ARCHIVED - Transcript, Hearing September 29, 2016
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Date: September 29, 2016
© Copyright Reserved
Attendees and Location
Radisson Hotel & Convention Centre
4520 76th Avenue NW
- Chairman: Peter Menzies
- Members: Candice Molnar, Yves Dupras
- Legal Counsel: Valérie Dionne
- Secretary: Jade Roy
- Hearing Manager: Émilie Godbout
--- Upon resuming on Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 9:04 a.m.
3320 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, everyone.
3321 I call the meeting to order -- hearing to order.
3322 Madame la secrétaire.
3323 LA SECRÉTAIRE: Merci.
3324 Just before we begin, one small announcement. Following the next presentation, we will be starting Phase II, whereby applicants appear in the same order as Phase I to intervene on competing applications if they wish.
3325 If you know that you are not intending to appear in this phase, please advise me at the break following the presentation from la Société Radio Communautaire du grand Edmonton. If you are unsure at this time, I will call upon you during Phase II, and you can state your intention at that time.
3326 Nous allons maintenant entendre l’Article 11 qui est une demande présentée par la Société Radio Communautaire du grand Edmonton Society, en vue d’obtenir une licence de radiodiffusion afin d’exploiter une station de radio FM communautaire de langue française à Edmonton.
3327 S'il vous plaît vous présenter et présenter vos collègues, après quoi vous aurez 20 minutes pour votre présentation.
3329 M. PATENAUDE: Merci à Monsieur le président, commissaires et employés de CRTC. Bonjour tout le monde.
3330 Et avant de commencer, merci de nous permettre de vous présenter notre projet ce matin. C'est un projet sur lequel on travaille depuis très longtemps et on est très heureux d’être ici ce matin.
3331 Mon nom est Jean Patenaude et je suis le président de la Société communautaire du grand Edmonton Society. Je suis accompagné de trois autres membres de notre conseil d'administration. Alors à côté de moi c'est Carole Saint-Cyr qui est notre secrétaire de notre CA; y a Geneviève LaBrie qui est notre trésorière, et Valécia Pépin qui est membre de notre CA. Alors voilà.
3332 Alors je vais commencer avec les propos tenus par l'Alliance des radios communautaires du Canada en juin 2001. J’ai retenu ces propos-là parce que c'est très près puis ça résonne beaucoup avec nous, et des propos je crois qui demeurent actuels dans notre vie quotidienne. Je sais que ça remonte à 2001, mais c'est très actuel en tant qu’individu vivant en milieu minoritaire ici dans la région d'Edmonton en Alberta. On est des minoritaires, bon.
3334 « Les radios communautaires sont les meilleurs porte-drapeaux de notre culture. »
3335 C'est ce que l’ARC disait en 2001.
3336 « Chaque radio communautaire a sa tonalité bien modulée à l’image de ceux et celles qui l'écoutent. L'important, c'est la recherche de la différence. La radio communautaire c'est un facteur de rapprochement, un pont, un pas vers l'autre, non point pour que l'autre devienne ce que nous sommes, mais pour qu'il devienne ce qu'il est. II ne s'agit pas d'avoir plus, mais d'être, voilà la véritable mission des radios communautaires du Canada. La culture n'est-elle pas dans son sens le plus profond de faire prendre conscience aux gens de la grandeur qui existe en eux? »
3337 Dans notre région ici à Edmonton -- alors quelques chiffres là -- nous sommes environ 29 845 francophones, ça c'est la région d’Edmonton. Et si on ajoute les banlieues -- alors y a les banlieues, y a Beaumont, y a Leduc, y a Saint-Albert, y a Morinville, y a Legal, ainsi de suite, nous devons ajouter 7 501 personnes. Et à noter également, que la population des nouveaux arrivants -- très important -- dont une forte proportion trouve ses origines en Afrique, représente dans le grand Edmonton une proportion de 17,5 pour cent de la population francophone, 17 pour cent.
3338 Alors c'est donc une population importante de francophones qui habite la région d'Edmonton, mais qui aussi est composée de gens provenant de plusieurs cultures au Canada et dans le monde, incluant de nombreux francophones originaires de l'Afrique. Il est évident que notre but premier est de répondre aux attentes et aux besoins multiples de notre communauté francophone dans toute sa diversité.
3339 Alors par exemple, nous croyons sincèrement que la radio communautaire représente une occasion d'échanges et de collaboration entre les nouveaux arrivants et la communauté d'accueil. Alors c'est ça, on est plus isolé en ce moment, on est chacun dans notre coin, mais y faut l’outil là pour être en mesure d’échanger, de communiquer ensemble, de partager, de nous faire connaître.
3340 Notre ville a des réalités et particularités bien à elle souvent difficiles à cerner pour les organismes francophones, ce qui parfois les empêche dans la réussite de leurs projets. Avec la radio communautaire francophone, nous avons le potentiel de regrouper et de faciliter la vie des francophones et des francophiles des diverses cultures de plus en plus nombreuses dans la communauté du grand Edmonton, et les personnes de différents âges aussi et d’expertises.
3341 Edmonton est devenue aussi le siège de pratiquement tous les organismes provinciaux et culturels, incluant ceux qui représentent la jeunesse et les aînés. Alors par exemple, on retrouve dans le quartier francophone tout près d’ici là, le Conseil de développement économique, le Centre d'aide à l'emploi, le Conseil scolaire du Centre-Nord, le Centre d'accueil et d'établissement, le Campus Saint-Jean affilié à l'Université d’Alberta et bien sûr le bureau provincial de l’Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta et celui de la régionale d'Edmonton.
3342 On pourrait conclure que la radio communautaire du grand Edmonton serait au premier plan de la francophonie de la capitale provinciale de l’Alberta. Et je peux vous dire que tous ces organismes sont très, très, très intéressants de la suite de ce qui va arriver aujourd'hui. Alors c'est pourquoi nous souhaitons nous installer dans le carrefour de tous ces organismes, la Cité francophone, et afin de vraiment jouer notre rôle d'une radio de proximité.
3343 Notre radio prévoit donc de couvrir et de participer à plusieurs événements, telles les activités communautaires, les activités scolaires, les manifestations culturelles des diverses communautés appartenant à la francophonie du grand Edmonton. Et au sein des écoles aussi, y a des possibilités que des radios qui se forment, qui collaborent avec la radio communautaire. C'est une occasion avec les jeunes de s’exprimer en français puis de sortir des cadres de l’école.
3344 Depuis quelques années nous sommes présents lors de colloques, rentrées scolaires, la Semaine de la francophonie, les cabanes à sucre afin de promouvoir le projet.
3345 Nous avons également -- ça très important -- nous avons également établi une relation avec la base militaire d'Edmonton, nous avons reçu leur appui. Et y a une présence importante de francophones qui sont là à Namao là juste au nord de nous, qui sont des militaires ici à Edmonton et sont prêts à collaborer et à participer au projet. Les membres et le personnel des organismes de la région de la capitale sont aussi des auditeurs déjà intéressés. Et nous pouvons aussi compter sur le bassin de francophiles dans la région qui cherchent -- parce que y a beaucoup d’immersion, y a des écoles d’immersion, alors y a beaucoup, beaucoup de francophiles qui s’intéressent à nous. Et ils seront nombreux à l'écoute et même à se joindre aux bénévoles de la radio. Très important.
3346 Alors, je vais donner la parole maintenant à Carole Saint-Cyr qui vous présente notre réflexion sur la programmation proposée pour cette radio.
3348 Mme SAINT-CYR: Merci, Jean.
3349 Alors, la première question à se poser c'est quel choix s’offre aux auditeurs francophones et francophiles d’Edmonton en ce moment.
3350 Aujourd'hui, le choix d'émissions françaises qui traitent de la réalité des citoyens d'Edmonton et de l'Alberta, bien on doit avouer que c’est relativement mince. La seule radio française que nous syntonisons est Radio-Canada Alberta, CHFA, et depuis la nouvelle saison, nous n'avons plus que deux émissions quotidiennes qui suivent l'actualité d'ici. Lors du week-end, il n’y a rien sauf quelques bulletins de nouvelles le matin.
3351 En ce qui a trait à Ici Musique, bien y a aucune chanson franco-albertaine qui passe, qui tourne sur leurs ondes. Et depuis que les émissions qui étaient réalisées pour Ici Musique à partir de l'ouest ont été coupées lors des dernières restrictions budgétaires, bien on n’entend plus parler de ce qui se passe dans l’ouest ou vraiment très, très peu, et c'est seulement quand de grandes stars s’en viennent dans l’ouest en fait.
3352 Par ailleurs, depuis 12 ans, y a une émission française hebdomadaire à l’antenne de la radio universitaire, CJSR, qui présente des chansons et des événements francophones par une même personne qui a foi aussi dans la francophonie.
3353 La programmation de la radio communautaire du grand Edmonton a été élaborée pour s'adresser à toutes les collectivités et compléter également ce qui existe déjà.
3354 Évidemment, ce qu’on cherche à faire c’est atteindre le plus grand nombre de personnes et la programmation a été élaborée en ce sens. Nous ciblons une très grande proximité de notre auditoire. Comme le disait Jean, on souhaite s’installer à la Cité francophone, le siège social de tous ces organismes, mais aussi où arrivent des gens pour diverses raisons.
3355 On a tenu compte du besoin de communication des organismes de tous les secteurs. Ça c'est un problème aussi. Y a un problème de communication entre les organismes. Tout le monde est débordé. On n’a pas assez de personnel. On se parle très peu et on pense que la radio va aider à régler ce problème parce que c'est à travers la radio qu’ils comprendront ce que les autres vont faire.
3356 Elle cherche aussi à donner un moyen aux citoyens d’abord de s’exprimer mais aussi découvrir qui ils sont et de faire connaître leurs points de vue également.
3357 Étendue sur un large périmètre, la communauté francophone du grand Edmonton sera enfin réunie sous une même antenne et, nous l'espérons, interpellée par le dynamisme de notre radio.
3358 Pour réussir à atteindre ces objectifs, nous souhaitons une programmation composée d’une large part d’émissions locales. Il est important pour les membres de notre radio de donner une place prépondérante au développement de nos talents de toutes disciplines, pas seulement en chanson et musique. C'est d’abord l’une des raisons de l’existence d’une radio communautaire.
3359 Les artistes, qu’ils soient débutants, émergents, ou professionnels, seront mis en valeur dans le cadre de plusieurs émissions.
3360 D’autre part, l’Alberta jouit d’excellents auteurs-compositeurs-interprètes francophones qui tournent très peu sur les ondes du pays et de la province. Notre radio leur rendra justice à cet effet dans le choix musical quotidien.
3361 Celui-ci couvrira également la musique africaine des pays francophones afin que notre grande communauté africaine se sente intégrée dans sa ville d’accueil et puis aussi ça va permettre de mieux la faire connaître par la communauté d’accueil et par les francophiles en général.
3362 Bien naturellement, la programmation couvre aussi tous les styles musicaux dans le cadre d’émissions spécialisées au long de la semaine.
3363 Nous prévoyons également un service de nouvelles locales, nationales et internationales. De plus, une première démarche a été faite auprès de Radio-France International afin d’avoir une antenne qui viendrait de l’Europe pour le bénéfice surtout des auditeurs d’origine européenne et africaine, mais je pense que même pour notre auditoire de souche franco-albertaine, ce serait intéressant d’entendre ce qui se passe de l’autre côté de l’Atlantique.
3364 Quant à la production de la programmation, les bénévoles seront mis à contribution pour des émissions diffusées surtout le soir et la fin de semaine. Toutefois, quelques-unes de ces émissions à forte teneur orale seront en reprise le lendemain matin pour leur donner un deuxième auditoire, ce qui va les stimuler et probablement les intéresser un peu plus d’avoir une deuxième chance d’être entendues.
3365 Des professionnels animeraient trois émissions traitant de divers sujets d’actualité. Vous le savez, comme d’habitude là, entrevues, météo, sport, culture, chroniques diverses, tribune téléphonique, etcetera, les jours de semaine, et des journalistes couvriront la salle de rédaction.
3366 Les offres d’emploi, ça c’est important en Alberta parce qu’y a beaucoup de gens qui arrivent de l’est, qui arrivent d’un peu partout qui se cherchent de l’emploi et on a Accès-emploi à la Cité francophone qui offre ce service pour les francophones et francophiles. C'est la seule ressource d’emploi dédiée au service donc de ces gens-là. Eh bien, naturellement, on va offrir une antenne à ces offres d’emploi.
3367 Donc on pense que cette diffusion va augmenter l’intérêt de syntoniser notre radio aussi.
3368 Toutefois, nos bénévoles issus de toutes les générations et cultures seraient à la barre des émissions, donc comme je le disais surtout en soirée et en fin de semaine, mais on complète la programmation par des émissions du Réseau francophone d’Amérique.
3369 Cela représente donc 126 heures d’émissions dont presque 100 heures seraient locales. Remarquez que la teneur orale et locale de la programmation aussi est importante. C'est du moins ce qu’on a prévu. On en calcule plus de 46 heures.
3370 Le contenu des diverses émissions en soirée et en fin de semaine variera, c'est sûr, selon le besoin d’une programmation variée répondant à notre mandat et aussi aux intérêts des bénévoles à la barre des émissions.
3371 Avec l’appuis des organismes francophones d’Edmonton, l’auditoire entendrait une diffusion mettant l’accent, par exemple, sur les dossiers féminins, les activités et événements sportifs, la santé en général, les exploits des jeunes et des moins jeunes de la communauté.
3372 En collaboration avec le Centre d’accueil et d’établissement, un nouvel arrivant, par exemple, au pays pourrait raconter son histoire, qu’est-ce qui l’a mené jusqu’ici à Edmonton.
3373 On a pensé aussi à une émission qui ciblerait l’actualité et la musique de l’Afrique et des Caraïbes. Ce serait parrainé par des associations issues de cette culture. Les jeunes naturellement seront présents pour parler de sujets qui les touchent grâce à la collaboration avec le Conseil scolaire Centre-Nord et l’organisme Francophonie jeunesse de l’Alberta.
3374 Nous développons aussi un projet d’émission et de formation avec la Fédération des ainés franco-albertains. On attend des nouvelles à ce sujet.
3375 Et par ailleurs, on désire des rencontres via les ondes avec des gens qui nous racontent leur succès, voyages, découvertes. Vous savez qu’à l’Université de l’Alberta on a beaucoup de chercheurs francophones qui font des choses vraiment extraordinaires et on n’entend pas souvent parler de ce qu’ils fonts. Alors, ça c'est un intérêt qui serait vraiment à partager et je crois que ce serait à partager un peu partout au pays.
3376 Donc la vie artistique et culturelle aussi serait présente naturellement grâce à une collaboration avec les divers organismes du secteur comme le Centre de développement musical qui s’occupe surtout de la jeunesse, le Regroupement artistique francophone de l’Alberta qui est l’organisme provincial, la Société des arts visuels de l’Alberta, l’ACFA régionale d’Edmonton qui est le diffuseur de la ville d’Edmonton, l’Association La Girandole, une association provinciale en danse.
3377 On pourrait aussi entendre une émission à l’image, par exemple, d’un couple exogame. Je crois que dans toutes les familles y a beaucoup de couples exogames. Alors, pourquoi ne pas leur consacrer une émission où chacun parlerait dans leur langue et partagerait leur culture. Je pense que ça pourrait devenir vraiment très intéressant.
3378 Ça devient aussi cette radio un outil d’apprentissage donc des deux langues et à l’occasion, nous pensons à la diffusion de captation de spectacles en vedette les jeunes du milieu scolaire, les artistes de la relève mais aussi des professionnels, et une diffusion en direct de quelques événements.
3379 Là vous allez me dire que la programmation est ambitieuse, certes, mais nous croyons être en mesure de la réaliser. Nous avons plusieurs nouveaux arrivants qui ont déjà animé au micro à une radio communautaire dans leur pays, dont plusieurs Africains. Vous connaissez sûrement j’imagine le rôle des radios communautaires en Afrique. Donc c'est important pour eux. Ils veulent y participer. Ils se sont beaucoup manifestés.
3380 Nous avons des membres qui sont également des professionnels du milieu radiophonique qui seront en mesure d’offrir les formations qui commenceront bientôt et peut-être même de prêter leur voix au micro.
3381 Par ailleurs, nous avons eu l’occasion de réaliser une avant-première de ce qu'on pourra entendre sur nos ondes lors de la présentation publique d’une émission de trois heures. Ça se passait dans le cadre du festival Edmonton chante, le seul festival francophone de la chanson à Edmonton. C'était diffusé aussi en direct sur YouTube. C'était une première expérience et cela a permis à quelques bénévoles de vivre une première expérience pour eux en animation mais également à mener des entrevues et être en direct aussi à un événement.
3382 Y a des chroniques aussi cet été qui ont été préparées par des associations. C'est en partenariat avec Alta TV. C'est pour une diffusion ultérieure mais c'était aussi donc pour déjà stimuler l’intérêt de ces associations de participer et de leur démontrer qu’est-ce qu’ils peuvent véhiculer comme message sur nos ondes.
3383 Donc le choix d’installer les studios dans le quartier francophone, et plus précisément à la Cité francophone, n’est pas anodin. C'est le siège social, comme je le disais, d’une majorité d’organismes francophones et notre radio servira de véhicule de communication entre organismes francophones d’ici.
3384 Elle deviendra aussi l’outil incontournable pour joindre un maximum de gens dans la promotion des événements des associations, ce qui manque beaucoup, et faire également connaissance avec des francophones et francophiles encore inconnus du cercle habituel. Mais on veut aussi aller chercher les francophones qui arrivent en ville et qui ne savent même pas qu’il y a une communauté francophone. Ça y a du travail à faire. Vous allez me dire que c'est incroyable mais c'est vrai. On a entendu les gens s’exprimer là-dessus.
3385 Alors, nous croyons fermement que notre radio aidera à l’intégration de tous les nouveaux arrivants, qu’ils soient de l’est du Canada, de l’Europe ou de l’Afrique.
3386 M. JEAN PATENAUDE: Merci, Carole.
3387 Alors, justement à ce sujet, l’intégration de tous les nouveaux arrivants, je donne la parole à Valecia Pépin qui présente le portrait de la situation -- un portrait là.
3389 Mme PÉPIN: Merci, Jean.
3390 Donc toujours en lien avec ce qui a déjà été dit, donc la pluralité multiculturelle à Edmonton.
3391 Donc en tenant compte que c'est un important outil de communication, une radio communautaire dans un milieu minoritaire tel que le nôtre favorisera en premier temps, la pluralité multiculturelle. Cela nous permettra d’enrichir notre identité canadienne, en puisant dans ce que nous avons comme valeur dans nos cultures d’origines.
3392 Dans un deuxième temps, en considérant la répartition de la francophonie albertaine dans 37 communautés différentes, une radio communautaire donnera la chance à ces cultures et artistes d'enrichir notre patrimoine du fruit de leurs réflexions et créations artistiques afin de briser l’isolement, être la voix des sans voix, faire tomber les préjugés et refléter notre tissu communautaire.
3393 Le tout aidera la communauté francophone du grand Edmonton au niveau de l’intégration dans les milieux sociaux, et donnera l’occasion à chacun de mieux connaître l’'autre et de développer des conversations intéressantes. Cela nous permettra de partager des histoires, de créer des liens et de briser les barrières de l’inconnu.
3394 Dans ce cadre, des émissions telles que Itinéraire, Afrique Afrique et Musique de par le monde sont des exemples de ce que nous allons utiliser pour amener notre communauté vers l’ouverture et l’échange.
3395 Les principales difficultés rencontrées depuis l’arrivée au Canada selon la catégorie d’immigration (déclarées quatre ans après l’arrivée) pour inspirer les nouvelles cohortes d'immigrations. Donc, les voilà: trouver un emploi, comme il l’a déjà été dit; apprendre la langue officielle/barrière linguistique; s’habituer au climat; manque de soutien familial et social du pays d'origine; s’adapter à une nouvelle culture et à de nouvelles valeurs; contraintes financières; faire reconnaître ses attestations d’études et ses expériences de travail; manque d’interactions sociales et de nouveaux amis; obtenir de l’aide professionnelle; subir du racisme et de la discrimination; trouver un logement convenable; avoir accès à des cours ou à de la formation; avoir accès à des services de garde; et bien sûr, la gestion financière.
3396 Nous sommes au courant qu’une radio communautaire ne sera pas en mesure de régler toutes les problématiques rencontrées par les immigrants de notre communauté. Par contre, elle facilitera un grand nombre d’entre elles. De plus, un mouvement rassembleur sera créé, l’information sera plus facilement accessible par tous, les gens pourront aller chercher plus facilement les réponses dont ils ont besoin pour améliorer leurs conditions. Ainsi, les problèmes listés ci-dessus seront plus facilement solvables.
3397 Nous sommes impuissants à beaucoup de choses qui se passent dans ce monde. Par contre, nous pouvons aider nos immigrants d’ici. En leur apportant une plateforme d’information telle qu’une radio communautaire, nous pouvons simplifier leur intégration, ce qui aidera à redonner une autonomie beaucoup plus rapidement à ces gens-là.
3398 Donc voici deux exemples d'organismes qui nous appuient dans ce sens. La première est la Francophonie albertaine plurielle, donc la FRAP, elle nous dit:
3399 « Cette radio va favoriser la participation des communautés à la vie publique et communautaire et ainsi les clivages et le repliement de soi de certains groupes d'immigrants francophones. En donnant la parole aux membres de la communauté, cette radio va contribuer à la connaissance et à la résolution des difficultés vécues par ceux et celles qui autrement n’auraient pas l’opportunité de faire connaître leur situation. En mettant l’information à la disposition des membres de la communauté et en leur donnant la parole, la radio communautaire francophone leur donnera le pouvoir de se prendre en charge. Ceci, assurément, va favoriser leur intégration à un ajustement plus rapide et plus facile aux exigences du système canadien en matière de santé ou en matière scolaire, pour ne citer que ces exemples. »
3400 Quant au Centre d'accueil et d’établissement, ils affirment ceci:
3401 « Le CAE aura accès à un autre outil pour pouvoir rejoindre les nouveaux arrivants et les informer au sujet des services et activités dont ils peuvent tirer profit. Le CAE se propose de participer à la programmation afin de pouvoir mieux informer la communauté et de l’impliquer par rapport aux défis auxquels les nouveaux arrivants sont confrontés. »
3403 M. PATENAUDE: Merci, Valécia.
3404 Alors il faut vous présenter maintenant l’aspect financier du projet, et c'est notre trésorière Geneviève LaBrie qui a préparé un résumé de nos démarches passées, actuelles et à venir. L’aspect financier de notre projet.
3406 Mme LaBRIE: Merci, Jean.
3407 Du point de vue financier, notre organisme reçoit un appui important de notre communauté. Nous avons conscience également que la moyenne d’âge de notre auditoire est plus jeune que la moyenne canadienne, c’est-à-dire 36 ans. En effet, dû à la situation économique du pays, Edmonton s’élargit de jeunes familles francophones et francophiles arrivant de partout. Les travailleurs sont plus éduqués et le salaire moyen est plus élevé à Edmonton qu’à plusieurs autres endroits en province et au pays. Ce qui nous donne un bassin d’auditeurs très actifs non négligeables dans l’intérêt de faire affaire avec nos services.
3408 Mentionnons d'abord la collaboration avec le Centre de développement économique de l’Alberta qui a travaillé avec nous au développement de notre Plan d'affaires. De plus, les deux derniers étés il nous a également offert la location d’un espace de bureau pour notre employé estival, une valeur de plus de 5 000 $. En devenant membre du CDEA, la radio recevra l’encadrement nécessaire à développer un réseau d’affaires. Nous avons aussi en banque des lettres d'appui d'entreprises francophones d’Edmonton.
3409 Un début de campagne de financement l’été dernier a rapporté des sommes de nos organismes afin de faire avancer le projet. Jusqu’à présent, 9 500 nous ont été accordés par l’ACFA régionale d'Edmonton, la Cité francophone, le Regroupement artistique francophone de l’Alberta, l’Alliance Jeunesse-Famille de l’Alberta Society, le Centre d’accueil et d’établissement, et Norwood Neighbourhood Association.
3410 Nous prévoyons un fonds de dotation géré par la Fondation franco-albertaine pour assurer l’avenir à long terme de la radio communautaire. Pour cela, des activités de collections de fonds auront lieu en collaboration avec la fondation. Par ailleurs, nous organiserons aussi un radiothon annuel qui servira de collection d'argent, mais également de promotion à l’écoute de la radio.
3411 Il existe plus de 75 organismes francophones à Edmonton. De ces 75 associations qui pourraient consacrer 500 $ de leur enveloppe de marketing à des annonces sur nos ondes, nous rapporterait un revenu récurrent d’environ 37 500. Des ententes de ce type de collaboration sont déjà en marche avec divers organismes francophones d’Edmonton qui acceptent d’engager cinq pour cent de leur budget de marketing à la radio communautaire.
3412 Par exemple, nous avons reçu des lettres d’intention de la Fondation franco-albertaine, Centre d'accueil et d'établissement, et plusieurs autres sont attendues. Y a aussi Monsieur Boxer, un entrepreneur de l’est, qui a ouvert trois magasins ici qui a signé une lettre d’entente pour la publicité. Et puis y a Rock N Wash, des francophones qui ont ouvert cette entreprise; y a aussi le Centre d’arts visuels; l’Institut Guy-Lacombe; la Fédération des parents qui ont signé des ententes ce matin.
3413 Nous développerons également des ententes avec une trentaine d’associations nationales qui cherchent une fenêtre de visibilité dans la province de l’Alberta. Ces accords seront aussi l’assurance de revenus récurrents. Ces organismes sont par exemple, la Fédération des communautés francophones et acadiennes du Canada, la Fédération nationale des conseils scolaires francophones, l’Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie, l’Alliance des femmes de la francophonie canadienne, et d’autres.
3414 La Société de la radio communautaire du grand Edmonton a un grand avantage dans la vente de publicités, puisqu’elle sera la seule à offrir ce service dans la capitale. Nous avons un répertoire de plus de 250 entreprises qui offrent des services en français dans la région d’Edmonton. Si chacune de ces 250 entreprises accepte d’investir 1 000 $ dans des annonces à notre radio française, cela devient une contribution de 250 000 $. Ceci ne comprend pas les entreprises anglophones qui vont aussi chercher à vendre leurs services aux francophones et francophiles d'Edmonton.
3415 En ce qui a trait à l’aide financière des divers paliers de gouvernement, la Société de radio communautaire du grand Edmonton a obtenu des subventions de Jeunesse Canada au travail et du programme Carrière été de l’ordre de 15,700 pour nous offrir l’aide d’un étudiant pendant l’été durant quatre mois en 2014 et 2015.
