TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS
FOR THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND
TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES DU
CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION
ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES
SUBJECT / SUJET:
MULTIPLE BROADCASTING AND OWNERSHIP APPLICATIONS/
DEMANDES DE SERVICES DE RADIODIFFUSION MULTIPLES
ET DE PROPRIÉTÉ MULTIPLE
Centre de Conférences
September 20, 2000
le 20 septembre 2000
In order to meet the requirements of the Official Languages
Act, transcripts of proceedings before the Commission will be
bilingual as to their covers, the listing of the CRTC members
and staff attending the public hearings, and the Table of
However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded
verbatim transcript and, as such, is taped and transcribed in
either of the official languages, depending on the language
spoken by the participant at the public hearing.
Afin de rencontrer les exigences de la Loi sur les langues
officielles, les procès-verbaux pour le Conseil seront
bilingues en ce qui a trait à la page couverture, la liste des
membres et du personnel du CRTC participant à l'audience
publique ainsi que la table des matières.
Toutefois, la publication susmentionnée est un compte rendu
textuel des délibérations et, en tant que tel, est enregistrée
et transcrite dans l'une ou l'autre des deux langues
officielles, compte tenu de la langue utilisée par le
participant à l'audience publique.
Canadian Radio-television and
Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des
Transcript / Transcription
Multiple broadcasting and ownership applications/
Demandes de services de radiodiffusion multiples
et de propriété multiple
BEFORE / DEVANT:
Chairperson of the
Commission / Présidente
Commissioner / Conseillère
Commissioner / Conseiller
Commissioner / Conseillère
Commissioner / Conseillère
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Hearing Manager and
Secretary / Gérante de
l'audience et secrétaire
Legal Counsel /
Centre de Conférences
September 20, 2000
le 20 septembre 2000
TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES
PHASE I (cont'd)
3649091 Canada Ltd.
(CanWest Global - CJNT-TV)
INTERVENTIONS BY / INTERVENTIONS PAR
Voice of Egypt in Canada
Armenian National Television Inc.
Fédération des professionnels
Local 614-M of the Communication, Energy and
Paperworkers Union of Canada
REPLY BY / RÉPLIQUE PAR
3649091 Canada Ltd.
(CanWest Global - CJNT-TV)
APPLICATION BY / APPLICATION PAR
University of Toronto Community Radio Inc.
INTERVENTIONS BY / INTERVENTIONS PAR
Voluntary Action Committee to save CIUT
TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES
PHASE II (cont'd)
INTERVENTIONS BY / INTERVENTIONS PAR
University of Toronto Students
Friends of CIUT
University of Toronto
REPLY BY / RÉPLIQUE PAR
University of Toronto Community Radio Inc.
Hull, Quebec / Hull (Québec)
--- Upon resuming on Wednesday, September 20, 2000
at 0900 / L'audience reprend le mercredi
20 septembre 2000 à 0900
2972 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Alors bonjour. Nous reprenons nos travaux. Nous avions laissé en suspens le questionnement concernant la Phase I de CJNT.
2973 J'aimerais, peut-être pour le bénéfice des gens qui sont ici pour la première journée, rappeler quelques façons dont nous avons décidé de mener l'audience, qui permettra donc d'établir les règles du jeu pour tout le monde.
2974 De façon à entendre le plus grand nombre d'intervenants possible, le panel pourra ne pas engager des discussions avec les intervenants favorables ou leur poser des questions. Toutes les interventions sont néanmoins considérées importantes aux yeux du Conseil et elles seront transcrites et versées au dossier officiel et feront partie de notre analyse au moment de la prise de décision.
2975 Je voudrais aussi demander que les cellulaires -- en commençant par la Présidente du panel -- ainsi que les "pagers" soient silencieux pendant l'audience. Cela permet à tous de concentrer sur ce qui est bien important, qui est la compréhension de la requête et aussi les interventions pour bien entamer l'analyse.
2976 Alors sans plus tarder, nous poursuivons. C'est à moi que revient le plaisir de démarrer le questionnement concernant votre requête. Je vais faire les questions en français. Cependant, en tout moment, si vous souhaitez répondre en anglais ou en Espagnol... Après ça, je ne peux plus vous suivre. Je pense que les traducteurs aimeraient que vous vous en teniez au français et à l'anglais, par ailleurs!
2977 Par la suite, Mme Noël va parler avec vous de la question de la distribution, et Mme Wilson parlera des questions des bénéfices.
2978 Moi, j'ai le plaisir de parler des questions de programmation. Je vais tenter de mieux comprendre, surtout avec l'étude que M. Marin a préparée pour vous qui nous a été déposée au dossier hier. Nous avons besoin de comprendre les écarts entre ce qui était la requête originale et les chiffres qui sont produits dans la nouvelle étude, en particulier au chapitre des revenus.
2979 Mais commençons, en tout seigneur tout honneur, par la programmation.
2980 D'abord, de façon plus générale, j'aimerais comprendre comment vous avez approché trois questions. D'abord, le nombre de langues et de cultures que vous désirez servir, donc, le 18 plutôt que le 25.
2981 Ensuite, je voudrais comprendre pourquoi la combinaison dans les programmes canadiens non-ethniques de français et anglais dans la mesure où, finalement, ça prend plusieurs visages et on peut penser que les uns et les autres n'y trouveront pas leur compte.
2982 Troisièmement, toute les questions concernant la question de servir avec du contenu à caractère montréalais ou local.
2983 Mais commençons par pourquoi avoir choisi de servir 18 communautés plutôt que le 25 original.
2984 M. O'FARRELL: Merci, Madame la Présidente.
2985 La question que vous posez est une question sur laquelle on s'est attardé longuement. Premièrement, on a pris le temps d'étudier votre politique sur la programmation ethnique pour bien comprendre les paramètres que le Conseil avait en tête pour qu'un service de ce genre devait offrir.
2986 Ce qu'on a compris, c'est que finalement, ce que le Conseil veut, si on a bien interprété la politique, c'est d'étudier la démographie du marché en question et d'étudier le nombre de groupes ethnoculturels qui sont présents, leur caractère spécifique, leur importance en nombre, etc.
2987 Deuxièmement, on comprend qu'on doit évaluer la capacité de la station à servir et à offrir une programmation de qualité à ces groupes en tenant compte des auditoires potentiels et en tenant compte de revenus de publicité potentiels qu'on pourrait dériver à partir de ces auditoires, basés sur une programmation qui leur serait offerte.
2988 Troisièmement, on doit tenir compte -- et c'est ce qu'on a fait dans notre approche -- de faire en sorte qu'il y ait un équilibre entre la question d'offrir une programmation au plus grand nombre de groupes possible, mais en même temps, offrir une programmation qui est de qualité et non seulement offrir une programmation pour le plaisir d'en offrir. Une question de qualité est essentielle et on pense qu'on l'a bien compris dans votre politique.
2989 Dernièrement, je pense qu'il y a une question de pouvoir faire un mélange entre les groupes qui sont mieux établis, qui sont plus nombreux, versus les plus petits groupes, peut-être les groupes qui sont moins bien établis au sein de la communauté. Et c'est basé sur ces quatre concepts-là qu'on retrouve dans votre politique qu'on s'est dit, on pourrait servir 18 groupes régulièrement, représentés par 15 langues différentes de mois en mois.
2990 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Quand vous choisissez ces communautés, quand vous évaluez la disponibilité des programmes, quels sont vos critères à cet égard-là et où se trouve la banque des programmes? J'imagine que dans toutes les langues, toutes les communautés, la télévision existe et donc, on pourrait penser, surtout au chapitre des émissions non-canadiennes, qu'il y aurait un grand éventail.
2991 M. O'FARRELL: Oui, effectivement. Il y a un grand éventail, mais je pense qu'on se donnait comme mandat premier de regarder de quelle manière on pourrait offrir une programmation locale à caractère ethnique, et ensuite, une programmation ethnique à caractère qui serait étrangère au marché, en provenance de sources étrangères.
2992 L'interprétation qu'on a faite de votre politique est basée effectivement sur, premièrement, les services à offrir à partir de produits -- c'est-à-dire à partir de productions locales, avec soit des émissions produites par la station elle-même ou en collaboration avec des producteurs indépendants du marché, ou carrément des productions qui viennent de producteurs indépendants du marché qui sont achetées par la station.
2993 Alors ce sont des productions produites par la station, co-produites avec des co-producteurs ou achetées de producteurs indépendants locaux du marché.
2994 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Alors c'est ce qu'on appelle les "in-house" ou les acquisitions locales.
2995 On va revenir sur l'espèce, parce qu'on a tenté de faire une espèce de tableau pour s'y retrouver puis il y avait des écarts. Alors on reviendra sur le détail de cela.
2996 Mais je vais poursuivre sur pourquoi français et anglais, pourquoi si peu de français au Québec dans le marché de Montréal. Pourquoi le français associé à l'anglais? Est-ce que vous ne vous trouvez pas à tenter de servir deux maîtres et finalement d'en rejoindre aucun? Quelle est l'histoire de cette station à l'endroit des francophones? Est-ce qu'ils ont été présents au rendez-vous du Canal multi-ethnique?
2997 M. O'FARRELL: Pas en tant que tel, selon nos recherches. Mais nous, ce qu'on voulait vous offrir, c'était une vision nouvelle de la façon que la programmation non-ethnique pouvait subventionner et aider financièrement à faire en sorte que le service soit viable à long terme.
2998 Alors en prenant le 40 pour cent qui est dérivé de votre politique, on s'est dit, voilà, on est dans le marché de Montréal. Il y a deux secteurs télévisuels, le secteur francophone et le secteur anglophone. Comme vous le savez très bien, le secteur francophone est beaucoup plus important que le secteur anglophone. Mais on s'est dit, peut-être que la meilleure façon d'aborder le marché, c'est de l'aborder avec une reconnaissance de la spécificité de ce marché-là sur le plan démographique mais aussi sur le plan des marchés télévisuels.
2999 Alors offrir une programmation de langue anglaise et de langue française à travers le 40 pour cent à un minimum de 15 pour cent ou à un maximum de 25 pour cent nous accordera la flexibilité de mettre en ondes des émissions comme on vous a présentées -- je demanderais à Pierre-Louis de vous en parler un peu plus -- du côté francophone, comme Jasmine et Ces Enfants D'ailleurs, et du côté anglophone, d'aller chercher la programmation qui va nous permettre de rapatrier des revenus des stations frontalières par le biais du "simulcast".
3000 Mais sur la composante francophone, Pierre-Louis, si tu pouvais ajouter quelque chose.
3001 M. SMITH: Merci, Glenn.
3002 Peut-être juste avant d'aborder strictement la question francophone, un peu pour compléter ce que Glenn disait, notre approche reposait sur trois pôles. Le premier pôle, c'était qu'on se disait qu'il fallait refléter le marché de Montréal.
3003 Le marché de Montréal est différent du marché de Toronto. Par conséquent, on devait tenir compte de cette dynamique-là.
3004 La deuxième, c'était de générer des revenus pour la station, et la troisième, c'était de, si vous voulez, de répartir, d'avoir un certain équilibre au niveau de l'impact potentiel que cette programmation-là conventionnelle pourrait avoir sur les deux marchés en présence à Montréal.
3005 Si on se concentre plus particulièrement sur la programmation de langue française, c'est un fait qu'historiquement, les populations allophones à Montréal et au Québec ont été davantage attirées vers la télévision de langue anglaise que la télévision de langue française. Mais on voit qu'il y a une légère progression qui se fait maintenant, une meilleure connaissance, disons, des chaînes de langue française de la part des communautés allophones.
3006 Mais au niveau de l'écoute, si on regarde l'écoute totale, les heures consacrées, c'est encore de façon prédominante du côté de la télévision de langue anglaise que les allophones se tournent.
3007 On s'est dit que ce serait une bonne chose qu'à l'intérieur d'une chaîne à caractère ethnique il y ait un contact avec la télévision de langue française avec ce qu'est le produit de langue française et on pense que, surtout pour les nouveaux arrivants, pour les gens d'immigration récente, le contact avec la culture, disons, de la majorité vivant à Montréal passe beaucoup par la télévision, et particulièrement par les émissions dramatiques, les téléromans, les téléséries, qui reflètent très, très bien l'histoire, la personnalité, les particularités de la société québécoise.
3008 Donc c'était d'essayer d'avoir un espèce de coup d'oeil ou d'introduction à cette culture-là et c'est pour ça qu'on a choisi, sans vouloir nous restreindre, de favoriser particulièrement les émissions canadiennes de langue française parce qu'elles sont plus représentatives de la culture de Montréal.
3009 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Alors est-ce que je dois comprendre que parce que dans la première cédule que vous nous aviez donnée au niveau des programmes, ce n'est pas les titres dont vous parlez aujourd'hui. Enfin, il y en avait qui étaient les mêmes, d'autres sont différents.
3010 Est-ce que je dois comprendre des titres que vous évoquez aujourd'hui dans votre présentation, ou enfin que vous évoquiez hier dans votre présentation, que vous avez une entente avec TVA sur ces programmes-là? Est-ce que c'est une entente d'acquisition de présenter, de donner l'occasion d'une fenêtre à des productions qui ont déjà vu le jour au Réseau TVA? Est-ce que j'ai mal compris, mal déduit surtout?
3011 M. SMITH: Il n'y a pas d'entente avec TVA spécifiquement. Les émissions, les droits sur les émissions qui sont présentées sur la grille proposée qui a été déposée au mois de mai dernier sont des droits qui sont libérés. Il y a des émissions qui ont été diffusées dans un premier temps à TVA, il y en a d'autres qui ont été diffusées ailleurs. Le Temps d'une paix a été diffusé à Radio-Canada, par exemple.
3012 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Oui, c'est ce que je voyais ici. Alors que là vous parlez des Enfants d'ailleurs et vous parlez de Jasmine.
3013 M. SMITH: Hier dans la présentation orale on donnait un exemple particulièrement -- on a choisi ces deux émissions-là parce que le sujet traité traite de la réalité des gens de la communauté ethnoculturelle vivant dans la réalité québécoise.
3014 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: D'accord.
3015 M. SMITH: Mais il y a d'autres émissions parce que l'idée était d'offrir une deuxième fenêtre ou une troisième fenêtre de diffusion pour des émissions de langue française. Au Québec, on le sait, il n'y a pas de, comme il existe aux États-Unis, par exemple, de ce qu'on appelle la "syndication", mais c'est intéressant. Il devrait y avoir des opportunités pour pouvoir revoir des émissions qui ont été très populaires et très caractéristiques aussi de leur époque.
3016 Et on considère que ça cadre bien avec un mandat comme celui de CJNT d'ouvrir cette possibilité-là et c'est indépendamment des -- c'est-à-dire qu'on ne se concentre pas sur des séries ou des émissions qui ont été diffusées à TVA ou à TQS ou à Radio-Canada. C'est une deuxième ou une troisième fenêtre ouverte sur les productions qui ont été réalisées.
3017 M. O'FARRELL: Madame la Présidente, si vous me le permettez.
3018 Sur le plan philosophique de l'approche, pourquoi une programmation ethnique vis-à-vis une programmation francophone et une programmation anglophone, la réalité de tous les jours pour beaucoup de ces gens-là, des populations ethniques, se vit en trois langues et on peut le constater même chez nous dans au Québec où, je pense, presque 30 pour cent des gens qui travaillent chez nous sont d'origine ethnique.
3019 Ces gens-là travaillent dans deux langues chez nous et vivent dans une troisième langue pour une autre partie de la journée et c'est un phénomène qui est constaté, je pense, dans le quotidien de ces gens-là qui est vérifiable dans les rues de Montréal même.
3020 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: En fait vous aurez comme 19 groupes ethniques, 18 communautés ethniques plus les Américains et puis les francophones.
3021 M. O'FARRELL: On ne considère pas que les Américains sont ethniques.
3022 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Bien, ils sont étrangers, en tout cas. Ce n'est pas du contenu canadien.
3023 M. O'FARRELL: Ce sont des impérialistes.
--- Rires / Laughter
3024 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Mais je reviens sur la question -- puis, écoutez, je cherche à comprendre et voir au bout de la ligne si on autorisait qu'est-ce que ça veut dire, et aussi éventuellement établir, s'il y avait nécessité, une condition de licence ou une attente qui serait en correspondance. Vous avez certainement vu des interventions, ou lu des interventions -- et je suis certaine qu'on entendra aussi dans la Phase II des intervenants parler de cette question.
3025 Mais je pense que c'est important que nous comprenions aussi, par rapport au téléspectateur, est-ce qu'il va s'y retrouver? Est-ce qu'un rendez-vous de ce que je vois qui est une heure pour quatre soirs par semaine en langue française est suffisant pour dire on crée une place aux francophones ou un rendez-vous pour des francophones?
3026 Est-ce que le pari est intéressant d'un point de vue à la fois économique pour soutenir la station, mais évidemment ce qui nous intéresse nous d'un point de vue réglementaire c'est dans l'atteinte des objectifs. Vous avez besoin d'être rentables pour que les objectifs soient atteints.
3027 Alors pourquoi pas plus franchement francophone de telle sorte qu'il y ait un réel rendez-vous puisqu'on est dans un marché de Montréal où quand même les allophones vivent beaucoup avec la proximité du français ou inversement, à la rigueur, pourquoi pas comme à Toronto complètement en anglais?
3028 M. O'FARRELL: On a essayé du mieux qu'on pouvait à vous présenter une demande qui est sensibilisée de ce que nous comprenons des réalités du marché, et on ne vous fera pas de représentations aujourd'hui ou demain pour vous dire que c'est une formule sur laquelle on peut vous offrir des preuves de succès, et sur la manière que la grille sera constituée, je pense qu'il faut reconnaître que ça va être un effort à long terme à mettre au foyer, si vous voulez, l'approche de programmation qui comprend une composante francophone avec une composante anglophone à travers une programmation ethnique.
3029 Mais on a bien confiance que c'est la meilleure façon de rentrer dans ce marché-là avec un service ethnique et de le rendre rentable à long terme et on ne vous fera pas de promesses sur notre capacité de vous offrir aujourd'hui une formule claire, nette et concrète et permanente parce que c'est une approche qu'on a développée à travers certaines recherches, qu'on va compléter d'ailleurs si vous nous accordez cette licence-là, qu'on va compléter dans la réalité de l'expérience qu'on aura à faire.
3030 Mais ceci étant dit, sur la question des coûts de programmation, il fallait aussi être sensibles au-delà de la politique de la chose, que les coûts de programmation pour des séries américaines exemptes sont moindres que celles pour les émissions francophones, du moins pour l'instant, et ce en raison de l'UDA, entre autres, et des droits de suite.
3031 Et on souhaite avec le temps faire du chemin avec l'UDA pour démontrer que l'approche qu'on a développée ici est une bonne approche pour eux, pour les artistes que l'UDA représente, et nous offrir peut-être certaines flexibilités qui rendront en temps et lieu le coût des ces émissions peut-être un peu plus abordables.
3032 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Si, sans dévoiler vos secrets d'alcôve de radiodiffuseur nécessairement, mais si on faisait des comparaisons, si vous prenez une émission américaine que vous pouvez avoir, comme vous les mettez en tout début de soirée comparativement à en fin de soirée, une émission québécoise de langue française ou canadienne de langue française, de quel sorte de ratio parle-t-on d'une part en terme de coûts mais aussi de la possibilité de votre revenu concordant?
3033 M. O'FARRELL: Du côté des coûts, je pense qu'il est possible de dire -- et je vais m'en remettre à Greg Treffry -- je pense qu'il est possible de dire que du côté des projections qu'on a faites, les coûts sur la programmation de langue anglaise sont environ la moitié, ou un peu moins de la moitié, des coûts de programmation de langue française, pour l'instant avec les données que nous avons.
3034 Quant aux revenus, bien entendu, les revenus provenant d'une émission américaine en diffusion simultanée nous offre la possibilité que nous n'avons pas du côté d'une émission de langue française où il n'y a aucune opportunité de faire une diffusion en simultané.
3035 Donc là encore il va y avoir un avantage.
3036 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Et on doit comprendre que dans le choix que vous faites ici et que vous proposez c'est dans l'esprit de profiter de la substitution simultanée.
3037 M. O'FARRELL: Dans la mesure du possible, tout à fait, et d'ailleurs si le Conseil était disposé à nous offrir cette flexibilité exploratoire pour les sept premières années de la licence que nous vous demandons de nous accorder, sur la question du 40 pour cent et la répartition de la composante anglophone versus francophone -- parce qu'en toute candeur ce sera un laboratoire dans lequel on va vivre sur cette question-là -- ça nous serait d'une grande -- ça nous apporterait un grand avantage dans la mesure où on pourrait rendre le service peut-être plus rentable plus rapidement.
3038 Mais le projet que vous avez devant vous est le projet sur lequel nous, on s'est arrêté, sur lequel nous, on a conclu qu'il y avait des chances de succès. S'il est possible d'obtenir une plus grande flexibilité, bien entendu, on vous le demanderait, toujours en respectant, cependant, que le caractère de ce service-là doit demeurer en premier lieu ethnique, que dans le "peak prime", de 20 heures à 22 heures, il doit y avoir une programmation ethnique prédominante et que les communautés ethnoculturelles et les langues desservies soient celles qu'on vous a déposées dans la demande, à savoir 18 communautés, 15 langues, régulièrement, de mois en mois.
3039 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Dites-moi, on parlait du coût -- pour conclure là-dessus -- des émissions américaines versus les émissions de langue française, et vous me disiez, le coût du simple au double. Les revenus, dans l'hypothèse de pouvoir profiter de la substitution simultanée, est-ce qu'on parle plus que du simple au double?
3040 M. O'FARRELL: C'est à peu près le même avantage.
3041 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: La même chose.
3042 M. O'FARRELL: Oui.
3043 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: D'accord. Donc, ça quadruple presque la performance à ce moment-là.
3044 Qu'en est-il de la possibilité de rendre accessible davantage aux francophones, soit par du sous-titrage? Avez-vous considéré cette possibilité-là?
3045 M. O'FARRELL: Nous avons considéré la possibilité, et sur la question du sous-titrage, les engagements qu'on est prêt à vous offrir ce matin sont tel que suit.
3046 La programmation produite par la station, la production dite locale, et donc, la production ethnique locale, il y a un grand défi que vous connaissez et que CFMT connaît, qui rend, à toutes fins pratiques -- parce que la technologie ne nous permet pas aujourd'hui de faire du sous-titrage adéquatement, ce qui fait en sorte qu'on n'est pas capable de vous donner une engagement précis sur cette question-là.
3047 Sur la programmation non-ethnique américaine, bien entendu, on est dans un autre champ de bataille et là, on est capable de faire du sous-titrage à raison de 90 pour cent de notre programmation.
3048 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Je vois que je me suis -- malgré que je parle ma langue maternelle, que je me suis un peu... Ce que je voulais comme sous-titrage, je parlais à l'écran. Si on est en langue étrangère par rapport au français, est-ce qu'il y aurait possibilité d'avoir le sous-titrage à l'écran qui permet à ce moment-là, pour des francophones, si vous avez pensé le faire en anglais, pour permettre aux gens des autres cultures de pouvoir suivre la programmation? Est-ce que c'est quelque chose qui est envisagé, possible?
3049 M. O'FARRELL: Nous l'avons envisagé, mais nous ne sommes pas en mesure ce matin de vous préciser une approche. Mais bien entendu, ce serait un avantage pour nous de pouvoir le faire. Il y a un coût, bien entendu. Mais dans nos projections financières et dans nos projets pour l'instant, nous n'avons pas précisé de plan d'action sur cette question-là. Nous en avons un sur le "closed-captioning", sur le sous-titrage à ce niveau-là, mais pas selon la formule...
3050 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: CFMT, est-ce qu'il le fait?
3051 M. O'FARRELL: Pas à ma connaissance.
3052 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Ils ne font pas le sous-titrage à l'écran.
3053 M. O'FARRELL: Pas à ma connaissance. Véronique, es-tu capable de...
3054 Mme VERTHUY: Non, à ce que je sache, il n'y a pas de sous-titrage à l'écran à CFMT.
3055 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Ma collègue me dit que c'est perçu souvent comme irritant lorsque ça se fait.
3056 Alors, excusez ma question. C'est en-dehors du script. C'est que ça me permet de comprendre davantage.
3057 Revenons aux questions de coûts et revenus. Vous avez parlé dans votre requête d'une certaine projection, et quand on voit l'étude qui est soumise hier, on voit qu'il y a de nouvelles projections. Il y a un réajustement et ça peut être significatif. Les dollars, quand il y en a moins, ça veut dire moins de programmes, ou en tout cas, moins de liberté pour pouvoir faire diverses choses.
3058 Pouvez-vous nous expliquer l'écart? C'est presque de l'ordre de un million. C'est quand même important.
3059 M. O'FARRELL: Je vais demander à M. Marin de vous donner les détails sur cette question-là. Nous nous excusons auprès du Conseil d'avoir déposé si tard ces nouvelles projections-là, mais on s'est rendu compte, en préparant notre présentation pour cette semaine, que effectivement, les projections financières qui étaient au dossier étaient largement exagérées. Je vous en donne la source.
3060 Nous avons, comme on vous l'a dit hier, hérité de ce dossier-là, un dossier sur lequel il y avait déjà eu certaines demandes, pour lequel il y avait également certaines recherches qui avaient été faites par des firmes indépendantes à la demande de WIC à l'époque.
3061 En préparant notre demande, on s'est peut-être fié un peu trop rapidement et un peu aveuglément sur certaines des conclusions auxquelles ces recherches-là étaient arrêtées. Parmi lesquelles, il faut préciser, d'ailleurs aussi, que ces recherches-là étaient préparées sur une formule de programmation qui était 40 pour cent non-ethnique, en anglais complètement, et non pas avec une composante de langue française.
3062 Avec ces explications, je demanderais à M. Marin de préciser davantage, s'il vous plaît.
3063 M. MARIN: Enfin, on a étudié le dossier quand on a eu le mandat. C'était de mesurer un peu l'impact qu'auraient les revenus publicitaires de la station sur les marchés anglophones et francophones. Cela n'avait pas été fait sur le marché français.
3064 Évidement, on a revu ça un peu à la lumière de notre expérience, puis on trouvait que c'était quand même très optimiste d'un marché publicitaire dans lequel on arrive avec une nouvelle offre.
3065 En refaisant nos projections à nous, basé sur le fait que, justement, comme le disait Glenn, on aurait plus de 40 pour cent d'une programmation anglaise, une partie qui serait en français. Cela peut avoir un impact sur l'écoute.
3066 En fait, d'ailleurs, si on regarde la grille type qui a été déposée, on pense que c'est la portion anglaise, pour ne pas dire américaine, qui va générer le gros des revenus de la station, alors que la programmation française va être plus en période de jour ou vers 10 heures le soir, c'est-à-dire en opposition au bulletin de nouvelles, les chaînes francophones -- on connaît l'attachement des francophones à leur bulletin de nouvelles. Donc, les parts de marché vont être plus faibles du côté français que ce qu'on peut générer en anglais.
3067 Même à travers ces projections-là, je pense qu'on a des projections qui sont assez agressives. Il va falloir travailler fort pour sortir ces revenus-là. Mais disons, on croit que c'est possible, compte tenu du volume d'écoute, de la nouvelle offre que CJNT va faire et aussi du fait que ça va être jumelé avec une force de vente plus professionnelle qui est celle de Global au Québec.
3068 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Dans le nouveau scénario, vous deviendriez rentables en quelle année?
3069 M. O'FARRELL: Greg.
3070 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: What year will you be reaching your bottom line?
3071 MR. TREFFRY: In year five.
3072 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Year five.
3073 MR. TREFFRY: Yes.
3074 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So that's a change from the projection you had.
3075 MR. TREFFRY: Correct. Previously, it was in year two.
3076 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So there is less danger that we will ask a condition of licence with that kind of projection.
3077 MR. O'FARRELL: The projections were not filed for that purpose. They were filed in all candour to present to you with what we thought was a much more realistic picture.
3078 I just maybe would like to stop on that for a moment and dwell on that point. I know that you just went through the renewal of CFMT. CFMT, as far as we are concerned, is doing a fabulous job, but in a much, much larger market. We have to recognize that.
3079 We know that ethnic populations are accounted for in statistics by either mother tongue or language spoken at home. But by all indications, the Toronto market is just so much larger than the Montreal ethnic market. I really would not want you to be framing this application in the context of where CFMT is, by virtue of its success today, in a much larger market.
3080 Having said, that, we are optimistic. While this is a rescue mission and while we maintain that we were in the minority holding the view that this should have a second chance, we are optimistic and there are some good reasons for that.
3081 The ethnic population in Montreal is growing faster than the English and French population. The birth rate is higher and the increased immigration levels are making that population as a whole grow faster as compared to the English or French segments.
3082 The second factor is that you have the Mayor, Pierre Bourque, who has advocated consistently that Montreal -- and in fact Véronique can speak to this because there have been some recent reports on point -- that Montreal's future, in many respects, will be based on an intelligent balance between francophones, anglophones and new Canadians, the ethnic populations.
3083 What we see there is light, not light at the end of the tunnel but we see optimism there, which is why we have entered into this proposal.
3084 Véronique, do you want to add anything on Monsieur Bourque?
3085 MS VERTHUY: I apologize for my coughing. I came down with a cold this week.
3086 Oui, tout simplement, récemment, M. Pierre Bourque reconnaît l'importance de l'immigration en ce qui concerne la vie économique de Montréal. Il participait récemment à la Commission de la culture de l'Assemblée nationale et a fait valoir, -- et je cite de l'article:
"L'immigration doit être un facteur stratégique de développement pour Montréal."
3087 Il a même sorti des chiffres d'immigration qui ont été rendus publics par Québec qui montraient que, par exemple, des communautés comme la communauté algérienne ou la communauté de l'ex-Yougoslavie, en-dedans de quatre ans, ont augmenté de presque 8 000 personnes dans ces deux communautés-là. C'est le genre de croissance qui se fait valoir dans presque toutes les communautés d'immigration récente.
3088 Alors je pense qu'en ce qui a trait à l'importance des communautés ethnoculturelles à Montréal, elle devient de plus en plus grande, et à mon estimation, doit avoir une voix "ix" et une voie "ie" pour faire valoir leurs préoccupations et leurs réalités quotidiennes à Montréal.
3089 M. O'FARRELL: Et je me reprocherais de ne pas prendre l'opportunité pour vous dire que M. Bourque a appuyé notre demande par une intervention écrite qui est au dossier.
3090 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Merci. Donc, avec ces nouveaux revenus, est-ce que vous ajustez vos coûts ou si vous simplement, comme vous le mentionniez, vous atteignez une rentabilité plus tard dans vos projections au cours de l'exercice de la licence, si on vous autorisait l'acquisition?
3091 M. O'FARRELL: Je pense qu'il s'agit principalement d'un ajustement de revenu, ce qui fait en sorte que la rentabilité est reportée à un peu plus tard. Mais il y a certains ajustements mais qui sont mineurs du côté des coûts et on n'a pas voulu -- on a pris le pari de ne pas mêler les cartes davantage parce qu'on arrivait avec une nouvelle projection financière du côté des revenus. On a revu les coûts d'exploitation et on s'est dit, on est capable quand même de faire en sorte que la station soit rentable à ce moment-là.
3092 L'autre chose sur laquelle, si vous me permettez d'arrêter un moment, c'est que nous, on est convaincus que cette station peut survivre si elle est greffée à une station qui est dans le marché, une station qui a une infrastructure et qui est prête à se mettre à l'oeuvre pour en faire un succès.
3093 Bien que Global Québec est une nouvelle station dans le marché, j'aimerais, si vous me permettez un moment, juste vous préciser un peu comment nous voyons des synergies opérationnelles qui ont des implications du côté des coûts et qui sont, je pense, mises au service de la nouvelle station qui, en somme, en feront un succès, je pense, avec le temps.
3095 MR. O'HARA: As mentioned yesterday, we have the technical know-how. We also have the facilities to make this very, very successful venture.
3096 There are two or three other areas which I didn't mention yesterday which are very strategic. One would be the collaboration and two-way street that would exist between our news department, with services in Montreal, Sherbrooke, and Quebec City. This is a window of opportunity for the ethnic community. Working hand-in-hand with our news department, we would share international, national and local video sources for these groups.
3097 The local news coverage would also be a collaboration. Our news presence in Quebec City, for example, our parliamentary correspondent, could intervene on behalf of specific ethnic groups while also covering the story for the general population.
3098 It's a two-way street when it comes to gathering news and presenting the news. I think that that exchange is very strategic. We are in the marketplace. We have been established over the last three years. We have an energetic and exciting environment. I think that competitive spirit to lend a helping hand is not really a condescending look upon the ethnic producers but really a strategic, energetic catalyst to get better programming and better the product.
3099 The other strategic synergy which was not mentioned yesterday was the creative promotion department. Our promotion department will take on the challenge of creating dynamic promotional campaigns that will also run on CKMI. This will introduce our marketplace to the ethnic reality: There is an ethnic station. It is available. It is on Cable 14 and you too can tune in.
3100 This exchange will also work backwards when we will also run promotions and campaigns to introduce ethnics to Global.
3101 So there are a lot of very strong workable synergies that go beyond just the hardware and just beyond the know-how.
3102 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: What about the sales effort, because we were a bit taken by the fact that your projection of revenues comes mainly from local. Given the synergies possible, we would have thought that it would be a different mix, let's say, between local and national.
3103 Can you explain why your... le sens de ces projections? Cela peut simplement démontrer mon ignorance et on ne demande qu'à être instruit.
3104 M. O'FARRELL: Non, je pense que c'est une bonne question parce qu'il faut comprendre que premièrement, les ventes de la station seront faites par Canvideo Television Sales. Il va y avoir un effort considérable à mettre pour créer un profil pour cette station-là auprès des acheteurs. Il va falloir faire des preuves.
3105 Vous savez, du côté du national contrairement au local, ça prend des preuves, ça prend un "track record" pour, justement, amener les acheteurs à faire confiance aux projections qui sont faites et aux tarifs qui sont offerts.
3106 Je demanderais à Gilbert de préciser davantage, parce qu'il y a une dynamique dans les revenus. On commence avec du local plus fort que le national, mais on voit ensuite le changement pour le national qui prend le dessus sur le local éventuellement parce que c'est la norme. Mais ça va prendre un peu de temps pour y arriver.
3108 M. MARIN: Oui, au départ, la station CJNT, elle est relativement peu connue des annonceurs nationaux, même en agence. C'est une station qui diffuse essentiellement sur Montréal. Donc, c'est une offre pour rejoindre des clientèles locales. C'est le premier point.
3109 Je pense qu'on peut dire aussi, quand on va arriver avec la nouvelle proposition, si on obtient la licence dans ce sens-là, les annonceurs nationaux et leurs agences sont traditionnellement assez conservateurs. On est un petit peu des banquiers en agence. Et puis, avant de faire un investissement pour nos annonceurs, on va s'assurer que les résultats sont là. Donc, on peut s'attendre à ce que les annonceurs nationaux et leurs agences fassent quelques sondages avant d'investir.
3110 Par contre, les annonceurs locaux qui sont plus à l'affût de leur tiroir-caisse que de leur BBM vont voir plus rapidement les résultats puis ils sont peut-être plus ouverts à l'innovation.
3111 Ensuite, c'est une station qui va être très accessible en termes de tarifs à des annonceurs qui voudraient entrer dans le marché de la télévision.
