ARCHIVED - Transcript, Hearing 29 January 2014
This page has been archived on the Web
Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.
Providing Content in Canada's Official Languages
Please note that the Official Languages Act requires that government publications be available in both official languages.
In order to meet some of the requirements under this Act, the Commission's transcripts will therefore be bilingual as to their covers, the listing of CRTC members and staff attending the hearings, and the table of contents.
However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded verbatim transcript and, as such, is transcribed in either of the official languages, depending on the language spoken by the participant at the hearing.
Volume 3, 29 January 2014
TRANSCRIPTION OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
To consider the broadcasting applications listed in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2013-568, 2013-568-1, 2013-568-2 and 2013-568-3
Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel
15269 104th Avenue
Surrey, British Columbia
29 January 2014
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 2013-568, 2013-568-1, 2013-568-2 and 2013-568-3
Carolyn PinskyLegal Counsel
Joe AguiarHearing Manager
Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel
15269 104th Avenue
Surrey, British Columbia
29 January 2014
- iv -
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
13. 0971197 B.C. Ltd. 804 / 5128
1. South Fraser Broadcasting Inc. 876 / 5544
2. Idea Broadcasting Corporation883 / 5612
4. Mosaic Media Inc. 892 / 5680
6. New Vision Broadcasting Inc. 897 / 5713
7. South Asian Link Directory Ltd. 904 / 5753
8. Akash Broadcasting911 / 5802
9. South Asian Broadcasting Corporation Inc. 918 / 5847
10. I.T. Productions Ltd. 930 / 5916
11. 2308739 Ontario Inc. 937 / 5969
12. Sher-E-Punjab Radio Broadcasting Inc. 940 / 5982
13. 0971197 B.C. Ltd. 945 / 6026
1. Bob Mann (int. 7734) 947 / 6045
2. Pyara Lotay (int. 3737 and 2273) 972 / 6241
3. Rashpal Singh Bhardwaj (int. 9335 and 7024) 981 / 6278
4. Councillor - City of Surrey - Tom Gill (int. 6747)993 / 6365
6. South Surrey WhiteRock Chamber of Commerce (int. 8366)1003 / 6437
5. SurreyCares / The Surrey Foundation (int. 8424)1013 / 6497
10. Profound Sound (int. 8280) 1017 / 6529
8 & 11. Music BC Industry Association (int. 2130 and 2046)1024 / 6585
12. Media 2 Go Inc. (int. 3281) 1051 / 6778
14. Multicultural Advisory Council of British Columbia (int. 5453)1058 / 6822
16. Durity Media Works (int. 5920) 1079 / 6914
15. Options Community Services (int. 7330) 1088 / 6964
17. Preeti Lamba (int. 6995) 1102 / 7043
19. Julia F (int. 8405) 1104 / 7045
18. Jasmeet Singh Lamba (int. 8379) 1108 / 7047
20. Mota Singh (int. 5440) 1118 / 7107
22. Gunwant Bains (int. 5476) 1122 / 7122
21. Avtar Bains (int. 5482) 1129 / 7176
25. Ranjit Kingra (int. 9244) 1138 / 7237
24. Jasbir Dosanjh (int. 9166) 1142 / 7262
23. Anand Bhatia (int. 9227) 1148 / 7296
- vii -
PAGE / PARA
Undertaking845 / 5366
Surrey, British Columbia
--- Upon resuming on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 0903
5120 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. How are you this morning? Good. All us Easterners, we're just happy it's not minus 30. That's what we've been discussing outside with people.
5121 So we're ready to go.
5122 Madame la Secrétaire.
5123 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
5124 Just for your information, we have placed revised agendas on the table at the back if you would like to get a copy.
5125 Also, for the applicants who know at this time, could you please advise me as I'm walking around if it is your intention to appear or not in Phase II today? Thank you.
5126 We will now proceed with item 13 on the agenda, which is an application by 0971197 B.C. Ltd. for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language commercial specialty FM radio station in Vancouver.
5127 Please introduce yourself and your colleagues and you will then have 20 minutes to make your presentation. Thank you.
5128 MR. SHAFER: Thank you.
5129 Chairman Pentefountas, Commissioners Simpson and Shoan, Commission staff, my name is Don Shafer. I'm the team leader for the Roundhouse Radio application.
5130 I'm a veteran broadcaster with a few years of experience in both radio and television. I have had the privilege to help build successful radio stations across Canada such as Q107 and CHOM FM, including two in here in Vancouver, CFOX and Rock 101. For the past 12 years, I have managed 24 stations in the B.C. Interior owned by Standard/Astral and Bell Media.
5131 Throughout my travels, Vancouver has remained home. Two of my kids were born here. I am actively involved in Vancouver with a number of not-for-profit organizations such as Variety, The Children's Charity, PFLAG and the B.C. Chiefs of Police, just to name a few. I sit on the BCIT advisory board and a number of industry organizations.
5132 Before we begin our presentation, I would like to introduce to you the members of our team. They have all played an important role in developing our application for a new low-power FM station in the City of Vancouver. Many are good friends and colleagues who I have had the pleasure to work with over the years. It has admittedly been a privilege and a joy to work with them on this application and to be able to bring them to meet you.
5133 Starting with the front table on my far right, your left, is Rick Pushor, who represents our owners group. Rick was one of the founders of Pushor Mitchell, which has become the largest law firm in B.C. outside of Vancouver. Under Rick's stewardship, the firm has made significant contributions to the many communities that Pushor Mitchell serves. He has been the biggest supporter of this application and a good friend who has encouraged us to find the right opportunity and bring it to you.
5134 Next to Rick is Una Gabie, who is a founding partner of Touchstone Law Group. Una is a member of our legal team and a member of the owners group. Una was born and raised in White Rock and attended high school, college and university in the Lower Mainland.
5135 Next to Una is John Parikhal, the President of Joint Communications Corporation. Joint Communications conducted the research which is the basis of our application and has conducted research in the Vancouver market for many years, including many radio stations for the past 20 years. John has been instrumental in finding and optimizing formats in Vancouver and he knows the market very well.
5136 On my left is Erin Petrie. Erin has many years of experience building programming for great radio stations such as Magic FM in Penticton, Jack FM in Vancouver and many others. She was a VP Programming for Rogers & Okanagan Skeena Broadcasting. She is also the former B.C. Chair for the CBSC.
5137 In the row behind me, on the far right, is Jason Kooner who is with KN & V Chartered Accountants and is here to speak to our business plan and financials.
5138 Next to Jason is Jeffrey Davidson from Deloitte who provided additional research for our application regarding the Vancouver and B.C. economy.
5139 Next is Susan Anderson who chairs our Advisory Board. She has had a distinguished broadcast and corporate communications career and is currently very active in writing for not-for-profit organizations and leading workshops on interpersonal communication.
5140 Next to Susan is Gord Forbes. Gord is the President of the Myriad Group. He has an extensive background in Vancouver as the VP Sales for Corus Radio and the Vancouver Canucks, to name just a few. Gord and I worked together at CKLG and CFOX.
5141 Marilyn Sherman is the Media Director with twenty6two and brings 30 years of experience in buying radio and media to our application. Formerly, Marilyn was a partner at Echo Advertising who was responsible for marketing the Rolling Stones and inventing the "front of the line" promotion for American Express.
5142 Next is Stuart Hahn from Hahn Engineering, who produced the technical brief for our application.
5143 Shelley Zavitz was scheduled to appear with us but was unfortunately unable to attend today's hearing.
5144 We are now ready to begin our oral presentation.
5145 MR. PUSHOR: Good morning, Commissioners and Commission staff. My name is Rick Pushor. I am pleased to be here today representing the owners of Roundhouse Radio. Thank you for this opportunity to present our application to you.
5146 Our company is made up of a group of friends and family from Kelowna, Vancouver and Victoria. The common link amongst us is our commitment to community service, our keen interest in media and our respect for Don Shafer.
5147 While we may be new to broadcasting, we are all entrepreneurs who have built and developed successful businesses throughout B.C. and Canada and we have all been staunch supporters of our communities.
5148 Over the years, Don and I have spent many evenings discussing radio and how it has evolved over the course of his career, how radio has gone from an industry made up of dozens of independent entrepreneurs to an industry dominated by a handful of large corporations. We discussed how radio seems to have lost its leadership role in many communities.
5149 I encouraged Don to look for an opportunity where we could work together to develop the type of radio station that we both felt would be relevant to the community it serves. Roundhouse Radio is that opportunity.
5150 We developed an application that we know, if granted a licence, will make a significant contribution to the system and to the residents of Vancouver. The City has an identifiable social problem and our mandate will be to strive to be part of the solution. We ask you for the opportunity to make a difference. Allow us to add to the diversity of voices in Vancouver and the Canadian broadcasting system.
5151 Last but not least, before I turn things back to Don, I am pleased to announce that he is more than just our team leader. Don is our CEO, a shareholder, a director and President of the Board of Directors of Roundhouse Radio. We are delighted to have Don on board not just as our friend but also as a fellow owner.
5152 MR. SHAFER: Thank you, Rick.
5153 We are here today to speak to our application for a new low-power FM Specialty Radio Station to serve the City of Vancouver. We are committing to 80 percent spoken-word programming and 20 percent music. Half of our music will be Canadian.
5154 Our vision is to create inspiring radio, vibrant, relevant and thought-provoking, a commercial radio station with a community focus. We will have news and surveillance. However, our focus will be on the stories affecting our communities. We'll explore all things that make the City of Vancouver tick, with all of the diverse backgrounds that make up its neighbourhoods.
5155 Our daytime programs will be a creative mix of live talk, interviews and open line, complemented by pre-produced programming. We will be looking to represent different viewpoints, opinions and cultural experiences in our discussions. It is our hope that by presenting the whole picture we can break down the barriers that currently separate us and foster better understanding.
5156 To cover all these viewpoints in a balanced and engaging way, we're going to need a lot of time to get to know each other. That's why we're committing to 80 percent spoken word. Our vision requires a higher spoken-word component to create it and that's what we'll be known for.
5157 For us, it's all about diverse storytelling and engagement from curious, open-minded and intelligent hosts to programs that are integrated into social media with Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram, Pinterest, online surveys and more.
5158 All too often, community agendas are forgotten, which can produce a permeating sense of powerlessness and of "not mattering." We care passionately about turning that around and giving the City a voice and a platform to have an impact.
5159 People interviewed in the 2012 Vancouver Foundation study said they live increasingly in silos, separated by ethnicity, culture, language, income and age. They asked how we can begin to tackle complex issues like poverty and homelessness if people are disconnected, isolated and indifferent.
5160 The Roundhouse Radio application before you is very simple and focused. It is designed to serve the needs of everyone who lives, works or plays in the City of Vancouver.
5161 We will bring the community together on air, online and on the street to share stories, points of view and help make our community a little closer and friendlier. While we have lots of issues to discuss, we have lots to share to help everyone live better.
5162 The Roundhouse vision was born around inclusiveness. We took our name from Vancouver's Roundhouse, which, like many cities around the world, is the centre where the community comes together. We want to do the same on air and online.
5163 Roundhouse Radio will offer the people of Vancouver a new choice that reflects the needs and interests of 21st century urban Canadians.
5164 MS PETRIE: We describe ourselves as progressive talk. We're looking to be balanced, honest and inclusive. We won't be looking to serve a small fraction of the community. We won't divide on the right or the left, by ethnicity or by sexual orientation.
5165 We have developed both a detailed Editorial and Social Media Policy as well as a Code of Conduct. While no policy can contemplate every situation, they will serve as Roundhouse Radio's "moral compass." From program hosts to editors, from reporters to newscasters, our staff will be aware of the overall attitude and values of Roundhouse Radio.
5166 We refer to Roundhouse Radio as Radio 2.0. That means radio plus the full range of social media tools and platforms to connect to our City. It is radio, smartphones, tablets and computers. These tools and platforms combine to create a place where Vancouver residents can come together. That place is Roundhouse Radio.
5167 MS ANDERSON: I have agreed to chair the Roundhouse Radio Advisory Board because I believe it can play a vital role in dealing with what could be the most significant urban problem in Vancouver: isolation. The Vancouver Foundation identified loneliness and disconnection as key factors affecting people living in Vancouver. This is a pervasive and, until recently, largely ignored social challenge.
5168 My particular interest and expertise is in interpersonal communication, particularly storytelling and especially listening. Being heard and understood are critically important when addressing social isolation and what better way to hear people than to be in the neighbourhoods where they live.
5169 From its inception, Roundhouse Radio was developed with a mandate to be actively involved in the City's neighbourhoods. That's where change happens.
5170 The majority of radio stations covering the Vancouver market focus on the wider Metro Vancouver region. By necessity, this flattens the message and the issues of particular City neighbourhoods are marginalized or entirely forgotten.
5171 But neighbourhoods are where people live. Their stories matter especially in a social environment of loneliness and disconnectedness. The Roundhouse Radio proposal offers a unique vehicle to ensure people are heard, understood and brought together to share their stories and points of view.
5172 From my perspective, Roundhouse is more than an applicant for a radio licence. Roundhouse is a solution to a social problem.
5173 I'm a fourth-generation Vancouverite. I care deeply about my City. The distinguished people on our advisory board are all passionate about Vancouver. They have strong ideas about how to make it a better place to live. As Roundhouse's independent "conscience" we are committed to helping the Roundhouse operating team live up to its promise.
5174 MR. SHAFER: With our commitment to 80 percent spoken word, the emphasis at Roundhouse will be inspired, informative, passionate, exciting, lifestyle-driven talk. We will be serious but we won't forget to have fun.
5175 That said, our music content will also play a vital role in achieving our goal. Our music will be delightfully unexpected, eclectic and presented in a storytelling format to complement our spoken-word features. To the listener, the music will be so integrated it will feel as if it complements everything else we do.
5176 Where most radio stations are restricted to fewer than 600 songs and tight rotations, we'll have a larger universe of music and more than just high rotations to support the artists we play. We'll have context and interactivity.
5177 Our focus will be on the Canadian and local artists who create the music and the stories that the songs tell. Our interviews with performers will give artists the opportunity to put their songs and careers into context. When an artist takes the time to describe the stories behind their songs, they take audiences to a new level of engagement. We all become more connected when artists put their music in context and share a little of themselves.
5178 Our commitment to air 50 percent Canadian music will assist Canadian artists in a format that relies primarily on spoken word. Through discussions with organizations like Music BC, various management companies and with artists themselves, we decided that this style of music presentation will have a strong impact on the careers and success of the artists we feature.
5179 On the basis that we are a storytelling format, sharing stories about local Canadians, it will feel seamless to the listener that Roundhouse Radio delivers 50 percent Canadian music.
5180 MR. PARIKHAL: Members of the Commission, Joint Communications carried out an extensive audience study for this application. We interviewed over 600 people and conducted comprehensive segmentation analysis.
5181 Our study showed that there is clear market demand for Roundhouse Radio. It confirmed that as far as Vancouver radio listeners are concerned, there is no true "community" station. It also revealed that a radio station that focused on news, lifestyle and other content, with some music, would be popular. There is no direct competitor for the proposed format.
5182 We call the format "Vancouver Stories, News, Culture and Life." It will attract a diverse audience, both ethnically and in terms of their lifestyle. The format is inclusive and targeted to the way people live and want to live. It will appeal to a cross-section of ethnic groups as well as those from diverse social and gender-oriented groups.
5183 The format has the potential to deliver somewhere between a 2.6 and a 3.0 market share amongst listeners 18-64. There would be minimal impact on existing stations. The audience would come from across all stations currently serving Vancouver.
5184 We have absolutely no doubt that there is a significant opportunity for a commercial radio station with a community focus in Vancouver. Roundhouse Radio is that station.
5185 MR. FORBES: The Roundhouse Radio business plan is based on realistic and achievable sales targets. We will be less reliant on a traditional share-driven strategy and more focused on the needs of local businesses. Combined, we strongly believe this will allow us to create a successful new venture.
5186 Most, if not all, Vancouver radio stations focus on the entire Lower Mainland or metro audiences. They tend to appeal to national and regional advertisers.
5187 The Roundhouse model is focused on small advertisers and businesses that are seldom called on by local radio. This approach is quite common with small and medium market radio stations and we see adopting this proven approach for our major market station.
5188 We see Roundhouse as being affordable for local advertisers, with ad rates that reflect its relatively restricted reach compared to stations which reach the entire Lower Mainland.
5189 We know from talking with various members of business associations in the area and their over 15,000 members that they are very supportive of our application and the opportunities we can afford local retailers.
5190 With our top-down and bottom-up sales strategies we know that our revenue targets are realistic and achievable.
5191 MS SHERMAN: In preparing our report for Roundhouse Radio we conducted a sales research study with local retail businesses. We also met with national and regional advertising agencies and media buyers. Without exception, they liked the affordability of Roundhouse Radio as well as its strategy to target the City and the specific groups within it.
5192 All of the indicators that we have reviewed suggest that the Vancouver radio market could easily sustain an additional radio station.
5193 The Deloitte study predicts a robust future for Vancouver, with 125,000 new jobs over the next five years. According to Deloitte, investment in B.C. is on the rise, unemployment is dropping, and it is an extremely positive story.
5194 Our analysis also shows that Roundhouse Radio will have minimal impact on existing stations. The fact that not one incumbent intervened against Roundhouse on economic grounds seems to reinforce that perspective.
5195 MS PETRIE: Roundhouse has proposed a range of valuable Canadian Content Development initiatives. To make a significant difference to Canadian talent, we felt that our contribution had to be significant.
5196 We have committed to spend $1.4 million in cash and a minimum of $1.4 million in on-air and in-kind support as Canadian Content Development initiatives.
5197 Almost half of our $1.4 million in cash initiatives is for journalism scholarships with BCIT. It's an investment in the next generation of journalists. These scholarships will make meaningful contributions to the education of the students who receive these awards.
5198 The balance of Roundhouse Radio's cash commitments are targeted for the music community. We've been assisted in developing these commitments by Music BC. Music BC has identified a commitment that will make a significant contribution to artists trying to launch or solidify their careers.
5199 Beyond its cash support, Roundhouse will create opportunities for local artists through its feature programming, promotion, interviews, special events and showcases. All of this on-air exposure will help promote and market new talent.
5200 Roundhouse will provide a minimum of $1.4 million dollars of in-kind as well as on-air support for Canadian artists, Vancouver not-for-profit organizations and Vancouver community groups.
5201 MR. SHAFER: Members of the Commission, we have presented what we consider to be a comprehensive proposal that will make a significant contribution to the Canadian broadcasting system. More specifically, it will make a significant contribution to the residents who live, work and play in the City of Vancouver.
5202 The joint communications research shows a need for our format and the initiatives proposed in our application provide bridges to the community complementing the Vancouver Foundation study. The team before you has a proven track record in large, medium and small radio markets and we are confident that we can breathe life into this exciting project.
5203 In closing, I would like to summarize what we consider to be some of the key reasons for granting a licence to Roundhouse Radio. It will bring a new player to broadcasting and thereby add to diversity of ownership in the Canadian broadcasting system. These will be well-financed owners that currently have no media holdings.
5204 It will add to the diversity of editorial voices in the Canadian broadcasting system in general, and Vancouver in particular, by introducing a new editorial voice. Roundhouse will introduce new intelligent programming, 80 percent spoken word to the Vancouver radio landscape. The programming of a commercial radio station with a community focus will enrich and strengthen the cultural, political and social fabric of Vancouver with its unique and inclusive format.
5205 Roundhouse is committed to reflecting the community it serves and our application has been shaped around this concept. Licensing Roundhouse would result in significant exposure of Canadian talent: musicians, performers, writers, poets, community organizations and more. It will create a new showcase for Canadian music through its commitment to play 50 percent Canadian music.
5206 With its commitment to 80 percent spoken word programming, Roundhouse will create vital new jobs for interviewers, writers, journalists and producers at a time when those job opportunities in broadcasting tend to be shrinking. Roundhouse will invest a minimum of 2.8 million in direct and indirect Canadian content development initiatives, a significant contribution by any measure to the continued growth of Canadian talent.
5207 Finally, the licensing of Roundhouse will cause minimal disruption to the Vancouver market. We have no doubt that the licensing of Roundhouse Radio will contribute materially towards achieving the objectives of the Broadcasting Act and that it represents the best possible use of a scarce and valuable public resource.
5208 We would like to thank the many people of Vancouver, community organizations and city counsellors who supported our application, we are very grateful. I would like to apologize for Jason Kooner for missing him in the introductions. It has been a few years since I have been in front of a microphone, so I forgot one. My apologies.
5209 We also appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today and we are pleased to answer any questions that you may have about our application.
5210 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you very much. I have a few questions and my colleagues may want to chime in thereafter.
5211 This is sort of the -- I have dubbed it the "no suburbanites need apply" application and it is interesting in that sense. Really cutting to the chase, how do you compete against the other offerings in Vancouver, the CBC Radio Ones, the CKNWs from Corus, the CKWTs from Rogers? And if you were to be successful, wouldn't you have to go and get a part of that market share from the listeners of these stations?
5212 MR. SHAFER: Mr. Chairman, I would ask John Parikhal to give me a hand with that answer. But I think to start with, we know that AM signals have a great deal of difficulty reaching the downtown market. The City of Vancouver is restricted because of the highrises, so many of those AM signals from CKNW and the Roger stations don't actually get into the market, or they get there with great difficulty.
5213 With regard to --
5214 THE CHAIRPERSON: That listenership is not a downtown listenership. I'm not going to get into the --
5215 MR. SHAFER: Yes.
5216 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm not going to get into the numbers, but some of them are impressive, some of those market shares are quite interesting.
5217 MR. SHAFER: And they are, but I would ask John to answer that question.
5218 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sure.
5219 MR. PARIKHAL: Yes. Roundhouse Radio, really it complements a lot of those radio stations. You mentioned Radio One, for example, which is a non-commercial station, has a huge share, its audiences are thirsty for information, they get a lot of national information, they get a lot of international information and they get local more as a regional piece of information from Radio One.
5220 The piece that is missing is that hyper local downtown.
5221 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
5222 MR. PARIKHAL: And they will listen to more of it. The same with CKNW, WX, they will get their headlines, they will get their traffic, but they won't -- if they are looking for something local, if they are downtown, they are not really going to know what's on in the neighbourhoods because the nature of broadcasts with these big stations is they have to use their signal optimally by appealing to the whole market.
5223 We just appeal to the downtown, so we add to them. In terms of taking audience from them, it's a little bit from everybody. The largest share will be taken from Radio One, which is a non-commercial radio station.
5224 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
5225 MR. PARIKHAL: And, in addition to that, a little bit from each of the others. It is not a great deal. In the research study we showed that it is somewhere between .15 from a bunch of stations to .6 maybe to a .75 in four years or so from Radio One.
5226 So it really draws from everyone and it is evidence that there is a format hole there. Because you draw from everyone it says there is nobody doing this. If there were one person doing it, we would draw a lot more from them.
5227 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. Even Radio One is not addressing issues and concerns of the urban -- the hyper urbanite in Vancouver?
5228 MR. PARIKHAL: They talk --
5229 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, in the talk format, most of that is national and not as much of it is local?
5230 MR. PARIKHAL: It's not as local, no, not at all, and especially it doesn't dig down into the neighbourhoods. It can't by the nature of the mandate.
5231 THE CHAIRPERSON: Vancouver CBC Radio One doesn't spend time sort of looking at the local issues?
5232 MR. PARIKHAL: Yes, it does and it has to balance that against all of the other issues it has to look at. And there are so many local issues, there is so much going on locally downtown, there is just -- you could easily have Roundhouse and another radio station dealing with it and there would still be things to talk about it that matter to the people who live there.
5233 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you suggest that there is also a hole in the sense that there isn't an interesting or enough of a community or a university-based radio presence in downtown Vancouver?
5234 MR. PARIKHAL: I'm not sure exactly --
5235 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would that be the case in Vancouver?
5236 MR. PARIKHAL: I'm not sure what the question is.
5237 THE CHAIRPERSON: Usually, you have sort of university stations that offer -- especially sort of downtown universities offer an urbanistic kind of approach and a very hyper local approach; community radio oftentimes offers a hyper local kind of content. Is that not present in the downtown Vancouver market?
5238 MR. PARIKHAL: It may be present, it's not drawing a large audience. In other words, it is either not appealing to enough people, it hasn't marketed itself properly, or it doesn't have the signal, but we didn't see it in the research that we did. We really didn't see much impact.
5239 MR. SHAFER: Mr. Chairman, from somebody who grew up with a university radio station, they are a terrific contribution to many cities but, again, they don't have a commercial focus and they really are in many ways a free-for-all on-the-air for the students and for the people who get the opportunity to get their chops or learn about broadcasting through that kind of radio station.
5240 This is a much more concentrated, a much more hopefully professional focus that really reaches into the community with a local, local, local initiative.
5241 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is downtown Vancouver -- most cores of cities in Canada and North America the demographic is very young, or younger than the suburbanite demographic. Would you say that's the case in Vancouver though?
5242 MR. PARIKHAL: No, it's not. Downtown Vancouver, in our study, we saw that it tends to skew older and that's one of the reasons why the format skews older.
5243 Among the people who are younger in the downtown core, they tend to be very digital and they tend -- they don't listen to radio as much, they are not as interested, they are much more interested in living in a digital world.
5244 In our research study we even broke them out as a group called "the digerati" were the youngest group.
5245 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
5246 MR. PARIKHAL: But basically it's a group that -- it's an older -- it's older.
5247 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. Because you mentioned in terms of being the target audience 18-64, would you think we might be in a position to revise that to reflect sort of, you know, more 44-64 or something in that ballpark?
5248 MR. SHAFER: Mr. Chairman, actually the wider target was 18-64, but the focus would be 25-plus.
5249 MR. PARIKHAL: And really 35-64 is the real -- we researched 18-64 because we wanted to be fair, we wanted to make sure we didn't miss something --
5250 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
5251 MR. PARIKHAL: -- that there was perhaps a great opportunity on the younger end. These days, you know, back like the '60s all the focus is on youth and everyone thinks we have to really serve them, kind of forgetting about the older generation.
5252 And then when we got in and did the research, we looked at it and we said, wow, the younger -- there is something really different going on here, this is an opportunity to target the older listeners -- well, not that old, 35. And we will get a cume --
5253 THE CHAIRPERSON: Even 64 isn't that old anymore.
5254 MR. PARIKHAL: I know, believe me. Sixty-four is the new 63, right.
5255 THE CHAIRPERSON: Cheers, yes. I'm hoping.
5256 MR. PARIKHAL: I will let you know when I get there.
5257 MR. PARIKHAL: However, the good news on this is that we will attract a cume that includes people 18, 19, 20, 25 because we will have enough that interests them, but that real core audience, the ones who are going to keep coming to it will definitely be older.
5258 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. And the disposable income is definitely there as well because of your advertisers.
5259 MR. PARIKHAL: Much higher, yes.
5260 THE CHAIRPERSON: Certainly. And they would probably, as urbanites, sort of like to shop and stay within their downtown core. I mean, the idea of being downtown is you get to walk, and it's a lovely city to walk in because you can do it 12 months a year, as opposed to us poor schleppers from out East that have to drudge through the snow.
5261 You talked about ad rates, and do you want to speak more precisely on what potential ad rates would be?
5262 MR. SHAFER: Mr. Chairman, I will ask Gord Forbes to help out with that, but roughly our ad rates are about $35 for a 32nd spot. Gord...?
5263 MR. FORBES: We wanted to make this product affordable for our target advertisers and our target advertisers are going to be smaller local businesses that are perhaps using other media at this time, and largely because they are not the kind of clients that a typical full-service or, you know, a broad-based radio property would be approaching.
5264 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. I did find it interesting that it would provide an outlet for small, neighbourhood, urban-centric businesses to advertise, and I gather that would be the target advertiser for Roundhouse?
5265 MR. FORBES: Yes, sir. You know, the three benefits that we feel we offer are the affordability, the hyper local targeting --
5266 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
5267 MR. FORBES: -- and the programming environment that addresses their particular --
5268 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. And a lot of small neighbourhood businesses aren't advertising on any other Vancouver radio station right now, I would think.
5269 MR. FORBES: Correct.
5270 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. You wouldn't exclude national advertisers if they knocked on the door?
5271 MR. FORBES: We would be happy to take money from any advertiser.
5272 THE CHAIRPERSON: You would, okay?
5273 MR. FORBES: Yes.
5274 MR. SHAFER: Yes. Mr. Chairman, we have -- I'm assuming you have seen our financials, we do assume we will get some national advertising, but we haven't counted on a lot of it. We know that it's going to be a ground-up, belly-to-belly, door-to-door sales strategy that will win the day.
5275 THE CHAIRPERSON: Speak to me on this -- you talked about $1.327 million above and beyond CCD and there is an in-kind element. Do you have sort of the breakdown on what's in-kind and what's cash?
5276 MR. SHAFER: The in-kind section or the $1.4 million in-kind is made up of public service announcements which we want to air every hour of every day.
5277 THE CHAIRPERSON: PSAs, okay.
5278 MR. SHAFER: We know we are going to do a 15-minute program every day with a community group to help expose the good work of the over 200 organizations that are in Vancouver.
5279 Erin, do you want to...?
5280 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you won't be advertising, though, during those 50-minute blocks?
5281 MS PETRIE: During community showcase, no, it focuses on one of the 300-plus community groups in Vancouver.
5282 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
5283 MS PETRIE: It's a chance for them to get their message out, talk about how volunteers can join them, what their next events are.
5284 THE CHAIRPERSON: And that would be how many minutes a day, Madam Petrie?
5285 MS PETRIE: It's 15 minutes.
5286 THE CHAIRPERSON: Fifteen minutes a day, seven days a week?
5287 MS PETRIE: Yes. In the future will run more than once.
5288 THE CHAIRPERSON: And what time will that run? Oh, it will run more than once?
5289 MS PETRIE: It will, yes.
5290 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. During the course of the day?
5291 MS PETRIE: That's right, just to make sure there is enough exposure.
5292 THE CHAIRPERSON: Including peak hours?
5293 MS PETRIE: That's right, yes.
5294 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. What else will constitute that $1.4 million in-kind?
5295 MS PETRIE: We have four radiothons planned and that is a 12-hour day of the radio raising funds for worthy not-for-profit or non-profit group. That will include the cost of the -- our donation of the airtime and the staff value of our staff doing the preparation work and helping host the event.
5296 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you would attribute a value to the airtime and that's how you would come to the $1.4 million figure?
5297 MR. PARIKHAL: That's correct.
5298 MS PETRIE: It is the smaller part of that, yes.
5299 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. You mentioned in your presentation today the market share between 2.6 and 3, in your initial factum I saw between 2 and 2.85. Has that been adjusted somehow, or...?
5300 MR. SHAFER: It depends on whether you are looking at 18-64 or 12-plus, because in some cases we had to look at the way BBM measures it.
5301 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
5302 MR. SHAFER: That's really the difference.
5303 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you will be measured by BBM; that's your intention?
5304 MR. SHAFER: That's correct.
5305 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Just briefly on the content. You know, it's an honourable cause in trying to help people with the idea of isolation, Madam Anderson. Maybe you can give us a little better idea as to how Roundhouse will deal with isolation I guess in the inner-city. How do we get people through radio to overcome that sense of isolation?
5306 MS ANDERSON: Thank you for that question. Community involvement is built into the DNA of the Roundhouse Radio application. The Vancouver Foundation Study in 2012 is not just a study that occurred and gathered dust, more than 2,000 people showed up at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Vancouver to hear a roundtable discuss these findings.
5307 So there is strong interest. I would direct your attention to page 40-41 of "Connections and Engagement", the Vancouver Foundation Study, which gives you bookends.
5308 Part one: The Vancouver Foundation giving neighbourhood grants for initiatives and events and activities that build neighbourhood connections, build bridges between people, as little as $50, as much as $1000.
5309 The other bookend would be looking for partners, people in the community who would build platforms for these initiatives. Roundhouse Radio being one of those partners, would serve as a platform for the voices of people who are organizing those initiatives, events and activities, who are keeping those initiative alive.
5310 THE CHAIRPERSON: Content would involve time again that would be offered to community groups.
5311 MS ANDERSON: So we would be on-air --
5312 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
5313 MS ANDERSON: -- we would be online --
5314 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
5315 MS ANDERSON: -- and in neighbourhoods, not only supporting the neighbourhood events that are planned by and for people in their own neighbourhoods, but also we have our own initiatives already created that we would like to work and build with neighbourhood partners and sponsors and businesses to bring people together.
5316 THE CHAIRPERSON: Will some of the shows revolve around social psychological issues to deal with the questions of isolation generally and urban isolation, I guess more specifically?
5317 MS PETRIE: Absolutely. They will also deal with the issues of getting to know neighbours. Because one of the reasons that isolation occurs and feeling that sense of loneliness occurs is that you don't know your neighbour or understand them.
5318 So our shows, such as our open lines, our Vancouver Life Magazine, will bring together different people from the community to discuss their own specific stories and find a commonality in it.
5319 One of the things that we plan to do is our Alley Cats Program. It is often said you can tell the health of the neighbourhood by its alleys. Are you willing to walk down that alley? So what we are going to do is go out in the community, it is going to be part block party, part garage sale, all get together. We will have musicians on-site, we will have food carts there, and so more than just that one alley will be involved, but people from the neighbourhood. And we will go out and we will invite other neighbourhoods to come in.
5320 There will be an inter -- across-community events going on, so that people from Marpole can come into Commercial Drive and from Mount Pleasant going into Kits and from Grandview visiting Yaletown.
5321 So, our plan is through our online platforms we will be able to promote that through all of these types of social media, we will have our on-air discussions with people from various backgrounds discussing their own issues in Vancouver and we will have these festivals, these get-together events such as Alley Cats that will promote that.
5322 THE CHAIRPERSON: Interesting. Madam Anderson, do you want to add something before we move on?
5323 MS ANDERSON: I would say just one final couple of concepts. Roundhouse speaks to what the Vancouver Foundation sees as solutions; that it is, you know, a triangle in some respects and that this report comes up with specific ideas to help solve loneliness and isolation and there is a direct line between what we are proposing and breaking that cycle.
5324 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Petrie...?
5325 MS PETRIE: I would just add to what Susan is saying, is this is all about living better in Vancouver, getting to know your neighbours, and that is our community focus, is to speak directly to the 25-plus neighbourhoods in Vancouver.
5326 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. You also spoke briefly about a Code of Conduct, and how would your Code of Conduct for Roundhouse differ from what the Standards Board has in place? Is there some kind of different standard by which you wish to be judged?
5327 MR. SHAFER: I'm not quite sure how to answer that question.
5328 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, you have said you developed both a detailed editorial and social media policy as well as a Code of Conduct.
5329 MR. SHAFER: Yes. Mr. Chairman, I think because we have --
5330 THE CHAIRPERSON: You spoke about a moral compass.
5331 MR. SHAFER: Yes. No, absolutely. It's a start at a number of different policies that have to be the fabric of how this radio station gets built. There has to be -- all those policies are important to how we build the station.
5332 The short answer to your question is, yes, we have borrowed from industry codes and adapted them for our own purposes. In some cases they are much the same or exactly the same, but we know that because of the type of station we want to build that we are going to have to elaborate, we are going to have to grow that and probably be very hard on ourselves to meet the high expectations.
5333 MS PETRIE: One of the things Roundhouse Radio means by being progressive talk, the talk is progressive, but so is the workforce. It's very important that the staff at Roundhouse Radio reflect back the community, have knowledge of the community, culturally, their history, and some of the issues that that culture faces.
5334 So part of our editorial policy, of course, follows all the codes and the industry codes, including the Code of Ethics and the Equitable Portrayal Code, the CBSC Code, the RTNDA Code of Ethics and, of course, the Broadcasting Act. But more than that, we want to follow those codes of responsibility, respect, open discussion. We want our staff to be free to be who they are, and that involves everything from their cultural background to their gender orientation.
5335 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's not the case in other radio stations?
5336 MS PETRIE: I'm sure that it may be. This will be formally put out in our Code of Conduct and in our policies.
5337 THE CHAIRPERSON: My understanding was that sort of you would have a sense of responsibility, social, openness to your community, almost an altruistic sort of approach, even though it's not a non-profit organization, and there would be a sense that you would be involved in the community and part of the goal or the mandate of Roundhouse would be to be giving back to that downtown core, okay.
5338 Just a bit of housecleaning. I know you're musical content is only going to be about 20 percent, you mentioned Cat 2s and Cat 3s, and if there is anyone that is even familiar with musical categories, or have you sort of thought about the Cat 4s, the Cat 5s, the live productions and other things of that nature? Will some of that 20 percent involve that category of music?
5339 MR. SHAFER: Mr. Chairman, we're sure it will. We've essentially said 65 percent Cat 2 and the balance from Cat 3 and I think --
5340 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you've got an emerging artists component in there I saw.
5341 MR. SHAFER: That's correct, and I think based on what happens or what music comes out of the community will drive that.
5342 THE CHAIRPERSON: And in the interests of sort of the hyperlocal nature of Roundhouse -- I almost said "Roadhouse" there -- but -- not a very urban kind of concept, but ... Your picture is throwing me off. A lot of that and we've heard a lot about the local musical scene in Vancouver and I would suspect a lot of that happens downtown. And having walked the streets a little bit earlier, about six months ago when I was -- when I was here with my colleague Simpson, some of the neighbourhoods you wouldn't go to, but I --he's ... -- there's music that's out there and there's a musical community that's out there, and there's an awful lot of music that's come out of Vancouver. A lot of that is downtown Vancouver. Is there going to be a particular emphasis placed on music coming from that downtown core?