3416 Après ça y a le financement à court terme et long terme.
3417 Alors, le financement à court terme, y a Secrétariat francophone, Nouveaux Horizons, Community Initiative Program, Community Facility Enhancement Program, le Fonds canadien de la radio communautaire, la ville d’Edmonton.
3418 Et puis à long terme, nous avons fait une demande pour notre numéro de charité et puis on a une demande pour Alberta Gaming, Funding Gaming. Ça c'est les Alberta Gaming, et puis Patrimoine.
3420 M. JEAN PATENAUDE: Oui. Alors, faudrait pas oublier, comme le disait Geneviève, y a le gouvernement fédéral. Alors, y a Patrimoine canadien pour le financement de la programmation. Y a le Fonds canadien de la radio communautaire pour un financement d’opération. Nouveaux Horizons pour les ainés pour un financement d'un projet de programmation, et puis un numéro de charité bien pour appuyer le financement de la programmation et de l’opération.
3421 Et du côté du gouvernement provincial, y a le Secrétariat francophone pour un financement d’opération. Y a Community Initiative Program pour un financement d’opération et de ressources humaines, et y a Community Facility Enhancement Program pour un financement d’équipement. Et Alberta Gaming, comme elle le disait, pour un financement de la programmation et d’équipement, développement professionnel et ainsi de suite.
3422 Et du côté municipal, la ville d’Edmonton, y a une possibilité de financement de coûts d’opération et le coût aussi du loyer. C'est pas gratuit à la Cité francophone.
3423 Alors, en conclusion, notre radio communautaire sera -- merci, Geneviève -- notre radio communautaire sera le carrefour de notre communauté d’expression française. Et puis cette radio atténuerait l’isolement, rassemblerait les générations, et améliorerait les communications qui valorisent l’appartenance à une francophonie dynamique dans la grande région de la capitale qui est Edmonton.
3424 Nous espérons devenir un véhicule de communication vivant, accessible et neutre reflétant l’image de toutes les générations francophones et francophiles d’ici, et qui contribuera au développement intellectuel, social et culturel de notre société à Edmonton et la région.
3425 Et sur ce, bien voilà. Merci beaucoup de nous avoir donné cette occasion.
3426 THE CHAIRPERSON: Merci.
3427 Commissioner Dupras will have our questions.
3428 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Merci, Monsieur le président.
3429 Bonjour. Alors, je suis très heureux d’être celui qui a l’occasion de vous questionner.
3430 Comme vous savez, les classes à travers le pays ont souvent un nombre limité de services, particulièrement ceux de langue française et les services radiophoniques spécialement. Et on a déjà indiqué dans le passé, le Conseil, que les stations de radio communautaire jouaient un rôle des plus importants dans les communautés.
3431 Alors, je vous félicite pour votre initiative.
3432 J’ai quelques questions ce matin-là pour compléter votre dossier. D’abord, en rapport avec la présentation que vous avez fait ce matin, la couverture du signal que vous allez avoir avec la fréquence que vous avez choisie, est-ce que cette fréquence-là couvre les banlieues? Donc vous mentionnez ce matin dans votre présentation-là, soit Beaumont, Leduc, Saint-Albert, Morinville et Legal. Est-ce que c'est couvert parce que je pense que vous êtes à la Cité francophone et j'aimerais vous entendre là-dessus.
3433 M. JEAN PATENAUDE: Bien d’après -- d’ailleurs, je pourrais aller chercher d’autres précisions si vous voulez bien parce que j’ai en standby notre ingénieur ailleurs sur la planète-là. Mais oui, en effet, c'est un défi quand on va au-delà de la ville d’Edmonton en ce qui concerne Legal, Saint-Albert, Beaumont, malgré le potentiel que nous avons là avec la francophonie.
3434 Alors, ce sera disons quelque chose à moyen et à long terme qu’il faudrait résoudre dès que nous serons en onde. Voilà.
3435 Mme SAINT-CYR: Par contre, maintenant on a du service internet. Alors, on souhaite combler en attendant de trouver une solution à plus long terme, mais on souhaite combler ce problème via internet. C'est, mettons, un mis mal.
3436 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Donc les banlieues dont j’ai -- qui sont mentionnées dans votre présentation ne seraient pas couverts, bien couverts par votre service?
3437 M. JEAN PATENAUDE: Oui. Alors, je dirais bien couvert parce que dans une auto, y a des possibilités de ce côté-là. Mais oui, ça représente un défi. Ça veut dire que c'est pas assuré que ça va être -- ça va être couvert mais ça veut pas dire qu’ils seront pas représentés à notre radio.
3438 Mais comme le disait Carole, y a l’internet à très court terme-là qui représente peut-être des possibilités. Mais à plus long terme, y a peut-être des antennes temporaires qui pourraient être installées, des choses comme ça.
3439 On a des exemples dans le nord. À Rivière-la-Paix par exemple, ils ont installé des antennes ici et là pour améliorer le signal et être en mesure de joindre tout le monde.
3440 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: O.k. Et quel pourcentage de la population francophone est représenté par les communautés dans ces banlieues?
3441 M. JEAN PATENAUDE: Ben c'est comme on vous le disait, c'est à peu près 7,000 qui sont dans ces communautés mais le gros, le gros potentiel on va les rejoindre. Ils sont ici. Ils sont dans la région puis c'est pour ça qu’on est là avec notre antenne. C'est la région ici jusqu’à la base militaire, la 134ème avenue au nord, et puis vers le sud c'est quand on approche de la sortie pour la ville d’Edmonton quand on s’en va à l’aéroport.
3442 Alors, c'est un peu ça le ---
3443 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Oui.
3444 Mme SAINT-CYR: Et puis on peut ajouter aussi qu’une grande partie de ces gens-là de la banlieue travaillent pendant le jour à Edmonton. Alors, ils sont quand même pas tout à fait exclus puisqu’ils seront -- ils pourront entendre les ondes pendant la journée.
3445 M. JEAN PATENAUDE: Parce que y a beaucoup de gens qui travaillent au centre-ville. On a la Place du Canada, on a tout ça là, et puis ces gens-là ---
3446 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Que j’entends aller visiter avant de quitter.
3447 M. JEAN PATENAUDE: Ah, bon. Alors, mais ces gens-là habitent Saint-Albert ou habitent Breaumont ou Leduc et puis, enfin, vous avez entendu parler de nos problèmes de trafic-là que nous avons. Alors, ces gens-là ont une auto et c’est l’occasion pour eux de nous entendre probablement s’ils syntonisent notre radio communautaire.
3448 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: D’accord. Et les immigrants qui parlent français constituent quel pourcentage de la population environ? Avez-vous une idée?
3449 M. JEAN PATENAUDE: Ben encore là, on vous disait que dans la région d’Edmonton c'est 17 pour cent.
3450 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Dix-sept (17) pour cent.
3451 M. JEAN PATENAUDE: De nouveaux arrivants de l’Afrique francophone. Ils viennent de -- ils viennent du Congo, de la Côte d’Ivoire, l’Uganda.
3452 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Par exemple, il y a une bonne population arabe aussi à Edmonton?
3453 Mme SAINT-CYR: Oui, nous avons des ---
3454 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: J’imagine qu’il y a beaucoup de francophones là-dedans.
3455 Mme SAINT-CYR: Oui, nous avons des Algériens, des Marocains, des -- aussi Libanais, puis ils ont pas nécessairement ici depuis hier. Ils sont plusieurs à être ici quand même depuis quelques années mais il en arrive encore.
3456 Si vous venez à la Cité francophone, y a certaines journées la Cité est très colorée, c'est-à-dire que vous voyez -- Valécia est un exemple. Notre jeune Valécia travaille au sein de, bénévolement aussi, d’Alta TV qui est une télévision qui est menée par René qui est d’origine congolaise.
3457 Alors, on a des communautés comme ça, congolaises, béninoises, et cetera, mais souvent ces communautés vivent un petit peu en ghetto et que ce soit pour le -- habituellement au Centre d’accueil et d’établissement, pas de problème à les joindre parce que ce sont -- c'est l’organisme qui les a reçus, mais pour les autres organismes qui voudraient voir ces gens-là participer à leurs événements, c'est un peu plus compliqué parce qu’ils sortent très peu de leur communauté. Alors, ça prend vraiment un grand effort pour les amener hors de leur communauté.
3458 Y a la fête de Noël multiculturelle que prépare l’ACFA régionale d’Edmonton. À la fête de Noël, vous allez les voir. Ils sont -- ils sont vraiment très, très nombreux. Ça ils sont là avec les tout-petits. Puis ils fréquentent beaucoup la Cité francophone aussi parce qu’il y a de l’aide pour les familles nombreuses qui ont des problèmes à se nourrir ou des choses comme ça. Ça fait qui a des organismes qui leur viennent en aide pour les aider à s’intégrer.
3459 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: C'est ça. Ben d’ailleurs dans votre proposition vous parlez des besoins et des retombées positives de votre service. Quels besoins sont prioritaires parmi tous ceux que vous avez mentionnés et comment votre service pourra y répondre?
3460 Mme SAINT-CYR: Je crois que c'est surtout en ce qui a trait à l’intégration, que ces gens-là viennent en onde, ils auraient l’occasion parfois de parler leur langue maternelle aussi en onde en échangeant avec d’autres, en entendant aussi parler de ce qui se passe en ce moment en Afrique, en entendant aussi leur musique ce qui est très -- pratiquement impossible sur les ondes en ce moment, la communication aussi.
3461 Et je crois que vraiment de -- pour la communauté d’accueil qui parfois ne sait pas comment s’adresser à des nouveaux arrivants, ben de les entendre en onde, savoir quelle est leur histoire, qu’est-ce qu’ils ont vécu et pourquoi ils sont ici, je pense que là ça va ouvrir un dialogue.
3462 Valécia, est-ce qu’il y quelque chose tu voudrais ajouter à ce sujet?
3463 Mme PÉPIN: Moi je dirais beaucoup -- je dirais la barrière linguistique beaucoup. Les gens ça va les dégêner je crois, ça va leur donner envie justement de se fondre puis de se mêler et de créer -- je parlais d’un nouveau tissu communautaire, de l’enrichir et tout ça, puis de -- on va leur donner l’occasion justement de pouvoir s’exprimer, on va devenir un. C'est ça qu’on veut en fait, c'est d’arrêter de séparer, bon les Congolais sont là, o.k., on a les francophones de l’Acadie qui sont là. On a tout quelque chose à apprendre les uns des autres puis on passe pas mal tous par les mêmes difficultés quand on arrive justement d’ailleurs. Donc c'est vraiment de partager ça, puis d’entendre, puis d’arrêter de -- de faire tomber les barrières de l’inconnu. Ça on le dit et on le redit, on est intéressé par leurs histoires, puis eux autres sont intéressés à nous les faire entendre. Donc pourquoi pas?
3464 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Et par quel genre d’émission vous allez réussir à ---
3465 Mme PÉPIN: À communiquer?
3466 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: --- à accomplir ça?
3467 Mme PÉPIN: En fait, moi j’ai donné des exemples ici, Carole est vraiment -- c'est elle qui a fait la programmation, donc elle va être plus en mesure de vous en parler, sauf que je suis allée sélectionner Itinéraire, Afrique Afrique et Musique de par le monde. Donc avec ça au niveau musical, au niveau artistique, on va être capable de se rejoindre. Mais il va y avoir d’autres émissions aussi probablement, je vais vous laisser -- Carole, je te laisse.
3468 Mme SAINT-CYR: Oui, ben d’abord ce que je voudrais qu’on comprenne c'est que comme on dit qu’on veut faire tomber les barrières, on veut décloisonner, couper l’isolement, on va pas se mettre nous aussi à faire des ghettos dans les émissions. C'est-à-dire de dire, « Bon, ben la communauté Congolaise on va l’entendre dans Afrique Afrique. » Non, on va les entendre tous les jours au sein des émissions. Un Béninois arrive puis il me dit, « Moi j’aimerais faire tel type d’émission. » Oui.
3469 On a une émission par exemple, Contes et légendes, ça été important pour la francophonie de l’ouest. Et on entend encore des contes, les Autochtones, les Métis. Mais les Africains ont d’excellents contes aussi, alors on espère qu’ils vont participer à ce type d’émission-là.
3470 Et donc Afrique Afrique c'est pour entendre -- comme je le disais, l’actualité africaine en ce moment, mais c'est pour entendre aussi la musique, c'est pour que nous on découvre ce qui se passe dans ces pays-là. Mais c'est pour donner l’occasion aux gens donc qui sont ici de communiquer avec leur pays et d’avoir des échanges d’un côté et de l’autre et de mieux comprendre l’actualité, mieux comprendre le tissu social de ces gens-là.
3471 Alors y a pas vraiment -- comme je dis, on va pas se mettre à cloisonner Africains, Libanais ou quoi que ce soit. On veut justement que non ils se sentent intégrés comme des franco-Albertains, c'est-à-dire ils deviennent des franco-Albertains en arrivant ici. Alors on va entendre tous les accents, toutes les inquiétudes, toutes les visions, toutes les réflexions. Ça touche -- quand le gouvernement fédéral ou provincial prend une décision, ben ça touche toutes les couches et toutes les cultures. Alors on veut entendre leur opinion et savoir comment ça réagit sur eux ça ces décisions-là, comment eux ça va -- qu’est-ce que ça peut vouloir dire pour eux et -- donc on veut les entendre tout simplement.
3472 Mme PÉPIN: Et j’aimerais ajouter quelque chose, si je peux me permettre. Cette semaine, bon, vous savez que le 19-20-21 il s’est passé quelque chose de très tragique au Congo. Et puis juste pour glisser, avec Alta TV on a posé des questions comme ça aux gens qui rentraient à la Cité, « Savez-vous ce qui se passe au Congo en ce moment? » Quatre-vingt-dix (90) pour cent des gens ne savaient pas ce qui se passait au Congo en ce moment. Donc la radio -- en m’entendant ces gens-là va permettre aux gens de s’éduquer également puis de savoir ce qui se passe au travers du monde, parce que -- bon.
3473 Mme SAINT-CYR: Oui, parce que personnellement si je veux savoir ce qui se passe en Afrique, j’écoute TV5. Radio-Canada va -- a pas le temps et ne couvre pas souvent ce qui se passe en Afrique. On est porté plutôt sur le Moyen-Orient avec tout ce qu’on connaît en Syrie et tout. Mais de temps en temps ils vont sortir, mais de façon moins régulière. Alors que nous on sait très bien qu’on a une collectivité importante d’Africains et on va vouloir savoir ce qui se passe là-bas. Et en espérant que Radio France -- comme je le disais a été approché, c'est une radio habituellement qui couvre très bien l’Afrique aussi, alors on se dit que on aurait une antenne directe également par ce service-là.
3474 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: D'accord. Et en plus de ça, quel genre de programmation allez-vous avoir qui -- pour complémenter celle de Radio-Canada que vous trouvez finalement insuffisante là pour combler les besoins?
3475 Mme SAINT-CYR: Y a Radio-Canada en ce moment, comme je vous le disais, y a deux émissions, c'est l’émission du matin ---
3476 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: (Hors micro) pour 27 heures par semaine je crois là avec les émissions Le Café show, Le midi trente et ---
3477 Mme SAINT-CYR: Oui, mais Le midi trente vient d’être coupé, parce que Radio-Canada met tout ses énergies maintenant sur le web, vous le savez. Y a eu une rencontre -- je pense que c'était mardi soir à Moncton, et encore une fois Monsieur Lacroix et les dirigeants ont dit, « Ben là on va mettre -- on engage plus de gens pour le web. » C'est valable parce qu’on sait que les gens effectivement utilisent beaucoup le web, mais c'est souvent au détriment par contre de la radio et peut-être même de la télévision, mais nous on est là pour parler de la radio. Alors il nous reste donc l’émission du matin.
3478 Autre chose que je pourrais dire, c'est que ce qui est dommage c'est que la direction de Radio-Canada est à Montréal, et les émissions par exemple du matin -- l'après-midi ça se perçoit un petit peu moins, mais quand même surtout du matin, la feuille de route est faite comme si on était à Montréal avec beaucoup de gens -- d’autres radios francophones. Alors y a très peu de musique d’ici qui est tournée, il reste peut-être -- je pense qui a peut-être deux chansons par demi-heure et encore ça dépend des journées. Donc on entend très peu la chanson francophone et on entend encore moins la chanson d’ici ou même la chanson africaine.
3479 Les discussions naturellement sont très bien couvertes en ce qui a trait à l’Alberta, ça on peut pas leur reprocher ça parce que on a quand même une -- c'est fait à partir d’Edmonton, mais ils sont très limités à faire des entrevues qui parlent de l’Alberta parce que ils font aussi des choses qui traitent de tout le pays et même d’ailleurs. Ils ont des chroniqueurs qui sont à Montréal, la météo vient de Montréal, et cetera, ça empêche pas d’avoir une bonne météo remarquez, mais voyez-vous, ce n'est plus une radio de proximité, c'est ça qui est dommage.
3480 Alors que là les gens à Edmonton -- tout le monde va pouvoir y participer. Il va pouvoir avoir plus de temps d’antenne pour s’exprimer et pour émettre leurs commentaires. Y a pratiquement -- ben en fait, y a plus de tribune téléphonique à Radio-Canada ou très, très, très peu, et ça c'est une autre façon aussi d’entendre les gens.
3481 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Alors je vous demandais la façon dont vous allez complémenter la programmation de Radio-Canada. Avez-vous d'autre chose à ajouter?
3482 Mme SAINT-CYR: Ben c'est ça, je pense que si vous regardez la -- en regardant la programmation on voit bien que il va y avoir beaucoup plus de place à Edmonton, mais aussi à l’Alberta. Donc on aura plus de temps d’antenne à accorder à ce qui nous préoccupe ici. Et puis naturellement -- ben comme vous le savez, les autres émissions outre -- on a nos deux émissions, mais sinon ça vient de Montréal. Et puis la plupart des gens se sentent pas impliqués sur ce qui se passe à Montréal trop, trop là. Je veux dire on parle du Parti québécois à plus finir sur l’heure du midi pendant deux heures ou bien de sujets comme ça, on a même plus notre petite antenne qu’on avait sur l’heure du midi sur ce qui se passe en Alberta. Alors je crois qui va y avoir un besoin à ce point là de -- d’avoir une antenne sur nos inquiétudes.
3483 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: C'est ça. Et vous proposez 46 heures de création orale, dont je crois -- excusez-moi, deux heures de -- 60 pour cent de nouvelles locales et 40 pour cent de nouvelles régionales à l’intérieur de quoi, deux heures et demi de bulletins de nouvelles; c'est ça?
3484 Mme SAINT-CYR: Oui, ben dans le sens que le matin -- à l’intérieur du matin il y aurait les bulletins de nouvelles naturellement à toutes les heures, mais aussi les manchettes au courant de l’animation. Y a l’heure du midi, y a l’après-midi. Et puis selon -- ce qui va se passer aussi, ce qui est intéressant, c'est comme on est en direct et qu’on -- les ondes nous appartiennent, si il se passe quelque chose n’importe quand un journaliste peut entrer en onde et être en direct là où il se trouve pour dire ce qui se passe. On n’est pas obligé d'attendre une certaine heure pour savoir ce qui se passe. Alors les ondes nous appartiennent, on est là pour la communauté, alors si il y a un intérêt quelconque, une activité, ben les gens peuvent passer tout de suite en direct sur les ondes.
3485 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: D'accord. Pour ce qui est des gens qui vont s’occuper de la station, vous nous avez fait part des détails de vos stratégies de recrutement des bénévoles et sur la formation qui leur sera offerte, mais vous avez fourni peu de détails sur leur supervision au quotidien.
3486 Mme SAINT-CYR: Non, dans le -- je crois que dans le mémoire qu’on vous a envoyé préalablement, on indique donc qu’on espérerait -- idéalement ça serait huit personnes là au sein de la radio, mais c'est que dans ces gens-là -- parmi les gens qui seraient -- qui feraient de l’animation professionnelle pendant la journée, ils auraient aussi le rôle de -- un directeur de programmation, un directeur de -- ben enfin, quelqu'un qui est en charge de la programmation, quelqu'un qui est en charge du choix musical et quelqu'un qui est en charge des bénévoles.
3487 Alors c'est pour les encadrer, mais aussi là où c'est important d’être à la Cité francophone mais également de la façon que la programmation a été étudiée ou élaborée, c'est que y a des organismes qui seront les parrains ou marraines si vous voulez des émissions. C'est-à-dire que comme la fenêtre culturelle du samedi après-midi qui va parler de choses culturelles, on a le Centre de développement musical qui a des choses à dire, le Regroupement artistique francophone de l’Alberta, et cetera. Donc ces gens-là peuvent choisir leur équipe qui va donc faire l’émission, produire l’émission, et encadrer ces gens-là à l’émission, et puis naturellement l’équipe de la radio.
3488 Alors les -- on en a parlé avec les organismes, ils sont plutôt très heureux de faire ça. C'est-à-dire que si on parle de l’émission des femmes, ben à ce moment-là c'est la Coalition des femmes de l’Alberta qui devient le grand responsable de la production de cette émission-là.
3489 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Mais les directeurs de programmation sont toujours responsables de la supervision des ---
3490 Mme SAINT-CYR: Oui, oui.
3491 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: --- bénévoles ou si vous déléguez cette responsabilité-là?
3492 Mme SAINT-CYR: Non, y a l’encadrement naturellement. Il va y avoir de la formation, mais on sait bien que ---
3493 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Oui, mais on parle de ---
3494 Mme SAINT-CYR: --- y a beaucoup de gens qui bougent ---
3495 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: --- la supervision là durant la programmation. Je veux dire faut quand même les -- comme vous dites, les faire rappeler.
3496 Mme SAINT-CYR: Oui, c'est ça. Alors -- d’abord quand la programmation finale va être faite, c'est sûr qui va y avoir un encadrement, un choix aussi avec un comité de programmation, un choix sur ce qui est à faire. Parce que si un bénévole arrive avec une idée qui est pas incluse mais qui est intéressante, ben elle va être étudiée pis on va dire, « O.k., on va te faire une place », mais faut étudier où la place va être prise et au détriment de quoi d’autre. Mais ---
3497 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Va-t-il y avoir des mécanismes en place, genre des réunions hebdomadaires, l’évaluation des bénévoles ---
3498 Mme SAINT-CYR: Oui, les évaluations sont ---
3499 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: --- sur une base régulière?
3500 Mme SAINT-CYR: --- l’évaluation est déjà prévue pour chacune des émissions. Et puis des sondages aussi auprès du public pour savoir comment ils répondent aux émissions.
3501 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: M'hm.
3502 Mme SAINT-CYR: Et puis naturellement quand on est une petite communauté tout le monde se parle, on va bien voir tout de suite qu’est-ce qui marche et qu’est-ce qui marche pas. Mais effectivement, au sein des employés, mais également du conseil d’administration et de tous les autres comités de la radio, il va y avoir constamment des évaluations, de l’encadrement. Ça se fait pratiquement au jour le jour aussi des fois.
3503 Puis bon, y peut arriver quelque chose que des gens entrent pas pour une certaine raison, et puis tout de suite il nous faut quelqu'un qui puisse prendre l’antenne pour les remplacer. Alors tout ça doit être prêt avant que on entre en onde là, c'est-à-dire que tout ce mécanisme là c'est avant que l’antenne soit en onde.
3504 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: D'accord. Également, vous avez une émission de tribune téléphonique là, La revue de la semaine serait diffusée le jeudi de 18 heures à 19 heures, et en reprise le vendredi à 10 heures. Ça donne quoi, deux heures de tribune téléphonique ---
3505 Mme SAINT-CYR: Non, ben ---
3506 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: --- par semaine?
3507 Mme SAINT-CYR: Celle qui passe pendant le jour, en fait c'est une reprise pour donner une deuxième chance d’écoute de cette tribune-là.
3508 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Oui.
3509 Mme SAINT-CYR: Et puis la tribune ben on pense par exemple au dossier de l’ACFA provincial, mais y a aussi d’autres dossiers des autres. Vous savez l’Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta, y a un siège provincial mais y a également des régionales un peu partout en Alberta. D’ailleurs hier -- je le sais pas si vous le savez, mais l’ACFA provinciale a reçu le Prix du 3 juillet 1608 à l’Assemblée nationale pour souligner les 90 ans d’existence de la francophonie en Alberta.
3510 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: M'hm.
3511 Mme SAINT-CYR: Alors vous voyez que -- et puis la première radio francophone à Edmonton et même en Alberta s’est ouverte en 1949 avant que Radio-Canada l’achète. Donc vous voyez qui a une communauté qui était déjà prête au modernisme et à se faire entendre et à entendre ce qui se dit.
3512 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Mais pour les ---
3513 Mme SAINT-CYR: Donc c'est ces gens-là -- c'est-à-dire que ils sont plusieurs là à traiter de dossiers chauds, ce sont ces gens-là donc qui seraient autour du micro. Souvent ---
3514 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Mais moi ce que je suis intéressé ---
3515 Mme SAINT-CYR: --- l’immigration aussi a des choses à dire.
3516 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Oui, d'accord. Ce que je suis intéressé de savoir c'est combien d’heures par semaine de tribune téléphonique vous proposez?
3517 Mme SAINT-CYR: En fait c'est une ---
3518 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Je pensais que vous ---
3519 Mme SAINT-CYR: Ben ça dépend, c'est-à-dire que si il arrive un dossier chaud, on va pas attendre à trois jours pour traiter, c'est ça l'avantage d’être notre propre -- d’avoir notre propre antenne, c'est-à-dire que si il arrive -- disons les feux de Fort McMurray, d'accord. L’ACFA régionale, le Centre d’accueil d’établissement, tout ce monde-là s’est mis à travailler ensemble pour venir en aide aux sinistrés de Fort McMurray, pour les recevoir à Edmonton, pour leur donner des services.
3520 On avait de la difficulté à joindre ces gens-là, fallait faire partir du monde à Northlands pour essayer de leur parler pour leur dire, « On a des services à vous offrir, on a des gens qui sont prêts à vous offrir des chambres et tout ça. » On pouvait pas entrer à Northlands, y a fallu qu’on trouve quelqu'un qui pouvait déjà rentrer dans Northlands pour faire savoir cette information-là.
3521 Avec la radio communautaire on aurait pas eu ce problème-là. On aurait pu donc déjà avoir une émission ---
3522 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Oui.
3523 Mme SAINT-CYR: --- qui même ---
3524 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Mais normalement dans votre programmation régulière par semaine là, vous prévoyez avoir combien d’heures de tribune téléphonique?
