ARCHIVED - Transcript, Hearing 18 May 2011
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Volume 2, 18 May 2011
TRANSCRIPTION OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
To consider the broadcasting applications listed in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-188, 2011-188-1, 2011-188-2, 2011-188-3, 2011-188-4 and 2011-188-5 and 2011-188-6
140 Promenade du Portage
18 May 2011
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 Contents.
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 Telecommunications Commission
To consider the broadcasting applications listed in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-188, 2011-188-1, 2011-188-2, 2011-188-3, 2011-188-4 and 2011-188-5 and 2011-188-6
Jean-François GagnonLegal Counsel
Moïra LétourneauLegal Counsel
Catherine ArguinHearing Manager and Senior Radio Analyst
140 Promenade du Portage
18 May 2011
- iv -
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
7. Rogers Broadcasting Limited
Presentation by the licensee214 / 1506
8. Vancouver Co-operative Radio
Presentation by the licensee347 / 2410
Presentations by the interveners
Heather Kitching (int. # 150)383 / 2603
NCRA/ANREC (int. # 166)391 / 2645
W2 Community Media Arts Society (int. # 200)402 / 2700
Reply by the licensee429 / 2886
- v -
PAGE / PARA
Undertaking329 / 2301
Undertaking340 / 2361
Undertaking342 / 2373
Undertaking343 / 2382
--- Upon resuming on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 0936
1493 LA SECRÉTAIRE : A l'ordre, s'il vous plaît. Order, please.
1494 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. Everyone's well?
1495 LA SECRÉTAIRE : Bonjour, Monsieur le Président. Good morning, all.
1496 LE PRÉSIDENT : Madame la Secrétaire, on vous écoute.
1497 LA SECRÉTAIRE : Merci.
1498 We will now proceed with item 7 on the agenda, which is an application by Rogers Broadcasting Limited to renew the broadcasting licence for the English-language commercial radio programming undertaking CFUN-FM Chilliwack and its transmitters CFUN-FM-1 Abbotsford and CFUN-FM-2 Vancouver (formerly CKCL-FM, CKCL-FM-1 and CKCL-FM-2), expiring 31August 2011.
1499 It appears to the Commission that the licensee may have failed to comply with the following conditions of licence set out in CKCL-FM Chilliwack and its transmitters CKCL-FM-1 Abbotsford and CKCL-FM-2 Vancouver - Licence renewal, Broadcasting Decision CRTC2007-148, 22May 2007 (Broadcasting Decision 2007-148):
"1. The licensee shall broadcast at least once every half hour, a station identification which includes specific reference to the frequency and location of the Chilliwack transmitter.
2. The licensee shall refrain from identifying CKCL-FM and its transmitters on a basis that includes exclusive reference to Vancouver.
3. The licensee shall include in the programming broadcast on CKCL-FM and its transmitters on a regular basis each day, coverage of local news, sports and events of direct and particular relevance to the Fraser Valley, in particular Chilliwack.
4. The licensee shall include in each traffic report and each weather report broadcast on CKCL-FM and its transmitters a specific reference to the areas CKCL-FM is licensed to serve."
1500 It also appears to the Commission that the licensee may have failed to comply with section 15 of the Radio Regulations 1986, relating to contributions to Canadian content development, for the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 broadcast years.
1501 The licensee requested amendments to two of its conditions of licence set out in Broadcasting Decision 2007-148.
1502 The licensee indicated that the requested amendments are necessary in order to provide the flexibility needed to reflect operational realities while maintaining the station's focus on locally oriented programming.
1503 The Commission expects the licensee to show cause at this hearing why a mandatory order requiring the licensee to comply with its conditions of licence and with section 15 of the Regulations should not be issued.
1504 In Broadcasting Decision 2007-148, CKCL-FM was granted a four-year short-term renewal until 31August 2011 due to a lack of locally relevant programming for the Chilliwack and Fraser Valley areas.
1505 Appearing for the licensee is Mr. Paul Ski. Mr. Ski, please introduce your colleagues for the record, after which you will have 20 minutes for your presentation.
1506 MR. SKI: Thank you.
1507 Good morning, Mr. Vice-Chair, Commissioners and Commission staff. My name is Paul Ski and I am Chief Executive Officer of Rogers Radio.
1508 With me today, starting from my far right, your left, are:
1509 - Julie Adam, Vice-President/National Program Director, Rogers Radio; and
1510 - Susan Wheeler, Vice-President Regulatory, Rogers Media.
1511 From my far left, your right:
1512 - Geoff Poulton, Vice-President/ General Manager, BC Radio; and
1513 - Murray Brookshaw, Program Director, CFUN-FM.
1514 On behalf of Rogers Broadcasting and its radio division, let me begin by expressing my regret that we are here before you today under the present circumstances.
1515 Please be assured that we fully understand that any failure to comply with our licence terms and conditions is unacceptable. We take a proceeding of this nature and our appearance here before you today very seriously.
1516 As a large radio broadcaster we pride ourselves on upholding our licence obligations and commitments and believe we have a solid track record in this regard.
1517 We trust our presentation today will assure you that CFUN's instances of non-compliance did not result from a disregard for our obligations or our commitment to the communities we are licensed to serve but were in fact honest mistakes that we have taken measures to correct and avoid in the future.
1518 We believe we have a strong record of service over the last licence term and can demonstrate that we have improved CFUN's local orientation to the Chilliwack and Fraser Valley region in keeping with our licence commitments and expectations.
1519 Our presentation today will focus on the following areas:
1520 1. CFUN's local orientation towards Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley.
1521 2. The nature of our non-compliance during the week of April 18th, 2010 and the corrective measures we have taken.
1522 3. The next licence term.
1523 4. Why we do not believe the issuance of a mandatory order is necessary.
1524 MR. POULTON: We would like to thank the over 275 listeners, clients and community organizations from Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley, including the municipalities of Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Mission, who took the time to express their support for our licence renewal application.
1525 These community leaders noted CFUN's role in promoting local talent and community events and providing regular news, traffic and weather information throughout the region.
1526 The Mayor of Mission, James Atebe said:
"CFUN is a station that supports our local communities... by promoting non-profit and community events, providing news and weather conditions in our area, and announcing important messages relevant to our residents."
1527 John Stellingwerff, the Program Manager for Chilliwack Community Services, wrote:
"...services we've received include free public service announcements, live community events promotions, event sponsorships and quality reporting on relevant social issues."
1528 Local Promoter Rob Warwick of Rock.it Boy wrote:
"CFUN is a station that supports its local music scene and touring artists in the Fraser Valley. I often need promo support and they always go beyond the call of duty to help my shows."
1529 We believe this is strong evidence that CFUN and its programming is relevant and valued by the local communities it serves.
1530 CFUN currently operates as an oldies music station, providing a minimum of 30 weekday newscasts and updates featuring local, regional and national stories to our listeners in Chilliwack, Fraser Valley and the Lower Mainland.
1531 Each of our newscasts includes coverage of stories from Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley and we provide regular coverage of local sporting events.
1532 Local traffic and weather forecasts are also a regular part of our programming. Local traffic covering Chilliwack and the Lower Mainland is broadcast weekdays during the morning and afternoon drive period and local weather is broadcast hourly on weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00p.m.
1533 In addition to our local news and information programming, CFUN is also an important vehicle for promoting local events and festivals, airing a regular community calendar six times a day.
1534 CFUN also plays a strong role in supporting local Canadian talent by working hand-in-hand with the local artistic community to promote and showcase events.
1535 These include events such as the Chilliwack Academy of Music Benefit Concert, a fundraiser for the Academy's Cultural Centre Equipment Fund. We are also proud sponsors of the Abbotsford Arts Council, an annual concert series featuring local musicians from a variety of musical genres.
1536 Last year, CFUN and its sister station CKQC-FM Abbotsford also sponsored The Big Break, a local music event designed to showcase and promote young local talent from across the Fraser Valley.
1537 We believe that through our local programming and support for local events and initiatives that CFUN has a strong record of performance and has upheld its service mandate to Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley.
1538 MR. SKI: As we have stated in our written submissions, CFUN's non-compliance resulted from a combination of technical and/or human error and our understanding of our conditions of licence.
1539 Condition of licence number 1 provides that:
"The licensee shall broadcast at least once every half hour, a station identification which includes specific reference to the frequency and location of the Chilliwack transmitter."
1540 These IDs are scheduled every half hour in our computer system. The computer also stores all of the station's music and commercials. The system is also programmed to help get our programs back on track when they go off schedule.
1541 Unfortunately, the six-hour morning specialty program we aired on Sunday, April 18th ran longer than scheduled, which caused the computer system to delete some of the programming elements. Unfortunately, the system deleted 4 of the 12 IDs scheduled during that program.
1542 We have since rescheduled the station IDs so that they cannot be dropped by our computer system when programs do not run according to schedule.
1543 On April 19th, Commission staff also noted that we failed to provide station IDs in each half hour in the 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. hour segments.
1544 While we did air the correct number of station IDs that day, due to when the IDs were scheduled and the length of certain songs, the IDs scheduled to air in the second part of those hours were pushed to the following hour.
1545 For example, the ID scheduled to air in the 12:30 to 1:00 p.m. segment aired one minute late at 1:01 p.m. due to the length of the song played at the end of that hour. This resulted in three station IDs airing between 1:00p.m. and 2:00 p.m. and only one ID being aired in the previous hour. The same situation occurred during the 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. segment.
1546 In order to make sure that doesn't happen going forward, we have scheduled the IDs to air at 20 past and 10 to the hour. This will ensure IDs cannot be impacted by the length of songs being aired towards the end of each half hour.
1547 Condition of licence number 2 provides that:
"The licensee shall refrain from identifying CFUN-FM and its transmitters on a basis that includes exclusive reference to Vancouver."
1548 In its performance evaluation Commission staff questioned our use of such slogans as "CFUN, Vancouver's Greatest Hits."
1549 Let me explain that these slogans were used in addition to other slogans such as "CFUN, Chilliwack's Greatest Hits," "CFUN, Abbotsford's Greatest Hits," "CFUN, Mission's Greatest Hits" and "CFUN, Fraser Valley's Greatest Hits" throughout the day. By making all of these references, we believed we met our licence requirements.
1550 Pending your ruling on this issue, we have dropped these slogans and replaced them with "FUN FM's Greatest Hits" and "FUN FM Plays the Greatest Hits."
1551 Condition of licence number 3 provides that:
"The licensee shall include in the programming broadcast on CFUN-FM and its transmitters on a regular basis each day, coverage of local news, sports and events of direct and particular relevance to the Fraser Valley, in particular Chilliwack."
1552 In its performance evaluation Commission staff indicated that no news of any type was broadcast on Sunday April 18th or Saturday April 24, 2010.
1553 We read condition of licence No. 3 to mean that when CFUN airs local news, sports and events segments they have to include stories from Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley. In other words, that it only applied to "programming aired on a regular basis each day". We did not read it as a requirement to air news every day.
1554 This interpretation was based on the programming guidelines the Commission first set out in 2000 and reiterated in 2001 in its licence renewal decision, which made no reference to how often CFUN must provide news programming.
1555 As we noted earlier, CFUN is an Oldies music station. Like many stations operating in this type of format, CFUN does not offer formal news and sports as part of its regular programming on weekends.
1556 Since our exchange with Commission staff we have instituted, as part of our regular programming seven days a week, a community information and events segment for Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley.
1557 Condition of licence No. 4 provides that:
"The licensee shall include in each traffic report and each weather report broadcast on CFUN-FM and its transmitters a specific reference to the areas CFUN-FM is licensed to serve."
1558 CRTC staff noted in its performance evaluation that while each of our traffic and weather reports monitored during the morning period included references to communities in the Fraser Valley, the few weather reports aired after 10:00 a.m. only included references to Vancouver.
1559 After reviewing this issue, we determined that on a few occasions our on-air practices were inconsistent between the morning and afternoon programs. This resulted in the Chilliwack weather not being aired in a few instances. We have since reintroduced briefings on our conditions of licence in staff meetings to ensure all on-air staff is made aware of our specific licence requirements and obligations with respect to traffic and weather and reaffirmed that these requirements are not optional. A copy of our conditions of licence is also posted in our control room as a reminder to all staff.
1560 We hope that the fact that our non-compliance resulted from honest mistakes and the corrective measures we have taken to address these issues will assure you that we are committed to following our conditions of licence.
1561 Since our last licence renewal, CFUN has implemented a number of measures to ensure it upholds its mandate to these markets. These include daily show preparation meetings with on-air announcers, and weekly meetings with programming staff to discuss news stories and promotional opportunities in the Fraser Valley.
1562 We also have a dedicated news director position in Chilliwack to ensure better quality and relevant news programming.
1563 We believe these measures demonstrate a strong commitment to Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley and have had a positive impact on the station and our listeners.
1564 MS WHEELER: The Commission has also indicated that while CFUN has contributed the required basic amount to Canadian Content Development in 2009 and 2010 that we have failed to allocate the proper amount to FACTOR in accordance with section 15(4) of the Radio Regulations. This amounts to a shortfall of just under $500.
1565 We had disputed this assertion during the Commission's deficiency process because we erroneously believed we were operating under section 15(3) of the Regulations which outlines transitional measures for radio stations that have Canadian Talent Development obligations imposed prior to June 1, 2007.
1566 It was only after the close of comments in this proceeding that we understood we were not able to avail ourselves of these transitional measures because we technically did not have any Canadian Talent Development obligations prior to June 1, 2007.
1567 We had assumed, as is the case with our other radio stations, that unless we had specific CTD or CCD requirements set out in the licence that CFUN was subject to the Standard Conditions of licence for AM and FM Stations, including CTD requirements. It is for this reason that we made CTD payments in 2007 and 2008 when we were not required to do so and calculated our CCD payments in 2009 and 2010 in accordance with the transitional measures outlined in section 15(3) of the Regulations.
1568 We now understand that CFUN was only required to start making CCD payments in 2009 when the new Regulations came into force and should not have made deductions based on the transitional measures outlined in section 15(3) of the Regulations.
1569 Please be assured that CFUN was acting in good faith and has paid the outstanding amount to FACTOR.
1570 As noted in our application, we have asked the Commission to renew CFUN's licence on the same terms and conditions subject to a few small modifications.
1571 We had requested that condition of licence No. 1 regarding station identifications be amended to allow CFUN the scheduling flexibility to broadcast two station IDs per hour as opposed to one every half hour.
1572 After discussions with Industry Canada we have determined that we no longer require this amendment as we believe we can meet both the current licence requirement and Industry Canada's requirements regarding the broadcast of station IDs.
1573 However, we do still respectfully request that the words "each day" be removed from condition of licence No. 3 related to the provision of news, sports and events programming. As we noted earlier in our remarks, we do not believe this condition of licence, as it is currently interpreted, properly reflects the Commission's original intent which was to ensure the local reflection of CFUN's news and information programming; not the level or frequency of such programming.
1574 Accordingly, we believe this amendment will resolve any ambiguity with respect to the interpretation of this condition of licence while still preserving the Commission's original intent with respect to CFUN's local orientation.
1575 We believe CFUN's programming is locally oriented towards Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley and that it has enhanced its service to these markets over the licence term.
1576 Given the context, circumstances and nature of the instances of non-compliance and the measures we have taken to ensure future compliance, we do not believe the issuance of a mandatory order is necessary in this instance.
1577 We urge the Commission to consider our responsive efforts to remedy these instances of non-compliance and our voluntary commitment to uphold our current conditions of licence going forward when considering whether it is necessary to use such strong action.
1578 MR. SKI: Mr. Chair, Members of the Commission, we take our responsibilities to the Chilliwack and Fraser Valley communities very seriously and understand your concerns regarding our adherence to CFUN's conditions of licence. Non-compliance, particularly for a broadcast group of our size and expertise, is disappointing and unacceptable.
1579 We trust our presentation today has demonstrated that we have acted in good faith throughout the licence term and that CFUN has increased, both in quality and quantity, the level of locally relevant news, weather, traffic and sports programming oriented towards the Chilliwack and Fraser Valley markets.
1580 We also wish to note that the last complaint we received regarding the local orientation of CFUN's programming was 10 years ago from a competitive broadcaster. We are pleased to report that we have not received any complaints, from either listeners or other broadcasters, since that time.
1581 We believe this, coupled with the strong support we have received from Chilliwack and Fraser Valley listeners and community organizations for our renewal application, demonstrates that CFUN is upholding its licence mandate and that its programming is relevant and valued by the communities that it serves.
1582 We also trust that the measures we have taken to correct the instances of non-compliance address any concerns the Commission may have with our past performance.
1583 These include:
1584 Updating our computer systems to ensure that station IDs are not dropped;
1585 Updating our internal practices to ensure all staff are adequately and regularly briefed on our licence obligations;
1586 Dropping the use of the slogan "Vancouver's Greatest Hits"; and
1587 Implementing a Chilliwack and Fraser Valley community information and events segment seven days a week.
1588 Finally, given the circumstance of our non-compliance, and the corrective actions that we have taken, we hope the Commission agrees that it is not necessary to impose a mandatory order to ensure we comply with our licence conditions.
1589 Again, please accept my sincere apology for these instances of non-compliance.
1590 We thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today and we welcome any questions that you might have.
1591 Thank you.
1592 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
1593 May I ask first and foremost how often, if you have these numbers, would you mention "CFUN Vancouver's Greatest Hits"?
1594 MR. SKI: At the present time?
1595 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
1596 MR. SKI: Not at all.
1597 THE CHAIRPERSON: Let's go back a few months.
1598 MR. SKI: A few months, I think we mentioned "Vancouver's Greatest Hits" approximately one-third of the time.
1599 THE CHAIRPERSON: And the other two-thirds?
1600 MR. SKI: Would be the various other cities in the coverage areas, whether they be Maple Ridge, Surrey, et cetera.
1601 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are a Chilliwack and Fraser Valley-based station licensed to serve those communities.
1602 Is that correct?
1603 MR. SKI: That's correct.
1604 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And you are changing your slogan to "FUN FM's Greatest Hits". You used to mention with pride the fact that you served Vancouver and that you were Vancouver's greatest hits, why won't you do the same thing for Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley in your slogan?
1605 MR. SKI: But we did.
1606 THE CHAIRPERSON: No.
"Pending your ruling on this issue, we have dropped these slogans and replaced them with 'FUN FM's Greatest Hits' ..."
1607 MR. SKI: I think maybe I should talk a little bit about the area that we serve, if I could.
1608 THE CHAIRPERSON: Go ahead.
1609 MR. SKI: Because it's a bit of a challenge for us and it's somewhat complicated.
1610 While we serve the Fraser Valley and Chilliwack, we also have a transmitter and a contour that covers Vancouver.
1611 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand that.
1612 MR. SKI: Approximately one-third of the people from the Fraser Valley commute between the Fraser Valley and Vancouver.
1613 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
1614 MR. SKI: Chilliwack receives approximately 22 signals from Vancouver. Fifty percent of the tuning in Chilliwack is from Vancouver radio stations. Approximately 70 percent of the tuning in Abbotsford is from Vancouver stations, there are also other stations from Washington State, et cetera.
1615 THE CHAIRPERSON: So Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley are very well served by Vancouver stations, 22 signals coming in.
1616 MR. SKI: I think they are very well served by our stations and the Vancouver stations.
1617 THE CHAIRPERSON: We don't necessarily need a 23rd station that acts like it's emitting out of Vancouver and I don't understand why you don't take pride in your slogan in mentioning that you have a licence to serve Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley.
1618 You used to take great pride in saying you are "Vancouver's Greatest Hits" and when we called you to task on that you dropped that completely and just went with "Greatest Hits".
1619 Why are you so afraid to identify yourself with Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley?
1620 MR. SKI: I don't think it's a matter of being afraid, quite frankly. But the surrounding environment of the Lower Mainland which is pressing into the Fraser Valley is also an area that we serve. There are a lot of cities.
1621 So I suppose what we could do is we could mention every one of those cities. Most stations don't but there are a number of cities including Chilliwack, including Mission, including Vancouver, including Langley, including Maple Ridge.
1622 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. But you understand that the spirit of your licence is to serve those regions and not Vancouver, or is that not fair?
1623 MS WHEELER: We do believe that Vancouver is our secondary market. It's not our primary market, but by virtue of the fact that we were given a transmitter in Vancouver and allowed to have our studio in Vancouver, we do believe that it is part of our service market.
1624 THE CHAIRPERSON: Your service market and your licence, is to reflect Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley. Do you agree with me on that, and not to reflect Vancouver?
1625 We have already got 22 stations coming into the Valley and Chilliwack from Vancouver. We don't need a 23rd. Do you agree with that?
1626 MS WHEELER: We believe that part of our service mandate is to serve Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley. But we also believe that part of our service mandate is to serve the listeners of Vancouver.
1627 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. You mentioned, Ms Wheeler, that you found some of our conditions of licence ambiguous and you mentioned a third condition of licence that I have here. You are stuck on "each day" and you would like that dropped. What is ambiguous about each day?
1628 MS WHEELER: When the conditions were first imposed they were based on guidelines that the condition had imposed in 2000 and 2001 which were -- the genesis of which were to ensure that our local programming includes references and is oriented towards Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley. It wasn't a prescriptive guideline to ensure the level of local programming that CFUN provides.
1629 In the course of the performance evaluation there were some questions about what was a particular relevance to Fraser Valley and Chilliwack. In particular, we had referenced a number of Vancouver Canucks games that the staff determination was that that wasn't relevant to Chilliwack or the Fraser Valley, in which case if you read the condition of licence as it is written, we would be out of compliance for not mentioning a sports segment in that day.
1630 So we honestly believe that the Canucks were relevant to Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley. We believe they are actually relevant to a lot of communities in Canada at this point in time and so we are worried that, going forward, that kind of interpretation we may not have the same view as staff or the Commission on what is relevant and what's not relevant, in which case each day actually becomes problematic.
1631 THE CHAIRPERSON: Condition of licence number 3:
"The licensee shall include in the programming broadcast on CKCL-FM and its transmitters on a regular basis each day, coverage of local news, sports and events of direct and particular relevance to the Fraser Valley, in particular Chilliwack."
1632 No mention there of Vancouver on the face of it?
1633 MS WHEELER: No.
1634 THE CHAIRPERSON: Condition of licence number 4:
"...the licensee shall include in each traffic report and each weather report broadcast on CKCL-FM and its transmitters a specific reference to the areas CFUN-FM is licensed to serve, specifically Fraser Valley and Chilliwack."
1636 MS WHEELER: Correct.
1637 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So why is it that your weather reports after 10 a.m. refer specifically to Vancouver and exclusively to Vancouver?
1638 MS WHEELER: Again, we tried to explain that that was a technical error that on-air staff missed on a couple of days and it's not reflective of the day to day practices. Generally, on-air staff references both Vancouver and Chilliwack and Fraser Valley temperatures.
1639 And, again, it goes to the point where we do feel that Vancouver is part of our service market. Those conditions of licence were put in place to ensure that we didn't exclusively serve Vancouver but there was no prohibition that we shouldn't serve Vancouver as well.
1640 THE CHAIRPERSON: Condition of licence number 2:
"The licensee shall refrain from identifying CKCL-FM and its transmitters on a basis that includes exclusive reference to Vancouver."