5343 MR. SHAFER. Yes, there is. We have a number of features in place. Alley Cats is one example of where we can work with local communities, and the music coming from those local communities live from the Roundhouse is proposed to be a live concert series that occurs every day at noon from the Roundhouse. And it could be music, it could be poets, it could be authors. You know, it's reaching into the community to pull more out of it that's being created, you know, holistically or locally.
5344 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. I've just got to tell you something interesting. I was reading a couple weeks back, one of the American trade shows -- trade papers, that you've got a lot of California bands that are moving either to Vancouver or Montréal, and they've listed all the reasons. I mean, obviously Vancouver for the weather and the vibe, but there's obviously a lot of that going on and certainly Roundhouse could sort of tap into that as well I'm sure.
5345 Great. Listen, I think I'm done. I don't know if anyone else wants to -- do you have some questions, Raj?
5346 So Commissioner Shoan and Commissioner Simpson thereafter.
5347 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Good morning.
5348 A question with respect to your supplementary brief. You noted, at page 41, that you would create approximately 32 jobs. Can you provide a breakdown of what those jobs would comprise?
5349 MR. SHAFER: Yes, we can. We budgeted for 32 jobs, and Erin Petrie is racing to get to that list of who they are. About 25 of them are in programming.
5350 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
5351 MS PETRIE: It's funny how those tabs all look the same. We'll have 25 positions in the programming side. That includes eight on-air hosts, including our program director. There will be eight as well in the news department, a news director, of course. We'll have hosts slash reporters and three beat reporters. We have a features and commercial production department, which has three writers and three producers. Our promotions department has two staff. We have a digital content producer, who will be supplemented by the tweeting and Facebook postings and YouTube stuff that will be done by all the other staff. And then we have our sales staff, IT and admin and management.
5352 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, great. Thank you.
5353 MR. SHAFER: And a general manager who would like to go back on the air.
5354 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Fair enough.
5355 With respect to your exchange with my colleague Commissioner Pentefountas earlier in terms of your music programing, and you referred, Mr. Shafer, to the fact that there might likely be some Category 4 programming in there, I'd certainly invite you to provide that information in writing just to clarify how much of each programming there would be. That's absolutely fine. I think, frankly, we could probably use a bit more Category 4 programming. It's not something typically pursued by licensees, so that's fine. My specific question is whether you would commit to some degree that whatever music programming you do, Category 2 or 3 or even 4, you would commit to the 50 percent CanCon applying to each category?
5356 MR. SHAFER: I think I'd have to think about that, but --
5357 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
5358 MR. SHAFER: -- but we would certainly adhere to 50 percent Canadian content.
5359 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right.
5360 MR. SHAFER: I'm just not sure what categories.
5361 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. And that --
5362 MR. SHAFER: I mean, there are going to be greater and lesser amounts of it available in some categories, so it could be difficult to reach those -- those commitments, I think.
5363 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. So let's talk about that. Which categories of music would you anticipate would be difficult to meet the 50 percent?
5364 MR. SHAFER: I think the broadest categories would be Category 2 and -- the easiest would be Category 2 and Category 3.
5365 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right. Okay. It would be nice to get a bit -- a bit of a more clearer idea with respect to where the 50 percent CanCon would fall, so if you'd like to think about that and give us something in writing, that would be great.
5366 MR. SHAFER: We will, thank you.
5367 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
5368 In terms of your spoken word programming levels, can you provide a commitment by a condition of licence? Would 80 percent be sufficient?
5369 MR. SHAFER: Yes, it would.
5370 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you.
5371 I wanted to talk a bit about your target demographic and I guess maybe I'll address this to Mr. Parikhal and perhaps Ms Anderson can follow up as well. And it could be this is simply a function of my lack of knowledge about the Vancouver market, but in -- and this follows up a bit with -- on the conversation you had with Commissioner Pentefountas with respect to the social isolation as a target for your advisory committee and whether that would be reflected in your programming.
5372 You stated, Mr. Parikhal, that you're targeting 35-plus, that's your target demographic, but we've heard a lot of applicants this week come before us and say they're targeting youth and isolation amongst youth, gang issues, violence issues. And so my question is the isolation issue, is this something -- is it not something that's generally found amongst youth? And given that you're targeting 35-plus, would you be able to adequately address through your advisory committee this isolation issue when you're missing a substantial demographic that does not necessarily listen to your radio station?
5373 MR. PARIKHAL: Yes. Older people feel isolated too, just in different ways. Young people, usually because they're mis-- they feel like they're misunderstood, they feel like they can't -- especially, for example, you heard a lot from Surrey, which is -- which has a very, very high percentage of people under the age of 20 living here, which is different from the City of Vancouver.
5374 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
5375 MR. PARIKHAL: And so the population make-ups are different. People feel isolated for all sorts of different reasons. They're misunder-- if they're younger, it's because they're misunderstood; they feel like they don't fit in; they have hormones raging. In -- for example, in Surrey you'll have a lot of cultural clashes where younger people feel like they're not understood because there's older cultures and new cultures mixing. When you get to the City of Vancouver, it's because you just never get to know your neighbours. You're in high-rises. As you get older, you can also feel very isolated. You can feel left out. You end up living alone. The growth in single family households is growing in Canada, it's growing among the old. So that sense of isolation is not everybody sitting around being sad for themselves, it's more a sense of not being connected to others. And people love to be connected to others but they usually look for someone else to take the leadership role in it.
5376 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: M'hmm.
5377 MR. PARIKHAL: And so you look at Vancouver, everybody moves in the City of Vancouver, they live in a high-rise, they don't talk to their neighbours. In our study, you know, 40 percent of the people said my neighbours are different than me, but they want to get to know them. And unless you provide ways -- and it's not -- and just to be clear, this isn't -- we're not just all going to sit around talk being it. You know, we're going out into the streets, but we're also going to connect people by things they love: food, lifestyle, you know, sharing great restaurants; where do you like to eat, where do you like to go. If you're not -- one major reason for isolation is when people aren't fit, when they're not healthy --
5378 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right.
5379 MR. PARIKHAL: -- they stay in a lot. So we're offering all of that and it -- based on the research it's clear that it appeals more to an older audience than to the younger ones.
5380 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
5381 MS ANDERSON: If I can expand and clarify a little. Vancouver, the City of Vancouver, is 23 areas, 52 neighbourhoods, but not everyone agrees on that. So this is a city that is in -- under construction. Neighbourhoods are -- some of them as young as three, five, 10, and 15 years old. And the Vancouver Foundation study found that where there are people who lived in an area fewer than five years, where there are people concentrated in apartment buildings, that's where isolation and that sense of loneliness really exists. And they found young people in particular lived in basement suites -- basement suites, another area where high rates of loneliness were reported. And the good news here is although we have concentrations, particularly in the downtown core, of this sense of isolation in highly dense populations, the spiral of disengagement with be broken through activities, being involved in the committee, and actually something as simple as boosting the confidence of the individual that you do have something to contribute because often that was an impediment to showing up, and showing up is all you have to do.
5382 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: M'hmm.
5383 MS ANDERSON: And so in encouraging neighbourhood initiatives by and for the people who live there, as soon as you walk out the door you begin to strengthen a community.
5384 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you very much.
5385 MS ANDERSON: Thank you.
5386 MS PETRIE: May I provide an example --
5387 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Sure.
5388 MS ANDERSON: -- of an event that we're aware of and one that we will be covering if we're licensed? There was an event in downtown Vancouver sponsored by the Downtown Business Improvement Association, actually three events over a car-free day. That's the kind of event you get neighbours out walking around in the community, much as we did during the Olympics in 2010. The streets are closed. It's a great place to get to know people and to go to a food cart and try foods from different cultures. Mainstream media was contacted, the larger companies who have a broader mandate. No one showed up. No one covered that event. And so, Roundhouse Radio will cover that event. It will go out and it will cover events specifically for and about the people of Vancouver in the city. Thank you.
5389 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Great. Thank you.
5390 My last set of questions is about your sources of revenue, specifically advertising. So the first part of the question is can you expand a little bit further about the non-traditional revenues or advertising that you will be seeking?
5391 My second question is a more general one. I have noticed, through reading all of the applications, that the projections for applicants with respect to the amount of revenue they're going to derive from national revenues tends to vary quite wildly. So can you give me a bit more insight into why access to national ad revenue seems to be all over the map in Vancouver given that it -- from my knowledge, it tends to be a national ad hub? So in terms of -- and while I recognize radio tends to be a local medium, if you have any general perspective on accessibility and national ad revenue for radio stations, that would be helpful.
5392 MR. SHAFER: Commissioner Shoan, I'll try to answer those questions, although I don't do a lot of sales. You know, we did try to -- I mean, we've had this discussion ourselves with regards to, you know, where is the money going to come from and --
5393 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: M'hmm.
5394 MR. SHAFER: -- and how do you know? You know I can tell you that I've built three radio stations in the last 30 years with this guy, John Parikhal --
5395 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: M'hmm.
5396 MR. SHAFER: -- who we have relied on time and time again to tell us what the share will be. Like, what's the opportunity. We asked Marilyn Sherman's company to validate that and then we asked Gord Forbes to, you know, give us the nitty-gritty, gives the business plan, what's real. We know that if we achieve a 1.5 share with 25-plus, knowing the share point value in this marketplace, that should pretty well get us close to our budget.
5397 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: M'hmm.
5398 MR. SHAFER: We also know that with the 15,000 businesses in the City of Vancouver, that if we can get a small percentage of them, and, for example, it wouldn't be unrealistic to assume we could have 200 businesses as an -- 200 active clients spending roughly $300 a week with us, which again as a bottom-up strategy or a belly-to-belly strategy, would get us our budget. So there's two ways to go about that. So we're pretty confident that our numbers are realistic and that they're achievable. The national advertising discussion is probably best given to the experts behind me --
5399 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
5400 MR. SHAFER: -- but we're confident that there are a number of sources that will want to advertise with our radio station with or without numbers. And maybe Marilyn can best address that.
5401 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Sure.
5402 MS SHERMAN: First of all, we believe that some of the national dollars will come from government business, all three levels of government. We also believe that there will be national dollars from some of the non-profit organizations.
5403 The other aspect of why we believe our numbers are very achievable is that today's advertisers, they're not just looking for broad-based age demographics, they're actually looking at other aspects of demographic, like lifestyle, ethnicity, cultural interests. And the programming that Roundhouse Radio and the targeted reach of Roundhouse Radio is going to be attractable to both national advertisers, as well as local advertisers.
5404 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. That's fair. The reason why I'm asking is obviously a station dedicated 80 percent to spoken word programming, it's going to incur quite a few costs getting off the ground. Spoken word programming stations tend to be more expensive to program than music-based stations. So in terms of your revenue sources, I would like an answer on the non-traditional sources. Have you spoken, Ms Sherman, to any national ad agencies? Have they expressed an interest in advertising on this particular format and station?
5405 MS SHERMAN: Yes, I have. I actually represent a midsized agency in Toronto --
5406 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
5407 MS SHERMAN: -- and I am part of a group of about 15 to 20 media directors who meet regularly and we have discussed this and I have asked for input from them as well.
5408 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Very good, thank you.
5409 Mr. Shafer.
5410 MR. SHAFER: Commissioner Shoan, you know, we're obviously quite excited about the format and what it can do for specific groups. LGBTQ would be a great example. And with the amount of programs and the focus with that community, we believe that will attract local, regional and national advertisers.
5411 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: M'hmm.
5412 MR. SHAFER: So I think we'll see some activity there.
5413 Specifically to your other question about non-traditional revenue, we have broken that down into three areas: syndication, telesales, and interactive.
5414 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: M'hmm.
5415 MR. SHAFER: But I'm not -- we're not terribly reliant on syndication at this point because we have to develop the programming --
5416 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right.
5417 MR. SHAFER: -- and then we have to get it into syndication and hope that there is a market there for it. We have broken down the other two areas to about a couple hundred thousand dollars each, one for telesales, one for interactive. I don't want to bore you with too many details --
5418 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: No, no, I'm actually very curious about this.
5419 MR. SHAFER: Okay. All right.
5420 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: I'm curious about it from the perspective of the future of radio and I'm always curious to see how applicants see radio developing over the next five, seven, 10 years --
5421 MR. SHAFER: I am --
5422 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: -- and a great way to dig into that is to see on the revenue projections how much of it is based on digital growth. So, if you can provide some perspective on that.
5423 MR. SHAFER: Well, I can do both. You know, telesales, we have been working on -- or I have been working with telesales people for a number of years and a number of different companies, and they're set up as part of the sales team; however, they just make phone calls to retail businesses to look for smaller bits of opportunities.
5424 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: M'hmm.
5425 MR. SHAFER: Those smaller pieces could involve selling greetings, special packages, promotions, tag inventory, and they're usually 500 dollar packages. But when you take 500 dollar packages times, you know, eight clients a week, you make your budget.
5426 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Yeah, it adds up. Yeah.
5427 MR. SHAFER: That gets us to $200,000. The part that I am equally as excited about is the interactive opportunity available to radio. This team has heard me say for the past little while that interactive has really saved, in my opinion, radio. It's made a huge difference because it's allowed us to compete on multiple platforms, not just our ears, not just over the air. It's given us the ability to publish and to do a number of other things and most importantly is to connect with our audience. We intend to use the MS platform, which is now called the Marketron platform --
5428 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: M'hmm.
5429 MR. SHAFER: -- which is a content management platform, and it really allows us a robust opportunity to connect with our audience. It's integrated to work with our audience and the information that we glean from them, and it's all opt in, ultimately helps us get to know our consumer, get to know our audience better, and it comes back down to the programing issues as well, as they interconnect and as they provide, you know, information or content that we can vet or curate and move forward, so ... So the future, I think, for Roundhouse is for a large part going to be derived on what happens online.
5430 The content management platform that we want to use with Marketron offers an incredible library of tools to use to sell to clients. Whether it's leaderboards or big box advertising, whether it's video or audio pre-roll, there are a number of different things we can do.
5431 Would you like to add to that? Okay. (laughs)
5432 I'm sorry. But it's a very exciting platform and again, $200,000 is not a big number when you break it down into bite-sized pieces --
5433 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: M'hmm.
5434 MR. SHAFER: -- with different opportunities for different clients.
5435 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Absolutely.
5436 MR. SHAFER: Okay.
5437 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Thank you for that. It was a very comprehensive answer.
5438 Those are my questions, Mr. Chair.
5439 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner Shoan.
5440 Commissioner Simpson.
5441 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Good morning.
5442 How many spots an hour are you proposing to run on average? Or let's put it commercial minutes.
5443 MR. SHAFER: Yeah, we're --
5444 MR. FORBES: Ten minutes per hour.
5445 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Ten minutes.
5446 I'm going to give you full marks on saying that there is not a community radio station in Vancouver. There is a co-op radio station, which is an alternative, but there is not a community station. And in the years I have been on the Commission, I have to say from the applications we've been getting community radio is alive and well. It's popping up all over the place. It looked like it was a goner for a while there, but all of a sudden we're getting applications all over the country but the anomaly is that they're a smaller market.
5447 So the first question I've got for you and I'll -- I know we're on the clock, Mr. Chair. The question I've got for you is that in looking at the model of community radio and smaller markets, whether it be Gabriola Island or Nelson, those markets had more things in common than they had in difference because of the relative size. They -- whether it was building a new bridge across a river or a ferry service, you know, a lot of commonality was shared and interest. And as I look at Vancouver -- and I know that Vancouver Foundation study backward because I worked with them a lot when I first came out in 2012 and we were looking at it with respect to our ethnic radio policy because we saw, you know, cultural silos everywhere in radio in third language wasn't necessarily helping a lot of the time, but you've got, I think by your admission, you know, 23 neighbourhoods in the city. And politicians hate ward systems because they draw lines through a city and make politicians accountable in a more measurable way. They like to be at large so not everybody has to be promised a new swimming pool or cleaner streets. How are you going to, in your programming, serve the individual community needs sufficiently and still resonate to a whole marketplace, you know? Because it seems to me that you're biting off a little bit of a ward system and a little bit of an at large system and somewhere in the middle believe that you can make a go of it from a commercial standpoint rather than listener support and sponsorship. As I said, full marks for being -- admiring the project, but how do you do that? How do you drill down into the communities and still stay at large enough to hold listenership for commercial purposes?
5448 MR. SHAFER: Commissioner Simpson, it's certainly going to be a challenge, there's no question about that, it's a big task that we're setting up, but the good news is is that the peninsula is pretty easy to get to. Many of us have walked through most of those 25 or 26 communities or whatever it is today, so we know where they are, we know what they look like, we know the good ones and the not so good ones. Our job is going to have to be to reach out and pull them into this discussion. That's going to be a challenge and 32 people is a good place to start and we know that the staff count is going to have to grow. The question is is that, you know, knowing that that peninsula has 700,000 or almost 700,000 people in it that are looking for connection points, can we create enough of them on the air and online, and we're very optimistic that we can. And again, if our focus is local, local, local, you know, I think we can be reasonably successful at doing that.
5450 MS PETRIE: Sometimes the best way to look at bringing people together is to take people out of each of the individual neighbourhoods, bring them together into a talk show, perhaps three of them, and have them look at specifically their approach to a certain issue. We could take adoption. If we have a couple who is infertile, they come in, they're talking about their challenges. We have another -- a lesbian couple come in, talk about their hope for a child and their concerns raising a child in the future. We might have a couple come in, a new immigrant couple, and discuss what happens in their culture, how that culture approaches adoption. So we have one thing in common across those communities, is that they all want to have a family, they all want to live in Vancouver, they all want to have a better life, and yet now we have some understanding between them as well. So certainly it's a challenge. Part of it is being out on the street which is a big part of what we want to do with our AlleyCats, with Live at the Roundhouse bringing people in to watch music, going out and doing Foodie Fridays, getting people together and tasting different foods.
5451 We need to help have the communities understand themselves but also feel comfortable and welcome to go to another community and participate in an event.
5452 MR. PARIKHAL: And if I could add to that, we are going to look into each community and see what their needs are. What we'll find, because we've done a great deal of research on this, is that many of them are the same type of need. And the way you tie people together, the way you bring people together is with stories.
5453 You know, as Erin said, the three people you get on the air, they start telling stories, all of a sudden you feel like, wow, I can see how to solve my problem based on somebody else's story. It's one of the reasons we call the format "Vancouver Stories". It's the first word in the name "News, culture and life".
5454 We're going to -- we're going to look -- as you mentioned earlier, the idea of people fitness, health, nutrition, a very big deal West Coast, stories about that, shows with ideas about how to live better in Vancouver, melting pot stories around neighbourhoods, food, music that I've seen, programs that explore different cultures.
5455 Because that really lets people understand that, yeah, I might live in this neighbourhood and think my problem is unique to me. I don't have enough money or I don't get along with the people across the street or I feel like things are changing too fast. So those tend to become universal and you tell stories around them.
5456 And then what you really do is you empower people locally to start doing something about themselves. A moment ago you heard that whole idea, "If I can just get you out". If I can just get you out and I think that's one of the biggest things we're going to do is just get you out.
5457 We're going to -- and this will never work unless it's entertaining and fun. It cannot be dreary and dull and everybody sitting around feeling terrible about themselves. It's really about an emotional human way, finding the stories that connect people, making that into a powerful relevant program that they've got incredible teams for, and meeting the demand that the research says so clearly is there.
5458 Does that answer the question?
5459 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: It does. It does, and I think it just also documents the ambition as well as explains the strategy.
5460 From the standpoint of the advertiser, you know, you talked a lot of the psychographics. Your research is excellent.
5461 Give me a psychographic profile of the advertiser. Who is this person? Are they all -- so are they all a specific profile in terms of the size and type of their business that they are highly local and probably very small or are they of all sizes but have varying degrees of community interests which causes them to want advertising regardless of whether it's viable to buy or not?
5462 I don't know if that's a specific-minded media buy, but let's try and go there.
5463 MR. FORBES: I think -- sorry, Don. Go ahead.
5464 MR. SHAFER: I'd like to start to answer that and, obviously, I'd like Gord to follow up.
5465 But I think the second part of your statement is likely the most accurate. People want to do business with people they like or appreciate the good work that they are doing.
5466 I'm a strong believer that the more good work we do in our community the more that will come back to us in a number of different ways. Advertising is only one of them.
5467 When we support a local business and help a local business with affordable advertising and a presence in their local neighbourhood or their community, that will have a profound impact on the business and obviously the audience that we reach however large or small that may be.
5468 So I think to a large degree, you know, our advertising is going to be very -- you know, grass roots or street level and it's going to be from us going door to door talking about the opportunity and what we can do on air and online in that community. It doesn't mean we're not going to have regional advertisers, national advertisers or big box stores or Canadian Tire or other advertisers.
5469 But, again, I think it's going come from -- my opinion is it's going to come from those stores or businesses in our community.
5471 MR. FORBES: Pretty well spoken for a programmer.
5472 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: No point in getting older if you're not going to get smarter.
5473 MR. FORBES: Yeah.
5474 You didn't leave me a lot to say, other than the answer is a combination of all three of our scenarios there.
5475 The people that will form the nucleus of our ad, of our advertising base, will be people who are looking for something that's affordable, is hyper local and is provided in an environment that is compatible with their target audience.
5476 So this is largely, as Don puts it, door to door belly to belly selling. You can pick up tomorrow's edition of the Georgia Straight and you will see over 100 advertisers who are not currently using radio that have bought an eighth of a page or more and they are buying it for those reasons, because it's affordable and because it's in their neighbourhood and they have the ability to put it in, in an environment that's compatible with, you know, their products.
5477 So I think that -- you know, my experience in radio in Vancouver has evolved over a long period of time. We used to go out and, you know, wait till the ratings came in and talk about these huge massive numbers or these hundreds of thousands of people who are now listening to our radio station when, in fact, over time what advertisers are telling us is, "We're not interested in those 100,000. We're interested in the six that are going to come in and fill those empty seats in my restaurant".
5478 This format based on its geographic and psychographic segmentation will give us the opportunity to talk to those people on that level.
5479 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I just have two more questions.
5480 If I can get a bit of an idea from -- I guess it would be you, Mr. Hahn -- your transmitter site is going to be somewhere around the Mount Pleasant area or at least you know, your tower or your EHAAT?
5481 MR. HAHN: Yes, it'll be on a building that's currently under construction.
5482 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah. Now, you've got in your 3 millivolts contour -- I've been having a look at it and, you know, living in southeast Vancouver down on the river, there is a heck of a lot of roll off even in usable contour because of terrain.
5483 How bad is that going to be in southeast Vancouver? You know, are you just doing your job and showing where the usability ends or do you think that you can be a little more capable of tweaking that 3 millivolt in that southwest area?
5484 MR. HAHN: Well, towards the southeast we have protection requirements to another station.
5485 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah, I don't know.
5486 MR. HAHN: And that limits it in that direction. There is not much that we can do to try and boost it.
5487 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah. That's CBRU?
5488 MR. HAHN: Yeah.
5489 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
5490 MR. HAHN: It's Chilliwack.
5491 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Did you guys ever get a number on what that's going to cost you in audience in terms of the total marketplace because you know there is a pretty big chunk of -- it looked to me like about geographically about 25 percent, but I don't think it will be that way population-wise.
5492 Okay, anyway. I was just curious as to whether you were a little more hopeful that it was going to be effective.
5493 My last question I've got, Mr. Shafer, you've got a whack of experience in commercial radio and I felt very sorry for Mr. Oppal the other day. He was referring to the former this and the former that, you know, but I think -- I guess he's pretty good in this part of the world.
5494 I want to ask you a question about those days in commercial radio. Did you try and do something like this when you were -- or did you see the need for this then and try and put this forward? Where I'm going with this is why -- there is a need for this kind of radio and commercial broadcasters for the most part, particularly the more concentrated ownership guys, don't take this kind of stuff on.
5495 Is it an economic reason or is it just because they don't like hard work? What is it?
5496 MR. SHAFER: Commissioner Simpson, I can't really speak for other broadcasters. I can speak for the stations that I have had the privilege to work with whether on air, program or manage.
5497 The stations that have been the most successful that I've been a part of were the ones that did the most in their communities. The more aggressive they did -- the more aggressive work they did to help the residents of a particular community, that came back in spades.
5498 When an advertiser says to us, "I want to advertise in your radio station. I don't care what the numbers say. I want to advertise with you because you've made a difference to my kids, to my wife, to my family and our community" that changes the entire equation.
5499 So you know we have walked the streets of Vancouver. We see what's going on and we've talked about the more local we can be. The more hyper-focused, the more we can super-serve a smaller community, the more successful we can be.
5500 You know it's not that complicated. But we get -- you know, lots of stations have a completely different mandate and pay lesser or greater attention to what happens in the local community. I just happen to believe in my heart that this is the right thing and the time is now.
5501 This city needs a locally-focused effort to make a difference. We can have fun. We can make it a commercial radio station. It can be polished. It can be sophisticated sometimes but it will definitely make a difference.
5502 And again, I think that's years of history of watching what we've done with commercial formats and the ones that have traditionally been more successful in Canada and in the U.S., the more you give back the more successful you are.
5503 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: This is a hybrid but is there anything like this being done elsewhere, you know, in terms of a metro community commercial station?
5504 MR. SHAFER: I'm sure there will be.
5505 And I think you're absolutely right about community stations, you know, taking it to the next level. I know John Parikhal is doing some work in the U.S. and I don't know if he can talk about it but we are aware of, you know, the NPRs.
5506 Again, I think the difference is that the stations that have -- the stations that -- we've used the term "flatten their footprint" because they have these large signals that have to reach, you know, hundreds of miles of geography and don't have the ability of the smaller hyper-focused, you know, technically-impaired signal can.
5507 I mean, I see that as a real opportunity. I mean, 700,000 people is the size of Winnipeg. And I know Winnipeg well. So it's a great opportunity for us.
5508 John, anything on...?
5509 MR. PARIKHAL: Yeah. We have found two formats similar to this.
5510 One -- and I can't give you any details on it except to say that they are similar -- one, Hispanic in a very large American metropolitan area and another one in New York where at this particular point the client is thinking very seriously of going ahead with it. They have to move budget around because they are in the non-commercial field and they need to find sponsorships.
5511 But it was different. It's different in each market. But the core thing that ties it all together, how do I live better? How do I live better where I am and in all the different ways that that focus is?
5512 Then that's really -- that's been emerging for the last, I'd say, three or four years we started to see them. No one in Canada other than Roundhouse has asked us to even look into that so that might speak to the idea of what the larger broadcasters are thinking.
5513 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thanks very much.
5514 That's it.
5515 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Simpson.
5516 Madam Pinsky...?
5517 MS PINSKY: Yes. I just have a literally technical question for you.
5518 You just referred to the location of the transmission site and I just wanted to clarify, is that a new location or was that the location originally?
5519 MR. SHAFER: It was the original location.
5520 MS PINSKY: Yes. And do you have any information regarding an updated -- an alternate propose for the transmission site? We understand you might be exploring, due to safety issues, other locations.
5521 MR. SHAFER: I'm not quite sure how to answer that question. We're quite happy with the location we have. We're assuming that we'll meet all of Industry Canada's requirements. If we couldn't then, yes, we would definitely look for and have a backup site.
5522 MS PINSKY: Okay. I wanted to confirm exactly where you are at right now.
5523 MR. SHAFER: We do have other locations in mind but we haven't pursued them, assuming that we can make this one work.
5524 MS PINSKY: If you do have any updated information please file with the Commission regarding the technical brief.
5525 MR. SHAFER: We will.
5526 MS PINSKY: And, then, just finally with regard to your response to Commissioner Shoan's question in relation to Canadian content for various categories of music, when would -- would you be in a position to provide that by the end of day today?
5527 MR. SHAFER: Yes, we would.
5528 MS PINSKY: Thank you.
5529 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you once again.
5530 And stay tuned and we'll see where that breakfast -- that alibi room breakfast gets you at the end of the day.
5531 Anybody holding onto that napkin? No, okay. Thank you all so much.
5532 Madame la Secrétaire, on va prendre 10 minutes.
5533 THE SECRETARY: Sure, that will be great.
5534 THE CHAIRPERSON: And we'll be back in 10 minutes. We are 10:27. Let's do 10:35. Thank you.
5535 THE SECRETARY: Thank you very much.
--- Upon recessing at 1027
--- Upon resuming at 1039
5536 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. It's like a party going on in this room and nobody invited us. But I'd ask you to take your seats and you guys can do your networking during the lunch break.
5537 Thank you. Places -- and maybe close the front door at least?
5538 I know I'm the Chairman. I'm like an usher.
5539 Okay. Mr. Suki Badh.
5540 Madame la Secrétaire.
5541 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
5542 We have now reached Phase II in which applicants appear in the same order to intervene on competing applications if they wish. I have been advised by Sky Radio Broadcasting Corp. and Surdel Broadcasting Inc. that they would not be appearing in Phase II.
5543 Therefore, I would ask South Fraser Broadcasting Inc. to intervene on competing applications. You have 10 minutes to make your presentation. Thank you.
5544 MR. S. BADH: Thank you, Mr. Chair. Commissioner Simpson, Commissioner Shoan.
5545 Good morning. For the record, I am Suki Badh, the sole shareholder of South Fraser Broadcasting Inc.
5546 With me to my right is the general manager of MySurreyFm 107.7, J.J. Johnston.
5547 To my left is Debra McLaughlin, Principal, Strategic Inc.
5548 And to her left is Joseph Sadoun, Engineer, YRH.
5549 My remarks will be brief, a couple of comments. The first -- two holdovers from the first phase.
5550 First, I would like to correct a misstatement we made in Phase I. In response to a question concerning audience projections, we indicated that we would reach 12.8 percent of the Vancouver East population. In fact, 12.8 percent is the share of hours tuned that we will attain. As Ms McLaughlin's research pointed out, we will reach 28 percent of the Vancouver East population each week. Sorry for the confusion.
5551 Second, in Phase I, the Chairman gave us some homework to do -- hey, homework -- asking us to craft a condition of licence that would reflect our commitment to local artists. We have taken a run at this and propose the following commitments that you --
5552 MS PINSKY: Mr. Badh, I wonder if perhaps you could file that with the Commission and just proceed to your opposition of other competing applicants?
5553 MR. S. BADH: Certainly, okay.
5554 Commissioners, we have submitted written interventions on competing applications before the hearing.
5555 Our basis for all the interventions was that 107.7 is the only frequency that can adequately reach all of Surrey, a city approaching half a million people where 51 percent only speak English, more than --
5556 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Badh, I'm really sorry to interrupt you again.
5557 Can you speak to us on the competing propositions?
5558 MR. S. BADH: Sure.
5559 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great.
5560 MR. BADH: Our research and that of others at this hearing shows clearly that ethnic residents of Surrey are more satisfied with their radio choices than the rest of Surrey.
5561 While the two existing ethnic stations may or may not -- I'm sorry -- while the two existing ethnic stations may or may not have signal problems, both applied for the frequencies that they are on with their eyes wide open, one preferring AM to FM and the other knowing that there was interference through the area. While I have some sympathy for their problems, I believe that there are options available to them.
5562 One other applicant saw the Surrey market the way we did and conducted research that clearly demonstrated that the choice of Surrey residents would be a fully English station and then inexplicably chose another option -- a partially English, a partially ethnic station.
5563 Two others propose dance-based stations aimed at a younger demographic which would clearly reach fewer Surrey residents, according to their own audience projections.
5564 Mr. Chair, Members of the Commission, we have heard nothing at this hearing to change our minds about these applications.
5565 Thank you for your attention.
5566 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Badh, appreciate it, especially the second page.
5567 Would you care to elaborate on the other options available?
5568 MR. S. BADH: For...?
5569 THE CHAIRPERSON: That you alluded to with respect to the other frequencies? I won't name them.
5570 MR. S. BADH: Yeah, fair enough.
5571 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'll let you name them, the AM and the FM that went into --
5572 MR. S. BADH: Fair enough.
5573 With me I have Joseph Sadoun and Joseph can comment on some of the filings and some of the comments which were submitted by Industry Canada that there are other site locations and site options.
5574 Joe, would you like to jump in?
5575 MR. SADOUN: Sure, I'll jump in.
5576 Thank you, Mr. Commissioner, for the question.
5577 Can I please ask you to repeat that question because you're talking about frequency --
5578 THE CHAIRPERSON: You mentioned that there were two frequencies and I'll let you indicate the two other applicants that are asking for changes --
5579 MR. SADOUN: I believe those are --
5580 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- in frequencies.
5581 MR. SADOUN: I believe those are RED FM.
5582 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, one.
5583 MR. SADOUN: And the other one would be?
5584 THE CHAIRPERSON: CJRJ?
5585 MR. SADOUN: RJ 1200.
5586 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's right.
5587 MR. SADOUN: Right.
5588 THE CHAIRPERSON: So what are the other options for them?
5589 MR. SADOUN: The other options that they have would be, well, for RED FM would probably be to change the location of their transmitter if they are looking at covering Surrey.
5590 If they are looking at covering Surrey, transmitting from Mount Seymour might not be the best option. If they are looking at covering the Greater Vancouver Area then, yes, Mount Seymour could be the good option.
5591 THE CHAIRPERSON: And is there another option out there for them if they wish to cover Surrey?
5592 MR. SADOUN: If they wish to cover Surrey then, like Industry Canada said, a rebroadcaster in Surrey would be the option but that would be inside their 3 millivolts contour which is not necessarily the best use of frequency.
5593 THE CHAIRPERSON: And for 1200 AM?
5594 MR. SADOUN: For 1200 AM if they're looking at going onto FM, then they will face the same challenge that everybody will have to face using FM which is extensive interference.
5595 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: I'm sorry to interrupt.
5596 I'm not sure you actually addressed Mr. Pentefountas' question earlier about alternative options. You indicated that if Mount Surrey -- Mount Seymour was an inadequate site location they would have to explore another site.
5597 Is there another transmission site or would they have to construct one? What are their options in that regard?
5598 MR. SADOUN: Well, in terms of, you know, potential options, any building around Surrey would do the trick if they're looking at covering Surrey.
5599 THE CHAIRPERSON: And I asked for 1200 AM.
5600 MR. SADOUN: Well, if they're looking at moving into the FM and they're trying to still be a Greater Vancouver station, FM would not be their option.
5601 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
5602 Commissioner Simpson? Commissioner Shoan?
5603 Thank you so much.
5604 MR. S. BADH: Thank you.
5605 LE PRÉSIDENT : Le suivant, Madame Ventura?
5606 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
5607 I would now ask Idea Broadcasting Corporation to come forward.
5608 THE CHAIRPERSON: We're just getting some clarifications on some names. And once the court reporter's ready to go, we'll be able to proceed.
5609 Okay. Now I think we have a technical difficulty.
5610 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
5611 So Phase II, we're all here.
5612 MR. H. KANG: Good morning, Commissioners, and thank you for waiting. We just had a problem with the computer.
5613 Good morning, Chairperson Pentefountas, Commissioner Simpson, Commissioner Shoan. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to provide our comments on the competing applications.
5614 Before I go any further, I would quickly like to introduce. To my right is Pukrajh Singh, the Director of Idea Broadcasting. I'm Harvinder Singh Kang, the CEA of Idea Broadcasting.
5615 To my left is Arvinder Singh, our general manager, and to his left is Mr. Ravinder Pannu, who's the head of the advisory committee.
5616 In summary, today our intervening comments will focus on five primary points. We believe there has been, in the presentations in Phase 1, an exaggeration in the number of ethnic radio stations in Surrey and its subsequent market situation.
5617 B, the use of a 600 AM frequency will be, in effect, an inefficient means to broadcast an ethnic radio station.
5618 That 107.7 FM will be best served by an ethnic language radio station and not by predominantly English-speaking radio station.
5619 That the assertion that the viability of Punjabi language in its ethnic form is declining in the forum is false.
5620 And no other applicant has demonstrated any significant strategies for implementing innovative technologies in radio broadcasting with the exception of Idea FM.
5621 With respect to the first point, some of the applicants throughout the first phase stated that market is currently not conducive to another local ethnical radio station at the present time.
5622 Our position is that this is a hollow rhetoric considering that none of these statements are backed up by any cogent facts.
5623 If you will allow me, Mr. Chairman, let's look at the facts.
5624 Although our radio station caters to 16 plus languages, however, for the purpose of discussion, let us focus on only the Punjabi language.
5625 As you see on the screen, Surrey is not covered by the local coverage of KVRA 1110.
5626 CJRJ 1200 is a Bollywood music station focused in Hindi music, with very little Punjabi talk air time. Sher-E-Punjab 1550 has significant signal disturbance after sunset. Radio India 1600 has somewhat similar AM reach in Surrey.
5627 96.1 FM Fairchild has only two hours a day dedicated to one Punjabi show five days a week. And 1470 AM allocates only one hour a week to Punjabi.
5628 In effect, that leaves only one Canadian ethnic station with 24-hour -- hours of clear signal that truly caters to the significant Punjabi community.
5629 Now, briefly, let us look at this viewpoint from a financial lens.
5630 RedFM has stated that -- on the record that they have devoted 12 minutes to advertisements per hour. That means if you -- as it's visible on screen -- that in an 18-hour broadcast day, 216 minutes are allowed for advertising.
5631 If one advertisement runs six times a day on the average, which is a conservative figure, one advertiser takes three minutes of daily air time.
5632 What that means is the maximum number of advertisers that can be served if we generously include another 28 advertisers as sponsors, radio can only serve 100 advertisers at a time.
