ARCHIVED - Transcript, Hearing 19 January 2010
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TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE
THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND
Review of campus and community radio
140 Promenade du Portage
January 19, 2010
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
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.
Canadian Radio-television and
Review of campus and community radio
Michel Arpin Chairperson
Rita Cugini Commissioner
Marc Patrone Commissioner
Suzanne Lamarre Commissioner
Louise Poirier Commissioner
Peter Menzies Commissioner
Stephen Simpson Commissioner
Jade Roy Secretary
Crystal Hulley Legal Counsel
Michael Craig Hearing Manager
140 Promenade du Portage
January 19, 2010
- iv -
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
Association canadienne des radiodiffuseurs, Astral Media Radio Inc., Corus Entertainment Inc., Rogers Media, and CHUM Radio 258 / 1470
Radio CKUT 90.3 FM 358 / 2064
CFRU Radio 398 / 2296
CITR 101.9 FM 435 / 2537
Erin Community Radio 465 / 2711
Gabriola Radio Society 501 / 2933
--- Upon resuming on Tuesday, January 19, 2010 at 0902
1464 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please.
1465 Madame la Secrétaire?
1466 THE SECRETARY: We will now invite the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, Astral Media Radio Inc., Corus Entertainment Inc., Rogers Media and CHUM Radio to appear as a panel to make a joint presentation.
1467 Appearing for the panel is Madam Sylvie Courtemanche.
1468 Please introduce your colleagues and you will then have 20 minutes to make your presentation.
1469 Thank you.
1470 MME COURTEMANCHE: Bonjour, Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les Conseillers et membres du personnel. Mon nom est Sylvie Courtemanche, vice-présidente aux relations gouvernementales de Corus Entertainment et, également président du comité des affaires réglementaires de l'ACR. Permettez-moi de vous présenter mes collègues.
1471 Tout d'abord, à ma droite, Paul Ski, chef de la direction des activités radio de Rogers Media et président du conseil de la radio de l'ACR.
1472 À sa droite, Paul Larche, président et chef de la direction de Larche Communications et président du caucus de la radio indépendante de l'ACR.
1473 Et, à sa droite, Chris Gordon, président de CHUM Radio et vice-président du conseil de la radio de l'ACR.
1474 À ma gauche, Marc-André Lévesque, président et chef de l'exploitation de RNC MEDIA Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean et vice-président du caucus de la radio indépendante de l'ACR.
1475 Derrière moi (à ma gauche ou à votre droite, je ne suis pas trop certaine), Ralph Shoan...
1476 Les directions (rire).
1477 MME COURTEMANCHE: ...directeur des affaires réglementaires d'Astral Média Radio et membre du comité des affaires réglementaires de l'ACR.
1478 Pierre-Louis Smith, vice-président (politiques) et chef de la réglementation de l'ACR, ainsi que Wayne Stacy, conseiller technique de l'ACR.
1479 Mr. Chair and Commissioners, private radio broadcasters recognize that campus and community radio stations can play an important role in the Canadian broadcasting system by offering a diverse voice and grass roots outlet for community expression and reflection.
1480 Community radio stations are often an important source of programming for under represented groups, including minority language and ethnic communities.
1481 These stations are also well positioned to offer niche music formats that contribute to the diversity of programming available in the system.
1482 Our remarks are intended to offer constructive and helpful solutions to foster the growth and development of campus and community radio stations in the Canadian broadcasting system.
1483 Our presentation today will focus on three key areas identified in this proceeding: contributions to Canadian content development, spectrum management and the regulatory framework for campus and community radio stations.
1484 Private radio broadcasters make significant contributions to Canadian content development at both the national and local level. Since 1998 these contributions have grown from a total of $3.9-million to $28.6-million in 2008 representing a 615 percent increase in contributions. That is over six times.
1485 More over, private radio faces significant increases in copyright payments from the current level of approximately five percent of revenues to close to 11 percent of the sector's total revenues.
1486 Taken together, private radio's combined copyright and CCD payments have increased by more than 250 percent over the past 10 years, out pacing private radio's revenue growth over the same period by a ratio of 3.5:1.
1487 In the current economic climate these financial obligations are unduly onerous.
1488 The advertising market for private radio is in its 14th month of revenue decline. In 2008 more than one third of Canadian private stations were unprofitable.
1489 Furthermore, Price Waterhouse Coopers forecasts declining revenues until at least 2012. For these reasons, private radio cannot support any increase to its current obligations relating to Canadian content development.
1490 MR. SHOAN: Private broadcasters have a long history of supporting the community radio sector. For example, Astral has donated station equipment to CIDI in Lac Brome and more recently to CHAI in Châteauguay. This of course does not include the over half million dollars committed to both Radio enfant-ado et Radio communautaire francophone d'Ottawa-Gatineau in 2009.