1641 MS WHEELER: Yes, again --
1642 THE CHAIRPERSON: The staff finding shows that the principle ID slogan for the station used several times every day was referring to a Vancouver transmitter 104.9 Fun FM.
1643 MS WHEELER: That's correct, on a day and that's just one day of monitoring. And, I guess, what we are telling you is --
1644 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is that not correct?
1645 MS WHEELER: That's not the general practice. That might have been what happened on that day but as a general practice we have done a review of that month and determined that, on average there is about a third Vancouver and two-thirds the remaining communities.
1646 THE CHAIRPERSON: What went wrong on that date?
1647 MS WHEELER: Again, it's not scheduled on a weekly basis. They are put on there -- I can ask Murray or Julie to explain how IDs are scheduled and what kind of frequency they are done.
1648 But, again, it was just -- it's not representative of the day based on our analysis of the month.
1649 THE CHAIRPERSON: And we just happened to fall on that day, the --
1650 MS WHEELER: Sorry?
1651 THE CHAIRPERSON: We, the CRTC, just happened to have fallen on that day and that was the day when everything went awry?
1652 MS WHEELER: They requisitioned a week of programming logs.
1653 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
1654 MS WHEELER: But they only did the audio for that one day.
1655 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1656 THE CHAIRPERSON: Why is it that local traffic covering Chilliwack and the Lower Mainland is not mentioned throughout the day and only in the morning and afternoon drives, from what I see here?
1657 MR. SKI: Well, the easy answer to that is that is where most of the traffic is, quite frankly.
1658 What we do when we program a radio station is we determine what we call programming parameters of importance and those things that are most important to the listeners. Different formats, different stations do different things but the majority of people are most concerned about traffic information when they are driving to work or when they are coming home from work.
1659 That doesn't mean that there aren't instances of traffic at other times of the day and we will drop in and do those. If there is a major tie-up on a highway for instance or something of that nature we will drop in and do that, but the formal traffic reports are only done in afternoon -- in the drive periods.
1660 That changes if you are a radio station that, for instance, has an all news format or news talk format. Most music stations carry on with that.
1661 THE CHAIRPERSON: And are you broadcasting Chilliwack and Fraser Valley weather on a regular basis?
1662 MR. SKI: Yes. But, again, it's the same type of situation although slightly different. Most people are, from what we see, are most concerned about the weather in the morning.
1663 THE CHAIRPERSON: M'hmm.
1664 MR. SKI: What do they wear depending on the conditions of weather, whether it's wintertime what do they need to do, take the kids to school, et cetera. During the day not that much changes. If it does then we go on the air and we make sure that we do that. But otherwise --
1665 THE CHAIRPERSON: How often do you broadcast Vancouver weather if we were to compare it to Fraser Valley and Chilliwack weather on any given day?
1666 MR. SKI: Murray?
1667 MR. BROOKSHAW: We air Vancouver, Chilliwack and Abbotsford weather at the same time each time.
1668 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think Commissioner Duncan may have some questions for you.
1669 I'm sorry. Yes, Commissioner Duncan...?
1670 MR. SKI: Mr. Chair, can I correct something that I said earlier which was incorrect?
1671 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1672 MR. SKI: I will have Murray -- and I should have asked Murray to begin with because he is the program director. When I said that we were referring to the station as just "FUN FM's Greatest Hits", that's not correct.
1673 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1674 MR. BROOKSHAW: That's the general slogan but we also run "This is CFUN, Chilliwack's Greatest Hits".
1675 THE CHAIRPERSON: You used to run that --
1676 MR. BROOKSHAW: No, we do now.
1677 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- according to your document. You still do?
1678 MR. BROOKSHAW: We do now, yes.
1679 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh.
1680 MR. BROOKSHAW: And we run "Abbotsford's Greatest Hits" and "Mission's Greatest Hits" and the "Fraser Valley's Greatest Hits" as well.
1681 THE CHAIRPERSON: So this is not correct here, page 7 of your presentation:
"Pending your ruling on this issue, we have dropped these slogans and replaced them with 'FUN FM's Greatest Hits' and 'FUN FM Plays the Greatest Hits'".
1682 No mention of Chilliwack or anything else.
1683 MS WHEELER: We meant that's in lieu of the Vancouver's Greatest Hits, we air those slogans.
1684 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you have dropped Vancouver's Greatest -- you have kept Chilliwack, Abbotsford --
1685 MS WHEELER: Mission.
1686 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- Mission and Fraser Valley?
1687 MS WHEELER: Correct.
1688 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you replaced Vancouver with FUN FM's Greatest Hits?
1689 MS WHEELER: That's correct.
1690 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, that changes a lot.
1691 Great, thank you.
1692 MR. SKI: Our apologies for that misunderstanding.
1693 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, sir.
1694 Commissioner Duncan?
1695 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay. So I have quite a few questions and probably some of it is going to be quite repetitive. But I think that considering the size of Rogers, as you point out, that it's important to get on the record all the explanations we can before we make our decisions so we have an informed decision.
1696 So there will be some repetition and I think the Chair has covered a lot of key points in his questions but I will still proceed with the questioning that I had in mind.
1697 First of all, I wanted to point out that in the last renewal, Decision 2007-148, the Commission identified the main issue to be dealt with as the licensee's apparent repeated non-compliance with the Commission's directions that CKCL Chilliwack not be operated with exclusive orientation to Vancouver.
1698 Our findings are, as we have heard here this morning, that that was not the case. And I know that you are apologizing and saying these happened but that decision was a 2007 decision. So this is a long while after the fact.
1699 So just starting there, I noticed when I was getting ready that Chilliwack was referred to as CKCL-FM and the name has been changed to CFUN-FM. So first of all, I would just like to understand when that occurred and the reasoning for changing it because I understand you have an AM licence in Vancouver that you refer to as CFUN. But when I printed off a listing recently, it shows 104.9 as an FM station in Vancouver, CFUN.
1700 So if you could just give me just a little bit of history on how that came about and what the reasoning was?
1701 MR. SKI: Let me see if I can explain that. The station, and this was prior to my time with Rogers and many of our times with Rogers, actually, but prior to the station being called Fun it was called Clear and the call letters that you refer to of the CKCL call letters were the call letters used because it was Clear.
1702 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Oh, okay.
1703 MR. SKI: That may not be clear but it was called Clear so most stations will try to tie the call letters in with whatever they call the radio station.
1704 When we decided to make a format change and our challenges obviously with the station are that when you have a Chilliwack station or a station in the Fraser Valley, you try to put a formaton the air that will be large enough or attract a large enough audience to be successful or profitable, but not too large, because if it is, then a station in Vancouver will adopt that format and you won't have one any more.
1705 It's a bit of a slippery slope that we ride. So we decided that the oldies-type format was a format that we would use. At the same time --
1706 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Excuse me, Mr. Ski; when was that format change that you are talking about? What would have been the timing of that, approximately?
1707 MR. SKI: In `09. At the end of `09.
1708 MR. BROOKSHAW: On November 11th, `09 it became CFUN-FM.
1709 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Thank you.
1710 MR. SKI: We thought the call letters, quite frankly, which I was quite familiar with from my time in Vancouver, were call letters that had been used for a long time, and we thought we could take advantage of that, and at the same time CHUM-CTV, which had those particular call letters, changed their particular format.
1711 And you are correct, it was an AM station that was owned by CHUM-CTV.
1712 They abandoned those call letters to change -- I'm sorry, I don't recall what they changed the call letters to, but they changed the call letters of their AM station and, at the same time, we were able to get those same call letters.
1713 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: This all happened around the same time, then?
1714 MR. SKI: Yes, it did. They were concurrent or within a few months of each other.
1715 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: But at that point Rogers didn't own those stations, right?
1716 Am I right about that?
1717 MR. SKI: Didn't own...?
1718 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: The AM station.
1719 Did Rogers own the AM station?
1720 MR. SKI: No, we didn't own the AM station. It was a CHUM station. All they did was, they changed call letters and format, and we asked them if we could --
1721 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Grab the name.
1722 MR. SKI: -- use the call letters, and they said yes.
1723 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: I understand from my fellow Commissioner from Vancouver that there is quite a brand associated with CFUN-FM, so this probably would be a reason that you would consider it. It's a fun title, anyway.
1724 For a long while I was referring to it in my mind as C-F-U-N, and then I realized that it was "C FUN". So I have progressed.
1725 Thanks, that's helpful.
1726 Your format is oldies, you say, but when I went on Rogers.com, your Rogers.com website, it says that, in Vancouver, that station is identified as classic hits.
1727 I just set it up here. I should be able to bring it up and see.
1728 MR. SKI: That's correct. Classic hits is sort of a bucket, quite frankly, at least in the terminology that we use for formats. Oldies is maybe a segment of classic hits.
1729 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: All right. I will come back to that later.
1730 MR. SKI: Sorry about that confusion.
1731 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: No, that's okay. That helps with my understanding. I will come back to that point later.
1732 What I had in mind was to go through each of the COLs, which you have done, and the Chair has asked some questions, but I may have a few other questions on them, and I want to go through each one of them.
1733 Then, I have a few areas that I want to discuss before I get to what you are proposing for changes, and I take note of the fact that you no longer want to change COL No. 1.
1734 First of all, as we have heard, COL No. 1 states that the licensee shall broadcast, at least once every half-hour, a station identification that includes specific reference to the frequency and location of the Chilliwack transmitter.
1735 I noticed in your notes and in your comments here today that you recognize that there was a non-compliance issue on Sunday the 18th, and you took corrective steps, and that is described in your submissions. You met with the host of the program and made the changes necessary.
1736 My question for you is: What measures have you put in place to make sure it doesn't happen on another day, with another show, and another host?
1737 Because going forward, if the licence is 2, 4, 5 or 7 years, how are you going to ensure, three and a half years from now, that this is not a problem?
1738 MR. SKI: I will start, Commissioner Duncan, and maybe Murray can fill you in, or Julie.
1739 As we said, it is a bit of a computer issue, and also a bit of a misunderstanding that we had as it related to Industry Canada, because we felt that there needed to be a legal ID within a certain time at the top of the hour.
1740 As a result, we tried to have that happen very close to the top of the hour.
1741 In my comments, as I mentioned, rather than coming in a particular half-hour, it was one minute after the hour.
1742 By Condition of Licence, there were, I guess, 36 IDs that day that we needed to do. We did 36. They were off by a minute a couple of times, so obviously that didn't work.
1743 We clarified with Industry Canada that it wasn't such a big deal to put it within, say, 5 minutes or 10 minutes of the top of the hour. That's the feedback we got.
1744 That, obviously, gives us more flexibility, and I will let Julie explain how it works now, to make sure that doesn't happen.
1745 MS ADAM: With the modernization of our studios, everything is now stored on a hard drive. We don't use CDs any more or other pieces of equipment. Within that hard drive we are able to program when the commercials run and when the announcers talk.
1746 In the case of Red Robinson's show, it is a pre-recorded show that runs on Sunday mornings, and we have something within the computer system, within the log, that's called a "soft sync". That's the technical term. Basically, what happens is, you tell the computer that, at such-and-such a time within the hour, if we are running late, drop the next element. If we are too short on time, add another element.
1747 We made a mistake in those particular Sunday morning clocks, a human error, where we had put the legal ID in the spot right before the sync. So, when that hour of that program was running late on that morning, for whatever reason, either too much music scheduled or Red had talked a little bit too much, it kicked out the legal ID.
1748 So what we have done to ensure this doesn't happen is, the legal ID is now part of the commercial stop set, and it has been moved into a place where the computer will not kick it out.
1749 As Paul said, we were under the impression that these legal IDs had to run as close to the top of the hour as possible. So, now that we have checked with Industry Canada and realize that it's okay, you can run it at any time in the hour, we have relocated the IDs, so that they will run at 10 to the hour and 20 past the hour, within the commercial stop sets, one is within the break and one is at the end, away from the soft syncs, to ensure that there is enough of a buffer so that they won't run past the hour, and they are away from the computer's sync to kick it out.
1750 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: I have two questions following on that. In the written answers or responses to the Commission's deficiency questions, it was clear to me, I thought, that the problem was attributed to the host. But, really, it wasn't a problem with the host, it was an equipment problem. So, it doesn't matter what host it is, it is rectified.
1751 MS ADAM: That's right.
1752 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: It is interesting to me, then, because Rogers is large, and obviously has sophisticated equipment across the country, and you must be able, yourselves, to conduct the same kind of tests that we do. I am curious -- and I actually had this a little later on in my questions, but as a management matter, you are able to go in and do these tests and spot check.
1753 Do you do that, and how frequently do you do it?
1754 Because, again, 2007 spoke to the same non-compliance problem.
1755 MR. SKI: Commissioner, we didn't in that particular case, obviously, but certainly that is not part of the plan going forward, and it will be part of Julie's responsibilities where we have these types of Conditions of Licence that we have to deal with.
1756 We do spot check all kinds of other things, our CanCon -- we certainly make sure -- and Julie keeps on top of that, quite frankly.
1757 We didn't in this particular case, and we should have been monitoring this.
1758 So that, and a couple of other things that we have talked about as a result of this, we are going to make sure are under her purview, and she will make sure -- and she can now. With the technology that we have, we can check these kinds of things. We couldn't a while ago, without requesting tapes or other kinds of things.
1759 But where we can now listen to certain stations that stream, et cetera, then we can find that out.
1760 I should mention, too, on the Red Robinson thing, that Red is a legendary broadcaster on the West Coast, and he delivers us a program, and we don't necessarily tell him -- not that we ever could -- how to do it. But he delivers us that program, and sometimes it goes over. We have tried to ensure that he knows, but as a double-check we make sure that those elements, when they go into the computer, aren't knocked out now, regardless of what kind of programming it is.
1761 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: So he delivers you a pre-packaged show, but you are still able to insert at the 20-minute mark, or whatever, the IDs that you need in his show?
1762 MR. SKI: Yes, we are.
1763 MS WHEELER: I am sorry to interrupt, Commissioner Duncan; I just wanted to correct, as well, that in 2007 we weren't actually found to be in non-compliance for failure to air IDs on a regular basis.
1764 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Yes, I appreciate that.
1765 MS WHEELER: This was a new condition for us, so that's why we, obviously, hadn't foreseen the fact that the soft sync could affect the IDs and kick them out. So that is why there wasn't a formal mechanism put in place to ensure that that didn't happen again. But we assure you that there is now.
1766 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Yes, I was just focusing on the exclusive orientation, but I appreciate that clarification.
1767 I did have a follow-on question. Hopefully I don't get myself in a mess here by going out of order. I like to do things orderly, but at any rate --
1768 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Duncan, could I interrupt? We have some health break requests.
1769 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Oh, sure.
1770 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm really sorry, but if we could take 10 minutes, we will come back at 10:30.
1771 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Sure. Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 1023
--- Upon resuming at 1038
1772 THE CHAIRPERSON: We are back and you guys have the pleasure of answering some more of Ms Duncan's questions.
1773 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: So I still have to find my spot. I suppose it would have helped if I had come back in here a few seconds earlier to make sure I had it, but just bear with me, I have it here.
1774 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: You fill in monthly reports for the Commission and you answer very specific questions from the Commission. Here it is here. There are three questions and I have numerous copies of reports.
"On-air identifiers on CKBY-FM".
1775 What is CKBY-FM? No, we have the wrong thing here. Just a second, I think I should have ones for CFUN-FM Vancouver.
1776 I have one for April 2010, April 2011, I had others.
1777 On-air identifiers on CFUN did not include exclusive references to the City of Vancouver. And in the month of April 2010 and again in the month of April 2011 every answer confirmed that it did not include exclusive references to the City of Vancouver. And of course April was the week that we tested and in that week as well. That's not what we found.
1778 All traffic and weather reports on CFUN include references to various centres located through the Fraser Valley. Again the answer was that you agree with that statement, and again that is not what we found.
1779 And news and information programming on CFUN always included references to events and activities in various centres located throughout the Fraser Valley. Again, I don't believe that is what we found.
1780 These reports -- so I guess this would be a management tool, it looks to be completed in the station -- these are signed by Terry Chan -- and they are forwarded to Sonia Davis-Johnson at Rogers, I assume head office, and I gather before they are sent to the Commission.
1781 So I'm just wondering as a management tool how do you explain the fact that these reports don't seem to reflect the reality of the situation?
1782 MR. SKI: Thank you, Commissioner.
1783 I will start and maybe have Murray add to this.
1784 I think this is the -- we referred to this maybe in the opening remarks, it's the clarity for us and, quite frankly, when we talk about on-air identifiers, including references to the City of Vancouver, again Vancouver was used, so were the other cities. We believe that that was not exclusive use.
1785 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Although, excuse me, Mr. Ski, but the statement -- and we don't need to argue over it or anything, but it does say:
"On-air identifiers did not include exclusive reference to the City of Vancouver."
1786 I mean it's very clear.
1787 MR. SKI: I guess it wasn't to us.
1788 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay.
1789 MR. SKI: And to us it meant that if we -- and it's our responsibility, obviously, to make sure there is clarity and I can assure you that at the conclusion of this particular hearing we will make sure that we are very clear on everything that comes out of it and certain seek clarification.
1790 But I think that the feeling was, if we mentioned Mission, Chilliwack and all these other cities throughout the day then throughout the day we were not exclusively mentioning Vancouver, which may have been the case in previous instances prior to the COLs. So we thought based on that we weren't making exclusive mention of Vancouver. We were in the --
1791 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: For the whole day.
1792 MR. SKI: For the whole day.
1793 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: The whole day.
1794 MR. SKI: Or the week or the month, whatever it may be.
1795 Individually, yes; but collectively, no. And I think that's where we made the mistake, as we did in a couple of these other things, in saying well, no, it's not exclusive, it's we are mentioning the other cities.
1796 But we believe now -- we understand now that it meant that each of one of those occasions we couldn't mention Vancouver by itself.
1797 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay. So the reason for the report being filled out the way it was is based on a misunderstanding?
1798 MR. SKI: Exactly. I mean that's what we understood.
1799 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay. I will just continue on then.
1800 You touched on it again, the staff noted in their letter response to you on November 15th -- it's the staff letter November 15th -- they indicated that CFUN failed to broadcast more than one of the required station IDs during the 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. and the 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. hours Monday, April 19th.
1801 I didn't see any response to that on the file so I would just like to give you a chance to describe again what circumstances led to that because it is a non-compliance with that COL and, again, the measures you put in place to see it doesn't happen again?
1802 MR. SKI: Certainly.
1803 We addressed that in our opening remarks. That's the situation where Julie described related to IDs in the computer and where they are placed and the fact that they were supposed to run each half hour. So unfortunately in a couple of those occasions the ID was kicked into the following half hour.
1804 So what we said was that we ran -- we are required to run 36 a day, but each half hour. We ran 36 in the day, but in two of those hours, I believe the 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. hour and the 6:00 p.m. hour there were three IDs -- in the next half hour there were three IDs -- or next hour, I'm sorry, in the previous half hour there was none.
1805 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay.
1806 MR. SKI: But they did run -- they ran at I think 01 of the clock as opposed to prior to 00 of the clock and as a result we were out of compliance.
1807 We have since fixed that, as Julie -- Julie, you could explain that again just in terms of how we program the computer system.
1808 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: It's okay. No, I understand.
1809 MR. SKI: To make sure that's it's not one of the elements that's kicked out if we run out of time.
1810 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Is this computer set-up applicable in any of your other stations? Like do you have this particular concern in other stations?
1811 MS ADAM: The computer system is applicable in all of our other stations. In most of our stations we don't have this requirement to run two legal IDs an hour. The requirements is through Industry Canada to run one. That's where our confusion was with this, is again trying to run it as close to the top of the hour. So instead of it running between 12:30 and 1:00 it ran at 1:01 and then two more ran before 2:00 p.m.
1812 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: The Industry Canada one, what does it say?
1813 MS WHEELER: It has the frequency, the city that you are licensed to and the call letters.
1814 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: So Chilliwack then?
1815 MS WHEELER: Yes. In this particular case Murray could comment further about what the exact wording is.
1816 MR. BROOKSHAW: Your legal IDs that you require are the same as Industry Canada so it's the same ID.
1817 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Chilliwack then okay. Thank you.
1818 So going on to COL No. 2 and again it refers to:
"The licensee shall refrain from identifying CFUN and its transmitters on a basis that includes exclusive reference to Vancouver."
1819 You have explained to me that you felt that that applied over the whole day or over the whole week.
1820 MR. SKI: That's correct.
1821 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: As opposed to each instance, but now you understand it is each instance.
1822 I had written my question, "Given the clear wording of the COL" -- well, I guess you don't think it's so clear --, but now that you know the licensee shall refrain from identifying CFUN and it's transmitters on a basis that it includes exclusive reference to Vancouver, what measures have you put in place?
1823 I understand that you have put in place that that will not happen and so I guess I'm interested to know how the system manager -- how Ms Adam will ensure that that doesn't happen.
1824 MS ADAM: Well, we now have -- as we have talked about, we have removed the mention of "Vancouver", so we will ensure that all of the IDs do not have exclusive reference to Vancouver, if that's what the COL requires.
1825 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: What I guess I see happening is like three years down the road, you know, staff changes.
1826 MS ADAM: Yes. Well, I understand and certainly that has been some of the issues in the past is that we have had staff changes and management changes.
1827 Our intent now is to ensure, through the National Department -- so through my department -- that we will do regular spot checks of the station and we will make this a regular requirement for monitoring.
1828 We do regular monitors on all our stations. We are going to pay special attention now to all of these COLs and come up with our own systems to ensure that they are running and that we are in compliance.
1829 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Thank you.
1830 MS WHEELER: Commissioner Duncan, we recognize that that was staff determination that we were in non-compliance, but I guess we are here today asking whether that is in fact the Commission's assessment as well and whether it is not acceptable for us to reference our individual service markets throughout the day if they are done on a proportionate basis throughout the day, given that the signal is received in a number of different markets.
1831 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: I think that we would support staff's view on that for sure --
1832 MS WHEELER: Okay.
1833 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: -- especially considering, you know, the concern outlined in 2007-148 about the exclusive reference to Vancouver.
1834 MS WHEELER: Right. And we recognize that and I guess in 2007 the issue was that we were referring to the station exclusively as a Vancouver station and given the changes that we had made since 2007 where we identify as a station for a number of different markets, whether that isn't acceptable.
1835 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: I would say not.
1836 THE CHAIRPERSON: Really simply put, you can't get a third Vancouver licence through Chilliwack. I think the spirit of the licence is pretty clear and the conditions of licence are pretty clear.
1837 MS WHEELER: And we accept that clarification today.
1838 The issue is that we only have one --
1839 THE CHAIRPERSON: I also think the clarification was made before today. We will see where things go.
1841 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Thank you.
1842 So I will just continue on and ask you --
1843 MR. SKI: Could I ask -- I'm sorry, I just want to make sure that I'm clear on this.
1844 What you are saying, or the way this reads is that there can be no mention of Vancouver by itself?
1845 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: That's right.
1846 MR. SKI: If we mention Vancouver at any time, we have to mention Chilliwack at the same time?
1847 I'm just trying to understand how --
1848 THE CHAIRPERSON: We are going to go into the details later on.
1849 MR. SKI: Okay.
1850 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will hear you out, we will ask questions but, just cutting to the chase, my impression is that you can't back-door yourselves into another licence in Vancouver through Chilliwack, for numerous reasons.
