ARCHIVED - Transcript, Hearing May 19, 2016
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Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Date: May 19, 2016
© Copyright Reserved
Attendees and Location
Vancouver Convention Centre
1055 Canada Place
West Meeting Rooms 205-207
Vancouver, British Columbia
- Chairman: Jean-Pierre Blais
- Vice-Chairman: Peter Menzies
- Member: Christopher MacDonald
- Legal Counsel: Shari Fisher
- Secretaries: Cindy Ventura, Sonia Gravelle
- Hearing Manager:
Vancouver, British Columbia
--- Upon resuming on Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 9:02 a.m.
5812 LE PRÉSIDENT: À l’ordre, s'il vous plaît.
5813 Madame la secrétaire.
5814 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
5815 Following its on-site inspection of the station’s technical parameters, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, ISED, has issued an inspection report regarding VF2689 operated by Surrey Myfm Inc. and VF2688 operated by Sur Sagar Radio Inc., which will both be appearing before us in the next phase of this hearing.
5816 Prior to the hearing, a copy of this report was provided to each operator, as well as to the two intervenors appearing at the hearing. The document will now be added to the public record and copies are available in the public examination room.
5817 We will now proceed with the second phase of this hearing, the consideration of three entities, Surrey Myfm Inc., Sur Sagar Radio Inc., and 89.3 Surrey City FM Ltd., which appear to be carrying on a broadcasting undertaking in Canada without a licence or pursuant to an exemption contrary to the Broadcasting Act.
5818 As noted by the Chair at the outset, these entities have been called to appear before the Commission pursuant to section 12 of the Broadcasting Act and will be asked to show cause why mandatory orders requiring them to cease and desist and to operate at all times in compliance with the Act should not be issued.
5819 Before we begin, legal counsel will explain what is meant by a mandatory order, what it entails and its implications.
5820 Mrs. Fisher?
5821 MS. FISHER: Thank you, Madam Secretary.
5822 In order to broadcast in Canada, a broadcasting undertaking must have a licence or operate pursuant to an exemption. The Commission has issued a number of exemption orders pursuant to section 9(4) of the Broadcasting Act which permit entities to operate broadcasting undertakings without a licence.
5823 However, these entities must comply strictly with the terms set out in the exemption order at all times. Failure to do so means that they are broadcasting without a licence or pursuant to an exemption contrary to the Broadcasting Act.
5824 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, any regulation, a licence, a decision, an order, and issue a mandatory order to ensure compliance.
5825 Given that they do not hold a licence issued by the Commission and do not appear to be complying strictly with the terms of the exemption orders pursuant to which they purport to operate, Surrey Myfm Inc., Sur Sagar Radio Inc., and 89.3 Surrey City FM Ltd. have been called to appear before the Commission because they appear to be carrying on broadcasting undertakings in whole or in part in Canada without a licence or authority pursuant to an exemption contrary to the Broadcasting Act.
5826 Accordingly, the Commission will be seeking to determine if this is the case and if so, whether mandatary orders should be issued requiring the cessation of these activities.
5827 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.
5828 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.
5829 The person would be entitled to present a defence and if found guilty of contempt will be subject to a fine or other remedy as set out by the Court.
5830 Alternatively, pursuant to subsection 32(2) of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission could seek to prosecute any person who fails to comply with the mandatory order.
5831 If found guilty, the person may be subject to a fine: for an individual not exceeding $25,000 for a first offence and $50,000 for each subsequent offence; or for a corporation not exceeding $250,000 for a first offence and $500,000 for each subsequent offence.
5832 In the present instance, Surrey Myfm Inc., Sur Sagar Radio Inc., and 89.3 Surrey City FM Ltd. will have the burden of convincing this panel why the Commission should not issue mandatory orders relating to the matters of alleged non-compliance.
5833 Ms. Gravelle?
5834 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
5835 We will now proceed with Phase I of Item 9 on the agenda and the presentation by Surrey Myfm Inc.
5836 Surrey Myfm Inc. (Myfm) operates the station VF2689 at Surrey, British Columbia, at 106.9 MHz. The station produces programming for broadcast on the radio, but does not hold a broadcasting licence to carry on a radio programming undertaking as it claims to operate as an exempt low-power tourist information radio station pursuant to Broadcasting Order 2014-447. Myfm is owned and controlled by Ravinder Singh Pannu.
5837 It appears that Myfm may be operating its tourist information station in non-compliance with Broadcasting Order 2014-447 and, therefore, may be carrying on a broadcasting undertaking in whole or in part in Canada without a licence or pursuant to an exemption, contrary to the Broadcasting Act.
5838 Please introduce yourself and your colleagues, and you will then have 20 minutes to make your presentation. Thank you.
5839 MR. SINGH PANNU: Thank you.
5840 Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Vice-Chairman and Commissioner MacDonald.
5841 My name is Ravinder Singh Pannu. I am the President and owner of Surrey Myfm Inc.
5842 I am joined today by Hardeep Sandhu to my right, Program Manager, Prateek Sandhu next to Hardeep Sandhu who is Marketing Manager, and by our legal advisor Joel Fortune at the end. To my left, Sanjeev Kumar and next to Sanjeev is Brigadier Nawab Singh Heer.
5843 Thank you for the opportunity to make these opening comments.
5844 MS. SANDHU: We understand that the purpose of this proceeding is to consider whether our low-power station VF2689 Myfm has been operated in compliance with the applicable exemption order and whether a mandatory order should be issued requiring the service to operate in accordance with that order.
5845 Our motive for launching Myfm in 2015 is evident from our early correspondence with Commission staff, which is part of the record of this proceeding.
5846 When the Commission amended the Tourist Information Exemption Order in 2013, and combined it with another order relating to other low power information programming, we thought that this presented an opportunity for us to provide a new information-based service in Surrey targeting tourists and providing other relevant information to the public.
5847 We were careful to confirm with CRTC staff that our proposal to broadcast in a mixture of languages and to carry advertising would be acceptable. We also confirmed, we had thought, that the terms of the order would be applied during the regulated broadcast day and would permit music overnight, though we misunderstood the implications of the reply in that case.
5848 We also filed a draft program schedule and description of programming before we started to broadcast. We have attached a copy of that description to this presentation for reference.
5849 Commission staff subsequently confirmed that this programming schedule, when read with the intent of the Exemption Order in mind, could be implemented consistent with the Exemption Order.
5850 We believe that we were on the right track with our programming, provided that we adjusted it properly to fall well within the Commission's interpretation of the exemption order.
5851 Our objective remains to provide a radio service that presents the information contained contemplated by the exemption order in an engaging way, in a way that listeners would expect to hear when they tune in to a radio station, regardless of its purpose.
5852 Our original programming mix was developed based on our understanding of the purpose of the exemption order. In effect, the purpose refers to the provision of information of various types that would be of particular interest to tourists and to public.
5853 After Commission staff reviewed the complaint filed by South Asian Broadcasting Corporation and our reply to that complaint dated November 12th, 2015, Commission staff provided additional guidance regarding our programming. Among other factors, it was stated that paragraph four of the exemption order, rather than the statement of purpose, was the overriding section.
5854 It was also noted by staff that our programming contained content that would be relevant to visitors to Surrey but related to other destinations, such as our information segments broadcast from India. After we received this letter we adjusted our programming.
5855 We also responded to staff’s observations in detail in our letter dated January 21st, 2016, which is part of the record of this hearing. We noted that a number of program segments would be discontinued and identified a small number of elements on which we requested further clarifications.
5856 These points included that some news and entertainment and technology programming could fall within the terms of exemption order as provided locally relevant information for tourists.
5857 Playing movie trailers with reviews would seem to be relevant information for visitors to Surrey if they are related to local movie listings and openings.
5858 We thought that short music selections could be considered incidental to upcoming events, for example, an upcoming concert.
5859 And certain non-local events could be of direct interest and relevant to global travellers visiting Surrey, such as, for example, information about the Zika virus outbreak and its implications for travellers. We thought that the example of the SARS outbreak is a good illustration of this type of content. While the event is international, it is directly relevant to visitors to Surrey.
5860 We should also note that we presented our information programming in an informative and entertaining manner in a way that would be familiar to radio listeners. This means that our host present in a conversational style, interspersed with what is sometimes called “DJ Chatter”. This is the glue that holds it all together and makes the service something more than prerecorded messages.
5861 The CRTC conducted a reanalysis of our content during the week of January 31st and February 6th, 2016, which was at the time that we were changing our programming. It can be seen from CRTC’s analysts that our programming offered a regular tourist-specific weather/traffic event and other similar information, none of which is controversial.
5862 We discontinued all music content, even short music clips, that we thought might be considered acceptable. We have cut out international reports, although we were in process of making that change when the logging report was compiled.
5863 The CRTC's analysis from the first week of February identified programming categories broadcast on MYfm. We feel that we reviewed how these categories relate to the exemption order in our letter dated April 15th, 2016. We would be very pleased to review this programming elements in more detail here.
5864 We would also reiterate that we will fully comply with the Commission's interpretation of the exemption order and its determination as to whether particular type of programs are or are not consistent with it.
5865 In any case, as we advised the Commission in our April 15th letter, in the interim, to avoid any additional concern while these matters are being considered, MYfm has completely changed its programming until there is greater clarity regarding the acceptable scope of programming.
5866 Programming is now limited to prerecorded content, except for our traffic, weather, gas, currency and border updates and selected event information. Prerecorded content deals with the following topics: information about Surrey, such as transportation services; places to visit in and around Surrey; information about major routes in Surrey; airport information; and available services, such as restaurants.
5867 MR. PANNU: Moving now to question of the installation of emergency alerting equipment, we do acknowledge that we made a mistake in not acquiring alerting equipment from the commencement of operation. This requirement was set out in a 2014 amendment to the 2013 exemption order.
5868 While we were aware generally of the implementation of emergency alerting in the industry, we were not aware of the application of the requirement to exempt stations such as ours. When we became aware of the requirement we ordered the necessary equipment.
5869 Unfortunately, there are delay in provisioning equipment of this nature, but it will be installed as soon as it arrive from our supplier.
5870 We also wish to comments with respect to the recent inspection performed by ISED at our station facility. ISED found the station to be compliant with the capable power requirement. A copy of the report was provided to the Commission.
5871 There were some power fluctuations noted in the period leading up to the inspection. We have explained to ISED that those relate to intermittent electrical power interruption that took place at that time in the building where our transmitter is located. These interruptions were related to upgrade to the local power grid. This has been confirmed by the building owner to ISED.
5872 We wish to acknowledge that this problem could have occurred in the past and probably explained the slightly higher power level noted in the conclusion of the LS Telecom coverage study. We were not aware that these resetting were happening, but that could explain the slightly higher power level found in those documents.
5873 Essentially, when power is interrupted even for a short period, the transmitter are reset to preset power level in the sequence and then require retuning to the proper level. And this is what happened.
5874 We did not anticipate this type of power interruption, but have now programmed the transmitter so that is automatically reset to the proper level.
5875 MS. SANDHU: In closing, our intention has been to offer the information programming allowed by the exemption order in a creative way that will engage listeners. We have been engaged with Commission staff from the outset, and greatly appreciate the interpretation and clarification guidance which was provided in December. We have adjusted our content since that time and, as you can see, have sought further guidance in certain areas.
5876 We have currently scaled back operations to a very large extent, and will only modify our programming in the future if we are confident that we are well within the intended scope of the exemption order. We continue to believe that there is value in type of service that we have proposed to offer, provided that we get it right, we understand. At the same time, it is not our intentions to go beyond the accepted scope of the order in any way.
5877 Thank you. We are here to answer any questions that you may have on this or any other matters.
5878 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you for that presentation. I will have many questions and it will take the time it takes. Many of these questions can be answered by a yes or a no. Now if you insist on providing overly long answers, we are prepared to sit as long as it takes.
5879 MR. PANNU: Thank you.
5880 THE CHAIRPERSON: So my first question, I take it that your legal counsel, Mr. Fortune, has explained to you the seriousness of this proceeding and you do understand the consequences that may result from this proceeding?
5881 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
5882 THE CHAIRPERSON: You currently operate a radio programming undertaking; is that correct?
5883 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
5884 THE CHAIRPERSON: You have been doing so since February 2015; is that correct?
5885 MR. PANNU: Correct.
5886 THE CHAIRPERSON: You operate from stations -- studios, sorry, in Surrey; correct?
5887 MR. PANNU: Correct, sir.
5888 THE CHAIRPERSON: And the studios are located at 1347955A Avenue in Surrey, B.C. Is that correct?
5889 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
5890 THE CHAIRPERSON: You're broadcast on radio communication frequency 106.9; correct?
5891 MR. PANNU: Correct, sir.
5892 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you have a licence to operate a radio broadcasting undertaking issued by this Commission pursuant to the Broadcasting Act?
5893 MR. PANNU: It is exempted by CRTC under the 2014-620.
5894 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. But do you agree you do not have a broadcasting licence?
5895 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
5896 THE CHAIRPERSON: The undertaking operating the radio broadcasting undertaking you mentioned you were operating on 106.9 is operated by Surrey MyFM Inc. Is that correct?
5897 MR. PANNU: Yes. Yes, sir.
5898 THE CHAIRPERSON: And Mr. Ravinder Singh Pannu, you are the Chairman and CEO of Surrey MyFM Inc. Is that correct?
5899 MR. PANNU: Correct, sir.
5900 THE CHAIRPERSON: And based on your answer in January -- in a letter dated January 21, 2016, the sole current Directors and officers of Surrey MyFM are yourself, Mr. Ravinder Singh Pannu. I may get the pronunciation wrong here, but bear with me. Baltej Kaur Sandhu, Manjot Kaur Pannu and Manmeer Singh Pannu. Is that correct?
5901 MR. PANNU: Correct, sir.
5902 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is there any -- is there more than one category of shares issued currently for Surrey MyFM Inc.?
5903 MR. PANNU: Correct.
5904 THE CHAIRPERSON: Only one category of shares.
5905 MR. PANNU: Yes.
5906 THE CHAIRPERSON: And who owns the shares of Surrey MyFM Inc.?
5907 MR. PANNU: Ravinder Singh Pannu.
5908 THE CHAIRPERSON: So yourself.
5909 MR. PANNU: Yes.
5910 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you own 100 percent of the issued shares in that corporation.
5911 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
5912 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are all -- you are a Canadian resident or a Canadian citizen?
5913 MR. PANNU: Canadian citizen.
5914 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do any individuals I have named so far or individuals you have -- well, you haven't named any other individuals, but all the individuals I've named so far, they have other legal names or names that they use socially or pseudonyms?
5915 MR. PANNU: Just the family is my -- you mean to say Baltej Kaur Sandhu?
5916 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do they go by other names, the four individuals?
5917 MR. PANNU: No, sir.
5918 THE CHAIRPERSON: They have no other pseudonyms, no other legal names, no names that they use socially other than the ones we've -- I've identified earlier.
5919 MR. PANNU: No legal name, but the family name is known as in the family.
5921 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you undertake to file by the end of today a list of all such alternate names of those individuals?
5922 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
5924 THE CHAIRPERSON: Could you provide by the end of the day the address which you, the Directors and officers, may be served with legal documents?
5925 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
5926 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you could do that by the end of the day?
5927 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
5928 THE CHAIRPERSON: You undertake to do that.
5929 MR. PANNU: Yes.
5930 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Pannu, do you currently own or operate any other radio programming undertakings ---
5931 MR. PANNU: Yes.
5932 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- operating anywhere in Canada?
5933 MR. PANNU: Radio programming as SCMO, TV.
5934 THE CHAIRPERSON: Where?
5935 MR. PANNU: And TV's in Toronto ---
5936 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
5937 MR. PANNU: --- under SSTV Inc. Sur Sugar Radio is as a SCMO service leased from CIUT Toronto.
5938 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And when did you begin to operate that SCMO service?
5939 MR. PANNU: That was started back in 1994, September.
5940 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. And other than that particular undertaking, do you operate any other undertakings in whole or in part in Canada?
5941 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir. That is called Sur Sugar Radio, which is located on 91 -- the frequency 91.5 as a religious.
5942 THE CHAIRPERSON: Where is that?
5943 MR. PANNU: It is in Surrey.
5944 THE CHAIRPERSON: In Surrey.
5945 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
5946 THE CHAIRPERSON: And when did that begin to operate?
5947 MR. PANNU: The same time as the other MyFM, 2015.
5948 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. And you operate those undertakings, you've mentioned, personally or do you do it through a corporation or other legal entity?
5949 MR. PANNU: The corporation.
5950 THE CHAIRPERSON: And what corporation is that?
5951 MR. PANNU: Sur Sugar Radio Inc.
5952 THE CHAIRPERSON: And are you the sole shareholder of that ---
5953 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
5954 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- company?
5955 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
5956 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are you the sole Director and officer of that company?
5957 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
5958 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you intend to, directly or through a corporation or other legal entity, operate an unlicensed radio programming undertaking, in whole or in part, in Canada, putting aside ---
5959 MR. PANNU: Exempt, sir.
5960 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- the one we've listened in Part I of this hearing. I’m talking about an unlicensed operation.
5961 MR. PANNU: Sur Sugar, Surrey.
5962 THE CHAIRPERSON: In Surrey.
5963 MR. PANNU: Yes.
5964 THE CHAIRPERSON: You intend to launch that.
5965 MR. PANNU: No, we are already running.
5966 THE CHAIRPERSON: You're already running that one.
5967 MR. PANNU: Yes. We have next answers for that.
5968 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I’m asking whether you're intending to -- why didn't you mention it earlier as an operation that you are operating?
5969 MR. FORTUNE: Sorry, Mr. Chair. I think he just misunderstood the question.
5970 MR. PANNU: Sorry, sorry. I misunderstood.
5971 MR. FORTUNE: His answer is that he -- other than the two that are before you today, there are none, I think is your answer.
5972 THE CHAIRPERSON: My question was about future operations.
5973 MR. FORTUNE: That's right. That's what I'm saying.
5974 MR. PANNU: Future depends upon today, and your -- all the consideration.
5975 THE CHAIRPERSON: I don't understand your answer. Sorry.
5976 So my first series of questions about undertakings, unlicensed undertakings you are currently operating.
5977 MR. PANNU: In Surrey.
5978 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
5979 MR. PANNU: You're not talking any other place, or just Surrey?
5980 THE CHAIRPERSON: Anywhere in whole or in part in Canada.
5981 MR. PANNU: Okay. Yes, there is two in Abbotsford, one in Calgary which will depend upon today hearing what they ---
5982 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Are they currently being operated?
5983 MR. PANNU: No, sir.
5984 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So those are the ones you intend to begin operations.
5985 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
5986 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. When would the operations occur?
5987 MR. PANNU: That ---
5988 THE CHAIRPERSON: When would they start?
5989 MR. PANNU: That will depend upon decision of this hearing.
5990 THE CHAIRPERSON: In what sense, this Mandatory Order hearing or the other parts of the hearing?
5991 MR. PANNU: No, Mandatory Order.
5992 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And -- okay. Fine.
5993 So concerning the over-the-air radio programming undertaking operated on 106.9 FM, who is responsible for the day-to-day operations?
5994 MR. PANNU: Day-to-day operation I have staff programming, and also I have a manager here and also adviser with me.
5995 MR. KUMAR: No, no. The answer is who is responsible for day-to-day operations.
5996 MR. PANNU: Yes, and that's the man.
5997 MR. KUMAR: (inaudible).
5998 THE CHAIRPERSON: Does -- is ultimately responsible for the day-to-day operations.
5999 MR. KUMAR: Yes, sir.
6000 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is that individual under your supervisory control?
6001 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6002 THE CHAIRPERSON: And that of the Board of Directors?
6003 MR. PANNU: No, sir.
6004 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just yours.
6005 MR. PANNU: Yes.
6006 THE CHAIRPERSON: Even though there is a Board of Directors, they've delegated to you, I guess, in law the power to oversee the work of that employee.
6007 MR. PANNU: That is ---
6008 MR. KUMAR: Yeah, that's correct.
6009 THE CHAIRPERSON: Does that person operate under a contract with Surrey MyFM Inc.?
6010 MR. PANNU: That is verbal contract.
6011 THE CHAIRPERSON: A verbal contract. So you don't have a written copy of a contract that you ---
6012 MR. PANNU: No, sir.
6013 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- could provide to us. But there is a contractual relationship.
6014 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6015 THE CHAIRPERSON: And who chooses the programming aired on 106.9 FM?
6016 MR. PANNU: I have here Mr. Sandhu.
6017 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is Mr. Sandhu the only person who is responsible for operating -- for choosing the programming aired on 106.9?
