ARCHIVED - Transcript - Winnipeg, Manitoba - 2002-02-07
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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 applications & BROADCASTING applications further to Public Notice 2001-79 "Call for applications for a broadcasting licence TO CARRY ON A RADIO PROGRAMMING UNDERTAKING TO SERVE WINNIPEG, MANITOBA".
MULTIPLES DEMANDES EN RADIOdiFFUSION ET DEMANDES EN radiodiffusion suite à l'avis public CRTC 2001-79 "APPEL DE DEMANDES DE LICENCE DE RADIODIFFUSION VISANT L'EXPLOITATION D'UNE ENTREPRISE DE PROGRAMMATION DE RADIO POUR DESSERVIR WINNIPEG (MANITOBA)".
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Winnipeg Convention Centre Winnipeg Convention Centre
PanAm Room Salle PanAm
375 York Avenue 375, avenue York
Winnipeg, Manitoba Winnipeg (Manitoba)
7 February, 2002 le 7 février 2002
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 applications & BROADCASTING applications further to Public Notice 2001-79 "Call for applications for a broadcasting licence TO CARRY ON A RADIO PROGRAMMING UNDERTAKING TO SERVE WINNIPEG, MANITOBA".
MULTIPLES DEMANDES EN RADIODIFFUSION ET DEMANDES EN radiodiffusion suite à l'avis public CRTC 2001-79 "APPEL DE DEMANDES DE LICENCE DE RADIODIFFUSION VISANT L'EXPLOITATION D'UNE ENTREPRISE DE PROGRAMMATION DE RADIO POUR DESSERVIR WINNIPEG (MANITOBA)".
BEFORE / DEVANT:
Barbara Cram Regional Commissioner for Manitoba and Saskatchewan /
Conseillère régionale pour le Manitoba et le Saskatchewan
Ronald Williams Commissioner / Conseiller
Andrew Cardozo Commissioner / Conseiller
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Joe Aguiar Hearing Manager / Gérant de
Gary Krushen Secretary / secrétaire
Peter McCallum Legal Counsel /
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Winnipeg Convention Centre Winnipeg Convention Centre
PanAm Room Salle PanAm
375 York Avenue 375, avenue York
Winnipeg, Manitoba Winnipeg (Manitoba)
7 February, 2002 le 7 février 2002
TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES
INTERVENTION BY / INTERVENTION PAR
Craig Broadcast Systems, Jennifer Strain, 3157
Rangachari Venkataraman 3469
Islamic Social Services Association Inc., 3503
Family Life Network, Delbert Enns 3521
Calvary Temple, Bruce Martin 3559
Springs Church, Leon Fontaine 3571
Christian Radio Manitoba Ltd., Wade Kehler 3590
Lighthouse Mission, Ken McGhie 3612
Jewish National Fund of Canada, Rami Kleinmann 3622
Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, Shelley Faintuch 3639
REPLY BY / RÉPLIQUE PAR
Trinity Television Inc. 781 / 3687
Winnipeg, Manitoba /
--- Upon resuming on Thursday, February 7, 2002, at 0900 / L'audience reprend le jeudi 7 février 2002 à 0900
3153 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. I see you have the same problem as I do. Commissioner Williams just poured me a glass of water and I don't think I'll ask him again.
3154 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: There's a method to my madness.
3155 THE CHAIRPERSON: Maybe that was purposeful, yes. I just wanted, before we go any further, to say that decision CRTC 2000-218-1 is the correction decision to the initial decision, 2000-218 with the 60/50 Cancon, just so everyone is aware. Mr. Secretary.
3156 MR. SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair. The first intervener this morning to the application by Trinity Television Incorporated is Craig Broadcasting Systems Inc. Ms. Strain, please proceed when you're ready.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
3157 MR. COWIE: Good morning Madam Chair, Commissioners, Ladies and Gentlemen. My name is Cam Cowie and I'm the general manager of CHMI-TV, otherwise known as A-Channel, Manitoba. I'm also the vice-president of revenue management for the Craig Group of television stations. With me today is Jennifer Strain, vice-president of corporate and regulatory affairs for Craig.
3158 We are here today with respect to the application by Trinity for a new religious broadcasting service.
3159 We want to say at the outset that we do not doubt the sincerity or the commitment of Trinity to develop a channel with a religious mandate, but we do believe that the service they have proposed will have an impact on the incumbent broadcasters.
3160 Our primary concern with the application is that the Winnipeg market has been and continues to be in decline with shrinking audiences, fragmentation, reductions in market television advertising expenditures and drastic declines in PBIT, it struggles to support the existing players. At this time the market cannot support the absorption of an additional television service.
3161 We become even more concerned when we hear of Trinity's plan to air such programs as "60 Minutes" and "Dateline". These are the same programs that A-Channel stations currently sublicense from Global, and their inclusion in Trinity's schedule would exacerbate the impact were its service to be licensed.
3162 In other words, religious or not, if Trinity is selling advertising in popular Hollywood programming, they are no different than any other conventional broadcaster.
3163 This is not the case of one broadcaster crying the blues in an otherwise healthy market. All of the private broadcasters have put forth opinion and evidence that the Winnipeg market is too fragile to support another entrant at this time. Indeed, we did not oppose, nor did other applicants or incumbent broadcasters, Trinity's successful application in the Fraser Valley because we believed the Vancouver EM to be robust at the time and that the market could absorb additional entrants.
3164 We heard Mr. Neufeld refer yesterday to Craig's remarks at the Toronto hearing to the effect that the Commission cannot be expected to concern itself with a station's "inability to manage." With respect, the comments we made in Toronto were in an entirely different context. They were made with respect to one intervener who was under-performing relative to their competitors in a market where revenues were growing and average profit margins were very healthy.
3165 We are not alone, and Winnipeg is anything but a healthy market. In fact, according to the Commission's statistical financial summaries, only the Saskatchewan market appears to be worse off. Revenues in Manitoba have been declining since 1998 as have profit margins. The annual growth rate for PBIT margins between '97 and 2000 was a negative 19.3 percent. The Financial Post Comparison of Population Growth and Retail Sales in Top 10 Canadian Markets for 1997-2002 shows Winnipeg's population growth to the be the lowest of the top 10 and its retail sales to be under-performing as compared to the national average. These figures all speak to the reduced demand by advertisers for this market. This is not a blip that will correct itself. There are systemic problems in this market.
3166 Madam Chair, I joined Craig in 1991 as the general sales manager for the Manitoba Television Network as A-Channel Manitoba was then called. In '97 I became the general sales manager for all of the Craig television stations and was based in Alberta. I have since returned to Winnipeg in hopes of helping turn things around here. I know this market; I know the significant challenges being faced by all the local stations here, and of course, in particular by Craig.
3167 Over the past for years I have witnessed a number of disappointing changes in the market. Winnipeg has slipped from the priority market it once was. Advertisers drop it from national buys with more frequency than in the past. This is likely attributable to the sluggish retail sales and population growth as compared to other high demand markets.
3168 Overall, audiences have declined, while at the same time, share of tuning to other than incumbent stations has increased.
3169 The market CPRs have not increased at the same pace as other Canadian markets, which is further evidenced in support of the fact that this is not a demand market.
3170 In short, the market is fragmented. The selling costs have stayed virtually the same and the dollars spent have shrunk.
3171 Before Jennifer concludes our remarks this morning, I would like to shed some light on the notion floated yesterday that there are no opportunities for religious programming on conventional stations. It's of interest to note that two of the proposed barter programs Trinity identifies in its application, "Church of the Rock" and "Calvary Temple," currently air weekly on A-Channel. In addition, Trinity's signature program, "It's A New Day," has aired for the last four years on our A-Channel stations in Alberta. And when Trinity wanted to produce and test a new concept, "Light Talk," it was A-Channel that found it a home on the schedule. We have always been receptive to and made time blocks available for Canadian religious programming.
3172 MS. STRAIN: We note both that both CTV and Global intervened in writing but have not appeared in person. We are here in person because the situation for our stations here in Manitoba is unique.
3173 First, we obviously don't have the strength and size of those companies or the same wherewithal to cross-subsidize weaker markets like Brandon and Winnipeg across many profitable assets. We have two stations in Manitoba that provide province-wide coverage of rural and local issues, and these services are essentially subsidized solely by our two Alberta stations.
3174 Second, Winnipeg is the only market in the country where Global and CTV have combined their sales forces, which gives them a distinct advantage in the market and would probably lessen the impact on them of Trinity's being licensed and increase the impact on us.
3175 Third, we are the only local station in the market not being carried by DTH distributors. While we realize this is the subject of another process, we raise it here because it is significantly impacting our ratings and revenues. Tuning to satellite in this market is 13 percent and growing.
3176 And fourth, we don't want to be competing for U.S. network programs with Trinity, but it appears that may be the situation we are faced with if they are licensed.
3177 In that regard, while we appreciate the spirit in which Trinity made its commitment not to compete with the local stations for American programming, we're not clear as to how that commitment would work in practice. We are not sure that the CRTC can regulate what programs Trinity buys, only what it broadcasts, and it appears clear that Trinity does have plans to utilize American mainstream programs. We, like you, Madam Chair and Commissioners, have been unable to come up with a perfect solution for when a Hollywood program fits on a religious channel and when it doesn't.
3178 Finally, we wanted to mention that Trinity's commitment to reinvest profits from the broadcast of U.S. programming into Canadian programming is essentially the model that conventional broadcasters in this market operate under now.
3179 Madam Chair, to summarize, in addition the existing challenges that we have outlined above, we are looking at the possibility of a new radio entrant. When the prospect of a new religious service is also thrown into the mix, one that plans to air some of the very same programs that comprise the core of our prime time schedule, we believe the benefits of licensing Trinity must be weighed against the costs. In this case, we certainly appreciate that Trinity has its supporters, but we have no broad studies of consumer demand and no advertiser studies to support the desirability of licensing a new religious service at this time. There is, however, the distinct possibility of harm to incumbents in a market that can ill afford to handle to take on that challenge as well.
3180 We thank you and the Commission staff for your time and assistance and would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
3181 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Commissioner Cardozo.
3182 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you, Madam Chair, Mr. Cowie, Ms. Strain. Thank you for your presentation this morning. I'm going to spend a little time, as may be others, going through some of the issues because the issues you raise are fairy serious and we look at them very seriously. What I'd like to do is cover three areas: the state of the market, the definition of religious programming, and then the competitive aspects of your service with Trinity if they were to be licensed.
3183 I take it you heard their opening comments yesterday and have a text of their presentation?
3184 MS. STRAIN: Yes, we do, Commissioner.
3185 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Because I want to refer to it a little later on. Just on the market, tell me your thoughts about this, because -- I don't want to go into the radio part that we've had because it's not part of this discussion ‑‑ only to say that what was quite noticeable was that all the applicants were of the view that the Winnipeg market can sustain new players -- they were talking about radio -- but they did not see it in the dire circumstances that you've suggested today. And I think in general we find -- or I will make my observation that I find quite often that an applicant for a new station, television or radio, will always make the case that there is room in the market, that the market has aspects of robustness or is robust, and those who don't want it to be licensed, who are incumbents, will say, no, no, no, things are a lot worse. So I have to ask you, is this the normal pattern that we see quite regularly where the incumbents say, "No, the market can't take another player at this time or in the future"?
3186 MR. COWIE: Oh, I think that's 100 percent correct. In all of the hearings I've been to I've never seen an incumbent broadcaster jump up and down and say, "Come on in," and I've never seen a broadcaster competing for a licence indicate that the market was too soft for them to be there.
3187 So I think what we're trying to do, and what the Commission is responsible for, is to take a look at the information provided on both sides and weigh the public good against the public bad. In most cases here we've used the CRTC's own financial records. The market is declining. I mean, it's right from the website where we pulled the information that between '96 and now, the market has declined. It hasn't grown. So it's not a blip caused by September 11th. It's not a downturn. I mean, two years ago in most of the country the economy was booming along and continues to boom along in some of the marketplaces. So we're looking at Manitoba as an entity and it's just not as rosy as it has been here.
3188 I think Mr. Neufeld made a comment yesterday that this has never been a boom-or-bust province, and I would agree wholeheartedly with that, but the cold hard facts is that it's been in decline. I mean, with PBIT declines of 35 percent over the last two years, it would be tough to paint this market anything but in decline.
3189 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: When do you see things bottoming out and turning up? The Conference Board of Canada certainly revised its forecast downwards recently, I think it was in October. Others point out that Winnipeg, unlike many other markets, is quite diverse. The economy is quite diverse and therefore it is somewhat recession proof. Do you have, in terms of the economic forecast, things that you've looked at, what's the longer term, say five years and seven years down the road?
3190 MR. COWIE: Well, I think what we would hope for is to reverse the decline and start to move back into a slow growth mode, but I mean, like I said, the decline has not been a quick up and a quick down. I mean, it's been a prolonged decline in this marketplace. And a lot of it has to do with -- you know, whether it's Proctor and Gamble or General Motors or a local mom-and-pop store here, if the sales are not warranted, then unfortunately advertisers pull back out of the marketplace. We have little or no control over that. You know, as best we try to position our business and as best to try to position it competitively against radio and newspaper and so on, when the sales fall off, so do the advertising dollars because at the end of day that's how they're supported.
3191 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Yes.
3192 MR. COWIE: So is there opportunity to move forward? Please, I hope so. But is it going to be instantaneous? No, I don't think so.
3193 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Yes. The reason I ask about the long terms is because we're obviously licensing -- when we license a player we expect and we hope they're going to be in the market for the long term, so you're looking at five, seven, 10 years down the road, and I guess part of the judgment we have to make is how deep, or how -- I mean, you're forecasting, and some will say guessing, but --
3194 MR. COWIE: Yes.
3195 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: -- but to some extent, how long is this downturn going to be, and is there prospect for it to turn around? In the past week, I think, the markets have turned around in North America. There are new forecasts coming out of different sources all the time and our job is to make our judgment on that.
3196 Let me ask you about CHMI-TV. You've talked about your own declining revenues. What do you put that down to? There are certain factors where you've had change within A-Channel as you're re‑branding from MTN to A-Channel in moving from a rural to an urban area, and the competition that Global and CTV and whether they've bought some of the more popular programming which then affects your ratings. Are those factors as well?
3197 MR. COWIE: Absolutely. I mean, it's probably the factor.
3198 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Which one? I mentioned --
3199 MR. COWIE: The fragmentation of market audience and relative positioning. I mean, I looked at the figures from seven years ago, six years ago, when the incumbent stations here all enjoyed pretty much an equal share in terms of audience delivery. Now, that obviously changes inside the marketplace, who has the hot program. You know, we heard an advertiser and a convention on Monday, Moore (phonetic), suggesting that they had bought sponsorship opportunities in this obscure program named "Survivor" when it first came out, and had won from that and so on. When you're number three in the program trough or pecking order, it's pretty tough. I mean, we have to continually work on reinventing the program schedule. So I mean, that's how you survive in a marketplace. In terms of what you can deliver, it's the most important thing.
