ARCHIVED - Transcript / Transcription - Toronto, Ontario - 2002-09-25
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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 and ownership applications &
applications further to Public Notice CRTC 2002-39
"Call for applications for a broadcasting licence to carry on
a radio programming undertaking to serve Toronto, Ontario"/
Demandes de radiodiffusion et de propriétés multiples ainsi
que des demandes suite à l'avis public CRTC 2000-39
"Appel de demandes de licence de radiodiffusion visant
l'exploitation d'une entreprise de programmation de radio
pour desservir Toronto (Ontario)"
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Travelodge Hotel Hôtel Travelodge
Toronto Yorkdale Toronto Yorkdale
2737 Keele Street 2737, rue Keele
Toronto, Ontario Toronto (Ontario)
September 25, 2002 le 25 septembre 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 and ownership applications &
applications further to Public Notice CRTC 2000-39
"Call for applications for a broadcasting licence to carry on
a radio programming undertaking to serve Toronto, Ontario"/
Demandes de radiodiffusion et de propriétés multiples ainsi
que des demandes suite à l'avis public CRTC 2000-39
"Appel de demandes de licence de radiodiffusion visant
l'exploitation d'une entreprise de programmation de radio
pour desservir Toronto (Ontario)"
BEFORE / DEVANT:
Andrée Wylie Chairperson / Présidente
David Colville Commissioner / Conseiller
Andrée Noël Commissioner / Conseillère
Cindy Grauer Commissioner / Conseillère
Andrew Cardozo Commissioner / Conseiller
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Joe Aguiar Hearing Manager / Gérant
Pierre LeBel Secretary / Secrétaire
Alastair Stewart Legal Counsel /
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Travelodge Hotel Hôtel Travelodge
Toronto Yorkdale Toronto Yorkdale
2737 Keele Street 2737, rue Keele
Toronto, Ontario Toronto (Ontario)
September 25, 2002 le 25 septembre 2002TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES
PAGE / PARA NO.
INTERVENTION BY / INTERVENTION PAR
CJMR 1320 Radio Limited 1419 / 8659
CIRC Radio Inc. 1447 / 8816
Norma Carpio 1491 / 9073
Harini Sivalingham 1499 / 9117
Classical 96.3 FM 1506 / 9162
Maria Minna 1509 / 9185
Vignararajah Seevaratnam 1514 / 9212
Elder Engineering Inc. 1517 / 9233
Luybov Kostetska 1541 / 9435
Polish Canadian Congress 1545 / 9457
Reverend Regulo Imperial 1552 / 9493
Youth Organization of Saint Agnes Church 1558 / 9522
Couples for Christ 1563 / 9553
Focolare Movement 1568 / 9583
Paul Kromer 1575 / 9626
Sheetal Bedi 1582 / 9664
Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce 1589 / 9694
North York Sikh Temple 1599 / 9744
Philippine Independence Day Council 1609 / 9801
Abdul Hai Patel 1616 / 9835
Vietnamese Association of Toronto 1626 / 9877
Association of Women of India in Canada 1633 / 9916
Toronto Residents in Partnership 1639 / 9945
Falsal Hassan 1646 / 9981
Canadian Jewish Humanitarian and Relief Committee 1652 /10011
Orthodox Missionary Church 1657 /10035
Canadian Hispanic Congress 1659 /10051
Councillor Joe Mihevic 1663 /10074
Bruce Smith 1669 /10101
Winston Larose 1677 /10150
Bridget Ubochi 1688 /10203
Lee Marshall 1695 /10233
Farah Khayre 1704 /10274
Ekua Asabea Blair 1709 /10302
Richard Aziz 1717 /10342
Toronto, Ontario / Toronto (Ontario)
--- Upon resuming on Wednesday, September 25, 2002
at 0833 / L'audience reprend le mercredi
25 septembre 2002 à 0833
8647 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please. A l'ordre, s'il vous plaît.
8648 Good morning. We are now ready to proceed with Phase III of this hearing.
8649 We would like to remind people again that cellphones and pagers should not be in on while you are in the room.
8650 We also wish to point out that we may not engage in questioning with all intervenors, particularly where their position is clear. This should not be taken by anyone as a lack of interest in what you have to tell us. It is, rather, in order to hear as many intervenors as possible in the time that we have available to us.
8651 We remind you as well that your oral intervention will be transcribed and will form part of the record, as does your written intervention.
8652 Nous tenons à mentionner qu'il est fort possible que nous ne posions pas de questions à tous les intervenants, particulièrement lorsque leur position est claire.
8653 Il ne s'agit pas d'un manque d'intérêt à ce que vous avez à nous dire mais plutôt un désir d'entendre autant d'intervenants que possible dans le temps qui nous est disponible.
8654 Nous vous rappelons que vos présentations orales seront transcrites et feront partie du dossier au même titre que vos présentations écrites.
8655 Alors avec ce début, monsieur le secrétaire, s'il vous plaît.
8656 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
8657 The first appearing intervenor will be CJMR 1320 Radio Limited.
8658 Gentlemen, you have 10 minutes to make your presentation.
8659 MR. CAINE: Thank you.
8660 Good morning, Madam Chairperson and Commissioners. My name is Michael Caine and I am the President and General Manager of CJMR 1320 Radio Limited. With me is Harry McDonald, our Vice-President of Sales and Marketing.
8661 Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you this morning and present a few of our major concerns with respect to some of the applications that have been made for a new ethnic radio station in Toronto.
8662 We have over 45 years of ethnic broadcasting experience and, as such, we are as aware of the changing face of Toronto, and indeed Canada, as anyone in the country. We have a direct and intimate knowledge of the rapid growth in numbers of new Canadians and the immigration patterns that are changing the look and shape of our city and our nation almost on a daily basis.
8663 Thus, we are not here today to ask that you not grant a new ethnic radio service for Toronto. We simply with to add our perspective to your deliberations so that a fair, balanced decision can be made in the spirit of the Order in Council and the Commission's call that the successful application will be one that embraces the multi-ethnic reality of the GTA and provides a truly diverse radio service so that the full range of linguistic and cultural radio services available in Toronto will reflect the needs of all the people who live here.
8664 When considering applications for a new radio service, part and parcel of the Commission's deliberations is trying to decide what proposals actually represent diversity and which ones may merely be a duplication of services already there and which may cause harm to existing services if approved.
8665 In the ethnic market of Toronto it is of paramount importance that the diversity of linguistic and cultural services proposed and already available, and the ability of the advertising community to support them, be considered carefully.
8666 To that end, we would like to highlight some of the major points expressed in our written intervention by focusing on four of the applications that cause us the most concern.
8667 Dealing first with the CHIN application for a new ethnic radio station, we are very concerned that this would, if approved, give CHIN a third ethnic radio voice in Toronto and provide it with a distinctly unfair and overpowering advantage over CJMR's standalone AM service.
8668 We believe Mr. Lombardi is incorrect in saying that CHIN needs a third outlet in order to compete with the large, multiple owners of mainstream stations already in existence in Toronto. The truth is, CHIN does not compete with these stations. It competes for the scarce local radio ethnic advertising dollars with the other ethnic stations in the market, like CJMR.
8669 Even now, in its current position of operating two ethnic radio services in Toronto, CJMR faces considerable competition from CHIN. If CHIN were to add a third station to its roster, CJMR would find it very difficult indeed to compete, especially in the South Asian languages.
8670 In its presentation, CHIN made special note of the fact that the core languages of its proposed programming on its FM station would be those from South Asia. As the Commission knows, of course, most of these languages also make up the core of CJMR's format.
8671 For example, it was noted last week that there are already some 85 hours per week of Punjabi programming being provided by existing ethnic broadcasters in Toronto. CJMR alone presents almost 30 per cent of those hours, and that does not include our Punjabi programming that is aired overnight.
8672 In the CHIN proposal it would seem that CJMR will also be facing the considerable expertise of ATN, which will be brokering and perhaps sub-brokering a large amount of time from CHIN. CJMR and its South Asian producers are, understandably, extremely nervous about the CHIN/ATN proposal and expect the worst in terms of the quantity and quality of South Asian programming heard on CJMR if this application is approved.
8673 Let us now move to the Infinity application.
8674 In its written rebuttal to CJMR's intervention, Infinity corrects CJMR's statement that the applicant proposes to produce almost 60 hours per week of South Asian programming. In fact, we are informed, Infinity intends to carry a total of 116 hours per week of South Asian programming, of which 74 will be run between 6:00 a.m and 6:00 p.m.
8675 The fact that Infinity intends to exceed the total number of hours of CJMR's core group of languages by so much more than originally thought only makes us more concerned and alarmed about the negative impact this proposed station will have on our operation.
8676 It is CJMR's contention that the number of hours of South Asian programming offered by all existing ethnic stations in the GTA, not just CJMR, means that this community is hardly underserved, let alone unserved. In fact, we contend that the schedule of South Asian programming proposed by Infinity is not a diversity of service, but a duplication of services already being offered in large quantity and quality by CJMR and other existing ethnic broadcasters.
8677 On the financial side of things, we are gravely concerned with the business plan presented by Infinity and even more so now that we have heard their presentation and their responses to the questions posed by the Commission.
8678 Infinity projects that 20 per cent of its sales will come from existing stations. We can only assume that CJMR will lose a proportionately higher amount of this guesstimate than our existing competitors since we air more South Asian programming than they do.
8679 Further, Infinity thinks that it will earn 15 per cent of its revenue from increased radio budgets; 30 per cent from non-radio users; and 35 per cent from other media. If any of this revenue, that represents 80 per cent of Infinity's sales projections, doesn't pan out, we suggest -- because, quite frankly, it is what we would do -- the shortest route to achieve budget would be to increase the amount taken from existing stations.
8680 As the Commission heard during this hearing, retail advertising budges for ethnic radio are small. For example, you have heard that rates for South Asian commercials can run from as little as $2.00 to $5.00 per spot, up to about a maximum of $10. As someone pointed out last week, you would have to sell a lot of air time at two bucks a throw to make the kind of revenue projected by Infinity.
8681 Finally, we would like to comment about Infinity's reliance on repatriating listeners and, more importantly, sales from WTOR.
8682 Infinity is budgeting that a significant portion of its revenue each year will come from WTOR. For example, last week there was much discussion that 30 per cent to 35 per cent of its revenue in year three would be generated from former WTOR advertisers. The annual amount to come from WTOR is included in the percentage that Infinity expects to take from existing stations.
8683 If Infinity was to, in fact, achieve the goal of repatriating such a large part of its expected revenue from WTOR, we have no doubt that what would be gained on the swings would be lost on the roundabout.
8684 WTOR will undoubtedly turn to new players in the GTA and very quickly replace the programming and advertising lost to Infinity. You see, unfortunately, WTOR is also a part of the multi-ethnic reality of the GTA and we agree with what Mr. Lombardi said to you last Friday: They are not going to go away.
8685 If, on the other hand, Infinity does not achieve its projected repatriation of revenue from WTOR, then clearly Infinity will simply have take a greater amount from existing Canadian ethnic radio outlets, CJMR included.
8686 Either way, the WTOR factor in Infinity's revenue projections would have a significant negative impact on CJMR.
8687 Moving to the application by CKMW, we only wish to repeat that CJMR's concerns with this application are essentially the same as those expressed about the CHIN application, namely the acknowledged, yet, in our opinion, unfair advantage CKMW would have with an additional ethnic station in the Greater Toronto Area, especially since CKMW intends to have over one-quarter of its proposed schedule being broadcast in the core languages and cultures that are the cornerstone of CJMR's viability.
8688 And finally, Madam Chair, we come to the application by Canadian Multicultural Radio.
8689 It is clear to us that this applicant, like CJMR, also wishes to have South Asian languages and cultures form the core of its broadcast schedule.
8690 For many of the same reasons outlined in our opposition to the Infinity application, CJMR is greatly concerned that the introduction of so many new hours of South Asian programming into the GTA market will have a detrimental effect on our operation. We won't repeat those reasons again, but simply ask that you carefully examine the business plan of Canadian Multicultural Radio and see if you don't agree that if this application were to be approved it will have a negative impact on CJMR.
8691 Notwithstanding our concerns about this application, though, we would like to say that we were and are grateful for the fact that the owners of Canadian multicultural radio were the only applicants to contact CJMR directly and indicate their willingness to work with us and design a broadcast schedule that did not conflict with CJMR's program lineup. We think such a gesture is heartening, courteous and professional and puts us slightly more at ease should the Commission decide to award this application the licence for 101.3 FM.
8692 Madam Chairperson and Commissioners, that concludes our remarks and we would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
8693 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, Mr. Caine.
8694 MR. CAINE: Good morning.
8695 THE CHAIRPERSON: I see you have your current program schedule attached, but can you help me in giving me the hours of the main programming? While listening to you I am not quick enough to have figured it out.
8696 MR. CAINE: Okay.
8697 Incidently, this was the program schedule that just last week was asked by the Commission from Ottawa if we would file it, so we thought we would bring it along today.
8698 THE CHAIRPERSON: I still have to make the calculation.
8699 MR. CAINE: Okay.
8700 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you give me the number of hours of the groups you serve?
8701 MR. CAINE: Sure. In not particular order: Arabic, .5 hours; Syrian, .5; Bengali, .5; Caribbean -- tell me if I'm going too fast -- Caribbean, 1.5 hours -- this is per week -- Croatian, 2.5; Dutch, 1.5; Hindi/Hindustani, 23 hours per week; Italian, 1 hour; Pakistani, 9 hours; Polish 27.5 hours per week; Portuguese, 6; Punjabi, 36.5; Somali, .5 a week; Ukrainian, 4.5; Vietnamese, 1 hour. We also have some various --
8702 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's fine.
8703 I have with me what you proposed in 1999 at your renewal application and what our 2001 figures represent. Just so we can create a context for this, there are major changes.
8704 For example, between 2001 and now Hindi appears, according to my records, to have gone from 4.5 hours to 23; Italian from 26 down to one, just as an example. Is that correct?
8705 MR. CAINE: Yes, there are changes and some of them, as you point out, are large.
8706 THE CHAIRPERSON: Some languages were not in your last renewal and then were there -- which was approved in 2000 and then appeared in 2001.
8707 All that to say there is an enormous flexibility in the incumbent ethnic broadcasters to respond to the markets or to their ability to get producers, or for whatever reason, other than one station on which the Commission imposed limitations, CHKC.
8708 So what we are struggling with, both because we can understand what may happen in the market with more stations, is a reasonable solution, but what you seem to propose is very serious limitations on any new broadcasters and a continued ability on your part to shift to the extent that I have just mentioned.
8709 MR. CAINE: Perhaps an explanation, first of all, or just a quick one on why there is such a major change, especially in Hindi, from the point that -- I don't have the schedule from 2001.
8710 The biggest change, or the cause of that change, was Italian programming, of which there was quite a bit in 2001. That individual that was producing that programming for us left because he is involved with a station in St. Catharines that the Commission has actually just granted a transfer of ownership there and he is involved in that one and is producing Italian programming on CKTV.
8711 So we had quite a large hole. I am very pleased to say that it was filled with South Asian programming that had been on WTOR.
8712 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. I have already recognized that the shifts can be caused by this type of activity, the movement of producers. It will continue to be the case and the business plan that the broadcaster may see as the best for his station at the time.
8713 We have tried to suggest perhaps a middle course where what is put forward at this time is required to be maintained, at least from the major groups that the applicant put forward without binding the new broadcasters to a very strict requirement to stay with what they have.
8714 I would suppose that if we started to limit everybody to that extent, you may be the next one. I find it hard to believe that once we open the market to more stations, we would leave some able to shift and some not.
8715 I am sure you have read the interventions by other parties -- we will hear from Fairchild -- where limitations were put on them to protect certain stations who then shift away from the language they were proposing at the time, or the kind, or whatever. So it's kind of difficult.
8716 Perhaps your position is more extreme. If you take, for example, one of the applicants, be it Infinity or the 1540 application, would you think that a compromise where the main languages were required of them and the choice, of course, of who gets a licence would then be made on the basis of what they forward, and considering, once you have acquired a certain number of hours and a certain number of specific languages, it limits what they can do with the rest because they still have to have 14 more languages which would be unlikely to have a large group let's say of hours of Chinese and still meet the number of languages.
8717 In other words, as we have done through the hearing, without discussing the particular programming that is proposed, if we think about it more philosophically, if they had to keep, let's say a large number of their hours in the languages proposed and then there is a number of languages to fill the rest, there would be less room for shifting.
8718 MR. CAINE: My response is -- and our intervention did not ask the Commission to impose conditions like that on the successful applicant --
8719 THE CHAIRPERSON: But it's to not licence them at all if they conflict with a language that you may have chosen to program in in the last year.
8720 MR. CAINE: I understand, but those stations that have no conditions on them now are free, if you will, to move into languages that we present or what we consider to be our core format.
8721 I remember this question being asked, and I think, Commissioner Colville, you made the comment when you asked that question because the applicant stopped for a minute and you said, "Usually, when you are doing that you are trying to think of an answer".
8722 I am in the same boat, although I am not here applying for anything, but it's a very difficult question, Madam Chair, because the Commission took a bit of a different direction with the establishment of its new Ethnic Broadcasting Policy in which it would by condition of licence require the radio station to broadcast in a minimum of certain languages and serving a minimum number of cultures.
8723 Before that, there were conditions specifically to language. I, and I think my colleagues in the ethnic broadcasting business, much preferred the flexibility given the COL to number of languages and cultural groups.
8724 So I understand the applicant's hesitation in answering that question because personally I would not want to have a condition of licence restricting me to a minimum number of hours or languages, specific languages and cultures. Personally, from running a business, I prefer to have the flexibility to be able to move with changing market conditions, changing competitive forces, to be able to respond and keep running my business.
8725 It might be a little bit easier for a new applicant to accept a condition of licence like that on specific languages because you are forecasting and you can plan and budget for things like that.
8726 So I too have the dichotomy of opinion on the answer to that question, and I felt for the applicants who have had to answer it for you because I felt as uncomfortable as they. I have this sort of feeling about it.
8727 If you are asking me would I want to have on an applicant that is awarded this licence, would I want that successful applicant to have a condition of licence that is specifically tied to languages? Selfishly I would say yes, but in general and in principle, I don't think you should impose that upon a new applicant either.
8728 THE CHAIRPERSON: But I suspect the applicants find your solution a lot harsher, which is if anybody proposes Punjabi and in the last year I started to do 31.5 hours of Punjabi, you shouldn't licence anybody who will do Punjabi. That would send shivers up my spine a lot more than the proposal of a condition of licence because I suspect, am I right, that your position is "Don't licence them because that's duplication. It's duplicating what I am doing at the moment", which for all I know started even after they put forward their application.
8729 How long have you been doing 31.5 hours of Punjabi? Our records would show that it's since 2001.
8730 MR. CAINE: Yes, that's correct. It has been within the last year.
8731 THE CHAIRPERSON: And this process has been going on for a long time. So that is a far harsher solution than having them accept some type of limitation. I think your position requires us to go to the applications and say wherever there is duplication in the market we can't licence or we only can licence by having that amount of programming actually dropped.
8732 Is that your position?
8733 MR. CAINE: Not entirely. CJMR is not afraid of competition. Most of the language groups that we have in our station now are heard on one or more of the other ethnic stations. We are not afraid of competition. It's the financial support of the advertising community, of the community to be able to successfully support those programs, and if there are too many of them, then we are all going to be hurt is the point.
8734 That is that fine line that the Commission must make in deliberating between diversity and duplication. Nobody is against competition. We are not here, as we said, to ask you not to licence one. We are simply asking: What is the best thing for the communities in Toronto, the ethnic reality in Toronto, to -- I mean, we look at -- and we are not trying to play Solomon, I wouldn't have your job for anything, to make the decision, but clearly of all of the applications ARK, for example --
8735 Well, actually if you want to consider all of the applications, the most selfish solution from CJMR's point of view, aside from doing nothing, would be to grant CHIN its flip application. That maintains the status quo essentially.
8736 If you want to go and pick and choose all of the different applications, ARK has the least impact in terms of language groups that it intends to serve on our station. But, as we all know, it's possible that that could change six months after the application has been granted unless you have a condition of licence and therein is the decision that the Commission must make in terms of weighing and evaluating all of the information it received in this process.
8737 THE CHAIRPERSON: But, Mr. Caine, that is quite difficult, as I pointed out to you. If I look at what you filed in your renewal, for example one hour of Italian, the Commission may have thought we don't have to even hear -- Mr. Caine, I suspect your had a non-appearing renewal because that looks like it's serving the market because somebody else is doing Italian.
8738 Lo and behold in 2001, one year later, you are doing 26 hours of Italian and now you are doing none. So it doesn't really work very easily, does it? In other words, if we were to take this position now and say we are not going to licence anyone who does Punjabi because it's available in the market, and then you don't do it anymore and next year there is none at all. So it's not an easy position for us to be in.
8739 MR. McDONALD: Madam Chair --
8740 THE CHAIRPERSON: We have to rely somewhat on the market, don't we? We are hearing that this market, the GTA, is more and more ethnic and multicultural and presumably the market will take care of some of that because you will do what you can to get an audience and, therefore, use some flexibility yourself.
8741 You don't have a compromise solution for us that is a little less harsh than "If there is duplication with my roster of languages you can't licence".
8742 MR. CAINE: I suppose that the compromise situation is the one that you have suggested, which is imposing a condition of licence on the applicant in terms of languages that they intend to propose. I also hear you that down the road that may apply to me.
8743 I suspect that is certainly the foremost compromise that comes to mind.
8744 THE CHAIRPERSON: For example, at the moment you do quite a number of hours of Punjabi programming, but not much of Hindi. So you have heard some of the applicants putting forward South Asian that they would limit the amounts of Punjabi and have more Hindi programming.
8745 Is that any level of comfort for you?
8746 MR. CAINE: To some extent. And correct me if I am wrong, please, but it seems to me that when I have heard that question asked of applicants, "would they accept a condition of licence", the condition of licence is phrased in such a way that "you will do not less than" 50 per cent Hindi, or whatever.
8747 THE CHAIRPERSON: There are many ways of doing it. It can be very narrowly or very widely said.
8748 MR. CAINE: I guess what I am saying is that I would prefer the approach to a maximum as opposed to a minimum.
8749 THE CHAIRPERSON: To a maximum of the major languages?
8750 MR. CAINE: Yes. And my comfort level would rise if I knew that my competitors were only allowed to do so many hours of.
8751 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. We certainly understand your position. It is a very natural one: give me the flexibility to change as my situation changes or the market changes; tie the others and don't give me too much competition.
8752 It is quite understandable as a position. For us, we are trying to seek some reasonable solution that would provide more diversity in the market without -- as you quite rightly pointed out, the Commission is concerned about the continued viability of services.
8753 But we have more faith than you in your ability to face it.
8754 I don't know if my colleagues have questions.
8755 Commissioner Colville.
8756 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Thank you, Madam Chair.
8757 Just taking a little different tack on this same issue, I noted at the end of your comments this morning that you -- perhaps commended is too strong a term, but you noted CMR, the fact that they contacted you and you said that this gesture puts you:
"...slightly more at ease should the Commission decide to award this application the licence for 101.3 FM".
8758 The gesture, I take it, being that they would commit not to program against your lineup with the same or similar programming.
8759 Given that about CMR, what would your position be should one or other of CHIN or CKMW undertake a similar sort of commitment?
8760 MR. CAINE: We of course talk with one another quite often as part of the Canadian Association of Ethnic Radio Broadcasters. It is a wonderful fraternity. So we keep a pretty good eye on each other's broadcast schedules.
8761 We have currently CHIN, for example, which is predominantly Italian programming; I am South Asian and Fairchild is Chinese. In terms of the core languages that the ethnic stations present, we have not necessarily by clandestine design but we have sort of lined up that way.
8762 Remember that in the case of at least CKMW and CHIN, our major concern with those applications is the advantage that both of them would have, either one of them would have if you granted them a licence, of having an additional outlet that would compete against our single operation and the synergies that that represents in having multiple outlets and cost savings and marketing sales and marketing techniques, and so on.
8763 That is our major concern with the CKMW and CHIN applications.
8764 It so happens that in CHIN's application they are going to be doing a significant amount of South Asian programming. So that is an additional concern.
8765 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: That additional concern could be accommodated in the way that CMR apparently would accommodate it.
8766 MR. CAINE: Yes.
8767 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: So the bottom line for you is: Don't license an existing player a new station.
8768 MR. CAINE: In those two cases, yes.
8769 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Thank you.
8770 Thank you, Madam Chair.
8771 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Cardozo, please.
8772 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I just have one more question on the same line as Commissioner Colville as to how this sort of thing would work, and it is a hypothetical question, of course.
8773 You said that I believe it was CMR would had approached you to work out a programming schedule that wouldn't be competitive in terms of languages.
8774 I look at your schedule, and the Punjabi wouldn't be -- if they do have Punjabi it is not a lot. Their main languages were Hindi and Tamil.
8775 So it is those two language blocks that you would line up so that they wouldn't be at the same time, and you would make an agreement. Is that how that works?
8776 MR. CAINE: Yes. I am assuming that the Commission is not suggesting that it will impose a condition of licence restricting an applicant from where they air a program.
8777 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: No. I am more interested in how the market works in a sense and how you would work that with another licensee.
8778 Do you sit down and talk about what your planned schedules are?
8779 MR. CAINE: No.
8780 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Or does it just happen?
8781 MR. CAINE: It just happens, which is another important point to consider in all of this.
8782 There are certain factors which are beyond all of our control: the matter of the market forces, the immigration patterns, which requires a station to be flexible. You do what you think is best at your station, and then you see what your competition is doing.
8783 So it just happens.
8784 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: When you talk about South Asian programming, it is rather a large group of languages. Some languages like Hindi are widely understood; other languages like Punjabi or Tamil, or a number of others, are not widely understood.
8785 The issue of competition doesn't really arise. It is more limited to certain South Asian languages. Isn't that true?
8786 I have a hard time with your statement that others are proposing South Asian programming when it seems to me that it is more Hindi, Hindustani are the languages where there is competition.
8787 MR. CAINE: Yes.
8788 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And some of the smaller languages they might as well be anything else.
8789 MR. CAINE: Yes. The difficulty in lumping all of the languages and cultures under the banner of South Asian is that there are so many of them. That is true.
8790 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Right.
8791 MR. CAINE: Take Tamil, for example.
8792 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I don't see any.
8793 MR. CAINE: We don't do any Tamil at the moment. So the CMR proposal or a couple of the others which are predominantly Tamil in their lineup are not as great a concern to us.
8794 You are back to Madam Chair's point of taking off all of the different languages, and that does become a very difficult exercise.
8795 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you.
8796 Thank you, Madam Chair.
8797 THE CHAIRPERSON: Counsel?
8798 Me STEWART: Merci, madame la présidente.
8799 I have just a very brief question.
8800 In your written intervention of the 23rd of August with respect to the Infinity application you expressed a concern about the role of Newcap, and you noted that there is not even a draft of a shareholder's agreement in place.
8801 Have your concerns been attenuated since you filed that intervention?
8802 MR. CAINE: Well, some of our concerns have been exacerbated by what we have heard at the hearing. There have also been other concerns that have either been eliminated or are not a concern. That is one of them.
8803 If Infinity has produced a shareholder's agreement or at least a letter of understanding that one will be produced, essentially on the terms as outlined in the application, then that is fine.
8804 Me STEWART: Merci, madame la présidente. Those are my questions.
8805 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Caine, for appearing before us. You are a businessman; we are a regulator. We are supposed to balance all the interests. So we certainly understand your position, and we thank you for expressing it. We certainly need all the help we can get to sort out what is the best thing to do in our more difficult role, I think.
8806 MR. CAINE: I hope we haven't made it too much more difficult for you.
8807 THE CHAIRPERSON: No. We invite you to make your position to us and to discuss it. We thank you for coming.
8808 MR. CAINE: Thank you, Madam Chair.
8809 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
8810 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
8811 The next appearing intervenor will be CIRC Radio Inc.
8812 MR. LEBEL: Not seeing anybody from CIRC, we will now hear from Mr. Michael Battista.
8813 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, Mr. Battista.
8814 MR. CHANG: My name is Andrew Chang, actually. Mr. Battista is not appearing today.
8815 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, Mr. Chang.
8816 MR. CHANG: Madam Chairperson, Members of the Commission, thank you for this opportunity to address you.
8817 My name is Andrew Chang, and I am the Associate Publisher of Pink Triangle Press, which is the publisher of Xtra magazine, Toronto's gay and lesbian biweekly.
8818 Before I begin, I would like to take a moment to introduce some members of our community that have come out in support of today's intervention.
8819 First is Elisa Hatton. Elisa is from SOY, Supporting Our Youth, which is a volunteer organization that works to improve the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and transsexual youth in Toronto. They run arts and cultures programs, employment mentoring programs, immigrant youth settlement programs and work very extensively throughout the gay youth community.
8820 Next I would like to introduce Ruby Hamilton. Ruby is the former president of the Toronto chapter of PFLAG, which is Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. It is an international support and education group.
8821 Also is Ruby's son Michael. Michael is the co-chair of the board of the Ontario AIDS Network, which is a province-wide coalition of community organizations.
8822 Finally, I would like to introduce Keith Maidment. Some of you probably recognize Keith. He is one of the key team members and community liaison for both the Rainbow Radio and PrideVision earlier applications before the CRTC.
8823 What you may not know is that Keith is also a 15-year veteran firefighter in the Toronto Fire Department and a gay community activist for nearly two decades.
8824 One point of clarification. For the sake of brevity, throughout this presentation I am going to use the terms "gay" and "gay community" over and over again, but these expressions are meant to reflect all of our people, including homosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons.
8825 I represent a group that filed an intervention on these proceedings. In addition to Pink Triangle Press, or PTP, this group includes PFLAG, the AIDS Committee of Toronto and the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, as well as Toronto City Council Member Kyle Rae and Michael Battista, an Immigration lawyer in Toronto's gay community.
8826 The organizations mentioned here are amongst the largest and most well established gay community organizations in the country.
8827 Further to our written submission, I am here to speak on the need for a local radio station serving Toronto's gay community and the potential impact of this current call for applications on that need.
8828 In preparing this presentation we reviewed the hearing notice contained on the CRTC's own Web site. It refers to Public Notices 2001-39 and 2001-10, both of which contain extensive references to diversity, multiculturalism and multi-ethnicity pertaining to the development of radio programming services for the Greater Toronto Area, or GTA.
8829 We certainly applaud the Commission's uniquely Canadian efforts to increase the range of services available to the many ethnic communities in Toronto. However, the estimated 400,000 members of the gay community, their families, friends and supporters, are also an essential part of the rich mosaic that Toronto is, representing a significant cultural, economic and, in its own right, multi-ethnic community in our city.
8830 Presently in the GTA there are close to 20 local ethnic broadcast services operating, including SCMOs and, according to the Commission's own figures, the six main ethnic commercial radio stations provide over 700 hours of programming a week, while none exists for the gay community.
8831 As the current call for applications was limited strictly to ethnic services, it precluded any proposals for a station with a format directed to the gay community. We are concerned that the frequencies being allotted in this call may be the last viable channels available and that our community will effectively be denied meaningful participation in over-the-air radio broadcast services.
8832 To give some context to our comments, here is a quick brief on Pink Triangle Press, or PTP.
8833 PTP is a community-based not-for-profit corporation that was founded in 1971. Starting out as a volunteer collective, PTP garnered significant international renown for its first publication "The Body Politic", a monthly journal of gay liberation news and opinion.
8834 We now publish a group of gay community newspapers under the "Xtra" banner in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver, with a combined circulation approaching 100,000 copies, reaching approximately 175,000 readers. In addition, we interact with our communities through our Internet Web sites and audio text services located in eight major Canadian cities.
8835 It is important to note that each paper is firmly rooted in its local gay community. Each office maintains its own editorial staff and journalistic independence, and the vast majority of reporting and content originate in, are reflective of and responsive to the local gay community. In other words, each paper is vested in its home community and serves as the standard bearer for gay people in each city, allowing us to claim our place in society.
8836 Over-the-air radio is also an effective and economically viable medium for providing local content, addressing local needs and achieving this end.
