ARCHIVED - Transcript, Hearing September 30, 2016
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Date: September 30, 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 Friday, September 30, 2016 at 8:35 a.m.
4556 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, Good morning, everyone.
4557 Madam Secretary.
4558 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
4559 I will now ask the Chinese Benevolent Association of Edmonton to come to presentation table.
4560 Please introduce yourself for the record and you have five minutes.
4561 MS. HUNG: Thank you.
4562 First and foremost I want to thank all of you for accommodating a change for me because I had to be in Calgary yesterday, so thank you.
4563 My name is Mei Hung and I am the Vice-Chair of the Chinese Benevolent Association of Edmonton. I had been involved with CBA for over 10 years and with the last 6 years as chair of the organization.
4564 CBA is an umbrella organization for the Chinese community in Edmonton. It was established in 1929 to look after the needs of the Chinese in Edmonton in the early century. And over the last 35 years, we have advocated for cultural needs of the community, which resulted in the construction of the Edmonton Chinatown Multicultural Centre in the early 80s, and the construction of the Chinatown Gate in partnership with the City of Edmonton and the City of Harbin that was in the mid-80s. And we also had the campus of care for seniors to live within an environment that’s sensitive to the culture. And this was done in 1997 and we completed the campus of care with the construction of the Edmonton Chinatown Care Centre in 2004.
4565 CBA is an advocacy organization whose mandate is to be a voice for the community. With a united voice, much can be done.
4566 So, I was also involved with ASSIST Community Services Centre, which is a social services centre, over the last 10 years. And this organization was established in 1977 to look after the social needs of the local Chinese and subsequently took on the challenge of providing support to the refugees from Vietnam. ASSIST has now expanded to provide immigration services to newcomers. We want to bridge the people and the community. We need to integrate them into the community, into society.
4567 I was also one of the founding members for the Chinese Bilingual Program that was established within the public school system in the early ‘80s. This program is recognized across North America as one of the best Chinese bilingual program. We have over 2500 students in 13 schools across the Edmonton public schools.
4568 With my involvement in the Chinese community over the years, I have been able to determine needs of the community, the old, for the -- the old and the new, and also for the young people as well, newcomers who come into Canada community trying to seek a better life for themselves and their children.
4569 As far as the Chinese community population, it is approximately about 10 percent of the overall. I think 60 percent speaks the Cantonese and 40 percent speaks Mandarin.
4570 And also, the Chinese seniors within the community, they understand English but they’re more conversant listening and talking in their own mother tongue, in Cantonese or Mandarin.
4571 As far as the newcomers, when they come into this country, they have to start a new life in Canada and they have to settle in the new environment. They have to get jobs and adapt to the change in the lifestyle, and also required to understand some of the Canadian way of life, the transportation system, the education, the healthcare system here.
4572 So although we know there’s an expectation for new immigrants, newcomers to be able to speak English, it would help them in this multicultural centre to have a multicultural broadcasting station so that they can understand easily. They can listen it in Chinese and Mandarin the talk shows that talks about, you know, the needs and without having to go through translation, because normally when you’re not that conversant with a language, you try -- you have to do mentally the translation. So with a radio station in Chinese or Mandarin, it is help them that way.
4573 The program that’s being proposed by this applicant includes the Chinese and Mandarin program with music, with news, talk shows. And they have a total of 48 hours that would really benefit our seniors and our bilingual students and the newcomers because they listen to talk shows on matters that will impact them, because if there’s a change in government policy and if you’re not aware of it, you don’t know. So but if there’s a station that tells you in your own language what’s happening within the government sector, it will help them to settle into the community much faster.
4574 And also, I believe this applicant also has a Chinese reporter that reports the local Chinese events and news. And as far as seniors who are housebound, they will be able to know what’s happening so that they can listen the radio and find out, oh, that’s an activity in downtown, so that they can go down and join in the fun.
4575 Now, presently, there is a very limited Chinese program radio station. And the hours there are minimal. I think way back when we started with a Chinese station, I think it’s the four Cs, and then OMNI came in, and then I believe Rogers bought over and became CKER, something like that. And the hours means of diminishing. The hours they serve the airtime is sometime in the afternoon. And a lot of people are at work, they are not at home, so they don’t listen. But the hours proposed by the applicant, you know, in the morning, in the evening, the morning when people drive to work they can turn on the radio to listen.
4576 So I -- you know, this increase in the hours, you know, and the timing that they're proposing to add those Chinese programs will encourage a lot of our Chinese community members to listen to the radio. And I look at the program that’s got to be provided and they increase ---
4577 THE SECRETARY: I'm sorry; can you please conclude?
4578 MS. HUNG: Okay.
4579 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
4580 MS. HUNG: I’m concluding. Okay.
4581 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
4582 MS. HUNG: So I'm in full support of RED FM in the application for this station in Edmonton.
4583 Thank you.
4584 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you, Ms. Hung, for being here this morning and for taking the time.
4585 Looking at your presentation, you’re certainly a very well qualified member of the Chinese community to speak for the community here in Edmonton, and we appreciate ---
4586 MS. HUNG: Thank you.
4587 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: --- your involvement in this process.
4588 MS. HUNG: Thank you.
4589 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: We have no questions. Thank you.
4590 MS. HUNG: Thank you.
4591 THE SECRETARY: I will now ask Theresa Lopez to come to the presentation table.
4592 THE SECRETARY: You may begin. Thank you.
4593 MS. LOPEZ: Good morning. My name is Theresa Lopez. Mabuhay. I am proudly Canadian with Filipino heritage. My parents were born here and I have also lived in the Philippines. As a result, I speak English but I also speak Tagalog.
4594 I am a broadcaster with experience in the Edmonton market and can speak to the spirit and business potential within the Filipino community. I'm not currently working in Edmonton, but I still own a home here and remain connected.
4595 As an Edmonton resident, I have witnessed the Filipino community come together for charity events like Gawad Kalinga, which would fundraise for affordable housing in the Philippines. There are many tropical storms, typhoons and floods there, and whenever disasters arose, the Filipino community would fundraise to send over support for their kababayan.
4596 One of the most notable characteristics of this community is their clear and unbreakable ties to their country of origin. Proud to be Pinoy.
4597 All over the world, Filipinos work to support the people they have left at home. One of the little known facts about the Philippines is that over 10 percent of the country's GDP comes from Filipinos living and working abroad who annually send money back home.
4598 With one Canadian dollar equal to about 35 Pesos, a Filipino worker in Canada can send over a sizeable amount, which is used to help feed and educate their family. As a matter of fact, Filipino workers send about two billion Canadian dollars every year.
4599 While this is loyalty and generosity at its finest, it also tells you a bit about the spending priorities of this community. Saving for the well-being of their family back home is top priority, and as a result, they do not often factor into advertisers' plans.
4600 Many Filipino workers come to Canada to provide a better life and future for their families back in Asia. It also means that there are many pioneer Filipinos, who will jump at the opportunity for retail or fast food work, nanny work, nursing, hospitality, or oil field jobs in Edmonton just so they can provide a better quality of life for their families back home.
4601 They also live in hope that one day they can afford to bring their families to Canada, which means saving money is a way of life. This makes them praiseworthy, but they are also certainly not a population that engages in above average amounts of discretionary spending.
4602 It is true that there is a growing community of Filipino workers in Edmonton who are looking for a place where they can communicate with others who speak the same language and dialects and who can relate to their experiences of working hard in Canada to provide a better life for their family members. They're looking for an outlet that goes beyond the typical gathering places of Filipino restaurants, church groups, or Tagalog newspaper publications.
4603 This is why having an ethnic radio station that reflects this visible minority community would be great. Not only would it help to connect this hardworking group of new Canadian people, but it would also create a platform for them to express their views, culture, and experiences as proud Filipino Canadians.
4604 To all the applicants with Filipino programming, Maraming Salamat, or thank you for considering this community.
4605 However, as someone who has sold radio advertising to this population for years in Edmonton, I offer a cautionary note. It would be detrimental to introduce this programming only to take it away again should the revenues not develop. It would be better to provide some programming and grow it as the business owners in this population increase.
4606 I'm not saying that there are no businesses owned by Filipinos, but rather, unlike other ethnic populations, owning your own business is neither a dream nor a goal of the vast majority. Although I am excited for Filipino programming, I support a realistic business plan.
4607 When I sold radio advertising in Edmonton, it was evident that this ethnic community did not produce as much ad revenues when compared to other populations, and this is even with me being a Filipino Canadian broadcaster who can speak Tagalog. Although it is a large community group, it is tight knit, and word of mouth, or chikahan, still stands out as the most popular and impactful form of promotion. The Internet has nothing on this population in terms of disseminating information.
4608 That is why I am here in support of the application by South Fraser Broadcasting. The proposal is for a minimum of 11 hours with the potential to add more hours as the Filipino business community grows. This makes sense. The time they are offering is in prime time and not marginalized in early morning or in the weekends. They have two hours per day, Monday through Friday, with an hour of religious programming as well. Filipinos usually come from quite religious families.
4609 I believe this community needs radio service. When I arrived in this market at the airport yesterday, it was neat to see so many Filipino faces and hear the mix of Tagalog and English. No doubt this population is growing, and in all likelihood will continue to do so.
4610 But with the majority of the population employed in service jobs and in places like the oil fields, the depressed economy in Edmonton is hitting them hard. The assessment of need may be correct and the recognition of this community in the programming mix is right, but the timing could not be worse if this market is to support the programming.
4611 If there is an expectation of this community being able to supply significant advertising support, it might be better to choose an applicant with more realistic revenue expectations. As I said at the outset, I am proudly Filipino, and for that reason, I do not want to see this community be given something only to lose it.
4612 That is why I am here to support the South Fraser Broadcasting application. It has, in my experience, a better sense of what this market can afford and will not have to give up on it in favour of more lucrative languages.
4613 The cross-cultural programming being offered for Canadians and Filipinos in South Fraser Broadcasting's application will also be highly beneficial to Filipinos who want to keep their cultural identity yet call themselves proud Canadians as well. It will also benefit Canadians with Filipino parents, who may not necessarily speak the language, and it will allow them to gain some new insights about their Pinoy culture.
4614 Thank you for your time, and I'm happy to answer any questions.
4615 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. That was very comprehensive, and I think we learned a great deal from what you had to say.
4616 So I don't have any questions, and -- but I just want to thank you for taking the time to participate and enriching our understanding of the environment.
4617 MS. LOPEZ: Thank you.
4618 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
4619 THE SECRETARY: I will now ask Punjab United Sports and Heritage Association to come to the presentation table.
4620 Please introduce yourself, and you may begin.
4621 MR. GILL: Respected members of the Commission and members of the audience, I am pleased to be here this morning. My name is Kashmir Gill, and I'm here to represent Punjab United Sports and Heritage Association.
4622 If I sound a bit nervous, that's because I am, and it's for a good reason. My daughter is expecting any minute now, so as soon as this presentation is over I'm going to run to be by her side. So I would ask for your forgiveness for being nervous.
4623 I have lived in Edmonton for -- on and off for almost 40 years and continuously since 1990. In that time, I've witnessed the growth of the population and the South Asian community diversity, and in many ways, I've been part of that community.
4624 By way of background, I've just recently retired from the National Research Council as a regional director after a career spanning 20 years. I have been involved in the community in many ways, and I'll share a couple of examples with you as we go.
4625 In -- notwithstanding the explosion that we see in the social media, I honestly believe that the media, whether it's print, TV, or radio, plays a pivotal role in the minority communities in disseminating that information.
4626 Since my early days, I've seen first print media and more recently TV and now radio being a key conduit for information sharing in the community.
4627 So I know there's a lot of proponents in this room and I think they all play a very pivotal role.
4628 The reason I'm here to represent a particular organization is because of the faith that I have and some of their work that I've observed over the last 20 years.
4629 I don't need to mention names, but numbers I think we're over 50,000 South Asians in the greater Edmonton area, and it's a very diverse group.
4630 As a former talk -- a volunteer radio talk show host for 10 years with some of these proponents here, I learned a lot about the community and some of the challenges that they face. And, you know, language is one but being current in the issues, not only local but national and international, and I think the proponent that I'm here, I think it's 1811258 Alberta Limited, has played a pivotal role in that -- in being a big member of the community.
4631 Mr. Gursharan Buttar, who is the principal of -- one of the principals of this business, has been in Edmonton for over two decades and he's -- as a media personality, as a member of the media. He's run a radio show -- a radio and a TV program as well through which the community has been served well. And I think the reason I'm here is I feel very confident in what -- the way he's presented the community, the issues in a very fair manner.
4632 It's easy to sensationalize things, and often that's a way to connect with the listeners and get more media, but if there's one thing I can say about Mr. Buttar is he's been very fair and honest in presenting the facts to the community and let the community decide what's -- if they’re going to be -- well, how to judge that. He's never been judgemental in my opinion.
4633 I've also as a radio talk host I've received a lot of feedback from listeners of what they really value, and I can only say they've always provided a very positive feedback about Mr. Buttar and his radio program.
4634 Punjabi United Sports Association, as I mentioned I'm here to represent there as a President. This is an organization that was established in 2010 to enhance the quality of life for citizens through sports and programming.
4635 We were very successful as one of the -- out of 80 proponents to build sports facilities in Southeast Edmonton. There's 22 acres of land. As a non-profit organization we've had to deal with the community, get the awareness out, do the fundraising, and again Mr. Buttar, through his radio program, has been pivotal in helping us to do that. He's at every event. His host allows us to communicate the information to the community, which I said earlier is very important. He's been at every event and has been a primary source for us. As well some of the others, but I think I would say he's been one of the pivotal ones.
4636 Prior to that, I was also fortunate to be part of an organization that was -- had the naming opportunity for the Guru Nanak Healing Garden at the Alberta Mazankowski Heart Institute. Most of the members in the audience will be familiar with that. We were able to raise $2.5 million in over four years, and we were able to go across Canada and we got lots of support from the media. And that's why I say the media is an important part of our community.
4637 The story that I want to share with you is that one of the early fundraising events, a radiothon that Mr. Buttar readily volunteered to host, so we put the pieces together and on the final day he felt -- he became seriously ill and we were at the point of cancelling event, but it would have been very crucial for us and I don't know if he remembers that. I do because he called us you know what this event must go on, it's so important for the community.
4638 So he showed up for four hours that evening. He was sick but he was there at the councils of the radio as a host. We did a radiothon and it was probably one of the historical ones in Edmonton that raised over several $100,000 at one particular time.
4639 And that's why I'm here actually, quite frankly, because I think without the media and the other media as well, but Mr. Buttar in particular, that has helped that particular organization raise $2.5 million. That was a seed, the kernel that allowed us the organization to grow. And as I mentioned Punjabi United Sports and Heritage Association he's been pivotal in that.
4640 So with those two examples -- I know time is limited -- I will stop there. I have absolutely no hesitation that Mr. Buttar and through his organization and his group of business people and talk show hosts will continue to expand their presence in the community as they have done for 20 years, and I think they deserve an opportunity to do that.
4641 So thank you.
4642 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much Mr. Gill. You gave us a very good impression, as you intended to, of Mr. Buttar's operation.
4643 And I am not going to be the guy who gets between you and your grandchild and your daughter, so off you go. Thanks very much. We have no questions.
4644 MR. GILL:Thank you.
4645 LA SECRÉTAIRE: J’inviterais maintenant l’Association des radios communautaires de l’Ouest et des Territoires.
4646 M. BERTRAND: Bonjour. Mon nom est Alain Bertrand et je suis le représentant de l’Association des radios communautaires pour l’Ouest et les Territoires.
4647 Notre association représente et défend les intérêts des radios communautaires de langue française en situation de minorité linguistique dans cette vaste région du pays qui comprend les quatre provinces de l’Ouest et les trois territoires.
4648 Notre mission est surtout de représenter nos membres en développant un réseau solide de radios communautaires, tout en promulguant les intérêts de nos membres.
4649 Le conseil d'administration de l’ARCOT insistait que nous soyons ici présents aujourd'hui afin de pouvoir vous assurer que l'ARCOT continuera d'appuyer la radio communautaire du grand Edmonton au courant de son accompagnement lors de sa mise en ondes.
4650 Mais avant de définir un peu plus nos appuis, j’aimerais vous souligner l’importance d’avoir une radio communautaire. Par exemple, les radios communautaires ont la mission de diffuser des émissions d’information, d'éducation, de distraction et de sensibilisation. Elles contribuent aux efforts de développement social, économique et culturel des communautés francophones de l'Ouest, et ce très particulièrement ici à Edmonton, une ville de 800 000 habitants qui n’a pas encore sa radio communautaire francophone.
4651 La radio communautaire est un outil de communication peu coûteux dont la population peut facilement s'approprier. Les gens écoutent la radio dans l'auto, au travail, à la maison et sur internet. C'est un medium souple et populaire qui permet de rejoindre les gens où qu'ils soient.
4652 Permettez-moi un peu maintenant un peu de signifier l’appui que l’ARCOT se propose d’offrir à la radio communautaire. Par l'entremise de projets conjoints auprès du Fonds canadien de la radio communautaire, le FCRC, qui permettront de renforcer les programmations locales, mais aussi celle du réseau de l'ARCOT. Nous proposons aussi d’inclure le projet dans tout autre demande de financement dans le cadre de la collaboration interprovinciale et interterritoriale de l’Ouest et du Nord, un programme du Patrimoine canadien auquel nous appliquons chaque année.
4653 Nous proposons aussi de faire des partages d’information sur les financements disponibles. Nous émettons régulièrement des listes des financements disponibles tant au niveau fédéral, provincial et même municipal. Nous offrons des formations régulières sur les technologies de la radiodiffusion, qui comme vous le savez certainement, sont toujours en évolution.
4654 Nous offrons aussi des réseautages entre les différentes radios afin de permettre l’échange d'émissions. Vu la vaste -- l’immensité de notre territoire, nous avons souvent des émissions qui sont produites par exemple à Victoria et qui sont repassées en onde à Winnipeg, et cetera. Nous aimerions beaucoup pouvoir inclure Edmonton dans ce réseau.
4655 Nous partageons aussi les publicités lorsque possible. Nous offrons aussi un service de conception et de rédaction publicitaire sur mesure, afin de répondre aux attentes autant des auditeurs francophones et francophiles. Nous faisons la promotion de produit, service ou évènement, donc il est fort probable que l’évènement qui se passe à Winnipeg, par exemple le Festival des voyageurs, soit annoncé sur les ondes de la radio du grand Edmonton, et vice versa, des évènements locaux ici qui pourraient être repris ailleurs sur notre réseau.
4656 Nous offrons aussi des capsules d'information et de sensibilisation et divers appuis promotionnels. Nous offrons aussi des appuis au niveau administratif. Nous comprenons très bien que nos radios n’ont pas nécessairement les ressources humaines nécessaires, donc nous offrons des services de révision de rapports à soumettre au bailleur de fonds et aussi des révisions de demandes de financement.
4657 Et nous offrons aussi la disponibilité d’appui et de documentation relative à la gouvernance d'une
4658 radio communautaire, car cela peut différer aussi d’un organisme à l’autre.
4660 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Merci beaucoup. Bon matin.
4661 C'est bien de savoir que l’association existe et qu’elle va pouvoir donner un coup de main à la radio communautaire si elle obtient sa licence.
4662 Dites-moi, pour mon information, les radios communautaires qui existent en langue française dans l’Ouest et qui font partie de votre association sont au nombre de combien et elles sont situées où?
4663 M. BERTRAND: Y en a une à Victoria, nous en avons deux déjà ici en Alberta à Rivière-la-Paix et à Plamondon, un petit village au nord-est d’Edmonton. Y en a une à Gravelbourg en Saskatchewan, Winnipeg évidemment à la sieste première en fait dans l’ouest. Nous en avons une à Yellowknife et une autre à Iqaluit.
4664 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Très bien.
4665 Je vous remercie, ces informations-là sont très utiles.
4666 M. BERTRAND: Merci.
4667 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Merci.
4668 LA SECRÉTAIRE: Nous entendrons maintenant la présentation de l’Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta régionale d’Edmonton.
4669 S'il vous plaît vous présenter et vous avez cinq minutes.
4670 Mme MULLER: Merci, bonjour. Mon nom est Sophie Muller. Je suis membre du conseil d’administration de l’ACFA régionale d'Edmonton.
4671 Notre mandat c'est de représenter, mobiliser et répondre aux besoins de la francophonie dans la région d'Edmonton. On est -- je suis ravie d’être là ce matin pour exprimer notre soutien à ce beau projet. C'est en fait un projet qui a été lancé par un de nos anciens directeurs en 2008.
4672 Mais j’ai envie de dire que l'histoire des médias francophones en Alberta remonte à bien plus loin que ça, puisque on sait pas beaucoup -- moi je l’ai appris y a pas longtemps, mais les français et les Canadiens français ont la plus longue histoire de toutes les ethnies non-autochtones de la province. Alors je vais pas faire un cours d’histoire ce matin, mais c'est pour dire que l’histoire et la présence francophone est significative ici, et c'est ça qui a mené en 1949 à la création de la première station de radio francophone ici, qui par la suite a été -- qui est devenue la propriété de Radio-Canada.
4673 L’ACFA elle, elle fête ses 90 ans cette année. Notre organisation s’adresse aux francophones et francophiles, sans oublier les couples exogames, de toute la région de la capitale. On compte environ 1 500 membres. Outre les Franco-Albertains de souche, on a de plus en plus de nouveaux arrivants, qu'ils soient Européens, Africains ou de l'est du Canada. Et tous cherchent un ancrage dans leur nouvelle vie culturelle.
4674 Pour répondre à ces besoins, on organise chaque année une série d’évènements qui mettent en valeur la richesse culturelle francophone de la région, et qui on espère participent au développement d'une société francophone dynamique et visible.
4675 Notre évènement phare, c'est le Festival Edmonton Chante qui est devenu un symbole de la promotion de la langue française ici dans la capitale albertaine. Il est le seul festival à offrir une programmation entièrement francophone à Edmonton. Donc chaque année, il est très attendu par nos membres et toute la communauté. Et on peut compter à chaque fois sur l'appui et la collaboration de plusieurs organismes.
4676 Cependant, même après 10 ans d’existence, le défi est toujours le même et c'est celui de joindre les francophones et francophiles qui n'ont toujours pas conscience de l’existence d'une francophonie vivante à Edmonton.
4677 Et c'est pour ça qu’on a un grand besoin de mieux promouvoir cet événement, de façon à développer un plus large public qui soit issu non seulement du grand Edmonton, mais de partout dans la province.
4678 On peut citer aussi d’autres activités organisées par l’ACFA régionale, dont le Carnaval des sucres qui est aussi très populaire. On a réuni 1 200 personnes cette année en mars à la Cité francophone.
4679 On organise aussi le Camp Lusson, qui est le seul camp de vacances francophone dans la province jour et nuit, les soirées de curling, la fête de Noël multiculturelle. Cette année on a apporté un soutien particulier à la communauté francophone sinistrée de Fort McMurray.
4680 Je cite toutes ces activités, non pas pour faire la promotion de l’ACFA, mais pour dire que on a beaucoup besoin de mieux communiquer, d’apporter de la visibilité à nos activités. Et c'est pas seulement l'ACFA qui a besoin de ça, c'est toute la communauté francophone de l’Alberta, toutes les associations ici vivent un grand défi. On a besoin de promouvoir nos événements, nos projets grâce à un média qui saura nous connaître et comprendre nos enjeux.
4681 Pour citer encore deux exemples justement d'institutions francophones intéressées par la création d’une radio communautaire francophone ici, y a le RAFA, le Regroupement artistique francophone de l’Alberta, qui est intéressé par cette radio dans la mesure où la radio deviendra un outil de travail de promotion des artistes de l'Alberta. Ils sont intéressés par une programmation locale qui permettra de mettre en vedette des artistes francophones et francophiles de la scène régionale et provinciale. Et ça c'est quelque chose qui est aujourd'hui difficile à obtenir des autres stations albertaines. La radio aussi pourra être -- apporter une aide précieuse au dépistage de nouveaux artistes.
4682 Je peux citer aussi le CDM, le Centre de développement musical, qui accompagne plusieurs jeunes dans leur début de carrière artistique et qui pourront bénéficier de cet outil de la radio, donc pour créer, diffuser et s'entendre. Je pense que ça sera une expérience incontournable pour ces jeunes pour renforcer les valeurs de la langue française et aussi pour les aider dans leur construction identitaire.
4683 En gros, on ne voit que des atouts à l’existence de ce média communautaire, que ce soit sur le plan du partage du savoir, de l’échange d’opinions, de la découverte des membres de notre communauté, de nos artistes, et cetera.
4684 La communauté francophone albertaine est très active -- je suis moi-même une nouvelle arrivante -- je suis tous les jours épatée par tout ce qui s'y passe. La rencontre avec cette communauté m'a beaucoup aidé à briser l'isolement dans lequel je me suis trouvée en arrivant ici l'an dernier. Un an plus tard, je me retrouve ici devant vous à présenter les besoins de cette communauté et c'est un honneur.
4685 J'ai également eu la chance de participer en tant qu'animatrice bénévole et débutante à l’avant-première de la radio le 14 août dernier pendant le Festival Edmonton Chante d’ailleurs, et je peux dire que cette radio fait naître beaucoup d'attentes parmi la communauté qui, j'en suis sûre, se l'appropriera très vite.
4686 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Merci beaucoup. Je pense que vous faites valoir que en effet ce sera un outil important pour la communauté. Alors on a pas d’autres questions.
4688 LA SECRÉTAIRE: Nous entendrons maintenant la présentation du Conseil de développement économique de l’Alberta.
4689 S'il vous plaît vous présenter, et vous avez cinq minutes.
4690 M. KAGISYE: Merci, Madame la secrétaire. Madame la conseillère, Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le conseiller et autres membres, Madame la conseillère et Madame la gérante, bonjour et merci de m’avoir accordé cette occasion de pouvoir vous parler ici.
4691 Mon nom est Juste Kagisye et je suis le directeur général par intérim du Conseil économique de l’Alberta et que on appellera le CDEA.
4692 Le CDEA est un organisme leader et catalyseur de développement économique depuis ces 18 dernières années en Alberta et au Canada. Le CDEA opère sous une force économique en réseau d'action économique, de concert avec la Corporation d'employabilité et de développement économique communautaire, le Réseau de développement et d'employabilité au Canada, qui est le RDEE, avec l'appui des gouvernements fédéral et provincial. Tous ces efforts n'ont qu'un but commun, c'est servir les communautés et servir activement la prospérité économique en Alberta et au Canada.
4693 Le CDEA opère en général sous neuf secteurs, mais nous en retiendrons trois ce matin -- j’en retiendrai trois. Notamment l’appui aux entreprises francophones et bilingues; le développement du capital humain; et le tourisme.
4694 En appui aux entreprises, depuis les trois dernières années -- si je ne prends que ces trois dernières -- il y a -- le CDEA a servi plus de 3 000 entreprises et plus de -- près de 410 entrepreneurs dans ce qu’on appelle « Rendez-vous d'affaires » où on opère énormément un réseautage. Donc je vous passe à l’utilité d’un outil de communication dans ce cadre là.
4695 Au niveau du développement du capital humain, rien qu'en 2015 on a eu plus de 116 emplois qui ont été créés en aide aux appuis des entreprises, malgré les difficultés que traversons -- difficultés économiques de cette province.
4696 Et au niveau de tourisme, sous la même période citée ci-haut, y a eu près de 50 000 personnes identifiées, servies via le CDEA pour soit avoir l’information sur le tourisme de l'ouest canadien, ou soit les touristes qui ont visité l'ouest canadien eux mêmes et suite aux programmes du CDEA.
4697 Et tout ceci pour arriver au fait de vous dire qu’est-ce qui va distinguer cette radio de celles qui existent actuellement.
4698 Nous sommes convaincus que cette radio communautaire sera un outil spécifique et unique pour le CDEA pour joindre à tout moment ses membres et leur -- et les informer en primeur des orientations de l’organisation.
4699 Moi-même, pour avoir eu une expérience sur près de 16 ans dans l’union européenne dans le monde de la communication, je pense que je suis l’exemple vivant pour parler de comment joindre le marché via les ondes et via aussi tout autre outil de communication, sans parler donc du monde d’Edmonton.
4700 Cette radio permettra aux entrepreneurs aussi de largement promouvoir les produits et services en temps et heures. Un bon exemple que je donnerais ici, c'est l’exemple des radios -- c'est un exemple que j’ai déjà vu même au niveau européen ou même africain. La présence d’une radio sur les lieux et en direct dans la distribution des produits et services, c'est un bon exemple où l'acteur économique, le consommateur, le livreur de services peuvent s’identifier et même faire appel à la chaîne à d’autres acteurs.
4701 Cette radio aussi permettra de cibler les touristes, soit sur place, ou soit en majorité en provenance du monde entier, et en l’occurrence l’est du pays, le Québec, la France et la Belgique d’où je viens moi-même, pour avoir vécu -- j’ai eu le plaisir d’entendre parler de l'ouest canadien en plein cœur de Bruxelles. À cette époque, je me demandais qu’est-ce que c'était, et puis je dois avouer que sans ces outils de communication, je ne pense pas que j'aurais connu le Canada et je serais assis ici aujourd'hui en train de vous parler.
4702 Et je pense aussi que cette radio permettra aux nouveaux arrivants au Canada de pouvoir non seulement s'identifier au niveau de leurs professions, mais aussi d'être bien aiguillés vers leurs besoins en entreprenariat, et sans difficultés à la recherche d'information, vu que cela -- via les ondes de cette radio.
4703 Je pense que personne ignore le défi que représente l’information. Et d’ailleurs comme on le dit dans le monde économique, le plus important c'est d'avoir l’information. Et c'est là que réside -- que va résider cette force de la radio communautaire pour toucher chaque membre.
4704 Et en se concentrant enfin sur la distribution des produits et services offerts par les entrepreneurs, ceci ne peut que créer une saine concurrence entre les entrepreneurs et laquelle concurrence engendrera sûrement de l’innovation. Ce que nous visons au sein des entreprises que nous servons et voire même d'autres entreprises, dans le but de se distinguer et toujours offrir le meilleur service en tenant compte du rapport qualité-prix qui aura été déterminé par le marche à l'écoute de cette radio même.
4705 Donc ce sont tous ces éléments qui m’ont poussé à être assis aujourd'hui à vous parler et à soutenir cette radio.
4706 Mais je terminerais bien entendu en remerciant la Commission de la radio et télévision canadienne (sic) d'avoir octroyé cette occasion, et de présenter notre doléance de cette radio tant attendue et qui sera un vecteur très important dans l’appui de notre mission au CDEA, c'est-à-dire promouvoir et élargir le développement économique francophone et bilingue au sein de notre province et de notre pays. Et tout en contribuant de manière très significative l'apport des échanges et des flux économiques entre le Canada et le reste du monde. Et le tout avec une seule vision, celle de l'essor économique que nous recherchons tous.
4707 Merci bien.
4708 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Merci à vous.
4709 Pouvez-vous nous dire qui sont les membres de votre conseil?
4710 M. KAGISYE: Les membres ce sont les entrepreneurs, des entrepreneurs de tout le pays, les entrepreneurs nous -- même qui viennent d’Europe, notamment de la France, de la Belgique, qui veulent s’installer dans l’ouest du Canada.
4711 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Et est-ce que ce sont surtout des entrepreneurs francophones?
4712 M. KAGISYE: Ce sont des entrepreneurs francophones ---
4713 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Uniquement?
4714 M. KAGISYE: --- et bilingues.
4715 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Et bilingues, o.k.
4716 M. KAGISYE: Et bilingues.
4717 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Ça s’adresse -- c'est pas tous les entrepreneurs, c'est pas un Conseil de développement économique de l’Alberta pour toutes les langues; c'est pour le français surtout?
4718 M. KAGISYE: En l’occurrence le français, et en l’occurrence aussi donc le bilinguisme.
4719 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: D'accord.
4720 M. KAGISYE: Et nous opérons -- je dois aussi le dire -- avec des municipalités sous un programme qui s’appelle « Concerto » qui est très, très développé ici dans l’ouest du Canada, et nous opérons avec quatre provinces de près, le Manitoba, le Saskatchewan, l’Alberta ainsi que la Colombie-Britannique. Mais bien entendu, aussi les communautés acadiennes d’un océan à l’autre.
4721 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Et quand vous dites que vous allez pouvoir joindre vos membres avec la radio, est-ce que vous avez l’intention de participer à de la programmation ou si vous allez plutôt être un annonceur qui va acheter de la publicité à cette radio? Qu’est-ce que vous envisagez?
4722 M. KAGISYE: Moi je pense que c'est surtout au niveau de l’appui de la radio premièrement au niveau d’annonces, et au niveau aussi surtout d’informer et de joindre non membres. C'est là où nous voyons la force de cette radio.
4723 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: D'accord.
4724 Je vous remercie beaucoup.
4725 M. KAGISYE: Je vous en prie.
4726 CONSEILLER DUPRAS: Et je vous remercie tous d’être venus ici ce matin. Bonne journée.
4727 M. KAGISYE: Merci, Monsieur Dupras.
4728 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary.
4729 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
4730 For the record, Centre for Race and Culture will not be appearing at the hearing. And this completes Phase 3 for Items 1 to 11 on the agenda.
4731 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
4732 We will take a 15-minute break and then return for applicants’ replies.
--- Upon recessing at 9:18 a.m.
--- Upon resuming at 9:37 a.m.
4733 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary.
4734 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
4735 We’ll now proceed with Phase 4, in which applicants can reply to all interventions submitted on their applications. Applicants appear in reverse order.
4736 We will begin -- nous commencerons avec la Société radio communautaire du grand Edmonton. S'il vous plaît vous réintroduire et vous avez 10 minutes pour votre réplique.
4738 M. PATENAUDE: Merci, madame. Jean Patenaude, président de la Radio communautaire du grand Edmonton.
4739 En fait, nous avons -- nous avons presque rien à ajouter. On voulait tout simplement faire des remerciements. Nous sommes -- nous avons entrepris cette aventure en 2008, et nous voici rendus à l’apogée de cette grande aventure. Nous voulons remercier tous, tous les bénévoles qui nous ont accompagnés pendant ces années, les francophones, les francophiles, les organismes -- tous les organismes de la région d’Edmonton. En éducation y a les conseils scolaires, les enseignants, les parents, les élèves. On voulait remercier l’ARCOT aussi, que vous avez entendu tantôt, pis l’ARC, l’Association des radios communautaires canadiennes, et nos CA. On a eu plusieurs CA et le plus récent est là depuis y a quelque temps déjà, alors un grand, grand merci à tout le monde.
4740 Et merci aussi à vous, le CRTC, de l’appui que vous nous avez apporté pour les préparatifs là pour justement les audiences de ce matin,
4741 Just a big thank you to everyone, all our volunteers that have helped us to make it to this stage. And also thank you to the CRTC for the support and help that we got to allow us to be here this morning.
4742 Thank you very much. Merci beaucoup.
4743 LE PRÉSIDENT: Merci beaucoup.
4744 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask 1811258 Alberta Ltd. to come to presentation table.
4745 Please reintroduce yourself for the record and you have 10 minutes.
4746 MR. BUTTAR: Mr. Chairman, before moving to our comments, I will reintroduce who is with me at the table before you. I am Sharnpreet Buttar and to my right is Sapreet Buttar, the Station’s General Manager. To Sapreet’s right is Gursharan Buttar, the Program Manager and on-air host. To my left is Kulwinder Toor, representing the Toor family as shareholders in the company. And to his left, is Pavan Mann, representing the Mann family as shareholders in the company.
4747 Mr. Chairman, Members of the Commission, firstly we wish to acknowledge the listeners, community organizations and businesses who have supported us in this pursuit of this application, including the Edmonton Food Bank, the Indo-Canadian Women's Association, the Asian Times, the Punjabi Media Association of Alberta, the Canadian Mosaic Artists Association of Edmonton, and Punjab United Sports and Heritage.
4748 We will now respond to a negative intervention impacting our application.
4749 In reply to Dufferin Communications’ intervention in Phase 2 and its focus on criticism of applications focusing on South Asian or Chinese language programming as a primary revenue source, we would note that Dufferin refused in Phase 1 to accept a condition of licence with regard to a minimum or a maximum amount of South Asian or Chinese language programming, and as a result, the Commission would have no effective way to prevent adjustments to Dufferin’s schedule to increase its South Asian or Chinese language programming hours to ensure the sustainability in the Edmonton market.
4750 We would also note that we have made a commitment to program in Tagalog and see an opportunity to increase revenue opportunities from that community as we support the community involvement of our Filipino programmer. We concur with others in this proceeding, including Rogers, who recognize that this community is still in earlier stages of development as a viable source of advertising revenue.
4751 We are a business and also second generation broadcasters. We recognize communities evolve and business opportunities will arise as communities evolve.
4752 Turning to Harmon Bal's intervention, we were mentioned in reference to the “ghettoization” of third language programming services being allocated to the weekend time slots. We object to the term “ghettoization”. Firstly, because it’s very difficult to pronounce; secondly, as it is strong and inappropriate language with which to characterize any applicants’ efforts to find ways to add third party language service to smaller communities in the Edmonton market.
4753 Next, and more relevant to our application, our schedule provides much of its non-Chinese and South Asian language programming throughout the week as set out in Appendix 8B of our application.
4754 Programming is provided during the week to Spanish, Russian, Serbian, Croatian, Polish and Ukrainian communities, and we provide an English language multicultural block of programming Monday to Friday.
4755 As we have mentioned, our strength has always been our involvement with the ethnic communities in Edmonton creating the ability to have informative conversations and opportunities that determine the best course of action to address the issues of the communities and their demands. Therefore, we believe that our schedule has been well thought out and it provides all languages that we have incorporated with the necessary support to help the communities grow and prosper.
4756 In terms of Rogers’ negative intervention, we assert that our market research and application model clearly shows support for a new station formatted like ours and we will not repeat that evidence here. In its appearance, Rogers reflected, in response to questions from the Chair, that we already compete with Rogers in the Edmonton market and have done so for many years. Our market evidence is based on reality and not forecast, as asserted by Rogers.
4757 We agree with Rogers that the revenue opportunities are local and not national as reflected in our filing.
4758 We do not agree with Rogers’ assertion that 40 percent of Rogers’ revenue is “to be lost” if a new station is licensed in the market. It would most certainly not be lost if we are licensed in the market. In our experience, Rogers is a capable competitor, and as a result, we did not base our forecast on taking 40 percent of Rogers’ revenues.
4759 Rogers’ intervention indicates an inappropriate and misplaced lack of confidence in their programming and ability to compete. Rogers will react and compete and the audience, the advertisers and the ethnic radio market in Edmonton will be better off for the competition. In Rogers’ own words, there is an “extreme demand for more South Asian talk.” We strongly agree and our proposal is directly responsive to that extreme demand.
4760 Rogers also stated in their response to one of the Commission’s questions that they are “unable to cater to all of the demands of the listeners.” We understand their plight, and we would love the opportunity to assist.
4761 Licensing of our application will clearly have the least impact on Rogers’ service as we are already successfully obtaining revenue from the market.
4762 In any event, as a large, dominant, well-resourced, vertically integrated media company, we submit Rogers is well capable of competing with our standalone, local, independent station.
4763 As noted in our Phase 1 appearance and supplementary brief, our schedule is designed to complement their service and would add diversity and depth of service to the Edmonton ethnic radio market.
4764 Our long term in-market experience is that Edmonton will be best served by adding further airtime to these languages throughout the day as larger
4765 South Asian and Chinese language communities have grown their current programming services and will continue to do so into the future.
4766 Currently the operations of our station are a fraction of World FM, but we are able to provide quality programming to our listeners that allows us to share a large portion of the listenership, support and revenue for our service, notwithstanding the fact that our signal quality is inferior and, due to the demand, we are limited to 30-second time slots for advertising.
4767 In addition to our comments on the negative interventions, we are glad that we have the opportunity to respond to more positive comments, which is what we Edmontonians are more accustomed to. We note the comments provided yesterday by the Sangha Vehra Women's Association, Intervention No. 2246. We acknowledge this was a letter in support of another applicant, and we would simply concur with their assertion of the need for more female involvement in ethnic media, not only in Edmonton, but in all markets. But we can only start change by beginning with ourselves.
4768 We are proud to point out that we have equal male and female representation in our ownership, as well as our management. It seems that we became so used to this dynamic being the norm that we forgot to also view it as a strength of our application.
4769 In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, Members of the Commission and Commission Staff, thank you for coming to hear these applications in Edmonton, our home town. We thank you for running a fair and efficient hearing process.
4770 We sincerely hope you give us the opportunity to service the growing Edmonton ethnic market and we wish you well in your deliberations and hope you are able to find the time to tune in to W1440AM between 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. tonight.
4771 Thank you.
4772 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I don’t have any questions, but I do have a couple requests. Could you undertake to file to us in confidence the contract agreement between your company and CKJR Wetaskiwin Newcap as it relates to your leased airtime, please?
4773 MR. SHARNPREET BUTTAR: Yes.
4775 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you can file an abridged version for the public record too, please?
4776 And the other request is can you undertake to file in confidence financial statements, including your income statement, statement of retained earnings and cash flow statement? You can get a full copy of it from staff. So again, in confidence, financial statements including your income statement, statement of retained earnings and cash flow statement for the leased airtime for the previous five years?
4777 MR. SHARNPREET BUTTAR: Yes.
4778 THE CHAIRPERSON: And ---
4779 MR. SHARNPREET BUTTAR: Sorry, for which company?
4780 THE CHAIRPERSON: For the company that is leasing airtime --
4781 MR. SHARNPREET BUTTAR: Oh, for the company ---
4782 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- from -- because that’s -- in Wetaskiwin. Anyway, that -- for the -- those statements are for the leased airtime for the previous five years. And please file an abridged version for the public record?
4783 MR. SHARNPREET BUTTAR: Okay.
4784 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Great. And that would be by October the 4th end of business day.
4785 MR. SHARNPREET BUTTAR: Okay.
4787 THE CHAIRPERSON: Anyway, thanks very much. I tried to pronounce “ghettoization” last night too and it didn’t work really well so.
4788 Thank you very much for your statements today and for your applications. Much appreciated.
4789 MR. SHARNPREET BUTTAR: Thank you.
4790 THE CHAIRPERSON: Enjoy the day.
4791 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask South Fraser Broadcasting to come to presentation table.
4792 Please reintroduce yourself for the record and you have 10 minutes.
4793 MR. BADH: Before I start, word of caution, bit of apology, I’ve cut -- in trying to save time, I’ve cut out a fair bit from the copies that the Commission, Commission staff has. So this is a shorter version of that. And that -- this copy is coming to you, but everything I’m saying will be in there.
4794 THE CHAIRPERSON: There is rarely a need to apologize for brevity. Thanks.
4795 MR. BADH: Good morning, Chair Menzies, Commissioners, Commission Staff. My name is Sukhi Badh and I’m the sole owner of South Fraser Broadcasting.
4796 I am here to reply to the intervention of Rogers Broadcasting, its all applicants, as well as the comments made by Radio India and the intervention by Mr. Harmon Bal.
4797 I will deal with some of the issues they have raised and use facts to support our arguments. The first is the question of what happens to ad revenues when the radio station is added to a market. Rogers’ position was that no revenues are added. If we take the financial summaries published by the CRTC we can see that adding a new station does, in fact, add to revenues.
4798 THE SECRETARY: I’m sorry; please slow down.
4799 MR. BADH: Okay. Sorry.
4800 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
4801 THE CHAIRPERSON: It’s just for the interpreters. They start to get short of breath and faint if it goes too quickly.
4802 MR. BADH: My apologies once again.
4803 The Edmonton data for the year 2009 to ’13 for both AM and FM show that even in the wake of 2007-’09 financial crisis the coincidental with the new station being added to the system there’s an increase in revenues.
4804 The growth between 2009 and ’10 was .5 percent. If this seems negligible, to put it into context of what was happening at the time in radio generally, in Vancouver the increase was a mere .003 percent; in a market like Calgary, which is pretty comparable to Edmonton, the loss was minus 3.1 percent, so .5 percent growth in Edmonton versus 3.1 percent loss in Calgary.
4805 Different revenue growth patterns in markets operating in similar economic environments seem to suggest that at the very least Edmonton was benefitting from some form of stimulus. And we did not look at just Edmonton to test Rogers’ hypothesis. We found that in other markets like Winnipeg, Ottawa, and London, to name a few, increase in ad revenues, not just total revenues, coincidentally happened when new stations were introduced.
4806 The other factual aspect of the financial summaries does not support the argument advanced, in that the profitability of the incumbents is undermined. The market level PBIT’s include the average of all stations in the market, even those that are recently launched. A quick look at any of the financials filed in this application process, and most hearings, for that matter, point to profitability not being achieved in the vast majority of radio launches until year three; in other words, they all have negative PBIT’s.
4807 If you look at the PBIT summary in the chart below you can see higher levels of profitability returning to Edmonton almost like clockwork three years after the first wave of licencing in 2009 and again after the second wave. When the new stations become profitable the entire market returns to levels close to pre-launching, which suggests that the market is quite able to absorb new services.
4808 Secondly, while the new station likely contributes to this drop in the PBIT, it is a fact that new stations posting losses is not necessarily the incumbent stations. The relatively quick return to higher profit levels points out one other important truth, whatever the impact historically it’s been only for a short period of time.
4809 Rogers Broadcasting intervention contradicts a position that they have placed on the record. In 2012 Rogers went before the Commission in Montreal asking for approval to purchase CJNT TV from channel 0 and to be relieved of the conditions of licence that obligated them to air third language programming in primetime. Their argument at that hearing was that the producers in and of the community, like the proposed EC, could deliver quality programming and profitability within a very small market.
4810 In a response to a question from Commissioner Petroni(ph) about the other options opened to serve the ethnic markets in Montreal, Mr. Peely(ph) asked their manager with 25 years of experience to defend Rogers leaving this production stream, Mr. Dunlop’s answer, provided in the quote below, confirmed what all applicants have been saying here in this proceeding.
4811 “Ethnic broadcasters use different models and are engaged in a way with the community that allows them to accomplish things even big entities like Rogers cannot.”
4812 To paraphrase, even after Rogers took 50 percent of the ad revenue from the producers in OMNI, the ethnic broadcasters are still able to produce quality programming and post profits in markets as small as 15,000 people. If this is the case in expensive medium like TV it must also hold true for less expensive radio.
4813 To Rogers’ position that only broadcasters who present the least competition to them should be allowed, we say that this is hardly in the spirit of the Broadcasting Act. According to them, they provide 58.5 hours of Punjabi programming to a population base that shows grew by 34.2 percent between 2006 and ’11 and is on track, according to Immigration figures, to posting as high a growth if not higher than most recent census. That would make it market over 25,000 mother tongue and much larger in terms of ethnicity. We’re only adding 26.5 hours, less than half of what they have, and in a time block where there’s no service now.
4814 We are adding 11 hours of Hindu making total hours of service growing to just 16. It is a 10,000 person market. To put it in context, residents of Renfrew, Ontario, with a population of just over 8,000, have two stations or 252 hours of programing.
4815 Rogers is offering two hours of Urdu. And although we’re doubling it by adding two more hours it results in only four hours to a market over 6,000.
4816 We’re also adding Tamil, Guajarati, Bengalese to South Asian programming, none of which can be found on Rogers’ schedule.
4817 Filipino gets three hours on the weekend with Rogers. We will be adding 11 hours during the weekdays at 1:00 p.m., a time recommended by our focus groups.
4818 If you look at growth among the visible minority groups, you’ll see that the visible minority group, categorized as black, has grown by 37.7 percent and the majority of this is a result of Immigration.
4819 Our review of Immigration data suggests many of the new Canadians are from the Caribbean, so we’ve added four hours of African Caribbean English on Friday night and an hour on Sunday in French.
4820 We have created a Vietnamese stream over 9,000 mother tongue Vietnamese that are not served by CKER.
4821 Farsi is new, as is our cross-cultural program in English.
4822 Each of the languages we chose reflects careful consideration of what is in the market, what is needed today and in the future. That we overlap in some languages does not mean we’re directly competitive with Rogers rather we’re addressing a service gap.
4823 You heard from Paul Singh who sat on our panel Wednesday, for a market of this size one service is not enough. Currently all of the views of the third language communities are not represented on CKER and this creates resentment across and within cultures.
4824 Another finding of our research it is the resentment that Mr. Singh contends that significantly contributed to Rogers’ financial situation. It is impossible to a multi-generational, multi-regional, multi-lingual and an ever evolving population with a single signal.
4825 One hundred and twenty-six (126) hours of programming being asked is tasked with being all things to all 300,000 plus non-homogeneous ethnic population.
4826 Just as in mainstream, opinion within this population differs, therefore, providing a balanced or expanded as well as new services language groups means diversity is being addressed.
4827 As Rogers suggested, new stations should add something different. We are offering something new, programming that from a different approach with a different perspective, different times, different demo and 40 percent of our schedule is in new languages. It will be cross-cultural across all of our language groups sharing insight and information and fostering greater engagement between people who see each other as different. It will offer English cross-cultural programming making it the first in Canada and a closer reflection of society in Edmonton. It will give women and youth their own programming stream. That in itself is unique from the programming strategy used by Rogers.
4828 In a separate intervention, Mr. Harmon Bal accused us of having an old school approach and is supported by wrongly stated our hours of programming. In the interest of time we’ll not read our schedule line-by-line but just refer them to page 6 of our file reply to the CRTC May 19th, 2016.
4829 We are, in fact, providing 38 hours of programming in the South Asian languages that are currently heard on CKER, not 58 hours they contend.
4830 We have six, not three, South Asian languages. Of these hours, three are new to the community.
4831 We’re offering 38 hours of Chinese languages. In total that represents only 60 percent of the 126 hours, leaving 40 percent or 50 hours of our proposed service as open to other languages not currently heard and not the 15 percent that they stated.
4832 We have triggered this call. Our proposal actually had over 60 percent of our schedule as new to the market but Rogers changed this ratio.
4833 Our budgets and business plan take into account the cost of providing podcasting, which means even those languages not served in primetime can have access to local programming in their mother tongue. This is not ghettoizing in any groups or mother tongues, it is making content available when a listener wants it and to the broadest possible cross-section of the population.
4834 Finally, I’ll address the claim by Radio India. While claiming not to be formally intervening, Radio India observed that AM operations would cost less to launch on an AM further down the dial. Did they mean us? But that assumes a couple of things that are not true. First, it assumes that we are building the station from scratch rather from the CKUS site where much of the needed infrastructure is still in place and can be affordably secured.
4835 Secondly, it assumes that expenses in 580 are higher than potential revenues. Five eighty (580) is a clear channel with the ability to serve the third language population while they’re in Edmonton and while they’re on the road either travelling for work or pleasure.
4836 As the Commission heard in interventions, this is a large part of our community. This gives us a distinct advantage that not even incumbent can offer the advertising community and this will be reflected in the revenues making any possibility of minimally more investment in our part quite manageable.
4837 It also ignores the reality of world embracing new technologies. AM/FM bands are relevant in the world of streaming. AM/FM services are streamed online, iPads, iPhones, ask a 15 year old, you ask him what AM is, they’ll ask you it’s the time of the day. Ask a 15-year-old person from Toronto whether he can listen to play-by-play, he’ll tell you the FAN590. Why? Because content is king. And new delivery platforms ---
4838 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Just be careful that you’re replying to what you view as criticisms from others and aren’t adding to your --
4839 MR. BADH: Okay. Fair enough.
4840 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- presentation. Thanks.
4841 MR. BADH: All right.
4842 I want to thank the Chair, Commissioners, Commission Staff, and in particular, the Hearing Manager, for their assistance in this hearing. I know you know how stressful it can be sitting there for four hours. I just want to wish you safe travels and an early happy Thanksgiving.
4843 Thank you.
4844 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. And we acknowledge too, to you and everyone else how stressful it is sitting there so.
4845 Thank you very much. I don’t have any questions.
4846 THE SECRETARY: I will now ask Akash Broadcasting Inc. to come to presentation table.
4847 Please reintroduce yourself for the record and you have 10 minutes.
4848 MR. SAINI: Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Members of the Commission. My name is Tejinder Saini, I am joined by Satnam Rai, Andrew Forsyth and Stephen Zolf, our legal counsel.
4849 Before starting our reply, I would like to recognize that over 1,000 positive interveners who took time to write to the Commission to show their support for our application. I would also like to thank our appearing interveners.
4850 We wish to clarify certain issues raised by the Commission in our earlier appearance, as well as other comments made during the hearing.
4851 MR. FORSYTH: In reply to the Rogers’ intervention before the Commission yesterday, we submit that the issues and considerations raised by Rogers are inappropriately focused on the commercial radio market in Edmonton rather than at the matter at hand, which is, of course, whether the overall market can and should sustain a new ethnic service.
4852 An example, in addition to the financial summaries of the public record, the only third party evidence cited by Rogers was the TRAM report. With respect, the relevance of the TRAM report is highly limited. TRAM measures commercial radio and generally excludes ethnic radio services. If was what before the Commission in this proceeding was an application for a commercial FM station, then perhaps this evidence would be relevant. However, in this proceeding, with respect, this evidence is “apples, oranges.”
4853 Mr. Rai, an established -- an esteemed business person with deep roots in the Edmonton market explained in our Phase 1 appearance not only the robustness of our business model but also the ability of our shareholders to sustain the service even if the business plan is not fully realized.
4854 Rogers’ proposal -- sorry, Roger’s proposed response to the issue of the sustainability of the business plans raises concerns. Essentially, Rogers is asking the Commission to adopt a “backward looking” approach and micro-manage the market. This extends to the seeking quantitative restrictions on programming directed to specific languages. This approach is contrary to the Commission's evolution of its regulatory framework in radio over the last 20 years. The Commission determined that format regulation was no longer appropriate more than 20 years ago.
4855 The Commission’s focus has increasingly been on more consumer choice, which should be the appropriate focus of this proceeding. We should not go back to the futureof imposing caps on programming categories with a view to protecting the incumbent.
4856 We acknowledge that the onus on the applicant is to demonstrate a business plan that is prudent and sustainable.
4857 Commissioners, we’ve met that obligation and have demonstrated that there is a real need in the Edmonton ethnic radio market for more choice. Ethnic audiences in Edmonton do not have a sufficiently wide choice. A situation where there is 1 radio station for 20 percent of the population and 31 stations for the other 80 percent does not speak to fairness or diversity. Moreover, we’ve put forward a convincing evidence of market capacity. Rogers, on the other hand, has portrayed a scenario in which a new entrant will be simply cannibalizing their audiences.
4858 Rogers has mischaracterized the potential for the market to sustain new ethnic radio service. They have not taken into account the potential of advertisers who currently do not advertise on ethnic radio. They have further ignored the evidence of those advertisers who are willing to increase their budgets if a new ethnic service is launched in the market. This was clearly set out in a number of advertiser surveys filed by applicants in this proceeding, including our application. Almost 60 percent of the retailers we spoke to assured Akash that they would be interested in advertising on another station.
4859 Rogers wants you to believe that everyone’s projections are wrong and is asking the Commission to ignore the evidence filed in this proceeding.
4860 MR. SAINI: We do want to spend just a few moments to talk about the Filipino community. Rogers acknowledged that this is one of the fastest growing communities in Edmonton, but maintains it cannot be monetized because this small business community cannot sustain budgets. Rogers would only concede that it is an opportunity down the road.
4861 To the contrary, Commissioner Dupras in his discussions with Red FM in Phase 1 raised this question, and we will paraphrase what he asked. Essentially, whether all Canadian businesses, not just Filipino businesses, will seek to market to this new -- to this growing community?
4862 Rogers is effectively asking this fast growing community to wait until Rogers can find a way to monetize it. The Rogers’ position should be seen in its true light; namely as a gate keeping by the incumbent who is the sole ethnic radio operator in this market. If accepted, this position would not only be a disservice to audience, it would ignore the potential for more diversity in the market. It would be inconsistent with the objectives of the Broadcasting Act and contrary to the public interest.
4863 Rogers wants the Commission to continue to permit World FM to be the only voice in the market and have an exclusive ability to mine popular audience and language groups. We question why World FM should have a monopoly ethnic genre in this market. The Commission has recently eliminated genre exclusivity under its TV framework, on the basis that such a step will ensure that choice will in fact be maximized. Akash submits that the Commission should adopt this forward-looking approach to regulation in this proceeding. You cannot have diversity without choice.
4864 Yesterday Chairman Menzies said, “There’s nothing wrong with the competition; it’s probably a good thing.” We submit that the Commission should be mindful of this approach in considering the issue of market sustainability and increased consumer choice.
4865 A condition of licence that limits specific hours for specific languages would be highly restrictive on a new entrant to respond to audiences’ evolving changes in taste and preferences over the course of a seven-year term. Further, shackling a new entrant while the incumbent competitor has no such restriction cannot be justified from a standpoint view of competitive equity. This unfairness is amplified as the incumbent in this case operates three radio stations in the market, in addition to multiple holdings in conventional and specialty television.
4866 Finally, and it bears repeating, we have put forward a prudent and a reasonable business case for a viable second ethnic service in the market. We would like to remind Rogers that in our Phase 1 appearance we addressed the underlying conservative approach of our financial projections. As we explained, we ran other models that support our business plan even at a lower revenue rate, and all until the economy recovers at no expense to programming.
4867 In summary, our application has achieved an appropriate balance that realistically has assessed the ability of the market to sustain a new ethnic service. As Chair Menzies noted, our business model was positioned in a manner it was not being over-exploitive of the community.
4868 Akash has proposed a fresh, new, independent voice that will give listeners another perspective and an alternate to the current ethnic radio offering in Edmonton market. We urge Commissioners to license a new, independent and a diverse player within the Canadian broadcasting system.
4869 We wish you thank -- to thank you, Commissioners and Commission staff, and would welcome any questions you may have.
4870 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. I -- we have no questions for you and that sort of stuff.
4871 Thank you for your application ---
4872 MR. SAINI:Thank you.
4873 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- and thank you for your reply.
4874 THE SECRETARY: I will now ask Harmon Bal on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated to come to presentation table. Please reintroduce yourself and you may begin.
4875 MR. KOWCH:Mr. Chairman, Commissioners, Commission staff, good morning. My name is Steve Kowch.
4876 We've decided to shorten our comments this morning. So to my left is Harmon Bal, the applicant for a license to launch Radio Diversity 106.5 FM.
4877 If you're following on the script, we're going to straight to page 3.
4878 Yesterday the Rogers people sat at this very table telling the Commission:
4879 "The economy remains sluggish and has not rebounded from the oil shock a few years ago."
4880 Well, the price of oil in December 2015, when the CRTC announced there was room for another ethnic radio station, was around $37 a barrel. Yesterday a front page article in the Edmonton Journal said the benchmark grade of U.S. light crude jumped more than $2.38 to close at $47.05 a barrel because OPEC agreed to curb its output. The front page headline read "OPEC Deals Offers Some Relief."
4881 We agree with Rogers when it says we believe the Commission should consider the Edmonton economy as it exists today. Oil is up compared to December 2015 when the Canadian dollar was trading around 72 cents. This week it was above 76 cents.
4882 We're not out of the woods yet, but like we said in our written intervention, Chicken Little is wrong, the sky is not falling.
4883 Rogers is wrong to ask the Commission not to grant a license for a second ethnic radio station in Edmonton.
4884 In our written intervention on file with the Commission opposing the Rogers proposal, we included this quote from James Cashpenny founder of J.C. Penny stores:
4885 "A merchant who approaches business with the idea of serving the public well has nothing to fear from the competition."
4886 The problem with Rogers is that it has been alone in Edmonton's ethnic market for too long on the FM band. Competition brings out the best in business. Lack of competition only breeds complacency and creates an attitude of entitlement which probably explains why Rogers thinks it's okay to block a new player in Edmonton's ethnic radio market.
4887 Commissioners, thank you very much for your. If you have any questions we're here to answer them.
4888 THE CHAIRPERSON: I don't believe we have any questions. Thank you very much.
4889 MR. KOWCH: Thank you.
4890 THE CHAIRPERSON: Enjoy the rest of the day.
4891 MR. KOWCH: Okay.
4892 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will take a short break right now and we will return in roughly 10 minutes.
4893 Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 10:14 a.m.
--- Upon resuming at 10:29 a.m.
4894 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
4895 Madam Secretary?
4896 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
4897 We will hear Multicultural Broadcasting Corporation.
4898 Please reintroduce yourself and you have 10 minutes.
4899 MR. SAMUEL: Good morning Vice-Chair Menzes and Commission Members. For the record, I am Bijoy Samuel, Vice-President and General Manager of Multicultural Broadcasting Corporation, RED FM.
4900 On my right is Kulwinder Sanghera, President RED FM, and on my left is our legal counsel Mark Lewis of Lewis Birnberg Hanet LLP.
4902 MR. LEWIS: Good morning.
4903 At the outset, we wish to note that we have filed written replies to two interveners which form part of the record. One of those reply documents is highly detailed and pertains to Rogers intervention. The reply included a detailed analysis of programming elements for the Chinese and South Asian programming monitored on CKER also known as World FM. We stand by the accuracy of the monitor of Rogers CKER FM's programming and the differentiation of the programming that will be broadcast on RED FM Edmonton.
4904 We heard nothing new from Rogers yesterday other than a plea to protect CKER as a monopoly multicultural radio service for at least another five or perhaps 10 years. In fact, protection of CKER's monopoly is what the Rogers -- is what Rogers received eight years ago, the last time the Commission considered applications for multicultural radio services in Edmonton. Then three years ago in broadcasting decision 2013/153 the Commission approved CKER's request to reduce from 19 to 12 the number of ethnic groups it is required to serve and the number of languages in which programming must be broadcast. So Rogers has reduced its obligations to serve the ethnic community but still asks for special treatment.
4905 Rogers has enjoyed significant benefits of vertical integration in this city. To put it bluntly, we do not believe that the multicultural communities of Edmonton should put their hopes and aspirations on hold again for another five to 10 years.
4906 In our August 2nd written response to Rogers’ intervention we also filed a letter from the Conference Board of Canada. We believe the Conference Board's updated analysis to be far more persuasive than the guesstimates of the Rogers panel presented yesterday regarding Alberta's economic recovery.
4907 Consider the time that the -- that it will take to issue a licensing decision and then to build out a new broadcast facility. During that period of time there will be further economic recovery. Vice-chairman Menzes accurately noted the ebbs and flows of oil prices during the Rogers appearance yesterday.
4908 Rogers made other claims that are simply not supported by fact. They reference TRAM data for Calgary and Edmonton in order to exaggerate the financial hardship which they claim is impacting radio stations in the Alberta markets. But for Edmonton, this is aggregated TRAM data of approximately 17 English language radio stations and a single multicultural station.
4909 One of the dangers of relying on Rogers’ flawed analysis is the fact that for Calgary the revenues of CKYR FM, RED FM Calgary are not reported to TRAM. We have no reason to believe that the other Calgary multicultural station Fairchild CHKF FM reports its revenues to TRAM. But that's not all. RED FM Calgary has not been negatively impacted in Calgary by the recession nor to our knowledge has Fairchild's CHKF FM.
4910 You have our last financial returns and within eight weeks the Commission will have the returns for the year ending August 31st. Calgary is the administrative epicentre of the oil industry. We submit that the two competitive Calgary ethnic stations continue to prosper because they're advertising bases built largely on the basis of local businesses that cater to communities with highly targeted advertising and both Calgary multicultural radio stations are well run.
4911 Consider Rogers admission that CKER's revenues are less than 1.5 percent of Edmonton's retail revenues and a tiny fraction of Edmonton radio's national revenues. The only thing we agree on with Rogers is that the national revenues for an Edmonton multicultural station will be less than five percent of its total revenues. In fact, our national revenue projection is only 2.5 percent. Our station will have virtually no impact on the $93 million Edmonton radio revenue pie.
4912 Edmonton is a market where there’s a high concentration of rock formatted English language stations which duplicate music and programming and the same target audience. That may be one from the reasons why the revenues of English language stations have not increased. Too many English language stations chasing a similar English language audience who tune to online sources or other media.
4913 This is not the case with the 250,000-plus residents of Edmonton's multicultural community. They cross-tune to stations that are block programmed to listen to programming throughout the week. And we discussed that on Wednesday.
4915 MR. SAMUEL: Then there's this claim by Rogers regarding duplication of programming. We provided evidence that the South Asian and Chinese programming of RED FM would be complimentary to the programming of CKER by avoiding head-to-head scheduling. There would be differentiated programming content and differentiated focus on talk programming, music programming and local news coverage.
4916 Consider that the number of hours of Chinese language and South Asian programming spread over two stations in Calgary, Fairchild and RED FM, 78 hours of Chinese and 129 hours of South Asian programming are similar to the number of hours of weekly Chinese and South Asian programming that would be spread across CKER and RED FM in Edmonton, 74.5 hours of Chinese and 125 hours of South Asian programming.
4917 The two stations can co-exist. We filed extensive evidence in the style lab's research, reports of consumer demand and business demand for South Asian, Chinese and other third language programming.
4918 There is no credible evidence that has been filed by Rogers that CKER would see a 40 percent reduction in revenue if RED FM was granted a license. In fact, yesterday Rogers upped their claim and said that the South Asian revenues would decrease by 60 percent.
4919 Mr. Sangha, who appeared on our panel, has run an Edmonton SCMO service for 18 years.
4920 Our business plan clearly demonstrates that there would be conversion of advertisers who use Mr. Sangha’s SCMO, as well as revenues from print and other media who would form the predominant amount of revenue.
4921 We have had a solid track record in Calgary and Vancouver of developing new business from advertisers who previously don’t advertise on radio. We have discussed our business development acumen in detail with you on Wednesday, in particular in paragraphs 2,017 and 2,029 of the transcript.
4922 To conclude, Rogers’ intervention seeking protection from the Commission is primarily built on financial harm that Rogers claims CKER would suffer if RED FM or others were licensed. But the Commission stated in paragraph 11 of the Call for Applications, “the profitability of existing stations will be only one factor in its evaluation.” The past or future profitability of CKER should not be the determinative factor with respect to the licensing of a new station to serve Edmonton. The Commission should resist Rogers’ demand to cap South Asian programming at 25 percent.
4923 Now we will address Dufferin’s intervention. Dufferin, as you know, presents a business plan that is primarily built upon programming to the Filipino community. They said that our business plan is flawed and, furthermore, that our service would under-serve the Filipino community.
4924 What is troubling to us is the fact that Dufferin has filed no market research whatsoever that would validate their business plan in terms of adequate advertiser support for a radio service with 30 hours of programming to the Filipino community each week. What is more, they didn't bother to file any consumer or business research.
4925 Instead, Dufferin relies on a flying by the seat of your pants argument that what works in Winnipeg will work in Edmonton. That simply doesn't meet the requirement set out in the Call for Applications to provide proof of business case.
4926 By contrast, MBCI conducted market research of over 1,100 respondents, focus groups, and consultations with over 300 businesses. We also filed “The Filipino Supplement”, which included the results of an actual business survey conducted in Edmonton and an actual consumer research conducted right here in Edmonton. We believe that we have met the call criteria. Dufferin didn't submit any actual research for the Edmonton radio market. Their business plan simply wouldn’t fly.
4927 We intend to actively engage with the Filipino population, its community organizations and business owners to expand programming to this community as it grows and matures. But the reality is, as demonstrated in our application, the nine hours a week of Filipino programming will be cross subsidized for some period of time by revenues derived from Chinese and South Asian programming.
4928 In conclusion, we believe that we have addressed each of the criteria set out in the Call for Applications. RED FM will provide a superior programming service to residents of Edmonton.
4929 In closing, we want to thank you, the CRTC Panel and the Commission Staff for devoting so much time and hours to facilitate this hearing so quickly and efficiently. Thank you.
4930 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thanks. I just have one question and it may have previously been answered, so forgive me. I might have lost it during the week. If you were the successful applicant on this, was it the intention for Mr. Sangha to discontinue operating his SCMO?
4931 MR. SAMUEL: Yes, that is correct.
4932 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you very much. That was my only question.
4933 THE SECRETARY: I will now ask Radio India to come to presentation table.
4934 Please reintroduce yourself and you have 10 minutes.
4935 MR. MATHIEU: My name is Michel Mathieu. I’m a Broadcast Consultant. Would you please introduce yourself?
4936 MS. RANI MANGAT: Rani Mangat, Station Manager if we get the radio here.
4937 MS. SUKHJIT MANGAT: My name is Sukhjit Mangat and I’m Operations Manager in Surrey.
4938 MR. BENIPAL: I am Devinder Benipal.
4939 MR. MATHIEU: Madam Gill asked me to work with the team this morning. She is tied in Vancouver with a family event.
4940 So I will ask Ms. -- I will ask Devinder to start our quick short presentation.
4941 MR. BENIPAL: Thank you.
4942 One applicant forgot to take into account that small communities do not provide enough business to justify many hours of programming to meet expenses, such as CCD talent, et cetera. The broadcaster must rely on the more economically viable communities. This is inevitable in ethnic programming.
4943 MS. RANI MANGAT: As far as Rogers FM, they own three radio stations in the market, let alone their other broadcast properties in Canada. They have the means to support competition. In our opinion, they are only trying to prevent competition. Their wish is to be only player in the game. They will not lose 40 percent of their revenues. This is short sighted.
4944 In reality, other ethnic stations will be actually stimulate the market. This will generate various opportunities as well as providing different viewpoints and provide diversity.
4945 MR. MATHIEU: To that end and as answer to another applicant here today, as the Commission is well aware, we filed two scenarios, one on the FM frequency and an inexpensive but very efficient AM expanded band frequency 1690 KHZ. This allows the Commission, in the event that Radio India would be licensed on our FM frequency, for the interest of another applicants that the Commission could wish to license, they could make use of 1690 KHZ, and as Radio India already possesses an engineering brief as well as a potential antenna transmitter site, plus over another backup AM antenna transmitter site, Radio India Limited will be pleased to collaborate with whomever the Commission would be -- would wish to license on the AM band as Radio India would have been approved on the FM band.
4946 In the subject of diversity, as opposed to licensing multiple station owners, licensing Radio India Limited would allow for a new broadcaster to make her entry in the field.
4947 MS. SUKHJIT MANGAT: Ms. Gill being the young experienced entrepreneur that she is, offers a solid position to deliver the best reliable service, not only to our south Asian community but to all the other communities Radio India Limited proposes to serve.
4948 MR. MATHIEU: We thank and we appreciate the Commission to be in this -- the Commission will appreciate that this is in the public’s interest. We thank you very much.
4949 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Enjoy the rest of the day.
4950 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask Dufferin Communications to come to presentation table.
4951 Please reintroduce yourself and you have 10 minutes.
4952 MS. LAURIGNANO: Good morning. I am Carmelo Laurignano, Vice-President of Dufferin Communications Inc.
4953 We wish to provide a short reply to the intervention by Rogers Inc. that was presented yesterday.
4954 While we were not specifically named as one of the applicants that would harm them, they did raise some points we wish to address briefly.
4955 On the question of impact, they specifically named applicants who were targeting the South Asian language and Chinese language programs -- excuse me -- as being their overwhelming concern. This supports our position that an outright duplication of services would not be in the public interest and would serve neither the applicant nor additional various communities who have limited or inadequate service, or no service at all.
4956 On the question of the economy and timing of application, Rogers agreed that they are not experts in economic forecasts and were only speaking about their present condition. While we don’t believe that the present conditions are as dire as one would have you believe, there is a key factor that needs to be considered. And that is, that between the time the Commission renders its decision to the time it will take to implement the service, it could approach the three-year mark from today.
4957 The applicants who have put proposals at this hearing are not here just for the glamour and the glitz of radio. They, like Dufferin, are also investors who want to set up a business in the city because they believe there is an economic opportunity. As a collateral benefit, the new licensee will add a number of jobs to the local economy.
4958 Rogers cited many times and relied much on the TRAM reports in support of their argument as being an indicator. We suggest that this is not an accurate yardstick to measure a single ethnic station market. To be clear, TRAM is an unaudited voluntary gathering of sales that only reports the aggregate revenues for the entire market. In other words, there is no breakdown provided by station or clusters. In fact, an individual station could be up in revenues while the aggregate of the market could be down. This may be the case with Rogers, as they clearly stated yesterday that World FM is profitable.
4959 Rogers conceded that the Filipino community, among others, is growing and expected to keep growing and become a major economic force in the city. In the same breath, however, they say not now.
4960 We disagree with not now. Filipino is the largest third language community in Edmonton. But even if we concede that the time for this community to be adequately served is a couple of years from now then now is the time to plan for it.
4961 Rogers would have the Commission also believe that it should impose caps and conditions to protect them while they offered no such conditions themselves. We do not see an upside to having a new entrant in this market operate from the outset with one or both hands tied behind its back.
4962 Granting this request for special status is not warranted. Rogers will always have the advantage because they are great competitors, they're great broadcasters and operators with corporate resources, and they have local clusters, and they have a heritage, and they have already cherry picked their valuable programs, having just abandoned seven with their recent amendment. And on top of that, they will have almost up to three years to stave off the imminent competition by pre‑empting and adjusting to market conditions.
4963 In fact, yesterday Rogers said that it had just tweaked its programming on the weekends. So the process has already begun.
4964 Chairperson Menzies asked Rogers why they had not developed the Filipino market. Rogers conceded to the imminent opportunity, but again, it was because the community was not ready. We suggest it is the broadcasting system that is not ready. The community is ready.
4965 Rogers' lack of a more aggressive attack on another community is understandable. We really do understand that there are valid reasons, and those are that in order for an ethnic station to be viable and sustainable it needs a big chunk of programming, a critical mass dedicated at peak times. That is what's the bread and butter of the station.
4966 Rogers already has it with South Asian and Chinese programs. There is not enough room on this station or one station in a town to add a third. And really, if you are the only game in town why would you ever? That is the pitfall of not introducing a new service or new services that will keep up with the new and emerging communities.
4967 These are our comments. We believe that we have had a good and fair hearing. We thank the Commission Staff, you, Commissioners; shout out to Laura in the examination room who has been great for us this week, and everyone else has been so cooperative.
4968 We also wish to congratulate our fellow applicants for doing a great job. We wish you well with your deliberations. It's not going to be easy, we know, but we hope to -- you will, you know, find it in your heart to consider everything like you normally do, which is in a fair and equitable way, and we hope to see you soon.
4969 So thank you.
4970 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Enjoy the rest of the day and safe travels home.
4971 THE SECRETARY: I will now ask Antoine Karam, OBCI, to come to presentation table.
4972 M. KARAM: Bonjour, good morning.
4973 Avant de commencer j’aimerais remettre les documents que vous m’avez demandés le mardi au Conseil.
4974 Monsieur le vice-président, Madame la conseillère, Monsieur le Conseiller, membres du personnel, mesdames, messieurs, je tiens tout d'abord à vous remercier de nous avoir donné la chance de participer à cette audience publique, une première expérience pour mes collaborateurs et moi-même.
4975 Vous avez constaté que je me suis présenté ici non pas entouré de consultants et de conseillers, mais plutôt avec deux artisans de notre station projetée, tous deux résidents d'Edmonton.
4976 Nous vous avons présenté notre projet, une radio fiable, rentable, qui offrira une programmation de haute qualité, sans impact sur celles déjà établies dans le marché.
4977 Notre expérience de plus de 20 ans
4978 dans ce créneau est une garantie de réussite à
4979 Edmonton. Contrairement à d'autres demandeurs, nous n'avons pas offert des centaines de milliers de dollars en contributions excédentaires au développement du contenu ou du talent canadien, mais seulement une modeste prime aux contributions obligatoires pour deux raisons.
4980 D'abord, nous ferons une contribution de tous les jours en offrant une radio pertinente aux citoyens d'Edmonton. Ensuite, nous ne promettons rien que nous ne puissions livrer. Et nous ne pouvons pas, de
4981 manière réaliste, faire face à un système d'enchères
4982 pour obtenir une licence radiophonique.
4983 Ce que nous avons à offrir, c'est notre expertise, notre talent et notre dévouement sur une base
4984 quotidienne. Notre historique démontre que nous sommes des diffuseurs qui respectent leurs engagements, quels que soient les conditions.
4985 En fait, nous nous sommes présentés ici pour expliquer notre projet de radio. Nous sommes ici pour vous dire, vous promettre, et nous engager à mettre
4986 en œuvre une station de radio qui répond à un besoin
4987 urgent des communautés ethniques d'Edmonton. Une radio fiable et rentable, qui offre une programmation de haute qualité, et qui est différente des autres demandes devant vous aujourd'hui.
4988 En effet, c'est le seul projet qui ne causera aucun impact financier négatif sur les stations existantes, vu que le groupe majoritaire que nous ciblons n'est pas desservi par les services existants, non plus que par les autres services proposés actuellement. Notre demande est clairement unique et distinctive.
4989 Tous les requérants sont d'accord que la
4990 communauté arabe d'Edmonton est une communauté en forte progression, et elle est actuellement très mal desservie par les services existants.
4991 Nous sommes les seuls et les meilleurs à offrir à cette communauté ce qu'il y a de mieux en termes de services radiophoniques. Nous faisons de la radio au Canada depuis 20 ans. Nous offrons un produit hautement professionnel, qui est conforme aux exigences du CRTC. Le fait que nous soyons encore ici et que nous sommes en train d'élargir notre rayonnement, en dépit de toutes les difficultés et des récessions que nous avons vécues, démontre clairement que notre auditoire ainsi que nos commanditaires sont très satisfaits, et que nous sommes toujours à la hauteur de leurs attentes.
4992 Nous nous sommes présentés devant vous avec un projet réaliste et réalisable, en prenant en considération la crise économique que vivent les Edmontoniens. Nous sommes heureux de savoir que le Conseil reverra la politique d'ici deux ans. Mais en attendant, nous désirons exprimer notre inquiétude au sujet de la concurrence dans le marché radiophonique ethnique, soucis passés presque sous silence par les demandeurs.
4993 Contrairement aux stations francophones ou anglophones conventionnelles, les stations ethniques canadiennes fournissent plus d'efforts avec des ressources très limitées, ainsi qu'avec des revenus aussi limités pour être en ondes jour après jour.
4994 Tous les autres requérants ont expliqué avec études et expertises à l'appui, que leur demande n'aura aucun impact négatif sur Rogers CKER et les radios
4995 ethniques SCMO existantes. Nous désirons mettre le Conseil en garde. La réalité sur le terrain est malheureusement différente de la théorie, surtout dans les conditions économiques actuelles.
4996 Le fait d'introduire dans le même marché, une station ethnique qui cible l'auditoire d'une radio déjà existante, même si cette dernière est en bonne situation économique, mettra les deux stations en
4997 péril. Au moins un demandeur, Monsieur Ray, a eu la
4998 candeur de l'admettre mardi en parlant de sa station
4999 de Montréal.
5000 Nous vous invitons donc respectueusement à bien soupeser tous les facteurs dans votre prise de décision qui, je l'espère, mènera à l'approbation de notre demande pour une station ethnique à Edmonton.
5001 En terminant, je désire remercier chaleureusement tous les intervenants du public qui se sont intervenus en notre faveur. Je remercie le Conseil et tous les membres.
5002 Je remercie tous les applicants et je vous souhaite une bonne journée.
5003 LE PRÉSIDENT: Merci beaucoup, Monsieur Karam. Bonne journée.
5004 M. KARAM : Merci.
5005 THE SECRETARY: I will now ask Neeti P. Ray, OBCI, to come to presentation table.
5006 MR. RAY: Good morning, Mr. Chairman, and Commissioners. My name is Neeti Ray and I'm President the CINA Radio group.
5007 Just to briefly recap: Our proposed new radio station would operate at 106.5 FM and be branded CINA Edmonton. We would offer programming in 12 different heritage languages to serve 22 different communities. About 60 percent of the schedule would serve Edmonton's Arab, Filipino, and South Asian communities. The remaining 40 percent would serve smaller language groups. Our format would consist of a mix of news and information programming and music with less emphasis on pure talk programming.
5008 Moving now to reply to the interventions you have heard, I would address the following matters: Capacity of the Edmonton market, the mix of languages we would offer, how our programming would be compatible with CKER's programming, the reasonableness of our business plan, and commitments we would propose to ensure that our new radio service enters seamlessly into the Edmonton market.
5009 We have responded in our written reply in detail to Rogers' claims that the Edmonton market is unable to support a new ethnic radio station. We agree with Edmonton's Chief Economist, John Rose, that, while Edmonton is not immune from the downturn in the oil sector, the Edmonton region has a diverse economy and it has continued to expand even during the recent downturn.
5010 Just as important, though, Edmonton's third language population is now substantially larger by a number of multiples since CKER first went on air in 1980. Our consumer survey shows high interest and demand among the South Asian, Arab, and Filipino audiences for the new service -- for a new service.
5011 And there is also a substantial untapped advertising market in this city. It takes only a small proportion of the total number of businesses in an economic area to support a radio station. You don't need 30 percent or even 10 percent, you only need a small percentage of those businesses to advertise.
5012 No doubt, CKER now has a fairly small percentage of potential advertisers from the different ethnic groups. We would similarly attract a small percentage of potential advertisers, very likely different advertisers, from among hundreds of different businesses. That is how ethnic radio works.
5013 Edmonton is more than ready for a new, second ethnic radio service. CINA Edmonton is not intending to mimic CKER. Quite the contrary, we have focused on three distinctive under-served groups as the foundation groups for the service, Arabs, Filipino, and South Asian.
5014 We have not proposed to offer any programming in Cantonese or Mandarin. Respectfully, we do not believe that the assertions made in Mr. Bal's intervention suggesting that we have not proposed a broadly based ethnic service really applies to our application.
5015 Arab and Filipino programming will be important base languages for the station. We have proposed 15 hours of Arabic programming a week, 12 percent of the schedule, during the high-listening three-hour morning drive period each weekday, and 15 hours of Tagalog programming a week, also 12 percent of the schedule, during the popular early evening segment each weekday, also three hours a day.
5016 With respect to South Asian programming, our core South Asian programming in Hindustani, Punjabi, and Urdu would consist of approximately 41 percent of the schedule, divided into different programming blocks on weekdays, Urdu and Hindustani, and weekends, Punjabi.
5017 Contrary to Mr. Bal's assertions, there is no marginalization of languages or language groups. We will offer programming in seven languages that are currently not heard at all on Edmonton radio, ranging from four, six or 10 hours a week each, depending on the size of the language group.
5018 We have scheduled our South Asian programming at times when CKER does not offer South Asian programming. This ensures that the station will not compete for listeners. As mentioned already, we have proposed no Cantonese or Mandarin programs.
5019 In addition, CKER's South Asian programming is focused to a large extent on Punjabi language programming. Yesterday CKER said that 58.5 hours a week was in Punjabi. We are offering only 12 hours a week in Punjabi on weekends.
5020 Our other core South Asian content consists of Hindustani and Urdu programming. We are also offering programming for the first time in Edmonton in Gujarati, Malayalam, Bengali, Tamil and Farsi. In other words, even the language focus of the South Asian content is different than CKER.
5021 As for Rogers' suggestion that advertisers will switch allegiance entirely from one service to the other, this concern is misplaced. Advertisers seeking to buy the same South Asian audience would, in theory, at most be equally attracted to both services since they each attract the advertisers' target audience at different times. At those different times, they have -- they each have 100 percent of the market.
5022 In any event, since ethnic radio listening is not measured, the sale of ethnic advertising does not depend on ratings points. Rather, it depends on a great -- to a great extent on a strong business relationship and faith in the radio product, usually based on the advertiser's own listening experience.
5023 With a 36‑year head start in the market, CKER should have little concern. As a new entrant, we will have to establish new relationships and prove our worth from the ground up. That is why, we believe, we are more likely to attract new advertisers to ethnic radio than we are to flip Rogers' existing advertising base.
5024 Rogers has criticized applicants for too heavy a reliance on national advertising and too optimistic revenue projections. In fact, our projections reflect Rogers' own experience in the Edmonton market. Approximately 95 percent of sales are local and five percent are national. This also reflects our own experience in other markets.
5025 We have projected modest and reasonably scaled revenue growth over the first licence term. This is not only prudent it is realistic. We do not believe that Rogers' criticism of applicants' business plans has any application to our business model.
5026 You have asked us to consider what commitments we would propose as a new entrant to guard against an undue negative impact on CKER. Our commitments are quite straightforward.
