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Please note that the Official Languages Act requires that government publications be available in both official languages.
In order to meet some of the requirements under this Act, the Commission's transcripts will therefore be bilingual as to their covers, the listing of CRTC members and staff attending the hearings, and the table of contents.
However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded verbatim transcript and, as such, is transcribed in either of the official languages, depending on the language spoken by the participant at the hearing.
TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE
THE CANADIAN RADIO‑TELEVISION AND
TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES DEVANT
LE CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION
ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES
SUBJECT / SUJET:
Various broadcasting applications further to calls for
applications for licences to carry on radio programming
undertakings to serve Chilliwack and Vancouver, British Columbia /
Plusieurs demandes en radiodiffusion suite aux appels de demandes
de licence de radiodiffusion visant l'exploitation d'une
entreprise de programmation de radio pour desservir Chilliwack et
HELD AT: TENUE À:
The Empire Landmark The Empire Landmark
1400 Robson Street 1400, rue Robson
Vancouver, B.C. Vancouver (C.-B.)
March 4, 2008 Le 4 mars 2008
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 broadcasting applications further to calls for
applications for licences to carry on radio programming
undertakings to serve Chilliwack and Vancouver, British Columbia /
Plusieurs demandes en radiodiffusion suite aux appels de demandes
de licence de radiodiffusion visant l'exploitation d'une
entreprise de programmation de radio pour desservir Chilliwack et
BEFORE / DEVANT:
Helen del Val Chairperson / Présidente
Rita Cugini Commissioner / Conseillère
Elizabeth Duncan Commissioner / Conseillère
Peter Menzies Commissioner / Conseiller
Ronald Williams Commissioner / Conseiller
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Jade Roy Secretary / Secretaire
Joe Aguiar Hearing Manager /
Gérant de l'audience
Carolyn Pinsky Legal Counsel /
HELD AT: TENUE À:
The Empire Landmark The Empire Landmark
1400 Robson Street 1400, rue Robson
Vancouver, B.C. Vancouver (C.-B.)
March 4, 2008 Le 4 mars 2008
- iv -
TABLE DES MATIÈRES / TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
INTERVENTION BY / INTERVENTION PAR:
St\:lÇ Nation 1878 /10866
Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra 1881 /10880
Chilliwack Academy of Music 1884 /10897
Gabriola Radio Society 1896 /10963
Abbotsford Pilots 1919 /11073
REPLY BY / RÉPLIQUE PAR:
Frank Torres (OBCI) 1926 /11128
Vista Radio 1936 /11181
Radio CJVR 1937 /11187
Newcap Inc. 1938 /11195
Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. 1940 /11203
- v -
TABLE DES MATIÈRES / TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
PRESENTATION BY / PRÉSENTATION PAR:
Astral Media Radio G.P. 1943 /11219
No Interventions / Aucune intervention
No Reply / Aucune réplique
- vi -
TABLE DES MATIÈRES / TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
PRESENTATION BY / PRÉSENTATION PAR:
Vancouver Co-operative Radio 1965 /11340
INTERVENTION BY / INTERVENTION PAR:
Tanya Hill 2019 /11567
British Columbia Institute for 2022 /11586
REPLY BY / RÉPLIQUE PAR:
Vancouver Co-operative Radio 2033 /11636
Vancouver, B.C. / Vancouver (C.‑B.)
‑‑‑ Upon resuming on Tuesday, March 4, 2008
at 0830 / L'audience reprend le mardi 4 mars
2008 à 0830
10862 THE SECRETARY: Please take a seat.
10863 We will now proceed to Phase III in which interveners appear in the order set out in the agenda to present their intervention.
10864 I will now call Stó:lÇ Nation, Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra, Chilliwack Academy of Music to come to the presentation table.
10865 We will start with the presentation of Stó:lÇ Nation. Please introduce yourself and you have ten minutes for your presentation. Thank you.
10866 MS KAJI: Good morning, hello. My name is Samantha Kaji. I am the Manager of Community Development at Stó:lÇ Nation, which means that I oversee the education, social development and employment services segments of the Stó:lÇ Nation.
10867 Thank you for having me here today. I was quite excited to come and speak on behalf of CJVR.
10868 Early in the fall I had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Singer and Mr. Gemmell. They came and approached me and identified themselves as proponents for a radio licence in Chilliwack and they asked what kinds of initiatives and issues the Stó:lÇ Nation were facing.
10869 We spent a great deal of time discussing certain issues around employment for the youth and motivating our people.
10870 One of the initiatives that we had discussed was a summer program that we had run for youth in Chilliwack called Act 3. The Act 3 program was based on Donald Trump's The Apprentice, though we didn't fire the kids at the end of the week, but it allowed the kids to form competitive teams and perform business tasks, all part of the development of a larger business plan.
10871 They also did a marketing strategy which at that time involved the development of a seven‑minute short film. At the end of each week, these projects were judged by a panel of judges and prizes were awarded.
10872 The final project for the Act 3 was a full business plan with market projections and labour market information, and a full cash flow projection, which was presented at the Osoyoos Business Conference for Chief Clarence Louis. It was a tremendous project, and it was one that Ken embraced immediately and we started discussing opportunities for next year, this coming year's summer project, which included Act 3 on the air, which would give the kids the opportunity to actually experience work in a radio station and develop a radio play which would eventually air.
10873 We are quite enthusiastic about that idea. I think both Ken and I were quite pleased.
10874 We also discussed the idea of having a full‑time aboriginal news reporter. We have over 26 bands in the Chilliwack area, so there is a large contingent of aboriginal people. But there has been an ongoing feeling of disenfranchisement or certainly not a strong involvement in the public media.
10875 We always encourage our kids to pursue university degrees if they are able to do so, so we would like to see some more kids become involved in journalism, and that also brings the journalism scholarship piece into play.
10876 I do feel that if there was a more acknowledged aboriginal voice in the public broadcasting that it would cause a greater sense of inclusiveness for the aboriginal people in the community, and it would also help to educate those who are not aboriginal around the cultures and traditions and issues facing the aboriginal people in our community.
10877 Thank you.
10878 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
10879 We will now hear the presentation of Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra. Please introduce yourself and you have ten minutes.
10880 MR. FLEMING: Good morning, Madam Chair and Commissioners. My name is Wayne Fleming and I chair the Board of Directors for the Chilliwack Symphony.
10881 I am here to support the application for CJVR in the application for a broadcasting licence of Chilliwack.
10882 The Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra was established in August of 1999. Our organization started with only 40 musicians, the youngest being 13. An adult choir was formed the same year, and we have grown to more than 150 members, the majority being volunteers.
10883 In the fall of 2002, conductor Lindsay Miller joined our organization as Artistic Director and has been well received by the community. We have been registered under the Society Act since August of that same year. Our objective is to provide two concerts per year for the citizens of Chilliwack and the surrounding areas. Chilliwack, a city of 79,000, has embraced the Chilliwack Symphony and continues to show support with attendance exceeding 1100 patrons per concert.
10884 Our operating expenses per concert amounts to approximately 90 per cent of their budget, which goes to venue music purchasing, advertising and promotion, licences and professional fees, to name a few. These expenses are primarily paid by the ticket sales and private donation.
10885 Prior to filing their application for a new FM licence, Radio CJVR Limited met with the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra to discuss how they may benefit the symphony and the community. Should their application be approved by the CRTC, we would like to point out that CJVR Limited was the only application that approached the CSO in their application and support for the community.
10886 CJVR new station to provide funding in the amount of $42,000 over seven years would greatly assist the orchestra in helping to hire additional musicians and to augment the cost of the concerts.
10887 We are planning on introducing a third concert, and that would certainly help the symphony.
10888 In addition to the commitment, they have committed, if their licence is approved, a $10,000 per year advertising promotion campaign for the symphony and supporting the arts within the community.
10889 Currently, Chilliwack only has one radio station, as you are quite aware of, which is STAR‑FM 98.3, and I believe that it is owned by Rogers Telecommunications that is based in Vancouver. The Chilliwack Symphony has received no support from that radio station.
10890 Further to the above commitment, the Chilliwack Symphony was impressed with CJVR's community spirit and their ongoing support for local musicians and talent through such initiatives as the Horizons Unlimited.
10891 We urge that you approve their licence in Chilliwack, and we look forward to their support so we can continue bringing music to the community of Chilliwack, which is a very, very strong community within the arts compared to other communities.
10892 I use the example of Chilliwack and Abbotsford. In Chilliwack we have 89,000 and at our concerts we have approximately 1100 patrons, and in Abbotsford there is a population of 159,000, and at their concerts they only receive about 350 patrons per concert. So, I hope that you can recognize that the arts and music within Chilliwack is very strong.
10893 Once again, I urge that you approve their application.
10894 Thank you.
10895 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
10896 We will now hear the presentation of the Chilliwack Academy of Music. Please introduce yourself and you have ten minutes.
10897 MR. TAYLOR: Good morning. My name is Shaun Taylor. I am the principal of the Chilliwack Academy of Music. We are a community music school that operates as a non‑profit charitable society. There are 18 community music schools operating under that model currently in British Columbia.
10898 We have been providing music instruction and programming for the Chilliwack community for 28 years, and we currently have 700 students enrolled per year at the academy, where they study music of all styles. We have students from newborn through to adult.
10899 While our core operational programs are fee‑for‑service private and group instruction and music ensembles, because we are a community music school and we serve the Chilliwack community, we have a variety of community initiatives which are very important to the organization.
10900 We have an early childhood outreach program which provides parents or caregivers, I should say, in the downtown Chilliwack core with free group early childhood music instruction.
10901 We partner with UCFV Elder College once a year, offering a free course for seniors. We partner with the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra on a young artist solo competition. We have a musical lending library where we lend music free of charge to the community. We have over 6,000 pieces. We have master classes and workshops that are free and open to the community. We allow all students free admission to our concerts. We have a community choir, and we do jointly program and administer a summer activity and concert series in Chilliwack every summery, which sees attendance of 1,000 people at a downtown park.
10902 I just wanted to start with a little background about our organization.
10903 Now I would like to elaborate on why exactly I am here.
10904 I, as well, was conducted by CJVR. The reason I am taking the time out of my schedule to come and speak to you today is because of the work that they have done in advance. They didn't come with a cookie cutter program for what they have done in other areas. They came down, sat with me, they said, tell me your story, what does the academy do for the community and where do you need assistance? We quickly identified three particular levels or areas, both elementary, intermediate and senior levels of students that we would be able to support in the community through scholarships, bursaries and outreach programs. This is particularly timely, especially for us with our location and what is going on currently with arts funding in British Columbia.
10905 The 2010 Olympics has thrown support for the arts into a bit of a tail spin. Whereas we used to get regular support from Telus or B.C. Hydro, they now feel that organizations like the one I work for is adequately taken care of by 2010 legacies now and arts now programming, and that is actually not the case. We have not been able to secure think any funding any of those initiatives.
10906 The provincial arm of the B.C. government, the B.C. Arts Council, which is their arm's length organization to distribute funding to the arts is actually pulling our very modest amount of funding because they are switching from funding training organizations to only professional arts groups.
10907 It is an extremely difficult time for us in terms of fundraising for those outreach programs, those community programs. It would be very easy for us to simply focus on our fee‑for‑service programming, but bursaries and community programs are so important to the organization, we find that money out of our operating budget or we fundraise it every year and then just give it away, which is not a very efficient way for us to support the community.
10908 Looking at the three specific levels in a bit more detail, the elementary level or the outreach programs, most elementary schools do not have music instruction in Chilliwack. So, the only exposure many of the students get to music are the programs that we provide for them.
10909 I sit on the board of the Central Elementary Community School, which is located in the downtown core of Chilliwack, and we are currently working on initiatives that if we were to find the funding, we could start a youth choir, group hand drumming, group guitar, and these are areas I have quite a bit of experience at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music providing outreach programs for at risk youth in lower served areas of municipalities.
10910 Moving on to the intermediate level to the bursaries, the academy, as I said, we fund bursaries, but it is at a very modest amount. It is only $2,000 a year. We don't advertise that we provide that service to the community because the need far outweighs the demand. We just mention it on our branding, our normal general advertising, our website and brochures because, quite frankly, I am convinced if we were to advertise it, we would be inundated with requests. We already have the procedures in place and that particular program, so CJVR stepping up with some support would be very simple for us to administer.
10911 Then the senior level, as I mentioned, we have a young artist solo competition with the Chilliwack Symphony. Students are able to perform in front of an audience of 800 to 1100 people annually. However, those students do need support going on to post‑secondary studies, and through our summer concert series we regularly feature youth groups. While the bulk of our faculty are classically trained, not all of them are.
10912 We have students studying blues, rock, jazz, country. We regularly work with students that go on to the Cap College jazz program for voice, not because they want to sing jazz or sing classically, they want to perform country. A great example is Nicky Warner, up and coming country artist, lives in Chilliwack, went through the Chilliwack school district, and we now have her performing for us this summer in our summer concert series.
10913 So, an organization like the academy of music is able to connect with those individuals and give them the support that they need to further their career.
10914 While any of the applicants I am sure would benefit the Chilliwack community in some fashion if they were to be given a site licence, the only reason I am here is because of the time and energy that the CJVR group put in in advance asking specifically where we need the assistance, how we would use it, how we would administer their support. We would greatly welcome their support and the support of any of the applicants, but I have taken the time today because of the work they have done in advance.
10915 I would be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have. Thank you.
10916 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
10917 Commissioner Williams.
10918 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Thank you, Madam Chair. Good morning, interveners.
10919 Mr. Fleming, does the Chilliwack Symphony receive monetary or advertising time, support from any other media in Chilliwack?
10920 MR. FLEMING: Mr. Williams, no, they haven't. Our primary fundraising is through a notable feast fundraising dinner, where we play music in between courses and we have a silent auction that raises approximately $3,000. It is a one‑time event per annum. That money is allocated to buy music to add to our library.
10921 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Thank you.
10922 Mr. Taylor, in regards to the Chilliwack Academy of Music, you talk about inner city youth music exposure. How many students do you estimate you help each year?
10923 MR. TAYLOR: Just in that outreach program alone?
10924 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Yes.
10925 MR. TAYLOR: We are in the first year of implementing that early childhood outreach program in Chilliwack. We implemented it in two ten‑week sessions. Because of the nature of group early childhood music, when you are working with the parent or the caregiver in many cases, because these are extended family members, grandparents or foster parents, we are working directly in groups of 12 caregivers and 12 infants in either newborn to one and a half, one and a half to three or three to five year old age ranges.
10926 As I said, we are in the pilot year. We maxed out at the 36 infants and the 36 caregivers and we had a waiting list. So, we are now in the second ten‑week session and we are full up again with all new students and parents. That is the capacity of that type of program because you are educating the parent and the student.
10927 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Does any other media group help your efforts? Do you get free newspaper ads?
10928 MR. TAYLOR: We get the standard arrangement that the Chilliwack Progress has with all non‑profit groups in the community. It is a buy one, get one free newspaper ad and that is the limit of any support that we get in terms of advertising.
10929 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: No television or radio station support?
10930 MR. TAYLOR: No, we haven't. We have been trying to work with Shaw Cable to get some support. However, they used to provide free interviews and camera time. Now they charge for that.
10931 We have experimented in the past with a summer musical theatre program that we operate in giving away free tickets and purchasing some spots with STAR‑FM. However, we tracked the free tickets on the give away and they were never redeemed, and the cost of advertising with STAR, there was no matching program. It was just a straight fee for our ads and we didn't receive any feedback from any of the attendees at the performances saying that they heard about us from STAR‑FM.
10932 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Back to the Shaw example, do you say they charge for doing an interview on your group?
10933 MR. TAYLOR: That is correct. You have to pay for the camera operator. I believe it may have been in the neighbourhood of anywhere from $200 to $400.
10934 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Thank you, Mr. Taylor.
10935 MR. TAYLOR: Yes.
10936 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Ms Kaji, have you discussed the aboriginal scholarship opportunity with youth in your area, and what was their reaction?
10937 MS KAJI: Yes, I have discussed it with some of the youth, in particular the ones that were in the Act 3 summer program because they became quite interested in the whole subject of media when they started to develop their films.
10938 I have several high school graduates that are interested in moving on to university diplomas in journalism that are quite excited about this idea.
10939 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: You talked in your remarks today about inclusiveness in media. Does any of the other local media provide ‑‑ what type of coverage is provided to the aboriginal community by any type of media in your area?
10940 MS KAJI: We have a similar relationship with the Chilliwack Progress newspaper, where they will provide a buy one, get one free, and in particular we run an aboriginal youth career fair every year which is attended by over 350 aboriginal students between grades 8 and 12. So, we have that arrangement, but we weren't able to afford the radio time. We have repeatedly gone back to STAR‑FM to ask if they could work something out for it, but it hasn't come to pass.
10941 As a matter of fact, I have to echo Mr. Fleming's sentiments that I have never been approached by anyone else in the radio industry to talk about supporting the Stó:lÇ Nation initiatives for youth or supporting any of the programming, including the Chilliwack PowWow which has lost its funding and can no longer continue.
10942 But we struggle every year with it, so it was a revelation to have Mr. Singer come by.
10943 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: In terms of coverage or reflection, are there aboriginal people on the air.
10944 MS KAJI: Not that I am aware of.
10945 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Are there stories in the newspaper?