3200 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay. In terms of fragmentation, there was a comment yesterday ‑‑ it could have been Mr. Neufeld who talked about the pie, and he said you're not only talking about growing the pie, but perhaps creating a new pie for --
3201 MR. COWIE: Well, I heard --
3202 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: -- for religious programming service.
3203 MR. COWIE: Right.
3204 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Do you see that there are markets out there that you just couldn't have because there are certain advertisers who just may not be interested in you or the other services but would be interested in a different kind of service?
3205 MR. COWIE: There are definitely opportunities for environment, without question. The problem with -- and I won't go to growing the pie because you would hope that an entrant that comes in with additional sales people and so on would help grow the pie. When you talk about creating a new one, I mean, I looked at two of the areas where the money is coming from and it's going to be some of my dough they use to make the crust for the pie. That would be programs like "Church of the Rock" that we were the first broadcaster to have on. We've had a longstanding relationship with them. We moved them from Winnipeg to Brandon. We have now moved them into the Calgary and Edmonton marketplaces. We have a contract with them that runs to the end of the programming year. Apparently we both think we're going to be airing "Church of the Rock," but one of us will be wrong. We're not sure which one yet.
3206 And will a religious broadcaster who has had access to the conventional side, move over the religious side because of environment? Maybe. Maybe they'll move over because of price. Maybe they'll run it in both to increase audience depth. But the create-a-pie philosophy, that's a new one, but like I said, I mean, the dough, I think, and maybe some of the filling, is going go come from the incumbent broadcasters.
3207 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Well, sometimes, you know, you just can't get a pie plate that's big enough and you have to start again.
3208 MR. COWIE: Well, we could always use more pie.
3209 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: No cherry on the top?
3210 MR. COWIE: Whipped cream, nuts.
3211 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Tell me your thoughts about what the role of the Commission is, vis-à-vis protecting incumbents, and in this case where a new player or a new applicant is wanting to do programming that is different from what's available in the market. You mentioned in your opening that there were two or three programs that you carry currently, and I'm well aware of that, but they're looking at more than two or three programs. They're looking for a much larger quantity of religious programming and nobody can present that at this time.
3212 So when somebody is offering to fill a niche or a need that's there, what is the role of the Commission, either in general or, Ms. Strain, from a legal perspective, in terms of protecting incumbents? And I recognize that we want to see strong, viable players. We're also in favour of competition. So where do you draw that line, the two objectives?
3213 MS. STRAIN: I think that's the million dollar question, Commissioner Cardozo. That's the issue --
3214 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Well, you know what I said to somebody earlier, when you say something like that you get my vote, but I --
3215 MS. STRAIN: Well, I'm not sure -- do I need a vote this time? No, but seriously, that is a good question, and as I -- to summarize this intervention, I guess that's what I was weighing. I mean, we're a little bit out of our comfort zone being here in some ways. I mean, we listened to the presentation yesterday by Trinity, and when we say we don't doubt, we do understand they're sincere about this and we know what they're trying to do.
3216 So I guess the job for you -- and you know, you hate saying this, but there is no tried-and-true formula. I think you have to look at these on a case-by-case basis. The reason we're here is because we do a ton of local programming in Winnipeg. We've been in Winnipeg for years and years and years. We haven't cut local service. And this market in particular is one of the worst in Canada. That's one of the reasons we're here.
3217 So you weigh that against what Trinity's proposing and if you're confident that they have established clear demand, and that they've established advertiser demand -- and I'm not sure that I'm clear on that from reading their application. I don't doubt that there's people who are interested in the service, but you know, we don't have the usual tools we usually have in an application like this to sort of judge that a little more carefully. I think it's a balancing act for you and for us.
3218 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you. I'd hoped you'd have more guidance than that on these tough questions, but that's an honest answer.
3219 Have you had a look at the Trinity proposal? I want to move to definition of religious programming, and the Trinity opening comments yesterday on pages 12 and 13 had guidelines about how you would judge a program to be religious or not, which sort of go over and above the section in our religious policy which Madam Chair had read out yesterday. What's your sense of these proposals on page 12 and 13?
3220 MS. STRAIN: Well, first of all, there's a couple of interesting things I just wanted to point out. The first is that I understand the definition of a religious program is in your policy. There's also a slightly different definition in the new program categories which came out a year or two ago, which I have tabbed here. I've had occasion to be reviewing the program categories lately. So the definition, for instance, of a Category 4 religious program is "programs dealing with religion and religious teachings as well as discussions of the human spiritual condition," which I think is a little bit different than what's in the policy.
3221 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: It's a bit more of a traditional definition.
3222 MS. STRAIN: Yes.
3223 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay. Do you think we should be looking at the two together, or --
3224 MS. STRAIN: Well --
3225 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: -- is it your view that one of those should take precedence over the other?
3226 MS. STRAIN: Well, I guess just by virtue of the fact that your program categories are more recent and came out as a result of a public process, that perhaps that has superseded the religious policy. I'm not sure that they contradict each other, but they aren't exactly the same.
3227 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I'm not sure they were intended to supersede. I think the program categories --
3228 MS. STRAIN: Well, they may not have been.
3229 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: -- are probably just a briefer version --
3230 MS. STRAIN: Yes, they may not have been.
3231 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: -- of the policy.
3232 MS. STRAIN: Well, that could be. But I didn't have this written brief yesterday. I was here for the presentation, so I'd like to just take another look at it. But I can tell you that I spent a lot of time laying awake last night and have spent some time over the last week trying to figure out this very issue, which is how do you judge -- and you're probably not going to like my answer on this one either. But you know, I can see, certainly, that there may be a place for a "Leave it to Beaver" or a "Little House on the Prairie" on a religious station, given the context of the station and the program's strong sort of family, moral, ethical values. I have a much harder time with "60 Minutes" and "Dateline," and somebody told me, or I read somewhere that there's now a Bible study for "The Simpsons," and I have a real hard time with categorizing "The Simpsons" as a religious program. So I was trying to think of, you know, is there a way that you can say that the defining theme of the program has to be spiritual or moral or ethical, and it's very difficult.
3233 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So what is it that makes "Little House on the Prairie" and "Leave it to Beaver" acceptable to you?
3234 MS. STRAIN: Commissioner Cardozo, just the fact that I used to watch it and I know what it's about, and it's --
3235 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Well, do you watch "ER"?
3236 MS. STRAIN: -- almost a smell test. Yes, I do watch "ER" and I thought that that was an interesting example. But it's almost a gut feel. You know, I don't think "ER," "Simpsons," "60 Minutes," "Dateline" would necessarily fall into that category. I can see how some of these other shoes certainly might.
3237 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Is there a way to -- maybe I'll give you a minute to take a look at that.
3238 MS. STRAIN: Yes, thank you.
3239 MR. COWIE: While she's doing that, I mean, I look at not so much the program -- and I understand the concept of the wrap-around and designing it in such a way to provoke thought or initiate discussion. We just came back from a conference from the Television Bureau, a sales conference in Montreal, and one of the best sales trainers, Chris Lytle, uses a similar technique. I mean, part of his presentation was using segments from "The Music Man" to show the goods and bads and evils of salespeople and atonement and so on. He used those snippets to create discussion, to drive home a point, but he didn't make us sit through a two-and-a-half-hour musical to get there. So I understand the component of trying to initiate dialogue, but do you have to watch all of "60 Minutes" in order to initiate dialogue? Rush Limbaugh, Larry King, those types of people, they don't make you watch an entire speech from Capitol Hill to initiate dialogue, and that's the concern that I have, is the guise of the wrap-around. I understand the concept and the discussions about morality and religion and good and bad and evil and so on, but I find it a little tenuous at best, to --
3240 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay. Do you have sense of, if we were to license them, how -- or even from what you've looked at in terms of their Fraser Valley station ‑‑ whether you think there's a way to -- I mean, say we were to accept this, and our definition as being the base, but their suggestions here on page 12 and 13 of yesterday's comments, even then you've got -- no matter what kind of guidelines you draw up, you would still have to make a judgment, and I think different people will come down differently on those things.
3241 Is there a way to make a judgment on that? I was just floating an idea yesterday of having an outside committee, a third-party committee, where people could challenge programs like that, and then this -- the responsibility would still rest with the Commission if people weren't satisfied, but you would have at least an interim mechanism, or a mechanism a little away from us where we wouldn't have to get into all the nitty gritty ‑‑ of an outside committee who could look at that kind of stuff?
3242 And this is an interesting issue that comes up periodically with various kinds of specialized services. There are people who feel that (a) you're getting into my turf, or they're original supporters of that concept who feel they're straying from the original concept that they supported and that there's a dumbing down going on in order to reach a larger market. I'm not suggesting what Trinity's done is dumbing down, but certainly of mainstreaming their service, some people might say it. I think just as a competitor might be concerned about that, a supporter of the service could equally have concerns, and where could they go?
3243 MS. STRAIN: I was interested in that discussion yesterday about the concept of an independent committee. Only as I understood it yesterday, I thought it was being discussed as something that would kick in once there was a complaint. I'm not sure that's the best way to go, first of all because I don't think generally broadcasters like to be launching complaints, but also because it's not maybe the most practical solution. You know, if Trinity goes and purchases a program and enters into a licence agreement and then gets a complaint about it, they may have spent money. You know, perhaps if you had a process like that, that the service went through for ‑‑ you know, anything it bought from Hollywood would have to be vetted by this independent committee prior to going to air, that might be a more practical approach to it.
3244 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay, thanks. In terms of pages 12 and 13, do you have any suggestions about how definitions could be tightened up? Well, maybe I'll carry on and if any come to mind while you're here, you can voice those.
3245 MS. STRAIN: Yes. I mean, I really have been thinking about this for a while. not this specific language exactly but just how you put the barriers around it. And the only thing I keep coming back to is that maybe if there's language that says that morals or ethics have to be the defining predominant theme of the program, maybe that helps to clarify it a little bit.
3246 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Well, number four says, "Promote understanding and respect for religious differences;" number six, "Tell stories dealing with religious or spiritual themes, events, morals or characters."
3247 MS. STRAIN: Yes. Well, I mean, according to this, I don't see where "60 Minutes" would fit into here. It's not evident to me where "60 Minutes" would fit in in here.
3248 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Let me just quickly go through a couple of things that were in the letter in response to your intervention from Mr. Willard Thiessen, a letter dated September the 30th, and he's talking here about "60 Minutes," "Dateline," "Primetime Thursday" at the bottom of page 10, and it says:
3249 The opportunity to sublicense three of these programs arose because of the specific circumstances faced by an existing broadcaster in the B.C. market.
3250 A little bit further he says:
3251 We were not in a competitive situation for the purchase of this programming, and we are quite certain that the large media companies like CTV and Craig had the opportunity to purchase these programs before the were offered to NOW TV.
3252 A couple of paragraphs down he says:
3253 With this in mind, we reviewed the content of each episode of the aforementioned four magazine programs over the past year and found that virtually every episode included content which would springboard naturally --
3254 And I want to highlight these words.
3255 -- into questions and issues of religious and spiritual concern. We bought the serious on this basis.
3256 So using the kind of words you just used, his view is that "into questions and issues of religious and spiritual concern" justifies these programs.
3257 MS. STRAIN: But that's not how I view "60 Minutes." I mean, it's an informative program, and certainly there may be issues that relate to spirituality or morals, but I mean, every day, every day we lead our lives within that sort of context. As somebody said to me yesterday, every -- there's three themes in Hollywood, good versus evil, journeys of discovery, and I can't remember what the third one was. But I see "60 Minutes" as predominantly an informative news magazine program, and I think you can have discussions about issues that are in the news and relate them to spirituality, but maybe you don't have to air an entire broadcast of "60 Minutes" in order to generate that discussion.
3258 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So the best of "60 Minutes" or the most religious of "60 Minutes" would be a way of doing it? Let me ask you about the ‑‑ let's move to the competitive issue. If there are programs, as they note on page 10 of this letter, that nobody else wanted, that nobody else was purchasing ‑‑ now in this letter Mr. Thiessen says they were of a religious and spiritual concern. But if they weren't that too strictly but in a fairly general way, but they were programs that you and the other broadcasters in this market were not interested in, do you have a problem with that? So you're straying away from religion, getting more into mainstream maybe. There's the religious (inaudible -- off microphone) probably peripheral, but nobody wants that programming, why shouldn't they have access to that?
3259 MS. STRAIN: Our primary concern is the impact. At the end of the day it's another player in the market. Even if it's a show that maybe we didn't bid on or weren't interested in, religious service or not, what we're saying is that we don't think now is the right time to be licensing a new television entrant. So yes, in answer to your question we'd still be a little bit -- we'd still be concerned.
3260 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: On page 11 of the comments from yesterday, the middle of the page:
3261 . . . we are fully prepared to commit by condition of licence not to compete with conventional local stations for the purchase of programming.
3262 How does that proposed condition of license strike you?
3263 MS. STRAIN: Well, as we said, we appreciate that commitment. Technically, I think the only way that you can structure a condition of licence like that is to limit what they broadcast, because you can't regulate what Global sells to Trinity. I don't think you can regulate what Trinity buys. I'm just trying to remember back to the WIC hearing in which CHUM and Global had this arrangement that Global wouldn't broadcast programming from the mini networks, and the way that was translated in the decision was that it was a restriction on the broadcasting of that program, because that's really the only -- that's where your jurisdiction is, is in what we do on the air. So I appreciate that commitment, and I don't doubt ‑‑
3264 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Well, if it was ‑‑
3265 MS. STRAIN: But I don't know how you can enforce it other than to put in the condition of licence that it's "thou shall not broadcast."
3266 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Well, I mean, if it was purchased -- I mean, when we're looking at purchase, if it was purchase and air, or air rather than purchase, as you say, we wouldn't be -- well, is it a concern to you if they purchase programming for the purpose of keeping it from you and they don't air it? Is that something that happens a lot in the market?
3267 MS. STRAIN: You know, that's not my biggest concern with Trinity, I don't think. I mean, conceivably that could happen, but I'm not --
3268 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay. So the main thing is the airing of the programs?
3269 MS. STRAIN: Yes.
3270 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: If this focused on airing, you would find this helpful?
3271 MS. STRAIN: Yes. Then you get ‑‑
3272 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Given that, what you're saying is that you don't what them licensed at all, but if we were to ‑‑
3273 MS. STRAIN: Yes. And then that brings you to the question, okay you won't broadcast what? You won't broadcast ‑‑
3274 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Well, they wouldn't compete for programming with you or the other local broadcasters. So if "Little House on the Prairie" was of interest to you, you would get, as I read this, first dibs on "Little House on the Prairie," and then if you don't want it then it's theirs to pick up.