1491 More over, broadcasters such as Astral Media Radio and CHUM Radio have elected to commit significant financial contributions in support of the Community Radio Fund of Canada. Cash commitments alone represent $2.4-million over seven years.
1492 This is over and above the day-to-day contributions private radio broadcasters make in the form of internships at our stations, donations of technical expertise and equipment, including preferential lease rates on our towers, and a variety of other tangible support.
1493 This relationship has evolved without the need for regulatory intervention.
1494 As a result, we see no need for mandatory CCD contributions to community and campus radio initiatives such as the CRFC.
1495 The CRFC's proposal assumes there is a funding problem for all campus and community stations. In fact, the 2008 financial data put on the public file by the Commission demonstrates that this is primarily a small and medium market problem. Therefore, there is a significant disconnect between the problem and the solution.
1496 Furthermore, we do not see the need to set up a rigid funding system at the national level when community broadcasting is focused on the local level. A centralized system introduces a risk of undermining self management and genuine community control, including a risk of devaluing the efforts of volunteers.
1497 However, we do believe there are a number of measures the Commission can take to help support campus and community radio stations and, at the same time, foster a stronger relationship between the private and community radio sectors.
1498 One, providing greater flexibility to the CRFC to fund things such as infrastructure and capacity building within the campus and community sector. Its current mandate which limits it to project-based funding is simply too restrictive.
1499 Two, expanding the scope of eligible CCD contributions in order to recognize both in kind donations as well as direct financial assistance. This could include the technical assistance required to change frequencies, transmission tower costs and studio equipment costs in addition to in kind support. This would represent a clear incentive for private broadcasters to work with community broadcasters at the local level.
1500 Third, encouraging not-for-profit stations to seek charitable status. In a situation where direct subsidies are not possible, this would represent a significant funding opportunity.
1501 Finally, we believe the engagement of the Canadian Government is essential. The CRFC was originally envisioned as an organization that would be primarily funded by the government. Although this support has not materialized to date, we do not believe that the CRTC should use its regulatory powers to fund the sector.
1502 If the Commission determines that mandatory annual contributions to the CRFC are warranted, we strongly believe that this contribution must not be taken from the discretionary portion that private radio directs to many worthy and deserving local initiatives.
1503 This would further inhibit local broadcasters' ability to invest in Canadian content development in our communities.
1504 MR. GORDON: We do not believe it would be in the public interest for the Commission to recommend to Governor-in-Council that it set aside radio spectrum for the expansion of campus and community radio stations.
1505 Given the scarcity of FM spectrum and issues related to this congestion, we consider that the use of AM frequencies or Internet radio stations for campus and community radio represents a more viable alternative.
1506 A number of campus and community radio representatives have advocated the concept of reserving frequencies to ensure the future development of campus and community stations across Canada.
1507 The NCRA recommends that absent reserved frequencies commercial, campus and community stations should be required to find creative technical solutions to use limited spectrum in a market such as directional antennas.
1508 With respect to reserved frequencies, private broadcasters declare this is not in the public interest. We continue to believe that applications should be assessed on their merits including, as suggested in the CKUA submission, whether the application has the support of the community it is intended to serve.
1509 When specific frequencies are set aside for only one category of licence everyone loses.
1510 This is because it inhibits the ability of the spectrum manager at Industry Canada to optimize band use in a way that ensures that as many licences as possible can be accommodated.
1511 NCRA's alternative proposal is to shoehorn in new frequencies where necessary. This should only be done through negotiated changes to Industry Canada's current technical rules and only when the benefits of the proposed changes are available to all band users.
1512 Should any new radio spectrum become available, for example channels 5 and 6, we believe the preferred approach should be to create a national allotment plan that takes everyone's needs into account at the outset. This would avoid inefficiencies in spectrum use which would inevitably occur by creating sub-bands for different categories of services.
1513 More over, private broadcasters do not support the view that unprotected low power stations should be granted protected status if assigned to campus or community services.
1514 Low power stations are considered secondary operations under our domestic rules, as well as bilateral arrangements with the U.S. Protecting any of them would defeat the purpose of this option in the first place which is to encourage the establishment of simple and inexpensive local radio facilities.
1515 We note that a number of parties to this proceeding have raised concerns regarding proper notification of frequency changes. As the Commission is well aware, Industry Canada requires broadcasters to provide advance notice to low power stations when they are at risk of losing their frequency to a commercial applicant.
1516 We suspect that given the staff and volunteer turnover at such stations, such notices may not always reach the proper recipient.
1517 For these reasons we support community radio's recommendation that the Commission create a web portal to update membership contact information on a more frequent basis.
1518 Finally, with respect to the NCRA's desire for more sympathetic consideration by broadcasters of special technical cases, Industry Canada's rules already allow applicants to approach existing broadcasters with a request for protection concessions.
1519 All that is necessary to commence discussions is for the applicant to make a reasonable case, including the provision of engineering evidence predicting the potential impact of its proposal on the incumbent station.
