Volume 2, 20 June 2012
TRANSCRIPTION OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
To consider the broadcasting applications listed in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2012-224 and 2012-224-1
140 Promenade du Portage
20 June 2012
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 2012-224 and 2012-224-1
Shari FisherLegal Counsel
Michael CraigHearing Manager
140 Promenade du Portage
20 June 2012
- iv -
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
6. Radio Charlesbourg/Haute St-Charles 252 / 1504
7. Aboriginal Voices Radio314 / 1931
1. Assembly of First nations487 / 3157
2. National Indigenous Media Association of Canada499 / 3230
7. Aboriginal Voices Radio 508 / 3321
- vi -
PAGE / PARA
Undertaking478 / 3069
Undertaking513 / 3352
Undertaking514 / 3363
Undertaking515 / 3378
Undertaking517 / 3394
Undertaking517 / 3397
Undertaking517 / 3403
--- Upon resuming on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 0910
1495 LA SECRÉTAIRE : Bon matin. Nous débuterons aujourd'hui avec l'article 6 à l'ordre du jour. Il s'agit d'une demande présentée par Radio Charlesbourg/Haute St-Charles en vue de renouveler la licence de radiodiffusion de l'entreprise de programmation de radio communautaire de langue française CIMI-FM Charlesbourg, qui expire le 31 août 2012.
1496 Le Conseil est concerné que la station pourrait être en non-conformité avec le Règlement de 1986 sur la radio en ce qui concerne les rapports annuels et autres informations demandées par le Conseil.
1497 Le Conseil s'inquiète aussi du fait que le titulaire ne semble pas satisfaire au mandat d'une station de radio communautaire, tel qu'énoncé dans l'avis public 2000-13, ayant en apparence cessé de diffuser et ayant en apparence échoué de remettre la station en ondes.
1498 À la lumière de ses situations apparentes de non-conformité, le Conseil s'attend à ce que le titulaire démontre à cette audience les raisons pour lesquelles :
1499 - une ordonnance ne devrait pas être émise, en vertu de l'article 12 de la Loi sur la radiodiffusion, obligeant le titulaire à se conformer au Règlement et à la politique réglementaire de radiodiffusion 2010-499;
1500 - sa licence devrait être renouvelée;
1501 - si sa licence est renouvelée, pourquoi elle ne devrait pas être renouvelée pour une courte durée; et
1502 - pourquoi sa licence ne devrait pas être suspendue ou révoquée en vertu des articles 9 et 24 de la Loi.
1503 Je vous prierais de bien vouloir vous présenter et de présenter vos collègues, et vous avez 20 minutes pour votre présentation. Merci.
1504 M. DUMAIS : Bonjour, membres du Conseil. Nous sommes très honorés de pouvoir venir faire nos représentations ici aujourd'hui.
1505 Alors, je vais... Messieurs et Mesdames les Commissaires, c'est avec plaisir que je me présente devant vous.
1506 Je me nomme M. Jean-François Dumais. Je suis un membre de la station CIMI-FM 103,7, aussi son nom d'origine qui est... c'est une raison sociale de la Radio Charlesbourg/Haute St-Charles.
1507 Je suis un Charlesbourgeois, je demeure à Charlesbourg, puis je suis fier aujourd'hui de venir vous expliquer l'histoire de CIMI puis qu'est-ce qui s'est passé avec cette station-là au cours des dernières années, puis qu'est-ce qui fait en sorte qu'on pense qu'elle doit avoir encore une chance de survivre.
1508 Au cours d'une assemblée... d'un procès-verbal d'une assemblée des membres, qui a eu lieu il y a deux jours, le 17 juin -- c'est tout frais -- en tant que membre, j'ai été nommé comme président de l'assemblée annuelle, et au point 8 du document que vous avez en main, j'ai été délégué ici, avec monsieur Bergeron, qui est administrateur sur le conseil d'administration, et M. Paul Biron, qui n'est pas là aujourd'hui -- il est remplacé par le président de la station, qui est M. Denis Bussière -- pour vous faire la présente... pour représenter CIMI.
1509 Alors, je vais vous présenter les gens qui sont avec moi.
1510 En partant de la gauche vers la droite ou de votre droite, c'est M. Ghislain Sinjoui Tao(ph). Monsieur Tao est un Charlesbourgeois qui a obtenu l'information sur la reprise d'existence ou le projet de redémarrer CIMI. On a mis une annonce dans le journal parce que...
1511 En passant, je vais faire un petit bémol.
1512 La semaine passée, le 8 juin, la station s'est vue remettre... la station a été remise entre les mains des administrateurs par le syndic. La station tentait de se restructurer, avait déposé une proposition concordataire dans le cadre de la Loi sur la faillite et l'insolvabilité, et puis, dans ce contexte-là, c'était le syndic qui avait la seizième de la station. La station a été remise le 8 juin entre les mains de ses administrateurs. Le syndic s'est désisté avec la permission du séquestre.
1513 Vous avez une lettre à cet effet-là vous expliquant que... qui est écrit par le notaire Jean-Charles Garant, que vous avez dans vos pièces, qui explique un peu.
1514 Vous avez aussi le jugement de la Cour supérieure de février 2009 ainsi que l'ordonnance que j'avais même, moi-même, signé l'affidavit en 2008. Vous avez une ordonnance qui avait été rendue le 22 août 2008 par la juge Anne Piché dans l'affaire de faillite de Radio Charlesbourg/Haute St-Charles.
1515 Je vous ai mis quelques pages là juste pour que vous ayez un résumé puis un peu la preuve qu'on ne vous conte pas des histoires aujourd'hui puis qu'il y a vraiment eu une proposition concordataire qui a été faite.
1516 Par la suite, lorsque le syndic nous a remis la station... La station n'est pas en opération depuis 2009, fin 2008, et puis depuis décembre 2008, janvier 2009, et puis la station, il n'y a pas eu d'activités. C'est pour ça que vous n'avez pas de rapport annuel.
1517 Présentement, nous avons mis une annonce pour annoncer qu'on allait faire une assemblée annuelle lorsque le syndic nous a remis la station le 8 juin. Dès le lendemain matin, nous avons fait une réunion du conseil des administrateurs qui est en place.
1518 Nous avons été récupérés nos équipements qui étaient saisis par le gouvernement au CRDI de Québec. C'est un immeuble là où l'antenne est située, qui est situé à Charlesbourg sur le haut de la montagne. C'est un immeuble qui appartient au gouvernement. Le CRDI était en train de mettre des annonces dans les journaux pour faire vendre cet équipement-là. Ça faisait quelques années que l'équipement était là puis ne servait pas.
1519 On a été prendre possession de l'équipement. Il a fallu payer tous les frais d'entreposage, plus la toiture qui avait été endommagée et tout ça.
1520 On a mis une annonce dans le journal. Je reviens où est-ce que j'étais rendu. On a mis une annonce dans le journal, et puis monsieur Ghislain, lui, qui est ici présent, a répondu à l'annonce. Il s'est présenté à l'assemblée des membres, puis il a demandé de s'impliquer. Il a eu un intérêt. Vu qu'il vient de Charlesbourg, il ressent le besoin là que cette station-là survive. Alors, on a accepté qu'il soit élu comme nouveau membre du conseil d'administration. Alors, il n'était pas là depuis 2008.
1521 Si vous regardez au niveau du registre des entreprises du Québec, vous avez un document dans les documents qu'on vous a remis, vous avez la liste des administrateurs qui sont en place depuis... À la dernière page du document, vous avez une déclaration modificative qui a été déposée au mois de septembre 2008. Ensuite, il y a des déclarations annuelles 2007, 2008, qui ont été déposées le 23 janvier 2009.
1522 Or, dans le cadre de la déclaration modificative du 24 septembre 2008, c'est à ce moment-là qu'avait été transmis les administrateurs, la liste des administrateurs au niveau des registraire des entreprises du Québec. C'est un peu l'instance au Québec qui tient à jour au niveau des entreprises qui sont les administrateurs. Par contre, je crois que ça n'avait pas été fait correctement au niveau du CRTC à ce moment-là.
1523 Ça fait que je vous explique que monsieur Ghislain est intervenu. Maintenant, il est administrateur.
1524 Par la suite, vous avez M. Denis Bussière, qui est président de la station puis qui est en place depuis 2008, qui est ici présent. Monsieur Bussière demeure à Manseau. Toutefois, ses enfants demeurent à Québec. Il a un fils qui s'appelle Mark qui s'implique beaucoup dans Charlesbourg puis qui est intéressé par la station.
1525 Vous avez M. Stéphane Bergeron, qui est là aussi depuis 2008, qui a... Ça été l'interlocuteur principal qui a parlé avec le CRTC, qui a écrit au CRTC au cours des dernières communications que vous avez eues avec CIMI au cours des dernières années.
1526 Ensuite, il y a moi, qui était simplement un membre. Je n'ai jamais été administrateur. Par contre, je me suis impliqué au niveau de l'intérêt de la station au début lorsque l'entreprise avait décidé de... parce que lorsque...
1527 Je vais vous expliquer plus tard l'histoire de CIMI rapidement. Je vais vous faire un bref résumé. Vous allez comprendre qu'est-ce qui s'est passé. Puis à ce moment-là, vous allez mieux comprendre mon intervention puis qu'est-ce que j'ai fait là-dedans. Je vais remettre ça à plus tard parce que ça va être dans l'explication de l'histoire.
1528 Vous avez, ici à ma droite, M. Aidan O'Neill, qui est avocat chez Fasken Martineau ici à Ottawa.
1529 Au cours de la semaine dernière, notre avocat... Quand vous regardez au registre d'entreprises, vous allez voir l'adresse de correspondance, c'est celle de Stéphane Harvey, avocat, 150, René Lévesque est. C'est l'avocat de la station qui a déposé la proposition concordataire puis qui nous représente depuis 2008.
1530 Alors, cet avocat-là vous a écrit une lettre, à M. John Traversy, la semaine passée pour essayer de demander une remise pour l'audition d'aujourd'hui. Monsieur Traversy a par la suite répondu que ça avait été refusé.
1531 La raison pour laquelle on avait expliqué cette demande de remise là, c'est parce que vu que le syndic nous a redonné les pouvoirs, le contrôle de la station le 8 juin, ça nous a donné peu de temps pour mettre une annonce. Il fallait avertir une semaine d'avance pour convoquer une assemblée. Cette assemblée-là a eu lieu le 17 juin. Alors, on n'a pas eu le temps de tout organisé nos choses, mais on va vous expliquer pourquoi plus tard.
1532 Alors, je voulais simplement vous dire que Me Harvey est l'avocat de la station dans l'histoire de la faillite. Par contre, il n'a pas d'expérience en radiocommunication, télécommunication, tout ça.
1533 C'est pour ça qu'on a téléphone à M. Grant Buchanan, qu'on a parlé avec cette semaine. Monsieur aurait aimé nous aider. Il ne pouvait pas être là ce matin. Il a demandé à monsieur O'Neill, qui a accepté de nous rencontrer jusqu'à 9 h 30 hier soir à son bureau pour essayer de nous aider le maximum ici, avec sa collaboratrice madame Courtemanche, qui est à ma droite, à votre gauche.
1534 Alors, je vais commencer avec une petite allocution que j'ai préparée pour vous expliquer un peu qu'est-ce que je demande... qu'est-ce que nous demandons, qu'est-ce que la Radio Charlesbourg aimerait transmettre comme message aujourd'hui à la Commission.
1535 LE PRÉSIDENT : Monsieur Dumais, est-ce que vous avez une copie de ce document que vous voulez nous présenter ou cette allocution que vous voulez lire ce matin?
1536 M. DUMAIS : Ici, c'est mes notes à moi pour mon allocution, mais j'en ai quand même... je peux vous en laisser une copie par la suite.
1537 LE PRÉSIDENT : Ça aurait été le fun de l'avoir avant qu'on fasse des copies là.
1538 M. DUMAIS : Je peux vous en donner une.
1539 LE PRÉSIDENT : Ça aurait été plus agréable d'apporter des copies avec vous...
1540 M. DUMAIS : Oui. J'en ai...
1541 LE PRÉSIDENT : ...pour qu'on puisse partager vos pensées avec les membres du comité d'audition.
--- Off-record discussion
1542 LE PRÉSIDENT : On va prendre deux minutes pour faire des copies.
1543 M. DUMAIS : Merci, Monsieur.
1544 LE PRÉSIDENT : O.K.
1545 LE PRÉSIDENT : Est-ce qu'on peut entre-temps... C'est monsieur O'Neill; c'est ça? Est-ce que vous avez été mandaté récemment?
1546 M. O'NEILL : Hier.
1547 LE PRÉSIDENT : Hier. O.K. Et vous avez l'intention de continuer?
1548 M. O'NEILL : Mais ça dépend du client. Je viens juste de rencontrer le client hier soir. Comme ça, je fais mon possible pour aider Radio Charlesbourg avec cette présentation ce matin.
1549 LE PRÉSIDENT : O.K.
1550 LE PRÉSIDENT : Alors, on y va sans plus tarder. On vous écoute.
1551 M. DUMAIS : O.K. Alors, je vais passer le premier paragraphe et le deuxième paragraphe, qui vous permettait de... que je devais présenter mes confrères de travail. Alors, cela s'est fait déjà.
1552 Je souligne au Conseil que notre administration est en place seulement depuis dimanche dernier, le 17 juin.
1553 Avec votre permission, je souhaite faire une déclaration avant de répondre à vos questions.
1554 Déclaration. Voici ma déclaration.
1555 D'entrée de jeu, je tiens à vous informer que notre intention est de remettre en ondes la station de Radio communautaire de Charlesbourg/Haute St-Charles dans les plus brefs délais possibles, et ce, en conformité avec l'ensemble de la réglementation du Conseil.
1556 Je fais un bref bémol en vous disant qu'il s'agit d'un organisme communautaire, une radio participative pour donner à la communauté de Charlesbourg la possibilité de participer au débat, donner leurs opinions avec des lignes ouvertes éducatives, pédagogiques, engagées. Puis cette radio est surtout concentrée sur la relève.
1557 LE PRÉSIDENT : Suivez-vous votre document, Monsieur?
1558 M. DUMAIS : Non. Je disais...
1559 LE PRÉSIDENT : Voulez-vous juste suivre le document. Puis après ça...
1560 M. DUMAIS : Oui, oui. Parfait.
1561 LE PRÉSIDENT : ...dans le questionnement des réponses, on va pouvoir...
1562 M. DUMAIS : Pas de problème.
1563 Nous connaissons fort bien le lourd historique de la station, notamment face au Conseil. Nous vous présentons nos plus humbles excuses car les non-conformités apparentes relevées par le Conseil sont réelles. Cependant, nous sommes déjà au travail pour changer les choses pour nous conformer aux règlements et aux décisions du Conseil, et ce, même si nous sommes en poste que depuis un peu plus de 48 heures.
1564 Par contre, il y a des administrateurs qui étaient déjà là, sauf qu'il n'y avait plus de membres. Les membres ont été... On a constitué de nouveaux membres, et puis ils ont été... les administrateurs ont été réélus v'là 48 heures.
1565 Évidemment, il va sans dire que nous sommes très nerveux de nous retrouver aujourd'hui devant le Conseil.
1566 Jusqu'ici nous avons concentré nos efforts pour sortir la station de sa position financière et juridique très difficile, grâce à notre expérience des affaires, et ce, avec succès.
1567 La station est libérée de sa faillite depuis le 9 juin dernier, le syndic ayant abandonné la cause et le délai de prescription est expiré. Nous nous sommes alors tout de suite mis au travail pour recruter de nouveaux membres et tenir une assemblée générale des membres dimanche dernier.
1568 Il va sans dire qu'il est impossible d'élaborer en 48 heures un plan de relance de la station, ce travail ne pouvant pas commencer tant et aussi longtemps que l'incertitude régnait sur l'avenir légal de la station, ce qui fut réglé, comme je vous le mentionnais, il y a moins d'un mois -- je le sais pas, excusez-moi là -- comme mentionné.
1569 Cependant, dès lundi, nous avons rencontré un consultant en radio et nous avons eu une première discussion avec le député de notre comté, en poste de 2006 à 2011 alors que la station rencontrait des difficultés. Ce dernier sonde actuellement l'intérêt du Centre local de développement pour CIMI-FM.
1570 Nous tenons à préciser au Conseil qu'il n'est pas réaliste d'envisager la remise en service de la station d'ici le 31 août prochain, ne serait-ce que sur le plan technique.
1571 En effet, nous devons trouver un nouvel emplacement pour l'antenne, ce qui implique une demande de permis à la Ville de Québec -- qui est la Ville de Charlesbourg, c'est maintenant fusionné -- un nouveau devis technique, de nouveaux tests et un nouveau permis d'Industrie Canada -- parce qu'aussitôt qu'on change l'antenne ça prend un permis -- l'installation des nouveaux bureaux et studios et ainsi de suite.
1572 Une seule chose nous importe davantage que cet échéancier technique et c'est la mise à jour de l'ancrage dans la communauté. Ça, j'attire votre attention là-dessus parce que lorsque la station avait été créée, il y avait une implication au niveau Caisse Populaire, Centre local de développement, la ville, tous les organismes, Chambre de commerce, les gens dans la communauté de Charlesbourg...
1573 LE PRÉSIDENT : Pouvez-vous rester avec le texte?
1574 M. DUMAIS : Nous invitons le Conseil à considérer qu'après les déboires passés de la station, il faut mettre à jour notre ancrage dans la communauté en rencontrant la population, les organismes du milieu et différents intervenants de tous les secteurs d'activité. Nous nous préparons à tenir des assemblées de relance dès la rentrée de septembre. Notre licence sera expirée à ce moment-là.
1575 C'est pourquoi nous demandons au Conseil de bien vouloir nous donner une chance de plus en renouvelant notre licence pour une courte durée avec la promesse d'être en ondes au plus tard dans six mois à compter d'aujourd'hui. Toutefois, suite aux discussions qu'on a eues avec l'avocat hier, on pense que 12 mois serait plus logique.
1576 Le Conseil n'est pas sans savoir que plusieurs stations de radio communautaire ont connu d'importantes difficultés au cours des dernières années, notamment sur le plan de la gouvernance. C'est le cas de CIMI-FM, un cas extrême qui a conduit la station à la faillite.
1577 Mais la population de Charlesbourg/Haute St-Charles n'y est pour rien. La cause première des déboires de la station est avant tout une question d'administration et de gestion déficiente, et pour ce qui est de la programmation, elle a toujours été fort appréciée de notre population.
1578 Permettez-moi d'insister en ajoutant que la radio communautaire mobilise généralement et facilement la contribution de personnes souhaitant faire de la radio pour leur communauté et, dans certains, plus difficilement des personnes strictement intéressées par l'administration et la gestion.
1579 Or, notre équipe, notamment les personnes ici présentes avec moi devant vous, compte des hommes d'affaires expérimentés et motivés par le seul intérêt d'une bonne gouvernance et d'une saine gestion de CIMI-FM pour le bénéfice de notre communauté.
1580 LE PRÉSIDENT : Merci beaucoup, Monsieur Dumais.
1581 M. DUMAIS : Merci.
1582 LE PRÉSIDENT : D'abord vous dire que nous sommes très heureux de vous recevoir si vous êtes heureux d'être ici parmi nous.
1583 Ceci étant, vous avez parlé d'une programmation qui est fort appréciée par la population.
1584 M. DUMAIS : Oui.
1585 LE PRÉSIDENT : Mais pour qu'une programmation soit fort appréciée, il faut qu'il y ait de la programmation.
1586 M. DUMAIS : Exact.
1587 LE PRÉSIDENT : Et à ce que je sache, il n'y a pas de programmation depuis deux ans minimum.
1588 M. DUMAIS : Entre deux et trois ans.
1589 LE PRÉSIDENT : O.K. Peut-être même trois ans.
1590 Alors, vous êtes impliqué avec cette station communautaire depuis quand, Monsieur Dumais?
1591 M. DUMAIS : Depuis... Est-ce que je peux me permettre de vous faire un bref résumé rapide dans quelques secondes de qu'est-ce qui s'est passé au niveau de CIMI? Ça va en même temps vous dire...
1592 LE PRÉSIDENT : On y arrivera.
1593 M. DUMAIS : O.K. Parfait.
1594 LE PRÉSIDENT : Commençons par votre implication.
1595 M. DUMAIS : Mon implication à moi, c'est que...
1596 LE PRÉSIDENT : Depuis quand?
1597 M. DUMAIS : C'est depuis le mois de septembre 2008.
1598 LE PRÉSIDENT : O.K. Et là, vous êtes impliqué depuis le mois de septembre 2008, et nous sommes juin 2012, quatre ans plus tard ou presque, et vous êtes venu, si j'ai bien compris votre document, nous demander une autre chance, six mois, un an, pour vous permettre de relancer la station. Que faites-vous depuis 2008?
1599 M. DUMAIS : Je vous explique.
1600 LE PRÉSIDENT : Vas-y.
1601 M. DUMAIS : La station CIMI était en opération 2005, 2006, 2007. Ils ont eu des problèmes financiers, avec des déficits à chaque année pendant les trois dernières années. La station était criblée de dettes. Puis il y a eu un problème au niveau des administrateurs, de telle sorte que la station a été abandonnée à elle-même en septembre 2008.
1602 LE PRÉSIDENT : O.K.
1603 M. DUMAIS : À ce moment-là, M. Stéphane Bergeron, qui était un fournisseur -- c'est un expert en informatique qui venait faire les réparations pour réparer les contrôles, les ordinateurs, tout ça -- a eu l'information que les déboires étaient pris dans la station et puis que les administrateurs voulaient abandonner dû à des dettes de TPS/TVQ, des DAS. Il y avait des salaires, des dettes... L'entreprise avait 200 000 dollars de dettes.
1604 LE PRÉSIDENT : Il y avait un CA qui était en place?
1605 M. DUMAIS : Exact.
1606 LE PRÉSIDENT : Et qui faisait partie de ce CA?
1607 M. DUMAIS : Je n'ai pas la liste des noms des anciens membres du CA, mais nous, quand on est arrivé sur place, ils nous ont mis un set de clé sur le comptoir, puis ils ont dit : Si vous voulez la sauver, sauvez-là. Nous autres, on s'en va chez nous, on n'est plus capable.
1608 LE PRÉSIDENT : Et parmi ceux qui étaient intéressés à relancer la station, est-ce qu'il y avait des gens qui faisaient partie du CA?
1609 M. DUMAIS : Aucun.
1610 LE PRÉSIDENT : O.K.
1611 M. DUMAIS : Alors, à ce moment-là...
1612 LE PRÉSIDENT : Là, on arrive à 2008, à septembre.
1613 M. DUMAIS : En 2008, monsieur Bergeron ramasse les clés.
1614 LE PRÉSIDENT : Oui.
1615 M. DUMAIS : On fait changer les serrures. On rentre dans le bâtiment. Là, on ne sait rien. On ne connaît rien de la station.
1616 On est en septembre 2008. On fait le changement d'administrateur au niveau des registres des entreprises du Québec puis on constitue un groupe.
1617 LE PRÉSIDENT : Oui.
1618 M. DUMAIS : À ce moment-là, je deviens membre puis j'investi de l'argent pour payer des loyers en retard. J'avance de l'argent à la station à la demande de monsieur Bergeron. Monsieur Bussière se joint à monsieur Bergeron. C'est une connaissance à lui depuis longtemps.
1619 LE PRÉSIDENT : Et ces sommes sont sorties d'un compte en banque personnel?
1620 M. DUMAIS : Oui. C'est des avances que j'ai faites personnellement.
1621 LE PRÉSIDENT : O.K.
1622 M. DUMAIS : J'ai peut-être fait une couple d'avances avec mes compagnies, parce que ma mère a des immeubles à logement et puis est en affaires aussi.
1623 LE PRÉSIDENT : Et le total de cet investissement?
1624 M. DUMAIS : Environ 18 000 dollars.
1625 LE PRÉSIDENT : Et est-ce que ces sommes... ou preuve de cet investissement a été déposée au dossier?
1626 M. DUMAIS : Pas au dossier. Ça été déposé au syndic parce que...
1627 LE PRÉSIDENT : O.K.
1628 M. DUMAIS : Je vais vous expliquer que tout de suite, par la suite... C'est très important parce que lorsqu'on est arrivé sur place, il y avait plusieurs émissions qui avaient commencé à disparaître, perdre les émissions, la programmation était toute croche.
1629 Monsieur Bussière a pris ça en main. Il a organisé de ramener les gens, réintéresser les gens, puis essayer de restructurer. Monsieur Bussière est déjà administrateur d'une OSBL, d'une oeuvre de bienfaisance depuis 23 ans, qui a son statut d'OSBL. Alors, il sait un peu comment ça s'administre.
1630 Alors, il a vite constaté qu'il y avait des huissiers qui venaient à la porte, que le propriétaire de l'immeuble faisait des pressions énormes pour le loyer. Il y avait des retards au niveau des lignes téléphoniques. Il y avait plusieurs poursuites judiciaires, beaucoup de problèmes, puis à chaque jour il y avait un huissier qui venait.
1631 Alors, monsieur Bussière, il a dit : Je suis ligoté. La station n'a pas 200 000 pour payer toutes ces créances-là, puis tôt ou tard, on se fait saisir par des créanciers. Il y avait même un propriétaire d'une autre station qui avait une hypothèque sur toute la liste des équipements. Il y avait une saisie...
1632 En tout cas, finalement, on a engagé Me Harvey, puis monsieur Bussière a pris la décision, avec l'ensemble du conseil qui avait été mis en place, d'aller voir un syndic. Puis on en a discuté ensemble, puis il m'a demandé de l'aider là-dedans. C'est à ce moment-là que j'ai rédigé une requête que j'ai présentée au syndic. On a essayé d'organiser la station pour qu'elle puisse... Elle était en ondes à ce moment-là. On a été trois mois et demi au contrôle de la station. Ensuite, on a déposé chez le syndic.
1633 LE PRÉSIDENT : Oui. Puis...?
1634 M. DUMAIS : C'est là que ça arrêté. Puis là, on n'a jamais eu le contrôle de la station depuis ce temps-là à aller jusqu'au 9 juin... jusqu'au 8 juin 2012.
1635 LE PRÉSIDENT : Quatre ans plus tard ou presque.
1636 M. DUMAIS : Non. C'est seulement en 2009 là, au début 2009 que la station a déposé chez le syndic.
1637 LE PRÉSIDENT : Monsieur O'Neill, savez-vous ce qui est arrivé avec le syndic depuis trois ans?
1638 M. O'NEILL : Non. Toutes les informations que j'ai reçues, j'ai reçues hier soir de monsieur Dumais.
1639 LE PRÉSIDENT : O.K. Alors, Monsieur Dumais, syndic, trois ans là, explique-nous ce qui est arrivé.
1640 M. DUMAIS : O.K.
1641 LE PRÉSIDENT : J'ai suivi le dossier, mais...
1642 M. DUMAIS : Oui. C'est une proposition...
1643 LE PRÉSIDENT : Les grandes lignes là parce que trois ans de syndic là...
1644 M. DUMAIS : C'est ça. C'est une proposition concordataire qui a été déposée.
1645 LE PRÉSIDENT : Oui.
1646 M. DUMAIS : Puis à ce moment-là, la proposition concordataire, ça devait être 30 000 dollars qu'on avait suggérés pour déposer au syndic. Il a dû avoir plusieurs assemblées, des extensions de délai parce que le gouvernement ne voulait pas accepter que... C'était les...
1647 LE PRÉSIDENT : TPS/TVQ...
1648 M. DUMAIS : DAS aussi, puis il y avait aussi la CSST... CSST, c'est ça, exactement. Et eux autres ne voulaient pas accepter le 30 000 $. Alors, la station risquait d'être mise en faillite, alors il y a dû avoir une proposition qui soit faite à 60 000 $. Alors la station n'avait pas tout à fait les moyens de passer au travers de 60000$. Il y a eu des paiements qui ont été faits et on a commencé nos paiements mensuels pour pouvoir respecter cette entente-là. Puis l'entente n'a pas été respectée.
1649 LE PRÉSIDENT : Une fois l'entente signée, est-ce que vous avez récupéré les clés?
1650 M. DUMAIS: Non, on n'a pas récupéré les clés, parce que l'entente a tombé en défaut. Alors, lorsque l'entente...
1651 LE PRÉSIDENT : Et vous, vous étiez incapable de trouver 60 000 $, c'est exact?
1652 M. DUMAIS: C'est ça. Exactement.
1653 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et là, vous êtes en train de nous dire que vous allez pouvoir trouver une somme beaucoup plus intéressante que ça, parce que vous avez toutes sortes de problèmes d'ordre technique à régler et ça coûte de l'argent - emplacement d'antennes, permis de la ville, nouveaux tests, et autres.
1654 M. DUMAIS: Oui, parce que le 60000$ qu'on devait avoir servait seulement à payer la vieille dette.
1655 LE PRÉSIDENT: Je comprends, mais est-ce que vous avez trouvé le 60 000 $?
1656 M. DUMAIS: Oui, sauf qu'on l'a...là, on a la possibilité, avec la réunion des membres qu'on a faite, on a quelques personnes qui sont prêtes à mettre 10 000 $ chacune. On a 60 000 $, mais pour s'en servir pour relancer et non pour payer des vieilles dettes.
1657 LE PRÉSIDENT: Mais comment allez-vous relancer et rassembler les vielles dettes?
1658 M. DUMAIS: Parce que là, ce que je viens de vous dire aujourd'hui c'est pas de vous dire qu'on va relancer CIMI. Peut-être qu'on va vous appeler dans quelques mois pour dire on cancelle.
1659 On vient vous dire qu'on veut un délai avant de la faire mourir, parce qu'il y a encore une demande dans la communauté. On s'est aperçu que ça réagissait.
1660 On a mis une annonce. On a les clés de CIMI, on a le contrôle de CIMI, et puis on a la possibilité de préparer un plan de relance pour vous déposer, mais avant il faut renouveler nos ancrages. Il faut retourner voir la source, la base de ce projet-là, qui est la communauté, la caisse populaire, le centre local d'emploi, le député, les organismes communautaires.