3275 MS. STRAIN: I'm not sure that condition does that.
3276 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Well, it says the condition, "not to compete with conventional local stations." Essentially it sounds to me that they would give everybody else first dibs on any programming and they wouldn't compete.
3277 MS. STRAIN: I'm just trying to explain this.
3278 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Can I ask you, have you competed with them for programming in the past?
3279 MS. STRAIN: I'm not sure. Cam?
3280 MR. COWIE: I don't believe so.
3281 MS. STRAIN: I don't think so.
3282 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay.
3283 MS. STRAIN: I don't think so. I mean, you know, they got that programming for Fraser Valley, obviously, because we're not in that market.
3284 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Right.
3285 MS. STRAIN: But presumably if we'd had a station in that market we would have acquired it.
3286 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Right. Okay. Yes. Okay, well those cover my questions and I thank you very much for the help. Thanks, Madam Chair.
3287 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Well, I have a few questions. I guess it comes down to your issues are two: one, programming, and two, market impact. Have I got it right?
3288 MR. COWIE: (Inaudible -- off microphone)
3289 THE CHAIRPERSON: On programming we then get into the issue of what programming is and then the competitive issue of program purchase and that sort of issue. I hear you in what you were talking about in terms of you don't know what COL would comfort you. In that, is there ever a time in ‑‑ whenever, May, June ‑‑ when you're purchasing programs, when you've got your schedule filled up?
3290 MS. STRAIN: There is, and I'm not the programming expert here at Craig, but the screenings are in May, typically, June.
3291 MR. COWIE: Most of the conventionals will release anywhere between mid to the end of May to early June. So by early June most broadcasters have their schedules finalized. There still may be some contracts that have not been inked and back and forth, but for the most part they're out presenting them for the national up front.
3292 THE CHAIRPERSON: In some ways I see this as a paper tiger because I don't see Trinity having the economic might to fight with Craig or Global and CTV for programming. It's difficult for me. And do you disagree with me on that?
3293 MS. STRAIN: No, generally I don't. You know, but who knows? I mean, maybe if Global sees Trinity out in Vancouver ‑‑ I mean, don't forget, Global's got two schedules that it needs to run off across the country, so if it sees Trinity in Fraser Valley and Trinity in Winnipeg, I mean, they might be able to enter into some arrangement that ‑‑ I mean, I don't know, but it's possible.
3294 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mm-hmm. So Trinity alone couldn't ‑‑
3295 MS. STRAIN: No, probably not.
3296 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Mm-hmm. In a lot of ways, because of that, they're in a position where they can't really start buying until you're finished anyway, you and the other conventionals; would that be fair to say?
3297 MS. STRAIN: Well, maybe. I don't ‑‑
3298 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think there's stuff around the edges, but I mean, you know ‑‑
3299 MS. STRAIN: Yes.
3300 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ if somebody else pays more money, then they're, you know ‑‑
3301 MS. STRAIN: Maybe. I don't know what sort of cash reserves they're going to have available to them to go looking for this stuff. I mean, generally speaking I agree with what you're saying, but I don't know.
3302 THE CHAIRPERSON: So if instead of the "won't purchase," if we said "will not be able to purchase until after mid-June," or some ‑‑ I'm not familiar with purchasing terms, but you've used a term, "release date," or until after the purchasing had been completed or substantially completed by the conventionals, would that give you the comfort that you would need in terms of that issue?
3303 MS. STRAIN: That ‑‑
3304 THE CHAIRPERSON: I know there's the issue of ‑‑
3305 MS. STRAIN: Right. Right.
3306 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ what is religious ‑‑
3307 MS. STRAIN: Yes.
3308 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ and market impact of that, you know, but ‑‑
3309 MS. STRAIN: Market impact, yes. I mean, that would, Commissioner Cram. I'm not sure that that doesn't create big headaches for you as a regulator. I mean, does that mean you're going to start reviewing their purchase contracts? You know, it opens up maybe a bit of Pandora's box.
3310 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Yes. It seems to me we always stick our heads in hornets' nests ‑‑
3311 MS. STRAIN: Yes.
3312 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ in a lot of ways. And I understand that concern. Then the next issue is the programming has gone beyond religious, and I confess, before this hearing I thought a lot about religious, and we've heard interestingly enough through this hearing a couple of definitions that I sort of want to run by. One is, and Mr. Thiessen used it yesterday, programming that has consequences in it. You know, you do wrong, there are consequences. I don't see any resounding ‑‑
3313 MS. STRAIN: I think every show I watch ‑‑
3314 THE CHAIRPERSON: Has that?
3315 MS. STRAIN: ‑‑ has that in it, is my view. And some may take a few episodes.
3316 MR. COWIE: I would agree with Jennifer. I mean, from "The Flintstones," you know, there was consequences, to a movie like "Boiler Room" or whatever. I mean, it's all about consequences. If there was no consequences in any program, I doubt you'd have a beginning, middle and an end.
3317 THE CHAIRPERSON: But what if I crafted on to that, "constructive and positive"?
3318 MR. COWIE: It still defines "The Flintstones".
3319 THE CHAIRPERSON: We heard a couple of days ago about, in radio, one of the individuals said that Christian programming, religious programming gives "the answer." In terms of if, you know, there's a problem, alcoholism, everything, that it gives "the answer." Does that ‑‑ no, that's not going to ‑‑
3320 MR. COWIE: I think that one's ‑‑
3321 MS. STRAIN: Oh, in that case I'm going to subscribe to it, because ‑‑
3322 MR. COWIE: Yes. You know, the weakest link gives the answer.
3323 THE CHAIRPERSON: No. Well, no, but ‑‑ no, no, but turning in a religious sense ‑‑
3324 MR. COWIE: Yes, I know what ‑‑ yes.
3325 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ you know, I ‑‑
3326 MR. COWIE: It's hard.
3327 MS. STRAIN: Gives the answer.
3328 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mm-hmm.
3329 MR. COWIE: I mean, I guess the basic question, answer to what? I mean, if it's ‑‑
3330 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, no, but, you know, when you're talking religiously ‑‑
3331 MR. COWIE: Yes.
3332 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ you're talking "the answer," and "the answer" is clearly God, you know. So it's not that it poses the problem, or the issue, but it also provides the answer ‑‑
3333 MS. STRAIN: Well ‑‑
3334 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ and the answer being, you know, God and religion.
3335 MS. STRAIN: Well, maybe in a ‑‑ what was your first one, in a concrete and constructive way. In other words ‑‑
3336 THE CHAIRPERSON: Constructive and concrete way.
3337 MS. STRAIN: ‑‑ it provides "the answer" not in sort of a subtle way.
3338 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mm-hmm. Yes. Then the last one is, of course, we're talking moral and ethical and family values. I confess, to me, that this one is a tough one for me because I think Muslims have family values. I think Hindus have family values. I think that they are very similar to Christian family values. And so I have a problem distinguishing that as religious programming in a Christian sense, as opposed to religious programming of normal family values. But we also have to recognize that in Vision and in Crossroads we've accepted it. So to me it appears that that's water under the bridge unless you can find a distinction between what's proposed and happening in the Fraser Valley and what we've done in Vision and in Crossroads.
3339 MS. STRAIN: You know, I'm just thinking here that Mr. Thiessen, I believe, yesterday, made the comment that a lot of the older programs tend to have more of these family values, sort of moral issues, concrete moral issues subsumed within them, and you know, maybe that's a -- maybe limiting the age of the program. Maybe that gets to your competitive issue too, which is they won't license anything that's not 10 years old or ‑‑
3340 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, then we'll have problems with Lonestar, won't we?
3341 MS. STRAIN: And that certainly ‑‑ I mean, a lot of the programs we're airing on TV Land and all those programs are older. A lot of the ones they're talking about, "Lucy," "Andy Griffith" ‑‑
3342 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
3343 MS. STRAIN: ‑‑ you know, "Happy Days" I think airs on Crossroads in Hamilton. So, I mean, you know what our first position is, but maybe that's another way of getting at both the competitive issue and, in some ways, the religious issue.
3344 THE CHAIRPERSON: So if programming 30 or 40 or 50 years ago shows family values, consequences, that are acceptable for religious programming, why can't religious programming directly address the contrary that's happening now, in other words, the lack of family values?
3345 MS. STRAIN: Oh, I think they can in discussion groups. And I guess what we're trying to say is does that mean, you know, they could air ‑‑ an extreme example, obviously ‑‑ but so do you air an hour of the "Sopranos" and then have a discussion about it? I mean, I think certainly religious programming should absolutely address those things, but I don't think it has to do that and has to do that by airing an hour‑long "Sopranos" or "Temptation Island." A bad example, I guess we air that show, but ‑‑ or a two-hour shoot-em-up movie, you know. I mean, I think ‑‑
3346 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
3347 MS. STRAIN: You know.
3348 THE CHAIRPERSON: And yet I'm having a hard time sort of distinguishing between we can use examples of the good for programming, for religious programming, but we can't use ‑‑ not even examples, but real life ‑‑ because we're not talking about "ER" and we're not talking about the "Sopranos" ‑‑ but you can't use real life as an example of the contrary. You know, that these are bad family values or these are problems. Where do you draw the line? You know, a news clip of ‑‑ in Hamilton a couple of days after, as they call it, 9/11, some guy torched a Hindu temple believing it to be a Muslim temple. Now, to me if there were a news magazine on that, I think that would be ‑‑ and I'm only expressing my own opinion, but speak about, you know, half an hour on what happened and the impact on the Hindus and their inability to ‑‑ I mean, to me, that's custom made for a real discussion on Christian issues and then maybe on balance programming. I have a hard time not being able to ‑‑ if family values fit in, then I have a hard time not seeing why this kind of thing doesn't fit in.
3349 MS. STRAIN: Well, I think it does fit in. I mean, I think that example is a fair one. Absolutely that would have a place on a religious station, particularly if it's in the context of a discussion about that very problem, you know, our not understanding Islam or whatever. I guess I just ‑‑ I mean, what I think they're talking about if I understood them correctly is airing "60 Minutes" and in the U.S. avails having a one-minute blurb on the significance of one of the discussions in "60 Minutes," and I'm just not sure that that is the same thing as talking about a local issue. It doesn't have to be local, but talking about an important issue and then putting it in the context of a larger discussion about what it means for us morally, ethically, religiously.
3350 THE CHAIRPERSON: But they do that the next hour.
3351 MS. STRAIN: I'm sorry?
3352 THE CHAIRPERSON: Then they do that the next hour. They have a phone-in and that's precisely what they do. You know, I'm having a hard time sort of seeing where the line can be drawn.
3353 MS. STRAIN: As am I.
3354 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
3355 MS. STRAIN: I mean, I understand your dilemma because I've ‑-
3356 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mm-hmm.
3357 MS. STRAIN: ‑‑ been thinking about it as well. You know, it's like educational programming. That's another one.
3358 THE CHAIRPERSON: Isn't it? Yes. If we can go to the market issues. I hear you on the issues that are peculiar to Winnipeg. I do recall though in Vancouver at the hearing when Trinity was licensed, Mr. Fecan was there, and of course the issue of market impact by Trinity in Vancouver was on the table, and he was talking about the impact of CTS having a share of one percent in Toronto, and he said on the record it had no impact whatsoever. The distinction then between a one share in Toronto and here is the fragmentation; would that be your point?
3359 MR. COWIE: Well, I guess, first of all, you'd have to figure out what share we're talking about. I looked at the information provided and how they developed their revenue projections. I think in prime time they were talking about a four share between 6:00 p.m. and midnight, Monday to Saturday. We have an eight, Global has a nine, CBC has an eight and I believe CTV has an 18. So in the first year of operation they're suggesting their share is exactly half of three of the incumbent broadcasters, with CBC being the public, of course. But that's pretty significant. I mean, it wasn't a one share. They were talking about a one share in the fringe opportunities, 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p., but it was a .7 rating, which is, you know, in this world of garnering and holding rating points and fragmentation and time shifting, that's not a terrible level. So it was the four share, and that was in year one, and climbing to a five and maybe even a six by year seven.
3360 Now, I don't know whether there was some error in that calculation. I also looked back against the audience, but to suggest that you would come in at half of the incumbent share and say there is no impact is an anomaly at best.
3361 THE CHAIRPERSON: You also raised the issue of TMG, and would you agree that if TMG didn't exist ‑‑ hello, Mr. Hanson ‑‑ that that would ameliorate your position somewhat here in Winnipeg?
3362 MR. COWIE: Well, I think what they've done is a very smart marketing move, is they've combined and protected their position in the market, in their inventory and so on. It gives them, I think, a better wherewithal to attract and hold larger, maybe larger advertisers. And we've continuously gone and tried to develop smaller advertisers and so on. Those are probably the ones that we're talking about. We're talking about ‑‑ I don't think there's going to be a massive shift of Procter and Gamble or General Motors to a religious broadcaster. But we're also active in securing advertisers and advertising revenue from Steinback and Portage la Prairie and so on. So I think that's the context that we mean.
3363 THE CHAIRPERSON: So it's not necessary TMG that's, as you said in your address, that's the issue? It's the fact that Trinity may be hitting the rural areas ‑‑
3364 MR. COWIE: Yes, they would ‑‑
3365 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ outside Winnipeg?
3366 MR. COWIE: I'm assuming they would go after smaller advertisers, and we believe we would be more susceptible to that. You know, I hate to say this. I mean, I'm actually embarrassed to say this, is we do have $25 spots in fringe time, and through Global and CTV they probably also have $25 spots in fringe time somewhere, whether it be late night or Sunday afternoon or Saturday afternoon, depending on the delivery of the program that they're running. And I understand only too well Mr. Neufeld's unit rate. We subscribe to that as well.
3367 I mean, if an advertiser who is not using an agency or not versed in rating delivery uses quite a simple thing, and it comes from the "Beverley Hillbillies" study. It's called a "gosinto." They divide the number of spots into the total dollars and that's the gosinto, and that's how they evaluate media. That's the type of thing that, you know, the $20 spot or the $25 spot, and so on.
3368 I think where their advantage is, or where their advantage would be if I was in the other seat, would be in association, and are there enough Christian book stores and religiously minded broadcasters and stuff to support a million dollars? I don't think so. It's going to have to come from other sources. And we spend a lot of time at these hearings going through ‑‑ I forget the question, 5.12, or the description of where the money is coming from.
3369 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
3370 MR. COWIE: We don't see that here. The description here is, well, 5 percent will come from the incumbent broadcasters and 95 percent will come from creating a new pie. And we're looking at that going, well, they've already targeted two of my individual, and I'm pretty sure Global would lose "It's a New Day." That probably already makes it more than 5 percent of the potential revenue that they're talking about. So to say that there's no impact I think is not ‑‑ and I mean, that's the marketing that we hate the most when we're filing out the application and when we're sitting in the front of the panel is, okay, well if you say 40 here, then you've got to go ‑‑ I mean, wherever you put it, somebody's not going to be happy. This is the gutsiest ploy I ever seen to say that 95 percent is going to come from somebody else. So I applaud that, but I don't necessarily believe it.