3525 Mme SAINT-CYR: Une tribune c'est une fois par semaine comme je vous dis, en reprise. Je pense que c'est une heure de tribune selon les sujets.
3526 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: O.k., bon. Et comme vous savez là pour les tribunes téléphoniques, y a des lignes directrices ---
3527 Mme SAINT-CYR: Oui.
3528 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: --- qui existent au CRTC?
3529 Mme SAINT-CYR: Oui, oui.
3530 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Y a des mécanismes qui doivent être mis en place. Vous êtes familiers avec ces lignes directrices là?
3531 Mme SAINT-CYR: Oui, ben écoutez, je suis une ex-journaliste de Radio-Canada ---
3532 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Bon.
3533 Mme SAINT-CYR: --- et j'en ai fait des tribunes téléphoniques, alors je sais que c'est délicat.
3534 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Oui.
3535 Mme SAINT-CYR: Il faut y avoir -- faut avoir un certain filtre. C'est sûr que on va pas y aller juste comme ça là, y va y avoir ---
3536 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Est-ce que vous allez mettre une politique en place?
3537 Mme SAINT-CYR: Oui, oui, oui.
3538 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Et avez-vous plus de détails sur cette politique-là? Est-ce que vous pouvez nous fournir des détails?
3539 Mme SAINT-CYR: Non, je dois avouer que on n’a pas encore établi la politique de la tribune téléphonique, on a encore du travail à faire à ce sujet.
3540 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: O.k.
3541 M. PATENAUDE: Oui, puis y a un délai de diffusion là en ce qui concerne la tribune et puis tout ça là à chaque fois, c'est pas en direct, direct, direct là, c'est la politique; n’est-ce pas?
3542 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Oui, d’ailleurs vous parlez d’une rediffusion là. Bon.
3543 M. PATENAUDE: Oui.
3544 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: D’accord.
3545 Pour ce qui est -- on note dans votre demande que vous avez proposé de diffuser 15 minutes par semaine de radiodiffusion en langue anglaise. Et vous avez également une émission de 60 minutes, Toi, moi and the others, qui est diffusée en soirée tous les jeudis qui contiendrait des créations orales de langue anglaise?
3546 Mme SAINT-CYR: Non, c'est pas -- c'est pas nécessairement toutes de langue anglaise. C'est-à-dire que ces des gens qui se parlent -- qui se parleraient -- c'est une suggestion en fait -- mais c'est comme je vous disais, on a des couples exogames qui ont rarement l’occasion de parler de leur culture ou des choses comme ça. Donc ça serait une façon d’avoir un couple ou quelques couples qui viendraient échanger et qui parleraient dans leur langue maternelle. Ce qui fait que les francophiles auraient peut-être du plaisir, ils trouveraient peut-être ça drôle. Mais aussi les gens qui cherchent à parler anglais ça va leur donner une chance, mais aussi les gens qui veulent améliorer leur français parce que en ayant un échange de conversation dans les deux langues, ben ça les aide à mieux comprendre ce qui est train de se dire là.
3547 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: O.k.
3548 Mme SAINT-CYR: Mais c'est aussi pour refléter la ---
3549 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Mais quand vous parlez de 15 ---
3550 Mme SAINT-CYR: --- réalité.
3551 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: D'accord. Quand vous parlez de 15 minutes, est-ce que vous parlez de minutes qui sont partie de cette émission-là ou ---
3552 Mme SAINT-CYR: Non, non, je pense que c'est juste ---
3553 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Donc les 15 ---
3554 Mme SAINT-CYR: --- je me souviens plus du 15 minutes là, mais ---
3555 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Donc ---
3556 Mme SAINT-CYR: --- c'est probablement ici et là dans ---
3557 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Et sinon, y aurait combien de minutes d’anglais dans l’émission Toi, moi and the others là qui ---
3558 Mme SAINT-CYR: Ben en principe c'est moitié moitié.
3559 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Bon. Et ça dure combien de temps cette émission-là?
3560 Mme SAINT-CYR: C'est une émission d’une heure.
3561 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Ça veut dire qui aurait un 30 minutes anglais de plus ---
3562 Mme SAINT-CYR: Mais y a de la chanson aussi, alors c'est pas juste de la conversation, on échange sur la culture.
3563 Alors, on veut faire entendre ---
3564 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Je vous parle moi de création orale ---
3565 Mme SAINT-CYR: Oui, oui, oui.
3566 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: --- de contenu oral.
3567 Mme SAINT-CYR: Non, mais je veux dire dans cette émission-là, y aurait aussi de la diffusion de la chanson partagée, de la chanson française et ---
3568 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Je comprends.
3569 Mme SAINT-CYR: Oui.
3570 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Fait que si on fait le partage de création orale, contenu musical de cette émission-là, avez-vous ---
3571 Mme SAINT-CYR: Oui, j’avais fait le calcul.
3572 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Ce que je cherche à établir là c'est combien vous allez avoir de minutes de langue anglaise par semaine ---
3573 Mme SAINT-CYR: On en n’aurait pas beaucoup.
3574 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Mais je voulais juste essayer d’avoir une idée d'un chiffre, d’un nombre de minutes si vous étiez capable de me donner ça.
3575 Mme SAINT-CYR: Si je peux trouver mes papiers, je les avais sortis. Alors, va falloir que je vous revienne parce que là je trouve pas mon calcul.
3576 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Vous pourriez nous fournir cette information-là par la suite si vous voulez.
3577 Mme SAINT-CYR: Oui.
3578 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: C'est ça là, je pense qu’on a jusqu’au 4 octobre là pour déposer des suppléments lorsque vous prenez des engagements à les déposer.
3580 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Également, vous dites que vous êtes présentement à sensibiliser des entrepreneurs anglophones pour faire de la publicité sur vos ondes, ou est-ce que cela fait partie de vos plans de faire du recrutement pour avoir de la publicité des entrepreneurs anglophones?
3581 Mme SAINT-CYR: En ce moment, on cible surtout les anglophones mais on sait qu’il y a des entrepreneurs anglophones qui sont dans le quartier francophone qui font affaires avec une clientèle française. Donc je pense qu’il y a un marché qu’on peut aller vérifier et exploiter.
3582 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Oui. Et à ce moment-là les publicités, est-ce qu’elles seraient en français ou en anglais?
3583 Mme SAINT-CYR: Oui, oui, oui. Non, non, en français.
3584 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: En français tout en français?
3585 Mme SAINT-CYR: Oui, rien en anglais. Ils ont -- la langue anglaise est très bien servie à Edmonton. Y a assez de radios anglaises.
3586 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Alors, c'est ça. On essaie de déterminer le nombre -- le temps d’antenne pour l’anglais, tous les genres de programmations, publicités confondues.
3587 J'aimerais ça que vous nous parliez un peu de l’expérience que vous avez qui vous aiderait à mettre le service sur pieds.
3588 Mme SAINT-CYR: D’accord.
3589 M. JEAN PATENAUDE: Veux-tu que je commence?
3590 Mme SAINT-CYR: Oui, commence.
3591 M. JEAN PATENAUDE: Alors, ben moi j’ai commencé à CHFA en 1967. J’ai travaillé à Radio-Canada pendant 20 ans et puis ensuite j’ai été producteur basé ici dans l’ouest canadien à Edmonton et membre de l’Association des producteurs francophones du Canada, et disons que j’ai ralenti beaucoup il y a cinq ans. Donc c'est un peu mon expérience.
3592 Le milieu dans lequel je suis, la compréhension que j’ai, c'est des acquis et c'est presque naturel chez moi d’être dans ce milieu-là. La radio c'est un milieu que je connais très, très bien. Alors, voilà.
3593 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Et vous la connaissez sous quel angle?
3594 M. JEAN PATENAUDE: Je la connais comme ---
3595 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Technique, programmation, gestion?
3596 M. JEAN PATENAUDE: Je la connais comme -- ben ç’a été la programmation. Ç'a été comme dans l’animation aussi. J’ai fait beaucoup, beaucoup d’animation en onde, et j’ai fait de la réalisation aussi. J'ai fait du direct, pis les défis que ça représente pis ces choses-là. Alors, c'est un milieu dans lequel je suis très à l’aise.
3597 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Alors, y avait un membre du conseil et y avait également un technicien avec de l’expérience.
3598 Mme SAINT-CYR: Ben en fait, je suis aussi l’autre qui a de l’expérience en radio. Moi j’ai commencé en -- dans le monde de la radio avec la première radio francophone au Nouveau-Brunswick, CJVA. Ensuite je suis -- Radio-Canada m’a demandé d’aller travailler pour elle. J’ai fait ça pendant plusieurs années.
3599 Quand je suis revenue dans la péninsule acadienne, j’ai aidé à mettre sur pied la première radio communautaire francophone hors Québec, CKRO, qui fonctionne encore aujourd’hui très, très bien.
3600 Et à ce moment-là, j'étais donc responsable de la programmation. J'ai tout fait en fait à cette radio-là mais j’ai également pris les ondes et réalisé l’émission pour enfants, Par des enfants, ce qui se faisait pas à l’époque.
3601 Je suis retournée ensuite à Radio-Canada. Donc j’étais -- pendant des années, j’étais animatrice, journaliste culturelle. J'ai fait du reportage international en France, en Belgique, en Louisiane. J'ai travaillé -- ben pas travaillé -- oui, j’ai travaillé aussi en Côte d’Ivoire pour Radio Afrique. Je me souviens plus du nom exact, mais anyway, qui était diffusée aussi sur Paris. Donc j’ai fait de la radio dans toutes les circonstances, des fois assez amusantes.
3602 Donc je suis en mesure et j’ai déjà donné de la formation à CKRO à l’époque aussi pour les gens. J’avais des jeunes de 15 ans puis mon plus vieux monsieur avait 75 ans. Il a fait de la radio -- ou 70 ans mais il a fait de la radio pendant 15 ans je crois.
3603 Alors, on a aussi Matthieu Damer qui est un technicien qui a été -- qui a étudié à Concordia à Montréal, qui est le directeur du Centre de développement musical, qui est un musicien violoncelliste, etcetera, qui est notre technicien bénévole.
3604 Quand on a besoin de -- on a des questions ou quoi que ce soit, y a Matthieu mais on a aussi d’autres techniciens qui sont à la retraite ou des gens qui sont intéressés à nous donner un coup de main.
3605 Y a un copain à moi qui arrive aussi en ville. Alors, je pense à lui pour donner de la formation aussi qui est un retraité de Radio-Canada de quelques années.
3606 Alors, je crois qu’on a une équipe quand même avec assez d’années d’expérience là pour encadrer la radio pour donner de la formation.
3607 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Et côté technique-là, la mise sur pied de la station?
3608 Mme SAINT-CYR: Ben comme je vous disais, y a Matthieu mais on pense aussi à deux autres personnes qui sont aussi des retraités de Radio-Canada qui sont très forts -- très, très forts même techniciens, et puis naturellement mais on va aussi regarder avec l’ARC du Canada quels sont les techniciens qui ont l’habitude de monter les studios en régions pour voir quelles seraient les options.
3609 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: J’ai une dernière question que j’ai omis de vous poser sur le contenu musical, la promotion des artistes canadiens émergents. Quel pourcentage approximativement de vos pièces musicales au total diffusées au cours d’une semaine serait consacré aux artistes canadiens émergents?
3610 Mme SAINT-CYR: Bon, bonne question. Je sais qu’ils vont être très présents parce que c'est important. Comme je vous le disais, avec le Centre de développement musical, etcetera, et on les entend pas beaucoup, mais y a aussi une émission qui vient du national qui est portée aussi -- CASA -- les émergents, musique émergente.
3611 Alors, ça c'est -- je vous ai envoyé ça -- ah, ici je pense. Alors, voilà.
3612 D’abord, y a l’émission Jeunesse qui donne naturellement une place aux jeunes artistes. On a deux grands événements importants pour la jeunesse qui ont -- qui fait vraiment -- comment je pourrais dire -- qui a un grand impact sur la culture ici.
3613 Alors, y a la Chicane albertaine qui est un concours d’orchestre scolaire avec le Centre de développement musical qui offre des cours crédités dans les écoles, qui fait en sorte qu’on a beaucoup de jeunes musiciens qui se manifestent et qui se présentent.
3614 Comme par exemple, ce soir, on a un de nos membres du conseil d’administration, Sympa César, qui est finaliste au Chant’Ouest qui est le concours de la chanson de l’ouest. Il est issu donc du Centre de développement musical.
3615 Y a aussi les Galalas qui -- vous savez, UNIS a fait une émission de télé qui s’appelle Galala mais ç'a été copié sur le service du Centre de développement musical. Donc les jeunes sont encadrés par des musiciens professionnels et encadrés également par une chanteuse professionnelle et ils viennent sur scène soit pour faire un instrument de musique, pour danser ou pour chanter.
3616 Alors, on se disait ce serait bien d’en faire la captation et de diffuser des choses là-dessus pour que les jeunes s’entendent et voient ce que les autres font aussi.
3617 La Fenêtre culturelle, ça c'est pareil. C'est les découvertes, des entrevues avec les artistes émergents d’ici et de l’ouest et du Canada.
3618 Place aux jeunes, également une émission animée par des étudiants qui vont se donner de la place à leur propre musique.
3619 Y a la Découverte de l’Ouest qui est une autre fenêtre axée entre autres sur les découvertes musicales francophones de l’Alberta et de l’ouest de musique émergente aussi.
3620 Et venant du Réseau francophone d’Amérique, y a Le zeste des artistes qui est à la découverte des artistes de la francophonie canadienne dont une large part est émergente.
3621 Y a Le décompte franco qui fait aussi beaucoup la place aux découvertes, et puis y a une émission spécialisée aussi sur l’exploration de la musique francophone émergente du pays.
3622 Alors, tout ça est inscrit à la programmation.
3623 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Oui. J’ai pu voir ça. Je voulais avoir une idée du pourcentage à peu près sur ---
3624 Mme SAINT-CYR: Ah, excusez-moi.
3625 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: --- total sur toute la programmation musicale.
3626 Mme SAINT-CYR: Ça j’ai pas fait le pourcentage je pense.
3627 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: On aime ça les chiffres, nous.
3628 Mme SAINT-CYR: J’ai analysé bien des choses-là mais je me souviens pas si j’ai fait cette analyse-là.
3629 Non, il va falloir que je vous revienne avec ça.
3630 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: C’est quelque chose -- cette information-là vous pouvez la déposer plus tard si ---
3631 Mme SAINT-CYR: Oui.
3632 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: --- ça vous arrange.
3633 Alors écoutez, moi j’ai pas d’autres questions.
3634 Oui, allez-y.
3635 M. PATENAUDE: Oui, alors c'est au sujet de la diffusion des ondes en banlieue, en dehors de la ville d’Edmonton.
3636 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Oui.
3637 M. PATENAUDE: Si vous me le permettez, y a une occasion ici demain, répliques par les demandeurs, je pourrais -- parce que j’ai l’ingénieur là qui est là, je pourrais aller chercher des choses plus précises. On a répondu à cette question-là, je suis pas vraiment à l’aise avec ça là.
3638 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Oui, y a pas de problème, vous pouvez complémenter avec ces informations-là en nous déposant là pour le 4 octobre.
3639 M. PATENAUDE: Bon, alors -- oui, alors je serai pas obligé de le faire demain là?
3640 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Non.
3641 M. PATENAUDE: Non, d'accord, merci.
3643 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Ça va?
3645 LE PRÉSIDENT: Merci.
3646 Je devrais -- mais je dois poser mes questions en anglais.
3647 I just wanted to follow up on your discussion about your programming.
3648 Obviously, two of you are -- have many years of experience with Radio-Canada, and in my previous position, I was the Regional Commissioner for Alberta and the North West Territories and frequently heard from Alberta Francophones about their frustrations in terms of coverage of them as -- for them about them as Albertans.
3649 And it was just as you were talking I was trying to get a sense of the global landscape of broadcasting for Francophones in Alberta, and I was thinking of -- I mean, there's numerous television stations that are mandated: RDI, TVA, TV5, MétéoMédia, to speak of a few. And you mentioned Radio-Canada as currently doing a lot of -- switching a lot of its coverage to a digital priority.
3650 I went to their Web site and I called up Edmonton, and the first item was about the coverage, and the second item was a news story about Hubert Lacroix visiting Edmonton in 2013. So there didn't appear to be a lot of coverage of Edmonton through there.
3651 And I just wanted to get a -- it seems to me you have a great passion for that issue, and you wish to do it, but I just wanted to get your perspective on the extent to which Edmonton is accessed by these broadcasters and online entities, but not necessarily served, and how you would change that?
3652 MR. PATENAUDE: I would just need a bit of clarity ---
3653 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sure.
3654 MR. PATENAUDE: --- on what you're asking, sir.
3655 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, the broad landscape of broadcasting and media available to Francophones in Edmonton, they're -- on the face of it, you can look at it and say, “Well, look there's lots of service.” But what I have always heard and what I heard repeated today from you is there is French being spoken on television and that, but there is no real service to Edmontonians or Albertans in regard to coverage of their news and events as Albertans. Was I clear?
3656 MR. PATENAUDE: Yes.
3657 Yes, that's the big issue is within the community, the coverage that you're getting.
3658 You might get, here and there, a daily, you know, well, there was a murder here, there was a crash there, we have a lot of traffic here, but you need more than that and that's where a community radio comes in. And people have to be able to express themselves and have to be able to talk about themselves and to let us know, and this is what you don't have right now in French with radio.
3659 You have the big, you know, overall, but you don't get what's really happening in a community, and that's where we're heading with the community radio, that's what -- there's a demand for that. We need to express ourselves, be who we are, and not just reporting or talking about consequences or things that happen superficially and all that.
3660 But there's no depth to it. There's no -- and that's what we were talking about that with the new arrivals in Edmonton from Africa. We have people also from Belgium and France, and you know, we need to be able to say not just the fact, “Oh, yeah, we have so many that came in”; they have to be able to express themselves and tell us who they are and what's happening and the challenges they have and then how we can accommodate and try and make it work and stuff like that.
3661 So does that clarify a little bit?
3662 MS. LaBRIE: I've been born and raised in Alberta and in Edmonton since the age of five. And as a young person, in our schools, our Francophone schools and everything, we had the experience of having a radio station, the first one there, that we had access to. On Saturday mornings, we had our “emission” for the children, and we had competitions. There was -- we won things, we had an animator, Normand Fontaine, who was excellent with the young people, young kids, and we had this connection between the schools, between the kids, and everything.
3663 My parents would phone in and get their -- they would request music and they would say their names and everything; this united the Francophone community, and we have lost that. We have lost the connection with our children and everything in the Francophone community because we don't have that connection anymore.
3664 I know -- I've seen the difference between the years, and what we have for children now is not good enough. This radio would bring that back. It would get the children back in with the French community and participate more, and that's where we need it the biggest.
3665 That's why I'm on this committee is for that, because I have gone through it, my generation went through it and we experienced it. And the Francophone community right now is too split up, and we need to unite it.
3666 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thanks.
3667 I mean, that -- my only other question was regarding that; that the Francophone community in Alberta largely exists in small pockets and diverse.
3668 And my colleague asked you about the reach of the spectrum you're applying for, and in your response you mentioned that you were online now? No? Okay, I wanted to clarify it. So you don't have an Internet presence right now?
3669 So there's -- so that's a future challenge for you because, I mean, Beaumont is just -- I mean, it's minutes away, right, but Legal and Morinville are a little further. St. Albert's pretty close, but there's other communities that you mentioned that could probably benefit from some of the service, Lac La Biche, Girouxville maybe farther north.
3670 Do you have any -- this isn't part of this application but I'm just trying to get a context for it, and that could be too ambitious for you, but do you have any thoughts about that?
3671 MR. PATENAUDE: Yeah. No, I -- Carole will add.
3672 And that's what I want to clarify. I requested for October 4th, we'll send you down the quality that we're getting in reaching those communities.
3673 But yeah, I agree, it is -- you know, we do have a population out there. We don't have the great numbers that we have where we're going to be broadcasting but still we want to be able to reach those people.
3674 But Edmonton has become kind of a neighbourhood type of a community. People work a lot in the downtown and now Rogers Place, and so there's a lot of travelling that takes place, and being able in the short term to communicate with those people.
3675 But I need to clarify the quality of the broadcast, and the solution in the short term, we'll see. You know, like we don't -- we were talking about internet and all that, but we don't -- we just don't want to -- we have a lot of challenges when we start off and we want to do very well what we're going to be doing in the region over here.
3676 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, perfectly understandable.
3677 MS. SAINT-CYR: And when you spoke about other regions, we have two other radio in Falher, Rivière-la-Paix and one in Plamondon, and it's really a small team to try to work with those radio, so they’re expecting that Edmonton would be able to help them and we spoke about doing some exchange also, with a few shows or things like that. So we know that they need us and we are already negotiate or speaking all together to see what we can do all together.
3678 And also with -- anyway, you going to hear about them tomorrow, but there’s the -- an association for the territories and other west provinces for their radio. And they are also expecting to have, you know, exchange or we are already -- anyway, we are member of this association. So we are all working together to do things -- well, some shows together and projects like that.
3679 So, we are in Edmonton, but we going to be more than in Edmonton than that.
3680 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you very much. Merci beaucoup.
3681 We will take a break for 15 minutes or so and resume shortly after 10:35. Thank you. Merci.
--- Upon recessing at 10:22 a.m.
--- Upon resuming at 10:42 a.m.
3682 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please.
3683 Madam Secretary?
3684 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
3685 So we have completed phase 1 for items 1 to 11 on the agenda. We have now reached phase 2 in which applicants appear in the same order to intervene on competing applications if they wish.
3686 Mr. Chairman, VMS Media Group Limited, Neeti P. Ray, OBCI, Antoine Karam, OBCI, Multicultural Broadcasting Corporation, Akash Broadcasting, South Fraser Broadcasting, 1811258 Alberta Limited, et La Société Radio Communautaire du Grand Edmonton Society has advised us that they will not be appearing in phase 2.
3687 Therefore, I would ask Dufferin Communication to come to presentation table.
3688 Please reintroduce yourself and you have 10 minutes.
3689 MS. LAURIGNANO: Thank you, Madam Secretary.
3690 Good morning, Chairman Menzies, Commissioners Molnar, Dupras. My name is Carmela Laurignano and I am the VP and Radio Group Manager of Dufferin Communications Inc. With me is Judy Joo, our General Counsel.
3691 While we normally skip this phase of the proceeding, we felt that there was one issue to be addressed some, and particularly, MBC argued that -- in their presentation that a proposal with a cornerstone Filipino community as the lead programming block is flawed. While MBC agreed that the radio -- that the Filipino population is large and significant, it offered some far-fetched reasons why this community cannot and should not be served. We disagree with those reasons.
3692 In short, MBC said that since Filipinos have a high rate of employment in conventional workplaces, there are not enough employed Filipinos to start Filipino-owned retail businesses that would form an advertiser base, which in turn, is necessary to support a radio programming.
3693 It further stated that its experience, research and business model for its proposal concluded there is no potential in this market because there are not enough Filipino-owned businesses. Yet it offered nothing more than opinions and anecdotal evidence to support these claims.
3694 When it comes to the Filipino communities, we have the proxy and the real life successful working model. As Chester Pangan, our Filipino CKJS Program Director confirmed a few days ago, Winnipeg is thriving and growing in terms of delivering state of the art programming, listening levels and results to advertisers. In fact, Filipino programs account for approximately 90 percent of all revenues generated by CKJS. Our Filipino program is the economic engine of our station.
3695 Our revenue model is based on a two-prong approach. One, we solicit the community. And by “community”, we mean we don’t just go to the mom and pop stores, but to -- it’s professionals, service providers, government services and even clients in the country of origin. This is done by the associate producer and in particular languages who are also doubles for on-air talent and personality. They have a business card to approach their local businesses.
3696 Two, we solicit the larger advertising community who is looking for consumers of any kind, but especially younger ones with more disposable income. It is no secret that the best customer loyalty will be enjoyed by those advertisers who first reach out to them. It is a proverbial gift that keeps on giving.
3697 We accomplish it by having a fully staffed and fully trained dedicated in-house sales staff that will go after the mainstream advertisers looking to reach new captive and niche consumers. It is naive to believe that an ethnic consumer would not be attractive to any advertiser. Being members of the community they are trying to reach is not a prerequisite for business owners to advertise for the purpose of growing their businesses.
3698 South Fraser Broadcasting also attested in this proceeding that they are successful elsewhere with this model. Others also stated this is a way to bring new advertisers to ethnic radio or to get existing ones to increase their advertising budgets.
3699 Athabasca, Banff, Blairmore, Brooks, Camrose, Canmore, Cold Lake, Drayton Valley, Drumheller, Edson, Jasper, Luscar, Peace River, Slave Lake, Saint Paul and Wainwright, just to name some Alberta towns and cities, each have one or some up to four radio services.
3700 What these towns and cities have in common is that the population of each is far less than that of the Filipino community in this city. This alone should be the size and potential this community has and this should give everyone a perspective.
3701 We disagree with MBC and others who minimize both the importance of serving and developing this large and growing sector of the population. We know how to do it because we are doing it already. If you look at the program schedule we submitted, our two drive programs Monday to Friday, two peak clocks are reserved for Filipino programming. This is not an afterthought, but a key pillar of our business plan.
3702 We know that poaching and deliberate impact on an incumbent does not work for either party. This is for some very, very valid reasons.
3703 One, you are harming an incumbent who will have to adjust rates or abandon heritage programs they have built over the years.
3704 Two, you will never get 100 percent of the existing pie to fund your business plan.
3705 Three, and very important in our view, you have to assess the strength of the incumbent. A company such as Rogers so entrenched in the market with fast and multimedia, multiplatform resources to compete would not just roll over and play dead. The incumbent has the ability and resources to hamper the new one’s progress, should it so choose. It is also why a differentiated choice is ideal.
3706 Rogers currently offers 60 plus hours in South Asian languages and 28.5 hours in Chinese languages. MBC proposed 61 hours in South Asian languages and 48 hours in Chinese languages. In other words, they’ll match Rogers one and trump Rogers on the other. And, in all fairness, MBS [sic] is not the only one down this path.
3707 This is the reason we have made the Filipino community the cornerstone of our application. This is reflected in both the number of hours and the time blocks we have allotted. We know that we are starting from scratch and that it is a building process for the longer term that requires time and expense. We are prepared to undertake it and run with it because we believe in time it will deliver dividends to us and to the system both.
3708 We thank you for listening, and if you have any questions, we’d be happy to answer them.
3709 THE CHAIRPERSON: I have no questions. I think your reply was very comprehensive in terms of that. Thank you very much.
