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TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE
THE CANADIAN RADIO‑TELEVISION AND
TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES AVANT
CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION
ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES
VARIOUS BROADCAST APPLICATIONS /
PLUSIEURS DEMANDES EN RADIODIFFUSION
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Delta Regina Delta Regina
1919 Saskatchewan Drive 1919, promenade Saskatchewan
Regina, Saskatchewan Regina, Saskatchewan
November 1, 2006 le 1 novembre 2006
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
VARIOUS BROADCAST APPLICATIONS /
PLUSIEURS DEMANDES EN RADIODIFFUSION
BEFORE / DEVANT:
Barbara Cram Chairperson / Présidente
Michel Arpin Vice-Chair, Broadcasting / Vice‑président, radiodiffusion
Rita Cugini Commissioner / Conseillère
Ronald Williams Commissioner / Conseiller
Joan Pennefather Commissioner / Conseillère
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Chantal Boulet Secretary / Secrétaire
Leanne Bennett Legal Counsel /
Lyne Cape Hearing Manager /
Gérante de l'audience
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Delta Regina Delta Regina
1919 Saskatchewan Drive 1919, promenade Saskatchewan
Regina, Saskatchewan Regina, Saskatchewan
November 1, 2006 le 1 novembre 2006
- iv -
TABLE DES MATIÈRES / TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
REGINA - PHASE I
PRESENTATION BY / PRÉSENTATION PAR:
Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc. (AVR) 764 / 3743
Natotawin Broadcasting Inc. 857 / 4245
REGINA - PHASE II
PRESENTATION BY / PRÉSENTATION PAR:
REGINA - PHASE III
PRESENTATION BY / PRÉSENTATION PAR:
Rawlco Radio Ltd. 915 / 4596
Communications Management Inc. 927 / 4655
Hospitals of Regina Foundations Inc. 971 / 4889
Paul Martin Communications 975 / 4913
Neil Meckelborg 987 / 4979
MapleMusic & Open Road Recordings 998 / 5034
The Good Brothers 1003 / 5057
The Poverty Plainsmen 1005 / 5067
Birdsong Communications 1007 / 5074
Jennifer Jade Kerr 1021 / 5149
Zbitnew and Associates 1030 / 5186
Lighthouse To All Nations 1036 / 5208
Shelan Schnell 1042 / 5231
Regina Evangelical Ministerial Association 1046 / 5248
Harvard Broadcasting Inc. 1052 / 5277
- v -
TABLE DES MATIÈRES / TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
REGINA - PHASE IV
PRESENTATION BY / PRÉSENTATION PAR:
Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc. 1067 / 5368
Radio CJVR Ltd. 1068 / 5374
Touch Canada Broadcasting Inc. 1069 / 5381
Standard Radio Inc. 1073 / 5403
Newcap Inc. 1082 / 5459
SASKATOON - PHASE I
PRESENTATION BY / PRÉSENTATION PAR:
Newcap Inc. 1090 / 5494
Regina, Saskatchewan / Regina (Saskatchewan)
‑‑‑ Upon commencing on Wednesday, November 1, 2006
at 0830 / L'audience débute le mercredi
1 novembre 2006 à 0830
LISTNUM 95 \l 1 \s 37353735 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order please.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13736 Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Today of course is day one of Gainer‑Gate. Gainer has been punted from McMahon Stadium. The province is in shock and awe.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 95 \l 13737 THE CHAIRPERSON: As you know, of course ‑‑ and I'll give you non‑CFL speak ‑‑ the Roughriders' mascot, Gainer the Gopher has been expelled for the play‑off game this weekend. The province is just aghast.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13738 Nonetheless, I'll pass it over to Madam Secretary.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13739 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13740 Good morning everyone. We will now proceed with item 15 on the agenda which is an application by Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc., AVR, for a licence to operate an English and Aboriginal‑language Native type B FM radio undertaking in Regina.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13741 The new station would operate on frequency 96.1 megahertz, channel 241C, with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts, non‑directional antenna, antenna height of 146.2 metres.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13742 Appearing for the applicant is Mr. Lewis Cardinal who will introduce his colleagues. You will then have 20 minutes for your presentation. Please go ahead ‑‑ Mr. Hill will introduce his colleagues. My apologies.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
LISTNUM 95 \l 13743 MR. HILL: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13744 I'd like to say good morning to everyone. It's very nice to be here before you today. Chair, Members of the Commission, Commission staff, colleagues and broadcasters and ladies and gentlemen, my name is Jamie Hill. I'm the president of the Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13745 We are particularly excited about your appearance before the Commission today in support of our application for a new radio service for the historic city of Regina. I would like to now introduce to you the members of the AVR team.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13746 On your far right is Lewis Cardinal, the vice president of AVR. Lewis is an Aboriginal relations consultant to the City of Edmonton. He is also the founder and president of the newly informed ‑‑ newly formed Indigenous Media Institute and the founder and co‑Chair of the Global Indigenous Dialogue.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13747 As well, Lewis is a recent recipient of the Alberta Centennial Medal for his work in diversity, multiculturalism, and human rights and is this year being honoured with the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Community Service.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13748 Beside Lewis is J. Robert Wood, AVR's management consultant. Bob has provided management consulting services for some of Canada's largest broadcasters from coast to coast.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13749 Prior to that, he spent 17 years in the CHUM Group as national program director and manager of CHUM and CHUM‑FM. He led the CHUM team in the establishment of FACTOR and was one of the first broadcasters inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13750 On my right is Roy Hennessy, AVR's general manager. Roy has served as general manager of a number of Standard and Moffat stations in Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. He is a past president of FACTOR, has served on many industry boards and was recognized for his contribution to the broadcasting industry as a recipient of the first annual President's Award by the Ontario Association of Broadcasters.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13751 Beside Roy is Patrice Mosseau, AVR's program director and on‑air host. Patrice has served on FACTOR selection committees and is a member of Canadian Women in Communications and is a multiple award recipient for her work in radio.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13752 Patrice is also very active in her community as vice president of the board for the Native Women's Resource Centre in Toronto. She is a member of the Metis and Ojibwe Nations.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13753 And on your far left is Grant Buchanan of McCarthy Tetrault LLP, our legal counsel.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13754 As for myself, in addition to serving as president of AVR, I am a co‑founder of Knapp Media Inc. We publish a magazine, the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. The magazine is the most widely circulated Native magazine in the world.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13755 Previously I served as communications and information systems analyst for the chiefs of Ontario and worked as a director of economic development for the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13756 We would like to acknowledge the Saulteaux, Cree and Assiniboine people in whose traditional territories we are gathered today.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13757 We also want to recognize the Metis people as well as the kind people of Regina. We would like to thank all of them for the graciousness we have been afforded so far.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13758 I would now like to begin our formal presentation. The board of directors of AVR and I, are of one mind, that the building of a national network of radio stations that brings together the hopes and dreams of Aboriginal people is a necessity.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13759 We know that the Commission has heard from AVR many times on this subject and that the Commission has granted AVR a licence on each occasion that it has been requested.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13760 We know you have agreed with AVR's vision in the past and we respectfully ask that you do so again here in Regina.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13761 We are in the midst of creating the first national Aboriginal radio network in the world. The Canadian Broadcasting system has the resources to allow this to occur and the Broadcasting Act says that when that moment arrives, service should be extended.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13762 As you know, AVR has a unique profile. It is a national service with a national network licence, but it has a much bigger role to fill as the plan is to offer local service in many Canadian urban centres.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13763 The national network acts as a badly needed bridge from one Aboriginal community to another and allows for discourse, healing and the exchange of stories and events between Aboriginal people across the country.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13764 It is essential that the Aboriginal community here in Regina join the other Aboriginal communities across Canada in the AVR solution. Regina has an estimated population hovering around the 200,000 mark, of which Aboriginal people number close to 10 percent or 20,000.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13765 In the 2001 Statistics Canada Aboriginal people survey there were 9,880 North American Indians and 4,110 Metis people. The current national trend of migration of Aboriginal people to urban areas is a fast rising ‑‑ and a fast rising birth rate dictates an expected population surge in Regina now and in the future with some demographers predicting up to 50 percent First Nations population in Saskatchewan within a few generations.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13766 MR. CARDINAL: There are 12 radio stations on air in Regina and virtually no Aboriginal presence on any of then. Our new AVR Regina station will dramatically increase the diversity of radio programming in the market by immediately introducing a radio service dedicated to reflecting the needs and interests of Regina's First Nations, Inuit, and Metis communities. This new service will be a tremendous benefit to those community members and a real alternative.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13767 It is difficult for me to contemplate a national Aboriginal service like AVR without Regina in it. Moreover, there is a significant pent up demand for the programming featured on AVR.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13768 A research report conducted for AVR by Peter Doering Consultants in November of 1999, that survey of Canadians revealed a number of compelling statistics. Canadians from coast to coast overwhelmingly approve of an Aboriginal national radio service.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13769 Indeed, the respondents from the City of Regina were 90 percent in favour of the AVR network. A very large percentage of those Regina respondents agreed the following goals were important for AVR to achieve.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13770 First goal, provide exposure and support appreciation for Aboriginal culture. Ninety‑seven percent of Regina respondents agreed with that. Increase understanding between Aboriginal and non‑Aboriginal Canadians, 92 percent agreed with that. Help sensitive ‑‑ help sensitize the wider community regarding the interests and concerns of Aboriginal Canadians, 91 percent. Encourage Aboriginal self‑sufficiency, 90 percent.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13771 AVR is concerned about the great possibility of many Aboriginal languages becoming extinct. There are between 53 and 70 known Aboriginal languages, but many are only used by elders and will die with them.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13772 In addition to the promotion of Aboriginal Canadian languages in the English language portion of this schedule, AVR will, as it does in every other market, ensure that no less than 2 percent of all programming during the broadcast week be spoken word programming in an Aboriginal Canadian language and no less than 2 percent of all vocal musical selections played during each broadcast week in an Aboriginal Canadian language.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13773 I am pleased to advise the Commission that last month, Mr. Ron Ignace, the Chair of the task force in Aboriginal languages initiative joined AVR's board of directors where his expertise will be greatly appreciated and will be invaluable.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13774 The two Aboriginal language conditions of licence mentioned above, together with the requirement that a minimum of 25 percent of all programming be spoken word programming, including news, and a minimum of 35 percent of all musical selections from category 2 be Canadian selections, played in their entirety, have formed the backbone of the regulatory underpinning of AVR's many services. AVR meets or exceeds all of these thresholds and will continue to do so.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13775 Chair and Members of the Commission, for a national Aboriginal service to be effective, it must be able to both send and receive programming of relevance from a variety of communities in Canada and not just from Toronto.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13776 So we believe strongly in local Aboriginal content. Moreover, it is vital that the Aboriginal community be able to access the service as Aboriginal people constitute an impoverished subset of Canadian society, free over‑the‑air local radio will remain their primary source for many years to come.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13777 Finally, it is worth recalling that AVR features virtually 100 percent Aboriginal programming during the broadcast week. Ours is not a cross‑subsidy model. We are a truly Aboriginal service each and every broadcast day.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13778 I would like to ask Patrice to speak more about after the programming plans for AVR Regina.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13779 MS MOUSSEAU: AVR radio service in Regina will offer a varied programming menu. AVR's programming will reflect the Aboriginal Canadian experience.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13780 Newscasts, public affairs programs and open‑line talk shows will all address the needs, interests, and concerns of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Canadians, particularly those who live in large urban centres like Regina, where the Aboriginal population is growing at a much greater rate than the population at large.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13781 The network programming schedule will include full Aboriginal news reports, national phone‑in programs, a women's round table discussion, focus programs on language, youth, elders, health, et cetera, as well as specialty music programs featuring artist profiles, traditional music, blues, jazz, country, et cetera.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13782 The new AVR service in Regina will feature more than 32 hours of ‑‑ a week of local programming. The showcase will be the Regina morning show which will air Monday to Sunday 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Among other things, this locally produced program will feature a variety of interviews, surveillance reports, Aboriginal music and local banter.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13783 AVR will broadcast a number of newscasts which will aggregate more than three ‑‑ thirty ‑‑ sorry, three and a half hours per week. New story selection will focus on ‑‑ on events which impact Canada's urban Aboriginal communities, and that have been overlooked and under‑reported by other news sources.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13784 Additional priority will be given to providing a venue for the expression of non‑mainstream viewpoints on current matters of the day. Source material from newscasts will come from Internet‑based, free news services, materials provided through cooperative arrangements with other local and regional alternative news sources and network‑produced reports. Original reportage will increase with the developing capacity of the news department.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13785 AVR also proposes to create a three‑minute feature to be called Community Calendar, to provide a schedule of performances and other events taking place in Regina and surrounding areas. In addition, the Regina station will be responsible for creating local programming for inclusion in network programming dealing with artist profiles, interviews, talent development, and concert reviews, et cetera.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13786 As noted earlier, AVR also proposes the same condition of licence requiring 25 percent of the broadcast week to be comprised of spoken word programs as it is found elsewhere on AVR services throughout Canada.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13787 In addition to the local programming already discussed, AVR will feature a number of national spoken‑word programs that will become available to Regina listeners.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13788 While spoken word will be a significant component of the AVR Regina schedule, the station will also feature a mix of primarily Canadian and worldwide Aboriginal artists in a broad range of genres. Program hosts will provide informed commentary on the artist presented, along with a variety of education ‑‑ educational and entertaining Aboriginal Canadian perspectives on issues of the day.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13789 The widespread national availability of the AVR radio service has already dramatically increased exposure to the work of Aboriginal Canadian artists. Encouraging an increased awareness of Aboriginal culture, AVR will play a leading national role in the development and radio exposure of Native musical and spoken‑word talent.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13790 AVR has already begun the development of a national archive of Aboriginal Canadian artists. Currently there are 70 ‑‑ 7,500 individual selections performed by 658 artists and groups. The majority of the programming on AVR is drawn from this growing and important resource.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13791 AVR's conditions of licence across Canada require that at least 35 percent of the musical selections on AVR be Canadian. AVR actually does much better than this, playing somewhere between 45 and 60 percent Canadian selections all by Aboriginal artists.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13792 AVR's over‑delivery will be no different in Regina. A recent monitor of AVR by the Commission staff indicated more than 46 percent Canadian selections. However, many of the Aboriginal Canadian artists featured on AVR have not even yet been found on the Commission's current database. This resulted in a finding of a lower percentage of Canadian spins than we know to be the case.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13793 AVR has since agreed to assist the Commission by confirming the Canadian content status of these Aboriginal Canadian artists who are not currently in the Commission's database.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13794 Once this extensive project is complete, AVR's Aboriginal Canadian content level will be found closer to 60 percent. AVR will aggressively promote the involvement of Aboriginal Canadian artists through regular airplay, interview appearances, guest hosting and live studio performances. AVR will encourage live music by offering extensive free promotion of the upcoming performances of Aboriginal artists.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13795 MR. HILL: In closing today I want to thank the Chair and members and staff of the Commission and the other licence applicants who are our colleagues in the broadcast industry.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13796 We want to thank the indigenous people of this area for permitting us to gather on their traditional territory for these hearings and we thank the Creator for our blessings.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13797 The Broadcasting Act, section 3(1)(d)(iii) states that the Canadian broadcasting system should reflect the special place of Aboriginal people within Canadian society.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13798 Section 3(1)(o) of the Act states that programming that reflects the Aboriginal cultures of Canada should be provided within the Canadian Broadcasting system as resources become available for that purpose.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13799 The boards of directors of AVR gratefully acknowledge the support of Phil Fontaine, the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations; George Erasmus, co‑Chair of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People; Perry Bellegarde, former Grand Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and the Regional Chief of Saskatchewan; Beverley Jacobs, president of the Native Women's Association of Canada; Vera Pawis‑Tabobondung, president of the National Association of Friendship Centres; Marg Friesch, coordinator of the Circle of Aboriginal Community Voices here in Regina; Don Ross, president of Premier Developments; and the 90 percent of the respondents to the Doering survey who live in Regina and who reported they fully support the need for a national Aboriginal radio service.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13800 We are also delighted to have received strong support from such stars of the Aboriginal Canadian music scene as John Arcand, Donny Parenteau, Eekwol, and Andrea Menard. They understand the value of a national Aboriginal radio service both to their own development as musicians but also to the Aboriginal communities from which they come.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13801 Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13802 And we would be pleased to respond to your questions. All my relations.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13803 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Hill.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13804 Vice‑Chair Arpin...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13805 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Thank you, Madam Chair. Thank you, Mr. Hill and your team.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13806 I will address my question to you, but you may ask where ‑‑ who you think is most appropriate to answer the question to the members of your team.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13807 I know that we ‑‑ at this hearing we will have the opportunity to see you two other times, but ‑‑ so I will, today, restrict my questions only to the Regina application. I know that tomorrow we will have an opportunity to hear your Saskatoon application and on Friday we will hear your renewal. I will want you not to refer to the current situation at CKV but to deal specifically with the Regina item so that we, for the record, have a complete understanding of your plan for Regina.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13808 So could you, as a first question, explain to the Commission why at this time in the evolution of AVR it is ‑‑ you have applied for a service in this market in Regina?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13809 MR. HILL: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13810 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: I think you partly gave the answer in your oral presentation, but you may want to expand.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13811 MR. HILL: Okay. Yes, Commissioner Arpin, I guess the primary reason is we feel very confident and, you know, strong about the idea that this national radio service is extremely important to Aboriginal people and we think that it's a ‑‑ as important to the Aboriginal community in Regina as is important as any other urban city.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13812 The Aboriginal people of Regina do not have a radio service which speaks specifically to them which reflects, you know, back to them their Aboriginal identity. So that is, I guess, the first reason.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13813 The second reason, I think, is the fact that, you know, when this has happened in the past with AVR that we are faced with a situation where potentially we may not be able to have the opportunity to achieve a licence in Regina for a very long time.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13814 So the fact that the call for the Regina licence has come about, we feel that we don't want to miss the opportunity to be able to broadcast into Regina to serve the Aboriginal population here. And maybe Lewis can comment further?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13815 MR. CARDINAL: Yes. I just want to add to the comment of having the reflection of the Aboriginal voice brought back to the Aboriginal community here in the City of Regina.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13816 Cultural reflectivity is a very important part and process of strengthening our Aboriginal communities, and we know that if we can create that space and opportunity for the Aboriginal voice to be heard far and wide around this region, we will be contributing not only to the wellbeing of Aboriginal people in Canada, but also to the wellbeing of the community as a whole.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13817 MR. HILL: Just to finish that answer, you know, one of the primary missions of Aboriginal Voice Radio is to improve the lives of Aboriginal people. And, you know, we would certainly like the opportunity to help in that regard as much as we can as a national radio service for the community in Regina.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13818 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: So thank you. One of the first question that is ‑‑ appears to be obvious, at least for the Commission, is how will you be able to finance the implementation of a new service for Regina?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13819 MR. HILL: Commissioner, we've done projections which we have ‑‑ financial projections for several years going out, looking out, and we've submitted financial projections that show that we have the financial wherewithal as far as, you know, getting the Regina operation up and running and sustaining it.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13820 Our projections are very conservative and they're based upon revenue streams which are virtually guaranteed because they're long‑term commitments from broadcast benefit packages.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13821 We've also added advertising, and I guess there's some grant contributions where we would apply for grants, but we have extremely conservative advertising projections for a national radio service. They're very, very low.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13822 So we wanted to give you a financial picture going out that is ‑‑ you can have a very high degree of confidence in because they're virtually guaranteed revenue streams.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13823 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: I don't think that those financial projections have been filed with the Commission, have they?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13824 MR. HILL: I thought they did. But for sure we can file them with the Commission and ensure that you have them if we haven't yet, but I was under the impression that we did.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13825 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Looking at ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13826 MR. HILL: I believe we'd be able to give you those ‑‑ to you today.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13827 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Okay, fine. Well, the ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13828 MR. HILL: Maybe if I could just add that, you know, in the development of the AVR national network there is a sequence that we see, and that is the first thing is to develop the stations and get the financial wherewithal to put ‑‑ to obtain licences and put the stations on the air.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13829 The next thing is to improve the programming to a point where it's high quality programming and of course, following that, we would be able to develop a ‑‑ to a pretty strong sales effort once we do things as far as the programming and getting the stations on the air.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13830 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: The ‑‑ other than having financial projections that you have developed, the ‑‑ do you have the necessary documentation that will help us to understand ‑‑ well, we are certainly aware of the benefit packages that has been approved in the past, so we know that the Commission has approved a good number of broadcasters' proposal to support the development of AVR.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13831 But other than that, do you have any other documentation that supports the ‑‑ your ‑‑ they're ‑‑ your availability of funds?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13832 MR. HILL: Well, you know, we put a lot of work into the financial projections to ensure that we were going to be on the mark regarding the financial future, so we can provide extensive information to the Commission and, you know, we'd certainly be willing to do that, Commissioner Arpin.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13833 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Yeah. And obviously some of it will be filed on a confidential basis so there ‑‑ if you think that you require that these documents not be put in the public record, staff and legal ‑‑ our legal people will surely look at and advise if it is ‑‑ if it could be filed in ‑‑ under confidence.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13834 MR. HILL: Okay. We appreciate that very much.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13835 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: I know other than ‑‑ obviously you addressed the issue of capital expenditures, but then there's the operational expenditures of a transmitter, and you also have programming plans and you ‑‑ and pre‑launch operating cost.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13836 Do you have the ‑‑ do you have on hand the financing to do such an investment for the Regina application?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13837 MR. HILL: Yes, Commissioner. We have projected enough money. As a matter of fact, moving out into the future year by year in the documents that we submit, you'll find that we actually are in a surplus situation moving out ‑‑ as we move out.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13838 And this ‑‑ these have taken into account getting the stations on the air and providing a level of service. I have to say that, you know, the aspiration of AVR is to provide the most premium high quality service, you know, that anyone could provide for Aboriginal people. And we do recognize that that is contingent upon finances, you know, having the financial wherewithal to do a premium service.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13839 What we've projected, I would say, is a moderate service because, you know, we wanted to indicate to you that we could do that with a high degree of confidence based upon virtually ‑‑ the ‑‑ based upon revenue streams that are almost virtually guaranteed.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13840 But I want to say that we do believe amongst the AVR team that we are going to out‑perform what the projections are that we're giving to you. As you'll see, once you get a chance to take a look at the ‑‑ the advertising revenues, for instance, are extremely low.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13841 So we believe that we're going to, you know, have the financing to be able to, over a period of time, increase the quality of the programming that is coming into Regina.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13842 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Now, I notice in this morning's oral presentation that you have increased the local content from 25 to 32 hours of programming on a weekly basis. They ‑‑ you're ‑‑ I know that the application was based on 25 hours and 51 minute of local programming. Now, this morning, in your oral presentation you referred to 32 hours.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13843 We will surely have an opportunity to discuss later on the content of those 32 hours, but that means that you will probably need more staff than you ‑‑ what you have prepared because I notice that when I'm looking at your application, the ‑‑ I know that you have identified that you will need three programming staff, including one journalist, announcer for in excess of ‑‑ well, I have here now for 32 hours.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13844 You have also indicated that the roll‑out of the programming will be tied to a number of funding opportunities and initiative in which you have not elaborate ‑‑ but the ‑‑ well, we have all ‑‑ with respect to the funding initiative, other than the ‑‑ that the monies that you're getting through benefits and now you said "limited advertising revenues" and ‑‑ but you did mention grants. What type of grants are you talking about and what is really available for AVR?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13845 MR. HILL: Well, I think there are a number of grant opportunities, Commissioner. We have been successful in the past in gaining both federal grants and provincial grants. For instance, in Ontario we were provided with a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation of 180,000.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13846 So as we build the programming into each urban centre, we believe that we will be able to access provincial types of grants to help with the local effort, as well as to continue to access federal grants that would provide contributions to help with the entire national radio network.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13847 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: But when you are getting grants from one province, can you use the proceeds for ‑‑ to invest in another province?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13848 MR. HILL: Well ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13849 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Because you mentioned the Ontario ‑‑ and Ontario program. Could you use the proceeds of that program for Saskatchewan?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13850 MR. HILL: Well, we believe that we'll be able to do that because we are going to provide local programming, and I think those grants would be specific to the local programming. So as far as we know right now, we would be able to do that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13851 I mean it's going to vary from each province ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13852 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Yeah.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13853 MR. HILL: ‑‑ depending upon what their programs are, but ‑‑ yeah, Roy can ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13854 MR. HENNESSY: The ‑‑ good morning. The Trillium Foundation grant was specifically intended to be used for the development of an Aboriginal news department, which included news stringers in various regions of the Province of Ontario to ensure that we were reaching out to that organization.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13855 The application for that grant began before we had expanded our service, but they included the monies to be used to train and develop Aboriginal news staff as well as reaching out through the province, so a multi‑purpose application to that funding. Those are the types of grants that we're seeking.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13856 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: We'll now get to the specific of your application and the note that ‑‑ well, staff is ‑‑ has noted some inconsistencies between your programming grid and other responses that we've got out of your ‑‑ in your letter dated August 4th, 2006, and I have a series of question.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13857 Among ‑‑ one of them is that you've stated that you will be offering a best‑of‑the‑week recap of your weekday morning show on every Saturday morning between 6 a.m. and 10 in your programming grid. However, you have indicated that you will also offer best‑of‑the‑week recaps on Sundays.