3371 THE CHAIRPERSON: So what about the argument that Winnipeg is sort of a strong religious market and a strong giving market? And that's true, they, you know ‑‑
3372 MR. COWIE: Yes, from a donation perspective and a donation of time, I wholeheartedly agree. My question is, is there enough outside of the donation scenario to support a million dollars or $800,000 of revenue in the first year that is not donation-related? Quite honestly that's why we look at the U.S. program, whether it's "60 Minutes" or "Dateline" or a program that has been left on the shelf. I mean, we've made a program policy of taking programs that were left on the shelf like "Picket Fences" and "Northern Exposure" and bringing them to fruition, to have them basically, you know, once developed, taken away. We understand the philosophy. But certainly a U.S. program that has U.S. promotion spilling in and so on, from the network, whether it's WB or FOX or one of the three big ones, is traditionally going to deliver better audience than a talk-about-it component. So I mean, the revenue's going to be derived from the "60 Minutes" portion and the ratings and so on. We understand the concept. It's not a bad concept. It's how do you determine how it works. But it works better with U.S. fare, without question.
3373 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. So you agree that the donations won't be an issue? The issue is the advertising?
3374 MR. COWIE: Yes.
3375 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes? And clearly ‑‑ well, I shouldn't say clearly. Trinity has said that there is a strong religious niche here, and I think Steinback, that area, it's a bit of a Bible belt; would you agree with me?
3376 MR. COWIE: Yes.
3377 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
3378 MR. COWIE: You just have to run a bad movie ‑‑
3379 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
3380 MR. COWIE: ‑‑ and you don't need a panel.
3381 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
3382 MR. COWIE: All you need's a receptionist.
3383 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. And so I ask myself if there are viewers and advertisers who, if they don't like one of your movies, get themselves right out of the market until there is something that has the family values and the consequences, and that they therefore are a new market?
3384 MR. COWIE: You know, that's why we brought up the fact that there are no demand studies. I mean, clearly, when we go into a new marketplace, even if we understand the marketplace, we go out and test the concept. I think Mr. Thiessen mentioned it yesterday in one of his orations about preaching to the choir, that's who they talk to, the choir. And we do not doubt for a moment there are staunch supporters for Trinity. It's a great service. It's a good part of the community. But just as you're asking the question on the one hand, we would ask the question on the other hand, if there are those people that are outside the choir, why aren't they noted in demand and why haven't they been asked whether they would support the service? We understand the people that will support the service, will support the service. What we haven't asked is if you don't support the service, do you have any interest in watching religious? I mean even the smallest of the diginets did some type of demand forecasting. And it was unapparent here.
3385 MS. STRAIN: And Madam Chair, if I understood Mr. Thiessen correctly yesterday, those people sort of outside of the ranks of the converted are the very people they're trying to target with some of this more mainstream programming to try and bring them in and get them thinking about these issues. And that's great. That's a great idea. But where the evidence that they want to be there?
3386 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mm-hmm. What do you say about ‑‑ and of course, Ms. Strain, you were in Toronto ‑‑ and the issue that we asked CHUM, the part that why should we worry about you because the market overall has a good PBIT? Especially why should we worry about you when I see Trinity's rebuttal at page 19 talking about your costs in the last couple of years, the re-branding, re-launching in Winnipeg, and those sorts of issues?
3387 MR. COWIE: Well, I guess ‑‑
3388 THE CHAIRPERSON: So, I mean, I want ‑‑
3389 MR. COWIE: Yes.
3390 THE CHAIRPERSON: There is an overall positive PBIT here, and so why should we worry about you when you may have incurred expenses that are really only of a one-year sort of lasting impact?
3391 MR. COWIE: Yes. And I think that's why we haven't put forward our own figures, is we're suggesting look at the marketplace. The Toronto scenario was totally different, is you had one broadcaster that was on one end and then all of the rest of the broadcasters on the other end, a healthy marketplace even by their own consultants of the interveners that said there would be 3 to 5 percent growth. I mean, their PBITs were growing over the last two years, I think, on average, and Jennifer might have this number of the plus-five range, where the PBIT here, the overall market PBIT here was declining at 35 percent.
3392 So we want to be really clear. First of all ‑‑ and I think Jennifer mentioned this ‑‑ we're uncomfortable sitting in this chair, in the intervener chair. I don't like it. This is my first time in the intervener chair, and we're looking at the market specific. We don't to make this the Wally Whiner Show about, you know, incumbents are good and new entrants are bad. We're talking about specifically the facts. The market is ‑‑ the market has declined and the market continues to decline. Whether we've had additional costs to re-brand a station is not significant to that discussion. We're suggesting that the market can't support, not that the Craig station can't support.
3393 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Well, you do talk about revenues declining, and then the very next sentence is, "The annual growth rate for PBIT was down." So PBIT certainly has a fair bit to do with expenses, that's ‑‑
3394 MR. COWIE: Right. But that's a market PBIT. That's a market PBIT.
3395 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, the average market. Yes.
3396 MR. COWIE: Yes, that's the average market PBIT.
3397 MR. COWIE: Because the national, or the rest of the Canadian markets were in a plus-five range. The Manitoba PBIT, on average, over the last four years, was 19, and the last two years it was minus 34.7, 35.1. So we're talking about market here. We want to make that very clear that this not a "Oh, please, don't hurt us." I mean, it's a market scenario.
3398 MS. STRAIN: And Madam Chair, I was just pulling out my numbers here. If you look, for example, in 2000, the PBIT margin for Canada was almost 14 percent. Ontario was 18.5 percent, and that compares to Manitoba, which is 4.65 percent, so it's well below national average, well below Ontario. And I agree with Cam, this really is a market ‑‑ in this specific case we've got some real concerns.
3399 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mm-hmm. I don't want to hear about Saskatchewan ever again. Thank you very much. Do you have questions? Commissioner Williams.
3400 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Thank you, Madam Chair. What is the magnitude of your revenue decline over the past few years?
3401 MR. COWIE: Of our revenue decline?
3402 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Yes?
3403 MR. COWIE: Substantial.
3404 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Is that as much detail as you care to give at this time?
3405 MR. COWIE: I'd best check with legal.
3406 MS. STRAIN: Commissioner Williams, we ‑‑ I have some information from our annual returns.
3407 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: You can go percentage-wise if you want. I don't need the actual number.
3408 MS. STRAIN: Yeah, I think I ‑‑ airtime revenues.
3409 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: I just want to know ‑‑
3410 MS. STRAIN: Yes, I can give you a percentage, I think. Just give me a minute here. Ninety-eight to '99, decline of 5 percent; '99 to 2000, decline of 5 percent; 2000 to 2001, decline of 8 percent.
3411 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay.
3412 MS. STRAIN: That's just airtime revenue; that's not profit.
3413 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: In your experience, have you ever seen all of the local broadcasters agree through the intervention process that a new entrant would cause harm in an already fragile marketplace?
3414 MR. COWIE: Sorry? Could ‑‑
3415 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. In your experience, have you ever witnessed all of the local broadcasters ‑‑ that's CTV, Global and yourselves ‑‑ have all said that the market is too fragile to allow a new entrant? Have you ever witnessed that before? You say in Trinity's application in Fraser Valley you didn't intervene because you thought the marketplace was strong enough.
3416 MS. STRAIN: Right.
3417 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay.
3418 MR. COWIE: I can't recollect in any particular hearing. I know that ‑‑
3419 MS. STRAIN: In Alberta.
3420 MR. COWIE: ‑‑ in some cases there might be dissenting to the magnitude and so on, but I'm sure there's probably been other hearings where all of the broadcasters were unanimous.
3421 MS. STRAIN: There were. In Alberta, the first and second licensing hearing when Craigs and the Aspers were competing for a licence, my recollection is all the broadcasters got together and intervened. And at that time the first hearing was in, when was that, '94, I believe, when the licence was turned down because of the market.
3422 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Right.
3423 MS. STRAIN: The market subsequently improved a few years later significantly. But yes, in both of those instances, all the Alberta ‑‑
3424 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Yes.
3425 MS. STRAIN: ‑‑ incumbent broadcasters opposed.
3426 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: So the marketplace was the determining factor that brought them together then, in your opinion?
3427 MS. STRAIN: Yes. And of course, the impact that a new entrant would have on local programming, et cetera.
3428 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Have you tried to negotiate carriage on DTH and with what result?
3429 MS. STRAIN: We have absolutely tried and continue to try, and no result. The only Craig station that is on DTH is A-Channel, Edmonton, and Star Choice and Express Vu are carrying that particular signal because at the time we had Oilers hockey, so that was sort of the selling feature.
3430 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: So the other two ‑‑
3431 MS. STRAIN: These are ongoing discussions we have with them all the time.
3432 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Yes. Okay. The other two Winnipeg stations are carried on DTH?
3433 MS. STRAIN: No, they're not.
3434 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Yes.
3435 MS. STRAIN: And nor is A-Channel, Calgary. In each market -- well, Brandon, we are the only station in the market, but in each of Winnipeg and Calgary we are the only service not up on DTH. CTV's up, Global's local signal's up. We're the only ones who aren't.
3436 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Should this panel choose to license two or perhaps even more radio stations, what impact on television advertising sales would this have? Say, for example, in Global's application, which is on the public record, they estimate their revenue to be 1.2 million, growing to 2.7 over their licence period; Corus, from 1.9 million to 3.2 million over their licence period. Trinity, 700 to 1.2 over their licence period. So doing quick math, that's $6 million over the license period of advertising revenue that each of these entities would require to survive.
3437 MR. COWIE: I think if you, first of all, compared ‑‑ let's say if it all came to fruition, we're talking about $6 million. The television market did just over 40 million, so that's a pretty major percentage. You know, even if you subscribe to the pie theory of 50 percent, I mean, $3 million is still going to have to come from incumbents, and whether that would come from just radio or just newspaper, or just television, that's the same question that we're faced with at each hearing. What we're suggesting is the first dollar, not only the six millionth dollar, will have some type of effect on the marketplace. So if there was two radio stations and another television station, yeah, I mean, the effect could be devastating.
3438 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. Thank you. I have no further questions, Madam Chair.
3439 THE CHAIRPERSON: Legal Counsel.
3440 LEGAL COUNSEL: Just a couple of small things to help out. In responding to Commissioner Cram at one point you referred to, I guess, the WIC decision that the Commission issued. Just for ease of reference, are you thinking of the decision where the Commission agreed to divesting to Global and CHUM? Is that the one you're thinking of?
3441 MS. STRAIN: No. It was July 6th, 2000, that decision came out. It's etched in my memory, I think. And that was the decision granting transfer of the WIC assets to Global ‑‑
3442 LEGAL COUNSEL: To Global?
3443 MS. STRAIN: ‑‑ as I recall. I think that's the one. Where they talked about the non-compete language. Is that what you're ‑‑ yes.
3444 LEGAL COUNSEL: Yes, what I'm trying to track down is there were conditions imposed in that decision?
3445 MS. STRAIN: Yes. I don't know if it was a condition or if it was the Commission noted Global's commitment to file a report or something saying that it would not do these things.
3446 LEGAL COUNSEL: Okay. It's just I wanted, for the record, and also for the applicant, to know which decision you were referring to, so that if ‑‑
3447 MS. STRAIN: I believe it was dated July 6th, 2000, and that was the decision.
3448 LEGAL COUNSEL: Thank you very much. The other question I had was just in terms of, I guess, programming overlap. In your presentation a little earlier you referred to, at the bottom of page 2, some programming overlap, I think "Church of the Rock," "It's a New Day," and so on. And also on page 1, about the middle of the page, you referred to "60 Minutes" and "Dateline," and you say "that the A-Channel stations sublicensed from Global." Are all the stations sublicensing those programs from Global?
3449 MS. STRAIN: My understanding is Global has the national rights to those programs, so our stations in Alberta and Manitoba air those programs.
3450 LEGAL COUNSEL: So A-Channel in Winnipeg licenses "60 Minutes" and "Dateline"; is that correct?
3451 MS. STRAIN: Yes.
3452 LEGAL COUNSEL: Okay. If I refer to the NOW TV fall 2001 schedule that you attached, I think, to the copy of your intervention ‑‑
3453 MS. STRAIN: I do have it. Okay. Yes, counsel?
3454 LEGAL COUNSEL: Yes, I think there's a reference, to on ‑‑ for example, Monday evening there's a reference to "Online 60 Minutes." Is there any other programming overlap between A-Channel in Winnipeg and from what you've seen and understand of what Fraser Valley broadcasts?
3455 MR. COWIE: "Dateline" and ‑‑
3456 LEGAL COUNSEL: Yes, "Dateline" we talked about a few minutes ago, that's right.
3457 MR. COWIE: And I'm not sure which level, or which program "Doc" is, if it's the same program we carry. I can't say for a certainty, but we do carry "Doc" as well, and if it's the same program then that would be overlap. The programs that I mentioned, "Church of the Rock" and "Calvary Temple," are barter programs that have secured time slots on our A-Channel stations.
3458 LEGAL COUNSEL: Is the "Doc" program, is that just the name of it, "Doc"?
3459 MR. COWIE: Yes, capital D-o-c. On Saturday night.
3460 LEGAL COUNSEL: Any other description you can give, so that ‑‑
3461 MR. COWIE: He's a country doctor. It's shot in Vancouver. The name escapes me, but he sang "Achy Breaky Heart."
3462 LEGAL COUNSEL: That's helpful. So those are the only overlaps?
3463 MR. COWIE: Yes.
3464 LEGAL COUNSEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
3465 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I think we'll take our break now, 15 minutes, and then go back to the other interveners.
3466 MS. STRAIN: Thank you very much.
--- Upon recessing at 1021 / Suspension à 1021
--- Upon resuming at 1044 / Reprise à 1044
3467 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will come back to order. Mr. Secretary
3468 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam. The next intervener this morning is Dr. Rangachari Venkataraman. Please proceed, Dr. Venkataraman, when you're ready.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
3469 MR. VENKATARAMAN: Madam Chairperson, Commissioners, good morning. My name is Rangarchari Venkataraman. I am a retired professor, senior scholar in the Math Department, University of Manitoba.
3470 I am also past president, a past office-bearer and a founding member of the Hindu Society of Manitoba, the only one such in Winnipeg, which represents approximately 10,000 Manitobans.
3471 Our community has grown since the beginning of the '60s when many of us immigrated to this great country and made it our home with our young families. Our community has come of age by now, our children have grown into young adults, got married, settled down, our children's children born and initiated into our religious customs and rituals and, sadly of course, grandparents or sometimes parents passing, their funeral rites performed.
