ARCHIVED - Transcript, Hearing 8 December 2010
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Volume 4, 8 December 2010
TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE
THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND
To consider the broadcasting applications listed in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2010-146
Plaza Hotel Toronto Airport
655 Dixon Road
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.
Canadian Radio-television and
To consider the broadcasting applications listed in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2010-146
Len Katz Chairperson
Louise Poirier Commissioner
Peter Menzies Commissioner
Timothy Denton Commissioner
Candice Molnar Commissioner
Cindy Ventura Secretary
Crystal Hulley Legal Counsel
Michael Craig Hearing Manager
Plaza Hotel Toronto Airport
655 Dixon Road
December 8, 2010
- iv -
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
CKLN Radio Incorporated 420 / 2733
Lauren Speers 597 / 3783
Paul Corby 608 / 3839
Frequency Feminisms CKLN 613 / 3861
NCRA/ANREC 652 / 4102
Doug Barrett 716 / 4437
- iv -
Undertakings can be found at the following paragraphs:
--- Upon resuming on Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 0910
2678 LE PRÉSIDENT : Bonjour, mesdames et messieurs, et bienvenue à cette audience publique.
2679 My name is Len Katz and I am the Vice-Chairman of Telecommunications. Acting Vice-Chairman Broadcasting Rita Cugini has been called away on a personal matter and will be unable to attend this hearing. As a result, Ms Cugini has stepped down from the panel and I will be assuming the duties of chairperson.
2680 Joining me on the panel are my colleagues:
2681 - on my far left, Louise Poirier, National Commissioner;
2682 - Peter Menzies, Regional Commissioner for Alberta and the Northwest Territories, who has been added to the panel;
2683 - on my right, far right, Tim Denton, National Commissioner; and
2684 - to my immediate right, Candice Molnar, Regional Commissioner for Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
2685 The team assisting us includes:
2686 - Hearing Manager Michael Craig;
2687 - Legal Counsel Crystal Hulley; and
2688 - Hearing Secretary Cindy Ventura.
2689 Please speak with Ms Ventura if you have any questions with regard to hearing procedures.
2690 This hearing was originally scheduled for May 12, 2010, but was adjourned.
2691 The campus-based community station CKLN-FM Toronto has been called to this hearing two years into its licence term, given the number of complaints and the severity of the issues that have come to the Commission's attention.
2692 The Commission is concerned that its ability to deal with these complaints and issues has been hindered by CKLN's failure to respond to Commission inquiries and its failure to file the necessary logs and records.
2693 As was explained in the Notice of Consultation, it appears that the station may be operating in non-compliance with various sections of the Radio Regulations of 1986 and in a manner inconsistent with the current Campus Radio Policy.
2694 The Commission has also concerns regarding CKLN's programming, CKLN's governance structure, CKLN's day-to-day management and CKLN's operations.
2695 During this proceeding, CKLN is expected to explain the reasons for its apparent non-compliance and to convince this panel that it is capable of complying with its regulatory obligations in the future and thus deserving to retain its licence.
2696 Following this hearing, the CRTC may decide to issue mandatory orders requiring CKLN to comply with its regulatory obligations or suspend CKLN's broadcasting licence or revoke it outright.
2697 The CRTC expects to publish a decision in as short a timeframe as possible.
2698 I would like to remind parties to use their time before this panel very wisely. The Commission has already made determinations as to the relevancy of information to this proceeding and has struck information from the record accordingly. Parties who raise irrelevant issues will be asked to move to another topic and may ultimately be required to end their presentation early.
2699 In particular, parties are reminded that the legitimacy of the representatives of CKLN as the legally elected Board of Directors as well as the question of whether they have conducted themselves in compliance with their bylaws are outside the scope of this proceeding.
2700 I would now invite our Legal Counsel Crystal Hulley to further explain these possible sanctions and to explain the procedures we will be following.
2701 Ms Hulley.
2702 MS HULLEY: Thank you and good morning.
2703 I would like to take a few minutes to expand on the sanctions that the Commission is considering during this hearing, namely the issuance of mandatory orders, the suspension of the licence or the revocation of the licence.
2704 Under section 9(e) of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission may suspend or revoke a licence. Section 24 of the Act states in part that the no licence shall be suspended or revoked unless:
"the Commission is satisfied that the licensee has contravened or failed to comply with any condition of the licence or with any order made under subsection 12(2) or any regulation made under this Part."
2705 Section 12 of the Broadcasting Act states that:
"The Commission may inquire into, hear and determine a matter where it appears that a person has failed to do any act or thing that the person is required to do pursuant to any regulation, licence, decision or order of the Commission and issue a mandatory order to ensure compliance with any such regulation, licence, decision or order."
2706 If a mandatory order is issued, the Commission may register the order with the Federal Court of Canada, upon which it will become an order of the Court.
2707 If the licensee subsequently fails to comply with such an order, the Commission would provide evidence to the Federal Court of the failure to comply and a show cause hearing for contempt of court would take place before the Federal Court.
2708 The licensee would be entitled to present a defence and, if found guilty of contempt, would be subject to a fine set out by the court.
2709 CKLN has been asked to appear at this hearing to show cause why a mandatory order should not be issued, their licence suspended or their licence revoked. As such, the licensee has the burden of convincing this panel why the Commission should not take one of these steps.
2710 I would like to inform everyone that the Commission has decided that all parties appearing at this hearing will be required to swear an oath or make a solemn affirmation before making their presentation. Parties should speak with me before their presentation, preferably during a break if possible, to indicate what form of oath or affirmation they would prefer.
2711 Now, Hearing Secretary Cindy Ventura will further explain the procedures we will be following.
2712 THE SECRETARY: Thank you and good morning.
2713 I would like to go over a few housekeeping matters to ensure the proper conduct of the hearing.
2714 When you are in the hearing room, we ask that you please turn off your cell phones, beepers, and BlackBerrys as they are an unwelcome distraction and they cause interference on the internal communication systems used by our translators. We would appreciate your cooperation in this regard throughout the hearing.
2715 We expect the hearing could take approximately a day and a half. Please note that we will also be starting tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. We will let you know of any schedule changes as they may occur.
2716 Parties are reminded that documents have been added to the public record of the file since the issuance of the Notice of Consultation. These include a number of additional complaints announced in a Commission letter dated 19 November 2010 and the Commission's determination on CKLN's request that certain interventions or parts thereof be struck from the record, set out in a Commission letter dated 26 November 2010.
2717 You can examine all documents on the public record of this proceeding in the Examination Room, which is located in the Ottawa Room. As indicated in the agenda, the telephone number of the Examination Room is 416-243-5222.
2718 Please note that Commission Members may ask questions in either English or French.
2719 Le service d'interprétation simultanée est disponible durant cette audience. Vous pouvez vous procurer un récepteur auprès du technicien à l'arrière de la salle. L'interprétation anglaise se trouve au canal 1 et l'interprétation française au canal 2.
2720 Interpretation services will be available throughout the duration of the hearing. English interpretation is available on channel 1 and French interpretation on channel 2.
2721 We would like to remind participants that during their oral presentations they should provide for a reasonable delay for the interpretation while respecting their allocated presentation time.
2722 There is a verbatim transcript of this hearing being taken by the court reporter sitting to the left of the CRTC panel. If you have any questions on how to obtain part or all of this transcript, please approach the court reporter during a break. Please note that the full transcript will be made available on the Commission's Website daily.
2723 Now, Mr. Chairman, we will proceed with Phase 1 of the hearing.
2724 Appearing for the licensee are Mr. Ron Nelson, Mr. Andrew Lehrer, Mr. Michael Harnett, Mr. Bryce Seefieldt and Mr. Toby Whitfield.
2725 Mr. Chairman, our Legal Counsel Crystal Hulley will now swear in the members of this panel.
2726 Thank you.
2727 MS HULLEY: Thank you.
2728 If I could just ask the Hearing Secretary to pass the Bible to the table for those who will need it.
AFFIRMED: TOBY WHITFIELD
AFFIRMED: BRYCE SEEFIELDT
SWORN: RONALD NELSON
AFFIRMED: ANDREW LEHRER
AFFIRMED: MICHAEL HARNETT
2729 MS HULLEY: Thank you very much. Mr. Chair, the panel is now prepared.
2730 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
2731 Madam Secretary, are there any other issues or can we go right into this panel's submission?
2732 THE SECRETARY: You may now proceed with your 20-minute presentation. Thank you.
2733 MR. NELSON: Thank you.
2734 We would first like to say thank you for this opportunity to address the Commission and to bring to your attention the operational challenges CKLN's current Board of Directors has recently faced at our station. We would like to share with you a glimpse of the CKLN that we inherited and what we have been doing and what we would like to do in the future.
2735 My name is Ron Nelson; I am the Chair of the CKLN Board and also host of Reggaemania.
2736 With me today is:
2737 - Vice-Chair Andrew Lehrer, to my left;
2738 - Treasurer Michael Harnett, to my far left;
2739 - Board member Bryce Seefieldt, to my right; and
2740 - Toby Whitfield, two over, who is a Board member as well as president of the Ryerson Student Union.
2741 Two student Board members, Mai Habib and Rhett Fester, both very much wanted to come here but were unable to due to exams.
2742 We will attempt to both address your concerns and also illustrate the continued diversity and strength of our programming and our relevance to our community.
2743 We will primarily 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 and relevant broadcasting policies.
2744 We thank our supporters who are here today and the more than 170 individuals who wrote to the Commission, all but a small number in support of CKLN. We will, with the Commission's help, continue to sustain and nourish the important community centre and resource that is CKLN.
2745 There has been a great deal of interest and concern about this hearing by CKLN's volunteers and audience. However, many people who would have liked to attend today were unable to due to time, distance, exams, et cetera.
2746 CKLN has been broadcasting since 1983 and we have over 170 dedicated community and student volunteers from throughout Toronto and the surrounding areas, from all walks of life, who together produce an array of diverse and dynamic programming in a variety of genres that are generally absent from commercial radio.
2747 Many of our volunteers come from marginalized communities that are under-represented or absent from mainstream media. Our spoken word programming reflects this, which shows "Catch the Flavour", for example, a show produced by under-privileged youth from the Regent Park neighbourhood in Toronto.
2748 There's "Saturday Morning Live", highlighting views from the black community. There's "Musical Triangle" targeting the Caribbean community in particular, and "Frequency Feminisms" that gives a forum to women challenging oppression.
2749 We've been at the vanguard of introducing Toronto to new forms of music since our inception as a radio station. Our volunteer base reflects Toronto's cultural diversity through a wide range of genres, including music from south Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Caribbean, Ireland, east Asia and elsewhere. And we also, on record, have the first hiphop show in Canada, "The Fantastic Voyage".
2750 And basically, we were playing alternative and urban music long before the stations in Toronto, helping to develop this important and dynamic scene.
2751 There is a darker side to our story. Despite this very rich and influential history, recently CKLN has undergone a period of turmoil that is much of the reason why we believe we are here today.
2752 Between 2007 to 2009, we saw a very difficult period for CKLN due to internal conflict which basically divided our station. More than one-third of CKLN's volunteers were removed and, as a result, there were three competing Board of Directors that emerged during this whole nonsense.
2753 CKLN had a balanced budget for three years prior to 2007 in this turmoil period. However, from 2007 to 2009, CKLN accumulated an unmanageable debt. As a result, the new volunteer Board elected in July 2009, we basically inherited an empty bank account with fees and bills in excess of $200,000, past bills that were due immediately.
2754 Our priority then was to resume normal programming and heal the toxic atmosphere that imperilled the station and also to restore economic stability.
2755 The new management team galvanized volunteers from all sides of the previous dispute, with few exceptions, mind you. And we were able to restore a full program schedule in the fall of 2009.
2756 There are also staffing concerns we'd like to address. Because of our inherited financial situation and exorbitant legal costs, CKLN has not been able to hire staff. As a result, the current Board of Directors ourselves, the people you see here, we've been acting as a so-called working Board, which involves managing the station ourselves on a day-to-day basis with little help from the outside.
2757 And while we recognize that this is not ideal or tenable on a permanent basis, it has been financially necessary until now.
2758 Through fiscal restraint, we've eliminated our debt. Having been recapitalized with the assistance of the Ryerson student union and completing a successful fundraising campaign, we can now begin the process of hiring a station manager, a program director as soon as within the next two months. That's great news.
2759 With our plan to staff the station and the support of volunteers and listeners, CKLN now has the tools to move forward.
2760 We now turn to the specific concerns expressed by the Commission.
2761 Sub-section (8) regarding logs and records that were not clear or intelligible, the tape-recordings that we submitted to the Commission, the Commission asked for tapes for a two-week period in June 2009. However, the tapes provided to the Commission were out of sync by one day, just to note.
2762 We sent the correct tapes as soon as we realized our mistake.
2763 We also would like to apologize for the inaudibility of the tapes. When the June 2009 loggers were recorded, we were broadcasting at a very low wattage due to a damaged antenna, and we believe that the second week in question was completely inaudible because of the same reason.
2764 Our engineer installed a temporary antenna in October. However, we were not transmitting at full power during the January 10th to 16, 2010 evaluation period.
2765 We switched over to our repaired main antenna on January 16th and resumed broadcasting in full power shortly afterwards, and the quality of our logs improved substantially. We believe our weaker signal was a contributing factor to the inferior logger recordings dating back to January.
2766 The old logging computer was attached to a radio receiver, a receiver that had suffered from severe reception problems. And because of factors such as low hard disk capacity, the recordings were encoded at very low bit rate, further reducing quality.
2767 Reception may have also been affected by inter-modulation and crosstalk from a low power pirate broadcast coming out of 88.3, and we're at 88.1.
2768 We've also switched to an improved receiver that has demonstrated better reception quality, and we've also installed a new logging computer system recording daily logs in stereo at a higher bit rate with back-up redundancy in case of disk failure.
2769 The improvements allow CKLN to provide compliant audio logs from now on.
2770 Regarding the written logs and playlists, we apologize for our failure to provide written logs, once mandated to do so. We consulted the NCRA in order to bring our program logs into compliance and to improve our playlist entry system so that a proper basis on which to generate logs exists.
2771 Our computerized system was missing certain required fields and needed to be modified to meet the Commission's requirements. While we worked to modernize our computerized system, we've introduced a paper -- a more traditional paper playlist system, and this form has all the required fields, including those that were previously missing.
2772 Programmers were also trained on how to fill out these new forms, with emphasis on the need to fill the forms out properly and which meant calling all volunteers individually and warning -- cautioning them of disciplinary action or measures for non-compliance.
2773 We stress the importance of meeting the Canadian content requirements, indicating Canadian selections on their playlists, the maximum 10 percent limit on hits, requirements regarding station identification and their responsibility to actively review playlists to ensure compliance.
2774 In conjunction with the NCRA and, in particular, and in particular Freya Zaltz, we reviewed all programs in order to ensure that the music they play is properly classified by category and have advised programmers of their category's requirements.
2775 We will hire staff in the next quarter to closely -- amongst their responsibilities, to closely monitor programming and to ensure compliance with the Commission's Regulations.
2776 We have added a number of hours of dedicated Spoken Word programming as well in the past year. We are now at 27 hours a week, most of which is locally produced, which puts us well in excess of the proposed 15 percent requirement for locally produced Spoken Word.
2777 Additionally, a number of our music programs include extensive Spoken Word elements, which were not documented in our previous logs. And we're talking about interviews, news, researched discussion, commentary, et cetera. This allows us, we feel, to meet the 25 percent Spoken Word requirement. And we also intend to add additional Spoken Word shows in the coming months.
2778 CKLN has a rich heritage of Spoken Word programming and we are fully committed to maintaining and enhancing this legacy.
2779 Treasurer Mike Harnett, to my left, will now address the annual returns.
2780 MR. HARNETT: Yes. Good morning, Commission.
2781 CKLN had filed returns up until the year 2007. The previous Board failed to do so in 2008 and 2009. The Board was and has been diligently engaged to complete the returns for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010 and made the appropriate filings with the Canada Revenue Agency, Stats Can and the Commission, of course.
2782 Now I'd like to hand it over to Andrew Lehrer.
2783 MR. LEHRER: Thank you. I'm discussing our responses to listener complaints.
2784 The previous Board did not respond to most complaints that were forwarded to them by the Commission in 2008 and 2009. Commission staff forwarded these complaints to the new Board in the late summer of 2009 and we responded to them within three weeks of receiving them.
2785 We believe we have responded to all subsequent complaints within the required period.
2786 In preparation for the spring hearing, we became aware of a number of complaints from 2008 that had not been forwarded to us in the summer of 2009. Responses to all of those complaints were sent on March 1st, 2010.
2787 The Commission's July 2009 staff letter was not responded to promptly as the new Board was not elected until July 24, 2009 and we did not gain access to the station's email system for several weeks. We apologize for our delay.
2788 In regards to the September 2009 staff letter, we endeavoured to provide all materials to the Commission on time. Our initial report was completed on September 23rd, 2009 and delivered to the Commission by email at that time. However, we had trouble using the E-pass system and were unable to submit by that method until early October.
2789 In regards to ownership and control of equipment and facilities and transfers of ownership and control, while our landlord, the Palin Foundation, restricted access to CKLN-FM studios and offices to only a few members of the former Board, neither -- in the beginning of 2009, neither they nor the Ryerson student union acted as a representative or controller of CKLN.
2790 A letter from Chris McNeil of the Palin Foundation indicates that they prohibited access to the CKLN suite after competing members of the former Board changed the locks on each other. This resulted in conflict, security problems, and finally a break-in and attempted occupation of the station.
2791 The Palin Foundation states, in a letter they wrote, that they changed the locks at the station as "a last straw to ensure we protected the safety of the people and the physical space in our building".
2792 And these letters were included in earlier responses and are also appendices to this presentation.
2793 In regards to the student levy, the RSU was approached by competing Boards, each of which demanded access to the monies collected. According to Mr, Whitfield's letter to the Commission, "The Ryerson Students Union had no means to determine which group was the legitimate Board of Directors of CKLN" and thus held the monies in trust until the situation could be clarified.
2794 CKLN's counsel at the time, Brian Iler, wrote in a letter to his co-counsel that the RSU's position was "legitimate". This letter is included as an attachment to our response to Josie Miner and also is an appendix to this presentation.
2795 When the RSU realized there were competing factions claiming to be the Board of Directors, they withheld student levies collected on behalf of CKLN, holding that money in trust and paying certain costs on CKLN's behalf until there was a verifiable Board in place.
2796 In regards to our transmitter, both the Ryerson student union and Brookfield Properties have confirmed in writing that the RSU at no time either had access to the transmitter or controlled the access of others. We have forwarded these letters to the Commission and we have also attached them to our response to Mr. Duffell's in April.
2797 Brookfield Properties advises us that they were approached by members of the rival Boards that existed in 2009 attempting to bar each other from having access to the transmitter. Brookfield approached the RSU, but were told by the RSU that it wasn't the student union's place to provide a list of authorized personnel.
2798 There has been no transfer in the management of CKLN to the RSU. The RSU has always had a single member on the CKLN Board of Directors, and this has not changed, nor will it change.
2799 Mr Whitfield is present today and can go into more detail about the actions of the RSU and the Palin Foundation during the question period.
2800 In regard to programming issues in 2009, the Commission expressed concerns in its Notice of Consultation regarding programming during the spring and summer of 2009. During this period, the station was closed to programmers.
2801 A member of the former Board was given access to program pre-recorded material to avoid us going dark. Unfortunately, that programming was not compliant with Commission requirements, and we apologize for that.
2802 This problem was rectified by our return to normal programming in the fall of 2009.
2803 Bryce Seefieldt will now address the issue of Board composition and student participation.
2804 MR. SEEFIELDT: Good morning.
2805 In regards toBoard composition and student participation, the Commission has identified two issues regarding the structure of the Board: (a) the need for by-law amendments to address the outdated composition of the Board of Directors, and (b) student involvement.
2806 Last summer, we struck a Committee to draft a new set of bylaws. We have also reviewed the Commission's expectations for Board structure in paragraph 56 of the Campus Radio Policy. We were delayed in implementing the new draft due to legal issues.
2807 Recently, the Board has approved the draft, which will bring us into compliance with the policy. A Special General Meeting is being held on December 15th, 2010 to approve the new bylaws.
2808 Since the rebuilding process began in September 2009, students have been given the highest priority in all matters, from programming to administration. We continuously look for ways to ensure that Ryerson students get involved with CKLN and, in response to increased interest, a number of additional students have taken up programming and volunteer positions at CKLN.
2809 Michael Harnett will speak again to discuss CKLN's financial viability.
2810 MR. HARNETT: Yes. Once again, the long-term financial viability of CKLN Incorporated has been secured through a renewable ten-year levy transfer agreement with the RSU. The previous 1982 agreement expired in 1992, and was being renewed on a year-to-year basis.
2811 In terms of long-term stability, the new agreement is obviously in place for 10 years.
2812 We have also resumed fundraising and selling of advertising. We have brought the day-to-day costs at CKLN Incorporated under control by temporarily going without staff, and have been able to stabilize the financial framework. Where costs were not monitored sufficiently by previous management, all of the expenditures and revenues are now tracked in detail and are transparent to our accountant and to our auditor, who presented financial statements for the corporation at the recent Annual General Meeting.
2813 I'm going to go into more detail regarding our financial situation during the question period.
2814 Ron Nelson will now conclude. Thank you.
2815 MR. NELSON: CKLN's worst days are behind us. That's what we feel sitting here as a Board.
2816 Today, there is a greatly improved atmosphere at CKLN Radio. Despite the trials and tribulations of the past, morale is very high and community support is growing.
2817 CKLN has been and will remain a crucial forum for political, musical and cultural expression and will continue to deliver programming that really makes a difference and which offers information, perspectives and music that would otherwise never be heard.
2818 For over 25 years, we have played a crucial role in the development of local artists by playing their music and interviewing them on air. Despite being, again, volunteer-based and surviving on a shoestring budget year after year, CKLN has been instrumental in building a great local artists' scene. We are committed to continuing the diverse and high quality programming that we are known for.
2819 What CKLN needs now is an opportunity to keep moving forward. Despite being a volunteer Board, we admit, with no previous regulatory experience, we believe we have been successful in improving the climate at CKLN and in rectifying most of the problems that resulted in this hearing being called.
2820 The past year has not been perfect, we admit this, but we feel that there were dramatic improvements and policies have been put in place that will ensure the success of CKLN in the future.
2821 We are a Board that prides itself on respect for fellow human beings. We believe in decency, honesty, integrity and hard work. We are not just a working Board, but we are a principled one.
2822 We are committed to voluntarily meeting the Commission's requirements and complying with all Regulations. We are committed to abiding by the rules that govern us as public broadcasters. We recognize that every licensee is obligated to be fully compliant at all times, and our actions reflect our commitment to be in full compliance.
2823 We are open and amenable to all suggestions, recommendations or guidance that the Commission can provide, and we hope that you will consider that our failure to meet the requirements in the past is not a reflection of our attitude towards regulations, but of the crisis situation from which we have emerged.
2824 Our goal, aside from full compliance, is to make changes to CKLN's organizational structure, policies and practices to ensure organizational stability so that the governance crisis of 2008/2009 will never again happen.
2825 We hope we have provided you with enough detailed information for you to make a decision that will still give us a license to operate, and we are willing to live by whatever decision the Commission deems as fair. But we believe that if given the opportunity, we can maintain 100 percent compliance, and restore a radio station that, despite a recent history of turmoil, is committed to continue delivering award-winning Canadian community radio.
2826 So on behalf of our Board, CKLN Radio and all of its members and volunteers, I would like to thank the Commission for giving us the opportunity to discuss CKLN and we look forward to answering all of your questions.
2827 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your opening remarks.
2828 I want to emphasize that in a number of cases, and the panel here will each take their opportunity to get into more detail, but I urge you in responding to respond to what you're going to do and how you're going to do it in the future.
2829 As I said in my opening remarks and as you said here, the real question is complying in the future and does this panel, does the CRTC, fully believe that what process and procedures you believe are necessary going forward are sufficient from our perspective to grant you continuation or, alternatively, issue mandatory orders to compel you to meet those obligations.
2830 Simply saying that you will meet it and you will get money is a start, but it's certainly not an end.
2831 With that said, let me start by just getting clarification. You five are all on the Board, and I thank you all for being here, given that you've got other pressing obligations as well.
2832 Can you provide us with the names of the other people that are on the Board? Like how many are there today on the Board, and who does each party represent?
2833 MR. LEHRER: In total, there are seven people on the Board. Ron Nelson, Ronald Nelson, is the Chair of the Board. He is a volunteer representative.
2834 Michael Harnett is the Treasurer of the Board. He is a community representative. My name is Andrew Lehrer. I'm the Vice-Chair of the Board and I am a community representative.
2835 Bryce Seefieldt is a volunteer representative on the Board, and Toby Whitfield is the Ryerson student union representative on the Board, and is also the Present of the Ryerson student union.
2836 There are four student positions, two of which are currently filled. Mae Habib is a -- I believe she's a fourth-year radio television arts student, and she's a student representative on the Board. And Rhett Fester is a third-year film student at Ryerson, and he's also a student representative.
2837 There are two vacancies for students that will be filled in January.
2838 There are three other vacant positions. The first is the former core staff rep, which is open to anyone who used to be a program director, station manager, news director or music director. That is not filled. That position will be eliminated in our new bylaws.
2839 Currently the station manager and program director also have positions on the Board. Those positions are vacant at present.
2840 So there are seven filled positions right now.
2841 THE CHAIRPERSON: How, if at all, are any of those seven compensated today?
2842 MR. LEHRER: There is no compensation.
2843 THE CHAIRPERSON: For any of them?
2844 MR. LEHRER: No.
2845 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Lehrer, I have read in a number of submissions your signature behind an awful lot of them. How much time do you spend on CKLN?
2846 MR. LEHRER: Probably a few hours a week. I have a full-time job, but I am also doing this in my spare time, as a volunteer. But, you know, it's not really sustainable in the long term.
2847 Particularly for this, and for responding to interventions and responding to complaints, I have probably been spending five or six hours a week on it, sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on when things are coming and going.
2848 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are you all in the same position, where you spend a couple of hours a week --
2849 MR. NELSON: As a working Board, we have had no choice but to do that. We each spend quite a few hours per week, not just doing the duties that are involved in managing the station, but also to meet as a Board to do the things that come more traditionally with being a Board.
2850 So, yes, we are all putting in hours, and we are all very committed.
2851 MR. WHITFIELD: That is probably with the exception of me. I hold the RSU seat on the Board, but I also work full-time as the president of the students' union. So I probably spend the least time dedicated to CKLN on the Board, and don't usually dedicate that many hours a week to the Board.
2852 But, I guess, in my role as president of the students' union, that's the way I fulfil it.
2853 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Whitfield, maybe you could answer a question from me that I was going to ask you later on, but since you have the mic on -- what is the relationship between yourself, the RSU and the administration of the university itself?
2854 MR. WHITFIELD: The way that it works is that the students' union is separately incorporated as an individual organization, so we exist within the Ryerson community, but separately from the university administration.
2855 I am the elected representative as president of the students' union this year. In the past two years I served as Vice-President of Finance and Services, or treasurer of the students' union. Those are elected positions.
2856 And then I am cross-elected to CKLN as the RSU's representative.
2857 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you have a seat on the Board of Ryerson University?
2858 MR. WHITFIELD: No, I don't.
2859 THE CHAIRPERSON: Does Ryerson University, in any way, confirm their support for CKLN, directly or indirectly?
2860 MR. WHITFIELD: I wouldn't be able to speak on behalf of the university. I am not aware of any statements they have put out either way.
2861 The way the funding works is that each member of CKLN, so each full-time student, pays a membership fee. That money is collected when they pay their tuition fees by the university, and is then transferred to the students' union, along with several other student activity fees, and that money flows through us straight to the radio station.
2862 But the university hasn't made a statement either way.
2863 THE CHAIRPERSON: The university bills the students. How and to what extent is the relationship between you or CKLN in order to decide how much money should be charged to each student for their RSU activities, including CKLN?
2864 MR. WHITFIELD: Essentially, the way the CKLN fee came about was through a campus-wide referendum many years ago. There was a subsequent referendum, I think, in the nineties, which increased the fee and tied it to inflation.
2865 So each year the fee increases by the cost of inflation, determined by the university, based on the Toronto Consumer Price Index inflation numbers. There hasn't been a change in the fee for many years, it just increases each year by inflation.
2866 There is no formal agreement, to my knowledge, or to the university's knowledge, is my understanding, that exists between CKLN and the university. The only agreement that talks about fees exists between CKLN and the Ryerson students' union, and that agreement comes up a couple of times in these different discussions, and essentially recognizes that we will transfer the money we receive from the university to CKLN.
2867 THE CHAIRPERSON: As I understand it, one of the attributes of a campus and community radio station is endorsement by the university. Is there such an endorsement, to your knowledge -- or to anyone's knowledge -- with regard to Ryerson University recognizing the campus and community radio station, CKLN FM?
2868 MR. LEHRER: If I could add something -- and perhaps Mr. Whitfield could correct me if I am wrong. There is an indirect relationship, in that Ryerson University has appointments on the Palin Foundation. They sit on the Palin Foundation Board, and we do have a relationship with the Palin Foundation, which is the owner of the Ryerson Student Centre in which our suite -- our offices and our studios are located.
2869 So there is an indirect relationship through the Palin Foundation.
2870 Also, in our revisions to the bylaws, we will be adding a seat -- as required by the Commission's policy -- a seat for a Ryerson faculty and/or staff representative. So that will be coming.
2871 THE CHAIRPERSON: And there hasn't been to date?
2872 MR. LEHRER: No, there has not been.
2873 THE CHAIRPERSON: So, again, it is an obligation that was imposed upon you, that you, in the past, have not succeeded in confirming.
2874 MR. LEHRER: I wasn't around -- I don't know if any of us is aware of the history of why that wouldn't have happened. My understanding --
2875 There might be someone who speaks later -- Ms Speers, who was on the Board several years ago, might know why that didn't happen.
2876 I think there may have been an attempt to change the bylaws at one point and that wasn't successful. But, in any case, we are committed to adding that seat now.
2877 THE CHAIRPERSON: To your knowledge, when was the last time that Ryerson University actually had a representative on the Board?
2878 MR. LEHRER: I don't believe there has ever been a representative on the Board from the university itself.
2879 THE CHAIRPERSON: You touched upon a number of -- I will call them transgressions -- in the past, and you have basically identified them as issues that you hope to rectify going forward, and you explained that it was because of the unique situation you had.
2880 We are in the position at the CRTC, and this panel particularly, of looking at all campus and community radio stations. If we choose to recognize your past transgressions and basically say, "Look, the past is the past. You appear to be good corporate citizens. You appear to want to go forward," what message does that send to all of the other campus and community stations that are currently, across Canada, complying with our policies, incurring costs, hiring full-time people, day-to-day?
2881 Does that not send them the wrong message?
2882 MR. NELSON: We do understand, because of CKLN's history, that there will be ramifications, we are sure, by the Commission. We are not here pompously thinking that we are going to get a "get out of jail free" card, so to speak. We understand that there needs to be consequences to situations like what happened at CKLN.
2883 We are not using the fact that we were not the Board that sat at the time those things happened. We are here to take responsibility, and we will live with whatever decision the Commission makes.
2884 We understand that all other campus radio stations are looking at this hearing today with some kind of, at least, curiosity, because there is supposed to be disciplinary action coming out of this, in some way, shape or form.
2885 So we understand that we are being, basically, showcased, to some degree, where the decisions that you make today will have long-term impacts on how all other campus community radio stations look at their right to have a licence and their right to broadcast.
2886 We are here humbly, like I said, taking responsibility for the actions of the past.
2887 THE CHAIRPERSON: I just want to clarify something you said. This is not an attempt by this Commission to apply punitive measures. We are looking at whether CKLN has the skills, the experience, the fortitude and the commitment to go forward, not to send a message to someone else, saying: If you do this, as well, then there is a penalty to be applied.
2888 I mean, everybody follows what the regulations are, what their obligations are, and what their commitments are as well, and we approve their bylaws to that extent as well.
2889 I just want to make it clear that this is not a punitive situation, this is a question as to whether you are complying or not complying, and what actions should be taken going forward.
2890 MR. SEEFIELDT: If I may comment on that very quickly, I think that here in Canada community radio, campus radio, is a very tight community. They meet on several occasions nationwide, and regardless of the outcome and what is discovered here, I think one of the major things that comes out of this is the realization for all campus radio stations of the importance of the involvement of the entire membership and the volunteer community, and I think, ultimately, some great lessons will be learned nationwide of the importance of always the entire community being involved in their station. Great growth can come with full community involvement, and also some great lessons learned from what can go wrong when the proper steps aren't taken to measure the Board and make sure the Board is taking its proper precautions to defend the station's licence and stay in compliance.
2891 MR. NELSON: I would also like to add that CKLN looks forward to the opportunity to learn from its past mistakes as we move ahead, and I am excited, if I am not misjudging what you are saying, that maybe we will be dealing a lot more with the present and the future, instead of the past, because, to some degree, I thought that we were going to be dealing a lot with the past.
2892 That's a great opportunity.
2893 THE CHAIRPERSON: The reason you are here is because of complaints raised by other parties. We are basically looking at whether there is truth in what they are saying. You have actually volunteered, in a lot of cases, some of the issues, and identified that you were crossing that fine line between compliance and non-compliance, and you identified it as well.
2894 So once that first part is dealt with -- and there has to be a finding of fact, as well -- and we will continue to ask questions about the past -- the question is: Does this Board, do your volunteers, does your community, support, and can it support, compliance going forward as a valued contributor to the broadcasting system in this area?
2895 MR. HARNETT: This is an important time for CKLN Incorporated. Obviously it is a time for renewal. This is a watershed moment, if you will. We will be able to look back on the history of the corporation as we move forward and say that this was, as I said, a time for renewal.
2896 The modernization of this station is imperative -- the establishment of proper internal systems for monitoring, for looking at the root causes for the problems that have happened in the past, and for putting measures and practices in place which create a best practices template, so that these types of things don't happen again.