8837 PTP is Canada's leading and longest operating gay media organization, an our overarching mission is the advancement of gay and lesbian sexual and political rights and freedoms. As such, we believe we are uniquely positioned to comment on this matter.
8838 Now we would like to address the need for a radio station serving the gay community.
8839 In January 2000, the Commission heard an application from CKMW Ltd. under Public Hearing Notice 1999-12 for Rainbow Radio. This was a detailed proposal that included independent research studies, focus groups and telephone market surveys that all underscored the need for and viability of a radio station serving the gay community.
8840 In addition, the Commission has on file a petition containing 5,000 names and letters from more than 200 individuals, community groups, companies and organizations in support of such a radio service.
8841 As it is not feasible to recount all of the information contained in this proposal, we urge the Commission to revisit the material, as the underlying data, research and community input are still very much relevant and applicable today.
8842 We would like to add some additional support to the notion that the gay community is a substantial community and significant cultural aspect of Toronto, deserving a place on the radio dial.
8843 Included in the materials we have distributed is a copy of Xtra's 925-XTRA Community Directory. This is an automated guide provided free of charge to gay community groups that anyone can access by phone. This listing contains more than 250 local organizations serving our community in diverse areas such as advocacy, support, arts and culture, health sports, religion and youth, among others.
8844 There are groups for gay Asians, gay Italians, gay Muslims and First Nation Two-Spirited people, to name just a few of the ethnic groups represented. There are also groups for gay parents, gay golfers, gay artists, gay students, gay Catholics and even gay ballroom dancers.
8845 The length and breadth of this list is evidence of a well-developed, vital and dynamic community whose members are reaching out to each other and to broader mainstream society. These groups exist not only to serve within our community, but to help build bridges to other communities as well.
8846 Within many ethno-cultural segments of society, the issue of homosexuality is a highly emotional and difficult subject to address. Establishing an over-the-air gay radio service would provide an effective medium to promote dialogue, education and understanding between members of the gay community, their own ethno-cultural communities, and all members of society at large.
8847 We have also enclosed copies of the Pink Pages, a local directory containing entries for more than 1,000 gay and gay-positive businesses. There are several gay business groups active in Toronto, including, our own Chamber of Commerce. Major corporations such as the Royal Bank and The Bay engage the gay community through their sponsorship activities. And, of course, our Xtra group of papers continues to thrive.
8848 There is plenty of evidence on the cultural front as well:
8849 Toronto stages one of the largest annual gay pride festivals in North America, drawing as many as one million participants and visitors from all over the world. In 1999 Toronto Pride received the "Best Community Festival" award from Tourism Toronto.
8850 The Inside Out Film and Video Festival is the second largest film festival in Toronto and one of the most successful queer film festivals on the continent. Now in its 13th year, Inside Out attracts over 25,000 attendees to more than 300 screenings over 10 days each spring.
8851 Buddies In Bad Times Theatre is one of the premiere gay theatre groups in the world and the only one operating its own permanent facility, a flagship for our community, located in the heart of the gay neighbourhood. Buddies celebrates its 25th anniversary next season.
8852 Many of Toronto's most successful fundraising events have roots in the gay community, such as Fashion Cares, the AIDS Walk and Art With Heart, having collectively raised several million dollars for research and other charitable works.
8853 Finally, there are dozens of exhibitions, shows, concerts, dance parties, events and performances throughout the year featuring gay visual and performing artists.
8854 Interestingly, Macleans Magazine's annual report on universities has, in the past, cited close proximity to flourishing gay communities as a positive influence on the campus life experience, which can only have a beneficial effect on the future of the GTA.
8855 In fact, according to a recent report by Gary Gates of the Urban Institute, and Professor Richard Florida of Carnegie Mellon University, a large, vibrant gay community is, and I quote:
"...the single best predictor of a city's ability to attract and hold the workforce essential to the new economy."
8856 This is because a growing and visible gay population is a reliable indicator of attributes necessary to support leading-edge technology cities, things like diversity, tolerance, openness and an interesting cultural life, the kind of atmosphere that draws creative, individualistic and educated workers.
8857 Finally, we would like to comment on the reservation of a specific frequency for an over-the-air radio station servicing the gay community, that being 101.3 FM as the most viable alternative right now.
8858 It has been suggested by some of the applicants that there will be room on the 1600 AM band, but our understanding is that as you progress up the AM band the more transmitting power is needed and that the land and infrastructure requirements make this economically unfeasible for a start-up. It would appear this proposition constitutes a significant barrier to entry in the marketplace.
8859 Using available FM frequencies to upgrade an existing AM station may not represent the best use of these channels either. The existing stations are already established, successfully serving their communities, and there may be other solutions to the minor technical problems they are experiencing. The gain to all of Toronto's citizens in establishing a service for the gay community far outweighs any incremental improvement to the incumbents' existing services.
8860 Ethnic audiences residing throughout the GTA can already obtain radio from the six existing stations and from any new services resulting from this call, while the gay community would only have one service. So we need the coverage of 10.3 FM to reach a maximum number of constituents.
8861 To support this assertion, we have attached a map showing the 101.3 FM footprint, overlaid with Xtra's Toronto circulation map. As you can see, the outlines are quite similar and show that our gay population is broadly dispersed throughout the GTA.
8862 We also acknowledge that immigration will continue to grow and that, indeed, our enlightened immigration policies are positive towards same-sex couples. Existing stations have room to adjust their programming to meet these growing needs, however mainstream broadcasters will be extremely hesitant to serve the gay community in any meaningful way.
8863 In closing, I would like to summarize our comments as follows:
8864 Toronto's gay community is a distinct and significant part of the GTA's population.
8865 Our community is vital and robust, with long-established institutions and organizations.
8866 Supporting the ongoing development and growth of a thriving gay community benefits all of Toronto's citizens.
8867 An over-the-air radio service will provide another medium for people who are not openly gay, their friends, family members and others, to learn about our people and community without fear of discovery and stigma.
8868 With only one service, we would need an FM frequency broadly covering the GTA.
8869 Finally, we give high praise to the Commission's efforts to encourage ethnic services, and realize that these groups will probably never be adequately served. But there is a big difference between being underserved and having no service at all.
8870 Madam Chair, Members of the Commission, thank you again for the opportunity to deliver this presentation. I would be pleased to answer any questions.
8871 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Chang.
8872 Commissioner Cardozo.
8873 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you, Madam Chair.
8874 Good morning, Mr. Chang. Thank you for your presentation and also for introducing a couple of people who were here with the application two years ago. It is always encouraging to see that people haven't given up on us totally and keep coming back. We are here to serve the public and it is for you to hold us to that.
8875 You say you give us high praise for trying to do more in terms of ethnic services, but the one frequency you have asked us not to give out is, in a sense, the premiere frequency that is applied for, certainly the frequency that most people are applying for in this hearing.
8876 I hear your message that you felt that your project wouldn't make this particular call so you would like to come back down the road.
8877 I'm not saying that we will or will not be giving that frequency to one of the applicants, but have you looked at other frequencies available? Even when we are talking about a premiere frequency, it is still lower power than most of the other FMs that are out there so we are sort of now dealing with the relatively small what is left.
8878 Is there any other frequency that you have looked at?
8879 MR. CHANG: I am aware that there are other frequencies available. My concern is that -- and certainly obviously we would rather have any frequency than no frequency at all, but I think the issue is that if you have a frequency that is concentrated in the downtown core, which is great, but really what needs to happen is all of Toronto needs to learn about our people. Where we have the biggest issues are outside of the downtown core. Family members and friends need to be able to access the community from wherever they are.
8880 I guess what I'm saying is, you know, there are all these other services that are intersecting and crossing over the Greater Toronto Area. We are only going to have one crack at it and so we need to have as broad a footprint of a frequency as we possible can to reach the maximum number of people. It comes down to that simple fact.
8881 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: What we have before us is applications for -- and I say what amounts to three FM and three AM frequencies that people have applied for. There are actually four FMs, but two of them, in the case of 91.9 and 91.7 we can't do both, so it comes down to three FM frequencies, three AM frequencies, none of which cover the GTA, especially if you take the areas around the City of Toronto.
8882 As I read your message it is: We couldn't come into this call -- that you couldn't put forward your application for this call, but keep something for us next time that is a bit more -- something we can entertain, as opposed to take the premier one that has been identified for some time as the frequency and don't give that one out for an application that we don't have.
8883 I understand why you haven't put forward the application, but at the same time it is hard for us to go through a hearing and say: Well, we are not going to give out that frequency because we think we are going to another application down the road.
8884 MR. CHANG: I guess I don't know what the alternative is there. I think the CKMW's previous application is a matter of public record, and I think it is pretty clear there that there is an economic argument, a political argument, a social argument, a cultural argument and an ethnic argument that a station for the gay community is both viable and needed.
8885 So I really suspect that you won't have any trouble getting applications if you run a separate competition for an FM frequency.
8886 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I understand that and I accept that.
8887 Are there any other formats that you know that might have wanted to come and apply for a licence who didn't apply in this hearing? Anything else like an environmental channel or any other gaps that are in the system?
8888 MR. CHANG: I am personally not aware of any other groups, no.
8889 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay. Thank you.
8890 Those are my questions.
8891 MR. CHANG: Thank you.
8892 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Noël.
8893 COMMISSIONER NOËL: You mentioned in your presentation at page 7 that -- and I am talking percentage here -- you sort of rejected the AM band over 1600 because of cost.
8894 We were presented with what seemed to be a very cost-efficient solution by one of the applicant's engineer yesterday.
8895 Have you given thought to those new antennas that would cost in the range of $90,000 to install, including everything?
8896 MR. CHANG: I cannot profess to be an expert on the engineering requirements, and so on. Those comments are based on input I received from other people in industry.
8897 I guess part of it would be like the format of an AM station does not lend itself necessarily to all of the programming that we could carry on a gay service because there is going to be a lot of music, a lot of performing arts kind of stuff, and AM probably would lend itself better to talk radio and news radio and that kind of thing, not that we won't have that, but I just think also with the demographics of the community, they tend to seek out programming and they tend to listen to FM.
8898 I just don't know about the actual signal itself and how well it reaches and extends. I know there are issues downtown with receiving AM. So, you know, I can't specifically comment on the proposal you are mentioning there. I don't have the expertise to evaluate that. Those are just my impressions.
8899 COMMISSIONER NOËL: But it's food for thought.
8900 MR. CHANG: Certainly.
8901 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Thank you.
8902 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Grauer.
8903 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you.
8904 I don't know if you are aware of the background leading up to this particular hearing, that it is, in fact, a result of an Order-in-Council we received which very specifically directed us to look at the multicultural, multiethnic make up of the GTA.
8905 For the most part, hearings or calls are triggered by applications. In other words, it doesn't require a specific call for anybody to put in an application at any time.
8906 I say that because I think it's really important for you to understand it doesn't require -- we don't have to ask for something for you to file an application.
8907 I don't know if you were here last week when we spoke to many of the applicants about a recent Public Notice the Commission issued with respect to special audio services.
8908 The scarcity of frequencies is one which is certainly a challenge that we all face. I think the point that you have raised with respect to wanting a service to serve this community, the points are very well taken, and certainly what we are trying to do is grapple with what some alternatives might be.
8909 They are not ideal alternatives, they are not perfect, but in fact what they might do is provide opportunities to provide deliver service to certain communities. Special audio is one of them. I don't know if you have seen the Public Notice. We certainly have some in the exam room.
8910 Have you looked at real audio over the Internet as a start? A lot of the underserved communities here for instance have SCMO services now. They broadcast over the Internet. So there has been an evolution and I just wonder if your communities have looked at those as a way, short of a solution that I understand you like which is an FM frequency, but might provide some alternative to move in that direction.
8911 MR. CHANG: I have two comments on that matter. First of all, the whole issue of multiethnicity, I think that's a huge, huge issue for the gay community. The gay community is the diaspora of ethnicities and while each ethnic group within the gay community had its own issues, a lot of those issues are commonality, especially when you get away from the Western European and North American cultures.
8912 So there is a lot to be learned between ethnic communities and sharing their experiences and dealing with the issues of the matter of homosexuality.
8913 So I think that -- you know, I am aware of the Order-in-Council and how that whole process unfolded, but I think that that Order-in-Council actually speaks directly to the gay community's situation very much so.
8914 The Order-in-Council may not have framed it in such a way that actually included the gay community, but it clearly speaks to the gay community.
8915 Second of all, I think the issue of alternative services are those of access, privacy and portability. As I mention in my presentation, it's very, very difficult for some people to talk about homosexuality even within their own families. I have personally witnessed it where you can have one parent that is almost violent about the subject matter and it effectively shuts out the other parent from acquiring information and understanding, even when they want to.
8916 If you try to do something that's over the Internet or over cable, or some other alternative delivery method, you have to sit there in front of the TV and it's not very private.
8917 You need to have that ability to access that information in a safe manner, you see, and none of this will ever change until people get that understanding.
8918 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: On your first point where you talked about sexuality and ethnicity, I didn't mean to suggest you would have been precluded from filing an application. What I meant was any applications that came in had to broadly be under that umbrella. We can only consider the applications that we have in front of us any one time.
8919 So anyway, I think many of us would be happy to meet with you at any time to talk about these things further and see if we can't help you.
8920 Thank you very much.
8921 MR. CHANG: I appreciate that. Thank you.
8922 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are you aware, to follow up on that question, that we have a Catholic Youth Studio application on the basis of Catholicism, but it's an ethnic application.
8923 MR. CHANG: No, I wasn't aware of that, and I guess, I mean -- and maybe the language is such that maybe we assume that we are precluded and we could have put an application in. Clearly if we had understood that we had that opportunity -- I am not saying we personally try for people to understand we have a gay community, or whoever would want to do that. I am sure we would have put in an application if we had known that we were able to, but the language says "ethnic stations".
8924 So it's kind of hard to know whether or not you are included in that.
8925 THE CHAIRPERSON: You thought it didn't mean you.
8926 MR. CHANG: Yes, and therein lies an indication right there of the situation we have in society because we are so used to being excluded, we made that assumption, maybe erroneously, but that's how it feels.
8927 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Chang.
8928 I noticed that you suggest that we can reserve a frequency for a particular purpose. We have a lot of powers, but that's not one of them. You are not the only one. We have another intervention asking not to give a frequency because they have applied for it, and my understanding is that there a full-scale application before the Commission as well that hasn't been gazetted, but it's there.
8929 So this is one of the things that are difficult for us. We, as Commissioner Grauer mentioned, hear what we get and sometimes we get an extra direction from the government as to what it is we should hear, therefore it's very difficult for us to say we will reserve a frequency. It's not something we can do, but we certainly appreciate your appearance and understand the point you are making.
8930 Thank you.
8931 MR. CHANG: Thank you.
8932 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
8933 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
8934 I am informed that CIRC Radio has elected not to appear at this public hearing. Their intervention will be made on the public record as a non-appearing intervention.
8935 We will now hear Fairchild Radio Limited at this time.
8936 You have ten minutes to make your presentation.
8937 MR. CHAN: Thank you.
8938 Good morning, Madam Chair, Members of the Commission. My name is Joe Chan and I am President of Fairchild Media Group. On my left is Gary Nobody, Station Manager of CHKT. On my right is Louis Cheng, Vice-President, Fairchild Media Group. To his right is Rob Malcolmson, a partner at Goodmans.
8939 We appreciate the opportunity to appear and discuss our concerns regarding some of the applications before you.
8940 We have filed a detailed written intervention commenting on many of the applications and we do not propose to repeat those points today.
8941 For the record, Fairchild supports the licensing of a new ethnic radio station providing service to truly underserved ethnic groups in Toronto. However, any new ethnic station must be licensed on terms that maintain the delicate programming balance among ethnic stations.
8942 In considering the applications before you, it is important to recognize that while every ethnic radio station serves a multitude of cultural groups in a variety of languages, a number of the ethnic radio stations in the Toronto market have traditionally served a primary target audience.
8943 CHIN focuses on the Italian and Chinese communities. CIRV's target market is Portuguese, and since 1996 CHKT's primary focus has been the Chinese community.
8944 This programming focus enables stations such as CHKT to carve out a niche within a crowded and economically challenging market. It has allowed ethnic radio stations to focus on their target audience, while at the same time providing service to underserved groups.
8945 For its part, CHKT uses Chinese advertising revenue to subsidize service to underserved groups.
8946 Under the traditional licensing regime, once a licence is issued a new service is free to serve whatever group it wants as long as it meets the standard ethnic radio COL to serve a number of languages and cultural groups.
8947 If this occurs, it will defeat the purpose of the Call for Applications -- to provide service to underserved ethnic groups. This duplication of service will also have a negative impact on existing broadcasters like Fairchild that are already serving groups such as the Chinese community.
8948 Accordingly, as detailed in our written intervention, we are asking that conditions of licence be imposed that limit the amount of Chinese-language programming broadcast by applicants to that proposed in their applications.
8949 For those applicants that have not proposed any Chinese-language programming, we are suggesting that it would not be unreasonable to put a condition of licence in place recognizing that no Chinese-language programming will be offered.
8950 We are grateful that so far three applicants -- Canadian Multicultural Radio, San Lorenzo Community Centre and Caribbean and African Network -- have said they are prepared to accept such a condition of licence. If these conditions are imposed our concerns are fully addressed.
8951 MR. CHENG: Since our acquisition of CHKT in 1996, Chinese programming has ben integral to CHKT. Currently, Chinese-language programming represents 52 per cent of our program schedule and 86 per cent of total revenue.
8952 The Toronto Chinese advertising market is very competitive. We must compete for revenue with CHIN's two existing ethnic stations, one full-time SCMO, three Chinese-language daily newspapers and Chinese language programming on CFMT-TV and its sister station Omni 2.
8953 As one of the six ethnic radio stations in the Greater Toronto market, and into our sixth year of operation, CHKT is still finding it difficult to break even. Research prepared for CHIN in support of its application confirms how challenging the Toronto ethnic market really is.
8954 CHIN's research found that:
1) National time sales in the Toronto ethnic market have declined by 49 per cent since 1997;
8955 2) local time sales, while having increased by 34 per cent, are very volatile; and
3) the sources of local time sales are shrinking.
8956 Given these realities, we submit that a key objective in this proceeding must be to ensure that any new service remains true to its proposed programming mandate and is programmed in a manner that respects the primary target market of existing licensees like CHKT.
8957 MR. NOBODY: Turning now to CHIN's New FM applications. Fairchild opposes these applications. If approved, CHIN will control two FM stations and one AM station and occupy a dominant position in the market.
8958 Further, without appropriate conditions of licence, CHIN will be free to use its three Toronto frequencies to serve whatever ethnic groups it chooses from time to time, rather than truly underserved groups.
8959 CHIN's Chinese-language programming already accounts for one third of the Chinese programming broadcast on over-the-air ethnic stations in Toronto.
8960 CHIN has also openly admitted that if the New FM application is approved, it will add even more Chinese language programming to its existing AM-FM twin stick.
8961 In the absence of conditions of licence, CHIN will occupy a dominant position in the market, free of any limits on the amount of Chinese language programming it can broadcast.
8962 CHKT is particularly vulnerable to the influx of more Chinese language programming because its conditions of licence prevent it from responding to changes in the market. Since 1996 CHKT has been subject to conditions of licence that cap the number of Chinese language hours it can broadcast and prohibit the scheduling of Chinese programming in certain day parts.
8963 Given our reliance on Chinese programming for 86 per cent of total revenue, this would have a detrimental impact on CHKT. Therefore, if the application for the New FM is approved, it should include a condition of licence limiting the amount of hours of Chinese programming or directed at Chinese audiences on the new FM station to those proposed in CHIN's New FM application.
8964 CHIN should also be required to undertake to cap the amount of programming in the Cantonese and Mandarin languages or directed at Chinese audiences on its existing FM 100.7 and AM 1540 at current levels.
8966 MR. CHAN: We submit that the CHIN flip application should be denied as it provides no added benefit to Toronto ethnic radio. In its appearance before you, CHIN admitted that the flip from AM to FM would reduce the station's daytime reach by three million listeners. CHIN also admitted that it anticipated a 10 per cent decline in advertising revenues in the first year following the flip and flat revenues going forward.
8967 We don't think it is in the public interest to allocate 101.3 FM to CHIN when it is clear that approval will disenfranchise listeners without making the station financially stronger.
8968 CHIN's reply that the flip application is its "second preference" does nothing to dispel the fact that if the flip application is approved, CHIN will have succeeded in parlaying an AM licence into an FM station without having to put forward the benefits typically associated with a new licence application.
8969 Therefore, we strongly submit that the CHIN flip application should be denied. If approved, it should be subject to a COL limiting the amount of hours of Cantonese and Mandarin programming to the levels currently provided by CHIN-AM.
8970 In summary, the licensing of any new ethnic radio station in Toronto must be done on terms that maintain the delicate balance of providing service to underserved ethnic groups, without negatively impacting the viability of existing ethnic radio licensees. This can best be achieved by imposing the conditions of licence described in our written intervention.
8971 Alternatively, the type of conditions of licence that the Commission has discussed with the applicants could be put in place.
8972 However, in order to be effective, any COL requiring a minimum percentage of hours devoted to primary ethnic groups must also be accompanied either by a complete prohibition or maximum cap on the number of hours devoted to Chinese language programming. The prohibition would apply to an applicant that has not proposed any Chinese language programming.
8973 In the case of applicants that have proposed Cantonese or Mandarin programming -- i.e. CHIN -- the maximum cap would limit the hours of Cantonese or Mandarin programming to the number proposed by the applicant. By proceeding with these types of conditions of licence, a new station that will serve the needs of Toronto's truly underserved ethnic communities can be licensed without unduly impacting existing licensees.
8974 We thank you for your attention, and we would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
8975 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Chan, and your colleague.
8976 Commissioner Grauer.
8977 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you, Madam Chair.
8978 Welcome, gentlemen.
8979 MR. CHAN: Good morning.
8980 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I have a couple of questions for you.
8981 What I am struggling to understand here is I gather you take it that your conditions of licence prevent you from responding to changes in the market.
8982 MR. CHAN: Correct.
8983 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I am aware of the COL that restricts or constrains the amount of Chinese language programming, which is 66 hours a week, is it?
8984 MR. CHAN: It is 66 hours of Chinese programming a week; that is correct, yes.
8985 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: When I look at the programming done by the other stations -- and I think you have referred to the primary language groups served by each station -- 66 hours a week seems to be at the upper range of what any one station programs to any one cultural group.
8986 Is that a fair assessment?
8987 MR. CHAN: Sixty-six hours is about 50 per cent of the total schedule; that is correct.
8988 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: When I look at the programming done by any of the ethnic stations in the market, it doesn't appear to me that any one of them programs more than that number of hours to any one group.
8989 MR. CHAN: Yes.
8990 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: What I am trying to understand is: I do understand you are the only ones with a COL, and I gather there was a concern. It is your primary language group. It is the largest language group in the market. So there was a desire that you not become a single language service.
8991 I am trying to understand how in practical terms you are prevented from responding to changes in the market because of that.
8992 MR. CHAN: First of all, I think you are aware that we are the only one that has that restriction so far. Of course, I can understand that 66 hours -- that 50 per cent is more or less what the existing applicants are proposing this week.
8993 What is more than the 66 hours, we are restricted -- I think it is quite severe. We are also restricted in how we schedule the 66 hours.
8994 First of all, we are being shut off from the morning drive hours. We can only schedule 60 hours of Cantonese programming from 12 noon to 8:00 p.m. and then two hours of Mandarin programming from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.
8995 By this strict COL, actually other than staying at that time schedule we are actually unable to move it around, just in case our competitors reschedule their program, or whatever. We actually have our hands tied behind our back and we can do nothing to that.
8996 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: So it is not the 66 hours as much as it is the other COL that prevents you from responding to changes in the marketplace.
8997 MR. CHAN: You could put it this way, yes.
8998 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you. I just wanted to understand the difference in those two.
8999 One could read your application and some of your comments to suggest that you should be the sole programmer of Chinese in the market. I am wondering what your views are on that.
9000 MR. CHAN: At the moment we are not the sole provider of programming within the ethnic radio scene here in Toronto, although we are the one providing most of it.
9001 MR. CHENG: Yes.
9002 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Given that it is the largest language group and that the broad service requirement requires that in order to serve smaller groups you need some access to the larger groups to provide some revenues, how would you respond to suggestions -- you want us to constrain the programming of Chinese languages but not constrain the programming of Italian, for instance, or Portuguese or any of the others.
9003 MR. CHAN: To answer your question, yes. As we put it in our written and in our oral presentation, we regard ourselves as the mainstream in providing Chinese programming. That is why we -- at the moment, Chinese programming generates 86 per cent of our revenue, so we are particularly concerned in whatever is going to happen out there that may eventually affect our Chinese programming.
9004 By affecting our Chinese programming it indirectly undermines our ability to serve the other ethnic groups which we are committed to serve. That is why with the other major language groups, such as Italian or Portuguese, which are not directly affecting us.
9005 MR. NOBODY: Perhaps I could add to the comment.
9006 The perception shouldn't be that Fairchild is here trying to build a fence around Chinese programming. The position is that Fairchild and CHKT have unique conditions of licence that have three very unique and strict restrictions: cap on hours, cap on scheduling and the two Chinese languages.
9007 What we are doing is asking you to recognize that reality and place limits on the other applicants.
9008 The limits that we have asked you to put on are reflective of what those other applicants have asked. In cases where an applicant has said I would like to do five or seven hours a week, for example, of Mandarin or Cantonese programming, we are simply saying: Recognize our reality and hold them to what they have proposed.
9009 In cases where applicants have not proposed any Chinese language programming, we are saying: Recognize that in your conditions of licence so that they don't do Chinese language programming and upset the balance in the market.
9010 MR. CHENG: If I may add to that, I think the Commissioners will appreciate the fact that we don't have the ability or the flexibility to respond to changes in the new Chinese language programming entering the market. That is our major concerned. That is why we are so concerned about the Chinese language.
9011 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: So it is the flexibility and not the number of hours you are restricted to that are really the problem.
9012 I want to make sure I understand.
9013 MR. CHAN: Correct.
9014 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: It's a scheduling restriction as opposed to the cap.
9015 MR. CHAN: Correct.
9016 MR. CHENG: Both of them are constraints, but I think the flexibility will be even more important.
9017 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: What I am really trying to understand here is, as I think Commissioner Wylie discussed with the first intervenor this morning, we have a broad service requirement and we move forward, and we need to license more services; we have the large language groups, the programming which offsets the cost of providing some of the other service.
9018 What we now have is a range of stations with varying COLs. You are the only one with the constraint on the amount of Chinese and these other flexibilities.
9019 What I think is important is that whatever we do, we are being fair and balanced to everybody in the market. So it is trying to understand what your concerns really are.
9020 MR. CHAN: Yes. This is exactly our concern.
9021 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: The other concern you had expressed was with respect to CHIN and the number of stations that they would have in the market; that this would make them dominant.
9022 I was looking at Fairchild's Web site. You are large and certainly arguably a predominant provider in the Chinese language services across the country with a number of radio stations, TV licences and your print magazine.
9023 So I think it is really a matter of trying to balance all of things too, isn't it?
9024 MR. CHAN: Correct.
9025 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Arguably, a stronger player can provide more service.
9026 MR. CHAN: The concern which we put down regarding CHIN is not exactly well framed that they are too big. The concern is what they are proposing by having a new FM, so that makes them have three ethnic stations.
9027 The main concern we have is by having three ethnic radio stations without any restrictions whatsoever, they will have plenty of airtime for them to move around.
9028 Although with the FM application they didn't put down except a few hours of Mandarin programming, they didn't put down any proposal in doing any more Chinese programming, but then if they are approved they will have the flexibility with the existing AM and existing FM where they can actually -- they are free to do it right now, but with one more 126 hours of flexibility, they can move those programs around and will try to increase the number of Chinese hours.
9029 As a matter of fact, one of the producers has already openly admitted to the public that once we get a new licence we will have more Chinese programming. That is our concern.
9030 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: So your concern is not that they are going to grow to have a number of stations; it is that with three stations, they can have an unfair advantage in moving their programming around.
9031 MR. CHAN: Exactly. That will create an unfair competitive disadvantage to us.
9032 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you very much, Mr. Chan and gentlemen. Those are my questions.
9033 MR. CHAN: Thank you.
9034 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Cardozo.
9035 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you. I just have a couple of question.
9036 This may see like an odd question, but had you considered applying for a station in this round? You didn't and I am more interested in why you didn't.
9037 MR. CHAN: Internally, we did discuss among ourselves whether we should put in an application, but at the end of it we decided against it.
9038 So we find that our strength is still in the Chinese language programming and at the moment we are satisfied with what we have now, plus the fact that after reviewing the last couple of years of the economic situation, especially for the Chinese community which is not really that promising, we decided that we will skip this time.
9039 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: One question more to clarify for the record, you have 42 hours of Tamil programming, but we have been told during the hearing that those 42 hours are between midnight and 6:00 a.m., namely outside the broadcast day.
9040 MR. CHAN: Broadcasting day.
9041 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Is that correct?
9042 MR. CHAN: Correct.
9043 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So you don't have any Tamil programming within the broadcast day?
9044 MR. CHAN: No, we don't.
9045 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay. Thank you.
9046 Thank you, Madam Chair.
9047 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Malcolmson, how would you propose that we impose limitations at this time as a result of this hearing on the CHIN existing stations? Suppose we take your advice and don't allow the flip, which then make an existing station a new station. If that were not the case, then you would have two existing stations who are really not before us, AM in the case of the one that is asking for the flip.
9048 MR. MALCOLMSON: That is a very fair question. What we have said in our intervention was, if you are going to consider granting to CHIN either the flip or the additional FM licence, it wouldn't be unreasonable for you to ask them to undertake, as part of getting that licence, to place limits on the amount of Chinese-language programming that they are doing on their existing stations.
9049 You are right, you don't have applications in front of you by CHIN to amend the conditions of licence for their existing stations, but there would be nothing to prevent them from responding to questions from you about are they prepared to voluntarily cap how much programming in the Chinese language they do on existing stations if they are going to have the privilege of having another licence in the Toronto market.
9050 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are you saying that your client would be satisfied if it was in the guise of a commitment as opposed to a condition of licence, since that would be the difficult thing to do?
9051 MR. MALCOLMSON: We always like conditions of licence being imposed, but we --
9052 THE CHAIRPERSON: Your client doesn't agree.
9053 MR. MALCOLMSON: We recognize the reality that the way to accomplish it in this proceeding, given what is in front of you, is by way of a commitment or an undertaking by the applicant.
9054 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would your objection then dissipate, Mr. Chan?
9055 MR. CHAN: I'm sorry, the question again?
9056 THE CHAIRPERSON: If we had commitments from some of the applicants where conditions of licence are difficult legally to handle, would that remove your objection to the 1540 application?
9057 MR. CHANG: Could we have a very -- just give me half a second just to discuss with our colleagues.
9058 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
9059 MR. MALCOLMSON: I will take a crack at this. We have to separate CHIN from the other applications in front of you.
9060 In terms of the application --
9061 THE CHAIRPERSON: You have made comments about most of the applicants regarding Chinese-language. The only question I am raising now is the fact that in the case of one of the oppositions you have expressed, 1540, you also want something done about existing stations which are not before us and we are not free to impose conditions of licence on them until they are before us, other than, as you understand, the flip would make it a new station. But you are against the flip.
9062 MR. MALCOLMSON: The position with respect to CHIN, first of all, is, in terms of those existing CHIN stations that don't have applications in front of you, we are asking you to explore with CHIN that if they were granted a new licence, either by way of the flip or the new 101.3, would they be prepared to undertake to cap their Chinese programming on their existing stations. If they gave that undertaking, we would be satisfied that that was a reasonable solution in the circumstances.
9063 In terms of the other applications in front of you for new licences, you are perfectly free to impose conditions of licence, as you know, capping Chinese language programming or putting in other restrictions.
9064 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chan and your colleagues.
9065 We will now take a 15-minute break and proceed to hear the supporting interventions, in large part, but for a few that are negative.
9066 So we will be back at 25 after 10:00.
9067 Nous reprendrons à 10 h 25.
--- Upon recessing at 1010 / Suspension à 1010
--- Upon resuming at 1035 / Reprise à 2035
9068 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please. A l'ordre, s'il vous plaît.
