUME: And you agreed with those figures.
1430 MR. SOLE: I agree that 35% of our programming is non-ethnic U.S. on a minute count, yes. On a minute count.
1431 MR. RHEAUME: Are your interstitial under five minutes?
1432 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1433 Now, Jim is Night Life under five minutes?
1434 MR. NELLES: Yes.
1435 MR. VINER: But how this interstitial occurs you couldn't take blocks of it and monitor it. An American program runs from 7:00 to 7:30 and it's two minutes short.
1436 MR. RHEAUME: I understand.
1437 MR. VINER: So we agree with the number, but it's impossible for us to sort of put it -- to take it somewhere else, it's a function of the U.S. programming.
1438 MR. RHEAUME: Closed captioning.
1439 What percentage of the English programming is closed captioned currently?
1440 MR. SOLE: Kelly or Viddear, maybe you have that. Viddear's got it.
1441 MS. KHAN: It's a hundred per cent.
1442 MR. RHEAUME: Thank you. That's it for now.
1443 Thank you, Madam Chair.
1444 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Legal Counsel.
1445 Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that's it, and we'll see you back a little bit later after the interventions.
--- Pause / Pause
1446 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. We're going to proceed now to interventions.
1447 ...some sort of a delay, we thought we'd be getting to this a little bit sooner, and there is going to be a slight change in order of two of the parties who are here to intervene on the Rogers application have requested to be heard, sort of moved up the schedule because they have prior commitments that they have to meet. So we are going to do a slight re-arrangement.
1448 So, Madam Secretary, maybe you could call the first appearing intervenor in the revised order.
1449 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
1450 So now we'll hear Mr. Michael Colle, then we'll follow up with the Armenian Community Centre and we'll go back to our schedule as indicated in the agenda for today.
1451 So, Mr. Michael Colle, please.
1452 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sorry to keep you waiting Mr. Colle. I know you were--
1453 MR. COLLE: No problem.
1454 THE CHAIRPERSON: --hoping to be heard a little closer to two o'clock.
1455 Proceed when you're ready.
1456 MR. COLLE: Okay, fine...
1457 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sorry.
1458 Maybe I could just remind the intervenors, because many of won't have been here this morning when I went over how to operate the mike, but in order to assist us in the transcription of the proceedings of the hearing we need for you to have your microphone on and you do that by pressing the white button and you'll see a little red light on, also a big red light on around here, and when you're finished, if you could please turn it off.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
1459 MR. COLLE: Okay, thank you, Madam Commissioner and Commissioners.
1460 Thank you for the opportunity to be her.
1461 I am the member of Provincial Government for the Riding of Eglinton-Lawrence here in the City of Toronto. The Eglinton Riding is essentially in the Yonge Street corridor going west towards Caledonia, so it's right in the heart of the City of Toronto. And I am more than pleased to be here today supporting the CFMT's application for licence renewal.
1462 My riding has a population of over 110,000 people. It is wonderfully diverse community of communities that mirrors the diverse multicultural mosaic of Toronto and the Greater Toronto region.
1463 Renowned institutions like Villa Columbo and bay the Baycrest Centre reflect a community that is rich in culture and contrast.
1464 On every street one hears, sees and smells the delightfully unique diversity from the four corners of the world.
1465 CFMT, with its reach to so many language groups, helps connect new Canadians of all backgrounds and helps all of us to share with pride in our roots and in the rich tradition of others.
1466 Just the other day this happened. I'm getting flowers for our anniversary, as anecdote I stopped into a florist who happened to be of Korean origin and the husband and wife said: God, we're so happy to see you in the evening, the eight o'clock news. I said, but that's in Italian. They said: Oh, we watch it anyways, we find out what's going on.
1467 So I think there's an ability to sort of cross-mix viewers here because of the friendliness and the impact of the news at 8:00 p.m.
1468 My daily work as an MPP is clearly enhanced and aided by CFMT. Their news broadcasts are an excellent source for resource of the citizens of the GTA whose first language is not necessarily English and helps them to keep abreast of provincial issues such as health care and education which affects them all directly.
1469 As an MPP I do not have resources to communicate and update all my constituents in their first language. Yet because of CFMT's commitment to reaching out to all Canadians in the GTA and providing this public service, my constituents remain informed.
1470 I get this feedback quite constantly and people say: Well, we know that there is an issue with health care, we know there's an issue with education and I find they saw the issue on the evening news broadcast on CFMT. In fact the comments I get back are almost as frequent with CFMT newscasts and programs as it is on the main stream channels. So I know it's reaching real people on a daily basis.
1471 CFMT is the most valuable link for myself and all who want to feel part of the political process.
1472 Our society is dependent on a well-informed public. The key to CFMT's success is that it is inclusive and reflective of the interests and aspirations of so many new Canadians that do not have English as a first language.
1473 As Canadians we sometimes take for granted how seamless the blending of our 130 languages and cultural groups are.
1474 CFMT is one of the contributing factors to the success of the bringing together of the many rich cultures that make up this city, this province and this country.
1475 And I think as a citizen of Toronto and of Canada, I'm very proud of the fact that we've been a melting pot, a mosaic, a great experiment that works wonderfully well and I think we can challenge any country in the world in terms of our ability to do that.
1476 And I think one of the players in this is our ability to communicate to a variety of groups who feel inclusive and feel part of it rather than excluded, and this happens without fanfare, it happens quite regularly on a routine basis and it's one of the reasons, I think, we're able to again live together in a City like Toronto in such harmony.
1477 CFMT helps make all of our new Canadians who have made a home here feel that in Canada they are respected and are making a positive contribution.
1478 In closing, I'm certain one does not have to restate the crucial role television plays in forming opinions and attitudes.
1479 Without question, CFMT is a most positive force for good in my community and for the good of the rich diversity it represents.
1480 And just in conclusion, again, most of my daily work deals with people who have concerns about their hospitals, have concerns about the air they breath, have concerns about public transportation, and as elected provincial politicians I find it a very effective way of communicating these concerns and solutions and debate through a station like CFMT, I could not do it.
1481 Again, I do not have the resources and elected officials to do that by mail or other ways or by news letters.
1482 One way of getting information out to people is through the news broadcast. CFMT who are there at Queen's Park almost every day, they're passing on what transpired at Queen's Park, getting that out to people and getting comments from elected officials about the news of the day.
1483 So it is to me a very low-cost, effective way of letting people know what we're doing as a government, what we're doing as elected officials and I certainly feel that it's an integral part of my communication strategy with the people I represent and people right across Ontario that I represent on various issues.
1484 That is my submission. I thank you for the opportunity to give that.
1485 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr.
1486 Follow my own advice about the microphone.
1487 Thank you, Mr. Colle.
1488 Commissioner Wylie.
1489 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: We certainly appreciate, Mr. Colle, you taking the time to come here.
1490 You mentioned that you found the proceeding interesting. How long have you been here today?
1491 MR. COLLE: I came in about 1:30 for the afternoon session.
1492 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And would you share for us what you found interesting?
1493 MR. COLLE: Well, what I found interesting is that what strikes a real balance between trying to keep Canadian content at the same time is the challenging efforts of CFMT to bring across the ethnic broadcasting at the same time and at the same time make it financially viable.
1494 So I know the challenges the Commission has in terms of its mandate and, on the other hand you have got real viable business entrepreneurship mandate that CFMT has, and I think sometimes we take that kind of challenge for granted.
1495 But I know how difficult it is to balance all those competing interests, but I do want to say at the outcome of all this that we do have this strength in our community as a result of the CRTC's efforts to make CFMT viable and it's there and it's really an integral part, especially seniors, people that really have this way of feeling that they are part, and their frustration level -- and it's there every night for them and I think it's very, very reassuring for them that this is there for them to sort of access.
1496 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Well, considering your understanding of what's going on after lunch you've already passed Broadcasting 101.
1497 MR. COLLE: Okay, thank you.
1498 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: But, Mr. Colle, in balancing between these two interests as much, I think programming as possible and as much Canadian programming as possible, I would gather for your interest as an elected official, as much Canadian programming as possible would be of interest to you personally in communication with your constituents.
1499 MR. COLLE: Oh, definitely, because the one thing that underlies, you know, all of our sort of reasons for being involved publicly is that we know that we are next door to a guy and somehow we have to focus on the fact that we are different.
1500 And I think the Canadian ingredient is critically important and more than ever with the internet and everything.
1501 But I think one of the ingredients that makes us Canadian much more than the Americans, and I know we always have this conversation with our American cousins that are of Italian heritage is our celebration of our ethnic diversity.
1502 That is one thing that makes us uniquely different than the Americans and that's why we have to combine, to push both agendas because I think they are intrinsically linked as being very Canadian.
1503 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Well, we thank you very much and, again, we apologize that it was later.
1504 MR. COLLE: Thank you very much.
1505 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: But considering you now have a new degree on your CV, you shouldn't complain.
1506 MR. COLLE: Thank you for listening and your attention.
1507 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you for being with us.
--- Pause / Pause
1508 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary, may we have the next intervenor.
1509 THE SECRETARY: The next intervenor is the Armenian Community Centre.
1510 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon. I know you, Mr. Babikian. Nice to see you again.
1511 MR. BABIKIAN: Good afternoon.
1512 A few months back we made a presentation on preserving the ethnic language programming and I had the pleasure to be -- to come here and make another presentation on behalf of our program, our community.
1513 I'm speaking on behalf of the 40,000 Armenians in Ontario and our program is very important to our community, that's why we wanted to have the opportunity to be here.
1514 And, once again, my apologies for changing the schedule because I have to drive to Ottawa today, and tomorrow we have a round table discussion with the Minister of Multiculturalism, so that's why I want to rush with a bit, if you don't mind.
1515 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's a good reason.
1516 MR. BABIKIAN: Anyway, CFMT - the call letters speak for themselves, Canadian First Multicultural Television.
1517 CFMT has demonstrated over and over it's commitment to all the communities it serves.
1518 First as a Canadian and second as a Canadian of Armenian descent, I urge you to renew CFMT's licence.
1519 Like most of the Canadians who make up this great mosaic called Canada, if you look back a hundred years into my family tree you will find them in Armenia. Toronto has a large Armenian community -- there are 40,000 Armenians throughout Ontario and CFMT is the only station that makes it possible to keep them all informed and unified.
1520 The same can be said for the dozens of other ethnic groups who rely on CFMT to reach their communities.
1521 Let me give you a brief account of our history with CFMT. In 1993 we met with Madeline Ziniak and on August 29, 1993 we started "Hai Horizon" a half-hour Armenian program on Rogers Cable, community channel 10. However our relationship with CFMT goes back to January, 1989 when CFMT did not have any Armenian programming on the air. They reacted to the Armenian earthquake and went live with a special telethon for the victims of the earthquake.
1522 Again in February, 1995, Hai Horizon and the Armenian community broadcast a live three-hour marathon from the Rogers Communications studio.
1523 We are grateful for the dedication of the producers, coordinators and technicians who came in on a Saturday to make our telethon a successful one. After three hours, we raised $104,000 for medicine and clothing for the children of Nagorno Karabagh.
1524 When the spiritual leader of all Armenians, His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II visited
Canada for the first time, Hai Horizon and CFMT enabled 40,000 Armenians throughout Ontario to witness that visit.
1525 On October 4, 1997 we had our first broadcast on CFMT Channel 47, Cable 4, reaching a much wider audience. We have large communities in the southern Ontario towns of Hamilton, St. Catherines, Cambridge, Guelph, London and Windsor, as well as Ottawa. We cover major functions in those areas and they get exposure they have never experienced before.
1526 Hai Horizon is the only province-wide Armenian program and CFMT is the instrument that connects all those communities through our program.
1527 Over the years, CFMT has gone out of its way to help our program deliver late-breaking news concerning Armenia by sharing footage with us. For instance, when the attack on the Armenian parliament took place, CFMT gave us its footage within hours of the attack and helped us put together a new program for that week.
1528 CFMT also invites us from time to time for editorial meetings with political leaders and for example, when the leader of the PC party Joe Clark visited CFMT, we had an impromptu interview with him thanks to the technical assistance of CFMT.
1529 Not only is CFMT devoted to the numerous ethnic groups it serves, but it always maintains its high level of production and appearance.
This past year CFMT helped us update our equipment with a generous grant, and as a result our program has a much better look, and is superior in quality.
1530 Hai Horizon has a great working relationship with Madeline Ziniak and Paritosh Mehta, who are always very helpful. This is a great asset to us and as a result our program has steadily improved.
1531 Ethnic communities starve for news from their homeland, and as major news networks deal only with hot issues of the day, the news our communities crave for are left out. For instance, the only time there is any news about Armenia is when there is a natural disaster or armed conflict.
1532 When Armenia elects a new president, the major news stations in Canada make no mention of it. But for the 40,000 Canadian Armenians living in Ontario that is newsworthy.
1533 CFMT makes that exchange of news possible and I'd like to thank them on behalf of the Armenian community...I'd like to thank you for giving us a voice and I hope you are able to continue your great work.
1534 Thank you.
1535 I would like to add one more thing and this is personal input.
1536 From the input that we get from our viewers from Ontario and other areas of Toronto and Ontario, the 9:00 to 9:30 slots on Saturday morning, it's becoming like a tradition to the Armenians, everything stops in the Armenian community, all the major organization churches, they start programming all their activities around that 9:00-9:30 because they know that the community is there watching that program. That's their only outlet for the news and their community communication.
1537 So that is why I think renewing the licence for CFMT, keeping our program, and hopefully by renewing our licence even the half-hour program it's not enough for our community, we would like to extend it for another hour so we can cover other aspects of our community life. We are limited and hopefully we'll be able to do it in the future by your help and CFMT's help.
1538 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Babikian.
1539 I just have one quick question for you. You said just now that you would hope that the amount of programming available to your community would increase.
1540 I think you were here for some of the discussion that we had with CFMT about how their financial model works with the cross-subsidization from essentially the U.S. programming, the U.S. strict programming to the ethnic programming and if they're going to increase the level of Canadian ethnic programming then they would have to get rid of something else.
1541 Would you like to see that happen?
1542 Are you comfortable with that economic model?
1543 MR. BABIKIAN: Well, this is something that we have to work out with the management of CFMT.
1544 I am not expert on how they are going to run the programming and how they manage and we already -- from the beginning we indicated that in the future we would like to see our program time extended to an hour because, to be frank, I mean right now in our various communities competing with each other to cover their own news item and, unfortunately, sometimes we are limited and not everyone gets the appropriate coverage.
1545 And to do something like that, to extend our program, we need to sit down and coordinate and cooperate with CFMT and their management on what is the best way to accommodate the needs of our communities and their needs, also the financial viability and other aspects of the programming.
1546 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much and drive safely.
1547 MR. BABIKIAN: Thank you
1548 THE CHAIRPERSON: You should just beat the rush hour--
1549 MR. BABIKIAN: Right.
1550 THE CHAIRPERSON: --out of Toronto. That's probably the longest part of your journey.
1551 Madam Secretary?
1552 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
1553 The next intervenor is the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
1554 MS. SHAKIR: Thank you for giving me this opportunity. I am new to this and I'm nervous and notorious for not sticking to my notes, so I'll try to stick to it, but as I hear other people, I suddenly realize that I have wrote perhaps a very personal and formal deposition.
1555 At Salvation Newsweek, my five minutes came to history and fame, and I was quite shocked when I worked there. I was there for about seven months just volunteering just for the heck of it.
1556 And I realized in those seven months I had access to excellent technology, I had access to amazing, you know, communications related training and at the same time I had -- I was the first one to get newscasts about South Asia. That I was wonderful, like the gentleman before me said, it wasn't about disasters and it wasn't about, you know, assassinations and earthquakes or whatever the horrible thing that can possibly happen and I had a great opportunity for doing something which I personally remember very fondly which is that I was able to produce a show, to make a little, I don't know what you call it, sort of a five-minute little blush on the 50th anniversary of India and Pakistan's independence.
1557 My children, because they are Canadian born, for them to see their mom standing there talking about 250 years of independence from India and Pakistan, relate it to Canada and the Canadian experience, which I want to do for their sake, was a great experience, they got to see their mom and at the same time it made sense for them.