5633 Now, let us look at some local economic statistics. These are the statistics from the City of Surrey's data.
5634 Every year, approximately 14,500 businesses apply for a business licence in the City of Surrey, and that has been consistent -- and that has been consistent 2009, 2010, '11 and '12 from the data we saw.
5635 Similarly, approximately 21.3 percent of the population in Surrey is Punjabi speaking. That's a Stats Canada.
5636 One can, therefore, estimate that approximately 3,100 of these businesses serve the Punjabi population, at least.
5637 As noted during the hearings yesterday, print advertising is on the decline and TV advertisement is comparatively expensive for local businesses. As a result, by taking into account the 100 advertisers that one ethnic radio can currently serve, that presents a significant opportunity for additional radio advertising, especially taking into account these statistics do not include the 15 plus languages that are included on our application.
5638 THE CHAIRPERSON: And just with respect to the other applicants, is there a point --
5639 MR. H. KANG: Pardon?
5640 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- and can you get to it?
5641 With respect to the other applicants. In this phase, you're to discuss some of the shortcomings, perhaps, with the other --
5642 MR. H. KANG: Sure.
5643 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- applicants.
5644 MR. H. KANG: I'm just getting to --
5645 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
5646 MR. H. KANG: So this is the exact -- so what we're trying to say is that this is the exact reason that the stations from south of the border, despite of the high cost of renting transmitters and impaired frequency, as discussed in the hearing on the records yesterday, are not only surviving here but, in fact, thriving in the Surrey ethnic radio market.
5647 So our point is that the whole idea that this market is saturated and cannot afford another ethnic radio station, we do not agree -- tend to agree with that.
5648 THE CHAIRPERSON: Noted. Thank you.
5649 MR. H. KANG: With respect to our second point, we will now present our case as to why ethnic programming on 600 AM will be an inefficient, ineffective usage of radio frequency as per the CRTC's objectives.
5650 If you look on the screen, you will see the area that 600 AM will cover is quite extensive, stretching from Courtenay to the boundaries of Squamish right up to the edge of Abbotsford, serving a total population of 2.3 million.
5651 If you refer to the graph, you will note that not only -- not including the lower mainland and in particular area which 107.7 FM frequency broadcasts, the demographic of most of the area covers is not comprised of a significant ethnic population.
5652 Moreover, since reaching out to ethnic youth is a vital objective, the AM frequency is less suitable for music broadcast, an element that is essential to garner youth listenership.
5653 Consequently, any attempt to license an ethnic radio station for the 600 AM frequency will not achieve the value for money, i.e. being economical, efficient and effective, and would be a wastage of valuable use of an AM frequency if awarded to an ethnic station. So that is the second point we make.
5654 With respect to the third point, contrary to what some of the other applicants are advocating, we believe that use of 107.7 FM will be best served by a fully ethnic language radio station. Since 107.7 is arguably the last clear FM frequency available in the local market and not adding an additional ethnic language radio station will not only monopolize the ethnic market on FM band, it will also close the doors for any competitor to enter the ethnic market for the future generations, especially since the lower mainland is considered to be one of the most multi-cultural regions in the world and is home to one of the largest population growths in the country.
5655 With respect to our fourth point, some of the applicants have stated that the Punjabi language in its ethnic form is on complete decline in our community. However, numerous studies have refuted this hypothesis and we are presenting an example here.
5656 For example, in one of the studies conducted by René Houle that was published by Statistics Canada states that more recent immigrant groups such as those who speak Spanish, Chinese or Punjabi, are generally likely to preserve their ethnic languages as compared to their European counterparts.
5657 In fact, the same study asserts that, and I quote here:
"...the intensity of language transmission is very high for Armenian, Punjabi, Chinese, Persian, Turkish, Bengali and Urdu groups, among which it exceeds 70%."
5658 In fact, the study shows the intensity of immigrant language transmission from one generation to the next is generally on the rise.
5659 More importantly, the Canadian Multiculturalism Act and the preamble of Official Languages Act states that Canada should encourage the preservation of foreign languages and enhance their status and use.
5660 And lastly, no other applicant has demonstrated any significant strategies for innovating technologies in radio broadcasting with the exception of Idea FM.
5661 It is critical that a radio station be well equipped to face the challenges that technology and media broadcasting will bring. As the Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2006-158 states, the Commission intends to, and I quote here:
"...to question radio licences at licence renewals and in new licensing and ownership transfer proceedings about their plans to employ new distribution platforms to the benefit of the Canadian broadcasting system."
5662 This concludes our interventions this morning. Thank you.
5663 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
5664 I looked at your document. The only picture that I don't understand is the symbolism of the door. What is that symbolic of?
5665 MR. H. KANG: So basically, that was like closing the door.
5666 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, okay. Oh, on the market and --
5667 MR. H. KANG: Yes.
5668 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- that was your -- okay. I get it. I'm a little slow, but I get it.
5669 Commissioner Shoan?
5670 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: No questions. That was a very clear presentation. Thank you.
5671 MR. H. KANG: Thank you.
5672 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: No questions. Thank you.
5673 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you all so much.
5674 MR. H. KANG: Thank you, Commissioners.
5675 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madame la secrétaire.
5676 THE SECRETARY: I would now invite Mosaic Media to come forward.
5677 THE CHAIRPERSON: So we're going to have a slight delay just to help the court reporter know who's who between presentations. Just let everyone know.
5678 Ça va? Great.
5679 So introduce yourselves. Thank you.
5680 MS KAUR: Thank you. Good afternoon, Chairman Pentefountas, Commissioner Simpson and Shoan and Commission staff.
5681 Please allow me to, first of all, reintroduce our panel.
5682 On my right is Tom Plasteras and, to his right, Neil Gallagher. And on my left, Andrew Forsyth.
5683 I am Baljit Kaur. This is our intervention for Phase 2 of the hearing.
5684 The 107.7 FM frequency provides a rare opportunity to serve the City of Surrey. We do not believe 107.7 FM, likely the last available frequency that can adequately serve Surrey, the province's second-largest urban centre, is best used as an in-fill repeater, a re-broadcaster of any Vancouver licensed station or as a reward for any station that has been bombarding Canada from over the border, circumventing CRTC regulations and the principles of the Broadcasting Act and diverting millions of dollars of revenue south of the border and away from licensed Canadian broadcasters.
5685 As well, while we understand the Commission does not license music formats, it does look to diversity as an important criteria in determining which application best serves the public and the objectives of the Broadcasting Act.
5686 We do not believe the lower mainland needs the duplication of existing formats.
5687 With respect to the ethnic proposals for 107.7 FM, we oppose all of these applications, as we believe this is a first service for Surrey and, as such, should have the broadest possible reach. An ethnic licence will not be inclusive by potentially serving less than half of Surrey's community.
5688 Specifically, we oppose the following applications.
5689 We oppose South Fraser on the basis that their proposed music format is currently already available on several Vancouver stations. Their Canadian content is at the minimum, 35 percent Monday to Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and their support for emerging artists is a scant two percent, again showing minimal commitment to developing and playing new Canadian talent.
5690 Being non-Surrey residents and owners of a U.S.-based transmitter site, we are concerned with their commitment to the Surrey market.
5691 We oppose Sky Radio, as they propose to target a narrow audience of adults 18 to 44 with a music format that duplicates existing services. This proposal limits itself to serving only a small part of the Surrey population.
5692 Similarly, we oppose Surdel, as they plan to only serve a small portion of the Surrey population with a format that appeals to a narrow target of Generation 2.0 and 3.0. This amounts to a potential -- a maximum potential of approximately 80,000 people, or only one-fifth of the population, nor is this the best use of the 107.7 frequency as a first service for Surrey.
5693 We oppose the application by i.t. Productions, RJ 1200, as we believe their problems are not related to their signal, as they frequently stated. A switch to an FM station is not the remedy.
5694 If they are only performing poorly due to being on the AM band, then why are both the cross border AM stations performing much better, with a higher audience in spite of weaker signals?
5695 We also oppose CKYE RedFM. They are a very healthy radio station whose revenues grew significantly in an overall declining market. While we sympathize with RedFM's frustration and their predicament, the solution should not be at the cost of Surrey losing its first service at 107.7 FM.
5696 RedFM is a Vancouver licensed radio station whose obligation under their original mandate is to serve Vancouver. With this application, they are asking for an extension into Surrey utilizing the last adequate frequency available for the city.
5697 Also, in 2004, RedFM was aware when they applied for and were awarded 93.1 FM that there could be interference from the first adjacent KISM FM from Washington State.
5698 Finally, licensing RedFM on 107.7 would not be using the frequency to its best advantage, as RedFM's proposal will primarily target only one-third of the population, leaving the remaining two-thirds without service.
5699 This concludes our intervention. Thank you very much for your time and attention.
5700 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
5701 Just on point 4, the non-Surrey resident. If there's a residential requirement, is that on the business address or on the personal address?
5702 MS KAUR: I just -- I'm not really sure if it's personal or business. I feel that they are Richmond residents, as far as I know. But really, I feel like if you really are proud of this community, if you know this community, if you really understand this community, you're a part of it. And Surrey is developing and it really needs that commitment.
5703 THE CHAIRPERSON: And everyone involved with your proposal is a Surrey resident?
5704 MS KAUR: We all live here, work here, play here and very, very proud of Surrey.
5705 THE CHAIRPERSON: Very well.
5706 Commissioner Simpson? Commissioner Shoan? No?
5707 MS KAUR: Thank you.
5708 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you all so much.
5710 THE SECRETARY: I would now invite New Vision Broadcasting Inc. to come forward.
5711 THE CHAIRPERSON: So I think the court reporter's ready. Great, thank you.
5712 Please introduce yourselves. You have 10 minutes to make your presentation.
5713 MS H. KHAN: Good morning, Commissioners, staff, applicants and intervenors.
5714 On my right is Honourable Wally Oppal, Q.C., our counsel. Beside him is Mr. Stephen Armstrong, our broadcasting consultant.
5715 On my left is Mr. Jon Festinger, Q.C., our co-counsel. Beside him is Mr. Paul Brar, experienced broadcaster and a radio host. Beside him is shareholder of New Vision Broadcasting, Mr. Amrik Purewal.
5716 We would like to briefly address six points that came up during the oral process of the past two days.
5717 There has been considerable discussions about variations of Punjabi through the incorporation of English words. At New Vision, we do not believe a new and separate language or audience is being created.
5718 We feel that traditional Punjabi is inclusive precisely because it bridges generations.
5719 Good broadcasters listen to and understand their audience and are able to make them comfortable on air. The important thing is not the different ways that Punjabi is spoken. The important thing is to create content that engages listeners.
5720 You have also heard from some applicants that just about everyone in our community speaks English and that there is no demand or need for third language programming. I believe you have also heard from our applicants that the Punjabi population is actually decreasing.
5721 We have placed on the public record data that shows that the Punjabi mother tongue population in Vancouver is increasing 50 percent faster than the population as a whole.
5722 We also placed on the record Stats Canada data that shows language retention in Punjabi households is the highest in Canada, at over 80 percent. In our view, this is clear evidence of the growing need for broadcasting in Punjabi.
5723 There has been some discussions of high standards of journalism, mostly in the context of sensationalized content. A related and crucial issue, in my view, is the independence of journalism in our community, and what that must mean is the context of Canadian values.
5724 Now I'd like to hand over the mic to Jon Festinger.
5725 MR. FESTINGER: There has also been much discussion regarding the repatriation of revenues from cross-border stations.
5726 RedFM, in its oral submission, claimed it has repatriated audiences and revenues from cross-border stations. However, at page 33 of its supplementary brief, RedFM acknowledges that:
"...repatriation of listeners by RedFM and RJ1200 has not diminished the activity by Canadians who listen to, and advertisers who utilize, U.S. border based stations operated by Canadians to reach radio audience in Vancouver and the lower mainland."
5727 We believe that music-based radio stations are unlikely to repatriate significant audiences or revenues to Canada from cross-border stations. In our view, only a news talk station is likely to achieve that goal.
5728 Fifthly, the Canadian incumbent South Asian language broadcasters said that the licensing of a new station with a focus on South Asian languages would have a significant impact on them.
5729 Certainly, if the Commission were to license an English music station that targeted ethnic audiences, there would be potential impact. That would not be the case, in our submission, with a complementary news/talk station.
5730 Our sixth point is that I.T. Productions has suggested:
"There is no convincing evidence on the record ... for the Commission to rely on which shows the ability of the Surrey or Vancouver market to support an additional Canadian service..."
5731 We placed information from Statistics Canada on the public record that shows the ethnic radio market in Vancouver is healthy and growing at a rapid rate.
5732 Now, before concluding, if I might ask Wally Oppal to briefly address a factual point raised by Sher-E-Punjab.
5733 HON. WALLY OPPAL: Yesterday, apparently, a representative of Sher-E-Punjab commented that they in fact do deal with the issues that we referred to and in fact I have appeared on Sher-E-Punjab. Part of that is correct. When I was in government, I did appear -- I think it was in 2008 I appeared on Sher-E-Punjab.
5734 My point simply is that, look, it's not me that they should be calling necessarily. All I'm saying is that the hot-button issues like violence against women, dowries and all of those things should be discussed by South Asian radio stations, and the fact is they're not. From time to time they touch upon those things but those are the issues that New Vision wishes to deal with and they have to be dealt with.
5735 For instance, the Vancouver Province had a two-week series on racism in the Lower Mainland, highly provocative, thorough analysis, and I was asked to do an op-ed page and I did it, but I know of no similar type of examination taking place in ethnic radio here in the Lower Mainland. Racism, it affects all of us with the change in demographics. That's my point.
5736 And for those people who think the Punjabi language is decreasing in volume, they should go to the courthouses of this province, where on any given day you will see Punjabi interpreters in the hallways of the courthouses. And those are the people who are coming into our courtrooms charged with assaults on their wives that need the type of issues -- need those types of issues that we're talking about here, the unequal treatment of men and woman, the odious practice of dowries that marginalizes women in our community.
5737 You know, that underbelly has to be talked about and that's the purpose that Ms Khan is talking about, that we have to talk about those issues in addition to the music and all of those good things that the community has done in this province.
5738 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Oppal.
5739 HON. WALLY OPPAL: I want to thank you for listening to us.
5740 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Oppal.
5741 Madam Khan, do you agree with me that retention of mother tongue among second- and third-generation Canadians and knowledge of English are not mutually exclusive?
5742 MS H. KHAN: Yes.
5743 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Shoan, any questions?
5744 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: No questions. Thank you for your presentation. Very clear.
5745 MS H. KHAN: Thank you.
5746 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you so much.
5747 MS H. KHAN: Thank you.
5748 LE PRÉSIDENT : La suivante?
5749 THE SECRETARY: I would now invite South Asian Link Directory Ltd. to come forward.
5750 THE CHAIRPERSON: Maybe we can ask interveners to write down on a piece of paper and when they come up they can have the paper ready to sort of help us save some time. So I can make that formal announcement.
5751 If you can write down on a piece of paper who will be presenting for you today and that way we can help the Court Reporter and she doesn't have get the exercise of the day by going back and forth. Thank you.
5752 So please introduce yourselves. Go ahead.
5753 MS SAHOTA: Good morning, Mr. Commissioner --
5754 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
5755 MS SAHOTA: -- sorry, Mr. Chairman, Commissioners and staff. My name is Pardeep Sahota.
5756 To my left is Pierre-Louis Smith, to my right is Munish Katyal, and to his right is Dr. Gerry Wall.
5757 We will be commenting on the other two other applications for the 600kHz AM frequency this morning, BizNews and Sher-E-Punjab, which we may refer to as SP for the sake of brevity.
5758 With respect to Channel Zero's application, if BizNews was such an appealing format and if it was missing from the market, one of the existing stations would have changed its current format to business news. They haven't.
5759 And Vancouver has among its AM mainstream stations an all-traffic radio station that has a very small listening share. They haven't changed.
5760 BizNews model is based on Bloomberg News Radio in New York. That station has been in operation for more than 20 years and is still generating very low listenership and is underperforming in its advertising.
5761 We note that Channel Zero applied for the same format to serve Toronto last year -- a much larger financial-oriented market -- and wasn't approved.
5762 It is just too specialized a format for this market.
5763 Now, addressing Sher-E-Punjab. Sher-E-Punjab has been a rogue broadcaster for 10 years that has been using U.S. airspace to broadcast to Canadians.
5764 Approving SP's current application would create a number of harmful precedents and messages.
5765 It would send a signal to this ethnic community that the pathway to get licensed in this market and in this country is to circumvent the rules by "renting" transmission capability on a U.S. border station for the sole intent of beaming into a much bigger Canadian market.
5766 It would also send a signal to existing licensees that they have foolishly adhering to the rules. Applicants in all future proceedings will know that the licensing process doesn't matter anymore.
5767 By their past decade of system abuse, they have been wreaking havoc in the marketplace, taking both dollars and listeners away from legitimate licensed Canadian radio broadcasters. And now, they seek to be rewarded with a new frequency.
5768 They have cynically built their fortune outside the rules, rules that are followed by all Canadian licensees, until such time as they can attempt to enter the market with a strength and market position that no legitimate existing or potential broadcaster can compete with.
5769 And what new value do they bring to the market? Their content is the same. Their revenues are the same. Nothing new is coming into a market that by all admissions is dynamic, is growing, and hungry for both more ethnic-specific programming and new advertising options.
5770 The problem of rogue operators is not solved by licensing Sher-E-Punjab. There is nothing to stop others from doing exactly what they have done. In fact, you would essentially be telling others that the path to success in the Canadian system is to rent airspace across the border, grow fat from rogue behaviour, and then at some point, if they want, simply apply to the CRTC to legitimize their operations. Commissioners, this would exacerbate the problem, not solve it.
5771 In fact, you can expect both Radio India and Radio Punjab to come before you to do exactly the same thing.
5772 Nor is it clear that any commitment made by SP regarding its U.S. host station as a condition of licence or of approval would be legally enforceable or binding. We have consulted with our legal counsel on this and the legal issues appear so complex and wide-reaching that it is unwise to try and resolve them on the fly. Nor do we feel that they should be left for closed-door negotiations between SP legal counsel and CRTC legal counsel.
5773 SP does not meet some key criteria set out for the assessment of applicants. Most importantly, they do not bring anything new to the market in terms of diversity of voices, nor, as already noted, do they bring new advertising dollars or listeners.
5774 We would also note that this is an applicant who needed to be pushed to accept a fundamental opening up to the community with an advisory board. "No, Commissioners," they said, "we don't need any outsiders to help figure out what we should do. Our closely linked family is all we need to make decisions."
5775 Bottom line, SP brings no new benefits to the market, has a history of disrespect for the rules and is seeking to be rewarded for their behaviour.
5776 Thank you for your time and attention. We are prepared to answer any questions if you have them at this time.
5777 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
5778 I just have one question on the statement about closed-door negotiations between Sher-E-Punjab legal counsel and CRTC legal counsel.
5779 What are you referring to there?
5780 MR. WALL: Well, I wish our legal counsel was here. Unfortunately, he had to get on a plane, but he could probably do a better response to that.
5781 But our concern is that there was some discussion between legal counsels yesterday about how that might be resolved.
5782 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
5783 MR. WALL: There were some undertakings to consider that but there was no specified process about how that would occur and whether there would be any involvement or transparency to others while that was being undertaken. Specifically, that's our concern.
5784 THE CHAIRPERSON: Everything will happen openly and with full transparency. It's undertakings that will have to be deposited and will be made public. I think today is the date. So I don't see what's going to be happening behind closed doors.
5785 MR. WALL: We are assured by that. Thank you.
5786 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. If there was a misunderstanding, I just wanted to have that cleared up.
5787 Monsieur Smith, ça va? O.K.
5788 Commissioner Shoan? Stephen?
5789 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Just one question.
5790 With respect to your position that Sher-E-Punjab coming back into the -- or coming into the Canadian market would not be beneficial to the marketplace, I'd like to just understand that position from the perspective that in coming to Canada they would be adhering to a Canadian ethnic broadcasting criteria that would be arguably more stringent than what they're experiencing now and come into a system where it levels the playing field.
5791 Is that still your position?
5792 MR. WALL: Thank you, Commissioner.
5793 That would be a benefit from the existing position that they would be adhering to the same rules that everybody else plays by. So in that sense, that is a benefit.
5794 But compared to the major benefits of other applicants, which are bringing in new content, new advertising revenues, that type of a significant benefit, there's nothing like that.
5795 So to the extent that they're now not playing by the rules and now they would be playing by the rules, yeah, that's an improvement.
5796 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Thank you.
5797 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
5798 La suivante?
5799 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask Akash Broadcasting to come forward.
5800 THE CHAIRPERSON: With their list of presenters in hand.
5801 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Ready to go? We're all ears.
5802 MR. SAINI: Mr. Chairman, sir, Commissioners and CRTC staff, thank you for hearing us this morning.
5803 For the record, I am Tejinderpaul Singh Saini, Director of Programming, and to my right is Bram Abramson, our outside counsel.
5804 We have read and now listened to the applications by the other parties to this proceeding.
5805 First, we would like to say that we are impressed by the effort and quality of the work that has gone into all of these applications. Those include applications by our colleagues, neighbours and friends here in Surrey. We congratulate them. And, sirs, you have a very complex and difficult task ahead of you.
5806 Commissioners, two themes have now been revisited many times in this proceeding:
5807 - first, that the ethnic radio market in Surrey is well served and, in fact, overserved;
5808 - second, that it is the CRTC's role to protect competitors, rather than protecting competition.
5809 We will respond to these briefly.
5810 First, we disagree that the Surrey's ethnic radio market is overserved or even well served. The ethnic markets in Surrey are not, by the way, non-mainstream markets. They are squarely in the centre of who Surrey is and what we do.
5811 But either we are talking about the Canadian broadcasting system or we are not.
5812 If we are not talking about the Canadian broadcasting system, then, with respect, Surrey's third-language market is not well served at all compared to what is available in English. The range of newspapers...
5813 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Saini, could you sort of bring it back to the other applicants, swing back there? I understand where you're going but I would rather you speak on the other applicants and if you can be sort of precise.
5814 MR. SAINI: We'll jump to number 10 in the presentation.
5815 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great. Thank you very much.
5816 MR. SAINI: Those interveners who argue that Surrey's third-language market is well served do so based on a hybrid creation that consists of Canadian radio stations serving Greater Vancouver and non-Canadian radio stations also targeting the Greater Vancouver Area, but to the exclusion of all other media serving or targeting the Greater Vancouver Area.
5817 With respect, Commissioners, this is not what the Broadcasting Act requires you to do. We believe your role is to promote a Canadian broadcasting system, not to undertake radio planning based on reacting to cross-border arbitrage.
5818 Cross-border frequencies are, for Canadian purposes, unregulated. They will always fill the gaps in the market. For years, the gap in this market has been third-language broadcasting. You should not now turn around and grandfather that gap as though cross-border broadcasters were part of your planning process. That does not promote the creation of a Canadian broadcasting system. It acquiesces to a non-Canadian one.
5819 In particular, we would not have thought that incumbency in cross-border broadcasting could serve as any kind of basis on which to be grandfathered into a Canadian market. We have never heard the CRTC enunciate a "clean hands" principle of licensing. But to argue that because one has evaded the system for years, one should now have a leg up on entering the system is surely a step too far.
5820 We therefore disagree with the argument that Surrey's third-language market is well served. It is not. The cross-border broadcasters are proof of that. We believe you should provide adequately for Canadian, locally rooted third-language broadcasting right here in Surrey by choosing between those applications before you based on the merits of the applications. We believe that if you do so, then those cross-border frequencies will rush to fill another gap in the market, whether it is Canadian (sic) broadcasting or something else.
5821 Protecting competition and not competitors.
5822 MR. ABRAMSON: I think Mr. Saini meant Christian broadcasting.
5823 MR. SAINI: Christian broadcasting, sorry. That was the last line.
5824 Second, we have heard more than one application argue that the reason you should award them a new frequency is that if you do not, their broadcasting businesses will fail to grow at the rate they hope or will fail even to break even.
5825 We are sympathetic to all applicants. We are entrepreneurs and businesspeople. We understand the pressures they face. But, respectfully, we do not believe it is the CRTC's role to sustain businesses that do not work. When a broadcaster holds a licence to a frequency, it falls to them to tailor their business model and programming to appeal to and serve audiences at that frequency. If they serve audiences well, they will be rewarded with advertising dollars. That is the essence of the commercial radio model.
5826 It may be that those who now seek new frequencies have a compelling case as to why their service on the new frequency is the one that would best serve listeners. Obviously, we have argued that it is our fresh mix of programming that would do so, but what we want to emphasize is that that is where the argument should lie, on which service better serves consumers and citizens, not on how to keep businesses in business.
5827 In the same vein, we have not heard much about what would happen to the old frequencies if those who request them are now awarded new ones. We would therefore ask that those asking the Commission to migrate them to new frequencies clearly state in their replies that they would relinquish the old frequencies back into the market.
5828 Mr. Chairman, Commissioners and staff, thank you for hearing us this morning.
5829 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
5830 Why would you suppose that broadcasters that have evaded the system for years now have a leg up in entering the system? Where do you see the leg up?
5831 MR. ABRAMSON: If I may, I think this was simply a reference to the idea that by being awarded a licence in the Surrey area, no new broadcaster would be brought into the market and that there would be a sort of market equilibrium, as I think one of the research studies referred to it.
5832 I think the idea was that this is not a market equilibrium when you bring in a broadcaster into the Canadian market which isn't licensed in the Canadian market at present.
5833 THE CHAIRPERSON: I don't understand the leg up reference. I guess there isn't one? Market equilibrium and having a leg up sort of would infer an unfair advantage and I don't see one.
5834 MR. ABRAMSON: Sure. No, I think the reference was in terms of the presentations that some of the applicants made and not in terms of the Commission's reaction to them, certainly.
5835 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And the relinquishing of the old frequencies, that is the Canadian frequencies that you're referring to?
5836 MR. SAINI: Yes, sir.
5837 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you.
5838 Commissioner Simpson? Commissioner Shoan?
5839 Thank you very much.
5840 MR. SAINI: Thank you, sir.
5841 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
5842 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
5843 I would now invite South Asian Broadcasting Corporation Inc. to come forward.
5844 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. I think it's still good morning. Yeah, it's still good morning.
5845 MR. SAMUEL: Good morning.
5846 THE CHAIRPERSON: We're ready to listen. Mr. Lewis.
5847 MR. SAMUEL: Good morning, Chairman and Commissioners.
5848 For the record, I'm Bijoy Samuel and I'm joined by Kulwinder Sanghera, President of RED FM. We have our engineering consultants Jim Moltner and Kerry Pelser. And with us is our legal counsel Mark Lewis.
5849 MR. LEWIS: Mr. Chairman, I'm going to skip over a section I think is best left to reply. There was a question asked yesterday and I'm happy to deal with it in reply.
5850 With respect to Surdel and those other English-language applicants who propose to primarily target South Asian listeners, we do not believe their applications can be licensed.
5851 Although Surdel has not applied for an ethnic radio licence, the facts are clear. It intends to target listeners of South Asian heritage. And the Ethnic Broadcasting Policy is also clear:
"An ethnic program is one in any language that is specifically directed to any culturally or racially distinct group other than one that is Aboriginal Canadian or from France or the British Isles. Ethnic programming may be in English, French or a third language or a combination of languages. It also includes cross-cultural programming provided, once again, that it is specifically directed to any culturally or racially distinct group other than one that is Aboriginal Canadian or from France or the British Isles."
5852 Surdel's application is an attempt to circumvent the Commission's long established regulatory policies. Surdel clearly targets a culturally distinct group. Although spoken-word programming may be in the English language, the application falls within the ambit of the Ethnic Broadcast Policy.
5853 The application comes up short in meeting the broad service objectives of the Ethnic Broadcast Policy and the Commission has consistently followed the policy, and I quote:
"Ethnic stations are required to serve a range of ethnic groups in a variety of languages. This is because of the scarcity of broadcast frequencies may not permit the licensing of an over-the-air single-language station for each ethnic group in a given market. This approach also allows for the provision of a service to groups that would not otherwise be able to afford their own single-language service."
5854 This hearing is not about changing the Ethnic Radio Policy, the policy has not been amended or varied, so their application should be denied.
5855 And, by way of comment, South Asian Broadcasting Corporation has always adhered to the broad service criteria and we provide a multiplicity of languages for people of the entire region.
5856 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand, Mr. Lewis, but --
5857 MR LEWIS: On December --
5858 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- you are offside there, you know that. Go ahead.
5859 MR. LEWIS: On December 18th we also filed, in response to Surdel's intervention, a table which provides an analysis of revenues of other applicants for 107.7, most of whom are either ethnic stations or masquerading as ethnic stations.
5860 Their impact in terms of projected revenues is significant, particularly if they are licensed to use 107.7 and RED-FM is not remediated in terms of its signal problem through repeaters.
5861 It's clear to us, and we assume to you, that several of the applicants propose to spend a very low amount on programming relative to the expenditures of other ethnic broadcasters who serve this market. You have heard from those applicants that they would provide high-quality spoken word programming, but annual programming costs of between $334,000 and $460,000, in our view, will not provide the quantity of high-quality programming that would provide an alternative to RED-FM. Frankly, programming expenditures of this level are indicative of inexperienced applicants.
5862 MR. SAMUEL: We said that we would provide some scenarios that may cause little or very little disruption to the market. We believe that there are licensing scenarios that can provide additional services and rectify signal problems.
5863 First, we heard the presentation from I.T. Productions. We appreciate that it has been a long struggle for that licensee. Yesterday you heard that the proposal to use 106.9 would not impact RED-FM and would improve the fidelity of I.T.'s signal on the FM band. The proposal seems to us to preserve an ethnic service that provides alternative programming and would maintain local ownership.
5864 The licensing of I.T. Productions for 106.9 and the licensing of RED-FM for 107.7 and 107.9 would also rectify signal problems.
5865 We heard the Sher-E-Punjab application yesterday and there was possibly merit to their argument to convert the U.S. service to a Canadian licensee provided there are additional safeguards and adequate safeguards that were discussed by the Chairman Pentafountas and Commissioner Shoan.
5866 The AM 600 signal introduces no new competition into the market, but would potentially deliver additional programming to other ethnic groups.
5867 It is clear from the record that the AM 600 signal would rectify signal problems for Sher-E-Punjab and allow it to provide additional programming in the evening and early morning hours. Sher-E-Punjab would pay Canadian copyright fees, CCD and Canadian broadcast licensing fee, which would put the station on the same basis as a licensed Canadian ethnic radio services.
5868 You have seen research by RED-FM and others which substantiates market saturation and that there is no significant untapped ethnic advertising revenue. Several ethnic applicants have conceded during the hearing that only a small percentage of their revenue would be repatriated from U.S. AM 1600, AM 1110 and AM 1550, so the licensing of Sher-E-Punjab for AM 600 would only increase advertising inventory incrementally.
5869 As you heard yesterday, the addition of other languages would not provide a large amount of new revenue or inventory for Punjabi language programming, but the repatriation of Sher-E-Punjab on AM 600 would extend the signal into Abbotsford as well as Surrey and the Greater Vancouver.
5870 We submit that there could be real and substantial harm to RED-FM and I.T. Productions if our signal remains compromised. Further, the provision for a strong signal by AM 600 to Surrey, Abbotsford, Vancouver would disadvantage RED-FM and its long-standing listeners.
5871 So it is our submission that 107.7 Surrey/Vancouver and 107.9 Abbotsford combination would put us on an equal footing with Sher-E-Punjab and RJ1200 operating on 106.9.
5872 MR. LEWIS: There are other options available to the CRTC to increase the diversity of programming and add other voices in the Greater Vancouver market. You have heard a proposal this morning as a matter of fact for 98.3, a proposal that has spoken word content and would not target our listeners or our advertisers.
5873 Then there is 91.5. We have stated that it will not remediate our service problems in Vancouver, New Westminster, Burnaby and other locations, but the signal could provide English-language service to Surrey for some other genre of programming.
5874 Finally, we believe if the Commission were to license an English-language service to serve Surrey, the licensee should accept a condition of licence not to provide third-language programming, specifically Punjabi or Hindi or Urdu programming. We believe this restriction is reasonable. It is consistent with the condition of licence that Fairchild sought when RED-FM and I.T. Productions were licensed in 2005 which prohibits us from providing Chinese-language programming, a condition that remains in place today.
5875 As we discussed yesterday, English-language stations could program up to 19 hours a week of third-language programming without a condition of licence. That would have an impact on RED-FM and other ethnic licensees serving the South Asian community.
5876 To reiterate, Mosaic Media should not be licensed as an English-language station and not be permitted to provide a portion of its schedule in Hindi, Punjabi or Urdu.
5877 Thank you.
5878 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Lewis. I just briefly want to get back to Surdel and give you a chance to expand.
5879 MR. LEWIS: Well, my understanding is that they are targeting primarily a South Asian or a younger audience.
5880 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's an English --
5881 MR. LEWIS: English.
5882 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- language music service.
5883 MR. LEWIS: But from the selection of music, the orientation of the music, from what we heard and what we read in the application, it seems to be targeting primarily ethnic population, younger ethnic population in English and culturally distinct, there was some discussion about their listeners are culturally distinct.
5884 I mean, our point is simply, we heard one of the Commissioners -- it may have been Surdel, I thought it was Surdel, said, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it is a duck, and that's our feeling about that application and a couple of the others. If they target the younger South Asian population, it is a culturally distinct group.
5885 THE CHAIRPERSON: Interesting use of didgeridoo. That being said, most major metropolitan areas in Canada have a vast number of cultural communities within them. Most Canadians, especially most Canadians in urban centres are second, third or fourth generation immigrants of this country, as we are all, with the exception of the native population.
5886 Aren't you inevitably targeting that population?
5887 MR. LEWIS: Well, in Surrey -- and, you know, I understand the ethnic policy and I was -- my wife wrote it actually many years ago, or was one of the authors, but we have always had that segment in it that you could program to culturally diverse groups.
5888 I guess it's the concentration of South Asian population in Surrey that troubles us a bit because we, as a licensed ethnic broadcaster, get a significant share of audience in that younger demographic.
5889 Now, you may say, well, they choose to listen in Punjabi to RED-FM or other languages that we provide and they should have the option to listen to that music on other radio stations, but really at the end of the day it's that music and there is a similarity and overlap of the music.
5890 The spoken word message may be in English, but it still seems to us it falls within the ambit of the Ethnic Policy. I'm going to say, Mr. Vice Chairman, maybe it's time to have that discussion in a fuller forum about revising the Ethnic Policy if, in fact, you know, we do have such a large second and third generation group. That's our point.
5891 THE CHAIRPERSON: I agree with you on the issue and I'm not going to get into that discussion, but there are all kinds of views that are coming. But it's an interesting argument, that's why I just wanted to give you a chance to elaborate on it.
5892 MR. LEWIS: And, you know, we would be happy to participate in that forum, should the Commission decide to go that way.
5893 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand that. Commissioner Simpson...? No?
5894 Commissioner Shoan...?
5895 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Yes.
5896 THE CHAIRPERSON: Go ahead.
5897 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: On that point about the review, Mr. Lewis, I do encourage you to review our three-year plan, you might find some information of interest on that point.
5898 MR. LEWIS: And that's exactly, Commissioner, the point. That's where you are going and I applaud that, but at this hearing to circumvent it -- and I don't want to get into --
5899 THE CHAIRPERSON: We are not there yet. I mean, there is a review coming --
5900 MR. LEWIS: Exactly, a review coming.
5901 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- but the Rules of Engagement are what the Rules of Engagement are today.
5902 MR. LEWIS: Precisely. Precisely.
5903 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sorry about that.
5904 MR. LEWIS: Thank you.
5905 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Just a point with respect to your argument regarding the prohibition against providing Chinese programming, a prohibition sought by Fairchild imposed on RED-FM and I.T.
5906 In that situation it was essentially defensive, the applications were coming in, I don't think they really had any intention of serving the Chinese market, Fairchild just wanted that defensive measure put in to ensure that there could be no format switch.
5907 But here you are suggesting an active measure should be taken to ensure that any new prospective licensee can't access the 15 percent per week flexibility which they would normally be entitled to.
5908 MR. LEWIS: Well, you know, I don't want to -- this is the intervention period, but I sometimes feel like there is a bit of a Whack-a-mole game going on because I see South Fraser coming up with the same supporting characters in terms of researchers and, et cetera, and then Sher-E-Punjab.
5909 And I understand they are saying they are separate, but, should they both be licensed, there would be that inventory and that is what concerns us, the introduction of that inventory and those licensees may work in concert or they may sell airtime between one another, and that's our concern.
5910 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you.
5911 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. We will see you again tomorrow. Madame la Secrétaire...?
5912 THE SECRETARY: I would invite I.T. Productions Ltd. to come forward.
5913 THE CHAIRPERSON: Hello.
5914 MS DATT: Good morning, sir.
5915 THE CHAIRPERSON: Please present yourself and you can begin your presentation.
5916 MS DATT: Good morning, Mr. Chairman and Commissioners, Commission Staff.
5917 I would like to introduce our panel to you. To my left is Sudhir Datta, my son; next to Sudhir is Rosanne So, our Senior Marketing Manager; to my right is Ray Carnovale, our Technical Consultant; and to his right is our legal counsel, Chris Weafer from Owen Bird.
5918 There was a little clarification from yesterday's Q and A and I would like Sudhir to clarify that and then I will ask our legal counsel, Mr. Chris Weafer, to address our intervention.
5919 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, let's start and see where we go.
5920 MS DATT: Okay.
5921 MR. DATTA: Just to clarify, during our Phase I presentation during the Q and A we were asked if we had been asked during our original application if we would be okay with another licence being given and we did say that we would. In our response we had said no, but we did say we would.