10946 MS KAJI: Oh yes, there are stories, because I said we have 25 bands so there is sometimes turmoil between the bands. So, the coverage is not always favourable, but there are newspaper articles.
10947 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Thank you, Ms Kaji and Mr. Fleming and Mr. Taylor. Those are all my questions, Madam Chair.
10948 MR. FLEMING: Commissioner, I would just like to correct my statement.
10949 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Sure.
10950 MR. FLEMING: When you asked if we had any media coverage whatsoever, it is true that we don't, but just like the academy and the first nations, we do have an agreement with the local paper, the Progress, that when we buy one, we get one free. Just to correct my statement there, as far as the media coverage.
10951 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Very well, thank you very much. That does conclude my questions.
10952 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
10953 Mr. Taylor, just a little bit more information about your program. I am quite familiar with the parent and toddler programs. I remember taking those with my children when they were that age at Capilano College.
10954 The Chilliwack Academy of Music, when they offer that program, do the users pay at all?
10955 MR. TAYLOR: No, they do not. The program is fully covered through grants that I have received, and every parent leaves each class with supplementary material to use at home with the children, as well as recordings, all provided free of charge.
10956 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Thank you for taking the time to participate, and your interventions are very helpful to us.
10957 Thank you.
10958 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
10959 I will now ask Brian Garbet, Brayden Sutton, Ann Cole and Paul Laviolette to come to the presentation table.
10960 THE SECRETARY: I would then ask Daniel Casavant and Abbotsford Pilots to appear at the presentation table.
10961 I would then ask Gabriola Radio Society to come to the presentation table.
10962 Please introduce yourself and you have ten minutes. Thank you.
10963 MR. CASAVANT: My name is Daniel Casavant, also known as Danny Casavant. I am a professional musician in the Vancouver area, originally from Winnipeg, here for 25 years. I have had quite an extensive career, 40 years plus in blues and R&B and pop music. That is who I am.
10964 I have been asked to come down here in support of the proposed FM radio station with the blues format in Abbotsford. I feel very strongly it is something that is definitely needed. My professional background as a working blues and R&B musician, band leader, songwriter and recording producer I think gives me a different perspective than maybe some people might have on this whole thing.
10965 I really believe that the blues community, both the musicians and the artists and the fans are really not that well served in Canada. There is very little radio airplay that is dedicated to blues and roots music. Specifically Holger Petersen has an excellent show on CBC on Saturday that I listen to, but this really isn't a dedicated station, and I think it would be excellent as a medium for artists to support their live gigs, if they could be interviewed on there, as well as the obvious playing of Canadian music. There is an awful lot of blues music that is produced that just never really hears the airwaves.
10966 That is really why I am here. I don't know what much else to say. I made a bunch of notes here. I don't really do this type of thing generally. I am up there playing the guitar and singing for people.
10967 From a cultural perspective, the inspiration and education of young, aspiring blues musicians and songwriters I think can be primed by having access to a dedicated blues station. This gives a human perspective to this vibrant musical form through such mediums as artists and live on‑air performances because it is a live thing and it is a recorded thing.
10968 I prepared a whole bunch of stuff here, but, you know, I would just as soon if you guys want to ask me some questions about my perspective on this thing, if I can be helpful in any way.
10969 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Cugini, please.
10970 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Good morning, Mr. Casavant. Thank you very much for taking the time to come here today.
10971 MR. CASAVANT: Thank you.
10972 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Let me be harsh for just a moment. Maybe there isn't a blues radio station in Canada because maybe the format just doesn't work on radio. Maybe it is the kind of music that people would rather listen to in a bar, in a concert hall, walking down Bourbon Street in New Orleans and just slip into that kind of atmosphere. Maybe it is just the kind of music that you want to listen to live.
10973 How would you respond to that?
10974 MR. CASAVANT: I would respond to that, because I have been involved in both aspects, recording as well as doing live. There is no doubt about it that the immediacy of the music is a wonderful thing to experience live and that is why there is so many great live records, but there is also some very well produced albums. You can look at the international success of people like BB King, you can look at Jeff Healey, he just passed away. Jeff Healey got international recognition selling CDs. Although he would tear the bars apart when he played live, people went out and bought the CDs.
10975 For the artists to be able to thrive, to be able to exist, they need to be able to sell and they need to have public consciousness about their gigs even for that matter. I think the radio, by doing interviews and by doing on‑air live recordings, that has been done in the past, I think that type of thing, as well as playing pre‑recorded stuff.
10976 I would counter that what you say is very valid, people do enjoy the immediacy, but I think that there is a place for the format in terms of a larger picture. I do believe that.
10977 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Based on your written intervention, you have pretty well travelled all over with your music.
10978 MR. CASAVANT: I have travelled Canada and down the west coast of the States mostly. I am mostly a Canadian artist. I have mostly worked in Canada but have worked down in the States too as well.
10979 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Why do you think this format will work in particular in Abbotsford?
10980 MR. CASAVANT: I don't really know Abbotsford particularly because I don't live there. I work actually in Vancouver mostly and the Lower Mainland.
10981 I think there is probably an awful lot of people that just don't have access. I know when I have gone out to play at some of the festivals, like the Maple Ridge festival and places like that, the success of the festivals really says a lot about that type of thing.
10982 I think there are a lot of people out there that would be very much interested. I can't speak, because I don't live there, I can't say that I know lots of people that say that. But my feeling is that if it was there, it would be very much appreciated.
10983 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you very much, Mr. Casavant, like I said, for taking the time to come here today.
10984 I don't have any other questions. Thank you, Madam Chair.
10985 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Casavant, for your time and your intervention.
10986 MR. CASAVANT: You don't want to ask any more questions?
10987 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, thank you very much.
10988 MR. CASAVANT: Okay, I hope that helped you guys.
10989 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, it was helpful. Thank you.
10990 THE SECRETARY: I will now ask Gabriola Radio Society to come to the presentation table.
10991 Please introduce yourself and you have ten minutes. Thank you.
10992 MR. ZAKRESKI: Good morning. Thank you for permitting me to address the Commission with our concerns. Je m'appèlle Ken Zakreski. I am the developer for the proposed CIUF‑FM, Gabriola Co‑op Radio, GCR.
10993 I am here to request that the Commission not award the last channel that would provide Gabriola Island with an FM service without considering the need for a local non‑commercial service and the work we have done so far to establish one, please.
10994 We are determined, with the permission of the Commission, to establish a not‑for‑profit community radio undertaking with studios and offices on Gabriola Island owned by the community, operated by volunteers and managed by a small dedicated staff. It is our goal to serve our community with diverse and local programming created by residents.
10995 Today I will brief you on our readiness to apply; the options the Commission has regarding GCR as an applicant; preferred actions the Commission may take.
10996 This is the Chilliwack portion of the hearing and our focus is on the Chilliwack applications as they impact on our determination of a channel for Gabriola. During this presentation, references to Vancouver applications are made only in relation to the Chilliwack applications, in the context of GCR's efforts to find a channel to serve our needs and our community.
10997 In order to ensure a channel is available for Gabriola Radio, we have filed comments on Vancouver, Abbotsford and Chilliwack applications. We have been asked to appear for all the applications we filed comments.
10998 I apologize for not filing comments regarding channel scarcity on all applicants in all of these proceedings whose applications may be affected by my comments. If their application was mutually exclusive to another one, I didn't file comments. I realize that this may have been a procedural oversight and I ask the Commission's understanding, as this process is somewhat overwhelming for a volunteer‑run organization. My oversight further demonstrates the need for a priority system for community applicants.
10999 Consider that the highest and best use of an available frequency is not one proposed by the existing applicants and the Commission should decide to hold it open rather than approving it for use by one of the applicants.
11000 I am here today to speak specifically about the use of channel 207, 89.3 in Chilliwack by the applicant Vista, and by a result of that the use in Vancouver by the applicant Torres. Please consider these applications specially, as they directly impact on a Gabriola use of that channel.
11001 Further to our comments from the Vancouver portion, I am here today to discuss spectrum scarcity. Use of channel 207, 89.3, in Chilliwack is mutually exclusive to the use of the same channel in Vancouver. The use of this channel in either location may either limit the use for GCR or eliminate it as an option for GCR all together. GCR has identified this as one of its alternate options, in addition to the frequencies we discussed in the Vancouver portion of the hearing.
11002 As mentioned in our previous presentation, the channel is not ideal as it may pose problems with interference and lack of full coverage, but we are exploring it as a possible option for GCR.
11003 Use of channel 207 on Gabriola by GCR would be subject to severe coverage limitations and/or interference zones, to the relevant co‑channel or adjacent channel stations. That interference would need to be negotiated. We believe it may provide a viable alternate frequency for GCR to consider, if those channels we requested in the Vancouver portion of the hearing are not available to us.
11004 Low power is not an option due to the possibility of being bumped by another broadcaster. While we are continuing to explore other possible frequency options, we are focusing solely on those available at a minimum A1 use.
11005 In our interventions we requested the Chilliwack/Abbotsford applicants agree not to limit any reasonable use of channel 207, 89.3, from Gabriola. To that end, we contacted Vista's Margot Micallef and were referred to Vista's Terry Coles. We contacted Mr. Coles and have yet to resolve the issue and ask the Commission to consider denying Vista's use of the channel unless we can work out a mutually exclusive agreement with Vista or to grant it on the condition that Vista make every effort to accommodate use of 89.3 on Gabriola. Excluding 0785330 B.C. Limited, we have contacted all the other intervened applicants.
11006 Please ensure that a channel remains open for GCR. We ask this on the grounds that community radio would be the highest and best use of one of the remaining frequencies on the west coast.
11007 While we would like a policy change that would establish a priority for community applicants, we recognize that it may not be possible to implement such a policy until some time in the future after this proceeding is already complete.
11008 We previously mentioned the possibility of the Commission delaying your decision in the current proceedings until Gabriola has applied with an approved Industry Canada brief. This is not the course of action we would prefer under the current rules of procedure. We want you to make your decision swiftly. We need to know your intent with regard to the frequency options we have identified.
11009 We implore you to ensure that Canadian media provides a wide range of programming that reflects Canadian attitudes, opinions, ideas and values. Community radio plays an important role in ensuring that a wide range exists.
11010 The claim that music genres are underserved has had its day. Now with iPods, the internet, the public can obtain all kinds of music at all times of the day. What the public cannot get from the internet is diverse local content. That content will only come from a public or a community broadcaster.
11011 It seems I have some time. I wanted to make an additional comment not in my notes, to keep an eye on the prize here. Gabriola Co‑op Radio is applying as a community applicant. Many applicants are such in Canada. You have been approving them on a regular basis and reviewing their applications on a regular basis.
11012 Gabriola, because of its support in the community, has obtained petitions to referenda our local government to permit a vote on funding our community station on the property tax rolls. This is a unique funding model for community radio in Canada and is very similar to the campus model or the CBC in Canada. We are looking at local public radio funded on the property taxes.
11013 We have received wide support from at least 10 per cent of the people that normally turned out in elections on Gabriola for such issues, and believe that this provides an opportunity for community radio to obtain stable community funding.
11014 The Commission was interested in what sort of delay a community radio station would require and how would that policy change present itself. This is my second application for a community broadcast. I previously worked as developer for CHLY Radio Malaspina.
11015 From the time you have completed a CRTC application until you implement into the technical brief can quite easily go between a year and two years to fully understand what the implications are of the technical portion of the application. An engineer, of course, can do the work promptly and speedily. But I found that if the community doesn't come along with the decisions that are made, it is not the best decisions, and to allow the community to be involved in the process of tower site selection, partnering with other broadcasters, I would say a year to two years is not an unreasonable length of time for a community broadcaster to come along from completion of the CRTC application to the technical brief portion.
11016 We have been about 18 months and we are ready.
11017 So I thank you for the time to make my comments.
11018 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Menzies, please.
11019 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you, Mr. Zakreski.
11020 Could you tell me a little bit about your co‑op. How big is the society or how many members are in the GCR?
11021 MR. ZAKRESKI: Membership varies from, I would say a yearly low of about 20 to a high of 85, depending on where we are in our membership drive. We don't have an automatic renewal, so there is a lapse. So, between 20 to 85.
11022 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: How long have you been working on this project?
11023 MR. ZAKRESKI: We started with our first public hearing in 2002. It was following an emergency committee meeting with a local emergency committee on Gabriola: The police, the fire, the ambulance. At that meeting we resolved to establish a station which was in late 2001, and the first public hearing commenced in 2002, under which we started with the programming aspects of our application.
11024 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: How long have you been trying to raise the money for your application?
11025 MR. ZAKRESKI: Well, we had enough money for the application at the first meeting, sir.
11026 The community of Gabriola is a very astute one. They were able to recognize, the public at large that attended was able to recognize the need that we would have costs for attending meetings like this, photocopying, printing. The paper is donated by a local company on Gabriola that provides alternative paper, et cetera. We had enough money for the application itself at the first hearing. The funds to obtain the engineering brief were secured two years ago.
11027 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: What has been holding you up since?
11028 MR. ZAKRESKI: We previously entered into an agreement with an engineer author, a brief author that I had experience working with for Radio Malaspina. The gentleman took 18 months before we decided to replace him with a smarter model, faster model. Grant McCormick has agreed to undertake our brief now, and we don't believe any further delays will be occurring as a result of the previously engaged engineering brief author.
11029 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: One of your points is that, and I think you said towards the end, only public or community radio can serve the interests of local content. I am curious to know why private radio wouldn't be able to serve the interest of local content, given some of the applications we have heard in terms of number of hours dedicated to local news, local communities, that sort of thing. Why is it that only public or community can serve that as opposed to private?
11030 MR. ZAKRESKI: In the context of these hearings ‑‑ my background is in marketing. I worked in for‑profit media, in print, and not‑for‑profit media print and radio.
11031 There is a censorship that goes with market forces. Maybe you have heard of the saying, "If it leads it bleeds." There is a desire to build an audience and that desire to build an audience is to service private media's customers. Private media's customers is the local advertisers. They need to build an audience, the larger the audience, the more their advertising sales are worth.
11032 As a result of that, what we are seeing in Canada and probably in the United States, although I am not that familiar with their model, in Canada we are seeing a net effect that the Commission has to ensure that broadcasters provide local content. I am not saying that you haven't been doing so. I am saying that given the regulations that you have and tools that you are working with, you are not getting diverse local content. You are getting local content, you know the weather for sure, the local hockey game results are important, yes, but issues that are facing us now are a little more important than who was shot at the bar last night is an obvious lead that many broadcasters may use. Although it is tragic, it is not the only thing that people need to know about in the day‑to‑day activities of their lives.
11033 One other thing that sort of comes to mind is that politics is boring. Let's face it. It is hard to cover it and make it interesting. Even given the resources that the broadcasters in the private sector have, it is difficult to make the hospital budget interesting. Let's face it, when is the last time you heard news about your local hospital's budget? It is arguably one of the largest expenditures for Canadians in our government at a provincial level.
11034 When is the last time you heard the budget from your local hospital? When is the last time you heard about your local elementary school's budget or when it was made? I know of these budgets. My wife is a teacher at an elementary school and I know when they go through the budget process and you hear about these things and you go, well, geez, we spend a lot in British Columbia on education and health care, and these items aren't covered.
11035 So, they are not interesting and it is very difficult to make them interesting. I think that we need to have local community broadcasters that are impacted by these things and not removed from day‑to‑day life as professional broadcasters.
11036 I am not saying there is anything wrong with professional broadcasters. I am saying they are one step removed from the public. When the public broadcasts in the form of a community radio station, they bring with them their experiences, you know, garbage day.
11037 I hope I have answered your question. I have tried.
11038 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
11039 Just one last point. We obviously have to determine in these matters the best use of the spectrum. I would just be interested in your comment on how GCR would, apart from what you just said, better serve society in terms of some of the people we have already seen here in terms of applications that would directly and indirectly benefit artists, arts organizations, first nations people, students, et cetera. There is obviously a large commitment being made by many of the applicants in that area.
11040 I would just be interested in a comment from you on that.
11041 MR. ZAKRESKI: Thank you.
11042 You don't bring the easy questions with you, sir.
11043 I talked to one of the other delegations prior to coming to the hearing. It was the delegation from the city of Nanaimo. A comment that one of the older politicians made ‑‑ and I don't want to say this as being age distinct, but older, and by older I mean older than me, of course, individuals who grew up with media being the one‑way street ‑‑ you are communicated to, you are prepared programs for your consumption. I think those days are kind of winding down.
11044 We need to engage the public in broadcasting. When someone says, well, I never listen to that station, they don't prepare any programs for us to talk about our issues, the reply is, well, sir, you need to develop those programs. We are in the information age. We are not to be served by media. We need to serve up media and we need to prepare websites and podcasts and radio programs for ourselves. We need to engage the public to talk about the issues that matter to them and we need to train them.
11045 That is the product of community radio. The money that goes into community radio, after the core assets are set, you have a tower and a radio station, go into training the public to broadcast on the issues that concern them, and for the talent that comes along with that, and there are many examples of talented artists using community radio to play their friends on the air, discuss music issues that they are aware of. They bring with them an engagement that there is nothing wrong with professional broadcasters, but professional broadcasters are there to do a job.
11046 When the public engages in communication media, they become more involved in its creation and they skew the development of programming towards what is relevant to them, be it budgets at elementary schools or local hospitals.