1558 So having said all of that...
1559 THE CHAIRPERSON: They were more impressed to see you on the screen than in person?
1560 MS. SHAKIR: Absolutely, absolutely.
1561 It helps even more when my son's friend who is Chinese said: I saw your mom on Chinese news. And so my son was most impressed like, now you're appearing in Chinese. You talk Chinese? No, I don't talk Chinese.
1562 But there is joy of working at a place where other people pick up the things that you do.
1563 So here I am on behalf of the
Council of Agencies Servicing South Asians (CASSA) to support CFMT's request for renewal of its license.
1564 Now I'd like to tell you a little bit about us.
1565 CASSA is an umbrella organization of approximately sixty (60) social service agencies, groups and individuals providing services to the diverse South Asian communities in the Greater Toronto Region.
1566 A quick note as to who is South Asian. A lot of time South Asians are not a hundred per cent sure as to whether they are South Asian. That's probably because it's a diverse group and not one community, I'd like to call it South Asian communities.
1567 Basically we're talking about people in Nepal but then also people of South Asian origin descent who are coming from East Africa, South Africa, Mauritius, but then again also South Asian descent, people coming from the Caribbean called Indo-Caribbeans and of course other diverse South Asian communities in Europe and North America, so it's a pretty diverse group that I'm talking about and purely in terms of statistics which is important in terms of programming.
1568 A quick demographic profile of the community: According to the 1996 census, there are 192,580 South Asians in the City of Toronto, 329,840 in CMA Toronto, which is Census Metropolitan Area, there are approximately 670,590 across Canada.
1569 Thus, South Asians constitute the second largest visible minority group in Canada at 2.4% of the total population.
1570 However, in Toronto, South Asians are 24.6% of the total visible minority population.
1571 An irony of it is if you look at the history of South Asian immigration to Canada it is actually -- the second largest South Asian established population is in Vancouver. The Premier is a glowing example of how well the South Asians are doing in B. C. because that is the first place the South Asians have come.
1572 So the two main centres of South Asian population are Toronto and Vancouver.
1573 Almost half of the total South Asian population in Canada live in the CMA Toronto area.
is why we believe it is in the public interest to ensure that CFMT continues to offer high quality, professional ethnic/multilingual programming.
1574 Our members provide services in English, Urdu, Hindi, Gujrati, Tamil, Bengali, Farsi/Darrii and Punjabi to the ever growing South Asian community, just to mention some of the South Asian languages.
1575 These services include settlement of new immigrants, assistance in dealing with family violence and child abuse, seniors support and
health programmes, legal assistance, health education including HIV/AIDS education, sexual orientation counselling, education counselling, anti-racism work, hate crime, and the provision of social, recreational and educational activities.
1576 CASSA is a community-driven organization. The mandate of my organization is that it is a community driver to provide advocacy and other support for its member agencies, to ensure that the social service needs of the South Asian community are met, and to play an active role in eliminating all forms of racism and discrimination from Canadian society.
1577 Our objectives are:
1578 To provide a support network and assist in information sharing for member agencies and others serving the community.
1579 To be an advocate for member agencies in the community for all the important issues affecting them.
1580 To be a point of reference for community organizations, government agencies and policy-making organizations dealing with the needs and issues of the community.
1581 To represent the community in dealing with all levels of government to ensure its needs and point of view are heard.
1582 And that's one of the reasons why I'm here.
1583 To provide community development and education support to member agencies and the community as needed.
1584 To promote and encourage volunteerism in the South Asian community.
1585 As well as assisting the community in dealing with all forms of racism, hate crime and discrimination and to assist in eliminating it from Canadian society.
1586 Given that South Asians constitute the second largest population in the Greater Toronto Region and across Canada, access to a television channel that provides them an opportunity to have their concerns raised on their behalf is a crucial component of their sense of belonging.
1587 Furthermore, the South Asian community is characterized by several distinct languages, as I pointed out earlier and, therefore, access to a channel that produces multilingual programming is crucial to that sense of belonging.
1588 CFMT's South Asian news programmes also give the community a chance to catch up on the latest development in South Asia as well as focusing on the immediate issues facing them in this society.
1589 The high quality of programming and the professionalism of programming allows the South Asian community members to gain invaluable experience in the field of communications by either working at the CFMT offices or by participating in their programmes.
1590 Also the tremendous effort made by CFMT programmes to develop and broadcast Canadian content means that: (a) it provides the large and diverse South Asian population in the GTA to have access to high caliber electronic media to showcase their talents, contributions, issues to the rest of the Canadian society.
1591 And I think this is very important. I would like to point out that it helps create the civic and national roots for immigrant communities by highlighting the reality of their new Canadian identity.
1592 And I think that is very important, as the gentleman before me pointed out, for immigrant groups, particularly like the South Asians who, although have been here for almost a hundred years, some of them have only been here about 10 years, so the links to their country back home can make life quite palatable.
1593 And so to have a channel where you can access both newscasts from back home as well as to Canadian realities is a very positive experience.
1594 Having access to multi-ethnic programming at CFMT is also an invaluable asset to advocacy groups like CASSA because to have our voice heard at CFMT South Asian programmes allows us to what I call "mainstream" our concerns and reach a broader audience.
1595 It also does something else which I'm trying to do on my own as an umbrella organization, which is to provide a forum to build inter-communal and inter-ethnic solidarity because of all the multi-ethnic groups work in the same environment.
1596 It helps communities to realize that some issues cut across ethnicity and thus build broad based understanding and consensus among us, particularly as a society which is as diverse as Canada.
1597 When all the multilingual and multi-ethnic choose to focus on the same issue, it gives it legitimacy while allowing the groups to share information with each other that may otherwise remain within isolated communities.
1598 So as opposed to ghettoizing communities which would be totally -- you know, have your own little ethnic channel to have a channel with different community groups dealing with the same kind of issues and even sharing information.
1599 So, for instance, you know if I'm, you know, South Asian airing news that may be related specifically to the Chinese community but which may be of interest to the South Asian communities, I think that helps create those linkages that perhaps otherwise may not be created.
1600 The other thing that I would like to end with, and the reason why I'm here, to recommend the renewal of licence for CFMT and which to me is very important, and that is that multiculturalism in Canada has been around for a long time but at times it feels symbolic, at times it feels like tokenism.
1601 What it does not do is, Canadian diversity does not get realized in a material sense and to me CFMT and a program or a station of that caliber to carry multilingual programs is, in a sense, giving it certainly legitimacy that Canada is not just English/French, Canada's English, French and God knows how many other different languages.
1602 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms. Shakir. Somebody mentioned there was 130 languages.
1603 MS. SHAKIR: Yes.
1604 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm very interested by the points that you made about the fact that having all the different communities programming together at CFMT helps the various communities that some community's issues cut across ethnicity and that's building amongst the communities here in Canada.
1605 That was a very interesting point that you made.
1606 How many hours per week of the CFMT schedule are promoted to schedule programming from the South Asian community?
1607 MS. SHAKIR: There was a South Asian week, religious week, I know there is an entertainment show as well that CFMT runs.
1608 Is there anything else?
1609 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would it be a couple of hours?
1610 MS. SHAKIR: Five total hours I know that I watch religiously which is the news, South Asian Newscast week.
1611 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's real important to television, that's CFMT, as Mr. Babikian said from the Armenian community Centre, you make a point to watch that program.
1612 MS. SHAKIR: When I was working at CFMT for a while I noticed that a two-minute slot and I thought two minutes, I'm a researcher and advocate for us, two hours is nothing, so two minutes seemed like a paltry sum of time that they'd allocate to their newscast item.
1613 I realized that those two minutes had more impact than a 200 page paper I used to write that no one would read. I though, oh my God this is a whole different ball game, I have to get back on.
1614 And I realize now I'm back in the social service sector too where I'm more comfortable in that two-minute slot, the minute I need it I call CFMT news weekly, guys, you have got to cover this.
1615 And, for instance, when the new education policy and when they were trying to talk about sexual abusive children and putting limitation on teachers on how behaviour should be in terms of protecting the children being abused by people in authority, they wanted an opinion.
1616 I thought this is a great opportunity for CASSA not just to be an advocate for the South Asian communities and very pivotal to the South Asian community, but to talk about something that bothers us as well because we are Canadians, our children are going to school, this policy affects us as much as the poverty demonstrations on Queen's Park.
1617 THE CHAIRPERSON: It sounds like you haven't really given up your producing days even though you say you've gone back into the social sector.
1618 MS. SHAKIR: The thing is CFMT carried that news, our interview and I got so many phone calls from people saying we helped that we are South Asian and CASSA has opinions and, yes, we agree or don't agree or whatever.
1619 So I think the opportunity is phenomenal in terms of balancing of content which is what you're trying to do there.
1620 I mean, I'm not an expert on it, all I know is that it should not go and, if necessary, it should be increasing and made more economically viable but definitely it should not go.
1621 THE CHAIRPERSON: I don't think there's any risk of that.
1622 MS. SHAKIR: Good.
1623 THE CHAIRPERSON: I want to ask you a quick question about South Asian TV or the Asian television network in the Toronto area have been offering ATN, I guess is the actual --
1624 MS. SHAKIR: That's on...
1625 THE CHAIRPERSON: On digital cable.
1626 MS. SHAKIR: Right, but not everybody has access to it.
1627 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, you have to pay--
1628 MS. SHAKIR: Yeah, exactly.
1629 THE CHAIRPERSON: --for it. So is it your sense that members of your -- of various South Asian communities find their programming, the ATN programming to be of similar value as CFMT, or do you think it's a real disincentive that they have to pay for that and perhaps pay for the channel on a monthly basis in order to get it?
1630 MS. SHAKIR: I think --
1631 THE CHAIRPERSON: I don't know if you have talked to any of the members of your --
1632 MS. SHAKIR: No, just by virtue of being South Asian myself and walking around in communities and talking to people, people with money will get whatever they want and so they will get ATN but not everybody has money.
1633 People find just paying for the cable very, very expensive let alone getting dishes and digital this or that or whatever.
1634 So to my mind I know for sure that people have access to ATN but not everybody has access to ATN and a large proportion of the population doesn't because not everybody is financially in a position to do so.
1635 But in spite of the ones that do have ATN, I know for sure a majority of them watch South Asian NewsWeek for instance or--
1636 THE CHAIRPERSON: Hollywood Boulevard.
1637 MS. SHAKIR: Because they like Carinova or whatever. I like him. Whatever works.
1638 To my mind I think with the South Asian --
1639 THE CHAIRPERSON: Why do you watch Mel Gibson movies?
1640 MS. SHAKIR: He's good looking, that helps.
1641 But, you know, the South Asian NewsWeek has a certain, there are other purely ethnic programs that also have news but South Asian NewsWeek seems to be ample certainly for professionalism and authenticity, they have up-to-date newscasts, good footage, they are able to access footage that other people can't.
1642 Other people are having to react to main stream news. South Asian NewsWeek is able to create its own, in a sense it has that potential to create its own little space. That is not to say they will not borrow from CNN or whatever, but they have the facility to do so in much faster time, electronic media being what it is, it's all about how fast you can do it, how well you can do it and I think it's professionalism majority of people do not watch.
1643 THE CHAIRPERSON: The point I was
trying to get at with you because you were talking about the possibility of having the programming available on CFMT is available off air.
1644 MS. SHAKIR: Yeah.
1645 THE CHAIRPERSON: You don't have to have cable to get it.
1646 So I guess I was just trying to get a sense from you as to the importance of having this kind of service available over the air in a community.
1647 MS. SHAKIR: I think it is tremendous. I mean, I don't think the majority of the South Asian population cannot -- the majority of the people who are living in the City of Toronto, I mean people living in the 905 area, maybe they can afford it but not everyone in the 416 area can afford it and I think it's good to have access to something that is available without having to dish out money every time.
1648 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mm-hmm.
1649 MS. SHAKIR: It's not just entertainment.
1650 THE CHAIRPERSON: Ms. Shakir, you said this was your first time here. You did a very good job.
1651 MS. SHAKIR: Thank you very much.
1652 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary?
1653 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
1654 The next intervenor is the Portuguese-Canadian National Congress.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
1655 MR. NUNES: Thank you for having me distinguished Commission members.
1656 My name is Fernando Nunes and I am the Great Toronto Area Director of the Portuguese-Canadian National Congress, and I am here today to lend our support for the renewal of the broadcast licence of CFMT-TV (Channel 47).
1657 The Portuguese-Canadian National Congress is a national organization which works to provide a voice to the approximately 300,000 Canadians of Portuguese descent - often referred to as "Luso-Canadians" - who are scattered throughout our country.
1658 By virtue of our work on the preservation of the Protuguese language and culture, we also serve the many individuals from the former Portuguese colonies who are interest in - or identify with - the Portuguese language.
1659 For example, people from Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verge, East Timor and Portuguese Guinea to name a few.
1660 The Congress is governed by over 20 Directors and Delegates, who are scattered across seven provinces and 16 Canadian cities.
1661 Some of the issues in which the Congress recently been involved include: undertaking the first national study ever conducted on Portuguese-Canadians; hosting a national youth conference; making presentations to the Royal Commission on Learning and the Foreign Policy Review Committee; meeting with officials from the Provincial and Federal Governments; including two Ontario Ministers of Education and the former Premier of Ontario; working on an ongoing basis with other Portuguese-Canadian organizations and the two Toronto School Boards in community initiatives that support the improvement of our children's education; and lobbying our Canadian Government for a humanitarian intervention in the troubled nation of East Timor.
1662 Now, of these activities, one of the most important for our community is the ongoing support
of the Portuguese language and culture. In fact, in the recent national study which was undertaken by our organization, the defence and promotion of the Portuguese language and culture was one of the major issues which was raised by the Luso-Canadians who were consulted.
1663 Now, this was a project which saw the realization of 18 nation-wide focus groups, as well as the distribution of a survey to Congress members, to 250 club members, associations, media and churches. And the issue of the promotion of our language was of particular concern to those individuals in the smaller or more isolated communities such as, for example, Hamilton, Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and in the Ottawa/Hull Region, (amongst a number of others).
1664 Now, in this respect CFMT-TV provision of Portuguese language television programming represents one of the most important cultural and linguistic supports that is available to our community.
1665 In fact, the station is the de facto prime instrument for the promotion of the Portuguese language and culture in Ontario.
1666 Not everyone in the Luso-Canadian community reads Portuguese-language community papers, or listens to Portuguese-language radio. Yet, everyone watches Channel 47, including those in the Brazilian, Angolan and Cape Verdian community.
1667 CFMT-TV has also provided an invaluable service to the social and cultural cohesion and continuity of our community.
1668 Having Portuguese-language television programming and, particularly, locally-produced programming, which can both inform as well as showcase our community to its various populations, is essential to create a sense of belonging and well-being amongst the Portuguese in Ontario.
1669 It is particularly important to the development of a sense of community within the scattered regions that I've mentioned.
1670 CFMT-TV's news and current affairs programs very effectively showcase the community to itself, by producing leading-edge programs which appeal to all ages, and by informing the community of events and occurrences which are of relevance to the Portuguese-Canadians of Southern Ontario.
1671 One example of this is the increasing success of the annual June 10th Portugal Day Parade and Celebrations, an event which celebrates Portuguese culture in a very public fashion, and one which could not have been possible without the wide-scale support and coverage by CFMT-TV.
1672 Another important issue which arose from our national study is the problem of the community's isolation from the affairs of Canadian society and the need to promote a greater integration of all Portuguese-Canadians into mainstream Canadian life.
1673 In this regard, the provision of local Portuguese-language news and current affairs by CFMT-TV has been the primary instrument which has broken down the isolation of many in our community and which has helped them to participate more fully in the affairs of this country.
1674 Over the years, we have a concomitant increase in the knowledge of many community members regarding the various political, economic and social events of Canadian society and their increased participation in political and cultural affairs.
1675 This has been largely due to the existence of Portuguese-language news and cultural affairs services on CFMT-TV. This station's Portuguese-language current affairs program, Hora H, marries visually-appealing footage to comprehensive narrative on important current issues, and follows up with interviews with experts drawn from the community, who help to discuss the influence of these events on the lives of most Luso-Canadians.
1676 Now, this program, more than any other, has helped to educate the members of our community to the various issues which have arisen in mainstream Canadian society over the years, and has helped to instill the idea that Portuguese-Canadians need to be involved in the discussion surrounding these topics.