3472 I am closely involved in these socio-religious events in my community as I am a priest of the Hindu Temple and the Hindu community.
3473 I am also the coordinator for the Manitoba/Saskatchewan region Sri Sathya Sai Organization, which is a worldwide organization founded in 1940 whose purpose is described in detail in my written intervention.
3474 Incidentally, I want to speak about a question that was raised yesterday at the hearing, namely whether the Sai Organization is a religious organization. I wish to state that indeed it is. This following quote of the basic tenet of this movement from its founder, Sri Sathya Sai Baba, would settle this issue unequivocally: "I preach only one religion of love for all, which alone can integrate the human race into a brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God."
3475 I will explain my special interest in this movement a little later in this presentation.
3476 Let me first state that I am here today to voice the support of our community to the application put forward by Trinity Television. I am in a position of being able to speak with authority both from the Sri Sathya Sai Organization and from the Hindu Society of Manitoba.
3477 Madam Chairperson, Winnipeg needs this channel desperately. This is especially true today more than ever before, recognizing both local and worldwide events we are all experiencing.
3478 There was a time when we and other religious producers were welcome at the local cable channel, regularly producing local programming relevant to our community.
3479 Today we are no longer welcome on cable and have no local voice in the media. Like so many other producers of religious programs, we are missing a vital means in which to communicate with others, sharing our faith with other faith groups and with Winnipeggers in general. This negatively impacts our ability to foster communications and understanding between our religion and others, and also harms our ability to nurture our own beliefs and culture from within.
3480 The media is a powerful means in which to positively influence and shape the lives of our people. We have not stopped wanting to use this important tool. However, we no longer have the television system to produce our own programming to balance against any of the other, often negative lifestyle programming broadcast on the other channels. This is especially needed among the young and impressionable, now more than ever before. Religious television has a major role to play in clarifying and guiding the communities.
3481 The Hindu religion lays strong emphasis upon the moral values of truth, right conduct, non-covetousness, compassion, non-violence, and exhorts everyone that through these values one should strive for liberation.
3482 There is so much misinformation in the media about the values of the Hindu community and role in shaping the moral climate of the world that many members of our community have become indifferent to its practice. A religious television can make a difference in correcting all this and promote positive interaction with other communities.
3483 As a priest of the Hindu community, I am keenly aware of the changes that are taking place in my community. Of over 150 weddings that I have solemnized, both as priest and a marriage commissioner for the Province of Manitoba during the past 15 years, over 95 percent of these have been cross-religious and cross-cultural.
3484 I have counselled the partners in these marriages pointing out not just the possible conflicts that could arise, but also the great potential for positive growth, understanding and mutual respect that these can bring about in the multi-cultural nation that is our dear Canada.
3485 A fresh generation of cross religious, cross-cultural children are in our midst now, with very special needs for nurturing -- needs that provide new, exciting and innovative challenges for our community.
3486 It is in this context that I am involved in the Sri Sathya Sai Organization whose goal is to promote the unity of all faiths and a staunch universalism. A TV channel that could offer facilities for promoting these ideals would not only help our community, it would also benefit the community at large that is also impacted by these new social trends. As of now, no such facilities are available.
3487 Members of our religious community posses rich skills and creative talent and they are willing to share these individual gifts. Our community has the substance to produce and we are anxiously awaiting the opportunity to do so.
3488 Today, our community, both children and parents, have little in the way of choices that we can trust from a religious and cultural perspective. The application for a balanced religious television channel by Trinity provides such an alternative and we sincerely support this concept.
3489 We therefore urge the Commission to grant Trinity Television this licence.
3490 I thank you very much for allowing me to appear before you today to express my views. Thank you.
3491 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Williams?
3492 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Thank you for your presentation, Mr. Venkataraman. You state in your intervention that you are no longer welcome on cable. What was your programming schedule, how long were you providing programming to the community access channel, and when did you cease programming?
3493 MR. VANKATARAMAN: I think when what was Videon cable television was licensed to broadcast in Winnipeg, they allowed each community a little bit of time, maybe once a week or sometimes once in two weeks, to have a half-hour program. Then we could -- usually it was unedited type of program, you just go there and just do it and they broadcast whatever has been done.
3494 This was about five or six years and then suddenly they said they are not interested in this type of programming any more, they would like to have something which would interest the community at large. So we were able to do programming from a religious point of view from the perspective of our community but they said that program no longer interests them, so we lost the opportunity to broadcast.
3495 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: And when was this? When did that end? I guess what I'm looking for is when the cable television company changed ownership or was --
3496 MR. VENKATARAMAN: No, I think it was still called Videon, but then they moved -- they used to be here at the corner of Stafford and Pembina but then they moved to an area in south Winnipeg and then they said they are not interested any more.
3497 Now, it is called "Plug In" or something, some program -- a community type of program but they said they are not interested any more in -- this happened four years before.
3498 MR. WILLIAMS: Do you do any broadcasting on radio?
3499 MR. VENKATARAMAN: No.
3500 MR. WILLIAMS: Thank you very much for your presentation. I have no further questions, Madam Chair.
3501 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, sir.
3502 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair. I now call the Islamic Social Services Association Inc. representative. Please proceed when you're ready.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
3503 MS. SIDDIQUI: Madam Chairman, Commissioners, my name is Shahina Siddiqui and I'm the Executive Director of the Islamic Social Services Association. I'm also the senior director of the Council of American Islamic Relations in Canada and also the director at Islamic School and so I'm here on behalf of our community, the Muslim community of Manitoba, which is about 5,000 Muslims and growing, to support Trinity's application.
3504 We as a community have been sidelined and marginalized when it comes to broadcasting and also presenting our community's way of life of engaging in dialogue with other communities. We feel that this is an excellent opportunity for us to be able to tell our story in our own way rather than having others guess at what we are all about.
3505 I think in the environment that has happened post-September 11, this has made it even more paramount right now that we give opportunities to minority religious communities in Manitoba to speak for themselves.
3506 We have had, as the doctor said previously, a short span of opportunity when we were able to do programming with Videon, but that, for some reason or other, was cancelled. We also see this as an opportunity for training our young people in this medium which we feel that media has a very important role to play in shaping public opinion and building bridges. I think this is what we are looking at, this opportunity not to proselytise but to build bridges, to open dialogue and to present our perspective. Also, if, God forbid, there was ever a backlash again against Muslims, this would be an opportunity for us to address those concerns and bring it to the larger community.
3507 We would also look at this as an interaction between faith communities to come together. So I think this is an excellent opportunity and my community stands behind Trinity's application and looking forward to learning and also looking forward to donating a lot of volunteer time to see that this comes true.
3508 THE CHAIRPERSON: And I'm sorry, I missed your name.
3509 MS. SIDDIQUI: Shahina Siddiqui.
3510 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you're the same person who wrote the letter, Ms. Siddiqui. You were talking about ‑‑ and I confess I believe Canada to be a very, very tolerant society but after, as they call it, 9/11, some things of which we should all be ashamed happened in terms of the backlash.
3511 Were there problems in Winnipeg? I thought I read that there were some issues.
3512 MS. SIDDIQUI: We had quite a few issues. We had harassment, we had vandalism, we had death threats, we had our children harassed at the school ground and universities. We had rocks thrown at our women, people coming up and spitting at Muslim women, and I think the reason was that there was no voice in the mainstream there where people could get accurate information. The little information that they were getting from mainstream media was skewed.
3513 THE CHAIRPERSON: Was which?
3514 MS. SIDDIQUI: Was skewed in a certain perspective and was also inaccurate.
3515 THE CHAIRPERSON: And now, after the hype has gone down a little, are things better or do you still feel some residual issues?
3516 MS. SIDDIQUI: There are always residual issues, and always with racism what happens is when it's in your face the community responds and it goes underground. That's what happened now. It has become systemic. It is showing itself in organizations and cultures and peoples' attitudes.
3517 But what has not gone down is the demand to know about Islam. Since September 11th, I myself personally have been speaking almost every day, sometimes twice or three times a day, to community groups, to churches, to universities, schools, you name it, who want to know about Islam from a Muslim.
3518 So you can imagine that if we had a venue where we could reach a larger crowd, that the demand is there. And for myself, I write quite regularly for the Winnipeg Free Press on the third page. I was surprised when I went into churches, how many people actually read those articles and that they would have copies of them on the table. So the demand is there.
3519 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
3520 THE SECRETARY: I now call Mr. Delbert Enns of the Family Life Network.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
3521 MR. ENNS: Good morning, Madam Chair, Commissioners. My name is Delbert Enns and I'm the executive director for a value-based Christian media organization here in Winnipeg entitled Family Life Network.
3522 A little over two hundred years ago, the world was almost entirely a rural planet where only 5 percent of the world population lived in urban centres. By the year 1900 that figure doubled. The cities of the world are currently undergoing profound changes. Currently, there are about 330 mega-cities around the world with a population over 1 million. Of those 330 mega-cities, there's about 45 super giant cities with population over 10 million.
3523 So what? What does that have to do with this meeting this morning? What is a city? A city is many things, it is a very important place because it's a place where people live. There's no real standard with which to define when a village or a town becomes a city. However, it does recognize a place of importance either politically, economically, culturally, and also in this case, spiritually.
3524 The city of Winnipeg comprises a unique network of cultures, faith groups and people. While Winnipeg can generate wealth, technology and communications, there is one thing that it does not offer -- spiritual protection, security, a moral compass, or answers for the erosion of life principles.
3525 While the needs in our city of Winnipeg are enormous, it is important to realize that a city is a strategic key in bringing hope and answers to a dysfunctional family, strength to the weak, power to the powerless, hope for an aging population, unity to a diverse and rich religious community in which we live.
3526 As I look around the city of Winnipeg, I believe that we are standing at an important crossroads in defining the relationship among the different faith groups, the future of our families, the life of every person in every home. The city of Winnipeg is people, for thus we are known, Friendly Manitoba, not simply another consumer that has been tossed around by the stiff and selfish competition of the financial market.
3527 During the last few days, many voices and corporate dreams have been shared in this building. I believe that every participant during these hearings have had a valid reason to support or not to support the applications. The question that I would put on the table this morning is, who will give us the moral compass, the spiritual formation? Who will help us in dealing with the issues of life? Who is responsible to speak to the needs of the post-modern person in Winnipeg?
3528 During a recent broadcast of one of our radio programs called God Talk that is being broadcast on a local radio station here in Winnipeg, CJOB, the host of the program asked the listeners to phone in and respond to the question, "If you had God on the line, what would you ask him?" These are some of the questions that people had. Why is the feeling of hate so big in this world? Why do bad things happen like people killing each other? Emptiness. Why can't there be a closer contact with a supreme being? Why does God not finish with the misery on this planet? Where and why is there so much injustice in our society? Is there a Christian God? Is there a Jewish God? Is there a Muslim God? Is there a Catholic God?
3529 These are some of the questions that some of our listeners did call in.
3530 I've been an owner for many years of a reputable business here in the city of Winnipeg called Precision Camera Repair. I realized that my personal search for financial gain and success did not meet my personal needs and less the needs of the community in which I live. I began to serve this community as a social worker and as a spiritual mentor pastoring a local church.
3531 In 1988 I had the chance to get involved in building up different media outlets. Today, after 14 years of personal involvement in value-based media broadcasting both here in Canada and abroad, I soon realized the impact that media has in shaping and developing the future of a city.
3532 In the year 1992, together with a few other Latin American broadcasters we began COICOM, which is today known as the Latin American Broadcasters Association. With more than 800 television stations, 1,800 radio stations, 450 newspapers, owners, program directors, station managers, technicians come together every year for an annual conference. The objective of the conference is to bring a deeper understanding of the complexity of human life and the issues that the Latin American person faces each day and how media can help by providing answers in a creative programming.
3533 Why do I say this? For I believe that Trinity Television is a compelling and very good option for Winnipeg to change and to bring hope into this city.
3534 Since 1995 I've served as an active member and director of a Christian media organization called Family Life Network. Over 55 years ago, Family Life Network began broadcasting a radio program on a station here in Winnipeg, Canada. Today, FLN has become a multi-cultural team of Christian communicators, an agency dedicated to producing a life-giving program. Today, FLN produces programs for 800 radio stations globally in seven different languages ‑‑ English, Spanish, High German, Arabic, Russian, Low German and Ukrainian ‑‑ around the world. FLN is a non-profit organization whose primary purpose is to help people strengthen their relationship between God, family and friends.
3535 This morning I'm speaking on behalf of the Mennonite Brethren community and churches in the city. In 1978, Family Life Network started to produce a television program titled "The Third Story." For more than 15 years, this program was aired successfully on many stations free of charge in western Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. The format of the program was a magazine style dealing with life issues, teaching modern parables in a culturally relevant manner.
3536 The fact that FLN broadcast over 800 radio stations in seven different languages for more than 55 years; the fact that FLN received strong support from the Christian business community in Winnipeg; the fact that FLN has done television in the past and has learned and continues to learn from its strong radio market; the fact that FLN produces in collaboration with CJOB Winnipeg a well known and respected radio program called God Talk every Sunday night for the last four years; the fact that FLN has been collaboratively producing a weekly television program seen on SAT-7, EUTELSAT W2, covering all of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East with Trinity Television for the last year; the fact that the Christian business community has given a vote of confidence and support of Trinity Television's proposal; the fact that a local religious television station will help to provide the needed dimension to our faith community and our city dealing with life issues; the fact that Winnipeg has the strongest financial support for humanitarian and non-profit organization per capita in Canada; the fact that Trinity has been broadcasting for 25 years across Canada; the fact that we are here this morning and in person is because I want to support the application of Trinity Television.
3537 I would like to give my full support in favour of Trinity Television in establishing an alternative religious television station in Winnipeg. It would offer in a creative way answers to our post-modern Canadian.
3538 Let me conclude by quoting Dr. Laura Schlessinger, a well-known radio host across Canada, who commented in her book Abdication of Courage, Character and Wisdom -- she wrote that the greatest demise in our culture ‑‑ and if I could add here in our city of Winnipeg ‑‑ is not the lack of God but the lack of values, morals, and principles. I believe that a religious television station in Winnipeg would definitely offer an alternative in the market that we live today.
3539 Thank you.
3540 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Enns. Commissioner Cardozo has a few questions.
3541 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you, Mr. Enns. I've just got a few questions and I wanted some clarification. You talked about 860 radio stations carrying these programs in seven different languages. Are these all prepared here in Winnipeg?
3542 MR. ENNS: Eighty percent are prepared here in Winnipeg. And we have an office in Moscow and the Ukraine and Latin America.
3543 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So these aren't produced in the States?
3544 MR. ENNS: No, they're all national Canadian products.
3545 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I was interested to see you mentioned that the Family Life Network is a multi-cultural team of Christian communicators, and certainly one of the things we look to broadcast is to see how they reflect the cultural diversity of Canada, even when you're talking religious and to some extent multi-religious. Are you saying that within the Christian communities and communicators that you work with there are people of different cultures and languages?
