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CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND
CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION
ET DES TELECOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES
Public Hearing/Audience publique
Call for applications for a broadcasting licence to carry on a television programming undertaking to serve all or any one of Toronto, Hamilton and Kitchener, Ontario/Appel de demandes de licence de radiodiffusion visant l'exploitation d'une entreprise de programmation de télévision pour desservir chacune des villes Toronto, Hamilton et Kitchener (Ontario) ou l'une d'entre elles
HELD AT: TENUE A:
Hamilton Convention Centre Centre de conférence
Hamilton, Ontario Hamilton, Ontario
December 10, 2001 10 décembre 2001
A. Wylie Chairperson/Président
M. Wilson Commissioner/Conseiller
B. Cram Commissioner/Conseiller
J. Pennefather Commissioner/Conseiller
S. Langford Commissioner/Conseiller
_ _ _
D. Rhéaume Legal Counsel/
M. Amodeo Hearing Leader/
P. Cussons Hearing Manager/Gérant
In order to meet the requirements of the Official Languages Act, transcripts of proceedings before the Commission will be bilingual as to their covers, the listing of the CRTC members and staff attending the public hearings, and the Table of Contents.
However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded verbatim transcript and, as such, is taped and transcribed in either of the official languages, depending on the language spoken by the participant at the public hearing.
Afin de rencontrer les exigences de la Loi sur les langues officielles, les procès-verbaux pour le Conseil seront bilingues en ce qui a trait à la page couverture, la liste des membres et du personnel du CRTC participant à l'audience publique ainsi que la table des matières.
Toutefois, la publication susmentionnée est un compte rendu textuel des délibérations et, en tant que tel, est enregistrée et transcrite dans l'une ou l'autre des deux langues officielles, compte tenu de la langue utilisée par le participant à l'audience publique.
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des télécommunications canadiennes
Public Hearing/Audience publique
Index of Proceedings/Index de la séance
Intervention by Howard Dyck/ 4050-4069
Intention par Howard Dyck
Intervention by Janet Brown McIsaac/ 4070-4085
Intervention par Janet Brown McIsaac
Intervention by Nancy Smith/ 4086-4122
Intervention par Nancy Smith
Intervention by Tapestry Pictures Inc./ 4123-4136
Intervention par Tapestry Pictures Inc.
Intervention by Tamil Youth Development Centre/ 4137-4158
Intervention par Tamil Youth Development Centre
Intervention by T. Sher Singh/ 4159-4187
Intervention par T. Sher Singh
Intervention by Canadian Ethnocultural Council/ 4188-4210
Intervention par Canadian Ethnocultural Council
Intervention by Dr. Hairish Jain/ 4211-4228
Intervention par Dr. Hairish Jain
Intervention by CFMT Advisory Board/ 4229-4249
Intervention par CFMT Advisory Board
Intervention by CFMT Independent Producers/ 4250-4277
Coalition/Intervention par CFMT Independent
Intervention by Form and Substance Media 4278-4296
Consulting/Intervention par Form and
Substance Media Consulting
Intervention by Canadian Association of Former 4297-4331 Parliamentarians/ Intervention par Canadian
Association of Former Parlimentarians
Intervention by Afghan Women's Organization/ 4332-4349
Intervention par Afghan Women's Organization
Intervention by Canadian Ethnic Journalists' 4350-4369
and Writers' Club/ Intervention par Canadian
Ethnic Journalists' and Writers' Club
Intervention by Abrigo Centre/ 4370-4391
Intervention par Abrigo Centre
Intervention by Deborah Verginella/ 4392-4406
Intervention par Deborah Verginella
Reply by CFMT TV/ 4407-4432
Replique par CFMT TV
Reply by Torstar/ 4433-4455
Replique par Torstar
Reply by Craig Broadcast Systems/ 4456-4487
Replique par Craig Broadcast Systems
Reply by Alliance Atlantis Broadcasting/ 4488-4516
Replique par Alliance Atlantis Broadcasting
Reply by Global Communications Limited/ 4517-4530
Replique par Global Communications Limited
Closing remarks by Ms. A. Wylie/ 4531-4534 Remarques de clôture par Mme A. Wylie
--- Upon commencing at 0836/L'audience débute à 0836
4050 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning and welcome back to Phase 3 of our hearing. We want to wish a Happy Hanukkah to all of those for whom today is an important date. I also want to remind people in the hall that beepers and cell phones must be turned off while you're in the hall. And also for those of you who have not been here yesterday -- last Friday, rather, that even if when we hear supporting intervenors and we don't ask questions or engage in conversation with the intervenor, it is not a sign of a lack of interest. The written intervention is on the record and your oral one is on the transcript and remains part of the record. Our intent is to hear as many people as possible and do it in as short of time as possible so that more people can appear before us. Mr. Secretary, please.
4051 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you Madam Chairperson. I would just like to announce that the intervention by Peppers Plus Advertising, Mr. David Chan will now be non-appearing. Mr. Chan is not able to join us. And also although we had hoped Ms. Cathy Brothers of the Catholic Family Counseling Centre would be with us today, I am told that she cannot be, so that will also be a non‑appearing intervenor.
4052 So having mentioned those two situations, we will start with a couple of intervenors that are supporting Torstar. And the first one is Mr. Howard Dyck.
4053 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, Mr. Dyck. If there are any questions asked today, we ask them, not you.
INTERVENTION BY HOWARD DYCK/
INTERVENTION PAR HOWARD DYCK:
4054 MR. DYCK: Okay. Good morning. Thank you. In a situation like this, I guess my first inclination is to plead guilty, but I am happy to be here today. My name is Howard Dyck and I am the conductor and artistic director of the Kitchener‑Waterloo Philharmonic choir, now in my 30th season in that capacity. And I am also a national radio program host with CBC Radio called Concert and Saturday Afternoon at the Opera. And I am very happy to be here because as an adopted son of Kitchener‑Waterloo, having grown up in the prairies, having moved to Kitchener‑Waterloo in 1971, I am very much impressed by that community, by the culture, by the cultural life that it has developed over a very long time and by what I see as its tremendous potential for the future.
4055 Because I am involved with CBC radio, I have some notion of what's going on culturally across the country. So I can say without any hesitation that Kitchener‑Waterloo is one of the most vibrant cultural communities in Canada. It has a population base of about half a million, a really rich ethnic cultural diverse mix. There is a long tradition in Kitchener‑Waterloo, the Mennonite settlers arriving in the early 19th century. But it is last very modern, very up-to-date community, particularly in recent years with the development of the high tech industries, spawned largely by the University of Waterloo and of course RIM being the most obvious example of that technological explosion. So there is a solid economic industrial base in Kitchener-Waterloo. I have mentioned one of universities; there are of course two excellent universities, Wilfred Laurier University and the University of Waterloo.
4056 The cultural, intellectual voice of Kitchener‑Waterloo is a very important one. There is an outstanding orchestra, the Kitchener‑Waterloo Symphony, which was been around for just over half a century. The Kitchener‑Waterloo Philharmonic choir which I conduct, and which I am always happy to point out used to in the early days be known as the Berlin Philharmonic, when Kitchener was still own known as Berlin, and I also can't resist the temptation to point out that our history goes back a little longer than the other Berlin Philharmonic in Germany.
4057 We now are also very privileged to be part of Opera Ontario, so we have wonderful performances we have -- what we know to be one of the finest concert halls in the country, the Centre in the Square. We have a new professional theatre company and in fact they have a new facility that they have just moved into this fall, theatre and company, and we have many, many smaller performing groups as well in Kitchener‑Waterloo.
4058 So when I was approached about this -- about the Torstar project, about Hometown Television, and was apprised of the potential and of the intentions of this project, I became quite enthusiastic about it particularly when I was told in no uncertain terms that this would involve the coverage of culture at a local basis. And my first question was, what do you mean by culture? You can imagine coming from the kind of work that I am involved in, when I think culture, I think high culture, and I make no apologies for it. And I said, if we're talking coverage of high culture, of the opera, of the symphony of the Philharmonic choir, of professional theatre, than I am with you. I think pop culture needs coverage as well, but it tends to get more coverage already. And so if this is going to be good for high culture in Kitchener‑Waterloo then I am very excited about it because it -- we are under-served in that regard in Kitchener‑Waterloo right now. Rogers cable does very little for us. The record gives us the newspaper gives us a certain amount, CKCO television gives us nothing. So the coverage to date is minimal and, I would say, indiscriminate.
4059 So this new proposal looks very interesting to me because I think what the arts in Kitchener‑Waterloo need are promotion. Of course, they need actual performance on air, and I think that there is -- there are enough interesting stories to be told that there are potential documentaries, as well as some of the arts groups in Kitchener‑Waterloo. I don't know too much about the proposed programming of Hometown, but I know a little bit and I know that programs like "Talent Show" will develop local talent. Two programs called, What's On and My Town, will develop awareness of the arts. These are wonderful things and the fact that it will be local coverage -- I like very much the idea that these will be people living in the community, and I am told as many as a hundred in each of these three centres that are proposed to live there, who become aware of the community, who have a stake in what's going on in the community, this is exactly what we need. So for this reason, I am very happy to give my support to it.
4060 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Dyck. Commissioner Pennefather.
4061 MS. PENNEFATHER: Good morning, Mr. Dyck and welcome. And I just wanted to ask you to expand briefly on one point. In your written brief and today you do underline the importance of coverage, of promotion, but you also talk about actual programming. How do you bring television viewers to classical music programming on television?
4062 MR. DYCK: Well, it hasn't been done very much, has it? Let's just start by doing it, I guess. The question is, how do we get people to tune in?
4063 MS. PENNEFATHER: That's it. What would bring people to it? With all the experience you have had, particularly with something like Saturday Afternoon at the Opera or other programming that you have brought forward on radio, what would you say would attract people? You do mention it as a challenge. What would attract viewers to classical programming?
4064 MR. DYCK: When I look at American public television, for example, and the broadcasts, the telecasts that they have from Lincoln Centre, from the Met, I notice -- for example, on Saturday we broadcast the [inaudible] on Saturday Afternoon at the Opera and Peter Allan was telling us that that particular performance was being filmed for future broadcast on PBS. Those kinds of things are very, very effective and draw a very large audience we know that from the PBS ratings. There is such an interest now in the Kitchener‑Waterloo Symphony that I have no doubt that a series of orchestral performances -- particularly given the kind of diverse programming that the Symphony is doing now with its wonderful Canadian Chamber Ensemble, the professional core where they do interesting, out of the way repetoire, it's made to order for media coverage and for television.
4065 I should point out that we have a new artistic director, he has officially taken over. Martin Fischer-Dieskau, the son of the famous German baritone, he is the new conductor of the Symphony and will be officially taking up his duties next fall. So there is a great surge of interest in the orchestra because of that. I think we just have to get on with doing it.
4066 MS. PENNEFATHER: Thank you very much, Mr. Dyck, and I am sure you will agree that the Maestro [inaudible].
4067 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr. Dyck for your participation, especially so early in the morning.
4068 MR. DYCK: Pleasure to be here.
4069 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
4070 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you Madam Chair I would like call on Ms. Janet Brown-McIsaac to present her intervention, please.
4071 THE CHAIRPERSON: Morning, Ms. McIsaac.
4072 MS. MCISAAC: Good morning. I'm from Opera Mississauga, I am the Director of Community Development for that company. I have been in that position a very short time, only since June. We are a professional community-based opera company with -- within Mississauga in the living arts centre which is -- we have a 1300 seat house that we perform in in central Mississauga. And we draw on the diverse community of the very multiculturally-diverse and ethnically-based 905 area community. I think the television proposal would be very beneficial to an organization such as ourselves because we have limited funding in promotion and advertising and that sort of thing, and something like that would certainly help to draw attention and to opera and hopefully remove the stigma that's attached to opera just by people not being aware of it.
4073 I have been trying to bring the people in to see operas, we have a student dress rehearsal performance, we invite high school students to attend and have their -- an opportunity to actually see an opera for the first time. We try and include a lot of the culturally different organizations within our operas. We just had a concert on the weekend and we had the Rajka Kupesic Ballet, which is community based, we had Mississauga Children's Choir, as well as different ethnic performers from the Chinese community and we draw upon local talent as well as international singers for our productions. And something such as the talent programming that they are suggesting would be something that would be very beneficial to us because people within our community like to follow their own talent and see how they develop over time. And I really don't know what else to say. I'm pleased to be here.
4074 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Langford.
4075 MR. LANGFORD: I guess the one question we all have about this type of new adventure in programming is; will people watch it? What kind of attendance are you getting for your operas in Mississauga?
4076 MS. MCISAAC: Well, we have had a steady increase over the last year and a half. We have -- we're doing traditional operas. We're a very traditional opera as opposed to some of the larger companies that surround us, and we have been drawing an audience from those people that are moving away from the contemporary operas, that do like the traditional operas that we're presenting. We're hoping to bring in more -- it's just through awareness that we have been drawing our audience. A lot of people have been going to the COC in Toronto and Hamilton and aren't really aware of our presence at the moment. And certainly a -- some kind of a forum within a community television would draw attention to us.
4077 MR. LANGFORD: How do you operate? Do you have a core group and then bring in sopranos and tenors as needed or star attractions?
4078 MS. MCISAAC: Yes, we have an amateur chorus that are volunteers, pretty much, and then we draw talent from local, but mostly international singers.
4079 MR. LANGFORD: And I don't expect it to be more than completely opinion here, but do you think this will sell on television? There is enough interest out there that people who don't come to the opera, even among people who do or don't come to the opera, some might watch it as Mr. Dyck said, they do on PBS?
4080 MS. MCISAAC: I think it's how it's presented. Certainly there is a language barrier that has to be addressed with television programming in presenting opera, with subtitles, and I think that the quality of the presentation is certainly an important aspect, it has to be presented in a professional manner.
4081 MR. LANGFORD: I did note on this morning's news that a partial manuscript of Mozart's Marriage of Figaro just sold for close to $2 million at Sotheby's, so I guess it's going up in value, is one way to look at.
4082 MS. MCISAAC: Thank you.
4083 THE CHAIRPERSON: That would raise that $10,000 for documentaries. I have a question as well; would you also expect some support, not necessarily in actually broadcasting entire operas, but snippets of programming or promotion that would promote the opera and encourage people to go?
4084 MS. MCISAAC: I would certainly hope so, that we would get some support in that.
4085 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your participation. Mr. Secretary, please.
4086 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chairperson. Another supporter for Torstar, the Next Media Company Limited, Ms. Nancy Smith.
4087 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, Ms. Smith.
4088 MS. SMITH: Good morning. Shall I start?
4089 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, as soon as you're ready.
INTERVENTION BY THE NEXT MEDIA COMPANY LTD./
INTERVENTION PAR THE NEXT MEDIA CMOPANY LTD.:
4090 MS. SMITH: I want to thank you first for allowing me to be here today. I am here today because I think it's really important for the Commission to licence new television services that are truly local in Toronto, Hamilton and Kitchener. I spent the first eight years of my career at Citytv, I was head of communications, marketing. I was the person who worked really closely with Moses on strategy, and I was a member of the senior management team. I also helped to roll out MuchMusic and MusicPlus. In the early days, the services were really important for a lot of reasons. They created a new kind of television that just wasn't available otherwise. They also allowed access to people who just otherwise wouldn't have been able to work in television. They also allowed access to a whole genre of advertisers who also just couldn't access television otherwise. Citytv really was a breeding ground for some of the best broadcasters in Canada and Moses and his team did a brilliant job.
4091 But the City that I worked for doesn't exist anymore. It couldn't. It had to grow. The services that City was competing with also grew. As the industry matured and the geographic and economic markets increased, local stations were replaced with services that were really more regional and sometimes national than they were local. They made their money largely by programming U.S. content that attracts mass audiences, that attracts national advertisers. Programming that's produced other than news is mostly produced for the international marketplace. News is national, regional, and to some extent local.
4092 In the early days at City, we were selling air time to local advertisers helping them to make a transition from other mediums to television. We did that in a lot of ways. The first thing we did was help them to produce commercials because they really didn't know how as they were mostly in print. The second thing we did was we made air time affordable and accessible and we created a lot of innovative promotions and contests that specifically drove their customers to their product. This was a lot harder to do than selling national advertising. We had to go and meet directly with the client and we had to convince them to be on television. It's not hard to see why it would be more attractive to sell to an agency that would basically be very pleased to place advertising on behalf of many clients rather than go to an individual client base. It was our bread and butter, the local advertising.
4093 But over the years, success meant attracting more multinational brands, selling directly to agencies and then eventually capitalizing on greater ad rates by increased reach throughout Southern Ontario. After Citytv, I went to Global Television Network for eight years as a Vice President and Officer of Communications, Marketing and Creative Services and then President of CanWest's proposed lifestyle application. CanWest didn't sell local advertising, they were actually not allowed to, and their focus was very much behaving like a network and selling national tidesers strategy there was trying to buy the top 10 U.S. programs and sell them for the highest a.m. of money to the biggest possible advertisers but to buy the top 10 they ended up frequent Ily with a lot of programming that they had to put on the shelf because you had to buy a lot of dog toss get a lot of hits. Basically what ended up happening was that there was a lot more American and Canadian programming than Canada west Global could run they deal with this by selling it to non‑threatening competitors or in present case, with a service like CH. I believe that the services that are being proposed today are really, other than the one that I am here to support, which is Torstar's, focus a little too much on that existing model which is foreign content, mass audience, and potentially a place to layoff programming that you can't otherwise run and find a way to gain revenue for that programming.
4094 For the past eight years I have owned a company with two divisions, one division as an advertising agency and the second is a business consulting company. We work for a lot of different clients but we also do a lot of media consulting. We place millions of dollars annually for a broad range of clients many of whom would like to be on local television but they can't gain access because there really are no longer any Toronto/Hamilton or Kitchener local stations.
4095 As co‑founder of Canadian women in communications, I meet with young women and men who want to launch a career in television. The points of entry and access that existed when I first went into the television just aren't there anymore. There is no local television station, no one making local programs to any great degree anymore and no Southern Ontario "farm team". Ss a teacher and a member of the Advisory Council for the Ryerson Television Arts Program, I see tremendous number of students with great ideas, great minds and no outlet for them.
4096 I am here today to ask you to licence Torstar's application because I believe it's the best application; for the market, for the audience, and for the next generation of broadcasters. If you licence a service that contains significant hours of foreign programming, it may upset marketplace and it won't allow local advertisers access to affordable programming or bring a new kind of television to the audience. If you licence a rerun channel, the greatest beneficiary will be the broadcaster, not the audience or the advertising community. Torstar's application can allow for the kind of invention that new television programs and -- I'm sorry, they will allow for the invention of new television programs and attract the kind of bright young minds working with savvy veterans who can give us a true alternative in the marketplace rather than more of the same.
4097 Any of us that worked at City know that imagination is more valuable than any other resource and Torstar's emphasis own home-grown, locally-produced programming will allow many of tomorrow's broadcasters to participate and reshape the way an earlier generation did at Citytv. Access to Torstar's resources will be a tremendous boom to the services. I will close by saying that I believe the most important thing the Commission should consider in making their decision is access. For the viewer, the tideser, and the potential new employee. My clients want to be able to advertise locally in Toronto, Kitchener and Hamilton and they can't. Viewers want to see more inventive local television and they don't. And I see a line‑up of young people looking for a place to create their dream and there isn't one. The market is soft right now, but by the time services go to air most believe it will once again be robust. The market cannot only sustain Torstar's application, but I believe it badly needs it. With that, I am prepared to answer in questions you might have.
4098 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms. Smith. Commissioner Wilson,.
4099 MS. WILSON: Good morning, Ms. Smith. I just want to draw on your experience in television a little bit. I think you said this morning in your comments that local advertising was the bread and butter in the old days when Citytv was first started.