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13858 Would ‑‑ will you indeed be offering the same ‑‑ this recap program on Sundays or on Saturdays and ‑‑ or is it ‑‑ will it be a repeat of the Saturday program?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13859 MR. HILL: Commissioner, if I could, I'd like to ask our program director Patrice Mosseau to respond to that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13860 MS MOUSSEAU: Yes, in fact we will be continue ‑‑ we're doing the best‑of morning show on both Saturday and Sunday.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13861 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: And is the Sunday a repeat of the Saturday or is it two different programs?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13862 MS MOUSSEAU: We're looking at doing two different programs at this time. Of course looking at funding, we may do a best‑of on both weekend days to start.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13863 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Okay. Although your program grid does not express as much, you have indicated that you would be providing three five‑minute weekly review features on Saturday mornings. Could you please confirm whether this in fact ‑‑ if it's the case? And so could you also, please, provide us with a description of ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13864 MS MOUSSEAU: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13865 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: ‑‑ these features?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13866 MS MOUSSEAU: The weekly review features will be ‑‑ like, the best‑of top news stories from the week previous will then be inserted into our best‑of morning show for the weekends on the Saturday and Sunday.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13867 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: You've also indicated that you will be providing seven three‑minutes community calendar features between Monday ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13868 MS MOUSSEAU: Mmhmm.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13869 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: ‑‑ and Sunday. Will those ‑‑ these be seven day ‑‑ daily features or seven ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13870 MS MOUSSEAU: It's very confusing. We actually had a small typo there.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13871 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13872 MS MOUSSEAU: It says seven minutes. I think at the chart that you're looking at, it's actually ‑‑ or sorry, seven minutes total. It's actually 21 minutes per day.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13873 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13874 MS MOUSSEAU: So it's running seven times ‑‑ seven times a day. It's a three‑minute program running seven times a day, seven days a week.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13875 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: So ‑‑ and is it the same feature that is repeated 7 times or 21 times or is it 21 different features or ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13876 MS MOUSSEAU: Because different community events will be happening throughout the week, someone can be then updating that on a regular basis and refreshing it every couple of days.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13877 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: So at the end of ‑‑ in a given week, you ‑‑ what, you could be covering two, three different ‑‑ two, three or four different events and update those ‑‑ the feature as long as you move throughout the week?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13878 MS MOUSSEAU: Absolutely.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13879 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: You also have indicated that you will hire three staff to fulfil the local programming commitment. These commitment will include up to 49 community calendars, 15 weekly locally‑produced newscasts, 15 hours of morning show.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13880 And you've added more this morning, the compilation of the best‑of‑the‑week features, in addition to research and reporting, liaising with CKV Toronto and other station functions.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13881 In this light, could you please elaborate on the function of each of the staff members to be employed directly by the proposed undertaking? And even before going there, since you've mentioned this morning 32 hours of local programming, maybe we could start reviewing those local programs so that we have a better understanding of what you ‑‑ what they are and then we could discuss staffing and the capability of this ‑‑ of these fairly limited number of people to do all that, that extensive work.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13882 MS MOUSSEAU: Mmhmm. The star of our local content, our local programming, is really the morning show. That's four hours a day, Monday to Friday, and then the reviews that happen on Saturday and Sunday.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13883 The two people that we have working on the morning and with ‑‑ in addition to another person, they'll be also doing the news and the community calendar which can then be programmed and run into as local programming throughout the schedule in Regina.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13884 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: So the ‑‑ so say if I'm running the morning shows plus the two reviews that give us 28 hours, the ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13885 MR. HENNESSY: Just ‑‑ sorry, please. Just one quick thing, the difference that we've pointed out in the calculation of the community calendar between 21 minutes a week and 21 minutes a day ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13886 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Yeah.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13887 MR. HENNESSY: ‑‑ that's what contributes to the adjustment up to the 32 hours and 17 minutes. It's just reconciling the typo ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13888 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13889 MR. HENNESSY: ‑‑ against what was actually on the sheet.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13890 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Yeah. Okay, fine. Now, you think ‑‑ well, could you help us in understanding what will be the functions of the ‑‑ your local people?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13891 MR. HENNESSY: Our roll‑out template that we will use to implement service in each of the markets that we move to commences with ‑‑ as was pointed out in one of the decisions that we received, primarily the service will come from the Toronto production centre initially and, as quickly as resources will allow, we'll introduce the local newsperson.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13892 And using technology, we can virtually create a news room in someone's home. Mortars and brick are the expensive part of our business, and that's the last thing that we'll look at moving towards on a permanent basis.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13893 But if we start out with the newsperson in Regina, their responsibility will be to contribute news, commentary, interviews, content about newsworthy items that will be of interest to people in Regina and also people across the national network.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13894 This content will be packaged as part of the major newscasts and delivered back to each of the markets across the country. If it's a story of particular interest in Regina, it will take a larger portion of the newscast than we would necessarily send to Vancouver or Calgary, if it's of more local interest.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13895 So the intent is to be 30 percent local, 30 percent regional and 40 percent national. That's our goal for the content makeup of the newscast.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13896 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: And ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13897 MR. HENNESSY: So we start with ‑‑ sorry?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13898 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Okay, so if I understand you right, you ‑‑ that new person ‑‑ newsperson will gather the information here, will produce his ‑‑ well, his newscast or his feature, whatever the ‑‑ they have to do, they will send it to Toronto, but it could ‑‑ but it will be on ‑‑ rebroadcast only in Regina or out ‑‑ on all the network? The ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13899 MR. HENNESSY: It will be included in the national newscast, but an extended version of that can be brought into Regina if it's of ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13900 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: And Regina alone ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13901 MR. HENNESSY: ‑‑ more interest
LISTNUM 95 \l 13902 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: ‑‑ but aired ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13903 MR. HENNESSY: And Regina alone.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13904 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: But aired ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13905 MR. HENNESSY: We have the capability to do ‑‑ or we will have the capability to do that with the new master control system that we are on ‑‑ it's a delivery system that we will be installing. We have the space in our facility in Toronto. We're just waiting for the arrival of a few more dollars and we'll have that system in place where we can, from a central control, deliver the content to each of the stations across country.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13906 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: So your staff will not necessarily be, as you said, the ‑‑ it will work from their basement or wherever they ‑‑ they're personally located? You won't necessarily have a Regina facility with studios and production facility? It will be that ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13907 MR. HENNESSY: At the outset, no. That will have to be addressed as soon as we introduce the Regina morning show ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13908 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Yeah.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13909 MR. HENNESSY: ‑‑ because we'll need a central location for guests, for artists, for the staff themselves to work from.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13910 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: But as ‑‑ but for ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13911 MR. HENNESSY: A similar thing is ‑‑ will happen. We are in discussions with the Weather Network and, very soon, we are going to introduce a national weather forecast and a more detailed local forecast that's ‑‑ which will be dropped into each of our stations.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13912 So again, using technology and relationship with the Weather Network, we will be able to provide travellers' weather ‑‑ and this is another way that we're dealing with the issue of the multitude of Aboriginal languages and that we're encouraging our morning show host ‑‑ the Inuit have 200 words for snow. I can only think of about four, one of which I can use here.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13913 They have a large number of words, and we're going to encourage that type of use of the language to be included into the programming, so that it becomes an item of interest. It becomes something that can be, in a humorous way, entertaining/educational, but it becomes a positive experience for people who are listening.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13914 Again, those sorts of things can be done from the master control and dropped into the individual locations.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13915 MR. WOOD: Mr. Chairman, I might also mention that there would be a 1‑800 listener line. There will be a news tip award line where we would pay $100 a week and $1,000 a year for the best news tip award. There will be the AVR news correspondent in the community and there would be contact with the local Friendship Centres for more of the Regina input into the national service.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13916 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Now, that's the first stage, and it's in ‑‑ to start with the news gathering and news producing out of Regina. Then ‑‑ and that will employ one person?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13917 MR. HENNESSY: In the news position? Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13918 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13919 MR. HENNESSY: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13920 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Okay. Then later, as finances are available, then you will ‑‑ you're planning to have a morning show, and it's when you will have that morning show that you will be also able to produce the best of the week and not before?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13921 MR. HENNESSY: Correct.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13922 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Correct. So when ‑‑ and how many employees will be involved in the morning show?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13923 MR. HENNESSY: For the local production of the morning show ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13924 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13925 MR. HENNESSY: ‑‑ we'll have the newsperson, the morning host who is the anchor for the show does interviews, that type of thing. There will be a producer who operates the morning show and works to edit, putting together a community calendar, a multipurpose position such as that. And we also have a technician for the station that's on a service contract to maintain us technically.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13926 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: And that will ‑‑ at which stage of your development are you figuring out that you will be able to implement the morning program, so having local facilities?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13927 MR. HENNESSY: As quickly as possible. We are ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13928 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: And ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13929 MR. HENNESSY: ‑‑ we are very much aware of our ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13930 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: And in your own words, what the words "quickly" means?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13931 MR. HILL: Commissioner ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13932 MR. HENNESSY: 3/25 September ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13933 MR. HILL: Commissioner, I think that we have been able to put together a very strong team that's very focused on the financing issue going forward.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13934 And as I had mentioned, we want to deliver a premium service and we took that very seriously. And we know we have a national radio network to build and we have specifically hired people whose job it is to, I guess, you know, optimize our ability to achieve the type of financing that's required.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13935 MR. HENNESSY: One ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13936 MR. HILL: There are more people working on this than what is sitting here at the table.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13937 MR. HENNESSY: One of the things that was mentioned was the low advertising revenues. I think we should make a distinction between advertising and our concept of commercial advertising and what we are really attempting to create. We do not see ourselves as a commercial competitor. We don't believe we will be.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13938 We're not going to be comparing cost per point with the commercial operations in the market, but we do ‑‑ and we have one of our consultants, one of our friends, has had some conversations with national public radio and public broadcasting in the US. And we're using that as a model and we have created presentation packages that we can take nationally or to large corporations in the communities we're serving, to seek funding ‑‑ not for advertising, but to support the development of a program of a feature, whether it's a feature on community welfare and health that could be sponsored by an organization of food producers or it's a wide open range or scope that we're going after to seek these dollars to help us fund and develop the programming.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13939 And they will receive the appropriate credits as you hear on public radio or you see on PBS, sponsored by the generosity of this foundation and that organization.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13940 We have a representative in Vancouver at this point in time. We have a company in Calgary. There's people there. They've undertaken to develop this program across the prairies. They've been concentrating on the oil towers in Calgary initially because it seemed like right ‑‑ ripe picking, but they're working in that area.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13941 And we have a consultant in ‑‑ who works out of Windsor who is also working to help us develop this in Toronto to go after corporations there.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13942 So it's a different sales. It's a different product and it will be ‑‑ we don't see the money coming out of advertising budgets, more out of community relations, education and budgets of that nature that the companies have.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13943 So as we develop that, you know, quite possibly if the ‑‑ if it was a company in Regina, they would specify they wanted the money spent here, and we will be most accommodating.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13944 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: The programming plans that we are discussing now for Regina, except in Toronto, have you already start to implement part of it in the ‑‑ in other markets?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13945 MR. HILL: Well, Commissioner, we've started to ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13946 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: To go on air?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13947 MR. HILL: Yeah, we're working on it right now. We haven't set a firm date. Our intention was as soon as this hearing is finished, we're going to be into determining more of an exact time when we're going to be able to achieve those things, but we think that it's not too ‑‑ not very far into the future.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13948 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: And it ‑‑ but it's ‑‑ and you're following the same steps?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13949 MR. HILL: Yes. Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13950 MR. WOOD: Mr. Chairman, I might add that had there is no resistance on the part of AVR to provide local programming. You do not have to drag us kicking and screaming to do local programming. We fully appreciate the idea that local programming generates audience. That will be a very high priority for AVR, and it's linked really, again, to when the funds become available.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13951 I think that we've dramatically understated the capability of the network to generate sales revenues through advertising. And in part, I might ask Patrice to comment on some of the listener reaction we're getting ‑‑ not just from Aboriginal people, but from all people ‑‑ to the music that we're featuring on AVR.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13952 MS MOUSSEAU: Our listeners in ‑‑ right now in Toronto, and actually we get listeners all across ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13953 THE CHAIRPERSON: Can you just speak up please?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13954 MS MOUSSEAU: Sorry.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13955 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm sorry.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13956 MS MOUSSEAU: That's okay. I get e‑mails and phone calls every day from our listeners in Toronto and across Canada, and actually around the world, and one of the things that they keep mentioning to me is the incredible music and programming that's on AVR that's completely unavailable. There's no other station like that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13957 And we want to be able to roll that out nationally. We want everybody in Canada to be able to hear AVR. We want all the Aboriginal communities across all the provinces, including Saskatchewan, to be a part of this national network.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13958 And I think if Saskatoon and Regina don't get the opportunity to add their voice to that network, I think it's going to do them a great disservice. And the fact is, is that people like to hear us, and we want to be heard here as well.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13959 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Now, the local programming that we're talking about this morning, all of that will be ‑‑ in which language will it be? In the ‑‑ in Cree, in Assiniboine or in English or ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13960 MS MOUSSEAU: Shall I?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13961 MR. HILL: We ‑‑ right now, Commissioner, we're broadcasting two languages that I guess are the languages in the cities where we have this happening. The majority of the population ‑‑ and that's predominantly, right now, Cree and Ojibwe.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13962 I know there are other Aboriginal groups here and, you know, we would of course broadcast in languages that are the most relevant for each city. So I know there are Assiniboine people here, Saulteaux, in addition to Cree predominantly, and there are other First Nations as well.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13963 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: We ‑‑ yesterday we heard there were some Dakotas as well in this city, and there was a fifth one, but we check around ourself, and I don't think it was ever mentioned.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 95 \l 13964 MS MOUSSEAU: We have our spoken ‑‑ or our Aboriginal language requirement that we obviously are going to hit and probably exceed as far as language lessons actually having programming spoken in Aboriginal languages.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13965 But the thing is, is because we're going to have local talent here, they're going to ‑‑ have the ability not only to speak in English to their community, but to be able to use their own language commonly and make it something that's accessible and understandable, and then the people in the community can go, "Well, yeah, this is my language and I'm hearing it on the radio." And that's going to have a lot of benefit to get people more encouraged to use their language and to learn more about it.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13966 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Will you be doing some things for the Metis community?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13967 MS MOUSSEAU: Absolutely. In fact we already ‑‑ we have a Metis show ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13968 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Yeah.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13969 MS MOUSSEAU: ‑‑ right now in Toronto, which probably would roll out first, or take that national program, take it over into Regina and then look to the Metis community in Regina to contribute to that show.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13970 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Now, if things go well and over time we ‑‑ are you planning to hire more than three and a half people to operate your local programming contention?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13971 MS MOUSSEAU: Well, one of the things about AVR is we're traditional storytellers, but we're using the best technology that we can find right now to do everything as quickly, as efficiently and as inexpensively as possible.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13972 One of the benefits of that is we can have DJs that are available and broadcasting nationally from anywhere in the country, so we could have X number of staff from right here in Saskatchewan as part of the national network.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13973 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Now, you haven't indicated that you will provide both locally‑produced and network‑produced spoken‑word programming including, like, a number of newscasts ‑‑ you know, well, we've already discussed my question. I apologize.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13974 MR. WOOD: Mr. Chairman, if I could just jump in?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13975 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13976 MR. WOOD: One comment about additional local reflection. There has been great interest on the part of local community groups to come forward with programs that would be heard on AVR. AVR would make that widely known, that such programming would find a platform on AVR and we would also approach organizations like the local Friendship Centre, for example, to find out if they wanted to produce a program that would be heard locally and, depending on the quality aspects of it or the program in its entirety, could be heard nationally.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13977 So it won't just be whether we have a large enough staff to accommodate local programming; there will be feedback and input coming from the community itself. In fact, there's a fair amount of pent up demand for that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13978 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Now, in the programming grid that you've provided us, you did mention number ‑‑ a good number of titles for network‑originated programming. However, since very little information was provided in relation to these programs, I personally consulted your Toronto website so ‑‑ where I found the ‑‑ some descriptions for Red Tales, Women's Round Table, Art Review, Metis Health, AKA American Indian Living, and Heartbeat. Could you confirm that the description of these programs provided on your website is current ‑‑ that currently is on your website, and I did check your website last week, so is this ‑‑ is that information still ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13979 MS MOUSSEAU: Program ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13980 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: ‑‑ accurate?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13981 MS MOUSSEAU: ‑‑ descriptions that are on the website are in fact correct.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13982 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: So it ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13983 MS MOUSSEAU: Now, we ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13984 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: ‑‑ they are accurate?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13985 MS MOUSSEAU: ‑‑ we do have a few more additions to make to the website. We've been pretty busy. Haven't had a chance to update it recently but, yeah, the descriptions there ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13986 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: But what ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13987 MS MOUSSEAU: ‑‑ are correct.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13988 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: ‑‑ what is on the website is accurate?
LISTNUM 95 \l 13989 MS MOUSSEAU: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13990 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Could you ‑‑ and getting back to your morning show that you're planning to have for Regina, could you describe for us the type of content you will ‑‑ you're looking to cover? And you've mentioned local activities. You've mentioned interviews, but could you give us more ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13991 MS MOUSSEAU: This morning show is really going to be an opportunity for the people in Regina to have a showcase for their talent.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13992 One of the reasons why I'm so excited to come into this market is because the musical talent in this province is extraordinary. We've had an opportunity to have several artists send their ‑‑ send us their CDs because they are really well‑known, like Andrea Menard for example, and she gets played all the time on AVR. And there's a lot of regional musicians that haven't even had the opportunity ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13993 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: But she's played at ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 13994 MS MOUSSEAU: ‑‑ to hear about it.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13995 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: ‑‑ in many other radio stations as well.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13996 MS MOUSSEAU: Yeah, she's fantastic.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13997 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Yeah.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13998 MS MOUSSEAU: But there's a lot of hidden talent there, so on the morning show we have an opportunity for people to come in and be heard live and be heard in their communities, as well as news, weather, talk.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13999 We could have people coming in talking about Aboriginal leadership, local issues, perhaps provincial/federal politics, getting people involved in their communities, talking about the ability of people to get involved to learn languages. Maybe there's local programs here that AVR can be promoting to promote the use of Aboriginal languages and bring that back into the community.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14000 I mean really the possibilities are endless as to what we can do for Regina with the morning show.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14001 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: The ‑‑ will the morning show be more spoken driven or more music driven?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14002 MS MOUSSEAU: I see it probably about half and half. A lot of music, a lot of talk ‑‑ I mean it's a variety show.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14003 MR. CARDINAL: If you don't mind me adding to that as well? In Edmonton, for example where I'm from, there is tremendous support from the community in wanting to do any number of programming possibilities that they can come up with.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14004 And so at this point, we're experiencing a real buy‑in from the Aboriginal communities, particularly in Edmonton, who are interested in providing support, in developing programming and programming ideas. And I have to hold them back a little bit so that at least we're a bit more organized and ready for them when their opportunity comes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14005 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Are you on air in Edmonton?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14006 MR. CARDINAL: No, not yet.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14007 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: So the thing is that it's tough to have a program for the community when you're not yet on air.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14008 MR. CARDINAL: Absolutely. They're very excited about the opportunity that's coming, so that's what I wanted to reiterate.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14009 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: You wanted to ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14010 MR. HILL: I just wanted to comment, Commissioner, that we did talk about some, I guess, themes that would kind of position AVR. And the first and most important one in the spoken‑word portion is heritage and culture, Aboriginal heritage and culture, and Aboriginal values.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14011 We do have a show called the Wisdom of the Elders right now, and that type of, I guess, content would certainly take place as part of the morning show. We're also very interested in promoting environmental issues because of Native people's respect for the land and for Mother Earth.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14012 We do have an aspiration of, I guess, fostering discussion around, I guess, issues such as economic development and, I guess, things that maybe some of the leadership ‑‑ Aboriginal leadership is involved in.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14013 We also are going to, you know, feature extensive programming about the arts, which is certainly a large part of Aboriginal culture. And also education is one thing that we think is very important and it's ‑‑ one of the things that we want to promote as well. And as Patrice said, you know, there's just a tremendous amount of talent in Saskatchewan and that would certainly comprise a significant portion of the morning show.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14014 MR. WOOD: Just in order to follow up on that comment from Mr. Hill, to give you a kind of broad overview of where AVR wants go with its programming, in order to help improve the lives of Aboriginal people the focus would be, number one, on news every hour of the day, 24 hours a day. We consider news very important.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14015 Secondly would be the national two‑hour telephone talk show every day, Monday through Friday. And third would be 30 to 60 minutes of enriched public affairs programming each and every day. That is what AVR ultimately hopes to do to harmonize what it's doing on all of its stations. It will be an information rich service as the funds become available.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14016 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: The ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14017 MR. HENNESSY: We talk about the national talk show. There is a local component to that in each of the markets. The technological developments that seem to be going at breathtaking speed, the company in Winnipeg that is selling us the master control and production facilities, they are also marketing a new product that will be on ‑‑ out shortly. Hopefully we can be one of the first to use it.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14018 In effect it's a small production board which would go into the control room of each of our local facilities like in the facility in Regina where the morning show is produced. It would also ‑‑ that's where we do the Regina portion of the national talk show.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14019 And the way this equipment is designed, by simply switching a knob, in Toronto the host and producer of the national talk show can bring in the Regina guest or the Regina host and guest, and all of the levels in production can be controlled from the one centre. So again, using that will require less manpower and give us greater ability to get into each of these markets to deal with topics that are relevant.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14020 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Mr. Wood, in the ‑‑ you just mentioned talk ‑‑ just mention of news and the importance of news and news at every hour means that there ‑‑ what you're saying is you're thinking ‑‑ talking about having 168 newscasts a week. Now for Regina, in your applications, you're talking about 15 local newscasts and 15 net ‑‑ network newscasts, so from 30 to 168 is somehow a water step.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14021 But regarding local news, what type of content are you ‑‑ will you be looking at? Specific contents to the Aboriginal or newscasts about what's going on in the city? Because it has some importance also for the Aboriginal population and ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14022 MS MOUSSEAU: Yeah, we'll be looking at ‑‑ I think it's a two‑pronged ‑‑ sorry, it's a two‑pronged approach as taking a look at issues that affect Aboriginal people directly, perhaps news stories that are being maybe under‑reported by the mainstream news, as well as taking a look at news events, current events that mean something to Canadians at large. But we can take a look at them from the Aboriginal perspective so that we can say, "Well, this is what Aboriginal people think about this particular issue."