6018 MR. PANNU: Yeah, in association with -- consultation with me and with my advisory committee.
6019 THE CHAIRPERSON: And who's on your advisory committee?
6020 MR. PANNU: Mr. Sanjeeb and Brigadier Nawab Singh Heer.
6021 THE CHAIRPERSON: But ultimately, who makes the call on what programming?
6022 MR. PANNU: I make the call.
6023 THE CHAIRPERSON: But the --
6024 MR. PANNU: Too, Sandhu. Mr. Sandhu.
6025 THE CHAIRPERSON: But not on every piece of programming, I take it.
6026 MR. PANNU: That is Ms. Singh.
6027 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, okay. Who is responsible in your organization to ensure that 106.9 FM operates in a manner that is consistent with the Broadcasting Act?
6028 MR. PANNU: Is -- responsibility is mine. Full responsibility is mine.
6029 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So that's -- and how do you operate -- how do you carry out that responsibility?
6030 MR. PANNU: That -- through my all programming and my all staff.
6031 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you agree that you ultimately are responsible.
6032 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6033 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are you familiar with Broadcasting Order CRTC 2014-447 entitled "Terms and Conditions of Exemption Order for Low Power Tourist Information-Related Radio Programming Undertakings"?
6034 MR. PANNU: Yes. I call that one 2014-620. I would say that.
6035 THE CHAIRPERSON: So why don't we, from now on, call it the "Low Power Tourist Exemption Order"?
6036 MR. PANNU: That will be best.
6037 THE CHAIRPERSON: You purport to operate an unlicensed radio programming undertaking on 106.9 pursuant to that Exemption Order? Is that correct?
6038 MR. KUMAR: Yes.
6039 THE CHAIRPERSON: And at paragraph 10 of the Exemption Order, you are required to have implemented an emergency alerting system, this is under paragraph 10, by no later than March 31st, 2015. And by letter dated 21 January, 2016, you've admitted that you have not implemented such a system. Is that correct?
6040 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6041 THE CHAIRPERSON: And by your verbal testimony this morning, you have also admitted that, as of today, you have not implemented the required emergency alerting system required pursuant to the Exemption Order; correct?
6042 MR. PANNU: Yes sir. We have a placed order for that.
6043 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you agree that you are now in non-compliance with the Exemption Order in this regard?
6044 MR. PANNU: According to this, yes.
6045 THE CHAIRPERSON: Could you please show cause why the Commission should not issue a mandatory order as a result of this breach?
6046 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6047 In the previous, all the communication and also all the latter, back and forth, and all consideration took by my committee. And we are compliance -- 100 percent compliant right now because what I realize, this ---
6048 THE CHAIRPERSON: I’m speaking exclusively at this point ---
6049 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6050 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- with respect to the emergency alerting system.
6051 MR. PANNU: Okay. Yes.
6052 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will get to other issues in a moment.
6053 MR. PANNU: Okay, sir.
6054 THE CHAIRPERSON: So could you show cause why you are not -- why the Commission should not issue a mandatory order in light of your admitted non-compliance with paragraph 10 of the Exemption Order?
6055 MR. PANNU: I would like to Sanjeev express this.
6056 MR. KUMAR: It is admitted in the Oral Presentation that it was a mistake not to get the staff install before the operation started, and the order is placed to get that.
6057 But we have a mechanism at this point in time. If there is any emergency, one of our program directors, he has a small system at home through his computer using the TeamViewer. He can control the systems of the studio and if there’s any emergency, he can actually verbally inform the population.
6058 But we already placed the order and soon we will be getting, and we admit that it was a mistake, which should not have happened.
6059 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you agree that the alternate mechanism you’ve just described does not comply with paragraph 10 of the Exemption Order?
6060 MR. KUMAR: Yes.
6061 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6062 THE CHAIRPERSON: When will you be complying with this requirement?
6063 MR. PANNU: We have placed the order. We have an order, middle of -- next month, we should be receiving and installing as soon as possible.
6064 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you’re receiving the equipment on what date next month?
6065 MR. PANNU: Next -- second week of June.
6066 THE CHAIRPERSON: And when will it be fully installed and compliant, in your view?
6067 MR. PANNU: Before end of June, it will be done.
6068 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you undertake to notify the Commission forthwith in writing when you will have complied with Direct. 10?
6069 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6070 MR. KUMAR: We do. We do.
6072 THE CHAIRPERSON: Let me now turn to programming issues. By a letter dated 21 January 2016, you admitted to having broadcast programming inconsistent with the programming authorized under paragraphs 4, 6 and 7 of the Exemption Order. Is that correct?
6073 MR. PANNU: I would request you if you can tell us a tab, that will be easier for me to find.
6074 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, I think globally, there are a number of admissions in that letter saying that you have admitted that you have not complied with paragraphs 4, 6 and 7, particularly news reports from a reporter in India; news technology and entertainment that is not local in nature; sports scores from national and international sporting leagues; open-line talk shows; satirical commentary and news parody; musical programming that was not incidental; news reporting about events in India; general or human interest programming; programming that is religious in nature; and programming that is political in nature.
6075 It seems to me that those are all, in your letter, admissions that you admitted in that letter that they are not programming that is authorized under paragraphs 4, 6 and 7 of the Exemption Order. Do you agree?
6076 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6077 THE CHAIRPERSON: By a letter dated 21 January 2016, you stated that you had ceased broadcasting programming inconsistent with Tourism Exemption Order. Is that correct?
6078 MR. KUMAR: Yes, that’s correct.
6079 THE CHAIRPERSON: You provided an audio recording for the week of 31 January to 6 February; is that correct?
6080 MR. PANNU: Yes.
6081 MR. KUMAR: Yes.
6082 THE CHAIRPERSON: And by letter dated 7 April 2016, the Commission sent you a monitoring report based on the audio recording you had provided for the week of 31 January to 6 February. Is that correct?
6083 MR. PANNU: Yes.
6084 THE CHAIRPERSON: And do you agree that the various programs broadcast on the 2nd of February were not in compliance with paragraph 4 of the Tourist Exemption Order?
6085 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6086 THE CHAIRPERSON: In particular, you broadcast news including local, provincial and international news as well as gold prices?
6087 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6088 THE CHAIRPERSON: And that you had broadcast as well general or human interest programming, including health information, pesticide in food information, organic food information, children’s health information, technology information, Bollywood news, gossip and entertainment segments on phobias, the world’s biggest companies, segments on breastfeeding, salt, nutrition and obesity, poetry, stories and jokes.
6089 Do you agree?
6090 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir, we ---
6091 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you agree that those content are not compliant with paragraph 4 of the Tourist Exemption Order?
6092 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir. I would like to explain about it, why it had happened.
6093 THE CHAIRPERSON: Go ahead.
6094 MR. PANNU: The letter of January 22nd 2015, which we have exchanged all the information with the staff. All the program was based at the beginning on this -- what was exchanged with the Commission staff.
6095 And then when we got that other explanation from the Commission, we have to make changes. So accordingly, we keep -- kept changing.
6096 So at the end, right now, we are totally 100 percent compliant because there was a lot of misunderstanding in -- in this period of time.
6097 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. But you do agree that prior to that clarification of the misunderstanding, as you say, you were operating in non-compliance with the Exemption Order?
6098 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6099 THE CHAIRPERSON: And that Commission staff are not running your undertaking, are they; you are?
6100 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6101 THE CHAIRPERSON: And that it is up to you to make with the help possibly, with the appropriate counsel, including legal counsel, to determine if you’re operating within the four square parameters of the Exemption Order; do you agree?
6102 MR. PANNU: I would put some comments on it because this was new service, which the CRTC have started 2013. It was combination of -- two services was combined.
6103 Accordingly, we -- we was not aware of it, as at the Opening Remarks we have explained. What was the reason to do this kind of programming? Because we have conferred with the staff of CRTC. They have confirmed with us in writing at various times, and we was under the impression we are doing under the Exemption Order, which was as a purpose.
6104 So when we came to know purpose has been ignored by Commission staff, then the No. 4, which is -- which is different wording than the purpose.
6105 So then accordingly we switched the programming accordingly with the help -- with the staff and my advisory committee. So according to that understanding, we was not compliant but according to our understanding, we was in compliance.
6106 MR. PANNU: Yes, please.
6107 MR. KUMAR: Sir, at no stage, Mr. Pannu has any intent not to comply with the Exemption Order.
6108 Yes, there was one word which actually confused everyone and that’s the reason, even I talked with him, with the CRTC staff, the word “public”. The word “public” confused. That means that he can provide information for the general public of the City of Surrey.
6109 So that misunderstanding. And that when the clarification from the CRTC staff came that you have to follow only the Tourist part, that’s what you have to do. So then he immediately removed many programs from the programming list and some of the host has to go.
6110 And in March, he actually called me and he said that -- “I want to comply everything and there are some issues with our fine tuning of the programming, Sanjeev.” And he conducted, “Mr. Brigadier, can you help?”
6111 So then we started monitoring the programming. And then we talked together to discuss whether -- because it’s very subjective.
6112 So we tried to figure out how we should make it that it should be completely compliant in terms of letter as well as spirit.
6113 So then we started -- listening to the programs and -- me and Brigadier Sing. So we discussed and then we advised Mr. Pannu that this seems to be changed here, this seems to be changed here.
6114 So it was not intent not to comply. It was a misunderstanding, especially of the word “public”, when we say that something is important for public.
6115 So that is automatically understood that that information is important for the Surrey public.
6116 So that misunderstanding on the part of that has led to -- and the moment CRTC brought to the attention of Mr. Pannu, he started working overnight, even when he was in India with his aunt in a serious situation. So he made us responsible to look at the matters, so that we can fix. And I will say here the people or friends who have made a complaint about us, if they’re listening to the programming from the last one in the half month, they will themselves testify that it is pretty changed.
6117 It is in tune with what exemptions there is. At no point he wanted or intended to not to follow. Yes, there was a misunderstanding.
6118 THE CHAIRPERSON: Could you explain to me why Mr. Pannu's intent is relevant to this proceeding?
6119 MR. KUMAR: The intent is relevant in this proceeding because he is a law-abiding citizen. He is doing immense service in Toronto to the public. He is running a TV station. They are following the CRTC guidelines. He is running a server. He has a CMC server. He has a name, reputation which if he does anything which is not by the law will erode and destroy that.
6120 So there is no point of not to comply. Yes, there was a misunderstanding.
6121 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you will agree that prior to what you describe as fine-tuning, you were operating in non-compliance with the exemption order?
6122 MR. KUMAR: The misunderstanding, yes.
6123 MR. SINGH HEER: May I answer?
6124 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
6125 MR. SINGH HEER: With due respect, I was involved in this project with Mr. Pannu initially when he last year started operations and, secondly, from March onwards when he told us to monitor it every day and that we made sure that today the program is running as per the guidelines.
6126 Sir, I would like to submit that it was an experiment even from CRTC side and even from our consultation community and on Mr. Pannu's side. And to do the first experiments.
6127 When we got the letter of exemption we did go through it with a very, very fine comb and a magnifying glass: Where have we gone wrong?
6128 But what was defined -- but when we tried to interpret tourist who is a tourist? And there is a larger definition of a tourist to the letter. Now, we realize the tourists -- they meant only the people coming to Surrey. But at that time the definition evolved of the tourists and the public.
6129 And then we mailed out a letter. And with due respect this letter was submitted to the CRTC. It was our mistake to assume that since it is gone to CRTC it means they have accepted those programming and that that -- with that purview we started these programs. It was only when it was intervened and somebody complained that, yes, we got the letter from CRTC and that was the time when we realized, well, possibly it was -- our presumption was wrong. Possibly under the exempt order we have not understood the intent what it was given.
6130 What is the definition of a tourist? It was a small definition.
6131 What is the definition of public? It is a different definition -- perception, what is viewed by the CRTC and what was viewed by us.
6132 And thereafter the amendments are made. Yes, there have been mistakes and there have been errors, but errors -- it was never intended that we wanted to flout the rules, but we had misunderstood the rules.
6133 And it should be taken in that spirit that we assumed and these are the definitions. We started doing with that and at the time we were corrected.
6134 And I vouch for this today since the time he pressed us again into giving him advice from the middle of March. And today I can vouch for myself that anyone can listen that amendments have been made. Yes, mistakes have been made. We accept it.
6135 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you agree that it's up to the persons operating the undertaking and not Commission staff to be compliant with the Broadcasting Act that we find?
6136 MR. KUMAR: And we fully agree with that, and I want to add here to what Mr. Brigadier said, when this one was sent, a detailed description of the programming even before the broadcasting was started, he did not get any reply whether it's fine or whether it's not fine. And that created ---
6137 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's your decision to make.
6138 MR. KUMAR: Yes, we understand that but we are trying to ---
6139 THE CHAIRPERSON: Because if you want to ask the Commission whether you should be broadcasting or not, we are in a licensing regime. You are operating under an exemption order. You have the burden of establishing that you are operating within the four square corners of the exemption order; do you agree?
6140 MR. KUMAR: Yes, we have that responsibility and we are doing our best to make it compliant with the CRTC.
6141 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. Now, going back to the February 2nd issue, do you agree that programming in the nature of non-local content including international travel information about traveling abroad, therefore not to B.C. or to Vancouver, programming about business opportunities in other countries and programming about the renewable energy in Denmark does not constitute programming that is allowable under the exemption order. Do you agree?
6142 MR. KUMAR: Yes, sir. Again, it's the same misunderstanding.
6143 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you still broadcast news programming?
6144 MR. KUMAR: No, sir. Now?
6145 THE CHAIRPERSON: Today, yes.
6146 MR. KUMAR: No, sir.
6147 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah. And did you broadcast any news programming since February 2nd?
6148 MR. KUMAR: News content from February 2nd?
6149 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
6150 MR. KUMAR: No. At that time we have under that amendment of the programming, changing the programming.
6151 MR. PANNU: Okay. Well, the moment he brought to our attention that we have to monitor it, so we have monitored and we started -- we cannot give exact dates here because that would be wrong.
6152 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. As of what date did you stop doing news programming?
6153 MR. PANNU: Yes. So we started changing the programming right at the moment we got directions from the CRTC.
6154 THE CHAIRPERSON: The direction of the CRTC is contained in the exemption order, not in letters exchanged with Commission staff.
6155 MR. PANNU: Yes.
6156 THE CHAIRPERSON: So when did you stop broadcasting news content?
6157 MR. PANNU: Do you have a date?
--- (SHORT PAUSE)
6158 MR. PANNU: Yes. Yes. I would ask Prateek to answer this.
6159 MR. SANDHU: So as I agree with the exemption order which have been directed to Mr. Pannu, I joined the radio station in December 2015 last year as a volunteer host and then started picking up various other responsibilities.
6160 The issue contents which we are referring to various times and events, if we look at the team that we are when we are running the entire show, they were related to information with respect to any incident that has happened on the road in the City of Surrey or there is an accident which happened which in terms can be interpreted as information or as news as well, not going to the information which was being spoken about which is happening outside Canada. I am not privy to that. I did not join in at that point in time.
6161 However, when we are looking at information related to any technology in the application there was basically information. For example, we have a Surrey, City of Surrey website which talks about the streets and parks and various cycle routes which anybody who is coming from outside can use.
6162 And the same information is available on an app of the City of Surrey. So largely, the content around was related to any tourist using an app. If they are coming to Vancouver or Surrey, planning a trip to Grouse Mountain, for example, for the skiing side.
6163 So they were more related to these aspects in terms of the technology apps that you refer to, sir.
6164 THE CHAIRPERSON: All right. Well, I will re-ask my question. Do you still broadcast news programming?
6165 MR. SANDHU: No, sir. No.
6166 THE CHAIRPERSON: And when did you stop broadcasting news programming?
6167 MR. SANDHU: The 15th of April, 2016. THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. So do you think programming about high heels and the health concerns associated wearing high heels becomes compliant with the exemption order merely by adding that one should wear good shoes when travelling and not high heels?
6168 MR. SANDHU: I would say yes.
6169 And would you explain?
6170 MS. SANDHU: So if I may add? It's like the programming that we are doing, let's not call it programming -- even when you are doing the traffic segments, are tourist-related information. To make it interesting, the directions that we had were like you -- we have to give tourist-related information but to make it interesting you add on some other stuff to do it altogether. So that is what was being done by almost all those to be -- to put the creativity into the content so that it sounds interesting to ones who are listening.
6171 The segment that we are referring to, the high heels and related to the tourism, it was done on the latest tourist spots which are in and around Surrey which includes mountains. It includes lakes, parks and it was related to that. It was -- again, it was the glue that we were using to stick it altogether.
6172 THE CHAIRPERSON: So do you think that you are allowed under the exemption order to broadcast just about anything as long as you mention a tourist in this segment?
6173 MS. SANDHU: No, sir; we don't. That's why our current programming which is now on air from -- like I took over as programming manager from 12th April onwards and the programming which is now on air is only pre-recorded messages about Surrey and the traffic and airport updates and weather updates that we are doing now.
6174 THE CHAIRPERSON: So why wouldn't you agree with me that just making a mention about that tourists should wear good shoes is not making the entire segment compliant with the spirit and letter of purpose of the exemption order?
6175 MR. FORTUNE: May I interject here, Mr. Chair? Because I think Hardeep was -- in fact, Hardeep prepared and broadcast that program of which you are -- to which you are referring that's mentioned in the CRTC analysis. So what you put to her was really mentioning a tourist in the context of a program about high heeled shoes would not be compliant, correct, but I think what she was explaining was that that’s not in fact what was in that program.
6176 And perhaps, Hardeep, you could take another -- why don’t you just explain what that program was about and how you put it together and so on.
6177 MS. SANDHU: It was -- the whole program was based on what to wear when you walk around. So on that there was another additional information which is added to it, like if you walk around when you’re travelling wearing high heels what kind of effects it can have on you.
6178 So that is again we were doing it all in conversational style. Two hosts talk to each other, talk about the tourist information, talk about the destinations and related information again to make it interesting. So that’s how we were doing.
6179 And when we realized that this also is not acceptable we cut down on that too.
6180 Because, again, the mandate was to give tourist information in an interesting and creative way, so this is what maybe we all understood from that.
6181 And as and when there was further directions on that that this needs to be cut down we kept on cutting it down.
6182 In the effort to comply, if I may submit, like Mr. Pannu would also agree, like there have been people working with the radio station who have been having experiences of 20, 25 years on the air with the kind of programming that they’re used to do. So once they’re on air, once they’re on mic, at times they speak something which is not supposed to be in compliance with the Exemption Order.
6183 So to curtail that, many things have been done. I have a list of seven odd people who have been told to discontinue airing because they were not listening to these words are not to be said or this kind of content is not acceptable. So I have a list with me. Maybe Mr. Pannu would share with you.
6184 MR. PANNU: And also I want to share, I was travelling OC’s and I was listening through apps and I realized this is not right content. Even my (inaudible) have cancer and I was somewhere in the part of India and I called from there I said “No, this program has to stop” so they did it right away.
6185 Also, I was travelling one time in Toronto somewhere and I heard that program is not compliance and right away I call and Mr. Bhati pick up the phone and we shut down in the middle of.
6186 At first what we are trying to do to give the community right information according the Exemption Order, but again we are trying our best because this is new kind of programming which we don’t have in the past in Surrey or any other area into the language is what we are presenting.
6187 So our intention is still clear. We have done what we can do our best with the small stuff and here’s the number which we just discontinued those hosts. If you allow me to name them I can do it. I can at a later time I can submit with your staff. It won’t be a problem to speak on that.
6188 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, as we mentioned at the beginning, the burden of proof why we shouldn’t issue a mandatory order is on you, so if you have information that might persuade us this is your moment.
6189 MR. SANDHU: Sir, if I may also add, the reference that you have made to certain movie shows, et cetera, that were being screened in Surrey or Bollywood Talk that we were talking about, they were just a passing reference during an entire one hour show.
6190 If you look at the program that we have shared initially -- I’m sure the prudent Commission would have seen that -- that out of one hour we had four segments of -- four commercial spots wherein we were airing four to five commercials in each break.
6191 Along with that, there were four different spots of traffic, weather, currency exchange, border crossing updates, flight arrival, departure delays, ferry updates, et cetera, available, applicable to the area that we’re covering right now.
6192 In between these segments we were talking about and informing people who were within the vicinity in and around Surrey that if you’re travelling to Surrey, if you’re looking at spending your weekend watching a movie when watching Landmark Cinema, which is available like by following us. I would take permission to give an example like, for example, we were talking about a movie which was filmed in Vancouver. We were just referring to that that there’s a new movie which has been released in Surrey, it’s been shot in Vancouver, you can see these places, also see the movies, and coming up is the traffic update. That used to be the flow of the program in order to keep it gelled together. Merely that was the effort in that entire thing.