4100 MS. SMITH: Yeah.
4101 MS. WILSON: I guess what I want to understand, I mean certainly the whole television landscape has evolve somewhat since then. And this sort of funding paradigm for television in Canada where the U.S. content drives the revenues has become sort of the way that everybody does things and the way that everybody argues things have to be done. But what's your opinion on the ability of local programming to attract national revenues? And the reason I'm asking is because the Torstar application actually 50 per cent of it is revenues come from national time sales, so I mean without that --
4102 MS. SMITH: Sure.
4103 MS. WILSON: -- you can't make the station run. But that's premised on 80 per cent Canadian most of which is highly local. And I am just curious as to about whether or not that can work and I mean I -- in my view it's just my opinion, there is a posity of local reflection in the system and that's what this shearing is all about, so nothing would make me happier than to see that work, but what else your opinion about the ability of that kind of local programming to drive those revenues on a national basis.
4104 MS. SMITH: I do believe it will attract national advertisers, I think you have to be realistic in terms of the kinds of rates you might get and the market will determine that and the audience will determine that. But all national advertisers are trying to reach Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. And Toronto - usually we look at Toronto/Hamilton - and to be able to top up those two markets at affordable rates with an alternative kind of programming is very attractive and I think that -- I think it's very achievable.
4105 MS. WILSON: Thank you very much.
4106 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Langford.
4107 MR. LANGFORD: Thank you. I have a couple of questions one on the same line that Commissioner Wilson was taking you in, a couple of others based on comments you made this morning. You describe selling local advertising, I think the expression you used was it's a lot harder to do than selling national and then you went on to explain it was fairly labour-intensive, you had to meet and do it. It seems to me there may be a kind of a contradictory economic equation here that you have to work a lot harder to sell something that's worth a lot less. And in the end, it comes down to bucks. We heard from an earlier intervener, Mr. Dyck that he was anticipating it was his impression that there might be as much as a hundred people working in that Kitchener‑Waterloo station and as many in the other two. Once you get those kinds of payrolls you've got to get money and programming. In your experience, is the money there?
4108 MS. SMITH: I believe it is. I think the first thing you have to consider is -- this is where I think Torstar has the great advantage because they're already in that business, they're already selling local advertising to local clients. So I think that that's a huge advantage. They already have the experience to do that. So they're not learning and they're not trying to figure out who those customers are, they know who they are. The way it worked at City was we had a local sales force, who was internal, and a national rep house. And the national rep house was selling not only City but other -- other broadcasters. So you basically have two different kinds of selling happening at two different points of access. And I think the newspapers, and particularly the Toronto Star, and I know less about the Hamilton and Kitchener papers, I had they already do a pretty great job of selling to national and selling to local. So I don't think it's a model that doesn't already exist, I think it's a roll out to television.
4109 MR. LANGFORD: But I don't want to sound like a nay‑sayer, but I want to pull on your experience, if I can. When you're selling to a newspaper, I suppose you can afford to sell it a little cheaper because you can sell as much as you want; you just add a few more pages. But when you are selling television, it is regulated and the time that you can sell is finite and from your experience, again, you know the limitations better than any of us, are there enough minutes at the kind of prices that are going to be selling?
4110 MS. SMITH: This is where creativity comes in and we basically would just find all kinds of ways to package things that made them more valuable. We would attract -- sometimes the thing that allows you to make the sale is the promotional opportunity or the contest opportunity. And we would find all kinds of ways to create excitement around a customer's product that ran along side the commercial. And so I think -- I think it comes down to innovation and creating programs too. If these programs are dull and there is no compelling reason to watch them, then for sure you are in trouble. But again, with the City model, I think what I loved about it best was that the audience liked it. First of all, they saw themselves on television and secondly, that that they were drawn in by the risks that we were prepared to take. City was allowed to create programs that might have fail but people just loved it that we were pushing the envelope and running with it.
4111 And we would also -- I can remember taking -- I know this was a purchased program, but we had a program, an old Flash Gordon strip program and we created this crazy promotion around it and a show that should never have drawn any rating points at all drew a huge audience and it became very interactive and participatory and I think that's the key. The key is really are you going to create programming that you can somehow get a buzz and a sense of excitement out in the marketplace. At City we would get a disproportionate amount of revenue for the product that we had to sell based on image, brand and driving a participation and almost a love for the service that was beyond what the content was.
4112 It was quite interesting. We would say things like, are we portraying who we are or who we want to be, and we were always portraying who we wanted to be. And the stuff that ran between the programs was as interesting as anything that ran within the programs, so the audience would get hooked and we managed to build the kind of loyalty that you usually only get on a radio station. And the [inaudible] was you tune into us first and then it's our job to try and keep you there. So it's really -- I think it's a marketing-driven proposition. And how you strategize to create the programming that takes you to where you need to go to be successful is going to be Torstar's greatest challenge.
4113 MR. LANGFORD: Thank you for that. On the subject of programming, you described your work with -- with CanWest and the purchasing -- big American shows were purchased and the way you said to buy the most popular shows, I think, you had to buy -- I think your words were a lot of dogs as well and then they were resold sometimes to stations you described as non‑threatening. But the station that we have heard you talk about today in such eloquent terms would be very threatening, I would think, so where would they get their own programming, their other non‑locally produced programming?
4114 MS. SMITH: I don't think they necessarily see this as threatening. To give you an idea, CanWest would have strip programming that they just didn't have any -- they always had more programming than air space. And so they would sell it to CFMT for example, which you could say -- the non‑multilingual part of CFMT was threatening in terms of certain day parts and audience, but that's what they would do. I don't think they would see this as threatening, an 80 per cent local content channel, i t doesn't even erode their ad base really.
4115 MR. LANGFORD: And speaking of CFMT, is there room in this market, from your advertising experience, for a second CFMT and one of the other conventional applicants or one of the other applicants since you did redefine conventional?
4116 MS. SMITH: So you are suggesting CFMT and a Torstar?
4117 MR. LANGFORD: Plus Torstar or Alliance Atlantis or Craig.
4118 MS. SMITH: I would say if they truly were multicultural, possibly. It's not a market I know very well though so I can't -- I'm not really an expert there. I think the danger is they may not be as multicultural all the way through their schedule as they need to be not to compete.
4119 MR. LANGFORD: One assumes if they would be, what then they said that they would be is multicultural for a good part of the day and then selling some American and foreign programming to bring in the dollars to make it all work. If they run true form, is the market -- will the market, by 2003 or whatever, be strong enough to support them and one of the other three or four applicants?
4120 MS. SMITH: My inclination would be to say, no.
4121 MR. LANGFORD: Thank you very much.
4122 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your participation. Mr. Secretary, please.
4123 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you Madam Chair we now turn to more support for the Craig application specifically by Tapestry Pictures Incorporated.
INTERVENTION BY TAPESTRY PICTURES INCORPORATED/
INTERVENTION PAR TAPESTRY PICTURES INCORPORATED:
4124 MS. LECKI: Good morning.
4125 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
4126 MS. LECKI: I would like to thank you first of all for inviting me to attend this morning and to speak on behalf of the Craig broadcast application for Toronto one. My company is a producer of Canadian programming. Essentially, primarily and only Canadian stories; we have told many of them over the years. I think our most notable one was the mini series "The Arrow" that ran on the CBC network and later on various regional networks including Craig Broadcasting. The Arrow is an on Ontario story and a Canadian story, but because the funding in Ontario for independent producers is so tenuous, we ended up filming it outside of Ontario in Winnipeg. And without the Craig Broadcasting support, we wouldn't have been able to make it.
4127 The Winnipeg and Manitoba work scene at the time was just getting going. They gave a very strong offer of equity support from the offset, but it still wasn't enough to make the film. But Craig Broadcasting stepped forward and came up with an invasive approach to licensing and that funding allow us to get the movie made. I think that that first experience with Craig Broadcasting indicated to us and to independent production community that there was a huge amount of commitment there for truly Canadian stories. Tapestry then went on to do another movie called "Children of My Heart". That program Craig Broadcasting took the first step and their licence fee, which was considerable, particularly for an independent regional broadcaster, triggered the rest of the Canadian funding and got a classic Canadian story told and I am talking about big budget on a Canadian screen. That film was I believe $3.6 million, the Arrow was almost $8 million.
4128 The Independent Production Fund that we have accessed twice now is a relatively small fund on a large scale, but when they put their money where their mouth is, which Craig always does, it allowed other monies to come to the table and make big stories happen. We have noted also that the kind of programs that Craig Broadcasting has brought to both Manitoba and Alberta is very strong, regional programming that gives the local marketplace opportunities to make documentaries, to make variety programs and occasionally trigger some of the large drama shows.
4129 The Toronto One application is sorely needed. The Ontario market appears to be very vibrant. It appears when you drive down the street in Toronto that there is a lot going on, but most of that a American programming filming. The Toronto producers, it seems hard to believe but it is actually true, there is no development monies available for Ontario stories, there is no equity money available for Ontario stories, so most of the Ontario producers go out of province to make their films.
4130 I am speaking directly to independent production proposal which Craig is proposing $15 million over seven years to be split between high-end drama and the New Voices program. We have, as an established film production company, been approached quite frequently by young filmmakers who would like us to executive produce those programs, and most of those are coming from the multiethnic community because that's the nature of the creative voice in Toronto. And it's very difficult for us to help them make films because the national marketplace is much more interested in classic, traditionally English-language stories that are from the, you know, white tradition. I mean it's -- The Arrow story, it's -- Children of My Heart, it's the love and hate type of stories. And it's very seldom that filmmakers like Clement Virgo get their stories told.
4131 So seeing the New Voices as an opportunity to see the young filmmakers, we would strongly consider executive producing those stories and we are for -- through the other half of that production fund, it seems to me that the Craig family broadcast always comes into a marketplace boat with a strong commitment to Canadian stories and a commitment to local programming, so I think it's a huge opportunity for our production community.
4132 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms. Lecki.
4133 MS. LECKI: Yes.
4134 THE CHAIRPERSON: We have no question.
4135 MS. LECKI: Thank you.
4136 THE CHAIRPERSON: Your presentation is clear and so is your position. Mr. Secretary, please.
4137 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you Madam Chair. Another supporter of the Craig application, the Canadian Tamil youth development centre. Mr. Gary Anandasangaree.
4138 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
INTERVENTION BY THE CANADIAN TAMIL YOUTH DEVELOPMENT CENTRE/ INTERVENTION PAR THE CANADIAN TAMIL YOURTH DEVELOPMENT CENTRE:
4139 MR. ANANDASANGAREE: Good morning. I would like to thank you for the opportunity to allow me to speak this morning in support of Craig Broadcasting application for licence in Toronto. It's interesting because both as a consumer and as a community representative, we have often had a difficult time dealing with the media. And by that I mean we -- as a community we have been consistently portrayed in a negative way. Whether it's in the broadsheets or radio or television. What's missing in Toronto is the -- the lack of voice, the lack of cultures represented within the main stream networks. One of the things that I found over the past couple of years working, and one of the mandates of the Community Tamil Centre is to work with the media and to work on issues related to the media. We have often found when we try to bring our views, bring our points of view across, it's often not heard. And in part because I think we are a small community and we are a community that -- that has gone through a lot in the past number years.
4140 And this is not unique just to the Tamil community, I think it's across the board, it's very similar to the Somali community and to some respects and just about every single community that does settle in Canada. And that raises the question to me as a Canadian as to what the concept of multiculturalism is and how it relates to broadcast policy because on one side and I think the view that I have taken is that Torstar particularly, with the number of specialty licences that have been issued, I think we have taken a stand that we are separate but equal. And by that I mean you have communities that are, in fact, going within themselves that -- you have a number of tunnel channels for example that cater specifically to the Tamil community however, that voice is not heard outside.
4141 It's within the community, it's -- you know, it is in part a source of empowerment, I believe it is important to have that, but at the same time, where is the communication, where is the interaction of my community, my neighbours for example. Toronto, for instance -- Toronto is one of the most diverse places on earth. I believe over 50 per cent of the population of Toronto is from a multicultural community. And that raises some fundamental questions as to what we see on television, on the regular networks not the paid stuff, but the regular networks. What do we see? Do we see the 50 per cent reflected there? I doubt it. And is it important just to have multiethnic stations who can cater to that. What we have to realize is that, by and large, the voices are not heard. It's a fundamental fact that has to be understood. And I think it's important as regulators for you to understand that because quite frankly I don't see the type of representation that -- that is -- that is important at such a vital time to understand each other.
4142 To understand the different communities, to understand what the Sikh community is going through, to understand what the Tamil community is going through and to understand the Muslim community, the small differences that we have that are oftentimes misunderstood and that are oftentimes a cause for a great deal of hardship when we interact in the quote unquote "outside world." And I think the process, that learning process, that reaching out needs to happen from mainstream media. And I think that's why I'm very much interested in what -- what Craig has to offer. I think it is an appropriate time, in fact it's long overdue, that we have mainstream stations who are committed in a very significant way to ensuring that we have multiethnic voices heard. And not in a tokenistic song and dance kind of thing that we have seen consistently in most of the networks.
4143 The second issue that -- that I have very great deal of difficulty with is the concept of convergence and I know it's been a very interesting term in the past couple of years. I read with interest this week how one of the main -- I guess media empires in Canada basically centralizes editorial and has all editorials of broadsheets approved through a head office. And I was actually quite stunned because again, it is about voices, it's about having different perspectives available for people to have a greater understanding of each other, to have broader selection of views for us to form on our own. So I think it was rather disappointing to see something like that. But I think it probably should not be unexpected because it is -- you know, it is a business. And we are talking about structures that are oftentimes -- you know, may have specific cultures associated with it, that may, you know, they may want to get certain points of view getting across to Canadians. And I think I am really -- really scared of that. I think I am really scared to see what's going to come if we see more of this convergence.
4144 And I then I think as Canadians we should all be very wary of this. And that's why I think that independent broadcasters need more space. I think you know, while the content may be there, while bigger entities may be able to bring together broadsheets as well as, you know, different forms of media into one enterprise for broadcast purposes, I think at the same time it's very important, especially at a local level, to have the type of independence that is required. And -- and I think that's something that the Commission should certainly take note. I mean these are the -- my basic points are, you know, broaden the voices, let's not have a very high concentration in a very small group of people. And that's basically what I think -- I feel as a Canadian and as somebody who represents a particular community.
4145 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Anandasangaree. Commissioner Langford.
4146 MR. LANGFORD: Thank you. I just have one line of inquiry I would like to explore with you. You were talking about the cross-cultural programming that Craig has offered. We heard earlier from an advertising expert, I don't know if you were in the room, that there may not be room in this market for, to use the example of your support, for both Craig and CFMT, which would mean we would have to choose between Craig's approach to cultural programming and CFMT's third language approach. Which do you think really -- where is the greater need at this time in Toronto?
4147 MR. ANANDASANGAREE: I think CFMT has done an outstanding job in the past in bringing out voices that are not there. The difference I find with Craig is that it incorporates it as part of the mainstream programming. And I think that's very important. I mean the -- in this situation, we have -- why do we have to have a multicultural station? Why cannot all stations be multicultural? And I think that's the concern. I mean, that's -- that's the fundamental issue here. Why can we not have your major stations in Toronto represent the actual community that it is supposed to represent? So if over 50 per cent of the population in Toronto is of a multicultural group. And I think that's something that we're far behind in terms of broadcast, what's available on TV, in terms of programs available to these communities and I think it's high time that we do have more mainstream station that reach out a lot more than they have in the past.
4148 MR. LANGFORD: Obviously, no one could disagree with that but it seems we're presented with two models. One, if I could put it very, very loosely, is you chop up the day into as many language niches as you can and you try to offer something to as many third language groups as you can. The theory being, that particularly first generation immigrants that are -- English is obviously not their most comfortable language and this would be break through the feeling of isolation and make them feel at least that there was something for them in the community.
4149 The other model seems to be well, we may -- we may not reach the first generation but we will reach the second, third and whatever generation by offering them something in their own culture but in the English language, which, by then, these generations have adopted. And where do you see the greater need, assuming that we can't have both in this particular round of application? I quite agree with you that in an ideal world, we would have it all. But in this particular round of application, assuming our recent intervening advertising expert is correct and we can't have both, where is the greater need in your view?
4150 MR. ANANDASANGAREE: I believe -- the -- the advertising person did mention that her expertise was not on multicultural communities and their advertising reach. So, you know, I -- you know, and I am not a particularly an advertising expert by any stretch. I think what I am trying to say is that we need to have -- you see, what happens is when you have multilingual stations, you are catering to a specific community. So if it's a Tamil program on a particular channel, it is catering specifically to the Tamil program, okay. Quite frankly that's something that you will not understand. You will not understand the perspective of the community from that angle.
4151 When you have English language programming that is about the Tamil community I think you have a much greater opportunity of reaching out, and reaching out and telling the stories of the community to the -- to the greater audience. And I think that's where the fundamental difference is and I think, you know -- I would salute CFMT for what they have done in the past. They have taken great initiative and I think it is rarity in television, but at the same time I think we need to move forward as well. We are continuing to build these barricades amongst these communities and we are not really enhancing the type of understanding that we ought to have, which you know, is not just about song and dance. It is beyond that. It is about understanding the social, cultural perspectives of each communities, what certain customs are, something as fundamental as a holiday, you know, as -- as eat, for example or you know, Duwali and having a much greater understanding rather than just showing the pictures of beautiful lights. So that's what I think the difference is.
4152 I think the Commission has to realize one thing: that you are really behind in terms of policy, in terms of reflecting the community. And perhaps it is time that you do open it up and there is absolutely nothing wrong with issuing two licences. I think in terms of broadcasters, and I am sure that they recognizes that the funds will be there, I think if we haven't tried it in the past maybe it's time that we did try it, that, you know, the advertising dollars may be more available than you think. There is a very great -- in terms of marketing, in terms of, you know, dollars, I think there is good spending power there and I think that's something that's never been tested and I think maybe it's time we did.
4153 MR. LANGFORD: Thank you very much. I think somewhere in this office Moses Znaimer may be feeling pain creeping up his left arm, but I very much appreciate your comments.
4154 MR. ANANDASANGAREE: Thank you.
4155 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Anandasangaree. Mr. Secretary, please.
4156 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you Madam Chairperson we will now turn to some intervenors that are here to support the CFMT application. And the first one I will call is T. Sher Singh.
4157 That person doesn't seem to be here, so I will now try the Canadian Ethnocultural Council, please. The CFMT Advisory Board? Oh. I have just been advised that Mr. Singh is with us, but he seems to have injured his leg or something, so we will give him a couple of minutes, Madam Chair.
4158 THE CHAIRPERSON: Perhaps we can take a 10‑minute break and allow the next intervenors to regroup. We will be back in 15 minutes. We haven't had any coffee yet.
--- Recess taken at 0935/Suspension à 0935
--- On resuming at 3954/Reprise à 3954
4159 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
4160 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you Madam Chair. Our next intervenor is T. Sher Singh.
INTERVENTION BY T. SHER SINGH/
INTERVENTION PAR T. SHER SINGH:
4161 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
4162 MR. SINGH: Good morning, Madam Chair. Good morning, Commissioners. Recently I attended a conference on diversity in Banff and it was organized and funded partly by the Government of Canada and partly by the European Union, with some input by the United Nations and the and involvement by American delegates as well. The purpose of the conference was to talk about, to debate the Canadian experience and diversity and the goal was to show the members of the European Union and possibly the Americans as to what our experience had been. So there were delegates from each of the European members of the European Union, from United States, the United Nations and so forth and it was an interesting debate. It was a round table format over the course of three days. And while everybody ended up agreeing that we were unique in the world, indeed we were a success story, another thread emerged through the debate and that was that somehow we had also been successful in not using this incredible resource that we had developed to its optimum level; that we have the multicultural reality, we have this incredibility diverse reality, and somehow we have let it just happen.
4163 It occurs, through some well-placed mechanisms, a relatively fair and equitable immigration policy, despite its many flaws, a justice system that works, a constitution that is unique in the world, the charter of rights, so on and so forth. So we bring these people in from around the world, and then we let them on their own. They will just carry on and the way it has worked for the last century or so is, we wait for a generation or two, sometimes three, and then we see an emerging Canadian butterfly that emerges from the pupa and that seems to have worked.