5922 At that time the impact of the FM looked to be far less than what it is today, so we didn't see an impact at that time.
5923 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Phase II?
5924 MR. WEAFER: Mr. Chairman, thank you. I will be brief. In accordance with your procedures, I.T. Productions did file a written intervention letter on November 28th which contains a fair bit of detail in terms of I.T.'s position on the other applications and nothing that I.T. has seen in the last two days of hearings has added or subtracted from that letter.
5925 We think the letter is a response, so today I would simply highlight the three primary areas of comment in that letter.
5926 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Do you want to give us the highlights?
5927 MR. WEAFER: Yes, sir.
5928 THE CHAIRPERSON: Go ahead.
5929 MR. WEAFER: Mr. Chairman, much evidence has been led in the proceeding --
5930 THE CHAIRPERSON: If you want to refer to the paragraph, that would be great as well --
5931 MR. WEAFER: Certainly, sir.
5932 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- and then people can follow.
5933 MR. WEAFER: Well, the first two -- paragraphs 2 and 3 deal with the primary issue of can the market support another South Asian service and the evidence from I.T.'s position is quite clear that this Commission's decision last year identified the difficult market circumstances for a South Asian programming service.
5934 Secondly, sir, in the proceeding the evidence is quite clear that Statistics Canada evidence says there are more South Asian services per capita in the Greater Vancouver Area than there are for Asian-language services and, therefore, we say that no evidence has overcome that hurdle.
5935 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you have anything to put forward on the other applicants and the deficiencies or weaknesses in their applications?
5936 MR. WEAFER: Yes, sir. The case made by everyone applying for an additional service is obviously asking to add to the number of players in the market.
5937 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, I'm just saying above and beyond that, do you have anything more specific on the other applicants?
5938 MR. WEAFER: No, sir. The second position that we would like to address, again, was addressed in our letter, but it has been discussed in the proceeding in others intervening ahead of me, the same comment with respect to U.S. cross-border services who are now before the Commission seeking a licence, sir, and I.T. Productions would adopt the submissions made by Surdel with respect to the appropriateness of awarding a cross-border service with a Canadian licence.
5939 That said, we have also witnessed the dialogue that has gone on by the Commission looking to ensure proper constraints in terms of reopening a cross-border service, should you license 600 AM, and we see that as a difficult task for the Commission to accomplish, but if the Commission is comfortable with that, I.T. is open to that, if you see that as a solution to the problem, but we see the hurdles are significant and look forward to the record being established which can ensure protection from another South Asian station being operated in Point Roberts or elsewhere.
5940 The third --
5941 THE CHAIRPERSON: We are just trying to make sure that we leave no stone unturned.
5942 MR. WEAFER: Yes, sir.
5943 THE CHAIRPERSON: You shouldn't read anything more into that.
5944 MR. WEAFER: We would like you to leave no stone unturned, Mr. Chairman, thank you.
5945 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. That's all we are doing, thank you.
5946 MR. WEAFER: The third area, Mr. Chairman, was the RED-FM. Our written intervention on RED-FM invited RED-FM to provide more information in terms of their position.
5947 The RED-FM application, as we indicated in this written intervention, I.T. is empathetic to the position of RED-FM with respect to a technical challenge because indeed, as we will deal with in reply and we did in our primary application, it is a concern that I.T. has as well.
5948 RED-FM continues to work to try and solve the dilemma of the precedent of dealing with the IBOC issue and getting appropriate approval from Industry Canada, and I.T. is empathetic to their concerns in terms of their seeking 107.7.
5949 And those are our submissions, reiterating what was in our written intervention, although we are modifying the position on RED-FM given the further evidence that has been provided.
5950 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you want to elaborate on the modification?
5951 MR. WEAFER: The intervention requested that they provide further information, our technical consultant could deal with the specifics better than I can, certainly, that indicated there was a lack of satisfaction with respect to what RED-FM had on the record as to whether they had left no stone unturned.
5952 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you are comfortable with the record?
5953 MR. WEAFER: It would seem to be moving in the right direction --
5954 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
5955 MR. WEAFER: -- in terms of that issue, Mr. Chairman, and Mr. Carnovale can answer any questions if you want any more detailed technical.
5956 THE CHAIRPERSON: Any other thoughts on any of the other applicants?
5957 MR. WEAFER: No, sir, those are our submissions following up on our written presentation.
5958 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Commissioner Simpson...? Commissioner Shoan...?
5959 Thank you.
5960 MR. WEAFER: Thank you, sir.
5961 MS DATT: Thank you.
5962 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you all so much.
5963 Madam Secrétaire...?
5964 THE SECRETARY: I would now invite 2308739 Ontario Inc. to come forward. Thank you.
5965 THE CHAIRPERSON: Have you guys written your names on a piece of paper? She has it already? No?
5966 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Millar...?
5967 MR. MILLAR: I was just going to say, do you want -- we are going to read our names onto the record. Is that sufficient?
5968 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Court Reporter, is that fine? Great.
5969 MR. FUOCO: Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Commissioners Simpson and Shoan and CRTC Staff. My name is Chris Fuoco, I am the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Channel Zero and joining me here today are my colleagues, Cal Millar and Bryan Woodruff.
5970 As the applicants representing BIZ600, we are back in front of you today to provide our perspective on the competitive applications for the AM 600 frequency. Both Sher-E-Punjab Radio Broadcasting and South Asian Link Directory have stated in their applications that they intend to broadcast in Punjabi if they are successful -- if they are the successful applicant for AM 600.
5971 During this hearing the Commission has pointed out that the AM 600 frequency reaches 1.9 million people. The 2011 Census reports 93,785 Punjabi-speaking people in Surrey and a total of 139,230 Punjabi-speaking people across the entire Vancouver CMA, which includes Surrey.
5972 BIZ600 would submit that using this frequency, which has access to almost 2 million people, to reach a maximum target audience of 140,000 people, is not the best use of this frequency. Stated differently, if AM 600 was licensed for the purpose of broadcasting in Punjabi, 92 percent of the reach of the signal would be wasted.
5973 Sher-E-Punjab does propose adding an additional 12 languages to their schedule, but clearly the focus of the station will continue to broadcast primarily as a Punjabi station. They have stated that they are not expecting any revenues to come from the addition of these languages to their schedule, which demonstrates a low level of commitment and confidence in this new programming.
5974 Sher-E-Punjab has stated that if it is awarded the licence they will add only two new full-time equivalent jobs at their Richmond studio. In contrast, we remind you that the BIZ600 application will create 32 new broadcasting jobs in Vancouver in its first year alone.
5975 In its call for applications, one of the factors that the Commission set out to assess is how the approval of an application would increase the diversity of programming available to listeners. Given that Sher-E-Punjab is already available in the Vancouver radio market on AM 1550, the licensing of Sher-E-Punjab on AM 600 Vancouver, or any other Vancouver frequency for that matter, would not appear to meet your objective.
5976 We appreciate the opportunity to submit this intervention and we thank you for your time today.
5977 THE CHAIRPERSON: Very clear, thank you. We have no questions. Thank you so much.
5978 MR. FUOCO: Thank you.
5979 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madame la Secrétaire...?
5980 THE SECRETARY: I would now invite Sher-E-Punjab Radio Broadcasting Inc. to come forward.
5981 THE CHAIRPERSON: When you are ready introduce yourselves.
5982 MR. D. BADH: Good morning, Mr. Chair, Commissioner Simpson, Commissioner Shoan.
5983 For the record, I am Dale Badh, with me are our Operations Manager, Jas Gill; our consultant Peter Fleming to my right; and our legal counsel, Robert Buchan on the far right. My apology, normally my brother Jasbir would be here with us.
5984 We have spoken with Mr. Khela, who is the 80 percent and controlling shareholder of BBC Broadcasting Inc., who has agreed to come to the hearing and to appear at Phase III. Mr. Khela who is 80 years of age, in weak health and has two prearranged medical appointments today in Kent, Washington, where he lives. He must keep those appointments, which are in the morning and at midday and it is a three-hour drive to the south.
5985 THE CHAIRPERSON: We appreciate that. He will be here tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.?
5986 MR. D. BADH: Yes, he will.
5987 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, sir.
5988 MR. D. BADH: Jasbir left this morning --
5989 MR. D. BADH: You asked us to do some homework yesterday and we filed documents with the Secretary to the hearing as you requested. We would request confidentiality on both lease agreements as they contain rent amounts that could compromise future dealings for the owners --
5990 THE CHAIRPERSON: Noted. Noted.
5991 MR. D. BADH: -- and/or the leases of the properties in question. Specifically we have --
5992 MR. BUCHAN: Mr. Chairman...?
5993 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Buchan...?
5994 MR. BUCHAN: In light of what was alleged this morning about closed-door meetings between myself and legal counsel, could we just read into the record what those documents were that we deposited this morning?
5995 THE CHAIRPERSON: We can. I think it was cleared up, but go ahead. Everyone can be assured there is no closed-door meetings going on. Go ahead.
5996 MR. BUCHAN: It may be clear in your mind, I'm not finished with it. The documents that were deposited this morning were a copy of the lease between BBC Holdings and BBC Broadcasting for the rental of the land at Ferndale where the transmitters of KRPI are situated; a copy --
5997 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Mr. Buchan, can you just speak into the microphone a little bit more, please?
5998 MR. BUCHAN: I'm sorry. Okay. The first document was a copy of the lease between BBC Holdings and BBC Broadcasting for the rental of the land at Ferndale where the transmitters of KRPI are situated.
5999 Secondly, a copy of the lease agreement between BBC Broadcasting Inc., the owner of KRPI in Ferndale, and Sher-E-Punjab for the lease of time on KRPI by Sher-E-Punjab.
6000 Thirdly, the bylaws of BBC Broadcasting Inc. and a resolution of the Board which demonstrates how Mr. Khela, the majority shareholder, exercises control.
6001 And, fourthly, a proposal for an advisory council for Sher-E-Punjab.
6002 With regard to the two leases, we would request confidentiality because they contain the monetary information and they have been filed in that regard.
6003 Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
6004 THE CHAIRPERSON: Everything else will be on the public record?
6005 MR. BUCHAN: Yes.
6006 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6007 MR. D. BADH: We did file a written intervention to the application for business news station. A primary point was that there was no Vancouver research and that the plan submitted was based on a research meant for a Toronto FM application.
6008 The applicant did indicate yesterday that it would file subsequent research undertaken. When we went to the examination room we were told that it wasn't available as of 9:00 a.m. this morning, so the concern expressed in our written comments stand.
6009 Thank you for your attention and we would be pleased to answer any questions that you may have.
6010 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just a clarification on that last point, Mr. Badh. With respect to the business news station, the claim is that the research was for the Toronto market.
6011 It was their application from last year or year and a half ago.
6012 MR. FLEMING: It was their application from last year, the research said that were referred to in their original application, but the numbers were exactly the same as Toronto and they didn't file any new research.
6013 Yesterday I think they told you that there was -- they had either filed new research or were about to file it. Our consultant in research, Ms McLaughlin, went to the exam room this morning and it wasn't to be found.
6014 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
6015 MR. FLEMING: So our point rests.
6016 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, we will look into that. I wasn't aware of that. But the claim is that the research was the same research used for 88.1 a year and a half ago, whenever that was, May, 2012 I think it was.
6017 MR. FLEMING: Yes, the same hearing that you were at, yes.
6018 THE CHAIRPERSON: I was at that hearing, okay. Anything else on the other applicants?
6019 MR. FLEMING: No, sir.
6020 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you very much. I think we have one more.
6021 THE SECRETARY: Yes, we do.
6022 THE CHAIRPERSON: And we will break for lunch thereafter.
6023 THE SECRETARY: Yes, we will. I would have 0971197 B.C. Ltd. come forward, please.
6024 Thank you.
--- Pause / Pause
6025 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, Mr. Shafer.
6026 MR. SHAFER: Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, Members of the Commission, Commissioner Shoan, Commissioner Simpson. I promise to be brief and briefer than our script.
6027 It was not our intention to intervene against any of the other applicants. Each of us has made our case as to why we deserve to be licensed and now it's up to you to decide.
6028 However, we must intervene in the application of Sher-E-Punjab. Sher-E-Punjab has applied for 600 AM as well as two FM alternatives, it has described 600 AM as its preferred frequency. However, if it cannot get 600 AM, Sher-E-Punjab has asked to use a combination of FM frequencies. The two FM frequencies that is proposed, both include using 98.3 FM. That is the frequency for which Roundhouse Radio has applied.
6029 Members of the Commission, we ask you to deny Sher-E-Punjab's proposals to use 98.3 FM.
6030 Thank you.
6031 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Shafer. Thank you.
6032 Madame la Secrétaire, is that all in terms of Phase II?
6033 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This completes Phase II for items 1 to 13 on the agenda.
6034 THE CHAIRPERSON: I see it's 12:06, we can start up again at 1:10. You get an extra four minutes in today. I'm getting soft in my old age.
6035 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
6036 THE CHAIRPERSON: Bye-bye.
--- Upon recessing at 1206
--- Upon resuming at 1310
6037 THE CHAIRPERSON: So good afternoon. A little housekeeping before we get onto the next presenter.
6038 This morning Sher-E-Punjab filed with the Commission a lease agreement between BBC Holdings Inc. and BBC Broadcasting Inc., as well as a timed brokerage agreement between BBC Broadcasting Inc. and Sher-E-Punjabi with a request that it be retained in confidence, that it contained rent amounts that could compromise future dealings with owners and/or leases of the properties. The request to retain the rent amounts in question is approved and the applicant is requested to file an abridged version for the public record.
6039 So all that to say, we would like an abridged version of the documents in questions. Is that okay, Madam Pinsky?
6040 MS PINSKY: Yes.
6041 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great. Madame la Secrétaire...?
6042 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We will now proceed to Phase III in which interveners appear in the revised order set out in the agenda to present their intervention.
6043 We will begin with the presentation by Mr. Bob Mann. Mr. Mann, you have 10 minutes for your presentation.
6044 Thank you.
6045 MR. MANN: Good afternoon, Members of the Commission. I would like to give you a brief introduction on myself. My name is Bob Mann, I am Canadian born, Canadian citizen, resident of Canada, a singer, songwriter, music composer and producer. Even though all my lyrics are in Punjabi, I am Canadian content.
6046 I have a few things to speak about today. One of the things I would like to refer to is South Asian Broadcasting's response to my intervention. I have no relationship at all with Harjinder Hundel(ph) or H. Gudu(ph). I have never spoken to either of these people, so let's move on to the issue at hand.
6047 I hope the Commission has taken the time to read through the e-mails. The main thing I would like to discuss is the way that RED-FM operates and provides airtime to Canadian artists. My main concern is not whether the songs are played or not, or how many times, my question to Mr. Sanghera was how to submit music to RED-FM and whether Kulwinder wanted me to drop off 100 CDs to Ravi Video as payola payment. And with my story, you will see how RED-FM's ownership is questionable and the conflict of interest with Kulwinder Sanghera owning Music Waves and RED-FM, as well as part ownership of Ravi Video while I was dealing with him.
6048 I have submitted some papers showing that he is the owner of Music Waves RED-FM. Those are from the B.C. Registry Services showing this.
6049 Now, this slide relates to the conflict of interest I'm speaking of. I just wanted to show you an example of how South Asian Broadcasting can lie through their teeth to the Commission without thought and then blatantly associate the two companies.
6050 In their response to an intervention, South Asian Broadcasting states:
"For the record, Music Waves is not currently active in the production of recorded music. The explosion of file sharing and Internet piracy made record production financially non-viable"
6051 This album that is displayed on the screen was just released this week by RED-FM -- sorry, by Music Waves. It's also got the RED-FM logo, that's why I'm confused. I can provide an original copy of the CD if you would like to take a closer look. If you need 30 copies, you can talk to Music Waves about that.
6052 An example of conflict, I am going to -- I am having some technical difficulties here. I would like to play a video statement from Shivangi Bhayana, a former RED-FM employee and music artist. This pertains to conflict of interest and the record company being involved in the operations of South Asian Broadcasting. This is currently on record, intervention number 7738. I have made this submission to the Commission as well and it covers one of the topics I stated I would be discussing.
--- Video presentation
6053 MR. MANN: So now I will continue with my experiences and my story with RED-FM and Music Waves.
6054 My story begins when I released an album in 2006, 11 of the 13 songs, which is 85 percent, satisfied the MAPL requirements of what is considered to be Canadian content.
6055 I'm going to cut this short, but I did go into the offices, RED-FM's office and I spoke to Kulwinder Sanghera about this. At the time he was not interested in releasing the album on his Music Waves label. So I did ask him to playlist my songs and add my CD to their playlist. Kulwinder stated that every second of their airtime costs him money, so if he plays my songs it's actually money out of his pocket because he is paying CRTC for airtime. He explained that there are other artists who are paying him to play their music and if he plays mine he would lose out on that money, so he couldn't do me the favour of playlisting my music.
6056 He explained to me that music should be advertised on his station and in turn he could start playing my music. He would run a few ads throughout the day and play a few of my songs. This lost airtime cost would be covered by my advertising.
6057 Then he explained that I would also need to start requesting my own songs. So it wasn't enough that I was supposed to be paying him to play my songs, but he also wanted me to create demand for them as well.
6058 Now, this makes sense now as I can see the scheme, but at the time, with a newly released CD, I was running around doing things on the fly. After all the explanation I was not willing to pay the $1000, it did not make sense to me because I could get more bang for my buck worldwide advertising on the Internet rather than a Surrey station.
6059 I declined Kulwinder's advertising proposal on the spot and my music was already on other stations locally and worldwide. My video was also being played worldwide as well, without me paying anyone anything at all.
6060 He quickly explained another way that I could start getting airplay on RED-FM, because he was a friend of mine he would do me a favor by moving my product so other people could hear it. My CD could get into more hands. He told me that I could drop off 100 copies of my CD to Ravi Video, where he ran his distribution for Music Waves. He would sell the CDs at his shop and to other retailers for wholesale and then they would start playing my music on RED-FM.
6061 I agreed to this scheme, again oblivious to the fact that it was a payola scheme with Kulwinder not getting his hands dirty. The money we would lose by playing me was being made up through his distribution as he had explained and it was a wash for him but a win/win situation for both of us.
6062 I personally dropped off 100 CDs at Ravi Video where Baljinder Sanghera, Kulwinder's nephew, received them. He asked why I was dropping off so many as they already had copies at the video shop. Kulwinder hadn't spoken to him, so I explained that Kulwinder told me to drop them off so they can start playing my music on RED-FM. Then he understood and had no objection, so it obviously wasn't the first time they had done it.
6063 The next day my music started playing on RED-FM, but I still felt ripped off. I could not afford to lose out on the money being created by the CDs.
6064 I have never released anything myself before that album, so it was all new to me. I didn't know how SOCAN worked, how they collected money, but I also didn't know how CRTC worked and how airtime was given out. Since I trusted Kulwinder, I bought into the fact that he was paying for his airtime to the CRTC, but it just didn't seem right.
6065 I followed up with CRTC in downtown Vancouver to look into how much airtime cost for broadcasters. They provided me with information that applicants receive. I explained my situation to the CRTC employee, he stated that this is a payola scheme and I should file an official complaint with the CRTC. However, out of fear of retribution, I left the situation as is.
6066 A couple of years later a CD was releasing with a song I had worked on, so I made three envelopes for their hosts and I dropped it off to RED-FM. They have no submissions, rules or procedures available anywhere and from my experience you just give your stuff to whoever you know there.
6067 The hosts never got the submissions. I was shocked to later learn that the busy CEO of RED-FM, Kulwinder Sanghera, took time out of his busy schedule to intercept my envelopes. I spoke to host Harjinder Thind, he simply told me he did not receive the material. I called another host, Baljinder Atwal, who told me that he could not play the track because it was a matter of promotions. I explained to him I was not interested in advertising the track, I just wanted to submit it for play on their station. He said he couldn't play the song until Kulwinder personally cleared it.
6068 This is the issue, they would not playlist the track until I spoke to Kulwinder regarding promoting the song. My viewpoint is, "Just don't play it then", but they were trying to get me to come in and pressure advertising money out of me, basically getting my money for airplay. This really got to me.
6069 Kulwinder had already done this to me when I had released my own album. I was not willing to do it for someone else's album. He takes advantage of Canadian artists because RED-FM is the largest station in the area and people want to have their music played to the largest audience available. Because of this, Kulwinder knows he can charge unknowing artists to be aired. He may not do it as an under-the-table cash payment, but has a very elaborate payola scheme set up using all three of his companies.
6070 I vividly remember the conversation we had for two reasons. First of all, I lost all respect for Kulwinder that day. Secondly, I ended up following up with CRTC about the facts that Mr. Sanghera presented to me.
6071 I recently released a single at the end of --
6072 THE SECRETARY: Pardon me, Mr. Mann, you have one minute remaining. Thank you.
6073 MR. MANN: -- at the end of August, I didn't get air -- I did end up getting airplay because one of their hosts asked for the song. I did not submit it myself because I was not willing to get extorted for my money to play my own music.
6074 As a Canadian artist, we need more avenues and outlets for music. Introducing a new station in Surrey would be beneficial to everyone, including South Asian Broadcasting. I believe they would be more accountable to the community, the artist and hopefully to themselves. They are scared of competition and know they will also lose out on the power they have against local artists.
6075 The CRTC is currently dealing with monopolization of wireless market, please don't create another monopoly situation which you will have to deal with later.
6076 South Asian Broadcasting is good at making a nice front to the community and no doubt they have raised money, however, the general public doesn't know about their unethical ways, favouring their own Music Waves music and holding real Canadian artists back.
6077 The media has major power over people and their choices and, in my opinion, South Asian Broadcasting is in the business of brainwashing the public and extorting Canadian artists.
6078 Thank you.
6079 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Commissioner Simpson...?
6080 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you, Mr. Mann. It's frustrating getting interrupted in midstride, it's sort of like getting a Grammy and then having the orchestra start to play you off halfway through your acceptance speech.
6081 A lot of stuff on the table here. You had in your presentation said that among the things that you didn't know because, you know, I presumed that as an artist you put most of your attention to learning how to be an artist and develop product and, you know, that's your job.
6082 MR. MANN: Right.
6083 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: You are not a regulatory lawyer and the like. But you had also said that you didn't know a lot then, you know, when all this started about the CRTC. And, you know, I'm going to sort of add to that knowledge a little bit before I go on.
6084 One of the things that we do during a radio hearing is that it is a process that by nature has to be a little selective because -- you probably heard us bringing a lot of the interveners this morning back on track because, you know, our concern was that in that part of the process we -- and I'm not eating up your time, this is my time.
6085 MR. MANN: Yes.
6086 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: But a lot of the interveners, you know, what we try to do is contain them to not polishing their apple but making sure that they were intervening for whatever merits against other applications, because we wanted to hear the point/counterpoint.
6087 So the way these hearings work is that we have to be quite selective and everything that goes on the record we will deal with, but a lot of stuff will fall outside of the scope of what we can do as a body.
6088 MR. MANN: Right.
6089 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: You know, for example, your references to payola for example, it touches our jurisdiction, but not in the way that you might hope it would because, you know, this isn't a court of law.
6090 We are a regulatory body. And so I don't know what satisfaction you're going to get other than the satisfaction of having all this laundry hung out on the line, which we have allowed you to do.
6091 MR. MANN: Well, I -- yeah, like, I wasn't going to go through with legal proceedings or anything like that. I don't have the resources to do so. I mean, I -- at the time I -- I could have taken action, but, like I said, I wasn't -- because of fear of the company I did not take any action at that time.
6092 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Obviously that fear doesn't exist anymore.
6093 MR. MANN: It's still there.
6094 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I was struggling as I was bouncing through all of your documentation because there's a lot of stuff here. I just want to sort of set the table again. From what I understand you're saying, as an artist in good faith you recorded some product that qualifies under the Canadian content MAPL system.
6095 MR. MANN: Right.
6096 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: In good faith you took it to an outlet, a broadcasting outlet that we regulate, and there were -- and that's where the road sort of goes into two avenues because one, as I understand it, was the intent of getting it played on the radio station --
6097 MR. MANN: Right.
6098 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- which we are interested in. Although we don't tell a station what to broadcast, we're more interested in the category of that content.
6099 MR. MANN: And I wasn't expecting that they would.
6100 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
6101 MR. MANN: It was just here is my submission. In my e-mail, I was just asking him --
6102 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
6103 MR. MANN: -- how to submit my music. In my past experience with them, he had asked me to drop off a hundred CDs at his video shop, but --
6104 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: You're getting ahead of me here.
6105 MR. MANN: Sorry.
6106 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I'm still on one.
6107 MR. MANN: Okay.
6108 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: You're going down the other road.
6109 MR. MANN: Yeah.
6110 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: The -- so you had two intents and one -- I'm not saying they both happened at the same time, but you had two reasons to talk to Red FM and to Mr. Sanghera. One was to solicit airplay for your product on that radio station that he's an employee, I guess, and owner of, and the other -- not necessarily that it happened both at the same time, but the other intent for engaging him was to try and get a commercial relationship going with his record label?
6111 MR. MANN: That was before this radio --
6112 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
6113 MR. MANN: -- thing happened. It was -- I had approach him earlier.
6114 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
6115 MR. MANN: But once it was decided that I would releasing this myself, that's where the conversation about the radio started, right.
6116 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. In doing my job, Mr. Sanghera, you know, has not made it a secret that he operates a record publishing business, I guess.
6117 MR. MANN: Yeah.
6118 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So that was not new information to you? You knew he was a publisher of music product?
6119 MR. MANN: Yeah, for sure, but I think one of the things that -- that is is that they are -- they are operating Red FM but at the same time they're operating Music Waves. And as -- as that statement from Shivangi --
6120 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
6121 MR. MANN: -- in the video, she was an employee of theirs, hired by Red FM, but one of her duties was to register Music Waves songs --
6122 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
6123 MR. MANN: -- with SOCAN. And --
6124 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
6125 MR. MANN: -- she knew about the airplay, and she -- she had mentioned in a conversation to me as well that if they knew that this SOCAN sweep was coming, because ethnic stations are sweeped once every quarter, I think, or something like that --
6126 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: It's something like that.
6127 MR. MANN: -- that all of a sudden the playlist would change to completely Music Waves, as much as possible Music Waves' product. So -- so they were registering it at the Red FM office through SOCAN and then they were playing their own music.
6128 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. So is it -- going down the other road now. So is it your position -- because I'm trying to re-clarify everything because it was -- it's quite a lot of stuff here -- that you weren't going to get airplay on the radio station unless you signed a deal with the publishing company, is that what you're saying?
6129 MR. MANN: No, no. He has -- there was -- there was three companies involved here. There's Red FM --
6130 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
6131 MR. MANN: -- there's Music Waves --
6132 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
6133 MR. MANN: -- and then there's Ravi Video. They're all interrelated. I have included some of those documents. Because if you look the records, their addresses and everything match up. Like, I mean --
6134 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay, yeah.
6135 MR. MANN: -- whatever, right?
6136 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
6137 MR. MANN: But what ended up happening was he -- he was telling me that he's paying CRTC money for air time.
6138 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: CRTC?
6139 MR. MANN: Yes, CRTC charges him for air time. There are other artists paying him ...
6140 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: (indiscernible) Okay.
6141 MR. MANN: There are other artists paying him for airplay as well.
6142 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Right.
6143 MR. MANN: So if he gave -- like, if he just playlisted me without me giving him anything --
6144 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: He has a cost.
6145 MR. MANN: He's got a cost and --
6146 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And he wanted that cost to be paid in product?
6147 MR. MANN: Well, it was either advertising fees or I could give him a hundred CDs at his video shop, drop those off, which I did.
6148 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
6149 MR. MANN: And then they would start --
6150 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So you think you had a deal. You had a deal and then everything would start to fall into place that -- you know, what did you think --
6151 MR. MANN: My -- my --
6152 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- those hundred CS were buying --
6153 MR. MANN: No, my --
6154 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- you?
6155 MR. MANN: Air time.
6156 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
6157 MR. MANN: My understanding is I dropped off a hundred CDs for air time.
6158 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So your position is the two -- the two issues are tied?
6159 MR. MANN: Yes.
6160 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And it's tied through a payment to him, what you deemed as a payment.
6161 MR. MANN: Right.
6162 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: What -- in reading through the e-mails, could -- it's not uncommon for a broadcaster to ask for copies of -- of a product more than one. And so there's no doubt in your mind that --
6163 MR. MANN: Oh, no.
6164 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- that asking you for a hundred copies of a CD wouldn't be --
6165 MR. MANN: As it would --
6166 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- a promotional requirement of the station?
6167 MR. MANN: No, no, no, not at all because, as it was explained to me, to cover the cost that he was losing out on -- on Red FM, I was dropping -- I was dropping off CDs at his video shop so he could --
6168 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah. Okay.
6169 MR. MANN: -- generate revenue at his video shop and then he wouldn't worry about the money he's losing in this company.
6170 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
6171 MR. MANN: He's making it in this company.
6172 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Can I just bounce over to another statement you made in your -- one of your documents, that you had at one time -- and I gather it was a couple of years ago, that you had engaged a CRTC staffer for advice, and the CRTC staffer, according to this, had told you that it was a blatant example of payola?
6173 MR. MANN: He said it seems like a payola scheme to me; you might want to --
6174 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Without naming names, was that meeting held in person, on the phone, written?
6175 MR. MANN: I was actually just downtown and I went to the CRTC office. I didn't make an appointment or anything like that. I walked into the office.
6176 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
6177 MR. MANN: I just explained it to him. And --
6178 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
6179 MR. MANN: -- he had just told me that this sounds like a payola scheme --
6180 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
6181 MR. MANN: -- so you should be filing an actual complaint, official complaint with the CRTC.
6182 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And here you are.
6183 MR. MANN: Now I'm here, yes.
6184 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
6185 Because, as I indicated, you know, there are issues that we will take under advisement, you know, the substance of this hearing is to hear interventions against why we shouldn't issue a license or should issue a license to an applicant, but this isn't the forum for getting into the nitty-gritty of this; you understand that?
6186 MR. MANN: I understand.
6187 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: But you're on the record.
6188 The other thing I'd like to ask you before I turn the mike back to the Chair is with respect to the industry as a whole, I gather you have -- we've heard that there is -- there are not enough offerings to the South Asian market of music broadcasters. I think out of the five or six stations two are -- some are totally dedicated to programming music.
6189 MR. MANN: Even if they are dedicated to programming music --
6190 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
6191 MR. MANN: -- the type of content, Canadian content that is produced here by people like me that are born here is not covered by any of these stations. It's all traditional stuff from India.
6192 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
6193 MR. MANN: Even I'll say on, let's say Red FM, they'll play certain artists that used to live in Surrey maybe --
6194 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
6195 MR. MANN: -- but they don't count for Canadian content. Just because the person may still be a Canadian citizen, their music is produced in India, the lyrics were written by somebody --
6196 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
6197 MR. MANN: -- a foreign national. So --
6198 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
6199 MR. MANN: -- it doesn't constitute part of the MAPL and it's not Canadian content.
6200 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: It's not a perfect system.
6201 MR. MANN: Right.
6202 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Celine Dion doesn't quite often qualify. It's messy. But anyway, where I'm going with this is is it for that the reason that you didn't feel that while you had the opportunity to get our attention that you wanted to speak on behalf of any of the applicants? Is this the reason why?
6203 MR. MANN: Pardon me?
6204 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Is this the reason why -- your explanation to my question, the reason why in addition to speaking against one of the applicants that you didn't feel that any of the other applicants were worth your endorsement? Because of that --
6205 MR. MANN: You know what, I don't -- yeah, I don't -- honestly --
6206 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- lack of playing of your product?
6207 MR. MANN: I honestly don't -- I'm not backing anybody. I honestly don't care who gets the station, but I do think that we do need more avenues for the type of music we are creating.
6208 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
6209 MR. MANN: But at the same time, I didn't do an intervention against any other station --
6210 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
6211 MR. MANN: -- because I know where to submit the music. I drop it off. I've never had an issue with anybody. They play my music. And I don't ask them how many times they -- how many times they've played it. Even if they play it once or if they don't play it, that's completely up to them.
6212 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
6213 MR. MANN: I don't get into it with them, but this situation here is a bit different, right?
6214 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Well, Mr. Mann, you're on the record. I appreciate your forthrightness in coming forward. It's appreciated. And I'm done, thank you.
6215 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner Simpson.
6216 Do you produce music in English or in Punjabi?
6217 MR. MANN: It's been all Punjabi.
6218 THE CHAIRPERSON: Punjabi. Okay.
6219 Just for the record, I think Commissioner Shoan has a question, but we don't charge people for -- the Commission doesn't charge people for air time. Maybe they should.
6220 MR. MANN: I figured that out, yeah.
6221 THE CHAIRPERSON: They do impose regulatory burdens upon broadcasters, such as Canadian development, investments in CCD, Canadian Content Development, but that's part of the quid pro quo for using public airways for private profit. Just to make that clear to everyone in the room.
6222 Commissioner Shoan.
6223 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: I'm very happy the Chair made that clear to everyone because it was something I was going to say as well.
6224 I just have one question for you, Mr. Mann. In terms of the remedy you're seeking here, the relief, what is it you're hoping will be the end result? You -- is it your hope that Red FM will play more independent music?
6225 MR. MANN: Well, I hope they do, but I think -- I think in this -- at the end of it I would say that we do need more -- they need competition on FM stations against Red FM.
6226 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: M'hmm.
6227 MR. MANN: It would benefit everybody. Them. It would benefit Red FM themselves. They would be more accountable, I think, to the community, to the artists and to themselves perhaps. And as well as if there was another station, people like me would have more avenues to get our music out there and, you know, collect some royalties and that sort of thing.
6228 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. So in the context of this proceeding, your position is the market can sustain another South Asian station and, in fact, we should pursue the licensing of one?
6229 MR. MANN: Yes.
6230 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you.
6231 MR. MANN: At least a mixed one.
6232 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, sir.
6233 MR. MANN: Thank you.
6234 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6235 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you.
6236 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madame la secétaire.
6237 THE SECRETARY: Thank you. We will now proceed with the presentation by Pyara Lotay, who is appearing by teleconference.
6238 Mr. Lotay, do you hear me?
6239 MR. LOTAY: Yeah, I do.
6240 THE SECRETARY: Perfect. You may begin your presentation and you have 10 minutes. Thank you.
6241 MR. LOTAY: You're welcome.
6242 Good afternoon, Mr. Chairperson --
--- Technical difficulties
6243 MR. LOTAY: My name is Pyara Singh Lo --
--- Technical difficulties
6244 MR. LOTAY: Kamloops, B.C.
6245 THE SECRETARY: Mr. Lotay, if you could just hold on for one moment. We're having technical difficulties.
--- Technical difficulties
6246 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is there a broadcast engineer in the house? Sorry, that was a bad joke.
6247 MR. LOTAY: Hello?
6248 THE CHAIRPERSON: Go ahead, sir.
6249 MR. LOTAY: Good afternoon. My name is Pyara Lotay and I'm calling from Kamloops in British Columbia.
6250 My submission is being made on behalf of the substantial population of Canadians of non-European origin who live north and east of Hope, British Columbia, what is commonly called an area outside the Lower Mainland. They live in cities as far north as Fort St. John and as far east as Sparwood, British Columbia. They have no ethnic radio service available other than through internet.
6251 Radio has played a very significant role in the development of our nation and prior to the advent of television it was the media that all Canadians listened to and that was a way they felt included in the family. Television has replaced radio in our living rooms but when we travel radio is still our common link and connection with Canada.
6252 Over the years the Canadian population has become diverse and it is now important that people have access to radio services not only in English and French, which to some people are also ethnic, but also in other languages. This submission is to support the applications of all three South Asian programs: namely, Red FM 93.1, submitted by South Asian Broadcasting Corporation; AM 1550, submitted by Sher-E-Punjab Radio, Broadcasting Incorporated, and AM 1200, I.T. Productions Limited. All these stations currently broadcast Asian and ethnic programming to communities in the Lower Mainland.
6253 Radio is a media that is most heard when people travel in cars or vehicles. It is also heard in home receivers, but the predominant audience listen to these while travelling. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that reception is appropriate for the users. It is regretted that CRTC do not take into account the provincial needs of the citizens and license does not seem to recognize that people outside the Lower Mainland in B.C. are also a part of the listening population and repeaters are seldom provided. This has to be corrected.
6254 The majority of the people in the Interior and Northern parts of B.C. have no access to ethnic radio and can only listen to these through internet. As previously said, in the majority people listen to radio while in cars. So people outside the Lower Mainland cannot listen to ethnic radio broadcasting. There is a considerable population of Canadians and of Asian and non-European origin who live in Kamloops, Kelowna, Prince George and other population centres in the Interior and Northern B.C. They can only listen to these three stations when they have, in fact, arrived in the area in the vicinity of Langley because prior to that the signals are just too weak to receive. There is no adequate arrangement to cater for the needs of this fallout community. We support that they be allowed to up-- we support the application of these three stations and ask that they be allowed to upgrade their equipment and thereby provide a signal to listeners over the whole of the Lower Mainland so that everybody can have access to these broadcasts. This is essential to keep the Canadian mosaic in harmony and be complete. We would also like these stations to be given the opportunity and directive to provide repeaters in all major cities in the Interior and in Northern B.C. Technologically it's a fairly simple thing to do and we feel that any excuses to say that equipment is not available would be looked down as poor excuses.
