ARCHIVED - Transcript, Hearing 15 October 2014
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Volume 1, 15 October 2014
TRANSCRIPTION OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Hearing on Radio India Ltd.
140 Promenade du Portage
15 October 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
Hearing on Radio India Ltd.
Shari FraserLegal Counsel
Cathy AllisonHearing Manager
140 Promenade du Portage
15 October 2014
- iv -
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
AFFIRMED: MANINDER SINGH GILL8 / 46
AFFIRMED: ANDREW JAMES FORSYTH9 / 52
1. Radio India (2003) Ltd.9 / 63
AFFIRMED: SUKHDEV SINGH DHILLON92 / 817
1. I.T. Productions Ltd.113 / 1044
2. South Asian Broadcasting Corporation Inc.118 / 1085
1. Radio India (2003) Ltd.126 / 1129
- v -
PAGE / PARA
Undertaking51 / 430
Undertaking52 / 437
Undertaking59 / 514
Undertaking64 / 553
Undertaking76 / 641
Undertaking80 / 670
Undertaking81 / 682
Undertaking82 / 685
Undertaking87 / 751
Undertaking89 / 775
Undertaking146 / 1324
Undertaking147 / 1326
Undertaking147 / 1328
Undertaking148 / 1341
--- Upon commencing on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 1104
1 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. It's still morning out east and early morning out west. I think people are listening in in our Toronto and Vancouver office as well. So good morning to our friends out west and out further west.
2 So good morning and welcome to this public hearing. A radio station has been called to appear at this hearing because it appears it is operating in Canada without a broadcast licence.
3 Le CRTC est responsable de tous les aspects de la radiodiffusion au Canada et de s'assurer que les objectifs de la Loi sur la radiodiffusion soient atteints. Entre autres, la Loi dicte que le système de radiodiffusion canadien doit « servir à sauvegarder, enrichir et renforcer la structure culturelle, politique, sociale et économique du Canada... »
4 The Act applies to anyone who operates a radio station, a television station or any other broadcasting undertaking in whole or in part in Canada. This means that operators must obtain a licence from the CRTC unless they are specifically exempted from this requirement before launching the service. Operating without a licence is one of the most serious offences under the Act.
5 At this hearing the Commission will examine whether Radio India Ltd. is operating without a licence. Although based in Surrey, British Columbia, it appears that it has arrangements to transmit its radio programming into Lower Mainland British Columbia from FM stations in Washington State.
6 The Commission intends to inquire into, hear and determine whether Radio India is carrying on a broadcasting service in whole or in part in Canada without a licence.
7 Given the severity of this matter, the company will also be asked to show cause why a mandatory order requiring them to cease and desist and to operate at all times in compliance with the Broadcasting Act should not be issued.
8 Je veux souligner que cette compagnie n'est pas devant nous aujourd'hui en raison de sa programmation, mais bien parce qu'elle n'a pas de licence canadienne de radiodiffusion.
9 The CRTC has also called two other radio stations, Radio Punjab Ltd. and Sher-E-Punjab Radio Broadcasting Inc., to this hearing for the same reason. As noted in the amendments to the initial Notice of Consultation issued on October 10th and 14th, 2014, respectively, Radio Punjab and Sher-E-Punjab Radio Broadcasting Inc. have signed consent agreements with the Commission regarding these matters. They will therefore be treated as non-appearing items at this hearing.
10 I would like now to provide a few introductions.
11 The panel for this hearing consists of:
12 - Peter Menzies, Vice-Chairman of Telecommunications;
13 - Stephen Simpson, Regional Commissioner for British Columbia and the Yukon; and
14 - myself, Tom Pentefountas, Vice-Chairman of Broadcasting. I will be presiding over this hearing.
15 Et également dans l'équipe du Conseil sur place aujourd'hui, nous avons :
16 - Cathy Allison, gestionnaire de l'audience;
17 - maître Shari Fisher, conseillère juridique; et
18 - Cindy Ventura, la secrétaire de cette audience.
19 We will begin by hearing from Radio India, then we will hear from interveners who request to appear at this hearing, and finally we will be hearing reply comments that representatives from Radio India would like to make.
20 Before we begin, I think it fitting that I ask legal counsel Shari Fisher to explain what is meant by mandatory order, what it entails and its implications.
21 Madam Fisher...?
22 MS FISHER: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
23 Under section 12 of the Broadcasting Act the Commission may inquire into, hear and determine a matter where it appears that a person has done or is doing any act or thing in contravention of the Act or any regulation, licence, decision or order and issue a mandatory order to ensure compliance.
24 Radio India has been called to appear before the Commission because it appears to be carrying on a broadcasting undertaking, in whole or in part in Canada, without a licence or authority pursuant to an exemption, contrary to section 32 of the Broadcasting Act.
25 Accordingly, the Commission will be seeking to determine if this is the case and, if so, whether a mandatory order should be issued requiring the cessation of these activities.
26 If a mandatory order is issued, the Commission has the ability to register the order with the Federal Court, upon which it will become an order of the Federal Court.
27 If any persons named in the mandatory order subsequently fail to comply with the order, the Commission could provide evidence to the Federal Court of the failure to comply and a show cause hearing for contempt of court would take place before the Federal Court of Canada.
28 The person would be entitled to present a defence and, if found guilty of contempt, would be subject to a fine or other remedy as set out by the court.
29 Radio India will be required to show cause why a mandatory order should not be issued and has the burden of convincing this panel why the Commission should not issue a mandatory order relating to the matters of alleged noncompliance.
30 I would like now to invite the Hearing Secretary to explain the procedures we will be following.
31 Ms Ventura...?
32 THE SECRETARY: Thank you and good morning. I would like to go over a few housekeeping matters to ensure the proper conduct of the hearing.
33 When you are in the hearing room, we would ask that you please turn off your smartphones as they are an unwelcome distraction and they cause interference on the internal communication systems used by our translators. We would appreciate your cooperation in this regard throughout the hearing.
34 Interpretation services will be available during the duration of the hearing. We would like to remind participants that during their oral presentations they should provide for a reasonable delay for the interpretation while respecting their allocated presentation time.
35 There is a verbatim transcript of this hearing being taken by the court reporter sitting at the table at my right. If you have any questions on how to obtain all or part of this transcript, please approach the court reporter during a break. Please note that the full transcript will be made available on the Commission's website tomorrow.
36 Just a reminder that pursuant to section 41 of the Rules of Practice and Procedures you must not submit evidence at this hearing unless it supports statements already on the public record. If you wish to introduce new evidence as an exception to this rule, you must ask permission of the panel of the hearing before doing so.
37 Veuillez noter que les documents seront disponibles sur Twitter sur le compte du Conseil à arobase @CRTCaudiences au pluriel, en utilisant le mot-clic #CRTC. Please note that the Commission will also be tweeting the documents during the hearing at @CRTCHearings using the hashtag #CRTC.
38 Finally, please note that if parties undertake to file information with the Commission in response to questioning by the panel, these undertakings can be confirmed on the record through the transcript of the hearing. If necessary, parties may speak with the Commission legal counsel at a break following their presentation to confirm the undertakings.
39 Mr. Chairman, we are now ready to start with Phase 1.
40 THE CHAIRPERSON: Before beginning, Madam Ventura, I think it is important to let it be known to the panel before us that the Commission decided pursuant to section 42 of the Rules of Procedure that the panel members be sworn in and will testify under oath. So I would ask, Madam Secretary, that we proceed with this immediately.
41 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
42 We will begin with Maninder Gill.
43 Do you solemnly affirm that the evidence to be given by you to the Commission shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
44 MR. GILL: Yes, I do.
45 THE SECRETARY: Please turn on your microphone.
46 MR. GILL: Yes, I do.
AFFIRMED: MANINDER SINGH GILL
47 THE SECRETARY: Please state your full name for the record.
48 MR. GILL: My full name is Maninder, M-A-N-I-N-D-E-R, Singh, S-I-N-G-H, Gill, G-I-L-L. I am the Managing Director of Radio India (2003) Ltd.
49 THE SECRETARY: Thank you very much.
50 We will now proceed with Andrew Forsyth.
51 Do you solemnly affirm that the evidence to be given by you to the Commission shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
52 MR. FORSYTH: I do.
AFFIRMED: ANDREW JAMES FORSYTH
53 THE SECRETARY: Please state your full name for the record.
54 MR. FORSYTH: Andrew James Forsyth.
55 THE SECRETARY: Thank you very much.
56 Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The panel is now prepared and we are ready to begin.
57 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Madam Ventura.
58 My colleague, the Vice-Chairman of Telecommunications, Peter Menzies, will begin the questioning.
59 THE SECRETARY: We would ask them to start with their presentation.
60 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
61 THE SECRETARY: So we will proceed with Phase I, item 1 on the agenda, which is the presentation by Radio India (2003) Ltd.
62 You may begin your presentation and you have 20 minutes. Thank you.
63 MR. FORSYTH: Thank you.
64 Good day, Chairman Pentefountas, Chairman Menzies and Commissioner Simpson and Commission staff.
65 To my left is Maninder Gill. He is the Managing Director of Radio India (2003) Ltd.
66 I am Andrew Forsyth. My role is to assist Mr. Gill with his presentation and with his responses. From time to time, Mr. Gill's comprehension of English requires intervention and I ask the panel's indulgence in that phase of the proceeding.
67 Mr. Gill...?
68 MR. GILL: My name is Maninder Gill. I am Managing Director of Radio India (2003) Ltd. My radio media background goes back decades to 1982 when I operated a two-hour radio program on 1470 AM station as at that time there were no other stations for the Indo-Canadian-South Asian community. I continued being involved in both television and radio broadcasting throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
69 In 1998, we were the first to propose to the CRTC to have a fully South Asian radio station in the Greater Vancouver Area.
70 I am in this business because I believe that this station is vital to the local Punjabi community. Radio India does provide a programming service that fills a void in the Vancouver and Lower Mainland Area. The public support seen at events sponsored or organized by Radio India speaks to the demand from South Asian consumers for this service in Vancouver.
71 I could tell you hundreds of stories about how Radio India has benefitted the lives of residents in this area.
72 Last week even the Blood Bank came to my office and asked if we could help them overcome a huge shortage of blood supplies for Greater Vancouver. They know our reputation. If you want to speak to the South Asian community, you speak to us. I guarantee you that at the end of their drive in November they will have a surplus of blood in the bank. That is the way this community responds to Radio India.
73 We know radio is a very powerful tool that helps, motivates and gives people a sense of humanity. In the past decade Radio India has raised over $10 million for all different communities, both here and abroad, for example, tsunami and flood relief in Pakistan, Canadian Cancer Society, earthquake in Pakistan, earthquake in Haiti and Sikh temples and Hindu temples and many other organizations.
74 As stated in correspondence with the Commission, Radio India is regarded as a must-do communications vehicle for all kinds of politicians. The B.C. Premiers in the last decade, Members of Parliament, MLAs, city mayors, councillors have been visitors to Radio India studios. Radio India has interviewed past and present Prime Ministers of both Canada and India. During the election period Radio India is chosen as a vehicle to connect with the South Asian community.
75 We have filed with the Commission many letters of support received from a wide spectrum of publicly elected officials because they know we work for the people. Radio India has enjoyed great relationships with the Sikh, Hindu, Fijian, Christian and Muslim religious and cultural organizations.
76 It is what we do. It is what I have done for decades now. Radio India is my life. Radio India has been serving the South Asian community in the Vancouver and Lower Mainland area for the last 18 years. During this time there has been no demand asking Radio India to alter its business plan or until now requesting Radio India to stop programming to Canada. Radio India created the broadcasting industry for the South Asian market in Canada.
77 Thank you.
78 MR. FORSYTH: The Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2014-426 brings Mr. Gill to this hearing. There have been discussions with Commission staff held in an effort to complete a consent agreement similar to those arranged with other respondents in this notice. Mr. Gill has struggled to meet the deadlines put forward. This is not a case of being difficult or contrary, rather a display of reluctance based on barriers to viability.
79 The dilemma Radio India sees is a substantial impact on certainly the business but also the audience, consumers and the station employees. The discussions around severing the lease with Way Broadcasting immediately have major repercussions.
80 In terms of financial viability, the annual lease of $1 million is paid first and last in advance, with the current term expiring at the end of March 2015. Termination prior to that date will incur penalties. Overall, cancelling the lease will cost at least half a million dollars.
81 There are outstanding account receivables that would have an impact of approximately $700,000. Collectively, these costs would move Radio India to consider bankruptcy. Depending on income from the Internet stream would be risky given the threat of other broadcasters who are poised to fill the over-the-air void created when Radio India vacates 1600 AM.
82 There would be a serious impact on the 19 employees who, based on cost efficiencies, would find themselves out of work. They are part of the Radio India family, with mortgages and taxes to pay and their own families to support.
83 There would be an impact on retailers, clients who depend on the station to connect with consumers and, perhaps most importantly, the listeners. The audience has made Radio India an important part of their daily lives.
84 Mr. Gill does want to come into compliance, but shutting everything down at once would devastate too many people and diminish the hope of ever revitalizing the service.
85 To come into compliance, Radio India is humbly asking for a grace period of 120 days. This would give Mr. Gill the time to address these issues in a strategic manner that benefits all parties. Once the timeframe has expired, Radio India will have terminated the American transmitter lease and have ceased providing programming to Way Broadcasting from that point on and into the future.
86 These terms allow for an orderly transition from a business point of view. It also provides for time to help place the employees that will be affected and to set up marketing to advise the audience and advertisers of Radio India's switch to an online service. This would also provide room to explore other compliant distribution platforms.
87 Mr. Gill's goal is to repatriate the money that currently goes to buying American airtime by spending more on Canadian Content Development, which has been an attribute of Radio India even in the current situation. These monies would also be committed to other community initiatives.
88 Without a 120-day buffer, Radio India would be bankrupted. This timeframe permits a transition period that benefits the audience and consumers and leaves Radio India in a position to continue to contribute to the community. It would allow Radio India to be compliant and in a position to commit resources to apply for a Canadian licence. This would provide an avenue for the good work the station does to continue.
89 In accordance with conditions laid out by the Commission, Radio India would cease carrying on a broadcast undertaking at Surrey, B.C., or anywhere else in Canada, except in compliance with the Broadcasting Act.
90 In particular, Radio India will, by 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, at a date 120 days from the CRTC's decision on this matter, cease to have its programming broadcast over the air via the transmitter whose signals reach within Canada, whether by arrangement or otherwise, without a licence or authority pursuant to an exemption.
91 Radio India will provide the Commission with proof that it has terminated its arrangements with Way Broadcasting, Inc., the licensee of KVRI 1600 AM, including proof that it is no longer broadcasting and will not in future broadcast its programming over the air from KVRI 1600 AM.
92 Such proof will include a letter from Radio India to Way Broadcasting, Inc. that states the arrangements have been terminated and that effective that day Way Broadcasting will not have access to broadcast on its radio station the programming of Radio India or programming created or broadcast by Radio India.