4164 And now somehow the numbers have become so large that I believe we can't just wait for this to happen, and that's what we -- the sort of conclusion we came to at the conference. And what was odd, we tried desperately as Canadians while we bragged initially, and then basked in the praise of how well Canadians have done in this area, we certainly realized we were defending the fact that there was not a single institution in this country that had the mandate, the obligation, the responsibility, the preoccupation to help new Canadians become Canadians. So that -- you know, so that they would spend one year, two years, three years, five years, one generation, and somehow emerge with some Canadian consciousness. We just let it happen.
4165 Not one institution, except, I would like to say to you today, the CFMT. It does something unique which I believe most of our institutions should be doing in that focusing on the needs of the new Canadians who get off the plane, get off the boat, and understand what are their needs. And there are four needs, I believe, that the CFMT has met up 'til now with the existing channel that it has, and it's important to see what they have done up to now, rather than listen to their promises and what will they do in the future. Because it is to easy to see what they are capable of doing, what promises of what they will do in the future. It is easy to see what they are capable of doing, what promises they are capable of fulfilling, by looking at what they have done in the past.
4166 The first thing that I believe they have helped achieve is make newcomers understand what Canada is about. So when newcomers come to Canada, they are somehow like fish out of water, in that whether it is a lack of the skills of fluency in the English language or French language, or whether it's because of their accent or their difficulty in understanding the accents of others, whether it's the cultural disparity that puts them at odds, whatever, they have a lot of difficulty. And I know, I have gone through the process when I immigrated 30 years ago, they have a lot of difficulty in the understanding things, they have to learn, you have to live through three winters before you realize you don't pour boiling water on your windshield on a morning day. There is nothing that -- there is no mechanism that introduces them to this new culture and what not. CFMT does and it does it in their language and makes them feel at home, comfortable, and so on, so forth.
4167 The second thing: it helps them see the world through Canadian eyes. Because after all, the purpose of bringing them here is to benefit from them as Canadians. There is no point in brings Indians from India if they're going remain Indians you know, we don't want them to be here to have loyalties or a world view that only Indians have. We want them to become Canadians so we can fully benefit from them. That's what CFMT does, in their language, gradually weans them from away from one world and presents them another consciousness, another awareness, another existence.
4168 Third, it gives them an opportunity to relate their own stories in the local medium. So as they move on in time to understand what the stories are, but in the English language, to be able to understand Canadian stories in the English language and the English idiom. Fourthly, not least in any way, is in unifying the communities and in this particular respect my own community, the South Asian community, has benefited extraordinarily through CFMT.
4169 The South Asian community, like the European community, has various divisions, various pigeon holes, various preoccupations, languages, cultures, and what not. CFMT has been able to unite this community which otherwise one felt was impossible to unite once they left India. And they are the three elements that CFMT has determined and meets their needs through, the one language that unites all South Asians; the English language. So provides them their services, whatever their understanding of the world, their world view, the Canadianness in something that all accept, nobody -- nobody challenges is, it is their view in that unifying language. Second, music, the second thing that unifies all South Asians, and third is cricket. These three things and nothing else can bring this community together. And it is the only institution in Canada that does that.
4170 The point I want to make is that if this is a success story, and has been a success story up until now in the last 20 years or so of CFMT's existence, then it is an incomplete success story because it caters to approximately 20 languages, 20 communities, and I don't know the exact numbers but there are another hundred or so, some large, some small communities. We need to meet their needs, not because they need but we need it, but because we need it. We need them to become Canadians and we cannot afford in this world that moves at a jet pace to wait for two or three generations before somebody in each family emerges and says, 'I am a Canadian.' It is possible in today's world, with the incredible technology that we have in transforming Canadians -- newcomers into Canadians within five years, 10 years, as long as we can touch the right buttons and as long as we can reach out to the them and touch their hearts and touch their souls. And we can't do that if we can't communicate to them in their language, and we can't do that if we can't help them communicate in our language. And you know, CFMT is the only institution that does that.
4171 So I would urge you on based on those short submissions, that if anything, if CFMT has been a success story up until now in this regard, then it needs to be expanded so that the remaining 80 or so communities can be helped to become Canadian without waiting for another 30, 40, 50 years. They're waiting for evolution to happen.
4172 If you have questions, I will be glad to answer.
4173 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Singh. Commissioner Pennefather?
4174 MS. PENNEFATHER: Thank you, Madam Chair and good morning. Thank you good morning thank you for being here so early.
4175 MR. SINGH: My pleasure.
4176 MS. PENNEFATHER: Particularly with, I gather, your difficulty walking this morning. So we appreciate the time you have taken. Your points are very clear in terms of the role CFMT has played and you were quite articulate in terms of the four areas very much focused on the needs of new Canadians. Much discussion here, and perhaps you heard the previous intervener, in particular, talked about another aspect of programming for and programming which represents the multicultural nature of our society. And that is programming that is ethnic programming in the English language, with the point made that that programming also accomplishes the role of mutual understanding amongst different groups, inclusive of white Canadians. What is your comment on the point some have made, that this approach, that is mainstream programming in the English language for ethnic groups, is as important if not more important than the approach to the multicultural multilingual third language programming that CFMT has carried forward and is asking to continue with a second licence? Can you give us your understanding of where the balance is in those two areas?
4177 MR. SINGH: If I understand the question correctly, mainstream programming is extremely important in the Canadianization of newcomers, but until we reach the point where newcomers can benefit from mainstream programming, whether it is focused to the ethnic communities or general mainstream programming, you know, if there is no communication, then nothing happens.
4178 To give you a simple example, if I may, CBC does a wonderful job. I am a big fan of the CBC, it does a wonderful job on mainstream programming, but you will find, if you do a survey of immigrant communities, that certainly first generation and possibly many people in the second generation do not know of the existence of CBC. So there are other media outlets that do an excellent job in mainstream programming, whether it is geared to the general population or to specific groups, but it does not reach, it does not connect with the various communities which now have become a substantial portion of the Canadian scene.
4179 So what CFMT does is essentially transforms these newcomers into Canadians and then makes them ready for mainstream programming. We have no dearth of mainstream programming and good mainstream programming, and sure, we could use more, but at this particular time the need to carry this population from that first stage to the stage where they can participate in and benefit from mainstream programming, we need to have a service like CFMT and it's unique. There are no other services on the scene that do that.
4180 MS. PENNEFATHER: All right. Thank you very much for your answers to my question.
4181 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Langford?
4182 MR. LANGFORD: Thank you. Just one question. We heard interventions against CFMT from certain representatives of services who supply specialty programming all in third language; Asian Television News, Fairchild news. And I was wondering on your views of whether the market is big enough to support both. Their fear obviously was, that although they welcome and all had praise for CFMT in certain ways, and welcome their program, their immediate fear was that their own much smaller enterprises would be swamped and that they would be put out of business by this change. Do you think in the communities you have been discussing this morning, the new immigrants, the third language subscribers that there is room for both a new CFMT, an expanded CFMT, and some of these specialty services?
4183 MR. SINGH: I have followed ethnic programming in three languages - Punjabi, Urdu and Hindi - ever since I came to Canada in 1971, and to put -- to describe it simply, until CFMT came on the scene the quality of that programming, no matter who did it, and there were no exceptions, was dismal. It -- because they did not have the resources, they were smaller operations and often run by people who had the best intentions in the world but not necessarily the skills, and if they had the skills they did not have the resources.
4184 CFMT came on the scene and changed it by pumping in resources and instead of taking over the market, what they did was set the standard, they raised the standard. And in order to survive the other services had to improve, had to learn the skills to be able to provide -- to provide the services properly if they wanted to hang on to their clientele, and that's what happened.
4185 So if you look at South Asian programming for example, 20 years ago to what it is today, there is a big change and I attribute it solely to the fact that CFMT came along and provided, for the first time, ethnic programming at a mainstream standard. And that forced everybody else to move up. And that increased the market for ethnic programming. I believe that we can handle three to four times as much ethnic programming in -- and I am talking about the various languages that are spoken, the various cultures that are represented in Canada and certainly in Toronto and Ontario, so I don't think there is any -- any chance that the fact that CFMT exists or that it will expand to move on to providing the same service for others, will threaten the existence or threaten the profit centres of the existing ethnic programs. It will only add to it. It actually expands the market. There are millions of Canadians out there that are not being serviced and what CFMT does is bring them into the market and then makes them available for everybody to share in the pie.
4186 MR. LANGFORD: Thank you very much.
4187 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Singh for your participation. Mr. Secretary, please.
4188 MR. CUSSONS: Madam Chairperson our next intervention will be presented by the Canadian Ethnocultural Council.
INTERVENTION BY CANADIAN ETHNOCULTURAL COUNCIL/
INTERVENTION PAR CANADIAN ENTHNOCULTURAL COUNCIL:
4189 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, Mr. Hagopian.
4190 MR. DICK: No, it's Emmanuel Dick. I am the past President of the Canadian Ethnocultural Council. So I am sitting in place of my President. First of all, thanks very much for inviting the Council to be here today. I am pleased to be here, of course, on behalf of the Canadian Ethnocultural Council, as its immediate past President, in support of the application by CFMT for a licence to air a free over-the-air television service in Ontario.
4191 CFMT has a proven track record and its popularity has grown, making it one of Canada's foremost multicultural TV stations. However, its success has also created a demand to serve those communities which CFMT cannot currently accommodate. It has become a victim, so to speak, of its own success. The rapid increase in immigration has created a number of underserved communities. As the province of Ontario, especially the south, becomes increasingly multicultural and multilingual, the need for expression of this type of programming becomes all the more evident.
4192 Permit me to tell you a little bit about the Canadian Ethnocultural Council so you can appreciate the context by which we lend our support to this proposal. The Canadian Ethnocultural Council is a coalition of ethnocultural organizations working together for the purpose of furthering the understanding of the multicultural reality of Canada. Since its inception in 1980, the CEC has demonstrated an ongoing interest and involvement in initiatives to increase accessibility for ethno-racial communities to difference sectors Canadian life, including the broadcasting and the media.
4193 CFMT 'too' application is exciting because it reflects an openness which we at the CEC have experienced over the past years, and the kind of relationship with CFMT based on mutual respect. Very few TV stations have taken the extra time and resources to discuss the issues of concern to cultural communities in which we are involved. It was CFMT which agreed to co‑sponsor with CEC an election debate to focus on issues regarding multiculturalism during the last federal election. No other station took an interest or provided this point of view. Currently, CFMT is working with the CEC on a PSA announcement to promote appreciation of diversity.
4194 CFMT has built a relationship with the extended network of communities it works with in Ontario as well as its long-established dedication to multicultural and multilingual television. The proposal by CFMT 'too' will have help develop a "made-in-Canada" multicultural TV industry in terms of talent and production, with less reliance on foreign content and programming. We are particularly pleased with some of the initiatives proposed. These include: resources allocated to public service initiatives on the positive portrayal in the electronic media; support to community groups; and to the public service announcement fund.
4195 We are not aware of similar measures with other television stations. Many of the community organizations working in this area of multiculturalism are experiencing severe financial hardships and are not recognized or supported by traditional mainstream media. These kinds of initiatives are needed for communities to build social cohesion and community capacity. CFMT 'too' recognizes the value and that talent which Canada's cultural communities bring. Other stations might do well to follow these measures.
4196 CFMT's success also comes from the quality and professionalism of the programming. CFMT 'too' will stand to benefit from this as it will be able to draw on the existing operating and technical expertise which it has developed over the last 15 years. This is important as many of the ethnocultural communities want programming which they can be proud of and which portrays their communities in a positive and relevant light. Ethnic programming just for the sake of ethnic programming is not going to cut it as it might have 20 years ago. There are too many opportunities for international sources, including the Internet, for the cultural communities to access. Today, we have a sophisticated population who want to be informed with quality programming about all aspects of Canadian and international events. CFMT provides this service but it needs to expand.
4197 We are also pleased to see the level of support given to independent producers who have many skills, know many languages and have cultural reference points which are non-main stream. Unfortunately, these individuals are often sidetracked. Canada's own Canadian Television Fund, for example, neglects to support the very important pool of talent of third language producers. We are pleased to see that this will be supported by CFMT 'too' by offering this group financial resources for the production of third language dramatic programming. We believe this will form a new resource in our cultural industry from which all of Canada can benefit.
4198 As the world becomes more interconnected, there will be more opportunity to sell this resource to the global broadcasting community. However, we would like to reiterate that this should not let the Canadian Television Fund off the hook. This inequality might be regressed and a funding envelope should be created by the CTF to support this talent pool just as it supports talent for the production of English language, French language and the aboriginal programming.
4199 The cross-cultural dramatic programming series is another aspect of the CFMT 'too' proposal which I believe will create new interest and understanding of the issues facing many ethnocultural communities. It will provide the reality of living in a multicultural environment. This view of life is sadly missing in many of the current TV programs. Yet much cross-cultural production is currently produced in theatre, music and the entertainment world. This, unfortunately, somehow does not get the light of day on mainstream TV.
4200 Finally, we would like to remind the Commission, although you are all aware that the Broadcasting Act requires that programming reflect the multicultural, multilingual and multiracial character of Canada, in Ontario the depth of that reality has expanded immensely and our current free over-the-air television does not accurately reflect that view. That is why we believe that CFMT 'too' can fill that void and that is why we support this application. It is in the best position to do so.
4201 So I thank you, and that's the presentation on behalf of the CEC.
4202 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Dick. Commissioner Cram?
4203 MS. CRAM: Thank you, Mr. Dick did you come here from Ottawa?
4204 MR. DICK: I came from Toronto today.
4205 MS. CRAM: I want to pose a question to you and when I do I want to sort of give a definition. We, of course, are faced with choices here. If I said that third language -- there is third language ethnic programming which CFMT has, as you say, quality programming and that sort of focuses primarily on the -- on the group, the ethnic group involved. And then there is as you referred to, cross-cultural programming which opens a window for all of us to learn about other cultures. In a world of -- where we may have to make a choice, what would you say is the most important or the most critical in Toronto; third language ethnic programming or cross-cultural programming? I know it's a tough choice but we would certainly value your view.
4206 MR. DICK: I don't see that one negates the other. I think the as my former colleague said, in the third programming the idea is to ultimately bring newcomers into the mainstream. So to me, the third programming really is not third programming for the sake of third programming, but is to bring people into that cross-cultural realm so that the two are interconnected and not separate.
4207 MS. CRAM: But in a world where we have applications where one is primarily third language ethnic and others are primarily cross-cultural, and we have to make a choice, how would you advise us?
4208 MR. DICK: I am saying that within the third programming and so on, there is cross-cultural, and that's why I am linking the two. I don't see it as separate I see cross-cultural inside of the third languages.
4209 MS. CRAM: Thank you, sir.
4210 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Dick and bring our greetings to Mr. Hagopian. Mr. Secretary, please.
4211 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chairperson. Our next intervenor comes to us from McMaster University, Dr. Hairish Jain.
INTERVENTION BY DR. HAIRISH JAIN/
INTERVENTION PAR DR. HAIRISH JAIN:
4212 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, Dr. Jain.
4213 DR. JAIN: Good morning. Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you. I want to support what Sher Singh said. I have known him for a long time and I think some of the points he made were very telling. And although I am not going to make to be making the same points but I wanted to initially say that his points were very important to keep in mind.
4214 I would also wanted to give you some background into what's happening in this city. I know you are considering Hamilton and partly as an expansion of the Toronto/Hamilton area, the CFMT.
4215 You are aware, of course, of the September 11th incident, the tragic incident. This has created escalating tension in the City of Hamilton, as it has in a number of -- throughout Canada. For instance, you are probably aware there was the burning of the Hindu temple in this city, a variety of incidents against Muslim mosques in other communities across Canada as well as in this city. According to the Hamilton police, I don't know whether you have read the Hamilton Spectator, which reported the Police Chief saying that the number of crime incidents have reportedly been increasing dramatically in this city. In the last six weeks, we had same incidents as we had in the entire last year. So you can see the tremendous jump in the hate crime incidents.
4216 Given the current climate, it is my view it is an appropriate time for a multicultural and multilingual station in the Toronto/Hamilton area. I have examined the plans that were provided to me by the CFMT for the new station and I am hopeful that the programming can assist in building bridges and create increased understanding across the many racial, cultural and language groups that exist both in Toronto and in Hamilton. I have been viewing a number of programs that Sher Singh said, Asian and other TV. Hamilton is often overlooked in these programs, in the mainstream media, in particular, and even in the other one. Yet the city has many cross-cultural events taking place all the time.
4217 Let me give you an example. On November 30th, in this city, organizers were surprised when the fund raising event to rebuild the Hindu temple almost doubled the number of people that were expected showed up. 1,200 people showed up from across this community, a cross-culture of this community. The Honourable Sheila Copps, Minister of Canadian Heritage, who happens to come from this city, pledged at that event to match and double the funds raised at -- on November 30th. The events also attracted the Honourable Lincoln Alexander, the former Lieutenant Governor of Hamilton -- of Ontario, I'm sorry, but he comes from Hamilto,; the Ontario Minister of Transportation, Mr. Brad Clark, several members of Parliament, members of Provincial Parliament; the mayor and the city councilors. However, except for the Hamilton media, there was almost no coverage of this very important event in the mainstream Toronto media. CFMT 'too' [sic] did cover it, but it was not the mainstream media that covered it.
4218 And so everybody outside this Hamilton -- nobody is even aware that this important event occurred. Hamilton, in my view, is a vibrant, multicultural, multilingual community. According to projections which I am sure you have seen, there are expected to be a quarter of a million people of ethnic origin by the year 2011 in this city. This is part of this fact that Hamilton is a popular choice of immigrants, according to Spectator which I was reading the other day they were saying this is the third multicultural city in the country. I cannot say for sure, but that's what I read.
4219 While there are other communities in this city, such as the English and the Italians, in the past two decades Hamilton has greatly benefited from the infusion of new immigrants from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. This new Hamilton needs to be reflected on television and other media. Right now, we only have one station in this city. CFMT 'too' has pledged to increase multicultural and multilingual programming, which will, in my opinion, add a great deal to the building of this new Hamilton.
4220 As a condition of granting a licence for a new station in my view, you may, at the CRTC, wish to require public affairs programming to address job barriers that are faced by racial minorities in this community as well as in Toronto. Other issues to be addressed including the problems confronted by immigrants, recent immigrants from third world countries in attempting to access trades and professions. This is not discussed either in the mainstream media or in the ethnic media. I would like to see that as an important subject to be discussed in the programming. In other words, the programming should go beyond the song-and-dance approach which usually reflects multicultural programming.
4221 If the CFMT wishes to reflect community issues, it should reflect the wider community of Hamilton and have visible minorities in managerial and decision-making positions consistent with their qualifications and with their experience. If the employment discrimination along with cultural issues such as language-based news and other events are addressed by the CFMT 'too', its programming could very much provide great assistance in building and creating the understanding across the many racial, cultural and religious groups in this city. Indeed, in these difficult times, this new station could create awareness, as I said, to public affairs, news and cultural events, and contribute to the development of our ever increasing enriching multicultural society. There are many, many things I would like to add to this, but I don't have enough time, so perhaps I will leave it to questions, if you have. Thank you.
4222 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Dr. Jain. Commissioner Pennefather.
4223 MS. PENNEFATHER: I will take you up on that offer, thank you, and ask you -- to ask for your views on a question that we have posed to several of the intervenors this morning. And I take it from this angle --to take your very first point on building bridges, particularly in face of, call it ignorance, call it lack of knowledge, call it prejudice, of each other, and in terms of access to jobs. Those two poles that you raised this morning. I hear very clearly, we all hear very clearly your support for the approach of multilingual programming to that effect. But some would make the case that English-language programming produced by ethnic producers would bring if not an equal, even a better effort towards building bridges. What's your comment? Obviously this all would be wonderful, but we're looking at the situation where we have some choices to make. In the face of that, what is your advise to us?