2897 If we look at the management structure of the organization in the past, the things that have gone wrong -- there is a cyclical component, where the management team -- there is a turnover component. If systems are in place, and the proper systems are there to dynamically monitor CRTC compliance, complaints, programming, it becomes a closed-loop system, and the dynamics are under control and easily managed, or there is an opportunity to manage.
2898 Right now, when we look at the past, those measures were not in place.
2899 The implementation of said plan is part of our business perspective as we move forward.
2900 We need to also reach out and talk to other stations within the NCRA community, to see what lessons they can share with us. They already have business plans in place. They already have best practices in place. We can take a look at those systems and amalgamate them into our own plan, so that we don't end up running into this situation as we move forward, and we can hand a well-principled system over to the future representatives of the corporation.
2901 THE CHAIRPERSON: Again, just before I pass it on to Mr. Lehrer, I hear you saying these things, but I don't hear you saying what exactly you are going to do, how you are going to do it, how you are going to enforce it, how you are going to implement it, how you are going to operationalize it.
2902 All I keep hearing is, "Yes, we are going to do all of these things that we haven't done in the past," but you are not telling me how you are going to do it, and you are not telling me where your finances are going to come from to do it.
2903 You have each admitted that you are working part-time on this, five or six hours a week. This is not a five or six-hour a week radio station. You have a valuable asset, which basically covers a large portion of Toronto, with an audience that -- I am not sure -- and we will get to it -- how big that audience is.
2904 But what I do hear is that your systems are up, they are down, they are not complying, and what I want to hear is, is that true, first of all, and if it is true, how are you going to rectify that going forward, what are you going to do and where are you going to get the funds to do it with?
2905 MR. LEHRER: First, if I could answer your earlier question, one of the first decisions we made as a Board was to rejoin the NCRA, and we have been getting a lot of support and guidance from them.
2906 As for the message that is sent to the rest of the campus and community radio station community, I don't think they would see us as free riders. We have the support of the NCRA, and several campus community radio stations have written to the Commission, or to us, in support.
2907 And I think perhaps the message that is sent is that it is important to continue working with the rest of the community to ensure that all campus radio stations have compliance, because with the nature of campus community radio stations being largely volunteer, and largely with a high turnover of students, it is important to be part of a body and part of a greater community that can help you meet best practices, give you advice and help you out.
2908 In regards to systems that we are putting in place, as Mr. Nelson said in the presentation, we will be hiring a program director or a station manager who will be able to make sure that programming is compliant, and monitor it on a day-to-day basis.
2909 Perhaps Mr. Seefieldt could speak to this; currently we are using a paper log system. However, we are working with a programmer to update and modernize our computer log system. This would allow us to instantly tell whether we are meeting our CanCon requirements, we are meeting our spoken word requirements, on a day-to-day basis. We would be able to look at a spreadsheet and go: Oh, yeah, okay, we are at this percent, we are at that percent.
2910 So we are working on putting systems in place, and we hope to do that in the next few months.
2911 THE CHAIRPERSON: Who is going to be doing that? Each one of you works four or five hours a week on a volunteer basis.
2912 MR. LEHRER: We will be hiring a program director or a station manager.
2913 MR. NELSON: I am going to try to put some perspective on this.
2914 As far as this Board is concerned -- because I understand that what you are saying, basically, is: What is the business plan? What are you actually going to do? What are we going to physically do? Don't talk about it, what are we going to do about it?
2915 This Board meets an average of one and a half times a week, and we are trying, despite not having the traditional working staff that most radio stations have -- community radio stations usually have, at least, two or three people who are there full-time, every day, and that is how they get the job done. The challenge for CKLN is, with limited resources, how much longer do we think we can possibly keep running this radio station compliantly, like campus radio stations are supposed to run?
2916 You asked: What are the plans to secure the future? If we are not going to dwell so much on the past, we are very excited about the future because, as we said in our report, CKLN now, for the first time, is solvent.
2917 I know that we were supposed to have our hearing last time, and we got it postponed. That has given us the opportunity to tighten up our operation even more, and to get more money to secure more people being employed.
2918 We just finished our successful fundraising drive. We have now gotten our financing from the Ryerson student union.
2919 We have been a station overwhelmed with debt, a lot of it having to do with the legal challenges that we have been obligated to face ever since trying to get on our feet as a radio station.
2920 The station, in case you are not aware of the history, is under attack by forces who would like to see it fall, and CKLN, in order to keep the station going, has had to spend a lot of money on legal costs in order to keep the station going in a positive direction.
2921 We have been doing that now, and we have consciously said that, despite the odds possibly being against us, as a working Board it is imperative that we put in our time and keep the station alive, even if we have to do it starting with ourselves.
2922 The five or six hours a week per person is not really accurate. We actually put in a hell of a lot more time than that.
2923 Excuse me for using the word "hell".
2924 To be perfectly honest, a working Board, to manage a radio station that normally has a staff -- CKLN, in better years, had six or seven people employed, and every time you'd go into the office there were people there working.
2925 So if we are to be honest with ourselves, people have been waiting for us to burn out, thinking that it's impossible for a working Board to do the job of an entire staff that traditionally runs a radio station, and because of our dedication, because of the correct timing -- because, I think, at another time, all of us would not be so committed and available.
2926 But we have been putting in the work at the administrative level, and we have gone backwards in trying to come up with a structure for reinventing a new CKLN. But first we have to get over the hurdle, and the timing of now is very crucial, because we have just recently, only in the last two weeks, gotten our money from the student union. It was only a week ago that fundraising ended.
2927 When we say that we are solvent now, it is very important for everyone to understand that this, in the last two weeks, is the first time that CKLN has had money in the bank, and now, for the first time, we can actually start to hire staff and put things into place that were impossible to do before, because, again, we were being handcuffed by legal challenges.
2928 And it was not a decision that we wanted to make, but we had to operate without the traditional staff up until this point in time.
2929 But as our treasurer said, and I would like to reiterate, CKLN today is solvent, and we are initiating a plan of action. For the first time in months, we are going to have a working staff, who can respond appropriately to keep this radio station operating in full compliance with all rules and all regulations that mandate a station like CKLN to continue operating.
2930 This is something that we are very, very, very excited about.
2931 The challenges that have brought us here today have been solved, for the most part. A lot of it was technical and operational. A lot of it was as a result of a past Board running out of money, and basically not leaving until every cent was gone from the bank.
2932 At that point in time, when we came in, we had to, basically, clean up that mess and restore democracy, restore CKLN to -- you know, from the stage of infancy, basically, to what it is now, which is still not a perfect radio station, but a much better one.
2933 So if given the opportunity, Commission, we again would like to say that we now have an opportunity to start over. Money is not going to solve everything, but we really believe that if we are able to hire staff who can do things, in the traditional sense, that radio stations do, the majority of any problems that are still outstanding will go away. We just need that opportunity.
2934 THE CHAIRPERSON: Let me try to understand the financial situation. You are saying that you are now solvent and everything is rosy.
2935 You have, I guess, filed your 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 financial statements audited by Yale & Partners.
2936 MR. HARNETT: Yes, sir.
2937 THE CHAIRPERSON: Those numbers are correct, you stand behind those?
2938 MR. HARNETT: That is correct.
2939 THE CHAIRPERSON: When I look at those numbers they reflect the fact that in 2007 and 2008 you had substantial revenues from advertising and presumably fundraising. It dropped dramatically in 2009 and 2010 to a point where there is roughly in total revenues, and I will quote these numbers here, because they are public numbers, in the order of $240,000 to $245,000 of total revenues.
2940 You are saying that puts you in good stead, going forward. I think I heard you, Mr. Nelson, say that when this radio station was humming several years ago it had six to seven employees. If I take average salary of six to seven employees in a community radio station that are getting paid salary and multiply that by their salary, I am not sure there is any money there to run the station.
2941 Because $240,000 divided by seven is about thirty-odd thousand dollars per person, which may be the salaries, but where is the programming, where is the lease costs, where is everything else as well?
2942 So I sit here and I wonder whether you do have the financial capability, if what you're telling me is you are now solvent based on these numbers. And I don't know how you get back to generating advertising revenue of what would be six-fold what it was three years ago. And if you do have support for that, I'd like to hear about it.
2943 MR. HARNETT: Mr. Katz, I would just like to point out that the first thing we have to look at is that CKLN is well capitalized at this time. Recently we have just received $190,000 from the RSU as a transfer payment. Most recent FundFEST yielded $50,000 worth of pledges. We are still obviously securing those monies and collecting those monies as we speak.
2944 As a third revenue stream in parallel obviously there is the advertising component. We need to obviously be more effectual on that and capture the advertising revenue stream and improve that. That is going to be a challenge as we move forward.
2945 Certainly, it doesn't take a PhD student to figure out that, overall, the advertising market is a soft one at best right now. And we are doing everything and will be doing everything we can to try to and improve that.
2946 We need to obviously take a look at our cost structure in terms of what we charge per minute, per 30-second spot, and reach out to communities and maybe drop our prices and get a business plan in that area. However, that's a great opportunity for us to improve.
2947 I would like to answer the next question, which is relative to staff. If we look at Mr. Nelson's statement about previous staff, there were certainly some fulltime positions and there were also some part-time positions available which made that up. Now, my personal belief is in the past at the station that progressively less and less was coming back in terms of return on investment for the amount of staff that was being put in place.
2948 What we need to do as we look forward is designate and be diligent in terms of specific requirements and meeting specific requirements on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis, and the Board will actually monitor that as well.
2949 We would also supplement the fulltime employment of two personnel with some part-time components and that could be monitored and changed, depending on the financial viability of the corporation. There is a budget in place as we move forward this year. There are a number of capital projects that we are looking at executing, there is some infrastructure, as mentioned prior, that has to be replaced and improved, systems need to be improved and all those items are being worked on simultaneously.
2950 There is a new advertising policy as well which we haven't really talked about. All these items are being looked at in a parallel fashion.
2951 In terms of modernization, the yield and the response isn't going to be overnight, but a lot of these things have to be moved forward and we are working on them. As I say, it is going to take a little bit of time, but the main things are, as a primary and core component, is the day to day operations which can be looked after by a minimum of two staff. We have already hired one individual on a contract basis as well to assist us during our FundFEST process and that is still ongoing.
2952 So we are also reducing our cost structure and looking at specifics that have to be met in terms of CRTC compliance, StatsCan compliance and working within our building operation and proficiency from an on-air standpoint.
2953 THE CHAIRPERSON: But I think I heard you say, based on the data that we have for 2009, 2010, you were in the order of $240,000 to $245,000. You are saying the RSU piece of it is $190,000 and you have pledges of $50,000. So you are still at that same $240,000.
2954 MR. HARNETT: I have talked to some management elements, the Chief of Finance at Ryerson University, we are looking probably in the order of transfer payments, approximately $238,000 from the University for this fiscal year, moving forward. On top of that obviously, in theory, we have $50,000 worth of pledges for the FundFEST campaign, it is tenable that maybe we will get 60 per cent as a realistic number in terms of capture there.
2955 And certainly, the one area which is critical as we move forward is the capture and improvement of advertising revenue. I am not going to try and fool you here, as I mentioned prior, the market is a very tough and difficult one.
2956 And certainly as the station moves forward and re-establishes itself in terms of credibility within the community, we have to prove ourselves, so that will be a little bit sluggish and maybe we are not going to get the traction that we are looking for. But it is a great opportunity for us to focus on.
2957 MR. NELSON: I would like to add to what Michael just said as well. My voice is going from bad to worse. I can't talk.
2958 I did say six to seven people for community radio stations. But Commission, please note that there are many stations like CKLN that operates traditionally on a staff of one, two or even three people at times. I don't think we need to go back to a staff of six to seven people.
2959 The question is mathematical. You are saying that if we have $300,000 in the bank, how are we possibly in a fiscal year going to survive by paying the cost of staff, which you can add up to be perhaps $180,000, which would leave $120,000 left. Can you run a radio station on $120,000? I think you are breaking down the math and basically saying when we say we are solvent what does that really mean?
2960 And I would like to reiterate that we do have a radio station that, in our opinion, is solvent. We have been discussing as a board the step by step procedures involved in hiring limited staff and basically graduating as time moves forward into the future. We cannot immediately jump back into being the radio station that we were three years ago, that would not be practical.
2961 This station is also faced with operational costs, technical costs, there is different improvements, and we have had to balance that money that we are getting to try and figure how we solve all of the problems right across the board. So while there is an issue of staff, we are also recognizing that the equipment needs to be updated, this needs to be done, that needs to be done and none of us are going and irresponsibly spending. What we do is we meet and we talk and we budget and we prioritize and we can only take care of one step at a time.
2962 It is only in the last two weeks that we have had this money. So up until two weeks ago we have been planning mostly without execution because there was no money to execute. So at this point what we are saying is that now that the money is there, we can actually start to execute some of those plans.
2963 And like I said, it's not just a staffing issue relating to the number of staff, but also the equipment that has to be purchased that will also solve other problems that are resulting at CKLN, which is again some of the reasons why we are here.
2964 THE CHAIRPERSON: But I must be missing something. The money is always there, notwithstanding the fact the students' union, the RSU, may have held back the money for a period of time.
2965 The reality is the money is guaranteed. Every student is obligated to pay it. So it is sitting there, in escrow maybe, and maybe the bills are falling behind. But you know for certainty that money is coming in.
2966 MR. NELSON: Well, in theory, yes. In theory, yes. But because of the --
2967 THE CHAIRPERSON: In practice, yes, as well.
2968 MR. NELSON: -- because of the political climate leading up to this point in time and with the money being held and with different so-called boards having to sort themselves out so that the RSU recognizes which is the only legal legitimate board, all of that took a long time.
2969 CKLN, as we have seen here, was basically put on hold while all of these problems were resolved. Nobody wanted to be liable for making the wrong decision. So it was a very unique time for CKLN. I don't think this has happened before in the history of community radio even.
2970 But there is a huge dispute and different legal parties were involved in different sides, and it could not be resolved overnight. And when the station was shutdown the parties still kept trying to resolve the dispute. And it was only after an extended period of time and a lot of work and a lot of meetings and a lot of resolution, a lot of mediation, that there was finally a decision by the RSU.
2971 And even when they made the decision to recognize that this board is a legitimate board of CKLN, there was no money in the bank. So we had to wait for them not only to make the decision, but for their lawyers and legal people to feel comfortable enough to forward us the money and, like I said --
2972 THE CHAIRPERSON: But that quite frankly, with all due respect, has zero relevance in my mind. The requirement to operate a radio station is an obligation with rules and regulations.
2973 The fact that shareholders, boards, have disputes go on all the time in businesses. The reality is the need for fulltime supervision and running of this thing is paramount if a licence is to be issued and kept in good standing.
2974 Any employee you wanted to hire, all you had to do was walk into Mr. Whitfield's office and say, is there money sitting there to pay me at some point in time? And I gather he would have said, there is an obligation by the university to collect that money and it is sitting there.
2975 And so there is no stopping you or any other board from hiring those people that are required to meet the obligations notwithstanding the fact there may be shareholder disputes, board disputes or anything else going on. It is irrelevant to me, in my mind.
2976 MR. LEHRER: Our problem in the past year, and perhaps Mr. Harnett can speak to this, is we had bills that had been accumulated by the previous board that needed to be cleared. And it either would have taken several years to clear that or we felt it was necessary to clear that as quickly as possible so that we would be in a stable position to be able to hire staff.
2977 THE CHAIRPERSON: So the way you did that was to breach every one of your conditions of licence and make sure that you wouldn't comply on any of your conditions of licence in order to get rid of your obligations? Is that what I hear?
2978 MR. LEHRER: No. Most of the breaches that we are here occurred before we came into office. We worked very quickly I think to try to come into compliance and we have been working very hard to make sure that we are otherwise coming into compliance.
2979 It would have been preferable if we had a program director or station manager over the past year. But I don't think fiscally we would have been able to do it. Perhaps Mr. Harnett could speak to that.
2980 MR. HARNETT: Yes. At that time unfortunately CKLN was involved in litigation. The funding that was available obviously was being used to fight that campaign and continue to provide, how should I say, protection for the corporation. The litigation costs have been in the order of $85,000.
2981 Now, that certainly would have been a minimum of two fulltime staff and a number of, you know, part-time commissioned individuals, which certainly would have helped us.
2982 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you made the decision to breach your conditions of licence consciously in order to save money, in order to pay for your legal disputes between some other folks. That has no relevance to us.
2983 MR. HARNETT: Understood.
2984 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think you mentioned, one of you a few minutes ago, that you are looking at rejoining the NCRA?
2985 MR. LEHRER: One of our first decisions was to rejoin the NCRA, and we did that a year ago.
2986 THE CHAIRPERSON: Why did CKLN ever leave the NCRA?
2987 MR. LEHRER: I don't know. That was the previous board made a decision to leave the NCRA. I think there are members of the previous board who will be speaking later, perhaps they would be able to answer that. But we don't agree with that decision and one of our first decisions was to rejoin.
2988 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Whitfield, you mentioned earlier that you are not here to support or to confirm that Ryerson University supports the endeavours of CKLN. Why is that?
2989 MR. WHITFIELD: I don't represent Ryerson University. I represent the Ryerson Students' Union, and we are two distinct separate organizations. I can't act on behalf of the university.
2990 What I could say maybe, in terms of the historical perspective of the university, is that they did agree many years ago and on at least two occasions to hold referenda to ask students to pay CKLN fees. And so they did organize and I guess allow for those referenda to continue. And through each year they have proceeded to collect the CKLN membership fee.
2991 Although I am not in a position to speak on behalf of the university, I don't represent the university or work for the university, that would suggest that perhaps they are acceptable to CKLN because they are collecting those fees and now passing them on, and they allowed those fees to exist. And they allowed for space, for example, in the administrative buildings before we had our student campus side, the current home of CKLN, and so those could be some examples that you could point to.
2992 Maybe just a quick note on the way student fees work is we get fees and CKLN is provided fees in three instalments. So they are right to suggest that there is a $190,000 fee disbursement this past November. That is the first chunk of money. There is an additional payment of funds that balances out in January/February time, and the remaining amount of membership fees based on actual enrolments numbers are provided in July. So it is a three-cycle period and that hasn't changed.
2993 I think in the last year there was probably three different disbursements, the largest being September 2009 I think, which is when all of that money that was held in trust was provided.
2994 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think you mentioned earlier as well that there were a couple referenda. What were the years of those referenda?
2995 MR. WHITFIELD: I would have to check back. But from my recollection, it was maybe middle 1980s, maybe around 1985. And then again I believe in 1992 I think, but it could have been 1998 when the successful referenda passed.
2996 THE CHAIRPERSON: And there hasn't been another one since?
2997 MR. WHITFIELD: Not to my knowledge.
2998 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is there a process under which Ryerson University engages in these types of referenda to see what students are supporting in the way of RSU activities?
2999 MR. WHITFIELD: My understanding from the university in this discussion is that they wouldn't hold a referendum, for example, to ask students if they continue to support CKLN today. Although they don't have a clear policy that outlines how that might happen, in discussions it seems like it would need to be a request from students on campus, perhaps through a petition or a letter or that sort of thing that asks the university to conduct a referendum.
3000 But there doesn't appear to be clear outlines within the university policy that would either trigger a referendum or, you know, there is not a cycle every five years as a referendum, for example.
3001 That being said, the university's board of governors, which is responsible for the financial decisions of the university, I suppose could require a referendum for any number of reasons. That is the authority that governs referendum on campus.
3002 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is it unusual that a president of students' union doesn't sit on the administrative body of the university?
3003 MR. WHITFIELD: No, not at all. It is very wide-ranging across universities. In many situations student representatives on the board of governors are elected independently of students' unions and it varies across campuses.
3004 Although I would agree in a perfect world, students' union representatives would be on the board of governors. In this case I look at U of T and York as two examples, even Ottawa U, where I don't believe students' union representatives sit on the board of governors.
3005 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are on the board of the CKLN administrative body, that is why you are here?
3006 MR. WHITFIELD: Yes.
3007 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you attend their meetings regularly?
3008 MR. WHITFIELD: Most recently I haven't been attending regularly. I found that having maybe over regular scheduled board of directors meetings has caused a conflict for me to be able to attend.
3009 THE CHAIRPERSON: In the last 12 months how many meetings were there and how many have you attended?
3010 MR. WHITFIELD: I couldn't give you numbers on either of those off the top of my head. But most recently, I think meetings are maybe once a week. I probably have maybe attended one or two since September.
3011 THE CHAIRPERSON: And since last September?
3012 MR. WHITFIELD: I couldn't give you a number off the top of my head.
3013 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Nelson, do you keep track of who attends your board meetings?
3014 MR. NELSON: Yes and no. We take attendance sometimes, but since it has become a working board everyone attends that are here now, with the exception of Toby. Toby's obligations do keep him away from most of our CKLN board meetings traditionally.
3015 THE CHAIRPERSON: There is only seven of you or nine of you in total. Think back over the last 12 months and give me, in order of magnitude, as to what per cent of those board meetings Mr. Whitfield attended.
3016 MR. LEHRER: As I recall, Mr. Whitfield attended I think it was in late August, so one meeting this year. I think he may have attended one meeting in 2009.
3017 THE CHAIRPERSON: So he attended two meetings in total. And I believe you said you have board meetings every week?
3018 MR. LEHRER: Three times a month I would say, every week or every two weeks depending on...
3019 THE CHAIRPERSON: So Mr. Whitfield, you haven't been attending very often.
3020 Now, as I understand in reading some of the material, there was a period of time where the RSU locked out certain people in CKLN. Was that with your support?
3021 MR. WHITFIELD: I think what you are referring is decisions of the PALIN Foundation, which is the I guess main tenant or main operator of the student campus centre to which CKLN exists or has space in. And so for two years I acted as treasurer of that board of directors for the student campus centre and this year I occupy or act as chair.
3022 And so in that decision, which is maybe about a year and a half ago now, that was the decision that came out of concerns with safety for other users of the building. And so a decision was made by the student centre to I guess prevent access publicly.
3023 And part of the problem was that leading up to that two distinct groups of individuals claiming to be the board of directors each changed the locks to the entire or maybe to most of the space that CKLN occupied.
3024 And a third situation happened where you could call it an occupation or an attempt to enter unauthorized. And so we had different groups of people changing locks and assuming control over the space on a regular basis, which made it impossible for the student centre board of directors to understand who actually had control over that space.
3025 And so in that time when the locks were changed by the landlord or by the student campus centre access was permitted to I don't know if it was an engineer or whoever, so that they were able to continue to play music and that sort of thing.
3026 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you currently act as a board member to CKLN FM Radio Inc. and, as chairman of the PALIN Foundation that provides the space and the access for the station?
3027 MR. WHITFIELD: In terms of space the space for CKLN exists within the operating agreement that four different groups have signed onto to essentially create the students' centre. And those signatories include Ryerson University, Ryerson Centre, the Ryerson Students' Union and the Continuing Education Student Association at Ryerson.
3028 And space is provide to CKLN irrespective of the decisions of the board at the time of the students' centre. So that space is entrenched within the operating agreement of the student campus centre.
3029 THE CHAIRPERSON: So my question is still the same. If an issue comes up with regard to safety, security or whatever, you are on the board and you want to continue to obviously have access in order to broadcast while at the same time you are president of the PALIN foundation which is looking for the safety and security of everybody in the building. How do you marry those two obligations?
3030 MR. WHITFIELD: Well, I think that the challenge is essentially to analyze what the current situation is. I mean, I guess going forward in the future it would be to attempt to have a mediation or attempt to bring the parties together and determine a way forward first. And failing that resolution, it would be to determine what is in the best interest of all parties at the time.
3031 Looking back, I think that is what was tried, a mediation was scheduled, the students' union absorbed the legal costs associated with trying to host a mediation, that failed, and then several other actions and incidences occurred after that, which resulted in at one point access being restricted to the suites of CKLN at the time we believe to prevent any additional security issues and for the safety of those in the building.
3032 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you recuse yourself or step aside if discussions were being held at the CKLN board meeting with regard to access or safety and security issues and would you do the same thin on the PALIN Foundation side?
3033 Like, where would you throw your allegiance if you had to make a decision that was obviously in conflict on both sides?
3034 MR. WHITFIELD: I think what I would first try to do is to attempt to have some mediation between the parties, which I think is a useful first step in the situation, given the fact that there is different groups that occupy and share space in the building. And I think it is to everyone's benefit to try to come to a resolution first.
3035 If there is discussions, I think there is a way to have discussions at the table as a representative of the Ryerson Students' Union on the CKLN board. The current by-laws discuss the fact that my seat on CKLN is to represent the best interests of the students' union, which is the representative of all students on campus. And so I think there is a way to do that in both settings.
3036 THE CHAIRPERSON: I want to come back to the financial statements just briefly.
3037 Two things. One is, when I read over the April 30th, 2008 financial statements that were audited and dated July 20th, 2010 there is a reference to a contingency on item no. 7 and it refers to a claim filed by the Ontario Superior Court by former volunteers and members of CKLN seeking $200,000 in damages related to the termination of their volunteer privileges and the governance of the station.
3038 Can you tell me what that is about and where that has evolved to? Because that statement does not appear in the 2009 or 2010 statements.
3039 MR. LEHRER: Yes. That was an action by Mr. Duffell and Mr. Besharat when they were excluded from the station. I think it was in 2006 or 2007 they sued, unusually, as volunteers, claiming that they had a right to be volunteers. And the previous board came to a settlement I think it was in 2008, the end of 2008. So that was resolved, that was settled.
3040 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And the other question I had on the financial statements is they are all dated on an annual basis as of April 30th. Fiscal year for broadcasters has been for many many years August 30th. Is there a reason why your auditor chose to not comply with the obligations of all broadcasters to provide financial statements as of August of every fiscal year?
3041 MR. HARNETT: The auditor, Yale & Partners, had taken the financial statements that were prepared for RevCan and obviously mistakenly utilized those for submission to your office.
3042 MR. LEHRER: I am not certain, but I asked Yale & Partners whether we should switch to August 31st. They said their experience was that it was better to do it on April 30th, because that gives time to finish the audit over the summer in preparation for an AGM in the fall.
3043 THE CHAIRPERSON: What you choose to do with your auditors for your purposes and for CRA is irrespective of what the radio regulations and the obligations require for all broadcasting licensees in Canada.
3044 MR. LEHRER: We can certainly direct our auditors to -- and actually we have to change the by-laws I think as well now too, to switch the year end to August 31st. The current by-laws actually state that the year end is April 30th, and that has been I think in the by-laws for 20 years. So that is something that would need to be corrected and we can certainly do that.
3045 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I have a series of questions on programming, but I thought it might be best to take a break and then I will complete with the programming questions. And my colleagues on the panel I have no doubt have other questions as well.
3046 So let's take a break for 15 minutes. We will resume at 10:55.
--- Upon recessing at 1040
--- Upon resuming at 1107
3047 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just before we go on to programming issues, I just want to follow up on two issues with regard to our conversation this morning.
3048 One of them was your comment that there were times when you were non-compliant. You seemed to imply that it all came before you folks took over the board.
3049 Can you just confirm to what extent there was a crossover point? Because in reading some of the material, it appears as though some of the transgressions, if I can call it that again, took place after July 2009.
3050 MR. LEHRER: Yes, most of the transgressions occurred before July 2009, that is the being off air in or between January and -- or in February and June, the June tapes, et cetera.
3051 Now, after July 2009, we were out of compliance in regards to the logger tapes. Because we didn't have a proper logger system in place, we had an inaudible logger system and we didn't compile proper logs when requested. That is entirely -- it was our fault for not compiling proper logs and for not upgrading the logger system immediately, but it was addressed as soon as it was brought to our attention.
3052 So there was no deliberate decision to be in non-compliance, just to clarify an earlier statement.
3053 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you did choose to divert the funding that you had towards legal fees for a dispute at the board level and, as I heard you say, you chose not to hire professional staff to manage because you didn't have the money to do it?
3054 MR. LEHRER: Our understanding is that it is not a regulatory requirement for us to have paid staff. So we didn't make a deliberate decision -- we made a decision not to have paid staff, but we didn't make a deliberate decision to be in non-compliance.
3055 Now, an unintended side effect of not having a program director in place was that proper logs weren't compiled, but it is not a deliberate decision to not have proper logs, if that makes sense.
3056 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are there other universities, to your knowledge, in Canada that don't have a station manager?
3057 MR. LEHRER: I believe some other stations have different structures. I don't know if there are any other stations that don't have staff. Perhaps Ms Robinson can clarify.
3058 There may be one station in British Columbia that doesn't have staff, I am not sure, but I believe most stations would have at least one or two staff.
3059 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. When there are board meetings and you hold board meetings, is there always student representation at these boards?
3060 I know you said that you are shy two students right now and you have two on your board. So there are five of you and two students, that is seven. Is there always representation from students at these board meetings?
3061 MR. NELSON: For the majority, yes. There have been downtimes where the students will see the workload that is involved in being a working board and with the nature of being a student and having exams, it is not practical or realistic for them to keep up to the pace that we have been keeping up as non-students.
3062 But more or less I would say 70 percent of all board meetings have student representation, at a minimum 70 percent.
3063 MR. LEHRER: If I can add something, we have two very dedicated students on the board currently who joined in October and they have been -- they didn't attend the last meeting because they were studying for exams, but they have attended several meetings this month -- since they got elected.
3064 The problems we have had are more in the summer, and this may be a problem at other stations as well. In the summer students may graduate and may technically still be on the board but aren't really committed at that point or they may be away. They may have summer jobs. They may be out of town.
3065 That is a problem we had this summer. One student was in Montreal. One student was, you know, in Pennsylvania part of the time.
3066 We are changing the bylaws so that the terms end at the end of the school year rather than -- currently they end in October, and hopefully, that will reduce the problem of having, you know, a fourth-year student join the board and then graduate and remain on the board technically for the whole summer.
3067 We have had a particular problem this summer, but I don't think that is unusual.
3068 MR. NELSON: I would just like to add that historically CKLN has had a difficulty, I guess, attracting students, especially since all the turmoil has happened.
3069 We actually had our student board members, who are now programmers, who were all a part of that dark experience that happened a couple of years back, and now they are non-board members but they are still actively involved in the station as programmers.
3070 But in discussing the history of CKLN with them, for example, it is like, you know, they would really like to just forget the past and deal with the present and the future.
3071 And students over -- we don't understand the reason why, we think it is because of the successful fundraising and the morale being higher, but in the last month we have been inundated with so many students who now want to become part of CKLN, it is almost like we don't know what to do with them.
3072 So we are very happy with the fact that we have become repopularized from a student point of view.
3073 THE CHAIRPERSON: Let me ask the question a little differently.
3074 Can the five of you, in the absence of any student representation, pass bylaw changes that materially impact the way CKLN operates without any student representative on the board?
3075 Are there special resolutions that require a certain number of student representatives to be there to support and ratify it or do you folks who basically are not employees or students of the university have the wherewithal to make changes of a material nature?
3076 MR. LEHRER: If there is a full board, then no, because we would only make up four people in terms of the board, and there are four students and Toby who would be a majority.
3077 I believe under the new system there will be a -- it will be equally divided between Ryerson and not necessarily Ryerson. So there will be, I think it is six Ryerson representatives, four students, one Ryerson faculty or staff and an RSU representative, and six -- or three community members and three staff members or volunteer members.
3078 So there will be an equal balance on the board between Ryerson and non-Ryerson. And in fact, several of the non-Ryerson could be Ryerson alumni or Ryerson students --
3079 THE CHAIRPERSON: And hypothetically if the students couldn't show up for whatever reason, you still could go ahead and have a vote?
3080 MR. LEHRER: If there is quorum, and quorum is a majority.
3081 THE CHAIRPERSON: A straight majority?
3082 MR. LEHRER: Yes.
3083 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
3084 Let's go back to where I wanted to start actually and that is programming.
3085 Can you spend some time talking about how you address programming with your volunteers, who actually has the authority to authorize volunteers to put on their shows, how are they done, how are they trained, what controls are there in place to address issues that deal with regulation?
3086 MR. NELSON: As far as programming goes at CKLN, the first thing we did was continue the grid that had existed before we came in as a board.
3087 We tried to repair the station grid on a 24-hour seven-day-a-week to basically as close to decency as possible and that meant coming in and putting people back in place who had been dismissed or fired and also keeping some of the people who had come in on a temporary basis and basically trying to create a new CKLN platform.
3088 Since then there has not been a need to make a lot of programming changes, not severe ones anyway, because there has been an equilibrium of sorts where the station has continued to sound good with the programming and the shows that are in place.
3089 Obviously, over time, some students have come and gone and we have had to replace them and replace shows.
3090 In order to keep our spoken word mandate, for example, one of the things that we did was examine the 70 grid to find out if we had enough spoken word. Some of this we didn't know as a board.
3091 Any individual here is not a program director. We have never been a program director at a radio station before. So we had to do a lot of consulting with the NCRA and other radio stations and their program directors, such as CHRY and CIUT, to find out how to do our job properly.
3092 Since then, the system that we use is a system where we are all program directors in the sense that we all monitor the station on a 24-hour basis.
3093 I, for example, am the one that has my name and phone number in the on-air booth. So if there are any technical issues, any staffing issues, any problems with someone not being able to do their show or, you know, something is wrong with equipment, on a 24-hour-per-day basis they can call me and I will answer the phone.
3094 Bruce is also a technical person as well.
3095 Andrew is not. Andrew is mostly involved with spoken word components. If somebody wants a job in CKLN and they apply via e-mail or by coming into the station and filling out an application or by going to our website and applying there, I usually like to have Andrew be the one that more or less screens applicants who want to do spoken word.
3096 Myself and Bryce would be the ones who would more or less screen applicants who want to do music shows and then we look at the availability of the grid and we try to work these people in. With priority we are trying to work in students.
3097 If a student applies, we tell them straightforward that look, you know, you guys are the ones that fund CKLN chiefly and primarily. The advertising revenue is basically a very small factor. If it wasn't for the student union financing us $234,000 a year, stations like CKLN, not just CKLN, would not exist.
3098 We are not going to ever profit from advertising revenue. That is not the nature of community radio. When you add up the bills at the end of the year, it is a drop in the bucket, maybe $30,000, but the bills that we pay out on a regular basis are far in excess of that.