1661 LE PRÉSIDENT: Comment se fait-il, monsieur Dumais, que tout cela n'a pas déjà été fait?
1662 M. DUMAIS: Parce qu'on n'avait pas la saisine de l'administration. Elle est entre les mains du syndic.
1663 LE PRÉSIDENT: Je comprends, mais - en tout cas.
1664 M. DUMAIS: Alors on ne pouvait pas administrer. Il y avait aucun espoir avec...
1665 LE PRÉSIDENT: Il fallait trouver 60000 $.
1666 M. DUMAIS: Même si on avait trouvé 60000$, quand la proposition est tombée en défaut, la compagnie était en faillite technique. Il fallait attendre le délai d'expiration légal du délai de prescription.
1667 LE PRÉSIDENT: Vous vous étiez entendu avec le syndic?
1668 M. DUMAIS: Non, on ne s'est pas entendu. Le syndic nous a...a demandé la permission au séquel(ph) de se libérer de la saisine du bien. Il y a personne qui a mis la station en faillite. À cause de ça, on a eu un certificat de libération, et c'est ce qui vient de se faire. C'est pour ça que depuis le 9juin vous avez une lettre du notaire qui confirme que le syndic a remis au notaire.
1669 LE PRÉSIDENT: Parce que vous êtes libéré des vieilles dettes, c'est ça?
1670 M. DUMAIS: On est libéré des vieilles dettes. Tout est prescrit. Tout est cancellé.
1671 LE PRÉSIDENT: Vous avez attendu quatre ans, ou trois ans...
1672 M. DUMAIS: Trois ans.
1673 LE PRÉSIDENT: ...la prescription.
1674 M. DUMAIS: Exactement.
1675 LE PRÉSIDENT: Comme ça, vous n'aurez pas à payer...
1676 M. DUMAIS: On n'a pas à payer rien. Comme ça, s'il y a un créancier qui vient nous voir sur les vieilles dettes, il ne peut pas prendre action contre nous ou s'opposer sur ça.
1677 Alors à ce moment-là, étant donné que la licence est bonne jusqu'au mois d'août...
1678 LE PRÉSIDENT: Ok.
1679 M. DUMAIS: ...et qu'on vient d'avoir ça en juin, on veut retourner voir la population pour leur demander s'ils veulent qu'on...
1680 LE PRÉSIDENT: Mais avant de voir la population, vous avez trouvé six personnes et chacune va mettre 10 000 $ pour relancer la station; c'est ça?
1681 M. DUMAIS: Chacun va mettre 10000$ pour faire la démarche pour aller voir la population.
1682 LE PRÉSIDENT: Total?
1683 M. DUMAIS: Dix mille total - non, 60000$ total.
1684 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et est-ce que ces 60000$ là sont dans un compte en fidéicommis présentement?
1685 M. DUMAIS: Pas encore.
1686 LE PRÉSIDENT: Quand est-ce qu'ils vont être dans un compte fidéicommis?
1687 M. DUMAIS: Au cours des prochaines semaines; pas en fidéicommis mais dans le compte de CIMI.
1688 LE PRÉSIDENT: Si on tient compte de la gestion, ce serait peut-être plus sage...
1689 M. DUMAIS: Les gestionnaires qui sont en place là...
1690 LE PRÉSIDENT: ...de faire plus attention ...
1691 M. DUMAIS: ...M. Bussières, c'est un monsieur qui n'a jamais fait faillite, qui a un dossier...qui gère déjà un OSBL. C'est un monsieur qui est capable rendre compte. Et il n'a jamais pu gérer, M. Bussières, parce qu'il est entré en place, il a tout fait pour réparer les dettes, et trois mois après...ce qu'il devait faire, c'est ça, aller voir le syndic et faire ça.
1692 LE PRÉSIDENT: Comment est-ce que vous êtes arrivé au chiffre de 60 000 $?
1693 M. DUMAIS: C'est que nous, on a demandé le plus possible et c'est ce qu'on a pu relever.
1694 LE PRÉSIDENT: Vous avez un budget pour la balance de la station?
1695 M. DUMAIS: On va faire ce budget-là. On veut vous le présenter et on veut vous le montrer, mais avant on veut renouveler nos ancrages. On a déjà commencé à faire ça, et ça va se faire rapidement.
1696 Si on voit qu'il y a de l'intérêt, on a le Cégep de Limoilou, on a les jeunes. C'est une radio qui est faite pour les jeunes. Alors il faut monter une équipe. Il faut monter un plan d'action, avec des participants. Il faut faire une campagne d'information, renouveler notre membership,faire une campagne de financement, renouveler nos installations techniques, voir aux ressources humaines, avoir des bénévoles.
1697 La première réaction, c'est ce qu'on est en train de prendre.
1698 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et quand vous nous dites dans votre déclaration, * Nous sommes déjà au travail pour changer les choses... +.
1699 M. DUMAIS: Exactement.
1700 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et ça, depuis 48 heures, si j'ai bien compris, que vous êtes au travail?
1701 M. DUMAIS: On est au travail, on a commencé le 8 juin. Vous avez une lettre dans votre document daté du 7 juin. On a fait une petite assemblée le 7, puis on est allé récupérer l'antenne. Là, on a tout récupéré le matériel.
1702 LE PRÉSIDENT: Si je voudrais vous poser des questions sur les nombreux cas de non-conformité depuis quelques années...
1703 M. DUMAIS: Oui.
1704 LE PRÉSIDENT: ...vous allez me dire que vous n'êtes pas responsable de ça.
1705 M. DUMAIS: Non, je ne dirais pas ça. On est très humble devant vous. On vous dit qu'on est en défaut, c'est incroyable comment on est en défaut. On est vraiment gêné de se présenter devant vous. On est le dernier espoir, mais il y a encore...
1706 Ce qu'on veut vous dire est que, et c'est ce message: Tout un changement va se faire, et l'avenir, on doit avoir la possibilité d'offrir le service si la communauté le veut.
1707 Depuis 2-3 ans, Charlesbourg/Haute St-Charles a oublié sa radio communautaire, parce qu'il n'en entendait plus parlé, personne a dit c'est mort, on sait pas où s'est rendu, c'est entre les mains du syndic.
1708 Quand je suis retourné appeler ces gens-là au cours des 2-3 derniers jours, ces gens-là me disent, * Ah, oui, il y a possibilité de ravoir notre radio communautaire? + Il y a un sentiment d'appartenance dans Charlesbourg. On a détecté ça. C'est pour ça qu'on est ici devant vous, pour vous dire qu'il faut trouver un gestionnaire qui va pouvoir gérer en conformité.
1709 On a déjà contacté un monsieur. On a quelqu'un qui a de l'expérience, qui est de la radio communautaire de Lévis, qui est en relance aussi, qui nous a donné un coup de main. Il nous a dit, je peux vous aider à faire un plan de relance. Il peut collaborer avec nous. Il a de l'expérience sur les communications avec le CRTC...
1710 LE PRÉSIDENT: Présentement, vous n'avez pas un plan de relance comme tel...
1711 M. DUMAIS: Non.
1712 LE PRÉSIDENT: ...et vous n'avez pas un plan de communication comme tel non plus.
1713 M. DUMAIS: Non, on n'a pas de plan de programmation, on n'a même pas de plan de relance.
1714 LE PRÉSIDENT: Je comprends, mais les licenciés doivent pouvoir démontrer clairement et sans équivoque la façon dont tous les objectifs de cette politique de la radio communautaire seront atteints.
1715 M. DUMAIS: On serait prêt à vous faire des rapports aux deux mois si vous voulez. On vous l'offre pour vous montrer qu'on va tout de suite agir pour aller sonder s'il y a une dernière chance à donner à CIMI au sein de la communauté.
1716 Si on s'aperçoit qu'on peut avoir de l'aide puis que les gens interviennent, qu'il y a du bénévolat et que ça répond... si on est tout seul là-dedans, dans cette radio-là, c'est un organisme communautaire, si on est tout seul, on va pas se battre contre le courant.
1717 Si la communauté le veut et qu'il y a une réaction de la ville, il y a une réaction des écoles, du secteur, de notre milieu, c'est pour ça que je vous parle d'ancrage, c'est notre principal point présentement. L'ancrage était là avant dans CIMI. Ça a parti tout croche. La station s'est ramassée avec des dettes. Les gestionnaires qui ont ramassé ça, c'est des gens de grand coeur, c'est M. Bergeron et M.Buissières. M. Bergeron, ça a jamais fait faillite. Il élève sa famille. C'est un citoyen de Charlesbourg, c'est un monsieur clean. Il a essayé de faire de quoi pour CIMI. Il n'y a pas une cenne pour lui, pour CIMI.
1718 M. Bergeron a pris ça, mais ce qu'il devait faire était d'aller voir un syndic et essayer de réorganiser ça.
1719 On était vraiment menotté par le Parlement, qui nous demandait plus que ce qu'on était capable de faire, et 120 000 $, on n'était pas capable de prendre ça de notre poche, mettre 120 000 $ puis payer 60 000 $ de vieilles dettes, alors la seule possibilité c'était de trouver des gentils donateurs. Dans la situation juridique où on était là, les subventions n'étaient pas accessibles à notre 60000$, on n'avait plus accès à rien, alors...
1720 LE PRÉSIDENT: Mais vous êtes clair même de la dette gouvernementale?
1721 M. DUMAIS: Oui. C'est l'un des points que j'ai oublié, qui est très, très important.
1722 Une des raisons pourquoi ça a duré longtemps de même chez le syndic c'est parce que les anciens administrateurs ont tous été poursuivis personnellement pour les TPS, TVQ de AS. Ils ont pris des ententes de paiement puis il y en a plusieurs qui sont en foutu puis qui les ont pas respectées. Il y a en a une couple, dont Benoît Carrier, qui était dans l'ancien groupe, je me souviens de son nom. Lui, il avait un bon emploi et c'est un gars qui travaillait au gouvernement. Il a été obligé de payer tant par mois, à 600 $ par mois, la dette, puis ça a duré quatre ans, ses paiements, pour liquider.
1723 Ça fait qu'on n'a même plus la dette du gouvernement parce qu'elle a été payée par un des anciens administrateurs.
1724 LE PRÉSIDENT: Deux petites questions, monsieur Dumais.
1725 M. DUMAIS: Oui.
1726 LE PRÉSIDENT: D'abord, le 60 000 $, vous avez tiré ça dans l'air? Est-ce que c'est basé sur quelque chose? Vous avez fait des estimés...
1727 M. DUMAIS: Non, non. On a vraiment dans les documents l'offre...
1728 LE PRÉSIDENT: Le 60 000 $ que vous avez amassé...
1729 M. DUMAIS: Oui.
1730 LE PRÉSIDENT: ...qui n'est pas déjà dans un compte de banque.
1731 M. DUMAIS: Non.
1732 LE PRÉSIDENT: Il y a des promesses à cet effet-là?
1733 M. DUMAIS: Ça, c'est lors des assemblées des membres qu'on a demandé... on a fait le tour. Il y avait un monsieur qui...
1734 LE PRÉSIDENT: Mais le chiffre auquel vous êtes arrivé, est-ce que vous avez fait un calcul, un budget, pour savoir combien ça vous coûterait pour relancer la station?
1735 M. DUMAIS: Ben, on calcule. On n'a pas fait de budget, mais on sait que juste pour demander les permis, réinstaller, accéder à un nouveau local, poser l'antenne, poser le transpodeur, toute l'installation, retrouver la console, il va falloir engager une personne. Le mandat pour le plan de relance, on parle de 10 000 $-15 000 $, Il va y avoir des dépenses qui vont être engagées. Puis on a l'intention de faire un appel d'offres pour ça, pour le plan de relance.
1736 LE PRÉSIDENT: Monsieur Dumais, ça n'aurait pas été plus facile de faire une demande de nouvelle licence? Il y a déjà quelques années.
1737 M. DUMAIS: Je pense qu'il y a encore de la vie pour CIMI; j'y crois vraiment.
1738 LE PRÉSIDENT: Bon. M. O'Brien, Mme Courtemanche, voulez-vous rajouter quelque chose?
1739 M. O'NEILL: Le titulaire veut avoir une prolongation de son permis actuel pour un an juste pour essayer de savoir s'il peut relancer la station, comme ça le permis actuel expire à la fin d'août. C'est juste pour...
1740 LE PRÉSIDENT: Ce n'est pas le titulaire. Ce n'est pas évident de trouver le titulaire. Il y avait un titulaire à l'époque, ça fait quatre ans qu'il y a personne qui gère la boîte. Il n'y a pas de programmation, c'est pas en ondes.
1741 Vous allez avouer avec moi que c'est assez inhabituel comme situation?
1742 M. O'NEILL: Je suis d'accord, mais...
1743 LE PRÉSIDENT: J'apprécie la gêne de M. Dumais, mais ce sera peut-être même gênant de permettre à ce que ce titulaire puisse continuer, compote tenu de la non-conformité.
1744 M. DUMAIS: J'aimerais qu'on puisse faire le tour ensemble de ces non-conformités là. On va vous expliquer qu'on peut vraiment y remédier rapidement et promptement, et on veut mettre quelqu'un là-dessus. On a découvert, on s'est rendu compte, en rencontrant surtout M. Guay, de la radio communautaire de Lévis -
1745 LE PRÉSIDENT: Je vais vous donner un exemple, monsieur Dumais. Il y avait une personne qui a communiqué avec le personnel du Conseil. Il y a eu plusieurs demandes.
1746 M. DUMAIS: On a eu les communications de toutes - toutes les communications qu'on a faites quand même, malgré que le syndic avait ça entre les mains, on a eu, en 2011, en 2010, en 2012, il y a eu diverses communications. On a essayé de répondre comme on pouvait.
1747 On a annoncé au CRTC qu'on était lié, que la station ne diffusait plus mais que quand même elle était entre les mains.
1748 On ne veut pas justifier, parce qu'on est ici humblement pour vous dire on est en défaut, mais quand même on a ce qu'il faut. M. Bergeron pourra vous expliquer qu'il a quand même donné suite aux demandes. Il y a juste la demande de 2007 qui, elle, n'a pas été répondue. Celle de juillet 2010, qu'on voit dans votre liste, on a la preuve qu'en 2012 on a parlé avec Mme Joëlle Paré et qu'on lui a répondu sur ce point.
1749 Par contre, les autres... sauf qu'on n'avait pas l'expérience pour savoir comment communiquer. Ça prend un gestionnaire qui peut nous aider à agir en conformité, puis ça prend vraiment, dans un organisme comme ça, ça prend vraiment quelqu'un qui répond promptement et qui est capable de rester en communication avec...
1750 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et le gestionnaire, vous ne l'avez pas encore?
1751 M. DUMAIS: Non, sauf qu'on a trouvé un mentor, quelqu'un qui peut nous aider, qui est M.Guay de Radio communautaire Lévis. Lui se spécialise dans ça, bien organiser... il a fait une réorganisation de station. C'est une station qui entre en ondes au mois de septembre, alors, il vient de passer toutes ces étapes-là.
1752 Alors, il nous a expliqué vraiment... qu'est-ce qu'il nous a expliqué c'est l'objectif de la loi, qu'est-ce que la loi veut, c'est quoi ça sert un OSBL comme une organisation.
1753 LE PRÉSIDENT: Est-il avec vous aujourd'hui?
1754 M. DUMAIS: Il nous a aidés à préparer notre allocution, que je vous ai présentée. Il nous a confirmé qu'il serait prêt à nous aider au niveau de notre plan de relance. Par contre, il ne veut pas s'immiscer dans la discussion avec vous, parce qu'il est en train de se concentrer sur son plan de relance à lui.
1755 LE PRÉSIDENT: Ok.
1756 M. DUMAIS: Il pourrait travailler avec nous comme conseiller. Si on l'appelle, on lui demande comment on fait pour... Il nous a expliqué qu'il avait un NIP, qu'on pouvait se branche avec un NIP sur le site du CRTC puis aller changer une seule phrase. Il dit, on fait ça régulièrement, c'est facile. Nous autres, on le savait même pas.
1757 Le rapport annuel, on pensait que c'était le rapport financier, comme il est tout le temps à zéro. Il nous a expliqué que le rapport annuel, c'était quatre ou cinq rapports, qui construit le rapport des activités et tout ça.
1758 Alors nous autres, on a pris connaissance que ça prend vraiment quelqu'un là-dessus. Et même si on n'a pas l'expérience...
1759 LE PRÉSIDENT: Mais ce ne sera pas M.Guay.
1760 M. DUMAIS: Non, pas M. Guay. C'est quelqu'un qu'on va recruter au cours des prochaines semaines, qui va faire que ça, et cette personne-là va être attitrée qu'à ça et va pouvoir appeler M. Guay pour savoir comment faire, s'il a besoin de savoir.
1761 LE PRÉSIDENT: Monsieur O'Brien, voulez-vous renchérir pour aider la cause de vos clients?
1762 M. O'NEILL: O'Neill.
1763 THE CHAIRMAN: O'Neill. I'm sorry. Je suis désolé.
1764 M. O'NEIL: Tous les noms irlandais sont pareils, j'imagine.
1765 LE PRÉSIDENT: Oui, c'est vrai, surtout les noms compliqués comme ça.
1766 M. O'NEIL: Il n'y a pas grand-chose que je peux ajouter à la présentation de M. Dumais.
1767 J'ai déjà dit que M. Dumais m'expliquais hier soir comment l'équipe de Radio Charlesbourg aimerait relancer la station et communiquer avec la communauté de Charlesbourg pour savoir si l'appui est là pour donner une autre vie à cette station.
1768 LE PRÉSIDENT: Vous n'avez rien à ajouter, autrement dit.
1769 M. O'NEIL: L'avocat veut toujours avoir quelque chose à dire!
1770 LE PRÉSIDENT: Merci, monsieur O'Neill.
1771 Madame la conseillère Poirier.
1772 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Bonjour, messieurs, madame. Dans un premier temps, vous nous répétez depuis tantôt que vous avez tenu une assemblée avec des bénévoles. Combien de personnes y avait-il là?
1773 M. DUMAIS : Il y avait 100 personnes, mais il y a 36 personnes qui ont payé pour devenir membres.
1774 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Combien ont-elles payé?
1775 M. DUMAIS: Cinq dollars.
1776 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Cinq dollars.
1777 M. DUMAIS: Oui.
1778 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Est-ce que c'était des personnes qui étaient déjà là avant?
1779 M. DUMAIS: CIMI avait 500 membres dans le temps, en 2008 lorsque ça a été abandonné. Nous avons appelé tous les gens là-dedans et ces 100 personnes là c'est du monde qui ont appelé de bouche à oreille suite au téléphone. C'est ma femme qui a téléphoné. Elle a pris le téléphone pendant deux jours de temps. Elle appelait tout le monde, tout le monde des anciens membres; plus l'annonce dans le journal.
1780 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Est-ce que vous avez des règlements généraux...
1781 M. DUMAIS: Oui. Je les ai avec...
1782 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : ...et un conseil d'administration?
1783 M. DUMAIS: Le conseil d'administration, vous avez la liste des administrateurs sur le document du registre d'entreprise, qu'on vous a déposé. À cela, dans le procès-verbal vous avez deux noms, qui est M. Maxime Savard de Québec, qui est M. Sing-Ji(ph) Toro(ph) de Charlesbourg, qui est ici, M. Toro est ici. Ces deux personnes-là sont des nouveaux administrateurs qui ont été nommés par l'assemblée générale du 17. Et puis il y a M. Gilles Dion, qui était là avant, et lui n'a pas été réélu.
1784 Donc, on a présentement sept administrateurs nommés par les membres, puis les règlements généraux originals de la station, vous les avez dans le...
1785 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Et ce sont les mêmes règlements généraux.
1786 MR. DUMAIS : Ce sont les mêmes. Dans le cadre du procès-verbal, il y avait un point qui était le point - un instant.
1787 Il y a un point qui parle des règlements. On a revalidé, ratifié, le...
1788 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : L'ensemble des règlements.
1789 M. DUMAIS: ... les anciens règlements.
1790 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Quel est votre titre officiel, monsieur Dumais?
1791 M. DUMAIS: Moi, j'ai été nommé président de l'assemblée qui a eu lieu le 17.
1792 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Mais vous n'êtes pas président du conseil d'administration.
1793 M. DUMAIS : Non.
1794 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Est-ce qu'il y a un président, un vice-président, un trésorier?
1795 MR. DUMAIS : C'est M. Bussières qui est présentement président, puis M. Bergeron qui agit à titre de vice-président/trésorier, et les autres sont administrateurs. Il n'y a pas eu de titre encore désigné pour les autres administrateurs.
1796 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Monsieur Dumais, quel est votre intérêt, à vous, à investir de l'argent dans une radio communautaire, comme vous l'avez fait? Vous dites avoir mis 18 000 $.
1797 M. DUMAIS: Oui.
1798 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Pourquoi mettre de l'argent de votre poche dans cette radio-là? Quel est votre intérêt?
1799 M. DUMAIS: Bien, moi je le faisais à titre philanthropique au début, parce que c'était vraiment pour aider. M. Bussières est mon ami depuis une vingtaine d'années, alors c'est lui qui m'a interpellé.
1800 Ma mère a 300 logements dans la région, dans Charlesbourg. On est habitué de faire des affaires dans Charlesbourg.
1801 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Mais quel est l'intérêt de le faire pour une station de radio communautaire, qui est un organisme sans but lucratif?
1802 M. DUMAIS: Oui. Présentement, de toute façon, c'est pas un don. Dans le temps, au moment où je l'ai fait, c'était une urgence. C'était en attendant que la station se finance. J'avais avancé l'argent, donc je l'avais prêté, je ne l'avais pas donné.
1803 ONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Donc, vous comptez à ce qu'on vous remette cet argent-là?
1804 M. DUMAIS: Non. Maintenant c'est prescrit. J'ai plus une cenne de ça.
1805 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Parfait.
1806 M. DUMAIS: C'est fini. Par contre, quand je commence quelque chose, j'ai l'habitude de le finir, puis dans ce temps-là, on a mis notre énergie en 2008...
1807 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Comme le maire Labeaume...
1808 M. DUMAIS: Je le sais pas.
1809 ONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: ...le maire de Québec.
1810 M. DUMAIS: Comparez-moi pas au maire Labeaume, malgré que j'aime bien le maire Labeaume, mais, je veux dire, c'est pas le même individu.
1811 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Non.
1812 M. DUMAIS: Mais disons que moi... M.Bussières, je sais que c'est un monsieur très honnête. Depuis 20 ans je le connais, 17 ans, puis on peut lui donner 1 000 $ puis il va vous ramener 1000$; même s'il a besoin de 5 $ pour lui, il va jamais le prendre.
1813 Alors, connaissant M. Bussières comme quelqu'un de très honnête, je voudrais pas que... je voudrais qu'il puisse terminer son travail, puis j'aimerais que ce...
1814 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Parfait.
1815 M. DUMAIS: On est rentré là-dedans c'était tout croche, puis trois mois après on a donné ça au syndic parce qu'on voulait que ça marche...
1816 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Oui.
1817 M. DUMAIS: ... puis là, on vient juste de reprendre ça puis on se ramasse devant la Commission tout de suite le lendemain. C'est pour ça qu'on vous avait demandé une remise puis on a l'intention... vous allez voir de quel bois on se chauffe...
1818 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Oui.
1819 M. DUMAIS: ...qu'est-ce qu'on est capable de faire.
1820 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Monsieur Bussières, on parle de vous depuis tantôt, quel est votre intérêt à être impliqué dans une radio communautaire et à l'avoir portée comme ça?
1821 M. BUSSIÈRES: En connaissant Stéphane puis il m'a parlé du projet dans le temps, je trouvais que c'était très intéressant pour relancer les jeunes. Moi, j'ai une famille de cinq jeunes. J'ai une jeune qui fait des concours de chant, des spectacles. Cet été elle s'en va suivre un camp pour une formation comme * Star Académie +...
1822 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Mais votre intérêt à vous; on ne parle pas de la famille, on parle de l'intérêt de créer une station de radio et de la maintenir en vie. Donc, vous voulez que ça serve de plate-forme pour vos enfants, pour la communauté, mais pourquoi...
1823 M. BUSSIÈRES: Pour la communauté parce que moi, quand je suis entré là-dedans je ne connaissais pas ça, la radio communautaire, mais quand j'ai vu l'équipe de jeunes qui étaient bénévoles, qui se démenaient à... ils mettaient des heures là-dedans puis... Ils avaient besoin d'un coup de main puis j'avais décidé de les aider parce que c'était vraiment intéressant de les voir aller, puis moi j'écoutais les émissions qu'ils faisaient puis il y avait des émissions pour la pêche, il y avait des émissions pour... des choses ouvertes. Je trouvais ça... j'aimais ça.
1824 J'avais pas d'intérêt à ce moment-là. C'était juste d'aider les jeunes qui se donnaient corps et âme. Ils méritaient un coup de pouce puis c'était là mon intérêt, de leur donner un coup de pouce.
1825 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Ça fait plusieurs mois qu'on est en lien avec, je pense que c'est surtout M. Bergeron. J'ai deux questions.
1826 Comment se fait-il qu'un plan de relance n'a pas été préparé? Pendant tout ce temps-là que vous aviez, il y a un syndic qui était bien sûr à l'oeuvre, vous attendiez, mais pourquoi vous n'avez pas été proactif, pour nous arriver ici, à la Commission, déjà avec un plan de relance en mains, pour montrer le sérieux de votre organisation, parce qu'actuellement, en arrivant ici les mains vides, comme vous le faites là, ça ne prouve pas que vous êtes sérieux pour relancer, et vous avez quand même eu trois ans, pendant que le syndic réglait ces choses, pour arriver avec un plan de relance.
1827 Alors ma question s'adresse à M.Bergeron et aussi à M. Dumais: Pourquoi vous n'avez pas présenté un plan de relance sérieux?
1828 MR. DUMAIS : Je vais répondre pour ma part puis ensuite M. Bergeron pourra répondre pour la sienne.
1829 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Parfait.
1830 M. DUMAIS: Un des gros points, un des gros créanciers dans l'affaire, qui est embarqué là-dedans avant notre arrivée, c'est Financière Midago(ph), Michel Cadrin(ph), qui est un monsieur qui est propriétaire d'une autre station FM à Québec puis d'une autre station AM aussi. Ce monsieur-là était un des pétitionnaires en faillite.
1831 Tant et aussi longtemps que ce point-là n'était pas réglé puis que le délai légal n'était pas terminé, celui du 8 juin, il y avait un risque qu'on fasse tout ça pour rien. Il y avait pas l'intérêt ni la motivation pour pouvoir aller refaire le tour. C'est beaucoup de travail, une radio communautaire. Il faut vraiment s'impliquer puis il faut pas faire ça à moitié, demi mesure. Puis ça va prendre une équipe permanente; ça veut dire que ça prend un directeur technique, ça prend une personne qui s'occupe de faire les communications, ça prend un système d'administration, une secrétaire, des bureaux.
1832 Avant d'investir là-dedans, on était sous l'emprise - je dis pas que quelqu'un voulait pas qu'on reprenne du marché, je le sais pas, où qu'on soit là, mais on était sous l'emprise de nos créanciers.
1833 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Parfait.
1834 Maintenant, monsieur Bergeron.
1835 M. BERGERON: Le pourquoi que j'ai attendu trois ans, après avoir essayé de relancer la station en 2008, on était obligé de baisser les bras et venir à l'évidence que c'était impossible de recommencer à faire survivre la station avec 185000$-quelques dollars de dettes. On a baissé les bras. On a mis ça au syndic.
1836 Je suis un homme d'affaires. J'ai des business à faire rouler. J'avais comme mis ça dans l'oubli. Il y a plus d'espoir. Il y a plus rien qu'on peut faire.
1837 J'ai vu au mois de décembre ou novembre que la licence allait tomber le 31 août, j'ai dit, woup, attends une minute. Et la communauté de Charlesbourg...
1838 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER : Quand est-ce que vous avez vu ça, monsieur Bergeron?
1839 M. BERGERON: Fin novembre. J'ai la date dans les papiers. Voulez-vous que je la cherche?
1840 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Alors, on parle d'il y a presque huit mois, là?
1841 M. BERGERON: Oui.
1842 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Alors, là, à ce moment-là, pourquoi vous n'avez pas décidé de faire tout ce que vous avez commencé à entreprendre il y a deux semaines à peine, avec une assemblée?
1843 Il aurait été, à ce moment-là, il me semble, le temps de dire: Oups! oui, on a un problème de syndic, mais on a aussi un problème de réglementation avec le CRTC qui nous donne le privilège d'avoir une fréquence et ceci étant un privilège, ça veut dire qu'on a des responsabilités.
1844 Alors, ma question est donc: Pourquoi, dès que vous n'avez pas eu des... dès que vous avez eu des contacts avec le CRTC, tout ce que vous voulez faire dans les prochains mois, vous n'avez pas commencé à le faire déjà, pour nous arriver ici avec un document solide de vos intentions sur lesquelles au moins on aurait pu vous poser des questions réalistes?
1845 M. BERGERON: O.k. Bien, le pourquoi que vous pensez que je n'ai pas rien fait depuis le mois de novembre, je ne peux pas vous cacher que, un, on a des... moi, je suis un homme d'affaires, donc c'est ma compagnie ma priorité numéro un. J'ai vu que c'était une tâche colossale de faire ça seul.
1846 Depuis trois ans on n'avait pas eu de contact ou à peu près pas entre nous autres. Renouer les liens, quand on s'est laissé, on ne s'est peut-être pas laissé dans des liens main dans la main, là, O.k. Il y a eu des... il y a eu des petits accrochages.
1847 Il a fallu régler ces accrochages-là. Il a fallu s'entendre sur une façon de travailler, se mettre... * focuser + sur les mêmes projets, les mêmes... les mêmes buts, O.k.