6255 In the past we in the Interior have made petitions to Shaw Cable and other service providers, but the services have gradually been discontinued. As a result, communities in the Interior now feel that they are no longer considered an essential part of the B.C. community. They are considered and treated as step-children.
6256 Members of the CRTC decision-making panel, we request you to consider this situation and make your decision to ensure that all in B.C. are included. Humans need associations once their requirements for food and shelter are satisfied. The availability of these broadcasts will ensure that we are kept informed and we are able to enjoy the cultural aspects in a country that is considered a leader in providing for all their citizens in every aspect of life. Many thanks and my best wishes to all those listening.
6257 Thank you.
6258 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, sir.
6259 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Mr. Lotay, thank you very much for your submission. This is Commissioner Simpson speaking. I'm the B.C. and Yukon commissioner for the CRTC.
6260 Yours was a very coherent and reasonable and rational presentation, and I commend you for that.
6261 Now I'll swing things over to my life and why things are perhaps not happening the way you deem they should.
6262 The Commission hears applications from commercial broadcasters, and I know this is going to sound like a stock answer, but it really is based on how we work as a Commission. We hear what's put before us. And if a broadcaster comes before us with an application that has the appetite for distributing its signals throughout the province with a series of repeaters, we will listen to it. It's being done with Aboriginal broadcasting; it's being done with the public broadcaster, and to a certain extent, but not often, it's done with public broadcasters, particularly in areas of difficult receptivity. You know, I'm thinking up in the Purcell mountain ranges and parts of the Okanagan Valley.
6263 What seems to limit the appetite of a commercial broadcaster to making an application for repeaters is cost. There's not a -- there's not a quotient of investment and return, and it's really not in our wheelhouse as a commission, we don't have the regulatory authority to impose that on a broadcaster except in instances where it's supported by the Broadcast Act, such as Aboriginal broadcasting, or the public broadcaster. So there's kind of where we start with this conversation. Would you like to comment on that, sir?
6264 MR. LOTAY: Yes. I think if the broadcasters were able to broadcast the signal to the Interior, they will find that the advertising revenue would also be augmented by businesses who will have access to those vehicles for advertising. And I -- and I feel that it is -- it is -- it would be a boom to everybody and bring economic benefits to broadcasters as well as businessmen throughout the community if we were able to do that.
6265 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And I would agree with you. Again, our own Act and our own regulations in the Commission get in the way of that happening. We are pretty dogmatic about broadcasters being allowed -- we not only dictate the coverage area once it's been applied for but we have rules with respect to how a broadcaster can sell into a local market. And it's not -- it's really counter to the existing policy, that were written admittedly before the technology that we have today was invented, that a broadcaster, for example, in Vancouver cannot sell their services in a market like Kelowna. It just doesn't work that way right now. Perhaps it should, but it doesn't. What you have, like, the internet itself, is a technology that's running way ahead of any concept of regulating it, let alone any government that ever would.
6266 But what I do find interesting, and I will look into it, is that, yes, most radio stations broadcast through streaming, although streaming isn't mobile, at least not yet. It's coming because car manufacturers are looking at having internet on board -- another distraction for the driver, I guess -- but -- and also portable devices, cell phones within the next two years are going to start becoming radio receivers and probably do for radio what the transistor radio did in the '60s and that will make wireless devices help broadcasting be more mobile. But the thing that really got my attention, and I will look into it, is with respect to distribution of signal by cable distributors. Because I agree with you, I think as they're dealing with more and more television content on their system, their radio distribution is taking a beating and I think a lot of signals are being taken off of distribution. And I'm not quite sure what our regulatory authority is in that area, but I'll make it my business to find out.
6267 Is there anything else, sir, that -- that you want to add before the time -- before the clock runs out?
6268 MR. LOTAY: That they should, in their own interests and in the interests of the community as a whole, look into how they can pursue my thoughts and try and get signals to people who are far north and far east. And -- you know, and if they -- if they can, they should bring proposals forward at possible future CRTC hearings and then maybe we'll over a year or so start getting some signals.
6269 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And I couldn't agree with you more, sir.
6270 I was telling my fellow commissioners over lunch that the South Asian population goes back 120 years in this province, particularly you know, today in the forest industry and other endeavours. So your point is well taken.
6271 Thank you very much.
6272 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, sir.
6273 Madame le Secrétaire?
6274 THE SECRETARY: Thank you. I would now ask Rashpal Singh Bhardwaj to come forward.
6275 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great. I think we're ready.
6276 MR. BHARDWAJ: (Off mic)
6277 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, sir. You have to turn your mike on.
6278 MR. BHARDWAJ: Good afternoon. Thank you, Chairperson and Commissioners.
6279 I am going to read my statement.
6280 I am Rashpal Bhardwaj, resident of Surrey, British Columbia, intervener regarding subject matter mentioned above.
6281 I feel concerned about the subject because the radio working on behalf of Indo-Canadian community are not fair to the minority communities, the one to which I belong. The broad facts are as below.
6282 India is notorious because of its caste system. It is divided into various castes based on graded inequality and the most exploited of them are ex-untouchables, now called the Dalits. They are discriminated against in every way. The Indians who have migrated to the foreign countries such as Great Britain, United States, and Canada have carried this mental baggage with them and they try to put down the Dalits living in these countries whenever possible.
6283 The United Nations has also recognized caste at par with race discrimination. The United Kingdom has passed a law to prohibit discrimination based on caste. Exhibit A is attached.
6284 That this disease is also prevalent amongst Indo-Canadian community is clear from an article which appeared in the daily "Province" of B.C. dated October 10, 2013. See Exhibit 2 -- Exhibit B, sorry.
6285 The facts and arguments given are so important that even the press owned by Indo-Canadian community reproduced the contents of the article with positive comments.
6286 We, the Dalits living in Lower Mainland, are very disturbed by the news and views broadcast over the radios run by the Indo-Canadian community, especially radios such as South Asian Broadcasting Corporation, RED FM 93.1; Radio Sher E Punjab, 1550 AM.
6287 The Indo-Canadian community is divided into various castes. They are dominated by the Jatt Sikh community. They broadcast news and views mostly of the Jatt Sikh community to the exclusion of the Dalit community.
6288 All their broadcasts are about their own politics, culture and religion. They give little or no time to religious and political activities of the Dalit community like the celebration of their gurus such as Guru Ravidass, Guru Kabir, Guru Rishi Balmik, Guru Namdev or the procession or parades taken out by Dalit community or activities of their political parties such as Republican Party of India and Bhujan Samaj Party (BSP).
6289 There are some news that are attached with this application. If they broadcast any news -- if they broadcast any news or views about the Dalit community it is of a negative nature. For example, they will criticise the Dalit leaders such as Dr. Ambedkar, Babu Kanshi Ram or Mayawati. They insist on calling Dalit Guru as Bhagats or Bhaee, not as Gurus as they do for their own religious founders.
6290 When we ask for time to speak on the radios even on occasions special to us, they refuse saying that they have no spare time. The reality is they make money from ads and do not consider community awakening as their duty. Even when we try to speak on their radios as ordinary listeners they cut us off as in the middle as they do not like our views ventilated on their radios.
6291 The songs relayed on the radios are about the bravado of Sikh Jatts only which are indirectly insulting the lower castes. These songs are discriminatory on a caste basis. These songs promote segregation on a caste basis and glorify violence.
6292 Most of these songs also degrade women in general and low-caste women in particular. It is felt that even the criminal activities prevalent amongst Indo-Canadians, Sikh youths of the Lower Mainland are due to the violence glorified on the radios through songs. A recent line I quoted here, "Western music is not focused on caste system".
6293 The whole Dalit community has been feeling agitated over this and because of their organizations' support for this petition, apart from the individuals who have signed the petition.
6294 It is therefore requested that while granting permission for such radios or giving them additional frequencies, you may like to take an undertaking from the organizations and the individuals owning these radios that they give fair treatment to the Dalits and other minority communities.
6295 My dear Honours, there's letters of support from (indiscernible) of Vancouver City of Dalit (indiscernible). The pageant is also present here (indiscernible) and its society of Canada is the (indiscernible) over here too. I request to Your Honours that we have signed the petition around three -- approximately 350 people which considered these happening in our community.
6296 So that's all.
6297 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, sir.
6298 Just an issue and you didn't raise it. In terms of depositing the petition, the 28th of November was the last date for interventions to be filed with the Commission, and given the fact that you are beyond delay, the Panel adjudicated this issue and decided that we would not be accepting your petition given that it would be unfair to everyone in the process who had to respect the deadline, okay? But we noted that there is a petition.
6299 We heard what you have to say today.
6300 MR. BHARDWAJ: I guess -- I called before -- I confirmed intervener. I talked to Mrs. Ventura that we want to submit the petition on the day of the hearing.
6301 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, I understand that. But I don't know who you spoke to -- who you did speak to, but unfortunately November 28th was the last day for depositing.
6302 And the Commission -- the Panel has decided. So we cannot accept the petition per se. But we understand there is a petition.
6303 MR. BHARDWAJ: Yeah.
6304 THE CHAIRPERSON: We respect that fact. Unfortunately we're two months beyond the delay, okay? Sorry about that.
6305 MR. BHARDWAJ: Okay, well, we just give a message.
6306 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah. No, I understand that and it's noted. We understand that and it's noted. We appreciate your contribution today.
6307 MR. BHARDWAJ: Thank you.
6308 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Shoan will have some questions for you.
6309 Go ahead, sir.
6310 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Hello, thank you for being here today.
6311 Yesterday, Sher-E-Punjab came before us. And I recognize from your submission that this is the 1550 AM signal, one of the broadcasters that concerns you in terms of their presentation of your community. They came before us yesterday indicating that they had individually signed a CAB code of ethics, signed a commitment to adhere to the CAB code of ethics.
6312 So given that they have signed this ethics -- now, the code of ethics which I'm not sure if you're aware of, it's administered by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council and it contains provisions with respect to the full fair and proper presentation of issues including those on talk formats. It has provisions with respect to the controversial public issues and how they are discussed. There is even segments with respect to religious programming.
6313 My suggestion to you, given that the Sher-E-Punjab has been very vocal and public about their adherence to this code of ethics from the CAB, is to perhaps re-engage them on this issue to discuss the full fair and proper presentation of issues respecting your community and to see if they will be more willing to engage on the issues given that they have now signed a document indicating that they will adhere to these codes of ethics.
6314 MR. BHARDWAJ: Well, I'm not aware of that. I guess that I have some documents for that that they have all news from the Punjab in India, but they never broadcast any Dalit news.
6315 This is that, my statement.
6316 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, thank you very much.
6317 MR. BHARDWAJ: Thank you.
6318 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Shoan.
6319 Commissioner Simpson has a question for you, sir.
6320 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Mr. Bhardwaj, I very much appreciate your coming forward today. And my question has to do with the Dalit population globally. There is a Dalit Freedom Network that exists and this issue that you're bringing up reminds me very much of the Falun Gong within China.
6321 What I found interesting was that their solution was to collectively organize globally, using technologies so that their voice could be heard through their own organization if they couldn't get an audience or airtime on other types of broadcasters.
6322 Could you tell me if the Dalit Christian organization has such a national or international communication effort?
6323 MR. BHARDWAJ: I believe there are no -- any kind of radio stations and any kind of TV. Even, I believe, in India it has not too much too.
6324 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: But what about print?
6325 MR. BHARDWAJ: What?
6326 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: What about print publications? I mean --
6327 MR. BHARDWAJ: There is no print. I started before a couple -- two years ago -- but it is closed. Some financial problems.
6328 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So essentially there is no communication that you can use?
6329 MR. BHARDWAJ: Yes.
6330 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you. Internet?
6331 MR. BHARDWAJ: Internet? Yeah, we watch some internet. That's why we bring this news on the internet.
6332 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
6333 MR. BHARDWAJ: We just -- some up on Facebook. We tried.
6334 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you could put forward your message through sort of webcasts and podcasts?
6335 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: We're trying to understand what outlets you have within your control right now.
6336 MR. SANDI: May I speak of it?
6337 MR. BHARDWAJ: Yes, please.
6338 MR. SANDI: Good afternoon.
6339 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Introduce yourself, please
6340 MR. SANDI: My name is Kulwant Sandi. Actually, I'm a friend of him.
6341 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
6342 MR. SANDI: So I would like to say a few words.
6343 Actually, there is no such thing as Dalit media, audio or otherwise in Canada. There could be in India but so far in Canada there is none.
6344 We are not here against any radio stations or for. All we are saying is that we are part of the Indo-Canadian community and I think this radio station have a duty that they represent fairly, equally all the communities, regardless of what their backgrounds they are and what language they speak. That's why we're here.
6345 Mr. Sanghera we actually sent our grievance to. Anyhow, Mr. Sanghera found out that we were going to be speaking here and he did set a meeting last night with us. He did accept actually there are problems in the community. We need to work collectively together.
6346 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Good.
6347 MR. SANDI: And he took that responsibility. I thank on that.
6348 Otherwise, there is issues on the radios we need to correct, especially the songs that are being played over and over again. A lot of them do have a violent content in them which is not appropriate to be played on air or otherwise on TV. The message that are being relayed is not a good one to the younger generation or otherwise.
6349 And as far as the equal opportunity and fairness, I think if these radio stations do their due diligence and recognize that it could also exist here and do its programs with something for them that would be appreciated.
6350 Like I said, we're not here to criticize any radio stations who do get it or not get it. We are just simply here to put our case here.
6351 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: That's understood.
6352 MR. SANDI: Yeah.
6353 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you very much. We appreciate you coming forward.
6354 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Mr. Bhardwaj made a compelling case for the inclusion of the Dalit community.
6355 MR. BHARDWAJ: M'hmm.
6356 THE CHAIRPERSON: And from what I understand your intervention here is already paying dividends given that you had --
6357 MR. SANDI: Thank you.
6358 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- yesterday.
6359 MR. SANDI: Thanks.
6360 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you so much.
6361 Madam la Secrétaire.
6362 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
6363 We will now proceed with the interveners in support of the applications for this portion of the hearing. Interveners will be called up by applicant as a group where applicable in the order listed in the revised Agenda. Each intervener will have five minutes to present and each presentation will be followed by questions from the Panel, if any.
6364 So I would now invite the Councillor of the City of Surrey, Mr. Tom Gill, Surrey Cares, the Surrey Foundation and South Surrey White Rock Chamber of Commerce to come forward.
6365 MR. GILL: Thank you.
6366 Mr. Chair, Commissioners, good afternoon and welcome to the City of Surrey. Before I speak about why I support the application for a new English-language station to serve Surrey, let me tell you a little bit about Surrey and about myself.
6367 My name again is Tom Gill. I have been a city councillor here in Surrey for now eight and a half years. I serve on a number of committees and I have a particular interest in transportation, finance, crime reduction, homelessness and job creation.
6368 Surrey is geographically the largest municipality in Canada and soon to be the most populated city in British Columbia. In fact, we're three times the size of Vancouver in land mass.
6369 It is one of the most diverse cities in the world. Almost 44 percent of Surrey residents were born outside of Canada and 94 percent speak and understand English. There are at least three South Asian radio stations located in Surrey catering to 22 percent of Punjabi residents.
6370 In addition there are three other stations located in the Greater Vancouver Area which serves Surrey's South Asian population.
6371 During Surrey's Vaisakhi celebration this year -- and again it's one of the largest events in the world -- there was very limited coverage in terms of any mainstay media.
6372 Currently, there is no committee news coverage. There is no local traffic coverage. There is no local arts, no local culture. There is very limited community events and coverages in terms of any stations in terms of not speaking in English.
6373 Vancouver radio stations cover the Surrey area to some extent but the coverage is secondary to Vancouver. While our population is growing we only represent about one-quarter of the Greater Vancouver Regional District. Therefore, Vancouver stations have a much larger area to cover and are unable to cover many community events and celebrations in detail.
6374 Let me be very clear. Surrey is not Vancouver. While Surrey is made up of residents from diverse cultures, they have many things in common. Most speak English well enough to live and work in Surrey. They along with our residents must deal with day to day issues of travelling around Surrey, raising their families and working and playing in Surrey. An English-language radio station will reach out to many more residents in our city.
6375 I supported the application by South Fraser Broadcasting to devote a radio station entirely to Surrey. It is important to note that Surrey's population will exceed Vancouver's population by 2030. A locally-based station will serve the needs of this community and reflect their concerns and preferences.
6376 The South Asian community has a number of stations broadcasting in their languages. Both RED FM, CJRJ AM broadcast from Vancouver and Sher-E-Punjab Radio India and Radio Punjab are broadcasting from locations in the United States.
6377 A radio station serving all the residents of Surrey will be an important communication tool providing current information on local activities and providing a venue for local talent to be heard.
6378 I have known Mr. Badh for many years and I have found him to be a caring and compassionate individual who strives to make his community the best it can be. His vision of an English-language radio station which serves everyone is in keeping with serving a diverse community.
6379 I respectfully endorse the concept of a radio station which covers -- a radio station which serves for citizens in English and the concept put forth by Mr. Suki Badh in South Fraser Broadcasting.
6380 Thank you.
6381 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So we'll question. I wasn't sure on the format if we were going to be questioning you or maybe not.
6382 Are you aware if there are any other applications to service the Surrey area in English, Mr. Gill?
6383 MR. GILL: I understand there is three in total.
6384 THE CHAIRPERSON: And have you had a chance to look at those proposals?
6385 MR. GILL: I have in a very limited and detailed order. But I have had an opportunity to review their files very quickly.
6386 THE CHAIRPERSON: So there are the services that are before us that intend to serve the Surrey community in the English language. You're aware of that. And you haven't had a chance to look at the other applications to try and see if there are strengths and weaknesses there?
6387 MR. GILL: I had an opportunity to look at it very briefly, yes.
6388 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And would any of those services be satisfactory?
6389 MR. GILL: Well, I think the context that my comments are being made is that that really what we are looking for in Surrey is a broad service.
6390 One-third of our population is under the age of 19. One-third of our population is seniors. So really, in fact, what we are needing in the City of Surrey is a station that would be able to accommodate all the different age groups that we have.
6391 THE CHAIRPERSON: And the other English stations could not do that?
6392 MR. GILL: Based upon the proposals I'd suggest no.
6393 THE CHAIRPERSON: Any specific reason why not?
6394 MR. GILL: Well, I think that again the context of some of the other stations really was just in the music content and really the emphasis that we are looking at, or at least what I am supporting is really the people and the diversity of the people in terms of their age and demographics.
6395 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you, sir.
6396 Commissioner Simpson, I'm sorry.
6397 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: You're too far away for me to kick you under the table.
6398 Mr. Annable, can I ask you a couple of questions about the ability of the market to support an English-language Surrey station? What's interesting, and I don't question the robustness of -- if there is such a word -- of the marketplace to be able to support South Asian stations. We've got arguably five stations that are being supported right now by the community here.
6399 But with respect to an English service you've been in the business community in Rotary and Chamber of Commerce. Would you give me a little -- paint a picture for me of Surrey's ability and need to have a station that it can advertise on that is dedicated by radio to this market?
6400 MR. ANNABLE: I thought he was speaking.
6401 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: You have grey hair. You look like you're --
6402 MR. ANNABLE: No.
6403 THE CHAIRPERSON: We're throwing caution to the wind. Did you have a prior statement? You have a prior statement, I guess.
6404 MR. ANNABLE: Yes.
6405 THE CHAIRPERSON: Listen, hold that. Can you hold that thought because otherwise we're moving around and --
6406 MR. ANNABLE: I was thinking that.
6407 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- is going to start yelling at us.
6408 MR. ANNABLE: Okay, thank you.
6409 THE CHAIRPERSON: You know how these stories are.
6410 A further question for Mr. Gill?
6411 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: For Mr. Gill my question was simply I wanted to understand a bit more clearly as to why -- and you have read the other applications in this proceeding, is that correct or at least seen them?
6412 MR. GILL: I have reviewed it very briefly, yes.
6413 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. I'm just trying to understand exactly why you feel South Fraser's application would better serve the Surrey market than the other applications. They are proposing an English-language music service which is -- it's adult contemporary, gold-based adult contemporary, contemporary Triple AAA service.
6414 There are at least a couple of stations in the marketplace that have a similar music format. Over and above that there are services who have applied for a licence in this proceeding which arguably target Surrey's demographic a bit more cleanly in terms of having a combination between third-language and English-language programming to serve multiple languages and multiple -- programming multiple language formats.
6415 Can you just expand a little bit further as to why you think South Fraser's application is better than the other applicants and how it provides something new in terms of diversity in the market given the existence of the incumbent stations?
6416 MR. GILL: So Mr. Commissioner, as you're well aware that the City of Surrey has one of the most diverse populations in terms of the content of our city. That being said, I think that, really, the objective is to meet the needs of the different communities and cultures.
6417 That being said, we also have a challenge in Surrey where we have a situation where one-third of our population again is under 19 and one-third is over in terms of seniors.
6418 So the real challenge is to be able to provide a product that would appeal to all three user groups. And what I'm suggesting is that given the commitment in terms of the investment in the community and ensuring that the community matters are being dealt with, I don't believe that the -- when you're looking at an adult-oriented radio station is going to be -- meet the needs of the other two categories.
6419 In fact, I think what you need to do is you need something that's going to be exceptionally broad and that's going to appeal to the different user groups.
6420 And I do appreciate that you would have different times that would be set up, but certainly I think that the research that this group has done in terms of the demographics and who they are appealing to. And the real context, really, is the group that they are going after.
6421 And certainly they've identified the group, and then I think that they would be able to provide the specific programming to the different user groups during the day.
6422 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you.
6423 And just last question. As a City Councillor for Surrey, you're of the view that if we license the service it's preferable to license an English language service as opposed to a third language service?
6424 MR. GILL: I'm going to suggest to you it would be in English.
6425 I think that my comments, to be really frank with you, is I think that the community is very well serviced in terms of the Punjabi radio stations that are currently operating. I do see that there is a need -- overall need or a broad need in terms of Surrey.
6426 We are not Vancouver and, really, unfortunately, we are not able to articulate some of the needs and the desires that we have in the city. And I think that a Surrey-based English only station would actually serve that purpose.
6427 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: All right. Thank you for your comments.
6428 MR. GILL: Thank you.
6429 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you very much.
6430 I see you're ready to go.
6431 THE SECRETARY: I would just ask that you please introduce -- yes, I am. I would ask that you please introduce yourself for the record, and then you have five minutes for your presentation.
6432 THE CHAIRPERSON: You may not have noticed, but there is a power struggle, and she always wins.
6433 Go ahead.
6434 MR. ANNABLE: I think sitting in the meetings, I've never been through something like this before, so I think that the seriousness, obviously, and the long-term planning for this application, but my sense of humour -- and I just got this email this morning. You seem to have a sense of humour.
6435 And a friend of mine says, "Marriage is finding that special someone you want to annoy for the rest of your life", and you're married, I know. I can see it.
6436 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, I think my wife's done that.
6437 MR. ANNABLE: Okay. My name is Cliff Annable, and good afternoon, Board, members of CRTC. And I'm the Executive Director of the South Surrey White Rock Chamber of Commerce, which I'll refer to as the Chamber during the rest of this presentation, which is fairly short.
6438 The Chamber was established in 1937 to promote business and economic growth on the peninsula, the South Surrey White Rock area.
6439 The area as well as business on the peninsula has grown tremendously since then, and today, the Chamber continues to be an active voice in establishing the peninsula as an area of opportunity and economic wellbeing.
6440 In addition to providing access to resources, support and marketing opportunities necessary to facilitate a healthy business community, the Chamber initiates programs and events where local government and forms committees dedicated to proactively addressing issues of interest and concern that affect its members and the community.
6441 Through these important partnerships, the Chamber, as a collective, is able to accomplish more than individual business or community member could on their own.
6442 We work with local businesses to help support them and help them grow with local government on projects that will be helpful to both our members and the business community and larger community in general. Whether it is growth for existing business or the creation of new businesses, we believe that the success of our members helps create the success of the whole community.
6443 Job creation and spin-off businesses help create prosperity for the citizens of Surrey, South Surrey and White Rock.
6444 We believe that our business are lacking a critical element to attract customers and clients, that is, an affordable and effective radio station. Our members all sorts of advertising means to reach our community. They include flyers, newspaper advertising, outdoor and Yellow Pages and other means.
6445 We don't use radio or television as much as businesses in other communities do. The principal reason is that a Vancouver radio station and television stations are expensive. Sure, they reach a large number of people, including in Surrey, but the rates reflect their extended reach to the downtown Vancouver, West North Van, north of Fraser River, Burnaby, et cetera.
6446 In many cases, we don't want to reach those communities north of the Fraser, as they're not our customers. They don't want to make the trek across the bridges or fight Vancouver traffic, particularly when many of the stores and businesses are available in their own cities.
6447 A local Surrey radio station focused on Surrey, which includes White Rock, will give us the opportunity to zero in on the customers that matter most to us, our neighbours.
6448 As a resident of Surrey, South Surrey, White Rock for over 26 years, and I've been actively involved with Rotary, the Surrey Coast Hockey Club for many years, volunteering for a number of organizations, I'd like to have access to information and services more relevant to me.
6449 I don't need to know the traffic problem at the Lions Gate Bridge or the news about a road blockage in the British properties of Yaletown. I do want to know in detail what is happening at the border crossings and the crossroads in Surrey.
6450 I also want to hear news and discussion about things that matter to me.
6451 I've had several opportunities to discuss this proposed with Tibadh(ph) and am convinced of his commitment to the promise of a Surrey radio station.
6452 I urge to give this community, our community, its own radio station. We're the second-largest community in BC, yet we don't have one English language radio station.
6453 Thank you for your attention.
6454 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Annable. And as I mentioned earlier, there are other applicants that are putting forward an English offering. News, weather and sports, some might argue, are highly commoditized. Anyone can do them.
6455 Why specifically South Fraser and not one of the other applicants?
6456 MR. ANNABLE: I do not know, sir, the other applicants. I've had the opportunity to Mr. Badh, a number of discussions, to talk with him. I find him a gentleman that's -- a fine gentleman to work with, a fine gentleman to talk with. And I guess in business, after a while, you -- I don't know, quite honestly. They may be nice people, too. I don't know.
6457 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's a fair answer.
6458 MR. ANNABLE: Yeah.
6459 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Simpson, I think, had a question earlier.
6460 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah. Sorry I got ahead of myself. I'm quite often confronted with a group of individuals making one application for intervention.
6461 So I'll go back to my question. You've got a lot of experience through the Chamber and Rotary and your activities as a businessman. Tell me, in your opinion, why this -- an application for a Surrey radio station will be financially capable of being supported by the business community.
6462 MR. ANNABLE: Well, I think one of the things -- good question.
6463 I think that the whole South Fraser region is growing tremendously as far as area. We have the available land. I think Surrey's growing by about 1,500 people a month, and South Surrey-White Rock area is growing tremendously.
6464 In fact, the South Surrey population in 2002 was 54,000. It's now 90,000, and growing big time.
6465 There's businesses that are opened up there, and I think that if you want to advertise, like I mentioned in my speech there, you can't afford to advertise in a radio station that probably 90 percent of the market or 80 percent of the market aren't reaching. So I think the population growing, I think, would be a very viable business, quite frankly, and will be able to look after the interests of the Surrey business and the Surrey residents.
6466 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Last question.
6467 In addition to the usual suspects, which are conventional retail, what is happening in the Surrey market? And this may be a question that all of you want to touch on.
6468 But what is happening in the market with respect to service industry, professions, are we seeing migration to Surrey from Vancouver or other markets of other than retail in this market, significant migration?
6469 MR. ANNABLE: Yes, I think that the -- probably the biggest thing that people are moving from Vancouver into the South Surrey, White Rock-Surrey up to Fraser Heights, all of the city, quite frankly. And I'm involved in other areas that I have the opportunity to meet people in other parts of the city. It's not just South Surrey-White Rock.
6470 So yeah, the city itself and the valley, quite frankly, Langley, Surrey, South Surrey-White Rock area is growing big time. And I don't know where it'll end because the population -- like I said, I've been here 26 years and I've seen a big change.
6471 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: But the composition of business is changing from --
6472 MR. ANNABLE: Yes.
6473 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- just retail.
6474 MR. ANNABLE: Yes.
6475 MR. GILL: If I could add, I think that one of the advantages that the City of Surrey has is that we've got undeveloped lands and, specifically, lands that have been held for industrial purposes, so we do expect that there is going to be significant growth.
6476 In fact, Surrey is probably one of the only municipalities that has acreages that can accommodate new industry and new development.
6477 So certainly we do have significant potential and, in fact, many groups and individuals and businesses are moving out of Vancouver and relocating to Surrey just specifically to get a larger land base to operate their businesses.
6478 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Is that -- and that's showing up in a reduction in commuting traffic to employment outside of the city?
6479 MR. GILL: Absolutely. We've been seeing -- again, one of the challenges we are faced is we've got 1,200 people moving into our community each month. With that number coming in, we're also creating a significant amount of jobs, but certainly -- our ratio is improving, but certainly there is some work to do to ensure that we have one job for every -- each resident that lives in Surrey.
6480 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you.
6481 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner Simpson.
6482 Commissioner Shoan.
6483 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Just a quick question, Mr. Annable.
6484 If you would know offhand, what percentage of your membership consists of South Asian business or entrepreneurs at the Chamber of Commerce?
6485 MR. ANNABLE: Sorry?
6486 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: What percentage of your membership at the Chamber of Commerce consists of South Asian businessman or entrepreneurs? Would you happen to know?
6487 MR. ANNABLE: Growing, actually, in numbers, quite honestly. It's interesting that the population has changed in demographics both in Caucasian, if you want to call it that, South Asian, Chinese. The whole community is changing, you know. But we don't have a large percentage, but we do have some members that are of Indian-South Asian descent.
6488 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. The reason why I was asking was I wanted to know whether there was a discussion internally at the Chamber of Commerce that if there had to be a choice between an English language radio service and a third language radio service, the desire or the motivation for local businesses to advertise on one or the other, but presumably that discussion did not occur at the Chamber of Commerce?
6489 MR. ANNABLE: Probably most people that today -- they may speak Punjabi, but I would say most people -- in fact, I don't know one person of Indian descent in South Surrey that's in business doesn't speak English.
6490 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
6491 MR. ANNABLE: But I know many people are English or Caucasian, don't speak Punjabi, you know.
6492 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right.
6493 MR. ANNABLE: So I think that the reality is that people -- even the Chinese population coming in have to learn English, so English, by far, is the language spoken by business. And if you're in business in the community, you probably learn English and know English.
6494 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you very much.
6495 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner.
6496 Do we have Mr. Hector or Mr. Lawson here?
6497 MR. ROBERTS: My name is Clive Roberts. Good afternoon, Commissioners. I represent the Board of SurreyCares. I'm here on behalf of Mr. Hector, who unfortunately, has prior engagements.
6498 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
6499 MR. ROBERTS: And I'm a long-time resident of Surrey myself. If I could just address Councillor Simpson's previous question.
6500 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sure.
6501 MR. ROBERTS: I have a lot of experience with the engineering and law communities, and most of the engineering consultants were -- have traditionally been centred in Vancouver city, but many of them have opened branch offices in Surrey which are now doing as well, if not better, than the downtown offices. So we certainly have a very thriving engineering and legal community.
6502 THE CHAIRPERSON: Not surprising, given the development we see around Surrey.
6503 MR. ROBERTS: Indeed.
6504 So as I said, I'm on behalf of the -- here on behalf of the SurreyCares, a foundation which represents many, many smaller people within the Surrey community.
6505 We are a foundation which invests funds -- raises funds and invests them for the benefit of smaller -- smaller charities within Surrey. We operate exclusively within the city.
6506 And so we support many different charities of a diverse nature. These include heritage, youth, education, the arts. It's actually quite a long list.
6507 And we have a strong Board of Directors drawn from the community at large, and we have farmers, lawyers, financial planners, communication consultants on our Board.
6508 We also have a strong advisory council which provides input to us as to our general direction.
6509 And the problem we have is getting our message out to the community. And we've been -- we've historically done that through print, which has been rather ineffective, unfortunately. We need a local radio station that can reach out to everyone in the community so we can get the word out about what we're doing and who we are. And this can really only happen if the stations are broadcasting in English, of course.
6510 We like the idea of community affairs coordinator as our voice to the station and our point of contact with the station.
6511 I won't belabour the point that Surrey is a growing city, but that certainly is the case, and we have a growing diverse economy. And we also have social challenges.
6512 Unfortunately, we have homelessness, we have youth violence, youth unemployment and some other issues which I'm sure you'll read about in the news some time soon.
6513 And being a culturally diverse community with many arts and venues widely different, first of all, there are cultural events throughout the year across the city, we need a radio station that can reach out to all of us and draw us into the life of the city.
6514 The foundation believes that the Surrey Fraser Broadcasting would be an excellent choice for this new FM station, and we would be very pleased to partner with them in this regard. We believe that they can make a very strong contribution to the community in terms of its cultural and business life.
6515 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, sir.
6516 Back to the original question, you have no reason to believe that the other applicants, some of whom are offering to broadcast in English, would not be able to similarly help the community and gain the trust of fundraising foundations and businesses in the community.
6517 MR. ROBERTS: That may be the case. I don't want to speak against any applicant, but I can speak strongly in favour of South Fraser Broadcasting. They have a lot of credibility and they're known to us, and a lot of individuals have historical context with us in terms of what we do.
6518 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Suki Badh strictly, or other people involved with South Fraser?
6519 MR. ROBERTS: Him in particular, and my colleague on my right, Mr. Gill, is well known to us. We do have some good friends on Surrey Council. And the original contacts were made through Surrey Council, which I believe has a -- speaks very strongly to its credibility.
6520 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Well, thank you all so much. Really appreciate you coming down today and taking the time out of your busy schedules to address the panel.
6521 Thank you.
6522 Madame la secrétaire.
6523 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
6524 Before I continue, due to unforeseen circumstances, Mr. Manmohan Samra, who was next to appear, had to leave. The Commission has agreed to hear him tomorrow.
6525 So we will now proceed with Profound Sound and Music BC Industry Association, if they could please come forward.
6526 THE CHAIRPERSON: So we'll be taking our afternoon break after these presenters.
6527 Our court reporter has left the building. We're going to have to wait a minute.
6528 THE CHAIRPERSON: Did we lose a player? Oh, there he is. Go ahead, sir.
6529 MR. BUTLER: Hi there. I'm Darren Butler. I'm 40 years old. I grew up just outside the Surrey area.
6530 I attended a two-year radio broadcasting program at BCIT before working for a number of years in radio and television, and then I started up my events company, Profound Sound.
6531 At Profound Sound, I make it a point to be well versed in all types of music so I can drop into any scenario and play music for any crowd.
6532 These events are a mix of all ages, cultures and styles with weddings, restaurants, parties and festivals.
6533 All of this leads me to believe that I have a very strong sense of what is currently being offered musically and how it is being offered.
6534 I also feel I have my finger on the pulse of exactly what the music -- what music has an effect, and on whom.
6535 I'd like to speak directly to the music and to the format of Sky FM specifically.
6536 I can understand that if you were to just read the description of "electronic music" you might feel that this music is represented on some of the hit-focused music stations. But if you were to walk around at night in and out of clubs, restaurants and lounges, you would rarely hear music that is featured anywhere on the radio dial.
6537 There is a far more expansive world of music out there beyond Top 40 and club style hits. There is a far more mature world of music that appeals from young to people well into their fifties and sixties. After all, electronic music has been around in some format since the late sixties, and a lot of those people are still listening.
6538 I find that that existing radio stations, more and more, are pushing the boundaries of their own formats and are all jumping on the exact same music. For example, a year ago when Gotye's song "Somebody that I used to know" was big, it was a good song, but it was played on soft rock, alternative rock, top 40 and even the hard rock radio stations.
6539 On a station like SKY, even if they were playing a popular song, it would be a completely different experience.
6540 The reason is that if Sky were playing a popular music song, it would be a remixed version. What this means is that not only would you have a different experience of the song from other stations, but you could have a different experience of the song every time you heard it on the station.
6541 This is because there is not just one remix of a song. There can be one for every type of musical feeling that there is. You could have a slow, relaxed version of a song for breakfast time and a dance version of your favorite song for late on Friday night.
6542 I would liken it to jazz music where the same song can be 10 different experiences with 10 different artists, while still maintaining the core of that song.
6543 The producers and remix artists have added a new dimension to the music industry.
6544 Not only are they now accepted by the industry, but musical acts themselves line up to be remixed by the top artists in the field.
6545 But to get too focused on the remixes would be missing the point somewhat, as I know so much of the music they would feature on Sky FM would be artists not currently featured elsewhere.
6546 Of course, by now almost everybody knows Daft Punk. They cleaned up at the Grammys on the weekend, and everyone from five year olds to grandparents were grooving to their song "Get Lucky" last summer. But Daft Punk have been around for almost 20 years, and with rare exception, they have been off the radar of most radio station music directors. There are hundreds of artists like them that are rarely heard on the radio. Daft Punk are just the tip of the iceberg in a world where the laptop is the new guitar.
6547 This includes Canadian artists like Grimes, Humans, Caribou, Crystal Castles and Junior Boys and international artists like Toro y moi, Hot Chip, Tyko and Flight Facilities.
6548 Spiced with urban world beat music as well at Sky FM, this means they will include the ethnic communities without excluding anyone.
6549 This includes Canadian artists like Culture Shock, Jaguar and Rasta mike.
6550 This represents all the different cultures of the Surrey area.
6551 I know that you've not heard a lot of these names, but that's kind of the point I'm making. They should be household names.
6552 People are listening to these artists, and the numbers back that up on album sales and tickets to local shows, but not on the radio.