11047 So, in closing, to say the advantage that community media has is that its business is training the public to engage a medium in a programming that is relevant to themselves, which would hopefully be relevant to their fellow members of the public.
11048 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you very much. I don't have any more questions.
11049 MR. ZAKRESKI: Thank you, sir.
11050 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Zakreski.
11051 I just have one comment to make. Regarding your presentation and your referring to procedural oversight and asking for the Commission's understanding, as you know, the panel has discretion and we will use that discretion and it will be a matter of weight that we assign to the matters that are proposed to us, given all of the circumstances.
11052 But procedural rules are there to ensure fairness to all, and I mean all, commercial enterprises, community enterprises, public enterprises. They are all entitled to fairness.
11053 I would hate to see any organization, including volunteer organizations, falling back on the status of a volunteer organization to derogate from the purpose of those procedural rules. As the Commission sees the organizations more and more often before us, the Commission's expectation of the organizations will be raised.
11054 So, all I can say is when in doubt, serve your interventions. It is better that more people have notice than fewer.
11055 I thank you very much for your time to intervene and to participate in the process. Your contribution is valued. Thank you.
11056 MR. ZAKRESKI: Thank you very much.
11057 Did you want me to reply to your comments?
11058 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, of course.
11059 MR. ZAKRESKI: It was my fault that we didn't intervene on all the applicants. It was up to me to make that decision.
11060 It is a matter of course for commercial applicants to intervene regularly. To me it is such an invasive thing to say to someone, your application has something that concerns me.
11061 When we were intervened on during our application for CHLY Radio Malaspina, it resulted in the loss of our funding from our student union. Subsequently CHLY was evicted from its premises and the reason given was the delays. Perhaps because of that experience that I have had with the intervention process, at that time it was Rogers that intervened and caused a delay for the community campus station, the results of that were devastating to us. We were evicted from our specially built studios, we were denied any further funding that was established for us, thrown out on the street basically by the student union for the delays that it took for us to get our broadcasting licence.
11062 Just to speak to the tenacity and dedication of the volunteers, no funding, no building, no nothing, out on the street, yet CHLY today holds itself up proudly as a broadcaster in the Canadian network.
11063 My decision not to intervene on all the other applicants was one of politeness and typically Canada. So, please excuse me for it and don't excuse community broadcasters from not playing up to the rules that you have set, which I agree are fair. It is just challenging, given the resources that we have.
11064 Yes, we have legal counsel that works for us, but they are not specially trained or experienced in broadcast matters.
11065 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Zakreski, I am glad you replied because I think you misunderstood me.
11066 I am not saying don't intervene. I think interventions are very important as part of a democratic process. I am just saying give notice when you intervene and be aware of the scope of your intervention and who could be affected. Give notice to all whom you think it will affect when you intervene. All I am saying when I talk about procedural rule is give notice so that people know.
11067 You are here to intervene and you speak, and what you say affects more than the people that you have given notice to. All I am saying is that is what I meant by when in doubt serve, which means when in doubt give notice. I am not saying don't intervene. Please intervene, but give notice.
11068 MR. ZAKRESKI: We will be filing an application to the Commission, and we will do so with vigour and by the rules.
11069 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
11070 MR. ZAKRESKI: Thank you.
11071 THE SECRETARY: I would now call Abbotsford Pilots to come to the presentation table.
11072 Please introduce yourself and you have ten minutes. Thank you.
11073 MR. GOESON: Hi, my name is Jack Goeson. I am the General Manager and owner of the Abbotsford Pilots Junior Hockey Club. We have been in Abbotsford since 1973. They moved and got a Junior A team and we have been back in Abbotsford since 1988.
11074 At that time we won our league ten times. Just this year we just finished in first again. We were in the playoffs and just swept the first round.
11075 The city itself is about 130,000 people. It is the fifth largest city in B.C. We have a tremendous amount of support from the community. We have the highest attendance, averages about 625. It is one of the higher attendances anywhere in B.C. for Junior B, and we outdraw a couple of Junior A teams.
11076 I have over the past few years ‑‑ I have been involved in a Junior A team and we were hoping to have a Junior A team in our community. They are just building a new 7,000 seat arena in the city now and hoping to attract a minor pro team.
11077 At present we have a radio station, but I certainly feel that it would be most beneficial to the city to have another station; a blues station would be tremendous for us. There is a lot of people in the community who travel out of town to go and listen to that kind of music. I personally do, lots of venues down in Vancouver here that we go to.
11078 As far as support, I think that any team is looking for support. Having another radio station would hopefully certainly give us a lot more exposure as far as games, advertising, interacting with our team.
11079 I have approximately 250 sponsors, which is a lot. Involving them in radio, sponsorship is key to the support of what we do. Obviously what we are trying to do is help young kids, and myself, to kind of live a dream of keeping them involved in sports, encouraging young kids, the youth to stay in sports, keep active and hopefully give back something to the community where they will end up coaching and making a better way for the minor hockey kids.
11080 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Cugini, please.
11081 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you very much.
11082 When I saw your letter, I thought, oh my God, I am going to have to ask this guy questions on aviation. So, thank you very much for clarifying what the Abbotsford Pilots are.
11083 You mentioned advertising, and you have 250 sponsors, but were you also referring to a new radio station would provide you with the opportunity to advertise your hockey team?
11084 MR. GOESON: Yes.
11085 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Do you currently use the radio station in Abbotsford to do that?
11086 MR. GOESON: Yes, we do.
11087 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Do you use any other media in Abbotsford?
11088 MR. GOESON: Yes, we have three newspapers.
11089 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Does that provide ample coverage of your events? In other words, are you able to gauge what the response is to the ads that you place on the radio and in the newspapers?
11090 MR. GOESON: I am not sure how you can gauge that, but I know that people who are interested in activities will listen to any type of media.
11091 I think it is just important that you do a lot of cross‑promotions. For example, I do all the marketing in the arena we are presently in. I have a contract. So it is one of the reasons I have a lot more sponsors than most people would. I tie in so many different business people.
11092 Media coverage is huge. It is a great way to incorporate a lot of different marketing strategies.
11093 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: One of the things that obviously surfaced during those proceedings is the amount of out‑of‑market tuning, that is the number of radio stations that are listened to in the Abbotsford area that come from Vancouver. Do you advertise on those Vancouver radio stations?
11094 MR. GOESON: No, we don't.
11095 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Which radio station do you listen to in Abbotsford?
11096 MR. GOESON: Which one do I listen to?
11097 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Yes.
11098 MR. GOESON: Country 107 is our station that we have. I listen to that. I listen to all the major stations.
11099 I actually have a SIRIUS satellite, and I listen to a lot of blues and jazz, which I really like. It is nice you can just get one station that you can listen to that type of music.
11100 I like all kinds of music, so I listen to most of the major stations.
11101 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: You anticipated my next question. Because you said you were a blues fan, I was therefore going to ask you where you listen to blues music. You did mention the live venues here in Vancouver.
11102 So, for the most part you are getting your blues fix on SIRIUS?
11103 MR. GOESON: Yes, it is very difficult to get a particular kind of music that you like.
11104 As I say, there are lots of venues in Vancouver here, different little clubs like the Yale and so on that you can go do, but I do like to listen to a variety of music. But the blues and jazz, it is nice to be able to have a station that you can just listen to that.
11105 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you very much. "Letterhead" was the word I was looking for at the beginning.
11106 Thank you, those are all my questions.
11107 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Menzies, please.
11108 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: This might not sound like it is related, but I am trying to get a sense for the community in the Fraser Valley.
11109 You mentioned that there is a now 7,000 seat arena being built in Abbotsford?
11110 MR. GOESON: Yes, there is.
11111 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And there is a 5100 seat arena in Chilliwack that was just finished three and a half years ago.
11112 MR. GOESON: Prospera Place.
11113 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And there is a new 4,000 seat arena being built in Langley that will open this fall.
11114 MR. GOESON: For the Junior A team, yes.
11115 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: You guys sure like hockey.
11116 MR. GOESON: Yes, we like hockey. We like all kinds of sports. As in a lot of places, a lot of kids have gone a long way in professional different sports out in the valley.
11117 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I just brought it up because people have mentioned hockey a lot in terms of this. How many teams are there operating in the Fraser Valley, Junior B, Junior A, Major Junior?
11118 MR. GOESON: In Junior B there is eight teams spread out throughout Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, and in the B.C. Hockey League there is 16 teams.
11119 Prospera Place is the Western Hockey League, which is the Chilliwack Bruins and the Vancouver Giants, Kelowna Rockets and Kamloops and Seattle and Tricity and so on.
11120 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
11121 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, we sure like hockey. My youngest daughter, who is 12, still plays and all three of my children they particularly like it in hockey when they score touchdowns and the players make errors.
11122 Thank you very much for taking the time to participate.
11123 We will take a break now and come back at 10:00, please.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 0940 / Suspension à 0940
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1000 / Reprise à 1000
11124 THE SECRETARY: Please take a seat.
11125 We will now proceed to Phase IV in which applicants can reply to all interventions submitted on their application. Applicants appear in reverse order.
11126 I would then ask Frank Torres, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, to come to the presentation table.
11127 Please introduce yourself and you have ten minutes.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
11128 MR. ED TORRES: Madam Chair, members of the Commission, Commission staff, my name is Ed Torres. With me today is my brother Frank Torres and Aubrey Clarke.
11129 First let me thank and acknowledge all the supporters of our blues radio applications. At present we have received close to 1,000 individual letters of support for our proposed format.
11130 We would also like to thank the interveners who have appeared in support of these applications, including Tom Lavin of the Powder Blues Band, emerging artist David Piggin, Daniel Casavant and Jack Goeson, who is an Abbotsford Pilot but could not fly his way around traffic this morning to get here, but he did make it in the nick of time.
11131 To all of those people who have encouraged and supported our work to give the blues in Canada a commercial voice on FM radio, we thank them.
11132 Yesterday our presentation recommended and supported a new licensee to serve Chilliwack. All of the applicants in Chilliwack agree that the market could support at least two new licensees. So, we were surprised when two of the applicants intervened against our FM application in Abbotsford, which we consider would be the equivalent of half of a radio station in Chilliwack.
11133 Some said that this would leave them with an inferior signal in Chilliwack. We believe that is simply not the case. 89.5 and 89.1 will cause a zone of second adjacent interference in between the two markets. But three millivolt contours will still provide Abbotsford and Chilliwack respectively with clear signals.
11134 The applicants realize that licensing 89.5 in Chilliwack essentially means that they will control the market in Abbotsford due to second adjacency issues on frequency 89.1, a point that we also brought up in our presentation yesterday.
11135 If both communities are to be served properly, the Commission should issue conditional licences in both markets, conditional on both parties accepting the other's second adjacent interference.
11136 We have not meant to confuse these or any proceedings. Our application has been very clear from the outset. We intend to serve Abbotsford first, Chilliwack second, primarily Abbotsford.
11137 With respect to the CBC intervention, let us also state categorically that DAWG FM has never intervened against the CBC in these proceedings or otherwise. But the CBC has chosen to intervene again us in every proceeding we have participated in. They have objected to all four of our applications that are in front of the CRTC. The CBC's culture of spectrum entitlement is perhaps the single most difficult barrier to entry into the broadcast system that we have encountered in our attempts to form a blues format radio licence.
11138 Various applicants at these proceedings intervened against the CBC. To paraphrase their interventions, the CBC greatly exaggerates their claims of interference to the detriment of private broadcasters, community stations, and hinder the full use of the Canadian spectrum. Consequently, they resist any attempt to diversify the voice of radio in markets.
11139 The intervention before you speaks to the very reason that the Lower Mainland is so woefully underserved in terms of commercial radio stations. Once again, the protected contours of a Victoria CBC station is the reason that CBC has intervened against our application in Abbotsford now.
11140 I would like to refer again to an e‑mail from John Dexter at Industry Canada, which states and I quote:
"Furthermore I note that CBUX‑FM‑1 brief explicitly states that the intent of this station is ... de desservir Victoria et ses environs."
11141 I think Yves does a better job of that than I do. But to continue, he says.
"...which would presumably not include Vancouver."
11142 Incredulous as it may seem, radio stations in Victoria that duplicate existing Vancouver signals are the reason why people in Abbotsford have one radio station to serve their population of 159,000.
11143 In layman's terms, the CBC objects to the use of 89.1 in Abbotsford and Chilliwack because it will theoretically cause potential first adjacent interference to their Victoria Espace Musique frequency in some parts of Vancouver through to White Rock.
11144 Just as a reminder, the CBC transmits Espace Musique from two places, Mount Seymour in Vancouver on 90.9, and then from Victoria on 88.9. The Mount Seymour transmitter broadcasts and places a three millivolt contour as far south as Crescent, and the 54 db contour reaches well south of White Rock into the United States.
11145 The Victoria transmitter provides a duplicate signal on 88.9 in this same area. CBC contends that the Victoria signal is vital because it provides a signal into areas that Mount Seymour can't reach. We believe that is simply not true.
11146 Once again, we did the ground level work of comparing the signals. We got in the car on Sunday and we made recordings, lots of them, in areas that CBC claims that there is no duplicate coverage, and we found that sure enough, there is duplicate, loud and clear coverage from the 90.9 transmitter in Mount Seymour.
11147 We will be submitting the recording to Industry Canada as part of the evidence of signal duplication. In the video you will clearly see and hear that the Mount Seymour FM signal is clear and audible through the Lower Mainland. Thus there will be no net loss of listeners to Espace Musique if 89.1 is issued in Abbotsford.
11148 Thursday morning the CBC said, and I paraphrase, that they had exceeded their mandate to make Espace Musique available to 50 per cent of Canadians and that it was available to 66 per cent of the province. If the CRTC licences DAWG FM, 66 per cent of the province will still have that listening option available to them.
11149 More importantly, nearly 500,000 Vancouver and Fraser Valley residents will get the music that they want to hear on 89.1, the blues. Overwhelmingly at this hearing, supporting interveners and other applicants have brought forth strong evidence that the Lower Mainland wants a blues station.
11150 We will close again by reiterating that we are waiting for technical acceptance from Industry Canada for this frequency. We would like to quote the last correspondence that we received from IC.
"Due to lack of time, it has been decided that the proposal on channel 206B is not technically available. HOWEVER, we are still recommending that the application stays on the hearing for market considerations."
11151 It is evident that Industry Canada recognizes the need for creative and innovative solutions in a province with a log jam of protected contours. IC has been proactive and interpretive of rules that serve the best interest of Canadians. It is our belief that our amended brief will receive IC TA and will pave the way for a new FM service for the people of Abbotsford.
11152 Through our applications we have chosen strategically to position our signals to serve the people of the Fraser Valley right on through to Vancouver because it is the right thing to do. At every step along the way we have consulted with stakeholders, including private broadcasters, the CBC and Industry Canada.
11153 MR. FRANK TORRES: Let us close by once again thanking you for hearing these applications on behalf of our team and our many supporters.
11154 Thank you for being approachable and fair, and thank you to the staff for accommodating our very many questions. I think I have spoken to more staff members here than I have my wife in the last two weeks, and I appreciate that you are approachable and I am going to miss you.
11155 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Duncan, please.
11156 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: I have a question referring to the CBC's February 28th letter, which I am sure you have.
11157 In the last sentence they say:
"It is important that the CRTC be aware that there will be no further negotiations in this matter."
11158 I am sure you anticipate the question. I am curious to know if Industry Canada does approve it, is it an assured thing that they then will negotiate?
11159 MR. ED TORRES: Negotiations with the CBC, in our experience, go like you call them and they say no. Then you say, but we have a great ‑‑ no. So, there really isn't a lot of negotiation happens with the CBC.
11160 What we hope to achieve is IC TA, and then we hope that the Commission will see through to licensing us conditionally. But, again, it is a consultative process.
11161 As recently as the 19th of February, we e‑mailed the new technical brief to CBC for their comments and feedback. They have yet to respond to that correspondence. We are trying to be proactive. We are trying to be consultative. But the CBC really are not interested in listening to negotiating.
11162 It is not like we have something that they want. They seem to want to control the spectrum and there is no ifs, ands or buts.
11163 MR. FRANK TORRES: We have consulted with them, as I mentioned to legal counsel during our presentation, every step of the way, right up until the week before the hearing. We also made a commitment over and above the boiler plate commitment that IC likes to put forth that says you will solve any type of interference issues with incumbents. I made that personal commitment to the CBC. I reiterated that in writing. I submitted that to the Commission, including the commitment to shut down the transmitter if there are interference issues that can't be reconciled.
11164 I think we are fairly comfortable with the fact that we have made a lot of effort to try and include the CBC and try to work with them, but regardless of whether IC gives the approval without the consent of CBC or not, we think the best way is to find a solution with CBC's approval.
11165 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: If there were costs involved to satisfy the CBC, I would take it you would consider those are manageable within your business plan?
11166 MR. ED TORRES: Yes, we would look at any solution. We joke that on our Vancouver application that we would go out and buy satellite receivers for the 11 people affected or pay for cable or that we would have Yves Trottier canvas them and see if they were French speaking.
11167 Yes, obviously that is what we want to try and achieve, some type of solution with the CBC if they will have it.
11168 MR. FRANK TORRES: The numbers are so small. They are small in the Vancouver application, as we pointed out. Although we didn't reiterate them, the number of affected listeners are smaller in the Abbotsford application.