93 Radio India will not in the future enter into arrangements to provide programming to any over-the-air radio stations operating out of the United States nor will it enter into arrangements providing for an ownership interest or involvement of any nature in any element of a business connected with a radio which has a transmitter whose signal reaches into Canada to the extent that the arrangements would be in contravention of the Broadcasting Act.
94 Mr. Gill...?
95 MR. GILL: All I am asking for is only 120 days grace. I will not run away. I will stay in the media as I have done all my life. I will deal with the financial challenges and I believe at the end of the day this country will be impressed with what Radio India can do for Canada as a compliant Canadian broadcaster.
96 MR. FORSYTH: Thank you.
97 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
98 Commissioner Menzies...?
99 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
100 Could you please confirm the legal name of the company that operates Radio India?
101 MR. GILL: Radio India (2003) Ltd.
102 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
103 So this company is incorporated in British Columbia?
104 MR. GILL: Yes.
105 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And its offices are located in Surrey, British Columbia?
106 MR. GILL: Yes.
107 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Can you confirm that your sole shareholder --
108 MR. GILL: No.
109 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: -- Baljit Kaur Bains and your Director, yourself, Maninder Singh Gill, are Canadian?
110 MR. GILL: Baljit Kaur Bains, she is the whole -- sole owner, but I am the Managing Director of Radio India (2003) Ltd.
111 MR. FORSYTH: Are you Canadian?
112 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: But you are Canadian?
113 MR. GILL: I am a Canadian citizen.
114 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And Bains is a Canadian citizen?
115 MR. GILL: She is a Canadian citizen.
116 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
117 Is there anyone else involved in the direction or ongoing operations of the company?
118 MR. GILL: Except me, nobody else.
119 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: No one else?
120 MR. GILL: No one else.
121 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you.
122 Sher-E-Punjab makes the claim in its 22nd September 2014 reply letter at paragraph 12 that Sukhdev Singh Dhillon, former owner of Radio Punjab, is currently Executive VP of Radio India. Is that the case?
123 MR. GILL: No, this is a false allegation.
124 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
125 So could you just elaborate for us what your role is as Managing Director? Are you responsible for the day-to-day operations?
126 MR. GILL: Day-to-day operations is, you know, the Business Manager Sukhjit Mangat, but mainly I am looking after all the ads and, you know, all revenue we generate for Radio India.
127 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So you are the person who controls the strategic direction of the company?
128 MR. GILL: Yes.
129 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And operationally, you are in charge of operations as well as --
130 MR. GILL: Yes.
131 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: -- long-term strategy? Thank you.
132 How is Ms Bains involved in the operation of the company?
133 MR. GILL: This company is in her name, that's all.
134 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So she has no decision-making authority at all?
135 MR. GILL: But I -- you know, if any major decision comes, then I discuss with her, but mainly I look after.
136 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Are you related to Ms Bains?
137 MR. GILL: She is my sister.
138 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I see. So she has -- she is the sole owner of the company?
139 MR. GILL: Yes.
140 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: But she has no involvement with the operation of the company?
141 MR. GILL: No involvement on a daily basis.
142 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: What about non-daily business?
143 MR. GILL: If we -- you know, if there are any final involvement, you know, for anything, then I go and talk to her, but all other decisions, 95 percent, I make decisions for the company.
144 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And is there -- do you have a contract or is there an agreement, an employment agreement that lays out your responsibilities versus her responsibilities and authorities?
145 MR. GILL: No. She gave me the full authority to run the operation.
146 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: But is there a written agreement to that extent or is that a verbal agreement?
147 MR. GILL: No, it's verbally, sir.
148 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Sorry, just verbal?
149 MR. GILL: Verbal.
150 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So how long has Radio India been in operation?
151 MR. GILL: Since 1998.
152 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And it started in 1998 broadcasting via what methods?
153 MR. GILL: You know, at that time we started the company Radio India Broadcasting Inc. and we leased our station from the United States, a lower band SCMO. In the first few years we are on that under different company names. And in 2000, then 1600 came, a new radio station, and I leased that station from them, first eight hours, then we increased to 14, then 24 hours on a daily basis since 2002.
154 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So that station you are referring to is which one? Is that where you do 24 hours of broadcasting?
155 MR. FORSYTH: That would be KVRI, Commissioner.
156 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. And it started in 2006 with eight hours?
157 MR. GILL: No, 2000, I think that was -- then like, you know, after three months we increased to 14 hours, because we were getting a lot of business from the community and then 24 hours in 2002.
158 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So that's the sole -- you are the sole source of broadcasting on KVRI?
159 MR. GILL: Yes.
160 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
161 MR. GILL: But I'm aware that a one-hour Christian program, you know, they are broadcast from United States every Sunday morning.
162 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: But you manage that -- you produce that program?
163 MR. GILL: No.
164 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. So they do some other programming other than yours?
165 MR. GILL: Yes. Only one hour, a weekly program every Sunday 7:00 to 8:00 a.m., a Christian program in the English language and they broadcast 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. every Sunday.
166 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. And that's the sole exception?
167 MR. GILL: Yes.
168 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you.
169 And prior to 2006, you broadcast as an SCMO?
170 MR. GILL: 2006?
171 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Prior to that you were not -- were you broadcasting over the air prior to that?
172 MR. GILL: No, no. We came on the air in 2000, the year of 2000, before we are on SCMO.
173 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. So in 1998 it was SCMO?
174 MR. GILL: Yes.
175 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Then in 2000 it was over the air and then 2006 it's over the air with the current broadcaster?
176 MR. GILL: Yes.
177 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you.
178 Can you confirm that your studios are located at Suite 201-12830 80 Avenue in Surrey, B.C.?
179 MR. GILL: Yes, sir.
180 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Do you own that property?
181 MR. GILL: Radio India owns it.
182 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So Ms Bains is the owner of Radio India, which owns that property?
183 MR. GILL: Radio India (2003) Ltd., but Mrs. Bains, you know, is responsible for the mortgage and all that.
184 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And is that the location where you conduct your programming activities?
185 MR. GILL: Yes.
186 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And have your studios always been in Surrey?
187 MR. GILL: Always in Surrey.
188 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Do you or Ms Bains own all the assets of Radio India? I mean do you have any leased assets or is all the property owned?
189 MR. GILL: No, Radio India owns it, but we lease some of this to different people as well. There is almost 14 of 16 rooms. We use almost 12, but the four we lease to somebody else.
190 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you.
191 But all the assets of the company are located in Canada?
192 MR. GILL: Yes.
193 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay.
194 You have no business assets anyplace else outside of Canada?
195 MR. GILL: No.
196 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay.
197 All your banking is in Canada?
198 MR. GILL: Yes.
199 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: You pay taxes in Canada?
200 MR. GILL: I pay all taxes in Canada.
201 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Do you also pay taxes in the United States of America?
202 MR. GILL: Not at all.
203 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay.
204 You indicated that you have 19 employees.
205 MR. GILL: Yes.
206 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Are all these employees Canadian citizens or permanent residents?
207 MR. GILL: Some of these are Canadian citizens, some are permanent residents.
208 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And do you have any employees working on location in India and Pakistan?
209 MR. GILL: I have one employee from Pakistan, Lahore, and I have three newscasters from India.
210 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And are they Canadian citizens?
211 MR. GILL: No.
212 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Citizens of Pakistan? One of them?
213 MR. GILL: One is a Pakistani citizen and three are Indian citizens.
214 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you.
215 MR. GILL: Sorry, one is a Canadian citizen. I employed him about four or five months ago. He is a Canadian citizen but he lives in Patiala, Punjab, right now and he is giving news from there on a daily basis as well.
216 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. So one employee in Lahore who is a Pakistani citizen?
217 MR. GILL: Yes.
218 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And three employees in India, two of whom are Indian citizens and one of whom is a Canadian citizen?
219 MR. GILL: Yes.
220 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
221 You use volunteers as well to operate Radio India?
222 MR. GILL: Yes. Many people came to learn and Radio India is just like working as an academy, we teach many hosts who are working presently with other mainstream media like OMNI TV. There is -- used to work with me and they get all the training from Radio India, and a couple of employees, you know, RJ 1200 took it from Radio India, and some employees, Radio RED FM took it from Radio India. And, you know, whoever came to learn, we always teach them and, you know, they work in the mainstream media as well.
223 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. So of all those folks who are volunteering, are they all from Surrey?
224 MR. GILL: Surrey, Vancouver, all over Greater Vancouver Area.
225 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: The Lower Mainland Area?
226 MR. GILL: The Lower Mainland.
227 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you. Are they Canadian citizens?
228 MR. GILL: When they came to the office and learned we never asked them are you Canadian or permanent residents, but whoever get the training, they get a job in the Canadian market. I think they are Canadian but we never checked that.
229 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. So I'm just trying to understand. In terms of being volunteers, is that -- you are referring to them as trainees and I can understand that the term could probably apply to both, but they are doing -- are they just learning from you or are they doing on-air work for you as well?
230 MR. GILL: They are just learning and, you know, Radio India is doing a lot of radiothons for the community and sometimes people come to help with radiothons as well on the day we do the radiothon.
231 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, thank you.
232 You indicated that the nature of your business really is production of programming for SCMOs in Edmonton and Calgary and Winnipeg, as you said, for KVRI AM in Blaine, Washington and for broadcasting on the Internet.
233 Is that an accurate description of the nature of your business?
234 MR. GILL: Yes, some -- one radio station in Edmonton, he's broadcasting our program; Calgary, Winnipeg and one is going to be Saskatchewan soon. He already talked to me and he going to start SCMO there as well.
235 And some in the United States they, you know, rebroadcast, but in India, in the UK, some other medias, we share our news with each other.
236 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Whereabouts in Saskatchewan?
237 MR. GILL: I don't know, sir. He just came to my office and he said, we are going to start a SCMO program in Saskatchewan. And I said, okay, you know, if you want, you can have my programs on Internet as well, no problem because we broadcast 14 times news and good talk shows, fairly knowledgeable talk shows so people allowed to have on the other radio stations as well.
238 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: All right. So, he would just broadcast via SCMO the programming straight from you from your Internet stream?
239 MR. GILL: Yes, from Internet stream.
240 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And then you are selling him that programming?
241 MR. GILL: No, we never sell, we always allow them because in small cities, you know, people want to have 24-hour services on SCMO, but they can't afford for all employees.
242 They produce two to four hours a local program from that city, the rest of -- you know, they put out Radio India's program.
243 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So why would it be a value to you to allow your product to be rebroadcast by somebody else?
244 MR. GILL: You know, we get a listenership.
245 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Sorry?
246 MR. GILL: We get a huge listenership. We get calls from Ottawa, Canada, we get call from Australia, England, New Zealand, India, worldwide we are getting calls in these days, you know, people tune on Internet and they are calling in our live talk shows.
247 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I am just trying to understand the business -- why that makes good sense from a business point of view. I assume if it broadens your listenership, then it helps you maintain or increase advertising rates; is that...?
248 MR. GILL: No.
249 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: No?
250 MR. GILL: No.
251 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So you could be broadcast -- your content could be broadcast all across Canada for all that it mattered and you would not profit from that?
252 MR. GILL: No, not at all.
253 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Then, why would you do it?
254 MR. GILL: Just, you know, to help them, if somebody want to rise. The day I started media in 1982 and the same thing, you know, I'm not printing newspaper, I borrow newspaper from India and we reprint it in Canada. We just pick theirs and we pick their stories and all news and we print it in Canada and we distribute it in Canada in the old days, 19 -- almost 30 year ago, 35 year ago.
255 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Do you still have any interest in print media or do you have any other business activities other than your involvement with Radio India?
256 MR. GILL: I used to publish one newspaper, but in these days, you know, I'm just doing on radio, that's it.
257 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So that's your sole -- you own no other businesses?
258 MR. GILL: No other business, I'm just dependent on radio.
259 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And you don't do any consulting for any other businesses?
260 MR. GILL: No. But like whoever -- you know, when I came to Canada 35 years ago the people who have experience in business they help me to learn. I have no business background. My family never done any kind of business in India, but I learn all from my experience.
261 Many people in these days came to Radio India and get advice and I always advise them. And in British Columbia, the community is very successful because, you know, more than 50 per cent started own businesses.
262 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So for the record then, just to summarize, currently you are broadcasting -- your product is available in the lower mainland of British Columbia?
263 MR. GILL: Yes.
264 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Edmonton and Calgary via SCMO?
265 MR. GILL: Yes.
266 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Winnipeg via SCMO and potentially some place in Saskatchewan, not currently? And are there any other places in Canada where that programming is available?
267 MR. GILL: Nobody approached me yet, but time to time, you know, we exchange news with Toronto-based media people. You know, some time, you know, if anything major happen in Greater Vancouver, you know, they took our news and we get their news, so they -- you know, we exchange news time to time.
268 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: All right. But other than an exchange of news, there is no sort of stream of programming beyond an exchange of news; is there or isn't there?
269 MR. GILL: Interviews as well. Some time, you know, we have a good connection all over the world in these days because, you know, I am such long time in the media, we took the interview and we took the interview for the, you know, major politicians from India or Pakistan or anywhere in the world.
270 You know, some time they ask us to -- you know, can we rebroadcast this news or interview on their radio stations and we allow them.
271 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And that would be in Punjabi?
272 MR. GILL: Only in Punjabi, Hindi and Fijian.
273 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. And so that could appear at any time through a swap with other broadcasters in Canada?
274 MR. GILL: That's it.
275 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, thanks.
276 And in the United States as well?
277 MR. GILL: The United States right now, you know, we lease 1600 AM from the border, but in New York we get approached and California we get approached time to time and some time they play my programs as well.
278 You know, talk shows, you know, everybody's like our talk show and news, you know, and I know some is not even asking me, but we get news from the other towns in the United States say, yes, they are broadcasting our programming and news as well.
279 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Are those commercial arrangements at all, or is that just people picking up your programming?
280 MR. GILL: Just people picking up, no commercial arrangements.
281 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. And then some of the others you mentioned, Australia listenerships, that's just via the Internet?
282 MR. GILL: Just only on Internet.
283 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you. I just want to talk about the nature of some of your programming for a few minutes.
284 First of all news, weather, traffic. You mentioned that you are local and up to the minute. So when you say local, do you mean Surrey?
285 MR. GILL: Yes.
286 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Are there any other areas or cities that are considered local in terms of the programming you produce?
287 MR. GILL: Greater Vancouver.
288 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Greater Vancouver. Thank you.
289 What type of news stories do you cover typically?
290 MR. GILL: News, like particularly with Surrey, like you know, we watch all levels of governments: municipal, provincial, federal. And, you know, federally we always keep in touch, whatever law they made, we translate it into Punjabi and Radio India is only providing the services to the older communities even, like you know, we -- many times we broadcast in the Punjabi language if federal government or provincial government change in the laws or if they bring a new strategy or, you know, something they want to introduce to the community, they always keep in touch.
291 RCMP, all levels of Canada, they keep in touch. You know, if they want to give the message to the community, they always keep in touch. Every day, even yesterday before I came to Vancouver I received, you know, the delegation leave to India -- the federal delegation leave to India, foreign minister, they all send us an e-mail to Radio India, we broadcast, you know, this mission is going to India create more businesses and going to develop relationship with India.