3099 So we have been trying to -- in anticipation of a program director coming along the way down the line, we have been trying to do some of this work ourselves and we have been successful in getting a lot of students into the station because we pick them first over regular volunteers.
3100 Then there's the music shows and the people from the general community who want shows as well. We have had to put many of those people on a waiting list because, as I said, when we restored the grid, it was almost full 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with a few exceptions.
3101 The problems that we are having are mostly on overnights. It is hard to get people between 3:00 in the morning and 6:00 in the morning. Those areas are areas where we are repeating programming when possible.
3102 But other than that we have been pretty successful in terms of having a demand that we have not yet been able to exceed.
3103 Bryce may want to --
3104 MR. SEEFIELDT: If I may, in moving forward, one of the major motions of the board recently has been to move to create a programming committee to work alongside the programming director in the new year.
3105 So these are two prime objectives, not only that paid staff that we mentioned before, but also a programming committee consisting of community members, volunteers and other influential people so that we do have a diverse group of people.
3106 We have no intention in the long term of being the programming committee of CKLN, as we have mentioned, just in taking immediate action to fill voids that were necessary. But in moving forward, it is our main objective to create a position and a committee as well that will be responsible for this.
3107 THE CHAIRPERSON: So when a volunteer comes in and wants to put on a program and you put him on a list and he passes that hurdle and he gets a slot, I don't know, 7:00 to 9:00 on Sunday evening or something, what else is he told about what he can and can't do, how he can do it, how many hours of training do they get in advance of going on air? What is the process that you use to deal with on-air activities?
3108 MR. NELSON: Well, there's a few things that we direct them to do.
3109 First of all, if they are going to get a show, the first thing that we do is give them training. I do a lot of the training myself. I have organized training workshops that go for, you know, entire weekends. We also have a few people actively involved that are very good technically who will train anyone who is about to go on the air in the future. So that is one of the things that we do.
3110 We also have them familiarize themselves with CKLN and its mandates and we have a programmer's handbook which is very, very important that we stress and enforce for all programmers to read because it basically covers all the concerns that anyone on the air needs to address if they are going to stay on the air.
3111 All the rules and regulations are there, all the guidelines, the understanding, the language as to what separates community radio from commercial radio. Everything that we need to know in terms of how to serve our communities and how to represent those underprivileged audiences properly is all there.
3112 And if and when they get a firm understanding of what our purpose is, then we feel that then they are ready for CKLN Radio, not before.
3113 Because a lot of students, for example, are pop radio-oriented. They have been trained on Q107 and CHUM FM. So when they come to CKLN to do a show, you know, they want to play the hits and we have to sit them down and say, look, this is the kind of a radio station we are and if you can live with that, then maybe you can be part of this organization.
3114 THE CHAIRPERSON: So when you say, Mr. Nelson, that you spend weekends training, is it compulsory training? Is there an exam afterwards? Do they just come in when they want to come in and ask questions as necessary? How does it work?
3115 MR. NELSON: Well, we send out an e-blast to all volunteers and then we call them. In many cases the training has been mandatory because one of the things we discovered is that, you know, there was a lack of people having been trained from administrations prior, so we needed to rehash the whole thing.
3116 And no, there is not an exam afterwards, but the training sessions are done in small groups of three or four people, so when people are trained they have an opportunity to do it hands-on.
3117 That is one of the things that I learned. It is one thing sitting there and people telling you things and you can walk out of a room and forget it all.
3118 So we encourage programmers to do the hands-on version and the other two people in the room sit there and watch and wait their turn. Then there is satisfaction when it's all said and done.
3119 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So this board took over in July 2009 and I understand that Mr. Lehrer has probably written at least 15 letters since the deferral of the hearing in May, apologizing for all the on-air issues that have taken place with regard to profanity, with regard to racist comments, with regard to dead air, with regard to a whole host of issues that I could go through if I wanted to but I mean these are issues that have come up in the last six months. You have them as well.
3120 I would like to hear from you as to how you respond to the fact that these allegations -- and that is what they are right now, are allegations that you have not done anything to protect the broadcasting system from the regulations that require controls on profanity, controls on offensive speech, controls on language.
3121 MR. SEEFIELDT: If I may, it is always an issue when you have obviously this large amount of volunteers coming onto the air. However, there is a signed contract stating very clearly what their programming guidelines are, and any programs that violate those guidelines do meet with consequences.
3122 There are strict consequences for profanity on air, strict consequences for racism, any kind of violations of their programming guidelines. We are even in the process of refining it more and redeveloping a programming handbook that is -- you know, that could always from year to year use updates.
3123 But we want to start being very -- even more so clear with the punishments and with the mandate, and it has been very, very strictly enforced that anyone who does currently violate any of the rules is going to be suspended, with the potential of losing their program permanently.
3124 THE CHAIRPERSON: But the damage is already done.
3125 MR. SEEFIELDT: The damage is done, yes.
3126 THE CHAIRPERSON: So someone has put something on the radio, you have put it on, you have authorized someone and they have gone ahead and used four-letter words, they have used comments that are not respectful of others, pursuant to our Regulations.
3127 It has been done and after the fact you will bring them in and, I guess, speak to them?
3128 MR. SEEFIELDT: The guidelines state that they will be suspended immediately if they violate it and any reoccurrence of the same offence will cause a potential loss of your program.
3129 MR. LEHRER: I mean we have disputed the allegations regarding a racist speech. There is a debate within, I think, the hip-hop community about the use of a particular word by African American artists and whether that is racist or not. So there is an argument there that in fact what they are doing is reclaiming the word for themselves, the same way that the lesbian and gay community reclaimed the word "queer."
3130 In regards to profanity, the letter we wrote to the Secretary General on November 26th reviews a number of the allegations and it seems a number of them actually come out of only two or three incidents. In fact, one will generate five or six complaints and those complaints will be generated weeks after the fact, which is a bit curious.
3131 But just because there have been 17 or 11 complaints doesn't mean there have been 11 incidents. There have been far fewer incidents, but they have generated more complaints, and we have taken action when those complaints have occurred.
3132 A number of those complaints are anonymous -- or not anonymous, but they are made without people supplying addresses and they are made weeks after the fact. So they seem to be pseudo-anonymous.
3133 But in any case, when there are actual incidents where a profanity has occurred, we have -- there have been reasons for that. Usually there has been a failure such as a broadcaster didn't show up at 6:00 in the morning, so the previous broadcaster continues his show and airs material that is inappropriate for the post-6:00 a.m. time slot.
3134 We have warned, for instance, all the overnight programmers, don't do that, if anything -- you know, if the next programmer doesn't show up at 6:00 a.m., don't continue playing -- don't play any music from your personal collection that has profanity in it.
3135 We have also had problems recently with a Saturday afternoon show that Bryce is familiar with because it has been relying on a tape-delay system and they have been playing -- they have been pushing what is called the dumb switch whenever a profane word occurs and that hasn't been effective.
3136 That was effective actually for a while but it doesn't catch all the words. So we have informed them that using that -- relying on the dumb switch to censor words isn't a reliable system.
3137 You have to listen to your music ahead of time and edit it ahead of time if necessary rather than play a song with obscene words and then press the switch, hoping that it will catch it.
3138 So perhaps, Bryce, you could --
3139 MR. SEEFIELDT: Just as I mentioned before, and I just want to reiterate, as you mentioned, damage is done instantly. There is very little you can do to take back what has been done.
3140 That being said, we see it as a training -- part of it is a training issue and part of it is past guidelines from previous administrations, that were set forward when most of these programmers started, being perhaps not quite specific enough in terms of the mandate and then the consequences.
3141 Our prime objective right now is to set forward very clearly to every programmer that is on the air the mandate and the consequences, and acting on those consequences has been -- you know, it is not easy to be -- especially as fellow programmers who share the station with others, it is not easy to be the disciplinarian but we are glad to do it because it means that people are learning their lessons.
3142 We are seeing now, in the last six months and eight months, a huge shift just in understanding and actual education on what the policies are and what is going to happen if you violate. People have unintentionally tested that policy and have been reprimanded for it and that has continued to cause improvements, in my observation, improvements in that problem.
3143 THE CHAIRPERSON: You keep talking about the fact that a lot of this occurred prior to this board.
3144 Let's talk about Tacoma, Washington, and the fact you had a fill-in program by one of your, I guess, volunteers who plugged in a U.S. broadcast, holus bolus, with advertising, music and everything else for a period of time. So you reprimanded him.
3145 What does that say about the Canadian broadcasting system and the ability for somebody, unsupervised, to plug something in for several hours, and I don't know how many times it was done?
3146 MR. LEHRER: It occurred once and what occurred in that case was the usual host of a jazz show that begins at 7:00 a.m. was ill or had a doctor's appointment and wasn't able to come in and the person who was in there, who had hosted the previous show, improvised and thought he was helping out by picking up something from the Internet and playing it.
3147 So that was a serious mistake and it happened once -- it only happened once -- and we make it clear to him that that is not acceptable.
3148 We are putting a system in place of having back-up shows that are accessible so that if someone doesn't show up or if someone isn't available, there is a back-up available on our computer and you don't have to improvise and go online or do something like that.
3149 But that was a serious mistake and we apologize for that. That was certainly unacceptable.
3150 THE CHAIRPERSON: The apology is not what I am looking for. What I am looking for is you of CKLN and this Commission making sure that Canadians follow the broadcasting system based on the regulations and the laws and Canadians listen to that component of the radio station that follows those rules and not those that don't, and living by experience and saying we found somebody, we have corrected it in a live situation, I don't think is the right way of doing it, not for you and not for any other radio station in Canada, private, public or campus.
3151 MR. NELSON: We agree and I think looking back at the condition, the situation there, the programmer feared dead air so much that when he found that content, he thought he was doing a much better job of resolving a situation where there was, you know, no guidance on how to resolve it.
3152 So since then we have learned from that experience, sir.
3153 MR. LEHRER: We now have a number in the studio where someone would phone Ron or phone someone else if there is a problem and get advice if he or she didn't already know what to do, rather than improvising on the run early in the morning.
3154 MR. SEEFIELDT: In general, I feel a lot of the programmers have been in place since before this board came into being. A lot of people have been on air for quite some time and were trained well in advance to any of us arriving.
3155 So us gaining a knowledge of what people's actual base of training and now retraining them and filling in the blanks that were left for many years within the programming handbook and such is a huge priority.
3156 Training is being done as we speak to avoid us having to reprimand so that we are in advance letting people know very clearly what their mandate is and how they need to react to certain situations.
3157 As well, the technical aspect of the station from, as you mentioned, back-up shows to buffers and dump switches, all these things that technically can help us solve this before it happens, these are things that were neglected in past administrations.
3158 When we're talking about six ---
3159 THE CHAIRPERSON: They were neglected in the current administration.
3160 MR. SEAFIELDT: Well, in ---
3161 THE CHAIRPERSON: You've been on the Board -- perhaps not yourself, Mister ---
3162 MR. SEAFIELDT: Seafieldt.
3163 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- Seafieldt, but the rest of the Members here have been on this Board since July 2009 ---
3164 MR. SEAFIELDT: But what I'm referring to is a technical advancement that is a huge investment. And while there was seven paid staff on the CKLN budget, no improvements were being made to the technical aspect of the station. And now we come in with a zero balance -- not myself, but this Board comes in with a zero balance and has to balance hiring new staff plus updating all these technologies which were neglected for years.
3165 We're not talking about they didn't update between 2003 and 2005. A lot of the technologies that they neglected to update are well past that. And it is now our prime objective to put those well overdue things in place. And it's not an overnight thing.
3166 It is a huge investment, and also a consultation that includes the whole community, as a community-run station, as to what these technologies are going to be and how we want to see them implemented.
3167 THE CHAIRPERSON: You talk about a zero balance and, again, I come back to the statement that I made earlier and that you confirmed, and that is -- or Mr. Whitfield confirmed, and that is student fees are guaranteed. They go up by cost of living or inflation or whatever method the university has agreed to, and it's guaranteed.
3168 And so when you come out with a zero balance, I'm not quite sure what "zero" means.
3169 MR. SEAFIELDT: Well, without leverage, without leverage or credit we can't use that money; therefore, we cannot go out and purchase equipment based on potential money coming from ---
3170 THE CHAIRPERSON: You can certainly go out and hire an administrator to make sure that what you're broadcasting, what is being broadcast complies with the Broadcasting Act and the Regulations pursuant to that Broadcasting Act.
3171 And this Board, your Board prior to your time, perhaps, chose not to and made a different decision. And that's what it is. It was a different decision that was made. That's reality.
3172 Anyways, those are my comments right now. I think my fellow Commissioners are going to have comments as well, and I may come back later on.
3173 Commissioner Menzies.
3174 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thanks. I'll try to be brief, and if you can make the responses brief, too, that would probably help move things along.
3175 I just want to confirm sort of for the record from your discussion with Chairman Katz here that you accept all the incidents of non-compliance that your -- you agree that the station has been in non-compliance in all of those areas?
3176 MR. SEAFIELDT: All of those areas. Can you be ---
3177 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: All of the areas outlined in the hearing documents.
3178 MR. LEHRER: I believe we indicated that in our written responses. If there's an area where we weren't in -- where we would correct you, it doesn't come to mind immediately. So yeah, I believe that's correct.
3179 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And would -- can you say with confidence that, as of today, the station is 100 percent compliant?
3180 MR. NELSON: I would hesitate to use 100 percent, just to be fair and honest. To the best of our knowledge, we're -- I would say we're at 98 percent, but 100 percent is probably a little idealistic until we do hire a program director/station manager and we get a little more control.
3181 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. So as of this day, it's still operating -- it's still non-compliant.
3182 MR. LEHRER: To the best of our knowledge, we're in compliance.
3183 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: To the best of your knowledge, you're in compliance?
3184 MR. LEHRER: Yeah.
3185 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. 'Cause when you said 98 percent, I mean, two percent is non-compliant. I just want to give you -- make sure we clarify that.
3186 MR. NELSON: It's not I can pinpoint what that two percent is. I'm just leaving room for error so that I don't sit here and tell you something that is possibly not true.
3187 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. But what I'm trying to get at is that there isn't any room for that.
3188 MR. LEHRER: Mr. Nelson is trying to be --
3189 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I mean, I'm not asking -- I understand the circumstances that there might be something you do not have knowledge of. But to the best of your knowledge, is the station operating in compliance with Regulations as of today?
3190 MR. NELSON: Yes, I can answer that question. Yes, sir.
3191 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thanks.
3192 I want to ask some questions about your financial situation.
3193 Your advertising revenue pretty much disappeared over the last four years. It's down -- according to the last figures I have, you've got $137,000 less revenue there than you did.
3194 What is your plan -- what is your forecast in terms of budgeting for revenue from advertising and what is the plan that you have in place to get that back?
3195 I understand the market's soft, but there's a lot that went away. So what is the plan to get ---
3196 MR. NELSON: Traditionally, CKLN has one person who sells ads from the radio station itself. All the volunteers are, in accordance with our advertising policy, also encouraged to sell advertising and they get a commission off their advertising sales.
3197 Advertising at CKLN has never been a big portion of its yearly income, but we have a great loyalty amongst our advertisers because of the unique dynamic of what CKLN is, and it being downtown and everything that it stands for.
3198 We have advertisers who, at the end of the year, may not add up to be $100,000 that we would like it, but traditionally, if we can aim for $50,000 I think, based on past performance, that's realistic.
3199 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: What I'm trying to get at is not what happened in the -- I mean, in terms of the pasts, in 2007 you had 153,000 in advertising revenue and you had 171,000 in student fees. Student fees were less than 50 percent of total revenue. In 2009, student fees were 87 percent of total revenue. It's a significant shift.
3200 So what I want to know -- do is not focus on how or why what happened, happened. I want to know whether or not you currently have a plan in place for earning revenue through advertising, yes or no?
3201 MR. HARNETT: Yeah. Actually, the first comment I'd like to make is the actual amount that you're looking at actually reflects the advertising component as well as it also reflects Funfest's input. There's no differentiation.
3202 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Let me try again.
3203 Whatever it is ---
3204 MR. HARNETT: Yes.
3205 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: --- it went away.
3206 MR. HARNETT: Correct.
3207 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Do you have a plan to get it back?
3208 MR. HARNETT: Yes. At the present time, the capture rate is approximately three and a half to four percent in terms of potential advertising revenue. The streams of revenue from advertising have to be multi-layered in that ---
3209 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Who's responsible for that?
3210 MR. HARNETT: At the present time, it is a Board decision and we are looking at ---
3211 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. What is the plan to make it not being a Board decision and to have somebody take charge of it?
3212 MR. HARNETT: Well, the first thing we can do is go and look at advertising agencies such as Mediacom and a number of other institutions out there, utilize them to market -- help market the station, as well as people within the actual station and work those two parallel elements to try and improve the advertising revenue capture.
3213 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. What I'm hearing is you're aware of the issue, you wish to address it, but there's no firm plan in place at this time.
3214 MR. LEHRER: Well, what we've done -- what Mr. Harnett was saying was that the non-student fee component was made up of fundraising in the past, and advertising. We have been able to rehabilitate fundraising where there was no fundraising effort last year and two years ago. I believe only $20,000 was pledged and only something like five or six thousand dollars was collected.
3215 This year we've more than doubled our pledges and we'll hopefully more than double our collection.
3216 With advertising, that will have to be part of the portfolio of a station manager or we'd have to make a decision to actually hire an advertising manager, but we have been increasing advertising in the past six months. We've had more Atlantic Airs in the past few months and we've also increased advertising particularly in the urban market around our reggae shows.
3217 MR. NELSON: Well, the one thing that we did that was probably the most important thing is to create an advertising policy. It was actually the first other than the CRTC reports that we had to do -- was the first policy that this Board had to create, and it addressed all issues concerning advertising at CKLN.
3218 We tried to find policies that had existed from before, but we found that one really needed to be written to address the same concerns that you're bringing up right now.
3219 I will say just to try and answer your questions more directly that there is already an advertising plan in place where myself, for example -- I'm the person selling most of the advertising. We have an email address and a phone number, and if people want to advertise, that information is forwarded to my email and I get back to the client and then we have a contract as part of the policy. And we do the sales and then we get the ad on the air traditionally like we had in the past with -- on a per client basis.
3220 So we have been selling advertising on a weekly basis, and outside of myself being the main person who would take those calls, we also encourage our volunteers to go out there in the community and to get advertising from the people who support their shows. And if they choose to be advertising sales people, then it's my job to train them and to show them how the contract works and how to sell advertising so that they can go out and earn their own commission.
3221 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, fine. Thanks. I think I've got my answer.
3222 MR. NELSON: Thank you.
3223 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Did you wish to say something?
3224 MR. SEEFIELDT: I just wanted to just, in conclusion, the hiring of station management, it'll be a major responsibility immediately in the new year for them to oversee that. And also, the motivation of volunteers as independent sales agents receiving commissions is something we're pushing more and more every day as we train new staff and retrain our old staff and make them very clear of their opportunities to sell advertising for their own show and not only the opportunity, but the necessity and the huge role it plays in the funding of the station, just to conclude.
3225 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
3226 Now, your plan to hire -- your first hire is going to be a station manager? Is that correct?
3227 MR. NELSON: Well, we're going to have a -- we're using the term right now office manager.
3228 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, office manager. What ---
3229 MR. NELSON: To be clear.
3230 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: That's fine. Hire whoever you want.
3231 So this office manager, when is that position going to be filled?
3232 MR. NELSON: We hope to have that person within 60 days -- at least within 60 days. The hiring process should ---
3233 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Has the job been posted for competition?
3234 MR. NELSON: No, that job has not been posted as of yet.
3235 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Has a candidate been identified?
3236 MR. NELSON: No.
3237 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: How much does the job pay?
3238 MR. NELSON: At this point in time the Board is still discussing that. We can't sit here and say we know that for a fact.
3239 MR. HARNETT: Yeah. There's been a budgetary amount allowed for the first two candidates, and those fees and amounts would be 36,000 and 32,000, respectively. They've already been budgeted for in the next fiscal year.
3240 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So what is your date in your business plan for having some managerial stability at the station?
3241 MR. HARNETT: Within -- to have those positions filled, my personal belief is that we can actually do that and fast-track that. Obviously I would say within the four to six week period, worst case, two months because of the holiday period that we're experiencing right now.
3242 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. So is that still a matter for discussion or has a fixed date been set? Has a target been set for ---
3243 MR. LEHRER: We're aiming for two months.
3244 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: From today?
3245 MR. LEHRER: From today or January 1st?
3246 MR. HARNETT: Worst case as of today, two months.
3247 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So early February.
3248 MR. NELSON: And we're still debating -- sir, just respectfully ---
3249 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Yeah. No, that's fine. There's no right or wrong answer. Just the truth is whatever it is.
3250 MR. NELSON: And we're also working in accordance with the hiring committee as well because we really need their feedback before some of those decisions are written in stone.
3251 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Sure. And just moving on to the Board, there are five vacant positions -- are there five vacant positions currently, or seven? Or there's seven of you now and two of you aren't here and there's five positions vacant. Is that right?
3252 MR. LEHRER: Yeah.
3253 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thanks.
3254 And you're restructuring the composition of the Board with your new bylaws?
3255 MR. LEHRER: Yeah. What the new by-laws propose is four positions to be filled by volunteers, four positions to be filled by community members, four positions to be filled by students, one position to be filled by Ryerson faculty or staff and one position to be the RSU representative. And we have a -- we haven't set a date, but there will be a meeting to choose those people by the end of January.
3256 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. What does that add up to; how many people on the Board?
3257 MR. WHITFIELD: Fourteen.
3258 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Fourteen? Thank you.
3259 At what point -- do you have any idea at this point when you might anticipate conclusion of the discussions that are ongoing regarding the issue of your legitimacy as a Board?
3260 MR. HARNETT: I don't think there's any question about legitimacy of the Board. There was an election held ---
3261 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Isn't there some mediation going on?
3262 MR. HARNETT: That is correct. The mediation is -- that mediation process had failed.
3263 MR. LEHRER: Well, it hasn't technically failed yet, but there's an ongoing Court case which I'm not sure if we can really speak to in detail, but ---
3264 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Yeah, I don't want you to speak on details. I just want to know ---
3265 MR. LEHRER: We don't know.
3266 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: You ---
3267 MR. LEHRER: Yeah, it's hard to -- we can't say. But it's in commercial Court, which is supposed to be very quick, so I think once there's a response from -- on the status of the mediation from the mediator, then it would probably proceed back to Court rather quickly, probably within weeks. And hopefully we'll be concluded then.
3268 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
3269 If this Panel were to conclude that this broad license was beyond redemption and should be revoked, would you attempt to continue to function as an online entity?
3270 MR. NELSON: No.
3271 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
3272 What is the office manager, the position we spoke of that would be filled within 60 days, what would be the first hire that person would make?
3273 MR. LEHRER: Well, I think what we envisioned is we'd be hiring either one person to act as both station manager and program director, at least temporarily, or we'd be hiring a separate station manager and program director.
3274 Staff beyond that, I don't know if we can -- we only have two positions budgeted, so I don't think that person will be hiring anyone directly per se.
3275 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay.
3276 MR. LEHRER: There are several positions that are on layoff that would be subject to recall.
3277 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Sure. And who would that person report to or consult with on a day-to-day basis, the Chairman of your Board?
3278 MR. NELSON: I would say the entire Board and the hiring committee 'cause we're very tight as a Board, so we're always together, always there.
3279 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you.
3280 What do you estimate the size of your listening audience is?
3281 MR. NELSON: It's hard to say 'cause traditionally CKLN has never been able to afford to pay for the BBM research that goes out there. We estimate it could be up to 150,000 people.
3282 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
3283 Did Ryerson student union put any restrictions on the use of the funds that it forwarded to you?
3284 MR. LEHRER: No.
3285 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
3286 When it comes to your staff, just a question of -- I mean, you have no employees at the moment. Will the future staff still be governed by the collective agreement with CUPE?
3287 MR. LEHRER: Well, obviously the station manager and program director would not be. Any staff below that, our understanding of the labour law is that yeah, unless staff vote to decertify the union, then the ---
3288 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: The certification is still in place, then.
3289 MR. LEHRER: The certification is still in place, yeah.
3290 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you. Those are my questions.
3291 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Commissioner Poirier?
3292 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
3293 Maybe you've answered some of those questions, but I'd like to hear clearly the answers to some of my questions.
3294 So today, approximately how many students are involved in the station as hosts or as technicians or as whatever?
3295 MR. NELSON: I would say approximately 25.
3296 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Out of?
3297 MR. NELSON: Out of 170.
3298 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: 70 volunteers.
3299 MR. NELSON: Out of 170, approximately 25 I can say for a fact are students.
3300 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. And they are involved in what kind of jobs? They're hosts or programmers or ---
3301 MR. NELSON: Yes, they're broadcasters, whether it be Spoken Word or music. There's not much student involvement on any of the levels other than that at this point in time until we expand when school returns and everything.
3302 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. If I ask each of you -- because you have a Board of Directors with hands-on, okay. If I asked each of you what is your job description, who is responsible of what, and do the staff and volunteers know what are your job description?
3303 Would it be easy for you to provide me this answer?
3304 MR. NELSON: I would say yes.
3305 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: So who is doing what?
3306 MR. NELSON: Well ---
3307 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Very simply.
3308 MR. NELSON: Generally, very simply, we are like a four-headed monster, generally speaking. That's the first level of administration.
3309 They will look at myself as a person in charge of programming, technical issues, et cetera. Andrew Lehrer will be Spoken Word, anything that's administrative, anything that involves policy, procedure, legal, et cetera. That's his area of expertise.
3310 Bryce is also representative of someone who's technically interested as well as policy. And generally, we're all kind of culminating all of these areas into one head.
3311 And Mike, of course, is the money man. Anything involving finance or costs or budgets or -- actually, he's a lot more than that because Mike stands unique. He's the only one in this Board that was part of the old Board that we're talking about here today, so he's been able to enlighten us by bringing all of those experiences forward so we don't repeat the same errors from the past. So he's generally all around like a ---
3312 MR. SEEFIELDT: And just to speak to your second question, a large percentage of the volunteer base, obviously, are always entitled and some are very excited to attend regular Board meetings, all annual general meetings and whatnot. So the ones -- the most involved would know those roles the best, and then others would definitely see them through our activities such as maintenance of the station and the different roles we play in interacting with them.
3313 But I would say it's very clear mostly to the volunteers who do use their full range of involvement and attend Board meetings and attend special meetings.
3314 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. And who -- yes?
3315 MR. LEHRER: I was just going to add, we also have a few volunteers who have come forward and been given specific tasks. For instance, we have one volunteer who's in charge of programming all the access cards and making sure that they're operating so people would go to her if they're having a problem with an access issue because you can only get in to the station with a magnetic card.
3316 And we have, you know -- so we have other people who've come forward to take on particular tasks.
3317 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Usually in a community or a campus radio station there is one person in charge of volunteers. It's clearly identified this person is in charge of all the volunteers, so if they have a question, if they don't fulfil their requirements, they know where to go and ask the question.
3318 MR. LEHRER: I think ---
3319 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Who is in charge?
3320 MR. LEHRER: Well, Ron is the person who's been in charge of programming and the volunteers.
3321 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. How can you be available all the time if you have a full-time job and a volunteer raises a question?
3322 MR. NELSON: I never said I have a full-time job.
3323 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. I'm sorry.
3324 MR. NELSON: CKLN is my full-time job. I've been there for 28 years, and I was elected by the body to do this job. I never intended to be a Board member. When stuff started to happen, I think they reached for the person who they had some confidence in who cares about the station because of the commitment going back to 1982-83, which is when I started.
3325 So I'm there out of a commitment because I love CKLN, and just to expand on what you're saying, also for advertising, if advertising comes in they call me as well, so I'm the one that does the advertising sales.
3326 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: So you're the one in charge of the volunteers.
3327 MR. NELSON: Chiefly so, yes. If someone had to call every volunteer to tell them that there's a very important meeting, I'm the one who does those phone calls.
3328 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: So usually how long does it take for a volunteer to access the air?
3329 MR. NELSON: How long does it take for a new --
3330 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: A new volunteer.
3331 MR. NELSON: --- a new applicant?
3332 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes.
3333 MR. NELSON: Well, for example, a lot of it depends on timing. Two weeks ago I had a woman apply. She wanted to do a Spoken Word show. And she came in and she spoke to us directly, and I was so impressed by what she had to offer she was on air within a week.
3334 Some other people may need more training, more time. They may not fit the mandate of CKLN, so we have to shelf people -- I don't like to use the word, but we have to shelf applicants sometimes and get them involved in the station at the right time.
3335 Sometimes, after they've been trained, they realize that they may have another area of expertise that they didn't even realize. They may want to be a technical person instead of a Spoken Word person.
3336 But generally, it could be anywhere from one week to six weeks, depending.
3337 MR. LEHRER: And Ryerson has a radio-television arts program, so for instance, the person Ron was referring to is in the third or fourth year of her program and has ---
3338 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Ah, okay.
3339 MR. LEHRER: --- a certain amount of experience already. And I think she actually worked on CBC or something like that. So we thought okay, let's put her on.
3340 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. To maybe go deeper from my colleague's question on compliance today, today, if I would ask you your logger tapes, audible ones, good quality ones, if I would ask you your records, if I would ask you your music list, would you be able to provide those to us, and would they be compliant?
3341 MR. NELSON: Yes.
3342 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: My last question, Mr. Chair.
3343 As a listener, if I want to make a complaint to CKLN, how does it work? What is the route it follows and what time do I get an answer?
3344 MR. LEHRER: Well, people can either email -- we have several email accounts. There's a station manager email account, a program director email account, a Board email account.
3345 We're monitoring all of those, so if we get a listener complaint, then -- through email then we'll respond to it quickly.
3346 People can also phone, you know, our studio and we've ---
3347 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: And then who takes care of it?
3348 MR. LEHRER: Well, usually -- we haven't actually gotten -- the complaint's we've gotten have all been complaints that have been made to the CRTC and then sent to us. I think we've only gotten one complaint directly, and in that case I replied to that person, I think, within a day.
3349 If it comes through the CRTC, then there's a period which we've complied with.
3350 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: You have no specific policy or way of doing things when you get a complaint.
3351 MR. LEHRER: Well, it's -- what happens is I read the complaint, I take it to the Board -- we have a Board email list -- and I propose a response and then we send out the response. So I'll write a response in consultation with the Board.
3352 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yeah. Because to me complaints have to be taken very seriously.
3353 MR. LEHRER: Yeah.
3354 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. Your answer doesn't show me it's been taken seriously.
3355 Do you want to add something to this?
3356 MR. LEHRER: Well, what -- I think we are taking them seriously because when -- I mean, it's hard to answer because we've only gotten one complaint that hasn't been sent to the CRTC, so there's only been one example. And in that example, I think we responded within a few hours and the person was very satisfied with our response.
3357 With the complaints that come to the CRTC, they're sent to the Board email address and we respond to them within three weeks.
3358 MR. NELSON: Just for the record, we do take every complaint very seriously and we've been prompt in our response and we're meticulous in terms of respecting the complainer and using the right words to show legitimacy and sincerity from our perspective as CKLN radio and respectful, too, of the CRTC rules that govern us to be a radio station.
3359 So if you examine the paper trail of the responses that we've given to every complaint, we have done so in a timely fashion and with a lot of respect to the complainer.
3360 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. I don't have the numbers on hand, but you're one of the campus radio stations who got the most number of complaints in Canada.
3361 MR. LEHRER: Well, you know, I ---
3362 MR. NELSON: There's a reason for that, and if you could give us a minute to explain. It's a little sensitive.
3363 Could we actually -- I don't know if this is out of context, but before we answer that question, could we have one minute to huddle as a Board and address that question properly?
3364 I would like the Board to be able to speak before Andrew answers that question because there are issues here that fall along legal parameters and our mediation is ongoing. And we don't want to say anything that jeopardizes that whole process, if that could be allowed, Madam Chair.
3365 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, since you're the one taking exception to the question, why don't you respond knowing full well what your scope of response should be or can be?
3366 MR. NELSON: Well, I think it would be irresponsible for any one person on this Board to respond. We need to -- my whole point is that we'd like just one minute to talk first and then we'll decide who responds and -- if that's not okay, then that's okay.
3367 THE CHAIRPERSON: Take the minute.
3368 MR. NELSON: Thank you.
3369 MR. LEHRER: What I'd say to that -- well, first of all, we are willing to develop a complaint policy that specifically puts together a response mechanism and triggers and a process and time lines, et cetera.
3370 THE CHAIRPERSON: Excuse me. Apparently Mr. Nelson left the room?
3371 MR. LEHRER: He has to go to the washroom.
3372 THE CHAIRPERSON: So this is a break because I think it's important that he be here as well.
3373 MR. LEHRER: Okay, sure.
3374 THE CHAIRPERSON: We'll just wait for two minutes until he comes back.
3375 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Let's resume.
3376 MR. LEHRER: Sure.
3377 Well, on September 19 -- sorry, November 19th we were sent a letter from the Secretary-General informing us that they were -- that the Commission had found additional complaints that hadn't been included in the file but that we had been sent previously and that they would like us to -- or they were giving us the opportunity to respond. And we sent a letter on November 26th.
3378 And I think a lot of the issues raised in that letter address this issue.
3379 It's an unusual situation because, as I just indicated, we've only gone from -- without CRTC intervention, we've only gotten one complaint. Only one person has actually contacted us directly, to our knowledge.
3380 All the other complaints have gone through the CRTC, which I believe is unusual. I think usually if someone has a complaint about a station, the first thing they do is contact the station and then they contact the CRTC.
3381 The second unusual thing that we've noticed is that the majority of these complaints come 25 days or more after the incident.
3382 Again, normally you would expect that if you hear something on the radio or hear something on TV that offends you, you act that day or the next day or maybe, you know, within three or four days and make a complaint. That you would wait 25 days or more and then suddenly remember, "Oh, I heard something a month ago that offended me on CKLN" and write a complaint, again is unusual.