1848 Ce n'est pas évident tout le temps. On est des êtres humains; on n'est pas des machines.
1849 Regardez, le pourquoi que, moi, j'ai fait la demande, O.k., je voulais absolument que la licence ne tombe pas parce que, moi, quand j'ai connu CIMI, je vais dire comme Jean-François a dit tantôt, j'étais un fournisseur de la station, j'ai vendu des ordinateurs, j'ai réparé beaucoup. Je passais des heures et des heures par semaine à les aider bénévolement parce que je croyais à la mission. Ils me faisaient * triper + cette gang-là, c'est pour ça que j'ai essayé de m'impliquer.
1850 Tout le matériel que j'ai vendu à CIMI, la main-d'oeuvre que j'ai faite à CIMI, c'est disparu dans les pertes, O.k.
1851 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Alors, vous savez que pour moi, généralement, le passé récent est garant du futur.
1852 M. BERGERON: Hum, hum.
1853 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Je le répète. Le passé récent est garant du futur. Et dans le passé récent de la station, la gouvernance semble ne pas avoir fonctionné.
1854 M. BERGERON: O.k. C'est sûr que, moi, je pensais que la station...
1855 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Attendez un petit instant.
1856 LE PRÉSIDENT: Je m'excuse. Un instant.
1857 M. BERGERON: Excusez.
1858 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Il y a un problème de traduction.
1859 LA SECRÉTAIRE: Monsieur Pentefoutas va pouvoir parler.
1861 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Alors, je vous posais la question sur comment nous prouver que la gouvernance pourra être réglée puisque le passé récent de toute votre organisation nous prouve que jusqu'à hier soir tard, ce n'était pas clair chez vous qui gouvernait le tout, comment vous étiez organisé et une radio communautaire doit se baser sur une bonne gouvernance, une gouvernance dans laquelle toute la communauté est impliquée avec des appuis, du financement et une programmation.
1862 Alors, pour l'instant, votre passé n'est pas garant du futur.
1863 M. BERGERON: O.k. Je comprends votre point de vue. Je m'excuse si je n'ai pas été... je n'ai peut-être pas agi assez vite, O.k. Moi, je pensais qu'il n'y avait plus aucun espoir vu que le syndic, je ne savais pas que ça allait se libérer en trois ans. Il y a des lois que je ne connais pas.
1864 Pour vous prouver un petit peu que ça va changer, O.k., puis que les erreurs du passé ne se répéteront pas. Regardez... regardez ce qu'on a fait en 48 heures, si on applique cette énergie-là et qu'on * focuse + tout le monde là-dessus, c'est sûr que CIMI va revivre de ses cendres, ça c'est clair.
1865 Et, moi, je ne veux pas regarder par le passé, je veux regarder en avant.
1866 Le passé, c'est plate, on a fait des erreurs, on s'en excuse.
1867 Et comme Jean-François a dit tantôt, on ne vient pas ici la tête haute, donc on veut relancer CIMI puis on veut regarder en avant. Les erreurs du passé, on ne peut pas les corriger.
1868 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Alors, ma dernière question, monsieur le président, là, je me vois peut-être comme le directeur de l'Urbanisme à la ville. J'ai un groupe devant moi qui me demande ou bien un permis pour démolir la maison qui va mal ou bien un permis pour la rénover, O.k. Et c'est le choix qu'on a ici.
1869 Pourquoi on vous donnerait un permis pour la rénover plutôt, comme l'a dit le vice-président, de mettre fin à cette licence-là et de vous laisser retravailler sur un nouveau projet dans lequel vous pourriez rassembler toute la communauté et revenir avec une demande au CRTC sur des assises solides et nouvelles?
1870 M. DUMAIS: Je vais répondre.
1871 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Expliquez-moi pourquoi vous voulez un permis de rénovation plutôt qu'un permis de construction?
1872 M. DUMAIS: Je vous réponds. Tout ça, là, c'est * focusé + sur un point, la lueur d'espoir qu'on voit. Et ni la Commission ni nous n'avons d'intérêt à ce qu'il n'y ait pas un petit délai supplémentaire qui soit donné à CIMI. Qu'est-ce que ça va donner de plus au gouvernement ou au CRTC ou au gouvernement canadien ou au Québec de tirer la "plug" à CIMI tout de suite s'il y a encore un espoir pour la communauté?
1873 Pensons seulement aux jeunes de Limoilou qui n'en ont pas de Charlesbourg, ou de Saint-Charles et Limoilou, qui n'ont pas présentement de radio communautaire, à part que la petite radio au Cégep de Limoilou, c'est fou, là, qui est une petite radio étudiante à l'intérieur du Cégep, qui diffuse seulement sur le campus. Il n'y en a pas de radio communautaire.
1874 Il y a un fort sentiment d'appartenance à Charlesbourg puis je l'ai ressenti rapidement depuis les derniers téléphones que j'ai fait. S'il en reste une petite, suivez-nous serré, exigez-nous les restrictions que vous voulez, vous allez voir, on est capable de livrer. Puis si on ne l'a pas cette réponse-là puis qu'on ne l'a pas cette équipe-là puis on ne l'a pas cette gouvernance rigoureuse et droite, on prendra une décision de fermer les livres. Mais aujourd'hui, on a encore un petit espoir puis ça va nuire à personne de le donner ce petit espoir-là.
1875 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Puisque monsieur Tao représente une partie de l'espoir, monsieur Tao, avez-vous quelque chose à ajouter là-dessus?
1876 M. SINDJUI: Oui.
1877 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Ouvrez votre micro, s'il vous plaît.
1878 M. SINDJUI: Bonjour tout le monde. Je pense que si j'ai joint le projet, c'est parce que j'ai vu que je pouvais aider et que, moi, je peux aider.
1879 Si vous regardez ce qui a été fait en 48 heures, on a commencé par le gros capital qui est le capital humain. On a cherché des personnes, on a contacté des personnes qui peuvent nous aider parce qu'ils ont des expériences. Ça, c'est le premier point.
1880 Le deuxième point, c'est que j'ai écouté les collègues parler et de ça sort un sentiment que l'amour de CIMI n'est pas perdu. Il ne faudrait pas aller chercher à créer une autre FM quand on peut sauvegarder celle-ci à moindre coût, je pense.
1881 Si vous regardez, le capital humain est pratiquement tout listé et, ça, c'est quelque chose de très très positif. On sait où on peut mettre la main pour avoir telle chose et je pense qu'avec ça la base de travail sera solide.
1882 Depuis quelque... depuis une semaine, depuis que je connais certains membres, je pense que je pourrais travailler avec eux et leur apport serait très bien.
1883 Je connais monsieur Bergeron depuis un certain temps et je sais aussi que c'est un travailleur. Donc, je pense que ça vaut la peine de rester avec CIMI que d'aller chercher d'autres projets.
1884 Une autre raison serait que si on met CIMI de côté, sans avoir tout épluché, je pense que même la nouvelle radio qui viendra dire CIMI est passé à côté, celle-là passera à côté. Mais si on part chercher la force pour que CIMI renaisse de ses cendres, je pense que la population peut mieux nous écouter.
1886 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Je vous remercie beaucoup. Merci, monsieur le président.
1887 LE PRÉSIDENT: Merci, madame la conseillère Poirier.
1888 Monsieur Dumais, voilà quelques brefs commentaires et une question; peut-être la question qui tue. D'abord, on ne peut pas manquer ce qu'on n'a pas et ça fait quatre ans qu'il n'y a pas de service, il n'y a pas de station communautaire dans votre coin de pays; première des choses.
1889 Deuxièmement, je suis content de voir que monsieur O'Neill est ici présent et je me demande si monsieur O'Neill vous avait expliqué les conséquences potentielles d'un Ordre exécutoire?
1890 M. O'NEILL: Mais j'ai déjà expliqué à monsieur Dumais les options ouvertes au Conseil et je crois qu'il est au courant que le Conseil pourrait émettre une ordonnance contre la station.
1891 LE PRÉSIDENT: Mais il faut qu'on pose la question pour les fins du dossier comme tel et il faut avoir une réponse de monsieur Dumais et de ses collègues.
1892 M. O'NEILL: Oui.
1893 LE PRÉSIDENT: Si le Conseil émettait un ordre exécutoire sur tous les points qui sont dénotés dans 9.2 et 9.4, d'abord les retours annuels et, deuxièmement, de répondre aux demandes du Conseil quand requise le faut. Alors, est-ce que vous êtes prêt à vous engager à respecter ces deux conditions-là minimalement?
1894 M. DUMAIS: Pas à 99 pour cent ni à 98 pour cent, à 110 pour cent. On ne veut plus jamais jamais se remettre les pieds dans les plats comme ça. On a plus que notre leçon; on est brûlé au troisième degré. Puis le monsieur Bachand, monsieur Grant Bachanan... c'est ça, Grant?
1895 M. O'NEILL: Il parle de monsieur Grant Buchanan.
1896 LE PRÉSIDENT: Ah! oui, j'ai bien compris ça.
1897 M. DUMAIS: Buchanan. C'est monsieur Buchanan avec qui on a communiqué depuis une semaine, on a eu de nombreux échanges de courriel. Il nous a expliqué l'importance puis que le risque qu'on risquait aujourd'hui, puis l'importance de respecter les politiques sur la nouvelle loi, sur les...
1898 LE PRÉSIDENT: Puis le risque ajouté d'un Ordre exécutoire?
1899 M. DUMAIS: Exactement, il nous en a parlé. Il nous a dit: * Soyez humbles, dites la vérité, on n'a pas le choix où, nous, la radio est rendue là. + Il ne nous a pas chargé d'honoraires pour nous aider. Il nous a parlé au téléphone des heures et des heures.
1900 LE PRÉSIDENT: Hum, hum.
1901 M. DUMAIS: Mais, par contre, il y avait quelque chose au niveau de son fils, un point, il y avait quelque chose, là?
1902 M. O'NEILL: C'est juste parce que le fils de monsieur Buchanan va graduer de son école secondaire, je ne connais pas ça, mais...
1903 M. DUMAIS: En tout cas, il avait promis à son fils d'être là.
1904 M. O'NEILL: C'est pour ça qu'il n'est pas ici là.
1905 M. DUMAIS: Puis, là, lui, il a délégué monsieur O'Neill qu'on a rencontré hier soir pour assurer... normalement c'était monsieur Buchanan qui était ici aujourd'hui avec nous.
1906 LE PRÉSIDENT: Un dernier point. Vous avez tous d'autres choses à faire dans la vie. Monsieur Bergeron a expliqué qu'il a sa business à gérer et puis il ne peut pas se concentrer exclusivement à la relance de cette station-là et ça explique pourquoi en partie il n'y a pas d'autre mesure de prise bien avant les derniers 48 heures.
1907 Ça n'a pas changé, là, vous n'avez pas abandonné vos travaux et vos postes respectifs pour s'occuper de ça.
1908 M. DUMAIS: On va chacun prendre une partie de la tâche, on va faire ça par nos soirs, nos fins de semaine, par les temps libres de la journée puis on va essayer de réunir des ressources humaines, mais ça va prendre une équipe permanente pour la relance.
1909 Ça, ça va être dans le cadre du projet de relance. On va aller en appel d'offre, on va vous présenter un bon plan de relance, mais là ce qu'on fait aujourd'hui c'est que chacun se... on est rendu là, là, dans notre appel, là, chacun va aller voir la Caisse, la Chambre de commerce, les jeunes, le Cégep. On va faire le tour de la communauté.
1910 LE PRÉSIDENT: Mais rien ne vous empêchait de le faire... rien ne vous empêchait de le faire bien avant d'arriver chez nous.
1911 M. DUMAIS: On aurait pu le faire, mais sans l'espoir... sans l'espoir que notre créancier était encore... on était encore... on était encore à l'affût, là, on était encore dans le...
1912 LE PRÉSIDENT: Bien, depuis le 9 juin, vous auriez pu le faire?
1913 M. DUMAIS: Depuis le 9 juin, oui, mais la première chose c'était de convoquer une assemblée. Ça prenait une semaine d'avis pour convoquer l'assemblée. Dans les règlements c'est écrit une semaine d'avis sur les ondes et comme on n'était pas en ondes, on a mis une annonce dans le journal. Il fallait prendre le temps de voir la première réaction.
1914 LE PRÉSIDENT: On ne va pas s'obstiner, mais vous auriez pu le faire la semaine d'attente entre l'annonce de l'assemblée et la convocation de l'assemblée, vous auriez pu voir la communauté pour voir les appuis, les tester comme il faut, ce que vous n'avez pas fait.
1915 M. DUMAIS: Ce qu'on a eu le temps... ce qu'on a eu le temps de faire, on en a fait déjà une partie, on a commencé, mais on s'excuse de ne pas en avoir fait assez.
1916 LE PRÉSIDENT: En tout cas, est-ce qu'il y a des questions du Contentieux? Ça va? Écoute, merci beaucoup. Bon retour.
1917 M. DUMAIS: Merci, monsieur. Merci, membre du Comité.
1918 LE PRÉSIDENT: Écoute, on va prendre dix minutes. Merci à madame Roy.
--- Upon recessing at 1013
--- Upon resuming at 1033
1919 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
1920 Madame Roy...?
1921 THE SECRETARY: We will now proceed with item 7 on the Agenda which is an application by Aboriginal Voices Radio to renew the broadcasting licences for the Native Type B radio programming undertakings CKAV-FM Toronto, CKAV-FM-2 Vancouver, CKAV FM-3 Calgary, CKAV-FM-4 Edmonton and CKAV-FM-9 Ottawa -- collectively the AVR undertakings -- expiring 31 August 2012.
1922 The Commission is concerned that some of these stations may be operating in noncompliance with their conditions of licence related to the provision of daily local newscasts and structured enriched spoken word programming.
1923 The Commission will also discuss various issues with the licensee related to its local programming and its stations' operations and funding.
1924 The Commission expects the licensee to show cause at this hearing why:
1925 a mandatory order under section 12 of the Act requiring the licensee to comply with the Regulations and its conditions of licence should not be issued;
1926 its licence should be renewed;
1927 if its licence is renewed, why the renewal should not be for a short term; and
1928 why its licence should not be suspended or revoked pursuant to sections 9 and 24 of the Act.
1929 Please introduce yourself and your colleagues and you will then have 20 minutes to make your presentation.
1930 Thank you.
1931 MR. CAMPBELL: Thank you, Madame Secretary.
1932 For the record, my name is Wil Campbell and I am Chairman of the Board of Aboriginal Voices Radio. With me today are Jamie Hill, AVR's Chief Operating Officer; Lewis Cardinal, its Executive Vice President; Greg Thibideau, AVR's Production Manager; Colleen Cronin, for Advertising and Marketing, and our outside legal counsel, Monica Auer.
1933 Before we begin, I would like to thank the Algonquin peoples, whose historic lands we are visiting, and I would also like to acknowledge the Sacred Firekeeper for the Algonquin Nation, Mr. Peter Decontie.
1934 Mr. Chairman, Commissioners and CRTC staff, good morning.
1935 It is a privilege to appear here today, to speak with you, Canada's Indigenous peoples, Canadians and Parliament about AVR, Canada's largest Indigenous radio broadcaster and the only one in major cities across Canada.
1936 Over the next few minutes I will review AVR's history. Jamie will then describe our operations, address our two stations' inadvertent compliance issues and present AVR's plans for the years ahead.
1937 As you know, radio broadcasting began in Canada in 1919 and almost a thousand radio services are available in Canada today.
1938 Indigenous peoples have only been a part of this system since 1960, when the first radio broadcast in an Indigenous language took place. That was the same year, coincidentally, that Indigenous peoples first gained the right to vote in Canada's elections, having been disenfranchised by the 1857 Gradual Civilization Act.
1939 Thanks to hard work by the Inuit of Canada, the federal government began to support Indigenous programming in 1983. Unfortunately the Northern Native Broadcast Access Program did not fund Indigenous programming in the south, it did not fund Indigenous radio stations, was frozen in 1988 and cut by one-third from 1990 to 1996.
1940 The CRTC published Canada's broadcasting policy for Indigenous peoples in southern Canada in 1990. The Native Broadcasting Policy was the first to offer our peoples the chance to hold licences in Canada's larger cities, where half of them are living today. This Policy is still in force today.
1941 AVR was the first Indigenous applicant to receive a native broadcasting licence in a major city in southern Canada.
1942 An offshoot of Aboriginal Voices Magazine, AVR received a licence to serve Toronto in 2000. From 2001 to 2004 AVR also applied for and received radio licences to serve Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa and Edmonton, and four other licences since relinquished for financial reasons.
1943 In three cities, including Toronto and Vancouver, AVR received a licence, but not the frequency chosen. Budgets planned for program production, volunteer training and fund raising, were needed instead to apply for extensions of time to implement its services and to locate and reapply for usable frequencies.
1944 CKAV-AVR Toronto, licensed in June 2000 launched in December 2002;
1945 CKAV-AVR-3 Calgary, licensed in March 2001, launched July 2006;
1946 CKAV-AVR-2 Vancouver, licensed in June 2001 and launched in January 2007;
1947 CKAV-AVR-9 Ottawa, licensed in October 2001 and launched in August 2006;
1948 CKAV-AVR-4 Edmonton, licensed in April 2004 and launched in August 2007.
1949 Where commercial broadcasters issue shares or pledge assets to fund such pre-operating delays, AVR was a non-profit company and so could not. It had incurred debts of close to $2 million to continue.
1950 These first few years of delay frustrated us and led the Board to hire a new management team in 2004.
1951 All five of AVR's stations are on-air in mid-2007. By 2010 we had eliminated our debt and could refocus on our programming.
1952 I would like to now introduce Jamie, our Chief Operations Officer, and he will take things forward from here.
1953 MR. HILL: Thank you, Wil.
1954 Good morning, Commissioners.
1955 It is an honour to be here today to describe AVR's operations and its plans for the future.
1956 As Wil just mentioned, the CRTC licensed AVR under its Native Broadcasting Policy, which has several key elements.
1957 First, it says that Indigenous undertakings must be owned and controlled by non-profit organizations whose board includes Indigenous people.
1958 AVR fully meets this requirement. Our six-member Board also includes radio and television program producers, a former radio station manager, a performing artist, an art expert and a financial officer.
1959 While the Policy does not require Indigenous radio stations to be fully staffed by Indigenous people, two-thirds of AVR's 12 on-air staff are Indigenous.
1960 The Policy's second element defines Indigenous programs as being directed toward an Indigenous audience or dealing with any aspect of Indigenous peoples' lives, interests or cultures.
1961 The Policy does not require every program to be an Indigenous one. There are no quotas for non-Indigenous content.
1962 The Policy does not:
"...require or expect news programming aired by native radio stations to serve as a tool to preserve aboriginal culture..."
1963 -- and does not mandate levels of local or spoken word.
1964 That said, each AVR station carries 3 hours 21 minutes of news per week and, on average, 43 percent of our stations' programming is local.
1965 Created, directed and produced by Indigenous people, AVR's programs address the lives, the interests and cultures of Canada's Indigenous peoples.
1966 The Policy's third element stresses that Indigenous broadcasters must lead in developing and playing Indigenous music.
1967 Specifically, the CRTC identified the development and airplay of Indigenous musical talent as "a major factor" in Indigenous radio renewals.
1968 Every AVR station plays two and a half hours of Indigenous music per week. From 3.8 percent to 4.9 percent of our musical selections are in an Indigenous language, almost twice or more than required by our licences.
1969 The Policy's fourth element requires Indigenous licensees to specify their operating hours, language, formats, advertising and talent development plans.
1970 Each AVR station operates 126 hours per week, for a total of 630 hours per week, in English, Ojibwa, Mohawk, Cree, Oneida and Innu.
1971 From 3.8 percent to 5.8 percent of our stations' spoken word content is in an Indigenous language, almost twice or more than required by our licences.
1972 We proudly sponsor community events and festivals in Toronto, ranging from ImagineNATIVE, which is a film and other arts festival, and the Canadian Aboriginal Festival, to Word on the Street.
1973 These events give existing and new Indigenous artists important exposure and we were delighted that so many took the time to file letters supporting our renewal.
1974 Fifth, the Policy said it was "essential" for Indigenous broadcasters to have financial support to meet their responsibilities. Government financial support for Indigenous broadcasting has steadily decreased for twenty years.
1975 Government financial support for Indigenous broadcasting has steadily decreased for 20 years.
1976 In the last 10 years AVR has received four government grants, one to assist with capital equipment costs, one to record the 1996 Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, one for training and one to establish a news department. We do not have any government operating grants.
1977 Where long-established TV stations, community radio and community cable channels are supported every year by roughly $230 million from specially created funds, no Indigenous broadcast funds exist.
1978 AVR receives no Band Council funding of any kind.
1979 Three frequency exchange proposals that AVR submitted to the CRTC from 2007 to 2010 to give our stations a solid financial foundation were dismissed.
1980 AVR has therefore been forced to rely on the generosity of other radio broadcasters to direct CCD funding towards AVR.
1981 CCD reliance was not part of AVR's plans in 1999. While CCD money has helped AVR launch and stay on-air, it was not enough to hire the 10 or more people that each station should have or even to subscribe to broadcast rating services.
1982 While the CRTC's welcome 2006 amendment of the CCD policy may offer AVR financial support in the future, AVR's goal has been and remains to become more self-sufficient so that it can hire more staff and improve our services.
1983 Yet AVR's advertising plans depend, among other things, on Canada's local, regional and national economies. The 2009 recession led even large broadcasters to close stations, and hit AVR, too. Many advertisers have centralized their buying with large national media groups and have less interest in reaching smaller niche audiences.
1984 The economy is improving, though, and as AVR's marketing strategies build its ad revenues will also improve. We have also spent the last several months reviewing and revising our approach in this area.
1985 If the economy does not improve, AVR will meet its existing commitments for Indigenous language spoken word and music programming, local and Canadian content. On average, over 40 percent of our programming is local and over 50 percent of our Category 2 music is Canadian, well above required levels of 25 percent and 35 percent, respectively.
1986 We have proposed conditions of licence in these areas, even though the sixth main element of the Native Broadcasting Policy is the CRTC's decision not to impose programming promises as conditions of Indigenous broadcasting licences.
1987 Turning to the questions raised by Notice of Consultation 2012-224, I will now address AVR's original plans, financing, programming, staffing and governance.
1988 While some of AVR's original plans proved difficult to implement, the heart of the original AVR proposal is intact.
1989 AVR is fully owned and controlled by Indigenous people.
1990 We focus on Indigenous music and musicians and offer a range of spoken word content in Indigenous languages as promised, including, currently, lessons in beginner Ojibwa.
1991 Our programs include on-air discussions, "spirituality and teachings, language and cultural lessons", as originally planned.
1992 While we cannot yet afford open-line programs, AVR is today offering much of what it originally promised, from local to national programming, from spirituality to news, all with significantly fewer resources than originally forecast.
1993 Thirteen years ago AVR's application was premised on extensive fund-raising, private loans, advertising, government support and a cooperative association with APTN.
1994 Fund-raising was less successful than hoped, partly due to the need to focus on launching and staying on-air.
1995 A $750,000 reserve did support AVR's launch. Well over half paid the engineering, technical, legal and other costs associated with new frequencies and launch delays, however, not programming. Also, this reserve was not a grant, was not forgiven, and has been repaid.
1996 AVR has not met the original year-one advertising forecast of $380,000, unsurprising given pre-op delays, the recession and industry rumours that the CRTC will remove our licences.
1997 Changes in governments and their priorities meant that hoped-for government grant levels never materialized, also the case for a working relationship with APTN.
1998 With much lower-than-forecast revenues, and much higher-than-planned expenses, AVR began in 2004 to cut costs to pay its debts, to let us refocus on programming and station-building.
1999 Today almost all of AVR's revenue comes from CCD commitments. As some are expiring and new commitments are unpredictable, improving ad revenues has been and remains critical.
2000 Our challenge is that AVR is operating five stations on the euphemistic shoestring and competing with 70 other commercial radio stations for listeners in our markets. To put this into perspective, the average commercial station in these markets operates with almost four times more revenues than AVR has for all five of its stations.
2001 That said, while commercial stations in our markets use 23 percent of their revenues for programming, we use 29 percent of our revenues for programming.
2002 Thirteen years ago AVR thought it could operate with five full-time staff who would train upwards of 150 volunteers.
2003 Running professional-calibre broadcasting stations with volunteers proved challenging.
2004 We now run with a mix of 30 full or part-time staff, independent contractors and student interns. Hiring the additional staff AVR needs will depend on revenue growth.
2005 We still welcome volunteers. We have also advertised for students, even though "free" students cost money as they must be insured.
2006 Turning to management, AVR is a non-profit organization governed by its six-member Board of Directors, elected by AVR's members. The Board oversees our work and meets up to four times per year or more.
2007 I would like now to address two unplanned incidents involving two of our five stations.
2008 AVR filed all of its annual returns, logger tapes and music lists as required. All of our stations exceeded their requirements for Indigenous music, Indigenous language spoken word and Canadian content.
2009 Our Calgary and Vancouver stations, unfortunately, each had two problems since our last renewal. Both involved computer software issues.
2010 First, AVR must provide 20 hours of "structured enriched spoken word" programming per week.
2011 Three stations exceeded this by almost six hours, but Calgary and Vancouver were short by 9 and 43 minutes.
2012 The missing minutes were scripted and recorded, but did not play because of an error in software use.
2013 Second, each AVR station must broadcast five distinct news stories daily that are relevant to their community. Three stations met or exceeded this number, but Vancouver and Calgary were each short on one of the seven days reviewed.
2014 The missing stories were scripted and recorded, but aired the next day due to a mislabelled computer file.
2015 As soon as we became aware of these issues we advised AVR's Board. We purchased new computers and updated our software. We notified each of our staff to reiterate the importance of adhering to the terms of our licences. We also reviewed computer software use with our staff.
2016 We very much regret these incidents, which were unintentional and did not in any way benefit AVR, and have taken steps to stop their recurrence.
2017 Going forward, AVR's goals are to strengthen its programming by increasing its revenues.
2018 Success will depend in part on our licence terms, especially for spoken word.
2019 In 2000 AVR offered to broadcast 31.5 hours of spoken word, or 25 percent of our weekly network schedule.
2020 In 2006 we then committed to 25 percent local programming, including news, at each AVR station.
2021 We also agreed to add structured programming to our schedule, which the CRTC made into a condition of licence for structured enriched spoken word.
2022 Creating original high-quality structured enriched spoken word content is perhaps the most expensive type of radio programming. Added to AVR's commitment to 157.5 additional hours of local programming, producing structured enriched spoken word took more resources than was realized in 2006. We therefore repeat many of these programs, which is not popular with our audiences.
2023 Removing this condition would strengthen AVR's ability to increase its advertising revenues by enabling it to offer new and attractive programming.
2024 For example, AVR would like to add hosts to all of its music-based programming, including a program that would feature a wide variety of guest hosts featuring their own music lists.
2025 Second, AVR would like to reduce the hours of repeat spoken word content that we now air, from 17 to approximately four hours per week.
2026 AVR would like instead to offer its listeners new and original programs featuring Indigenous musicians and commentators.
2027 This shift in AVR's approach will enable it to extend the promotion of AVR's radio services to potential new listeners and advertisers. Increasing awareness of AVR's innovative programming will, over the medium and long term, improve its financial performance.
2028 Finally, as the Commission knows, the concept of structured enriched spoken word programming is now unique to AVR. No other station has this condition, the old FM enrichment requirements for spoken word having been dropped in the '90s.
2029 Neither the 2006 Commercial Radio Policy nor the Native Broadcasting Policy mentions structured or enriched programming. Removal would therefore be in line with current CRTC policies.
2030 In other requests, AVR has also asked you to amend certain licensing terms to reflect the fact that these terms have been met.
2031 Finally, we ask to replace the stale and, frankly, offensive term of "native" in our conditions of licence with the contemporary, internationally accepted concept of "Indigenous". This term is more inclusive, as it refers to non-status people with Indigenous ancestry in this country.
2033 MR. CAMPBELL: To conclude, Mr. Chairman, Commissioners and staff, where most radio stations have five to seven years of operation to find their feet before their first renewal, this is AVR's third renewal hearing in the five years since its stations have all been on air.
2034 It has been a challenging first few years, but we are serving our audiences well with the resources we have.
2035 All 30 interventions on the public record support our renewal, including musicians, artists, the Assembly of First Nations, the Native Women's Association, the National Association of Friendship Centres and the Aboriginal Commission on Human Rights and Justice.
2036 We are building a foundation for the future. While AVR is not yet thriving, that is our goal and, we hope, yours. By approving our application you will grant us the chance to innovate and to create programming that will appeal to audiences and, in turn, to advertisers.
2037 The Board and I eagerly look forward to AVR's next licence term and to serving its audiences.
2038 We welcome the chance to discuss our plans and to answer your questions.
2039 Thank you very much.
2040 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
2041 Commissioner Patrone...?
2042 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
2043 Thank you for your presentation this morning as well. I appreciate the explanations you have offered and for sharing with us your challenges up to this point and your plans for the future.
2044 As you know, this is your third compliance hearing in six years and you have already been on two short term renewals, so I hope you appreciate the seriousness of the matter before you.
2045 That said, you will have every opportunity today to address the concerns raised by this proceeding. We have a lot to cover, beginning with your point on page 5, paragraph 23.
2046 It is true that the policy does not require or expect news programming aired by your community Indigenous radio stations to serve as a tool to preserve Indigenous culture.
2047 We would, however, remind you that your condition of license requires five distinct and relevant news stories and, while it does not speak to cultural preservation, as you mention, it does speak to relevance to the community and to the markets served, which leads me to the first of two areas in which it appears, based on the analysis of staff, that you are out of compliance, that would be COL 2 and then I will deal with COL 3 later on.
2048 COL 2, as you know, applies to the five distinct news stories in the markets of Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton.
2049 Our analysis found that there were both qualitative and quantitative issues. Thanks for addressing some of these in your oral presentation on page 15 where you talk about software problems and measures that you have taken to deal with them.
2050 We are going to talk a little bit more about that later, but allow me first to recap some of the results of staff's analysis to this point in time.