292 So if we receive a -- you know, last week our Christy Clark, Premier of B.C., she left to India. She give the interview to Radio India.
293 We keep in touch with all level of governments and the municipal election is coming in November --
294 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: You are talking about -- when you are talking about local, you would then be referring to -- for instance, you would have a reporter -- and I'm speculating, but I will confirm or otherwise -- responsible for keeping an eye on or covering, as they would call it, municipal affairs in Surrey?
295 MR. GILL: All over Greater Vancouver.
296 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Greater Vancouver regional district, White Rock?
297 MR. GILL: White Rock, Vancouver, New Westminster, Burnaby, Richmond, all mayor know me personally, they know Radio India, they came to Radio India time to time if they want to make changes --
298 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Typically how would you describe what proportion of your coverage is, say, at the municipal level, regional district or council, Surrey Council and what would be provincial and what would be federal and what would be, you know, international in a sense in terms of your news?
299 MR. GILL: We cover all level of provincial, federal, municipal, other provinces in Canada, also international.
300 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: But would it be -- what I am trying to get at, if I was listening to one of your newscasts, would I be expecting to get -- you know, half the time typically would be spent on local matters and others would be spent on provincial, you know, and a quarter of the time on provincial and a quarter of the time on federal? I am just trying to get some sense of --
301 MR. GILL: You know, news --
302 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Your best guess will do.
303 MR. GILL: Yeah. News are almost 10 minutes each, but we cover like any major happening worldwide.
304 Even in these days, Ebola in Africa, we educate to the community, have flu injection and all that, you know, things we're explaining and what happen in Africa, what happen by Iraq, what is happening in Egypt, Canada is going in the war. We educate to the community on the daily basis. Whatever is the major news, we cover that.
305 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay.
306 MR. FORSYTH: If you wish --
307 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I am just still trying to get a sense --
308 MR. FORSYTH: If you wish, Mr. Commissioner --
309 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
310 MR. FORSYTH: -- I will try and rephrase that question for you. I understand your question. You are looking for percentages, rough percentages.
311 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Well, roughly. I am just trying to get some idea that if I tuned in am I listening mostly to international news of interest to your audience, or national news, or very local?
312 MR. GILL: More is local news, Greater Vancouver area news, but some is federal, provincial and some from international.
313 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So most of it would be, or the largest single portion --
314 MR. GILL: Half of the news is from local.
315 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Half would be local. Thank you very much.
316 So when you consider local, I just wanted to confirm again, you are talking about Surrey and the Greater Vancouver area?
317 MR. GILL: Lower mainland and B.C. government.
318 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Right, okay. Understood.
319 In your response to our letters, you mentioned on location and live coverage of political and historical events in the community. Is that accurate?
320 MR. GILL: Yes.
321 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So when you are referring to the community, again, you are referring to Surrey?
322 MR. GILL: All over Greater Vancouver.
323 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: The Greater Vancouver area.
324 MR. GILL: Yeah.
325 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thanks.
326 MR. GILL: Also Radio India reach in Vancouver Island, all over Island and --
327 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: You do Vancouver Island as well?
328 MR. GILL: Yes.
329 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. The interior at all?
330 MR. GILL: No, no interior, but in the night time, yes, you can tune in North Peninsula or to Prince Rupert, Williams Lake, Canal, MacKenzie. At the night time you can tune Radio India there, but not daytime, there is no signal.
331 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. But you wouldn't be covering on location or live events from those areas?
332 MR. GILL: Only in Greater Vancouver and few we done in Victoria as well.
333 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So in Greater Vancouver and occasionally Victoria live coverage?
334 MR. GILL: Yes.
335 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And local events. Thank you.
336 Can you fill me in a little on sort of what types of activities those would be, the live coverage events? Typically when would you decide a live coverage event; would it be a festival or would it be a political announcement; and on location, is that like a commercial arrangement on location, sort of live from a retailer of some kind?
337 MR. GILL: I think it's a commercial -- more is commercial, like new opening beginners, somebody wanted to put a sale, you know, they hire us and we promote their business live on location.
338 When we do live on location, it's a huge response from the community. All the car dealership, Rogers, Shaw, any like big stores, you know, they all invited us to do the -- furniture stores, grocery stores.
339 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, thank you. Does the public visit your studio in Surrey?
340 MR. GILL: Pardon?
341 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Does the public visit your studio in Surrey?
342 MR. GILL: Always. Always.
343 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Always. And are they mostly local folks from the Surrey area or do they come from outside the area?
344 MR. GILL: All over, all over B.C.
345 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: All over B.C.?
346 MR. GILL: Yes, they came to visit the station.
347 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So typically how many visitors would you get in a week, if you can just guess?
348 MR. GILL: Sir, you're going to not believe it, but if -- you know, every day almost like, you know, 25 to 30 people who came to visit us and, you know, if they don't understand English or anything, if they had problems. The new immigrants facing too many problems.
349 The last -- couple years ago there is a big family abusers in the Vancouver area and we announce on the air, if you feel your life in danger you come to Radio India's office we will help you, and that kind of people. Some time people don't know how to fill applications, you know, my staff always help them.
350 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. So the target market for your programming is Surrey, Greater Vancouver, lower mainland area?
351 MR. GILL: Yes.
352 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: With perhaps some Vancouver Island?
353 MR. GILL: Yes.
354 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, thank you. What are your sources of revenue?
355 MR. GILL: Only from the advertisement.
356 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Solely advertising?
357 MR. GILL: Yes.
358 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: No brokered programming, or --
359 MR. GILL: No, no brokerage programming.
360 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. And all the revenues from that advertising goes to Radio India?
361 MR. GILL: Yes.
362 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: KVRI gets no advertising revenue?
363 MR. GILL: No advertisement revenue to KVRI, only we pay the yearly lease.
364 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. What are your annual revenues?
365 MR. GILL: Annual revenue, like you know, some year we generate over $3 million, some time 2.5, but we never make less than $2 million. We paid almost -- when I came yesterday to Ottawa, day before I talked to my accountant, you know, I ask him, how much tax in the last decade we paid to the CRA. So almost $5 million GST, PST and income tax employee deduction --
366 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, thank you.
367 MR. GILL: -- $4.8 million.
368 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And the operation is profitable?
369 MR. GILL: Yes, but I pay the $1 million lease to KVRI every year. You know, if I had a chance to broadcast from Canada, that $1 million I love to donate to the food bank of Surrey.
370 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you. So all of that revenue, as you said, it has been as high as $3 million or over $3 million, but always better than two, all of it comes from advertising, there are no other sources?
371 MR. GILL: All advertisers. We have advertisement from all level of governments.
372 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: You had mentioned earlier that there were maybe some rooms in your building that you leased out. Was there revenue from that?
373 MR. GILL: Only that is like, you know, $350 per room, three rooms we lease, or four rooms I think. That is just minor only, like $1,200 or $1,000.
374 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Understood, thank you. So how do you attract advertisers; what do you sell to them? I mean, if I was an advertiser, what would you say to me? Why should I advertise with Radio India?
375 MR. GILL: We don't have any salesmen. People walk into Radio India, people call us, please send somebody to -- you know, we want to advertise on Radio India. And advertisement agencies always keep in touch with us.
376 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So it's all walk-in traffic, you don't --
377 MR. GILL: People call --
378 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: -- solicit advertising at all?
379 MR. GILL: People call, then we send a salesman, or I go personally myself to get their advertisement.
380 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So if I were to open a new store in Surrey, you wouldn't pay me a visit, you would wait for me to call?
381 MR. GILL: No. You know, then some time, you know, the host, you know, we pay them plus we pay them 15 per cent commission if they bring any revenue. Even everybody's doing sales.
382 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Sorry?
383 MR. GILL: They phone new stores, they phone new vendors, you know, if you are interested we can come, but only from Radio India. First we never, like you know, send anybody to go there, but yes, we are calling people as well, but mainly the business people contact us.
384 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. How many salespeople do you have?
385 MR. GILL: Pardon?
386 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: How many salespeople do you have?
387 MR. GILL: My whole team is sales.
388 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And so everybody, all the 19 people at Radio India can sell?
389 MR. GILL: I am managing director. Like you know, one day I can tell you somebody call me, they want to advertise, then I go there, half an hour drive. He give me two ads. I make only $40.
390 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And then, so they're all compensated on commission beyond their salary?
391 MR. GILL: Only on commission basis, like you know, whatever business they bring we pay them 15 percent.
392 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And do you issue all those advertisers with receipts?
393 MR. GILL: Everybody have a receipt on a Canadian GST number. Whatever GST we collected, we pay to the Canadian government, so we are up to date everything.
394 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. So if I were to buy an advertisement from you, sort of what are the terms, am I paying for the ad to be distributed over the air or over the Internet and over the air; do you separate the two, or if I buy an ad it will be delivered on all of your platforms?
395 MR. GILL: Just delivered all my platform.
396 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. So could I buy an ad only on your Internet service?
397 MR. GILL: So far nobody came for that, but in future if somebody come, yes, we will do.
398 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. So all of your revenues then are related to over-the-air advertising?
399 MR. GILL: Some people, like out of town where we're not reaching by air, you know, they are advertising us too and maybe they listen on Internet. And you know, we never -- before we ask them, you know, you listen on Internet, you want to just air on Internet, but we write a contract under Radio India's name and we play their ads.
400 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: But that ad is being broadcast over the air?
401 MR. GILL: Over the air, also same time on Internet as well.
402 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. But all your -- I am just trying to be clear because you had said that nobody had ever asked for just an Internet ad only. I am just trying to establish that a hundred per cent of your revenue, as you said, comes from advertising and a hundred per cent of that is over the air, other -- Internet as well, but it is over the air; is that correct?
403 MR. GILL: I think 75/25.
404 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Sorry?
405 MR. GILL: Seventy-five per cent on the air, 25 per cent on the Internet.
406 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, thank you. About how many advertisers do you have?
407 MR. GILL: Around 75 to 100. If any special day is coming, Diwali is coming and in these days we will have almost 150, but normally 75.
408 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. And those would be all based in Canada? Are all your advertisers based in Canada?
409 MR. GILL: All in Canada. But some, like, you know, sometimes we get advertisements from -- we get requested advertisements from India and other countries, but we never sell them. We don't know how to collect the money from them, so we are not giving them any advertising.
410 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. So it's all coming from Canada. And of those advertisers in Canada, are all those advertisers local to the Surrey market?
411 MR. GILL: Mainly from Surrey.
412 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Is there any national advertising?
413 MR. GILL: National, yes.
414 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: That would be what percentage basically of your revenue, national?
415 MR. GILL: National --
416 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: We are talking agencies, right, national companies?
417 MR. GILL: We get half of the revenue from government, all levels of government and, you know, big agencies.
418 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So half of your revenue comes from government advertising?
419 MR. GILL: Yes.
420 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. And the rest would be generally described as retail advertising?
421 MR. GILL: From the retail community, yes.
422 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
423 So can you just confirm for us -- we are sort of aware of two websites, one is radioindia.ca and the other is radioindialtd.com and that automatically forwards to the .ca address. So is that the URL that you operate on, www.radioindia.ca?
424 MR. GILL: Actually, sir, I don't know the Internet much, but my staff, you know, they reserve many names like radioindia.ca, radioindia.com, radioindia.net. They want to reserve also -- but mainly, you know, which e-mail I use, I use with the .com, radioindialtd.com.
425 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Is your broadcasting available on a single website or multiple websites?
426 MR. GILL: I can -- I have to check records or check with staff.
427 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Perhaps you could confirm that and get back to us on that --
428 MR. GILL: Yes.
429 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: -- by a date to be determined by the Chairman of this panel?
430 MR. GILL: Yes. I can call them and find out.
431 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you.
432 Does KVRI have a website?
433 MR. GILL: I never go because I don't know how to use Internet.
434 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Maybe you can --
435 MR. GILL: But maybe staff do, but I have to check that too.
436 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Maybe you could confirm that for us as well?
437 MR. GILL: Sure.
438 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
439 Now, the SCMOs in Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg, and potentially somewhere in Saskatchewan, do you have a consent agreement with them to do that? Like you said you don't charge anything, so they just pick it up whenever they want to or do you have an understanding or an agreement? The point being, is that material broadcast with or without your consent?
440 MR. GILL: It is with my consent in Canada, in Edmonton and Calgary and Winnipeg, but -- you know, they phone me, they said, "Can we put your program on the air?" I said, you know, "Go ahead, do it."
441 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And they receive your signal via the Internet?
442 MR. GILL: By the Internet.
443 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you.
444 KVRI 1600 AM is located in Blaine, Washington; correct?
445 MR. GILL: Yes.
446 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And that is the transmitter from which your programming is broadcast over the air?
447 MR. GILL: Yes.
448 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And that has been going on, you said earlier, since 2006 on KVRI?
449 MR. GILL: Since 2000.
450 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Since 2000?
451 MR. GILL: Yes.
452 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: On KVRI?
453 MR. GILL: KVRI. Fourteen years on KVRI.
454 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you.
455 And that station and the transmitter, is it owned by and licensed by the FCC to Way Broadcasting?
456 MR. GILL: Sir, we never asked them, but I know the company has over 100 radio stations across the country in the United States, but we know only KVRI 1600 Blaine and 550 AM from Blaine. They have both radio stations. On 550 they have many programs from Canada.
457 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And the company is Way Broadcasting?
458 MR. GILL: Way Broadcasting, yes.
459 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Do you know who owns Way Broadcasting?
460 MR. GILL: I think the owner lives in New York, but I mainly deal with the Vice-President of the company, David Sweeney, and the area salesman, his name is Jamie Arbona.
461 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Do you or any of your associates have any financial interest or involvement with KRPI?
462 MR. GILL: No.
463 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And who is responsible for the day-to-day operations?
464 MR. GILL: They have a manager, his name is Gary Numan(ph).
465 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So you just deal with him and you create your programming and except for that one-hour Christian program on a Sunday morning you supply him with your programming?
466 MR. GILL: I just talk to them, like you know on a yearly basis when they need money. When we pay them the yearly advance they come to see me. The rest, you know, my staff are dealing with them on a daily basis.
467 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Do you know how long Way Broadcasting has been the licensee of KVRI?
468 MR. GILL: I don't know. I think, you know, they used to have a 550 AM on the same location, but they started operating a 1600 AM in the year of 2000. You know, when I started it was a brand-new station.
469 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Can you describe the coverage area of the transmitter?
470 MR. GILL: They reach all over Vancouver Island, you know, Victoria, Gold River, Campbell River, Tahsis, Duncan, Ladysmith, Nanaimo.
471 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: It goes as far north as Campbell River?
472 MR. GILL: Yes. Even Gold River, even Tahsis, even far north close to Port Hardy.
473 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. And then east of that in terms of the mainland?
474 MR. GILL: Up to Abbotsford.
475 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Up the valley as far as Abbotsford and as far north as -- does it stop at North Vancouver, does it get to Whistler?
476 MR. GILL: Yes. Vancouver and Squamish, yes, you can tune, but Whistler, no.
477 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So it obviously covers your primary in Surrey?