6193 MR. KUMAR: Furthermore, I want to bring to the attention of the Commission, Mr. Arsh Walia, Mr. Saini, Mr. Nirmaljot Singh, Irfan Sidiquie, Angrej Brar, Gurinder Gill and Baljinder K. Bhandal, these people were doing shows before the complaint and when we received direction and instructions from the CRTC the complainant who had made the complaint against us they can testify this that these people -- they must be listening to the radio again -- these people no more come on the radio.
6194 MR. HEER: Can I add a point, sir, with your permission?
6195 Sir, as I said earlier on, it was experimental radio and they have been in time to make it a little more innovative. There have been some issues which quite possibly even today I’m not clear a difference between news and information.
6196 Now we can pass on our information but now how do we attain if they’ve -- while giving information or traffic, if they’ve said there’s an accident on so-and-so place and that is construed as a news -- I mean, yes, it can be construed as the news, it can be construed as an information.
6197 So, I mean, that’s where we -- not by intent but by a default we’ve been defaulting on this. Even when we’ve been getting the guidelines we are becoming more clearer and clearer and that’s where we stand today.
6198 MR. KUMAR: And this is also very important that Exemption Order has many things and as we’re all aware can be understood differently also.
6199 I know that when Mr. Pannu brought that issue to my attention we four people discussed what does public mean, and when we four people could not agree on one point then we called CRTC staff that we really -- we are all confused we want clarification on that.
6200 MR. PANNU: And also I will ask -- get permission from you, Commissioner. Tab number 4, if you allow me to read this, which made really our program in this direction.
6201 “Regarding the scope of the Exemption Order,...”
6202 Paragraph 12:
6203 “Regarding the scope of the Examination (sic) Order, it is important to appreciate that the Commission amended its general tourist information Exemption Order in 2013 and expanded the type of program that could be offered. The proposal change was, among other things, to permit the continued operation of the majority of licence tourist information station then in operation which offer a range of tourist information in addition to advertising content. The Commission amended the order as follows. The program...” (As read)
6204 MR. KUMAR: I can read it.
6205 MR. PANNU: Okay, please. I have no -- okay, please. Go from here.
6206 MR. KUMAR: “The programming provided by the undertaking consists of live or pre-recorded messages which provide the public with information and local traffic, weather, marine conditions, road/boating conditions, highway construction and closures, airport arrival and departure information, ferry and train schedules, current border crossing regulations and wait times, conditions on bridges and mountain passes, advisories of approaching large vehicles, example logging construction, road maintenance and other large vehicles, and any other...” (As read)
6207 Now I’m highlighting:
6208 “...any other locally relevant information relating to attractions and events of interest to the tourist or the public.” (As read)
6209 MR. PANNU: And I want to bring in attention these all the letters which have been added up, amended, where it says “or” and “public” and also it’s -- already, Sandhu, you have read that -- and “any other locally relevant information relating to attraction and events” which confused us. And not only this confused us, “of interest to tourist or the public”.
6210 Now, that word made us think what we can do. So that’s why our reason was to continuously asking the Commission staff what this mean, as it is our duty to understand. I am 100 percent have to say that is my responsibility. But we want to make sure am I right. So that was the reason continuously communicate with the staff of CRTC. And whenever we have received any amendment, any in writing --
6211 MR. KUMAR: Instruction.
6212 MR. PANNU: -- instruction from your staff, we did accordingly. We haven’t said no. We all the time ready to incorporate and we want to run the station and with the cooperation of your staff.
6213 MR. KUMAR: And I want to add that since that word is added, the events of interest to the tourists or the public, I think it’s a time if CRTC can -- because this is many stations will be doing all this. If some detailed description of these things can be provided by the CRTC, it will help the new stations to understand it more clearly. Because even when we were four or five people, I must say, I have been teaching in universities, working at various places. I had a confusion on that. Brigadier and me could not agree on those issues that what it means. We will request CRTC a certain stage not judging us on that, rather giving more detailed information and instruction so that radio stations who want to be compliant don’t become uncompliant because of misunderstandings.
6214 MR. HEER: So just to add a point on the issue of events of interest. Believe me, we carried out the brainstorming on this issue for weeks together. And honestly, even after those brainstorming session, we have covered some events inadvertently, whether it’s a event which is -- in Surrey there’s a religious, you know, function goes on, if we just covered it little bit in a passing. So we’ve been accused that it’s a religious programming going on. Or if we covered that Mr. Justin Trudeau came to Surrey during that period and we just -- I mean, as a information passed it on inadvertently, it was considered as being accused that we been accused that we been passing that information about politics ---
6215 MR. KUMAR: And since it can ---
6216 MR. HEER: It was not intention. It was just a misunderstanding. But this term, as Sanjeev said, needs to be clarified.
6217 MR. KUMAR: And since it’s -- it can be understood in different ways or can be interpreted in different ways, if a more detailed interpretations are there, it will help all of us.
6218 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
6219 MS. SANDHU: So -- if I may add?
6220 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, please.
6221 MS. SANDHU: Like I have been handling programming only from 12th April onwards, but before that also I was associated as a host since October 20th. So all these months what has been happening is like they have been interpreting, reinterpreting and whatever instructions they have got. Back and forth we have been told to change programming, to cut down on certain words, to cut down on certain content, eliminating programs, telling people to stop airing, or those who didn’t -- were not complying. So the constant effort to change programming and yet to keep it interesting, it was a challenge, of course. But the efforts were towards that to comply with the Exemption Order and to keep it interesting.
6222 So like as you can see from one report to another, there’s been changes. Obviously, I agree that there has been content which is not compliant. But the volume or the quantum of those kind of incidences is lesser as we go down the lane.
6223 Now what the content is being aired is in total compliance with the Exemption Order. It take -- it took them time to understand, to interpret what it meant and what all is to be done to be compliant, but the effort was always there to be compliant. And right now, where we are standing now, we are completely complaint with Exemption Order.
6224 MR. KUMAR: And I want to add here something more. There are many things which we are not doing now considering that we may not be compliant, which may actually we be compliant. But since we considered that we should follow everything in letter and spirit, so we are not doing many programs, which in many people’s opinion can be compliant with the CRT [sic] Exemption Order. Thus the reason I have emphasized a couple of times if the detailed instructions, detailed policies are there that makes people help to follow the rules in letter and spirit.
6225 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you agree that Parliament has stated that in Canada one must not broadcast in whole or in part without a broadcasting licence? That that was the principal purpose of those sections of Broadcasting Act that state that you must hold a licence to broadcast in Canada, and that there is an exceptional regime with respect to Exemption Order. Do you agree with that? That’s the --
6226 MR. KUMAR: Yes.
6227 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- framework?
6228 MR. KUMAR: Yes, sir.
6229 THE CHAIRPERSON: And that as a result, exceptional regimes are generally read down, that is to say, in a narrow way.
6230 MR. KUMAR: Yes.
6231 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you agree?
6232 MR. PANNU: I’m agree, but it’s when CRTC amended their tourist information radio has added up new --
6233 MR. KUMAR: Word.
6234 MR. PANNU: -- bold word which is right here on the letter, number 12. That was our misunderstanding. I’m agree what you have said. Hundred percent compliance.
6235 Now since we understood what we was not compliance, now we have more clarity through your staff back and forth. And also, we get more knowledge how to have a compliance, more compliance with whatever has been under the Exemption Order.
6236 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
6237 MR. PANNU: So that was -- I accept my that from my heart. Yeah, that was misunderstanding. I was not compliance, which I put a lot of efforts to do accordingly Exemption Order. But according to this new changes, I was wrong.
6238 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. Do you now agree that the purpose of programming on undertakings operating as a tourist information exempt undertaking should be either aimed at non-residents that are tourists in the area you cover, or residents of the area but for their tourism activities?
6239 MR. KUMAR: We agree.
6240 MR. PANNU: We agree.
6241 MR. FORTUNE: No, Mr. Chairman, I don’t think we do on the terms of that order.
6242 THE CHAIRPERSON: But your client just said they did.
6243 MR. FORTUNE: Yes, well, you’re asking a legal question and that’s why I’m here.
6244 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, I’m not sure it was a legal question.
6245 MR. FORTUNE: Well, I think it was.
6246 THE CHAIRPERSON: I was asking of their understanding of the purpose.
6247 MR. FORTUNE: You were asking them regarding interpretation of the order. I’m not arguing here. I think when you read it, however, it ---
6248 THE CHAIRPERSON: So what’s your understanding of what the purpose provision is then, Mr. Fortune?
6249 MR. FORTUNE: The purpose provision is that it -- there’s a list of types of information that can be provided by an undertaking ---
6250 THE CHAIRPERSON: When were you hired by this client, by the way, to provide advice on the purpose of this section?
6251 MR. FORTUNE: If I may finish? The purpose of this order is set out and there’s a number of different items that are covered in it. And some of them do relate to tourism, clearly, but others are information of a general nature, traffic, weather, you know, marine coming and going, border crossing, that sort of thing. And that is not, I mean, just by its -- that’s how it was structured. It was a combination of a low power station which provided particular types of information of that nature, border crossing ---
6252 THE CHAIRPERSON: When were you taken on as a --
6253 MR. FORTUNE: And ---
6254 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- consultant on this file, Mr. Fortune?
6255 MR. FORTUNE: I don’t see the relevance of that. Could you explain that, please?
6256 THE CHAIRPERSON: I want to see when this person --
6257 MR. FORTUNE: I ---
6258 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- who is before us in front of the mandatory order --
6259 MR. FORTUNE: Yes.
6260 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- who says they did not have the intent, what actions they took to properly interpret this Exemption Order. That’s the purpose of my question.
6261 MR. FORTUNE: I was engaged, I believe it was the time when the -- Mr. Pannu was in discussions with Industry Canada. That was in January 2015.
6262 MR. PANNU: That’s right. In February some time in 2015 when the Industry Canada have approached us at the testing period.
6263 MR. KUMAR: Yeah.
6264 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Fortune, as a legal issue, do you agree with me that Exemption Orders must be read narrowly because they’re an exceptional regime?
6265 MR. FORTUNE: Well, I think I would say that an Exemption Order has to be read according to the Golden Rule, which is in accordance with the purpose of the statutory instrument under which it’s made and the authority under which it’s made. And I think the authority -- and so I guess the short answer is not necessarily. And that’s my answer.
6266 The -- it has to be read in accordance with the purpose for which it was made and the statutory regime from which it arises.
6267 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you would not agree that the Exemption Orders are an exceptional regime because the Commission must actually come to a factual consideration?
6268 MR. FORTUNE: Yes, it has to decide that licensing would not achieve the broadcasting policy objectives set out in the Act. So I would agree with that. I don’t think it follows that an Exemption Order is a statutory instrument as interpreted differently than any other statutory instrument, which is to say in accordance with the purpose for which it was made.
6269 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, we may have to disagree in your legal interpretation down the road.
6270 Do you agree, Mr. Pannu, that this is -- this Exemption Order is aimed precisely at making sure that you’re not operating what would otherwise be a ordinary AM or FM commercial station that would be subject to licensing?
6271 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6272 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you agree that the general -- the general and human interest programming is inconsistent with the Exemption Order.
6273 MR. PANNU: Again, here's -- again, I understand well what the point is. I agree.
6274 But the based on the changes made in 2013, amended in tourist information radio, so based on that, what the public is -- is human interest. So for the human interest is to the public.
6275 So according to that, what I would say we was under that impression, we ---
6276 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm asking ---
6277 MR. PANNU: --- compliance.
6278 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- about your current understanding.
6279 MR. PANNU: Our current understanding is changed, as you said, and we have changed our programming also. We are fully compliance at this moment.
6280 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. And do you agree, under your current understanding, that non-local content is inconsistent with the Exemption Order?
6281 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir. Current. Yes, sir.
6282 THE CHAIRPERSON: And do you also agree, under your current understanding, that news programming that does not relate to the topics set out in the Exemption Order are also inconsistent with the Exemption Order?
6283 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir. It's related to traffic as information that what I -- I have understanding and events happening in Surrey or surrounding. That is allowed to do it. Any public event, public information, tourist information which we can broadcast that is the current what I have understood.
6284 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you agree that general interest information about technology under your current understanding, of course, is not locally relevant and, therefore, inconsistent with the Exemption Order?
6285 MR. PANNU: It is not a locally -- it is locally relevant if it is in any store there's a sale going on and that -- particular that piece is on sale, that is relevant, sir. Accordingly, locally relevance information relating to attraction and event.
6286 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. Could you explain to me your current understanding of what limited circumstances music could be played on the station to be in -- to be consistent with the Exemption Order?
6287 MR. PANNU: That I understand, but at the midnight day hours which regulate hours, there's -- we want to get more clarification about it. We have -- at the beginning, we wrote the letter asking what is the day hours, what is -- if you allow me to get that communication which we had it in writing and allow me to get that letter. And I will make sure I'm clear right accordingly what was written in the past.
6288 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm not sure that what you're speaking of is actually responsive to the question I asked.
6289 So I'm asking you to explain to me ---
6290 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6291 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- in what limited circumstances do you think that music can be played on your station in a manner that is consistent with the Exemption Order?
6292 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir. The current -- I understand the music cannot be played and that jingle what the station ID we play with the jingle with the music. Station ID we play with the music.
6293 THE CHAIRPERSON: So do you still broadcast musical programming on the station?
6294 MR. PANNU: No, sir.
6295 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you agree that on-air banter and jokes of a general nature are inconsistent with the Exemption Order?
6296 MR. PANNU: At current, yes.
6297 THE CHAIRPERSON: Now, during programming of the audiotape I referred to earlier of 2nd February, your host referred to listeners from the U.S., the UK, Australia and Toronto.
6298 MR. PANNU: Yes.
6299 THE CHAIRPERSON: How can you argue that your programming is not aimed at listeners outside the locality served?
6300 MR. PANNU: Yeah. We have that service on telephone and also on internet, so the people are overseas and even in the world, they have access through the internet or people can call the number and they can connect our radio to their phone and they can listen in.
6301 THE CHAIRPERSON: But how can programming aimed at listeners abroad, including Toronto, of course, but very much outside the Surrey area ---
6302 MR. PANNU: Yeah.
6303 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- be in line with the Exemption Order?
6304 MR. PANNU: It is not broader. Just Surrey information. A lot of people in India, they have relatives in Surrey. The people living in Toronto, they have many relatives in Surrey, so they want to know what is happening around there. So they have some kind of interest about the events about the weather, traffic.
6305 Example, if someone is from the Surrey is travelling to Australia or India, he's connected through internet and he can know about what is happening and what kind of events are happening, so it is about the Surrey. It is not the broader, but it is about the Surrey.
6306 MR. KUMAR: And I want to add here something.
6307 A couple of days back, there was a big Sikh parade in Surrey, and 350,000 people participated in that. And many of my friends, they came from Toronto to participate in that. Many of people came from United States to participate in that.
6308 THE CHAIRPERSON: But the point is that they were here. They were not in Toronto, the UK, United States or Australia.
6309 Would you agree?
6310 MR. KUMAR: Can you repeat your question?
6311 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, you're saying that people came. And of course, they are tourists here, but they -- other than at those events, you have an on-air host speaking to listeners in the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States and other places in the country, so ---
6312 MR. KUMAR: No, sir.
6313 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- how can it be local programming --
6314 MR. KUMAR: Yes.
6315 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- if part of your listenership is well beyond the Surrey area?
6316 MR. PANNU: They -- he's not targeting to American or Indian. He's talking about Surrey. And the listener could be anywhere in the world.
6317 The target audience is Surrey. The programming provided to the Surrey or tourist -- tourist, but it can be anywhere in the world people can listen. And it is just the information -- people are in India. They can listen.
6318 This is the information. This is played as information. The people all over the world, they are connected to internet, so target audience is Surrey.
6319 We are talking to Surrey people, not the Indian people living abroad or Australia or England. The focus is over Surrey.
6320 So we talk -- and when we speak, as the present time, I'm talking, I'm looking at you. I'm not looking right and left. The mean is that we have communication in between you and me, so that the purpose of our radio station, to talk to Surrey people, not to Indian people.
6322 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. Can you provide a complete audio -- audible audio file for the week of 1 May to 7 May, 2016 as well as a schedule of the program broadcast with a detailed description of all the programs?
6323 MR. KUMAR: We do, yes.
6324 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir, 100 percent.
6325 THE CHAIRPERSON: When can you do that by?
6326 MR. PANNU: Can you allow me to ask right now to my manager if he can travel right now, bring it as soon as possible before closing?
6327 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, perhaps it would be an appropriate moment to take a break so you can obtain that information?
6328 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir. Because why I want to bring this in your attention because one intervenor have said some program may be altered in the previous, so in -- in that sense, so the Commission and the staff would know these people just brought the tape right now so it has not been any altered because we got so many blames by our -- what I'd say our opponents or competitor which was not on that sense.
6329 They pick up the where of the word they want to pick up. They pose those words over there.
6330 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So we'll take a 10-minute break till 10:30. You can obtain and be able, on the return, when you will be able to provide that audible tape for the 7 May -- from 1 May to 7 May, 2016?
6331 MR. PANNU: All right, yes.
6332 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay?
6333 MR. PANNU: Yes.
6334 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6335 So we're adjourned till 10:30. Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 10:19 a.m.
--- Upon resuming at 10:32 a.m.
6336 THE CHAIRPERSON: So were you able to confirm as to when you will be able to provide those audiotapes?
6337 MS. SANDHU: Yes.
6338 MR. KUMAR: Yes. We have already sent the person. He's going and asking that he brings here. We'll provide you, but we can ensure that you will get it before end of the day.
6339 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So we should get that ---
6340 MR. KUMAR: Yes.
6341 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- today.
6342 MR. KUMAR: Yes, 100 percent.
6343 THE CHAIRPERSON: By the end of the day.
6344 MR. KUMAR: Yes.
6345 THE CHAIRPERSON: Remember, it's not just the audiotape. I've also asked for a schedule of the program broadcast with detailed description of each program, which you may not be able to do -- I understand that -- today.
6346 MR. FORTUNE: I think we'll look at what they currently have and we'll evaluate whether that would be adequate, Mr. Chair. And if it isn't, we'll provide it later.
6347 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you.
6348 So I've got a few additional issues now, leaving programming behind but looking at technical issues.
6349 When did 106.9 become operational, exact date?
6350 MR. SINGH PANNU: Exact date, I have a letter which I will say 15th of February. I can take a look and get you right answer.
6351 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Can you undertake to provide us the answer to that exact, unless somebody can provide you the exact date? It looks like people are providing you pieces of paper.
6352 MR. SINGH PANNU: Okay. Here is a -- we can provide this letter. It's 16th of February 2015, the letter which we received it from Industry Canada, “FM on air final authority letter for tourist information VF2689”.
6353 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So the date you started operating was then?
6354 MR. SINGH PANNU: Yes, sir.
6355 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Is the authorization attached to your letter of 21 January 2016 the only authorization you received from what was Industry Canada at the time but now is Innovation, Science and Economic Development to operate this particular station? Is that the only authorization you received from the Department?
6356 MR. SINGH PANNU: There was two letters. One was for testing.
6357 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
6358 MR. SINGH PANNU: And the ---
6359 THE CHAIRPERSON: But your current operations are under what authorization?
6360 MR. SINGH PANNU: Under ---
6361 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is it not the authorization that’s attached to your 21 January 2016 letter?
6362 MR. SINGH PANNU: I would say that's the one. I have a file number. I can confirm with you but the 21st of January.
6363 Can you take a look, please? Did we attach this letter with that?
6364 Okay. If it is attached, that's the data file -- file number of Industry Canada is 6206-9629.
6365 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. I believe it's Appendix 1 to your 21 January 2016 letter.
6366 MR. SINGH PANNU: Twenty-first (21st) of January.
6367 THE CHAIRPERSON: So to make sure that that's the only authorization you are operating under in your view.
6368 MR. SINGH PANNU: Yes, sir, this is the one.
6369 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
6370 MR. SINGH PANNU: Yes, sir.
6371 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is the VF2689’s antenna located on the roof of the building located at 7566 - 120A Street in Surrey?
6372 MR. SINGH PANNU: Yes, sir.
6373 THE CHAIRPERSON: And where on the roof is that antenna located?
6374 MR. SINGH PANNU: That is north side on the roof on the building.
6375 THE CHAIRPERSON: On the north side of the roof?
6376 MR. SINGH PANNU: Yes, sir.
6377 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
6378 MR. SINGH PANNU: I want to clarify the picture which has been submitted by Industry Canada or CRTC, the report which has been submitted. That antenna, they put the wrong one, wrong picture.
6379 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. And that's why I'm trying to clarify which antenna. You're saying that's not your antenna. So I want to know where your antenna is.