3383 It may happen once or twice, but we've had it -- I think it's a majority of the complaints we've gotten are made quite some time after the incident.
3384 That suggests to us that these complaints are not necessarily representative of listeners listening and responding, but are part of a campaign. We are aware and, in fact, one of the intervenors has indicated in his written interventions that individuals are copiously recording CKLN broadcasts and -- 24 hours a day.
3385 And in fact, one of the submissions to your -- to the Commission, one intervenor indicated that. So what we think is maybe happening is that one or two individuals are recording programs and then reviewing them several weeks later looking for something to complain about and then complaining themselves or having other people complain.
3386 And for us, that's the only logical explanation for why, for instance, in regards to the April 28th incident, we received five complaints, all of which were made more than 25 days after the incident.
3387 So we think the reason there's been a large number of complaints is there's a campaign by, you know, some individuals who are no longer with the station or who feel a grievance against the station, you know, trying to make our position more difficult by generating complaints.
3388 THE CHAIRPERSON: Notwithstanding that, can you respond to the complaint? Is it a true statement or not?
3389 I got the point that ---
3390 MR. LEHRER: Well, if the statement ---
3391 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- this is a long time and there may be some other issues here.
3392 But with regard to this specific complaint, can you attest to the fact that it was or was not a legitimate complaint?
3393 MR. LEHRER: Well, if -- I'm responding to the specific statement that we have the most complaints of any campus station in Canada. And I think the reason for that is that there's an organized -- there's an opposition. There are several people who are generating those complaints.
3394 Now, some of those complaints are valid. You know, if there's an incident where someone plays a song at 7:00 in the morning that has swearing in it, that's a valid complaint.
3395 The fact that we received five of those complaints 25 days after that happens, you know, doesn't mean that that should not have occurred and that wasn't a mistake that we shouldn't take responsibility for, but it does indicate that there's been an amplification effect as far as complaints are concerned. And what should have been one complaint has now become five complaints.
3396 They're all 25 days after the fact. Perhaps there's been something going on and someone's gotten a few friends to write a complaint.
3397 But yes, several -- some of the complaints deal with language, and those are legitimate. A number of the complaints actually deal with things like dead air. You know, "I have been listening to CKLN..."
3398 I don't have the exact numbers, but I think there were more than five or six complaints that had to do with, you know, "I was listening to CKLN and I heard dead air for five minutes," or, "I heard dead air here" or "Dead air there."
3399 Those are technical issues. I don't believe that those are issues that actually deal with governance or with anything that the CRTC is directly concerned about.
3400 Some of the complaints have been frivolous, or once we investigate them, they end up not being valid.
3401 There was one complaint that was made last year, for example, that the Commission followed up on, and the Commission upheld our position. Someone had listened to the radio, and they heard an interview with a playwright who was talking about a professor they had at Ryerson, a drama professor, who said, "I don't think you are really an actor, you should probably write plays instead," and she said, you know, "I felt like I wanted to kill the guy," or, "I wanted to get my boyfriend to beat him up."
3402 So we got a complaint that we were encouraging violence on the air.
3403 The Commission actually followed up with that and said, you know, "That's not really a problem."
3404 So, you know, a number of the complaints are frivolous, and other complaints are about things that don't really fall within programming, issues that don't regard lack of compliance, but are technical issues, like, you know, "I had trouble hearing the station," or --
3405 MR. NELSON: I am just going to add to what Andrew was saying. When there was a split between the different Boards at CKLN, I was part of a Board that was not recognized as legitimate at that time, a Board chaired by Mr. Arno Meiners, and I will tell you for a fact that one of our mandates was to complain anytime that we saw a problem. We were told to write to the CRTC, write a letter, because we did not jibe with the Board that was in power at the time.
3406 I am sure there has been an extension of that since then. There was a very strong campaign, designed to get out the people that were in control before, and it wasn't just people who were part of my illegitimate Board at the time, it was also programmers who had been dismissed. They came to some of those Board meetings to get support and to get counselling, and we were instructing them, at that time: Look, this is what you do, you campaign against anything that goes wrong at CKLN, which means that you write a letter to the CRTC, you write a complaint.
3407 That's why so many of the complaint letters were very simple: I am not hearing my programmer on the air. Why is there dead air?
3408 There was dead air because the station was shut down. There was dead air 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It didn't matter that it was shut down, all that mattered was the complaint, address the fact that they were not hearing their favourite show, and the question was why.
3409 So there was a distinct campaign, at least that I can attest to, that resulted in some of these complaints going to the CRTC.
3410 MR. LEHRER: And I would just point out one thing, of all of the complaints that have been made in the past year, I believe that only two of them had actual street addresses attached to them. Virtually all of them were simply from e-mail addresses, from a gmail account or a hotmail account, which anyone can create. You know, I could create 10 gmail accounts and make 10 complaints against a radio station, using 10 different names.
3411 That doesn't mean, when there is a legitimate complaint, and it's amplified 10 times, that it's not legitimate, but I think it does give you an indication as to why there was that number.
3412 And I think the fact that there has been such a delay between incident and complaint suggests that, in fact, there is a campaign going on. This isn't a reflection of what our listeners are thinking, it's part of a campaign by a small group of people to --
3413 MR. SEEFIELDT: If I could just magnify a bit about what Andrew said, even if it is a magnified quantity of complaints, the complaint is still authentic, and we take it as that.
3414 The complaints that have come in have been a springboard for a great amount of improvement and a great amount of revisiting of policy that was there long before us, and retraining, and all kinds of things. Those complaints, whether magnified or not, are a tool that we use to improve.
3415 It's all about constant improvement, and we have developed a lot of new policies that will allow us to avoid, and perhaps, ideally -- our goal is to eliminate any type of scenario where a complaint would even be warranted, and a lot of policies have changed in the last six months in order to make that possible.
3416 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
3417 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
3418 Before I turn to my right, I have one question that I need clarification on. One of my opening questions asked how many of you were employed by CKLN, and you said that you were all volunteers, and no one was getting any money, and you were spending anywhere from five to seven hours a week doing this.
3419 I just heard Mr. Nelson say that he is full-time.
3420 Could you elaborate and clarify the situation?
3421 MR. LEHRER: No one is being paid as a Board member --
3422 MR. NELSON: I can answer that, it's okay.
3423 When I said that I am full-time, I meant that I am committed full-time, as a volunteer. I am not getting paid. I am not getting a paycheque.
3424 I earn some money, from getting a commission from some of the advertising that I sell. I have my own business, and I work at York University as a teacher.
3425 So CKLN is a love for me, and I am there, and I will put in as much time --
3426 I don't have to physically be at CKLN in order to do my job. I have my own office in Scarborough, and a lot of the administrative stuff I can do from where I am, mobile as it may be.
3427 I hope that answers your question, sir.
3428 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think so.
3429 If I look at these financial statements and I notice that in 2009 and 2010 advertising revenues generated were in the order of $20,000 to $25,000, you were paid a commission on those revenues coming in, or a fraction of those?
3430 MR. NELSON: A fraction of those. I do sell the majority of advertising, but not all of the advertising.
3431 THE CHAIRPERSON: And that would be your sole source of revenue from the CKLN endeavours that you do, en banc, in total?
3432 MR. NELSON: Well, that's kind of a trick question. As a broadcaster -- as an urban music broadcaster, we go out and we play dances, we do concerts, we emcee at special events. One could say that some of that income comes, indirectly, from having a radio show on the air, because you are popularized as a DJ.
3433 So, in terms of something that is direct, to answer your question, yes, there is a direct commission from advertising that is sold, once the money is received. But there is a grey area outside that box, and it happens at all radio stations, whether commercial or non-commercial. If you are a radio personality, then there may be a demand for you, if you have the talent and the skill, to go out and be a DJ on the live circuit. So you may end up playing at a club or something.
3434 THE CHAIRPERSON: But would that compensation come from the $240,000 of annual revenue that comes in through student fees, or would that be coming from somewhere else?
3435 MR. NELSON: I would say entirely somewhere else. Yes, it is completely independent.
3436 I am just giving you a clearer picture and --
3437 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, I understand that you must have a source of revenue from somewhere, what I want to know is how much revenue, if any, you acquire from the revenues that come in to CKLN Radio from either the student union fees or from advertising.
3438 MR. NELSON: Are you asking me personally?
3439 THE CHAIRPERSON: I was asking you, and that's why, because I thought that you weren't employed by them.
3440 MR. NELSON: No, I'm not. I'm not employed by CKLN, I am a volunteer there.
3441 MR. LEHRER: Just to clarify, any programmer who sells advertising on their show would earn a commission. They would still be a volunteer, and they wouldn't be an employee of CKLN, but if you have a show and you sell an ad for $100 to advertise a restaurant or something, you would get -- I don't know -- 10 percent or 15 percent.
3442 MR. NELSON: Fifteen percent.
3443 MR. LEHRER: Mr. Nelson, before he joined the Board, when he was a programmer previously, had been the lead advertiser at the station, by selling ads for urban music shows. So that is independent of his being on the Board.
3444 THE CHAIRPERSON: And any fees that he acquired, or that any other programmer acquired, would be coming from that line item on your statement called "Advertising"?
3445 MR. LEHRER: Yes.
3446 It is not a function of his being on the Board, it is a function of his selling advertising. That would occur regardless of whether or not he was on the Board.
3447 THE CHAIRPERSON: So, basically, if I take a look at the statement and I see $26,000 of advertising, and your policy is 15 percent, I can assume that 15 percent of $26,000 is what was paid to all of your programmers -- volunteers -- who endeavour to do advertising on their programs.
3448 MR. NELSON: Yes.
3449 MR. LEHRER: Actually, our $26,000 line item, is that after we have paid the programmer their commission, or is that before?
3450 MR. HARNETT: That is the entire amount.
3451 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So that is the revenue, and then you have expenses down below.
3452 Okay. That's fine.
3453 Commissioner Molnar...
3454 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
3455 I want to begin with a couple of questions of clarification, based on what I have heard here.
3456 Can you confirm, Mr. Whitfield, with respect to the money received through student fees, are there any conditions at all placed on that money?
3457 MR. WHITFIELD: I think, maybe, the only condition is that they follow their bylaws and the Corporations Act and that sort of thing, which is a condition placed on them by the university. But I am not aware of any -- and I am not even 100 percent sure if that is actually a condition, but I am not aware of any other conditions, in terms of the money has to be spent in a certain way.
3458 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And there are no requirements or expectations with respect to what is broadcast or anything else?
3459 MR. WHITFIELD: No, we don't put conditions on programming and that sort of thing.
3460 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I want to go back to one of the answers that you provided to the questions. You said that, to the best of your knowledge, you are compliant with all requirements. There is no requirement as it regards the money you are receiving through student fees. There are requirements under your CRTC licence.
3461 Do you have a checklist of those requirements? How do you gauge whether or not you are compliant on a day-to-day basis?
3462 MR. NELSON: I don't know how to answer that. All I can say is that the Board is very unified, and we put in a lot of time dealing with every issue, as it comes at us, and I think we are very respectful of the bylaws and regulations that govern us.
3463 And if we see anything that appears to be outside of that box, something that we are doing wrong, then we remedy it immediately.
3464 But in terms of having a checklist, I wouldn't say that we have a so-called checklist, but we have a consciousness, which means that we do, to the best of our ability, try to abide by all of those bylaws and rules, on a daily basis.
3465 But, no, there is no checklist.
3466 MR. SEEFIELDT: Some of the procedures that have come into place as a working Board include constantly monitoring the on-air programming and reviewing the logs, taking some of the roles of the program director, to ensure that we are looking at percentages of mandates, and ensuring that these are being filled, and talking to programmers when any of those mandates are less than sufficient.
3467 MR. LEHRER: And there are notifications in the broadcast booth with regards to requirements of Canadian content and reading station identification and that sort of thing. So, you know, there is a checklist in that way.
3468 But we should have -- we have all been reading the various CRTC policies. We should perhaps come up with a comprehensive checklist for a station manager or a program director, to ensure that there is compliance.
3469 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: It's interesting that you say, "We should perhaps do this as a Board." In fact, the Radio Regulations and the COLs that pertain to your licence have a relatively limited number of requirements, so it wouldn't be hard to put forward those.
3470 MR. LEHRER: Absolutely not.
3471 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: What I heard today is, you don't even know what date your annual report is required to be reported. It's one of very few requirements under the Radio Regulations that you file with the Commission annual reports.
3472 Let me continue.
3473 It would be a good idea to put together a checklist.
3474 I also heard this morning a number of priorities. Mr. Seefieldt, I wrote down one of the prime objectives that you stated, which was to put in place new technology.
3475 I also heard that a goal is to eliminate all complaints, just very recently.
3476 Do you have Board priorities? What are your Board's priorities for the next three months? Can you tell me what those are?
3477 MR. SEEFIELDT: If I could speak to that a little bit, and I think that Michael will, as well.
3478 I know that one of our immediate priorities is the hiring committee, taking an immediate role in developing the hiring practices -- or developing the actual hires.
3479 When I say hiring committee, it is important that we look at this as a community decision, always. We can't always make decisions like hiring alone, as a Board, without facing the community, so we do put together committees, which tend to often increase a little bit the length of the process, but definitely add transparency and a whole community approach to filling the roles, just to speak on that.
3480 Secondarily, we have put in place a checklist of all the technology that needs to be updated immediately, and there is a step-by-step approach to that. It all can't happen at once, obviously, when you need to be live-to-air all the time, but we do have a step-by-step approach to that, which begins as soon as we return in the new year.
3481 Some of it has already been in place, naturally, but it will continue, and definitely escalate in the new year, based on increased revenue recently, and some security, based on decisions coming out of this.
3482 I don't think we have spoken to that completely, but there are a lot of questions that are going to be answered from this, and a lot of policies that we are excited to put into place that perhaps -- if someone said I wasn't 100 percent sure in the past, there will be no reason, coming out of this, that we are not all 100 percent sure what is expected, and that the policies will be very clear, and every member of the volunteer staff -- it will be very clear what is expected of them and what will happen if there is any variance from that goal.
3483 MR. NELSON: I want to add, too, that our experience has been that priorities have kept changing. One of the things that we found from getting this experience as a working Board is that sometimes we have to put things on hold, because we only have enough manpower and labour to deal with one emergency at a time.
3484 So priorities, since we have become a Board, have been constantly re-shuffled. If you want us to be completely honest, that's the truth.
3485 A priority the other day was fundraising. It exhausted many of us, and the CRTC hearing was one week after fundraising. Could we prepare for both simultaneously? Not really. We couldn't, so we dealt with one priority at a time.
3486 We do need -- and we recognize this -- we need to be relieved as a working Board. We only have another -- I would say another year where we can keep doing what we are doing right now. We are exhausted, but we are at the point where we can kind of stop and take a breath, because the light at the end of the tunnel is -- because we have solvency now, we can bring in that help. This is the junction point right now, we are about to bring in that help, and then we can do what a Board is supposed to do, which is establish priorities and deal with the corporate ends of being a Board, instead of being a working Board.
3487 We are not necessarily happy to be a working Board, but because we are committed and we are a unique set of individuals, who, at this time, have the time to commit, we have been committing.
3488 But we don't know what it is like to be a non-working Board, and we are excited by the challenges that will come with that opportunity.
3489 So when we put these hiring plans in place, which is our next priority, if we are given life after this hearing -- when we put these hiring plans in place, that's when we can finally take the handcuffs off as a working Board and sit in a room.
3490 And you can see that there is some division between Board members. We are sitting here and some of us are talking individually instead of one group. You are seeing the unique characteristics of every Board member here. We all care. We all have valuable input to contribute, and when we sit down there is great chemistry in the room and things get done.
3491 But you know what happens the following week? Something else breaks, and we have to fix it, and we have to get the money from Mike, and Mike is going to say, "There is no money, guys," et cetera.
3492 So we solve one problem at a time.
3493 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you, Mr. Nelson, and I am certain that you folks are working diligently to do all that you can. We are here today to understand if "all that you can" will be enough to ensure that this radio station operates on a go-forward basis, in full compliance with all of its requirements.
3494 MR. NELSON: Understood.
3495 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: We need to see actual -- you know, ever-changing priorities and promises that "We are going to set up a programming committee," which was not now identified as one of the key priorities, but it had been said earlier that there would be a programming committee --
3496 MR. SEEFIELDT: There are a couple more that I would like to --
3497 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: -- and that there would be computerized systems put in for logs and records.
3498 We need concrete steps. I need you to tell me -- and I want to go through these in some order here -- on the logs and records, tell me who today ensures that those logs and records are compliant.
3499 MR. SEEFIELDT: Ron and myself.
3500 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And how often do you review them?
3501 MR. SEEFIELDT: As often as possible. We come into the station on a weekly basis, and the logs are all there.
3502 Well, we come in more than weekly, but guaranteed at least once a week for our shows, and then a secondary time for our Board meeting, and every opportunity that we get, when we visit the station, we go through and try to make some effort to research and see what has been happening, and address any issues that have come up.
3503 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And you are moving to a computerized system, away from paper?
3504 MR. SEEFIELDT: When I mentioned technology, that was --
3505 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: What date is that going to be put in place?
3506 MR. SEEFIELDT: There is no solid date, but by the end of February we hope to have a major upgrade to our playlist system digitally.
3507 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: There is no date.
3508 MR. SEEFIELDT: No firm date set, but we do have a goal.
3509 In terms of technology, we have a few people to consult with, who are providing services and helping to implement those technologies, and their schedules, as well as their helping us to develop plans, is still in process.
3510 So there are dates set as goals, but realistic expectations are now being matched to those, and we are getting firm deadlines from anyone who is helping to implement these new technologies.
3511 So we will be clear in the next week to two weeks on our exact dates for some of those technological upgrades, specifically.
3512 MR. HARNETT: Obviously, on the business plan side, as we discussed earlier, the first issue is to execute hires.
3513 If we look at the --
3514 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Before you move to the next issue, let me ask, execute hires?
3515 I heard that one of the priorities is a hiring committee. I have also heard that you plan to have the person in place within 60 days.
3516 MR. HARNETT: That is correct.
3517 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Do you have a job description created today?
3518 MR. HARNETT: There are existing job descriptions for the station manager and program director, and --
3519 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: But it is going to be a combined job, so do you have a job description for the position that you are planning to fill?
3520 MR. HARNETT: There needs to be an amalgamation of elements --
3521 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So you don't, okay.
3522 MR. SEEFIELDT: Part of the hiring committee's duty is to specifically define what they want to see --
3523 Our goal is to look at the voids that need to be filled in terms of hiring, and use effectively the dollars that we have right now to get those jobs filled.
3524 In the future, I think, everyone's goal is to have a traditional station manager, program director, even music director roles being filled, very conventionally. But being that we are in the situation that we are, where we are not 100 percent at the budget that we hope to reach by next year, with increased advertising, with increased fundraising --
3525 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Mr. Seefieldt, I understand your long-term challenges and I understand all of your laudable goals. All I am trying to understand is how we can have assurance that these goals will be achieved.
3526 And one of the goals I heard -- and it's a short-term goal, not even a long-term goal -- is to have a staff person in place who is going to have some control over the programming and be somewhat -- somewhat, because I am not sure, and I want to clarify this -- the extent to which this person will have some accountability to ensure that you remain compliant on a go-forward basis.
3527 MR. SEEFIELDT: Absolutely.
3528 I'm sorry for digressing, but all I was trying to say is that the hiring committee will be put in place immediately. They will very quickly combine those job descriptions, if necessary, and outline what the specific hires are that need to be made.
3529 We have a very clear goal of what we think it should be as a board, but at the same time we are a community station and we want to include community members on this committee so that these decisions are made all-encompassing of the community's wishes, rather than us looking like tyrannical board making decisions for everyone.
3530 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So just to clarify, you are going to put in place a hiring committee that will include members of the larger community. You will do that. You will meet, you will agree, you will draft a job description, you will post the job and have it filled and a person in place within 60 days?
3531 MR. SEEFIELDT: That's our goal and we need to --
3532 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: That's our goal.
3533 MR. SEEFIELDT: That's our goal and action has already been taken to us that -- the idea of the hiring committee is something that is being processed as we speak, so those goals are already underway and being accomplished.
3534 Sixty days is what we feel we need, it's not even what we would like. We need to have these hired positions in place and we want to expedite them without -- without at the same time expediting them past to a reckless extent, you know, hiring for the sake of just having someone in place. We want to be very clear what that job entails and that we get the most qualified person.
3535 So 60 days is a tight deadline, but we feel it's a very necessary one.
3536 MR. HARNETT: Madam Molnar, I would just like to add to what Bryce is mentioning there.
3537 Obviously the hiring component is the first in terms of our business plan rollout. The next issue, as we have discussed prior, is the ratification of the revised bylaws. From there there is some capitalization on equipment. We need to put in closed loop systems. We need to obviously have audit and risk analysis of the existing program schedules that we have in place now so that we have a diagnostic tool to monitor both on a daily --
3538 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I'm sorry. As you go through these, could you give me the timeline as to when these will be achieved?
3539 MR. HARNETT: Okay. The bylaw ratification, there is another meeting scheduled at this time. December 15th. We have already actually had a bylaw ratification meeting, unfortunately we did not attain quorum at that time. However, we are going to move on that again.
3540 In terms of the next issue, which would be equipment capitalization, within the next two months we have to upgrade and improve some of the existing infrastructure regarding equipment elements that are in some cases 25 to 30 years old. Those legacy elements have to be replaced in order to ensure equipment proficiency which is going to give us 100 percent up time.
3541 From there in terms of processes, take a look at the CRTC requirements again. Create closed loop processes so that we have the ability to monitor all of the actual documentation relative to what's programmed, Cancon and monitored on a daily and weekly basis. Obviously the current form of having that in the manual form is not very effective and needs to be improved, groomed and combed out so that we can achieve some improved efficiencies. Obviously otherwise the amount of labour required to manage that resource will be too high.
3542 On the hiring side, just to confirm, you mentioned one person. Our intention is to --
3543 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I'm sorry, before you -- number four was looking at CRTC processes.
3544 MR. HARNETT: That is correct.
3545 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: What is your date for that?
3546 MR. HARNETT: Within the next two months at a maximum. Obviously the first issue is in parallel, we can maintain and execute a hiring committee and independent of that also obviously work on improving the actual record keeping that we have now for compliance and actually work on -- which we are already doing -- the digital form of that same system to parallel it so that when we do do our transfer into the digital realm that we have all of the required buckets, if you will, and abilities to analyze that data so that we are going to be more effective.
3547 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Can I just ask who is the person who will be doing that?
3548 MR. HARNETT: At this time Bryce has talked about it and we actually have another gentleman that we were working with who is actually looking into that particular matter in terms of formatting a small package, if you will.
3549 Prior, some time ago, I did check into that. There are systems out there, but unfortunately the scope and scale and cost of those systems exceeds the operating capital that CKLN has. These are systems that you would probably see at Bell Globemedia, Canwest Global and some of the other major players.
3550 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I'm sorry, Mr. Harnett, who is the person who will be tasked to look at CRTC processes?
3551 MR. HARNETT: That would be Bryce Seefieldt.
3552 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Bryce. And, Bryce, you are doing that within the next two months?
3553 MR. SEEFIELDT: Are we referring to developing technical infrastructure to make sure that all CRTC compliance is monitored and addressed?
3554 I just want to make sure the question is clear, what I'm answering.
3555 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I understand that's what you said.
3556 MR. HARNETT: That is correct.
3557 MR. SEEFIELDT: Yes. You were asking for the timeline specifically?
3558 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I asked who will do it --
3559 MR. SEEFIELDT: Oh, who will do it.
3560 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: -- and when.
3561 MR. SEEFIELDT: Who will do it. So we currently have a volunteer who has been in charge of all web-based and server-based maintenance. They are a major part of the development and design of this.
3562 It comes back to again the board as a whole taking into account all factors and making sure we have everyone's input on what it needs to look like and the final group of people that may need to be hired will have to come to the hiring committee.
3563 If there are additional people that are non-voluntary that are going to be a part of this -- which is being researched now, we are looking at how much work it's going to take -- that will go to the hiring committee immediately, but I am overseeing the process of making sure that there are people in place helping us build this infrastructure in the next two months.
3564 Again, I know 60 days keeps -- there are a lot of things to accomplish within 60 days, but that seems to us, considering holidays coming up and everything of that nature, a very realistic and -- at the same time challenging, but realistic timeline that we feel is necessary so that we don't prolong any potential for slipping back into non-compliance.
3565 We want to address it immediately and we want to challenge ourselves with timelines so that we are moving forward quickly. Even if it does seem there is a lot, we do have a really strong volunteer community who are all getting involved and trying to improve the station on a day-to-day basis.
3566 I hope that answers the question.
3567 MR. NELSON: I just wanted to add that the paper playlists that we use right now are compliant with CRTC Regulations, even though we haven't switched over to the proposed technical improvements that Bryce is talking about. We did modernize the paper playlist and other radio stations are still using those same paper playlists.
3568 So we are not out of compliance with much of what we are discussing right here, the improvements that are being discussed, it's for the overall performance improvement of CKLN such as the mixing boards and consoles and production studio equipment, but it's not going to make us compliant because we purchase that equipment, we already comply now without it. It will just make it a smoother and easier process for us to register that compliancy information that's needed.
3569 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you, Mr. Nelson.
3570 Because I had understood that moving to the computerized logging system, from a discussion earlier this morning -- and I wrote it down here -- would allow CKLN to instantly know when there were issues.
3571 MR. SEEFIELDT: Exactly, versus a paper playlist where it's not an immediate thing as in instantaneous where it may take 24 to 48 hours or even if it happened three or four days prior to the time we reviewed the logs, but with a digital system it will be literally processed for us.
3572 The amount of time that we will need to review the logs will be reduced so much that we will be able to further any efforts we need to make to address something like -- if for any reason we went over our 10 percent hits in a given week, we would know that immediately. We would see a red flag digitally immediately rather than it taking myself and Ron a few days to get through these logs and start adding up and say "Uh-oh".
3573 So it's an improvement, like Mr. Nelson said, it's not -- it's not the only way we can stay in compliance, it's just an efficiency so that we can focus our energies on the greater picture of the station.
3574 MR. LEHRER: And I believe it would give programmers immediate feedback, if I'm not mistaken, about, "Oh, I need to play more Canadian content -- I have to play more Canadian content this hour, I'm short" or "I have been playing too much of this or too much of that", so it would help programmers police themselves as well. It would tell us instantly if there is a problem as well so it would improve things all around.
3575 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Just one more question. I'm not sure that I understand or understood your access to the transmitter location. It is within the in Palin Foundation's facilities?
3576 MR. LEHRER: No, no.
3577 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: No?
3578 MR. LEHRER: No. The Palin Foundation has nothing to do with the transmitter.
3579 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: It has nothing --
3580 MR. LEHRER: Brookfield Properties --
3581 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Oh, sorry.
3582 MR. LEHRER: -- which owns First Canadian Place -- owns or manages First Canadian Place controls the access site, because our transmitter is on the top of First Canadian Place.
3583 So we lease space on First Canadian Place for a transmitter.
3584 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And you have a signed lease agreement with them?
3585 MR. HARNETT: Yes, we do.
3586 Actually, we are looking for a renewal agreement. We did talk to some principals there on the management side and looking to meet with them at the conclusion of this year to resign an updated agreement with their management.
3587 I just wanted to add --
3588 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I'm sorry, just before you go on, you have an agreement today?
3589 MR. HARNETT: That is correct.
3590 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: When does it expire?
3591 MR. HARNETT: It expires at the end of this year.
3592 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. So you need to resign before the end of the year?
3593 MR. HARNETT: That is correct. Two months ago I already asked them if they could actually give us some preliminary and they are not doing it at this time. They will not be releasing that information until the end of the year.
3594 MR. LEHRER: First Canadian Place is currently being resurfaced so Brookfield seems to be preoccupied.
3595 THE SECRETARY: I'm sorry, can you please turn on your microphone? Thank you.
3596 MR. LEHRER: Oh, I'm sorry.
3597 First Canadian Place is currently being renovated, they are replacing the exterior.
3598 MR. HARNETT: The actual exterior curtain wall is being changed. The building veneer is falling off and they are actually putting on an aluminum cladding system.
3599 MR. LEHRER: So that has been their priority, so when we have been trying to talk to them we are kind of low on the list right now.
3600 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So do you have any concerns that you will not have an agreement signed by the end of the year?
3601 MR. HARNETT: No, I don't.
3602 The only issue right now is the potential cost increase. Obviously, let's face it, if the building owner is experiencing significant costs due to the improvements to their building exterior, they are going to try and look for other opportunities to try and capture revenue.
3603 The current price of the building revenue for the transmitter rental is about $2,400 a month. If we look at inflation, I can't really speak to where they are going to be and what their position is going to be in terms of a the future in terms of cost.
3604 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So you expect it's solely a financial discussion about the amount.
3605 Can you just confirm that under the agreement you have today you have access to that transmitter at all times?
3606 MR. HARNETT: That is our correct. There is no issues. The information they have, I personally sent and dropped off the information from Industry Canada showing who the rightful parties, if you will, or board membership and consistency of that board makeup were for CKLN Incorporated. They are in possession of that information.
3607 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Thank you.
3608 Those are my questions.
3609 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner Molnar.
3610 Before we move to Commissioner Denton I'm going to suggest we break for lunch and reconvene at 2 o'clock.
3611 Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 1249
--- Upon resuming at 1406
3612 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.
3613 If someone could close the back doors, I would appreciate it.
3614 Commissioner Denton.
3615 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Good afternoon, gentlemen, hi.
3616 I guess I might want to start with just one of my smaller questions, is just in relation to the by-laws, that is the next thing that is up for revision. Can someone tell me what the matter is and what needs fixing?
3617 MR. LEHRER: Well, there are several areas. First of all, one of the problems we identified as having been a contributing factor in the previous breakdown at the station was the fact that the station manager and program director were voting members of the board which is, in our view, not a good practice and leads to conflict of interest if someone is, you know, their own boss essentially.
3618 So the by-law revisions will remove the station manager and the program director voting positions from the board. We are also removing the former core staff position since that really wasn't a viable position. There was a very small pool of possible candidates, since you would have to be a former station manger, program director, news director, or music director. So we didn't think it was a viable position and we have removed that.
3619 But we have also made a number of other changes. We have added the Ryerson faculty and staff reps in order to be in compliance with Commission requirements.
3620 Let's see, what else have we done? We have added more community members and more volunteer members in order to increase the capacity of the board. We have identified a number of committees that should exist, or ideally, and have outlined them.
3621 So I think those are the central things.
3622 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Is this the reason why you had lawyer go in and look over your -- is this sort of on the basis of legal advice you received?
3623 MR. LEHRER: Yes, in part. I mean, part of the legal process was to revise the by-laws. We have attempted to do that through the mediation process. Although, that is not where the -- anyway, so that is part of it. And we have also sent the by-laws to lawyers who have reviewed them and have sent them back to us with some tweaks which we are going to suggest as well.
3624 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Okay. So when I heard your responses before lunch, they were sort of, roughly speaking, by-laws -- but in terms of the tasks of the board, by-laws, equipment capitalization asset replacement was number two, risk analysis or doing what was necessary to ensure CRTC compliance in hiring staff.
3625 Is that basically the agenda of the board for the next few months?
3626 MR. LEHRER: Yes. I am not sure if that is the order of priority. The first priority is compliance with CRTC requirements and I think hiring staff is probably the first priority. Yes, those are our four main goals I would think, unless --
3627 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Now, the question I have no my mind is that normally when you have a board, meets together, has its by-laws, et cetera, they come up with a plan for the year which is embodied in a budget --
3628 MR. LEHRER: M'hmm.
3629 COMMISSIONER DENTON: -- both of income and expenditure. Have you prepared such a budget?
3630 MR. HARNETT: Yes, I would like to speak to that. There is a budget in place at the present time. The budget does reflect some initiatives that we need to take and then to move on. The budget is reflective of obviously improving the staff situation, it's also reflective of improving the infrastructure backbone of the station.
3631 As I mentioned prior, quite a large amount of the equipment is significantly aged and requires replacement. That is a component which will help us improve our uptime and less questionability in terms of equipment performance.
3632 Obviously on the clerical side and diagnostic side we certainly also need to improve systems. And as I hinted at prior, lessons learned, best practices, mistake proofing.
3633 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Now, just as a matter of fact, do you have that budget and has it been presented to this Commission?
3634 MR. HARNETT: At this time, no.
3635 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Can we have it?
3636 MR. HARNETT: Yes, I can provide it. You want it right this second or I --
3637 COMMISSIONER DENTON: No.
3638 MR. HARNETT: Yes, the board can provide that to the Commission.
3639 COMMISSIONER DENTON: How about tomorrow?
3640 MR. HARNETT: Certainly.
3641 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Now, one of the things that interests me in this process of getting yourselves back on your feet was the decision by Ryerson Students' Union to resume payment of money to you.
3642 Anyone can answer or all, but what was the process of decision making that led to the resumption of these payments?
3643 MR. LEHRER: Well my understanding I guess as a preface to we will say is that in the spring of 2009 there were various different factions competing to be the board. And at one point individuals from the different factions decided to get together and try to resolve the situation. The catalyst I suppose for this would have been the decision by the PALIN Foundation to lockout the station.
3644 And also in June I think there was a letter which said, that if things aren't resolved basically within a certain amount of time then you may lose your space. So I believe that was the main impetus, although there had been talks previously, that was the main impetus to kind of get together and resolve the situation.
3645 What happened ultimately was a new general meeting was held in July in which a broad number of people could vote, including those who had been excluded under, the people had been changed, and the new board had been elected. And that was recognized by the Ryerson Students' Union and by Industry Canada and so on.
3646 COMMISSIONER DENTON: And Ryerson?
3647 MR. WHITFIELD: So the Ryerson Students' Union is separate from Ryerson. In February, 2008, at that point there -- or I should say I guess in the spring of 2008 there were several different groups that emerged as representatives of CKLN. That continued through the summer of 2008. In summer/fall there was up to three different groups that each claimed to represent CKLN.
3648 We received letters from three different groups, each saying a variety of different things, one saying don't submit money to anyone, some saying, you should submit money to our group or this group or that sort of thing. And it was unclear to the Ryerson Students' Union who was the legitimate group of directors at that time.