9069 Mr. Secretary, please.
9070 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9071 We will now hear an intervention by Norma Carpio.
9072 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
9073 MS CARPIO: Good morning, Madam Chair and Commissioners.
9074 Thank you for the opportunity to appear here today to support the application by Canadian Multicultural Radio for a new FM station to serve Toronto.
9075 MR. LEBEL: Excuse me, Ms Carpio. Could you turn your microphone on, please.
9076 MS CARPIO: I'm sorry.
9077 First, I would like to tell you a bit about the Filipino community here in Toronto.
9078 Next, I would like to give you some information about myself and the organization that I represent here.
9079 Finally, I would like to outline the reasons why there is such strong support in our community for the CMR proposal.
9080 Statistics Canada's 1996 Census showed about 94,000 people of Filipino origin in the Greater Toronto Area. In the intervening years there has continued to be large numbers of immigrants from the Philippines to Canada. Toronto has received a large number of these and we now estimate our community to number at least 120,000.
9081 There are now over 2,000 local Filipino businesses in the Greater Toronto Area, with a strong emphasis on retail businesses of many kinds, including food and restaurants.
9082 Our community lives in all areas of the city, with the largest clusters downtown near St. Jamestown and Scarborough.
9083 We are very attached to our culture from our homeland and are very interested as well in news and information from home and about our community here in the Greater Toronto Area.
9084 We support four newspapers -- Fillpiniana, Bahta, Philippine Buelite News, Atino Ito -- each with circulation of over 30,000, as well as a number of others with circulation in the order of 10,000.
9085 We are frustrated by the lack of radio and television service available to us in our own language, Tagalog, and relating to our community and culture. At present we only have one hour of radio per week and one-half hour of television on CFMT-TV which is broadcast twice on Sundays.
9086 We are very attached to our own traditions and culture. There are over 250 independent organizations representing Filipino people.
9087 I would like to point out that many other organizations also wrote to support CMR. They include the Philippine Chamber of Commerce in Toronto, the Canadian Association of Philippine Travel Agents, the Filipino Canadian Veterans Legion and the Silayan Community Centre.
9088 Our communities also are very supportive of cultural activities that reflect our traditions. Two examples will illustrate this.
9089 First, the annual Philippine Independence Day celebration that our organization organizes draws large and enthusiastic support. This year's celebration was held at the Harbour Front Centre here in Toronto and attracted over 30,000 people. The day includes music and dance and other cultural expression from artists, drawn both from our local community and from other communities across Canada and from all around the world.
9090 Second, when we hold concerts of visiting Filipino singers and other musicians, the venues are always sold out, with ticket prices as high as $100 per seat.
9091 There are many aspects of our culture that are very important to us. I will mention two of them, our religious practice and our interest in choral music. There are a large number of Roman Catholic churches that serve our community. They include Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Patrick, St. Basil church and St. Michael's. We were fervent participants in the recent World Youth Day and were very happy to have the Pontiff visit Toronto.
9092 Choral music is a very important part of our community here in Canada, both in Toronto and other cities with large Filipino populations such as Winnipeg and Vancouver. We love choirs and support them actively. This includes the Heming Filipino, Culture Philippines and San Lorenzo Ruiz.
9093 I am a travel agent here in Toronto and also very active in a number of organizations. Our Independence Day Council is an umbrella organization that brings together over 250 organizations to put on our annual celebration. We are responsible for the fundraising, organization and holding of the celebration. For this year's festival we raised $30,000. The celebration continues to grow each year, both in participation and in quality.
9094 We are pleased to support the application by CMR and urge the Commission to award them a licence. We have a number of reasons for our support.
9095 CMR has proposed to devote 11.5 hours per week to programming to our community. This is a tenfold increase over what is available to us. It is also much higher than the proposal by any other application at this hearing.
9096 When CMR was developing its program schedule, it consulted with us and other organizations in the community, including the Philippine Community Centre. We told them that religious programming was an important element of service to us and they added a four-hour Sunday morning block for us which will include a large portion of religious programming, including prayers, readings and sacred music.
9097 We also told them we wanted both news from home and about our own communities here in Toronto and elsewhere in Canada and around the world. We are very pleased that they have asked Radyo Pillipino and Dr. Portugal to produce the Filipino programming. Both are very well known in our community as people of education and quality. Dr. Portugal's link with our community centre will also guarantee that the programs will be in tune with our community's needs.
9098 We are going to be actively involved with the station in getting and providing feedback on the programming quality from the community. We also understand that the station has a number of other means for us to feed back our concerns, like an advisory committee with a well-known member from the Filipino community, Sherwin Pagtakan.
9099 Having this amount of programming will be of great use to us in the Filipino business community. At present, we are essentially limited to use of the print medium with very small amounts of radio and TV advertising possible. To be able to add radio advertising to the print ads will strengthen our sales ability.
9100 Finally, we are pleased about the multicultural programs that they propose. Our youth have many problems similar to those of other communities. I am sure that they will be enthusiastic participants in the program for youth and listeners to it.
9101 We would like for some of our talented local musicians to have exposure to other communities and the entertainment program as well as their talent, Canadian Talent Development contest and Festival will offer just such a venue.
9102 Finally, as a woman in our community I am pleased that Radyo Pillipino will provide regular features for women in our community. We have lots to share among ourselves and also with women in other communities. We strongly support the Sunday morning Multicultural program with many features for women. We understand that Radyo Pillipino will also help the program producer find stories, discussion panel experts and other participants from our community.
9103 Commissioners, thank you once again for this chance to come out and support CMR.
9104 It really is a tribute to Canada that we have an opportunity to make our voice heard on such an important issue as our new radio station to serve our community.
9105 I would be pleased to answer any questions that you may have.
9106 Thank you.
9107 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Thank you very much, Ms Carpio, for a very clear and enlightening presentation.
9108 I have no questions.
9109 MS CARPIO: Thank you very much.
9110 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Carpio, and thank you for your booklet. It may give us some ideas for a holiday.
9111 MS CARPIO: Yes, read it because I featured the Philippines in 1998 on the 100th year in celebration of the Philippines' independence. Read it. It's very informative about the Philippines.
9112 Thank you.
9113 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Carpio.
9114 Mr. Secretary, please.
9115 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9116 We will now hear the intervention from Ms Harini Sivalingham.
9117 MS SIVALINGHAM: Good morning, Madam Chair, Commissioners and Commission staff.
9118 My name is Harini Sivalingham and I am here today to support the application of CMR for a new ethnic radio station.
9119 I come here before you today with the wide variety of experience that I believe can provide me with a unique perspective on the needs that a new station could meet.
9120 At the moment, I am currently a student at Osgoode Law School and I hold an honours BA from the University of Toronto in political science. I am a member of the Tamil community and I was born in Canada. So that makes me a second-generation Canadian.
9121 As a young person, I have a different perspective on Canada from my parents. In fact, I think I share the same perspective of the younger generation in our community.
9122 I volunteer with the Canadian Tamil Youth Development Centre and currently serves as a member of their board of directors. I am now a media coordinator for the College and University Tamil Students Union.
9123 As a young woman I have a good appreciation of the needs of women in the South Asian community. As an active member of a number of GTA Tamil organizations, I have had the opportunity to speak with many individuals and organizations about the needs that a new station could serve in our community.
9124 As a steering committee member of the Pan-Asian Network project, and as an active member in the Council of agencies serving South Asian youth projects, I have had extensive contact with South Asian youth and adults.
9125 As an active member of various political organizations that serve youth, I have had a great deal of experience in working with young people from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds.
9126 I believe that all of these experiences have led me to conclude that CMR's proposal meets the needs of the Tamil community, the rest of the South Asian community and other ethnic communities better than any other application.
9127 I would like to make the following points today.
9128 Number one, the South Asian community, and particularly my own Tamil community, has currently no credible over-the-air radio service. Although we have three SMCO services, the quality of the signal is poor and programming tends to be aimed towards the older crowd, and most of my friends don't listen at all. While there is also overnight programming on a local station, even the young don't listen to it that much especially at night.
9129 CMR's proposed station provides a significant amount of service to our community while also providing daily service to a number of other underserved communities.
9130 The scheduling of a five-hour bock of Tamil-language programs from Monday to Friday and the provision of Saturday morning will make an important contribution in my community.
9131 The shareholders and management of CMR have a track record of quality programming to the South Asian community unequalled by any other applicant before you.
9132 To give you an example, the management of CMR, Mr. Nadarajah and Mr. Kumaran, launched Tamilvision last year. At the time, two other Tamil channels were also launched by Rogers, one from APN and the other from another Tamil group. Tamilvision is by far the most expensive of the channels at $24.95 including the box, but it has become the station of our community with more than triple the combined subscribers than the other two channels.
9133 The Tamil shareholders are well known in our community for their community activities, whether to organizations like the Tamil Doctors and Lawyers Association, or through personal acts of charity.
9134 Just to give you one example, when I was at university and we would organize Tamil cultural events, Mr. Antony often provided the money necessary for such events without a second thought.
9135 Mr. Pannu is also known throughout the South Asian community for the quality of his radio and TV services.
9136 They are so popular that he has been able to raise large amounts of money to help victims of a variety of tragedies overseas and many worthy charities here in Toronto.
9137 CMR's program plans will reach out to all of our community with programming of relevance. They are in close contact, and most of importantly credibility with our community groups and associations. They have received support from a wide variety of Tamil community organizations, from the Tamil Chamber of Commerce to CanTYD and the College and University Tamil Students Union.
9138 This credibility comes from their track record of service on both SCMO Radio and on Tamilvision.
9139 A third example of Tamilvision's contribution is the fact that they exceed the requirements of Canadian content by far based on their production of community-oriented programming.
9140 Women and youth in our community face special challenges and opportunities. This proposal of programming in Tamil will provide important services to these parts of our community which are severely underserved.
9141 CanTYD is very credible in our community, particularly among the youth and will provide and has committed to provide quality programming.
9142 CanTYD is dedicated to maintaining gender equality in its activities and programs, and will ensure the Tamil youth programs will feature the concern of both young men and women. Similarly, CMR will provide programming of relevance to women of our community.
9143 CanTYD is particularly well suited to coordinate the Multicultural Youth Program as its context across the many youth coalitions and umbrella groups in Toronto will ensure a wide range of points of views of ethnic groups.
9144 The Youth Multicultural Program and other programs proposed by CMR will help our community to reach out and share the challenges, opportunities and approaches that we have taken and benefit from experiences of other communities.
9145 Our community is brimming over with talented musicians and performers, as are most of the ethnic communities in Toronto. Traditional music is very popular throughout our community, and among the youth in particular new forms of music bringing together a fusion of sounds from our homeland with new hip-hop and rap beats of North America.
9146 CMR's youth programming will give a window to these new musicians. Its talent search and music festival will also help these emerging musicians find funding for their career development and exposure to a wider audience.
9147 I am particularly pleased that they have found a place in the Advisory Committee for Youth. Sherwin Pagtakan will not only represent the Filipino community, but he is the contact person for youth, ensuring that us youth can input into station programming.
9148 I know from the experiences of CTR and Tamilvision how in tune with our community the management and shareholders of CMR are. My friends in other South Asian communities tell me that Mr. Pannu has the same dedication to serving the needs of their communities.
9149 To have your sensitivity backed up by an advisory committee with extra teeth in multicultural broadcasting further assures me that they will be open to the community's needs.
9150 Madam Chair and Members of the Commission, you have a number of applications before you with ownerships and various segments of the South Asian community.
9151 CMR is the only one that pledges several of the communities with ownership of experience and credibility, and I urge you to grant them this licence.
9152 Thank you, and I would be pleased to answer any questions that you may have of me.
9153 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Ms Sivalingham, for coming and making your presentation to us. Your support is very clear and the reasons for it.
9154 I hope you didn't miss an important class to come.
9155 MS SIVALINGHAM: Actually I did, but that's okay.
9156 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
9157 MS SIVALINGHAM: Thank you.
9158 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
9159 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9160 Mr. George Smitherman did advise the Commission that he would not be able to appear today. So his intervention will remain on the record as non-appearing.
9161 We will now hear Classical 96.3 FM.
9162 MR. WEBB: Madam Chair, Members of the Commission. Good morning.
9163 My name is Peter Webb and I am the President and Chief Operating Officer of TRUMAR Communications Incorporated.
9164 We own and operate CFMX-FM in Toronto and CFMX-FM1 in Eastern Ontario. We are Toronto's only commercial classical radio station and we were Canada's first classical music radio station.
9165 We also broadcast in digital and can be heard on the Internet on Bell ExpressVu and many other cable services around Ontario.
9166 I have been involved in commercial radio in Canada at various stations for the past 25 years and have been managing CFMX for the last eight years.
9167 I would like to start my comments by thanking the Commission for allowing me to appear today. My intervention is in support of Mr. Kandiah Sivasothy and the Canadian Tamil Broadcasting Corporation.
9168 I think it's important to note that my participation has not been solicited by Mr. Sivasothy or his associates, but I have had a working business relationship with his group since 1995.
9169 In that time, I have come to know him and his operation and to be impressed with it. So I asked to be able to appear today.
9170 When Mr. Sivasothy first approached me with the idea of establishing a Tamil SCMO service on CFMX-FM not many broadcasters were making services such as this available. But because Mr. Sivasothy had had many years of radio experience and was operating a successful weekly program on a suburban Toronto radio station, I felt that he could establish and provide a service that was much needed in the Tamil community.
9171 So in concert we made an application and in due course we were granted a licence. My company laid down some very stringent guidelines in terms of what we expected and Mr. Sivasothy has over the years lived up to those guidelines without exception.
9172 Back then he started with a rundown second-hand studio that had been bankrupt and deserted. Over the years I have watched him build his business from that humble beginning to the successful broadcast operation it is today.
9173 It has been my observation that he is a good man. He has done some wonderful work in the Tamil community and his SCMO station has provided a vital link to thousands of people trying to settle to a new life in Toronto.
9174 On a business note, he has never failed to meet a financial commitment to TRUMAR Communications.
9175 I have found him to be a man of integrity with high ideals, and I know that when ethnic applicants come before the Commission it must be very difficult to make decisions. There has always been a great deal of envy, jealousy and infighting in the various ethnic communities when it comes to radio licences.
9176 In spite of that, we have never had a complaint about the broadcast service that Mr. Sivasothy operates.
9177 In short, he is a good man and deserving of the Commission's serious consideration. From my personal experience, I can recommend him highly.
9178 In closing, let me thank the Commission once again for allowing me to appear today.
9179 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Webb.
9180 Your support is very clear. It's a breath of fresh air for us to have an incumbent radio station with such glowing support of an applicant. Granted, you are not an ethnic incumbent, but nevertheless we thank you for coming.
9181 MR. WEBB: My pleasure. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.
9182 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
9183 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9184 The next intervention will be presented by Maria Minna.
9185 MS MINNA: Good morning. Thank you, Madam Chair, for having me here this morning.
9186 I want to say at the outset that we need a great deal of diversity in this area of programming. I think as someone who has spent a great deal of my life working in immigrant settlement programs for nearly 20 years prior to my election a the Parliament, sharing of information with communities is extremely important. It's a process of education and integration that goes on.
9187 Mr. Sivasothy's program -- he is a constituent. I have visited the building and the studio and I am very impressed with the work that they do.
9188 Let me begin by saying that the application by the Canadian Tamil Broadcasting Corporation for a licence to operate a new FM radio service in Toronto is one to which I give my full support.
9189 In recognition of the work done within the Tamil community by Mr. Sivasothy and his colleagues at the CTBC, this endeavour, in my view, strengthens the community's ability to become fully integrated in the Canadian society.
9190 As well, it provides a once in a lifetime opportunity for the Tamil and other communities with whom they have partnered to more actively participate in generating and providing their own solutions to the issues which they face, as minority immigrants in Canada, on a daily basis.
9191 Many of them are my constituents, and I have a thorough understanding of their cultural needs, challenges and barriers. A station of the type proposed by this applicant complements the tiring work that is done by many volunteers out there in immigrant settlement programs.
9192 The station allows the visible minority communities to have access to over the air radio capacity in their mother tongue, thereby maintaining their cultural heritage and at the same time becoming part of the mainstream of Canada and Canadian society.
9193 I am particularly supportive of the 28 hours of English spoken word programming per week which are dedicated to this reason. I understand that this is unique in ethnic radio programming available in the Greater Toronto Area.
9194 In prime time the station's programming will deal with the acculturation issues faced by these Canadians in positive solutions oriented spoken word program. As a Member of Parliament, I think this is an excellent way to benefit from the provisions of the Commission's ethnic broadcasting policy.
9195 Most importantly perhaps is the station's proposed vision to assist ethnic communities such as the Tamil, other South Asian communities, Ethiopians, West Indians and Guyanese, Korean, Filipinos and Vietnamese to avail themselves of ethnic programming designed for them.
9196 I also note and am encouraged by the fact that the CTBC is also committed to contributing $55,000 per year towards developing musical Canadian talent from members of visible minority as well as other ethnic groups.
9197 Facilitating, Madam Chair, young Canadians of all cultural backgrounds to contribute to our rich musical repertoire is essential. Generally what happens is that they mix homeland and new world together, and what comes out is quite fascinating. Quite often the ability for these young people to share their talent is not always possible.
9198 I received the CTBC's agenda, and it is an ideal fit with my longstanding commitment to these communities which I serve in my capacity as MP, as well as my vision as a fellow Canadian. I firmly support this application.
9199 Finally, I have every confidence that Mr. Sivasothy will deliver on any conditions of licence which the process might require of him and to which he agrees.
9200 As I said at the start, Madam Chair, additional programming in ethnic communities is very important, and diversity is very important. At the end of the day, we have a very multicultural society in Toronto, a multiracial and multicultural society, and the ability for all of our various cultural groups to be able to access information in their own language is a tremendous amount of assistance in being able to integrate and become part of the Canadian fabric of Canadian society and at the same time the ability to maintain contacts with their heritage and their culture.
9201 The two I think allow for a very healthy integration process. It is very important for that diversity to exist.
9202 Thank you.
9203 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Minna, for your presentation.
9204 It is not often, I suppose, that you are on that side of the bench, so to speak.
9205 MS MINNA: No. Usually, I am asking the questions; that's true.
9206 THE CHAIRPERSON: We appreciate your presentation. Your position is clear. Your presentation will be transcribed like all the others and put on the public record.
9207 Thank you very much.
9208 MS MINNA: Thank you very much.
9209 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
9210 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9211 We will now hear the intervention from Mr. Vignararajah Seevaratnam.
9212 MR. SEEVARATNAM: Good morning, Madam Chair, Members of the Commission, Commission staff. I am Seevaratnam Vignararajah, a Sri Lankan Tamil living in Toronto for the last number of years.
9213 Before starting my small submission, I sincerely thank the Commission for giving me an opportunity to appear before you and present my case in support of the application made by the Caribbean Tamil Broadcasting Corporation for a new FM station.
9214 I am neither a Member of Parliament nor a member of provincial parliament, nor a lawyer, but a loyal listener of CTBC for the last four and a half years.
9215 Mr. Kandiah Sivasothy, who started the SCMO radio station seven years ago, is in the forefront in the field of broadcasting in our Tamil community. CTBC has not only promoted our culture and heritage, but also has earned the name and fame of gradually integrating the Tamil community into the mainstream of Canadian culture.
9216 In the past the CTB has been broadcasting very unbiased and truthful programs, news and information. It is also in the forefront in molding several producers and broadcasters among our community.
9217 CTB is number one in the Toronto ethnic broadcasting radio service. It has its own building with adequate rooms for offices and studios. CTBC has been providing high quality programs for kids, youth, adults and seniors.
9218 Mr. Kandiah Sivasothy is well recognized, not only as a good broadcaster but also as an individual with exceptional business talents. He earned the reputation of staging an open-air show at the Lamport Stadium in 1999 for which more than 20,000 attended where others are finding it difficult to attract even a thousand people and conduct a show in an auditorium.
9219 It is due to his excellent business plan that he is able to run his current SCMO station very profitably, even after the opening of two other SCMO radio stations in Tamil by others.
9220 Mr. Kandiah Sivasothy not only helps his community but also has provided services to other communities by collecting funds in aid of Quebec snowstorm and for the church at La Casa which accommodates refugees who come to the border.
9221 I wish to pinpoint that CTBC has received the highest number of letters, nearly 16,000 in support of its application for a licence to utilize the new FM 101.3 frequency. At the same time I understand that it has not received a single intervention letter opposing the application.
9222 This is a clear indication of the trust and confidence the listeners have for Mr. Kandiah Sivasothy and the excellent team of broadcasters and producers working with him.
9223 I believe, Madam Chair, that Commissioners would have realized this during the course of Phase I of the hearing.
9224 In conclusion, on behalf of the Tamil ethnic population of the Greater Toronto Area, I would like to extend my earnest support to the application made by the Canadian Tamil Broadcasting Corporation.
9225 Thank you, madam.
9226 Any questions, please?
9227 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, thank you, Mr. Seevaratnam. Your support for the application is very clear, and we thank you for coming and exposing your view to us.
9228 MR. SEEVARATNAM: Thank you, madam.
9229 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
9230 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9231 Intervenors nos. 11 and 74 have switched places. So we will now hear the intervention by Elder Engineering Inc.
9232 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, Mr. Elder.
9233 MR. ELDER: Good morning, Madam Chair, Commissioners and staff.
9234 This presentation provides more details concerning our intervention against two of Radio 1540 Limited's applications. The first is for an AM-FM flip to 101.3 MHz, and the other one is to change CHIN-FM-1's frequency to 91.9 MHz. Their third application for a new FM station on 101.3 was omitted, because it would use scarce spectrum efficiently and effectively.
9235 We were CHIN's consulting engineers for many years. CHIN-AM's night service is restricted by interference from KXEL, Iowa and by its protection requirements in West Toronto. A nighttime CHIN-AM power increase or site change is not feasible on 1540 kHz.
9236 In the early 1990s we considered different types of rebroadcasting stations at different locations in the west end to extend its nighttime AM service. This eventually resulted -- it took two or three years -- in low power station CHIN-1-FM on channel 267 or 101.3 MHz.
9237 Public Notice 2001-39-3 states that the licensee -- that being Radio 1540 Ltd. -- would have to select another frequency, if necessary, to permit optimum utilization of the spectrum.
9238 This statement persuaded us to provide background information, impartial advice and opinions concerning 101.3 MHz in particular, as well as the conservation, selection, approval and use of scarce AM and FM frequencies.
9239 The following comments apply:
9240 A modified FM assignment for CHIN-1-FM would misuse scarce spectrum in the present circumstances.
9241 Suitable AM frequencies are much more plentiful than FM.
9242 The most appropriate, efficient and least disruptive proposal to replace CHIN-AM's rebroadcasting station would be on 1570 kHz, as outlined in our intervention.
9243 It exemplifies conservative spectrum engineering.
9244 The 2001 populations served would be 116,000 within the night Eu of 8.5 mV/m and 1,051,000 in the 0.2 Eu. These populations are 15 per cent higher on average than CHIN-1-FM's.
9245 1570 kHz is not available for Toronto applicants, except Radio 1540 Ltd. because the protection rules require stations with 25 mV/m service in the same area to be at least 40 kHz apart. In this case, they area only 30 kHz apart.
9246 However, there would be no overlap between the nighttime 25 mV/m contours and no interference between CHIN-AM and CHIN-AM-1.
9247 A suitable transmitting site is the major question mark in many cases for AM, but in this case it would be CFYZ-AM's new site at Pearson Airport, as shown on the attached sketch. It is 2.9 miles (4.6 kilometres) southwest of CHIN-1-FM's present site.
9248 CHIN-AM-1 would share one of the CFYZ's two towers. It would transmit 0.15 kW non-directional or more at night on 1570 kHz and up to 0.1 kW day. We believe that a leasing and cost sharing agreement is feasible between the Greater Toronto Airport Authority and Radio 1540 Ltd.
9249 The station's manager agreed with me when I spoke to him yesterday afternoon.
9250 Otherwise, suitable sites are available in the industrial-commercial areas east of the airport, either adjacent to it or to Highway 427.
9251 The purpose of the foregoing is to provide a logical solution to CHIN-AM's night service deficiency while preserving 91.9 and 101.3 MHz for other applicants and programming.
9252 I shall now comment briefly on our AM counter-proposal for their application to convert CHIN-AM to FM on 101.3 MHz.
9253 Instead of using 1570 kHz for CHIN-AM's repeater in West Toronto, it could replace CHIN's 1540 kHz assignment. 1570 is known as a Mexican clear channel. The nighttime limitation on it is only 8.5 mV/m, or 20 per cent of CHIN's present one, which is 42 mV/m.
9254 This lower night limit would significantly improve and extend its service.
9255 There are no stations operating on 1570 kHz in Ontario or Quebec. CHIN's Toronto assignment would replace Orillia's vacant allotment.
9256 Recently we conducted a preliminary feasibility study of this concept to change CHIN's frequency to 1570 kHz. It showed that CHIN's 1540 kHz antenna system was unsuitable for 1570 kHz, but that sharing CHKT's 50 kW 1430 kHz system adjacent to CHIN's would be suitable.
9257 This would enable both stations to operate at 50 kW from Toronto Island. It should also substantially decrease each station's annual site leasing costs and would reduce CHIN's radiation exposure levels at the Island school. The CHIN-1-FM or CHIN-AM-1 repeater in West Toronto would no longer be required at night.
9258 Finally, I shall now clarify the contents of clause 3 in our August 22 intervention.
9259 Commencing in about 1996, Toronto Island parents and other residents expressed great concern about potential radiation health hazards at the new school, because its proposed site location would be much closer to CHIN and CHKT.
9260 Construction of the school commenced in 1997. Political pressure was applied on behalf of the Island Residents Radio Tower Committee, Toronto's Board of Education, Public Health, Parks and Recreation, and other departments, to make CHKT and CHIN relocate or close down.
9261 In 1998-99, a subcommittee of Planning and Finance, named the Telecommunications Steering Committee, created a so-called Prudent Avoidance Policies, including radiation limits, which are only 1 per cent of Health Canada's Safety Code 6.
9262 In 1999, the increasing threat of closure, compelled CHKT's owner, Fairchild Radio (Toronto) Ltd., to apply for a licence amendment from 1430 to 740 kHz or 93.5 MHz, as a safety precaution.
9263 Relocating CHKT and CHIN to other suitable transmitting sites was impossible. Compliance with the Telecommunications Steering Committee's 1 per cent rule was also impossible. Eventually, the Committee decided that 1 per cent was appropriate for cellular communications towers, but not for broadcasting ones.
9264 Joint Report No. 18 of Toronto's Administration Committee, dated October 25, 2001, recommended that RF exposure levels should be minimized and that new 10-year leases should be executed for both lessees, before December 31 if possible, or the existing leases extended, if necessary. That is what has happened. It was adopted by City Council on December 6, 2001.
9265 I sincerely hope that these comments, counter proposals and suggestions are helpful to both the Commission and Radio 1540 Ltd.
9266 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Grauer.
9267 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9268 Good morning, Mr. Elder.
9269 MR. ELDER: Good morning.
9270 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I have a few questions for you and I hope you will bear with me. I am not an engineer and what I really want to try to understand is this fairly complex --
9271 MR. ELDER: I understand.
9272 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Good. You have stated in your intervention that CHIN-AM's conversion would silence its 1540 assignment, I think. You say that there would become a vacant allotment, an unused spectrum.
9273 Why do you believe this would be a consequence of the approval? In other words, what I'm trying to understand is: Is there some technical reason why it couldn't be utilized at another time by another applicant should they vacate it?
9274 MR. ELDER: The political pressure and the Parks policies would, in my opinion -- if the station had switched to FM and its transmitting site became unused, in my opinion it wouldn't be leased by another AM radio applicant for 1540 because of all the pressure that historically has happened.
9275 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: So if I understand correctly, it is the issue of the island site and not the frequency per se.
9276 MR. ELDER: Yes.
9277 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: All right; thank you. I just wanted to make sure I understood that.
9278 Let's go to what you have said here this morning.
9279 You are suggesting, then, that they could use 1570 from Toronto Island equally; that this would give them the coverage they now get from the AM and the FM repeater.
9280 MR. ELDER: But it would give much better nighttime coverage. The daytime power is 50 kilowatts on 1540; the nighttime is 30 kilowatts. But the night limit is so high. It is 42 millivolts per metre. Also, the pattern is suppressed to the west to protect the Iowa station.
9281 For both those reasons, western Toronto is not served. That is why the rebroadcasting station was put in.
9282 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: If I understand as a lay person, what you are saying is that if they were to move to 1570 and continue to use an Island site, I think you said collocated with --
9283 MR. ELDER: Collocated with 1430.
9284 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Right. That would adequately replace and perhaps improve the existing coverage from the AM and FM that they presently use. Do I understand that correctly?
9285 MR. ELDER: Yes, that's right.
9286 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Combined.
9287 MR. ELDER: From the 2540 and 101.3.
9288 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Okay. Thank you.
9289 MR. ELDER: We are very familiar with those sites because we designed them.
9290 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you.
9291 MR. ELDER: By the way, Mr. Lombardi, Johnny Lombardi's father, was one of those who created that site back in 1985, because it was a water filtration site you see.
9292 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: The other option you are suggesting is that they move to 1570 and collocated with CFYZ's AM site out by the Toronto airport.
9293 MR. ELDER: Yes.
9294 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: That also would be an adequate replacement.
9295 MR. ELDER: For the precious 101.3, yes.
9296 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you. I just wanted to make sure I understood those.
9297 What I would now like to ask you is: Have you done an economic impact -- do you know what the economics would be of either of these options? The cost.
9298 MR. ELDER: No, because I cannot accurately estimate what metropolitan Toronto leasing rates would become. But with only one site instead of two, one would expect a major reduction. They pay $209,000 per annum, the two stations together.
9299 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: So you are not aware of what the costs would be, particularly out by the airport where you suggested a collocation?
9300 MR. ELDER: No, I cannot guess it accurately.
9301 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: You have also stated that Industry Canada has acknowledged you 1570 AM proposal would be technically acceptable. You made reference this morning to the fact that you had had discussions with the station manager.
9302 MR. ELDER: Yes.
9303 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Were they receptive to this idea?
9304 MR. ELDER: Very. They said that the GTAA are always looking for cost-saving measures.
9305 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I gather you have a technical study on this proposal which you filed with Industry Canada and you offered to file with us?
9306 MR. ELDER: Yes, we did.
9307 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Could you file that with us?
9308 MR. ELDER: All it is is an e-mail letter from them.
9309 Is that what you would like?
9310 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I don't know.
9311 MR. ELDER: Or the proposal?
9312 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: You referred to a technical study that you had filed with Industry Canada.
9313 MR. ELDER: We will delve into the file and find what that constituted. You see, the contour map attached to this is one of the things that we had filed, but this was all back in July.
9314 Work overload is the problem, but we will file it with you.
9315 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you. You did offer to do so, I think, in your intervention.
9316 MR. ELDER: Yes, I did. That was a feasibility study, yes.
9317 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you.
9318 MR. ELDER: A lot of the bits of it are in my presentation, by the way.
9319 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: All right. Now I have a couple of other questions.
9320 You also wrote a letter with respect to Humber College on May 27, 2002.
9321 MR. ELDER: Yes, indeed.
9322 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: In that you also indicated, I think, that there were potentially going to be some FM drop-in frequencies additional that would be identified in July following some Industry Canada --
9323 MR. ELDER: Yes.
9324 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Do you have anything that you can share with respect to that at this stage?
9325 MR. ELDER: I am most doubtful. We don't know of any alternatives to 91.9.
9326 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: In other words, it turns out that in July there were no further drop-ins identified by Industry Canada?
9327 MR. ELDER: That is correct, not for that area, which used to be called Etobicoke.
9328 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Okay.
9329 MR. ELDER: We originally had looked at 91.7, which is Coopérative Radiodiffusion but we didn't like it because of all the interference coming across the lake from spirit station.
9330 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you. One last question.
9331 I don't know if you are aware that we have had a number of applicants who have proposed to utilize the higher end of the AM band above 1600. It has also been suggested that there is a way to utilize that quite inexpensively proposed by the engineer --
9332 MR. ELDER: Because it is nondirectional.
9333 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: You are familiar with these proposals, are you?