3710 MS. LAURIGNANO: Thank you, Mr. Chair, Commissioners.
3711 THE SECRETARY: I will now ask Radio India to come to presentation table.
3712 Please reintroduce yourself and you have 10 minutes.
3713 MR. MATHIEU: Good morning again. My name is Michel Mathieu. I’m a Broadcast Consultant.
3714 This is Ms. Sharon Gill, President, Chief Executive Officer of Radio India Limited. Ms. Sukhjit Mangat and Mr. Devinder Benipal are part of our team. And we will be very brief. We are not intervening against anybody. We just have a few comments and we’d like to support some -- one quick application.
3715 THE CHAIRPERSON: As long as we’re clear that your comments need to be in reply to other presentations not a continuation of your ---
3716 MR. MATHIEU: No. The only thing I would like to say is that some people ---
3717 THE CHAIRPERSON: That sounded like a no but, but go ahead.
3718 MR. MATHIEU: Okay.
3719 MR. MATHIEU: No, the point is that there’s certain AM frequencies, especially directional antenna on the low part of the AM band, using many towers will be very expensive to implement and maintain as opposed to the use of 1690 kilohertz or any other frequency on the expanded band that makes good use of an omnidirectional antenna. We call it a Valcom antenna. It’s a fibreglass whip. You can put it on top of a building. It makes life much easier, less expensive and will provide as good a service to our target area.
3720 So should the Commission in its wisdom choose to licence two ethnic radio stations, this will provide diversity, different news voices and will definitely be in the public interest.
3721 Sharon, please.
3722 Mme GILL: Le Canada étant un pays bilingue, il y a deux langues officielles.
3723 S'il vous plaît, Michel, explique.
3724 M. MATHIEU: Alors, comme Madame Sharon vient de vous dire, le Canada a deux langues officielles. Vous avez devant vous ce matin une belle présentation par un groupe communautaire francophone.
3725 Radio India aimerait supporter cette application, parce que c'est important ici à Edmonton qu’il y ait des voix dans les deux langues officielles. L’application de nos amis de la radio communautaire ne dérange absolument aucun des 10 autres applicants, ni au niveau technique, ni au niveau marketing. Alors, c'est les opinions de Radio India.
3726 Merci beaucoup. Bonne journée.
3727 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I have no questions. Thank you very much.
3728 THE SECRETARY: I will now ask Harmon Bal on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated to come to the presentation table.
3729 Please re-introduce yourself for the record, and you have 10 minutes.
3730 MR. BAL: Mr. Chairman, Commissioners, Commission Staff, let me reintroduce to the Commission my team. To my right is our radio consultant Steve Kowch. To his right is Ashleigh Davidson. To her right is Malaika Jackson. And to my left is Sean Wright.
3731 Let me start with thanking the Commission for giving us the opportunity this week to share with you our vision of ethnic radio at this hearing.
3732 Listening to the other applicants in the past few days, I found it to be very disappointing to hear the same old ways of doing ethnic radio. Somehow the Commission’s message about increasing diversity on Edmonton radio got lost because diversity took a back seat this week to South Asian or Chinese programming on many of the proposed new ethnic radio stations.
3733 It was also discouraging and may I say as an ethnic and visible minority that I was quite disgusted to hear applicants refer to the smaller ethnic communities as secondary languages.
3734 Furthermore, we believe applicants didn’t respect the CRTC guidelines dealing with service to large and small ethnic groups. They want to air their preferred language group weekdays and dump the other condition of license ethnic groups into one or two hour weekend linguistic ghettos.
3735 This isn’t the spirt of the Commission’s established guidelines when it comes to allocating air time to large and small ethnic communities outlined in paragraphs 18 to 25 in Public Notice CRTC 1999-117.
3736 Two paragraphs in particular are worth noting. Paragraph 21:
3737 “The Commission continues to consider that smaller ethnic groups benefit from a basic level of broadcasting in their own languages and from programming that assists in their full participation in Canadian society, reflects their culture and promotes cross-cultural understanding. Therefore, it will maintain its objective that service should be provided to smaller as well as larger ethnic groups.”
3738 Now paragraph 24:
3739 “In establishing the required number of distinct groups to be served, the Commission will also weigh the ability of ethnic stations to provide appropriate amounts of quality programming to these groups.”
3740 Commissioners, I don’t believe that what we heard this week comes anywhere close to being appropriate amounts of quality programming for these small groups.
3741 Let’s hear a sample of what has disappointed us this week.
3742 MS. JACKSON: South Fraser has proposed 58 hours in South Asian languages, 23.5 hours in Cantonese and Mandarin for a total of 81.5 hours out of a 126-hour broadcast week, leaving 44 hours for 16 other languages of which only 18 hours were allocated for 13 languages aired in the ghetto.
3743 Red FM has proposed 15 (sic) hours in Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu, 43 hours in Cantonese and Mandarin for a total of 98 hours, leaving 28 hours for 10 other languages, nine of them in the ghetto.
3744 Akash has proposed 51 hours in South Asian languages, 28 hours in Chinese, 15 hours in Tagalog, 16 hours in English for a total of 110 hours, leaving 16 hours for seven languages in the weekend ghetto. But listen to how they spin this; “on weekends we connect more of Edmonton’s communities by adding programming in seven more languages.”
3745 VMS, it has 22 languages -- the most of all applicants -- 50 hours in the South Asian languages, 25 hours in Chinese, 10 hours in Tagalog, 20 hours for seven languages on week nights for a total of 105 hours, leaving only 21 hours for 10 languages in the ghetto.
3746 Neeti P. Ray has proposed 15 hours in Arabic, 10 hours in Vietnamese, 52 languages (sic) in South Asian languages, 15 hours in Tagalog, 10 hours in English for a total 102 hours, leaving 24 hours for only six hours in the ghetto -- six languages -- I’m sorry -- in the ghetto.
3747 Radio India has proposed 99 hours in South Asian languages, 10 hours in Chinese, five hours in Tagalog for a total of 114 hours, leaving only 12 hours for 10 languages, half of them in the ghetto.
3748 Alberta 18811258 has proposed 49 hours in South Asian languages, 19 hours in Chinese for a total of 68 hours, leaving 58 hours for only 12 languages, five of them in the ghetto.
3749 MR. KOWCH: Commissioners, after listening to the other applicants, we believe only our program schedule respects the Commission’s established guidelines when it comes to air large and small ethnic communities outlined in Public Notice CRTC 1999-117.
3750 Radio D 106.5 FM will provide 126 hours a week of diverse, multicultural and inclusive programming. It will increase diversity and at the same time provide the appropriate amounts of quality programming to the large and small ethnic communities in Edmonton.
3751 Thank you for your time and we’re ready to respond to any questions you might have for us.
3752 THE CHAIRPERSON: We have no questions -- actually, I might have -- no, I don’t.
3753 Thank you very much. You were very clear in your intervention.
3754 THE SECRETARY: This completes Phase II for Items 1 to 11 on the agenda.
3755 We’ll now proceed with Phase III in which intervenors appear in the order set out in the agenda to present their intervention.
3756 We will begin with the presentation by Rogers Media Inc.
3757 THE SECRETARY: Please introduce yourselves, and you may begin.
3758 MS. ADAM: Thank you.
3759 MS. ADAM: Good morning, Commissioners. My name is Julie Adam. I am the Senior Vice-President of Radio at Rogers Media.
3760 With me today are, to my left, Susan Wheeler, Vice-President Regulatory; to her left, Stephen Crane, Business Manager; and to Stephen's left, Roman Brytan, Program Director. To my right is Shelly Ruis, General Sales Manager; and to her right is Bobby Dhillon, Account Manager for World FM.
3761 Thank you for allowing us to appear today to speak to our intervention opposing the applications to operate new ethnic radio stations in Edmonton.
3762 Rogers currently owns and operates three radio stations in this city, including World FM, which has been a proud part of the community for over 36 years. It serves 12 ethnic groups in 12 languages with the vast majority of our programming serving the South Asian and Chinese communities.
3763 Rogers continues to invest in the Edmonton community, both in terms of people and programming. In fact, we recently announced a new weekend schedule that includes 12 new hours of programming in South Asian and Chinese languages.
3764 While we never shy away from competition, we asked to appear today to outline our significant concerns with licensing a new station in this market. We do not believe that any new station should be licensed in Edmonton. This is a very crowded market.
3765 The economy remains sluggish and has not rebounded from the oil shock of a few years ago. The radio stations operating in the city today are experiencing declining revenues and PBIT margins as a result of that poor economic performance.
3766 The applicants in this proceeding have all argued Edmonton can absorb another radio station, yet the vast majority of these applicants have almost no experience in this market. Members of our staff have over two decades of experience selling advertising and creating programming for third-language audiences in this city. They live and work in Edmonton and know its financial reality.
3767 The Edmonton market cannot support another radio station, and certainly cannot support two ethnic stations that are targeting the same audiences and advertisers.
3768 MS. RUIS: We believe the Commission should consider the Edmonton economy as it exists today in deciding whether it is robust enough to support another radio station.
3769 In our written comments, we highlighted a few economic indicators, such as declining GDP and higher unemployment, and noted that they tell the real story of what is happening on the ground in Edmonton today. In response to that, some applicants referred to forecasts or other predictions of economic growth for the city. With respect, those forecasts are not evidence of an economy that is improving.
3770 We are not pretending to be experts in forecasting economic growth; however, we do have radio expertise in this market and believe the current economic conditions should be the primary factor in determining whether it can sustain another station. The Commission should look at what is actually happening in Edmonton instead of relying on a forecast that is inherently speculative.
3771 The health of any radio market is directly linked to the health of the local economy, and Edmonton is no exception. The economic decline experienced over the past few years is reflected in the revenues and PBIT margins of the radio stations currently operating here.
3772 Again, the evidence available to the Commission, which includes the CRTC's 2015 Commercial Radio Financial Summaries and the June 2016 Trans-Canada Radio Advertising by Market or TRAM Report, indicates that radio revenues have been falling since 2013.
3773 The CRTC's financial summaries show that the revenues in Edmonton have declined between 2013 and 2015 by more than $1.2 million. Profitability also remains marginal as there has been almost no change in PBIT margin over the past three years.
3774 The most recent TRAM Report indicates that this revenue decline has continued into 2016 as the advertising market for radio continues to soften in Edmonton. This market has experienced the largest year-over-year revenue decline of any city in Canada.
3775 In fact, the TRAM Reports for the past eight years show that advertising revenues in this city have remained relatively flat. That's been the case notwithstanding that several new radio stations have entered the market.
3776 Every applicant says that its station is going to grow out the advertising pie, but that has not happened in Edmonton. Instead of attracting new advertisers and growing revenues, the new stations that have entered this market over the past eight years have largely cannibalized existing stations, even when the economy was stronger than it is now.
3777 The applicants in this proceeding are making the same claims. They identify potential new advertisers which they say will expand revenues. However, the vast majority of these potential advertisers are small businesses that will have very modest advertising budgets. They will not generate enough revenue to sustain a new radio station.
3778 Rogers has operated stations in Edmonton for many years. We understand the market and we know the impact a new licence will have on the revenues of existing stations. Over 95 percent of World FM's revenues come from local advertisers and those revenues have remained flat in recent years even if our costs have continued to rise.
3779 MR. DHILLON: Nine of the 10 applicants have indicated that they will target the same audiences as World FM by devoting a significant amount of their schedules to serving the same South Asian and Chinese communities that we serve. Despite that, almost every applicant has suggested that the presence of their station in the Edmonton market would only minimally impact World FM. That defies all logic.
3780 We estimate that 40 percent of World FM's revenue would be at risk if a new station is licensed. That would undermine the ongoing viability of our station and the quality of service we are able to provide.
3781 At the same time, we believe it would be odd that the Commission -- Commission to approve a new ethnic radio station in a market where the applicant is proposing to target the same audience as the incumbent. This would be true regardless of whether the applicant was applying for a music licence or an ethnic station.
3782 The licensing process should add diversity to the market. We do not see how licensing a second ethnic station for Edmonton could achieve this objective.
3783 Take Calgary for an example. Today, Calgary supports two ethnic stations, in part because the primary audience of each station targets is not the same. MBC targets primarily South Asian community in Calgary, whereas Fairchild's primary audience is the Chinese community.
3784 Unlike the situation in Calgary, most of the applicants in these proceedings are not proposing a new radio service that would complement the programming offered on World FM. Instead, most are proposing a radio station that would be directly competitive with World FM by targeting the same audiences and the same advertisers.
3785 MBC's application is a prime example of this. It is proposing to devote close to 75 percent of its schedule to programming directed at the South Asian and Chinese communities. That is strikingly similar to World FM's current schedule.
3786 Today, we devote more than 70 percent of our schedule to programming for South Asian and Chinese listeners. We provide these audiences with local, national, and international news, as well as a variety of spoken word and music programs.
3787 There are already other sources of ethnic programming in the market. CKGAR -- CKJR-AM, which operates out of Wetaskiwin, has a signal that reaches the southern communities of Edmonton where the largest South Asian communities reside. There are also SCMOs that broadcast South Asian programming in Edmonton today.
3788 Granting a licence to an applicant that intends to target South Asian and Chinese communities in Edmonton does not enhance the diversity of programming in the market. It will, however, have a negative impact on World FM. We will not be able to continue to invest in new programming if a new station enters this market with a mandate to serve our core listeners and advertisers.
3789 MS. WHEELER: If the Commission is going to issue a new licence following this hearing, then we believe that it should only be granted to an applicant that is not proposing to target the same South Asian and Chinese communities that are served by World FM today. Instead, the Commission should licence an applicant who is truly proposing to add diversity to the market by targeting a different set of ethnic communities.
3790 In order to further ensure that a new station would add diversity to the market and would not undermine World FM's ability to serve its audiences, we also believe that conditions of licence limiting the amount of programming to be offered in Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Mandarin, and Cantonese languages should be imposed. In our view, any new ethnic licensee should not be permitted to devote more than 25 percent of their schedule to these languages in total on a weekly basis.
3791 In closing, Rogers believes that Commission should revisit its conclusion that the Edmonton market can sustain an additional radio station.
3792 We would be pleased to answer any questions you may have. Thank you.
3793 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I have a few questions, and my colleagues may have some as well.
3794 When you spoke of the need to assess the market based on the economy today, the argument you hear that's not -- not to invalidate that argument, but the argument you hear is that, well, you could give a licence and hold your hearing. By the time you make a decision, you know it's going to be a couple of years, the price of oil will be higher, stability will have returned, all will be well.
3795 And, you know, to be fair, given the history of Alberta's economy, that's kind of what happens; the price of oil goes down, the price of oil goes up. Last time we were here for a large hearing, it was up, and by the time the decision came out, it was down. It just goes that way. So I'd like your response to that; why the very short-term view?
3796 MS. ADAM: Sure. Thank you. And I'll ask Shelly to speak to the mood of advertisers in the Edmonton market right now.
3797 You know, it's -- certainly when it comes to the economic view, radio in Edmonton right now, it's more than just the economy. It's -- we believe that the market is already maxed out in terms of licences. We feel that this is a crowded market as it is, and perhaps overcrowded.
3798 And when those new stations came in a few years ago, the advertising pie didn't grow. The economy was better a few years ago than it is now. So for us, the reason we opposed this decision a year ago was because we truly believe the Edmonton market is maxed out right now and we do not believe that any new licence should be allowed into the Edmonton market at this time.
3799 Take that into account with what's happened over the last nine months from the economy -- the economical point of view, the oil crisis, the fires in Fort McMurray; it's hard for us right now to see that things are going to be better quickly. And it's hard for us to believe that even in a couple of years' time, the Edmonton market is ready to have more radio stations in the market.
3800 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. The -- you would heard people in terms of that argument say, "Well, it's ethnic radio, right?" The -- these are not necessarily major accounts. The impact on audience fragmentation is usually very small in terms of that.
3801 How would -- and the source of advertising is typically small businesses who can't afford or don't need the reach of or are very culturally specific and who -- often the -- their alternative is not non-ethnic commercial radio. Their alternative is ethnic print, in terms of their advertising.
3802 So I'd like your point of view on that counterargument.
3803 MS. ADAM: Well, again, Shelly can break down our advertisers right now, but I mean, essentially, just because there's a new -- there's new -- a new choice or there's a new licence or a new radio station in the market doesn't mean that, you know, suddenly marketing budgets go up within a business.
3804 We don't believe that there is -- there are enough new advertisers out there in Edmonton for the ethnic communities wanting to advertise on ethnic stations. We do not believe there is enough new business out there to sustain a second licence.
3805 Our team works very hard at Rogers to drum up new business. We have, you know, 10 salespeople on the street every day trying to drum up new business. And, you know, our revenue has been flat for the last several years. It's down, in fact, from four or five years ago.
3806 So, you know, we don't believe that there is this, you know, large list of advertisers out there that we haven't tapped into that suddenly will appear if another radio station comes into the market.
3807 THE CHAIRPERSON: And just -- oh sorry, did you ---
3808 MS. RUIS: Yeah, I was just -- if you -- yeah, I was just going to mention that you're right; I mean, 60 percent of our revenues do come from those local -- local ethnic advertisers here in Edmonton.
3809 And as Julie said, those advertisers have very small marketing budgets. These are not people who have, you know, multi-million dollar advertising budgets or even those that a mainstream advertiser might have.
3810 So what we're saying is that for -- to ask someone who is spending -- so predominantly 70 percent -- over 70 percent of our advertisers are only spending about $500 a month in radio. So now we're going to ask them to, what, increase the budgets?
3811 They don't have the budgets to increase so what's going to happen is fragmentation of that -- those marketing dollars. We believe that's what will happen. Those dollars aren't going to get bigger, they're just going to get spread out.
3812 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Just -- you mentioned marketing budgets and I just -- it sort of reminded me that when we looked at your intervention there was a large increase in your sales and marketing expenses between 2014 and '15; it went up 124 percent when you were submitting your financials, in terms of that to give us an overview of the situation.
3813 Can you help us understand why there was a big spike in that?
3814 MS. ADAM: Stephen will walk you through why there's a -- why there was an increase there. A lot of it has to do with, frankly, just behind-the-scenes allocations.
3815 Stephen, do you want to bring a clearer picture to that, please?
3816 MR. CRANE: You bet.
3817 Over the years Rogers has made changes in the way that they structure internally. And World FM, over the years, has not had to bear the brunt of some of the expenses that has been allocated throughout the -- all the radio stations that we operate.
3818 And as they've changed things, it's bore more the brunt. And this past year more has been allocated onto the station to show the amount of resources that it actually consumes.
3819 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would that allocation -- that's a sort of central charge, I take it, right? That would be consistent in -- with your other stations in Edmonton? We would see the same sort of increase, or other stations in other markets?
3820 MR. CRANE: That is correct, you would.
3821 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you.
3822 MS. ADAM: In fact, some of the -- some of those allocations, you know, because we have a few stations in a market, World FM, you know, although we don't share programming, obviously, and it takes an incredible amount of resources to program a station like World, some of those backroom jobs, you know, whether it's engineering or traffic or admin, we are able to, you know, bear the brunt of some of those costs on our other stations.
3823 So the World FM expenses are -- you know, could potentially be a little bit higher if we didn't have those other stations in the market to balance them out.
3824 THE CHAIRPERSON: So those central charges are offset by being -- by having other World FM-specific costs allocated elsewhere?
3825 MS. ADAM: These ---
3826 THE CHAIRPERSON: I mean, the net impact of having an increase like that is -- I mean, shows -- I mean, it makes you look less profitable or less comfortable financially than you may be. So just to know, is it offset by ---
3827 MS. ADAM: It's a bit of a wash, that's right. So there's some centralized allocations that work in our favour -- in World's favour and there are centralized allocations that work against it.
3828 So, ultimately, the numbers that you're seeing are accurate of, you know, World FM and what it takes to -- what it takes to run that radio station. And they're more accurately reflected now than they have been in the past.
3829 And you can see that we are -- you know, we're breaking even, slightly profitable last year. We lost money on the previous couple of years but we were profitable last year, slightly.
3830 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you.
3831 You said that when you were speaking of revenues as specific to the Edmonton market and three past years and likely a fourth currently in decline, you indicated that Edmonton was the worst -- had the sharpest decline of any major market. And I wrote down, "Worse than Calgary?"
3832 MS. ADAM: Yeah, unbelievably so, it is. So now worse than Calgary, you know, they're both not doing well. But Edmonton is -- declines, year over year, are higher in Edmonton when we look at TRAM, and Calgary would be second right behind it. It's very difficult in the west right now.
3833 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. The argument we have heard from time to time is that -- well, Alberta's suffering very badly but, you know, Edmonton's okay.
3834 It’s a public sector city. The provincial government’s spending lots of money to sustain infrastructure and public sector institutions and that sort of stuff. So Edmonton’s a little protected. That’s certainly not what I’m hearing from you and -- in terms of your take on the economy.
3835 So what are we missing in -- I mean, your reality, you’re here, and yet we’ve got the applicants indicating that, you know, Edmonton’s not so bad. People who -- operating other businesses in the market say it’s, you know, it’s not great but it’s sustainable, things will turn around. Other sources indicate that Edmonton’s somewhat protected. So is there anything to support? Are there -- I mean, those appear to be, from what you’re saying, more opinions than fact-based arguments.
3836 MS. ADAM: I think the advantage we have is we are operating in the Edmonton market right now. So we’re living and breathing this every day. And we’re living with the TRAM results. Radio overall is down two to three percent this year year-to-date. And Edmonton is -- I mean, those are the numbers, those are the figures in front of us is that Edmonton is the worse off.
3837 So, you know, I, you know, respectfully, it is the job of the other applicants to put together an argument for why other stations should be licensed in this market and for them to try to put a viable reason together. All we can tell you is what we’re seeing day in and day out in the market. And Shelly and Bobby can speak to, you know, what their team is going through and what the sales team goes through day in and day out trying to sell advertising in this market during this, you know, economic time.
3838 MS. RUIS: What I’ll tell you, Commissioner, is that the TRAM year-to-date decline in Edmonton is 11.1 percent. Calgary and Red Deer are right behind Edmonton at 9.1 percent. So there’s still a spread between how far down Edmonton is versus even other markets in the province.
3839 In August alone we were down 27.3 percent year over year in TRAM. That’s a significant number of dollars that weren’t put into the market. And I can tell you July and August were the two worst months that I’ve seen in my career as far as how revenue were pacing in the market, worse even than 2009 when we saw the last dip in the market.
3840 The other thing, you know, you mentioned, you know, the government and things of that nature, but, you know, looking at our cluster as a whole and looking at World FM, looking at the other stations and taking a look at where are the revenue decreases coming from, they’re coming from large sloth of industries. Hospitality is down by 66 percent. This is radio spending year over year. Wireless is down 51 percent. You know, even government spending year over year is down over 52 percent.
3841 So we’ve got massive decreases in dollars coming in to the radio market and it’s having a significant impact on the viability of the radio market right now as it is today.
3842 I think Bobby probably has some other thoughts on how that’s impacting him as well.
3843 MR. DHILLON: Well, Commissioner, I have approximately 138 clients. Out of that 100 are local businesses. These are small businesses that do renovations, flooring, drywall stuff and small projects. During one of our meetings I had a discussion with one of my client and he mentioned, “Bobby, have you noticed that the City is giving so little permits these days?” And I looked up on the City’s website and I noticed that the builders taking permit from the City for the Edmonton CMA have declined 48 percent as compared to Q1. And the decrease in commercial permits quarter over quarter is 74 percent. So that is some sort of an economic indicator I would agree with.
3844 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yet the applicant 1811258 Alberta, known as -- which referred to itself as the “Company” and again for the conversation, they indicated they had a waiting list of advertisers for their brokered programming out of Wetaskiwin and seemed positively upbeat about opportunities in terms of that for their, albeit 26 hours of programming in terms of that. How can -- how do we make sense of those two very opposing views from people who are both actually working in the Edmonton advertising market?
3845 MS. RUIS: My comment to that would be, you know, if I was an advertiser I’d be excited too. Because the -- basically what that means is that everybody’s going to lower their rates so I’m going to be able to buy things for cheaper. And so, I mean, that -- the bottom line is that that’s what’s going to happen is we have, you know, somebody else in market, the rates are going to go down and the revenue’s going to get split.
3846 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. That’s not a bad thing for advertisers, I guess. Maybe it is, maybe -- that’s their decision.
3847 How would you address -- this is an unpleasant question, but it must be asked. How would you address the perception by some that Rogers is a fine company and very good at many things but perhaps ethnic radio is not among its core expertises? And that may have to do with its -- the situation it finds itself in in this marketplace and maybe a fresh operator would be more efficient and better at it?
3848 MS. ADAM: Sure. I’m -- and Roman, our Program Director, is here and I’ll -- I’d like to -- I’d like him to spend a minute or so, you know, convincing you why we are good at ethnic programming.
3849 We believe we are good broadcasters. You know, I would say that we program World FM and our attitude towards World FM is the same attitude we have to all of our properties, which is they’re run locally. They’re programmed locally. They’re sold locally by experts.
3850 So this is about having a staff and a team at World FM who are so passionate about what they do. We have 40 people there, give or take. And they know the business. They know the market. They know how to program to the market. They’re in touch with the community every single day. And we are proud of the work that’s being done on World FM.
3851 And, you know, I would say that we operate all of our properties like that. If, you know, if we’re in Edmonton and you go down the hall and you look at, you know, Sonic or Bounce, which are completely different radio stations, they’re not programmed by the same people that program World. Those are different people, programmed locally. The staff at those stations are passionate about what they do.
3852 So this isn’t about, you know, Rogers programming a radio station. This is about having a local team in market doing what they’re great at.
3853 And just one sort of further point on Rogers is, you know, we have OMNI. We do believe that we are good at multicultural programming and we do have, you know, a lot of experience doing it.
3854 Roman, is there anything specific you’d like to add?
3855 MR. BRYTAN: Yes. First of all, I’d like to point out that CKER Radio of course was in existence much long -- a long time prior to Rogers’ acquisition of CKER along with other properties in Alberta. And as such, we’ve been operating in and cooperating with the multicultural community of this city for 36 years now.
3856 And I have been with the radio station next March will be 35 years. And I have two of my senior producers who have been with it almost the entire time as well that bring continuity, that bring an intense and intimate knowledge of how their communities work, that are high profile within their communities, and that get immediate feedback from listeners because listeners to multicultural or ethnic broadcasting tend to be immediately reactive. They tend to have a real sense of ownership because that is their program. And as a result, we hear what they want and very often, obviously, we can’t deliver everything that people want, but it gives us the perspective that we need to make programming decisions moving forward.