1851 MR. SKI: It's a difficult thing to do anyway. I mean not too many stations --
1852 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are doing a pretty good job.
1853 MR. SKI: -- would be successful. No, I --
1854 THE CHAIRPERSON: I take my hat off to you guys.
1855 MR. SKI: Respectfully, Mr. Chair, we are not doing a good job of that if that was the focus.
1856 THE CHAIRPERSON: That seems to be the appearance if it's not necessarily the reality and that's what we are sort of going to have to deal with.
1857 Thank you.
1858 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: So we will just continue on.
1859 Of course the Vancouver is a retransmitter and it's interesting to me, too, that the Fraser Valley is a very substantial market, you have a station in Chilliwack now, you have one in Hope.
1860 Is Hope included in the Valley, I assume it is, in the Fraser Valley, considered part of the Fraser Valley?
1861 MR. SKI: Yes.
1862 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: And you have one in Abbotsford.
1863 It's a huge market, a large -- not as large as Vancouver obviously, but still a very substantial market -- and it would seem that there would be a very viable business case to operate with a Chilliwack-Fraser Valley focus and I don't see -- I guess I question the need for the Vancouver.
1864 The question is: Have you really made an effort to have this station be a Chilliwack station? Are the studios in Chilliwack for example?
1865 MR. SKI: No, the studios are not. The studios are in Vancouver.
1866 But yes we have made -- yes, we have made an effort. I mean, it's -- and I will say it again, there are a significant number of radio stations that get into Chilliwack and into Abbotsford and people listen to radio stations not just because they are a local radio station, they listen to radio stations because they tend to like the format. If we are, I guess, an adult contemporary or a soft adult contemporary station and everybody likes country, we either better switch to country or try to compete with that station in Vancouver or in Seattle or wherever that station comes from or we won't do well.
1867 So a market like Chilliwack I think becomes even more fragmented than a market like Vancouver because it has much less population than Vancouver does and essentially just as many radio stations coming into the market.
1868 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: I guess what advantage you would have, and what I think a listener would see as an advantage, is the local coverage that you can offer and the extent of that. I think that people are interested in local news, weather and sports. So if you are broadcasting a combination that is diluted and is getting a lot of Vancouver content in it, then that may be a reason you don't get the audience in Chilliwack or in the Fraser Valley that you might otherwise get.
1869 MR. SKI: Well, respectfully, again, there are three radio stations in Chilliwack, including ours, providing news and information. In addition to that, CKNW and our own news at 11:30 provides I guess Vancouver news or Chilliwack news or Fraser Valley news, depending on how important it is to that particular market, and since there are those -- plus the CBC of course. If listener's have that opportunity to get that information from those particular radio stations, they will get it.
1870 Most listeners will not change from a format that they don't like -- especially if it's music formats and most of these formats are music formats -- most people won't change from a music format that they like in order to get that local news, they will probably get it from somewhere else.
1871 So while the local information and the local orientation and the reflection of the market is a very important element, it doesn't preclude the fact that as a listener I just don't like the music on that radio station so as a result I probably won't listen to it.
1872 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: I presume that you do regular market studies assessing the best format for the market?
1873 MR. SKI: Yes, we do. In this particular case it's extraordinarily hard. I have only been with Rogers for three years, but you have seen the various iterations of format for this particular radio station which I think is a testament to the fact that there are no easy wins in terms of format these days with 22-23 radio stations, plus stations coming in from outside the market, where do you go?
1874 We certainly haven't found the solution yet. If we could we would be much more successful than we are, but we haven't been able to find the answer to that.
1875 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: So just going back to the office being located in Vancouver, so the employees, I assume, are resident in Vancouver, because Chilliwack, I believe, is an hour and a half outside of Vancouver.
1876 MR. SKI: That's correct, although when you say resident of Vancouver, it could be Lower Mainland. Murray Brookshaw, our Program Director, lives in Maple Ridge, which is a bedroom community and on the cusp of Fraser Valley, maybe part of it at some point, I don't know, depending on where they change the boundaries, but you have Fraser Valley and then you have the Lower Mainland and Murray lives in Maple Ridge and I think -- well, he can tell you, I guess his primarily trading area for groceries and everything else he does is Fraser Valley.
1877 MR. BROOKSHAW: I spend a lot of time in Abbotsford and Mission doing my shopping and family events and things like that.
1878 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: I'm just going to go back, then, to COL No. 3. That was the one that said:
"... shall include in the programming broadcast on CFUN as transmitters on a regular basis each day coverage of local news, sports and events of direct and particular relevance to the Fraser Valley, in particular Chilliwack."
1879 Which again seems clear, although I understand that you interpreted "each day" to mean weekdays only, but that now you do realize that it is seven days a week and I think you have -- how are you going to ensure -- do you agree with that, first of all, that you do agree it is -- understand that we intended seven days a week?
1880 MR. SKI: I guess we do now.
1881 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay.
1882 MR. SKI: Again, Mr. Chair mentioned that we might be going back and forth on a couple of these things as they relate to clarity of the conditions of licence. If you are telling us that is the case now, then obviously we will do it.
1883 MS WHEELER: And one of the things that we would appreciate clarity on is whether the community information events segments that we air on the weekend will satisfy that condition of licence.
1884 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: A community events segment wouldn't normally satisfy the local news, would it? Local news is --
1885 MS WHEELER: It is local news --
1886 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: It is.
1887 MS WHEELER: -- it is not a formal newscast.
1888 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Yes.
1889 MR. SKI: And that changes depending on the format.
1890 I don't have it in front of me, but I think it says "local news, sports and events". So does that mean if there are no sporting events there still has to be a sporting event?
1891 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: You can't create them if they are not so we don't want to be unreasonable.
1892 MR. SKI: Well, again, that's where we need clarity, quite frankly, with the everyday thing and with -- it says news, sports and events each day. So if it means only when there are sporting events, then we are fine with that, but that's again what we are seeking clarity on.
1893 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: I think on the sports side of it obviously if there is nothing to report there is nothing to report, the same as events, but local news I think is broader than a bulletin board.
1894 MR. SKI: Certainly it is.
1895 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Perhaps we can --
1896 MR. SKI: That's correct.
1897 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: -- put some clarification when we do the decision.
1898 The COL No. 4 says that you will include in each traffic report and each weather report broadcast on CFUN-FM and its transmitters a specific reference to the area CFUN is licensed to serve.
1899 As you know, we didn't find that in every instance and you have spoken to that.
1900 I see in your letter October 6th that you acknowledge the error and you state, and I'm quoting here:
"Going forward all formal weather reports will include Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Vancouver forecasts."
1901 So I was struck by the use of the word "formal", because the COL refers to each weather report and I wondered what "formal" meant in this context.
1902 MR. SKI: Well, those are the regularly scheduled ones. I guess this is where again if we -- let's say for instance something happens just in Chilliwack, just in Vancouver, again if it happens in just that area in terms of weather or traffic, if there are not traffic tie-ups in Chilliwack or the Fraser Valley, but there are traffic tie-ups for the one-third of people going into Vancouver, do we say -- and this is not something we normally do, we don't normally go on the air with most of our stations and say there are no tie-ups on all of these different roads.
1903 We normally tell people where there are conditions that they have to deal with, not where there are not. It's just a matter of time. We all have a certain amount of time, and certain markets --
1904 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: However, you do often hear on radio stations that there are no problems anywhere else. You know, we've heard from a caller it's this location, but there's no problems anywhere else.
1905 MR. SKI: It gets a little complex depending on how large the area is.
1906 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay. No, I understand.
1907 MS WHEELER: Just to clarify because I think I used the word "formal." I was really just referring to the regularly scheduled forecast that we provide.
1908 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: All right. That's what I was looking for.
1909 MS WHEELER: I wasn't trying to delineate those from other forecasts.
1910 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Other ones. Okay. That's what I was trying to look at. Okay.
1911 And so, again, on this one it's the monitoring from head office and the manager that's going to ensure compliance?
1912 MR. SKI: That's correct.
1913 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay.
1914 MR. SKI: The two people who are sitting beside me here today.
1915 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay. In the head office though, yeah. You're resident in Toronto, are you, Julie?
1916 MS ADAM: Yes.
1917 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Thank you.
1918 The next one was dealing with COL number 5. So there were five programming conditions of licence and it appears that each one of the five has -- that you have failed to comply with.
1919 And the fifth one was the bimonthly reports demonstrating compliance with the conditions of licence related to programming.
1920 I mentioned that earlier when I was discussing those reports and you explained to me that the problem was with a matter of interpretation. So I think that we have covered our discussion on that.
1921 I just wanted to draw it out because there were five and so we have issues with all five.
1922 The next thing I wanted to talk about was -- and we have touched on it some, but perhaps I could hear from Mr. Poulton or Mr. Brookshaw on the management of the Chilliwack station, where you are managing from an office in Vancouver. I see on the website the address is Vancouver.
1923 What is the structure? What is the arrangement? Who is present in Chilliwack?
1924 MR. POULTON: We have management in Chilliwack at Star FM, where we also have a News Director who also supplies stories for CFUN.
1925 We also have a sales force out in Chilliwack and Abbotsford. We also have a newsreader in Abbotsford who also supplies news stories for CFUN.
1926 The management programming of the station is in Vancouver, where I am located and Murray as well.
1927 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: So at the Star FM office --
1928 MR. POULTON: Yes.
1929 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: -- if I was an employee of Star FM, would I say I'm working for the Chilliwack station or would I say Star FM because that's primarily what my responsibilities are?
1930 MR. POULTON: I think in the case of, say, our sales team as an example, yes, they would say that they can sell Star FM, CFUN and Country 107, which is our Abbotsford station.
1931 In the case of our News Director, he would also indicate that he not only works for Star FM but Country 107, but also for CFUN and News1130 in addition.
1932 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay. So it's common for companies, like in this situation, with more than one radio station to sell two or three at one time?
1933 MR. POULTON: Yes.
1934 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: That's not surprising. So you have a sales team in Chilliwack selling throughout the Fraser Valley?
1935 MR. POULTON: Yes.
1936 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: How many people are on that team?
1937 MR. POULTON: In the Fraser Valley we have a team of five.
1938 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: And in Vancouver then, do you have a sales team in Vancouver?
1939 MR. POULTON: Yes, we do. There are 17 reps in Vancouver. They are split amongst News1130, which have seven, and the remainder are our FM sales team.
1940 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: How many FM stations -- I did look at the list -- in Vancouver do you have?
1941 MR. POULTON: Well, we would count JACK FM as one of those FMs and we would count CFUN as one of those FMs.
1942 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Why do you say that? Why is that?
1943 MS WHEELER: Just a clarification.
1944 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Yes. Sorry.
1945 MS WHEELER: Just a clarification in terms of the FMs. For the purposes of the multiple licence ownership policy, because the contour of the repeater does overlap in Vancouver, the Commission has determined that we are not allowed to have another FM station in Vancouver and so that's why it's considered the two FMs in Vancouver.
1946 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: The CFUN...?
1947 MS WHEELER: CFUN and JACK.
1948 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: And JACK. Okay. I wasn't trying to trip you up or anything, I just wondered how many sales force you had for those FM stations. Okay, thanks.
1949 So there are two FM stations and an AM station. Do you have more than one AM station in Vancouver?
1950 MR. POULTON: No, we just have one AM station.
1951 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: So the News1130 is a --
1952 MR. POULTON: AM station.
1953 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: -- a news radio?
1954 MR. POULTON: All news radio station, yes.
1955 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: How does that station do?
1956 MR. POULTON: Reasonably well. We wish it did as well as our sister station 680 in Toronto, but it does reasonably well.
1957 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay. Thank you.
1958 So there's a 17-person sales force in Vancouver selling three radio stations and five, I think you said, in the Valley?
1959 MR. POULTON: That's correct. Plus our Operations Manager is also the Sales Manager. So that might be construed as a sixth.
1960 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: So if I'm a salesman, am I selling all three at one time?
1961 MR. POULTON: Not necessarily, no.
1962 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: It depends on the customer?
1963 MR. POULTON: It depends on the client.
1964 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Yes. Okay.
1965 When I looked on the Rogers, your Rogers.com website and I keyed in -- I have it here actually, so I'll just -- and I specified Chilliwack, I didn't get any radio stations, Rogers radio stations pop up for Chilliwack.
1966 And when I keyed in Classic Hits format, which is what CFUN is identified as on the Vancouver one, I did get an answer -- I didn't get it in Chilliwack. So no stations showed up in Chilliwack for Rogers.
1967 When I went to the -- I want to make sure I have that --
1968 When I went to -- just let me see here. I want to make sure -- just bear with me a second, I'm just going to key them in again because I don't want to say something that's not quite right.
1969 So I'm just going to key in British Columbia here and I'm going to go to Chilliwack and what comes up for Chilliwack is the Abbotsford Country 107.1 station, which is Country, and the stations for Vancouver.
1970 Why is that doing that today?
1971 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Yes, so no station comes up identified as Chilliwack in that list of stations, other than the Star FM.
1972 What's the difference between Star FM and Country 107.1? They're both Abbotsford, are they?
1973 MR. POULTON: No.
1974 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Oh, no! Star FM is the Country one in Chilliwack.
1975 MR. POULTON: Star FM is in Chilliwack, is an Adult Contemporary format, and the Country station is in Abbotsford.
1976 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay, is the Adult Contemporary. Yes.
1977 MR. POULTON: Correct.
1978 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: So nothing came up for Chilliwack for 104.9. I think I'm right in that.
1979 You're at a disadvantage because you don't have a laptop.
1980 What shows up for 104.9 on Chilliwack is Vancouver because it's the -- I guess because it's a Vancouver address.
1981 I'm going to just go here to Abbotsford and see what I get.
1982 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Yes. For Abbotsford, it came up, the 107.1.
1983 And if I go to Chilliwack and press continue, it comes up as Star FM only.
1984 And if I go to Vancouver, I expect I'm going to get them all. And I don't see Hope as an option. So when I go to Vancouver and hit continue, I get 104.9, 1130 and your JACK FM.
1985 So I guess -- I mean what does that tell me? It doesn't even -- on your -- and I know that, you know, there can be mistakes or whatever, but that would seem to be a pretty significant oversight that Chilliwack only shows the one station.
1986 MR. POULTON: Rogers --
1987 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: I think it says something. So tell me what I'm reading into it that I shouldn't.
1988 MR. POULTON: Sure. Rogers.com is managed by our parent company and trying to get that changed on Rogers.com has proven to be extremely difficult. We don't believe that many of our listeners find our radio station through Rogers.com. In fact, many of our listeners don't even know we are owned by Rogers.
1989 So we have attempted to change the Rogers.com website. And as you will notice when you navigate that website, it's not the easiest place to even find our radio stations on Rogers.com. They have moved them around in many instances and made it more difficult as they purport to support their wireless and cable divisions as well.
1990 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: I just went right into radio. I didn't have any problem with that.
1991 MR. POULTON: We find it difficult to get information updated on that website as easily as you might otherwise.
1992 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: So I guess --
1993 MR. SKI: I think, Commissioner --
1994 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Sorry.
1995 MR. SKI: Sorry, Commissioner Duncan. If I could have Julie, who kind of oversees that particular part of our business, to respond to it. It's a little frustrating for us, but we can give you an answer.
1996 MS ADAM: Sure. First of all, that is an oversight and I should catch those things. I haven't been on Rogers.com recently. We have had struggles. That website is not managed by the Radio Division.
1997 So I certainly don't want to pass the buck on to the people that manage it, but there are -- as you can imagine, with that big company that has so many different divisions, I don't think the priority of listening to stations is there. So we will get that fixed.
1998 What we do oversee and control is the iPhone app. So if you go to our iPhone app, which the Rogers Radio Division controls and oversees, you will see that everything is listed there properly with the right -- with CFUN being listed in Chilliwack.
1999 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Yes. I would think it would be important to have it corrected too because not everybody has an iPhone.
2000 MS ADAM: Yes, absolutely. So without doubt we have it wrong on there and for sure we should get that fixed. And that's my error for not overseeing that and having that done properly.
2001 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay. Thank you for that.
2002 My next point deals with audience share and results.
2003 I am being careful here not to mention dollars, but I understand that CFUN has a tuning share in the Chilliwack market which is only 21 percent of the combined audience share of its sister station in Chilliwack and Hope, so a very small portion of that. However, the revenues for CFUN are 62 percent greater than the revenues for these two other stations.
2004 So I am just curious to know how you would explain that.
2005 MR. SKI: Well, I'm happy that the revenues are as high as they are, to start out with, but a couple of things.
2006 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: It's not a demerit.
2007 MR. SKI: What happens is that because of the overall reach of CFUN, it participates in buys that Star FM, which has the lower share of revenue, doesn't participate in.
2008 Quite frankly, because of the fact that we are in Chilliwack, Abbotsford and also in the Lower Mainland, we can take advantage of those particular opportunities. And there are more opportunities for that particular station, because of its reach, because of its coverage, to also be coupled with our Vancouver stations somewhat more so than Star and Chilliwack.
2009 The other thing too is that -- the other thing that has been interesting now, it has since changed, but I think we are -- and I think Geoff might agree with this, that we over the last -- let me think now -- maybe two years, year and a half or two years or so since PPM has come out, and that has been something else we have been dealing with, we got a couple of bumps in the PPM.
2010 They have unfortunately since disappeared but we have gotten a few bumps in the PPM and as a result we have been able to generate more revenue, if that is what you are looking at, from maybe last year. I am not sure what the --
2011 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Yes.
2012 MR. SKI: From last year, yes.
2013 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: The 2010 results.
2014 MR. SKI: Yes. Well, we were able to take advantage of those bumps.
2015 Do you have anything to add, Geoff?
2016 MR. POULTON: We achieved share on that station on two occasions in 2010 that was significant enough to generate a decent amount of national dollars. And the vagaries of the PPM being what they are, we have returned to earth and a much, much lower share in Vancouver.
2017 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: So I understand that CFUN is ranked in the top 10 commercial radio stations in Vancouver. So has that changed or is that factual?
2018 MR. POULTON: At this particular point in time we are 12th.
2019 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay. Is that because of the --
2020 MR. POULTON: Twelfth in share in Vancouver is not where you want to be, but that is where we currently are and the trending has shown that we have maintained that for the three books we have seen so far or the, I guess, four books we have seen so far in 2011.
2021 MR. SKI: I think, too, over the last four or five years our ratings have improved in Chilliwack in terms of our particular shares. Certainly compared to Star's share, they are not quite as high but that's in part because of the equity that Star had in that market and has had for many, many years.
2022 So it has been kind of the main station in that market. There are two now since you licensed another station sometime ago, but it has the heritage.
2023 And I think the other reason too is because of the fact that CFUN has had to change format over the years and it takes time to build up an audience. Star has had that long time to do it. We are making some inroads obviously from, I think, a 2.7 share from what I have in 2006 to about a 5.9 share now in the information.
2024 And it's interesting to note too, I think, we are -- of all of the stations certainly in Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley, we are ranked -- I believe in the information that I have CFUN is ranked fourth in Chilliwack. We are ranked 12th in Vancouver. So we --
2025 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Fourth in Chilliwack is almost at the bottom, isn't it?
2026 MR. SKI: Not if you take -- no, not if you take into account the 22 radio stations that also share all that audience.
2027 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: I understand.
2028 MR. SKI: Yes.
2029 The new station that was licensed a couple of years ago for Chilliwack is ranked 6th. Our station is ranked 1st. And the 2nd station in Chilliwack is a Vancouver station; it's a Country station, CJJR. The 3rd station is the CBC and then ourselves.
2030 So relatively speaking we are certainly ranked higher in Chilliwack. Although it's almost the same number of stations in Chilliwack as it is in Vancouver or similar numbers but we are ranked higher in Chilliwack than we are in Vancouver and I think part of that is our local service.
2031 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: This is a question which I think is a very important question in the circumstance.
2032 Now that you do understand the intent of the COLs and the reading of the COLs, I want to know: What do you think the impact will be, if any, on CFUN's revenues as a result of complying fully with its current conditions of licence?
2033 MR. SKI: That's a good question.
2034 I think the revenue makeup will change more based on the format of the radio station and how successful we are with that particular format. If we can't keep growing as we are in Chilliwack and garner revenue, then obviously it will have a negative effect.
2035 I think the other thing that will affect that is how successful the new station in Chilliwack is that was licensed because they will take revenue away from us in that particular market.
2036 And I guess it depends what else happens in the Vancouver market in terms of stations that are able to cluster themselves together and sell against us. Many of them have three to four stations, quite frankly, that do well.
2037 Our primary -- not primary but one of the key competitors in the Vancouver market has four stations. So if they have four stations and they aggregate enough audience, then that hurts us.
2038 So it's a number of different things that come into play. It's not really one thing.
2039 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: So my question wasn't just that. I guess I'm just trying to assess what impact, if any, on your revenues adhering to your conditions of licence would have.
2040 I realize there are other things that might affect your revenue, but do you think it will have a negative impact if you comply 100 percent with those COLs?
2041 MR. SKI: I think it depends, and that is, I know, not a firm answer. But if -- as I said from the beginning, we live in a complex environment. There are a lot of radio stations in the Fraser Valley and a lot of radio stations in Vancouver.
2042 Depending on how this all comes together at the end and what those conditions are and how specific they are and what we have to do, we're dealing with three different frequencies in the areas that we cover. That is problematic, to begin with, and we have looked at trying to find technical ways maybe to solve that and it's a difficult thing to do.
2043 So if we have to be on the air for those people, the one-third that I mentioned who are travelling from Chilliwack to Vancouver have to make sure that they turn their dial from one frequency to another in order to keep listening to us, which is very difficult, whereas they can tune, for instance, the number 2 radio station in Chilliwack, which is a Vancouver station, and listen to that station and its traffic reports and its weather reports and other information for the entire drive into Vancouver.
2044 So that's a challenge we have to figure out in some way because it hurts us. It hurts us from keeping those people. It really just isolates the people in Chilliwack who drive to Vancouver and may not choose us just because it's too hard.
2045 And again, today with the technology and all the chaos that takes place in people's everyday lives, our job in radio is to make it as simple for them as possible. We have made it very complicated and we just have to try to figure out ways around that.
2046 Certainly, if we can't serve Vancouver in some way, if we don't have -- if we can't appeal to Vancouverites in some way, it will be a big impact financially, no question.
2047 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: And, of course, we are not saying don't mention Vancouver, right, we are just saying not exclusively.
2048 MS WHEELER: Right, but I understood earlier that we weren't allowed to mention Vancouver.
2049 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Exclusively.
2050 MS WHEELER: Okay.
2051 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: We will clarify that in the decision. Now that we understand better how you have interpreted it, we will make sure it's clear in the decision.
2052 MR. SKI: I guess even Susan's comment on the Vancouver Canucks, which we thought was relevant to people in the Fraser Valley --
2053 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: We are all Canadians now, so we won't discuss that.
2054 MR. SKI: Yes, well, I think --
2055 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: We are all interested today.
2056 MR. SKI: But that is what happens. I mean the local team becomes the provincial team -- depending what the teams are, depending on how well they are doing, the local team, whatever it is, whether it's a Chilliwack team or a Vancouver, it becomes the provincial team and then the Canada team.