LISTNUM 95 \l 14023 MR. WOOD: Mr. Arpin, I just wanted to add also that the comment about the hourly news is not a local current Regina commitment that we're presenting to you. It's simply where AVR wants to go ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14024 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: The ‑‑ that's ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14025 MR. WOOD: ‑‑ in the future.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14026 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: ‑‑ that's what I understood.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14027 MR. WOOD: Yes. Also Mr. Cardinal has a comment also with regard to the dialogue that would occur amongst communities across Canada with the talk element of the programming.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14028 MR. CARDINAL: Yes. It's just important to note that the issues that arise within different parts of the nation also have a resounding effect on communities in the West, for example, the New Caledonia situation is not fully understood. There is smatterings of information as the discussions that make their way informally into the community, but this kind of service for us to engage in the dialogue that is surrounding the issues that are pertinent to other Aboriginal communities across Canada is an opportunity for us to enter into a discourse that really lends to a deeper understanding, not just for ourselves but for Canadians as a whole when it comes to these kinds of issues.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14029 MR. HENNESSY: We also ‑‑ we regard ourselves as being an inclusive organization, and the programming that we do is intended to invite people in to participate and learn, Aboriginal and non‑Aboriginal.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14030 One quick anecdote. When we were working with the Trillium Foundation funds and had three in our news room in Toronto, and a couple of them were juniors and were being trained. I walked into the news room one morning, and there was the usual black coffee and pounding away on keyboards. I said, "Well, what's the big story today?"
LISTNUM 95 \l 14031 And there were a couple of mutterings about incidents that were totally Aboriginal in nature. And I just smiled and I said, "I thought the fact that we have a new Pope was pretty interesting." And I just left. About 45 minutes, an hour later, the news director came in the door and said, "Listen to the newscast."
LISTNUM 95 \l 14032 And they ‑‑ it had started the wheel spinning about this idea being inclusive, and we ended up with a 20‑minute interview with one of the representatives of Six Nations who had been there when the Pope, who had just passed away, had visited Six Nations. And there was a whole discussion about the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Aboriginal people; that's the type of thing that we want to do in each of the communities on an ongoing basis.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14033 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Now, in your programming grid that you have, you're suggesting to have a local newscast at 6 a.m., 8 a.m., and 1 a.m. and for a duration of five minutes each. Will they be solely focused on local news or what will be ‑‑ or will they also contain national news materials? Or what will be produced here in Regina and what will come from other sources?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14034 MS MOUSSEAU: The Regina newscast, the ‑‑ we have the ability to draw from the national news, so they can look at the major stories of the day, include that into their local news broadcast.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14035 MR. WOOD: Mr. Chairman, to the extend though that national stories are aired from the Regina news room, those will be developed with a Regina perspective. So it will be Regina specific stories, plus the national stories from a Regina perspective.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14036 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: You have indicated that you intend to source the majority of your future programming, such as OOP(ph), Wisdom of the Elders, Turtle Highland Line(ph), Heart Review(ph), and other from AV ‑‑ from your network. The urban Aboriginal experience in Toronto may differ quite significantly from the urban Aboriginal experience here in Regina.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14037 With this in mind, could you please comment on how these programs will be specifically relevant to Regina Aboriginal population?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14038 MS MOUSSEAU: These programs although they are produced in Toronto are pretty general across the board. For example, Red Tales, it's a literary review. We're talking about books, but the fact is we're going to have the national network, and our hosts and our producers are going to have the resources of those other urban communities. They're going to be able to submit content, submit ideas, and be able to work on these programs collaboratively.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14039 So perhaps the host is in Toronto, but we're really getting information and content from across the entire network.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14040 MR. HILL: Commissioner, I think ‑‑ I believe that's one of the strengths of AVR is ‑‑ and this happens outside of the radio broadcast, is the exchange of stories and, you know, information amongst Aboriginal people across the country so ‑‑ and it happens in all different areas.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14041 You know, there are many things in the arts. There are many things as far as the Native political leadership. There are many things as far as the elders are concerned where there are national events and discussions, where there is a collaboration and exchange of understanding amongst all these various groups.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14042 And I think that's one of the benefits that the national radio network brings to local communities, is that what's happening in the other communities is ‑‑ there's an increased awareness in the local community and what's happening in other local communities, and I think that goes both ways, that ‑‑ that's certainly the ‑‑ you know, a local community ‑‑ the Aboriginal communities in Toronto could benefit from, you know, being engaged and hear what's happening in Regina.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14043 MR. CARDINAL: Let me add to the ‑‑ to those points that you've made, Jamie. The ‑‑ right now we know that there's over 60 percent of Aboriginal people that live in ‑‑ with ‑‑ within urban centres and we also know that across the country each of these urban centres, like Toronto and Edmonton and Vancouver, are faced with similar issues.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14044 One of the top five issues that are consistently brought forward by these Aboriginal communities is one of Aboriginal ‑‑ access to Aboriginal culture and history. A lot of our urban centres are without access to these institutions of culture and ceremony, and these are very important in providing a sense of continuity and a sense of identity for Aboriginal people within the urban settings. So when we talk about issues within Toronto, aside from cultural content in terms of languages and things like that, the essence and the basis of the issues are the same. We need to access culture. We need to also find out from our other relatives in different cities how they're dealing with those issues as well; employment, education and those issues are relevant across the country.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14045 How we're dealing with them are unique, and that in and of itself creates the opportunity for a wonderful dialogue in sharing and creating strategies to deal with these issues.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14046 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: The ‑‑ regarding to Aboriginal languages, I note that in your oral presentations you agreed to the existing conditions of licence that appear in all your ‑‑ the licence that have been granted to you. So only to reiterate, so the ‑‑ you do accept the conditions of licence that they have been granted to your existing licence, that they could be ‑‑ that they apply for Regina?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14047 MR. HILL: Commissioner, yes, we accept those conditions and we support them.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14048 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Yes, including the 25 percent of spoken word?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14049 MR. HILL: Yes, including the 25 percent of spoken word.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14050 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: The ‑‑ now, are you planning to sell any advertising locally, and if yes, at which stage in the development of your service?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14051 MR. HILL: No, we do not have any intention to sell local advertising. It's ‑‑ our intention is to sell national advertising, so maybe that's a question that speaks to our impact on, I guess, local broadcasting. And we don't expect that we're going to have any negative effect on local broadcasting, so we don't have any intention of selling local advertising.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14052 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Including the local component of your ‑‑ of the programming grid that you have proposed?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14053 MR. HILL: Yes, including that as well.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14054 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: And now, as you know, we will hear today an application by Natotawin Broadcasting to operate also a type B radio broadcast programming undertaking. Well, they are currently in La Ronge and they are applying for a rebroad in ‑‑ rebroadcasting facility in Regina.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14055 According to ‑‑ and you referred to the 2001 census, the Aboriginal population is approximately 16,000 people. Some are saying that by today, it's probably closer to 20,000, but do you think there's room for two services to serve the Aboriginal population in Regina; one from your network and the other one from the La Ronge service who is providing a more regional service to Saskatchewan?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14056 MR. HILL: Yes, Commissioner, the primary mission of AVR is to improve the lives of Aboriginal people. And we support, with that idea, I guess, as much Aboriginal media availability as possible. We do believe there are room for two ‑‑ two Aboriginal broadcasts in Regina.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14057 And I want to say especially in light of the fact that we have some demographic projections that indicate that within a couple of generations, that approximately half of the population of Saskatchewan will be Aboriginal people.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14058 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: The ‑‑ and how will your service ‑‑ I don't know if you have had a chance to look at the application of Natotawin, but how your ‑‑ if you do, could you tell me how the ‑‑ your service will defer from them?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14059 MR. HILL: Well, I think that it's a difference between a national programming service and a local or regional program service. I think that the thing ‑‑ Aboriginal Voices is virtually 100 percent Aboriginal. Our intention is to, at a minimum, have ‑‑ or to play 50 percent of Canadian Aboriginal artists. We are not aware that there are any other broadcasters providing any type of service like that. We are not aware of any intention to provide a service like that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14060 So I think that, you know, we're distinct as far as other Aboriginal broadcast services and I think ‑‑ and those are the two primary ways that we're almost all Aboriginal content, and it's a national dialogue and I think that certainly I would hope that Regina could be a part of that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14061 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: The ‑‑ your service as ‑‑ and you mention it on numerous occasion, and it's also in your original application, is catering to the Aboriginal people in the urban centres.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14062 Obviously the ‑‑ Saskatchewan is more a rural community than an urban community. How will your service cater to the Aboriginal of the ‑‑ of Saskatchewan? And I'm also thinking here about Saskatoon, since obviously you'll be ‑‑ they will ‑‑ you will be working in tandem with those two stations ‑‑ how the Aboriginal of this province will feel served by an urban service.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14063 MR. HILL: Well, one of the things that we have said previously and we still intend to go forward with the plan that we will provide all of our programming free of charge to, you know, any and all Aboriginal broadcasters across the country, so any regional broadcaster or First Nations‑based radio station will be able to download our programming free of charge.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14064 So I mean some of them may be interested, and we believe that they would be, and some have expressed interest in some of our national content just to, you know, provide something else. I mean it's not available right now, but the ‑‑ you know, we would be able to provide a national content for them at whatever level they think is appropriate.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14065 So we have focused primarily in, I guess, our presentations on the urban Aboriginal people where more than half ‑‑ the statistics show that more than half of Aboriginal people do live in urban centres, but we fully intend to provide our service free of charge to any other Aboriginal broadcaster.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14066 MR. CARDINAL: Maybe also add to that by stating, again, demographics around transmigration between First Nations and Aboriginal communities and urban centres. They seem ‑‑ there ‑‑ there's a lot of going back and forth between the city and their traditional areas or their communities. That number is consistent. That means people are coming here and working, returning homes either on weekends or certain durations of time. We also recognize that there's a huge population growth within the urban centres themselves.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14067 So in this way, AVR is providing an access to information that is not accessible in their remote communities nor their communities in general. And I think that's one major contribution that AVR will give to the Aboriginal people in Saskatchewan.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14068 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Maybe it's the place to ask my questions regarding ‑‑ well, yesterday when Standard appear for a ‑‑ for their application to serve Regina, they referred to an agreement that had ‑‑ they had signed with AVR regarding a weekly news magazine that they are contemplating for the ‑‑ for this market, and now it's my ‑‑ could you say to us more about what that agreement is all about?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14069 MR. HILL: Yes, I'd be happy to, Commissioner. We have a great relationship with Standard, and Standard has been very good to AVR. And what we'll be providing is some of our news content to supplement a weekend program that they will do. So we think it's a great idea that will increase, I guess, the Aboriginal perspective on some of the events happening in the world that are coming into Regina. Perhaps I could ask Roy Hennessy to provide another comment.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14070 MR. HENNESSY: This conversation with Standard began when they were applying for licences in Fort McMurray and Grande Prairie, and we were contacted by the manager of the Edmonton operation, who was organizing content program development, et cetera. And they asked, if they were successful in Grande Prairie or Fort McMurray, would we be able to supply content to be part of ‑‑ as it was explained to me, the ‑‑ they are planning a 90‑minute news magazine on Sunday mornings ‑‑ thirty minutes of that would deal with issues of interest to the Aboriginal community they were serving, or Aboriginals in the community they were proposing to serve ‑‑ and would we make content from our national service stations available to them for inclusion.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14071 That was the total extent of the conversation. Given that we weren't applying in those markets and our mandate or desire to expand the awareness of Aboriginal issues, we agreed that we would supply that content to them if they were successful. When they applied for licences here and Saskatoon, we were contacted again by Standard and said, "Would you see your way to it being possible for us to have the same content provided for news magazine shows in these two new licence applications?"
LISTNUM 95 \l 14072 I pointed out to them that we were applying for licences in that market but I'd ‑‑ and I discussed this with everyone involved in the licence application that ‑‑ and we agreed that we did not see that as a conflict or as a problem because, again, it addresses our mandate of getting Aboriginal information and awareness out to the general community.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14073 And it's quite conceivable that a number of people who would be listening to the Standard stations, if they're successful, would not listen to AVR. So we would, again, be helping to increase awareness and we pointed out to them that we were applying for licences and that if we were ‑‑ both parties were successful, we would still be going to provide that information to them. That's the total extent of our discussions with them to achieve our goals and in a way, I guess, help them achieve theirs.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14074 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14075 We'll now talk about the CTD, or Canadian Television Development Program. We ‑‑ well, we note that your plans in terms of promotion of Aboriginal artists includes broadcasting Aboriginal music, the creation of CD/DVD package contributing to an annual talent showcase, and the broadcast of special events such as powwow.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14076 In light of your stance on conditions of licence regarding the broadcast of Aboriginal language/music, could you please indicate how such a position will impact the diversity of Aboriginal music to be broadcast?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14077 MS MOUSSEAU: I'm sorry, can you actually rephrase just that last bit?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14078 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: The ‑‑ well, you have a plan for CD, producing CD and DVD, and you refer to it in your oral presentation that you have that still ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14079 MS MOUSSEAU: Yes, the ‑‑ that album.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14080 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Right. I'll ‑‑ and you have developed a music library of major importance.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14081 MS MOUSSEAU: Mmhmm.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14082 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: And what my question has to do with is that ‑‑ would you please indicate how such a position will impact the diversity of Aboriginal music to be ‑‑ well ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14083 MR. HENNESSY: If you're wondering about how this ‑‑ how our national library actually is going to impact Aboriginal talent in Regina ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14084 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Yeah.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14085 MR. HENNESSY: ‑‑ I see in a multiple fashion, that we can accomplish that, but by having local ‑‑ even just starting with the local newsperson who makes us aware there was a large concert last night or there's a new band, has a new CD out, I've got an interview with them ‑‑ having that on‑the‑street contact as the beginning, then eventually through the morning show host and their relationship with the community, becoming an integrated part of it, they make the national network or the national library, the ‑‑ aware of these artists, arrange for interviews to be featured across the country, so it becomes a developmental tool for artists in Regina and even other stations across the province that might discover an Aboriginal artist in their community.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14086 If they get airplay on that local station and it's brought to us, we can then take that and accelerate it by including it in our library, which we hope to operate as an E‑commerce as well so we can facilitate the selling of downloads of these artists' albums because you certainly won't find them at HMV. We are the epitome of emerging talent, so having the vehicles like the E‑commerce downloading capability would allow us to accelerate the development of an artist from Regina.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14087 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Your ‑‑ is your music library ‑‑ well, will your music library made ‑‑ be made available to other Native broadcasters or ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14088 MR. HENNESSY: We see it as evolving into a resource for all Canadians, for everyone to access. So if a broadcaster made ‑‑ was made aware of or wanted to access our library to download a track to feature in their playlist, that's part of the service that that library is intended to perform.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14089 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: You ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14090 MR. HENNESSY: And they pay us 99 cents for it.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14091 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: I see. Now, creation of CD/DVD and coverage of powwows locally here in Regina or in Saskatchewan, are ‑‑ at which stage of your development, do you think, that you will be capable to start covering and producing local material?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14092 MS MOUSSEAU: Once our morning show is in place because we have ‑‑ like, I mentioned we're a pretty lean, mean machine here as far as technology goes. We can just take them and put them right into that powwow and have them broadcast live from that event.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14093 MR. HENNESSY: We are having discussions ‑‑ oh, sorry. There we are. We have been having discussions and are beginning planning to make our first appearance at the Calgary Stampede next year. Sorry, Regina, but they'll probably win first. But there is a very large Aboriginal segment to the Calgary stampede. I lived there myself for four years. I know the type of excitement that the Aboriginal celebrations contribute to the Stampede. We intend to be live from there next year.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14094 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Well, you don't have to be sorry about Regina. Our ‑‑ this really might ‑‑ might not have been released by that time so ‑‑
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 95 \l 14095 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: So ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14096 MR. WOOD: Mr. Chairman, just picking up on a comment that Mr. Hennessy made regarding the developmental support that AVR will provide, again, it's a point worth emphasizing, I think, that all of the artists featured on AVR are Aboriginal are that all of the artists are emerging because they've never before been heard. And that, in a way, makes AVR a very distinct service because we believe it's the only service in Canada that is devoted to a music sound that is 100 percent Aboriginal.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14097 Most of the regional services and independent stations are featuring a fairly large component of commercial, mainstream, chart‑oriented music. So whereas there's a component of mainstream music in those stations, sometimes very large, we are 100 percent Aboriginal.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14098 MS MOUSSEAU: Sorry, may I just make one more comment? One of the things about Aboriginal Voices Radio is ‑‑ that is enormous is that we are 100 percent Aboriginal in all of our music, and the fact is is that people are going to be hearing us and knowing that their people are making this music. It gives them the opportunity to hear other sounds from across Canada, contribute to their own music.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14099 Recently I ‑‑ a friend of mine brought some kids with her out of Manitoba to Toronto to check out the local universities, to encourage them to ‑‑ for post‑secondary education, and they were listening to AVR for the first time and they were shocked because they couldn't believe how great the music was on our station.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14100 And, you know, one girl said, "You know what? I'd had no idea Robbie Robertson was Aboriginal." Like, these are things the community at large, especially the youth community, doesn't know. And they can look at that as a source of pride, and Aboriginal Voices Radio will bring ‑‑ will be able to bring that to all of Canada.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14101 MR. HENNESSY: One other quick comment with regards to the development of talent in Regina or the other markets that we serve as well. We've had discussions of ‑‑ preliminary, but the idea has been discussed with an organization called Theatre D in Toronto. They are refurbishing an old theatre and converting it into a high‑definition digital production centre that will also feature live performances, live talent. They're opening on the 24th of November and they'll be featuring live performances with the ability to both video and record them.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14102 And the discussion ‑‑ to make it perfectly obvious, the discussion of an Aboriginal Idol type of show and production has got their interest, and that would be an opportunity where we could take an emerging artist from Regina or in Edmonton or in Calgary, have them perform in competition and be recorded and featured.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14103 And whether we can develop this into what also becomes a television feature as well, we don't know, but we have interest from the people involved in pursuing it. These are the sorts of things that we think about, dream about and hope we can afford.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14104 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Well, Mrs. Chairman, I'm through with my questions.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14105 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14106 Commissioner Pennefather...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14107 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14108 Good morning. I have a question which is just for our understanding in terms of music, and don't interpret it as a COL or a specific question in that sense.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14109 But talking about the CD/DVD package under talent development and the project of ‑‑ as you did this morning, of including Aboriginal Canadian artists in the current database, et cetera. Just as a general sense, the artists that you're talking about cover all the genre of music or are we ‑‑ you know, I am aware of some artists, but just so that we have a better understanding, we would be looking at artists in a variety of genre from rock right through to classical, I suppose?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14110 MS MOUSSEAU: Absolutely. Aboriginal artists across Canada are producing a wide variety of genre. Everything, as mentioned, from hip hop to jazz, to classical, to rock, to pop, a lot of them are independently produced. That's why there is ‑‑ unfortunately they don't necessarily all the time have the Cancon MAPL symbol on their back of their CD. So there's research involved in getting, as I said, that information to us, and that's why there's sort of that discrepancy with your database, I believe, at the commission. I think ‑‑ I hope ‑‑ does that answer your question?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14111 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And the artist ‑‑ yes, it's ‑‑ I imagine, too, that that same issue comes into play with other organizations such as FACTOR or other organizations where the classification is also being discussed, so that Aboriginal artists are classified according to their genre of music as opposed to being an Aboriginal artist. Is that also a problem in terms of other organizations, like FACTOR, or any of the others?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14112 MS MOUSSEAU: I'm not sure ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14113 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Are there getting ‑‑ in other words, are they being included as Canadian artists appropriately in other areas like FACTOR?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14114 MS MOUSSEAU: I would think not because how are they possibly getting exposure if not through Aboriginal Voices Radio? There isn't the distribution. They aren't getting the commercial airplay. They're not getting any media coverage. There's not a lot of buzz. If they're playing clubs, you know, they're slogging it away in these little tiny clubs, and maybe they're not getting the opportunity to come into FACTOR.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14115 Coming into Toronto, for example, for FACTOR meetings is a pretty expensive endeavour. I don't think an Aboriginal artist from a small community may necessarily be able to do that. So Aboriginal Voices Radio, as I see it, is the best vehicle for Aboriginal musicians to get their music heard nationally ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14116 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And then start the process?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14117 MS MOUSSEAU: ‑‑ as well as on mainstream ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14118 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And can start the process that way?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14119 MS MOUSSEAU: Absolutely.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14120 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And we're talking about artists singing or playing ‑‑ well, let's take singing; obviously playing something else, but the singing in both and, of course, if they're singing opera in Italian or German, but also Aboriginal languages?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14121 MS MOUSSEAU: Yes. Yeah, we actually play Aboriginal music songs in Aboriginal languages played by Aboriginal musicians right now.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14122 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Is it the majority of songs would be in English or in Aboriginal languages?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14123 MS MOUSSEAU: The majority ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14124 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: How does it break down?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14125 MS MOUSSEAU: Yeah, the majority of the songs right now, I believe, are in English and that's because I ‑‑ I believe that Aboriginal artists are concerned about becoming commercially viable. In order to do that, they want to sing in English. More people will understand that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14126 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Of course.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14127 MS MOUSSEAU: Again with AVR, we have an opportunity to play those Aboriginal languages, those Aboriginal songs. Perhaps you might encourage more of our artists to start, again, singing in their original languages.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14128 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: That's sort of my point when saying ‑‑ I'm not talking about the 2 percent, but it is ‑‑ a component of the mandate of AVR is bringing that exposure but also that was access for the rest of Canada to artists singing in Aboriginal languages.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14129 MS MOUSSEAU: Yeah. I mean we hit our 2 percent to requirement, but that's not why we play the music. The songs are fantastic, and they get ‑‑ include not just in those sections of our Aboriginal music programming, but it's also included in our main play lists.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14130 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: A couple of other follow‑up questions from your discussion with Vice‑Chair Arpin, you mentioned the two‑hour national talk show. Would it ‑‑ which would appear to be an open‑line show because I think people will be calling in, and that was your point in terms of a discussion about Regina as well. Do you have or will you have mechanisms in place to ensure that you comply with the Commission's policy on open‑line programming?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14131 MR. HENNESSY: Yes, the production facilities will be able to monitor delay the broadcast. There will be a producer in place to monitor content and make sure that we're within guidelines.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14132 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: A producer in Toronto? Would that be the ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14133 MR. HENNESSY: That will be the hub for the program.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14134 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Right.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14135 MR. HENNESSY: But as I pointed out with the technology we've got, we'll be able to remote ‑‑ we can bring a guest in. We could have the mayor of Regina discussing an issue, specifically bring him into the studio and be able to control his levels, monitor, run the delay and everything else remotely but still have the impact of having that person live on the air.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14136 MR. WOOD: Also ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14137 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And local residents in Regina ‑‑ sorry, Mr. Wood. You wanted to add something?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14138 MR. WOOD: No, that's ‑‑ I'm sorry. I was just going to say one of the most important components of a talk show is the person who screens the calls.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14139 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14140 MR. WOOD: So as the calls come in, somebody at headquarters will be screening the calls, not only for appropriateness to the subject, but for balance and to ensure that all points of view have a chance to be aired. So we definitely will provide for that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14141 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And local residents here would use a ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14142 MR. WOOD: A 1‑800 line.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14143 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: ‑‑ 1‑800 number?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14144 MR. WOOD: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14145 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: You also discussed the website program descriptions, and I think you indicated to my colleague that there were some descriptions that were to be added. And in order to have a complete picture of the program descriptions for our purposes, could you supply us with the program descriptions and ‑‑ so we don't have to wait for the website?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14146 MS MOUSSEAU: Absolutely. I can provide you either a hardcopy or digital copy by the end of the day or ‑‑ whatever, by the week, whatever ‑‑ your choice, whatever you'd like.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14147 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14148 And just my last question is I hate ‑‑ Mr. Hennessy ‑‑ Miss ‑‑ do you want to pick up on that timing question, counsel? Thank you. Speaking of timing, I just wanted to get back to your "quickly as possible", Mr. Hennessy.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14149 And thanks to your discussion this morning, I think we have a better understanding of how you see this service, as Mr. Cardinal so eloquently said at the beginning of the discussion, a service ‑‑ an AVR without Regina is difficult for you to understand. It's also important to ‑‑ for us to understand how the service would really fulfil the needs of the Regina audience and listeners.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14150 And so I come back to the question of ‑‑ I think I understand the thesis of how the local service would develop over time, but in terms of this being an application for frequency in the Regina market, could I ask you again to give us perhaps a more precise sense of when you feel that the morning show will be a Regina morning show, if I can put it that way, and the rest of the grid would in fact ‑‑ in addition to the talk show being a national show and the other national shows available, the concept of a Regina AVR service would be a reality? Can you give us a better sense of the "quickly as possible"?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14151 MR. HILL: I could comment on that, Commissioner. I mean this ‑‑ it's a projection, and if I was to lay odds, I would say that by the end of a one‑year period of being granted the licence that we would be able to achieve pretty much the quality that we intend to.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14152 And I base that upon the fact that I've been on the board for a couple of years and I've seen great strides forward under not the best conditions. And I think that we have an extremely talented team in place, that it's ‑‑ if I could, I think it's the best team that AVR's had so far. Although there was a lot of talents that, you know, got us to this point, but we've tried to put a team in place right now that can move us on to the next level. And from my awareness, I think that ‑‑ I mean I'm very happy with the way things are going at this point.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14153 And we've given you a conservative, I guess, projection on what we're going to do, but we're quite confident ‑‑ and we do that on purpose. You know, we want to give you something that you can have a great confidence in. But from what I know personally about ‑‑ you know, about AVR and the things that we're working on, I have a very high level of confidence that we're going to be able to, you know, deliver on what I would call, you know, the top programming that we could very quickly.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14154 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you, Mr. Hill. Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14155 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14156 I just have a few questions. Would you agree to a COL that you would not solicit local advertising?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14157 MR. HILL: Yes, we would.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14158 THE CHAIRPERSON: And given your high level of confidence, Mr. Hill, would you agree to a COL that you will be producing 30 hours a week of locally‑produced programming by the end of year two of the licence period?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14159 MR. HILL: We will agree to the conditions of licence that you think are appropriate and we'll work vigorously to meet those. And I want to say that we take these things extremely seriously and ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14160 THE CHAIRPERSON: As do we.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14161 MR. HILL: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14162 MR. WOOD: Commissioner, if I could just respond to the condition of licence for local advertising? In the event that AVR reaches the threshold that would enable us to do local advertising, we think that ‑‑ we would hope that the Commission would keep in mind that there are probably emerging Aboriginal businesses that might want to advertise on AVR. That's the only comment I'll make.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14163 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, I thought your model was sponsorship, and that's a totally different issue.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14164 MR. WOOD: Well, it's ‑‑ whether it's ‑‑ whether you're calling it sponsorship or whether you're calling it advertising, within your regulation, effectively if there's a condition there that says we can't do that, then we shut out local advertisers who might want to advertise on the radio station, or sponsors.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14165 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, I don't know ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14166 MR. HENNESSY: It's not our ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14167 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Hennessy...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14168 MR. HENNESSY: It's not our intention to have a retail sales force on the street competing with the commercial broadcasters. Our focus is to generate funding to develop the network from those alternate sources that I pointed out, but the ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14169 THE CHAIRPERSON: So on the understanding that sponsorship is not included in the concept of local advertising, will you agree to a COL that you would not solicit local advertising? You're fully aware of the allegations of the fragility of this market.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14170 MR. HILL: We'll agree to your conditions of licence and comply with them.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14171 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And you will agree to a condition of licence that by the end of year two of the licensing term, you will be here and producing 32 hours a week of locally produced programming?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14172 MR. HILL: If that is the decision of the Commission, yes, we will.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14173 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, will you agree to that or not?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14174 MR. HILL: We would.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14175 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14176 And as to your issue, Mr. Wood, of emerging businesses, I don't know if you heard this morning that SIGA, Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Association, has earned 40 million in profits, net profits. And that, then, goes to my question to you, Mr. Hennessy. Is there no thought of seeking out sponsorships from some of the not emerging, but already existing, very strong First Nation businesses in the West?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14177 MR. HENNESSY: Absolutely. Those are the types of organizations that we would want to talk to. We have worked with, based on our ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14178 THE CHAIRPERSON: Have you gone to Peace Hills Trust in Alberta?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14179 MR. HENNESSY: No, we've been dealing with Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission and with the casino ‑‑ or Casino Rama.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14180 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, yeah.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14181 MR. HENNESSY: We've been dealing with them and they ‑‑ now again, there is a situation where they have not sponsored the program, but they have participated in programs dealing with addiction to gambling and have also purchased a campaign regarding responsibility in gambling. So that's sort of a bit of a grey issue as to what is advertising. It's not ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14182 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's indeed unfortunate that you have received the opposition of the La Ronge Band which owns one of the very ‑‑ I'm going to say probably one of the top businesses in Saskatchewan, and that you've lost the confidence of the Prince Albert Grand Council because they also own one of the top ten businesses in Saskatchewan, so it's a ‑‑ it's unfortunate.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14183 At page 5 of your production of your presentation today, you've made this assertion that Canadians from coast to coast overwhelmingly approve of an Aboriginal national radio service, and I want you to review that assertion given the questions that Mr. Doering asked. And if you look at page 29 of what he asked, I think you should be careful in using that assertion. If you notice, what he said is, "I would like to ask you some questions about a concept for a new radio station in your city."