3112 Je pense que c'est ce qui explique qu'au départ, on aurait un ratio nettement plus élevé d'annonceurs, de revenus d'annonceurs locaux qui pourraient être des annonceurs ethniques qui vont vouloir faire connaître leur commerce dans les programmations anglophones et francophones pour parler à des segments plus larges.
3113 En l'an deux, si on prend l'an deux, -- parce que la première année avait six mois d'opération seulement -- on a à peu près 60 pour cent des recettes qui proviennent d'annonceurs qu'on pourrait qualifier de locaux, et 40 pour cent national. Par contre, nous, on croit qu'après deux ou trois ans, on va aller chercher une reconnaissance et une crédibilité auprès des annonceurs nationaux et puis l'équilibre va changer pour s'inverser, de telle sorte qu'en l'an sept, on aurait probablement 55, 60 pour cent de nos recettes qui proviendraient d'annonceurs nationaux et qui rejoindraient les tendances, aussi, d'utilisation de la télévision par les annonceurs.
3114 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Il y aurait quand même, j'imagine, une certaine force de frappe dans le marché, dans la mesure où vous ne vous présentez pas seuls comme station multi-ethnique de Montréal. Vous venez avec tout ce que veut dire Global et tout ce que voudra dire Global, compte tenu aussi des derniers développements.
3115 Donc, il y a quand même dans le marché, au niveau des publicitaires et des annonceurs, une capacité, j'imagine, à cause de la synergie, d'être plus convaincant. C'est pour ça que je questionne. Parce qu'au bout de la ligne, ces revenus-là ont un impact direct sur la capacité que vous avez de soutenir une programmation locale et une programmation originale qui puisse servir les communautés de Montréal.
3116 M. O'FARRELL: Madame la Présidente, il n'y a pas de doute qu'on compte énormément sur la crédibilité et la capacité de nos forces de vente de Canvideo Television Sales de faire tout dans la mesure du possible pour lever le profil de cette station-là, mais ça ne sera pas une chose qui va se faire du jour au lendemain.
3117 Les acheteurs, comme M. Marin vous l'a dit, vont demeurer -- je ne serais pas inquiet, mais ils vont demeurer suspects dans leurs approches, mais je veux vous assurer d'une chose. Si nous n'avions pas la force de frappe, comme vous dites, de notre équipe de ventes déjà en place, je pense que nos projections seraient beaucoup moins optimistes et je pense qu'il serait possible même de vous dire sans réserve même que je pense qu'on ne serait pas ici devant vous si on ne pouvait pas compter sur cette force de frappe de cette équipe de ventes.
3118 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Donc la projection que vous déposez maintenant au dossier, vous la voyez pas comme conservatrice, vous la voyez réaliste.
3119 M. O'FARRELL: Nous la voyons comme réaliste et même si vous aviez demandé la question à la personne qui dirige nos opérations de Cam Video Television à Montréal, Suzanne Lepalm, si Suzanne était ici elle vous dirait que c'est même peut-être un peu optimiste, et c'est toujours une question d'opinion, mais on vous les dépose comme étant les meilleures projections que nous pouvons vous soumettre dans les circonstances.
3120 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Donc elle tient pleinement compte des synergies avec Global à Québec et la capacité de vraiment faire de la promotion croisée, comme M. O'Hara l'a soumis.
3121 M. O'FARRELL: Tout à fait.
3122 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: D'accord.
3123 Revenons à la question des contenus comme tels parce qu'il y a un certain écart entre ce que vous nous avez déposé quand on en fait le calcul et ce que vous dites dans votre requête comme telle. Vous parlez de 11 pour cent de votre grille du contenu ethnique local régional pour l'équivalent de 11 heures par semaine, quand vous faites le narratif, mais quand on fait la grille horaire comme telle et qu'on fait le décompte, nous on arrive à 14,30 heures ce qui est 11,5 pour cent de la grille.
3124 Alors pour qu'on s'entende bien, si on vous accordait la licence sur ce qui est la promesse de réalisations pour le Conseil, mais aussi je pense bien pour les communautés que vous souhaitez desservir, je pense que c'est un élément très important qu'on clarifie. Alors pouvez-vous nous aider?
3125 M. O'FARRELL: Tout à fait.
3126 Premièrement la grille que vous avez devant vous est une grille hypothétique qui doit tenir compte de deux réalités: l'engagement sur les 18 communautés et 15 langues régulièrement de mois en mois, et ensuite l'autre engagement, à savoir 25 communautés en 25 langues au cours de l'année sur une base annuelle. Donc avec la grille que vous avez devant vous, il est donc un peu difficile d'arriver à des conclusions précises sur la question que vous posez.
3127 On a fait le calcul et nous on arrive à la conclusion suivante. Pour ce qui est des émissions à caractère local ethnique, notre engagement c'est un nombre de 13,5 heures par semaine en moyenne au cours de l'année ce qui fait que la production ethnique locale de la station, s'il y avait une condition de licence à établir sur la question, ça serait 13,5 heures par semaine en moyenne.
3128 Si vous voulez savoir de quelle manière pour l'instant on envisage cette production-là...
3129 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Vous devinez toutes mes questions. Merci beaucoup, vous me rendez la vie facile.
3130 M. O'FARRELL: On parle de 6 heures par semaine qui seraient produites par la station elle-même, avec ou sans la collaboration de producteurs indépendants, deux heures/semaine achetées de producteurs indépendants, et un autre 3,5 heures/semaine de ce qu'on appelle du "brokered programming".
3131 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Du quoi?
3132 M. O'FARRELL: "Brokered, bartered"...
3133 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Qui serait ethnique, mais pas local.
3134 M. O'FARRELL: Non, non, tout est local.
3135 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Ah, ça c'est local aussi.
3136 M. O'FARRELL: Oui, 13,5 est constitué de six heures d'émissions produites par la station elle-même ou avec des producteurs indépendants; deux heures/semaine par des producteurs indépendants, et 3,5 heures/semaine ce qu'on appelle, "brokered" --je m'excuse le terme en français c'est...
3137 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Moi non plus je ne le sais pas.
3138 M. O'FARRELL: Mais c'est dans votre politique ethnique.
3139 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Oui, je ne le sais pas. Il faudrait que j'écoute ce que la traduction donne à -- qu'est-ce qu'ils ont dit? Ah, bien non, évidement vous le l'entendez pas.
3140 Alors 6,2...
3141 M. O'FARRELL: Excusez-moi...
3142 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Est-ce que c'est moi?
3143 M. O'FARRELL: C'est vous, c'est 5,5 heures et non 3,5 heures, parce que mes 3 et mes 5 se ressemblent malheureusement.
3144 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Et puis ça ce 5,5 heures c'est acheté d'émissions qui sont faites pour les communautés de Montréal, avec le caractère local. D'accord. Et ça sera essentiellement du matériel lié à des nouvelles?
3145 M. O'FARRELL: On a regardé les catégories d'émissions. C'est une station généraliste donc il va y avoir effectivement des nouvelles, magazines genre documentaires, variétés, éducation informelle. Alors il va y avoir une variété, mais principalement ce sont des nouvelles et ce qu'on appelle des magazines.
3146 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Parce que je m'attardais en particulier aux 6 heures "in-house", compte tenu de ce que M. O'Hara disait. Je me demandais si c'était là qu'était pour être la synergie la plus concrète, si on veut, et que ce serait surtout les productions alentour des nouvelles à ce moment-là, que vous acquérez davantage les autres genres de programmation.
3147 M. O'FARRELL: C'est ça.
3148 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Quand vous êtes sur les répétitions de programmes ethniques, à combien arrivez-vous en terme de votre engagement?
3149 M. O'FARRELL: Est-ce que vous parlez des programmes ethniques à caractère local?
3150 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Oui.
3151 M. O'FARRELL: Le facteur de répétitions est d'environ 1,1. Si vous regardez notre grille, vous allez voir trois heures par jour de semaine de ce qu'on appelle "ethnic repeat". Ça serait ces heures-là qui se retrouveraient là.
3152 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Mais enfin, d'accord, et puis sur les autres émissions ethniques, celles qui seraient acquises à l'extérieur du Bassin de Montréal, étrangères ou canadiennes, en fait?
3153 M. O'FARRELL: Pour ce qui est encore une fois du nombre de présentations de diffusion...
3154 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Oui, c'est ça, dans le même esprit que les locales. A combien d'heures par semaine peut-on s'attendre et...
3155 M. O'FARRELL: Je vais demander à Véronique de vous donner le nombre d'heures par semaine ce qui va comprendre non seulement les premières fenêtres mais également les deuxièmes fenêtres.
3156 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: D'accord.
3157 Mme VERTHUY: Dans la plupart de notre programmation ethnique étrangère, nous en avons pour -- là j'essaie de retrouver mes chiffres, je m'excuse. Mais la plupart, le contenu c'est du contenu qui sera probablement une fois parce que ce sont des téléromans, mais il y en a un grand nombre qui seront...
3158 M. O'FARRELL: Je pense que je peux peut-être vous aider. Véronique peut vous préciser sur la nature, mais selon nos calculs de la grille, si on regarde les productions ethniques qui ne sont pas à caractère local, vous allez retrouver 73 heures dans la grille, et ça ce sont des premières fenêtres et deuxièmes fenêtres.
3159 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Et dépendant des émissions, comme Madame disait, il n'y a pas de deuxième fenêtre, et donc on peut dire -- nous on arrivait à 51 heures.
3160 M. O'FARRELL: A travers...
3161 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: C'est ça là, c'est que la grille elle évolue, si je comprends bien, aussi à la lumière des revenus que vous avez refaits probablement aussi.
3162 M. O'FARRELL: C'est ça.
3163 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Mais ça serait important -- puis peut-être là pour ne pas que ce soit trop fastidieux, si vous pouviez le préciser.
3164 Vous semblez les avoir tous prêts ces chiffres-là, Monsieur O'Farrell, alors ça nous aiderait à bien comprendre ce dont il est question.
3165 M. O'FARRELL: Oui.
3166 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: D'accord?
3167 M. O'FARRELL: Alors...
3168 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Juste les déposer -- si vous pouviez simplement nous les déposer. Ce n'est pas...
3169 M. O'FARRELL: On pourrait certainement vous déposer un document aujourd'hui même qui va vous donner le décompte de tout ça.
3170 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: S'il vous plaît. Ça va nous aider à nous retrouver.
3171 M. O'FARRELL: Merci.
3172 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Sur une question plus qualitative, qu'en est-il de la source de ces programmes ethniques, non-locaux -- il me semble que ça prend beaucoup de qualificatifs.
3173 Quelle est la proportion qui serait canadienne et non-canadienne, et canadienne ça vient de CFMT ou ça vient d'autres producteurs? Pouvez-vous nous décrire la provenance de vos émissions et les pourcentages?
3174 M. O'FARRELL: On peut certainement vous décrire la provenance. Quant aux pourcentages on ne les a pas arrêtés parce qu'on ne voudrait pas vous donner l'impression qu'il y a des paramètres précis qui ont été établis, à savoir tel nombre d'heures de programmation ethnique va provenir de, exemple, CFMT.
3175 Il est entendu qu'on va pouvoir profiter de l'inventaire et des droits de CFMT et on va sûrement avoir des discussions avec M. Saul qui est ici aujourd'hui, mais on n'a pas arrêté cette décision-là.
3176 Effectivement, il y a d'autres sources. Vous savez, il y a des producteurs indépendants dans le marché de Montréal qui ont des relations eux-mêmes avec des producteurs et des maisons de production outre-mer.
3177 Et encore une fois là, il va y avoir des opportunités d'acheter du produit ethnique non-canadien de ces sources-là, et on voudrait vraiment vous donner comme impression que nos engagements sur ce plan-là, c'est d'aller consulter les communautés.
3178 Sans vouloir trop s'arrêter sur la question d'une feuille blanche sur laquelle il n'y a rien d'écrit, on a fait certaines consultations mais on n'a pas fait toutes les consultations qui seront à faire, à notre sens. On va vouloir aller consulter les communautés, savoir quelles relations certains producteurs pourraient avoir avec certaines maisons de production outre-mer, le type de programmation, l'appétit qu'on pourrait y avoir pour le public et l'auditoire montréalais, et ensuite, s'arrêter sur une grille définitive.
3179 Mais pour répondre à la question succinctement, il va y avoir plusieurs sources de programmation ethnique canadienne et ethnique non-canadienne. Cela ne sera pas d'une seule source.
3180 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Je comprends bien, disons, l'histoire financière de la station que vous proposez d'acheter, je comprends l'importance de s'aventurer dans cette étape-là de radiodiffusion pour vous de façon prudente. Puis l'importance, donc, à cet égard-là, d'avoir de la flexibilité.
3181 Cependant, si vous pouviez nous indiquer qu'est-ce que ça peut représenter, tout en ne créant pas un carcan indu, mais qui permette d'avoir un peu une image de ce que ce serait, cela nous aiderait. Entre autres, par exemple, entre une proportion de ethnique canadien et non-canadien, comment vous voyez ça, étant entendu que vous ne voulez pas voir un chiffre trop précis qui fait en sorte que vous pourriez manquer une réponse adéquate aux communautés, je le conçois bien.
3182 Mais il me semble que cela établirait une meilleure image, mais au sens représentation, de vos intentions pour nous, ce qui est déjà assez important. Mais aussi, je pense bien, pour les communautés, les gens qui vous appuient, l'ensemble des intervenants, je pense que c'est important si on arrive à ne pas le préciser de façon indue mais de le préciser de façon...
3183 M. O'FARRELL: Ce qu'il me ferait plaisir de vous déposer -- après que j'aie enlevé mes petites notes à la main -- est un document qui est représentatif de 25 communautés et de 29 langues. Les 25 communautés en question, ce sont les communautés que nous voulons desservir au cours de l'année par la grille, et les 29 langues qui apparaissent également.
3184 Je pense que si vous vouliez avoir une idée qualitative de l'engagement que nous vous proposons, vous auriez une excellente indication à travers de cette liste-là.
3185 Pour ce qui est de la source, on n'est vraiment pas en mesure ce matin de vous préciser la source. Mais notre intention est claire et précise et c'est de s'assurer qu'il n'y ait pas... Notre intention est claire. C'est de profiter de la meilleure programmation possible pour rendre le service le plus qualitatif possible dans les circonstances. Il y a du très bon produit qui peut nous provenir de CFMT mais il y a du très bon produit qui peut nous provenir d'ailleurs. Nous n'avons pas arrêté nos projets définitifs sur ce plan-là aujourd'hui.
3186 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Mais pensez-y, peut-être, au cours de... Vous allez discuter d'autres éléments. La question n'est pas de, comment dire, d'empêcher des possibilités de synergie avec CFMT, mais de s'assurer d'une diversité de sources qui permette une diversité d'images et de faire en sorte que les publics soient mieux servis. C'est un peu, je pense, l'idée poursuivie ici. S'il y a moyen que vous puissiez identifier une façon de l'exprimer qui ne soit pas trop contraignante, mais qui, par ailleurs, rassure le Conseil sur le fait que vous serez à la recherche de plusieurs sources de programmation.
3187 M. O'FARRELL: Bien, on peut vous donner notre garantie que nous serons à la recherche de la plus grande diversité. Si vous voulez qu'on vous précise davantage la réponse un peu plus loin que de vous dire, on veut qu'il y ait plusieurs sources de programmation.
3188 Si nous vous proposions de revenir à ce sujet-là au stade de la réplique, on pourrait vous préciser une réponse plus en détail.
3189 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Madame Wylie a une question.
3190 CONSEILLERE WYLIE: Est-ce que je pourrais vous demander de préciser. Vous allez desservir 18 groupes mensuellement mais 25 groupes annuellement.
3191 Alors si je regarde la grille horaire, ça veut dire qu'à un certain moment, il y aura un délogement quelconque de certains groupes ici, et pour desservir ces sept groupes additionnels quelque part pendant l'année. Mais ça pourrait être une seule fois. Par exemple, un programme variété dans des groupes qui ne font pas partie des 18 groupes mais qui sont additionnels aux 18 groupes, ça pourrait être un seul programme et qui délogerait possiblement, probablement pas vos programmes quotidiens ou pendant la semaine. Mais est-ce que ça délogerait un film ou un groupe qui n'a qu'une heure de programmation?
3192 M. O'FARRELL: Il est possible, effectivement, qu'il y ait un ou des groupes qui soient déplacés de la place qu'ils occupent présentement dans la grille.
3193 CONSEILLERE WYLIE: Une fois par année, possiblement. Cela satisferait -- si c'était fait sept fois par année, vous auriez satisfait l'exigence additionnelle de 25 groupes au lieu de 18 groupes.
3194 M. O'FARRELL: C'est exact. Maintenant, la façon que nous allons le faire et la façon que nous entendons planifier cet aspect-là de la grille, pour revenir sur la question qu'on discutait avec Madame la Présidente, nous allons premièrement allé consulter les communautés, les entendre, leur parler des produits qui leur sont les plus importants, essayer de retrouver une espèce de consensus à travers ces consultations-là. On va ensuite, bien entendu, se fier sur notre conseiller aviseur pour nous aider et nous guider dans la mesure du possible compte tenu de leurs connaissances de la politique du Conseil, mais aussi, des réalités du marché, parce qu'on a des gens qui sont représentatifs, nous pensons, d'une bonne partie et qui connaissent bien le marché pour nous aider dans ce sens-là.
3195 Ensuite, on va se lancer dans cette grille-là avec peut-être des programmes -- et Véronique pourrait peut-être en ajouter un peu. Pour certains groupes, les programmes dits mosaïque pourraient bien fonctionner. Pour d'autres, ça ne fonctionnerait pas.
3196 C'est sur ces intentions-là que nous voulons servir les 25 groupes.
3197 CONSEILLERE WYLIE: Ou des groupes qui ont des jours bien spéciaux mais à un moment de l'année différents de ceux de la majorité.
3198 Et le 19ième groupe pourrait avoir trois heures par année, le 20ième groupe, une demi-heure, le 21ième, cinq heures. C'est comme ça?
3199 M. O'FARRELL: Oui, madame, oui.
3200 CONSEILLERE WYLIE: Merci.
3201 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Je partage toujours mon temps d'antenne. Je n'ai pas de problème avec ça!
3202 Le local. Je veux revenir... Dans les calculs qu'on a faits basés sur votre grille -- puis je comprends très bien que c'est hypothétique, mais il demeure que le moment où vous proposez d'offrir la programmation locale, celle faite Montréal, c'est en fin d'après-midi, 16 heures et puis le week-end.
3203 M. O'FARRELL: C'est exact pour l'instant. Ca serait dans ce sens-là qu'on s'avancerait.
3204 Je pense que la formule de CFMT est, encore une fois, un guide pour nous. C'est entendu qu'on va, encore une fois, consulter les communautés. Mais c'est selon la grille, effectivement, comme on entend la présenter pour l'instant.
3205 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Donc, sur le 13 heures et demie, le projet, pour l'instant, reste celui-ci de deux heures en fin d'après-midi et le reste du 11,5 heures serait les week-ends.
3206 M. O'FARRELL: Si vous voyez, il y a quand même le bulletin de sept heures à 7h30 du lundi au vendredi, des nouvelles de la communauté italienne.
3207 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: C'est vrai. Alors, oui, ça ferait cinq soirs semaine. Deux heures et demie qui proviennent de ça.
3208 M. O'FARRELL: C'est exact. Du 13,5 heures.
3209 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Mais ça, ce n'est pas que vous faites vous-mêmes? Ou est-ce que vous faites vous-mêmes ce bulletin de...
3210 M. O'FARRELL: C'est probablement, en toute réalité, une co-production de la station et d'un producteur indépendant.
3211 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: D'accord. Mais ça fait partie de ce que -- pas ce que vous acquériez à l'extérieur.
3212 M. O'FARRELL: C'est ça.
3213 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Okay. Donc, il y a le quatre à six la semaine, il y aura le sept à 7h30 les nouvelles italiennes, puis par la suite, les autres émissions se retrouveront dans le bloc du week-end.
3214 Je vais demander à Véronique de préciser. Je pense qu'il y un détail qui est à rajouter.
3215 Mme VERTHUY: En gros, c'est ça, mais il y a aussi le mercredi soir à 9 h 30 une émission qui s'intitule Urban Soul, qui est une émission qui vise la communauté noire anglophone de Montréal et ensuite le vendredi soir à 9 heures, c'est-à-dire 21 heures, Casa Italia qui vise la communauté italienne de Montréal. Donc c'est ce qui a trait en soirée de semaine, mais essentiellement c'est aussi fins de semaine, comme vous l'avez décrit.
3216 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: D'accord.
3217 Alors si je me reprends, pour qu'on se comprenne bien -- parce que c'est ça qui dessert les communautés particulièrement dans une réponse vraiment avec des racines. Alors ces deux heures les jours de semaine dont une heure -- attendez un peu, je me suis reperdue -- qui est votre -- non, je l'ai perdu.
3218 Vous avez les nouvelles italiennes ce qui fait deux heures.
3219 M. O'FARRELL: Madame la Présidente, on pourrait peut-être vous déposer une copie de la grille avec couleurs qui dénotent les productions locales ethniques pour vous préciser la chose.
3220 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Oui, s'il vous plaît. Ça nous aiderait, et je pense aussi que c'est de ça dont on a besoin, des codes couleurs. Mais je pense aussi que pour le public c'est important de comprendre exactement. Merci.
3221 J'avais une dernière question, je pense. Ah oui, sur la fin de semaine vous allez faire une alternance, ou enfin votre grille propose une alternance entre anglais et français sur les films.
3222 Est-ce que c'est toujours le cas?
3223 M. O'FARRELL: Oui, c'est toujours le cas. Il est possible qu'on soit convaincus après quelques mois d'expérience qu'il faudrait inverser l'ordre, mais c'est comme ça qu'on a prévu la grille pour l'instant.
3224 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: C'est dans le même esprit que ce dont nous parlions plus tôt de tenter de faire un espace pour que les francophones viennent au rendez-vous, que les groupes ethniques puissent avoir accès à des choses qui les séduiraient sur la langue française.
3225 M. O'FARRELL: C'est exact. Ça rejoint un peu notre formule de Appointment Television. On essaie de créer une habitude.
3226 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Et en anglais ça serait surtout américain?
3227 M. O'FARRELL: Pour la plupart.
3228 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Et puis français? Des traductions ou...?
3229 M. O'FARRELL: Ça serait les deux mais Pierre-Louis, si tu veux ajouter quelque chose.
3230 M. SMITH: Oui, bien c'est à la fois des traductions françaises de films étrangers et des films canadiens, un certain nombre de films canadiens significatifs.
3231 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Les proportions?
3232 M. SMITH: Bien proportions, compte tenu du volume de films canadiens disponibles, je dirais un ratio deux tiers, un tiers, ou 75 pour cent étrangers et 25 pour cent canadiens.
3233 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Puis dans l'étranger?
3234 M. SMITH: Pas précisé encore ou pas déterminé encore, mais ça pourrait être des films américains traduits en version française. On sait que le public...
3235 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Donc surtout américains.
3236 M. SMITH: Ça pourrait être. Ce n'est pas précisé à l'heure actuelle, ce n'est pas fixé et puis je n'ai pas le droit...
3237 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Bien, non, vous n'avez pas encore de licence, vous ne pouvez pas préciser.
3238 M. SMITH: Et je n'ai pas le droit de parler au nom de Global de ce côté-là, mais ça tient compte un peut ce ratio-là du fait, puis tout le monde en est conscient, que le public francophone, si on parle de l'espace pour les francophones, que les francophones aiment bien, même au Québec, les films américains traduits et aussi du volume de contenu canadien ou de films canadiens qui sont disponibles.
3239 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Merci.
3240 Moi je pense que ça fait le tour des questions que j'avais.
3241 Madame Wylie aimerait poursuivre sur ces questions-là.
3242 CONSEILLERE WYLIE: Oui, pour revenir au fait que vous desserviriez 25 groupes, quand je vois rotation un aux nouvelles possiblement si je ne trouve pas de programmation coréenne dans la grille horaire, le seul fait d'avoir fait la rotation des nouvelles en coréen vous permettrait de rencontrer votre engagement vis-à-vis sept groupes additionnels.
3243 M. O'FARRELL: Je m'excuse, Madame Wylie, je ne comprends pas. Si c'est une répétition, pourrions-nous obtenir le crédit d'avoir rajouté un groupe?
3244 CONSEILLERE WYLIE: Non, non. Je regarde -- je comprends peut-être mal, mais vous voyez là où il y a les nouvelles -- ou qu'est-ce que c'est? Rotation un, ce n'est pas les nouvelles, non, à 4 heures, c'est de la programmation quelconque.
3245 M. O'FARRELL: Ceci est une rotation de programmations ethniques locales.
3246 CONSEILLERE WYLIE: Et les groupes qui sont indiqués à la rotation.
3247 M. O'FARRELL: Ça serait...
3248 CONSEILLERE WYLIE: On dit Corée, par exemple, ça serait une façon de satisfaire les groupes qui dépassent le 18.
3249 M. O'FARRELL: Dans la mesure où il ne s'agit pas d'une émission qui a déjà été présentée à la grille, oui.
3250 CONSEILLERE WYLIE: Et dans la mesure où je pense que je ne vois pas de programmation coréenne dans la grille ordinaire. Alors j'essaie de cerner ce que ça veut dire le fait que vous allez avoir sept groupes additionnels annuellement. C'est très bien pour la communauté, mais il faut aussi essayer de voir si la chose va bien se tenir.
3251 Alors c'est un engagement que vous pouvez rencontrer assez facilement, finalement.
3252 M. O'FARRELL: A travers, exemple, ces deux rotations-là?
3253 CONSEILLERE WYLIE: Oui.
3254 M. O'FARRELL: Oui.
3255 CONSEILLERE WYLIE: Une rotation de langue qui n'est déjà pas là. Je suppose que l'Irlande, à moins que ce soit en "Celtic", c'est en anglais -- "Gaelic" ou "Celtic". C'est ça.
3257 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Je vous en prie.
3258 Alors voilà. Ça fait le tour moi de mes questions. Je vous confie aux mains habiles de Madame Wilson qui va vous questionner sur la question des bénéfices et par la suite Madame Noël sur la question de la distribution.
3259 Madame Wilson.
3260 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Thank you, Madam Chair. We will switch languages again.
3261 I want to ask you some questions with respect to your approach to benefits or lack thereof. I guess I have a couple of quick questions just following on some of the financial questions that the Chair and the Vice-Chair have been asking you.
3262 The first is with respect to advertising and probably the kind of question that you will have to do a bit of crystal ball gazing on, I'm sure, but once you hit your stride with the station, are you talking now in terms of the new financial projections not achieving a profit until year five?
3263 Once you get the station sort of off the ground, how would you compare your ability to sell advertising over two stations in the market versus, for example, CFMT's ability to sell advertising over their one station, but with the addition of Ottawa and London, those markets?
3264 I'm just trying to get a sense -- I mean this is in some ways for us a learning process, sort of watching the evolution of ethnic over-the-air broadcasting in Canada because there has really been one station that has made a success of it. I'm just wondering if you could give us a sense of what you think those synergies are compared to the synergies that Rogers might gain by having those additional markets.
3265 I realize this is going a long way down the road.
3266 MR. O'FARRELL: I think it's a fair question because it's a bit of a blue skying on your part and we had to do some of that ourselves.
3267 First of all, I would like to -- I think its fair to say that Global can take a little bit of credit for the success of CFMT in terms of the relationship we have selling CFMT. There is no doubt that CFMT's success has grown by virtue of its additional presence in those markets.
3268 Having said that, when we step back to the Montreal market, we looked hard at the realities -- and Mr. Marin spoke to them earlier -- that currently exist in a marketplace that is characterized by two television sub-markets, a French market and an English market.
3269 You are well aware the Commission awarded new French-language specialty services into that market that are just being launched and are adding to the fragmentation factor.
3270 But if I can try this as an answer to your question, and I hope I'm going to the core of it, what we see is an advantage of selling Global Quebec alongside with CJNT is clearly a leveraging advantage. There is no doubt about it.
3271 When our CTS sales force goes into the various agencies to pitch Global and to be able to pitch another alternative product, it is not going to be, we hope, without any success over time. In fact, we are banking on it.
3272 But we also realize that this station has had little or no credibility, unfortunately, with the advertising community. I say that respectfully because I know they made honest and earnest efforts to try to create a profile and create some credentials with the advertising community.
3273 So even though we are banking on the leverage of CTS selling both Global Quebec and CJNT, we have to be realistic about where we are starting from. So this is why --
3274 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Right. I think that's why I said it's just going a long way out.
3275 MR. O'FARRELL: Well, this is why we project that our ability to be profitable based on the revised revenue projections is a little further out than year two.
3276 Again, if Suzanne Lepalm were here from our CTS Montreal office, she would say our projections are still, on the revenue side, a little bit optimistic from her perspective.
3277 But that is our gamble, that we can make this work, that in the context of a rescue mission it is a reality that is daunting, challenging.
3278 You know, one question that we haven't addressed -- and I just might like to take two seconds to add this to the record -- why do we do this over and above the fact that we saw some optimistic picture somewhere down the line?
3279 We did it because over and above the fact that we believe that the ethnic policy is a good policy and that ethnic broadcasting is a good thing for the system, we felt that as a stakeholder in the system, having inherited WIC's position, we just couldn't stand idly by and watch the station go dark. We had some kind of a responsibility to the system, because of the stakeholders that we are, to roll up our sleeves and say "Let's look at this and see if we can make something of it."
3280 That is the plan you have in front of you. It is the best plan we can put before you under that circumstances, which speaks, perhaps, to your next issue of benefits.
3281 COMMISSIONER WILSON: I'm not quite there yet because I want to ask you a second question with respect to advertising. Perhaps you filed this information and I have missed it.
3282 It is with respect to the model, the 60/40 model whereby you use the 40 per cent to support the 60 per cent ethnic. In your case you will provide both English -- or you are proposing to provide both English and French.
3283 We all know how successful the Quebec market is in terms of Canadian programming and generating really lucrative advertising dollars from that programming. I'm just curious as to whether or not you will generate as much advertising from the French programming as you do from the U.S.-acquired programming. Do you expect to see a fairly healthy balance there, considering the differences in the market.
3284 MR. O'FARRELL: Down the road we hope to.
3285 But the short answer is: In the short term it is not there. The advantages of simulcast outweigh the advantages of the well-known second-run French-language programming in the marketplace.
3286 COMMISSIONER WILSON: The other question that I wanted to ask you -- I don't now how precisely you might be able to answer this, but with respect to the synergies that you achieve by having two stations in the market, what impact would it have on the operating costs of CJNT if you didn't have those synergies and how much longer would it take you to earn a profit on that station, or would you even try if you didn't have those synergies to bring to it?
3287 MR. O'FARRELL: No, we wouldn't.
3288 We have come to the conclusion that as a standalone operation it just makes no sense. It has to have the ability to latch onto an existing infrastructure, otherwise it just does not make sense at this point in time. That is what our model is based on. Without that factor in the model, the model falls apart.
3289 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Okay.
3290 You have talked about the rescue mission, you know you described it that way yesterday. I had images of Izzy Asper trucking the transmitter across the border, you know, as the first rescuing transmitter.
3291 MR. O'FARRELL: That was an opportunity, not a rescue mission.
--- Laughter / Rires
3292 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Well, yes, but -- that's true. But he did rescue that transmitter. He didn't just build a new one, he took it down and trucked it across the border.
3293 But anyway, you have made the case that because this is a failing undertaking and we don't have anything explicit, we have been quite explicit with respect to radio because radio went through a very difficult time over a number of years, so we have been quite explicit about exempting radio undertakings from the benefits policy in that circumstance, but said that we would deal with television undertakings on a case-by-case basis, probably because it is quite rare for a television undertaking to fail. Probably the only other instance that we have really seen of this is CFMT in Toronto.
3294 So I'm just wondering if you can make your case as to why you think you should be exempted from the benefits requirement, and speak as well to whether or not you think that by making that exception we are creating a precedent for other television undertakings.
3295 MR. O'FARRELL: I'm happy to speak to that because I think it is an important part of what we are here presenting today.
3296 In our oral presentation we used the language of "inherited a position" and I think that that is the best way we can describe it. The WIC transaction was a much larger transaction. One could call it a hostile takeover, warring shareholders that ultimately ended up in resolution. In the basket of assets that ended up on our side of the table was WIC's interest in CJNT.
3297 When we looked at the financials of CJNT, and having had a little bit of experience through the marketplace knowledge of what had transpired, there is an operating reality. There was no doubt a real opportunity for us to say "Well, let's just turn our backs on this. We are not into the game of ethnic programming in any other market, why would we be here? What would our motivation possibly be?"
3298 Particularly when you look at the way CJNT was financed in the latter part of its operations leading up to the bankruptcy, where you had warring shareholders, litigation upon litigation, funding coming from one group and not from the other, I think, just for the record, it was something to the tune of a quarter of a million dollars a month that was being funded by WIC at the time that we inherited to keep the station on the air.
3299 That was some pretty hard realities to face up to, but we looked again and we said "Is there something" --
3300 COMMISSIONER WILSON: How many months?
3301 MR. O'FARRELL: Well over a year. I think it was in the vicinity of 14 months or something. It could be -- well over a year would be my best guesstimate.
3302 COMMISSIONER WILSON: How many of those months have you been funding that?
3303 MR. O'FARRELL: It's still funded by us.
3304 COMMISSIONER WILSON: So those are 14 months that you were paying a quarter of a million to keep the station afloat?
3305 MR. O'FARRELL: I'm saying WIC did for 14 months. But since we inherited WIC's position, the station required funding to continue --
3306 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Right.
3307 MR. O'FARRELL: Because we were the largest creditor, having inherited WIC's position, it's still being funded by Global. The trustee in bankruptcy would not fund this on his own, and to take the file required an undertaking that: If you want to keep this alive, somebody is going to have to guarantee my funding because on the sale of the assets there may not be enough revenue there or enough cash to cover off the costs.
3308 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Right. I was trying to get a sense of the total amount that you spent over the period of time.
3309 MR. O'FARRELL: I don't have that for you exactly other than to say it has been the most anomalous situation one can think of in terms of inheriting an asset where one has to continue funding an operation.
3310 But to go to your question of benefits, leaving aside the math on it or the exact amount, we could provide that to you if you wanted. We could give it to you exactly.
3311 The fact of the matter is --
3312 MR. NOBLE: Glenn, sorry, I don't want to interrupt, but, Commissioner Wilson, it might interest you to know that if we did a proper accounting on this our actual purchase cost is well into the negative area so that using the normal benefits calculation, in fact, I think the system would owe us.
3313 Glenn is saying that we continue to fund it.
3314 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Right.
3315 MR. NOBLE: We purchased it with a lot of financial commitments associated with it. We have undertaken to continue to fund it while the station recovers and eventually does become profitable in a small way, in five years -- I was told originally it would only take three years, but I think the original projections were too optimistic.
3316 So, in a sense, that is really our commitment in terms of a benefits package is to keep this thing rolling beyond what a normal commercial broadcaster might do.
3317 Again, we can provide the Commission with accurate accounting figures that sort of demonstrate that.
3318 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Mr. Noble, if you come to a negative, you are not planning to claim it from us, are you?
--- Laughter / Rires
3319 MR. NOBLE: No, I'm not.
3320 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Thank you, Mr. Noble.