6553 People are listening to them on their own, on You Tube or on their Ipods, but there is no sense of community. It is all in isolation. Three people could be trying to find the music they like, all sitting close together. They could all be listening to the same song, but it's by themselves and in their headphones.
6554 IF you play the music that these people are searching for on the radio, you start to build a sense of community. You then start to bring the youth that have never listened to radio and adults that don't listen to the radio any more.
6555 Radio is where young people first start to listen to the news, and that is the first step in them getting more involved in their communities. Radio gives voice to and connects, whereas Ipods isolate.
6556 In my capacity of co-ordinating music at a multitude of varied events, I would say over 50 percent of the music I choose is not featured locally in any way. Most of this falls under the types of music that Sky would play. I get positive reactions and have people coming up and asking about the music from all races and all ages.
6557 Not only that but the Surrey area has a very strong core of talented electronic, hip hop and world music producers and artists with no outlet for their creativity locally. I know that Sky FM would give them a voice and a community as well.
6558 I feel that with Sky based in Surrey, they will maintain focus on that area and provide voice and connection to people in the fastest-growing area with the fastest-growing format of music. That music will bring people to the station, but then I know Sky will also have a talk show to address many of the local issues as well.
6559 Sky FM will bring back listeners and connect a wide range of people and a wide range of ages and cultures. I feel this is the strongest station, the most far-reaching, the most all-inclusive format to represent what the Surrey area is all about.
6560 Thank you.
6561 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Butler. Very well done.
6562 The next intervener?
6563 MR. BUTLER: You have no questions? Okay.
6564 THE CHAIRPERSON: We're going to do them both and then we'll go from there.
6565 Go on, sir.
6566 MR. D'EITH: Just so we're clear, my name is Bob D'Eith. I'm with Music BC. I'm actually talking to two applications.
6567 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
6568 MR. D'EITH: So I thought if we can finish with this gentleman first, then I can -- it might be easier for the Commission.
6569 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
6570 I think Commissioner Simpson has something.
6571 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: No.
6572 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Shoan? No.
6573 MR. BUTLER: Okay.
6574 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think it was really clear.
6575 MR. BUTLER: Okay.
6576 THE CHAIRPERSON: It was passionate and clear. We get it.
6577 MR. BUTLER: Thanks.
6578 THE CHAIRPERSON: I found it was very well done actually. Thank you.
6579 MR. BUTLER: Thank you.
6580 THE CHAIRPERSON: So, you can proceed.
6581 MR. D'EITH: Great! Thank you very much.
6582 THE CHAIRPERSON: We know you're here for two applications.
6583 MR. D'EITH: Yes.
6584 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
6585 MR. D'EITH: So my name is Bob D'Eith. I'm the Executive Director of Music BC. I'm also a music lawyer in Vancouver, an author, an artist and own a record label and publishing company. So I work in a number of capacities.
6586 I'm primarily here as the Executive Director of Music BC.
6587 I just wanted to say from the outset that Music BC provides Canadian Content Development funding administrative for a number of broadcasters. So Music BC is unable to endorse one broadcaster over another.
6588 However, we are here today and very pleased to support two different CCD applications that have been brought forward, one by Sky FM, the CAPI project and the Access to Music Foundation funding, and then the second one was the Roundhouse Discovery Project.
6589 So I'm only speaking to the CCD programs themselves and the merits of those, if that's all right.
6590 So what I thought I'd do is just do an introduction about what we are, talk about Sky, which is actually a little skip, and then if there's any questions about that, and then go to Roundhouse and then if there's any questions about that.
6591 Is that all right with the Commission? Thank you.
6592 Music BC is the provincial music industry association. We've been around since 1990 and our purpose is primarily to nurture the British Columbia music industry and the artists and the companies that work. We have over 1,000 members and we have over 5,000 enews subscribers.
6593 We did want to take the opportunity to thank the CRTC for allowing provincial music industry associations to administer CCD programs. In particular, recently, with the Bell/Astral acquisition, $700,000 went to the Canadian Council of Music Industry Associations. We wanted to take the opportunity to thank the Commission for helping that to happen.
6594 We also want to thank the CRTC for the radio review that's going on looking at CCD. It's very impactful for us, especially with the transactional and discretionary money. We really appreciate the time and effort that's being put into that.
6595 So with further ado, I'll skip to the Sky Radio CCD proposals, if that's all right. That's on page 3.
6596 So one of the things about artist development which is critical nowadays is that 90 percent of an artist's revenues is coming from live performance and from touring. So artists have to be on the road and with tour support funding going down because of the way the industry is, this is an enormous cost that's being put back onto the artist and their team. We live in the second-largest country in the world. Touring Canada is incredibly difficult and incredibly expensive, especially for new and emerging artists.
6597 So we were working with the Sky Radio team and they came up with this very interesting and innovative idea called the "Canadian Artist Participation Industry" program, CAPI for short, which basically would put $12,000 a year to Music BC, $84,000 over seven years, to actually administer a program which takes radio inventory and allows that to be used to offset touring costs by engaging companies like rental companies or hotels or anyone who might advertise to be able to actually give those to the artists. So it would offset a lot of costs, gas, vans, you name it, the things that the artists need.
6598 And like a lot of the programs, most of the time what you need is somebody to administer it. That's always the hardest part. Great ideas are great and unless you have the administration money to do that and have someone actually running it, that's a problem.
6599 They're also already -- they want to engage other radio stations. So this is a pilot project which hopefully will become an idea that will spread across the country -- the hope is -- and they're already committed to two and a half hours per week of their inventory towards this programming. So the program already starts with what we think is a pretty significant contribution to the pool.
6600 So we're pretty -- it's very innovative. We're very interested in how this would work and excited about the proposal.
6601 The second part of their CCD proposal is for the Music BC Charitable Foundation, which has now been renamed the "Access to Music Foundation" -- I used to be the Executive Director of that as well. I'm happy to say that it's grown to the point that it needs its own Executive Director. Al Gallardo is running that now. They have their own board, their own energy and it's really exciting.
6602 And two programs, the "Adopt an Instrument" program and the "SONG" program, would be funded at $83,500 over seven years. These contributions help buy instruments for schools and songwriting mentorships in schools.
6603 And I can tell you from having run those programs, it's incredibly powerful when you teach -- when you give children the chance to learn how to write songs. It's very empowering. And it's not just for professional songwriters. It's a chance for these children to express themselves in a way that they might not have another way to express, especially children who are having a hard time. It's a really amazing and powerful tool.
6604 Now, the second thing is instruments. We've managed to get instruments into schools, Aboriginal schools up North, into schools where their school programs were failing, and sometimes just getting the instruments into schools is all they need to keep those programs going. And in the case of some children that are having a very hard time in their lives, putting an instrument in their hand can literally save their lives. I mean it's something that just is an amazingly powerful thing.
6605 So we're very pleased to -- even though I'm not that Executive Director, it is our sister organization and we're very pleased to support that.
6606 So if there's anything about the Sky proposals you wanted to ask, I'm happy to answer those.
6607 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's the same question I'm going to be asking sort of every intervener in the audience.
6608 There are other applications before us and have you had a chance to look at them and weigh the pros and cons?
6609 MR. D'EITH: Yeah, I have and this is the problem, is we literally -- we get money from Pattison, we get money from Astral -- now, it's Bell, we get money from all the broadcasters. I cannot -- I'm not in a position to talk about the merits of the applications.
6610 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's fine.
6611 MR. D'EITH: So I would love to do that but, you know, it's just -- it puts us in a very awkward position.
6612 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, it's fine.
6613 MR. D'EITH: And so, in terms of the merits of the CCD programming, no problem.
6614 THE CHAIRPERSON: In terms of the CDD, you know that the CCD can be adjusted, can be somewhat played around with, as you know --
6615 MR. D'EITH: M'hmm.
6616 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- by the Commission in terms of once licenses are put out there.
6617 MR. D'EITH: Yeah. I understand that.
6618 THE CHAIRPERSON: So it's an interesting sense of where you would like the money to go and we appreciate it.
6619 MR. D'EITH: Yeah. Well, as far as Music BC is concerned, anything -- any proposal, whether it's coming to us or not, that helps, truly helps artist development is great.
6620 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
6621 MR. D'EITH: And if it stays local, even better for us.
6622 THE CHAIRPERSON: I was listening to you when you were talking about all the aspects that you touch upon. Be it legal, be it the creative, I mean you're involved in sort of all these different aspects.
6623 I was listening to someone the other day talk about the music business, the reality of the music business today, and today you want people to like your music and they usually pick it up for free and they get excited about you and you can sell them a t-shirt for 30 bucks.
6624 MR. D'EITH: Right.
6625 THE CHAIRPERSON: It used to be you would sell them an album for 30 bucks and they would get the t-shirt for free. An artist would obviously rather keep on selling albums or CDs or downloads on iTunes, but things have sort of changed somewhat given the new reality.
6626 MR. D'EITH: That's the understatement of the year.
6627 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah. So now, you're an artist, you're in the t-shirt selling business.
6628 MR. D'EITH: Yeah.
6629 THE CHAIRPERSON: But at any rate --
6630 MR. D'EITH: You're right. Absolutely, the whole industry has completely changed and the main critical part about that is because of the changes, all that artist development is now being pushed back onto the artist.
6631 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
6632 MR. D'EITH: And that's why these locally developed programs like the Peak Performance Project or other projects that we're involved with --
6633 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
6634 MR. D'EITH: -- have such a profound impact, because it gets those artists to the point where they might be able to get the deal that they could have got 20 years ago that they can't get now.
6635 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
6636 MR. D'EITH: Because you have to be profitable before anyone is interested now and that's just the reality of the business.
6637 So we found more pressure on all the music industry associations to provide those kinds of services or at least facilitate them. So the CCD programs are becoming more and more critical to this whole industry.
6638 THE CHAIRPERSON: Unless you're Drake and you can do without one but you have to know the lyrics. It's an inside joke.
6639 MR. D'EITH: Well, they all start somewhere.
6640 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Simpson.
6641 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Just one question, Mr. D'Eith.
6642 Just unpacking the mechanics of CAPI -- we've seen it but I didn't see the detail here.
6643 MR. D'EITH: M'hmm.
6644 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So as I understand it, they're going to take a portion of their radio inventory and make it available to you and that essentially is what you will use in furthering the support of an artist? Is that how it works?
6645 MR. D'EITH: Well, that's the idea, is that if there's inventory that we have, what we can do then is trade that for --
6646 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Services.
6647 MR. D'EITH: -- services and --
6648 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Things that money --
6649 MR. D'EITH: Basically, yeah.
6650 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
6651 MR. D'EITH: And I think that it's an interesting model and as long as we can keep the sales guys off our back, then it will work great, you know.
6652 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: But where I'm going with this question, though, is, you know, it's the station that we hold their feet to the fire with respect to the performance and the efficacy of the program.
6653 MR. D'EITH: Right. Of course.
6654 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: But in terms of the administration of it, they're taking a block of inventory, giving it to you. You then sub-administrate it to artists --
6655 MR. D'EITH: The way I understand it, it's a partnership. So, we'd be working closely with the station to ensure -- because we have to make sure, of course, that it makes sense, --
6656 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
6657 MR. D'EITH: -- for the inventory to be used correctly. So, it's more of a partnership. We'd be obviously working with them administering and trying to make those connections. But we'd be working closely with them.
6658 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So, it's a joint decision in terms of managing the inventory, but also managing the direction?
6659 MR. D'EITH: Yeah, I think we'd have to work with the station. I think just selling the inventory without talking to --
6660 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
6661 MR. D'EITH: -- their global thoughts wouldn't really work.
6662 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
6663 MR. D'EITH: But having said that, I really think that having that pool -- the more that we use the pool and the more it grows then I would say I would hope that we would get more autonomy with that once the value is seen and once I think other stations see the value of participating in the program.
6664 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
6665 MR. D'EITH: It's a really interesting idea and the fact that we're being able to administer that, we will ensure -- I mean, that's the thing, we will ensure -- Music BC will ensure that it's being operated properly, and that's the great part about having us involved with it.
6666 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Well, the only downside I can see, though, and don't take it --
6667 MR. D'EITH: Yeah.
6668 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- but just, you know, I mean between us, is that it's sort of like an intermediary. You know, that's always the issue when your bartering or brokering, you know, what is the relevant value now versus what it might be worth a year from now. And if the station has a rating success, you know the value of those contributions becomes greater. And if the ratings become less, so, too, does the value of that amount. And I was just curious as to whether you had thought about that.
6669 But, you know, that being what it is, no, I'm comforted by the fact that you're participating jointly in the administration of it, because one of the bugbears that I've had with CCD administration is that it starts off with the best of intentions, but seven years down the road at license renewal whoever was responsible in the stations side for administration usually is long gone on their next career path and there's pieces left to be picked up. And, you know, I very much like joint management, particularly with an association like yours, so I'm --
6670 MR. D'EITH: Yeah, we've had a lot of experience with that over the last twenty years now.
6671 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
6672 MR. D'EITH: And I'd say that for the most part our relationships with radio are excellent.
6673 And, I think one of the advantages that we have is that we can actually -- unlike the national organizations, we can actually deal one-on-one with radio stations and have that one-on-one relationship --
6674 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
6675 MR. D'EITH: -- which is great for building bridges.
6676 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Cool. Great. Thank you.
6677 THE CHAIRPERSON: The only downside I can see is that bands can't bond anymore while sleeping in a van on the side of the road. But that's a foregone time.
6678 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commission Shoan?
6679 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: So, Mr. D'Eith, I have a question and I recall questioning Sky Radio about this, as well. In terms of the administration, I'm just trying to understand how it would work out, because if you have an inventory of advertising, presumably the businesses that would take advantage of this inventory would be conscious on some level of associating their brand with the inventory of advertising on a station that has a particular format and whose reputation and brand will be somehow possibly linked to them.
6680 I'm using the example of -- let's use Sky as an example. They're an Urban Dance format station --
6681 MR. D'EITH: M'hmm.
6682 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: -- presumably, who, if you're administering this program, you may have an Urban Dance artist who is doing some touring, doing some shows. How would the relationship, the discussions between your program administration work with businesses? A hotel in northern British Columbia says we have some -- `We have some empty rooms, we can house your artists,' and you say, `Great, you can inventory on this station.' They say they don't have any interest in advertising on that station.
6683 MR. D'EITH: Right.
6684 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: What happens then?
6685 MR. D'EITH: Well, it will probably be -- it might be tougher with local -- local hotels. I mean, we'd probably be looking at something like Budget Rent-A-Car who might have a bigger -- a number of different reasons to be advertising, and this might be part of what they'd be interested in getting involved with.
6686 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
6687 MR. D'EITH: And, it might be -- I agree, it would be tougher with smaller stations that don't have a need in that domestic, or that local market. So, obviously, we'll be having to look at partners that -- that can work in that arena.
6688 But, I think that's a challenge that, you know, I think can be mitigated by expanding the program, too, because the most stations that get involved -- I mean, the whole purpose of it is to be a seed to grow the idea of a pool.
6689 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: M'hmm.
6690 MR. D'EITH: And the bigger the pool gets the broader the base of the types of radio stations and locations of the stations as well.
6691 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Sure.
6692 MR. D'EITH: So, the purpose is to try to build bridges. So, the first thing I would do is go to the BCAB and do a presentation on this and try to entice as many different radio stations with different formats, as possible, just to broaden the base of it.
6693 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: And are you taking an administrative fee off the top of the --
6694 MR. D'EITH: Yes. I mean, that's what this is for. The cash portion of this is really mostly administering this, yeah.
6695 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Does your administrative fee -- is -- well, forgive me, is it a percentage or is a flat rate?
6696 MR. D'EITH: Well, right now it's -- it's going to -- it will probably be less at the beginning because there will be more up-front costs and, hopefully, as time goes on we can take a little bit more out of the annual fee. But I mean it's not a huge amount per annum on it in terms of admin. So, we're going to have to stretch every dollar and really leverage every dollar, for sure.
6697 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, great. Thank you very much.
6698 MR. D'EITH: Oh, my pleasure.
6699 THE CHAIRPERSON: I guess, similar to -- you mentioned you were a member of the Bar, I don't know if you still are. But you know the Bar size -- and other professional organizations sign deals with car rental XYZ companies, hotel chain XYZ to offer discounted rates to their members. And I would imagine that this kind of organization would do something similar even in BC or coast to coast.
6700 MR. D'EITH: Well, the hope is to actually be able to, you know, actually say, `Here is a rental van.' `Here is a gas card.' 'Here is a hotel voucher.' And so that it is not just discounts, because we already provide that for our members. We would actually be able to -- we'd like to somehow, you know, pay for those costs.
6701 THE CHAIRPERSON: Foot the bill for that.
6702 MR. D'EITH: That's the -- that's the hope.
6703 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you want to speak to us on Roundhouse?
6704 MR. D'EITH: Yes, absolutely. Any -- no more questions? Okay.
6705 So, the next part is another application and this the Roundhouse Discovery Project. And just getting back to the whole idea of how the music industry has changed, what we found, again, is that the responsibility for artist development has gone back on the artists themselves. So, this type of program is really critical to the development of artists.
6706 Music BC has developed a number of different models for artist development over the last twenty years, and we found that one of the advantages that we have is that we can partner with local stations, which is different than a lot of the national funding programs. I mentioned that earlier. So, that's a really great advantage.
6707 One really good example of that is the large-scale project we do called the Peak Performance Project. We have now worked with over a hundred artists. It's five years old now. And, these artists have won Junos, they have toured Europe, Australia, Brazil, USA, many different countries, recorded many different albums, written songs, charted nationally. And, the reason that it works is because it marries funding, education, marketing, promotion, plus a local radio station activation. And, that's really critical especially for getting bums in seats at showcases. And, we sell out the Commodore every year with three Indy bands. And that's because we have radio station involvement.
6708 So, and that model has been tried again in a smaller scale with K96.3 in Kelowna, so we do a similar type of project with a similar -- with Newcap, and that's working great for the interior of BC. So, the model works really well.
6709 This program is a little bit different in that what it's aiming at -- now, this is really interesting, is, a lot of the programs we do with this are very much tied to the genre of the station. So, for example, if we did a Peak Performance Project for a Country station, we would be working with Country artists, because part of the project is to support Country artists. You can't have a Country station playing artists that don't fit the format. So, generally, those are the artists that get funded.
6710 This program is really interesting in that they are trying to tailor it for artists who would not normally be played on commercial radio, which is really appealing to us because these artists have the exact same needs as the artists that could be played on commercial radio -- the same artists development needs.
6711 And, yet, there is not really that many CCD programs like the Peak. You know, you can go to factor the national programs, but nothing specific and local for them. Usually they get left out in the cold because the programs tend to focus on the commercial genre that is being played on that station.
6712 So, that's something that really appealed to us about this. And there's enough money on the table $560,000, it's $80,000 a year, that's enough to do some significant, you know, amount of artist development. And there's different components, like I said, showcasing. There's showcasing, there's education, there's funding, there's recording, there's song writing. There's a lot of different things so --
6713 So, we're really pleased about that and we feel that it will fill a gap that exists in a lot of the different programs that we do.
6714 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great. Thank you.
6715 Mr. Simpson?
6716 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Mr. D'Eith, I'm going to go back to where we left off with the administration. Would this be entirely administered by Music BC?
6717 MR. D'EITH: Yeah, the program would be administered by Music BC. We would take a portion. We never take more than 20% of any -- usually 15-20% of any program, that's generally our rule of thumb. The rest goes directly to artists development and the program itself.
6718 So, that's always been our sort of modus operandi with these things.
6719 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah. Now, the applicant has an ambition for the fund. Is that your responsibility as well? You know, I'm just wondering, you know, it's like the advisory board question we keep asking.
6720 MR. D'EITH: Yeah.
6721 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: You know, what's the station involvement with respect to the direction of the money?
6722 MR. D'EITH: Well, if it ends up in the same way of our other programs, what we usually do is we get the money and then we work with the station in developing guidelines and policies. But, at the end of the day we administer the program. And, that's -- it gives it that credibility in a sense that the juries are third party juries. The adjudication is -- it's not determined by the station, it's determined by arms length juries and committees.
6723 There's involvement, but it's not -- it's balanced. And I think that's something that we bring -- we've always brought to the table, is that sense of balance, fairness and adjudication.
6724 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah. With all the other responsibilities you've got with this money, what about the performance, you know when it comes back to staff reporting requirements on the money, is all the burden of affidavit and performance evaluation on your side of the table? Or, is it done jointly with the station?
6725 MR. D'EITH: Generally we aren't -- we haven't been involved in the programs that we have with any of the adjudication by the CRTC. We normally do a formal report to the -- whomever we are working with and that normally gets filed as part of -- a part of that. And, of course, we're always available for questions if there's any issues.
6726 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Sure.
6727 MR. D'EITH: But, you know, if we're administering it, we then have a duty. In all cases we usually have contracts with the radio station to provide very specific deliverables. And then once we're done, if we don't do that, well, then we --
6728 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So the assumption is, on our part, that it's up to them to determine what the reporting needs are of you at contract time, so that they've got the stuff to take back to us.
6729 MR. D'EITH: Exactly. And for the most part that's been our experience over the last twenty years is that that's usually in the original contract, that -- what we have to provide them.
6730 It's -- we've developed some pretty robust accounting and reporting systems because of all the programs we've had to do and obviously, you know, you make mistakes and then you fix them and you get even better systems. And, I think especially dealing with a large-scale program like the Peak Performance Project --
6731 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
6732 MR. D'EITH: -- has really honed us in on systems and due diligence and reporting and all that stuff. So, we're pretty confident with that.
6733 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Good. Great. That's it, thanks.
6734 THE CHAIRPERSON: Your 15-20% admin, would you say that's par for the course?
6735 MR. D'EITH: It depends on the project, to be quite frank. You know, it's interesting when you actually do the math. Sometimes we find that we lose money on these things when it comes right down to it. But, our purpose of existence is artist development, and promoting the industry. So, we're not interested in making a profit, we're interested -- if we can break even and provide a service, we're happy.
6736 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
6737 MR. D'EITH: So that's, you know --
6738 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah. Okay.
6739 MR. D'EITH: It really depends on the scale of the program.
6740 We find that the smaller the program usually there's more demands and it usually --
6741 THE CHAIRPERSON: The admin goes up.
6742 MR. D'EITH: Admin. Well --
6743 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, with the economies of scale --
6744 MR. D'EITH: Yeah, but --
6745 THE CHAIRPERSON: That comes into play.
6746 MR. D'EITH: Yeah, but we've found with the Peak it's --
6747 THE CHAIRPERSON: With Peak -- what are your admin numbers on the Peak?
6748 MR. D'EITH: It's about 15%.
6749 THE CHAIRPERSON: So, it's still about 15%, okay.
6750 MR. D'EITH: But we spend half our year admin -- it's so huge, it's a $750,000 a year program.
6751 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
6752 MR. D'EITH: So it, you know, is very different.
6753 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think that wraps it up for this panel. We thank you so much.
6754 MR. D'EITH: Thank you.
6755 THE CHAIRPERSON: Before you go to break, just a point of information, people have accepted certain undertakings, and a lot of that documentation, everything that we've received is at the back table, so if applicants -- no, it's not there, Madam?
6756 THE SECRETARY: It will be there.
6757 THE CHAIRPERSON: It will be there as of?
6758 THE SECRETARY: Maybe after the break.
6759 THE CHAIRPERSON: As soon as we get it, it will be there.
6760 THE SECRETARY: As soon as we can, it will be there.
6761 THE CHAIRPERSON: It will be there for the purposes of responding to whatever you may have taken note of as it regards undertakings in Phase 4.
6762 Another point was made this morning with respect to the Biz600. There was a report that was supposed to have been filed, and I think the deadline for that is 6:00 p.m. this late afternoon or early evening.
6763 MS PINSKY: The conclusion of the hearing today, yes.
6764 THE CHAIRPERSON: The conclusion of the hearing day. So that's why the Biz600 report is not necessarily there yet, but it certainly will be there at the very latest 9:00 a.m. tomorrow.
6765 MS PINSKY: I understand it will be here by the conclusion of today's hearing.
6766 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, but that's out of our hands. That's up to the applicant to deposit that and we'll have it in there tomorrow morning. And everything else will be there, so people will have a chance to consult it before Phase 4.
6767 Thank you all so much, and we'll be back -- I see it's 3:03 p.m. here. Let's do 3:15 p.m.
6768 Thank you all so much.
6769 MS PINSKY: Okay.
6770 THE CHAIRPERSON: See you at 3:15.
--- Upon recessing at 1503
--- Upon resuming at 1522
6771 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon. Hi.
6772 Madame la Secrétaire.
6773 Thank you, guys. If you can just take your seats and continue networking during happy hour. There's a lot of conversation going on in the room. It's good. Great!
6774 Madame la Secrétaire.
6775 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
6776 We will now proceed with the presentation by Media 2 Go Inc.
6777 Please introduce yourself for the record, after which you have five minutes for your presentation. Thank you.
6778 MS BUTTERWORTH: Good afternoon.
6779 My name is Jacqui Butterworth and I am President of Media 2 Go, which is a small media agency in Toronto.
6780 I'm also a member of an informal group of small media agency principals called SMAC, which is Small Media Agency Coalition, and we meet regularly to discuss current media topics and business challenges of small agencies.
6781 I've taken time away from my business to come here because I believe that Vancouver needs an independently owned station and that the licence should be awarded to Roundhouse Radio.
6782 I negotiate airtime with both large and small stations on behalf of my clients and certainly there is a place for each type in Vancouver and on my clients' buys.
6783 That said, small agencies such as mine tend to represent clients with lower budgets and fewer resources than the clients of larger agencies. For my clients, radio is the primary medium on their media buys and it is expected to deliver against a wide variety of objectives and to generate very tangible results, mainly sales.
6784 Radio use could include commercial airtime purchase, promotions, interviews of integrated programming and multifaceted innovative packages designed by the agency and radio station to help the client stand out in the market, and I would like to briefly review each of these.
6785 So first is airtime purchase. This is a pretty straightforward way of using radio and it represents the majority of activity and investment for most clients, whether large or small.
6786 Most agencies buy airtime based on GRP delivery, which is mediaspeak for audience size within the defined geography of a market, and another factor is the full coverage audience, which takes into account each station's signal beyond the central market.
6787 For smaller advertisers, the affordability of radio in Vancouver is a challenge and the ability to focus on the heart of the City and the most socially active members of the community is of great benefit but it is not currently available in Vancouver. Roundhouse Radio would offer this opportunity.
6788 Second is promotions. This is a vital area particularly for entertainment clients as well as retailers who are often working within a narrow window of time to sell tickets or products. It is the primary reason that radio is such an important part of their media plans.
6789 Most of the nationally owned stations have reduced their numbers of on-air promotions and opted instead for online-focused promotions and fewer but larger on-air promotions requiring a substantial prize. In addition, many have started charging for their promotions at an incremental cost to the on-air media schedule and this makes it very difficult for event and retail advertisers to create the buzz that they need from radio in order to be successful.
6790 In contrast, independent stations do not charge extra for promotions, and rather, they work with the agency or the client to build a total package that meets their needs, and the focus of such promotions is on on-air activity, which is paramount to generating the tangible excitement or buzz that I mentioned earlier.
6791 Third is interviews of integrated programming and typically these are the realm of a public relations agency, and I don't want to diminish the work that they do or the important role that they play for many advertisers, including some of my clients. They rely on them for editorial exposure.
6792 As a small media agency, though, this is an area that I have been expected to support and it is somewhat tricky. Fundamentally, it is highly unusual for advertising agencies to be granted access to station content on a music station and it simply doesn't fit.
6793 The opportunity to present information in an editorial environment lies primarily with spoken-word formats, and generally, station producers are reluctant to be swayed by advertiser requests because their goal is to provide unbiased information to their audience, which is fair. However, if the advertiser's message is relevant to the community and is managed properly by the station, it is of benefit to both advertiser and station as well as the listener to arrange on-air content.
6794 The Roundhouse Radio format is a natural fit for such requests not only because of its spoken-word format but because of its community focus in Vancouver.
6795 The fourth item on my list is innovative packages. This is something that small agencies pride themselves on delivering for their clients and it's very challenging to achieve with nationally owned stations for smaller clients. It's a time-consuming effort. It requires an innovative station team and nimble responsiveness. Without a large budget to justify the internal expenses and effort, it is difficult for larger stations to deliver this.
6796 However, it is something I think Roundhouse Radio with its small team and independent ownership will deliver very well.
6797 I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you today and I hope I've given you some insight into the needs of the smaller agency and advertiser, for whom radio is so important and whose needs Roundhouse Radio will serve so well. Thank you.
6798 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Butterworth.
6800 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Just a question perhaps you can elucidate for me.
6801 We've been hearing this week from a variety of applicants who said essentially that radio is not a preferred medium for advertising in Surrey/Vancouver. I'm hearing from you that's not necessarily the case. So there appears to be a disconnect.
6802 Can you maybe discuss that to some degree? Is it industry-specific, they don't like advertising on radio, or is it an outdated notion? Has that changed recently? Can you address that at all?
6803 MS BUTTERWORTH: I can't speak to somebody else's opinion on radio --
6804 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Fine.
6805 MS BUTTERWORTH: -- but for me as an advertiser representing a number of clients, I believe in radio, I believe in the power of radio and what it can do. It offers a very strong connection with an audience and it offers the ability to broadcast a message to people within the community and provide them with information and reach them in a number of times that would be memorable for them to take action.
6806 It can be expensive if the station has very broad coverage and that really would be a downside. But certainly, radio is an integral part of most of the media campaigns that I work on for my clients.
6807 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Have you read any of the other applications in this proceeding other than Roundhouse's application?
6808 MS BUTTERWORTH: No, I have not.
6809 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
6810 MS BUTTERWORTH: They didn't ask me to.
6811 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Fair enough. Thank you for that.
6812 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I think that's all for today.
6813 MS BUTTERWORTH: Thank you.
6814 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for taking time out of your schedule to come see us.
6815 THE SECRETARY: I would now invite the interveners in support of Mosaic Media Inc., so Multicultural Advisory Council of British Columbia, Options Community Services, and Durity Media Works who is appearing via teleconference, to come forward. Thank you.
6816 MR. DURITY: Hello.
6817 THE SECRETARY: Hello. Hi. We'll be right with you, okay?
6818 MR. DURITY: Okay.
6819 THE SECRETARY: Thanks.
6820 THE CHAIRPERSON: We'll be starting with Mo Dhaliwal, is that right? Okay.
6821 Go ahead, sir.
6822 MR. DHALIWAL: Before I begin, I'd just like to reintroduce myself as a point of clarification.
6823 My name is Mo Dhaliwal. I'm the Director of Strategy at Skyrocket Digital. Until recently, I was the Chair of the B.C. Multicultural Advisory Council where I served for a number of years. Currently in the community, I sit on the Board of Directors for the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration Society, Coastal Jazz and Blues Society, as well as the Vancouver Opera, and I'm of course appearing to speak in favour of Mosaic Media's application.
6824 So, to begin, let's talk about Surrey.
6825 Surrey is about butter chicken and sushi, chicharon bulaklak and BBQ. Surrey is a smorgasbord of tastes and sensations, but this massive and diverse area of interests is only served by a few homogenous broadcasters.
6826 In the present day, we're serving burgers and fries to an audience whose tastes and interests only just begin with mainstream culture and branch out from there into a kaleidoscope of flavours.
6827 Surrey doesn't need another cookie cutter solution, nor does it need another all-you-can eat Indian buffet. Surrey is ready for a cuisine of content that is globally inspired but made with local ingredients.
6828 I've been engaged with work in Surrey for many years in the world of arts and culture and also business interests in the fields of advertising and digital marketing. Over this time, the attitudes and perceptions of this City have shifted dramatically. As an entrepreneur, I've personally experienced the shift in focus from Downtown Vancouver-based professions to Surrey as the source of future growth and prosperity.
6829 No longer the low-brow suburb to Vancouver's shining lights, Surrey is looked upon as a dynamo, a place where energy and resources collide to generate explosions of opportunity and productivity. The City is multifaceted, nimble and ambitious. Where other cities are continually learning to make do with less, Surrey continues to open the floodgates. The residents and business owners here are proud to call Surrey their own for they are riding a rocket ship and they know it.
6830 Yet, for all this activity and all of the goodwill surrounding Surrey, there is no one here to tell the story of this community in an inclusive and cohesive format. Mosaic Media's application responds to this imperative with a nuanced approach that balances diversity and inclusion with a robust format for engaging the market.
6831 Now, I've actually worked with many of the organizations that are applying for licences and they are good people who have worked very hard and done well for their respective communities. However, we don't need more South Asian-focused, therefore inward-looking or "homeward"-looking media. The opportunity here lies in using media to advance the conversation, not just having more of the same conversation.
6832 I've worked with mainstream broadcasters and we don't need more Vancouver-based English-only broadcasts into Surrey either. That may appear to serve the greatest common denominator, but I believe that's a distortion based on the status quo. It's not enough to do the market research and place data points on a map. We must also pay attention to how these data points are moving. Their direction and velocity must be taken into account.
6833 Surrey's immigrant population and its diversity are growing. Based on the research presented by Mosaic Media, providing another English-only licence would be following the path of least resistance to what would ultimately be a mediocre conclusion -- another English-only broadcaster in competition with other English-only broadcasters. Many in the community would still be left out of the conversation, with no opportunity to create a sense of their inclusion in the greater whole.
6834 In our communities, we do have a sense of disconnection and, at times, isolation. In the marketplace, these sentiments create fragmented silos of self-interest that work in opposition to each other. Only when community members see themselves as integral parts of the greater whole can you harness the full productive and creative potential of a community to move past its challenges and grow socially, economically and intellectually.
6835 True interculturalism, however, is far more than a feel-good initiative. As an advertising executive and an arts and cultural presenter for the last decade, my colleagues and I have found it challenging to connect with diverse audiences. Even though our product and our message were universally appealing, we typically lacked the resources to bring our ambitions to fruition. For my own clients, far too often it was expediency and convenience that dictated which communities we engaged and which would be left out of a media plan. Punjabi, Cantonese and Mandarin provided the best bang for the buck.
6836 It was too difficult and the acquisition costs too high for small advertisers to assemble complex media plans spanning multiple ethnic media houses and dozens of languages. It would have been the right thing to do, but the ROI made it impossible.
6837 A broadcast format that uses English and the best way possible as the connective tissue, while-third language content provides access to a multitude of ethnic communities in the one-stop shop is a godsend to advertisers. Media planning is a complex task and, for that reason, intercultural advertising has been far beyond the reach of local businesses.
6838 The mainly English format being proposed by Mosaic Media rises to the occasion and will deliver on the true promise of ethnic marketing as well, broad reach and many niche segments with a low cost of planning and implementation.
6839 As the African proverb states, if you want to walk fast, walk alone; if you want to walk far, walk together. I am appearing today in support of Mosaic Media's application because I believe it is their intent to gather the community and walk far together. There is an opportunity here to animate and inspire, tell the story of Surrey, engage and serve the needs of residents in an inclusive way, all while providing a diverse media inventory that is attractive to marketers and places sophisticated intercultural advertising within the reach of Surrey's business community.
6840 Thank you.
6841 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6842 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Good afternoon. I was going to say good morning. I had a lapse. I am very appreciative of the fact that you came forward because you are bringing two or three different perspectives to the table that really help us understand your point of view.
6843 Your demonstrative support of Mosaic is totally clear, so if it's okay with you I would like to sort of unpack -- unpack the wisdom of your thinking.
6844 First of all, as a marketer, this offering with that predominance to English language you are saying is going to be the right way to go about reaching not only the South Asian market, but will also, I think I heard you say, be good for the community as a whole because it helps build the bridge of understanding through common language. Is that right?
6845 MR. DHALIWAL: Absolutely.
6846 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes. And that seems to -- you will really be heavily supported by the Vancouver Foundation Study which really went to the more interest groups and broadcasters and communicators try and reach out in third language, all you are doing is just reinforcing cultural silos that are not necessarily going toward building bridges to a complete community.
6847 MR. DHALIWAL: Absolutely.
6848 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I don't mean to put words in your mouth, but that's what I think I heard you say. So, as a marketer, you know, earlier this week we heard about set-asides of marketing budgets from national advertisers for ethnic outreach and I'm wondering if that -- you know, that was good to hear because it means that it bolsters the advertising revenue projections of stations that are after the South Asian market, but are those budgets behind the times really? Are they not doing the same thing as cultural programming in third language, in that they are setting aside budget as if this is another complete marketplace that really hasn't knitted together with the mainstream?
6849 MR. DHALIWAL: I think not only the advertising budgets, I think there are many components of policy and our corporate structures and our government structures that absolutely lag behind our lived reality.
6850 Let's just tackle the corporate side to begin with. You would think dealing with business people that it's always a numbers game and numbers don't lie and business people will respond to numbers. I can't tell you how many meetings I was a part of where a decade ago we would show, you know, in boardrooms, you know, the foolhardiness in taking 100 percent of your marketing budget and applying it to 55 percent of the market, and even then there was a strange resistance in the room towards changing the status quo.
6851 So fine, you fast-forward a couple of years, things started changing and, you know, there was an appreciation of the status quo can't remain and we need to address these markets. Now suddenly we have budgets for ethnic populations and "visible minorities".
6852 The language and structure around all of that is problematic because what it is saying is that somebody is sitting in the centre and then somebody else is extra. Right? What is ethnicity and visible minority besides non-white, right? There has to be an opportunity to engage with all cultural forums as sitting on sort of a platform that covers many spectrums, right, where there is an opportunity for there to be intercultural exchange, not only addressing the needs of everybody within those cultural communities.