LISTNUM 95 \l 14184 Now, if you can tell me where it refers to an Aboriginal radio network, I would accept your assertion. However, I only see three questions that he asked, and none of them refer to a national Aboriginal network. So the demand, I agree, in Regina is high for an Aboriginal radio station. And I wanted to talk a little bit ‑‑ I'm sorry, I'm not giving you time.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14185 MR. WOOD: Commissioner, I'd just make a comment that we'd be more than pleased to follow up with a statement on that from Mr. Doering.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14186 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah. Well, unless there were other questions, it's difficult to see the basis for his conclusion.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14187 I wanted to talk what about I call reinventing the wheel and I'm having some concerns, as you may have heard yesterday about that too, not in relation to yourselves but in relation to other issues.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14188 Do you have any relation with APTN? Because they have a terrific news‑gathering machine already in force. Have you tried to set up any cooperative arrangements with them?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14189 MR. HILL: Madam Chair, to tell you the truth, we've been so engaged in the initiatives before us and the challenges before us as far as getting our stations on the air, that we haven't had the opportunity. We've certainly agreed that it is ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14190 THE CHAIRPERSON: Because they've got a lot of resources, you know, in terms of people in the North and ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14191 MR. HILL: Yes, yes. And we've always thought that once we get to a certain point, that ‑‑ and that's the relationship building part and looking for partnerships and so forth where we can, I guess, mutually benefit from these relationships that we would do that. But I guess we saw a sequence, and we were very much focused on getting our stations on the air and meeting our commitments.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14192 THE CHAIRPERSON: And they also have ‑‑ Mr. Wood, they have a national talk show, and it would make imminent sense for me that ‑‑ if you would rebroadcast it, and simply because APTN sometimes doesn't have the station on the ‑‑ the spot on the dial under 20, I mean it makes sense to me that that would achieve some of your objective, and then you could build into developing your own in ‑‑ rather than redoing something.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14193 MR. WOOD: Yes, I think that's absolutely correct but I also think there's such a pent up demand to express points of view ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14194 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14195 MR. WOOD: ‑‑ from different regions of the country that ‑‑ and also, radio does deliver the component of access to our service on free over‑the‑air radio, so it's available to people who might not have access in certain workplace locations or, for example, in their vehicle. There are a lot of programs that they wouldn't be able to access that are on APTN, and likewise.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14196 So if we were running the APTN service, it's ‑‑ it would certainly be a benefit to us, but it ‑‑ our programming would be of benefit to them as well.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14197 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I agree.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14198 MR. WOOD: They receive a significant amount of revenue through cable fees and I think it goes with the territory that, if you have the revenue, you can generate high quality programming.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14199 And when AVR completes its financing and revenue plans, it too will provide high quality programming, but we certainly think there is merit in meeting with Mr. Larose and his staff and talking about those possible synergies.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14200 THE CHAIRPERSON: And in terms of your library, it also seems to me like you're reinventing the wheel because, when you first appeared in front of us in Toronto, your panel consisted of Mr. Dave McLeod of NCI, one of the pre‑eminent ‑‑ I'm going to say ‑‑ experts on Aboriginal music in Canada, and he does the top 20 every week and certainly has been around Aboriginal music forever. And I'm sure his library, if you cooperated, would ‑‑ could also build ‑‑ you could build together.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14201 Ms Mosseau, you wanted to ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14202 UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Turn your mic on.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14203 THE CHAIRPERSON: Like, I just constantly hear rebuilding, and it seems to me cooperation would be a far better way to go.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14204 MS MOUSSEAU: If I can talk first about APTN? APTN is an amazing channel. It is ‑‑ it's absolutely needed to happen here in Canada, but right now ‑‑ at least in my opinion, and I think that's the opinion of most people that watch the shows that they have. It tends to be very North‑centric. They deal a lot with Canada's north and reserve communities, small communities' issues that they have to deal with on a daily basis. Aboriginal Voices Radio is focusing on the urban Aboriginals.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14205 So right now when we look at creating our talk shows, we have to look at issues that are most affecting the urban Aboriginals. And then, you know, perhaps in the future when we can look at a larger collaboration, when we can ‑‑ instead of separating urban Aboriginals, reserve Aboriginals, Inuit, the North, and the different provinces, we can end up in a position where we're all together as one. And at that point APTN and AVR working together is ‑‑ it makes logical sense but, right now, we have to look at what our mandate is, and that is serving Aboriginal ‑‑ the urban Aboriginal.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14206 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14207 You now have two minutes to convince us.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14208 MS BENNETT: Sorry, could I just address a couple of housekeeping matters? Sorry, just a few quick clarifications. You said today that you would ensure that no less than 2 percent of all programming during a broadcast week would be spoken‑word programming in an Aboriginal Canadian language. Is that a commitment by COL?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14209 MR. HILL: That is a commitment we're prepared to make.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14210 MS BENNETT: Okay, by condition of licence?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14211 MR. HILL: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14212 MS BENNETT: Okay, thanks. Now, earlier you talked with Commissioner Arpin about filing financial projections. My understanding is that there are no financial projections on the file, so could you file those today, maybe if you've got them with you, right after your presentation?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14213 MR. HILL: Yes, we have them with us and we can file them today.
‑‑‑ Undertaking / Engagement
LISTNUM 95 \l 14214 MS BENNETT: Okay. And similarly with the program descriptions, if you could file those at the same time? Okay. And the last part was documentation on the availability of funds. Would you have that information available today as well?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14215 MR. HILL: The availability of funds, what was that referring to?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14216 MS BENNETT: Well, you had a discussion with Commissioner Arpin about the various sources of funding that you are projecting, and I think you spoke with him about the possibility of filing some documentation ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14217 MR. HILL: Oh, okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14218 MS BENNETT: ‑‑ with respect to those sources?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14219 MR. HILL: Yes. Yes, but I don't think that we have all of that information today, but we can file that very quickly ‑‑ oh, we can? Oh, okay. Well, I guess ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14220 MS BENNETT: Well ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14221 MR. HILL: I ‑‑ I'm sorry, I stand corrected. We do have that information with us and we can file that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14222 MS BENNETT: Okay, great. Thank you very much.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14223 MS MOUSSEAU: And I'll get that other document to you right away. I just have to go print it.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14224 MS BENNETT: Okay, thank you. That's it.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14225 THE CHAIRPERSON: Now two minutes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14226 MR. HILL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14227 I'd like to, I guess, talk about the importance of AVR and then, if we have time in the two minutes, I'd like to ask Lewis Cardinal to finish up.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14228 The mission of AVR is to improve the lives of Aboriginal people, and we think that our role through radio broadcasting is a very important one to do that. There's ‑‑ currently exists a market gap in Regina. There is ‑‑ there is no radio broadcast that's specifically targeted to the Aboriginal community here, so that's one thing that we believe is very important in this consideration.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14229 AVR, in being virtually 100 percent Aboriginal, we believe that we are one of the leaders and will be one of the leaders in helping emerging Aboriginal talent, both spoken‑word talent and music talent.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14230 The dialogue that AVR would be able to provide regarding just a wide array of Aboriginal issues is extremely important to this community, and not only to hear the dialogue, but to participate in the dialogue as well.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14231 We would like to respectfully remind the Commission that it is in the Broadcast Act to provide for such a service as ‑‑ when that becomes possible.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14232 We will add to the diversity of the broadcasting here in Regina. We are committed to preserving, protecting and promoting Aboriginal languages. We believe that's extremely important to the Aboriginal communities across the country, as well as extremely important to the communities that are in the area here.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14233 And we don't believe that we're going to negatively impact any of the incumbents in any significant way, so I guess essentially that we believe we're an important piece ‑‑ part of improving lives of Aboriginals here in Regina. And Lewis, if ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14234 MR. CARDINAL: We're trying to reconnect our communities with each other. I just ‑‑ as a part of our historical understanding of Canada, we know that the major urban centres across Canada were built upon these areas where indigenous peoples gathered, where many nations came together and celebrated and traded and did various kinds of business together.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14235 Regina, if it is not a part of the AVR network, will be a gaping hole for us because we find, and we know, that the importance of the voice of the Aboriginal and indigenous people here in this area is a very important dialogue. Our elders are telling us that we have to take the opportunities and create opportunities for the Aboriginal people to have a chance to communicate again, as we did in times of old; gathering together and sharing our stories and learning from each other. That's what AVR is about. It's about relationships and it's about relationship building.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14236 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Hill.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14237 We will now take a 15‑minute break by my watch. Set your time. It is 25 to, so that will mean 10 to.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1035 / Suspension à 1035
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1050 / Reprise à 1050
LISTNUM 95 \l 14238 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order please. I want to welcome you. I want to, first, say that the time that we spent on AVR is ‑‑ may have seemed an extraordinary amount of time for one applicant. However, we have three applications from AVR on this hearing; one for Regina, one for Saskatoon, and the third, their renewal.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14239 And the evidence we obtained was for the purposes of all three applications, so I don't wish anybody to feel that there was anything untoward about that time taken in questioning.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14240 Madam Secretary...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14241 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14242 We are now ready to proceed with item 16 on the agenda which is an application by Natotawin Broadcasting Inc. to amend the licence of the Native radio program undertaking CJLR‑FM, La Ronge, Saskatchewan.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14243 The licensee proposes to add an FM transmitter at Regina to broadcast the programming of CJLR‑FM La Ronge in order to serve the population of Regina. The transmitter would operate on frequency 90.3 megahertz, channel 212C1 with an effective radiated power of 43,000 watts non‑directional antenna, antenna height of 190 metres.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14244 Appearing for the applicant is Ms Deborah Charles, who will introduce her colleague. You will then have 20 minutes for your presentation. Ms Charles...?
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
LISTNUM 95 \l 14245 MS CHARLES: Good morning. (Native language spoken).
LISTNUM 95 \l 14246 My name is Deborah Charles. I'm the chief executive officer for Missinipi Broadcasting and I'm here making a presentation to the Commission today.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14247 My colleague is Darrell Prokopie. He's the director of sales and marketing, and we're here today to present our application.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14248 THE SECRETARY: Please go ahead with your presentation.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14249 MS CHARLES: Okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14250 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Can I get Darrell's last name again, please? I didn't quite hear it.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14251 MR. PROKOPIE: Certainly. It's P‑R‑O‑K‑O‑P‑I‑E, pronounced Prokopie.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14252 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14253 MS CHARLES: Tansi, edlanete, bonjour, good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the CRTC.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14254 First, I want to thank the Commission for giving me the opportunity to be here to speak to MBC's application for an RM rebroadcast transmitter to serve the Aboriginal listening audience of Regina, Saskatchewan.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14255 We at MBC believe that the quality news and informational spoken word in Aboriginal languages, programming and entertainment by way of our Aboriginal musicials and performance artists are two of the most important ways to expose urban Canadian listening audiences to Aboriginal culture, philosophy, ideas, opinions, music and artists, and hence expand their appreciation of Canada's diverse cultures and peoples. That is why those elements are here ‑‑ are the core of our broadcast programs.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14256 MBC feels that the objectives for Canada's broadcasting systems are adequately addressed in the Broadcasting Act in that it states that programming and music should be predominantly Canadian and that the listeners should be provided with a varied and comprehensive programming from a variety of sources.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14257 MBC feels that the ‑‑ Canada's broadcasters have sorely neglected the Aboriginal variety of programming and have failed competently to respond to the needs of growing urban Aboriginal demographics, both here in Regina and elsewhere.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14258 The approval of our application so that they may provide Aboriginal language radio service to Regina area will go some way in redressing this oversight.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14259 MBC feels that the MBC/Natotawin application for a rebroadcast transmitter to carry our programs to the Aboriginal and non‑Aboriginal listeners of Regina is appropriate, and it is viable and, just as importantly, a culturally respectful response to a known need for a greater Aboriginal variety in quality radio programming.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14260 The Canadian Broadcast Act states that all programming should be of a high standard, balanced on matters of public concern, relevant to local communities, and reflect Canada's rich cultural diversity.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14261 MBC/Natotawin believes that in many respects it actually has been raised ‑‑ raising and indeed establishing the bar on the standards of the radio broadcasting relevant to the Aboriginal people on this ‑‑ of this country.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14262 I know that MBC is unique in its dedication to addressing those concerns relevant to the Aboriginal communities in ‑‑ of this province.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14263 It is MBC's view that it is only fitting that the CRTC would regulate Aboriginal radio with respect to the content offered in a manner similar to the regulation in place for non‑Aboriginal broadcasting undertakings, but we also believe that there must be an appreciation of inherent cultural differences between the Aboriginal and mainstream segments of society and how our people perceive and interpret what is offered to them over the airways.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14264 We at MBC seek to refine and improve the standards of broadcasting content directed towards our people, not to dismiss, abrogate or lower them. Most importantly, we know that Aboriginal people want to hear Aboriginal broadcasters speaking and understanding their own language, providing them with radio programs that they can relate to and easily comprehend.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14265 Respectfully our application for a licence for a rebroadcast transmitter carries with it our commitment to honour in all aspects of news and information content and Aboriginal language usage and promotion of Aboriginal artists.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14266 I do not wish to speak at length about the quality of MBC's radio service in the short time available, but I have made provisions today to all the members of the Commission to receive a copy of my speaking notes here, and also other notes that clearly outline our high standard of service and historical commitment of MBC to the provision of the best of radio, all listeners Aboriginal and otherwise.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14267 Specifically MBC by its application makes the following commitments and guarantees: MBC guarantees the Commission the daily provision of Aboriginally relevant newscasts, information and entertainment content. MBC guarantees the Commission that it will provide significantly more dedicated Aboriginal language programming and the promotion of and airplay of Aboriginal artists and performance ‑‑ performers in the daily programs than any other radio station in the province can, could or would provide.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14268 MBC guarantees the Commission that it will provide these culturally and linguistically relevant broadcasting programs to the Aboriginal community of Regina in a professional and timely manner.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14269 MBC guarantees the Commission that it will ensure the inclusion of content of specific concern to Regina's Aboriginal residents and will foster ties with the Aboriginal community for its wellbeing and benefit.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14270 MBC guarantees the Commission that it will uphold to any ‑‑ all rules of the Broadcasting Act including a commitment to cover, fulfil the Canadian content requirements.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14271 With respect to five issues that the Commission stated they wished to address in their correspondence as at October 16th, two ‑‑ 2006, I received a letter and I'll go through them in point form the way it was written to me.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14272 In addition to the English, MBC utilizes three main spoken Aboriginal languages used in Saskatchewan; Cree, Dene and Michif in its program content and provides over 20 regularly scheduled dedicated Aboriginal language programming on a weekly basis.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14273 MBC also broadcasts Aboriginal language features throughout the day and during weekend programmings ‑‑ programs. Our Monday through Friday Aboriginal language program ‑‑ programs are the daily Missinipi Achimowin program hosted and presented in the Cree and Michif languages, and the Dene ‑‑ and the daily Missinipi Dene Honi programming presented in the Dene language. Both Achimowin and Dene Honi programs are inclusive of hourly newscasts, summaries that are inclusive of all local, regional, provincial, national and international news and are delivered in Cree, Dene and Michif in ‑‑ for our audience.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14274 Our Aboriginal language programming ‑‑ programs are also inclusive of open‑line presentations where listeners can voice their opinions in Aboriginal languages on a broad spectrum of issues. The Achimowin and Dene Honi programs also deliver intensive informational content on topics that cover the gamut of Canadian Aboriginal listeners' interests in health, education, environment, justice, culture, languages, history and safety to major and minor political issues along with numerous other audience concerns.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14275 MBC has also hosted and aired hundreds of open‑line broadcast and talk show programming using Aboriginal language in the different dialects and provides in-depth, on location programming for community gatherings and events of importance to our audience.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14276 Through these and other distinctive programming approaches, MBC offers a platform for all ages to express themselves in their language and their dialects, and to be heard from elders to youth.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14277 MBC also presents its word of the day programming several times a day throughout the week, giving listeners the ‑‑ an opportunity to come to know, understand Aboriginal language used in everyday speech.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14278 MBC is prepared to offer expanded language programming to other Aboriginal language used in Saskatchewan as the opportunity presents itself.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14279 I'll just give the floor to him.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14280 MR. PROKOPIE: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14281 Aboriginal language vocal music. MBC sponsors and promotes Aboriginal artists through consistent airplay 24/7 and significantly supports Aboriginal musicians and singers in the way that most matters, via our playlist.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14282 MBC will continue to promote Aboriginal artists to the people of Saskatchewan as we are the only broadcaster in the province that has demonstrated a commitment to Aboriginal talent by the simplest, most logical means available, and that is by playing their music for our listeners.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14283 Almost a quarter of music played on a daily basis on MBC is by Aboriginal artists, many of whom are locally based. MBC has provided Aboriginal artist in northern Saskatchewan with their first opportunities to record their music and has actively been the catalyst and vehicle of our musician sponsorship through the provision of talent showcases and public performances.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14284 MBC has hosted Aboriginal talent searches that have been simulcast on our network since 1994 and we have sponsored and broadcast the Voices of the North talent show, an Aboriginal talent showcase. MBC's talent search top prize is studio time and the songs are then broadcast on MBC.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14285 Over 100 performers have benefited from MBC's support of developing artistry through talent searches and showcases. Additionally, MBC has spent its entire operational history as a promoter of national Aboriginal recording and performance artists as a matter of cultural respect and dedication.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14286 The reality is that MBC is the main provider of access to an audience for many Aboriginal artists and cultural producers. We have presented their talent to the Aboriginal and non‑Aboriginal listening audience in Saskatchewan's communities for over two decades.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14287 Moving on to cultural programming. MBC has a culturally attuned 28‑member staff, including a news and Aboriginal language production staff of seven, all of whom are Aboriginal. The majority of them speak Cree, Dene or Michif, and some speak more than one Aboriginal language. For more than two decades MBC has employed the majority of Aboriginal speaking broadcasters in Saskatchewan.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14288 Two of our staff have been chosen as national Aboriginal role models in the past 12 years. We have an honour roll of over 40 board members and over 100 broadcast personnel coming out of the cultural milieu of Aboriginal society who have served and contributed to the growth of MBC as an organization over the past 22 years.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14289 MBC has created a legacy of unique cultural and linguistic heritage and its operations to date represent a genuine success story for the Aboriginal people of Saskatchewan.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14290 Our cultural programming covers and reports in‑depth on everything from Aboriginal spirituality, folklore, legends and stories, to traditional medicine use and Aboriginal food preparation and survival skills, along with the inherent viewpoints, opinions, ideas, and philosophy that they all entail.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14291 We are the only broadcaster in Saskatchewan to consistently cover Aboriginal trappers conventions and also to speak to the events and happenings surrounding all Aboriginal fields of employment, both traditional and non‑traditional. We cover language conferences, elders gatherings, Aboriginal political elections and Aboriginal sporting events on the local, regional, provincial, national and international level.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14292 As an example, MBC began reporting live with its own reporters from the International Indigenous Games more than a decade ago. We do all of this with a heavy emphasis on Aboriginal language use and presentation both by our staff and by the Aboriginal persons with whom we are actively engaged with in covering the story.