1677 The result of this has been an increased knowledge amongst community members concerning current political issues and a subsequent increase in the numbers of people who are voting and becoming Canadian citizens.
1678 Another example is the entertainment program, Lamire, which features modern music and culture and which appeals to a young audience.
1679 This program makes use of footage of current recording artists, different location shots, and an eclectic mix of Portuguese, North American and foreign artists, in order to help redefine and modernize the views of many young people regarding Portuguese culture.
1680 It also showcases current urban culture to more traditional viewers and, in this respect, helps older Portuguese-Canadians to better appreciate and integrate into modern society.
1681 Another important issue which was highlighted in our national study was the need to promote the furthering of education amongst the Portuguese-Canadian community, and particularly amongst those of the second generation of Luso-Canadians, who are reported to be underachieving in disproportionate numbers. In this respect, CFMT-TV has assisted organizations such as the Congress, to raise awareness in its news programming of the need for young people to stay in school.
1682 Some of their innovations, such as sending out "roving reporters" to ask ordinary community members their opinions on timely topics - such as the education issue - and given a sense of voice to a previously voiceless segment of our community and have given a greater credibility to pressing issues, which had previously been the domain of professionals in our community.
1683 CFMT-TV has also become a leader in promoting the education of the community's children, by virtue of another initiative, CFMT-TV is preparing a pilot for an innovative new children's show for the Portuguese community, one which is designed to assist the Portuguese community and parents to prepare their preschool and early school-aged children for the primary grades.
1684 A show such as this has long been the dream of those individuals in our community who are involved in education.
1685 This show will help to raise an appreciation of the Portuguese language among young Luso-Canadian, Brazilian and Portuguese-speaking, Afro-Canadian children. It will assist Luso-Canadian parents to become more involved in their children's educational development. It will also contribute to a social marketing campaign that was recently initiated by a coalition of community associations, which include the Congress, has got together to promote early childhood education amongst Portuguese parents.
1686 Lastly, as the first children's show to be produced by CFMT, it will become a model for similar programming to the other linguistic communities.
1687 Yet, none of this would be possible if the shows that were produced did not also appeal to viewers. The quality and professionalism of local Portuguese-language programming on CFMT-TV is comparable to - and in some cases superior - to other local English-language television broadcasts.
1688 Thankfully, long over are the days when ethnic language programming was considered technically to be second rate, and I think that's largely due to the efforts of CFMT-TV.
1689 In conclusion, the Portuguese-Canadian National Congress wholeheartedly endorses the renewal of the broadcast licence of CFMT-TV and welcomes the addition of the new Portuguese-language children's show to their line-up.
1690 Thank you.
1691 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Nunes.
1692 Commissioner Cardoza.
1693 MR. CARDOZA: Thank you, Madam Chair. Thank you, Mr. Nunes.
1694 You've mentioned a couple of shows in detail which is very helpful, Hora H and Lamire.
1695 What is your experience with Portuguese novellas, is that a lot of coverage of news and so forth? Did you talk to them.
1696 MR. NUNES: Well, Portuguese -- the Brazilian novella on Portuguese television, is that right?
1697 MR. CARDOZA: There's a program from 4:00 to 5:00.
1698 MR. NUNES: That would be the Brazilian novella.
1699 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
1700 MR. NUNES: It's extremely popular in the Portuguese communities and it's something that's first of all very useful because it sets - it gathers the audience to watch the newscasts program, first of all.
1701 Secondly, the novellas are -- what are the most popular shows in Portugal today, the Brazilian novellas are.
1702 So it links communities here to communities in Portugal in the sense that people here know what they are talking of, watching in Portugal, and I think it gives us a sense of continuity, sense of communities to people and I think it's great.
1703 I mean Brazilian novellas are considered the best in the world and I think it's a wonderful example of entertainment for people in their own language which they otherwise wouldn't have.
1704 MR. CARDOZA: So is this more of a soap opera type --
1705 MR. NUNES: Exactly, but it's more than what we would consider to be soap opera in the North American sense.
1706 For example, in the North American sense they might not have location shots everything is done in the studio. The Brazilian novellas are done on location, different locations.
1707 They explore different themes than Canadian, than North American novellas.
1708 For example, there's a novella coming up that is -- that focuses on Italian - I'm phrasing - to Brazil and problems that a lot of Italians encountered on immigrating and I've heard that it's just wonderful. I've heard it from people in Brazil and Portugal and I think it's soon going to be coming to CFMT.
1709 And I think something like that is always useful for the community here to see what other immigrants experienced in other lands, in other countries.
1710 MR. CARDOZA: Sorry. Just to be clear, we are talking about an entertainment dramatic series like a soap opera but more newscasts kind of affair, or is it a combination?
1711 MR. NUNES: There are different things. There is novella, there is news which is called Telrevision, this is what is currently a phrase show, there is Lamire which is I guess I would call modern culture.
1712 MR. CARDOZA: So where's the most news about, either the portion that's Canadian community or Canadian news, which program would that come from?
1713 MR. NUNES: It would be the news which is Telejournal and it would be Hora H which is the current affairs show.
1714 So they might, for example, feature let's say education today, which I mentioned the Minister of Education has come down with new directives, they would deal with it on the news and then on the weekend on Hora H they would do a piece with original footage with interviews with experts from the community who are involved in education, man on the street interviews, getting the community's opinion and I think I'm particularly impressed by the man on the street interviews. I think that's really brought a segment of our community into the debate that is often not dealt -- not brought into the debate when you're dealing, for example, just with interviews with experts in a study.
1715 So it brings home the immediacy of certain issues to a person on the street.
1716 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
1717 Now, with the children's program you mentioned, do you know where that's going to fit in?
1718 Is that going to be part of one of the current programs or is that going to be another --
1719 MR. NUNES: I don't know. I don't know the details of that yet.
1720 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
1721 MR. NUNES: This is Something that I know is in the planning stage and, like I said, people have been involved in the education issue in the community such as myself. I think that something like this has been sorrily needed for many years in your community.
1722 MR. CARDOZA: So would I take it, I shouldn't take it -- where would I place you in the context of those who feel there is enough programming in this case in Portuguese language; is there enough, would you like to see more?
1723 MR. NUNES: Well, I think that the way it is now I think there's a good balance.
1724 I think to be fair to the other communities we have to allow other communities also the air time and I'm cognizant of the issues of Canadian content versus American content.
1725 I think we all have a stake and this station remains very viable and strong, so I think the way it is now is a good balance, although I mean if we were -- as people say, if you win the lottery, you know, you'd like -- there's something that you would wish for, of course you'd wish for more television, more Portuguese-language television, but I think the way it is now is a good balance.
1726 MR. CARDOZA: Thank you very much for being here. Thank you very much.
1727 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Nunes.
1728 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
1729 The next presentation will be done by the Association of Chinese Canadian Entrepreneurs.
1730 THE CHAIRPERSON: No. 39.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
1731 MR. LAI: Good afternoon, Madam Chair, Commissioner Wylie, Commissioner Cardoza.
1732 My name is Wilbert Lai. I'm the President of the Association of Chinese Canadian Entrepreneurs. On behalf of our association I would like to endorse the licence renewal of CFMT-TV.
1733 Our association is a non-profit organization incorporated in 1994 and currently has about 200 members. Our mission is to assist Chinese Canadian entrepreneurs in starting up their business and to promote entrepreneurs through business seminars, exhibitions and other activities.
1734 Together with our other community partners, we hold two major annual events for the Chinese Canadian entrepreneurs and the Chinese community as a whole, which has a population of about 400,000 people in the GTA Area.
1735 Other than us, the annual Chinese Canadian Entrepreneur Awards is jointly held by the Centennial College, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ming Pao Daily News. This is a major event for the community.
1736 CFMT is the TV sponsor for this event. Its coverage and in-depth interviews for the event have successfully assisted us in attracting nominations which have led to a meaningful competition.
1737 The process has enshrined our belief that Canada is a land of equal opportunities for people of all backgrounds. As long as we try, work hard and with the right information, each one of us will have a chance to succeed.
1738 CFMT, with its fine Chinese programs like Chinese Business Hour and Mandarin Wide Angle have helped us, not only to communicate that message, but also to broadcast useful business information and know-how in their regular programs.
1739 They are the prime example of being an excellent provider of relevant information with a user-friendly approach due to their use of Cantonese and Mandarin programs. In fact, I can see the usefulness of similar Chinese programming in other major cities like Vancouver.
1740 Also, the Chinese Canadian Entrepreneur Business Conference we hold every year, together with the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, and 13 other Chinese associations and community agencies, is aimed at all Chinese Canadians from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
1741 Other than the hundreds of participants attending this business seminar and trade show annually, the coverage by CFMT has facilitated the awareness of the resources available from the governments, educational institutions, community agencies and the business community to assist entrepreneurs for their business start-up and growth.
1742 CFMT has set a high standard for the role of a community media to assist the people who need the information the most. They have contributed meaningfully and the act speaks for itself.
1743 In conclusion, from the standpoint of the Association and an average Chinese Canadian who wants to know more about business or to reach the resources available to assist them to grow, CFMT's very fine quality programs have played a major role.
We totally support and endorse their licence renewal.
1744 The Chinese business community will not be the same without them.
1745 Thank you.
1746 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Lai.
1747 Mr. Cardoza?
1748 MR. CARDOZA: Thank you, Madam Chair.
1749 Thank you, Mr. Lai.
1750 Just a couple of questions on how you see the community developing with a special eye to programming on CFMT and programming on Fairchild.
1751 Do you find that there is competition in programming between CFMT and Fairchild?
1752 Is there enough -- are there enough vowers to go around?
1753 MR. LAI: I find both of them useful.
1754 I think it goes back to why do you want to be entrepreneurs and why the information is so important.
1755 Entrepreneurs create jobs, entrepreneurs not only from China, from Portugal and everywhere, they drive economic activities and when a new entrepreneur comes to Canada they have dedication, they have some capital know-how, the thing they like the most is information.
1756 So maybe Fairchild, maybe any other agency, maybe CFMT all of them play an important role in complementing each other.
1757 And the more available information will be, the better off for all Canadians. And I personally think economic activity can drive all the communication and integration of all cultures.
1758 MR. CARDOZA: And how about for advertising dollars; is it fair to assume that Chinese Canadian entrepreneurs are advertising both on CFMT I suppose during Chinese-language programs and on Fairchild?
1759 MR. LAI: I think so from what I see.
1760 MR. CARDOZA: Okay. Are they competing for dollars?
1761 MR. LAI: I haven't done a survey of that, but I would imagine that that's possible, yes.
1762 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
1763 MR. LAI: I imagine that, but see people want to reach the similar targets and when they see advertisers appearing there, yes.
1764 MR. CARDOZA: And before the two services, from the point of view of the viewer, as Commissioner Wilson has pointed out a little while ago, CFMT is available to everybody, it's on basic cable and it's also available without cable; whereas Fairchild is a stand-alone that you buy after you have cable.
1765 Is there a difference in cost?
1766 Do you sense that in the Chinese Canadian communities in the Greater Toronto Region, most Chinese Canadians can't afford to subscribe to Fairchild, or does CFMT play a prime role in providing Chinese-language programming to people first and foremost and those who are wealthier can subscribe to Fairchild as well?
1767 Is that a fair assumption to make?
1768 MR. LAI: I don't think the subscription plays a big role in terms of selecting the channel there.
1769 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
1770 MR. LAI: Of course CFMT is available on basic channel and very wide area and for us, the Association of Entrepreneurs we want to reach as wide as possible, like for example from our competition denomination process we can reach as far as Niagara Falls and arenas coming out from there.
1771 So in terms of reaching a wider scope there CFMT plays a good role and Fairchild, I don't know how far they reach there into Southwest Ontario. Of course, we have a certain concentration in GTA area.
1772 MR. CARDOZA: Thank you. Those are my questions.
1773 Thank you very much, Mr. Lai.
1774 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Lai.
1775 Madam Secretary?
1776 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
1777 The next intervenor is the Canadian Ethnic Journalists' and Writers' Club.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
1778 MR. VICCARI: Madam Commissioners, Mr. Commissioner, thank you for letting me appear today.
1779 My name is Ben Viccari and I'm speaking on behalf of the members of the Canadian Ethnic Journalists' and Writers' Club and I respectfully request on their behalf that you grant the application to renew CFMT's television licence to broadcast.
1780 I personally am a writer and editor of Canadian Scene, a non-profit multilingual news and information service for ethnic medica which began publishing in 1951, but I appear before you today as President of the Canadian Ethnic Journalists' and Writers' Club.
1781 We are an organization of some 200 editors, publishers, broadcasters, reporters and freelance writers from print.
1782 We were found 22 years ago because there was no existing inclusive organization for people in those professions processing.
1783 The single other association was for the publishers of print media alone.
1784 We hold monthly meetings to expose our members to the views of politicians, community leaders and other makers of public policy and to enable members to exchange ideas and opinions. On frequent occasions, some winners have come from mainstream media, writing or broadcasting on subjects affecting ethnicity or racial harmony.
1785 Ethnoculturally, ours membership represents origins from every continent with the exception of Antarctica and shares a common dedication to helping their communities better adapt to life in Canada.
1786 We don't have to look very hard to find highly valid argument for the continuation of such a valuable service as CFMT-TV offers. Supporters of this application came from our members from print, radio and other television enterprises because they realize we are all travelling down the same road -- a road with signposts that tell us the way to understanding and appreciation of an immigrant's new home is through third language communication.
1787 I think we are all agreed that continuing immigration is necessary to the future of Canada. And that the sooner an immigrant becomes an informed person, the sooner he or she becomes an informed citizen.
1788 A glance at the ethno-cultural makeup of the province CFMT serves and the percentage of recent immigration from countries where neither English nor French is widely spoken is sufficient I think to convince you that any service that offers such multilingual communication is valuable to the future of Canada.
1789 Myself as an ardent believer in the policy of multiculturalism as expressed and vigorously supported by successive governments since 1971, I am well aware of how, over the past decade, the vast improvement of CFMT's quality of programming and extension of reach, has contributed toward an appreciation of what this country means to those who come here from other parts of the world.
1790 As multiculturalism today has evolved from earlier and simpler beliefs into an expression of diversity and citizenship making Canada unique among nations, so, too has CFMT evolved.
1791 I feel well qualified to remark on the present quality of CFMT's programming since I was first acquainted with the station back in 1976 when as a partner in a public relations firm, I assisted the then management to introduce its intention to establish a multilingual station, to make a formal presentation to CRTC and to stage the gala opening.
1792 I'm sure you will have realized by my foregoing remarks that like our members, I am highly supportive of Canadian multiculturalism and it is gratifying to me to see how a fine and imaginative ideas has over 21 years grown into a thoroughly professional expression of broadcasting at its best and good corporate citizenship.
1793 This is obvious not only from the quality of its multilingual programming, but from multicultural programming in an official language like the anti-racism documentary, The Courage To Stand. The outreach programs to schools that CFMT has undertaking with this documentary are highly commendable and provide a valuable learning tool to help counter the vicious propaganda of organized racism.
1794 There are the English-language documentaries reflecting particular cultures such as Diwali and Sikhism. And just two years ago, Hong Kong in Transition presented live in Mandarin, Cantonese and English documented a moment in history that was another landmark in Canadian broadcasting.
1795 Returning to multilingual programming, CFMT produced in partnership with the Multiculturalism secretariat of the Department of Canadian Heritage a series of public service announcements to the effect that "Family Violence Hurts us All."
1796 Add to this the recent pioneering announcement that CFMT has begun a partnership with the National Archive of Canada and you will, I believe, see that CFMT's participation in the total community with quality programming goes well beyond the "call of commercial duty".
1797 There is every reason to congratulate CFMT on being named Television Broadcaster of the Year by the Ontario Association of Broadcasters. This was no mere anointing of a TV system for "doing a good job" but a genuine accolade for setting new standards that - to my mind - well qualify Rogers Broadcasting to be granted not only a renewal of its licence but for receiving a licence to broadcast in British Columbia.
1798 And as ethnic journalists, my colleagues and I would applaud the increased opportunities for employment a Vancouver-based, multilingual Rogers operation would afford us.
1799 In the current issue of the University of Ottawa Gazette, there's an article by Tom Lougheed which reminds us that Sir Wilfrid Laurier never said:
"The 20th Century belongs to Canada",
but that what he says in a 1904 speech to the Canadian Club was:
"the 19th Century was the century of the United States. I think that we can claim that it is Canada that shall fill the 21st century."