3649 We took steps to try to rectify the situation and understand who was the actual board of directors and asked those groups to consider doing things like mediation.
3650 In the summer of 2009, when there was one group of elected representatives and they went through sort of re-election process for each of the different groups, it was more clear that that was the group that was elected from different constituents to represent CKLN. And at that time the Ryerson Students' Union felt more comfortable to release funds because there was one group that had gone through an election process at that time.
3651 COMMISSIONER DENTON: So you are saying that of the three groups one went through an election process. Who were the electors?
3652 MR. WHITFIELD: Sorry, in the spring/summer of 2009 there was elections, so --
3653 MR. LEHRER: Maybe an annual general meeting.
3654 MR. WHITFIELD: So, for example, community members are able to elect representatives for the community, staff, volunteer reps are able to elect their representatives, so those were the electors.
3655 Now, at that time --
3656 COMMISSION DENTON: How many electors were there?
3657 MR. LEHRER: This general meeting that was held on July 24th it had I believe it was over or around 150 participants, which would have made it the largest general meeting at CKLN in a number of years. So it was, you know, broadly recognized as legitimate and as a representative of the will of the membership of CKLN.
3658 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Thank you.
3659 Mr. Whitfield, you are saying that because of that electoral process, the student's union felt satisfied that they were actually dealing with a real board?
3660 MR. WHITFIELD: That is correct.
3661 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Mr. Chairman, those are my questions.
3662 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I believe we have a couple of follow-up questions, let me start.
3663 I just want to confirm you currently do not have a programming committee in place?
3664 MR. NELSON: Correct.
3665 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
3666 I had a discussion this morning with Mr. Whitfield with regard to the role of Ryerson University. And he said in the morning he couldn't speak on their behalf. I guess I will ask the question a little differently.
3667 Mr. Whitfield, are you aware of any issues that Ryerson University has as it relates to CKLN FM?
3668 MR. WHITFIELD: I am not aware of any issues or issues that they put out publicly, no.
3669 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Can I ask the rest of you whether you're aware of any issues?
3670 MR. LEHRER: No. We have received no communication, no concerns have been expressed to us by the university.
3671 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I think one of you this morning indicated that there is an obligation for Ryerson University administration to be on your board. Has that been shared with them and have you formally asked them to sit on the board?
3672 MR. LEHRER: Well, currently, there is no position for Ryerson faculty or staff on the board so, you know, we can't invite someone to sit on a position that doesn't exist yet. But we inquired with the Senate in the summer in regards to whether they would be willing to elect someone. They said they would look into it, but they haven't gotten back to us.
3673 So what we put into play -- so what we are suggesting in the by-laws is a system where either the governing body could nominate someone or the staff can nominate someone. So we have a few different silos we can tap for a Ryerson representative.
3674 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. In the opening remarks that I made, and I guess they were expanded upon by legal counsel, we talked about various scenarios that might come to pass based on how this panel comes to a final deliberation and conclusion. One of them was a mandatory order against CKLN Radio with regard to mandating certain obligations.
3675 If we did that, and they would include mandatory orders regarding compliance of the regs pertaining to style, content and format of program logs; compliance pertaining to accuracy the logs and the records provided; compliance pertaining to the retention of clear and intelligible logger tapes; compliance with regulations regarding style, content and format of music lists; compliance of the regulations regarding the filing of annual returns; compliance of the regulations pertaining to responding to Commission requests. These are all contained in the actual Regulations themselves that you are familiar with.
3676 If we did that, how would your operations change the following day?
3677 MR. LEHRER: As we expressed in our presentation, we are willing to voluntarily abide by all regulations. So I think it would depend -- I mean, as far as compliance is concerned, I don't think it would make a difference, in that we are committed to implementing those measures and maintaining those measures in any case.
3678 I suppose what might make a difference is what sort of monitoring you had. So if we had to file weekly reports or monthly reports, then that would add labour. But if it is a matter of saying these are the rules, you must follow them, we are committed to doing that regardless of whether or not there is a mandatory order.
3679 MR. NELSON: Just to add to answer your question. I believe that nothing much would change at this point in time because we are already doing, if not all, then a majority of those things in our opinion at this point in time.
3680 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Let's take the next scenario. If this panel and the Commission decided that you needed some time in order to get your house in order, hire the people and meet all the commitments that are required of you while you are no longer on the air, but we suspended your licence until we thought that was an appropriate time, how would that impact upon your operations?
3681 MR. LEHRER: Well, if I can take that first. For all intents and purposes, we were off the air for about six months. We weren't technically off the air because we were providing pre-recorded programming, but we didn't have live programming.
3682 As a result of that gap and the other problems, we have had, you know, a decrease in audience obviously and it has taking time to rebuild our audience in the past year. And we are not at the level we were at before, so if we were to go off the air again, it would probably make it even more difficult for us to recover.
3683 I think it is important for us to remain on the air and for our programs to remain on the air, and for the communities that are -- disadvantaged communities in particular that have access to the airwaves through our station to remain on the air both so they can, you know, express themselves and enhance, you know, their own communities, but also so that we can maintain and build an audience.
3684 So just taking us off the air for a period of time would set us back perhaps even further than we were when we came back a year ago.
3685 MR. SEEFIELDT: Just to add to that, the disconnection from our membership community would be a huge setback in the actual progress, because we do rely on the community to provide a lot of legwork in the day to day rebuilding of this station.
3686 And without the connection to them and the constant access to them, you know, it would be on us to rally troops privately without any connection and without offering these services back to the community that we are currently offering.
3687 So it would definitely create a disconnect. And the actual legwork and the teams that are in place in the community currently, there would be a disconnect with that and that would affect the productivity in getting back into or furthering progress right now.
3688 MR. LEHRER: There is also a funding question. We would lose advertising revenue. People have just given money in our fundraising campaign in order to keep the station on the air, so if the station went off the air would they give us money again next year? I don't know.
3689 And it would be much harder for us to justify receiving a student levy when there's nothing we put on the air. So our student levy might be put in question.
3690 So it could affect our funding, it would affect our audience, it would affect morale of volunteers, we don't know if all our volunteers would come back if there was that sort of gap. So it would be highly disruptive.
3691 THE CHAIRPERSON: But the reality is that since May, when we adjourned the first hearing, until now there have been complaints, albeit I recognize you were saying there might be some ulterior motives by some of them. But you did recognize there have been complaints, there were things that have got to get in order, they still haven't gotten in order. You are saying they will get into order once you have hired the people in order to maintain the day to day operations and governance.
3692 And all I am suggesting is if this panel decided that we were going to give you that time to do that and retain that licence, but only once you have the infrastructure, the people in place in order to maintain and manage and adhere to the obligations you have, how long would that take I guess is my first question, and how do you see that evolving?
3693 MR. NELSON: I will speak first, because I will be very brief with this.
3694 We hope that that is not going to be the result of the decision that the CRTC makes. Although, as we said before, we will respect any decision. But it would, without doubt, kill the morale of CKLN.
3695 There is already a lot of rumours floating around that we are going to lose our licence today. People from other radio stations in management and authority positions are spreading those rumours as if they know something already.
3696 That in itself has made it difficult to even progress as a radio station, because we are hearing those rumours and it is difficult for anyone to have the enthusiasm to move ahead just by rumours alone.
3697 Now, imagine if that was the reality.
3698 People can't understand this whole process because it has taken over a year and you have to live through it to understand why we are here today. You can tell people but they don't know when you tell them.
3699 So if we lose our licence, even temporarily, it may in the eyes of the CRTC be a good thing, aiming for us to be able to get ourselves together before we take on the responsibility of being public broadcasters, but I would just like you to, again, in thinking about that being the consequence of today, maybe rethink it through a little bit because we are unique and dynamic in the sense that we are a radio station with a licence to operate.
3700 There is only a handful of them in all of Canada and historically that will be beyond a slap in the face. It will be probably the route to anybody that is at present holding on by their fingernails to support CKLN or be part of it to finally let go and just say, look, that is over, it is the end of an era, let's move on.
3701 MR. LEHRER: And also we shouldn't have given the impression -- it is regrettable if we gave the impression that we are deferring compliance or deferring implementation of certain measures until we have staff in a few weeks.
3702 We have made tremendous progress in the past year and in the past six months, including in regards to complaints. I think the number of incidents when there has been profanity on the air has dropped dramatically.
3703 It was more widespread -- it wasn't widespread but it was more common about six or seven months ago. Now, it is relatively rare.
3704 We did implement a warning to everybody, saying, you know -- we have implemented a strict policy saying, you know, if there are any violations, you are suspended for the next show, and if there is a second violation, you are suspended indefinitely.
3705 So we have been taking action. We have increased our spoken word content. We have increased the number of students participating. And actually if we were taken off the air, students are only at Ryerson for four years and a lot of students who end up on the radio are in their third or fourth years, so that would deny the students who are now at the station the ability to be at the station forever because they would have graduated by the time we were back on the air.
3706 So I think, particularly to a campus community station based on -- who rely on volunteers, rely on students, I think it would be a fatal blow actually to take us off the air even temporarily.
3707 MR. NELSON: The other thing too would be the loss to the community. CKLN Radio is unique in its role. Even though there is CIUT which is also downtown and there is CHRY which is in the burbs, so to speak, we are unique in the role that we play as a radio station.
3708 There are a lot of communities and we see this every day, based on the love and the respect, I guess, we get when people come in and need us to play a part, especially now that fundraising -- it just happens we had 10 days of fundraising.
3709 It was some of the best radio CKLN has ever presented in its -- over the last five years, I would imagine, and this was the first time that we saw a boost in morale and a boost in camaraderie between everyone working at the station, who went out of their way to support each other.
3710 The community is the number one benefactor of all of these things. We are programmers but we serve the community and if CKLN was even off the air for a few weeks, it would, again, take away a necessary and vital voice that different communities within the CKLN community see as vital on an everyday basis and necessary.
3711 Because when they go elsewhere, they get doors closed in their faces. They get people who don't understand their culture, they don't understand their voice, they don't understand their need.
3712 We are dealing with people who are poor and disenfranchised. We are not a commercial radio station selling advertising to McDonald's and Pizza Pizza. We are a broke radio station and the people who listen to us are broke too and they can't go anywhere else. They don't have print mediums. They don't have television stations.
3713 All they have is CKLN, and CKLN, even though it is downtown, it is very, very strong in the suburbs as well, where there is urban music and alternative music and music that is not played on commercial radio.
3714 We hear from those people. They pledged over $50,000. In the past they have pledged as much as $100,000 and we feel very good that we have gotten some of those listeners back.
3715 We can't take the time necessary to explain to them the politics of everything that has happened, so we have made it policy not to explain. We have made it policy to deal with the future and the present, not to dwell in the past.
3716 That is the agreement that we have basically sat down and had all programmers sign, which is a promise of performance, not to dwell in the negativity but to try and create a new road for CKLN for a brighter future.
3717 So again, I would like to reiterate that those actions might have consequences on CKLN as a radio station, but the greater loss, the greater impact will be the loss to the community who will miss a radio station that has a real sense of purpose, a purpose that is real vital to the community.
3718 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Nelson, you just said that the community only has one choice and that is CKLN.
3719 Are there not other campus and community stations in Toronto that operate today that provide alternative programming?
3720 MR. NELSON: Well, I did recognize that there is CIUT which is downtown, as I said, and CHRY. They are both stations that are licensed, just like CKLN, to be campus community radio stations.
3721 CHRY is serving the Jane Finch community. Their signal is only good in -- aside from the Internet -- in the burbs and they are 60 percent urban.
3722 We are not 60 percent urban. We are not styled to be the same as CIUT in terms of what we stand for politically or musically. We are our own unique dynamic and that is why I can say to you that we see the people come into the station on a daily basis and they need our support, just like we need theirs.
3723 So there may not be one choice. If I said that, I would like to clear that right now. We are not the only choice but we are a vital and unique and necessary choice outside of the box of the other community radio stations.
3724 Toronto is such a big diaspora that one radio station cannot do it alone and CIUT does not -- I can't speak for CIUT but they don't address the community the same way that we do. They have a different sense of priority than we do. They have 100,000 watts. They reach into America with their big giant signal.
3725 We have a measly 250 watts, which, again, gets blown away by every other radio station on the FM dial. We are the weakest signal all the way over to the left. Because of our technical issues, one of the complaints that we get is that the signal is not even balanced, that it is weaker on the left side than the right side.
3726 Despite all of these negativities, we still have this great loyalty from people who write us and who listen to us and who tell us on an everyday basis that CKLN may not be perfect but we are so happy that it is back on the air and we don't ever want to see it go off the air again because we need the station, we love it and we want to keep it there, and what can I do to help. That is what our listeners are saying to us.
3727 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think I heard Mr. Lehrer say that you were off the air for a number of months.
3728 MR. LEHRER: Well, technically we weren't off the air, but from March to, I think it was September 2009, because there was no or limited access -- I am sorry.
3729 From March to about September 2009 because there was limited access to the studio, there was pre-recorded programming being played, which was non-compliant. So they were not -- you know, the programmers who would normally be on air were not on the air. Spoken word programming that would normally be broadcast wasn't being broadcast.
3730 So for all intents and purposes, we were off the air. There was music -- you know, we were on the air, but our programming had been interrupted.
3731 But even so, even though we were still technically on the air because we had music, the audience when we came back was much lower than the audience when we left. We rebuilt a lot of that audience, but I think if normal programming were interrupted again, we would lose those people and, you know, I mean they may come back once but they may not come back a second time.
3732 MR. NELSON: The whole series of CKLN being off the air, I think everybody in this room knows that that is the biggest breach of compliance from a community radio station which has the privilege of being granted a licence by the CRTC.
3733 At that point in time, I don't even think any one person is responsible for having made that decision because this was during the era where there were three boards or two and nobody quite knew who was in control.
3734 I was actually there when the doors were locked and that was it, CKLN was going to be "off the air" for a while. The whole idea of looping programming, again, wasn't thought through.
3735 It was an actual board member who was also a student who had the job and I remember the RSU had to -- or the PALIN Foundation had locked the doors. So special arrangements had to be made for that person to go in and even loop that, you know, three days of programming.
3736 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Nelson, we are looking at the board that is currently there, that was elected in July 2009, their performance from that date, that you have identified was in non-conformity in a number of cases, and now this Commission is trying to decide whether we have the confidence in the current board in order to continue to allow them to operate and comply with all the rules.
3737 I care less about previous boards and other people who may or may not have done whatever they have done.
3738 It is strictly this board operating from the day it had board approval by your members, what you have done till now, which you have recognized has been in breach, and whether we think you can come under the current regulations and meet all the obligations and all the commitments and all the logs and all the records going forward.
3739 And one of the scenarios that I put forward to you is if this panel comes to the conclusion that yes, we want you guys to continue but not until you have put your house in order, all I was asking is how much time do you think that would take?
3740 MR. NELSON: I guess we purposely did not answer that question with a time, with a number because it is such a horrible scenario that it just kind of put this pit feeling in my stomach. I don't know if another board member wants to put a number on it, but I personally don't. I think that would be a mistake. I hope that is not what is justifiable.
3741 MR. SEEFIELDT: I think what we could fairly say is that we would do everything in our power to do it in the quickest amount of time that you see fit. If this was the only scenario you see as an option leaving this hearing, then we would definitely need some guidance.
3742 We can take -- we have set a few goals in the new year and I think those are pretty clear on some of the things we said we want to accomplish within 60 days into the new year.
3743 I don't think there is any way of saying for sure how much time we would need. I think we would do it in the time that you say you want it done because it has to be done and there is no other option.
3744 To say how long it will take, well, how long do we have -- how long, you know, can this station possibly be off air. It won't sustain for more than a few weeks off air.
3745 We would need to act immediately and we would want it done immediately. So whatever the Commission sees fit, we would act within that timeline.
3746 THE CHAIRPERSON: Don't you think you would have advanced your position had you been able to introduce us to the new station manager, day-to-day operating manager, and sort of say we have made reparations, we have done all this, here we are, here is the guy in charge, here are the rules, he is the guy who is going to do this, rather than coming to us saying, we need time?
3747 MR. SEEFIELDT: Absolutely, but as well there are a lot of things we are putting in front of you as accomplishments and a lot of great advancements that have been made with this board.
3748 To say that the program director being hired or a staff being hired is the only mark of achievement isn't fair to speak to everything that these --
3749 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you are telling me your first priority is to commit to a hiring committee and hire somebody?
3750 MR. SEEFIELDT: As of this point, yes.
3751 THE CHAIRPERSON: So wouldn't it have been better had you come here with that done?
3752 MR. LEHRER: Well, unfortunately, because -- we had a delay as far as getting the bylaws revised. We had intended originally to -- we can't really hire a station manager or program director until the bylaws are changed removing the station manager and program director from the board because that was a fundamental problem.
3753 We wanted to do this in September. We weren't able to because of legal issues to do with mediation and we are going to do it now. So we have been delayed, unfortunately.
3754 We would have liked to have had someone in place by now, but we are going ahead with the bylaw changes on December 15th and we are going to be able to hire someone within 60 days.
3755 THE CHAIRPERSON: And will you have a quorum on December 15th?
3756 MR. LEHRER: Yes. The reason we didn't have a quorum at the last meeting was because we had it the day after fundraising ended. So the people were exhausted and people --
3757 MR. NELSON: Everybody was so tired.
3758 MR. LEHRER: The answer is yes, we will have quorum.
3759 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you will have student representation --
3760 MR. LEHRER: Yes.
3761 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- on the board?
3762 MR. NELSON: Yes.
3763 THE CHAIRPERSON: Those are my questions.
3765 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: No.
3766 THE CHAIRPERSON: No.
3767 Okay, thank you very much. Hopefully, you will be staying around for the remainder of the next day and a half because I am sure there will be some other issues that will be brought up that you may want to respond to in the reply phase tomorrow. So thank you.
3768 MR. NELSON: Thank you.
3769 MR. LEHRER: Thank you very much for listening to us.
3770 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary.
3771 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
3772 This concludes Phase I of this hearing.
3773 We will now proceed to Phase II in which interveners appear in the order set out in the agenda to present their intervention.
3774 For the record and at the request of the parties, there has been a change in the order of appearance for Phase II of this hearing.
3775 Interveners 2 and 3 in the agenda have switched with interveners 15 and 17 in the agenda.
3776 Therefore, I would now invite Lauren Speers, Paul Corby and Frequency Feminisms, who are appearing as a panel, to come forward. Thank you.
3777 MS HULLEY: Mr. Chair, I will just swear in the witnesses.
SWORN: LAUREN SPEERS
SWORN: PAUL CORBY
AFFIRMED: JOEITA GUPTA
AFFIRMED: MURPHY BROWNE
3778 MS HULLEY: Thank you very much.
3779 Ms Secretary.
3780 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
3781 We will proceed now with Lauren Speers.
3782 Ms Speers, you have 10 minutes for your presentation.
3783 MS SPEERS: Thank you, Madam Secretary.
3784 Hi there. I have a PowerPoint presentation in case I am not clear enough and I will start off with an introduction.
3785 My name is Lauren Speers. In the local music communities, I am known as DJ Chocolate and I am deeply involved with music in various capacities.
3786 I have been involved with CKLN for over half of my life, starting as a fill-in programmer in 1994. I sat on the Board of Directors at CKLN for a few years, ending in 2004, and I also sat on a highly contentious programming committee.
3787 I am friends with both Mr. Nelson from the current board and Mr. Barnes from the previous board and consider this situation to be disadvantageous to everyone except those who wish to see CKLN removed from the airwaves for their own personal vindication.
3788 I thank the Commission for their concern and the many people who responded to the call for further background. This obviously matters to more than a few disparate individuals. I also thank the people that I know are listening online and I urge the Commission to perhaps take a look at the numbers. Just given from the calls that I got over lunch, there are a lot of people listening.
3789 I am a law student at Osgoode Hall Law School and I am somewhat familiar with the Radio Regulations.
3790 My weekly program on CKLN has aired on Monday afternoons from 2:30 until 5:00 p.m. from 2001 until the disruption to broadcast and then since, after that, in 2008.
3791 I looked up "intervenor" -- I am an organized law student -- and an "intervenor" technically is somebody who enters a pending lawsuit because of their personal stake.
3792 My own personal stake is as follows.
3793 I and my 21-month-old son Judah do a program together every week, with the assistance of both my co-host Bob Appleton and a broadcasting student who is learning how community radio works.
3794 I love CKLN as a listener, a programmer, a mother and a community member. The music that I enjoy cannot be found on commercial radio.
3795 I currently sit on the By-Law Committee and I have sat on various committees, including hiring, programming and advertising, at CKLN over the last 17 years, all of whose primary duty was to provide recommendations to the Board of Directors. I have sat on committees with many of the people involved in this matter, including both intervenors and Directors from the Board, including Messrs. Duffell, Phillips, Barnes, Lehrer and Nelson.
3796 CKLN has always and will continue, with your acceptance, to be a collective endeavour of diverse and skilled individuals. My point is that the whole is always greater than the sum of the parts.
3797 I know that the Commission is very much aware of their own mandates, but for the people here who have not perhaps read them, I point to the mandates for community radio, which, first, permits and facilitates communication among members of the community by fostering diversity in the broadcasting of opinions, spoken word content and musical programming.
3798 Community radio participates in the stimulation of socio-economic endeavours and in the cultural enrichment of communities and reflects the diversity of the communities served. Local programming is produced, in part, by volunteers. This, CKLN has always done.
3799 For campus stations, the Commission emphasizes the importance of student involvement in campus community stations as well as the relationships that these stations should maintain with the postsecondary institutions with which they are associated.
3800 Campus radio shares the entirety of the mandate of community radio. However, campus radio distinguishes itself as follows:
3801 - local programming is produced in part by volunteers from the student body as well as the broader community;
3802 - the board of directors includes campus representatives, including a balanced representation from the student body and representation from the administration of the postsecondary institution, station volunteers and the community at large; and
3803 - there is access to funding through student levies.
3804 CKLN is trying to put these mandates into place. They have never been in place in our bylaws.
3805 Our mission statement is to be a forum for extensive cultural and historical contextualization and development of musical, artistic and other cultural expressions, along with socially progressive ideas which arise from communities, constituencies, sectors and individuals who are socially, politically and economically disadvantaged and whose access to public communications and media is thereby limited.
3806 Specifically, there are women, there are people of colour, there are First Nations peoples, lesbians and gay men, students, working people, poor people, disabled people, among others. In particular those within these communities who are the least publicly represented and who are working for visionary and innovative social changes are prioritized. This is what CKLN has sought to do.
3807 THE SECRETARY: Excuse me, Ms Speers, could you just slow down just a little bit for the interpreters? Thank you.
3808 MS SPEERS: Certainly.
3809 We had some help from an unexpected intervention by Now Magazine this week. I have provided the Commission with their requisite 15 copies. They are available online, attached as digital files.
3810 The title of this article that can be found in the hard copies at pages 21 to 23 is "A Committed but Chaotic Station Fights for Its Life at the CRTC". The writer of the article said:
"I am not the only listener who was aghast when a complicated, protracted, internal struggle silenced CKLN for nearly six months in 2009 and now, just as things have started to come together for the broadcaster on the left side of the dial at 88.1 on the FM band, CKLN is once again fighting for its life."
3811 A couple of paragraphs down, it says:
"Grass roots radio, unlike many online functions, is also a real time social incubator. As Steve Anderson, the national coordinator of openmedia.ca puts it, 'One thing that is important is the actual physical space of the radio station. It brings people together so that they can learn from and mentor each other. The internet cannot replace that'. He also says, 'Their staying power is their localism. It's the same hunger for what is nearby'. Anderson says that is the key engine of the internet. That's not going away with the digital area, he says. With local music and culture, community radio has always been a key force, and it's just getting stronger."
3812 And he says, and I quote:
"Let's hope the CRTC sees it the same way."
3813 Okay. You guys have said that you do not wish us to discuss the past and to go forward, okay. But just very quickly, I would like to say that the non-compliance did not have its genesis with the current Board of Directors.
3814 Your Item No. 1, which I'm not going to read for the point of brevity, is available for people who are listening online to take a look at, and for you guys, before you on the Powerpoint presentation, that the station failed to respond to a number of complaints and didn't answer your queries soon enough.
3815 How could the current Board of Directors or anybody possibly hope to provide you with logs when nobody could actually get in to the station? Further to that, the lockout happened because of a couple of different things.
3816 On the 1st of March, Ms. Paulette Hamilton and Mr. Cooper entered the station without authorization, damaged a door and attempted an occupation of the studio. Police were called and removed them, and the incident resulted in attention from both campus newspapers and a condemnation of the incident by Ryerson President, Sheldon Levy.
3817 On March 6th, the Palin Foundation chose to lock out the CKLN staff and management for security and safety reasons. Ms. Hamilton and Mr. Cooper are both here today, and hopefully will answer to their actions.
3818 Further to being answerable, the Chairs of previous Boards of Directors are also here. They can tell us why they or paid staff, which the current Board doesn't have, chose not to answer the listener complaints that started in 2008. Those complaints are available to the public on the CRTC's website, and I've listed them and their numbers so that people can look them up if they so choose.
3819 In response to something that was said by Mr. Nelson about the interim Board that urged people to write those letters, I would point out that only two of those are from CKLN programmers.
3820 In addition, the previous Boards were the ones who didn't file annual returns. And lastly, it's commonly held that those people had something to hide. The current Board is entirely transparent.
3821 Talking about improvements. Enough with the past.
3822 I represent the many programmers who are happy to be back on the air, happy to hear the broadcast content on CKLN and happy to show my support for the current Board of Directors. We are committed to CKLN and to this Board, and we are following their instructions.
3823 The current Board has been tireless in their efforts to bring the station into compliance. They've been putting rules into place that should have been there from the getgo. The previous Board did not have strong support from the programmers.
3824 As an example of improvement, I can only speak from my personal experience. My fundraising program two weeks ago, its total was more than doubled that of 2007. This is considered representative of listenership.
3825 Despite a constant barrage of litigation and efforts to derail them, the current Board stresses the positive to all of us programmers and listeners. We are urged to consider the future of the station and to be mindful of the repercussions of our actions.
3826 I am part of a diverse and committed family now, and not a group of warring factions. We've been meticulously kept abreast of station and Board meetings. We have been invited to participate, and we have been welcomed into decision-making processes.
3827 Further to that, the new bylaws proposed are in keeping with Industry Canada's model instead of being created by past Board members with deliberate loopholes.
3828 Further to that, CKLN's current Board has started to institute new policies like the advertising policy and the aforementioned new bylaws.
3829 There are other improvements. There have been mandatory training sessions in the use of both broadcasting equipment and in content. There have been several meetings and emails regarding on-air content.
3830 Programmers are now, just now, becoming aware that broadcasting is a privilege and not a right. The programmers are strongly supportive of the current Board of Directors.
3831 The Board that lost control of the station had both its Chair and station manager, Mike Phillips, and the program director, Tony Barnes, removed in a vote of non-confidence by the volunteers and community at a very well attended station meeting in 2007.
3832 My conclusion is that CKLN is healing. It's in a state of recovery and it's on its way to being fully compliant again. The atmosphere is no longer poisonous, and there is a sense of unit. We are diverse, we represent the unrepresented in mainstream media, and we hope to fulfil our mission statement in years to come.
3833 Please allow us to continue to build on CKLN's strengths for the future.
3834 Close with a question. Is satisfying issues of conduct by or of certain individuals more important than providing services to the greater constituent community?
3835 In its deliberations on the future of the CKLN license, the CRTC should consider where the priorities really are.
3836 Thank you very much.
3837 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
3838 We will now proceed with Mr. Paul Corby. Mr. Corby, you have 10 minutes for your presentation. Thank you.
3839 MR. CORBY: Good afternoon.
3840 I am a programmer and a host on CKLN. I have a Friday afternoon show called Corby's Orbit. I play music and I host an awful lot of live local performances on my show. I'm also an educator. I'm teaching with the Toronto District School Board.
3841 I've been a volunteer music teacher in the Board for 15 years, and I'm also a regular choir and service musician at a local church. I put in a lot of volunteer hours a week.
3842 I'm also a father and a homeowner, so it's not because I have a surplus of time. It's because I believe in the power of music and its usefulness in bringing social justice to Toronto.
3843 I'm a shameless idealist. I began listening to CKLN in the mid 1980s because it played unpredictable and personal music. The age seemed to demand selfishness and ostentation, and the hosts on CKLN were generous and sincere.
3844 Casual multi-culturalism rather than enforced synthesis of cultures and investigational tenacity made the news, the music and the personalities stand out from the larger trend towards homogeneity and synthesis that marked the larger broadcasters in Canada.
3845 It was sharing in the freedom that City TV and the new weeklies, I Magazine and Now Magazine, were bringing to the city. So I listened to the station until it drew me in.
3846 Moving from fundraising to on-air work in 2000 as a fill-in host for the jazz shows gave me a sense of the community of programmers and the way that the worked together to improve the station and the breadth of the station's appeal. An audience of shut-ins, professors, filmmakers and new Canadians, just for instance, would call in with support and reflections at all hours of the day and night.
3847 In those early weekday jazz hours, the combined catalyst of innovative music with the unique makeup of our staff allowed the audience we reached to participate in the shape, the spirit and the content of the shows. We seemed to be magnifying the educational mandate of Ryerson University with our programming.
3848 The unique value of true radio moments is that they are non-repeatable and intimate over a spectrum that is shared emotionally and immediately.
3849 Lately, I have been answering office phone calls during my show. I have been guiding people to the station that had clerical problems, and this has resulted in a fair bit of dead air. But we've been fighting against these problems heroically for the last few months.
3850 I found that these radio moments are occurring with even more frequency since CKLN staggered back to its feet after the misdirection and the resulting shutdown of 2009. There is more of a unanimous sense of purpose and cooperation amongst the staff, and the individualistic qualities of the earlier programmers have persevered through finding new talent.
3851 I am also encouraged by the recent fundraising activities. The programmer -- or the coordinator who was hired to run the fundraising was very fastidious, very honest and I think her hiring reflects very well on the direction that the new Board is taking.
3852 Excuse me a second. I've got what Ron had. Three weeks ago I sounded like him.
3853 Certainly the absence of cynicism, sarcasm and righteous indignation that typified the attitude of much of the discarded staff has helped us to ground ourselves, the programmers who remained to become more grounded. However, the listenership is now more distant because the necessary funds have been unavailable to publicize our return to the airwaves.
3854 We need to build the structure of the community back now that the foundation has been restored. It is a job that I am personally looking forward to, but inhibited by suspense over the outcome of this hearing, we have been unable to make firm plans. I have booked my shows to the end of the year.
3855 Especially with the Christmas season coming, there is a lot of local talent that wants to appear before the community, but I feel a little bit careful about looking for advertising because of the state that we're almost down to zero now. It's -- the rebirth is going to have to become -- is going to have to come instantly because we have just gotten to the end of the fundraising. And the way that the cash situation is, I understand we have every opportunity to rebuild, but it will depend on what happens over the next few days.
3856 All of these awards from long years as a volunteer and listener have made me passionate about the necessity for a station so vigorous, one committed to a city where peripheral culture is often more focused and progressive than that of the mainstream. To lose this voice would be a blow against the tradition and the future of culture and community in Toronto.
3857 Sincerely, Paul Corby.
3858 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
3859 We will now proceed with Frequency Feminism. Appearing for Frequency Feminism are Joeita Gupta and Murphy Browne.
3860 You may proceed with your 10-minute presentation. Thank you.
3861 MS. GUPTA: Thank you for giving us the opportunity to talk.
3862 My name is Joeita Gupta. I'm a programmer with Frequency Feminisms, and I volunteered with CKLN since 2007. And with me is Murphy Browne, who's also been a long-time volunteer at the station.
3863 MS. BROWNE: Thank you for giving us this opportunity to speak.
3864 My name is Murphy Browne. I have been a broadcaster with CKLN for more than a decade. I started with Radioactive Feminism and I was also a member of the unheard voice of the African woman.
3865 I also write for a community newspaper, Share Newspaper, that is mostly distributed in the Caribbean community. I was an African Heritage instructor in the International Languages program at the Toronto District School Board for more than two decades, until I resigned in 2008 due to the lessening of our program to where it was four hours a week.
3866 So we are here to speak about Frequency Feminisms, which is a program that started in July 2007. And Joeita is going to do most of the talking.
3867 MS. GUPTA: Thank you.
3868 So the collective at present, Frequency Feminisms, our collective, comprises nine volunteer programmers. And the women who make up the collective bring with them a kaleidoscope of experience and perspectives on feminisms.
3869 We are one of several sources of feminist programming on CKLN and, as Murphy noted, there's a long history of feminist programming at the station.
3870 At present, we've got mothers and grandmothers, students and educators, activists and artists, women of colour, poor and working-class women, disabled women, new Canadians, a lot of different people coming together just for this one show that airs weekly on Sundays between 10:30 to 12:00, which speaks volumes about the diversity of CKLN's volunteer community.
3871 We are all committed, as programmers, to excellence in broadcasting and to putting out high quality radio. Frequency Feminisms has made it its mission to bring forward cutting-edge reporting on the issues that matter to women, be it the -- you know, poverty, lack of housing, violence against women. We cover a spectrum of different issues.
3872 I'd like to draw the attention of the Panel to our written submission that goes into more detail to give you a sense of some of the programming that we've done.
3873 We're very proud of the work that we do as a Spoken Word show. We've had the privilege to afford a start or provide a forum for upcoming artists and musicians, authors, Spoken Word artists, people who really do "need a break", and we're very happy to be able to fill that space here in Toronto.
3874 As I said, Frequency Feminisms is nine members at the moment, and many of us have had varying degrees of involvement. Murphy, as she mentioned, has been involved with CKLN for a little over a decade, but we've had women join the team as early as, you know, about two months ago.
3875 And we've really made an effort in terms of recruiting for our collective to include greater representation from Ryerson students. To that end, we have two members now who are from Ryerson University, the first being an undergraduate student, and the other being a recent graduate of the radio and television broadcasting program.