2057 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: The national team.
2058 MR. SKI: And the Blue Jays, I would say, are of local interest, quite frankly. To most provinces they're Canada's baseball team.
2059 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: I just want to make one comment on what you have said.
2060 As you know, I am from Halifax, so I am not driving an hour and a half to the office. You are from Toronto. Maybe when you say those things. That makes more sense to you.
2061 I can't imagine what percentage of your audience travels daily from Chilliwack an hour and a half to Vancouver.
2062 MR. SKI: Well, it's a third.
2063 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: A third?
2064 MR. SKI: A third.
2065 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: A third of people spend three hours a day travelling back and forth?
2066 MR. SKI: Well, it's not quite three hours. I guess Murray you're just on the periphery and I think Murray travels --
2067 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Depending where you were in the Valley, I guess.
2068 MR. SKI: Yes. Depending on where we are in the Valley. I guess it could be three hours if you're on the outer perimeters of it, but it gets maybe less and less. But people do that in Toronto every day.
2069 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Given that is a Chilliwack station, these are Chilliwack residents, you're saying, might travel that far?
2070 MR. SKI: Yes, definitely.
2071 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay. Thank you.
2072 I am getting down here on the issues and I am sure my colleagues are going to have some questions too, but I wanted to talk about local advertising.
2073 In 2007-148 the Commission noted that:
"CKCL-FM [CFUN] remains subject to a condition of licence requiring the licensee to refrain from soliciting or accepting local advertising for broadcast during any broadcast week when less than one-third of the programming aired is local programming."
2074 I'm just wondering if you can give us the details on how you satisfy that requirement.
2075 MS WHEELER: I will hand over to Murray and Geoff but I will just clarify for them the definition of local programming, which is:
"...includes programming that originates with the station or is produced separately and exclusively for the station. It does not include programming received from another station and rebroadcast either simultaneously or at a later time; nor does it include network or syndicated programming that is five minutes or longer unless it is produced either by the station or in the local community by arrangement with the station.
In their local programming, licensees must include spoken word material of direct and particular relevance to the community served, such as local news, weather and sports, and the promotion of local events and activities."
2076 MR. SKI: I will have Murray maybe talk about a few of the things that we do in the market.
2077 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Sure.
2078 MR. BROOKSHAW: I would say by that definition that we are local programming. We don't run nationally syndicated programming. Everything originates from our studios. Fully in our newscasts, one-third of the stories are from Chilliwack. We lead every traffic report with Chilliwack and Abbotsford traffic. Every weather forecast has a formal ending that is Chilliwack it's blank, Abbotsford it's blank and in Vancouver it's blank.
2079 And we have a community events and information calendar that covers everything from a small event like Pinocchio on Sunday at Chilliwack's Arts and Cultural Centre to a fundraiser for the Fraser Valley Health Centre.
2080 So we think that we satisfy that requirement that we are local programming and we program in the Chilliwack area.
2081 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay. And because the programming that's prepared in Vancouver is exclusively prepared for Chilliwack is your...?
2082 MR. BROOKSHAW: That's correct.
2083 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: That's correct.
2084 So I'm curious to know, what would you think of the Commission imposing a condition of licence limiting the amount of advertising CFUN can solicit or accept from Vancouver?
2085 MR. SKI: Well, I don't think we would think much of that, to start out with.
2086 THE CHAIRPERSON: Don't mince any words.
2087 MR. SKI: I mean, again, given the coverage area that we have and given the service that we are providing, it would have I think a dramatic effect on us.
2088 Now, I mean there are some things that -- I don't know whether you said exclusively. I should have asked you to repeat that to make sure I don't answer the wrong question.
2089 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: I don't mind. I just was wondering what you would think if the Commissioner were to impose a condition of licence that limited the amount of advertising that CFUN can solicit or accept either from Vancouver or from outside the Fraser Valley.
2090 MR. SKI: Well, yeah. We are quite capable of doing a good job of that ourselves right now, quite frankly, given the revenues that we produce.
2091 If you take a look at the revenues that CFUN garners right now --
2092 THE CHAIRPERSON: I did, yeah.
2093 MR. SKI: -- and when you compare that to stations in Vancouver it's minimal in comparison and, I mean --
2094 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: No, when I compared it to your Chilliwack stations it's substantial.
2095 MR. SKI: It's not substantially more. It's more but I wouldn't say substantially more when you look at Vancouver.
2096 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Of course, I don't work for Rogers.
2097 MR. SKI: Right.
2098 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Maybe it's in the definition. They look more but, okay, I will take that.
2099 So you don't -- so if we were to do such a thing how would you think that the limit would be best defined so that we could -- so that you could comply with it and we could monitor it, a certain number of minutes per hour for example?
2100 MR. SKI: Well, since I started by stating it's a good idea or, no, a bad idea, I'm not sure I can come up with a solution to it right off the top.
2101 But that gets challenging in itself and it's challenging because if you say Vancouver, really, what do you mean? I mean do you mean the Lower Mainland? Do you mean White Rock? Do you mean Surrey?
2102 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Well, okay. It might be better to define it outside the Fraser Valley because --
2103 MR. SKI: Well, that's really difficult. That's even more constraining for us, quite frankly, because again Maple Ridge as I mentioned, Murray lives there. He does drive two hours and 20 minutes. I clarified that and --
2104 MR. BROOKSHAW: There and back.
2105 MR. SKI: -- so if we can't sell to those what we might call bedroom communities around the Fraser Valley that inhibits us even more.
2106 Now, those areas may be in turn on part of the Lower Mainland but they are pushing out towards the Fraser Valley and vice versa. So that would be challenging for us.
2107 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay.
2108 MR. SKI: It also would be challenging because, quite frankly, all of the other stations that get into Chilliwack don't have those constraints. So if our salesperson is going into a client saying, "I would like to sell you this particular campaign" if it's Johnson's pork in Chilliwack or one of the other advertisers that we get and we say, "Boy, we can't take your advertising because we have a requirement here but, wait a minute, I have got 18 other radio stations who can".
2109 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay, I appreciate your comments.
2110 MR. SKI: Then that's extremely difficult. We obviously will lose the business or lose any of that business.
2111 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay.
2112 MR. SKI: And at a time when there are also -- when we are not just dealing with radio stations that are chipping away at our business. We are dealing with other things that are happening as certain aspects of the web become more and more local.
2113 We are challenged -- the radio business is challenged itself, not just this, but we are challenged ourselves in trying to maintain.
2114 We are -- as you know, if you look at the radio figures for growth across Canada, they aren't large. I mean it's anywhere between -- well, we went through a terrible 2009, the year of living dangerously, to where we are like 3 percent, 5 percent maybe growth in the business. But that's not a lot.
2115 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: I want to just now switch to the modification that you have requested for COL No. 3 because you have dropped the request for the change to COL No. 1.
2116 Just to review:
"The licensee shall include in the programming broadcast on CFUN-FM and its transmitters on a regular basis each day, coverage of local news, sports events of direct and particular relevance, to the Fraser Valley, in particular Chilliwack."
2117 And you are proposing to remove he words "each day". So I'm wondering if you remove the words each day and how you intend to interpret on a regular basis. How would you define on a regular basis?
2118 MS WHEELER: The intention behind our proposed amendment was not that we would plan to reduce any of our local programming.
2119 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: I'm sorry. I can't hear you. Sorry.
2120 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Sorry, Michel. I tried to be discrete here. Sorry, but I couldn't hear.
2121 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Sorry.
2122 MS WHEELER: No problem. We provide a community information events segment on the weekends but it is different than the regular local programming that we broadcast Monday to Friday which includes formal newscasts, small in nature but they still are a bit different than what we do on the weekends, given that the listeners are listening to our station on the weekends perhaps for different reasons than they are on a day to day basis.
2123 So I guess the intent behind the COL was not that we wanted to reduce the amount of local programming that we are doing. It was simply to clarify the nature of that programming and whether there was an expectation that we provide the same type of programming Monday to Friday as we do on Saturday and Sunday.
2124 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: You see, I can see again, three years out, somebody looking at that and saying, maybe interpreting regular basis to be Monday, Wednesday, Friday. That's the concern I have. It doesn't -- but by taking out "each day".
2125 MS WHEELER: We would also be willing to accept local programming or if you had an "or" instead of an "and" that would also satisfy our requirement.
2126 The other concern that we have is that it's each; local news, sports and events and hitting all three of those on the weekends when some -- there may not be the material to provide that kind of service.
2127 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: So just to make sure then the alternatives that you are suggesting?
2128 MS WHEELER: "The licensee shall include in the programming broadcast on CFUN-FM and it's transmitters on a regular basis each day coverage of local news, sports or events of direct and particular relevance to the Fraser Valley, in particular Chilliwack."
2129 So that we can choose between local news, sports and events.
2130 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Doesn't it actually say that right now, "on a regular basis each day"?
2131 MS WHEELER: No, it makes -- the way it's reading -- the way it's written it includes that you have to hit each one of those.
2132 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Every day.
2133 MS WHEELER: Pardon?
2134 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Every day.
2135 MS WHEELER: Every day.
2136 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: So there is two issues, Monday to Friday, and then there is also the issue about all three.
2137 MS WHEELER: No. So we are willing to do Monday to Sunday as long as we don't have to hit all three.
2138 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Oh, okay. Okay, all right. Then I understand your position.
2139 And it's just you are not -- it's a problem to do all three on the weekend, through the week is not a problem?
2140 MS WHEELER: That's correct.
2141 MR. SKI: Well, it may be a problem throughout the week also just because of the fact that, again, as we said, if there is no sporting -- if we look at this literally --
2142 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: M'hmm.
2143 MR. SKI: -- and there is no sporting event and there is nothing to cover from a sports standpoint locally in the market, what do we do?
2144 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay, all right.
2145 MR. SKI: It's just we --
2146 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: So we will consider your comments then. Okay, I understand it.
2147 I note that you had stated in order to provide the flexibility to reflect operational realities and the explanation then I'm coming away with is that it's not always available, that type of programming; sports.
2148 MR. SKI: Well, certain -- yes, exactly. I mean, I think if we are -- like I say, if we read it literally and there isn't a sporting event does this -- are we reading this to say -- and we don't -- we want to make sure we are very clear. We want to make sure that we don't have to make up a sporting event in order to fulfil the requirements.
2149 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay. I don't think anybody would expect you to do that. Okay, that's fine. It's clear now.
2150 And as you know, the Commission doesn't usually grant amendments to COLs if the licensee is found in non-compliance. So I guess I would just be interested to hear your arguments why we should make an exception in this case.
2151 MS WHEELER: Given our former interpretation of that particular condition of licence, we didn't see it as really an amendment but more of a clarification --
2152 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Right.
2153 MS WHEELER: -- of the actual condition of licence and believe that it still upholds the original intent and spirit of the condition of licence which is that CFUN should orient its local programming towards Fraser Valley and the Chilliwack markets.
2154 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay, thank you. That's clear.
2155 The CCD you mentioned that the amount has been remitted. Can you just file the remittance details with the -- sorry, I had --
2156 MS WHEELER: So if you could spell out?
2157 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Well, you were -- the shortfall of $480 on the CCD you mentioned it's been remitted to FACTOR?
2158 MS WHEELER: Yes, a cheque has been cut to FACTOR.
2159 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Can you provide the details to staff of when the payment was made and the amount, just to confirm it?
2160 MS WHEELER: Oh, the payment was made on -- I don't want to guess. I think it was last Tuesday but, again, I would have to check with my finance department.
2161 But we would be more than happy to provide the copy of the cancelled cheque to staff as evidence of our submission.
2162 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: That would be great. Thank you.
2163 Now, then, the last thing that I have is on the mandatory order. I appreciate your comments and you know the way you have dealt with all of these things in a very straightforward manner and in acknowledging the problems or the misinterpretations.
2164 But you know given that Decision 2007-148 described in detail what it referred to as a history of non-compliance, we have gone through this licence renewal of the five programming COLs, all five we had issues with or have questions with and I guess I'm just expecting a better explanation.
2165 If we can't expect a company like Rogers to comply with its COLs you know would it seem to be fair to impose harsher penalties on other companies?
2166 So I would just like to see why you feel that we should make an exception here and not impose a mandatory order given, as was said in that last decision and ongoing, the history of non-compliance.
2167 MS WHEELER: In terms of making an exception, I'm not sure if we are asking you to make an exception. We did go through former CRTC precedents to identify situations when the Commission has felt it necessary to use a tool such as a mandatory order.
2168 We have noted that there are a number of times where licensees have been in non-compliance two terms in a row and a mandatory order has not been issued.
2169 We also note that a mandatory order has generally been used by the Commission when the licensee has not provided the Commission with the type of assurance needed to ensure that it will be in compliance in the future.
2170 And we hope that the measures that we have outlined today and the explanations for the non-compliance that we have provided today will given -- and the seriousness in which we take this hearing -- will provide the Commission with the assurance it needs to take comfort in the fact that we will ensure compliance going forward in the absence of a mandatory order.
2171 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: And if the Commission were to decide then that it wasn't necessary to do a mandatory order but we would have a -- mandatory orders but in addition -- or we would have a short term licence renewal, what -- because I know it must be time consuming and disruptive to come and appear -- what would be a reasonable, in your view, period of time for you, for Rogers and for ourselves to satisfy ourselves that you are in compliance?
2172 MS WHEELER: We would be willing to accept a short term licence, as we have indicated in our application. The Commission generally imposes a four year licence term and given this is the second -- the second instance of non-compliance we would be willing to accept a two year licence term as well.
2173 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: And just for clarification, I guess it's actually more than the second time of non-compliance.
2174 MS WHEELER: Hmm.
2175 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Because the 2007 referred to a history of non-compliance.
2176 MS WHEELER: The non-compliance was not with conditions of licence. It was with respect to -- it was --
2177 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay.
2178 MS WHEELER: -- with the focus on a Vancouver market.
2179 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: So there were problems. It's just that it wasn't the specific ones repeated.
2180 Okay, thank you very much for your comments and thank you all for answering my questions.
2181 That's it for me, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.
2182 THE CHAIRPERSON: If I may, just before going on to see if anyone else has any other questions first of all, my comments earlier were not conclusive. I was trying to frame the issue in a question -- I just want to make that clear -- so that we can address that issue. And you talked about it, sort of the whole Vancouver issue.
2183 Secondly, if you Google CFUN, CFUN space, you immediately get CFUN space Vancouver. Google immediately goes to Vancouver. And then you go through page after page of 24,800 hits -- I was looking at earlier -- and the first mention that I saw of anything other than Vancouver, and it was Chilliwack, was on page 16.
2184 I think that sends a message. I think it's so abundantly clear -- and that's the bottom of page 16. And it's tunein.com radio that mentions Chilliwack.
2185 So clearly --
2186 MS WHEELER: You are referring to third party references to our station or to our website?
2187 THE CHAIRPERSON: In this case, yeah. I'm not going to your website at all. I'm just going to Google.
2188 MS WHEELER: Oh, but we do note that the call letters "CFUN" were used formerly by a Vancouver station and so there may be --
2189 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, in 1410 --
2190 MS WHEELER: There may be some --
2191 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- but I'm strictly referring to 104.9 FM. I understand there is a 1410. I understand there is everything else.
2192 But page 16, CFUN-FM-FUN FM 107.5 Chilliwack Classic Hits it's not even -- and underneath it has 104.9.
2193 So you seem to have an identification or branding problem if your primary market is Chilliwack, because you are seen as a Vancouver station.
2194 MR. SKI: Well, I --
2195 THE CHAIRPERSON: I would be troubled with that given the fact that your primary market is not Vancouver.
2196 MR. SKI: No, but part of --
2197 WHE CHAIRPERSON: When you couple that with your sales force which is basically in Vancouver and your staff which is basically in Vancouver and your address which is in Vancouver, I think it raises an awful lot of red flags and I'm surprised that none of that was seen by anyone at Rogers before this hearing, basically.
2198 MR. SKI: Those four different things should we discuss those.
2199 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sure, yeah, if you want.
2200 MR. SKI: We would go through them again?
2201 Well, I think -- I mean Google obviously is a third party supplier and, yes, you can find different things if you -- and I know I tried to look up something for the Chilliwack -- the new Chilliwack station yesterday, I think it was, and had a heck of a time finding them anywhere.
2202 So I mean there are just things that happen that we have no control over. We have told you the things that we have control over and we will try to make sure that those are -- make sure those are done.
2203 THE CHAIRPERSON: Google isn't inventing this stuff. I mean you have some control over how you choose to identify your station.
2204 MR. SKI: But we have no control over how they identify us.
2205 THE CHAIRPERSON: And the branding that you -- branding you brand your station, because you came in here today and your opening remarks clearly say "cfun.fm.chilliwack" trait d'union, hyphen Chilliwack.
2206 And when we punch up CFUN -- and as soon as you put in a space it gives us Vancouver and then it gives us 16 pages of CFUN Vancouver before we get to anything resembling Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, et cetera, et cetera.
2207 I would be troubled. Maybe you are not and you third party and blow it off. I'm just giving you an observation and I think most people looking at it objectively a reasonable person on the street would find that a little troublesome. If you don't, that's fine.
2208 MS WHEELER: I think the issue is that we do consider Vancouver part of our service area and the largest population will reside in that service area. So in terms of using a search engine like Google to identify people's perceptions of what CFUN is, it's largely going to skew to where that population is coming from which is Vancouver.
2209 So if you are in Vancouver and you are listening to CFUN, you probably do think it's a Vancouver station because you are receiving it in Vancouver.
2210 THE CHAIRPERSON: Perhaps you are thinking that --
2211 MS WHEELER: If you are in Chilliwack and you receive
2212 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- I am interrupting you. Perhaps you think that because you don't want to clearly identify yourselves with pride as a Chilliwack-based station mandated to serve Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley as a primary market. Instead of blaming everyone else maybe we should take responsibility for that ourselves.
2213 MS WHEELER: And believe me, we weren't trying to blame other people. In my submission, I'm sorry if I gave you the impression that we were.
2214 As Paul can explain in more detail, we are in a bit of a situation where we are precluded from having another FM in Vancouver because of the multiple licence ownership policy.
2215 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And you are trying to backdoor a third station through Chilliwack.
2216 MS WHEELER: I don't think that that's certainly --
2217 THE CHAIRPERSON: Not my conclusion, I'm just saying that could be the perception.
2218 MS WHEELER: I guess the perception is that we are serving a broader area than just Chilliwack, certainly, and we have some solutions that we would be happy to come to you with and identify those at a later date that would, you know, give more clarity to the service areas. But we didn't feel that it was the appropriate venue in this proceeding to talk to you about those issues.
2219 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but you are not answering the perception and, you know, Google is not --
2220 MS WHEELER: Perception --
2221 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- conspiring against Rogers in this case.
2222 MS WHEELER: We weren't suggesting that. We were just saying --
2223 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- or against CFUN.
2224 MS WHEELER: -- that perception is likely coming from Vancouver where there is a large part of the population.
2225 THE CHAIRPERSON: Because you have made no effort to clearly identify yourselves as a Chilliwack station because it's in your advantage, perhaps financially or otherwise, to be perceived as a Vancouver station.
2226 MS WHEELER: I guess I would not agree with that statement given the level of local programming and the service that we are providing to the Chilliwack and Fraser Valley markets.
2227 THE CHAIRPERSON: If Vancouverites think CFUN is a Vancouver station they are not the ones mistaken. Someone has planted that seed in their head and someone should take responsibility for that.
2228 MS WHEELER: Well, we will -- we are taking responsibility for the licence and we hope that we have, you know, assured you that we are going to make the -- take the measures necessary to correct any non-compliance with our conditions of licence.
2229 In terms of perceptions and branding of a radio station, you know, there is a number of instances across Canada where stations are licensed to a particular market but perceived by an adjoining market as part of their station.
2230 CFNY which is a Brampton station is one of the premier radio stations in Toronto and it's considered a Toronto station. It's licensed to Brampton. That happens when you have geography coming together.
2231 THE CHAIRPERSON: But we are not discussing Brampton or Toronto here today and the perception might be that the fact that Vancouverites believe CFUN is a Vancouver station.
2232 There is some intentionality behind that perception. That might be the perception of a reasonable person looking at this issue. It may not be the reality but we all know that perception is reality.
2233 That's my point and you have addressed it. The Google effect that it takes 15 pages to see any mention of Chilliwack; you have also addressed it. I understand that it's a third party, but that goes to perception, and that goes to branding, and you are in the communications business, and you are in the branding business, and people would find it hard to believe that you are incapable of properly branding and marketing this station as a primarily Chilliwack-servicing licence.
2234 That being said, Mr. Ski...
2235 MR. SKI: Mr. Chair, I just have one other comment. If you listened to the news -- and I am trying to recall what you said at the beginning of the comment, but if you listened to news on the station today, you would have heard about Chilliwack housing prices, you would have heard about a number of other things that are happening in Chilliwack.
2236 It would appear that the people of Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley think that we provide some service in terms of branding, and believe that we are a station, because they listen to us in Chilliwack. We are the fourth most listened to station in that market, and that has escalated over time.
2237 On the air now we refer to those areas.
2238 So, yes, some people in Vancouver may think that. If they do, that's a benefit to us, no question.
2239 But, also, we haven't totally excluded all of these other cities, which I got from your first comment. We talk about what is happening in the Fraser Valley and in Chilliwack.
2240 So I think that's important to remember, and obviously, as I say, we have a challenge because we don't do very well in Vancouver. Certainly, we do quite well and much better in Chilliwack and in the Fraser Valley.
2241 So somebody likes us.
2242 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great. I understand, and I appreciate that.
2243 Just to get back to another point that was mentioned -- and this is really housecleaning. The question was asked, "How do we define news," and, actually, I got some information on sub-category 11 from Public Notice 2000-14, and the definition is as follows:
"Includes the reporting of events of the day, or recent days, with an emphasis on the topicality of events or situations selected, or the constant updating of the information, or both, as well as background material about current events, when included in newscasts. This does not include weather, traffic, sports or entertainment."
2244 I think there was some question about defining that, and there is the definition.
2245 MS WHEELER: Could you repeat that Public Notice?
2246 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's 2000-14.
2247 On a lighter note, I am always impressed by people at Rogers, how they always find a way to slip in the Blue Jays. You could be talking about oranges, apples -- I don't know -- Tahiti -- it always comes back to the Blue Jays. That's great.
2248 That's branding. That's marketing.
2249 Commissioner Patrone has some questions.
2250 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Maybe just one, Mr. Chairman, thank you.
2251 Good morning. Have you considered the possibility of moving your studio to Chilliwack?
2252 MR. SKI: Under the current circumstances, no. I think we got approval from the Commission just a few years ago to move the Chilliwack studio to Vancouver.
2253 It is, in part, an efficiency issue, and I think time. It means that we can make better use of the resources that we have, such as News 1130, which is housed in that particular area.
2254 Also, we have a news director, obviously, in Chilliwack, and staff there, who also provide news stories and other elements to the News 1130 studio.
2255 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You addressed that -- I believe it was Mr. Poulton or Mr. Brookshaw who addressed that in a question from Commissioner Duncan about the breakdown of staff in your news department. I am going to guess that the bulk of your news department is based in Vancouver.