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14293 We at MBC are mandated and entrusted to bring Aboriginal culture, languages, ideas, heritage and their perspective to the people of Saskatchewan. It is an obligation we take seriously. MBC is the radio media outlet of choice for most Aboriginal communities as well as the primary source of information for and about numerous Aboriginal organizations and individuals, and is an active participant in the public promotion of Aboriginal intellectual capacity and growth throughout the medium of radio by way of news, information, philosophy, political and social opinion, music, arts and culture.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14294 Our projected audience. MBC, by its very nature, is a non‑traditional broadcaster and we have always avoided excessive commercial style, promotional and glamorization of our service and operations.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14295 In each and every community, we have grown to serve ‑‑ in each community that we have grown to serve, we have relied on the word of mouth of the Moccasin Telegraph in building and growing our audience, thus we project our listener numbers to be low to nominal in the initial stages of providing our programs to the Regina listening audience.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14296 We do not expect to see major shifts in listener demographics. Our experience to date indicates that there will be an evolving awareness of what MBC has to offer the Aboriginal and non‑Aboriginal listeners and that there will be a corresponding, reflective positive rise in the MBC listening audience numbers. We anticipate having a minimum of 20,000 listeners by the third year of operation.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14297 In making these loose projections, MBC has taken into account the expanding Aboriginal population demographics presented by Stats Canada and have balanced that with other known quantities such as the strength of our Aboriginal entities and organizations in Regina, and the participation rate and contact with urban Aboriginal society that they have experienced.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14298 Next we move on to our anticipated revenue projections. MBC anticipates minimal economic revenues to be derived from its establishment of the Regina rebroadcast transmitter during its first two years of operation. MBC does hope to reach a positive revenue flow from advertising sales by the third to fourth year so as the cover costs of the rebroadcast transmitter installation and its ongoing operational expenses.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14299 MBC seize its ‑‑ sees its responsibility to providing a service to the Aboriginal audience of Regina regardless of revenues, though by the end of the third year, as stated, we do anticipate a close‑to‑break‑even prospect.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14300 MBC has no immediate plans to pursue advertising revenues through active solicitation as there are no plans in place to hire a sales representative to be based out of Regina. MBC will continue to utilize its four‑person sales team based out of Prince Albert to service the advertising clients of MBC.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14301 To provide exact revenue increments at this time would be quite difficult as we feel that any immediate gains will be derived from clients purchasing the MBC radio network and not necessarily the local Regina market. This is held true during past urban expansions such as North Battleford and most recently Saskatoon.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14302 There is also the reality that MBC has only so much air time to sell. We're dealing with one clock. Because MBC is many things to many people, we need to make our advertising available to all we serve. The small community event in northern Saskatchewan is just as important to MBC as a huge retail event in an urban centre.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14303 Now, I did include some projections for you. These are probably on the aggressive side as we move into the third year. At the completion of year one, I've indicated approximately $30,000 in revenue. Keep in mind, we currently are getting some advertising dollars out of the Regina market as we speak. Most of them are provincial type clients, but the billing does come to Regina, so we currently ‑‑ like I say, we're not starting from a point zero situation.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14304 At the completion of year two I've doubled that figure to show $60,000 in anticipated revenue and the completion of year three is when we are hoping to cover off our hard costs that we would incur through this expansion through the establishment of technology and the ongoing operations. So at year three, I did pen that in at $100,000.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14305 I will pass it back to Deborah for her closing statement.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14306 Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14307 MS CHARLES: Thank you, Darrell.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14308 In closing, may I say to the Commission that MBC has also ‑‑ has laboured through more than 20 years in building a community based Aboriginal radio network utilize ‑‑ utilizing highly skilled Aboriginal broadcasters and linguists to serve our people, my people. Through a measured study approach we are growing in a meaningful presence for the Aboriginal radio audience in Saskatchewan and we trust that that will happen here in Regina for our people, my people. So thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14309 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, and thank you for coming.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14310 I have a few questions for you, not that you didn't very completely and very well cover all of our issues raised in our notice.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14311 Now, do either one of you ‑‑ are either one of you involved in the programming side at all?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14312 MR. PROKOPIE: Not to a great extent, but I'm sure between the two of us we could ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14313 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, subject to the fact that you're not the experts?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14314 MR. PROKOPIE: Right.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14315 THE CHAIRPERSON: We just wanted to know ‑‑ you have old time music on Saturday and Sunday nights. Do you know what it is? Is it old rock? Old country?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14316 MR. PROKOPIE: No, it's old classic country. It's the George Jones, the Buck Owens, the traditional country.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14317 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mmhmm, okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14318 MR. PROKOPIE: The Saturday mornings, yes, and Sundays.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14319 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah. And then you have on Wednesday night '70s and '80s music. What kind of music is that?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14320 MR. PROKOPIE: That is primarily of the rock nature. That's more rock and roll.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14321 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14322 MR. PROKOPIE: And again, if I can maybe just interject, because MBC is many things to many people. We do have a 5 to 95 year‑old demographic, so our programming tries to incorporate something for everybody over the course of our broadcast week.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14323 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you do broadcast Aboriginal language music?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14324 MR. PROKOPIE: Yes, we do.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14325 THE CHAIRPERSON: How much would you say ‑‑ how much of it would you say you do out of the total music?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14326 MR. PROKOPIE: Oh, I would really be shooting blind.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14327 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14328 MR. PROKOPIE: Over the course of a day, you know, I'm quite confident in saying that probably in the neighbourhood of half a dozen songs would be sung in the Aboriginal language, and quite often those are aired during our Aboriginal languages programming. Not always; they could be requested during one of our two request shows that we have each day but probably in the neighbourhood of half a dozen per day.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14329 THE CHAIRPERSON: And are those all Canadian, the Aboriginal songs, the language songs?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14330 MR. PROKOPIE: Yes, they are.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14331 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Now, right now, what kind of news coverage do you have of Regina? Do you have a reporter down here?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14332 MR. PROKOPIE: We do not. There has been some discussions with some organizations and individuals to have them supply us information. I know there are plans, once we get up and running and the Moccasin Telegraph takes effect and there is an awareness of ultimately putting some stringers or people into Regina to cover off those events, but discussions have started. Nothing has been laid down in ‑‑ in ink as of yet, as we don't know where we sit.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14333 THE CHAIRPERSON: When I saw this question that staff asked me to read, I was asking myself whether Saskatoon is really more the ‑‑ Saskatoon/Prince Albert/La Ronge is more the ‑‑ what would I say? The ‑‑ well, Saskatoon particularly, the political capital because the FSIN is there, and so I was sort of thinking that coverage of the legislature here would probably be secondary to ‑‑ of interest to your listeners.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14334 MR. PROKOPIE: Of the provincial legislature? Yes, probably it would be secondary to our audience.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14335 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14336 MR. PROKOPIE: If it was an FSIN Assembly that was being held here in Regina, we would be here as we were in Saskatoon just a week or so ago.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14337 THE CHAIRPERSON: At the elections, right, yeah.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14338 MR. PROKOPIE: Right. We had two of our language announcers from La Ronge attend for the ‑‑ a few days and provide live programming for three hours each afternoon back to our audience in both the Cree and Dene languages.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14339 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And so the kind of programming that you would do about Regina would consist of when it would be of an issue or an event of importance to the First Nations community?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14340 MR. PROKOPIE: Primarily, yes. When ‑‑ it doesn't have to be necessarily a breaking news story or something that has dire consequences, but just a story of interest that is not maybe high on the list of newscasts that you may hear elsewhere.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14341 Certainly once our stringers come on board, we will have a ‑‑ you know, a thumb on the pulse, so to speak, to develop that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14342 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you follow the powwow circuit at all?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14343 MR. PROKOPIE: We are slowly developing that. Powwow is a relatively new phenomenon in northern Saskatchewan. Powwows were not anything that existed and then ‑‑ I would have to go to Deb's expertise on this, but going back ten years, you probably couldn't find a powwow north of Prince Albert. Now they're starting to happen.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14344 We don't necessarily follow the circuit in terms of providing programming from, but we certainly get involved through sponsorship of and promotion of.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14345 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mmhmm, okay. Now, your language programming, you say over 20 hours and the daily Missinipi Achimowin program is from 1 to 3 ‑‑ I've got your schedule here from the site ‑‑ Monday through Friday, am I correct?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14346 MR. PROKOPIE: (Nods head yes.)
LISTNUM 95 \l 14347 THE CHAIRPERSON: And then the daily Missinipi Dene Honi program, and that is ‑‑ I'm losing it. I can't find it ‑‑ 3 to 4?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14348 MR. PROKOPIE: That is correct. I may also ‑‑ should interject. That ‑‑ what you've just read, that's the network. So the entire network receives those three hours of programming. We do have the capability and we do split‑feed the far north communities, the Athabasca Basin which is basically Dene people ‑‑ speaking people, and we do provide them with their own special hour, and that happens between 2 and 3 each day. So we split‑feed ‑‑ the last half of the Cree show, we basically switch over and we offer Dene programming to the far north, the Athabasca region.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14349 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So Ray Campbell would start, in fact, an hour earlier?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14350 MR. PROKOPIE: Correct.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14351 THE CHAIRPERSON: And provide the two hours for the Dene area?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14352 MR. PROKOPIE: Correct.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14353 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And then ‑‑ I was fascinated by this. You give the news in all ‑‑ in English, Cree, Michif and Dene?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14354 MR. PROKOPIE: Yeah, we do.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14355 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you do it by split feed or how do you do it?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14356 MR. PROKOPIE: No.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14357 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14358 MR. PROKOPIE: That ‑‑ that's network, network news. So at 1 o'clock when our Cree show comes on board, they would do a top‑of‑the‑hour newscast that, you know, may be very similar to what was done during the 12 o'clock English informational hour.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14359 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14360 MR. PROKOPIE: And they'll read that news in the Cree language, and then that happens again for the Dene hour.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14361 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And in both the Vern Lewis and Mike Durocher hour and the Missinipi Dene Honi hour, there's music and speaking?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14362 MR. PROKOPIE: Yes, there's music and speaking. The speaking can be anything from information whether it be again an event or a situation or a story that's out there, to just things of cultural relevance. It's not necessarily chalked full of hard hitting information all the time. It's of relevance to the audience that it's speaking to.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14363 THE CHAIRPERSON: And would you have an idea of the percentage of music and spoken word in those hours?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14364 MS CHARLES: I'd say 40 percent.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14365 THE CHAIRPERSON: You have to put your mic on.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14366 MS CHARLES: I'd say 40 percent in an hour.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14367 THE CHAIRPERSON: Forty percent music?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14368 MS CHARLES: Yeah.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14369 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, mmhmm. And then you have the 9 to 11 morning Cree on Sunday, and that's entirely in Cree?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14370 MR. PROKOPIE: Cree and with some Michif thrown in there, yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14371 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, okay, okay. And you do broadcast a hundred and ‑‑ 168 hours week?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14372 MR. PROKOPIE: We do.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14373 THE CHAIRPERSON: What do you do at night? What's your programming from midnight on?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14374 MR. PROKOPIE: It's in‑house voice tracking, utilizing our own talent that we have on staff.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14375 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, mmhmm. So is that the only voice tracking you've got from midnight to six or is it ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14376 MR. PROKOPIE: No, that is it.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14377 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And any syndicated programming?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14378 MR. PROKOPIE: We do, for our youth, carry a syndicated dance show on Saturday nights as part of our Saturday night house party for the youth and we do subscribe to a syndicated dance program that airs, I believe, between 9 and 10 on Saturday evenings.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14379 We have syndicated programming ‑‑ Paul Harvey, you know, as an example ‑‑ over our noon information package, so we have a couple of items that are syndicated, yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14380 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mmhmm, okay. Now, you've heard AVR and how they describe their programming. Have you ever listened online to AVR?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14381 MS CHARLES: No.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14382 MR. PROKOPIE: I've tried.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14383 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh. And ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14384 MR. PROKOPIE: And no, I have not.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14385 THE CHAIRPERSON: Have not been successful, okay. Could you explain how you believe you are different from them, if you think you are?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14386 MR. PROKOPIE: Well, I guess it starts at the grassroots. MBC was created by the people of northern Saskatchewan, to fulfil a need that they saw was lacking in terms of the information that they were getting on a regular basis, who was giving them that information, was it coming from a First Nations perspective or was it not. In the past, it was not.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14387 So MBC basically ‑‑ we don't make a move without our audience, the people that we serve telling us to make that move, and they tell us by way of e‑mail, phone calls. They tell us by way of the delegates that they send to our annual general meeting from which our 11 board of directors is elected. So they certainly pass on their concerns and what they would like MBC to evolve into through our board members, and that's passed on down through our CEO and senior management.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14388 We are very much focused on the people that we serve. The information is of most importance. MBC is about bringing people to the people. We don't wish to be anything more than we've currently applied for, and that's a provincial network to service the Aboriginal population of Saskatchewan. We're just ‑‑ we're ‑‑ Saskatchewan is our home. The languages spoken are our languages, and those are the languages that we've mandated to protect and preserve through our form of medium. Does that answer your question at all?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14389 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, I think so, yeah. Do you think ‑‑ well, what would be the impact on you if we gave you a rebroadcast licence here and if AVR were also given a licence? What would be the impact on you?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14390 MR. PROKOPIE: That's a tough question, and I don't really know the answer to that. I believe initially, like anything new, there's always a rush to check out what's new, whether that be turning the dial or tuning in through the Internet. I ‑‑ you know, certainly there will be a learning curve by the audience and ultimately ‑‑ you know, they will ultimately decide what is going to best suit them.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14391 We feel that, again, through our programming, through our roots, through our governance that, you know, over time, we will ‑‑ we will be the Aboriginal broadcaster of Saskatchewan.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14392 THE CHAIRPERSON: And I have asked myself I must say, time and time again if there is a difference between a "northern or rural Aboriginal culture and an urban Aboriginal culture", and I am ‑‑ I'm on two sides of this. It seems to me the thing that brings you together is the same culture as you've always had, whether you're urban or rural.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14393 On the other hand, it may be easier to retain your culture if you are on a reserve or in northern Saskatchewan, north of Prince Albert, but do you think there is a different culture? I don't ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14394 MR. PROKOPIE: I don't know if the culture is different so much as how often and regularly the culture has gone back to or utilized. I think the culture tends to maybe be lost in the urban centres because you don't walk down the street and see your friends and your neighbours who are speaking to you within the language.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14395 So I think quite often First Nations people who relocate from the smaller communities or northern communities tend to climatize to the surroundings around them. I know that's not necessarily what they wish to do, and it's very nice to hear the comments that we get at MBC, is "Oh, I just love tuning into MBC because I sit back and I'm at home." You know, so whether they've ‑‑ they're now in Saskatoon but they've come from northern Saskatchewan, it does allow that connection to maintain.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14396 But to answer your question, I think there is some culture lost. It's not by design; it's just by environment.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14397 THE CHAIRPERSON: And your ‑‑ the reactions you've been receiving in Saskatoon ‑‑ and you talked about people leaving ‑‑ you know, leaving home and then going to Saskatoon. What about the kids that are born in Saskatoon? What's the reaction to your programming?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14398 MR. PROKOPIE: Well, what we understand is we have the best youth programming out there, and I heard that many times just last week when I was in Saskatoon for the assembly. I don't know how many youth we had walk past our trade show display and said, MBC rocks. Love your Saturday night. It's not my kind of music, but I know it's music that cannot easily be found out there through other radio networks and other forms unless you go, you know ‑‑ or download a bunch of your favourite music and, you know, then you would have what we play. But we have a youth on‑air person who is very interactive with the audience, and the feedback is very, very positive from the youth of Saskatoon.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14399 Just coming up, I believe this weekend, out of our ‑‑ our Saturday night house party DJ will be in Saskatoon MCing and hosting an event for the youth of Saskatoon that's being put on by an organization. And MBC has come on board through sponsorship and supply ‑‑ supplying some talent there to do the MC duties at the request of the organization. So we feel that we're making great strides with the youth in Saskatoon.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14400 THE CHAIRPERSON: So ‑‑ and then do you think once you got them hooked on the evening ‑‑ on the Saturday evening you can then take them further in terms of getting back to the ‑‑ their culture? Like, how do you do that?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14401 MR. PROKOPIE: Well, it's certainly the hope that ‑‑ you know, I don't know if we can take them back, but lest we never forget. And, you know, we certainly do things that, again, because they're youth, you know, it ‑‑ there's still a culture that surrounds what they're doing and where they've come from.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14402 And everything we do keeps referring back to the culture and where you've come from, living a positive, healthy lifestyle, respecting your elders, whatever the message may be. You know, we plug away. It's that constant drip of water that wears away at the stone.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14403 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah. And you were talking about the fact that your programming is sort of ‑‑ what's the word ‑‑ done based on demand. So if you were down here, and I see on it ‑‑ I don't ‑‑ there's a ‑‑ on the fourth page of your presentation you were talking about Word of the Day and you say, "MBC is prepared to offer expanded language programming and other Aboriginal languages used in Saskatchewan as the opportunity presents itself."
LISTNUM 95 \l 14404 So the issue would be that somebody would e‑mail, write you or come to your meeting and say "I want programming in Saulteaux" or whatever ‑‑ Saulteaux, yeah ‑‑ and then you would try to do it. Is that the concept?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14405 MR. PROKOPIE: That's exactly the concept. And as we speak here, you know, we're working towards even ‑‑ you know, barring some miracle that we don't get our application, we still plan on incorporating Saulteaux Word of the Day for our Saskatoon audiences.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14406 It's something that's been brought to our attention and it's something we're working towards and right now we're just trying to put the pieces in place and find out how we can best do it from a technical point of view. And as ‑‑ so basically we are working towards incorporating the Saulteaux into our Word of the Day as we speak.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14407 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mmhmm. Tell me about this foundation, the Missinipi Youth Foundation. It's created by Missinipi?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14408 MS CHARLES: Yes, it is and it was incorporated in 1998. And what we did is we incorporated Missinipi Youth Foundation and we offered scholarships to First Nations/Aboriginal people to attend university, U of S, U of R, First Nations University Canada, to take journalism.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14409 Now, we also offer small local community radio stations. We offer training programs in their respective communities and then they start their local radio stations at that level, and then most of the time it's on our transmitter.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14410 However, back to your question, yeah, we've incorporated that a while ago and we continue to do that and we continue to offer scholarships, and that's part of the Saturday night program that we offer to the youth as well.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14411 THE CHAIRPERSON: So the money comes from your profits? Is that the idea, and it's put into the foundation?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14412 MR. PROKOPIE: Yeah.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14413 THE CHAIRPERSON: And then the scholarships are given out?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14414 MR. PROKOPIE: (Nods head yes.)