2051 We received logger tapes for the week of September 25, 2011 to October 1, 2011 and our analysis has found that there were not five distinct local news stories.
2052 For example, story three in Edmonton dated September 30, 2011 featured a story about a fossil discovery near Lethbridge, which is 450 kilometres south.
2053 Now, you have responded in a letter dated March 29th of this year that you believe all your stories are relevant. I would remind you that the COL says that the story must be local to the market. It must be relevant, but it must be local.
2054 So I will start with a question about why you think that story qualified as local.
2055 MR. HILL: Thank you, Commissioner.
2056 We are not aware of a geographic boundary for the determination of local as part of the policy so there is, as far as we are concerned -- as far as we are aware, as long as it is within -- I guess not imposing onto another city -- for instance our other city is Calgary, that it's local, and we consider such information informative to the community as far as some historical information. Indigenous people are interested in that type of information.
2057 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: But if I understand your reasoning, Mr. Hill, a story that originates from any other city in the country would qualify, as long as it doesn't come from a city in which you have a presence.
2058 Is that correct?
2059 MR. HILL: No, it was within -- I mean I don't know what a geographic range would be and we are not aware there is a policy on that, but it wasn't any other city, it was in the region of that city.
2060 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: It was in Lethbridge. You felt that it was -- I understand that you might feel it was relevant, that question was why you felt it was local, and if I understand your reply, it's that you don't recognize any geographic definition behind the word "local".
2061 MR. HILL: Yes, we are not aware of a definition.
2062 MS. AUER: And, if I might add, Commissioner Patrone, of course AVR wants to comply with its licences, and the current licence issued in 2010, unfortunately, does not present a clear definition of what the Commission had expected with respect to local.
2063 I believe the first time that AVR was actually formally notified by the Commission was in the deficiency responses, in which it indicated for the first time the BBM boundary, or the geographic boundary.
2064 Had AVR known about this in 2010, of course it would have made every effort to comply.
2065 So one of the issues is, yes, there isn't a clear definition of what is local. Had there been, AVR would have been in compliance.
2066 Without that, AVR could not have understood what was on the Commission's mind in defining local. And, from AVR's perspective, as it indicated to you in its replies, those were the stories that it believed were local to its audiences.
2067 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: But if I understand Mr. Hill's original response to my question, a story aired in Edmonton could air a story that applied, say, to residents in Halifax and still qualify as local, because you don't have a station there.
2068 And because there is no definition for local -- I mean, wouldn't common sense dictate that local means within the bounds of the city in which you are operating?
2069 MR. HILL: We are not sure what those bounds would be. There could be suburbs, there could be regions around that particular local area.
2070 As I indicated, Commissioner, it is unclear to us exactly what the precise definition of what is within the bounds of a city.
2071 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Did you communicate that to staff when you were asked about that originally, that you felt that you needed more clarity around what constitutes local?
2072 MS. AUER: Commissioner, when we first heard about this through the deficiency process, yes, in our reply we explained our view on the matter.
2073 I would also like to point out, however, in looking through some of the actual new stories that were provided during the week, that I cannot myself see off the top, from the various stories for each of the stations, whether in fact, for instance, the Edmonton station carried a story from Halifax. But from a quick glance, it looks like most of the stories, if they were not dealing specifically with Edmonton, may not have mentioned Edmonton specifically, but nor did they, hypothetically, refer to Iqualuit or Halifax.
2074 But, as I said, yes, as soon as --
2075 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: That was just an example.
2076 MS. AUER: Yes, of course, and as soon as AVR became aware of this issue, it was discussed, I believe, with AVR staff.
2077 Perhaps Jamie would like to discuss in more detail what steps were taken after receiving the deficiency letter.
2078 MR. HILL: When we became aware of the deficiencies, we informed the Board, and we reviewed the policy for news programming, and we took steps to ensure that the computer issues were fixed and that staff understood how to correctly operate the software.
2079 And we have two people -- we had two people watching the posting of news, to make sure it happened. We have since increased that to three. We have added more redundant fault tolerance into the manufacturing and airing of news, to ensure that it doesn't happen again.
2080 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Part of this exercise is designed to inform us about where there are issues in communication and clarifications, and that's why I raised the matter about the story in Lethbridge, but there are other examples, because we are not talking about an isolated incident here.
2081 On Wednesday, September 28th, 2011, Story 4, in Vancouver, was referring to an announcement by the B.C. Health Minister, who announced an action plan related to diagnoses and medical scans. CRTC staff considered that to be a provincial story, not a local one.
2082 But I take it that since you don't recognize -- either you don't recognize or you don't fully understand that local means within the boundaries of the city. And, sure, by all means, include the suburbs. I don't think that is an unreasonable thing to apply to a local area.
2083 But the other area of concern to staff, and the Commission in general, is why there haven't been the kind of responses to our requests for information and comment -- for instance, to our letter dated March 19th of this year. There was a sense, when questions were asked, that there was not the kind of response that one would hope, from the Regulator's point of view.
2084 Are we wrong in our interpretation? Did you do your best to furnish the Regulator with answers to the questions we were asking?
2085 MS. AUER: Could you provide us with an example of where you believe that we were inadequate in our answers?
2086 Because, of course, I note that the first answer to the 19 March 2012 set of questions, I think, was over 20 pages long. In fact, just one of the answers took several pages to elucidate.
2087 If the issue is that AVR should have provided more, we would certainly be happy to provide any additional clarifications that you would like at this time. We were unaware that you required more clarification.
2088 But we would be happy to provide you with more detail now, if you would like.
2089 And if we appeared short or too succinct in our replies, we certainly apologize.
2090 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: The complaint that I heard, or what I heard back, was not so much that it was concise, but that it was lacking in relevant responses and explanations to direct questions that were asked.
2091 But I am going to leave that for now, just to remind you again that the COL requires that the stories be distinct and of direct and particular relevance to the community served within each market.
2092 So when discussions around local come up, you could even consider, for instance, contours in discussions around market. That may help you determine what might constitute local.
2093 But how do you assess whether a story qualifies as local or not? Could you, maybe, talk about some of the discussions and rationale applied when events happen, from a news perspective, and decisions are made in the newsroom about, "Well, this story qualifies as local"?
2094 Can you walk me through the process that takes place in your newsrooms?
2095 MR. HILL: Yes, Commissioner. As we understood from the definition of "local", the news had to have particular relevance to the people residing in those areas.
2096 We have a policy of practicality. One of the phrases that we use is "News you can use," so it is to inform the listeners on things that we feel they should be aware of in order to improve the quality of their life.
2097 So, not understanding that there was an issue about local being within contours, we focused on the relevance to the local community, and these are things that affect them directly. That's what we tried to report on.
2098 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: And even if --
2099 MS. AUER: I'm sorry to interrupt, Commissioner --
2100 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: It's Ms. Auer, right?
2101 MS. AUER: Yes, it is, just like the clock.
2102 I was just going to mention -- I think that Jamie was going to ask Greg Thibideau to go over some of the steps that --
2103 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you, I would appreciate that.
2104 MR. THIBIDEAU: Good morning, Commissioners.
2105 What happens in the newsroom, ever since, especially, the deficiency, is that if it is within the contours of the BBM -- the BBM contours for that particular market -- it does qualify as local. That was expressed to our staff and is enforced and managed by myself and one other manager.
2106 There are some checks to go along with that. The script is sent to four other people across the country to determine whether or not it is local, and if there is a question, that news story is pulled and a new local story is written.
2107 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: And those decisions are made -- the final decision would be made, say, in Toronto, concerning a story in Edmonton?
2108 MR. THIBIDEAU: Sometimes that does happen, Commissioner. Other times --
2109 We have local news readers, as well, in other cities, and if they flag it as non-local, we are alerted right away and we pull the story and have it rewritten.
2110 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Even if we did not disqualify the stories mentioned, AVR was still found to be short numerically, in the number of local items in Vancouver and Calgary, for Friday, September the 30th.
2111 You speak of it on page 15 of your oral, and you spoke about it a little bit, Mr. Hill, a couple of minutes ago.
2112 Can you walk me through, once again, what happened, why you were short the number of stories?
2113 MR. HILL: Yes, Commissioner. There are a number of people involved in the manufacture of the news. There are writers, researchers, people who are assigned to these duties, and we have an editor.
2114 Then, all of the news is sent to a number of managers, for us to be aware and to peruse the news, to make sure it looks okay.
2115 Then it goes into the Production Department, which Greg handles, and I would like to ask him -- beyond the writing and editing of the news, I would like Greg to comment on how it actually gets onto the air.
2116 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay. Thank you.
2117 MR. THIBIDEAU: Thank you, Jamie.
2118 I will go through the details of the deficiency for that particular day, the Friday.
2119 A news file goes into a category. On that particular day, that news file was categorized as "Local News - Saturday" -- it was inadvertent -- in two of our five markets.
2120 If that news category is mislabelled as Saturday, that file will play on the Saturday and not as a local news category that would fit within the Monday through Friday.
2121 They did not play on the Friday, and as soon as we knew that they didn't play, that was reported to me. I was on vacation at that point in time, when it was reported to me, and I instructed to at least play them the very next day.
2122 I am aware that in Vancouver that did happen, and in Calgary it was done later on that night, because I was alerted about that error later on during that evening.
2123 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes, I see that referenced on page 15 of your oral today: "The missing stories were scripted and recorded, but aired the next day, due to a mislabelled computer file."
2124 And the story was still relevant the next day?
2125 I mean, news, generally, is, you know, new.
2126 So the fact that you would simply say, well -- you know, rather than simply spike the story as being old, you said: Well, we'll just play it tomorrow.
2127 MR. THIBIDEAU: That decision was made by myself on the next day. I didn't make that decision on the Friday and say "Play it tomorrow," that decision was made by myself the next day, knowing full well that those stories had not aired on the Friday.
2128 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You have spoken a little bit about measures that are now in place.
2129 Is that right, Mr. Hill?
2130 Measures that are aimed at fixing the problem, as it were.
2131 MR. HILL: Yes.
2132 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Can you talk a little bit about those measures?
2133 MR. HILL: Primarily, we have more people watching it, so that we can be on top of the situation as it occurs, right away. If one person misses something, we are hoping that the other person would see it.
2134 So we have three people involved in actually putting the computer file onto the computer, and it's in its correct location.
2135 We had one other person watching that, we now have two people watching to ensure that it is actually going into the spot that it's going into.
2136 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: So personnel have actually been hired, Mr. Hill?
2137 MR. HILL: No, we allocated some time of another staff member.
2138 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: So we are talking about -- human oversight has been improved.
2139 Correct, Mr. Thibideau?
2140 MR. THIBIDEAU: Yes, Commissioner.
2141 MR. HILL: The other thing that we did, as well as the human oversight, was that we looked into trying to ensure that the software is well understood by staff, on how they should post things, so that there are no mistakes.
2142 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I have a couple of more questions related to COL 2. First of all, do you think it's appropriate for the Commission to change the wording of the COL to make it more clear about our expectations related to the five stories?
2143 In other words, would that help you?
2144 MR. HILL: We would hope that you would do that in consultation with us, Commissioner, if you were to do such a thing.
2145 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: This is your time to --
2146 MS. AUER: This is the consultation, we are aware of that. Yes, we understand.
2147 I think that the more clarity in licensing decisions, the better. That way we are all on the same page, we all understand what is expected going forward.
2148 I don't think you will ever hear a broadcast licensee welcome the imposition of many new conditions of licence, but when conditions of licence are added, I think it's fair to say that clarity is always useful.
2149 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: And further to that point, Ms. Auer, why shouldn't a mandatory order be issued to AVR on the matter of COL 2 -- if, in fact, you do believe that that shouldn't happen?
2150 MS. AUER: I don't believe that a mandatory order should be imposed, and I guess that we have presented in the past -- in some of our other responses, we have indicated our reasons for that, and I will just summarize those very quickly.
2151 As you know, of course, first, AVR was fully compliant with respect to this condition of licence in three out of its five stations. So those stations would not require a mandatory order, because they were compliant.
2152 Second, this is not a persistent problem. This is the first time it has occurred. Frankly, there may have been a staff holiday -- there was a staff holiday involved, and as AVR is relatively low in staff resources, it just didn't -- it simply happened. These things sometimes happen.
2153 However, AVR then took steps, after that, to ensure --
2154 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Just so I'm clear, Ms. Auer, are you suggesting that our COLs shouldn't apply on staff holidays?
2155 MS. AUER: Absolutely not. Every COL should always be respected, regardless. I understand that, I am simply giving you the explanation as to why, in this particular circumstance, it was unusual. Had the staff person been there, there would be no deficiency.
2156 There was a deficiency. We acknowledge that. However, it was not a persistent, repeated, flagrant violation.
2157 This is not the fifth licence term that AVR has had where it was non-compliant with respect to a condition of licence regarding distinct local news.
2158 As well, of course, in this case AVR was not deficient on each of the seven days for those two stations. It happened on one day. It happened with respect to a few of the stories. In a way -- and I am not in any way trying to reduce the significance of any breach of a condition of licence. This was not all stations being non-compliant throughout the entire broadcast week. One day --
2159 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: All right. Are you suggesting that we should impose COLs just on the markets in which there was a problem?
2160 MS. AUER: We were speaking of mandatory orders --
2161 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes, mandatory orders.
2162 MS. AUER: -- and, I guess, in the case of a mandatory order, I would wonder why a mandatory order would be issued with respect to a licence that was compliant.
2163 It's entirely up to the Commission. You want, obviously, to ensure that AVR is compliant.
2164 AVR took this very seriously, and it did take steps. It immediately acknowledged the problem. When it provided its performance evaluation to the Commission, it identified the problem itself, to its chagrin.
2165 It accepted responsibility. It acted promptly.
2166 As well, of course, we are not talking about a large commercial broadcaster that, for example, in one station, has 55 people in its News Department alone. We have a very small group of people here who are, for better or worse, doing what they are able to do with the resources they have.
2167 That is not to say that conditions of licence should only be adhered to if there are resources. Acknowledged. This is merely the explanation as to why a mandatory order, I think, would not necessarily make anything better, because the licensee has already acted.
2168 Finally, as I said before, and I think Mr. Hill would agree, AVR is fully seized of the importance of complying with these conditions of licence.
2169 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you for your reply.
2170 While I have some sympathy with the fact that resources are tight, we have actually had licensees in this very proceeding that are smaller than you are, and they are certainly held to account on matters regarding COLs.
2171 But I certainly take your point, Ms. Auer.
2172 MS. AUER: I did want to mention one other point. I guess in mentioning that this happened on a staff holiday, there was simply no intentionality; no benefit to AVR financially or otherwise. This wasn't planned, and there was no attempt, for example, to say: Gee, I guess this week we are going to play 100 percent American content in order to try to obtain more popular music -- or whatever it might be.
2173 No intentionality, from what I understand.
2174 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Let's talk about COL 3, which applies to the matter of the 20 hours of structured enriched spoken word programming for the Vancouver and Calgary markets.
2175 Once again we are referring to the week of September 25th to October 1st of last year.
2176 Our analysis found that there was a shortfall in Vancouver and Calgary of structured enriched spoken word programming.
2177 In your response to the Commission, dated October 25th, 2011, AVR admitted the shortfall when it submitted the logger tapes.
2178 Could you talk a little bit about the error that caused that -- and, again, we are referring to a computer problem.
2179 Is that right, Mr. Hill?
2180 MR. HILL: Yes, that's right, Commissioner.
2181 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Could you walk me through that issue and how you have resolved it since that point?
2182 MR. HILL: Yes. Before I ask Greg, who handles that area very specifically and directly, I would like to comment that we do specifically program more than the 20 hours of structured enriched, according to our licence, in case there is some kind of problem where something goes wrong. So we do program more than the 20 hours.
2183 And you will see from the other three cities that are compliant that we did play more than the 20 hours.
2184 And that is specifically in place because we do have a track record of trying to exceed the conditions of licence, to ensure that we are doing a good job on meeting these requirements.
2185 Unfortunately, we regret that there was a similar situation with this software, which I would like to ask Greg to explain to you.
2186 MR. THIBIDEAU: Thank you, Jamie.
2187 With the structured enriched spoken word situation, we did get a Missing Media Report. It's a pop-up on our automation system that says there is missing media.
2188 The on-call staff closed that message and, basically, there was an error log that wasn't read during that time.
2189 That error can occur for many different reasons: one, if the category has changed, if the duration of that program has changed -- and there are many other different reasons.
2190 If the characteristics of the file change you will get a Missing Media Report, where you must act with that file to re-import it into the system.
2191 That wasn't done. It was closed quickly by an on-call staff and it wasn't reported to myself.
2192 In that case, I have worked with the automation company and the developer of that company to ensure that there is an "Are you sure?" message put into that automation when there is a Missing Media Report.
2193 We have updated all of our computers, replaced our automation systems and computer systems, and updated to the final version that I worked with on with the developer.
2194 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: On the matter of the error log, Mr. Thibideau, that wasn't read, was there, in fact, anyone there to read it?
2195 MR. THIBIDEAU: We have on-call staff. I have two on-call staff in every city, that are technical --
2196 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: So on-call means that they come in when you --
2197 They are not on shift on any particular day, you have to pick up the phone and say: Can you come in and work on this day or that day.
2198 Is that what you --
2199 MR. THIBIDEAU: They work Monday through Friday. I have three -- myself included is three on call that deal with programming. All three of us check those as part of our job duties 24/7.
2200 And then if there is a hardware problem, transmitter/combiner things like that, I have two on-call staff to deal with hardware problems in those particular cities.
2201 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You are based in Toronto?
2202 MR. THIBIDEAU: Yes, I am, Commissioner.
2203 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: So you are dealing with -- are you dealing with all the markets in which AVR --
2204 MR. THIBIDEAU: I deal with all markets. I'm the Project Manager and Technical Director of AVR.
2205 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: It must be difficult. I mean you are, in some cases, thousands of miles/kilometres away from -- it's impossible for you to be in every single location to see things like air logs and to make sure that somebody is there to read them.
2206 MR. THIBIDEAU: I do check; myself.
2207 And all the other on-call staff we are required, and I require my staff and myself to do eight off time, off-hour checks per station in between off hours especially during our 18-hour broadcasts.
2208 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: So this software, Mr. Thibodeau, allows you to monitor what's going on in every location?
2209 MR. THIBIDEAU: Absolutely.
2210 MR. HILL: Commissioner, if I could make a clarification?
2211 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Please.
2212 MR. HILL: I would like to say that the on call does mean that they are working at that time.
2213 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I thought on call meant you are on call, meaning somebody --
2214 MR. HILL: Well, it's a term that we just apply to what that particular duty is, and that is to watch the programming.
2215 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: All staff people?
2216 MR. HILL: Yes, these are people who are on the payroll.
2217 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Are they volunteers?
2218 MR. HILL: No, they are not volunteers. These people are all compensated.
2219 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: They are not volunteers. These are staffers? These are fulltime people?
2220 MR. HILL: No, they are not fulltime.
2221 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Not fulltime?
2222 MR. HIL: Some of them are part time.
2223 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay.
2224 MR. HILL: Some are fulltime and some are part time.
2225 MR. CAMPBELL: And they are paid by AVR.
2226 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay. So they are on the payroll.
2227 Is there any reason why we should not impose a mandatory order requiring you to comply with COL 3?
2228 Ms Auer, I know you are going to tackle that one.
2229 MS AUER: You saw me reaching.
2230 MS AUER: I think, again, as we indicated before, steps were taken promptly as soon as AVR became aware of it.
2231 I do think that although it may not have been clear from the discussion you just had, the term on call here is not in the sense of, let's say, a medical professional who is on call, only comes in if required.
2232 On call in AVR's parlance actually means the staff is there. It is monitoring. In this case it misread a software instruction.
2233 AVR promptly acted. They informed their Board. They informed their staff.
2234 I'm sure if they could have used a two-by-four they might have you know re-advised their staff of the importance of making sure they understand exactly what messages are popping up on the screen.
2235 Staff inexperience on one occasion for one event, I think, does not necessarily merit a mandatory order. I think mandatory orders in the Commission's general practice has been to reserve this perhaps for the most egregious or repeat offenders about repeat offences.
2236 Hypothetically, if you were always, for instance, to be marketing yourself as a station in one location when you were actually licensed to serve another station at another location and you did that on consecutive occasions, I think that would certainly merit it. The Commission has in fact imposed that type of mandatory order.
2237 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Something you just said a second ago tweaked something in my mind about training.
2238 Is your on-call staff trained well enough, do you think, considering that we have an air log that wasn't read or wasn't read properly?
2239 You know the Commission wants to be assured that you have people on staff who are not only competent but they have been trained properly to do the job that they are required to do.
2240 MR. HILL: Yes, Commissioner, we do endeavour to train them quite extensively and the people who are doing this have been at the station. They did not just start there. They are trained and training is on-going, especially when we have new software and new conditions of licence.
2241 We actually have been running -- trying to comply with this prior to the exact dates so if they had enough practice and training in order to comply.
2242 I would like to ask Greg to comment further.
2243 MR. THIBIDEAU: Further for to the on call, Commissioner, I have outfitted every single one of my on-call staff with a phone that can handle remote desktop software that we can monitor those air logs even when we are not in our home where we are connected to the internet.
2244 During these proceedings over the last two days I have left the Commission room just to go -- the hearing room just to go and check on them to make sure that logs are being maintained as I expect all of -- the other two on-call staff to be doing during their time off as well.
2245 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you for that.
2246 I want to move on to other areas of concern pertaining to the quality level of the local programming.
2247 As you point out on page 5 of your oral today, AVR's programs address "the lives, the interests and cultures" of Canada's indigenous people and, as you point out on paragraph 6 of your commitment to indigenous music, 2.5 hours per week.
2248 This Commission is concerned by what it believes to be very lengthy periods of programming during which there is no DJ presence -- assuming that.
2249 Now, do you call them DJs? Are they announcers, whatever you want to call them? I don't know if DJ is an antiquated term these days.
2250 MR. HILL: Yeah, we still call them DJs, Commissioner.
2251 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: But do these stations go on autopilot for lengthy stretches?
2252 I'm going to refer specifically to September 26 in Vancouver. There was a three-minute newscast just after 2:31 p.m., a three-minute newscast at 3:31 p.m. So far, so good.
2253 Then two and a half hours of music and automated station ID, no DJ presence, no ads, only music and an ID. This represents a total of six minutes of spoken word material in a three and a half hour period of time which AVR plans of course as local programming.
2254 So we would ask whether or not you feel there is enough in the way of reflection, commentary?
2255 It's all well and good to play the music. But without any information or commentary about the artists, the concerts, CD sales, availability, interviews, that kind of thing you know, to what degree really are you serving the interests of Canada's indigenous people by basically having an iPod?
2256 Am I being too harsh?
2257 MR. HILL: Commissioner, I would like to say that we do aspire and do propose to increase the level of announcers across all of our music programming.
2258 We have a new programming schedule that has just been approved by the Board. And what we are proposing to the Commission currently, we are producing three hours of structured enriched spoken word programming.
2259 Because of the expense of that we have filed information regarding what we think it costs to do original, fresh, structured enriched programs 20 hours on a weekly basis. We contend that it is the most expensive type of programming to fabricate.
2260 We want to reduce the hours of repeated structured enriched programming by removing the requirement for structured enriched.
2261 We want to move to spoken word programming where we can produce original content on a weekly basis with a minimal amount of repeats, much reduced from the 17 hours of repeats that we have now.
2262 We want to replace the repeated programming with announcer programming with DJs across our music service. During some of those times, for instance the one that you mentioned, it is our aspiration to be able to do that.
2263 As you know, we have only been operating our stations for five years, all of the entire set of stations. And we have not gone through a seven-year renewal term but we would like the time to build the service.
2264 We are building the service. We are increasing our efforts in order to move towards sustainability and to procure the revenues in order to increase the announcers.
2265 So we believe that we will prove our service by reducing the repeated hours and not being required to manufacture 20 original hours per week and use those resources that we will gain from advertising and through our current revenue streams.
2266 In order to add announcers we are proposing that we will add announcers to our music service.
2267 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: That's well and good, Mr. Hill.
2268 When you launched, though, presumably you were ready not only to meet the needs of your audience but to meet the requirements that we have as a regulator. Five years is, you know, a lengthy period of time.
2269 We expect that if a licensee is not ready to launch that they will get all their ducks in a row, hire the people they need, make sure that they are prepared before they actually launch. It sounds to me that you undertook this without really being prepared.
2270 MR. HILL: Commissioner, when we launched our stations we did not have the same set of conditions of licence that we have now. So we were prepared to move forward with the set of conditions that we had at that time.
2271 MS AUER: But of course when the Toronto station was licensed AVR had actually applied for other frequencies. It did not receive those frequencies. That was one of the reasons why there was a bit of pre-op delay in finding a new frequency in one of Canada's most used, most licenced stations.
2272 Those delays are gone now. The fact is AVR has been on the air for almost five years. Is it reasonable to expect that after a five-year sort of set of operations it should be fully operational? In an ideal world, yes.
2273 There have been other licensees, however, where the Commission has pointed out that of course we understand that it takes a few years to get up and going.
2274 I think this is where AVR believes it is today, where it is now getting into the groove, so to speak, and complying with the terms and conditions of its licences.
2275 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Except that it appears that you are out of compliance.
2276 MS AUER: Well, we have -- AVR has acknowledged that it's out of compliance with respect to the shortfall of two stories for two stations -- sorry, two stations out of one day of the evaluation week and, as well, with respect to structured and spoken word for two out of five stations. The other three stations were in full compliance.
2277 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I want to talk a little bit about the newscasts because -- and you spoke a little bit about the challenges, Mr. Thibodeau, producing what you do.
2278 But in some cases we are finding through our analysis that we're hearing the same newscasts repeated throughout much of the day. In fact, that was sort of brought home to me a little bit when you mentioned that you just aired the same story the next day when you -- when it was in error and it didn't go to air the day it was supposed to go to air.
2279 So, again, coupled with long gaps without local news, weather, sports, promotions that are supposed to all qualify as local programming, all directed at the community, the indigenous community you are required to serve, to what degree are you really meeting those obligations if you just take the same newscast?
2280 And correct me if I'm wrong. That was what our analysis determined, was that it was one newscast aired pretty much the whole day.
2281 MR. HILL: Commissioner, to our knowledge, we refreshed the news. In the afternoon we play a shorter version of the news in the morning and then we play an extended version in the afternoon with new stories in the afternoon.
2282 If one were to look at this as a 24-hour news cycle and not a six-hour news cycle, we are writing news that is relevant to our community for that entire day. Therefore, that's the news we are airing.
2283 We understand that our listeners tune in and out and may not listen for the entire four or five hours but they are tuning in and getting these newscasts that we think are important for the day.
2284 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Are these live, Mr. Hill? Are your newscasts live?
2285 MR. HILL: They are certainly played during the live portion of our programming but we do record them and we have played them at other portions where we have voice tracking. Some of the newscasts --
2286 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I understand that you had aired the same story. Is that -- I get that, you know, especially if they are important stories.
2287 But, as you know, Mr. Thibodeau, we are talking about a news cycle that is forever, constantly on the move, especially if you are talking about a breaking story. Perhaps it is very relevant to the indigenous community.
2288 And I have to ask whether or not you really feel that you are in a position staffing-wise to manage this constantly evolving news cycle. As you brought it up yourself, Mr. Hill, news constantly is changing.
2289 So if you airing a recorded newscast -- because if I heard you correctly, newscasts are not necessarily live. They are recorded. They may happen during a live portion of your day where you have a DJ on but maybe the DJ is just sort of pressing a button and going to a recorded newscast rather than going to a live news anchor who is presenting new facts.
2290 MS AUER: Commissioner, that's an excellent question. I know that Jamie wants to respond, but I did want to preface his comments just with a couple of points.
2291 The first is that of course thanks to modern technology, for the last 20 years many commercial radio stations have been using voice tracking and automation in their operations. This is something that the Commission does not monitor but is familiar with and has noted in a number of its licensing decisions.
2292 In response to one access to information request, I actually found out that there are a number of stations operating without any staff at all in Canada in the commercial sector.
2293 This doesn't mean that they are doing a bad job and it doesn't mean that they are not serving their local community. Now, what it does mean is that modern technology allows us to do a number of different things in different ways.
2294 And when stations have limited resources I'm sure that, as the Commission is aware, they do the best job they can under the circumstances. And I'm sure Jamie wanted to explain then what his station does.
2295 MR. HILL: Commissioner, it's a hybrid. The morning newscast is live.
2296 The afternoon cast which is a little more extensive, is manufactured for the afternoon and done specifically by a newscaster, but the morning newscast is live. We have the capability to do that.
2297 We continue -- we can continue to increase live programming but we can do breaking news. We have the capability to do that as resources permit as we move into the future. But we do have live newscasts in the morning.
2298 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: To your point, Ms Auer, you know, without making a value judgment on how good a job somebody is doing with no staff, I would have to question that because if there is a breaking story in the community, whether it's fire, flood, you know, locusts, you know pick whatever disaster you want, people rely on radio. It is a great source of being able to get immediate news.
2299 And so if there is something of that nature happening they want to be able to pick up the phone, call and get a human being in the newsroom at the local station to let them know, to talk to somebody and then get that story out to the community.
2300 If you don't have anybody in that newsroom then how can you say you are doing a good job serving the people you are supposed to be serving?
2301 MS AUER: I couldn't agree more, Commissioner, and I know that Jamie wants to address specifically that point.
2302 When I mentioned that there are stations in Canada operating with zero staff, I was telling you the results of a CRTC response to my access to information request which asked how many stations in Canada have zero staff. There are quite a few. There are also quite a few that only have one staff.
2303 I was startled myself but I would be happy to file this information, this access to information request, as an undertaking if you are interested.
2304 That's not what we are here to discuss. What we are here really to discuss, I think, is what AVR is doing to serve their local community whether for instance they can provide the emergency alerts that we want radio stations to be able to provide and whether there are staff in every market that can provide that kind of service.