3321 MR. O'FARRELL: But we could apply it against another benefits package perhaps.
--- Laughter / Rires
3322 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Okay. I just wanted to get sort of a general idea, and I think I was sort of trying to get to the same place, where we are looking at the kind of commitment that you have made to the station which -- what I'm hearing is part of the case that you are making for being exempted from the benefits policy, that there is a benefit in having kept the station afloat for a certain period of time and a benefit in ensuring that the station doesn't disappear from the system.
3323 Those may not be tangible, but they are certainly benefits nonetheless.
3324 MR. NOBLE: Correct. And they are tangible, certainly from a financial point of view.
3325 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Okay.
3326 MS BELL: Commissioner Wilson, this is entirely consistent with what you have done in radio and as you were -- when you said earlier that this might create a precedent for other conventional stations, I think this is a very different situation. I don't see how you could tie this situation with a regular English or French-language conventional over-the-air station.
3327 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Okay. Thank you. Those are my questions.
3328 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much.
3329 Conseillère Noël.
3330 CONSEILLERE NOËL: On va reprendre dans la langue de Molière, si vous voulez bien, mais vous êtes libres de répondre dans la langue officielle de votre choix. Je restreins un peu le choix.
3331 On va parler de distribution. Vous avez demandé, dans votre mémoire supplémentaire, vous avez demandé -- et c'est à la page 17 -- vous avez demandé la distribution obligatoire en mode numérique et non pas de distribution obligatoire en mode analogique à travers le Québec.
3332 Et en réponse à une lettre de déficience, vous avez répondu, le 12 juillet, je pense, votre réponse à la question numéro 8, que -- si je peux le retrouver, je l'ai quelque part:
"The Commission should consider our proposal under the same rules and regulations used to grant mandatory distribution to TVA and APTN under section 9.1(h) of the Broadcasting Act." (As read)
3333 Qui dit:
"The Commission may, in furtherance..." (As read)
3334 Malheureusement je n'ai pas le texte en français devant moi, alors je vais faire la citation en anglais:
"...of its subject, the Commission may
(h) require any licensee who is authorized to carry on a distribution undertaking to carry, on such terms and conditions as the Commission deems appropriate, programming services specified by the Commission." (As read)
3335 On sait que cet article-là a été utilisé deux fois dans le passé récent dans le cas de TVA et de APTN. Cependant, c'était pour une distribution en mode analogique à travers le Canada.
3336 Est-ce qu'au stade où on en est du développement d'un cadre réglementaire pour favoriser éventuellement la migration des services analogiques -- la distribution des services analogiques vers la distribution numérique, pensez-vous qu'à ce stade-ci, il serait sage que le Conseil crée littéralement un précédent en vous accordant la distribution en mode numérique obligatoire avant même d'avoir fixé les paramètres de ce que sera la distribution numérique?
3337 M. O'FARRELL: Madame la Conseillère, lorsqu'on a pris cette position-là, on s'est dit, s'il est possible de relancer la station, pourquoi ne pas la rendre disponible à un plus grand nombre d'auditeurs. Plutôt que de demander la distribution à partir du mode analogique, on s'est dit peut-être qu'il serait moins offusquant, moins problématique de demander la distribution par mode numérique.
3338 Maintenant, votre question, je pense, est tout à fait pertinente. D'ailleurs, les interventions de la part de nombreux distributeurs sont très pertinentes aussi.
3339 Nous, ce qu'on voulait faire -- et c'était une question de principe sur laquelle on avait peut-être pris une position qui est embarrassante, parce que vous parlez de l'encadrement qui n'est pas encore défini strictement. Mais c'était pour vous signaler plus qu'autre chose notre bonne volonté et notre désir de voir le service rendu à un plus grand nombre de téléspectateurs qui auraient un intérêt à avoir une programmation ethnique.
3340 Je vais me permettre juste un exemple très petit. Moi, qui viens de Québec, il y a des communautés grecques à Québec, il y a des communautés italiennes qui n'ont pas accès à ces services-là. Exemple, ils peuvent, oui, acheter des services. Il n'y a pas de doute là-dessus. Mais est-ce qu'ils ont un service local, montréalais, québécois, qui leur parle peut-être de choses plus près d'eux? Non.
3341 Mais dans l'encadrement actuel, on est arrivé à la conclusion qu'il serait peut-être effectivement prématuré, et par conséquent, nous voudrions retirer cette partie-là de notre demande.
3342 Nous aimerions peut-être obtenir une entente éventuelle avec... Et on a cherché à le faire, mais on n'a pas réussi à le faire avec les gens, peut-être d'ExpressVu ou quelqu'un qui pourrait nous aider à devenir un service sur la liste deux des services éligibles pour que certains distributeurs qui y verraient un intérêt pourraient distribuer le service.
3343 Mais effectivement, on est arrivé à la conclusion qu'il ne serait pas sage. Mais quand même, ne voulant pas être cheval sur le principe, on demeure convaincu que ce serait une bonne chose.
3344 CONSEILLERE NOËL: Alors si vous le retirez de votre demande, vous me coupez l'herbe sous le pied, toute la suite de mes questions. Moi qui a travaillé comme une...
--- Laughter / Rires
3345 LA PRÉSIDENTE DE LA COMMISSION: Vous auriez dû lui dire ça hier soir. Elle n'a pas dormi!
--- Laughter / Rires
3346 CONSEILLERE NOËL: J'ai passé la nuit à vous interroger mentalement.
--- Laughter / Rires
3347 M. O'FARRELL: Mais vous avez posé la question si gentiment en me demandant s'il serait sage. On trouve effectivement que ça ne le serait pas.
3348 CONSEILLERE NOËL: Bon, bien, écoutez, comme je vous le dis, vous venez de me couper l'herbe sous le pied. Je vais tout remettre ça pour votre prochaine demande de distribution.
--- Laughter / Rires
3349 CONSEILLERE NOËL: Mais il va falloir qu'on vous entende dans vos interventions sur la façon de le faire éventuellement. Alors ça règle, je pense...
3350 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Il va falloir que vous expliquiez à vos collègues comment vous pouvez passer une nuit à travailler comme vous l'avez fait et puis tellement travailler fort que la requérante arrivant devant le panel le lendemain matin a eu peur.
--- Rires / Laughter
3351 CONSEILLÈRE NOËL: Ça clôt ma série de questions sur la distribution.
3352 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Votre brillante série de questions...
3353 CONSEILLÈRE NOËL: Mais j'en avais plusieurs.
3354 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Plus sérieusement encore -- je ne sais pas si les conseillers juridiques ont des questions. On comprend bien à la lumière des chiffres qui sont loin d'être positifs sur l'histoire et donc que vous héritez d'une station qui est en grand besoin de gens avec expertise pour être capable de faire un succès financier parce que c'est à cette seule condition-là que les objectifs de la politique ethnique vont pouvoir être rencontrés.
3355 Mais reste quand même qu'on a devant nous par votre présence un joueur dans le système de radiodiffusion canadien très expérimenté. Vous êtes --comment vous appelez ça? -- le "white knight", mais vous l'avez été déjà donc c'est quelque chose que vous savez bien faire avec succès, et que donc si le Conseil avait grande confiance en vous, comme il l'a démontré plusieurs fois dans le passé, et très récemment encore, est-ce qu'on ne serait pas en mesure d'attendre -- puis je le dis là sans vouloir un carcan indu, mais est-ce qu'on ne serait pas en mesure d'attendre une progression dans vos engagements à l'endroit de la programmation ethnique, soit elle canadienne, non-canadienne, mais aussi locale pour répondre aux communautés qui sont vraiment celles de Montréal et du Grand Montréal.
3356 Est-ce que c'est envisageable qu'en vertu d'un rétablissement de la situation financière, que le Conseil trouverait une manière inspirée par vos propres engagements d'écrire dans la décision qu'avec cette rentabilité retrouvée, il y aurait possibilité de pousser plus avant, soit pas des heures supplémentaires, soit par des dollars supplémentaires, mais enfin d'avoir une plus grande offre, ou une offre qui a plus de profondeur par rapport aux groupes ethniques?
3357 M. O'FARRELL: Je pense que vous avez raison de nous poser la question, mais je pense qu'il serait tout à fait utile de vous préciser, et peut-être de souligner davantage, que nous étions très surpris le jour où on s'est retrouvé au bureau de Raymond Chabot, le syndic en matière de faillites, à être les seuls qui avaient le courage de mettre une offre sur la table, parce qu'il y a plusieurs autres grands joueurs, d'autres qui sont déjà engagés dans la programmation ethnique, d'autres qui ne le sont pas, d'autres grands joueurs qui ont des appétits de croissance dans le marché même à Montréal -- personne n'était là.
3358 Je pense que ça vous donne la meilleure indication possible de la taille du défi que nous soyons les seuls, et ce n'est pas juste les grands, les petits n'étaient pas là non plus. Je pense que c'est la meilleure expression et la meilleure preuve qu'on puisse vous donner du fait que le passé de cette station-là, qui a été difficile -- et puis on reconnaît les efforts que les gens ont faits pour essayer d'en faire un succès, de la part des producteurs, de la part de la station elle-même, mais ça n'a pas fonctionné.
3359 Nous on s'est retrouvés là un peu par hasard, mais quand même on a vu effectivement qu'il y avait une obligation de notre part de donner à cette station-là une deuxième chance de mettre nos infrastructures, nos expertises. Et oui on a fait certains succès en relançant des stations ici ou ailleurs, mais je pense que c'est sans exagération qu'on peut vous dire que l'importance du défi ici est très, très grand. De nous demander de vous donner des engagements additionnels à ce stade-ci ou de vous en proposer je pense en toute candeur il serait irresponsable de notre part de vous en déposer parce qu'on a un plan d'actions qui est non-vérifié. C'est le seul que vous avez. On a les meilleures intentions. On souhaite d'en faire un succès et si c'est le cas, on sera devant vous à nouveau et puis ça va nous faire plaisir de vous parler du succès et parler de la façon qu'on en a fait un succès et de vous parler sur une base de succès de quel avenir cette station-là peut avoir, mais actuellement ce n'est pas le cas.
3360 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Je vous entends bien.
3361 Quel serait, selon vous, l'impact --sachant l'effort que va requérir le tournant que vous voulez faire prendre à la station puisque vous parlez d'une rentabilité vers la quatrième, cinquième année --si on allait vers une licence d'une durée de cinq ans plutôt que sept ans?
3362 M. O'FARRELL: C'est une question sur laquelle on ne s'est pas penchés. Je voudrais avoir l'occasion d'y réfléchir avant de vous donner une réponse, si vous me le permettez, mais on pourrait vous répondre lors de la réplique. Mais on comprend la nature de la question.
3363 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: D'accord.
3364 Je pense que ça complète. Alors merci beaucoup. Ça nous éclaire sur vos intentions et on va prendre une pause avant d'entamer la Phase II pour entendre les intervenants.
3365 M. O'FARRELL: Merci, Madame la Présidente.
3366 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Merci.
--- Pause à 1035 / Upon recessing at 1035
--- Reprise à 1100 / Upon resuming at 1100
3367 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Nous reprenons les travaux.
3368 Madame la Secrétaire, s'il vous plaît.
3369 Mme POIRIER: Merci, Madame la Présidente.
3370 We will now start Phase II of this part of the hearing. We will start with the interventions.
3371 There has been a slight change in the order. I would like to ask la Voix de l'Égypte au Canada, Mr. George Saad, to present his intervention.
3372 You have a maximum of 10 minutes.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
3373 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Bonjour.
3374 M. SAAD: Bonjour. Good morning.
3375 My name is George Saad. I am the producer of the Voice of Egypt in Canada since over 20 years.
3376 We started with TEQ. Then we improved a little bit to B.C. TEQ. Then I was dancing in colour right here in this room with the nice people of CRTC when they granted us the licence for CJNT. Since we started CJNT to have troubles, we are worried, very worried because the service we are trying to give and the connections between our -- I talk for myself at least, was back home was Egypt -- as I represent the new sector, I sometimes by satellite a weekly message and they send me good quality programs in return.
3377 None of us we felt that we are finished, we are done. We started to see that a lifesaver coming to us which is CanWest where I didn't know anyone of them at all, but I was preparing a long speech, but now after I saw them speaking with you and I saw your concerned questions about securing that station for the future, which I always felt -- I came here 36 years ago and I feel that Canada is not one of the best countries in the world -- no, it is the best country in the world and where I live in Montreal, I consider it the best city in North America.
3378 You have the multiculture where I have been almost all over the world because I own a travel agency too. I have never seen a country like this with the multiculture. So to have such a big, good station, started good with CJNT, but money-wise financial problems where I personally bought some shares and they invested some money in that company to just see that it saved them willing to forget about any money I put in this company and see that a company with that size, CanWest Global, running the show, especially.
3379 With their means, we can even improve more and more with, as I heard from one of the gentlemen, that they would be supplying local news, international news, that's very costly because I am independent producer. I am Group A where we spend the money A to Z, hoping that we get enough advertising to cover our cost and ever these people to know what is better. It's you to know how much would it cost.
3380 To run a program like this, you have to have a belief to your community. You have to have belief to your two mothers because any immigrant have two mothers. My original mother is Egypt and my mother now and the real mother of my children is Canada.
3381 In order to do that, you have to have a belief. It's not a business proposition to someone who do that and if it was not a belief, I would not have continued losing money. My children were laughing at me when I started that because I was always losing money. They are putting this money here, they are putting this money here. Now, okay.
3382 My son became the chief urologist in Quebec. Now he is helping me because he believes in what I'm doing and I'm hoping that one day one of my children would continue for the new generation. I keep that for my generation. Now the generation coming, we are afraid that their children, like my son is married to a French Canadian, my daughter is married to a French Canadian. Now their children will never speak Arabic. I am afraid for that.
3383 With a back-up with a strong company who would have money to run this station and keep it running, I beg you to try to save us, the producers. I'm almost crying. I would ask CanWest never to ask to make the ethnic 59 per cent. I would like to see it 61 per cent, not 59. If they grow, if they cut it, we are only hoping that 40 per cent will cover the B producers.
3384 We are not asking the A producers or at least I'll talk for myself. I'm not asking any help from them, but the material to make it even better where you cannot spend lots of money to rent a camera and run to Ottawa to cover Chrétien because he's doing this or Martin, you want to do this. Okay, we don't have that money to do it, but with their liens, we can do it.
3385 So I'm still in love with CJNT, but it will continue, so I will continue to be in love with that CJNT and I think I will be talking for all the producers now, that if it will continue, not to be black, we will be happy and you will be doing the message of Canada keeping the multiculture.
3386 Thank you.
3387 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much.
3388 Commissioner Nöel certainly has --
3389 COMMISSIONER NÖEL: I have just maybe one question.
3390 MR. SAAD: Yes.
3391 COMMISSIONER NÖEL: What I hear you say is that you are okay for the time being with their application 60/40.
3392 MR. SAAD: Yes.
3393 COMMISSIONER NÖEL: But in the future you would like a bit more ethnic and never a bit less. That's what I heard you say.
3394 MR. SAAD: Not exactly more if it will suit them to continue that way, supporting the balance of the station. I don't want one day to hear that they are asking for 61 per cent. There's for 59 per cent.
3395 COMMISSIONER NÖEL: That's what --
3396 MR. SAAD: I would like to guarantee that 60 per cent and keep the station running. We need -- at CJNT we need the financial help and where in the name of God we going to get it, from where? It could have been black if these people didn't come in the picture. Like I even ask the gentlemen in Montreal because they are my accountants for my business. I asked them and they told it would be only bit, that that mean nobody was interested in us?
3397 I really felt bad. I thought there would be four, five people applying, but it looks like we are rejected, so I would call them lifesavers if they ever get that licence.
3398 COMMISSIONER NÖEL: But not by everybody.
3399 MR. SAAD: Pardon?
3400 COMMISSIONER NÖEL: But not by everybody.
3401 MR. SAAD: I hope so.
3402 COMMISSIONER NÖEL: They were there.
3403 MR. SAAD: Good. Thank you.
3404 COMMISSIONER NÖEL: Goodbye. Thank you.
3405 MR. SAAD: Thank you.
3406 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much.
3407 MS POIRIER: I would now ask Mr. Khatchikian Antranik to come and represent the Armenian National Television Incorporated.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
3408 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Bonjour et bienvenue.
3409 M. KHATCHIKIAN: Bonjour.
3410 Madam Chairman, my name is Antranik Khatchikian. I represent the Armenian program in Montreal. I have been a producer for the past 30 years. I have been a member of the Conseil consultatif avec Radio-Québec d'antan, dans la communauté qu'on comprend bien. J'étais le responsable pour la programmation arménienne.
3411 For the past three years, after investing 30 years of my time, know-how, expertise and contribution and money investment, I have past the feeling that Mr. George Saad just expressed in tears. Fear. He cried because of fear. He cried because of the past station's management failure in capability of running the station.
3412 I am afraid. We came in front of the CRTC Commissioners in the past, 1995. We questioned the documentation that was presented in front of you because it was falsified and we brought the proof in front of you, saying that one of the examples introducing in that document was today one of our executive members of SPATEQ, is a union member, saying to the CRTC that he generated $65,000 in advertisements. It's so. The document was built on the viability of so many commercials possible to survive.
3413 Mr. Marin was sitting next to me and I asked him questions. "Mr. Marin, what is the reality of your revenues?" He said $19,000. I said "If that document proves to you, simple document proves to you that it's falsified, would you imagine all internal complete document what importance it is?" He said "I told the Commissioner you have to revoke this, you have to make new inquiries because it's not viable, it's not doable and I do not like to repeat saying that to CRTC Commission, we told you so, we thought was never going to make it".
3414 I am concerned, however, certain points that our producer just had brought in. He's enjoying present time, air time for his communities. I am not. The predecessor administration used this Commission tactics to split the communities so that they can control them.
3415 I am afraid when I see a person today representing CanWest Global. It's a month that passed administrators, Véronique Verthuy.
3416 She is one of the troublemakers in the past with Gilbert Crépeau, created all sorts of problems that our 28 producers -- among them two Armenian producers -- today we are out. We are not enjoying the facilities, capabilities and the right, the investment that George Saad had invested.
3417 George Saad jumped on the wagon because they told them: Either you pay, invest and do what we tell you, otherwise you are out. Today he is afraid because he is afraid the investment he made he might lose it.
3418 I do not get comfort when I see people today representing all respects of CanWest Global. With all the success that I wish to hope and contribute to CanWest Global, it's in doubt in my mind, because I see faces that they created the problem and they are benefitting out of the miseries of the other 28 producers, which they are out and their respective communities are not represented.
3419 It will be beautiful when we see a producer who is today representing and trying to complete it and their investigations, talking to ex-producers. It's not a question of expertise. The proof is, as director, producer and expert in this domain, I wasn't even called and I wasn't even asked.
3420 So I don't see what changes are going to come into the picture. I'm worried and I have reason to worry.
3421 Unfortunately, some of our members who have invested, like Mr. Mohan Raheja, in CJNT, they lost money. They lost money, they lost air time, they lost credibility. They are out on the street for the past three years. I would ask you, Commissioners, to really put a stop to it -- arrêt. What's happening?
3422 I was present in this audience. I saw you were so comfortable and you were so happy that finally a rescue effort is put on the table in front of you to save the ethnic television in Quebec. I support it wholeheartedly. I will do anything in my power to contribute to their success by working with them, by giving free programming, by trying to give all my expertise at no cost.
3423 So the question it raises is instead of looking at the relationship between CFTM and Rogers and CanWest Global, please look around you. There are producers that have contacts, have productions, are capable of supporting you to put, on its feet, a station that you wish and you hope to take over. Finally, we think we have a serious contributor as CanWest Global. I think they have proven in the past that they are capable of taking over the station, but a little bit more consultation and investigation and research in a document will help them understand better the ethnic communities, will help them to understand the differences of what ethnic is.
3424 (Foreign language spoken...)
3425 I know the translator is questioning what is happening. I used this couple of seconds to make you feel like some of the ethnic people. The more elderly or the newcomers, they do not speak neither the English or French. The way you were put, understanding nothing for these three seconds of what I said, if there would be stations that are mostly French and English, and other possibilities, they would not understand anything. The ethnic television is the source of their contact with their motherland.
3426 I didn't know it was possible to be born from two mothers. I learned something today.
3427 As George presented, yes, we are in love with our origins and we are so happy to feel our unique place in Quebec as much as we know Quebec has a unique place in Canada.
3428 So it goes hand in hand. We cannot discriminate it. We cannot take one producer and throw the other ones against each other and, force majeure, forcing them: You do as I tell you or else you are out. It's not a politic that is encouraging. I'm disappointed to see some of these realities that are really on the table.
3429 I'm bringing up this point, not that I have any doubts of the seriousness of Mr. O'Farrell and Mr. O'Hara. I met them personally. I came out of that meeting recently very positive. It was very cordial. We put white paper on the table and I put my pen on it. I said, "Let's write something. Let's start to talk. I'm willing and I can do anything I can to help you start your station. Let's not talk in the air and pretend that everything is nice and funny and enjoyable. No, it's not."
3430 We were able, during the past 30 years, to develop from three to four producers on Channel 9, Canal communautaire, by Cable TV, and Channel Cablevision another. So it took us 10 years to bring that, six, seven producers, Irish, black, Armenians, and Italians separately. We were able to convince cable companies that there is a market for it.
3431 So what we worked towards was 10 communities. Then we created the Association de groupes ethniques. Then we created TEQ. Then we worked together. We were able to bring 45 producers, ethnic, different languages: 35 languages, 45 producers, 24 hours on 24 hours. We had problems, we had as many producers interested about this but we didn't have air time.
3432 So everybody comes here in front of you and says that it is not viable, the commercials on there. I'm sorry, I would disagree with them because I myself, on my program, there were 12 advertisers. And the other Armenian program was having the same thing. And all other communities, as George Saad said, they had their advertisers.
3433 What happened all of a sudden? All these interested bodies, advertisers, disappeared, and the station becomes invaluable because of the incapable ability of the ex-administrators. It's not the station. It's good; it's unique.
3434 For the past 30 years we have been presenting our cases in front of the Commission many, many times. You always gave us a special place for Quebec multi-lingual television. You protected us from outsiders coming in. We had CFMT for Rogers and everybody tried to get a licence in order to work their networking: Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal.
3435 I read that Vancouver did not achieve that objective because maybe you used some of the examples that -- you know, Channel 24, we had them, disappeared, and all of a sudden they are going to lose whatever they have because nothing is certain.
3436 Cost/revenues. It's not necessarily the most important thing. It is important to the viability of rendering possible the station. But we had that. We have the proof for it. We had the statistics made, we have petitions signed, we have producers of their own programming that the advertisers are interested in when you have interesting programming.
3437 Interesting programming comes from good producers and experienced producers. So one goes in hand with the other. If you have good production you are going to have advertising attracted to it, so then it would become viable.
3438 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Just on time.
3439 I am not totally sure. You are here for Armenian National Television.
3440 MR. KHATCHIKIAN: Yes.
3441 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Okay. Because it is you who is also to talk for SPATEQ.
3442 MR. KHATCHIKIAN: Yes. I am also President of SPATEQ, les producteurs autonomes de télévision du syndicat à Québec, which we will continue our dossier in a short while. After I will be glad to answer all the questions you have at that time.
3443 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Okay.
3444 This intervention that you are making right now is one vis-à-vis la télévision Armenia.
3445 MR. KHATCHIKIAN: Armenian.
3446 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: D'accord.
3447 MR. KHATCHIKIAN: To tell you how much the Armenian communities have lost and lost contact with their mother country and their interest in television.
3448 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Je comprends bien. Merci.
3449 Je demanderais à la Vice-Présidente, madame Wylie, de vous poser quelques questions.
3450 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Mr. Khatchikian, you are not opposed to the transfer if you are opposed to the conditions under which the transfer is applied for, I gather.
3451 MR. KHATCHIKIAN: That's correct.
3452 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Which condition in particular?
3453 MR. KHATCHIKIAN: We are opposing for the condition of reduction of ethnic programmation rather than augmenting it. We had a problem of filling air time. We had too many productions in our hands. We didn't have enough air time. All of a sudden this thinking of, you know, it's not viable and the interest is not there, I do not understand that language. I would like somebody to explain it to me.
3454 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: So what you are suggesting is even when it was 100 per cent ethnic you feel the Armenian community could not get the ability to reach its community the way it could when it was on Channel 24?
3455 MR. KHATCHIKIAN: Yes. When I was the only producer, Armenian producer doing Armenian programming, these ex-administrators came and divided our community by bringing in other producers so that I would not have a strong weight. They said that "If you talk too much we will replace you with somebody else." So they created two other programming.
3456 But it worked so fine. We were complementing one another because each one represents one section of the community, religious, political ideas, so the ethnic communities are like United Nations. We, ourselves, in among ourselves, we have our own problems. So it was a formula that worked for us.
3457 I'm saying three producers were adequate and complementary to one another and more was needed. So we didn't have enough air time. So instead of reducing, taking off two producers, bringing one only representing one side of the community, I think it's not fair. We have the capability and possibility to give you more air time.
3458 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: The description you are making of having more than one Armenian program, that was the situation on Channel 24 --
3459 MR. KHATCHIKIAN: That was on Channel --
3460 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- which ended when Channel 24 was, I guess one could say replaced by an over-the-air station.
3461 MR. KHATCHIKIAN: That's correct.
3462 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: On the over-the-air station when it was 100 per cent ethnic, did you get any air time at all?
3463 MR. KHATCHIKIAN: No, we were refused. We sent in cassettes and the response all of a sudden was from Véronique Verthuy and Gilbert Crépeau was that "Oh, some of our producers having been producing 30 years, accepted by CRTC's technical requirements, Vidéotron and CFCFs and everything else. They are not good enough."
3464 "Oh, excuse us". I say "What happened? You were sitting in the other chair" -- they were working at Vidéotron, Gilbert Crépeau. They were accepting our cassettes. He changed the chair from one another, he got instruction from the President Murray Griffith that "Okay, you will choose -- you will find any excuse to not accept these cassettes."
3465 Like George. George was among our producers. He was one of our members, but there are other Egyptian producers today they are not enjoying as much as he is enjoying because they are -- with our syndicate, with our union. They are deprived of their rights to express.
3466 So there were three other producers, Armenian producers. What happened to them? Sure, one will support with fear that he had made so much investment, if you don't give the licence he is going to lose it. He is sure.
3467 So I understand the feeling, but we passed our mourning. Three years ago we went through the same thing, but we are here because we believe in it.
3468 We believe in your decisions. We believe in our place in Montreal. The ethnic communities have a unique place. You have always made it so clear in the past. I would like you to continue on that too.
3469 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: You said that you have not been contacted by Global prior to the hearing but you contacted them and met with them.
3470 MR. KHATCHIKIAN: Yes.
3471 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: You will retain the hope that on the schedule that perhaps some program for the Armenian community can find a spot.
3472 MR. KHATCHIKIAN: I hope so.
3473 We just spoke before my intervention today. We have very amicable, very understanding -- they are professional and so am I.
3474 So I am there to help them to put this baby on its feet and make it work. I am one of the players.
3475 They are looking for producers. Why go across Canada, America? We have 300 channels American here and there, we want one ethnic television. We were able to produce it, we created -- the past experience is there, working perfect, fine. Why create problems when there is not one?
3476 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: So, what, 100 per cent ethnic over-the-air is your position?
3477 MR. KHATCHIKIAN: A hundred per cent ethnic, yes.
3478 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Well, if you use the same persuasiveness with them you may get there.
3479 MR. KHATCHIKIAN: I'm looking forward --
3480 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Thank you for coming.
3481 MR. KHATCHIKIAN: Thank you.
3482 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Merci beaucoup.
3483 M. KHATCHIKIAN: J'aimerais bien...
3484 MS POIRIER: The next interventions you will find at Nos. 1, 3 and 4 on the Agenda.
3485 SPATEQ, Syndicat des producteurs autonomes de la télévision ethnique du Québec, représenté par M. Antranik Khatchikian; la CSN, Serge LaVergne; et la Fédération des professionnels, Michel Tremblay have regrouped their interventions. I will give you copies of their oral presentations.
3486 We agreed to give them 20 minutes to present all three interventions.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
3487 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Parfait. Merci. Alors rebienvenue.
3488 M. KHATCHIKIAN: Madame la Présidente et membres conseillers. Je change de chapeau maintenant un peu.
3489 Permettez-moi de vous présenter à ma gauche, M. Michel Tremblay, président de la Fédération des professionnels, maître Serge LaVergne, avocat, Confédération des syndicats nationaux CSN, à ma droite.
3490 On a un mémoire devant vous qu'on a préparé ensemble pour gagner du temps et être très bref, un document donc que vous avez devant vous aussi.
3491 On va essayer -- est-ce que vous êtes capables de prendre le document bleu devant vous, s'il vous plaît.
3492 M. TREMBLAY: Bleu pâle.
3493 M. KHATCHIKIAN: Bleu pâle.
3494 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: J'espère qu'on est capables de faire ça parce que si on n'est pas capables de faire ça on peut avoir bien de la difficulté à faire le reste.
3495 Alors oui, on vous suit, Monsieur.
3496 M. KHATCHIKIAN: J'aimerais bien prendre cette opportunité de vous remercier pour permettre au SPATEQ, au nom de tous les producteurs, nos membres, je vous remercie pour cette opportunité de présenter leur opinion et leurs intérêts à ce sujet-là.
3497 Je veux prendre une partie de ce document et je vais passer -- et on va partager avec mes collègues à gauche et à droite.
3498 L'introduction. La requérante demande au CRTC de se porter acquéreur de CJNT-TV et de modifier les conditions actuelles de la licence.
3499 Lundi dernier, le CRTC a déjà posé un certain nombre de questions à la requérante au sujet des modifications proposées, notamment comment elle prévoit refléter les préoccupations de questions locales dans la programmation de CJNT? Combien d'émissions originales CJNT a-t-elle l'intention de produire et de diffuser, et quel sera le niveau de contenu canadien?
3500 Le Conseil est également préoccupé par l'ensemble des avantages intangibles par le projet de distribution et le suffrage.
3501 Le SPATEQ, affilié à la FP et à la CSN, regroupe des producteurs qui ont permis aux Québécoises et Québécois d'avoir accès durant 25 ans, jusqu'au 8 octobre 1997, à un contenu télévisuel ethnique comportant plus de 45 ethnies en plus de 35 langues. Ainsi, le SPATEQ a les mêmes interrogations que le CRTC et désire développer et préciser davantage les questions auxquelles la requérante doit répondre.
3502 Le SPATEQ pense qu'il est prématuré de modifier les conditions de licence de la station CJNT compte tenu d'un ensemble de motifs que nous développerons dans notre présentation.
3503 Je vais passer maintenant le microphone à M. Michel Tremblay de la Fédération des professionnels.
3504 M. TREMBLAY: En terme historique, les producteurs québécois de télévision ethnique, majoritairement membres du SPATEQ ont fait la démonstration jusqu'au 8 octobre 1997, qui est la date d'entrée en ondes de CJNT, qu'il est possible de rendre accessible un contenu télévisuel 100 pour cent ethnique de qualité, majoritairement composé d'émissions locales, représentant plus de 25 ethnies et 25 langues.
3505 A l'époque, même s'il ne s'agissait pas d'une station commerciale, les revenus publicitaires générés surtout par les communautés les plus représentées dans la région montréalaise, assuraient que l'ensemble de cette production ne coûtait pas plus de 30 000 dollars annuellement aux câblodistributeurs.
3506 Il était cependant prévisible, et nous l'avons annoncé, que même si elle devenait commerciale toute station de télévision ethnique que ne présentait plus de productions locales perdrait la fidélité d'une clientèle qui assure également la fidélité des commanditaires.
3507 Aucune équation n'est plus simple à comprendre dans le monde de la télévision. Les premiers dirigeants de CJNT ne l'ont pas compris, ni mis en application et ont ainsi couru à leurs pertes.
3508 Nous ne partageons pas l'analyse de la requérante selon laquelle c'est l'obligation contraignante de respecter les conditions de licence actuelles de CJNT qui l'ont menée à la faillite. A cet égard, la réponse aux interventions de la requérante du 8 septembre 2000 est claire quant aux prétentions de la requérante:
"Le voeu exprimé par les intervenants de maintenir en état les conditions de licence actuelles qui stipulent que la station doit offrir une programmation exclusivement à caractère ethnique et desservir par sa programmation chaque mois 25 communautés ethnoculturelles en 25 langues n'est pas réaliste. Cette approche plus contraignante a conduit CJNT à la faillite".
3509 Ce n'est cependant pas le portrait que traçait la requérante dans un communiqué de presse du printemps dernier: L'impasse dans les négociations entre actionnaires entraîne la faillite de CJNT.
3510 La lecture de ce communiqué nous indique que c'est la requérante, suite à l'acquisition de WIC, et de ses filiales qui annonce la faillite de CTEQ.
3511 Cette cession volontaire, d'ailleurs contestée en Cour supérieure, s'est produite alors que la directrice générale d'alors, Mme Suzanne Gouin, projetait une grille de programmation renouvelée pour septembre 2000.
3512 Cette grille aurait pu inclure les producteurs du SPATEQ puisque des rencontres et des pourparlers ont eu lieu entre la direction générale et le SPATEQ au début de l'année 2000.
3513 De même le syndic, dans son rapport préliminaire, de même que Mme Gouin, ne font pas à l'époque le lien direct entre les conditions de licence et la faillite.
3514 L'argumentation relative aux changements des conditions de licence se retrouvant au mémoire supplémentaire de la requérante repose sur une prémisse faussée. Les conditions de licence ont causé la faillite de CJNT.
3515 Plusieurs facteurs sont en effet identifiables comme cause des problèmes financiers. Des revenus publicitaires déficients suite au départ de producteurs d'expérience, la mauvaise gestion du personnel de la programmation et de la publicité, des gestionnaires aux prises avec de multiples recours judiciaires et un litige important entre les actionnaires.
3516 Tout gestionnaire compétent qui fidéliserait une clientèle de télévision ethnique, et par conséquent les commanditaires, qui ont fait preuve de leur intérêt par le passé, peut faire fonctionner une station entièrement ethnique. Nous estimons que des gestionnaires aussi compétents que ceux de Global peuvent faire fonctionner un tel canal.
3517 Il est sans doute plus aisé de gérer avec une licence telle que celle proposée par la requérante. Toutefois, nous soumettons au Conseil qu'avec l'appui des communautés ethniques locales la station aurait pu fonctionner sans autant de problèmes.
3518 Ainsi, la requérante doit démontrer au CRTC qu'elle fait et fera des rapprochements avec les communautés locales. Ces rapprochements sont essentiels au développement d'un canal ethnique à Montréal.
3519 Nous convenons cependant que les petites communautés, soit celles de moins de 10 000 personnes, peuvent rendre plus difficile l'autofinancement et la rentabilité de la production.
3520 En ce sens, la mise en place d'une coopérative de producteurs est le véhicule approprié pour permettre un financement diversifié de productions locales.
3521 Le CRTC doit s'assurer que la requérante ou tout autre propriétaire de CJNT constitue un fonds spécial disponible pour les producteurs locaux, notamment ceux des petites communautés.
3522 Un avantage tangible de cette nature proposé par la requérante serait dans l'ordre et permettrait de favoriser les productions locales et originales et de maximiser le nombre de communautés desservies.