4224 DR. JAIN: As the other two before me said, I consider them to be complementary. They're not necessarily contradictory. The choice you need to make is to what extent do you want to examine the prospects provided by these others, including the CFMT 'too', what kind of programming they're promising. CFMT 'too' also provides English language, I view it every Saturday. It's a very interesting program on Saturday. For instance, I never hear the details that I hear on the CFMT 'too', including the Asian and the other TV stations. What I learned from that is the kind of things going on in the subcontinent of Asia. India, for instance, China, a number of other countries, I never find out. This is a very important complement to my knowledge of what is going on, which the mainstream media doesn't provide. And I think it's very important, especially as Sher Singh said, for new immigrants it's very important for them to keep in touch what's going on.
4225 You know in this country the ethnic people provide and market -- which is in billions of dollars. Numerous studies I have done, numerous studies available from Canadian Heritage will tell you that, that has not been tapped and this is very important. And so whether -- I think I would like to see you move ahead on both, instead of simply saying that we will just limit to one or the other.
4226 The other TV station, the mainstream, I just gave you the November 30th incident. Our community would like to see the coverage that's simply not provided. We would like to connect with the other Canadians. We're just not available in the mainstream media, that's what I would like to see. Thank you.
4227 MS. PENNEFATHER: Thank you very much for your comments.
4228 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Dr. Jain for your participation. Mr. Secretary, please.
4229 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chair. We feel now hear the intervention from the CFMT Advisory Board.
INTERVENTION BY THE CFMT ADVISORY BOARD/
INTERVENTION PAR DE CFMT ADVISORY BOARD:
4230 MR. SORBORA: Madam Chair, Members of the Commission - thank you Irene - my name is Joseph Sorbora and I am appearing today with Irene Chu, a fellow member of the CFMT Advisory Board. I am a lawyer in private life and a proud member of the Italian-Canadian community. My father, Sam Sorbora, who immigrated from Italy in 1923, taught all of his children, as I tried to with mine today although I think it's somewhat more difficult, that it is important to be involved and give of yourself in the community. When you do become an active member of the community I have learned that you realize what a wonderful place this country of ours is. I have been on the Board of Directors of CFMT for 21 years and Chair since 1985. It is in that capacity that I have asked to appear today. It is my opinion that the CRTC hears about advisory boards from all sorts of applicants but seldom has an opportunity to talk to or hear directly from the members of those boards.
4231 On behalf of the CFMT advisors, I would like you to understand what an important opportunity has been presented as a result of these proceedings. I believe that the opportunity is clear. It is an opportunity to extend free multicultural TV to no less than 22 new ethnic communities, with the identical dedication, the identical commitment and superior quality that CFMT now provides to the 18 ethnic communities it now serves. And I believe that the need is self‑evident in the very make‑up of our cities, especially Toronto and Hamilton and the surrounding areas. Management at CFMT faces a very difficult and challenging work day each day of the week. They discuss those challenges with the members of the Advisory Board, they seek our advice and, more importantly, they take our advice. This is a team that has, for the most part, been together for 15 years. Multicultural TV is what they do for a career. They have turned an idea that many had given up on into a solid, socially-responsible, well-respected institution in many, many ethnic communities.
4232 I have watched them do it as they grew with the concept and with the communities that CFMT has served and is now serving. And I would like to think that we, as advisors, were helpful in giving them the support to succeed. My years with CFMT have shown me that this is a very fair group of people. A group of professional broadcasters that I know have turned down many offers for more money from conventional stations because they believe that what they are doing is more important. No one can question the relevance of serving the underserved.
4233 The advisors listen to CFMT management wrestle with very complex issues as they try to serve a myriad of ethnic television needs with a limited amount of schedule time. The trend towards more and more diversity today and in the future makes these challenges acute. CFMT needs more capacity to achieve its mandate, to continue being fair to the many different communities in the Toronto/Hamilton area, to serve those that deserve and need to be served with free, over-the-air relevant Canadian content. As advisors, we have supported substantial investments in making CFMT a fully digital television operation to ensure that ethnic television was of the same quality as other Toronto stations. We have supported a multimillion dollar renovation to our studio complex to make it a fine place to work. We have also encouraged Rogers to buy a CFMT building to create a landmark for ethnic Canadians on Toronto's harbourfront. This station has in many ways reinvested its success back into its people, the facilities and the work environment. CFMT 'too' further illustrates Rogers' commitment to investment in ethnic broadcasting, and we support it.
4234 CFMT has proposed a $50 million program that reaches outside the station. $1 million for positive portrayal in media, a longstanding cause of CFMT management. $2 million for independent producers to make important public service messages for their communities. $2 million to support initiatives and events in the various communities. And $45 million to accomplish one of our management's longest standing goals, and that is to see a vibrant, professional, independent production and creative sector with funding to create new and high quality ethnic programming from outside the station.
4235 This $45 million promise, with which the advisors are delighted, to create history for Canadian ethnic producers this is a greet idea. It is about being involved with the community and really investing in success. With another television channel, CFMT can reach out to many new and smaller groups. It can give these communities the programming that they deserve and can do so on a sustainable, long‑term basis. If you approve the CFMT 'too' application I can assure you that the advisors will keep management as accountable as ever. I can also tell you that there will be 22 more ethnic communities that will feel validated by making their languages and cultures part of the Canadian television landscape. Thank you for your time. I would be pleased to answer any questions.
4236 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Sorbora. Commissioner Wilson?
4237 MS. WILSON: Good morning, Mr. Sorbora, Ms. Chu. Mr. Sorbora, you have been involved in ethnic television for a long time and I imagine you have been here for some time this morning and have heard the discussions we have been having about the role of third language programming versus the role of conventional television and whether or not there should be -- well, I think there is no question there should be better reflection in conventional television. And we have been having a lot of discussion too about cross-cultural programming and the place for that in our system, and I am just wondering if you could tell me what your view is with respect to where cross-cultural programming should be in our system. Should it be on the third language and conventional broadcasters? Should there some kind of a separate service that does that, that plays that role in our broadcasting system? There has been some reluctance expressed about diluting the role of CFMT, for example, because it plays a very specific role in terms of providing a transition for third-language-speaking ethnic communities when they are newcomers to Canada and what not. But I think there is more and more need being demonstrated for cross-cultural programming that helps us all understand one another a little better. So I am just curious about your view on that.
4238 MR. SORBORA: Well, I don't mean to be smart but I think the cross-cultural programming should be done where it's done best. And I believe from my experience with CFMT that you have to understand the communities that you are -- with whom you are trying to communicate to do effective cross-cultural programming. And I think that CFMT in this application has provided funds for that and they are the best ones to do it and I really believe that they should do it.
4239 MS. WILSON: Is -- what they're proposing -- and I guess this is my real question: is what they are proposing in terms of cross-cultural enough?
4240 MR. SORBORA: I don't think it's ever enough, but I think you will get more out of what CFMT is proposing than if you move it to a conventional TV station. I mean, these people have been involved in these communities for 21 years and they really understand them. I have watched them work with the communities. We had a six‑month debate at the Advisory Board over the change in allocation of programming time between Italian and Chinese. And it's not an issue that was settled easily. It was -- it was studied at all levels and it was a difficult decision and I think it was their understanding and the participation of people on the Advisory Board from the Chinese community that enable them to make a decision which, in hindsight, has proven to be right. I think they know how to do it.
4241 MS. WILSON: Thank you very much.
4242 THE CHAIRPERSON: Ms. Chu, did you have anything to add to Mr. Sorbora's presentation?
4243 MS. CHU: Yes, Madam Chair, actually I would like to focus on two of the aspects that I mentioned in my written submission and that Mr. Sorbora has already spoken quite a bit from the point of view of the Advisory Board and I would like to speak from the Chinese Canadian perspective. I was born in Shanghai, China, raised in Hong Kong and I came here 38 years ago. The multilingual TV played a very important role in the minority, especially with the Chinese community. It started in 1979, and that was the year, when the Chinese-Canadian had to combat the racist sentiment aired by CTV W5 program. It was a piece of bad journalism filled with racist and discriminatory comments. And multilingual TV was instrumental in bringing all the representatives from different cultural groups and it galvanized all the communities together to right a wrong. And the end result was a closer intercultural relationship among the ethnocultural groups and also a realization by the mainstream of the importance of minority groups in this country and they should be accepted and considered as Canadians.
4244 Now, when Rogers took over the multilingual TV and became CFMT, I was with the Citizenship Court. And in my two years at the Citizenship, I interviewed more than 10,000 people for their applications. And come -- from conversations with these people, I came to realize how important it is to give them information in their own language, because it takes a long time to acquire a language; whereas the need for information is imminent and immediate.
4245 And in 1988 I was asked to be an advisor. At that point, I was with the Immigration and Refugee Board. For eight years, on a daily basis, I listened to the immigrant appellants and the refugee applicants and once again the message that came very clear to me was how imperative it was to acquire knowledge about Canada and the vital role that multilingual media, electronic and print, played in the lives of these people.
4246 Now moving forward, in the '90s there is a large influx of Mandarin-speaking Chinese coming into Canada and in the past all the programs were in Cantonese dialect. And I want to stress the importance of serving this sector of people because the whole of People's Republic of China are Mandarin conversant. Only the southern province of Guangdong will understand or speak the dialect of Cantonese. And this group of people, because they are a little bit different from the more affluent Cantonese-speaking people from Hong Kong, they are mostly when they come here, they have to acquire a low-paying job during the period that they try to gain Canadian experience. And therefore, they would not be able to pay for pay TV. I think the Commissioners were asking some of the private enterprises would be threatened, but in the case of the Chinese community, say Fairchild Television or their new entity the Talentvision, which caters to the Mandarin-speaking population, they are both pay subscriptions and CFMT will offer free over-the-air broadcasting which will reach a large sector of the people.
4247 Now the community, within the Chinese community, we speak many language -- many dialect, but the Mandarin-speaking sector will be increasing because right now there is a total of about over half a million Chinese Canadians in the Greater Toronto Area and a good position of that speak Mandarin, I would say about 30 per cent. It has been projected of the additional quarter million Chinese immigrants that will be coming here between now and the year 2011, 90 per cent of them will be speaking Mandarin. And these people would need to be connected to the mainstream. They need to receive the information in their own language and they need to know what is going on in the country and in their neighbourhood and they have to be connected in order to progress.
4248 And CFMT has offered, and we know, especially from the Advisory Board, we know that they listen, they always incorporate the suggestions and advices we put forward to them. And CFMT, because of their emphasis on the Canadian content, they help to pave the way for the smooth and pleasant integration of the newcomers into the -- into the mainstream, and the making the newcomers more astute in their present environment so that they can better plan and attend their future goals. So to me, speaking from the Chinese-Canadian perspective, CFMT 'too' is not only necessary, it is indispensable. Thank you.
4249 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms. Chu, thank you, Mr. Sorbora. And thank you both for your participation. Mr. Secretary, please.
4250 MR. CUSSONS: Madam Chair, we will now hear from the CFMT TV Independent Producers Coalition.
4251 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
4252 MR. YANCOFF: Good morning.
INTERVENTION BY THE CFMT TV INDEPENDENT PRODUCERS COALITION/INTERVENTION PAR DE CFMT TV INDEPENDENT PRODUCERS COALITION:
4253 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is it Mr. Yancoff, or Mr. Zakaria?
4254 MR. YANCOFF: Sorry?
4255 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is it Mr. Yancoff?
4256 MR. YANCOFF: Mr. Yancoff, yes.
4257 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
4258 MR. YANCOFF: Honourable Members of the CRTC, my name is Bill Yancoff as I just mentioned. Today I am representing the Independent Producers Coalition of CFMT TV and today I will talk to you in support of CFMT 'too'. It's a great honour to appear before you again in this great city of Hamilton whose make up is just as multicultural as Toronto, representing Canadians from every race, religion and ethnicity. Before I elaborate on the CFMT TV Independent Producers Coalition's position regarding the need for CFMT 'too' to hit the airways as soon as possibility in Hamilton, Toronto and the surrounding areas, I would like it tell you about how I became involved in ethnocultural programs.
4259 I was born in Toronto to parents of Macedonian origin. My father passed away when I just turned 16 and that was really a turning point in my life. It was a traumatic time as you can appreciate and indeed there was a need for soul searching and at the same time facing the challenges every teenager would face in such a traumatic experience. I had always been interested in my Macedonian origin and was a member of a local Macedonian dance group in my early teens, spoke some Macedonian with my grandmother, or Baba as we say in Macedonian. I decided to apply for the Radio and Television Arts course in Centennial College in Toronto and was finally accepted into the course. I finally got hired while on placement at the radio station CJCL and worked the in the news and sports department.
4260 While in the press box one evening at Maple Leaf Gardens I met William Houston, a sports reporter for the Globe and Mail. He got me connected and, at last, I was fulfilling a life long dream: becoming a reporter for the then Toronto Marlboroughs of the Ontario Hockey League. It was every 21‑year‑old Canadian boy's dream. Maybe not every, but probably every. But I knew something was missing; it had to do with my heritage and ancestry. I watched the Macedonian show on CFMT at the time and saw an interview about an up-coming performance at Roy Thompson Hall celebrating the history of the Macedonian community in Canada and I knew I wanted to be a part of it.
4261 So I got involved in every facet of the production, and the need to know more about my Macedonian heritage and my need to learn the language of my ancestors grew to a point where I had to do something about it. I proposed to the news editor of the Globe and Mail that I travel to Macedonia, which at the time was a Republic of Yugoslavia, to write about Macedonian Macedonians. My proposal was accepted, and it was a turning point for me, a renaissance. While in Macedonia, I decided that I needed to promote this great heritage and culture to other Canadians.
4262 After leaving CJCL Radio, I decided to seek the best way of accomplishing this goal. I decided to enter the world of television. Eventually I ended up at CFMT TV, meeting with Madeline Ziniak who ,ironically, I had met five years earlier at Roy Thompson Hall and who at that time the time gave me the inspiration to pursue my dream of promoting my heritage. Madeline and CFMT accepted me with open arms and I am happy to say that I am now entering my 11th year as Producer of Macedonian Heritage, which really has enhanced my pride in both my Macedonian roots and multicultural Canada.
4263 I must say that CFMT TV's dedication to our show has been the main reason why we are celebrating our 11th anniversary on the air. The show has become cost-efficient due to the assistance of the station, and I am able to work doing something I am love and, at the same time, promoting the Macedonian language and culture to tens of thousands of Canadian Macedonians and their friends. CFMT has also given us grants to help enhance the technical production of the show, recently allowing us to purchase a state-of-the-art camera for on location shoots.
4264 Macedonian Heritage is one of 11 independent productions on the station, the others being programs for the Tamil, Russian, Iranian, Filipino, Ukrainian, Spanish, Armenian, Maltese, Arabic, and Vietnamese communities. With us today are two members of our -- other members of our coalition, Lina Zakaria from the Arab community, who produces the Arabic-language Munawa'at Arabia show, and Viet Ngugen from the Vietnemese community who produces the Vietnamese-language Viet Tien Television show. I am sure that I echo the sentiments of my colleagues at CFMT when I say that CFMT's assistance is beyond comparison in multicultural programming in Canada.
4265 It's not easy to produce our shows with a full week -- work week in production and preparation needed to get our show on the air. But CFMT is always there to make sure we put the best possible third language programming on the air, whether it's in the news department providing footage from breaking events in Macedonia or Vietnam or Saudi Arabia, or a host of our countries, or CFMT dedicating air time to find a bone marrow transplant for Canadian Macedonian Susanna Kovakova. The station's compassion and assistance has really been its trademark in helping all of the programs which make up our independent production coalition. In fact, CFMT was the only entity which brought the Macedonian and Greek communities together for a televised debate, which even Toronto City Hall could not accomplish. This is one the reasons why we know CFMT 'too' would be a success.
4266 Another would be demand from ethnocultural groups currently who -- without programs. CFMT 'too' would produce nearly 90 hours a week of third language programming in 18 more languages including Latvian, Hungarian, Estonian, Somali, Lebanese, Sinhalese, Amaric, Turkish, Pushto, as well as French-language programming for black Canadians of African origin. For the new independent productions there would be $45 million with 32.5 earmarked for 225 new Canadian dramatic and documentary programs in third languages. Now this is great news for me, as I have always had a dream to do a documentary, a professionally done documentary, on the history of the Macedonian community in Canada. I went to sponsors last year trying to raise funds for the proposal but the dream died due to a lack of support. My dream and the dreams of many other independent producers will stay alive if CFMT 'too' is granted a licence.
4267 There would be $7 million for a cross-cultural dramatic programming series. Third language programming can also be cross-cultural. Our show is presented in Macedonian, thus also understood to a degree by Croatian, Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Czech, Belorussian, Slovanian, Ukrainian, Slovak and Polish Canadians. In fact, the interaction at times is quite astounding. I regularly watch the Ukrainian, Russian and Polish shows and understand some of the programming quite a bit, in fact, and I get many calls from some of these groups about our program because they can understand Macedonian.
4268 Another benefit that CFMT 'too' would provide is support for local program pilots. I'd definitely be interested as it has also been a dream of mine to produce a second Macedonian show dedicated to the Macedonian youth in Ontario.
4269 There would be a lot of support for multicultural public service initiatives as well, with $2 million going to community groups. One way that would benefit our Macedonian community is perhaps funding for a national conference for Macedonian Canadians from all across the country which would enable dialogue on Macedonian and Canadian issues. I am sure that there are hundreds of nonprofit multicultural groups in need of funding for a variety of projects. CFMT 'too' would enable some of their dreams also to become a reality.
4270 There is a real demand for third language television programming in Hamilton, in Toronto and throughout Southern Ontario. Take Toronto's make‑up for example. Soon more than 50 per cent of inhabitants will be from visible minorities. Some of these groups like the Tamils, Somalians and Sinhalese have significant populations and their need for new programming is dire, indeed. Third language programming assists new Canadians in becoming more in touch with Canada and things Canadian but also, at the same time, maintaining ties with their place of birth.
4271 It also helps people like me. I grew speaking broken Macedonian, and now I speak fluent, literary Macedonian. I was inspired to learn the language of my ancestors by watching Macedonian programming on CFMT myself. Practically speaking, I now have the capability of communicating with almost anyone from Eastern Europe, and as the world becomes smaller with less barriers due to trade, that's very important. I am sure there are many others like me to need the impetus to learn the language of their forefathers, and with more programming available, more Canadians will be able to delve into their heritage, picking up a new skill along the way.
4272 Isn't our multicultural policy what makes Canada so unique and special? Name me a society where people from all religions, cultures and unique language groups get along so well and in harmony. We are really the envy of the world. That's why we, the 11-member Independent Production Coalition of CFMT, know you ought to grand a licence to CFMT 'too'. We know the benefits that third language programming have brought to our viewers. We urge you to enable more Canadians to enjoy those benefits. Thank you.
4273 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Yancoff. The ‑‑ are the producers in the coalition that you are representing, do they produce programming only in third language?
4274 MR. YANCOFF: Yes, they are here today. Yes they do.
4275 THE CHAIRPERSON: Only in third language, and only for CFMT?
4276 MR. YANCOFF: Yes.
4277 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Mr. Secretary, please.
4278 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you Madam Chairperson. We have now hear an intervention from Form and Substance Media Consulting, Ms. Manesh.
4279 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, Ms. Manesh.
4280 MS. MANESH: Good morning. I am never good at giving speeches, so bear with me with stumbling with words.
INTERVENTION BY FORM AND SUBSTANCE MEDIA CONSULTING/
INTERVENTION PAR FORM AND SUBSTANCE MEDIA CONSULTING:
4281 Good morning, Madam Chair, Commissioners, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Mitra Manesh. I am a former Commissioner of Human Rights, former Executive Director of the Multicultural Council in Peel and former Adjudicator for the Government of Ontario. Currently, I am a consultant. I do, at the personal level, executive coaching, and at the organizational level I am an organizational effectiveness strategist.
4282 I am here today not only I am familiar -- very closely familiar with the multicultural community in Ontario, in Canada, but also locally. I have lived in this area and have worked in this area. In fact, in this very same building, I have conducted hearings for over three years. And as you know as Commissioners, when people are supposed to tell you about an issue, they tell you about issues. And you get to hear a lot of things that you shouldn't here or you don't want to hear. So I am quite familiar with the issues of this community through first-hand experience.