478 MR. GILL: Yes.
479 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you.
480 MR. GILL: The business is in Surrey only, sir, the mostly business community. Forty-three percent of the Punjabi population live in that only city and, you know, if you go just on those streets you can fill five or six radio stations with ads.
481 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Right. So the primary target audience for that transmitter is the same as we indicated before for your advertisers, Surrey, the Lower Mainland, Greater Vancouver Area and parts of Vancouver Island?
482 MR. GILL: Yes.
483 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you.
484 MR. GILL: And I want to --
485 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: How do you deliver your programming from your office in Surrey to Blaine?
486 MR. GILL: Oh, just on Internet. We broadcast -- we just produce programming in the Surrey studio just we do on Internet. But in the Blaine, they --
487 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Is it a direct --
488 MR. GILL: -- just rebroadcast from Internet.
489 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Sure. Is it a direct feed to KVRI --
490 MR. GILL: No.
491 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: -- or is it just the public feed that they take it from?
492 MR. GILL: No, they just take a public feed. No direct line to KVRI.
493 It used to be, you know, we sent via satellite system and I think in 2001 CRTC ordered the satellite company to disconnect their services and, you know, our services got disconnected from the satellite system in 2001.
494 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So the programming content is stored on servers in Canada --
495 MR. GILL: Yes.
496 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: -- at your operation in Surrey?
497 MR. GILL: Yes. But some programs we like, you know, obtain from India. But 90 percent of the programming we produce in Vancouver.
498 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And it's stored on servers at your office in Surrey?
499 MR. GILL: Yes.
500 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Right, okay. Thank you. Nothing is located at KVRI?
501 MR. GILL: No.
502 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you.
503 You have already answered that. Are you still making payments -- you had provided us with cheque stubs showing your payments to KVRI for lease payments between January and April of 2013. Obviously, I am assuming you are -- correct me if I'm wrong, you are still making monthly payments to KVRI?
504 MR. GILL: You know, if we pay them at once in January-February, before March, then we get a two-month discount, you know, if we pay them the full year in advance. But every year since many years, almost 9 years, we pay them in the month of February or January, sometimes sometime in March. You know, if we give them one or two cheques then we get a discount for two months.
505 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. So are the cheques made out to Way Broadcasting or KVRI?
506 MR. GILL: Sometimes to Way Broadcasting. If they want money to the New York office we wire them, but if the Blaine office is asking then we drop the cheques there as well.
507 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. So some of the cheques would be made out to -- because the cheques you gave us copies of referred to KVRI AM.
508 MR. GILL: Some is Way Broadcasting too.
509 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And some is Way Broadcasting and that is at their request?
510 MR. GILL: Yes.
511 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I see. So do you have a formal lease agreement?
512 MR. GILL: Yes.
513 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Can we get a copy of that?
514 MR. GILL: Yes. We will provide you, but I can send you later on.
515 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. What are the terms of that arrangement?
516 MR. GILL: Usually we do a yearly basis, but in 2007, you know, we write a lease for 10 years. We have now up to 2017.
517 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And payments are made monthly?
518 MR. GILL: Yearly.
519 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Yearly. Sorry, there is a different rate for each year in terms of that lease? So in 2014, are you paying more than you would have paid in 2013?
520 MR. GILL: Yes. If we pay on a monthly basis it's close to $100,000 U.S. a month, but if we pay in advance then it came to, you know, $85,000, $80,000 sometimes, depending on the American dollar rate.
521 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So you might, if you had the cash flow, pay your entire lease a year in advance?
522 MR. GILL: Yes.
523 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you. And you said that is $100,000 a month or $85,000 a month, depending on how you access the discount?
524 MR. GILL: Yes. If we pay them at once, you know, we get almost 2 months free.
525 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And what do you pay for in that agreement?
526 MR. GILL: Just to lease a program from them.
527 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And do they invoice you?
528 MR. GILL: Yes. They issue a receipt, yes.
529 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So what are the terms for the termination of that agreement?
530 MR. GILL: You know, in that agreement, verbally I know that it's three months if I can give them notice, like three months if I want to cancel the deal. If they want to cancel, they have to give me notice for three months. If I want to cancel, I have to give them notice for three months. But if I give them notice like, you know, today, they are not going to count the October month, they are going to start from November, December and January, like that.
531 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So you have a 10-year agreement with variable rates per year and either party can cancel that agreement on 90 days' notice?
532 MR. GILL: Ninety days' notice, but if it's in the middle of the month then that month is not included.
533 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. I understand. Could you just confirm for me again the expiry date of that agreement, you said 2017?
534 MR. GILL: I think 31 March 2017.
535 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you very much.
536 Now, when you originally set up your agreement with KVRI, or Way Broadcasting, were they the original company that you started with in 2000?
537 MR. GILL: Yes.
538 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. And were you the person who set up or negotiated that agreement, set that up?
539 MR. GILL: At that time I had another partner as well in the company. One of my employees knows them and he set up a deal with them.
540 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So your partner at the time who was who?
541 MR. GILL: He was like already in broadcasting. It's Deepak Suri, he was a 25 percent shareholder.
542 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So he negotiated the original agreement?
543 MR. GILL: No, but one of the employees negotiated with them because he know the station people.
544 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I see. So you just oversaw that arrangement, you did not negotiate that arrangement yourself?
545 MR. GILL: No. We were very excited at that time to have it on the mainstream because we used to do it on SCMO.
546 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Who signed the agreement?
547 MR. GILL: I signed that.
548 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: You signed the agreement --
549 MR. GILL: Yes.
550 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: -- not Ms Bains?
551 MR. GILL: You know, sometimes I sign, sometimes Mrs. -- you know, first I think Mrs. Bains. No, first contract -- I have to check my records, sir. What I remember, a couple of times I signed it too.
552 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: That's fine. You can get back to us on that.
553 MR. GILL: Yes.
554 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Legal will summarize this and the Chairman will give you --
555 MR. GILL: But the lease agreement is only in my office and I have the key. You know, staff don't have the key for that office. I can provide you the day after tomorrow.
556 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Just a couple of more questions.
557 Do you have a licence to broadcast your radio programming in Canada?
558 MR. GILL: No, only on Internet.
559 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: As far as you are aware, are your operations in Canada subject to any exemptions whereby you do not require a broadcasting licence?
560 MR. GILL: Sir, I don't know before, but the last 14 years I am giving the services to the community on that radio. But right now I learned, like, you know, you have to follow the Broadcasting Act in Canada as well. But I follow the rules of all the broadcasting in Canada and in the United States as well.
561 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: But I just wanted to confirm that you are not aware of any exemptions that would apply to you?
562 MR. GILL: I don't know before, but now I know.
563 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: By exemption it means that you could be operating in Canada but be exempt from being licensed.
564 MR. GILL: Yes.
565 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: You are not aware of any exemptions that would apply to you?
566 MR. GILL: I was not aware of that before.
567 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So the reason you are here today is because it appears you are carrying on a broadcasting undertaking in whole or in part in Canada without a licence and not pursuant to any valid exemption and that is contrary to the Broadcasting Act.
568 You are Canadian-owned and -operated; your operations are located in Canada; you solicit business in and your revenues come primarily from Canada; your programming originates in Canada and is produced for reception by the Canadian public; you have an arrangement with the owner of a U.S. transmitter to have your programming broadcast over the air in a manner that reaches into Canada; and you do not have a licence and it doesn't appear that your over-the-air activity on KVRI is subject to an exemption order. How do you respond to that?
569 MR. GILL: You know, that's why I came here personally to ask like 120 days to pack up. I can give them notice, enough notice to cancel the lease. You know, the last 14 years I am doing -- so I'm going to request you guys, you know, allow me 120 days more and --
570 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So you agree that you are not in compliance with the Broadcasting Act?
571 MR. GILL: Yes.
572 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
573 If the Commission finds you in noncompliance with the Broadcasting Act for carrying on a broadcasting undertaking without a licence or pursuant to a valid exemption, the Commission may impose a mandatory order requiring you to cease and desist these activities and to comply at all times with the requirement to hold a licence under the Broadcasting Act.
574 MR. GILL: Yes.
575 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Please explain why, in your view, the Commission should not issue an order for each of Radio Punjab, Maninder Singh Gill and Baljit Kaur Bains.
576 MR. GILL: You know, I feel like the other radio stations that signed at the same time because they are the owner of the radio station. I signed a lease, an agreement with them. I need enough time to, you know, get out from the lease. I paid up to March 31, 2015. If I shut down my operation right away, I will be bankrupt 100 percent. You know, half a million I already paid them and two months, first month, last month. They have our deposit.
577 Plus I have so much revenue to recover because we invoice and many people are behind. We want to recover that. And I want to give enough notice to my loyal employees who work very hard for Radio India. I don't want them to be bankrupt and that's why I came to the Commission to request you to allow me 120 days.
578 You know, I can cancel that too, they can pick my signal on the Internet, but I tell you the truth, if I'm going to shut down I'm going to shut down properly. I am not going to play a game with the CRTC. You know, they can take my signal without my permission or anything. I made sure I won't be on air 1600 AM again. That is why I came to the Commission --
579 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So you intend --
580 MR. GILL: -- to get 120 days.
581 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: You intend for your operations to become compliant with the Broadcasting Act --
582 MR. GILL: Yes.
583 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: -- but you are asking to be granted 120 days to do so?
584 MR. GILL: Yes.
585 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: The terms of your lease agreement are 90 days?
586 MR. GILL: Yes.
587 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So help me understand the 120 as opposed to the 90.
588 MR. GILL: Yes.
589 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Why? You can terminate that lease agreement with three months' notice, right, 90 days, give or take?
590 MR. GILL: You know, 90 days' notice plus, you know --
591 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Right. You are coming in here asking for 120. I don't understand.
592 MR. GILL: Actually, I want to run up to March 31st, but I know the Commission is not going to allow that. Because, you know, I'm going to -- if I break the rule with the lease, you know, they are going to hold my deposit plus I am going to lose $100,000 a month, and still I'm losing but I want to lose the minimum, not the maximum.
593 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. You have made between $2 million -- you have always made over $2 million a year, you have said, sometimes $3 million. It has been a profitable operation. Is that correct?
594 MR. GILL: It is. Like, you know, $1 million goes to them, almost $700,000 for the employee wages, plus the GST/PST $2 million, you know. Sometimes in the market the other things, you know, we have to spend, the company has two or three leased vehicles --
595 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: But it has been a profitable operation?
596 MR. GILL: It is a profitable operation.
597 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you. Those are my questions. My colleagues may have some more.
598 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Vice-Chairman Menzies.
599 Commissioner Simpson, please.
600 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Good morning.
601 Mr. Gill, you in your opening comments indicated that you have had experience in broadcasting television and radio for over 30 years and as an experienced broadcaster -- well, I guess my first line of question is this: If you were a Canadian licensee, would all of the programming that you presently do comply with the requirements of a Canadian broadcaster? I'm talking Canadian content, I'm talking about maintaining logs and other documentation that fit into the regulatory requirements. If you were to just move your operation entirely to Canada, would you comply now or would you be out of compliance, based on your experience?
602 MR. GILL: You know, if I deal with the Canadian laws and CRTC I will read it carefully the first day. I know the FCC laws but not the CRTC law because I am always dealing with the FCC, not the CRTC.
603 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Thank you for that.
604 In your statement that you have dealt with the FCC, have you or Way Broadcasting ever had to deal with a complaint that was generated to the FCC or Way Broadcasting concerning your programming?
605 MR. GILL: On a daily basis, you know, if we have to deal with the Blaine office we never deal with the FCC.
606 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: The Blaine office of Way Broadcasting?
607 MR. GILL: Yes.
608 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So my question was: Has Way Broadcasting ever had a complaint regarding the programming of Radio India that came to them in such a way that they had to either deal with the FCC or with you concerning programming?
609 MR. GILL: They never bring it to my attention.
610 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Well, it's just you had just mentioned that you have no experience with the CRTC, you have only had to deal with the FCC. What is it you have to deal with the FCC regarding?
611 MR. GILL: But I never saw any media complaints, even in the Vancouver office. If somebody complains sometimes on news, we always call them in the office or we go to them and we sort it out and we explain to them the situation.
612 Even like, you know, a few months before I had an experience when the broadcaster broadcast the news on RED FM 93.1 FM in Vancouver regarding the drugs, you know, some people are involved from Vancouver, and they fired that host. And then after that I said, you know, it is unfair to him and I hired him and now he is working with me.
613 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: My question was: Have you ever had to deal with an FCC complaint or an FCC --
614 MR. GILL: No, I never deal with the FCC. I always deal with KVRI.
615 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Good. Thank you very much.
616 With respect to your programming, I'm asking some questions now about your financial -- your business model. You testified that the revenue that comes through Radio India is the result of selling advertising to local advertisers; is that correct?
617 MR. GILL: Yes.
618 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Do you sell any national advertising?
619 MR. GILL: Yes.
620 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And do you have a representative in other markets that represents Radio India, because most national advertising comes out of major markets like Toronto, Montreal?
621 MR. GILL: Only advertisement agencies approaching us.
622 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I see. So the agency approaches you directly?
623 MR. GILL: Yes.
624 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: They would contact who? You said you have no salesmen, so who would they contact?
625 MR. GILL: You know, in the office, Sukhjit Mangat, she's a business manager, she is dealing with them.
626 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
627 In the course of your operation, have you accepted or have run in the past any election advertising for federal, provincial or municipal candidates?
628 MR. GILL: Always.
629 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm. And to the best of your knowledge, has your station voluntarily complied with the Elections Act, both federally and provincially?
630 MR. GILL: No. No voluntary -- we are very strict on election ads and we increase the rates. If we charge somebody like $50, everybody has to pay the $50. We never give a discount in the election ads, but in the business we do.
631 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: My question -- well, first of all, I will give you an opportunity to re-answer that question. My question was: Do you voluntarily comply with, as a result of accepting election advertising, municipal, provincial or federal Elections Acts, and you said no and I don't think you meant to say that. Do you voluntarily comply, yes or no?
632 MR. GILL: No.
633 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: You don't comply, okay. Have there ever been any complaints -- what you like to take a sidebar?
634 MR. FORSYTH: If I might, Commissioner Simpson.
635 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: All right. Go ahead. Thanks.
636 MR. GILL: Sir, I want to correct that. I understand from my advisor. Yes, we follow the election rules and regulations because, you know, people who produce ads and who are going to play on the air, they always are very much aware of that. They are Canadian journalists, they have done journalism in Canada.
637 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you.
638 Have there ever been any complaints to the radio station related to either advertising that should not -- there is a cooling-off period prior to an election. Have there ever been any complaints where they have been generated because advertising ran in what I will call the embargo period, where there is to be no election advertising prior to an election, usually 24 hours, or have there been complaints regarding editorial comments made by the staff the day of an election? Have there ever been any complaints?
639 MR. GILL: I never get any complaints. All level of parties, federal -- three levels of parties, they always keep in touch. NDP and Liberals and Conservatives, they very much keep in touch with us and they are all happy. Provincially, NDP and Liberals, they are very happy. Municipal, all levels of -- in all Greater Vancouver's 12 cities they keep in touch with us. They are very happy. I never get any complaints.