2305 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I hope that that FOI request was not done in some way to justify having no staff. I mean, assure me as to that, please. Is that --
2306 MS AUER: Are you know asking --
2307 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I'm asking whether or not you issued an FOI request to find out, if I heard you correctly, whether -- how many stations have no staff.
2308 Is that what you -- did I mis-hear what you said?
2309 MS AUER: I don't think I explained why I made the request.
2310 I was making the request actually with respect to the number of television stations that were actually beginning to be shut down last year. This had nothing to do with this particular radio application.
2311 So I only offered that -- and I'm certainly not saying that radio stations should operate without staff because AVR does not operate without staff.
2312 I am not saying that at all. I'm just letting you know; by the way, it turns out that it could be an anomaly of accounting. We don't know.
2313 But I do know that Jamie would like to address the points about where the staff are --
2314 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you.
2315 Mr. Hill...?
2316 MS AUER: -- whether they are equipped to deal with emergency alerts and the fact that they are there.
2317 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you.
2318 Mr. Hill...?
2319 MR. HILL: Regarding breaking news, Commissioner, we do have the capability to do that. We do, do that, periodically when something happens. I want to give a couple of examples before I ask Greg to comment on the amber alert.
2320 For instance, there was a flooding of a subway station that affected commuters in Toronto, their ability to use the system to move to and from work. We reported that immediately as a breaking news item. So we do have the capability across the country to do that. We can post the breaking news immediately.
2321 The other thing is we can do this. Another example is the amber alert system. We are able to do that as well. We are part of the system.
2322 I would like Greg to maybe elaborate on that a little further.
2323 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Mr. Thibideau...?
2324 MR. THIBIDEAU: I am the main contact for the amber alert system being the Production Manager.
2325 When I do get those -- when I do get a call, fax and email from amber alert, I respond right away. I record the message and have it out within minutes to our public. It doesn't matter where I am in the country.
2326 The last one I received was about a month ago. I was at my parents' house with limited internet. I had my phone which I connected to my computer and recorded it professionally with my on-call kit which is microphone, sound card and other things required to do on-the-spot recording.
2327 I did that one myself because it was important. It was an amber alert and I find that's very important and I needed to get that out as soon as possible instead of contacting other staff to have them come in and record it.
2328 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay.
2329 MR. THIBIDEAU: We do deal with emergency alerts and news updates. When they do happen I am very, very strict with making sure that those updates are added to (a) our live programming segments, if the updates and emergencies happen during those segments, and also having the news re-recorded or a story pulled and another story of that emergency added to our news. Or if that news story is very important it's added on its own immediately.
2330 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay.
2331 Mr. Hill, did you want to add --
2332 MR. HILL: Commissioner -- yes, thank you, Commissioner.
2333 I would like to add that we do have at least one person in every city and some cities we have more than one person.
2334 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: One individual?
2335 MR. HILL: One individual, yes, at least.
2336 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Now, I want to get to the staffing issues a little later but hold onto that thought.
2337 I would like to ask you as well, would you comment on the possibility of the Commission imposing a COL requiring a specified minimum amount of local news, weather and sports to be broadcast during the local programming periods?
2338 In other words, would that provide a level of clarity for you?
2339 MS AUER: Clearly, we are not leaping in to say yes, hallelujah, please give us the guidance on spoken news.
2340 And I think in some of our replies we referred, first of all, to the Broadcasting Act, which provides broadcasters with a certain amount of broadcasting independence in decision-making.
2341 Secondly, of course, under section 9, when the Commission wants to impose conditions of licence regarding licensees, it's usually done bearing in mind the circumstances of the licensee, which, in our case, AVR's case, would refer to its financial capacity to provide precisely that kind of information.
2342 I think AVR could certainly provide you with additional information about its financial capacity to undertake what you are requiring or seeking, but then --
2343 Finally, of course, I'll leave it to Jamie to decide whether or not that would be something that AVR would be prepared to accept if the current conditions of licence, specifically with respect to structured enriched spoken word, are not amended.
2344 Because that is, I think, at the heart of AVR's current renewal application, a request to have the additional flexibility to allocate its resources to better serve its audiences, attract more audiences, grow its advertising revenues. It's kind of a catch-22, if you will, but I think Jamie will want to address that.
2345 MR. HILL: Commissioner, I know you have the option of issuing an expectation. That's probably something we would appreciate more. We take expectations very seriously and endeavour to comply with those as well.
2346 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: But, of course, if you're having trouble with your COLs, then one can only assume that an expectation would also be a source of difficulty, and so, while I'm not prepared at this point to say what is going to take place, because that will be the subject of great discussion and analysis after the proceeding is over, I might suggest to you that we might be past the expectation stage, but I will just let that sit for a moment.
2347 MS AUER: Before we let it sit, could you just repeat, if you wouldn't mind, very quickly, exactly the phrasing that you are proposing of the --
2348 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes. This would be a COL requiring a specified minimum amount of local news, weather and sports, to be broadcast during the local programming periods, which, as I read it here, the 25 percent of weekly broadcast schedule to be delegated to the broadcast of local broadcast.
2349 So we would be talking about a minimum amount of time delegated to --
2350 MS AUER: But not, let's say, we would like you to schedule it this particular time in the clock hour?
2351 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: No. I don't think it would need to be that granular, although, again, that would be subject to discussions after the fact as well. So, you know, I can't make any determination as to how much micromanaging we would be feeling the need to impose.
2352 MS AUER: Understood.
2353 Of course, no licensee in their right mind would want to have extremely detailed conditions of licence. AVR does not want it and I would respectfully submit that AVR's ability to comply with the key parts of its conditions of licence dealing with indigenous language, indigenous spoken word, demonstrate its commitment to meeting those.
2354 As we've explained or as AVR has explained, the two gaps in its performance really simply arose unexpectedly out of a human person's inability to read the darn screen properly.
2355 As for the local news and the decision-making about local news, I believe Jamie would like to comment a little bit further.
2356 MR. HILL: Yes, Commissioner, we are asking that the enriched structured spoken word be sunsetted in the next licence term so that we can improve our local service, which would include news.
2357 We are proposing more announcers during the rest of the week and we actually -- in our programming schedule, our new one that was approved by the board, there are additional newscasts scheduled in order to enhance our service.
2358 So we propose that, provided that we have the structured enriched -- this is what our board understands, that there is a possibility you could relax the structured enriched so that we can divert resources onto such things as you're proposing.
2359 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Well, I would be interested to know how our requiring less in terms of structured enriched spoken word programming is going to improve the local service. I mean if we require you to do less, then presumably you're going to do less, and how is that going to serve your audience better?
2360 MR. HILL: I don't look at it as a requirement to do less. I look at it as an allocation onto another area. We are currently repeating structured enriched because of the expense of manufacturing 20 hours per week.
2361 As resources permit, we would like to continue to do spoken word, including talk programs, but we would also like to add announcers. We don't want to have to repeat because of our resource situation, have to repeat structured enriched.
2362 So we would like to allocate that onto news and announcers. And that's not a reduction, it is a reallocation of resources: time, financial resources and human talent.
2363 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Our analysis has shown that most of your enriched structured spoken word programming is aired on Saturday morning and all day Sunday; is that correct?
2364 MR. HILL: Yes, that is correct, Commissioner.
2365 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: And Monday through Friday, the programming is almost exclusively music and station ID.
2366 MR. HILL: Yes. And the other thing is we are airing news, weather, sports, promotion of a local event with some announcers, and we are aware that other broadcasters are allowed to count that as part of spoken word. AVR, as we are aware, is the only station in the country that is not allowed to count that as part of our spoken word commitments.
2367 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Given that level of repetition though, Mr. Hill, could you tell the Commission how your programming serves the needs and interests and concerns of Aboriginal or indigenous Canadians, which is what you proposed when you were originally licensed?
2368 MS AUER: While Mr. Hill is looking for his notes in this area, of course, it's interesting to note that AVR started out with a licence of 25 percent spoken word, which it met.
2369 This was then changed in 2006 to the addition of enriched spoken word 20 hours as well as the continuation of 25 percent local.
2370 So there's been kind of a shift from what AVR initially proposed, which did include spoken word, which, as is usually counted, included news, et cetera, weather.
2371 The result, however, of adding the structured enriched spoken word has been to allocate resources away from things such as news and local content.
2373 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: To that point, Ms Auer, during that original proposal you committed to doing roundtable shows, open-line programs, none of which appear to be part of your programming five years later.
2374 So what happened?
2375 MR. HILL: Well, as we had indicated earlier, Commissioner, we had to use some resources to search for new frequencies. We did not get the frequencies in a number of cities that we had applied for.
2376 So we had to reallocate intended resources in order to get the stations on the air, doing new engineering tests, new legal tests, new applications for these frequencies.
2377 MS AUER: And, of course, as well, Commissioner, the original 2000 application was predicated on one station being run with 150 volunteers that couldn't have even fit into a single room at AVR at any one time.
2378 So I think there was a little bit of optimism about the degree to which volunteers could actually operate a station that eventually would have to have the high-quality professional calibre in order to attract audiences in order to build advertising revenues.
2379 But at the same time, of the original programming -- and I think Jamie would want to confirm the degree to which the original programming is effectively intact.
2380 There are discussions. There is an extensive amount of spirituality. There is an extensive amount of music from indigenous people. These were all at the heart of the original application.
2382 MR. HILL: Yes. Commissioner, the open-line program was a live program, but we are now live regarding the drive-time shows. We have two segments during the week where we do live programming, not open-line talk shows.
2383 As you are aware, the requirement to do live programming is much more expensive than prerecorded programming, but we do do live programming. So there may have been an aversion to that.
2384 Regarding the rest of the commitments, as far as we're aware we're meeting all the things that were stated.
2385 And you asked a question earlier about how are we serving our audiences.
2386 We do things -- well, of course, we provide radio as informative and we do do that, but we offer a music service that plays between 15-20 percent of indigenous musical artists who are doing their -- performing their music and recording their music in English in addition to the songs sung in an indigenous language.
2387 We provide an extensive amount of programming in various indigenous languages. We have a number of talk shows now regarding Aboriginal health. We have a youth talk show. We have cultural leaders explaining cultural elements and discussing this on the air.
2388 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: All that music that you are playing, one would think, would lend itself very well to commentary, to plenty of talk about the various songs, about the artists, about the availability of a CD, where to buy it, you know, see this artist at that show, but there appears to be very little of that.
2389 MR. HILL: Yes, Commissioner. As I said, the requirement to do the structured enriched has caused us to allocate resources onto that.
2390 Now, we would like -- we aspire to what you have said and we are proposing that we do want to add announcers to do exactly what you had mentioned in our music service.
2391 So we do aspire to that. Our intention with the relaxation of the structured enriched requirement is that we would reallocate our resources to doing precisely that.
2392 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I understand, Mr. Hill.
2393 Assuming that we don't get around to the requests that you have made regarding structured enriched, would you comment on the possibility that the Commission would impose a COL related to a more equitable distribution of structured enriched spoken word programming throughout the broadcast week?
2394 This could be a minimum daily requirement or a Monday-through-Friday requirement. In other words, rather than seeing it bunched, concentrated on one day or maybe the weekend, we would see that spread out over the course of the broadcast week.
2395 I'm guessing you probably don't like that idea, Ms Auer, but I put it out there for your consideration.
2396 MS AUER: Well, whether I like it is not relevant. What really matters is whether AVR is able to comply with it, also whether it actually serves the purposes for which AVR was originally licensed. I believe Jamie will speak to that issue shortly, whether that is in fact something that will benefit AVR in its desire to grow, strengthen and prosper, specifically through advertising revenues.
2397 But I would like to comment for the record that AVR in 2000 certainly did not ask for a condition of licence dealing with structured enriched spoken word. This is a brand-new definition that popped up out of the 2006 hearing. It's difficult and complex to administer. It's difficult to produce. It appears to be difficult and expensive to create on a weekly basis.
2398 The issue then is how is this actually specifically benefiting AVR's audiences, none of whom have ever written into AVR saying please do more of this particular type of programming.
2399 So why is it being imposed? It's not in the Native Broadcaster Policy, that requirement. It emerged out of a renewal hearing where confusion on the record, I think, may have led to some misunderstanding about what exactly was being required.
2400 But more to the point, how does it actually interface between what AVR committed to do in 2000, what the Native Broadcaster Policy was requiring AVR to do and what AVR's circumstances and goals are now?
2401 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You are saying it is a regulatory problem? You are saying that that which we imposed doesn't work for you?
2402 MS AUER: I think the Commission is entitled to take into account the circumstances of the licensees and their ability to meet conditions of licence. I think the conditions of licence should be tailored to the circumstances of the licensees.
2403 Many commercial broadcasters have come before the Commission to ask that certain conditions be amended, changed, dropped, in order to enable them to meet their financial plans and therefore serve their audiences better.
2404 This is what AVR is requesting. We are not in any way suggesting that the Commission doesn't have a responsibility to regulate. On the contrary, we believe you do.
2405 The question is how does this particular condition of licence strengthen AVR's ability to serve its communities?
2406 MR. CARDINAL: Commissioner, may I add to this conversation?
2407 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Of course, yes.
2408 MR. CARDINAL: Lewis Cardinal, Executive Vice-President.
2409 AVR is a unique radio station and it's unique because it also deals with a very unique situation with indigenous people in Canada, particularly the urban centres. We have 70 different indigenous identities or nations across Canada. We have 210 different indigenous languages. We are not a homogeneous group of people, many different identities.
2410 So when we are looking at an urban centre, Edmonton for example, we have all 70 different indigenous nations there. We have most of the different indigenous languages there, which most indigenous people do not speak their own language.
2411 There are 26,000 Cree speakers in Alberta for example, but within Edmonton, within a one-hour distance of Edmonton, within our footprint, we're looking at about 80,000 Aboriginal people.
2412 So the challenge for us is how do we meet the cultural reflectivity of indigenous people within our broadcast. It's a very difficult task because if you're going to leave someone out, you're going to be offending a group of other people. So we take that very seriously.
2413 And so what we are looking at is trying to address news and programming that reflects indigenous identity and we see that through the music that we broadcast and we see that through the spoken word programs that we develop.
2414 We do have, to the best of our abilities, language programs that do reflect various populations but we can't meet them all. So it is a challenge that way for us to work with.
2415 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you for that, Mr. Cardinal. I want to move on because I do have --
2416 MS AUER: Commissioner --
2417 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Ms Auer.
2418 MS AUER: I think we have people leaping at the bit here to answer that question. I think Jamie wanted to mention something first and then Ms Cronin, who deals with AVR's marketing.
2419 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay.
2420 MS AUER: But with respect to the condition of licence terms specifically, I think Jamie wanted to address that.
2421 MR. HILL: Yes. Commissioner, you're proposing a condition of licence and I just wanted to get some clarification from you. What would it sound like and what would be the details of such a condition of licence?
2422 But I do want to say we certainly would like the flexibility to determine at what times we air various types of programming.
2423 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You have a certain amount of flexibility in that regard now.
2424 MR. HILL: I'm sorry, Commissioner?
2425 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You have a certain amount of flexibility with regard to that now, do you not?
2426 MR. HILL: Yes, we have a certain amount and we, of course --
2427 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You've used that flexibility to air most of it on Saturdays.
2428 MR. HILL: Yes. This is block programming. We are blocking the talk together in order to attract an audience that is interested in talk radio.
2429 We understand there are music service licences and there are talk radio licences and they play talk, the talk services, and the music services play music.
2430 We are a hybrid. So we are scheduling it so that it works as far as our marketing and as far as gaining listeners in order to gain advertising as well.
2431 So we think it behooves AVR to structure these things together in order to improve our revenue streams, in order to serve our listeners better.
2432 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I understand all that and I understand that you want flexibility relative to spoken word. Unfortunately, you have a level of flexibility and it appears to be -- well, the Commission questions whether that flexibility is used in such a way that best serves your audience.
2433 But you have addressed that and that is fine.
2434 MS AUER: Commissioner, I think Colleen Cronin wanted to add something.
2435 And before Colleen speaks, I would just like to mention that the issue for AVR really in this particular matter is these four words: "structured enriched spoken word."
2436 AVR has no problems with spoken word. AVR has no problems with structured programming. AVR has no problems with programming that might be viewed as enriched because it deals with the culture of Canada's indigenous peoples. Spirituality, healthcare issues, women's issues, these are all issues that concern AVR. The issue is this notion of "structured enriched."
2437 For example, hypothetically, if the Commission were to say we would like to -- using the words of the original licence, using the offers made in the original licence, we would like AVR to offer a number of hours that deal with spirituality, roundtable discussions...
2438 It's the phrasing of this particular term that has proven difficult and expensive to implement.
2440 MS CRONIN: Commissioner, I would just like to add, with regards to the success of the spoken word programming on the weekends, we fielded an Ipsos Reid online panel in August 2011 and November 2011. In August our weekend listeners were close to 30 percent. That's above average for any radio station.
2441 Unfortunately, in November it went down, it's around 22 percent -- we did submit both surveys to you -- and that was a reflection of the fact that we were already beginning to repeat programming.
2442 So the weekend programming is appealing to our audience and our listeners.
2443 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay.
2444 Let's talk about staffing levels, and this is something which you brought up earlier, I believe, Mr. Thibideau as well as Mr. Hill.
2445 Can you tell me again how many people you employ in each station and what they do?
2446 MR. HILL: AVR operates with approximately 30 people in various capacities. As per my understanding of CRTC permission, we are allowed to operate all of our stations predominantly from Toronto. And there was a specific statement from the CRTC which said we were allowed to do that.
2447 So we do have people in every city, a variety of people located in each city. Some of the people in other cities are doing work for a different city. So we have a number of people in each city.
2448 Would you like me to specify the numbers in each city, Commissioner?
2450 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Well, staff has some interest in that. You can either file that now depending on how long that -- can we request that as an undertaking?
2451 THE CHAIRPERSON: Maybe we can get an answer to that immediately.
2452 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Fair enough.
2453 THE CHAIRPERSON: It is your operation. You should have some idea who is working where. Someone on the panel should.
2454 MR. HILL: Okay. We have technical people, at least two in every city. We have people, who are not technical, involved in programming, at least one in every city.
2455 THE CHAIRPERSON: Two technical people. What is the second series of people?
2456 MR. HILL: Pardon me?
2457 THE CHAIRPERSON: Two technical per city and what was the second --
2458 MR. HILL: A person involved in programming.
2459 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- category?
2460 MR. HILL: Programming.
2461 THE CHAIRPERSON: Programming.
2462 MR. HILL: Yes.
2463 THE CHAIRPERSON: Two per city as well?
2464 MR. HILL: No, one.
2465 THE CHAIRPERSON: One.
2466 MR. HILL: At least one.
2467 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You are up to 15, Mr. Hill.
2468 MR. HILL: And I'm going to have to -- Commissioner, I'm going to have to -- if I could, could I just write this down? Then I can give it to you.
2469 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I have no problem with that. Mr. Chairman?
2470 MR. HILL: Because I have to count in my mind all 30 people and allocate it.
2471 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: That's why I suggested it maybe as an undertaking.
2472 We are interested in a breakdown of staff in each station. We would like to know who is doing what. Obviously, I'm not talking about names or anything like that but just what your staff is doing.
2473 We are also interested in people directly involved in the production of on-air programming as well as your intentions going forward as far as staffing is concerned.
2474 If I heard you correctly, you have already increased staff; is that correct?
2475 MR. HILL: Yes, that is correct.
2476 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: That is a fairly recent development?
2477 MR. HILL: Well, we have at least doubled staff over the last period.
2478 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: How many on-air staff do you have per city? Do you know that offhand?
2479 MR. HILL: Offhand we use about 12 people on air, not in each city.
2480 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: No?
2481 MR. HILL: Each person involved is involved in manufacturing programming for other cities. We don't have a person who is only involved in one city. They contribute. But some of them are focused on a specific city and then they contribute to other cities.
2482 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Twelve total?
2483 MR. HILL: Twelve total, yes.
2484 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: For all your markets?
2485 MR. HILL: Yes.
2486 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: For all your stations?
2487 MR. HILL: Yes.
2488 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I imagine they are pretty busy.
2489 MR. HILL: Yes.
2490 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Producing newscasts, all those stories --
2491 MR. HILL: Yes.
2492 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: -- in all those cities on a daily basis.
2493 MR. HILL: Yes, it's challenging, Commissioner, but we do produce the program. Moving forward we are anticipating increasing the revenues and adding to the staff again and we are proposing that we add announcers so the number will go up. We are asking to remove the structure enriched so that we can allocate onto more staff for programming in each station.
2494 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I want to talk a little bit about economic issues and after that I'm going to pass it onto my colleagues. I have a few more questions.
2495 Most of the revenue you are now receiving, 97 percent, as I understand it, comes from CCD.
2496 MR. HILL: Yes, Commissioner.
2497 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Some residual benefits and those are scheduled to decrease substantially over the next two to three years; is that correct?
2498 MR. HILL: Yes, Commissioner.
2499 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: By 2016 those benefits will be zero?
2500 MR. HILL: Yes.
2501 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You have been on record as saying that you were planning to aggressively pursue ad revenues.
2502 MR. HILL: Yes, Commissioner.
2503 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: That would be two years ago you were on record as saying that.
2504 MR. HILL: That's correct.
2505 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Have there been any developments in that regard?
2506 MR. HILL: Yes. We have invested time, effort, financial resource and human talent in order to pursue advertising revenues. We have now formed extensive marketing and sales plans. We have broadened salespeople, for instance Colleen Cronin who is sitting beside me, and maybe I could ask her to elaborate on everything that has happened, all the activities over the past two years and what we plan on doing moving forward.
2507 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Ms Cronin...?
2508 MS CRONIN: Commissioner, I started with Voices in August 2011, I put together the financial projections, advertising revenue and of course audience projections, because there is a direct correlation to that --
2509 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes.
2510 MS CRONIN: -- up to 2015 and had them submitted with the CRTC admissions at that time. I have a lot of experience doing that for a number of major broadcasters, as well as a track record of success growing stations' audiences and then, of course again, the revenues.
2511 I joined AVR's team on a contract basis more regularly late fall of 2010. Then I undertook a competitive market analysis and an awareness analysis and a differentiation positioning analysis in each market and the feedback that came back at the local level and the advertising level, then of course that the radio listener level, was we could of had zero percent awareness in every single market.
2512 Toronto had about 2 percent awareness, just based on community involvement. That was based on a 2010 January study that AVR had commissioned.
2513 So from my perspective where I was in terms of marketing, is I was essentially working with a brand new network that had to be launched from the beginning so strategically the choice was that the revenue available for marketing and sales needed to be spent and focussed more on marketing, building awareness among radio listeners, building the -- so it was essentially a two-pronged strategic approach, building the audience but also building awareness among radio listeners and advertisers, both local and at the agency level.
2514 So that was the approach that was taken. So the majority of the marketing revenues were spent there.
2515 I also undertook to hire a sales team in January 2011.
2516 As you can appreciate for the five major markets, the average sale salary is about $88,000 per sales rep, where it is very difficult for a not-for-profit unknown, non-heritage station that's very niche oriented to bring on sales reps, I did manage to -- I currently have two in Ontario and two in the west that are working for Voices on a commission basis. They are very dedicated, very loyal. They have been out seeding the market for up to a year now -- the west just started in the fall -- and have been very, very successful.
2517 We are at the point now where we are actually getting requests for pitches. CNE and Canadian Tire are two recent examples. Canadian Tire is a recurring client and they just -- we were successful with the pitch, they are now on-air.
2518 I also contracted Target Broadcasting. I'm sure you are familiar with them. They specialize in Indigenous advertising and are very, very, very strong in relationships with the Indigenous community across the nation, so they also sell for us and rep us nationally.
2519 So with regards to -- I would like to address where we are in terms of our advertising revenues.
2520 We are pacing at 61 percent for this fiscal based on the revenues that I projected that we would bring in and we are at 61 percent for a number of reasons.
2521 The first is that, as you guys as aware of, the economy is very, very soft, there is a lot of uncertainty right now. TRAM(ph) levels are showing Ontario and Toronto as completely down, Calgary and Vancouver are up a bit, but they never, ever recovered from the 2008 levels.
2522 Where we are as a network, we are -- we aren't measured by BBM so we are a high risk. So what we do in our strategy is that we cultivate relationships with our local advertisers and the agencies and we ask them -- build a relationship with them to take a risk on us. They put money aside either ever quarter or throughout, and then they are willing as the relationship builds and whatever, we offer promotion programs, et cetera, they are willing to take a risk with us.
2523 What has been happening at the local and agency level is that because of the economic uncertainty they are holding onto the monies.
2524 A perfect example is Sleep Country. We have been talking with them -- as you guys know, they are the largest radio advertiser in Canada. We have been working with them since December and again they are still sitting on what we were hoping would be $35,000 we would have on the books. So there's one of the issues that we are having.
2525 The second is, again due to the economic uncertainty and the flatness and softness of the market, Target Broadcasting, which last year contributed about 70 percent of our revenue, they were down 60 percent in their winter fiscal, so that's January to April or January-March. Their best client was down 15 percent, their worst was down 85 percent.
2526 Then, on top of that, provincial and federal spending since April 1st has been zero percent. There has only been one client that has spent -- and it was just in the last week that actually is doing some advertising. As you know, this isn't just affecting AVR, it is affecting every single radio station in the market.
2527 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes. And I can appreciate everything that you're saying, Ms Cronin.
2528 MS CRONIN: And then I would like add.
2529 So the third reason
2530 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes, please wrap it up. I do have more to ask.
2531 MS CRONIN: Okay.
2532 The third reason is our marketing campaign. Again in January we rolled out with our awareness, very extensive marketing campaigns in all five markets, as well as Toronto -- first focussed in Toronto -- to figure out what we were doing right, and we had our January -- our winter/spring campaign, which is a national campaign, will roll out in all five markets, we have large partners. We have EMI Canada, Virgin, Capitol Records involved, so it was supposed to actually launch at the end of January. It has been delayed. It's going to launch the first week of July, so that has also affected our advertising revenues.
2533 Thank you.
2534 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I'm going to wrap up. I guess we are going to break for lunch, is it, Mr. Chairman?
2535 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think we can maybe just take a break for lunch and Commissioner Patrone can come back after, he has been going at it for a couple of hours non-stop, no break.
2536 Commissioner Molnar...?
2537 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you. I just wanted to provide some clarity.
2538 There was a discussion about employees and a question as to whether or not you could have some time and I think the lunch break would be a useful time for you to get the information together regarding employees. So I wanted to provide just a little bit of clarity as what information I would at least find useful.
2539 In your opening statements you said that you had a mix of 30 employees that were full-time, part-time, independent contractors and students, so I would be interested if you could, in providing us the details as the breakdown of that 30 between full-time, part-time, independent contractors and student interns.
2540 I would also like that breakdown broken down by their location, where they reside -- in which of the five markets that you serve, where those employees reside.
2541 And, as you noted to us, you may have employees that reside in one location but serve a different market. So if you could give it to us both by where they reside and what markets they serve, that would be useful.
2542 While I'm looking at it based on the categories you provided in your statement by full-time, part-time, independent and student, I know when you were responding you were providing that information by a different sort of discussion, being technical, programming, administration.
2543 So as sort of a third undertaking, if you don't mind, break that 30 down into those categories by location in which they reside.
2544 MR. HILL: Okay. I understand, Commissioner.
2545 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Thank you.
2546 MR. HILL: We will do that during the break.
2547 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And then we can have that information after lunch when it's available.
2548 MR. HILL: Okay. We will do that.
2549 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
2550 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thanks. So let's say 1:30.
2551 Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 1222
--- Upon resuming at 1334
2552 THE CHAIRPERSON: Hello. Good afternoon.
2553 Everyone back? Everyone had a nice little lunch? Great. Back to business.
2554 Mr. Patrone...?
2556 MS AUER: If I could just again respectfully just interrupt to put on the record the fact that unfortunately AVR's legal counsel is a PC person working with a Mac computer so the undertaking, we had been preparing it and, unfortunately, Mac doesn't save the way PC's like to save and as a result we would like to file this undertaking tomorrow, which is a set of tables showing different staff layouts.
2557 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you have a copy of that document?
2558 MS AUER: It's stuck in the Mac computer. It's in the Mac. We were writing it. We were writing the document over lunch.
2559 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is there no -- you were writing the document over lunch?
2560 MS AUER: You handed it to us just before lunch, the undertaking, to create the three tables, and so we were doing this over lunch. In theory I am the fastest typist among the group, unfortunately I am a PC person and this is a Mac computer and it doesn't work. But we would be happy to file the undertaking first thing tomorrow morning by e-mail or by fax.
2561 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And there is no one from your offices in Toronto or elsewhere that can send us the information?
2562 MR. HILL: No, because that's a management function to understand who the personnel are and our managers are predominantly here.
2563 We have the information in our head, we are trying to get it down on paper to submit it to you.
2564 So we are going through all the of the elements of every position, where they are residing, which markets they serve, are they part-time, are they student, are they contract, are they employee, so for each person we have a lot of elements to type in in a short period of time. So we have about 90 percent of them typed in and then we have a problem getting it printed, and so forth. So we just need a bit more time. We are almost finished.
2565 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is this all paid personnel?
2566 MR. HILL: Pardon me?
2567 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are these paid?
2568 MS AUER: You asked for, I believe, full-time, part-time, volunteers --
2569 THE CHAIRPERSON: I just have a simple question: Are these paid? Are these people paid or not?
2570 MR. HILL: Which personnel, Commissioner?
2571 THE CHAIRPERSON: The 30 personnel that you spoke of before lunch.
2572 MR. HILL: Yes. We may have one volunteer on there. But yes, they are almost all paid except for potentially one volunteer.
2573 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
2574 MR. HILL: As we go through the list we --
2575 THE CHAIRPERSON: And there is no one in Toronto or some accounting firm that can send us their employment records?
2576 MR. HILL: No, there are no managers in --
2577 MS AUER: Well, you asked for three tables and we are trying to create the three tables for you. That's what we are doing. If you would like the employment records, that's different, but we just want to give you a summary of the staff, their position within AVR, part-time, full-time, volunteer, contract, whatever, their responsibilities, the markets they serve and their residence. To have that in one simple -- sure, we could send you 400 pages, I don't know if that's what you need.