6853 So even the way those budgets are set aside, yes, they are still problematic, but there's hope, because for a long time that function was actually being fulfilled by "ethnic marketing agencies".
6854 So you would have a mainstream agency that would say, you know, for a client of ours, let's say Air Canada -- that was a client of ours a decade ago, or continues to be with my previous firm -- they would say, well, here is our mainstream strategy and our mainstream advertising firm and here is who we are going to bring in to handle our Chinese, our Cantonese and Mandarin advertising in North America.
6855 So great, our firm would be engaged in just the ethnic component. I think to really evolve and to advance to our future state, all the ethnic agencies even need to go away, right. Not in a bad way, hopefully they are bought out and subsumed into the major agencies, but ethnic advertising needs to be seen as just advertising, right, these are just other community groups where they might have preferences in language, you know, the same way in psychographics, you might have people that have preferences in behaviour, preferences in dress, in dining and, you know, where they choose to spend their free time.
6856 The more we can bring our And demographics and sector graphics in line with just looking at all the cultural communities as being a part of the spectrum, I think the better off we will be. And that's why I would support Mosaic Media's application over the others is because, you know, it's great to have a mainly English format because you understand the function of English in Canadian life as being this connective tissue for such diverse communities, but it doesn't treat the other cultural communities as these foreign entities that need to be parcelled off completely, right, nor in their programming format are they saying we are going to take chunks of airtime and if this is our Russian airtime, our Filipino airtime, our Korean airtime we are going to sell it off to that community and they can deal with it themselves, because that is sort of the wrong way of doing things, in my opinion, right.
6857 That's the legacy of what's inherently wrong with multiculturalism, right. Multiculturalism, our dated policy is about parcelling people off. Diversity and inclusion is about recognizing that there is so much difference, but how can we make everybody a part of the larger conversation. And I feel that's what this application speaks to.
6858 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Boy, it's not often that you get exactly what you're looking for when you ask a question. You make my job a lot easier. Thank you.
6859 On that theme of building bridges, common language, different cultures but common understanding, we heard a lot, and I understand a lot about the pressures that the South Asian community has been under with respect to generational differences.
6860 You know, mom and dad go to work, work hard, kids get cut loose, kids separate, find their own paths, and is this in your mind -- one of the reasons why you are supporting this initiative is not just because it's good programming and it has financial viability, from what you just said, but this is going to be the kind of offering that everybody in the house can listen to and this is a station for the whole population and this is a station that brings the community together generationally because it's in English?
6861 MR. DHALIWAL: Absolutely, because not just the English component. I think the other advantages -- because you could have a mixed format like this that was only mainly English, but I think what's really working and sort of the real secret sauce in this formula is the focus on Surrey.
6862 For people that live and work in Surrey, people that care about Surrey, they have a reason to tune in, right, and that reason is visceral and its immediate, right. If there is a festival happening that weekend, they can tune into the station and learn about what's happening, right; if there was an accident, if there was traffic, whatever issues that come up in a city, you know, this is the place for them to focus their attention, right.
6863 And that becomes the binding agent and in that binding agent of the City of Surrey and the message of Surrey, that's where there is an opportunity for community building as well where some of the more feel-good side of intercultural listen comes out.
6864 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I would imagine that that would also apply to the non-South Asian market. You know, I lived in Surrey for 25 years, I know this place pretty well, but I still couldn't tell you where to go to get information on a great Indian restaurant, for example, because there is such a structural separation in the communication and it drives me nuts because, you know, Indian food isn't just fashionable, it's really, really good and it's hard to find that kind of information.
6865 So you feel that this is going to be a building block to mainstream communities?
6866 MR. DHALIWAL: My comments are actually universal. In saying that, I wasn't speaking of the South Asian community by any means. In fact, what I am speaking to is diminishing and kind of moving away from the hub and spoke model of multiculturalism and multicultural advertising where you have this mainstream kind of in the center of the hub and all the other communities kind of point to it and shoot off of that.
6867 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
6868 MR. DHALIWAL: I'm reminded of a conversation I had many years ago with an Indian restaurant owner, a small sort of bistro-style restaurant, I forget the owner's name unfortunately, but he turned to me and kind of said, you know, but what if I don't want to just be in a mainstream paper and what if I don't want to advertise in Punjabi newspapers? He goes, you know, I have a Punjabi restaurant, but he goes, I would rather advertise to the Filipino community because for a while there was this construction project nearby and you had nothing but Filipino workers coming through all the time, and he said, it's great. He goes, they love the food, but they don't keep asking for free onions and chutney.
6869 MR. DHALIWAL: So he goes, I would much rather promote this to the Filipino community. And why not, why can't we have Punjabi communities promoting themselves to the Filipino community, Koreans advertising themselves to others, et cetera.
6870 I mean, that's where I think true cultural navigation takes place, right, where we suddenly have sophisticated and nuanced understandings of each other, right. I mean, you are noticing an increase in xenophobia on university campuses these days, right. What's giving rise to all of this, right?
6871 There is a sense of the other and I think what we need to start doing is seeing that we are all a part of this spectrum, that we are all a part of this place and that we are integral parts of the whole, there is no other.
6872 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: A last question, again going back to your marketing skills and your outreach experience. Because Mosaic hasn't carved out what could be arguably said is perhaps an easier niche by going for an ethnic licence, they are immediately going to be going into competition with mainstream broadcasters.
6873 Do you feel that this station will be in for a tougher first few years because they have not only got to get the target audience that they are after, but still compete for a larger advertising pie to be able to -- you know, because again admittedly some of the stations that they will be against will be adult contemporary, you know, a genre that is a little broader than ethnic.
6874 Do you think they are going to have a tougher time?
6875 MR. DHALIWAL: Well, I wouldn't say tougher. I mean, my understanding from colleagues I have spoken with is that there is no radio station that doesn't have a tough time when they start, but being that they are the first ones to serve Surrey, I think -- I mean, I don't think we can understate that advantage. Surrey is a massive place and to be the first ones to say, we are going to serve Surrey, not just in English, but all of Surrey, I think there is a massive opportunity in that.
6876 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I think they do too. Thank you.
6877 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, interesting, you sort of let me talk about multiculturalism being the idea of almost sectioning people off and creating silos and walls instead of bringing down those walls.
6878 How would you label the opposite of multiculturalism? You talked about diversity and inclusion, how would you label that? If we are trying to get away from multiculturalism, what label do we put on the opposite thereof?
6879 MR. DHALIWAL: I think labels are the problem. I use metaphors and sometimes formulas, and not to go on a total tangent, but earlier today Wally Oppal was speaking about the series that the Province did. A major section of that series was actually inspired by a metaphor that I had given to the editor of the Province. I had talked about Canada as being a bento box.
6880 THE CHAIRPERSON: Bento box, right?
6881 MR. DHALIWAL: A bento box.
6882 THE CHAIRPERSON: Bento box.
6883 MR. DHALIWAL: Yes. Go to a Japanese restaurant, what's for lunch, you order one of the bento boxes and you got, you know, salad, rice, everything in nice little compartments in your bento box.
6884 And our issue was actually, you know, these convenient labels that we are always going after, right. What we need to do is sort of develop the formulas, we need to constantly renegotiate our identity. And yes, I know that creates a whole other complexity, but I think the closest I have come to actually describing it is really just diversity and inclusion.
6885 Even in my position as Chair of the Province's Multicultural Advisory Council, I would get in trouble with the Minister sometimes because I would always be calling for the scuttling of our Multiculturalism Act. I would say, let's get rid of this, let's replace it with the Diversity and Inclusion Act. And really if we had to choose a label, I think it would be diversity and inclusion, because diversity and inclusion goes far beyond just ethnicity or visible minority or terms like that, right, it goes to gender orientation all the way to, you know, the physically handicapped, right.
6886 It's about looking at an entire community holistically and saying, how do we make everybody feel like they are a part of this place, because that's the biggest issue we have moving forward, right. How can we solve grand problems if we have so many silos, so many disparate groups that only understand their own problems in their tiny pockets, right?
6887 There has to be some sort of binding agent that brings these people together and says you are all of one place, now here's the direction we are headed, right? And even then, not to dictate the direction to them, but say, let's collectively -- let's come together and set our vision for who we want to be as a community.
6888 THE CHAIRPERSON: Totally off topic, but if you are going to be scuttling multiculturalism, does tolerance become the new four-letter word?
6889 MR. DHALIWAL: Tolerance absolutely is a four-letter word and it has been I think pretty much right after since it was invented. You know, just accepting the fact that somebody sitting next to me is like, "I don't like you but I will let you sit here", it's not the way forward and that's -- I don't think that's the promise of this country, right. People don't come here to be tolerated, they hear of Canada because they hear about this place of opportunity where everyone is welcome.
6890 And to an extent that is true, however, it's what we do with these people when they get here, what we do with our second and third generations that continue to live here. I think that's the question that we need to answer.
6891 THE CHAIRPERSON: And speaking about the second and third generations and linguistic retention -- and there is nothing wrong with that whatsoever -- but in this market you have obviously made it quite clear that you need an English offering and how do we tie that English offering into the second and third generation, be they of Indian descent or any other culture or country of origin?
6892 Do you need to have the English offering or can you sort of fall back on the language of the home country? We have had somewhat of a debate between Punjabi offering and other Punjabi offering or predominantly Punjabi offering or an English offering and how do you address the needs of the culture and the society moving forward, second, third, fourth generations? Do you want to speak to that?
6893 MR. DHALIWAL: I will do my best because that's a fairly large question, but here is my shot at it.
6894 What I will say is that, you know, I don't think the idea of having ethnic programming as a part of this radio application, I don't think it's about language protectionism. Language itself is a living tradition and there are applications that have been submitted that are speaking to the fact that language is a living tradition.
6895 But beyond that, I think the answer actually -- even the answer to that actually lies in the community, right. Let's look at what's happening in Surrey. Surrey is mostly English and a bunch of other languages, depending on people's comfort level. So, based on that we believe that the station should be mostly English and a bunch of other languages, you know, and based on people's comfort level they can tune into what they want to hear.
6896 THE CHAIRPERSON: We actually have to put all three of you on hold for just a second to accommodate someone that is calling in.
6897 Madam Ventura, is that where we are at, our teleconference?
6898 THE SECRETARY: He is part of this panel as well, yes.
6899 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Oh, good.
6900 THE SECRETARY: Yes.
6901 THE CHAIRPERSON: Then we have to go to him immediately?
6902 THE SECRETARY: That's correct.
6903 THE CHAIRPERSON: All right. Live from...?
6904 THE SECRETARY: I'm not sure --
6905 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
6906 THE SECRETARY: -- but it is Durity.
6907 MR. DURITY: Hello.
6908 THE SECRETARY: There he is.
6909 MR. DURITY: Can you hear me?
6910 THE CHAIRPERSON: There he is.
6911 THE SECRETARY: I can hear you. You can go ahead and present yourself and you have five minutes.
6912 Thank you.
6913 THE CHAIRPERSON: We can even see you, well, a picture of you.
6914 MR. DURITY: Okay. Yes, actually good afternoon, Commissioners, and thanks for your indulgence in doing this by the phone.
6915 My name is Gordon Durity and I am here to intervene on behalf of Mosaic Media Inc. I will give you sort of just a broad coverage of what I will be talking about in the next five minutes.
6916 I will give you a background brief of myself, music diversity in Surrey as I see it, the proposed claimant that I have examined, the indigenous talent base in Surrey that I have experienced and also, really importantly, how can a radio station support local talent development.
6917 So first off, my background. I am a music and audio professional, I have been doing this stuff for over 30 years and I do live performance, album productions, songwriting, compositions for independent artists, film and television games, audio post-production. I teach at universities and colleges, I am at a university right now, talent development and also I do executive strategic planning for Electronic Arts, which is one of the largest game -- multibillion dollar corporation game company in the world, and that is specifically around audio strategies.
6918 And since the early '90s, in the large part my studio work with my production partner who lives in Surrey, as I do now as well, we have done all of our -- most of our production from our Surrey-based facilities. So, I really -- I have been here for quite a while doing music and audio production, so I have a good feel for what's going on.
6919 As far as the musical diversity in Surrey goes, I worked with many, many Surrey-based artists from solo acts to full bands, and the styles are really indicative of the cultural blend and cross-pollination that goes on here. So we have had, you know, I have done stuff from hip-hop to country, rock, pop, folk, blues, R&B and bhangra.
6920 But where it gets really interesting from my perspective working with local artists is that cross-pollination point where you have -- for instance, I have worked with rock-tinged bhangra, country-influenced pop and English and Punjabi rap tracks, and one of which went, I think it was number eight in the UK, and it was done in English with a rap in Punjabi and it was sort of a hip-hop racy bhangra track. It was a whole blend of all those styles.
6921 And overall I find that Surreyites are exposed and listening to a broad range of musical styles across cultures.
6922 Now, pertaining to the playlist -- and in listening previously, you know, it was sort of brought up about not having necessarily a South Asian focused playlist. I really do like the proposed playlist because it appeals to a wide range of ages and musical tastes. There is a good mix of classic older Gold tracks and modern current selections. The offering spans a great breadth of musical styles and cultures, a representative of the listening audience unique to Surrey.
6923 So I have listened to every radio station that is in the Lower Mainland for many, many years and, specifically looking at the playlist, there is not one station that offers the precise mix of the range of songs and the eras represented by the one Mosaic Media is putting forward. So, competitively I don't think there is really any other radio station that has the precise playlist that compares.
6924 Surrey-based talent pool. So I can personally attest to the talent pool that we have living in Surrey and growing and developing here. Myself and my partner, we have worked with and developed many amazing local talented artists over the years. Some of these artists have gone on to work with superstar producers like David Foster.
6925 Ourselves, we brought an international recording artist and multi-Grammy award-winning producers to our Surrey facilities and exposed them to some of the local talent.
6926 My partner has been asked to be the judge of many local emerging young artist competitions and panels and from that we have actually drawn a number of really outstanding talented emerging up-and-coming artists.
6927 In fact, for an example, we are currently developing a high school -- a Surrey high school student who sings in English, she has a Filipino background and she is so good that she has caught the air and attention of one of the all-time pop music producers in the U.S., and this is a person who has produced albums for Mariah Carey, for Whitney Houston to Stevie Wonder, and he is very excited about the potential of working with her and we are going to be actually addressing that this spring hopefully.
6928 The radio station supports the local talent, that's critical. And when I examined the proposal for Mosaic Media, I met and reviewed it with them and really wanted to get clear on what the support arc looked like.
6929 I actually do commend the proposal they have in hand for developing and supporting talent.
6930 As you know, the music industry has changed immensely over the last decade, so right now when artists have any chance of the game, they pretty much have to come to the table with songs produced, image packages, that the videos, graphics, performance experience and critically an online presence and exposure and an exposure plan in hand.
6931 The, you know, overall talent competitions are great, I have supported many of them in the past, many radio stations have done talent competitions, but where I find that has been lacking in the past, it would be a really important aspect of following up after the competition is done, so that involves mentoring, guidance and market awareness provided by industry experts.
6932 I was really quite happy to see in the plan here by Mosaic that they do facilitate that often neglected part of the puzzle. So overall initial exposure is key, but really professional guidance and a well-crafted plan is essential to providing emerging talent with a leg up in a very challenging industry. And that's me.
6933 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you so much.
6934 Commissioner Simpson...?
6935 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Durity. Very articulate, again very impressive. Your whole world is sound. You know, I'm just going to take the spoken word out of it for a minute, but your whole world is about music, rhythm, beats, you know, just whatever influences or adds to a project you're working on.
6936 Do you think as a producer who produces a global product, do you think in cultural or ethnic niches anymore with respect to music or is just music, music?
6937 MR. DURITY: That's a good point. And actually, you know, I would have to say not necessarily so, because you're right, it is a global market now.
6938 You know, I have worked with Asian artists who have got number one hits in Beijing that live downtown in Vancouver. We have Chin and Jenny who, you know, grew up -- who lived in Surrey and last year or the year before got three Grammys for hip-hop production with Eminem, his studio is in Hastings and he lives in Surrey.
6939 So there really is -- you know, it is a far and wide global market. So when we think about it it's the generation of people that have been exposed to all types of music.
6940 And, as I said, the Internet has been a major influence in that, in that you are no longer isolated, you can hear anything from anywhere on the globe. And particularly youth, they do listen to everything and anything from all over the world because the Internet brings it right to them.
6941 So I don't necessarily think around culture anymore as we think about sounds, how sounds and rhythms go together. You might have a Maori beat with, you know, a Japanese Kyoto and a Hindi vocalist going on with, you know, with a hip-hop artist.
6942 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And a didgeridoo on the base track, right?
6943 MR. DURITY: Exactly.
6944 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
6945 MR. DURITY: All the borders have gone and disappeared, and what's really interesting is the cross-pollination styles because everyone is listening to everything.
6946 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
6947 MR. DURITY: It's blending all over.
6948 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Here's a question for you though, if you were to -- if this whole proposition was to drop itself into Vancouver instead of Surrey, would it work, just given what you said about universality of music?
6949 MR. DURITY: Well, it could possibly work, but I think what you have in Surrey that's unique is you do have a lot of strong, you know, ethnic cultures -- and I'm thinking of course there is a strong South Asian culture -- but you do have a very strong Caribbean culture, you have a strong African culture, so I find that there is more actual cross-pollination points that I have found in Surrey culturally that either organic or through festivals or just through how kids hang out.
6950 I work in Vancouver all the time and I find it is actually a bit more separated in Vancouver than you get in Surrey, maybe it's because Surrey is a suburb and, you know, families go and blend together, well I'm not quite sure what the reason is, but I do find that there is more actual cultural blending going on in Surrey than I do find in Vancouver.
6951 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Mayor Watts is coming over to your place to wash your mouth out with soap about the suburb reference.
6952 MR. DURITY: Yes.
6953 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: She is still on the south Surrey warpath, too. But thank you, that was really informative, because I think the way you have sort of framed it, you know, the big question is, you know, we are looking at the formats all the time, but also we are always struggling to try and figure out what makes Surrey Surrey.
6954 MR. DURITY: M'hmm.
6955 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So that helped a heck of a lot, thank you very much.
6956 MR. DURITY: Okay.
6957 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you so much.
6958 MR. DURITY: Okay, thank you.
6959 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thanks for joining us today, really appreciate it.
6960 MR. DURITY: Okay, thank you.
6961 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm sorry for the interruption.
6962 THE SECRETARY: Okay.
6963 THE CHAIRPERSON: But we had to do it that way. Ms Mohr, are you going to be next up? Great.
6964 MS MOHR: Hello. Mr. Chair and Commissioners, thank you for the opportunity to speak today. My name is Christine Mohr, I have worked in Surrey for about 20 years, but for the last eight years I have been the Executive Director of a non-profit organization Options Community Services for Surrey. We have over 400 staff members and 250 active volunteers that make up our Options team and each year we assist thousands of residents in the community.
6965 We are a Surrey-focused organization with 42 years of experience. We primarily serve Surrey. We are all about Surrey. Options provides a very broad range of services, we touch on almost any social issue that is imaginable. We support families with young children, we work with youth, we work with families and individuals that are struggling with mental health issues, with family issues, domestic violence, unemployment, children with special needs, people that are living in poverty, the homeless.
6966 And I would like to point out that while we are considered a mainstream community services agency, like my colleague here, I'm not sure what some of that means or what multicultural means. We are one of the three largest agencies in the community serving the immigrant community. Settlement services is what we provide to newcomers and to refugees.
6967 For many in our community, Options is a first rung on the ladder towards a successful life. I would like to believe that every day in my community our organization is playing an important role in extending a helping hand to the disenfranchised and marginalized, while also playing a key role in helping them walk along the path to greater empowerment and participation in our economy and our society.
6968 It is an organization that I am very proud of and one that does important work to an honourable end. I am also very proud to live in Surrey, and I have for 30 years, a community which I have watched first-hand grow from a much smaller town into what is inarguably the big city that it is today.
6969 Like all communities, we have our challenges. Many of the people we see every day at Options struggle with those challenges, as I have mentioned already, but they also represent hope and success. In my opinion, Surrey is a city of doers and I believe that the foundation of our strength comes from the cultural and economic diversity that forms the fabric of our community. We are a city that is en route to overcoming the lines that divide us, whether that's social, cultural, geographic or partisan.
6970 I support The BUZZ107.7 concept of a Surrey radio station because I believe our city is more than the sum of its parts and I look forward to the day that a media outlet reports both the positive along with the negative, a broadcaster that reflects our spirit, attitudes and attributes. I believe that out of the proposals in front of you, this application represents the best chance of the inclusiveness our city deserves as it embraces the Surrey pride that is seen daily throughout our community. It also sees the unique challenges Surrey faces, as well as its diverse community makeup.
6971 I can tell you that Surrey is tired of being a postscript to thoughtful, insightful commentary on a regionally appropriate broadcast outlet and, sadly, we lack the kind of thoughtful analysis of our community that is at the underpinning of Canada's broadcast system and comes from not simply reporting on a city from afar, but being part of it.
6972 There is a difference between thinking you know and understand a community and actually knowing that you do through the experience of being part of the community, a community which is what the Mosaic group is all about. I think that whenever possible we need local framework within our broader context of news and entertainment reporting.
6973 I can tell you as the Executive Director at Options that we are at a time in the life of our community to continue to work on bridging people together and I don't have to tell you the power of Canada's broadcasters to achieve this.
6974 I know personally several of the proponents of this application. As a key service provider in Surrey, we are confident and comfortable with the Mosaic group's intentions, their values, their sensitivity and dedication to our community. They are Surreyites like we are and they understand the strengths and weaknesses of our communities and the importance of showing both as we work to improve the flaws and showcase our success. It is from that that we will build the community pride needed to continue to form a successful society.
6975 In Canada the right to accurate, contextual commentary is the social contract between Canadians and our government. I am thrilled that the CRTC is entertaining this license call as it represents a wonderful opportunity to ensure that all of the City of Surrey is represented by a licence holder that itself represents all of Surrey and, as such, I encourage you to approve the BUZZ107 application.
6976 For Surrey to have a broadcaster that embodies the entire community and provides a forum and a meeting place for discussion of all social issues is incredibly important. Things like civic issues, focused call-in programs do much to create a greater sense of democratic participation and social leadership in matters that concern us all.
6977 In my role at Options, I know that a Surrey radio station can fill a valuable teaching role in an evolving society such as ours. I believe the proponents of BUZZ107 have the quality of character that can help shape our community.
6978 Before I close, I would like to speak to the question of the merits of an English-only station, as it has come up, or an ethno-specific station. When the Mosaic group first came and approached myself and colleagues at our organization, what we fell in love with right away was that the proposal really was about all of us in Surrey. If it was going to be just another English-speaking station, it would be just that, just another English-speaking station. And if it was going to be at ethno-specific, it would just be about them, the other, it wouldn't be about us.
6979 We, as an agency, really strive to be inclusive and I can give you examples. Our Employment Services Office, for instance, we have 19 staff, but we represent 17 different language groups. Most people that come through can speak English, but not all, and some are more comfortable with language -- in their own language. We have family resource centres, those are places that anybody with young children can come and visit. We have welcome signs done in numerous languages that are the key languages in our community.
6980 And, again, when I started out earlier saying we were considered a mainstream organization, but if you walk in our doors you would think, where am I? This is an immigrant, multicultural -- you know, it's hard to say, what is multicultural, what is mainstream anymore. It's all about us. But what we know is that it is important for people to be able to see themselves as well. So if you walk into one of our buildings, we take great care to make sure that people can see that they fit; if we have pictures, that there are pictures that are representing the community of Surrey, because if you can't see yourself in something you don't belong.
6981 And so the proposal that is before you from the Mosaic group is just such a hand-in-glove fit with what our organization is about, which is really about building community and belonging for all.
6982 So thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today.
6983 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. It sounds like diversity is the new mainstream. Commissioner Simpson...?
6984 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you. Thank you again. You stole my thunder with respect to the first line of questioning because it was going to be on the issue of how you as an organization that is mainstream build trust and create a welcoming environment for anyone who walks through your doors, and I think you have done a good job of explaining that.
6985 I gather that what you are saying is the Mosaic programming formula really replicates what you are doing and what you find works in your own organization?
6986 MS MOHR: Yes. We are really excited about the possibility of working together and having them as partners.
6987 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: From a standpoint of, not trying to put metrics to things, but out of 100 percent of the people walking through your door, what are you finding are the proportion of clients that are coming from the South Asian community?
6988 MS MOHR: That's a bit of a challenge to identify because we also provide settlement services.
6989 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Sure.
6990 MS MOHR: We work hand-in-hand with the two main other agencies in the community.
6991 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: That's PICS is one of them?
6992 MS MOHR: PICS is one of them, and Diversity. We also have partners, successes out here in a smaller way.
6993 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
6994 MS MOHR: So we serve -- in that big area of service we serve different populations, so PICS and --
6995 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: You are broad-spectrum in what you do?
6996 MS MOHR: Right. Right.
6997 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
6998 MS MOHR: So we provide a lot of services for the Spanish community, for Korean, Vietnamese, yes.
6999 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes. Because just on the basis of incoming to the marketplace, you will just naturally get a good cross-section, is what you're saying?
7000 MS MOHR: Yes.
7001 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Are you a United Way agent?
7002 MS MOHR: We are a United Way services agency.
7003 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are?
7004 MS MOHR: Yes, we are.
7005 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I guess the last part of my questioning just has to do with, in your case load, you know, as you sit down as the Executive Director and you look at, you know, what you're doing, your business plan, your pro forma -- I don't want to be, you know, a traitor or glib about it -- but how is business, is it growing in the area of social services?
7006 Let's put the settlement stuff to the side, because we understand what that is and I don't think it's where I want to go with this, but you know, on the other issues, you know, is business growing? Is it putting yourself out of business? What's happening?
7007 MS MOHR: Well, what's really exciting is the idea of a Surrey-based station as well, because one of the challenges that we have -- well, you know that our community is growing by 1,200ish or so a month.
7008 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
7009 MS MOHR: Resources do not keep up with that and it's very difficult for us to draw the attention of the media. And often, as you will know, it's like it's the 26th murder or whatever it is, but resources really are not matching with what is available in Vancouver, for example.
7010 For instance, the homeless count, you know, you hear what the homeless numbers are in the downtown Eastside in Vancouver, but we know that it's very similar out here, it's just very hard to do a count when you have 380 square kilometres to do a count, it's a lot easier in a downtown Eastside.
7011 So, you know, we have some of the very same issues of the same magnitude and other resources are just not matching. And you see that primarily in the media, you will hear about transportation, you will hear out of the most recent incident and tragic situation in Newton that the number of police that we have doesn't compare, it pales by comparison to on a per capita basis. Well, that's true in the social services area as well.
7012 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes. And we all know that just throwing more resources against a problem doesn't make the problem go away, it just manages the problem.
7013 So if you were on the advisory board of this radio station and you had your hand on the tiller directionally, aside from the obvious help you would be getting in a working relationship from a programming standpoint, in terms of what the power of broadcasting can do to a community, what would you be wanting as a core idea for it to be sort of putting out there as an overlaying or underlying message to the community in terms of making -- helping them understand and make their own problems go away?
7014 MS MOHR: Well, I think the opportunity there really is to explore what -- these are difficult issues that we deal with, they are not simplistic. It's not like there is one easy solution.
7015 So I think, for one, it is increasing awareness of how the challenges that we face are so interconnected and not simplified, but also looking at how we can work together. There are lots of opportunities for people to be involved on an individual basis in their communities for, you know, creating a healthier, more inclusive community.
7016 So I think it's about identifying what some of the issues are, the complexity behind that and really looking at what are the opportunities. The solutions to these challenges have to be grown from within our community, they can't come from somewhere else and government is not going to be there to fix it all, we really need to be involved.
7017 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you. Those are my questions. Thank you.
7018 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you so much.
7019 MR. GURPREET SINGH SAHOTA: Honourable Commissioners, I was just here for -- to show the picture of Mr. Gorhim(ph).
7020 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
7021 MR. GURPREET SINGH SAHOTA: No intervention.
7022 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, I thought there was an extra player there. Too many men on the ice.
7023 We are going to take a break. My arm has been twisted, a whole 10 minutes, and we will be back. Let's make it 4:30, 12 minutes. There you go.
7024 Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 1619
--- Upon resuming at 1631
7025 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good late afternoon. We had some good radio voices here earlier and I'm not one of them.
7026 Oui, Madame la secrétaire.
7027 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
7028 For the record we have Mr. Jasmeet Singh Lamba, who is appearing in support of Surdel. He will also be reading the intervention by Preeti Lamba and Julia F, as they are not able to be here today.
7029 He will start with Preeti Lamba, then Julia F., and then his. Thank you very much.
7030 THE CHAIRPERSON: And for the record, the presentations that are -- the people that are absent will not be subject to any questions. He will not be questioned on their presentation, only on his.
7031 THE SECRETARY: That's correct. Thank you.
7032 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great. Thank you so much.
7033 Go ahead, sir.
7034 Actually, you know what, turn off the other button so there's no -- now they're both off. Pick one and it's yours. There you go.
7035 MR. LAMBA: There you go. All right. Now we've gotten that sorted out.
7036 THE CHAIRPERSON: There you go.
7037 MR. LAMBA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Commissioners.
7038 Just for the record, I definitely don't sound like Julia or Preeti, so it's definitely a different flavour you're going to get.
7039 I would --
7040 THE CHAIRPERSON: We'll use our imagination for the day.
7041 MR. LAMBA: Absolutely. Absolutely.
7042 So I would start with Preeti's intervention. I'm just going to read this out.
7043 MR LAMBA:
"Good afternoon, Commissioners. I would like to speak to you today about the engagement of the younger professional generation with ethnic stations. As I stated in my intervention, I typically tune into ethnic station, as I do not find their co-- as I do not find their content contextually engaging. I tend to lean towards mainstream stations, supplemented by my own selections on my iPod for -- for my music.
I find that my interests are quite varied and it becomes difficult to fulfil my wants with one offering. I believe Surdel has very intriguing proposal with a wider breadth that could likely capture the interest of a much broader audience. It takes into consideration increasing influences we are regularly seeing and hearing. I love trying new things and engaging in unique experiences. From a professional perspective today, it is atmosphere and/or experience that becomes a sell point for any marketer.
I feel that the Surdel proposal is capitalizing on the wants of the professionals who want to like -- like the unique, the different. By offering a broader range of music and conversing in English, they will be able to promote the exchange of ideas and traditions across the community. They become somewhat of an educator through the concept of music, which is an international language and one that everyone engages with. The audience for this type of offering is only ever growing as we become more worldly and given the diversification within the community. I see Surdel as a very viable concept that can be very successful moving forward, as their audience is only growing."
7044 We'll move on to Julia.
7045 MR LAMBA:
"Thank you for your time, Commissioners. As stated in my written intervention, I am a Polish Canadian and my husband is of Indian descent. As you may know, Vancouver has more interracial couples and less residential segregation than Toronto or Montréal. We have double the Canadian average of interracial marriages at 7.2 percent versus the Canadian average of 3.2 percent. Across the Lower Mainland we see the increasing trend of intercultural marriages. Blended families are a beautiful and common thing here. I would suggest it would be difficult to find anyone in this room who doesn't know multiple couples in interracial marriages.
As for my husband and I, we live with -- we live our lives with respect to our both cultural heritages and are very much involved in within these communities and our respective families. I am always curious to learn more about his culture and background. Sometimes it's nice to surprise him that I know how to create a new dish or about the latest Bollywood buzz before he even does. I already understand a handful of Indian terms and have a keen interest in Bollywood and Indian music.
Currently when I try to tune in on the FM dial, I find that I am mainly dealing with Punjabi and find it difficult to engage with their content. Having said that, I would love to find something on the FM dial that is English but still caters to the multicultural programming.
Also, given the way my husband and I live my life and as a young professional in Vancouver, I live and work in a multicultural community and interact with various cultures on a daily basis, and I find myself engaging with the music and entertainment of many groups. We attend various events across the Lower Mainland, such as Greek Days, Fusion Festival, Taiwanese Fest, City of Bhangra, and Celtic Fest. As a group of friends we can enjoy all of those events together, including the music and entertainment that come from them. I would like a station that helps bridge the gap between these cultures and across generations.
I very much support Surdel Broadcasting's concept of an English-speaking station that will reflect the global perspective on professionals today. And I love how they have coined it as fusion, with a mix and blend of so many of our musical tastes. We intake content from all over the world given our usage of the internet and I would be very excited to see a similar type of format on the FM dial locally that would help us consume much of this global content.
So, thank you."
7046 And this is now for myself in my real voice.
7047 MR. LAMBA: So, Commissioners, good afternoon and I appreciate the opportunity to present my thoughts in front of the Commission. Unfortunately some engagements have kept me from -- away from attending all the hearings in person, but the CRTC has done a great job to keep the public abreast. I've been checking the tweets, which are pretty much live; I've gone through the content of other radio stations who have some great ideas.
7048 I'm sure all applicants have enjoyed the process. There is a lot of effort that goes into putting these together. It is -- it's very encouraging to see this effort and passion that everybody has demonstrated. So congratulations to all the participants.
7049 I'd also like to commend the Commissioners and the supporting team for their patience and effort. I'm sure this would have been quite an enriching experience for all of you.
7050 I'd like to extend my support to Surdel's initiative. Their vision is very relevant to a market that remains, in my opinion, unaddressed. The younger demographic is going through a very transitionary phase. In most cases at home family provides a good exposure to native language, culture and traditions, and outside the home it's the Canadian experience.
7051 The second very relevant trend that's impacting this generation is intercultural marriages. A significant portion of the circle that I am exposed to has this element and they have a very unique set of challenges, kind of building the relationships, which include understanding each other's languages, cultures, traditions, and unifying those experiencing in a Canadian context.
7052 Surdel's vision supports this demographic, providing the platform which is agile enough to address the current demographic but also accommodating what comes in the future. I haven't seen such agility in other stations being proposed. Surrey is one of the growing cities in the Lower Mainland's -- and in the Lower Mainland's context is one of the spots that young professionals can actually afford. I continue to see this demographic and market grow. And knowing that, I am glad to hear Surdel's plans to keep its news also very locally relevant.
7053 Finally, vision is important but you need the right team to execute on the ideas. I have known the team personally. Mr. Gupta brought a transformation to the newspaper business 20 years ago and I believe he is well-suited for this challenge. He has surrounded himself with very capable talent, who will bring passion and drive for this project. I have experience with this team and they have all required skill sets, business acumen, music knowledge, and, most importantly, ability of staying connected to the audience and being real. I strongly believe in the vision, the team, and their ability to execute.
7054 Finally, Mr. Chairman, I -- I do want to address one of the questions you asked I believe of Mr. Mo Dhaliwal, how would you label the opposite of multiculturalism, and I think it's fusion and that's what Surdel is supporting. So I'd like to close off on that. Thank you.
7055 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for joining us this afternoon. I think I can speak for all of us that this hearing has been a truly enriching experience, as you stated yourself. Very true.
7056 Mr. Shoan may have some questions for you.
7057 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
7058 I absolutely agree. To me it's been an incredibly educational experience, educational in the sense I have learned a great deal about Surrey, about the community, the different elements that comprise the community, and it's clearly very, very vibrant, with some pretty remarkable demographics and I think that's reflected in the variety of applications that are before us. So that's been great.
7059 Before I jump into specifically your support for Surdel's application, I wanted to talk about the market in particular and whether the market in terms of music services are -- is well served. In other words, I'm wondering whether in your view or how in your view Surdel's application is bringing forward something truly unique and diverse with respect to -- in comparison to whatever is available in the marketplace today.
7060 MR. LAMBA: Absolutely. Thank you. It's a great question. You know, first of all, I think it's -- it's been -- it's been a lot of content and I have gone through the applications and it is truly enriching for myself too. I think what's -- what's even more appealing to me is that there is a lot of passion in the -- in the community. There is lots of ideas and -- and they're all good ideas in -- in -- from different vantage points.
7061 So coming to your question, there is -- there is two sets of -- at least -- and these are my opinion, so these are my observations of the -- of what's available in the market today.
7062 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Sure, yeah.
7063 MR. LAMBA: You know, on -- on one side we have ethnic radio stations which are providing a lot of content, a lot of music that is -- that is more ethic in nature --
7064 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: M'hmm.
7065 MR. LAMBA: -- and so-called mainstream is The Beat 94.5 and other stations. There is -- there is a lack of fusion, which is the world music kind of concept that is available out there.
7066 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
7067 MR. LAMBA: And that's -- that's where I feel -- that's -- that's -- that is the -- the demographic. That's -- that -- this -- this demographic is -- is most attracted to that global view of music which is remaining unaddressed.
7068 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Did you have an opportunity to review Sky Radio's application?
7069 MR. LAMBA: I did, yes.
7070 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: And it referred to, I believe, the terminology was "urban beat".
7071 MR. LAMBA: Yeah, contemporary --
7072 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Urban -- urban dance. Right.
7073 MR. LAMBA: -- dance music.
7074 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Urban dance music.
7075 MR. LAMBA: Right. And --
7076 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: How would you feel that application compares to Surdel's?
7077 MR. LAMBA: I think, you know, it -- what -- and I did -- again, I'm going to speak on high level terms, not --
7078 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Sure.