640 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So your testimony is that you have never had any complaints directed to the radio station regarding the station's involvement, directly or indirectly, because of an election?
641 MR. GILL: Not to my knowledge, but I can check with my staff too if they get any complaint.
642 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: All right. I will ask that you do that and give you the opportunity to clarify that.
643 On programming, you had testified that you do not derive any revenues from brokered programming, you are responsible for generation of all your own programming; is that correct?
644 MR. GILL: Yes.
645 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And you indicated earlier that there are times when you might exchange or share programming with other broadcasters and yet you receive no revenue for that exchange; is that correct?
646 MR. GILL: Yes.
647 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Why would you not want to receive compensation for programming you have spent money to create?
648 MR. GILL: We never ask them. If we ask, yes, we can get some money from -- you know, if I ask Edmonton to pay me $5,000 a month, they are going to pay it, and Winnipeg, you know, maybe a couple of thousand dollars, they are going to pay it, but I never ask them.
649 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And these parties you are exchanging programs with, are they the operators of the SCMOs that broadcast your programming?
650 MR. GILL: Yes, they are the operator of SCMO locally.
651 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. And yet you derive no income from the SCMOs, you simply --
652 MR. GILL: No, no income.
653 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- help each other out with exchange of programming that's --
654 MR. GILL: You know, I'm not getting any program from them, but if anything happened in Edmonton, you know, they call us immediately, you know, here is somebody, you know, there is a shooting or a fight in the temples or like that kind of thing. We get a story from them.
655 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
656 MR. GILL: And, you know, we love to cover that.
657 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I see. Okay. Do these SCMOs have the ability to insert local advertising into your programming, do you know?
658 MR. GILL: Not really. People are used to operate on the mainstream, you know, on the air.
659 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: This calls for speculation but I'm drawing on your experience and your relationship with SCMOs. What then -- if they are carrying your programming and they are not substituting advertising into this programming, what is their economic model?
660 MR. GILL: You know, before we went there is no radio station on air. First Radio India came on air, then Radio Punjab, after that, in 2006 Radio RED FM and RJ 1200. But before, when we do an SCMO we generate almost $50,000 to $60,000 yearly on SCMO -- on a monthly basis.
661 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm. The SCMOs, you have indicated in your written testimony that there are agreements in place to rebroadcast your programming in Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg.
662 MR. GILL: Yes.
663 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: You referred separately in your answering to Commissioner Menzies that the reason why these agreements exist is that it allows individuals in small towns to be able to hear programming in their language. Are the small towns that you are referring to Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg or are there other towns where you are being broadcast?
664 MR. GILL: Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg I know, but the rest, you know -- I think sometimes, you know, in Prince George but I don't know how they do it. The religious program that we do every day 4:00 to 7:00 a.m., even all over the worldwide people carry that program because that is a very -- you know, a very attractive program. We have a big knowledge in that religious program.
665 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. I believe you were asked in the exchanges of documents between the Commission and your organization if you could give us more information regarding the operators of the SCMOs and this was an area that either by oversight or intent you didn't respond to. Do you have knowledge of who these individual SCMOs are by frequency and by call sign? Do you have the ability to identify them for the Commission and make it an undertaking?
666 MR. GILL: I know in Edmonton the person's name is Kulmit Sangha; in Calgary it's Balvir Bains and one is another broadcaster, I know him, his last name Dhaliwal.
667 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
668 MR. GILL: But in Winnipeg the person's name is Jagtar, I think. I don't remember his last name now, but I can check on record.
669 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: It would be very helpful if in addition to the names of the individuals, what this Commission is needing or wanting, if you have the information or the actual frequencies and call letters of the individual SCMOs, it would help us identify who they are much more efficiently. So if that's possible, I would ask that that be an undertaking.
670 MR. GILL: Okay.
671 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
672 Next question, I may have misheard, but did you tell Commissioner Menzies that there is or may be the possibility of some U.S. rebroadcasting via SCMO in the United States of your programming?
673 MR. GILL: You know, in Vancouver, like, you know, the first RJ 1200, Shushma, she started to broadcast on SCMO from United States in 1990.
674 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
675 MR. GILL: Then we find out, you know, that's the way she's bringing her program to Canada. That is a new technology at that time and I learned that and, you know, then we leased the station from 106.5 FM and Radio Punjab took over Shushma's frequency from there.
676 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Thank you. Those are my questions, Mr. Chair.
677 THE CHAIRPERSON: I just want to briefly speak on the undertakings and we will take a break, we have been going at it for about an hour and a half, and I will give you a chance to perhaps make some calls and move some of the undertakings along.
678 I think Friday 3:00 p.m. Eastern is as far as we can go, Mr. Forsyth.
679 MR. FORSYTH: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
680 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Forsyth.
681 You spent an awful lot of time, Mr. Gill, speaking to us about your lease with KVRI. Would you have a copy of that lease and would you undertake to deposit that lease on or before Friday the 17th at 3:00 p.m. Eastern?
682 MR. GILL: Yes.
683 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
684 You also spoke of $5 million in deductions at source, harmonized sales tax and corporate income tax. Would you also please deposit your financial statements for the last 10 years by Friday 3:00 p.m. Eastern?
685 MR. GILL: Okay.
686 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
687 Are you familiar with the possibility of the existence of a regulator's clause in your lease, Mr. Gill?
688 MR. GILL: Can you repeat that again?
689 THE CHAIRPERSON: Or Mr. Forsyth.
690 Usually there's an out clause with respect to regulator's intervention, if you will, Mr. Forsyth. Are you familiar with the lease?
691 MR. FORSYTH: I am familiar with the clause, but I am not familiar with their lease.
692 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
693 MR. FORSYTH: But the undertaking is to provide you with a copy of the lease.
694 THE CHAIRPERSON: Very well.
695 So we will take a break for 15 minutes and allow you to make some phone calls to move some of those undertakings along, if you please, and we will be back with some were questioning perhaps in about -- let's call it 12:50. We will do 12 minutes, okay. Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 1237
--- Upon resuming at 1250
696 THE CHAIRPERSON: Briefly on your agreement with KVRI, the lease you signed -- just to get a clarification, you signed that lease, Mr. Gill?
697 MR. GILL: I can't recall my memory, but I have to check the record.
698 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. Now, the signature of the lease, certainly Madam Bains would have been involved in that decision?
699 MR. GILL: Pardon?
700 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Bains would have been involved in the signature of the lease?
701 MR. GILL: I think only I signed, but I have to check the record.
702 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, but in your discussions with her you mentioned that you took care -- you are the Managing Director, 95 percent of the business you will take care of, there is maybe 5 percent where Madam Bains would be consulted. Certainly a lease requiring you to pay out over $1 million a year, Madam Bains would have been consulted on that particular decision?
703 MR. GILL: Not --
704 THE CHAIRPERSON: Not necessarily?
705 MR. GILL: Not necessarily.
706 THE CHAIRPERSON: What would Madam Bains -- what have you discussed or consulted Madam Bains on since Madam Bains became the owner of Radio India?
707 MR. GILL: Pardon?
708 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are the Managing Director?
709 MR. GILL: Yes.
710 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. And you mentioned earlier in answering Vice Chairman Menzies questions that you ran everything and Madam Bains was consulted on perhaps 5 percent of the decisions taken --
711 MR. GILL: Yes.
712 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- as regards Radio India.
713 MR. GILL: Yes.
714 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is that correct?
715 MR. GILL: Yes.
716 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great. So would you give us an example of some of the issues that Madam Bains would have had to approve?
717 MR. GILL: If we take the vehicles on lease payments, you know, she is the one who signed.
718 THE CHAIRPERSON: How many vehicles do you have on lease, Mr. Gill?
719 MR. GILL: The company had two vehicles.
720 THE CHAIRPERSON: How many, two?
721 MR. GILL: Two.
722 THE CHAIRPERSON: Two vehicles. And what is the yearly cost of those vehicles?
723 MR. GILL: Around $2,000 a lease payment.
724 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. What is the total cost per year for the leasing of those two vehicles?
725 MR. GILL: I know the one vehicle is $1,100 something. The other one is less, but --
726 THE CHAIRPERSON: So roughly $2,000 over a month?
727 MR. GILL: Roughly $2,000 is the lease.
728 THE CHAIRPERSON: A month?
729 MR. GILL: A month.
730 THE CHAIRPERSON: So that is $24,000 a year?
731 MR. GILL: Yes.
732 THE CHAIRPERSON: And Madam Bains would have been consulted before you undertook to lease these vehicles?
733 MR. GILL: Yes, I consulted with her.
734 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. What else?
735 MR. GILL: We have a line of credit on the company's account, $1 million.
736 THE CHAIRPERSON: A $1 million line of credit.
737 MR. GILL: So Baljit Bains signed for that.
738 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And the guarantee for that line of credit, would it be the accounts receivable or anything else above and beyond that?
739 MR. GILL: Accounts receivable plus, you know, the guarantee, I think, for -- a house guarantee, you know.
740 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm sorry, I missed that.
741 MR. GILL: The guarantee of her house.
742 THE CHAIRPERSON: The guarantee of her house, Madam Bains' home guarantees that line of credit?
743 MR. GILL: I think I co-signed too, or my son co-signed.
744 THE CHAIRPERSON: So hold on.
745 MR. GILL: Yes.
746 THE CHAIRPERSON: Accounts receivable, one.
747 MR. GILL: Accounts receivable --
748 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Bains' home, two.
749 MR. GILL: Yes. Maybe I -- you know, I have to check with the bank what is the guarantee, but definitely we put a guarantee as well.
750 THE CHAIRPERSON: And did you personally guarantee that line of credit as well, or a member of your family?
751 MR. GILL: I can check that and I will get back to you by Friday.
752 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's a good thing to know when you are on the hook for $1 million.
753 MR. GILL: You know, we are dealing with that bank for many loans and --
754 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So line of credit. Anything else that Madame Bains would have had to have signed off on?
755 MR. GILL: -- the office, office mortgage.
756 THE CHAIRPERSON: Office mortgage?
757 MR. GILL: Yes, almost $550,000.
758 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And that is a building that Radio India owns?
759 MR. GILL: Yes, Radio India head office, and owns.
760 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And Madam Bains is 100 percent shareholder of Radio India?
761 MR. GILL: Yes.
762 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And you are a salaried employee; is that right?
763 MR. GILL: I am a salaried employee.
764 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you do not have a contract of employment with Radio India?
765 MR. GILL: No.
766 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you have a contract of employment with Madam Bains?
767 MR. GILL: Verbally.
768 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's a verbal agreement?
769 MR. GILL: Yes.
770 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you also undertake to provide the details of that agreement, even notwithstanding the fact that it's verbal?
771 MR. GILL: Yes.
772 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you have that for us by Friday at 3:00 p.m., please?
773 MR. GILL: The verbally?
774 THE CHAIRPERSON: The contents, yes, of the agreement?
775 MR. GILL: Okay. We will provide that.
776 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Forsyth, you understood?
777 Any other decisions that Madam Bains would have to approve?
778 MR. GILL: Just a loan and any legal documents, you know, if we have to sign, then --
779 THE CHAIRPERSON: And the lease agreement, she would not have to approve that?
780 MR. GILL: No.
781 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
782 MR. GILL: First time she approved, but after that yearly basis, you know, the office does it. I do it.
783 THE CHAIRPERSON: So when you signed the lease agreement in 2007, the 10-year lease, Madam Bains approved that?
784 MR. GILL: Madam Bains approved, but I am in their office in Blaine and I signed it.
785 THE CHAIRPERSON: You signed it yourself?
786 MR. GILL: Yes. But I am going to check that lease, you know, I signed it or they required my sister to sign as well.
787 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, we will all have a chance to look at that lease shortly.
788 MR. GILL: Yes.
789 THE CHAIRPERSON: On the SCMOs rebroadcasting out of the U.S., would you be in a position to supply us with where these rebroads are located?
790 MR. GILL: Well, they don't get permission from me, but some of those people told me, yes, we heard your program.
791 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So you would not know?
792 MR. GILL: No, I don't know.
793 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you would not know if those are broadcasting into Canada?
794 MR. GILL: No.
795 THE CHAIRPERSON: You would not have that information?
796 MR. GILL: No.
797 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
798 Mr. Forsyth, have you had a chance to make inquiries as to the undertakings and would you see any difficulties with any of the undertakings that --
799 MR. FORSYTH: We see no difficulties with those undertakings.
800 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And they will all be deposited with the Commission before 3:00 p.m. Friday?
801 MR. FORSYTH: That is correct.
802 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you.
803 Perhaps Vice-Chair Menzies has a question.
804 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
805 I just wanted to go back over a question I asked sometime ago regarding the Sher-E-Punjab claim that Sukhdev Singh Dhillon is Executive VP of Radio India and you said that was a false allegation; correct?
806 MR. GILL: That is a false allegation. He has never been on my payroll.
807 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Does he have any association at all with Radio India?
808 MR. GILL: He doesn't have any kind of association but like, you know, he was in very bad financial crisis about a year ago and I offered him a job, you know, because we know each other the last 35 years. And I offered him and, you know, we prepared all the documents. First he said yes. After two days he said no.
809 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I see Mr. Dhillon in the audience. Would it be okay if he could confirm that for us?
810 MR. GILL: Yes, you can ask him, sir.
811 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Mr. Dhillon, would you mind coming forward?
812 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you step forward, Mr. Dhillon??-- Pause
813 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Dhillon.
814 Would you please have Mr. Dhillon sworn in?
815 THE SECRETARY: I will.
816 Mr. Dhillon, do you solemnly affirm that the evidence to be given by you to the Commission shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
817 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
AFFIRMED: SUKHDEV SINGH DHILLON
818 THE SECRETARY: For the record, please state your full name.
819 MR. DHILLON: Sukhdev Singh Dhillon, S-U-K-H-D-E-V S-I-N-G-H, last name Dhillon, D-H-I-L-L-O-N.
820 THE SECRETARY: Thank you very much.
821 THE CHAIRPERSON: Could we ask Mr. Gill to close his microphone, it may cause interference. If we could just have one microphone going at a time.
822 Vice-Chair Menzies...?
823 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you, Mr. Dhillon.
824 Could you just confirm for us, please, that you do not have a business association with Radio India at this time?
825 MR. DHILLON: I do not. I do not have any business relationship with Radio India. I was offered a job but I declined it.
826 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. You are the owner and operator of a radio station on Salt Spring Island, are you not?
827 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
828 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Have you had any discussions with Radio India about being a broadcaster for their product?
829 MR. DHILLON: Never. On-air broadcaster?
830 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: On-air broadcaster, yes.
831 MR. DHILLON: No.
832 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: No? None?
833 MR. DHILLON: None.
834 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So what is your interest in this process today?
835 MR. DHILLON: I came to see --
836 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: It's a long way to come.
837 MR. DHILLON: Well, it's very interesting. I know Sher-E-Punjab really well, they are my first cousins, and I thought they were coming today too and see what's going on, and so I just wanted to see what happens at the Commission hearing here and that is the reason I'm here.