6380 MR. SINGH PANNU: It's just north side of the building.
6381 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. But it is on that roof?
6382 MR. SINGH PANNU: Yes, sir.
6383 THE CHAIRPERSON: When was your station inspected by Innovation Canada, Industry Canada as the case may be, since it became operational? Could you provide exact dates when it was inspected?
6384 MR. SINGH PANNU: It was -- I was in Toronto -- 5th of April 2016, this was the date.
6385 THE CHAIRPERSON: And that's the only inspection?
6386 MR. SINGH PANNU: It was prior to that when we got the authorization letter. I don’t have date of that but it was tested that time when we got this letter. Before that, Industry Canada tested it. Then we received this letter.
6387 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. So I'm asking about inspections after you became operational.
6388 MR. SINGH PANNU: Just the once.
6389 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just that once.
6390 MR. SINGH PANNU: Yeah.
6391 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is your equipment currently capable of transmitting at more than 50 ERP?
6392 MR. SINGH PANNU: That is technical. Fifty (50) ERP means power?
6393 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
6394 MR. SINGH PANNU: Yes, sir.
6395 THE CHAIRPERSON: It could broadcast beyond that?
6396 MR. SINGH PANNU: Yes, sir.
6397 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Do you know up to what?
6398 MR. SINGH PANNU: I would say -- I asked. When I purchased, I said I have maximum of 50. I can go up to 50. They said we don’t build. The minimum Nortel make a 300, up to 300 power.
6399 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So what power -- sorry, which power ---
6400 MR. SINGH PANNU: It's up to 300. You can go up to 300.
6401 THE CHAIRPERSON: Three hundred (300). So your equipment can go up to 300?
6402 MR. SINGH PANNU: Yes, sir.
6403 MR. FORTUNE: Mr. Chairman, sorry.
6404 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
6405 MR. FORTUNE: My understanding is that -- correct me if I'm wrong -- that that's the power setting on the machine, not necessarily the effective ---
6406 THE CHAIRPERSON: The ERP, yes.
6407 MR. FORTUNE: And that's the extent of my knowledge on the issue.
6408 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So rather than provide -- could you undertake -- because you probably can have access before the end of the day to somebody who could provide that information to you? Could you undertake to provide what the equipment you have installed what its currently maximum ERP could be?
6410 MR. SINGH PANNU: We can get the picture and ---
6411 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's not a picture. It's just an equipment issue.
6412 MR. SINGH PANNU: Okay, yes.
6413 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, you can provide that by the end of the day?
6414 MR. SINGH PANNU: End of day will be hard because I have to go there because no one is allowed to go there. So ---
6415 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, if it's not feasible, when is a feasible time tomorrow?
6416 MR. SINGH PANNU: Tomorrow.
6417 THE CHAIRPERSON: Tomorrow what time?
6418 MR. SINGH PANNU: Let's say if we finish by today and right away we will go there and make ---
6419 MR. KUMAR: Before lunch tomorrow we will provide.
6420 THE CHAIRPERSON: Before midday noon tomorrow.
6421 MR. SINGH PANNU: Yes.
6422 MR. FORTUNE: Mr. Chairman, you know, just my understanding is that the ERP is a function of the environment as well as the piece of equipment. That's just my layman’s understanding.
6423 So it would be necessary to consult with the engineer and I guess to ask him assumptions around what the possible ERP could be. But that's just my assumption.
6424 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
6425 MR. FORTUNE: Okay.
6426 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, I'll let you provide the answer that you think is appropriate to my question.
6427 Do you monitor the transmitter’s operations, Mr. Pannu?
6428 MR. SINGH PANNU: Yes, sir.
6429 THE CHAIRPERSON: And how often do you do that?
6430 MR. SINGH PANNU: Not often because FM transmitter have a lot of stability. So when I come in Surrey, and also I have one gentleman who go and just he -- he can just sweep up around. He has no authorization to open up. So by myself ---
6431 THE CHAIRPERSON: Because earlier you were saying -- you seemed to indicate that you're the only one who had access to ---
6432 MR. SINGH PANNU: Yes, sir.
6433 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is it in a locked area?
6434 MR. SINGH PANNU: Yes, sir.
6435 THE CHAIRPERSON: And normally you would be the only person who could have access to that except perhaps somebody who is doing some janitorial work. Is that correct?
6436 MR. SINGH PANNU: If I ask someone, like 5th of April I was in India -- sorry, I was in Toronto, so that time inspection was held by Industry Canada. So I have asked someone to go there and open up and let the inspector check.
6437 THE CHAIRPERSON: So ---
6438 MR. SINGH PANNU: So they are not allowed but until I give them instructions.
6439 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So you have a mechanism or a framework in place or policies in place to manage who has access to the transmitter. Is that correct?
6440 MR. SINGH PANNU: I have a policy made by myself.
6441 THE CHAIRPERSON: Now, that's a policy. I realize it's not -- you know, what I mean, you're not operating a billion dollar corporation here but so you do -- you have rules in your organization.
6442 MR. SINGH PANNU: Yes, sir.
6443 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah. So you said that -- do you monitor the transmitter operations? You said you did from time to time, right? How often? How often do you do this?
6444 MR. SINGH PANNU: When I visit -- when I visit here, then that time I have a chance to go there and just make sure everything is properly organized.
6445 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So would your ---
6446 MR. SINGH PANNU: How often, I have no date but I will say maybe I was here about four times. Maybe -- approximately four times I was last year here.
6447 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So you're of the view that it is your -- it is under your control the verification and compliance of the transmitter?
6448 MR. SINGH PANNU: Yes, sir.
6449 THE CHAIRPERSON: And who -- and when you're absent, how do you manage -- to whom do you delegate in a sense that responsibility?
6450 MR. SINGH PANNU: Manage mean in what sense?
6451 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, if you're in Toronto, I mean is somebody put in charge of the verifying and compliance and control of the transmitter when for some reason you are not physically in the area to do so?
6452 MR. SINGH PANNU: Yeah. I had no such problem that but as I earlier said, to just make sure there's no mess, there's no -- that's all. It is the person in charge for that.
6453 MR. KUMAR: What he's trying to mean is in the past, he didn't ask anything or anyone authorized except for one point when there was an inspection.
6454 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
6455 MR. KUMAR: Rest of the time, he never authorized anyone. So he was doing it alone.
6456 THE CHAIRPERSON: So what would you do going forward if somebody wished to -- there was a reason to have access to the transmitter? How would you manage that if in hypothesis I'm asking you were out of town?
6457 MR. SINGH PANNU: If someone want to come and let's say inspector when he come inspected, he would be calling me. Then I will be instructing to the person go such and such time and such and such date and just let that authorized person to take a look.
6458 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. And is the equipment in a locked room?
6459 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir. It is.
6460 THE CHAIRPERSON: And the key ---
6461 MR. PANNU: Lock box.
6462 THE CHAIRPERSON: In a lock box. And the key is in the studio station where the transmitter is.
6463 MR. PANNU: And that is kept by manager.
6464 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And nobody’s allowed to access it unless you have given your go ahead?
6465 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6466 THE CHAIRPERSON: Even if you’re not physically located there you can give that?
6467 MR. PANNU: Yes.
6468 THE CHAIRPERSON: And it’s in a lock box that -- can the code on the lock box be changed from time to time?
6469 MR. PANNU: No.
6470 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, it’s an analog ---
6471 MR. PANNU: It’s analog.
6472 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So it’s a key system.
6473 MR. PANNU: Yes.
6474 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Can the transmitter controls -- control equipment be remotely accessed through a web application?
6475 MR. PANNU: We tried. But we couldn’t do it.
6476 THE CHAIRPERSON: So it is not currently --
6477 MR. PANNU: No, sir.
6478 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- accessible through a web app. But if it were, you said you couldn’t do it because it was too complicated but ---
6479 MR. PANNU: It is not complicated. It is some provider the Internet so there’s some kind of problem with the IP over there.
6480 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Would you agree to allow the Commission to require periodic field measurement studies to demonstrate your station is operating as authorized by ISED?
6481 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6482 THE CHAIRPERSON: And if we were to require, would you conduct and report self-monitoring if we required you to do so?
6483 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6484 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you would be willing to support that self-monitoring with an affidavit?
6485 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6486 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6487 I’ve got now another series of questions on another topic. What is your station’s business plan? What is -- what are you attempting to do with this particular stations from a business perspective?
6488 MR. PANNU: I’ve been in this business a long time. So my purpose was to have opportunity in Surrey and Vancouver area to serve the people because here’s a large number of people living in this area.
6489 Whenever someone visited Toronto they have asked when you going to start the service in Vancouver. I said, “When I would have opportunity I will do that.” So that opportunity get me to start a radio station.
6490 My business plan is to have service for those people, visitor, which we are doing at the present time. So in the near future, business plan is what I would say based on the service area.
6491 MR. KUMAR: I would like to add here something. Basically, the business plan is that provide a service which is -- with the tourist they require it, number one. And, of course, every commercial organization, smaller or bigger, to make small amount of money also.
6492 But here I do add, the other radio station he’s running is not a point that we discussed here, but I’m just mentioning that he started a religious radio station also. And where there is no advertisement, he’s providing that service free of cost, putting money from his pocket to provide to the people of the religious programming which they want. So where there is no business plan, he’s putting that money just out of his pocket. But here, of course, he wants to make some small amount of money so that it can be run consistently and it’s a self-sufficient and it provide some service to the small niche market of tourists.
6493 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you undertake to provide the amount of revenues that you drew from advertising since you began operating this station?
6494 MR. KUMAR: We can do that.
6495 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6496 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think you probably want to at least ask for confidentiality so we would rather do that under a written undertaking --
6497 MR. KUMAR: Yes.
6498 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- is that correct?
6499 MR. PANNU: We do.
6500 MR. KUMAR: Yes, sir.
6501 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you could do that by the end of today?
6502 MR. PANNU: Let me ask. Tomorrow?
6503 THE CHAIRPERSON: Tomorrow at noon?
6504 MR. PANNU: Tomorrow, sir.
6505 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes?
6506 MR. PANNU: Yeah, evening.
6507 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
6508 And this would be the advertising since you began operation, the advertising revenues.
6509 MR. KUMAR: Yes.
6510 MR. PANNU: That’s right.
6512 THE CHAIRPERSON: Could you also indicate to us how many advertisers, distinct advertisers you have for the station?
6513 MR. PANNU: I have to confirm with my staff.
6514 THE CHAIRPERSON: Again, you could probably add that to your undertaking if --
6515 MR. PANNU: Okay.
6516 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- it requires some work.
6517 MR. PANNU: Thank you.
6518 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes?
6519 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6520 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Same time?
6521 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6522 THE CHAIRPERSON: And providing a list of those advertisers, again in the same undertaking, since September of 2015.
6523 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6524 MR. KUMAR: We do.
6525 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
6526 MR. PANNU: September -- at the beginning ---
6527 THE CHAIRPERSON: As a separate under --
6528 MR. PANNU: Okay.
6529 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- a separate sub-number.
6530 MR. PANNU: Okay.
6531 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sorry. Yes.
6532 MR. PANNU: Okay, sir.
6533 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. I -- the first one was from the operation date, but the second one is from September 2015.
6534 MR. PANNU: Okay, sir.
6535 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay? So what is your target audience --
6536 MR. PANNU: We ---
6537 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- in your business plan?
6538 MR. PANNU: Okay. We have a Surrey target audience which speak Hindi, Punjabi. That is our target audience.
6539 THE CHAIRPERSON: Age group?
6540 MR. PANNU: Age group is -- I would say particular the people above 12.
6541 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you’re confident that the language accessibility issue, because we’ve heard in other parts of this hearing that maybe language skills are lost in second and third generations, that you still are aiming at that?
6542 MR. KUMAR: Well, this is a very, very small market we are working on. And basically, if we -- if a proper licence is there and proper programming for different segments of the society is concerned is there, definitely we can cater to those segments of the society.
6543 But at this point of time, our target market is basically the tourists who come here, and from that information we provide, it brings us money from the businesses from the Surrey. So fundamentally, it’s such a small operation that we are targeting people of Surrey that’s there.
6544 But as the issue you raised, the language issue, because it’s just for the tourists, more or less, hence, we cannot deal with the real matter, the actual Surrey population. When we will do the programming, if we do the programming for the Surrey people if we have actually a licence at 106.9, then definitely our plan is to engage them. But at this point of time, our target population is the tourists. So they are from all ages. They are from all nationalities. So we try to give them some information. But we are not targeting truly the people who are living in Surrey. We are targeting the people who are travelling to the Surrey.
6545 MR. PANNU: Also, I want to bring this in intention. Twelve (12) plus if someone understand Hindi, Punjabi at home, they have access to listen, but it’s about less than 12 or he won’t be interested. If he’s in car or she’s in car, she might be with the dad or mom driving, she might be listening when they are visiting here. Visitor would be from Vancouver to Surrey or from America to Surrey. So that is my wanting --
6546 MR. KUMAR: I will make one --
6547 MR. PANNU: -- to explain.
6548 MR. KUMAR: -- I’ll make one line statement. That this is programming for the tourists. If we have a licensed radio station, we’ll have a very different type of programming which will take care of those different concerns raised in those two days of hearings, what type of programming we’re required. At the moment, we are not fully working for providing programming for the Surrey people.
6549 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. So what is your understanding of the linguistic skills of the tourists you’re trying to serve with this tourist information services?
6550 MR. KUMAR: Well, the tourist, those who come from the India and other countries, those who are visitor, a lot of them they’re very good in English. And a lot of them, they all of them they know Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and other languages. So our concern is that we are providing our programming to those tourists who know Hindi, Punjabi, English -- Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu very well. But we are not having programming for English at this point of time.
6551 THE CHAIRPERSON: So is it because you do not believe that there are English language speakers that could maybe benefit from your tourism information?
6552 MR. KUMAR: Well, we think that we can do ---
6553 MR. PANNU: There is -- they can enjoy the programming. Also, we shouldn’t forget about the Surrey demographic.
6554 THE CHAIRPERSON: But an English speaker could not follow your undertaking’s current programming --
6555 MR. PANNU: At the present time.
6556 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- right?
6557 MR. PANNU: Yes. At the ---
6558 THE CHAIRPERSON: If they didn’t speak Hindi or Punjabi; right?
6559 MR. KUMAR: Yes.
6560 MR. PANNU: At the present time, yes.
6561 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
6562 MR. PANNU: What I would bring in your attention because Surrey is the number of -- large number of Punjabi speakers there in the -- not number of but Punjabi.
6563 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
6564 MR. PANNU: So ---
6565 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand the local residents there. I’m asking about the tourists that may come from --
6566 MR. PANNU: Yes.
6567 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- elsewhere. Because it is a tourist service, after all.
6568 MR. PANNU: Yes, that will be very, very nice if we have that access too.
6569 But what I want to bring in your attention, because a large number of people living so the people visiting from areas to here to the Surrey so a number speaking Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, they’re mostly living in that area. So that will be interesting.
6570 THE CHAIRPERSON: So your understanding is that would be the linguistic profile of most visitors here?
6571 MR. KUMAR: Well, we’re having Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu programming, and I think that in the future it’s a very good idea that since there is no restriction on the language on our exempt radio so we can have something for those English speaking people also.
6572 THE CHAIRPERSON: I’m not suggesting anything other than trying to find out why you’re doing it in those languages.
6573 MR. KUMAR: I think that will be a good idea actually.
6574 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
6575 MS. SANDHU: In addition to what they’ve been saying, the normal updates that we’re giving throughout the day every 15 minutes on weather, traffic and airport arrivals/departures, they are quite understandable, because the language which is used is specifically not Punjabi. Like if I’m telling you the flight number so-and-so it’s delayed by so much time and it will arrive at this time so it is understandable.
6576 So when we talk of the chitchat in between, that might have words for the languages but the traffic, weather and other information that is basically the essence that is understandable.
6577 THE CHAIRPERSON: So how many employees or volunteers work at the station in any given week?
6578 MR. PANNU: I have to ask my staff.
--- (SHORT PAUSE)
6579 MR. PANNU: Four full-time.
6580 THE CHAIRPERSON: Four full-time. So these are paid employees and not volunteers?
6581 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6582 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. And what is their role? What is the role of these four employees?
6583 MR. PANNU: Okay. They are programmer, like Mrs. Sandhu.
6584 MS. SANDHU: The two people who are hosts and they’re programming. Now that we have cut down our operations there are two people who are doing all the programming and hosting. And there is one that is doing all the editing stuff. Like we make recorded segments so that person is on editing. And there is one person who’s dealing with the market. Like, now he said Mr. Sarbhjit was looking after the day-to-day operations. So these are the four people.
6585 THE CHAIRPERSON: So do these four people take care of sale of advertising time and billing and all that as well?
6586 MS. SANDHU: Now yes, because the operations have been cut down. Earlier we had a bigger team. We had lots of volunteers working, people coming in and hosting a couple of programs and going back.
6587 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6588 If you are successful in obtaining a licence as a result of the earlier part of the hearing, what are your plans with respect to this tourist information undertaking?
6589 MR. PANNU: We will cut this service but we will be adding similar programming, weather, traffic, airport and also ferry, border.
6590 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
6591 MR. PANNU: So we will be adding this segment into new.
6592 THE CHAIRPERSON: To the commercial licence ---
6593 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6594 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. But what -- would you continue to operate or would you try to continue to operate the exempt undertaking in one way or another?
6595 MR. PANNU: No, sir, because our first priority is 106.9. If we get that one, we will transfer this -- we’ll launch a new service on 106.9.
6596 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
6597 MR. PANNU: If 91.5 then we’ll cut the service.
6598 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And even if you are -- for instance, hypothetically, you get -- your plans to get a licence are on 91.5, what do you do to 106?
6599 MR. PANNU: We will cut the service.
6600 THE CHAIRPERSON: You will stop operating?
6601 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6602 THE CHAIRPERSON: Why?
6603 MR. PANNU: Because then the same service what we will be providing on 106 that can be transferred the programming -- ferry, weather -- so it will be broadcasted on 91.5.
6604 THE CHAIRPERSON: If you are successful in obtaining a licence what’s your plans for the current four employees?
6605 MR. PANNU: They will stay with us.
6606 THE CHAIRPERSON: So they would be moved to the licensed undertaking?
6607 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6608 THE CHAIRPERSON: And what are your plans if you are unsuccessful in the licensing process?
6609 MR. PANNU: Then we’ll keep the programming on 106.9 under Exemption Order.
6610 THE CHAIRPERSON: To the extent that that frequency remains available?
6611 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6612 MR. KUMAR: Yes.
6613 THE CHAIRPERSON: In your supplementary brief for your application for a new radio application you state, and I quote,
6614 “In a short period of time we had a wonderful result and incredible performance on very limited coverage.”
6615 MR. PANNU: Yes.
6616 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- and then you said, quote:
6617 “Tourist information radio is essentially received in Surrey and draws advertising revenues from its activities.”
6618 And a third quote:
6619 “In the first year, $600,000 of revenues will come from the tourist information radio’s existing advertising.”
6620 MR. PANNU: Yes.
6621 THE CHAIRPERSON: You agree that that was in your brief?
6622 MR. PANNU: That’s right.
6623 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. Sir, in light of all of this, I put it to you that you are not operating exempt tourist station but instead you have jumped the gun and are operating an unlicensed commercial radio station.
6624 MR. KUMAR: Can you please repeat the question?
6625 THE CHAIRPERSON: I’m putting it to you that you are not operating an exempt tourist station under the Exemption Order but you instead have jumped the gun and are operating an unlicensed commercial radio station.
6626 MR. PANNU: Jumped the gun? I’m a little confused, that word “jumped the gun”.
6627 MR. KUMAR: If you permit, can I explain him in Punjabi?
6628 THE CHAIRPERSON: Without a licence, because we have to go through a licencing process, ---
6629 MR. PANNU: Yes.
6630 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- you’ve decided I’m going to just operate my commercial station under this
6632 MR. HEER: May I submit, our intention and from the beginning we started running a tourist information station. Maybe, as has been brought out earlier, our understanding may have gone wrong and we’ve been making the corrections. There was no intention to go on air without a licence. So we may have, you know, gone wrong in interpreting but it was never our intention that we wanted to ---
6633 MR. PANNU: I want to make sure I understand what you have asked me. Can you explain me again? Sorry.
6634 MR. KUMAR: Mr. Pannu, I can give that.
6635 MR. PANNU: Okay.
6636 MR. KUMAR: Well, when Mr. Pannu came to Surrey ---
6637 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just to be clear ---
6638 MR. KUMAR: Yes.
6639 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- my question -- it may look as a reasonable observer that you are ---
6640 MR. KUMAR: I fully understand.
6641 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- taking a start on the licensing process.