9334 MR. ELDER: Very. Some of them are rooftop sites.
9335 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Could you comment, then, on what these proposals have suggested in terms of utilizing that?
9336 When you say "nondirectional", what does that mean to a lay person.
9337 MR. ELDER: It means it is one tower, only one tower -- one antenna tower. It simplifies the system and reduces the amount of space required for the ground system.
9338 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: What are the consequences of that?
9339 MR. ELDER: That gives a circular service so it is beneficial in that respect. The problem is, in a big city like Toronto the conductivity is lower, the effective conductivity, and the signal doesn't carry nearly as well as it would from Toronto Island. But we can't go there any more.
9340 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: No. So what does it mean? Have you looked at the contours that these applicants have proposed?
9341 MR. ELDER: Not in detail. We were seriously trying to provide an applicant with such a site, et cetera, but the whole thing collapsed. This was in probably June or July.
9342 There is at least two, maybe three, frequencies above 1600 kilohertz that can be used for that purpose.
9343 I think if it is a third-language station and the listeners are anxious to receive it I think they can, but it is not as high quality a signal as FM or as a higher powered station on the Island. You see, they are limited to 1 kilowatt night, 10 kilowatt day in the treaty with the FCC.
9344 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: What I am really trying to understand, and perhaps you have answered the question, but it is really understanding there might be some compromises on quality, there might be some compromises on how far the signal reaches. But it is really: Given some of these trade-offs are these proposals realistic to achieve the objectives that they have stated? I think that is really what we are after.
9345 MR. ELDER: Yes. Well, you see, we don't have a client who has proposed that.
9346 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I see.
9347 MR. ELDER: So I will have to talk to Willy Tashumensen(ph) and give him some advice.
9348 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: That's fine. We just thought we would take advantage of your presence here today to see if you shed any light, and we appreciate that.
9349 MR. ELDER: If you wish, along with the feasibility study, I will try and comment on this concept too.
9350 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I think we are okay. Thank you.
9351 MR. ELDER: All right.
9352 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you very much, Mr. Elder.
9353 MR. ELDER: You are welcome.
9354 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Cardozo.
9355 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Mr. Elder, we haven't finished with you. Don't go yet.
--- Laughter / Rires
9356 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: We all have questions it looks like.
9357 Just one short question on the last point you were discussing with Commissioner Grauer.
9358 Is it your understanding that putting up a tower for a 1600 plus AM frequency, the cost of it is a lot lower than the other AM towers which involves perhaps acres of land? One person mentioned a 60 metre by 60 metre surface that could be on the top of the building.
9359 MR. ELDER: The towers on the Island are 150 feet high. They are limited to that because of the Island airport, but they still have roughly eight or ten acres of land, and the rooftop sites are much smaller because the buildings are not big enough to create a large ground system. But being higher in frequency, you don't need a very large ground system.
9360 The ground system is abbreviated. Industry Canada will technically accept an abbreviated ground system in order to approve the concept, the application for 1640 or 1670, or whatever the frequency is.
9361 The towers of those frequencies are shorter. They are in the order of 100 feet, but we had one building owner who was shocked when I said 100 feet, you see. They are looking at the aesthetics of the thing.
9362 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you.
9363 Thank you, Madam Chair.
9364 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Noël.
9365 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Mr. Elder, am I correct in understanding from your presentation of this morning that there are two solutions available to CHIN 1540? One would be to replace the FM rebroadcaster with a 1570 AM frequency out of Parson airport and the other one would be to co-locate and move entirely the service from 1540 to 1570 and co-locate it on Toronto Island, which would give them a larger coverage.
9366 MR. ELDER: That's correct.
9367 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Thank you.
9368 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Elder, when you discussed with Commissioner Grauer your comment about 1540 being silent if CHIN converted its AM to FM, I understood your reason to be that considering the political pressure, no new lessee would be allowed on the Island.
9369 MR. ELDER: That's my assumption.
9370 THE CHAIRPERSON: Particularly since you tell us that the leases were extended rather than renewed, I guess.
9371 MR. ELDER: What I had been told by Fairchild Radio, which is a client of ours, is that the lease is being extended in short segments such as one year. One of the reasons for that is probably they are trying to raise the leasing rate.
9372 THE CHAIRPERSON: My question is: If the same lessee changed frequency there wouldn't be this new lease required because you are suggesting using 1570 instead of, or co-located with --
9373 MR. ELDER: Yes.
9374 THE CHAIRPERSON: But a new antenna would not be a problem.
9375 MR. ELDER: It wouldn't be a new antenna system. The present CHIN antenna system has five towers and they are facing northeast -- well, four of them are. The fifth one is a daytime only tower and it's facing northwest, whereas the CHKT Fairchild 1430 system has six towers and that system would be satisfactory for 1570 as well.
9376 THE CHAIRPERSON: But your view would be that you wouldn't get into this political pressure problem if all you did was to now broadcast on two frequencies from there rather than one.
9377 MR. ELDER: I hope not.
9378 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. But one would have to take that as a given for your scheme to work.
9379 MR. ELDER: That is true.
9380 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, because if you say that 1540 would be silent because political pressure would make it difficult to have a new lessee, in your view that would not be a new lessee. It would simply be broadcasting on two frequencies instead of one.
9381 MR. ELDER: A joint lessee, two lessees. I have in my portfolio here the Notice No. 18 which is five or eight pages, and it is the policy that Toronto adopts it. City Council adopted it with no revisions and the object was to get the lease renewed before December 31, 2001 which hasn't happened.
9382 Instead it's being renewed in short segments. It was to be a ten-year lease by the way.
9383 THE CHAIRPERSON: My question was simply whether broadcasting on a new frequency from that site would give an opportunity to apply the political pressure that you say would be applied if a new lessee tried to use 1540 rather than the current lessee.
9384 MR. ELDER: I doubt that because the Telecommunications Steering Committee is in abeyance now. Their 1 per cent guideline was mainly political pressure and my contacts with the Board of Education, et cetera, have said they haven't heard anything from the steering committee for many months.
9385 So I doubt if that would be an issue because the 1430 array is immediately north of the new school, whereas the CHIN array is immediately west of the school and it contributes more radiation hazards, or it was supposed to, on a 1 per cent basis, let's say. The whole thing was political pressure.
9386 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
9387 Commissioner Noël.
9388 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Maybe just a clarification, Mr. Elder.
9389 Of the two scenarios you proposed this morning, the first one being replacing the actual rebroadcaster by the 1570 AM located at Pearson, and the other solution being moving all the 1540 operations from that frequency to 1570, co-locate it with Fairchild in the Toronto Island, which one is the more efficient in your view?
9390 MR. ELDER: My view, strictly from an independent engineering view, is that 1540 is a very weak station at nighttime. It's really primarily a daytime only station. The nighttime service is so reduced to such a degree, and I would favour the 1570 change as somewhat better than 1570 rebroad.
9391 COMMISSIONER NOËL: So all on 1570 co-located in the Fairchild antenna on the Island.
9392 MR. ELDER: But I am not the spokesman for 1540.
9393 COMMISSIONER NOËL: I know, but I am just asking you what would be the best or most efficient solution, in your engineering view.
9394 MR. ELDER: 1570, yes, from the Island.
9395 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Thank you.
9396 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Colville.
9397 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Mr. Elder, you said in your brief this morning -- and I believe you raised this in discussion with Commissioner Grauer:
"We believe that a leasing and cost-sharing agreement is feasible between the Greater Toronto Airport Authority and Radio 1540".
9398 What leads you to that conclusion?
9399 MR. ELDER: Past experience in working with the GTAA for about three or four years. We proposed this concept of using part of their land for a tower to broadcast above 1600 KHz. This is going back two or three years now. The manager, Sue Holloway, of SFYZ whom I phoned yesterday agreed with the concept and will pass it upstairs for executive decision-making.
9400 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: I understand that you have discussed that with CFYZ. Are you aware that earlier this year there was a major dispute between the four cellular PCS portable telephone companies and the GTAA --
9401 MR. ELDER: No.
9402 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: -- which apparently wanted to significantly increase the fees that they pay for use of towers at the airport.
9403 MR. ELDER: No, I haven't heard of that one.
9404 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Thank you.
9405 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Elder, for your presentation.
9406 We have had engineering 101, except for Mr. Colville, of course.
9407 Counsel has a question.
9408 MR. ELDER: Thank you for accepting my intervention.
9409 THE CHAIRPERSON: Counsel has a question.
9410 MR. STEWART: It's a housekeeping matter.
9411 Mr. Elder, the feasibility study that you spoke of and that you agreed to file, can you do so before midday or by midday of tomorrow?
9412 MR. ELDER: File it here?
9413 MR. STEWART: Excuse me?
9414 MR. ELDER: File it with the Commission?
9415 MR. STEWART: Yes, with the Secretary.
9416 MR. ELDER: With the Secretary.
9417 MR. STEWART: Yes.
9418 MR. ELDER: Would that be by courier, by hand, or by fax?
9419 MR. STEWART: Is it a --
9420 MR. ELDER: Because I am not going to be here tomorrow.
9421 MR. STEWART: Is it a bulky --
9422 MR. ELDER: No.
9423 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Elder --
9424 MR. STEWART: Maybe it's already on the record.
9425 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, and that was my question. Did we understand you to say that it was basically in today's presentation with the schematic that you attached?
9426 MR. ELDER: Yes. All the highlights of that feasibility study are in here.
9427 THE CHAIRPERSON: So in that case --
9428 MR. STEWART: In the circumstances, it's not necessary.
9429 Thank you.
9430 MR. ELDER: Okay.
9431 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Elder. You may now go. You may now be the Dean of Engineering.
9432 Mr. Secretary, please.
9433 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9434 Intervenors Nos. 12 and 20 also have changed places. So we will now hear from Luybov Kostetska.
9435 MS KOSTETSKA: Good morning, Madam Chair and Commissioners.
9436 Thank you very much for understanding my situation and move me up on the line.
9437 My name is Luybov Kostetska. I wish to strongly support the Radio Plus application by Catholic Youth Studio and in so doing to articulate the sentiments of many, many Ukrainian Catholics in the Greater Toronto Area.
9438 The Ukrainian community and the members of numerous ethnic groups would gain a great deal from Radio Plus' strong multicultural, multilingual service.
9439 I am an active member of the parish council of St. Mary's Ukrainian Catholic church in Mississauga and the church's organization Rodyna.
9440 My commitment to faith and multiculturalism is inspired by the experiences of my youth. I was born in a country suffering under a communist regime.
9441 MS KOSTETSKA: I'm sorry. I was not able to practice my faith, learn about Christianity, study what I wanted to study, or read the bible. I even had to get married secretly in order to have a Christian wedding.
9442 I am sorry.
9443 MS KOSTETSKA: Despite these obstacles, Ukrainian culture and traditions are very much influenced by religion. We truly need a multicultural radio station that is prepared to speak openly about faith, to welcome prayer and spirituality.
9444 I have three children and I want them to learn about their ancestry in a way that does not ignore or sidestep religion. Catholic Youth Studio is prepared to do that.
9445 About 20 per cent of the one million Ukrainian Canadians live in the Greater Toronto Area. Most Canadians of Ukrainian background were born in Canada, although the efforts to retain the language are impressive. Believe me, Radio Plus' Ukrainian language programming will get a lot of listeners. My family and a very large proportion of my parish, young and old, will be among them.
9446 Multiculturalism is clearly at the core of Catholic Youth Studio's raison d'être, as it should be. Its passionate commitment to promote dialogue among faiths is also to be commended.
9447 As you know, not all Ukrainians are of the same faith. Here in Canada most citizens of Ukrainian descent are either Ukrainian Catholic or Roman Catholic, although many are Orthodox. What a wonderful forum Radio Plus would offer for Ukrainian Canadians of different faiths to share, to grow in their respective traditions, to be enriched.
9448 Radio Plus will also be an exceptional forum for sharing between Ukrainians and our fellow Canadians from other ethnic groups, all of whom are adding immeasurably to the rich Canadian tapestry. You are probably aware that the Ukrainian-Canadian community has long been a strong advocate of multiculturalism. We worked hard to help secure the federal government's Multiculturalism Policy of 1971. Indeed, this policy was officially announced at a meeting of the Ukrainian-Canadian Congress.
9449 Catholic Youth Studio has a great plan for a multicultural radio station and a proven track record. It is a high quality, non profit broadcaster that enjoys deep and widespread support in the Catholic community and beyond.
9450 I urge you to look favourably on this application. Thank you very much.
9451 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Kostetska. We have no questions. Your support is very clear, and we thank you for your presentation.
9452 MS KOSTETSKA: Thank you very much.
9453 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
9454 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9455 We will now hear from the Polish Canadian Congress.
9456 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
9457 MR. BURSKI: Good morning, Madam Chairperson, Commissioners, ladies and gentlemen. My name is George Burski. I am past National President and currently Vice-President of the Canadian Polish Congress.
9458 I have been an active volunteer in my community for over 50 years. I immigrated to Canada as a veteran of the Polish Armed Forces after World War II. I am representing today the Congress Chairperson who is out of the country.
9459 The Canadian Polish Congress was established in Winnipeg in May 1944. Its function is to co-ordinate the activities of over 260 member organizations and articulate the concerns of the Canadian Polish Community on public policy issues. As a representative of our democratic society, we support Canadian multiculturalism as a means of fostering tolerance and understanding among Canada's vibrant and diverse mosaic.
9460 The Canadian Polish Congress speaks for over 800,000 Polish Canadians from coast to coast. It provides support to all organizations as well as individual persons in the area of its jurisdiction. It helps new immigrants to Canada in adjusting to a new multicultural environment.
9461 Our organization is pleased to offer strong support to the Catholic Youth Studio's application before this Commission. We believe there is an obvious need for a new multi-ethnic and religious FM radio station to serve Greater Toronto on frequency 101.3 FM.
9462 In particular, there are over 100,000 Polish-speaking Canadians in the proposed broadcast area who would certainly become regular listeners. Equally important, there is an even larger number of English speakers of Polish background who would be attracted to the program offerings.
9463 MR. ROGACKI: My name is Richard Rogacki. I am the Past President of the Polish Combatants Association in Toronto and have been active in my community for over 30 years. I am an economist in the service of the provincial government.
9464 There appears to be a widespread misconception in the public mind about what religious radio broadcasting really is.
9465 Many people assume that the programming is exclusively directed to prayers and other devotions. In fact, the majority of religious broadcasting typically deals with literature, history, issues of morality and personal growth and a wide array of thought-provoking questions that directly affect our daily lives. It is far more immediately relevant to the listener than most media.
9466 In addition, many people assume that the religious broadcasting is less sophisticated and professional than commercial media. That, too, is not correct. Religious broadcasters are technically equal to anyone working in the media.
9467 Finally, there seems to be a perception that a religious station, especially a Catholic station, might present a very narrow perspective. Surely anyone who experienced the recent World Youth Days in Toronto would agree that in fact the Catholic community embraces an enormous breadth of views, cultures, languages, history and experience. There is no doubt that a radio station serving this community would be equally universal.
9468 MR. BURSKI: The Catholic Youth Studio has been serving the Polish-Canadian community for the past eight years. It has done a superb job promoting family values, Polish history, music, traditions and culture. It should be kept in mind that over the centuries the most brilliant art and music have been inspired by religion, not only in the Polish culture but in all cultures. It is therefore not surprising that the Catholic Youth Studio draws on this rich heritage in its programming.
9469 Our community has a special relationship with our Catholic Church. During our long and turbulent history the church has been the moral anchor that ensured our survival as a nation. During the brutal, soul-destroying Communist occupation of Poland, the church was the only institution that gave us the hope and strength to struggle against injustice. The Solidarity movement in Poland that triggered the fall of Communism was strongly identified with the Polish church and our great countryman, Pope John Paul II.
9470 Not only Poland but the whole world is indebted to the Catholic Church.
9471 Today we are dealing with different problems, but the values that the church represents are still at the centre of our lives. We wish to pass on these values to our children and to share them with our neighbour's children.
9472 This is particularly important now, because for many years our children have been constantly exposed to all manner of alternative lifestyles and relaxed moral standards without a single voice to remind them of the long and honourable traditions that reflect our historic values.
9473 Our community is particularly interested in the Catholic Youth Studio's initiative because it will serve not only Polish speakers but also those of our children whose first language is English.
9474 In addition, we believe this radio station will promote greater understanding and help us build stronger ties with the other associated ethnic communities. We have always been strong supporters of our diverse cultural mosaic.
9475 Canada's first Minister of Multiculturalism was Dr. Stan Haidasz, and he is a member of our community.
9476 The Canadian Polish Congress has always co-operated with all ethnic groups. We are members of the Canadian Ethnocultural Council and work closely with other communities.
9477 We believe that the Catholic Youth Studio will become a powerful instrument to help us continue that work. In this way, it will create new avenues for the promotion of Canada's unique culture of tolerance and universal brotherhood.
9478 MR. ROGACKI: There are over 30 radio stations in the GTA. None of them serve the specific needs of the Catholic community. It does not seem fair to deny this community, which represents a very large segment of the population, its own voice.
9479 Given the size of the community, I cannot accept the argument that Catholic Youth Radio could in any way be characterized as representing a narrow view or limited to a narrow audience. The opposite is true. Catholic Youth Radio's programming will have a very wide audience. It will appeal to the mainstream of Canadian society, filling a need which is not being served by any media at this time.
9480 I suggest, with respect, that the existing radio stations have a much narrower perspective than Catholic Youth Radio. The commercial stations either target very specific demographic groups or offer specialized programming. The ethnic stations provide good programs but seem isolated in that they rarely reach people who don't understand the program's languages.
9481 Even the CBC, our public broadcaster, is diminished by its political correctness. For example, on September 20th the CBC morning program offered a review of a Sado-Masochistic film. We can all appreciate the CBC's interest in being all-inclusive, but many of us parents are not especially comfortable with its explicit acceptance of such avant garde world views, particularly when there is no broadcast media available to present more traditional alternatives.
9482 We hope the Commission will understand our anxiety to provide our children with at least this one radio station that will espouse the values we cherish. It is not our intent to impose our beliefs on anyone. We simply want this one lonely voice out there in the ether to confirm to each of us that we are not alone in our adherence to traditional moral standards.
9483 We submit that Catholic Youth Radio has convincingly demonstrated its technical competence and marketing ability. The demographics show there is sufficient audience to permanently sustain this radio station, and we hope we have clearly presented our community's need for it.
9484 We appeal to the Commission to grant this application.
9485 Madam Chair, Commissioners, thank you for hearing us. If there are any questions, we will be happy to answer them.
9486 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, gentlemen, for your presentation, which is clear and will be added to our public record.
9487 MR. BURSKI: Thank you.
9488 MR. ROGACKI: Thank you very much.
9489 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
9490 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9491 We will now hear the intervention by Reverend Regulo Imperial.
9492 THE CHAIRPERSON: Go ahead, please.
9493 REV. IMPERIAL: Good morning or good afternoon everyone. I think it is 12:00 now.
9494 My name is Reverend Regulo Imperial and I am Pastor Administrator at St. Andrew's Catholic Church.
9495 REV IMPERIAL: Three decades ago, Canada became the first in the world to adopt multiculturalism as a national policy. Multiculturalism Minister Jean Augustine -- at the seventh International Metropolis conference in Oslo, Norway whose theme is: "Togetherness in Difference" -- said:
"Canada is a nation that prides itself on the diversity of our population, and it's built on core values that we share."
9496 This objective, she continues, has not been reached though we all work together to make it a reality. The "core values" the honourable minister was talking about are the good and positive values that the ethnic people bring to Canada. The "core values" would be the bricks that would make this country great, strong and unified.
9497 To retain and keep the positive values is not a weakness of any ethnic group. As a matter of fact, it is its greatest contribution to a country such as Canada.
9498 I am speaking for my own ethnic group. For example, Filipinos are known for being hard-working people. This is very noticeable in many workplaces where Filipinos are present. This good trait is a legacy that our people can teach and pass on to our children. This positive trait is a necessary ingredient for the success of any private entrepreneur or big corporation. To reinforce such positive and good value to each individual ethnic group would be the greatest contribution of multilingual radio station here in the GTA.
9499 I am here to represent my parish, not only my parish but also to speak on behalf of the comparatively huge numbers of Filipino-speaking people living in the GTA.
9500 First I want to introduce my parish to the honourable Members of the CRTC.
9501 St. Andrew's Parish is located in the Rexdale area of the far northwest corner of Toronto. The eastern border is the Humber River, the old border between Etobicoke and North York. The southern border is the west branch of the Humber, extending past William Osler Health Centre -- formerly known as Etobicoke General Hospital -- to Indian Line.
9502 Within these boundaries live the most varied and mixed population found anywhere within the Toronto area. Over 30 languages are spoken and representation of every continent can be found. The northwest of Toronto has welcomed thousands of new Canadians and thousands arrive every year. Since the early 1980s the area has seen a major demographic shift from a predominantly English-speaking population to a truly multilingual and multicultural neighbourhood.
9503 Today, there are large numbers of people from various Caribbean countries, of the South Asian or Indian subcontinent, refugees from Sudan and Iraq and Somalia, from the Philippines, Vietnam, Korea and Indonesia, from South America and from eastern Europe. For many, English is not a first language and is not readily understood.
9504 The weekend of September 14 and 15, 2002, I asked group of my parishioners to make a survey of languages being spoken by the people within our parish. So after all the masses, they stand at the four exists of the church to ask the people about the language they use and they came up with this list that I already gave to the Commissioners. This is the list of the major languages and the languages spoken in our parish.
9505 If I might read them. In addition to English and French we have Italian; Portuguese; Spanish from North America; Ukrainian; Polish; German from Austria; Korean; Tagalog, which is Filipino; Vietnamese; Mandarin; Cantonese. From Africa the dialect of Twi, Bengali, Ibo. From Hindi, Tamil and Urdu. We have Japanese, Croatian, Creole. We have Arabic from Egyptian, Palestinian, Persian and Moroccan. We have Maltese-speaking people, Greek, Swahili, Dutch Waloon, Czech and Slovak, Hungarian, Syrian and Aramaic.
9506 So our parish is like a United Nations. Name the language and we have it.
9507 I heard that the Catholic radio will broadcast in 11 languages, but also have some programs for other ethnic group in English language. This could help also the rest of people in our parish who speak other languages not provided by the radio.
9508 What does bind this diverse population together for us as a parish is our common faith. It is a parish with a motto "Gathered together as one". From the many countries, from the many languages, there is a common faith and that is what makes us strong and together.
9509 Speaking about the Filipino people living in GTA, I called the Philippine Consulate two weeks ago to ask some information on the number of Filipinos in the GTA. I was told that there are about 200,000 Filipinos.
9510 For us, the multilingual radio would be of great help, especially for the new immigrants as a support and inspiration as they struggle to adapt to the new culture and environment.
9511 There was a 30-minute early morning Filipino television show before, but it died. I don't know for what reason. I was disappointed because the medium they were using was English because the hosts do not speak the language.
9512 What we want most is a program prepared in our own language, because I believe that culture and values can only be effectively transmitted via language.
9513 I strongly believe that the Catholic Radio in multicultural programming will be very beneficial for the spreading of multiculturalism in our society, and GTA for that matter.
9514 So with the Minister Jean Augustine, it is going to be we are in a two road to multiculturalism by this radio programming.
9515 Thank you very much.
9516 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Reverend Imperial. Thank you for your presentation and making your report very clear to us, both orally and in writing. Thank you.
9517 REV. IMPERIAL: Thank you.
9518 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
9519 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9520 I am advised that the Catholic Women's League is unable to appear today so their intervention will remain on the record as non-appearing.
9521 Now we will hear from the Youth Organization of Saint Agnes Church.
9522 MR. TAM: Good morning, Madam Chair and Commissioners.
9523 My name is Paul Tam. Thank you for letting me come today to express my support for the Radio Plus application.
9524 I am representing the University of Toronto Chinese Catholic Community, the Youth Organization of Saint Agnes Church, also Overseas Chinese Music Society and generally the Chinese community in Toronto.
9525 I served as the advisor for the University of Toronto Chinese Catholic Community. It is an organization that is based in U. of T. campus but has its branches throughout the GTA. It has active members of about 100 people and they organize many cultural and social events that target thousands of Chinese students in the GTA. Some examples are elderly home visits and many fundraising activities for charity.
9526 Speaking of just U. of T., there are more than 1,000 Chinese students. There is also a network which is called the "Joint University Chinese Catholic Community" which links may different Chinese parishes in the GTA.
9527 Radio Plus will for sure help us to connect all these communities together, significantly improve our communication and interaction. All the functions and events that we organize can be promoted to many other people in the GTA. Also, as an immigrant myself, it really helps new immigrants who need to reach our Catholic services or events. Many of them would like to join some of the Chinese Catholic communities. Radio Plus for sure can help them to reach us easily.
9528 I am also the leader of the YOSAC, which stands for Youth Organization of St. Agnes Church. It is a youth group in one of the Chinese Catholic parishes located in Richmond Hill in Markham with a really high, growing Chinese population. I can tell you that all the members of my group are very supportive of the application.
9529 After the World Youth Day 2002, many of the Chinese youths would like to share their experiences with other people in the Chinese community. Radio Plus will provide the perfect opportunity for this to happen. World Youth Day news coverage has been on Chinese television and other mainstream television stations in Toronto and it received a lot of attention. Therefore, Radio Plus will for sure fulfil this interest or curiosity of the Chinese community to understand more about this particular unique Chinese Catholic community in Toronto.
9530 I am also speaking on behalf of the Overseas Chinese Music Society. This is a society composed of a lot of Chinese musicians in Toronto. Personally, myself, I am a Chinese Catholic music composer.
9531 THE CHAIRPERSON: Push your microphone away, please, because there is interference.
9532 MR. TAM: Oh, sorry.
9533 THE CHAIRPERSON: Further from you. Thank you. I'm sorry.
9534 MR. TAM: I'm sorry about that.
9535 Personally, I am a Chinese Catholic music composer. In recent years the Canadian Chinese in Toronto has been very active in making and composing some Chinese Catholic music. Five CDs have been published so far, all written by Canadian talents. These CDs are reaching places in Shanghai and Hong Kong in China, many cities in Australia, Perth, Melbourne; England, UK and all across North America. I can say many of the Chinese Catholic songs listened to people around the globe are written by the Toronto composers.
9536 We are very excited about the idea of a radio program that speaks our Chinese language and may play the Chinese music so that people can listen to this music not by CD, but by a radio station with a good FM frequency. Radio Plus will definitely help to introduce this music to the general public in the GTA and help us to appreciate this great talent among us in Toronto which helps to promote our Canadian culture to the world.
9537 I am also a chartered accountant. From my professional experience and my industry knowledge of the Chinese industry, the Chinese Catholic market in the GTA is a really significant market. For example, whenever there is any event organized by the Chinese Catholic church in Toronto, it attracts many corporate advertisements from a wide variety of industries or companies. This proves a strong message that many companies, both from the Chinese population and also the mainstream population, are interested to reach this market through advertising.
9538 Radio Plus will definitely be a very good channel for them to reach this market and also it will help to promote and expand the existing cultural and social programs organized by the Chinese Catholic church in Toronto. It also helps to get more funding on the corporate side so that we can organize more cultural events for the Chinese community in Toronto.
9539 Thank you for your time. I am happy to answer any questions.
9540 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Tam, thank you. We don't have questions. Your position is quite clear, as is your support. Your presentation will be added to our record.
9541 MR. TAM: Thank you.
9542 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
9543 We will now adjourn for lunch and resume at 1:30. Nous reprendrons à 1 h 30.
--- Upon recessing at 1215 / Suspension à 1215
--- Upon resuming at 1340 / Reprise à 1340
9544 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please. A l'odre, s'il vous plaît.
9545 For those who may not have been here this morning, we wish to point out that we may not engage in questioning or conversation with every intervenor, especially where their position is clear. We want to make sure that this is not taken as a lack of interest in what you have to say to us, but rather to hear as many intervenors as possible in the time available to us.
9546 We remind you that your oral presentation is transcribed and forms part of the public record, along with your written intervention.
9547 Nous tenons à mentionner, pour ceux qui n'étaient peut-être pas là ce matin, qu'il est possible que nous ne posions pas de questions aux intervenants, particulièrement lorsque leur position est claire.
9548 Il ne s'agit pas d'un manque d'intérêt de notre part, mais plutôt d'un désir d'entendre autant d'intervenants que possible dans le temps qui nous est disponible.
9549 Nous vous rappelons que vos interventions orales sont transcrites et font partie du dossier public au même titre que vos représentations écrites.
9550 Mr. Secretary, please.
9551 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9552 We will now hear the intervention from Couples for Christ.
9553 MR. BERROYA: Madam Chair, Members of the Commission, good afternoon.
9554 My name is Francisco Berroya. I represent Couples for Christ Canada. It is a operation and a charity registered with the CCRA.
9555 I am its National Director for social ministries.
9556 For, and on behalf of Couples for Christ, I would like to express our support for the Radio Plus licensing application.
9557 Its approval will further advance the cause of ecumenism and can strengthen the multiculturalism here in Toronto as indicated in our letter to you dated August 18, 2002, a copy of which is attached.
9558 Please allow me to give you a brief backgrounder on Couples for Christ.
9559 Through its 21 years of existence since it started in 1981 in Manila, Philippines, Couples for Christ has evolved to include three basic thrusts: family life renewal, global evangelization and mission, and total human liberation.
9560 Internationally, it is now in 102 countries, including Canada and the U.S.A. with over 1.5 million membership.
9561 The three basic thrusts of Couples for Christ are accomplished through its family and social ministries.
9562 In 1981, Couples for Christ started with renewing and strengthening marriage and family life with its Family Ministries that included programs for all members of the family regardless of age. From Couples for Christ we have the Kids for Christ, the Youth for Chris, Singles for Christ, the Handmaids of the Lord, and the Servants of the Lord.
9563 We believe that the condition of the family as the basis unit of society will determine the condition of the world.
9564 Then in 1989, the thrust of global evangelization and mission started and Couples for Christ expanded in numbers, both in membership and territories outside the Philippines.
9565 In 1995, its social ministry was introduced in support of its total human liberation thrust. Now, we have 11 full-blown social ministries in the Philippines.
9566 Couples for Christ was introduced here in Toronto in 1994 following the same pattern of progression as indicated above. It is also present in other parts of Canada like Vancouver, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary, and so on. Couples for Christ Canada also does mission work in countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Venezuela and Bermuda.
9567 It is open to all married Christians such that we also have Baptists, Anglicans, Lutherans, et cetera, for members. As a support to ecumenism, we also conduct Christian life program sessions at venues like the Lutheran Church.
9568 We have started to introduce social ministry programs that can further enhance our involvement with social actions in Toronto. Couples for Christ has been called upon regularly by the Archdiocese of Toronto to participate at ShareLife Walk event, World Youth Day and other activities where its members have given full support and in great numbers.
9569 Since Couples for Christ started in the Philippines, most of its members in Toronto are Filipinos. As such, it also participated in activities of the Filipino Priests Chaplaincy. One of its activities is the annual pilgrimage at the Martyrs Shrine in Midland.
9570 Couples for Christ was selected to host the coming pilgrimage in August 2003. This pilgrimage is well attended by Filipino and other church organizations in Toronto.
9571 With this brief local and international background on Couples for Christ, we would like to again express our support for the approval of the application of Radio Plus.
9572 This will benefit not only our members, but also the Filipino community in Toronto at large since Radio plus can provide religious programming to many ethnic groups and communities including the Filipinos in the Greater Toronto Area.
9573 I will be happy to answer any questions.
9574 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Berroya. Your position is clear. You support is clear so we don't have any questions.
9575 MR. BERROYA: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9576 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you for coming and making your presentation.
9577 MR. BERROYA: Thank you.
9578 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
9579 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9580 We will now hear from the Catholic Family Services of Peel Dufferin.
9581 MR. LEBEL: I am advised that they will not be here this afternoon. So their intervention will remain on the file as non-appearing.
9582 So we will now hear from Focolare Movement.
9583 MR. GARCIA: Madam Chair, Commissioners, good afternoon.
9584 My name is Jesus Garcia and I would like to introduce you to the Focolare Movement. I am the Assistant Regional Director of Focolare in Toronto and have been part of Focolare for 20 years.