3876 So we really do try and make sure that our composition or the collective's composition reflects the reality of a campus community radio station.
3877 CKLN has had its license granted to it since 1983, and in its 25 plus years has been a beacon and a pioneer in the work that we've done. CKLN has been acknowledged and recognized on many different occasions for the work that it has done for the community and it has made a lasting impact on the city and in the media landscape.
3878 CKLN is the voice for the voiceless, and this is something that I feel very strongly about. I self identify as not only a woman, but a new immigrant and a person with a disability, and I feel very grateful and profoundly happy that I have the opportunity that I do to participate in radio and put the word out there. And there are very few places like CKLN in the city.
3879 And I am here to support the station because of the amazing work that it does and has done despite its slightly rocky -- despite the fact that the last couple of years have been a little bit rocky.
3880 CKLN has really been on the front line putting out cutting-edge news coverage, music. It has really represented the diversity of the city, and I think that it fills a really important place for us as members of the community and, you know, based on the fact that many, many people who have space and have the opportunity to program here at CKLN are traditionally either misrepresented or under-represented in "mainstream media".
3881 So really, CKLN is a wonderful place to work now, and I'm so, so glad that I have the opportunity, and many other programmers will share the sentiment. As Ms. Speers noted, we've come to realize through the hardships of the last couple of years that programming is not a right; it's a privilege. And we are truly, truly grateful to have that privilege extended to us.
3882 I want to perhaps quickly go over some of the events that took place and provide my perspective as a programmer.
3883 In February 2008, there was a community meeting that was called in accordance with CKLN bylaws, at which time there was a motion of non-confidence against several members of the Board, who subsequently refused to step down, even though a new Board of Directors had been elected.
3884 And these people continued to illegitimately retain control of the station and its assets for several months after that.
3885 The then station manager, Mike Phillips, and program director, Tony Barnes, undertook a campaign of intimidation and silencing of dissent within the station.
3886 Many of us programmers were subjected to an extremely jarring experience of having our programming privileges revoked without very -- with little to no explanation. Many programmers that had shows here for decades and they were let go without so much as an explanation.
3887 This continued to about January 2009, at which point about 60 volunteers had been let go. The station -- this illegitimate Board also let go of several of the station staff, and that's a deep loss and a setback to the station, one that we're dealing with today.
3888 For example, the news director, Christian Schwartz, who was returning from a year's parental leave, was let go by the station, and that's a loss that we're trying to make up as we move forward today.
3889 I think many of the issues have been covered, but I wanted to point out that things really did come to a head at the station in March 2009 following an incident at the station. That's when CKLN was off air but not because the station was effectively locked out and all remaining programmers were locked out.
3890 Even though things got -- seemingly got very, very dismal at that point, it was also the turning point for the station and it paved the way for improvement. About a month after the lockdown of the station, the -- I guess I'll call him the illegitimate Board stepped down and this effectively cleared the way for negotiations and the elections that subsequently took place on June 24th, 2009.
3891 And I was there, and I can say that there was great community turnout. There must have been easily between 150 to 200 people. There was a tremendous show of support for the station. There was a tremendous -- there was a great deal of energy from volunteers and programmers to get the station back on track, and we subsequently elected a Board of Directors that was, as you know, recognized by the Ryerson student union. And from then on, the station has been on the road to recovery.
3892 I just want to say that throughout this turbulent time for the station between February 2008 and June 2009 the community and us programmers didn't give up on the station. We didn't give up on the idea and the ethos and all the things that make CKLN what it is.
3893 It's a bold, unflinching representation of social justice. It provides a supportive and progressive environment for people who don't usually and who would otherwise not have an opportunity to participate to the fullest extent in media, and that we, as programmers, felt was something that was worth fighting for.
3894 And fought we did. Frequency Feminisms, for example, organized weekly pickets to coincide with our Sunday morning show and we were there in all kinds of weather, fair and foul, especially foul weather. And other programmers also took up the charge.
3895 They continued to blog. Programmers put out information sessions, did broadcasts in exile, held teach-ins. So there is a community around the station, and a community of people who are committed to doing what needs to get done to make the station -- to return the station to its previous high standing in community radio as a solid -- because it is and has been and will, I think, continue to be a solid example of everything that's really wonderful about community radio.
3896 The Board of Directors right now has the full support of the majority of the community. I can safely speak for the collective at Frequency Feminisms. We are truly happy to have them running things for us. They have acted with due diligence and have acted responsibly as stewards of the organization ought to.
3897 They've taken great steps and have many achievements. The Commission has heard about the complications of being a working Board, but despite the challenges, I think the Board has done excellent work. They have many, many accomplishments, a few of which I will summarize for you right now.
3898 THE SECRETARY: I'm sorry to interrupt. You have one minute remaining.
3899 MS. GUPTA: Thank you.
3900 THE SECRETARY: Please conclude. Thank you.
3901 MS. GUPTA: So they've done a lot of really good work and I think I want to conclude by saying that although there are challenges ahead of the station, I think our Board of Directors and we, the programmers, have a very good sense for what we need to do and how we need to get it done. And I feel like the station really fills an important need in the community for all of us programmers.
3902 We are -- we have come out of this rather jarring experience, I think, stronger, wiser and more unified as a community. We are all committed to making sure that something like this doesn't happen, and we are taking the necessary steps to ensure that the station is in compliance with CRTC regulations, and that in the next 25 years, in the next 50 years, for as long as there is a need for community radio, I think CKLN will continue to grow and thrive.
3903 We do have the potential, we do have the will and the energy to make it happen. So, please, give us the opportunity to make real this commitment to community radio, to alternative perspectives, to bring forward the voice of the voiceless.
3904 Thank you.
3905 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
3906 I would ask Commissioner Poirier to lead the questioning.
3907 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
3908 I understand why you are all on-air, you are great speakers, very passionate, and volunteers deserve great respect. So I appreciate the time you take to come here and to make a presentation, as well as being on-air and preparing your radio program. It's a lot of work, and I am sure that we all appreciate that you decided to come here.
3909 We rarely hold a hearing at the mid-term of a licensee. If we do so, it means that it's very important, that there have been some non-compliance issues, and we want to make sure that, in the future, it will change.
3910 My first question to all of you is: Do you sincerely believe that CKLN will comply with the CRTC's rules?
3911 And, please, give me examples of things that have changed in the last year to prove so.
3912 I will start with Ms. Gupta, please.
3913 MS. GUPTA: Thank you so much.
3914 Yes, I am confident in saying that CKLN will comply with the regulations set out by the CRTC.
3915 There have been some very notable changes at the station. For the first time since I became a volunteer at the station, I have had access to the Board members, who have been extremely helpful and forthcoming.
3916 Although the station has not had the good fortune of having full-time staff, that was something that was never really downloaded onto myself as a programmer. I always felt that I was supported in the work that I had to do, and the Board was really there to help us.
3917 Ron was on call if there were technical questions. I could approach Andrew for policy considerations and questions.
3918 The station has also been very rigorous in training us. They have taken the time to do a very thorough job. Many of us, as volunteers, have received technical training. They have also provided training to us to ensure that we are filling out the playlists properly. They have made a very strong case for on-air etiquette, to make sure that we are not accidentally using profanity.
3919 I think they have really helped to foster a culture at CKLN where we have come to take these things very seriously as a community.
3920 And this is only through the intervention and the hard work of the Board of Directors.
3921 We often hear from the Board of Directors. Many things have changed. The station is run in a far more democratic and transparent fashion. Board meetings are advertised. Any one of us has the opportunity to attend and to provide feedback and participate in the governance of this station.
3922 This is a really welcome change, and I feel like the Board of Directors is not only trying to repair the damage that was done, but they are also looking to the future of the station, and making adjustments, as and when needed, to ensure that we don't have a setback at the station.
3923 I think that kind of foresight is really going to be important for the well-being of the station.
3924 So, yes, I am very confident in saying that --
3925 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you, because I understand that you could go on forever.
3926 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Does someone else have something to add?
3927 MS SPEERS: I would like to add that, having sat on the Board of Directors for many years prior to the disruption and the current Board, there have actually been disciplinary measures taken with people who do not comply with CRTC regulations.
3928 I hadn't seen that. I joined CKLN in 1994. People have been using profanity on the radio for -- oh, my math skills are really bad -- 17 years, and this is the first time that I have seen disciplinary measures actually taken.
3929 People are warned; people are suspended.
3930 In addition to that, the Radio Regulations have been made available to the programmers. Anybody who is in the on-air booth can look at the programmer's handbook and the manual on how to operate the on-air equipment, and they are sitting right there.
3931 I was not even aware of the existence of the Radio Regulations as a Board member for six years prior to the disruption.
3932 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Mr. Corby, do you have something to add?
3933 MR. CORBY: Yes. It is not just the change in etiquette that is making a difference, but the fact that people are being positive on-air and not comparing themselves with other stations or with things that have gone on in the past. People are definitely trying to enliven the atmosphere around the place.
3934 And all of the meetings, so far, have been held with great respect to that positivity, no undercurrent of failure or impending doom is going on any more.
3935 I have seen this Board, as recently as last week, at work, and when I got in to do my show they were already in the middle of it, and at the end of my show they were still in the middle of it.
3936 The fundraising was held with workshops and all sorts of instructional procedures.
3937 Some of the DJs who have tried to stay with the station, even -- and I won't mention any names, but a friend of mine who has recently gone through divorce proceedings and moved out of town, is still coming to town to do his show.
3938 That is the kind of positivity that is running rampant in the station right now.
3939 During the fundraising I had a guest come up who had listened to my show on the way over in a taxi, and the taxi driver said, "Keep the fare, give it to the DJ."
3940 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: From what I hear, I have the feeling that -- can I say that most of the volunteers and programmers understand your obligations?
3941 And I am talking about the spoken word obligation, music selection, Canadian content obligations, code of ethics --
3942 You are all nodding "Yes".
3943 Most of the volunteers understand those rules now?
3944 MS SPEERS: I would say the great majority. As opposed to most, the great majority understand and appreciate not only that those rules exist, but why they are there and why it is so important for CKLN representatives on-air to fulfil the terms of our agreement with you, who gave us our licence in the first place.
3945 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: You said most of them, so there are still --
3946 MS SPEERS: I said the great majority; way more than most.
3947 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes. Do you feel that there will be something done to make sure that the others, who maybe don't understand the rules, will comply?
3948 MS SPEERS: It has been done, it is being done, and it will be done.
3949 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: It's a work in process.
3950 MS SPEERS: Yes.
3951 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: My other question -- you know, the student community, and the community at large, has invested a lot of money in this radio station. Do you have the feeling that the community and the students got their money's worth, mostly in the last year?
3952 MS SPEERS: I would say so. I would say so, and I would say that this Board is very, very open to student participation. It is the first time that students are not just told to fill out a form, but they are told to come to meetings. They are given more than two minutes of time and a "Thank you, yes, we will take this piece of paper and put it in a drawer."
3953 MR. CORBY: When I hear student programmers on the air, I will take time to phone them up and tell them, you know, what a good job they are doing. Or, if they do, in fact, fail to comply, I will point that out, as well.
3954 I have bands that go to Ryerson coming onto the show, and their peer groups are absolutely thrilled to hear them on the radio.
3955 So we are doing as much as we can to encourage the Ryerson community to be a part of the station.
3956 MS BROWNE: I think that we have had a great improvement in the number of students who are involved, students who have decided that the atmosphere at CKLN is conducive to them becoming involved. We have seen more students applying for programs, and on Sunday mornings, actually, just before "Frequency Feminisms", we have two students who have a new program that started a few months ago.
3957 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: This is my last question, Mr. Chair.
3958 The Chair has mentioned the possibility of suspension of the licence, or a mandatory order, or even the revocation of the licence.
3959 I would like you to comment on whether a mandatory order could, maybe, help the station to become fully compliant.
3960 And what do you think about the possibility of the suspension of the licence?
3961 MS SPEERS: I think that a mandatory order would be preferable, in that the guidance of the Commission would be welcomed at CKLN, and it wouldn't impede the progress that we have made since we came back on-air.
3962 I am going to echo what the Board said while they were speaking. It has taken some time to get our listenership back, to let them know that we are there, and now we have them coming back.
3963 And as I said to you, I made more than double the money that I have made in previous years, this year, during fundraising for CKLN, because the listenership is coming back, and they do care.
3964 So to take away or to suspend the licence would be such a hurdle; whereas a mandatory order would be that message that the Commission spoke about earlier this morning, when they said: What kind of message will be sending to campus radio stations across the country with what we do with you guys here today?
3965 Part of what is important is for you to show us, and for us to show everybody, and for community radio across the country to understand that there are repercussions, but we can grow and we can learn from our mistakes.
3966 MR. CORBY: We are trying to demonstrate a certain amount of reliability, not only to you, but to the audience.
3967 As I say, the timing of this has been crucial, because we are entering the season when everybody is busy doing something else, and the Board has focused on trying to make accountability first and foremost, and staffing the first priority, at a very difficult time of the year.
3968 So, I think, to maintain the reliability of the station, it is essential for us to stay on-air, especially during this time, when people have a lot more leisure time and will be listening to the radio while doing a lot of travelling and looking for something to listen to.
3969 And having just finished the fund fest, to tell people, "Well, we are going now," would be really demoralizing, so I would like to stay on the air.
3970 MS BROWNE: I think that a suspension of the licence at this time would be very unfortunate, because we just got back on the air, and people are becoming involved in listening and becoming engaged with the station.
3971 And the many years that the station has been on the air and the unique voice needs to be maintained.
3972 So I hope that the Commission will not suspend the licence, however temporarily, and that we will be allowed to continue broadcasting.
3973 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, I am done.
3974 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
3975 Commissioner Denton...
3976 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Ms Speers, what year are you in?
3977 MS SPEERS: At Osgoode, I am in my third year.
3978 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Third?
3979 MS SPEERS: Yes. I have an exam tomorrow, and several papers due this week.
3980 I know that another member of "Frequency Feminisms", Ms Oriel Varga, is also at Osgoode, and was also supposed to be here today.
3981 It is a measure of my --
3982 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Devotion.
3983 MS SPEERS: Exactly.
3984 COMMISSIONER DENTON: You are in third year, so you have past the hump, really, of second, which is --
3985 MS SPEERS: Yes, but I have a baby who is about to turn two, so my humps are diverse, as well as everything else.
3986 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Congratulations and condolences.
3987 MS SPEERS: Thanks.
3988 COMMISSIONER DENTON: I read your brief. It is a model of organization in responding to the issues, so thanks. It was clear and forthright.
3989 I am going to possibly waste the taxpayers' time, because I want to ask you a question that may not be relevant to what is going on now.
3990 What, on earth, happened?
3991 Was it just poisonous ego confrontation that led to this mess, which is apparently being cleaned up?
3992 MS SPEERS: Mr. Commissioner, like with federal politics, everybody has a different game plan. Everybody has an ego. Everybody has an agenda. And when you get an organization that is self-governed and is given a bunch of money, and has 200 people working underneath it, all kinds of bad things can happen.
3993 And at CKLN, because the mission statement is so idealistic and so wide-reaching, that allows room for many different personalities, and many different styles of control.
3994 And as I said to you earlier in my statement, I am friends with people on the previous Board, which I have called the bad Board. But I don't think that -- in doing things that they thought were good, I don't think they did them in ways that anybody anticipated or could have thought of as fair.
3995 Firing a third of the staff, firing the staff that were the most popular on-air, sending people like Mr. Nelson and Denise Benson two-line letters saying, "Your services are no longer required," was not a good way of conducting business in the name of a non-profit organization.
3996 I think their sights were set on making an efficient business model, and an efficient business model, again, doesn't take into account the space for personalities and egos.
3997 And, you know, 200-plus people is a lot of egos.
3998 Does that answer your question?
3999 COMMISSIONER DENTON: In part.
4000 You are basically telling the story that the current Board is taking out the garbage created by the previous situation. That's the main line that I am getting, that things are being cleaned up.
4001 MS SPEERS: Things are being cleaned up and, most importantly, as you yourselves, the Commission, have said, people are looking to the future, they are not necessarily looking to their own good. That is the one thing that I can say, above and beyond, that this Board represents. They are not in it for themselves or personal gain, they are in it for the good of the station and the good of the community that is served by the station.
4002 COMMISSIONER DENTON: If I were proposing a show and I was a volunteer of a certain age and came in and said that I would like to run a show on, say, medieval and Renaissance choral music, could I get a spot on the Board?
4003 MS SPEERS: A spot on the Board or a spot on-air?
4004 COMMISSIONER DENTON: No, I'm sorry, a spot as a programmer.
4005 MS SPEERS: Are you over 18, sir?
4006 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Am I what?
4007 MS SPEERS: Are you over 18 years of age?
4008 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Long ago.
4009 MS SPEERS: Well, then, I think that it would be under consideration, and if it were spoken word and it would serve a community that is underrepresented, then it would fit within our mandate.
4010 And I know that there is an awful lot of overnight programming available right now. If you could help during those hours, if you are not busy at 3 o'clock on Wednesday morning, there is a good chance.
4011 But having said that, that is the first time I could answer your question like that. There are people who, in past years -- my own show was a proposal that sat in a filing cabinet for 11 years.
4012 Well, actually, that's an exaggeration -- 6 years.
4013 If it hadn't been for a programmer who said, "Hey, I really like what you do" -- because I am a DJ and he knew the kind of music that I played -- I wouldn't have a show on CKLN.
4014 The current Board actually goes through the proposals. There isn't a filing cabinet somewhere where things gather dust, it is about serving diverse communities and trying to fill the needs of both Ryerson, by providing representation to students -- which, as they said, they have been prioritizing -- and also fulfilling the CRTC requisite of having people on-air all the time.
4015 Have I answered your question yet?
4016 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Yes.
4017 The story you are telling is that you are seeing, almost for the first time, a process of a Board considering things in a rational manner, preparing budgets -- just rational discussion. Is this the sense I am getting from you, that there is now a Board which is behaving like a Board ought to behave?
4018 MS SPEERS: Yes, in part. I have to be fair, and I took an oath. I don't think that this Board was prepared for what they got. When they stepped up to the plate, I don't think any of them had very much experience in the governance of a non-profit organization, and I think that they have done a very good job, with fairly limited resources, and they have learned along the way.
4019 And because of their lessons, everybody at the station has learned about their lessons, and we are all -- as I have been repeating, we are becoming more of a family. We all understand the rules and the responsibilities.
4020 Lots of people, myself included, came in for years and only did our shows. I helped with four shows, other than mine, during fundraising this year. That is a measure of the improvements that have taken place in the last year.
4021 COMMISSIONER DENTON: One of the things you are telling us is that, given the kind of incentives that occur in a voluntary situation, with money that comes in from students, and a lack of commercial impetus to serve the public commercially, there is an opportunity in these situations for things to go sour, as well as for things to go well.
4022 MS SPEERS: Yes.
4023 COMMISSIONER DENTON: If this station is allowed to continue, what do you think must be done to prevent the recurrence of the kind of poisonous environment that characterized it a few years ago?
4024 MS SPEERS: I think the new bylaws are an excellent start.
4025 They had removed the station manager and the program director from voting positions, which was retarded -- pardon my language, but it really was not very sensible.
4026 The previous bylaws were actually created by one of the deposed former staff members with loopholes in mind, and the current bylaws are based on Industry Canada model bylaws for non-profit organizations.
4027 I think one of the things that you guys have reiterated, in particular Commission Molnar, is the checklist that should be in place, and that all programmers should be aware of adhering to your rules.
4028 That's a very good start. Those rules have a very clear ideal behind them, and I think that anybody who has taken the time to read them even once gets a sense of why campus community radio should be seen as being different from commercial radio.
4029 And having said that, we have a distinction as programmers. Commercial radio is told what to play. A music director chooses the music. A news director chooses what items appear as news.
4030 The freedom that has been given to programmers on CKLN is something that, if we understand why it's important and how we cannot transgress, will only make for better programming.
4031 And I think that as soon as we have some paid staff to complement the current, tireless, Board's efforts, people will actually, hopefully, be reminded of the rules more often than once a year, before or immediately after elections.
4032 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Mr. Chairman, those are my questions. Thank you.
4033 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
4034 Commissioner Menzies...
4035 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Yes, I have a couple of quick questions.
4036 Ms Speers, you were on the Board until 2004. Was there any particular reason why you left?
4037 MS SPEERS: Yes. I have a straight answer and a cynical answer.
4038 The straight answer is that I wasn't certain what position I should be running for any more. I could have run for community, I could have run for student representative on the Board of Directors.
4039 I was a Ryerson student at the time.
4040 I ran for the wrong one. That's the straight answer. I lost.
4041 The cynical answer is that I lost because of the old bylaws, which allowed for the stacking of votes, and there were people at that meeting who had a great interest in controlling what was going to happen with CKLN in the years to come, who brought members, who had paid their volunteer memberships, and, thus, in accordance with the older bylaws, were -- not to get too technical, but community members in the past could only vote for the community rep; whereas programmers could vote for programmer reps. Student members could vote for student reps.
4042 Do you understand the --
4043 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Yes. Have you stood for election to the Board since?
4044 MS SPEERS: No, sir. Law school is a little intense.
4045 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Yes, you are a busy woman.
4046 I have a question for you, and I would like a response from the other members of the panel, too.
4047 When you quoted from the CKLN mission statement -- and I will try to condense it -- development of musical, artistic and other cultural expressions, along with socially progressive ideas which arise from communities, constituent sectors, and individuals, socially and politically...specifically, women, people of colour, First Nations people, lesbians and gay men, students, working people, poor people, disabled people, among others -- that is a diverse group.
4048 How well do you feel that the current Board represents those constituents?
4049 MS SPEERS: I think that the current Board makes more of an effort to represent those constituents than any of the Boards prior.
4050 Having said that, it is apparent that not all of the current Board fits into one of those categories. However, they are aware of those categories, and they are aware that our role is to foster those disengaged, disenfranchised groups of people.
4051 I think that, frankly, sir, they give a damn.
4052 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. People can be capable of empathy.
4053 I would like to hear from the other panellists, too.
4054 MR. CORBY: Learning to speak on the air, in a progressive way, as well as without offending other people, is very difficult. You have to make your choices instantaneously.
4055 I think I once said something about a lame excuse, and somebody came in and said, "No, no, you can't say lame, because it has another meaning that is pejorative."
4056 So having to do all that in the middle of all the other things that we are doing can be a real problem.
4057 I lost my train there.
4058 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: My main issue was whether the board has currently constituted, is representative of those diverse minority communities.
4059 MR. CORBY: I think in my informal conversations with the members of the board I find them all to be very sensitive about these things and sensible.
4060 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Good. Thank you.
4061 MS BROWNE: Frequency Feminisms, the members of our collective, we have confidence in this board because we get so many emails. One example, we get so many emails when there is a board meeting reminding us as opposed to not knowing when a board meeting was going to be happening from the board before.
4062 And the board also has been very helpful to our new members who have not had experience with being on the air, with being able to answer questions. And so we are grateful to this board for the transparency and the kind of work that they are doing as volunteers and the fact that they are on call 24/7 practically.
4063 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
4064 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
4065 I have a question that I will ask each one of you, and I will pose it in a way that reflects your positions as you stated this afternoon.
4066 Mr. Corby, I think I heard you say at one point you are an avid listener of CKLN obviously, and where people succeed in their programming you call them up and commend them. And then I wrote down, "when they fail to comply I will call them and tell them." I will come back to that in a minute, because Ms Gupta and Ms Browne in their submission talked about, "the rigorous training for its volunteers to facilitate competence and inherence to CRTC guidelines."
4067 So there appears to be mandatory training. And then I noticed, Ms Speers, you say as well, "There has been mandatory training sessions." But I also heard you say that "a great majority know the rules, but not all of them. But people can look up the rules because they are posted on a wall somewhere."
4068 So I am sitting here trying to understand the degree to which there is mandatory training. Because, if there is, they should know the rules without looking on a wall to try and get the regulations.
4069 But it drives me to a document that was filed by CKLN called a "Programmer's Handbook" that I read over religiously last week. And there is a section here called "Language and Content," and it actually refers to the CRTC Radio Regulations of 1986 stating that, "A licensee shall not broadcast anything in contravention of the law, any abusive content, any obscene or profane language, any false or misleading news.." and so on and so forth.
4070 So I sit back and say, so there appears to be training, there appears to be documentation. Is the issue enforcement or lack of enforcement? Is the issue a laissez-faire attitude by the board? Is the issue a lack of administration and hands-on administration of policies? What is the cause of it if in fact there is a document here?
4071 You are all saying you are getting mandatory training, but yet it is still not manifesting itself in on-air broadcasting in compliance with the regulations.
4072 MR. CORBY: When I had made that statement I was actually talking about student programmers, and they are the only ones that I have found to be somewhat overenthusiastic when they are on the air. They sometimes get carried away socially, they will have some sort of event happen on the phone that spurs them to talk off the cuff, and perhaps say things that they shouldn't be saying on the air.
4073 I have never heard anything totally offensive. I have heard other people tell me about similar situations. And I have never been to a meeting where the on-air decorum hasn't been discussed thoroughly. Every time we get together we are talking about that and ways to improve it.
4074 Unfortunately, a lot of students don't come to these meetings and are given what training they are given without actually having had the experience of having to make split-second decisions on the air about what they are going to say. And that is where I find probably Lauren's reference as well to the majority of the programmers, because those of us who have been there long enough know the importance of what we say.
4075 MS SPEERS: Further to that, ladies and gentlemen of the Commission, all of us -- I am not sure about Joeita, but Murphy and Mr. Corby and myself, all of us are educators and all of us have tried our best to instil upon the people that we teach, and people of different ages, you know, we teach them the best that we can. That doesn't necessarily mean that they are going to get 100 per cent on every exam.
4076 And I think also that you guys made it seem as if it were a big flaw, that the damage has already been done after something has come out of people's mouths. But neither the board nor the people who train the individuals who go on air can prevent things from coming out of people's mouths before they happen, other than to say punitive measures will be taken and then to actually make good on that.
4077 It is not like we have, you know, a malleable foam hammer that we can walk into a room and hit the bad programmer on the head with. It doesn't work like that. People aren't as compliant as you would like them to be.
4078 But idealistically, as Paul said, if you keep trying to hammer it home without actually hammering the people on the head, then eventually they do get it and, as Paul said, eventually, you know, after more than two or three shows you start to curb the natural instinct that happens when you turn that microphone on, to just react. And that is something that takes training and that is one of the greatest strengths of CKLN.
4079 Some of the most important local politicians and media people come out of places like CKLN, campus community radio is supposed to be a training ground. People like Jack Layton, people like Adam Vaughan, all sorts of important people have worked at CKLN and ironed out the kinks on our airwaves at taxpayers' expense, at Ryerson's expense, but it is an investment for the future. Those students that are learning, they will be good broadcasters eventually.
4080 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you are saying it is an enforcement issue?
4081 MS SPEERS: I am not saying it is an enforcement issue. I am saying it is human error. I think the current board is enforcing more than any board has enforced before, any measures.
4082 I wrote a draft of the equipment manual, the on-air equipment manual, and I had to go and actually ask the person who was paid at that point how to use the delay machine, what the earlier panel referred to as the dump switch, right, which is the button that you push when there is a word in a song.
4083 This current board is the first board that has ever said anything to programmers like pre-screen your music, right?
4084 In addition to that, the reason why I brought up the dump switch reference, is that most of us, prior to these mandatory training sessions, were not taught how to use that equipment. That wasn't a priority before and now it is a priority, but you cannot expect young people and older people who are set in their ways to just be able to switch on like a light bulb and go, okay, yeah I get it, I am not supposed to react. But we are trying, we are trying.
4085 MS BROWNE: The mandatory training does happen. But as Lauren pointed out, it doesn't mean that everyone will remember everything that they got there.
4086 I know that the training that I've got through this board has helped me to be able to tech. I have been a programmer for more than a decade, and it is only in the last year that I can tech for myself if my tech does not show up. So that is something that I have learned and I am very grateful for, because it is not every week that the tech will turn up.
4087 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is there a distinction between mandatory training and mandatory attendance?
4088 MS SPEERS: No, mandatory is mandatory.
4089 THE CHAIRPERSON: I thought I heard Mr. Corby say "not everybody shows up."
4090 MR. CORBY: At the meetings, not at the training.
4091 THE CHAIRPERSON: So each one of you have been at training?
4092 MS SPEERS: I have, more than once. There has been different trainings for different things.
4093 MS GUPTA: I also just wanted to add that in terms of the mandatory training, the board has again been very accommodating of different schedules so they would have the same training offered at different times and on different days, because they have tried as much as possible to make sure that people come.
4094 And people do take this very seriously, so I think they have very good attendance. And this is something that, issues of on-air etiquette and decorum, as others have mentioned, do come up very frequently at staff meetings, so it is something that we are very conscientious of.
4095 And I think that while there is margin for human error, more importantly, as I said in my talk, we really are starting to foster a culture here at CKLN where we follow the guidelines on instinct and that is only made possible through the intervention of the board to which has been very constructive.
4096 THE CHAIRPERSON: That concludes our presentations here with you folks. Thank you very much.
4097 Let's take a 10-minute break and resume with the next party.
--- Upon recessing at 1547
--- Upon resuming at 1602
4098 THE SECRETARY: Just one announcement before we begin.
4099 The Commission intends to hear interveners up to intervener number 8, which is Mr. Doug Barrett. And starting with intervener 9 and 10 as a panel we will begin with them tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m., followed by the others. Thank you.
4100 We will now proceed with the National Campus of Community Radio Association. Appearing for the NCRA is Shelley Robinson. Our legal counsel, Crystal Hulley, will now swear in the intervener.
AFFIRMED: SHELLEY ROBINSON
4101 THE SECRETARY: You may now begin with your 10-minute presentation. Thank you.
4102 MS ROBINSON: Good afternoon. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you. My name is Shelley Robinson and I am the Executive Director of the National Campus and Community Radio Association / l'Association nationale des radios étudiantes et communautaires, also known as NCRA/ANREC.
4103 The NCRA/ANREC is a not-for-profit group committed to volunteer-driven community-oriented radio across Canada. We have more than 75 members and our goals are to ensure stability and support for individual stations and to promote the long-term grown and effectiveness of the sector.
4104 We are here today to support CKLN in the work they have done to come into regulatory compliance. We also want to ensure, through ongoing work with our members and consultation with the Commission, that the kind of crisis experienced by CKLN is never repeated at CKLN or any other campus or community station.
4105 We recognize that compliance and accountability to broadcasting legislation and policies are of utmost importance and it is the responsibility of every broadcasting licensee to be fully apprised of its regulatory obligations and responsibilities.
4106 We also appreciate that the Commission views each licensee as one continuous entity regardless of which individuals are responsible for its governance at any one point in time.
4107 However, we believe that the focus in this situation should be on the steps that the current CKLN board of directors has taken to rectify past mistakes it inherited rather than created.
4108 We also note that governance work can be thankless at not-for-profits stations where volunteer boards are held responsible for any problems that arise. Board members to this work regardless because they believe their stations are valuable to their communities.
4109 Just how thankless this work is or has been for the current CKLN board can be seen by the numerous complaints the board has fielded about improper practices, failures, incidents and actions. Some of these complaints are clearly outside the regulatory scope of this proceeding, some are without merit and others are valid concerns. All of them have been treated seriously and with due process.
4110 It is hard, however, for us to understand why some people would prefer CKLN to have its licence revoked than to put their differences aside and support the station as it moves forward. From our perspective, it would be a huge loss to see any campus community station, but particularly one like CKLN, have its licence revoked.
4111 In its 27-year history CKLN has been known as a distinct voice of the underground featuring unique spoken-word and music programming, which other people have told you in much better detail than I can go into, produced by a diverse pool of committed volunteers. It is a hub of community and cultural expression in downtown Toronto and amplifies the voices of those underrepresented in other media, including youth, people of colour, new Canadians, and the queer community.
4112 CKLN is also known for its contributions to the NCRA's best practices and key projects over the last 20 years, including proposing their annual Women in Radio Conference, the Aboriginal opening ceremony performed by local elders at our national conferences, greater inclusion of persons with disabilities at our stations, and the development of equity and anti-oppression policies throughout the sector.
4113 Though not intended as such, the seven months since this hearing was adjourned have been a test of CKLN's ability to come into regulatory compliance and maintain these changes while fulfilling the broader mandate of what it means to be a campus-based community radio station. And we believe they have passed this test.
4114 In terms of the specific areas of noncompliance cited by the Commission in the Notice of Consultation and subsequent letter, we have a few comments based on our understanding of the sector as a whole as well as the changes CKLN has made in addressing their previous deficiencies.
4115 Regarding the failure to file annual returns and respond to inquiries, we can only say that we believe it is unclear, even to the current board of directors, why the previous board and staff did not comply with these regulatory responsibilities. The current board clearly understands that these are mandatory requirements and have rectified all previously outstanding unfiled returns, completed all incomplete audits, and responded within a reasonable timeframe to all Commission correspondence and listener complaints.
4116 Regarding the sound quality of audio recordings, we note that many stations in the C&C sector have encountered similar problems due to a lack of funds to purchase new and reliable equipment.
4117 You heard during the recent campus and community radio policy review about the financial realities faced by our stations that result in many using unreliable equipment. Many stations also face problems with frequent volunteer turnover and insufficient technical expertise to troubleshoot problems with their audio equipment. This doesn't excuse stations from complying with the requirements to maintain intelligible recordings, but it is a reality we believe should be kept in mind by the Commission in determining the appropriate response to these types of infractions.
4118 In addition, CKLN has subsequently installed a new computer-based logging system, upgraded their soundcard to ensure improved sound quality and added a backup. So even if there is a problem with one, they will have a second.
4119 Regarding CKLN's use of a jazz format and lack of volunteer involvement before the governance conflict resolved, the station has been running a wide range of music and spoken-word programming since October, 2009. They now also have a volunteer roster, as you have heard, of more than 170 on-air volunteers, including former programmers and Ryerson students. And the board is aware of its responsibilities under the campus radio policy regarding diverse local content and student, university and community involvement.