3857 I require each of my producers and hosts to be heavily entrenched in their respective communities. And that’s where we know that we are making the impact because if we weren’t, we wouldn’t be getting the responses and feedback.
3858 That feedback can also come in the form of emails through our website, many of which we receive, and it also comes in the form of when we are out in the field, our various personalities are instantly surrounded by listeners who have -- want to talk about what the programming is, whether it’s positive or negative. So, we hear from them at that time as well.
3859 World FM has benefited from becoming part of the Rogers family, but not in the sense of Rogers is a major corporation that owns 50 plus radio stations bringing in some sort of a cookie cutter attitude to our programming and our radio station philosophy. Instead, they did what I consider a very wise thing; they stepped back and allowed us to continue programming in the way that we did successfully prior to being acquired by Rogers, and then worked with us to raise the standards of our broadcasting quality. Because we now benefitted from 50‑plus radio stations and certain standards, both technical and in terms of content, that we otherwise would not have been exposed to being a standalone radio station.
3860 So as a result, we've been the multicultural radio station of the year at the Canadian Music Awards three times within the last decade, the last one being just last year. Many of our producers are -- have been honoured, such as our Juan Caroca, our Spanish producer; Leo Sergiovanni, our previous Italian producer were honoured with RISE Awards for contribution to the ethnic community and multicultural spirit of Edmonton. The Ziniak Award was awarded to one of our producers from the Canadian Ethnic Media Association about dedication/devotion to the ethnic and multicultural community.
3861 And I could give you many, many more examples, but the point that I'm making is that I have every confidence in our team, and the kinds of feedback and ideas that they bring back to the table that inform our decisions of programming are really -- can be value, and certainly I would say are of the highest quality of opinions because they're based on experience.
3862 We live with the Edmonton multicultural community. We are a part of all of their celebrations. We know the players in the various organizations. In fact, some of our people are in -- on the boards or in -- or head up some community ethnic organizations. So that all said, we feel that we have a real hold or a real understanding on what the ethnic and multicultural community of the city will respond to, and most needs or fields that they need with -- from a radio station such as ours.
3863 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
3864 I liked your comment. You mentioned that 95 percent of your revenues are local. A number of applicants have put forward business plans that have -- just to clarify, 95 percent local and the other 5 percent is national. Is that right? So okay.
3865 Many of the applicants have indicated much higher percentages in terms of national advertising revenue. I think the 5 percent that you're mentioning is probably the lowest -- below, certainly, the median of the applicants.
3866 Can you help me understand where they think they're going to get money from that a company with significant national resources has been unable to find?
3867 MS. RUIS: Well, the long and the short answer to that is they're not. I mean, I've been -- to Roman's point, Rogers has been in the market here for about 10 years. I've actually been with World FM for 21. I started my sales career with World FM, and I've been sort of on the streets as the station has changed over the years, and I can tell you that the revenues coming from national advertisers has been a work in progress.
3868 So when I first started, you couldn't actually have a conversation with an agency or a national advertiser about ethnic advertising. They thought you were crazy. They thought, “Why would I ever want to advertise to the ethnic community?”
3869 You know, to their credit, over the past number of years there's starting to be a realization from these larger companies that the ethnic communities are obviously very important; they have very specialized celebrations and various things within their own communities, and so from time to time, they are spending dollars in and around those times of year.
3870 At the same time, though, they are not, for the most part, putting in an actual ethnic plan, an ethnic marketing plan. That's still something that most national advertisers are not doing.
3871 Like I said, they're starting to get a little bit better at saying, “Oh, you know, this festival is happening in the community. We want to provide some greetings or we want to do some advertising in that period of time.” But by and large it's not 52‑week advertising campaigns that they're actually booking on ethnic broadcasting, and that -- you know, maybe one we'll see that that will change, but in -- you know, I don't foresee that coming for some time to come.
3872 MS. ADAM: And you know, we -- believe me; if we could sell more advertising we would. I mean, obviously our goal as operators is to generate as much revenue as we can to allow us to invest in our programming. That's the business model of radio. We don't have subscription rates that we get so it's all through ad revenue.
3873 And, you know, Shelly oversees a few of our -- sales for a few of our stations and is part of national -- the national team as well, so Shelly has sort of first -- a firsthand view of the possibilities. And I think if anybody could bring in national advertisers, it would be Shelly and the team and Rogers because we have those connections and we have those discussions all the time in Edmonton on Bounce and Sonic.
3874 So, you know, if we could do it, we would. If there were advertisers out there that we believed we could get, I'm confident our team would be bringing those dollars in the door.
3875 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I have a couple of questions, just to get more clarity on the specifics of your programming.
3876 I think you gave us percentages -- mentioned percentages, but can you give us the exact number of hours that you do in Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, et cetera?
3877 MS. ADAM: Yes, we have a -- we have a rundown of the languages, and Roman can walk you through that rundown and what those specific hours are.
3878 MR. BRYTAN: Yes, we have currently out of that 126‑hour broadcast week 58.5 hours dedicated to Punjabi language programming; five hours to Hindi and two hours to Urdu, so combined those make 51.5 percent of our broadcast programming.
3879 Canton -- or sorry, you just asked about South Asia, right, or did you want me to go any further?
3880 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, my next question was going to be the Cantonese and the Mandarin.
3881 MR. BRYTAN: Okay. So Cantonese is 14 hours, or 11 percent, and Mandarin is 14.5 hours, or 11.5 percent. So combined that puts us in the range between 70 and 75 percent of our -- all of our programming.
3882 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. And how does your programming break down between spoken word and music?
3883 MR. BRYTAN: In South Asian, obviously with the number of hours that we have that we can dedicate to broadcasting, we're allowed -- we have the luxury of being able to have a diversity of programming for the South Asian community.
3884 So we have news talk programs; they are extremely in demand, and as a matter of fact, people will gladly tell us that at the expense of music they want more talk and they want more information of what's going on, both in their society, both in -- and the Edmonton community, and then, of course, back home.
3885 So any -- in terms of the kinds of programming that we produce, and I'll use Punjabi as the main example, we have a morning show weekdays, which focuses -- the host focuses on local issues and on events that are happening in the community that people should be responsive to. At the same time, she also writes and reads a local newscast during that program.
3886 In the evening, we have what I call our flagship program, which is called Basota. The host is a seasoned broadcast journalist from India, who has a vast number of connections, both in India and here in Canada, and we take advantage of those very much.
3887 So he has many guests by phone and in studio about the important topics of the day, and in particular, the first hour of his three-hour show is dedicated to local events and -- both political and community events that require attention. But in terms of the larger stories that need coverage, he often will set aside the entire program as necessary.
3888 I could give you examples of the Uber taxi controversy, for instance. Obviously, a very high issue within the South Asian community as many of the drivers are of South Asian extraction. So there were guests and very heated exchanges; we made sure to cover that directly.
3889 When the -- when Amarjeet Sohi, the -- who was a local Edmonton councillor, decided to go into federal politics, and in fact, is now in Cabinet, there was a by-election held and it was in Mill Woods, which is the area where the South Asian community lives and works. And so that was, for a by‑election, an unbelievable 39 candidates for one council seat.
3890 We covered that extensively. We had candidate debates. And in particular, we had one, three-hour broadcast live with all the candidates participating and a panel of journalists questioning them, and that got a huge response throughout the community and it was really -- it was just about a week before the election. And we feel that it was -- it delivered on the need that the people had for what's going on.
3891 So music, in the case of the Psuedo Program for instance, is used to season the show, for lack of a better term, to break up the various segments. It’s not the main focus.
3892 But we also have specific programming focusing on music, and those tend to be in the evening. After 10:00 p.m. until midnight we have programs of this nature and on the weekends in particular we have expanded programming. These tend to be new music.
3893 During the week it’s Hindi Bollywood hits hosted by an expert in Bollywood who gets all of the important, you know, gossip that people are tuning in to listen to.
3894 And on the weekends we have a club underground Punjabi program called Pardesi Beats, which is very cutting edge, as far as I’m concerned, in that it delves into an area that generally we don’t hear in South Asian programming, and again, this is somebody who’s well-qualified to do that.
3895 So I would say that our South Asian programming is well-rounded. It’s accessible to everybody.
3896 We have -- by the way, I should mention that ---
3897 THE CHAIRPERSON: So just to be clear, is there any specific number that we could understand in terms of the split between spoken word and music?
3898 I mean, I’m not ---
3899 MR. BRYTAN: Sure.
3900 THE CHAIRPERSON: If you can ---
3901 MR. BRYTAN: Yeah.
3902 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand, from what you said, that music would be used on a where appropriate basis in the spoken word programming and that would vary, but if you could give us a number that just indicated how much of your programming is predominately spoken word and how much of it is predominately music, because I understand the people speak between music and that sort of stuff, that would just help -- that would probably give us what we need in terms of the structure.
3903 MS. ADAM: Roman, why don’t you walk the Commissioners through that section there that outlines spoken word versus music.
3904 MR. BRYTAN: Yes. So in Punjabi we have a total of ---
3905 THE CHAIRPERSON: Actually, while I’m at it, and it could probably save time, could you just file us an updated programming schedule ---
3906 MR. BRYTAN: Sure.
3907 MS. WHEELER: Yeah, and we could ---
3908 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- in terms of that?
3909 MS. WHEELER: We’re certainly happy to do that. So, just to be clear, you want a breakdown by language and ---
3910 THE CHAIRPERSON: A breakdown by language and nature.
3911 MS. WHEELER: And nature. And so spoken word and music, or is there a further subcategory?
3912 THE CHAIRPERSON: Spoken word and music is I believe all we require right now.
3913 MS. WHEELER: Okay. Great. We’ll do that.
3914 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thanks.
3915 So you did mention that -- what I heard you say was no, no, no, no, no new station but if you did it should be someone who would be serving new -- primarily focused on serving communities -- language communities that aren’t currently priority service communities. Is that correct?
3916 MS. ADAM: Well, we -- we have said no to a new licence. I mean, we do believe that. We just don’t believe the market can sustain another licence.
3917 So our belief is that for all the reasons we’ve stated about the economy, and TRAM, and revenue year-over-year, and the state of World, that there is -- that two ethnic stations -- another station in this market isn’t going to be successful. Two ethnic stations in this market that, you know, either World’s going to come down and that station’s, you know, only going to do a little bit, but it’s no viable in our opinion just for all the reasons we stated. We just don’t believe that another station in the market will be viable and especially another ethnic station in the market.
3918 You know, in terms of the ---
3919 THE CHAIRPERSON: So if we are going to licence somebody we should -- because nobody would be viable we should make sure we licence somebody who is unviable but doesn’t make you unviable.
3920 MS. ADAM: Anything you can do to make us not unviable would be great.
3921 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand.
3922 MS. ADAM: I mean, ultimately if your position is to licence another station then yes, we believe it should be somebody with a diverse voice and someone that ---
3923 THE CHAIRPERSON: What might that be?
3924 MS. ADAM: A diverse voice?
3925 THE CHAIRPERSON: Tagalog, Vietnamese, Middle Eastern, Arabic?
3926 MS. ADAM: I think how we would position is that we -- about 70 to 75 percent of our revenue and our programming comes from the South Asian and Chinese communities. So licencing someone who’s going to come in and do the same thing is not bringing forward a diverse voice and that is going to cannibalize World FM.
3927 As we’ve said, if somebody is allowed to come in and just do what we’re doing, which is target the majority of their programming to those two communities, we will likely lose about 40 percent of our revenue, which would be devastating.
3928 So, you know, our request would be that whomever is licenced, if you are going to licence someone, whomever is licenced isn’t focused on those communities and isn’t serving the same communities that we’re serving.
3929 And, you know, we’re -- I don’t know that we’re comfortable enough with all of the applications to be able to sort of state which one would be the one for you to licence, but we would say that a new voice -- it has to be a new voice. It has to be someone coming in targeting a different audience.
3930 THE CHAIRPERSON: So what about the argument from some of them at least that yes, we’re doing a lot of South Asian and we’re doing a lot of Chinese languages but it’s not going to be directly competitive it’s going to be complementary. So if you’re on the air with your morning show you can have the morning show, and when you go off the air in Punjabi, Hindu, Urdu at whatever time, 10:00, 11:00, it doesn’t really matter, that’s when our programming will kick in and the audience will just go to you and then the audience will come to us and there -- at no time will there be competing South Asian programming or competing Chinese programming, those being the primary two. I mean, I think it was discussed perhaps by one in terms of others. But, anyway, your response to that?
3931 MS. ADAM: Well, Shelley can speak to how that works from an advertiser point of view and how the marketing dollars work.
3932 And when you’re doing a marketing buy, how -- you know, trying to buy two stations -- you know, buying one at this time and another at that time, that’s not really reality. That’s not the real reality of how things work, because those advertisers are not going to increase their budgets.
3933 So regardless of whether we are running our programming at exactly the same time or if it’s offset, as you’ve mentioned, the advertising budgets are not going to increase. So those budgets are going to be divided or they’re going to be directed to one station and that other station won’t be viable.
3934 Anything else?
3935 MS. RUIS: Yeah, I think -- you know, and as I stated before, what is the average dollar amount that an advertiser -- local advertisers have per month is $500. I mean, we just took a wide range of advertisers, did an average, that’s what it works out to.
3936 So we’re not talking about tens of thousands of dollars that are going to be split between two stations. We’re talking about very small dollars that are now going to be split and fragmented even more.
3937 So that’s the danger. I mean, that’s where, you know, we look at it and say, you know, if it’s -- you know, we’re going to be splitting it no matter where their programming falls.
3938 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So in terms of that there was -- in order to keep options open there was some discussion with all the applicants this week regarding potential conditions of licence capping, also, you know, -- or fixing volume, hours of programming in those primary -- obviously primary audience and primary revenue source languages, the South Asian and Chinese ones. From what you’ve just said, that would make no difference.
3939 MS. RUIS: Well, a cap would be better than no cap.
3940 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, I knew you weren’t going to take the cap off the table, but it doesn’t sound like ---
3941 MS. RUIS: It’s ---
3942 THE CHAIRPERSON: I mean, from what you’d said, I mean, it’s all about money at the end of the day. People have to make money to survive, right, and if throwing a cap on, pretending that’s going to make something sustainable, or thinking it’s going to make something sustainable, which from an advertising point of view, an economic point of view, is not going to make any difference. It seems a somewhat pointless exercise.
3943 MS. RUIS: We agree with you. I mean, ultimately licencing another ethnic station in this market is going to -- you know, we don’t believe both of us can be successful. So that’s either going to result in, you know, World FM maintaining its success, remembering that we are barely profitable, or it’s going to result in World FM not being profitable and the new licensee not being profitable.
3944 We just -- when we do the simple math -- you know, as you’ve stated, when we do the simple math the math just does not add up that there is a lot of advertising out there for another station in Edmonton.
3945 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. When you talk about 40 percent of your revenue being at risk, how did you come to that number? And particularly, given the context, from what we understand in terms of what we referred to earlier as the company, and you said in your oral presentation that you -- you consider that you already have a competitive framework in terms of serving the ethnic audience in Edmonton.
3946 They appear to have a piece of the market. Whether that's one that's attractive to you or not, I don't know, but how could a new applicant put at risk 40 percent of your revenue, and why wouldn't you be able to defend it?
3947 MS. ADAM: It's a great question, and frankly it's one that actually involves some estimates on our part. And -- but those estimates do come from our many years of experience in working with the ethnic business community in Edmonton.
3948 Like I said to you before, almost 70 percent of our clientele spends about $500 a month or less on radio advertising. And what we estimate is that because 60 percent of our overall revenues come from the local non-mainstream advertisers, and of those advertisers, 77 percent of our business comes from the South Asian and Cantonese and Mandarin communities combined. So 77 percent of all of our revenues come from those three major groups.
3949 We are estimating or anticipating losing approximately 60 percent of our South Asian revenues and approximately 50 percent of our Cantonese/Mandarin revenues. So that revenue reduction actually equates to approximately 40 to 45 percent of our total annual revenues. That's how we came to those numbers.
3950 THE CHAIRPERSON: I have -- I'm always hesitant to say one last question. I have a sort of penultimate question, I guess, regarding that.
3951 Why haven't -- the growing Filipino community has been mentioned a few times the last couple of days. And, I mean, there's applications prioritizing them in terms of that, and some debate about the ability of radio operators to monetize that group, which is the fastest growing immigrant pool on the Prairies these days.
3952 What is your experience, and why haven't you -- or have you moved to see that as an opportunity to be taken advantage of to mutual benefit between yourselves and the Filipino community?
3953 MS. ADAM: We do see that as a -- definitely a growing community and a potential opportunity down the road. Right now the revenue isn't there to sustain it or to develop much more programming at this time, but we do see that as a potential opportunity.
3954 THE CHAIRPERSON: Why?
3955 MS. ADAM: Because it's growing. Because the community is growing.
3956 THE CHAIRPERSON: The pure numbers? I mean, is the -- I guess what I was trying to get at is some folks have said it's just difficult to monetize because there isn't the same -- or so far, the same sort of small business community.
3957 There may be a Chinatown but there is no Little Manila, if you get my drift in terms of having a commercial construct to it. What is your view on that? Because we -- you're the ones who are on the ground in the city in touch with the ethnic communities and that sort of stuff.
3958 MS. ADAM: I'll let Shelly speak from an advertiser point of view and then Roman can speak to the -- from the programming point of view.
3959 MS. RUIS: From an advertising perspective, you're right; there isn't a community -- a small business community in Edmonton that is large enough to be able to sustain the Filipino programming. My experience with the station is that without the support of the business community in a community, the viability for our programming just isn't there.
3960 We really truly do need the community to help support the station and help support the programming on the station. And by and large, all of the programs that we currently advertise to, those communities do support the station.
3961 The Filipino community is growing; it's growing really quite quickly. A lot of that has to do with the foreign worker policies that were in place a number of years ago and the situation we found ourselves in in Alberta with trying to hire people. We were able to hire -- a lot of foreign workers came from the Philippines.
3962 And so that community is still fairly new. It's new in this market. And so as they start to become more established in the community, we do anticipate that at some point in the future there will be more businesses opening up to support the community, just at this particular moment it's just not there.
3963 MR. BRYTAN: And I won't waste a lot of time repeating what Shelly said because she's pretty much said what I -- what I would say also applies to our programming practice, and that is that at the end of the day I also, as a program director, need to look at the potential of each program to at least sustain itself, if not contribute to, you know, the profitability of the station.
3964 And we weigh that against such rubrics as, you know, the growth of the community and the population numbers. And it obviously jumps out at us. So what that does is establishes the fact that we absolutely need to have Filipino programming. The next question is how much Filipino programming right now can we justify, given the state of the evolution of that community as a permanent member of the multicultural fabric of Edmonton.
3965 So as Shelly said, the Vietnamese -- the Filipino community is still in the stage of many temporary workers, many landed immigrants who are still trying to establish themselves. As a result, little discretionary funds in the average consumer, and also the number of the -- the business community has not established itself yet.
3966 So as a result, we have a lot of listeners to the Vietnamese -- I don't know why I'm going Vietnamese today -- to the Filipino program, but we need to work with them on hopefully responding when the community is coming along with more airtime and more potential of what we can do. But we definitely see them as an important part of our station.
3967 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Those are my questions.
3969 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: I might have one.
3970 One of the big difference with Calgary, the Edmonton market in terms of the population, I mean, isn't it similar, the size of the ethnic population between Calgary and Edmonton?
3971 MS. ADAM: Actually the Calgary ethnic community is about 30 percent bigger than Edmonton. So, you know, I know there's been some discussion around Calgary having two ethnic stations in that market and that they -- that they are successful.
3972 You know, obviously we don't know what success looks like for them or what that -- you know, people that are saying they're successful, what that means. But those are two stations targeting completely different audiences. And with a 30 percent, you know, larger community and audience potential.
3973 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: If there were competition amongst two ethnic stations in Edmonton, wouldn't you have to divide, yourselves, the ethnic market? Wouldn't that allow some other communities to be served also so that you could -- you would have no choice but to differentiate and maybe create a new programming offering?
3974 Why should we protect Rogers with the South Asian and Chinese and not just let the market play it out?
3975 MS. ADAM: Well, because we've been serving the community for over 30 years. We are the incumbent. We have the licence right now. And, you know, we believe that the -- that anybody new that would be coming into the market, the mandate should be that the new -- the new licensee is the one that is -- has to bring a diverse voice.
3976 So I think, you know, even with music stations, when music stations are licensed or new music stations are licensed in a market, generally, you know, they don't come in with the exact same format. And that's really been the position of Canadian broadcasting regulations is that any new licenses have to provide a diverse voice.
3977 So we're in this market. We've established a radio station. While it's not, you know, hugely profitable, it is -- last year it was profitable for the first time in three years, barely, and we don't want to go backwards.
3978 And we believe that we owe it to our staff there who make their living and their livelihood off of World FM having a licence and being able to do the programming that they're doing and a sales team that makes their living off of commissions. We owe it to our team there to explain why having somebody come in with -- targeting the exact same audience would be so detrimental to World FM and to the staff there.
3979 MS. WHEELER: I would just add as well, I don’t think it’s that we’re saying protect Rogers. I think we’re saying protect a level of service that we’re able to provide in the community today.
3980 You’ve heard from Shelly and others that the economics of sustaining another station isn’t there. So if you’re going to fragment that and divide it, that is going to result in programming loss and that’s a disservice to the listeners that we have now.
3981 So it’s really protecting the audience and the quality of service that we’re providing that we’re asking you to take into consideration. And that potentially if there is other opportunities for other ethno-cultural communities, then certainly those new entrants should be focusing on those.
3982 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: Thank you.
3983 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
3984 MS. ADAM: Thank you.
3985 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary?
3986 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
3987 I will now ask Express Media Network to come to presentation table.
3988 Please introduce yourself for the record and you have five minutes.
3989 MR. ALI: Good afternoon, Commissioners. My name is Shan Ali and I run a media company called Express Media Network. We publish a newspaper, a weekly newspaper called Weekly Canadian Express, a magazine named The South Asian Express and I host a radio show for South Asians at Sangeet Studio in Calgary.
3990 I am here to support VMS Media’s application as I have been colleague with Ranjit Sidhu, the powerhouse behind VMS Media, for last 12, 13 years. And as all we know that ethnic media is growing despite the fact that mainstream media is shrinking with emerging social media and all.
3991 VMS Media has been greatly respected in Calgary and Edmonton for their high ethnic journalism, for their responsible news values. And I have complete confidence that Ranjit Sidhu and his company, VMS Media, will probably have the passion and resources to run a very successful ethnic and news channel -- radio channel.
3992 It was -- I always talk to Ranjit about his journalistic experience and passion and I always ask him how you maintain your neutrality being a journalist when you have so many religious groups and political groups within the South Asian community. And he always comes up with the answer that journalism should always be neutral and normally journalist is not neutral.
3993 I have complete confidence that with their -- with the success of their weekly newspaper and their side band radio for many, many years, they have the ability to run a successful radio channel.
3994 It was a great moment and proud moment for us as a colleague when he was -- he became part of the media team who went to India with Prime Minister Stephen Harper a few years back. For his great community service and for his respect for his journalism he has been awarded with one of the most prestigious South Asian award we have in Calgary, South Asian Excellence Award.
3995 I have come to know that VMS Media Group is putting their -- all their energies to get this licence. And I personally and strongly feel by just being colleague and a media company who share a lot of resources with them, as a print media and electronic media, that he and VMS Media will do wonderful work in ethnic -- running ethnic radio in Edmonton.
3996 And that’s pretty much all I would like to say. If there’s any questions, Commissioners, I’ll be happy to answer.
3997 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: No, I have no -- well, I think one question. You came here from Calgary this morning to support this application?
3998 MR. ALI: Yes, because our media company, we have our reach to Calgary, Edmonton and Fort McMurray. Our newspaper covers all these three major cities. So we have -- we are pretty deep rooted in the community.
3999 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. So you are here in this community --
4000 MR. ALI: Yes, for sure.
4001 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: -- as well?
4002 MR. ALI: Yeah.
4003 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Well, thank you very much. I have no questions, but I would like to thank you for coming before us today.
4004 MR. ALI: And thank you for listening to me.
4005 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
4006 MR. ALI: Thank you, Commissioners.
4007 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask Harpreet Riar to come to presentation table.
4008 When you are ready you may begin.
4009 MS. RIAR: The only thing better than singing is more singing says Ella Fitzgerald. Good afternoon, Commissioners.
4010 I, Harpreet Riar, is an artist with passions in singing, acting, and I’m a national gold medalist in mimicry from back home in India. With the dreams in my eyes and family responsibilities on my shoulders, in 2012 I decided to move to Canada to fulfil my family needs first. Having said that, the passion for my art being put on a later to do list has always ate my heart.
4011 Soon after arriving I heard about VMS Media conducting a music fest in Calgary where they were trying to promote ethnic artists. I also came to know that they were running a SCMO in Edmonton too. I contacted them and I was initially worried meeting them as the radio stations I tried to meet till that day were either not interested in helping or will only promote the rich or already established artists.
4012 But when I reached out to VMS Media, I was not only listened to patiently by them, but I was also appreciated for my passion. They promised me to give a platform where I can shine my career in the area of my passion that is singing.
4013 Since the day I met the VMS team, I started feeling a positive vibration around myself. They interviewed me several times on their shows and let me sing my songs on the air. Their intermittent announcement on-air about my capabilities made people interested in listening to me.
4014 Eventually, through that platform, I found some promoters and I was able to record solo tracts, which were hugely liked by my audiences. In addition to that, VMS Media introduced me to a crew who was looking for new face in their upcoming Punjabi movie. This helped me in getting a role in an upcoming movie in which very established Bollywood actors and actress are there in lead. In addition to this, because of all the publicity, I was able to perform for about 10 shows in all over Canada as a paid artist.
4015 Last but not the least, to the attributes to my success by VMS Media is that after they started promoting me, my fan following on social media has increased significantly to a number of 25,000, which shows their popularity and kind of trust they have established in that.
4016 With all these personal anecdotes, I would like -- also like to mention here that VMS Media is contributing a major chunk of their CCD contribution in promoting ethnic singers every year.
4017 Commissioners, I am a living example of the success story written by VMS Media. If they can help me reach my ambitious goals in such a short span, I can assure you that they will not only promote the newcomers, but will serve as a launching pad for them.
4018 Imagining such a noble group working on a bigger platform to help local talent makes me strongly urge you to award a radio licence to the most desirable candidate here, which is nobody else than VMS Media Group. That’ll be true justice done to somebody who is working constantly for Albertans and as an artist. I can feel their pain for how long they have desired to run on a mainstream frequency. Granting them an FM or AM frequency will help them fulfil their dream and let the Albertans enjoy the best quality programs on a better frequency.