4283 I am native of Iran, and have lived in four continents around the world I have lived in Asia, Europe, Australia and of course North America. I have two children who have never been to the country that I come from. And at a professional level, I am very much part of the mainstream and at a person level the same issue. I have just come back from a trip from Far East where -- I am actually jet lagged still. Part of my experience was spending four days with a Buddhist monk who is my mentor in the forests of Thailand. The topic that we were talking about basically was wisdom. I was very interested in it because, number one, I lack wisdom and number two, because he had lots of wisdom.
4284 One of the most profound statements that he made was that he said, "Wisdom is ability to deal with change effectively and effortlessly." And today I want to tell you from my experience of working with CFMT and monitoring CFMT in various positions, that CFMT, not through a spiritual enlightenment but through hard work and experience and making mistakes, is able to deal with our changing demographics.
4285 I know for a fact how difficult it is to work with different communities. It is not just a fancy word to say we're part of diversity, diversity is part of us. It's a mine field to go into the multicultural communities. I am not even talking about cross-cultural issues, I am talking about within each given community. When you broadcast the news or program, you hear from different political, social, gender, so on and so forth, views. CFMT knows how to deal with that. CFMT has made mistakes, has learned, has moved on with their experience of how to deal with these issues. This is not something that you can gain over a year or two or just by bringing two beautiful different faces and putting them in front of the camera. This takes hard work. Taking the mainstream media into the multicultural homes and vice versa also takes a lot of hard work. They took the risk, they took the challenge, when it wasn't even fashionable to do so. Diversity was not a good word, in fact it was a negative thing. They have worked hard to get where they are now. They have raised the standard of the multicultural media which is very important. They have integrated the multicultural media with the mainstream media. So that's my number one point.
4286 Number two, in examining the different applications that are before you, I have to tell you that I am here today because I truly believe CFMT 'too' is going to serve this community. I have no moral, professional or legal obligation to support the application. In fact, I investigated our applications. One of the applications that you are going hear from or have heard, I don't know I just got here, I attended their information session, I studied what they are proposing. And I decided that CFMT 'too' is the application that I would like to support.
4287 As I told you, my children have never been to the country that I have come from. On Sundays, Saturdays when we sit together and watch TV in my native language, it brings us together. They ask questions. I laugh at things that they can't relate to and I have to explain to them why it is funny. I am completely integrated with the mainstream, yet it is important for me and my children to have that common ground to understand the roots that they come from. It is not about ghettoization, it is not about isolation, it's about reality. As a wise person once told me, in order to get to where you want to go, you have to be proud of where you come from. My children, myself, their children need to understand first of all where they come from; secondly, be proud of where they are going or come from. It's very important. And anybody that wants to tell you otherwise is basically not dealing with diversity the way they should.
4288 The best way to check the applications before you and to see if they are just using wonderful words because they hired the right consultant to write the right proposal to present to you, or they actually understand the community that they're going to be serving, is look at the decision making tables. If they are remotely representative of the community that they're proposing they're going to serve, then maybe there is a chance. But if there is no representation, there won't be any understanding. Diversity is no longer a fancy word that we are all intrigued by it, diversity needs to be managed or it will get out of hand, as we all witnessed on September 11th. It is part of our lives, whether we want it or not. Either we understand it, we manage it effectively, or it will take our lives and does whatever destructive it wants to do to us, and we have no choice. So diversity is not a choice anymore.
4289 So I urge you in my closing presentation to you, that please, this is not the time to just give a chance to another application and see what happens, it sounds good. This is the time that you ask experts to come in and to do what is necessary. Let us begin with this small community. We can do something here, let's begin here and let's make sure that people who have done it, people who understand it, people who have done it effectively and correctly do it again. Thank you very much.
4290 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms. Manesh. Commissioner Pennefather?
4291 MS. PENNEFATHER: Ms. Manesh, thank you for your comments, but I have one area I would like to hear from you about and believe me, there are issues we hear that were not expecting and then sometimes they have the most interesting effect on our thinking. I hear what you are saying very clearly about expertise, presentations and so on. What I was curious about was what effect you see such a service having on what we call mainstream conventional television or specialty television. Not when you are watching television with the children, while watching programming that tells you about your cultural background, but when you are watching the rest of what's on the air, do you -- what do you see there and how do you see change occurring there, if at all?
4292 MS. MANESH: In fact, they do watch different programs. Believe it or not, my daughter watches two‑hour Chinese movies which is beyond me how she can follow things but she does. What it does is it closes the doors that -- misunderstandings that we have in the society. It goes against all the stereotyping that we have. Just the fact that we see them on TV -- as you know, we are very visual animals. The fact that we see them is an introduction to them and gradually we get interested. We hear things that we find interesting and we want to find out. I feel that the cross-cultural experience that I have seen in CFMT is exactly what we need because CFMT has not -- I mean I heard about isolation, has never done that. It's always been cross-cultural. For instance, there was a show that I am quite closely familiar with, a friend of mine produced, that was talking about the achievements of the Sikh community. But in that program they had mainstream people coming and talking about their experiences and their contribution and a lot of people - I know that firsthand - called the producer and said we have heard so much about the Sikh community. I mean, tell me what that does to a community that it's is so obviously different. I mean a turbaned man sitting in a crowd is identified right away. If you and I find out about the community that we are least familiar with then you begin to understand, we begin to treat them as one of us.
4293 MS. PENNEFATHER: So are you saying the -- I think I understood. Having that alternative view on a separate channel is important. But if it wasn't there, what can we do to change mainstream media?
4294 MS. MANESH: Share power. And we're not prepared to do that. I told you to look at their composition, look at the decision making tables and it is not easy, it goes against any human being desire. They need to share power. Exactly same thing; I see four women Commissioners out of five. Exactly the same thing as men had to do with us. They have to at one stage share power. It was difficult, it was very, very negative, we were called names and we were categorized. Yet it happened, they had no choice, the movement had started, and they could not do anything to stop it. The movement of diversity has started there is nothing we can do except manage it well.
4295 MS. PENNEFATHER: Thank you very much.
4296 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms. Manesh I hope Commissioner Langford doesn't go to you for advice for equality of treatment. Mr. Secretary, please.
4297 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you Madam Chair. We will now hear from the Canadian Association of former Parliamentarians.
4298 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, Mr. Flis.
INTERVENTION BY CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF FORMER PARLIAMENTARIANS/ INTERVENTION PAR CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF FORMER PARLIAMENTARIANS
4299 MR. FLIS: Good morning, Madam Chair, honourable Commissioners, my name is Jesse Flis and I am a member of the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians. This Association was enacted through Parliament on May 29th, 1996. It's an non‑partisan Association. You will be happy to know, that the late Right Honourable Pierre Trudeau was a member of this association. Presently, the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney and the Right Honourable John Turner are all voluntary -- not voluntary, are paid members of this Association. This Association has about 1,000 former MPs and senators from all political parties. So it's a non‑partisan group and its objective is, and I quote from the Act:
4300 ". is to put the knowledge and experience of its members at the service of Parlimentary democracy in Canada and elsewhere."
4301 And I feel very honoured to appear before you today because my -- I was born in raised in Saskatchewan. When I started rural school, my introduction to the rural school was DP, bowhunk, dirty Galeshian, why don't you go home from where you came. And I said where is that? I'm born here. From that beginning, ladies and gentlemen, to have the honour to appear before you today can only happen in Canada, and I thank you for this honour.
4302 Let me give you a bit of my credentials. I was 27 years with the Toronto Board of Education, I was on the race relations and multicultural committee, I was supervising principal of 12 heritage language programs. After that and in between, I was 14 years as a Member of Parliament for Parkdale-Hyde Park from 1979 to '84 and 1988 to '97. I have over 70 different ethnocultural groups in Parkdale-Hyde Park, and I know this because the principal of Parkdale Collegiate did an analysis of where his students come from, and they come from 67 different countries.
4303 You might say, well, you are a has-been now, you're a retired politician, what are you here for. Well, since I retired four years ago, I am presently director of three organizations. I am a Director of the Atlantic Council of Canada, I'm Director and First Vice Chairman of Copernicus Lodge, a senior's home and building, a long-term care facility for our Canadians. I am also on the government relations committee of the Toronto Association for community living. Having established my credentials - and also in that volunteer work - I have been asked to be on the Community Advisory Board for the Polish Community in Canada. Being a lifetime member of a largest Polish organization, being honoured with the Gold Award by the Canadian Polish congress, being honoured by the Government of Poland with the Commander's Cross, the Order of Merit, I was pleased that I was called upon to reflect the views of Poles living in Canada. What am I hearing? Everything from improper dress of people appearing on television to --
4304 THE CHAIRPERSON: Excuse me, Mr. Flis, if you move back. We are getting feedback.
4305 MR. FLIS: Thank you, Madam Chair. Two -- basically two complaints. One is the Canadians of Polish descent want more than time for news from Poland. Don't forget that in the last 20 years, many people came from Poland. They want to know about the recent elections that happened there. They want to know what's happening because Poland has made application to enter the European Union. They were quite involved when Poland made application to enter NATO. So they want more prime news time. Radio has come, thanks to CRTC, Poles can turn on the radio at noon almost daily and get direct news from Poland but they can't do it on television.
4306 The other complaint I am hearing is they want more TV coverage of the events happening in Canada, and there is so many great events. Just recently Quo Vadis was premiered in Toronto. The producer, the actors came from Poland to introduce this great Quo Vadis movie to Canadians. And you know what the Poles got, Poles being the third largest ethnocultural group in Canada? They got 10 minutes of Quo Vadis this Saturday, they got 10 minutes next Saturday, 10 minutes a third Saturday. And a two-and-a-half hour movie; ladies and gentlemen that's hardly treating Canadians fairly. And no TV could offer two-and-a-half hours to show Quo Vadis with English subtitles.
4307 That's where we're at. That's the need, ladies and gentlemen, that's the need. There is also a rapid growth in the size and diversity of the pan-Asian, African-language population, as the Toronto Board of Education discovered when it began introducing heritage languages into the public school system, and I was their supervising principal. And the Toronto Board felt well, we will offer Hindi to the East Indians, et cetera. Well, we have discovered, no, the Hindi wanted Hindi, the Gurjurati wanted Gurjurati, the Urdu wanted the Urdu language and the Punjabi wanted the Punjabi language. And the Ontario Regulations are if 25 parents ask for a heritage language the boards must offer it.
4308 Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have to wake up because the demand for these heritage languages that were there 20, 25 years ago, that demand is there for TV time now. Let's wake up. That demand is there. The need is there. And I wouldn't want to be sitting in your position now to make that important decision who should get the application. But there is also an important team here, historical team, that I want to highlight.
4309 Many Members of Parliament know of Rogers's commitment of local TV programming. From '79 and in the '90s as Member of Parliament I would be invited for interviews on the various ethnocultural programs. Serbs would invite me, the Croats, the Ukrainians, the Poles, et cetera. A member of the Rogers giving the Maltese community enough television time on Rogers cable to raise funds to send chairs for the disabled in Malta. Rogers cable also gave each MP an hour a month, sometimes half an hour a month, that we can communicate with our constituents. And I remember putting together a program where I invited credit unions from Parkdale-Hyde Park, Lithuanian credit union, Latvian, Ukrainian and Polish and these four representatives gave the history of credit unions in Canada and how similar they were and how educative this was. People didn't realize that in Parkdale-Hyde Park, St. Stanislaus, St. Casimir's, credit union is the richest parish's credit union in the world and is today. This was education, this is cross-culture sharing.
4310 But we -- what expertise that I have to produce such a program, today I am looking at the applicants who have the expertise, who can do that kind of cross-cultural sharing. I commend the CFMT, and I want to highlight here at this moment, CFMT did not ask me to appear. I asked CFMT, may I appear before the CRTC. And I got word from Ottawa that, yes, come on, we'll give you 10 minutes, but I hope you can extend it a little. But I comment on CFMT's $45 million commitment for the independent production of ethnic programming. Much foreign-trained talent goes to waste in Canada because these artists, technicians, even producers cannot find employment in their field of expertise. And job creation to me, as a former Parliamentarian and today, is very important.
4311 Who is going to create more jobs, the third language applicant or the one who is going to cross-culture share? I think if you really study it will be like five jobs here versus one job here. There is a great need in the Toronto/Hamilton TV area for a multilingual public service initiative. I discovered this need through the volunteer work that I do after retiring from politics when I attended a convention. I participated in a convention put on by the Toronto Association for Community Living and in the plenary session like this questions came from the floor --nd questions from the new arrival Canadians, questions from the visible minorities. We didn't know that there are alternate forms of accommodation for my developmentally-disabled child. We didn't know that there is respite care for my 45‑year‑old son with Downs Syndrome. We didn't know that there is training services that I can send my son and daughter to. I didn't know that I could get wheel transportation, et cetera. There is a whole field here that we haven't even touched providing this kind of information to Canadians in their heritage language. That's the need. And we have to address it.
4312 I raised this concern, what I heard there in this public forum, at the next board of directors with the Toronto Association for Community Living, the Executive Director Agnes Samler soon phoned CFMT to ask if such information could be included in the multilingual programs. And the response was fantastic. They said yes, give us the information we will help you translate it, we will get it on over-the-air-television. And that's just in its initial stages. But the same thing goes for Alzheimer's. Just last week I met an 85‑year‑old woman with Alzheimer's, she was getting volunteer help from another Polish speaking woman. When the volunteer arrived and this Alzheimer patient threw her out of the house. With Alzheimer's she didn't recognize her, she said what are you doing here, get out of my house. And this Alzheimer's patient had no where to turn, and doesn't know anything about what kind of programs are available for Alzheimer's. Autistic children, what can I do with and six‑year‑old autistic daughter? Applications for long-term care, many Canadians, especially newer arrivals, don't know how to apply for long term care for a family member. So the public service announcements that CFMT is offering already are excellent, but it's got to go 100 percent increased in time.
4313 The Atlantic Council of Canada, of which I am Director, recently co‑hosted an all‑day conference on NATO enlargement, a topic of great interest to Canadians of Central and Eastern Europe, great interest. Over 200 people came out on a Saturday, devoted a full Saturday. Who came to this function? Canadians of Lithuanian, Estonian, Latvian descent, Croatian, Serbian, Ukrainian Polish, you name it, they were all there. They -- these are Canadians. These are all Canadians. Expressing a great interest in this. Where was the main media? Where was CBC? Where was CTV? Where was Global? Not one cared in the place. Who covered it? The multilingual media. But when the multilingual media covers it and they get only one hour or one hour and a half a week, how much can they squeeze in there when they have to give news from the other countries, news, what's happening in the ethnocultural community, and then this. That's where the need is.
4314 These are Canadians I'm talking about. I was amused by the remarks from my panel friend appearing here this morning because I was very involved with the Tamil community since 1980 when they first started coming in in large droves, and I think the Tamil community is -- probably the Tamil community who needs the multilingual, multicultural, multiracial programming more than anyone else. The multicultural, multilingual and multiracial communities in the Greater Toronto, Hamilton region are appealing for more over-the-air television services, more newscasts in prime time, more Canadian dramatic and documentary programming in third language. They want more cross-cultural sharing through the TV media, they want more information in this heritage language -- in their heritage language on services provided by the local communities, some I have mentioned.
4315 I want to toss out a term here that I hope CRTC will embed in its documentation somewhere. I think what we need in Canada is the "Blue Pages" services. The Blue Pages services over radio and television. When you get back to your room tonight or to your home, open up the telephone book and look at the blue pages. Look at all the services that are provided by the three levels of government. They are never explained to the newer Canadians. That's a need. If you have to measure that need versus cross-culture sharing, I think you know the answer. The above communities who will be representing almost four million Canadians in 10 years will be served best by the applicant who has a proven track record in multilingual, multicultural broadcasting. They will be served best by the applicant who already engages in ethnocultural broadcast and involving professionals. The applicant who demonstrates expertise and experience in over the air --
4316 MR. CUSSONS: Sir, excuse me. My apologies, but we did ask people to keep to 10 minutes in their presentations. Thank you.
4317 MR. FLIS: Thank you very much. I will close up soon. But the staff must believe -- unless I can have an all Commission agreement to a five‑minute extension.
4318 THE CHAIRPERSON: As you can see, we have our own party whip. Go ahead. Is this how you behave in Parliament too?
4319 MR. FLIS: Much more vociferant than I am.
4320 THE CHAIRPERSON: But in terms of timing?
4321 MR. FLIS: Oh, in terms of timing, the speaker was very flexible.
4322 THE CHAIRPERSON: So in five minutes we will rise as well.
4323 MR. FLIS: Thank you very much. The communities I am talking about are best served by the applicant who is willing to make a substantial financial commitment. And we saw that commitment made. The applicant who listens to the needs of the different ethnocultural communities through community advisory boards - and I mentioned how I represent the Polish community in Canada on such an advisory board - the applicant who engages top professional personnel at every level of TV broadcasting, from the technician to the executive director. In my written application, and I want to close -- the CFMT application, I have listened to the others et cetera, I think not only will meet all of these criteria but they will do much more than that.
4324 In my written submission I mentioned the many awards and recognitions that CFMT has received. Watching the Polish TV program Saturday, December the 8th, the first half hour is Na Luzie and the other half hour is Zukosa. And on that program I learned that the Executive Vice President, the Vice President and Executive Producer of CFMT just was awarded the Award of Ontario, and I know the Commissioners recognize this award. But what is this award given for? I quote, "The province's highest and most prestigious honour which recognizes those who have enriched the lives of others by attaining the high standards of excellence and achievement in their respective fields." What is Ms. Ziniac's respective field? Well, being with CFMT TV, Canada's foremost multilingual, multicultural television station which broadcasts 60 per cent of its programming in at least 15 languages to more than 18 cultures since 1993. Madeline is a central part of the dedicated management team that has made CFMT TV such a success. She is the Executive Producer behind the unique programming which led to the station winning the Television Station of the Year Award by the Ontario Association of Bbroadcasters in 2000.
4325 So, ladies and gentlemen, in closing I wish to congratulate the past and present CRTC Boards in allowing Canada to evolve, to cultivate, to expand, to mature into a truly vibrant, bilingual, multicultural country. I was just in Windsor last weekend at a banquet and the President of the Canadian Polish Congress was there and the President of the American Polish Congress was there. The Canadian Polish Congress president who was born in England, at two years old came to Canada, speaks fluent Polish. The American president of the American Polish Congress for Michigan, he lives in Detroit, could hardly speak a word of Polish. There was the melting pot, here is the multicultural society. Thank you.
4326 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Flis. Mr. Flis, are you speaking on your own behalf today? Or on behalf of the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians?
4327 MR. FLIS: I am a speaking as a member of that association because a thousand members from different parties cannot -- not one member can speak on behalf of the whole association. So we come as -- from our experience as past Parliamentarians.
4328 THE CHAIRPERSON: You have a mandate from the association?
4329 MR. FLIS: I have a mandate from being a member of this association to come and speak before this Board.
4330 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Flis. Mr. Secretary, please.
4331 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chair. We now have a member of the Afghan Women's Organization who would like to present an intervention, Ms. Fahima Fatah.
4332 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, Ms. Fatah.
4333 MS. FATAH: Good morning.
4334 THE CHAIRPERSON: If you will activate the mic by pushing the button. Thank you.
INTERVENTION BY AFGHAN WOMEN'S ORGANIZATION/
INTERVENTION PAR AFGHAN WOMEN'S ORGANIZATION:
4335 MS. FATAH: Good morning. My name is Fahima Fatah and I am the education coordinator of the Afghan Women's Council and Community Support Organization. And for short we call it Afghan Women's Organization. I wish to reaffirm the support for a licence for CFMT 'too' expressed in our letter to you written last month. While I am sure there are many organizations as ours who clearly see the need to establish a second multilingual, multicultural station to provide the Toronto/Hamilton area with free, over-the-air service, I can assure you that to none is this application more cogent than to the Afghan Women's Organization.