1800 Lougheed goes on to quote historian Chad Gaffield's views on this statement. Canada's prospects weren't bright in 1904, but hope lay in the vast amount of free land available. The road to be travelled was uphill but it offered to hard working people from peasant countries the opportunity for a
better future -- an opportunity they seized gratefully.
1801 Today, says Gaffield:
"If we look at the year 2000 from the perspective of the year 1900, it is....astonishing that Canada finds itself at the top of all sorts of scales, referring to the rankings such as the United Nations quality of life indices."
1802 And he goes on to say:
"The importance of the ethnic, cultural and social diversity of Canada that has been enshrined in this country's identity now overshadows the value of natural resources such as the free land available at the beginning of the 20th century."
1803 No one has been bold enough to assert that the 21st century belongs to Canada, but Gaffield insists that this country can teach the world a lot about how to live peacefully in the global village being shaped by technological forces.
"Although natural resources are still important to us, we are attempting to run with a culture that has turned out to be very helpful in terms of the communications revolution,"
Gaffield concludes, and to my mind this is just another justification for our national policy of multiculturalism.
1804 CFMT offers us the opportunity to understand one another a great deal better and to welcome the way it gives to those who are (or will become) citizens by their own choice an essential understanding of Canada and all it stands for.
1805 Respected commissioner, on behalf of the Canadian Ethnic Journalists' and Writers' Club, I sincerely trust that after reflection on the value of the huge contribution CFMT-TV has made to multilingual, multicultural broadcasting you will grant renewal of the system's licence.
1806 Thank you.
1807 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, sir.
1808 Commissioner Wylie.
1809 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Mr. Viccari, any question I might ask would only take away from your most complete and articulate submission, so I won't ask any.
1810 Thank you very much.
1811 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary.
1812 THE SECRETARY: The next presentation will be done by the Canadian Ethnocultural Council.
1813 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon. Mr. Hagopian, I presume?
1814 MR. SUEKULOVSKI: No, not at all.
1815 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Suekulovski, I know you, nice to see you again, but you will introduce yourself to the Secretary.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
1816 MR. SUEKULOVSKI: Absolutely.
1817 Good afternoon, Madam Chair and Commissioners.
1818 I'm here representing our President, Art Hagopian, who's out of town; likewise, he is on his way to Ottawa for a meeting tomorrow.
1819 My name is Lou Suekulovski, that's spelled S-u-e-k-u-l-o-v-s-k-i, and I'm a member of the Executive Board of the Canadian Ethnocultural Council and with me today is our Executive Director, Anna Chiappa.
1820 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome to you both.
1821 Thank you for the spelling.
1822 MR. SUEKULOVSKI: You're welcome.
1823 We would like to thank the CRTC
for giving us the opportunity to appear before you once
again, this time in support of the application by Rogers Broadcasting Limited for renewal for the broadcasting licence of CFMT-TV for Toronto, London and Ottawa.
1824 Our organization, the Canadian Ethnocultural Council, as some of you will already know, is a coalition of over 30 nationally-based ethnic organizations across Canada, working together toward furthering the understanding of the multicultural, multiracial reality of Canada.
1825 The CEC is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, and its members represent a cross-section of ethnocultural groups across Canada.
1826 MS. CHIAPPA: (Technical difficulties / Difficultés techniques)
1827 The CEC's objectives are to ensure the preservation, enhancement and the sharing of the cultural heritage of Canadians, the removal of barriers that prevent some Canadians from participating fully and equally in society and the elimination of racism and the preservation of a united Canada.
1828 Since its inception, the CEC has advocated for the recognition that multiculturalism, as is bilingualism, is a fundamental characteristic of Canada.
1829 Over the years the CEC has presented its views on various proposed or existing policies and legislation and regulations governing the Canadian broadcasting system with the position that the broadcast system must be reflective of Canada's racial and cultural diversity and that it be accessible to various ethnocultural communities.
1830 As stated in our letter to the CRTC, CEC supports CFMT's application for a licence renewal as we believe that it has become a pillar in the Canadian broadcasting system symbolic of Canada's many ethnocultural communities and also symbolic of how Canada's rich diversity is part of the recognition of Canadian values, as Prime Minister Chrétien recently stated in Germany, where multiculturalism and bilingualism are considered partners.
1831 As the Canadian society becomes increasingly diverse, all members of its population must be provided with fundamental access to programming which is in keeping with the intent of Canada's multicultural commitments as outlined in Section 27 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, The Multiculturism Act and Section 3.1 of the Broadcasting Act.
1832 CFMT arises out of this unique Canadian historical framework, where multiculturalism is recognized as being fundamental to our identity and
is why we believe it is in the public interest to ensure that CFMT continues to offer high quality, professional ethnic/multilingual programming.
1833 The CEC's member organizations have continuously supported programming which reflect Canada's ethno-racial diversity as well as third language programming which is easily accessible and of good quality.
1834 In many ways CFMT has proven that it can bring multiculturalism programming in to the main stream and make it a successful reality resulting in increased demand for programming and more services, including those communities which feel they are currently being under-serviced. This is especially so for communities in Ontario which are newly emerging and which represent a significant number of the population (ie: Spanish, Arabis and Vietnamese).
1835 At the same time, there is equally a need to ensure that smaller ethnocultural communities also have a degree of service.
1836 The CEC supports, in principle, the need to increase the number of communities that CFMT serves as well as the languages for delivery of its programming.
1837 We would also like to see more Canadian content. But we also recognize that this requires resources, which are difficult to find in an increasingly challenging and competitive broadcasting world.
1838 The CRTC's Ethnic Broadcasting Policy recognized this dilemma and acknowledges the lack of support to ethnic television producers.
1839 Until such time as there is an established fund, as suggested by the CRTC in the ethnic policy to support ethnic television production, this goal of an increased service may be hard to reach, given the financial considerations for producing quality programming.
1840 That, is in part, why the CEC supported the much anticipated LMTV application for the Vancouver station because it would provide greater opportunity to bridge some of the expenses associated with the expansion of services to new communities currently not well served or not served at all.
1841 MR. SEKULOVSKI: We note that the with increasing cultural diversity and change in technology, this will become more of an issue. The question of access needs to get addressed, as does the question of increasing programming. The CFMT has been a leader in multicultural programming. In this regard, it has provided some interesting approaches to scheduling to ensure that production costs are covered and we recognize that it is a major challenge to keep this balance. Part of this also requires that communities are consulted and CFMT's Local Advisory Boards are an important aspect of involving communities finding solutions.
1842 As echoed and reinforced in CRTC's Ethnic Broadcasting Policy, the CEC continues to believe that quality rather than quantity in ethnic programming is important; that Canadian content is paramount, especially with respect to news and information, and this also applies to how foreign newsfeeds which must be interpreted and analyzed in a Canadian context; and furthermore, there is a place for homeland (foreign) programming (homeland programming is important for entertainment with communities who do not have access to cable or can't afford to subscribe to ethnic specialty or pay television). It is also an option to American programming.
1843 CFMT's identity is very much tied to the multicultural presence as primarily reflected in Ontario. It has also developed a solid presence through its community outreach, especially with respect to news coverage of community events which are often neglected by the "mainstream media". And it has provided an alternative source of valuable information on current affairs to a target Canadian audience which would not normally have this information readily accessible.
1844 Its partnerships with Canadian institutions, such as the Department of Canadian Heritage Family Violence Prevention Campaign, are equally demonstrative of this continued recognition of its corporate responsibility to the community. It has covered events and forums which the regular media has not. Most recently it covered the CEC's forum on Multiculturalism and the Canadian Constitution with Supreme Court Justice Iacobucci. Its recent donation to the Canadian Archives is also a testament to the valuable contribution it has made to Canada.
1845 As a strong deliverer of ethnic programming, CFMT has made its mark in the Canadian life and the broadcasting world. It has become an integral part of the Canadian mosaic and it must be given a licence to continue to provide a valuable service. That is why we believe it is in the public interest to ensure that CFMT continues to offer quality, professional ethnic/multilingual programming for which it has developed a uniquely Canadian presence.
1846 In conclusion, I'd like to emphasize personally speaking, not to have CFMT on the airwaves will create a tremendous void in the lives of many, many people.
1847 And on behalf of the CEC, we thank you for the opportunity to share our thoughts with you.
1848 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Sekulovski and Ms. Chiappa.
1849 And, Ms. Chiappa, I understand you're going to be more actively involved with CFMT from here on in as a part of their advisory board.
1850 MS. CHIAPPA: I'm looking forward to it. If I can support the understanding of multiculturalism, I'm willing to do that.
1851 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are certainly well qualified for that position.
1852 I want to turn you to the written intervention that you filed with the Commission on the 2nd of June, dated the 2nd of June, and it that intervention it seems to me in the remarks that you've made today that perhaps you have taken a bit of a step back from that intervention.
1853 It's on page 2, you talk about how CFMT has shown that ethnic-multilingual programming can be competitively sound and that CFMT has now the opportunity for augmenting its ethnic programming and you suggest that the ethnic programming be increased to 75%.
1854 Now, I assume that you're referring to the 60%/40% split and suggesting that it be taken to 75%.
1855 MS. CHIAPPA: Certainly I think we're talking about an ideal world and I think as an organization, and many people have voiced it here this morning and even CFMT voice it this morning, we would love to have 75%, that's the goal that we would like to support; however, I think we have to take into account the situation in terms of being able to cover the expenses with respect to programming.
1856 It is in a unique position. If we compare the situation in Montreal, for example, the market is limited but yet each particular community has a right to quality programming.
1857 And as an organization you can say, yes, that would be wonderful to have 75%, but perhaps there's a way of finding some kind of resources collectively to be able to offer an increase in programs to various communities and increase languages.
1858 I'm not prepared as an organization -- we're not prepared to tell CFMT how to do it because we just don't have the answers either.
1859 We sat this morning through the presentation and we heard some of the dilemmas. One of the possibilities would have been to take a look at the situation in Vancouver to see how there might have been opportunity to share some of those expenses and that may not happen.
1860 So I think there's a lot to look at in the future in terms of competition but, at the same time, the community want quality program.
1861 I think 75% just for the sake of 75% is perhaps asking too much if it's going to take away the quality of programming.
1862 THE CHAIRPERSON: I thought with what we heard from CFMT this morning is true, then their foreign programming is very definitely cross-subsidizing production of the Canadian ethnic program in particular.
1863 MS. CHIAPPA: Mm-hmm.
1864 THE CHAIRPERSON: And I mean, if one were to express -- to make a decision on all this and look at the numbers a little more closely, I guess when I read that it didn't -- it wasn't phrased as in an ideal world we'd love to have this but we recognize that that's difficult, sort of model to support.
1865 And as we've seen from what's happened in Montreal with a hundred per cent and as we've concluded in our Ethnic Broadcasting Policy the 60/40 split was an appropriate split in terms of financing the kind of quality programming that you're talking about.
1866 So I just -- I guess I was interested to hear the qualifications that you offered in your remarks today.
1867 MS. CHIAPPA: Well, I'm not sure whether it's a qualification. As you know, we're not directly involved in looking at the facts and figures. What we know we can talk about.
1868 It's proven to be a successful station, it's proven to meet the needs of many of the communities and, yes, we would like to have that increased, but we are not in a position to say: Well, you know, is it going to be able to be financially viable?
1869 This past few years people have been speaking about its professionalism, its quality of work and we hope to continue, we hope that it will continue to provide that kind of service.
1870 But not at the risk of, you know, 75% be wonderful but not at the risk of loss of what it has already.
1871 THE CHAIRPERSON: You also talked about the importance of Canadian content, and we heard from one of the earlier intervenors about not only the popularity of usefulness of the international novellas that are shown in Portuguese and Italian.
1872 Would you like to see more Canadian content at the expense of the foreign ethnic programming, or do you think it's important to have both in the system?
1873 MS. CHIAPPA: Well, I think it's important to have both. Perhaps it's an opportunity for novellas in third languages, perhaps we could...
1874 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm not sure what you mean by novellas in a third language.
They are in a third language; are they not?
1875 MS. CHIAPPA: No, produced in Canada.
1876 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, produced in Canada.
1877 MS. CHIAPPA: In terms of Canadian content.
1878 THE CHAIRPERSON: Canadian novellas.
1879 MS. CHIAPPA: I think that we need to a look at in terms of what's available in terms of providing the kind of support to CFMT to provide Canadian content which is of interest to the communities they serve.
1880 THE CHAIRPERSON: Those are all my questions.
1881 I just wanted to clarify that one point. But thank you very much for being with us.
1882 I appreciate your comments.
1883 I think we'll take a 15-minute break.
1884 I just wanted to mention to the intervenors remaining, we were an hour and a half behind schedule but we've had very succinct intervenors up to now, so we're more or less back on track, I think we're one short.
1885 So we will be sitting past five o'clock depending on the succinctness of the next intervenors, and that's not a hint, just a comment.
1886 But we will take a 15-minute break and we'll come back at 25 minutes to 5:00.
--- Upon recessing at 1620 / Suspension à 1620
--- Upon resuming at 1638 / Reprise à 1638
1887 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary, would you call the next intervenor, please.
1888 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
1889 The next intervenor is the Canadian Order of American Hellenic Education Philanthropic Association.
1890 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon. Please begin whenever you're ready.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
1891 MR. GRAMMATICOS: Good afternoon, Madam Chair, Commissioners.
1892 My name is Demetre Grammaticos and I am outgoing President of the AHEPA organization, the chapter in Toronto.
1893 On behalf of our members of our organization, I am present here today to request the renewal of CFMT-TV's broadcast licence in Ontario.
1894 AHEPA, American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, not Philanthropic, in Canada is an organization with a membership of thousands in chapters from coast to coast.
1895 Its goals are to promote Hellenic ideals of education, philanthropy - and that's where philanthropy comes - civic responsibility, family and individual excellence.
1896 As a charitable organization, we have contributed thousands of dollars for the creation of Hellenic Chairs at universities, most recently $30,000 to York University, and award scholarships to students who excel in high school and university level.
1897 Also as a charitable organization we have donated, and continue to donate, thousands of dollars every year to Toronto Sick Children's Hospital,
Ontario Special Olympics, Children's Wish Foundation, and other charitable organizations.
1898 Since the introduction of multiculturalism policy in 1971 in Canada, Canada has become the envy of the world as a model country to live in, a country where citizens are treated equally regardless of their race, religion or colour.
1899 Furthermore, the environment here not only promotes diversity but also provides the ethnic groups with the opportunity to preserve their culture. An integral part and the cornerstone of the multiculturalism policy is the retention of the mother tongue or the "comfort language" of its citizens, especially within the ethnic communities.
1900 The Greek community believes that a television station like CFMT is vital in promoting and safeguarding the rich cultural heritage of this great cosmopolitan province and country.
1901 Thousands of Canadians of Greek descent depend on CFMT to stay informed of Canadian news as well as news from Greece, delivered in the Greek language.
1902 CFMT's coverage of local issues and community events help keep our younger generation informed while, at the same time, identifying their Greek language and culture.
1903 My own family is an example. The only time my two children who watch TV together is when the Greek program "Edo kai Tora" is on.
1904 As well this programs are a very effective way to promote Canada and Canadian values and principles to newcomers and integrate them in their adoptive homeland.
1905 This is especially true when it comes to local news through which we can find out about events in our local communities and analyze local issues.
1906 A perfect example of this is when CFMT arranged and televised, "What's in a name", a debate on the Macedonian name dispute. It was a controversial issue, and getting both parties together was unprecedented.
1907 Many have tried, including City Hall, but CFMT was able to pull it off.
1908 The show was extremely professional and at the same high quality like the rest of the programs.
1909 CFMT's Greek programming has also played a key role in our fund raising efforts over the years, both through announcing upcoming events through the public special events announcements and reporting on them. This is just one of the important functions that the programming services.
1910 CFMT also deserves praise for monitoring and hiring Greek-Canadian journalists to work on their programs. They in turn serve as positive role models for the youth as well as enhancement of the community's self image.