4019 Thank you.
4020 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Well, thank you and thank you for sharing your story. It is wonderful for us to hear of success stories and I wish you future success. I have no questions relating -- regarding your support for VMS, you were very -- very clear in supporting this applicant. So thank you.
4021 MS. RIAR: Thank you so much.
4022 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask Hardeep Sangha to come to presentation table. You may begin.
4023 MR. SANGHA: Good morning, Honourable Chair and distinguished Panel Members and Commissioners.
4024 For a brief introduction, my name is Hardeep Singh Sangha. You have a letter before you which I have supported -- sent in support of the VMS Media Group.
4025 I am a lawyer; I’m born and raised here in Alberta. I was born in Calgary; I live here in Edmonton. I am a partner in a law firm which is based in both Calgary and Edmonton and I practice in both cities while residing here in Edmonton.
4026 I have an education -- my education background is I have a communications degree with a minor in history from the University of Calgary. I have a law degree from the University of Leicester in England with Honours and I have a gold medal from -- in litigation from the Master’s -- a Master’s of Law in Litigation from Osgoode Hall in Toronto.
4027 I speak five languages including Hungarian, English, Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi, with Punjabi being my first language, English being my second language and Hungarian being my third language. I speak Hungarian as I attended medical school at the University of Hungary in 1997, but finished one semester short.
4028 I'm here today to support the VMS Media Group because I've been involved as a guest speaker with the VMS Media Group. I speak on issues of domestic violence and drug awareness as a guest speaker, as I’ve been approached by members of the VMS Media Group as part of Radio Sur Sagar as their SCMO here in Edmonton to come and speak on issues to help illuminate these issues for the public and in our community.
4029 I am a Sikh. I'm Indo-Canadian. I speak both Punjabi and English on the radio when I am asked to speak, and I speak on how to educate our youth to move forward against the issues that are affecting our community.
4030 My letter speaks to the fact that education is needed. I am a prime example of education in our community and I feel that as education is pushed in our communities, issues can be dealt with.
4031 Now, how is the radio group going to help with this? Well, the support for VMS Media Group in our community has risen from the fact that it's a home-grown operation. They've gone through the growing pains that no other organization here can say that they've gone through.
4032 This group in itself has sat back and dealt with the community. They're reached out to the community. They've gotten feedback from the community. And their programming on Radio Sur Sagar demonstrates what the feedback from the community says. They've looked at issues. They've looked at what programming is needed. They've dealt with issues that are prevailing in communities, and they've addressed these issues. They've got guest speakers like myself to speak about domestic violence, drug awareness. They've addressed media issues. We've heard that they've helped local talent.
4033 They are growing here. They've gone through the growing pains. They want to work inside the community. They're a locally based operation.
4034 The support for the community in the record of these proceedings we've seen that in the first stage in the market capacity petition they had over 5,000 signatures. People actually took the time to sign their name to a petition. Most people don't sign their name to anything these days. They took -- over 5,000 people signed their name.
4035 In the next phase, in the support phase, phase, another over 5,000 people supported them. Over 400 letters were written from local businesses including from myself and from my law firm. People took the time to show their support because VMS Media Group has worked with the community to find that support.
4036 In the record of these proceedings we've seen another Edmonton-based group. They say that they've had over thousands of letters. Well, the actual record will show, on my belief, that it is less than 700 signatures on their petition; less than 100 letters. This is not indicative of our support in the community.
4037 VMS Media Group has over 10 times that amount. They have gone into the community. They've dealt with the community. And most importantly, they are a part of the community.
4038 I joined the community of Edmonton about a year and a half ago and from that time I have seen how involved VMS Media Group is. If there's a local function, celebration of any ethnic group, they are there. Not just covering it, they're a part of it. They're dealing with the people. They're finding out what the people need.
4039 And that's why I believe as a home-grown operation and locally based, they are the most suitable applicant for your consideration here today.
4040 I open myself up to any questions that you may have today, and I thank you for the time to support this application.
4041 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
4042 Very, very eloquent speaker; I understand your success as a lawyer. I mean, you've done a great job in showing your support and quite interesting that first we heard about their support for creative and now for some of the issues that they've supported in the community, more difficult issues like educating youth and so on.
4043 And as a side note, I'm very impressed that you speak Hungarian because, you know, I'm one of those Europeans who somehow it's got lost in the generation.
4044 MR. SANGHA: As your last name is Hungarian.
4045 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Yes, that's true.
4046 MR. SANGHA: Yes.
4047 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: But I wanted to ask you, they are -- VMS Media now is already within the community. Do you yourself listen at your home through the receiver?
4048 MR. SANGHA: Yes, I do. I listen through the Internet and in my car. Usually not in my home; it's in my office. I have a radio there which is going at all times in the background while I'm working.
4049 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So primarily you're listening via the Internet?
4050 MR. SANGHA: Yes, at this point in time. As I am downtown, I'm not part of their bandwidth at this point.
4051 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay, how about via your car; how are you doing that? Internet?
4052 MR. SANGHA: When I'm in the south and -- in the -- when I'm in the south I'm on the radio actually. I'm listening through my car. Otherwise it's, again, through the Internet at this point in time.
4053 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Okay. So going via an FM frequency, does that change, somehow, your access to these folks?
4054 MR. SANGHA: The reason it changes the access is -- I'll give you an example. My parents wanted to listen to something. My parents are both educated. But my grandparents, at the same time, don't have that ability to log onto the Internet; they're here in Edmonton also.
4055 So they didn't have the ability to listen to those shows or the programming or when I was on the air to hear me because they don't know how to use the Internet. They do know how to use the radio. They've been using a radio for over 70 years. So having that ability to do that for them would help other people, I feel, in that community also and make it more accessible than on the Internet.
4056 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Thank you.
4057 MR. SANGHA: Thank you.
4058 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: I'm sorry, I have ---
4059 THE CHAIRPERSON: Hang on. We've got one more question.
4060 MR. SANGHA: Sorry. My mistake; I apologize.
4061 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: You listen to World FM also?
4062 MR. SANGHA: No, I don't listen to World FM also.
4063 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: And any particular reason?
4064 MR. SANGHA: I've seen how much work that the community does -- in the community that VMS Media Group has done, even in Calgary, the participance of Mr. Virk himself. He's been an active member in the community in Calgary; he ran youth functions for us in Calgary.
4065 So when I came here, I saw what they were doing. They were inviting people out to different functions. They're having different celebrations for different cultures. I haven't seen any of that from World FM, so I can't be a part of something that I don't support.
4066 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: Is it because it's only a preference or because, I mean, you don't find that they have quality programming for your community?
4067 MR. SANGHA: It's -- what I see from them -- what I see from the basis of the program, it's not a preference; it's not a natural ally. It's the fact that they've -- with the Radio Sur Sagar and the VMS Media Group, they've taken the time to go out into the community and see what the community wants.
4068 There's certain types of music that's up and coming. I'm not just going to play the first top songs that are on the playlist that comes up on the Internet. They actually see from the people what they want to hear. They go into the issues, and they're at the different functions and the different events, interacting with the people so that they know what to play. Whereas World FM is just playing -- it's just repetitive, almost. It's playing, on my opinion, from what I've heard of it, is it's not engaging. It's just playing what they think is popular, whereas there's no research behind it.
4069 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: Thank you.
4070 MR. SANGHA: Thank you.
4071 THE CHAIRPERSON: You may leave now.
4072 MR. SANGHA: Thank you.
4073 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Thank you very much.
4074 MR. SANGHA: Thank you for your time today.
4075 THE SECRETARY: I will now ask Mandeep Dhaliwal to come to presentation table. You may begin.
4076 Thank you.
4077 MR. DHALIWAL: Good afternoon, Commissioners.
4078 I apologize for my speaking skills. I'm just getting over flu and drove in from Calgary and heavily medicated.
4079 My name is Mandeep Singh Dhaliwal and I'm also known as Manny D. I graduated from University of Calgary with a degree in chemistry. Apart from being an accomplished air quality scientist, I am an Indo-Canadian singer, songwriter, and a music producer in Calgary, Alberta.
4080 Music is my passion and life. Like many other musicians, I have to struggle and sweat it out to find a foothold as a Punjabi singer and get recognition.
4081 For years I knocked on all doors possible, left no stone unturned, but no one came to my rescue.
4082 I endlessly approached a few Indo-Canadian music companies;, the few Indo-Canadian music companies in Canada that openly advertise are promoting new Indo-Canadian talent, but they did not want to invest in an upcoming singer who was yet to get recognition among the masses and become a crowd puller.
4083 At this time, I had pretty much given up on my music dream, but a friend of mine suggested that I approach Quality Transmission, a transmission shop in Calgary.
4084 Through local news channels, I had heard a lot about Quality Transmission and its owners, Pal Virk and Alnor Meeta, for their continuous support and selfless service in the community for social causes. Quality Transmission had been promoting star nights and cultural events.
4085 After my unsuccessful experience with the prominent music companies, I was very skeptical to meet with Quality Transmission, who was not a music label; however, I gathered courage and decided to approach them for support regarding financial help that was holding me back in getting my first album released.
4086 I met with Pal Virk and shared the experience of my pain, dejection, and humiliation through which I had undergone to get myself heard in the community. I shared with Mr. Virk that despite of me leaving no stone unturned, I was still miles away from my musical journey and getting my music released.
4087 After listening to my story, Pal Virk not only felt my pain but also decided to fund my entire project. Mr. Virk and his team at Quality Transmission agreed to support me financially and to ensure my first album is released. He also introduced me to his media team, VMS Media Groups of Radio Sur Sagar. With the sole efforts of Pal Virk and his VMS Media Group, my dream of releasing a first music album became a reality.
4088 In order for my music first album to succeed, the promotion was done through Radio Sur Sagar and print advertisement was carried out in the weekly newspaper, Punjabi National, with my picture -- smiling picture on it.
4089 The songs were played on the Radio Sur Sagar regularly. Due to the committed listenership of the Radio Sur Sagar, my songs, in no time, became well known in the community. The regular of my promotion of my music on Radio Sur Sagar led to an Alberta film production house approaching me to compose and produce a soundtrack for their Indo-Canadian feature film, Pseudo.
4090 By producing the soundtrack of Pseudo, I became the first Punjabi-Canadian to have produced a soundtrack for a Canadian-English feature film.
4091 Today, I stand as an established singer, songwriter, and a music producer, and the credit for all of this goes to Pal Virk and Radio Sur Sagar.
4092 Furthermore, Pal Virk, VMS Media Group, and I decided to collaborate to provide support for upcoming Canadian singers. Through this collaboration, we produced and released many music projects, and these are some of the examples here.
4093 For new and upcoming Canadian singers, it was a proud moment for us when some of the singers we had helped became international Punjabi superstars.
4094 VMS Media Group have for years been tirelessly working to bring out the hidden talent of Alberta. They have organized countless culture shows that feature many international singers. At their shows, local talent is given the opportunity to perform alongside these big names. And usually it's more than 85 percent of the talent pool is local.
4095 I have performed at many of these shows. In the very recent past, a top movie actor and a famous Punjabi singer, Amrinder Gill, was in Calgary to perform live at the T&T Punjabi National Mela, a show organized by Pal Virk and Radio Sur Sagar.
4096 I was given the opportunity to perform alongside Amrinder Gill in front of over 5,000 spectators. It was a proud moment for me to perform alongside a singer that I admire.
4097 I felt it was my moral responsibility to stand with the media group who stood by my side when I needed the support. It is a great pleasure and a moment of pride for me to stand with them and recommend the name of VMS Media Group for getting AM/FM radio licence in Edmonton.
4098 It will be a dream come true for me, and many other local music artists, to see VMS Media Group launch an AM/FM radio channel in Edmonton, and supporting somebody who not only believes in supporting the local talent but also taking the next step further.
4099 And we have always talked about that; what the next step should be. It should be finding the talent and again, not encouraging them only but also producing their projects.
4100 Thank you very much for listening to me.
4101 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Well, thank you, and as I said, it's wonderful to hear stories of success. In our chairs we often hear of the problems and not the success. So -- and thank you for driving here from Calgary. Hopefully, the medication was something you did once you got here, but ---
4102 MR. DHALIWAL: No comment.
4103 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: --- as a chemical engineer, you probably know that.
4104 So anyway, thank you very much.
4105 MR. DHALIWAL: Thank you.
4106 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you everyone.
4107 We will now take a break for lunch and we will resume at 1:40.
--- Upon recessing at 12:25 p.m.
--- Upon resuming at 1:39 p.m.
4108 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please.
4109 We’ll continue. Madam Secretary.
4110 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
4111 We’ll now hear the presentation of the Ethnic Synergy Association. Please introduce yourself and you have five minutes for your presentation.
4112 MS. CHOUDHURY: Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and Commissioners. Welcome to Edmonton. I hope you like the weather of Edmonton. It’s not very chilly over here than Ottawa.
4113 I am -- my name is Lipika Choudhury, Editor and President of the Ethnic Synergy Association. So I just want to show you the magazine. It’s right here. This is the magazine we issue every quarterly.
4114 Ethnic Synergy is a non-partisan and impartial news medium distributed in Bengali or Bangla and English in print and electronic versions.
4115 We operate on a non-profit organization. Bengali is the official language of Bangladesh and of north-eastern states of India, including West Bengal and adjoining areas.
4116 I don’t know in this room everybody is aware or not, Bangla is the sixth most spoken language in the world, and presently has no radio representation in Edmonton, though the Calgary has since last 10 years.
4117 Our publication was the first Bangla news medium in Edmonton. We launched at the end of 2012. Our Bangla magazine provides local community news and also embraces the rich heritage and literature of the Bangla language and promotes the spirit of Canada’s multiculturalism and diversity.
4118 We support Neeti Ray’s application for a new ethnic radio service in Edmonton. You have already heard, I’m sure, about how diverse Edmonton has become over the last 20 years. This is not a surprise because Edmonton has grown quickly over this time period and its ethnic communities have grown as well.
4119 There are many choices for mainstream English radio in Edmonton, but only one full-time ethnic station in the city. It is impossible for one station to reflect all of Edmonton’s diversity and the growing South Asian community, in particular.
4120 Neeti Ray’s application will provide programming in Bengali, as well as in a number of other third languages that currently have no presence at all on Edmonton’s airways. We also note that Mr. Ray plans to broadcast a substantial amount of programming in Hindustani, Hindi, Urdu, which is a common language among South Asian groups and also accessible to the Bengali community, although we are very pleased to have our own specific programming segment as well.
4121 Mr. Ray’s service will provide a mix of news and information programming, music and cultural content targeted to ethnic communities. The service will promote community events and ethnic artists from Edmonton’s diverse communities.
4122 This aligns very well with the mandate of Ethnic Synergy, which is also seeking to provide entertaining, informative and culturally supportive content directed to our own Bengali community. We think that the proposed radio services -- service will be very popular for the intended audiences who currently have little programming available to them.
4123 At Ethnic Synergy, we are proud of our efforts to unite different communities which are often divided in their countries of origin. For example, in August 2015 we organized a joint celebration of India and Pakistan Independence Day, which was attended by an estimated 1,000 people in Edmonton. We have also conducted teaming up with UNICEF Canada fundraisers for Syrian refugee children and also for people who were displaced by the recent wildfires in Fort McMurray.
4124 Mr. Ray’s proposed station appears to be motivated by a similar vision. He will offer radio programming in 12 different third languages, providing a first level of service in Edmonton and 7 of those languages, including Bengali, which he proposed to schedule 4 hours each week. As we say it, he will also feature a block of Hindustani programming in the afternoon which is a common language among a number of South Asian communities.
4125 This balance of content directed to specific language groups and programming that is more widely accessible to a South Asian audience is an attractive feature of his application. I also believe that a blend of music and information programming would be very popular in our community.
4126 We are also aware that Mr. Ray has proposed to do support cultural events and ethnic artists through on-air promotion, interviews and announcement of upcoming events. This will undoubtedly reinforce the type of messages about community cultural activities that we are delivering with Ethnic Synergy.
4127 We fully support Mr. Ray’s focus on our community’s rich cultures and artistic expression. Licensing of Neeti Ray would provide an immediate benefit to Edmonton with the introduction of more programming for Edmonton’s diverse third language communities. He will offer programming in seven languages including Bengali that currently have no presence in Edmonton, which I already mentioned earlier.
4128 Ethnic Synergy is very pleased to express our support for Mr. Ray and for the introduction of a new professional and popular radio service.
4129 Thank you. Do you guys have any questions for me?
4130 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: I’m responsible for your intervention and I thank you very much for your presentation. I think it’s very clear and I don’t have any questions.
4131 MS. CHOUDHURY: Thank you.
4132 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: Thank you very much.
4133 MS. CHOUDHURY: And what about you?
4134 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: My pleasure.
4135 MS. CHOUDHURY: It’s all clear? Thank you very much for your time.
4136 THE CHAIRPERSON: Very clear. Thank you.
4137 MS. CHOUDHURY: Thank you.
4138 THE SECRETARY: I will now ask Charu Ranjan to come to presentation table.
4139 You may begin.
4140 MS. RANJAN: Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and Commissioners. My name is Charu Ranjan. I’m pleased to state my support for Neeti Ray’s application for a new ethnic radio station in Edmonton.
4141 Just to provide you with some perspective on my comments today, I’m a long time resident of Edmonton and have been active in the multicultural community in this city for the last 35 years. I have been involved with many different community organizations, including as President of the Edmonton Raga-Mala Society, which is a music society, and of the Hindu Society of Alberta.
4142 I was honoured to receive a lifetime achievement award in 2006 from the National Indo Canadian Council. I believe that the award reflected my service in the community, which has really been about promoting cross-cultural understanding and Indian culture in Edmonton and Alberta.
4143 I've also been engaged in reaching youth in our community who face the same challenges as youth from any background; from their own perspective, given their parents' expectations and the pressures of growing up in a multicultural setting. I have spoken on a number of occasions about South Asian woman's role in Canadian society at various women's conferences.
4144 The main reason that I support Mr. Ray's application is that the third-language communities of this region are badly underserved. The ethnic population of Edmonton has grown considerably over the last two decades. Still there's only one full-time ethnic radio station in Edmonton, CKER. It cannot possibly meet the needs of all of Edmonton's different cultural communities.
4145 I understand that there are close to 30 different radio stations that provide more mainstream content in Edmonton; this is a significant imbalance.
4146 I am not surprised, therefore, that Mr. Ray has found substantial support in Edmonton's South Asian communities for a station that could offer more programming directed to them. I understand that Mr. Ray is proposing to offer programming in Hindustani, which is a language that is common to a number of different groups from the Indian Subcontinent.
4147 The language enables communication between different cultural groups with origins in that region. Mr. Ray's proposal to broadcast programming directed to South Asian communities in Hindustani will make the new radio service more broadly appealing and better able to serve South Asians of every background, I believe.
4148 Just as the South Asian population has grown over the years, so too have businesses that specifically cater to this community or that are more broadly based but operated by Indians with South Asian roots. Thinking back to 35, or even 20 years ago, there was nowhere near the same level of business activity in our communities as there is now.
4149 In my volunteer work with different organizations, I can see how the owners of these businesses are truly interested in reaching out to their own communities. Their success and their entrepreneurialism is a source of pride, and of course, they want to promote and make people aware of what we have to offer.
4150 Why do I support Mr. Ray's application in particular? I know that you have heard a number of different proposals for news services in Edmonton. I cannot claim to have considered the pros and cons, as you are doing now; however, I know Mr. Ray very well from his years in Edmonton when we first met.
4151 At that time, I did listen to his radio program, Sounds of India. Neeti's program was professional in tone, respectful of our communities, balanced, and very popular. Since then, I had the chance to host my own TV show on Videotron's cable channel from 1989 to 1993, so I know how difficult it is to maintain very high standards and succeed in broadcasting. Neeti has succeeded.
4152 We have remained in touch over the years. I am not surprised at Neeti's success in Toronto and his growing radio business. I have no doubt that our communities in Edmonton would be very well served by CINA Radio.
4153 Sometimes, radio can be somewhat divisive. I know that is not Neeti's approach and that he would never exploit divisions in pursuit of ratings. He's a balanced individual and his programming will be balanced, and you must have heard that he has a beautiful radio voice.
4154 Thank you for this chance to express my support for Mr. Ray's application.
4155 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: Good afternoon, Ms. Ranjan.
4156 With the experience you've got with the community, the South Asian community in Edmonton, how -- I mean, how do you find the World FM serving your community?
4157 MS. RANJAN: I can only speak from, like, personal opinions of people around me and in my community. We find that it is more geared towards Punjabi programming and it is not something that appeals to everyone. Like, I'm not a Punjabi so I don't understand too much of it, and that is one shortfall that I find right now, as far as me and my group of people is concerned.
4158 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: But they have 14 hours a week of Hindu also.
4159 MS. RANJAN: Yeah, but that depends what time. Like, you know, ---
4160 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: Yes.
4161 MS. RANJAN: --- it is different timings, and the most popular times, at least whenever I have put it on, we find that the -- at least I have found that the program is basically in Punjabi. It gears more towards the Punjabi language.
4162 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: And do you know -- are you listening also to the SCMOs in Edmonton?
4163 MS. RANJAN: No.
4164 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: No?
4165 MS. RANJAN: Not really, yeah.
4166 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: And you're not aware of how popular the service might be?
4167 MS. RANJAN: No.
4168 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: No? Okay.
4169 Well, these are all my questions.
4170 MS. RANJAN: Okay, thank you.
4171 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: Thank you very much for your presentation.
4172 MS. RANJAN: Thank you.
4173 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
4174 THE SECRETARY: I will now ask Hindu Society of Alberta to come to the presentation table.
4175 Please introduce yourself for the record, and you have five minutes.
4176 MS. THALESHWAR: Thank you.
4177 MS. THALESHWAR: Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, and the Commissioners.
4178 My name is Hansa Thaleshwar, and I am here today to present my views in support of Neeti Ray's application for a new ethnic radio station to serve Edmonton and its surrounding area.
4179 I have lived in Alberta for the past 46 years, including 10 in Edmonton area. I was Mayor of Cold Lake, Alberta from 1992 to '96, and again, I was Mayor of the City of Cold Lake from 1998 to 2004.
4180 I have over 35 years of extensive involvement, experience in community, and that ranges from elected school board to provincial government-appointed boards, to a number of community organizations.
4181 Neeti Ray's application represents the longstanding need for additional third-language radio service in Edmonton. As the Commission is aware, the last time an ethnic radio station was licensed to Edmonton was 36 years ago in 1980.
4182 Interestingly, Neeti was one of the first on-air hosts who went on air on the first day that CKER radio went on air in 1980. He served the radio station for nine years, learned radio operations, and as every enterprising individual must do, moved on to reach new heights in the radio business. Today, he operates three radio stations of his own in Toronto, Windsor, and Montreal.
4183 His desire to establish a much-needed ethnic radio station in Edmonton reflects both his understanding; his insight into the needs of Edmonton's ethnic communities; as well as the natural instinct to do something for the birthplace of his broadcasting life.
4184 In that context, and as I stated in my intervention letter, given the tremendous increase in recent years in the size of Edmonton's third-language population, it would be equitable for them to have more radio airtime devoted to their needs. Additional airtime needs urgently to be devoted to South Asian programming. There is a wait during primetime, particularly during the day and afternoon drive times.
4185 Similarly, I'm aware of other large segments of our population that have little or no service. For example, the Arabic Filipino in Vietnamese communities.
4186 As we read the application by Mr. Ray, the South Asian population grew by 50 percent from 41,175 in 2006 to 61,685 in 2011 according to Statistics Canada. At that rate, it can be projected to have grown to over 80,000 in 2016.
4187 Similarly, the Filipino population nearly doubled in just five years from 21,155 in 2006 to 42,760 in 2011. The number of Edmontonians of Vietnamese origin grew by over 25 percent during the same period. Dramatic increase in the population of the Arabic speaking Edmontonians has also been reported at -- for the same period.
4188 The proportion of the above mentioned languages groups that have retained their native languages, native tongues, is the most spoken languages at home. It’s much larger than that of the well-established ethnic groups mostly from European countries.
4189 Without a doubt, it is the more recent immigrant groups like the ones mentioned above that need more radio service than the long established one who have already integrated themselves into the mainstream society. The proposed new radio station addresses the needs of these large underserved groups.
4190 Neeti Ray has a proven track record and is gifted with the talent to effectively meet what third language communities are looking for. This belief is shared by thousands of those who have visited this largest Hindu congregation in Alberta, the Hindu Society of Alberta. Mr. Ray has always supported non-profit organizations such as the Hindu Society of Alberta through public service announcements during his broadcast in the ‘80s in Edmonton.
4191 Given all of the above, I urge the CRTC to approve Mr. Ray’s application in the best interests of the public and the ethnic broadcasting system of Canada.
4192 Thank you very much for this opportunity to present this on behalf of Mr. Ray.
4193 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: Thank you.
4194 MS. THALESHWAR: Thank you.
4195 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: I’m tempted with a question.
4196 MS. THALESHWAR: Go ahead. I’ll try and answer it.
4197 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: Okay. You say it is the more recent immigrant groups --
4198 MS. THALESHWAR: Yes.
4199 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: -- like the ones mentioned above that need more radio service than the long established ones who have already integrated themselves in the mainstream society.
4200 The South Asian is already served, maybe not fully, but by the existing ethnic radio station, and there are other communities that are growing. And Mr. Ray is proposing a station that is also to serve with a good number of hours a South Asian group which already is served by World FM. You’re still of that view -- I’m sure you’re in support of him, but that -- I mean, the South Asian again should be the collectivity that should be served at this point instead of the other groups that are coming and growing?
4201 MS. THALESHWAR: Thank you for your question.
4202 My experience in Edmonton area has been that when I listen to the FM, World FM, the programs that I mostly listen is when I’m driving. And mostly they have been in Punjabi. When we talk about the South Asian languages, as Mr. Ray has indicated, Hindustani languages, which is much more than one language. It’s about -- in this language it’s about 14 written and spoken languages.
4203 And so when I talk about different languages or for South Asian population, it is -- I speak Gujarati. So it’s a totally different language and there is nothing. And Gujarati population, as I understand, has now reached -- also doubled. So there needs to be consideration of this different languages from South Asian population. That’s where the most needs are. Also, the Arabic, Filipino, Vietnamese who are coming in, I don’t hear any radio programs. Not that I deliberately search them out, but I haven’t known about them or heard about them.
4204 So, considering all those things would be ideal situation if Mr. Ray were given the approve his application to provide this broad range, broad languages services on radio.
4205 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: Well, thank you very much for your insight.