4336 There is, I know, little need for me to detail the tragic and demonic events that have reminded the world of the very name in Afghanistan since September 11th, they have brought this country, my birthplace, into full focus. I must however inform you that our need for appropriate third language television service of the kind CFMT 'too' proposes has not existed in this area. The Toronto/Hamilton area is home to close to 30,000 persons from Afghanistan, the majority of whom have arrived since the time of Soviet invasion. About 90 per cent of these people come here as refugees. The organization I work for staffed by more than 50 full-time and part‑time workers is now serving some 30,000 clients per year. We are engaged chiefly in settlement services and advocacy on behalf of families in the community.
4337 We recognize the urgent need for the support of media in communicating to our community. We are served by Zanagar, a good bi‑weekly newspaper in Pashto and Dari, Afghanistan's two major languages and a handful of radio programs, but at the present there is no television service in Pashto or Dari. This is a vacuum in the communications spectrum that we trust can be filled with the licensing of CFMT 'too', and therefore, the most powerful of the all modern communication media is denied to the community. Like the millions of caring Canadians who are fervently hoping that the recent negotiations in Germany will lead to a permanent, stable, democratic government in Afghanistan, our community turns toward those in whose hands lies the opportunity to bring peace to our birth place.
4338 While many of our people will undoubtedly choose to remain in Canada, others will undoubtedly return to Afghanistan to participate in the rebuilding of that tragic, war-torn country. The role the Afghan Women's Organization will play in future months and years will be more demanding than ever as we seek to help women adjust to what we hope will be a renewed nation in which their rights are respected. As we seek to organize the strength of those who will participate in martialing to their compatriots.
4339 The role that television can play in the futures of both Afghan Canadians, and indeed of Canada as a nation, is a big one. We are sure that Canadians will not shirk the coming the opportunity once more to prove that they are a caring people who give humanitarian concerns a very high priority, and we are sure television will be the most impactful medium in communicating this fact. It would be remiss of us not to consider other communities which, like our own, will merit television programming. It is unthinkable in the knowledge of existing over-the-air English- and French-language facilities in the area that a multilingual, multicultural station, the only one proposed, should not get the licence. Because of its 22-year record of multilingual broadcasting and because of its professionalism, competence, financial stability and management capability, CFMT's proposed new station CFMT 'too' is the only logical choice. I thank you for this opportunity to present the views of Afghan Women's Organization.
4340 MR. LANGFORD: Thank you --
4341 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms. Fatah. Commissioner Langford?
4342 MR. LANGFORD: It was almost a coup d'etat I almost mounted there. Excuse me, Madam Chair. I was wondering, you were talking about the recent growth of the Afghan community in the Toronto/Hamilton area, can you give me some idea of -- you are saying 30,000 now, but what was it say 10 years ago? Can you give me a sense of how fast this growth has been?
4343 MS. FATAH: Yes, the Afghans started migrating to Canada in the late '70s and early '80s but I guess for the past -- we have seen a tremendous growth in the past 10 years. I personally came to Canada 12 years ago and then at that point I think we had five or 6,000 people in the Toronto area, the Greater Toronto Area. And when we started our organization about 11 years ago, the Afghan Women's Organization, we had only one staff and we were dealing with the needs of the community, but right now, as I mentioned, we have over 50 part-time and full-time staff to basically meet the needs of the growing community. And we, right now we do have newcomers almost arriving every week, we have arrivals from people who are accepted.
4344 MR. LANGFORD: And do you do some of your work in Hamilton as such?
4345 MS. FATAH: We are a Toronto-based organization but we do reach out to community members in Hamilton and other areas. But -- the head office is in Toronto, but we do service -- we have clients in Hamilton as well.
4346 MR. LANGFORD: And I know this is perhaps a little bit of a digression, but can you give me some idea of other places of Canada where these new arrivals are settling?
4347 MS. FATAH: The majority are in the Toronto area, the first, and after that would be Vancouver.
4348 MR. LANGFORD: Thank you very much. Those are my questions.
4349 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms. Fatah, for your participation. Mr. Secretary, please.
4350 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chair. we will now hear the intervention by the Canadian Ethnic Journalists' and Writers' Club.
INTERVENTION BY CANADIAN ETHNIC JOURNALISTS' AND WRITERS' CLUB/INTERVENTION PAR CANADIAN ETHNIC JOURNALISTS' AND WRITERS' CLUB:
4351 MR. VICCARI: Honourable Madam Chair, thank you for this opportunity to speak in support of the CFMT 'too' application. My name is Ben Viccari and I am a freelance journalist and television commentator. My reason for this intervention is because I firmly believe there to be a clearly indicated community need. I intend to show you why I believe that a service such as CFMT 'too' proposes would be make it the most appropriate operation to receive this new licence for over-the-air ethnic television broadcasting. As described in its application, the licence would afford both CFMT 'too' and CFMT TV a greater opportunity to meet the needs of both emerging and more established ethnic communities in the Toronto/Hamilton area.
4352 I am president of the Canadian Ethnic Journalists' and Writers' Club, an organization that includes in its membership publishers, producers, writers and editors from all three media: print, radio and television, a membership that since the Club's founding in 1978 has become increasingly diversified into terms of countries of origin, including members of media serving these emerging communities.
4353 I am an immigrant to Canada and son of an immigrant to England from Italy. I have been publisher of an Italian-language weekly newspaper and I am a frequent broadcaster on CFMT's "Commentary," featured as interstitial programming -- that is to say brief 70-second opinion pieces that run between English-language programs. The majority of the subjects that I and three other commentators focus on have to do with aspects of multiculturalism, race relations, and citizenship. For instance my own recent tapings have included pieces on Nelson Mandela as Canada's secondary honorary citizen, criticism of a right-wing institution that is promoting the "West is Best" theory, the recent Harmony Award made to Herb Carnegie, the phenomenal amateur hockey player who never made it to the NHL because of his skin colour and the international value of being a multicultural nation during these difficult times.
4354 For 15 years I was manager of Canadian Scene, a nonprofit, free, multilingual news and information service for ethnic media, a service which unhappily ceased to function two years ago due to lack of funding. It was, I believe, unique in North America. I feel, therefore, that these facts well qualify me to speak about the needs of ethnic audiences and specifically, television audiences.
4355 Third language media in Canada are nothing new, and in fact began as long ago as 1787 with the publishing of the Neuscottlaendischer Kalendar,a German newspaper in Nova Scotia. Publications in Hebrew, Icelandic, Italian and Polish were all in existence well before the beginning of the last century. During the years immediately following the Second World War the arrival of families from war-torn Europe, all seeking a better life, occasioned an explosion of third language ethnic media, first in newsprint and then in radio. All played and important part in helping new Canadians get to know this country better, in addition to keeping them in touch with the Old Country, factors that were later to be embraced with the Canada official policy of multiculturalism enunciated 30 years ago in the Multiculturalism Act of 1988, and in your own Ethnic Broadcasting Policy.
4356 Then came television and I am sure that as experts in the field, you have knowledge the higher universal impact over all others and, at its best is high potential in nation building. CFMT TV began to set the standard for over-the-air ethnic broadcasting more than 22 years ago and its pioneering efforts have been recognized by a number of awards and official recognitions including the Ontario Association of Broadcasters Television Station of Year Award, 1999; two awards for anti-racism production at the New York Festival in 2000, and so on back to 1992. A total of 72 awards. And only last week the Order of Ontario was conferred on Executive Producer and Station Manager, Madeline Ziniak.
4357 Let me go back briefly to the surge of immigration during the immediate post‑war years. Canadian Scene began by supplying its free multilingual news and information service in seven, mostly Eastern European languages, to about 36 newspapers and a handful of radio programs. It was universally believed that the need for this service would fade away with the integration of post‑war immigrants but as Canada's need for continuing immigration grew, so came succeeding waves: Italians, Portuguese, Hungarians, people from the Caribbean, from Hong Kong and Taiwan and Mainland China, from the middle East, Korea, Africa, and South Asian countries. At the time of our demise, Canadian Scene was distributing to over 600 addresses, from 36. These informational needs are continually expanding with the emerging from communities from countries such as Afghanistan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Romania, and Saudi Arabia, as also indeed have those of thousands of newcomers from countries listed under the label of "old" immigration: Poland, Russia, Ukraine, for instance.
4358 What are these specifics needs? I would like to turn here to the last survey, Canadian Scene made. That was in 1995, with assistance from the grant from the department of Canadian Heritage. The survey was news oriented and we saw sought the opinions of executive director of agencies serving immigrants and refugees as well as the opinions of ethnic media. The agencies were asked to define the most important informational needs of immigrants, in their native languages. They were, in descending order, first employment issue and labour legislation, and then official languages training, education issues, family and social services, skills upgrading, youth and youth problems, immigration advice, dealing with racial discrimination, food and shelter and abuse effecting children, women and seniors.
4359 Of course, like all of us, immigrants, refugees and those who still find the language of comfort in a third language also need their viewing leavened with suitable entertainment. These informational needs may well have changed since 1995, but I offer these results to demonstrate that it that such vital and serious information as I have outlined is considered of great importance to the well‑being of immigrants and refugees. And the report discloses and I quote:
4360 "Ethnic media appears to be doing an adequate job of communicating with the public. Ethic television, radio were deemed to be performing very well, while ethnic print media received only an average rating."
4361 An interesting sideline to this issue is that the performance of government and federal and provincial levels were placed in the "poor" category. Ottawa and Queen's Park have, since then in 1995, reduced funding on informational programs for immigrants and refugees even further. It therefore follows that the burden lies more than ever with social service agencies, themselves struggling to survive, and the media. Among them is CFMT TV, the only over-the-air system in the Toronto/Hamilton area meeting the criteria of your Ethnic Broadcasting Policy for television.
4362 Let me return once more to that Canadian Scene survey. We attempted to determine Canadian content in the ethnic media. Of the respondents, 37 per cent indicated a Canadian content of more than half in their publications or radio or television programs, while 63 per cent listed Canadian content as less than half. Among this latter group, two language groups, each representing very large immigration, had very low Canadian content.
4363 Now, looking at the main points in the CFMT 'too' application, I am impressed with the fact not only your Canadian content requirements will be observed, but that the application brings many other benefits and innovations to broadcasting such as further commitments to independent production; positive portrayal of ethnic groups and intercultural programming. When I look at the number of over-the-air English/French channels serving the designated area it seems just and fair that what is arguably the last television station that will go to air here should be multilingual and multicultural.
4364 The word "diversity" has become almost a cliché in this constantly evolving nation. Here in Hamilton and Toronto the evidence is around us. Diversity is Canada. In recognizing this fact, the CRTC has already broken ground with its Ethnic Broadcasting Policies for radio and television. Further recognition by answering the self‑evident needs of citizens and future citizens of this great, multicultural country is in your hands. I sincerely believe that the licensing a second station, which pledges to exceed your own criteria, will be a giant step toward helping this nation towards an increased sense of unity. Respectfully submitted. Thank you very much.
4365 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Viccari, your presentation is clear, therefore we have no questions.
4366 MR. VICCARI: I'm sorry, I can't hear you, Madam Chairman.
4367 THE CHAIRPERSON: Your presentation and your position is very clear and we have no questions for you.
4368 MR. VICCARI: Thank you.
4369 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr. Secretary, please.
4370 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chair we will now hearing an intervention on behalf of the Abrigo Centre.
INTERVENTION BY ABRIGO CENTRE/
INTERVENTION PAR ABRIGO CENTRE:
4371 MS. SANTOS: Good morning. My name is Christine Santos. I am a clinical director of Abrigo Centre of Toronto. I am here to advocate that CFMT be granted a second television station for multilingual programming.
4372 I would like to if I have you a little overview of what our agency, the Abrigo Centre does, and of the Portuguese speaking communities of Southern Ontario and what CFMT has done for us. Abrigo Centre is a not for profit, charitable, social services agency funded by such bodies as the Ministry of Community and Social Services, United Way of Toronto, City of Toronto, Human Resources and Development Canada, and the Solicitor General of Ontario. We're located in heart of the Portuguese-speaking communities of Toronto in the Dufferin Mall, and we have been in existence for over 11 years.
4373 We have a number of programs, starting with our violence against women prevention program where we do counseling to women and their children who have been victims of violence in their homes. We do family counseling in families where there isn't the issue of violence, but do parenting and couple counseling. We do youth programming where we go out into the schools and talk to youth about various issues in their relationships and in their lives. We have a partner assault response program which is a new program that has gone across the province for men who have been convicted of assaulting their partners and are ordered into doing a group program. We run one of those programs. We have a settlement and post‑settlement services program where we deal with both newcomers and immigrants here some time but still cannot access services in English. And we have an employment program with Human Resources and Development Canada which helps people find work who have been on Employment Insurance for the last few years.
4374 Abrigo Centre is a unique social centre in that all of our staff and volunteers are both English and Portuguese speaking and all of our services reach out to Portuguese-speaking populations. This past year, we served over 3,000 individuals. 90 per cent of them came to us because of our Portuguese languages accessibility.
4375 The Portuguese-speaking population of Ontario today is quite diverse and spread out throughout the Southern Ontario region. Our last census shows that Portuguese is the fourth most common language after English in the city of Toronto, and the fifth in Canada. And I suspect that certainly for cities in Southern Ontario such a Hamilton, Mississauga, Brampton and Cambridge and Kitchener, the stats are about the same; we are the fourth most common language after English. But in fact, there are other places such as Bradford and the Strathroy where there are populations where over 50 per cent of the population have these towns are actually Portuguese speaking.
4376 While some immigrant populations may have come to Canada with some English speaking skills and, therefore, may be able to access mainstream media easily that is not the case for the Portuguese-speaking population. We were imported here to do manual labour and, therefore, little has been invested in our communities to provide us with opportunities to learn English. Furthermore, communities have immigrated to Canada during a number of waves throughout the past five decades, meaning that we are, therefore, not only dealing with an aging population with little to no English, but people in their 50s, 40s, 30s and 20s who are first-generation immigrants who arrived as adults. All of these people rely very heavily on CFMT for information, a cultural link and a door out of the isolation that is created without access to English services. These are populations who, as I mentioned here, came because of their labour skills and, therefore, also have fairly limited schooling. Consequently, mediums such as newspapers are not an option for a majority of the population to receive information.
4377 And since Portuguese is I believe the fifth most common language in the world, we have long been receiving people in Canada from other parts of the world other than Portugal. Over the past three decades, there have been people arriving from Brazil and more recently there is quite a wave of people arriving from Angola. At our agency we meet with people who are arriving on a weekly and sometimes daily basis into the country. None of these people speak English.
4378 CFMT, since the day we opened up our doors 11 years ago, and I was there to witness it, has been integral in our ability to reach to the Portuguese-speaking communities. CFMT has changed its coverage to accommodate the changes in the communities, whether it be the aging population or the diversity in our populations. CFMT has been there to provide news coverage on special events, such as International Women's Day, volunteer appreciation and December the 6th reminder of the Montreal massacre. Furthermore, CFMT has also produced special programming on such controversial issues such as woman abuse, child sexual abuse, youth violence, group programming for men who assault their partners and the experiences of refugees from Angola as they arrive in Toronto.
4379 Furthermore, CFMT was not only prepared to air their own productions on these issues, but also commercials which we at the agency produced or that were also produced by the Ontario Women's Directorate and translated. And please note that there have been years where CFMT was actually the only one, the only media, who was prepared to address these sensitive issues which are quite important to all of our communities and which the English-speaking populations in North America have been, and I will put this in quotations, "privileged" to discuss these topics for over 25 years, whereas our immigrant communities, have not had access to appropriate information.
4380 Fortunately for us, CFMT is actually the most popular medium by far with our Portuguese-speaking populations and never have we done any kind of programming with CFMT where we didn't get phone calls the very next day from victims, from families who needed assistance, and who discovered there was assistance out there through CFMT programming.
4381 As I mentioned, CFMT has changed its programming over time in accordance with the changes in our populations and with the changes in societal values, not only reflecting the issue and concerns the respective communities but also bringing issue and concerns of mainstream society to the new and the old immigrant communities. This has a assisted in finding each of the communities within themselves, but also to bring each of these communities together to help each other on various common grounds we share. Not only where we share language and culture and history, such as Portuguese Brazilians and Angolans, but also the groups that have the common experience of immigration. The one drawback that I always see is that we're still very limited the amount of programming that is available to such large immigrant communities. And it is hopeful that with the changes that CFMT may make there will be more prime time news and information available to our large communities.
4382 And that brings me to the point that I believe CFMT assists our very unique culture in Southern Ontario. I believe we are the most multicultural society in the world. And when we see CFMT television, we see the reality of our unique society and we see the possibility of opening doors to greater variety in our society and greater acceptance of our differences and greater opportunities for equal participation in this quite good society of ours.
4383 As I got up quite early this morning to be here, I had to drive to Hamilton and I guess put the finishes touches on what I had to say I had to ask myself, so why am I doing this today? Why did I come and you can about this, I don't need another TV channel. We have more variety on the tube than I can certainly make use of, but that's because English is my main language of communication. And so I thought of the 3,000 clients that come through our doors at Abrigo Centre every year and who are actually only a fraction of our community and indeed a fraction of the immigrant populations in our area who don't -- who don't come in, who don't have access to services other than through CFMT. It is the integral tool for receiving vital information for these communities. And I thought of all the people that are representative out there of the other large population -- language groups, such as Chinese, Italian and Punjabi and of the smaller groups who have had an even smaller infrastructure to rely on for information and how isolated they must feel. And of the incredible impact a news program and an informative program can have on their ability to settle in the society and be welcomed in a positive and informed manner.
4384 This television channel it make a difference to our communities and to the most multicultural society in the world, our unique society in Southern Ontario. By opening up avenues of communication for our immigrant communities we are, in fact, inviting minority groups to understand and participate in our society. By not only opening such avenues of communication we are in fact -- if we don't open such avenues of communication, we are in fact keeping people in their place, quiet uninformed and therefore, disadvantaged. Thank you.
4385 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I have long concluded that are not Mr. Graca.
4386 MS. SANTOS: No.
4387 THE CHAIRPERSON: I have missed your name, however; would you repeat it for us and for the court reporter.
4388 MS. SANTOS: Certainly. It's Chris Santos.
4389 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. We have no questions for you. Mr. Secretary, please.
4390 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you Madam Chair, just before I introduce our next intervener, we had hoped that Ms. Doris Pelletier of Native Earth Performing Arts would be here today to express her support for the Craig application. Unfortunately, she can't be here but we do have her intervention for the record.
4391 Now our final intervention in support of CFMT, Ms. Deborah Verginella.
4392 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, Ms. Verginella.
INTERVENTION BY DEBORAH VERGINELLA/
INTERVENTION PAR DEBORAH VERGINELLA:
4393 MS. VERGINELLA: Good morning. I am very honoured to have the speak before the committee on behalf of CFMT's application for CFMT 'too'. I would like to briefly tell you a little bit about myself. I began a career as an actor after graduating from the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and subsequently worked in theatre in Toronto, Italy and Montreal. I am a native of Hamilton, by the way, so it's a double honour to be here this morning. I then began to work in a film and television, including two seasons at one of the hosts of CFMT's show called Jump Cut.
4394 My interest in film and television expanded to include writing, directing and producing. I became involved with LIFT, the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers in Toronto and participated in workshops ranging from camera technique to editing. I began writing a script based on one of the short stories by Italian writer Corabo Pienna [phoenetic]. It is here that my experience as a producer began. I interviewed a few people who said they were interested in producing my project, but I was ultimately reluctant to leave this crucial role in hands of anyone else but myself. I began the usual route of applying the to the Arts Councils and I really consider myself quite fortunate to have received $5,000 from the Ontario Arts Council. I then applied to the National Film Board, but because of budget cuts last year they stopped funding drama even though they were accepting some applications and I am happy to say they reinstated dramatic funding this year.