838 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Just for the record, you, I believe, own a radio station in Alberta as well, right?
839 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
840 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So you are the proprietor and licensee of two licensed Canadian radio stations; is that correct?
841 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
842 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: No more than two? I mean those are the two I recall, but is that your interest?
843 MR. DHILLON: Only two, yes. Only two.
844 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And do you have any other radio operations, SCMOs in Canada at this time?
845 MR. DHILLON: Well, I can tell you this much, I've been broadcasting for last 20 years and I started the one station Mr. Gill is talking about in Edmonton, CFMG 104.9 FM and the CITI Station in Winnipeg owned by Rogers and then I gave it to Jagtar Singh and now he's looking after it.
846 And the Edmonton one, I negotiated a lease in 1995 and I made the application to the CRTC and was approved and we started the broadcasting in 1996 and Doug Shillington was the Vice President of Balsa Broadcasting whom we first negotiated a lease in 1996 -- '95.
847 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Are you related to any of the principals in Radio India?
848 MR. DHILLON: No, we are known here for last 35 years, 30 years, around there and Suki Badh is my first cousin, my dad's sister's son and I brought him into broadcasting field, Suki Badh. He never had any broadcasting experience before.
849 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you trained Mr...?
850 MR. DHILLON: Suki Badh, yes.
851 THE CHAIRPERSON: I see.
852 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So, who trained you?
853 MR. DHILLON: I started from scratch. I wanted to serve my community and in '94 we were looking for an option to start an SCMO service and we found out that Shushma already had one in Vancouver and that she was also leasing the station KISM 92.9 FM and she wasn't making the payments there and we took over the lease.
854 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. And just again to confirm, my colleagues might have another question, but just to confirm once again, that the statements by Sher-e-Punjab regarding you having a role with Radio India are false?
855 MR. DHILLON: Yes. I was offered a job, yes, and I was given a business card to take home and then I decided that I am not going to have anything to do with Radio India.
856 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. So Sher-e-Punjab was acting on information that wasn't inaccurate at the time, but turned out to be inaccurate; right? You had a job offer and then you turned it down, so that's probably what --
857 MR. DHILLON: I can tell you, if you would like me to elaborate on Sher-e-Punjab, you know, assumptions and I was the Vice President of BBC Broadcasting, I founded BBC Broadcasting.
858 And one of the reason me transferring all my assets to Suki Badh was I didn't want to have anything to do with the American stations, so I can apply in Canada and be a Canadian licensed body.
859 And I transferred all my shares and which he took over and he was supposed to pay me the money, he never did and I lost millions at that time, in 2004 November -- sorry, excuse me, it's a very -- you know, I was gone to India and I told my dad that Suki was planning to hijack the station and we had a family meeting and Suki is not going to do that.
860 I was gone to India, they take over the programming while take over --
861 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. We're really out of scope here.
862 MR. DHILLON: -- while take over --
863 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I appreciate that, but I don't want to get too far of that --
864 MR. DHILLON: No, this is a fact and in the community everyone knows it.
865 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: No, no, it's understanding, but that would be the reason why -- that would be one of the things, what you had said was you didn't want any association with the U.S. stations --
866 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
867 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: -- which would have been why you declined the recent Radio India offer?
868 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
869 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you very much. Those are --
870 MR. DHILLON: I can also state that in 2004 when Suki Badh took over the station on December 30, Mr. Gill also offered --
871 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. I don't want to take up too much time talking about Mr. Badh, but thank you for your time, Mr. Dhillon. Those are my questions. My colleagues may have one or two or --
872 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner Menzies.
873 Mr. Dhillon, you are here to see what a hearing looks like?
874 MR. DHILLON: No.
875 THE CHAIRPERSON: Did I understand correctly?
876 MR. DHILLON: No, not what how it looks like.
877 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
878 MR. DHILLON: What happens.
879 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
880 MR. DHILLON: You know, this is something different than normal hearings.
881 THE CHAIRPERSON: You were at the Surrey hearing.
882 MR. DHILLON: Whatever. I'm saying, this is different than normal hearings.
883 THE CHAIRPERSON: You participated in a show cause yourself; did you not --
884 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
885 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- in Surrey --
886 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
887 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- in January of last year?
888 MR. DHILLON: Twenty-seventh of January.
889 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So you saw exactly how a show cause hearing works?
890 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
891 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So you have personal experience; do you not?
892 MR. DHILLON: I do.
893 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And you also said that you were here because you are related to Suki Badh and you wanted to see him testify here today, that is the other reason you are here?
894 MR. DHILLON: Because I knew they were coming.
895 THE CHAIRPERSON: You knew they were coming and you don't communicate with them, so you didn't know that they were not coming?
896 MR. DHILLON: I don't communicate with them, I haven't done that for last 10 years.
897 THE CHAIRPERSON: And when were you made aware of the fact that there was a consent agreement that was signed and that he would not be present?
898 MR. DHILLON: Yesterday.
899 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yesterday. Okay. Commissioner Simpson, anything else?
900 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Dhillon, for agreeing to appear. I just want to clarify one area that I think is still a little unclear and it is regarding the SCMOs. When Commissioner Menzies was asking you about your broadcasting interests, you talked about SCMOs and then said, I thought, with respect to the Calgary and Edmonton operations that those stations are the ones that Mr. Gill was referring to.
901 MR. DHILLON: Not Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg.
902 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
903 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
904 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So are those SCMOs -- what programming are they carrying now?
905 MR. DHILLON: They're carrying Mr. Gill's programming and they'll broadcast some local program also.
906 THE CHAIRPERSON: In which markets again?
907 MR. DHILLON: Edmonton and Calgary.
908 THE CHAIRPERSON: And Winnipeg is --
909 MR. DHILLON: Sorry, excuse me, Edmonton and Winnipeg, not Calgary.
910 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. And in Calgary, that is owned by you as well?
911 MR. DHILLON: No.
912 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. And what programming is that --
913 MR. DHILLON: Sorry, I don't own the SCMOs in Edmonton now.
914 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
915 MR. DHILLON: Or Winnipeg. I started those.
916 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And you sold them, or did I hear you say you gave them away?
917 MR. DHILLON: Yeah, there was Uncle Sangha, he was programming for four hours a day and when Sher-e-Punjab took over my station --
918 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
919 MR. DHILLON: -- in Vancouver and I had no programming, so I told him please go on with your programming and do as you please and take over the lease.
920 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Do you have, off the top of your head, information regarding the call signs and frequencies of Calgary and Winnipeg?
921 MR. DHILLON: Yes. Not Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg.
922 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Edmonton and Winnipeg, my mistake, sorry.
923 MR. DHILLON: When I started, I don't know if they changed the call letter, I'm not sure about that, but it used to be CFMG 104.9, Balsa Broadcasting, then sold to TeleMedia, then sold to Standers and then sold to so many different ones. I don't know who owns it now.
924 And then there was CITI-FM in Winnipeg. I don't recall the frequency, it's been so many years. And I think at that time it was owned by Rogers, and Ron Kizney was the general manager at that time.
925 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And did I hear you say Wasala Broadcasting?
926 MR. DHILLON: Balsa.
927 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Balsa.
928 MR. DHILLON: That's in Edmonton, that's who started 104.9.
929 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. And did you give the licence or the company when you -- you said you disposed of that.
930 MR. DHILLON: Licence is owned by the radio station, so we were just having agreement with them to rebroadcast on the SCMO.
931 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay, thank you.
932 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner Simpson.
933 Mr. Gill, briefly. You mentioned that you have some national advertising and local advertising; is that correct? And what percentage of your last year's advertising was national?
934 MR. GILL: I have to check my records.
935 THE CHAIRPERSON: You have to check that. Would you say more or less, 10 per cent, five per cent of your overall revenues?
936 MR. GILL: I have to check my records --
937 THE CHAIRPERSON: You have to check that.
938 MR. GILL: -- because, you know, I just always list them on radio --
939 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
940 MR. GILL: -- because the record, you know, the account department handling that.
941 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And your local sales, you provide invoices for the businesses that advertise on your radio station; do you not?
942 MR. GILL: Yes.
943 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you also charge them sales tax?
944 MR. GILL: Yes.
945 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
946 MR. GILL: Everybody who advertise on Radio India, even like you know, everybody have to pay it, even like you know, if somebody need workers, they came to us or they phone us, we charge them on credit card.
947 You know, if two announcements, we give them two announcements. We never foresee, you know, you come and sign and do that, but we provide the services to the community.
948 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And you have a GST number and a provincial sales tax number --
949 MR. GILL: Yes.
950 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- that you provide to your advertisers?
951 MR. GILL: Yes, the day one is charge the beginners --
952 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
953 MR. GILL: -- I have that number under Radio India 2003 Limited, 24 hours radio station.
954 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And would you make sure that when you do provide us with your financial statements, we would like to have clearly indicated what the national revenue is, what the local revenue is.
955 MR. GILL: That --
956 THE CHAIRPERSON: You also pay a commission if I'm not mistaken, 15 per cent to all your employees that bring in business.
957 MR. GILL: Yeah.
958 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
959 MR. GILL: I can -- because we issue every year, like you know, the pay, we issue a T-4A then T-4(1). So we will send you all record of that.
960 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And is that commission paid as a salary or are they self-employed; how is that paid out?
961 MR. GILL: No, no, the commission always we put like commissions, "com", commission.
962 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
963 MR. GILL: And accountant, certified accountant with the company had it --
964 THE CHAIRPERSON: And that is part of the salary structure?
965 MR. GILL: -- and he is responsible.
966 THE CHAIRPERSON: And all the necessary taxes and deductions of sources are made --
967 MR. GILL: Yes.
968 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- on that revenue that you provide your employees?
969 MR. GILL: On that revenue, yes. But, you know, if you need a Friday like how much percentage by the national ads and that, it will take time because, you know, we have to go dig out all the records back years.
970 It is very difficult in, like you know, one week or three days, we need at least -- you know, if we going to go by the years, we have to -- we need at least minimum 60 days for that.
971 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, you don't have that, sir. You have until Friday 3:00 p.m.
972 MR. GILL: Then we can only supply the tax, you know, what we submit to the tax because I have full income --
973 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, I appreciate that --
974 MR. GILL: -- but the breakdown is going to be the difficult.
975 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- but if you could stay in contact with the personnel of the Commission and give them what you have as it comes along.
976 MR. GILL: Okay.
977 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you continue your exchange. You have already had exchanges with the Commission staff.
978 MR. GILL: Sure.
979 THE CHAIRPERSON: I suggest you continue to do that.
980 Mr. Forsyth, anything you want to add?
981 MR. FORSYTH: No, I was going to suggest, Mr. Chairman, that if we could submit an ongoing --
982 THE CHAIRPERSON: An ongoing, yes.
983 MR. FORSYTH: -- compliance and that would, I'm sure, indicate what the trend would be for that period of time.
984 THE CHAIRPERSON: Certainly. There are ways. Your 19 employees, they are all Canadian, save for four that are working overseas; is that my understanding?
985 MR. GILL: No, the 15 is Canadian, four is overseas.
986 THE CHAIRPERSON: They are the ones that are overseas and they are not Canadian?
987 MR. GILL: They're not Canadian.
988 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
989 MR. GILL: One is Canadian.
990 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And you also have a number of volunteers above and beyond these 19?
991 NR. GILL: We never keep record for volunteers, whoever come to the station and learn and do volunteer work, we never keep the record.
992 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you pay commission for advertising revenue to anyone else except for your employees?
993 MR. GILL: The advertising agencies always took their commission before they send us the cheque.
994 THE CHAIRPERSON: And are there individuals that sell local advertising that receive commissions from you?
995 MR. GILL: Yes, they get issued a different kind of slip, that accountant can help.
996 THE CHAIRPERSON: That is all documented?
997 MR. GILL: Yes.
998 THE CHAIRPERSON: Very well. I'll turn it over --
999 MR. GILL: And we report it to the Canadian, the CRA as well whatever the commission, whatever the cheques write under, like you know, the lease payment, commission and all that, it is on the record, CRA record.
1000 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. And the CRA is on the record and they are aware of that --
1001 MR. GILL: Yes.
1002 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- is what you are telling us?
1003 MR. GILL: Yes.
1004 THE CHAIRPERSON: I also imagine they are also aware of the fact that your advertisers are deducting against the payments made to Radio India?
1005 MR. GILL: The advertisement agencies always took their commission before they send us a cheque.
1006 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. But the local advertisers --
1007 MR. GILL: The local advertisers, what staff bring it and I bring it, like you know --
1008 THE CHAIRPERSON: And to your understanding, Mr. Gill, the local advertisers deduct the costs of advertising on Radio India?
1009 MR. GILL: No, no, we pay to the --
1010 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, but your advertisers, the people that advertise on your radio station --
1011 MR. GILL: Yes.
1012 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right, there must be car agencies -- what kind of advertisements do you have locally, as an example?
1013 MR. GILL: All kind.
1014 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, and your biggest advertisers are what --
1015 MR. GILL: They are all kind.
1016 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- supermarkets, retail, car companies.
1017 MR. GILL: Yeah.
1018 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- car dealers?
1019 MR. GILL: Yeah.
1020 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So they pay you for advertising?
1021 MR. GILL: They paid us advertising.
1022 THE CHAIRPERSON: They send you a cheque or they put it on the credit card?
1023 MR. GILL: By cheque, some people paid by credit cards.
1024 THE CHAIRPERSON: And they asked you for a receipt?
1025 MR. GILL: Always --
1026 THE CHAIRPERSON: Always.
1027 MR. GILL: -- a receipt issued for their record.
1028 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And to your knowledge, do they deduct those expenditures against their revenue?
1029 MR. GILL: I don't know. I have to check with my operation manager.
1030 THE CHAIRPERSON: You can only speak on what you know. I'm just asking the question.
1031 MR. GILL: Yes.
1032 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1033 MR. GILL: I just, you know, whatever I know I am telling you.
1034 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great. Thank you.
1035 Mr. Forsyth?
1036 MR. FORSYTH: I was just going to add that it would be something that obviously I think Mr. Gill would not know on an ongoing basis, sir.
1037 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's fair. Legal?
1038 MS FISHER: I have no questions, Mr. Chair.
1039 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. We'll see you in reply, Mr. Gill, Mr. Forsyth.
1040 Thank you.
1041 Madam la secrétaire.
1042 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We will now proceed to Phase II in which interveners appear in the order set out in the agenda to present their intervention.
1043 We will begin with a presentation by I.T. Productions Ltd. who is appearing via videoconference from Vancouver.
1044 Ms Datt, you have 10 minutes for your presentation and you may begin now.
1045 MS DATT: Thank you. Mr. Chairman and Members of the Commission, my name is name is Shushma Datt and I am the owner of IT Productions which is the licensee of RJ1200AM in Vancouver, rebranded as Spice Radio 1200AM.
1046 Thank you for the opportunity to participate as an intervener in this proceeding, which is a very important proceeding to our radio station.