1911 All in all, I strongly believe in CFMT's licence renewal because:
1912 1. They have consistently demonstrated their strong commitment to the welfare and interest of the multicultural community of Ontario;
1913 2. They set pace in establishing the highest standard in the quality of multicultural programs;
1914 3. They provide unbiased reflection of the opinions and views of the Greek community; and,
1915 4. They are indispensable communication vehicle to the ethnic communities of Ontario through their extensive coverage of ethnic community activities and social and cultural events.
1916 Finally, the Greek community hopes to continue to depend on CFMT-TV for many years to come.
1917 Thank you.
1918 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Grammaticos, and thank you for pointing out the error in our listing of your organization.
1919 Commissioner Cardoza.
1920 MR. CARDOZA: Thanks, Madam Chair. Thanks, Mr. Grammaticos.
1921 I just have one question.
1922 I'm somewhat familiar with the debate on the what's in the name issue. I wonder if you can just give me a bit more information about the format of the debate that was conducted and how it was shown.
1923 MR. GRAMMATICOS: Certainly.
1924 It took some years ago but the format was that there were two main speakers which they introduced themselves and they spoke a little bit in their own language and then in English they exchanged views and positions.
1925 MR. CARDOZA: Okay. And this was with an audience or was this in studio?
1926 MR. GRAMMATICOS: In studio.
1927 MR. CARDOZA: And your sense of it was that it was watched and useful to the understanding of the controversy?
1928 MR. GRAMMATICOS: It was watched by many people and comments were pro and con for many weeks and months afterwards.
1929 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
1930 Thank you, that's all I wanted to ask.
1931 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Grammaticos.
1932 MR. GRAMMATICOS: You're welcome.
1933 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Chair -- excuse me, Madam Secretary, I'm the Chair.
1934 It's late in the day, you can tell.
1935 THE SECRETARY: The next intervenor is Ceylon Broadcasting Inc.
1936 THE CHAIRPERSON: You may proceed whenever you're ready, sir.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
1937 MR. SUPPIRAMANIAM: Madam Commissioners, Mr. Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen I'm Srinivasan Suppiramaniam, Executive Produce TV Ceylon.
1938 I feel privileged to make this presentation in support of renewing the licence of CFMT-TV, its commitment to my community in particular and the role played in promoting Canada's ideal of multiculturalism.
1939 No one can doubt that Canada's vision of multiculturalism offers a fresh hope for humanity, and in this, we are all active participants being broadcasters and the communicators of traditions that are unique to the various communities that constitute the Canadian society. We have set ourselves goals for a new generation to pursue and cherish.
1940 The cultural roots are the most nourishing factors of any society and these are enshrined in the respective languages of our society, the religions, customs, beliefs, traditions and philosophies that have ordained them through the ages. If one should tunnel under a large tree and lop off its roots, it will surely die. This is why language programming in the Canadian context is key to its multicultural ideal and which makes the role of the CFMT-TV all the more important.
1941 The Tamils in Toronto, let alone Canada, are a visible minority faced with just about every challenge that a new community faces as recent immigrants to this country. Without reflecting on the politics of Sri Lanka, let me emphasize the fact that a large majority of them came to Canada out of sheer necessity.
1942 They had hardly any preparation to live in a land with customs and traditions so different from their own. Many were not even able to communicate in either of the two official languages of the country they adopted as they new home and the homeland of their children. Very soon it also became evident that the parents and the children were living in two different worlds both compulsive to them in many ways.
1943 In the world of the parents it was important to keep the roots in good order which was eastern in character. In that of the children, survival demanded adjustments and even compromises but it also had great promises to bring about a greater understanding between the two worlds and for Canadians to seek out a global perspective.
1944 This is the challenge that inspired us to embark on Kallapam Tamil Cultural Television Network of the community channel 10 of Shaw and Rogers Cable a decade ago and later the commercial enterprise TV Ceylong of the Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation.
1945 When we began the Kallapam service, the Tamil community was a small one and hardly anyone had any idea that it will grow into such numbers as today. There was confidence that Sri Lanka's political problems would be solved and most of the people who came to Canada would return. But this was not to be; Canada has now become home to nearly 200,000 Tamils and the community has virtually ingrained in the Canadian society.
1946 Just like any citizen, Tamils too expect their Canadian citizenship to have the full weight of its meanings. Broadcasting of educational, information, cultural and entertainment material are very much part of this expectation and it would be wholesome only if these are conducted principally in the language that is close to their hearts. It also gives a sense of pride and dignity to them.
1947 As for the younger generation many of them increasingly Canadian born, this becomes a treasure chest of traditions and customs that will instill a great ideal of inspiration in them. During the 10 years I have worked with my community especially the young people, I have had the feeling that the young people have greatly benefited from our efforts and
1948 It has also given them a sense of tremendous satisfaction that Canada is a home they share with children from many different cultures and they are able to share their own rich traditions with them as well. This would not have been possible but for the support we, as well as others, have received from the CFMT.
1949 In a way these programs are bridge-builders across the cultures and this reality is seen wherever our children are today; in schools, camps, sports fields, training grounds and occasions of celebrations like Canada Day and other events.
1950 I have to, at this moment, make a pointed reference to the grant that was availed to us by the CFMT for equipment purchase and being the key factor in founding the TV Ceylon enterprise. Such a support also helped us to focus on certain problems that the Tamil community has been confronted with, particularly violence within families and the consequences of them. The Tamil community has responded so positively to these efforts, we are even more challenged to meet their needs; for a new community, there are many.
1951 Our ideal is a total commitment to Canada and to enable our people to become good citizens of this country proud of their culture and traditions and ready and willing to share them mutually with their Canadian brethren.
1952 Thank you.
1953 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Suppiramaniam.
1954 Commissioner Wylie.
1955 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Thank you.
1956 You mention in your written intervention two half-hours weekly and then you go on to talk about a half hour on Saturdays.
1957 Is there another half-hour sometime in the week?
1958 MR. SUPPIRAMANIAM: On Shaw Cable.
1959 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Oh, I see. One half hour from CFMT.
1960 MR. SUPPIRAMANIAM: One is on Shaw Cable.
1961 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And one on Shaw -- on the community channel.
1962 MR. SUPPIRAMANIAM: Shaw community channel.
1963 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And the half hour on CFMT on Saturday, that is produced by the group you are associated with?
1964 MR. SUPPIRAMANIAM: Yes.
1965 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: With equipment in part supplied by Rogers?
1966 MR. SUPPIRAMANIAM: Not that's my own equipment and earlier I was produced by Rogers Cable on the community channel.
1967 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And at that time you were provided equipment by Rogers?
1968 MR. SUPPIRAMANIAM: Yes.
1969 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And so you and the group who are involved are involved still in producing the program?
1970 MR. SUPPIRAMANIAM: Yes.
1971 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: So you cut your teeth or started on the Rogers community ethnic-channel?
1972 MR. SUPPIRAMANIAM: (Nodding)
1973 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And then graduated to CFMT.
1974 MR. SUPPIRAMANIAM: Yes.
1975 It's a great pleasure to have. Most of the time ten o'clock, 10:30 our people are sitting in front of the TV.
1976 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Waiting for it. So that's appointment television for your community?
1977 MR. SUPPIRAMANIAM: Yes, yes.
1978 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: For the Tamil community.
1979 Well, we appreciate your coming to speak to us.
1980 MR. SUPPIRAMANIAM: Thank you.
1981 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And taking the time to stay, even at this late hour.
1982 Thank you very much.
1983 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
1984 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
1985 I would like now to invite the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto to present their intervention.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
1986 MR. SIU: I only have a couple of lines on this page so it's not a long presentation.
1987 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's what they all say.
1988 MR. SIU: Yeah, and I will be quick.
1989 THE CHAIRPERSON: You may begin whenever you're ready.
1990 MR. SIU: Madam Chair, Madam Vice-Chair and Mr. Cardoza, ladies and gentlemen, my name is Steven Siu, I'm the executive director of the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto.
1991 I'm speaking at the CRTC hearing today on behalf of the Cultural Centre to show our support for CFMT's licence renewal application.
1992 May I first start by telling you briefly what is CCC.
1993 The Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, in short CCC, is the leading cultural organization of the Chinese community.
1994 Our mission is to act as a bridge between the Chinese Canadian community and other communities and to promote understanding of Chinese culture and other cultures and traditions.
1995 Founded more than 10 years ago, we have right now 23,000 square foot main building consisting of a resource centre, an art gallery, a number of studios and classrooms and an office.
1996 We will start our $8.5-million Stage II development in two to three years which will include a multi-purpose auditorium and a Chinese school.
1997 We came to be the technically most advanced cultural centre in North America not without a reason.
1998 We were recently given over $120,000 by the provincial government to develop an internet portal for over 40 organizations in the Chinese community. So that means we are well supported by the government to develop the high-tech as well.
1999 Furthermore, CCC works with many other Canadian organizations to present special events to the community. They include the Royal Ontario Museum, The Art Gallery of Ontario, other museums, The Caravan, The Toronto Arts Council, Scarborough Arts Council, school boards and universities.
2000 Many of our activities are supported by corporations like IBM and IBM is our technology partner, Air Canada and other major airlines, major Canadian banks and financial institutions.
2001 I'm here to show the support to CFMT's licence renewal over the past few years.
2002 Personally, I have arrived in Canada about a dozen years ago and I've witnessed the development of CFMT, in fact when I first arrived in the Toronto I thought that the CFMT is not up to the standard, but right now I would say that CFMT has set a high standard for its Chinese TV programming. It has built a strong news and program team, interviews many new programs including a weekly Chinese movie which has become so popular in the Chinese community.
2003 And for major events such as Hong Kong's Changeover, it also arranged the broadcast so to help to keep the Chinese in Toronto very well informed.
2004 The Chinese programming is very important since Chinese is the most spoken non-official language, there is more than 700,000 people speaking it every day. This was the figure given by Statistics Canada I think about three to four years ago. The number right now may even be greater.
2005 It is estimated there are more than 350,000 Chinese-Canadians in the Greater Toronto Area and my friend Rupert of the Chinese Entrepreneurs Association just mentioned 400,000. It's between that, 350 to 400,000 in the Greater Toronto Area.
2006 And the Chinese community in Toronto has close links with Hong Kong and other Chinese communities in Asia.
2007 In Hong Kong, the Hong Kong you know, about 100, 150,000 Canadians take Hong Kong as their temporary home, you know they live there, work there and earn their money and send their money back to Canada. I think that's most important.
2008 The Chinese community has increased a lot over the past 10 years. Even though the figure from Hong Kong has dropped significantly since 1997 since the hand-over to China, but we have lots of people coming from China and Taiwan that's the recent trend.
2009 So China, Taiwan and Hong Kong together are still the main source of immigration.
2010 CFMT has helped the immigrants to immigrate into the Canadian community. The station not only keeps us well informed of what is happening in Canada but helps convey government messages, it helps promote community events and gets immigrants to get involved in community activities.
2011 To cite an example, I think you all saw a news article about the genetics findings in the Toronto Star by Dr. Chiu (phoen) a few days ago. It impressed me so much that CFMT produced a program last weekend, a few days immediately after the announcement.
2012 They interviewed Dr. Chiu (phoen) and also arranged a discussion forum, and they invited several people to attend the discussion forum to express their views on how the findings affect the future of the human beings.
2013 I think, you know, that's a very timely issue and they took the right step.
2014 CFMT's Chinese programs have become part of our daily life. Because it's a subscription-free TV channel, no one wants to pay of course, the Chinese community relies greatly on CFMT's Chinese Newsline for Canadian news and news from Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.
2015 Its programs such as Chinese Business Hour and Mandarin Wide Angle Lens provide the necessary business and cultural information to the community.
2016 You know, for the Chinese artists, we know they frequently got invited to the program to have their first appearance or second appearance there before they had appearance in the mainstream television stations.
2017 We think CFMT shares the same mission as the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, that is, how to bridge the cultural gap and strive for racial harmony in a culturally diversified community.
2018 So we support their application.
2019 Thank you.
2020 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Sui.
2021 You said in your written intervention that CFMT has served as a main source of intervention for the Chinese community for many years and you say the same things in your remarks.
2022 Are you familiar with Fairchild Television? You made comments about, subscription-free television.
2023 MR. SUI: I'm sorry to say that I'm very familiar with the media -- Chinese media in Canada.
2024 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are sorry to say that?
2025 MR. SUI: Because before joining the Chinese Cultural Centre I worked for the Hong Kong Trade Office which is something like Hong Kong's Consulate General in Canada. I worked as an information officer there.
2026 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mm-hmm.
2027 MR. SUI: And my duties were to liaise with the media.
2028 So I know Fairchild Television, I know CFMT and the three Chinese mainly newspapers in Toronto as well.
2029 THE CHAIRPERSON: That was an unpleasant experience.
2030 MR. SUI: In fact no, no, no, that's a good experience with the media in Canada especially with the Chinese media.
2031 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is it your sense that -- one of the comments that was made by CFMT this morning was that Fairchild Television, the two major communities that CFMT has traditionally served are the Italian and Chinese communities, I think the South Asian communities are beginning to grow in size as well, but CFMT mentioned this morning that both Telelatino and Fairchild television are beginning to have an impact on the kind of programming that they can offer those communities, that the channels are taking away advertising revenues and viewership.
2032 Is it your sense that CFMT is still the main source of information or do you think people are turning more and more to specialty niche programmers like Fairchild in order to get their information?
2033 MR. SUI: I think if you talk about coverage of course CFMT because it's a subscription-free channel it has far more viewers.
2034 THE CHAIRPERSON: Except for the basic cable rate.
2035 MR. SUI: Yeah, than Fairchild TV. Personally I cancelled my Fairchild subscription about two weeks ago because I had to pay about $40 a month. I considered that was quite expensive.
2036 But the uniqueness -- we cannot disregard the uniqueness of the Fairchild TV because it's, you know, full-time Chinese TV station and just also the only national TV station in Canada which use Chinese as its broadcasting language.
2037 There has been very keen competition between the two stations, that's for sure, both stations are fighting for advertising, the money, but I think right now the two stations have strike a balance, you know, each of the stations got their fair share of the market.
2038 So if you ask me whether there should be one more station, TV station in Toronto definitely my answer would be no, but looking at the present situation, I think the present situation is ideal.
2039 THE CHAIRPERSON: So it's your sense then that -- I mean, do you ever foresee a day when CFMT could back away from its Chinese programming or its Italian programming since there are other channels in the market, even though they're not over the air?
2040 MR. SUI: My understanding --, I don't know whether the CFMT people might correct me if I'm wrong, my understanding is that CFMT is making money on the Chinese programming.
2041 In fact there has been a demand from the Chinese community asking whether they should increase the air times for Chinese programs and the Chinese programs are quite popular.
2042 THE CHAIRPERSON: So there's a good market there for them?
2043 MR. SUI: So there is a very good market.
2044 THE CHAIRPERSON: Even though Fairchild is in the market?
2045 MR. SUI: Yeah, even though. And that's the reason also why the Chinese community can afford to have three daily newspapers because the money are coming not only from the Chinese community but also from our supporters, the supporters our organization like the major car companies, GM, Ford, major airlines, they are all contributing to the Chinese advertising market trying to get more business.
2046 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, that's very interesting because, again this morning we heard CFMT talking about the challenges they face in getting national advertisers to target to third language communities so, but you're saying that the Chinese community in the Toronto area for sure would be mature enough that the national advertisers would go after them as a distinct market?
2047 MR. SUI: Yes.
2048 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just one final quick question.
2049 In your presentation today under what is CCC, you say it's a place to promote the understanding of the Chinese --
2050 MR. SUI: That's the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto in short.
2051 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
2052 You say it's a place to promote the understanding of the Chinese culture and other cultures and traditions.
2053 What are the other cultures and traditions?
2054 MR. SUI: The other cultures are all, you know, the multi-cultures in Canada. So we work with various communities, we work with - people hate to use the word sometime - we work with the mainstream. I usually try to distinguish the Chinese and the Canadian.
2055 We work with all the communities. That's why, for example, we took part in the Caravan a couple of years ago, even last year but this year because of some financial problems we withdrew this year, but we've been a great supporter with Caravan, that's a multi-cultural event, and we are going to take part in a small cultural event which is called the Cultural Fest later this month in the Scarborough area.
2056 So we try to get involved not only in the mainstream Canadian activities but also work with other groups like, you know, Italian. We also got an invitation from the Italian Festival to present a Chinese performances in their festival.