6642 MR. KUMAR: I fully understand the question and I’m going to answer.
6643 THE CHAIRPERSON: Especially since, as you’ve said in the supplementary brief, you will take the goodwill associated with your undertaking that’s operating under the exemption ---
6644 MR. KUMAR: Yes, I’m going to answer this question.
6645 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- to build your radio station.
6646 MR. KUMAR: Yes, I understand that question.
6647 And when he started, at that time CRTC has not any invitation of applications. He started as a tourist radio. And since now CRTC invited application and then there’s an opportunity to run a commercially in a better way, so development, growth and providing a better quality service is the reason.
6648 It’s not that at that time he was not even having any opinion that you have are CRTC going to invite applications for this sector or not, because he applied because CRTC invited applications otherwise he was running with that tourist radio.
6649 MR. PANNU: I want to add up on exemption radio we can run the advertisement as CRTC allow us. So as up to now so saying 600,000 whatever the advertiser revenue we will have we will transfer to that to our new entity.
6650 THE CHAIRPERSON: And what do you say to the potential allegation that you are actually already running a commercial radio operation?
6651 MR. PANNU: No, we are not, sir. We are not running a commercial radio station because it is under exemption order and that allow us to have a commercial activity means commercial in this tourist radio.
6652 So in my sense we are not running a licensed radio. At the beginning you have said that this is not a licensed radio it is exempted radio and the commercial exercise is a small exercise.
6653 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. Earlier this morning when we were talking about the emergency alerting system I believe you clearly admitted that you are in non-compliance with paragraph 10 of the Exemption Order; correct?
6654 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6655 THE CHAIRPERSON: And that the equipment will not be arriving and installed until potentially the end of June. Is that correct?
6656 MR. PANNU: Not -- it will be reaching the middle of June. But as soon as I -- I’ll be going by Sunday to Toronto and the company is located in Toronto. If I can ask them to give us quickly that, we may -- hurry to install that.
6657 MR. KUMAR: We’ll use all our resources to get it as soon as possible done.
6658 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. So since you are clearly operating offside of paragraph 10, why do you not immediately cease and desist, as of today, from operating the station because you’re clearly, under your admission, ---
6659 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6660 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- not operating in compliance with the Exemption Order?
6661 MR. PANNU: There was ---
6662 THE CHAIRPERSON: And not rebroadcast until the equipment is actually delivered, installed, and operational?
6663 MR. PANNU: There was some circumstances, which I should not discuss here; my family plus including myself, and there was a lot of things was going on. Sometimes, personal things slow down your other activities. It has ---
6664 THE CHAIRPERSON: I’m not ---
6665 MR. PANNU: --- nothing to do with the Commission.
6666 THE CHAIRPERSON: I’m not looking at why you haven’t done it. I’m saying today you do not have the necessary preconditions to operate, by your own admission, that exemption.
6667 And it is entirely within your power and possibility to immediately go off air; is it not?
6668 MR. KUMAR: We requested ---
6669 MR. PANNU: Yes, we requested.
6670 MR. KUMAR: Requested the Commission to provide us time, but if Commission says that until you don’t have equipment ---
6671 THE CHAIRPERSON: The Commission has already said in its Exemption Order in paragraph 10 that you cannot operate without a licence -- without ---
6672 MR. KUMAR: We agree ---
6673 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- the alerting information equipment.
6674 MR. PANNU: Yes, we agree but I have one solution. I can have 24 hour, two or three people over there sitting and watching TV. If any alert comes on, they can make a live announcement.
6675 THE CHAIRPERSON: That’s not what is required pursuant to section 10.
6676 MR. PANNU: Yes. Yes, sir. Yes, I agree.
6677 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you have anything to add as to why the Commission should not impose a Mandatory Order requiring you to cease and desist your unauthorized operations?
6678 MR. KUMAR: We want to say basically we never had intent not to be non-compliant. That’s what I started -- Mr. Pannu has a great respect in community in Canada, everywhere. And that respect, we don’t want -- we never wanted to put that respect on line.
6679 There were misunderstandings. There were evolution of the development of -- so we are doing everything to be compliant 100 percent. And I and Mr. Brigadier, we took responsibility from March that we will make everything compliant and we assure -- I am a principal of a school, from Kindergarten to grade 12. I’m an educationist.
6680 We will make sure that every issue which is related to the non-compliance, we will work hard to make it fully compliant, so that we are following the law of the land.
6681 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yet, because you have no alerting equipment currently in place, you’re intending to operate for perhaps as much as six additional weeks in non-compliance with paragraph 10 of the Exemption Order.
6682 There’s no interpretation about paragraph 10.
6683 MR. KUMAR: May I speak to him in Punjabi for a minute?
6684 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, absolutely.
6685 MR. KUMAR: All right. Thank you.
6686 I discussed with Mr. Pannu. We are ready to stop operations today until the equipment does not come. If Commission denies, we’ll request for the time. We will cease the operations in one hour and stop until the equipment does not come.
6687 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think the Exemption Order speaks for itself. You are not authorized to operate under that Exemption Order, unless you have ---
6688 MR. KUMAR: Okay. So we will ---
6689 Okay, so we will close it today itself ‘til we have the equipment.
6690 THE CHAIRPERSON: And are you willing to confirm ---
6691 MR. KUMAR: Yes.
6692 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- that in writing ---
6693 MR. KUMAR: That’s right.
6694 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- to the Hearing Secretary that you have ceased operations?
6695 MR. KUMAR: Yes.
6696 MR. PANNU: Until we don’t install equipment.
6697 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6699 THE CHAIRPERSON: Could you please comment on the possibility that the Commission may impose on you and on related persons and entities a Mandatory Order requiring you to apply for a licence should you wish to carry on a tourist information service?
6700 MR. KUMAR: Can you please repeat the question one more time?
6701 THE CHAIRPERSON: So could you please comment on the possibility that the Commission may impose on you and other related persons and entities a Mandatory Order requiring you to apply for a licence should you with to operate a tourist information service?
6702 Perhaps you might want to consult with Mr. Fortune. I think he understands the question.
6703 MR. KUMAR: If you can give three or four minutes?
6704 THE CHAIRPERSON: It’s an important question. Take your time.
6705 MR. KUMAR: Okay. Thank you.
6706 MR. KUMAR: We have discussed and we are of the opinion that a tourist radio is a very small niche market, and it is under the category of Exemption Order. So we will comply fully to the Exemption Order, and we think that it wouldn’t be appropriate at this point of time to ask for the licence for a tourist radio.
6707 We don’t even know legally and from all the provisions of CRTC at this point of time; before we study everything that -- this type of radio station, does small niche of 40-50 Watts radio require a licence or not? So we think we will comply but we don’t think it’s appropriate at this stage to apply for the licence. We have already applied for a licence for our 106.9 FM for a generalized service, which will provide information on weather and all other things. It will be used by the public as well as the tourist, to -- so this is what we want to say.
6708 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. My final question. Now, you’ve clearly undertaken to cease broadcasting until the emergency alerting equipment is installed and operating.
6709 But for the other issues, what concrete measures do you intend to take to ensure that you and your company, Mr. Pannu, complies with the Broadcasting Act at all times?
6710 MR. PANNU: I would ask Mrs. Sandhu.
6711 MR. KUMAR: Thank you.
6712 So what we want to make sure to the Commission is, that our programming, except for those current things for example weather and traffic, most of the other programming will be recorded. And Mr. Pannu has instructed us, me and Brigadier Nawab Heer, will make sure that all the programming is as per the Exemption Order, and we fully conform.
6713 And if, in future, you find that there is some problem, we’ll be willing to take any punishment.
6714 THE CHAIRPERSON: Anything other you wish to add concerning this item?
6715 MR. KUMAR: No, thank you very much.
6716 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, not at this stage? Okay. Those are the legal questions for my colleagues.
6717 Thank you very much.
6718 So since we’ve already taken a break, I think we’ll keep going and with the next phase. So thank you very much. You can come back at the subsequent -- at the reply phase, if you wish.
6719 So Madame la secrétaire?
6720 LA SECRÉTAIRE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
6721 We will now proceed with Phase 2, in which Intervenors appear in the order set out in the Agenda to present their interventions.
6722 We will begin with the presentation by I.T. Productions Ltd. Please come forward to the table.
6723 Please introduce yourselves for the record, and you will then have 10 minutes for your presentation. Thank you.
6724 MS. DATT: Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Vice-Chair, Commission Panel, Commission staff. My name is Shushma Datt, and I am the owner of I.T. Productions Ltd., which is licensed to operate CJRJ-AM, an ethnic AM station licensed by the Commission to service Greater Vancouver in 2006.
6725 With me today to my right is my son, Sudhir Datta, who is the Vice-President and Program Director of CJRJ-AM. And we do not have our sales manager with us today.
6726 We are here with a simple message, as I said yesterday. Shut down the following three low power ethnic FM services which have commenced operation in the lower mainland of British Columbia, or, at minimum, ensure compliance with the regulations, as I can see the Commission is talking to the first applicant, Surrey MyFM Inc., reference 2016-0120-4; Sur Sagar Radio Inc., reference 2016-0303-7, and 89.3 Surrey City FM Ltd., reference 2016-0122-9.
6727 As noted in our written submissions, we continue to face competition from crossborder stations which target Greater Vancouver and Surrey with programming which competes directly with the Canadian licensed ethnic services such as ours and RED FM, and the conventional radio licensees. These three new low power services add further financial stress to the market.
6728 As a licensee of the Commission, we have obligations which we strive to meet notwithstanding the significant economic challenges we face competing with these low power services which offer advertisements at deep discounts and have none of the regulatory or legal requirements that Canadian services such as ours operate under.
6729 Our station, as you know, do not have the resources to undertake investigations and complaints against these low power services. We take comfort in the efforts of the Commission in this proceeding to review the non-compliance of these three low power services.
6730 I would now like Sudhir to talk a little bit about the deep discounting of advertising making it extremely difficult for conventional services to achieve profitability.
6731 MR. DATTA: The addition of low power services has amounted to a creation of a radio flea market, multiple unregulated participants selling commercials for whatever they can get. We have seen average effective spot rates as low as one dollar.
6732 A fundamental question is, why are we looking at potentially granting more licenses before we have the issue of low power stations that are skirting the regulations resolved?
6733 We are asking the Commission to make this a level playing field before inviting more players on the field. If the three new low power South Asian stations are found to be acting in compliance and will be allowed to continue operating, then how can there be room for an additional conventional station?
6734 Secondly, I believe it's a worldwide belief that you should never reward bad behaviour. The low power applicants are people who are apparently operating outside of the regulations to achieve whatever financial goals they wish without having to work within the framework of the law and of the regulatory body.
6735 I'm not here to preach, but is this how we would recommend our own children conduct themselves and then reward them? I personally echo much of the thoughts presented in the brief submitted by our worthy legal competitor, RED FM, please clean up the current state of broadcasting in the lower mainland before granting any new licences.
6736 It is clear from the evidence in the proceeding, including the information set out in letters from the Commission sent to the operators of the three low power services on April 7, 2016, that the operators continue to ignore the regulations they are subject to, and the result is that we compete against three unlicensed services on top of two cross-border services.
6737 We would ask the Commission to enforce the regulations and/or shut the non-complying services down.
6738 As a Canadian licenced service that has worked hard to be a responsible licenced service, our ability to be viable is drastically impacted by these unregulated, noncompliant services.
6739 MS. DATT: I do not wish to go into the details of the type of programming that is offered through these services, as the Commission has already determined that they are non-compliant. Taking this into consideration, I do ask, what guarantee does the Commission have that the applicants, if an operator of a non-compliant low power FM, is awarded a conventional licence will not again compete in an non-compliant manner?
6740 We thank you, and if you have any questions, we are here to answer.
6741 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6742 Commissioner Macdonald.
6743 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: Good morning. I have a few questions with respect to the impact that the operation of, specifically, My Surrey FM(sic) has had on your station.
6744 You were operational on the air long before My Surrey FM came into existence. Is that correct?
6745 MS. DATT: Yes, that's right.
6746 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: And can you paint a financial picture for me in the terms of your ability to solicit ad revenue? What did the situation look like before they started operating versus today?
6747 MS. DATT: Our situation has always been quite unique in the broadcast industry.
6748 When we were licensed to start CJRJ 1200 AM, we already competitor who was licensed with us, RED FM. Prior to that, there were two cross-border services that were operating.
6749 So when we started our broadcast, we started from an SCMO to 1200 AM, which gave us a slightly better advantage for getting advertising dollars. The continuance of the two cross-border stations continued to hamper our ability to retrieve more money for -- from advertising from other sources because the majority of the money was still being spent with cross-border services.
6750 With the start of the three low power services in 2015 hampered our service even more because the advertising rates dropped to as low as a dollar a spot.
6751 When I first started broadcasting in lower mainland in 1972 with CJVB, 1470 AM, the spot rate in those days used to be $25 per 30-second spot. That was in 1972.
6752 I worked as a commissioned broadcaster with CJVB, and my monthly income as a 15 percent -- on a 15 percent commission basis used to be close to about eleven, twelve hundred dollars, and I had only five hours of programming a week. And today, running a radio station which broadcasts on 1200 AM, we can't even keep a $25 rate -- spot rate because other services are providing rates as low as a dollar a spot.
6753 So the -- to paint the picture, to run a radio station with at least 11 to 20 staff members, it costs us more than $90,000 a month. And to get $90,000 a month from our service has sometimes been very difficult for us.
6754 When we go to local advertisers, the question always comes, can you give us a rate which is compatible with the crossborder rate or the low power, now in the case of low power?
6755 And it is not possible for us to do that. So we do not get those clients as our advertisers.
6756 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So have you been able to quantify since these stations became operational in 2015 an approximate percentage of revenue that you feel that they are taken away from you? I understand the rate structures may be very different.
6757 MS. DATT: Yes.
6758 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: But is it 10 percent impact? Is it a 90 percent impact? Like, how significant is it?
6759 MS. DATT: We had ---
6760 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Because we just heard the gentleman in the last panel say that they were hoping to basically operate revenue-neutral and just bring enough ad revenue to turn a small profit.
6761 MS. DATT: For $600,000, they said.
6762 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Yeah.
6763 MS. DATT: They are in a position to bring in $600,000. So that $600,000 is what does not come to us or does not go to any other licenced broadcaster.
6764 I do not have figures with me to give you an example whether it is 10 percent or 15 percent. In the last hearing when we were in front of the Commission and the decision came out that the two crossborder services would be shutdown we at that -- and we did not get the FM repeater. We at that time changed the programming of our station to more talk in the morning and music.
6765 So our programming changed in September 2014 to reflect the change in the market. So we have maybe able to improve our financial situation a little bit. Should have improved it way more than what we improved.
6766 So I would say that it has impacted. I wouldn't be able to say how much but if they are making $600,000 then, yes, those $600,000, a portion of that should have been coming to us.
6767 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: For my own education, can you educate me on how the spot rates are actually set on the part of providers? I mean obviously a component of that is cost to operate the station but I would assume if, for example, your listenership is significantly larger than that of Surrey FM then you would be able to sell at a higher rate because it will -- that advertisement will reach more listeners.
6768 MR. DATTA: This is true. At least when you are dealing in theory, it's true. But when you are also dealing with practices where, like we had said in our previous intervention, if someone comes up to you and says that we have 90 percent of the market in Surrey listening to us, then we are going to give you advertising and a dollar a spot, and you are an owner of a fabric store in Surrey, you're not going to sit there and question the authority of the figures that have been presented to you. You are not going to ask, "Well, who did the polling data? Is it regulated? How? What was the polling methodology?" You are just going to look at a piece of paper and say, "Wow, they have 90 percent. Here is $500. That's a pretty good rate. That's better than anything I have seen before".
6769 Now, if I had come to you with actual figures that say 64 percent of the South Asian population listened to us on a weekly basis between all of the -- between all of our properties combined, they would say, "Well, yeah, but those other guys have 90 percent. They showed me a piece of paper that said 90 percent and they are a lot cheaper".
6770 There is a lot of education that needs to happen within the market when it comes to selling in advertising but when competing information is coming into the market that the validity of it is suspect, it's harder for the advertisers to see which one is right. At the end of the day they will just pick the one that's the cheapest.
6771 So, yeah, you're right. We do have far more listeners. But with the marketplace being the way that it is and all this information that's coming out that's not regulated, there is no regulated information on listening habits of South Asians. The BBM does not want to provide such information or we have to create our own surveys and so on. But that information becomes very difficult to acquire and then, on top of that, to get people to understand what it is that we are talking about sometimes it's just not possible.
6772 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Over the course of the last few days we have heard from a number of applicants who state that the South Asian community is growing and that there is a significant amount of wealth in that community and that getting ad revenue will not be a problem.
6773 Would you care to comment on that from your own experience?
6774 MR. DATTA: Well, as people who have been in the market for the last 10 years and have actual experience in gathering advertising and soliciting advertising, I think a lot of the claims that we have heard and some of the projections that we have seen are, let's say, optimistic at best.
6775 When again you have low power services that are offering such low-cut rates, when you have crossborder services who up until the crossborder stations came about they were selling ads as low as $5.00 in some cases, in some instances; when you have competition like that and when you have, again, information that is not factual being presented to potential advertisers it makes it very difficult, like I was saying earlier. I don't think that a lot of the applicants have an idea as to what the marketplace is like when it comes to advertising.
6776 As a whole, I think if you look at numbers and you start to work it out and so on, you can see, yeah, okay. This can make sense in a logical world but we don't live in a really logical world. We live in a world which is run on emotions and perceptions and ideas and misguided facts from time to time. That's what you are dealing with. And I don't think that a lot of the applicants have taken a lot of that into account when applying and giving their financial numbers.
6777 MS. DATT: I also feel that when the applicants have given their projections, they have given their projections without taking into consideration that there are two crossborder stations that there are two legal stations and then the third station would come up and they would really be making way more money than the operating licenced station is making right now, quote/unquote; ours, for example.
6778 So the money that is there and we are not getting but it is there and they will be able to get it. So I would really like to learn that from them as to how they are able to get that money and I haven't been able to get it.
6779 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Just one final question before I hand you back over to my colleagues, clearly you are not a fan of the low-powered stations that are in operation because of the impact it has on your revenue.
6780 MR. DATTA: If they were following the regulations and if their program was in line with the spirit of tourist radio, we wouldn't have a problem with tourist radio -- these particular tourist radio stations. But as they stand at this point in time, no, we are not a big fan.
6781 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So that's exactly where I was going. If those three operators were removed from the market and were replaced with formerly-licenced operations does that -- that had the same obligations that you face, does that level the playing field and do a reset in the market?
6782 MS. DATT: Would the two crossborder stations be still there?
6783 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: I am talking about the low powered right now.
6784 MR. DATTA: So what you are asking is if the three low powers become conventional over-the-air, financially viable radio stations.
6785 I don't think that that's an optimal solution just because of the fact that I don't believe that this market can sustain that. Yes, it is growing. Yes, there is a lot of wealth here.
6786 But, according to Census Canada, I think we are sitting at around $250,000 to almost $300,000 people while the Chinese community who has over $350,000 and they are considerably more wealthy in some cases compared -- considering all the media reports that have been going on about our real estate market at this point in time, and they only have three services.
6787 So either they are underserved or we are very overserved. So I think -- I personally think that the two services that we currently have right now are enough to service this market along with the -- if we can get rid of the cross-border stations, us two, and then maybe another one, maybe then we can see if that would -- if that -- if our market size can sustain that. But at this point in time, licensing three -- converting these three low powers into conventional radio stations, I do not think that that's a wise choice for this market.
6788 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: Okay. Thank you. Those are my questions.
6789 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you for your appearance at this phase of the hearing. I don't think we have any further questions.
6790 MS. DATT: Thank you.
6791 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam la Secrétaire?
6792 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
6793 We will now proceed with the presentation by South Asian Broadcasting Corporation Inc.
6794 Please reintroduce yourselves for the record, and you will then have 10 minutes for your presentation. Thank you.
6795 MR. SAMUEL: Good morning, respected Panel Members and Commission staff. For the record, my name is Bijoy Samuel, Vice-President and General Manager of RED FM.
6796 On my right is Kulwinder Sanghera, President of RED FM, and on my left is our counsel, Mark Lewis of Lewis Birnberg Hanet LLP.
6797 We appear before you today at something of a disadvantage. We have filed monitors of MySurreyFM on two occasions, including the most recent written intervention. It was difficult to anticipate what Mr. Pannu and his counsel might rationalize this morning in their oral presentation as the reasons why the station has not operated 1,000 percent as a tourist radio undertaking.