7079 MR. LAMBA: -- getting into specifics, but contemporary urban dance music is very relevant today. It is -- I think it was 30 or 40 percent of -- of the content that Sky was suggesting, but I don't -- I couldn't understand how the platform was agile enough. So if -- if we are dedicating a percentage to a particular type that is relevant today, two or three years from now that that particular content may not be relevant. Whereas I find Surdel, on the other hand, is -- is a more agile environment or agile platform that they are providing to the consumer where they have -- and I believe this is -- this was written in the application itself, where the -- the type of music will change with the changing demographic of Surrey and they will be able to accommodate to that.
7080 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you. Sorry, I was just comparing the music category --
7081 MR. LAMBA: Music style?
7082 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: -- commitment of Sky Radio to Surdel's application just to see the differences. And you're right, there are some differences there, so I take your point with respect to agility.
7083 I wanted to ask you about -- and you touched upon this in your -- the answer you just gave about the agility aspect and I want to talk -- speak to -- speak to you about it in terms of the technological platform perspective. As you know, an FM frequency is a very valuable resource, public resource. It's also a very scarce resource. And when we're considering which applicants, if any, to licence in this proceeding, we have to take into account that -- we have to take into account a variety of factors, all of which ultimately go into the public interest in determining which application is the best use of the frequency for the marketplace.
7084 MR. LAMBA: Right.
7085 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Surdel's application is openly targeting 2.0, 3.0 demographics within the Surrey community. These tend to be obviously younger people, people who adopt technologies across a variety of platforms, mobile phones, tablets, things of that nature. Is it absolutely necessary for Surdel to have an FM frequency in order to succeed? Could they not use this format or method of music delivery, programming delivery through an app on an iPhone or an android-based phone?
7086 MR. LAMBA: Yeah, I think that's a -- that's a very good question too. So I think the -- the 2.0 and 3.0, it is very easy for them to stream music in alternative formats --
7087 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: M'hmm.
7088 MR. LAMBA: -- but there is -- there is another point that I'd like to highlight. I think it is the -- the -- not only the 2.0 and 3.0 generation, but it's also the families and the parents who are also trying to connect with those -- with -- with the -- with the younger generation. And --
7089 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. So walk me -- walk me through what you mean by that.
7090 MR. LAMBA: So, what I am observing is that the parents who are -- who have traditionally gone through the environment where they're more connected to ethnic media --
7091 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: M'hmm.
7092 MR. LAMBA: -- and the -- there's a disconnect between them and the younger generation or the next generation, which is more connected to the -- the mainstream media, I'll call it. So -- or this new way of thinking, a global way of thinking, and the parents are trying to connect to the -- to the younger generation. They may not have access to these alternative formats or they may not be very comfortable in -- in downloading music or going to a particular podcast and just listening to the media. So I think it's -- it's quite relevant for -- for providing that bridge between the two generations that there is a radio station. I'm not very technically savvy to -- to differentiate between an FM versus an AM, but I think the availability of a radio station being available that the family can listen to together is -- is quite relevant.
7093 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Can I ask you personally, do you listen to AM radio?
7094 MR. LAMBA: I do for -- for -- more for news and weather kind of formats.
7095 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: And do you consume FM programming?
7096 MR. LAMBA: I do.
7097 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
7098 MR. LAMBA: I do.
7099 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Those are my questions, Mr. Chair. Thank you very much.
7100 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
7101 MR. LAMBA: Thank you.
7102 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's -- that's all for -- for that presentation, thank you. Thanks.
7103 THE SECRETARY: Thank you. We'll now proceed with the interveners in support of New Vision Broadcasting. I would ask Mota Singh, Avtar Bains, and Gunwant Bains to come forward.
7104 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome. Who will lead?
7105 MR. JHEETA: I will.
7106 THE CHAIRPERSON: Very well, sir. Press that little button in front of you and you will be off. Thank you. Go ahead.
7107 MR. JHEETA: Respected Commissioners, good afternoon. My name is Mota Singh Jheeta. I'm 74 years old, living in Canada for the last 48 years. I have seen the community grow. I have seen the days when there was not a single radio station or TV station available to the community.
7108 Before I present my four points to you for your kind attention, I would like to introduce myself to -- to you.
7109 I have been very fortunate in serving the Khalsa Diwan Society, which is a 108 years old society, originally formed here in Vancouver. And I have served for four years on the Advisory Council for Multiculturalism on behalf of the British Colum-- government of British Columbia. I am an honorary member, lifetime member of Five Rivers Community Services Society, which is affiliated by eight major South Asian institutions, and this is an institution which is really functioning very successfully, and I am also very proud in telling that I am one of the draftees who wrote the constitution for this -- this organization. I was appointed as a presider over the election. There was a dispute in our community and there was no election for five, six years, and I was the instrument. Without my knowledge the Supreme Court of Canada appointed me to settle this issue and bring unity in the community and which, with God's willing, I was able to do. Currently I'm a member of the provincial Committee on Cultural Diversity in British Columbia.
7110 I mentioned to you about my past experience and involvement in the community. There is a long list, but with the constraint of time I am unable to give all the synopsis to you about what I have done and how I understand the infrastructure of the community.
7111 I have four points for your consideration. I am concerned that current radio stations are serving listeners of age 30 and up. Our youth are not tuning into these radio stations, resulting a gap between the young and the old in the community. The New Vision Broadcasting Inc. aims to close this gap and bridge the young and the older generation by interacting with listeners in English, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu languages, et cetera. They will do this by -- by discussing important social topics that affects youth as well as the older population. Their aim is to provide more talk shows for the benefit and education of the community. They will focus on social issues; that is, violence against women; gender equality; bullying; drugs and alcohol, which has festered our community anyway; environment; education; sports; law and order; last but not least developing of our citizens.
7112 My second point is abuses in the current system. In my opinion there are some questionable even misleading advertisements currently taking place on the ethnic radio stations directed towards our South Asian population. It is important that a radio station which imposes and maintains high standards be licensed. Standards need to be raised and radio stations need to hold their broadcasters and advertisers to those standards. I firmly believe that New Vision Broadcasting will do this. They will ensure to use services of high standard professionals, journalists and program presenters. They will also provide fair journalism free of exploitation and exaggeration to build bridges amongst the community.
7113 My third point is secular information. Issues in our churches and temples are sometimes being sensationalised. We, therefore, need broadcasters who commit to present fair and equal treatment of their stories regardless of religious views of the reporter involved or the management or ownership of the station.
7114 My fourth point and final point is need of another station. You will, of course, agree that there is an increase in the population of the South Asian community in and around Surrey area. There are larger businesses in the South Asian community to provide information about local and/or international issues affecting the community. The services of another radio station are imminent.
7115 We also know about the changes in the demography of the South Asian community in the Lower Mainland and Surrey in particularly. Currently there is 44 percent visible minority living in this area and within the next 10 years it is expected that it will increase to over 50 percent. Statistically, approximately 25- to 150,000 new immigrants are moving into the Lower Mainland area every year and a larger number of these immigrants perhaps will settle in the Surrey area. Therefore, the South Asian community is going to be desperate, in need of accessory information and quality entertainment. A new radio station shall fulfil this need. These are the reasons that I am making this presentation, because I have lived in the community and I understand it.
7116 Finally, once again, I am confident that if an opportunity is provided, the New Vision Broadcasting will make a difference by providing accessory service to the community because they are committed. I understand and they understand the community better. Thank you very much.
7117 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7118 Commissioner Shoan.
7119 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Very clear presentation, thank you.
7120 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, sir.
7122 MS BAINS: Hello, Chair, Commissioners, CRTC, staff. Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to speaking before you. Thank you.
7123 My name is Gunwant (Gunny) Bains and I am foundation director for Golden Girls, charitable organization. From 15 years I am doing this. So, it's about womens raise money for the Children's Hospital, BC Children's Hospital. So I am very much fortunately talk about in a community, 40 years I'm living in this community and always for the community help and everything I do myself bottom of my heart.
7124 I raise money, I reach my goal without other radios. I am not against any radio, but I did not get help from a five minute in 15 years. This is very much shameful. Okay, I'm thinking -- I'm thinking because if I ask for help, I did not get from any radio. I reach my goal to go knock door to door, go travel around B.C., and I reach my goal, which is I committed for the BC Children's Hospital 3 million. So we -- I did 2 million and government give 1 million. So I reach my goal. This I feel very proud, my Golden Girls and myself, and how hardship we did and we did reach our goal without any radio help.
7125 So now I'm thinking this is New Vision, I have a very big hope from them, which is the small issues and working people. Working class people, they can't go near these radios because we don't have money to pay. Whenever we ask for help, we ask for, they always said us to you have to pay because we have to pay CRTC. So we don't have money, so we can't go near them.
7126 So this is -- my issue is workplaces bullying, small kids have no program, news are always like all day same news. And I would like to -- because I am working with the community, I want to know around, what is going on around. So what I do, I go for mainstream radio. You always feel really scared to call them to ask for help and which is you know already you're not going to get. So my big hope and I feel like the New Vision, I have a big hope they gonna have all those little issues and the ladies abuse, all those little organizations, they going to listen to us. So this is my big hope from New Vision. That's why I am supporting them.
7127 And I look forward to have -- all the applications are really appreciate they are there. So I like support to New Vision Broadcasting and I am looking forward to their help.
7128 Thank you very much.
7129 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Commissioner Shoan has a question.
7130 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: I do have a radio-based question, but before I begin, I just wanted to go back to your contribution to the BC Children's Hospital.
7131 Did you say you went door to door and raised $2 million?
7132 MS BAINS: Yes.
7133 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: By yourself?
7134 MS BAINS: No, I have ladies, 15 ladies' group. We go to around door to door and travel all around BC.
7135 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: That's fantastic. Congratulations. Really great.
7136 MS BAINS: I just travel last month, January the 14th.
7137 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Congratulations. That's really great.
7138 MS BAINS: Thank you.
7139 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: That's really great.
7140 MS BAINS: Thank you.
7141 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: I wanted to touch upon -- your support for New Vision's very clear, as was Mr. Jheeta's.
7142 We've had some discussion not only today but throughout the week about whether or not the younger generations are actually tuning in to radio and using it as an effective medium, whether radio going forward will be as effective as a community-building mechanism, instrument, as it was in the past.
7143 So perhaps if you could address how you feel New Vision can utilize its format to bring the community together across all generations, whether you feel it would be successful in doing so and how you feel it can be successful in doing so, I would very much appreciate that.
7144 And Mr. Jheeta, if you'd like to address that, too, that would be great.
7145 MR. JHEETA: Yes, I'll be happy to address this question.
7146 My approach as an advisor to the New Vision Broadcasting would be to encourage the youth in our community, approach the universities and encourage them to take courses in journalism and be a partner in the broadcasting. And this can only be done if you bring the awareness and get our youth involved into the process.
7147 And our efforts, if I sit as an advisor, are -- on this New Vision Broadcasting, then my sincere effort would be to encourage the youth come forward and be participants and give them an opportunity to be broadcasting.
7148 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Is it your intention to approach New Vision to be part of their --
7149 MR. JHEETA: That's what -- if we are permitted to go ahead and provided the opportunity to serve the community, we would certainly do that.
7150 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, great.
7151 Ms Bains -- pardon me -- yes, Ms Bains. Which broadcaster told you that they had to pay a fee to the CRTC?
7152 MS BAINS: They all. All they said we have to pay CRTC so you have to pay -- I ask for, you know, give my community announcement, could you please do that. They said, "No, you pay $800. Then we'll do it".
7153 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: And --
7154 MS BAINS: So then I don't have $800, then I step back.
7155 MR. JHEETA: Mr. Shoan, maybe I can add a little bit more to this because I have been working along with Guni as well, but not right through.
7156 I actually gave (indiscernible) and I congratulate her because she has completed that task.
7157 I, myself, went along her to approach to the ethnic media in our community, and we were not provided an opportunity to raise the funds. And this is the effort that was for the benefit of all without any distinction of caste, colour, creed or where you come from.
7158 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Oh, I understand that, sir. But I specifically want to address the point about whether or not you were informed that there was a fee to be paid to the CRTC that was being passed on to you.
7159 MR. JHEETA: No. I plainly and clearly say no, this is not the mention that they have to pay fee to.
7160 The only difficulty is that we were not accommodated to pass the message to the community.
7161 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
7162 MR. JHEETA: Simply we even talked about the community service society. The funds were raised because the communityship, not by one radio station, but by all the radio stations.
7163 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Sure.
7164 MR. JHEETA: When there were issue arising in our community, the whole community is expected to participate and cooperate with it.
7165 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you.
7166 MR. JHEETA: Which is we did not experience to be to our satisfaction.
7167 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you.
7168 And just to -- for the benefit of everyone in the room, again to reiterate what the Chairman of this panel stated earlier, we do not require broadcasters to collect fees to be remitted to us. That does not occur.
7169 If you are told that, it is inaccurate, it is false.
7170 MS BAINS: Thank you.
7171 MR. JHEETA: As far as we are concerned, sir, we did not experience that. The only difficulty we had was getting a slot to pass on the information to the community.
7172 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you.
7173 MS BAINS: Thank you very much.
7174 THE SECRETARY: I believe Mr. Avtar Bains has yet to speak, so you have five minutes.
7175 Thank you.
7176 MR. BAINS: Thank you.
7177 Good afternoon, Mr. Chair and Commissioners. I apologize for the confusion of my notes. Good news for you, I had root canal surgery yesterday, so I may be babbling on and off, so I apologize for that.
7178 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: No problem.
7179 MR. BAINS: I wanted to speak more as a citizen. I've been in Surrey for almost 42 years, and standing before you today, I'm actually very humbled. I remember going to school in Surrey where I was the only Indo-Canadian kid in the entire school, and today you have 13, 14 applicants before you. I think it is a very proud moment for our community as well as the community in general.
7180 So having said that, I'm just going to give you a quick little background of myself.
7181 I'm a small businessman locally. I've been involved with real estate. But more importantly, I'm a community activist.
7182 I've been on the Surrey Memorial Paediatrics Committee for the past 10 years, also a proud supporter of Variety for the past 10 years because I honestly believe that the children are the future and how we take care of them is an indictment of our society today. And I hold that very near and dear.
7183 One of the reasons I support New Vision, after speaking to the respective people, is that the word "new", it's very small and yet it is so profound.
7184 You know, just a new pair of jeans or a new pair of -- car or new sweater, sneakers, it gives you hope. And that is the operative word, is hope.
7185 I'm hoping that you will grant New Vision the application because they will give hope to our youth today. They will give hope to the voices that are unheard of.
7186 Now, there's been a lot of mention of ethnicity. I beg to differ a little bit. I don't think ethnicity is whether you're Punjabi or you're Muslim or from a Fijian community. I think ethnicity is where your heart is. And my heart is in Surrey, as it has been for 42 plus years that we've raised our family here.
7187 So I am really sort of uplifted by New Vision's whole -- when I discuss with them is they will talk about the issues.
7188 Approximately 10 to 15 years ago, there was a young man that committed suicide because of bullying. Today, it's fine to wear pink shirts and, you know, politicians will come on radio and they will speak about bullying, yet the real issue has never really been addressed is how did we get to that point.
7189 And it's just like building a house. You know, you must have a solid foundation first before you can, you know, erect this beautiful four walls and a roof. So that's one thing.
7190 The other thing is I think New Vision will speak of the voices that are never heard of.
7191 We -- as you recently heard, there was a brutal murder of a lady named Julie Pascal, a single mom, in Newton. There's been so much rhetoric and talk about, you know, there was a lack of lighting or there's trees. There was, you know, the lack of policing. But my question to all that and, you know, I believe, New Vision is how did we get to that point.
7192 We live today in one of the most vibrant cities in all of British Columbia. We have close to half a million people, and approximately 1,000 new members coming in to this community every month.
7193 Where are we going and where are we going to be? And I believe that New Vision will address a lot of those issues.
7194 A lot of the radio stations today, you will find that they have eight to 10 regular callers. These are repeated whether they're on a morning talk show or the afternoon talk show.
7195 For some strange reason, they cannot get to that 11th caller, and yet that 11th caller might be the most important voice that any of us will ever hear.
7196 Now, I know I've kind of babbled on, but in summation, I just want to say one simple thing. I grew up in an era of John Lennon and Martin Luther King. And one of the things I really take dearly to heart was that -- the words that they said.
7197 John Lennon mentioned a word "Imagine", and Martin Luther King said, "I have a dream". Just imagine having a dream of a radio station that actually speaks the voice of its listeners and not its shareholders or the broadcaster and his views.
7198 Thank you very much.
7199 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Bains.
7200 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Thank you very much, Mr. Bains.
7201 Same question for you with respect to -- and you addressed it very -- in your presentation about the reaching out to youth, the building of community using radio.
7202 Do you think New Vision can be successful doing so on an FM frequency given that youth seem to be departing the platform for more digital options?
7203 MR. BAINS: Yes, I think it can. I think one of the issues that the youth today are longing -- or crying out for is they want to talk about the issues that the radio stations don't want to talk about. They want to talk about issues of homosexuality in schools, all right.
7204 And an Indo-Canadian child can't go home and have that discussion, and yet today, none of the radio stations have had that discussion, yet it's a very important issue.
7205 Whether we agree with it or disagree is absolutely irrelevant. When you start having a discussion, you get one step closer to a solution. And we have yet to begin those discussions.
7206 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: So can I ask you about the current talk format offerings available in the Surrey market? And feel free to discuss either the Canadian licensees or the cross market out of state or out of country tuning stations.
7207 Can you tell me a bit about some of the programming they do and how it would differ or what you feel is lacking from what they offer that New Vision could offer to the marketplace?
7208 MR. BAINS: As I mentioned earlier, one of the things, there was a lot of reference to ethnicity and labelling it as a specific ethnic group.
7209 I think we need to get away from that. Ethnicity is the population of Surrey right now. It is the new ethnicity made up of people from various cultural backgrounds.
7210 There may be five or six different languages that are being spoken, but the one single voice that isn't heard is the actual resident and citizen of Surrey.
7211 Today's radio stations, you will find a lot of them will talk about the politics in Punjab or they will discuss the elections in Delhi.
7212 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right.
7213 MR. BAINS: A lot of your mainstream radio stations, they simply cannot -- I just don't believe they have the resources to be able to provide all those services.
7214 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. That's great. Those are my questions. Thank you, Mr. Bains.
7215 MR. BAINS: Thank you.
7216 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Just one question, Mr. Bains. It goes sort of as a follow-on question to Commissioner Shoan and it has to do with the economics of this kind of a proposal.
7217 Because, you know, one of the things we have to worry about is whether this thing will be capable of flying through its seven years of licensing. It's not that we have a bottom line investor interest at stake, but what we are trying to do is make sure that this thing, this enterprise as a dream, as you call it, will grow and can fly, and as a businessman of considerable reputation you must think about that.
7218 And I ask you, knowing what you know about the resolve and the way the community can step up, cannot only address problems, but fix them because this is a community I have seen again and again and again put its money where its mouth is.
7219 Do you think that this station should find that the business model doesn't match the ambition, that the community would put itself forward in some kind of away that maybe they have to change their financial model to be able to continue to do the work you say is so important?
7220 MR. BAINS: That's a wonderful question and I'm just going to sort of use an example. One of our businesses we bought 10 years ago was in the Wallie area and at that time there was very little investment going into Wallie. I put my money in there because I saw the vision.
7221 Sometimes you have to put people ahead of profits and one of the things with New Vision, yes, it is absolutely a vision or a business rather that you will have to get advertisers, but I don't think your advertisers necessarily have to reflect the views of the actual radio station itself.
7222 The problem I believe with too many of the ethnic -- I want to paraphrase the word "ethnic", the radio station, is that they are too much entwined with those businesses and, hence, their message is twisted or sort of cultured or cater to that category.
7223 So I'm sorry -- if I answered your question or not.
7224 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: You know, but that's kind of the nature of the beast because, you know, the commercial broadcasting model has a tendency to identify a target audience, build a program that satisfies the needs of that audience and then it attracts advertisers with parallel interests, but this is different.
7225 This is not a -- you know, the type of programming that New Vision is proposing isn't so much commercial but social, and I have asked this question repeatedly throughout the week, is there a social dividend or a social appetite within that advertiser community that might cause them to invest in airtime in the station when, for practical business purposes, it doesn't make sense?
7226 MR. BAINS: I believe there is. Again, I will use my own example, you know, as a businessman. I invest in variety, I invest in Surrey Memorial Paediatrics Oncology not because of seeing some monetary reward at the end of it, but seeing a social reward that enriches another human being.
7227 So yes, I absolutely believe that there is a market for it out there.
7228 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: There is always a market for hope. Thank you very much.
7229 MR. BAINS: Thank you.
7230 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you once again. Thank you for joining us this afternoon.
7231 MR. JHEETA: Thank you.
7232 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, sir. Madame la Secrétaire...?
7233 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. At their request we will proceed with Akash Broadcasting Inc. You may come forward to the table and then Bhatia, Jasbir Dosanjh and Ranjit Kingra.
7234 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon. Mr. Dosanjh will be starting us off or Mr. Kingra or Mr. Bhatia, who is going first?
7235 MR. KINGRA: I will start, sir.
7236 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Identify yourself.
7237 MR. KINGRA: Mr. Chairman, Commissioners --
7238 THE CHAIRPERSON: Your name, sir?
7239 MR. KINGRA: It's coming.
7240 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
7241 MR. KINGRA: -- and CRTC Staff, my name is Ranjit Kingra, I am an amateur songwriter and singer and I want to see Surrey Connect FM on the airwaves for three reasons.
7242 First, I have something in common with a lot of people in this room and in this community. My first language is Punjabi, I understand Hindi and Urdu, and I am going to listen in these languages. As a question of what I listen to, so far it is a radio over the air, especially from U.S. and Vancouver stations. I think that the CRTC's role should be to promote a Canadian broadcasting system. I want to switch my Punjabi listening to programming that's by and for this community.
7243 I know a few people are proposing that, but from the Correctional Service professional, don't reward someone for having gone around the rules, choose the best proposal with the best programming and the solid financial plan. I think that that is Surrey Connect FM.
7244 Second, music is my passion, but I worked with Correctional Services of Canada for 28 years as a Correctional Officer and in finance and teaching inmates. I am a certified general accountant and I am a husband, father and grandfather of two.
7245 I saw on Akash's Surrey Connect FM application that they will target listeners aged 18 to 55, transitioning to or experiencing their family lives. They are going to talk to youth about the issues they face. They will help our families and our community by putting a big emphasis on health, fitness and amateur sports. That is an emphasis we really need for our families and so people don't grow up to be our clients in Correctional Services. I want to see this on the air.
7246 Third, and finally, I am a singer and a songwriter, it's my passion. I have written over 1,100 songs in Punjabi, published two books, produced a CD -- music CD. I am not one of those breakout stars from Surrey whose name is chanted all over South Asia, I am simply someone who nurtures my passion whenever I can. I have been interviewed on TV and radio.
7247 I remember on one of the radio stations I was scheduled for a 20-minute interview, it lasted 90 minutes. People were calling in begging for the lines to be opened.
7248 One thing our community could use is better musical talent infrastructure. One Christmas time not too long ago I sung my "Don't Drink and Drive" song on air in Punjabi, of course. The station asked me to record it in their studio, so I did. The public agency asked to use my "Don't Drink and Drive" song for their campaign. Well, I had no power to agree to it, the station wanted to use it for their own airplay, not in a campaign heard on lots of stations.
7249 Commissioners, that's business, but there is a lot of talent here and we need more business options. If you want diversity, you can't have just one or two gatekeepers, we need to have radio and recording studios separate. I don't want to have to write letters to Brampton to talk to a record label, that's not part of a radio station.
7250 I like the Akash team's music selections online and I like what they are proposing to do. As an independent station, they will help build a platform for talent in this community. Please let them get started.
7251 Thank you.
7252 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, sir. Commissioner Shoan...?
7253 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Hello, Mr. Kingra, thank you for being here today. I just have one question. You stated, don't reward someone for having gone around the rules, then you said choose the best proposal with the best programming and a solid financial plan. What if they are the same person?
7254 MR. KINGRA: First of all, I would like to -- the going around the rules is going through another country, using the stations of another country. That should come first
7255 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Yes, I understand.
7256 MR. KINGRA: And then the second thing is look at their financial plan. But the first one should be considered very strongly.
7257 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you for the clarity.
7258 MR. KINGRA: Yes.
7259 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, sir. Who is next?
7260 MR. DOSANJH: Mr. Dosanjh.
7261 THE CHAIRPERSON: Very well.
7262 MR. DOSANJH: Mr. Chairman, Commissioners and CRTC Staff, I am Jasbir Dosanjh. I am honoured to come before you today. I came to Canada from India when I was about 23. Back in India I competed at a national level in volleyball and also participated in track and field at a university level. I gave up my chances to compete in sports in order to pursue a career and life in Canada.
7263 The funny thing is, that sports has given me a career. I started out doing all kinds of jobs, but eventually now I am working as a full-time coach in track and field and also conditioning coach at our own gym, Universal Fitness in Surrey for the last 15 years.
7264 Universal Athletics Club has more than 100 athletes who have represented our community at regional, national and international levels. When the City of Surrey hosted a B.C. Summer Games in 2012, our club hosted an athletic competition at Bear Creek Park here in Surrey. I am proud to say that our club produced many great athletes, including the first Indo Canadian female athletes who won youth Canadian national championship in shot put.
7265 I'm proud to say that I took the B.C. team to Canadian youth national championship in 2010 and again in 2013, but I am also proud of what we do for all of the people who train at our gym, including those who never win medals. We help them develop a positive self-image and reduce antisocial behaviour.
7266 As a coach and a small businessman, I could talk to you about how we need more and better effective radio advertising opportunity to reach people in Surrey. They are certainly going to consume media in South Asian language and I am going to advertise to them in those outlets. I want to be able to do that through radio.
7267 We need a local route, a South Asian-oriented station like Surrey Connect FM to do that. But I want to focus on the role of sports in our community. I think you heard someone in this hearing say that on Vancouver radio when you hear about Surrey it is always about crime. Well, my business works with the youth before they ever get to that. We provide another path, which is very positive to use their energy towards the right track.
7268 With Surrey Connect FM, Akash has proposed to be part of the path. I have seen all the work they have done, going around to small businesses and the local amateur sports organizations to talk about a new project on-air. They have proposed a daily programming focused on amateur sports, health, fitness and community involvement.
7269 Commissioners, that is going to be tremendous for our community. I am very excited about it. It seems like everyone around here can peel off a list of big Punjabi singers, but who knows the first female Indo Canadian who was to win an Olympic medal? Indo Canadian boxers came fourth in two Olympic Games, 12-year-old girls running a world leading time in the last year. Not a lot of people, because no one promoting them.
7270 Commissioners, I understand that your job is to encourage the development of Canadian expressions and to display Canadian talent in entertainment programming. I am not saying music is not important, but if people in this community are going to listen to radio in South Asian languages, if we are going to capture them and give them local programming, let's make sure that it is a program that plugs them into their community in a way that safeguards and strengthens the social fabric.
7271 Sports does that, it provides the role model, it provides outlets, it is a major way we spend our time and it brings everyone together.
7272 If you want to see integrations, look at a newly immigrated teenager who is on an athletic team with the people whose language he barely speaks, he is going to learn their language and he shares his culture with them because they are teammates.
7273 Surrey Connect FM's plans support that kind of a teamwork, that's why I'm here to support Akash Broadcasting's application.
7274 Thank you so much.
7275 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Commissioner Shoan has a question.
7276 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Hi there. Thank you very much for your presentation, I found it very informative.
7277 MR. DOSANJH: Thank you.
7278 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: I can appreciate the analogy using sports, given you are a coach, I found it very useful, thank you.
7279 Out of curiosity, do you happen to have any athletes that you have trained going to the Olympics?
7280 MR. DOSANJH: No. Actually, last year my athletes, Sabrina Nettey, she represented Canada in World Universe, the games in Russia. And also I have a bronze medallist relay team in a youth national championship.
7281 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Oh, that's fantastic. Good for you.
7282 MR. DOSANJH: And all of them from Surrey.
7283 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: That's terrific. I wanted to ask you about your advertising practices as a small businessman. Do you advertise on any of the South Asian-based Canadian licensees who provide services in the market? Do you advertise on RED-FM or RJ1200?
7284 MR. DOSANJH: No, I didn't, but I broadcast many sports programs in the sports in the many different radio stations, so that way if we go to -- like Akash, if they are planning a regular base broadcasting on sports, that could help a lot for advertising and you can make those people as a role model of a community too.
7285 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: But did you say you already provide sports-based programming to broadcasters in the market?
7286 MR. DOSANJH: Yes. Yes, we did.
7287 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Which broadcasters are those?
7288 MR. DOSANJH: I went to Radio India, Radio Sher-E-Punjab and also Radio 93.FM -- RED-FM.
7289 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: You did go to RED-FM?
7290 MR. DOSANJH: Yes, but it's not on a regular basis. Whenever they need us they call me, I go there.
7291 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. But you don't advertise on any of those stations?
7292 MR. DOSANJH: No.
7293 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: okay. Thank you very much for your presentation, it was very clear.
7294 MR. DOSANJH: Thank you.
7295 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, sir. That leaves Mr. Bhatia.
7296 MR. BHATIA: Good evening, Mr. Chairman, Commissioners and CRTC Staff.
7297 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.
7298 MR. BHATIA: My name is Anand Bhatia, I am here to seek -- to ask you to put Surrey Connect FM on the airwaves because they will bring their city to the South Asian language airwaves, they'll give my business an advertising option it needs, and it will reach out to provide a platform for newcomers and others who could really use the support.
7299 I am the financial controller and a chartered accountant for a major construction company in this community. We have more than 100 employees in South Surrey, very few of them have English as their mother tongue, most of them consume media in other languages. We need diversity in the South Asian culture area. There is a huge growth in that area.
7300 There should be attending gatekeepers who have the monopoly on what is said and talked about in this community. Surrey needs multiple voices who can reach out to and offer ideas, suggestions and entertainment to those who are going to listen to the radio in Hindi or Punjabi or Urdu or Russian or Korean or any other language in our community. Between them, those multiple voices must provide programming that will help immigrant communities, and especially the young population.
7301 Akash is proposing to reach out to the youth with a combination of music, talk shows that feature young people in their voices and speaking to their issues. They are proposing to reach out to families and those transitioning to families aged 18 to 55.
7302 They are also talking about providing information in a way that is clear and well understood about how to seek jobs and services and giving people a chance to call in and ask their questions about it. Our community could use that.
7303 Finally, as I mentioned, our company actively advertises in ethnic media, we would welcome the opportunity to advertise on another station which will give us a competitive edge to shop for advertising dollar.
7304 Based on its programming, its plan and its team, I am asking you to make that station Surrey Connect FM. Thank you.
7305 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, sir. Commissioner Shoan...?
7306 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Hello, Mr. Bhatia, thank you for being here today. I wanted to speak to you about your advertising habits. So you mentioned that you actively advertise in ethnic media. Can you --
7307 MR. BHATIA: We advertise in CKNW 1130 and we advertise in RED-FM quite frequently --
7308 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
7309 MR. BHATIA: -- because we feel that we don't have a competitive edge on our advertising dollar. If we had more players in the market, we might be able to, you know, procure better advertising airtime.
7310 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
7311 MR. BHATIA: That's what my feeling is. Right now we are, you know, confined to a few stations --
7312 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right.
7313 MR. BHATIA: -- and we have to spend huge advertising dollars to capture that portion of the market.
7314 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: So it was RED-FM and the other station was, sorry?
7315 MR. BHATIA: RED-FM, CKNW 1130.
7316 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: CKNW. Okay.
7317 So that's Radio India -- no.
7318 MR. BHATIA: So there is one ethnic station that we use right now.
7319 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. And I just want to understand, if there is a new -- if, for example, Akash Broadcasting is licensed, will you -- is it your intention to expand your advertising budget to Akash's new service while maintaining an advertising budget for the two existing stations, or will you transfer your budget from one of those existing stations to the new Akash undertaking?
7320 MR. BHATIA: Well, what happens when we place our advertising dollar with a certain media that we carry, we also try to influence them to carry some programming which would suit our industry and they would introduce talk show hosts which would be influencing our workers and the industry as a whole.
7321 So I think we would be doing some service, if there was diversity in this, to the community.
7322 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. So would your budget expand? If a potential broadcaster is receptive to your suggestions for programming content --
7323 MR. BHATIA: Yes.
7324 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: -- would your budget to them increase and decrease for the others?
7325 MR. BHATIA: Absolutely, because we would procure more business and we would capture a certain market that is probably not covered right now.
7326 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, thank you. In general terms, how effective do you find radio advertising on the radio platform?
7327 MR. BHATIA: Well, it has been most effective for us.
7328 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
7329 MR. BHATIA: We have been in business for the last 16 years and I think we get a return on the advertising budget that we place on it.
7330 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, thank you for that. One of the things that I think has been a little bit lacking this week is the business perspective on advertising on radio as a platform.
7331 We have had some conflicting reports, but whether or not -- there is a perception of whether or not it's effective, so I very much appreciate you coming in and getting your perspective on it.
7332 Thank you.
7333 MR. BHATIA: Thank you.
7334 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Bhatia. Commissioner Simpson has a question.
7335 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Mr. Bhatia, I am intrigued by your comment -- well, I'm not surprised by the comment you made, but I would like to drill down on it a bit. Your comment about the percentage of employees that are not using English but have another mother tongue that they are communicating with.
7336 Across the board with your employee base, are they predominantly South Asian or what kind of language makes are you having to work with in your business?
7337 MR. BHATIA: Well, I would say 95 percent of the employees that we have our Punjabi-speaking and it's the nature of the business.
7338 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Sure. And it doesn't surprise me that given your statement about that that you would be backing Akash as an intervener because of their commitment to --
7339 MR. BHATIA: To the --
7340 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes, yes.
7341 MR. BHATIA: That's right.
7342 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: But we have heard a lot from others throughout the week and this is the substance of my questioning. You know, we have been hearing 91, 92, 93 percent of the Surrey population work with English, even if it isn't their mother tongue. Is that your experience that that is not necessarily the case?
7343 MR. BHATIA: Well, I used to live on the North Shore for about 20 years. I have been in Canada for 25 years and I recently moved to Surrey over the last three years and, according to my experience when I came to the country, I thought I had lost my roots when I was living on the North Shore.
7344 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
7345 MR. BHATIA: After having come to Surrey, you know, bonding with my ethnic roots and culture, I think I belong and I have found myself in Canada.
7346 I think a little diversity in this community would help for people who are new immigrants, who do not have the skill of the other languages, to be able to, you know, get messaging or educational media through diverse radio stations, because there is a different preference for different people.
7347 So I think a little bit of variety would help, and that is why I support that we have more radio stations.
7348 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: More diversity. But from a more pragmatic standpoint -- and I'm asking just for your opinion here -- you know, the way I'm learning French because my mother was French and you get dropped into the deep end of the pool and you learn, but how would your -- the people you are working with who are working with their mother tongue, how did they assimilate their second language, which we are assuming would be English?
7349 You know, where are they going to get that? Is it just in the course of their daily lives or is it their media habits, or what?
7350 MR. BHATIA: Well, they have communicating skills, that is why they are able to work with our company, but I can give you examples in the Chinese community, people have been living here for 30 years and they do not speak one word of English --
7351 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Right.
7352 MR. BHATIA: -- and they still have jobs and they work here and they live here and they prefer to do that in their own communities and I think that's what Canada is all about.
7353 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So are you not then saying that that perpetuates the problem when you have ethnic radio stations that are broadcasting in a third language? I'm not trying to corner you here, I'm just trying to understand.
7354 MR. BHATIA: No, I understand. But what I am trying to say that, you know, there are a certain age group of people, it's too late for them to be venturing into new languages and they don't want to.
7355 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And they have a right to be comfortable, no matter where they are.
7356 MR. BHATIA: That's correct.
7357 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes, okay. Thank you very much, I appreciate you indulging me.
7358 MR. BHATIA: Thank you.
7359 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, very interesting. Thank you very much.
7360 Thank you, Mr. Bhatia and Mr. Dosanjh and Mr. Kingra, you have been excellent spokespersons for Akash and, as has every intervener today done an excellent job in support of their prospective applicants. Thank you very much.
7361 I think this completes the day, save for maybe I will just make a last comment on the issue that has been sort of bandied about about sort of having to pay to get on, sort of classic kind of payola.
7362 But, and as I said earlier, I mean there are regulatory obligations with using public airwaves for private profit and some of those involve CCD and some of them also involve a regulatory licence fee based on this complex formula that is revenue laden.
7363 That being said, those fees are not a reflection of the way in which it was presented, that you have to pay me because I have to pay the CRTC. It just doesn't work that way. I mean, I understand radio broadcasters have expenses and operating expenses and you know that, Mr. Bhatia, you are in business and there are rents to pay and personnel to pay, and so on and so forth.
7364 But in the way that it was put forward, that is not correct. Now, technically, of course, some consultant could come and say, oh yeah, we do pay, yes, there are costs associated with being a licensed radio broadcaster in this country, as is the case in every country, but not in the context with which we heard it being used earlier, just to sort of try and clarify that again.
7365 Thank you all so much. Madame la Secrétaire...?
7366 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just wanted to indicate for the record that we have been advised that the Councillor, City of Vancouver, Andrea Reimer, listed on the agenda will not be appearing at the hearing.
7367 And just a reminder that the undertakings filed thus far and accepted by the Commission are available at the table to my left and are being placed on the record of this proceeding.
7368 Thank you and have a great evening.
7369 THE CHAIRPERSON: Nine a.m. tomorrow, Madame la Secrétaire?
7370 THE SECRETARY: Nine a.m. tomorrow.
7371 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1741, to resume on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 0900
- Date modified: