Transcript, Hearing March 28, 2017
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Date: March 28, 2017
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Attendees and Location
Terrasses de la Chaudière
- Chairman: Jean-Pierre Blais
- Commissioners: Linda Vennard, Christopher MacDonald
- Legal Advisor: Crystal Hulley
- Secretary: Jade Roy
- Hearing Manager: Rachel Marleau
--- Upon resuming on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 9:01 a.m.
1521 THE CHAIRMAN: Order, please. A l’ordre s’il vous plaît.
1522 Madame la secrétaire?
1523 MS. ROY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good morning.
1524 One announcement. Following the next presentation, we will be starting Phase II whereby Applicants appear in the same order as Phase I to intervene on competing applications if they wish. If you know that you are not intending to appear in this phase, please advise me at the break. If you are unsure at this time, I will call upon you during Phase II and you can state your intention at that time.
1525 Also, 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.
1526 We’ll now proceed with Item 5 on the agenda, which is an application by Northern Native Broadcasting, Terrace, B.C. for a broadcasting licence to operate in English and Aboriginal language type B Native FM radio station in Vancouver.
1527 Please introduce yourself and your colleagues and you will then have 20 minutes for your presentation.
1528 MR. SMITH: Thank you.
1529 Aix'na'qua guk' kah'lut, Nugua Jassee, Hemas Haisla. Good morning one and all. I am Jassee, Hereditary Chief of the Haisla Nation.
1530 Mr. Chairman, Jean-Pierre Blais, Commissioners Linda Vennard and Christopher MacDonald, my name is Greg Smith, CEO of Northern Native Broadcasting, also referred to as NNBT in our presentation. I have been CEO for the past 12 years.
1531 I acknowledge the traditional territory of the Algonquin people, and thank them respectfully for allowing us to do business in their territory.
1532 We as an Aboriginally-owned and operated radio station appear before the CRTC Hearing as an Applicant for the Native type B license located in Vancouver, B.C. I'd like to take this opportunity, and with pleasure, to introduce our presentation team.
1533 Tewanee Joseph to my left, President of Tewanee Consulting Group, a member of the Squamish Nation. Tewanee was the CEO of the Four Host First Nations Secretariat for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. His impact on the 2010 Olympic Games and First Nations communities was inspiring.
1534 Ron Bartlett to my right, immediate right, of the Haisla/Tsimshian Nation, is the CFNR Sales Manager for the past 15 years.
1535 And to Ron’s right is Craig Ellis. He is our CFNR Program Director/Technician for the past 10 years.
1536 In addition, I would also like to acknowledge Mr. Bert Crowfoot from CFWE who we have developed a strong working relationship over time.
1537 Our audience spans a vast geographic territory stretching from Haida Gwai on the west coast to the northern B.C. border, to the northeast Alberta border and Williams Lake to the south.
1538 We take pride in the fact, and have earned the respect, that CFNR is a true community radio station. Last fall we received a B.C. Aboriginal Business Award acknowledging our community involvement.
1539 CFNR connects 42 First Nations communities exclusively, offering a voice in sharing our culture, tradition, and songs; and providing entertainment and local and regional news that is relevant to all inclusive of the entire network. We refer to our many listeners as “friends of CFNR”.
1540 We have created a unique and proven balance of programming that resonates across our geographically-dispersed Aboriginal communities. It is also engaging a cross section of mainstream listeners, which is an important aspect of our broader mission: to promote inclusiveness and cross-cultural communication.
1541 Unlike our fellow Aboriginal stations in other provinces, we have yet to have a presence in a major urban centre. It is our long-term plan to create an enhanced B.C. Aboriginal Network where the Vancouver Aboriginal radio station would play a major role.
1542 Our objective with the Vancouver Urban Aboriginal Radio, CKUR 106.3FM, will be to apply our proven formula of putting community first with the long-term goal of connecting with and effectively serving the Aboriginal population of 70,000 plus.
1543 I will now introduce Tewanee. Tewanee Joseph will be leading our engagement with the local First Nations.
1544 MR. JOSEPH: (Greeting in Aboriginal language).
1545 Mr. Chairman, fellow Commissioners, radio applicants, I'm honoured to be working with NNB-Terrace in this very important work.
1546 I think most of you agree that the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games was one of those shining moments for Canada, and in particular Aboriginal Peoples in Canada.
1547 The Four Host Nations welcomed over 300 [sic] visitors to the Games and billions more tuned in to watch them. What they witnessed was incredible competition and Canadians from all walks of life enjoying history in the making.
1548 Most important to me, for the first time in Olympic history, Indigenous Peoples were official partners in the planning, staging, and hosting of the Games. And through our role as host Nations we had the opportunity to reflect, and share; the opportunity to change and grow; perhaps most importantly the opportunity to dream.
1549 There is no doubt that we face challenges and sometimes we feel in this country that things may seem impossible. However, I believe that Canada is in the beginnings of a transformation and that the 21st Century heralds in a new and better time for all, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in this country. The Games were one of those catalysts for change.
1550 The key to our success was ensuring that we practised a time-old tradition of a personal invitation -- relationships.
1551 I was honoured to travel from coast to coast to coast extending personal invitations to and partnering with over 40 national, regional, and local Aboriginal groups and Nations over a seven-year period. This is not to mention the 50 non-Aboriginal that partners we worked with both domestically and internationally.
1552 I believe that NNB-Terrace has followed their own model for inclusivity in the north in achieving their success, developing strong and lasting relationships with various local groups within their area of broadcast.
1553 I have taken on my role with NNB-Terrace with great respect and enthusiasm as they have sought permission to do business in our territories. Together, it is our plan to learn from our mutual experiences, reach out to local Nations, as well as Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal groups, to form the foundation for long-term success.
1554 These partnerships will provide NNB-Terrace with the rich and diverse stories necessary for programming success, from emerging artists to new innovations in language, to economic development. The success of our partners will ensure the long-term success for NNB-Terrace.
1555 With 20 First Nations in the lower mainland and approximately 70,000 Aboriginal people living in the Greater Vancouver area, the rich and diverse stories and languages will be strongly represented in the daily activities of NNB-Terrace.
1556 Please enjoy this short video.
1557 --- VIDEO PRESENTATION
1558 MR. SMITH: Thank you, Tewanee, for your comments and introducing the CFNR video.
1559 We will commit to creating a "Community Advisory Council" in Vancouver. Its purpose will be to establish an inflow of community information to CKUR working with our Promotions Director/Community Advisor. The Council will be comprised of members from the Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation, and Musqueam Indian Band, along with members of the Aboriginal Service agencies and Friendship Centres.
1560 With the assistance of Tewanee Joseph we will identify members of the First Nations communities that will be invited to join us.
1561 The CFNR Board of Directors has approved a motion to add a new member to the Board from one of the three Aboriginal Nations in Vancouver. This Board member will become a regular Board member of the CFNR.
1562 I would now like to introduce Ron Bartlett, General Sales Manager of CFNR. Ron will bring you initially greetings in his Tsimshian Nation language. Ron?
1563 MR. BARTLETT: (Speaking Tsimshian language).
1564 The Tsimshian, or Nation, is the largest tribal group in B.C. and the territory extends from Alaska to Kitasoo just north of Bella Bella, to just east of Terrace.
1565 Chiefs, Matriarchs, Elders, and respected people, my name is Lee Gath Neemiant of the Killer Whale Clan, house of Lagaax of the Tsimshian Nation, First Nations community of Kitsumkalum. In our First Nations tradition we share; I will fish and hunt for my community and family from early spring to late fall. We will fish halibut and ground fish with our commercial fishing boat, normally bringing in 3,500 lbs. of halibut and going door to door until the whole community has their share.
1566 CFNR honours our commitment to serve all 80 communities in our broadcast footprint by offering coverage of community events and celebrations. In 2016, we promoted over 5O events and provided community organizations with an in-kind value of $350,000 in on-air promotion.
1567 Our responsibility is to our heritage and the 42 First Nations communities we serve goes above and beyond supporting events. We are personally -- we were personally impacted when one of our staff members lost a close family friend -- close family member in the Highway of Tears tragedy. CFNR organized the first "Highway of Tears Walk," and our staff have continued to raise awareness for the disappearance of murdered -- the murders of young Aboriginal women in our communities and beyond.
1568 Through our coverage, we provide that connection, offering listeners live-streamed all-Native Basketball events, Hobiyee, Tribal Canoe Journey, Qatuwas Festival, National Aboriginal Days, and hundreds of local celebrations.
1569 Our economic viability will be determined by the broader interest of the Vancouver urban listeners. Vancouver residents have a strong degree of cultural awareness and there is particular interest in, or fascination with, Aboriginal people, culture, languages, and stories.
1570 We want to be clear that CKUR 106.3FM will be a stand-alone Vancouver radio station focused entirely on the coverage area. However, it holds the potential to create a vital cultural bridge between Vancouver's urban Aboriginal community and the audience we serve through our existing Northern Native Broadcasting Network.
1571 Compelling Reasons to do Business with CKUR 106.3FM Vancouver Aboriginal Radio: Northern Native Broadcasting, Terrace, is one of the most successful operators of Aboriginal radio in Canada. We will offer Vancouver advertisers their first significant opportunity to reach the Aboriginal community while also targeting the community of cultural seekers.
1572 NNB Terrace has developed a communication tool that is anchored by our broadcast operation; our team of promotion, news, and community development professionals determine how we can best deliver special events to our -- or community celebrations .
1573 When we select from on-air digital resources that include our website, Facebook, Twitter, live streaming, to deliver coverage for our community partners, CKUR will offer a communications platform, integrating digital media, to build social license for the resource sector of B.C. Over 73 percent of the resource development is taking place in our broadcast network coverage area, while corporate headquarters remain based in Vancouver.
1574 We will determine, through our actions, our love and commitment for our community, and then we will draw on that to engage advertisers in supporting us in this effort.
1575 Local/National Selling: Local -- focused on reaching Aboriginal serving business, events, and celebration coverage. National -- adding strength to our existing National Aboriginal Sales package.
1576 CKUR Staff levels: 106.3 has the financial backing of Northern Native Broadcasting. Financial forecasts indicate a positive profit position in the fourth year of operation. CKUR will employ a minimum of 13 full-time staff, thus creating new employment operations for primarily First Nations People in this market. They will be under the direction of the General Manager/General Sales Manager. The head office will remain in Terrace and support staff will include Technology, Accounting, and Human Resources.
1577 It's my pleasure to introduce Craig Ellis, Program Director.
1578 MR. ELLIS: Before I begin and for the sake of clarification, I wish to define my role as the Program Director of CFNR, an Aboriginal radio station. I am not qualified to and therefore do not determine what is or isn't Aboriginal content. That process is already determined within our broadcast team. My role at CFNR is to package, assemble, and ensure delivery of the Aboriginal content that flows from our talent, management, and most importantly, from our Aboriginal communities.
1579 Our Vancouver station will leverage Northern Native Broadcasting's existing Aboriginal network, highlighting, promoting, and celebrating the heritage and culture of our First Nations communities in B.C.'s largest urban region in an educational and engaging way.
1580 To ensure we serve this community, we are building relationships with each of the Territorial land holders in our immediate broadcast area. The three primary Nations in our Vancouver Urban community -- Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh -- will play a major role in our "Urban Aboriginals" programming, with each Nation having unprecedented opportunities to showcase their community and culture.
1581 Many of the Nations have fewer than two or three Talkers left -- i.e. elders who know the languages that were almost destroyed during the Residential School period in Canada.
1582 We will produce daily programming that is focused on language, introducing listeners to Language Talkers like Khelsilem, a young man from the Squamish Nation, who made a commitment to his Grandmother that he would learn her language, before she passed. Motivated by that promise, Khelsilem is teaching and working with many of our Nations and bands throughout B.C. to set up language learning centres. CKUR 106.3FM will showcase the languages of these people in an educational way that will resonate with a broad audience.
1583 CKUR will assemble a journalism team focused on gathering and presenting stories from Vancouver Aboriginal communities and our NNB Network. "Urban Aboriginal" content will consist of themed language, showcasing Coast Salish and the many languages within our coverage area. Language will be fused with a celebration of the arts and culture, musicians, story telling, and oral history, all with a commitment to help preserve language.
1584 Our language commitment goal is seven hours per week. We will start with our three territorial landholders and expand language to other First Nations communities as we learn from our experience. Urban Aboriginals will engage our First Nation listeners, together with cultural seekers through our B.C. Aboriginal network, by inviting people to interact with our hosts. Program features will also include education, community services, selfdevelopment, employment, success stories in business ventures, and artisan celebrations. We will seek sources from our regional network, national, and international contacts.
1585 The primary objective of the CKUR programming day is to reflect -- through information and entertainment -- the social, political, economic, and cultural concerns of the Aboriginal communities in Vancouver and throughout the Lower Mainland area. It is also intended to act as a cultural link between Vancouver First Nations peoples and their more remote home Nations.
1586 Additionally, our programming will attract non-First Nations peoples with a strong interest in Aboriginal culture, entertainment, issues, and news.
1587 The Vancouver morning show will be information intensive, with a strong focus on current, up-to-the-minute reports, community, and culturally significant information, and entertainment that is relevant and engaging to the target audience.
1588 Community contact is critical to ensure the relevance and success of the show. There will be an emphasis on what's happening in each First Nations community directly served by our signal, as well as those that are proximal and important to the Vancouver market.
1589 The Vancouver midday show will also be music and conversation driven, with focus on culturally significant information, as well as entertainment that is relevant and engaging to the target audience.
1590 The Vancouver afternoon show will be more music driven, but also information intensive, with a strong focus on the current, up-to-the minute reports, community and culturally significant information, and entertainment that is relevant and engaging to the target audience. In the five to six hour, we envision community interaction as a staple of the hour, with a focus influenced in part by the content of that evening's Urban Aboriginals hour. Excuse me.
1591 Working with our Aboriginal Community Advisor, we will develop relationships in Aboriginal communities and invite musicians to provide and perform content for our audience. Our Aboriginal talent development initiatives will include talent competitions tied in with celebrations and events. We will also invite performers to our, “Concerts in the Park” type celebration.
1592 We will bring our news experience philosophy of serving diverse Aboriginal communities throughout our Terrace operation, to CKUR and provide local news and sports that affects the territorial land holders in the three primary Nations within our urban footprint. News about development, emergency alerts issues that affect sustainable resources, community awareness and economic activities will all receive the greatest priority.
1593 News stories from both broadcast regions cross pollinate. We have recently created a Regional news group with CFWE Alberta and are opening ways to strengthen our national Aboriginal news sources. Sporting events such as war canoe races, lacrosse tournaments, et cetera, will receive the same focus we give the annual all-native basketball tournament in Prince Rupert.
1594 CKUR music will be presented as a mosaic thread that links and enriches urban Aboriginal programming. As we build connections with up and coming Aboriginal performers and artists, we will add feature blocks in our broadcast day so we can showcase their talents to our audience.
1595 Outreaching music for our mainstream audience includes a blend of blues, and Canadian-centric roots rock, and classic hits.
1596 In closing, being a successful independently owned and operated First Nations radio network for the past 27 years of effectively serving our First Nations listeners, is solid proof that we are in this for the right reasons. CKUR 106.3 FM intends to apply the same passion and commitment in building long-term relationships, trust and inclusiveness with the Aboriginal “community first” approach. BC is our home, there is no one better to tell the story than NNB(T).
1597 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you very much for your presentation. I’ll put you in the hands of Commissioner Vennard to start us off.
1598 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Good morning and thank you for coming to talk to us today. In keeping with the sort of questioning that you probably noticed we were doing yesterday, we’ll talk a little bit about your programming and then we’ll move on to the economic part of things.
1599 In the case of your application, I’m going to be focussing a little bit more on the numbers because I found that in your application it was sometimes the commitments you were making were a little unclear. So as we move through then, I’ll just be asking you to clarify and confirm certain commitments and so on. Because, of course, that will end up translating into a condition of licence if you get the -- if your application is successful.
1600 So to start with your music programming, you state that you’re going to have 101 hours of programming of music a week?
1601 MR. ELLIS: Yes, Ma’am.
1602 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yes. Okay, thank you. What is your commitment to the Aboriginal music part of it? Is that 21 percent or 25 percent? There were two different numbers in your application.
1603 MR. ELLIS: I believe we revised that to 25 percent.
1604 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Twenty five (25) percent. Okay.
1605 MR. ELLIS: Yes, Ma’am.
1606 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Thank you. Now, what I’d like to do is talk a little bit about the -- about your music programming. And I’d like you to elaborate on the format that you’re proposing and explain how you expect it will differ from what is currently offered in the market already. In other words, how do you plan to differentiate your program from other stations that are operating already?
1607 MR. ELLIS: The way we look at it is the way we look at our Terrace operation. Currently, yes, we do play classic rock, which is a well-known format. But we also play a lot more deep album cuts that nobody else plays, non-hits, a lot more blues intermingled in with it. So in that way it’s much different than a traditional classic rock format.
1608 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yes.
1609 MR. ELLIS: There is music that you wouldn’t normally hear.
1610 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay. And in your view, will that be adding to the diversity of programming that’s available within the Vancouver market?
1611 MR. ELLIS: I’m sorry. I don’t understand the question.
1612 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: One of the things that we look for is diversity of programing, and if you’re adding diversity of the programming. In your view, does that add to the diversity of programming?
1613 MR. ELLIS: Yes, Ma’am.
1614 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay. And how do you see that as meeting the needs of the Aboriginal audiences in Vancouver?
1615 MR. ELLIS: Our survey results, again, I can’t really speak for First Nations People.
1616 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Sure.
1617 MR. ELLIS: So I would maybe throw this over to Greg to explain what First Nations People like to listen to.
1618 MR. SMITH: Yeah. We conducted a survey about three years -- four years ago, a market survey, which comprised of 500 participants in the survey.
1619 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay.
1620 MR. SMITH: And music was the -- almost the top likes in terms of the survey questions. The target audience of -- our target audience is around 25 to 55 age bracket. So a lot of that age group is, as we’ve learned, is attracted to the classic rock format. And in that format we also include Aboriginal artists as well, like Derek Miller. Oh, I have some other names here, Murray Porter, George Leach, and Robbie Robertson.
1621 So -- and also in the Vancouver operation we will be, as was presented -- as was indicated in our presentation, that we will be showcasing Aboriginal -- up and coming Aboriginal artists in our program as well.
1622 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay.
1623 MR. SMITH: Okay?
1624 MR. JOSEPH: Thank you for the question. It’s a great question too. Because I’m an artist. I have a rock band, and really for many of the Aboriginal artists in the greater Vancouver area there’s very little opportunity for any kind of sharing of music. There’s -- we have to go through channels that are a lot different, I think, than a lot of different artists across the country that may have access to immediate platforms of radio and such.
1625 But right now, other than sharing music through CDs, or sharing music through online, we just don’t have the opportunity to get our music out there. And that’s right across the board for many artists that I’ve talked to as well, that I see from time to time, but also where I see out on the road. I’m specific. I ask them what they are facing. And so definitely addressing the diversity from classic rock, to blues, to others is also important. But I think also just as artists, being able to get our music out, we haven’t really had a real opportunity in Vancouver. It’s very difficult.
1626 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay. I notice that in part of your application you speak of the Aboriginal artists as not just being Canadian, but I’m presuming also American as well? So could you maybe explain to us how that fits in to it, into your programming as well? Your selection?
1627 MR. SMITH: Could you repeat the question? I didn’t hear.
1628 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Sure. In your application, you referred to the fact that Aboriginal artists are not just Canadian artists, but I’m presuming that you’re referring also to possibly American artist? How does that fit into it? I’m just wanting you to expand on the comment that you made the Aboriginal artists are not just Canadian artists, they’re other artists as well.
1629 MR. SMITH: No. Craig can reinforce this as well, but we focus strictly on Canadian ---
1630 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay.
1631 MR. SMITH: The Canadian CANCON ---
1632 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay.
1633 MR. SMITH: --- rule of 35 percent. And we do not play American ---
1634 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay.
1635 MR. SMITH: --- artist at all.
1636 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yeah. And again, I’m just asking you to clarify that because the comment was actually made in your application. But ---
1637 MR. SMITH: Okay.
1638 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: --- that’s fine.
1639 How will you retain your audience if your format is too broad? How would you plan on retaining your audience?
1640 MR. SMITH: Well, we have a proven track record in terms of the Terrace operation. And our target market here in Vancouver is very similar in that we’re talking about a 70,000 population, Aboriginal population, in Vancouver. And in the north we had about 100,000 plus.
1641 So one big plus with the Vancouver location is that there’s a lot of people from the north that are living in Vancouver in addition to the three local landholders. So we are confident -- and in our live streaming of our music, Vancouver is second in listening to our radio station, second behind Terrace. So we’ve got already a following in the City of Vancouver.
1642 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay. So how would the station, then, be differentiated from what you already have within Vancouver? Again, we’re looking at diversity of programming here. So how would this be different from what it already available to Aboriginal people in Vancouver?
1643 MR. SMITH: Well, our original -- our overall plan is to develop a province-wide network. And Vancouver is a vital cog in this plan. And it would be, I guess, counterproductive if we introduced two different music formats throughout an entire provincial-wide network.
1644 And I’ll pass it on to Craig to ---
1645 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Sure.
1646 MR. ELLIS: Yeah, if I could add something else to that? What would be different is the cultural aspect that they’re not currently getting.
1647 So I’m sure you could add to that?
1648 MR. JOSEPH: Yes. When you look up north with the Tsimshian territories and such and the diversity of cultures, in Vancouver you have Halkomelem language; you have Squamish language. You have a diversity in cultures that I think that the long-term success will be our ability to engage each of those communities and the surrounding areas, whether it’s Squamish, Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, Tsawwassen, Kwantlen, Coquitlam, out in the Stó:lō, with our families out there.
1649 But what would make it different is the cultural diversity that we have there from education -- what’s going on in each of those communities -- to the music and artists that we have in those communities to also the news that’s happening in those communities. Each nation is moving forward in economic development but we don’t know what’s happening all the time with our neighbours other than talking to each other in houses, in our ceremonies, or some of the things that happen in sharing in some of our families.
1650 What will make it truly different from the north is our diversity that we have in the Greater Vancouver area and the cultures that we have there.
1651 Right now I think it’s important because there isn’t that voice and the ability to share. And that’s what we’re talking about here, is the long-term success will depend on our ability to engage meaningfully with the Aboriginal community in the Greater Vancouver area as well as the local Nations. That’s what will provide the success.
1652 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: So at this time those three communities are not -- their needs, in your view, are not going to be met by what exists already?
1653 MR. JOSEPH: There isn’t a communications channel that -- media is the format that we’re talking about that is available to any of the nations at this time.
1654 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay. Thank you for that.
1655 MR. JOSEPH: You’re welcome.
1656 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: That was very clear.
1657 MR. SMITH: If I could just quickly add? The challenges we face in the north is that there’s no dominant Nation up there that we can focus language on and introduce in the north. They’re pretty well all equal representation in the north, whereas in the south, Vancouver, there is the three landholders which have a population base of about 6,000 people. So that is going to be our main focus of introducing a language component in our programming.
1658 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay. This is probably a good time to move into talking about your language programming. That’s probably a good time to do it.
1659 Your local spoken-word programming, you’re planning on 25 hours a week for that? So could you clarify for us how you’re going to do that? I know you have it broken down into quite a few different ideas for programming and programs and so on, different talk shows and that sort of thing. So if you could just be specifying, clarify for us what you plan on doing in those 25 hours and how you plan on serving those three different communities?
1660 MR. SMITH: Yeah. To clarify, we are proposing seven hours per week of the spoken word and language.
1661 I foresee -- what our focus on in a specific program, urban Aboriginal program, is to showcase, as an example, some role models, First Nations role models; up-and-coming artists like Tewanee’s group, for example; musicians, artisans, and elders who we hope will -- who we know will share some stories.
1662 Maybe Tewanee can use an example or one or two of that?
1663 MR. JOSEPH: Yeah, just to provide some context as well is that with the Coast Salish peoples in the lower mainland area, we have the Halkomelem language. And so that is most of the Nations that we’re talking about. The one exception is Squamish language. And so Squamish is a dialect of Halkomelem. And so when we talk about language programming, when we actually engage with the communities there are a number of stories that are happening.
1664 For example, the Squamish nation has an online program that really they wanted to get out to our membership. There’s also school, post-secondary schools that are teaching the language now, which didn’t happen before. Those kinds of stories -- and those students that go through those programs will be available to help assist with what we’re talking about in terms of overall programming.
1665 The other thing that’s important is that when you look at the Aboriginal population in Vancouver, they’ve come from so many places across Canada. They’re Métis; there’s Inuit people; there’s people from Ontario, from eastern Canada. So being able to identify where there’s opportunity to share those language as well is also important because the Aboriginal population in Vancouver is significant. And I think that their stories also need to be told. And there’s a number of groups in the Greater Vancouver area that would be able to do that.
1666 So I think that we’re not just looking at Halkomelem and Squamish but looking at the others as well.
1667 But there are so many stories. We’ve been into communities, and just one community in particular, where you have the stories, like my cousin, that’s created a language program in a post-secondary school. Nobody knows about that program hardly. In my Nation we have less than eight Squamish Nation speakers of our language. And so we need help to revitalize this. And having this as a platform to be able to engage also younger people that are coming up and learning our language I think will be an important aspect of long-term of how we revitalize our language.
1668 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: How will you go about making the decision on who to feature on your urban Aboriginal side in the seven hours? What does that look like?
1669 MR. SMITH: In part it would involve the Advisory Council. Plus, as Tewanee suggested too, you know, we can invite some groups. Like, the Nisga’a population in Vancouver is 1,500. The Haida has similar numbers as well. So you know, I’m sure the three landholders would invite others to share their stories as well.
1670 So it will be -- it will depend on -- there’s so many stories out there that need to be told. It’s just a question of lining them up on a weekly basis. I don’t think it’s really significant in terms of when they actually are brought -- are put on the air.
1671 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yeah. So it would be ---
1672 MR. SMITH: It could be -- like, one day could be -- like, day one we could introduce or interview an artist, up-and-coming musician and play his music that hour. And next day could be an elder who will share some stories and play some traditional music along with that story. So it won’t be the same format each day but it will be different components.
1673 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: And you would rely on your Advisory Council to work that out and to make the decisions and so on?
1674 MR. SMITH: Yeah.
1675 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yeah, okay.
1676 So that’s -- of the 25 hours of spoken word, that would be 7 hours. Could you maybe continue on telling us what else you would do?
1677 MR. ELLIS: The other hours would be comprised of news, 6.45 hours; other talk, which would be just conversations that you would have during a regular broadcast day as a radio DJ. As I spoke about in the introduction, we would have moments during the morning show or afternoon show, especially the mid-day show, where you would invite people to phone in and participate or guests would come in and participate with the show and those sorts of things.
1678 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Could you -- let’s just pause on that one for a moment. Earlier you were talking about open line programming that ---
1679 MR. ELLIS: No.
1680 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: No?
1681 MR. ELLIS: No, we don’t do open line at this ---
1682 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: So, you’re inviting people to –- maybe explain what you mean by that. Can you clarify what you mean by that, if you’re asking people to phone in and discuss topics and so on?
1683 MR. ELLIS: Well, not necessarily discuss topics, but just -- you know, we do something in Terrace called the “free-for-all Fridays”, where we invite people to call in and make requests. And we will hear from different communities across our broadcast network and just engage them in light conversation, those sorts of things. So, it doesn’t have to be hard news topics or anything like that.
1684 But if there is something going on in the community and people want to share their views on it, we’re certainly open to that, but we’re very careful about that. We always pre-record our phone calls and edit out anything that would not be appropriate, those sorts of things.
1685 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay. So that is pre-recorded then, and you don’t get into people just phoning in.
1686 MR. ELLIS: Oh, absolutely, yeah.
1687 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: And you do some editing if necessary, then you’re stopping it.
1688 MR. ELLIS: Absolutely, yeah.
1689 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay. And how many -- are you thinking about doing the same type of thing on the news station as well?
1690 MR. ELLIS: At the moment, we haven’t decided to do free-for-all Fridays.
1691 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Sure.
1692 MR. ELLIS: So a request show is always difficult to reconcile because you have to have a reconciled music log at the end of the day and, you know, that takes time and effort and man hours and those sorts of things. And we’re going to see what kind of resources we have on the ground, should we get the license.
1693 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: And how many hours a week were you going to do for that again?
1694 MR. ELLIS: I believe that’s 6.5.
1695 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Six point five (6.5).
1696 Okay, and what else were you going to be doing in that 25 hours?
1697 MR. ELLIS: Educational programming, 5.5 hours.
1698 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: How many? Five and a half?
1699 MR. ELLIS: Yes.
1700 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Can you tell us about that?
1701 MR. ELLIS: That would be similar to what Tewanee was talking about and Greg was talking about with the pre-recorded produced shows. Urban Aboriginals, I believe, is the title of the show.
1702 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: And how would you make your selections for that? What would be your content be, your topics, and so on for that?
1703 MR. ELLIS: Once again, it would be the Content Committee and of course you hire the right staff to find the right people to have interviews with, much in the same way that a news person would, you know, seek out news stories.
1704 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay, so that would be the language, and so on, anything that would be educational?
1705 MR. ELLIS: It could be language. It could be just cultural stuff that has nothing to do with language. Maybe Greg would --
1706 MR. SMITH: The key would be to define the parameters to the -- whoever that future host will be of that program, who will understand what the parameters are and he can work within that. He will be able to bring in up and coming musicians, artisans, elders. So as long as he works within those parameters and approved by the -- and reviewed by Advisory Council, then he has that ability to schedule on a day-to-day basis each week.
1707 So he will have that -- my role in Terrace, is I give the employees the freedom. Like, I don’t micro-manage, I give Craig and Ron the freedom of doing their job and they do the job well and that’s the big plus with our Terrace operation is that we have 19 professional people there who -- we’ve been away -- Craig has been away for two weeks and I’ve been away for two weeks and the office -- I haven’t received one phone call. I don’t think Craig has received one phone call so -- the same plan will be for the Vancouver operation is to hire very qualified professionals.
1708 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay, okay.
1709 MR. JOSEPH: Just in addition to this?
1710 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Oh sure.
1711 MR. JOSEPH: Just in addition to that as well as -- by engaging with the local nations as well as the Aboriginal groups, part of it is to develop a framework, especially around language because right now, the information that’s there is shared orally amongst groups or through the education departments. So part of this, when engagement occurs, and the framework is provided to each of the potential nations and Aboriginal groups, is that there may be technology advances that are happening in language blocks, you know, using online apps that could be there that we never knew about.
1712 There could be a course that’s starting in September, you know, in post-secondary university and we need to get the word out, you know, months before. But until we engage meaningfully with our potential partners and potential groups, that would provide the opportunity -- it would be then -- when it provides the opportunity to provide a strategic direction around that and allow the decision for programming to occur. And so that will be an important piece to what we mentioned earlier, is the long-term successes, really meaningful, but also at the same time building up a target audience and starting to engage meaningfully around what the local groups -- so just wanted to add that to Greg and Craig’s comments.
1713 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Sure, thank you for that.
1714 Let’s talk a little bit about your news and information. How many hours were you talking about for that, were you planning for that?
1715 MR. ELLIS: News is 6.45 hours in a broadcast week.
1716 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: So 6.5.
1717 MR. ELLIS: We also have the plan of a staff -- of three news staff, including a news director and two reporters, full-time staff.
1718 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Full-time staff. And where will they be located, in Terrace or in ---
1719 MR. ELLIS: No, in Vancouver.
1720 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Right in Vancouver. Okay.
1721 MR. ELLIS: The plan is to have 13 full-time staff based out of Vancouver.
1722 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay.
1723 MR. ELLIS: It will be a stand-alone operation.
1724 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yeah. When would it be up and running, do you think?
1725 MR. ELLIS: We’re giving it a year from the announced date.
1726 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay.
1727 MR. ELLIS: Yes.
1728 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: So would you like to expand a little bit on your connection with AAMSA and how you plan on doing the news? Was there anything else about that that you mentioned?
1729 MR. ELLIS: As I mentioned, we’re in -- or we’ve just begun a relationship with them. They were undergoing some changes, so we were waiting for that to finish before we could proceed. But we are hoping to build a relationship with Bert and his staff. And because we share a geographical border in our northern sector with Alberta, a lot of the stories that they have will be relevant to our listeners in our northern regions.
1730 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay.
1731 MR. SMITH: It is our plan to start that relationship with CFNR in Terrace and CFWE in the very near future.
1732 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: So in the meantime, you have your own reporters and so on for your news.
1733 MR. BARTLETT: If I could just elaborate a little further, this is something we have been working with CFWE over the last five years, quite closely in the sales department where we have actually shared our -- we have opened our operations to CFWE and they to us. We’ve shared training, cross-training. They are fairly strong in digitals so we had their top salesperson come into our network with training for a whole week and we’re very, very strong in radio sales so we’ve done the same thing for them. So we actually have been -- have a good working relationship for a long time.
1734 I’m also going to be visiting the agencies that we deal with in Vancouver and Toronto, just after this. I’m representing not only CFNR but CFWE as well. We have those synergies already.
1735 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay.
1736 Just one moment.
1737 There’s one thing I would like you to clarify and that’s the amount of your Indigenous language programming. In your application, you propose two hours and thirty minutes. In your presentation, you stated that you would do seven hours. Can you clarify which it is?
1738 MR. ELLIS: Overall, the program of Urban Aboriginal’s program will be seven hours at length. Our plan as well is on the information shared -- Ron just referred to in our communications with Bert Crowfoot from CFWE. They have a spoken word component in their program as well which we will adopt into our program.
1739 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay.
1740 MR. ELLIS: And as well as I indicated, there will be elders that will be brought in who will be speaking their own Native tongue.
1741 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay. So that is actually -- it's not really 2 hours and 30 minutes, but you're confirming that it is actually 7 hours that you are going to be doing ---
1742 MR. SMITH: It would vary each week. Like, I mentioned that the program could -- one day could involve a musician, where one day we'll focus on his talents and his music. So there may not be as much language spoken during that hour, but the next day, we -- it could be an elder who will be speaking ---
1743 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Oh, okay.
1744 MR. SMITH: --- the majority of the time in their Native tongue.
1745 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: So you're committing to 2 hours and 30 minutes ---
1746 MR. SMITH: Yeah. Oh, it will -- yeah, we'll ---
1747 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: --- at some point during the week?
1748 MR. SMITH: Yeah, out of the 7 hours, it will be 2 hours and 30 minutes of spoken language, yeah.
1749 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay. Okay, a couple of other things I wanted to just get clarification from you on local programming, because you speak also of syndication. So can you maybe take -- unpack that for us and tell us about that? When you talk about syndicated programming, what are your plans for that?
1750 MR. ELLIS: We really don’t have a plan to include syndicated programming. There is an Aboriginal Countdown, music countdown, that we could bring into the format ---
1751 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay.
1752 MR. ELLIS: --- but for the most part, it's just 100 percent local.
1753 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay, so in your application, you did mention your syndicated programming, so at this point, it would be possibly something like a countdown that you would be considering?
1754 MR. ELLIS: Extremely minimal, yeah, if that.
1755 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: If that, okay.
1756 MR. SMITH: In Terrace, we do have a two-hour -- once a week, a two-hour session of playing all-Aboriginal rock. I could foresee that happening in our Vancouver operation with the assistance of Tewanee of introducing up-and-coming musicians and to showcase their music ---
1757 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay.
1758 MR. SMITH: --- once a week.
1759 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay, so what is your understanding of local programming? We need you to clarify what your understanding is of that, or your local programming. Do you really understand what that is, because we need you to clarify that as well.
1760 MR. ELLIS: In general, overall?
1761 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Sure.
1762 MR. ELLIS: Basically, it would be ---
1763 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: It's not a test.
1764 MR. ELLIS: Sorry?
1765 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: It's not a test.
1766 MR. ELLIS: It feels like one, I'm sorry, an oral exam. Basically, it's everything that has to do with the community. Our plan is to be hyper local. Anything that concerns the three host nations or any of the proximal nations is fair game. We plan to hire local as much as possible. We'll be in the community as much as possible. We're next door to some incredible community resources. Tewanee could explain a little further.
1767 We're not confirmed on this location, but it's something that we're really sort of hoping for and they're sort of hoping for us and -- but anything that's happening in the community is what we will be talking about.
1768 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay.
1769 MR. ELLIS: I think Ron wants to add something to that too.
1770 MR. BARTLETT: Yes, if I could. One of the strengths in the building blocks that we've been building over the last 27 years with NNB Terrace is our community consultation. We have -- we're constantly working with the stakeholders and visiting them, doing needs analysis within the territories, asking them what's important. And we're working with them intricately. And you know, we mentioned in our presentation that we put $350,000 worth of our inventory into local production at no cost to the communities. And you know, I can explain later how, in the financial -- how we pay for that.
1771 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Sure.
1772 MR. BARTLETT: But you know, what we've found is that the stakeholders are calling us. They need to get the message out. They're calling us. When they want to reach their own people, they use us. So we're being used for just every element of communication, from the Aboriginal stakeholders within the territories. We want to do that same model in the Vancouver area.
1773 That's why we, through protocol -- and we know, as Aboriginal people, protocol is so important. The governments recognize it as well. Before we did anything, we consulted with the three territorial landholders. We sought their permission. They gave it to us, and under their direction, we will go forward. We will not, you know, overstep, but we will consult in an ongoing basis.
1774 And with respect, we do the same thing with all of the Aboriginal stakeholders within the community. We approach the Aboriginal friendship centre, the Niska local, the Haida local, and so on. The Aboriginal justice groups, the social groups, and from there, we open our airwaves to them. And we also work with them so that when events happen, when things are important, they come to us with them and we become their voice, and that's being hyper local and we continue to. That's how we want to model Vancouver on the successes we've have in the North. We are, I believe, the most successful -- financially successful Aboriginal network in Canada, and we want to bring those success models to Vancouver and repeat that success.
1775 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yeah.
1776 MR. SMITH: As I indicated in my presentation, we did receive a provincial Aboriginal award reflecting our local contributions throughout the northern half of B.C.
1777 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yeah.
1778 MR. ELLIS: If I could add, Ron, to events, one of the things the CFNR is known for, and we would be known for at CKUR, is being there, being present at these events. No matter where it is in our geographical area, up in northern B.C., we'll be there. We travelled up to Fort Nelson for a fill-the-canoe event, and it was at our cost, basically.
1779 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: M'hm.
1780 MR. ELLIS: So it didn’t matter where the event was or what it was, we were there to broadcast live from that event, or even live stream from the event, as we do for the all-Native basketball tournament, for the junior all-Native basketball tournament, for the Qatuwas canoe journey, for -- there's just so many of them, I'm ---
1781 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yeah.
1782 MR. ELLIS: --- unable to remember them all, but that's what we do, so that's what we would do for CKUR.
1783 MR. JOSEPH: Commissioner, I'm really glad you asked that question, because when it comes to programming, and particularly when we're talking about local programming, there's fundraisers that happen almost weekly for many different kinds of things, from employment and training to education funds. The war canoe races that start from the spring that run for three months into the summer are starting soon. The soccer tournaments are starting soon, and they travel all over from the lower mainland to Vancouver Island, Coast Salish. There's also world Indigenous basketball coming to Vancouver.
1784 There's also cultural events that happen. We have sometimes memorials or ceremonies that happen in various communities. The only way we do it right now is basically to spread the word to our families the best we can, or do it online, but we'll have a platform for those kinds of things that will be occurring.
1785 There's also calls out for employment and training. They're always looking for Aboriginal folks to come in to receive the training to them and looking for career opportunities.
1786 So the program, I think, will be an incredible opportunity when we particularly engage further into the framework that I was mentioning earlier. There will be a number of opportunities for Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people, because there are companies and there are non-profits that want to engage with Aboriginal peoples in the area that we're in.
1787 They need to find ways to do that. They have job opportunities, career opportunities. They don’t know where to go. They try their best and they try to reach out into the local communities, but it's time exhaustive. But they want to invest some time into things where they're able to connect. And I think that's what I see this as, is as a connection, but also a voice.
1788 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yeah.
1789 MR. JOSEPH: And so that, we don’t have right now, and when we talk about local programming, I'm excited about the opportunity to be able to have that and have those conversations with the various groups that we were mentioning earlier.
1790 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: I was struck by the way, in your supplementary brief, the way that you described the news and how you would differentiate the news and the idea of the voice and so on. And -- or not just the voice, but the actual perspective, the alternative perspective to something that is going on; and in particular, how you stated that you would be -- you're more interested in the issues than you are in events, in that sense.
1791 So you seem to have quite a good sort of an idea of where you want to go with it, in terms of your perspective and what it is that you want to accomplish, even though all the moving parts are still moving around very much.
1792 MR. BARTLETT: I think, Madam Commissioner, it's with working so closely with the communities and super serving them in an all -- in just a way that we build respect on both sides, that we are first given the stories. When again, the Highway of Tears, as it rolled out, we were the first organization to support that, and we actually gave our corporate vehicles as search vehicles for the first two weeks of the young lady that disappeared in Prince Rupert. And before the Highway of Tears was called that, we had instigated the very first walk from Prince Rupert to Prince George.
1793 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yeah.
1794 MR. BARTLETT: Our staff members, my wife, myself can walk from Terrace to Prince Rupert, 160 kilometres, invited family members to come. They went on to Prince George, from there other family members in Vancouver. The Downtown East Side Women's Association, we partnered with them and they called us when they went to Ottawa and we joined them. So, you know, we were able to feed into the community events and things that are important we make it important to us and we become a voice. No mainstream media would want to cover things like that. We put focus to it. We supported it. And more than just on air, we did it with boots on the ground.
1795 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yeah.
1796 MR. BARTLETT: But, you know, we take that model and have -- just as an example, it's not a matter of, you know, us planning to do it, we will do it. When we were -- this last month of February, February for us started in Vancouver. We were invited to the Hobiyee celebration with the Aboriginal community. They invited us to come down and live stream their event and broadcast it. They trust us because we're a trusted cultural media. We know the culture. We know the intricacies of it to showcase that culture.
1797 We went from there to the all native basketball tournament in Prince Rupert. For a week we had 18 people on the ground. We perfected it to a point now where we've hired a producer from SportsNet to produce our web offering. We've got three high definition camera angles streaming at 1080dp with a TriCaster production, three teams of colour in play-by-play announcers. We've got stats people, interview people. And that event cost us $35,000 in our boots on the ground in Prince Rupert but we were able to bring that out.
1798 From there we went a major event in the Gitxsan territory. We had another one in the Nisga'a territory in February. We had half a million page views on our website. We engaged our 12,000 Facebook followers to engage. And, you know, from there we plan to mirror that in Vancouver and super serve the community where they will be inviting us to the events because they want to, you know, the showcase and the quality that we can produce.
1799 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay. Well, thank you for expanding on that. That's ---
1800 THE CHAIRMAN: Perhaps I could help on this.
1801 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Sure.
1802 THE CHAIRMAN: Because we actually use a very technical definition of "local" and perhaps that's what we need you to react for. So, I'll read it out for you; right?
1803 So, local programming when we define it is:
1804 "Local programming includes programming that originates with the station or is produced separately and exclusively for the station. It does not include programming received from another station and rebroadcast simultaneously or at a later time, nor does it include network or syndicated programming that is five minutes or longer unless it is produced either by the station or in the local community by arrangement with the station." (As read)
1805 So, and it goes on:
1806 "In their local programming, licensees must incorporate spoken words material or a direct -- of direct and particular relevance to the community service. This must include local news, weather, sports coverage and the promotion of local events and activities." (As read)
1807 So, you've touched on some of that but I think if you could focus Commissioner Vennard's question more in terms of that definition it would be very useful.
1808 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay.
1809 MR. ELLIS: Which aspect of it, the news aspect?
1810 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Not really the news aspect of it.
1811 THE CHAIRMAN: It's the locally produced aspect that it's ---
1812 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yeah.
1813 THE CHAIRMAN: --- you're controlling. It's not syndicated.
1814 MR. ELLIS: Oh, okay.
1815 THE CHAIRMAN: It's not coming from elsewhere. It's your stuff.
1816 MR. ELLIS: Yeah.
1817 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yeah.
1818 MR. ELLIS: All of our programming will originate from a station.
1819 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yeah, and that's really what you were just describing, giving us examples of ---
1820 MR. ELLIS: Yes.
1821 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: --- of the type of programming that will originate.
1822 MR. ELLIS: Yes, the local staff will focus on the local events, the local needs of the community ---
1823 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: M'hm.
1824 MR. ELLIS: --- and cover all of that.
1825 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: M'hm.
1826 MR. SMITH: If I can elaborate on an example of our commitment, we -- about four or five years ago we had a major earthquake in the northern half of British Columbia. And this happened about 1:30 in the morning. And Craig and his staff of two people were in a station within minutes and to start airing all the -- at that time there was a tsunami warning. So, time was of the essence and Craig -- within minutes they were on air live and people were tuning in to the station and listening for important messages. So, that's our commitment.
1827 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: M'hm.
1828 MR. JOSEPH: Yeah, and I think that -- thank you for the definition, Mr. Chairman. The plan that we've talked about is really getting out into the communities. As I mentioned earlier, there really isn't a platform for us that -- as a media as what we're talking about. And so, whether it's strata developments, whether it's retail developments that are happening in various communities, which there is a number of those happening in -- all over the Lower Mainland with First Nations. Whether it's the events that we talked about, the canoe races that will be taking place, the lacrosse tournaments, the basketball tournaments, but also, whether it's the cultural events that take place in our various communities where we all connect and have our ways of supporting each other, those wouldn't be covered anywhere else in the country. It would only be covered in our local area. And I think that those are the kinds of things that we need to hear and the stories that we need to hear from the communities first.
1829 And I wouldn't want to be presumptuous and go into communities and tell them the kinds of programming they should have.
1830 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yeah.
1831 MR. JOSEPH: Rather, we should be engaging and asking what is happening in your area ---
1832 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yeah.
1833 MR. JOSEPH: --- that's important for people to hear about? And so ---
1834 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: And I think part of what you're talking about, we have definitions and we have categories and we have to -- this is what we -- the basis that we operate on. I think that in your application one of the things that I noticed that I think is quite unique is that you focus on -- and you're just describing some of that and going out into the communities in almost a journalistic type of a way rather than sitting in a station having, you know, different categories and timings and so on, which is something that is very important for us.
1835 So, perhaps you -- and that would be local programming in the definition that we have to work with. And so, perhaps you could expand a little bit further on that. And you did refer to it. I think it was in your supplementary brief as journalism. So, it seems like you've got, you know, people on the ground going out into the communities and so on, maybe -- is that a big part of it? And if so, how many hours a week would you be doing that and can you clarify or explain that?
1836 MR. ELLIS: It's hard to put a number figure on it.
1837 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yeah.
1838 MR. ELLIS: If it's something like the Highway of Tears, that ---
1839 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yeah.
1840 MR. ELLIS: --- would fall under the banner of journalism but also under community service or public service. So, as we -- or as Ron and the team walked through communities they would phone in reports of progress, anecdotes, those sorts of things. So, again, it's hard to put a number on that but I'll let Tewanee take it.
1841 MR. JOSEPH: Yeah, and apologies, Madam Commissioner, for not understanding some of the definitions that are there, categories that are there.
1842 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Well, I think one of the things that we're kind of working with here is I'm trying to sort of explore ---
1843 MR. JOSEPH: Yeah.
1844 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: --- what it is you're going to do so I can also figure out what category, if you will ---
1845 MR. JOSEPH: Sure.
1846 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: --- it would actually fit into.
1847 MR. JOSEPH: Sure. And that's -- I guess the way I would speak to it is I definitely have been made aware by my Elders and such the protocols. And maybe that's what I'm talking about that's similar to what you're talking about in terms of how we engage. The way we engage in our protocols is we go personally to do that.
1848 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: M'hm.
1849 MR. JOSEPH: And part of that -- and if we're looking at I guess from a journalistic point of view, it would be similar to that. We would go and talk to the communities and we'd have to do that regularly and there is no time limit on that, because really you have to get out. And if someone's talking to you, you can't be disrespectful to Elders when they're talking to you and only have a limited amount of time. That's one thing I've definitely learned. The Elders have told me. And also, make sure you speak in a way that you can -- that I can understand you.
1850 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yeah.
1851 MR. JOSEPH: And so, I'm not sure on what the numbers would be. The way I only think about it is that each of the 20 different First Nations that we've identified that I've talked about would need to be visited, not only once, but also they'd have to be visited time and time again.
1852 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: M'hm.
1853 MR. JOSEPH: But at the same time, when it comes to the Aboriginal groups in Vancouver, similar process -- similar protocols would take place. And that would be an ongoing -- my example in the games and that's why I shared it with you is that I travelled to every province and territory in this country. My mandate was to go and gauge First Nations, Inuit and Metis people.
1854 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: M'hm.
1855 MR. JOSEPH: And it was a big mandate and I didn't think I could do it. But it was done. And the invitations were accepted by all of the regional, national groups that I met with. I would see a very similar process in managing 90 partnerships with 10 staff and was probably what we thought was insurmountable, we couldn't do it, but we did it. And I would see this similar process here, the way that my colleagues have worked this up north. It's the same kind of protocol-based approach that we'd follow in Vancouver.
1856 So, again, apologies for not quite understanding but I think that ---
1857 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: That's fine.
1858 MR. JOSEPH: --- we'd have to visit those communities constantly time and time because once you go, you can't not keep going.
1859 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yeah.
1860 MR. JOSEPH: You have a responsibility to be there.
1861 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yeah. It sounds like there's actually with what you're doing and thinking about doing there's a lot of crossover between, for example, relationship building and something that resembles local programming or news or information, all of that seems to sort of roll into it. Now, one of the reasons, of course, that I'm trying to put some edges around some of this is because we would have to eventually come up with conditions of licence and what is specified has to be adhered to. And so I’m trying to sort of, get a much better understanding of what it is that you’re planning on doing so that we could, you know, try and come up with something that looks like conditions of licence that are specific; and that there’s some level of understanding between your understanding of it and our understanding of it and what we would be asking you to adhere to.
1862 So on that note, there’s another definition. I want to just circle back to the idea of the news, because news and information seems to be sort of coming together in your plans of what it is that you’re going to do. So what I’m going to do is read you a definition of news and -- because then in your mind you’ll know what it is, the definition that we’re working with when we ask you to commit to something, okay? So news is described as follows:
1863 “The recounting and reporting of local, regional, national, and international events of the day or recent days, with particular emphasis on the topicality of the events or situations selected, or on the constant updating of information which could even include something like your trips around your region, or both as well as background material about current events when included in newscasts, but excluding weather, traffic, and sports, and entertainment reports.” (As read)
1864 So when we’re asking you to commit to a certain level of news, that’s what we would be asking you to commit to specifically. Is that -- so are you clear on that one?
1865 MR. ELLIS: Yes.
1866 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yeah. Okay.
1867 Okay. So what I want to do is just -- let’s see. So we’ve covered already your Aboriginal language programming and the number of hours and so on in that. Now we should add up these hours and see what we’re at here. So you’ve got seven hours of spoken word, six and a half of -- what would you call that one? You gave us the example of the free-for-all, which you may or may not use. What would you -- how would you categorize that? Do you maybe categorize ---
1868 MR. ELLIS: I think I categorized it as other talk.
1869 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Other.
1870 MR. ELLIS: And that would include things like jock talk.
1871 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay. Five point five (5.5) of educational programming, and your news would be -- your news was 6.5 I believe, wasn’t it?
1872 MR. ELLIS: Six point four five (6.45).
1873 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Six point four five (6.45). Okay. So does that actually add up to 25 hours?
1874 MR. ELLIS: I believe the remainder was public affairs.
1875 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay. And how many hours would that be?
1876 MR. ELLIS: I’ve got 6.25, but that could be wrong. I’m terrible at math.
1877 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: So tell us about your public affairs, what you’re planning for that. I noticed that in your application you referred to -- and of course this crosses over a little bit into your business plan, your economic plan too -- about establishing relationships with corporations that have a mandate for a social licence. Could you maybe describe some of that for us, what you mean by that?
1878 MR. ELLIS: Public affairs would include things like, we’ll go to a mining conference and we’ll do reports from the mining conference. Things like the all-native basketball tournament for example, we’ll broadcast live from there; or the highway of tears, that could cross over from news to public affairs; or a cultural event. Anything that includes the public and is of interest.
1879 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay. So let’s just go back over to the proposed conditions of licence, just so that we’re clear on these numbers, okay? So your spoken word programming would be 25 hours, your public affairs programming would then be six hours and 15 -- just hang on -- so your public affairs programming would be six hours and 15 minutes, encompassing the type of thing that you just gave us an example of.
1880 Your other talk would be six hours and 30 minutes. So you’ve given us some examples of what that would be as well. Your Indigenous language instruction program, and here we are at five hours and 30 minutes, although we did say earlier that it was seven hours. So which one would that be?
1881 MR. ELLIS: Seven hours.
1882 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Seven. Okay. And your news programming, six hours and 45 minutes. Six hours and 45?
1883 MR. ELLIS: Yes, Ma’am.
1884 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yeah.
1885 MR. ELLIS: Yes.
1886 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay. And your music programming then would be 101 hours?
1887 MR. ELLIS: Yes, Ma’am.
1888 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: And your music devoted to Aboriginal talent would be 25 percent?
1889 MR. ELLIS: Yes, Ma’am.
1890 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay. Okay, it’s possible that my colleagues might have some clarification on what some of these categories might be as well. Just one moment.
1891 Okay. So one other thing I wanted to talk to you a little bit about, and for you to explain to us too, your Aboriginal talent development. You had four initiatives that you were talking about and I will just go over these and maybe you can just explain a little bit about them and the -- how you would be doing this.
1892 The airplay of Aboriginal music, I understand that would be one way of doing it. Your broadcast of special programs, for example concerts, events and so on. Promotion and then there was another category of others, which would be interviews and so on. Is there anything else you’d like to add to those four different categories of the development of Aboriginal talent?
1893 MR. JOSPEH: I think we’re -- those are the things that ---
1894 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Those are what you’re planning on?
1895 MR. JOSPEH: --- that were there.
1896 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay. Thank you.
1897 MR. JOSEPH: And I just wanted to -- we had a really incredible conversation with a First Nation in the lower mainland and what we talked about was the location, a location for us.
1898 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: M’hm.
1899 MR. JOSEPH: And what they indicated to us is that they’re currently working on a contemporary longhouse structure that would include the film industry, a partnership with the film industry with major films. Also, within the film industry they’re looking at talent development in that area, in the film area, both from the backline of film but also in the actor realm as well. Also they told us about the technology aspect of what they’re doing.
1900 But I think what was important is the synergies that we started to talk about, just in our conversation, was around how we’d be able to support talent. So part of this was they currently have an artists’ co-op or association that they would like to engage -- us to engage with. Because right now they’re doing some of their own local programming from coffee shops to others, but I think that that artists’ co-op, artists’ association is really important to be able to engage with in that particular area and medium.
1901 The other thing when it comes to artist development, when it comes to the film industry I think it provides an incredible opportunity to find out not only what’s happening and what’s going on, but the type of talent that could be developed over a longer period of time. When we talk about other things around artist development, is having the ability to share their stories and their music in terms of their engagement as well. Like we mentioned, the concerts and those types of things, but there are also many other things that happen.
1902 And so for us the location, the communities, was very, very excited about the opportunity to work with us because with the major film industry being right there, located on reserve land, it was an incredible opportunity that we saw. We also wanted to be mindful in respect of that, that we engage their community in the most appropriate way. And so they definitely offered a number of things to us in terms of their own DJs, to their own artists, to their own graphic designers and such, but also the talent that would be developed, but also the human resource development that would also be there. And so the employment and training aspect as well. So those were the kinds of conversations that we had talked about that lend themselves to the categories that you had just mentioned as a beginning.
1903 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay. Thank you for that.
1904 You’ve outlined about some of your others, your talent development and competitions. Anything there that you wanted to add to the record?
1905 MR. ELLIS: Yes. I think as a guy who’s been a music director in a few stations, one thing I’ve learned is that new talent needs good coaching. And it behooves the music director to provide some of that.
1906 Talent competitions are great because you can pick out people and identify them. But after that they need that coaching, that support. And I think that CKUR is a tool to provide that support.
1907 Another thing you need to do is beat the bushes. You need to go out to those local establishments, like the Steel Toad in Vancouver, places that feature local bands exclusively, find those people, identify them, and bring them on the air and showcase their talent. What really needs to happen is people need to be given ownership of their success. And if you coach them right that’s what happens; they own their own success.
1908 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Thank you for that.
1909 Okay. We’ll move now into the economic area. Oh, but before doing that, there’s one question I did want to ask you, which is that do you see that there might be any sort of an issue or disconnect if you’re operating out of Terrace and the communities that you’re serving are in Vancouver, at least until you move into a new space or you do a new studio?
1910 MR. ELLIS: Are you speaking of the management team?
1911 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Yeah, or any aspect of it, distance being a problem or issue of any kind?
1912 MR. ELLIS: For the management team I don’t see any problem. I can’t speak for Greg or Ron personally, but I have an assistant now in Terrace who looks after a lot of those day-to-day things that I just don’t seem to have time for and have never had time for because I also look after the engineering aspects of CFNR. So there’s really no disconnect for me but I’ll let Ron and Greg answer.
1913 MR. BARTLETT: I manage a team of four very, very mature Aboriginal women in the sales department who have been with me an average of 10 years. They’re marketing professionals. They work independently. And they are accountable to me. But you know, I’ve had one call since we’ve been here and it just -- we know the process so well that, you know -- and Vancouver is an hour and a half away from us by air so it’s not a big deal. We’re down there constantly as it is.
1914 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay. Thank you for that.
1915 Okay, so what is the interest in a new radio station, particularly among the Indigenous population, and tell us a little bit about how you came to the conclusion that there is one, that there is interest?
1916 MR. BARTLETT: I’m sorry; can you rephrase that?
1917 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Sure. How did you reach the conclusion that there’s interest in a new radio station, particularly among the Indigenous population?
1918 MR. BARTLETT: You know, we’re constantly in communication with the Aboriginal communities and the folks that live in Vancouver, the 70,000 people there, the Aboriginal people, came from our communities. They went there for education, for jobs; they established relationships. Then they’re living there. And the elders in those communities, in their heartfelt way, want that culture to continue, their culture to continue in those urban centres. So they’ve sponsored and supported urban Aboriginal events like the Hobiyee, the Nisga’a have. They just hosted it in Vancouver at the PNE, a 7,000-seat coliseum. And when they wanted to share the images, the culture, the majesty, they asked us, invited us to come to live stream, to broadcast live, to showcase what’s happening there.
1919 So we did that. And we’re working now with the Aboriginal community in Vancouver. They’re a major part of who we are and they’re connected so closely to our communities in the north that we just consider it -- it’s one province. There’s 55 diverse languages in the province and who knows it better than the people who live there? We do. Fifty-five (55) languages. We’re not blessed like the Prairies where they have two or three. And you maybe can broadcast, you know, language all day long. With 55 languages you can imagine broadcasting to that vast diverse community.
1920 We have to be respectful. We do accommodate their messages in their language to their own people. And from there Vancouver is just another community that’s already connected to the network that we serve. So we work with them now.
1921 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay. Thank you for that.
1922 MR. SMITH: I think the Aboriginal population as a whole have their story to tell and we understand that. And as Tewanee touched on earlier in terms of being effective in our approach, we have to build relationships. So that is our utmost goal in this process. And we followed protocol in approaching Vancouver and the three stakeholders, getting their blessing and support.
1923 And Tewanee, you can ---
1924 MR. JOSEPH: Yeah, I served on my council from 1993 to 2001 and we’ve been talking about a radio station in Vancouver since the early 1990s. And so by the group here coming into our territories and engaging with our peoples -- and I can only speak, you know, that I come from one Nation -- but the conversations I’ve definitely had with other Nations over the years -- communications is one of the most important pieces to any kind of activity that happens within First Nation communities.
1925 If the people don’t understand what’s happening in terms of economic development, governance, or the direction that the Nation is going in, then we have a serious disconnect between our people and the leadership within our communities.
1926 This medium is one of those mediums that feeds into the communication strategies that are developed from time and time again on various initiatives that happen in all of our communities from health, education, recreation, economic development, and so forth.
1927 So I know that it’s been talked about for many, many years, but in particular, for my Nation, we’ve been trying to engage or find out how it would be possible to have a radio station that we could be a part of in the lower mainland for over 20 years.
1928 MR. ELLIS: If I could add? Part of this was identified as well by the numbers that show up on our live stream -- predominantly Vancouver. And when we video stream the all-Native basketball games, again Vancouver is top of the peak.
1929 So once we identified that, then it was engagement with the local three First Nations down there that identified that further need as Tewanee has mentioned.
1930 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay. Well, thank you for that. I think our -- even our discussion here this morning is a really good illustration of how things are done different in different cultures within our country, you know, because we have to look at things like categories and amounts and so on. And you look and you say, “Well, I know because I’m part of the community.” And so that’s not -- that is a little -- sometimes a little hard to compute into a different framework.
1931 So thank you for your patience in sharing that and helping us understand much more about how the Aboriginal stations think and will operate. We appreciate that.
1932 But to go back to the numbers for just a moment because we do have to be concerned about things like that. We have our own, sort of, framework for decision-making that we have to adhere to as well.
1933 You state that you expect that a little over a quarter of your revenue will come from the incumbent stations. Would that be accurate? And how did you arrive at that?
1934 MR. BARTLETT: We will have an opportunity for the Vancouver station to reach our greater audience in the northern network. Like, all the other provinces have a province-wide network, from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia, and our plan always has been to mirror their example and to have coverage from top to bottom like Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, including the major urban centres.
1935 So we’re just leaving another opportunity for the Vancouver audience -- sorry, the Vancouver advertisers to reach the greater population in the north so we can offer an Aboriginal population for B.C. once and they can reach the whole province.
1936 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay.
1937 MR. BARTLETT: That’s our long-range intent. It would greatly hurt us if that were split.
1938 When AVR was in its heyday and I was travelling to the agencies with my sister networks from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and B.C., all of us collectively felt the impact of that. The advertisers in those agencies, they’re given a budget per province. And once they get the measured market out of the way, then the non-measured market has its share. It’s smaller but it has its share.
1939 And there's an Aboriginal component in that. What we were finding with AVR was that they were very good at smoke and mirrors, if you could say it. They were knocking on the doors of the agencies and government agencies and going to all of the different events.
1940 They were -- the advertisers were confused. In the marketplace, it caused confusion. Bert Crowfoot talked about it a little bit yesterday, and that directly impacted our bottom line. The advertisers in British Columbia were splitting the Aboriginal buy, giving part to AVR, part to us. It cost us money, and if we were to right now have another competitor in B.C., we would directly lose about $100,000 a year of revenue to our existing network, if another licence was given in our province to another -- a competing corporation for Aboriginal.
1941 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay. I only have one or two more questions for you before passing you over to my colleagues. Can you tell us a little bit about how you see the potential market impact of your proposed programming? What do you think it will do to the existing market?
1942 MR. BARTLETT: You know what? I think, respectfully, it won't do anything to the existing market. We're targeting -- we're super serving, ultra -- being ultra local to the Aboriginal community, and they’ve told us in the many, many, many letters of support from all of the organizations, that they're underserved. We're going to super serve that market. That's our target demographic, and by living with them in their communities as we do in the north, we will then engage them to a point where we will be valuable to them. They will want to use us to communicate back and we will, with respect, do that to the best of our ability to honour them.
1943 And in doing that, building that relationship, then we are -- it's an opportunity for other organizations, non-traditional advertisers to the local media that we work with in the north, the major corporations looking for social licence for energy programs for mining, will then want to reach those same people. We will have a valuable conduit for them to, a positive association.
1944 When we go to the sporting events, as Tewanee had mentioned, we won't be charging the local folks. We don’t charge the all-Native tournament one penny for that $35,000 worth of our resources we put into it. We open it up to the corporates, and they come in and they sponsor different elements of the games, and we make sure that the community is sensitive. And if they don’t -- if they object to one of the corporates, we don’t approach them. We are sensitive to them.
1945 So from there, we do find corporates that are friendly to both and will work with them. And from there, they'll pay for our way to go to these events, and with the blessing of the local community. We first consult them to ask if we have that permission, and then we will go ahead and do it.
1946 And it's to the point now where we've got such a well-oiled machine over the last 10 years of doing this, that we have corporates lined up to work with us. They aren't people that are advertising right now in Vancouver. These are folk that are out there in the regions that we build relationships with as well, and the communities themselves, when they need their messaging going out, they will use us, because we can not only then reach their members on-reserve, but their ones living in the urban centres as well.
1947 So you know, it's just a seamless package that works for us, and it's not going to impact the -- we won't be competing for the local Mom and Pops. We're not going to be doing that. We're going to be looking for the -- you know, the greater, larger companies working with the First Nations groups. That will be the main source of revenue, just as we're doing in the north right now.
1948 MR. JOSEPH: And just to add to Ron's comment, what's important and what's been happening in economic development within First Nation communities is that there have been a number of joint-venture partnerships between First Nations and non-Indigenous companies; some of them, to varying degrees and sizes, from smaller to multi-nationals. Those joint-venture opportunities and partnerships lend themselves to larger economic opportunities within various regions. So one nation may have 60 joint-venture partnerships with various companies. And so it's not only the nation that we'd be looking to, but also the nation and those joint-venture partnerships that they're currently working with.
1949 And so they’ve already been vetted, they’ve already gone through a process, because they've been accepted as a partner to those nations, and not every nation has the same number of joint-venture partnerships, nor the same companies. So that's the access that’s there, that's currently not happening, in terms of this particular medium that we're talking about.
1950 And so just wanted to lend those comments to Ron's explanations, that that's what's been happening now over the last 5, 10, 15 years within the communities, that those companies that signed joint ventures with First Nations saying, "How can we support the communities? Is there other ways we can do this?"
1951 And these are the kinds of ways that, in the communications plans, that nations will identify.
1952 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay.
1953 MR. BARTLETT: If I could just add a little more to that?
1954 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Sure.
1955 MR. BARTLETT: The -- you know, our world has changed in the last decade with the courts now recognizing title for Aboriginal territories, and it's just completely changed the business environment with working with resource development within our outer reaches. And it's critical for Canada to have seamless communication for those resource companies to the Aboriginal communities. When consent is -- it was consultation with the Delgamuukw, with the Haida Taku, with the Nuu-chah-nulth decision, but when the Chilcotin decision came out last summer, it became consent.
1956 And Canada has got so much to risk right now with ongoing economic development. If there's not proper communication to the Aboriginal communities, they're the ones, the members -- in not just their far-flung villages where resource extraction's happening or pipelines are going through -- but in the urban centres. Those folks living in the urban centre have equal vote to the outer reaches, and uniquely, we're able to, as an Aboriginal medium, be that bridge.
1957 We're working with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, we're working with the companies that are trying to bring their message out there. We're working with the -- you know, we leave our airways open to the opposition as well, and you know, we become a conduit of information back and forth. And sometimes we can monetize that, and we do, for the corporates and for the agencies.
1958 So you know, it's a matter of connecting those links together, and the last link in our province that would make meaningful impact in our business is Vancouver. We're already serving their people, but we need to have that link. And if we don’t have that link, we have competition, and we can't afford competition. Because of our business model of super serving the communities, we make a lot of money, but our profit, our net profit, is very small. If we lost $100,000 in a year, we wouldn't be able to do what we did today. We could -- our service model in our communities would be diminished. So it has a major impact if there's more than one Aboriginal broadcaster in a province.
1959 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay. Thank you for that. Those are all my questions. And I would just like to thank all of you for your patience in explaining to us what it is that you're going to do. The categories from two different frameworks don’t often fit together seamlessly, so it was a bit of a painful process at times. I realize that, and I do thank you for your patience.
1960 THE CHAIRMAN: Perhaps just three areas to quickly explore. The first one, you -- because of the history of this file, we're always a bit concerned about regulatory obligations and meeting them, so remember the definition I read of local, and I just want to make 100 percent certain that you are committing and you would accept as a Condition of Licence that 126 hours, 100 percent of your programming, would be local.
1961 MR. ELLIS: Yes, sir.
1962 MR. SMITH: Yes.
1963 THE CHAIRMAN: No wiggle room required? Okay. And again, as I asked the other applicants, you obviously have what you believe is a strong business plan, and hoping things will go well, but things might get off track, and obviously, we have our policy for -- against trafficking of licence. But even beyond that period of time, in trafficking of licence, would you return the licence to the Commission, or try to sell it, should your best-laid plans not pan out as ---
1964 MR. SMITH: We are very confident in our approach. If we weren't confident, we would not step up to bat. Our numbers are very conservative, and with the introduction of Tewanee into our team, those -- I'm very confident we will far exceed our projections.
1965 THE CHAIRMAN: So you would agree to return your licence because you're so confident that you can't imagine a possibility where you wouldn't be successful?
1966 MR. SMITH: Oh, wait. I'm sorry, my colleague was talking to me.
1967 THE CHAIRMAN: No, confer and then -- and provide the answer. So the idea is, could -- what if -- how your reaction would be if we imposed a condition that restricted your ability to sell this licence, should the economics of it not pan out, that you actually would have to just return the licence in future?
1968 MR. SMITH: Yeah. The answer would be yes.
1969 Yeah, we do have the backing of our existing Board. So I’m not even entertaining failure in this process.
1970 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. I appreciate that. It’s good to be positive.
1971 MR. JOSEPH: Yeah, yeah.
1972 THE CHAIRMAN: All right, okay.
1973 My final question is obviously you feel that partnering with other Indigenous broadcasters is important and, in fact, you’ve asked Mr. Crowfoot to be in the back row but still part of your panel.
1974 And I was wondering to what extent -- when you look at all these applications that we’ve been considering over the past few days, to what extent have other partnerships been explored of the various Applicants? You know, I note that your colleagues from Wawatay, their presentation sort of regretted that, you know, we were in a situation of competitive applications.
1975 Can you tell me, from your perspective, since you obviously consider partnership important, to what extent you have, until the final application deadline came along, explored partnerships with the other Applicants?
1976 MR. SMITH: At this point we haven’t entertained other partnerships outside of -- with CFWE. But we are open to establishing partnerships in the future, you know? But the key would be the information that we provide our listeners would be relevant to the local community.
1977 THE CHAIRMAN: Let’s say another applicant for the Vancouver market was successful and you were unsuccessful. Have you envisaged -- because that’s a possibility; it’s a competitive hearing -- have you envisaged what the way forward would be? And I know you’ll say you’re very confident your application is the best. Fair enough. But I was just wondering if you have given any thought or started exploratory discussions one way or the other with other applicants?
1978 MR. SMITH: Go ahead, Ron.
1979 MR. BARTLETT: You know, we would have to look at that if it happened. But again, I would just urge the Commissioners to consider the fact of breaking the province up and having two competitive Aboriginal broadcasters within one province. It has negative impacts on us as an existing broadcaster with 27 years invested in British Columbia. It would negatively affect our bottom line. We’ve experienced it with AVR and really dread that that would happen again. It creates confusion in the marketplace.
1980 But we would -- if that happened we would have to look at it at that point and see. But you know, we really just urge that you consider to keep the province intact.
1981 MR. SMITH: Yeah, and I think the -- like, Mr. Chair, that you’d have to consider the reason these licences are available was the failure of AVR. And as Ron as indicated, introducing two different Native radio stations in one province would not only impact, like, us in this case but it would negatively impact the new station coming in because the pie -- there’s only one pie and it’s going to be ---
1982 THE CHAIRMAN: Apparently it does grow.
1983 MR. JOSEPH: Yeah. And I would say, just from a personal note for me, I’ve tried to live my life the best way I can in terms of the teachings from where I come. And the group here seek permission to do business in our territory. And my commitment to them, in terms of the protocol, which is our laws -- it’s, to me, what I live by -- I would really have to look at what I would do because I’m representing them. And that’s the model that I believe in. That’s the model that I’ve lived. That’s the model that I continue to live in my own personal business and ventures.
1984 So I couldn’t give you an answer today, personally. But when it comes to the ability to consult with First Nations within their traditional territories, whether it’s government or whether it’s private sector or even other First Nations, I would never go into another territory and set up business without seeking permission.
1985 And so my commitment is here. They would have to make their decision; I would have to make my own decision of whether I would even entertain something like that. If it fit the model that we’re talking about that we’ve already started to embark upon, and those processes and protocols have been followed, then I would consider it.
1986 THE CHAIRMAN: Right.
1987 MR. JOSEPH: Thank you.
1988 THE CHAIRMAN: And I respect that. But you understand that one of our dilemmas when we look at all these applications -- and I’m not just speaking to you; I’m speaking to all the applicants -- is that we’re faced with a path going forward that actually presents two visions of a potential service, one that is regionally divided -- not in a negative way -- but there’s a regional model and then there’s a pan-national model that each has pros and cons associated with them. That in fact, from the, you know, 100,000 foot level is what we will have to tackle going forward. And that’s not an easy question.
1989 So that’s what essentially I was asking from your perspective. Do you prefer a model going forward that is essentially a fragmented model -- not a fragmented; that’s negative -- but a more regionally-based model?
1990 MR. JOSEPH: For me personally, in living where I live, the way that we’re talking about servicing the area I believe is important to the future of where we’re going.
1991 And so I believe that sharing information across the country is important. I’ve certainly worked on national and international initiatives; I see that. But the message that was clear to me when I went into various territories was make sure you understand where you are.
1992 And so for me the local approach I believe is very important from the life that I’ve lived politically in serving my own community and I also believe that that service has not been there and to an effective way. And so the voices that you hear from time to time are there but they’re not there consistently.
1993 And so I believe that the ability for a local-based approach would help lift the Nations, would help lift Aboriginal people in the Greater Vancouver areas. And I think that’s the long-term that I’m talking about when I spoke about the inclusivity of First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and non-Aboriginal people working together. That model we’ve experienced in the Olympic Games; we’ve experienced it most recently in the rugby sevens and other types of events. And last year the City of Vancouver declared the city of reconciliation is Vancouver.
1994 So those relationships have been continuing to build. So I believe that that’s important. From there you can branch out. But I believe that there has to be that start, kind of like a pebble hitting the lake. There needs to be that start.
1995 THE CHAIRMAN: Right. But there may be less clout joining with your brothers and sisters across the country to advance your issues?
1996 MR. JOSEPH: Sorry, less clout?
1997 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, there are political issues going on in the country and reconciliation is one thing that sometimes you have to be more powerful and state your case on the national stage more forcefully. And aren’t you afraid that if you go down the path of a regional model you do not have one solid, strong united voice through a radio service?
1998 MR. JOSEPH: I would definitely engage in as a Nation to that because I wouldn’t want to be put into a situation where if all we’re doing is trying to look at -- you know what? The protocol for me would be I would definitely ask because until you ask, we wouldn’t know. And so I think the relationships that are there between 633 First Nations have been there. I also believe that each of the regions, they’ve developed relationships. And you have the political organizations, whether it’s ITK, Métis National Council, the Assembly of First Nations, where there are those meetings. But I also believe that we need to be able to engage meaningfully with local Nations and ask them.
1999 MR. BARTLETT: And I believe we’re talking about three regions in terms of -- maybe we have different definitions of “national”. And I don’t think three provinces make up a national body, you know, in comparison to the Canada-wide. I envision Canada-wide as national but in reality we’re talking about three provinces, licences in three provinces.
2000 THE CHAIRMAN: Right. B.C., Alberta, Ontario is what -- yeah, your perspective on this. All right. Fair enough. I just wanted to test that because that is a big threshold question for us going forward. I appreciate it. Thank you.
2001 So I think that completes Phase I. Why don’t we take a break until 11:05 and continue with Phase 2. As the Secretary has asked, please tell her whether you intend to intervene in Phase II. That helps us manage the hearing. Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 10:49 a.m.
--- Upon resuming at 11:05 a.m.
2002 MS. ROY: Please take your seats.
2003 THE CHAIRMAN: Order, please. Order. A l’ordre s’il vous plaît.
2004 Madame la secrétaire?
2005 MS. ROY: Thank you. We will now proceed -- we are now in Phase 2 in which applicants appear in the same order to intervene on competing applications if they wish.
2006 VMS Radio Group and First Peoples Radio have indicated that they will not be appearing in Phase 2. Therefore, I would ask Wawatay Native Communications Society to reintroduce yourself for the record and you have 10 minutes to intervene on competing applications.
2007 MR. GAGNON: Thank you. Good morning, Commissioners. My name is John Gagnon, I'm the CEO of Wawatay. We just have a few questions we needed some clarification.
2008 But we wanted to start with -- for the record, we were listening to the last presentation and to state, for the record, we did look to try to work into partnerships with other agencies for these licenses but we were turned down and the licenses wanted to be solely owned by one of the partners. So, we felt that Wawatay would just be a token partner and it wouldn't be sufficient for our needs. So, we dropped the idea of wanting to be partners.
2009 I wanted to explain how another society, much like Wawatay, who used to sit on the board of APTN, we were removed from the meeting when they were talking about the FPR. So, essentially, from that level of governance, Wawatay was never properly consulted with regards to FPR taking on licenses in our province, in our territory. So, we feel that this has created somewhat of a conflict between the two applicants on Ontario.
2010 Number two would also have been with the -- from their own survey. An FPR said they conducted a survey to a number of people and 83 percent had stated that what was most important was news content. FPR's news content is listed at 4.8 percent and language was at 7 percent. We feel that these percentages are weak and do not fulfill the needs of the people of Ontario, especially our youth who are most needed.
2011 We feel that seven percent Indigenous music does not represent us well in Ontario. And to think that VMS who has a partnership between a non-native agency as well as a native contingency have higher standards themselves for Indigenous news, language and music content and that kind of surprised us.
2012 We feel that the FPR's governance structure doesn't meet the same way Wawatay's does. And in the application we were asked to clarify that. We would ensure board representation where the license is in the service areas. And we certainly agree that that would be the best option for both the service area and Wawatay. But if we look at the proposed board structure for FPR is composed of seven seats, and three of the seats are reserved for staff and the remaining four seats is reserved for APTN members. I'm not sure whether there would be additional room for the five service areas for their board seats.
2013 So, we're just -- if we have to -- if Wawatay had to fulfill a certain level of compliance for these licenses, we're just a little -- I guess a little misunderstood as to if all agencies had to go through the same rigorous questioning and information gathering.
2014 So, basically, those are just my -- pretty very brief replies to what I heard from yesterday's presentation. And I hope ---
2015 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, this phase is actually about you intervening against the other applications. So, it's not so much about what you heard but it's your opportunity to, you know, comment why the other applications aren't as good as yours, I guess, in a sense.
2016 MR. GAGNON: Well, thank you for that but I don't want to say not as good but I certainly as representative for the people. And I think that's something that whether or not we're awarded these license, we have the honour to get these license, we have to ensure that our people are being properly met in Ontario and it's something that's been inadequate for some time now. And, you know, the -- by settling for just music and advertising, we just can't see this for our youth and we don't see a future that's going to bolster our communities by having urban centric mentalities. Like I say, we want to try to blend the north and the south together with these stations. We want to bring people together, not segregate them. And so, that's where we're at.
2017 THE CHAIRMAN: Just checking if we have questions. Questions? No questions. Thank you very much.
2018 MR. GAGNON: Thank you.
2019 THE SECRETARY: I will now ask Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta to come to presentation table.
2020 Please reintroduce yourself and your colleagues and you have 10 minutes.
2021 MR. CROWFOOT: I'm Bert Crowfoot, CEO of AMMSA. On my far left is Owen Martin, our Engineer, Technical person; Carol Russ is our Financial Officer; Boyd Leader is our Director Radio Programming; young Dustin had to get back to work so we excused him for the rest of the proceedings.
2022 Our intervention against other applicants, VMS Media Group Limited. As for VMS I would suggest that their application with split programming would not fully cover issues important to Indigenous peoples. If VMS is granted an Edmonton license it would mean one-and-a-half Indigenous stations and two-and-a-half ethnic stations in Edmonton. In Calgary there would be one half Indigenous and two-and-a-half ethnic.
2023 We also have concerns about the clock where the Indigenous programs are slotted. Ethnic programming is given priority to peak times over Indigenous programming. How many Indigenous listeners would listen to Indigenous programming, then wait hours for the next Indigenous spot?
2024 A comment was made yesterday about there's also a concern. Most Indigenous powwow people cringe and even get mad if anyone ever called their regalia a costume. I've heard them say, "Costumes are for Halloween." You must know your audience.
2025 A final concern is the structure of VMS board. Indigenous people should not be relegated to an advisory council position. They should have 50 percent plus 1 share of board seats. After all, this is a call for Indigenous radio.
2026 We believe that a part-time Indigenous radio station is not in the spirit of the CRTC's call. We see the application as an attempt to get in through the back door after their recent failed attempt for a license in Edmonton.
2027 Funding concerns. Funding has always been a precarious part of Indigenous communications. There is a history of funding being cut or eliminated completely. In 1981 the Alberta Native Communication Society lost its funding and they ceased to exist. In 1987 the Alberta provincial government gave notice to AMMSA it was cutting $100,000 over the next 3 years. In 1990 the federal government cut the native communications program entirely, and 9 out of 11 Indigenous newspapers ceased publishing.
2028 The National Aboriginal program, NAB, still funds the majority of Indigenous communications societies and there has been small cutbacks to most organizations every year lately. If the NAB's program is cut one day, who would survive? I believe that Native Communications Incorporated, Missinipi Broadcasting Corporation, Northern Native Broadcasting Terrace and AMMSA have a chance at survival.
2029 I believe APTN is the shareholder of this financially backing FPR. What happens to this backing if APTN revenue is affected by the steady decline of subscriber fees as cable users cut cable and use other options? What happens if the must carry is changed or eliminated? APTN is also invested in expanding to the U.S. with APTN U.S.A. I hope they haven't spread their financial resources too thin.
2030 Back on October 4th, 2000, AMMSA filed an intervention against Aboriginal Voices Radio for their license application for Calgary. Intervening against AVR's application was not something we did lightly. It was done with a great deal of consideration and reflected our concern for the future of Indigenous broadcasting in Canada.
2031 Simply stated, it was not our belief that AVR had not yet proven its capabilities as a broadcaster. AVR did not develop a working relationship with existing Indigenous broadcasters prior to license application.
2032 AVR had a weak strategy for network programming and their business skills and financial base were questionable.
2033 First People’sRadio: I have a lot of respect for APTN and its management for the job it has done in television. I am a former board member and it pains me to criticize them in public. But we have some of those same concerns about First People’s Radio.
2034 First People’s Radio has no experience in operating a radio station or a radio network. It seems to me that they are applying a television model to First People’s Radio. There is limited radio experience on their board, all of whom are APTN employees. It takes knowledge and experience to operate a national radio network. Where is this knowledge and experience going to come from? Consultants? AVR had consultants and look what happened.
2035 In their application, First People’s Radio is predicting that they will be on the air in 24 months. They are also predicting to be at a break-even point in two years, at a time when Alberta is recovering from a recession.
2036 This is an ambitious goal considering that they will not be broadcasting at the beginning of their first two years, with little advertising revenue coming in. APTN as a national network has three regional networks and it’s only generated 2.4 million dollars in advertising sales last year. They will be starting off millions of dollars in debt and what happens if those revenue goals are not realized? Another concern is competition if there is two different Indigenous licenses in the same region.
2037 There will be competitions for audience, advertising and staff. First People’s Radio is planning to hire 12 staff at each station. Where are these 60 Indigenous trained staff going to coming from? Are they going to raid the communications societies for staff much like mainstream did in the north years ago?
2038 Now, I don’t want to stand in the way of staff wanting to explore new opportunities but the frustration of re-training is still there, if they do not accept that opportunity.
2039 Language Programming: We understand that MBC is offering programming in Cree to First People’s Radio, but importing northern Saskatchewan Cree into Alberta will not work. It’s true, it is Cree but there are many local dialects that are unique to Alberta. Language programming must be done locally.
2040 I’m proud that the other applicants are planning on using “Word of the Day” to promote language. “Word of the Day” is a CFWE original concept. We honored that you like it.
2041 Indigenous programming must be thought out carefully. An example is, we ran an ad for bingo and it was produced by a non-Indigenous producer. It went on to say,
2042 “What would you do with a $10,000 bonanza payout? Head somewhere exotic, head south for an ultimate golf getaway, escape to a tropical beach? Or maybe all three?” (As read)
2043 This ad did not realistically portray what most Indigenous bingo players would do.
2044 We did a survey of our $100,000 winners -- or our $10,000 winners -- and the majority said the first priority was to pay bills, buy a new old car and maybe take the whole family on a trip. You must know your audience.
2045 Another example is adding flute music to certain language programming. In some cases, it is not appropriate. We have to follow cultural protocols and make sure that they are done correctly.
2046 Most communities in southern Alberta have a distinct accent and you can tell where they are from just by listening to them. When Ira Provost did an announcement in English, I knew from listening to his voice, that he was Indigenous and that he was Blackfoot. Even today, my heart swells with pride every time I hear my Blackfoot language spoken on the air.
2047 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. I am wondering if my colleagues have questions.
2048 No, thank you very much. We’ll be able to explore further issues at Phase IV. Thank you.
2049 MS. ROY: I will now ask Northern Native Broadcasting to come to the presentation table.
2050 Please re-introduce yourself and your colleagues and you have 10 minutes.
2051 MR. SMITH: Okay, to my immediate left Brian Schecter, a consultant out of Vancouver and Tewanee Joseph as you’ve heard this morning. And to my immediate right is Ron Bartlett, our Sales Manager. And next to him is Gary Milne, our other consultant and Craig Ellis, our Program Director/Technical. I am Greg Smith, the CEO.
2052 I will get Tewanee to open the opening remarks.
2053 MR. JOSEPH: Mr. Chairman, fellow Commissioners, thank you for today. As we sat and shared with each other some of the time-old traditions that we’ve had in our communities in our protocols that we’ve had, today we’re able to learn from you the kinds of decisions that you need to make and the frameworks for which you need to make them. And bringing those together, I think, was important for me to understand, but hopefully you’ve taken some of the lessons that have been taught to me today, passed on to you.
2054 Protocols as we had mentioned is something of how we live our lives within our communities and it’s been acknowledged more and more in recent times. Oftentimes we would feel like we are outside of a building looking in when a party was happening through the window and never being invited. But I believe it’s changed. And I believe the reason why it’s changed is because there has been more interest from governments, local governments, regional governments, and our national government to learn the customs and traditions and protocols that we have.
2055 It doesn’t happen overnight. It does take time. But I’ve seen it happen; I’ve witnessed it. And when they do come together and we come together as peoples as First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and Canadians all together, I believe that’s the future that we look forward to. And I believe that the local approach that you’ve heard is based on protocols and that’s why it’s different and that’s why it’s unique. And I do appreciate the decision that you need to make about how to move forward with this particular area. But that’s the main foundation and aspect for which we believe the success will come.
2056 The success for our organization will be based on the success of all those partnerships and all those organizations that we engage with. If they are successful, we will be successful. We will have the programming in all of the areas that we need to be able to engage and build those long-term relationships that we in our long houses as we travel from long house to long house on the coast, keeping our winter dances and ceremonies alive.
2057 So those are what I wanted to share with you today and hold my hands up to you.
2058 MR. SMITH: Thank you Tewanee. As the Commission is aware that the AVR experience was a nightmare and I don’t believe you want to experience that again, ever again. But in looking at APTN’s proposal, you know, to me it doesn’t pass that sniff test of is it another AVR.
2059 To me, there’s a lot of similarities. You’ve got a management group that has very little, if any, experience in radio. The projections are very ambitious and as Ron indicated this morning in our presentation, the sales staff need to be properly trained and understanding of each nation we are serving.
2060 APTN is contracting out their sales staff who have no -- very little if any accountability toward APTN or First Peoples. They could be contracting out with other businesses as well while they are trying to conduct sales for First Peoples. That’s to me, and Ron would agree to me, that’s failure. It would be met with failure.
2061 Another point I want to raise is that local news is minimal and the APTN is known as a national news network and they have very little experience in local news. I’m sure they will struggle in trying to arrive at a definition of local news. Local, as I mentioned, local is not in our DNA.
2062 There’s a huge risk in their financial positions of experience in insurmountable losses. They are heavy in their overhead projections and if their sales don’t -- they don’t meet their sales targets they’ll be struggling. And yeah, and may involve you guys again in terms of dealing with struggling -- the struggling body of similar to AVR. They don’t have a defined target audience. Gary did you want to ---
2063 MR. MILNE: The lack of definition around the target audience is evident by the mix of music. It’s all genres, all time, all people. It’s casting a desperately wide net in a market that -- and I can only speak to the Vancouver market, where my experience is -- every one of those music samples represents one of the stations in Vancouver.
2064 And we heard about, you know, the attempt to attract young people, well, young people are running away as quickly as possible from radio. As we know 1224 doesn’t exist on broadcast today and so, you know, we just sent -- there was no defined target and so without a defined target it makes it difficult to build your business model and case to advertisers, to audience, to music. And so that was a challenge that we see in that application.
2065 MR. SMITH: And the First Peoples’ business model reads much like a television business model. We heard television terminology used to express -- maybe Gary, if you want to touch on those, on what we heard yesterday?
2066 MR. MILNE: Well, again, you know the difference between a radio business model and a television business model is clear. And what else would you expect from a television broadcast -- successful television broadcaster, but to bring that same kind of thinking into the radio area. But it’s very different. It’s a different mix.
2067 It’s a different formula when it comes to arriving at that business model, and revenue estimates, and who is the advertiser. The local advertiser, the small business that’s waiting for an opportunity to have an voice on an Aboriginal station in Vancouver will not be talked to by APTN. APTN will be looking for regional and national advertising, because that’s how television comes after your advertising dollar. And so that is representative of a television model.
2068 MR. BARTLETT: If I could elaborate just a little more on that, the huge component of our ongoing business is the Aboriginal community itself when they want to reach their own people. And that element will be lacking in AVR’s proposal where we open the doors right now ---
2069 MR. SMITH: First Peoples.
2070 MR. BARTLETT: First Peoples, forgive me. Where we open the doors to our -- and super-serve the local communities where then they come back to us. And by super-serving you can only do that if you’re ultra local. If you’re working from a sales office in Toronto you’d really have a disconnect from the local needs and people in Vancouver. There’d be total disconnect. It would be much like AVR.
2071 MR. SMITH: I wanted to reiterate my closing comments that three provinces do not make a national Aboriginal radio network. We’re talking three provinces with 5 licences in those three provinces. So -- and again, that First Peoples’ approach is a national -- a low -- I don’t want to use national because we’re only talking three provinces. But their -- I strongly feel that their local presence will be very weak and Tewanee will agree with me in that, BC is the most dynamic Aboriginal province in Canada and it will take a successful Aboriginal radio broadcaster to optimize this responsibility.
2072 Anybody else? No.
2073 MR. ELLIS: I might just touch on that local aspect again. With the staffing levels that FPR is proposing, I don’t think they could provide the type of coverage to events that we do. We would bring the Terrace model where when there is an event, and we have one just about every week it seems, it’s all hands on deck, everybody participates. The sales staff, the front desk staff, the promotions staff, the on-air staff, everybody is there and present. No matter what needs to be done there are hands there to do it and I don’t think with their staffing level they’re able to provide that.
2074 THE CHAIRPERSON: Those are you comments? Yes? I just want to make sure that you’re finished.
2075 MR. ELLIS: Oh.
2076 THE CHAIRPERSON: If it’s not structured then that’s okay. But it’s not structured so it easy -- it’s more difficult for us to follow in those circumstances. So we have no questions at this phase. Thank you very much.
2077 Madame la secrétaire?
2078 THE SECRETARY: Thank you. This completes Phase 2 for items one to five on the agenda.
2079 We’ll now proceed with Phase 3 in which intervenors appear in the order set out in the agenda to present their intervention. For the record, the Commission has been advised that the -- that Jerilyn Ducharme, listed on the agenda, will not be appearing at the hearing. We will begin with the presentation by 1811258 Alberta Limited. Please come to presentation table.
2080 Please introduce yourself and your colleagues, and you have 10 minutes for your presentation.
2081 MR. BUTTAR: Mr. Chair and Members of the Commission, My name is Shampreet Buttar and I’m a Director and Shareholder of 1811258 Alberta Limited. The most recently licenced ethnic station in Edmonton. Along with me today are members of each of the other shareholder families, Mr. Kulwinder Toor, to my right, and Mr. Sandeep Mann, to my left.
2082 We have travelled here to Gatineau, Quebec to ensure that our opposition to the applications by VMS Media Group Limited are more thoroughly outlined today, as their application for servicing the Edmonton market -- sorry -- would negatively affect our establishing operation.
2083 When we first began reviewing the application by the VMS Media Group, we were surprised that they had interest, or any experience in operating radio programming to service the Aboriginal community, as language used in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-399 highlights that the applications were, to quote, "...to serve the urban Aboriginal communities" and to seek innovative applications -- sorry, getting over a cold -- innovative applications that, quote, "focus on serving Aboriginal Canadians", unquote.
2084 With the history of applications made by the individuals comprising the VMS Media Group, it was very apparent that their focus was always remaining in ethnic programming. After further review, we finally understood the basis of their application. It is clear that the VMS Media Group's revenue targets are to be obtained from ethnic communities and that they will specifically target primary sources of advertising revenue, which we are currently targeting.
2085 The VMS Media Group states at page 20 of its Supplementary Brief:
2086 "Ethnic programming is expected to primarily target the South Asian community, and be broadcast in Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu. At least two other third languages are expected to form part of the program schedule, assuming sufficient demand." (As read)
2087 We are fairly certain that in most businesses, the highest source of revenue also then influences the business decisions. Whereas, one of the premises of the CRTC 2015-399 was a call for radio applications to serve urban Aboriginal communities, it became apparent to us that the proposed format by the VMS Media Group will ultimately dilute Aboriginal programming in these markets and all business decisions will focus on the ethnic listenership and revenue sources.
2088 A system such as this will not effectively serve the ethnic population, but most importantly what -- it will not effectively serve the Aboriginal population, even though that was the ultimate goal of the CRTC's call for applications.
2089 On January 6, 2017 in Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2017-3, after a lengthy, highly competitive process and extensive hearing before the Commission, we were granted a licence to operate an AM ethnic radio service in Edmonton, Alberta. VMS Media Group was also an applicant for an ethnic radio licence in that proceeding and their application as well as the applications of 8 other applicants were denied.
2090 In the proceeding leading up to that decision, the Commission heard evidence on the economics of the Edmonton radio market and determined that one ethnic service was appropriate for licensing in Edmonton. The Commission outlined valid reasons in its decision to provide us with a licence as to why the Edmonton market can support the licensing of only one new ethnic commercial radio station at that time.
2091 We would like to confirm that the conditions outlined by the Commission in that decision remain valid and no evidence has been provided by VMS Media Group to indicate that the Edmonton market can support an additional station which targets advertising from ethnic communities.
2092 The South Asian communities the VMS Media Group proposes to target for advertising are key to our success and the Commission recognized that the Edmonton market could only support one. With the VMS Media Group targeting the key revenue targets of our new operations, their proposed operations will have a material detrimental impact on our ability to successfully launch our ethnic service.
2093 The call for applications to provide Aboriginal programming identified one of its factors for evaluating the applications being, “…the capacity of the proposed business plan.” As mentioned earlier, the capacity of the proposed business plan of VMS relies heavily on securing advertising revenue targeted at ethnic communities. As the Commission has licensed a new ethnic service for the Edmonton market, and one already exists, the capacity of the proposed business plan has been seriously weakened.
2094 The Commission also identified a factor, “Plans to provide for broad participation by the Aboriginal population of the region served in...governance, operation, and programming of the station.”
2095 After reviewing the application of VMS Media Group, it is apparent that the other Applicants are clearly more aligned with meeting the objectives of the Commission as set out in the call.
2096 We note that the VMS Media Group has provided little, if any, evidence of its ability to generate advertising revenue from its Aboriginal programming. We reviewed the market study that was submitted by VMS Media Group with its application and noted that at page 28 of the NRG Research Group report, of 200 persons surveyed in Edmonton precisely 2 persons with Aboriginal language were contacted.
2097 One of our strengths in the Edmonton market is that our team has been well established in the Edmonton market for many years, and more importantly, well established with the ethnic communities that we serve. This relationship has always been key in building and maintaining our listenership and there is simply no persuasive evidence filed by VMS Media Group of any such relationship with the Aboriginal community of Edmonton and, therefore, of its ability to generate advertising revenues from its Aboriginal programming. The absence of market research to show advertising support for the Aboriginal programming is significant.
2098 There is no Aboriginal ownership involved with the applications and evidence of any material outreach to the Aboriginal communities. And this raises a few questions as to how effective VMS Media Group will be in programming to the Aboriginal community.
2099 Review of the proposed programming details makes it apparent there’s a much higher level of clarity in terms of the South Asian language programming in comparison to the programming for the Aboriginal community, which places high reliance on an advisory committee to come up with programming ideas at some future date.
2100 The absence of concrete evidence of program supply relationships, similar to those provided by the other Applicants who are 100 percent Aboriginal services, should be weighed against approving the VMS Media Group.
2101 Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude, after review of the history of the VMS Media Group and their business plan, that the revenue forecast by VMG Media Group will be pursued in ethnic markets. And as we mentioned earlier, it’s also a reasonable prediction that the ethnic community will receive higher priority by the VMS Media Group rather than the Aboriginal communities and their programming.
2102 We believe, from our knowledge of the Edmonton market, that neither the ethnic programming listenership, nor the Aboriginal programming listenership, are well-serviced with an approach of this nature.
2103 We are not aware of, nor has VMS identified, any precedent for a model of a hybrid Aboriginal/ethnic service. And thus, there’s a high risk to the success of this hybrid model thereby putting at risk the primary objective of the Commission in issuing this call.
2104 We would urge, from our experience in operating in the Edmonton market, that this is not a time to experiment with hybrids as the Aboriginal listenership in Edmonton warrants the best efforts of any broadcaster to provide much needed programming in a successful manner with Aboriginal programming being the main focus and not being forced to take a back seat to ethnic programming.
2105 The VMS Group, and others, have highlighted the growth, development, and sophistication of the Aboriginal communities across the country, and in particular in Edmonton and Calgary.
2106 This growth and development should be rewarded by a full Aboriginal service to service Edmonton. The approval of a hybrid service will weaken the opportunity for us to successfully launch our ethnic service recently licensed by the Commission, and will further weaken the quality and quantity of Aboriginal programming in the Edmonton and Calgary markets by splintering the service between ethnic and Aboriginal services.
2107 In conclusion, we have yet to launch our new service recently licensed by the Commission. Adding an additional service as proposed by the VMS Media Group will have significant negative financial implications on the market and therefore the applications of the VMS Media Group should be denied.
2108 We greatly appreciate your time today and the opportunity provided to us by the Commission to attend and have our input provided, and to also have the opportunity to attend in person, and extend our sincere appreciation to the Commission for placing its faith in our application for servicing Edmonton ethnic communities. Thank you.
2109 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.
2110 I believe Commissioner MacDonald might have a few questions for you.
2111 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Good morning and thank you for being here.
2112 When are you hoping to launch your service?
2113 MR. BUTTAR: Well, as of currently, our engineering teams state that we should be launching at some point in September or October.
2114 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay.
2115 MR. BUTTAR: So third -- fourth quarter, most likely, of this year.
2116 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay, thanks.
2117 I know the decision granting your licence was made very recently, but I assume you’re already out there in the market having conversations with prospective advertisers and starting to line up that component of your business plan?
2118 MR. BUTTAR: Correct. Well, we currently operate four hours of leased air time in the Edmonton market. So because of that we’ve been in the market and meeting with advertisers for many years now. So we see the need for which we received the licence to actually increase ethnic programming to 24 hours at that time. So that is where we do most of our market research, is while we are operating currently the four hours of leased air time on a daily basis.
2119 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. In our conversation with VMS yesterday, they noted that the economic outlook for Alberta, although still challenging, is improving. Are you seeing any uptick in your industry from potential advertisers as of late?
2120 MR. BUTTAR: As of right now our research on the ground shows the consistency with what we saw prior to our application. There isn’t any higher level of growth that we are experiencing, nor is that what we’re seeing from our advertisers.
2121 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. So nothing really has happened in the last few months since the decision to ---
2122 MR. BUTTAR: No.
2123 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: --- indicate much in the way of change. Can you maybe try and quantify for me what the impact would be on your service once it’s launched and your projections if the VMS application were approved?
2124 MR. BUTTAR: Well, as of our review of the applications and with the current market, what we will experience is -- since there hasn’t been a new ethnic licence licensed in Edmonton for quite some time now until ours, the ethnic advertising revenue -- these individuals we would need to essentially train them on what the differences are between our leased air time and what our licensed operations will be.
2125 That time to work with them and get their feedback on what they -- what kind of services and what kind of support they need from us to become successful businesses will take time in discussions with them.
2126 If a new ethnic licence is brought into the Edmonton market, we won’t have that time. There will be another level of urgency provided to us to get up and running and to focus primarily on the financial revenues, which I believe doesn’t service the community, nor does it service our radio for long-term.
2127 So at the end of the day we will have greater competition for less dollars in the market at the moment due to the current economy.
2128 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So you would see that, the size of that financial pie, staying the same and just being divided among more providers?
2129 MR. BUTTAR: Correct.
2130 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: In discussions yesterday with VMS, they stated that their intention, if their applications are approved, would be to shut down their current SCMO offering. Does that help alleviate any of your concerns?
2131 MR. BUTTAR: Well, our on-the-ground research has indicated that the revenue brought in by their SCMO services or the services provided by the SCMO services have had little impact on our leased air time.
2132 So, therefore, we don't expect the services if they do cease to operate to bring any significant change in the market or the revenues.
2133 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. Thank you.
2134 With respect to the service that VMS is proposing, it's relatively broad in scope. And from your experience in the industry, do you think a service that is so broad is actually viable? If it's not targeted towards specific listeners, they may be more inclined to tune away. Do you have any thoughts on that?
2135 MR. BUTTAR: I would agree with that. I'd actually -- one of the speakers earlier today made a very good point with the schedule of VMS that's being proposed. It's very difficult to build a connection with the community if that community is forced to listen to -- or not forced, but the only time available to listen to the radio is in eight-hour gaps from one another. It's -- you don't have the continuity in programming. You don't have that focus as to what actually is -- what's the message being portrayed by this radio.
2136 Generally, if you have multiple messages, multiple communities and you don't understand what is being shared in a different language or in a different spoken word, you disconnect very quickly. Listeners will change -- will tune out. They will connect their phones on their auxiliary cables and start listening to their music. You won't have that constant connection with the radio that one deserves.
2137 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Thank you for that. And just one final question. When we were speaking with VMS yesterday they outlined their hope that some of their programming could perhaps serve as a bridge between Indigenous peoples, Indigenous nations and ethnic communities in Alberta, opportunities for perhaps joint programming that would bring those groups together discussing topics of common interest. Do you think that's something that's viable or something that's currently lacking in the market?
2138 MR. BUTTAR: We haven't really had the opportunity to ever pursue such items -- well, such discussions with Aboriginal communities and their needs in the past due to our time restrictions. One of the things we are doing is reaching out to such communities to understand how we can work together. And, therefore, I believe that those -- that service will essentially be provided well by the current existing license holders in Edmonton.
2139 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. Thank you very much. Those are my questions.
2140 MR. BUTTAR: Thank you.
2141 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Thank you for having travelled to the hearing and made your point. That was very appreciated.
2142 MR. BUTTAR: Well, we were enjoying our plus 10 degrees too much in Calgary and Edmonton so ---
2143 THE CHAIRMAN: And you -- notwithstanding that ---
2144 MR. BUTTAR: --- and we hadn't seen ---
2145 THE CHAIRMAN: --- you caught a cold so.
2146 MR. BUTTAR: That's right. And we hadn't seen some rain in a little while so.
2147 THE CHAIRMAN: There you go. Well, thank you very much for participating. Those are our questions ---
2148 MR. BUTTAR: Thank you.
2149 THE CHAIRMAN: --- at this stage. Thank you.
2150 MR. BUTTAR: Thank you.
2151 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask Community Media Advocacy Centre to come to presentation table.
2152 Please introduce yourself and you have 10 minutes.
2153 MS. LUDSKI: Good day, Chairman Blais, Commissioners Vennard and MacDonald, Madam Secretary and CRTC staff. Greetings to all those who participated yesterday and today.
2154 Let us acknowledge that we are speaking today on Algonquin territory. It is our collective responsibility as media producers and regulators to acknowledge the history, and for the ongoing struggles of Indigenous peoples to be heard.
2155 (Speaking in Native language). Hello. My name is Zoe Ludski. I’ve traveled from the territory of the Tla’Amin Nation on the sunshine coast of British Columbia to speak with you today. I am the Vice-President and a founding member of the Community Media Advocacy Centre or CMAC, which prioritizes the perspectives, voices and lived experiences of Indigenous Peoples, people of colour, third language and disabilities communities in media.
2156 MR. MAROUF: My name is Laith Marouf and I'm an award winning producer in both radio and television. I'm also a Senior Consultant with CMAC, which is a non-profit organization that is uniquely comprised of academics, lawyers, policy consultants and experienced community media practitioners. We promote community access and offer advocacy and support to Indigenous and community owned multimedia.
2157 Our intervention on the public record recommends the CRTC awards the licenses to the three regional broadcasters, Indigenous broadcasters -- Wawatay, AMMSA and NNB -- and reject the applications made by FPR and VMS. On that basis, we are here today to reinforce CMAC's original recommendations to the Commission: award the licenses to the three regional Indigenous broadcasters.
2158 The public record supports this recommendation, and we have reviewed all relevant laws and policies, including the Native Broadcasting Public Policy Notice CRTC 1990-89, sections of the 1991 Broadcasting Act, BNC CRTC 2015-399, and all of the applications under Broadcasting Notice of Consultation, and all the public interventions and the replies by the applicants on record. We come in-person today to reinforce CMAC’s original recommendation to the Commission.
2159 MS. LUDSKI: More specifically, our presentation today will focus on four key areas in which the applications of Wawatay, AMMSA, and NNB clearly surpass those of FPR and VMS in meeting a variety of critical policy objectives, both in broadcasting law and with respect to Indigenous peoples in Canada. They concern first, sovereignty and the duty to consult; second, station board structure; third, news and language programming; and fourth, education and employment opportunities.
2160 We would like to make the Commission aware that there will be an addendum to our main presentation today that addresses these proceedings as a whole in context of the Indigenous broadcasting sector across Canada.
2161 We will begin with sovereignty and the duty to consult. According to the Minister of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, "The duty to consult is an important part of the federal government's activities, including for regulatory project approvals, licensing and authorization of permits, operational decisions, policy development, negotiations and more." The updated Guidelines for Aboriginal Consultation and Accommodation reiterate the "common law duty" to consult Indigenous nations. Such consultation is the only way to ensure valid consent from Indigenous nations, and is even more essential today in context of the Canadian government's ostensible efforts at "reconciliation".
2162 Here, the CRTC did not consult Indigenous nations and representative organizations when it called for license applications, and so the duty to consult was placed on license applicants. Only certain applicants fulfilled this duty, and the Commission’s licensing determinations should reflect that.
2163 According to the Policy, the primary factor that determines the legitimacy of an Indigenous broadcaster is consulting with and obtaining the consent of the Indigenous communities in the service zones. The license applications and interventions on record reveal which applicants have received support from Indigenous nations and representative organizations in the service zones and obtained their consent.
2164 MR. MAROUF: CMAC has compiled a table of all interventions on the record in support of the applicants and it is attached at the end of this presentation as Table 1. This table reveals the degree of consultation and consent obtained by each of the applicants in the proceeding.
2165 Wawatay obtained six letters of support from Indigenous political bodies, including all the major organizations in Ontario: the Union of Ontario Indian Grand Council Chief, Chief of Ontario, Ontario Regional Grand Chief, the Grand Council Treaty 3, Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief and Shibogama First Nation Council. Wawatay’s applications demonstrate a consultation and consent among Indigenous nations and representative organizations in their proposed service zones.
2166 AMMSA obtained three letters of support from Indigenous political bodies including Stoney Tribal Administration and the AFN National Chief for their proposed service in Calgary and Edmonton.
2167 NNB has supporting interventions from eight Indigenous political bodies, including three Indigenous reserves within the proposed broadcasting zone: Musqueam Indian Band, Squamish Nation and Tsleil-Waututh Nation.
2168 FPR did not receive letters of support from any Indigenous political bodies in the proposed service zones. The sole exception was that from the Metis Settlement General Council, a national organization. And this Council submitted a letter of general support for allof the applicants, including Wawatay, AMMSA, NNB and VMS.
2169 As evident by the interventions from Indigenous political bodies, the regional Indigenous broadcasters -- Wawatay, AMMSA and NNB -- have consulted with and received the consent of their Nations and representative Indigenous organizations while FPR did neither. Thus, if the Commission is to uphold the right of Indigenous peoples to meaningful consultation, the applications of Wawatay, AMMSA, and NNB must prevail.
2170 MS. LUDSKI: After mandating consultation and consent, the Native Broadcasting Policy sets markers that define what constitutes a Native Undertaking. We quote the Commission in their recent Decision CRTC 2017-787 to license Gimaa Giigidoowin Communications:
2171 “According to the Native Policy, a Native undertaking must be owned and controlled by a not-for-profit organization whose structure provides for board membership by the Native population of the region served…[T]he Commission also takes into account a wide set of factors reflected in the Act, including the nature of programming and service to the communities involved, as well as regional, social, cultural, economic, and financial considerations.”
2172 This decision prioritizes governance practices that are accessible to the Indigenous communities served in the licence zones, and therefore so must the Commission’s licensing decisions in this proceeding.
2173 Among the Indigenous Applicants on file under CRTC 2017-1, all are owned or controlled by not-for-profits. Where they differ is on board representation of Indigenous populations in the proposed licence zones.
2174 Wawatay has an accessible board structure with representation from the communities they currently serve in northern Ontario. Their application proposes to add two seats to represent Ottawa and Toronto if granted licenses for these zones.
2175 MR. MAROUF: Both AMMSA and NNB are promising to add seats to represent the Indigenous communities in their proposed licence zones. However, both organizations have closed, less accessible boards. For example, CMAC reviewed one licence application that stated the terms of the board of directors as “permanent” appointments. It is incumbent upon the Commission to explore more deeply in this hearing the different governance structures proposed by the Applicants.
2176 CMAC recommends that the Commission condition any licence issued to AMMSA or NNB to require changes to the bylaws and board structures that guarantee more representative and accessible governance for the Indigenous Nations in the licence zones, including how programming advisory committees will relate to the governance.
2177 CMAC finds the proposed board structure of FPR fails to achieve the minimum standards outlined in the Policy. The proposed FPR Board would reserve three seats for station senior APTN staff and four seats for APTN members. However, only those who sit on the APTN Board of Directors are considered APTN members.
2178 MS. LUDSKI: Three problems arise from this governance structure.
2179 First, FPR proposes to serve five zones. However, they only designate four seats to possibly represent Indigenous communities. One city will always be left out of representation on the board of FPR.
2180 Second, only APTN Board members can be appointed to the FPR board, and some proposed service zones such as Ottawa lack APTN Board members. Moreover, given that the APTN Board member from Edmonton is Bert Crowfoot, the CEO of AMMSA, the current competition might hinder FPR’s ability to appoint a representative for that zone.
2181 The third problem with FPR’s proposed structure is how removed the Board is from the Indigenous community members they purport to serve. CMAC believes that sustainable organizations involve engaged community members who see themselves as key stakeholders in a community asset. As proposed, FPR board members are appointed by the APTN Board, whose members in turn are appointed by regional Indigenous broadcasting societies. Here the only chance an Indigenous community member has to participate in the governance of FPR is at the Annual General Assemblies of their regional Indigenous broadcaster.
2182 MR. MAROUF: Section 2 of the Native Broadcasting Policy affirms that broadcasters have a “distinct role” in promoting the development of Indigenous cultures and preserving Indigenous languages. This follows the 1991 Broadcasting Act, which prioritizes reflecting Indigenous peoples in programming and employment, while mandating for them a “special place” in the broadcasting system. To reiterate the Gimaa Giigidoowin Communications decision above, the Commission must take into account factors such as, in particular, the nature of programming and service to the communities involved.
2183 In applying the Policy and the Act, this recent ruling prioritizes the nature of programming and services provided to the community when judging the merits of the proposed Native Undertaking. Assessing each of the Applicant’s commitment to Indigenous programming and languages demonstrates that, in keeping with this policy, the Commission should grant a licence to Wawatay and conditionally grant licences to AMMSA and NNB.
2184 CMAC has categorized the programming proposed by the four Indigenous Applicants, appended as Table 2 at the end of our presentation. This table shows that Wawatay is committing to the highest percentage of programming in Indigenous languages, or 33 percent of programming broadcast weekly, and news programming at 24.6 percent.
2185 AMMSA is also committing to a high percentage of programming in Indigenous languages, 18.25 percent, but offers a very low commitment to news, around 3 percent.
2186 Given AMMSA currently operates a predominantly music station in Edmonton and is seeking to hold a second licence in the market, CMAC recommends any licences issued to AMMSA include a condition of higher quotas of news programming.
2187 NNB offers the lowest amount of programming in the Indigenous language, 2 percent Indigenous languages, and a low commitment to news programming, 5.4 percent.
2188 CMAC recommends that the Commission condition any licences issued to NNB with higher Indigenous language and news programming quotas.
2189 MS. LUDSKI: FPR commits to only 7 percent Indigenous language programming after three years and 4.8 percent news programming, despite the fact that a market study commissioned by FPR/APTN -- submitted in their Appendices to their Supplementary Brief -- indicates 83 percent of Indigenous audiences prefer news programming.
2190 In its application, FPR also merges the programming categories for news and spoken word, as pointed out yesterday, to project a higher quota of news. This is problematic.
2191 In fact, a closer look at Table 2 below shows that FPR, of all the Applicants, is committing to the lowest percentages for both spoken word and news programming. Furthermore, when the numbers are actually calculated, FPR’s commitment to Indigenous music works out to a 35 percent commitment to CanCon, 25 percent of that percentage which would be designated for Indigenous music, which totals a commitment to only 7 percent of broadcast hours for Indigenous music.
2192 As stated above, the Broadcasting Act provides for reflection of Indigenous peoples in both programming and employment in the broadcasting system.
2193 For Indigenous communities, many barriers exist beyond mere availability of jobs. Added barriers include obtaining the training and certification to qualify, frequently requiring moving to the urban centre.
2194 Wawatay addresses the needs of Indigenous communities to access training and certification that lead to employment. Five Ontario universities have committed to Wawatay in writing to design media training programs for Indigenous students: the University of Ottawa, Carleton, York, Ryerson, and Queen’s.
2195 CMAC believes Wawatay’s proposal for media education significantly advances its merits for licensing. Furthermore, once Wawatay is in operation, its training model might be emulated by the other Indigenous broadcasters who are awarded licences under CRTC 2017-1.
2196 MR. MAROUF: To conclude our main presentation today, we remind the Commission of the obligations determined by the common law duty to consult, the Act, and the Policy. The regional Indigenous networks, Wawatay, AMMSA and NNB, have consulted with their Nations and presented the CRTC with letters supporting their applications for the licences.
2197 The Commission must issue the licences to applicants that have consulted and therefore represent the consent of the Indigenous peoples in the proposed licence zones.
2198 Additionally, the Commission is obliged to guarantee these Native Undertakings comply with the objectives of the Native Broadcasting Policy, which mandates accessible governing structures for Indigenous community members in the service zones. We support Wawatay’s application as well as licensing the new stations proposed by AMMSA and NNB.
2199 However, CMAC recommends the Commission require, as conditions of licensing, that AMMSA and NNB amend their proposed bylaws and board structures to make them more reflective, more accessible to the Indigenous peoples in their service zones. Further, we recommend conditions for increased levels of Indigenous language and news programming for both AMMSA and NNB.
2200 MS. LUDSKI: The Policy also calls upon the Commission to guarantee that the programming is reflective of the interests and needs of Indigenous communities. Given that the proposed licences are located in the political and economic capitals of English Canada, CMAC believes the needs and interests of local Indigenous communities will not be reflected through predominantly music stations. The Commission must set conditions for the licences under CRTC 2017-1 with a minimum 20 percent commitment to Indigenous languages and news programming.
2201 CMAC organized the information provided by the applications into prioritized categories as determined by the obligations under CRTC policies, the Broadcasting Act, and the Calls to Action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This information is attached at the end of our oral remarks as Table 3.
2202 CMAC believes this hearing is an opportunity for the Commission to apply the TRC’s Call to Action through a meaningful and tangible act of reconciliation in the public interest.
2203 Table 3 and Section 16 of our intervention provide greater details on these recommendations and their relevance in guiding the outcomes of CRTC 2017-1.
2204 MR. MAROUF: That concludes our main presentation. At this point, CMAC would like to respectfully address the process we are engaging in today. The Commission decided to post the call for licenses without consulting with Indigenous nations and representative organizations in the proposed service areas. Because of this, the responsibility to consult was delegated to the potential license applicants. As a result, competing license applications pitted the regional Indigenous broadcasters, Wawatay, AMMSA and NNB, against an organization they helped found, as a means to serve their nations’ national public television needs, APTN.
2205 The current CRTC process has pushed a harmonious Indigenous broadcasting sector, previously working towards the same goals, to compete over the consent of their nations for access to the airwaves, a public good. As we have been reminded by this hearing, Indigenous Peoples never gave up their right and sovereignty to make use of the electromagnetic spectrum.
2206 MS. LUDSKI: With respect, the competitive license process imposed by the CRTC inherently creates conflict against Indigenous broadcasters across this land. This conflict is compounded by a 27-year-old Native Broadcasting Policy, too old to address standards and goals set by things like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This highlights the obvious need to review the Native Broadcasting Policy, which we look forward to the Commission doing later this year.
2207 Going forward, CMAC believes the CRTC has the legal responsibility to consult Indigenous nations and representative organizations on the shape of the Policy’s review process. This will ensure that the review process does not create further conflict within the complex Indigenous broadcasting sphere.
2208 Thank you for listening to and for your work examining our intervention. We look forward to your questions and to continuing this conversation today.
2209 THE CHAIRMAN: So, thank you very much. I just have a few questions for you. How did you become aware of this proceeding?
2210 MR. MAROUF: Well, this is out of the priority of our work as CMAC and we ---
2211 MS. LUDSKI: The CRTC website.
2212 MR. MAROUF: --- watch and monitor the CRTC website constantly. We've been following up -- following the AVR file since inception.
2213 THE CHAIRMAN: You would agree with me, I take it, that our public notices are widely distributed and available?
2214 MR. MAROUF: For people that know how to search the website of the CRTC. And obviously, this is -- I'm kind of reading into your question. You're wondering if this was a consultation. Is that was your question? You were trying to ---
2215 THE CHAIRMAN: I'm asking questions about what your -- how you became aware of this process because I see you coming and making all kinds of statements here so I'm trying to get the factual basis of your perspective.
2216 MR. MAROUF: Yeah, so, CMAC's work is to, as we explained and you can read it from our website, is to help, you know, the Indian Indigenous community and ethnic communities needs to -- in licensing and engagement at the CRTC and the governance of Broadcasting Canada.
2217 THE CHAIRMAN: Would you describe CMAC as an Indigenous organization?
2218 MR. MAROUF: It's actually half Indigenous, half ethnic. Our board of directors is split in between, and that's our priorities.
2219 THE CHAIRMAN: Right. And do you represent all the Indigenous peoples of Canada through your board governance?
2220 MR. MAROUF: We're an advocacy group and that's what we are so.
2221 THE CHAIRMAN: I think that's quite clear you're an advocacy group.
2222 MR. MAROUF: Yes.
2223 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, thank you.
2224 MR. MAROUF: Yeah.
2225 MS. LUDSKI: No.
2226 MR. MAROUF: So, we're not an Indigenous nation, no. We're not ---
2227 THE CHAIRMAN: No? Okay.
2228 MR. MAROUF: --- an Indigenous political body, no. We are an advocacy group ---
2229 THE CHAIRMAN: So, how did you seek the views of the very wide and complex Indigenous population of Canada before coming to make your positions known today?
2230 MS. LUDSIK: I think our research and research of our consultants, our knowledge and experience within the broadcasting sector of Canada from myself, the community radio perspective and the work within the community radio sector to further break barriers and unite people who have the common goal of broadcasting voices that are underrepresented and, in particular, maybe non-commercial models.
2231 THE CHAIRMAN: Right.
2232 MR. MAROUF: I may add that actually, we have been ---
2233 THE CHAIRMAN: Did you reach out to any ---
2234 MR. MAROUF: Yes, we worked with all the applicants ---
2235 THE CHAIRMAN: So, could you tell me exactly which communities ---
2236 MR. MAROUF: Yes.
2237 THE CHAIRMAN: --- you reached out? You can do it by undertaking.
2238 MR. MAROUF: So, we have actually worked for the last two years with Wawatay and ---
2239 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay.
2240 MR. MAROUF: --- Anishnawbe Nation. We had met with AMMSA and we have attempted to meet with NNB. We have actually -- we were present at the APTN board of directors meeting. We tried to -- attempted -- this is part of our work. We are part of trying to attempt to negotiate a harmonious way with -- between these Indigenous broadcasters when a conflict arose around these licenses to try to figure out how can they merge their efforts and not end up in this situation that we have here.
2241 So, we were involved directly with all the Indigenous broadcasters appearing in front of you. That included our presence at the board of directors of APTN when the decision was made to license -- to apply for FPR.
2242 THE CHAIRMAN: Right. But I take it from that that your outreach was mostly to the applicants that we're hearing from today. I'm asking you, did you go beyond those people? Let's say, land claim societies in the territories or beyond that?
2243 MS. LUDSKI: One moment, please.
2244 I think actually, Commissioner, this question leads us to something that we feel was really missing, that the duty of the consultation of the nations is that of the Commission. And that by putting that duty back to groups who are interested or advocacy groups, the nations are replicating work of consulting, consulting, consulting with different members. Whereas, had the CRTC approached the regions and spoken to see what is it that you would like from the broadcasting sector, then everybody could have come from a place of what are the wants and needs of the communities. Instead, that duty was put to the process that we have now.
2245 THE CHAIRMAN: Right. I'm not engaging in a legal discussion with you. I'm just trying to get some facts about what you did because you claim to have done and speak about on behalf of people and I'm just trying to say exactly ---
2246 MR. MAROUF: I'm actually ---
2247 THE CHAIRMAN: --- what you're saying.
2248 MR. MAROUF: We are not speaking on behalf of anybody.
2249 MS. LUDSKI: No.
2250 MR. MAROUF: So, I would like to object to that characterization. We are not speaking on behalf of anybody. We clearly said we're coming here speaking on behalf of CMAC, an advocacy group that works on these issues and has the expertise in these fields. And now what we have been very respectful is that even if, let's say, there is critiques of NNB or AMMSA in our thing, they have the sovereign consultancy, a consultation and consent of their nation. So, there is a difference in how we are approaching this. We look at them. They have the consent; therefore, they are representative.
2251 THE CHAIRMAN: So, yet -- if I understand your position is notwithstanding the fact that some various applications have gotten the support and consent of various group, you come in afterwards and come to this hearing and ask for amendments above and beyond what those groups propose. I find that a bit surprising and, in fact, completely contrary to what you're saying we should be doing.
2252 MR. MAROUF: You have actually a policy. You have a policy called -- a native broadcasting policy and it has actual parameters and we are standing by that. We're not coming and saying this is what we think ---
2253 THE CHAIRMAN: So, you're of the view that the Commission in its public proceeding in this proceeding has said that we would only issue licenses consistent with the native broadcasting policy?
2254 MR. MAROUF: That's what it actually the posting said.
2255 THE CHAIRMAN: I think we asked for innovative and not necessarily policies that were consistent with the native policy. You didn't even read the public notice correctly.
2256 MR. MAROUF: I'm not sure if you can -- anybody can apply to any license that doesn't follow the policies or acts.
2257 THE CHAIRMAN: Right.
2258 MR. MAROUF: This is where -- I'm kind of ---
2259 THE CHAIRMAN: Do you have access to legal counsel in terms of regulatory policy?
2260 MR. MAROUF: Yes, we do.
2261 THE CHAIRMAN: Has legal counsel explained to you the principle of Article 6 of the Canadian Broadcasting Act, which says that a policy -- the Commission can because it was recognized by Chief Justice Laskin in the Supreme Court that the Commission can adopt policies, but it's just the Commission speaking out loud. They're not binding. They are -- we can always make exceptions to them. So, you can't come here and say well -- first of all, it's erroneous on your part to suggest that we said that we would license only pursuant to that policy. That was an option but not necessarily. But even if it was, the Commission can make exceptions to its policies. And, in fact, it would be a jurisdictional error to be bound by its policies.
2262 MS. LUDSKI: I think that we have -- looking at the -- if it's a native B license that's out there, there would be an understanding that through the policies that exist that it would be a native undertaking. I don't think that we're imposing new ---
2263 THE CHAIRMAN: Policies aren't regulations. They're not statutes.
2264 MS. LUDSKI: I understand. But they are what we as citizens have to go by to see what's there.
2265 THE CHAIRMAN: Fair enough. But parties ---
2266 MS. LUDSKI: So, if you change your idea ---
2267 THE CHAIRMAN: --- can seek to have exceptions to that.
2268 MS. LUDSKI: --- you have an exception that's absolutely fair, but it also makes a -- creates a distance and a lack of trust between -- and a lack of communication between the Commission and the people in the communities. Because, if your exception comes out of nowhere for no reason, then ---
2269 THE CHAIRMAN: It comes from a long public process where parties put positions forward, including your participation in this proceeding. That's when exceptions come forth.
2270 MS. LUDSKI: This is a ---
2271 THE CHAIRMAN: I don’t know of any other institution in the federal government that does its work more transparently than the CRTC.
2272 MR. MAROUF: Maybe we should have started our presentation with saying, "Please don’t take this personal. This is not a critique of your -- or the Commission."
2273 MS. LUDSKI: So adversarial.
2274 MR. MAROUF: Or this is not adversarial. This was actually what the presentation should be when an advocacy group from the community comes that has spent time reading the laws and the policies that a lot of the community members don’t have time to, has to be. So I don't know if you actually -- like, I mean, I don’t feel that we came here or we spoke in ways that undermine your authority, so I don't know why you are questioning this way to speak to undermine ours or our representation or our presence in this room.
2275 MS. LUDSKI: I think also, as a public hearing and as engaged citizens of Turtle Island, we speak because this experience and my personal history -- I could speak to you of my personal history, why this is so important to me. But I don’t presume to take up the time of everyone here at this moment to do so, unless you'd like me to.
2276 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, it's your intervention, so the -- you can choose to put whatever case or position you want forward. I'm not going to force you to do any of that. But the point is that you've come here, you’ve asked -- you've made positions known, and I was testing your position. That's what the Commission does.
2277 MS. LUDSKI: Thank you.
2278 THE CHAIRMAN: And I think the tone of my questioning was exactly in keeping with the tone of your intervention. Do you have anything to add?
2279 MR. MAROUF: Maybe actually addressing some of the things that were missed, and they could have been asked instead of talking about people's legitimacy.
2280 So we have -- there's many things that ---
2281 THE CHAIRMAN: I don't think I used the word "legitimacy" once.
2282 MR. MAROUF: I understand. I understand. It's okay.
2283 THE CHAIRMAN: Do you have anything to add?
2284 MR. MAROUF: Yes, I do have some things to add, actually.
2285 THE CHAIRMAN: Go ahead.
2286 MR. MAROUF: So one of the main things, the problems, that we noticed also in proposals like FPR's is the issue of -- you know, we have had AVR licences yanked because of the -- they were not able to reach their goals. But part of what ended up happening after AVR leaving is that there was no legacy infrastructure, anything left for the community. So the model of building -- having centralized programming coming out of Winnipeg with rented studio spaces from Corus Media, according to the application of FPR, again, leaves the Indigenous community with no legacy infrastructure, with no legacy technologies to be left for them over the decades, no matter what happens to FPR or whatever licence it's up against.
2287 Part of the main problems that any community that is marginalized faces is having institutions, faces long-term resolutions to their problems.
2288 So if -- and another thing that is very important right now is that for the issue of, you know, looking at the programming that is being proposed by FPR or other licences that are choosing to fill their air with music instead of news or with current affairs programming, is that that is normal to do if you already have at least one Indigenous national broadcaster, Indigenous broadcaster in the zone that is doing the service of providing the news and the public affairs that is needed.
2289 So it is yes. It's the same way we look at the CRTC and CBC. If CBC has the ability to have a news so on, they can go ahead and do more music, but first and foremost, there is a duty to actually deliver on those basic things, and then we can fill the market with as many music -- Indigenous music stations we want to. But first, there is this service.
2290 And the belittling of the use of Indigenous languages on air was shocking at some times. We know, as -- myself, as an ethnic person, a person coming from a third-language community -- and many other communities like me -- we know -- and even here in Canada for language, for English, we know public programming, language programming, directed to children, directed to illiterate people, is one of the most important literacy tools anywhere. Public broadcasters in the world everywhere went around and used language programming to spread literacy where education and schooling was not able to do its job.
2291 And here we have regional or national broadcasters that are supposed to be Indigenous claiming that is not a service that is viable or needed.
2292 MS. LUDSKI: That’s terrible.
2293 MR. MAROUF: Literacy programming for the language to save and maintain the language is not needed.
2294 MS. LUDSKI: Also, it was referred to several times that a multitude of languages was a curse. Coming from British Columbia, where the -- as I again mentioned today, 50 plus languages -- I feel that this is a blessing in the wealth of and the depth of resources available to the stations. There are years and years and years of recordings and research that would supply airwaves with language and music.
2295 Indigenous -- the peoples have survived centuries of policies designed to destroy culture, and one of the reasons for that survival is the misconception that -- the misconception of the Canadian government for years that the Indigenous nations could be treated as a homogenous culture.
2296 THE CHAIRMAN: Yet, the communities -- Indigenous communities have supported those applications, and you're saying that's not good enough?
2297 MS. LUDSKI: I speak -- we talk of the term "dialectic", two statements being opposite and both be true at once. You can be doing the best you can and you can do better. And today, we speak of yes, there's great things going on, but we are hoping and envisioning and dreaming of future.
2298 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay, I understand. Anything else? You're okay? Had your say? Yes?
2299 MR. MAROUF: Thank you very much.
2300 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.
2301 Madame la Secrétaire.
2302 THE SECRETARY: Merci. There is just going to be a small change in the schedule. I would ask Jennifer David to come to the presentation table, and then we will continue on with the agenda as published.
2303 MS. DAVID: Thank you for hearing my intervention out of order. I am facilitating a meeting that I need to get to this afternoon, so thank you.
2304 (Speaking in Cree). Good morning -- or maybe it's afternoon now -- Commissioners. My name is Jennifer David, Chapleau Cree First Nation, currently what we euphemistically call an urban Indian living here in Ottawa. I acknowledge I am making this presentation on unceded Algonquin territory and I thank the Algonquin people for taking care of the land on which we stand today.
2305 I thank you for the opportunity to come before you today with my personal opinions in support of First Peoples Radio.
2306 Please allow me to tell you a short story. Nineteen (19) years ago, in November of 1998, I was in this very room with my colleagues from Television Northern Canada. We were appearing before the CRTC for a national television broadcast license for the newly named Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. I was the Director of Communications. We represented northern, non-profit Aboriginal broadcast societies, Aboriginal film and TV producers from across southern Canada, and a group of very passionate and visionary individuals who all shared one dream: to bring to life a national Aboriginal television network, by and about Aboriginal people, for all Canadians.
2307 The CRTC commissioners, at that time, were equally visionary. Despite fierce opposition from cable companies and cries from some consumers, and even disagreement from an Aboriginal broadcaster, CRTC granted APTN a license as a mandatory service, with a subscription fee. It was an incredible time. Six months from that date in February 1999, APTN was on the air for the first time.
2308 As for me, personally, I handed off my job to a new director based in Winnipeg and moved onto independent communications consulting, which I continue to do to this day through an Indigenous company here in Ottawa called NVision Insight Group. Five years ago, I revisited that time in my life and wrote a book about the launch of the network and how it was an important milestone in Canadian broadcast history.
2309 I tell you all of this because I believe that you have before you today another such opportunity to be part of something historic.
2310 First Peoples Radio, while currently only an application for five urban radio frequencies, represents a tremendous opportunity. In the same way that we argued, back in 1998, there was a great need for a space that allowed Indigenous voices to tell their stories through T.V., so too, would First Peoples Radio. FPR can give First Nations, Inuit, and Metis a voice in those urban spaces, where none currently exist. APTN was built on a vision of Aboriginal broadcasters who vehemently created and supported local stories and local programming and I think FPR will be able to do the same.
2311 I think this is what reconciliation can look like. Just like the TRC out to honour the stories of survivors of residential school, they also set out to educate the average Canadian on a dark chapter of our history, and support ongoing awareness of Indigenous stories and perspectives. An urban radio station would be part of this ongoing education and would support Indigenous to non-Indigenous reconciliation using the airwaves.
2312 And Indigenous people who can use their voice to share their stores to the wider world, also want to speak to themselves. In the work that I do, I work with many First Nations. A lot of them continue to listen to and use community radio. In some regions, Internet access is still poor and the radio station is a key communications vehicle. Again, while this is an application for urban stations, think of the possibilities of making some programming available through community radio stations. The northern regions of this country are well served by Indigenous regional radio, but that doesn’t exist in the southern parts of the provinces. FPR has an opportunity in the future to expand its reach into communities as well as to a wider audience.
2313 And I strongly support APTN’s current application for all of these licenses. There is so much more potential with having an existing national organization build up, what I hope could become a national radio network. APTN already knows how to run a network, already has some of the infrastructure and expertise required to manage and maintain regional sites.
2314 I do understand that there may not be the radio expertise, but I can certainly tell you when we got the licence for a national Aboriginal television in 1998, do you think we knew how to run a national television network at the time? I think there was a lot of growth and a lot of opportunities. Today we do have expertise in Indigenous radio and I know that FPR will need to call on that expertise to start these stations.
2315 I understand APTN will make some of its existing television programming such as news and current affairs, available to the urban radio stations, which is great economies of scale. I support APTN’s application for all five licenses because it will create a national platform on the stability and success of an existing national network.
2316 And of course, I am someone who plans to listen to this station. I do live here in Ottawa and I’m assuming this -- I’m the kind of demographic of someone that they hope to attract and I do agree that we need language programming. I do agree we need news, but I also agree that we need to hear from the urban Indigenous people. Again, I can speak just -- I’m here in Ottawa. I wasn’t consulted by anybody.
2317 I’m not sure that sort of consultation and accommodation to this stage was extensive and again, I think there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done by anybody who gets the licence. Because I do think that they need to hear from those of us living here in Ottawa, what we’d like to see in an urban radio station here in Ottawa. I don’t think that consultation happened through First Nation organizations or even representative organizations.
2318 More than half of First Nations people live in urban centres, and you know, I belong to a First Nation, but I can’t say that the Chiefs of Ontario speak for me when they might say that they approve one or the other of an application.
2319 APTN, I think, has a proven track record and numerous awards to show how well they have expanded their reach and types of programming. I see the same great opportunity for FPR. And I would like to thank you for the opportunity to present my personal views and support First Peoples Radio.
2320 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Commissioner MacDonald?
2321 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Good afternoon and thank you for being here today, back in the room almost two decades later.
2322 I’m going -- I just have three questions and the first one to start off is basically where you were finishing your comments today. And APTN has had a lot of success over the years and developed significant partnerships and skill sets, but some have expressed some concern that it may be challenging to transition and leverage that success and that experience going from television and into radio. And I’m just wondering if you have any thoughts on that regard.
2323 There may be technical expertise that they need to gain, but with respect to the overall mission and focus that APTN may potentially bring, do you have any thoughts on that?
2324 MS. DAVID: Well, again, I don’t know anything about radio programming and I haven’t heard everybody’s interventions or applications. But it’s unfortunate that there has been a competition, right, that people have had to compete.
2325 So I know Wawatay and some of the regional broadcasters do also do television programming. But I know that APTN is not into radio, but I -- and I can’t speak for FPR, but I would hope that they or the CRTC would ask them to bring on more radio expertise. They don’t have it and again, all I can speak to is in the early days of APTN, we didn’t have that expertise either and we had to go and find it. And we had to bring it in and we had to make sure we had a wide range of voices, and that included not just First Nations but also Inuit and Metis.
2326 I mean I haven’t seen any Inuit supporters here even for the Ottawa. I mean, Ottawa has the largest Inuit population outside of Nunavut and so how is that Inuit programming going to be included? So at least APTN has access to producers and expertise, First Nations, Inuit, and Metis from across the country and I would hope they could leverage that for more radio expertise.
2327 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. You’re obviously here in support of FPR. But at the core of the decision we’re going to make there’s two basic -- one of two basic directions we can go, and that is more of a national service versus more of a regional service. And because you’re here for FPR, you’re advocating that we take more of a national -- a national approach. And I’m just wondering how you came to that decision, why you think that is the best direction in which to go?
2328 MS. DAVID: Well, again, I don’t have any involvement with APTN, but I saw that, you know, the original broadcasters that are part of APTN were originally part of Television Northern Canada, and I don’t know how much you know about that history. But they were the Wawatays, and the Missinipi broadcastings, and the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation, very small but very dedicated non-profit broadcast societies that felt very strongly about their own local programming and language programming. But they didn’t have any way to distribute their programming.
2329 So this is something for an urban population. So again, just looking in Ottawa, we probably represent 50, 60, 70 different First Nations, plus Metis and Inuit. So how can anyone, right? So I think it’s Wawatay that’s looking for, I don’t know, both in Ontario. But again, I’m from the region where Wawatay’s from. I’m from Northern Ontario. But does Wawatay know and understand an urban Aboriginal population? So I think that the economies of scale of having a national network in all five licences from one applicant, I think, just lends the opportunity to be able to have a more cohesive structure.
2330 But I absolutely agree that that’s got to be driven by local programming and people locally deciding what’s important to put in that. And I agree, you’ve got to follow protocols, but what are those protocols in each of those urban centres to reach that?
2331 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. And just one final, and I know you’re just speaking for yourself, but I’m curious as to how APTN and FRP are -- excuse me -- are viewed by members of the First Nation communities. You know, are they viewed as partners that consult and take a collaborative approach? Are they viewed as trusted curators of content?
2332 MS. DAVID: Well, I think that’s a kind of high level discussion that I wouldn’t say if you go on any First Nation anybody really talks about. I mean, if they’re going to talk about APTN they’re going to talk about how their cousin was on a show last week, or how don’t forget to tune into that, or did you see what happened on Mohawk Girls last week? I mean they’re watching the actual programming.
2333 So we also have to remember that at the end of the day you want people to listen to the radio and you want them to be viable. But I don’t think your average viewer or future, sort of, listener is thinking about, you know, how the network is seen. They want to know there is programming they want to listen to.
2334 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay, thank you very much.
2335 MS. DAVID: Thank you.
2336 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Those were my questions.
2337 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. That is all our questioning. Thank you very much.
2338 MS. DAVID: Thank you.
2339 THE CHAIRMAN: Madame la secrétaire?
2340 MS. ROY: I will now ask Equitable Education to come to the presentation table.
2341 Please introduce yourself and you have five minutes.
2342 MR. MACDOUGALL: Okay, thank you for the opportunity to be here. My name is Greg MacDougall with Equitable Education, which is just my own private enterprise for media, for education, freelance and otherwise.
2343 And I think it is good to acknowledge that we’re on Algonquin territory here. And I think also that it needs to go beyond that, is that we have a responsibility that Algonquin people are included and especially in something like that. And I’m not sure how much of that has happened.
2344 Also I think that overall this is just a really big opportunity. There’s kind of two different directions, like you were just saying. And I think there’s a lot to consider here about which way to go.
2345 I’m coming here from a perspective of non-Indigenous, long-time organizing an alternative media and also working in Indigenous solidarity locally here in Ottawa I think is the main -- kind of my perspectives, coming from, including freelance media work for Aboriginal media organizations and covering Aboriginal issues, Indigenous issues in other media outlets.
2346 So I’ve got five points to talk about: media diversity, local and original programming, the TRC recommendations and Indigenous languages, the educational institutional support, and the Indigenous leadership support for these applications.
2347 And this is for -- I’m speaking in favour of Wawatay for Ottawa and Toronto and also that kind of means against First Peoples Radio for those two places.
2348 I think a lot of the interventions I saw are just kind of like for something but they’re not really considering what the options are; they’re just saying it’s a good idea that we have Indigenous radio. But I’m not sure a lot of people are really thinking about which one is a better choice.
2349 So the first thing, I was doing outreach on this, trying to distribute it among different channels, networks. And someone heard that, “Oh, APTN is applying is for these Indigenous radio licences. I think that’s awesome.” And then they found out that it was a competition and then they were like, “Well, that’s really bad because just the whole process of pitting these organizations against each other who have been working together is really kind of a problem.”
2350 So just to -- that is kind of something just to address or to keep in mind.
2351 So coming from doing the solidarity work and working in support of Indigenous efforts locally and more regionally, and getting media on those issues, there basically is the CBC and APTN that are the only two kind of daily multimedia broadcast media organizations that will take an interest, an ongoing interest in things. So that kind of is one reason why to support these regional broadcasters Wawatay because then you have more media diversity. And right now if you just want to give APTN more control over broadcasting, more licensing, as opposed to anyone else, you’re just going to kind of create a monopoly on what is the Indigenous voice in Canada.
2352 I think that yes, they would have economies of scale and taking APTN programming and putting it on the radio is a good idea.
2353 But I think also that idea came up to myself; it came up with someone else I was talking with. And then I found out that actually APTN had been approached; “Do you want to help bring your content to these other regional broadcasters?” And they were very much against it.
2354 But I think it comes down to that you do want other voices. You don’t just want the one voice over and over again.
2355 And I think also when you have a diversity of media you have much more opportunities for employment and learning. Like, that’s where people learn how to do media, how to do journalism, is by working in different places. And if there is only basically the one place, it kind of reduces a lot of opportunities.
2356 So moving on to local and regional programming. This is where I really kind of -- when I learned what the actual applications were, that’s where I kind of really made a decision of what I thought was best. Because it seems that FPR is more about syndicated and non-local programming and their local programming is actually just a DJ; “I’m playing music.” Whereas Wawatay is, like, a lot more local programming.
2357 And I think it’s really important to note that in the future of media, as we move forward, like when all these financial problems, other problems, it’s really identified that the original local content is what’s most important. And so I think this is the opportunity where you can approve that or you can say, “No, we just want the syndicated national content everywhere.” Because there’s no one else making this content if you don’t approve Wawatay, right?
2358 I think when you see CBC Ottawa, their two shows -- All in a Day and Ottawa Morning -- they’re always the top rated shows in Ottawa. So that’s what people want. They want the talk radio; they want the local stuff. And that’s what Wawatay is offering, from my understanding.
2359 And also just FPR seems to be about -- the majority of it would be non-Indigenous programming because their music is mostly non-Indigenous. And their music is most of the programming. So I just didn’t understand that but that’s kind of what they seem to be proposing.
2360 I think the TRC -- so this is going on to the TRC and the languages. Their three media recommendations don’t really talk about this at all. They kind of missed -- they talked about APTN; they talked about CBC; they talked about journalism and education institutions. But they didn’t say anything about any other media.
2361 And I’ve included a quote from Sara Bannerman who is the Canadian Research Chair in Communication, Policy, and Governance at McMaster and she kind of takes this up. She even made recommendations for what the CTRC should be doing about Indigenous media. And that’s in a footnote.
2362 But what the TRF does call for in both APTN and CBC recommendations is to improve the Indigenous languages. And I think Wawatay, like, has a lot more time on Indigenous languages and it has more Indigenous languages, which I think is important when you’re talking about Ottawa/Toronto where there’s a lot of different Indigenous Nations represented here. You want the different languages.
2363 And I think about, like, listening to AVR. Saturday and Sunday mornings, like, 7:00 to 8:00 or maybe even 6:00 to 8:00 a.m. they had Basil Johnson doing his language lessons. And that was probably, like, one of the top things on AVR.
2364 So yeah, I think that having these languages represented -- yeah, I hope you understand how important that is.
2365 So the next point, educational institution support -- to see the five universities, four communication or journalism departments saying, “Yes, we will work with Wawatay to see what we can do to improve media to make a really good station” that’s -- like, I think that’s really important to consider when looking at how are we going to be innovative moving forward with media? If you have these institutions backing this kind of broadcaster, I think it can do a lot.
2366 And I included a quote from an interview I did with Simmi Dixit who is National Coordinator of the United Nations Association of Canada’s Multimedia and Multiculturalism Initiative.
2367 I don’t know how much time I have left?
2368 MS. ROY: One minute.
2369 MR. MACDOUGALL: One minute, okay.
2370 Yeah, so that’s in my thing there. But she’s basically saying as these NGO, as the educational institutions, schools, all of them work together, that’s going to help the problem of underrepresentation in the media.
2371 The last thing is just that the support from Indigenous governing bodies when we have all these unions of chiefs, or however they’re organized, supporting one thing, that’s kind of like -- that’s a bigger voice than, say, my voice or anyone else’s individual voice. And I think it really has to be considered in terms of who’s actually going to -- who’s responsible for making these decisions and who should be responsible for making these decisions. So that’s in there.
2372 So basically just in organizing work, the diversity of media, the original local content, and the public interest like the education institution support are all reasons why Wawatay should be getting this over FPR.
2373 But then also in terms of Indigenous issues, in terms of the solidarity background I have, and the TRC recommendations for the Indigenous languages and for the Indigenous leadership governance supporting Wawatay, I think those are the reasons why, in terms of specifically Indigenous -- that’s why this should be supported.
2374 I think when you talked about it’s local versus national, that’s kind of the issue. But it’s also, like, this mainly music channel versus just, like, mainly news and community channel. So I think it’s not just national/local. If there was a national channel that wanted to do what Wawatay is doing in every place, then that would be different.
2375 And I think Wawatay also has a network as well. It’s not just starting in Ottawa and Toronto. It also has a network as well. So -- yeah. Thank you.
2376 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, a very insightful and helpful intervention. Thank you very much for that.
2377 You know, we would have preferred that we would be not even having to have a hearing, that some consensus would have arisen. But unfortunately physics gets in the way. When they’re dealing with spectrum and frequencies, they're not easily shareable unless, you know, people come together and decide to operate things together. So unfortunately, we are where we are with this proceeding, but your position and your insights are actually quite useful, both -- all your high points you've put forward in your presentation.
2378 Perhaps I can ask you to help us with something we struggle with. And I appreciate, you know, your point that one would like to have more Aboriginal language, more local content, but the Commission often struggles that what people want, ostensibly -- because they watch, for instance -- on television, they watch a lot of local news -- but it's not being monetized, and therefore, what funds it is advertising. And you're always in that tension between trying to have something that's popular enough to draw advertising -- because it's an advertising-driven process to finance the business case -- and on the other hand, to get the public good, the public interest that might come from very local content, which is sometimes expensive to gather; Aboriginal or Indigenous languages or traditional languages being shared, that takes money.
2379 And so that tension between being popular, therefore getting advertising dollars and doing the public good, which is costly but doesn’t necessarily at first blush draw advertising dollars -- how do you help -- how could you help us figure out what the right balance point is to get to that?
2380 MR. MACDOUGALL: Yeah, I think that there are a lot of people struggling with the -- how do you make media if the advertising revenue is not there? Sarah Bannerman, which I mentioned, had the input on TRC recommendations and for CRTC including, also talked about different ways that it could be supported. I know that the Anishinabek News, which is a online -- used to be a newspaper -- is supported by the Anishinabek Nation, so they put their money into the media. So that's one way that they’ve done it. Yeah, like, I don’t necessarily have ---
2381 THE CHAIRMAN: But in the absence of government subsidies ---
2382 MR. MACDOUGALL: Yeah.
2383 THE CHAIRMAN: --- whether directly or indirectly to the CBC and other broadcasters, you're stuck in the -- in this space with a commercial model, at least to a certain degree, or even, you know, other types of fundraising, sometimes associated with Bingo, has been a way of financing. There's other things, but it's essentially a commercial model rather than a subsidy model.
2384 MR. MACDOUGALL: I just -- I would hope that like, working with those five university departments there could be some sort of figuring out different models.
2385 THE CHAIRMAN: Right.
2386 MR. MACDOUGALL: That would be the one key place I'd look right now for how or why do you do it.
2387 THE CHAIRMAN: Right.
2388 MR. MACDOUGALL: Yeah.
2389 THE CHAIRMAN: Some of the studies that we've heard or the evidence we've heard so far is based on seeking what the target audience here -- which would be Indigenous urban folks, some of them even, you know, hopefully younger folks in that community. And some of the studies and evidence we're hearing is that they would like to have music and a diversity of genres of music, you know, from hip hop to rap to less traditional types of -- forms of music.
2390 So how does one balance that when we are trying to consider all this application? Broccoli might be what you want the kids to eat, but they might rather have something else.
2391 MR. MACDOUGALL: Yeah. I guess that it depends what role the media you want to -- like, obviously, there's only -- you're only offering one licence?
2392 THE CHAIRMAN: M'hm.
2393 MR. MACDOUGALL: So it's up to you to figure out ---
2394 THE CHAIRMAN: Physics prevents us from offering more, right? There's only one piece of spectrum available in this proceeding.
2395 MR. MACDOUGALL: In this proceeding, yeah. That's what I mean.
2396 THE CHAIRMAN: Yeah.
2397 MR. MACDOUGALL: So there's like, the -- there's different roles for media, right? Like, you can try to be the most popular media or you can try to serve a specific need, and you’ve got to figure out what that need is and try and balance ---
2398 THE CHAIRMAN: Right.
2399 MR. MACDOUGALL: --- the interest, yeah.
2400 THE CHAIRMAN: But sometimes by being very specific, you don’t draw the advertising revenues.
2401 MR. MACDOUGALL: Yeah. That's why looking at alternative models, it's important.
2402 THE CHAIRMAN: Right. Do you have an alternative model to propose, or you're just hoping that the five universities or colleges will be able to help us out on this?
2403 MR. MACDOUGALL: Well, I haven't looked in detail about the financial model being proposed, so I don’t have specific suggestions right now, no.
2404 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay, appreciate it. But you have, in a nutshell, clearly identified and put your finger on what are the fundamental issues we're facing within this proceeding, so I appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you very much.
2405 Madame la Secrétaire.
2406 THE SECRETARY: Merci. I will now ask Shibogama First Nations counsel to come to the presentation table.
2407 THE CHAIRMAN: So welcome, and when you're ready, just identify yourself for the purpose of transcript -- it's the only reason we do it -- and go ahead. Thank you. But press the little button. That would help too.
2408 Okay, thank you.
2409 MS. KENEQUANASH: Greetings. (Speaking Native language).
2410 I want to acknowledge the Creator and the territory of Algonquins.
2411 My name is Margaret Kenequanash. I am the Executive Director of Shibogama First Nations Council. I am an Indigenous woman from North Caribou Lake First Nation.
2412 To start, I want to thank the Committee members for giving me the opportunity to present a statement for the Wawatay Native Communications Society, 2016-0034-6 and 2016-0024-7.
2413 I work with five communities: Kasabonika Lake First Nation, Kingfisher Lake First Nation, Wapekeka First Nation, Wawakapewin, and Wunnumin Lake First Nation. Four of these communities have a radio station. One doesn’t. And this has been their only means of regional communication. I am providing a copy of the resolution, specific to first paragraph, and I had to white out the rest because there's reasons for that.
2414 It says that:
2415 “The Shibogama chiefs recognize Wawatay Native Communication Society as an important infrastructure, and the only venue for our people to communicate with each other in their language, oral or written, speak to each other about their cultural activities and teachings and promote spiritual healing.”
2416 This was passed on December 16, 2014.
2417 This resolution is from our leadership, and it demonstrates the support for Wawatay Native Communications Society.
2418 Since the mid-seventies, Wawatay Communications Society mandate has been to preserve the Indigenous language and culture within its service area. Wawatay is the primary source of communications, news, music, languages, cultural teachings, and spiritual teachings over a series of radio stations through the Wawatay Radio Network.
2419 Wawatay is filing for licences to air in the Toronto and Ottawa radio market and I am here to speak in support of the applications for the following reasons.
2420 Wawatay broadcasts in the English, Anishininiimowin, Anishinabemowiin, and Omushkiigimowin, languages. The multilingual service is used as a mechanism to share the Anishinabe culture within its current broadcast radius. Broadcasting both English and Indigenous language conveys a promotion of culture and preservation of language. This helps build bridges and develops healthy relationships with non-Indigenous and Indigenous peoples. It encourages discussion amongst the listeners on current issues impacting our communities.
2421 Toronto and Ottawa are major urban centers where copious amounts of Indigenous people reside. These Indigenous people don't get to hear their traditional languages on a daily basis. Opening up the radius of the broadcast would ensure language preservation would take place on a grander scale. It would also serve as a vehicle to provide and enhance Indigenous spirituality and traditions.
2422 A majority of non-Indigenous people in the Toronto and Ottawa area are uneducated, misinformed, or unknowing to the facts of our people and remote First Nation communities. They do not understand our traditions, our values, and culture. Currently there is no starting point available to mainstream society where they can gain knowledge about our history and appreciate the richness of our culture. Broadcasting in the major urban centers would help educate the mainstream society about the remote north.
2423 Lastly, a significant factor in expanding the radius is to promote reconciliation. Broadcasting in these urban centers would provide opportunity for those who are looking to become educated on Indigenous Peoples, language, and culture. This would also help reduce stigma, stereotyping, and racism.
2424 In summary, the Indigenous people of the Shibogama area uphold and take pride in their language, traditional teachings and culture. The belief of the people is to share and teach others about who we are; this builds respect and improves relationships as we all move forward to understand each other and live in harmony.
2425 Chi Miigwetch, and thank you for this opportunity to present this statement and support for Wawatay Radio application.
2426 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much for participating in this public consultation.
2427 It is clear that you clearly believe that Wawatay has experience in radio, experience in supporting Indigenous culture and languages and, of course, you can speak to their track record because you have experienced it.
2428 I was wondering if you could help us better understand -- you know, the Toronto and Ottawa markets are very crowded media markets. They are not remote, they have lots of radio stations, lots of distractions that are not just radio. From your experience, what do you think is the particular challenge Wawatay will face in trying to kind of doing a shift from their current experience to a much more urban experience or situation?
2429 MS. KENEQUANASH: Well, I think one of the challenges that I would see is in terms of expanding their current scope of work that they’re doing and also expanding the mandate that -- which I understand has been supported by the leadership of the area. Obviously setting up and requiring resources to do that, to enable them to be able to provide that kind of service within urban centres is probably a challenge that they would have.
2430 In terms of the kind of programming, promotion of language and culture, I don’t think there’s a challenge in that because they have been doing it for years. And I think it is so needed right now, especially in the southern communities where there is such lack of understanding on the part of non-Indigenous people, and even some of our own people don’t understand the challenges that we face in the remote First Nations.
2431 And by having access to a broadcast that would inform the public about what the urban -- or the remote First Nations communities are about, talking in their languages and maybe even promoting some of the events that they do promote on the radio network. I think it’s something that’s really needed today.
2432 THE CHAIRMAN: And you are obviously supporting Wawatay’s application. Did you have a chance to become aware of the First Peoples Radio application which is also wishing to serve the Toronto and Ottawa communities?
2433 MS. KENEQUANASH: So if I understand this correctly, the First Peoples application is the APTN?
2434 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, sorry.
2435 MS. KENEQUANASH: Okay.
2436 THE CHAIRMAN: That’s how people have been describing it as a short form. It’s actually a separate company. Yes, go ahead.
2437 MS. KENEQUANASH: I saw the list of the presenters and also some of the interveners. I don’t really -- I see APTN once in a while on TV but in terms of presence in our area, I don’t see them often in person. I think there’s been a lot of missed opportunity in terms of some of the news that could come out from the north that could be aired nationally. But if the organization is not, you know, engaging people that way, then that’s a missed opportunity for the rest of the mainstream society.
2438 THE CHAIRMAN: Right.
2439 MS. KENEQUANASH: At the same time, I understand that, you know, the current regional broadcasting that we have within the Nishnawbe Aski Nation area is not part of the decision-making of that First Peoples Network or the APTN.