2256 MR. POULTON: Certainly, if you suggested that News 1130 is our news department, employing almost 55 full-time staff, yes, that would be correct.
2257 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: What kind of reporting contingent do you have in the Fraser Valley?
2258 MR. POULTON: We have a news director in the Fraser Valley and a news reporter/reader in Abbotsford. Each of them is tasked with the duties you would associate with news gathering, but because we have News 1130 in our market, as well, that station has dramatically more resources to report on stories. So you will find News 1130 in the Fraser Valley on a regular basis.
2259 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You have 2 people in Fraser Valley and you have 53 in Vancouver.
2260 MR. POULTON: Yes.
2261 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: And the news staff, if they are based in Vancouver, then, presumably, the bulk of their coverage is going to be in Vancouver, which means that the news being heard on a station whose primary market is Chilliwack is going to be Vancouver-centric. It has to be, speaking in terms of resources.
2262 MR. SKI: Not if you have that many people.
2263 Remember the area that we are covering. If you look at the geography, we are covering the Lower Mainland, we are covering the Fraser Valley, we are covering that entire area. We happen to have more resources, in part because we have a different formatted radio station.
2264 News 1130 is a 24/7 radio station that provides a news service to, obviously, the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley and the surrounding areas, so it is going to have the highest proportion of news people.
2265 If we have a radio station that predominantly is a music-oriented radio station, regardless of where it is, there will be fewer news people in that particular outlet.
2266 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: But you consider Vancouver a secondary market -- or CFUN considers Vancouver the secondary market, and Chilliwack its primary market, and I am wondering why that isn't reflected a little more in the programming. That is part of the thrust of my question.
2267 The other question is, do you think that you need improved presence in Chilliwack, personnel-wise? Do you think that would help?
2268 In other words, shifting resources to Chilliwack, would that be helpful in terms of improving your presence relative to ensuring that CFUN doesn't have -- that Chilliwack isn't the primary market in name only?
2269 MR. SKI: I don't believe it is.
2270 I am not sure what you are suggesting. Are you suggesting that there are more people presenting the news, that there is more news?
2271 Because I think we are doing a pretty good job of that.
2272 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I am suggesting, Mr. Ski, that the programming reflects resources. So, if the vast majority of your people are in Vancouver, your studio is in Vancouver, your news staff, your salespeople -- this is an extension of the Chairman's question, I suppose -- then that is going to be reflected in the programming.
2273 The studio, for instance -- I mean, you know, the announcer will look outside and see what is happening and report it, and what that individual will see is Vancouver. They are not going to see Chilliwack, because Chilliwack is, what, an hour and a half away.
2274 What I am saying is that the programming reflects resources, and as an extension of that statement, I am suggesting that shifting resources to what is ostensibly your primary market would allow CFUN to improve its presence and, presumably, become more reflective of the community that is its primary market.
2275 Am I being clear?
2276 MR. SKI: You are being clear. I think that it's normally the format that determines the resources that are applied.
2277 If you are suggesting that if we had two or three more people, or whatever, in Chilliwack, would that improve -- I don't know, would that improve our service? Would that help in the ratings?
2278 I don't know. We could ask the people of Chilliwack if they think that's the case. They seem to think that we are doing a pretty good job.
2279 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You are No. 4 in Chilliwack, did I hear you say?
2280 MR. SKI: Yes, of 22 stations.
2281 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Are there Vancouver-based stations that are ahead of you in the Chilliwack market?
2282 MR. SKI: Yes, there are.
2283 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Why do you suppose that's the case?
2284 MR. SKI: That's because they have a format that those particular people like.
2285 As I said earlier, if we add two more people in Chilliwack, let's say, to provide better resources, quite frankly, in my experience, if somebody is offering a country music format that those people like, the fact that we have added more resources to that particular market won't matter. They won't listen to us if they don't like the type of music we play or the type of service we are providing, they will listen to the country station, or they will listen to CBC, which is there, too. A CBC listener, obviously, believes they are putting a pretty good service out. They are not serving Chilliwack, but they are the No. 3 station in the market.
2286 So it's not just resources, it's what the particular market requires.
2287 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you, those are my questions.
2288 Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
2289 THE CHAIRPERSON: We are going to take a five-minute health break, and then we will have a couple more questions.
--- Upon recessing at 1158
--- Upon resuming at 1207
2290 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome back.
2291 Commissioner Simpson may have some questions.
2292 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
2293 Hello. I would like to ask a few questions for my understanding. I was quite surprised to hear you say, Ms Wheeler, that Rogers is precluded from a second FM in Vancouver because of the fact that you have an operation that penetrates the Vancouver market right now, and it seems like that is knocking on the door of a bit of a double standard, in that you are pre-empted from penetration in Vancouver with another station, yet you are not allowed to do business in that market. I will have more on that later.
2294 The question I have -- and this is a technical question that you may not be able to answer. I have seen some contour maps, but based on your penetration now, based on your contours, including your repeater, does your footprint cover all of the Vancouver market or a part of the market right now?
2295 MS WHEELER: With CFUN's signal?
2296 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
2297 MR. SKI: Essentially, I think the GVRD.
2298 I think it covers all of the GVRD.
2299 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I have seen some maps that show that it falls short, that it covers part of Vancouver.
2300 I have seen some coverage maps, but if there is anything that you have that you might want as a supplemental to file that shows anything that may be more current than what we have, I would appreciate it, to fully understand the impact of the previous ruling regarding a second station.
2301 MR. SKI: We will check into that, Commissioner Simpson, and get back to you.
2302 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you.
2303 The next question I have goes to something that has been going up in my learning curve with respect to not just the audiences, but the revenue side of the equation. I am thinking particularly of the ad agency spend in major markets.
2304 I am coming to understand that the agency business goes for the easy buy in major markets, and when it comes to buying a market like Vancouver, first off, it is my understanding -- and I would like you to tell me more about this -- that not only national buys in Vancouver, but a lot of regional and even local retail buys are made through agencies.
2305 Is that correct?
2306 MR. SKI: Yes, that's correct.
2307 I think what happens in a market like Vancouver, certainly from all the time that I spent in Vancouver -- and I recall that it happens in Toronto, too. If you are a new advertiser and you suddenly have, maybe, a quarter of a million dollars to spend, an agency will be built in order to cover that particular account and take the 15 percent commission.
2308 So a lot of the business, where it's not -- I don't want to say formal agencies, but big agencies, or large agencies. There are a number of small agencies, which may only be a one-person agency with one client, who also may try to get other clients, but, essentially, maybe started to serve just one client.
2309 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So an agency, more particularly, an agency outside the market of Vancouver that is buying into the market from a place like Toronto or Montreal, they have a tendency to look at the CMA of Vancouver and buy on the basis of stations that serve the Vancouver market, and it is my understanding that they don't necessarily make deliberate buys into the Fraser Valley to be able to cover the valley, they rely on their Vancouver buy to cover the valley.
2310 Is that correct?
2311 MR. SKI: That's correct, and because there are so many stations in Vancouver that are serving the Fraser Valley, it is a little more difficult to get national business, for that reason.
2312 We do get some, because of the fact that we have other stations and we can sell in combination. So that's an advantage for us, but if it was -- certainly the standalone stations, not only in Chilliwack, but in other markets of that size, where there are a number of other signals from a larger market coming in, especially now, with all the cutbacks, et cetera, that agencies and clients have, they will try to be doing it the most efficient way they possibly can. So they won't put, necessarily, national dollars into that particular market, if they think they can reach that market with four or five other stations that they are already buying in Vancouver.
2313 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Not to put words in your mouth, but just coming off of some of the comments that we heard earlier, it would make sense -- not from an audience branding standpoint, but it would make sense to try to get your station into the consideration of an agency as part of a smart Vancouver buy. Otherwise, it's a lost opportunity.
2314 MR. SKI: Most definitely, and a number of the smaller agencies, they could be buying for, I don't know, a furniture store in the Fraser Valley that has, maybe, multiple outlets. So, if we can serve them also, as do the Vancouver stations -- because they can do that. If it's a McDonald's buy, for instance, or, like I say, a multi-furniture outlet, or some other type of business that has multiple outlets, if we are not covering the entire area, then we have a problem getting on that buy.
2315 And they only buy -- well, depending on -- it used to be that they might buy three or four deep, in terms of stations in a particular demographic. That has even compacted quite a bit because of the fact that they just don't have the dollars to spend.
2316 So it gets more difficult. If you are the fifth, sixth, seventh station, chances are, unless you are in combination with others, you won't be on a lot of those national buys.
2317 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I would like to swing over to the Fraser Valley market for a second and have you tell us more about some of the characteristics of the valley that may be anomalous to other urban markets.
2318 And I will preface this by saying that I recently read a set of reports -- one was from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, and the other from the GVRD -- which were telling the reader that the Fraser Valley is more of a bedroom community than just about any other market in North America because of the land economics relative to Vancouver proper, which are driving families, disproportionately, into the valley, to be able to get into real estate.
2319 That seems to be supporting your assertion that up to a third of the Chilliwack community commutes into Vancouver, so much so that they are looking at building a rail service from Chilliwack into Vancouver.
2320 Would you tell us more about what you have learned about those characteristics?
2321 MR. SKI: Certainly, and I will let Geoff give you a little more insight.
2322 I think that has been discussed on a couple of the newscasts in the past few days, and the fact that the real estate market in the Fraser Valley has heated up quite a bit, for that exact reason.
2323 Obviously, the Vancouver real estate market and the Lower Mainland real estate market are pretty crazy at this point, so if people still want to live there and have a home, they have to move to the outskirts, and the Fraser Valley is one of those areas.
2325 MR. POULTON: When we acquired the station in 1999, you would be hard pressed -- as a Vancouverite, born and raised, I would have been hard pressed at that time to think that anybody would be commuting from Chilliwack. It just seemed ridiculous.
2326 Even Abbotsford seemed like it was a long way away; not dissimilar to when I lived in Toronto for a short time, when I lived in Whitby, and people thought I was crazy. Now they are all blending together, and I think that's what is happening in Vancouver.
2327 If you want affordable housing in Vancouver, you have to go out to the valley, because you can't go south and you can't go west. You have to go to the valley.
2328 I think that now, more than ever, we are finding the affordability issue coming up. The number of developments going on in Chilliwack and Abbotsford is phenomenal, and it's happening right now.
2329 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Now for the ballot question. In spite of all of that, by my reckoning, we are sitting -- if the Fraser Valley is not part of the Vancouver CMA, and it has its own regional district in the Fraser Valley, what is the dimension of that Fraser Valley? That is where I am going with this question.
2330 I am seeing that the Fraser Valley Regional District defines itself from Abbotsford to Hope, approximately, with about 300,000 as a marketplace right now. These are projections upward from the last census to reflect an estimate for 2011.
2331 By my other reckoning, there seem to be three or four stations in the Fraser Valley servicing that market now, approximately.
2332 So my question is this, sort of following on Commissioner Patrone's question: Given that it is a fairly robust market of its own, why isn't there more apparent interest by your organization to make sure that you have your foot firmly down in that market first, with ample servicing, as if it were a more isolated community?
2333 I am reflecting on other commissioners' comments, not necessarily on my own perceptions, because I haven't really looked at staffing and programming, but it would seem to me that this is a fairly robust market, and you have been grilled this morning on the basis that that market seems to be ignored, and my question to you is: Do you feel that this market is sufficiently serviced already by your actions, or is there more you can do?
2334 MR. SKI: Commissioner Simpson, there is always more we can do. We get up every day thinking: How can we change what we did yesterday and make things better today?
2335 If you look at the stations in Chilliwack, in particular, and Abbotsford, too, which is a big part of this, we think that we are serving the market quite well, as it relates to Star and FUN, and we think that we are covering the market fairly well as it relates to news events and the information that we are providing.
2336 It should be noted again that all of the stations from Vancouver cover the Fraser Valley. I mean, our reporters will run into theirs.
2337 If we think of Vancouver, or if we think of the Vancouver station, in particular, News 1130, as 55 news people that are sitting around a desk in Vancouver, and only going as far as Burrard Street one way and -- if I can remember my streets -- Marine Drive the other way, that's not really the case, as is the case in Toronto with 680 News.
2338 Most of our news people don't just live and work in Vancouver, in the Vancouver radio station, they are all over the place.
2339 As we said, they are where Murray lives. We have some of our other news people who live, because of the affordable housing, not in Vancouver proper, but outside the area, as is the case in Toronto, too.
2340 So if there are stories that take place, those people, in many cases, when you have 55 people, are already there and can cover those stories for both News 1130 and for our Chilliwack stations.
2341 It's a benefit that we have, quite frankly. If we didn't have an all-news station, we wouldn't have that benefit and we might look at it a little bit differently, but we have that benefit.
2342 I can't tell you exactly where all of those people are, but it happens the same as it does in Toronto. Geoff mentioned Whitby. Something happened in Toronto -- and I can't recall exactly -- the other day, and one of our reporters who lived there went right to the story from his home.
2343 Again, it's not the day of people sitting around the office in Vancouver saying, "Oh, I think there is something in Mission. Let's go cover that," or, "I think there is a story in West Vancouver. Let's go cover it."
2344 These people live in those areas, so they normally know what is happening to begin with.
2345 Secondly, they are around and able to cover those stories and features.
2346 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you very much, those are my questions.
2347 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Simpson.
2348 Madam Lamarre has some questions.
2349 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
2350 I have a few very specific questions, and I am going to start with a very easy one. It's a vocabulary issue that I have with your presentation, and I want to make sure that I understand.
2351 On page 4, at the third paragraph from the top, you say: "...providing a minimum of 30 weekday newscasts and updates."
2352 Does that mean that there are 30 times between Monday to Friday that you have newscasts and updates?
2353 MR. BROOKSHAW: Six times per day, at the top and bottom of the hour, 6 to 9 a.m., Monday through Friday.
2354 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Six times per day specifically. Okay, thank you, I get it. At first I thought it was a measurement like a man hour, or something like that. It was the engineering side of me that took over during that moment.
2355 The other question -- and this is definitely the engineering side of me. We were talking about maps. Mr. Simpson requested that you provide a map. If I may be specific, what I personally would be looking for, which I think would be useful to the Commission also, is that they definitely need to be engineering maps. They need to be signed and sealed, not just delivered -- and, obviously, with the theoretical contours of CFUN and its three transmitters on the same map, because it would be useful to see the ensemble of what we have.
2356 And, if you feel it is appropriate, you may also want to provide us a different map, the same scale, with the realistic contours. But, if you do so, make sure that it is done using the same receiving antenna height.
2357 Whoever is your engineering consultant will know exactly where I am coming from.
2358 MS WHEELER: I'm sorry, I missed the last part, make sure it is...
2359 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: That the realistic contours are given with calculations done with the same receiving antenna height, at 9.1 metres.
2360 But that is only if you feel that having the realistic contours is appropriate. I don't want to impose it on you if you don't feel it is necessary. I am just giving you the option of giving us two maps instead of one.
2361 MS WHEELER: We would be happy to do that.
2362 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Thank you.
2363 Now, on the specific question of station identification, I understand what you explained this morning, and when you started with your presentation, red lights started going off in my mind and you addressed some of it. You addressed the fact that you looked at Industry Canada's regulations and got comfort from them.
2364 But I'm coming from a different point of view here. I'm not trying to regulate what Industry Canada regulates, it's out of my jurisdiction, I'm not trying to do that, but those ID regulations that have been adopted by Industry Canada come from international agreements to Canada and other states and as a member of this Commission I have to be concerned with the fact that either what we ask you to do or what we agree that you do is in compliance with domestic regulation and also international agreements that Canada is a party of.
2365 So if you could, in an undertaking, reassure me as to what you are right now doing with the station identification how it complies with broadcast procedures and rules and also with Broadcast Equipment Technical Standards-11, if I could be that specific, or any other regulation that you may have identified.
2366 So give me that comfort that what you are doing right now and what you are proposing is in compliance with the other regulations so that we don't end up with, you know, somebody saying, "Well, I'm trying to comply with CRTC and by doing so I am violating someone else's regulation, or vice versa."
2367 MS WHEELER: We would be happy to do that.
2368 And just to clarify where the confusion arose -- and I actually have a copy of BETS-11 here before me.
2369 Our programming department -- and this predates me and I guess it's an old, you know, belief that programmers have had for a long time is that Industry Canada requires you to air the ID at least five minutes before the hour --
2370 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Yes.
2371 MS WHEELER: -- or at the hour. When we read Industry Canada's BETS-11 it actually says at the beginning and end of -- at least once every hour or on the hour or within 10 minutes thereof. So we did inquire with Industry Canada to ensure that 10 to the hour or 10 after the hour was acceptable by their standards, in which case then we wouldn't run into the same problem of scheduling the ID so close to the top of the hour that our music programming would impact when it actually airs. So we do believe that the mechanism that we have put in place to air it at 20 after and 10 to will address both Industry Canada and CRTC requirements.
2372 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Yes. Industry Canada's reply was probably based on section 7.3 of BPR Part I, but we need it on the record of this proceeding so that it's clear for everybody.
2373 MS WHEELER: Happy to do that.
2374 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Okay. Thank you.
2375 And that was it.
2376 LE PRÉSIDENT : Merci, Madame Lamarre.
2377 D'autres questions? No?
2378 Monsieur Gagnon...?
2379 MR. GAGNON: Just to follow up on the undertakings, I'm not sure if we had given a timeline deadline to provide them.
2380 Would a week be enough?
2381 MS WHEELER: I would have to consult with our engineering staff just to ensure how complicated it is to provide the contour maps that Commissioner Lamarre has required. I'm sure that we have that on file already so it shouldn't take a long time.
2382 So we can probably provide it within a week. However, if I'm told otherwise I would reserve the opportunity to come back and come back for a further extension.
2383 MR. GAGNON: Okay, that sounds good.
2384 Just a follow-up question on the studios in Vancouver.
2385 I think it was noted that in the Decision 2004-45, that's when the Commission decided to get rid of the condition of license on the studios, would you have any comments to make if the Commission was to go the other way now following this hearing and go back on this decision?
2386 MS WHEELER: Yes. Well, we would reserve the right to provide the financial implications of having to sever our operations from Vancouver and relocate to show a Chilliwack. It may require additional infrastructure and resources that we would have to provide for.
2387 I can't speak to whether we can actually house another station in Chilliwack at this point, so there certainly would be some financial and resource issues that we would have to deal with.
2388 MR. GAGNON: Those are my questions.
2389 LE PRÉSIDENT: Madame Roy...?
2390 THE SECRETARY: I would just like to indicate for the record, Mr. Chairman, that no requests to appear were received from intervenors for this item so this therefore concludes Phase II and III for this item.
2391 We will reconvene at 2:00 p.m.
2392 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, please. Thank you.
2393 Merci. Have a nice day.
2394 MR. SKI: Thank you very much.
--- Upon recessing at 1229
--- Upon resuming at 1403
2395 THE SECRETARY: Order, please. À l'ordre, s'il vous plaît.
2396 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon. Bon aprés-midi.
2397 THE SECRETARY: Are we are ready to start?
2398 LE PRÉSIDENT : Madame la Secrétaire?
2399 THE SECRETARY: We are ready to start with Item 8 on the Agenda, which is an Application by Vancouver Co-operative Radio to renew the broadcasting licence for the English-language Type B community radio programming undertaking CFRO-FM Vancouver, expiring 31 August 2011.
2400 It appears to the Commission that the licensee may have failed to comply with section 9(2) of the Radio Regulations, 1986, relating to the submission of annual returns for the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 broadcast years.
2401 The Commission expects the licensee to show cause at this hearing why a mandatory order requiring the licensee to comply with section 9(2) of the Regulations should not be issued.
2402 Furthermore, given that this represents a third consecutive licence term with issues of non-compliance the Commission also expects the licensee to show cause why the Commission should not suspend or refuse to renew the broadcasting licence for CFRO-FM.
2403 The Commission notes that in CFRO-FM Vancouver -- Licence renewal, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2008-119, 2 June 2008, the station was granted a three-year short-term renewal until 31 August 2011, based on non-compliance relating to the broadcast of Canadian musical selections from content Category 2.
2404 The Commission also notes that in CFRO-FM Vancouver -- Licence renewal, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2004-341, 13 August 2004, the station was issued a four-year short-term renewal until 31 August 2008 based on its non-compliance with section 8 of the Regulations, relating to the submission of logger tapes.
2405 Appearing for the licensee are Ms Leela Chinniah and Robin Puga. They are appearing via video conference from the Vancouver Regional Office.
2406 Hi. Can you hear us well?
2407 MR. PUGA: Yes. Can you hear us?
2408 THE SECRETARY: Yes, we can hear you. I'm not sure if the volume is quite high enough, but we will fix that.
2409 So you may now proceed with your 20 minute presentation.
2410 MS CHINNIAH: Thank you.
2411 My name is Leela Chinniah, I am the Program Co-ordinator at Vancouver Co-operative Radio.
2412 MR. PUGA: And my name is Robin Puga, I am the Chair of the Board of Vancouver Co-operative Radio.
2413 Thank you for this opportunity to speak to the Commission today and thank you also for the permission to appear via video conference. We realize this is not ideal and we really appreciate your flexibility on this matter.
2414 For our station, the cost of flying a representative out is an expense we simply could not afford.
2415 MS CHINNIAH: We are here to show cause why a mandatory order need not be issued requiring Co-op Radio to comply with section 9(2) of the Regulations.
2416 We are also here to show cause why the Commission should not suspend or refuse to renew our broadcasting licence.
2417 In fact, we hope the Commission will be sufficiently confident in our intention and ability to comply that you will choose to renew our licence for the full 7-year term.
2418 MR. PUGA: To do this, we will briefly outline the three instances of non-compliance raised by the Commission in this Notice.
2419 We will also outline the steps we have already taken to assure the Commission that we have the procedures and policies in place to address your concerns.
2420 We will also highlight some interventions received in support of our application and refer to a previous Commission decision we think is relevant in your deliberations.
2421 MS CHINNIAH: In 2004, the Commission issued Co-op Radio a 4-year short-term renewal based on our non-compliance with section 8 of the Regulations. During the license period we were still using VHS tapes to record our signal. This system involved staff and volunteers diligently changing tapes on a daily basis. It was a high-maintenance system, but one that we kept up because it was affordable and we were committed to adhering to the Regulations. In order to function within our budgetary constraints, we re-used the tapes every month. Unfortunately, after years of re-use, the tapes became worn out.
2422 Commission staff notified us that the tapes that we had submitted during our monitoring week in 2002 were inaudible. Soon after, we raised enough money to install a new computer logging system.
2423 Within a few months, and still well within the same license period, we had solved the problem of inaudible logs and implemented an improved and reliable system. We are still using this system and have since obtained a back-up computer to ensure that it remains reliable.
2424 We took this infraction seriously. Even before the license term was up we had already rectified the problem to ensure that it didn't happen again. We have not had one issue with inaudible or unavailable logs and have been in full compliance with section 8 of the Regulations ever since.
2425 MR. PUGA: In 2008, the Commission issued Co-op Radio a 2-year licence based on our non-compliance relating to the Canadian Content requirements for Category 2 musical selections. The Commission subsequently extended the term by one year.