11169 So, with that very controllable margin, we think a worse case solution would be very easy to manage financially without impacting the bottom line.
11170 MR. CLARKE: We did survey that area in Vancouver that they claim may be possible interference, and a 90.9 signal covers it even clearer than the 88.9 signal. So the duplication is there.
11171 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Thank you.
11172 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Cugini, please.
11173 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you.
11174 Just to be clear, Mr. Torres, when you say "conditional approvals," you are therefore willing to accept an approval in part if the Commission were to issue that?
11175 MR. ED TORRES: Yes, we would.
11176 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: What do you believe that would accomplish? Do you think that gives you some kind of leverage in negotiating with the CBC?
11177 MR. ED TORRES: I think so. I think maybe what that does is it reaffirms to the CBC the CRTC's desire to diversify the voices in the Lower Mainland. I think that will make them come to the table certainly.
11178 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you. That is all.
11179 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your application and your time.
11180 THE SECRETARY: I will now ask Vista Radio to come to the presentation table.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
11181 MR. PAUL MANN: My name is Paul Mann, Executive Vice‑President of Vista Radio.
11182 Madam Commissioner, panel members, the Vista Radio team has no new information to contribute at this time. We would simply like to say thank you for your thoughtful consideration of all applicants and their efforts over the course of these hearings.
11183 We would also like to say thank you to the CRTC staff members for their assistance always, most helpful, and to all of those Chilliwack residents who filed letters of support on our application file.
11184 It is a privilege to have the opportunity to appear before you and we wish you a safe travel home. Thank you.
11185 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Mann.
11186 THE SECRETARY: I will you ask Radio CJVR to come to the presentation table.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
11187 MR. SINGER: Good morning, Madam Chair, panel members, staff. My name is Ken Singer. I am Vice‑President of Broadcast Operations, Radio CJVR.
11188 We really have nothing further to add to our presentation, but we would like to also acknowledge the fairness manner in which the panel has conducted these hearings. Thank you so much for that.
11189 As always, we are grateful for the assistance we get from the very diligent staff at the CRTC.
11190 We would also like to thank our interveners, both those who wrote letters in support of our application and those that appear here today, in particular, Samantha Kaji of the Stó:lÇ Nation, Wayne Fleming, Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra, and Shaun Taylor of the Chilliwack Academy of Music.
11191 Shirley Hardman of the Aboriginal Access Department of the University College of the Fraser Valley sent us notification late last evening that a meeting had come up, making her unavailable to attend today but wanted to convey apologies to the Commission for not being able to appear here today.
11192 Thank you again. Safe journey home and good luck with your deliberations.
11193 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Singer, for your time and for your application.
11194 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask Newcap to come to the presentation table.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
11195 MR. STEELE: Thank you, Madam Chair, and Commissioners. I am Rob Steele, President of Newcap Radio.
11196 Please allow me to thank our team, our supporters and our CCD partners. While there were no formal interventions against us, there were I guess some comments or suggestions I think directed sort of our way, and I would just like to clarify a couple of things.
11197 One was with respect to format. One applicant suggested our format was narrow and skewed female. Just to be clear, we do propose a broad‑based complementary classic hits format that also includes elements of classic rock, 60s and 70s oldies and 80s music, and our target demo is 25 to 54 skewing male. We believe this will position us as a distinct but attractive alternative to other stations available in the market, in particular Rogers STAR‑FM. Also, it supports our realistic business plan.
11198 Having heard the discussion about alternative frequencies and the ability of Chilliwack to sustain more than one new entrant, we do note, however, that channel 210, 89.9 appears to be an option for Chilliwack that could be used in conjunction with channel 207, 89.3 or channel 206, 89.1.
11199 Accordingly we want to state for the record that should the Commission choose to licence more than one applicant, we would be prepared to accept a licence conditional on using such an alternative frequency.
11200 In closing, Madam Chair, members and Commission staff, thank you very much for this opportunity to appear before you today and over the past week. Thanks very much.
11201 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Steele, for your application and thank you for your time.
11202 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask Golden West Broadcasting.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
11203 MR. HILDEBRAND: Good morning, Commissioners, I am Elmer Hildebrand, President of Golden West.
11204 Really only a few comments, maybe just picking up on what I said yesterday.
11205 A fair bit of time has been spent talking about Abbotsford. We really were under the impression that this was a call for Chilliwack. So, we find it a little odd that a good part of the time is actually for an Abbotsford radio station.
11206 We think that if there was an application for an Abbotsford radio station, that certainly would have elicited a call, because Abbotsford we keep hearing is 150,000 or 160,000 people. So that if there would have been a call, I am sure many of us would have also applied for an Abbotsford radio station. But since this was a Chilliwack call, we did not apply for Abbotsford.
11207 So, I think that has maybe brought some confusion listening to the process certainly for me.
11208 Having said that, we thank you for your attention. We thank you for hearing our application yesterday. As we told you yesterday, we are committed to Chilliwack and we feel Chilliwack certainly needs a radio station and we are prepared to do that.
11209 On behalf of our company, thank you to the staff and to the Commissioners for listening, and all the best.
11210 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Hildebrand. Perhaps you could just stay.
11211 I just want to say to all of the applicants for the Chilliwack market, thank you very much for your applications, for your civility and for the courtesy you showed the panel and our staff and for the respect you showed for the process.
11212 On behalf of the Commission, please thank your interveners for coming out to participate. Their contribute is very important to our process.
11213 A special thanks to our staff and, I will repeat their names, for those who weren't here for the Vancouver process and for those who are, you will remember their names better, and our staff team are Mr. Joe Aguiar, Ms Carolyn Pinsky, Jade Roy, Catherine Blais, Martin Daigle in Ottawa, Claude Perrier, Cindy Lee Scullion, and back in Ottawa we also have Daniel Pye and Ian McDiarmit, and to my fellow panellists, Commissioners Williams, Duncan, Cugini and Menzies.
11214 We know that this is very, very important to you. We will do our very best in our deliberations and your application is appreciated and your submissions are all very valued.
11215 Thank you.
11216 THE SECRETARY: We will take a short ten‑minute break and come back with the application by Astral Media Radio.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1025 / Suspension à 1025
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1035 / Reprise à 1035
11217 THE SECRETARY: And now, Madam Chair, we will proceed with item 23, which is an application by Astral Media Radio GP to renew the licence of the commercial radio programming undertaking CKCR Revelstoke expiring 31st August, 2008.
11218 Please introduce yourself and your colleagues, and you will then have 20 minutes to make your presentation. Thank you.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
11219 MR. SHAFER: Madam Chair, members of the Commission and Commission staff, my name is Don Shafer. I am the Vice‑President and Regional Manager for the B.C. Interior Group of Astral Media Radio GP.
11220 Sitting to my right is Ron Langridge, which is the General Manager and General Sales Manager for CKCR‑AM, as well as our stations in Salmon Arm and Golden.
11221 And to his right is Mark Burley, our Group Program Director.
11222 Sitting to my left is Claude Laflamme, Vice‑President, Corporate Regulatory Affairs Astral Media Radio Inc.
11223 To her left is Ross Davies, our new Vice‑President of Programming, Astral Media Radio GP.
11224 We have been asked to appear today to present the renewal application for CKCR‑AM Revelstoke, in particular, to respond to Broadcasting Notice of Public Hearing 2007‑18, in which the Commission required us to show cause why a mandatory order should not be issued requiring compliance with the Radio Regulations 1986 relating to the broadcast of Canadian content for category 2 music during the broadcast week.
11225 I will address this, as well as many reasons why we believe that CKCR provides an outstanding radio service for listeners in Revelstoke.
11226 I would like to begin by providing an overview of the station and the Revelstoke community.
11227 Standard Radio purchased the B.C. Interior Group from Telemedia in 2002. Many of these stations were mere shells of what they once were and many, including CKCR. had become essentially repeaters for various clusters.
11228 Standard undertook a back to basics approach in all of these markets and from 2002 to the recent acquisition by Astral Media, spent over $5 million in capital, improving each of these stations and hired over 40 new positions to ensure the needs of our local communities were met. This strategy has worked well in all of our markets no matter how small; the feedback and support has been overwhelming.
11229 CKCR‑AM was initially programmed from our station in Salmon Arm. In 2003, we hired more staff and moved control of the station to Revelstoke. This allowed more localization and allowed the station to be more responsive to the needs of the community as evidenced by many letters of support confirming this, some of which are attached to this oral presentation.
11230 Over the past few years we have increased our presence in the market with more local staff. As the only local radio station in the market, CKCR is the conduit for community groups and organizations to reach the public with their messages. From the Food Bank to the Arts, we are involved directly with community groups and organizations that add to the quality of life in Revelstoke.
11231 Each week the mayor of Revelstoke talks about our town council and city issues.
11232 Each week the RCMP comes on the air and talks about community and city issues.
11233 Each week our high school principal talks about issues affecting our kids.
11234 As a small isolated community surrounded by mountains, Revelstoke relies on timely information on the road, weather, avalanche conditions and local news which can save lives at time. Because of this wilderness setting, we are often announcing bear and cougar sightings within the city limits, alerting residents to be cautious.
11235 So far this year, the TransCanada Highway has been closed at least a dozen times. There have been two avalanches and three cougar sightings. As the only local commercial station in Revelstoke, CKCR and our small staff provide exceptional and, on occasion, life‑saving information to the 7200 people who live there.
11236 This station is also a training ground for young broadcasters who have an opportunity to do everything on and off the air. They play music, they do news, they cover local town council meetings, they follow the cougar and avalanche stories, they even shovel snow from our sidewalks and from our satellite dishes. They also participate in Relay For Life, pancake breakfasts and our own radiothon, raising money for our local hospital. Unfortunately for CKCR, these young broadcasters move on to bigger cities.
11237 In the past seven years we have had seven Program Directors. As a result, we are constantly recruiting, training and replacing staff.
11238 Astral recognizes its responsibility and obligation to operate its radio stations at all times in full compliance with the policies and regulations established by the Commission.
11239 Astral was deeply concerned to find out that CKCR had failed to comply with the requirements of the radio regulations relating to the broadcast of Canadian content.
11240 As the Commission is aware, Astral Media Radio GP acquired substantially all of the assets of Standard Radio Inc. on October 29, 2007, including all of its radio and television properties.
11241 The Commission requested our audio and logs for the broadcast week of January 14, 2007. When we reviewed the reconciled logs, we discovered a deficiency in the 6:00 a.m. to midnight time block, with our Canadian content level at 34.7 per cent, or approximately five songs short. It should be noted that the 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. percentage of Canadian music for the same period was 38.7. This clearly indicated that the problem was within the 6:00 p.m. to midnight time period.
11242 Just two weeks prior to this, in December 2006, the music scheduling software was changed in all of our 22 B.C. radio stations, including CKCR in Revelstoke. We moved from RCS Selector to the Music Master software scheduling system. This upgrade for our music software platform was implemented to match Standard and now Astral Stations across Canada. This was a very difficult, time consuming and labour intensive cross‑over from one system to another.
11243 With this new scheduling system, we also had a new programmer working with the software and discovered that the problem occurred as a result of his inexperience, as well as our nightly syndicated satellite program Delilah, which at that time played mostly non‑Canadian music.
11244 It should be noted that since this period, a number of changes have occurred within our group and our company overall.
11245 Delilah now produces a Canadian version of her program that airs significantly more Canadian music, making the task of reconciling music logs much easier. This program is now on the air at CKCR‑AM.
11246 Standard practice for all of our stations includes sufficient training with the Music Master software. This is to ensure daily and weekly compliance to reconcile all music while scheduling and editing, using what is called the "Instant Analysis" window within the Schedule Editor of Music Master.
11247 Weekly completion of a Canadian content tracking sheet is mandatory of all stations. These sheets are reviewed daily and weekly be the local Program Directors and General Managers. The content tracking sheet is then posted to a company‑wide electronic bulletin board for review by our group Program Director and our new VP of Programming.
11248 Since Standard Radio purchased the B.C. interior group of stations in 2002, millions of dollars were spent upgrading equipment and hiring and training staff. In the past few years, all of our stations have installed new redundant monitoring equipment, and we have invested in more training with our programming staff to ensure they understand how to use these tools to track daily music and ensure compliance.
11249 We have also tied our monitoring equipment into an alarm system, similar to what we use when our stations go off the air, to notify all of our technical and programming staff. This system, combined with the other procedures mentioned earlier, has seen all of our stations maintain compliance with CRTC Canadian content regulations.
11250 The recent monitor requested by the Commission on January 13 to 19, 2008 for CKNL‑FM, Fort St. John and CKTK‑FM in Kitimat are good examples of how our systems work as each station was found to be over in Canadian content and in compliance.
11251 Madam Chair and members of the Commission, I am delighted to talk about the meaningful work our staff does in the community of Revelstoke and the importance of this small radio station. We accept this responsibility and look forward to continue to play such a vital role in this community.
11252 However, I am truly embarrassed to be sitting in front of you trying to explain why our Canadian content was five songs short. With 44 years in this industry, I have never had to apologize to the Commission for my or my staff's mistakes, and I don't intend to ever be here again.
11253 We take our obligations very seriously and our staff do the very best they can to ensure compliance playing the music of our country. I can guarantee that this will not happen again and that we have done everything we can to ensure we play more than the minimum amount of Canadian content, with trained staff using reliable equipment and monitoring systems.
11254 Despite Astral not being the licensee of CKCR at the time of this infraction, Astral is a responsible broadcaster who recognizes its obligations to operate its radio stations at all time in full compliance with the policies and regulations established by the Commission, and we believe that the Commission should be confident that there will be no further infraction and that it will not be necessary to issue a mandatory order.
11255 Madam Chair, members of the Commission, Commission staff, we very much regret the non‑compliance situations that occurred, and we offer the Commission our apology. We hope the explanations provided are helpful, and we look forward to answering any questions you may have.
11256 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Shafer and your team.
11257 Commissioner Williams.
11258 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Good morning, Mr. Shafer and Astral panellists.
11259 As we were reviewing the file on these radio stations, we noted that the licence was already operating under a shorter term renewal and then we come along to this other infraction that you are speaking about.
11260 I also understand that Astral did not own these stations at the time that these infractions took place or this most recent infraction took place. While that might be the case, when you do acquire a radio station, of course you acquire all things that come with it, both good and bad.
11261 I have a couple of questions. You have actually covered it very well in your remarks so some of it may seem a little bit repetitive for you, but I would like to just clarify a bit of it on the record.
11262 As part of the monitoring conducted for the week 14th to 20th of January, 2007, Commission staff examined the station's programming related to the broadcasting of Canadian musical selections. Following its examination, Commission staff noted that the licensee may have failed to comply with section 2.2(9) of the Radio Regulations 1986 based upon a shortfall of the broadcasting of Canadian content category 2 music during the broadcast week.
11263 The examination revealed an apparent level of 34.7 per cent instead of the regulatory weekly minimum of 35 per cent.
11264 In the context of your acquisition of Standard's assets, you were asked to specify the measures put in place to ensure a future compliance of CKCR with respect to Canadian content. You responded that a new musical scheduling software that you have described here was purchased and installed to ensure all musical systems and scheduling are consistent with the policies and procedures in place.
11265 I am interested in learning a bit more about this new music scheduling software. Can you take us through the specifics of how it works? You mentioned an alarm. Does this alarm go off when you come out of compliance or just when the software stops working? Do you have any plans in place other than the alarm in case of software failure?
11266 MR. SHAFER: Commissioner Williams, I will try to answer that. In 44 years, I can tell you it is without a doubt the most complicated Canadian content monitoring system that we have ever worked with.
11267 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Then just an overview will be fine.
11268 MR. SHAFER: Sorry?
11269 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Then just an overview will be fine.
11270 MR. SHAFER: I would actually like to ask Mark Burley to answer that question because he is the most knowledgeable about how the software system works.
11271 MR. BURLEY: Thanks, Don.
11272 Music Master, the system that we use for our music scheduling, is basically just a different platform from the RCS Selector. Corporately it was decided to change from RCS, which was basically an old DOS‑based program to a Windows program. It was more user friendly given the fact that we had younger music directors coming up through the ranks.
11273 The system is a lot more user friendly in the schedule editing in that the instant analysis window that Don referred to in his oral presentation is open and when you are in any one hour, it will show you your Canadian content level for the whole day for your 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. period, as well as your 6:00 a.m. to midnight area.
11274 If a change is made during the schedule, it instantly changes and shows you what your Canadian content level is. So, that has improved greatly in assisting music directors throughout the chain in establishing Canadian content levels.
11275 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Mr. Shafer, the music directors and new programmers that you have recruited and hired, do they view the playing of Canadian content as some form of burden in that marketplace or is it simply just a scheduling mishap?
11276 MR. SHAFER: Again, I would like to keep it simple, but in this particular case it was a combination of a number of things in that we had a young program director who hadn't been trained enough or clearly had forgotten some of the things that he had learned.
11277 As well, I would like Mark to explain some of the complications that occurred during this cross‑over from one system to the other because some of it was very definitely operator error, some of it was very much system error.
11278 MR. BURLEY: We did the conversion for the B.C. interior basically over the week between Christmas and New Years in 2006. So, this period that we were asked to report on was exactly two weeks after we had switched.