2578 THE CHAIRPERSON: We don't need 400 pages. You don't have on a piece of paper before you today your personnel --
2579 MS AUER: Well, respectfully, Commissioner --
2580 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- these 30 people that are employed by you?
2581 MS AUER: As I mentioned, we were endeavouring to enter that information into a table to hand to you and to do --
2582 THE CHAIRPERSON: That came from your heads. That's not actually on paper somewhere in an office in Toronto or somewhere else?
2583 MR. HILL: It's all on paper, but it's not in the form that you requested. In other words, it's not whether they are full-time, where they reside, which markets they are serving. It's not compiled in that form so we are trying to compile it in the form that you asked us to submit it to you.
2584 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you be willing to come back tomorrow morning and we can continue questioning on that subject?
2585 MS AUER: Well, I guess the alternative is, if you would like we could take another half hour. It's just taking us time to get it into the table. That's literally all it is. So if you would like us to break -- we were dashing and we got almost there and it didn't work. But if that's the issue we can do that or we can alternatively file it as an undertaking.
2586 If your question is -- I mean I can't speculate about your questions, but we are happy to file it as an undertaking tomorrow and we didn't anticipate that you would ask for a list of all of the staff by function, by the markets they serve, by their residence and whether they are contract, full-time, part-time, volunteer.
2587 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you have staff -- simply the staff, the 30 members that you discussed, do you have them and do you have their functions?
2588 MR. HILL: Yes, yes. We are almost finished with the table that lists all of the required information.
2589 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Perhaps you can do that during the interventions. There will be a little span of time. You can come back in the final phase.
2590 MR. HILL: If we have like about a half hour I think for sure we could produce it and print the document, yes.
2591 THE CHAIRPERSON: We can discuss that, okay. Okay, we will think about that and we will ask Commissioner Patrone to continue.
2592 MR. CAMPBELL: I would just like to add one thing.
2593 THE CHAIRPERSON: sure.
2594 MR. CAMPBELL: AVR has only been in operation for five years.
2595 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
2596 MR. CAMPBELL: You know, we have come a long ways. We have worked hard to get to where we are and under the conditions is one of the reasons we are here is to ask for these concessions, you know, to be able to move forward. We do want to hire more people, we do want to expand and our plans are in place for this, but I just wanted that to go on record because there seems to be a difficulty with this.
2597 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, no. It's just that once you know who you have already hired you will be in a better position to hire further staff, if that's your intention.
2598 MR. CAMPBELL: Okay.
2599 MR. HILL: Commissioner, we do know who we have hired, it's just putting it down in the format that you require on paper because it doesn't exist in that format, but we want to make a nice concise document where it provides all the information that you have requested.
2600 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great. Thank you.
2601 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
2602 Before we broke for lunch, Ms Cronin, you had spoken at length about efforts to secure advertising and move towards a business model that aggressively pursued revenues from advertising to replace those which are expected to be zero, I suppose, by 2016. That's how we left it.
2603 Should you continue to face challenges in that regard, what are your plans to make up for the loss of revenue that is going to happen? Do you have plans?
2604 Ms Cronin, you can tackle that if you like or any of your colleagues.
2605 Do you have a contingency plan I guess is the question.
2606 MS CRONIN: Do we have a contingency plan?
2607 Actually, while we are pacing at 61 percent we expect to finish at 78 percent. We will be launching this national campaign in July.
2608 We also have a Goodwrench GM buy that we think we are going to be on, and the Royal Bank, so we think we will be at our projected advertising revenue target at the end of this broadcast year.
2609 The contingency plan is actually Goodwrench and Royal Bank and we have been pursuing that in the last couple of weeks quite vociferously. We didn't wait to go any further forward, so we are doing that.
2610 In terms of where we are and what we're doing in terms of growth and going forward, I tackle this quarter-by-quarter. Every two months we see where we're going, I'm in contact with our sales teams on a regular basis, et cetera, also all our local advertisers and our agency contacts to see where we are.
2611 We have a plan in place that if we stay the course I don't see why we can't accomplish those advertising revenue targets. We have been growing our audience considerably and successfully and if we continue staying the course and continue marketing and continue the relationships along the road that we have been, I think we will be perfectly on target.
2612 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Now, you have asked for a seven-year license term. Were that not to happen, could you comment on the possibility of another short-term license renewal, given that you have been out of compliance for three consecutive terms, including the current one? In other words, you must have considered that possibility.
2613 So I would like you to comment on that.
2614 MS CRONIN: Commissioner, from a sales and advertising perspective I would like to make a comment on that.
2615 One of the barriers that we have had is that there are rumours -- especially at the agency level, but also at the local level -- because the larger direct advertisers have -- it's a very small community and they have very strong relationships, both the agency and local direct buyers and media planners and we do come across some rumours that we are not going to be renewed for license and it has been troubling for us. Because, again, what happens is, you know, the prospects, they sit and wait to see what's happening. So it's in our benefit if we can have a much longer license renewal.
2616 MS AUER: Added to that, Commissioner, we recognize that the short-term renewal is a very effective remedy to establish for the licensee the importance of adherence. AVR has strived to comply. It is fully compliant on three out of the five licenses, therefore respectfully I would suggest that at least those three could at least merit full-term renewals because they are fully compliant.
2617 With respect to the other two licenses, I gather we would be working under Regulatory Policy 2011-347 regarding the treatment of noncompliant radio licensees to some extent. I understand from that notice that we would be looking at the particular circumstances of AVR's noncompliance.
2618 In that regard, obviously you have a range, you have a range from effectively one month perhaps to anything short of the seven years, but there are a number of licensees who have been out of compliance before, often more frequently than AVR, who have gotten longer terms.
2619 I draw your attention for example to CFRO-FM Vancouver, which was in its seventh -- it got its seventh consecutive short-term renewal, it's annual returns were filed late in 2009 and 2010 and it received a five-year renewal. That would have been issued under Broadcasting Decision 2011-547.
2620 Similarly, you had the case of CIGV-FM Penticton in which Canadian Content Development funding commitments were not met for three years, 2008 through to 2010. They were in their third consecutive term, similar to AVR, where in fact the other people might have been relying for instance on CCD, they received a five-year term and that was issued in Decision 2012-97.
2621 So I would respectfully submit that in terms of the range of sanctions, given that these two infractions were relatively small because AVR filed its annual returns on time, wanted to be in full compliance, specific instances are relatively small.
2622 AVR did not breach every condition of license or, you know, did not breach all five stations, all seven days of the week, it was one day and the amount -- the little amount of the noncompliance was also relatively tiny. For instance, with respect to spoken word it's a very small percentage of the spoken word hours for those two stations that were missed.
2623 As Coleen mentioned, the whole point is that predictability -- which is something that the Commission has certainly emphasized -- enables broadcasters like AVR to start to gain ground. If they are aware of the terms under which they are going to be operating for a longer period of time, they have the room to build and grow and, therefore, AVR is suggesting that if you were to impose a short-term renewal, which is certainly within your prerogative, we would respectfully seek a longer rather than a shorter short-term renewal.
2624 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You are asking the Commission to drop the requirement for audited financial statements; correct?
2625 MS AUER: Yes.
2626 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: What steps will AVR take to correctly track expenses and submit accurate financial statements to the Commission without the requirement to table audited financial statements?
2627 MS AUER: Well, the reason I understand for the requirement is because of course AVR was not filing its annual returns in a timely manner, it would file late.
2628 AVR was therefore effectively, you know, it was told, obviously you must do this and to emphasize the importance of it. It was required to also do audited statements which not for profits generally do not have to provide to the Commission. For example, such as communities or other type being native undertakings.
2629 Having filed these annual returns on time and, of course, because AVR's Board must be fully informed about AVR circumstances and also requires an auditor to provide a statement of accounts, which is why we have respectfully requested that the costs of providing this for the CRTC, because that's on a different fiscal year, be removed. That cost could be allocated to things like programming.
2630 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You're asking us as well to drop the COL to provide 20 hours of structured enriched spoken word and you've gone at length about why you're asking for that. And so, I won't ask you to go into that again.
2631 But if we do, what are your plans for spoken word? Will it be a lower level of spoken word? If so, do you know what that level would be. And further to that, would you comment on the possibility of another COL at a lower level?
2632 So, in other words, if you wanted to drop the amount, what do you consider appropriate and how do you feel about yet another COL regarding that lower level?
2633 MS AUER: AVR has spent some time considering the implications of the removal of the structured enriched spoken word, so they have in fact already created a hypothetical program schedule. Jamie will address some of the details of that very shortly.
2634 We have a draft schedule here with us if you are interested in having us file it and in terms of having an amended structured enriched spoken word where it's lower, AVR would be, I understand, prepared to consider that, taking into account that it will still then have costs to provide this programming.
2635 Some of the programming might as well -- might also come, let's say, from the United States, from you know other syndicated programming.
2636 With that said, I'll let AVR speak to that.
2637 MR. HILL: Thank you. Commissioner, we are proposing that we be allowed to count news, weather, sports programming as others spoken word conditions require. We would like that counted as well. We are proposing to add announcers, for instance, which would add to spoken word in addition to news.
2638 But we are committed to spoken word certainly. It's just that resources don't permit us, we believe, to make structured enriched of the amount, but we do believe in spoken word. So, we are proposing that we would create at a minimum of four hours of programming that is blocked programming that is enriched, that it is talk programming in addition to the news.
2639 We are also proposing that we will increase our local contents with the news and through the addition of announcers we are going to speak to some of those things that are relevant to local communities.
2640 So, we would commit to that level and I am committing to that level because I think that we can certainly make good on such a commitment with the resources that we have currently.
2641 Of course, we are anticipating that our resources will increase, as Colleen has spoken to that and we believe this will help us increase our revenues, at which point the Board and the organization is committed to spoken word as part of this service. So we would probably, because of our strong belief in this as the resources permit and as we have achieved some success in our revenues, start to increase spoken word levels.
2642 But we just want to be sure that we are not over-committing and under-producing, so I want to, you know, propose this thing which we can certainly produce over the next short term and that --
2643 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: And would you --
2644 MR. HILL: Sorry. Commissioner, go ahead.
2645 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: No, no, it's okay. Just further to what you have just said, Mr. Hill, how would you feel about a COL that committed you to a level that you felt, as you say, you were able to produce?
2646 MR. HILL: Yes, we would agree with that, Commissioner. We would like, if we could discuss what that level might be. We have counted our current news reporting and weather and sports, we promote local advances and so forth. Just on that level, in addition to the enriched spoken word that we would like to add, we came up with a mix of approximately nine hours if we include everything.
2647 So that was cutting back from the 20 structured enriched down to nine spoken and then, we would add, excuse me, additional spoken word through the announcers on the rest of the music service where we would, of course, be informative for the community on a much higher level in terms of hours.
2648 So, I guess the mix, if I could summarize it, it's 9 and 11, where eleven was predominantly music with a bit of spoken word and local content, such as the news, for instance, and the other one was -- and the other one was to include, the 9 was to include the news.
2649 But it's just the count is strictly spoken word, nine hours of strick spoken word, including our block programming where we are doing talk shows.
2650 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Regarding, and once again I'm just going back to the annual returns, why should we not maintain the mandatory order, and I apologize if you have already answered this question, but I need to ask it in this way and get your response.
2651 Maintain the mandatory order regarding the submission of annual returns and what assurances can you offer that there will be no more non-compliance issues?
2652 MR. HILL: I don't want to be -- appear to be clipping, commissioner, but this has, you know, not been very good for us the fact that we are having to go through this process and not committing our annual returns. We take this extremely seriously and the Board takes it extremely seriously.
2653 We did comply with the submission over the last renewal period of all financial information and we got it in that time. So, I want to say that we are committed to that fully and we understand the seriousness of it.
2654 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You would like us to drop the expectation regarding live programming during drive times? Is that correct?
2655 MR. HILL: Yes, we would like to do that, just for -- as resources permit, we would like to be able to determine when we can do that. I mean, I don't want to get into a situation where there is another recession and our revenue streams drop and then, we are challenged again financially.
2656 So, we understand the idea of trying to produce quality local programming, live programming in all of our cities, but we would prefer to have the flexibility to determine how much we can do.
2657 MS AUER: And also, Commissioner, that expectation I believe was issued with the time sensitive date and as AVR's strategic report that it submitted last year indicated it has met that time sensitive date. Therefore, you know, we have suggested the removal of the condition of licence.
2658 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You've asked for the removal of the expectations related to the building studio in Vancouver?
2659 MS AUER: For the same reason that expectation has been fully met.
2660 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: And to arrange studio access in Calgary and Edmonton as part of that?
2661 MS AUER: And again, that expectation was fully met.
2662 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Excellent.
2663 MR. CAMPBELL: I would just like to add that considering our situation, we are in a very limited market.
2664 You know, as a native broadcaster, we have come a long way in a very short period of time. You know, when we look at broadcasting itself, it came about, you know, in the 1920s.
2665 I started in radio broadcasting in 1966 and we were just doing packaging programming and that took place all the way up to northern native broadcasting which I've worked and helped to develop.
2666 Now, we are here in a commercial field and we are entering into where aboriginal people at best our potential for financial is limited, yet we work with that. We do not receive funding. We do not receive the concessions that other commercial networks receive and as I say, take this into consideration.
2667 I feel, sir, that we have come a long ways and we have the potential of going a long ways, if given the opportunity.
2668 Thank you.
2669 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Well, given what you have said, Mr. Campbell, I appreciate your comments. I will ask one more question before handing if off to my colleagues. I do want you to consider this very carefully.
2670 It's a multi-tiered question, but why should we renew your licences? And if we choose not to renew all the licences, what impact would that have on your operations in general? If you had to prioritize which ones to keep and which ones not, what would you choose?
2671 MS AUER: Respectfully, Commissioner, AVR licences should be renewed because the two regulatory infractions that AVR committed were by accident, they were not purposeful, they were not intentional, they were not financially beneficial, they have not been repeated since. AVR has corrected its non-compliance issues. That's why its licences should be renewed.
2672 AVR received nothing but supporting interventions in this proceeding, did not receive a single opposing intervention and in the last licence term it received a grand total of one complaint about its programming, which incidentally was not about an AVR produced production, but rather a purchased program and in any event was, in our view, not valid.
2673 AVR should be renewed because it is serving fully the audience that it's intended to serve. It is still within the first seven years that a normal conventional broadcaster might have received without having to come to renewal hearing.
2674 In our view, AVR requires a full long-term period of renewal from all of its services in order to fully meet its own commitments to its audiences, to its board, to the members of AVR and, of course, to its audiences.
2675 AVR licences should be renewed because it does not need the standard required for non-renewal and I am thinking in particular of CHOI-FM. You do not see before you a licensee that has agreed justly non-compliant, definitely non-compliant, offensively and abusively non-compliant.
2676 You are seeing before you today a licensee that has made two mistakes because of misinterpretation of a screen on a computer station. In our view, that does not need the test of non-renewal.
2677 As for your second part of your question, respectfully, AVR has previously relinquished four of its licences because it was difficult for it to manage with the resources it had to bring them on the board full stream.
2678 All five of AVR licences are now in operation. AVR would like to grow, expand, increase its local programming, increase its local news service. Not renewing or asking AVR to give up several of those stations, in our view, would be an excessive penalty for a demeanimus amount of non-compliance.
2679 MR. CARDINAL: I would like to add to that, Commissioner, if you will. Based on the question that you're asking why should we renew it and also what licences should we prioritize.
2680 You have to keep in context that about 70 per cent of aboriginal people in Canada today live in urban centres. They are no longer living under traditional communities, their Metis communities, they're in the urban centres.
2681 So, they need to have access or at least, like I was saying before, hearing the voice of their people on the airwaves. That is a mark of inclusion within our society as well, within the Canadian society.
2682 What we have been doing has been a lot of hard work over the last five years. We came from not having our licences run up and running, to get them running, from a deficit of two million dollars to solvency. We have increased our staff to 30 or more staff members working with us.
2683 And so, to say that, you know, which licences we would give up, any single one of them is detrimental to our success.
2684 We have an obligation to create the space and the opportunity for our people to hear their voice, not only in the five cities that we are in, but also the other cities that we need to get to. We have positioned ourselves now, finally, after five years of learning and, yes, making our mistakes.
2685 We are positioned now to move forward. We have the expertise, we have hired the expertise and we are satisfied with what we have been doing with what we have. So, I would just ask if you keep that into consideration, please.
2686 MS CRONIN: Commissioner, I would like to have a quantitative perspective.
2687 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Please.
2688 MS CRONIN: Based on when I started into 2010 and their growth that we have experienced that during our marketing. We currently have about 380,000 westerns across our network, 245,000 in Toronto. That's based on the most recent IPSCO Reid Panel that we did in November.
2689 In 2010 some research was undertaken by AVR and I examined it and we had some ethnic questions asked. One in three listeners identified themselves as being Indigenous, as being aboriginal. MRonics did some work in the last couple of years had stated that most Indigenous people who dwell in city centres will not identify themselves as being Indigenous.
2690 So, it is very interesting that we have 3 in 10 identifying themselves as Indigenous. So, probably the number is higher.
2691 So, if you look at that and look at it so that means we actually have probably about 73,000 listeners in Toronto, to our Toronto station, that are Indigenous, about 115,000 across our network and that's again based on our November numbers when we are continuing to grow.
2692 The other thing is that the format that we offer is very unique, it's very diverse and it is obviously appealing to this listener group.
2693 Thank you.
2694 MR. CAMPBELL: I just wanted to add also, it's APTN Northern Native Broadcasting, all of these, the training dollars that have gone into aboriginal people prior to the eighties has cost Canadian taxpayers a lot of money. It was worth it.
2695 But at the same time, here we are AVR going commercial, which no one is serving the south of this country. We are going in and we are doing this with no support and I think that has to be taken into consideration. And to understand that what we are undertaking is far greater than what anybody has attempted to undertake in the last 100 years. And that goes for your society as well, sir.
2696 Thank you.
2697 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Well, thank you. I know it has been a grilling few hours. It may not be over for you. My colleagues may have some questions, but I thank you for the time you've spent and the effort that you've put into answering my questions.
2698 Mr. Chairman.
2699 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr.Patrone.
2700 Madam Cronin, you mentioned 240,000 people in Toronto and you're basing yourself on IPSO Reid Survey. This is your listenership in Toronto?
2701 MS CRONIN: This is our listenership in Toronto, yes.
2702 THE CHAIRPERSON: On a yearly basis, on a daily basis, on a --
2703 MS CRONIN: This is within the time of the survey. So, the survey is a week long, the samples, 800, so it's within that time period.
2704 THE CHAIRPERSON: In November?
2705 MS CRONIN: In November.
2706 THE CHAIRPERSON: Of 2011?
2707 MS CRONIN: In 2011.
2708 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And your revenues per annum in Toronto for 2011?
2709 MS CRONIN: In Toronto, I am not.
2710 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is there a problem, madam?
2711 MS AUER: We may have -- we may have filed those in confidence, Mr. Chairman.
2712 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
2713 MS AUER: So, I do believe that the Commission does have those and we are prepared to file them in confidence again with you, if you would like.
2714 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Cronin, you started your employment with AVR in September of 2010, as part of your testimony?
2715 MS CRONIN: I did -- I did some work in August of 2010 and then, on a continual basis and I think December of 2010.
2716 THE CHAIRPERSON: You were hired September, but as it says, and you were hired as a -- you are one of the personnel that was mentioned, one of the 30 people that have been on?
2717 MS CRONIN: I am one of, yes, Sales, Marketing & Promotion and some strategic consulting.
2718 THE CHAIRPERSON: You mentioned that the awareness for AVR was minimal?
2719 MS CRONIN: That's right.
2720 THE CHAIRPERSON: Non existent.
2721 MS CRONIN: Pretty well.
2722 THE CHAIRPERSON: And how was that? I mean, you have been up and running for at least for five years at that point and nobody knows about you?
2723 MS CRONIN: I can only answer to that, to -- as I've said the time that I joined, the awareness of it was zero per cent in the other four markets and two per cent in Toronto, based on previous research undertaken.
2724 My understanding is that all the resources -- there had been little marketing done. I can only speak to the time that I have been with them, but I must share with you that we also measured awareness that was in increases and awareness that was with IPSO Reid in our two surveys and our awareness levels, actually they increased to 14 per cent in November.
2725 THE CHAIRPERSON: In Toronto or --
2726 MS CRONIN: In Toronto.
2727 THE CHAIRPERSON: And do you have something for the other markets?
2728 MS CRONIN: We haven't fielded at any surveys as yet. We have one ready to go in Vancouver as soon as our marketing campaign, it's five weeks in July, so it would be August it should go in field, in Vancouver.
2729 THE CHAIRPERSON: The BBM numbers don't reflect that 240,000 figure. Would you agree with me on that?
2730 MS CRONIN: We don't subscribe to BBM. It's far too expensive. It would run us about $250,000.00 a year. You have to commit to a minimum of a seven-year term. So, that over this seven years we are looking at about 1.2 million dollars investment. We are monitored. However, we will -- we are poised to join BBM and again all our marketing efforts are also to increase our audience and our listenership.
2731 So, and addressing Mr. Patrone's earlier question about again what your contingency plan is in terms of advertising, we have a two point strategy. One is to increase advertising means, but the other is to increase our audience. So, we have a specific target in mind for each market and we have just yet .03 rating in Toronto which by this Fall we should be able to do. Advertising will not be such an onerous issue for us.
2732 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you've got staff on board to help you with marketing and advertising?
2733 MS CRONIN: Yes, yes. We have staff on board and we have a marketing plan in place.
2734 THE CHAIRPERSON: They report directly to you? Your staff does?
2735 MS CRONIN: Yes, yes.
2736 THE CHAIRPERSON: And how many would you have under contract with you?
2737 MS CRONIN: I personally work with two sub-contractors who work with me and then I also work with the management team advisers at AVR.
2738 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just to get back on this question of syndicated programming. Do you think Indigenous people and Canadians in general should expect something more from CCD contributions that go towards AVR than syndicated US programming? Is that the purpose of the CCD contribution?
2739 MR. HILL: We do not play syndicated program at this point, Commissioner. So --
2740 THE CHAIRPERSON: When did you last do so?
2741 MR. HILL: Oh! I guess it has been -- I don't know I'd have to look it up, but Greg, do you remember the last we played syndicated programming?
2742 MR. THIBIDEAU: It's 2008, 2009.
2743 THE CHAIRPERSON: And since then, there has not been any syndicated programming?
2744 MR. HILL: No. No syndicated programming since.
2745 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
2746 MR. HILL: If I could just add one thing, but in the future we may want to play a minimal amount of syndicated programming if we found a program that we originated outside of Canada and it was particularly relevant, maybe an hour or something like that. We may want to do that, but currently we don't do that. We haven't done in a few years.
2747 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Denton.
2748 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Okay. So, just so I will appear in the transcript, but this is the information that I need.
2749 First, I want to breakdown sales and promotioning expenses for 2011 for each market served.
2750 Next, I want a number of staff, nature positions, staffing costs, compensation and location of staff for the sales team.
2751 Now, that's -- that concludes what we want on paper. I may have more.
2752 Basically, the problem so far as we can see is you've got a lot of licences, you have drawing up sources of funding from other sources than advertising and you've got to get more advertising. Is that acceptable statement of the problem?
2753 MS CRONIN: With respect, Commissioner Denton, I don't know if I would characterize five licences as a lot of licences.
2754 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Well, fine, just go on, let's get real there. This is just --
2755 MS CRONIN: I'm sorry. Commissioner, we have five licences and we
2757 COMMISSIONER DENTON: I know. No, I am not interested whether you've got five or fifteen. You have a lot of licences and you have very poor advertising revenue features, so you've got to get more advertising.
2758 MS CRONIN: And we agree to that.
2759 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Fine. Now, I want to have those figures as what you are doing because otherwise, it's just not credible and I don't want to be told that you have few licences. You are sitting on prime real estate licences in southern Canada, and we want to see evidence of seriousness that you are going about this business in a serious businesslike way.
2760 MS. AUER: Well, respectfully, I believe that AVR is proceeding in a serious way. They have engaged marketing experts. They are selling advertising. They would like to do better.
2761 They have asked the CRTC for the flexibility in certain of its conditions of licence to enable it to provide the programming that will enable AVR to sell more time and garner more revenues, which is what it wants, as well.
2762 COMMISSIONER DENTON: AVR has been up before us on several occasions, and the basic point that was made by Vice-Chairman Katz last year was that we needed to see a business plan that was sufficiently realistic to give us confidence that you were going to be able to support a number of stations with a level of service, and that problem remains, and that's what we are mostly concerned about.
2763 Thank you.
2764 MS. AUER: I am assuming, Commissioner Denton, that wasn't a question, but a statement of your opinion?
2765 COMMISSIONER DENTON: I believe that it reflects the Commission's opinion, which it has expressed on several occasions.
2766 MS. AUER: Just to state for the record, then, AVR has provided the Commission with its strategic plan, as it committed to in 2010. It provided it on time, in September 2011. It explained its initiatives, described the work of Ms. Cronin and her team, and is fully prepared -- provided it has the flexibility from the Commission specifically with respect to the term of the renewal, because a 24-month renewal will simply create uncertainty and unpredictability for Ms. Cronin's team.
2767 As well, some flexibility with respect to structured enriched spoken word, so that AVR can allocate its resources to the programming that will enable it to attract the size of audience that it would like, so that it can hire more staff to continuously improve its programming.
2768 COMMISSIONER DENTON: The basic concern that we have is the gap between what AVR has been doing in terms of a business plan, the realism of that business plan, and the number of stations for which it is responsible, and the capacity to carry it out.
2769 Now, this is not a question of compliance, this is a question of strategy to get yourselves the money and the wherewithal whereby to carry out your duties under the Broadcasting Act.
2770 It's not a small thing of late this, or minor that. The basic thing is, conceptually, strategically, can this be made to work.
2771 No one would be happier if it was made to work than us, except you.
2772 So, after going at it from that point of view, we want this to be a success, but we are also realists, and we are also quite capable of deciding which end is up.
2773 So, this is what we must be persuaded of, and you should not be under any illusions that this is a compliance question, though compliance may come into it, it's the capacity to carry out your duties under the Broadcasting Act.
2774 MS. AUER: Commissioner Denton, I think that AVR would like to assure you that they are fully aware of their responsibilities under the Broadcasting Act, and with the resources that are available to them, they are fully attempting to reach that, and also to perhaps surpass it.
2775 They are committed to serving their audiences.
2776 And, of course, I might add, too, serving the terms of the 1990 Native Broadcasting Policy, which set out the expectations for indigenous broadcasters.
2777 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Those are my questions, Mr. Chairman.
2778 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner Denton.
2779 A lot was made of structured enriched spoken word, and you also spoke at length about giving your listenership what they want. Don't you think they appreciate this type of spoken word?
2780 MS. AUER: I think that Mr. Hill is going to address the programming, but I did want to just mention, did you want to have a copy of the proposed AVR schedule that would be implemented if the structured enriched spoken word condition of licence were amended as AVR has requested?
2781 Because that sets out its interest, its continued interest in providing its listeners with both music, focusing on indigenous artists, as well as structured spoken word, focusing on matters of concern to indigenous people.
2782 THE CHAIRPERSON: Wouldn't that fall under the definition of "structured enriched spoken word", spoken word that is of interest to indigenous people?
2783 MS. AUER: I will certainly let Mr. Hill speak to that. Did you want to have a copy of the proposed schedule is what I am wondering.
2784 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will take a copy, but I would like an answer to the question.
2785 MR. HILL: Commissioner, we are proposing to do four hours of structured enriched spoken word, which is an increase from what we were able to manufacture with our resources at that time, on a weekly basis, so that we can reduce the repeated programming.
2786 We agree with some elements of structured enriched spoken word. We also agree with elements of enriched spoken word, or spoken word which is not structured and enriched.
2787 THE CHAIRPERSON: But my question is the following: Do you think that more music will attract a greater audience?
2788 MR. HILL: As I survey the landscape of broadcasting, it appears to me that music services certainly dominate the amount of radio programming that is out there, and that seems to be what people gravitate toward.
2789 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but I want you to speak to me about your services.
2790 MR. HILL: Okay. So I am not understanding the question, then, Commissioner. Could you repeat it?
2791 THE CHAIRPERSON: Wouldn't you attract a greater audience, indigenous or otherwise, by having more spoken word on subjects that are of interest to your potential listenership?
2792 MR. HILL: I'm sorry, more than what? Is there a number you had in mind?
2793 What do you mean by "more"? I'm sorry.
2794 THE CHAIRPERSON: More rather than less.
2795 MR. HILL: Well, I agree with more, as opposed to coming from zero -- that four hours instead of no structured enriched spoken word would be interesting --
2796 THE CHAIRPERSON: Four hours a week?
2797 MR. HILL: Yes, four hours of original --
2798 THE CHAIRPERSON: Per station?
2799 Original, per station?
2800 MR. HILL: Original spoken word.
2801 But the spoken word is national. Spoken word is national, so we --
2802 THE CHAIRPERSON: So four hours a week over your five stations.
2803 MR. HILL: Of national programming played over the five stations, structured enriched, yes.
2804 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you would be producing four hours a week over the five stations.
2805 MR. HILL: Four hours a week to be aired on all five stations.
2806 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
2807 MR. HILL: Yes.
2808 And that is structured enriched, Commissioner.
2809 THE CHAIRPERSON: By playing music, what are you offering that is different from what everyone else is offering in urban centres?
2810 And don't tell me that you are going to be playing --
2811 Go ahead, I'm listening.
2812 MR. HILL: We play more indigenous music than any broadcaster in these cities, so we promote indigenous musical artists who sing and perform both in English and in indigenous languages. We do both.