4206 MS. THALESHWAR: Thank you. Thank you.
4207 THE SECRETARY: For the record, I would just like to say that Malhar Dixit will not be appearing.
4208 I will now ask World Lebanese Cultural Union - Edmonton Chapter to come to presentation table.
4209 Please introduce yourself and you have five minutes.
4210 MR. SHMEIT: Hello? Test?
4211 Good afternoon. My representation is short and meaningful.
4212 I would like to thanks CRTC and the Panel Members for having me. I appreciate the opportunity to represent WLCU, the World Lebanese Cultural Union, one of the largest organizations in the world representing over 6 million immigrant worldwide, many of which have reached position of significant stature.
4213 As a journalist, graduate of University of Lebanon, Faculty of Press, too often as I’m driving I change the radio channel many times until my ear enjoys a deep gravitas like that of Peter Mansbridge or the seductive song of Anna-Maria Tremonti. Script and vocal are very important in broadcasting. And that’s why Mr. Karam has been successful for many years in Montreal and is waiting for the opportunity to excel here in Alberta as well.
4214 A second point to address is the importance of 24 hours radio station to provide Arab newcomers with information about our Canadian heritage. This will be very helpful to adapt our style of living and learn our law, our system and our democracy.
4215 A third important issue or reason for an Arab radio station in the Middle East, the music. This music merged with the Canadian arts and international song of love. And I bet while you’re having in the morning your coffee you will be inspired listening to musical legend such as Fayrouz, whom I call her Celine Dion of Lebanon.
4216 Nonetheless, creating a new Arab broadcast in Edmonton is a great advantage, not only for the Arab community but also to our Canadian culture mosaic.
4217 Adding to this, just emotion and jovial things to say that three weeks ago, my daughter, she's a songwriter and she's a singer, she been interviewed in ITAC in Toronto. And, unfortunately, without our Arab radio here, nobody, you know, air it or talk about it.
4218 And I asking you kindly and professionally to support our application for the Arab radio station in terms to have the echo for our heritage, allow 22 Arab countries, over 60,000 Arab in Alberta -- and the statistics, Mr. Karam, he can provide it to you -- to be a representative and have their voice in our second country.
4219 Thank you very much for listening, and if you have any questions I'll be happy to have an open mind to answer it.
4220 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Well, thank you very much for coming here today and supporting this application.
4221 I have just one question to understand better the organization. You said that you're with the World Lebanese Cultural Union, the Edmonton Chapter?
4222 MR. SHMEIT: Correct.
4223 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So can you tell me a little bit about -- and briefly because I don't want ---
4224 MR. SHMEIT: Sure, yeah.
4225 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: --- to take a lot of your time.
4226 MR. SHMEIT: Yes.
4227 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: But just ---
4228 MR. SHMEIT: It's my pleasure, you know.
4229 I'm a Chairman, Media of WLCU, the World Lebanese Cultural Union, Chapter Edmonton. It's established 1982, re‑established, okay, and since that time, okay, I have been in the Board.
4230 And we have the activities that we proud, as a Canadian, to have it with helping the new immigrant, promote our heritage, have the liaison between our ambassadors in Ottawa, which is, from time to time, we invite him here to have connection with our premiers or the City of Edmonton Mayor.
4231 I can mention to you, a few years ago we have an event and Mr. Stelmach, he was the honoured speaker, when he quoted him in the Arab magazine which is published in Edmonton. I am the -- one of the writer of it. He said, "We are proud to have this community as a value because they value the family and the heritage of -- the original heritage."
4232 In 1986, I believe, we organize a trip to the late Premier Klein with a group of businesspeople to go to Lebanon, okay, and establish some business relation between there and here.
4233 Besides that, you know, we are the first community to raise a Lebanese flag in our Independence Day in the City of Edmonton.
4234 And we cooperate with all the -- most of the ethnic group. We -- like, I can give example. For -- when they have the flood and earthquake in India, we participated in that. We participate on the Fort McMurray, on the Slave Lake when they have the fire, you know.
4235 We've done so many humanitarian, social, and political things, okay? We learn our system and under the umbrella of the other Arab resident citizens in Alberta.
4236 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Well, thank you for that, and once again, thank you for coming and sharing your views here today.
4237 MR. SHMEIT: Thanks for having me, and hope we hear soon a positive answer from you guys.
4238 THE SECRETARY: We will now connect the phone to the next intervenor.
4239 Can you hear me well?
4240 MS. KHAN: Yeah.
4241 THE SECRETARY: Perfect. Thank you.
4242 We will now hear the presentation of the Pakistan Canada Women's Association in Edmonton.
4243 Please introduce yourself, and you have five minutes for your presentation.
4244 MS. KHAN: Thank you.
4245 I was actually personally going to appear but for my personal work commitment, I could not.
4246 MS. KHAN: This is Sofia Khan, and I am the representation -- I am doing the representation from Pakistan Canada Women's Association of Edmonton. I'm the President.
4247 So I actually fully endorse Ms. Sharon Gill, President of Radio India Limited, application to obtain radio licence to serve the City of Edmonton.
4248 Radio India actually places a high value on the community involvement, and has regularly tackled taboo issues on their talk shows, such as domestic violence, drug and substance abuse, gender-selective abortions, and so forth.
4249 Radio India is owned and operated by a young and very talented female broadcaster. Traditionally, as most of you guys know, the broadcast industry in Canada, whether it to be a mainstream or ethnic, it is male dominated.
4250 Ms. Gill has all the prerequisites to be a changing force within our society. She is a better suited to understanding the issue that ethnic women within community and ethnic community at large in Canada face. I'm not trying to stereotype, but she is an ethnic, young, an experienced broadcaster, an entrepreneur, and extremely talented and passionate person.
4251 The broadcast industry needs more ethnic female representation, and there is no other applicant here that would be a better suited than -- for this job, in my opinion. Granting Ms. Gill a licence will be a refreshing change, and will inspire more ethnic women to become broadcaster and bring gender equality within the field.
4252 I urge the Commission to approve the application of Radio India Limited and give ethnic women someone to look up to.
4253 Thank you for listening to me, and thanks for your time.
4254 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
4255 This is Peter Menzies, Chair of the hearing.
4256 Just one quick question.
4257 MS. KHAN: Yes?
4258 THE CHAIRPERSON: Where do you see, primarily, the failing in -- or the weak spot in the current ethnic radio structure that cries out for more gender -- more female representation, in terms of ownership and leadership?
4259 MS. KHAN: Especially in an ethnic group, so far we have quite of few of them. Radio is just the one program kind of -- but mostly broadcasters are male, in Edmonton specifically and here, so that's why usually we listen to her radio mostly with 10.4, 14.9, but in -- now online mostly, now it's radioindia.ca.
4260 So that is one of the reasons because I haven't seen or heard any radio broadcaster which was a female and are trying to raise certain issues that regarding our ethnic women, or especially, as I said, the, you know, gender equality and some other issues as abuse and a whole bunch of other things.
4261 So in her channel -- in her radio it's been always highlighted, so this is what my understanding is that we do need a little bit more of a female broadcaster out there, especially from ethnic part of the group.
4262 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. We appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day and allowing us to benefit from your perspective.
4263 Thanks again.
4264 MS. KHAN: Yeah, not a problem. Thank you for allowing time.
4265 Okay, thank you.
4266 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thanks.
4267 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
4268 We will call the next participant. We will call on the phone the next participant.
4269 THE SECRETARY: So I would ask the Hindu Sikh Forum Canada who is in the room, to come to presentation table while we try to connect with the next participant.
4270 Please introduce yourself and you have five minutes.
4271 MR. SANDHU: Good afternoon, everybody. My name is Harjit Sandhu, President of Hindu Sikh Forum of Canada to fully endorse Radio India Limited.
4272 Radio India Limited was a fundamental part of our community, and when they were broadcasting over the airwaves on the SCMO 104.9 Edmonton, they were delivering an exceptional service to our community. They had excellent programming that addressed the issues that were of relevance to south Asian community at large.
4273 We wholeheartedly believe Ms. Gill to be in a solid position to deliver a proficient broadcast service to our South Asian, as well as the other ethnic communities that are presently underserved.
4274 We, at the Hindu Sikh Forum Canada, are of a strong belief that the CRTC should grant a license to Radio India Ltd. because they are Edmonton choice.
4275 Thank you very much.
4276 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Sandhu. I have no questions and I thank you for taking the time to give us the benefit of your perspective on this process.
4277 MR. SANDHU: Thank you.
4278 THE SECRETARY: We will go to the next intervenors while we are trying to connect to the two intervenors before that.
4279 So I would ask Jasbeer Singh to come to presentation table.
4280 MR. SINGH: Thank you.
4281 Honorable Chairman and the CRTC Commissioners on the Panel, my name is Jasbeer Singh. I am a retired army officer from the Corps of Engineers. I have been in Canada for 38 years and all in Edmonton. I have served as Manager, IT with Telus. For six years I served as a board member with Alberta Foundation for the Arts. And I am presently serving as a member of the Edmonton Assessment Review Board, a quasi-judicial board.
4282 On occasion, I participate in an interactive panel discussion on radio that its listeners appreciate and look forward to listening. As an involved community member for a long time, I have seen ethnic communities evolve greatly. However, ethnic media or radio has not been able to keep pace with the growth in the community.
4283 Now, a quick snapshot of what the expectations have been. It requires no mentioning that radio and media needs to serve radio’s functions like entertaining, engaging the audience as informing, educating, empowering, inspiring and promoting.
4284 And in terms of the demographics of the audience group, very simplistically I would say they’ll be seniors, families, women, youth, professionals and business entrepreneurs.
4285 A very quick look at this matrix as such tells me that about 16 percent of the expectations – or you can say is the matrix blocks can be deemed to be satisfied to a reasonable extent, and another 38 percent to a questionable extent somewhat, and the remaining remain unaddressed.
4286 And with English being the main media -- medium of communication business as such, it is very easy for us to switch on to practically any major radio channel as such and listen to a variety of programs, be it entertainment, be it information, be it news and whatever else it is.
4287 Unfortunately, that is -- choice is not available to people particularly from the ethnic communities who wish to connect and communicate with their cultural backgrounds in the language and with the community at large.
4288 Now, to a certain extent, I would say that generally speaking the entertainment component one can says is quite a bit addressed -- well addressed. However, there are many other things, take for example influencing policy outcomes that with informed discussions people can engage in, people can participate in, people can become contributing members of the community and the society. That remains very, very largely if not totally unaddressed.
4289 We talk about Canadian history, we talk a lot about our own ethnic history as such, but there is very little effort being made by the existing media as such or radio in this case, to bring Canadians with the different backgrounds together as Canadian citizens, as Canadian nationals.
4290 I’ll give you an example, take for example in a few days time you’ll have Thanksgiving. People will talk about it, yes, it is holiday, the Thanksgiving turkey is there, but there are so many similarities of this celebration with our own heritage, with our own culture, with our own background.
4291 Take Halloween coming up in a few days time, that is very, very similar to a festival we have in our own culture in our own country. But it will be -- it will add value, it will make our people better informed and better citizens of this place if they were to be able to see the Canadian celebrations, the Canadian events in a perspective that is very close to them.
4292 So entertaining is not enough, dishing out the news of what is happening halfway around the world is not enough. I believe that media or the radio needs to serve a very, very important purpose of making the new Canadians an integral, productive and participating part of Canadian society. And that unfortunately is not being met to a -- even to a reasonable degree.
4293 Now we talk about attempts are being made. I won't say that attempts are not being made, but is it adequate? And that is an answer that unfortunately one has to come to a conclusion that it is not enough, it’s not being done in terms of content, in terms of quality, in terms of variety.
4294 And I personally believe that -- very recently we have had examples of our media -- and again, I speak specifically with the best information available to me of being part of it, of the Punjabi community. We have had -- we had recently the fires in Fort McMurray and it was Punjabi media in Toronto area, in Vancouver area, particularly radio -- Red FM as such.
4295 They made such a notable contribution or participation in that. They not only made a meaningful and material contribution, they were able to inspire people in all parts of the country, “Here is a Canadian need, the federal Canadians need your help.” And the people responded in spades.
4296 That is the kind of leadership that unfortunately is not as evident as one would expect it to be.
4297 So I believe, in my opinion, that radio is a very powerful medium, particularly when many, many, many people are working and many of them are self-employed. And when they go about their own work, doing their own business, whatever they are doing, they ---
4298 THE SECRETARY: I’m sorry. I'm sorry, you have to conclude.
4299 MR. SINGH: My apologies, all right.
4300 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
4301 MR. SINGH: I will say that. Well, I'm here and I would, based on their track record, based on the background, based on the resourcefulness, I would very strongly urge you and those -- the application before you by Radio FM for grant of an FM radio licence to serve the communities in Edmonton in Alberta.
4302 Thank you.
4303 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you, Mr. Singh. You've been very eloquent in speaking of what you feel is the need here in Edmonton. So I think we understood you well.
4304 Thank you very much.
4305 MR. SINGH: Thank you very much.
4306 THE SECRETARY: For the record, Progressive Art Association, number 11 on the agenda, will not be appearing.
4307 We will now go to the phone. Can you hear me well?
4308 MS. RUPANA: Yes, and this is Daljit here from Sanjha Vehra Women’s Association.
4309 THE SECRETARY: Yes, perfect. You may begin your presentation.
4310 MS. RUPANA: Thank you so much.
4311 Sanjha Vehra is an international women's association. Sanjha Vehra, meaning "common courtyard", has been in operation since 2002. It began with a group of women who started a "kitty party" which they decided to continue each month, but with a specific purpose.
4312 A kitty party in India and Pakistan is a party usually organized by women. “Kitty” refers to the funds collected at the party, and every member contributes a certain sum of money each month.
4313 At these kitty parties, Sanjha Vehra provides a safe and inviting place for South Asian women to meet together to exchange ideas and discuss issues relating to their participation in Canadian society.
4314 They continue to meet monthly to discuss how to advance the purposes of the organization.
4315 There are now Sanjha Vehra associations in Surrey, Edmonton, Mississippi, and Dallas. All four chapters meet on the same day. They also discuss the same topics to ensure the values and goals of the association remain aligned.
4316 Sanjha Vehra is proud to support Radio India's application for acquiring an ethnic broadcasting licence to serve the ethnic community of Edmonton.
4317 Ms. Sharon Gill, the President of Radio India Limited, is the perfect candidate for the broadcasting licence. Apart from obviously being an ethnic female, she has the right mindset and understanding of Canadian values that we at Sanjha Vehra hold in high regards.
4318 And as such, we at Sanjha Vehra are proud to endorse Ms. Gill and her team.
4319 Thank you, Commission.
4320 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. This is Peter Menzies.
4321 MS. RUPANA: Thank you.
4322 THE CHAIRPERSON: Could you -- just one question. What is the -- what specifically do you believe is the need for ethnic women in broadcasting that you think Ms. Gill’s application will address?
4323 MS. RUPANA: I think we need it because every month when we get together, we also discuss in Punjabi, Hindi and in Chinese, and other parties can come along, about the health topic and we discuss about the main issue, what the women are going through these days, and we bring many other issues.
4324 And also we do work in the community to bring awareness in our community about the health topics and we educate the women how to save money and how to run the houses and we exchange our ideas.
4325 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for expanding on that and for taking the time today to participate in this process.
4326 MS. RUPANA: Thank you.
4327 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thanks again.
4328 MS. RUPANA: Thanks.
4329 THE SECRETARY: For the, record number 16 on the agenda, Chinese Benevolent Association of Edmonton, will be appearing tomorrow morning at 8:30.
4330 We will now hear Nirmala Brar.
4331 MS. BRAR: Good afternoon, everybody. I am Dr. Nirmala Brar and I practise off of two clinics here locally in Edmonton.
4332 As a physician, I see a lot of the ethnic population just because I'm able to converse with them in their -- you know, in their language. I speak about seven local languages. So I think people are more comfortable sometimes talking (a) to a woman, (b) also that, you know, there are certain things that they can’t express, so they don't speak the language. And so they, you know, feel more comfortable doing that.
4333 And I have also learned that the radio is still a very important, you know, source of communication in Canada, especially the -- maybe the people who are not educated, who stay home, who don’t speak English. They still tune into the local channels, you know, to understand and be aware of their surroundings.
4334 So having that in mind, I am here today to talk about how the RED FM radio station would probably be able to help them out or be -- create more awareness in the local ethnic communities.
4335 As you are aware, health topics, you know, the general ones that everybody talks about, blood pressure, how do we control it, the cholesterol, the diabetes, there is a lot of awareness. The Alberta Health Services is putting out a lot of, you know, resources, lot of educational material but unfortunately it's all in English most of the time, although we're making an effort through the Primary Care Network to have it all being published in Punjabi or other local languages, and have nurses who are -- we're getting more and more people who speak the ethnic language to help people out.
4336 It's still not as widespread as we would like it to be. So the radio station is a good source for women to understand simple things like cervical cancer screening which they are not aware of, or breast cancer screening. Simple things like you can have your blood test done, you know, every year just to detect -- early detection of various illnesses like diabetes.
4337 And to most ethnic population, it is you don’t see a doctor unless you are sick, which is not true. We have our way of practising in Canada is to create awareness and to be preventative rather than, you know, cure after we have diagnosed the condition. So I think it's very important for awareness to be sent out there.
4338 Lately, I've also been seeing a lot of -- you know, in ethnic communities, I think it's whether it is the culture or it's just that they -- or they're afraid to come out and speak out. It's the family abuse. It's, you know, drug abuse. There's children abuse and elderly abuse which I find if they are given a little more freedom or they understand who they can go to for help, what are the resources available for them in terms of, you know, having support groups, I think it's tremendous because once they find that resource, I am amazed of the results that we find where people, you know, go to these support groups and get that help out.
4339 So if we have a media where there is this awareness created and there -- you know, and they, as like my previous, you know, the colleague mentioned, while they're going about their businesses, you know, if they hear these little topics which can, you know, give them some confidence that they can come out and speak to us about it and it's not -- they don’t have to suffer, that's important.
4340 And also lately I have seen a lot of addiction issues among youngsters, teenagers, you know, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and there are a few fortunate people I would say who come in and seek help but there are lots of unfortunate people who don't know where to go to.
4341 Again, whether it's the culture issue or it's a stigma issue or it's just their fear of not knowing what's going to happen, I feel that if we have these talk shows or we have these, you know, interviews or question answers, if you can just answer a few questions to these people in the privacy of their homes without having to declare who they are, what they are, they would feel a little more confident, you know, in coming to seek help to the doctor’s office or go and seek help at the local Alberta Health Service.
4342 For me, these are very important points and I've heard that Radio FM has been doing a good job in B.C. and in Calgary and they have these little talk shows particularly I understand on Saturdays and Sundays for women, which is important. And I feel a woman is a strong person in the family and building up your family because it’s the mothers who are actually starting to, you know, take care of their children. And it’s the ethics, the values that you pass on to your children that they grow up with.
4343 If you take them to a grocery store and you teach them how to look at the labels on the back of the cartons and teach them, you know, what’s the cholesterol content? What’s the fat? And why am I buying this? Do I need to put this into my body? So simple things like that I find if a mother is educated enough and aware enough, she’ll be able to teach a good family. She’ll be able to bring up a good family, able to, you know, face a lot of good things, you know, and bad things, and how to -- more importantly, how to solve those problems.
4344 So, for me, I think that would be the reason why I would endorse RED FM. Thank you.
4345 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Well, thank you, Dr. Brar. Would I --
4346 DR. BRAR: That’s right.
4347 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: -- did I say that correctly?
4348 DR. BRAR: That’s right.
4349 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And as a doctor coming out in the middle of the day on a Thursday, I’m sure that there’s many demands on your time, so certainly I appreciate it and --
4350 DR. BRAR: Thank you.
4351 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: -- obviously these are important to you.
4352 My only question, and you mentioned it a little bit, there are -- you may know that there are many different applicants coming before us seeking to serve the market.
4353 DR. BRAR: Absolutely.
4354 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And so I wondered how you learned or what caused you to be particularly invested in the RED FM?
4355 DR. BRAR: I was -- I think a few patients had mentioned that they listened to radio talk shows and we have a lot of people relocating from Vancouver recently because I think of the, you know, whatever the economy or whatever it is. And I had a few patients that came in and told me about it. And then also I heard that the RED FM, when I researched a little more I heard about RED FM being more effective in Vancouver and doing a good job on being able to raise awareness, being able to raise funds, which is important in the ethnic community as well. So I thought, you know, why not?
4356 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Well, thank you very much and we won’t take more of your time. I’m sure, you know, certainly my experience that anytime you can get a female doctor they’re in high demand. So I’ll let you go back to your patients.
4357 DR. BRAR: Thank you so much.
4358 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
4359 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask Eloisa Lau to come to presentation table.
4360 You may begin.
4361 MS. LAU: Good afternoon.
4362 My name is Eloisa Blanca Lau. I was born and raised in the Philippines. I graduated at Adamson University in the Philippines with a degree of chemistry.
4363 I immigrated to Canada in 1974. As volunteer in the Filipino community, I have been actively involved in many functions and initiatives. I have helped many new oversea workers from the Philippines to settle down and also look after their initial needs.
4364 In 2005 I organized, with the help of my family and friends, the biggest picnic in the park in Edmonton. This is to promote the Philippine tourism.
4365 My family and I own a newspaper known as the Philippine Asian Chronicle. I have also initiated the fundraisings for the biggest typhoon that hit the Philippines. This is the Haiyan and the Ondoy.
4366 In the recent Fort McMurray fire, I helped the Filipino evacuees located at Northlands to coordinate with a Philippine Consulate General in Calgary.
4367 In July this year, I was awarded by my alma mater for the International Service Award.
4368 I frequently judge beauty contest, singing contests and some other contests that I can’t remember anymore. And as you know, Filipinos love to dance, to sing and they love beauty pageants. Maybe that’s because of our Spanish heritage.
4369 I can say most of the Filipino household in Edmonton or maybe in Canada have karaoke machine in their home. Singing is passion in our culture. We have many great talents with very good potentials, but not able to go further because of the lack of exposures, as well as financial supports. Their major needs are greater exposures and of talents to the public.
4370 For example, I’d like to talk about Jimmy Buena. Jimmy Buena is a young singer who recently -- he is from Edmonton. And recently he represented Canada in the World Championship of Performing Arts in Los Angeles. He won seven bronze medal and one silver medal. However, he needs support to move further for his career. The reason why I know it, he came to me and asked for my financial support.
4371 In Calgary, RED FM has conducted a multicultural talent contest for Filipinos, Korean and Vietnamese singers. In Edmonton, RED FM has big plans for the multicultural singers. This talent contest and the national concert will take the artist to the next level.
4372 Based on Census Canada 2001 statistics, there are about half a million of Filipinos in Canada. Hundred thirteen thousand (113,000) of them resides in Alberta. And in 2013, statistics shows that there are about 35,000 Filipinos alone in Edmonton area. With a growing Filipino community, a new ethnic radio station will fulfil the needs of our community.
4373 Tagalog is becoming the fastest spoken language in Canada. Actually, they are first English, then French and then Tagalog, which is the Philippine national language.
4374 Because RED FM will be operating 24/7, this will give more airtime to expose our culture to different age group. I would like to see our young people, especially those born in Canada, to appreciate our culture and potentially involve them in radio programming. RED FM will benefit -- all the ethnic community will benefit with this multicultural broadcasting.
4375 Because of all these reasons, I extending my support to RED FM. Thank you.
4376 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Well, thank you. Thank you for taking the time to be here and providing us this information. And I will ask the same question I asked to the intervenor before, and that is how did you learn of the RED FM application?
4377 You cannot hear me? Can you hear me?
4378 My question is, how did you learn of the RED FM application? Were you approached? Did they approach you or how did you learn of it?
4379 MS. LAU: See, the Chinese community and myself and some Filipino communities are close together. So I think when RED FM approach the Chinese community, they called me to their meeting. And I was -- I talked to them. I was impressed with their professionalism. And so I told them that I’m willing to talk to them and see what they have and what they can offer to the Filipino community.
4380 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
4381 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask Neha Batra to come to presentation table.
4382 When you’re ready you may begin.
4383 MS. BATRA: Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, Commissioners and Commission staff. My name is Neha Batra. I’m very happy and very thankful to you for allowing me to be here and to be a part of this hearing process.
4384 I’m here to support Akash Broadcasting FM radio station’s application. As an artist, I will share with you my view of how this application will benefit others and myself.
4385 But before I begin, I’d like to tell you a little bit more about my background. I was born in Kuwait and I completed my Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Arizona State University, followed by my Masters of Science in Health Sector Management from the W.P. Carey School of Business also at the Arizona State University, U.S.A. in 2009.
4386 However, there was this burning fire inside of me for music and for singing, and this being my passion since childhood I moved to India in 2010 to pursue my education and my lessons in Hindustani classical vocal from Padma Wadekar ji at the renowned institute in Mumbai called Suresh Wadekar Ajivasan Music Academy.
4387 At the time, I had opportunities to perform in various national television channels in India. I debuted as a background singer in Bollywood as well in a movie called Zindagi 50-50. And as luck would have it I moved to Edmonton in 2013 and continued my passion in the singing industry. I have since 2013 performed with various renowned Punjabi singers on various stages across Canada.
4388 Edmonton is currently growing and booming with music professionals, be that singers, music composers, lyricists, all sort of artists. And when Team Akash approached me about their ground up funding to help fellow Edmonton music artists and also show their dedication to provide a radio platform for showcasing our talent, I felt urged to support their application.
4389 In the early stages of my musical career, I received training from multiple vocal trainers in various locations and I can relate that mostly because I had no guidance or I had no knowledge of what kind of training I should be receiving or where I should be headed as far as my musical career goes. And the biggest asset for Edmonton artists is Akash Broadcasting’s proposal for funding basic and advanced music lessons and setting aside funds towards dubbing those artists.
4390 Most of the current radio stations cater to the Indian population that has migrated from India, but I personally do not see or hear many shows that support the second or the third generation East Indians who then tend towards English radio stations and the youth here now they connect a lot with western music. And Akash Broadcasting has proposed the idea of having youth shows and having fusion music shows with their primary target audience as the second and third generation youth, and this was of great interest to me. My single Punjabi track just released here on Sunday and I believe that if this would have happened at a time that Akash Broadcasting was in business it would have greatly assisted me as far as promoting that song with their talks shows and music shows, and this would mean first hand promotion of a project I have personally put my heart and soul into.
4391 There are also a lot of challenges that I personally face being a female in the music industry and Akash is also promising to have such women empowerment shows, which I’m really hoping will benefit myself and many women of my kind.
4392 And in a striking contrast to what World FM currently provides Akash plans to have a wide array of shows that cater to the taste of varied population groups. This greatly increases the audience base for artists such as myself and others in Edmonton.