6798 At each juncture in this process that now extends back to 2015, there have been counter-claims by Mr. Pannu that his service is compliant with the Exemption Order, that, the non-conforming hours of programming are “announcer chitchat” or some other excuse is presented.
6799 Chairman Blais, you are quoted, and we hope correctly, in the Globe and Mail today referencing to the “net neutrality” proceeding that has been initiated as that the Commission wants to “develop a clear and transparent regulatory approach that will provide certainty”.
6800 We heartily agree. But we thought that in its revisions a few years ago to Broadcasting Order 2014-447, the Tourist Radio Exemption Order, it had done just that. It is easy to read, simple to digest and understand, that is, until around a year ago.
6801 It is our written intervention -- in our written intervention, we make several points. First, that Surrey MyFM has operated throughout its history in non-compliance of the Exemption Order. Again, barring that there has been a “deathbed” recantation of past errors and omissions, we anticipated coming here today that Mr. Pannu would profess that his service is now in compliance and all is well with the world and he should continue on as before.
6802 Our fear is that once the last Member of the Panel and staff board an aircraft for the national capital region, Surrey MyFM will morph back into a non-compliant ethnic radio service.
6803 As several Members of the Panel observed earlier this week, you have a feeling that you are playing the game of “whack-a-mole”. It's a game of “catch me if you can”.
6804 Your resources are already spread thin, and the ability to audit, translate ethnic broadcasts and initiate a proceeding such as this takes enormous resources. And absent administrative monetary penalties, within the framework of the Broadcasting Act the Commission has little in the way of remedies, other than the Mandatory Order process, to ensure compliance on a fast and equitable basis.
6805 Our written intervention provides you with what we believe is a fairly clear snapshot of broadcasts that were undertaken on VF2689 Surrey My FM in March and after the notice of this hearing was issued.
6806 We had gone to the Commission’s analysis of previous broadcasts and directly linked elements of the March broadcasts to the elements of previous broadcasts that the Commission and its staff had determined did not fit within the Exemption Order. It seemed to us to be straightforward. If you wish us to elaborate on the analysis, we would be pleased to do so.
6807 As we stated in our written filing, Mr. Pannu is a sophisticated broadcaster. He has operated SCMO and broadcasting undertakings for at least 28 years and filed more than a dozen applications for various categories of broadcasting undertakings. He has one of the top communications lawyers. So why has it been so difficult for Mr. Pannu and, by extension, for his station manager and on-air staff, to comprehend and comply with what we believe to be a well-written Exemption Order?
6808 As we stated in our March filing, it is our submission that Mr. Pannu has set out to operate a commercially ethnic radio service without any intention from the outset to comply with the Exemption Order.
6809 And today at around 10:40 to your question, Commissioner Blais -- Chairman Blais, he -- when -- he said that people have told him -- Pannu said that people have told him in Toronto, "When are you coming to Surrey?" And he said that when he looked at this opportunity to serve the people of Surrey, he started here.
6810 So he has operated a broadcasting undertaking over a year in knowing violation of paragraphs 4, 6 and 7 of the Order, and it should be tolerated no further.
6811 The dates of our March 2016 monitor that we filed don’t seem to correlate to the dates when Mr. Pannu claims to have eliminated some programming elements. We thought the Commission’s December 24th letter provided clear, unequivocal direction.
6812 The question in your mind is why are we here and why are we asking you to issue the harshest penalty available to you pursuant to the Broadcasting Act. This is a case of upholding the integrity of the licensing and regulatory process.
6813 MR. LEWIS: Chairman Blais, although I understand that the proceeding that ended yesterday is a different proceeding and we're addressing only Surrey MyFM today, but I was struck by what Mr. Pannu said on Tuesday in paragraph 3087 of the transcript. And he said:
6814 "To begin with, our team is requesting the Commission to amend the programming of one of the two exempted stations in Surrey, B.C. to a protected licence."
6815 In our written intervention at paragraph 34, we made the observation that VF2689 “may have been utilized to solicit support for hearing item #8 based on comments of interveners concerning the programming that is broadcast on VF2689.” End of quote.
6816 Has Surrey MyFM been used simply as a Trojan horse to galvanize the local community to support a new ethnic station?
6817 Well, it certainly has operated as an ethnic radio service, at least, it operates as a third language service, and it is directed primarily to one or two identifiable ethnic groups in the community. And it's provided news, sports, open-line programming, music programming, Bollywood gossip, general announcer chit-chat over its first 15 months of operation.
6818 I want to return to the integrity of the licensing and regulatory process.
6819 RED FM was licensed pursuant to the Ethnic Radio Policy, and not an Exemption Order. On the other hand, down the street, we have an interloper who has taken advantage of the fact that he can put a station on the air without any of the foregoing obligations and target a group of ethnic listeners.
6820 Since this bold defiance of the Commission’s authority began, we have seen these stations pop up in other locations. Individuals are emboldened by what they see happening, or not happening, in Surrey.
6821 They know that enforcement is slow and a transparent process, as it should be. But that’s the key. They know that before we catch up with them, they will have disrupted orderly broadcast regulation with impunity, no fines, nothing that really harms them financially.
6822 They know that we have to divert our resources which, even on a good day, are fully deployed in providing a broadcast service, just to audit them, and then engage in a lengthy and costly regulatory process.
6823 Diverting resources to conduct monitors, prepare transcripts, to participate in this hearing have been significant. This is something we cannot afford or any other licensee can continue to do every few months.
6824 Now, we have therefore asked in our filing that the Commission issue a Mandatory Order requiring Surrey MyFM to cease broadcast operations at a date and time to be specified in the Order.
6825 Then we've asked for a further regulatory consultation. We are now convinced that the Exemption Orders for Tourist Radio and House of Worship Radio are being misinterpreted. Therefore, the Orders should be redrafted so that there is no “grey space” that others can fit through.
6826 We referred in our written presentation that, quote, “absent these reforms individuals will continue to establish ethnic radio stations in cities such as Kelowna, Penticton, Abbottsford, and Calgary and other cities under the guise of a license exempt Tourist Radio station.” End of quote.
6827 With respect to Calgary, the foregoing statement is no longer speculative. At last weekend’s Vaisakhi festival in Calgary, 103.3 XFM was present. It's a new station, and here's what they say. Here's their branding:
6828 "103.4 X Calgary, FM exclusive for all aim to enlighten society with truth, info and entertainment."
6829 This is a market where we've worked very hard for several years to establish an ethnic radio service. That's Calgary. We need not tell you the struggles that Alberta is facing now, and many of our listeners face vis-à-vis the economy.
6830 So there’s another aspect to this transparency. Under the Access to Information legislation, I attempted to obtain from ISED files all the files relative to the authorization of this radio station VF2689. Months later, I cannot obtain a single one of those documents. I can comment on my frustration during the question period, if you wish.
6831 To conclude then, I will personally be writing to the Minister of Heritage asking that your powers be expanded with respect to compliance issues. And I will personally advocate that in non-compliance proceedings such as these, intervenors such as licensed broadcasters be awarded their costs.
6832 We await your questions and thank you.
6833 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
6834 Vice-Chair Menzies will ask you some questions.
6835 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Thanks.
6836 You made your points very clear so I just have a couple questions. 103.3 in Calgary and you have -- we have no idea who it is?
6837 MR. LEWIS: No. And I can’t obtain that information from ISED either.
6838 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Because there is a 103.1, which is I think --
6839 MR. LEWIS: No, this ---
6840 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: -- the Breeze, which is a commercial station; right?
6841 MR. LEWIS: Yes. So this was on a -- was it a float or a tent on ---
6842 MR. BIJOY: They had a tent. And we have photos as well of 103.3 XFM. They were a part of the Vaisakhi celebration that was happening.
6843 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right. That was ---
6844 MR. BIJOY: They’re launching soon is what they said.
6845 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Vaisakhi was last weekend; wasn’t it?
6846 MR. BIJOY: Last weekend, yes.
6847 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Yeah.
6848 MR. LEWIS: So to -- I think to answer your question, you -- I think you used the term the other day it’s a “whack-a-mole”. So these pop up. I believe that Mr. Pannu has an unlicence or tourist exempt or something in Calgary for 107.7 or 107.9 and then this one appears. We have no idea who the owners of it may be. We believe that their startup is imminent based on salespeople out in the marketplace. So this is a bigger problem than perhaps, you know, what we’re talking about in this room today, but I think it just underscores our concern about the lack of transparency to some people of the Exemption Order.
6849 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And just to confirm, I mean, your solution in this case is just to end the licensing of this operation?
6850 MR. LEWIS: Yes, sir. Because I -- what I’ve heard -- and I just want to go back a step and that is ---
6851 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Yeah, sorry. Just a sec. I mean --
6852 MR. LEWIS: Yes.
6853 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: -- I understood that, but so if we did that, what would stop something else from popping up?
6854 MR. LEWIS: Well, I think it’s a two-prong process. You’ll issue a decision or you’ll a mandatory order. That’s the process.
6855 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Yeah.
6856 MR. LEWIS: And I would think simultaneously you would cite in that decision, which you will, the reasons why this undertaking didn’t comply, reasons why, perhaps based on the testimony you’ve heard today from the parties, you have, you know, concerns that this may continue on and, you know, if left unabated. And then, you know, I’ve seen in other decisions of the Commission over the years an intention to issue a public proceeding or a Notice to Solicit Comments on amending a regulation or an order. So I would see it as a two-phase process.
6857 And then after the dust settles, there should be ---
6858 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And you’re advising it for the regulatory process on the ---
6859 MR. LEWIS: Well, I think the ship has unfortunately sailed on tourist radio now because it’s popped up in so many places. The -- our contention is these are not tourist radio stations, they’re ethnic radio stations operating as commercial operations.
6860 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right. Okay. I understand your position just on that. Okay. That’s all I really need to understand is what your position is on that. And that’s really the only questions I have. And like your reply here was very clear and comprehensive so. My colleagues may have some.
6861 THE CHAIRPERSON: You’re not suggesting the Exemption Order is ambiguous; are you?
6862 MR. LEWIS: Not at all, sir.
6863 THE CHAIRPERSON: It’s just not --
6864 MR. LEWIS: I ---
6865 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- being interpreted properly?
6866 MR. LEWIS: I heard today, and perhaps -- I have hearing impairment. So forgive me if I’m -- I’ve misheard something. But I heard almost an hour of an individual or individuals blaming Commission staff. Now I’ve read the file. I’ve read the, you know, the correspondence from the Commission. There’s nothing ambiguous in terms of anything that the staff wrote or anything the staff indicated to these individuals over time.
6867 What troubles me is the December 24th letter from the Commission was -- and that leveraged on our original complaint where program elements that were clearly offside the Order, the Exemption Order, and I think you interpret it and interpret it absolutely the same way. Staff interpreted it the same way. And on January 21st, rather than amend the programming, the party wrote back to the Commission saying, “You’re all wrong.” We even got after -- you were copied, Mr. Chair, on November 9th an intention to start a liable action against me for putting in that complaint from, I believe, the daughter of Mr. Pannu.
6868 Now I’m an old lawyer, so I -- and I’ve been doing this for an awfully long time and I didn’t pay much heed to this, but that’s the kind of reaction we had rather than change the programming because it didn’t comply.
6869 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. But one of the outcomes of this proceedings, if some people were mistaken, it would be open to the Commission to provide the sort of guidance without necessarily changing the Exemption Order.
6870 MR. LEWIS: Absolutely. Now there’s a paragraph that I’ve always found a little troubling in the Exemption Order and it’s probably a sentence that’s a little broader than the Exemption Order itself. And I could hone in on that or I could provide comment at some other time to staff. But if you were bizarrely misinterpreting the -- and I think there’s seven or eight different points of the Exemption Order, if you went back to that paragraph, then there could be almost a plausible argument that that paragraph said you could go broader than serving tourists or, you know, the purpose of the station. I don’t read it as such. I think the parties today read it as such.
6871 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. Mr. Lewis is, I’m not going to say an “old lawyer”, but an experienced lawyer.
6872 MR. LEWIS: Experienced.
6873 THE CHAIRPERSON: What is your view about how we should be interpreting Exemption Orders? Do you agree with the proposal that I put forward earlier that, as a general rule, one should get a licence to operate a broadcasting undertaking in whole or in part in Canada, but there is an exceptional regime subject to a factual preliminary test that allows for Exemptions Orders, but as a result of statutory interpretation, one would expect it to be read down. Would you agree with that?
6874 MR. LEWIS: Absolutely. That’s always been my understanding of it. And the other thing I understood when the Commission entered into the path of Exemption Orders a few years ago was there was administrative burden as particularly houses of worship wanted to have some form of communication and the licensing process was -- at a good period, to go through a public hearing, probably nine months. And so the purpose of the Exemption Order was to make it very simple for people to get on air and reduce the, I’m going to call it administrative and regulatory burden. And I think that was a laudable objective that the Commission.
6875 So I’m not critical of the Exemption Order itself, I’m critical of those who would see some loophole in that that they can somehow justify, knowing that it’ll take two years for you to catch up with someone who’s non-compliant.
6876 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. Particularly the fact that there’s a minor appeal provision of mandatory orders as well in the broadcasting industry; right?
6877 MR. LEWIS: That’s correct, sir.
6878 THE CHAIRPERSON: It’s a long haul. And I take your point that, yeah, sometimes the Commission did put in place some Exemption Order, but as the CEO of the Commission and the accounting officer before Parliament under the Financial Administration Act, I do wonder whether the Exemption Order is not actually creating more burden on the Commission than if we were doing licensing.
6879 MR. LEWIS: That’s right. And this process, you’re going to be here for two days. I know that your staff has worked diligently now. Our complaint went in in September, so I don’t even know the man hours or person hours that you’ve expended, you and your staff have expended on these files. It must be significant.
6880 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Of course, we’re not dealing with a broader policy issue, but it does gives us pause and we will.
6881 So thank you for that. I don’t think we have any other questions for you.
6882 In fairness to the Surrey Myfm, we’ll take a 15 or so minute break so that they can have a little bit extra time to prepare their final phase comments. So we’ll break until 12:05. Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 11:52 a.m.
--- Upon resuming at 12:11 p.m.
6883 LE PRÉSIDENT: À l’ordre, s'il vous plaît. Order.
6884 Madame la secrétaire.
6885 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
6886 We will now proceed with Phase III in which the licensee can reply to all interventions submitted on its item.
6887 Please reintroduce yourself for the record and you will then have 10 minutes for your presentation. Thank you.
6888 MR. SINGH PANNU: Mr. Chairman, Mr. Vice-Chairman and Commissioner MacDonald, I am Ravinder Singh Pannu and I am joined in this reply by Hardeep Sandhu, Program Manager, Prateek Sandhu, Marketing Manager, and Sanjeev Kumar, legal advisor, by our legal advisor Mr. Joel Fortune also.
6889 MS. SANDHU: We have already reviewed with you our programming and intentions in our initial appearance this morning. We have also provided a written reply to the intervenors earlier.
6890 In this phase, we wish to comment on issues raised today by South Asian Broadcasting and I.T. Productions.
6891 First however, we wish to thank the many individuals that have written to the Commission supporting Myfm. We think that when you review these interventions that the listening public is well aware of the orientation of the station as a service that is intended principally to provide information in and about Surrey for tourists and for the public.
6892 We acknowledge that the listening public does not know the particular regulatory requirements that apply to the service but we believe it is clear that they recognize that the service is not a normal radio station.
6893 It has a limited format and is intended to reach visitors to Surrey and to provide traffic, weather and other permitted information to the public.
6894 Moving to RED FM and I.T. Productions, the most important element that we wish to convey is that in January 2015, we set out to offer a new type of service within the framework of the Exemption Order. In doing so, we wished to be creative and to offer an attractive service that people would enjoy.
6895 This involved putting together different programming elements such as call-in programs and live hosted programs that are familiar to radio listeners. We focused on programming content that we believed fell within the Exemption Order framework.
6896 RED FM and I.T. Productions suggest that we have not responded adequately to their concerns and to the direction provided by Commission staff which resulted from RED FM’s initial complaint. We do not believe this is true.
6897 After we received Commission staff’s letter on December 24th, we naturally reviewed all our programming and planned the changes.
6898 For example, we discontinued all music programming and asked for clarification on use of music samples to promote events and similar matters. We discontinued the information that have been provided from India by our overseas reporter. We took out sports scores.
6899 We discontinued call-in programming because we thought they would be difficult to manage properly. We made greater effort to ensure that our programming did not include political comments or commentary on controversial issues.
6900 And whereas earlier we had provided information about history and individuals in a broad sense and information of interest to the public, we directed that programs should focus only on matters relating to Surrey and in relation to local events and attractions.
6901 We acknowledge that this did not take place overnight. There was a transition period during the month of February in which we removed references to overseas tourist location, for example, and honed our information segments to look solely at Surrey. It took a little time to do this mostly because of the need to inform our personnel and develop appropriate content.
6902 In hindsight, we regret that we did not move more quickly.
6903 As this process has continued, we ultimately came to a decision that the best way to proceed would be for us to scale back our programming completely so that it no longer includes the type of content that could be considered controversial.
6904 We now operate on a strict wheel format with pre-recorded information segments and with the live programming limited to weather, traffic and other time sensitive information, and interviews relating to specific events in the community. This works but it is not as engaging as our previous programming.
6905 MR. KUMAR: Okay. Before we start any questions, as we mentioned at the end of our presentation that we would check on the station and I can confirm here right now Mr. Pannu’s intent was always to comply and he has already shut down the studio so that there is no programming on the radio right now. And once we go to the transmitter in the evening, we shut down the transmitter.
6906 But at this point of time, I confirm to CRTC Commission that there is no programming.
6907 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I don’t believe we have any additional questions for you at this stage unless you have -- you are not done yet?
6908 MR. SINGH PANNU: No, a couple more points.
6909 MR. KUMAR: We have some comments.
6910 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, okay, so I thought you were done. So we don’t have your written remarks. All right. Keep going.
6911 MR. SINGH PANNU: Yeah. The necessary emergency alert command is on order and will be installed very soon, as soon as possible.
6912 Regarding the question of whether a mandatory order should be issued if the Commission were to determine that it’s the appropriate step, we would of course fully comply with any such order. And as Sanjeev already have mentioned, we have fade down the airwave and as soon as I reach in Surrey, the transmitter site will be shut down and right now the signal has been faded down.
6913 And I would like to say a few words from my heart. I heard some blaming word from other people saying we have blamed the Commission staff. That is not in our attention. We just was regularly contacted with Commission staff. So we never have a single word as blaming.
6914 I really appreciate to give us an opportunity to explain what situation we were going through and I would have done before if I would have my family problem. My mother had a cancer and my other family member. So I was quite busy over there.
6915 MR. KUMAR: I want to make a few comments about the presentations or interventions made. One of the intervenors, he talked about that we are charging very less advertising rate.
6916 First of all, I would like to say we are a 40-50 watt station. They are a 10,000 watt station. They are an ocean and we are a drop. Recently I don’t understand how a drop can compete with an ocean.
6917 I seriously will suggest to them that if they are scared of this 40 watt station, they need to look into the programming. They need to look into their management and maybe at the time of the renewal of their licence, CRTC should see how competently they are working.
6918 Another important thing, they talked about the three stations they are impacting their financials. Well, we are talking about two and one of the radio, Sur Sagar, there is no advertisement on that as I mentioned earlier. So when we are not playing any advertisement, when we are not charging any money from anywhere, it's just doing a service to the community. How that financially impact them? It’s a blatant lie.
6919 And as for as one dollar concern is, first of all, we don’t do that, number one. Number two, if we are actually charging one dollar, I don’t think that Commission should shut down us. We will shut down on our own itself. How many days we will actually continue with one dollar spots?
6920 Thank you.
6921 MR. SINGH PANNU: Thank you, sir.
6922 THE CHAIRPERSON: And of course, Mr. Pannu, we understand your present situation and our wishes are with you on the personal issue but we've got to make a distinction between those issues and the regulatory issues before us. But do not think of us as being completely insensitive to your personal challenges.
6923 As I said, I believe those are all our questions for you at this point. I do remind you, you do have some undertakings to meet and I hope someone -- Mr. Fortune -- has taken note of those. You can converse with legal counsel of the Commission just to make sure that you have the same list.
6924 So we will adjourn at this point till 1:30 so that -- I think -- to hear the next item on the agenda.
6925 Right? That’s it for this item, Madame Secretary?
6926 THE SECRETARY: Yes.
6927 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So we’re adjourned until 1:30.
6928 Thank you very much.
--- Upon recessing at 12:21 p.m.
--- Upon resuming at 1:38 p.m.