2426 During the week of November 5th to November 11, 2006, only 32.8 percent of our Category 2 musical selections met the Cancon requirements. We were 2.2 percent short of the minimum requirement.
2427 Co-op Radio is not an aspiring Pop Rock station. Only a small portion of our programming constitutes Category 2 music, 6 percent in total. Due to the mandate of our station, 85 percent of our music programming is from Category 3. We focus on genres that are not featured on other stations.
2428 The shortage of Canadian Content found in the monitoring week did not reflect the high proportion of news and information we consistently provide.
2429 Nor did the findings reflect our adherence to the Cancon requirements on other weeks. What it did highlight was the Cancon shortage by one program on one unique occasion when one volunteer programmer filled in for another and substituted Category 2 for Category 3 music.
2430 We took this infraction very seriously. We immediately implemented new monitoring systems and created new educational resources for volunteers. We posted additional signage about the Regulations throughout the station and we now lead volunteers through specific training exercises to ensure that each and every volunteer programmer understands the Cancon requirements. All new program applications are evaluated, in part, on their ability to meet Cancon requirements.
2431 It was a challenge for us to reeducate 400 people, but we have created a culture where all volunteers are acutely aware of the importance of the Cancon regulatory requirements. It is now a source of pride for our programmers to make the top 10 list of Cancon providers within the station.
2432 Many of our shows aim for 100 percent CanCon. This is a cultural shift that has resulted from a lot of work and dedication to ensuring compliance.
2433 The results from our last monitoring period demonstrate the effectiveness of our actions. During the week of July 19th to July 25, 2009, 46 percent of our Category 2 musical selections were Canadian Content. That's more than 10 percent over the minimum requirement. We also far exceed the requirements in Category 3 selections, with over 25 percent of selections fulfilling the Canadian Content requirements.
2434 Once again, we have identified ways to address the non-compliance and rectified the problem to ensure it will not happen again. We have been in full compliance with section 2.2 of the Regulations ever since.
2435 MS CHINNIAH: Earlier this year the Commission notified us that the Annual Returns for 2009 and 2010 were filed late. In 2009 the return was filed a little over two weeks late. The Financial Administrator who submitted the return that year left her position at the end of her one-year contract. She did not notify the rest of the staff and Board that she had filed the return late and the Commission did not contact us about that issue until this year.
2436 In 2010 I received a notice that the deadline for the submission of Annual Returns had been extended until December 15th due to technical issues with the Access Key electronic filing system. I immediately notified our new Financial Administrator. She assured me that she would submit the return the next day, well before the new deadline. I reviewed the forms with her and she promised to file the forms immediately.
2437 A few weeks later, following an assessment of this staff person's probationary period, the Board terminated her employment due to unsatisfactory performance. Although we didn't know at that time that the returns hadn't been filed, the Board's decision demonstrates how effective our new Employee Probation Policy and Evaluation Procedure is. It enabled them to identify problems with a new employee early on, it empowered them to act swiftly, and it ensured that Co-op Radio did not continue to employ someone who couldn't perform her basic duties, including important regulatory tasks.
2438 While we hired a new Financial Administrator, gaps were covered by other staff.
2439 I immediately contacted the Commission to determine whether or not the Annual Returns had been filed. The Commission staff that I spoke to said they could not confirm either way so I decided to file the forms myself as soon as possible, just in case they hadn't been filed. I did this in early January, a little over three weeks after the new deadline.
2440 On February 15th of this year I received an e-mail from a Commission staff person seeking additional information. She had been trying to contact me via the old Financial Administrator's e-mail address and as soon as I received the notice I filed the requested documents the very same day.
2441 To sum up:
2442 The staff people responsible for both delays are no longer employed with the station. Although we were not aware until recently that the 2009 return was submitted late, we realize that we didn't have sufficient oversight structures in place to ensure that the deadline was met.
2443 The delay in 2010 was largely due to an error by a staff person whose inability to perform her duties was identified and addressed expediently.
2444 The turnover in staff at the time of the deadline for Annual Returns also contributed to the delay in filing our 2010 return.
2445 In response to these two incidents, we have implemented the following new procedures to ensure that this does not happen again.
2446 MR. PUGA: Now, as procedure, the training of all new Financial Administrators explicitly includes the requirement that Annual Returns must be submitted by November 20th.
2447 As procedural policy we now include the Annual Return deadline, along with other official deadlines, in a calendar that is reviewed at every staff meeting and at every Board meeting. The Board and staff are required to confirm at each meeting that the designated staff have met deadlines for the relevant month and that progress is being made towards meeting upcoming deadlines. If progress is not being made, another staff person is assigned to assist or to take over the task. In this way all levels of the station's management and governance are aware of the regulatory requirements and ensure they are met.
2448 In our reply to the intervenors we included this new policy which we refined at our last Board meeting so that it is even more specific.
2449 We have also created a new e-mail account to be used by all official bodies, including the CRTC. E-mails sent to this address are received by all Co-op Radio staff. This ensures that we will not miss e-mails when staff turnover occurs in the future.
2450 We have taken this incident very seriously and we have implemented measures to ensure that we will always be in compliance with section 9 of the Regulations in the future.
2451 We are confident that our response to this instance of non-compliance will be effective and will ensure full compliance from now on.
2452 We do not feel that a mandatory order will increase the incentive for us to comply; we are now doing everything possible can to ensure full compliance.
2453 MS CHINNIAH: We take full responsibility for the mistakes we make. As some of our intervenors point out, we operate on an extremely small budget. Four part-time staff must co-ordinate the activities of 400 volunteers, provide training and manage all administrative requirements.
2454 As staff we are constantly performing a number of very vital duties for the organization and are juggling full-time workloads in part-time hours.
2455 We believe our problems with achieving full compliance in the past are simply due to a lack of resources. but we are not asking the Commission to approve our application out of sympathy for the challenges that we face or because we are poor. Rather, we want you to be confident that we take our regulatory responsibilities seriously and that we are capable of following through with the commitments that we make. We have demonstrated our ability to identify gaps in our organization and to create procedures to ensure that those gaps are filled.
2456 Over the past 10 years I have witnessed our organization grow tremendously. I have seen new systems developed and implemented that ensure consistent high capacity in the organization.
2457 As some of our intervenors noted, we have comprehensive training for all volunteers and all levels of governance. We require all programmers to sign contracts agreeing to abide by all regulations and internal policies. We are currently working on developing an additional system that will require volunteers to affirm this commitment each year. We will begin implementing that system at this year's AGM and training weekend in November.
2458 We are also updating our programming policies this year to ensure that our expectations of volunteer conduct and programming content are absolutely clear.
2459 MR. PUGA: What the record shows is that we have been non-compliant with three different sections of the Radio Regulations. Each time we made a mistake, each time we fixed the problem and we have not repeated the same mistake twice. We have demonstrated that we are able to address our shortcomings quickly and effectively and there is no question in that.
2460 However, we understand that the Commission may question whether we will be continuing to be found in non-compliance with other sections of the Regulations in future, whether we need to make more mistakes in order to fix them.
2461 As you are aware from the Community Radio policy review hearing last year, our entire sector faces challenges. Most of us struggle just to get by. We juggle several mandates. On the one hand, we have a responsibility to volunteer-based programming and community-based governance. On the other hand, we have a commitment to full compliance with the Regulations.
2462 There are lots of opportunities to make mistakes when you are constantly in survival mode and when you have high volunteer participation. But, given our day-to-day reality, we want the Commission to have the confidence that compliance is one of our top priorities.
2463 In addition to the policy on calendar deadlines we created, we have also compiled a document listing all of the sections of the Radio Regulations, Broadcasting Act and Conditions of License that pertain to us as a community radio station. We submitted this document as an appendix to our response to the intervenors. This document helps us identify the policies and procedures that we already have in place to address each of the Regulations.
2464 MS CHINNIAH: We believe we have the same goal, the Commission wants us to be in compliance 100 percent of the time, we want to be in compliance 100 percent of the time.
2465 As our stakeholders and supporting intervenors have submitted, we conduct ourselves competently and professionally. We are constantly improving our systems to address the shortfalls that we face. We have taken this show-cause hearing as a very serious indication that there were additional gaps in our systems that needed to be filled. We have acted swiftly in addressing these gaps.
2466 Since receiving notice from the Commission we have compiled a calendar of all relevant regulatory deadlines; we have approved a new policy and procedure to ensure that these deadlines are met and reviewed at every meeting of the Board and Staff; and we have compiled a list of all other regulatory requirements to ensure that there are no other gaps in our awareness and ability to comply with them.
2467 MR. PUGA: In Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2010-607 the Commission was faced with a similar situation to our Notice. C-F-A-R AM in Flin Flon, Manitoba is a commercial station that was in non-compliance for three consecutive license terms. In 2004, they received a four-year term due to non-compliance with both the Regulations relating to Canadian content for Category 2 musical selections and with the condition of their license.
2468 In 2008, they received a 2-year term due to non-compliance with the same requirements.
2469 In 2009, C-F-A-R did not submit their Annual Returns on time. They explained that this was due to extraordinary circumstances and assured the Commission that they were taking steps to ensure that this wouldn't happen again. The Commission was satisfied with their response and granted them a 7-year license term.
2470 There are many similarities between our situation and that of C-F-A-R. Both C-F-R-O and C-F-A-R had the same license terms during the same years. We were both found in non-compliance for three consecutive terms. The difference is that our station was never found in non-compliance with the same requirement more than once. We have demonstrated our ability to remedy problems so that they do not persist.
2471 In its decision about C-F-A-R the Commission said this in paragraph 10:
"When a station is found to be in non-compliance, its broadcasting licence is usually renewed for a short-term period to permit a further review of its compliance within a reasonable period of time. However, the Commission notes that the licensee has taken the necessary measures to comply with the requirements for which it was previously found to be in non-compliance. Further, the Commission is satisfied with the licensee's explanation of the circumstances surrounding its current non-compliance and with the steps taken by the licensee to ensure timely filing of its annual returns in the future. Accordingly, under these circumstances, the Commission considers that a departure from the standard practice is justified and that it is appropriate to renew the broadcasting licence for C-F-A-R for a seven-year term."
2472 MS CHINNIAH: We hope that the Commission will be equally satisfied with our explanation of our circumstances and our assurance that our Annual Returns will be filed in a timely manner in the future.
2473 In addition, we hope that the Commission will see how seriously we have taken this warning and how well we have addressed it.
2474 Many of our interveners noted how important Co-op Radio is to our community. As members, listeners, supporters and volunteers, these people regularly witness the impact that our station has on our community. They listen to our programming, 50 percent of which is locally-relevant spoken word that addresses the needs of our diverse community. They listen to the music, arts and non-English programming that provides them with content they cannot hear anywhere else. Their comments illustrate that our programming regularly exceeds our own mandate and the requirements set out in the Regulations.
2475 MR. PUGA: As you are aware, Co-op Radio is potentially on the cusp of some big changes. We are eagerly awaiting another decision by the Commission regarding a potential swap of frequencies with C-K-P-K FM. This swap would provide Co-op Radio with the technical, outreach and financial support to increase its sustainability and the ability to meet our mandate.
2476 The work involved in creating this opportunity demonstrates the maturity of our organization. Faced with limited resources, we found a solution that meets the needs of our members and that ensures a strong future for us.
2477 We have a strong past and we have a strong future ahead.
2478 We have made mistakes but far, far greater are our successes.
2479 We have mentored new community and co-operatively owned stations.
2480 We have provided thousands of community members with free training and skill-building opportunities that have contributed positively to their lives.
2481 We have worked with community partner organizations.
2482 We have remained a relevant and consistent institution within our community and provided high-quality, diverse programming for over 35 years.
2483 We have demonstrated our continued ability to address the challenges we face responsibly while remaining true to our mandate.
2484 MS CHINNIAH: We respectfully submit that the interests of our community will be best served by renewing our licence for a full seven-year term.
2485 In the alternative, we hope the Commission will choose to renew our licence for a short term so that we may demonstrate our ability to comply with the regulations in a timely manner.
2486 We are happy to answer any questions that you may have at this time. Thank you very much.
2487 THE CHAIRPERSON: I would like to thank you very much for your thoughtful and carefully crafted response and presentation.
2488 My colleague Commissioner Simpson may have some questions for you.
2489 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
2490 Hello, Ms Chinniah. I am very pleased to see you again. I believe we met a year and a half ago when I toured your station.
2491 Mr. Puga, I am not sure we had the pleasure of meeting before, but I thank you both, as our Vice-Chair has indicated, for a very thoughtful and full presentation on your position, so much so that I don't think I have to go into the standard speech to ask you whether you understand the significance of a show cause hearing and mandatory orders and the like because I think you very effectively communicated that you do.
2492 I would like to start with the issue of your filings because it's top of mind with me.
2493 Ms Chinniah -- or Chinneah(ph). I'm sorry, is it Chinneah(ph) or Chinniah?
2494 MS CHINNIAH: Chinniah.
2495 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Chinniah. And Mr. Pugga(ph)?
2496 MR. PUGA: Puga.
2497 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Puga. There you go, wrong on both counts. Chinniah.
2498 You had indicated, going back to the filing issue -- and this is just for clarification -- that the individual responsible had indicated to you that they would take the initiative in filing the returns, which they were supposed to do sometime in the fall of 2010, and that somewhere between that time and the time in 2011 that you took the initiative to do this there was an extension because of some technical problems on our end.
2499 But what I am trying to understand here is that you indicated that you had filed approximately three weeks after the due date in January, is that correct, but then you seem to make a reference that we contacted you in February.
2500 Was that because we hadn't received your filing? Because you indicate that you submitted the filings again in February after we contacted you. So did you file twice?
2501 MS CHINNIAH: So in January was when I had filed the forms and the exact situation was that there was a form on the desk of the financial administrator indicating that this may not have gone in and it was unclear at that time to me whether there was a mechanism to file that via access key, via the electronic filing system, which is why I contacted the Commission staff at the time.
2502 Because the form being on the desk alone did not indicate to me that it hadn't been filed. It could have been filed electronically, for what I knew. So I did contact them.
2503 Then it was after returning from Christmas, in January that the forms were filed by mail. So the filling out of the written form was done. And to my knowledge -- so there was one form there. There was an indication, I think, perhaps on another page that was not on that form that there was additional information required.
2504 And so in February I heard from Commission staff and, to my knowledge, she had been trying to contact us via the financial administrator's email address, and when she contacted me that became apparent because she sort of indicated a couple of forwards there.
2505 So finally she contacted me via that email address. That was on February 15th that I received that, saying that they required something additional. That was, I think, the Appendix of our actual financial returns for that year and -- or report, rather, and that was filed that same day.
2506 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Thank you very much.
2507 Does Co-op Radio employ an accounting firm to prepare your year-ends? That is correct, they do?
2508 MS CHINNIAH: We have a financial administrator and in-house bookkeeper, and our actual financial year-end reports are provided by an outside firm, Dragomir Liu.
2509 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Are you a society? Do you have a reporting responsibility? I am just curious as to your structure and whether that necessitates an outside CA firm.
2510 MS CHINNIAH: Absolutely. So, as a co-operative, we fall under the rules of the B.C. Co-operative Act. So there are requirements for annual return filings under that.
2511 We also work closely with the Community Radio Education Society, which is a society, and our staff also have requirements for filing with that.
2512 That brings up one of the points we raised in our presentation, which is this new policy that we have created and new calendar with all our deadlines includes not only CRTC requirements but in addition all those other regulatory bodies that we are accountable to, including B.C. Co-operative Act, Canadian Labour Code, SOCAN and the Society's Branch as well.
2513 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: How long has the CA firm been working with Co-op Radio?
2514 MS CHINNIAH: Sorry, we missed the question. How long has...?
2515 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: How many years has the CA firm been working with Co-op Radio? Are they new or do they have some history?
2516 MS CHINNIAH: They have a long history with Co-op Radio and they did provide the actual financial statements that we have.
2517 Our AGM is required to be held by the end of November every year. So the timeline is in line with the CRTC's deadlines. So our actual financial statements that we have to submit to our membership as well are always ready on time. So for us there should be no difficulty in meeting a November 30th deadline.
2518 In fact, that is why we actually created a sort of internal policy that a November 20th deadline should be met, because given our requirements for our own internal structure with reporting our financial statements to our membership, those statements need to be ready by then anyway. There is no reason they can't get to the CRTC at the same time.
2519 And it also allows for that padding, which, you know, the 10 days extra, when things happen in a community organization, that there is a little bit of space so that we do absolutely meet that deadline on time.
2520 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. In the event that -- I appreciate the level of diligence that you put into this best practices system, which you have already illustrated.
2521 You are bringing the CA firm into this loop so that they are part of best practices and also have a knowledge and an understanding of the timing of the reporting requirements now, as well as staff?
2522 MS CHINNIAH: To date we have not talked to them specifically about this deadline because our requirement for our AGM is in line with that anyway. But yes, absolutely, all bodies working with us are on side with that.
2523 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Terrific!
2524 I think the logger tape issue speaks for itself. Just one question concerning what was divulged as a result of monitoring.
2525 In defence of the commitment to Canadian content, you had indicated in paragraph 11 on page 4 of your presentation that during the week of July 19, 2009, 46 percent of your Category 2 music requirements were fulfilled with respect to Canadian content.
2526 Would you say that -- you know, considering it was, I believe, in 2010 when the other Canadian content issue was flagged, I would just like you to speak a little bit more to how much of an anomaly that one week was as measured against your obviously very high commitment to Canadian content otherwise.
2527 MS CHINNIAH: Yes, I can speak to that.
2528 I just wanted to clarify. What was the other Cancon issue that you were speaking about?
2529 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I was simply indicating that it seems that the issue of compliance was in 2010. I could be mistaken. Yes -- oh, sorry, it was a renewal in 2010. So ignore that.
2530 I was just saying that with respect to compliance your 2010 statement seemed to indicate a very high percentage and I was trying to get a sense on the record for whether it too was an abnormally high anomalous figure that you are simply pointing to or whether it really does represent more accurately the type of normal commitment that you would make to Canadian content as measured against that week of violation.
2531 MS CHINNIAH: Thanks for that clarification on the question.
2532 Absolutely, this 46 percent that was found in the July 2009 monitoring is absolutely congruent with the regular monitoring that we have been conducting as well.
2533 So that was one of the sort of best practices that came out of the last hearing where we were before the Commission, where we realized again there were gaps that needed to be filled. We weren't doing as regular monitoring as we should and now we do more consistent monitoring of our Cancon requirements and other programming requirements.
2534 So it's been consistently about 45 percent with our Category 2 programmers and, you know, give or take a few percentages, but I think absolutely way above the 35 percent, which is important for us.
2535 And I think a really important point for us to make in terms of -- as a community organization, what we need to do in terms of meeting regulatory requirements is that we need to on a consistent basis aim well above the requirement.
2536 Because there is a lot more fluctuation in, whether it's staff turnover, volunteer turnover, technical difficulties because of lack of resources, those kinds of things, we need to make sure that we have -- we are far exceeding it to cover those instances.
2537 So for us the Cancon issue is one example of that that we have consistently gone above the 35 percent. I think there are many areas that aren't even -- you know, that are so much a part of our programming mandate that far exceed the requirements.
2538 Like, you know, we have almost 50 percent spoken word, whereas the requirement is 15. Category programming is 85 percent; the requirement is only about 5 percent.
2539 So those are some other examples and I think we have kind of talked about the issues of non-compliance where we have really addressed those to not only just meet it because in an organization like ours, just meeting the requirement is not enough. We have to exceed it in order to ensure consistent and full compliance all the time.
2540 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you.
2541 You had mentioned that your total complement of volunteers is upwards of 400 individuals and that you have in your best practices solution invoked a form of contract, which, if not enforceable, at least heightens the awareness by the action of signing it as to the importance of compliance.
2542 I'm just curious as to what level of turnover of that 400 you experience in the course of a year and perhaps three years, just to give us a sense of the difficulty in making sure that that best practices continues to be met.
2543 MS CHINNIAH: So the number of volunteers basically fluctuates between 350 to 400 in any given year. I have rarely seen the numbers go above 400 and I have never seen the numbers go below 350.
2544 So to me that gives me an indication of the kind of fluctuation, the core base of our volunteers, and I think it's actually really the strength of our organization, both programming-wise and just organizationally, is that the core base really doesn't change a lot. We have, seriously, programmers who have been on the air for 30 years, 20 to 30 years with the same show.
2545 So in fact I think one of the mechanisms that we are going to be implementing at this year's AGM, which is in November, which is the sort of reaffirmation of a contract, is a really important thing because of the makeup, the demographic of our organization.
2546 It's not just educating new programmers, which we have great processes in place, but it's also keeping that awareness up for programmers who have been around for a long time.
2547 And that is more of the sort of challenge, I guess, for our organization, is to ensure that those people keep that awareness up and that, you know, new policies, everybody is aware of new policies coming around and that sort of thing.
2548 So for us that step is an important one, to address that core group.
2549 Does that answer your question?
2550 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes, it does. Thank you very much.
2551 In your structure, is there a governance or an oversight group similar to a board of directors or a board of advisors that works with management?
2552 MR. PUGA: I can speak to that. I am Chair of the Board and we have a board of nine people and they are all volunteers within the organization. We do have a spot for a community member as well, sort of a community member at large.
2553 We are all active volunteers within the station and we also have two board liaison people who are board members that regularly meet with staff and also field member concerns, sort of an ombudsman type of role as well.
2554 We also have committees. So we have the Finance Committee, we have the Programming Committee, we have the Membership Outreach Committee, and these committees are made up of staff members and board members and active volunteer members as well.
2555 And this volunteer structure -- these structures create our organization and allow it to function as a professional co-op.
2556 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: You have touched on my next question. Thank you very much.
2557 I was going to ask: In a normal board configuration there's a governance group, a finance group. Is it worth considering, and perhaps part of best practices as it percolates up to the NCRA, that there be a committee tasked with ensuring that best practices are not only met but reviewed from time to time at a level above management so that there is a second source of assurance that this Commission could have that there is oversight at at least two levels? Is that something you would be willing to consider?
2558 MR. PUGA: I think so. Currently that responsibility falls to the board, and the board working with the staff have developed these policies and procedures to have in place.
2559 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I am thinking of this as a board function, as a committee.
2560 MR. PUGA: As a committee, yes. I mean I could see that being something that as an ongoing committee would be something that is nice to have.
2561 I don't know how often they would meet, if it would be one of those -- like our Finance Committee meets once a month and we are now adding to each one of our Finance Committee meetings the review of the calendar policy and procedure that we now have in place.
2562 So in addition to the other committees, I wouldn't -- I can't say for certain that there would be a lot of work for that committee outside of the work the board does, the work the board staff liaison does and the work of the other committees, but it certainly is something that would be another check and balance to us meeting all of our regulatory requirements.
2563 MS CHINNIAH: Can I just ask a clarification on your point?
2564 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes, go ahead.
2565 MS CHINNIAH: Are you sort of proposing sort of a committee of the board -- when you say tasked with best practices, is that sort of reviewing sort of internal policies and procedures that would specifically meet regulations and other kind of governmental regulations?
2566 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I think where I am going with this is that intent is always there but ability sometimes wanes because of a lack of continuity at the operational level. Particularly in a volunteer-based organization it's something that is extremely problematic.