2057 We do these kind of things all the time.
2058 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for being here and for your insights.
2059 MR. SUI: Thank you.
2060 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
2061 Madam Secretary?
2062 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
2063 The next intervenor is Bill Yancoff.
2064 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Yancoff, you can begin whenever you're ready.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
2065 MR. YANCOFF: Thank you very much.
2066 Madames et Messieurs, Honorable Representatives of the CRTC my name is Bill Yancoff and I produce the Macedonian Heritage program on CFMT-TV.
2067 I truly support the renewal of the licence of CFMT-TV. It's a great honour for me to be able to address you today on behalf of a station that I'm very proud of.
2068 CFMT-TV is indeed a leader in ethno-cultural programming in the world. And, as I have elaborated to you in the past, sets an example for the world to follow vis-a-vis multilingual broadcasting.
2069 CFMT-TV has brought multilingual programming to the forefront and is now a significant part of the mainstream media in Ontario.
2070 Whereas the stereotypical view of ethno-cultural programming is traditionally songs and dances and news from the homeland, CFMT-TV took the bold and right step forward to making multilingual broadcasting a Canadian entity, no different from the CBC, CTV or Global with the only difference being that the presentation is in languages other than English or French.
2071 When the government unveils a new budget, CFMT-TV is there.
2072 When Honk Kong was returned to mainland China CFMT-TV provided extensive live coverage. When the Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series, CFMT-TV was there.
2073 CFMT-TV is also a leader in investigative reporting. For example, CFMT-TV reporter Happie Testa's award-winning report on vandalism in the Woodbridge area exemplifies the fact that CFMT-TV and its fine news department led by Renato Zane
uncovers stories that other networks have ignored or just not aware of.
2074 CFMT-TV's commitment to the Macedonian community is second to none. My foray into the world of ethno-cultural television began in 1988 as producer of a Macedonian show on CITY-TV and its CHIN international programming.
2075 However, CITY-TV brokered their time to me through CHIN and it was very difficult to garner advertising revenue to cover the costs.
2076 On the other than, I went to CFMT-TV because its financial model was extremely fair and enabled me to independently produce Macedonian heritage with no losses.
2077 CFMT-TV welcomed me with open arms and recently the Macedonian Heritage program celebrated its 10th anniversary on the station.
2078 It definitely works to the Macedonian community's advantage to have a program on CFMT-TV. The station has done a number of things to assist our show from providing us with new, professionally produced openings, to receiving grants for new equipment, CFMT-TV consistently does everything possible to make sure the quality Macedonian program is presented on a regular basis.
2079 In addition, CFMT-TV regularly airs public service announcements on all of its shows for cultural events in the Macedonian community and for those who have special needs.
2080 One example of assistance that was truly appreciated by all in the Macedonian community was the assistance to Suzanna Kozacevich. This youthful Torontonian's life was changed for ever when she found out she had leukemia and needed and bone marrow transplant.
2081 When I informed CFMT-TV's Vice-President and Executive Produce, Madeline Ziniak of the need she immediately arranged for stories to be aired on many of CFMT-TV's programs in a multitude of languages to help find Suzie a donor.
2082 Madeline Ziniak has assisted our show in a variety of ways and we thank her for that.
2083 Unfortunately, a donor hasn't yet been found, but Suzie is still alive and well due to a daily regiment of vitamins and care. Hopefully a donor will be found soon.
2084 The trauma of the ordeal precluded Suzie from being here today but she is indeed very thankful for CFMT-TV's assistance over the years.
2085 CFMT-TV has bent over backwards to help Macedonian heritage. When a regular ENG person cannot cover an event, CFMT-TV's news department allows us to use footage of material that they have videotaped at an event.
2086 CFMT-TV regularly allows all of the independent producers to take part in editorial board meetings with prominent Canadians. Two recent examples are meetings with Dalton McGuinty and Joe Clark. The meetings were both enlightening and provided our programs with added news coverage.
2087 I must also thank the Executive Vice-President of CFMT-TV, Mr. Leslie Sole, for his great assistance and support over the years. I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Sole and his great understanding of ethno-cultural programming in Canada and his dedication and assistance for all of the programs on CFMT-TV.
2088 In closing, I absolutely urge you to extend the licence of the world's leader in multilingual programming, a station that exudes professionalism and Canadian pride and which assists new Canadians in the sometimes difficult process of adapting to life in a new country while fostering good Canadian citizenship and harboring great relations among the many ethnic groups in this great country of ours.
2089 While our neighbour to the south has an exclusive melting pot policy, thanks to the CRTC and stations like CFMT-TV, which carries out its mandate better than anyone else, we all live together in peace and harmony in Canada, making it the envy of the world.
2090 Via blagodarime, Merci beaucoup.
2091 Thank you.
2092 I also have a couple of other points just to elaborate on some other things that I've heard thus far since arriving.
2093 As we heard from our fellow co-producer show from the Armenian show about asking for more time, absolutely we would definitely want more time but what has to be understood is the challenge of producing a half-hour show for a community like the Macedonian or the Armenian community.
2094 It's very difficult to produce a show as far as the costs, even though Channel 47, CFMT-TV has helped us much, much more than for example when I as at CITY-TV as far as a very, very good financial model to help our show.
2095 So I would absolutely say to you that while that may be of course all of our wish to have more air time, when it comes to the situation that we are in we ought to be very thankful. I mean, I'm very thankful, the Macedonian community who watches the show all across the province, they watch us in Windsor regularly, they watch us in Hamilton, Ottawa, all across the whole province and they wait for that show to come on the air.
2096 If it wasn't for CFMT-TV, I don't think we'd have a Macedonian show on the air right now and we just definitely wanted to tell you that for our community the station has been being very, very helpful and basically we're very, very proud to be affiliated with a professionally produced multilingual station.
2097 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Yancoff, you're clearly very passionate about what you do.
2098 MR. YANCOFF: Thank you.
2099 THE CHAIRPERSON: And about CFMT.
2100 MR. YANCOFF: Thank you.
2101 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm going to turn you over to Commissioner Cardoza.
2102 MR. YANCOFF: Thank you.
2103 MR. CARDOZA: Well, indeed very passionate and very articulate on your views on this.
2104 I recall your campaign with regards to Suzanna Kozacevich a couple of years ago it is now and congratulate you on those efforts.
2105 Could you just give me a little bit of information about your show and the kind of things, kind of information--
2106 MR. YANCOFF: Sure.
2107 MR. CARDOZA: --you provide during that half hour.
2108 MR. YANCOFF: What we focus on mostly is goings on in the Macedonian community in the Canada, regular events that take place in the community, fund raising efforts for people like Suzie, Suzanna Kozacevich on a regular basis.
2109 We also make a great effort to interview people that make a difference in Canadian life, you know, for example we participated recently in the Mel Lastman multilingual press conference and from that event we were able to get useful footage, you know, to be used on our show.
2110 What we do is we focus more on the Canadian-Macedonian community with, of course, we do give news from Macedonia, what's going on back home, but our main focus is on the Macedonian community in Canada, and of course helping new Macedonians who come Canada to not be ashamed of their Macedonian heritage or roots, but at the same time to adapt to a new life and to also foster the Canadian ideals, and we try to promote that on a regular basis.
2111 MR. CARDOZA: Okay. I'm trying to get a sense of for you the producer what's involved.
2112 Is it fair to say you've got two, three, four segments within that half hour?
2113 MR. YANCOFF: Yes.
2114 MR. CARDOZA: Where you've got different --
2115 MR. YANCOFF: We have one segment that's generally community news and news from Macedonia, we have another segment which is mostly musical songs of Canadian-Macedonians, occasionally we have songs from back home and we also have -- we also have quizzes where we give away prizes to get people calling in and feel like they're a part of the show.
2116 We also have segments where we ask people their opinion.
2117 We also do something as far as going to many of the events that are held throughout Ontario in the Macedonian community and we cover them on a regular basis to make the people who spend countless hours volunteering for various events, to make them feel like they're a part of the show.
2118 And I think that's -- CFMT they offer us that opportunity.
2119 MR. CARDOZA: And your show, is it correct that you're on at 4:30 on Saturdays?
2120 MR. YANCOFF: We're on at 1:30 on Saturdays presently and then we have also had the 4:30 on Saturday segment as well.
2121 MR. CARDOZA: But --
2122 MR. YANCOFF: But right now we're 1:30 to 2:00 on Saturdays.
2123 MR. CARDOZA: And what if you have 4:30, is it a rerun or just a regular 4:30 --
2124 MR. YANCOFF: Our regular time is 4:30 to 5:00 but during -- there's been some other programming during the summer, so we have the Sunday from 1:30 to 2:00.
2125 So what we do is we inform the community beforehand of the change, whenever there is a change, which happens infrequently but people are watching.
2126 I mean, our show now is watched I mean by many, many -- not only the Macedonian community. You've got to remember that there's also cross-cultural benefits here.
2127 There's a lot of people who understand Macedonian who, for example, may speak Serbian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Russian, Ukrainian and other languages, they watch our show and it just amazes me sometimes that I get people calling us even who are not of Macedonian descent and who watch the show.
2128 MR. CARDOZA: And when you have a change of time you're able to maintain your audience and move them from one spot --
2129 MR. YANCOFF: Absolutely. Absolutely.
2130 MR. CARDOZA: So churches don't have to change mass time or whatever?
2131 That covers my questions. Thank you very much, Mr. Yancoff.
2132 MR. YANCOFF: Thank you.
2133 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Yancoff, I have a quick question for you.
2134 MR. YANCOFF: Sure.
2135 THE CHAIRPERSON: You were talking about Mr. Babikian from the Armenian Community Centre and how it would be great to have more time but the costs of producing that extra half hour.
2136 What costs are involved for you?
2137 MR. YANCOFF: Well for us it's about 45,000.
2138 THE CHAIRPERSON: 45,000...?
2139 MR. YANCOFF: A year to produce a show, you know, including all the costs, and that's -- you know, that's just for the production costs and it's quite expensive.
2140 You know, people don't realize that --
2141 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you pay that or CFMT pays that?
2142 MR. YANCOFF: Yes, but CFMT-TV is very fair as far as the air time, they're very, very fair as far as, you know, what they charge us.
2143 So we're able to produce on CFMT-TV because they've been very fair from that aspect.
2144 When we were at CITY-TV we had to pay not only for the production costs but even much, much more for the air time, and that's why we had to leave, we just couldn't keep the show going.
2145 That's why we had to go to another station.
2146 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you're not paying for air time but you're paying the production costs?
2147 MR. YANCOFF: We're paying for -- a very, very good rate for air time. It's very, very little, and the main thing that we pay for is the production costs.
2148 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you are paying something for air time?
2149 MR. YANCOFF: Yes, but it's a very minimal fee. It's very minimal.
2150 THE CHAIRPERSON: How minimal would that be?
2151 MR. YANCOFF: Well, it's about, I'd say about, in a few hundred per month I'd say, it's very minimal.
2152 THE CHAIRPERSON: And then they help you out in what way?
2153 MR. YANCOFF: In every aspect. They help us out for example, as I've mentioned to you before, we're privy to many, as I said for example, guest speaker, editorial board meetings.
2154 In addition, last year they gave us a grant where we were able to help our show with equipment for the show and that helped us out a great deal as well.
2155 Not only that. I'd like to stress the availability of people from CFMT-TV like Madeline as I mentioned, like Paritosh Mehta who I didn't mention in my speech who's independent production coordinator.
2156 They're always available to give advice, if I have a question or a problem I give them a call and there's been situations where I've needed help with something or a suggesting about airing a piece or something, they're always there.
2157 I didn't have that when I was at CITY-TV, it was just basically, here's the time here's the money, give us the money, the show goes on the air and that was basically it, so...
2158 THE CHAIRPERSON: How do you raise that money?
2159 MR. YANCOFF: We do it mostly through commercials.
2160 THE CHAIRPERSON: So do you sell the commercials during your half hour?
2161 MR. YANCOFF: Yes, yes.
2162 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do they sell any commercials during your half hour?
2163 MR. YANCOFF: During my half hour, yes, they have one and a half minutes and I have four and a half minutes.
2164 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
2165 MR. YANCOFF: But as I said, I'd just like to once again say that without CFMT-TV I don't think there would be a Macedonian program that could be watched all across the province.
2166 J'ai oublié beaucoup de mon français à l'école mais j'aime la langue française, mais je ne peux pas parler comme ça.
2167 LA PRÉSIDENTE: C'est parfait.
2168 MR. YANCOFF: Okay.
2169 THE CHAIRPERSON: We understand English here too.
2170 MR. YANCOFF: Well, I like to say that we're not only English.
2171 Thank you.
2172 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much Mr. Yancoff.
2173 Madam Secretary?
2174 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
2175 The next intervention is the Multicultural History Society of Ontario.
2176 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome Ms. Petroff.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
2177 MS. PETROFF: Thank you, Madam Chair, thank you Commissioners, it's a pleasure to be here.
2178 On behalf of my colleagues at the Multicultural History Society of Ontario I'm very, very pleased to be able to make this oral presentation in support of the application by CFMT-TV for licence renewal.
2179 Since its establishment by the Provincial Government in 1976, the MHSO has become a leading centre for the study and documentation of multiculturalism, migration and ethnicity. One of our present aims is to understand how best to implement the good fortune of receiving so rich a share of human talent from throughout the world.
2180 The Society values the opportunity to have worked closely over the years with CFMT-TV and to share the role as an advocate of the economic and social value of ethnic diversity to Ontario.
2181 The success of CFMT in giving every individual and group the dignity of being taken seriously as a bearer of culture and history is one of its most important achievements.
2182 We believe that CFMT-TV, as Canada's leading producer of heritage or ancestral language programming has a good record in establishing and maintaining links with a range of Ontario communities as they exercise the right to define their own existence and to retain what they wish of one world while taking their place in a new one.
2183 We, therefore, endorse the request for licence renewal by CFMT-TV so that it can continue to explore and realize broadcasting's potential for increasing cross-cultural cooperation, improving racial harmony and advancing ethno-cultural understanding.
2184 And I wrote that with one program very sharp in my mind. I've established a very great affection of a brilliant piece of programming, and that is the cooking show that comes on at Sunday night at 8:30 and since I have a tin ear for languages, if I mispronounce it I mean no harm, I think it's Gwai Lo Cooking in which it intrigued me to have an Anglo-Canadian crown attorney to come forward and to take on the task of making eggs benedict or pizzas, it says something remarkable about this country.
2185 That we are nation that sees fit to hold up its tomato plants with broken hockey sticks; you don't see it in New York, you don't see it Naples.
2186 Well, I think it's dare say that you don't see a district attorney in the United States conducting a similar show. It says something for we as a people, as a nation that a professional who, with probably a full working load, would see fit to conduct this show with a great spirit of humour, to go forth and master a language like Cantonese - and since I have a tin ear for languages, I have nothing but the greatest respect for being able to tackle that - and to go forward with kind of humour and understanding.
2187 And, may I say, that to watch it at Sunday night at 8:30 which is prime time TV, and although I'm not a broadcaster, I know that that's prime time, I look forward to it.
2188 So in a way, I think it bodes well
for Canadian content, and that is absolutely unique Canadian content, something very distinct that you won't see on the CBC or the other mainstream broadcasters.
2189 But I think it, in a nutshell, says that we as a people and citizens of a middle power we have to play taller than we are, and by God, we do and we do it 24 hours a day, seven days week, and I think it's exemplified by clever, clever broadcasting like that.
2190 So I'm very pleased to have appeared. This is my first time of hearing before any commission, and I'm very pleased to do so and believe strongly in the work of the broadcaster.
2191 Thank you.
2192 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms. Petroff.
2193 Commissioner Wylie.
2194 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Dr. Petroff, you say you have worked closely with CFMT-TV over the years as coordinator of community outreach--
2195 MS. PETROFF: Yes.
2196 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: --Multicultural History Society of Ontario.
2197 Community outreach is a different organization from the Multicultural History Society?
2198 MS. PETROFF: Oh not at all, not at all.
2199 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: It's the same?
2200 MS. PETROFF: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.
2201 I am a historian by trade, I come from a discipline which, until a few years ago, thought that there was no one worth interviewing below the ranks of Jack Pickersgill, and as a historian, I have to interact with communities.