6929 LE PRÉSIDENT: À l’ordre s’il vous plaît. Order please.
6930 Madame la secrétaire.
6931 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
6932 I have one announcement before we begin. For the record, the Commission has been advised that the intervenor I.T. Productions Limited will not be appearing in Phase 2 in regards of Item 10 on the agenda.
6933 We will now proceed with Phase 1 of Item 10 on the agenda and the presentation by Sur Sagar Radio Inc.
6934 Sur Sagar Radio Inc. Sur Sagar operates the station VF 2688 at Surrey, British Columbia at 91.5 megahertz. The station produces programming for broadcast on the radio but does not have a broadcasting licence to carry on a radio programming undertaking as it claims to operate an exempt low power house of worship radio station pursuant to broadcasting order 2013-621. Sur Sagar is owned and controlled by Ravinder Singh Pannu.
6935 It appears that Sur Sagar may be operating its house of worship station in non-compliance with broadcasting order 2013-621 and therefore may be carrying on a broadcasting undertaking in whole or in part in Canada without a licence or pursuant to an exemption contrary to the Broadcasting Act.
6936 Please introduce yourself and your colleagues and you will then have 20 minutes for your presentation.
6937 Thank you.
6938 MR. PANNU: Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Vice-Chairman and Commissioner MacDonald. My name is Ravinder Singh Pannu. I am the President and owner of Sur Saga Radio Inc. I’m joined today by Hardeep Sandhu and by our legal advisor Joel Fortune and left to me Sanjeev Kumar. Thank you for the opportunity to make these opening comments.
6939 MS. SANDHU: We understand that the purpose of this proceeding is to consider whether our low power station VF 2688 Sur Sagar has been operated in compliance with the applicable Exemption Order and whether a mandatory order should be issued requiring the service to operate in accordance with that Order.
6940 Sur Sagar radio provides coverage of religious services and ceremonies originating from Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib, which is located at 15255 68th Avenue in Surrey.
6941 Programming on the station consists of religious services and ceremonies originating from the Gurdwara. Generally, services start at 3:00 a.m. each day and last until midnight, with a mixture of readings and hymns from the Holy Book, Guru Granth Sahib, sermons and different ceremonies.
6942 As we indicated in our correspondence with the Commission, all the programming originates at the Gurdwara. It consists of broadcasts of live daily events, which are ongoing throughout the day. As we indicated in our letter, we do typically include a repeat segment between midnight and 3:00 a.m. of live events from earlier in the day.
6943 Section 4 of the applicable Exemption Order provides that the station’s programming will consist only of live local broadcasts of religious services, ceremonies and similar events. We have understood that this rebroadcast of a live event would be permissible, but would certainly discontinue this practice if it were determined not to be so.
6944 The Commission monitored our broadcast between January 31st and February 6th, 2016 with the exception of one segment on January 31st between 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. We believe that no concerns were noted.
6945 The program that was a concern was a recording of a pre-recorded event relating to charitable activities in India. We investigated this content and it was inserted at the Gurdwara where the programming originates. That program was not intended to reflect and does not reflect the programming orientation of the station, which is limited to religious activities at the Gurdwara. We have ensured that this type of content is not broadcast again on the station.
6946 We believe that the CRTC’s monitoring report shows that this program was an anomaly and we have made sure that the error will not be repeated.
6947 MR. PANNU: We also wish to comment with respect to the recent inspection performed by ISED at our station facility. ISED found the station to be compliant with the applicable power requirement. A copy of that report was provided to the Commission.
6948 There were some power fluctuations noted in the period leading up to the inspection. We have explained to ISED that those relate to intermittent electrical power interruption that took place at that time in the building where our transmitter is located.
6949 The interruptions were related to upgrade to the local power grid. This has been confirmed by the building owner to ISED. We wish to acknowledge that this problem could have occurred in the past and probably explains the slightly higher power levels noted in the conclusion of the LS Telecom coverage study. We were not aware that these re-settings were happening, but they could explain the slightly higher power levels found in those documents.
6950 Essentially, when power is interrupted, even for a short period, the transmitters are reset to pre-set power levels in sequence and then require retuning to the proper level, and this is what happened. We did not anticipate this type of power interruption, but have now programmed the transmitter so that it is automatically reset to the proper level.
6951 MS. SANDHU: Thank you for the opportunity to present this information to you today.
6952 Sur Sagar is operating within the parameters of the Exemption Order. The one program identified as being problematic, which was broadcast between 2:00 and 4:00 a.m., was an anomaly and we have made sure that the error will not be repeated.
6953 In our experience, Sur Sagar provides a popular service for a segment of the population that is interested in maintaining a close connection with the Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib or who might be unable to attend on a daily or regular basis. This station is non-commercial and it generates no revenue. Mr. Pannu. operates the station as a public service.
6954 We would be pleased to provide answer to any questions that you may have about the station and its programming.
6955 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
6956 Commissioner MacDonald will lead on the questioning on this item.
6957 MR. PANNU: Thank you.
6958 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Good afternoon.
6959 With respect to ownership, Mr. Pannu, you had confirmed earlier that you were the sole director and officer of Sur Sagar Radio. Is that still the case?
6960 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6961 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And has that been the case from July 4th, 2001 up until today?
6962 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6963 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: How many shares are there issued for that company?
6964 MR. PANNU: One hundred (100) percent.
6965 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: You own 100 percent of the shares?
6966 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6967 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. And there are no -- so there are no other Canadian or non-Canadian shareholders in the company?
6968 MR. PANNU: No, sir.
6969 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: With respect to decision making power, do you exercise sole control over the station and any decisions made or do you delegate some responsibilities to others?
6970 MR. PANNU: I have responsibility to take the decision, but I take sometimes advice from the required person particular for the Sur Sagar Radio which is house of worship.
6971 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So you live in Toronto; correct?
6972 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6973 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So who exercises day-to-day control over the operations for the station?
6974 MR. PANNU: That the priest of the Gurdwara.
6975 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: The priest?
6976 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6977 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: This station is incorporated in Ontario. Is that correct?
6978 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6979 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And have you registered with the Provincial Registrar for British Columbia in order to carry on business in this province?
6980 MR. KUMAR: In my point of view, that the Sur Sagar is registered in Toronto in 2001 under national.
6981 I have to conform that.
6982 MR. KUMAR: We can add here that this is not basically a business, it’s a free service. No revenue is collected. No advertisement is collected. He just paid through his own pocket to run that service.
6983 So it’s not a business. It’s a kind of social service.
6984 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: But it is a corporate entity?
6985 MR. KUMAR: Yes.
6986 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6987 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Carrying out operations in British Columbia. Do you have employees in British Columbia?
6988 MR. PANNU: Not with this station.
6989 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. So your only employees are with respect to My Surrey FM?
6990 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
6991 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So just to confirm then, you have no certificate from the province of British Columbia allowing you to conduct any business in B.C.?
6992 MR. KUMAR: Yes.
6993 MR. PANNU: Also Sur Sagar Radio, no.
6994 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Can you explain your business plan to me; how do you -- how do you operate? Why are you providing this service if there’s, to your point, no revenues coming in to the operation?
6995 MR. PANNU: I’ve been doing this since 1987 in this industry. And in Toronto, when I start my Sur Sagar Radio, that’s been running 22 years, all the religious services, I never have -- in even Toronto.
6996 So I -- this is not the business -- business plan oriented. This is just a service to ---
6997 MR. KUMAR: Basically, this is not a business for him.
6998 MR. PANNU: Yeah.
6999 MR. KUMAR: This is basically to provide service, and he pays through his own pocket for the general expenses. He don’t have any employees here.
7000 The priest in the Gurdwara take care of certain things and he communicates with them largely on a regular basis. And there is no intention of any profit making. No advertisement is done and are broadcasted on this station ever.
7001 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So just to confirm, there are zero revenues from advertisers coming in to the station?
7002 MR. KUMAR: Yes.
7003 MR. PANNU: Yeah, there’s no advertisement activity, according to the Exemption Order.
7004 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And it is fully funded by your own personal resources?
7005 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
7006 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: No money from the -- and I apologize about the pronunciation, but the Gurdwara is ---
7007 MR. PANNU: No.
7008 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: --- flow into the station?
7009 MR. KUMAR: No, sir.
7010 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Are you operating similar services to this station anywhere else in the country?
7011 MR. PANNU: Just in Toronto.
7012 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And are there specific communities that this station is targeting?
7013 MR. PANNU: Punjabi Sikh community.
7014 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So that’s the target audience for ---
7015 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
7016 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: For the station.
7017 How do you physically operate if you have no employees in the province, men in this particular station?
7018 MR. PANNU: We have other radio, which is Surrey Myfm. So the transmitters are located at the same place. So we have one antenna up there. So on one antenna, one poll, we have two antennas. So the money being paid to the building, it is coming from Surrey Myfm. So the other antenna, we are not collecting any revenue or nothing; just this is a service.
7019 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So if something goes wrong with the service, if the antenna needs to be adjusted, if repairs need to be conducted, is it the staff of My Surrey FM that undertakes to do that?
7020 MR. PANNU: In the previous, it never, ever happened. So this was not even -- have experience, any difficulty. So when it will occur, then will be decided how it will be fixed.
7021 But until now, we don’t have an issue.
7022 MR. KUMAR: And even if it is to be taken help from some employee who’s working in Myfm, Mr. Pannu can pay from his own pocket to get the small work or a job done.
7023 But ultimately, the money comes from Mr. Pannu’s pocket if there will be any problem.
7024 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Do any donations of any kind, be it financial or in kind donations, come to your station?
7025 MR. PANNU: No, sir.
7026 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Are you registered as a charity in any way?
7027 MR. PANNU: No, sir.
7028 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Paragraph 4 of the Exemption Order requires that programming provided by the undertaking consist solely of live, local broadcast of religious services, weddings, funerals and other such religious celebrations and ceremonies. Do you understand that?
7029 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
7030 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: In your response of March 10th of this year, you indicated “The programming is limited to religious services and similar religious activities originating from the Gurdwara Sikh house of worship and that you do only live religious services of weddings and funerals.
7031 Can you tell me what “similar religious activities” means and what activities that would entail?
7032 MR. PANNU: “Similar Activity” means whatever is happening live in the Gurdwara, those being broadcast on -- on 91.5. So “similar services”, it means live services. Maybe I was choosing wrong word for “similar”.
7033 MS. SANDHU: If I may add to it. Like he said, funerals and marriage ceremonies. There are other ceremonies happening during the course of life, which related to a person’s life. It could be like when a child starts tying the star. There is a ceremony for that too. Those kinds of ceremonies are also conducted in Gurdwara.
7034 So in the course of a day, some activity like that is also happening that also might be covered during the day.
7035 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So 100 percent of your programming then comes from the Gurdwara?
7036 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
7037 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And absolutely none of your programming comes from any other source?
7038 MR. PANNU: No sir.
7039 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Do you broadcast everything that happens at this house of worship or do you choose to air different -- do you choose not to air some services?
7040 MR. PANNU: No sir. Whatever is being prayer over there, whatever the programming are going in the Gurdwara, so same being broadcast on the FM.
7041 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And are you the sole operation broadcast in those services or is someone else carrying them as well for the consumption of the public?
7042 MR. PANNU: As far as I know, that is 91.5. If they have any other arrangement, I don’t know.
7043 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Is any of the programming scripted? Is any of the programming that you offer scripted in any way?
7044 MR. PANNU: No, sir.
7045 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And you don’t actually make any programming decisions if you’re broadcasting 100 percent of what’s taking place at the house of worship. Is that correct, sir?
7046 MR. PANNU: Yes.
7047 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Do you have any influence over what activities are taking place at the house of worship?
7048 MR. PANNU: No, sir, I don’t have any involvement with that.
7049 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Either direct or otherwise to suggest what type of service perhaps should take place, something that may be of greater interest to your listeners?
7050 MR. PANNU: No, just I request them to stay under the guidelines, which are under religious regulation of CRTC.
7051 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: But you said that the priest is not an employee but he is your “feet on the ground” for want for better term in running the day-to-day operations of the station?
7052 MR. PANNU: Yes, that’s the person.
7053 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And does this same individual have influence over what services and activities take place at the house of worship?
7054 MR. PANNU: That, I have never, ever asked them how they do, what ---
7055 MR. KUMAR: I can add something.
7056 MR. PANNU: Most of the time I talk to them.
7057 MR. KUMAR: I can add something. Gurdwaras are run -- these are Sikh temples, and they are run on a daily basis on a very similar day schedule. And those are basically decided by their managing committees.
7058 The priests are those who do those preachings -- and everything basically to do.
7059 It’s regularly every day in the morning, 3:00 a.m.?
7060 MR. PANNU: Yeah.
7061 MR. KUMAR: They start with the morning Japji. So it keeps almost every day same. In those Gurdwaras, you cannot do any rule in changing this, because it’s a well-established system all over the world. In the morning, what Gurdwara A will do, B will also do, C will also do. It’s the same whole process.
7062 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And that runs, that process runs from 3:00 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week ---
7063 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
7064 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: --- 365 days a year?
7065 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
7066 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: And your station operates 24 hours a day?
7067 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
7068 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: So what do you do for the three hours?
7069 MR. PANNU: We put the programming which being recorded daytime from morning till midnight, that being repeated over 12:00 to 3:00.
7070 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: So for the period where there's no activities taking place at the house of worship, you repeat activities that took place at some point before.
7071 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
7072 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: What you repeat, is that from the same 24-hour period or is that from reaching further back into the calendar?
7073 MR. PANNU: No. Whatever has been recorded daytime, that will be played at nighttime.
7074 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: But from that same day.
7075 MR. PANNU: Is -- it could be a same day. Day is up to sometime -- it could be other day, too. But the similar kind of segment will be played.
7076 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: So how do you make the decision about what to repeat?
7077 MR. PANNU: There is, again, as Mr. Sandhu have explained, there is some kind of a programming which has to play the certain time. So let's say midnight from 12:00 to 3:00, it will keep the hymns or it could be a part. From the morning 3:00, there is a regular constant scheduled program.
7078 So three hours, those three hours, they can -- they can put the shabdkeet, mean hymns, from that recorded daytime activities.
7079 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: But you are not re-broadcasting the same activity or the same service day after day ---
7080 MR. PANNU: No.
7081 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: --- during that three-hour period.
7082 MR. PANNU: No.
7083 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: So you are selecting from that day or from a previous day ---
7084 MR. PANNU: Yes.
7085 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: --- that you feel would be of interest to air during that period of time.
7086 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
7087 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: Where is this house of worship located?
7088 MR. PANNU: It is in Surrey, and I think I have the address, 15255-68 Avenue, Surrey.
7089 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: And your studio is located where?
7090 MR. PANNU: Studio is located at -- can you say that?
7091 MS. SANDHU: That's 13147-76th Avenue.
7092 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: Is there any particular reason since you're broadcasting everything that takes place at this house of worship and since the priest is your primary volunteer for running the station -- is there any reason that you're not located in the house of worship itself?
7093 MR. PANNU: It is located in the house of worship, not a studio. What -- if you allow me to explain how it is.
7094 There's -- they have all the systems set up up there like just what we have it, and it directly feed going to transmitter site.
7095 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: So it is fed from the house of worship directly to the transmitter site?
7096 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
7097 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: Then why do you have a studio?
7098 MR. PANNU: Studio is Surrey MyFM. It does have any separate studio. This is address where we have Surrey MyFM.
7099 MS. SANDHU: The address that is given, that is of Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran and Sahib. That is at 15255-68 Avenue. And the feed is directly provided from the Gurdwara microphone to the transmitter. There is no studio here.
7100 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: So the studio is not used for the station at all.
7101 MS. SANDHU: No. MR. PANNU: No.
7102 MS. SANDHU: Never.
7103 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: Okay. So there is no programming created at the studio, just so I'm clear, for the station.
7104 With respect to the proceedings of the house of worship, you said they go from 3:00 a.m. till midnight.
7105 MR. PANNU: Yes.
7106 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: Is that continuous? Are there breaks in the schedule of 10 or 15 minutes or an hour between different activities?
7107 MR. PANNU: Maybe two to three minutes.
7108 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: Okay.
7109 MR. PANNU: Yeah. That's all changing the ---
7110 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: And that will be true every day.
7111 MR. PANNU: Every day.
7112 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: And what do you air when those times of transition are happening?
7113 MR. PANNU: It is just a minute or two. It's just dry.
7114 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: Okay. So if I were listening, all I would hear were ---
7115 MR. PANNU: You won't listen anything.
7116 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: --- people -- okay.
7117 In your letter dated March the 10th, 2016, you admitted, and again you did here today, that you repeat broadcasting between the period from 12:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m.
7118 MR. PANNU: Yes.
7119 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: Yet the Exemption Order clearly states the programming should be live.
7120 So would you agree that this program is inconsistent with paragraph 4 of the Exemption Order?
7121 MR. PANNU: Yeah, it is locked.
7122 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: It's not live. It's being repeated.
7123 MR. PANNU: It's being repeated, yes, but it's locked.
7124 MR. KUMAR: The question -- can we tell him a little in Punjabi if you allow?
7125 MR. PANNU: No, no. I got the point. I was misunderstood.
7126 From -- that was under impression 12:00 to 6:00 on the -- based on what we discussed at the last time from daytime what has been prescribed from 6:00 till midnight is the daytime of the broadcast a week. Under that, we understood it's from 12:00 -- at the morning from 6:00 to 8:00 is a daytime what we are regulated.
7127 From 12:00 to 6:00, it's a deregulated. So instead of keeping nothing on the air, so we put repeat program.
7128 If the Commission want to shut down that hours, we can stop that.
7129 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: Okay. Because by repeating, you are contrary to the Exemption Order under which you operate.
7130 MR. KUMAR: So we will not be doing any programming at that time.
7131 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: So you're prepared to cease that activity?
7132 MR. KUMAR: Yes.
7133 MR. PANNU: Yes.
7134 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: But as of today, that's still the practice that's in place.
7135 MR. PANNU: Yes, till today. Yeah.
7136 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: In your monitoring report -- sorry. In the monitoring report that was sent to you on March -- sorry, April the 7th of this year, we did note that on Sunday, July the 31st, that you appeared to be in non-compliance because of the same pre-recording of -- re-airing of programming. And I wonder why you didn't cease activity at that time.
7137 MR. PANNU: I have checked with the person priest, and what he has explained me, the computer may have, you know, picked up the wrong file. So due to that, it maybe have occurred, this non-compliance.
7138 MR. KUMAR: And since we will not be doing it from that period, so I don't think there will be any problem in the future.
7139 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: But you would acknowledge that that program on ---
7140 MR. PANNU: Yes.
7141 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: --- was not in accordance with the Exemption Order.
7142 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir. We have investigated by myself, and I have requested to the priest it should not be occur again.
7143 I can just request him. I can't order him because, according to me, he's a priest. I have respect for him, so I have requested should not happen next time. He said okay.
7144 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: And I apologize if I missed it, but why did it happen the first time? You said something about a computer error?
7145 MR. PANNU: Computer may have picked up the wrong file.
7146 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: Okay.
7147 MR. PANNU: Yes.
7148 COMMISSIONER MaCDONALD: Because that was something that was taking place at the house of worship that was being broadcast into it from another site?
7149 MR. PANNU: What I believe what -- because he doesn't have that -- a copy of that program and he doesn't know what has been played. And I have requested him to supply me if you have it. He said, "I don't have it."
7150 It may have happened in the Gurdwara that the program, and they might be talking about India for the environment tree in the Gurdwara. So the translation in the programming which we have provided to the Commission staff, they have said this is -- was not in Canada. It was from the India, that file.
7151 But according to me, they don't have anything in computer from -- recorded in India. They have everything recorded in the Gurdwara, and it may have happened some priest who sing the hymns, he might be talking about India because a lot of people go to India. And they hear the request has been, you know, requested to the people attend the Gurdwara to have environmental issue in India. So they have -- may have request to when you go to India plant some in your agriculture land and put some more trees and environmental. They talk about environmental, what is sticking to my mind.
7152 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So is that a plea coming from the priest and it was actually happening live?
7153 MR. PANNU: It might be. It have been at the time when the priest was in the Gurdwara he may have made announcements. So that may have picked up by the computer. So it didn’t come from India. It was from the Gurdwara. So the translation which has been provided to me, that seems me that way.
7154 MR. KUMAR: So basically he is saying he’s not sure about that whether it was exactly talked about the topic in Gurdwara Sahib or it was somehow from other way. But basically what he’s trying to now tell us that since we will not have a programming from 12:00 to 3:00, that means all the programming will automatically be live.
7155 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay.
7156 MR. KUMAR: So that mistake, we don’t know whether it was from that base programming or it was from some other file somewhere. So that will not happen in future at all.
7157 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And that’s where the computer glitch or choosing the wrong file came --
7158 MR. KUMAR: Yes.
7159 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: -- into place?