4395 After writing more applications, I had to decide whether to wait to have all of the funds for my entire budget, which is only $16,000, but it is a huge amount of money for me, or whether I should start shooting the exterior of my film would require winter and snow, therefore postponing would have meant waiting another year before shooting. I decided along with my director of photography that we would shoot, and defer paying most of my crew and my actors. It was a very difficult, horrible, decision. When I started the project I was adamant that each person involved in my project would be paid. I am here before you like I am sure many, many independent producers, that -- who not only, you know, don't go home with a cent in their pocket from the project, but the incredible dedication of the people with whom I have worked.
4396 I did ask for some donations from businesses in my community, not just the Italian community, but I refer to my community as the little Italy area of College and Clinton made up of many, many diverse ethnic groups. And I especially called in favours from people with whom I had worked with as an actor. I am currently waiting a response from the Canada Council for completion funding for this project. It was only in this way that I could finish shooting my film. I am currently working on the sound and the editing of my film and my hope is to complete is in the next two months. Now, two months for me is still too long, but since I don't know at this point if I will have any funds necessary to pay my editor and my sound editor, I will have to work around their work schedules. That is, the work that I make money at, and my work schedules. I work at an interpreter for the Italian community and I am freelance.
4397 This is the story of the majority of independent filmmakers and producers in our country. CFMT 'too's initiative of an independent producers' fund, it's documentary and drama production fund and its creation of a new serial is, to put it mildly, welcome news as it would allow producers and filmmakers, like me, an opportunity to have ones voice heard. Not only heard, but one of the things that I find the most frustrating is the length of time that it takes to create something. I have so many projects that I was hoping to be on at this point and because of, you know, the financial situation I am still working on the first one.
4398 Canada today is still a country which is growing. The children of second and third generation immigrants are experiencing new things. They reflect new characteristics which must be studied and observed, and those stories must be told. And what better way to do this, than a channel not only the language but in their spirit? Something which is able to express these new needs and ideas through documentaries and dramatic films.
4399 Older immigrant generations must also be helped in the difficult phase of leaving work and social environments where the primary exchange of information took place and, therefore, it is of the utmost importance to continue providing them with information in their language. Further, Canada as a whole becomes aware of the relative problems of specific ethnic communities and can then aid in the process of integrating these communities into the community as a whole.
4400 Finally, the possibility of work synergies between different ethnic groups through a channel like CFMT help not only single communities, but all communities which are integrating themselves in Canada. In my experience as a host of Jump Cut, colleagues of different backgrounds shared common tasks through their work, helping us to not only understand but to live a multicultural reality, the existence of many cultures which are alive. Just the existence of a channel like CFMT, which broadcasts in different languages and reflects the realities of different communities, promotes the interconnection of these communities. Perhaps the best ambassador, the most universal ambassador of different ethnic communities living together and discovering their singleness and universality of life experiences is the television, which reflects the language and view points of different ethnic groups and their changes as they stay and grow and change in Canada.
4401 In my own community, the Italian-Canadian community, there is still a great need, in my opinion, to move from the known stories our immigrant roots to the exaggerated bragagocio [phoenetic] of being Italian in the '70s, to the 40-somethings that today are established, are artists, are parents of a new generation which will be something entirely new in the community. The evolution of the Italian-Canadian community still needs to be examined. As well, our language is still a main source of identity. I think one of the things that -- I don't know if it has been mentioned, but I encounter in my work as an interpreter as a daily thing, and one of the things that I address in my projects, is the way language changes when communities come here. And in my experience as an interpreter, I often cannot speak proper Italian. I must speak the language of the community, which is Italese which is how the language has metamorphosed into something that is uniquely Canadian, and this is where I think my work, as far as it concerns my identity of my roots, I want that to be the future of it, I don't think that that's shown.
4402 CFMT's initiatives will only enrich the cultural fabric of this country. New groups can see the steady climb of the older groups and how they have integrated and changed the landscape by their presence. Another important aspect of television as it applies to new groups is that it is the universal language. New generations of the newest immigrant groups rely and readily relate to the story telling of television. If there is a channel that also broadcasts in their own language, it will give that community the confidence of a voice and the ability to contribute to the opinion making of the country as a whole. And finally, with the funds that CFMT 'too' will make available to producers, my film and films like mine that interlace Italian and Canadian culture for example or multicultures would already be finished and would be seen.
4403 I want to thank the Commission once more for allowing me this time and also for having in the past shared in Canada's great tradition of democracy. I extend my sincerest hopes in the success of CFMT 'too' in their application. Thank you.
4404 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms. Verginella for your presentation. We have no questions for you.
4405 MS. VERGINELLA: Thank you.
4406 THE CHAIRPERSON: I believe this concludes phase three of this proceeding we will break until 1:00 and proceed to Phase 4.
4407 There have been questions asked about Phase 4. I remind the Rules of Procedure at Section 36 for the ones who have read them lately, deem every application in a competitive process as an intervention to every other competing applications. So in reply, you can address any intervention that was filed and, in fact, any part of any other application since its -- and intervention because of the competitiveness of the process. So with that clarification, we will break and we will be back at 1:00 to hear Phase 4. Thank you.
--- Recess taken at 1221/Suspension à 1221
--- On resuming at 1303/Reprise à 1303
4408 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
4409 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chair. We are now in the final Phase four of this competitive process, where we are invite applicants to return in reverse order to their original presentations and respond to all interventions. Each is allowed no more than 10 minutes. And I would first like to call upon representatives of CFMT TV, a division of Rogers Broadcasting Limited.
4410 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome back, Ms. Ziniak and your colleagues.
4411 MS. ZINIAK: Thank you.
4412 THE CHAIRPERSON: Proceed when you are ready.
REPLY BY CFMT TV/
REPLIQUE PAR CFMT TV:
4413 MS. ZINIAK: Madam Chair, Members of the Commission, I am Madeline Ziniak. With me to present our reply are the Leslie Sole and Alain Strati. I would like to begin by thanking the people who took time in their busy lives to appear before you to support our application for CFMT 'too' and our proposal for programming for 22 more ethnocultural groups in the Toronto/Hamilton area. I would also like to acknowledge the letters that were filed by more than 2,400 individuals and organizations in support for our proposal for independent production, positive portrayal and funding for community development initiatives.
4414 Your discussions with intervenors have been very thorough. As a result our reply will focus on just four key issues. First, we will address the suggestion by CHUM that the Commission should issue a new call for applications for an ethnic television station. Clearly, CHUM seeks to derail the introduction of new television services in this market, including much needed service for more ethnocultural groups. We read the call for applications very carefully. No where did it say it was an exclusive hearing and that the ethnic services need not apply.
4415 We took the process is very seriously. We presented a comprehensive application for a new television service that will directly respond to the demand in this market for more hours of ethnic programming, for many more groups, in many more languages. We believe that, in Canada, ethnic services have become an integral part of the Canadian broadcasting system, and should be treated as such.
4416 CHUM also suggested that a new call was required because other potential applicants for an ethnic television station have not an opportunity to respond. We disagree. It may be that CHUM was uncertain about the type of application that could be considered in this proceeding, but clearly, there was no confusion in the ethnic broadcasting industry. Infinity Broadcasting, an ethnic broadcasting company, filed a letter of intent in response to the call for applications. Other ethnic broadcasters were aware of this proceeding, and have participated in the process. The usual practice of the Commission, as in this case, is to issue is general call and consider together all of the applications that are filed in response to that call.
4417 For example, the Commission recently approved an application by CHIN for a new multilingual radio station in Ottawa/Hull. That application was filed in response to a general call for applications, and was considered by the Commission along with applications in English and French-language radio services. Leslie?
4418 MR. SOLE: Secondly, we would like to address comments made by CHUM with respect to audience and revenue repatriation. CHUM suggested that repatriation is not a viable strategy in the Toronto/Hamilton market because there are no more opportunities for simulcasting. However, you also heard from the Association of Canadian Advertisers last week. They believe that audiences and revenues can be repatriated from U.S. border stations through direct, head-to-head competition. Ee agree with the ACA because that's exactly what we do at CFMT right now.
4419 Our repatriation strategy is not based on simulcasting. We schedule our prime time Canadian ethnic programming in peak viewing times. That leaves us free to compete head-to-head with U.S. board stations in non‑peak prime time. This strategy has been very successful for CFMT and will be just as successful for CFMT 'too'.
4420 Third, we would like to the respond to the interventions by Fairchild, ATN and CIRV. They appeared before you to express their concern that CFMT 'too' might have a negative impact on the growth and development of their ethnic specialty services. We believe that their concerns are unfounded. The ethnic specialty services have all benefited from the presence of CFMT in the market. We developed the initial advertising and audience base for third language television programming, on which the ethnic specialty services have now built their businesses. CFMT 'too' will have an equally positive impact. It will further expand the market to the benefit of all ethnic television services.
4421 The broad service requirement ensures that ethnic television stations provide a basic level of free, over-the-air programming for many different groups, in many different languages. This means that CFMT and CFMT 'too' can devote only a portion of their vehicle weekly broadcast schedules to programming in the Chinese, Portuguese or South Asian languages. In contrast, Fairchild, ATN and FPTV can devote their entire schedules to programming in their respective languages of specialization. They can offer their viewers many, many more hours of the most attractive foreign programming, to complement the predominantly Canadian third language programming that CFMT and CFMT 'too' will provide.
4422 Nonetheless, we would be prepared to take additional steps to address their concerns, if the Commission believes that such steps are necessary. We would accept a modification to our self‑imposed cap on the amount of programming that we may provide any single language. We would prepared to accept a cap set at 15 per cent, based on 126 hour weekly schedule, for the first two years, increasing by only one per cent each year thereafter, and never exceeding 20 per cent. This would give the ethnic specialties the additional time to adjust that they seem to want.
4423 In addition, we will continue to provide commercial availabilities at no charge to the digital ethnic specialties to help them promote their services. We are committed to a development of strong ethnic television broadcasting industry in Canada and we are prepared to work with ethnic specialty television services to help them succeed.
4424 MS. ZINIAK: Fourth, we would like to address the issue of ethnic and cross-cultural programming. You have heard many intervenors say that both types of programming are important. We agree. If you compare our application with the other applications that you are considering in this proceeding, you will see that we are proposing to provide both more third language programming and more cross-cultural programming. We will offer cross-cultural programs in English, such as Multicultural Canada and the cross-cultural dramatic programs series. We will also offer ethnic programs in English and French, directed specifically to the South Asian, African and Caribbean communities, but which will be accessible to many other groups.
4425 Madam Chair, Members of the Commission, the events of September the 11th ultimately are not about economics or advertising sales. If September 11th has anything to say to people in the communications industry in this country, it is that we need to do more. We need more programming to give more groups a voice, to facilitate integration and to promote understanding and acceptance. That is the essence of our application for CFMT 'too'.
4426 I want to thank you for the thoroughness of this hearing. I would also like to acknowledge the CRTC staff for their hard work in assistance throughout this proceeding. We look forward to hearing the reply comments by the other applicants, and we wish you well in your deliberations. Thank you.
4427 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms. Ziniak, Mr. Soles. Counsel?
QUESTIONS FROM MR. RHEAUME/
QUESTIONS DE M. RHÉAUME:
4428 MR. RHEAUME: Thank you Madam Chairperson. Very briefly - we are going to be asking the same questions of everyone. What are your plans with respect to implementation?
4429 MS. ZINIAK: Sorry, that -- we couldn't hear.
4430 MR. RHEAUME: When do you plan to implement the new service?
4431 MR. SOLE: Within 12 months of the decision.
4432 MR. RHEAUME: Thank you.
4433 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, for your cooperation and your participation as well. And I was hoping you would develop some more aggressiveness overnight to compensate for your intervention. Thank you. Mr. Secretary, please.
4434 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chair. I would now like to call on representatives of TDNG Incorporated, Torstar.
4435 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome back and proceed when you're ready.
REPLY BY TORSTAR/
REPLIQUE PAR TORSTAR:
4436 MR. PRICHARD: Madam Chair, Commissioners, for the record I am Robert Prichard, president of the Torstar Media Group and Chief Operating Officer of Torstar Corporation. I am joined by the full Torstar team who were introduced to you last week. Their names are on the seating chart that we have given you and their titles are listed on the accompanying sheet. They are here to answer any questions you may have.
4437 At the outset, I want to record our gratitude for the privilege of appearing before you over the past week. You have given us a very thorough and very fair hearing and we thank you for the opportunity to be a part of the Commission's work. We are also honoured by the many intervenors who spoke in support of our applications. Collectively, they are a remarkable group of Canadians, all representing the communities we wish to serve.
4438 The first issue on which you face opposing views is whether or not the Golden Horseshoe can support these new television licenses. Our position is clear. By the time these stations sign on in 2003, Canada will be in a new growth cycle, and the economy of the Golden Horseshoe will lead the way. In spite of the current slowdown, overall Toronto television revenues in 2001 were up seven per cent, and conventional television revenues were up almost two perc ent. And according to HYPN, bookings for 2002 are ahead of last year's.
4439 CHUM referred to conventional television's decline in share of tuning and share of advertising revenues. But to isolate conventional television distorts reality. Viewers watch programs. They don't differentiate between conventional and specialty. It's all television. And the same is true of media buyers. They buy ratings, not specialty or conventional, and what they can't buy is local ratings for Toronto, Hamilton or Kitchener‑Waterloo. As you heard Thursday from the Association of Canadian Advertisers, advertisers need and want this new local air time. And Canada's richest media market can and will support these new stations.
4440 CHUM, CTV and CanWest warn of a money drain to Hollywood, as new entrants bid up the price of U.S. programming leaving less to spend on Canadian programming. We think they're right, but not with regard to Hometown Television. Our prime time commitment to Canadian programming means we won't be going to Hollywood to bid on U.S. programming. It's not part of our business model, it's not part our budget, and it wouldn't fit our schedule.
4441 Alliance Atlantis claims our programs won't get the big ratings of traditional prime time fare. They're right. Which is why we anticipate modest ratings, an average 1.2 rating in prime time in year three is all we need to meet our business plan. Alliance Atlantis and Craig plan a traditional approach to conventional television, buying and using foreign programming in prime time to drive their business models. If you licence them, you will be increasing the supply of American programming available to Canadians in prime time. In contrast if you licence Hometown Television's unconventional approach to conventional television, you will increase the tuning to Canadian programming in prime time.
4442 CHUM relies on TVB data, while we believe the HYPN model, based on CRTC and StatsCan data is the more accurate measure. But regardless of the source of data, no one disputes that revenues will follow tuning. Craig and Alliance Atlantis, with their American programming in prime time, predict significantly higher shares of tuning than Hometown Television. Craig projects a five per cent of share of tuning and Alliance Atlantis six per cent in year five, when we project only a 3.6 per cent share. And share of tuning is the best predictor of market impact.
4443 We are the only applicant before you proposing to build three full-service television stations, one in each of the communities we intend to serve. We are the only applicant offering to create some 300 jobs in Hamilton, Kitchener‑Waterloo and Toronto, an important new investment in local talent and local reflection, and an opportunity to build a truly inclusive, diverse work force that reflects the reality of these communities.
4444 Alliance Atlantis and Craig claim our independent production budgets are unrealistic and reflect our inexperience. We respectfully disagree, and the record before you supports our view. Our program budgets were built from the ground up. We began with market research that told us what programs people would watch, we gave independent producers descriptions and formats and asked them to quote to us. Their quotes were the basis of our program budgets. We validated those budgets based on the experience of seasoned producers like Gord Haines and Paul Osborn. And you heard the same directly from other producers in Phase three, including Sylvia Sweeney, Peter Rehak, David Wesley and Allan Aylward. We're confident that these budgets are adequate to produce compelling programs, particularly as they are supplemented by services from our stations, access to our archives and research assistance. While not dependant on this, producers can also apply for tax credits and other funds. As you have heard from our intervenors, if the programs are about them and their communities and are properly promoted, people will watch.
4445 Who are the producers we want to work with? You saw several of them at these hearings. They are the innovators, the next generation, the early adopters of cost-effective new digital production technologies, the abundance of talent waiting for opportunity. Think Main Street, not Bay Street. Think Canada, not Hollywood. Think inclusion, not exclusion. Think can CanPro Awards, not Geminis. On Friday, Sylvia Sweeney spoke of the plight of small independent producers. Our commitment will help take them off the endangered species list. This $86 million in licence fees and supplementary financing for independent producers for new programming represents an essential inflow of new production funding and new opportunities. By comparison, Alliance Atlantis proposes to spend only $19 million, and Craig only $15 million on independent production over the license term. 345 of our 840 positive interventions specifically identified our independent production initiatives as reasons for supporting Hometown.
4446 The difference between our proposal and the traditional approaches is innovation, a new way of doing things, thinking outside of box, nimble. Innovation is always met by disbelief from established players, innovators are always met by claims that it can't be done. But progress is made when innovators get a chance to do it differently, to deploy new talent, new technologies, new approaches. That is the chance we seek with Hometown Television.
4447 As Joan Schafer reminded us, eloquently, with her intervention on Friday, and Nancy Smith did so again this morning, other pioneers have gone before us. 30 years ago, when the population of the GTA was just half of what it is now, City TV's proposals for low-cost production were met by disbelief from the established players. But City was licensed and it dazzled and it thrived with its new talent and new approaches. And we are asking for the same chance today. We will build on the broadcast experience of the core team you see before you. We will build on over a century of experience in serving these communities: a hundred years experience in news, information and entertainment, a hundred years of success in businesses fueled by advertising. Regardless of the economic cycle, through two world wars and 15 recessions our company has always fulfilled its promise, its commitment to these communities. And we will deploy our newspapers to bring our schedule and our programs to the attention of our communities and with this promotional support, local and regional Canadian content will succeed in attracting its fair share of audiences.
4448 Over the last week, both Commissioners and some intervenors have asked questions about our proposed Conditions of Licence. We listened hard to your concerns and your questions. We came to understand your central concern is that at a threshold of 80 per cent Canadian all the time, there is still uncertainty with respect to our commitment that the overwhelming focus of our programming will be local, regional and Canadian. We also came to understand that moving towards a definition of "regional" programming was a less attractive option than simply raising the minimum Canadian commitment above 80 per cent. In particular, Madam Chair, you asked if we could go to 90 per cent, and we declined, citing prudence and a need for some flexibility given the absolutely binding nature of a Condition of Licence.
4449 This past weekend, however, we have reflected on your concern and reconsidered our position. We are now prepared to make a stronger commitment to meet your concern directly. In lieu of our earlier position, we now propose to commit, as a Condition of Licence to 85 per cent Canadian all of the time and 85 per cent in prime time. All our other commitments remain unchanged, and are summarized on the attachment to these remarks. We have made this change in good faith, to respond directly to your concerns.
4450 We believe our commitment makes abundantly clear our determination and promise to set a new high-water mark for Canadian content and to add a distinctive and unprecedented new level of local and regional service.
4451 In our opening statement last Wednesday, we said we are not applying for not only three television licences, but also to join the Canadian broadcasting family. Admitting Torstar to that family will add strength and resources existing licensee contributions. The resulting system will be stronger, broader and more diversified, and better able to meet the needs and aspirations of our communities. We will be compelled by law to live to the letter of our Conditions of Licence. And we will be compelled by our history, our values and our business to live to the spirit of them. We have spent over a century building a representation for trust, a culture based on values and a business model that relies on deep and meaningful interaction with our communities. We are not about to sacrifice all of this by failing to live up to our commitments to you. We will keep our word. We thank you, Madam Chair, for a remarkable week.
4452 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Prichard. Counsel?
QUESTIONS BY MR. RHEAUME/
QUESTIONS DE M. RHÉAUME:
4453 MR. RHEAUME: Thank you, Madam Chairperson. When you say by the time we sign on in 2003 -- you indicate in your paper by the time we sign on in 2003. Would 12 months be sufficient to build three stations?
4454 MR. PRICHARD: We believe it would be sufficient, 12 months from your decision.
4455 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr. Secretary, please.
4456 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you Madam Chair I would now like to invite Craig Broadcast Systems to come forward and reply to all interventions, please.
4457 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome back, proceed if you're ready.