4120 Regarding the insufficiencies with CKLN's by-laws, the board has made extensive revisions to meet CRTC board composition requirements and rectify other problems and has scheduled, as you know, a special general meeting to present and approve these changes.
4121 Regarding the RSU CKLN ownership and control issues, we note that for most licensees that broadcasts can transmit from rented premises. And this is almost all campus and community radio stations across Canada. The landlord frequently retains some measure of control over the premises, particularly in the face of serious security concerns. So it is not surprising that this could result in a landlord exercising ownership and control in extreme situations such as the one that occurred at Ryerson.
4122 Similarly with the student levy, we note that it may not be unusual for student unions to apply basic safeguards and conditions to the process of dispensing funds to stations that they have collected from students, particularly where there are serious concerns about the stability or identity of the station's governing body.
4123 CKLN has since developed a strong working relationship with both the PALIN Foundation and the Ryerson Students' Union and there is a willingness on all sides to amend CKLN's written agreements to address the Commission's concerns.
4124 To that end, and as referenced in a letter we wrote to the Commission on this issue in June, we propose a broader review of all agreements in place between campus and community radio stations, landlords and bodies dispensing student levies to develop recommendations for the sector in drafting these types of agreements.
4125 Regarding CKLN's lack of paid staff and financial difficulties, we note that this is also not unusual across the C&C radio sector. And in fact, I would note that $240,000 a year would put them easily in the top half of what most C&C stations get by on.
4126 The vast majority of campus and community radio stations have few or many even have no staff. We don't believe that this should be seen as an indication that a station would be unable to provide effective and compliant broadcasting services.
4127 We feel this is particularly true, given all CKLN's volunteer board and programmers have accomplished in the last few months. Further, CKLN has also eliminated their debt, reinstated the student levy and begun fundraising. In fact, just completed fundraising in an effort to hire permanent staff and replace equipment. This will help ensure the continued adherence to regulatory requirements and volunteer training.
4128 Regarding CKLN's noncompliance in the area of program logs, we note that stations in the sector have had ongoing difficulty understanding the specific requirement for collection of information. Again, this does not excuse stations from complying with the requirement, but it does highlight the fact that CKLN's difficulties in this regard are not unusual.
4129 CKLN worked with the NCRA to create new and compliant program logs that have been in use since this past spring. And we are continuing to work with other members in this area.
4130 In conclusion, the Commission has acknowledged the valuable contribution of campus and community broadcasting services to the Canadian broadcasting spectrum in its diverse local content and pool of dedicated volunteers, in its community outreach and national leadership. CKLN has demonstrated some of the best of Canadian community radio. In its internal strife and regulatory noncompliance it showed some of the worst, and it serves as an important warning to other campus and community radio stations.
4131 However, the strides CKLN have since made in coming into regulatory compliance, combined with its ongoing commitment to the other parts of what it means to be an accountable community broadcaster are heartening.
4132 As a result, we strongly discourage the Commission from revoking CKLN's licence and instead encourage the Commission to take a constructive approach to the situation to ensure that CKLN can provide continuing future service to the greater Toronto community.
4133 We therefore recommend a renewal period of two years. In the meantime, we believe both the Commission and the NCRA can play a role in providing ongoing support to assist CKLN in maintaining its new and improved services and ensure continued compliance, thereby preserving the existence of a vital and remarkable broadcasting service. Thank you.
4134 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
4135 I would ask Commissioner Molnar to begin the questioning.
4136 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you, and good afternoon.
4137 I want to just acknowledge something you said, where you have said:
"We acknowledge the valuable contributions of community and campus radio within the broadcasting system."
4138 And that is true. So this is a very significant hearing we are having here today.
4139 I want to move then to your conclusion, where you say:
"...we believe both the Commission and the NCRA can play a role in providing ongoing support to assist CKLN in maintaining its new and improved services..."
4140 I know that you stated in your letter and brought up here as well the role you played in helping them to redesign their paper logs to ensure compliance.
4141 Over and above the paper logs, have you had other -- have you taken other initiatives to work with or help CKLN through this process?
4142 MS ROBINSON: Absolutely, and I don't want to take the credit personally. So Freya Zaltz, whose name has already been mentioned here today, is our regulatory affairs director and she has been on the NCRA board for seven years.
4143 She is a lawyer and she has been tireless in working with the CKLN board and particularly in responding to the complaints in terms of helping them go over them, what is the appropriate way to do this, helping them with their presentation here today, helping them prepare for their presentation in May, helping make sure that they are -- actually, we both went but mostly Freya -- going over their agreements with the PALIN Foundation, going over their agreements with the student union, just all kinds of things. Absolutely.
4144 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
4145 As you know, I am sure you have sit here through the day, one of our key issues here is do we believe they can continue to operate, both get in compliance -- and there are some areas that have not been corrected -- both can they get in compliance and can they stay in compliance.
4146 So where you have said you have worked with them to address their complaints, to review their agreements and so on, what would you see to be your ongoing role with this organization?
4147 MS ROBINSON: Absolutely. Well, one of the things would be, as we mentioned, about the letter of June. So if the Commission feels like there are --
4148 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I think that sounds like a role you suggest we are to undertake.
4149 MS ROBINSON: No, absolutely not.
4150 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay.
4151 MS ROBINSON: No. We want to take that in conjunction. So we are asking for the Commission's guidance on that issue, but in terms of helping stations implement that, we are not expecting the Commission to do that, but we would help our members.
4152 So what this means is if the Commission gives us a direction to say, in general, we think that we need certain kinds of provisions about student levies or about lease agreements, then we would work with our members to say, okay, this is the kind of thing you need to work with your landlord about and with your student union on, and we would disseminate that information. So that is a major one.
4153 Additionally the checklist that came up earlier today. So in fact, we have already met with Commission staff to develop a series of one-pagers about various issues and one of them is a checklist so that every station who is our member -- and we will translate it into French and disseminate it to the other associations and other stations as well -- would be able to say at a glance, okay, so are we good with our Cancon, do we have everything we need for our program logs, are we good for Category 3, are we good for reporting on our alcohol advertising, you know, just an automatic checklist that they can do.
4154 Though, the requirements are often confusing. We have stations that because of CKLN's experience came to me and said, you know, what really does need to be in a program log, and so as a result we were able to help them.
4155 So it is not just sort of stations in crisis. I think a lot of what happened at CKLN is the governance issue raised some of the underlying issues, and as a result we are using that as an opportunity to work with other stations to address those things.
4156 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
4157 I do just want to talk about your experience with community and campus overall and I know you touched on it in your comments that there are situations here with CKLN that are not unique to CKLN.
4158 For example, the fact that CKLN appears to have no paid staff or have no paid staff and are running solely by volunteers and it is a working board with limited time that is keeping this organization running, you say that that is not unique?
4159 MS ROBINSON: No. Actually when this came up I started making a list, but it was -- we have 81 members and probably about 72 maybe are licensed. So I can't get them all right off the top of my head.
4160 Most of the ones that have no staff are community stations, and so off the top of my head I identified one, two, three, four, five community stations that have no staff at all and there are a couple of stations that have had no staff at periods.
4161 Then there is one station in particular that has had a volunteer station manager for eight years. So the person is doing all the same responsibilities as a full-time job but unpaid.
4162 Then I also highlighted in my notes when I was making them that one of the stations that came to me with questions about a log had paid staff.
4163 I think it is important to note that it is really great to have staff for consistency. I have been staff at a station, but staff take their lead from precedent and from a good solid board.
4164 So a lot of the things that happened with CKLN being non-compliant before were when they had paid staff. So what you need is a board that makes sure you have good processes and then a staff that implements them. So that is on the community side.
4165 On the campus side, there is no station that permanently has no staff that I can think off the top of my head, but I did think of four that either now or in the recent enough past that I can think of it have had interim periods of no staff, where only volunteers and particularly the board are running the station.
4166 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Can you tell me -- and I am going to speak campus because I do see, you know, the fact that there are student levies, and particularly, as you noted with CKLN, it is in the top half of their revenue-generating through the student levy. It is a significant amount. It is a stable funding amount of money provided all the time. So let's talk about campus here.
4167 In the campus stations, who normally is responsible for regulatory compliance?
4168 MS ROBINSON: I would say, well, it depends.
4169 So in stations that have a program director -- I mean a lot of stations have different titles for different things. So program director would be one of the titles that is most often used for that.
4170 In some places they have a station manager who also does some of that responsibility and then the other staff are maybe a music director. Yes.
4171 So to give a specific title, most often it is probably program director. Yes. But there is definitely, you know, a person who is responsible for following up to make sure that, for instance, logs are compliant.
4172 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And in this situation there is --
4173 MS ROBINSON: In this situation, actually, after the panel, I was unclear, so I asked the current board very detailed questions about this so that I could answer this question intelligently.
4174 So once they put into place the new compliant program logs, Ron Nelson chiefly puts out the new ones every week into the studio, and those are by show and by programmer so that they are specific and they are labelled so that they always know which goes where. And then he collects them once a week and they have all been filed.
4175 Now, he and Bryce do do spot checks. Now, obviously, because even though they are working a lot at the station and volunteering a lot, they are not absolutely going through every single one. I am not even sure, to be honest, that every program director at every station would do that.
4176 But they are doing spot checks, and because there is this plan to get somebody in as a staff person who would be responsible for doing that, I feel like we can say with a great deal of confidence that if they have the program logs and we know that those logs themselves are collecting the information that tracks compliance and they have processes for distributing those and for archiving those and doing spot checks and we know that they are getting a staff person who can fill in the holes, then we do feel with a great deal of confidence that they can maintain that compliance.
4177 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Thank you for that.
4178 Just on the issue of the program logs -- and this is just confirmation for my understanding or yours -- in paragraph 12 of your statement you say:
"In addition, CKLN has installed a new computer-based logging system and added a back-up."
4179 I understand that has not yet been completed.
4180 MS ROBINSON: No, this is the digital logger. I am sorry that it is unclear.
4181 So one is the program log, the handwritten log that the programmer says, you know, I did a station ID at this time and I played this song and this is the artist.
4182 Then the other one is the audio recordings so that if the CRTC gets a complaint and you want to hear, then -- and so that is what was inaudible before and that is what they now have a back-up for and a new computer.
4183 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay.
4184 MS ROBINSON: Yes.
4185 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Thanks.
4186 And just another point of clarification.
4187 Where you said:
"The current board clearly understands..."
4188 This is paragraph 11.
"...clearly understands these are mandatory requirements and have rectified all previously outstanding unfiled returns, completed all incomplete audits and responded within a reasonable time frame to all Commission correspondence and listener complaints."
4189 Our information and what is on the record here indicates that they have not filed all outstanding unfiled returns in a manner compliant with our requirements. Do you understand something different?
4190 MS ROBINSON: Are you talking about because of the financial year situation?
4191 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Right.
4192 MS ROBINSON: Right. That is something that I don't understand different. I thought that they had filed everything correctly and so if that is something -- an issue that they need to address, changing the period of reporting on the financial statements, then that can absolutely be undertaken quickly to be fixed.
4193 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay, thank you.
4194 I want to turn back again to your experience with the sector.
4195 We talked a little bit earlier today about the financial resources available to CKLN, significant amounts through student levies and for the past couple of years pretty much insignificant amounts through advertising, sponsorship or other.
4196 I wondered, based on your experience, what is normally the breakdown of revenues for a campus station between the various categories of revenue?
4197 MS ROBINSON: I would say that I am fuzzy on this. My own experience is that I used to be Station Coordinator at CKDU in Halifax and we would have been ecstatic to get the much lower advertising rates that CKLN got.
4198 When I was there, we were pulling in $7,000 a year in advertising and that was not collected but merely sold. Our collections were much lower than that.
4199 I do think that a diversity of revenue sources has been identified as a problem for the sector and so I actually think CKLN in its heyday was probably one of the better stations in terms of it had strong advertising. It has pretty strong fundraising; $50,000 is, again, pretty strong. There are some that have higher, but I would say that is above average. And then with the student levy.
4200 So I feel like they used to be very strong. They have obviously taken a hit. Part of that is a necessary -- not necessary but an easy to understand situation. Given that they had the turmoil, they largely sort of stopped broadcasting in a normal format.
4201 So I think if they continue with this, their advertising should get back up to sort of, you know, relatively similar levels. And their fundraising has already been shown. They got $50,000, that is great, and they can probably get higher.
4202 So I think that that is significant, plus now with the CRTC contributing Canadian content development requirements through the Community Radio Fund of Canada, they have another source of potential revenue which is through the Community Radio Fund. So that only kind of gives them another option as well as other grant-seeking, which is something that some stations do.
4203 So I would say right now they are average, if not still maybe slightly above average. It is a problem for the sector, diversity of revenue. So I would say they are about average, maybe slightly above, and certainly, they were quite healthy before, which is where, you know, the aim is to get them back to.
4204 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Thank you for that.
4205 One more based on your knowledge of the sector.
4206 It appears with CKLN that they have a somewhat distant relationship with the university administration and even participation by students or maybe just recently increased participation by students, but still, the question, I think, is there as it regards their relationship with the faculty and the administration of the university.
4207 I wondered, is this a unique situation in the sector or is this something experienced by others?
4208 MS ROBINSON: I would say it is not unique. I do think that the change to their bylaws that will add a position specifically for Ryerson faculty or staff will help to some degree.
4209 I think also they have undertaken changes, and that mindset, those kinds of changes make a difference, so doing outreach particularly to students.
4210 I know some stations have done things -- like they will do shows about research so that they can have professors on. So even if -- it is hard sometimes to get professors or university staff to do regular shows, but to create opportunities for them to come in and contribute. So that is something that they could probably do more of.
4211 But in general, and again speaking to my own experience at CKDU, I started as a student at that station, but in general there was a constant challenge to try and bring students in. I think that that is a common reality.
4212 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: But you believe they can be successful in meeting the requirements? Yes. Okay.
4213 So let me talk about the outcome of this proceeding.
4214 The record indicates that there has been very significant, severe and protracted non-compliance with what I view to be relatively limited requirements for campus stations relative to the privilege of broadcasting.
4215 In your file documents you spoke quite adamantly that there should be no mandatory orders and here today you suggest that there should be a two-year renewal period and that should be the sanction.
4216 So I guess I am just wondering, given the evidence of non-compliance, given the extent of it, given the protracted nature of it, and, frankly, given some questions as to whether or not they are fully in compliance today, without, you know, a strong governance model -- and I am not talking that there are not passionate people on the board today, but that some of the structural policies, guidelines, procedures and so on, checklists and so on that can help govern an operation on a day-to-day basis may not all be in place.
4217 The notion that the outcome of this would be simply a two-year renewal without mandatory orders, without any potential suspension of their licence or, frankly, one of the matters being considered here, as you know, in the Public Notice is revoking the licence, if the actual outcome was simply a two-year renewal, what kind of signal do you think that gives to the broadcasting system and to other community and campus radios about the very important obligation they have to comply for the privilege of broadcasting?
4218 MS ROBINSON: Thank you for the question. It was a question that I wanted to address earlier when it came up for the CKLN panel.
4219 I think the sector would take that -- I think they have already shown in a lot of ways that they think that this is very serious and a kind of cautionary tale.
4220 And so in so many ways we feel that community radio is doing so well these days. You know, we have a new policy and we have some new funding and it is really picking up momentum. And there are great things that are being accomplished, as evidenced by the volunteers who came and spoke about all the things that they are doing.
4221 But I do think it also shows that it is very delicate and that if people aren't taking their requirements seriously, then they can lose it.
4222 And so I think that a shortened period to two years is chastening, is scary to a lot of people.
4223 The renewal process -- I have stations who are set to renew this coming year and I have received three calls, which is kind of unprecedented. People don't tend to reach out for renewals. But they are nervous and they want to make sure, like how can we get ready now because our renewal is coming up in August.
4224 So I think that in many ways other stations have already learned from the CKLN experience.
4225 It was certainly a fractious issue within the NRCA and it has been talked about at the NCRA quite extensively at our conferences and also on our listserves, and we were happy to have them back as full and participating members and they are contributing to the listserve now.
4226 So I think a two-year licence doesn't show people, oh, they got off really easy. I think the seriousness of this proceeding, I think the stakes of what they could lose is serious enough that people don't need to see a mandatory order or a temporary suspension to know that this is grave.
4227 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay, thank you. Those are my questions.
4228 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
4229 I am going to pick up on that comment before passing it on to the fellow commissioners.
4230 By virtue of the fact that you are suggesting a two-year renewal, you are recognizing that there has been a transgression.
4231 Here is the problem. They are not up for renewal. They are on a seven-year licence that started in 2007, that goes to 2014. We can't renew their licence in the middle of the term. It is not renewable in the middle of the term.
4232 The reason they are here and the reason we are here today is because of the concerns and the complaints that were raised and what actions we have to take amongst the various choices we have. One of those choices is not to reduce the licence from expiring in 2014 to 2012 or 2011 or whatever the year is. It doesn't work. It can't be done. I don't think it has ever been done before.
4233 So the issue is, one, they recognize that they basically have crossed the line on a number of occasions. You have recognized that there needs to be a message sent as well and your proposal, unfortunately, from my perspective, is not a viable one.
4234 So if you have any other ideas, welcome to hear them. That is why we initially came out with the three ideas that we had, that if we are to do anything at all, it would be either a mandatory order, a suspension or a revocation because those are the only tools that we think we have in our toolbox.
4235 MS ROBINSON: Well, I absolutely appreciate the clarification and my apologies for the mistake. I also obviously wish that that was an option given that that is what we have proposed.
4236 I think suspension and revocation, we could never say that we would support. We think that it would do irrevocable damage to the station, to the community, to the sector.
4237 I think a mandatory order, the reason that we wanted to take a stand against it is because we feel -- we wanted to do a joint -- we wanted to send two messages to CKLN, one which was absolutely to say that this is a serious issue and then the other one to also say, now that you have addressed some of the most outstanding pressing problems and you are right on the precipice of basically ensuring compliance by hiring staff, therefore, you know, monitoring the logs that you have put into place, those things, that you can get on with the business.
4238 Campus and community radio stations have to balance their responsibilities, and obviously their regulatory responsibilities are chief, but they also have to do all those other things that they have to do, which is community outreach and volunteer training and programming.
4239 So our concern was that a mandatory order gets in the way of some of those other activities. If those are the only things on the table, then obviously I would choose the mandatory order because it is what allows them to keep broadcasting and still sends a message.
4240 That being said, like I said, I feel like CKLN has understood the seriousness of its situation and taken important steps to rectify them and to make sure that they stay compliant moving forward. And I feel like the sector does not feel that -- no matter what happens at the end of this hearing, the sector is not going to be like, "Wow, let's do what CKLN did because, you know, they got away scott free".
4241 So that's all I can say on that point.
4242 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. The one thing I didn't hear from CKLN this morning was what they would do differently if we did issue a mandatory order, so I'll leave that thought out there.
4243 How long has NCRA been assisting CKLN?
4244 MS. ROBINSON: Specifically on this issue, so I'm trying to think.
4245 Andrew could answer this better than I could, so I became membership coordinator in December 2008 and all of my efforts to contact the station went nowhere. Then I think almost immediately -- in fact, we were -- the NCRA sent people down to chair the meeting, one of the community meetings that happened.
4246 And then as soon as the new Board took hold and was deemed legitimate and had traction, we started working with them. So I would say almost immediately from the getgo of when they reformed and started moving forward.
4247 THE CHAIRPERSON: So that was in July 2009.
4248 MS. ROBINSON: Roughly, yes.
4249 THE CHAIRPERSON: And it took until two weeks ago to file the annual financial reports that you are very familiar with and understand it's a prerequisite for conditions of license, among other conditions of license out there.
4250 MS. ROBINSON: Yes.
4251 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
4252 One of the things you could help me with is the relative number of instances of complaints that are lodged in this particular case versus other campus community radio stations.
4253 We heard this morning that there may be some underlying issues here. I don't want to get into those. But clearly, CKLN have said there are some areas where there has been breaches and transgressions with regard to profanity, obscene language and the like as well.
4254 How normal is that in campus radio stations, to your knowledge?
4255 MS. ROBINSON: Again, I'm spitballing to some degree, and I don't want to speak without totally knowing. On the other hand, I can say that I think Andrew's assessment of the situation was spot on.
4256 So first of all, I think that most complaints that come, come to the station first, as absolutely makes sense. If you hear something, the natural inclination is to complain to the source of the problem.
4257 And so again, when I was at CKDU I think we had -- so I was station coordinator for two years. And we had one complaint in that period, and it came to us first and then the person went to the CRTC. And I think we might have had some informal complaints that went to us and then the person was happy enough and let it go.
4258 So I would say certainly CKLN's complaints and -- are orders of magnitude more than most stations.
4259 THE CHAIRPERSON: So then how can you say in paragraph 9 that since the six-month period when we adjourned in May 'til now, they seem to have cleaned up their act and then you say:
"We believe they have passed this test."
4260 How could they have passed this test if your understanding is in other stations of a campus nature there are far fewer of these complaints? How have they done anything to clean up their act and pass this test?
4261 MS. ROBINSON: Yeah, let me be clear. That's a great question.
4262 By no means do I think that the conduct of CKLN in the last six months is markedly different from the conduct of a lot of other campus stations in the last six months, so I think that if anyone was listening devotedly to the archive tapes of any campus station, I'm sure that they could find profanity occasionally at off hours of day.
4263 It does happen, and most stations address it exactly the way that CKLN has chosen to address it, which is that they have suspensions, they have policies, they train as best they can. So it's not -- so we feel like their conduct is in keeping with a compliant station.
4264 We feel like -- and the complaints, when they come, are addressed appropriately and their processes are -- I was having this conversation, in fact, with Freya Zoltz in preparing for this hearing, and campus and community radio stations are -- we're not perfect.
4265 You know, when you have anywhere between 50 and 325 volunteers coming through, particularly when you're trying to address under-represented groups and you're trying to have a kind of fractious debate and lively atmosphere, you're going to have transgressions of those kinds of things.
4266 What you need is for a broadcaster to be accountable. And so we feel like our other broadcasters in CKLN have shown that they are accountable, and that is on the front end of having good processes and good training and on the back end of having punishments and suspensions for programmers who break those rules.
4267 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are you aware of any suspensions that have been handed down by CKLN?
4268 MS. ROBINSON: Personally, no, I don't know of any. But I've heard that they're happening, but I don't -- I can't tell you an exact case, no.
4269 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. One of the things you say in paragraph 7 is that CKLN has been known as a distinct voice of the underground, unique Spoken Word, music produced by a diverse pool of committed volunteers.
4270 Having gone to university many, many years ago, I know that campus radio usually is the voice of the underground. So when you say the word "distinct", how distinct is Ryerson's or CKLN's voice relative to either CHRY, York University, or CIUT at U of T?
4271 MS. ROBINSON: Sure. I think Ron did a good job in some ways of saying the differences between that, so their reach is different. So CHRY, which is also a member of the NCRA, and who I think are great, they reach, geographically, a different community. And also, they're accessing a different community. So in the quote from the article, it was talking about how the station's physicality is important.
4272 So what that means is that yes, some people come from far away, but also people come from that neighbourhood, so CIUT and CHRY and CKLN all occupy different neighbourhoods and then, inevitably, they also have different constituencies, different kinds of people who come in.
4273 So I think it's -- I mean, I wouldn't argue that it's more distinct than any other campus or community station, but nonetheless, I think it's distinct.
4274 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. My last question is paragraph 17. You say:
"CKLN has since developed a strong working relationship with the Palin Foundation and RSU, and there's a willingness on all sides to amend CKLN's written agreement to address the Commission's concerns."
4275 Can you be more clear as to what part of the agreements are being considered to be opened up and who's willing to do it? I guess both parties are, but for what purpose?
4276 MS. ROBINSON: Sure. Well, this was addressing -- and it's probably written fuzzy for this reason. We had a sense, the NCRA had a sense that this was a sectoral issue and that, like we said again, about a letter that we wrote in June asking for guidance from the Commission on this issue, there might be something that the Commission wants to put into agreements or to suggest that stations could undertake to make sure that there is less room in the future for this blurring of ownership.
4277 So for instance, you might add in the agreement something like, you know, in the case of, you know, a serious security dispute, you know, the following person has authorization over access to the building. Something like that.
4278 So anything that we got guidance that the Commission said, you know, it's a problem that all these stations aren't clear on this and that if there becomes a problem, then suddenly it's kind of up for grabs and then the Palin Foundation can just shut the doors or any student union can lock the doors.
4279 So you know, we want you to change that in some way. So it's fuzzy because we don't know exactly how the Commission might want us to undertake to change those things, but the Palin Foundation, in its conversations with CKLN, has said, "Yeah, we recognize that, you know, locking people out without any provisions for how to fix that could be a problem, so if the Commission wanted to change that in some way, we're open to that".
4280 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you. Those are my questions.
4281 Any of the Commissioners? Commissioner Poirier.
4282 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Mrs. Robinson, I remember you presented last year at the community and campus hearing on policy the possibility, I guess, that the NCRA would develop a code that would be helpful for those stations to fulfil their requirements of programming and expectations. It is a code comparable, I guess, to the CAB code.
4283 So I wonder, at what state are you in the development of that code and do you feel it could help CKLN and other campus and radio stations to fulfil our Regulation?
4284 MS. ROBINSON: I'm happy to answer this question because we've done a significant amount of work.
4285 So we created a survey for all our members to seek input on the kinds of things that they would like to see in the code as well as their current processes. So we asked members, all of our members. I think about half answered.
4286 So we actually asked them to attach their processes, so if you have a discipline policy, what is that. What is your programming policy? What's your policy on controversial programming? What's your policy on swearing and obscenity, all those things?
4287 And then Freya Zoltz, who comes up again, has gone through that. We have a committee of people, but leading that, she went through the CBSC, the CAB's code, and she went through another code that I can't think of right now. And then she went through all the answers and she started to sort of bang out a rough idea.
4288 And that draft has been sent to the first group of people, so I think there's about six of us. So we're all having a general look about, okay, what do we think and how do these categories reflect what people said. And then we will disseminate it to ever wider groups of our membership so people can say, "Yeah, I'm not sure about this" or "Let's tweak that" or "This doesn't address some of these things".
4289 So our plan, and I think, actually, we've promised to the Commission that we would give it in in July, and so we're well on track to have that.
4290 Now, as for the second part of the question, do I think it would help. I think it would help -- I think CKLN is one of the stations that now, because of all this, is developing stronger internal policies regardless. However, it's another level, which is always useful.
4291 And so they will have their internal policies, then they will have the CRTC Regulations that are in their programming room, the studio. But additionally, they will have this NCRA code to say this is what we abide by and so, you know, it's important to keep this in mind. It's another training tool. It's another awareness tool.
4292 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: And will all the members of NCRA have to follow that code? No, it's on a ---
4293 MS. ROBINSON: It's voluntary.
4294 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Voluntary. Okay.
4295 MS. ROBINSON: Yeah.
4296 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you very much.
4297 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you very much. I think that concludes this presentation.
4298 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
4299 I would now call Mercedes Otway, Josie Miner, Paulette Andrea Hamilton and Doug Barrett to come forward to appear as a panel and present their interventions.
4300 THE SECRETARY: Our legal counsel, Crystal Hully, will now swear in the intervenors.
4301 Mercedes Otway, affirmed
4302 Josie Miner, affirmed
4303 Paulette Andrea Hamilton, sworn
4304 Doug Barrett, affirmed
4305 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
4306 We will begin with Mercedes Otway. Ms. Otway, you have 10 minutes for your presentation.
4307 MS. OTWAY: I wish a special good afternoon to everybody on the panel.
4308 My name is Mercedes, and I have been a programmer for many years. I am an activist for groups such as UMAV, United Mothers Against Violence, and recently my achievements have been getting a day proclaimed by the Mayor of Toronto as a UMAV day of non-violence in Ontario.
4309 I am a volunteer at CHRY, CIUT and was recently stripped of my membership at CKLN. I am a writer for a local newspaper. I'm an activist with a program called Street Kids Ontario where I go out in the streets and take children off the streets.
4310 I'm responsible to the Court for these children and to other organizations.
4311 I currently also volunteer for an organization called Victims of Violence and Bereaved Family Services, where I volunteer to stop violence in the communities.
4312 I have been a member of CKLN since 1999. My membership has been back and forth between inactive and active host. I was elected to the CKLN Board of Directors on Wednesday, the 22nd of October as a volunteer rep and the position of Chair -- hold on a second.
4313 I was elected to the CKLN Board of Directors on Wednesday, the 22nd as a volunteer rep and on November the 4th, 2008 I was called in to the office and told I had to extend Tony Barnes' position and give the position of Chair to Mike Phillip in the upcoming meeting by Josie Miner and Tony Barnes.
4314 It was made clear to me at this time that it is a non-democratic process at CKLN. There are no fair and democratic elections at CKLN whatsoever. CKLN is run as a private club with chosen persons placed to govern the organization.
4315 In research, I found out the position created by CKLN's former core staff is not in compliance with the CRTC radio policy 2012.
4316 I learned from the then Josie Miner that CKLN funds had been withheld by the RSU and that the litigation would be commenced for those funds which would be discussed in an upcoming meeting.
4317 On November the 13th I was made an officer of the corporation. As Vice-Chair, it became clear to me the way elections were staged and how persons to be placed as a Director were elected.
4318 At this time, I noticed the March 1999 letter to the licensee, then station manager, about no filing of annual returns. As stated in CKLN's file, I concur with the Commission's assessment that CKLN has a history of not filing annual returns according to the CRTC's evidence by a March 11th, 1999 letter to that effect addressed to CKLN station manager, Conrad Collaco, from the CRTC which is in the CRTC's archives.
4319 On February 9, 2009, after much conversation with Peter Toh, the then Treasurer, I was then informed that the in-fighting and the discovery of innumerable theft and fraud had become overwhelming and unchangeable. Something had to be done, but we were unsure what we -- who could be trusted, as you will see throughout this hearing, the mudslinging and in-fighting at CKLN, which is a decade-long war between two fractions at CKLN radio.
4320 I had an opportunity to receive and read a letter ---
4321 THE CHAIRPERSON: Excuse me. I'm going to interrupt you because this is clearly not the reason why we're here. And I had mentioned this morning to stick to the issues before us. And we're looking at 2009, July, when this Board was ratified and, moving forward from there, how to deal with the current situation.
4322 I have no interest at this point in time in digging up past issues that are not before this Panel and are not required under CRTC Regulations, so if you can move to that section of the documentation that deals with the issues at hand, I would appreciate it.
4323 MS. OTWAY: Okay.
4324 On February 12, 2009, I assumed the position of CKLN's Chair of the Board. Peter Toh then informed me we had to change the locks to protect any evidence of the fraud that was kept inside CKLN offices.
4325 I immediately, at the time, contacted a forensic auditor. Please see the attached statement by Harry Lake. On this day, it became evident that the transmitter site was being tampered with from a remote computer somewhere in the world.
4326 I personally witnessed the computer being controlled by this outside person at that time. The person went into the system, shut off the antenna from broadcasting. Myself and Peter Toh contacted the RCMP and made a report in regard to the tampering of the transmitter.
4327 I affirmed that the Commission's assessment according to 2010 146 that CKLN was not in control of the transmitter at the time and I brought in Mark Bialkolski, former technician, to assist me to shut off the remote transmission. At the time, Mark was unable to pull the logs and show me the IP address of the person logging in to the computer and tampering with the transmitter.
4328 On February 18, 2009 myself and Peter Toh visited Brookfields Management, requesting no other one enter the transmitter site, requesting that we have access to go in and secure the transmitter, shutting off all remote access, and was refused. Tampering then continued for one week.
4329 On February 20th, Peter Toh called me in the office and we arranged to have the locks changed with the permission of the property manager, Michael Verticco, and the locks were changed.
4330 On February 24th, Sam Snapps was laid off. On February 28, Peter Toh and myself secured the building, shutting out all programming until new security measures could be in place because of all the constant tampering with the signal from the transmitter site.
4331 I can concur on March 6, according to the CRTC's finding, I was indeed locked out of CKLN's offices by the management, the Palin Foundation, and I was informed by Michael Viticco that I was no longer considered a mutual person.
4332 At this time no programming could follow, which violated the 2000-12 of the Broadcasting Act to maintain logs and records. I informed them that this would cause us to lose the license and requested that the dead air be replaced by old log tapes.
4333 Upon arrival at the door of CKLN, I noticed a letter on the door dated March 11 from the management and was informed by the management had restricted access until an election could be called.
4334 I was again allowed into the station to set up old logger shows when a volunteer member informed me dead air was again being played on April 22nd, 2009, which was again in violation of the 2000-12 Broadcasting Act to maintain logs and records as we were using the logs to play back.
4335 I can affirm that I did speak to the property manager about the payments for the transmitter and was informed that RSU would make the payments direct to Brookfield Properties. I was also informed that Brookfield Properties stated no one would be given access to the transmitter site.
4336 The Palin Foundation had continued locking the door and preventing entry for a period of seven months. I on many occasions did inform both the property manager and RSU rep that this is interfering with the CRTC agreement according to subsection 10(1), paragraph 11.4.
4337 This continued for several months and I arranged for an open and mutual meeting between all parties to come to terms with the Palin Foundation requests. At this time, I did bring in legal services, J.A. Bradley, and arranged a meeting with all members to have a free opportunity and get involved.
4338 I had in attendance the Board that sat here before, which was Arnold Minors, Ron Nelson's Board, and the Board that I was currently on at that time.
4339 We tried to talk and all attempts for coming together broke down. I was informed elections would continue with or without me by the RSU rep, Toby Whitfield. On July 3rd, 2009, I received a phone call that my son was murdered and I travelled to Trinidad and Tobago.
4340 At this time, I could not continue the negotiations with all involved. On July 9th, I received a call from Canada that the Palin Foundation had given notice that elections should be called or the space will be allotted, and I informed Ron Nelson that no decision should be made without me being informed first.
4341 I was never informed, nor was any request made by the Take Back Our Radio Group to me that an election would be called.
4342 In October I returned to Canada, and the first time I visited CKLN's office I was informed Ron Nelson was the Chair, newly elected Chair of the company. I was asked to choose which side I was on, and I informed them I was on CKLN's side.