3523 Alors je laisserai Serge compléter.
3524 M. LaVERGNE: Pour ce qui est des avantages tangibles et intangibles le CRTC questionne la requérante sur l'ensemble des avantages intangibles, en quoi la requérante peut être porteuse de l'assurance qu'un contenu télévisuel ethnique sera produit localement, quelle est sa connaissance théorique et pratique des communautés ethniques québécoises, de leur spécificité et de leurs besoins historiques.
3525 Quant aux avantages tangibles, malgré la faillite de CJNT, nous avons peu d'informations financières sur le fonctionnement passé et futur de la station.
3526 Preuve n'est pas faite que la diffusion télévisuelle pour sa portion ethnique de CJNT est déficitaire. Les communautés sont préoccupées de connaître l'impact éventuel de la demande de passer au numérique -- et là je vais sauter cette phase-là puisqu'on en a parlé tantôt.
3527 Quant aux émissions originales et contenu canadien, la preuve a été faite pendant 25 ans qu'une station de télévision montréalaise peut offrir des productions originales et un contenu canadien rencontrant largement les conditions de la politique canadienne relatives à la télédiffusion à caractère ethnique.
3528 La requérante n'a fait d'aucune façon la preuve qu'il soit nécessaire et justifié de réduire les conditions de licence de CJNT pour assurer sa viabilité. Ce n'est certainement pas le constat d'une gestion antérieure déficiente de CJNT qui a d'ailleurs mené la station à la faillite qui constitue une justification à une réduction des conditions de licence, sinon on pourrait même extrapoler l'analyse faite par CanWest pour dire qu'en disant que malgré un contenu inférieur aux conditions souhaitées par la requérante de 18 ethnies et 15 langues et 60 pour cent ethniques, CJNT a fait faillite.
3529 Pour vous rappeler l'historique -- et on a un rapport qui est développé à l'onglet 2 -- dès son entrée en fonction, CJNT n'a pas respecté les conditions de licence de façon importante.
3530 Alors c'est donc l'étude à l'onglet 2. Cette étude déjà transmise au Conseil en 1997 révèle que l'exploitant d'alors de CJNT, CTEQ, ne respectait pas les conditions de contenu ethnique dès sa mise en ondes. En fait, les conditions de licence, quant au contenu ethnique, n'ont pas été respectées très fréquemment sous l'administration de CTEQ. Pour le mois de diffusion étudié dans le rapport d'analyse, le contenu anglophone représentait déjà plus de 20 pour cent de la programmation et ce pourcentage augmentait de semaine en semaine.
3531 Sous-titrages. La requérante entend-elle sous-titrer en français certaines émissions? Le CRTC pourrait obliger la télévision ethnique de Montréal à utiliser le français, notamment pour la promotion et la présentation des émissions et le sous-titrage afin de présenter une image plus francophone de la station et augmenter l'auditoire des productions multilingues -- avec un "l" évidement, il y a une erreur.
3532 Conclusions. Le SPATEQ est d'avis que les conditions de licence actuelles de CJNT doivent être maintenues, qu'elles ne constituent pas une obstruction au rétablissement d'une diffusion télévisuelle ethnique de qualité rentable dans la région montréalaise.
3533 Le CRTC devrait cependant renforcer l'obligation de la station de présenter un contenu ethnique produit localement, notamment en demandant à la requérante de constituer un fonds spécial disponible aux producteurs ethniques locaux, membres ou non de la Coopérative de producteurs montréalais dont la mise en place est amorcée.
3534 Alternativement, le SPATEQ, la CSN et la Fédération des professionnels demandent que de nouvelles audiences soient convoquées dans le dossier Vidéotron, cette dernière ayant assuré la présence montréalaise d'un contenu télévisuel ethnique de qualité pendant plusieurs années à travers un canal de programmation spéciale, comme c'est le cas à Vancouver.
3535 Le SPATEQ trouverait alors opportun de rétablir ce qui existait avant la venue de CJNT. C'est d'ailleurs la situation qui existe toujours dans la grande région de Vancouver à la suite de la Décision 2000-219 du 6 juillet dernier.
3536 Rappelons, à cet égard, que l'octroi d'une licence à CTEQ s'est combiné à la suppression de conditions aux licences de Vidéotron et de CF-Câble, afin que ces derniers soient dispensés de fournir le service de programmation spéciale à caractère ethnique, et ça, c'est la Décision 96-86.
3537 Je vais passer maintenant la parole... On a des compléments à faire au contenu de la présentation de Global. On a quelques petites remarques supplémentaires à faire. Monsieur le Président du SPATEQ et monsieur le Président de la Fédération vont rajouter quelques mots.
3538 M. TREMBLAY: Dans un premier temps, peut-être sur les joueurs qui étaient présents pour se porter acquéreurs de la station auprès du syndic, les producteurs autonomes qu'on représente via le SPATEQ sont des gens qui ont démontré pendant 25 ans une expertise en production, une expertise pour attirer les commanditaire locaux mais n'ont pas la prétention d'avoir une expertise en diffusion et encore moins en gestion de station, de sorte qu'il est évident qu'à ce moment-là, on n'était pas dans le décor pour se porter acquéreurs de la station au moment -- quand le syndicat a soumis la proposition.
3539 Maintenant, compléter en disant que, pour nous, la démonstration n'est pas faite. Il y a un raccourci qui semble se faire dans la présentation de CanWest sur le fait que si CJNT a fait faillite, si ce n'était pas rentable, c'est que les conditions de licence sont trop contraignantes et que d'aucune façon un contenu 100 pour cent de télévision ethnique n'est pas rentable. Pour nous, cette démonstration-là reste à faire et elle n'est pas faite par CanWest. Comme on le dit dans le mémoire, ce qui était là auparavant, même si ce n'était pas une station commerciale, porte à croire qu'il y a un public et qu'il y a un intérêt pour un contenu 100 pour cent ethnique avec les conditions actuellement en vigueur à CJNT.
3540 MR. KHATCHIKIAN: In memory of this document we presented in front of you, the 28 producers of our syndicate union feel very badly that not only them, other producers, including it's very ironic, Mary Griffith and Milton Winston who were the creators of this CJNT are no longer on the air. There's something that's not fair.
3541 We were willing as producers to include all producers working with CSN. We were on the air. We were ejected by the CJNT. That's why we went, we fought, we created syndicate. We went to see the CSN, Fédération de professionnels, for them to guide us, to help us professionally to work and continue the service, multilingual television in Quebec.
3542 They understood the importance and they created all the possibilities with, as documentations presented in front of you, as co-op documents which will be completing to help all the producers.
3543 In the name of all existing exterior producers, we are there to help CanWest Global to achieve its goals as long as there's dialogue, there's a positive response to responding all the needs and the producers.
3544 In the name of other producers who are afraid they will be chopped if they do not obey individual production, we will accept them. We will make a station of multiethnic television working with CanWest Global, with CSN, Fédération de professionels, an organization will be viable, very, very dynamic and representative of multilingual ethnic communities in Quebec.
3545 M. LaVERGNE: Merci.
3546 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Merci de cette présentation. Certainement, avec ce dossier qui est porté au dossier public, on aura la chance de l'examiner plus avant. Alors je ne peux pas vraiment pousser plus avant l'analyse.
3547 Alors je vais plutôt sur le scénario original de votre intervention écrite. Puis je ne veux pas entrer non plus dans le passé. Je pense qu'on a une situation devant nous aujourd'hui, on tente d'examiner, à la lumière des politiques actuelles du Conseil, quelle est la meilleure façon de pouvoir répondre aux besoins des communautés ethniques du grand Montréal. C'est ça qu'on examine. C'est ça le sens de la politique ethnique du Conseil.
3548 Et à cet égard, la proposition qui est mise de l'avant par la requérante est dans les paramètres de cette politique, alors que vous parlez d'un concept qui prévalait davantage comme un canal presque communautaire, pourrait-on l'appeler, de la part du câblodistributeur.
3549 Mais moi ce que j'aimerais comprendre, c'est exactement ce que vous souhaitez. Vous avez entendu la requérante tout à l'heure -- bien, hier après-midi -- parler de l'évolution de sa réflexion sur les choses. En fait, si vous teniez le crayon au moment où nous allons nous asseoir pour faire l'analyse avec l'aide du personnel et examiner le dossier public et rendre notre décision, qu'est-ce que vous voyez comme répondant à vos préoccupations réalistes, avec votre expertise et qui serait correspondant aux besoins des montréalais? Je pense que ça nous aiderait à faire le résumé de ça et ensuite, de pouvoir sous-peser votre point de vue vis-à-vis d'autres que nous avons entendus. Je pense que ça nous guiderait.
3550 M. TREMBLAY: Si je peux me permettre. Premièrement, vous indiquez qu'on n'a pas pris connaissance de ce qui s'est dit hier après-midi. On n'était pas là et on n'a pas pris connaissance d'aucune façon, donc on ne peut pas répondre concrètement là-dessus.
3551 Maintenant, peut-être vous indiquer que sur le fait d'acquérir la station, vous connaissez un peu notre position sur les conditions de licence. Vous connaissez notre position.
3552 Maintenant, nous, on pense que -- et dans la façon que vous avez soulevé les questions ce matin, la préoccupation de s'assurer un contenu local, un lien avec les productions locales, favoriser tout ce qui va dans ce sens-là va être accueilli favorable de notre côté.
3553 Ce qu'on suggère, c'est de mettre en place un fonds spécial pour assurer qu'il y ait origine, lien avec les productions locales. De notre côté, la Coopérative de producteurs pourrait faire en sorte d'avoir accès à ces fonds-là, s'assurer que certaines communautés qui sont en mesure de produire des émissions qu'on sait qu'elles ne seront pas rentables pourraient quand même être en ondes et être en mesure de desservir les communautés qui ont quand même droit à, appelons ça un "service", même si c'est une station commerciale.
3554 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Dans votre perspective, -- je comprends bien que c'est 100 pour cent ethnique dans votre vision des choses -- quel serait le pourcentage entre émissions ethniques locales et le pourcentage entre les émissions ethniques d'autres sources?
3555 M. TREMBLAY: Nous, on parlait de 50 pour cent, 50 pour cent.
3556 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Cinquante-cinquante.
3557 Et par rapport à la présence de la langue française?
3558 M. TREMBLAY: Bien nous, sur la présence de la langue française, pour les émissions, on parle de 100 pour cent contenu ethnique, donc tout dépend de... on souhaite que les raccords soient faits en français et que s'il y a sous-titrage, qu'on privilégie le français. Donc, la langue française et anglaise doit être utilisée lorsque l'origine ethnique utilise le français ou utilise l'anglais, par exemple.
3559 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Donc, ça devrait être basé sur la langue la plus parlée entre le français et l'anglais par le groupe ethnique lui-même.
3560 M. TREMBLAY: C'est ça.
3561 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Monsieur parlait tout à l'heure de la télévision arménienne. Il y avait eu des rencontres avec les gens de Global.
3562 Est-ce que la SPATEQ a eu l'occasion de s'asseoir avec les gens de Global à ce moment-là.
3563 M. KHATCHIKIAN: J'aimerais bien clarifier notre position. Lorsque je parlais avec M. Glenn O'Farrell, je représentais la SPATEQ. Alors au nom de tous les producteurs autonomes de notre syndicat, j'étais là comme Président de notre syndicat. Alors on a eu la rencontre à ce sujet-là.
3564 J'apprécie beaucoup la réalité, la façon de regarder en avant. Pour vous donner un exemplaire, toute cette documentation, une histoire de CJNT, on ne vous l'a pas présenté parce qu'on ne voulait pas vous déranger.
3565 Mais on aimerait bien prendre l'expérience du passé pour bâtir positivement dans l'avenir.
3566 Alors notre objectif c'est regarder en avant et construire et ne pas faire de reprises des émissions.
3567 La langue française et le sous-titrage, si la Présidente nous permettra, on a eu une belle expérience avec Radio Québec l'an passé. Pendant cinq ans, on a eu des émissions de série Planète avec sous-titrage. Alors le succès est là. On pourrait l'utiliser de cette façon aussi.
3568 Alors il y a des formulaires qui sont effectifs, populaires et acceptables. Pourquoi ne prenons-nous pas un pas plus avancé et bâtir de là?
3569 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: J'ai une question -- et quand vous parlez de planète, disons, ce n'est pas au dossier public et ça fait partie du passé, alors je vais laisser ça parce qu'elle est, selon vous -- on a entendu la requérante ce matin nous dire qu'elle a révisé ses chiffres et que vraiment le temps en dépit de la force de la marque Global, de la relation avec les annonceurs, et tout, qu'il ne pourront pas vraiment rencontrer leurs coûts d'opération sans déficit avant la cinquième année.
3570 Dans la perspective d'une proposition comme vous faites de propositions plus exigeantes au bout de la ligne, si ce n'est que par le coût des émissions, quelle est, selon vous, l'année où pourrait être rencontrée, sans parler de profitabilité, mais à tout le moins d'éviter les déficits.
3571 M. TREMBLAY: Je répète que nous on pense qu'il est encore possible de rendre rentable une station à 100 pour cent caractère ethnique. Donc vous comprendrez...
3572 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Mais à partir de quelle année?
3573 Je veux dire, c'est un concept mais même quand on a la possibilité d'avoir un pourcentage et on l'a vu dans d'autres cas, celui de Toronto, par exemple, de CFMT, ça prend un certain temps avant d'atteindre la rentabilité.
3574 Dans le modèle que vous avez, je conçoit bien que vous dites au bout de la ligne ça va être rentable, vous voyez ça dans votre expérience...
3575 M. TREMBLAY: Moi je vous dirais qu'intuitivement à l'intérieur d'un an les communautés fidélisées vont revenir à l'écoute s'il y a un contenu de qualité ethnique local à la station. Il y a des gens qui vont "zapper" sur CJNT à toutes les semaines pour voir s'il y a des émissions qui sont revenues comme avant et qui retournent à un autre poste. Il y a des gens qui écoutent Télé Latino parce que les émissions auxquelles ils avaient accès, il y a des émissions qui ne sont pas disponibles.
3576 Je pense que les communautés ethniques montréalaises vérifient souvent et ça ne prendrait pas beaucoup de temps pour les re-finaliser.
3577 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Et puis les annonceurs?
3578 M. TREMBLAY: Les annonceurs vont suivre la fidélisation d'auditoires. C'est pour ça que je dis un an. Je pense que c'est une perspective qui est réaliste.
3579 M. KHATCHIKIAN: Madame la Présidente, pour ajouter à ce point-là ma rencontre lorsque je représentais la SPATEQ et rencontré M. Glenn O'Farrell et M. Patrick O'Hara, à ma surprise c'était une agréable surprise. La station est bâtie dans un concept comme un "dream" ou un fantasme qui n'existerait pas à une station qui débute. Ils ont une modalité d'expertise digitale "Dixy Pro", une caméra qui ne coûte pas très cher, industrielle à un niveau professionnel, un studio très tangible, très faisable et ils utilisent seulement 30 pour cent de la capacité.
3580 Alors avec la contribution de notre organisation, la SPATEQ, on sera capables d'arriver -- même je vais être un peu plus optimiste, comme c'est dans mon caractère -- avant un an si on contribue, on travaille en parallèle avec M. O'Hara et utilisant leurs facilités qui existent déjà, qui ne sont pas utilisées à 100 pour cent.
3581 Alors il y a une possibilité, pas seulement CJNT, moi je pense qu'il y aura un autre poste qui pourrait même rentrer là parce que les techniques sont là. C'est extraordinaire, c'est faisable, c'est très compact.
3582 TVA il y a neuf étages pour produire la même chose à peu près, mais Global ils ont réussi à le faire dans un étage. C'était très intéressant.
3583 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Je vois M. O'Farrell qui se cache les yeux. On ne parle pas de choses nécessairement équivalentes parce que les heures de productions faites par TVA et celles de Global faites à Montréal dans ces studios-là ne sont pas équivalentes. Enfin!
3584 Bien écoutez, merci d'avoir pris le temps de venir nous rencontrer. Ça nous permet certainement un dossier plus complet et ça nous permettra de faire l'analyse la plus complète possible.
3585 Merci infiniment.
3586 M. TREMBLAY: Merci.
3587 MS POIRIER: The next intervention is presented by CFCF 12 Television, Susan Lea.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
3588 MS LEA: Madam Chair, Commissioners.
3589 Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today.
3590 My name is Susan Lea and I am the President of Local 614-M of the Communication, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.
3591 I address you on behalf of approximately 130 employees at CFCF 12 in Montreal. Our members are the journalists, cameramen, editors and technicians who daily produce CFCF 12's local programming content. As stated in our written brief, it is our members who edit and put CJNT's programming to air.
3592 I first appeared before this Commission in 1996 to express our concerns over the impact Global's entry into the Montreal English market would have on CFCF 12. In 1996, CEP 614-M represented over 200 employees at CFCF. I was able to bring to the Commission's attention CFCF 12's proud record of local program content.
3593 Today I appear before you with the loss of approximately 75 jobs. In terms of local content, this translates into the loss of all our locally produced programming, including a sports show, a lifestyles program, a news show aimed at teenagers, and ultimately our morning show.
3594 We now only report the news, we no longer offer a forum in which we can showcase our community's talents, interests and concerns.
3595 To further echo CEP's concerns over the Bell/CTV application, we have also experienced a sharp decline in the quality of our news coverage. We have gone from six news researchers down to 1.5. Investigative journalism no longer exists and our consumer reporter who battled on behalf of the Montreal consumer retired and natural that beat was dropped. We now voice-over American consumer news.
3596 Commissioners, I believe this situation is a disgrace. Although the Canadian production industry is vibrant and growing, we have also witnessed the decline of local coverage for communities across Canada.
3597 Small market coverage has virtually disappeared and medium market communities are following in their wake. Surely, there must be a way to ensure a vibrant production environment as well as healthy local programming content.
3598 To turn to Global's application under consideration today. Global asserts they are rescuing CJNT. CEP 614-M does not deny that Global's application is a viable choice to this body. However, they are not the only rescuers around nor is our application to change the terms of licence to the sole choice.
3599 CJNT was rescued originally by CFCF 12 which later translated into WIC's support of CJNT's operation, and yes, it was and remains an operation which runs in the red, but CEP 614 does not believe that Global's breakdown of 60 per cent multicultural programming with a 40 per cent mix of English and French programming which will run in prime viewing hours is in the best interest of the communities it is licensed to serve, the marketplace in which it does business, nor in the social and political environment of Quebec.
3600 In looking at Toronto's CFMT's prime time schedule starting at 6:00, they are airing The Simpsons, Frasier, Third Rock, Kind of the Hill and later in the evening they run Letterman. Given this example, it should follow that in the Quebec market non-multicultural shows should be in the language of the majority that being French.
3601 To conclude, Global's entry into the Montreal market had a drastic effect on the profitability of CFCF and led directly to the reduction of several jobs. Beyond our hope that the application be delayed, we have no objection to Global's acquisition of CJNT provided CJNT continues to do what it was licensed to do and exclusively serve Montreal's ethnocultural communities.
3602 We do have a major concern about Global's application to change the nature of CJNT's licence to include English content which would compete directly with CFCF.
3603 No doubt, Global will sell CJNT in tandem with its own service, making the erosion of national, regional and local advertising very likely, leading to further cuts in CFCF's local service.
3604 Thank you, Madam Chair, members of the Commission.
3605 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you. I don't think we have any questions. Your position is very clear to us. Thank you very much, and thank you for taking the time to come.
3606 Mme POIRIER: La dernière intervention sera présentée par la Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Montréal, représentée par Robin Philpot.
--- Pause / Pause
3607 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Bonjour et bienvenue. J'espère qu'il n'y avait rien de grave au téléphone.
3608 Allez-y, je vous en prie.
3609 M. BOUTHILLIER: Mesdames et messieurs, Madame la Présidente, je voudrais d'abord vous présenter Robert Philpot, Directeur des communications chez nous; Mélanie Rainville, qui appartient au groupe des communications chez nous à la Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste.
3610 Quand on réfléchit et qu'on pense à ce que nous sommes et à ce que vous êtes, vous, le CRTC, on constate qu'il y a un point commun -- plusieurs, sans doute, mais un point commun, en tous les cas. C'est que vous vous intéressez, depuis votre création, vous vous intéressez à la culture et bien sûr, qui dit culture dit aussi langue dans tous les pays, mais notamment au Québec.
3611 C'est votre mission. C'est un des éléments de votre mission. C'est un élément très important de ce que nous faisons, nous, depuis 166 ans. Comme vous le savez, nous existons depuis 166 ans.
3612 Et s'intéresser à la culture et à la langue, cela a toujours voulu dire -- mais plus encore maintenant depuis la Seconde Guerre mondiale -- cela a toujours voulu dire, bien entendu, se donner une ligne de conduite, une politique, comme on dit, vis-à-vis de l'immigration pour faire en sorte que ces personnes venues de l'extérieur, venues de l'étranger s'installer sur notre territoire, venant vivre avec nous, le fassent vraiment, vivent vraiment dans ce Québec qui, depuis plus de 30 ans maintenant, se définit de plus en plus comme une société pluraliste, pluri-ethnique, mais dont le ciment est la langue commune qui est le français.
3613 Alors c'est très important pour tout ce que fait le Québec. Si vous regardez l'histoire de toutes ces choses-là, culture, immigration, politique linguistique depuis au moins une trentaine d'années, vous voyez que c'est une volonté absolument, je dirais, universelle au Québec d'intégrer, d'amener à la vie francophone, à faire partager le français comme langue commune, tous les groupes humains qui viennent s'installer sur notre territoire. Et je dois dire que sur ce plan-là, les choses avancent. Les choses progressent et la situation est nettement plus favorable aujourd'hui, en l'an 2000, qu'elle ne l'était il y a 20 ans, 30 ans, pour ne pas parler d'il y a 50 ans.
3614 Un des éléments importants de l'intégration, bien sûr, de l'immigration, c'est ce qui se fait dans les maisons, dans les logements, là où habitent les familles issues de l'immigration devant leur caméra de télé, et c'est ce qui fait qu'on est ici devant vous aujourd'hui.
3615 Bien sûr, on a pris connaissance du projet de CanWest que nous rejetons évidemment. Vous vous en doutez. Je crois que nous l'avons écrit et nous le disons ici. Nous le rejetons parce qu'il nous apparaît contredire cet effort collectif, cet effort profond, cet effort d'amener l'immigration à prendre conscience que le Québec est un pays dont la langue commune est le français, cette langue commune qui est indispensable, si vous voulez, à vivre pleinement votre vie de citoyen, votre vie de travailleur, votre vie de voisin, votre vie au Québec.
3616 Et ajouter un pourcentage qui n'est pas défini -- je sais bien que le 40 pour cent proposé par CanWest, 40 pour cent d'émissions en ondes non-officielles, est indéfini entre le français et l'anglais. Mais enfin, on peut penser que la partie qui sera réservée à l'anglais serait la partie dominante de ce 40 pour cent.
3617 Mais on comprend pourquoi CanWest s'est dit d'ailleurs, noir sur blanc -- et c'est un argument sonnant et trébuchant avec lequel il faut bien vivre. On se dit, si l'argument qui est proposé de faire porter jusqu'à 40 pour cent la part d'émissions commerciales ou conventionnelles, on dit, bon bien, très bien, oui, selon le modèle torontois, CFMT. Mais oui, le modèle torontois est probablement bon, mais appliquons-le au Québec. Ne l'appliquons pas à un autre territoire. Ne l'appliquons pas à la lune. Appliquons-le au Québec. Québec, territoire dont la langue commune est le français. Prenons la même règle et appliquons-la au Québec en français.
3618 Cela veut dire quoi? Cela veut dire prenons des émissions commerciales conventionnelles, etc., en français, celles qui existent déjà qui sont produites sur le territoire du Québec ou celles qui sont produites ailleurs dans les nombreux territoires de la francophonie, diverses et multi-continentales, que ce soit en Europe, que ce soit en Asie, que ce soit en Afrique, que ce soit dans les Antilles, pour justement satisfaire à cette exigence d'amener...
3619 C'est plus qu'une exigence. C'est une espèce de devoir moral, je crois, que nous avons de faire comprendre à tous, et notamment, aux nouveaux arrivants, que la clé de l'intégration au Québec, c'est la langue française.
3620 Or, il y a différents moyens qui s'ajoutent à ça. Nous, on a voulu enfoncer surtout le clou sur ce 40 pour cent. Mais il y en a d'autres qui ont été évoqués, je crois, par d'autres personnes.
3621 Bien sûr, le sous-titrage m'apparaît être quelque chose d'absolument indispensable. L'autre jour encore, je voyais au canal 14, une émission en provenance du Moyen-Orient qui était sous-titrée en anglais. Bien, pourquoi pas la même émission, mais sous-titrée en français?
3622 Et pourquoi pas, ce que j'appellerais l'enveloppe -- je ne sais pas si c'est l'expression consacrée -- l'enveloppe, l'enchaînement entre deux émissions? Pourquoi annoncer que l'heure qui suit va être en "Russian" plutôt qu'en Russe? C'est ce que j'appelle l'enveloppe, le visage, si vous voulez, du poste.
3623 Je crois qu'avec des instruments comme ceux-là, sous-titrage, enveloppe, et puis surtout ce dont on parle, réserver cette part du 40 pour cent à la langue française, tout ça va nous amener à comprendre que la télé, la télé communautaire ethnique elle aussi participe à l'intégration à un territoire et à une société qui fonctionne en français.
3624 Vous savez que le Québec, le gouvernement du Québec a institué, il y a quelques semaines, quelques mois, ce qu'on appelle les État généraux sur la langue française. Ces État généraux vont, au fond, se pencher sur la même chose que vous. Notamment, ils vont étudier ce qui se fait, ce qui se dit sur les ondes de la radio, sur les ondes télé.
3625 L'une de nos conclusions serait précisément celle-là, d'inviter le CRTC à suspendre, à surseoir à la décision qu'elle a à prendre sur cette affaire proposée par CanWest, à surseoir jusqu'à ce que la Commission des État généraux ait brossé le tableau complet de la situation linguistique au Québec.
3626 Alors voilà "in a nutshell", comme on dit, c'est la position de... ce que la Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste souhaitait venir dire ici, devant vous. Je vous remercie de nous avoir écoutés.
3627 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Merci beaucoup. Cela précise, de fait, votre présentation écrite qui était assez claire. Mais je pense que ça lui donne plus de couleur par la parole.
3628 J'aimerais quand même vous poser quelques questions. Je comprends bien, donc, que votre position ne rejoint pas nécessairement celle précédente, mais davantage le fait français, et donc, s'adresse au 40 pour cent -- qui pourrait être des émissions non-ethniques pour venir en aide à la production des émissions locales et étrangères -- devrait, plutôt que d'avoir une proportion anglaise et française, être uniquement en français.
3629 M. BOUTHILLIER: Oui, soit en français d'émissions commerciales et conventionnelles. Mais ça peut aussi, on peut imaginer fort bien -- et pourquoi pas? On l'a dit, d'une certaine façon, on ferait d'une pierre deux coups -- des émissions en français produites dans des pays francophones, donc, qui rejoindraient à la fois le caractère ethnique et le caractère francophone. On peut l'imaginer. Une émission sénégalaise, une émission algérienne, etc.
3630 Et puisqu'on parle de -- je pense que c'est peut-être du non-dit, du non-écrit -- puisqu'on parle de cinéma, pourquoi est-ce qu'on ne pourrait pas imaginer que finalement, le poste 14, comme on l'appelle à Montréal, devienne, pour partie, bien sûr, une espèce de ciné-club où on verrait en français -- donc, ça s'adresserait à toute la population montréalaise, quelle que soit son origine, sa langue maternelle et tout ça -- des émissions, enfin des films, souvent, dont plusieurs, vous le savez, sont de bonne qualité? Pourquoi faudrait-il attendre simplement au Festival du Film de Montréal pour voir un film algérien ou un film sénégalais ou un film ivoirien alors qu'on pourrait en voir toutes les semaines, tous les jours, je ne sais pas, tous les soirs à CJNT? Il y a là, me semble-t-il une façon d'entretenir, disons, la flamme ethnique chez les personnes qui viennent de ces pays-là, mais il y a aussi une occasion pour le commun des mortels francophone au Québec d'apprendre et d'apprendre souvent à un très haut niveau par le cinéma issu de ces pays, et tout ça en français pour assurer l'intégration à un territoire qui se veut de plus en plus un territoire francophone.
3631 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Autre question, de la même manière que je le demandais aux intervenants précédents, est-ce que vous avez eu des rencontres avec la requérante, avec les gens de Global pour parler de cette question?
3632 M. BOUTHILLIER: Non, madame.
3633 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: C'est la première fois, enfin. Ils vous ont lus et là, ils vous entendent.
3634 M. BOUTHILLIER: C'est la première fois, oui. Ils nous ont écrits, par contre.
3635 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Oui, en réponse à votre intervention.
3636 M. BOUTHILLIER: Je pense que c'est un contact plus direct. Oui, mais on ne s'est pas vu. Peut-être aurons-nous l'occasion.
3637 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Ils sont ici, dans la salle.
3638 Dernière chose. Vous parliez des État généraux sur la langue française. Ce sont des État généraux qui vont se poursuivre pour la prochaine année.
3639 M. BOUTHILLIER: Jusqu'en... Le Président, M. Larose, me disait que le rapport devrait ou pourrait normalement sortir avant le 24 juin.
3640 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Avant?
3641 M. BOUTHILLIER: Le 24 juin de l'an 2001.
3642 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: D'accord.
3643 Je vous remercie. Cela complète notre compréhension de votre position. Je ne sais pas si mes collègues ont des questions. Oui, monsieur.
3644 M. PHILPOT: Je voulais juste dire, on a remis une copie du mémoire qui est assez modifié par rapport à ce que vous avez reçu. Donc, le mémoire présente les choses un peu...
3645 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Celui-ci?
3646 M. PHILPOT: Celui de ce matin.
3647 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: D'accord. Qui a des informations supplémentaires.
3648 M. PHILPOT: Oui.
3649 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: D'accord.
3650 M. BOUTHILLIER: Merci à vous, mesdames et messieurs.
3651 Mme POIRIER: Ceci termine la Phase II des interventions.
3652 J'inviterais maintenant Global à venir présenter la réplique.
--- Pause / Pause
3653 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: We will take a pause of five or 10 minutes. We see that there are some details to be worked.
--- Upon recessing at 1215 / Suspension à 1215
--- Upon resuming at 1221 / Reprise à 1221
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
3654 MR. O'FARRELL: Merci, Madame la Présidente.
3655 I think I would like to start by saying that we have come to understand the enormous efforts that were invested over many, many years by people involved in ethnic programming in the Montreal market, the producers, the communities that supported them and so on. We have tremendous appreciation for their efforts.
3656 As you know, TEQ, or CTEQ, was a cable channel, a community channel, supported by cable companies and, therefore, that environment gave rise perhaps to certain expectations that when the channel became an over-the-air commercial channel, it didn't carry through or face the new reality where the only support was advertising revenue.
3657 We also appreciate the many efforts that the previous management made in trying to make this work. I'm sure that you have heard today some stories about how some people were left out. It's very difficult, as we all know, to please all the people all the time.
3658 I think that we have to recognize that while some "erreur de parcours" may have been committed, overall there is a CJNT. It has had its troubles. It has had significant financial difficulties, but throughout that period ethnic programming still remained available on the air and still is today since we stepped in.
3659 I think that what we have in front of us is a challenge to balance two primary objectives that we see in your Act, to serve the largest number of groups possible in the area based on the demographic particularities that we can find, with the second objective, and that is with quality programming that will keep the service viable.
3660 The challenge before us, therefore, is to meet the needs of these communities. We see the communities, frankly, as viewers and, indeed, producers because they are the catalysts who have made the programming available over the years. There again, it's very difficult, and as the policy recognizes itself, to serve all people of ethnic background in a given market, so there are some trade-offs that have to be made and the policy speaks to that.
3661 The second part of our challenge is to stabilize the financial situation of the station. What we have showed you in our projections are the best estimates we can make today of how the future is going to be, but what they don't include are the significant investments that we have already made in this station that won't be recouped by year five. In other words, the ongoing operating subsidies that were provided are not there.
3662 Even to say year five is a turnaround point, while in terms of projections that's right, it doesn't take into account the broader picture.
3663 If we want to improve the quality of programming, we are going to have to enhance resources. This is where the partnership or the relationship with Global Québec comes in. I just would like to re-emphasize that in our view, there is no way in this particular circumstance to make this service viable and ultimately useful over the long term without attaching it to an incumbent broadcaster.
3664 With regard to advertising revenue, which is the only lifeline of this station because it won't rely on anything else -- there will be no subscription revenue, there will be no cable company support. We have to educate and bring advertisers to the station. That's going to take time.
3665 Yes, we will benefit, there's no doubt, to a certain extent from the work that CFMT has done over the years, but they have been at it 20 years. They have invested significantly in marketing and promoting that service. We will have to do the same. Despite the fact that we are proud of the so-called clout of CTS and our ability to market stations, we haven't done that for CJNT and we are going to have to do it and we are prepared to do it.
3666 We are going to have to make sure that the independent production sector, both in Montreal and elsewhere, gets a fair shot at offering programming for this service, which brings me to our response to SPATEQ.
3667 We did meet with the President of SPATEQ and we had, I thought, a very useful meeting as well. I'm happy to hear that he felt the same thing. We spoke as candidly as we could as to where we came from, why we were here and where we thought we should go. We explained our rationale for the 60/40 programming profile.
3668 We did tell him, as we will say to you again today, we come at this with a blank sheet of paper. There are only good ideas that will be rewarded and, indeed, we won't satisfy all of the people all of the time, but we will do our very best to do so.
3669 To SPATEQ's argument about the evidence or the lack of evidence as to the non-financial viability of CJNT up until now, I find it very difficult for anybody to say that seriously in light of the fact that there is absolutely no evidence anywhere that the station had a chance at viability, (a) by virtue of the fact that you have had annual returns in your files year after year since the station is on and you know that picture from a reporting perspective.
3670 The commercial realities outside of the regulatory reporting realities is such that the station had to do what it had to do when it faced the bankruptcy wall, and that was to do a voluntary assignment into bankruptcy. The lack of evidence, or the allegation that there is a lack of evidence, just does not seem to be realistic to us.
3671 Conversely, the allegation that a television station with 100 per cent ethnic programming in a commercial over-the-air format is viable, we have seen no evidence to that. The allegation has been made, but we can't see it and nobody has provided that to us either.
3672 Fundamentally, I think they are simply misinterpreting the concepts. CJNT, the commercial over-the-air station, with one revenue source being advertising, is a totally different creation than a community channel supported by a cable company.
3673 Again, we remain committed to working as best we can with a blank sheet of paper and an open mind to good ideas to make sure that we reflect the ethnic communities in Montreal.
3674 As to la Société Saint-Jean- Baptiste's presentation, it's interesting because when WIC filed an application that never got to a public hearing because of the shareholder disputes between the shareholders of CTEQ, proposing a 60/40 mandate for CJNT to ensure its viability, la Société-Saint-Jean-Baptiste intervened and suggested that there should be some French in the 40 per cent non-ethnic programming to reflect the specificity of the marketplace.
3675 That was one of the reasons why we listened when we put our programming formula together for both regulatory reasons and political reasons tied into that, but also commercial reasons. That was there was a bigger base there to mitigate whatever impact would flow from introducing more conventional commercial programming into the marketplace.