11279 There were a whole lot of mitigating factors that happened. The Program Director was new and inexperienced. The software platform was new. We were going through Christmas time as well, plus there were the inherent problems that came with switching platforms in the conversion process, where everybody was learning everything, including Aaron from how to print a log or how to make an intro time show up or make things show up on the screens of the computers properly in the control rooms to doing his Canadian compliance.
11280 So, we had all these different things that were happening at once, the least of which was when we were scheduling and the varying levels of Canadian content from day to day were out of whack, like one day would be extremely high, one day would be low, in RCS, the Canadian content is designated with the word "Yes," whereas in Music Master, the content field is designated with a "C," and in the conversion process there are one or two of those files that just didn't convert that we actually discovered and had to go in and manually find.
11281 There was that, plus the normal duties that he goes through in a day‑to‑day basis.
11282 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: I think I am getting a clearer picture of what happened during that time frame.
11283 Mr. Shafer, you have been in broadcasting for 44 years. I assume you are familiar with circular 444 and the contents thereof?
11284 MR. SHAFER: Yes, sir.
11285 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: I have maybe just one other question.
11286 Had any other arrangements, other than what has been described, been made to assure that CKCR will operate in compliance at all times with respect to the broadcasting of Canadian content? There is Music Master software. Are there any other procedures that you put into place?
11287 MR. SHAFER: I would like to address those because I think they are fairly extensive. Again, they are the most extensive that I have ever worked with in my career to make sure that we are compliant.
11288 We have seen this work now in all of our stations, in particular Kitimat and Fort St. John. We did check our logs before and after this conversion, and the station was very much in compliance.
11289 But it is a number of steps that we have had to initiate that allow us to get there. If you don't mind, I would just like to walk through it.
11290 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Please do so.
11291 MR. SHAFER: We target to be above minimum requirements at all times. So, we target, in this case, to be 37 per cent going in at the beginning of the week.
11292 We have a number of touch points throughout the week where we actually go back and check our Canadian content so we check it daily, but we reconcile on Wednesdays to see how we are doing for the first part of the week, and then we go back again or Fridays and we reconcile to see how we are doing.
11293 That is a discussion that happens ‑‑ it is on ongoing discussion that occurs between the Program Director, the General Manager and Mark Burley, who is our Group Program Director. So there are three people involved in that process.
11294 At the end or close of the week, there is a reconciled report that puts together all of our CanCon on to an electronic bulletin board that our company can see corporate wide. It can also be checked now by our new Group Vice‑President to make sure that we are in fact in compliance at all of our stations.
11295 The alarm system was an extra measure that we put in place to make sure that our loggers never fail. As difficult as it is, equipment fails. So, we have installed redundant logging machines that take a signal from different sources and we also have UPS back up on at least one, if not two. We have now installed an alarm system that should one system fail, the engineer and the Program Director get a phone call. That is exactly the same system we use when a station goes off the air so that we can get it fixed. That is a pretty extensive program.
11296 The only thing that I could consider something else we may want to do is send the Commission our monthly reports on our Canadian content because we know the system is now working.
11297 MR. DAVIES: Commissioner Williams, if I may just add to Don's point from a corporate perspective, when Astral took over ownership of Standard Radio, we discovered that there wasn't a corporate policy in place for CanCon and logging tapes. It had basically been left up to the individual markets and their managers to do that. So, you would have had different systems in different markets across the country but there was no corporate policy.
11298 As a result of these things and during the transition of ownership change that Astral is undertaking right now, we are in the process of instituting an additional corporate‑wide policy to ensure that all of our radio stations are in compliance at all times.
11299 We are preparing a draft to present to our General Managers tomorrow in Toronto at our meetings which are taking part as part of Canadian Music Week.
11300 So, that is taking place. That is new.
11301 My role, as Don has alluded to, is now going to be part of that responsibility to ensure that each one of these radio stations and the managers report to me that they are in compliance each week.
11302 We are also going to be doing, I refer to as random drug testing; we are going to be doing random spot checking. It is crazy, but it is too serious a matter not to let go unnoticed. So that will be part of our new corporate policy.
11303 The General Managers, frankly, are going to be held accountable to be in compliance at all times. So, that is over and above the local level that Don is referring to.
11304 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Thank you, Mr. Davies.
11305 Based on the comments that I have heard today, I don't think it is necessary that Astral send in weekly reports of their Canadian content. Just continue to monitor within, as you have in the past, and we will, of course, do our checks as we have in the past. I don't think a new initiative is needed there.
11306 Perhaps just one last point before I stop here or question.
11307 So, if I am to understand your presentation and your answers to the questions this morning, Astral is very confident that there will be no further infraction and suggests that it is not necessary that we issue any form of mandatory order. Would that be correct?
11308 MR. SHAFER: That is correct. I would ask that Claude Laflamme perhaps speak to that.
11309 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Ms. Laflamme.
11310 MR. LAFLAMME: Yes.
11311 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Yes, it is.
11312 MR. LAFLAMME: Yes.
11313 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Thank you very much. That concludes my questioning on this matter, Madam Chair.
11314 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Cugini, please.
11315 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you, Mr. Davies. Just one follow‑up question.
11316 The corporate policy to which you just referred is something that was already in place at Astral and will now be applied to all of the Standard Radio stations acquired through the recent transaction?
11317 MR. DAVIES: That is correct.
11318 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: So this meeting of the General Managers, would it only be the former Standard General Managers who will meet tomorrow during Canadian Music Week?
11319 MR. DAVIES: Yes. It will just be the Astral Media Radio GP.
11320 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: How successful has this corporate policy been with Astral?
11321 MR. LAFLAMME: We have a good track record. It was very successful, so we hope we will have the same success with the GP stations.
11322 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Have you had a preview of this document, Mr. Shafer?
11323 MR. SHAFER: I have.
11324 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And this is something you are comfortable with complying? In other words, you don't foresee any problems with the General Managers of the former Standard stations complying with this corporate policy?
11325 MR. SHAFER: No, I don't. It is a terrific policy.
11326 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you very much. Thank you, Madam Chair.
11327 THE CHAIRPERSON: There are no further questions from the panel.
11328 THE SECRETARY: There are no interveners in Phase II. If you want to sum up or just reply to ‑‑ I think you had one intervention in comment, which was CIRPA, If you wanted to reply to that.
11329 MR. LAFLAMME: If we have the opportunity to sum up, then I will do that.
11330 So, we will wrap up with what has been said in this hearing about that central question why a mandatory order should not be issued against Astral.
11331 Firstly, Astral, in this situation, it was not the licence holder at the time of the infractions. Astral is a responsible broadcaster, a good corporal citizen and has a good track record and recognizes its obligations to operate its radio stations at all times in full compliance with the policies and regulations established by the Commission.
11332 Secondly, we hope that we proved to you that the infraction committed in January 2007 was due to a human error without any intention of being non‑compliant, and this error happened under special circumstances. One, the management was changing the music software to upgrade the system; two, the Program Director was new and unfamiliar with some aspects of the operations despite the training he received; three, the infraction was due to one show, the syndicated show which has been modified significantly since then and offers now more Canadian music, making the task of reconciling music logs much easier; four, management has shown all measures that have been put in place to ensure that this kind of situation will not happen again; five, Astral reinforced such measures with the implementation of a corporate policy, with the addition of our VP Programming who oversees the stations, and by providing more training and tools to help management operate their stations in accordance with the regulations.
11333 We respectfully submit that the Commission be indulgent and give a chance to Astral to fix the situation, operate its new station in accordance with the regulations by granting the licence renewal without issuing a mandatory order.
11334 I can assure you that Astral will do everything in its power to make sure that this does not happen again.
11335 Thank you.
11336 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Shafer and your team. We appreciate your sincerity.
11337 MR. SHAFER: Madam Chair, thank you.
11338 THE SECRETARY: Thank you. We will take a two‑our lunch break and come back with Vancouver Co‑op at 1:00 o'clock.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1100 / Suspension à 1100
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1300 / Reprise à 1300
11339 THE SECRETARY: We will now proceed with item 24, which is an application by Vancouver Co‑operative Radio to renew the licence of the Type B community radio programming undertaking CFRO‑FM Vancouver, expiring 31st August, 2008.
11340 Please introduce yourself and your colleague, and you will then have 20 minutes to make your presentation. Thank you.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
11341 MS CHINNIAH: Thank you.
11342 My name is Leela Chinniah. I am the Program Coordinator at Co‑op Radio. This is Allan Jensen. He is my predecessor, the former Program Coordinator, and current volunteer at Co‑op Radio.
11343 Thank you for the opportunity to address the Commission at this time and to bring to your attention the role that Vancouver Co‑operative Radio plays in our community. Today, we would like to share with you a glimpse of who we are. We will give you a brief picture of the diversity of our programming and our relevance to our community. We will also address the reasons why the Commission has brought us to this hearing, as well as the actions we have taken to ensure that we meet our commitment to the Radio Regulations, as monitored by this Commission.
11344 MR. JENSEN: Co‑op Radio was born in 1974 when the founding members of the station received one of the first community radio licences in English Canada. After our first licence term, the Commission commended us for "providing a valuable alternative community service, responsible to the cultural information and entertainment needs of its listeners."
11345 Since that time, our commitment to providing programming alternative to commercial media and the CBC has only strengthened. We have become one of the most sustainable community radio broadcasters in Canada. Many stations in our sector have looked to us as a model. With our mandate to provide space for under‑represented and marginalized members of the community, we provide over 90 different programs every week in 13 languages.
11346 MS CHINNIAH: Our programming is produced entirely by volunteers. There are over 350 people who devote their time and personal resources to producing programming every week. Almost 50 per cent of station volunteers are women. From technical production to on‑air hosting and even to station administration and governance, it is rare to see this level of gender equality anywhere in the broadcasting industry.
11347 Our volunteers are also representative of a huge variety of ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. We have programming in Azeri, Tagalog, Amharic, Polish, Farsi and more than eight other languages. We have over six hours of weekly programming produced by, for, and about aboriginal people. There are doctors, lawyers, teachers and judges producing programs every week alongside poor and unemployed people and people struggling with addictions. There are children as young as two years old talking on air during the parenting show alongside elders in their 80s hosting the seniors' program. There is no limit to the diversity of people in our community who access our airwaves every single week.
11348 Some of these volunteers have been with the station for over 20 years producing the same programs. These people are committed to community radio because they know that their programming makes a difference. Their communities depend on them to hear information, perspectives, music and artistic pieces that are relevant to their lives and that simply cannot be found elsewhere. During the past two licence terms, Co‑op Radio's high quality public affairs and arts programming has been recognized by our sector and we have won awards at the national level.
11349 There were over 100 people who took the time to file interventions with the CRTC in support of our licence renewal. Some of these people were local artists who recognize the role that Co‑op Radio has played in local talent development. Many interveners commented on the importance of our role in bringing alternative perspectives and music to the airwaves, especially in an era of media consolidation.
11350 During the recent Diversity of Voices hearings, the Commission heard from thousands of Canadians concerned with the increased monoculture within Canadian media. The Commission identified how important the community radio sector is in addressing the needs of Canadians who are desperately seeking diversity in their media.
11351 Our enormous community appeal is demonstrated by the wide range of programs mentioned by those who intervened in support of our licence renewal. They listen to and appreciate The World Poetry Cafe, Radio Bandcouver, Redeye, Union Made, The Armenian Variety Show, The Voice of Palestine, Wax Poetic, Wake Up with Co‑op, Tinig ng Masa, a show for the Filipino community; Investing in Health; From a Whisper to a Song, which is a show by, for and about aboriginal people living with drug addiction; America Latina al Dia, the Anthology of Jewish Music, Better Days, and Stark Raven. These interventions highlight the impact of our diverse programming, and our continued commitment to promoting local artists and to bringing diverse voices and perspectives to the airwaves.
11352 MR. JENSEN: We provide this high quality programming despite the lack of financial support that exists for our sector. As a community radio licensee, Co‑op Radio is among a small number of radio stations in Canada that are not linked to a university or other large institution. As such, we have no steady flow of funds from any single funding source. And, since we are also committed to remaining commercial‑free, we rely on our community to support us. It is a testament to our relevance to this community that we have continued to exist and to be primarily funded by individual members for over three decades.
11353 Last summer, a CRTC staff member visited our station as part of a tour offered by the National Campus and Community Radio Conference. As we walked along East Hastings Street from our downtown conference location towards the station, we entered the heart of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. The streets became busy with people dealing drugs and sleeping on the streets. When we arrived at the station, people were smoking crack in the doorway. Co‑op Radio is located in a renovated hotel. Above the station, there are three floors of social housing for people living with addictions and mental illness. A sign on the door warns visitors that there have been bedbugs sighted at the station. Visitors are asked to put their coats and bags in large plastic bins in order to avoid taking bedbugs or cockroaches home with them.
11354 This is our reality. As a community broadcaster in one of the most expensive cities in Canada, our resources cannot be compared to the commercial sector or the CBC. In fact, our entire budget for running our radio station 24 hours a day, seven days a week is comparable to the salary of one commercial radio personality. We have only four part‑time staff who administer the station. Yet, despite these financial challenges, this small, volunteer‑run radio station not only still exists, but has thrived and grown. We have continued to be a hotbed of cultural expression and political discussion. Our continued existence is an example of why the community radio sector is so culturally relevant to Canadians.
11355 MS CHINNIAH: Co‑op Radio is committed to abiding by the rules that govern us as public broadcasters. We do our best with the limited resources and challenging circumstances that we work in. It is only because of the financial limitations under which we work that we have, in the past, been unable to meet the requirements of the Commission.
11356 In our 2001 to 2004 licence term, the old, worn‑out videotapes that we reused for logger tapes were found inaudible after we submitted them to the CRTC. As you are aware, in 2004 the Commission renewed our licence for a shortened four‑year term so that you could assess our compliance with the regulations regarding the maintenance of logger tapes. In fact, the station had already been fundraising to acquire a new, digital computer‑based logging system in order to meet the CRTC's requirements, and has since purchased and installed it.
11357 During the current licence term, we received a request from the CRTC to submit our logger tapes for the week of November 5th to 11th, 2006. The CDs submitted for that assessment period were audible and satisfied the logger tape requirement. The Commission's reasons for granting us a shorter licence term have been adequately addressed.
11358 MR. JENSEN: However, CRTC analysis of our programming from that assessment week indicated that only 32.8 per cent of the category 2 musical selections played were Canadian content. This is a shortage of 2.2 per cent. There are several reasons for this 2 per cent deviation from the requirement which we have explained in our written licence application and which we will outline at this time.
11359 MS CHINNIAH: Several selections that were played during the assessment week were produced by local artists, but the Commission chose not to include them in their calculations of Canadian content. These selections were spoken word pieces, mixed pieces by DJs and audio art pieces. These forms are part of the broad spectrum of musical genres being explored by today's musicians. The Commission has not yet identified clearly how these non‑mainstream genres of music fit within your classification system. As such, these entirely Canadian productions were not counted in the statistics of how much Canadian content we played. Since it is our mandate to provide space for these lesser known artistic pieces, the lack of CRTC‑defined categories for non‑mainstream musical genres adversely affects community broadcasters, like ourselves.
11360 MR. JENSEN: Other music‑based organizations have already recognized and incorporated new and emerging artistic forms into their definition of music. A few years ago, the Vancouver International Folk Festival recognized the relevance of spoken word as a legitimate form of music by devoting an entire stage to the genre. Spoken word is the rhythmic, musical, a cappella performance of poetry. In many cases, a spoken word performance is indecipherable from a hip hop artist performing without a musical background.
11361 Audio art, including soundscapes, is another genre that blurs the boundaries between music and art. Pioneers such as John Cage helped to redefine the concept of music, exploring the dimensions of timbre and space, instead of composing with the melodies and harmonies produced by traditional instruments. With these emerging mediums, it was possible to express emotions, ideas and stories in new ways. This also laid the foundation for a new generation of electronic and experimental music that relies on synthesized, sampled and processed sounds, and that regularly draws new inspiration from the avant garde audio art community.
11362 The concept of DJing or turntablism, with vinyl and mixer, or with modern computer‑based technologies, is also not new. The Commission has considered the role of turntablism in the community radio policy and has defined it as "the use of turntables as musical instruments, essentially to alter and manipulate the sound of recorded music." In the almost 40 year history of DJing, the art and skill has evolved and branched into many genres and categories each with its own unique form of creativity, style and musicianship. The genres of hip hop and electronic dance music would not exist without the special performances of talented DJs.
11363 MS CHINNIAH: The CRTC's assessment of Co‑op Radio's Canadian content did not include these three very important sources: Spoken word, audio art, and DJ mixes. It is part of our mandate to provide space for emerging musical genres. This means that our musical programming will likely always precede regulations regarding these forms as legitimate musical genres. As a community radio broadcaster, we believe that our role in the development of local artistic expression should not be adversely affected by the lack of recognition for these new and emerging musical styles.
11364 MR. JENSEN: Another factor that affected our Canadian content assessment was the categorization of some musical selections as category 2 (general music) instead of category 3 (specialty music). There were 27 songs played on Thursday, November 9th between 10:00 pm and midnight that Co‑op Radio classified as category 3, folk and folk‑oriented songs. The Commission classified these selections as category 2, general music. As such, there were more category 2 selections and the percentage of Canadian content decreased for this category.