1047 We were very disappointed when we were not awarded an FM licence for Vancouver in the Commission decision which followed the Surrey hearing held earlier this year. We took consolation from the Commission initiating this show cause proceeding to deal with the primary concern impacting our business, the existence of three cross-border stations US services originating and operating out of Canada targeting our licensed market.
1048 We were advised by Commission Staff yesterday that two of the stations called to this proceeding have now had their appearances cancelled by the Commission as a result of an agreement being made with the Commission.
1049 We have been advised the terms of that deal are not public. We can only assume the confidential deal results in the two cross-border stations being shut down. On the assumption that these two stations will cease to operate forthwith, we acknowledge and thank the Commission for their efforts to uphold the spirit and intent of the Broadcasting Act. Their operations cause day-to-day harm to our business and the longer they operate the more damage that is done.
1050 We have filed our written comments on all three of the cross-border stations in our letter filed in accordance with the Commission's directions governing these proceedings and those submissions remain our view and I will not repeat them here, except to adopt them for the record.
1051 I would note two of the stations subject to this show cause proceeding chose to respond to our letter and one of them attacked our operation for non-compliance with CRTC regulations. Those criticisms are inaccurate and misleading and I would be pleased to respond to any questions you may have which arise from those comments.
1052 I have nothing further to add to our written comments and I would be pleased to respond to any questions you may have.
1053 In closing, thank you for the opportunity to appear by long distance.
1054 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you, Madam Datt.
1055 Vice-Chairman Menzies may have some questions for you.
1056 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Good morning. Thank you for that.
1057 Could you just describe for me the nature of Spice Radio, what your contours are, what your primary audience is and what your history is.
1058 MS DATT: Spice Radio we branded on the 29th of September this year, it is to the needs of the South Asian community in the lower mainland.
1059 RJ1200 as it was licensed in 2005, the contours cover the lower mainland and also covers part of Vancouver Island.
1060 The programming when we started in 2006 was mainly music, FM station on an AM dial. Currently we have rebranded and rescheduled the programming catering to the entire community and language, Punjabi, Hindi, English and 11 other languages.
1061 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you for that. I am assuming you heard Mr. Gill this morning; is that correct?
1062 MS DATT: Yes, I did. Yes, I did.
1063 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: He estimated revenues no less than $2 million in any given year and in very good years beyond $3 million.
1064 How much of that revenue do you think would be recoverable by licensed operators in the Surrey and lower mainland area?
1065 MS DATT: I have a feeling that at least 75 per cent of that could be recovered by the two existing licensed broadcasters; i.e., 1200AM and REDFM, and the new entrant that has come into the market in Surrey.
1066 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. And you believe that the citizens of Surrey are well served by those operators, I assume?
1067 MS DATT: I know that the citizens of Surrey are well served by the two Canadian broadcasters that are in the market.
1068 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. So from what you have said there is somewhere between -- it is your view that there is somewhere between 1.5 million and say 2.2 million, something in that range, of revenue out there that could be going to licensed broadcasters which is currently going to an unlicensed broadcaster. Is that accurate?
1069 MS DATT: I am assuming if the figures given by Mr. Gill are accurate, that they make $2.5 million a year, if that is true, then I feel at least 75 per cent of that would come from the licensed broadcasters, yes.
1070 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: What is the annual budget of your operation at Spice Radio?
1071 MS DATT: Our annual cost of -- our annual cost of operating is close to about $85,000 a month and we haven't been able to achieve that this year.
1072 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So, it's your belief that if Radio India ceased broadcasting over the air and that revenue was recoverable by licensed broadcasters that that would change your situation from, at the moment, not being able to meet your costs of being a profitable operation. Is that correct?
1073 MS DATT: I would state that if Radio India and Sher-e-Punjab were to cease to program to the South Asian community that some of that money would come to us and we would at least be able to meet all our commitments.
1074 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, thank you. Those are my questions.
1075 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Datt, thank you very much.
1076 MS DATT: Thank you.
1077 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's all.
1078 Madam la secrétaire.
1079 MS DATT: Thank you.
1080 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
1081 We will now proceed -- actually we'll just take a second to settle in.
1082 Okay. We will now proceed with a presentation by South Asian Broadcasting Corporation who are appearing from our Vancouver and Toronto Offices by videoconference.
1083 Please introduce yourselves and you will then have 10 minutes for your presentation.
1084 Thank you.
1085 MR. SAMUEL: Thank you. Good afternoon Chairman, Commission Members and Commission Staff.
1086 My name is Bijoy Samuel, I am Vice President and General Manager of CKYE-FM (RED FM) Vancouver. My legal counsel, Mark Lewis, of Lewis Birnberg Hanet is joining us from the CRTC Office in Toronto.
1087 We will now begin our presentation. We are here today because this hearing is about the integrity of the Canadian broadcasting system and we support the Commission. I want to be very clear regarding our appearance today. We are responding to the Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2014-426 and we are not targeting a single party. I say that because in our community I do not want our comments to be distorted or misconstrued or misrepresented.
1088 The fact that two parties cited in the Notice of Consultation CRTC 2014-426 have entered into some form of Consent Agreement with the Commission and are not appearing today does not change our view of the status of any broadcaster who utilizes a U.S.-based transmitter with studios located in Canada to target Canadian listeners.
1089 Since we are not privy to the terms of the Consent Agreement, we do not know whether broadcasts from U.S. soil will continue. So our comments in response to the Notice of Consultation relate to anyone whose broadcasts from U.S. soil originate at studios in Canada, regardless of the language of the broadcasts.
1090 For the record, we fully agree with the Commission's analysis and that of the British Columbia Association of Broadcasters (BCAB). The language of the Broadcasting Act leaves little doubt that parties have been carrying on in the past and even today are operating broadcasting undertakings from Canada.
1091 Following the points in our written intervention and that of the BCAB intervention, that we support, I want to speak briefly about the Canadian broadcasting system and the obligations and responsibilities of being a licensed Canadian broadcaster.
1092 We fail to see how anyone cited in the Notice of Consultation would not be broadcasting from an undertaking located in "whole or in part in Canada" and thereby operating a broadcasting undertaking in Canada.
1093 While on one hand, there are many similarities between RED FM, RJ 1200 and the parties showing that each of us is operating a broadcasting undertaking in Canada, on the other hand, there are also many differences in terms of responsibilities that each of us have towards Canada, its broadcasting system and our listeners. These differences create an uneven playing field for us, resulting in many advantages for anyone who uses a U.S. transmitter.
1094 Let me explain the similarities and Mark will take you through the dissimilarities.
1095 First, unlicensed broadcasters have broadcasting studios less than 1 kilometre from our studio in Surrey using outdoor signage to promote their radio stations, just as we do. Be it amongst our listeners, our advertisers and even our politicians, the undertakings have all been publicly identified as radio stations.
1096 Take our listeners, for example. We have a similar audience profile. Many of our listeners switch from the stations listed in the Notice of Consultation to RED FM or to RJ 1200. Talk to these listeners and they will tell you that they believe that they are switching from one radio station to another radio station. Each station has on-air promotions to attract local listeners in the Surrey-Vancouver area.
1097 Moving on to advertisers, unlicensed radio stations solicit advertising revenue from the same advertisers, businesses who serve the South Asian community in Lower Mainland B.C. These advertisers and advertising agencies also believe that they are buying ads on Canadian radio stations.
1098 We all attend the same festivals and community events. Frequently, you will see live-remote tents at the same event for RED FM, RJ 1200, as well as for those using U.S.-based transmitters.
1099 Mark, over to you.
1100 MR. LEWIS: Thank you.
1101 Now, let me outline some of the differences relative to our role, obligations and participation as a licensed Canadian broadcasting undertaking:
1102 Radio India, by way of example, is carrying on a broadcasting undertaking, we believe, without a licence from the CRTC, whereas we have a licence. We operate with a licence as per the Broadcasting Act of Canada. Over the last 8 years, we have expended more than $1.3 million dollars in CRTC licence fees, Canadian copyright tariffs, as well as investments in Canadian Content Development.
1103 Two, because we are a regulated Canadian broadcast licensee, you have our annual returns. You therefore can confirm the amounts we have paid in licence fees, CCD and copyright tariffs. For example, we have paid SOCAN, the Canadian Neighbouring Rights Collective and other Canadian copyright collectives for the public performance of the music that we broadcast. This is a very costly obligation and it is an obligation of every Canadian licensee. We have paid approximately three-quarters of a million dollars over the years just since we began broadcasting to SOCAN, SODRAC and other Canadian collectives.
1104 In addition, we have also collected and remitted to the government millions of dollars in lawful taxes, including income taxes, employee taxes, as well as value added taxes, HST and GST.
1105 Then, we abide by the CAB Code of Ethics, RTNDA Code, and we fully cooperate with the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council when there is an issue to be adjudicated.
1106 Since filing our brief intervention supporting the BCAB intervention in September, on-air broadcasts by Radio India over KVRI 1600 have attacked RED FM and encouraged individuals to jam our phone lines, disrupt our broadcasts and boycott our advertisers, whereas we would never broadcast this kind of programming, considering the CBSC codes, CRTC regulations and other legal obligations that we respect as licensed Canadian broadcasters.
1107 In order to hold an ethnic radio licence issued by the Commission, we are restricted in terms of the amount of programming that can be directed to any one single linguistic group. We adhere to the "broad service requirement" which is a hallmark of the Ethnic Broadcasting Policy. Canadian licensed ethnic services are required to serve a range of ethnic groups in a variety of languages.
1108 Ironically, anyone who broadcasts from Canadian soil without the benefit of a CRTC licence is free to focus 100 percent of their programming on a single linguistic group. I think you have heard that this morning.
1109 There are some other aspects you should consider.
1110 As you have raised in paragraph 12 of the public notice, it's not clear to us whether Canadian advertisers attempt to deduct advertising expenses incurred with the broadcasters who are before you today. The facts are 100 percent of every dollar spent by Canadian advertisers to advertise on RED FM and Mrs. Datt's RJ 1200, or other Canadian licensed broadcasters, is deductible by the advertiser pursuant to the Income Tax Act.
1111 In summary, this hearing we believe is about the integrity of the licensing process and the integrity of the Canadian broadcasting system. In a democracy there are rules and regulations and one cannot "pick and choose" which to obey and which to disregard.
1112 We would be very pleased to answer any questions you might have. Thank you.
1113 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Lewis.
1114 Commissioner Simpson...? No questions.
1115 Thank you very much. Thank you for appearing before us today and to you and to Mr. Samuel in Vancouver.
1116 MR. SAMUEL: Thank you.
1117 MR. LEWIS: Thank you.
1118 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Ventura...?
1119 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
1120 This completes Phase 2 on the agenda.
1121 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will be taking a break. I would suggest we come back with the reply. I would like to give Radio India a chance to think of what they have heard. Let's say 2:15.
1122 THE SECRETARY: That's perfect. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
1123 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. So 2:15 then. Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 1331
--- Upon resuming at 1415
1124 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.
1125 Madam Ventura...?
1126 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
1127 We will now proceed to Phase 3, in which Radio India (2003) Ltd. can reply to all interventions submitted on its item.
1128 You may now begin your presentation and you have 10 minutes. Thank you.
1129 MR. FORSYTH: Thank you very much.
1130 With respect to the interventions filed by I.T. and RED FM, Radio India has no comment other than to say it is thankful for the support it receives every day from the community. At the end of the day it is the listeners who determine who is serving their needs the best.
1131 Radio India believes there is enough revenue in the Vancouver South Asian community to support another licensed station. Mr. Gill feels that the best way is to bring Radio India into the fold so it can contribute. There is enough pie for everyone and it all benefits the system and meets the goals of the Broadcasting Act. Radio India is thankful for the opportunity to explain its case today.
1132 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Menzies...?
1133 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I'm just trying to understand what you said there. You have conceded that you are operating a broadcasting undertaking without a licence. Wouldn't that just simply be the end of the issue?
1134 MR. FORSYTH: I'm sorry, Commissioner Menzies, I missed just the very last part of your comment.
1135 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Sorry. Wouldn't that just be the end of the issue? You are operating a broadcasting undertaking without a licence. It seems to me that is kind of open and shut, right. I don't understand what you're trying to talk about in terms of talking about the future of the market and that sort of stuff and whether and how that is appropriate to this process.
1136 MR. FORSYTH: It might be if at the end of this process we were able to -- certainly I think Mr. Gill's point of view is that through this process he wishes to be able to be in a position to apply for a licence at a point in time and if that is the case when he applies this would be the argument relative to the argument that currently there is not enough revenue in the marketplace for the existing players. That is how I was trying to put that together.
1137 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. I understand what you said, but that's not what we are dealing with here today. We're just dealing with whether or not this business was operating with a licence or without a licence in terms of that.
1138 I do have one other question in terms of just to confirm. I believe you said it before. Had you paid your lease in advance for the current year?
1139 MR. GILL: I remember we sent them almost $700,000 U.S., but if anything else I don't recall now but I have to check my records.
1140 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Because when we were talking earlier you were talking about how you paid in advance in order to get a discount. So have you paid in advance for the current year of the lease?
1141 MR. GILL: Yes, we always pay in advance, but sometimes when the dollar rate is less in the previous year we buy more U.S. dollars because at that time when a dollar is equal we give them more money. You know, we adjust it each year, but this year over $700,000 U.S., yes, we submitted that payment to them.
1142 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So your rent is paid until the end of the current business year?
1143 MR. GILL: If any balance left, yes, before the new year started we paid that too. Sometimes, you know, we go off the air because of Internet, then we get a discount as well. Like, you know, if four-hour, two-hour service is not provided, they give us a discount as well.
1144 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay.
1145 My other question is with regards to the interveners we heard. They described a situation where they have been licensed broadcasters and there is revenue going to an unlicensed broadcaster, you, that has harmed them or restricted their opportunity. Would you agree with that?
1146 MR. GILL: I do not agree with that because, yes, RED FM, they are -- Shushma, RJ 1200, you know, even Surrey has four Hindu temples. They only choose me to advertise. They never go to -- even if she belongs to that community, she never goes to them. They always came to me in Burnaby, all over. But Shushma, like you know, she is the last 35 years in business and she is not still making the commitments. That is a shock to me. There is a lot of revenue in Surrey people can generate, but her programming, her attitude are not that connected with the community. The community is not happy with them.
1147 I would like to request the Commission pick the Indian directory, or I can send it by Friday, pick any 20 or 30 houses from Surrey or Delta or Ladner or Tsawwassen, ask them which radio station they tune. Just ask by Commissioners, not anybody else. Just pick 20 people and ask them which radio station they tune.
1148 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I understand your point.
1149 MR. GILL: You know that -- like, you know, if they were providing better programming --
1150 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I understand your point, but I'm not going to do that. What I would like to know is why wouldn't you -- you have an SCMO operation?
1151 MR. GILL: No, I don't have any.
1152 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: You no longer broadcast --
1153 MR. GILL: Here in Greater Vancouver, no, I don't have any SCMO. If I will -- that's why I'm asking three months to pack up. I don't want to send signals, you know, in America. Even you know I can lease that station in somebody else's name, I can say, please, they are getting my programming on Internet. They can still broadcast, but I am not going to do that.