7160 MR. KUMAR: Yes.
7161 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: What technically has been put into place to ensure that doesn’t happen again?
7162 MR. KUMAR: Since there will be no rebroadcast, so that means -- and it’s -- will go from the live, from the mic after Gurdwara Sahib to the -- it goes to our transmitter. So then there is no chances of getting anything from the computer files. It will straight way go.
7163 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So you’re solving the problem by ceasing to rebroadcast.
7164 Regarding your technical parameters, in your response dated February the 15th, 2016, you provided a copy of an authority to construct letter for a low powered FM broadcast undertaking. Do you have any other authorization from what was the Department of Industry, now ISED, to operate the station?
7165 MR. PANNU: That is only one letter final -- after test we have authorization letter. But we have one test letter as well when we start testing. This was by December date 2014. FM on air testing authority for the House of Worship. And the other was after that.
7166 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: If you’ve not already done so, can you provide us with copies of ---
7167 MR. PANNU: Which is on air testing?
7168 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: M’hm.
7169 MR. PANNU: Yes, I ---
7170 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Do you have a broadcasting certificate?
7171 MR. PANNU: Broadcasting certificate? Give me a second.
7172 That’s the letter which they have given us, yeah, that letter.
7173 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Yes, the broadcasting certificate.
7174 MR. PANNU: Yes.
7175 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So if we can have a copy of that as well?
7176 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
7177 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Thank you.
7178 When did you first become operational on 91.5?
7179 MR. PANNU: It’s the same time that Myfm. It’s the 16th of February 2015.
7180 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So February 16th?
7181 MR. PANNU: Yeah.
7182 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay.
7183 MR. PANNU: I can check because I don’t have that letter with me, but I can confirm it. It should be a same day.
7184 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay.
7185 MR. PANNU: Yeah.
7186 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: I’m looking at a copy of the inspection report and they -- various pictures were provided. But you had filed in your intervention that the antennae VF2688 and VF2689 had been wrongly identified in the field measurement report. Is that correct?
7187 MR. PANNU: Yes.
7188 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: But the antennae VF2688 is located on a building located at 7566-120A Street in Surrey?
7189 MR. PANNU: Yes.
7190 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Is that correct.
7191 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
7192 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Where on the rooftop is it located?
7193 MR. PANNU: It is north side of the building.
7194 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: On the north side of the building?
7195 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
7196 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So it’s in the same location where your antennae for My Surrey FM is located?
7197 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
7198 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And that’s attached to the side of the building?
7199 MR. PANNU: It is attached to the side.
7200 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And presumably goes above the building for ---
7201 MR. PANNU: Yeah, 10 to 12 feet.
7202 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Ten (10) to 12 feet.
7203 But it is not the antennae located -- it’s not the antennae which is shown on the pictures depicted in the monitoring report?
7204 MR. PANNU: That’s the wrong antennae on ---
7205 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: That is the proper antennae?
7206 MR. PANNU: On the report which -- that is the wrong. That is the other side of the building.
7207 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay.
7208 MR. PANNU: Yeah.
7209 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Can you confirm that VF2688 is authorized to operate at 4 watts with an antennae height of 51.7 metres?
7210 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
7211 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: At any point over your operations have you modified the height of the antennae or the power level?
7212 MR. PANNU: No, sir.
7213 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: When your station was inspected by the Department of Industry, how many times -- sorry, how many times has it been inspected by the Department since you began operation?
7214 MR. PANNU: One time. At the time when we became -- we got authorization that time and a second time the 5th of April 2016.
7215 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: As a result of that inspection, has there been any other visits or subsequent follow-ups on the part of the Department with you with respect to the station?
7216 MR. PANNU: No, sir.
7217 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: The report highlighted some inconsistencies and you mentioned earlier today that they may have been caused due to a power outage that you were not aware of?
7218 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
7219 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Can you educate me on why a power fluctuation or a power outage would have an impact on the transmitter power level since you said this morning that they had been preset --
7220 MR. PANNU: Yeah, they ---
7221 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: -- to a specific power level.
7222 MR. PANNU: That’s right. In the building there was some electrical power --
7223 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay.
7224 MR. PANNU: -- fluctuation. So they have changed the grid over there, power grid. So due to that, they have shut down the power.
7225 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: But if the transmitters are preset and the power comes back on, why would they go above that power level?
7226 MR. PANNU: What I -- at the time when I purchased, I asked the company to set the power level, preset a number one what I’ve authorized and they did it. And the rest of that they haven’t touched the -- but in two, three, four, whatever the preset are. So what it -- I’d like to have happen is trigger to different preset and then it came back to number one.
7227 So that might be had happened. But I’m not sure about it. But this -- now what we have taken step, all the preset have a fixed one level. So it doesn’t matter, if it restart it will come back to the right power.
7228 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And how did you accomplish that? Did you physically do the work yourself? Travel from Toronto? Or did you have staff from My Surrey FM?
7229 MR. PANNU: No, I did it myself in my April visit here.
7230 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay.
7231 MR. PANNU: Yeah.
7232 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Is -- are the transmitters that you have capable of operating above 50 watts?
7233 MR. PANNU: That -- that it’s -- it’s not that case. It can go up to 300 watt.
7234 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: But it’s preset to the authorized level of ---
7235 MR. PANNU: Whatever the authorization have for Sur Sagar, that is preset all the button on that power.
7236 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So at no time have you adjusted the power beyond 50 watts?
7237 MR. PANNU: No, sir.
7238 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: How do you monitor the site to ensure that it continues to operate at the pre-set levels?
7239 MR. PANNU: Mostly these kinds of transmitters in these days are very functionable and we don't have to keep watching these like old days. So it is not allowed to someone go and take a look. This is my responsibility. When I can, I go there and take a look. If there is any issues then I have to do it. No one other is allowed to do it.
7240 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So no one else is allowed to touch the equipment other than you?
7241 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
7242 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: When was the last time you went and verified the settings of the transmitters?
7243 MR. PANNU: When -- just last week I went to take a look. Everything is okay.
7244 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So at any time has anyone other than yourself, to your knowledge, had any contact with the transmitters or how they are configured and set?
7245 MR. PANNU: No. To my knowledge there is; no. The person whoever goes there, he just needs to take a look, nothing else. He is not allowed to touch.
7246 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And this is janitorial staff or this is staff from MySurreyFM?
7247 MR. PANNU: I wouldn't say janitorial. They are working with me and they are just cooperating. I ask them to once in a while go there and they take a look that everything is okay.
7248 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Is the equipment locked in a cabinet or behind a cage where they would not have access to it?
7249 MR. PANNU: It is in the cabinet, so it's locked.
7250 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And that key resides with you at all times?
7251 MR. PANNU: With my office manager.
7252 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. How often would you -- I guess how do you monitor the transmitters and how often would you -- is there an online portal that you are able to use to monitor them or is it always a physical interaction if you needed to go there?
7253 MR. PANNU: Physical, only physical. Not through the online.
7254 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And how often would you do that? Would you do it monthly, yearly, quarterly?
7255 MR. PANNU: Whenever I come here in Vancouver then I get a chance to go there. I would say four times it's continuously when I came and had a chance to go there.
7256 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So roughly four times a year?
7257 MR. PANNU: Yeah, this from the beginning of till now. Next time it could be five, six; as much it could be three.
7258 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And no one else has authorization or has ever been tasked with changing the power levels?
7259 MR. PANNU: No, sir.
7260 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And there is no remote access?
7261 MR. PANNU: No.
7262 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Coming out of this proceeding we may want to monitor your activities. Can you verify for us that you would be willing to verify that you are fully operating under the exemption order in all aspects before we make a determination from this proceeding?
7264 MR. PANNU: Sure; yes.
7265 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And would you be willing to verify your compliance on a go-forward basis with the Commission?
7267 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
7268 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And you would be willing to report on that on a regular basis to the Commission as ---
7269 MR. PANNU: Yes.
7270 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: --- at a frequency that we deem fit?
7272 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
7273 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So the reason you are here today is because it appears in some aspects of your operation you are not fully in compliance with the exemption order. Do you have any other further statements that you would like to make with respect to this non-compliance?
7274 MR. PANNU: I would request to Sanjeev because ---
7275 MR. KUMAR: I think the small non-compliance which took place it was probably some errors and we have put in place the systems, like there will be no programming from 12 o'clock until morning till three a.m. So those issues will not come up.
7276 And all the undertakings you have taken, the Commission has taken from us that we will do this, we will do this; we comply to all and we will do everything in letter and in spirit.
7277 MR. PANNU: And I want to emphasize on this. I will request to the priest if they can have at least three more hours live programming which is from 12 to three.
7278 So the people in Surrey, Surrey people, they can enjoy those three hours too because mostly old people they listen to it. And if they won't have something on the air at that time they are feeling like lonely. So I will request to the priest, if he can from 12 to three can do it live also; instead of they start at three, they can have something else from 12 to three.
7279 MR. KUMAR: And if we have to, if the priest says yes, we will first inform the CRTC that this is the situation so that light program is available from 12 to three. Only then we will broadcast. Otherwise; not.
7280 So we will inform the CRTC before broadcasting.
7281 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: As the Chair said this morning, the burden of proof is on you to state why we shouldn't issue a mandatory order that you cease and desist operations. Is there anything else that you would like to say at this point?
7282 MR. PANNU: I would request the Commission, this is a noble cause and it is -- I wouldn't say I am putting money from my pocket. I think it's my duty if we, our society, gives something. It is our duty to give something back to society.
7283 MR. KUMAR: This is a program for our parents and our grandparents and if we can pay them back for all they have done to develop us too. So this is a service to them so we will try our best at taking care of them and providing it so that the seniors especially can pray in their old age. They want to be more closer to God.
7284 So this is an effort for that. It's not a business entity for any money-making but we will be fully compliant.
7285 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Another option is that we could issue a mandatory order requiring you to apply for a licence to operate your house of worship station. Would you care to comment on that possible outcome?
7286 MR. PANNU: That, honestly, speaking from my heart, it will take a lot of time and the people they will be dried. They will be really lost. I remember one time I had an issue at my transmitter in Toronto. I don't know that how many people called me for that.
7287 People used to really listen to these kinds of programs. They hook -- they can't really listen.
7288 MR. KUMAR: It's like taking away one's prayer from oneself, especially noted.
7289 MR. PANNU: Yeah. And also when I'm getting older too, I have to think about it when I get that old. You can watch TV continuously at the morning time. Just you can listen and if you listen constantly and focus you will learn more than watching at that age. I remember my mum wake up three o'clock or she used to wake up at three o'clock and listen to it in Toronto.
7290 So those even -- I shouldn't bring those Toronto matters here. I have been running 22 years that non-stop, non-commercial, no activity of any commercial particularly in religious programming.
7291 MR. KUMAR: Except for morning.
7292 MR. PANNU: Yeah, from three till ---
7293 MR. KUMAR: Eight o'clock or six?
7294 MR. PANNU: --- 10:30. And I again start from evening from four to eight. You can imagine how many hours I am putting -- also I am putting on TV. I am not getting any money from anyone. Even it's not -- so myself I don't allow to take even a single penny from someone.
7295 MR. KUMAR: So even in Toronto those times on the religious programming is broadcasted on his seminal service. No advertisement is played. No sponsorship for those programs are taken. So it's a service to humanity, a service to our seniors who want to be in the lap of God in their senior days or golden days.
7296 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: But that is coming, just so I am clear, from the Toronto station? You are not doing any rebroadcasting or anything -- or broadcasting online from the station?
7297 MR. KUMAR: Yeah. It's the same type of service there. It is for a couple of hours. Here it is for a full day. It's the same type.
7298 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So the same type of service but they are not sharing the actual content from the service station?
7299 MR. KUMAR: No. No, no. I'm just -- we are giving the example of why he was -- I didn't -- I forgot to mention in the morning, he's the president of a school which we started last year in the name of a Sikh guru, ninth guru who sacrifices life to save people from the other religions. So he's the president of that school.
7300 So for us, it's very important that we keep our integrity and credibility intact because we have much bigger goals and this is a small part of the -- I won't call even today -- niche market in the sense because it's not a market. It's a service free provided to the seniors.
7301 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Just one final question before I hand you back over to my colleagues that may have some questions.
7302 We've talked about a number of actions that you’ve taken since operation to attempt to bring yourself into compliance with the Exemption Order.
7303 Do you have any other future activities or actions planned to ensure that you do remain in compliance with the Broadcasting Act in every way?
7304 MR. KUMAR: Yes.
7305 MR. SINGH PANNU: Yes, sir.
7306 MR. KUMAR: Mr. Pannu has made a committee of two people, me and Mr. Brigadier. He has to take his flight. So he has gone. So we two are now fully responsible to monitor and keep watch and guard that everything is done according to the letter in spirit of CRTC Rules and Regulations. So we should fully compliant.
7307 I am taking full responsibility of the station. I’m an educationist and I take full responsibility that we will make sure. And if we don't comply, you give us any punishment. We will be willing to accept that.
7308 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So that's a committee of two and you're one of the members. But were you not also advising throughout the period when Sur Sagar was operating not in compliance?
7309 MR. KUMAR: I was more with Myfm from March when the programming issue came. Sur Sagar I never interfered. I was not involved with that because we never thought even that there is any non-compliance because the programming is live from Gurdwara Sahib, so most of the part.
7310 So now we are two people since we faced all these problems because of certain misunderstanding, errors and everything. So Mr. Pannu made a committee of these two people that we will follow, monitor and take care of everything now onwards.
7311 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And with respect to the second person on the panel, what is -- what's their name and background that gives them the ability and the skillset to ensure that you do remain in compliance?
7312 MR. KUMAR: Yes. There are two things. First of all, as I mentioned about his credential, he was a brigadier in the Indian army. He has been a director of many schools and many places. From the last five years in Toronto, he's on many radio programs. He's a regular invited on radio programs, television programs from the last five years. He writes in newspapers, magazines in Toronto.
7313 So he's well versed with media and he's a highly educated person, have been over and above 20-30 schools in India, over and above the principals. So he has a vast experience of life from the armed forces of discipline to the education and to the media.
7314 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. Thank you. Those are my questions.
7315 MR. SINGH PANNU: Thank you.
7316 THE CHAIRPERSON: Legal counsel?
7317 MS. FISHER: Just a couple of things I wanted to follow up on.
7318 One of them in your exchange with Commissioner MacDonald respecting the 12 -- the midnight to 3:00 a.m. period, would you agree with me that all terms of the operation of an exempt undertaking are contained within the Exemption Order?
7319 MR. SINGH PANNU: Yes.
7320 MS. FISHER: Can you point me to where in the Exemption Order that it says that the Exemption Order does not apply between 12:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.?
7321 MR. SINGH PANNU: I would like to clarify that in the letter which we have exchanged with CRTC staff, regulate hours.
7322 MR. KUMAR: Actually the confusion was the regular hours for the normal regular stations, 12:00 to 6:00, is considered differently. So that was Mr. Pannu’s understanding but after the clarification was made, now we understand this that we have to follow 24 hour the exempt order because it is different from the normal AM or FM stations. So we fully understand that.
7323 MS. FISHER: Thank you.
7324 Another question that -- sorry, just bear with me a minute. Staff had a question on the reports that Commissioner MacDonald had asked you to -- whether you'd be willing to submit and one of them was to verify whether you'd be willing to submit field measurement studies conducted by a licensed engineer in order to demonstrate compliance, if and when requested by the Commission.
7325 MR. KUMAR: We agree.
7326 MR. SINGH PANNU: Yeah.
7327 MS. FISHER: Yes, thank you.
7328 And the last thing I had was just in terms of the undertakings that you had given with respect to the authorizations and the broadcasting certificate, if you could provide those by noon tomorrow?
7329 MR. SINGH PANNU: Yes.
7330 MR. KUMAR: Right.
7331 MS. FISHER: Thank you. That's everything.
7332 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Those are our questions for you at this stage of the proceeding for this second item.
7333 MR. KUMAR: Just one thing we have to say. If the lawyer consultant talk about that, the broadcasting tapes we were getting, it will take a little time. So if we are allowed ---
7334 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's for the other item, right?
7335 MR. FORTUNE: I understand there's no intervenor. I'm just wondering where we're going after this, if we're done with this.
7336 THE CHAIRPERSON: After this, we will -- there isn’t an intervention but we will do -- you will -- you're entitled to your Phase III comment. We'll take a 15-minute break for that.
7337 MR. KUMAR: Well, we should have the tapes here.
7338 THE CHAIRPERSON: Even though there's no oral intervention, you're still entitled to respond in Phase III.
7339 MR. FORTUNE: Yes, I understand. I understand, Mr. Chair. This is the last item of the day here I think, yes?
7340 THE CHAIRPERSON: We haven't decided on that yet.
7341 MR. FORTUNE: Okay, sorry.
7342 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
7343 MR. FORTUNE: Maybe take a break.
7344 MR. SINGH PANNU: And I want to say thanks in particular for House of Worship Radio which is very good for those people. They stay at home and they can go to the temple, near temple. It doesn’t matter what religion they are and as long as this pray to the God and this is very fantastic and very good for everyone and I'm glad I got the opportunity through Commission to run this kind of service.
7345 In the future, if I would have a chance to get this kind of -- in other cities, I will glad to do the free services. Thank you.
7346 THE CHAIRPERSON: And in conformity with the Exemption Order.
7347 MR. SINGH PANNU: Yes, staying with those CRTC regulations, Exemption Order. Thank you, sir.
7348 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sure, good. I take it you do want to have a Phase III reply phase? Why don’t you take some time to think about that? We can come back and if you don’t, that's fine.
7349 MR. SINGH PANNU: Okay. I think we don’t have intervenor, right.
7350 MR. KUMAR: So we don’t have to reply anything.
7351 THE CHAIRPERSON: They still intervened in writing. So their comments are there. They have not intervened orally. So it may be in your interest to respond anyway.
7352 MR. SINGH PANNU: All right. So then we'll take the opportunity.
7353 THE CHAIRPERSON: I’ll let Mr. Fortune provide you with the advice.
7354 MR. SINGH PANNU: Thank you, sir.
7355 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So we will take a short break until 2:50 to consider -- to give you some time to prepare if indeed you want to have the reply case. Okay.
7356 Thank you very much.
--- Upon recessing at 2:35 p.m.
--- Upon resuming at 2:59 p.m.
7357 LE PRÉSIDENT: Order, please. À l’ordre, s'il vous plaît.
7358 Madame la secrétaire.
7359 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
7360 We will now proceed with Phase III in which the licensee can reply to all interventions submitted on its item.
7361 You may begin and you have 10 minutes. Thank you.
7362 MR. SANDHU: Thank you so much. Good evening.
7363 MR. SINGH PANNU: Thank you, Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Mr. MacDonald. And to my right is Mr. Prateek and next to Prateek is Mr. Joe Fortune and left to Sanjeev. We would like to thank all the staff and Commission giving us opportunity to explain about all other issues which was raised by intervenors. In this moment I will say all the intervenor, they have an intervenor application. We have sorted out all question -- their question as -- at ours. So we would like to thank again.
7364 MR. KUMAR: We’ll be 100 percent compliant. We assure the Commission. We’ll do everything to make it 100 percent compliant. And what we say, we mean it.
7365 MR. PANNU: And also, I want to mention about the House of Worship radio. This morning I heard that the one intervenor have said we are running commercial. That is not right and they did not appear a second time. So we are with the compliance except there’s one glitch, which we have already accepted and we’ll sort this out very soon and quickly. Thank you.
7366 MR. SANDHU: Thank you so much. Along with this I also take the opportunity to thank 700 plus individuals who went online to the CRTC website in support of the House of Worship radio and 150 plus businessmen of the area of Surrey and vicinity who have concurred their help and support to this radio. And I’ll also take this opportunity to thank the Commission and the staff for their patience hearing. Thank you so much.
7367 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Anything you want to add in the reply phase?
7368 MR. PANNU: No.
7369 THE CHAIRPERSON: No?
7370 MR. PANNU: Thank you, sir.
7371 THE CHAIRPERSON: That covers it all?
7372 MR. PANNU: Yes.
7373 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. We, obviously, I don’t think have any additional questions so thank you very much.
7374 MR. PANNU: Thank you.
7375 THE CHAIRPERSON: And so I think we’re adjourned.
7376 There’s no other items, Madam Secretary, on this item.
7377 THE SECRETARY: No.
7378 THE CHAIRPERSON: So we will adjourn until 9:00 tomorrow morning so -- to hear the last item on the oral phase of the hearing.
7379 So thank you very much.
7380 MR PANNU: Thank you, sir.
--- Upon adjourning at 3:02 p.m.
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