11365 The program in which these selections were played (Better Days) is a folk and roots program. The program that night was focused on the theme of "Border Radio." That particular program showcased folk‑oriented songs that were played in the 1960s and 1970s that were aired from radio stations in Mexico and transmitted to the southern American States. This was music that was not being aired in the U.S. in that era and the show provided an historical perspective on the underground music of the day. Given the larger context of the program, we classified those selections as category 3 songs. The CRTC chose to classify those songs as category 2, which affected the total Canadian content percentage for that category, perhaps by the 2.2% that we were found to be short.
11366 MS CHINNIAH: There is one factor that the station takes full responsibility for that may also have affected our assessment. Since our monitoring period included a holiday long weekend, it did not accurately reflect our regular programming. According to our programming schedule, Friday evenings are devoted to category 3 music ‑‑ jazz, blues, celtic music, gospel and then a show featuring accordion music from around the world. But on the week of November 5th to 11th, 2006, some of our regular volunteer programmers were away. Instead of repeating previous broadcasts, the station prioritized the broadcast of local, live content and a replacement volunteer was found. Unfortunately, the replacement programming was category 2 music, instead of the usual category 3 and it failed to meet the 35 per cent Canadian content requirement. This also affected the overall Canadian content percentages for that week.
11367 Co‑op Radio takes full responsibility for the lack of Canadian content during this program and measures have been taken to ensure that future replacement programming fulfils all regulatory requirements. Our regular programming schedule focuses on category 2 music for only 12.5 hours a week. These shows all play between 35 to 100 per cent Canadian content. Therefore, during a regular broadcast week, the 35 per cent CanCon requirement would have easily been met. This can be evidenced by the fact that during our previous licence term, there were no issues with non‑compliance in Canadian content.
11368 MR JENSEN: We would like to give you a broader perspective on how our category 2 musical programming fits into the larger context of overall programming.
11369 Due to the mandate of our station, less than 10 per cent of our programming focuses on category 2 music. We do not play hits and, according to our programming policy, Co‑op Radio's music programming should provide access and exposure to locally produced and performed music; styles and genres of music that are not generally available on commercial radio; groundbreaking and innovative new sounds; and, thematic or narrative presentations of background information and historical contexts of music. Programs devoted to commercial releases in mainstream rock, pop or urban music are not accepted. As such, music classified by the CRTC as category 2 is not usually accepted on Co‑op Radio unless the show focuses on local artists within that genre or unless the hosts take an innovative approach to the music.
11370 MS CHINNIAH: So, we feel that the Commission's focus on the Canadian content within this relatively small portion of our programming is disproportionate and unrepresentative. In fact, almost 50 per cent of our overall programming is locally produced spoken word content and almost 40 per cent is non‑category 2 music programming. As such, the discrepancy of 2% in Canadian content should be taken within the context of the station's overall focus on locally‑produced, Canadian content both in music and spoken word.
11371 Many of the interveners who submitted comments in support of our licence renewal have highlighted the fact that as a community radio station, we not only provide Canadian content but we are Canadian content. They point out that our existence is an embodiment of the spirit of the Canadian content regulations.
11372 We hope you will consider these factors and the station's consistent commitment to the spirit behind the Canadian content policies and regulations when assessing our application for a licence renewal.
11373 Finally, it is with respect for the Commission and your role in ensuring our compliance with the regulations that we have taken the following measures to ensure that our Canadian content requirements are met fully in the future.
11374 Reminders have been issued to all programmers regarding Canadian content requirements for all music selection categories. Programmers have been instructed that replacement programmers must fulfil all regulatory requirements. Log sheets are regularly reviewed and tabulated for compliance with CanCon requirements. A policy for enforcing compliance with CanCon requirements and outlining consequences for non‑compliance is currently in development. Signage outlining Canadian content requirements is being developed for the control rooms. Finally, and most significantly, a new section has already been added to our mandatory policy training for all programmers. This section comprehensively covers the MAPL labelling system and other indicators of Canadian content. The training also covers Canadian content requirements for each genre of music.
11375 MR JENSEN: When making your decision regarding the length of our licence renewal term, we hope that you will consider the relatively minor discrepancy with the regulations, especially when considering the larger context of the station's programming and mandate. We hope you will also consider the relative impact that a shorter licence term will have on our station. As we have described, we operate under extremely challenging conditions. Each licence renewal process has a disproportionately large impact on our station, as it funnels our limited resources away from our regular training, programming and administrative functions.
11376 The longer the licence term, the more resources we will have to devote to the incredible programming and services that we offer the community. If the Commission truly supports community radio undertakings and the diversity of voices that we provide, we hope you will take these factors into account when deciding about our licence term.
11377 MS CHINNIAH: We hope you will consider that our failure to meet the requirements in the past should by no means be taken as a reflection of our attitude towards the regulations. In fact, it is perhaps more accurately a reflection of the lack of structural resources supporting our sector. As evidenced by our ability to provide audible logger tapes, we have demonstrated that, when our financial resources allow for it, we are more than capable of meeting the radio regulations.
11378 The Commission has called us to this hearing to show why a mandatory order should not be issued relating to the broadcast of Canadian content. As we have demonstrated during this licence term in regards to our maintenance of logger tapes, we are committed to voluntarily meeting the Commission's requirements and complying with the regulations. A mandatory order is not necessary, nor is an additional shortened renewal period to ensure compliance. We have outlined several reasons why this minor discrepancy of 2 per cent Canadian content should not be taken as an accurate reflection of our ability to meet the regulations. As many interveners have attested, the station's mandate and programming are completely in line with the spirit of the Canadian content requirements.
11379 We hope you will consider the larger context of our role within the broadcasting landscape when you make your decision. We hope you will consider supporting the continuation of diverse voices and ensuring that Co‑op Radio has the resources to continue our work by granting us the longest licence term possible.
11380 Thank you very much.
11381 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Chinniah.
11382 Sir, I am sorry, I missed your name.
11383 MR. JENSEN: Allan Jensen.
11384 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Menzies will lead the questions.
11385 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
11386 Could you tell me who is responsible within your organization for making sure that the regulations are complied with?
11387 MS CHINNIAH: It would be the program coordinator's position, so that would be myself, in terms of monitoring whether log sheets are kept and ensuring that audible logger tapes would be met.
11388 We have a technician who is also responsible for ensuring that the logger tapes are being kept as well.
11389 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: How does the chain of reporting work within that organization?
11390 MS CHINNIAH: Specifically in terms of the log sheets or in which aspect?
11391 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: In terms of making sure that you are in compliance with regulations?
11392 MS CHINNIAH: Specifically, for example, with regard to the maintenance of log sheets, so in terms of keeping track of Canadian content, each programmer is required to fill out log sheets. Those are kept in the control room. Weekly those are collected and checked off whether they are filled out, and then checked over whether they are missing bits and whether Canadian content requirements are met.
11393 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Who checks them over?
11394 MS CHINNIAH: There is a volunteer who actually checks over the actual sheets, and then from there there is a sheet that goes to me that I look over, and I would look at each show. There is 90 different shows and I would look at each show.
11395 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: What happens if the volunteer checking that notices an issue?
11396 MS CHINNIAH: The system right now, if there is an issue, for example, if somebody forgets to put down station IDs, they didn't write down when they are doing their station IDs, there is a little form, they get that in their mailbox that says you must let us know when you are doing station IDs on your log.
11397 If that happens two or three weeks in a row, if it looks like a show is not doing that in a row, then we will go and contact them directly and say, okay, you need to do this, and then that is met.
11398 At the moment why we don't have a specific policy around a disciplinary action in terms of ‑‑ we have a disciplinary action in terms of if you don't submit log sheets your show will be suspended. If you are asked to submit a log sheet and it is not submitted, your show will be suspended.
11399 There is no specific disciplinary action in terms of if you are not doing your CanCon, if you are not doing Canadian content what the disciplinary action is. So, that is where we are developing policy at the moment.
11400 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I am not as concerned about whether there is disciplinary action as to whether there is corrective action.
11401 If, after Monday and Tuesday, it appears that you are not going to be able to meet your standards for the week, what happens?
11402 MS CHINNIAH: I think we have tried to outline a little bit more of the context around which we work.
11403 For example, as a staff person I am in the station 25 hours a week. With the work that I do, there is an enormous amount of other things that are taken.
11404 So, there will be not somebody in the station seven days a week being able to monitor that. We don't have the funds to have, as other stations who have been here today, have software to monitor that. So, we probably likely would not know on Tuesday whether or not. Every Sunday the log sheets get compiled, and we would go over them, and then the following week I will look at them.
11405 But we probably would not know that on Tuesday we are not going to meet our CanCon requirements for the rest of the week. That is the reality.
11406 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Please correct me if I am wrong, but what I am hearing is that in any given week you could be out of compliance and you wouldn't know it?
11407 MS CHINNIAH: Yes. Our compliance is completely really largely dependent upon the fact that each programmer understands their commitment to the airwaves. So, they understand that when they are producing a program they have to include whatever, four out of ten songs has to be Canadian content.
11408 Much of how we ensure compliance with the regulations, given the reality that we are volunteer run, that we have very few staff resources to be doing regular monitoring on a daily basis, as you are suggesting, the way we achieve that is by ensuring training, largely, and by ensuring enough resources so people know, so people are reminded, so people know that this is what you must have during your show.
11409 That is the way we ensure. Yes, after the fact, we would go through and if somebody is not in compliance, then we have to talk to them, rectify it, and if it is not rectified, that is where the disciplinary action comes into place.
11410 I don't know if that answers your question. But I think what I am trying to sort of explain is because we are a community radio station and we are volunteer run, the way things happen is much different than a commercial sector station obviously. I think I am trying to give you a little bit of that context when trying to understand how these regulations are met. But I am not sure if that is actually answering the question you are asking.
11411 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: No, I think understood.
11412 Are you aware of other community stations that have difficulty being in compliance for the same reasons?
11413 MS CHINNIAH: For the same reasons in terms of some of the genres not being accepted?
11414 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: We will get to that, but in terms of, for instance, lack of financial resources is one of the reasons you cite. I am sure there are other community stations who also lack financial resources from time to time. I know there are private stations that are challenged financially.
11415 What I am trying to do is determine if they can comply, why you can't.
11416 MR. JENSEN: I just wanted to mention that private stations tend to have a Program Director who tells the hosts or the DJs what to play. So, the Program Director can, ahead of time, put together a playlist that is given to the on‑air people to tell them what to play, whereas community stations by and large don't operate that way.
11417 People who do the programs prepare their own programs, and they decide what they are going to play that day on their program. So, the station isn't going to know until after the fact what exactly they played and how much CanCon is included in it.
11418 You can only deal with it after the fact, and if you find somebody has not included enough CanCon in their program, then you have to remind them of the regulations and tell them that next time they have to do it. But you are not going to be able to monitor it in quite the way a commercial station can that has a Program Director or a Music Director on staff who is going to be telling people what they do and so who can plan the programming for the whole week so you know for sure you are going to have a certain level of CanCon or whatever.
11419 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I understand that. But what I still haven't got to is how that makes your situation different from other community stations.
11420 MR. JENSEN: It is not different than other community stations. Co‑op Radio, with four staff, is more than most community stations do, but it is a problem inherent in the model that you can't monitor it quite the same way or control it the same way you can on a commercial station.
11421 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Are you saying there should be a different set of rules for a community station?
11422 MR. JENSEN: There should not be different rules in terms of CanCon, in terms of us having to play a certain level of Canadian content. It is just that things have to work a little bit differently because it can't be monitored. We can't have a way of dealing with the situation immediately the way you could in a commercial station.
11423 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Have you spoken to other community stations to discover if they have systems in place that can work within your financial structure that can avoid moments such as these?
11424 MS CHINNIAH: In terms of monitoring CanCon?
11425 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: In terms of complying.
11426 MS CHINNIAH: What I know of other stations is the difference they might have is they might be entering their playlists, their selections digitally. So they might be having it on a computer‑based system. Some campus stations anyway, and campus stations tend to have a lot more resources than a community‑based station.
11427 However, in terms of the actual monitoring of that, so in terms of who is going through those lists, I am not aware of what they have in place to do that. I just know that the technology is different in terms of keeping track of it.
11428 But it is an excellent point. If you are suggesting to network and see what other stations are doing in terms of meeting those requirements, there is perhaps something to be gained from that.
11429 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Yes, that might be an idea because what you are describing to me is a situation in which you wish to comply but you can't see any way in which you actually can in any given week other than telling people ahead of time to do that.
11430 That is of concern because no matter what the reason, you can't correct, as you described, Mr. Jensen, they are free to play whatever they want in terms of the program, and you won't know until afterwards whether it fits the Canadian content requirements. There is no way if, by Tuesday or Wednesday you are not in compliance that you can fix that during the rest of the week.
11431 MS CHINNIAH: I don't know of any other volunteer‑run station, in terms of programmers who are volunteers, whether it is campus or community, that works differently in that way because the reality of volunteers is that they are spending their week preparing for their show. They have full‑time jobs, they have families. They are preparing for their shows and they come and bring their content that day.
11432 So, there is not necessarily any logistical way to figure out what people are going to be preparing for their show ahead of time.
11433 My experience with other stations that are volunteer produced, it is the same model. I don't know of any other volunteer‑run station that would have any mechanism to know ahead of time what is going to be played for the rest of the week.
11434 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Maybe you can tell me about your training. I am not unsympathetic to the fact that these people are volunteers, but there is all kinds of volunteers in society, and whether they are soccer coaches or Boy Scout leaders or Girl Guide leaders, they are positions that have, notwithstanding the fact they aren't paid, they have responsibilities and accountabilities that go with those, and people are trained in certain things and they are expected to be able to meet professional standards, notwithstanding their volunteerism.
11435 How does that fit within your organization?
11436 MS CHINNIAH: We have several streams of training and several levels. So, we would have just a general intake volunteer orientation for people who are just interested in becoming station volunteers where we talk about the mandate of the station. That is really just to say this is what we are about, if it is not a fit for you, this isn't the place for you; this is our mandate as a station; this is what we do.
11437 Then if people get involved in a show, if they are committed to a show, then they take a two and a half hour program or policy training which covers the most important what we can highlight in that time regulations. So we talk about slander and liability, we talk about Canadian content requirements. We have exercises where people are going through that information and other important stuff.
11438 Then if people are interested in doing technical operations, then we have two and a half hour two‑session training course. People have to take a test in order to use the equipment, and if they pass the test, then they can be an operator on the station.
11439 We offer a monthly radio free school program. This is just the training for people. This is where people can increase their knowledge where we have had broadcasting and the law offered twice a year. We have had an interview skills workshop offered, writing for radio. These are just monthly extra workshops that people can make use of to increase their radio skills.
11440 We also have community consensus and decision making, facilitation skills, other skills to help us operate as a station. Not all of it is radio skills focused. It is also the fact that we rely on volunteers for the governance of the station.
11441 To address your point around the involvement of volunteers, it is not just programming. We have a policy at the station where people who produce programming are required to commit two hours of volunteer time a month to the station on top of what they spend producing a show. So, that can look like many things, but a lot of volunteers participate in, we have committees that are the major decision making force behind the station. So, while we have only four part‑time staff, each of those four part‑time staff works with a committee of volunteers who are largely programmers. Some of them are community members who are not involved in programming and they are involved in making the decisions within each of the sectors of the station.
11442 Whether it is programming, technical operations, finances, membership and outreach, training, we also have a training committee, so those are ways that those volunteers are also participating. They are actually making decisions around what is going to happen, what training is going to be offered, what shows are going to be accepted on air, what disciplinary action might be taken for a show, various financial questions.
11443 Those are our areas. We have a Board of Directors, which is all volunteer run. Obviously as a cooperative we have regulations under which we abide to operate as a cooperative. So, our Board of Directors meets and is a group of volunteers, again, directing the station.
11444 In many kind of day‑to‑day areas as well, volunteers are taking responsibility for various areas of the station. As an example, we had a group of four volunteers who worked for four years meeting every week and were responsible for moving the station from our old location, which was in Pigeon Park in a run down old building, and moved the station to our new location in 2001 I guess we moved. That is the level of commitment of the volunteers. They are responsible for writing funding proposals and getting that money.
11445 The level of commitment is incredible. I don't know if that is where you were going.
11446 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you for that.
11447 Can you tell me precisely if I am a new volunteer for the station how many hours of training will I get?
11448 MS CHINNIAH: There is formal training where you will get, if you come in as an orientation, you will have an hour of an orientation, you will have two and a half hours of required policy training. If you wanted to do technical operations you have another five hours on top of that, plus a test.
11449 Every show you do is training. So, a lot of the training that happens is actually very informal hands‑on training. For example, if you come in on a show, you might sit in on that show for four of five weeks before you even do anything, but you are just sitting in to see how things are working.
11450 For example, with the Redeye collective, how they operate, you would sit in on a show meeting, participate in the discussion. Then it might be a month until you actually do a script for a show. You are not even on the air at that point. It might take you about six months to a year before you even go on the air ever because you are just gaining those skills in terms of writing a script, preparing music, whatever it is that you need to do for that show.
11451 So, it is difficult to answer your question concretely because there is hours and hours and hours, depending on the volunteer, of course, and depending on the number of responsibilities they take within a particular show.