REPLY BY CRAIG BROADCAST SYSTEMS/
RÉPLIQUE PAR CRAIG BROADCAST SYSTEMS:
4458 MR. CRAIG: Thank you. Good afternoon, Madam Chairperson, Commissioners, Commission staff, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Drew Craig and I have with me today Al Ferguson and Jennifer Strain. We would like too begin by sincerely thanking those who took the time to intervene in support of this application. In particular, those who appeared in person. We are very grateful for their support.
4459 We will respond to the interventions of Global, CHUM and CFMT, and the issues of multicultural programming, diversity, WUTV repatriation, foreign program rights and cross subsidization. We note that the issues raced by CHUM and Global in their interventions were addressed extensively in our reply of November the 19th.
4460 CFMT in its intervention last Wednesday made a comment that the multicultural programming proposed to be broadcast by Craig as part of its Canadian acquired schedule will be national, not local. We are not sure how CFMT arrived at this conclusion, since there was never any discussion about it, but ATN for example, has available a good variety of local, multicultural programming, from concerts to business shows to variety programs. Obviously, it would be our desire to schedule local, multicultural shows as much as possible, given Toronto One's local mandate.
4461 Now we would like to turn to diversity. CHUM says we offer no program diversity to the GTA. CHUM's conventional television model is based on broadcasting a high volume of news. We also do large amounts of news in our Manitoba and Alberta markets because there is demand for this type of programming in those markets. Our model for the GTA is very different. It's based on what is lacking in the market. There is a scarcity of variety and entertainment programming about and for local audiences in Toronto. There are no broadcast windows for inclusive, English-language, multicultural programming. Our commitment to schedule these types of programs is what makes us different and we believe is what the Commission challenged us to do in its TV Policy. We have no intention of doing "warmed-over Citytv," as Mr. Znaimer put.
4462 Moreover, the diversity we are proposing for the GTA includes, not just the 14-and-a-half hours of programming designated as "local" in the block schedule. It also includes our group productions, Real Life and Sharing Circle, each of which will include local stories as well as material from the other Craig stations, for a total of 25 hours per week of local and group programming.
4463 Now to WUTV repatriation. The ability to repatriate advertising dollars from WUTV does not depend on whether a Toronto outlet can simulcast UTV's programming. The point is that a new Toronto-only service that offers alternative programming will attract an audience and the advertising dollars will follow. Our research established that advertisers would prefer a Canadian, Toronto-only option, were one available. This was borne out in Alberta. The Spokane stations had a sales force in Alberta before A-Channel launched; they don't anymore. And we didn't have to simulcast identical programs to repatriate those dollars to Alberta stations.
4464 Now to foreign program rights. The introduction of a new player will not cause foreign program rights to spiral out of control. While CHUM claims there are no programming available to be sublicensed to a new player, CHUM itself sublicenses so-called "unwanted" shows, like Regis and Kelly and, Once and Again, from CTV that achieved significant ratings for CHUM. Neither Global nor CHUM has disputed the fact that foreign programming supply in the U.S. is growing, significantly, and will continue to grow. There is more supply than demand for good quality, foreign programming and more than enough to meet our requirements.
4465 The cross subsidization issue was also discussed. We understand cross subsidization very well. Craig subsidizes its Winnipeg and Brandon with the help of our two services in Edmonton and Calgary. We do understand what we -- what we do not understand is how CHUM can claim that its entire house of cards will come tumbling down if we are awarded a single licence in Toronto. This is a company that now feeds two conventional, and seven analog specialty channels into the GTA alone. CHUM has the tools and ample opportunity to make its television business financially successful. With respect, we do not believe that CHUM's under-performance on the conventional side is the Commission's problem. CHUM argues that no one as disputed its contention of irreparable harm to its existing stations if either Craig or Alliance is licensed. We have disputed it. We invite the Commission to compare the statements made in CHUM's intervention with its recent annual report, and in particular, the management discussion and analysis in which CHUM is obligated to disclose future threats to its business. There is no mention of a new licence in Toronto causing the degree of harm that CHUM has outlined in its intervention.
4466 While CHUM may be only somewhat optimistic, as they say, about the future of conventional television, it hasn't dissuaded them from continuing to invest heavily in it and is evidenced - as is evidenced by its recent start‑up in Victoria and the acquisition of CKVU for a significant price.
4467 In conclusion, Madam Chairperson, the licences being sought in this proceeding are very valuable. And we know you have tough decisions to make. We reiterate that conventional television is Craig's core business. This application for Toronto One is realistic and achievable. It is based on extensive research of the market from both a demand point of view and an audience and advertiser perspective. We believe it addresses the needs of the new multicultural Toronto. Craig is fully prepared to accept whatever Conditions of Licence the Commission may see fit to impose based on what we have filed. And finally, we wish to thank you the Commission for a very thorough hearing and the staff for all its assistance. Thank you very much.
4468 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Craig. Counsel?
4469 MR. RHEAUME: Thank you Madam Chairperson. One question of clarification on the multicultural programming. You refer, in the course of the week, to "type E" ethnic programs. Now, the various types have been removed from the definition of an ethnic program, as you know. So would those programs here that you discuss, the multicultural program, meet the definition of an ethnic program?
4470 MS. STRAIN: Excuse me, counsel, we did look at this and our intent was to follow the wording of "type E" multicultural programming. And I unfortunately don't have it with me today, but if it wasn't the identical wording from the old "type E" definition, but it was the wording that we had read into the record.
4471 MR. RHEAUME: So what you are saying is according to your plans, what you are proposing would not meet the current definition of ethnic programs?
4472 MS. STRAIN: It mirrors it very closely. It's identical up until -- there is a -- it ends at a particular point, but it captures, I think, the same -- the same thing.
4473 MR. RHEAUME: So if the Commission were to have a Condition of Licence on the current definition of ethnic programs, that would not be acceptable to you; is that a fair assessment?
4474 MS. STRAIN: Counsel, I am afraid I don't have my Peter Grant book with me but if you can tell me what the definition is, I can tell you quite quickly.
4475 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you like me to read it?
4476 MS. STRAIN: Sure.
4477 THE CHAIRPERSON: Or do you have it, counsel?
4478 MR. RHEAUME: Yes.
4479 "An ethic program one in any language that is specifically directed to any culturally or racially distinct group other than one that is aboriginal, Canadian or from France or British Isles."
4480 That is the current definition of an ethnic program.
4481 MS. STRAIN: Yes, as long as it is in the English language, we could accept that definition.
4482 MR. RHEAUME: Thank you. Implementation; 12 months be okay?
4483 MR. CRAIG: Yes.
4484 MR. RHEAUME: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.
4485 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Craig Ms. Strain and your colleagues.
4486 MR. CRAIG: Thank you.
4487 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
4488 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you Madam Chair. We now invite Alliance Atlantis Broadcasting Incorporated to reply to all interventions.
4489 THE CHAIRPERSON: Go ahead. Welcome back.
REPLY BY ALLIANCE ATLANTIS BROADCASTING INC./ REÉPLIQUE PAR ALLIANCE ATLANTIS BROADCASTING INC.:
4490 MR. MACMILLAN: Thank you Madam Chair, Commissioners, Mr. Secretary and Commission staff. Let me begin by thanking the many organizations and individuals who intervened positively on behalf of GTTV during these hearings. We appreciate and value their support.
4491 We have applied in writing to the written intervention of CHUM and this was filed with the Commission on November the 19th. This written reply fully addresses the major issues raised by CHUM concerning GTTV. However, we do whish to speak to a couple of additional points raised by CHUM in Phase three, as well as a few issues raised by other applicants in both written in oral interventions.
4492 CHUM has given you two new charts. The only relevant one confirms that Alliance Atlantis has a modest overall share of English-language Canadian box office revenue for both Canadian and foreign films as against all other distributors. Let there be no mistake, Alliance Atlantis has been very successful in its Canadian theatrical distribution operations. Given the long-standing public policy thrust to develop a thriving Canadian-owned distribution sector, our success in this that area should be a cause for celebration. We wish to confirm what should be obvious to anyone: the entire Alliance Atlantis library of films and TV programs will continue be available to the highest bidder, just as it currently is in the Specialty word. Given the economics of single market stations, it will some time before GTTV has the capacity to outbid the networks or large station groups.
4493 CHUM has also charged that any new licencee will necessarily drive up the price of foreign programming. CHUM acknowledges that it buys what it calls "second tier" U.S. programming. Since no new station could compete for top 10 product, what CHUM is actually concerned about is clearly not the feeding frenzy to which it refers, but rather to any competition for the product CHUM itself wants to buy. The truth is there has never been so much good quality foreign programming available from the U.S., Bbritain, Australia and New Zealand. Phyllis?
4494 MS. YAFFE: Commissioners, having considered the other intervenors to GTTV, five fundamental issues have emerged that speak to the circumstances of conventional television in Toronto. These are: diversity of programming and demand; local programming commitments; television credentials; diversity of voice and ownership, and realistic and achievable business plans. We wish to briefly address each of these.
4495 CHUM stated that GTTV offers no diversity of local programming to GTA viewers. Both CHUM and Craig criticized our local news programming on the basis that our large commitments in this area are already well represented in the GTA. We disagree. As Commissioner Wilson so aptly pointed out in questions to CHUM, incumbent stations like Citytv have developed a particular local programming focus on the downtown core of the old City of Toronto. In the case of Citytv, it seeks to reach younger, more urban viewers with a particular hip style and taste. It is clearly not for everybody. We ask, is CHUM's real agenda a monopoly in local reflection? Isn't it time someone else was in the market, with a different local focus? We thought more of the same was not the right way to go and so GTTV takes a different approach. This is why GTTV is aimed at an adult demographic 25 to 54, unlike Craig's stated focus of 18 to 34, the same approach as that of Citytv.
4496 The GTTV model is founded in recognition of the new realities of Greater Toronto. Five million residents representing a population roughly the size of B.C.'s and Manitoba's combined. We believe strongly that what is most needed in new local television is the commitment to address the issues that are of interest to people living an amalgamated Toronto throughout the entire GTA, not just focused on what happens in the former downtown core, south of Yonge and Bloor.
4497 Our Environics research shows clear demand for the GTTV model. We find it curious that CHUM criticizes our demand research, for the levels of support for GTTV in our study are in fact equal to or greater than the consumer research findings supporting CHUM's most recent successful application for a new, local Victoria station.
4498 The licences that you may grant following these hearings represent some of the last available channel spectrum in Toronto. In recent years, local television has contracted, not expanded, as Toronto-based television stations have pursued their regional and national business and programming strategies. CHUM has asserted there is no need for more local TV. In fact, the most pressing need in local television is local reflection and local programming, both quality and quantity with realistic resources. Alliance Atlantis has committed to 41.5 hours of local programming. Global offers no local reflection, and Craig a mere 14.5 hours. Further, GTTV will offer a local service dedicated to reflecting the diverse interests and entertainment needs of GTA viewers. There are 23.5 hours per week of the local news, six of it hard news in prime time, and 17.5 hours of softer, more human-interest oriented news.
4499 In addition, GTTV will offer 18 hours a week of non‑news local programming. These non‑news programs will cover a broad array of local topics including arts, entertainment, comedy, performing arts, consumer reports, personal finance, local heroes, all outlined in our supplementary brief. They will be professionally produced using the necessary resources, making them truly attractive to viewers.
4500 GTTV's mandate is to give true reflection to an area that encompasses over 40 federal ridings. Being local does not mean being parochial; it means being responsive and inclusive, and GTTV will be both.
4501 GTTV has also committed to fully reflect the cultural diversity of the GTA. Our mission is to imbed, throughout all of our programming, the rich multicultural fabric of Toronto. We will bridge differences, and not ghettoize them.
4502 Item 9 of our 10 Key Points from the application provides for "Employment and programming commitments to reflect the diverse ethnic and racial make-up of the GTA." The details of our integrated multicultural programming strategy are set thought in Schedule 20 of our application. While we have already accepted Item 9 commitment as a Condition of Licence, we wish to confirm that every detail of Schedule 20 can be part of that Condition. This makes our commitments to multicultural diversity real, concrete and measurable. As you know, we support the licensing of CFMT 'too'. Between our building of bridges and CFMT 'too' we believe you would have the best of both worlds.
4503 MR. RUBINSTEIN: Contrary to the assertions of CHUM and Global, we can and will deliver on our commitments without undue impact on incumbent broadcasters. Our confidence is based upon our track record and our willingness to accept as Conditions of Licence each of the commitments contained in our filed 10 Key Points, once again attached to this reply. And for clarity, that includes the $19.3 million we have committed to fund independently produced priority programming. Torstar compared this number to its overall Canadian content expenditure number and for the record, our overall Canadian content expenditure commitment is $132 million.
4504 Of all the applicants before you we have the most extensive experience in the art of storytelling, making television programs that people want to watch. With a revenue model that's dependent upon generating advertising revenues, the proven creative ability to reach audiences and deliver ratings is critical.
4505 Intervenors have challenged our contribution to diversity. Last week, we spoke of the consolidation and concentration of media voices in athe Greater Toronto and Southwestern Ontario area. We believe that true diversity of opinion and ownership to the existing concentrated Toronto media landscape should be a significant factor in this process. By offering a new local English-language editorial voice in Toronto, the licensing of Alliance Atlantis would add much-needed diversity in local television and be in the public interest. This compares to tore applicants who already provide local editorial voice through either television or newspapers. And this is why we are so concerned with Torstar's self‑stated mission to be the preeminent supplier of local reflection including news in Toronto, Hamilton and Kitchener regardless of the medium.
4506 Our business plan is realistic and achievable because of the television synergies we can bring to GTTV from our existing Toronto-based television operations, unlike some other applicants. This is why we put forward a business plan that does not require unrealisticly high revenues to support our service. Nor does it require a request to compete for local advertising revenues in smaller, single-station markets such as Kitchener, or London. The economics of GTTV work because we can fully leverage our resources, especially in critically important areas like sales, technical, operations and marketing.
4507 MR. MACMILLAN: Returning to what we believe are the five corner stones of this licence proceeding: diversity of programming and demand, local programming commitments, television credentials, diversity of voice and ownership, and realistic and achievable business plans. Toronto viewers are entitled to a new local television service that's fresh and different. We believe that this can be assured by a proving an applicant who meets all five the of these criteria.
4508 Our track record demonstrates that we bring innovation, creativity and new blood to the Canadian broadcasting and cultural industries. We will more than rise to this new challenge if granted the privilege of launching GTTV.
4509 We would be pleased to answer any questions you may have, but first may I extend our thanks, Madam Chair, Commissioners and Commission staff to the dedication and thoroughness that you have shown through this proceeding. We do appreciate the thoughtfulness of the hearing we have received.
4510 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms. Yaffee, Mr. MacMillan. Counsel.
4511 MR. RHEAUME: Quick question on implementation.
4512 MS. YAFFE: Within 12 months of licensing.
4513 MR. RHEAUME: Thank you.
4514 MR. LANGFORD: So you did manage to give Ms. Yaffee the last word. I was worried.
4515 MR. MACMILLAN: Never fails.
4516 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr. Secretary, please.
4517 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you Madam Chairperson. Now our final applicant, Global Communications Limited.
4518 THE CHAIRPERSON: Proceed when you are ready.
REPLY BY GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS LIMITED/
REPLIQUE PAR GLOBAL COMMUNICATION LIMITED
4519 MR. NOBLE: Thank you Madam Chair, Members of the Commision. We are pleased to appear before you in the last Phase of this public hearing in order to present out remarks in response to what others have said. With me today is Charlotte Bell, Patrick O'Hara and for the record, my name is Gerry Noble.
4520 We find ourselves in an awkward position, virtually no one has intervened against our Purely Canadian proposals. In fact, those who did comment on the Purely Canadian proposals agreed that they would have the least impact on the system if licensed. And that's the important decision I think that will come out of these hearings, whether or not to licence yet a 13th over-the-air basic cable channel in this market - Canadian, would be number 13. Including the foreign services, it's a total of 17 stations in this market on basic cable. The reason they did not object to our local programming proposals is because we offered an alternative approach, one that will not compete with current offerings or local news.
4521 Now, while we will keep our comments brief, we do wish to respond to certain issues that were raised during the two intervention phases of this proceeding. During Phase two, Commissioner Langford asked a number of applicants if they could co‑exist with CFMT 'too' if it were licensed. The question followed a proposal by CFMT in Phase one, suggesting that it might take channel 69 - a channel that actually interferes with its CFMT signal - in order to allow the Commission to licence another applicant on channel 52 in Toronto. In our view, the fact that another frequency might be available should not be used as a rationale for licensing multiple applications in this market. We trust the Commission will, as always, make its decision to either license or not, based on established criteria and on the potential impact such new services would have on the marketplace, as well as a Canadian broadcasting system as a whole.
4522 The Association of Canadian Advertisers supports the licensing of new local service in Ontario in order to add inventory. This does not come to a surprise to us, since an increase in inventory would likely result in lower prices for advertisers. But this would not add significant new dollars to the marketplace, it would result in further fragmentation of what is already there. In our view, this position neither helps strength local broadcasting nor does it serve the interests of the Canadian broadcasting system as a whole. It does, however, serve the interests of the advertisers who wish to keep prices down.
4523 On the issue of repatriation of advertising from U.S. border stations, the ACA concurred that additional local services would fragment viewing and revenues from all sources, including border stations in Buffalo. We agree. The revenues derived from the new service will be taken predominantly from existing services, including a portion coming from border stations. This makes sense. But there is no magic formula that will ensure the large portion of that dollars will come from south of the border. As CHUM pointed out in its intervention, repatriation of ad revenues is challenged by the scheduling practices of border stations that make simultaneous substitution more difficult.
4524 In closing, we wish to acknowledge the many intervenors who filed letters of support for our proposals and those of others. Many interested parties have appeared at this proceeding in the past few days in support of the applications before you. Each intervenor had positive things to say about what these proposals might bring to the local markets being considered. But what is at stake this preceding has far reaching implications beyond the local communities in question. The result of new licensing in these markets will have an impact on the broadcast system on the whole. While new services might provide some additional local programming and community reflection, they will, in light of commitment they have made, have know choice but take out more than they put in. Because the Toronto market is the economic engine that supports smaller markets throughout the system, the impact of licensing would produce a net result that is negative for the system.
4525 This is not unlike the airline industry where too many operators in the market led to fragmentation, and in turn resulted in consolidation to preserve Canadian service. The need for rationalization, in addition to the economic pressures, have now led the airline industry in Canada to reduce service to smaller markets in toward to preserve service on major routes. The strength of the broadcasting industry lies in our ability to continue to serve markets of all sizes throughout the country. Even without new licensing in these markets, we have already begun to see similar effects in smaller markets in the broadcasting system.
4526 Our application, "Purely Canadian", will strengthen the system rather than weaken it. We thank the Commission and Commission staff for your probing and attention and I am sure long hours of homework for this hearing. We are prepared to answer any questions.
4527 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Noble. Counsel.
4528 MR. RHEAUME: When could you implement "Purely Canadian"?
4529 MR. NOBLE: 12 months after licensing, 11 if you prefer.
4530 MR. RHEAUME: Thank you, Mr. Noble. Merci, madam.
4531 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you this completes Phase four of the hearing. Mr. Secretary, I understand we also have a non‑appearing items scheduled.
4532 MR. CUSSONS: Yes, we do, Madam Chair, and your decisions will be rendered on those in due course.
4533 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Before adjourning I wish to thank all participants for their cooperation and their patience and more significantly for their important contribution to the proceeding. We all worked hard but with good humour and even managed to share a few laughs.
4534 My thanks, of course, to my colleagues for their support and for the staff for their invaluable help before and during the hearing and in the months to come and the court reporter for keeping our words on the pages of the transcript and to the technicians for keeping the echo out of the room. I hope you all have a safe trip home, whether you live in Kitchener, Toronto, Hamilton, Halton Hills, Halton County. On this noble effort, this hearing is now adjourned.
Whereupon the proceedings adjourned at
1358/ L'audience est ajournée à 1358
MINORI ARAI, CSR