9585 There are four objectives I would like to meet during this presentation. First is to give you a glimpse of this movement's international activities, then to convey to you the culture of unity that it lives out on a daily basis by its members. And then to give you a glimpse of the movement in Toronto, and finally to share with you why Focolare supports Catholic Radio.
9586 Let me begin by saying that Focolare is an Italian expression which means "hearth" or "family fireside". The first group of people who began this movement acquired this name because they emanated profound human warmth.
9587 The Focolare numbers over eight million people in 180 countries and there are currently 7,400 people throughout Canada who adhere to the Focolare way. There are 2,400 adherents in Toronto.
9588 The goal of Focolare is unity. Unity is difficult to convey precisely because it is affable and sublime. Hopefully, the following slide pictures will convey what Focolare means by "unity".
9589 MR. GARCIA: Let me start by saying that Focolare was begun my a woman named Chiara Lubich. Besides being its founder, she is currently Acting President, and according to the statute of the Focolare Movement its President will always be a woman. This clause was approved personally by Pope John Paul II.
9590 The Focolare began in Northern Italy in a city called Trent. Chiara Lubich and a group of friends made a profound spiritual experience during World War II in 1943. As a result of that experience, they felt called in a particular way to live so "that all may be one".
9591 In the movement's 59 year history, it has contributed in significant ways to the four dialogues established by the Catholic Church during the second Vatican Council. These four dialogues include: the Catholic Church itself within the very family, other Christian denominations, the great religions, and persons of no particular religious conviction.
9592 Within Catholic circles, Focolare builds relationships with the Charismatic Renewal and the saint Egidio Community and other movements. These are just to name a few: the Shoenstadt Order, the Franciscan Family, and other families, and with the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.
9593 Focolare also makes significant contributions in the world of ecumenism, or unity with other Christians, members of the Reformed Church, for example, Anglicans, Lutherans, Orthodox.
9594 Focolare has also made significant contributions in interfaith dialogue with, for example, muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, and so on.
9595 Focolare has also established collaborative dialogue with people without particular religious convictions, but who adhere to values such as peace, justice, sustainability and equality. This is so because Focolare has social, economic and political expressions as well.
9596 For example, in 1960 in Fontem, Africa, the Bangwa tribe was facing extinction because of the 98 per cent infant mortality rate and 90 per cent of adults were suffering from a sleeping disorder.
9597 Doctors and nurses of the Movement went there. Their sole intention was to make themselves one with the people and subsequently to try to meet their immediate and long-term needs.
9598 Today, 42 years later, a prominent hospital and school exist. Infrastructure throughout the area has been built. Water and electricity are readily accessible. Infant mortality has been eradicated. The Bangwa people are some of the most prosperous in Cameroon, and Fontem, the city, is a model that offers insight into true and successful sustainable development.
9599 The Movement has 23 such model towns throughout the world, including North America.
9600 Focolare's economic expression is called the Economy of Communion, and it began in Brazil in 1991.
9601 Entrepreneurs and other business people create profit-generating businesses that flourish in free-market dynamics. The difference, however, is how these business owners deal with their profits.
9602 They freely five one third to help alleviate poverty by meeting the immediate needs of the poor in their communities. Another third is reinvested in the company to keep it growing, and another third is given to help finance the model towns of the Movement, which are aimed at creating new people who enhance a new society.
9603 There are currently 749 businesses that function this way, and the image there indicates the number of businesses in the respect countries.
9604 Focolare has received numerous awards and recognitions.
9605 In 1977, it received the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. In 1996, it received the UNESCO Award for Progress in Education towards Peace. Because of the profound insights Focolare offers in all fields of academia, it has received 13 honorary doctorates from 12 different countries in 13 different disciplines.
9606 For example, a doctorate in theology from the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines; a doctorate in communications from Chiang Mai University in Thailand; a doctorate in social sciences from Lublin University in Poland; an honorary doctorate in education from the Catholic University of America; a doctorate in human letters from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut; psychology from the University of Malta, economics from the University de Bologna, and so on.
9607 Underneath all these wonderful expressions, recognitions and awards, lies the secret of Focolare, that is the culture of unity which is lived out on a daily basis by, for example, children, adolescents, young adults, entire families, elderly people, and so on.
9608 Focolare arrived in Toronto in the early 1960s. In Toronto, we advance the same culture of unity and engage in activities that reflect the city's specific context. Toronto is certainly multicultural. However, to be multicultural is one thing, to experience unity is another.
9609 I think you would agree with me that there can never be enough unity.
9610 During this year's World Youth Day, the Focolare's Interfaith Seminar was an official interfaith expression of the Catholic Church. Highlights of the seminar were broadcast on CBC during each evening of the event.
9611 Because English is not the first language of many persons of the Focolare in Toronto, members meet in their respective languages to go in-depth in the movement's spirituality and to be updated on its local and worldwide activities.
9612 Currently, gatherings are held in Cantonese/Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese, Tagalog, French, Ukrainian, Italian and Arabic. If Catholic Radio is licensed, Focolare will be a source of information and program ideas for these linguistic communities.
9613 Each year the young adults of the Focolare in Toronto celebrate Unity Week. Among their activities are concerts for peace, workshops and a worldwide petition to end the death penalty. This year's week for unity will begin on October 6th.
9614 Focolare also holds activities among artists who through their art attempt to convey the beauty of unity.
9615 Focolare in Toronto holds gatherings, seminars and workshops for the entire family.
9616 Finally, Focolare's endeavour to enhance interfaith dialogue continues.
9617 I believe the spirit of the Focolare has much to offer in fulfilling the desire of many Torontonians to live in a diverse but united city. Focolare reminds us that the word "Catholic" means universal. Toronto is universal and multi-ethnic. Catholics are universal and multi-ethnic, and they number almost two million throughout the GTA. There is need for a frequency that will reach the large Catholic audience so that the ideal of unity becomes ever more a reality in Toronto.
9618 Thank you very much.
9619 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Garcia. We know Focolare will stay successful, because it has good leadership.
9620 MR. GARCIA: That's right. I agree completely.
9621 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your presentation, all of which will be part of the record.
9622 Mr. Secretary, please.
9623 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9624 We will now hear from Mr. Paul Kromer.
9625 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.
9626 MR. KROMER: Good afternoon, Madam Chair and Commissioners.
9627 My name is Paul Kromer, and I come before you today to express my strong support for Radio Plus Toronto's application for the 101.3 FM frequency.
9628 As evidenced by the great local multicultural attendance at the recent World Youth Day in Toronto, the GTA's large and diverse Catholic community would be very interested in this service.
9629 From three personal perspectives -- as a business owner, a member of Toronto's German-speaking community and a director of a Catholic lay movement -- I can also attest to the need for this service on a higher-powered frequency.
9630 Allow me to explain.
9631 I am president and founder of Kromer Radio Ltd., a leading audio/video electronics retailer in Toronto for 45 years. As a businessman, my first question about a new enterprise is, of course: Is it viable? Will be self-sustaining?
9632 As a retailer, I am certain that this multilingual Catholic radio station will be an attractive advertising medium for local businesses and professional service providers, all of whom seek a diverse and loyal listenership to promote their offerings.
9633 I know the station will be strongly supported by the Catholic community and businesses in particular through sponsorships, donations and of course listenership.
9634 This can be seen in the clear track record established by the Catholic Youth Studio's Polish programming. Thousands of ordinary Catholics already support this radio service by listening, donating and of course volunteering.
9635 The reason is Father Marian Gil's ability to program in a way that reflects the needs, interests and concerns of Catholic communities, each different while sharing a common faith.
9636 I am a member of one of these ethnic communities, Toronto's German-speaking community. There are approximately 47,000 German-speaking people in the GTA, the ninth largest third language group. They primarily come from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and a number come from a number of other East European countries.
9637 The centre of the German Catholic community in Toronto is St. Patrick's Church, downtown at Dundas and McCaul Streets. St. Patrick's is both an apostolic centre and a retirement community. The retirement community welcomes Catholics who are in their senior years but who enjoy sufficient good health to be able to engage in some of the ministry of the parish while also enjoying their retirement in a comfortable and stimulating milieu.
9638 Our seniors also congregate in the German social clubs in both Scarborough in the east and Etobicoke in the west of the GTA.
9639 The generations are bridged by a Saturday German school that many children and youth -- my daughter was among them -- have attended over the years.
9640 Radio Plus Toronto will draw on the extensive resources of the German community as one of its program sources. Catholic Radio's German program will provide relevant news and information about community events and issues for youth, adults and seniors.
9641 The Radio Plus German program will also reflect the role of religion in the German culture, with Goethe's Faust, for example, or Nobel Prize winner Thomas Mann's novel about the biblical story of Joseph. This religious tradition continues in the film media, from directors like Otto Preminger and Fritz Lang to Tom Twyker's Heaven shown at this year's Berlin Film Festival.
9642 The German programming will also highlight the contributions of prominent German-Canadians. These include von Kunits, who founded the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Elisabeth Mann-Borgese, Thomas Mann's daughter and an activist for the protection of the world's oceans. She died recently at her home in Halifax.
9643 And of course the German programming will have music, which always has been very important to the German, Austrian and Swiss communities. They will appreciate and enjoy hearing the works of their very own Beethoven, Bach, Brahms, Mozart and Hayden, among others.
9644 Some of the most famous songs in the world come from religious inspiration, like Franz Grubere's Stille Nacht (Silent Night). I congratulate in respect Catholic Youth Studio for their initiative in creating the International Festival of Religious Song.
9645 Finally, as a director of the Catholic lay movement, Renewal Ministries Canada, and the organizer of their annual Lift Jesus Higher Rally, I can confirm with absolute certainty that the Radio Plus Toronto will attract a strong and multi-ethnic listenership.
9646 Our annual one-day conference alone brings in over 7,500 people, of which 1,500 are youth, to the Metro Convention Centre. The origins of these people are as diverse as those of the general GTA population and includes a significant representation from both the East and West Indies, South America and South East Asia.
9647 Most of the applications before you at this hearing are to serve ethnic communities based on recent immigration, particularly South Asia. An important feature of Catholic Radio is that it will cater to two kinds of broad communities: those based on recent immigration, Asian; and those other third language communities based on decades-old immigration.
9648 This distinction is important. Communities like Italian, Polish and German-Canadians have different demographics. They have many more people in their sunset years. But their interest in programming in their own language is just as great, if not greater. As people age, they often revert to their first language.
9649 Since its inception in 1982, and for the next 15 years, I was the secretary-treasurer and a director of Moll Berczy Haus, a senior citizen home for German-speaking seniors. There I observed first-hand how our seniors reverted to their mother tongue as the simplest form of communication and as a means of regaining their sense of cultural identity and belonging.
9650 The desire of our German-speaking seniors underscores a broader need for a one-stop multilingual radio program for the many Catholic cultures in the GTA.
9651 Permit me to reiterate that Father Marian Gil has demonstrated the necessary ability to program in a way that reflects the different needs, interests and concerns of these diverse Catholic communities.
9652 May I conclude with a comment about the central issue before you at this hearing: frequency assignments.
9653 As I understand your agenda, you are hearing from a number of applicants offering South Asian programming, yet you only have one multilingual Catholic applicant which has applied for 101.3. This is the only FM frequency that can reach the two million Catholics of many languages and cultures located in significant numbers throughout the GTA.
9654 I hope you will be able to find a compromise, such as giving two or three licences for lower powered frequencies to the other applicants. By allocating 101.3 to Radio Plus Toronto, you will afford the station the greater coverage necessary to serve its larger, wider and more diverse community of listeners.
9655 Thank you for your time and for your consideration.
9656 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Kromer, for coming to put your position on the record. It is clear and will be added to your written intervention. Again, thank you.
9657 MR. KROMER: Thank you.
9658 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
9659 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9660 We will now hear from the Association of Women of India in Canada.
9661 MR. LEBEL: Not seeing anybody get up, that intervention will remain on the record as non-appearing.
9662 We will hear from Sheetal Bedi.
9663 THE CHAIRPERSON: Go ahead, please.
9664 MS BEDI: Good afternoon, Madam Chair and Commissioners.
9665 First of all, thank you for affording me this opportunity to present my views and rationale on why Infinity Broadcasting should be licensed for the 101.3 FM frequency to serve 14 distinct ethnic communities and, in particular, the South Asian community.
9666 Before I do that, however, I would like to take a minute and give you some background on myself. I have over 25 years of experience in the Ontario Public Service. Currently, I manage the Information and Privacy Program for the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. I migrated to Canada from Kenya, East Africa, with my parents some 29 years ago at the age of 19. Now I have just divulged my age.
9667 The reason for that was primarily because our family felt that Canada's multicultural mosaic would embrace our distinctiveness will allowing us to learn about and grow amidst other cultural entities.
9668 Over the past three decades I have worked extensively with different community groups, developing programs and services for the youth and community at large. I have served as a Director for over five years on the Board of Arya Samaj Markham, which is a Vedic Cultural Centre. Of particular pride is our annual Youth Scholarship Program, which recognizes the achievements of high school students irrespective of their origin or religious background. Between five to eight scholarships are awarded annually by raising funds through corporate as well as private sector donors.
9669 As someone who is closely linked with the needs of the South Asian community, I would like to express my strong support for Infinity Broadcasting's, application. I believe Infinity will establish itself as a role model for ethnic broadcasting in Toronto and across Canada.
9670 New blood in this radio market is badly needed. We urge the CRTC to give new and enthusiastic players a chance to make the much awaited difference in Toronto's ethnic broadcasting sector. In an era where concentration of ownership seems to be the order of the day, licensing Infinity will add significant new elements of diversity, including diversity of ownership. Infinity's principals have devoted 22 years of their lives to enhancing ethnic broadcasting in Canada and, therefore, deserve to be elevated to their rightful place in the ownership table.
9671 What the South Asian community deserves cannot be expected from the American station WTOR. It is sad that there is no other choice for South Asian listeners during the daytime in the GTA and they have to settle for pure quality programming resulting from airtime being sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
9672 It is even more tragic to see the revenues from advertisements for Canadian-run businesses flow out of Canada to south of the border.
9673 Infinity has established a track record of serving our community well. The South Asian community has respect and confidence in Neeti an Renu Ray as being the ones who can meet the challenge of serving the diverse South Asian community of more than 500,000 people. Licensing Infinity will bring the some sense of pride and dignity for the South Asian community that Fairchild 1430 AM has brought to the Chinese community and CHIN AM and FM have brought to the Italian community.
9674 The broadcaster serving the Chinese community is of Chinese descent and the station operator serving the Italian community is of Italian descent. It is only right and fitting, therefore, that the station that serves the South Asian community should be owned and operated by individuals of South Asian descent.
9675 I would like to point out that the South Asian community of Greater Toronto has, over the past two decades, established itself as an affluent, highly educated and one of the most progressive communities.
9676 We also envisage a strengthening of cross-cultural understanding as communications become more timely, appropriate and sophisticated through this medium. There can be little doubt that addressing the community, both newcomers and long-standing residents, in their heritage language goes a long way in helping community development, while encouraging cross-cultural cohesion and understanding with the mainstream.
9677 As you can appreciate, there is a dire need for service to the ethnic minorities. It is not mere entertainment that an ethnic radio would provide in a region where there are only six ethnic compared to the 55 English-language radio stations that are present in southern Ontario.
9678 For this reason, CRTC's decision should be reflective of the needs, interests and aspirations of the ethnic minorities who now comprise more than half of Toronto's population. As mentioned earlier, there are over 500,000 South Asians in the GTA alone. Infinity Broadcasting will excel in meeting the needs of the South Asian community. They have a proven track record in the GTA and have the support of thousands who have written to the CRTC.
9679 The urgent need for quality radio programs for our community is apparent from the mass exodus of South Asian listeners and advertisers to the station across the border, WTOR 770, since Infinity's Radio India went off the air. We are not at all surprised by the Pollara research quoted in Infinity's application that more people tune in to the American station now than they do local Canadian stations for South Asian programs.
9680 In fact, we note that the Pollara report also finds less interest among respondents in radio in general. Perhaps there is little available in the GTA that arouses their interest as Radio India did.
9681 Numerous radio stations have become licensed in Toronto in the last couple of decades. We have also seen the changing face of this great city during this time. Torontonians of all ethnic backgrounds are moving into positions of responsibility and decision-making that used to be the domain of the then majority "mainstream" Canadians.
9682 As times changed and the majority became the minority, a graceful transition across all sectors of Toronto life has been taking place. Minorities, visible or invisible, have been soldiering alongside the rest of the so-called "mainstream" population to preserve the unique culture -- or multicultural, if you will -- and build a bright, strong and harmonious future for this world-class city. Ideally, we would expect every sector of the new Toronto to reflect the changing face of the city.
9683 The radio sector, while reflecting some communities well, still needs to property reflect the South Asian community. We urge the Commission to encourage new entrants to take up positions in the broadcast industry to meet the requirements of the minority group that may be surfing the dial for programming in their languages. A new entrant with the background that provides best insight into the needs and aspirations of the community would be best suited for this position.
9684 Infinity Broadcasting has emerged from such a background with many years of providing suitable programming to the South Asian community and high approval ratings from its listeners. The Infinity team is well positioned to take up the responsibility of conducting an ethnic radio station in Toronto.
9685 As a resident of a large and diverse city as Toronto, I feel that radio programming, as the one being proposed by Infinity Broadcasting, would be a powerful tool in representing this diversity to its audience. I request the CRTC, therefore, to grant Neeti and Renu Ray of Infinity Broadcasting a licence to operate the much-needed radio station in Toronto on 101.3 FM frequency.
9686 Thank you.
9687 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Bedi, for your presentation, which is clear and will be part of the record along with your written intervention.
9688 MS BEDI: Thank you.
9689 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you again.
9690 Mr. Secretary, please.
9691 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9692 We will now hear from the Consulate of the Slovak Republic.
9693 MR. LEBEL: Correction, Madam Chairman. We will now hear from the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce. Apparently the Consulate for the Slovak Republic is late.
9694 Good afternoon, Madam Chair and Commissioners. My name is Kris Krishnan. I represent the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce. It is an organization with 1,000 members in the Cities of Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.
9695 The Chamber's mission is to be the premier privately funded Indo-Canadian business organization in Canada. We aim to promote business, professional and general well-being of Indo-Canadians. We strive to create positive awareness of the high degree of contribution made by the Indo-Canadian business and professional community in Canada. We are also involved in facilitating bilateral trade between Canada, India and the Indian Diaspora throughout the world.
9696 The Chamber of Commerce, as I mentioned, now operates out of three branches and we are working on plans to expand to western Canada, including Vancouver and Edmonton as well.
9697 Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce has taken a keen interest in the application of Infinity Broadcasting, since their first application in the year 2000 was also supported by the ICCC.
9698 We are of the position that licensing Infinity is one of the key elements necessary to take the South Asian community to the next era.
9699 I say "the next era" because the South Asian community is not yet one of the communities privileged to have a radio station that focuses on the needs and aspirations of this community, a radio station that would reflect the community in a very positive light.
9700 I say "the next era" because the South Asian community still has not reached the much deserved level of the pride of ownership of a radio of its own. Our friends in the Italian, Chinese and Portuguese communities have enjoyed the privilege and pride and in this regard are at a level that the South Asian Community is stilling to reach.
9701 The South Asian community is looking for a new station that would devote a major programming block to this community. The South Asian community would like such a station to be controlled by one who is from this community. This expectation is very natural, logical and very deserving.
9702 Infinity Broadcasting and Neeti Ray have established a reputation for providing the highest standard of programming, similar to the ones that are broadcast in stations in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Such an analogy has perhaps not been put forward in relation to a South Asian radio program in Canada.
9703 The Chamber would like to provide its perspective of the economic viability of Infinity's proposed station and the economic powerhouse that the South Asian community is today that can fully support the new radio station.
9704 Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce has an in-depth knowledge -- having been around for 25 years -- of the South Asian market and would offer three different approaches to back our position that new advertising dollars are sufficiently available within the South Asian community to make a new ethnic radio station viable.
9705 In the first approach, we studied the tremendous growth within the community in the last four years. Approximately 1,500 new businesses have emerged within the community after Infinity's Radio India program went off the air on CKTB radio in 1998. These estimates by the Indo-Canadian Chamber of Commerce are based on the number of new businesses listed in the Tamil and the Indo-Pakistani business directories between 1998 and today.
9706 The growth in the number of South Asian businesses is consistent with the growth in the population of the South Asian community that has taken place over the last four years, as per attached information sheet relating to the population growth. The total population of the South Asian community, as Sheetal has mentioned earlier on, has passed the 550,000 mark in the year 2002 and will reach probably 650,000 by the year 2004, looking at the projections of the number of new immigrants from the South Asian community.
9707 The tremendous growth that has occurred within the South Asian community between 1998 and 2002 and will occur by the year 2004 is expected to infuse an amount of spending dollars into the economy that will sufficiently be large enough to support a major portion of the new station's projected revenue stream.
9708 The second approach we took was based on the Chamber's study of the data from Bay Consulting Group, a fairly reputable consulting group, the 1996 Census data and the Citizenship and Immigration Canada data as contained in CRTC Report on Population figures.
9709 Per capita retail spending in 2002 in the GTA, according to Bay Consulting Group report, page 19, is estimated to be $9,400.
9710 The population of the South Asian community is estimated by the Chamber to be 550,000 in 2002 based on the 1996 census, the Citizenship and Immigration figures, and the figures of the new arrivals between 1998, 1999 and 2000, as provided in the CRTC report on population figures, plus estimates for 1997, 2001 and 2002.
9711 With a population of 550,000 in 2002, the per capita retail spending in Toronto of $9,400 in a year works out to $5.17 billion as reported by the Bay Consulting Group.
9712 The Indo-Canada Chamber estimates that the portion of the $5.17 billion retail spending that will be classified as ethnic retail spending to the South Asian businesses located in the GTA will be 20 per cent of that amount, or $1.03 billion while the percentage of general retail spending without the South Asian community is 80 per cent of the $5.17 or 4.14 billion.
9713 It seems that the Bay Consulting Group report that the total revenue generated by all commercial radio stations in the Toronto centre market is approximately 0.4 per cent of the total sales are approximately $190 million in the year 2002.
9714 At that rate, with a population of 550,000 in 2002 there will be more than $20 million available to the South Asian community for overall radio advertising, or 0.4 per cent of the $5.17 billion of the total South Asian retail spending.
9715 Since we know that ethnic radio spending is lower in dollar terms because of ethnic stations' lower than national average spot rate, an estimated only 20 per cent of the total radio dollars latent within the South Asian community would mean $4 million available for radio advertising in the community's ethnic programs.
9716 It is approximately the 0.4 per cent amount of the total ethnic retail spending that the South Asian community, as estimated by the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce.
9717 Given the amount of advertising dollars currently going to the South Asian radio advertising, estimated between $2.5 to $3 million by the Bay Consulting Group, sufficient amounts of radio advertising dollars seem to be untapped and would likely form a significant portion of the new dollars flowing into the new Infinity FM radio.
9718 An estimated $1 to $1.5 million are available as new dollars for radio advertising in the South Asian community within the GTA.
9719 It is therefore our position that Toronto is ready to support a new ethnic radio station without cannibalizing the revenues of other radio stations in the GTA.
9720 The Chamber also looked at a third perspective, that of repatriating revenues that are lost to the U.S. station WTOR. A quick check with their Toronto office reveals that no airtime is currently available during weekdays.
9721 The charges per hour is $350 during weekdays and $300 during weekends, quoted by WTOR in Canadian dollars, while the amount of radio dollars going to the United States is estimated to be between $1 and $1.5 million, the amount of advertising dollars generate by the brokers of these programs based in Toronto would be between $1.5 and $2 million.
9722 The estimated $1.5 to $2 million is being spent by the South asian businesses to support an American station and its brokers in Toronto. This level of spending is significant and since no part of this fund is available to Canadian radio stations, we would consider that the amount be readily available for Infinity to target.
9723 Infinity has a strong history of attracting advertising dollars to its programs. This is primarily because of the very high standard of programming that Infinity is capable of broadcasting, resulting in a high level of listernership for their programs and listener satisfaction.
9724 It is also our view that the decision to grant the 101.3 FM licence to Infinity Broadcasting Inc. will be entirely justifiable. Infinity's application is most promising in its plans to meet the objectives of the Broadcasting Act. Various communities have articulated their confidence in Infinity's proposal.
9725 As we wrote to you earlier, Madam, Infinity has walked the streets and knocked at doors and stopped the pedestrians and spoke to them about the great expectations they have with Infinity's proposed radio station.
9726 The Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce humbly urges the Commission to grant the FM 101.3 frequency to Infinity Broadcasting Inc.
9727 Thank you very much.
9728 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Krishnan.
9729 Commissioner Cardozo.
9730 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you, Mr. Krishnan. Just one question on the WTOR matter. I note that you say that an estimated $1.5 to $2 million is going to that station.
9731 Do you have a sense from the organization's point of view as to whether part of that can be repatriated or how much of that could be repatriated by a Toronto station and would some of that still carry on going to WTOR even if there was a station here?
9732 MR. KRISHNAN: From talking to some of our members, Mr. Commissioner, I know that a lot of them are forced to listen to WTOR due to a lack of an alternate station during the day, driving across GTA, et cetera.
9733 For sure I know that the bulk of the community does listen to the WTOR. Out of the $1.5 million that we estimate currently going across to the other side of the border, I would say once Neeti and Infinity get back onto the air the entire amounts should be available back to Infinity because he does carry that kind of support and that kind of confidence within the community. I don't see a single advertiser going back to WTOR.
9734 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: If WTOR carries on and you have a South Asian-based station here, wouldn't some listeners still carry on listening to the American station?
9735 MR. KRISHNAN: I doubt it very much because I think one of the precincts of Neeti Ray's application is the fact that he is going to provide a lot of local coverage. He is going to cover a lot of the community events. He is going to cover a lot of the local news which the community is very hungry to hear, which I don't think WTOR is capable of doing.
9736 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you.
9737 MR. KRISHNAN: Thank you very much.
9738 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9739 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Krishnan for your presentation.
9740 MR. KRISHNAN: Thank you, Madam.
9741 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
9742 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9743 We will now hear from the North York Sikh Temple.
9744 MR. MANN: Madam Chair and Commissioners, good afternoon.
9745 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.
9746 MR. MANN: My name is Gurdev Singh Mann and I am the President of the North York Sikh Temple.
9747 North York Sikh Temple has membership in the thousands, especially catering to the Sikh community of North York, Etobicoke, Woodbridge and the adjoining areas.
9748 We support Infinity Broadcasting's application for a number of reasons. First of all, the principals of Infinity Broadcasting are perhaps the best known South Asian radio broadcasters in the Greater Toronto Area. They provided the kind and quality of programs in the '90s that until today no station has been able to match.
9749 It is reasonably projected that if they return to the Toronto radio scene on FM 101.3, the listeners would return to them. The listeners are hungry for the programs Infinity used to broadcast on CKTB radio during the '90s. The variety of programming they used to broadcast the interviews, talk shows, local news, international news, popular music, and programs relating to seniors, youth and women are missing on the radio dial.
9750 Sixty-one hours a week of radio programs were lost overnight by the South Asian community when CKTB decided to drop ethnic programs for their station. I was personally impacted by the fact that the radio programs we relied on for information and entertainment, a radio program that had become our companion, was no more. The void that the loss of Radio India created has not been filled yet.
9751 We now believe that the return of Infinity is the only way that the void can be filled. We are fully aware of the role that WTOR is playing in order to fill that gap. The difference is that WTOR has poor quality programming. I would like to add to this something about WTOR. I listen myself and the reception is very poor, yet the people still are really very hungry to listen to that because there is nothing else. WTOR has poor quality programs with poorly trained announcers. They are doing well because there is no Canadian alternative.
9752 During the morning and daytime, WTOR is the only source of Hindustani programs. Almost 70 per cent of South Asians understand Hindustani. So if you are in the car or at home, and are looking for a South Asian program WTOR is available on 770 AM dial. No local station broadcasts during that time, except some Punjabi programs. Therefore most people would listen to WTOR.
9753 It is for that very reason that such a large number of businesses advertise on WTOR. It is the only station that the general South Asian population would tune to, even if the programs are not of very high quality. There is no real competition. I am a businessman and I own a large furniture store, Canada Furniture Resale, located at 2525 Dixie Road in Mississauga, occupying approximately 22,000 square feet. We also advertise on WTOR. The rates are lower than what other stations charge, and since they do have many people listening, the response has been quite reasonable.
9754 The last time we advertised on WTOR, we paid only $1,050 per month for a total of 100 spots each month on the program that airs between 10:00 a.m. and 12 noon. It comes to $10.50 per spot. That's the way they work -- a flat monthly charge of $1,050 for a total of 100 spots, or another package of $350 for a total of 30 spots during the month. The morning drive program from 7:00 until 9:00 is more expensive, about $500 per month for a total of 30 spots during the month. But this is still cheaper than the Canadian stations that charge $15 to $25 per spot.
9755 What I am trying to suggest is that as long as there is no head-on competition for WTOR, they will continue to do very well in the Greater Toronto Area. The reason I have advertised on WTOR and will have no choice but to do that in the future is because I am targeting the general South Asian population, not just the Punjabi population. WTOR's Hindustani language programs provide that audience to me in spite of being substandard programs.
9756 If Infinity Broadcasting is given the licence, and they start morning and day programs in Hindustani, the listeners would have no reason to remain tuned to WTOR.
9757 Infinity is proposing program timings to go head to head with WTOR. I have a strong feeling that Infinity will give WTOR a run for their money. The audience is bound to switch to Infinity Radio. Then advertisers like myself will see no point in continuing the advertisements on WTOR as no one will be listening. It will be a waste of money to advertise on WTOR. This projection is reasonable in my opinion as I know the capability of Neeti and Renu to provide the best possible program on the radio.
9758 The audience is waiting for Infinity to come back on air so that they do not have to put up with substandard programs anymore. The advertisers are waiting for Infinity so that they can have the same response from advertisements as they used to have on Radio India, perhaps a greater response as the new programs will be during prime time.
9759 It is also important to keep in mind that licensing Infinity gives the South Asian community a greater sense of pride. It will give the South asian community a voice that we currently do not have. Any other applicant would have to subcontract the South Asian programs to a South Asian producer.
9760 The South Asian community needs a radio voice. We need to portray our community in the right light. We need to report incidents that other media does not cover. There have been incidents like police brutality and racism with respect to South Asians that the media did not cover.
9761 The way Infinity would cover such news will be balanced and provide both sides of the story. Infinity has a track record of presenting balanced news and views.
9762 WTOR has no local news and no local musical content. It does not reflect our community as we are today. Infinity will resume its task of reflecting our community again, if they are licensed. They have done it before. With their own radio station, it is but natural that they will do even better, as they can do it during prime time, and they will have more resources to produce very high quality programs.
9763 I would like to further point out that Infinity's capabilities must be exploited. It will be good for the South Asian community and the other 13 communities that form part of Infinity's proposal. It will be good for the Canadian broadcasting system, as what you would be introducing in the system is a polished ethnic broadcasting team whose past record speaks for itself.
9764 On behalf of the South Asian community and particularly the Sikh community, I wish to humbly ask the Commission to let Infinity bring back the lost joy of radio listening in the GTA.
9765 There is one more comment I would like to make.
9766 As I mentioned in the statement, there have been a number of cases around the city not reported by the media because we don't have legally in the media proper accreditation.
9767 If Infinity gets the licence, we believe very strongly that those problems and issues which belong especially to the South Asian issues, or perhaps the visible minority, will certainly be brought out to the public.
9768 Thank you.
9769 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Mann.
9770 Commissioner Noël.
9771 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Just one question, Mr. Mann.
9772 You mentioned that WTOR is selling spots at very low prices. Do you think that if Infinity is licensed they will have to drop prices as opposed to the Toronto stations to be able to get the advertising?
9773 You mentioned that on the Canadian side stations, spots are $15 to $25 as opposed to about $10 for spots in Youngstown, New York.
9774 MR. MANN: That's right.
9775 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Is it your feeling that in order to repatriate those dollars, the cost will have to be dropped?