3676 As to the suggestion that you should "surseoir à la décision", I think that's a suggestion that would make some sense if somebody was prepared to step up to the plate with a subsidy of a quarter of a million dollars a month to keep the station on the air and, therefore, we dismiss it.
3677 We close by saying thank you very, very much to the numerous intervenors, including those that you heard today that support our application. Others that were not here today are equally enthusiastic and equally committed to keeping ethnic television alive in that marketplace. We have heard it firsthand and we want to say thank you to them.
3678 We also want to say thank you to the Commission throughout the period where CJNT was in the troubles it had, both financially and from a shareholder dispute and all of the litigation, for all of the co-operation we received, primarily from Commission staff as we went through a rather thick and very complex file that, as I say, was settled out of court and a final settlement last Friday at ten o'clock.
3679 We thank you for your time and attention today.
3680 I would like to hand it over to Charlotte now who has three items to deal with with regard to the earlier phase and the information requests.
3681 MS BELL: Thank you.
3682 We have already discussed this with legal counsel, but just for the record, we have already filed the breakdown of communities and languages, which was agreed upon this morning.
3683 Concerning the report that was filed by the SPATEQ this morning, we in all honesty have not had a chance to really review it. We would like to have the opportunity to do so. At that time we will decide whether or not a response is necessary. If it is, we would like to ask if we could file that by next Friday.
3684 Also, we are prepared to file with you our colour programming schedule showing the local programming as well as the repeat factors and provide you the information about the sources for acquiring ethnic programming, if that's possible, for tomorrow morning.
3685 Thank you.
3686 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: There was a last question I asked about the possibility of a five year licence that would kind of help better reading.
3687 MR. O'FARRELL: Well, on that point, first of all should the turnaround of CJNT be so extraordinarily successful and early, the Commission, as you know, always has the opportunity after five years to call a licensee in for an early licence review. That evidence will be on your record and it would be to your discretion.
3688 Whether today we would suggest that it would be appropriate to agree to a five year licence rather than a seven, we would prefer to take the longer view and request a seven year licence, understanding however that if we are indeed very successful, the Commission may want to review with us what our commitments are earlier after the five year period is up. We would obviously comply with that.
3689 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you. I'm looking at my colleagues. I think all our questions are answered.
3690 Thank you very much for your collaboration.
3691 Merci toute l'équipe pour avoir vraiment échangé avec nous pour mieux comprendre votre requête et bonne route de retour à Montréal.
3692 M. O'FARRELL: Merci.
3693 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Au revoir.
3694 Nous allons maintenant interrompre for lunch and we will be back at two o'clock with the CIUT.
3695 Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 1233 / Suspension à 1233
--- Upon resuming at 1400 / Reprise à 1400
3696 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Oui, madame?
3697 Mme POIRIER: Merci, Madam la Présidente.
3698 We will now proceed to the next item on our agenda.
3699 This is an application by the University of Toronto Community Radio Inc. to renew the broadcasting licence for CIUT-FM Toronto expiring 28 February, 2001.
3700 The Commission notes the apparent failure of the licensee to comply with section 2.2(7) of the Radio Regulations concerning the Canadian content for category 2 music.
3701 The Commission also notes the apparent failure of the licensee to comply with section 8 of the Radio Regulations concerning the provision of logger tapes, and with paragraph 9(3)(b) concerning the music lists.
3702 The Commission expects the licensee to show cause at this hearing why a mandatory order requiring the licensee to comply with the Radio Regulations should not be issued.
3703 I would like to ask counsel, Gino Grondin, to explain to everyone what is meant exactly by "mandatory order" and what the ramifications are.
3705 MR. GRONDIN: Thank you.
3706 Pursuant to section 12 of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission has the authority to issue mandatory orders.
3707 Among other things, subsection 12(2) of the Broadcasting Act provides that:
"The Commission may, by order, require any person to do any act or thing that such person is or may be required to do pursuant to any regulation made under this part.
The Commission may also, by order, forbid the doing or continuing of any act or thing that is contrary to any such regulation." (As read)
3708 In the present case, what is under discussion is the possibility of issuing a mandatory order requiring the licensee to comply with subsection 2.2(7) of the Radio Regulations, 1986, concerning the level of Canadian content for category 2 music, section 8 of the Radio Regulations, 1986, concerning the provision of logger tapes, and, finally, paragraph 9(3)(b) of the regs concerning the music list.
3709 To summarize what a mandatory order would entail in this case, after hearing and considering the matter, the Panel may decide to issue a mandatory order which would be filed with the Federal Court of Canada. Thereafter, pursuant to subsection 13(1) of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission's mandatory order would become an order of the court and would be enforceable in the same manner as any court order.
3710 Pursuant to the Federal Court Rules, anyone who disobeys an order of the Court is guilty of contempt of court. If a mandatory order were issued and the licensee subsequently failed to comply with these requirements, the Commission would provide evidence of such failure to the court and thereafter a show cause hearing for contempt of court would take place before the Federal Court of Canada.
3711 As you are aware, the University of Toronto Community Radio Inc. has been called upon to show cause at this hearing why a mandatory order should not be issued. Simply put, what this means is that the licensee must clearly demonstrate to this Panel today why a mandatory order should not be issued.
3712 Thank you.
3713 LA PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Merci beaucoup, Mr. Counsel.
3714 Good afternoon. Welcome. Just two seconds.
3715 I know that you would have preferred a hearing in Toronto but we thought it would be better to just use the hearing that was already held for the BCE-CTV hearing to kind of make sure that we were dealing wit the application as soon as possible. We apologize for the trouble for you as well as the intervenors.
3716 MR. BURCHELL: Thank you for that remark, Madam Chair.
3717 We are grateful, in any case, to appear in person before the Commission, and especially to appear before such a respected Panel.
APPLICATION / APPLICATION
3718 MR. BURCHELL: Good afternoon, Madam Chair, Members of the Commission. I am Brian Burchell, Station Manager and President of CIUT-FM. We are pleased to appear before the Commission today to address our licence renewal.
3719 I would like to introduce our team. On my immediate right is Mr. Nilan Perera. He is the Program Director at CIUT-FM. He is an accomplished musician in his own right. Nilan is CIUT's Program Director. He has served the station in volunteer and paid capacities, serving as music director, program director and even as station manager. Nilan's experience at CIUT spans 12 years.
3720 To my far right is Stephen Zolf our legal counsel from the firm Heenan Blaikie.
3721 To my immediate left, Mr. Ian Angus. Mr. Angus may be familiar to the Commission in his other life as a commentator on telecommunications issues, but we are happy to have him in his volunteer life as a Vice President at CIUT and a volunteer announcer hosting "Let the Good Times Roll", a very popular blues show on CIUT.
3722 On my far left is Barbara Isherwood, who is also a CIUT volunteer. She is host of "Intuition", one of CIUT's more popular programs. In one of her day jobs she is Executive Director of the Toronto Blues Society, Editor of the Metal Arts Guild publication and also an independent writer and publicist. Barbara has been indispensable at finding granting agencies who are interested in assisting CIUT's important community outreach efforts.
3723 We are grateful for the opportunity to be here today on behalf of CIUT to address our renewal and to report on the extensive progress the station has made in overcoming several challenges facing its operations and management, and the issue of compliance with our regulatory obligations.
3724 We are pleased to report that a number of positive steps have been set in course to ensure that the station is now back on track and functioning in the best interests of its stakeholders.
3725 Our presentation will highlight three key developments that have been set in place to not only ensure compliance with the radio regulations, but also with the Commission policy objectives for campus radio.
3726 First, that the issues of a lack of decision-making authority and power struggles have been resolved, restoring a stable functioning management environment.
3727 Second, that CIUT fulfils its obligations as a licensee with regard to the maintenance of logger tapes and music lists, as well as the requirements for the level of spoken word programming and Canadian content.
3728 Third, that management is now in a position to build campus/community partnerships and best represent the stakeholders, all in accordance with the role contemplated for campus radio stations under the Commission's new policy.
3729 On this basis, we respectfully submit that there is currently insufficient cause to support the issuance of a mandatory order with respect to CIUT-FM, a matter that has been raised by the Commission in its Notice of Public Hearing, and we have been reminded about today.
3730 CIUT was initially awarded a broadcast licence in 1986 to operate a student/ community English-language FM radio station located at the University of Toronto.
3731 Under the terms and conditions of our licence, CIUT-FM is owned and operated by a not-for-profit corporation without share capital. But in 1999, certain problems arose with respect to the management and operation of the station. While these have been painstakingly detailed on the public record over the last year, I can briefly summarize those challenges as follows:
3732 There was a vacuum in CIUT's management which had required the CIUT board of directors to take on the task of managing day-to-day operational decisions. This situation became completely unworkable after the board lost the quorum needed under its by-laws to take corporate action.
3733 There were ongoing power struggles between various interest groups within CIUT, resulting in ongoing questions of the decisions taken by CIUT station management and subsequent turnover of staff.
3734 The vacuum in the management of the station only added to the various internal conflicts and power struggles among those individuals and groups with competing visions for the station and continual second-guessing of operational decisions.
3735 As a result of these financial and governance problems in early 1999, the then president of the University of Toronto, Robert S. Prichard, in response to a specific request made by the Student Administrative Council, SAC, appointed a two-person task force to address these challenges. The task force examined and recommended on a comprehensive array of issues concerning CIUT, delivering its report in April of 1999, a copy of which was filed with the Commission.
3736 Some of the issues examined in the report include: the station's relationship to SAC, corporate and organizational issues, staff and volunteer relations, regulatory matters, and ongoing operational and governance questions concerning the station.
3737 After a thorough review of all the issues and circumstances affecting the station, the task force included 65 detailed and specific recommendations in areas including management, operation and an overall vision for CIUT.
3738 Unfortunately, following the issuance of the task report last year, it was difficult, if not impossible, to implement its recommendations. Not only was the station experiencing serious financial difficulties, there was also significant instability with respect to its operations and management. This led to an application by the general members of the licensee to apply to the Commission in November of 1999 for temporary management authority, the TMA, which the Commission approved in January of this year.
3739 After the TMA was approved, CIUT moved quickly to constitute a new Board of Directors. I am pleased to report that a new board has been constituted, one that comprises a cross-section of the membership of the corporation, including SAC, the president of the university and full-time undergraduates and community volunteers.
3740 The situation at CIUT has vastly improved under its new management in three primary areas: corporate governance, regulatory compliance and fiscal stability.
3741 I am going to ask each of my colleagues here today to address each of the improvements in detail. First, let me provide a brief summary of the steps taken in the areas.
3742 On the level of corporate governance, the temporary management authorization, the TMA, allowed us to rectify the immediate problem of the lack of control. We then proceeded to delve into the important task of re-writing the corporation's by-laws, which Ian Angus will address in a couple of minutes.
3743 Second, we have also taken a series of steps to ensure compliance with our programming obligations. Nilan Perera will explain these steps in detail, and how the station's full complement of volunteers are now well equipped and well informed to ensure ongoing compliance and adherence to our licence obligations and to the Commission's new Campus Radio Policy.
3744 Finally, turning to our fiscal progress, as of August 30, 1999, CIUT had accumulated a deficit of $151,000. By April 30 of 2000, less than nine months later, an independent audit confirmed a surplus of $72,000, the effect of which is to cut the cumulative deficit in half. The current operating budget forecasts a further surplus of $45,000, which will diminish the deficit even further.
3745 How do we achieve this? By spending less on staff and running a much tighter ship. Our financial house is now in order. It has enabled us to significantly expand our technical operations. We now have a redundant reel logger system. It's installed and positioned to be off-site.
3746 We have a university backbone connection which will enable greater connectivity to U of T and beyond. We are adding two new studios, enabling pre-production of shows and the airing of live music and recording of Canadian independent artists.
3747 All this is done in an 1890's Victorian house with a 60 amp power supply. This will better allow us to meet our educational mandate and to provide a better platform to expose and record new Canadian musical talent that is not being represented by other radio licensees in Toronto.
3748 Now I would like to ask my colleagues to provide you with more specifics on these steps. First, I would like ask Ian Angus to address the revision of UTCRI's by-laws. Ian has been indispensable at helping craft our proposed by-laws, given his extensive experience in the governance of volunteer organizations such as the Toronto Blues Society, the Canadian Telecommunications Consultants Association and the Society of Telecommunications Consultants.
3750 MR. ANGUS: Thank you, Brian.
3751 Let me begin on a personal note. I am a volunteer at CIUT. I host Let the Good Times Roll, which is devoted to blues music, which one of many musical genres on this station and one of many that is completely unrepresented on community radio.
3752 Like most volunteers at CIUT, I was extremely frustrated by the management problems the station experienced last year. Initially, I was dubious about the actions taken by the University of Toronto and the Students Administrative Council last fall, but I quickly became convinced that their decisive action was necessary to put the station back on track. Today, every volunteer I speak to comments on the marked improvement of every aspect of CIUT's operations.
3753 It was because of those practical improvements in operations that I agreed to serve on the station's board of directors and to assist in rewriting the station's by-laws, a process which is continuing right now.
3754 Our difficulty was that our by-laws were passed in 1989. While there were many attempts to amend them over the years, none of those efforts were carried through to completion, so we were left with by-laws which were out of date in many important respects.
3755 When it came to writing new by-laws, one of our most important concerns was compliance with the CRTC's newly announced campus radio policy, especially the requirement for "balanced representation from among the student body, the associated college or university (for example, faculty or administration), station volunteers, and from the community at large". We wanted to ensure that the new by-laws achieved that balance and enshrined them in the rules of the station.
3756 Secondly, we wanted to ensure that the by-laws took into account the many thoughtful and valuable recommendations that were made by the 1999 CIUT task force. Among its many recommendations were measures to better accommodate appointment and elections, to enhance the Board's accountability for each year's operation, to preserve continuity of function and operation, and to expand the ownership base of the station.
3757 Rewriting by-laws is not an easy task, especially for a brand new board consisting of people who have full-time commitments elsewhere and of students who disperse all across the country the moment the term ends.
3758 However, after many long years -- hours of work -- I was going to say years and it felt like it -- after many long hours of work, the rewrite is almost complete. The amendments were approved in principle by the board. They then went to our lawyers. Just a bit of detail. They then came back. We have the final draft which is about to be approved by the board. It will then go through several other procedures. Let me just say what they include.
3759 The amendments we have proposed not only are in compliance with the policy guidelines governing non-profit corporations such as ours, but also are in accordance with the new campus radio policy, addressing the issues of broad-based membership, continuity and stability.
3760 The new by-laws will effect the following changes: The station manager will now be a non-voting member of the board, reducing a conflict -- removing a conflict.
3761 There will be balanced participation on the board of individuals from each of the four groups identified in the campus radio policy, ensuring broad-based representation from our stakeholders.
3762 There will be staggered two year terms for most board members to provide continuity and community-based board members will be elected by the general members rather than appointed by the board as in the past to ensure broad-based representation from the stakeholders.
3763 Moreover, the by-laws provide democratic and transparent procedures for election of board members by students and volunteers, approval of volunteer members and for appeal if membership is denied or revoked, establishment and operation of volunteer and other committees, and filling board vacancies.
3764 We expect to submit the revised by-laws for approval at a general membership meeting this fall and then submit them for approval by Industry Canada. This will allow for the proper election of a new board in the new year.
3765 These amendments, I firmly believe, will ensure that our governance structures will be in line with the CRTC's newly revised campus radio policy. They will also resolve many of the station's practical operational problems. Finally, they fully respond to the substantive concerns raised by some intervenors in this proceeding with respect to the governance of the station.
3766 Ultimately, the fact that this process has been a top priority indicates that the current management are fully committed to operating CIUT as an open, community-based radio station.
3767 MR. BURCHELL: Thank you, Ian. I would now like to introduce Nilan Perera to discuss programming issues concerning CIUT. Nilan has brought his long-time experience to the station and his vast knowledge and background in diverse musical genres and to the role of his Program Director position.
3769 MR. PERERA: Thank you, Brian.
3770 As Program Director for CIUT-FM and someone who has been with the station for more than a decade, I feel uniquely qualified to address the specific programming concerns raised by the Commission and the intervenors.
3771 First, as you are aware, the station did experience particular instances of non-compliance with our licence conditions and promise of performance.
3772 We acknowledge that, in reviewing our logger tapes and music lists, there were in fact deficiencies. The music lists were not complete and the logger tapes were not properly retained. However, as we have noted on a number of occasions in response to Commission concerns, these instances of non-compliance must be seen in the context of the unique and extenuating circumstances that characterized the station during the 1998-99 period.
3773 In addition, we urge the Commission to focus on the improvements that have been made to ensure regulatory compliance on these fronts. Brian has already mentioned the steps taken to ensure that our volunteers understand programming obligations and indeed comply with all of the regulations by which CIUT is bound.
3774 Moreover, as Program Director, I have taken on the responsibility of consistent and periodic reviews of the music lists and logger tapes to ensure their accuracy and completeness. I can report with confidence that the program logs are up to date and complete.
3775 With respect to the issue of the level of Canadian content in our programming schedule, we concede that the music lists from the week of October 24 to 30 were incomplete. We urge you to view this as an isolated aberration, given the circumstances that engulfed CIUT at this time.
3776 These circumstances have been addressed and rectified as we have outlined in detail in our renewal documentation and in other documents filed on the public record during the past few months.
3777 I am pleased to report that Canadian content for Category 2 and Category 3 music selections is currently 35 per cent and 26 per cent respectively. These figures are well above the prescribed minimum for their respective categories.
3778 Now a few intervenors have raised the matter of the level of spoken word programming on CIUT. I wish to clarify on the record our spoken word programming now meets or exceeds our POP requirements and, moreover, are far higher than the levels set by the Commission in its new campus radio policy.
3779 Twenty-eight per cent of our programming week, which is a full 35 hours, is specifically devoted to dedicated spoken word programming. Overall, 35 per cent of the week minimum features spoken word. This is inclusive of the music programming.
3780 In summary, we are pleased to report to the Commission that our programming policies are both in compliance with the regulations and are now meeting the needs of the wide and diverse listening community of CIUT-FM.
3781 Thank you.
3782 MR. BURCHELL: Thank you, Nilan.
3783 I would like to ask Barbara Isherwood to provide the volunteer perspective. Barbara's devotion of even part of her time to CIUT has been a real boon for the station. She will provide you with her perspective on the recent developments.
3784 MS ISHERWOOD: Thank you, Brian.
3785 I started at the station as a volunteer in March of 1998, at first volunteering in the music department, then acting as a fill-in host for vacationing programmers. Since April of 1999, I have hosted my own program, Intuition, which features contemporary jazz with an emphasis on Canadian talent.
3786 My involvement at the station gave me a unique perspective on the events of October 1999. Therefore, I can speak firsthand about the vast improvements the station has undergone since temporary management has been put in place.
3787 I am pleased, impressed and enthused by what has been achieved since the restructuring last fall. What a contrast from last year when it seemed that there was a possibility that CIUT could actually go off the air.
3788 When I first came to CIUT, I was frankly disappointed to find myself volunteering in a very negative atmosphere. The staff was unhappy. Screaming matches between various volunteers and staff were not uncommon. At meetings, a small number of very vocal volunteers would dominate the floor with their issues.
3789 As a result, non-partisan volunteers who might have made more of a contribution to CIUT became discouraged. After all, volunteering is supposed to be an enjoyable experience. I for one soon joined the ranks of those programmers who just came to the station to program their shows.
3790 Since the restructuring last fall, I'm pleased and thankful to report that all that has changed. The staff at CIUT is now accessible on a regular basis. Channels of communication, so lacking in the past, have now been established. Phones are answered and messages are relayed.
3791 Programmers are receiving feedback about their shows and are advised of any problems or deficiencies. The on-air booth is supplied with new music on a regular basis and a plan to highlight new Canadian releases is in development.
3792 Meetings between staff and volunteer programmers are giving all volunteers a forum for input into CIUT's operations as well as our vision for the future.
3793 People are happy to be at CIUT, which is a far cry from the former state of affairs.
3794 I stuck with CIUT throughout its dark period because I believe in the value of what we do. I felt that by leaving I would only be hurting the listeners and the many Canadian performing artists whose work is featured on my show. I am pleased to note that my faith has been rewarded. CIUT, a unique voice for alternative culture, is alive and well.
3795 MR. BURCHELL: Madam Chair, it is our hope that the panel today has addressed your concerns with regard to the governance and management and to our commitment to comply with our regulatory obligations in our next license term.
3796 As you have heard today, tangible steps have now been put in place to put CIUT on a solid footing to continue its important work. With the reconstitution of the Board of Directors, the reformulation of the by-laws and the establishment of firm policy and operational guidelines with respect to logger tapes and music lists, the station is finally in a position to move forward, not only to achieve the recommendations of the University of Toronto Task Force but to meet the new campus radio policy.
3797 We are eager and excited to move forward in this direction. We hope the Commission will grant a renewal of necessary length for it to finally establish a stable and certain environment under which its stakeholders can participate in and enjoy the programming niche offered by this unique station.
3798 We appreciate the opportunity to present our application for renewal before the Commission.
3799 We are now ready to answer any questions the panel might have.
3800 Thank you, Madam Chair.
3801 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much, Mr. Burchell. Thank you, Madam et messieurs.
3802 I would ask Commissioner Wilson to address our questions, please.
3803 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Good afternoon, Mr. Burchell, Mr. Angus, Mr. Perera, Ms Isherwood and Mr. Zolf.
3804 During the current license term a monitor of CIUT-FM undertaken for the week of the 24th to the 30th of October revealed that you were unable to supply logger tapes containing CIUT programming for the week requested, which is an apparent violation of the regulations.
3805 And, in addition to that, an analysis of the material submitted revealed that the station broadcast only 17 per cent Canadian content in Category 2 music during the week in question, which is an apparent violation of paragraph 2.27 of the regulations.
3806 As well, your music lists were incomplete, which is an apparent violation of subsection 9(3)(b) of the regulations.
3807 I'm just wondering if you would -- you have done a lot to explain in your opening remarks, but I'm just wondering if you would like to take the opportunity in a less scripted way to review for us the reasons for these three situations and to talk in a little more detail about the specific measures and mechanisms that are now in place to ensure future compliance with the regulations in which you seem to be in violation?
3808 MR. BURCHELL: We are mindful, Commissioner Wilson, of those concerns and did, as you observed, endeavour to address them in our oral remarks.
3809 I believe that Mr. Angus will have one thing to add. I will interject first, though, and observe, just in case it was missed in our remarks, that we have installed a redundant reel logger system to prevent technically difficulties with respect to the provision of the tapes to begin with.
3810 The issues of the deficiencies in the content of them is a different one, I appreciate that, but we are mindful of the fallibility of computers in the system so that is why we purchased a second system which is fully redundant and reduces the risk to near zero that there would be a --
3811 COMMISSIONER WILSON: And I think you said that you have one located at the station as well as one located off-site?
3812 MR. BURCHELL: We have purchased the second system. It is now running in parallel so that if power were to cease to one it would not cease to the other.
3813 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Okay.
3814 MR. BURCHELL: But the ultimate hope is that we move it across the street to the university's backbone system, which has its own power supply independent of the Toronto Hydro system. We could do that probably within a week's time.
3815 Mr. Angus, do you --
3816 MR. ANGUS: I think when you review the situation -- in a certain sense there is a lot of us at the station who feel that we got hit with a major management crises and a request for records in the same two weeks.
3817 To go back there as a volunteer at the time when there was no management, literally, at the station, so that if you did put your music logs in whether they got filed was a question. Many times there were no blank lists to fill out at all. If there were technical failures, there was no one to fix them.
3818 So we found ourselves last October, in that specific month, in a situation where, there is no question, the music logs didn't get properly filled out and apparently there was a technical failure in our logger system.
3819 On the issue of Canadian content, there was no one monitoring, no one telling programmers "By the way, that doesn't count as Canadian content, you can't use it that way", which there is now. I think any programming at the station can now testify that Nilan calls you if you don't make your measure.
3820 But we certainly -- last October was the deepest of CIUT's problems and the fact -- and I think it is pure coincidence that we were requested records that week. Anything you requested for that month we were having problems with.
3821 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Okay. Thank you.
3822 Just so you know, I'm wearing this because I have a cold and I'm having trouble hearing this far across the room, it is not because I'm getting interpretation. I know you were talking earlier about whether or not we would be speaking in English or French. I'm just having trouble hearing anything at the moment.
3823 In an April 20th letter from your regulatory counsel, Mr. Zolf of Heenan Blaikie, Mr. Zolf indicated that a number of steps have been taken by CIUT's temporary management to ensure that you will be in compliance with all of your requirements. I wonder if I could just go through some of these specific questions. Some of it may be repetitive to what you have said in your opening remarks, but you will help to satisfy our concerns by going along and answering the questions.
3824 The Commission has been assured by counsel that consistent periodic reviews of the completed music lists and logger tapes will be conducted to ensure their accuracy and completeness.
3825 Mr. Perera, you mentioned that you personally are responsible for conducting those reviews. Are you the only person who is responsible for conducting those reviews?
3826 MR. PERERA: Yes, I am at the moment.
3827 COMMISSIONER WILSON: At the moment.
3828 MR. PERERA: Yes.
3829 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Are you training somebody else to help you out in the event that you are away from a station?
3830 MR. PERERA: The reviews are done on a periodic basis. When I am there, which I am there most of the time, I take the logs every day and review them.
3831 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Every day.
3832 MR. PERERA: Every day.
3833 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Okay.
3834 MR. PERERA: On a weekly basis we create a statistical database outlining Canadian content just so we have it on a -- we have a weekly survey done so we know what the Canadian content is for each category and we know how much spoken word actually gets aired.
3835 So if I do manage to skip a couple of days, everything gets caught up within a week.
3836 COMMISSIONER WILSON: So you are actually looking daily at the logs?
3837 MR. PERERA: Yes. Yes. Aside from listening, yes. I mean, I do a lot of listening.
3838 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Now, your counsel has also indicated that the station has implemented a structured filing system to ensure that all the information required by the Commission upon request is readily available. Could you describe what this filing system and what types of information you will be keeping?
3839 MR. PERERA: The filing system is in two sections. Naturally the hard copies of log sheets that do get created by programmers on a daily basis get put through a process where they are entered into a database. That database will supply Canadian content, spoken word and the numbers -- well, the categories of music shows that exist, and that gets all entered and a sheet gets put out every week. Then the hard copies of the programming logs do get filed in a filing cabinet in alphabetical order and the statistics are drawn from the computer database.
3840 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Okay. With respect to the regulatory requirements and the education of key personnel -- I think it was described as in the April 20th letter -- was there an educational program in place at CIUT prior to 1999 with respect to ensuring that your on-air programmers were familiar with the requirements and that the staff --
3841 MR. PERERA: Oh, yes. Excuse me.
3842 Yes, there were various -- in orientations where we would have an intake of new volunteers at the station CRTC, regs were part of that orientation. If somebody goes on-air they were apprised of CRTC regulations vis-à-vis Canadian content and, you know, daring of -- well, profane language or whatever.
3843 But prior that, yes, there had been, but it was patchy. There were lapses.
3844 At this point everybody who has come on the air signs an agreement with the station. I can forward this later, but that's what it looks like, and in it there is a list of pertinent CRTC regulations. They sign, with respect to their shows, specific Canadian content category percentages that they are required to do on their show and minimum -- I'm sorry.
3845 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Does someone review with them what the different content categories are?
3846 MR. PERERA: Yes, exactly. The MAPL thing has been gone through.
3847 The music director has been assisting a lot in that as well in terms of finding out what that means and everything.
3848 So everybody who is on the air now has signed this agreement and have gone through the regs and the MAPL system as well.
3849 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Okay. So the key personnel that you refer to in the April 20th letter, is that just on-air people?
3850 MR. PERERA: That is primarily on-air people. When I was asked to become program director again, the station was in pretty much disarray and the programming had been reoriented. So my first concern is that our on-air voice or on-air programming be: (a) stabilized, and (b) completely educated in what their requirements are.
3851 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Is there anybody else besides the on-air personnel who need to know that?
3852 MR. PERERA: People like the technicians. I mean, literally anybody who gets anywhere near the on-air booth, whether they be techs or show hosts, programmers or volunteers, is apprised.
3853 I have had to necessarily do that because of the structural things that we have done with the station and are continuing to do on an ad hoc basis. Since I am basically the key contact in terms of station administration for the volunteers, since I am program director, I manage the programming in that way.
3854 COMMISSIONER WILSON: So the information, in addition to Canadian content levels and the category requirements, you would also address levels of spoken word.
3855 What else would you address in addition to those? What other information would you cover in this training?
3856 MR. PERERA: Well, various things. Like we have an internal new release policy. We like to bring out as much new releases as possible.
3857 There is a whole list of -- I mean, I can read it for you from this agreement -- CRTC regulations that we do cover.
3858 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Sure. That would be helpful.
3859 MR. PERERA: Yes. I will just read from that.
3860 Section 1:
"In accordance with CRTC regulations I will commit to the fact that my program:"
"does not contravene any law;"
"does not contain any abusive comment that, when taken in context, tends to or is likely to expose an individual or group or class of individuals to hatred or contempt on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age or mental or [physical] disability;"
"does not contain any obscene or profane language;"
"is not obscene or defamatory in nature;"
"does not contain any false or misleading news;"
"does not violate the privacy rights of any third party;"
"does not violate the trademark, trade name or copyright interests of any third party;"
"complies with all rules, regulations, policies and Public Notices of the CRTC applicable thereto; and"
"fulfills all terms and conditions of the CIUT license pertaining to its operation;"
3869 COMMISSIONER WILSON: So we are way down there at the bottom of the list.
3870 MR. PERERA: Sorry?
3871 COMMISSIONER WILSON: We are way down there at the bottom of the list. I would have thought you would have "complies with CRTC regulations" right up at the top.
3872 MR. PERERA: I believe a lot of that are in the regulations anyway.
3873 COMMISSIONER WILSON: But you are saving the best for the last.
3874 MR. PERERA: There are other sections in here too.
3875 For example:
"All log sheets must be filled out, in accordance with CIUT policy, and returned within 24 hours."
"I will commit to playing all trafficked ads at their scheduled time..."
3876 Just stuff like that. Just internals --
3877 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Okay. That agreement says generally that they have to comply with their regulations.
3878 MR. PERERA: Yes.
3879 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Where do they find out what those specific requirements are as sort of a general statement?
3880 MR. PERERA: They are available at the station. I have a copy in my office. There is a copy in the main office for perusal.
3881 COMMISSIONER WILSON: So you don't attach a copy of those to the agreement?
3882 MR. PERERA: No, we don't attach a copy. No.
3883 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Might that be a good idea?
3884 MR. PERERA: That would be a good idea. I encourage people to read them, definitely. I say, "Here are the regulations", or I refer them to the Web sites and have them check that out, yes.
3885 MR. BURCHELL: Forgive me, Commissioner, but we should also say that there have been opportunities we have been taking to engage directly with the volunteers' interpretation of some of these policies, which if read cold by someone who is not educated --
3886 COMMISSIONER WILSON: I was just going to say that.
3887 MR. BURCHELL: -- in them would find them to be a bit daunting. So we have had some, I wouldn't call them workshops, they more have been small groups that we have convened to make sure that people are mindful of the rules of the game and ensure that -- we want to make sure that whatever initiation they have had before is fresh. So even seasoned people, people who have been with us for years, have had to go through this process. They found it beneficial.
3888 I don't know if Mr. Angus can add.
3889 COMMISSIONER WILSON: I find that beneficial.
3890 MR. ANGUS: Yes. I was about to say, the last one that I was at we spent a whole lot of time going through the liable and slander rules and what was involved in that.
3891 In addition, Nilan has mentioned the fact that he regularly issues memos that are posted all over the station saying: If you are playing this type of music, this is the percentage and this is what this means in terms of the number per hour you have to do of this. So he boils it down and it does get out.
3892 When I was at the station before I knew what the rules were because I have been in community radio for a long time. But they are easy to misunderstand if you don't get them right down to simple English, and Nilan does that.
3893 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Okay.
3894 MS ISHERWOOD: I would just like to mention that if you hand your log sheet in late you find out about it immediately.
3895 MR. ZOLF: Commissioner Wilson, if I might add, the agreement that Mr. Perera has illustrated is really less an agreement and more an attestation from the announcer in question that kind of focuses them on the task at hand. So it is coupled with a relatively formal written document and an oral discussion of the obligations that each announcer has to do. I think it is attempted to strike a balance between something that is too daunting, you know, like a six-page illustration of the regulations, while also being digestible for the particular volunteer announcer to understand and move forward.
3896 COMMISSIONER WILSON: They put new commissioners through orientation as well. Just so you know.
3897 The efforts that you have been making at training your key personnel in this regard, do you intend to maintain those efforts over time? Is this something that you will do on an ongoing basis at some kind of a regular interval to ensure that the volunteers, especially as new people come into the station and people who have been around for awhile maybe cycle through?
3898 MR. PERERA: Absolutely. I'm looking forward to holding orientations, you know, on a monthly basis based on that.
3899 Any time I get anything from the CRTC in terms of, you know, updates, that also gets posted as well. If it is relevant, especially when we got the new regulations in terms of increased Canadian content, that immediately went in. That was when those memos went out.
3900 You will have to forgive me because sometimes I assimilate information, regard them as facts and don't give the CRTC credit. I just say, "This is the way it is; let's go", right, that kind of thing, "New regs have come down; let's do it", right.
3901 So, yes, the information dissemination is out there.
3902 Just as a sidebar, in terms of Canadian content we are creating a segregated library. We will be taking Canadian content out of the regular library, creating a new library that will be actually in the broadcast booth itself, the room itself, away from the regular library facilities that will be by genre separated but strictly consist of Canadian content music, both as a way of educating our programmers as to what is out there as Canadian content -- some people actually don't know certain artists are Canadian -- and, as well, have them, you know, get easy access to it.
3903 This isn't strictly on the basis of the fact that we are trying to comply with regulations, which we are, but I have at least four or five recordings that I'm involved in in that library and, as an independent Canadian artist, the whole fact that my music can get played, and most of it is in category 3 which we double our percentage of, it's more hearts and minds things with the volunteers, as well. It's just sort of like saying, "Look, we are here. You know, we need to expose our artists in the various genres", which I'm really happy about. We are getting tonnes of Canadian music and really good Canadian music too.
3904 COMMISSIONER WILSON: When you consider that that is part of what makes you alternative --
3905 MR. PERERA: Yes. Absolutely.
3906 COMMISSIONER WILSON: -- to what's in the mainstream.
3907 MR. PERERA: Absolutely. It is so vitally important that we also have this live music studio where I can call in and I do a three-hour jazz and improvised music show every Friday from 3:00 to 6:00. Now, I can call in -- well, when the studio gets going, I can call in bands within the city or bands that are going through the city, you know, in terms of the festivals as well, to come in to the station, set up downstairs and we will broadcast their music live and can even supply with a DAT tape of their performance. This is an essential service, both in terms of the music that I am programming as being improvised and fresh and not quantified to be able to put out in that way. We are literally doing jazz by doing that.
3908 MS ISHERWOOD: Could I just point out that we actually do, at this point, have a system for identifying Canadian releases in that on the spine there is a maple leaf. Imagine!
3909 COMMISSIONER WILSON: How original.
3910 MS ISHERWOOD: So you can just pull open a drawer and look for things with a maple leaf. I do think that the new segregated section will make it even easier, but there is something in place already and has been for a long time.
3911 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Thank you for clarifying that.