LISTNUM 95 \l 14415 THE CHAIRPERSON: So to date, how many scholarships in journalism or broadcasting have you given out?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14416 MS CHARLES: Gees, I don't have ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14417 THE CHAIRPERSON: And any number ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14418 MS CHARLES: ‑‑ a number on that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14419 THE CHAIRPERSON: How many did you give out last year?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14420 MS CHARLES: Seven. Seven each year, and when we first started, it was one or two or three. I haven't kept track. However, I do believe there's about eight of them with degrees now. And then I have ‑‑ the three I offered this year will be completing their degrees, so it's growing.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14421 THE CHAIRPERSON: And do you give them a job or does the APTN grab them?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14422 MS CHARLES: It depends what broadcasting, if they further into television or radio or print. However, there is some that come on board with APTN. I'm also on the board there as well. But, yeah, we've recruited some of the students from that initiation.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14423 MR. PROKOPIE: And that is probably our ultimate goal and objective is our in‑house recruiting. There ‑‑ we find quite often there is a lack of trained broadcasters with an Aboriginal background. And because we used to have, and still to this day, continue to have some difficulty in securing professional talent, we thought, well, let's maybe help create them by offering these scholarships to post‑secondary students who are going into a communications/journalism type field. That may give us a bit of a pool to draw from down the years, so there was some very selfish background behind that as well. We were hoping to utilize that talent.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14424 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mmhmm. Tell me, where are your offices? Are they in La Ronge or on the reserve, on the band ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14425 MS CHARLES: No, we're not on the reserve. We're ‑‑ we got a head office and the ‑‑ in La Ronge on Industrial Drive. We also have a sales and marketing office in Prince Albert.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14426 THE CHAIRPERSON: Because what ‑‑ I was thinking that part of the advantage could be that you'd be tax free if you were on the reserve. That would be an advantage for anybody in terms of recruitment, you know.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14427 MR. PROKOPIE: It would, but it would challenge our governance, we believe.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14428 THE CHAIRPERSON: All right. I get your point, mmhmm.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14429 MR. PROKOPIE: Again, our board is derived from members at large of the community, and to put ourselves with ‑‑ within a First Nation or a community, even if the ‑‑ even if it is a reality, the perception would be that ‑‑ where there's an affiliation that perhaps we could be nudged or pushed into a certain direction, so we've never aligned ourselves with any organization or group in that manner.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14430 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mmhmm, you and NCI. Now, MBC Television, I didn't realize there was a television portion of it, and it tells stories and shows to ‑‑ you know, shows to maintain culture. What do they actually do?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14431 MS CHARLES: I'll just get ‑‑ give you a bit of history. Yateyaski(ph) Productions was incorporated in 1980 ‑‑ 1998, and we produce half‑hour documentaries by and for, about our people in northern Saskatchewan, so we're producing 13 half‑hour documentaries. We air them on APTN as a national window broadcaster, and then our second broadcaster, our second envelope is SCN which is the regional broadcaster.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14432 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14433 MS CHARLES: We air it. However, we downsized it to six and we get our funding from Telefilm and other funders, so we're still doing it.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14434 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Now you, Ms Charles, are on the board of APTN and so do you have some sort of a cooperative arrangement with them at all?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14435 MS CHARLES: Yes, I am on the board. I am appointed to that board. We ‑‑ the ‑‑ there's ten organizations across northern Saskatchewan that are broadcasters, radio broadcasters, and their original vision was to have a national Aboriginal television. So basically we gave it birth and so we have an envelope and a budget where we deliver that and produce those documentaries.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14436 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mmhmm. And do you receive any ‑‑ anything from APTN in terms of being able to use the news they've gathered or anything like that?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14437 MS CHARLES: For regional news?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14438 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mmhmm.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14439 MS CHARLES: We've delivered some, but it's not consistent. It has to be a national ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14440 THE CHAIRPERSON: Relevance.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14441 MS CHARLES: ‑‑ relevance. Most of the news is regional for us. However, we do carry national, and I'm in the process of working on a newscast from my office with a regional broadcaster, not a national, because we already have the national.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14442 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And WAAB, Western Association of Aboriginal Broadcasters, you're a member?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14443 MS CHARLES: Yes, I am. I am a founding member. A couple years ago I was ‑‑ incorporated a national group. However, I changed that to the Western Association of Aboriginal Broadcasters, whereas the western groups come together and meet, which is NCI of Manitoba, MBC of Saskatchewan, AMMSA of Alberta, and NBT of BC, and we have been working together for the past year, face‑to‑face conference calls, and our first live broadcast is this Friday on the Aboriginal Peoples Music Choice Awards, so that's our first broadcast.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14444 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, so you're going to all broadcast it? Is that the idea?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14445 MS CHARLES: Yes ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14446 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14447 MS CHARLES: ‑‑ we will.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14448 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, mmhmm. And then you have plans for further sort of cooperation and that sort of thing?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14449 MS CHARLES: Yes. And the next live broadcast I would like to do is the residential school early release payments or their first instalment and the abuse that continues to happen with the elders, and none of it really went to healing, so that's the second initial broad ‑‑ live broadcast that I want to do.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14450 MR. PROKOPIE: If I could just interject? We are also currently, and have been for probably the last three, four months anyway, been airing a national top 30 Aboriginal countdown which is put together, produced, hosted by NCI but is delivered to the four ‑‑ the other three groups within WAAB, and we air that twice a week as well. So that is also a WAAB initiative.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14451 THE CHAIRPERSON: So he's up to 30 now?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14452 MR. PROKOPIE: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14453 THE CHAIRPERSON: Last time I talked to him it was 20. Now, as ‑‑ I wanted to talk to you about your revenue. As a percentage of the total of your revenue, how much does advertising consist?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14454 MR. PROKOPIE: Well, I would need to let Deb address that one because also we do have fundraising, our bingo operations.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14455 THE CHAIRPERSON: Your bingo, yeah, mmhmm.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14456 MR. PROKOPIE: And I'm not sure exactly where those percentages lie. Right now I'm thinking that it's probably along the lines of 50 percent, give or take a little bit. Fifty percent would be advertising driven.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14457 THE CHAIRPERSON: And the bingo is the other 50; is that ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14458 MR. PROKOPIE: Yeah.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14459 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, yeah. So you're self‑sustaining?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14460 MR. PROKOPIE: No, the ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14461 THE CHAIRPERSON: No?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14462 MR. PROKOPIE: ‑‑ we do get ‑‑ there is some national funding through NNBAP.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14463 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, mmhmm.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14464 MR. PROKOPIE: But that's been on a steady decline over a number of years, and we're certainly building towards 100 percent self‑sustenance. We think that day is probably coming, and we've been building towards that for a while.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14465 If Heritage Canada came today and said that, you know, these monies would no longer be available, we could proceed with our day‑to‑day operations. Right now it's not even covering our Aboriginal language announcers.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14466 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mmhmm. Tell me about your transmitter coverage of Saskatchewan. You're not down in Swift Current, are you?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14467 MR. PROKOPIE: No, we're not.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14468 THE CHAIRPERSON: No. Are you Estevan way, Weyburn way?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14469 MR. PROKOPIE: Carlyle/White Bear.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14470 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, right. You are, yeah. Okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14471 MR. PROKOPIE: Carlyle/White Bear. We're currently also in Keeseekoose, but I'm sure you've ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14472 THE CHAIRPERSON: And those are all low power, right?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14473 MR. PROKOPIE: Right.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14474 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah. Now ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14475 MR. PROKOPIE: And we have just been recently approved for Yorkton for a rebroad.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14476 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah. North of Prince Albert is your coverage equivalent to or better than CBC's?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14477 MR. PROKOPIE: Better than.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14478 THE CHAIRPERSON: Any idea of your share of the market in Saskatoon?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14479 MR. PROKOPIE: No.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14480 THE CHAIRPERSON: No. And is it fair to say that your numbers here, your revenue projections, Mr. Prokopie ‑‑ Prokopie, is close to what happened in Saskatoon?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14481 MR. PROKOPIE: That would be a more aggressive pace than what has happened in Saskatoon. And again, we haven't been actively soliciting advertising in Saskatoon. Since our transmitter went up, we probably have five days of selling time there just because we've gone there to ‑‑ you know, to address something, whether it be at the FSIN or ‑‑ and, you know, we've made a call or two, but we just not have actively solicited advertising in Saskatoon.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14482 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14483 That's all my questions. Commissioner Pennefather would like to ask you some questions.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14484 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14485 Just one question. I notice in your letter of August 16 you talk about your ever expanding listening audience of over 100,000 in 60 locations and the Internet. Can you give us a sense of the Internet and how many hits, what proportion of the audience is coming through the website or the Internet?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14486 MR. PROKOPIE: The portion of our audience coming through the website would be very minimal. And again, I'm not the technical expert, but I believe we have only 30 ports or something where only 30 people can be online at any given time.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14487 So as for our hits, I was quite surprised to hear that we are getting in excess of 5,000 hits a month. I've ‑‑ no, I think I'm actually very low. I heard this number from our technical person not long ago, and we were all very surprised at the number of hits we were getting on our website.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14488 I don't necessarily believe they're all going to the streaming audio. We ‑‑ a lot of our news stories get put onto our website. There's a message board. There's some interactive stuff there, so our website is being very ‑‑ it being hit very regularly, but the percentage of our audience coming from it, I think, would be minimal.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14489 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Good distinction. And they were just all in one line, so that's a very interesting distinction. Thank you for that. Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14490 THE CHAIRPERSON: Vice‑chair Arpin...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14491 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: You ‑‑ you've been speaking about your youth programming and particularly what you do on the Saturday and you were talking about the reaction in Saskatoon. I ‑‑ have you been able to measure the audience that you could get from non‑Aboriginal people in places like Saskatoon or Prince Albert?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14492 MR. PROKOPIE: We haven't found the ruler yet that we can lay down and measure that. Again, just by the requests we get, just by the number of messages on our message board on our website, we feel that that number is strong and continues to grows ‑‑ to grow.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14493 Again, everybody puts their pants on one leg at a time, so the music that the Aboriginal youth are grooving to on Saturday night is also the music that the non‑Aboriginal youth cannot access and find anywhere else, so we truly believe we've got a good portion of them. Unfortunately, like, I cannot give you any measurement.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14494 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: But you know that you're getting a reaction from the audience and ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14495 MR. PROKOPIE: We certainly know that, yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14496 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: And you could expect the same thing here from ‑‑ in Regina if ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14497 MR. PROKOPIE: We're anticipating that fully, yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14498 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Fully. Now, I've been looking at the financial report that you have been filing with the CRTC in which you're saying that you're probably somewhere 50/50 between local advertising and other revenues.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14499 Now, our reports are showing only other revenues. Is it the ‑‑ we're trying to measure the performance of advertising in this country, and is it because you'd ‑‑ I really didn't investigate the question before coming to the hearing on this sort of material while you were talking, looking specifically at the information that I have, which is ‑‑ and is it the way it's reported or is it the ‑‑ a problem that you have in the reporting the ‑‑ to the CRTC not splitting what is advertising and what is other revenues? Or is it at the CRTC that we have a problem?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14500 I'm just asking the question and looking at staff, if they also have an answer. The ‑‑ are you aware of the type of report that you're sending on an annual basis?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14501 MR. PROKOPIE: No, I can't say I'm fully aware. Deb may be able to answer this more specifically. I think maybe what may be happening is, within MBC we have a number of companies that all funnel back to MBC. MBC is the mother ship. I represent an organization Tucho(ph) Enterprises which is our advertising arm, our revenue arm. We're here on behalf of Natotawin Broadcasting today, which actually gets the advertising that we sell on the air and provides our programming.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14502 So, you know, there's a number of revenue sources coming from the individual companies that ultimately end up in MBC, and that's probably what you're seeing.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14503 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: And then they do distribute that revenues to each of the units that MBC is operating?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14504 MR. PROKOPIE: Correct.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14505 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: And that's why they will not consider it as advertising but will put it in the other revenue category? That ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14506 MR. PROKOPIE: Yeah.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14507 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Well, that satisfies my question.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14508 MR. PROKOPIE: All right.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14509 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Thank you. Thank you, Mrs. Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14510 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Commissioner Williams...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14511 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Thank you, Madam Chair. I'm just reading through your information files to learn a bit more about Natotawin Broadcasting. It says you own and operate over 70 broadcast transmitters throughout the Province of Saskatchewan that serve Aboriginal people. The MBC network and its subsidiaries connect tens of thousands of people in Saskatchewan from geographically and culturally diverse communities with a highly professional distinctive Aboriginal radio service.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14512 How many people do you estimate or what percentage of the Saskatchewan population do you reach?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14513 MR. PROKOPIE: I think in the big picture, you know, we're somewhere ‑‑ we truly believe ‑‑ in that 10 and 15 percent. Now, as you move from region to region, that number could be as high as 95 percent.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14514 We know that there are in excess of 70,000 people north of the NAD line. We feel ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14515 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: What is ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14516 MR. PROKOPIE: ‑‑ that was ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14517 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: ‑‑ what is MAD? Is it like the Mason‑Dickson line or something or ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14518 MR. PROKOPIE: Oh, it's basically ‑‑ I believe it's called the north ‑‑ Northern Allowance District which basically divides the province into two. If you're from north of the line, there's certain concessions there for you and such.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14519 Now, north of the NAD line, we know that there is in excess of 70,000 people living there. As we go across to our urban centres, we know Prince Albert has, you know, 35,000 with an almost 40 percent Aboriginal demographic. We know North Battleford, at 16,000, you know, has a strong representation. We know Saskatoon, at 300,000, has ‑‑ I think they're quoting right now about a 10 or 15 percent Aboriginal demographic to their population mix.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14520 We truly believe and feel that we are able to speak, and are speaking, to a large majority of the First Nations people in Saskatchewan. So we do estimate our listening audience at 100,000 plus.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14521 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. Missinipi, I guess that refers to the Missinipi River, if I remember my reading, and the way that people historically travelled and moved and shared information.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14522 What is Natotawin? What's the meaning of Natotawin? Why did you choose that name?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14523 MS CHARLES: Missinipi means big water in Cree, and Natotawin means listen in Cree.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14524 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Listen?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14525 MS CHARLES: Yeah.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14526 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay, I'll try to do my best.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 95 \l 14527 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: There's been some discussion in this hearing on the economic state of the Regina and Saskatoon radio markets, the two largest communities in Saskatchewan, to absorb competitors or even just the healthy economic state of those communities from a radio advertising perspective.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14528 I note in your information and ‑‑ and I'm a little bit confused on your revenue side, as was Vice‑Chair Arpin, but that the PBIT that you reported for 2005 was 26 percent. That's your profit before interest and tax of 26 percent, compared to a 7 percent PBIT for the Regina market and a 2 percent PBIT for the Saskatoon radio market.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14529 Why has your station become so popular and financially successful, given your extensive serving area and the many transmitters and the associated higher costs of serving so many communities? Why do you think that is the case that you can operate so profitably being so widespread and serving so many?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14530 MR. PROKOPIE: Well, I think first we should take that as a compliment.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14531 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14532 MR. PROKOPIE: We run a tight ship. We don't have bodies just sitting around waiting for something to do. We're very multi‑tasking. We have people that wear many hats. We have a very strong controller and a very strong board who ensures that our fiscal responsibility is something that is watched consistently.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14533 I don't know if I can add much more to that other than it's something that we pay attention to because, as I said earlier, we don't know if the few dollars that we currently get through Heritage Canada are going to be available to us down the road, and we need ensure that we have money to put up new transmitters in communities when requested. We have money to help train a community radio station, so it's just ‑‑ it's good management, I believe.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14534 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: What is your opinion of the economic state of the Regina and Saskatoon radio markets? Is it, in your opinion, healthy, financially buoyant or is it financially weaker as some might suggest?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14535 MR. PROKOPIE: I guess it depends on who you listen to over the last couple days would maybe determine what one really believes. I think Saskatchewan, as a market itself, is relatively healthy. I think with the ‑‑ the ever increasing First Nations demographic that's moving into the urban centres are obviously creating an economic effect that perhaps wasn't seen before. It's become an ever powerful force within the economy, and we see that continuing to grow.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14536 You know, as for the actual health of the market of Regina, I don't think I'm really in a position to speak to that. I know that we're not certainly looking to do anything to make it less healthy.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14537 As for Saskatoon, I think ‑‑ you know, you talk to people. You see people. You meet people. I think everybody's quite satisfied with how things are in Saskatoon.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14538 So that's sort of the best uneducated answer I can give you is ‑‑ you know, I don't believe things are always as bad as we're led on to believe ‑‑ keeping in mind we are in Saskatchewan, and that's the nature of our beast.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14539 So, you know, I think through diligence and through providing the service that people want and providing good value in what you're presenting to them, the economics will take care of themselves providing that, you know, you're not greedy and don't have visions of, you know, making big money overnight.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14540 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Earlier this morning you heard AVR's eloquent presentation stressing the need for a national Aboriginal broadcaster, and they also indicated that they were supportive of your efforts throughout Saskatchewan.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14541 Do you think a national Aboriginal network would provide value to Saskatchewan Aboriginals similar to that provided by mainstream Canadian national networks, like CBC, to all Canadians? Is there value in a national network, I guess is the question?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14542 MR. PROKOPIE: I'm not sure if I see the value, and I try not to look at this through rose‑coloured glasses or with blinders on. I'm not sure what the value would be. I think, you know, we keep hearing in this day and age that traditional radio is in trouble because of the Internet and because of satellite radio and because of this and this and this.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14543 And I believe that the groups that have spoken to you over the last couple of days are saying there is a future in radio, and that's because we can still provide the local weather. We can still talk about the community event that's happening down the street. We still cover stories that have relevance to our everyday lives, and I think ultimately that's where our strength lies and perhaps maybe where some of the strength would be lost in a national network.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14544 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: In your opinion, are the interests of rural and herbal ‑‑ rural and urban Aboriginals identical or are there some different interests given the different environments that they live in, in smaller and larger communities and in communities where they may be a dominant demographic in the population and in others where there may be a minority? Are there differences?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14545 MR. PROKOPIE: There definitely are some differences and as, you know, I had mentioned earlier, quite often when you move into an urban setting, a lot of the culture you grew up with is lost.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14546 But also when it comes to our programming, you ‑‑ we talked about MBC setting up at a trappers festival to provide programming. Well, I can tell you there probably isn't a lot of people in Regina that make their living via the trap line anymore, so there is, you know, a cultural difference there.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14547 Commercial fishing, you know, we cover stories that pertain to commercial fishers and how their livelihoods are being affected on a daily basis. Again, that's not a new story that perhaps has a lot of relevance to an urban Aboriginal or non‑Aboriginal here in Regina. So, yes, there are certainly differences that we recognize.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14548 And I was asked earlier about the powwow trail. You know, that is something that is very strong here in the south, so we do acknowledge the difference. And as time goes on and where we see the need is, we will certainly fill that need.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14549 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Given the projected increase in Saskatchewan ‑‑ Saskatchewan's Aboriginal population, do you think Aboriginals may want some diversity in Aboriginal broadcasters, much like that enjoyed by the mainstream? Like, there's plenty of choice in ‑‑ out of the larger centres.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14550 MR. PROKOPIE: I'm sure that they may, but I also believe they appreciate and respect the trusted, and trust is something that needs to be earned not only in Aboriginal country, but across all cultures. Trust is something that needs to be earned.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14551 And, you know, we really feel that we've addressed that trust issue and because people know that when they tune into MBC, they are getting the information as it was meant to be put out there and they are getting the information in a way that makes them feel good about what they're hearing, whether it be through their language or knowing that it's an Aboriginal broadcaster giving them that story.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14552 You know, I believe that that's ultimately what they will keep coming back to is something that feels good, makes them feel warm inside, and reminds them of home.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14553 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Many Saskatchewan residents we've heard over the last few years have perhaps retired or relocated for job reasons to neighbouring provinces. Do you feel there's any need for your programming from Saskatchewan to be able to reach some of your expatriate community that may live in other parts of the country?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14554 MR. PROKOPIE: No, we don't see that as a ‑‑ as an immediate need. If the need's out there, you know, we do have the Internet and we also have our cousins in neighbouring provinces that we feel are doing a very good job with what they do, whether it's AMMSA Alberta, NCI in Manitoba. We know that, you know, their mandate is very similar to ours and the reason they exist is very similar to ours and that our audience, if they were to relocate, would have a lot of their needs taken care of through those sources. So, no, to follow our expatriates across the country and put up sticks right behind them is not anything ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14555 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: No, no, I was thinking more along the lines of a national broadcaster fulfilling that role and you helping input to it.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14556 MR. PROKOPIE: Well, I mean ‑‑ I think that's sort of what WAAB is looking at. You know, I don't know if we'll actually go on the air as a national broadcaster, but we certainly share ideas and information and some programming so ‑‑ and I think the creation of WAAB was somewhat established to address this particular situation and what you're asking.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14557 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. If the Commission approved your application and also approved AVR's application, can you see synergies and opportunities to work together to better serve the Aboriginal communities of Saskatchewan and Canada?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14558 MR. PROKOPIE: Well, I think, you know, I could answer that question based on what I believe, but I ‑‑ what I really believe, what would need to happen is a coming together of the minds. We have never been approached by AVR to talk about perhaps creating some synergy amongst the two of us.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14559 I know some of the other groups across Canada that I've spoken to have not, so I don't think any of us are against anything. Nobody can predict the future, but it all starts with a handshake and a meeting of the minds.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14560 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay, thank you very much. That's my questions to Mr. Prokopie.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14561 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Ms Charles, Mr. Prokopie ‑‑ I'm pronouncing that right?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14562 MR. PROKOPIE: Prokopie.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14563 THE CHAIRPERSON: Prokopie. You have now two minutes to sum up for us.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14564 MS CHARLES: Okay. Well, again thank you for giving me the opportunity to be here to present my application. Given the issues that we presented here today, I respectfully ask the Commission to approve my licence.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14565 And each and every day when we go to work we have to keep in mind our indigenous roots of who we are, what we're about, by/for our ‑‑ with Aboriginal people, and that's what I do each and every day. And I do it for my people and my languages and the different dialects in each and every language and I continue to ‑‑ will work towards the southern ‑‑ incorporating the southern languages into the northern languages so we, as people, can come together and connect with each other again and with the land again.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14566 Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14567 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14568 Madam Secretary, I don't ‑‑ I'm hoping we could get through Phase II in ‑‑ yeah, we could at least start working on Phase II.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14569 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14570 Therefore, this completes Phase I of consideration of items 10 to 16. We can now proceed to Phase II, as indicated by the Chair, in which applicants will appear or can appear, if they wish, in the same order to intervene on competing applications.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14571 We've been informed that Newcap Inc. will not appear in this phase.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14572 I would now call on Touch Canada Broadcasting to come forward if they wish to intervene on competing applications.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14573 THE SECRETARY: I gather they're not appearing.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14574 Therefore, Radio CJVR Ltd. are the next applicant to appear if they wish.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14575 THE SECRETARY: They are not appearing either. We will continue with the Aboriginal Voices Radio.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14576 THE SECRETARY: I've been informed that they will not appear.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14577 And finally, Natotawin Broadcasting can come back if they wish to intervene on competing applications.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14578 THE SECRETARY: And they choose not to, therefore, Mrs. Chair, this completes Phase II of the process.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14579 THE CHAIRPERSON: Actually, Madam Secretary, it doesn't because the list is missing Standard. So could you please ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14580 THE SECRETARY: You are quite correct.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14581 THE CHAIRPERSON: So could you call Standard?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14582 THE SECRETARY: I stand corrected. Standard Radio may come forward if they wish to intervene on competing applications.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14583 THE SECRETARY: And I think this completes the list, Mrs. Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14584 THE CHAIRPERSON: Then we may as well proceed to Phase III.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14585 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14586 Phase III of the process is where other parties appear in the order set out in the agenda to present their intervention.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14587 I will now call on the first appearing intervener, Harvard Broadcasting, to come forward for their presentation.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14588 THE SECRETARY: Mrs. Chair, we will go to the next appearing intervener which is CIRPA. If they are present, if they would come forward to present their intervention?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14589 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: They said that they were only to appear once.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14590 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Vice‑Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14591 So therefore, we will proceed to the following intervention which is a panel of two interveners, Rawlco Radio Ltd. and Communications Management Inc. If they could come forward for your ‑‑ the presentation of your intervention?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14592 THE CHAIRPERSON: Ladies and gentlemen, just for information, we will be breaking at 12:30 as ‑‑ well, after you've finished your presentation, as there is a conference call so ‑‑ and then we will be coming back at 1:30 with questions from the panel of this panel.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14593 Madam Secretary...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14594 THE SECRETARY: I would ask that you introduce yourselves before you begin, and you will have ‑‑ just a moment ‑‑ 15 minutes for your presentation.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14595 Thank you.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
LISTNUM 95 \l 14596 MS LEYLAND: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14597 Good afternoon, Madam Chair, Ms Cram, Commissioners Williams, Cugini, Arpin and Pennefather.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14598 Before we begin our presentation today, I'd like to introduce our Rawlco Radio team. On October 18th, two weeks ago, we at Rawlco celebrated our 60th anniversary. Rawlco was started by Gordon and Doug's father, E.A. Rawlinson, with the purchase in 1946 of CKBI Radio in Prince Albert. We are still proud to own CKBI, along with 11 other radio stations in Saskatchewan.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14599 After 60 years of serving this great province, we know Saskatchewan and we know radio in Saskatchewan. We are very proud of our home province. We live here and work here because we want to.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14600 Let me introduce our group to you. My name is Pam Leyland. I'm president of Rawlco Radio. I got my start in radio as a newsperson, then became a news director, a program director, a general manager, and now president ‑‑ all with Rawlco over the last 25 years.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14601 On my right is our CEO, Gordon Rawlinson. One of his favourite sayings is that he's been in radio all his life, all the way back to the early days in Prince Albert. Gordon has been a tremendous help and inspiration to me.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14602 Next to Gord is Ken Goldstein of Communications Management Inc. On my left is Doug Pringle. Doug is a legendary programmer and musicologist. Doug knows a lot about all kinds of music, and his roots go back to when he started Canada's first album/rock station at CHOM in Montreal in the late '60s. Doug has been with Rawlco for 26 years.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14603 If you have any questions about the music formats in Regina, Doug would be glad to give you his thoughts at the end of our presentation.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14604 Next to Doug is Kristy Werner. Kristy is the program director for Z99 here in Regina. Kristy is one of those bright young people we're always looking for at Rawlco; someone with smarts, drive, ability and passion. She's also the person that makes our 20th annual Z99 radiothon for the Hospitals of Regina Foundation come to life.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14605 Behind me and to my right is Doug Rawlinson. Gordon and Doug have been partners for about 35 years and have worked very hard together to make Rawlco a great radio company.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14606 To Doug's left is Karen Mains. Karen is the person that makes our operation in Regina run. Karen is our operations manager and the day‑to‑day operations of three radio stations fall on her shoulders. Karen has been with Rawlco for 20 years.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14607 On Karen's left is Tom Newton. Tom is the manager of our three radio stations here in Regina, Z99 FM, Jack FM, and News Talk 980 CJME. Tom's background is programming and he started with us as an announcer 21 years ago, then became a promotion director, program director, and now our manager.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14608 Madam Chair, let me begin by welcoming the Commission and staff to Saskatchewan, a province of almost 1 million people. It's noteworthy that if this hearing had been held way back in 1930, it could have opened with exactly the same statement, a province of almost 1 million people.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14609 For sociologists, Saskatchewan must be an interesting place to study. It presents them with the perfect opportunity to answer a fundamental question. If a province has virtually no population growth for 75 years, will the people be different from those living in a nearby province with surging population growth?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14610 Part of the answer is that human beings are very adaptable. They adapt to the environment they find themselves in. Further, they'll work very hard to turn what outsiders might consider to be difficult circumstances into something positive. This is certainly what the people of Regina or, for that matter, Saskatoon have done.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14611 First, it must be admitted that many people do leave Regina and Saskatchewan every year for Alberta and other provinces but many also choose to stay. They choose affordable housing over surging house prices. They choose easy access over major traffic jams. They choose a simpler, more pleasant lifestyle over a rat race. And most importantly, they choose friendliness and neighbourliness over impersonal big city life.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14612 All of these things came through to me again when I read the more than 200 letters submitted as part of our intervention. There's a sense in these letters that making Regina into a great place to live didn't happen naturally. It only happened because many people worked very hard to make it happen. There's a strong sense of concern that they don't want to lose what they've worked so hard to achieve.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14613 A lot of what is said flies in the face of conventional wisdom. Usually if you offer people what, at least on the surface, appears to be something for nothing, they're going to say, "Of course I'll take it. Why not?" In fact "why not" is the focus of almost all of the letters.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14614 The leaders of community organizations have many concerns about the possibility of licensing additional radio stations in Regina. One of their concerns is that their messages on radio will have less impact if there are more stations.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14615 As Eileen Janz, manager of marketing for the Saskatchewan Science Centre says, "Adding additional licences to this diluted market will impact our ability to reach radio listeners."