9776 MR. MANN: Perhaps the advertised spots will have to be dropped. Another issue is that the reception of WTOR is not very good, so perhaps we are already missing the business because of that. Not everybody wants to listen to it. There is so much disturbance when we listen to the radio.
9777 Even if they charge more and I am a businessman and I get more response, then I don't mind paying more, as long as I get more dollars out of that.
9778 COMMISSIONER NOËL: So it would not be necessarily that the cost would come down in Toronto. It is just because the listening would be better.
9779 MR. MANN: That's right.
9780 COMMISSIONER NOËL: And you would agree to pay more.
9781 MR. MANN: I would.
9782 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Thank you.
9783 THE CHAIRPERSON: I guess WTOR is the station that has turned down -- it is a daytime station, I understand.
9784 Mr. Mann, in your presentation at page 2, you say that during the morning and daytime WTOR is the only source of Hindustani programs.
9785 Are you not familiar with CJMR's program schedule, which has Hindi programming between 11:00 and 1:00 p.m. and then between 1:00 and 5:00 programming in Hindi and Punjabi?
9786 MR. MANN: Yes, I am very well aware of that there are some programs. But when I say the continuation is only WTOR, other stations don't have continuation and they might get one at 10 o'clock, another one at 12 o'clock or 3 o'clock. Not very many people listen to those.
9787 THE CHAIRPERSON: What do you mean by "continuation"? We have here a two-hour block of Hindi programming and then a further four-hour block of a mixture of Hindi and Punjabi.
9788 MR. MANN: Yes, Hindi and Punjabi, a mixture. On WTOR, everything is there.
9789 THE CHAIRPERSON: Considering your view of the substandard quality of WTOR, over and above the fact that it is American, why are you not considering this other programming by CJMR to be worthy of mention as an alternative programming at that time?
9790 MR. MANN: I would like to mention that there is another program on 88.9, which is I think CRIV. That program comes on at 11:00 to 12:00 every day. The reception is local and it is very good, and that program is quite popular in Punjabi particularly. It is only for the Punjabi.
9791 When that program is on, my own thinking is that I would say that 99 per cent Punjabi don't listen to any other program at that time. So certainly there are some programs like that. If there is a break, they switch to that one.
9792 The main question is the people want to listen to the quality programs and also that we are all business people and certainly we will see where more dollars are.
9793 THE CHAIRPERSON: So your comment on page 2 that WTOR is the only source of Hindustani programming during morning and daytime should be modified to provide it in a continuing manner.
9794 MR. MANN: Yes.
9795 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Mann.
9796 MR. MANN: Thank you.
9797 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary.
9798 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9799 We will now hear from the Philippine Independence Day Council.
9800 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.
9801 MR. SAAVEDRA: Good afternoon, Madam Chair, Commissioners and staff.
9802 My name is Jose Saavedra, and I am the current President of the Philippine Independence Day Council, PIDC. On behalf of PIDC, I would like to intervene in favour of Infinity Broadcasting Inc. and their proposal to establish an ethnic radio station on 101.3 FM.
9803 PIDC is a Toronto-based non-profit umbrella organization composed of Filipino-Canadian provincial, regional, professional, cultural and social organizations. PIDC is mainly tasked with the celebration of the Philippine independence day with activities such as the gala, picnic and flag-raising.
9804 It is also responsible for the annual Mabohi(ph.) Festival held at the Harbour Front Centre, which draws an average of over 35,000 visitors.
9805 Its purpose is to promote Filipino tradition, heritage and culture, as well as foster unity and better understanding of the different cultures in Canada.
9806 Our vision is to see a truly united Filipino-Canadian community that can command the respect and interest of mainstream institutions, corporate sponsors and even political parties as we, the Filipinos, celebrate its independence day, our culture, our arts and heritage.
9807 You may recall, Madam Chair, that in my intervention letter, dated 21 August 2002, I have provided a detailed overview of the Filipino life in the Greater Toronto Area. In order to understand the importance of a daily radio program for this community, I thought it important to understand the uniqueness of the Filipino life in the GTA.
9808 I have tried to draw a picture of our community and the way we live in that intervention. I will therefore not repeat the details here.
9809 But it is important that I re-emphasize the very important role that radio plays in our lives. If you turn the radio on, there are dozens of radio stations available on the radio dial any time of the day or night. Most of the information and news are received first on the radio.
9810 Let's take the mainstream population as an example, or even the larger, well established ethnic communities. There is an abundance of radio programs available that they can tune to and find whatever information or entertainment they want. The Filipino community of well over 125,000 -- and this was 1996, so probably nearing 200,000 by now -- and many other ethnic communities do not have that luxury.
9811 We are not looking for all day and all night radio service, because we know there is lack of enough frequencies and that so many ethnic communities need radio service.
9812 What we have been looking for is a radio station that would commit itself to providing high quality programs in our language. The Filipino community loves to hear the sounds of our favourite music. We need to have daily news. But most of all, what we badly need is a radio program that would reflect our local community.
9813 We are in need of regular programs that would tell us about what is happening in the Filipino community of the GTA. This is not something that we expect to find in the Toronto Star or on 680 News -- except probably when a disaster takes place.
9814 We need to connect with the rest of the Filipino community in the GTA and interact through the mass media like the radio.
9815 I can give a number of reasons why we decided to support Infinity Broadcasting.
9816 First, in order to formulate the Filipino programs, they wish to involve our community through their Advisory Council and also to get the input of our community. This will ensure that our community receives what we are looking for.
9817 Second, Infinity has proposed an extensive plan to broadcast local programs -- or, as they put it, "locally relevant programming which is community driven".
9818 Finally, Infinity has allocated Filipino programs on an equitable basis. Infinity has proposed two hours of Filipino programs on a daily basis, Monday to Friday. This will be a boon to our community. For that period each weekday, the majority of Filipinos in the GTA will be able to come together and share their thoughts, feelings and cultural values and engage in various talks and discussions. This will be the beginning of a new age for the Filipinos of the GTA.
9819 The Filipino society is very community oriented. There are many voluntary associations organized in the GTA, where there is a large concentration of Filipinos. The objectives of these associations may vary, but they share a common interest in preserving the Filipino cultural heritage and identity and establish a link between the community and the larger Canadian society.
9820 Some organizations are formed on the basis of regional, provincial or hometown affinity. The presence of a program for our community will provide the much needed platform to share in and rejoice all that we do and enhance the pride of being Canadians of Filipino origin.
9821 Needless to mention, the Filipino community, like any other, also has its own share of social challenges. The access to a daily radio program would provide individuals and families looking for an outlet, an expression and assistance, with a medium that they can turn to each day. Open line shows, interviews, information sessions, besides of course an abundance of musical entertainment, would nothing but enhance greatly the colourful community that we are.
9822 All these objectives can be achieved if the station's motto is to establish a station that will be "community driven", as Infinity puts it.
9823 As I wrote in my earlier letter, radio is a means of sharing a medium for interaction -- and there is so much to share, so much to reminisce, so much to preserve and build -- and all this requires that sharing of stories and imparting of the belief system on which the Filipino culture is based.
9824 It should be clear that the Filipinos are seeking to interact with each other and share the unique characteristics of their life in Canada. We utilize every occasion to impart and reinforce what means the most to Filipinos: the interaction through various mediums, like get-togethers, Filipino newspapers in Toronto, word of mouth and occasionally information received through a couple of hours of weekend radio programs.
9825 The reason for our strong support for Infinity's proposal is its commitment to provide locally produced community programs that would give us the opportunity to communicate with fellow Filipinos. We are pleased to note that the programming would be formulated keeping in view the aspirations and lifestyles of the Filipino community. The consultations that Infinity has engaged itself in with various language groups before and during this application process is indicative of their intentions to make the station truly a reflection of the Filipino people of Greater Toronto.
9826 A new player like Infinity is needed to truly fulfil our needs.
9827 Therefore, on behalf of the Filipino community of the GTA, I urge the CRTC to please grant Infinity Broadcasting the licence for the FM radio station on 101.3 FM.
9828 Thank you for this opportunity.
9829 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Saavedra, for your presentation. It will be added to the record.
9830 MR. SAAVEDRA: Thank you very much.
9831 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary.
9832 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chairman.
9833 We will now hear from Mr. Abdul Hai Patel.
9834 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, Mr. Patel. Proceed when you are ready.
9835 MR. PATEL: My name is Abdul Hai Patel. I also a Commissioner, but of the Ontario Human Rights Commission. I preempted the other two persons because I have to get back to a meeting this afternoon.
9836 I also wear some other hats in the community. I an coordinator of the Islamic Council of Imams-Canada, a Muslim Chaplain at the University of Toronto and Whitby Mental Health Centre. I am also Member of South and West Asian Advisory Committee of Toronto Police Services, among a number of other hats I wear.
9837 I appear today before you to support Infinity Broadcasting in its application for an ethnic radio station on 101.3 FM frequency. I have intervened, Commissioners, in favour of Infinity Broadcasting in their previous application also and provided my thoughts on the need for additional ethnic radio service in the GTA in response to a call for comments in the year 2000.
9838 Almost any of the ethnic radio stations are capable of providing some level of services to the South Asian community, and they have been. But we have also seen that the level of programming services that the community is looking for has not, and perhaps cannot be achieved through associate producers or independent producers who rent time on stations. That is what we have in place right now on all six ethnic radio stations in Toronto.
9839 If the new radio station is to have a preponderance of South Asian programming, then please let me emphasize the importance that this community places on South Asian ownership.
9840 First, we know from the experience of listening to many radio stations that subcontracting South Asian programming has never produced services that adequately met the requirements of the South Asian community. Otherwise, we would not be before you today and this call for a new ethnic application would not have taken place.
9841 Madam Chairman, may I submit that my community, the South Asian community, no longer can be adequately served by subcontracted programmers. We need a team of dedicated South Asian broadcasters who will control the radio station and direct the focus and preoccupation of the station to respond to the wishes of South Asian listeners.
9842 A successful ethnic radio station, unlike an English mainstream radio station, has to reflect its cultural belonging. Here I am talking about cultural belonging to the airwaves. We don't have an identity like one of the previous presenters mentioned, a South Asian population of about 650,000, and we don't have a station of our own so I can very well say that there is no cultural belonging or identity to the airwaves.
9843 We know that an ethnic radio station has to provide services to a number of cultural groups, since there is scarcity of frequencies. But we also know that an ethnic radio station has to have a preponderance of catering to a major language group that would provide the financial muscle.
9844 There are radio stations catering primarily to the Italian community and are driven mainly by Italian business community and are owned by one from within the Italian community.
9845 The radio station focusing on the Chinese community is driven by the Chinese business community of the GTA. The Chinese owner of the radio station best knows the Chinese community and understands the intrinsic nature and needs of the community.
9846 This is similar to the Italian or Portuguese-focused station owners having an insight into their respective communities and responding to their requirements. Had each of those stations not been controlled by the one who comes from that particular community, the level of programming satisfaction among the members of the respective communities would not be achieved to the level that these stations have been able to.
9847 The South Asian community has been in waiting since Infinity first applied in 1999-2000 for all ethnic radio station. The reason why the communities discontentment was not expressed until recent years is that until then Infinity Broadcasting was fulfilling the needs of the South Asian population, with 60 hours per week of world-class radio service.
9848 Madam Chairman, may I add that I have been out of India for 40 years, 33 years in Canada, and since I left India I have never heard a quality of radio program in this country as the Infinity Broadcasting that was on CKTB 610 Radio until it was cancelled. Sadly, the programming was dropped by the new owners of the CKTB 610 Radio St. Catharines in mid-1998. We have had a vacuum ever since them of the quality programming.
9849 I believe the appetite for better quality and quantity of programs within the South Asian community cannot be satisfied with anything less than the quality of programs that Infinity has provided the community for many years. Infinity and its principals, Neeti and Renu Ray, have the sanction of the South Asian community to run the radio station that will fulfil their needs.
9850 The South Asian community is a proud community and will support its own institutions. The vacuum that I mentioned earlier is not just about the music program as such, but we don't have proper South Asian educational programs on the airwaves. Many social problems that we have in the South Asian community can be addressed through the airwaves, for which Renu Ray, who is a qualified social workers herself, will be in control of this kind of program, coordinating the program, but with the expertise within the South Asian community who are culturally and linguistically equipped to address many of the issues in this area.
9851 With a population of 650,000, and other communities that also are a part of this program that will be listening, this will be an ideal opportunity for you to consider Infinity as the prime choice for this, as I will be emphasizing again in the remaining part of my presentation.
9852 The South Asian community will have a radio station that is predominantly South Asian, will be a great source of pride and they will do everything to make it successful. We are looking at the young generation as well as the old generation, people of all different ages of South Asian community who will be the audience, that this will reinforce their identify.
9853 Approval of Infinity's radio station will enhance our self-esteem as a community that will finally have an identity on the radio dial. For this, the South Asian community has chosen Neeti and Renu Ray, who are responsible, professional broadcasters carrying a great deal of credibility.
9854 On this note, I would also like to point out that, as Infinity lost its time block on CKTB radio another U.S. station, WTOR, was as if waiting to grab sponsors and listeners to fill the Infinity void, which has already been mentioned by the previous presenters.
9855 Today WTOR as tried very hard in recent years to take the place of Infinity. I am not surprised at all that a report by Pollara illustrates the intrusion of WTOR as a serious threat to Canadian ethnic broadcasting.
9856 The truth is also that the loyalty of Infinity listeners and sponsors has not dwindled at all. Infinity has a ready audience and a more than willing group of sponsors, supporters who are currently advertising on WTOR 770. Licensing Infinity will result in smooth transition of audiences an advertisers from the United States to our home country.
9857 Being deeply involved in GTA's Muslim community, which is 350,000 strong in the GTA -- half of Canada's Muslim community lives in the GTA area, and with myself as a leader in the community, and others, it will be very easy to attract the audience and cater to the needs of the community which currently there is a big vacuum.
9858 I am also very pleased to note that a significant amount of programming on Infinity's proposed radio station will be directed to the Muslim community. The Pakistani, Arab and Somali communities will have a combined total of 15 hours of dedicated programming. The Arabic language programming will be of immense benefit to Torontonians who hail from 22 Arab countries, Arabic being the lingua franca of all Arab countries.
9859 Similarly, the Hindustani language programs with seven hours of programming each weekday will serve the Pakistani community equally as the Indian community -- and the Bangladeshi as well, I forgot to mention. They also speak Hindustani Urdu language. Since Hindustani is commonly spoken and understood in both countries, Hindustani is the lingua franca of South Asia and more than major 20 major language groups are brought together through the Hindustani language programs.
9860 For all these reasons, I request the Commission to kindly approve the Infinity Broadcasting application so that the South Asian community will finally have a radio station it can call its own.
9861 Thank you very much.
9862 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Patel.
9863 Mr. Patel, you addressed your belief that adequate service is unlikely to be provided by subcontracted programmers or producers. However, you described the Radio India service, the 60 hours, as world-class radio service. I suspect it was provided by a subcontracted producer.
9864 MR. PATEL: Infinity was the main one. Neeti and Renu Ray were the main producers. They had to buy the time initially, two hours only, that was available.
9865 Again, the time was not enough to allow all programming that was needed, but whatever program they provided was no doubt world-class. That has been borne out by many listeners who can attest to that fact.
9866 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are not denying the possibility that a producer can provide world-class programming to a particular community on someone else's station?
9867 MR. PATEL: They can, but the question is the time that is sold. When it is sold to someone, they have a vested interest in what kind of programming that person or that producer is producing.
9868 When we are looking as a community-oriented group that focuses on the needs of the community rather than on business -- for example, myself listening to WTOR, or anyone for that matter, since 1969 I have been listening to subcontracted programs from a half hour to one hour on some of the radio stations -- which I don't need to mention at this time.
9869 You are aware of some of the programming coming on Hindi language and Hindustani language. It is nothing but songs and music that is, again, geared towards commercials that they can make more money out of it, it is more commercial-oriented than a community-oriented programming station.
9870 We are looking here from the Infinity perspective and from the community perspective which has drawn the support from a large section of South Asian community, as well as other Arabic, Filipino, Vietnamese community over here, that will focus on the needs of the community rather than on one producer with a particular agenda or a particular type of program that the person wants to project, which could be music or anything.
9871 But we haven't seen anything like it on the existing radio stations. As a social worker, having headed Community Development Council, 50 Council in the municipality of East York for a number of years, having worked with the police department on domestic violence and a number of racial incidents and so on, I find very little in anything on any of these radio programs that can tell me -- or one type of program that has given community a sense of identity or support from an educational or civic perspective.
9872 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Patel. Thank you for your presentation.
9873 MR. PATEL: Mr. Secretary, please.
9874 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9875 We will now hear from the Vietnamese Association of Toronto.
9876 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.
9877 MS LE: Good afternoon, Madam Chairman and Commissioners.
9878 My name is Quyen Le and I am Acting Executive Director of the Vietnamese Association Toronto.
9879 I am making this presentation on behalf of the Vietnamese Association in support of the Infinity Broadcasting application for an ethnic radio station in Toronto.
9880 Please allow me to tell you briefly about our background, what we do and who we are.
9881 The Vietnamese Association was founded in 1972 by a group of Vietnamese visa students. We were incorporated in 1979. Since then we are the only Vietnamese association in Toronto. We provide community services, social services, as well as immigration services to Vietnamese and people from all walks of life.
9882 The Vietnamese Association has supported Infinity's application for a number of reasons. First of all, we feel strongly that such a radio station is needed in Toronto. The number of ethnic radio stations in Toronto is far less in proportion to the ethnic population of the GTA. The population of the ethnic minorities exceed 50 per cent of the total population of the GTA. So we see a necessity to have another ethnic radio station in the GTA.
9883 Secondly, the Vietnamese community of the GTA now has grown considerably during the last decade. It is our estimation that there are 75,000 plus people of Vietnamese origin living in the GTA.
9884 With only two hours of Vietnamese program on the weekend on CHKT radio, we are searching the radio dial for programming during the rest of the week.
9885 Thirdly, the availability of regular weekday radio programs wold have more meaning to the Vietnamese community than to many well-established communities who have been here for many decades.
9886 Why? The Vietnamese community is still looking for ways to inform themselves of the activities that go on within the Vietnamese community of the GTA.
9887 As a community we are accessing information on a delayed action basis through the weekly Vietnamese newspapers in the GTA, or through the radio programs on the weekends.
9888 We feel that the objective of local community needs can only be achieved if the radio station is aware of those needs. This kind of awareness can only be received if the ethnic communities have a direct role in the programming decisions that the radio station makes.
9889 The Vietnamese Association is also delighted to support Infinity's application for a number of reasons. Mr. and Mrs. Ray have held meetings with our association for more than a year and their approach is inclusive. We were explained their program philosophy and of their model. They have played a keen interest in the needs of the Vietnamese community.
9890 This approach suits us as the different needs of our community will be addressed. Infinity Broadcasting also informed us that they would incorporate discussions and interviews that would be informative and educational. We are very pleased and excited about their plan to focus on local programming and matters that are important to the Vietnamese community.
9891 As Acting Executive Director of the Vietnamese Association, I am a member of the advisory council of Infinity's proposed radio station and will be involved in ongoing consultations with Infinity in a number of ways.
9892 Once Infinity is licensed we shall recommend talented individuals from the Vietnamese community who would then go through an audition process to be selected as producers of the Vietnamese radio program. These producers will receive training sponsored by Infinity so that we cold have high quality programming in our language.
9893 This membership on the advisory council is very important to us as it will give us the opportunity to participate in planning the type of programming best suited to the Vietnamese community.
9894 It will also enable us to monitor and provide feedback as to whether the true needs and interests of our community are indeed being reflected through the program. In our view this model is better than that of brokering time for in the latter the independent producers is not accountable.
9895 The Vietnamese people have a distinct culture. Our beliefs, customs, practices differ greatly from those of the mainstream. This presents a great deal of difficulty for our people, particularly for our seniors and our women. The isolation they feel can perhaps be lessened when they hear sounds familiar to them on the radio dial, thus bringing about a feeling of home.
9896 A radio for many may be a source of entertainment, but for us it is primarily a necessity to bridge the gap during the period of transition, to provide much needed information regarding the Canadian laws, regarding access to essential services, and to provide a platform of discussion for the youth and women.
9897 Due to language barriers of different cultures, generation gaps cause a lot of difficulties for parents and teenagers. It may appear simple on the surface, but a great deal of suffering takes place in the hearts and minds of parents as they are unable to relinquish their core values.
9898 We thus see the radio station as proposed by Infinity as being a great help in bridging these differences through their unique programming.
9899 The "Cross Cultural Vibes" program in English from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. each weekday as proposed by Infinity will address these issues among others, in collaboration with the 13 other ethnic groups. This particular program will also be of great help to us in bringing awareness of local issues, issues relevant to other ethnic groups and will promote greater participation of the Vietnamese people in mainstream issues.
9900 We see a great opportunity being provided by Infinity to develop, promote, and expose talented Vietnamese singers who in this multicultural milieu do not see the light of day. This will raise the self-esteem of those artists as well as being a source of pride for the Vietnamese community.
9901 For us it is extremely important to see the perpetuation of our culture and the preservation of our language and heritage. A radio program in the Vietnamese language will help us in this process, will give our youth an identity, knowledge of their roots, and give a sense of direction. We have great faith in Infinity's model and professionalism and trust in their collaborated efforts.
9902 The Vietnamese community is over 75,000 in Toronto, and the Vietnamese businesses have grown in thousands to serve the needs of this large population.
9903 There are four weekly newspapers at the present time, and if you take a look at their advertisements there are more than 200 in each newspaper. With such a large number of businesses, we are confident and able to support five hours of weekly programming as there is such a need for this kind of programming.
9904 We have grocery stores, restaurants, clothing retailers, travel agencies, and many more that serve the Vietnamese people and are looking for a medium like a good radio program to reach the Vietnamese people.
9905 So we see this as a great opportunity. We are thankful for being selected by Infinity to have programming in the Vietnamese language, and feel it will be a great historical day when they are licensed for 101.3 FM.
9906 We hope the CRTC will grant a licence to Infinity Broadcasting. Thank you for your consideration.
9907 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Ms Le, for your presentation. It will be added to your written intervention.
9908 We will now take a 15-minute break and I would ask any intervenors present in the hall to identify themselves to the Secretary during the break.
9909 Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 1520 / Suspension à 1520
--- Upon resuming at 1540 / Reprise à 1540
9910 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please. A l'ordre, s'il vous plaît.
9911 May I remind everybody that phones and beepers must be turned off when people are in this room.
9912 Mr. Secretary, please.
9913 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9914 I am told that no. 21, the Association of Women of India in Canada is now here and ready to proceed. So we will hear from them.
9915 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon. Proceed when you are ready.
9916 MS TAHILIANI: Good afternoon. My name is Madhu Tahiliani, and I represent the Association of Women of India in Canada as a member of the board of directors.
9917 Through this presentation today, AWIC hopes to provide the Commission with a clear picture of what the South Asian community will most benefit from, as far as radio services are concerned.
9918 AWIC is a government funded ethno-cultural organization. Through our experience in the last 25 years as an organization and the social service programs that we have carried out, we are very much aware of the social and cultural issues faced by the South Asians, as well as the other ethnic minority groups that we provide services to.
9919 We have been dealing with issues relating to women, seniors and the youth at the grassroots level. We also provide settlement services to newcomers to Canada, help them with job search and provide classes for English as a Second Language.
9920 We assist in the immigrants' adjustment and integration into Canadian life. This government funded agency also provides individual and family counselling.
9921 AWIC has concerns regarding the present state of South Asian broadcasting. As the Commission is aware, Infinity's previous Radio India programs went off the air in the late 1990s. We lost a large block of programming in the Hindustani language -- the language that captures almost all segments of the South Asian community.
9922 The biggest void that the absence of Infinity's programs has created is lack of same locally relevant programs in a language that is universally understood by all Indo-Pakistanis and those from many other countries.
9923 As AWIC noted in its letter to the CRTC in support of Infinity Broadcasting, the radio audience and advertising dollars that Infinity lost overnight have been grabbed from the hands of Infinity by the U.S. border station, WTOR, immediately after Infinity had to vacate all its airtime on 610 AM radio.
9924 The sad part is that WTOR has only taken from Canada and has made no effort and is not obliged to give us anything back. Most of all, they and their producers have taken the revenues and the audiences away from Infinity for no fault of Infinity. In return, they have given poor quality programs even though a major portion is in Hindustani.
9925 There is hardly any local content on WTOR that would be relevant to the South Asian community of the Greater Toronto Area. There are no funds allocated by WTOR for talent development in our community. There are no free public service announcements available on WTOR for non-profit organizations like ours, the Association of Women of India in Canada.
9926 We cannot go to any regulatory body to express our concerns relating to WTOR as it is not a Canadian station. They and their producers are not answerable to either the CRTC or the South Asian community.
9927 AWIC has said before, and we wish to reiterate again, that the one who is the most deserving of the new FM licence is the one who aims to repatriate and is capable of repatriating audiences and advertising revenues that have been snatched from the helpless hands of Infinity Broadcasting in 1998-99.
9928 The South Asian community is aware of the WTOR factor and is excited about the prospect of Infinity going head-on with WTOR and bringing what Infinity lost back to Canada. The South Asian community, including the business community, is standing by to assist Neeti in any way possible to make this radio station a thumping success. These are not just words. It represents the sentiments of the South Asian community, as expressed in thousands of letters sent to the CRTC in support of Infinity.
9929 The South Asian community is so large in the GTA today that, if licensed, Infinity radio, with the quality and appeal similar to Infinity's previous programs, would attract audiences and advertisers to a much greater degree than before, as the program timings would be during the day prime times.
9930 If it is the quality of programming that dictates the direction in which the audience will go, then it is a foregone conclusion that Infinity will put WTOR out of business before the ink is dry on the decision to license Infinity Broadcasting.
9931 AWIC is particularly interested in the licensing of Infinity Broadcasting because we would finally have a radio station that would assist us in addressing issues of interest and concern to today's South Asian women, youth and seniors.
9932 Infinity, both through its television and the previous radio programs, has made itself accessible and helpful in achieving the objectives that our organization has set out to achieve.
9933 Infinity has never charged a penny for any service they provided to help our organization or any other organization. In fact, Renu Ray's experience in social work bas been a great contribution to our community by creating more awareness through the radio and television, about social and emotional issues and the rights of women.
9934 Neeti and Renu Ray are a great and unique team of broadcasters. We are proud to have them take this leadership role in making the South Asian dream of having a radio station a reality.
9935 Most of all, we need a local voice for the South Asian community. We need to talk about the youth issues. We need to help the new immigrants learn about this country and to help them adjust better.
9936 We would like to address issues relating to second and third generation South Asians in the GTA. We do not expect WTOR to let us do that. We need access to a South Asian radio owner who will understand the soul of this community. We need someone like a Neeti Ray or a Renu Ray to turn to. No one else in the current application process fits that image.
9937 On behalf of the Association of Women of India in Canada, I urge the Commission to grant Infinity Broadcasting the licence for the 101.3 FM radio.
9938 Thank you very much.
9939 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Tahiliani. Your support is quite clear, and your oral presentation will be transcribed and will form part of the record, in addition to your Association's written intervention.
9940 MS TAHILIANI: Thank you.
9941 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
9942 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9943 We will now hear from the Toronto Residents in Partnership.
9944 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon. Please proceed when you are ready.
9945 MR. KASSAMALI: Madam Chair and Commissioners, good afternoon.
9946 I am representing TRIP, the Toronto Residents in Partnership. My name is Zul Kassamali and I am here to support Infinity Broadcasting's application on behalf of Toronto Residents in Partnership, TRIP.
9947 In a recent committee meeting of TRIP, the Infinity proposal was pursued and the committee entered a unanimous decision to support this application. A copy of the letter sent to the CRTC after the resolution was reached has been attached with the script supplied to you today.
9948 Toronto Residents in Partnership is a volunteer organization sanctioned by the Office of the Mayor of the City of Toronto. Included in its mandate are the following:
9949 (1) to promote racial, ethnic, religious and communal understanding, co-operation and harmony throughout the city;
9950 (2) to ensure equal human rights for all residents;
9951 (3) to seek, recognize and attempt to eliminate situations that may adversely affect the harmonious life and rights for equality for residents.
9952 Toronto has been a reception area for a substantial proportion of new immigration to Canada. Approximately 42 per cent of the new immigrants choose Toronto as a city to settle in. In just 40 years Toronto's visible minority population has grown from 3 per cent in 1961 to a 54 per cent majority by 2001.
9953 While the first wave of immigrants were largely European settlers, more recently immigration patterns have moved away from their traditional source and resulting in a second immigration era in which the flow of the immigrants is predominantly from South and East Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
9954 For new Canadians, it is vitally important to them that they are able to preserve their ethnic heritage while adapting to and becoming part of Canadian society. This is of critical importance, especially to those ethnic groups that are different from the predominant mentioned culture of Canada.
9955 The multicultural policy of Canada encourages and supports this view as it is cognizant of the important role that preservation of the cultural heritage plays in the eventual productivity of that particular group.
9956 Keeping in line with this view, Toronto Residents in Partnership as an organization is proud that Torontonians are highly supportive of the maintenance of homeland culture and tradition.
9957 Ethnic radio is an absolutely critical element in assisting new Canadians to connect to both their new environment and to their cultural roots.
9958 Toronto's ethnic radio model, whereby very large communities like the Italians and the Chinese form the core language group around which a station's business plan is built, has proven to be successful. These large ethnic communities and their economic strength in turn enables the broadcaster to serve a number of smaller third language groups in the process.
9959 Toronto's existing ethnic radio stations have done a good job in serving the needs of the now well-established third language communities. This is evidence by the Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and, in more recent times, Chinese language programming that dominates their program schedules and their revenue streams.
9960 The largest unserved block of ethnic communities in Toronto, that of the South Asian with a population in excess of half a million, represents the missing link in terms of it being the only one of the Big Four not to have a dominant radio voice in the Toronto radio market in the same manner that CHIN's AM-FM is an Italian voice, CHKT is the Chinese voice and CIRV is the Portuguese voice.
9961 Toronto's South Asian community is incredibly dynamic and self-sufficient and contributes in a number of significant ways to the growth and the prosperity of the entire Greater Toronto Region. With the growth of the South Asian population, there has been a remarkable growth of business to serve the needs of the South Asian community.
9962 The high cost of advertising in the mainstream media limits these businesses' ability to reach the South Asian market. This in turn has resulted in limited growth for the South Asian business community.
9963 The importance of the South Asian dominated ethnic radio station owned and operated by South Asians cannot be overstated. Infinity, who is former India Radio program, has served the broader South Asian community for nearly ten years, with high quality programming that has never been replicated since having to leave the air in mid-1998.
9964 Radio India went off the air in 1998 when CKTB came under the new ownership and the new mandate had no room for ethnic programming in spite of the fact that CKTB's BBM used to increase dramatically during the hours of programming by Radio India.
9965 Our organization is aware of Infinity's total commitment to the South Asian community and ethnic broadcasting. We are aware of their strong sense of community and insistence upon high quality, locally relevant community programming and the power of such to reflect the best of each community and to build bridges of understanding between communities and to reach across all cultural boundaries and unite the Greater Toronto community as one.
9966 Infinity's commitment to ethnic Canadian talent development is exciting and relevant to the needs of young artists and performers and would-be broadcasters looking to find their way.
9967 In order to truly reflect the diversity in the radio spectrum, one needs to look at not only the new languages that an application will be serving, but it is important to look at the new ownership that will be brought in the ranks of broadcasting systems.
9968 The existing ethnic radio stations have been in the market for a long time and have done a good job in accommodating the needs of the different multicultural groups. It is time now for a new entrant to come with new ideas, new philosophical ways and new methods of enhancing the services to the multicultural groups.
9969 What better choice than to go for one who has already demonstrated its professionalism in broadcasting, a good business sense, has respect and credibility not only of the South Asian community but of all the other language groups they propose to serve, and a commitment to provide quality service to the ethnic groups by giving no ethnic group less than two hours a week of programming.
9970 Infinity is an excellent choice for Toronto's new ethnic station. Their team is complementary and will enhance radio services to third language groups. Infinity's proposal is the best one in every way.