11452 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Let me put it this way. Is there a minimum number of hours that a volunteer has to take before they are allowed to take charge of programming?
11453 MS CHINNIAH: There is the required two and a half hour policy training course. Everybody has to do that. It really depends on the show. To answer your question, we probably wouldn't have a case where somebody would just come in and take a show. It doesn't work that way.
11454 Every show is produced by a collective. So there is already a collective of people producing it. You would come in and then gain skills by working with that collective. You wouldn't really take over.
11455 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: But it is in the control of the collective. There is the one hour of orientation, then there is the two and a half hours, and after that there is more, but it depends on the collective within which they are working?
11456 MS CHINNIAH: And depending on what skills you as a volunteer wanted to gain. If you wanted to do technical operations, you could stop there. If you wanted to do that, you might put in another 10 hours, 20 hours, 30 hours.
11457 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: What sort of a feedback loop do you have for the volunteers once they are producing programming? You mentioned earlier that if they are not meeting the CanCon requirements that there would with a note left for them.
11458 Is there a conversation or is there a coaching system for people because, as you are describing it, people are enthusiastic, they are volunteers, everybody, volunteer or otherwise, wants to be better at what they do. Do they have mentors attached; do they have coaches attached; is there a feedback loop for them so they can have conversations rather than just notes to ensure understanding?
11459 MS CHINNIAH: There is kind of two levels here because the notes or the sort of bureaucratic level ‑‑ did you fill out your paperwork, are you doing this ‑‑ that is happening at a staff level kind of giving that feedback. That sort of qualitative training and improving of skills is happening largely at the collective level, which is the group of people that is producing each individual show.
11460 A lot of that feedback is happening within that level.
11461 For example, a show would have like a post‑mortem meeting after a show and give feedback around, okay, what worked here, how could you improve this script or here is what didn't work for me as a host reading your script. Those are some feedback levels.
11462 For example, if you have somebody who is just learning to use the board, we have mentors, people who are certified to operate, who have taken the test and passed the test, standing there giving those new people the chance to get used to doing on‑air broadcasting while not being alone in the room. So there is that kind of mentorship program.
11463 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Is there any individual accountability attached to that process or is accountability shared within the collective?
11464 MS CHINNIAH: It is largely shared because should something go wrong, should there be something that happens where, okay, there is a problem, something happened on the air and this is a problem, it is the collective that action is taken towards the show as a whole. Then within their collective they might decide what happens there.
11465 But the show as a whole takes responsibility for what goes on air.
11466 MR. JENSEN: I could just add too that Leela, as Programming Coordinator, works with the Programming Committee, and it is a large committee, by far the largest committee at the station. They monitor also what goes on on the air. Part of their job is to keep an eye on things and make sure that problems don't arise and if any problem does arise, the committee is there to respond to it right away.
11467 So, beyond what happens within the collective, and that is where most of the training does happen and that is where most of the communication happens, there is a programming committee that keeps an eye on what is going on.
11468 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
11469 On page 3 of the written copy of your presentation, in the second paragraph down you make reference to, you said several selection that were played during the assessment week were produced by local artists but the Commission chose not to include them in their calculations of Canadian content. Are you saying that the Commission erred in not including them in Canadian content, because I am curious about the word "chose" because staff don't really choose. They have their rules and you are either within them or without them.
11470 I am interested in your interpretation or your choice of that word.
11471 MS CHINNIAH: Fair enough, and perhaps it was not the right choice of words because I must say, having had experience working with the staff, the staff are incredible and I think CRTC staff do an amazing job.
11472 On the top of page 4 you will see perhaps it is a bit more clearly laid out there, that the issue that we were trying to raise here is not an error on the part of staff so much as perhaps a larger structural issue which I think we are not the first to bring it up within our sector that our role within the broadcasting landscape is such that we are always going to be bringing new and emerging styles. The issue here is how the CRTC is defining these various categories and that some of the stuff we play is really not clear. It is just the reality of these genres. It doesn't clearly fit into 2 or clearly fit into category 3 or clearly maybe even fit into music. Is it music or is it art? Those are hard decisions.
11473 It is not to say that this is an error on the part of staff. It is to say that it is an issue in terms of what we are trying to do here. We are taking an artistic form and trying to put these boxes around it, which is not always easy. Of course we respect the reasons for needing to do that in terms of monitoring and doing what you are needing to do, but the reality is where we are in the broadcasting picture is that we are on the edge. So, these issues are more likely to come up for us than other stations because we are bringing new and emerging styles.
11474 Yes, there is an issue around does this style fit into music or doesn't it? Is it category 2 or isn't it? Those are difficult questions. I don't think it is an error on the part of staff. I think it is that it hasn't necessarily been clearly defined by the Commission because they are difficult questions to answer. I appreciate that that was attempted to do in the community radio policy way back, and I appreciate that that is going to be revisited and yet the issue is there are blurry lines.
11475 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: The staff are available to help you with that. I understand bureaucratic rules can be frustrating and they can be frustrating for you or they can be frustrating for me, but at the end of the day, they are the rules.
11476 Given the artistic nature of some of the genres you deal with, do you ever speak with Commission staff beforehand and say, I don't know, I don't think there is a box this fits in, help me.
11477 MS CHINNIAH: I have to say that since December, when we have just undertaken this licence renewal application, I personally in my position ‑‑ and I have been Program Coordinator since 2002 ‑‑ have had a lot of really good interactions with staff. That has been really useful in informing me about being able to contact staff around stuff. I have to say I have had trouble contacting staff in the past around very simple questions, so I haven't found it really super accessible in terms of being able to get questions answered.
11478 But since December I have learned that there are some people I can turn to. But in the past I found as a member of the community radio sector, there hasn't necessarily been somebody available at the CRTC to answer those specific questions.
11479 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: You do have a Regional Commissioner who I am sure would be happy to talk to you if you were ever having difficulties on that too. People are there to help you.
11480 You made mention just along that line that the development of local artistic expression should not be adversely affected by the lack of recognition for these new and emerging musical styles. What if I put it to you that you would be able to more fully express yourself artistically if you were to have a more structured set of rules in some part of your programming that would give you room so that you didn't get as close to the edge when it came to meeting your CanCon requirements. Overload in some areas, leave yourself plenty of room, reduce risk and then not have to go through this.
11481 Is that something you have looked at or how would you respond to that suggestion? Is it practical or impractical?
11482 MS CHINNIAH: I am not sure if I fully understand. Are you suggesting that if there were categories where it made it ‑‑
11483 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: For instance, a previous appearance this morning mentioned that in order to make sure they get the 35 per cent Canadian content they aim for 37, which gives them a 2 per cent wiggle room. They have some room where somebody can make a mistake and they will still be okay. I guess that is the sort of process that I am talking about.
11484 Is that practical or impractical to implement?
11485 MS CHINNIAH: It is very practical, definitely. This is the irony of all of this. Most of our category 2 music shows are completely local content. They are about doing all Vancouver, not just Canadian content, Vancouver content, live and local bands coming in. So, this is the irony of it.
11486 For all these factors that we talked about, there was a holiday weekend, so it was not completely representative. There were a few selections that might not have been included, but the irony is that, yes, in fact we do aim high, and category 2 is a really small percentage of what we do.
11487 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you for that.
11488 In your presentation you mentioned that it was a 32.8 per cent versus the 35, but I guess in the initial assessment the number was 27.3 per cent.
11489 You did have some interaction with Commission staff and a reassessment was done and that moved that up higher. So, the 32.8 versus 35 might seem smaller, but in terms of the initial 27.3, can you take me through what happened between the 27.3 and the 32.8?
11490 MS CHINNIAH: Yes. The staff had contacted us and given us a list of various selections, whether or not they were classified differently, where the Commission chose to classify it as 3 instead of 2 or 2 instead of 3, whether they chose to classify it as spoken word instead of music, and then identified some that were unidentified. So, just questions that they had had from the assessment, and said that if there was more information to allow them to assess whether some of the selections were Canadian, that we could provide it at that time.
11491 The reality, again because we are a community radio broadcaster, because we are sort of on the edge, a lot of the artists that we are playing might not actually fit within the MAPL system. They might not even be in the databases used by the staff. They might be, you know, self‑published. They might have just been performing live in the studio and didn't even have anything recorded.
11492 So, a lot of the information we gave back to the staff was that kind of information. They were great about saying if you can sign off on this and say where this person is from, that is great information for us.
11493 So, we did that research and we got websites and these were largely independent artists. A lot of the reason why they probably weren't coming up on the initial assessment was because they aren't necessarily fitting in the MAPL categorization system. They are just not published in that same way.
11494 To answer your question, the procedure that happened was the staff person contacted us. We gave that information back and then they gave us that reassessment back.
11495 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: You have outlined some of the measures that you have taken to attempt to make sure that we are not meeting again under these circumstances, but this is the third time we have been through this. Maybe you could explain to me again why the measures you have taken in the past ‑‑ I understand the situation with the log tapes, technology ‑‑ why the measures you have taken in the past haven't worked and why we should believe that the measures you have taken now will work.
11496 MS CHINNIAH: When you say the third time, the third time at a hearing or the third time in terms of the shortened licence term?
11497 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Third time for a shortened licence term.
11498 MS CHINNIAH: From what I could gather, because obviously I am relatively new to the organization in terms of the 30‑year history, the previous shortened licence renewal terms, as far as I understand, were on the grounds of non‑ability to provide audible logger tapes. As far as I understand, there wasn't an issue around Canadian content, but I may be mistaken.
11499 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: To be clear, this is the third consecutive term. I am not really asking you specifically to logger tapes. I am asking specifically to the fact that there was one incident which caused a shortened term, another incident which caused a shortened term, and now a third incident which caused a shortened term.
11500 Even if they are different, they are essentially putting you in a situation of non‑compliance which speaks to the overall governance of the station and its management practices and capabilities.
11501 What I am asking for is, I am giving you the opportunity to convince us that that is better now, and that a mandatory order shouldn't be issued.
11502 MS CHINNIAH: I definitely will take you up on your opportunity, but I also would just like to address ‑‑ and I understand this isn't your point, but I think I would still like to address the differences between the shortened licence term because I do think it is relevant.
11503 The shortened licence terms in the past were due to logger tapes, inaudible logger tapes and that has been rectified. So, that is already a situation that we have changed. We committed to it and we did it. It was taken seriously and we got the funds in place to implement that.
11504 Obviously we have outlined what we think has happened around this particular issue, which is really an anomaly in terms of what we produce throughout the licence term. This was one week. Had there been another assessment, I think you might have had an opportunity to have a more reflective view of our programming.
11505 The station has a huge history, and I think since 2000 ‑‑ I think it was 2000 ‑‑ the station moved to a new location and really there has been an incredible boost in where we are organizationally. That might be reflected in the fact that, yes, we have now put in place a logger system that works and we weren't able to do that before, we weren't able to meet that requirement. So, things have changed. There has been a huge boost.
11506 The staff are stable. We have a solid foundation. It is hard for a community radio station in the Downtown East Side with bedbugs, it is difficult. Staff turnover can be large, but we have a really solid foundation, not to mention we have had these volunteers who have been with us for over 20 years committed to the station.
11507 But really organizationally I think we are moving forward, and the move to our new location back in 2000 was this sort of catapult that really helped us.
11508 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I am trying to help you here.
11509 What I need you to do is help me understand specifically how the organizational structure may have changed because I understand that they were different incidents, but it is a little bit like I got my first ticket for running a stop sign, I got my second one for speeding in a school zone, and now I am getting nabbed on the highway. They are all three different issues, but they all speak to a certain pattern of management that has difficulty complying with the rules.
11510 When you mention that you do have a different structure now, can you be specific about how that structure is better than it was before?
11511 MS CHINNIAH: The structure now, as I kind of explained in terms of our committee structure and the governance, I would say since 2000 there has been a huge boost in terms of more participation in governance of the station.
11512 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Could you be specific about that?
11513 MS CHINNIAH: Specifically, from my experience since 2000 and since we moved to the new station, the committee structure where we have more people participating in the decision making of the station has increased a lot. So, that is one governance area that I believe has changed.
11514 Again, I think that is an indication of where the station is health‑wise. I don't know that it is addressing your particular concern, and ‑‑
11515 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, just take a minute. Maybe Mr. Jensen could help me out here.
11516 How have you noticed things being different in terms of participation levels, et cetera, which give you more resources and more support to help manage these situations?
11517 MR. JENSEN: I think Leela was talking about the difference in moving to the new station, and it made a big difference. The environment is really different.
11518 We went from a really decrepit slum in our old station that was literally falling around our ears to being a really nice place. It is an old building, but it was completely redesigned, and we had to go and raise a lot of money to build the interior of the station.
11519 We were lucky enough at the time to get a grant also to buy all new radio equipment for our control rooms, as well as having a new space to work in, a pleasant place to be.
11520 It has made a big difference in attracting and bringing more volunteers in. At the same time, having really good radio equipment in our on‑air control room has meant that resources have been able to go elsewhere instead of repairing equipment and so on. That led to being able to get new computer equipment. So we have a logger system now that works well because I know for years and years I had to deal with logger tapes.
11521 When I was first there we had old reel‑to‑reel loggers. They were just a disaster. Then we got VCRs and went to that for logger tapes, and we still had trouble with that. But now the computers that we have got, it is just a whole other thing and it is not a worry any more.
11522 That is part of what the station has gone through in the last six or seven years and moving to the new location.
11523 All of that has made a lot of difference in many respects, technically but also in terms of the type of people who have come around to volunteer and who have been helping, like on committees as well as programs and so on.
11524 All of that has helped move things ahead a lot. There is clearly a few more little things that have to be done in terms of communicating to programmers that somehow we have to keep their CanCon higher, but I think a lot of progress has been made.
11525 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you. That concludes my questions.
11526 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Williams, please.
11527 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Good afternoon.
11528 This morning, as Commissioner Menzies indicated earlier, Canada's largest radio broadcaster appeared on a non‑compliance matter similar to the one that you are here for today.
11529 Should we treat both your organizations in a similar manner or should we be more lenient with smaller volunteer‑driven organizations such as yours? What is your opinion on that?
11530 MS CHINNIAH: I think Allan was speaking to this earlier in that the regulations are there ‑‑ or somebody was speaking to this earlier ‑‑ the regulations are there and the regulations are fair. However, I think one of the Commissioners was mentioning earlier, the Commission has discretion, and I think what we are asking is to just consider the context under which we are working. The role that we play in the industry and the role artistically, as well as content‑wise that we are playing and for the community.
11531 I think we have a huge respect for the fact that your role is to ensure that we abide by the regulations and the regulations are there for a reason.
11532 We bring up the point that, okay, with any rule there are places on the edges where it is a little fuzzy.
11533 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: That is the nature of my question. Should we treat the largest radio broadcaster in the land and a smaller broadcaster like your organization exactly the same for a similar offence?
11534 MS CHINNIAH: I don't know that the broadcaster who presented earlier was addressing issues of playing musical genres that were on the edge. As far as I understood they were not. I understood that perhaps they were playing hits and that they weren't meeting ‑‑
11535 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: I am not suggesting that your situations were identical, but they were similar.
11536 MS CHINNIAH: I think there are differences in terms of the content that we are playing that could be looked at.
11537 What we are presenting and the case we are making is not necessarily to treat us differently. I think one thing is that, yes, and I think the sector as a whole has said that there are areas that are problematic for our sector. Turntablism has come up a lot in the past within our sector, and audio art or radio art has come up a lot. So those are areas where we are saying, yes, it is important to have more definition around those terms because it is not something that is going to come up with the other broadcasters; it is just not. They are not playing those genres. They are not commercial viable. That is not their role.
11538 So, I think it is apples and oranges a little bit. In answering your question, I don't want it to be no, we are not asking you to treat us differently in terms of fairness or our ability to meet regulations, but in looking at whether the regulations are applicable, like, do they actually serve their purpose with our sector in the same way they serve for that sector. Because we are providing Canadian content, the spirit of what we do is Canadian content, is it of the same magnitude what we are doing than what they are doing.
11539 MR. JENSEN: Co‑op Radio plays a lot of category 3 music, where this other station ‑‑ most radio stations don't play. Other than the CBC, not many other stations play much category 3 music, where most of the music on Co‑op Radio is category 3, but at times there are differences in definition or in deciding what is category 2 and what is category 3.
11540 That is not a problem another station is going to run into. So, that is another difference.
11541 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Thank you both for your answers. That is my question, Madam Chair.
11542 THE CHAIRPERSON: Legal counsel.
11543 MS PINSKY: I would just like to follow up on the log sheets a bit because they seem to be the element for accountability of the programmers. Could you just provide us a very specific description of what is in the log sheet?
11544 MS CHINNIAH: What a log sheet looks like?
11545 MS PINSKY: Yes.
11546 MS CHINNIAH: Yes, we have one.
11547 MS PINSKY: Perhaps for the record you can just go through it and then we can take a copy.
11548 MS CHINNIAH: It looks like this. There are various questions, and one is just the show information, the operator's name, the show name, the time, the date.
11549 Because we use these for several reasons, so some of it is for security reasons at the station so we ask them to list the programmers who are on the show that day and then for security reasons to list everybody who is at the station doing their show that day.