3546 MR. ENNS: Definitely, and one of the aspects of our strong belief and values as an organization is that we want to speak emotion to emotion, culture to culture, without having to actually translate programs that may be created in a Western mindset but that are created within the culture and speak in the language of the people. So we respect highly the individuality and the cultures and the language groups to which we speak to. So yes, all of these language groups are people that actually belong to our faith group but also which we believe that need to be retained and hold on to their own culture without changing their values.
3547 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So I take it ‑‑ which are the languages? I take it Ukrainian and Spanish would be two.
3548 MR. ENNS: Yes. Arabic, we have Russian, German, Low German --
3549 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Yes. One last question. You talked about the Christian business community. How would you define that? Is that beyond the stores that sell Bibles and that type of thing?
3550 MR. ENNS: Absolutely. We've been around for 55 years here in the city of Winnipeg and we would not be able to sustain a budget to actually operate and to broadcast and to produce programs globally if we would not have the support here in Manitoba.
3551 That's one of the reasons why I'm very confident as I have spoken to my own support constituency that have given their support in favour of Trinity Television, for they are also support partners of television.
3552 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: These are people like yourself who are Christians and --
3553 MR. ENNS: Yes, that happened in the marketplace business world, and today we see this as a viable opportunity also to share some of the human and spiritual values that we hold on to.
3554 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And you don't think that if Trinity were to be licensed and came online that they would take away some of your financial support from the business community?
3555 MR. ENNS: I'm not scared at all. As a matter of fact I think it would be within the industry standard where we live, where partnerships and networking is essential. I believe that for us to partner together with Willard and with Trinity Television is essential even for us to sustain the market and to have a viable voice within the spiritual and the religious community. Networking is very important for us.
3556 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you, Mr. Enns. Thank you, Madam Chair.
3557 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Enns. Mr. Secretary.
3558 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair. The next intervener is Mr. Bruce Martin of Calvary Temple.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
3559 MR. MARTIN: Good morning, Madam Chair and others. My name is Bruce Martin. I'm the pastor of Calvary Temple here in downtown Winnipeg. We've been in this community for almost a hundred years and ministering largely to -- part of our constituency of course, is the inner city that we live in and our buildings are located in.
3560 Calvary Temple is not new to broadcasting. I was talking to my predecessor, Dr. Barber, yesterday and actually Calvary Temple went on radio in 1925 here in Winnipeg. Pastor Barber began on television in 1962, and presently we purchase time from CKY, Global, the A-Channel. We use this as part of our way of ministering to our constituency and also reaching out to the greater community.
3561 I would think 2,500 to 3,000 people take turns coming to church at Calvary Temple in groups of twelve to fifteen hundred at a time on a Sunday.
3562 We have been reaching into our community in different ways. In 1962 we began a ministry in the inner city bussing children to Sunday school, which continues to this day. During the last four years, we've actually focused our efforts in a new way in our inner city community. Actually we have made, I would think in the past four years, maybe five to seven thousand visits into the home environment of our neighbours within a kilometre of our church.
3563 I'm here just to share with you that I think in the downtown core in Winnipeg, I believe that Trinity's proposed television station can be of great help to the people that we meet in the core of our city. In fact, when I personally visit these people, it becomes apparent to me that television plays a very significant impact on their lives; in fact, I think even more so for people who are under-employed or on social assistance.
3564 And so for this reason we would support Trinity's application. It would have a greater influence on people to produce new and relevant programs, formats to reach many different groups in our city.
3565 I have an ear to the community and there are people continually telling me that not much of what is in the mainstream of television appeals to them and sometimes -- not always, but often, it goes completely against the beliefs of what I believe thousands of Winnipeggers believe in.
3566 So we are here to partner with Trinity to help them to make positive changes in this reality that we see in our community. We believe that there is a need for more positive voices on television and I'm here just to lend my support.
3567 Thank you for the time. And to also just say that as a church that believes in ministering to the religious community and also reaching out beyond, we would very likely continue to purchase time on other stations as well as utilize a Christian station.
3568 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: I have no questions. Thank you very much.
3569 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Martin.
3570 THE SECRETARY: I now call Leon Fontaine of Springs Church.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
3571 MR. FONTAINE: Madam Chair, Commissioners. My name is Leon Fontaine and I'm here today to support Trinity's proposed new television service to our community and to let you know that it will have a very real positive impact on our community.
3572 I've been a pastor for over 20 years. I'm a second generation pastor, and I'm now the senior pastor for the last seven years of a church called Springs Church here in Winnipeg. Our church attendance on a weekly basis is one of the largest in Canada. We weekly have about 7,500 people in 12 services that attend. This has only taken place in the last seven and a half years.
3573 We've grown approximately 50 percent a year and that increase is due to the fact that we are trying to be relevant in people's lives. Every week we deal with issues that impact the day-to-day struggles people face. Some topics include marriage, family, relationships, the destiny that God wants for their lives, and that people can make a difference in life.
3574 This growth has meant removing stereotypes of church. We've moved a long way from traditional services. Bands play contemporary music, what some might call rock and roll, I guess. Large projection screens ensure that every seat is a good one. The screens are filled with fast-moving images that increase the pacing of the service. Our drama department involves dozens of young people who communicate vivid truths that are better expressed visually than in mere words.
3575 We fully believe that when someone comes to one of our church services it will have a lasting impact on his or her life. We're even in the process right now of building a new sanctuary for the age group of about 15 to 30 that will be even higher in energy, and to reach that demographic more effectively, we're on television here on CKY. We're across Canada on Vision, the UK and Europe.
3576 Many parents in my congregation express to me how difficult it is to raise their families in this day and age. They rely on our church programs for help. We teach classes on how to be good parents, how to make marriage work, business -- a lot of things that help people with real issues in everyday life. However, parents have few choices that they can trust when it comes to their children watching television at home.
3577 Trinity's religious station will offer alternatives to the many less than ideal channels currently found on television. I believe that our society needs a new understanding of spirituality in everyday life. The way that we perceive the events of the world, our relationships and families, our view of success, entertainment, humour, health ‑‑ all must include the spiritual dimension.
3578 We are at a time in history that is embracing much change, and as a church, we don't want to be left behind but rather be a part of that change. If there is one thing that Christ exemplified, it is that God wants to be relevant in peoples' lives, and this station will be relevant and it needs to be licensed for Winnipeg. We would love to have you allow them to be in our community.
3579 I think I would like to say what Pastor Martin said as well, that as a church, it will be great to have a station that will adhere to just great moral and ethical standards, but at the same time, as a church, we would always be trying to purchase time on non-religious stations because as a church, our goal of course is to touch peoples' lives who don't understand what church is about or who have real misconceptions about religion, about Christ.
3580 Thank you.
3581 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Pastor Fontaine, we listened to applications for radio stations that want to appeal to 12-to-18-year-olds or 35-plus and the "45 and better" ‑‑ and I start wondering if I'm better ‑‑ and tell me, how do you build a sanctuary that appeals to 13-to-30-year-olds? What's in it? I mean --
3582 MR. FONTAINE: We're building an amphitheatre seating style and the screens -- the church service that we're using now, we're actually in four locations so we move just to fit the people in from location to location on a given Sunday.
3583 It has two large screens. I believe they're 11 x 14. Then we have smaller screens so that as the seating gets past 2,500 everyone has got a good seat. When we go to this new sanctuary that we're now working on, it will seat about twelve to fifteen hundred people. It's an amphitheatre setting and it's going to have all large screens across the front that size, 12 x 14, four to six of them so that when you go to church -- and it will be a lot of music that is the culture -- the Bible teaches us that the message is sacred but the methods aren't.
3584 So we want to use methods that will speak through their style of music, through the ambiance that they like so when you walk into this building it's going to be laser lighting, it's going to be smoke, lights, it's going to be songs about God and about meaning for life. On the screen they'll see shots of the band that's up there, much as you see on television today. There will be reverse shots of the crowd, of the kids that are participating and singing along, so that when you walk in it is a visual feast because it's the sight and sound generation.
3585 We recognize that they're the disconnected generation. When it comes to our teens, for example, they spend so much time on the Internet and in front of their computer. We know, from some of the studies I've read anyway, that the more hooked in they get to just the Internet, the more disconnected they get from their parents, from real life, and we need to provide places for them as a church to come. So that's kind of a little bit about what the sanctuary is going to be like.
3586 But television is very important because it gives us a chance to shoot it up on the big screen and as well it gives a chance to take that service which we will produce and it gives us a venue, it gives us a station to put that on and begin to impact these teens.
3587 We also have a location downtown ministering to much of our core. We just see phenomenal problems down there, and television is ‑‑ for many age groups its their babysitter. It is just totally their life. So if we could have a channel that a parent could know that on this channel things will be brought out that encourage us to accept, to love each other, to build a community, to care. You've heard it said by others, but I'm excited, very excited about Trinity's proposal and the fact that we could have it in our community.
3588 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Pastor Fontaine. Mr. Secretary?
3589 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair. I now call Mr. Wade Kehler of Christian Radio Manitoba Limited.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
3590 MR. KEHLER: Good morning, Commissioners, Madam Chair. My name is Wade Kehler and I am president and general manager of Christian Radio Manitoba Limited, which operates CHVN 95.1 FM, the contemporary radio station in Winnipeg and southern Manitoba.
3591 We have now been on the air for one and a half years and I'm here to tell you that this province has strong religious roots and has embraced our station in a very significant way.
3592 Let me tell you a little bit about what we do before I voice my support for Trinity's application. Unlike Trinity's proposed religious station, the only way we survive is through local advertising sales. To this point we have not had any real significant national advertising sales, we have not sold brokered airtime, and since we are not a charity, we have not requested donations.
3593 In fact, the local revenue of approximately $450,000 that is projected in Trinity's application is similar to our actual local advertising sales. Much of the revenue that we generate is new to radio and has allowed us to create great new opportunities to be effective in helping consumers and retailers connect. Initially, many of our advertisers were not expecting great results by advertising on our radio station; however, they advertised due to their commitment to the philosophy of Christian radio. Now they are amazed at the impact of their advertising spots.
3594 As we have approached them for new campaigns in our second year we have found that they are staying on board not only for philosophical reasons but because the advertising has been effective.
3595 Beyond all the financial information that I can give you, I can tell you that the community loudly reinforces our work. There have been literally thousands of e-mails, phone calls and letters. Every day we get responses from all parts of our coverage area and from every group including teens, young families, and even those turning a little grey.
3596 We are also proud of our contribution to the Canadian music scene. Over the past few months we have had the opportunity to sponsor a battle of the bands, which, by the way, had to be extended due to the interest that it had created and the number of bands that were registered. The successful band will be awarded production time in assisting producing for new Canadian songs, in sponsorships, and of course radio airtime for the newly recorded songs.
3597 This radio station is beginning to provide opportunities not readily available to those in our province. For all the reasons that we have been successful, Trinity's application will also be successful in this market. Just like Christian radio has been so important to our listeners, this TV station will also be important.
3598 We at CHVN have proven that there is a demand and a need in Winnipeg. Please consider how important religious television will be for our community as well.
3599 Thank you for this opportunity to appear, and I welcome any questions as well.
3600 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Cardozo.
3601 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Welcome, Mr. Kehler. I just wanted to get a little more information from you. You've been in the market a year and a bit. If Trinity were to be licensed and they start some time in the next, I guess, six to 12 months, is there enough advertising money to split between you because I would assume that you're going to some of the same advertisers? Is there enough advertising money in Winnipeg?
3602 MR. KEHLER: I think there is. Looking at what has happened for us, we've approached many new businesses that have never been on the air, have really never advertised before, and they're starting to increase their advertising budgets. There will be a lot of crossover definitely, because there are a lot of businesses that have the same philosophical standards and they would advertise in both. I do believe that most of the businesses would increase their advertising. There could be some loss to us. We're not concerned at all about that. That's not a concern anyway to us.
3603 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Do you see opportunities for synergies between you and them of cooperation?
3604 MR. KEHLER: Oh, definitely, yeah. We have done already many things together on the little side of things. Because we are in the same building it makes it a little easier. We kind of have our little corner set aside. But we've already talked about future planning of many different events, things that we are doing now that we can now get television involved in as well too, whether it be banquets that we are involved in, concerts, concert promotions, different speaking events.
3605 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Is music video an option to share where you would do the -- you would play the audio, they would do the audio and visual?
3606 MR. KEHLER: Yes. Yes. That would be a large part of it actually.
3607 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you very much.
3608 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Kehler.
3609 MR. KEHLER: Thank you.
3610 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary.
3611 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair. I now call Ken McGhie of Lighthouse Mission.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
3612 MR. McGHIE: Good morning. My name is Ken McGhie. I'm the chaplain at Lighthouse Mission here in downtown Winnipeg. We've been serving the Winnipeg community since 1911 and we're a rescue mission with a soup kitchen outreach helping the homeless and helpless for almost 90 years. We help with clothing and food and we help the most needy, people that are down and out.
3613 Let me give just a brief glimpse of my own life. I hope this will help to explain why I have been passionate about helping people and I'm presently in the situation that I am. I myself 22 years ago was an inmate in our federal penitentiaries across western Canada, and I saw "It's A New Day" and I remember seeing "It's A New Day" and seeing that it was from Winnipeg, and I was thinking what good thing ever came out of Winnipeg? But it was a program that has changed my life and ‑‑ helped to change my life -- great encouragement, great teachings every day. And I spent many years in prison, almost 10 years in prison, so it wasn't just a brief stay. It was a show that really impacted my life to the degree that I'm going on in a Christian sense. I'm involved in a Christian ministry some 13-14 years here in downtown Winnipeg.
3614 Now, at the Lighthouse Mission we not only give warmth through food and help and clothing, but we have the Christian TV program "It's A New Day" on, encouraging people, because life on Main Street is hard without a buck. Life is hard when you're hurting and this is a program that shines a light with a very simple message that there's hope and help with God.
3615 In this, some of the things that have been shared that I've heard in this hearing is the word "impact," and definitely "It's a New Day" has proven, as time proves all things, that it's a presence for good and its impact is very positive. Many people have been helped. We have a mission that ‑‑ we're not an overly religious mission or anything but we serve people soup and coffee and encourage them that there is hope and help with God. With the daily TV program we have on presently and future programming, if the NOW TV comes on play here, will just add and multiply more of the good that's going forth from the Lighthouse Mission and other places that display that kind of programming.
3616 Winnipeg is a great city and I'm committed as much as possible to make it even better, and we're hoping that "It's a New Day" and NOW TV gets the support and gets the permission from CRTC to carry on with their TV program.