9971 Given that this is the last reasonable FM frequency that is usable for the Greater Toronto Region, it is our view that only Infinity will optimize 101.3 to the full advantage of Toronto's unserved and deserving ethnic communities.
9972 As such, we urge the Commission to not lose this opportunity to license Infinity and its realistic and achievable ethnic broadcast plan which will bring fresh ownership and programming diversity to Toronto's ethnic radio spectrum and allow for greater listener choice among third language listeners.
9973 Looking to the future, we would encourage the CRTC to make more frequencies available to culturally sensitive programming.
9974 Thank you, Madam Chair and Commissioners, for giving me this opportunity.
9975 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Kassamali, for your presentation, which will be added to the public record along with the Toronto Residents in Partnership written one.
9976 MR. KASSAMALI: Thank you very much.
9977 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
9978 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9979 We will now hear from Mr. Falsal Hassan.
9980 THE CHAIRPERSON: Go ahead, Mr. Hassan.
9981 MR. HASSAN: Madam Chair and Commissioners, my name is Falsal Hassan and I am here representing Midaynta, which is an association of 14 Somali service agencies of Metro Toronto. I am employed as a homeless support counsellor and housing worker at Midaynta since 1999.
9982 Midaynta originally started as an agency providing service for family reunification and for easing the settlement and integration of Somali immigrants and refugees. As the population of the Somali's increased, Midaynta expanded its services to focus on issues of family welfare, housing, employment, mental health, family violence and children's aid.
9983 Earlier the different Somali organizations addressed these needs on their own. Midaynta centralized these operations, uniting all the social service agencies serving Somali's. The role of Midaynta is to represent the interests of the Somali organizations to various government agencies in the Greater Toronto Area.
9984 I am here on behalf of Midaynta to support an application made by Infinity Broadcasting for an ethnic radio station on 101.3 FM. Midaynta has been involved in discussion with Infinity since 1999 through our member organization Somaliland Canadian Society of Metro Toronto.
9985 Our community has supported Infinity's application in the last Toronto hearing in 2000. This time again we have placed our confidence in Infinity, a confidence that has been built over a period of time and animation between Infinity over a period of time.
9986 Mr. and Mrs. Ray have visited Midaynta, have met with our member organizations and held discussions to understand the unique needs of the Somali community in Toronto. They have been very open to our feedback and our point of view and have assured us that this sensitivity will be an ongoing feature of their radio station when licensed. This attitude of reaching out to the grass roots level is what has endeared Infinity's application to all the Somali organizations, for it truly represents our needs.
9987 Infinity's model squarely meets the best interests of the Somali community. They are committed to working with the community in identifying the right people to be trained, to produce programming that addresses the needs of the Somali community in Toronto.
9988 The Somali community is relatively new in Canada and can use help in their settlement today. There are well over 70,000, and by some estimates 100,000 in Toronto. The attached article by the Toronto Star, while an interesting read, also provides their estimate of the Somali population residing in the Greater Toronto Area.
9989 While the community is one of the largest among new immigrants and the largest African community in Toronto, the Somali's continue to remain one of the most marginalized groups in terms of radio service. To the best of my knowledge there is only one hour of radio programming in the Somali language at the present time, which is totally inadequate.
9990 This becomes more important when you look at the fact that the Somali's are primarily an oral community. In fact, recordings of Somali literature began as late as the 1950s. Most of our stories, myth and culture have been passed on from our ancestors by word of mouth. Hence, the written word is relatively new for our people. Even the Somali newspapers are inadequate in reaching the people.
9991 Again, our community is not fluent in the English language, hence are unable to access the many essential services. Our culture, as you are well aware, is very different from the prevalent culture of Toronto. Our practices differ greatly and sometimes this can cause a lot of problems with the law when our people are unaware of the Canadian system.
9992 A radio station, like the one Infinity has proposed, will be a great help to the Somali people:
9993 Firstly, we will be consulted in the selection of talented producers through an advisory council of Infinity's proposed station, which in this instance is Mr. Ibraham Absiye, the Executive Director of Midaynta.
9994 We will have a say on the nature of programming most appropriate for our community, be it news, music or information.
9995 Our producers will receive training under experienced broadcasters in collaboration with Humber College, thus assuring quality professional programming.
9996 We will address social issues in consultation with Renu Ray, Program Director of Infinity's proposed station, who is a professional social worker with 20 years experience.
9997 We will be able to coordinate events with other Somali organizations in Toronto through the radio.
9998 Our talented artists will get exposure and recordings of their musical talents which will be made available to other stations. I would like to add here that recording of all Somali music in the world takes place here in Toronto.
9999 Our artists will have an opportunity to qualify for grants under the Canadian Talent Development scheme offered by Infinity, thus raising the profile of the Somali community.
10000 We will have an opportunity to discuss our issues among with other cultural groups on the "Cross Cultural Vibes" program, thus bringing greater awareness of the different cultures, increasing our participation in mainstream issues and common issues for women, youth, seniors, as well as topics of general interest.
10001 Infinity has offered our community programming in the Somali language one hour each weekday, thus a total of five hours per week. This is very greatly needed by our community and would complement the current weekend program.
10002 The Somali population has steadily grown and, in turn, so have the number of businesses to serve the various needs of the community. The Somali business directory has hundreds of Somali businesses listed. This is the business directory. There are three Somali newspapers and two magazines -- which I have brought some here for display. These are the two magazines and two of the three newspapers -- which are full of Somali advertisements.
10003 By conservative estimates we estimate that there are well over 450 businesses that would consider advertising with the station. Such a large number of businesses make it very easy for the Somali community to support a daily Somali-language program. We are proud to say we will not be one of those groups that will need to be subsidized by the station. We are confident that these many businesses are ready to advertise with the station. Based on the strength of our business community we may be able to generate revenues better than those projected. Our community can easily generate $250 to $300 per hour.
10004 The Somali community is excited of this opportunity to work in collaboration with Infinity's team and places its trust and confidence in Neeti and Renu Ray to bring high quality programming in the Somali language to our community.
10005 We give our unconditional support to Infinity's application and request the Commission to license them for 101.3 FM.
10006 Thank you, Madam Chair and Commissioners.
10007 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Hassan. Thank you for your presentation. Like all the others, it will form part of the record, along with the written one. Thank you.
10008 Mr. Secretary, please.
10009 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
10010 We will now hear from the Canadian Jewish Humanitarian and Relief Committee.
10011 MR. ROSENZWEIG: My name is Joseph Rosenzweig and I am here to speak on behalf of the San Lorenzo Latin American Community Centre submission for a non-commercial AM Type B community radio.
10012 First off a little bit about my background. I wear two hats, first off as the Director of VE'AHAVTA, the Canadian Jewish Humanitarian and Relief Committee, an organization based in Toronto started in the mid-90s. We are obviously a humanitarian organization. We work around the world and we have done work together with the Latin American community. We will talk about that in one second.
10013 I also have a background in entertainment. I have a radio show on CFRB, it's called "Marty & Avrum: The Food Guys", also on prime television, ripe for various different publications and we have national viewers. So I have been in the entertainment and radio business for close to a decade now.
10014 First off I would like to say that this is a very interesting session that is going on here. As a Jew whose family came from Europe at the turn of the century and later on after the war, it does me a great amount of pride as a Canadian to hear some of the submissions here, the one that was previously done and others, on behalf of new immigrant groups.
10015 Of course I am representing the Latin American group today. They have asked me to come and a few other groups did as well. I decided it would be appropriate for me to do a character reference on their behalf.
10016 My work with the Latin American communities, South American and Central American, through San Lorenzo, has really been something which we have a great amount of pride in. Just recently we travelled down to El Salvador in a convoy of school buses and we delivered not only humanitarian relief goods, but also the buses themselves.
10017 The reason I tell the Commission this is because the refreshing attitude that this community has brought to the humanitarian relief field I think is really unmatched by others. The community is made up of about 180,000 people. It has grown dramatically since 1996. It is up by about 30 per cent. It is thriving in many ways.
10018 The church that I dealt with specifically, specifically through Father Hernan Astudillo, is a small one on Lawrence Avenue not too far from here but does unbelievable work for its constituents, for its members.
10019 I know that there are a number of different Latin American newspapers and publications as well. The fact that the submission has been made for a radio frequency is, I think, very, very interesting and worthwhile for the community itself. Unfortunately, many immigrants who come from Latin America are uneducated, and I believe statistics show that up to 20 per cent, 25 per cent have not finished high school.
10020 The radio frequency that they are requesting will be actually broadcast in four different languages. It will be a broadcast to a community which is very radio-oriented. For those of you who have been in Latin America, South America or Central America, the radio is always on.
10021 There are various different reasons for that. Certainly there is no such thing as cable there. The news is something which is very important because it is in a constant state of flux.
10022 This is a community who is very, very radio-conscious.
10023 The idea that the Spanish community is submitting for a frequency I believe is something that will benefit not only the community itself but the broader community as well. The reason I say that, to sort of go back on what I commented on before, that this is a community which is full of life and is full of zest and is full of ideas. They have come here and they have really, really started to move and shake. They are taking care of their immigrants but, not only that, they are working with others in a way where they are really putting partnership on the map. I know that because I have dealt with it firsthand.
10024 I would suggest very, very strongly that this community will continue to grow, not only in terms of numbers, of course, because many people are trying to come to Canada from Latin America, but also in terms of intensity and what they are able to bring to the broader community as a whole.
10025 Through their ideas and through their creatively they have helped VE'AHAVTA, I think, increase our effectiveness. I think that is somewhat of a ironic thing where the Jewish community is taking from the Latin community in the way that we have, but we have clearly grown through them.
10026 Basically, my character reference is that should the Latin community be granted this frequency, I believe very strongly that it will not only benefit their community, but it will also benefit the Toronto community as a whole as well.
10027 There are some fabulous, fabulous musicians, singer songwriters that are coming out of Latin American. Of course we are familiar with Gloria Estafan and Mark Anthony. It would be wonderful if while we were driving along the 401 we would have more access to such creativity and to such wonderful, wonderful music. Some of the interviews that they would do -- I know that it predominantly would be in Spanish but there would be other times that it would be offered for English-speaking programming as well -- would be something that I believe would increase our knowledge, our understanding of the world as a whole and certainly benefit everybody involved.
10028 So, in conclusion, I would like to say it was an absolute pleasure to be here and to present on their behalf. I am very honoured to do so.
10029 I commend everybody who has made a submission. I really think we live in a wonderful country.
10030 Thank you for this opportunity.
10031 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Rosenzweig, for your presentation. We will add it to the record.
10032 Mr. Secretary, please.
10033 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
10034 We will now hear from the Orthodox Missionary Church.
10035 REVEREND RAJAK: Good afternoon, worshippers, and your honour, President. I am Reverend Vaso Rajak. I represent the Orthodox Missionary Church of Canada.
10036 REVEREND RAJAK: I am here on behalf of San Lorenzo Community Centre to support their application for a radio station.
10037 My name is Vaso Rajak. I am an experienced professional with expertise as a chaplain, priest, professor of university, and a community and social development worker.
10038 I work effectively in multicultural communities and with people from all background including disadvantaged people. I am multilingual in Spanish, English, Serbian, Croatian, Russian, Portuguese, Italian, Greek and Macedonian.
10039 I like to tell you through my experience as working as a missionary priest, it is a big necessity for this community to have one radio station, Spanish speaking.
10040 From my experience with many Spanish people coming to me asking me for direction to this community. They are disoriented in this community because of the disadvantage that they don't speak the English language and they are going all over around to seek information, how they can fit in this community.
10041 Many of them I represent also in court because they didn't know what to do in this community. They didn't have enough information. They made mistakes and omissions of the law.
10042 I think if you grant them a radio station, you will support them to become good Canadian citizens and they will obey the law better in this society.
10043 Also, I have contact with San Lorenzo Community Centre. They are working hard, directing people from different backgrounds, from different Latin countries so that they adjust to this Canadian society.
10044 That radio station will solve many problems for the disadvantaged people in the community. They have the intention to work on the prevention of drugs, on the prevention of hate. They will work on the prevention of homeless people and they will also help them to find jobs in this Canadian society.
10045 I ask worshippers and your honour, President of this hearing committee that you grant them a radio station.
10046 Thank you very much.
10047 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Rajak, for your presentation.
10048 Mr. Secretary, please.
10049 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
10050 We will now hear from the Canadian Hispanic Congress.
10051 MS FILICI: Good afternoon.
10052 My name is Vilma Filici and I am the National President for the Canadian Hispanic Congress. I am here to support the application of the San Lorenzo Latin American Community Centre for the radio station.
10053 The Canadian Hispanic Congress is an umbrella organization that was founded in 1984 and groups close to 300 community-based organizations across Canada.
10054 Our aim is to ensure our people integrate and participate actively in the economic, social, cultural and political life of Canada.
10055 As we have heard, the Spanish-speaking community is the fastest growing ethnocultural group in Canada and in Toronto. Toronto particularly is home to about 175,000 Spanish-speaking people.
10056 Confronted with such growth, we find it is necessary to have a Spanish-speaking medium to have to help the transition of integration of our people into the Canadian mainstream society. The Canadian Hispanic Congress is familiar with the work of the San Lorenzo Latin American Community Centre and fully supports their application for a radio station.
10057 We feel that a Spanish radio station committed to our people will ensure the listeners receive the guidance and information they need in order to integrate our Canadian way of life.
10058 At this particular time, cutbacks in the Province of Ontario are affecting our way of life and making if very difficult even for established Canadians to adjust to the changes caused by such cuts.
10059 As you can understand, it is even more difficult for newly arrived people that are trying to integrate to understand a changing system and to be able to function efficiently in it.
10060 The San Lorenzo Centre radio would help by providing information regarding these and other issues that affect our daily lives: the education system, the healthcare system, employment and labour laws, immigration. They would provide help to the seniors and to youth. They will help through counselling people with problems with drugs, alcohol, spousal abuse, child abuse and other problems within the community.
10061 Besides providing this expert advise on the airwaves, they would provide much needed information on how to access the existing specific community services available.
10062 I have personally participated in many activities organized by the San Lorenzo Latin American Community Centre, and I am confident that given the airtime they will be able to reach a much larger audience and help people in need.
10063 There is another very important aspect of the San Lorenzo Latin American Community Centre that needs to be addressed. I have not only been a witness to their excellent community work and services, to their dedication to helping the needy, and to their solidarity campaign, but I have also participated in cultural events portraying our local talents.
10064 I don't take to take merits away from Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony and Gloria Estefan, but within our community we have singers and musicians and Father Astudillo, through their many events, has provided an opportunity for groups such as Inty Raymi, Abya Yala, La Chola, Cuancana and others, to participate and to show their talents in many festivals within the community.
10065 They have also provided an opportunity for many plastic artists that have also after showing their works at the community centre had the opportunity to show their works at the Columbus Centre and the Art Gallery of Ontario, but their first showings were at the San Lorenzo Latin American Community Centre.
10066 A radio station will also give the opportunity to share a lot more of our Latin American talent present in our community.
10067 In conclusion, I believe that a radio station for the San Lorenzo Latin American Community Centre will not only serve as a tool to aid in the integration of our people into the mainstream Canadian society, but it will also be a vehicle to promote the culture expressed by the 21 nations represented by our people, thus fulfilling one of the mandates of our multicultural society.
10068 Thank you.
10069 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Filici. Your presentation will also be part of the record.
10070 Mr. Secretary, please.
10071 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
10072 Intervention No. 32, La Casa Dona Juana will not be able to appear at the public hearing. So that intervention will remain on the record as a non-appearing intervention.
10073 We will now hear from Councillor Joe Mihevic.
10074 MR. MIHEVIC: Thank you very much.
10075 My name is Joe Mihevic. I am a City Councillor in the City of Toronto and I am here to speak on behalf and support the application of San Lorenzo Latin American Community Centre for AM 1610 community radio.
10076 I have had the pleasure of travelling through many countries in Latin America, Mexico, El Salvador, Peru, Chili, Dominican Republic, among them, and am fairly familiar with the Latin American community overseas.
10077 It is a diverse community, a passionate community. It is not one culture, but in fact it's many cultures and many subcultures within each country.
10078 In Toronto, right now we have 44 City Councillors. I am the closest they have to someone that can speak Spanish and advocate on their behalf.
10079 I attend their festivals regularly. I attend their community events regularly. I have done a number of civic education kind of mini-courses to help them integrate and understand the governmental system and systems here in Toronto.
10080 I am also the Chair of -- or have been the Chair of the Access and Equity Committee of the City of Toronto. As we all know, Toronto is one of the most multiculturally diverse and racially diverse cities in the world. In that capacity in the previous time the CRTC held hearings, I very strongly advocated for what eventually became FLOW 93.5 and that was a very wise decision that the CRTC made in granting that licence.
10081 I feel that the next application, the next most deserving community, the community that is organized enough, that has the breadth and strength and capacity and need, is the Hispanic community. That's why I am supporting this particular application.
10082 The Latin American community, as you have heard, is the fourth largest language group in Toronto. The other three non English-speaking language groups have significant radio stations that are supporting them. The community is 175,000 strong and it is growing. There is no radio station for their group. The issues that they face as a community as similar, yes, to other ethnic communities. Everything on the social side of things, they are dealing youth issues, with spousal issues, with all the educational issues, the social problems that come somewhat as a result of being torn from their native land and coming to Canada.
10083 At the City of Toronto we commissioned a report looking at ethnocultural diversity in Toronto and seeing how that impacted on inequalities in employment, in housing, and in other social indicators.
10084 One of the things that came clear in that was that the Hispanic community is a marginalized community within the City of Toronto. We need to, as a city, address that inequity, find ways, mechanisms, to make sure that the Hispanic community has the tools to work on feeling part of the fabric and mosaic of our city.
10085 The Hispanic community also has rich cultural traditions, and it isn't one tradition. As I was saying before, if anyone travels in Latin America, and just to use one country Peru as an example only because I have travelled mostly there, the Andean culture, the Highland culture, is very different from the culture in the Amazon jungle. It is very different from the coastal culture, very different language groups, very different ways of expressing themselves musically, culturally and artistically.
10086 So there are 21 different nations that are represented within this application and as part of the Hispanic community and I understand that they will also be including the Brazilian and Filipino communities in their work.
10087 I think a radio station would help build bridges between these groups, among the Hispanic community and that's a piece of work that needs to be done, and also between the Hispanic community and more mainstream Toronto society.
10088 In terms of leadership, I have had the benefit of working with the San Lorenzo church and the community centre. As I mentioned before, I have done a number of civic education, of classes and courses with them. I think that Father Hernan Astudillo has put together a very professional and competent team that is very diverse, that has representatives from different ethnic communities. They are very committed and very connected.
10089 Latin Americans, as one of the previous speakers mentioned, have a very strong history of community radio. You go to any of these countries, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, Chili, community radio is where it's at. Some of those folks have made their way to Canada and will bring their expertise with them.
10090 I have gone through their proposal. It's modest. It's not shooting for -- yes, it will shoot for the stars, but right now they understand what they are capable of and they have put together a program that reflects what they are able to do.
10091 It's conservative. There is lots of room for growth, and I think you will see, we will see, that this radio station will grow tremendously.
10092 I think this is not just about Latin American music at the level of Gloria Estefan, but if you go to some of the festivals that we have had the pleasure of hosting in our Christie Pits and in the Jane-Finch area, by the Latin American community, you will see that there is a lot of local talent. That local talent is being heard not just by the Latin American community here, but also by the larger Anglo community.
10093 This application can help that integration and that intersection. I think it's a great application and I would really strongly urge you to consider it wisely.
10094 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Mihevic, for your presentation. Your support is obviously clear and your presentation will be placed on the public record.
10095 MR. MIHEVIC: Thank you very much. Good luck in your decision-making.
10096 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. We need it.
10097 Mr. Secretary, please.
10098 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
10099 We will now hear from Mr. Bruce Smith.
10100 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, Mr. Smith.
10101 MR. SMITH: Good afternoon, Madam Chairman and Members of the CRTC Commission.
10102 Thank you for this opportunity to endorse the licensing application for CARN Radio.
10103 I think we all recognize, after everyone has spoken, that Toronto is a multicultural racially diverse city. I think this is something that we should always be reminded of, because Toronto is trying to strengthen its position internationally.
10104 In listening to all the applications -- this is my third time here, by the way -- I do agree that it would be nice if everybody could have a station. So we do sort of empathize with the other applicants that are making requests.
10105 For CARN and for the African Caribbean community, this is not just a matter of a desire to have representation. I believe we can clearly show that this is much more of a dire need.
10106 The African-Caribbean community has made substantial contributions to society in Toronto. By being a chaplain and a former Toronto Argonaut captain and a pastor, I am amazed that the attitudes and the wrong imaging that has been presented towards this community. There are economical and social issues that are having a tremendous negative impact on how this community is perceived and how the community perceives itself.
10107 I believe that it is important that we look at every possible avenue to try to change that.
10108 Even though there have been these tremendous contributions, it is like any time there is something visible, there is something that has to do with something negative. This has had a tremendous impact on this community more so than any other.
10109 I would draw your attention for a moment to the information I gave you.
10110 Since 1991 more than 200 blacks have been killed in this city. Largely the majority of those are youth. These are children from African backgrounds, Jamaican, Somalian. It is an unfortunate thing that has happened, but a lot of this has to do with perceptions.
10111 Last Sunday marked the memorial of the second annual recognition of the Jamaican-Canadian Association where they got together to talk about possible solutions to the problem that obviously can impact Toronto in general.
10112 As a person that is in the community, as a person that talks to you, as a person that talks to families, as a person that talks to husbands and unfortunately battered wives, this is a situation that is of paramount importance for Toronto as a community.
10113 I believe that CARN's presence in programs will focus on the solution. Their mission of course is to enhance the lives of Canadians of Caribbean and African heritage, but their vision is much greater. It is for a greater and better Toronto and recognizing the African-Caribbean community for the accomplishments that they have made.
10114 I feel very strongly that CARN's position of a truly multicultural station, I do not believe that that is being addressed at this point. I feel this licence should be granted to CARN today, for a number of reasons.
10115 First, CARN recognizes that within this community, this African-Caribbean community, there is also diversity, and their balanced programming will reflect that. Their intention is to have programs that celebrate diversity rather than trying to assimilate.
10116 Oftentimes even some of the other stations, there is this real thing to assimilate what our American counterpart is doing. Being American, I am sensitive to that, but I am married to a lovely lady from Jamaica, and I am certainly proud to be part of that culture.
10117 When people of the African-Caribbean community turn on CARN, they will hear music that really does appeal to them. They will hear programs that speak to their unique issues and information for renewing and transforming from what they are thinking.
10118 I deal a lot with human growth, and I have learned something: that as a person thinks in their heart, so they are. So the idea of trying to present programs and images to have transformed the thought patterns of the people, this is crucial.
10119 Again, people are dying. Lots of people are dying. It is merely because of the image problem here, and we want to try and address that as best we can. CARN, I believe their balanced programming will help to resolve that.
10120 Radio, of course, is one of the most powerful mediums to reinforce and reshape the way people think. CARN's intention is to increase the programming available to this community that presently has no real voice or representation.
10121 This is not intended to belittle anyone, but CARN is not a bunch of Americans trying to sound Jamaican or African. It takes a lot more than dreads and threads to understand the real make-up of the community.
10122 You have people like Fitzroy and Del. They have the experience in broadcasting. I know I have been on Fitzroy's show, and he talks to a lot of people about a lot of these issues that really are very -- they are not exclusive, but it seems to be a greater problem for this community.
10123 I believe that CARN will provide authentic grassroots programming aimed at this specific group that has special challenges and needs that really do need to be addressed.
10124 CARN is simply trying to fill a void. There is no vacuums in nature, nor in the human mind. It is not a question of whether people are listening to radio; it is a question of what they are listening to.
10125 This cultural group, the African-Caribbean culture group, has a specific need, a need for positive reinforcement, a need for true cultural expression, a need for a strong cultural voice accentuating the positive.
10126 As we heard from others, music is one of the lifelines to this community, as it is to many others. It is also one of the few areas where blacks have been encouraged to excel. When we could do nothing else, we were always allowed to entertain other people. And of course we found that as a way of escape from many of the problems that we had no answers to.
10127 Of course, we are not ashamed of that. It is a very rich part of who we are.
10128 The influence of Caribbean-African music certainly can be seen worldwide. As a matter of fact, many of the Latin performers are using a lot of the sound and lyrics that came from that culture.
10129 This cultural group absolutely has a need of representation.
10130 Music has provided a way out of poverty and despair for many of our people. However, we have done a lot more than -- as I coined the expression, shake our booties and score touchdowns. This community has made significant contributions in the area of religion, education, science, medicine, politics and entertainment, and CARN will emphasize this in their programs, as well as provide opportunities for upcoming talent that we have in this community. And there is a lot of it.
10131 I believe that needs to be addressed, not so much trying to encourage them to assimilate again but to really promote and celebrate the real roots of being African or Caribbean. I think this is very important.
10132 I also believe that CARN's programs will provide a chance for meaningful dialogue, giving the people in the community an opportunity to listen to and communicate with many of the people in these different fields: people like myself, or people like Harver Kirby(ph.), people in politics, people who have actually found that Canada is a wonderful place to really advance yourself. But they need to be encouraged that this can be done.
10133 We have communication and partnership with a lot of people that are available to assist CARN and project in this very important image.
10134 Finally, CARN will also provide an important avenue for business owners to promote their services, products and, most important, their ideas.
10135 I believe that the viability of the economic part of this will be very good for this community in Toronto at large, because I believe this community needs to be recognized for their contribution in terms of business and ideas.
10136 The Caribbean-African community needs this station. It needs it. As a matter of fact, I will go as far as to say it could be a question of life and death.
10137 I believe that anything that will improve or impact this community will absolutely no doubt have an impact on Toronto as a community at large.
10138 Thank you for your time. I trust that you will review all this information, and I strongly urge you to consider giving this licence and this frequency based on what you have heard from me and from the others.
10139 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Smith. Your support for CARN is quite clear.
10140 I see you have your own support team in the front row.
10141 MR. SMITH: Yes. And they are really good playing basketball, too.
10142 Last summer 16 youths were killed in Toronto in 15 weeks, and there was an article with a quote from Mayor Lastman about kids shooting hoops instead of guns.
10143 So we are working with CARN. They recognize the need to partner with others in the community.
10144 Thank you again.
10145 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Smith.
10146 Mr. Secretary, please.
10147 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
10148 We will now hear from Winston Larose.
10149 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.
10150 MR. LAROSE: Good afternoon, Madam Chair, Members of the CRTC.
10151 I am quite delighted to be here. I am pleased that I have had the opportunity to make this representation.
10152 On behalf of the CARN group -- and that stands for the Caribbean and African Radio Network. That is a very powerful name, and one that I respect.
10153 In the application of Fitzroy Gordon, a corporation to be incorporated, we are looking at a radio opportunity on frequency 105 FM. This application, I think, based on the way it is submitted, is very well formulated and is going to represent a very important need.
10154 I would like to start by saying to the Commission that my name is Winston Larose. I have been a community person for many years. I have operated a diverse range of businesses and community activities, some of which in the time I have I will mention briefly.
10155 I am a registered nurse and continue to be that since 1969. I have been a real estate broker for about 17 years. I have owned businesses of various kinds in Canada. I have been in this country since 1964. I came from Guyana by way of England. I left there in 1960.
10156 One of the things that is very important to me in respect of this community we call the Caribbean-African community is its composition and make-up here in the Canadian milieu.
10157 We know Canada's history over the years is one that is also built on the strength of African peoples who came here, first represented by Matthew Dacosta many years ago. In those 400 years we have seen wave upon wave of African peoples come here, called different names from different national regions. But they all have a very distinct and common root, and it is very African.
10158 It is uniquely different to that of any other groups, ethnic or otherwise, and that representation here in Canada has not been forthcoming.
10159 I know that we have had a recent granting of a radio licence. That represents some contribution to the role that has been played by Africans in this community and in this society, but I think it has not gone far enough to address the issue of the negligence of Canadian mainstream in accepting the African voice, in representing the interests of people that have been here for 400 years.
10160 We have a strong cultural presence that everyone takes advantage of in their presentations.
10161 Whether it is festivals or whether it is broadcast opportunities where we see Africans performing in various capacities but never owning the medium, never having any rights or opportunities to hire or promote opportunities for their own people, it is something that we take very seriously.
10162 We feel, and I feel in particular, that this is something that has to be corrected immediately.
10163 It is not a matter of numbers; it is a matter of presence and contribution over time. That should be part of the historical fabric in this evolving society that is called Canada.
10164 I have listened and was very touched by the other groups that have preceded me, the intervenors who have made their various representations. They have come and they have come and they have come and they come in waves, and I watched their representations in the various forms of media.
10165 Whether it is Italian or French or Hispanic or Latin or English, whatever groups I choose to name, they have representations. Whether it is linguistically, or they have representation in terms of some kind of religious or cultural or art form, the Africans are never really included in them.
10166 That is a concern, because this uniqueness of these people, when I see them in South East Asia -- and I must tell you I travel widely.
10167 I am in the process of doing a documentary of the last five years. I am in the Jane and Finch area, which you might all be familiar with, which represents a lot of disadvantaged people, many of whom are of African ancestry from all over the continent and the Caribbean and other Diasporic areas.
10168 In that time I have come to know these people quite well. I represent the Jane/Finch Concerned Citizens Organization as a community organization that is non-profit. I have been their executive director for the last four years.
10169 In addition to that, I represent my own business, which is called the African Canadian Communication and Broadcasting Corporation. We have been seeking to do this documentary over the last five years and have been accorded an endorsement by the Millennium Bureau to do it. We didn't get any money from them, however, we got the endorsement. That documentary is to look a the progressive histories of Africans over the last two years and its contribution to world civilization.
10170 In producing that documentary we have had to travel the world. Not only that, the format that we are using, a 20-hour video documentary for broadcast, and a 1,500 square foot travelling mural are significant and extraordinarily large endeavours.
10171 We expect some kind of forum through which to express either the promotional aspect of it or certainly the broadcast aspect of it.
10172 I have tried over the last five years to get this kind of opportunity and it is literally nonexistent. I have met with the CBC, I have met with various media forums and I haven't really had that opportunity to talk about it. I have travelled the world literally.
10173 I think that having your own broadcast medium that represents the particular interest, and which is fundamental to the growth of that particular group within the society, its development, its growth, the transmission of its own historical legacy, and naturally culture, those things have to be effectively represented by media.
10174 African-Canadians don't have media here, not for the last many years that they have been here. I have gone to Nova Scotia, I have seen the segregation there. I have represented issues where African teenagers don't have a voice, be it in Parliament or otherwise. How do you represent the causes? How do you transmit your culture? How do you give role models to your children and their successors? How do you provide opportunities for work if you do not have control and ownership over your own medium?
10175 Fitzroy Gordon gave me the opportunity one night to talk about my production, about two or three years ago, on CHIN Radio. That was at the midnight hour. He has a talk show, or has had a talk show. That is about the only time that black people can get on the air with something of their own. But then they switched it to 2:00 a.m.
10176 I say to you that we need to have this fundamental presence, this part of the Canadian mosaic. It is essential because our children are looking to see people that look like themselves having some power and influence in the ownership and in the transmission of information and culture.
10177 Canada's national culture should be comprised of the African culture, meaning things like festivals, art forms of various types, language issues. We happen to be in many different language groups.
10178 I have been to Cuba, I have been to Mexico just recently -- twice to Cuba. I have been to Haiti, Dominican Republic. I come from Guyana. I have been to Surinham, I have met with the Maroons of Surinham in Jamaica. I followed the people of Southeast Asia, the indigenous African people. What I see progressively is their culture and their history being absorbed in the larger societies by those societies and they are not being given credit for their culture, in fact they lose it.
10179 My current example is Carabana, a wonderful example where the people -- it is a culture that is indigenously African in stature. It doesn't matter whether it emanates in Cuba, Brazil, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago -- I have seen them -- or Nottinghill, England -- these festivals have strong African roots. That has to be recognized. That is part of the culture. The only way we can promote and transmit that is to have a form of medium through which we can do that.
10180 Madam Chairman, perhaps my time might have run out, but whatever the case is I want you to consider very sincerely that the time has come that Africans within this country called African Canadians must have the opportunity to present their own story and to benefit from it.