4343 Ron requested the keys from me and I informed them that was also in violation of our bylaws 28.1.
4344 My conclusion is I knew from my involvement trying to implement peace and unit at CKLN that the station did fail to file annual returns as per conversation with Revenue Canada, which is against the CRTC mandate and license.
4345 According to the forensic auditor, I did acquire proof of documents received constituting fraud and theft against both the advertising then manager, Mike Phillips, Tony Barnes, and the now Chair, Ron Nelson, which is also against the mandate.
4346 CKLN failed to respond to complaints as per several letters I discovered from the CRTC for non-compliance when I was in as -- sitting as the Chair and in the offices when I had access. This was also in breach.
4347 CKLN was also not operating the transmitter under the license agreement as per the CRTC. No control of the transmitter site was approved by me at the time. I was a Director of the company, and during the seven months when CKLN's transmitter was not governed by me or my Board of Directors at CKLN, there also was another violation under the CRTC 95-876.
4348 That according to the 2010-146 of the CKLN-CRTC that no logger tapes were kept for the period of seven months while the in-fighting ensued.
4349 I also conclude that CKLN has come to a deplorable state and that I am yet to concur how the CRTC can continue to regulate CKLN when the newly agreement signed by the new Board and the Palin Foundation was signed under duress.
4350 The agreement does not guarantee space according to the CRTC's Regulations and which is also in our mandate.
4351 The new agreement also gives them the right to withhold CKLN's funds, which also violates Section 1.5.
4352 As the current Chair put himself, currently has a full-time job. He's a Chair. He's training new members. He's a program director, station director, advertising director, monitors logs. I do not see how he can fulfil the CRTC's mandate that from 2003 to 2008 and from 2009 'til current the station still have not yet hired a station manager, another violation according to Section 12 of our bylaws.
4353 I on many occasions did witness comments made by the Chair that the CRTC is just a big sitting duck and would do nothing about the compliance, that CKLN has been non-compliant for years. I find it difficult to believe that any mandatory order implemented will be fulfilled.
4354 I am in support of the license being suspended until all obligations are fulfilled by CKLN.
4355 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
4356 We will now proceed with Josie Miner. Ms. Miner, you have 10 minutes for your presentation.
4357 MS. MINER: Good afternoon.
4358 I was a member of the CKLN Board of Directors in 2007-2008, and I thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak today.
4359 I direct my remarks to the issue of non-compliance with provisions of the radio Regulations which relate to effective control of the licensee and its transmitter.
4360 In my submission to the CRTC in April I detailed at length the interference of the Ryerson Student Union (RSU) in the affairs of CKLN Radio Inc. I also supplied documentation to support those claims and concluded that CKLN was now in the control of RSU and the Palin Foundation.
4361 In his response, Mr. Lehrer told me I was very mistaken. Just to make certain how mistaken I was, he clarified the situation by saying RSU was a trusted partner and benefactor, and I believe therein lay the problem.
4362 CKLN was supposed to be an independent corporation, not a partnership. The student union controls the money. The union, in its sole discretion, is the benefactor; therefore, the union gets to control the corporation.
4363 The Ryerson Student Union was not the licensee, nor should it be in a position to assert undue control over the licensee. I suggest that one refer to recent restrictions imposed on the media at the Canadian Federation of Students Annual General Meeting, of which RSU is an active member, and further investigate the involvement of CFS in campus elections to see the import of this issue. The independence of all campus community radio stations is suspect at best, but at CKLN Radio Inc. it no longer exists.
4364 RSU began running CKLN in July of 2008 when it withheld CKLN's funds in order to assert its will over the Board of CKLN Radio Inc. Up to that point they had interfered with the activities of the corporation on a regular basis, but were unable to garner enough support from Board members, which included four active student representatives, to assert its agenda.
4365 In response to RSU's decision to withhold funds, CKLN's legal counsel, and that was Blumberg Segal, advised the CKLN Board that if someone wants to interfere with a corporation's ability to carry on the rightful business of the corporation, they could and should pursue those claims in Court pursuant to the Corporations Act.
4366 They did not choose this avenue because they didn't need to. They held all the funds and could wait out the situation. When CKLN could no longer pay employees and notified CUPE that there would be layoffs, CUPE immediately intervened with RSU.
4367 It is important to note that CKLN's paid staff, like RSU's staff, are members of CUPE 1281. The President of CUPE 1281 is Denise Hammond, who's a paid staff member at RSU, and at the time had a non-voting seat on the RSU board. Interestingly enough, RSU covered CKLN's weekly payroll.
4368 The physical seizure of the station and the subsequent events are also discussed in my submission. Unlike Mr. Lehrer or Mr. Nelson, I was present at the station when the seizure occurred and the locks were changed by uniformed staff with orders approved by RSU and Palin Foundation employee Mike Verticcio.
4369 There were other witnesses to that that day, and there are video records. And I should note that at that point I was not on the Board at that point.
4370 In response to Doug Barrett's submission to the CRTC, Mr. Lehrer states the Palin Foundation demanded an election to install a new regime at CKLN no later than July 24th, 2009.
4371 It's irrelevant whether you believe that the meeting was neither called nor held in accordance with CKLN bylaws. It's irrelevant to this meeting and that will be settled in the Court pursuant to a current Court case.
4372 No one denies that RSU and the Palin Foundation actually controlled access to the CKLN facility. They did not to lock the door and wait for the Courts or a Trustee in Bankruptcy or the CRTC to decide what should happen. They continued to run CKLN, pay its line of credit and its transmitter fees in order to secure the most valuable asset, and that's the broadcast license.
4373 Then they chose to give access to the facility and the airwaves to only those who agreed to their terms. These are not the actions of a third party acting responsibly. These are the actions of a principal protecting its interests.
4374 In my submission, I stated that the agreements between RSU and the Palin Foundation indicate that the control of CKLN resides outside the corporation. In his response, Mr. Lehrer denied the import of those agreements.
4375 In those agreements under Article 5.1, if RSU believes that CKLN is in default for any reason, merely has to notify them. If they don't remedy that default to RSU's satisfaction within 10 days, they can, at their sole discretion, withhold the levy.
4376 The terms of the Palin Foundation are also beautifully simple. CKLN occupies the premises at 55 Gould not as a tenant, but under a license agreement. They have no rights of tenancy.
4377 While the term of the agreement may be for 20 years, Clause 3.2 states otherwise. Early Termination:
"In spite of any other term of this agreement, this agreement may be terminated at any time by giving 60 days written notice..."
4378 The agreement does not require Palin to show cause for termination. Essentially, this agreement allows CKLN to be thrown out at any time for any reason with 60 days notice. And there's a further clause that allows that to happen with seven days' notice.
4379 These agreements were clearly written by legal counsel. They're quite involved, and somebody didn't just make them up. And they were written that way to assure that the control of CKLN and its license stays with RSU and the Palin Foundation.
4380 Mr. Lehrer did understood who was in control because, in fact, he stated in his response that CKLN had no choice but to accept the terms of these agreements or they would not have gained access to the facilities.
4381 Even If these agreements were to be changed at this late date and after the fact in the attempt to gain the CRTC's approval, those new agreements would be merely window dressing. While the National Campus and Community Radio Association, the NCRA, petitions the CRTC for free legal advice on how to make them appear to be independent of RSU in order to comply, I respectfully petition you to send a clear message to CKLN, the RSU, the Palin Foundation, the NCRA and its membership and, very importantly, its other members who are campus radio stations, that it's your mandate to enforce the broadcast regulations and not to advise them or assist them on how to get around them.
4382 I believe that to allow CKLN to continue to broadcast now is to reward people who have shown that if you want a radio station you just take over. Mandatory orders cannot undo the takeover of CKLN Radio Inc. and to allow them to continue to broadcast holds the reinforcements of the regulations up to ridicule.
4383 I respectfully request that this Commission revoke the license of CKLN Radio Inc.
4384 Thank you.
4385 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
4386 We will now proceed with Paulette Andrea Hamilton. Ms. Hamilton, you have 10 minutes for your presentation.
4387 MS. HAMILTON: I'd like to thank the Commission for the chance to speak and tell my side of the story and why CKLN 88.1 FM should have its license revoked since CKLN Radio Inc., an incorporated entity, is the owner of said license.
4388 I have firsthand knowledge of information regarding the non-compliance of sub-section 10.1, ownership control of the equipment and facilities, and paragraph 11.4(a), transfers of ownership and control. Plus I would like to add some details to the letter dated April 9th regarding the licensee's failure to comply with Section 8 of the Regulations which pertains to logs and records.
4389 I intend to add some clarification and answers in regards to documentation concerning the operation of CKLN 88.1 FM, including its staff, funding, accounting and programming. I have provided documentation pertaining to access to the premises of the station, CKLN FM, and its transmitting facilities.
4390 I have provided details and documentation concerning the current structure of the Board of Directors of CKLN Radio Inc.
4391 I have provided details regarding the current ad hoc Board's inability to pull up the archived logs and keep records of what is being broadcast on the air.
4392 THE SECRETARY: Excuse me, Ms. Hamilton. Could you please slow the speed down a little bit?
4393 MS. HAMILTON: Sure.
4394 THE SECRETARY: The interpreters are having a hard time.
4395 MS. HAMILTON: Okay. Sorry.
4396 One main reason that the licensee is not in compliance is because the current ad hoc Board was misleading the CRTC and never was really in compliance. Please see attached Appendices H and I, Program Schedule and Playlists.
4397 The following are examples and excerpts of the public program guide, as stipulated by the CRTC, for CKLN to follow, versus actual current broadcasted CKLN programs. Please note that there was dead air for the weeks of June 7th to 13th, 2009, and the 21st to the 27th, 2009. No station manager or program director was in charge.
4398 In the letter dated February 10th, 2010, sent to CKLN by the Secretary General, the Commission advised the licensee of a list of areas of apparent non-compliance with the regulations, and requested log tapes and program logs for the week of the 10th to the 16th of January 2010.
4399 Representatives of the licensee were also provided with a copy of CKLN FM's public file, and were asked to comment on its accuracy and completeness.
4400 Representatives of the licensee provided a response on March 1st, 2010. Please refer to the attached Appendices H and I, the public profile and the CKLN playlist.
4401 From June 2008 to February 2009, I was a co-host of the show "Tao of the Sharp Tongued Goddess", airing weekly on Tuesdays from 2 a.m. until 6 a.m. on CKLN FM.
4402 During a staff meeting called in October 2008, according to the bylaws that govern CKLN Radio Inc., I was elected to the Board of Directors by my fellow volunteer staff members, i.e., programmers, who attended said meeting, as was Mercedez Otway. Please see attached Appendix A, Official CKLN Staff Meeting and AGM Meeting Notice, and Appendix B, Board of Directors list.
4403 The Board of Directors at this time consisted of Josie Miner, Mike Phillips, Tony Barnes, Doug King, Peter Toh, Mercedez Otway and myself, and Toby Whitfield, the RSU member.
4404 Mr. Whitfield was in conflict with the previous Board due to his direct involvement as the VP of Finance for Ryerson student union, and withholding student levies owed to the station for a period of three years.
4405 At a subsequent Board meeting, the two vacant executive directors were elected. Please see attached Appendix C, minutes that show who assumed what positions on the Board.
4406 Funding: CKLN Radio Inc. and CKLN 88.1 FM Campus Community Radio receives its funding from:
4407 (1) Ryerson University student levies. The student levy constitutes 50 to 60 percent of the station's operating budget --
4408 THE SECRETARY: I'm sorry, I will have to ask you again to please slow down. Thank you.
4409 MS HAMILTON: Okay, sorry.
4410 The student levy is about $9 per student, which has not been paid since October 2008.
4411 There is also the annual on-air fundraising every fall -- Fund Fest -- Trillium Foundation grants, various private donations, community advertising and PSAs.
4412 The Board of which I was a part of was able to get three of the four above items accomplished, except for the student levies, which have been withheld by RSU for three years.
4413 The CKLM Board tried to launch a lawsuit against RSU and Ryerson University to recover the funds owing to the station, but was unsuccessful because CKLN Radio Inc. ran out of funds. Please see attached Appendix D, re: CKLN Radio Inc. versus Ryerson Student Union of Ryerson University, Court File No. CV-099-369978.
4414 Staffing: CKLN 88.1 FM Campus Community Radio staffing structure was as follows. There was a program director, there was a station manager, there was an engineer, there was a volunteer and fundraising coordinator, an assistant news director, an office manager, a vacant production coordinator and a vacant news director.
4415 Due to the lack of funds, the Board that I was on had to lay off the newly unionized employees and cut the pay of the office manager.
4416 The Board of Directors, during this time of turmoil, consisted of -- please see attached Appendix F -- and the above four were the officers of the Board of Directors of CKLN Radio Inc. during the period of 2008 to 2009.
4417 The rest of the Board are as follows -- as I have submitted.
4418 We were looking into ways to involve more volunteer students and RSU faculty, when two Board members went rogue, Mercedez Otway and Peter Toh. With the help of RSU representative Toby Whitfield and Ryerson University Operations Manager Micheal Verticchio, they effectively went against and undermined the remaining Board members and CKLN's own bylaws and locked out all volunteers and employees of CKLN 88.1 FM.
4419 The Board held an emergency meeting on February 27th, 2009 and, with quorum, made a resolution to remove Ms Otway and Mr. Toh from their positions as officers of CKLN Radio Inc. Please see attached Appendix G, Resolution of the Board of Directors.
4420 After this meeting, the new officers of the Board of Directors were as follows -- and you can see that in Appendix G, Resolution of the Board of Directors.
4421 On February 28th, 2009, I received an urgent text message from my co-host to come down to the station because Ms Otway, Mr. Toh, Toby Whitfield, Mike Harnett and Micheal Verticchio had seized the transmission of the station and taken over all of the broadcasting. Programs from "Unfortunate Sonic Casualties" to "In My Room", in particular, were locked out and refused access to the station by RSU and the Palin Foundation.
4422 These individuals had seized CKLN Radio Inc. airwaves without the knowledge or approval of CKLN's legal Board of Directors.
4423 As a duly elected officer of CKLN Radio Inc. Board of Directors, I went down to the station to try to take back the transmission of the station and secure the on-air broadcasting booth for all of the volunteers who were being locked out by the Palin Foundation and RSU. Thus, the station was broadcasting live from 2 a.m. Saturday until Sunday at 12 p.m., as per the policy and regulations of the CRTC's Broadcast Standards and Licence with CKLN Radio Inc.
4424 At that point I was then unlawfully removed from the station, under the authority of Micheal Verticchio, Toby Whitfield, Mercedez Otway, Peter Toh and Mike Harnett. These individuals had no legal authority to make broadcasting decisions for CKLN, and were later told so by the police. Please see attached Appendix H, Notice by Palin Foundation.
4425 On March 11th, 2009, the Palin Foundation and RSU completely took over the airwaves of CKLN 88.1 FM. Dead air was broadcast until June 2009.
4426 Limited access was then granted to the Board Chair at the time, Wayne Shipley, so repeated, previously broadcast taped programs were put on the air sporadically until October 2009.
4427 During that time, and even now, CKLN has not been following any of the bylaws that govern CKLN Radio Incorporated, and the licence agreement that was made with the CRTC regarding campus stations.
4428 You can see that in my submission, where I have stated --
4429 THE SECRETARY: Ms Hamilton, you have one minute remaining. Please conclude.
4430 MS HAMILTON: In conclusion, CKLN was functioning as a community-based campus radio station, in spite of the efforts of third party individuals who constructively undermined the running of an incorporated entity -- subsection 10(1), "Ownership and Control of Equipment and Facilities".
4431 I, Paulette Andria Hamilton, was the sole, properly elected Board officer of CKLN Radio Inc., in lieu of a legal AGM and subsequent elections, along with Board of Directors members Mary Young, Sam Snaps, Tony Barnes, Mike Phillips and David James, who were left on the Board before the illegal takeover by RSU and the Palin Foundation.
4432 I ask the Commission to revoke the licence of CKLN Radio Inc. and not award those who take licences that were not properly obtained in the first place.
4433 Thank you.
4434 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
4435 Will now proceed with Doug Barrett.
4436 Mr. Barrett, you have 10 minutes for your presentation.
4437 MR. BARRETT: Thank you. I would like to thank the CRTC for the opportunity to speak at today's hearing regarding the very serious and complicated situation that has developed at CKLN.
4438 My name is Doug Barrett. I have been a volunteer and on-air host at CKLN 88.1 FM from 2005 until early 2009. I was the elected volunteer representative for two consecutive terms on the CKLN Board of Directors, from April of 2006 until the fall of 2008.
4439 Whatever the Commission decides, this hearing will set an important precedent. Either the precedent will be set that radical groups, with the full knowledge and financial assistance of student unions, can seize a radio station by driving out any opposition, with campaigns of slander, intimidation, verbal threats and physical harassment, without ever having to fear any serious personal or legal consequences, or the precedent will be that CRTC rules and regulations apply to all campus community radio stations, and must be followed explicitly.
4440 Either way, whatever the Commission decides will send a powerful message.
4441 The improper involvement of the Ryerson student unions, both RSU, Ryerson Students' Union, and CESAR, the Continuing Education Students' Association of Ryerson, using their political and union allies in order to destabilize and bankrupt CKLN, is already well documented.
4442 These student unions and the Palin Foundation participated in the CKLN takeover in order to keep their own allies and cronies in power at CKLN.
4443 Reviewing the public minutes from the group claiming to be CKLN Radio Inc. from March of 2008 to February 2009, which I have already provided, shows RSU's direct conflict of interest. The open presence of Toby Whitfield, then the Vice-President of Finance at Ryerson Student Union, attending meetings, the only purpose of which was the planning of various strategies designed to bankrupt CKLN, force out opponents, and take over the corporation, is beyond dispute.
4444 RSU had claimed that Toby Whitfield was merely an outside observer. However, the contents of these minutes clearly show that Tony Whitfield is a voting member who agreed to consult on their behalf with Ryerson's student unions' attorneys.
4445 Furthermore, Tony Whitfield acted on their behalf by pressuring student Board members, signing off on attempts to seize CKLN's bank accounts, and cancelling insurance policies.
4446 Toby Whitfield openly booked rooms for the purpose of these meetings, in Ryerson Student Union's name, while at the same time denying rooms or security to CKLN's legal Board of Directors, management and volunteers.
4447 All of this open and public conspiring between RSU and the so-called "take back our radio" group exposes any attempts by Ryerson Student Union to now claim that they were merely innocent bystanders who had no idea who to recognize as CKLN Radio Incorporated.
4448 These minutes are, in fact, so damning that nowhere in his response does Andrew Lehrer and CKLN Radio Inc. even try to dispute its authenticity or accuracy in any way.
4449 I have not seen supporting documents from Andrew Lehrer proving any of his claims. He merely tries to change the subject and offer up the argument of "the ends justify the means" that his group has always reiterated.
4450 Whenever challenged on their utter lack of proof, Andrew Lehrer and CKLN Radio Inc. claim that they are saving evidence for court, when they plan to sue or have people arrested.
4451 One would have expected CKLN Radio Incorporated to provide a mountain of proof. Instead, they have offered no supporting evidence or documentation. This group simply cut a deal with Ryerson Student Union to seize the radio station, and later forced a deal on the new, Ryerson Student Union-approved CKLN Radio Inc., which retroactively legitimizes RSU's authority to seize or evict CKLN Radio at any time.
4452 In his submission Andrew Lehrer brags that CKLN Radio Inc. has "restored goodwill with Ryerson Student Union." He does not say that the price paid for this goodwill has been to sign away the effective independence of CKLN that is required both by the CRTC licence and the articles of incorporation.
4453 This places CKLN Radio Incorporated perpetually at the mercy of Ryerson Student Union and Toby Whitfield, who is now the Ryerson Student Union President, allowing them to withhold the CKLN student levy whenever they choose. These are not the actions of a neutral party that Ryerson Student Union claims to be.
4454 The truth of the matter is that Ryerson Student Union did not have oversight powers over CKLN and no right to become involved in its governance or to encourage the takeover of a federal corporation they did not own.
4455 Another one of Andrew Lehrer's unsupported claims is that allegations of payola are "unprecedented" at CKLN. This problem has existed at CKLN for decades. CKLN Management, other volunteers and myself have seen money change hands in exchange for airplay and on-air plugs. I was even asked by management to listen in on phone conferences from promoters and artists who paid money to on-air hosts for promises of airplay.
4456 From my own understanding I know that such behaviour is not tolerated at CIUT or CHRY and other campus/community radio stations. However, a public clarification on a payola policy from the CRTC would certainly be helpful on this point.
4457 I also wanted to address the conflicting role of the supposedly neutral NCRA, the National Campus Community Radio Association, in supporting the coup at CKLN.
4458 Nowhere in the NCRA submission do they note that of the key organizers of the attempts to take over CKLN, Kristen Schwartz and Sharmeen Kahn were also NCRA Board members.
4459 Another key organizer, Daniel Vandervoort, was a member of the NCRA's fundraising board and was at the same time a member of one of Ryerson Student Union's boards, CESAR.
4460 Both Kristen Schwartz and Daniel Vandervoort are also two of the CKLN staff members that the NCRA approvingly noted have returned to CKLN, without of course naming them or disclosing to the CRTC their involvement on their own NCRA board.
4461 Clearly, the ends justify the means at CKLN, and appropriately at the NCRA as well. They should not have the right to choose sides and interfere in this hearing. The NCRA is not a governing body and it is not their mandate to interfere in any campus/community radio station's governance. They have abused their power for their own nepotism.
4462 At an April 2010 CKLN staff meeting Andrew Lehrer openly bragged, and not for the first time, that "The CRTC was just a rubber stamp and would not actually do anything and that this hearing was merely a formality."
4463 Ultimately, the basic defence from Andrew Lehrer and CKLN Radio Inc., who have entrenched interests at CKLN, is that they are in effect "Too important to fail."
4464 I believe CKLN has already failed. The truth of this can be found in the CRTC public files. CKLN was off the air for over eight months. The number of people who submitted their concerns to the Commission can be counted on one hand. That is a damning indictment of the elitist private club that CKLN has become.
4465 Where are the multiple submissions to the CRTC from Ryerson students to show how important CKLN is to them and to Ryerson? There are none because it is not important to them. Ryerson RTA, Radio and Television Arts, students have set up their own Internet radio station.
4466 Where are the submissions from Ryerson's Journalism and RTA departments to tell you how important CKLN is to their students in learning their craft and getting experience? There are none because CKLN is not important to them and never will be. In fact, Ryerson journalism professors have their students receive training and credit from CIUT 89.5 FM at the University of Toronto.
4467 The current situation at CKLN is unprecedented in Canada and is a direct challenge to the authority of the CRTC itself. I understand that the Commission has neither the mandate nor the resources to micromanage every campus/community radio station in the country.
4468 However, when so many violations at a campus/community radio station go unanswered and the only defence offered is a series of accusations with no supporting documentation, the CRTC must intervene. I do not believe that any amount of mandatory orders or warnings will remedy the problems that exist.
4469 In conclusion, CKLN has become a textbook example of how to steal a radio station from volunteers, students and the community. It is for this reason that I urge the CRTC to set a precedent that this behaviour will not be tolerated and to restore compliance and accountability to campus/community radio in Canada.
4470 This ends my presentation and I welcome any of your questions. Thank you.
4471 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
4472 I would ask Commissioner Menzies to begin the questioning.
4473 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Ms Otway, the first question for you is I took it from your presentation that you participate at other community radio stations on the air?
4474 MS OTWAY: Yes, sir.
4475 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So your message gets out there for those other stations. Why is that not satisfactory for you? You have access to the airwaves through those stations. Why do you feel it is necessary to have access through every station?
4476 MS OTWAY: I don't think it is necessarily access or getting a message out. What I do is I offer my services as a volunteer and I don't think it is really that I am really going out there to put out a message over the airwaves, because I am not a programmer on the other stations right now.
4477 But I still do go in. I do fundraising. I go and I help train. I do voice ads for them. I am still there volunteering, assisting the station, upkeeping the station.
4478 So I am not looking to have my voice heard on CKLN per se. I am looking at keeping the community station -- this station as a community station, and in keeping the station as a community station, there are certain things that I see in place over there that are not in place over here.
4479 I am at all the other stations and they are doing it. They are all doing it with less budget, less funding coming in from students. They are doing it with less advertising money and they are making it happen because they have proper protocols in place, proper administration and stuff like that.
4480 So it is not even a matter of me wanting to have my voice in there. I just want to help CKLN not fail. I want them to get on the right track basically.
4481 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you. And, by the way, my condolences on the loss of your son.
4482 MS OTWAY: Yes, sir.
4483 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: My question is, why do you think a suspension would work? You heard CKLN today state that a suspension -- let's put it this way. The station has clearly been broken.
4484 MS OTWAY: Yes.
4485 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: The issue before us is whether or not it can be put back together again. Their position is that a suspension would -- I don't want to put words in their mouth but that a suspension is an event that would make their recovery more difficult rather than less difficult.
4486 How do you see a suspension?
4487 MS OTWAY: Yes, sir, I understand your point.
4488 The reason that I am saying that is because of my involvement in the community and my involvement in organizations like street kids. I go before judges. I was in court all week last week and the judge doesn't want to hear that I am going to get a job, that one of the kids that I am bringing is going to be in a program. He doesn't want to hear that they are going to stop taking drugs, that they are going to rehab.
4489 The judge wants to hear, I am signed up for rehab, I have implemented -- I have begun rehab. The judge wants to hear, this is an offer of a job.
4490 CKLN is not putting things in place. What they are doing is they are decorating. Because I have this CRTC hearing, I am going to decorate my house so it looks pretty. We are going to do this, we are going to do this, we are going to do this. When? They don't know.
4491 So how I see it is that this is all decoration. It is like when my grandmother used to say, when smoke comes, everybody runs out. So they are all here, smoke is here, okay, let's go, let's go, we are going to lose our licence. Okay, we don't lose our licence, let's all go back into our houses and follow -- go ahead with all what we used to do before.
4492 So from my experience with street kids and from the many organizations that I am involved with like that, like the Bereaved Families and stuff like that, they don't function on what I can do, what I plan to do.
4493 They function on what I have signed up to do, what I have an offer to do, what I have put in place to do, and CKLN has not done that.
4494 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, I understand your position there.
4495 When you were the Chair of the board, how conscious were you and what was your experience with the board about how conscious it was of CRTC Regulations and CRTC matters?
4496 MS OTWAY: When I was with the board of directors, I didn't know anything about the Regulations of the CRTC. When I came in, this was all basically new to me because I was just a programmer. I obviously knew nothing about it. I just knew that there were certain guidelines that we had to follow when we were on air. There were certain things that we couldn't say because it was not in accordance with the CRTC.
4497 So when I came in, I started learning all new things. And in going through learning a lot of things, be it from Roberta's rules right back to going over nights and nights studying the CRTC's Regulations, the mandates, all of CKLN's mandates and everything else, while going through stuff like that, I started to see that they are not following through with certain things.
4498 So that is when I became -- I would say there are two factions here. There is the cat and there is the mouse, and I am the ferret in the middle. That is when I became a thorn in everybody's side and started saying, look, you are not following the guidelines of the CRTC, you are not following the guidelines of the mandate, you are not doing this, you are not doing that, and that is what got me into hot water.
4499 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, thank you.
4500 MS HAMILTON: Sorry, I would like to make a point of clarification. Can I do that please?
4501 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Can you just wait? We will get to you.
4502 MS HAMILTON: It is just because she was never the Chair of the board, ever. She was only Vice-Chair.
4503 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay.
4504 Ms Miner, why do you care so much that you want the licence to die?
4505 MS MINER: It is the precedent. I believe --
4506 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Who benefits from that? Who do you think is the beneficiary?
4507 MS MINER: Well, I think when you have the NCRA here talking about all the other campus/community stations and how they exist and how they all get their funding as well and their advertising, the precedent here is very clear.
4508 If you want people to follow the rules, you have to make the consequences when they don't very clear, and what you really have allowed here is like a hostile takeover.
4509 We all know that sort of the elephant in the room today is the court case that we are not talking about, and that will get settled in court in terms of under the Corporations Act, but it was not the place and is not the place of student bodies to take and act in lieu of the Corporation or take over the Corporation.
4510 I think that if this is allowed to stand, the lines are not very clear for other campus/community radio stations. Downtown Toronto --
4511 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Those issues, to a certain extent, changes in control we need to be notified by, that is our interest in that.
4512 MS MINER: I don't think you were notified by the takeover.
4513 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: No, we weren't and that is understood. It is probably not the first time in Canadian regulatory history that has occurred.
4514 Who do you see as being the beneficiaries of licence revocation?
4515 MS MINER: Well, it is not an issue of who I see as the beneficiary.
4516 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: It is. That is my question.
4517 MS MINER: Well, I don't have an interest in who is the beneficiary. I am a listener and when I listen to radio, I like to know as a listener -- because that is the only way I came to CKLN, was as a listener.
4518 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay.
4519 MS MINER: I think that in the interest of the listening public, if I am listening to Rogers, I know who owns it. If I am listening to CIUT, I know who is involved there.
4520 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, thank you.
4521 Mr. Barrett, my question for you is similar. This station was clearly broken. The issue is whether or not it is being fixed or can be fixed.
4522 How do your comments contribute to that?
4523 MR. BARRETT: Which part, sir?
4524 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Well, the whole thing actually.
4525 MR. BARRETT: Okay.
4526 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I mean how are we fixing things here or is your position that the licence should be revoked?
4527 MR. BARRETT: I think it should be revoked. I know there are other groups wanting to get on air. I think some of them might even be here. I clearly think that --
4528 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: But that is not the best reason for revoking a licence --
4529 MR. BARRETT: True, but I am just saying Toronto already has --
4530 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: -- because somebody else would want it.
4531 MR. BARRETT: I am sorry to cut you off, sir.
4532 Toronto already has two other stations that are doing a fantastic job. I don't see CKLN, if they don't want to follow any -- maybe haven't done any mandatory orders or anything like that -- if they don't want to follow the rules, why they should be allowed to continue, why they can bring in, you know, student unions and CFS to help further their own groups, whether they be ties with OCAP or the FMTA or other groups like that. I think it deserves to go to maybe another campus, another community group.
4533 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Is this personal for you at all?
4534 MR. BARRETT: No, sir.
4535 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Sure?
4536 MR. BARRETT: Positive.
4537 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Ms Hamilton, you said that RSU funds were withheld. When did that occur and why did that occur?
4538 MS HAMILTON: RSU withheld the funds for three years and I was told that when I just was elected onto the board. So while I was elected onto the board, RSU had already been withholding the funds.
4539 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Do you know that for a fact or is that an opinion?
4540 MS HAMILTON: I was told by the outgoing board member -- another outgoing board member.
4541 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: But you don't know it for a fact?
4542 MS HAMILTON: Yes, I do know for a fact.
4543 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: You do know it for a fact?
4544 MS HAMILTON: Yes.
4545 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay.
4546 When you were associated with the board, what priority was given to adherence to CRTC Regulations?
4547 MS HAMILTON: Complete compliance was mandatory and was told by the program director, who constantly would monitor when we were on the air.
4548 As a new programmer, I read over the Programmer's Handbook and was able to comply with everything that was written in the Programmer's Handbook and it was on air. I had never been on a radio station before and this was my first time and I was able to comply with it.
4549 I was subsequently trained by Mike Phillips and Tony Barnes on how to handle technical aspects of the station to make sure that we were in regular compliance.
4550 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Is this personal at all for you?
4551 MS HAMILTON: Personal in what way, sir?
4552 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Are you motivated by personal feelings of anger?
4553 MS HAMILTON: No. I used to be a listener of the radio station as well. I actually used to listen to Ron Nelson's show when he used to have a hip-hop show.
4554 So my only thing is to make sure that campus radio station is done properly and complies with what the CRTC has been asking, and other radio stations that I listen to have always complied with what the CRTC is asking for.
4555 I have listened to CIUT. I have also listened to Humber. I have listened to York University's radio station. And they are all campus radio stations who have complied with the CRTC.
4556 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, thank you. Those are my questions.
4557 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Molnar?
4558 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
4559 I just want to state before I ask my question that we have read what you filed with us and you brought up in here, once again, the issue regarding the relationship with the RSU and particularly the issue of the licensing tenancy agreement. I am expecting that tomorrow in the rebuttal CKLN will address that with us further. Your position is clear based on what you filed.
4560 I have just one other question. It is for Mr. Barrett.
4561 You say that Ryerson students, the Radio and Television Arts students have set up their own Internet radio station.
4562 MR. BARRETT: Yes, that is correct.
4563 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And then you go on to say that Journalism professors have their students receive training and credit from the U of T.
4564 MR. BARRETT: CIUT 89.5, in fact, yes.
4565 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Sorry?
4566 MR. BARRETT: CIUT, yes. Not the university, the university's radio station at U of T.
4567 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Yes, yes. Sorry. CIUT, yes.
4568 So are these new initiatives or how long has this been --
4569 MR. BARRETT: I believe the CIUT thing has been going on for over a decade.
4570 The Ryerson radio online was going on for a while as well. When I was on the board, we went from two hours of student programming to 24 hours of student programming. The current board of directors, you know, coming in, I think they are back to maybe two hours of student programming.
4571 A lot of those same students we got from the Ryerson online radio station and they don't like the climate and they have gone back.
4572 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Sorry, I missed -- this Internet radio station has been there for sometime?
4573 MR. BARRETT: It has been there for about, I don't know, five years -- I can't remember -- when Shipley, who she had mentioned was on the board before, was in charge of that.
4574 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Five years for that and you said even longer for the --
4575 MR. BARRETT: Possibly --
4576 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: -- Journalism students?
4577 MR. BARRETT: That is correct, at least a decade that I know of.
4578 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Thank you very much. Those are my questions.
4579 MR. BARRETT: All right.
4580 THE CHAIRPERSON: I believe that concludes this panel.
4581 I think that is it for today.
4582 Start tomorrow...?
4583 THE SECRETARY: Yes. We will resume tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. Thank you.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1744, to resume on Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 0900
Beverley Dillabough Sue Villeneuve
Monique Mahoney Jean Desaulniers
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