3617 The proposal for NOW TV is to provide help for missions and presently out in Vancouver the Union Gospel Mission out there, as we have them here in Winnipeg, is being helped out there with programs and local support. I think for the Christian community here in Winnipeg, we need to be connected and supported and networked with things that are going on in Winnipeg and that's one of the great venues that the NOW TV program will provide.
3618 I thank you for your considerations.
3619 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: I have no questions. Thank you for your presentation.
3620 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Kehler. Mr. Secretary.
3621 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair. I now call Mr. Rami Kleinmann of the Jewish National Fund of Canada.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
3622 MR. KLEINMANN: Madam Chair, Commissioners, first of all I would like to say that I'm not going to repeat a lot of things that have been said in regards to religion, the need, values, impact.
3623 One of the things that I would like to say is I don't think that any of us would be here today to support the application if we wouldn't know who is standing behind the application. I think that Mr. Willard Thiessen and Trinity Television have been proved to be partners to us in the past, in working on a very, very sensitive tissue of relationships between religions. And I think that, at least for us from the Jewish National Fund and the Jewish segment of the community, we find in Willard and in Trinity Television a great partner.
3624 I don't that easily stand and support an operation that I don't know -- assuming that we will be some kind of a cooperation and promoting, I would say, good relationship between religion besides all the impact on the value without knowing that Mr. Thiessen and Trinity Television would be behind it.
3625 I think there's maybe two angles that the previous speaker didn't mention. Religion is, in terms of marketing, one of the most popular products in the world. If you look at terms of what time we're allocating to all the other products in the world and what time we're allocating to religion, we find that there is a big gap.
3626 Another segment which we find out, as people grow and become older, they become more religious. As people grow and become older, especially in a city like Winnipeg in the Jewish community, we find it very tough for them especially in the six months of the winter to mobilize themselves, to going to the synagogue, to all the time staying at home. From the Jewish point of view, I would say that we do not really have the facility to accommodate all these people who are sitting at home.
3627 Yes, they have television. Yes, they're watching other things. But if they want to hear the portion of the Torah that's heard on Saturday in the synagogue they have no choice to find it. You know, we're talking about a world that is becoming more and more into communications and television becomes one of the most vital important tools of communication, especially if we look today on a regular phone video conversation. We get used to speaking over the phone and to look at each other. We're going into website, we can see anything which we can think of.
3628 But to provide this very unique need of certain segments of the society, I think it's very, very important to have a religious channel here that we all will be able to work together and to bring our message across.
3629 One thing that I would like to add that I heard previously is all the issue of advertising. From experience with organizations, we do advance, we're approaching sponsors and advertisers on a regular basis. I think that there is a big difference between religious advertising to regular advertising because when we approach people to sponsor our programs and things like that, we go to people that have an interest to sponsor our program. I think it's working and I saw it in radio. It's working very much in the media as well.
3630 I give two examples only. The first example will be that when we have a television show, let's say a Jewish program, a future Jewish program that we will have, I'm not going to approach a bathing suit company to advertise. I'm going to go and approach the Kosher grocery, supermarket to advertise in a sense. And from the other hand, I don't think that if we say a Bible cruise in the Pacific, we'll look for the people through the religious channel. This is the two examples that I want to bring.
3631 I would like to say that we are supporting the application. We are looking forward hopefully to have a channel. Thank you.
3632 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Kleinmann. Can you tell me -- you talked about Mr. Thiessen being a good partner but you haven't told us what you did together and how long he's been a dancing partner, if I can --
3633 MR. KLEINMANN: He's not a dancing partner, you know. I would say that whenever we feel that, for example in my particular case it was a joint venture, we want to talk about certain things which we do and share it. The reason I would say there is ‑‑ I wouldn't say similarity but there is -- we both believe in the Bible from a different perspective, let's put it this way. And there is a lot of common things and we felt that we would like to share sometimes our perspective or certain feasts or the Jewish holidays for example, are acknowledged in the Bible, and Bible believer Christians definitely show an interest in Jewish holidays.
3634 So if there is a holiday coming up or we want to do something which we both believe will be good to everybody, for the Jewish community, on the program "It's A New Day" or other program that was there, it was really a pleasure doing business with them. This is my experience.
3635 THE CHAIRPERSON: So he has sort of partnered with you in terms of bringing you on "It's A New Day" and those --
3636 MR. KLEINMANN: Yeah. And if we had more tools to work together, I'm sure we will work together.
3637 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Thank you very much.
3638 THE SECRETARY: I now call Mr. Ian Goldstein and Mr. Alan Feinblit of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
3639 MS. FAINTUCH: Madam Chair and Commissioners, I'm obviously not Ian Goldstein nor am I Allan Feinblit. However, they've asked that I represent the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg Combined Jewish Appeal to the CRTC hearing this morning.
3640 My name is Shelley Faintuch. I'm the director of community relations for the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg. We represent a community of approximately 14,000 Jews in southern Manitoba. The Jewish Federation of Winnipeg Combined Jewish Appeal is an umbrella organization. We represent many of the smaller organizations. We represent our community to government, to the general community, and we also provide services for our own community.
3641 I'd like to limit my comments to four areas and I hope that I won't be redundant in dealing with these areas.
3642 The first area that I'd like to deal with is an area called integrity and trust. Mr. Kleinmann, who has just spoken, who is a colleague and a good friend, mentioned that he had built up over time a trust relationship with Mr. Thiessen and Trinity TV. In fact the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg Combined Jewish Appeal has also benefited from a very positive relationship. Faith TV, religious TV, requires a basis of trust and without trusting one's partner one often does not wish to delve into issues that are very personal issues.
3643 We've had the good fortune of having a wonderful relationship with Trinity. It hasn't been as long standing as other people's but we're looking forward to building upon that for our own people. In fact since Willard has recently come back from Israel, I'm looking forward to dealing with some of these issues, perhaps on a more long-term basis, and some of the issues -- and Willard, I haven't been to Israel in 30 years so I need some information from you.
3644 The second issue that I'd like to deal with is the issue of need. We do not have a faith TV channel in Winnipeg. We do not, as a Jewish community, have a television outlet. We do, however, in the Jewish community of Winnipeg have tremendous resources, and I'm talking about personal resources, people resources. We don't have the financial resources to go out and build a TV station. Trinity has the facilities. Trinity has something that would be particularly cost effective to us.
3645 The need goes beyond the fact that we don't have a current outlet and beyond the fact that Trinity already has a station that all of our communities could benefit from. Need also has to do with something called a way of life. In Judaism, we are guided by the Torah or the Five Books of Moses. We are also guided by the rabbinical tradition that is called halakha. Halakha means a way of life. By having a faith TV channel, we would be able to have in our regular way of life an outlet.
3646 The fourth element under this need issue is something called demographics. Mr. Kleinmann referred to that in his intervention. In the city of Winnipeg, our 1999 demographics showed us that in the Jewish population, 25 to 27 percent are in the 65 years of age and over category, 10 percent are 55 to 64 years of age, and approximately 20 to 30 percent are of a child bearing age. These are people who have more time, who do do more so-called channel surfing, who have issues that they would perhaps like to deal with, who are less mobile and who would benefit from faith programming in the home.
3647 The third area that I would like to deal with is the issue called local thrust. Although there are programs that are aired nationally and there are issues that are aired nationally from time to time or snippets of various programs, in Winnipeg we have a Jewish community that is extremely diverse. We've been here for over a hundred years. We have a dynamic community that is made up of people from all of the various facets of the religious spectrum, of the political spectrum and the socio-economic spectrum.
3648 We have in our community a number of -- and it's fairly significant relative to our population ‑‑ a number of Holocaust survivors, for example. Their needs are different from other needs. Programming that we have done with Trinity in the past has been related to issues such as the Prime Minister's visit to Auschwitz and how that affects people. Faith and the Holocaust, how those two can dovetail together or if they do dovetail together. Issues of restitution. These are perhaps not strictly religious per se but they are very important faith issues. They're important to our own particular community.
3649 There are ventures that are happening in our Jewish community that we would like to share with our own and with others. We have, for example, a new movement here called Aish Ha Torah, which means the fire of the Torah, that has wonderful programs and that would perhaps wish to partner with Trinity or to use Trinity services so that they can extend beyond the small circles.
3650 We must remember that when we're dealing with religion, religion is something that we talk about. Religion is something that we perhaps practise in public venues, but it's also something that we think of in the privacy of our own homes. And locally we do have a number of issues that we would like to deal with in privacy, such as Holocaust and faith issues, and special characteristics that we have in our community. For example, we have a cantor who is also a rabbi who is 87 years of age and the oldest person to be doing that kind of work in the community and he's coupled with one of the youngest.
3651 This is an issue, the whole idea of having a cantor, what is the service and the roles, are issues that are local.
3652 The last issue that I'd like to deal with is an issue that I think we've all touched upon but I'd like to reiterate. That's that with Trinity's application, were it to be successful, it would allow for an opportunity for inter-cultural, inter-faith communication.
3653 When Ms. Siddiqui came up here and spoke about the skewed reporting, the issues that the Muslim community had post-9/11, this is something that we would have liked to be able to share with her. In fact our community has been very supportive of the Muslim community and we stand side by side very often on a lot of issues, issues such as tolerance, issues such as educating those who are not of our own faith about our different faiths.
3654 We talk the talk of diversity but we don't always walk the walk of diversity. I feel that it's important that we reiterate once again that we do trust Trinity and Mr. Thiessen. We would like to see this application become successful so that we cannot only talk the talk but that we can walk the walk as well.
3655 Thank you very much.
3656 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Cardozo?
3657 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you for coming Ms. Faintuch. Can I just ask you a couple of questions about how you would see your relationship with Trinity. How much time would you be interested in a week? And I note that they're planning two and a half hours per week devoted to what's called balance programming to non-Christian communities in the area. Would you be looking at a half-hour a week, an hour a week?
3658 MS. FAINTUCH: We haven't really dealt with that.
3659 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Could you use the whole two and a half?
3660 MS. FAINTUCH: Pardon me?
3661 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Would you want to use the whole two and a half?
3662 MS. FAINTUCH: I think that there are times in the year when we might wish to use more time than others. We have periods -- we have a cycle of holidays, for example. Mr. Kleinmann referred to it.
3663 During the high holiday period there would likely be more of a need in the community to talk about what it means. There are festivals which ‑‑ and we've talked with Trinity, and Trinity has aired numbers of programs for us on Hanukkah, for example. Holocaust Awareness Week is coming up in our community. So there are times when we would likely ask Trinity for a little bit more time on scheduling. There are issues that come up on a day-to-day basis. When there is an increase in the amount of violence in the Middle East there is usually a backlash effect. There's a backlash on the Muslim community, there was one with 9/11, there's usually a backlash on our community.
3664 These types of issues ‑‑ I know that programming is very important but I think that based on our relationship we would be able to program based on prompt needs as well as on a long-term basis.
3665 Yes, I've evaded your question but I hope that I've done so with honesty.
3666 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: You've answered enough of it. Had your community or the organizations you're with done programming on Videon, the video cable?
3667 MS. FAINTUCH: Our community was involved in Sunday Scope and did produce a program on a regular basis.
3668 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And none of that is happening?
3669 MS. FAINTUCH: That is now defunct.
3670 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I just don't want to go off the topic too much. We do have a proceeding currently on to look at community cable programming and the deadline for that is the 22nd of February if people want to talk about it. But we are looking at whether cable should be doing more community programming and reflecting various needs in the community.
3671 Within your community, do you have the infrastructure to prepare or the people who have a background in preparing programs?
3672 MS. FAINRTUCH: Preparing -- you mean from the production side or --
3673 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: That's right, yes.
3674 MS. FAINTUCH: -- or preparing content?
3675 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Well, both. It sort of -- are you looking that the production would be done in house at Trinity and you would be bringing the people in, for example, for the content part?
3676 MS. FAINTUCH: I would think that would be the way we initially would look at it for the beginning. We have tremendous personnel resources within the community but I would look to Trinity for the technical expertise.
3677 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So you wouldn't have access to other studios?
3678 MS. FAINTUCH: We currently do not have access to any other studios.
3679 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you very much. That's very helpful.
3680 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms. Faintuch. Did I see you talking with Ms. Siddiqui after she came up here?
3681 MS. FAINTUCH: Absolutely.
3682 THE CHAIRPERSON: And are you agreeing to do something together to build the tolerance in this community?
3683 MS. FAINTUCH: In fact we were going to come up here and address the Commission together but then because we felt that -- we do have a lot of similar issues and we also have our own issues, we felt it best to address separately. But we have participated on various interfaith programs together. We have done interfaith services, we've gone out to schools together, and we believe very strongly that what we need to do now more than anything is educate people and we should be doing parts of that together.
3684 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. We will now adjourn. I'm wondering if we could take an hour and a quarter, say quarter after one, would that be sufficient time? Thank you. --- Upon recessing at 1151 / Suspension à 1151 -- Upon resuming at 1316 / Reprise à 1316
3685 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon. We'll recommence. Mr. Secretary.
3686 THE SECRETARY: Thank you Madam Chair. We'll now hear from Trinity Television to reply to the interventions and I believe you have some other undertakings to respond to as well.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
3687 MR. REIMER-EPP: Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Madam Chair, Commissioners. Before we begin with our reply to the intervention, we would just like to address a number of the homework matters that we talked about yesterday.
3688 First of all, I think between the Secretary, counsel and myself, we've located the amendment to our decision in B.C., so that is taken care of. I've also filed with the Secretary copies of the CITT and CHNU block schedules with the Canadian balance and foreign balance programming broken out, and you'll notice that they're in the lovely pink and purple shades. As I understand it those are popular on this panel.
3689 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are the pink the foreign?
3690 MR. REIMER-EPP: Moving on. We wanted to revisit the question of movies as balance. We had a brief discussion about that yesterday. And in discussing that after the fact, I wanted to make sure we qualified that in one small respect. We have no plans at the present time to use movies as a regular part of the balance programming on CITT. However, there are occasional movies which undoubtedly fit that criteria. We talked about a couple of them yesterday, movies like "Ghandi" or "Masada," and in discussion yesterday that come to mind easily, "Diary of Anne Frank," "Outside Chance of Maximillian Glick," which is actually a locally produced film about Jewish and Christian people living in Beauséjour, Manitoba. Things like that would fit the balance requirements nicely and we'd like to be able to do that on an irregular basis, a maximum we would propose of 26 times per year.
3691 So that would provide some flexibility when it's appropriate to use that type of movie as balance.
3692 The third homework matter was relating to the expectation that you, Madam Chair, had expressed with respect to Canadian content in the balance section of our program schedule, and that's something which we feel is important to clarify given that that was an expectation which we didn't entirely understand each other on.
3693 In order to give some comfort on that this time around, we would like to make a clear commitment to seven and a half hours of Canadian balance in prime time, and what we have in mind there of course is the news and issue-oriented programming followed by the discussion-oriented programming, as well as the 12 hours of Canadian balance in the schedule overall, which would be 12 of the 18 hours.