2440 THE CHAIRMAN: But would you wish to express a view because we are going to have to choose one or the other of those? As to which one, in your view, based on your experience and your knowledge of the situation, which is a better choice?
2441 MS. KENEQUANASH: Express view of who I support?
2442 THE CHAIRMAN: Which -- I mean you’ve got -- I mean you are supporting Wawatay. Are you going the extra step and saying the First Peoples Radio is not a good choice?
2443 MS. KENEQUANASH: I just want to promote the remotes north and the people of the north and educate the mainstream society about who we are and I think the means of doing that is through Wawatay Native Radio Communications.
2444 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay, so it’s a better way of doing it.
2445 MS. KENEQUANASH: Yes, it is.
2446 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay, appreciate that.
2447 Well thank you very much for participating in this proceeding. Appreciate it.
2448 MS. KENEQUANASH: Thank you.
2449 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.
2450 Madame le sécretaire.
2451 MS. ROY: Thank you. We will now hear the presentation of Michelle Robinson. Ms. Robinson, can you hear me?
2452 MS. ROBINSON: I can. Can you hear me?
2453 MS. ROY: Yes, we can. So you may begin your presentation. You have five minutes.
2454 MS. ROBINSON: Well, thank you, everybody at the hearing. I am honoured to be a presenter for the -- I’m getting a funny feedback; can you hear me?
2455 MS. ROY: Yes, we can.
2456 MS. ROBINSON: Okay. I’m just going to -- well, I’ll try this again.
2457 I’m honoured to be a presenter for the VMS Media Group calling from Treaty 7 territory, the land of the Blackfoot Confederacy, acknowledging the U.S. and Canadian border that separates the Blackfeet from the Kainai, Pikani, and Siksika Nations.
2458 Treaty 7 also includes the Stoney Nakoda of the Bearspaw, Chiniki and Wesley Nations. The Dene of Tsuu’ Tina Nation are also Treaty 7 signatories.
2459 Here in Calgary, I will acknowledge the Métis, the Inuit and all Indigenous Nations visiting Calgary in an urban setting. My mother is Slavey Dene and my Indian Act imposed Status Card says Yellowknife Dene.
2460 I was born in Calgary, Alberta and reside in Calgary. I am an urban, Indigenous Dene that does not speak the language. Hello, unceded Algonquin Territory.
2461 I am the Indigenous Liaison for the diversity team for a non-profit called 12 Community Safety Initiative which has a focus on crime prevention. I am also a co-chair of the Sisters in Spirit Vigil which is an annual event honouring the women of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and Two-spirit.
2462 While we work on the education of 12 communities in the greater Forest Lawn area in Calgary, my position focusses on pride. Within the diversity committee, I focus on education on colonialism, Indigenous face here and similarities that immigrants, refugees, new Canadians and first and second generation Canadians that come from old countries faced here with intergenerational traumas, inflicted issues via colonialism.
2463 I have hosted three art shows for the month of June, along with the events in Indigenous issues along with World Refugee Day, the day before Aboriginal Awareness Day. And these events have hosted -- showcased issues from refugees and the work that brings to the surface gaps we see in society that we all collectively face, specifically people of colour, face.
2464 I also work on safer spaces for Indigenous and what LGBTQ2+ face. This has led me to be a part of Voices, a group of people of colour from Indigenous to Black Lives Matter in the LGBTQ2+ community and how these issues of racism are even in the marginalized groups like the gay community.
2465 The new Canadian community and the Indigenous communities are marginalized groups that live in close proximity to each other. Right now, the lack of education on Indigenous issues in the new Canadian communities are causing many issues with great initiatives already happening in the area, including the Centre of Newcomers’ Work on Indigenous Education and their work on LGBTQ2+ education as part of the reconciliation on Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action.
2466 Conversely, because of Indian Residential Schools, the education on Indigenous is even lost in many Indigenous communities. There was taught sexism, homophobia, and transphobia from the Indian Residential Schools that created a need of education for our own Indigenous communities now.
2467 The colonial narrative that’s pervasive in the media combined with the negative narrative Indigenous have been told through government policies like Indian Residential Schools, has led to internalized oppression and racism. Many Indigenous now need a positive bridge to learn from other cultures and learn about those other cultures without that oppressive colonial lens. We literally need to create safer spaces in media.
2468 The need for more inclusive radio programming is a vital component for combatting these issues. It can be a bridge to bring many of the collective issues we face together along with other components. The arts of all communities help educate in ways that non-profits and governments can’t always reach, specifically our youth and the future generations.
2469 We need to start positive, safer spaces that create and build bridges between all communities. Our diversity will highlight our similarities, our creation stories, our spiritual beliefs, the struggles of not fitting on Rez, or maybe in an old country. And this strengthens our communities, having those similarities, giving that pride, and creating a stronger community in Calgary.
2470 To be fair to Edmonton, I’m sure it will there too.
2471 I also want to add that I have the deepest respect for all Applicants. I don’t want to be in conflict with any other Nations over these words.
2472 I want to thank you for allowing me to advocate for VMS Media Groups and the need for diverse media programming and the potential of positive impact that this could have specific to Calgary because that’s where I live. Masi Cho.
2473 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, thank you very much for your presentation; it’s very useful. You’re very clear so we don’t have any questions for you at this stage. So thank you, Ms. Robinson. Thank you for participating.
2474 MS. ROBINSON: Thank you.
2475 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.
2476 MS. ROBINSON: Thank you.
2477 THE CHAIRMAN: Madame la secrétaire?
2478 MS. ROY: Merci.
2479 I will now ask Gabrielle Fayant-Lewis to come to the presentation table.
2480 You may begin. You have five minutes for your presentation.
2481 MS. FAYANT-LEWIS: (Speaking in a Native language).
2482 Hello, everybody -- (speaking in a Native language) -- Chairperson Blais and Commissioners. My name is Gabrielle Fayant-Lewis. I’m originally from Alberta. My family comes from Fishing Lake Métis settlement. And I currently live here on traditional unceded Algonquin territory. And I am part of the Bear Clan.
2483 I am appearing here today to support the application for First Peoples Radio to launch a new Aboriginal radio station in Ottawa.
2484 Firstly, I just want to acknowledge that it is unfortunate that Indigenous people have needed to compete against each other in this process. And I hope that nobody leaves this process with bad feelings towards one another. And I hope that they can leave those kind of tensions that arose here, here in this process, and they could leave here in a good way.
2485 I am an active participant in Ottawa's Indigenous community. I work closely with Indigenous students as part of the Indigenous Voices Program with the Ottawa Public School Board. I help facilitate a women’s hand drum circle at Wabano Health Centre every Monday. And I also help out at a lodge for one of my local elders. I work with an Indigenous Ministry with elderly and the sick and I also help organize many local events here in Ottawa.
2486 I have some experience with radio as a co-host for the Michif Hour on CKCU-FM, operated by Carleton University, also called -- a broader group called Aboriginal CKCU. We usually play music by Métis and other Indigenous artists, conduct interviews with community members and visitors to Ottawa about Métis cultures and experiences, and generally talk about our experiences and what is happening in the city.
2487 The program is intended to be both entertaining and informative. We have an incredible range of Métis writers and musicians to showcase so the program is always richly entertaining.
2488 I have reviewed First Peoples Radio’s application for Ottawa and I fully support the proposed format and purpose of the station.
2489 First, the station will showcase Indigenous artists from all backgrounds and introduce these musicians to a much larger audience. There is an incredible depth of musical talent that an Indigenous station can draw on. It is always incredible to me how little mainstream audiences know about Indigenous music. It’s accessible, popular, and deeply interesting with its unique perspective and messages.
2490 APTN currently uses an ideal model for its TV station. For example, all TV shows, movies are all inclusive of Indigenous actors, actresses, producers, and news anchors. So this is across the board, all TV shows and movies on the station. I believe they will bring the same model to a radio station, which will include 25 percent of the music. So I do believe they’ll bring -- that 25 percent of music will be all Indigenous artists. It won’t just be a mix of mainstream artists and some Indigenous artists, which is really important to highlight.
2491 Second, the station will interact with the community in Ottawa on a daily basis. For example, they plan two daily open call-in segments each morning to engage the audience directly. There are always interesting people to talk to in our Indigenous communities here in Ottawa and no shortage of issues that need to be aired.
2492 Third, the station will provide regular news and information programming in the same way that other radio stations do in this market. As a radio listener, as well as program creator, I believe that it is very important for the station to provide listeners with the type of quality content that they expect to hear on the radio.
2493 Fourth, First Peoples Radio has made a real commitment to broadcast and support programming in Indigenous languages. This will include reaching out to elders and language teachers in our communities to explore topics of interest and to create programs in Ottawa for our local language communities.
2494 Because Ottawa is located on traditional Algonquin territory, it’s really important that Algonquin language is put as a priority. However, as previously mentioned, Ottawa has the largest Inuit community outside of Nunavut. Therefore, Inuktitut and its dialects should also be a priority.
2495 As well, this land that we live on has been a gathering place for centuries and for generations of different Nations. So there is a really big population of different Indigenous Nations here in Ottawa, including folks from Eeyou Cree Nation, James Bay; Haudenosaunee; local Mohawk; Seneca; Odawa. Many different Anishinaabe dialects are also spoken here, including dialects of Michif that include Anishinaabemowin.
2496 Fifth, I am impressed by First Peoples Radio’s commitment to community engagement. This will include actual on-air engagement with listeners and regular consultation with our elders and youth in Ottawa. Personally, I find the opportunity to listen to a new, quality Indigenous radio station in Ottawa very exciting and I will be watching and listening to make sure that the station meets its potential.
2497 Last, First Peoples Radio has the full support of APTN and is backed by APTN’s experience in operating a national television station. I think that this is an important point. APTN has already launched a new television service. It has brought together Indigenous peoples to communicate with one another, to express our own views, and to see our own perspectives presented in high-quality content.
2498 This experience will be hugely beneficial in launching a new urban radio service in Ottawa. The Indigenous population in the city is diverse, and I think that it will take a sensitive, respectful and professional approach to serve these communities properly. We don't live here in isolation, so the opportunity to be connected to Indigenous peoples in other cities should not be passed.
2499 On this note, I would like to mention that recently I have noticed a heightened amount of discrimination towards Métis folks due to a general lack of an exclusion of Métis from formal education of Canadians and even Indigenous peoples; and tensions often caused by government policies; and encroaching resource extraction companies. I believe that APTN is inclusive of all nations and I have never felt that APTN excluded Metis, which is really, really important.
2500 APTN, in my observation, has been able to stay away from the politics and have been able to remain inclusive of many voices.
2501 Mostly, I look forward to hearing more Indigenous music and more information about First Peoples on the radio. This is the mission of First Peoples Radio. And I fully support it and I fully support their application to serve Ottawa. (Speaking in Native language) for listening.
2502 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Commissioner MacDonald.
2503 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Good afternoon and thank you for participating in this process.
2504 Just a couple of questions. You mentioned that you're supportive of FPR's proposal in Ottawa and should I just take it that you're only supportive of their application for Ottawa? Do you just mention Ottawa because you're here or are you opposed to any of the other applications that they're seeking across the country?
2505 MS. FAYANT-LEWIS: So, a lot of my experience has been here in Ottawa in my teen years and in my 20s. And, so, I've seen APTN and the work that they do locally in our community. They've always been inclusive. They're always at grassroots events, always covering what's happening in the community. So, I definitely fully support it here in Ottawa. And I can only speak to that really.
2506 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. Thank you.
2507 You have mentioned, you know, obviously your interest in music and you've some exposure to hosting your own programming, radio program with Carleton University. And I'm just wondering, is -- as a listener, is that -- is what you're hoping to tune into predominantly music-focussed versus other content that may be provided?
2508 MS. FAYANT-LEWIS: Yeah, I think it needs to be a broad range. And so, music by Indigenous artists is very, very important to me. Often our artists don't get platforms to showcase their talents and so we really need that kind of platform. But also language, you know revitalizing languages, all Indigenous languages is so important, as well as news, staying connected with one another. And I do believe that this APTN will bring that to us. And I'm very confident in the work that they've done with the television networks.
2509 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And just one final question still with music, you mentioned that you fully support their proposed format. Do you think that their intention is to strike the right mix between music from Indigenous artists versus selections that may be more mainstream in nature?
2510 MS. FAYANT-LEWIS: Sorry, could you say that over again?
2511 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Just you said that you were supportive of their proposed format and I'm just wondering if you think that their intentions they've presented, their proposal, will strike the right mix for the listening audience between selections from Indigenous artists versus other artists, more mainstream, popular music?
2512 MS. FAYANT-LEWIS: So, from my knowledge, it will be predominantly Indigenous artists and I support this.
2513 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. Thank you very much.
2514 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much for your intervention. Very much appreciate it. Thanks.
2515 Madame la secrètaire.
2516 THE SECRETARY: We'll now hear the presentation of Tanya Kappo who is on the phone. Ms. Kappo, can you hear me?
2517 MS. KAPPO: Yes, I can.
2518 THE SECRETARY: You may begin your presentation. You have five minutes.
2519 MS. KAPPO: Great. Thank you and good afternoon.
2520 I would just like to approach my intervention in three parts. First I'll introduce myself and then the second and third part is I'll talk briefly about the need for Aboriginal radio stations in Edmonton and Calgary and why I think VMS application is the one to best provide the services.
2521 So, my name is Tanya Kappo. I am from the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation, which is in northern Alberta. I have called Edmonton home for a large part of my life. Grew up there, went to high school there, my children were raised there a little bit of their life and now we've returned and now my grandson calls it home. So, we've been a part of the community for a number of years.
2522 I'm from northern Alberta, so even though I live in Edmonton I do have connections also in Calgary. There is a politically connected community in the Indigenous way throughout Alberta so I feel like I can speak a little bit to Calgary, but not as much as I can to Edmonton, but thinking about the licenses sort of in a broader context for Alberta in general as well.
2523 So, in saying that, I want to start by talking about the early part of my life, which was getting out of high school and going to college and in taking part in native communications and being involved in radio. After college I had the opportunity to work in a radio station where I produced a weekly radio program that was primarily talk show interviews and some music thrown in. So, that was done on a weekly basis in addition to doing some DJ shifts every now and then.
2524 And I found that the information I was able to provide at that time through the show that I produced was very relevant because it was very current, current events, the things that were happening and going on. And at that time, it was the Meech Lake Accord and the Oka Crisis.
2525 So, there was a heightened sense of wanting to know things in the Indigenous community that was happening throughout the country that has an impact on every Indigenous person each and every day. And I think that is where we are today again, in a place where there's a heightened need to be educated and to be part of the conversation and to make the conversations. Not just as Indigenous people with and amongst each other but with society in general with talking about reconciliation and looking at the last 150 years of Canada's existence. There's a real hunger out there to start having the conversations and start finding out what was the experience and what is the experience and what is the reality of Indigenous people today.
2526 And I think that the kind of format that VMS is proposing whereby the majority of it will be talk showy [sic] or spoken word gives the opportunity to have those conversations. It gives time and space for Indigenous people to exist in an authentic way and present themselves in their own voice. So, not only do they have this great conversation with each other, they have a conversation that other people, Canadians, can listen in to and be a part of and get the kind of education about Indigenous people that they wouldn't be able to get from any other time.
2527 So, this is why I feel that VMS would provide the opportunity is because one of the key things is an advisory circle that'll be paramount in how the programming is done because it would involve going to the community and engaging with them to find out what the need is, because it's not monolithic. It's a very diverse and it's a very dynamic and it's very growing. So, there's a constant need to have this dialogue and communication about what the programming needs are and should be.
2528 So, I think that at this particular point in time the opportunity that's being afforded by the VMS Media to have this platform and space for Indigenous people in Edmonton and Calgary is really opportune and very necessary and that's why I support VMS Media in this application.
2529 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.
2530 Commissioner Vennard will have a few questions for you.
2531 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Hello, Tanya. Thank you for talking to us today. I have just basically two questions for you. You describe the VMS model as the -- and outline some of the benefits that it would hold for the Aboriginal voice, but it's a hybrid model. Do you see any issues with sharing that space?
2532 MS. KAPPO: I do not. As part of the conversation and in growing relationships, I think hybrid space is very unique and a wonderful opportunity. I know, in talking about this with many of the people in my community, everyone felt really excited by this idea of sharing this space with another group, not only for them to learn from us about us, but reciprocate, that we can learn from them about them and with them.
2533 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Okay, thank you for that perspective. I just have one other question for you. Did we see you in their video yesterday?
2534 MS. KAPPO: Yes.
2535 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: I thought I recognized your name.
2536 MS. KAPPO: Yes.
2537 COMMISSIONER VENNARD: Thank you very much for speaking with us today.
2538 MS. KAPPO: Thank you.
2539 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much for participating in the hearing, and we very much appreciate it. Thank you.
2540 MS. KAPPO: Thank you.
2541 THE CHAIRMAN: Madame la secrétaire.
2542 THE SECRETARY: Thank you. We'll now hear the last intervenor, Mr. Douglas Bartlett. Mr. Bartlett, can you hear me?
2543 MR. BARTLETT: Yes, I can.
2544 THE SECRETARY: Thank you. You may begin your presentation. You have five minutes.
2545 MR. BARTLETT: Okay. Good morning Mr. Chairman and Commissioners. My name is Douglas Bartlett. Thank you for the opportunity to make this presentation in support of First Peoples Radio application for urban Aboriginal radio stations in five cities. I hope this is just a start.
2546 In my professional life I work with Aboriginal Peoples as an employment counsellor here in Winnipeg. I see firsthand how as Aboriginal people are portrayed in mainstream media and society. For the most part any media attention we are given is negative in nature. Aboriginal people are the last to be given opportunities to excel, nor is a positive message portrayed. Aboriginal communities are bound with positive aspects.
2547 Why do I support First Peoples Radio? Most importantly, I believe that Aboriginal Peoples in urban areas should hear themselves and their perspectives and music or radio in the cities in which they live. I have followed APTN since it launched and it has made a big difference in how Aboriginal people see themselves on TV. The FPR radio stations will take the same approach to radio.
2548 APTN has also been a window for mainstream society into the lives of Aboriginal Peoples. I think that urban radio stations would play the same role by presenting the real interests and creativity of our communities and artists.
2549 There are a few things in particular about the FPR application that I find appealing and that I think would be effective for a radio service. This includes a strong emphasis on music by Indigenous talent. We don't hear enough Aboriginal music on mainstream radio. Here in Winnipeg, we are fortunate to have an urban radio station run by NCI which does play Aboriginal music. There should be stations showcasing Aboriginal Peoples in other cities as well.
2550 The other thing that I find interesting about the FPR application is that it will link together the radio stations in the different cities and other national -- and offer national content. APTN already does this on TV, and I think it will be -- it will create an opportunity for learning and understanding if more people are able to talk and hear each other from different communities.
2551 I understand that there will also be an opportunity for stations like NCI station in Winnipeg to broadcast some of the national content, and I would support that as well. It would be a real lift to Aboriginal people across the country to know that they are connected together and can speak to each other and share our journey throughout a common radio service.
2552 At the same time, I understand that the people listen to radio to hear about local news and sports and other things that are important to their own communities. I think that FPR has this angle covered too because most of their programming will be local. It will include the regular mix of music, news, weather, and other information that you would expect to hear on any good quality radio station.
2553 In my work, I help to connect individuals with employment and training opportunities. At APTN the ongoing recruitment model, for example, no deadline, can be of benefit to many Aboriginal youth, and I understand that FPR will take the -- have the same type of recruitment for youth.
2554 Finally, our Aboriginal languages are under serious threat. FPR is proposing to broadcast a minimum of nine hours a week of programs in Aboriginal languages, focused on the languages spoken in and around each city. This is more important than a one-hour -- this is more than a one-hour a day, on average. Languages are hard to serve on a radio station, because English is so dominant, and everyone speaks the -- and not everyone speaks the same Aboriginal language in the city. I think that FPR is striking the right balance with the amount of language programming they will offer.
2555 Thank you very much for this chance to speak today. I recognize that I live in a city other than the five others for which you are considering licences. However, I felt it was important to speak up in support of Aboriginal radio services in urban areas in general, and in support of ATP -- in support of FPR applications, which are backed by the experience and proven commitment of APTN to our people.
2556 I would be happy to answer any questions.
2557 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Mr. Bartlett. Commissioner MacDonald will have your questions for you.
2558 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Good afternoon, and ---
2559 MR. BARTLETT: Good afternoon.
2560 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: --- thank you for participating.
2561 I just have one question, and unfortunately, it's kind of a big one. You know, coming out of this hearing, we need to settle on which path we're going to take. Are we going to look for and award licences to create a national network -- that's the FPR proposal -- or go in another direction and award the licences to regional operators?
2562 And we've not made that decision yet, and you're here supporting FPR, so you've already decided that, in your view, the best approach is to take a national view of the service. So how did you arrive at that final decision?
2563 MR. BARTLETT: I think I arrived at it because FPR will have -- be supported by APTN, and it already has the infrastructure and the services that a national organization requires. And so in order for a radio station to be national, they already have what's needed: the infrastructure and the -- like, the radio stations themselves and the -- all that.
2564 So I mean, for me, APTN supporting the FPR is a no-brainer. Like, they have the infrastructure, let's use it to the full capacity.
2565 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So in your viewpoint -- although you spoke to the benefits of their programming -- you're of the opinion that it would just be more viable because of APTN's support of FPR?
2566 MR. BARTLETT: Yes. Yes, it would be more viable and like I say, the infrastructure is there and let's use it to its full potential.
2567 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay, thank you very much. Those are all my questions today.
2568 MR. BARTLETT: Okay, thank you.
2569 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Mr. Bartlett. Those are our questions for you. Thank you for participating in the hearing. We appreciate it.
2570 MR. BARTLETT: You're very welcome, and thank you for the opportunity to speak.
2571 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.
2572 I think, Madame Secretary, that ends the intervenors in this phase?
2573 THE SECRETARY: Exactly. It completes Phase 3.
2574 THE CHAIRMAN: And so we only have Phase 4, and I -- unless -- do you have any instructions about Phase 4 to add? No?
2575 THE SECRETARY: No.
2576 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay, so parties, if you have questions, just address the counsel, but it is the last phase of the hearing and we're actually going to adjourn and gather back at 9:30 tomorrow morning, not nine o'clock.
2577 Je vais répéter en français pour l'emphase. On va être ajourné aujourd'hui jusqu'à 9h30 demain matin.
2578 So 9:30 tomorrow morning. Thank you very much.
--- Upon adjourning at 1:35 p.m.
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