5027 We would offer no programming in Cantonese or Mandarin during the broadcast week. I am willing to undertake that South Asian programming, meaning programming in Hindi, Hindustani, Urdu, or Punjabi, would be limited to no more than 50 percent of the broadcast week. We would accept as a condition of licence to that effect.
5028 Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Commissioners, and also the wonderful staff for patiently listening to us over the last four days, and all the best to you. Thank you.
5029 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, and all the best to you.
5030 We have no questions.
5031 MR. RAY: Thank you.
5032 THE CHAIRPERSON: Enjoy the day.
5033 THE SECRETARY: I will now ask VMS Media Group to come to presentation table.
5034 MR. MILLER: Mr. Chair, it's Peter Miller. If I may make a procedural introduction to the documents that you're receiving?
5035 We are ---
5036 THE CHAIRPERSON: Please go ahead.
5037 MR. MILLER: --- in addition to just a text of our reply statement, we’re filing two sets of documents. The first set is a confidential response to Commissioner Molnar’s question about financial arrangements. It includes a number of documents, including a bank letter, revised and updated statements of net worth, and an attested letter that gives some context for your consideration. And then the final document is our response to the undertaking on the proposed conditions of licence.
5038 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, I didn’t quite catch that. Your response to the undertaking on?
5039 MR. MILLER: On proposed conditions of licence, your maximums and your minimums.
5040 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
5041 Please go ahead.
5042 MR. SIDHU: Good morning, Mr. Chair, Commissioners. It has been an honour to appear before you in this proceeding and is a particular privilege to be the last to reply.
5043 Again, for the record, I am Ranjit Sidhu, President of VMS Media Group. To my left is Mr. Vivek, our Head of Finance; to his left sits Dory, our Filipino Programming Advisor and Community Liaison; to my right sits Jaspreet, Head of Music Programming; to her right is Jagjit, our Head of Programming.
5044 In the back row today we have from your left to right, Vince, our Head of Sales; Paul, Vice-President and a shareholder in the company; Peter, Counsel; and finally, Yazmin, Chair of our Community Advisory Committee.
5045 We would like to reply to a number of negative comments made against our application, specifically, we will address intervention on languages and communities served, standalone local versus group ownership, local programming, diversity of voices, and licensing scenarios.
5046 MS. JUAREZ: As a matter of policy, the CRTC's broad service requirements ask ethnic broadcasters to maximize service to language and communities, consistent with the needs and characteristics of the market in question.
5047 The broad service requirement does not suggest, as some applicants appear to suggest, that new entrants should not serve languages already served by another ethnic broadcaster. It does suggest, particularly in competitive licensing hearing, that applicants make their best efforts to make -- to meet the needs of as many ethnic groups as possible with quality programming through a viable plan.
5048 MS. AULAKH: VMS’ proposal of serving 22 ethnic languages has been acknowledged as higher than any other applicant. Programming will be station produced. Each language has its own host. No large community will dominate. Smaller communities will have a minimum of 1.5 to 2.5 hrs of programming weekly depending on demand and need.
5049 Contrary to suggestions that VMS will duplicate available ethnic programming, we will add significant diversity to the number of languages, type of programming, type of music, and perspectives currently available to ethnic Edmontonians.
5050 And while some applicants identify more than 24 communities VMS propose to serve, if we were to apply same definition of community that they do, we would be in excess of 30 communities served. As such, we would argue that, given the number and diversity of competing applications, any applicant with more than 40 to 50 percent of its program schedule devoted to any single broadly defined community and/or not offering to serve at least 14 to 16 languages, cannot really seen to be sufficiently meeting the broad service requirement.
5051 MS. GONZALES: One applicant criticized VMS Media for proposing to serve the South Asian community with 46.5 hours of programming per week and the Filipino community with 10 hours a week, while proposing themselves to serve the South Asian community with 20 hours a week and the Filipino community with 30 hours a week.
5052 While I personally would love to have as much Filipino programming as possible, I also want it from a local operator with solid experience and excellent community reputation and relationships. VMS may not have the proposed largest amount of Filipino programming, but it has proposed a significant 10 hours a week, 5 times more than that of CKER, and at a meaningful 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. weekday time slot.
5053 Ironically, applicants who have been most critical of VMS’ language service proposals have themselves refused to accept limits for any languages. Such refusals, of course, call into serious question their commitment to their proposals.
5054 MR. TRIPATHY: We understand synergies. We ourselves will be taking advantage of synergies with our SCMOs and Punjabi National Newspaper.
5055 And while synergies within multi-station groups can be desirable, they are a double-edged sword. The temptation to cut costs by bringing in programming from other markets is high. Moreover, what is gained by having group administrative synergies is often lost because of high salaries and overhead. So unless you have multiple stations in the same market, which none of the applicants have, operating synergies are actually minimal.
5056 The real issue with licensing a multi-station operator versus a new entrant is not about synergies but viability and ability to deliver on commitments. On this we expect, and indeed we welcome, the Commission's scrutiny.
5057 MR. VIRK: Our business plan is in upper middle of pack in term of revenue, but is far from the highest. Our detailed advertising survey reveal that a migration of our current South Asian SCMO advertisers alonecould account for a vast majority of our first year
5058 revenue. Virtually none of our 75 advertisers is a Rogers advertiser.
5059 Yesterday we learned that Rogers claim regarding 40 percent of revenues being at risk if you licensed a new ethnic radio station was based on the aggressive and implausible assumption that CKER would lose 60 percent of its South Asian revenue and 50 percent of its Chinese revenue. No applicant would have that impact, at least if all VMS. We stand by our assumption of a five percent impact.
5060 Our annual revenue growth average a very achievable 10 percent on the expenses side. Our approach has been to be -- allocate the spending necessary to meet our programming goals immediately, and then contain growth thereafter.
5061 The result is an artificially high margin in year 7, but a reasonable PBIT of 18 percent over 7 years. As an investor, I can tell you that I would be happy with that return, but do not expect it. If, for whatever reason, our growth projection do not materialize, we will still be fine.
5062 Let me also add this. Nothing is harder to run, and run well, than an SCMO, especially after the Commission licence a new ethnic station in ones market.
5063 Your best assurances that we can scale up and run an FM or AM radio station is that we have successfully run SCMOs for 4 years in Edmonton, 15 years in Calgary. Your best assurances that we will adhere to our commitment is the support and confidence and that we have earned from business and communities. We currently serve that and ones we will serve if you approve our application. Over 10,000 support signature from this call and the market capacity call do not come to these who don't have community confidence.
5064 MS. AULAKH: A number of out-of-market applicants suggested that a significant portion of their so-called local programming would be produced in market other than Edmonton. They claim that with technology it's all about following talent and that programming made in another city is as local to Edmonton as that produced in Edmonton by Edmontonians. With respect, we profoundly disagree.
5065 We challenge whether local programming produced elsewhere can ever be as reflective and genuine as local programming produced in Edmonton for Edmonton. It defies both logic and experience.
5066 Producing “local” programming elsewhere might work some of the time, but inevitably, the lack of local knowledge and resources on the ground will show, be it a failure to report a major traffic jam after 6:00 p.m. when the local staffer goes home, or more critically, a fire in the city in the evening.
5067 Moreover, contrary to the claims made by at least one applicant, at 18 hours a week VMS has, in fact, proposed the largest amount of local news. We expect that when there is no other option, when local news and other programming is otherwise at risk of going dark, centralizing program production is a better alternative. But that is not the case here.
5068 You have true local options. Fully local news, 95 percent local programming, fully local ownership and local operations, that's VMS Media.
5069 MR. TRIPATHY: Only two applicants in this proceeding are local to Edmonton, us and 1811258 Alberta Limited. Both have experience with SCMOs.
5070 Interestingly, many of the out-of-market applicants got their starts in the SCMO business. All but one started in the business as standalone new entrants. In prior proceedings, the Commission gave such applicants the necessary leap of faith to migrate to full power licensed status. We respectfully ask that you do the same here.
5071 Licensing a qualified local operator is good public policy echoed both by our supporters and our market research, and on every important objective measure, languages, spoken word, news, we've had a superior application to that of any other local applicant.
5072 So while we really, really want you to license us for positive reasons, we would be remiss if we didn't ask you to recognize that if you choose to license another applicant the likelihood that we could maintain our media operations in Calgary and Edmonton is virtually nil.
5073 From a business perspective, that's our problem it's not yours, but from the perspective of diversity and service to the South Asian community, that would be a real loss. Indeed, depending on who was licensed, one could easily envisage a net loss of service to the South Asian community, which brings us to the opportunity to license more than one ethnic station in this proceeding, perhaps even both local applicants.
5074 In such a case, and if licensed on our preferred 106.5 frequency we would be able to meet the same commitments to languages and CCD as proposed for the alternative single licence scenario on 580 FM.
5075 MR. SIDHU:We ask you to license the local player that best meets the broad service requirement is prepared to accept reasonable COL to both limit our impact on the incumbent and grant our proposed service to Edmonton's ethnic communities.
5076 Has a proven record of meeting Edmonton community needs and has the track record of such evidence and shareholder commitment that should give the greatest insurance of success, we again ask you to please license VMS Media Group.
5077 Finally, we would like to thank you Mr. Chair, Commissioner Molnar, and Commissioner Dupras, and staff for a fair and thorough hearing and all our supporters for their ongoing and vital encouragement of our efforts.
5078 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
5079 I have a couple matters -- questions for you. First of all, I just want to clarify the documents you filed at the beginning of your presentation. Did you also file an abridged version for the public record with that?
5080 MR. MILLER: My apologies and I should have addressed that. We didn't have time to do that. We'll file abridged versions by the 4th.
5081 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sure yeah. There's no need to apologize. I just wanted to clarify and you still have until October the 4th to meet those undertakings.
5082 The other request is to ask you if you can undertake to file in confidence financial statements, including your income statement, statement of retained earnings and cash flow statement of your Edmonton SCMO services for the previous five years, and could you also file an abridged version for the public record?
5083 MR. MILLER: Mr. Chair we spoke about this. Can we figure out what we can file?
5084 MR. CHAIRPERSON: Sure.
5085 MR. MILLER: Not all of it is desegregated.
5086 MR. CHAIRPERSON: I haven't finished the sentence.
5087 MR. MILLER: Oh, I beg your pardon, sir.
5088 THE CHAIRPERSON: If there are aspects of this request that represent an undue burden -- and for the record, this applies as well to our request of 1811258 Alberta Limited -- please discuss with our staff and we'll be happy to work with you on this.
5089 MR. MILLER: That would be fine, Mr. Chair. Thank you.
5091 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you very much, and thank you for your presentation and for having your interventions in early. Please enjoy the day.
5092 MR. SIDHU: Thank you.
5093 THE SECRETARY: For the record, please note that the transcript of the hearing is the official document if your written presentation does not reflect -- did not reflect your oral presentation.
5094 Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
5095 This concludes Phase IV and the consideration of Items 1 to 11 on the agenda.
5096 For the record, there is one non-appearing item on the agenda of this public hearing.
5097 Interventions were received for some of these -- for this application. The Panel will consider these interventions along with the application and a decision will be rendered at a later date.
5098 This concludes the agenda of this public hearing.
5099 Thank you Mr. Chairman.
5100 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
5101 Thank you everyone. I'd like to offer a few thanks as we conclude matters. I'd like to say thank you to all the applicants and interveners for their ambition, their passion, and their dedication to serving Edmontonians.
5102 I'd like to say thanks to all staff for their hard work, their companionship, their dedication, support, research and, when required, patience.
5103 I'd like to say thank you to the people of Edmonton for their wonderful Alberta hospitality.
5104 I'd like to say thank you to the media who attended and who followed this process online.
5105 I'd like to say thanks to my colleagues for their guidance, knowledge, perspectives, professionalism and most of all wisdom this week and over the years.
5106 It is almost nine years since I participated in my first radio hearing in December 2007, I believe. So while one cannot anticipate fully the future, there's a very good chance this may be my final broadcasting hearing, certainly in radio, and certainly in Alberta. It has been a great and wonderful responsibility to make decisions on matters such as the one before us, and most of all a great honour and privilege. So in case I don't get the chance to say it again, thank you, and thanks to all of the above.
5107 The hearing is adjourned.
--- Upon adjourning at 11:21 a.m.
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