2202 For example, in our building we have over 9,000 hours worth of oral testimony, one of the largest collections in the world, that means you have to go out to the community, reach out, build trust and understanding, and to say that indeed that your experiencing, your face, your -- must appears on museum walls, must appear in Canadian textbooks.
2203 So very truly as a historian in community outreach the job is absolutely necessary.
2204 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: So this communities outreach is particularly involved in multicultural history?
2205 MS. PETROFF: Multi-cultural --
2206 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Not outreach in the sense of social services or support?
2207 MS. PETROFF: Oh, not at all.
2208 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Okay. I was wondering if it was a subset of something else.
2209 MS. PETROFF: No. As a matter of fact I could say one recent project that we have looked at and have prepared for Status of Women Canada is writing a report, looking at experience of Tai women sex trade workers looking at their experiences in the criminal justice system, immigration, so we are moving into the world of policy.
2210 Indeed, for us, I mean that is kind of a natural evolution. We have to build a historical base of material as libraries, archives, historians and other scholars have saw fit to ignore for many, many years.
2211 Now that we have built that cache of materials and you begin to analyze, and you begin to write and academic dialogue then goes forward, then I would say I come from an institution that firmly believes that scholarship has to get a job.
2212 You can't just write things for the enlightenment of a few other scholars that you would discuss things over brandy or tea or whatever and it's done. We happen to believe if it's worth knowing, it's worth sharing and, more important, it has to be put to work to make lives better for us as a people, as citizens of Canadaen and really citizens of the world.
2213 So it's that natural evolution. We've grown incrementally and taken on responsibilities as we have felt that we were able to handle them.
2214 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Now, that I understand better your role, how do you -- what is the bridge with CFMT?
2215 You say you have worked closely over the years with them. Well, do you speak directly to their programmers or --
2216 MS. PETROFF: Yes, I have had a very long collegial working relationship with Madeline Ziniak.
2217 For one thing, we are a publisher, we are an exhibitor, I've made sure, and Madeline has been aware that I keep her and the network informed of the latest writings and materials, both by scholars and produced by the communities.
2218 As we have produced our own events, for example, we had a very successful launch of an exhibit called Growing Cultures, we provide the intellectual content for the Royal Ontario Museum for a wonderful little exhibit, exhibit hall that they call the heritage gallery of Canada's peoples.,
2219 As part of that exhibit launch, CFMT would come and cover it, bring a host of reporters. Growing Cultures looked at immigrants and their gardens. And so who best to have this broadcaster show the opening, help to broadcast the upcoming launch.
2220 Shall we say help to diversify the audience of people that will click through the turnstiles at the Royal Ontario Museum. They are part and parcel of getting the word out and our responsibility is to them is to alert them with the latest in information, you know, the scholarly world is coming forward and activities in the communities that they generate.
2221 Because there's -- I would say ethnic communities of course are not static and there's many levels within an ethnic community, intellectuals academics, artists and so on that we have established a relationship with. So we provide that kind of heads up. So we help each other trade off our various expertise and it's been a very rewarding relationship.
2222 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Have you built those bridges with our other ethnic broadcasters?
2223 MS. PETROFF: We have tried to.
2224 I have tried to -- any broadcaster that asks me or -- well, actually film makers, writers, producers, a whole host of people, if I think that they are doing good work or I hope that they will start to do good work, I try and sit down and help them out.
2225 I've tried to advise CITY-TV on, for example, their broadcast -- their sort of rules and regulations, codes of conduct and stuff for their own employees. They brought that before me, I reviewed it, I gave some advice.
2226 So as an institution, we're prepared to help anyone that comes in through the doors with whatever question they may have.
2227 If we don't know the answer, we try and move mountains to find out who does know the answer and to set them forward.
2228 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: I meant more ethnic broadcasters such as the Fairchild, Telelatino, not conventional broadcasters who do--
2229 MS. PETROFF: Oh, okay.
2230 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: --ethnic broadcasting but who are ethnic broadcasters like CFMT is, albeit a specialty channel.
2231 MS. PETROFF: Yes, CHIN Radio has, we have assisted them when they'd phone up. For example, we are the publishers along with University of Toronto Press of the encyclopedia of Canada's peoples, and so it's not surprising to have, let's say CHIN Radio phone up and say: Well, what these stats, or what's the latest word, or what are the numbers, or what does this policy mean or so on and so forth.
2232 We're like sort of I guess a fount of information and so we have had -- we've tried to assist stations like CHIN Radio, anyone who asks.
2233 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Thank you, Dr. Petroff, for participating in our process.
2234 MS. PETROFF: Thank you.
2235 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
2236 Madam Secretary?
2237 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
2238 The next intervention will be by the
National Congress of Italian-Canadians.
2239 THE CHAIRPERSON: Ms. De-Anjelis.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
2240 MS. DE-ANJELIS: Thank you, Commissioners.
2241 First off, I'd like to apologize for not having written copies of my notes. I'm here sitting in for Gregory Grande who is the President of the National Congress of Italian-Canadians (Ontario Region) who is sitting in for Josephine Palumbo who is one of the Vice-Presidents at the National level.
2242 My name is Debra De-Anjelis I'm speaking on behalf of the National Congress of Italian-Canadians where I serve in the capacity of
2243 The National Congress of Italian-Canadians (Ontario Region) is appearing here today to strongly support the renewal of CFMT's licence.
2244 The National Congress of Italian-Canadians is an umbrella organization representing approximately 1.2 million Italian-Canadians living in Canada.
2245 The Ontario Region of the National Congress of Italian-Canadians is an incorporated, non-profit organization which represents over 650,000 people of Italian background residing in the Province of Ontario.
2246 It's primary functions are to deal with issues of interest to Italian-Canadians which have a province-wide impact to oversee the creation of new districts and to coordinate their activities so that they may be developed in a more comprehensive and coherent manner.
2247 The National Congress of Italian-Canadians' overall objectives are to represent, promote, act as an advocate for Italian-Canadians and to foster the evolution of a better Canada through mutual understanding, good will and cooperation between all Canadians.
2248 So with our objective so closely related to the goals and quality of programming that CFMT has provided to the Italian-Canadian community,
it is no surprise that we are strongly supporting the renewal of CFMT's licence.
2249 CFMT, like no other station, has shown its commitment to Canadian ethnic content with outstanding shows like Studio Aperto, Solo Musica, the ever popular tellenovellas, election coverage cover from a community perspective, and just to mention a few.
2250 On a personal note, in my home no one goes near the TV from eight o'clock to nine o'clock p.m. It's nona's and moma's time, my grandmother and mother's time to watch Studio Aperto until 8:30 and from 8:30 to 9:00 the ever popular tellenovellas like the one now on, Marilena, that keeps coffee discussions among the ladies quite heated.
2251 And it's not only their generation that is watching CFMT. My brothers, sisters and partner try never to miss the shows like Solo Musica, and Noi Auge, our connection to our identity.
2252 CFMT programming offers to many Italian-Canadians the opportunity to stay connected to
stay connected to what is happening in Toronto, Ontario and the world in their native tongue.
2253 It helps them to keep up to date to the issues in the community, like health care, education, and it gives them the opportunity to go back to their homeland even if it's just for half an hour while they watch the different shows and tellenovellas.
2254 For my generation it's a chance to connect with our roots, to understand better what it means to be an Italian-Canadian living in Canada.
2255 It is critical that the Italian language programming continues to make our Canada a truly multicultural society.
2256 NCIC (Ontario Region) recognizes the contribution that CFMT-TV has made to the community in the past 20 years. CFMT represents the multicultural mosaic that constitutes the very fabric of the city.
2257 CFMT reaches many ethno-cultural communities and helps newcomers understand and adjust to life in a new country.
2258 For all the above-mentioned reasons, NCIC (Ontario Region) endorses CFMT's broadcast licence renewal application.
2260 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thanks Ms. De-Anjelis.
2261 I had prepared my questions assuming it would be Ms. Palumbo here from Ottawa, so I'm just going to reorient things a little bit here.
2262 Are you located here in Toronto?
2263 MS. DE-ANJELIS: Yes, I am.
2264 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are you familiar with Telelatino?
2265 MS. DE-ANJELIS: Yes, I am.
2266 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah. It's fairly widely available I guess on cable.
2267 MS. DE-ANJELIS: It is, except I don't have cable.
2268 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you can get CFMT over the air?
2269 MS. DE-ANJELIS: that's right.
2270 THE CHAIRPERSON: Have you ever watched Telelatino?
2271 MS. DE-ANJELIS: I have.
2272 THE CHAIRPERSON: And how does their programming compare to the kinds of programs that you're very attached to on CFMT.
2273 MS. DE-ANJELIS: From my point of view, they have a more -- it's more based in the homeland which is Italy; whereas CFMT provides shows which have Canadian content and are more relevant to my generation as an Italian-Canadian living in Canada versus some of the shows that Telelatino shows, some of them which have no real relevance to myself.
2274 But for a generation like my Dad they like to Telelatino, my dad and mom and grandmother.
2275 But CFMT is more accessible to them because they don't have cable either, so it's a luxury to sort of watch it at somebody else's house when a soccer game is happening or something like that.
2276 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you all go over and pull up a chair.
2277 MS. DE-ANJELIS: Yeah.
2278 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I guess that's -- let me just ask you this: You were talking about the tellenovellas. I know, I have a close friend who lives just down the street from me, she would die before she would miss that, she watches it every neither.
2279 But what do you think the reaction would be if we were looking for more Canadian content from CFMT; what do you think the reaction in your community would be if we took off - not we - but if CFMT took off some of their foreign ethnic programming like the tellenovellas?
2280 MS. DE-ANJELIS: My mother would probably go out and rent them somewhere, she'd probably pay to see them.
2281 There would probably be a great concern in that aspect. It's like free right and it's something that connects not only my mother, I watch it sometimes because it gets to the time where I'm in front of the TV, but my grandmother as well, you know, which night not be able to have this sort of connection with her homeland.
2282 The one that's showing right now is quite interesting I think. But I don't know, I'm sure there would be a huge outcry, I guess.
2283 THE CHAIRPERSON: Actually Commissioner Cardoza has just indicated that he has one question for you.
2284 MS. DE-ANJELIS: Sure, I'll try.
2285 THE CHAIRPERSON: But those are my questions.
2286 Thank you.
2287 MS. DE-ANJELIS: You're welcome.
2288 MR. CARDOZA: I just have one question for you from a longer term perspective and from your discussion here you straddle, or you're aware of various generations within Italian-Canadian community, and I'm wondering in the longer term what your sense is about the sense of future Italian language programming.
2289 To what extent is there, in your case, third generation or perhaps the next one to come familiar with the Italian language, to the extent that they want Italian language programming.
2290 And does television play a role in that maintenance of the language, or is it going to disappear over another generation?
2291 MS. DE-ANJELIS: Well, that's a humongous worry that will happen, that's why I'm working on a volunteer basis with the National Congress of Italian-Canadians because I do see that as a trend.
2292 If we don't work right now with the young generation, I speak Italian, my sister speaks Italian because my grandmother insisted, but my brother and my other brother they don't speak the language.
2293 Television does play a humongous role because when you're in the car most of my generation is listening to music, they're not listening to radio shows and couple of minutes that they do have access to the television then you know that would be a great opportunity for them to actually hear their language and connect some way to their roots.
2294 Right now the shows we watch is like Solo Musica, sometimes I watch Studio Aperto, just to brush up on my Italian as well, but Solo Musica, once again, it's not only Italian music and it's -- you know, it's Canadian music and it's Latin American music as well.
2295 But there isn't any real -- so you would be watching it if you were interested in music, which is great, it's awesome, but there's no real connection there.
2296 Like in the ideal world, I would love to see a show where young people would be talking, young-Canadians would be talking about their issues with other young-Canadians, but that's an ideal world.
2297 But I'm afraid if we don't go down this path we may lose altogether in a sort of, maybe not this generation but the generation after me will totally lose our language if we don't get more shows that, you know, outreach our roots like the language or, you know, that sort of cultural stuff.
2298 MR. CARDOZA: And in terms of music, where do people get Italian music because the Italian musical scene is the sort of pop rock, very dynamic in Italy and in North America?
2299 MS. DE-ANJELIS: Well, we buy the CDs, we listen to FM station that CHIN has, we listen to that as well. That's where people get their music and we watch Solo Musica too.
2300 MR. CARDOZA: Okay, thanks very much.
2301 MS. DE-ANJELIS: You're welcome.
2302 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms. De-Anjelis.
2303 Madam Secretary?
2304 THE SECRETARY: The next interveners will be Sunny Ray and Tanya Bedrossian.
2305 MS. BEDROSSIAN: It's almost good evening, Madam Chair, and Members of the Commission, but we're --
2306 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome.
2307 MS. BEDROSSIAN: But we're going to be presenting together or I'll probably go first and Sunny will go second.
2308 My name is Tanya Bedrossian and I'm a freelance producer, I've been working in television for the last six years, and the reason I'm here today is to support of course CFMT-TV's licence renewal.
2309 And the reason I guess the way I got involved with CFMT was back in 1991 I received the CFMT Rogers scholarship for my studies at Ryerson's radio and television arts program, and that was a tremendous support to me financially and also it gave me a great sense of accomplishment and confidence to finish the program and to go on working in television.
2310 And also I wanted to mention, being of Armenian descent myself, first generation, I definitely watch the Armenian program that was mentioned earlier Hai Horizon and my parents watch and grandmother and it definitely hits many different generations, different backgrounds and it's a huge resource to know what's going on in the community and people are watching it, and talking about it and taping it because it's nine in the morning on Sundays.
2311 And I think it's an important part of Canadian television that CFMT-TV is providing, that doesn't exist anywhere else for the Armenian community being so small. And it's nice to see them support it and I would like to see CFMT's licence to be renewed.
2313 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
2315 MR. RAY: Madames, Messieurs and Honourable Members of the CRTC, Madam Chair.
2316 My name is Sunny Ray, I direct and produce television commercial spots and I'm here to support CFMT's application to renew its broadcast licence.
2317 I'm the recipient -- one of the recipients of CFMT's multicultural scholarship that provides students like ones at Ryerson who study radio and television with an opportunity to focus on their studies, and because the scholarship pays the entire tuition for the entire four years regardless of the amount of the tuition, because over the past four years, as you know, the amount of tuition has increased dramatically in fact.
2318 I graduated in 1999 and the tuition almost doubled the amount. So I was very grateful to have the opportunity to have won the scholarship, I guess to have my education paid off, and it was a great help because I just arrived in Canada in 1991.
2319 And there was two main reasons why I'd like to support CFMT television during these proceedings, because first of all, having arrived in 1991 and having gotten my admission to university in 1995, four years later, I didn't have Canadian experience, I had like a language barrier.
2320 The program itself, it's a four year program, it's very intensive, it's very language oriented, literature oriented.
2321 So for me to totally focus on my studies, it was very important and that's what gave me the opportunity to earn my degree in four years like everyone else.
2322 The second thing was the fact I got major experience in television production, and because of that I got a great start in my career and one of the things that I wasn't quite aware of last year, for example, I directed and produced two television spots one for Canadian Women Communications and the other for diabetes, that's for its foundation and they were just a commercial spot to feature some public personalities and diabetes and I got to go to New York and do this and that.
2323 So that was -- oh, by the way, yes, this commercial for diabetes it aired nationally for six months and I didn't quite realize what I had accomplished at the time. My friends were saying, you know, your commercial's on the air, you know, you should be excited, you know. And it's slowly sinking in.
2324 Because I guess I was thinking there I was, I guess, a kid from university, just graduated from university and I had my commercial on the air.
2325 But it's all due to thanks from CFMT because the kind of experience I got there, the contacts and there's much to be said about the company itself, the culture within the company, about the people.
2326 I have seen people getting married. I think it's the whole environment getting married, getting better promotions.
2327 So it's a great company to be associated with from different perspectives.
2328 Now, as a member of the Russian community, I'd like to --
2329 THE CHAIRPERSON: I was just going to say, maybe I should get a job there.
2330 Anything is possible.
--- Laughter / Rires
2331 I'm sorry.
2332 MR. RAY: No, it's great. Because I just wanted to mention as a member of Russian community, having CTV-TV used to carry -- right now CTV-TV carries mixed TV and now it carries Russian Waves. There's two Russian programs, on CTV-TV it's mixed TV; on CFMT it's Russian Waves.