2813 THE CHAIRPERSON: What percentage of your music is indigenous?
2814 MR. HILL: I would say, if you add both languages, English and indigenous music, it's about 20 percent.
2815 But this is in line with all Native B-type stations that also play the type of music that indigenous people listen to.
2816 THE CHAIRPERSON: And do you have sort of logs for that, the 20 percent, or are you just --
2817 MR. HILL: We could provide them. We have never been asked to provide them, but we could go through and examine the logs and determine which are --
2818 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will ask for that undertaking, to take a look at the logs and see what percentage is actually indigenous.
2819 But you were mentioning 20 percent. Where did you get that figure?
2820 MR. HILL: Because we cause our software to play that amount of indigenous artists.
2821 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you think that's sufficient.
2822 MR. HILL: It varies on any day, but it goes from 15 to 20 --
2823 THE CHAIRPERSON: And the other 80 percent could be music that can be heard on any other radio station across the country.
2824 MR. HILL: The other 80 percent is the music that is heard in other Native type B's across the country, and the music that indigenous people listen to.
2825 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are you trying to attract non-indigenous people, as well, as part of your listenership?
2826 MR. HILL: I would say that we certainly would be glad to have Canadians listen to our service, for sure.
2827 I think that part of the original proposal of Aboriginal Voices Radio was that we would speak to the country regarding indigenous issues, in addition to indigenous people. Certainly, I know that is part of the objective of APTN, as well, to be able to do that.
2828 We look at ourselves, potentially, as a bridge between indigenous people and Canadians, so that there could be better awareness of each other and an improving of the relationship between all peoples across the country and --
2829 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Hill, what have you done toward that end?
2830 MR. HILL: We have played many cultural and spiritual programs where we have aired indigenous people talking about indigenous issues and non-indigenous people talking about indigenous issues.
2831 For instance, in the last two years, we have interviewed and aired approximately 300 indigenous people in the areas of the arts, in the areas of indigenous governance, in the areas of culture and spirituality, and in that regard, we think it is very helpful for not only indigenous people to hear this content, but also for Canadian people to hear it, as well. I think that it's very educational for everyone.
2832 THE CHAIRPERSON: I didn't understand the last part, you broadcast --
2833 MR. HILL: I'm sorry. Over the last two years, since the last renewal --
2834 THE CHAIRPERSON: Over the last two years --
2835 MR. HILL: Yes.
2836 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- 300 hours of original programming of indigenous artists and others speaking to indigenous issues and non-indigenous issues?
2837 MR. HILL: No, Commissioner, it's 300 individuals, 300 indigenous people, in 300 separate interviews of these people, talking about those various issues.
2838 It wasn't hours. I would have to calculate the hours.
2839 We would have to go through our logs and calculate what the total hours were.
2840 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand that.
2841 Everyone at the panel here is on salary at AVR, with the exception of Ms. Auer?
2842 MR. HILL: No, there are other contractors. Colleen is a contractor, Lewis is a contractor, and Greg is contracted. They work full-time as contractors to provide services to AVR.
2843 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I am going to pass the baton over to Commissioner Molnar.
2844 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
2845 I just have a question of interest before I get into the questions regarding your requests.
2846 Sirius Radio is here tomorrow as part of our hearing, and if I remember correctly, do you produce programming for Sirius Radio?
2847 MR. HILL: Yes, we do. We provide aboriginal indigenous programming for one of their -- or two of their satellite channels.
2848 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: How would that be reflected? Is that separate and apart from your undertaking here, so the financials of that are separate and apart from your licensed radio undertakings? We wouldn't see any of the revenues in here?
2849 MR. HILL: No, that's a very new undertaking, and it will appear in the next set of revenues, but they provided -- we charged a fee for providing the service.
2850 So that will come out on the next financial statements.
2851 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And there are economies because you are using your same music playlists and all of that stuff?
2852 MR. HILL: Yes, some of the programming we are repurposing for Siriux XM.
2853 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Thank you.
2854 I now want to get on to some of the requests that you have made.
2855 As you know, Mr. Hill, we were together through the last licensing, when some of these conditions were placed upon the licence that you are now asking be removed, and you did have a discussion with Mr. Patrone about removing the requirement for audited financial statements.
2856 As you know, the requirement for audited financial statements was a result of recurring non-compliance as it regards submitting those statements. It wasn't because of one licence term, it was because of a recurrence of having those financial statements not submitted in a timely manner, or not submitted at all.
2857 MR. HILL: Yes.
2858 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I did hear you say to Commissioner Patrone that you would like that removed and that you take it very seriously.
2859 I would be more interested in knowing what sort of corporate structural changes have been made to ensure your continued compliance with those obligations, if we were to remove the mandatory order.
2860 I appreciate that you take it seriously. I assume that you took it seriously before, but they weren't filed. So tell me what you have done within your corporation that would give us confidence that these would be filed going forward.
2861 MR. HILL: Yes, Commissioner. The first occurrence -- apparently some of the returns were not filed, and were filed late the first time. The second time they were filed late.
2862 The first time happened prior to 2004, when the current management team came on board, and you read in our opening statements that the Board had replaced the management team.
2863 So the first occurrence was with the previous management team.
2864 Now, the late filing occurred with the present management team. We did file them, but they were late.
2865 At that point, we were still operating seven licences, and we were understaffed, and we regret the incidence of the late filing, but we had been concerned on meeting our conditions of licence and maintaining our broadcasts, and so forth, at that time, with a smaller staff than we have now.
2866 Our staff has more than doubled since the last renewal, and that is certainly a structural change, that we have brought more people on board, into the organization, as well.
2867 As far as governance, the Board is aware of this issue. Some members, back some years ago, were not radio people. They had come from other sectors, and I can tell you that, at that point, we were learning radio, since radio was new. Certainly, in these cities, there has never been an indigenous broadcaster before.
2868 We hired professionals to work in the station, to inform us of these things. We tried to keep up with all of the requirements that we had before us.
2869 So we did file them, but they were late the last time --
2870 I'm sorry, two renewals ago. At the last renewal we were given a mandatory order, and we filed everything on time, in a timely manner, and it was all complete.
2871 So we are asking that we don't need a mandatory order to do that any more. We are very aware of this problem, and that it is a serious problem, and it happened more than once, and the Board is aware, as well. So we are committing to filing those.
2872 And if I could note, Commissioner, the audited financial returns provide a very sound financial picture and they demonstrate that the financial performance of the organization has improved over time. So the financial management has improved our financial situation.
2873 We did take our debt down, and we became solvent in 2010. We carry a little operating debt right now, but we are managing the organization very soundly and delivering the programming with the limited resources that we have. But we do plan on increasing the revenues moving forward.
2874 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I want to say that I would have been more comfortable had you told me that there was a certain individual who is accountable for filing those, and he reports to you, and you have an accountability to your Board that it -- you know, that bonuses or something else were associated with ensuring that those things were filed on time.
2875 Having said that, I want to move on to another comment that you just made, and perhaps --
2876 MS. AUER: Commissioner Molnar, I'm sorry; we did want to clarify one small part of Mr. Hill's answer.
2877 MR. HILL: Yes, Commissioner, I would like to answer the last comment that you made. I am quite confident that I would lose my job if they were not filed on time the next time, and the Board being aware of this would terminate my contract.
2878 I am confident that would happen. So that is in place.
2879 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: That's a much bigger answer than the one you gave before.
2880 MR. HILL: It's not something that I really want to bring forward in my mind, but that is what would happen.
2881 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I think, had your Board said that, I would --
2882 MR. CAMPBELL: I can assure you that he has a performance evaluation once a year now, so --
2883 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And that is one of the criteria, that all compliance --
2884 MR. CAMPBELL: That is one of the criteria, yes.
2885 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: -- all regulatory issues are met?
2886 MR. CAMPBELL: Yes, as well as the work that has been laid out and assigned, which is being forwarded to you.
2887 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Thank you.
2888 Could I just follow up, Mr. Hill, on a statement you just made about the improving financial performance?
2889 I understand that your financial results, the historical results, are confidential, so I am not going to put any numbers out there, but I am looking at the financial results, the consolidated results, for the five years from 2007 to 2011, by year, and I would say to you that 2011 doesn't look to me to be an improving financial outcome.
2890 Is there some other information that you have filed, or otherwise, that would indicate that you are in an improving financial position?
2891 MR. HILL: The decrease in revenues, I assume, is what you are referring to.
2892 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I see a decrease in revenues and an increase in costs, which obviously has a pretty serious impact on PBIT.
2893 MR. HILL: Yes, it does, of course. We have tried to expand and we have tried to be very efficient in the expansion, but the costs have risen.
2894 I would like the Commission to keep in mind that we have come through what is being referred to as the Great Recession over the last few years, and it certainly has impacted all radio broadcasters, as well as us, and it has affected our ability to increase revenue streams through advertising.
2895 The CCD benefits, if I recall this correctly, fell slightly and, as you have indicated, they are going to continue to fall for the next five years. So, of course, we realize that that has to be made up somehow.
2896 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Right. So, please, just explain to me why you say that you are in an improved financial position, just based on all you have just said.
2897 MR. HILL: Because the debt was very high, and we have paid down the debt. By the time we hit 2011, we were in a much more solvent position.
2898 That allowed us, instead of having to allocate resources to paying debt -- which we had incurred in trying to get all of our stations on the air -- we can now focus on programming, which is why you will see an increase in staff and an increase in programming; for instance, meeting the news requirement and the live broadcasting.
2899 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I am sure that you are aware of this. If I look at your post-interest results, your pre-tax profits, I don't see that outcome -- your requirements to service debt.
2900 And if I look at this over time and how your pre-tax profits have changed, it's still not apparent to me that you are in a better financial position, and I think it's important, if we are misunderstanding this, that you are provided the opportunity to tell us what is your improved financial position, outside of having repaid your debt.
2901 Is there something on the revenue side or the cost side, or something that I should know?
2902 MS. AUER: Before Mr. Hill answers, I just want to put on the record the fact that, at this point, not discussing, of course, interest, AVR is still in a positive operating income position for both the annual years ending 2010 and 2011.
2903 So, just in terms of operating income, it is not suffering a loss.
2904 As for the other matters -- and, in fact, even at the net income, from our perspective, AVR is still in a positive position.
2905 And, of course --
2906 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: With all due respect, what is the relevance of talking operating income?
2907 I mean, I am talking PBIT, I am talking pre-tax profit, so what is the relevance of operating income, as you see it?
2908 Because, as an accountant, I am not sure that I understand why we are talking operating income instead of PBIT or pre-tax profit.
2909 MS. AUER: First of all, of course, under the Native Broadcasting Policy, to be an indigenous broadcaster in Canada you must be non-profit. So that has certain implications for how it presents its own financial position to its Board.
2910 Secondly, my point in raising this was not to say anything about PBIT, but simply to make the point that AVR is still in a positive position. AVR is not losing money at this point.
2911 So, although your question might lead the uninformed person to believe that AVR's financial position is negative, or serious, or in the red, it is in fact in the black.
2912 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Are you talking just cash flow?
2913 MR. HILL: I would like to say, Commissioner, that as a non-profit, we do not try to optimize any types of earnings that would be showing in PBIT. We have to, more or less, come close to spending whatever the revenue stream is.
2914 If we were operating as a commercial broadcaster, I think we would want to show a continual increase in the PBIT.
2915 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Fair enough. Once again, I am not questioning how much you should earn. You made the statement that you are in an improved financial position, and I am trying to understand that, because when I am looking at the financials, that isn't what I see.
2916 So either I am looking at this wrong or there is another part that I am not seeing. So I was trying to provide an opportunity for you to explain what I am misunderstanding here about the improved financial position.
2917 And I don't understand the conversation that was just there about looking at operating income. I mean, non-profit or not, you need to cover all costs, so --
2918 MR. HILL: And the costs are covered, predominantly. They are all covered. The costs are covered.
2919 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. I am just going to let that go.
2920 MR. HILL: If I could just, I guess, explain what I was referring to, we did have substantial debt, and it caused us to allocate -- and this debt was incurred in order to get our stations on the air, to find frequencies -- additional frequencies over a period of time, as we referred to earlier.
2921 We were able in paying down the debt to allocate monies to programming which I know the Commission is interested in seeing.
2922 So when I -- that to me is what I term as an improving financial position that we are able to allocate the monies to serving our listeners better by having paying down the debt and now allocating monies over to programming and other types of operational expenses.
2923 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. I think I understand that.
2924 So whereas you needed to take cash flows before to the debt, the increased costs were because you were re-investing in your product?
2925 MR. HILL: Yes, Commissioner.
2926 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
2927 Okay. I have one more question regarding your requests here relative to the conditions we put on last time.
2928 You have requested that we remove the requirement -- sorry, I have lost my page here now. Let me see if I get it back -- the removal of the requirement to file details on the implementation of the strategic objectives that were proposed.
2929 So we had put in our last hearing a requirement that you report to us how you were doing in achieving the strategic objectives. One of the key objectives was the advertising, being able to achieve advertising as an alternative source of revenue.
2930 What I have heard here today is that you have put in place some of the actions. You are looking to build your audience. It's two-pronged but you haven't yet achieved the revenues.
2931 MR. HILL: Yes, Commissioner, thank you.
2932 We were just having a discussion of how long it takes to build such a thing. We had really started to invest in 2010 in light of our previous circumstances.
2933 The impetus to build sales revenues -- and I would like Colleen to comment further on this as well -- but we were discussing some broadcasters and businesses, how long it takes before you realize the returns on the investment into these campaigns which are meant to yield sales revenues. They do take -- it's not months. It's a matter of years before you start to realize really, these such gains.
2934 But if I could ask --
2935 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So I appreciate that.
2936 All my question really is -- and we will agree, I hope, that so far you have not achieved all of the gains that you are desiring. You have invested. You are beginning a process to build a new source of revenue and you haven't yet achieved all you desire through that.
2937 So why is it now appropriate for us to remove the requirement to report on whether or not that can be achieved, that strategic objective can be achieved? It hasn't been achieved. I am not arguing that you have worked towards achieving it, but it has yet not been achieved. So why is it appropriate for us now to remove that requirement?
2938 MS AUER: Commissioner Molnar, the request to remove that condition of licence was because it was time dated. It was because it referred to September 30th, 2011.
2939 So if you want to have a discussion about re-imposing a new condition of licence requiring regular reports on achievement of business objectives, I think AVR is open to that.
2940 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Well, then let's have that conversation.
2941 Okay, if you are just saying it was a two-year licence term and we wanted partway through to get in an idea of how things were going. So I would like your comments --
2942 MS AUER: -- the report on time, yeah.
2943 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: -- on what you view to be the implications if we were to request a similar requirement going forward until there is some assurance that in fact those strategic objectives can be met.
2944 MS AUER: I think AVR would be prepared to say yes; if the Commission would like to have more information on how well it's doing, certainly AVR is prepared to provide that to the Commission.
2945 As I mentioned, the only concern I have, and perhaps it's the eager beaver lawyer in me -- it's just that condition of licence to me was stale dated. If the Commission wishes to have more information on a going-forward basis, AVR, I think, would be pleased to provide it.
2946 MR. HILL: If I could just comment on advertising revenues?
2947 I mean, moving into the future we can't predict what will happen but we can certainly put programs in place to try to optimize our sales. But there are a lot of variables involved in that but we would be -- we can file what our plans are and what the reasoning is, or we can do that as we did previously, Commissioner.
2948 I see that Colleen wants to make a comment as well.
2949 MS CRONIN: I just wanted to add that we are for this broadcast fiscal -- we are at 61 percent. We have maybe two and a half months left. We do expect to finish out at 78 percent of our projection.
2950 So if you think that really we have only really pulled the trigger on ourselves and our marketing strategy in January 2011, I think we are doing very well.
2951 MR. CAMPBELL: And as a Board, we have listened to Jamie. We have listened to Colleen and we have had a lot of discussion over this.
2952 And we fully support. We firmly believe that we can achieve this. It's better than going home and folding the tent up.
2953 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you for that. Those are my questions.
2954 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
2955 Madam Poirier...?
2956 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Good afternoon.
2957 I will make a short first comment and then I have two questions and a request.
2958 My comment is very positive because while I was in Toronto for a hearing for radio stations, I was sitting nearby a bunch of young adults, native young adults, and I asked them by chance to what radio stations they were listening and they said AVR.
2959 So I was surprised because it was not what I expected really.
2960 MR. HILL: Thank you very much for sharing that, Commissioner. We appreciate that.
2961 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes, and I shared it with some of the staff because I was struck by this.
2962 That being said, I have a few tough questions, maybe.
2963 When I look at your financial summary that is confidential so I won't reveal the numbers -- you know, I'm always surprised when I see admin -- in general, the numbers are higher than programming numbers.
2964 Why haven't you decided instead of decreasing programing spending to decrease admin in general and because the number spent for programming in 2010 are higher than those in 2011, but the numbers in admin are higher in 2011.
2965 So maybe it is a simple answer but I would love to get an explanation.
2966 MR. HILL: Thank you, Commissioner.
2967 I would like to comment that our programming expenditures are higher than the average stations on a percentage basis than other broadcasters in our market.
2968 There are -- the nature of administration as well is there are costs associated with just maintaining a broadcasting organization regardless of what their levels of programming are.
2969 So we have studio costs, personnel costs. We have to pay legal fees and this is regardless of whether we are at 10 percent programming or 90 percent programming. These costs can be fixed in nature and not variable. Of course, there are variable --
2970 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: But they have increased.
2971 MR. HILL: Yes, because we have expanded the operation.
2972 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay.
2973 MR. HILL: We have added -- we have doubled essentially the organization.
2974 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: It's because of the new studios.
2975 MR. HILL: So all of these new things that we have achieved over the past years, it has attached to it increased administrative costs.
2976 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: But then you decreased programming --
2977 MR. HILL: There is additional -- there is all kinds of things.
2978 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: -- expenses.
2979 MR. HILL: Well, we allocated money onto the sales so that we can achieve revenues in the marketing so that we can --
2980 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay.
2981 MR. HILL: I would like to say that our firm aspiration is to produce much high quality programming because that's what we believe is the way to sever off the audiences. But we must put these other things in place; a healthier, more stabilized revenue stream and the administration to support the entire expanding operation.
2982 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. Fair; fair enough.
2983 MR. CAMPBELL: I just wanted to add --
2984 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes.
2985 MR. CAMPBELL: -- as chairman of the board, one of the things that we needed to look at was how do we put this mechanism in place and how do we make it work so that we can increase our programming that we can increase.
2986 We can hire all the staff in the world, and that's been tried. The thing is, we need to hire the good ones to get the job done. That is very important to us because we are looking long term here in order to fulfil what we need to do.
2987 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you very much, Chair Campbell.
2988 My next question is for you because your final pledge before this one was related -- it struck me because you said, "Well, we have no grants. We received no grants."
2989 That is true. But tangible benefits in a way are grants. It's free money that you get and that can be associated to grants.
2990 When I see that 96 per cent of total AVR revenues are attributable to other revenues, meaning tangible benefits, that's a lot of money. How do you expect to survive within the next few years when you lose that money?
2991 MS AUER: Commissioner, before the chairman answers, I did just want to note of course that AVR is very appreciative of the amount of CCD money it's received through the tangible benefits package as well as the annual regulatory requirement.
2992 Of course, one issue for AVR like every other recipient of CCD money is that it is sometimes unpredictable. It is sometimes changeable.
2993 In other words -- I'm referring here to one particular decision where a substantial amount was committed to AVR but after the hearing process had concluded that amount was redirected elsewhere. So it's not something you can rely on with certainty.
2994 That said and, as I said, the Board -- Mr. Campbell will be addressing that. The Board has taken measures, I believe, to refocus their efforts then on developing advertising.
2995 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: That is why I am asking the question. It is not reliable, okay?
2996 MS AUER: We agree.
2997 MR. CAMPBELL: The other thing is that when I talk about grants I talk about like the old school.
2998 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes.
2999 MR. CAMPBELL: Those kinds of grants.
3000 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yeah, I know.
3001 MR. CAMPBELL: We really appreciate what CCD has done. But we are no different than anyone else. We try to take advantage of everything that there is out there that is available.
3002 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes.
3003 MR. CAMPBELL: If there was training money I would go for the training money as well.
3004 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yeah.
3005 MR. CAMPBELL: The other thing I just wanted to mention is that we need to look at the future. We are here to try to accomplish what no other Aboriginal group has, and that is to be self-sustaining.
3006 We are self-sustaining in one sense but we are striving for that. That means we have to think far bigger in our vision than what we have been in the past. That means marketing. That means sales.
3007 But we are behind the eight ball on this. As I say, we're in a limited market area. How many banks, unless we sit with royalties, want to do business with us?
3008 You know, how many people -- companies out there unless they are oil companies that are getting oil off our lands? We are limited in that sense.
3009 We have to work with what we have got. I wish we were as fortunate as other stations, you know, the stations that have come forward here today. I wish we had that kind of beginning but we don't. We are a non-profit agency.
3010 MS AUER: And of course, the Commission has done a great deal to support the broadcasting system. I mean I have appeared here before you myself dealing with the Local Programming Improvement Fund. You know that's an unusual situation where even even major television broadcasters require support.
3011 AVR is no different. It requires some level of support. It relies right now on CCD. It certainly wants to grow and expand and increase its business-like operations.
3012 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: I don't want to compare things that are not comparable.
3013 But when I look at TVO, okay, getting money from the French community that is supportive, okay, of them, I don't -- I can't imagine why indigenous people are not supporting their radio station with money from their pocket as a membership fee or any other grant that you could get from a band or whatever.
3014 So that's why I am asking the question. You rely only -- almost only on tangible benefits.
3015 Aren't there any other ways for you to find money else than advertising, which is very important but mostly benefits?
3016 MR. HILL: In terms of benefits are you proposing --
3017 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Tangible benefits. I always relate to that, okay?
3018 MR. HILL: Okay, CCD. Yes, there are other ways.
3019 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: CCD.
3020 MR. HILL: The advertising is the low-hanging fruit on the tree, you may refer to it.
3021 But as far as -- I would like to comment on getting revenues from the Aboriginal community, the indigenous community in Canada. Statistically, the indigenous community has the least amount of financial resources of any group in the country.
3022 I have been involved in their business initiatives trying to survive on revenues from advertising to indigenous communities. I can tell you that's one of the most challenging things that a business person can do, outside of providing gas and food and commodities located on an Indian reserve for instance.
3023 Outside of that, the opportunities from a commercial private concern business-wise they are extremely, extremely challenging. Many indigenous businessmen have tried that. Very few have been successful. I would not want to pin AVR's future financial viability on trying to gain revenues from the poorest sector of the population in Canada.
3024 MS AUER: Before Colleen jumps in, one further point on obtaining money from band councils; at this point AVR does not receive any. I myself was surprised to learn about this because I just kind of assumed, of course, why wouldn't you?
3025 Jamie, perhaps you could explain about why --
3026 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: A short answer, please, would be appreciated about band --
3027 MR. HILL: Regarding the band councils, Commissioner?
3028 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yeah.
3029 MR. HILL: Band councils are primarily almost totally focused on what is happening on a reserve.
3030 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: M'hmm.
3031 MR. HILL: As far as what's happening outside of the cities in terms of expenditures there are expenditures. There is no doubt because many a band council supports their population that has -- that does not reside on the reserves in a significant way.
3032 But as far as supporting radio I'm not aware of any other native type (b) that exists away from their home community on a First Nation reserve that has successfully achieved band council revenues.
3033 It's even difficult for the existing radio stations to achieve band council revenues when they are located in that community. So it's not something that I presume.
3034 Having worked on Indian reserves before and interacting with band councils I have some familiarity with that. I can say -- well, for instance, in Toronto the reserves -- the nearest reserve is over an hour away and they are looking after a small community there.
3035 That's really where they want to focus their efforts, not to try to serve all of the various indigenous peoples within the confines of the GTA for instance.
3036 There are multiple reserves involved. And, I guess, having people migrate from the reserve into Toronto. So we would have to try to talk to so many different reserves and allocate some per capita basis or something if they wanted to do that. But many of them have radio stations on their own in their own --
3037 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: It's a big issue. It's a big issue.
3038 MR. CARDINAL: I would like to add to that because it's important to understand.
3039 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes, shortly.
3040 MR. CARDINAL: Very shortly.
3041 The Department of Indian Affairs or Aboriginal Affairs, as it's called now, the funding programs that they have for First Nations remain on First Nations. When someone leaves the First Nation -- like myself I don't live on my First Nation. I have no benefits that are delivered on the reserve to me.
3042 So that means that the First Nations are limited because of that to provide services just on the reserve.
3043 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay, thank you; well understood.
3044 As I told you, I have a final request, okay, because what I heard also struck me. You are asking for a longer period of licence renewal, a term of seven years I guess.
3045 Did I hear it well?
3046 MR. HILL: We are asking for that in the cities where we are fully compliant.
3047 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yeah, oh, okay, for three cities. And the others you are asking for...?
3048 MR. HILL: Yes, Commissioner, we would certainly like a long renewal term for those cities because I hope we have presented a case that the infractions will not occur again. We would like more time to build the station since we have only been operating for five years.
3049 We would appreciate if the Commission would consider a longer term so that we can build services to serve our audience better and everything that goes along with building a business over a longer period of time.
3050 We would appreciate that but we understand --
3051 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: But if there is a number for the --
3052 MS AUER: Five.
3053 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Five? Five years?
3054 MS AUER: Five is the number.
3055 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay.
3056 MS AUER: And I say five because, based on the two examples that I gave previously in some of my comments dealing with two other stations, it will be reflected in the record I also decided their decisions in which they were repeatedly non-compliant.
3057 But still, nevertheless, at their level of resources the Commission gave them the security and predictability, certainty, et cetera to operate for another five years.
3058 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: So, for the record, you are asking for seven years for Ottawa-Gatineau, Toronto, Edmonton and then five years for Calgary and Vancouver?
3059 MS AUER: Yes. I would actually say that our application asks for full seven-year terms for all five stations. But I do understand that with respect to non-compliance a shorter term is something the Commission could consider appropriate.
3060 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. Because what I heard from Ms Cronin was that if we had a longer licence term period it would help sell advertising.
3061 But that doesn't rely on our decision. It relies on your decision of being compliant. If you had been compliant it would be easy to give you seven years or five years.
3062 It's not depending on us. It's depending on you. You're the ones who have to be compliant to get what you're asking.
3063 So you are making it a tough job for us to approve such a longer time of licence. I would appreciate -- and that was my request. You don't have to answer right away. I would love to have more realistic numbers in Phase III of this audience.
3064 Could you come back with more realistic numbers? Because no, I am not very supportive of that request because we have done our job. You didn't do your job and please don't ask us to provide you with a long-term licence while you haven't done your job.
3065 But I'm willing to listen to a more realistic demand.
3066 MS CRONIN: Excuse me, I'm sorry, which numbers were you looking for?
3067 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Five and seven years.
3068 MS CRONIN: Okay, thank you.
3069 MS AUER: Thank you, Commissioner. We will take this under advisement and return to you.
3070 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes, and think about it.
3071 MS AUER: Yes, that too.
3072 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay, fair play.
3073 Thank you.
3074 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, I think we are almost done this phase but, at the end of the day, just a brief comment.
3075 I mean revenues come from listenership. You just haven't turned people on to your stations. That's what it comes down to.
3076 MS AUER: This is a comment, Commissioner. Did you want a reply comment?
3077 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, please.
3078 MS AUER: I guess the Commission is an awfully difficult position. It watches different licensees start and stop; go on air, go off air.
3079 I think AVR is a little bit out of the norm because unlike the majority of commercial broadcasters it simply hasn't been in existence very long. It is working to improve its services. It is fully aware of its financial requirements and the necessity to expand its audiences.
3080 For us to say to you, yes, we commit to increasing the audiences by x percent I think would be unrealistic. I don't think it's something that the Commission would ask --
3081 THE CHAIRPERSON: No one is asking you for a commitment going forward, but the proof is in the pudding thus far and you just haven't brought the numbers home.
3082 MS AUER: Well, at this point very few licensees are required within the first term of their licence to have a fully operational station.
3083 THE CHAIRPERSON: Very few licensees have prime real estate in major metropolitan areas and I think it's been 17 or 18 million dollars in CCD contributions over the last number of years. I think the comparison is --
3084 MS AUER: If I could mention, Commissioner, the $15 million CCD funding figure goes to 2015. That does not include the figures to 2012.
3085 THE CHAIRPERSON: What are we at thus far? I think it was 14 last year.
3086 MS AUER: I think we're at eight over the ten years.
3087 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thus far?
3088 MS AUER: Thus far.
3089 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. But you have only been broadcasting for six.
3090 MS AUER: Five.
3091 THE CHAIRPERSON: When did you start broadcasting?
3092 MS AUER: Toronto started in 2002, but for all five stations since mid-2007.
3093 THE CHAIRPERSON: Toronto started in 2002 -- it's been 10 years, Toronto -- prime time, it doesn't get any better than that, and no one is listening.
3094 MS AUER: Well, if there were other radio stations where no one is listening either, then I'm sure we would be in the same spot. The fact is that it's not the Commission's normal practice to turn around and say: We demand performance before we renew your station.
3095 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand, but the CCD contributions will be running out shortly, then what happens.
3096 MS AUER: Then, as AVR has said, we would be prepared, first of all in response to Commissioner Molnar, to file ongoing plans about our strategic objectives and how they are being met, but also Colleen Cronin has provided you with a certain amount of evidence on the record today dealing with her company's approach to expanding AVR's market presence, its promotions and the success that it's having.
3097 Colleen I think is eager to mention something else.
3098 MS CRONIN: Yes, Commissioner. For the record I would just like to state that in 2010 we submitted that we had 50,000 listeners in Toronto. It's based on some indication we had anecdotally as well as my experience with BBM.
3099 After a number of marketing campaigns we did a post test in Toronto with Ipsos Reid. In August of 2011 we had 164,900 listeners. That's an increase of almost 200 percent.
3100 November 2011, again after a very, very large TTC trolley and transit campaign in the City of Toronto, we went back out and measured with Ipsos Reid and we had 245,000 listeners.