4393 With the great advancements in social media and television and radio platforms and Akash’s dedication to showcase such talents, I have faith that they will be a leader in shaping future music professionals.
4394 I would once again like to thank you for providing me with the opportunity to speak with you here today. And I genuinely and sincerely hope that you would grant Akash Broadcasting with the license to provide their services in the city of Edmonton.
4395 Thank you.
4396 COMMISSIONER DUPRA: Thank you.
4397 Tell me, the youth shows and fusion music shows that you talk about is something that they may be proposing, but is the medium of radio still something that youth is interested in with ---
4398 MS. BATRA: Definitely.
4399 COMMISSIONER DUPRA: --- all the new habits and devices and platforms that exist?
4400 MS. BATRA: Yes, most definitely I agree that downloading music or iTunes or having other kind of platforms of hearing music is growing. However, I do see that when we’re driving -- every time I personally drive or I sit with friends who are -- you know, just they’re excited about getting their new car and all they had is the radio station, and if that is in other cities of Canada -- I’ve seen them play the local music channels that are -- the radio stations that are playing.
4401 But in Edmonton, since we don’t have the opportunity of a full 24-hour radio station, I see them leaning towards playing songs from the Bluetooth or their phone, but it does not -- I personally like listening to the radio and -- because it -- I hear so many songs that I’ve never heard of before. There’s not so much -- there’s only so much I can go online and search for and look for, but this platform provides me with that other world that I’ve never even discovered.
4402 So I do believe that it -- in today’s time too yes, the youth will connect with these kinds of talk shows, and music shows. And mostly nowadays I see the youth listening to western music. There is that -- the pull towards Indian or I’d say our ethnic music has reduced because they either don’t connect with it or there’s the sort of music -- they want something new, and they want the techno, and they want the new stuff which is not -- and our very folk music styles are very different from that and I see them sort of disconnecting with what our roots are.
4403 I don’t know if I answered your question.
4404 COMMISSIONER DUPRA: Fine. Thank you very much.
4405 MS. BATRA: Thank you.
4406 THE SECRETARY: I will now ask Avnish Nanda to come to the presentation table.
4407 You may begin.
4408 MR. NANDA: Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, Commissioner and Commission staff. My name is Avnish Nanda and I was born and raised here in Edmonton. In fact, I was born in 1988 at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Northeast Edmonton here and I did my primary, secondary and undergraduate university studies here in the city.
4409 After graduating university -- I’m an undergrad here -- I moved to Vancouver, Calgary and then Toronto to pursue education and work opportunities before returning here in Edmonton.
4410 I’m a lawyer by trade and I -- two years ago I decided to open up my own law firm here in the city. I practice mainly public -- I’m a public law litigator so I do a range of public law issues, constitutional and human rights cases.
4411 And in addition to being a lawyer, I’m also active in my community in the sense that I’m involved in a lot of social justice causes in Edmonton. I’m an active community activist, for lack of a better phrase, involved in a range of issues, not just for the South Asian community but for other causes ranging from indigenous issues to police accountability issues to all sorts of things.
4412 In 2014 I published and co-edited a collection of essays involving or dealing with the Komagata Maru episode, which is the 100 anniversary of the ship that came to Canada carrying South Asian migrants that was turned away due to Canada’s racist migratory policies at the time. That was an important project for me and for Edmonton at the time I think.
4413 In addition to that, a lot of my practice actually deals with representing local non‑profit and marginalized communities in important constitutional and human rights matters.
4414 In 2016 alone, I’ve acted for local Aboriginal communities as well -- groups, non‑profit organizations, including Muslim non‑profit organizations, communities before the Supreme Court of Canada on four different appeals.
4415 And the reason why I moved back to Edmonton to open up my practice was to give voice to communities and individuals that I knew of growing up and that there was no real platform for them to amplify their voice, raise their interests. And that's something I'm really -- I really believe in and want to devote my legal practice towards; empowering my community and those within it, South Asian or not.
4416 So I just want to -- I know this Board, or this Commission, recognizes that ethnic communities are not a monolith. They're diverse, they're nuanced; they contain a range of different perspectives. And it's important that our avenues, or the cultural avenues in which these communities and the members engage with information and news and other sources reflect that nuance and diversity.
4417 Since a child, radio has been an important part of my life. We didn't have cable growing up, so as a result we listened to a lot of radio. And since I was born, there's been only one ethnic radio station in the city, that is CKER 101.7, now World FM. But a lot of my childhood, and up until today actually, is spent, in the car or at home, is listening to that radio station.
4418 I remember as a child, before they used to have an evening program with a host called Shabir. Shabir had this beautiful, silky voice, and he used to play Bolly music every night, and every evening we used to eat dinner and listen to that radio station. And Shabir used to play requests or dedications for birthdays.
4419 And I remember five, six, seven years old going to the radio station to make a request for my mother because it was her birthday, and then choosing the cassette, choosing the song, being in that station.
4420 And radio, and ethnic radio in particular, has been so important for me and my family connecting each other, but also personally, as someone born in Canada of South Asian heritage, to connect to my culture and my roots. So it's very important.
4421 However, what I've noticed since moving back to Edmonton is that our radio market, particularly when it comes to South Asian content, is lacking. It doesn't offer the variety and the sophistication that is on other centres. And I'm here today to push this Commission to consider providing programming that will allow for someone of my background and my interests to be reflected in the options available, and that can manifest in many ways.
4422 First and foremost is, you know, having more youth programming, which is certainly lacking. The previous presenters -- presenter talked about fusion radio programming and music. That's very important; very important.
4423 In addition to that, contemporary political debates; on South Asian programming across Canada, particularly here in Edmonton, it becomes a space for a lot of issues to be discussed politically and socially, and what I find now is that diverse viewpoints are not adequately reflected.
4424 And it's important because currently in Edmonton, we have one radio station and every night there's a great talk show that's -- political talk show that's hosted, but I think we would benefit more if we had more talk shows, more perspectives, particularly among the youth.
4425 And that's kind of why I came across Akash Broadcasting. They ---
4426 THE SECRETARY: I'm sorry; you need to conclude, please.
4427 MR. NANDA: Okay.
4428 So they're offering a range of programming that I think would be beneficial to someone like me.
4429 And I would -- and pending any questions, that's all I have.
4430 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: Well, thank you very much. I think you made a very good presentation and we don't have any questions.
4431 MR. NANDA: Thank you.
4432 THE SECRETARY: I will now ask Jo‑Ann Aguilar to come to presentation table.
4433 You may begin.
4434 MS. AGUILAR: Thank you.
4435 THE SECRETARY: You have five minutes.
4436 MS. AGUILAR: Good day, Mr. Chairman, Commissioner, and Commissioner Staff.
4437 My name is Jo‑Ann Aguilar. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to be part of the CRTC hearing process, and please bear with me if I have to look from time to time with my notes.
4438 So this is the first time I've been to this event and I'm a little nervous but this will allow me to share with you all the beneficial aspects of why I am fully supporting Akash Broadcasting.
4439 I would like to share a little bit about myself. I am a single mother or independent mum of three wonderful boys, ages 19, 15, and 8 year old.
4440 My educational background in the Philippines is Bachelor of Arts and I major in Mass Communication from University of Santo Tomas in Manila.
4441 After graduation, I was involved with many advertising and production doing commercials and shows, prior to living in Canada. So my life was really active prior living here.
4442 I was formerly working for Alberta government for several years as licensing for foster and adoption homes. I decided to start my own home-based business for health and wellness, and -- eight years ago, for flexibility for my children.
4443 Here's a few of my Canadian accomplishments: Presently, I'm a board member for Philippine Baranggay Performers Society. It's a non‑profitable cultural arts organization. I have performed and supported Filipino Canadian Gala 2013 and 2014 to support I Human and Canadian Food Bank. I have also performed in the various local shows and international, including most recent called Pistahan in San Francisco last August 2016.
4444 I was awarded as one of the Top 10 Canadian Sponsorship 2015 in Montreal for my home based health and wellness business. And I am a winner for a national Canadian-Filipino singing competition held in Montreal 1999.
4445 I love what I do since it allows me to spend more time with my children, be able to follow my passion with arts. I'm a -- and I'm also a singer and performer, as well as very active in my community. My talent allows me to help out for fundraising during shows and performance.
4446 I want to talk about why Akash Broadcasting will play a very important role in my life as a mother, as an artist who is very active in my community, and as an entrepreneur owning a home-based health and wellness business.
4447 As a mother, my children are also involved with music and sports. By connecting them through the radio station, knowing ethnic background or roots is very important for me, it will allow them to know and value our culture. Having said that, because they're all born and raised here in Canada, so that was really important for me not for them to lose the roots.
4448 There's a lot of proposed opportunity for training offered by Akash for them, not just for my children but will also benefit others too in the future.
4449 As an artist, Akash Broadcasting will be strong medium for me to help develop my talent and connect with other artists in our community, helping them enhance their ability in music and arts. This will also allow me to reach out to a lot of organizations to promote more fundraising in advertising to help others.
4450 I did not put this in my paper, but -- I hope I don't go over my five minutes. But recently, I have helped and did a fundraising for an individual who was hit by a car accident, and she is a Filipino worker and had lost her job because of that situation. So we have helped to put, you know, like financial help for her burden because she didn't have something to cover for her insurance.
4451 So these things are, you know, like will probably be -- will create an impact for why it's so important for me, like, to be involved in our community.
4452 As an entrepreneur, Akash Broadcasting will help create awareness of the product that I represent and the potential for business opportunities to both men and women.
4453 I am proud to be a Filipino member of the larger Edmonton community. My community is growing and it is completely booming, and that represents many difficulties for those new members. I think this is true for all new immigrants because I was 20 years ago, and I remember exactly how it is to be in that situation. The Akash Broadcasting application for Edmonton Connect FM addresses many of those issues for immigrant communities.
4454 In a nutshell, Akash Broadcasting will empower ethnic groups that are underrepresented in Edmonton.
4455 That’s all and thank you for your time.
4456 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: Well, thank you for coming and telling us about that.
4457 I look at the programming schedule of Akash and they plan to put on the Tagalog programming in the morning from 6:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. And that is the time period you will have during the week to hear your programming. What do you think of that time period for your community?
4458 MS. AGUILAR: Okay. For -- if I will speak personally, 6:30 to 8:00 is actually -- would be a peak season for us because for us that’s in the entrepreneur, I was trained that early risers are great. To hear like positivity first thing in the morning is very important, whether it’s music, whether it’s for personal growth, whatever topic that we would like to cover in that segments are very important. A lot of people will be rushing and we all realize that. That’s why radio is very important because anywhere you go in the house we have radios. We have television. You go in the car, you have a radio. It’s a huge medium for reaching out for a lot of us, for a lot of people.
4459 So 6:30 to 8:00 is a great time. And I know it’s not the prime time, but the way I look at it, people would start the day with a great day, a positive day. There’s a lot of things that will -- actually, for that time that will be -- whether it’s, again, personal development, whether it’s news, whether it’s the music, that would help us out to start the day. I hope that answer your question.
4460 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: Yes, thank you very much. And that’s it.
4461 MS. AGUILAR: You’re welcome.
4462 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask Council of Edmonton Filipino Association to come to presentation table.
4463 Please introduce yourself and you have five minutes.
4464 MR. SERVITO: A good day.
4465 Good day, Mr. Chairman, Commissioners and Commission Staff. My name is Mandy Servito. I am the President of the Council of Edmonton Filipino Association, or we call it in short CEFA.
4466 I was born in the Philippines with a bachelor of science in agriculture. And prior to coming to Canada, I was a teacher there for high school students.
4467 I would like to thank you for this opportunity to be part of the CRTC hearing process that will bring significant benefit to my community.
4468 Before I share my reasons to support Akash Broadcasting application to serve Edmonton on a new FM frequency, I would like to share with you a bit of my background.
4469 I have been a long time resident of Edmonton. Presently, as I’ve said earlier, I am the President of the Council of Edmonton Filipino Associations for the last 5 years. And prior to that, I was the Vice-President for 6 year.
4470 CEFA has been in existence since 1988. As an umbrella organization, CEFA comprises of 25 other member associations, representing different regions in the Philippines. CEFA represents the community in any official political forum. And CEFA annually presides over two major events in the city, namely the Philippine Independence Day celebration and the Edmonton Heritage Festival.
4471 So I would like to just discuss a little bit about the Philippine Independence Day. All over the world every June 12th we are -- the Council of Edmonton Filipino Association is responsible for organizing that very important historical event for our country. And we do that every June here in Edmonton. The purpose of that is to reminisce our culture, our freedom from the Spanish colonial. For the last 300 years the Spanish people have colonized our country. And after 300 years, we finally have our freedom and so every year the Filipinos all over the world are celebrating that very important freedom.
4472 And the Edmonton Heritage Day Festival is called the biggest multicultural festivities here in Canada. The Council of Edmonton Filipino Organization is also representing the Philippines, which showcase the authentic Filipino foods, arts and crafts, and the Filipino talents like folk dances, singing and other very authentic Filipino heritage and culture.
4473 Also, another thing that we do under the CEFA, every time we have a fundraising event, as you know, Philippines is always struck by tragedy like the super typhoon, which is the Haiyan. So the Council of Edmonton Filipino Association is the organizing committee of the biggest fundraising for the Philippines here in Edmonton. And we have a one-day fundraising event which raised over $250,000 Canadian that was also matched by the Province of Alberta. They gave 500,000 to match all the donations that was collected here in Alberta.
4474 And as the President of the Council of Edmonton Filipino Association, I was able to take the opportunity to receive that grant that was donated to the Philippine Red Cross during that time.
4475 The Philippines is comprised of 7,100 islands, peopled by 103 million inhabitants speaking 8 distinct dialects and 1 national language, which is called Tagalog or Filipino. We are a very diverse society and very regional in our affiliations and loyalties, and we thirst for things Filipino.
4476 As much as we love our adoptive country, we long to connect with our roots. As such, we form community groups, observe traditional Philippine celebrations, like the Independence Day, town fiestas, Holy Week, Christmas, and participate in activities that remind us of home.
4477 Apart from this, the Filipino community is very artistic. You can see that our love for songs and dance, movies and beauty pageants. Of course, you know that the Miss Universe now is from the Philippines. It is in the love for the arts that draws the Filipino to the movies, TV and radio.
4478 Over 50,000 Filipinos have made Edmonton and the surrounding areas their home. And we all need to connect to our roots, to our language and among ourselves. Radio can certainly serve that need.
4479 Filipinos crave for connection in our home away from home. And having a three-hour program every day will give us opportunity to hear what's going on with our folks, our community and even news from our own country.
4480 I believe right now there is only one program a week in Edmonton and that is not serving our communication, information and entertainment needs.
4481 Most of us Filipinos are working one to two jobs to provide for our families, and a Filipino radio station that can provide us music, news and talk shows will help us to connect with other Filipinos, even if not physically with them.
4482 We always have that feeling that even if we have become successful in Canada, we still have the desire to connect with our roots and listening to our own language is still the sweetest words we love to hear every day.
4483 Thank you for allowing me to participate and share my views with you.
4484 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: Thank you. You know there are more than one applicants for the market here. There is one in particular that wishes to make Tagalog its main language with 30 hours of programming, which is double what Akash is offering.
4485 MR. SERVITO: M’hm.
4486 COMMISSIONER DUPRAS: Any particular reason why you chose to support Akash?
4487 MR. SERVITO: Yeah, knowing right now there’s only one -- actually, I don’t know of other applicants or -- but talking with Akash, you know, like they are very, very professional and they are committed to helping the Filipino community, you know, to have the community -- communication tools, you know, among the community. I think that is very promising.
4488 And, actually, I am very, very excited about it, because having the program, you know, like it will continually be a tool for all the Filipino community here to have like the right program, you know, like connecting with our co-Filipino’s here. So that’s why I’m supporting Akash Broadcasting.
4489 COMMISSIONER DUPRA: We were told that the Filipino people mostly have jobs and are less entrepreneurs and therefore there is not many businesses operated by and owned by Filipinos and therefore, I mean, if one would want to create a Filipino service there would not be any -- enough advertising revenue to support a service for the Filipino people. What are your views on that?
4490 MR. SERVITO: I don’t think -- in my own opinion, you know, like every year we have the Philippine Independence Day celebration and it is being financed actually by a lot of advertisers, you know, and it is not only the Filipino businesses has offered to support us because, you know, like although they know that these Filipino events, you know, like they are still willing to support us.
4491 So I believe, you know, other advertisers, not only Filipino advertisers, will support, you know, a Filipino event or a Filipino program like this multicultural radio station.
4492 COMMISSIONER DUPRA: Okay. Well that’s very useful. Thank you very much.
4493 MR. SERVITO: Thank you so much.
4494 THE SECRETARY: Before we finish for today, we will have one intervenor from tomorrow that will be appearing today -- he is on the phone -- Dr. Zaheer Lakhani.
4495 Can you hear me?
4496 DR. LAKHANI: I can hear you. Thank you.
4497 THE SECRETARY: Perfect. Thank you. You may begin, and you have five minutes for your presentation.
4498 DR. LAKHANI: Thank you.
4499 Chair Menzies, Commissioners Dupra and Molnar, members of the Commission staff, first of all, thank you for the opportunity to speak to you in support of Mr. Suki Badh’s proposal. I’m sorry I have to do this over the phone. It would have taken at least 45 minutes for me to drive over. So I’m lacking visual cues but if there’s anything please stop me at any time.
4500 I also want to thank all of you at CRTC for all that you do on behalf of the Canadian public, so thank you.
4501 My name is Zaheer Lakhani and I’ll ask to give you a bit of a background about myself. So I’ll just summarize by saying I’m here courtesy of Idi Amin who 40 years ago and after several generations of living in Uganda kicked us out. At that time I thought it was the worst possible thing that could happen but 40 years later with all these years living in this country I must say I’ve come to appreciate Canadian values and recognize that we live in a country where we judge people not by the homes they live in and the money they make but rather by what they do for other people. So it’s been an incredible experience and I’m grateful for it.
4502 Since my arrival to Canada after completing my undergraduate degree in medicine, which I did in the UK, I’ve served in various capacities. So just to summarize, I was Chairman of the Ismaili Muslim community. At that time it was a very new community largely made up of immigrants from Uganda and economic migrants from neighbouring East African countries where life was getting economically very difficult for them and they were desperate to make a success but they also were nostalgic about what they left behind.
4503 So having worked with the community I have a good sense of what people who are newcomers go through. And we’ve just heard our friend from the Philippine community talk about exactly that.
4504 I’ve also served as President of the Edmonton Multicultural Society for a couple of years. This was an umbrella group that looked after the needs of several of the communities and in the course of that got a good sense of the sensitivity, the political aspiration in the sector of these groups.
4505 I served on the Edmonton Police Commission and was Chair for three years, and during that time, with the help of June Rowlands, who was then with Metro Toronto Commission and eventually Mayor of Toronto, I was founding President of the Canadian Association of Police Boards, now known as CAPG, Police Governance Board, looking after oversight of police organizations across the country.
4506 I’ve served as Chair of the Cross-Cultural Round Table and Security for three years, subsequent to which I was on the Advisory Council on National Security to the PMO’s office.
4507 I’ve been involved in global work through my work with NGO’s, including the Aga Khan Foundation, which works in probably 30 different countries with disadvantaged groups, and I do a lot of work with Rotary.
4508 So I just want to give you a sense of kind of the background that I’m from. And I’ve been recognized. My most undeserved recognition was from the Alberta Medical Association. In their centennial year they gave me recognition as one of Alberta’s top 100 physicians of the century, which was totally undeserved but appreciated all the same. And 10 years ago I was appointed to the Order of Canada, which is something I’m really very appreciative of.
4509 In the world of medicine I’ve been exposed to the challenges that new immigrants face. That goes back to the time I completed my training in Yorkshire. I worked in a place called Bradford, England, which was -- it had a lot of new immigrants there and it was not unusual in emergency departments to see suicide attempts by young people who had differences with their families over new lifestyle choices and adopting western lifestyles. We sometimes had parents commit suicide because they couldn’t bear to see their children doing things that they felt were inappropriate.
4510 So, you know, the need for communication between generations is absolutely vital as new communities come here.
4511 As a cardiologist -- that’s my main field of interest -- there’s a lot of healthcare issues that are unique to new immigrant communities and we need to get word out to them.
4512 So I’m very supportive of any communication mechanism of getting word across and getting people to talk as much as they can about sensitive issues.
4513 However, when Suki approached me to solicit my thoughts and possible support for the station, I was initially, I must say, skeptical because I thought this was going to be yet another ethnic music program. You know, a lot of these stations have music and songs in native languages, and I thought if that’s all it’s going to be it really isn’t going to amount to much.
4514 It’s only after he articulated his vision to me, which I’m sure he’s had a chance to present, and he talked about the whole concept of cross-cultural programming where you hope to bring together different communities. He talked about exploring common themes that are of concern. He has talked about getting youth meaningfully engaged.
4515 I think that’s the whole thing about the cross-generational discussions that can be held on radio between these different communities, also including English as part of the communication medium, because I think we need to distinguish between cultural retention and cultural detention. These are two different things.
4516 He wants to be inclusive of the growing but smaller communities in Edmonton that perhaps don’t have an opportunity for these radio broadcasts and is certainly talking about getting about 14 groups involved in his station.
4517 I think newcomers always find comfort in radio broadcasts, but I think it’s very important to use these as a forum for discussing Canadian values, common concerns that people have and using English as part of the medium, amongst other languages. I think it’s very valuable. And that’s the model that he is proposing and I’m absolutely supportive. And I know that he is -- you’re going to be familiar with his presentation so I won’t go on about that.
4518 But I will say that it is an ambitious undertaking, but I think that he has the experience and the staying power to make it work. And I know that there will be an advisory committee and certainly I’ve indicated that it’s a committee that I would certainly be happy to give some time on, because if we have to we’ll hold his feet to the fire and make sure that everything moves along the trajectory that he’s set for himself.
4519 So I’ll end there in case you have any questions.
4520 But I do want to say that I have been involved with multicultural work much of my time in Canada over the last four decades and I see this as a really useful addition to a mechanism in communicating with our newcomers, helping them communicate with each other, share thoughts, share concerns, and particularly involves the younger people. I think our youth have to be engaged in important issues not only within the mainstream community but also help their own communities move ahead.
4521 So thank you for the opportunity to speak to you and I’m happy to respond to any comments and questions.
4522 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Dr. Lakhani. It’s Peter Menzies.
4523 I have -- I got very tired listening to your resume because I can’t believe that somebody could be that busy and still sound so full of energy.
4524 DR. LAKHANI: Well, you don’t know how old I am.
4525 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, there was a little bit of a giveaway earlier -- early there.
4526 DR. LAKHANI: Thank you.
4527 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for that and you articulated why in particular you supported the South Fraser application.
4528 But as a long time Edmontonian, I would like to know your view on this, the incumbent station World FM has made a case that adding a new station at this time, given the economic conditions in the radio market in Edmonton could put at risk the sustainability of their revenue streams and therefore create a situation where there were two struggling stations rather than the one they have right now, which is profitable but narrowly.
4529 What is your view --
4530 DR. LAKHANI: Yeah.
4531 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- on the Edmonton economy at this time?
4532 DR. LAKHANI: Well, I’m not sure about, you know, the language groups that they’re going to serve, whether they’re going to be identical. But, you know, we have new immigrants, there’s so many different communities, not all of whom are served. And I know that the Fraser, you know, application relates to having a whole spectrum of communities who themselves may be, you know, supportive.
4533 I must say, I haven’t done the economic homework, you know. I would hope that, you know, that has been done by Mr. Badh’s group, you know, because they are the ones who are taking a chance as well.
4534 But I think, you know, with the growing number of immigrants that we’re seeing in this -- in our communities, I mean, you can say how long do we put that off? Do -- I mean, you can use the same argument year after year for many more years.
4535 I think people need a choice. People need an opportunity. And I think it’s the model that he’s talking about really. I must say, I can’t speak to the economics, but I will say that the model that’s being articulated, which is, you know, cross-cultural rather than multicultural, cross-generational, I think those are really very valuable aspects of this application, which is why I was, you know, inclined to give it my support. THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for that and thank you for taking the time. You’re obviously a busy man. So I really appreciate the benefit of your wisdom and your years of experience in Edmonton. Those are all our questions.
4536 DR. LAKHANI: Okay. Thank you. And thank you for all that you do for all of us. I really appreciate that.
4537 THE SECRETARY: So we have one more intervenor, an intervenor that told us earlier that he was not going to appear. He will be on the phone, so we will just connect. He is a supporter for Radio India and it’s Progressive Art Association.
4538 Hi, can you hear me well?
4539 MR. RADHAWA: Yes.
4540 THE SECRETARY: Perfect. You may do your presentation. Please introduce yourself and you have five minutes.
4541 MR. RADHAWA: Okay. Yeah, my name is Joginder Radhawa. I’m President of Punjabi Progressive Art Association of Alberta.
4542 As a concerned citizen of Canada and a resident of Edmonton, Alberta, I take great pride in appearing in that -- in front of the Commission in full support of Radio India Limited application.
4543 Radio India is a community-focused broadcaster that holds community building and community issues in high regard. They are not only a radio station, but they also go above and beyond to help individuals on the priority basis.
4544 They did an exceptional job in British Columbia, and as such, Alberta deserves and wants a radio station that doesn't only care about turning over and profit but also being involved within the community.
4545 Radio India will provide a unique service to Edmonton that none of the other existing ethnic broadcasters are providing. They will be bridge between the people and the mainstream society.
4546 I, Joginder Radhawa, of Edmonton Progressive Art Association of Alberta intensely believe that it is of pronounced public interest that Radio India Limited's application be approved.
4547 Ms. Gill is an intelligent, experienced and young entrepreneur; therefore, she is the best candidate for -- before you.
4549 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. This is Peter Menzies on the panel.
4550 Just one question in regards to the radio -- Radio India indicated that they would be using the -- if they were successful, they would implement the same format in Edmonton that they use in their online service for Surrey. Why do you think that would be a good fit for Edmonton?
4551 MR. RADHAWA: Because they’re secular. I like their views. They are very secular and community-based. And I think that’s why they’ll be -- it’ll be pretty useful for the audience of Edmonton.
4552 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you very much. I don’t believe we have any more questions and I appreciate your taking the time out of your day to connect with us and impart your views on this process to us. Thank you very much.
4553 MR. RADHAWA: Okay. Thanks. Thank you.
4554 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will adjourn for the day and we will resume tomorrow morning at 8:30.
4555 Thank you very much, everyone.
--- Upon adjourning at 3:35 p.m.
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