2567 My experience being on a volunteer organization is that continuity. And the one thing you have with government looking over your shoulder is an assurance that there is continuity on our side.
2568 It would seem to me practical to consider -- and I would be interested in your input given that Co-op Radio is a bit of a legacy in the community radio world -- that if you're going to go to the extent of building a best practices solution to not just mitigate but eliminate these continuity errors, that management have a second oversight that perhaps -- I am not trying to do your job for you -- but at least look at best practices policy at least once a year and be satisfied on a more frequent basis that it's being followed by simply asking the question of management.
2569 It seems prudent and perhaps something that can be followed elsewhere as well because of the efforts you are making.
2570 It leads me to my last question, which is: Is Co-op Radio -- I know you're a member of NCRA, but does NCRA have a best practices system like this in place for members to follow?
2571 MS CHINNIAH: I don't know. I know that the services that we have sort of benefited from, from the NCRA, have been a sharing of policies.
2572 So they're sort of a place where community radio stations can share their own policies, even something like, you know, how they format their log sheets, for instance. So those kinds of best practices are shared.
2573 And I know that right now the board at the NCRA is working on kind of a code of conduct, for lack of a better word -- and I know that's part of a CRTC proceeding -- which will in turn, I think, inform best practices in terms of policies that stations adopt, so, you know, kind of minimum standards for policies for other stations.
2574 So I think that definitely there's sort of concrete work. And then just the existence of the NCRA and that kind of networking opportunity has allowed for that opportunity to share with one another what best practices other stations are doing.
2575 As you know, it's an incredibly diverse sector. So various solutions need to meet some sort of specific requirements of different communities, different staff structures, different budgetary requirements and that. But I think given that, I think there has been a lot of support by the NCRA.
2576 Specifically whether there is an oversight structure, I don't know that specific answer.
2577 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Well, it seems to me that -- why I am hinting very heavily that it be looked at and talking through this opportunity to the NCRA, I suppose, but it would seem to me that best practices usually are operational in nature for the betterment of product, and in an instance where you have a very challenged management group in the volunteer space that you're in, you don't have a lot of money to spend on very high-priced regulatory policy people that manage government relations for you and it seems that these two very critical areas are areas that are missed not only by yourself but by others in a similar capacity and need not happen if more oversight, not necessarily more work but just more oversight is had and perhaps shared in terms of the practices you're putting in place with your counterparts across the country.
2578 I will end by saying that one of the difficulties we have in these show cause hearings is that there's not a lot of graduation between a slap on the wrist and capital punishment, which we are looking at, but until that time arrives I would ask that everything be done to avoid this happening again, regardless of the outcome of the decision we make, and lastly to ask you to consider something at a board-type level, and if you choose to submit your thinking to the Commission as to whether this idea has merit and how you might apply it, it might be very helpful in helping us understand but also believe that we are not going to be here again under these circumstances.
2579 Those are my questions. Thank you.
2580 MS CHINNIAH: Thank you.
2581 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Simpson, I think Mr. Patrone has some questions.
2582 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Sorry, Mr. Chair, my questions will be directed at the interveners.
2583 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
2584 Anyone have any questions?
2585 Mr. Patrone, go ahead.
2586 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you.
2587 Go ahead.
2588 THE SECRETARY: I am sorry, Mr. Chairman, we need -- because there is another intervener who is supposed to be appearing via videoconference, we would need a 10-minute break to set that up before we start Phase II.
2589 LE PRÉSIDENT : Alors, avant de commencer ça, Monsieur Gagnon, quelque chose à rajouter?
2590 Madame Roy.
2591 LA SECRÉTAIRE : On peut prendre une pause de 10 minutes avant de commencer la Phase II, s'il vous plaît. On a besoin de faire le setup pour l'autre intervenant.
2592 LE PRÉSIDENT : Merci. Désolé.
--- Upon recessing at 1449
--- Upon resuming at 1503
2593 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madame Roy?
2594 THE SECRETARY: Yeah, Mr. Chairman.
2595 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, I see here you were expecting another Chair. He is taller, better looking, smarter, but you are going to have to settle for me today.
2596 THE CHAIRPERSON: Voila. Merci, Madam Roy.
2597 LA SECRÉTAIRE : Merci.
2598 We will now proceed with Phase II in which intervenors will appear as a panel to present their interventions.
2599 So at the presentation table we have Ms Heather Kitching appearing individually and we have Ms Shelley Robinson and Kim Valliére from the National Campus and Community Radio.
2600 We will have eventually Mr. Irwin Oostindie from W2 Community Media Arts Society appearing via videoconference. He is not there yet but he will get there shortly.
2601 But we will start. We will hear each presentation individually which will then be followed by questions by the panel.
2602 So we will start with Heather Kitching. You may now proceed. You have 10 minutes.
2603 MS KITCHING: Thank you.
2604 Last week the number one song in Vancouver radio was Rolling in the Deep by Adele and according to my sources, six different stations played it a total of 149 times.
2605 And if you take those 149 plays and you multiply them by the three minutes and 54 second duration of that track, you get a song that was played on Vancouver radio last week for over nine and a half hours.
2606 By contrast, the entire number of hours devoted to blues music each week in Vancouver is eight. Three of them are on CRFO.
2607 The total number of hours devoted to world music that is not specific to any one cultural community is six. Two of them are on CFRO.
2608 As far as I know, the total number of hours devoted to Aboriginal programming is eight. Six of those are on CFRO.
2609 CFRO provides Vancouver's only hour of programming for the poor, the only half-hour of programming for people with disabilities, the only half-hour of programming by and for seniors.
2610 And I can probably spend 10 minutes just going through comparisons but my point is we have a broadcasting spectrum in Vancouver that is dominated by commercial stations that do so little for diversity that we have a single pop song getting more airtime than entire genres and entire communities.
2611 So, for me as a radio civilian, it seems absurd that we even have to have a conversation about why CFRO should be allowed to carry on unfettered.
2612 The Broadcasting Act says that our public airwaves should be used to represent Canada's diversity and specifically our multicultural and multiracial diversity, our support for equal rights and recognition of the special place of Aboriginal people in Canadian society.
2613 It also describes a broadcasting spectrum that celebrates our diverse Canadian talent.
2614 CFRO takes care of all of the diverse communities who are not large enough or rich enough or mainstream enough to get service from commercial radio or the CBC and, in fact, it takes care of some of the poorest and most destitute communities of any community station in Canada.
2615 And until three years ago, we expected them to do this without any financial support from the broadcasting system at all and we still expect them to do this without contributing to their operating funds.
2616 So what shocks me is not that they may have dropped the ball occasionally. What shocks me is that they haven't screwed up a lot worse. And I think that you should interpret that as a sign of serious professionalism under the circumstances.
2617 And, yes, even I recognize that a broadcasting licence is a privilege and it comes with certain responsibilities but we, as members of the diverse communities that CFRO serves, have a right under the Broadcasting Act to programming that reflects our realities.
2618 So unless there is a line-up of people that I am not aware of that is just chomping at the bit to run a radio station for communities that can't afford to support it very well, then I urge you instead of punishing CFRO for errors that were quite clearly caused by the financial struggle inherent in its mandate.
2619 Please reward them for their service to the ideals of the Broadcasting Act.
2620 And I'm also asking you to follow through on the leadership that you showed when you established the Community Radio Fund of Canada.
2621 Please continue working with the community radio sector to keep creating and fine tuning solutions to community radio's challenges so that the station can keep doing what it's doing and meeting its obligations to you.
2622 And if I can steal a line from Jack Layton, "Don't stop until the job is done".
2623 Now, here is why I need CFRO.
2624 CFRO and its sister community stations, CITR and CJTF, support the artists that I work with more than any other radio stations in Vancouver.
2625 In the five and a half years that I have had my own company I have had 36 different artists perform in Vancouver. 34 of them have been interviewed or otherwise promoted by CFRO. 20 of those got support from the CBC, zero from commercial radio.
2626 Under the current CBC format -- and I'm not criticizing the CBC here, by the way. They are a wonderful resource but it's almost impossible to get a CBC interview for a developing artist outside his or her hometown. It's a crap shoot whether a host will even have time to mention the artist or play their song.
2627 So when an artist is on tour, which is when they really need support, I call people at CFRO for help.
2628 The people who host shows on CFRO are often centrepieces of their communities. Mel Warner who hosts the Caribbean show, also promotes concerts and events for the Caribbean community; Jack Schuller of What the Folk was the founder and president of Festival Distribution, Canada's largest distributor of independent folk and world music; Paul Norton of What the Folk promotes the Golden Spike Festival and Aedan Saint from Fruit Salad is a former Mr. Gay Vancouver.
2629 So these people have constituencies that listen to what they have to say and, yes, those constituencies may be just a few hundred people. But if you are an independent artist, you can make a living playing to crowds of 100 to 300 people. In fact, that's how most independent artists in this country make a living.
2630 So these programs on CFRO are essential components of the grassroots support network for Canadian Independent Musicians and personally I need this station to help me promote my artists.
2631 I also need this station as a member of the gay community because no matter how many stories about gay issues get broadcast on mainstream radio, CFRO is still the only place in Vancouver besides CITR where I can hear members of my own community talk about issues that matter to me from our own perspective.
2632 It's the station that holds my community leaders to account. It's the station that profiles members of my community, that profiles -- that promotes its artists, that allows us to debate issues that are surfacing in our community, that are off the radar of the mainstream.
2633 For example, CFRO did a wonderful job of refereeing the battle in our community over the role of transsexual women in lesbian organizations. At one point a host of the Lesbian Show interviewed a board member from the local lesbian centre about their refusal to allow transsexual women to serve on the board. That interview caused the board member to change her mind in the middle of the program and apologize to the transsexual community.
2634 There is nobody on mainstream radio that is inside our community enough to be able to do that kind of programming for us.
2635 I also need to know that CFRO's gay shows are there for people in my community who need them more than me. One of the comments I received more than once from listeners to my own show was this: I don't listen to your show anymore because I don't need to. But I used to listen to your show when I was in high school and it helped me to feel connected to the community and it helped me feel like it would be a friendly place to come out to.
2636 I'm sure the hosts of CFRO's Fruit Salad and Lesbian Show hear the same kind of thing.
2637 I will close with a personal reflection.
2638 I was brought up in a fundamentalist school system and I came of age at a time when the public debate over gay and lesbian equality was at a fever pitch. Many commercial radio talk shows at the time were only too happy to exploit that debate and polarize it even farther in an effort to draw in listeners.
2639 I was a guest on a couple of those call-in shows and one of them was so hate-filled that I went home afterwards and I threw up. There was even a commercial Christian radio station on the air at the time that broadcasts almost daily rants about gay rights with no balance at all.
2640 So all this to say that I think that we "diverse people" have been pretty tolerant of commercial radio and its desire to make money from the public airwaves in whatever inane or hurtful or potentially offensive way that it sees fit, but when you start talking about the possibility of taking away a station that gives me two of the four and a half hours of programming a week that speak to my needs as a member of the gay community, I say enough is enough.
2641 Either we all work together to make sure that CFRO continues to thrive or I'm going to be back here demanding a share of Adele's time.
2642 Thank you.
2643 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Ms Kitching.
2644 We will now -- I will now invite Shelley Robinson and Kim Valliére from NCRA. You have 10 minutes for your presentation.
2645 MS ROBINSON: Good afternoon. I appreciate the opportunity to speak today.
2646 I'm Shelley Robinson, the Executive Director of the National Campus and Community Radio Association, l'Association nationale des radios étudiantes et communautaires, also known as NCRA/ANREC.
2647 With me is Kim Valliére, the NCRA's new Membership Coordinator.
2648 The NCRA is a not-for-profit association committed to volunteer-driven, non-profit community-oriented radio across Canada. We have more than 70 licensed members and CFRO is among them.
2649 Our goals are to ensure stability and support for individual stations and promote the long-term growth and effectiveness of the sector. We are here today to support CFRO in their efforts to achieve ongoing regulatory compliance moving forward.
2650 We also want to ensure our other members learn from CFRO's experience.
2651 Finally, we ask the Commission to implement constructive measures based on sector-wide challenges with compliance. We recognize that compliance with legislation and policies is of the utmost importance.
2652 We also appreciate that it is every licensee's responsibility to be fully apprised of its regulatory obligations, and to comply with the Regulations, regardless of their circumstances.
2653 In this case, we believe the focus should be on CFRO's solid governance and the solutions they have implemented to ensure that their regulatory mistakes aren't repeated.
2654 MS VALLIERE: First, a preliminary comment. We mainly communicate with our members from our Ottawa office. We are not at stations, aside from occasional visits. We rely on their staff and boards of directors to apprise us of any issues or problems, solutions and progress. Sometimes this means we base our comments on what we have heard, rather than what we know first-hand.
2655 But in this case the NCRA's Regulatory Affairs Director, Freya Zaltz, was elected on CFRO's board in 2010. For the past year she has been attending the board programming committee and finance committee's meetings, visiting the station and helping draft and implement new policies to address compliance issues.
2656 Although she alone can't guarantee anything, her involvement might help reassure the Commission that the NCRA has direct knowledge of CFRO's efforts to identify and address important issues.
2657 Based on what we have seen, CFRO's governance, structures and policies are functional and strong enough to resolve problems when they arise. Although they are experiencing financial difficulties this isn't new nor is the station in crisis at the moment. Instead, CFRO has steadily improved its internal practices and services and increased its capacity since it was first licensed in 1974.
2658 CFRO has also consistently reached out to groups underrepresented in mainstream media.
2659 For example, Aboriginal programmers produced several locally-relevant programs in several languages.
2660 It's also home to iconic programs like Arts Rational, Red Eye and Radio Vancouver featuring public affairs and local music.
2661 Regarding CFRO's non-compliance with the radio regulations, we know that they and their more than 350 volunteer programmers have consistently made good faith efforts to understand and comply with all requirements. We are informed that CFRO usually exceeds the minimum levels of Canadian content, spoken word and Canadian free music programming.
2662 We believe the instances of non-compliance identified by the Commission haven't illustrated ongoing deficiencies. In each case, CFRO took steps to address the roots of the problem.
2663 For example in 2009, although CFRO's staff collective confirmed that the financial manager filed that year's annual return, they didn't know she filed it late until contacted by the Commission this year.
2664 Then, in 2010, just as annual returns were due, CFRO' subsequent financial manager was terminated for failure to perform her duties. Although CFRO should have filed its annual return on time, we think it significant that other staff did so immediately upon realizing that it might not have been done and submitted a letter with the return explaining the circumstances.
2665 CFRO then made prompt improvements to this oversight mechanism to prevent these problems from reoccurring. This included creating an annual calendar listing all official deadlines which staff review biweekly and the board of directors review bi-monthly, requiring also written proof that each deadline is met on time and providing more training for the financial manager's position.
2666 Regarding CFRO's 2006 Category 2 Canadian content deficiencies, we believe they provided reasonable explanations for the 2.2 percent shortage and took steps to ensure that it will not happen again.
2667 Specifically, the Commission and CFRO assigned the same songs different category specifications. The Commission didn't recognize some original audio sound art productions that CFRO counted as Cancon and a regular volunteer programmer missed one week and his volunteer replacement didn't place sufficient Canadian content.
2668 Regarding the last point, the problem is not unusual in organizations that rely on large numbers of volunteers who face occasional illness and scheduling conflicts.
2669 We believe CFRO took appropriate steps to rectify their situation by requiring all replacement programming by the same genre as regularly scheduled programming, reminding programmers of Canadian content requirements and reviewing logs for compliance more often.
2670 Finally, CFRO's response was similarly prompt in 2004 when their audio logs weren't audible. Within a few months they raised money to replace their outdated VHS logging system with a digital one and they have had reliable quality logs ever since.
2671 CFRO's responses to these issues suggests to us that they are dealing successfully with sector-wide challenges posed by inadequate funding, poor quality equipment, difficulty attracting and retaining experienced staff due to low salaries and a large pool of volunteer programmers who occasionally make mistakes despite excellent training and supervision.
2672 MS ROBINSON: These challenges don't excuse CFRO or any other CNC station from complying with policies and regulations.
2673 However, we ask the Commission to recognize the unique role CNC broadcasters play in the Canadian broadcasting system and to support them in compliance as part of their commitment to their communities. In the recent CNC policy review, the Commission showed a keen interest in ensuring that our stations have sufficient volunteer participation and create diverse and local programming.
2674 We absolutely support these initiatives but we believe they come at a cost.
2675 Diverse local content produced by volunteers can be a messy and time-consuming process and in that case I don't mean messy in a pejorative way. I mean messy in the way that nature is messy, beautifully messy. The more people involved, the more mistakes get made, no matter how comprehensive the station's training and supervision.
2676 CFRO is a leader in this kind of work. It has the most volunteers of any of our members. As far as I know, it has the most volunteers of any campus and community licensed station across the country and it's got an active community structure for people to get involved even beyond the mike.
2677 But monitoring large numbers of volunteers for compliance requires a huge investment of staff time and, as you know, CFRO currently has four part-time staff on a very tight budget. So we would like to see some flexibility in assessment procedures to reflect the realities of our sector.
2678 For instance, the Commission currently monitors one week at a time. That means it requires only a few small errors for a station to fall below the required levels for that week, despite as we have seen, longer term compliance and even over performance.
2679 We further note that CFRO, like many other CNC stations, uses paper logs. This makes it very hard to evaluate in the middle of any given week how compliance is going. This is very different from the sophisticated software programs that are tracking pre-programmed play lists at commercial stations.
2680 So to this end, we believe it would help if the Commission broadened the assessment period to four broadcast weeks for stations found in non-compliance. We think this longer assessment period would more accurately represent station's compliance and illustrate whether the problem is systemic and ongoing or due to a single human error.
2681 Regarding Canadian content, we appreciate the Commission's proposed changes to the Category 3 experimental music definition. This will help.
2682 Further refining contact categories would also address the range of musical diversity played at CNC stations and help avoid unintentional non-compliance in the future.
2683 We would also like to see the Commission take into account how egregious any non-compliance was, the licensee's degree of good faith responsiveness when non-compliance is brought to their attention, their past history in meeting the requirements of that same section of the Regulations.
2684 In each case, we believe CFRO acted as a responsible community broadcaster. We also believe it's important to evaluate the station's effort to ensure ongoing compliance moving forward.
2685 We recommend that after stations make reasonable and effective improvements, previous instances of non-compliance shouldn't be held against them in future proceedings if they haven't reoccurred.
2686 In this proceeding CFRO was asked to show cause why the Commission should not suspend or refuse to renew their broadcasting licence. We strongly discourage the Commission from taking this action.
2687 As you know, on all occasions when CFRO was notified that it was in non-compliance they promptly made effective changes to technology, training, policies and procedures and they have complied with those sections of the Regulations on all subsequent occasions.
2688 Suspending or refusing to renew CFRO's licence would be extremely detrimental and unnecessarily punitive to CFRO's hundreds of volunteer programmers, the communities it serves and its thousands of listeners, the general CNC radio sector of which, as mentioned, CFRO is a legacy station and the larger Canadian broadcasting system.
2689 The Commission also asked whether a mandatory order should be issued requiring CFRO to comply with section 9(2) of the Regulations.
2690 CFRO has already demonstrated their commitment and ability to comply through their actions, so we believe that a mandatory order is not necessary in this case. In fact, we discourage the Commission from issuing mandatory orders to our stations in our sector whenever possible. We think this only increases stations' stress and fear of more severe repercussions, without supporting them to develop better systems to ensure future compliance.
2691 CNC stations want and intend to be fully compliant, but some encounter legitimate challenges. The NCRA is increasingly proactive with our members around compliance issues, and we suggest that the Commission can also support this work by providing clear summaries of regulatory requirements, sample documents, how-to guides and advice, which would be more constructive and effective than punitive measures.
2692 We believe this work will help CFRO and other CNC stations as they continue to offer diverse, high-quality local programming, while meeting the regulatory requirements. It also ensures that all three sectors of Canadian broadcasting are healthy and vibrant.
2693 Thank you.
2694 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. We appreciate your evaluation, opinions, recommendations, and defence of CFRO. We have a lot of work to do. From what I understand, we are doing everything wrong.
2695 That being said, we do have to take a two-minute technical break. Thanks.
2696 THE SECRETARY: We now have the videoconference in Vancouver, and Mr. Irwin Oostindie is on the screen from W2 Community Media Arts Society.
2697 Hi. How are you? Can you hear us well?
2698 MR. OOSTINDIE: Yes, thank you very much.
2699 THE SECRETARY: You will have ten minutes for your presentation, and you may now proceed.
2700 MR. OOSTINDIE: Good afternoon, panellists. I am speaking in regard to the hearing for Vancouver Co-op Radio, and on behalf of W2 Community Media Arts Society. Thank you for this opportunity to present directly with you.
2701 I would like to humbly suggest that a renewal of the community radio station's licence is an appropriate outcome for the deliberations today, and that the renewal reflect a normal period of time, without limits or temporary status attached.
2702 W2 is opening Canada's first cross-media community centre in the Woodward's media hub, adjacent to SFU's School for Contemporary Arts and the National Film Board.
2703 Some of you have followed our progress to build W2 over the past seven years, and I am pleased to inform you that just last week, on Friday, we received legal occupancy for our multi-platform studio, following the completion of $1.1 million in tenant improvements.
2704 W2 is comprised of several B.C.-based community media stakeholders, including Vancouver Co-operative Radio. In fact, Co-op Radio joined W2 back in 2006 and has been a member in good standing of W2 throughout these years that we have developed. Co-op Radio has regularly had Board members from the Co-op Board sit on the W2 Board, and they have been active participants in setting policies, programs and development.
2705 Co-op Radio members have also assisted in forecasting and planning for the cross-media environment that we are creating here at W2.
2706 On a personal note, I also want to say that I started as a volunteer programmer at Co-op Radio in 1986, co-producing a youth radio program, a mixture of culture and current affairs that enjoyed strong listenership across the Lower Mainland.
2707 Over the years since, I have been continually inspired by Co-op Radio's senior role in community broadcasting in western Canada, and by the commitment of its staff and volunteers to deliver a stable operation.
2708 Co-op Radio has inspired W2, it has inspired me personally, and it has assisted us along the way.
2709 As the vision for W2 has grown, fuelled by the passion of volunteers from Co-op Radio and other local community media partners, we recognized the critical nature that audio broadcasts perform in the continuum of cross-media. The multi-platform service delivery that we have designed includes Co-op Radio, and our success relies on Co-op Radio delivering its on-air FM signal to our community media producers.
2710 Co-op Radio is integral to W2's success.
2711 We are currently in discussions to broadcast a live morning radio program, for example, from W2's large public atrium, which has a 500-person capacity, which will connect the public to an accessible morning radio program, produced in front of a live audience.
2712 As well, live public events will routinely take place in W2's 200-capacity cross-media lab, and will be televised on Shaw Cable and Novus Cable, while potentially being simulcast on Co-op Radio's signal.
2713 When we have publicly launched the cross-media broadcasting lab, W2 will host cultural and current affairs events in front of these live audiences, for broadcast on Co-op's signal.
2714 As an example, to visualize this practically, this weekend we are celebrating Vancouver's 125th Anniversary, and we are looking at diverse stories of immigrants and First Nations.