LISTNUM 95 \l 14616 They also fear that they will lose the close relationships they have with the existing stations, ones that have been developed over many years.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14617 Erin Marchuk at the Arthritis Society comments, "We value the support we receive and feel that the addition of more radio stations will jeopardize the relationships we've established."
LISTNUM 95 \l 14618 Something they count on is easy access to the stations for interviews when they want to publicize their events or fundraising campaigns.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14619 As Robyn Sullivan with the Regina Day Committee notes, "The Regina radio stations have always been quick to jump on board with generous donations of both on‑air advertising and interviews."
LISTNUM 95 \l 14620 Finally, some organization, like the Regina Hospitals Foundation, worry that the station sponsored fundraising campaigns will be less effective in a more fragmented radio environment.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14621 Conventional wisdom would also suggest that local businesses would welcome more radio stations. The letters show that this is not the case at all. For local retailers, more stations mean more fragmentation which will result in higher advertising costs and diminished impact.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14622 Jamie York at Island Inkjet states, "With the state of our Saskatchewan economy, it would be deleterious to my business interest to have to fragment my marketing budget even more with the introduction of yet another radio station."
LISTNUM 95 \l 14623 They also worry that more stations will change the close relationship they have with their advertising consultants who help them grow their businesses.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14624 Maxine Drelier of Travel Masters makes this point, "The radio station I deal with gives me great advice and service and I know my rep well."
LISTNUM 95 \l 14625 Finally, they don't like the idea of more station salespeople taking up their valuable time.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14626 Dennis Marvin at Clarica says succinctly, "I do not want to spend further dollars or deal with more radio reps calling on me."
LISTNUM 95 \l 14627 The concerns expressed in these letters are not superficial concerns. In reading them, one can feel the sincerity. The writers honestly feel that there is a special relationship between themselves and the radio stations, and they don't want to lose it.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14628 They're definitely worried that the CRTC will make decisions that will have a real detrimental impact on their organization or businesses.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14629 At the very heart of the matter is the reason people choose to live in Regina and not move to Calgary. It's the neighbourliness and the sense of community, and they consider their local radio stations with their strong local roots to be an integral part of the community.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14630 Many work very hard to make Regina a better place to live and they feel their local radio stations are shoulder‑to‑shoulder with them every step of the way. So if the local community organizations and businesses have real concerns about the licensing of additional stations, how do the listeners in Regina feel about their local stations?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14631 We commissioned a survey of 400 radio listeners to try to answer this question. As the graphic shows, they're quite happy with their local radio service. A high percentage indicated they were satisfied that they can get the local news and community information they need, and that the stations do a good job covering local events. They recognize that the stations support Canadian artists and play their music. Overall, there was a high level of satisfaction with local radio in Regina.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14632 Special mention must be made to the response to the question, "Can you listen to the music you like when you want to listen to it?" The Internet, iPod, satellite radio and other forms of music distribution are changing the way people listen to music.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14633 While all the major music formats are available in Regina, it could be argued that there are narrow niche formats that are not present. Yet, 92 percent were satisfied that they can listen to the music they like when they want to listen to it. This certainly raised the question, just how much do listeners really feel the need for additional musical diversity?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14634 The role of Rawlco Radio in Regina raises further questions about conventional wisdom. Many would say that in the absence of greater competition, broadcasters will only view the minimum required by regulation. They will always choose higher profits over additional community service.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14635 In this light, let's take a look at what Rawlco Radio has accomplished. Crazy is the term experienced broadcasters were using when Rawlco introduced News Talk eight years ago. Small cities like Regina and Saskatoon are not nearly big enough to support this extensive, rather expensive programming. And for a while, I have to admit it looked like they were right, but we soldiered on.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14636 And today News Talk has become absolutely essential to life in Saskatchewan. The programs are like giant town hall meeting where the people across the province come together to discuss the issues of the day. While we may never recoup the investment cost, I can report they are now nearly breaking even.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14637 MR. PRINGLE: While doing an application for a new FM station in Edmonton, we came up with the idea for Project 10K20 where we provide $10,000 to 20 artists so that they can make a CD. It has been a huge success in Edmonton and has really transformed the local jazz scene, and we are sure it's going to have the same similar impact on the local folk scene in Calgary.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14638 Now, when looking at this picture, we came to realize that there was something wrong. We were doing Project 10K20 in Edmonton and Calgary because of CTD commitments, but in Saskatchewan, our home province, the need was perhaps even greater, so we decided to rectify the situation and announced its availability on our Saskatchewan radio stations. The response was quite overwhelming. More than 200 applications were received. We ended up approving 29 of the applications and the resulting CDs are displayed on the board beside me there.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14639 One of the major benefits of Project 10K20 in Saskatchewan has been a huge increase in the amount of local Saskatchewan music we can play, so we have increased our minimum Canadian content to 40 percent of all of our FM stations in Saskatchewan.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14640 MS LEYLAND: Community involvement, community service and super‑serving our listeners is the way we do radio. The submitted letters tell the story again and again. Outside recognition of our efforts can be seen in the 27 CAB nominations and awards our stations have received since 2000. These award‑winning programs are just the tip of the iceberg. Every day, and in almost every program, we're doing things to support the community and local community organizations. It's the Saskatchewan way, and we certainly don't want to change it.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14641 Madam Chair, Members of the Commission, if there's one thought I can leave you with in our intervention it is this: Saskatchewan is different. Regina is not Fort McMurray, not Grande Prairie, not Medicine Hat.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14642 While we are all obsessed with trying to get the population over that elusive 1 million mark, the fact is we live here because we like it just the way it is. We found that there are many benefits and advantages to living in cities with little growth.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14643 Of necessity, the people of Regina have found a way to make this a great city to live in; pulling together, working for a better Regina, and radio stations that play a leadership role in this endeavour is something special.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14644 Our radio revenues are not growing in Regina, and the stations are not highly profitable. In fact currently national advertising is declining. Nevertheless, there are no cutbacks and absolutely no reduction in our level of community commitment. We don't want to have anything to do with the US model of cheap jukebox radio.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14645 We believe the letters and the survey results deliver a clear message: The people of Regina like the radio they have today, and they don't want to lose it. Madam Chair, we feel there should be no new licences granted in Regina.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14646 For a city of its size, Regina is extremely well‑served. In fact it's over‑served when compared to markets like Edmonton and Calgary. For some slight additional musical diversity, is it really worth risking the quality of radio that Regina now enjoys? We think not.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14647 Thank you. This completes our intervention. Ken...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14648 THE CHAIRPERSON: Actually, if I can stop you right now and we will adjourn and then, Mr. Goldstein, you can give your brief presentation after lunch. 12:30.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14649 MS LEYLAND: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14650 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Not 12:30. Yeah, so you've got one second for lunch. No, 1:30.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1230 / Suspension à 1230
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1330 / Reprise à 1330
LISTNUM 95 \l 14651 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order. I just wanted to say one thing about Ms Leyland's comments about people moving to Calgary. Given Gainer‑Gate, nobody's moving to Calgary.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 95 \l 14652 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14653 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14654 We will continue with the intervention of CMI, Communications Management Inc. Mr. Goldstein...?
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
LISTNUM 95 \l 14655 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Thank you, Madam Chair, Commissioners.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14656 In this proceeding from an economic perspective, there is essentially one fundamental question that needs to be addressed: Do the economic indicators tell us that the market is capable of supporting a new commercial radio station?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14657 The report we submitted deals in detail with that question. As you will have seen in our report, we tied our analysis very closely to the patterns of licensing and the comments the Commission made with respect to four other metro markets in which the Commission has considered new radio licences in the recent past; Kitchener, Halifax, Calgary and Quebec City.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14658 And we chose this methodology because of something the Commission itself said in its decision of August 10th, 2006, on the licensing of new radio stations in Quebec City. In that decision, the Commission noted that the economic picture was not as positive as in many other markets and chose, therefore, to license only one new station with a speciality format.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14659 So we constructed a comparison of four markets in which licences have been granted and compared Regina and Saskatoon with those four markets and with the corresponding figures for all private radio across Canada. After all, if indicators in Regina or Saskatoon are lower than in Quebec City, that should tell us something about the ability of these markets to support a new station.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14660 The results are summarized in our report and the results do indeed tell us that the economic indicators for the Regina radio market are not favourable to the licensing of any new commercial radio stations at this time.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14661 Let me briefly review a number of the key indicators. First, population. The Conference Board is projecting that Regina's population will grow by just 1.5 percent over the five years from 2005 to 2010, about one‑third the comparable growth rate for Canada.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14662 I noted that some of the applicants have made references to data from the Financial Post Canadian Demographics. Here is what that source says about Regina's population: "As of July 1st, 2005, 200,294 people; as of July 1st, 2006, 200,204 people ‑‑ a year‑on‑year decline of 90 people.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14663 Second, GDP. The Conference Board is predicting that real GDP growth rates for Regina will decline from 2008 to 2009 and 2010, and those would be the first three full years of any proposed new station.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14664 For Canada, real GDP is projected to go up during that a period. By 2010, the real GDP growth rate for Regina is projected to be about 25 percent lower than the growth rate for Canada.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14665 Third, retail sales. We heard at least one applicant claim that Saskatchewan retail sales would increase 11 percent this year. However, that claim is not supported by data from Statistics Canada. The most recent data from Statistics Canada for the period January to August 20 ‑‑ January to August 2006 indicate a growth rate of 6 percent over the comparable period a year earlier, about half of what was claimed. And the Conference Board is projecting that the growth rate for retail sales in Saskatchewan will be lower in 2008 and then decline further.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14666 If we focus on Regina and use data from the Conference Board, we see that the growth rate for retail sales spiked in 2005 and is projected to decline from 2008 to 2009 and 2010.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14667 The recent reduction in the provincial sales tax from 7 percent to 5 percent may have a modest short‑term effect, but that effect is unlikely to continue into the first years of a radio station in this market.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14668 Fourth, radio revenues. From 1996 to 2003, private radio revenues in Regina and Saskatoon grew more slowly than was the case for radio in Canada. Then from 2003 to 2005 there was a brief growth spurt. However, based on the data for 2006 that we have seen, the growth spurt is over and private radio in Regina and Saskatoon again has a lower growth rate than radio across Canada.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14669 Fifth, radio profitability. We have heard a number of statistics from applicants that purport to paint a rosy picture of revenues in the Regina market, but we have not heard any applicant deal with the other key factor, profitability, other than to dismiss its importance. But the numbers are dramatic.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14670 Across Canada, from 2001 to 2005, the average PBIT for private radio as a percentage of total revenue was 18.2 percent. In Regina, we estimate that the average PBIT for private radio from 2001 to 2005 was just under 5 percent, 13 percentage points lower than the figure for all of Canada.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14671 Can revenue growth be separated from profitability? Is one more important than the other? Of course not. Both are important. And the data tells us that after a brief growth spurt, radio revenues in Regina are growing more slowly while profit margins remain low.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14672 When we consider all of the factors together, we believe they deliver a single powerful message; the economic indicators do not support the licensing of any new commercial radio stations in Regina at this time. And we believe it is also clear that the introduction of any new commercial radio station into the Regina market would push the PBIT level for the market into negative territory and would make it difficult, if not impossible, for current private stations to maintain their current high levels of community service.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14673 Thank you, I would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14674 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Commissioner Cugini...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14675 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Good afternoon, Ms Leyland and your panel. Firstly, I'd like to apologize for the quality of my voice. The cold bug has bit me, but I now have good drugs, so hopefully we'll get through this.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 95 \l 14676 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: I just have a couple of questions for you, just to probe a little bit further into your comments earlier today. I'm not sure if you were here physically in the room when Newcap presented their application for Regina, but I'd like to get your reaction to something that they presented. And I'll paraphrase what they said just so you know what exactly it is that I am referring to.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14677 They compared the number of radio stations to the population in Regina, whereas they said that for every 34,000 people in Regina, there is one commercial radio station. Moncton, New Brunswick, there is a city whose CMA is less than three‑fifths of Regina and is home to six commercial FM stations. St. John, New Brunswick, 1 for every 18,000. Brandon, Manitoba, 1 for every 10,000. And Belleville, Ontario, 1 for every 18,000 residents compared to Regina's 1 for every 34,000 residents.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14678 I was wondering if I could get your comments and your reaction?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14679 MS LEYLAND: Certainly. I'll ask Mr. Goldstein to comment on that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14680 MR. GOLDSTEIN: I think that those kind of comparisons really don't tell us very much. First of all, you could pick other markets. You could pick Calgary, Edmonton ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14681 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Which you did in your report.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14682 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Exactly.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14683 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: So ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14684 MR. GOLDSTEIN: And show precisely the opposite, that you could then use that to say, "Oh, look at the size here. Look at the average number of people per station here. Therefore, there are too many stations in the market.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14685 So I think that, as a first cut, I would say that I'm not sure that's particularly meaningful. The part that bothers me, though, most about it is that one ‑‑ and by the way, I should say as an aside, I think the Brandon figure is very misleading because it doesn't include the rural area around Brandon, I don't think.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14686 But leaving that aside, the ‑‑ you compare us with Moncton ‑‑ or you compared Regina with Moncton or you compared the ‑‑ what other characteristics are present in the Moncton market is ‑‑ are you suggesting that one should import characteristics from these other markets into this market?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14687 In our report, for example, we noted that you have a situation in Regina and Saskatoon where you have very high levels of spending on programming because they have perfected what I think is a wonderful community model in these two markets.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14688 Now, if that market with the different average of population is now all of a sudden something we're holding up as a beacon to be emulated, should we go to the program spending levels of that market? Should we go to the profitability levels of that market? Should we go to the staffing levels of that market?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14689 So to simply say there are X number of people per station doesn't really tell the story.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14690 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And if ‑‑ I'd like to ask you, Mr. Goldstein, why it is that you included that same comparison in your study?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14691 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Oh, I conclude ‑‑ include it only to show that you could pick numbers and show precisely the opposite. I think I could probably find the words, but I think I probably said I don't think these are very meaningful and I then went on to say, "Let's do a more sophisticated analysis." I believe there's actually a subhead in my study talking about a more sophisticated analysis.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14692 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14693 Ms Leyland, you may have heard us ask just about every applicant in these proceedings what are the factors? Profitability we recognize is but one, but what are the factors that we, as a Commission, need to examine in order to determine whether or not a market can sustain another entrant?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14694 I would like to ask you what are the factors you look at and, if you can, perhaps even prioritize what those factors are when you want to enter, as Rawlco, into a new market.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14695 MS LEYLAND: I think one of the factors that ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14696 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: I'm sorry, I can't hear you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14697 MS LEYLAND: Oh, I'm sorry. I think one of the factors that you might consider is music and the music that's presently offered in the community and the other formats that the applicants might want to make available. I'd like to ask Doug to comment on the music formats that are in Sask ‑‑ or in Regina right now.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14698 MR. PRINGLE: So if I could paint a brief picture of the formatic landscape in Regina? Regina has all the four major formats currently in the market; rock, pop, country and news talk. And in the case of the music formats, there are multiple signals available in each area.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14699 If you take the pop area, you have Lite who is an AC station catering to more the upper demographic of the pop audience. And you have Z99 which caters more to the lower demographic. So essentially upper and lower is covered in the pop side.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14700 If you take rock, you have a classic rock station, a pure classic rock station, Jack, which was ‑‑ as was mentioned by an earlier applicant although it has the name and the personality of the Jack format, it doesn't actually have the format. It's a pure classic rock station.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14701 And then you have a mass appeal rock station, the Wolf that is geared younger, but they too play 40 percent classic rock. Then you go to country. We have two country stations. We have an AM country station and we have Country 100 which comes in from Moose Jaw clear as a bell. So in rock, pop and country, you have multiple formats covering all three of those musical genres.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14702 So I've got to be honest, when I first heard a call for the two markets, I was very curious as to what the mainstream broadcasters would come up with in terms of adding variety and musical diversity to the market and I was anticipating there'd be some pretty interesting category 3 submissions, so I was quite surprised actually that there were actually no category 3 submissions. In fact, what was offered were just variations of what already existed in the marketplace.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14703 So just to quickly run through. If you look at classic hits, well, there's already a station in the market that actually not only plays classic hits and has done for over 15 years, but has classic hits in their slogan. Z99's slogan is, "Classic Hits and Today's Best Music".