1154 If I said today I am going to shut it down, I will shut it down. I am not going to send signals, you know, only American people can take the lease and I can let them use on 1600, it will never happen.
1155 But if they want they can do it, yes. You know, many Indo Canadians the day I'm going to leave the 1600 station, many Canadians, many Americans are going to approach that station to lease it again because I made that station very popular.
1156 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you. Those are my questions.
1157 MR. GILL: And I want to bring to the Commissioners' notice, if really, you know, you guys want to get rid of the border station programming, you should issue a licence in the Vancouver market, even not me, to anybody else.
1158 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I'm not here to negotiate with you.
1159 MR. GILL: Okay.
1160 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: This is a process to establish really one thing, right, whether you are operating with a licence or without a licence and within an exemption order. That's all this is about. Okay. Thank you. Those were my questions.
1161 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Vice-Chair Menzies.
1162 Mr. Gill, you signed the lease with KVRI?
1163 MR. GILL: Yes.
1164 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just to get back to your lease, how much do you pay to lease KVRI on a yearly basis?
1165 MR. GILL: On a daily basis?
1166 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yearly.
1167 MR. GILL: It's around $900,000, plus we paid all the Internet services. In America there is a company whose name is Frontier. You know, technically I'm not very good --
1168 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, Frontier.
1169 MR. GILL: -- but we paid almost $1 million to the United States every year.
1170 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. And how much do you pay to KVRI?
1171 MR. GILL: I think $80,000 to $85,000 a month.
1172 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. But you don't know -- but if you pay it in its entirety at the beginning of the year you get a 20 percent discount; is that correct?
1173 MR. GILL: Yes, I get a 20 percent discount. There are two months of the --
1174 THE CHAIRPERSON: Because I'm trying to figure out your math.
1175 MR. GILL: Two months they give me free of charge if I pay them in advance.
1176 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And that's how you arrive at the $700,000 figure?
1177 MR. GILL: No, always paid $840,000, you know, then discount -- plus discount. $840,000, $850,000, sometimes $900,000, then plus discount, you know, what we are getting from them.
1178 THE CHAIRPERSON: It seems to be a moving target, though, Mr. Gill. What are your annual costs of renting the KVRI signal? Can you give us a number?
1179 MR. GILL: You know, sir, it's depending on the American dollar. Sometimes we --
1180 THE CHAIRPERSON: Set aside the U.S. dollar. If you were to pay -- so my understanding is that on March 15, 2014, you paid for a year in advance; is that correct?
1181 MR. GILL: I have to check my records.
1182 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, sir, you are asking us for 120 days because you are going to be out "X" number of dollars --
1183 MR. GILL: Yes.
1184 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- because you already committed to the rental payment --
1185 MR. GILL: Yes.
1186 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- and now you are telling me you have to check your records.
1187 MR. GILL: You know, I think we always paid every year full advance, but I have to check my records.
1188 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sir, you have come here to testify before us --
1189 MR. GILL: Pardon?
1190 THE CHAIRPERSON: You have come to testify before us --
1191 MR. GILL: Yes.
1192 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- to ask us for 120 days --
1193 MR. GILL: Yes.
1194 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- to minimize your damage --
1195 MR. GILL: Yes.
1196 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- and you don't know how much you had paid, how much you have paid?
1197 MR. GILL: I know it's $80,000 to $85,000 a month, but with the discount.
1198 THE CHAIRPERSON: $85,000 a month?
1199 MR. GILL: With the discount.
1200 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
1201 MR. GILL: With the discount.
1202 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you did pay in full on March 15, 2014, for the next year?
1203 MR. GILL: I think, yes, because --
1204 THE CHAIRPERSON: You don't know.
1205 MR. GILL: I know $700,000.
1206 THE CHAIRPERSON: So how do you know you got a discount?
1207 MR. GILL: You know sometimes, you know, if they don't -- we have sometimes -- you know, if the program goes off the air we have a dispute with them too. That's why I can't figure out by myself how much is this year, how much was the last year. I have to check it. Sometimes, you know, the whole day was off with the winds or in the winter season.
1208 THE CHAIRPERSON: But the two months off free, you are aware of that?
1209 MR. GILL: I am aware of that. If we paid them in advance, yes, they gave us a two-month discount. Then almost $840,000 to $900,000 we paid them.
1210 THE CHAIRPERSON: So it is $840,000 --
1211 MR. GILL: Minimum.
1212 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- minimum for the year?
1213 MR. GILL: For the year.
1214 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Paid on March 15, 2014; is that correct?
1215 MR. GILL: Sometimes we pay them in January, sometimes February, sometimes March, three months.
1216 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you only get the discount if you pay the full year in advance, do you not?
1217 MR. GILL: Yes. We have to pay them before the 31st every year. That's why we have terms and conditions. The year starts from April 1st to March 31st. So, you know, we start sending money January to March for the month that starts from April the next year.
1218 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you have paid in full April 1, 2014. You are paid in full until April 1, 2015; is that correct?
1219 MR. GILL: Yes. Sometimes we are behind too, you know, for $100,000, $200,000. I have to check my record.
1220 THE CHAIRPERSON: You don't know?
1221 MR. GILL: I don't know the exact figures, but I know I sent $700,000.
1222 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. U.S.?
1223 MR. GILL: U.S.
1224 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And the determination of the exchange rate is made upon the date upon which you made payment; is it not?
1225 MR. GILL: Sometimes $1.10, sometimes $1.12, sometimes -- I used to when I leased the station $1.65.
1226 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, I understand that. I understand that. But the rate that is used to determine the exchange rate is the rate that is in place on the date that you made the payment; is that not correct?
1227 MR. GILL: Yes, it is correct.
1228 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So if you have paid a year in advance, then any deviation in the exchange rate will not have an impact upon you, or your payment that is?
1229 MR. GILL: No.
1230 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right?
1231 MR. GILL: On the first three months whatever is the rate, you know, that we --
1232 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's the rate?
1233 MR. GILL: Yes.
1234 THE CHAIRPERSON: No matter what happens after that it's not going to change --
1235 MR. GILL: Yes.
1236 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- because you have already made the payment?
1237 MR. GILL: Yes.
1238 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And that is completely non-refundable, according to you?
1239 MR. GILL: That is completely non-refundable, yes.
1240 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Okay.
1241 MR. GILL: Sometimes -- you know, I want to bring to your attention too. Sometimes we send the money from radio account and sometime if the radio doesn't collect the amount at the right time from the community, you know, we pay it from the different accounts as well to KVRI and wire from the other accounts as well. We will show that -- but the receipt is always issued to Radio India.
1242 THE CHAIRPERSON: Maybe repeat that. I didn't understand.
1243 MR. GILL: We will loan to the company.
1244 THE CHAIRPERSON: Who lends to the company? Who loans money to the company?
1245 MR. GILL: Who loans to the company?
1246 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
1247 MR. GILL: I do, my family does, my friends do.
1248 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are the Managing Director.
1249 MR. GILL: If I want to raise money I can ask anybody.
1250 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And they lend money to Radio India?
1251 MR. GILL: They lend the money to a person, on my name or my family's name, then we deposit in the company's account to recover the --
1252 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Because the company is short?
1253 MR. GILL: If the company is short, yes.
1254 THE CHAIRPERSON: Did that happen this year?
1255 MR. GILL: This year I deposited one time $25,000. It was short one time, I think $10,000.
1256 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
1257 MR. GILL: But when we send them a yearly advance, at that time, yes, we borrow money, but later on we pay them back.
1258 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. But isn't the idea of a line of credit to account for cash flow shortfalls?
1259 MR. GILL: Yes.
1260 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So you do have $1 million -- the $1 million line of credit, from what I understand?
1261 MR. GILL: Yes, I have $1 million line of credit. We can prove that.
1262 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you had completely and totally exhausted that $1 million dollar line of credit?
1263 MR. GILL: Yes.
1264 THE CHAIRPERSON: And that's why you were forced to speak to family and friends to lend you money?
1265 MR. GILL: You know, if I'm short of money, yes, I ask them.
1266 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, but when you ask them, you only asked them because you had completely and totally exhausted the funds in the line of credit; is that correct?
1267 MR. GILL: Not for that, but I never mentioned anything like that. When I'm short of money I always borrow from my friends, my relatives. They always lend me money.
1268 THE CHAIRPERSON: Why don't you use your line of credit?
1269 MR. GILL: Pardon?
1270 THE CHAIRPERSON: Why do you not use your line of credit?
1271 MR. GILL: Sometimes we use the line of credit as well. It is all used now.
1272 THE CHAIRPERSON: It is all used?
1273 MR. GILL: It is all used.
1274 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1275 MR. GILL: That's why I'm asking now time to, you know, recover that. Otherwise, the bank is going to lose money too.
1276 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. You are a highly profitable radio operation, are you not?
1277 MR. GILL: Yes.
1278 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And notwithstanding that, your line of credit is maxed out and you have to borrow money from friends?
1279 MR. GILL: Sometimes.
1280 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Okay.
1281 Vice-Chair Menzies...?
1282 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I just want to clarify something because I'm reading an article by the esteemed Mr. O'Neil, Peter O'Neil from the Vancouver Sun -- Province -- sorry, whichever, in which you are quoted today, it's from October -- or yesterday, October 14th, when you are quoted as saying it's your intention to go all the way to the Supreme Court and today I'm hearing you say you want to shut down. So help me understand the difference between what you told Mr. O'Neil -- I'm assuming recently -- and what you are telling us today.
1283 MR. GILL: Yes. Before, I thought I am right, I can fight up to the Supreme Court, I am going to not let it go like that. And when I get it explained fully, Mr. Andrew and other people like, you know, what does this Act mean, then I make my mind, you know, I should understand that and I can ask only for an extension and I can stop operating from Canada.
1284 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: But these were comments --
1285 MR. GILL: Pardon?
1286 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: These were comments -- the comments in the story were comments that you no longer stand by?
1287 MR. GILL: Pardon?
1288 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: You have changed your mind?
1289 MR. GILL: I changed my mind.
1290 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Right. So the comments in that article yesterday are no longer --
1291 MR. GILL: The day before -- I think last week.
1292 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Right. They no longer reflect your position?
1293 MR. GILL: Because on that day I don't know, you know, how it really affects me. You know, I used to think that, you know, I am only doing on Internet, nobody is going to stop me.
1294 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So just so I understand you, you got legal advice which explained to you the problem?
1295 MR. GILL: Legal advice, you know, because I paid the lease to -- Radio India paid the lease to KVRI, that is why we are liable. If we are only on Internet, if they broadcast my programming without my permission, then I will have no control on them. But now I am liable. That's what I think.
1296 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I just wanted to understand the evolution of your thinking in terms of this and this position you have today is truly reflective of your position in terms of your intention to cease operation?
1297 MR. GILL: Actually, you know, I learned all the Broadcasting Act, what does that mean, what it can affect on me, then I came to the conclusion when I got legal advice. They said, you know, because you are paying the lease, that is why that Act on you, but if I'm not paying the lease from Canada, if somebody else is broadcasting on the border station, then I have no obligation.
1298 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Right. I agree the Broadcasting Act is a good thing for broadcasters to read. Anyway, thank you very much. That was my question.
1299 MR. GILL: Thank you.
1300 THE CHAIRPERSON: In closing, Mr. Gill, when you borrow money from friends and family, do you pay them any interest for that loan?
1301 MR. GILL: No.
1302 THE CHAIRPERSON: No.
1303 MR. GILL: No.
1304 THE CHAIRPERSON: They give you the money, they ask nothing in return for the money?
1305 MR. GILL: No. Only I give them money, whenever I have I give them back, but I always give back.
1306 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you draw those funds that you give them back from Radio India?
1307 MR. GILL: Pardon?
1308 THE CHAIRPERSON: The funds that you use to pay them back --
1309 MR. GILL: The funds are used from Radio India.
1310 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- do you draw those monies from Radio India?
1311 MR. GILL: Right now, you know, I told you the million dollars is behind.
1312 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
1313 MR. GILL: Yes.
1314 THE CHAIRPERSON: So the money when you pay them back, where does that money come from?
1315 MR. GILL: From revenue.
1316 THE CHAIRPERSON: From revenue of Radio India?
1317 MR. GILL: Yes.
1318 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1319 MR. GILL: Today we have in the market over half a million dollars.
1320 THE CHAIRPERSON: Outstanding?
1321 MR. GILL: Outstanding. I can send you those figures. You know, every month we print that sheet, balance sheet. We can send you that too and how many advertisers owe us money.
1322 THE CHAIRPERSON: Perfect.
1323 Mr. Forsyth, can we have that and can we have the delay on the payment of the accounts receivable, what is 30 days, 60, 90 and 120, please, and what is beyond 120? Noted, Mr. Forsyth?
1324 MR. FORSYTH: Noted.
1325 THE CHAIRPERSON: I would also like the transactions on the line of credit, please.
1326 MR. FORSYTH: Noted.
1327 THE CHAIRPERSON: And to the extent that it's possible, an affidavit from Mr. Gill, if not an affidavit from the lenders.
1328 MR. FORSYTH: Noted.
1329 THE CHAIRPERSON: The amounts lent and what outstanding debts there are on the personal and familial front. If the lenders cannot provide the affidavit, I would ask that Mr. Gill provide the affidavit.
1330 I imagine there is no written document as per the personal loans to allow Radio India to remain on air? Were there any documents signed, Mr. Gill, between yourself, your family members and your friends?
1331 MR. GILL: No, we always --
1332 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's always verbal?
1333 MR. GILL: When we borrow money, always cheques.
1334 THE CHAIRPERSON: Always cheques.
1335 MR. GILL: Yes.
1336 THE CHAIRPERSON: Very good.
1337 MR. GILL: No cash, no nothing.
1338 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Forsyth, I'm sure you have those cheques returned somewhere.
1339 MR. FORSYTH: I have noted this.
1340 THE CHAIRPERSON: Noted.
1341 MR. FORSYTH: Yes.
1342 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Legal...?
1343 MS FISHER: Nothing further from us.
1344 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Forsyth, Mr. Gill.
1345 Madam Ventura, I believe we have some non-appearing items that need to be mentioned.
1346 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
1347 This completes Phase 3 and the consideration of item 1 on the agenda.
1348 Finally, please note that there are two non-appearing items on the agenda of this public hearing. Interventions were received for these items. These items will be considered by the panel and decisions will be rendered at a later date.
1349 This completes the agenda of this public hearing. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
1350 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Ventura, thank you.
1351 I would like to thank Mr. Gill and Mr. Forsyth.
1352 I would like to thank our interveners from Vancouver and Toronto.
1353 I would like to thank my colleagues, Vice-Chair Menzies and Commissioner Simpson, for their hard work and help in this issue. Mr. Simpson came in all the way from Vancouver for this, so he is going to get a chance to rest up.
1354 I would particularly like to thank staff. Thank you very much for your hard work and diligence as required in this matter.
1355 I think that closes the proceedings or the oral version of the proceedings. I thank you all so much and I wish you all a good day and a safe return. Thank you.
1356 MR. GILL: Thank you very much.
--- Whereupon the hearing concluded at 1439
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