2715 On Sunday we are hosting a panel discussion about the Komagata Maru incident, a boat which sailed into Vancouver's harbour 97 years ago.
2716 We will have both live panellists in our cross-media lab, as well as videoconference presenters, such as Ali Kazimi from York University.
2717 All of these voices will make for a compelling panel in front of the live audience. This is something that can then also be listened to live on the airwaves, with FM listeners at home Tweeting in their responses and questions on the web interface and to the panellists.
2718 As shown with this example, W2's cross-media lab is an ideal model for community-based media centres across the country, but it is also Co-op Radio's FM signal and audience reach that really anchors these live events and shares them with Vancouverites eager to understand more about Vancouver's 125th Anniversary.
2719 The cross-media environment really only works, ostensibly, with our model with an FM signal backing it.
2720 As we merge into multi-platform standards, we rely on Co-op Radio's senior leadership in our sector, its well-managed and stable operation, and its visionary leadership, which helped W2 become a reality.
2721 Co-op Radio's training systems, in particular with people facing the digital divide, are a model for W2, and from the satellite studio that Co-op Radio will enjoy at W2, we anticipate more training to happen, and hundreds more British Columbians will be provided access to our robust cross-media platform and dissemination, thanks to Co-op Radio's training systems that we are modelling from.
2722 W2 is proud of its association with Co-op Radio, and we celebrate the capacity-building work that Co-op Radio has done with numerous population groups, which would have otherwise never have had their stories heard within their communities.
2723 Co-op Radio continues to play a critical role in the airing of programming and culture that is so vital to our civil society and a healthy democracy.
2724 W2 is excited to share the future with Co-op Radio, and we propose that a stable and normal length of licence renewal will enable Co-op Radio and W2 to plan into our shared future.
2725 Thank you very much.
2726 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
2727 Commissioner Patrone...
2728 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
2729 Thank you all for your presentations this afternoon, I very much appreciate them. It is great hearing a spirited and passionate defence of community radio.
2730 I can tell you that we recognize, too, the importance of the sector as one of the main pillars of the system in this country, so that message has come across. In a way, you are preaching to the converted on that front.
2731 I do have a few questions regarding your presentations this afternoon, and I will start with Ms Kitching.
2732 You said during your oral presentation, in the middle of page 1: "It seems absurd to me that we even have to have a conversation about whether CFRO should be allowed to carry on unfettered."
2733 I am wondering, what is your definition of "unfettered"? What do you mean?
2734 MS KITCHING: If I understand the purpose of the hearing correctly, one of the possibilities on the table is renewing their licence for a limited term, so that's what I meant by unfettered, without a probationary term limit on their licence.
2735 I don't see why they shouldn't receive a full-term licence renewal, as opposed to a probationary licence term.
2736 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Obviously you are aware that they are regulated.
2737 MS KITCHING: Of course. Yes, I am aware that they are regulated, and I did not intend to imply that they should not be regulated.
2738 That is what I meant by unfettered, was just that...
2739 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay. You say as well that the problems of non-compliance -- if I am correctly paraphrasing your presentation, and correct me if I am not -- are caused mainly by financial pressures.
2740 MS KITCHING: Resources. Yes, financial/resource pressures. I believe that is what the applicant said as well.
2741 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: The vast majority of community stations are in compliance.
2742 MS KITCHING: I think it is important not to assume that you can talk about community radio stations as though they are interchangeable. Most community radio stations are located on university campuses, for starters, and a lot of those stations are subsidized by funds from levies on student fees --
2743 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: The campus stations.
2744 MS KITCHING: Yes, exactly.
2745 -- so a lot of campus community stations have a lot more resources at their disposal to begin with. But those stations are also located in areas that don't give them the same opportunity that CFRO has to serve some of the most marginalized communities.
2746 If you compare CFRO to the station that I used to be involved with in Vancouver, which is CITR, CITR is located at UBC, which is actually in Point Grey, which is one of the richest neighbourhoods of Vancouver. It is a 45-minute bus ride from the Downtown Eastside, which is where CFRO is located. It is probably no surprise that you don't have programming on CITR that reflects some of those really marginalized communities that CFRO provides programming for.
2747 CFRO is located in, literally, the poorest neighbourhood of Canada. They have succeeded in getting communities on the air that virtually no other community station has successfully given a voice to.
2748 So it's not surprising to me that a lot of other stations can raise the funds to meet their needs and that CFRO struggles, because there is a direct correlation between the communities that you serve and the amount of money that you are able to raise.
2749 The fact that they do what they do for the communities they serve is astonishing to me.
2750 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: If I follow your logic, you feel that the lack of available resources should be a mitigating factor, in terms of how we regulate.
2751 In other words, we should look at their balance sheet and say: Well, you are hard up for cash, we will let you off this time.
2752 Is that where you are going?
2753 MS KITCHING: What I am saying -- and, again, I refer to myself as a radio civilian. I am not part of the NCRA, I am not involved in your discussions with community radio, but what I'm saying is that diverse communities under the Broadcasting Act have a right to hear programming like the programming that CFRO produces and I'm asking you to -- it doesn't really concern me so much how you do it, it concerns me that it continues to be able to be done.
2754 So whether you do it by being more lenient in the way that you enforce the regulations with these stations, whether you do it by expanding the mandate of the Community Radio Fund to provide some operating help to these stations to make sure they can meet their needs.
2755 You know, you guys are the experts on what the best way is to make sure that gets done --
2756 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Now, that's a bit of a cop out now, Ms Kitching. I mean, come on, help me out here.
2757 MS KITCHING: Okay.
2758 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You are suggesting that we do something, but you are not saying how. For instance --
2759 MS KITCHING: Well, I don't think it's a cop out --
2760 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: -- there are many members of the sector that --
2761 MS KITCHING: -- to ask the CRTC to make sure that --
2762 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: There are many -- excuse me.
2763 MS KITCHING: -- the Broadcasting Act gets --
2764 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Excuse me. There are many members of your sector who are in compliance --
2765 MS KITCHING: Right.
2766 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: -- and they face financial struggles as well.
2767 How do we deal with issues of non-compliance when you are talking about, say, matter involving annual reports or logger tapes or all these things that we as a regulator are mandated to regulate?
2768 MS KITCHING: Well, I do think that, you know, you should weigh the impact or the seriousness of the infraction against the importance of the service to the ideals of the Broadcasting Act. I do think that that's a reasonable request --
2769 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay.
2770 MS KITCHING: -- and under the circumstances I'm saying that CFRO -- in fact I think I said precisely that in my written submission -- I do think that CFRO's service to the ideals of the Broadcasting Act is so outrageously great that it completely dwarfs the impact of its regulatory infractions.
2771 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: So this is much ado about nothing as far as you are concerned? In other words, you view these as pretty minor offenses that we should overlook as a result of the fact that, as you say, they provide the kind of programming that is necessary in a very poor community?
2772 MS KITCHING: Yes.
2773 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I'm paraphrasing.
2774 MS KITCHING: That is what I'm saying. Yes.
2775 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I'm trying to paraphrase you.
2776 MS KITCHING: Yes.
2777 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I just want to make sure I understand.
2778 MS KITCHING: Okay. Yes, that is what I'm saying and I will point out that in particular respects to the Canadian content infraction, I'm telling you this as a member of the Canadian music industry who represents Canadian artists, and I'm telling you that CFRO's service to Canadian musicians is far -- like it's so huge that that little mistake it made with Canadian content is of no concern to me whatsoever.
2779 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: But can you appreciate that it's a concern to us?
2780 MS KITCHING: I appreciate that it's a concern to you, but I'm coming to you as, you know, somebody who is a member of several communities that are served by CFRO and saying that, you know, you seem to be -- like what I perceive is that you guys are -- you are getting really strict and wanting to crack down on regulatory infractions. I would appreciate it if you were just as strict about enforcing those ideals of the Broadcasting Act that guarantee people like me representation on the airwaves, because I feel like there is some imbalance in priorities going on.
2781 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay. All right. Thank you.
2782 Ms Robinson and your colleague, whose name I'm sorry I don't have.
2783 MS ROBINSON: Ms Valliére.
2784 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Ms Valliére. Welcome.
2785 I have a couple of questions regarding your presentation as well.
2786 What's the best way for other stations to learn from CFRO's regulatory experience, as you mentioned in your submission?
2787 MS ROBINSON: Yes. So there are lots of ways for that to happen.
2788 One of the ways that is already in the works is that at our upcoming conference, which is hosted by CKDU in Halifax in June, we have a session -- well, we have a whole track of compliance sessions, number one, so that stations -- and CRTC staff are coming to some of them, Industry Canada are coming to some of them, and we are also running our own -- but specific to the case of CFRO there is one session that is going over the case of CFRO and saying what happened? How did they address it? How can you make sure that this doesn't happen to your station? So it's a very overt way that we are doing it.
2789 Additionally, we have a policy exchange on our website and it has been up, I don't know, a couple of months now, and so as stations develop good policies, which is in line with what Commissioner Simpson was talking about, best practices, those are shared in a very direct way.
2790 Also, CFRO has been having these discussions, and our members have been having a lot of discussions around CFRO on our LISTSERV and so what's happening is that people send -- in fact yesterday a programmer from CIVL, which is a station in Abbotsford, sent out a program log and said, "Here's what we are thinking of our new program log, can everyone else tell us what you think? Does this fit will all the requirements?" Freya Zaltz, our Regulatory Affairs Director, said, "Here's how it is, you could tweak it a little bit this way", other stations said, "Here's how we do it, different layouts." So that's another way.
2791 Additionally, we share a lot of these resources so that they see --
2792 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay.
2793 MS ROBINSON: Yes. So there's all kinds of ways that they learn.
2794 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: On issues like logger tapes, annual filings, do you have any thoughts about how we should deal with these if for instance we don't do it in the way that we usually do, I mean insofar as organizations like CFRO are concerned and dealing with --
2795 MS ROBINSON: How you could deal differently with annual returns for instance?
2796 Is that what you are asking?
2797 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Well, that seems to be the message vis-à-vis -- do you have any issues, as Ms Kitching does, regarding our compliance, a way of trying to get compliance from our members? Should it -- go ahead.
2798 MS ROBINSON: Okay. Well, in the case of annual returns a lot of what the NCRA does is we don't think -- our focus is not actually how the Commission has done things wrong, our focus is how we can strengthen our internal processes.
2799 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay.
2800 MS ROBINSON: So for instance November 1st every year, like I said -- and this is certainly true in my time, so I have been the Executive Director for a year -- we are getting more and more proactive with regulatory and compliance matters. So November 1st next year we are going to send something out to members that will trigger and say, "Did you get your annual returns? Did you have questions?"
2801 I also know from my colleagues representing ARC du Canada and ARC du Québec this past year that there were some problems both with the access key filing system, which our members also had problems with, and with some of the French translations. So being able to -- and, like Leela referenced, getting out ahead of things so that even if there are problems we have that time to address them. So again, that's on our side.
2802 I think François Côté from ARC du Canada spoke to maybe changing some of the way that the reporting is done to better reflect the revenue of our station and how that works and so that's certainly something we are open to.
2803 But for annual returns I would say it's mostly about us trying to get the word out.
2804 We have been working a lot with CRTC staff to make sure that -- so we are producing a series of sort of regulatory plain language one-sheets and so we have hired a summer student who is going to be our regulatory support coordinator to develop those. We now have Kim as our membership coordinator who can call and follow up with stations. It's just been me in the office for the last year.
2805 So what that means is that, number one, we can remind stations, we have a newsletter. Number two, we will have plain language information for them to do it and we have been working with Commission staff so that we know that the information we are sending out is correct on the Commission side.
2806 So honestly, most of our concerns are about what we can do better.
2807 The things that we want the Commission to change or refine are the things that we said in our presentation, so that would be about assessment periods for those found in non-compliance and potentially looking at changing some of the musical categories, but in fact we feel like over the last couple of years the Commission has been coming -- doing all kinds of things that make it easier for a sector, so you dropped the spoken word requirement from 25, for many stations, to 15 local. That was great.
2808 I'm trying to think. You changed the mandate, you unified the policies. We are pretty happy.
2809 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: One of the recommendations that was heard earlier was to overshoot the level of Cancon for instance in order to ensure that they meet --
2810 MS ROBINSON: Yes.
2811 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: -- in case something happens in the course of the programming.
2812 MS ROBINSON: Yes. Absolutely.
2813 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Isn't that kind of standard operating practice anyway? I mean it's seems pretty -- and I have seen circumstances where commercial stations fail to do that, too, but doesn't everybody know that?
2814 MS ROBINSON: Well, two things I would say about Canadian content and that people know.
2815 The first would be there are lots of -- to some degree that gets back to Leela's point about educating, especially educating people who have been in the sector a long time. It's very easy for people who know, oh, it's 35 percent. They feel like they have dipped down one week, but they feel like other people will make it up, so it's cultivating that culture of everyone over performing. So I think that's really important.
2816 I know some stations are trying to develop software that will flash if a show goes under and then they will know, "My show went under", so then they can inform staff. So that's really important.
2817 I also think that when you are talking about -- when you are aggregating to 400 volunteers for instance it's very -- it's like littering, it's very easy for people to think "It's just me", so that kind of level of small infraction builds up to be a problem. So again, it's that changing the culture.
2818 So my second point on that would be that's part of our argument for why we want to keep Canadian content where it is so that we can encourage stations to over perform as they do and then they will consistently be doing a good job and complying.
2819 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay. That's fair enough. I think you have pretty much answered my questions as far as your presentation is concerned.
2820 Mr. Oostindie -- am I pronouncing your name correctly either?
2821 MR. OOSTINDIE: Oostindie.
2822 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I don't want you to think I have forgotten about you. Thank you for your presentation.
2823 I was just curious about, you have I guess an interesting relationship with the sector, right. You are not necessarily part of the sector yourself, but you liaise with it and there is sort of content that is accessed.
2824 Can you --
2825 MR. OOSTINDIE: Yes. We sort of sit somewhere between the community access TV and the community radio and the interactive media. It's the new field.
2826 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: As you are aware, this is about compliance and I didn't hear a whole lot about your views regarding that. I heard a lot about, you know, what a good thing the sector does, the good work that it does in relation to what you do, do you have any thoughts directly related to how best to ensure compliance in such a way as --
2827 MR. OOSTINDIE: Yes. I think --
2828 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: -- it is not overly onerous, as Ms Kitching has suggested?
2829 MR. OOSTINDIE: Yes, and I appreciate your comments about being an advocate and a fan of the sector.
2830 I think that any toolkits, any templates are a really practical tool. I think the work that the NCRA is doing in ensuring that their membership has access to these toolkits, any ability -- I wouldn't say -- I think leniency is the wrong term, I think any systems that the CRTC can have in place for your staff to be accessible and delivering templates and kind of best practices summaries using systems like Blog so that the sector can look at templates and model stories and kind of always be pushing for that best practices, those best practices outcomes.
2831 I think my comments were really that I wanted to make sure that the Panel understood that our work in building W2 and our work in interactive media has been very much grounded in Co-op Radio and recognizing that Co-op Radio has -- I actually see it has a tremendous amount of capacity.
2832 I guess I have a little bit of a different perspective than the previous speakers in that I see Co-op Radio has tremendous staff resources, board resources, programmer resources and our organization has certainly benefitted from that resilience and that capacity that Co-op Radio has.
2833 So I just wanted to make that point that I think in terms of improvements of systems, I think Co-op Radio has responded to those, from what I understand. Before I presented to you I did meet with staff and Board because I wanted to make sure that our organization and our Board was fully -- that we had the full confidence of Co-op Radio's leadership team and we think Co-op Radio is doing an excellent job and we are very proud of our association with them and have a lot of trust in their systems and their staff and their leadership team.
2834 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay. Well, thank you very much.
2835 I want to thank all of you for your presentations and answering my questions as well as you did. So thank you and good afternoon.
2836 Mr. Chairman...?
2837 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you all so much.
2838 Madam Lamarre. And Commissioner Simpson as well. Very well.
2839 Madam Lamarre.
2840 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
2841 Ms Robinson, listening to your presentation I cannot help myself but critique it a little bit because -- for lack of a better word I cannot find in English -- I'm a little bit agaceé by a couple of paragraphs in your presentation.
2842 Up until paragraph 19 you are doing a very good job of defending CFRO and their track record, but when you get into paragraphs 20, 21 and 22 I get the feeling you are trying to have us revisit the policy we just adopted last year.
2843 Having been on the Panel that reviewed the community and campus radio policy I must say I don't think this was either the place or time to bring it up. So I thought I would let you know how I feel about it, it was only fair that I did.
2844 Not that I'm not sympathetic to the issues you bring forward, but I really think that today is CFRO's day in court and that there may have been another appropriate moment to bring it up.
2845 Continuing on, you then go into paragraph and forward saying that what the Commission should take into account in assessing non-compliance, for example the licensee's degree of good faith in responding to non-compliance, and all of that.
2846 So if I may ask you a question: Do you have any doubt that a show-cause hearing like today is exactly what it's all about?
2847 MS ROBINSON: No, absolutely not. I think we just wanted to underscore the idea that it's not something that the station or the NCRA takes lightly and just is like here to try and put on a show, but that this is a very serious thing and so we want that good faith to be recognized.
2848 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Okay.
2849 MS ROBINSON: That's it, yes.
2850 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Fair enough. Fair enough.
2851 Now, in paragraph 29 of your presentation you suggest ways that the Commission could support the work of community radios or NCRA, because when you say:
"We suggest that the Commission can also support this work by providing clear summaries of regulatory requirements..."
2852 My initial reaction is to think, well, that's your Association's role to do that.
2853 MS ROBINSON: So what are we asking for?
2854 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Yes, what are you asking for?
2855 MS ROBINSON: Right. Fair question.
2856 So I think in some cases we are asking for more of the same. So, as I talked about, we have been working with Commission staff on developing our own things and having that feedback. We want to keep that going.
2857 Additionally, when the Commission set up the small undertakings line, that was a really big step and it meant that stations could call and ask very basic questions without fearing that they got the language wrong.
2858 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Yes. That was my next comment.
2859 MS ROBINSON: Yes.
2860 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: So you are fully aware of that also, okay.
2861 MS ROBINSON: Oh, and we direct our members to it all the time. I call them all the time.
2862 So it's not that we are saying, again, that it's a deficiency, but just that we like that work and the more of that that can happen, the better.
2863 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Okay. Well, thank you.
2864 Those were all my questions.
2865 THE CHAIRPERSON: Merci, la Conseillére Lamarre.
2866 Monsieur le Conseillére Simpson.
2867 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you very much.
2868 I just wanted to clarify one point. I'm addressing the NCRA here.
2869 I had slightly misspoken when I was referring to a committee at a Board level of CFRO. I had said that this committee would be tasked with the best practices. I was really thinking more about being tasked with oversight of regulatory policy compliance, because the two are different --
2870 MS ROBINSON: Right.
2871 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- one being operational and I just wanted to clarify that.
2872 For the sake of Ms Kitching, for all the things that we find at fault with the conduct of community radio, I do entirely agree with you that for all the things that are wrong seldom are heard kudos for all the things they get right.
2873 With the tremendous work of all volunteers in community radio I echo Commissioner Patrone's remarks that you are preaching to the converted because it is a staple of the industry here and their work is very professional and very much appreciated by the Commission and I would like to go on record as saying that.
2874 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. I have to second that emotion.
2875 You did a great job defending CFRO, we appreciate you coming down.
2876 Madam la Secrétaire.
2877 THE SECRETARY: This concludes Phase II. We only need two or three minutes --
2878 THE CHAIRPERSON: A five-minute technical break.
2879 THE SECRETARY: -- to get Vancouver Co-op set up again for their reply.
2880 THE CHAIRPERSON: A five-minute technical break.
2881 THE SECRETARY: Yes.
2882 LE PRÉSIDENT: Merci.
--- Upon recessing at 1554
--- Upon resuming at 1602
2883 THE SECRETARY: Mr. Chairman, we are ready to proceed with Phase III, in which the licensee can reply to all interventions.
2884 We have again Ms Chinniah and Mr. Puga via videoconference.
2885 You may now proceed. You have 10 minutes for your reply.
2886 MS CHINNIAH: I just wanted to appreciate the time that our intervenors took to make comments in support of the station, particularly when Ms Kitching was speaking about the leadership that the CRTC has taken in terms of working with community radio stations, with the community radio sector, which was also highlighted by the NCRA presentation where they were talking about making constructive measures.
2887 We really support that and we appreciate the comments and the recommendations Commissioner Simpson was making as well in kind of a proactive approach.
2888 Also, with W2's presentation in terms of highlighting the future visioning that the station is taking and working with other community groups.
2889 So in that light we are welcoming improving our oversight structures.
2890 Just to highlight some of the oversight structures in place right now are things such as -- as we mentioned in our presentation, we have this new calendar and policy whereby ever single meeting of the Board and staff, so every single level of governance at the station there is an oversight in terms of all regulatory deadlines. That is with the CRTC Regulations as well as other government bodies.
2891 Again, we have complied a list of the regulations, the policies that pertain to meeting those regulations and currently our programming committee is doing a review of our programming policy. So, for example, things like our profanity policy, while it is completely in line with the regulations, we feel that it needs to be clarified further so that it is clearer for programmers in terms of which words are not okay to say and what times.
2892 We are also as an organization reviewing our rules, which for a co-op are the same as our by-laws, so again that is another oversight structure that we are looking at trying to improve our best practices at an organizational level.
2893 Every year our Board of Directors and staff have a retreat and every year we do organizational development work. So that's another example of some of the work we are doing in terms of looking at our practices, seeing what's not working, what needs to be improved, and we are undergoing staff evaluations as well in order to improve -- to have oversight in terms of what stuff functions are doing.
2894 With that I think we have some structures in place for those oversight, but we also are very open to working on improving those and making that even better.
2895 MR. PUGA: So, as Leela has said, we are looking forward to discussing this further with the Commission and during our first break here we scheduled a meeting with Commissioner Simpson to discuss the Board-type committee for best practices in discussing the oversight of regulatory policy and we are hoping we can discuss things along the lines of improvements to the systems that we have now in place.
2896 Sharing resources, both with the CRTC and with the wider community radio sector; ensuring that our requirements are met; dealing with our lack of continuity in our organization; and this is another example of some of the proactive work that we are doing with our policies and procedures in order to be fully compliant.
2897 We look forward to addressing these concerns with the Commission and I would really like to thank you for your time today and for the opportunity to appear via videoconferencing. This has been a great experience for our organization and, as I mentioned earlier, the videoconferencing ability to present by videoconferencing was something that we just couldn't afford to send a representative out, so we very much appreciate that. We very much appreciate your time and your consideration.
2898 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you very much.
2899 I have no further questions of you at this stage of the hearing, other than to thank you for a very effective presentation and a very effective intervenor that appeared on your behalf and to also thank you on behalf of the Commission for not finding it necessary to have the other 97 intervenors appear at this hearing.
2900 Thank you very much.
2901 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you very much. We appreciate you appreciating it so much.
2902 Have a great day.
2903 Madam la Secrétaire.
2904 THE SECRETARY: So this completes Phase III and we will be convening tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m.
2905 THE CHAIRPERSON: Nine a.m.
2906 Thank you. Bye-bye.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1608, to resume on Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 0900
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