2333 So the new program that they've produced, the Russian program, it' very, I find if I can, if I might share my opinion, it's very I guess refreshing and the news that they provide us with it's very current, it's not weeks or two weeks late, I guess it's because of the satellite feed that CFMT has, but I would like to share the delight of the Russian community with the kind of program that CFMT provides.
2334 I know it's a fact. So that's really it, I'm really thankful to CFMT for giving me the opportunity to study at the university and I guess giving me the jump start in my career.
2335 MS. WYLIE: Are you married?
2336 MR. RAY: No, I'm looking.
2337 THE CHAIRPERSON: She is.
2338 Sounds like you made the most of your opportunity, Mr. Ray.
2339 It's nice to have you both here and listen to all that enthusiasm, and I'm going to turn you over to Commissioner Cardoza.
2340 MR. CARDOZA: Thank you, Madam Chair.
2341 I thank you both for coming.
2342 Scholarship programs are very important and the one that CFMT has run is an important one, so it's quite appropriate and impressive that you've taken the time to come here to the hearing to talk about those scholarships and what you have gained by it.
2343 Have you both graduated at this point?
2344 MS. BEDROSSIAN: Yeah, I graduated in 1994.
2345 MR. RAY: 1999.
2346 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
2347 And have you gotten jobs in the area, in the field of broadcasting?
2348 MS. BEDROSSIAN: Yes, I've been working in broadcasting for six years in television, and although I did get experience at Rogers Community Television in multicultural broadcasting, I haven't actually worked in multicultural broadcasting since I've been working in entertainment, movies and music, but I would like to do my by part --
2349 MR. CARDOZA: Broadcasting is good. Can I ask where?
2350 MS. BEDROSSIAN: Oh, I've worked -- actually I worked in Hong Kong for a year for Channel B which is part of Star TV News Corp as a producer for a music video request show.
2351 I worked for two years at CTV on ENow as a producer, and right now I'm working for the Life Network for a movie review show.
2352 MR. CARDOZA: My sense of a scholarship program of this nature, you seem to be a bit apologetic that you're not in multicultural broadcasting and I don't think that's necessary, I think one of the purposes of scholarships of this kind is to have people from ethno-cultural communities get into broadcasting and if it's accomplishing that then it's accomplishing a great deal.
2353 Mr. Ray, you have had working experience with CFMT as well?
2354 MR. RAY: That's right.
2355 MR. CARDOZA: Is that while you were at school?
2356 MR. RAY: Yes.
2357 MR. CARDOZA: So during the scholarship you don't have to work at CFMT, that was a separate thing for you.
2358 MR. RAY: Well, no, I didn't have to work. I just decided to volunteer at first partially to get some experience but also to thank the station for what they had done for me and they sort of decided after the first summer, 1995, after I worked there for about three or four months they decided: Well, okay, this guy is too hard working, we've got to pay him, he can't volunteer anymore.
2359 So they just put me on the payroll and from there on in, I don't know -- it happens, true.
2360 So then they hired me on different projects. It's more freelance employment per project basis.
2361 So ever since then I got the tremendous experience with senior producers mostly in
2362 MR. CARDOZA: Well, evidently this program produces opportunities for networking, meeting the right people more than probably was anticipated at the beginning of this scholarship program.
2363 Thank you for being here and sharing all that with us.
2364 MR. RAY: Thank you.
2365 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you both.
2366 Madam Secretary, we are moving right along.
2367 THE SECRETARY: Our last intervenor for today is Villa Charities, Inc.
2368 THE CHAIRPERSON: No. 15.
2369 Any time you are ready.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
2370 MR. DI IULIO: Thank you. I started my speech by wanting to say good afternoon. I will say good evening, Madam Chair, Commissioners, ladies and gentlemen.
2371 I hope you haven't saved the least for the last.
2372 I hope to be brief and I'm sorry for keeping you here again as I did last time, Mr. Cardoza.
2373 THE CHAIRPERSON: We enjoy this.
2374 That's why we're in the jobs.
2375 MR. CARDOZA: It's true.
2376 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: That's why we're not married.
2377 MR. DI IULIO: My name is Pal Di Iulio, I'm the Executive Director of Villa Charities and some of you may know that who have not heard of Villa Charities may have experienced some of our other activities such as Villa Colombo, Home for the Aged,
Colombo Centre Community Centre Facility, Vita Community Living Services for the Mentally Handicapped and Caza Del Zotto and Caboto Terrace apartment for seniors.
2378 All of this is part of this charitable non-profit organization that's located at Lawrence and Dufferin which serves, and I won't bore you with numbers and statistics, but many, many people on a large tract of land. It's been around for many years.
2379 I'm here as well because I'm a past member of the Canadian Multiculturalism Council but I have been for many years a member of the CFMT Community Advisory Committee.
2380 I have both watched the CFMT parade for 20 years and I guess on many occasions because of the public nature of the organization and I guess my position I have been part of that parade on CFMT.
2381 I am before you to support Rogers Broadcasting CFMT-TV application for renewal.
2382 I want to inform you that CFMT has always been most cooperative and generous in providing our organizations with a vehicle to communicate our message to our community and to the greater Toronto
2383 I would venture to say that our organization which started in the early 70s and the growth of CFMT which started in the late 70s runs parallel.
2384 CFMT needs a good news story, Villa Charities needs a camera and a microphone to spread the gospel. I would like to think that it has been mutually beneficial and successful partnership.
2385 I call it piazza TV. We've got the piazza, we've got the people, they've got the microphone, they've got the TV camera.
2386 Our history with CFMT is not a recent one it goes back many, many years in fact in the years of Mr. Iannuzzi the original founder I guess along with many others of CFMT was both padre, padrino and padrone of CFMT.
2387 Things have changed somewhat incorporated over the years, but have changed and have both grown in quality.
2388 Changed because from my perspective, from my parents, from my community there is less Italian programming - that's not a complaint, just a reflection of what I see - however, that program is there of a higher quality and it's locally produced, which is important for me and the kind of tribe that I guess that I guess I somewhat represent, that is a local Italian-Canadian tribe as opposed to that tribe of my cousins on the other side of the ocean.
2389 What I meant to say, within that is that although I'm somewhat disappointed that there is less Italian language program, I fully understand the changing ethnocultural dynamics of Toronto. As a result, these changes perhaps at this point in time means that other groups need CFMT to do what it did for the Italians over 20 years. It helped them feel comfortable in a mainstream Canada, while at the same time not negating their heritage, their worth, their participation and participatory everything.
2390 I realize of course that the
Italian community is as multi-general and as complex as the greater community, yet CFMT has attempted and in many ways found time and occasion to touch them all.,
2391 For example, specials on Padre Pio, Jean Chretien in Italy, and live coverage of the Roman Catholic Jubilee in Rome were particularly touching for seniors, for seniors particularly but in general for everyone.
2392 What was particularly different or special for and attractive to younger a cross-general generation were Solo Musica and Jumpcut over the years.
2393 And what's important for people such as myself who want to be in the know, who want to be on top of politics is of course the daily news coverage on Studio Aperto and the in-depth election coverage from a community perspective during the provincial and federal elections.
2394 I think it's important that CFMT is there somewhat in your face, at the street corners, at the piazza, at the Colombo Centre, to me that's very, very important of inclusion and participatory democracy for people who may have felt as immigrants when they got off the boat, I think they feel extremely somehow comfortable and proud that they too are reflected. Sometimes a tooth is missing, the hairs are gone, but they're there on TV speaking their minds.
2395 I won't even mention about CFMT being somewhat a leader in the coverage of soccer and live on-the-spot reporting. I think after this weekend it's probably an overkill and I'll try to downplay that.
2396 I personally know that seniors and youth both enjoy CFMT, especially when it chooses community focus groups from our campus to preview the tellenovellas.
2397 What happens is I get a call from someone at CFMT and they want 20 seniors of this age, or 20 youngsters of this age and they want to put them together somehow.
2398 Because, as I say, we're a marketplace, we're a piazza of people, we somehow get these volunteers and they participate. And they preview and they really feel proud to be the first ones to have seen three tellenovellas that somehow, eventually next September are going to be making it on TV.
2399 That's a badge of honour to be included there.
2400 And I personally don't necessarily enjoy these, although somehow my 78-year-old father is now falling in love with some of the characters that are on TV.
2401 What I find both beautiful and confusing is how soap operas, tellenovellas filmed in Portuguese in Brazil dubbed in Italian in Italy are broadcast in Italian in Canada. What a wonderful country.
2402 I want to particularly highlight the many public services that CFMT participates in. I think that this is what everyone here is talking about participation, everyone is talking about understanding, everyone is talking about and feeling part of each other.
2403 I think that's very, very, very important.
2404 I'm the father of three children. One of my children a 13-year-old, plays on a soccer team with 18 members representing 10 different countries or 10 different languages.
2405 And I get high when the little Portuguese kid says: I saw you on TV last night, or when the South American one says the same thing.
2406 And if I appear on TV it's usually during the Italian language program. There is some spill over, some communication and some appreciation.
2407 There are other groups with which we share this wonderful thing called Toronto the meeting place.
2408 I believe that CFMT has done a good job from my community perspective and Rogers Broadcasting deserves to have its CFMT licence renewed.
2409 Thank you very much for waiting for me and allowing me to make my participatory remarks.
2411 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you for waiting for us, Mr. Di Iulio.
2412 I'm going to pass you over to the Vice-Chair of Broadcasting, Commissioner Wylie.
2413 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Mr. Di Iulio --
2414 MR. IULIO: You can call me Pal, Madam. Let's get on a first name basis.
2415 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Is that what happens at CFMT?
2416 MR. DI IULIO: This late in the night, yes.
2417 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: I think we want a job here, I'll have to speak to Mr. Viner.
2418 Tell us what the difference is between padre, padrino and padrone.
2419 MR. DI IULIO: Well, literally translated it means -- padre is father, padrino is Godfather, padrone is owner and is really based on a film where many years ago a young man had a father who was both his padre, padrino, padrone, the father literally controlled everything that that young man did and young boy did and somewhat when a new enterprise comes to be, the creator of that enterprise, in this case Mr. Iannuzzi I guess, operated his particular TV station in that particular mode, as many successful businessmen or sometimes not successful businessmen do.
2420 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Or women.
2421 MR. DI IULIO: Sorry, I didn't -- in this case it was a man.
2422 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Thank you, Mr. Di Iulio and thank you for waiting for us, and we certainly appreciate your participation.
2423 THE CHAIRPERSON: That concludes our interventions for the day, actually for this hearing and the next phase is reply by Rogers Broadcasting to all the interventions received.
2424 I'm just wondering if you would like to proceed directly to rely or do you need a few minutes to prepare, or what's your pleasure?
2425 MR. VINER: We would be happy to reply immediately.
2426 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
2427 MR. VINER: Madam Chair.
2428 MR. VINER: In the interest of your time.
2429 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Di Iulio.
2430 Don't know if you can read your own handwriting.
2431 MR. VINER: I'm quite sure I can't.
2432 THE CHAIRPERSON: You don't want to?
2433 MR. VINER: Happy to.
2434 Madam Chair, we'd like to take this time to both respond to the interventions and to reply to Commissioner Cardoza's earlier questions, I think.
2436 MR. SOLE: So it's been a delightful afternoon.
2437 We'd like to thank all the intervenors, and especially the people that took their valuable time to be part of this regulatory process today. We thank them for their kind comments and their support and their open and honest opinions.
2438 Before we go to questions on the interventions, because we believe that they were somewhat extensive and somewhat supportive, that to agree with people that think we should be renewed I think is understood, so I would ask Tony to take the time now to answer Commissioner Cardoza's earlier inquiries.
2439 MR. VINER: Commissioner Cardoza, we have tried to estimate the total financial impact that the four scenarios which you have outlined would have on CFMT.
2440 Unfortunately, straight arithmetic calculations, which we intend to give you, fail to take into consideration the linked and interdependent way in which all television programming is sold.
2441 When acquired programming, whether in third language or English, is reduced or eliminated it has an exponential impact on the entire commercial attractiveness of the station.
2442 We've tried to estimate this impact conservatively and I would urge the Commission to seek independent verification if they feel that we have a vested interest in overstating the various impacts of the described changes on CFMT.
2443 So to your questions:
2444 No. 1, what happens if we increase our ethnic programming from 50% to 60% 6:00 p.m to midnight.
2445 The reduction in our other programs of course would be in U.S.programming and that would be reduced by 4.2 hours per week or 20% of the U.S. prime time total.
2446 The arithmetic impact of such a move would be to be reduce our PBIT by 30%.
2447 However, we estimate that the real impacts of this reduction would be to reduce our PBIT closer to 50% because the loss of this inventory would put CFMT well below the critical mass of audience delivery enjoyed by our immediate competitors, including WUTV the Fox affiliate in Buffalo.
2448 In fact, we believe that WUTV would be the chief beneficiary of this reduction.
2449 In terms of advertising buys, we already get the leftovers from Canadian conventional stations. With a further reduction in our inventory, WUTV would occupy that position.
2450 Question No. 2:
2451 What is the impact if we were to increase our ethnic component to 70% from 60% overall.
2452 Our answer: This would represent a reduction of 12.6 hours in U.S. programming.
2453 The amount of revenue loss would reduce our profitability arithmetically by 75%.
2454 However, the real impact for the reasons described in my response to question 1 would be to render the station completely unprofitable at our current service levels.
2455 Question 3:
2456 What would happen if we were to increase Canadian from 50% to 60% overall.
2457 Well, we would be required to reduce our acquired programming, whether U.S. or ethnic, and replace it with Canadian-produced ethnic.
2458 Arithmetically we estimate this reduction of acquired programming and addition of produced programming would reduce our PBIT by approximately 25%.
2459 Question 4:
2460 What if we were to increase our Canadian content from 40% to 50% in prime time, and I have assumed for the purpose of this response, Commissioner, that the question is the context of an overall 60% requirement.
2461 In this scenario we would see, in addition to the losses cited in response to question 3, the loss of our ability to package sales on acquired ethnic prime time programming with our Canadian-produced ethnic, as well as the loss of the audience lead-in necessary to maintain audience levels in our ethnic Canadian-produced programming.
2462 We estimate that such an increase in prime time Canadian would further reduce our PBIT to about a half of its current forecast level.
2463 As I stated earlier, it's crucial that we maintain some flexibility to schedule ethnic acquired programming in prime time.
2464 Final question:
2465 What would happen if we were to replace one hour of U.S. programming with one hour of Canadian ethnic programming or one hour of ethnic acquired programming and what would be the difference?
2466 The answer: On the Canadian-produced ethnic we would have, of course, lose all of our margins and incur additional production costs.
2467 On ethnic acquired we would lose 75% of our margins.
2468 Commission Cardoza I would emphasize again that our projections for the next seven are just that, they're projections. In the first five years of our last licence period we missed every single projection yet maintained our commitments.
2469 The impact that I have described will only be true if we achieve these levels without an economic turndown or increased competition which could mean that that impact is a great deal more serious than described.
2470 Legal Counsel has asked me a question with regard to the introduction of higher Canadian content levels over the term of our licence.
2471 As always on sober second thought, Mr. Sole has suggested that if we were to make such a change, if you were to make a such a change, that we be given until 2002 to disengage from our current commitments and then adjust our CANCON by 2% a year over the remaining five years of the licence.
2472 Just a final word.
2473 CFMT has undoubtedly been a success and I have referred to it as the jewel of the Canadian broadcasting system.
2474 It is a extraordinarily balance. It will be -- when we change that balance, we'll have changes in unknown consequences.
2475 I understand the Commission's point of view, but I also believe that there is a wonderfully successful, the most successful in my opinion, experiment that the Commission has ever undertaken and it's successful, and I would urge the Commission to think long and hard about the possible consequences of changes in our delicate balance of conditions of licensing.
2476 I'd also like to thank you for the time that you've spent and we've engaged in an interesting and you've been most courteous in your questioning and we're most appreciative.
2477 We'd be happy to answer any further questions that you might have.
2478 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Viner.
2479 That concludes our proceedings for this hearing.
2480 Thank you very much for being with us.
--- Whereupon the hearing concluded at 1820 /
L'audience se termine à 1820