11550 Then we ask people to list all the station IDs, the times of all the station IDs. We call them PRAs, pre‑recorded announcements. So it might be anything from a membership pitch to a show promo or whatever. We ask people to list all the PRAs, pre‑recorded announcements that they played.
11551 There is an equipment count. So, again, this is a security issue. So to count are there five mics still in the control room or did one go missing some time between 10:00 and 12:00.
11552 Music classification. Here is where we try to get a better sense of is this show generally playing category 2 or category 3. It has to be taken individually after the fact but we try to get a sense for each show. Would you generally list your songs as popular, hip hop, rock, country or world beat, folk, jazz, religious or classical, and then there is the listing here where it has the song title, the artist, whether or not the song was instrumental, and then with the MAPL system, the MAPL, to check off whether it meant that.
11553 MS PINSKY: Does the programmer on the sheet have to provide the number for the percentage of Canadian content on that show or they just list out all the various songs?
11554 MS CHINNIAH: They just list it. They don't do a tabulation at the end.
11555 When we are advising shows, when we are doing training, for example, if you are a one‑hour show and you are generally playing ten songs, we will go around and say how many Canadian content songs, what is your minimum? It will be four or five, or whatever, depending on the show.
11556 For public affairs show, they might not have any song, they might have three songs, in which case we are saying, okay, you have to cover two Canadian content songs in there.
11557 Again, with our training, this is a minimum Canadian content because with our mandate we are saying you should be trying to go for local independent artists all the time anyway, so it is really not an issue.
11558 When we are training we don't require them to do the tabulation themselves, but we do train them on how many they will need within their show.
11559 MS PINSKY: As I understood, you are the one who does the calculation then?
11560 MS CHINNIAH: Then I would go through and, especially for category 2, songs focused on category 2 shows, I will go through and look and see, okay, how have you been doing for the past three weeks, and if there is an issue then I am e‑mailing them and calling them and talking to them.
11561 MS PINSKY: Thanks very much.
11562 THE CHAIRPERSON: Those are the questions from the panel.
11563 We can start Phase II for your intervenors please.
11564 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
11565 I would now ask Keith Bassingwaighte, Tanya Hill, Jovian Francey and British Columbia Institute for Co‑operative Studies to come to the presentation table.
11566 Please introduce yourself and you have ten minutes. Thank you.
11567 MS HILL: Hello, my name is Tanya Hill. I am a volunteer at Co‑op Radio. Thank you to the Commission for letting me speak on behalf of Vancouver Co‑op Radio.
11568 I am also speaking in general on the importance of supporting independent media.
11569 To me it seems obvious why Co‑op Radio, an independent broadcaster here in Vancouver, is important and should be supported. Free independent journalism and broadcasting is a major contributor to a healthy and thriving democratic society, a society that values and defends the right to have a variety of opinions, thought and voice as much to the quality of life of a community.
11570 Today, defending and contributing to media that is commercial free and cooperatively run seems even more relevant.
11571 According to Campaign for a Democratic Media, as of 2005 a handful of big media conglomerates control what Canadians see, hear and read. This means less local content and less local media choice for people.
11572 The Co‑op Radio offers an alternative to media corporations who no longer seem to value good investigative journalism. Co‑op Radio is based in the Downtown Eastside for a reason. It gives voice to the voiceless and the marginalized of our society.
11573 Co‑op is unique in its programming and also in the way it is run. It is unique in its programming and operations, focusing on local issues such as drug addiction and homelessness.
11574 For example, one show that comes to mind is a program that focuses on aboriginal people who face drug addiction in the eastside area. This show is called A Whisper to a Song, and they bring in local guests to speak freely about their addictions and experiences in this area.
11575 I have never heard or seen this kind of direct journalism from mainstream media. Co‑op Radio has shows that deal with the environment, social labour and political issues from a variety of viewpoints, not just one or two. This station enhances the community's ability to hear a variety of opinions and alternative sides of issues not heard in mainstream media.
11576 Co‑op Radio also allows people who volunteer with them the ability to learn investigative journalism skills and hands‑on radio operation.
11577 There is also a huge variety of music programming and non‑english programming that connects people throughout the community and assists local musicians having their music heard. Co‑op provides a service to our community and serves the public interests by enhancing dialogue on local and global issues, as well as providing education to people in the community.
11578 Many of the public affairs shows focus on local issues, ;a majority of music and spoken word on Co‑op is made by local artists.
11579 I am a volunteer at Co‑op and I have met many creative people who care about our community and are passionate about finding out the truth on issues happening here and around the globe. This means hearing a variety of ideas, allowing listeners to think about issues critically as opposed to feeding people with quick news bites.
11580 Being a volunteer has given me a chance to contribute to public affairs programs and learn about the community that I live in.
11581 It would be shameful not to support Co‑op Radio and independent media, as more and more corporations buy up our newspapers, magazines and radio stations, lessening the ability for variety, diversity and open dialogue to happen.
11582 Co‑op Radio is a core essential to the eastside community and contributes to the web of indie media around the world.
11583 Thank you for letting me speak.
11584 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
11585 Please introduce yourself, and you have ten minutes.
11586 MR. PUGA: Hi, my name is Robin Puga, and I am the Technology Director for the British Columbia Institute for Cooperative Studies. I also serve on the board of the B.C. Co‑op Association, and I am on the Research Committee of the International Lions Club. I am speaking today on behalf of the British Columbia Institute for Cooperative Studies, and the interactions that we have had with Co‑op Radio. I assume that you all have a copy of the letter that I wrote.
11587 I am not going to go over that verbatim, because I think it would be a little boring. But I wanted to talk about some of the topics in there, mainly about what my colleague has just touched on, the representation that Co‑op Radio provides for an under‑represented group, the Downtown Eastside.
11588 I should also mention that I do an educational radio show about the cooperative model, and in February we began broadcasting on Vancouver Co‑op Radio. We have been broadcasting for a year and a half in Victoria on campus community radio, CFUV, and now in February we began broadcasting our show on Vancouver Co‑op Radio. My experience in that month has been quite amazing actually.
11589 I have seen this quite small radio station in comparison to the amount of money that I have seen at our campus community radio station in Victoria, this CFRO is functioning with quite a limited budget in comparison. It is amazing what they accomplish with the amount of money that they are actually using and what the impact is on the community that it serves.
11590 I have seen a sense of pride in the Downtown Eastside that I have never seen. Having lived in Vancouver ten years ago for most of my life, I have never seen that in the Downtown Eastside before.
11591 I see a support mechanism for the community which I have never seen before, and it is a place where people who would never otherwise have access to training, to learning about the different technologies that are involved in broadcasting, and that have an education about what it is to be involved in the broadcasting industry in Canada. These people would never have any other opportunities like this, ever in the corporate media. It is impossible. They are not commercially viable; they are not profitable, but what they are doing out there is creating and participating in their communities, and it is a wonderful thing to witness.
11592 Just reading from the CRTC's mandate on the website, I think that almost verbatim what CFRO attempts to do, and I will quote, it reflects Canadian creativity and talent, it reflects our linguistic duality, our multi‑cultural diversity, a special place for aboriginal people within our society, and our social values.
11593 I think that CFRO touches on every single one of those things. Maybe I will just elaborate a bit.
11594 As I mentioned, it does provide access for the community. It provides shows that the corporate media would never find profitable. Our new time slot is Thursdays 11:00 to noon for all the Co‑operative Connection. That is a show we do. We are wedged between a Latin American morning show and From a Whisper to a Song which is the program that she just spoke about that actually has people coming in to talk about their issues with drug addiction in the Downtown Eastside.
11595 These people would not be anywhere else except for a community‑run radio station that is volunteer driven, has an open membership and a democratic structure for running its organization.
11596 I suppose I could speak a bit to the cooperative structure, being as I consider myself a bit of an expert in that. I have worked at the B.C. Institute for Co‑operative Studies for five and a half years; it will be six years in May. I am not sure how many of you are aware of what it means to be a co‑operative, that you have to have an open membership structure, that it has to be a democratically run business, and that each member has one vote at the annual general meeting and on major decisions.
11597 So, what does this mean? It really means that I am an owner of the station and I am ultimately responsible for seeing that Canadian content rules are followed as well. Our show, we are lucky, it is a talk show because we are doing educational radio, so 45 minutes of it is Canadian content of us talking and interviewing Canadians about their experiences with co‑operatives and stuff like that. And then we play a Canadian tune at the end. So, we comply 100 per cent with the CRTC regulations.
11598 However, if I want to play one song at the end and it is not a Canadian song, then we are totally in uncompliance with the CRTC regulations. So it is really hard in that sense, and I feel totally responsible for the fact that I have to play a Canadian song at the end of my show every time, and I do.
11599 Actually, when you were talking, Mr. Menzies, about the responsibility and the checks and balances with regards to making sure that Canadian content is adhered to, it really brought up a couple ideas for what I would like to bring up in our next membership meeting, and I would like to see that we have a volunteer's job that every day ‑‑ yeah, why not, every day ‑‑ one of these people has to put in two hours of volunteer experience per month, why can't there be a volunteer position where every morning they check the logs, make sure CanCon percentages are met. I don't see why that couldn't happen and I am going to bring that up at our next meeting.
11600 In my letter I also talked a bit about the experience that I have had interviewing other community and co‑op radio stations in our educational show, and co‑ops we focused on talking to some co‑op radio stations. In fact, we have done two shows on co‑op radio stations.
11601 Both the Gabriola Co‑op and the Kootenay Co‑op Radio, in their interviews, they had had direct contact with Vancouver Co‑op Radio and basically cited them as an example that was their inspiration for starting their own community radio stations.
11602 Vancouver Co‑op Radio's long history in this province is an example of a success story for a cooperative structure for a community‑run radio station. They are known around the world. We have done case studies in the past on Vancouver Co‑op Radio because it is that shining example of a democratically run community organization that serves the needs, both social and economic, of a community.
11603 I am not sure, as well, how many people are familiar with the concept of a social economy in Canada. Our Institute for Co‑operative Studies is the national coordinating hub for the Canadian social economy research partnerships, which is across Canada research. It is funded by the Social Sciences Humanities Research Council. It is a seven institution research undertaking over the past three years and going for the next two years studying Canada's social economy, and loosely defining Canada's social economy is the social economy includes all independent organizations that are democratically controlled that provide some social benefit and not only a financial benefit to the group, and they are, as I mentioned, democratically controlled with one person having one vote.
11604 The Vancouver Co‑op Radio is part of Canada's social economy, it is a vital part of Canada's social economy. It is an example that people have learned from and replicated. It is a success story that people are using to make their communities better. It is something that really inspired me to get involved in radio.
11605 I think that it will continue to inspire others in other communities. For those reasons, I think that they should have their licence to broadcast renewed and, in addition, I would ask with all respect that you renew it for as long as possible.
11606 I have only been there, as I mentioned, a month now re‑broadcasting a bunch of our shows that we did last year, and I am getting now to the point where we are going to start doing new shows on Vancouver Co‑op Radio, but I have seen that this process of preparing for the CRTC Commission has taken a lot of time and effort and scarce resources to prepare for. As my colleagues have mentioned, it is quite trying on resources that are already stretched quite a bit. It also is nice to note that you are supported by the Canadian Radio‑television and Telecommunications Commission because it is a body that I totally respect in that you basically keep us Canadian and are fighting a tendency of a lot of the art and culture to become just a carbon copy of what other sort of more intense media is out there coming from the south.
11607 I really appreciate what you do and I don't envy your positions. I just want to thank you for taking the time to hear what I had to say. Thank you.
11608 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
11609 I believe Commissioner Cugini has a comment and then Commissioner Duncan will lead the questions.
11610 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: It really is just a comment. It is obvious how much you believe that community radio has a place in the Canadian broadcasting system, and I am hoping it is obvious that it also shows how much we believe that community radio has a place in the Canadian broadcasting system.
11611 Perhaps at your next meeting you could suggest that the disciplinary action taken is that they prepare for a CRTC proceeding. As much as we like to think it is a lot of fun, just your comment that it is very trying, it does take a lot of resources, we certainly do appreciate that it does, but I am hoping that at the end you will see this as a worthwhile exercise.
11612 Thank you, that is all.
11613 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Menzies, please.
11614 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
11615 Just a couple quick questions. In terms of the way the co‑operative or collective works, each member has one vote. Are there escalating levels of majority required for escalating responsibilities of decision?
11616 In other words, is a 50 per cent plus 1 required for general items, maybe a two‑thirds majority required for constitutional changes, that sort of thing?
11617 MR. PUGA: I am going to have to let Leela and Allan speak to that because I have yet to attend an annual general meeting. So, I am not aware of exactly how that works.
11618 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Typically in various ‑‑
11619 MR. PUGA: Typically it is totally at the discretion of the co‑operative. A lot of co‑operatives run on consensus. I don't know how easy that would be in a large group such as CFRO, but a lot also run at two‑thirds majority, being a good way of coming to that amount that everybody is comfortable with.
11620 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: It is built on a syndicalist structure. Are you familiar with that term?
11621 MR. PUGA: No.
11622 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: That is okay, you don't need to be.
11623 How big is the co‑operative?
11624 MS CHINNIAH: From a membership size?
11625 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Yes.
11626 MS CHINNIAH: At any one time we have 30,000 people who have shares in the Co‑op.
11627 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Do you have any idea where the others are, members of the collective?
11628 MR. PUGA: I think that is quite hard for a lot of people who are active in the co‑op to basically take the day off. A lot of people, as we mentioned, this is a co‑operative that is in a community that is a very marginalized community. It is the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. People who are just eeking out a living and just making it by can't afford to take a day off. I have the benefit of being on salary at an institution that is supporting me taking the day off to be here today. So, that is why I am able to make it.
11629 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
11630 THE CHAIRPERSON: Legal counsel.
11631 MS PINSKY: I just wanted to clarify that in terms of the Canadian content obligations, they are measured over the week, not within each show?
11632 MR. PUGA: Yes.
11633 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you for your interventions.
11634 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask Hartley E. Cramer to come to the presentation table.
11635 We will now proceed to Phase III in which the applicant can reply to all the interventions submitted on their application. I would ask Vancouver Co‑op to come to the presentation table. You have ten minutes to reply.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
11636 MS CHINNIAH: Thank you.
11637 We really don't have much response to the volunteers who spoke today.
11638 I did want to mention, we did want to bring other volunteers here today, other members of the co‑op. Unfortunately it was a really difficult process because we couldn't get a date for the hearing. We didn't know what day it was going to be on until last week, and we didn't know what time. So it was really challenging to actually ask people to spend an entire day here when they have families, they have work obligations. So, that was the biggest challenge for preventing people from coming here.
11639 A lot of people have expressed support and have wanted to participate in the hearings and just simply couldn't because of the logistical aspects of how the hearings are held.
11640 I did want to just summarize and perhaps reassure and respond to the questions that you had asked earlier that we really do take our commitment to the regulations seriously. I know we had mentioned this point several times, but it really is an issue of a lack of resources in the past in terms of the old reel‑to‑reels and the old videotape logger tapes, but I really do feel ‑‑ my perspective is that our commitment to upgrading that logger tape system is a demonstration of how seriously we are taking things; it is a demonstration of our change in governance; it is a demonstration of our ability to meet those regulations.
11641 I think this one particular week was not representative of our programming and that is unfortunate. I think that 2 per cent in CanCon demonstrated that. But it was the unique circumstances of that one spot check.
11642 We wanted to give you an idea of our situation to give you a better idea of how different we are from the other applicants and licensees that you are considering, that we really are in a different situation. So, while the regulations are by far fair, they may not work in similar ways. There are different circumstances that affect us when abiding by the regulations. So, I think that is an important thing to take into account.
11644 We did also want to address the impact that a shorter licence term would have. Obviously that is an option that you have before you in terms of your decision making and whatever decision you come up with, whether it is a mandatory order or an extended licence term, we will abide with whatever that is, of course, and we respect whatever decision you make. We also would like you to know that there will be an impact on that for this station, and it does impact our ability to continue to do the work we do.
11645 As Commissioner Cugini mentioned, we take it as an opportunity. It has been a great opportunity to prepare for this and to learn about the workings of the Commission. I have actually taken it as a great opportunity and it has been a wonderful way to know that we can work more closely with the CRTC staff. So, we do appreciate that.
11646 But I do hope that you really do consider the larger context of our programming. We have 50 per cent locally‑based spoken word programming, that is people in the community bringing their stories and perspectives forward. That is nothing but Canadian content. You won't find that anywhere. No matter what local bureaus, any commercial or CBC station has before you, there is no level of personal stories coming to the airwaves in that way.
11647 We have 40 per cent category 3 music, which offers a huge diversity of types of sounds. So, there is 10 per cent category 2 programming and, yes, we were short 2 per cent, it is true, and we have addressed some reasons why that might have been.
11648 But we really do hope you will take those other factors in consideration when you are making your decision.
11649 We thank you very much for the time you have taken to hear what we have had to say and to make that decision. Thank you.
11650 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Chinniah and Mr. Jensen. We have your submissions and we will consider carefully everything that you have told us in our deliberations.
11652 THE SECRETARY: The hearing is adjourned for today and will start at 9:30 tomorrow morning with Rogers Broadcasting. Thank you.
‑‑‑ Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1435
to resume on Wednesday, March 5, 2008
at 0930 / L'audience est ajournée à 1435
pour reprendre le mercredi 5 mars 2008 à 0930
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