3912 In the April 20th letter also, and I keep referring back to this letter, but this is my last question -- actually, no it's not, but in this section -- you also indicated a checklist of the regulations/ record-keeping requirements has been established for easy use by the stations' volunteers. I wonder if you could just describe what that checklist is like, what appears on it and how the volunteers become familiar with it.
3913 MR. PERERA: The checklist itself, actually, I will be honest, is still kind of in development. We are trying to work CRTC regulations -- actually, just as part of it, we are trying to, like, you know, massage it into one document, various station policies, and that people understand what the MAPL regulations are, that people understand internal station things, like what the new release things are. Various things like that.
3914 It's not in place yet, at this point. We are trying to figure out if we can combine several documents, the logs, the agreements, and the dissemination of CRTC information into one.
3915 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Mr. Perera, when you were speaking this afternoon about spoken word programming, you actually quoted some levels. I wonder if you could -- I was scribbling madly trying to write it down, but I wonder if you could just review those again for me.
3916 MR. PERERA: Certainly.
3917 COMMISSIONER WILSON: I don't believe they are in your text. They are not in the text.
3918 MR. PERERA: No. I had notes on my text.
3919 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Okay.
3920 MR. PERERA: I can do it off the top of my head.
3921 In terms of dedicated spoken word programming, in terms of its 35 hours that we do have that are specifically issue generated spoken word programs, that constitutes 28 per cent of our programming.
3922 COMMISSIONER WILSON: So that's 35 hours?
3923 MR. PERERA: Yes.
3924 COMMISSIONER WILSON: And it's 28 per cent.
3925 MR. PERERA: Yes.
3926 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Of your total programming?
3927 MR. PERERA: The programming that goes from six until midnight. Yes.
3928 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Yes. That's the 18 hour schedule.
3929 MR. PERERA: That's correct.
3930 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Okay.
3931 MR. PERERA: In total, including the backgrounding, foregrounding segments of music shows, of which there's a lot, it brings it up to 35 per cent.
3932 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Okay. Under the station's current management arrangement, who is ultimately responsible for ensuring that all station programming broadcast on CIUT meets all of the applicable provisions of the Regulations Act all times?
3933 MR. BURCHELL: Ultimately, Commissioner, I guess the Board of Directors of the corporation who delegate ongoing day to day management to the manager.
3934 COMMISSIONER WILSON: In operational terms.
3935 MR. BURCHELL: If you had a person to address a letter to, it would be to myself. The Program Director has, like the editor of a newspaper, the artistic director of a theatre company has, a great deal of latitude, but in the end, it's kind of the Station Manager who is accountable to the board. It's those clear lines of authority that we have set up within CIUT.
3936 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Okay. Thanks for that. Now, just going back to the logger system, I wonder if we could talk about that in just a bit more detail. The station has had repeated problems over the last two licence terms with respect to supplying complete logger tapes upon request.
3937 You said that you have taken significant steps to rectify this problem. Just describe to me, did you actually purchase a new system, an entirely new system than the one you had before?
3938 MR. BURCHELL: Yes, Madam Commissioner, a completely redundant system with a new UPS, which I understand is a --
3939 COMMISSIONER WILSON: It's an uninterrupted television supply. I worked in television.
3940 MR. BURCHELL: Not only is it parallel as I described earlier with respect to its source of power, but it's also independent, even if its own line of power failed.
3941 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Right.
3942 MR. BURCHELL: If for some reason we were able to continue broadcasting, the record of that event would --
3943 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Would record that air.
3944 MR. BURCHELL: Yes.
3945 COMMISSIONER WILSON: It would be recorded nonetheless.
3946 MR. ANGUS: One of our volunteers also works in commercial radio and he made the comment that our system now is actually superior to what he has on a commercial station that he does some administrative work for.
3947 COMMISSIONER WILSON: We would like to know the name of that station.
3948 Okay. Did you say, Mr. Burchell, that the system is computerized, the logging system?
3949 MR. BURCHELL: That's correct. It's called reel logger.
3950 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Reel logger?
3951 MR. BURCHELL: That's the software we use.
3952 COMMISSIONER WILSON: And who is responsible for verifying the proper functioning of the logger machines?
3953 MR. BURCHELL: It is three front line personnel, the volunteer technical director who works about 45 hours a week, mostly in the night shift. I'm there by about seven in the morning. I check at that juncture and Mr. Perera checks it in the afternoon, so we have an overlapping monitoring of it. It's also on a video screen so we can see it actually displaying its functionalities. If one were frozen, we would see it happening. It hasn't happened since we built in the redundancy. It appears to have been unnecessary because neither has failed, but I'm sure the day will come.
3954 MR. PERERA: I'm also monitoring it just so I can get the shows that I haven't heard or monitor new shows. In terms of its functioning, I can attest to the fact that it functions really well. It's also a great signal.
3955 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Going back to the uninterrupted power supply, we didn't have one at the channel that I worked at until the day we were having a board meeting and there was a power failure and the channel went off the air. They said "power supply, you should buy one", so we did.
3956 You would say the machine is monitored -- where is this display that you are talking about? Is it in your office, Mr. Burchell?
3957 MR. BURCHELL: The room is a side office to my own. The door is never closed. The light is left on. The monitors are within view from passers-by as well.
3958 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Okay. So you would say that it's monitored on a very regular basis.
3959 MR. BURCHELL: That's correct.
3960 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Not just two or three times a day. It would be more often than that.
3961 MR. BURCHELL: Yes, also because we use it as a tool to play back what we may have missed in our ongoing monitoring of the broadcasting.
3962 COMMISSIONER WILSON: In terms of it malfunctioning, how would you know that? Is there an alarm system on it or you would just notice it because it's not working when you looked at it?
3963 MR. BURCHELL: It would be visually evident that it was not functioning.
3964 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Provided you are looking at it at that particular moment.
3965 MR. BURCHELL: That's correct, but both systems would have to fail concurrently for it to create a problem with respect to the regulations.
3966 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Okay. Now, this is the second time that CIUT-FM has been in apparent non-compliance with the regulations. To the best of your knowledge, can you assure the Commission that at this moment the station's programming complies entirely with the regulations and its conditions of licence pursuant to the campus radio policy?
3967 MR. BURCHELL: I can say with confidence we are broadcasting consistent with the programming, managed and regulated by our promise of performance. We are also in compliance with respect to our programming with respect to the new campus radio policy.
3968 We are on a bit of a tight-rope with respect to being governed by the old policy, among one of the last licensees in the country to still be under the old policy, while mindful of the fact that as of March 1, assuming this Commission grants us a renewal, we will be under a different policy. We are trying to fulfil both, which is possible. They are not exclusionary.
3969 For instance, with respect to our Category 3, we are well in excess of the new higher standard, Category 2 and 3.
3970 COMMISSIONER WILSON: And with respect to the possible issuance of a mandatory order as outlined in our Notice of Public Hearing, do you wish to provide any further evidence to indicate that the station is now and will remain in compliance with the regulations and its conditions of licence?
3971 MR. BURCHELL: I will ask Mr. Zolf to comment on that.
3972 MR. ZOLF: Thanks, Brian.
3973 I would only add, Commissioner Wilson, that given what has been on the record today that in our view the station has now acted on its responsibility for meeting its regulatory obligations, including with respect to logger tapes and music lists.
3974 The measures now in place, whether its redundancy or backup and the other training mechanisms in place, we think going forward have put the station back in a position in which ongoing compliance will be the rule, without exceptions.
3975 Again, that --
3976 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Did you say with no exceptions
3977 MR. ZOLF: Without exceptions.
3978 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Same thing.
3979 MR. ZOLF: Yes.
3980 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Okay.
3981 MR. ZOLF: Again, the non-compliance during the week in October of last year should be seen as an aberration and not an ongoing failure to comply. We feel in these particular circumstances, do not warrant a mandatory order, particularly in relation to previous decisions the Commission has made on radio licensees, particularly campus radio stations in terms of when and when they have not issued mandatory orders.
3982 We feel that we have met that onus and that we are in a position now to move forward with monitoring by the Commission, but not under a mandatory order, we would submit.
3983 COMMISSIONER WILSON: My final question is with respect to the comment that you made on page 20, Mr. Burchell, with respect to your renewal. You say "We hope that the Commission will grant CIUT a renewal of necessary length". What do you mean by "necessary length"?
3984 MR. BURCHELL: Madam Commissioner, I'm hopeful that the Commission is aware of the effect that a short renewal duration may have on this or any licensee with respect to the cloud of uncertainty with respect to whether or not the station will be on air for years to come.
3985 We remarked in the way that we did -- I did -- just as an indication that we believe we have the confidence of our listenership, that we can move forward if we have a term of necessary length -- I would not specify it. My sense is the last term that was five years has ended up being six and a half as a consequence of administrative renewals.
3986 That's a term of necessary length to have the confidence of our listenership, our volunteers and our advertisers, all of whom we need in order to grow and perform our mission. A short term would be potentially disabling in that it would suggest that we don't have the confidence of the Commission representing the public interest.
3987 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Does that have a direct impact on your financial viability?
3988 MR. BURCHELL: I would argue yes, given the fact that the advertisers may not have the confidence for a long term relationship.
3989 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Okay. Thank you. Those are my questions.
3990 MR. BURCHELL: Thank you very much.
3991 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you, Madam. We have a few questions.
3992 MR. GRONDIN: At page 13 of your presentation you mention that you expect to submit the revised by-laws for approval at a general membership meeting this fall and then submit them for approval by Industry Canada. Could you please give us more information, like the exact dates of the meeting and when you expect the approval?
3993 MR. ANGUS: One of the difficulties of a volunteer organization, to be frank, is getting everybody into the room at the same time.
3994 We expect that the final approval by the Board of Directors will be this month. We expect a meeting -- we actually hope that we can do a meeting of the general members in the same month, but I suspect it will be in October. We have students and all kinds of other people to get together.
3995 I see no reason the general members would make changes, but whatever comes out of that meeting we then submit to Industry Canada and we will go through their processes.
3996 Our assumption is that before the end of the year the new by-laws will be in place.
3997 MR. GRONDIN: Would it be possible for you to file a draft with the Commission?
3998 MR. ANGUS: We certainly could do that, yes.
3999 MR. GRONDIN: Could you undertake to file a draft?
4000 MR. ANGUS: We can produce a draft for you within seven days. Our current ones are very marked up, but we will produce a clean one for you within seven days.
4001 MR. ZOLF: Counsel, it was always our intention to file those final by-laws with the Commission -- or pre-file the by-laws with the Commission to the extent that they do raise issues concerning control of the licensee ultimately with the Commission.
4002 MR. GRONDIN: Thank you very much.
4003 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: That concludes our questions.
4004 MR. ANGUS: Thank you.
4005 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much for helping us understand better.
4006 We will -- pardon me? Commissioner Wilson would like to see you at the reply, but we would too.
4007 We will go now to the phase of the hearing to hear the intervenors.
4008 MS POIRIER: We will now start Phase II, which is the hearing of the interventions.
4009 There was a small change in the order. No. 1 and No. 7 of the interventions in the Agenda have requested to switch places, so we will start with Mr. Richard Troy.
4010 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Yes, certainly.
4011 MS POIRIER: I would like to remind intervenors that each have 10 minutes to present their interventions.
4012 Thank you.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4013 MR. TROY: I will get my little running stopwatch out here.
4014 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good afternoon and welcome, Mr. Troy.
4015 MR. TROY: Thank you very much.
4016 I am very pleased to be here and to lead off. It will be an altogether different presentation that I will be giving.
4017 My name is Richard Troy and I am a professional engineer, still working, and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Philosophy from St. Paul's College in Washington, D.C.
4018 Seven years ago I counselled students at Boston University and Brandeis University in Boston during the time of the civil rights movement and the Vietnam protests. In Toronto I am a member of the Citizens for Local Democracy and the Toronto Mobilization for Global Justice.
4019 However, I am before the CRTC today because I was a listener to CIUT 89.5 FM campus community radio in Toronto.
4020 My sense of fair play and democracy was shocked when CIUT was shut down and radically transformed and free speech was voided.
4021 Other intervenors will deal with the details associated with the takeover of CIUT, so as an engineer and a citizen I would like to discuss the process and the ethics of the coup. Since this is the Radio-Television and Communications Commission I will make my presentation in the form of a radio drama.
4022 Scene 1: You are listening to Radio Noon on CBC:
"There was a noisy demonstration today on the University of Toronto campus as protestors objected to the appearance of a reputed anti-Semite to speak at the university. You have just heard the president of the university saying that he personally found the man's views repugnant, but he defended his freedom to speak. The president went on to defend the university's responsibility to protect freedom of speech and expression."
4023 Scene 2: A few days later, on October the 1st -- October seems to be a very busy month.
4024 On October the 1st, 1999 students and programmers arrive at radio station CIUT to find the doors locked and a note taped to the door "Station Closed".
4025 This was the note and it did mention -- in talking about meetings:
"CIUT will hold a members only meeting as soon as it can be arranged on space in the campus." (As read)
4026 Well, this meeting has never taken place.
4027 Scene 3: October the 12th, CIUT is on the air again, but it is a new regime. There has been a takeover, what journalists would call a bloodless coup. All, or most all, are welcome back.
"But first, please sign this contract. It's more or less the old contract. You didn't see anything, you know nothing, and even if you are, you are forbidden to talk about it. Just sign here."
4028 Not all are welcome back to return to the sanitized, restructured campus community radio. Five volunteer programmers need not apply. In fact, they are banished to outer silence, hopefully never to be heard again.
4029 Stop the tape.
4030 Let's go back to the B.C. days before the coup and try to find out why this happened.
4031 Scene 4: CIUT was a lively, interesting radio station delivering a variety of words and music to listeners throughout southern Ontario and northern New York State. CIUT was one of the few media outlets which provided alternative news and commentaries for the campus and the community, as was and still is their mandate from the CRTC.
4032 They reported on the cutbacks, downloading and controversies with the Conservative Government at the Ontario Legislature and at the Toronto City Hall. They helped to disclose the secrets of the MAI and defeat the MAI and generally educate the public about globalization, privatization and corporatization. The spoken words truly were outspoken.
4033 Scene 5: Hundreds of people are protesting granting of an Honourary Degree from the University of Toronto to kinder and gentler George Bush. University professors are walking out of this ceremony just as the same president of the university is making the presentation. The university's dedication to freedom of speech and expression is being put to the test. Was this the final straw?
4034 Is the shutting down of CIUT and a gagging of a few unpaid volunteer programmers the response?
4035 Scene 6: Back to the present.
4036 Peace has returned to CIUT. The CRTC has slipped into the management of CIUT and unilaterally approved a new interim, independent, impartial station manager and president. A few giggles can be heard in the audience because they know that the supreme one is a member of the university governing council and has profited from the university student handbook.
4037 So now bring in the lawyers and the spin doctors. The story will be:
"A few volunteer programmers were troublemakers, responsible for management and financial problems."
4038 Ignore the fact that they were unpaid volunteers and had nothing to do with the management or the expenses. To fix the management we will arbitrarily choose a community member for the board and we will have a quick, one-week election, and put three student representatives on the board by acclamation, and the one man, president/station manager, is on the board with voting rights. That fixes the management.
4039 Now for the finances.
"We will change the whole structure and mandate of a campus community radio station. We will sell off the whole night spot from midnight to 6:00 a.m. to a private commercial corporation and balance the budget with one lucrative deal. It will be privatization and globalization and we will call it `One World, One Radio' available on the Internet around the world. Forget the community, we are going for the world."
4040 In press releases from the people at CIUT, some of the press releases -- first of all, we keep talking about CIUT-FM. It is no longer CIUT-FM, it is "89.5 One World, One Radio". That is the new name.
4041 But still, the radio station is a potent tool for people seeking to advance the goals of social justice and alternative programming. It is important to note that the station programming will remain intact. It is the station's attempt to live up to its mandate to provide a forum for alternative broadcasting and those committed to progressive thought and action through the spoken word and music shows.
4042 Scene 7: Here we are in Hull, far from the range of CIUT, and happy to be here, not, as Mr. Jean-Pierre Blais of the CRTC wrote to the lawyers:
"It is important that the hearing be held a time when it would be possible to ensure the greatest opportunity for public participation..." (As read)
4043 Or, as Diane Rhéaume wrote to myself:
"We also hope that your efforts, together with ours, will result in a greater participation by the general public in all our public processes. (As read)
4044 End of quotation.
4045 I am sure that the CRTC wants to do the right thing, but this is not public participation and full disclosure.
4046 The president/station manager claims that, quote:
"The vast majority of stakeholders of CIUT support the various steps taken." (As read)
4047 And also:
"The board has now regained the confidence of its listenership." (As read)
4048 How does he know this and who are the stakeholders? The so-called various steps have never been discussed on air or off the air. Several weeks ago, there were pleas on CIUT asking listeners to phone in if they supported the station.
4049 Support for what? Why do they need support? Did hey mean if the listeners supported jazz or rock and roll or would like new music, was the result 150 for rock and roll and 175 for jazz?
4050 To conclude with the epilogue. So what is to be done? Other intervenors and the CRTC itself will come up with ideas and possible solutions. I can say only that the process should be open and democratic and held in a location within the CIUT listening area where the public can be informed and involved.
4051 In the interim, the station should be given a provisional licence to operate for a period of time, say one year, with conditions such as outlined by the Volunteer Action Committee. Also during that time, public forums should be held in order to inform and engage the study body, the administration, the faculty and the community at large with our great tradition of free speech and democracy.
4052 So thank you very much.
4053 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you, Mr. Troy.
4054 Commissioner Noël?
4055 COMMISSIONER NOËL: I have no questions.
4056 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: You have no questions.
4057 Thank you very much and thank you for having come to meet with us this afternoon.
4058 Thank you.
4059 MS POIRIER: The next intervention is presented by Manuel Canales.
--- Pause / Pause
4060 MS POIRIER: I guess we will move on to the Voluntary Action Committee to save CIUT, Michael Craig.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4061 MR. CRAIG: Good afternoon.
4062 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good afternoon.
4063 MR. CRAIG: Thank you very much for hearing from us today, somewhat belatedly I suppose because the events about which we are very concerned occurred over the summer of 1999 and, of course, on October 1 of 1999. Since then there has been a lot water under proverbially speaking under the bridge.
4064 We submitted a 28-page brief to the CRTC in August. I would like to make sure if I may, Commissioners, that you have that brief now because it seems to have gone astray, that is it was submitted in August, lost and then I had to fax a copy on Monday.
4065 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: That is the brief of the 21st of August?
4066 MR. CRAIG: That is correct, exactly.
4067 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: We have it.
4068 MR. CRAIG: Good. Thank you.
4069 Because I presume you have not, for the most part, had an opportunity to read that brief, I think I would like to begin by giving you a brief summary of some of the key points, starting with the conclusion of our introduction on page 2.
4070 "We recommend that the Commission issues a substantial and detailed directive to CIUT management to remedy its failings and renew its licence for one year only in order to review its compliance. Putting UTCRI on probation with a conditional short-term licence renewal will serve the best interests of the station's constituencies and audience and the CRTC". (As read)
4071 I will now review what we consider to be some of those deficiencies, some of the problems that we think exist, not only in the past, not only before October and from October into the new year, but in fact problems which currently exist and amount to non-compliance by CIUT-FM towards the regulations of the CRTC, in particular the 2000-12 regulations published in January.
4072 In the addendum that I have just distributed to you, I have tried to boil it all down. I am sympathetic to the fact that you are inundated with paper and with complex issues and when I have looked at it, and tried to look at it from the perspective of the CRTC and your regulatory responsibilities, it seems to come down to a couple of simple things, and I have headlined it CIUT-FM Today, Management Issues, and CIUT-FM Today, Programming Issues, my point being that we are not talking history, we are talking right now, and we are talking where CIUT is going if you renew its licence without any directives.
4073 CIUT is in effect, if I may read, controlled by the station manager and programming director, making a mockery of the CRTC's directives concerning a campus community partnership.
4074 Its board of directors is numerically dominated by university appointees. According to current and recently terminated volunteer programmers, management decisions are often arbitrary and unfair. It is a very different picture from that presented by the group from UTCRI.
4075 I ask a couple of questions of you because I think you have to deal with some very important issues at this point in time when you are dealing with one of the first renewals under 2012.
4076 Is the CRTC truly committed to equal representation from the campus and community on the board of directors and hence in the development of the station's mandate and programming? And despite its determination not to intervene in internal management problems, can the CRTC afford to ignore authoritarian management procedures and the deplorable lack of communication and collaboration with volunteers and the community?
4077 In the area of programming, we are concerned that contrary to its mandate and current promise of performance, and without any public input, CIUT has been transformed into a music station, with an absolute minimum week spoken word programming relegated to day time hours. They make no mention of the fact that they have "ghetto-ized" spoken word programming between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and the rest of the broadcast day is given over to music programming.
4078 They also make no mention in their presentation of the fact that they have sold the overnight slot, midnight to 6 a.m., to virtually a webcaster or Internet broadcaster. They have sold it for a substantial amount of money which is the primary way that they have managed to balance their budget.
4079 They argue this was necessary, in fact, in order for CIUT to move into the black. I would question that because they are operating a radio station with an extremely strong signal heard from Buffalo to Peterborough to Cobourg, in the largest city in Canada. If you can't make a financial go of a campus community station in that city, under those circumstances, if you can't attract enough listeners and enough advertising, then you have to wonder why they are in the business in the first place.
4080 In our brief -- and I know, of course, that you will read it at your leisure, all 28 pages of it with appendices -- we have specified what we would consider to be appropriate directives, perhaps you would call them mandatory orders, given to CIUT in order to correct deficiencies in management, community consultation and programming. And I would like to touch on a few of those if I may.
4081 This presupposes having read the rest of the proposal, but I think the points will be clear in any case.
4082 As we have outlined, the state of programming management and community input at CIUT-FM is still deplorable nearly a year after the takeover by a narrow group of student politicians and a university representative. The new board of directors was flawed in composition, tainted in formative process, secretive in operation and questionable as to whether it is running management or management is running it.
4083 We therefore have proposed that CIUT should -- and we hope that the CRTC will see its way clear to provide this kind of direction -- remodel the board of directors. The board of directors must be reformed to comply with Paragraph 56 of 2000-12.
4084 Now, they have, of course, put forward some proposals, bylaws, which we haven't seen and you haven't seen at this stage, which apparently will be compliant with Paragraph 56. We will believe it when we see it.
4085 I asked for a copy of those draft bylaws last week, and I was specifically denied access to them. Maybe you will have better luck, as promised a few minutes ago.
4086 We also find it to be extremely important that CIUT improve its communications with all constituencies. The shocking lack of communication and collaboration from the CIUT-FM management -- no open meetings, no information -- must be reversed for the community and volunteers to have any input at the station, let alone the full partnership envisaged in the new CRTC policy.
4087 CIUT should be informed that a close, secretive authoritarian management style -- and as strong as those words are, make no mistake that is really the way it is today at CIUT -- is undesirable and counterproductive, especially in a volunteer driven not-for-profit organization.
4088 We are aware of the fact that midnight to 6 a.m is supposed to be unregulated time, but we do not think that the CRTC -- and please correct me if I am wrong -- ever anticipated that that would mean that that slot could be sold off to a commercial corporation, a webcaster, in order to program and broadcast rave and dance music along with commercials.
4089 Even though you have said hands off to the midnight to 6 a.m. slot, I think you really should, if I may respectfully suggest, be reconsidering whether that move on the part of CIUT was in any sense acceptable from the perspective of this CRTC mandate and CIUT bylaws.
4090 I think perhaps personally I feel most strongly about spoken word programming. CIUT used to be a leader in spoken word with well over 35 per cent, with significant programs in the 6 to 9 p.m. prime time hours.
4091 Today, we assert that it is less than 25 per cent, although they are saying 28 per cent. We consider it to be well less than 25 per cent spoken word programming.
4092 We are also very concerned to hear CIUT suggesting that music programming, portions of music programming, whether it's talk, can be called spoken word programming. This is doublespeak.
4093 I would suggest to you, if I may, that if you accept that definition, if you accept spoken word material within music programs as spoken word programming, you will find yourself in a situation where a station, not necessarily CIUT, can have only really 12 to 15 per cent spoken word programming, so-called dedicated spoken word programming and they are making up the rest through their music programming.
4094 I think it would make your 25 per cent requirement quite meaningless, so I think some very strong direction must be given to CIUT on that score.
4095 MS POIRIER: Mr. Craig.
4096 MR. CRAIG: Yes.
4097 MS POIRIER: Could you come to a conclusion, please?
4098 MR. CRAIG: Yes.
4099 MS POIRIER: Thank you.
4100 MR. CRAIG: I'm aware of the problem of time. I have been aware of it for weeks as I contemplated this presentation.
4101 There are two or three reasons why I'm hoping that you will take firm action. This is a precedent setting decision you will make with regard to the CIUT licence. We do want it to be renewed, but we want it to be renewed for one year with substantial conditions. We outlined those conditions in detail in our brief to you.
4102 Lastly, I would like to end with a personal note on behalf of the people of the Volunteer Action Committee. We have been aligned by management, not just the management of last year, but the current management led by Mr. Burchell.
4103 It has been suggested that we are a group of crazies, trying to take over the station or that we were last year. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The takeover took place. It was truly a coup, but it was brought about by the President of the Students Administration Council of that time, Matt Leonard.
4104 We were nothing, if not reasonable and conciliatory. I think you will find our letters appended to our brief make that very, very clear.
4105 You have a big job ahead of you. I wish you well.
4106 Thank you.
4107 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much. I would ask Vice-Chair Colville to ask our questions.
4108 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Thank you very much. I only have a few questions. I'm not sure really where to start. I did read your brief.
4109 MR. CRAIG: Thank you.
4110 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: And in particular the recommendations for conditions towards the end I guess, beginning on page 12.
4111 We have sat here and listened to the presentation by the panel, by the representatives of CIUT. They and their lawyer have indicated to us that they are meeting all of the conditions now. As you have noted, we get to see the new -- what's the term I'm looking for -- by-laws, but they have indicated they will file those with us.
4112 I presume, given the comments from Mr. Angus and Mr. Burchell, that those by-laws may address many of the concerns that you have raised in your suggested conditions, remodelling the Board of Directors, democratize the board and so on. I presume the by-laws will address most of those issues, so we will have to judge that once we see those by-laws which they will file with us, within seven days I think it was indicated. Hopefully those can address many of the structural issues that you have raised in your written brief and again here today.
4113 It sounds to me from what they have indicated is that, notwithstanding your comment, that they are meeting both the letter and the spirit of our regulations now currently. Do I understand you to be indicating that that from your perspective is not the case?
4114 MR. CRAIG: Yes. I cannot suggest that we have done a substantive analysis of a full week's programming in order to work out the exact percentages, but I can tell you that they have relegated spoken word programming to the hours between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and often in listening to CIUT I have heard music programs during those hours as well.
4115 I fail to understand how they could possibly be near the 25 per cent level. Certainly they are not at the 35 per cent level of discrete spoken word programming that they offered in the promise of performance.
4116 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Now, this issue that you have raised about spoken word and music, do you mean that the content of the music itself is being characterized as spoken word or do you mean that between music selections the spoken word there is being characterized as spoken word and that's something you object to?
4117 MR. CRAIG: It is the latter. I understand that the intent of the applicant is that henceforth the talk between music selections will be characterized spoken word and particularly if, as is inevitable, an essentially music program has a 15 minute interview with an artist, they will call that a spoken word program.
4118 As I understand the way these terms were defined in the past, spoken word was one category of programs that applied to those that were predominantly spoken word in character.
4119 The other thing that we are very concerned about with regard to the spoken word apart from its "ghetto-ization" during the day when very few people are listening is the fact that there are no real news programs on CIUT and, as far as we know, none contemplated.
4120 There are many current affair magazine shows around particular topics, but there is little, if anything, that reports and comments on the news of the day.
4121 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: And that's a change from what was happening?
4122 MR. CRAIG: Yes. CIUT was in the past one of the strongest stations in the country with regard to spoken word programming. Today I would assert that it's very weak in comparison. As I say, summing it up, they have converted CIUT into a predominantly music station.
4123 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Now, Ms Isherwood in her comments said in commenting on communication that she's pleased and thankful to report that all that has changed, this lack of communications.
"Staff at CIUT is now accessible on a regular basis. Channel of communications so lacking in the past have now been established. Phones are answered and messages are relayed. Programmers are receiving feedback about their shows."
and on and on. What are we to assume other than lines of communication have changed from what apparently was a problem in the past?
4124 MR. CRAIG: From what she said, that would be the inevitable assumption. We have associated with the Volunteer Action Committee a number of programmers who are currently at CIUT. They report that there have been no general community meetings to which the public and listeners were invited and no general open volunteer meetings.
4125 They do have occasional little groupings of programmers and they have apparently been providing a bit of specific instruction around logger tapes and the like, but the people we have talked to have made several claims. First, that there are no notices up about meetings. There have been no general meetings of volunteers. No discussion of the direction of the station or new programming policies.
4126 A couple of them have asserted that they feel somewhat intimidated. They feel that if in any way they raise their head, ask questions, speak out against any management policies, they will be out there.
4127 I know you might legitimately ask "Who?". Sorry. That would not be very appropriate. They truly are not keen to put their heads up out of the foxhole.
4128 MR. CRAIG: Well, I guess we will have to see how the CIUT representatives respond to some of the allegations that you and others have made when they come back at the rebuttal stage. I think a lot of the issues that you and others have raised, hopefully at least will be addressed in the by-laws, certainly in terms of structure and perhaps outlining avenues of communications as well which we will have to review and assess at the time that the by-laws are filed with us.
4129 Just one last issue. I'm not sure what you would expect the Commission to do with this midnight show in view of the fact that apparently CIUT is living up to its 18 hour requirement and, as you pointed out, it is not time that the Commission would regulate in any event and if CIUT can use that time in order to help stabilize its financial situation, why should we consider that to be problematic?
4130 MR. CRAIG: I have no trouble explaining why it should be a problem, because to do that I ignore the fact that it's not part of your regulated time. It's a problem because they fired a lot of community programmers. It's a problem because they are playing a kind of dance and rave music which has never been part of the CIUT alternative music mix. It's a problem because they are running commercials, and the whole enterprise is now a commercialized for-profit enterprise within the bosom of a community campus station.
4131 These are all very significant problems, but I appreciate you have one too, that you never regulated that time from midnight to 6:00.
4132 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: It is more than that. It's outside their hourly requirement as well, as I understand it.
4133 MR. CRAIG: Well, to me, the CRTC -- I'm a simple fella, not a lawyer at all, a member of the public -- is there to regulate campus community radio in the best interests of the public. I don't think it is in the best interests that one quarter of the broadcast week be sold off to a corporate interest, especially one with a lot of advertising, a lot of corporate ties and a kind of music that has always been anathema to alternative radio.
4134 I would suggest respectfully that the CRTC should consider why it implemented that policy around non-intervention in the midnight to 6:00 a.m. time slot. I would tend to think it was in order to give programmers maximum flexibility, no hassles around Cancon, no hassles around nasty language. You know, you were giving programmers, as I would have assumed, from midnight to -- you are shaking your head.
4135 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: No. Counsel can correct me if I'm wrong, but the regulations apply during the night about nasty language, obscenities and the list of regulations.
4136 MR. CRAIG: Yes.
4137 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: You are right about flexibility vis-à-vis Cancon, logging, et cetera. But the broadcaster remains responsible for the generally applicable regulations all day, any time they are on the air. If they choose to be on the air between midnight and 6:00 in the morning, you don't log, you don't calculate content, you don't calculate spoken-word programming, but everything else applies.
4138 You mentioned nasty language. That's why I intervened.
4139 MR. CRAIG: Your point is well taken.
4140 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: All of the obscenities, discrimination, all of that applies.
4141 MR. CRAIG: That makes sense.
4142 I happen to feel -- if I can just sum this up -- that if every campus-based community station sold off its midnight to 6:00 a.m. to the highest corporate bidder there would be something very sadly missing in the campus community mix, the radio mix, across this country. That would be very sad and deplorable, in fact. If it would be deplorable if it happened universally, then I don't think that the precedent should be set of allowing it to happen at CIUT.
4143 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Okay. As I indicated, that was the last issue I wanted to raise as a result of your brief and your presentation.
4144 As I indicated, we will hear how the CIUT representatives respond to several of those issues that you have raised and we will certainly review the by-laws with the concerns you and the Volunteer Action Committee have raised in line.
4145 Thank you very much for your presentation.
4146 MR. CRAIG: Thank you.
4147 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
4148 MS POIRIER: The next intervention is presented by Bruce Cattle.
4149 MR. CATTLE: Thanks very much for allowing me to appear.
4150 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good afternoon. Welcome.
4151 You have been patient. You have been with us since early this morning.
4152 MR. CATTLE: I was going to try to have something written to share with you, but I'm not very good -- my bicycle and I had an intervention with Highway 33 the other day.
--- Laughter / Rires
4153 MR. CATTLE: I will just try to cover as much as I can in my 10 minutes.
4154 I'm trusting that the Commissioners have a copy and have read my written piece. Also, there are a number of places during it where I say "see enclosed" whatever. I'm hoping that all of that will go on the public record and be a part of the public record.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4155 MR. CATTLE: My main concern, a lot of people have used the words "takeover" and "coup" here and I think that those are the appropriate terms in this case.
4156 In a conversation with one of your colleagues, Brigitte Davlut, I asked her specifically around the terms of a licence and whether compliance is happening or not happening: What are the main concerns; what are the main issues; what is this about when a licence is up for renewal and what is the CRTC interested in?
4157 When I continued to have the conversation with Ms Davlut about this thing, I said: Then why did the CRTC get involved in the Interim Management Agreement? If governance and management are, for the most part, not a CRTC purview and programming is, then why did the Commission get involved with the interim management agreement?
4158 Her reply was because there was a threat that their station was going off the air. The reason why the Commission got involved was that there was a threat that the station was going to go off the air, that 89.5 FM was going to go dead air.
4159 The reason why I bring that up about the Interim Management Agreement is because what I'm asserting in my written submission and what I am asserting today is that the Interim Management Agreement was, in fact, obtained falsely, and that, overall, in effect, the actual takeover at the radio station was obtained falsely.
4160 The two major points that I have in my document to back me up are that, basically, before the October 1st locking out of the programmers, when the station actually changed the locks on the door, et cetera, on October 1st of 1999 the so-called general members of the board of directors left a memo in all of the volunteers' boxes on August the 10th. Okay? Several months almost before the October 1st takeover.
4161 In that August 10th memo to all the programmers at the station it said:
"We are now the senior general members, and because of certain situations at the station we have been forced to take over." (As read)
4162 What I found out in many correspondences between solicitor Zolf and your Commission is that a vote, the proper vote, to gain this authority was not made until nine days later. It has even been submitted by solicitor Zolf as quote/unquote "proof that the vote took place". So not only was it nine days after -- I'm saying that the actual takeover occurred before October 1st and was in fact August the 10th. There is a record of that meeting of the so-called general members, and there wasn't quorum at that meeting, so it wasn't a legal vote.
4163 In the correspondence from solicitor Zolf, it says:
"We recognize this fact and it will be taken care of later." (As read)
4164 It comes as a footnote at the bottom of one of the pages in his correspondence. They openly admit that the vote didn't take place properly and that they did not really have the authority, but: It's okay, you guys will be all right with that. Unfortunately, as time passed, there was not any more accountability about that.