10181 I thank you.
10182 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Larose.
10183 Commissioner Cardozo has a question.
10184 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I just have one question, Mr. Larose.
10185 I listened to your arguments and the arguments of Mr. Smith and some of the other intervenors in support of the application and I can assure you that the Commission is sensitive to these issues.
10186 A couple of years ago you will be aware that we heard a number of these arguments and did, in response to a large degree, license Milestone FLOW 93.5. We have since also licensed another black-owned radio station in Montreal, so there is some degree of progress happening.
10187 Just to give you a sense of what I hear about Milestone is that they indeed -- if you take Denham Jolly, who has been involved in the community for a long time, building the community -- Milestone has been involved in sponsoring various events. I was looking at one of the Caribbean papers from the last weekend and following one of the shootings that was talked about earlier, there was a fundraising event for the family. One of the DJs from Milestone was a star attraction at this fundraising event.
10188 So the station is, from what I can tell, involved in the community in dealing with some of these issues.
10189 Is your concern that one station in a city like Toronto owned by an African Canadian is not enough? Is it a matter of genre of music where that is more hip-hop-oriented and what you are looking at here is more Caribbean and African?
10190 MR. LAROSE: I thank you so much, Mr. Commissioner, for asking that question.
10191 Yes, it is true that we do have that representation. I didn't know about the Montreal advent of a black station there.
10192 I would say that in my own efforts -- for instance, I am involved with the Cotillion Ball. The Cotillion Ball is one of those very elegant events that happen every year for the last seven years here in Canada. It is the event to go to in the year. CBC carried it one year. It ran across the country and we had a deluge of application and interest from African Canadians from across the country to participate in it, but yet we don't have any regular media covering it.
10193 One station is not enough for that. I mean, the presence -- I would like the Commission to consider that we are talking about progressive evolution of the African Canadian presence and recognition of the culture in the society. But I think that the time has come where we need to double up on that, because we are a strong community and a community that has significant cultural contributions that is being presented by others. We don't have the option to get those jobs. Denham Jolly can't employ all the prospective people.
10194 But my documentary is an example. Why can't I have an opportunity to present it somewhere. It is a story about African people that goes back 2000 years. It is powerful, it is big, it is monstrous, it is across the world, I have mentioned all the countries to which I have gone, but this needs a forum. It needs a Canadian forum and it needs a Canadian expression. It needs the radio stations, it needs the TV where we don't have those representations.
10195 And cultural images, I must say it to you: When you symbolically have images of people, that is what the children growing up see and can identify with. Without those images they are lost within the superstructure of nationalism or cultural causes. That is what has happened to African Canadians over the last 400 years here, and in many countries from Cuba to Brazil, to all the countries I have travelled to, Mexico there is almost nonexistent in terms of culture recognition.
10196 So I am saying that within this country if we are a cultural mosaic, then let's bring the African Canadian culture before radio, TV. These are the mechanisms through which it is done -- and newspapers. We don't have the means to do that.
10197 I thank you.
10198 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Larose, for your presentation.
10199 Mr. Secretary, please.
10200 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
10201 We will now hear from Bridget Ubochi.
10202 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, Ms Ubochi. You have been patiently here since noon. Thank you.
10203 MS UBOCHI: Good afternoon. Ndi Isi Oche, Nde Obodo, Umunwoke na Umunwanyi.
10204 Honourable Members of the Commission, community representatives, ladies and gentlemen, my sincere thanks to all of you for this opportunity to intervene on behalf of the Caribbean and African Radio Network (CARN). I am here to share my thoughts on why it is vital that a licence be granted to us for the operation of 105.1 FM.
10205 My name is Bridget Ubochi and I was born in West Africa, specifically Nigeria, and became a citizen of this great country, Canada, in the early 1970s. I have worked extensively with communities on whose behalf I am intervening in support of the issuance of a licence to CARN.
10206 As a special counsellor in the school system I witnessed firsthand what happens to youth with dislocated identities. As Program Coordinator at the Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation, I witness the discontinuation of programs that helped immigrants settle, because of cutbacks.
10207 As a community leader in various capacities I have also seen the positive impact of music, cultural education and cultural understanding in building a harmonious society.
10208 The first time I tuned into an African radio program was in 1986 when "Reflections of Africa" was my weekly companion and cultural reference point in a frenzied metropolitan life. "Reflections of Africa", a program on education, music, history and current events of continental Africa, among other things, was initiated, funded and produced by Ainajugor, an African woman. Though its broadcast time was during the wee hours of the morning, many African women regarded it as a gem to be cherished and, as an identifiable link, it helped to legitimize our heritage and provided cultural values that could be shared with other Canadians.
10209 It was with great disappointment that I learned that "Reflections of Africa" went off the after eight years because Ainajugor fell ill. The gap it left has remained unfilled ever since. Uzo ahu echie!
10210 Now, Caribbean and African Radio Network promises to re-establish and build on what "Reflections of Africa" did for Africans here in Toronto. Here are some of the areas where CARN's work would be invaluable. I have seven points for you.
10211 One, bridging of cultural gap for African immigrants and refugees. CARN will have ongoing cultural appreciation dialogue in various African languages. In Nigeria alone there are 260 dialects, three major languages, and there is a healthy population of those people right here in Toronto. This will help new arrivals understand Canadian culture, work ethics, expectations and responsibilities.
10212 The outcome, in a nutshell: This will minimize culture shock. It will provide host communities with a greater understanding of their new neighbours.
10213 Two, self-esteem and self-confidence building for youth. Through CARN's radio broadcast youth of African heritage will be able to communicate firsthand with youth in Africa through direct transmission of music, cultural exchange, education in various departments of life.
10214 Outcome: greater bonding with their heritage and confidence to embrace their Canadian identifies.
10215 Number three, parenting: from continental Africa to metropolitan Toronto. Those of us who have defied all odds in this society and parented children that are well-balanced, self-confident, with a keen sense of pride in their dual heritage, that is Canadian African, need a forum to share what we learned and how we applied them successfully. At present we do not have that. Sharing the positive teachings from our motherland and that positive aspects of our Canadian homes to balance our kids is a necessity. When new arrivals are properly equipped, their progress is swifter, their contribution to the Canadian society more immediate.
10216 Outcome: mutual growth through learning from each other. CARN's programming will reinforce this.
10217 Number four, CARN as a supportive educational tool will provide on-air education for families on how to handle the absence of the united family support system which they enjoyed in Africa. Such a support system is almost non-existent for them in Canada. This presents a very real challenge to new Canadians. The African family support system is the pivot on which child-rearing revolves. Upon arrival in Canada, if not properly briefed families lose their children in their struggle to survive in an unfamiliar and little understood environment.
10218 Our communities are filled with doctors, lawyers, and other highly skilled professionals doing menial jobs at entry levels. Without proper grounding and education of the kind that CARN promises, these families will continue to wallow in confusion, poverty, mediocrity, psychological and emotional ill-health.
10219 Outcome: their enthusiasm to be contributing members of the Canadian society diminishes: a loss for all of Canada.
10220 Number five, live international cultural exchange. The opportunity to tune-in live to an event in an African city, town or village, receiving a vivid description of what is taking place is intellectually stimulating and engaging for adults and young people alike. This literally makes living in Canada, and in any country in Africa, a global village experience.
10221 Outcome: listeners in Canada and Africa develop broader perspectives: mutual cultural understanding and an appreciation that discourages racism and xenophobia.
10222 Number six, the education system and children of African heritage. Having worked in the education system for several years counselling, I observed that children of African heritage are short-changed in the school system because of their cultural backgrounds, regardless of whether they arrived from the Caribbean or continental Africa. School staff and officials are ill-equipped on knowledge about the cultural backgrounds or the school systems from which their pupils hail. The new arrivals do not understand the workings of the education system here. Their parents erroneously think that schools here are like back home and, in the process, blunder by trusting the education of their children to the system. With CARN will come a forum for dialogue and understanding.
10223 Number seven, the denial of voice of people of continental African heritage is costing Canada than it an imagine. When our kids drop out of school they fall between the cracks. When our families break up because of pressures from unfamiliar work and social environments, women and children end up as liabilities of the Canadian society. The stereotyped image of people of African heritage, from my point of view, becomes a vary costly, self-fulfilling prophesy for the system.
10224 Outcome: education and awareness will be fostered with CARN's programming.
10225 In summary, what I see is how the CRTC can make a difference by giving CARN the licence to operate a radio station that will give voice, credence and education for a harmonious coexistence. Instead of giving man a fish to eat for the day, I urge the CRTC to give us, through CARN, the tools that will teach us to fish and feed ourselves for life.
10226 Africans are very capable of rearing and supporting their families. Given the opportunity, the trust and the licence to operate CARN, communities and families of African and Caribbean heritage will be able to access services and acquire tools that will empower them to successfully settle and integrate within their Canadian environment in Toronto. They can, then, make positive contributions to our Canadian society.
10227 Ekelene mu unu ot unu ji gee mu nti.
10228 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Ms Ubochi, for your presentation.
10229 Mr. Secretary, please.
10230 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
10231 We will now hear from Lee Marshall.
10232 THE CHAIRPERSON: Please proceed when you are ready, Mr. Marshall.
10233 MR. MARSHALL: Good afternoon, Madam Chair and Commissioners.
10234 As you heard, my name is Lee Marshall and it is my pleasure to speak to you today in support of CARN, and this application for their radio licence.
10235 I have been directly involved in broadcasting these past 31 years, the last 20 of them right here in Toronto.
10236 At this time, I am doing extensive voice work for one of our Canadian television networks. It is, though, my love of music, coupled with my many years of radio experience, that prompted me to create and launch my own Internet labour of love, ReggaePlus Radio.
10237 As the name suggests, I play Reggae plus Ska, Rock Steady, R&B, Soul, Gospel, Calypso, Soca and various styles of African music on two distinct bandwidths.
10238 In addition, I am the moderator of the Jamaicans.com Music, Poetry and Art Forum, and I also serve as the Performing Artists Coordinator for R.A.W., Reggae Ambassadors Worldwide.
10239 My broadcasting career began back in 1971, just as the CRTC Canadian Content Regulations for radio kicked in to gear. It was interesting and rewarding to be a part of the development and positive growth of a fledgling music industry that, over time, flourished to the point where Canada now boasts an impressive number of international superstars in a wide variety of genres.
10240 Our country is very proud of our rich cultural diversity. We like to think that our wide and ever-growing mix of peoples, from virtually every country, ethnicity and religion, is an example of the kind of success that is the envy of the world... that Canada's social diversity is the blueprint for others to follow.
10241 And fortunately, this success can now extend to the broadcast media, particularly radio. With large numbers of peoples living in the GTA from all over the Caribbean and Africa, there is no daily outlet available for our newer friends, colleagues and neighbours in order that they might hear their voices and concerns, their news and information, or their music on a consistent and ongoing basis.
10242 That was one of the prime reasons for my launch of ReggaePlus Radio, to provide something to help fill the void left between the airings of the handful of specific shows provided by community radio.
10243 But with approximately 50 per cent of radio listening being accounted for by people travelling in cars, Internet radio is very limited in its reach, not to mention non-specific in terms of news and information that would be deemed relevant to a particular community or city.
10244 Part of my programming features artists from the Canadian Caribbean communities, people that you don't hear on Toronto radio stations, including FLOW. People like Nana McLean, Errol Blackwood, Leroy Brown, Jay Douglas, Tanya Mullings, Peculiar Eye, Anslem Douglas, Ellsworth James, Donna Makeda, Mr. Cooper, Chester Miller, George Banton, Roy Reynolds, Tabarruk, Ras Lee, Ras Leon, Lion I, Sonya Collymore, Iley Dread, Wire, Jimmy Reid, Michael St. George, and Women a Run Tings.
10245 These artists all make excellent world-class music. They sing and play songs in styles like Reggae, R&B, Soul, Gospel, Soca, Ska and also Dub Poetry. Some of them have developed a following elsewhere in the world. And yet, most people in Toronto, let alone Canada, have never heard of them, nor have they had the opportunity to hear them, even though the artists all live here in Ontario, predominantly Toronto.
10246 It is here that our Canadian music star system falls short. With your approval of this licence, CARN will prove a worthy vehicle for the voices of all these artists and entertainers to be heard. And these musicians will do Canada proud, as they are more than capable of standard fair, more than capable of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with all of the "international" stars.
10247 I can assure you, our artists can and will do a lot more than simply hold their own. This will be true of all of our home-grown artists featured on CARN, regardless of the genre of music that is their specialty, Caribbean or African.
10248 These artists, and so many more, including all those yet to begin their careers, will benefit from the added incentive and exposure provided by CARN and will, in turn, strive to be their best.
10249 I would hope that over the next few years the CRTC will have the wonderful opportunity to award licences for more radio stations like the one CARN proposes in every Canadian city that can demonstrate the need and support for it. In that way, we will truly be able to network and create the ways and means which will guarantee that Canada will supply international superstars for every genre of music, particularly the wide variety of styles that make up the ongoing musical sound of CARN.
10250 Let me tell you about a few of my personal experiences. Around 12 years ago, in the era when CKFM 99.9 was interested in attracting a wider variety of peoples from the GTA, I hosted a show for them called The Quiet Storm. I was allowed a reasonably free hand in terms of my music selections and I included some Reggae, Soca, African music and R&B recorded by local people who had not previously enjoyed any exposure on Toronto's mainstream radio stations.
10251 I read in SHARE newspaper about a Toronto Soul/R&B vocalist named George Banton who had stolen the show at the Airport Hilton Hotel. The story said George had left the immortal Ben E. King in his wake. I figured that I had to find this George Banton and play some of his music on The Quiet Storm.
10252 So through mutual friends I met George. He game me copies of about six of his albums and I played his music consistently. People would call the radio station and ask where they could buy George Banton records. It seemed that none of the major record shops stocked his albums.
10253 I took George down Yonge Street to all of the big stores, introduced myself and George to the various managers, and explained that he was getting airplay on mainstream 99.9 and asked them to stock his records. They did. George, incidentally, has since gone on to be an extremely successful gospel singer on an international scale, although most people here still haven't heard of him, at least not since The Quiet Storm went off the air some ten years ago.
10254 Shortly thereafter, I came across a Reggae band recording at a Toronto recording studio. I had gone there in order to voice a commercial. They were working on their first album. I heard it and I was totally impressed.
10255 This band, comprised of Jamaicans, Guyanese and Canadian musicians, was completely world class. I saw them perform at various venues including Toronto's mecca for all types of world music, the Bamboo. As live performers they were also excellent. On their behalf, I approached every major Canadian record company. I received no positive interest from anyone. They didn't even want to listen to the tape.
10256 No record company wanted to invest the time, the finances, or the effort with a local Reggae band that would never receive any radio airplay. What a shame. What a loss for Canada. Most of those guys have gone on to other ventures of varying success.
10257 One is recognized now as a top producers, and the man who is always called upon to be the musical director for the Jamaican Reggae superstars Toots and the Maytals whenever they would go on a world tour. The other is considered one of the best saxophonists in the world, yet people here have never heard of either Bernie Pitters or Richard `I-Sax' House.
10258 Seven years ago, I was sitting in a local club chatting with a singer named Glen Washington. Glen has one of those voices that you just know will thrill the world. But apparently, opportunity, or rather lack of it, was the issue. There just wasn't any opportunity. Glen and I had had this conversation before. He was frustrated that his career was stuck in neutral.
10259 Reluctantly I told him that I didn't see Canada as a country that would provide him with the various elements necessary to establish him as an artist to be reckoned with locally, let alone internationally. Sadly, I told him that I felt his best chance was to move down to New York City where all of the missing elements we lack up here were covered. He did.
10260 For the past five years, right up to and including today, Glen Washington is one of the top Reggae stars in the entire world. Glen's success is something we all could have been part of.
10261 His success would have opened up international doors for artists living in our country. That didn't happen and that's a crying shame. Sadder still, even with all of his acclaim, many people here have still never heard of Glen Washington.
10262 I did all of these things as an individual when I was working at 99.9. So when I was out on the street perhaps, like this DJ at the event the other day, I was representing my interests, and not the radio station's, and when they let me go one of the reasons I heard in the hall was because I was "too black".
10263 As CARN pointed out there are in excess of half a million people living in the GTA that this radio station will cater to, not to mention those of us not directly of African or Caribbean origin who are interested in the various cultures and music that these folks have to offer -- well over half a million people, coupling the rest of us, perhaps as many 700,000 or so people in Toronto, when you consider all the folks who frequent clubs like the Bamboo on an ongoing basis or travel to the Caribbean regularly for their winter vacations.
10264 This size of audience is virtually a city within a city, a city that if situated elsewhere, by itself geographically in Canada, would likely have five or six different radio stations to choose from.
10265 The time is definitely now for Toronto to have its first station of this type, C-A-R-N, the Caribbean African Radio Network.
10266 It will be great for the people of the various communities in terms of hearing their own voice, their own news and information. It will provide an excellent vehicle for consistent artist exposure for the various artists who have so much to give Canada and to the world, and it extends the means by which young people in CARN's target audience can see that there is a bona fide opportunity to actually make it as an artist/musician in this country.
10267 In granting CARN this licence, the CRTC will effectively let every man, woman and child of Caribbean and African origin living in the GTA know officially that, "Yes, you do exist. Welcome to Canada".
10268 Thank you.
10269 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Marshall. You certainly have a good radio voice.
--- Laughter / Rires
10270 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
10271 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
10272 We will now hear from Farah Khayre.
10273 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.
10274 MR. KHAYRE: Good afternoon, Madam Chair and Commission Members.
10275 My name is Farah Khayre, and I have been in Canada for 12 years. In the last 11 years of my stay in Canada I have been engaged in African community work in different capacities.
10276 I currently work as the Co-ordinator of the African-Canadian Social Development Council, whose mandate is to co-ordinate the planning, program priority setting, advocacy and community development for the African community organizations.
10277 Also, I sit at the Black Police Consultative Committee, which advises the police chief on the issues regarding policing within the black community.
10278 It is my pleasure to have this opportunity to express my support for the CARN application for licensing.
10279 I see CARN as the first of its kind which is exclusive, as well as inclusive. I am not disregarding FLOW radio, but when I say exclusive it is that it will air only programs targeting the Caribbean and African community. It is inclusive in the number of programs that will air and also the number of African languages it will provide opportunities to be aired.
10280 The African communities are one of the most recent immigrants to Canada that still face many challenges, both in what is going on in their environment, the opportunities available to them, and what is going on back home, particularly the condition of their loved ones they left behind.
10281 While I was working with the African community, I had the experience of the problem that community organizations face to extend support to the needy community members. This is mainly because they have difficulty in outreaching with the community. At the same time they have the difficulty of accessing venues to outreach.
10282 Lack of adequate information on what is happening and existing opportunities in the environment around them has severely limited the African Canadian in settlement integration and active participation in Canadian life and access to social and economic opportunities.
10283 An estimate of over 450,000 Africans from over 50 cultural backgrounds live in the Greater Toronto Area and neighbouring cities. Most of them have come from countries characterized as civil unrest and ruled by undemocratic régimes. These African families are not only separated from their extended family support which has sustained the institution of families for generations in Africa, but also the social and economic culture.
10284 In coming to Canada they are exposed to entirely different social and economic infrastructure which they are struggling to fit without being familiar with the set-up and where to go for support.
10285 The African community in Toronto is widely scattered throughout the city of Toronto, and it is difficult for anyone to accept them and outreach with the because of the lack of radio programs.
10286 A good example is that of parenting. Children are quickly adopting the Canadian style while parents expect them to maintain the traditional modes of behaviour and values. This results in constant intergenerational conflicts which often lead children to strive for an alternative where they can fit and exercise their aspirations.
10287 Parents are very worried about where their unguided venture will take their children to. Also, they have no venue to share their experience, address issues and get information on how to deal with them.
10288 Africans have come with diverse skills, and they don't have the forum to exercise their skills and at the same time to improve their skills. Therefore, CARN will give them that opportunity of exercising their skills and getting an opportunity to improve their skills, particularly when it comes to their culture and literature.
10289 This basic experience for the most part is that of frustrated expressions, limited opportunities and exclusion socially, culturally and economically. This feeling of exclusion, frustration and under-achievement often leads to health corrosion and, further, deprives them from accepting the opportunities available around them.
10290 The African community activists and community organizations made many efforts to facilitate the community in being informed so that the integration process flows smoothly. However, these attempts were found difficult to sustain due to lack of resources.
10291 Realizing the importance of information, some African communities bought airtime at the market rate but could not continue to sustain. Also, the time allocated to them was not matching the time their community is available to listen. Sometimes it is in the very early morning; sometimes it is after 1:00 at night, which is not convenient for their community members to stay awake for the program.
10292 As we all know, a person can be an active participant of society and can make an informed decision if he or she is informed of the dynamics and culture.
10293 In conclusion, this CARN radio station will serve communities which are in a disadvantageous position to access information in a timely, culturally sensitive and accurate manner.
10294 As we all know, it is not who gives the information but it is who produces the information, and that is where CARN will make the difference because the producers will be purely Caribbean and African descent, that are sensitive to the needs of their communities and are sensitive to the way the information has to be presented.
10295 Having this would greatly contribute to accessing the information and will give the community a positive sense of multiculturalism, which is a central pillar of our Canadian society.
10296 I hope this constitutes a compelling argument for licensing CARN.
10297 With great anticipation, I thank you very much for your time and consideration.
10298 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Khayre, for your presentation.
10299 Mr. Secretary, please.
10300 MR. LEBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
10301 We will now hear from Ekua Asabea Blair.
10302 MS BLAIR: Good afternoon, Madam Chairperson and other Members of the Commission.
10303 Before I begin, I want to say that I have come out of my sick bed from having a terrible cold, so my presentation may be prefaced by coughing and sneezing. Please bear with me.
10304 I came out of my bed because I felt it was important to be here today to talk about my support for the application that is being submitted by A. Fitzroy Gordon on behalf of CARN.
10305 I strongly support this application for not only personal, political but also professional reasons.
10306 Before I begin, I want to thank the Commission for giving licensing priority to a radio station that would reflect the cultural and racial diversity of Toronto. Kudos to you. Thank you very much for doing that.
10307 It has been a long time coming. I have been here for 23 years, and I know I have been waiting for a long time for something like this to happen.
10308 I also want to congratulate you for issuing a licence to the FLOW radio station. It was a great day for people like myself in the city of Toronto to finally feel that we would be validated by having our issues and having a presence in mainstream society.
10309 FLOW is wonderful. They play great music. But unfortunately they do not provide African programs in English or in third language. It is also an urban format, and it doesn't provide African and Caribbean music.
10310 I want to speak to the question you raised earlier about the DJ attending a funeral where a black person was recently killed. FLOW is a black-owned radio station, and I am sure Milestones and a DJ working for Milestones attending an event like that because it is a black person, it is a black-owned radio station, I am sure it was quite appropriate. But if we had a station like CARN, I am sure there would be a lot more support. There would be probably over ten DJs in attendance, giving some prominence to an issue like that that you pointed out.
10311 My name is Ekua Asabea Blair. I am an immigrant, a daughter of an immigrant who came over 30 years ago. I emigrated from Jamaica 23 years ago. My mom left me when I was 12 years old to come to Canada.
10312 I have been in Canada working and volunteering in a number of African-Canadian organizations to provide community support services to people of African and Caribbean descent. I am currently the executive director of a community health centre that is located in the GTA.
10313 We serve about 10,000 people, primarily newcomers, and we prioritize the African-Caribbean, Latin American, South Asian and Somali populations.
10314 On a daily basis I get firsthand information about their life experiences. Of course, some of them are quite familiar to me, because I have also lived them, witnessed them through my own life and also through the lives of members of my family.
10315 One of the things that is very common in immigration patterns is the fact that our moms -- women are the matriarchs of the family. They migrate. As I said, my mom left me when I was 12, and it was very devastating. It was very difficult when we came back together. The reunification process was extremely hard. Many immigrants that I work with today continue to experience that 23 years later. A big part of that is because they don't have a lot of access to information.
10316 One thing I find with newcomers that I work with is that they live in two worlds. There is an emotional world, and then there is this physical world. They are physically located maybe in the GTA, but emotionally -- because very often these women would leave children behind. They have families back home, children that they are working to support. They also live in a very defined community, and they very often don't even know much about what is happening in the city of Toronto.
10317 I work with people who have lived in this city for over 12 years, and many of them don't even know where the Harbour Front is. They have never been there. They don't know where the Eaton Centre is.
10318 There are a lot of free concerts that happen at the Harbour Front, especially for low income families. Things that you and I may take for granted, a lot of immigrants have no access to. A big part of that is because there is no place where we can gather. Our information isn't consolidated.
10319 We have fantastic programs through the community, through the university stations CHRY and CIUT. If you miss a radio program one week, you are out of that loop for events that may be happening.
10320 Many of the women that I work with work very hard, several jobs. Sometimes they are not available when those once-a-week programs are being aired. So they are often out of the loop in terms of having access to information that could help make their lives in Canada a better one.
10321 Recently, in 1992, I did some work with youths, youths who had dropped out of the school system. I work in a neighbourhood centre, in a neighbourhood where young African-Canadians were just hanging out on the streets, getting into trouble.
10322 As an organization, we decided to do a needs assessment to find out what were some of their issues and what was going on with them. Why were they hanging out on the street? Why weren't they in school?
10323 Overwhelmingly, one of the things we heard was they talked very passionately about the marginalization and how they felt invisible and unwelcome, not only in the school system but also in society.
10324 I reflect on my own upbringing. Radio played a very important part of my upbringing when I was in Jamaica. Radio in Jamaica opened up the world to me. As a poor girl growing up in the Caribbean, I learned about Africa. I learned about Canada and the United States. I learned about Europe.
10325 But I had a strong sense of who I was and my place in the world. I think a lot of kids growing up in this society have lost a sense of that.
10326 This summer it was reinforced for me. I am home now. I just adopted a two-year-old child, and I have had some time to spend with my younger family members. A 13-year-old, my cousin, said to me: "Auntie, don't you believe that everything black is negative? Don't you think black people are just negative?"
10327 It broke my heart. I had to stop. She went on to say how white means positive and how white people are positive and black people are negative. She said: "Don't get me wrong. I love my people, but everything we do is so bad and so negative."
10328 We explored the idea about the media and the role the media played. They are very isolated. As a young woman, I think she is a small representation of what other young people are seeing. They don't see themselves reflected in the society.
10329 They live in a very small emotional world, a very small radius, a small circle, where they don't get a chance to meet other kinds of people like themselves doing other amazing and wonderful things.
10330 I think having a radio station like CARN will provide opportunities like that, opportunities for them to not only hear hip hop and rap music, which is all wonderful -- I love it -- but they will have a chance to talk to other youth who may be experiencing some of the issues that they experience, talk about some of these issues and get some of the insights, here over the radio about positive role models and hear about what other people are doing so that they can feel that they can aspire to be just like those people.
10331 I think CARN will provide opportunities like that and I do hope that you will give this application serious consideration. We are a vast and diverse community. No one radio station can speak for all of our needs.
10332 Toronto is maturing. I think we are at that point and I do hope that you would give CARN the 105.1 frequency serious consideration.
10333 Women like myself with kids -- I have a two-year old growing up -- it is very important for me to know that she cannot only see positive role models in my family but also around her. So I hope you will give this application your serious consideration. This community deserves it.
10334 Thank you.
10335 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Ms Blair. I hope you take care of your cold.
10336 MS BLAIR: Thank you.
10337 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Your presentation will be added to the record.
10338 Mr. Secretary, I believe we have one more intervention.
10339 MR. LEBEL: You are correct, Madam Chair.
10340 We are up to our last appearing intervenor for today and that is Mr. Richard Aziz.
10341 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good evening.
10342 MR. AZIZ: Thank you, the Commission, for staying back this late. Thank you, Mr. Secretary, for allowing me the opportunity.
10343 My name is Richard Aziz. I am the Chairperson of the Caribbean East Indian Cultural Organization.
10344 Listening to so many people speaking on behalf of CARN you might think that the entire Caribbean region is only made up of Afro-Caribbean people. I beg to differ. Even if you look at some of the beautiful commercials that depict the wonderful, warm Caribbean, you will always see black faces. But I am here to tell you that we, the Caribbean East Indians, are very much a part of this very dynamic community.
10345 With the emancipation of the slaves in 1834 there was a need for a new source of labour in the Caribbean. Indian workers came as indentured labourers. They settled in the large sugar-producing countries like Trinidad, Guyana and Jamaica. They brought their music, stories, art, foods and changed the face of the Caribbean forever.
10346 Chutney music originates from the Caribbean and represents the native culture, sounds, traditions and pastimes of Indo-Caribbeans. Chutney music may be defined as a heterogeneous music that integrates Caribbean dialects with instruments of East Indian origin. The music itself capitulates folk stories, lessons of morals and basic understanding of mankind in a manner that is close to the upbringing of the Indo-Caribbean community.
10347 The chutney music industry is rapidly growing and now stages international chutney singing competitions. Hundreds of new CDs, records, tapes are produced annually. Concerts are held throughout the year in the GTA, which promoters showcase our local Caribbean East Indian talent alongside bands from Guyana, Surinham and Holland.
10348 The Indo-Caribbean community has set up businesses and specialty stores which continue to grow to meet their demands. For example, among the wide variety of temples, mosques and churches with very large Indo-Caribbean based congregations requires specialty shops like puja shops for the Hindus and halal stores for the Muslims.
10349 During the month of Ramadhan is the time when Muslims observe their fast, the devotees are desirous of listening to the Azaan, the call for prayer. Because the time of the Azaan changes with the time of sunrise, as the Muslims base their calculation according to the solar calendar, with access to a radio station the Azaan can broadcast at the appropriate times.
10350 The Toronto and Region Islam Centre -- TARIC -- last year sponsored the Eid prayers on a program that I host, Shabnam, which is aired every Sunday morning on 1320 CJMR, 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. It allowed the Muslims who were not able, because of transportation, distance or some other reason, to read the Eid prayer wherever they might have been. We had calls and letters from persons who were in jail even who heard the broadcast and received as many blessings as that they brought.
10351 I don't want to keep you. I know it is late and I'm here to close so I will do away with this and speak freely, if you would allow me.
10352 As an Indo-Caribbean I noticed this evening here many of the South Asian intervenors spoke highly about the many and very diverse South Asian communities. Not once did I hear any representation of our East Indian Caribbean community.
10353 For this, I want to let you know that the two programs that I host, by the way, one is on CHIN Radio 1540 AM every Monday night 11:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. While it might be late, I must tell you, through the many sponsorships from our Caribbean newspapers and other TV programs, the show receives a lot of attention. We do still have a fair amount of listeners, but again it is very late and cannot accommodate the children and many of the seniors who we would like to address.
10354 I would ask that you grant CARN this application, not that we wouldn't like to be given a licence as Caribbean East Indian to have our own time, but we would like to be under the umbrella of the name CARN so that we could stay closely together with our Caribbean community and share in the entertainment, the very diversified culture that is so present as you have seen with the application of CARN.
10355 With today's technology and scientific devices, Indo-Caribbeans need to be able to share information and maintain stability in the advancing world. Whether it is a religious holiday or a cultural event, the radio acts as an invitation to this dynamic multicultural population to become a mobile participant. The radio being an operative system in aiding the dispersion of information and entertainment, we would be able to maintain our identity in this truly global village we call the GTA.
10356 In conclusion, if our request is favourably considered, this would bridge the gap to the culturally starved population of Indo-Caribbeans, making this station an avenue for the dispersion of local entertainment combined with the useful knowledge and valuable information to satisfy the thirst of the GTA's every growing population.
10357 With this, I say thank you and good evening.
10358 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Aziz, and good evening to you.
10359 I believe, Mr. Secretary, this completes our agenda for today.
10360 MR. LEBEL: That is correct, Madam Chair.
10361 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will resume at 8:30 tomorrow morning, and we will hear all other intervenors in Phase III tomorrow.
10362 Thank you very much. Nous vous reverrons a 8 h 30 demain matin.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1750, to resume
on Thursday, September 26, 2002 at 0830 /
L'audience est ajournée à 1750, pour reprendre
le jeudi 26 septembre 2002 à 0830
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