3694 The final issue has come up a couple of times since our discussion yesterday. That relates to the monitoring of religious program content, and we want to give some comfort in this area as well. Recognizing that the conversation we had with you yesterday about the "ER" example, we have come to understand that our proposal for criteria, there are still vagaries in that, okay. It's not our intention to do that. It's not our intention to leave things that are -- we're not trying to get away with something here. So the way we would like to do that would be to use what we -- in discussing yesterday came to refer to as the Cardozo amendment, the concept of a committee which would assist us in filling some of those areas where you can't, in a policy, be completely specific.
3695 So in addition to filing the reports which we committed to doing yesterday with the Commission, we would like to establish a religious programming advisory committee. This would be much along the lines of our balance committee in the sense that it would be arm's-length from Trinity, consisting of -- we would propose five members, with the types of revolving terms and other criteria that our balance committee presently employs. These individuals would be drawn from a cross section of society so that they would be representative of a variety of points of view, not only religious points of view but also societal points of view.
3696 We're suggesting that it would be appropriate to do that through different professions, for lack of a better word, including, for example, journalists, lawyers, theologians, clergy, religious program producers would be important in that group, educators, people with that type of background but who also have standing in the religious community and credentials in that area so that they are qualified and respected in the area that they can speak to religious content and have a meaningful input on that subject.
3697 As I said, their role would be in part to help tighten up those criteria but also to apply them in a way that will be consistent and make sense from an objective point of view, from an arm's-length point of view.
3698 Those are the proposals that we bring out of yesterday's discussion. Unless you have specific questions at this time, I'll turn it over to Willard to begin our response to the interveners.
3699 THE CHAIRPERSON: I actually do have two questions. When you talk about the movies and you say some flexibility to a maximum of 26 a year, do you mean 26 movies a year?
3700 MR. REIMER-EPP: Twenty-six movies a year, yes.
3701 THE CHAIRPERSON: Not 26 hours or --
3702 MR. REIMER-EPP: I'm sorry, yes, 26 movies.
3703 THE CHAIRPERSON: And on the Cancon and balance, is seven and a half hours Canadian in prime time and 12 hours Canadian balance outside of prime?
3704 MR. REIMER-EPP: No, overall in total.
3705 THE CHAIRPERSON: In total, okay. thank you.
3706 MR. REIMER-EPP: Including the seven and a half.
3707 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Thank you. Mr. Cardozo?
3708 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Just one question. On this religious programming advisory committee, would that apply to programming just in the Winnipeg station or the Fraser Valley station as well?
3709 MR. REIMER-EP: Well, for the purpose of this hearing, I guess we'd be committing for the Winnipeg station, but I can tell you that our discussion would be that this would apply for British Columbia as well, in practice. It would make sense that we would want to do that.
3710 THE CHAIRPERSON: Go ahead, when you're ready.
3711 MR. THIESSEN: Good afternoon, Madam Chair and Commissioners. I would like to begin by thanking the interveners who came out this morning to support our application. I sincerely appreciate their input and look forward to working with them in the event that our application is granted.
3712 In reply to the intervention by Craig Broadcasting Systems, I would like to begin by saying that we certainly appreciate the fact that Trinity has been able to purchase time on A-Channel from time to time over the years and applaud them for making room on their schedule for religious barter programs.
3713 With respect to the program "It's A New Day," I have mentioned to the Commission already and wish to reiterate that we have been given notice that Global may drop our program from their schedule in Winnipeg within the year, as they have already done in other markets, in order to rationalize programming across their national network. Consequently, I believe that they would be quite well prepared for the impact of any change that we might initiate in moving our program to CITT.
3714 With respect to demand for our service, I admit that we were not willing to pay the entry fee required to obtain a survey of viewers in Winnipeg to provide evidence of demand. However, I would suggest that the 2,000 letters of support which the Commission has received, as well as the eloquent testimony of the appearing interveners from all backgrounds and faith persuasions this morning, should go some distance in allaying any concerns that the Commission may have in that regard.
3715 I also wish to point out that Winnipeg is home to some of the largest per capita and most dynamic religious communities in Canada, including some of the country's largest and fastest growing churches. While this is anecdotal information, I believe it is indicative of the nature of the community that we know CITT will serve.
3716 I would like to ask Shane Neufeld to address issues related to the impact of CITT on incumbent broadcasters in the Winnipeg market.
3717 MR. NEUFELD: Thanks Willard. Good afternoon Madam Chair, Commissioners. I would like to address the issues raised by Cam Cowie in respect to CITT's impact on local revenues for CHMI. The Commission's records will indicate that approximately only 20 to 25 percent of total CHMI revenues are derived from the local market. Consequently, our impact on the crust of his pie will be minimized. In fact, I would suggest that the 5 percent of revenues which we project to derive from incumbent broadcasters in our applications would be, in relative terms, no more than a tablespoon of sugar, to push the pie analogy further than it was ever intended to go. In literal terms, this is a total of only $35,000 per year divided amongst the three incumbent broadcasters.
3718 I also wish to clarify that while A‑Channel does sell $25 advertising spots, they are found in late-night time slots. By comparison, our average non-prime price is $20 and average prime time price will be $50. The distinction is significant when considering the impact on CHMI's local sales.
3719 The proportion of national sales in CHMI's revenues is indicative of the heavy reliance by the incumbents on national advertising across the board. Radio, by contrast, relies on local advertising. Consequently, it is understandable that radio revenues are up even if television PBITs are down. Our proposal for CITT is to derive 60 percent of revenues from local advertising ‑‑ it is supposed to be 60 ‑‑ which allows us to bypass the difficulties of the incumbents without having any meaningful impact on them.
3720 While there has certainly been fragmentation in Canadian television viewing patterns over recent years, this fragmentation is the result of the inability of conventional broadcasters to serve the demand for more viewing choices. It sounds as though I only need to hire A-Channel's receptionist to demonstrate that viewers are looking for something different than from what is currently available on conventional television. It does not take many years in the broadcast business to receive enough letters from viewers to understand what it is that makes them unhappy and conversely what they are looking for.
3721 MR. SMITH: Commissioners, Madam Chair. I believe that the perspective brought by the intervener this morning spoke to the most difficult aspect of regulating religious programming -- the smell test. As has been acknowledged by the intervener and the Commission this morning, we do not have a desire to slip over into being a conventional broadcaster.
3722 We are a religious charity with religious objectives and a non-profit structure. These things address our motivations at their core. In order to assist you in regulating what has the potential to be a Pandora's box as mentioned this morning, we want to add an additional piece to the condition of licence which we proposed yesterday.
3723 You are already familiar with our balance committee and the structure it employs to safeguard the subjective issues related to religious balance content. We would like to adapt that structure to accomplish a similar purpose in the religious content area. The religious programming advisory committee that John outlined earlier will help us to fulfil the ambiguities inherent in the definition of religious programming and the programming criteria that we have set out.
3724 I appreciated Ms. Strain's observation that she knew that "Little House on the Prairie" and "Leave it to Beaver" would be suitable for a religious station because she had seen the programs and knew what they were about.
3725 Under our proposal, this will become the job of our religious programming advisory committee, which will be obliged not just to look at the names on the schedule but to actually vet the programming itself to see that it is presented as religious in good faith. As an arm's-length body, we expect that this will be helpful not only in reassuring the Commission but also other broadcasters and our own constituency.
3726 Although we are last in line for the purchasing of programming, I want to be clear that we are not looking for the leftovers or the old programs but rather the best religious programming that is available to us under the circumstances. For example, at present "7th Heaven" is not aired in this market. As a highly successful program about a pastor and his family, it is a perfect fit for our station and we are interested in acquiring it if it is available at the time. "Touched by an Angel" in syndication is also available in this market at present, and we would be interested in that program. However, we simply confirm that we will not compete for these programs in the event that a local broadcaster wishes to air them.
3727 In the Commission's ongoing mandate to balance the interests of the community in more varied choice with the viability of incumbent broadcasters, we would urge the Commission to air on the side of the community. We are proposing an unprecedented 24-hour commitment to Canadian local programming as well as a level of opportunity for balance programming which is also new and extremely valuable to this market. We are prepared to reinvest the profits made from any American programming dollar for dollar into Canadian programming. Despite Mr. Cowie's comment that this is essentially the model that existing broadcasters already follow, I suspect that Global shareholders would not commit to set aside all profits from "Friends" or the Super Bowl specifically for Canadian programming. I believe what we offer to this community is unique.
3728 MR. THIESEN: Commissioners, I believe that CITT will be good for Winnipeg in every way, both in serving individual viewers and our communities of faith. We have demonstrated our commitment to balance in our programming, good faith and effectiveness in our programming choices, and our desire to add momentum to something new in Canada -- the building of a religious program production industry. This application will do much to further the Commission's mandate under the Broadcasting Act and I therefore urge you to license CITT Winnipeg.
3729 We would be pleased to take any further questions that you may have at this time.
3730 THE CHAIRPERSON: Counsel.
3731 LEGAL COUNSEL: Just a few questions, most of which arise, I think, from either the reply or the undertakings, if I may.
3732 First of all, the asterisk that you have put on the CITT block schedule of up to 26 moves per year will count as balance programming. I take it if that found its way into a condition of licence you would be comfortable with that?
3733 MR. REIMER-EPP: Yes, we would.
3734 LEGAL COUNSEL: On the example of -- on the CNHU block schedule, I just have a couple of questions on, let's say "Online 60 Minutes," which appears, for example, Monday from, I guess, 9:00 p.m. to 11:00; is that right?
3735 MR. SMITH: That's correct, 9:00 to 11:00 p.m.
3736 LEGAL COUNSEL: Do you purchase first window opportunity for "60 Minutes"?
3737 MR. SMITH: What we've done with "60 Minutes" is actually sub-licensed the program from the national rights holder and we hold only the Vancouver rights for that program. By contractual arrangement with the rights holder, we are required to carry, I guess, what you might call a second window or we're required to carry it after the U.S. broadcast, which the rights holder would carry in simulcast.
3738 LEGAL COUNSEL: So does that apply to some of the other U.S. programming that you have such as "Dateline"? Is that a second window or a first window as well?
3739 MR. SMITH: That situation is the same with "60 Minutes," "Dateline" and "Touched by an Angel," and also, actually, the one Canadian program that's in the schedule, which is "Doc," which we have a limitation as to the scheduling of it as well.
3740 LEGAL COUNSEL: So just in the process of acquiring it, there has been a contractual limitation put on the exhibition as a result of that process?
3741 MR. SMITH: In that case, yes, that's true.
3742 LEGAL COUNSEL: If you found, let's say for "60 Minutes," that, for example, you could get it for Vancouver but you couldn't get it for Winnipeg, would you have any overall practice or idea of what you might do? Are you looking for efficiencies or are you looking for individual sell for each of the markets? What I'm wondering about is would you go after another product instead if you could get it for both markets or would you give preference to something even if you could only get it for one of the two?
3743 MR. SMITH: We would not only go after a program if we were available to get it for the two markets. Certainly we'd love to have a conversation with the same program supplier about the same program but if it was not available in Winnipeg, that would not preclude us from talking about in Vancouver. Am I answering your question?
3744 LEGAL COUNSEL: It sounds like it would be almost case by case.
3745 MR. SMITH: It certainly is case by case. We're committed to the idea of issue-oriented programming where we're able to present the relevant religious issue and then have conversation and engage our audience. That's what we're committed to doing. And so certainly it would be nice to be able to line up the same programming but it's not essential if it's not available.
3746 LEGAL COUNSEL: Thank you. Taking again that same example of "Online 60 Minutes," can you explain -- are you using all or some of it as balance programming? I'm just looking at the CHNU block schedule, "60 Minutes," Monday from 9:00 to 11:00.
3747 MR. SMITH: Yes, the schedule with the shading on it may be a little bit unclear, certainly in the purple areas, but we are including the entire two-hour block there as balance.
3748 LEGAL COUNSEL: I can understand the second of the two hours, why that would count as balance. But can you explain why the first hour would count as balance?
3749 MR. SMITH: Well, certainly the first hour of the programming is prompting the relevant issues and is discussing the -- is presenting the relevant issues, so it's very much part of a springboard approach if you will. It is the platform on which all of the discussion is based that follows.
3750 MR. NEUFELD: If I could also add, the concept behind that being balance is to balance off the predominately Christian perspective within our overall schedule and the desire, and it is the reality that these news magazines offer typically a non-Christian perspective on world issues.
3751 LEGAL COUNSEL: But if I can come back to it, you've used, I think, some of the local avails as your springboard where you insert some content for advertising time that you haven't sold in that first hour to say listen to us in the second hour because we're going to discuss this. How many minutes would you insert into that first hour to generate that springboard?
3752 MR. SMITH: The number of minutes varies. We certainly start the entire block with an introduction, using our studio host, and then periodically adjacent commercial breaks throughout the program also prompt the discussion that we're talking about.
3753 So as you may know or as we may have talked about yesterday, generally U.S. network programming has an excess number of commercial availabilities or commercial holes in it. And it varies from program to program, for sure, and indeed from week to week. But that would likely be in the range of three to five minutes.
3754 LEGAL COUNSEL: I'm just wondering if there would be any sort of minimum number of minutes. I know it varies but will it be the minimum number of minutes in that first hour including things that you may say at the beginning of the hour as well as the commercial avails during the hour that you use as a springboard to tell the listener to listen to that second hour because you're going to discuss it?
3755 MR. SMITH: I would think and you are sort of asking me to go back over an awful lot of program formats on a week-to-week basis because they do vary considerably from week to week. But I would think the minimum would likely be three minutes.
3756 LEGAL COUNSEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
3757 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. We have no more questions. Thank you very much panel. This does, I believe, conclude our hearing.
3758 I want to thank all of the radio applicants in their absence for their thought and care in preparing their applications and for their excellent presentations. I also want to thank Trinity for the same, their thought and care in preparing their application and for your thoughtful presentation and rebuttal.
3759 I wish to thank my fellow Commissioners for coming to my region and enjoying life here in Winnipeg. I want to thank all of the interveners for taking the time out of their schedule to come here and give us their views.
3760 I want to thank the staff, both the regional staff and the national staff that came to Winnipeg for a lovely mid-winter semitropical vacation. So I gather that before I end this, Mr. Secretary has something to say.
3761 THE SECRETARY: Yes, I do. Thank you, Madam Chair. I just want to note for the record that there are a number of non-appearing applications associated with this proceeding as listed in the agenda. Although there is no oral presentation for these applications, they are nevertheless part of the public hearing and as such they will be considered by the Commission and a decision will be rendered at a later date.
3762 Thank you, Madam Chair.
3763 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. And before I end, I'm reminded to thank the court reporter and the audio people at the back, and thank you Winnipeg.
--- Whereupon the hearing concluded at 1340 /L'audience est levée à 1340
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