4165 One of the number one concerns I have about the whole takeover is the fact that comes up and has been mentioned before here by a couple of other intervenors, and that is a letter that came from Heenan Blaikie on behalf of CIUT on December the 17th.
4166 The CRTC says:
"Could you please explain why and on what basis did you believe that an interim management agreement was needed, i.e. financial management issues, et cetera." (As read)
4167 Knowing full well that the station was well over $100,000 in debt and in severe, severe financial stress, nothing is mentioned in their answer about the severe financial stress. That is because they are looking for a scapegoat.
4168 I'm one of the five people who has been banished from the station for life, and I had a show there for 11 years.
4169 Originally, when I considered doing anything about what happened at the radio station, I decided for a while, for health problems, that I was going to completely withdraw. But when I got a hold of this correspondence from the Solicitors to the Commission, including this letter on December the 17th, I couldn't stay away, because it's filled with lies.
4170 I would like to implore the Commission to look further into CIUT's so-called reasons for taking over because it's the reason why you gave them the interim management agreement. That's why this whole thing about the takeover and the governance is CRTC purview, because you got involved with the interim management agreement. I'm saying that you gave them the interim management agreement under false pretences.
4171 The Board of Directors are all appointees and friends of the management. There was nothing duly elected about this Board of Directors.
4172 Ken Stower, who is listed as a community member is a volunteer programmer, period. It's not the proper designation for him. He has been appointed as a community rep. He's not a community rep at all. He's one of the programmers. But you folks just saw his name on a piece of paper and said, Gee! That looks great. They have got a board now.
4173 So my whole problem -- or one of my big problems with the whole takeover is this line here that says:
"A number of CIUT-FM volunteers attempted to wrest control on an unauthorized basis of the overall operations and management functions through intimidation, abuse and other threatening conduct. These actions potentially jeopardize the control arrangements of the licensee." (As read)
4174 I respectfully ask the Commission to delve into this affair deeper and ask CIUT more questions. There is absolutely no proof. I would like them to provide... I would like them to say, who is this small group, first of all, who was this small group that you think was attempting to wrest control, how were they attempting to wrest control and how did this affect the station going on the air or not going off the air. How is this such an unusual circumstance that it meant that they might go off the air? Because I have been on the Board several times and there have been lots of times where there wasn't any quorum.
4175 Well, the reason why there wasn't any quorum this time was that SAC President, Matt Lenner, refused to pay the liability insurance. And you know that on a Board of Directors, you need liability insurance, especially if there's a financial crisis happening.
4176 So basically, all the members of the Board, except the SAC members and the university's President's representative resigned from the Board because the Student Council members and the President's appointee are covered under the University of Toronto's liability, as far as I know. So they are covered. All the other people who are on the Board, their personal lives would be affected.
4177 So I'm saying this was a forced no-quorum by refusing to pay for the liability insurance, and one of the fundamental flaws...
4178 When we were granted our original licence in 1987, an official from your Commission said to some people at CIUT, we like the fact that you're programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but that Board of Directors is going to give you trouble from here on in. They criticized the way the Board of Directors was set up.
4179 Number one: It was top-heavy on the University of Toronto and still is. And of course, we got to the year 2000 and you have issued your new regulations, and hopefully, we will have a clear definition of what balance on the Board of Directors is.
4180 But from the very beginning, this power struggle that they speak of has happened from day one, and that is because there has been far too much control at the University of Toronto and it has never been a partnership between the campus and community. Campus community radio is an oxymoron in this case. And I always thought that it was a partnership, a partnership of progressive people who were together to provide radio that you couldn't hear anywhere else.
4181 Well, I found out, unfortunately that just was not true. This was, in effect, the radio club at the U of T who had invited in a few token members from the community.
4182 The reason I say that is that it's set up for the general members, what is called the general members. They are people from SAC and university's appointee. They are an elite group who go to the SAC annual general meeting. The other people that are on the Board of Directors are called "ordinary members". There is no annual general meeting for ordinary members. There is no annual general meeting for membership of CIUT.
4183 MS POIRIER: Mr. Cattle, could you please conclude?
4184 MR. CATTLE: Absolutely.
4185 MS POIRIER: Thank you.
4186 MR. CATTLE: I just want to conclude with what is happening at the present about the application.
4187 As Mr. Craig alluded to earlier, it's a fudge job on the spoken word on this, especially on the news. As I know it, news has a definition in your glossary of terms. I also have heard that every FM station has to have three hours of that every week.
4188 Well, sorry, but they are scamming you on this one. Those numbers are all fudged. The shows that they say are one-one that are news are current affairs magazine type shows, they are not news broadcasts, okay. So that's a falsification in the application. I wanted to put that on the record, that it's a falsification in the application, the present application.
4189 The second falsification in the present application is the question where it says, have any changes to the constitution or the by-laws been made since the last application. Well, of course, they have. That's what the big argument is about, the by-laws. Absolutely, and they have been using them. The by-laws have been changed and different ones have been used in practice from 1994 to 1999. For example, students and volunteers had one more representative on the Board through that.
4190 This was changed back to the 1989 by-laws in March of '99 election after there was no Board of Directors for three months and just after the task force report.
4191 So I'm saying that the present application indeed has been falsified. In other words, Mr. Burchell stated in the application that no changes to the constitution or by-laws have occurred since the last application, and indeed, they have and in practice, they were used. So that's a pretty serious thing, to submit a false application for a licence renewal. Thanks.
4192 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
4193 I would ask Commissioner Wilson to ask our questions, please.
4194 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Thank you.
4195 Mr. Cattle, thank you for being here and for bringing your perspective to us. I wanted to pursue with you just on a couple of things. I wonder if you could -- since you were there and were a part of CIUT for a long time, was it the case that there was no station manager in place after September 1998?
4196 MR. CATTLE: Yes.
4197 COMMISSIONER WILSON: And that programming -- the programming director and other paid staff were laid off in July of 1999 due to lack of funds.
4198 MR. CATTLE: Yes.
4199 COMMISSIONER WILSON: And you talked about the financial crisis that the station was experiencing.
4200 MR. CATTLE: Yes.
4201 COMMISSIONER WILSON: The debt load and what not.
4202 You also talked about the lack of liability insurance. Were you familiar... I don't know if you had access to the budget figures, but how much that would cost them?
4203 MR. CATTLE: I was told it was approximately $2,200. You can check with them about that, but I was told it was a little over $2,000.
4204 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Okay. Would you not think that maybe those indicators, the lack of management on-site, severe financial crisis, would be reason for the Commission to be concerned about whether or not the station was going to be able to continue operating?
4205 MR. CATTLE: Absolutely.
4206 COMMISSIONER WILSON: So I'm wondering, you talked about your conversation with our staff, about the pretences under which the temporary management agreement was given or approved by the CRTC and you said you felt that it was obtained under false pretences, based on the notion that the station might go dark.
4207 MR. CATTLE: Because I mentioned that in the December 17th correspondence between the U of T lawyer, and basically, my answer to that is that this question here that says, could you please explain why and on what basis you believe the agreement was needed, and instead of the fact that the station was just about bankrupt and in disarray management wise and board wise, they say it was about a small group of very mouthy people who were trying to wrest control of the licence. Well, I contend that that's absolutely false. That's my point.
4208 COMMISSIONER WILSON: What would lead them to characterize it that way, do you think? I mean, it's hard for us, because we were not there. But what would lead them to characterize it in that way?
4209 MR. CATTLE: I don't know whether I could answer that, really. But there were many... You see, this basically says: "A number of CIUT volunteers". In another version of it, it says: "A small number of volunteers". And as I know it, there were dozens of people who were involved in a dissenting way about what was happening around the station. Basically, there were people going to board meetings saying, you can't spend much more money. We are going to go under here. There may be some drastic things that you have to do, and they were proposed.
4210 It got to the point where those with dissident views were not allowed in to have their dissident views. The rules were basically bent out of shape so that those dissident views could not be heard.
4211 So, you know, you would have to ask them those questions.
4212 My main question is that in my contention, this small group of volunteers attempting to wrest control on an unauthorized basis is absolutely false.
4213 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Okay. With respect to your comments and concerns about governance, from what you have heard here today about the process that has been undertaken to redraft the by-laws and to respond to some of the concerns that have been raised over the past number of months, were you satisfied with what you heard?
4214 MR. CATTLE: No. I'm sorry, I heard it as --
4215 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Not at all.
4216 MR. CATTLE: I heard it as window dressing. I heard it as not really addressing what's truly at heart here. The by-laws, you can change all the by-laws and you can fudge all your numbers about Cancon and you can produce a logger tape or two.
4217 What I'm trying to contend is that you can't -- what I was trying to explain to Brigitte Davlut was that what if the Commission found out that the interim management agreement was obtained under false pretences? Would that not be a serious matter? What if the Commission found out that the takeover was obtained under false pretences? Would that not be a considerably serious matter? That's my whole -- one of my main points here.
4218 COMMISSIONER WILSON: If I can just ask you one final question. You made the comment that the Board of Directors was top heavy in terms of university representation.
4219 MR. CATTLE: Right.
4220 COMMISSIONER WILSON: I'm just wondering if you might share with us your views about considering it's a campus station, what do you think would be an appropriate balance in terms of representation?
4221 MR. CATTLE: The thing that's quite obvious right now is that the student council has four seats. The reason why the student council, I guess, wishes to retain four seats is because they think they are a major -- they are a parent controlling interest because of the student levy. Okay?
4222 COMMISSIONER WILSON: And those four seats are --
4223 MR. CATTLE: I feel that one of the problems is that the four seats -- one of the main reasons why the four seats are there is to somehow make sure that that right and authority of them to be the conduit for the levy money will continue to be theirs.
4224 In other words, at the University of Toronto, the Varsity newspaper gets a small levy from the undergraduate students, but the money goes directly to the Varsity. It doesn't get funnelled through the student activity -- administrative council. I think that's a fundamental flaw here.
4225 They are abusing this situation because they want to call themselves the parent controlling agent or whatever it is. There is nothing in the letters of incorporation or any of the by-laws that states that the students, the undergraduate students are "the owners of the station".
4226 That's what I meant by top heavy on the University of Toronto. The volunteers should have at least four representatives on the Board of Directors and not three as opposed to the 1989 by-laws. If there are university representatives on the Board of Directors, it should be divided up into more other constituencies on the campus other than just the student administrative council.
4227 There are other constituencies on the campus that could be part of this balanced board such as the part time students association, such as the graduates students association, such as members of faculty.
4228 I'm not opposed to it being a balance. I am absolutely encouraged to hear that you have come out with your 2000-12 regulations. It addresses I think one of the fundamental problems through all these years that we have had campus community radio is that there has never been a proper balance between the campus and the community.
4229 If there are situations where they want to call themselves throughout "the controlling interest", then how can you ever have a partnership if there is always a controlling interest?
4230 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Well, thank you, Mr. Cattle. We appreciate your input into this process.
4231 MR. CATTLE: Thank you for listening.
4232 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Thank you very much.
4233 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
4234 MS POIRIER: I would like to invite Mr. Adam Bretholz, University of Toronto Students Administrative Council.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4235 MR. BRETHOLZ: Hello.
4236 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good afternoon. Welcome.
4237 MR. BRETHOLZ: Thank you. I haven't been to Ottawa since I was 11, so your apology at the beginning wasn't needed for me. I just have a few things jotted down that I would like to present to the Commission on behalf of my constituency.
4238 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: I'm sorry, can you --
4239 MR. BRETHOLZ: Am I too far from the microphone?
4240 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Yes. You are a bit too far.
4241 MR. BRETHOLZ: Sorry. Is that better?
4242 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: It's a bit better, yes. Maybe just raise it. That would help.
4243 MR. BRETHOLZ: Okay. Is that fine? Speak up. Okay. I don't want to blow you away. That's all. Okay.
4244 My name is Adam Bretholz. I am the President of the Students Administrative Council at the University of Toronto this year. I was elected March 29. I was actually at each and every one of the protests that was named by the first speaker and I am sympathetic to those.
4245 I am here to speak to you about the relationship between CIUT and the University of Toronto undergraduate community. Although there is a corporate relationship between SAC and CIUT, outside of major emergencies and the financial support given by each and every undergraduate student at the University of Toronto towards the station and the three duly elected representatives that we have sitting on the Board of Directors, SAC remains at arm's length of the body and is not involved in the day to day management and operation of the station. I think that that needs to be clarified.
4246 As well, I just want to discuss campus radio, campus community radio, in general here with the Commission and the importance of it to the University of Toronto community and to the students at the University of Toronto.
4247 As many of you know, university isn't just about studying in books. It's also about the extracurricular involvement of the students and that's really a major part of what graduates take away from their university experience. CIUT is integral to that for many students at the university, not just to be involved in administration itself, but listening and being involved in different aspects of the station.
4248 I think that CIUT offers a unique opportunity for students to be involved within the broadcast industry, to learn the craft of radio and to participate in a station that reflects the diversity at the University of Toronto station that's programming policies are inclusive and reflect that diversity.
4249 Students involved in the spoken word shows are also given an excellent opportunity to really show their political activism. One of my favourite shows on the air, Radio OPIRG, is a weekly spoken word program. That's a form for the OPIRG, which is the Ontario Public Interest Research Group which is a University of Toronto group funded as well through a student levy. They have a show on the air which is well listened to by students on campus and the community as well.
4250 The participation in spoken word programming offers students an opportunity to engage in investigative journalism. It gives them an opportunity to disseminate that information to their fellow students and to the community and gives them an opportunity as well to meet professionals in their field of interest. It's a wonderful opportunity for students to get involved in the station itself.
4251 I guess sort of an update on where we are in terms of working with the station more this year, we have been involved and in cooperation with the station for our orientation event. We do a massive street party on St. George. We have great music and live bands. This year was broadcast on air. There was tons of students that came out to sign up for the volunteer shirts.
4252 We have got well over a hundred interested parties from within the university community who want to get involved in the station this year and really feel that it's a place where they will be accepted and welcomed in and incorporated into the going-ons of the station and into the programming and the management and into the station as a whole. I think that that's really exciting.
4253 One of the students this year -- well, my sister is a frosh -- sorry, my sister is a first year student this year and very excited in being involved.
4254 I guess, on a personal note, I feel confident with the management of the station and their ability to keep the station on track, to keep it stable, to keep it accountable and allow it to flourish and grow and to really set up that framework that will allow new volunteers to come in and participate within the station.
4255 That's pretty much all I wanted to say on behalf of SAC itself.
4256 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much for taking the time to come and meet with us. I think your point of view is pretty clear, that your commitment and your involvement is very much there on a daily basis but also on the public record in terms of --
4257 I have maybe just a question. There has been a discussion with other intervenors about the balance between campus and community. Do you have any comment about that?
4258 MR. BRETHOLZ: I guess one of the things that I tried to clear up is that we have three representatives on the board of directors. I don't feel that there is a balance towards students rather than the community, and I would like to see more of a partnership, as was discussed earlier, be developed. But I think that it is misleading to say that there is some sort of a stranglehold by the students on the station. I don't think that that is the case.
4259 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: What about the programming? Do you feel that what you are hearing and what listeners have is a balance, too, in terms of the programming?
4260 MR. BRETHOLZ: No. I don't think that the balance is there, but I don't think that the imbalance is towards more student programming versus community.
4261 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So it might not be balanced but not more to community the imbalance than towards the university students, in your point of view.
4262 MR. BRETHOLZ: That's right.
4263 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you for taking the time to come and meet with us.
4264 MR. BRETHOLZ: My pleasure.
4265 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
4266 MR. BRETHOLZ: Thank you.
4267 MS POIRIER: I would now like to invite Margaret Hancock.
4268 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good afternoon.
4269 MS HANCOCK: Good afternoon.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4270 MS HANCOCK: Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today as you consider CIUT-FM's licence renewal.
4271 I am Margaret Hancock. I'm the Warden of Heart House at the University of Toronto and the co-author of the 1999 report on the Task Force on University of Toronto Radio.
4272 In my intervention, I will refer to the organizational turmoil experienced by CIUT in 1998-99 and speak to the recommendations of the task force and my observations on the positive change which the station is now experiencing.
4273 In February 1999, the situation at CIUT was so destructive and unsustainable, both financially and operationally, that the president of University of Toronto established a two-person task force charged with developing a vision and a structure to reorganize CIUT so that it could be successful.
4274 At that time, the situation had deteriorated so much that the Board was unable to make decisions because there were not enough directors to constitute quorum. Day-to-day decisions were being made by the president of SAC representing the full-time undergraduate students who are the owners and financial supporters of the radio station.
4275 The animosity between some staff and some volunteers had created an environment which was poison for everyone. The volunteers, staff and interested members of the university felt that they had done everything they could think of and more to resolve the issues. The future of the station was at stake we all believed, and no one wanted to lose this wonderful resource for the campus and the community. The situation was dire and I feel that there has been a lot said today that would lead people to be one way or the other about that. I feel, having examined it at some length, that the magnitude of the problems were huge.
4276 The president considered the radio station to be so important to the community that he commited significant legal, financial and administrative resources to the task force for its almost Royal Commission type process.
4277 I was asked to co-chair it not only because I am intensely involved as a senior manager, concerned with student life outside the classroom at the university but also because I have extensive experience in the Toronto community with social justice issues and in bringing disparate groups together.
4278 As an adult educator, I have spent my life working and volunteering in community-based non-profit organizations with volunteer boards and passionate staff and volunteers.
4279 The applicant's presentation made reference to the 65 recommendations of the task force which were well received by the stakeholders and the community. The recommendations set forth the basis of a plan for the future of CIUT which I believe is realistic, achievable and sustainable. They covered aspects of vision, partnership, finances, staff relations, volunteer relations, licence issues and organizational structure. They considered the involvement of the campus community and the wider community and the balance of that in the life of the station.
4280 The recommendations included a plan for their implementation acknowledging that until strength and stability in management and the board were in place a systematic approach to achieving the long-term goals would be impaired if not impossible.
4281 In spite of the subsequent crisis in October 1999, of which you have heard much today, which delayed the implementation and interfered with the momentum to resolve the conflicts and achieve a balance for the station, I think that the task force recommendations are being well implemented following the establishment of the temporary management arrangements.
4282 As you have heard in the words of some of our programmers, Ian Angus and Barbara Isherwood, Brian Burchell has brought stability, decision-making and an increasing sense of order to the daily affairs of the station. I can see that in the near future CIUT will be in a position to implement some of the longer term recommendations around building campus community partnerships, which we all want.
4283 In addition, a new board of directors has been constituted which has representation from across the membership of the station. In particular, I'm very pleased that the student and community volunteers who are on the board demonstrate an understanding of and a commitment to the vision articulated by the task force, which we feel is in the best short and long-term interests of the station.
4284 Because there is now strength in both management and governance at the station, there is an appropriate division of labour and clear lines of authority between the decisions about day-to-day management and policy. From my experience in organizational development, I think that this factor is crucial to sustain the long-term viability of an organization.
4285 I am so convinced that CIUT is on the right track in terms of both management and governance that I have agreed to be the president's designate on the board of directors and have accepted the position of secretary of the board. From what you have heard today you might think I'm a little out of my mind, but, hey, we love this station and we want it to work.
4286 From that perspective, I can tell you that the Board has a great deal of clarity and consensus about maintaining a balanced way forward which will be necessary to keep the station on track in the next few years.
4287 In closing, the task force was so concerned about the necessity for a commitment to the implementation of its recommendations about station operations and a balance between campus and community that we went so far as to recommend that the students' administrative council considered withdrawing its funding if things were not radically and visibly improved by the spring of 2000.
4288 Although in October 1999 things looked grim, because the station is now running so well and is seen to be running well SAC has been able to continue funding the station. In a year, CIUT has emerged from being a chaotic organization from which people were fleeing in great numbers to being a vibrant, open, viable, democratic and accountable organization in which campus and community members are increasingly proud to participate.
4289 Thanks for the opportunity to talk to you today.
4290 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you, Ms Hancock.
4291 I would ask Commissioner Wilson to ask our questions.
4292 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Thank you, Ms Hancock. You can appreciate the challenge that we face, considering that we are hearing two almost diametrically opposed views of what went on and what is still going on at the station. I will ask you just a couple of questions to try and help us build a record on which we can make a decision.
4293 You talked in your remarks about the fact that there were not enough directors to constitute quorum and we have heard about that before. In your view, what led to that? There has been some discussion of whether or not it was the president of SAC refusing to pay liability insurance and that that's what forced him to resign.
4294 MS HANCOCK: I wasn't on the board at that point, so I am talking out of the information we gathered --
4295 COMMISSIONER WILSON: I wondered if you looked at that --
4296 MS HANCOCK: Yes --
4297 COMMISSIONER WILSON: -- through the task force.
4298 MS HANCOCK: -- as part of the task force, and what we heard from people that we were interviewing at the time.
4299 My understanding of it was this poison environment, I think it worked both ways. I think personal relations were incredibly tense for a number of months and maybe years leading up to that time. I do think that our conclusion was that, while numerically there are more students apparently on the Board, I think the actual power lay with the volunteer members who were present in the organization at that time because they have the continuity.
4300 So students turn over every year. It is very hard to get more than a couple of years continuity with students. Volunteers -- and you have seen and heard from many who are dedicated here today -- get to stay on for a long time. So over time I think that results in a definite shift in power. It can be good, it can be bad, but it is about power.
4301 COMMISSIONER WILSON: And it is not necessarily numerical?
4302 MS HANCOCK: I don't think it is necessarily numerical. I think the by-laws are attempting to redress that in some way, but I think there are other things that need to happen around how students can have access into the station, how they get access into programs.
4303 You were asking earlier about orientation. I think that is an incredibly important place where students get to learn enough so that they can have some more power and real access in that station. So there are a number of ways in which things were out of whack.
4304 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Of course, we like for them to understand all our regulations and policies.
4305 MS HANCOCK: Absolutely.
4306 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Could you comment -- I don't know, you obviously have been here listening and you have heard the description from the letter sent to the Commission by CIUT's legal counsel wherein it was posited that there were a small number of volunteers who were trying to wrest control of the station. What would have led CIUT's legal counsel to have characterized it that way, do you think, based on what you saw there?
4307 MS HANCOCK: That people were trying to wrest control? That those are accurate words?
4308 I would say that people were trying to save the station, and I think from all places that is what people were trying to do.
4309 You have seen and said yourself that there are diametrically opposed points of view about how that could be done and I think from the people who remained afterwards -- and that included SAC who did have financial obligations and there is no question that that drove ultimately a lot of the decision-making about how to change things -- there was a struggle for control of the station and I think folks who now feel like they don't have heart in the station have not recognized enough the seriousness of the financial situation.
4310 That's not all that it was about, but you can't ignore that and go forward, and there were some real problems there.
4311 COMMISSIONER WILSON: So in your view, I believe you said this, there were sort of two phases to the resurrection of the station. The first phase during which you restore order and financial stability and then the second phase, which is the longer term reaching out, building partnerships, in some cases new partnerships I would imagine.
4312 MS HANCOCK: Yes, absolutely.
4313 I think there is tremendous excitement right now around the station. I hear people talking more about radio at U of T. Adam told you about the number of people this year from -- we have just been through frosh week and orientation, which was very exciting, and that is a good number of folks coming forward wanting to be engaged this year.
4314 But people need to feel like it is a welcoming place, that it is an exciting place to be or they will leave very quickly. There is tons to do in Toronto and they don't need to waste their time at a place that has acrimony and financial problems and where they aren't going to get a quality experience in a fairly short space of time as students.
4315 I think the same goes for the community. People want to work somewhere where it is an attractive place to be, where their voices are constructive and heard rather than seen as destructive.
4316 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Thank you, Ms Hancock.
4317 MS HANCOCK: Thank you.
4318 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Thank you for making the trip.
4319 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much.
4320 We will take 10 minutes and be back to complete Phase II and then the rebuttal.
--- Upon recessing at 1620 / Suspension à 1620
--- Upon resuming at 1640 / Reprise à 1640
4321 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Welcome back.
4322 Madam Secretary.
4323 MS POIRIER: Next we have Friends of CIUT, Angela Miles, to present her intervention.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4324 MS MILES: Thank you.
4325 My name is Angela Miles. I am here to intervene on behalf of Friends of CIUT. I am a Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.
4326 I want to begin by saying that the Friends of CIUT is not an organization or a group with members, it is a loosely -- loose network, if you want to say, of, I would go so far as to say, hundreds of people who have been concerned by this situation in Toronto.
4327 I have petitions here with 526 signatures that was put together back in November with an attempt to present these at the SAC meeting, without success.
4328 I have 106 names of people who have been involved in and discussions around the brief, and so on, just to make it very clear that this wasn't too much chutzpa on my part to make that claim.
4329 I think you can appreciate the difficulty -- you probably feel something of that difficulty yourselves -- of the intervenors in this situation because we aren't opposing this licence. We value this licence. We value the station greatly.
4330 There is not a struggle here between two groups who want the licence, there is a different kind of an issue at stake. I think it is one that will require quite a bit of information on your part in your decision-making.
4331 Friends of CIUT would like to strongly, strongly suggest that you try to find a way to have a consultation in Toronto at some point before February 2001 to get a picture here. I'm not talking about a picture to see what happened and what was done, but to work on how this station can best move forward into the future.
4332 I think what we have here is two different -- perhaps two different visions of the station and two different ideas of how this thing can work viably, financially, in terms of governments and, in fact, can serve the campus and the community.
4333 The way I see it -- and I am not one of those currently inside the station, I never was, I was simply a listener.
4334 The way I see it is, there is one attempt to deal with a deeply flawed governance structure, problems that have been alluded to over and over again by presenters for a full renewal and presenters for a one-year provisional renewal, and so on, which is a board structure which is hugely skewed toward undergraduate students -- I will go on in that in some detail, as much as I can in my 10 minutes -- who see a solution to that as, in what I will argue is somewhat more of the same or an exaggeration of that condition, an intensification of that as a solution. I think that is flawed.
4335 The other set of intervenors are proposing ways of drawing on other resources and strengthening the station in such as way as to develop what is a real partnership and a governance structure that can actually recognize all the strengths that need to be called upon to have a community station, a community campus station that fulfils the spirit and the word of the CRTC mandate for these stations.
4336 So the first thing I would like to do is call very strongly for some form of consultation in Toronto to get not only letter and verse of who did what, but what are the resources, what are the constituencies, which is one of the questions I hope that you will ask of the intervenor.
4337 They have used the word "stakeholder" twice in their response to the Friends' brief, but I have never seen that defined from the point of view of current CIUT. Who are they? I would like them named, listed. Who counts?
4338 Barry Ruger, CKCU Radio Carleton University wrote in something that was posted on the NCRA Listserve:
"The CIUT application is a very contentious one, coming as it does after an internal battle which led to the student union closing the station and expelling a number of volunteer programmers." (As read)
4339 That is partly right. It also reflects an awful lot of misinformation that I think needs to be cut through and clarified.
4340 It is true that one very small element of the student -- of the SAC with one of the university representatives did in fact close the station and did expel volunteer programmers. It is not true however -- and this has been alluded to previously -- that there was a battle between two parties previous to that, one party seeking to take over the station.
4341 I don't know if you can hear me, I sound very funny to myself. I am trying to talk very fast.
4342 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: If you push -- you are too close and it causes interference.
4343 MS MILES: Oh, I will pull away. Thank you so much.
4344 Let me know if you can't hear me or if I'm making you uncomfortable.
4345 So that there was continual extreme difficulty in the station, very, very, very poor management decisions made continuously over a period of years and, more specifically in the last two years, very bad, very irresponsible financial and no due process and quite horrendous treatment of volunteers and some paid staff. There is no doubt about that. I think you have heard that from all sides as well, no question.
4346 I'm trying to figure out how I can say this most quickly.
4347 The interim management agreement that was approved by the CRTC, I think probably without a lot of information -- certainly, I don't think that the letters that a number of us wrote at that time were properly taken account of and no attempt was made to get a full picture, or perhaps there was no understanding that there was a need to do that at that time.
4348 But that interim agreement actually put in place -- left in place -- it seems to me is what has been the problem over most years. And it's extremely important, from the point of view of those of us who want to see a viable station come out of this, that the new Board not be established to continue that problem.
4349 I was very interested to hear the comments of Ian Burchell on a new Board that is being proposed. I think the structure of that Board needs to be very, very carefully looked at by all the friends of CIUT, by the CRTC, by all those who are concerned with this, and especially by decision-makers in terms of licence renewal and so on, to make sure that it does correct some of the problems.
4350 The past Board, the most recent past Board had four SAC representatives, four undergrad student representatives, one university president's appointment, four volunteers and four community representatives. There was always a majority of undergraduate students. That's one big weakness. And that's not an aspersion on students at all. I think a number of people -- Margaret Hancock before me and Ian Burchell had mentioned about how difficult it is to work with a primarily undergraduate student Board.
4351 Another problem is that the student administrative council at the University of Toronto is the conduit for the -- is the most prominent conduit for the campus participation in this partnership. That is a problem. This is a political body of undergrad students. It's not the students who are most involved with campus radio, etc., etc. But it does have the responsibility, along with lots and lots of other responsibilities for all sorts of affairs, including campus activities which are very different in scope, very different in nature, from something as large and as supposedly much of a partnership as CIUT.
4352 When I was a university student at the University of Toronto, we made a struggle to get the varsity funding, the funding for the varsity university to come directly to the varsity rather than through the student administrative council, because there were some of these same problems.
4353 I'm suggesting that now is an opportunity. What has been a non-viable situation, extremely difficult for all concerned, all those who are passionate about the station, this is an opportunity now to get it right, to really get a functioning station.
4354 What has been defined by the group that has in fact taken it over and is imposing a certain type of solution -- I would maintain that it's not a long-term solution, and I hope I have time to get to why not -- is posing most of the resources, most of the long-term skills and time and energy commitments as a problem. It can never survive that way.
4355 In the friends' brief, we say that a construction of the world is, us and them has to stop and we have to get to a situation where we are moving toward a strong station.
4356 That will never be... In my view, that will never happen along the model that I'm hearing from the applicants now, which is to get it tighter in, get it more in the university ballpark, get that manager more or less a manager from the University of Toronto. That's a false situation.
4357 MS POIRIER: Ms Miles...
4358 MS MILES: Oh no!
4359 MS POIRIER: Oh yes!
4360 MS MILES: Do we have an opportunity... I have certain questions I was hoping that the panel would ask. Do we have an opportunity to give those to the Commissioners in writing? Maybe I can say them very quickly.
4361 One is the stakeholders. The other one is the question about the hiring.
4362 Just as an example of a solution that is continuing the problem, the past manager who was there for most of this mismanagement and whose resignation left the station without a manager, was brought on as an interim manager. This manager was hired without any hiring process. That is being proposed.
4363 There is a number of things that I'm hearing that are in fact going to continue the situation. So I hope you will come to Toronto and get some support from a number of different constituencies on how we can work on this.
4364 I really hope you will question some more about the by-laws. They are in -- as well as the funding situation in terms of the student funding coming perhaps directly to the station. Those by-laws, I was very heartened to hear some things that Mr. Burchell said.
4365 I had some questions about who are the general members, how they become a membership. He mentioned a committee of volunteer programmers in his remarks. In the response of the manager to the friends, it said there will be no committee of programmers. They have said specifically, there will not be a committee of programmers.
4366 So there were some specific questions like that I hope you will ask.
4367 I also want to comment that the volunteers we have here, we have music volunteers, music programmers here who are putting enormous amounts into this station, whose very contribution, I think, shows how important volunteers are going to be to the station. It cannot be run simply by students and a few, very few paid staff.
4368 But their happiness with the situation at the moment may have to do with the switch toward music programming. And the programmer who is now on the Board as a community rep is also a music programmer.
4369 Also, to say that I think one of the reasons why a consultation is so important is because you will have here programmers who can speak for the current regime, given that there is no due process, there is no set-up, there is no structures, there is no rights to any programs, there is no committees at this point, nobody is going to come along here and air grievances. It would not be expected, and perhaps that is a blessing, from your point of view. Thank you.
4370 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: We have a question...
4371 MS MILES: Oh good!
4372 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: ...because it's a due process and we want to make sure we understand every angle. There was a question from Vice-Chair Wylie.
4373 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Dr. Miles, from what we hear -- of course, everybody agrees that there was a problem, a serious problem. You agree, CIUT agrees, Ms Hancock agrees, the President of the University of Toronto agrees that there was a problem. Problems require solutions. They don't get solved overnight.
4374 You have heard the presentation from CIUT, you have heard Ms Hancock's presentation, you have heard the representative of SAC. Do you get any comfort at all from, at least, the attempts to find solutions, draft by-laws, present them to us to look at, refurbish the coffers of the station, look forward to developing better partnerships once the immediate, urgent problems are...
4375 Do you get any level of comfort at all from what appears to be well intentioned efforts to put the station back on track?
4376 MS MILES: Yes, I'm glad you asked me that.
4377 I have... I must say, I am pleased about this hearing. I was very, very interested to hear what Mr. Burchell had to say about the by-laws for a Board. I am very pleased that you have questioned that and are going to have a look at those by-laws carefully and are going to bear in mind the viability of the station.
4378 So the fact that the CRTC is interested in the structure and the by-laws is a comfort to me. The fact that the current regime at the station realizes that there will be attention paid to those and that those are important also pleases me.
4379 My view is that this is a very large station. This is a station with tremendous resources. It has been really badly managed in the past and the non-accountability of the Board, a Board without qualified people with experience and with continuity and so on, has let that situation continue.
4380 So the comfort I feel would be... My comfort comes from the sense that there's a chance that perhaps with some guidance from the CRTC, that we can get that thing re-done.
4381 But as far as the money business, my sense is -- and I'm just a listener. I got involved in this when everybody got shut out and everything started to happen and I had become quite informed by then. And I was hoping some of the people who have a lot of the information could come today. Of course, with it being in Ottawa, it does limit sort of the people who you can hear from.
4382 The resources are there for a viable station without the kind of selling off of time.
4383 In other words, we had a situation where no proper effort was made, no fiscally responsible ship was run and without actually making that effort, this massive, huge disjuncture with the past and the history and, in my view, the spirit of the campus community radio is made.
4384 So the fact that that time was sold off doesn't comfort me at all. So I am hopeful that out of this crisis, can come something that is viable, but I have no hope that it will come in the direction that the current regime is moving.
4385 Sorry I took so long.
4386 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: We thank you very much for coming to Ottawa. I know it's far, but we thank you for your presentation and your views.
4387 MS MILES: Thank you. I hope we will have a chance to really look into this thing, as I say, not for the past, but for the future in Toronto at some point before February.
4388 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: The only thing I can add, Dr. Miles, is partnerships cannot be created by us.
4389 MS MILES: Oh, I agree.
4390 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: There has to be goodwill with the participants with a revised or rejuvenated structure in the right direction and goodwill to move in the right direction because even if we went to Toronto, we couldn't make people shake hands and create partnerships.
4391 MS MILES: No, no.
4392 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: I would like to have all this power, but we don't.
4393 MS MILES: I think this was some of the points I didn't quite get to in terms of who are the stakeholders, how do you become a member? Those kinds of questions are, I agree, absolutely crucial to the success of this thing.
4394 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: And there is still another phase to this hearing. We may hear some more from CIUT who are the ones to answer the questions, not us.
4395 MS MILES: They are in a position to grant a partnership or a hearing or a participation at the moment.
4396 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much.