3101 We plan to duplicate that success and reach in the other four markets. We will be able to do it cost-effectively and efficiently because we know which media vehicles we have used and we have been successful with.
3102 THE CHAIRPERSON: And your revenues per listenership?
3103 MS CRONIN: Well, as I said, we are at 61 percent of revenue. So we wouldn't be at 61 percent of revenue if we didn't have the listener boost, the relationships that we have with our advertisers. Both will continue to grow.
3104 It takes 4 to 5 years for a regular for-profit station to grow. We are a not-for-profit station. I have done this a number of times successfully with stations and it usually takes 3 to 4 and they are big stations with big corporations.
3105 So I think we are doing a good job and we have been in the last year and a half.
3106 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
3107 Madame Roy...?
3108 MR. HILL: Can I make one last comment, Commissioner?
3109 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sure.
3110 MR. HILL: I think that as I think through a way to look at this, if we were to look at the amount of listeners we have based upon our revenues or our expenditures, I think we are probably in line on a per capita basis as other radio stations. So we have brought listeners according to our expenditures once we started -- after we gained the license and started to bring them on the air and pay down our debt that was required to do that.
3111 Since we started this initiative we have gained a very healthy amount of listeners based upon what our revenues are. If you compare it on an expenditure per person to gain listeners -- I mean I'm talking about customer acquisition costs -- we are probably in line with other broadcasters.
3112 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madame Roy...?
3113 MS FISHER: I'm just going to do a little bit of clean-up on the undertakings.
3114 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm sorry, yes.
3115 And we will take 5 minutes before intervenors, Madame Roy.
3116 MS FISHER: Okay. Just to follow up on the undertakings that were given, there was the questions from Commissioner Molnar on the staffing questions and I think we had said that you would provide those as part of Phase III.
3117 MS AUER: We will certainly endeavour to do that.
3118 MS FISHER: Thank you.
3119 Commissioner Denton had asked, building on that, for some more information on specifically the sales team, the number, the nature of the positions, the compensation and the location. I don't know if you would be able to provide that at the same time?
3120 MS AUER: We would be happy to provide that to you tomorrow.
3121 Is that okay, Mr. Chair?
3122 THE CHAIRPERSON: We have made every effort to get it today, but if it's not available, it's not available.
3123 MS AUER: Well, I'm informed that we will even meet that expectation, we will get it to you in Phase III.
3124 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great.
3125 MS FISHER: Thank you.
3126 He also asked about the sales and promotion expenses in 2011 for each market.
3127 I assume, Commissioner Denton, is that satisfactory to file by the 28th?
3128 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Absolutely.
3129 MS FISHER: Thank you.
3130 Can you undertake to file that by the 28th?
3131 MS AUER: Yes.
3132 MS FISHER: Thank you.
3133 Also, you had proposed to submit the proposed programming schedule if we were to remove the structured enriched spoken word.
3134 MS AUER: And we can do that now.
3135 MS FISHER: Okay. Thank you.
3136 Also we have an undertaking for the logs for the percentage of the Indigenous music.
3137 Can that be provided by the 28th?
3138 MS AUER: For what period of time?
3139 MS FISHER: Let me just check with staff.
3140 MS FISHER: Can we do it for this broadcast week?
3141 MS AUER: I'm just checking with our person who would be --
3142 MS FISHER: Or last broadcast week works as well.
3143 MR. THIBIDEAU: For last broadcast week, yes.
3144 And that's for the 28th? It takes me -- it does take about a week of my time to do.
3145 MS FISHER: Yes, if you could provide it by the 28th.
3146 Finally, Commissioner Poirier had asked for more realistic numbers for the license term for you to provide it in Phase III as well.
3147 MS AUER: Did you want it in a written -- no, just in Phase III.
3148 MS FISHER: Thank you. That's everything.
3149 MS AUER: Thanks so much.
3150 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will take five minutes.
3151 Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 1507
--- Upon resuming at 1514
3152 THE CHAIRPERSON: The same people are back. You guys are back.
3153 Madame Roy...?
3154 THE SECRETARY: We will start with the intervention of the Assembly of First Nations.
3155 Please introduce yourself and you have five minutes for your presentation.
3156 Thank you.
3157 MR. DINSDALE: Good afternoon, bonjour, (Native language spoken). My name is Peter Dinsdale, I am a member of the Curve Lake First Nation. I am the Chief Operating Officer for the Assembly of First Nations.
3158 First off I would like to acknowledge that we are in Algonquin Territory and I saw Elder Decant(ph) here. He's not here with us right now, but I acknowledge the Elder and thank him for helping us do our work in a good way.
3159 I also bring greetings on behalf of National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, who in fact intended to be here with you today. However, you may be aware that he is in the middle of a national election campaign so as the Head of Operations he asked me to represent those interests here today.
3160 Thank you for inviting us or allowing us to be here today to speak about the license renewal for Aboriginal Voices Radio. I appreciate we are maybe not a typical intervenor on these things, but I wanted to let you know briefly who we are, what our interests in this area and specifically why we are supporting the renewal of Aboriginal Voices Radio.
3161 The Assembly of First Nations is the national, political representative for First Nations and First Nation governments and their citizens across Canada. It is our job to facilitate both national and regional discussions.
3162 We advocate only on areas directed by First Nations themselves, the 633 First Nations or Bands as you were referring to earlier here. We try to act in harmony and coordinate as best as possible.
3163 I have heard a bit of reference with respect to the population that we serve in your discussions here this afternoon. Our population is very, very young and growing, increasingly becoming urbanized, but obviously within rural and First Nation communities as well.
3164 It's recognized there are 52 distinct indigenous languages across Canada. In 1996 UNESCO reported that they are the most endangered languages in the world.
3165 In 2002 Indian Affairs, as they were called that point, reported that there were more than a dozen that were either extinct or close to an extinction, meaning that there is no living speakers remaining today in this country.
3166 As Indigenous peoples, we are rebuilding our Nations, reforming our relationships with Canadians. By promoting our language use and sharing of cultures it becomes even more critical and important.
3167 Our Chiefs and Assembly, which means when 633 Chiefs come together and pass resolutions and give us our direction, they have provided two resolutions supporting aboriginal radio services specifically, in 1999 and again in 2002.
3168 Our best information tells us -- and I certainly stand to be corrected -- that there are 57 indigenous radio stations across Canada today and radio broadcasting continues to be a medium that is universally economically accessible by our communities and also plays to the strengths of First Nations oral traditions.
3169 In addition, it can reach across geographic locations. Many of the boundaries you live within today are artificial, from our concepts. The Cree nations, Iroquois nations, Ojibway nations cross many of your boundaries and quite often the territorial limitations of Alberta versus -- Edmonton versus Calgary versus Lethbridge and those areas, I heard some of the conversations today, so a lot of times it falls within the same nations territories as we typically would understand them.
3170 The scope of Aboriginal Voices Radio, particularly in stations in multiple urban centres is of real value to us in continuing cultural connections and increasing the reach of indigenous voices.
3171 I found it interesting listening to your conversations about music and the amount of time music is played. They referenced the amount of time, I guess 20 percent was their estimate of indigenous music specifically on the radio.
3172 I think that voice is important and a lot of the times -- and I have lived both in Toronto and Ottawa and have listened to Aboriginal Voices Radio and a lot of times there will be powwow music or more cultural music you wouldn't hear on any other station, or contemporary voices like Derek Miller and others that are contemporary artists really telling the stories that are happening in the communities and we tune in to listen to.
3173 But as well they like the old country music and the old rock 'n roll and the mix that they provide, as well as they said the Native B broadcasters I think you referred to them as, but the stations on Reserves play those frequently as well. It's the kind of mix you typically don't get anywhere else. It helps foster that sense of community wherever you are. So I think that's an important concept I didn't necessarily hear referred.
3174 We came in here with a recommendation to support the full renewal of Aboriginal Voices Radio. Our position said seven years, I have heard the conversations and I understand your reflections are ongoing, but we expect a long-term renewal for the radio station -- the radio licenses for those stations.
3175 Some of the modifications of conditions -- and I do not pretend to be an expert in your work that you do -- but really do seem to be having them one hand tied behind their back in the work that they are doing.
3176 You know, as I was listening to some of the conversations, it's not unlike the funding provided to water treatment operators on Reserves or housing providers on Reserves that were continually asked to meet and address different standards with the distinct lack of resources or support.
3177 Again, I don't pretend to be an expert in this field, but it just seemed like an interesting proxy to me as I was here supporting the renewal of the Aboriginal Voices Radio for the cultural and social supports it provides, but listening to the business side, which I hadn't been exposed to prior, are very similar to the kind of other challenges we are seeing within the First Nations communities across Canada.
3178 Also, I think it's important that we reflect that this renewal happens at a time after Canada has endorsed the United Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples -- the UN Declaration -- which specifically has a number of kind of media articles which are important to reflect upon.
3179 As an example, Article 16 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples states:
"Indigenous peoples have the right to establish their own media in their own languages and to have access to all forms of non-indigenous media without discrimination."
3180 I'm not implying you are, I'm simply reflecting upon what the Declaration states.
3181 Article 11 talks about the right to practice and revitalize our cultural traditions and customs. This includes the right to maintain, protect and develop them in future manifestation.
3182 Stations like Aboriginal Voices Radio bring these things to lives.
3183 Finally, Article 15, which says:
"Indigenous peoples have the right to the dignity and diversity of their cultures, traditions, histories and aspirations which shall be appropriately reflected in education and public information."
3184 Stations like this really provided an important avenue to fulfil articles of that nature.
3185 Now, I'm not pretending it's the CRTC's responsibility to live up to the terms of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, but I would reflect that Canada has endorsed those principles as guiding principles in the work in their engagement with indigenous communities.
3186 I would also reflect finally that -- pardon me, my second last point is that the 1990 was the last time when the Native Broadcasting Policy was developed and has not been renewed since then. Things like the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and other things have taken effect and, frankly, I think really is due for a policy renewal and I think some of the limitations of their existing license is reflected in the fact that the policy is quite old.
3187 Finally, recommend that CRTC create a fund to actively support increasing numbers of indigenous broadcasters in the ongoing capacity. The fact that five licenses are up for discussion here, if the 57 reflected earlier is the correct number, it's a very small avenue to do really important work around reconciliation within communities but also between First Nation communities and the rest of Canada.
3188 So thank you very much.
3189 I apologize, I do have limited time. When I came here for 9 o'clock I figured my 3:30 conference call with my Management Committee was sufficiently in place. I chair that committee so I'm pleased to be here until 3:30 and I can take it on my cell phone as I go back to my office.
3190 So thank you for accommodating me and allowing me to speak first.
3191 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
3192 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you.
3193 Mr. Dinsdale?
3194 MR. DINSDALE: That's correct.
3195 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you for coming and thank you for staying and listening to everything.
3196 Naturally I read some of your recommendations and they go much further than the scope of this hearing, but I have two questions for you, because you seem to know well the First Nation population and it was a subject that was brought a few times here today.
3197 Do people listen to AVR? Is there an audience for AVR?
3198 MR. DINSDALE: I think the short answer is yes.
3199 Again, I don't pretend to be a market expert. I wasn't even sure what the BBM thing you were talking about was. I'm assuming it's some kind of indication of listenership.
3200 You know, I think the First Nation community absolutely listens and supports Aboriginal Voices Radio.
3201 The question about why don't Bands fund them directly is a lot like asking questions of "Why don't municipalities fund CBC?", because it's not their institution, it's yours. Aboriginal Of voices Radio is not First Nation's institution, they are a non-profit on their own licensed by the CRTC.
3202 I think you see them support local stations, but First Nations absolutely listen to them and I think the First Nation community in Toronto supports them, having lived there when they were first launching. I certainly recall a number of the events they were doing. They have active roles in the community.
3203 So yes, they do support them.
3204 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: So it's a word-of-mouth perception?
3205 MR. DINSDALE: Absolutely.
3206 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. No numbers to show?
3207 MR. DINSDALE: Yes.
3208 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay.
3209 MR. DINSDALE: We simply don't have that kind of information.
3210 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay.
3211 My second and last question is: Because there is no broadcaster that is perfect --
3212 MR. DINSDALE: Absolutely.
3213 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: -- what do you think AVR should do better to improve the local programming they offer to the different communities they serve throughout Canada?
3214 MR. DINSDALE: You know, I assume they take the direction they do because of their market research. And again, I don't pretend to be an expert in the business. I'm more of a political animal than I am a cultural-social animal. So I certainly listen to the music recreationally.
3215 I see the role that APTN plays, more investigative journalism, more challenging in covering the events that we do, that the National Chief does, that candidates do.
3216 That's not the role Aboriginal Voices Radio has played. Is it a role they think they should play? I'm not sure. It seems to me that they certainly play to a different audience, which is more the social-cultural, which is why I think the youth were saying, which radio station do you listen to, I listen to AVR.
3217 If you ask them what television station do you watch, they would say, I am sure, TSN, MuchMusic, something of that genre. It wouldn't be APTN because that's more the policy nerds like me of the world that are interested in that.
3218 So I assume that they operate under a niche and they compete appropriately in that niche. Again, I don't pretend to be an expert in that area.
3219 I think one area of growth may be news investigative journalism. But are people going to pay to listen to that? Because they receive no grants, unlike APTN and others which receive a steady stream of income. That would be for them to determine.
3220 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you very much. I'm done, Mr. Chair.
3221 THE CHAIRPERSON: Any other questions?
3222 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Not for me.
3223 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thanks for coming in. I'm sorry you had to stick around all day but --
3224 MR. DINSDALE: Well, it was quite interesting.
3225 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- it was informative.
3226 MR. DINSDALE: Thank you very much.
3227 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thanks.
3228 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
3229 We will now hear the presentation of the National Indigenous Media Association of Canada. Please introduce yourself and you have five minutes. Thank you.
3230 MR. CARDINAL: Thank you, Madam Secretary.
3231 For the record, my name is Lewis Cardinal and I am the interim Executive Director of the National Indigenous Media Association of Canada.
3232 With me is Monica Auer, a lawyer who has been assisting NIMAC as it forms and develops.
3233 Before I begin, I would also, in my position as a representative of NIMAC, like to acknowledge the Algonquin people, on whose traditional lands and territories we are meeting.
3234 I am pleased to be here today and to see you again all so soon to expand on NIMAC's views about AVR's application to renew its five licences.
3235 I would like to begin by setting out the context for there remarks.
3236 In terms of numbers of licences, AVR is Canada's largest indigenous broadcaster. Counting the number of licences the CRTC has issued under the 1990 Native Broadcasting Policy, there appear to be 62 indigenous broadcasters, including 50 indigenous radio licensees and only one or two TV licensees.
3237 Of 63 indigenous broadcasters, 95 percent or 60 broadcasters hold just one licence. This context helps to explain why AVR, with just five licences, is the largest indigenous broadcaster in Canada today.
3238 AVR received its first licence in 2000, but from our perspective it is still one of the youngest licensees to appear before you. Where nine out of 10 of the CRTC's commercial radio licences have been on the air for 30 or more years, AVR's licensed radio stations have been on the air for just five.
3239 In our view, AVR is on track towards achieving its goals and mission despite its youth. What it requires most from the CRTC is the flexibility, predictability and support that the Commission has offered so often to others.
3240 We therefore support AVR's request to change its conditions of licence, and for a full seven-year term. While AVR has two minor -- de minimus, in our opinion -- infractions, it is important to balance these against AVR's performance in achieving and in many cases surpassing the requirements of the 1990 Native Broadcasting Policy.
3241 Approving its licence amendments and granting AVR a full seven-year renewal will send the clear message that an indigenous broadcaster's hard work in not just meeting but exceeding its commitments to indigenous musicians, indigenous languages and Canadian content will be recognized positively by the CRTC when indigenous broadcasting licences are renewed.
3242 It will also clarify that an indigenous broadcaster that is licensed under the 22-year-old Native Broadcasting Policy will be assessed in terms of that Policy.
3243 Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to set out our concern that indigenous broadcasters are operating under a CRTC policy that predates the Internet.
3244 To put this timeframe in context, Canada's current broadcasting legislation, which many have suggested be updated to take into account the Internet and mobile telephones, was issued a year after the Commission issued the Native Broadcasting Policy.
3245 AVR is not the only indigenous broadcaster with serious financial challenges and it is our respectful submission that a public review of the Native Broadcasting Policy is the best way to strengthen indigenous broadcasters in Canada.
3246 We urge the CRTC to hold a public hearing to review this policy, to assess the financial position and capacity of Canada's indigenous broadcasting sector, and to implement measures to strengthen this sector.
3247 Thank you for your time, Mr. Chairman, Commissioners and Commission staff, and for the opportunity to engage in dialogue with you.
3248 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Cardinal. We appreciate and take note of your suggestion, but, as you know, this is not a policy hearing.
3249 MR. CARDINAL: Understood.
3250 THE CHAIRPERSON: And we appreciate your presentation on behalf of the National Indigenous Media Association of Canada --
3251 MR. CARDINAL: Yes.
3252 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- in your capacity with that organization.
3253 Madame Poirier.
3254 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes. Hello again.
3255 MR. CARDINAL: Hello again.
3256 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Maybe it would be good to clarify a little bit more what NIMAC is and please try to answer briefly to a few questions.
3257 MR. CARDINAL: Sure.
3258 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Maybe some information was provided in the document you gave us on February 21st, but it would be good for the whole Commission to understand who you are.
3259 So my questions are: When were you founded and by whom?
3260 MR. CARDINAL: We were founded just recently. Our incorporation --
3261 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: When you say recently, please be precise.
3262 MR. CARDINAL: Yes. Within the last few months. Our incorporation papers are in process right now.
3263 NIMAC is an organization of indigenous broadcasters, telecommunications companies and ISP organizations, Internet service providers, and we are coming together through a number of informal dialogues at this point, and formally just recently, to be able to articulate and advocate for policy, research and other valuable services that can be of benefit to the indigenous communications sector.
3264 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: So who are the founders?
3265 MR. CARDINAL: Right now we have the Siksika Media Communications Society in Southern Alberta, we have the -- I'm trying to get the name right here -- First Nations Technical Services Advisory Group, Arrow Internet Service Providers, and these are in Alberta. And also just recently the Indigenous -- I'm trying to remember --
3266 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. Some are named in the document.
3267 MR. CARDINAL: Yes.
3268 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: But who is the board? Who compose the board?
3269 MR. CARDINAL: Right now you're looking at the person who is composing the board because we are just going through our formations now and we will be having a founding meeting in the fall. We are planning a conference, at which time we will elect our officers.
3270 So my task between now and then, as interim Executive Director, is to coordinate, lay down the foundation, but also not to miss the opportunity of ensuring that our voice is brought into these discussions at this time. But this fall we will have our founding conference and our directors will be appointed then.
3271 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. So you sit on AVR's board?
3272 MR. CARDINAL: No. I'm the Executive Vice-President.
3273 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes. Okay. But who else at AVR also sits at NIMAC?
3274 MR. CARDINAL: No one.
3275 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: No one?
3276 MR. CARDINAL: Just myself.
3277 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Only you?
3278 MR. CARDINAL: Yes.
3279 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Do you share the same location? Do you have an office?
3280 MR. CARDINAL: No, we don't. Our office is in Alberta.
3281 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. And what kind of links do you have with AVR?
3282 MR. CARDINAL: Well, of course, I have a direct linkage and the reason why AVR predominates this at this point is because I am the Executive Vice-President.
3283 As part of our relationship-building with other broadcasters, it became apparent to others that we needed to have a collective voice. So then I'm the person who they asked to start to galvanize our communications sector into a united voice around common issues.
3284 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Do you have employees?
3285 MR. CARDINAL: No.
3286 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: No employees?
3287 MR. CARDINAL: No employees.
3288 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay.
3289 MR. CARDINAL: Not yet.
3290 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. We will get to know you more and more and you will come maybe in front of the CRTC in the future.
3291 MR. CARDINAL: Yes, exactly.
3292 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. So for the rest everything is clear. It's in your document. I thank you. But I wanted to know a little bit more about this organization that is yet to come.
3293 MR. CARDINAL: Yes.
3294 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: It's not --
3295 MR. CARDINAL: We filed the incorporation papers already, so we are just waiting for the patent.
3296 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. That's it. Thank you very much.
3297 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Molnar.
3298 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: You are a new organization and I'm interested in learning and I thank Commissioner Poirier for some of her questions. I am going to be a little more specific as someone who is from the West myself.
3299 Can you tell me, there is a Western Association of Aboriginal Broadcasters?
3300 MR. CARDINAL: Correct.
3301 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Are they members of your --
3302 MR. CARDINAL: No, they are not.
3303 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: None of them?
3304 MR. CARDINAL: Not at this point.
3305 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: None of them?
3306 MR. CARDINAL: No, but we have -- I have spoken with a few of them who are interested, but not at this point.
3307 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you. That's it.
3308 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
3309 MR. CARDINAL: Okay. Thank you.
3310 LE PRÉSIDENT : Madame Roy, Phase III?
3311 THE SECRETARY: Yes.
3312 So this concludes Phase II.
3313 We will now proceed with Phase III. So I would like the applicant to come back to the front table, please.
3314 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome back. Well, some of you didn't leave, but welcome back for those who are coming back.
3315 So what do we have here?
3316 MS AUER: Commissioner, we are just actively searching the one person who has the electronic copy of AVR's reply, and AVR has already submitted to the Commission a written schedule outlining its proposed schedule should the structured enriched spoken word condition of licence be changed as AVR has requested.
3317 And as for the undertaking of Commissioner Molnar, we are now at the point where we are stapling. So we will have this to you very shortly.
3318 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
3319 MS AUER: I believe the Chairman of AVR's board will be reading AVR's response to the interveners, which will be very brief.
3320 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
3321 MR. CAMPBELL: Thank you, Madam Secretary.
3322 Commissioners, Commission staff and members of the audience, on behalf of AVR, I would very much like to thank the Assembly of First Nations and the National Indigenous Media Association of Canada for appearing before you this afternoon to address our renewal application and to answer your questions.
3323 I would also like to thank the 30 individuals, musicians, performing artists, associations and Members of Parliament who chose to write to you to offer their support for our renewal application.
3324 My colleagues and I were very pleased to note that no interventions were filed in opposition of our application.
3325 Like most every other broadcaster, AVR has had its share of difficulties, but we are very confident that we have addressed these and that we will continue to improve our performance going forward, especially with your support and approval of our request.
3326 Again, I would like to thank the interveners who took the time to appear in support of our application.
3327 If you have any additional questions, we would be pleased to answer them at this time. Thank you.
3328 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
3329 Commissioner Patrone?
--- Off-record discussion
3330 MS AUER: It appears to us that although we did not provide it in writing you asked for a number, and that number is, of course, critical to AVR's future going forward in terms of predictability.
3331 As I mentioned, of course, the majority of AVR's licences are in compliance with the regulatory requirements. AVR commits to adhere to those going forward.
3332 This is AVR's third non-compliance hearing. The issues that AVR was in non-compliance with -- to have a dangling preposition -- have been addressed. Its annual returns were filed on time, requests were met.
3333 In our view, as I said before, other stations with, I think, substantially more serious problems received five years. This is a number obviously that caused concerns for the panel and we acknowledge that.
3334 Our concern is that another two-year licence will send the message that AVR is seriously non-compliant. In our view, AVR is not seriously non-compliant.
3335 Clearly, we are looking for the happy medium between two and five. Could we pick four? If you don't like four, three, but not two. And I am not taking this lightly. I understand this is serious.
3336 But a two-year term is going to be inadequate for AVR to make progress. Three years is iffy, four is reasonable, five would be so great, seven out of the moon. We don't expect seven, but certainly not two.
3337 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you very much. I appreciate you rethinking about the numbers. Thank you very much. So anything but two?
3338 MS AUER: Not anything but two, but, you know, more than two would be so good.
3339 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay.
3340 MS AUER: Not two and a half, not two and an eighth, but, you know.
3341 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think that's it.
3342 Do we have any more paperwork?
3343 MS AUER: I have tables that have been stapled together. Now --
3344 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is that staffing?
3345 MS AUER: Pardon me? This is staffing.
3346 Now, to be clear, Commissioner Molnar asked for three sets of tables, and as I mentioned earlier, I'm incompetent on Mac. We have one table that provides the information that we believe Commissioner Molnar asked for, which is to say who is on staff, what is their position, what is their employment status within AVR in terms of full-time, part-time, contract or volunteer, what do they do and which stations do they do it for, and, as I think I already mentioned, where they live. So that is the information that we have provided.
3347 However, we would certainly be prepared if requested, if this is what you would like, to go back to the transcript, redo the three tables, the separate tables. Frankly, we were just having a problem conceiving how the tables should be structured.
3348 This, I believe, is the information Commissioner Molnar requested, but we are happy to redo it. It will take a day just to reformat them a little bit differently.
3349 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Personally, I would appreciate if you would do that and I think our staff have set a date for undertakings. I mean this is the information but it is pretty hard for me to see at a glance. So either you are going to do the work or me to figure this out. So thank you.
3350 MS AUER: We would be very happy to provide you with the information. Are we looking at the 28th for that?
3351 MS FISHER: Yes.
3352 MS AUER: We would be happy to provide those tables by the 28th.
3353 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
3354 Anything else from Legal?
3355 Commissioner Patrone.
3356 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
3357 Just a quick question. Mr. -- is it Terry -- Terry Dinsmore? Oh, I'm sorry, I thought maybe it was when I first had a look --
3358 MS AUER: The representative from the AFN, Mr. Dinsdale, Peter Dinsdale.
3359 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes. I looked at it very quickly and I was wondering if there was a relation there, but obviously, it's two different families. Thanks.
3360 MS AUER: Yes, different people.
3361 THE CHAIRPERSON: Louise?
3362 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: I have a question. Looking at the chart, Donna Elkins, it's not written if it's part-time, full-time, volunteer person or --
3363 MR. HILL: She is part-time, but we will certainly correct that by the 28th.
3364 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: It's part-time?
3365 MR. HILL: Yes.
3366 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay.
3367 LE PRÉSIDENT : O.K. Autre chose? Ça va?
3368 I think we are --
3369 MS FISHER: Sorry, Mr. Chair.
3370 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, Madam Fisher.
3371 MS FISHER: Staff have asked if we could possibly have salaries as well. You can provide those in confidence.
3372 MS AUER: You are asking for the salaries of each employee or each person on this table?
3373 THE CHAIRPERSON: Employees, contractual -- I mean we have the figures in confidence here.
3374 MS AUER: I am just asking for clarification. For each person on that list?
3375 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, please.
3376 MS AUER: Could I just have a moment to consult with my client?
3377 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sure.
3378 MS AUER: We would be happy to provide that information. Would the 28th be acceptable for you?
3379 MS FISHER: Yes. Thank you.
3380 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Mr. Chair, another question.
3381 "Harry Jones + 1 assistant." What do you mean by 1 assistant? Is it a paid staff or -- and you have that kind of figure for a few other personnel, Eldon Borle, Mike Toffelmeier. What do you mean?
3382 MR. THIBIDEAU: Those are our technical on-call people from the actual -- they work at the company where our transmitters reside. So in Calgary you will see -- those are CBC employees that are contracted to us.
3383 Eldon Borle would be -- sorry. Mike Toffelmeier would be the supervisor in charge of all technical things for AVR and he has one other assistant assigned to us as well.
3384 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: And --
3385 MR. THIBIDEAU: And that changes by the on-call basis, Commissioner.
3386 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. So when it is written "technical - part-time," both are part-time and both are contracted?
3387 MR. THIBIDEAU: Absolutely, Commissioner.
3388 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you very much.
3389 THE CHAIRPERSON: I count, I think it's 18 or 19 contractuals. Those would not be part of your salaries under your salary line in the consolidated financial summary? Is that correct?
3390 MR. HILL: I think that is correct, yes, Commissioner.
3391 THE CHAIRPERSON: And those contractuals would fall under what category?
3392 MR. HILL: Out of all the 17 that you mentioned?
3393 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. I think there are about 18 or 19 of the 31 you have listed there that are contractuals. They are not salaried employees and they would fall under what expense line?
3394 MR. HILL: We would have to go through that once again and determine that if it is not there. Would we be able to file that on the 28th?
3395 THE CHAIRPERSON: You certainly would.
3396 You have administration in general and you also have sales and promotion. I gather they would fall under those categories, but if you can give us a more specific idea as to where they would -- where we would find them.
3397 MS AUER: Happy to provide that. Again, by the 28th?
3398 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, please.
3399 MS AUDER: Okay.
3400 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thanks so much.
3401 Autre chose, Louise?
3402 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Well, maybe I am not good in numbers, but I am counting 30 persons, not 31. But it could be a mistake on my part. It is a detail, but to me it is important to get the right numbers. So make sure you check the chart and --
3403 MR. HILL: Yes, we will, Commissioner. Thank you. I hope you can appreciate the speed with which we have tried to put this together.
3404 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes, I know. That is why I am asking this with a smile. I feel ashamed a bit to check those details, but the devil is in the details.
3405 MS AUER: Just blame Mac versus PC.
3406 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes. Okay.
3407 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you very much. We will be waiting for the clarification on these issues by the 28th.
3408 Thanks so much. Thanks for spending the day with us.
3409 MR. HILL: Thank you. And I would like to thank all of you Commissioners as well. We really appreciate the opportunity to come before you and speak about AVR.
3410 THE CHAIRPERSON: We thank you very much. Enjoy the rest of the day.
3411 MS AUER: And, of course, we would also like to thank Commission staff. We know they have put in many hours on this and we do appreciate their work even when we disagree fundamentally with it.
3412 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, we will let that go. Listen, it's better than being outside today.
3413 MS AUDER: Absolutely.
3414 THE CHAIRPERSON: It was just horribly humid and you are in beautiful air conditioning here.
3415 Thanks so much.
3416 MR. CAMPBELL: I am looking forward to meeting you again in three years.
3417 MS AUER: Four. Four.
3418 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will let that one slide as well. Bye-bye.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1547, to resume on Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 0900