LISTNUM 95 \l 14704 In addition to that, you'll find classic hits on Lite and you'll also find classic hits on Jack, so that format ‑‑ you know, that music is extremely well covered off.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14705 I was also interested to hear that there were no classic rock stations in this marketplace. In actual fact, Jack is pure classic rock, and as I mentioned Wolf plays 40 percent classic rock. To my knowledge, there's no market anywhere that supports three classic rock stations, so I don't really see where they would fit in.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14706 The submission for oldies was interesting. Oldies has some challenges. As you probably know, in Canada the format is going through some difficult times. Stations have been bailing on the format. There are less and less oldie stations all the time ‑‑ not just in Canada, the flagship oldie stations in the world.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14707 WCBS FM, they recently abandoned the format for a younger gold format, a format based in the '80s. And of course in Canada we have the additional problem of hitting on the hit rule, so I think that would be a very tough go. And the music in the market, I mean the tape that was played with the Beach Boys and the Beetles and Four Seasons, Lite plays a fair amount of that. And of course the Canadian element is completely duplicated on Jack.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14708 The Canadian music from the '60s and '70s is ‑‑ you know, simply because there's not much great Canadian music from that era, it's duplicated on both the classic rock format and the oldies format. I'm talking about BTO, the Guess Who, Neil Young. All those guys, they're duplicated. So I question how much of a hole, even if you could do it, there is for oldies in the market.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14709 And then the new country FM application, there already is a new country FM signal available to anybody who would like to listen to it in Regina.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14710 So as I look at what the market already has, which essentially has all the major formats covered in multiple, and then I look at what's being offered, I don't really see where there's much musical diversity. I mean there's ‑‑ yes, it is versions of what is there, but I don't see any huge musical diversity being offered.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14711 MR. RAWLINSON: Can I throw in one other comment as to what factors to look at? I think that also it's worthwhile to take a look at what the existing radio stations are doing. Are they providing good service or not? Are they do ‑‑ doing a good job of serving their community? Are they serving them well? Are they running more than just jukeboxes or are they running real radio stations, real full‑service radio stations? I think that's a factor to be considered, and I won't belabour that point, but I think that's a factor too.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14712 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you. Thank you very much. Madam Chair, those are all my questions.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14713 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14714 Commissioner Pennefather...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14715 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I have some questions for you, Mr. Goldstein, and I'll go back to the point that my colleague, Commissioner Cugini, raised regarding the comparison with other markets.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14716 Now, I'm in your report and I have to say that you did include that as one of the economic indicators. You go on to discuss a more sophisticated set of comparisons with a different city comparison, but the question she asked you in reference to the comments from Newcap was really in relation to your choice to use comparisons with other metropolitan markets on page 4 as one of the indicators. And I do say indicators, so you would ‑‑ we agree that there are a number of indicators that one uses.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14717 So on that where you, yourself, at page 4, have noted that one of the indicators that can be used is a comparison with other markets in terms of population, in your view what would be your estimate of the minimum population required to support a commercial radio station?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14718 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Let me answer the first thing first by actually, if I may, read into the record what I said?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14719 I said some of the applications in this proceeding have included comparisons among Saskatoon, Regina and other markets for factors like the population per radio station. This is a somewhat simplistic kind of comparison. So the figures that I put in there was to illustrate that point.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14720 As far as asking the question of what is the minimum population you need to support a radio station, there is no answer. And the reason there is no answer because it's not only the number of people, but it's where they're located.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14721 The minimum population in Hamilton is different than in Winnipeg, even though the markets are about the same size because Hamilton is sitting right beside Toronto, and Winnipeg has got a lot of territory around it. So there is no simple answer to that question.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14722 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So you agree though it could be part of the mix of the discussions even though one would want to take a more sophisticated approach to it? It still could be an indicator among others, but a less important one in your view?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14723 MR. GOLDSTEIN: It's about the least important one. I mean if you look at the amount spent on programming as a measure of the community involvement, if you look at the profitability, if you look at the trends, it also depends what direction you're moving in. I consider it a highly simplistic kind of an indicator.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14724 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14725 Well, you will accept that just in the way this ‑‑ it is presented, I assumed that it was one of the indicators that you hoped to discuss. And you go on to is ‑‑ to a more elaborate approach to that based on our decisions. Let me take you to another indicator, which is page 6, your figures ‑‑ 6 and 7, your figures 3 and 4.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14726 And as I understand it, these figures are an estimate of program spending as a percentage of revenue, and also there's another column on PBIT as percentage of revenue and private radio. And I'm looking at the percentage of program expenditures, a comparison of Canada to Regina and Saskatoon as you laid it out here, which clearly from your chart ‑‑ if I'm correct ‑‑ are higher than the average in Canada?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14727 MR. GOLDSTEIN: That is correct.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14728 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Now, can you explain why ‑‑ what your rationale for maintaining that the Commission should refrain from licensing in markets ‑‑ in these markets in order to enable incumbents to maintain these clearly above average expenses and staffing levels?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14729 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Well, I think that there's a short answer and there's a longer answer. The short answer is, is if you fragment the market and drive the PBIT levels down, they won't be able to afford to maintain the same levels of program expenditure and community service.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14730 But I think this is actually a window into a very important, much larger discussion that we should be having here and we should be having in lots of places, and that is is that the stations in this province ‑‑ particularly in Saskatoon, in Regina and generally in this province ‑‑ have really developed a very wonderful model of community service. It shows up in the higher spending on programming, and the reality is is it shows up in the lower profitability. And ‑‑ sorry, go ahead.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14731 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Well, I think if we kept it, as you said earlier from ‑‑ in your remarks from an economic perspective, if we keep it to that, you would accept though those higher expenses is a factor we should take into consideration when looking at profitability levels?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14732 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Well, I want ‑‑ I'm ‑‑ there is another important point to be added, and that is this, that the ‑‑ we've heard about the threat to radio, some of which is beginning to be felt, some of which is a little over the horizon from satellite and Internet and iPod and whatever. The answer to that threat is precisely the kind of local emphasis that these stations are doing today.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14733 If you fragment the market, if you force them away from that, if you build them more into the jukebox model, you'll start a downward spiral.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14734 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Well, you chose to compare the Canadian average to Regina and Saskatoon and, within that Canadian average, I'm sure there are many stations which also offer community service. So we looked at it from the point of view of basic programming expenditures across this country with more or less the same kinds of programming expenses, but it's an average and, within that average, I'm sure is community service.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14735 So relative to the economic question is this comparison which allows us to see a higher level of programming expenditures in Regina and Saskatoon which, you would agree, could skew the profitability level. That's the question ‑‑ the point I'm making here.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14736 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14737 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay. Figure 10 in your ‑‑ I just wanted to be sure I read it right. In fact, staff pointed out to me that I'd probably misinterpreted it first round. Just to be sure we do understand it, figure 10 again is a comparison, and when we look at Saskatoon and Regina on the graph, is this telling us that they are below the Canadian average?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14738 MR. GOLDSTEIN: That is correct. The bar on the left, the grey bar ‑‑ if yours printed the same as mine did?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14739 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Yes, it did somewhat.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14740 MR. GOLDSTEIN: The grey bar shows the average PBIT for the five years indicated and the darker bar to the right of it in each case shows the difference with the Canadian average.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14741 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14742 It ‑‑ I first read that that was the PBIT, and it's considerably ‑‑ you'd say today it's 5 percent whether we agree with that or not, or whether there are different interpretations of that. It certainly is not a minus at this stage.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14743 MR. GOLDSTEIN: I ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14744 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Which I had misunderstood this figure.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14745 MR. GOLDSTEIN: No, no, no, and nor was it intended to say it was a minus. The ‑‑ this, remember, is a five‑year average. As you're aware, the Commission used to do a radio market report and it used five‑year averages. And so in the spirit of that, I thought it to be fair ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14746 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14747 MR. GOLDSTEIN: ‑‑ to use five‑year averages. We know the numbers because they were placed on the record before lunch this morning so ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14748 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I wondered also, finally, if you had any comment ‑‑ my colleague noted the analysis done by Newcap concerning population. Standard also tabled another interpretation looking at retail sales and compared to population then, the provinces are ranked on a per capita radio sales and, in this sense, Saskatchewan is the province that comes out on top, number 1. Do you have any comment on that interpretation of the market?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14749 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Yes, I do. I think, first of all, you have a situation here where we have a lot of small markets and because you have small population bases, that will tend to produce a higher per capita figure. But I thinking ‑‑ think in gaining revenue, the reason I come back to profitability, there's a cost of revenue. There's a cost; you have to spend something to get revenue.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14750 And because you're dealing with small units, you don't have the same economy of scale that you'll have in Calgary or in Edmonton. The cost of gaining that per capita revenue is such that ‑‑ I mean PBIT isn't anything more or less than really a measure, if you will, of what's left over after the cost of gaining the revenue. And so there's a high cost, when you have low economies of scale, of making that per capita happen.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14751 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay, thank you. Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14752 MR. RAWLINSON: Commissioner Pennefather, could I just comment on the question of expenses? We do run high expense radio stations. We have a number of long‑term employees. We have many great employees. We do, as mentioned, terrific community programming. We also do some Aboriginal programming. Running news talk stations is a very expensive thing. It also takes a huge amount of management time to run news talk stations. It's almost like it's a different business than running music stations and ‑‑ as we've discovered.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14753 Also to generate the revenues that we do, which I think we also generate significant revenues at our radio stations, takes strong sales management, strong salespeople, and a fair amount of management time on that too. So that the ‑‑ that's just what we do, and we think that the communities are way better served with that type of radio station than a lean, mean type approach. So that explains it.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14754 THE CHAIRPERSON: Vice‑Chair Arpin...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14755 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14756 You just said that you're doing Aboriginal programming. Are you doing any Aboriginal programming here in Regina?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14757 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Sorry, not in Aboriginal language.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14758 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: But ‑‑ yes, but catering to the Aboriginal population?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14759 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Yeah, we produce a one‑hour show that runs on all of our AM stations in Saskatchewan, called Meeting Ground, and we also have run ‑‑ and that's run, I think, twice a week, but it's a one‑hour show and then repeated once. And we also run a series of vignettes for a number of years called Seeds of Success. Those are very short, a number of those just talking about success stories in the Aboriginal community. Both those programs take way more time and expense and the ‑‑ than any audience or revenue generated from them.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14760 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: The ‑‑ I have a few questions but I will have to be quiet. I'm playing with some confidential information so I need to be ‑‑ my questions may not be as clear as one could ‑‑ will have liked. But you're just saying that ‑‑ and I'm looking at aggregate numbers for the two companies that are working here in this market, at least to ‑‑ as a starter.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14761 You did mention that the ‑‑ you have a good base of employees that you have kept growing, but I notice that from the year 2002 to the year 2005 the market had a decline of close to 15 employees altogether so ‑‑ or rather ‑‑ so I think you have ‑‑ you have had to ‑‑ the market had ‑‑ the players in the market have had to look in making some decisions because I know ‑‑ notice also that, here, 2002 was not a beautiful year. The PBITs were negative for that year, so obviously some decisions had to be made and ‑‑ but the decline in the number of employees has been constant. If it wasn't a drop of 15, it was ‑‑ started by 7, then 2 others and then 5 others and ‑‑ just in the year 2005.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14762 If you are saying that you're ‑‑ because ‑‑ I'm asking the question because you said that at Rawlco you can ‑‑ you've maintained ‑‑ even in difficult times you maintained the base of the ‑‑ of your employees. Does that mean it's the competitor that has ‑‑ decrees its number of employees? And I will ask them also a very similar question.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14763 MR. GOLDSTEIN: I don't have the statistics in front of me for that, but it's not my understanding that we have decreased them. And I've ‑‑ quite frankly, I'm not sure that they have either, so I think that may be just a difference in the way it was filed or something. I don't know, but I don't believe that we've decreased the number of employees that we have. I can think of several areas where we've increased.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14764 MS LEYLAND: Yeah, I would echo that from, you know, practical running of radio stations' point of view, that we have increased. And Gord often will speak to me about the fact that we're adding employees in additional areas to do the new things that we want to do.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14765 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: I see. The ‑‑ we've been made aware that some corporate expenses have been applied to the station for ‑‑ and those corporate expenses obviously do increase the expense line of the operation of the organization, shall it be a factor that we keep in mind in calculating the PBIT? We ‑‑ we're to ‑‑ or should we deduct the ‑‑ in re‑establishing the PBITs, should we deduct the corporate expense?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14766 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Mr. Arpin, we are a small company, and it would seem to us that corporate expenses have to be charged somewhere. So, you know, when you file your CRTC returns, there isn't a separate category for corporate expense and then for each individual radio station. They have to be allocated amongst your radio stations.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14767 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: But they've been allocate ‑‑ to my knowledge, they have not been allocated to all of your radio stations. You've chosen some markets.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14768 MR. GOLDSTEIN: That's not ‑‑ that ‑‑ they have been allocated to all radio stations in what we consider to be a reasonable manner, yes, all radio stations.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14769 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Okay. Mr. Goldstein, in your conclusions you said that, based on your evaluation, no radio station ‑‑ no new ‑‑ or you're saying no new commercial radio station into the regional ‑‑ Regina market should be approved. Will you consider the two Aboriginal applicants that we heard this morning to be a commercial player? Because they are looking to ‑‑ to raise advertising revenues, and we surely heard clearly some numbers from Natotawin and in the other case, they are contemplating more or less sponsorship rather than straight advertising.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14770 MS LEYLAND: No, we are fine with those applications.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14771 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: You're fine with those two applications?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14772 MR. GOLDSTEIN: As am I.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14773 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Okay. No, but I know that you were ‑‑ I was asking myself, you were considering them as commercial because they do ‑‑ they are contemplating advertising revenues?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14774 MR. GOLDSTEIN: No, they ‑‑ first of all, obviously at the time I wrote that, I was looking at their applications as filed, but I don't think that anything they've said would tilt things so far as to cause a problem.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14775 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Thank you very much. Those were my questions.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14776 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Williams...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14777 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Good afternoon, Mr. Rawlinson, Ms Leyland and Mr. Goldstein and panelists. Mr. Goldstein, I'm a little bit confused and maybe you can help me. Are you under a retainer arrangement with Rawlco or any other applicant here?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14778 MR. GOLDSTEIN: I am not under retainer.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14779 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Are you getting paid in any way?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14780 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Oh, I'm absolutely getting paid of course.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14781 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Yeah, okay.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 95 \l 14782 MR. GOLDSTEIN: And I ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14783 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: I was just trying to ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14784 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Absolutely, and ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14785 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: ‑‑ trying to figure out if you were here as a volunteer or if somebody hired you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14786 MR. GOLDSTEIN: ‑‑ and handsomely so.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 95 \l 14787 MR. GOLDSTEIN: But this was made very clear in our letter of intervention and ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14788 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Yeah.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14789 MR. GOLDSTEIN: ‑‑ and in the report.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14790 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: I just wanted to clarify that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14791 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Absolutely.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14792 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just ‑‑ why I wanted to know is that you answered separately to the last question of Vice‑Chair Arpin. You said, "As am I", which I kind of said, oh, gees maybe he is here a little independent other than what I've heard earlier. Okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14793 MR. GOLDSTEIN: We may have hired Ken, but he still has his own opinions.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 95 \l 14794 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Yeah, okay. Well, Mr. Goldstein, you're an economist, and I'm very far from an economist. I'm a small businessman and a regulator, I guess.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14795 I read in today's paper at lunch, you may not have ‑‑ may or may not have read the same article, but the CIBC World Markets issued an economic report stating that the economic boom in Saskatchewan leads the country second only to Alberta. And this information was published in today's local newspaper, and the article further states that the economic boom is primarily resource based, the funds flowing to government coffers of such a current projected volume that the Saskatchewan Government has reduced provincial sales tax by more than 25 percent.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14796 So I'm wondering, in your opinion as an economist, do you think that the growth opportunities for Saskatchewan may be a little more optimistic than we've been hearing? Maybe in the 2001 to 2005 time frame averaged over those years might produce a slightly different than ‑‑ a different forecast than the most recent experience has been demonstrating?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14797 MR. GOLDSTEIN: I have the article here.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14798 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay, good. Yeah.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14799 MR. GOLDSTEIN: I also saw it. I would point out that the projection, first of all ‑‑ actually, if you notice, I've used the Conference Board as my going forward.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14800 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Yeah.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14801 MR. GOLDSTEIN: The projection in CIBC for 2006 is actually a little lower than the Conference Board one that I relied on. And for the year after, it's actually a little higher, so it works out about the same over those two years.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14802 But I think the key point here is that I would love every part of Canada to boom forever. We're dealing with a situation of resource commodity prices, and I think it's important to continue reading in that same article where it says the economist who's quoted, it says, "It's no secret that Saskatchewan has long had a below‑average rate of population growth, and it is that population that listens to the radio ‑‑ not the wells, not the mines, not the potash, but it's the population that listens to the radio."
LISTNUM 95 \l 14803 And I wish it were otherwise and I think that I would like everything good to happen in this province, but when I look at the reality of where we're at in the radio business, where we're at in the kinds of indicators that affect the radio business, I would be very cautious.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14804 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Yeah. Elsewhere in that newspaper and others, they talk about vast inventories of industrial property and other real estate stock being bought up and sold quickly, another ‑‑ I guess to my layman's limited knowledge of how things go up and down, that things actually are really improving here. Like, people are buying stuff and maybe there will be people coming here. Would you be saying that that's ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14805 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Let's hope so.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14806 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Let's hope so? Okay, yeah. Okay ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14807 MR. RAWLINSON: Commissioner Williams ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14808 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: It's a cautious optimism, I guess, is what I'm hearing.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14809 MR. RAWLINSON: I'm sorry, I kind of jumped in on you. I apologize.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14810 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Yeah, that's ‑‑ no, that's fine.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14811 MR. RAWLINSON: I just want to make a quick comment, but I think things do look better today than they have for a while, for the future. And I'd ‑‑ really do hope that things are going to improve. We just had so many false starts and, you know, I've had ‑‑ we've had many times when we've had ‑‑ said, boy, you know, the next couple of years are really looking good for Saskatchewan when they first started developing uranium in Saskatchewan, when potash came along, and it ‑‑ there's been a number of time ‑‑ things that we thought were really going to make a huge difference, and they have. But there's this incredible ‑‑ there's two things.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14812 There's this ‑‑ the agricultural population has continued to decline, so that's a factor. And the other thing is is that we have the bad fortune of living next to Alberta, and it just ‑‑ as much as we try in Saskatchewan, Alberta just keeps sucking the people out, and so it's ‑‑ so I'm ‑‑ I am hopeful that things are going to get better, and we're not saying they're terrible now. We're just saying we're hoping that things will really ‑‑ for once really start to boom here, but they haven't yet.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14813 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: One of the big differences I see between these two provinces, and I've had the advantage of living in Alberta for the last few years, but I didn't live there all the time ‑‑ is I think there's a ‑‑ there was an attitude, I remember when I first went there, and I think they called it the Alberta advantage, which was relatively low prices, well‑educated workforce and, you know, a gung ho attitude about their future opportunity which didn't look that good in the early '90s in Alberta either.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14814 Now, Saskatchewan's probably got a better educated public. I think it's one of the most educated publics in the country. I don't know that for sure. Maybe Mr. Goldstein would know that. And it's got resources that one of the other articles I read ‑‑ and I apologize, but I read everything that I can get my hands on. And it says the large ‑‑ that possibly the largest oilfield find since 1953 in the southwestern corner, I guess, of Saskatchewan and dropping down into Montana and some of the lower States. And the other 1953 oil find is the one basically that got Alberta into the big time the first time anyway.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14815 So I guess if I would look at Saskatchewan, I'd say there's a real Saskatchewan advantage because now Alberta is plagued with high housing prices. You can't find labour or trades anywhere. I'd say the boom economies do have a bit of a down side, and it's hard to get anything done. And when you do get stuff done, it's very expensive, which would ‑‑ I guess companies that were looking for some sort of advantage, to look naturally toward Saskatchewan.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14816 And then I was thinking, well, maybe that's why this industrial land is being bought up and maybe that's why there's residential projects under construction. Like, they're not building them for ‑‑ and hoping someone would come. I would imagine that the people financing them, unless they're financing them out of their back pockets, would expect them to have a real reasonable opportunity to recoup that money so they could pay back the debt.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14817 Do you have ‑‑ like, I just don't see it as frightening an economic prospect in this province as I've been hearing to some extent.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14818 MR. RAWLINSON: Well, I'll comment quickly and then let Ken speak to that. But quite frankly, I don't think we are feeling that it's frightening. I think that we think that Saskatchewan is, as it always has been, pretty steady and things do ‑‑ the prospects do look good.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14819 All we're suggesting is is that, you know, if you come right back to the licensing issue, there's ‑‑ if you give an extra licence to a market, and it proves to be too many, it throws the market into destruction for a long time, and you can't take it back.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14820 If you under‑licence, i.e. if there should have been a licence granted, and you say "Well, let's just wait for several years", you can't correct that. But we've had a case ‑‑ it came up yesterday, I think, where somebody said, "Gee, the last station in Regina was 20‑some years ago".
LISTNUM 95 \l 14821 Well, you know, Regina radio was really over‑radioed for that period and is ‑‑ what happened was there was actually two licenses given at that time, and it went from four radio stations to six radio ‑‑ I'm talking commercial radio stations, commercial mainstream stations.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14822 And subsequent to that, several of the radio stations had severe financial difficulties. Almost all of them changed hands, and it was one of the worst radio markets for many, many years. And, you know, the ‑‑ Mr. Hill had to come in and buy some stations, and the great old CKCK actually ‑‑ I don't know whether they went formally into receivership, but it virtually went bankrupt. I mean there was some really tough times for virtually every other radio station in the marketplace, except the two that we had that ‑‑ and we struggled and we had losses and so on, but at least we were able to carry on.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14823 And so making an ‑‑ over‑licensing, at any given time, really it just takes a long time to get it sorted and usually there's some tremendous turmoil in the meantime. If you say "Well, we're not sure" and say ‑‑ and we can always come back a couple of times ‑‑ several years later, and so I'm saying that ‑‑ right back to your question on the economics ‑‑ there are some things that look promising, but we have had those kind of promising prospects before.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14824 That oilfield that you mentioned is an oilfield that everybody, I think, knew existed except they thought it had been primarily tapped out. They thought it was a certain level, and they've now discovered ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14825 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Yes, there's a new technology ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14826 MR. RAWLINSON: ‑‑ a new type of drilling.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14827 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: ‑‑ that's come forward or something that's ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14828 MR. RAWLINSON: Yes, new technology and they're thinking that it can ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14829 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Yeah.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14830 MR. RAWLINSON: ‑‑ develop into something and so ‑‑ and I'm somewhat familiar. That's actually, I think, southeastern Saskatchewan. My wife's family is from down there, and you see the odd well there, but then you also see one that was from 20 years ago that ‑‑ they aren't prolific wells, and they do cost more money to drill these wells but, yes, there is some potential for that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14831 So again, let's hope. But we're still next to Alberta where, you're right, things are more expensive, but there's ‑‑ but the jobs also pay a lot more and there's still that appeal to get people to go there. So there are some people actually that are saying "Hey, things are a lot cheaper in Saskatchewan; let's move back to Saskatchewan" or "Let's move to Saskatchewan". Let's hope there's a lot more of those but, still today, the trend is still the opposite direction so ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14832 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Yeah, and just a couple of very quick comments. First of all, I looked at that map of the oilfield. I was trying to see if it extended into Manitoba ‑‑
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 95 \l 14833 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: No.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14834 MR. GOLDSTEIN: But it didn't get as far as where I live so ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14835 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Just a little along the border.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14836 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Yeah, yeah. The second thing when you talk about Alberta, it's actually true it's overheated and peoples always say "You know, it's overheated; this will happen", and it reminds me of something that Yogi Berra once said. "Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded."
LISTNUM 95 \l 14837 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Yeah.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14838 MR. GOLDSTEIN: But very seriously, it would be really nice to see this turn around. It would be really nice to see the population turn around, so we're weighing a couple of factors here. We're weighing some of these signs that say, you know, maybe this will happen. Maybe these commodity prices will stay at this level. Maybe we'll be able to spin off from the commodity prices into certain other kinds of activities ‑‑ maybe, maybe, maybe.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14839 On the other hand, we see Statistics Canada issue a projection that show that, over the next 25 years, only Saskatchewan and Newfoundland will lose population. We see the Conference Board projections for the next five years, so I guess you want to go with your hopes. You certainly don't want to play to your fears, but the real numbers as they're currently laid out in front of us, I still think say caution.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14840 And I agree completely with what Gordon said, caution lets you correct on the plus side later. Lack of caution doesn't let you correct later.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14841 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Well, thank you very much, Mr. Rawlinson and Goldstein. That's my questions, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14842 THE CHAIRPERSON: Round 2, Commissioner Pennefather...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14843 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Brief question, Mr. Goldstein. The Conference Board report that you referenced in your presentation today, what is the date of that?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14844 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Fall '06.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14845 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Fall '06?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14846 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Yeah.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14847 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And it was just pointed out to me that while perhaps decline ‑‑ are the growth rates not as such positive? For example, 2008 is 2.4 percent; 2009, 2.3 percent. Do the rates ‑‑ they're positive however.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14848 MR. GOLDSTEIN: The rates are positive but lower than they were and lower than Canada.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14849 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you. Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14850 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14851 I have a few questions. I read your report, Mr. Goldstein, and my initial reaction was that part of the problem with the Regina and Saskatoon markets is the size of the incumbents and that they're not Rogers, where they get to amortize their expenses over ‑‑ the same expense, you know, over Lord knows how many stations, and so scale is part of the problem or the size of the incumbents is part of the problem.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14852 And I guess I then want to go to the issue of your linking profitability and gross revenues, and the thing between gross revenues and profitability is expenses. And so then that leads me ‑‑ Mr. Rawlinson to say ‑‑ to ask you to inform us, either now or on a confidential basis, who has paid the costs, the pre‑application costs of your applications to Edmonton and to Calgary? And is that a cost of the company? Has it been expensed through Rawlco?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14853 And secondly, have you been capitalizing the staff costs, not capital costs but staff costs of the launch of the Edmonton station? I know Ms Leyland spent a good number of days and I'm sure other staff has, too, on that station. And I know you would capitalize your capital expenses, but did you also capitalize your staff costs or have they gone into the expenses?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14854 And my point is drawing a string between the revenues and the expenses and ‑‑ because as Mr. Goldstein said, PBIT is what's left over after the cost of earning that revenue, not future revenue. So I'm asking that you would provide us with that information on a confidential basis and if you could, if possible, quantify the pre‑application costs of both Edmonton and Calgary, and the staff costs if indeed they have not been capitalized into the launch of Edmonton? Could you do that? And I don't know what's reasonable in terms of a length of time to answer.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14855 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Would a week be reasonable?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14856 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sure, within a week, yeah.
‑‑‑ UNDERTAKING / ENGAGEMENT
LISTNUM 95 \l 14857 THE CHAIRPERSON: Now ‑‑ and this is not rocket science, but I'll do it as if I'm the best litigator in the world. I agree with you that the population has not changed in Saskatchewan but, Ms Leyland, has the distribution of that population changed?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14858 MS LEYLAND: This microphone, by the way, is faulty, so I'm just ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14859 THE CHAIRPERSON: I noticed that. I was going to tell Claude, yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14860 MS LEYLAND: Intermittent electrical problem. Yes, as we both know because we've lived here for a while.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14861 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, and that's the point because we're talking ‑‑ we're not talking about Saskatchewan. We're talking about Regina and Saskatoon, and that's where the population increases have happened. And you want to say something about that, Mr. Goldstein? Please. Because you were talking about the number of years to listen, and that's ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14862 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Yes, just as a very simple example ‑‑ we're talking about Regina, so let's talk about Regina.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14863 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14864 MR. GOLDSTEIN: And the comment that was made about the last new station licence in this market was over 20 years ago, so I dutifully went on to the Statistics Canada site and I looked up the population from 1986 of the Regina census metropolitan area and it was 190,566.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14865 THE CHAIRPERSON: In when, I'm sorry?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14866 MR. GOLDSTEIN: 1986.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14867 THE CHAIRPERSON: '86.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14868 MR. GOLDSTEIN: 190,566, and according to Statistics Canada in 2005 199,041, so that's not what you'd call a huge increase over a 20‑year period.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14869 So when we talk about the proportions changing, if you look only at the proportion of Regina as a proportion of Saskatchewan and say it's gone up, yes, it has. Part of it is because the population of Regina has gone up a little and part of it is because the rural population has gone down a lot.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14870 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. What about the extended CMA?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14871 MR. GOLDSTEIN: That is the ECMA.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14872 THE CHAIRPERSON: The extended ‑‑ the ECMA?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14873 MR. GOLDSTEIN: It's as Statistics Canada defines the census metropolitan area. It's ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14874 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, but what about the surrounding areas because of the bedroom communities now?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14875 MR. GOLDSTEIN: That ‑‑ that's all ‑‑ see, the definition of a CMA is to include bedroom communities. That's how they define a CMA.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14876 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I thought there was another one when we were doing ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14877 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Well, there are extended ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14878 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ the telephone ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 14879 MR. GOLDSTEIN: ‑‑ markets in television and there's a central market for BBN Radio.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14880 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14881 MR. GOLDSTEIN: And my recollection is that central and CMA are identical.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14882 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Okay, I think that's ‑‑ I think we can let you off the hot seat. Thank you very much.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14883 MS LEYLAND: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14884 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14885 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14886 I will now call the next appearing intervener, Hospitals of Regina Foundation. If you would come forward please?
LISTNUM 95 \l 14887 THE SECRETARY: Would you please identify yourself or introduce yourself? And then you will have ten minutes for your presentation.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14888 Thank you.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
LISTNUM 95 \l 14889 MS DAVIS: Good afternoon. My name is Judy Davis, and I am the chief executive officer for the Hospitals of Regina Foundation. I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to appear before the hearing this afternoon.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14890 The Hospitals of Regina Foundation is the largest charity of its kind in the Regina area. We are an independent, voluntary‑led organization that raises funds for medical technology, education and research for Regina's hospitals.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14891 Because we do not receive any funding for government, we rely on individuals, corporations and community groups for our financial support. Our collective efforts have had an immensely positive impact on the quality of care provided, which has also held ‑‑ helped attract and retain medical professionals in our community.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14892 I'm proud to say that since our inception in 1988, the foundation has raised over $65 million in support of better health care. This year alone, the foundation will raise in excess of $7 million that will be invested in new operating room equipment, a new cardiac cath lab, breast and prostate assessment equipment, and patient comfort items like electric beds and lifts.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14893 Our success comes from our partnerships, and one of the most important partnerships we have built has been with Rawlco Radio, and we are grateful to them for their ongoing support through the annual Z99 radiothon that benefits the new neonatal intensive care unit at the Regina General Hospital.