4397 Madam Secretary.
4398 MS POIRIER: Mr. Jim Delaney from the University of Toronto.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4399 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good afternoon.
4400 MR. DELANEY: Thank you, Madam Chair, Members of the Commission.
4401 I'm Jim Delaney. I am the Assistant Director of Students Affairs at the University of Toronto and I am here to speak on behalf of the university and also bring greetings from our new president, Robert Birgeneau.
4402 I think I am here to tell you why the university is happy that CIUT is in the radio business, and I am not entirely sure why the radio business might exist in campus community terms, but the University of Toronto is very happy that we have a radio station known as CIUT within our campus community.
4403 The U of T, as you might know, is an extraordinary place. It is an internationally significant research and teaching institution, and in our commitment to teaching, we are committed to looking at the whole education of students, and that is life inside the classroom and life outside the classroom.
4404 We are also committed to partnerships, we are committed to diversity and we are committed to being a strong partner with our surrounding community around the University of Toronto. CIUT plays an important role in advancing all of these commitments for us.
4405 And teaching a significant part of a liberal arts education occurs out of the classroom. Like other important campus organizations such as the Varsity which has been mentioned previously. CIUT provides important informal education in journalism and radio arts.
4406 The station also provides profound opportunities in leadership, personal development, and the pursuit of individual goals and interests. As well, CIUT provides students with a form for the discussion of important campus and community issues such as rights and resources for lesbian and gay, bisexual, transgendered and queer people, and the celebration of culture, religion and other special interests.
4407 Indeed, if the U of T community did not offer such opportunities, we would fail in our commitment to student success and educating the whole student.
4408 In the same light, CIUT plays a key role in our partnership with the surrounding community. As an academic institution, we are committed to the freedom to explore and investigate new and alternative use, the freedom to participate in legal activities and the freedom to join with others in these pursuits.
4409 CIUT provides meaningful opportunities for members of both the campus and surrounding communities to learn from each other, debate and support each other in the pursuit of mutual goals.
4410 The partnership opportunities at CIUT are unique within the U of T community. Nowhere else do we find these partnership opportunities between students and off-campus community members.
4411 In addition, the opportunities for people in the off-campus community to hear programming specific to their interests and cultural needs reflects an important principle, that the university community must give to its surrounding community in addition to being partners with it.
4412 In addition, in its programming, CIUT plays an important role in the university's obligation to support its extraordinarily diverse community. The University of Toronto is the largest university in Canada with the most ethnically and racially diverse student population.
4413 CIUT offers unique and special programming which is reflective of this population and which addresses the needs of communities within the U of T in a way with is unparalleled elsewhere on the campus.
4414 CIUT also has a special role in the campus community. I have to say that I started as a student at the University of Toronto in 1983 and I haven't left. I spend a number of years as a student, got involved in student, involved in SAC, as a matter of fact, and started working for the administration right after that.
4415 I have seen CIUT go from nothing to what it is today, and I have seen this station go up and down repeatedly and I can tell you that from my own personal involvement over the years and observations, the station has never been as strong as it is today.
4416 This station is on a good path towards a very strong and important future and I want to emphasize that that comes not only from my own involvement with the station over the years -- and I should say that part of my role within students affairs at the University of Toronto is to manage some of our relationships with our campus organizations.
4417 So I have seen this organization come and go in terms of its strengths and today it is the strongest it has ever been. And this is under interim arrangement.
4418 I also think it's important that I address several things before I just make a couple of concluding comments.
4419 First of all, it has been suggested that there have been issues around balance that favoured the campus community. I can say unequivocally, without any sort of debate, that in our view one of the reasons we established the task force on U of T radio is we saw an imbalance towards the community in programming. The unbalance was the other direction than what has been suggested and we needed to address that.
4420 Yes, there was the crisis around the financing. Yes, there was the crisis around all the other issues that you have been presented with today and previously. But this was something else that we needed to have on the table. The station was out of control and not truly part of U of T and today it is.
4421 I also think I should address the comments about the small number of volunteers that have been repeatedly referred to. I am not in a position to talk about the actual facts of particular situations, but I can tell you that there was a small number of individuals using unwelcome techniques to gain power and gain their way in managing the station, as Ms Hancock suggested. There are all kinds of different visions --
4422 MR. CRAIG: Who and how, Mr. Delaney?
4423 MR. DELANEY: There are many different visions of what should happen in terms of the future of the station, and I can tell you that the techniques used were unwelcome and I will also say that the police were called and a trespass order was issued in at least one case.
4424 The other thing I would like to mention is that Brian Burchell to comment the position that he is fulfilling now, and from what I have seen -- and I have known Brian for 14 years, he and I, in fact, were around on campus involved in student organizations at the time the station was founded. We saw that station being founded. In fact, our friends founded that station.
4425 There is nobody, I believe, better equipped to be in the management position right now today and dealing with what the station is doing today. And so I wanted to make that clear to the Commission.
4426 I think I would like to close by saying that it's clear to the administration of the University of Toronto that CIUT is on a strong footing, and we are pleased to provide the home, the services, the resources, the funding that we have provided in order to continue the growth of the station in the direction it's going now.
4427 For these reasons and for the special role that CIUT has in our community, the University of Toronto strongly supports the station's application for renewal.
4428 Thank you very much for your time.
4429 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you, I think your position is very clear.
4430 Thank you very much, sir.
4431 MR. POIRIER: The next intervenor is Paul Kutasi.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4432 MR. KUTASI: Good afternoon.
4433 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good afternoon.
4434 MR. KUTASI: Thank you for having me, Madam Chair and distinguished Commission members.
4435 The perspective that I am going to give is coming from myself. I have had many different positions with CIUT and different perspectives, as a volunteer, as a board member, as a SAC member, as a programmer and as of about four weeks ago, working in the advertising department of CIUT.
4436 Probably the most important thing at this point in time pertinent to this discussion is last year. I was the Vice-President of the Student Administrative Council of the University of Toronto. The position that I held was one where I was the executive member that deals with the corporation's finances.
4437 When I took office in about April 1999, CIUT was already at the problems with the severe financial crisis that it was at. As the summer went along, for about the first two months, which I will get into in a second, it seemed to hit a nadir, which is the bottom, and after that it completely went down from there, which was pretty substantial.
4438 Throughout the summer on repeated occasions, CIUT needed the assistance of the Student Administrative Council to pay the rent on the transmitter, which is at First Canadian Place, from Olympia & York. If this was not paid, the transmitter would have been turned off. Therefore, CIUT would not have a signal and would probably never be on the air again.
4439 A couple of times people from CIUT came up to me and said "We need to pay this now, as soon as possible. The people at Olympia & York want their money", so that was a little bit of pressure on SAC and the executive to put forth, to sign a cheque to pay for the transmitter.
4440 As I went home those nights, some of my friends who are not of the University of Toronto community came up to me and said "Oh, I heard that you are a part of the CIUT". I would tell them stories. "Yes, CIUT was about that close last night to being shut off because we wouldn't -- if we didn't pay, give the cheque to pay for the transmitter".
4441 Closer to the last half of the summer, SAC had to come in again and pay the salaries of their workers at CIUT, the employees because the station did not have enough money to pay its own employees. All in all, overall SAC gave CIUT a $65,000 loan in four months.
4442 I guess anyone would agree that it was a dire situation during the summer of 1999. To be frank, in my opinion, it was horrible, a horrible situation. I question myself "How could this organization exist?" But a decision had to be made whether throwing good money after bad or whether this would allow -- sorry, a decision had to be made, throwing this money to a station, is it a good decision? What was the purpose?
4443 Many of us questioned ourselves, but in the end, SAC decided to loan CIUT the money to get itself out of its dire troubles and it turned out to be a very prudent decision. It bought time for the station, enabling it to regroup and partner with the university and the CRTC itself to start fresh.
4444 The main emphasis that I want to show you is to give you a picture of what happened in the summer and what is happening now. Basically, it's almost a year after.
4445 Compared to last year at this time is a vast contrast. Last year, as I told you, CIUT was struggling with debt and it could not survive on its own. It could not even pay its own people. It had to survive on the help of SAC, the university and many of the volunteers.
4446 Now the station is doing very well financially, which Brian Burchell pointed out before. CIUT can actually pay its own bills now, which is a good thing, and there's more advertising coming in. Programming at this point in time is doing very well with a nice tight schedule of programming.
4447 CIUT, the overall position, is very stable and strong. Probably the most important thing right now as a result of the stability that we see is the programming which is the main product and the most important product that comes out of CIUT.
4448 I can also give you a perspective on this, being a programmer myself. Madam Chair, you pointed out to or asked a question to Adam Bretholz, the President of SAC, about university involvement.
4449 I can tell you last year when I was Vice-President in the summer, the amount of student participation and shows was abysmally low. I could count three shows in total. That's over 24 hours of programming. Now, at the current rate we have at least nine shows. That's with 18. So it's been a vast improvement.
4450 My show itself, Zero Hour, has three students -- well, two current students and myself, just a former graduate of one month ago. We have a show and we have a university perspective on many issues, a lot of things with university and just society in general.
4451 I also produced the orientation broadcast, which was about three months in planning to do, and had a lot of students involved and a lot of people sign up as a result and just being visible and a part of the university, which was great.
4452 In kind of retrospect in what has happened in the past year without the actions taken by many on SAC and volunteers and everyone else in the university to save the station, where it is now is absolutely amazing. We would not have the chance, for myself and students and other people in the community, to bring such programming because if we let it go to where it was before and let it continue from last year, we would not have a station. It's a great opportunity for the university students and the community.
4453 Just the whole point, in just a kind of overall, overarching ending to it, is showing how the stability has -- how it has helped me and CIUT into a stronger station, comparing it to last year. It's a huge difference.
4454 Hopefully at the end of this, by renewing the licence and hopefully for a longer period, this would help CIUT not only grow that much stronger, which it is strong enough, but hopefully get even stronger than it is now and helping it become a greater voice within the university and within the community.
4455 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much for your intervention. I don't think we have any questions. It's quite clear, your position.
4456 Thank you very much.
4457 MR. KUTASI: Thank you.
4458 MS POIRIER: Now for the last intervention, unless Mr. Manuel Canales is here. Are you Mr. Canales?
4459 MR. MILLS: No. I am Eric Mills.
4460 MS POIRIER: Okay. So Mr. Eric Mills.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4461 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Maybe you need two minutes to find yourself in your papers.
4462 I think we have a chance to hear you. We have got to keep --
--- Off microphone / Sans microphone
4463 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: I'm sorry. No.
--- Off microphone / Sans microphone
4464 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: You would need a copy of your brief?
4465 MR. MILLS: No. I'm asking if you have it. It's another brief that went astray along with a colleague's and I had to fax it in again. I wanted to make sure that you have a copy of it.
4466 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: We have, thank you.
4467 MR. MILLS: Thank you very much.
4468 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
4469 MR. MILLS: I'm going to start by taking off my jacket and show you a CIUT shirt. My point in doing this is not only to say that I am a supporter and a long time volunteer at this station, but I am also a financial supporter. These T-shirts are not given out to volunteers. They are given to people who donate money. I and many people on the community side have donated money for years.
4470 Yet we find in correspondence from the applicant over the last few months that we are accused of trying to wrest control and we are being blamed for financial problems. In fact, I have a copy of a letter to you on April 5 from Mr. Zolf in his capacity as council for UTCRI saying:
"Due to concerns over the potential harassment of board members by members of the Volunteer Action Committee, Mr. Bertrand was asked that we not release board members' addresses to the public."
4471 Frankly, we found that quite insulting and have asked for an explanation of it. I have not received that explanation yet. In fact, I note today at this hearing the question of this wresting control on an unauthorized basis has come up a few times, but the applicant to my ears has not provided any information that would warrant such a statement.
4472 I am one of those on the community side who have supported this station for many years. In fact, I used to work in that building in 1973 around the Varsity, although I have not been connected with the University of Toronto since then.
4473 Who is on the other side? Who are the people who took over the station? What were their reasons? I would like to refer to the task force report because that's a major document and a very good indicator of what the stakes are in a way. It has been referred to several times today.
4474 It has many good recommendations and I would like to state for the record that the volunteers at a general meeting last summer approved in general most of these recommendations and in principle the thrust to get more student involvement in the station. Everyone around the station recognized that as a problem.
4475 The task force, unfortunately, didn't get it about the community of CIUT in my opinion. It's obvious when you look at its composition, skilled people. Ms Hancock was warden of Heart House, Mr. Delaney was secretary of the task force and the other co-chair was the former President of SAC, Mr. Leonard's predecessor.
4476 It was formed by the campus to investigate their interest in the station, not the overall interest of the station. I think that it's critical when you look at the results. They did not hold hearings either, I should add.
4477 An indication of this is, in my opinion, that they misinterpret the proposed and now final change in CRTC policy regarding campus community stations. Page 11, in a footnote says:
"The intent of the policy change to get more balance and representation on the Boards of Directors of campus community stations 'is to encourage campus stations to direct programming at the community at large in addition to the campus community'."
4478 This is from the task force. In fact, your policy, paragraph 52, says that the campus noted that most campus stations tend to direct their programming to the community at large. Accordingly, the Commission proposed to include an expectation of balance, so the shoe is really on the other foot.
4479 I think failure to understand the community aspect of the campus community station is also indicated in the recommendations of the task force regarding governance. They were the first to ignore the fact that the station had been operating for four years under 1994 by-laws, the amended by-laws that improved things that went back to 1989. They are the ones that are in the task force document that you have.
4480 The recommendations that they have, No. 32, virtually replicate the 1994 by-laws. They still give four members appointed by SAC, four appointed by -- elected by the student population and one from the President of the university, so that's nine, four volunteer representatives and either two or three from the community.
4481 They are still suggesting that the campus should have a majority on the board which is, of course, contrary to the policy that you finally enunciated this January. They also say that the President of the board should be a member of the university community.
4482 I suggest the task force did a lot of really good work. It is indicative of the university community or partners of the station not getting along, not understanding what the stakes were for the station as a whole.
4483 I would also like to point out that those partners of CIUT are very limited. It's only the university as an institution and the undergraduate student council. Other associations, the faculty and students on campus are not involved in the station. In fact, you will see an intervention -- I'm sorry, I don't have the number in front of me -- from the graduate students union before you now supporting a limited and conditional licence. They are not in agreement with the sort of gung-ho attitude we have seen from campus folks who are here today.
4484 Just one final footnote on this composition. That balance that's required, on the letter of application form that was sent in, I think it was April 13 of this year, to the CRTC to renew this licence, CIUT used -- UTCRI was asked question 2.2:
"In the revised campus radio policy, the Commission stated it expected the Board of Directors to include balanced representatives from each of the following: students associated institution, volunteers and community at large."
4485 There's a question:
"Does the current structure in composition of your Board of Directors comply with this policy?"
4486 Well, it clearly does not and they answered "yes". I don't understand how that could get in an application, but it certainly did.
4487 Back to these by-laws. As I said, the station operated under these by-laws for four or five years. It was generally assumed that the current applicant wanted to go back to the 1989 by-laws. I think it has been suggested for reasons of control.
4488 I just want to point out in support of another view or that view that it was for control. I phoned the CRTC, I think last December, because there was confusion about the proper by-laws and asked "Could you please send me the by-laws that you think are operative from the CRTC".
4489 Your office mailed to me this folder. The by-laws in here are by-law No. 4, the 1994 ones, not the 1989 ones. That isn't to say that a court of law might find that they weren't properly registered with Industry Canada, but I think you have to question the good intentions of the applicant when they ignored the by-laws that had been better for -- that had been used for four years and in fact which they essentially recommend in the task force. They don't use them because they wanted control.
4490 Regarding the current level of community support for the station -- I should state quite clearly I am a member of the Volunteer Action Committee. We are delighted in fact in many ways that there is still very strong support for the station. There's a lot of interventions you have in writing and on your electronic Web site to support that.
4491 I would like to mention that 71 of them appear to be listeners who say that they like the show or they like the station at large. That's fine. There's still good programming there. We don't think it's as good as before, but there is value in it.
4492 I would also like to point out that the station called for listeners to send in letters of support. They didn't say send in your opinion on the licence renewal. They said send in your letters of support.
4493 There are six programmers who say close to the same thing, actually, that they like the station or they like the show; they don't say, necessarily, they like the current management. One is, for example, Mookey(ph) Charian(ph) of Radio OPIRG, which came up as a good show -- which it is -- and in his intervention -- I don't know the number; it's on the electronic ones -- he says:
"I feel it's important that we are on the airwaves." (As read
4494 And that's basically the position that he takes.
4495 But OPIRG, for which he toils on the radio show, in its newsletter of last winter, 2000, has an article about the takeover of CIUT; and it says:
"Radio OPIRG has refused to sign the contract that you heard about earlier and has stood in solidarity with the Volunteer Action Committee". (As read)
4496 And yet, today, we find this intervention here.
4497 I would like to suggest to you that one of the things to consider, in looking at these kinds of interventions, is the issue of control, the current control of the station; and, in that regard, the intervention from Jody Glaser is vitally important. He says:
"Having survived the October, 1999, lockout and going back on the air, in March, 2000, Nilan Perera, our program director, left a message on my answering machine that my show of 10 years was cancelled. I asked for a meeting but was told the decision was final. I requested a meeting with the station manager, Brian Burchell, but he would not speak to me." (As read)
4498 And this is in the intervention from Jody Glaser.
4499 There's another show that's since been thrown off the air -- for a good reason or bad, we don't really know. We have heard that there's no due process. And so, I think that programmers are not inclined to speak out against the current management and tell you that they don't like things because they are not in control of the station, shall we say, they don't have input on it.
4500 So, if we take away from all these interventions that you have, the 71 listeners and the six programmers who say they like the station, or the show -- and I'm not taking away in any negative sense; it's just to analyze it -- there are about 20 left who say they do like the new management as it provides stability, which is very true. Six of these people actually were involved in the takeover or represent institutions here today, such as the University or SAC, that were involved in the takeover, and so there's a little under 20 that are really proposing, I think, an opinion on management that's independent.
4501 On the other side, there's 17 interventions in your booklets, and on the Web site, that call for reform, many of them agreeing with the Volunteer Action Committee, that you should have a short-term renewal with severe conditions of democracy, basically, and there's one or two opposed.
4502 MS POIRIER: Mr. Mills.
4503 MR. MILLS: Yes.
4504 MS POIRIER: You are over your 10 minutes.
4505 MR. MILLS: Thank you very much.
4506 Well, I think the major thing I would like to emphasize -- there's lots more I wanted to say, actually -- but I think it's also really important to remember, as we have said in briefs, that there are at least two dozen complainants from last fall who wrote in after the takeover and complained about the takeover, one of which was -- one, I believe, was in favour of it, but two dozen opposed, and these complaints do not appear on the public record of the CRTC. They are not in the Toronto office, and a call to Hull, from the Toronto office, assured me that they were not, in fact, there -- and they do not appear there. And they have serious consequences, regarding the issues before you today. It's a very restricted agenda you have on Canadian content, logger tapes and music lists. We agree that's an issue. But that's just the tip of the iceberg -- a word I would use very advisedly.
4507 I have provided, as an appendix to my brief, a list of about 22 complainants whom I know of whose complaints are not on the public record of the CRTC and so, it -- I will conclude at the moment because I know I'm over time, but I will just say, in view of this great problem with relations between the University and the campus and the off-campus community at CIUT, and also in the great problem we have in getting our views understood by the CRTC, and appreciated, and make clear to us that we are understood, I really urge you to look at the precedent-setting nature of the decision before you and make sure that the campus community radio sector in Canada is as healthy as you can set up a framework for it to be.
4508 Thank you.
4509 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much, Mr. Mills.
4510 MS POIRIER: Could I try to explain the letters?
4511 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Pardon?
4512 MS POIRIER: The letters he is referring to that are not on file.
4513 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Yes.
4514 MS POIRIER: They are complaints that were filed during the years, like previous to the renewal itself. They are public. They are on a correspondence file. They are not part of the public examination file of this particular application but they are public letters.
4515 MR. MILLS: I realize they are not in the application file but, with respect, they are not -- that application file does have complaints from 1995 and on, and these aren't there, and they are also in no other place, at least at the Toronto office that we could enquire, and, as I said, the Toronto staff called up to your office here and asked if there are any more complaints on file and was told, no. And I think it's evident in the lack of attention -- or I shouldn't say evident, but I think it's possible that the lack of attention for the CRTC to the issues that were raised in these complaints is because the complaints are not on the public record. And the licensee, the applicant here today, has not given any substantial response to any of those complaints, as far as we know.
4516 MS POIRIER: There was a written process. Once we receive the complaints, the applicant is requested to reply to the complainant, with a copy to the Commission. And if we feel that the reply is sufficient or adequate, then it goes on the public file. It is on the file; it's just a separate file. And it might not be in Toronto but it is in the main public file here at Les Terraces de la Chaudière.
4517 MR. MILLS: Well, I do have a letter from one of the complainants which was sent to you August 22, in which he basically agrees, I think, that his letter did not receive a reply and he wants -- he said at no time did he want it kept off the public file. I have checked with maybe a dozen people, or close to that, on this list and nobody has received a substantive reply from the applicant or, indeed, from the CRTC, to the issues raised in those complaints.
4518 MS POIRIER: I'm sorry. I was just trying to clarify where all those letters could be.
4519 MR. MILLS: Well, we would love to see the completed file. The file that I have in fact is missing about more than 20 pages. It is in a fax with numbered pages and 20 of them are missing.
4520 There might be more than two dozen complaints that we have not seen and, as I say, do not seem to form part of the Agenda here. They are not in the Notice of Hearing of your concerns.
4521 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Well, thank you for pointing it out to us and thank you for bringing your intervention to the proceeding and taking the time to come and meet with us here in Ottawa.
4522 Thank you very much.
4523 MR. MILLS: Well, thank you very much for hearing it.
4524 I know it is a very difficult decision to have to come to on this.
4525 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
4526 MS POIRIER: This completes the Phase II.
4527 We are now entering Phase III, which is the licensees rebuttal.
4528 I would like the licensee to come forward for its reply.
--- Pause / Pause
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
4529 MR. ANGUS: Thank you.
4530 I have been asked to reply on behalf of the panel, although all of the panel is available to answer your questions.
4531 We are very pleased to have this right of rebuttal to underscore our firm belief that CIUT's board, management and volunteers are fully committed and able to meet both the letter and the spirit of the campus policy and all of the other regulations which govern our operation.
4532 We don't take this lightly. We view our licence as a public trust and we intend to do absolutely everything in our power to ensure that we deserve that trust.
4533 I think we have shown that the specific shortcomings that were identified in the Public Notice did occur. They were problems, we admit them, but they were short-term aberrations that resulted from the situation you have heard -- probably more than you hoped to -- about today.
4534 The crisis is over. The station has implemented new controls, new equipment, new educational programs and much more. We are very proud to say that we consistently meet or exceed the Canadian content regulations today, that our records -- our records are open if you want to come and see them, the files are there, the music logs are there, the logger tapes work. It is all in place today.
4535 So in those areas we respectfully submit that a mandatory order is not required.
4536 I would like also just to clarify the issue on spoken word and what percentages, because you heard a lot of numbers thrown around. It is actually extremely simple math.
4537 We have 35 hours out of 126 which are fully devoted to spoken word. You do the division, it is 28 per cent.
4538 In addition, many of our music programs, in fact most of them, have substantial spoken word components. Some of them are almost entirely interviews with artists. We estimate 35 per cent or higher consistently, because one week it is an interview, the next week it isn't, but it is consistently in that range.
4539 The comment, by the way, of spoken word being ghetto-ized in the 9:00 to 3:00 period, I suspect Sheelagh Rogers doesn't feel that that is a ghetto period that nobody listens to the radio in at the CBC but, in any event, we should point out that that is the time period in which consistently historically we have actually done the best in fund-raising. We have more listeners calling in to donate money during that time period than any other time of the day. We actually think it is one of the best time periods.
4540 During this proceeding you have heard and received several submissions that, to put the case mildly, were sharply critical of CIUT's current board and management. We are not surprised and we are not upset by these criticisms.
4541 Campus-based community radio is, by its very nature, prone to controversy, prone to dissent, prone to upheavals. And, to be frank, we doubt if there has ever been a time in the entire history of our station that there was unanimous agreement on anything except the need to keep our station on the air. It has always been a station that is full of debate. We expect it to continue to be so.
4542 In fact, if we didn't receive a constant flow of criticism and comments and suggestions from the public-at-large, from volunteers, from other stakeholders, we would be very concerned that CIUT just wasn't doing its job, that we weren't part of the community and that we weren't relevant to anybody. Nobody would care about us. If they didn't care about us, they wouldn't write, they wouldn't complain.
4543 The very passion of the comments you heard today is, I think, all by itself evidence of the relevance that CIUT has, that it continues to be relevant to the communities it serves. We were thrilled by that passion.
4544 But passion, unfortunately, isn't a substitute for reason or common sense or a sense of proportion about the issues.
4545 I would just ask you to speak to any of CIUT's hundreds of active volunteers. You will hear a lot of differences about how the station should work, what should happen there, but what you are going to hear is a very different picture than what you heard today from some intervenors.
4546 In one of the letters written to the Commission written last month, volunteer Michael Coombs(ph) of the CIUT program Worldwide wrote:
"Brian Burchell, our station manager, Nilan Perera and the volunteers of CIUT have done a fantastic job of helping the station get back on its feet. Out of the five years that I have been a part of 89.5 I can't remember a time where I felt as confident and happy with the direction that the station is heading. I hope that the CRTC will renew CIUT's broadcasting licence, not just for the volunteers but for the listeners that take as much pride in the station as we, the programmers, do." (As read)
4547 Other volunteers wrote similar letters to you. We can read them all, but I won't. You have them on the record.
4548 We submit it is comments such as these from people who actually participate in the station's daily life and keep it alive that are the true measure of CIUT's commitment to volunteer involvement on a continuing basis.
4549 Let me just say that we feel very deeply insulted by the suggestion that any volunteers at CIUT are intimidated from speaking out.
4550 You were handed an article during the last intervention, I believe it was an article from Eye Magazine. I didn't see it, but I think that is what it was. But if you read it -- it has a large picture of Ed Break(ph) on it.
4551 If you read it you will find that one of our currently active programmers is quoted in it in quite unflattering terms about the current management. She has been quoted before. It's one of the things she does. We know that. She has an active program. We are glad to have her on the air and we are glad to have her as a critic.
4552 I could tell you that two other programmers who are active on the air are currently suing the management. They haven't been kicked off the air. We don't do that, and we are insulted that anybody would suggest it.
4553 What's more, the very community groups that some people suggest we are ignoring, that somehow we don't like the community, are actually enthusiastic supporters of the station. There are many letters on the file, but let me just quote from one of them.
4554 This is from Claudia McCoy of the Toronto Women's Book Store, an organization I hope nobody will suggest is run by the University of Toronto or some other cabal.
"CIUT allow community-based organizations like ours to obtain important information about various cultural communities and various concerns. For this reason, CIUT has become a dear ally of community businesses and organizations like the Toronto Women's Book Store." (As read)
4555 And she goes on:
"Unfortunately, all organizations and institutions eventually face hardship resulting from circumstances out of their control. These circumstances force organizations to make tough choices. Few organizations survive their time of turbulence. Few organizations can regain community confidence. Therefore, we are proud to see that CIUT's hour of difficulty has made the station efficient, productive and more responsive to the community need for greater representation. With a successful campaign that has increased its involvement with individuals and groups that are active in creating a vibrant city, CIUT has certainly regained the confidence of the Toronto audience."
4556 There are many similar letters on the record from groups as diverse as the Jazz Alliance, Harbourfront Centre, Aboriginal Voices, the 519 Church Street Community Centre, the Chinese Canadian National Council, the Toronto International Steel Pan Music Festival, and I could go on, one hundred and twenty-nine of them in all, and then from people like Councillor Olivia Chow, a well-known community leader in Toronto.
4557 This enthusiastic community endorsement reflects CIUT's commitment in practice, not just in some abstract words or theory to supporting and involving the widest possible range of campus and community groups that are not well served by commercial radio.
4558 We should also note the strong support that CIUT received in interventions and here from the University of Toronto and the University of Toronto Students Administrative Council.
4559 As a member of the board of directors, I was very concerned about some of the subjects that have been raised here about university control, and I was thrilled and gratified to see that, in practice, these organizations support the station completely and that their support includes full recognition that CIUT must be an independent organization with full representation from volunteers and community represents on the governing bodies.
4560 Just to take that a step further, because this question kept getting raised, in the proposed by-law amendments, which at this point the board has unanimously approved in principle -- now, I have to say these are proposed because we have to hold a meeting yet, but the proposal is that the board have 11 members and it be composed of one representative from the students administrative council, three elected students, two members of the faculty or staff of the university, two volunteers and three members from the community. An extremely valiant board, I think anybody would agree. The point here is that the student representatives and the university representatives voted for those enthusiastically.
4561 Very clearly, the immense majority of CIUT's listeners, volunteers and stakeholders simply disagree with the views that were expressed by a few interveners in this proceeding. They approve of our community focus programming and they hardly approve the steps that have been taken in the past year to ensure that CIUT doesn't just survive, that it thrives as a healthy and exciting part of the community.
4562 We also kept hearing about consultation as though none had ever gone on. Margaret Hancock talked extensively about the task force which received a lot of submissions from all kinds of different people.
4563 In addition, of course, the campus community policy was developed by the Commission as part of a public consultation process. We, as a board, to be frank, see our job primarily as implementing those things so that we have a functioning station that follows the policy, and that's where we are going with it. We will keep consulting like crazy, but there has been a lot.
4564 So, in summary, CIUT's current board represents all of our constituencies, but the current by-laws require changes. Nobody would deny that. Our best legal advice is that our 1989 by-laws are the ones that are in effect, and they need amendment. We have completed that process as far as writing them. We will now go through the formal approval's process. We hope to have them in place by the end of the fall and we have promised to file the proposals with the Commission, and we will do so.
4565 Above all, we want to emphasize that CIUT's programming, as it stands, without any change, and it does change all the time, but as it stands right now, is in total compliance with the CRTC's campus radio policy -- total compliance. There was not one submission from anybody that identified any failure in that regard, not one.
4566 Finally, in the matter of the -- not final. I have two paragraphs.
4567 We respectfully submit that there is no need for a mandatory order and that we meet all the requirements for a full renewal of our broadcast licence.
4568 Finally, the question was asked of how long, and you have heard suggestions ranging from very short to long. We believe it is essential that the Commission grant a seven-year renewal to allow us to make the long-term plans and gain the long-term support a station like ours needs.
4569 One of the big things the board and the management has been working on over the past period is in fact getting commitments from organizations, from sponsors, from listeners and from volunteers to participate. The suggestion of a one-year renewal, to be frank, is a proposal for disaster, especially if it is coupled with the conditions that were suggested of firing the current board, firing the current management and starting over. Not only would that embroil us in a lot of legal problems, it would simply put CIUT back to square one, back to the situation we were in last year. The station can't go back to that. It would amount to destroying the station in order to save it, to use a phrase from Vietnam. We don't think that is at all appropriate.
4570 In our submission, a seven-year renewal is justified, and of course the Commission has the right to return to us in five years, if that's appropriate
4571 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Or before.
4572 MR. ANGUS: Or before. You know, we will be completely open. I think our current management is very open to providing information at any time the Commission requires it.
4573 We thank the Commission for this opportunity to present our final comments and if you have further questions we would be glad to answer them.
4574 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: No. I think you have covered the questions.
4575 Legal has a question.
4576 MR. GRONDIN: Thank you, Madam Chair. I would have two questions for the panel.
4577 My first one is with regard to a comment that you have made on page 20 of your oral brief. Commissioner Wilson referred to it earlier.
4578 At the second last paragraph you state that you hope the Commission will grant CIUT a renewal of necessary length for it to final establish a stable and certain environment.
4579 Bearing in mind that the Commission may determine that a shorter term than seven years may be appropriate, what would you define as a necessary length? I guess I would like an answer in terms of years, in terms of licence.
4580 MR. ZOLF: Counsel, Mr. Angus has submitted that seven years is appropriate. If in the Commission's wisdom some lesser period is appropriate, we think at a minimum it should be a five-year renewal. This station has been through a fair transition period which is an understatement, I would submit, and we think the Commission has its full panoply of regulatory oversights over this station that would still occur and still transpire even with a five-year, or in our submission, a seven-year licence renewal.
4581 MR. GRONDIN: So something below five years to you would be problematic.
4582 MR. ZOLF: Well, I am not going to speak for the station, but I believe it is a continuum. Frankly I think the Commission has to balance the issues of stability and the message it sends to the community against some of the issues that may lead to shorter renewal. But we feel, as we said, that the Commission has the necessary tools to oversee the station by condition of licence, by amendments after a number of years that would justify a minimum five-year renewal.
4583 MR. ANGUS: If I can just add to that. One of our concerns when we saw a submission that suggested a one-year renewal is we are an organization with a grand total of two-full time equivalent employees. If we got a one-year renewal, we would have to start tomorrow writing next year's submission, and we certainly wouldn't be spending our time building the station.
4584 One of the problems that everyone has identified with CIUT's past is this constant turnover. You just never knew what was going to happen next year, and to do a very short renewal would send entirely the wrong message to everybody associated with the station that it just doesn't have a stable future.
4585 MR. GRONDIN: Thank you.
4586 My last question. You have undertaken to file with the Commission a draft of the bylaws. Now will you undertake to serve the intervenors with a copy of these bylaws by the same date, September 29th?
4587 MR. BURCHELL: This is a draft, bear in mind that you have to go to the general numbers and it therefore may change, but it is certainly concurrent with our service on the Commission to any intervenor who asks for it.
4588 MR. GRONDIN: Thank you very much.
4589 Well, that is not exactly what I am saying. It's part of the public record and we have asked you to --
4590 MR. ANGUS: Can I just clarify who counts as an intervenor because there are like 150 letters. Is it the people who appeared here?
4591 MR. GRONDIN: The appearing intervenors.
4592 MR. ANGUS: Yes, we will.
4593 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Merci.
4594 Before we conclude, I just want to make a precision that Vice-Chair Wylie is suggesting that we clarify.
4595 Regardless of the length of the licence, at any time when a station is not compliant, of course, we have still the authority of being informed of a situation to take action. The five years over a seven-year licence is if we talk about renewal, but in relationship with complaints or non-compliance, especially, we keep the authority. You understand that.
4596 MR. ZOLF: Yes, that is what we meant when we said the full panoply --
4597 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Yes. Well, thank you.
4598 I have learned that there is a lot of passion about campus and community stations. I am sure my colleagues, staff and Commissioners have learned that too.
4599 Of course, we have gone across the country about regional consultations over that policy, but it's really in the experimentation of the stations themselves that we learn more.
4600 Thank you everybody, the applicants, but the intervenors to have shared their passion with us. It will make our work difficult, but we will take great care of what is important to all of you.
4601 Thank you very much.
4603 MS POIRIER: Just for the record, I would like to state that this hearing also includes 24 non-appearing applications and although there is no oral presentation for those, they are nevertheless part of this public hearing and as such they will be considered by the Commission and a decision will be rendered at a later date.
4604 Thank you.
4605 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So now that concludes our work.
4606 Thank you very much everybody, the staff, my colleagues and people at the translation and the "sténographe".
4607 Everybody, thank you very much.
--- Whereupon the hearing concluded at 1745 /
L'audience se termine à 1745