1520 M. LÉVESQUE: Dans la plupart des petits marchés desservis par une ou quelques stations de radio commerciale, le rôle de la radio privée en est un de premier service qui reflète les intérêts de la communauté que nous desservons. Nous nous impliquons dans une foule d'activités communautaires et agissons comme moteur de promotion de l'activité économique de notre région.
1521 Dès lors, lorsqu'une radio communautaire s'implante dans un marché desservi par la radio privée commerciale, et particulièrement dans le marché francophone, nous constatons très fréquemment que la radio communautaire adopte une programmation concurrentielle à la radio privée.
1522 Par conséquent, dans bien des marchés où la radio communautaire et la radio commerciale coexistent, il n'existe peu ou pas de différences entre la radio communautaire et la radio privée commerciale si ce n'est que l'une est à but lucratif et l'autre pas. D'ailleurs, les radios communautaires affirment elles-mêmes qu'elles sont en concurrence avec la radio commerciale pour la quête d'auditoire et de publicité.
1523 Dans une telle situation, on ne peut concevoir qu'un radiodiffuseur privé soit forcé de verser des contributions monétaires en développement de contenu canadien pour soutenir financièrement son concurrent.
1524 Par ailleurs, nous sommes préoccupés par la recommandation provenant de ce secteur à l'effet d'assouplir le cadre réglementaire applicable à la radio communautaire, et je cite :
"...afin de lui permettre d'être plus compétitif."
1525 Nous croyons au contraire que le cadre réglementaire applicable au secteur de la radio communautaire doit assurer que lorsque la radio communautaire et la radio commerciale partagent un même territoire de desserte, la radio communautaire offrira de façon claire et mesurable une programmation complémentaire à l'offre de la radio privée commerciale.
1526 MR. LARCHE: Private radio broadcasters believe that the public interest best lies in ensuring that campus and community radio continue to complement private radio.
1527 In other words, we believe that the community radio policy framework resulting from the current proceeding should ensure that these media outlets do not become direct competitors to private radio.
1528 To this end private broadcasters recommend that the Commission adopt an approach that would apply uniformly to campus-based and community-based radio stations operating in markets already served by commercial radio stations.
1529 In order to ensure that campus and community radio complements commercial radio, we recommend that 30 percent of the broadcast week be devoted to spoken word programming and that these programs be distributed throughout the broadcast week.
1530 Furthermore, we recommend that of the 70 percent of the programming schedule devoted to musical selections, 30 percent be drawn from categories other than sub-category 21 and that these musical selections be aired throughout the broadcast week.
1531 We also believe that it is important that not-for-profit stations provide a wide diversity of musical selection.
1532 As a result, we recommend that no more than 30 percent of popular music selections be devoted to hits and that these selections be aired throughout the week rather than concentrated in prime time.
1533 We think that these measures will ensure that campus and community radio is different from other elements of the Canadian broadcasting system and remains complementary to as opposed to competitive with private commercial radio.
1534 MR. SKI: Mr. Chair and Commissioners, in conclusion, we believe we can best foster collaborative partnerships between private broadcasters and not-for-profit radio broadcasters where the roles of each sector are clearly articulated.
1535 Campus and community radio must complement private radio and the revisions to the campus and community radio policy frameworks should set out programming obligations that are distinct from private radio.
1536 Mandating private radio broadcasters to fund campus and community radio sectors will not foster collaborative partnerships between the two. If public policy necessitates the support of this sector, then this should be accomplished through government subsidies, direct community funding or campus and community stations obtaining charitable status.
1537 Setting aside radio spectrum for the expansion of campus and community radio stations may not result in more of these stations. In a congested FM frequency band environment this option creates more problems than solutions.
1538 Rather, the Commission should consider the opportunities currently available on the AM band or Internet for the expansion of campus and community radio services.
1539 We thank you for this opportunity to expand on our submission and provide our solutions on how to address the issues in this proceeding.
1540 We would be pleased to answer your questions.
1541 Thank you very much.
1542 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Ski. Thank you, Madam Courtemanche and all of your colleagues.
1543 Before going to the interrogatories, I want to go over your section called contribution to Canadian content development and just to make sure that I do understand.
1544 You say that regarding contribution, have grown from a total of $3.9-million to $28.6. That includes CCD and tangible benefits, I will guess?
1545 MR. SMITH: And new licences as well.
1546 THE CHAIRPERSON: And new licences as well.
1547 MR. SMITH: So, combined, all in.
1548 THE CHAIRPERSON: So, okay. And then when you say about copyright payment going from five percent of revenues to close to 11 percent, it is based on the decision made by the Copyright Board, or is it based on the request by the collectives?
1549 MS COURTEMANCHE: If the request by the collective is approved it could -- it would amount -- if the request as filed were approved, it would amount to 11 percent. It's not based, it's still -- as you know, the decision on the radio tariffs is still pending.
1550 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, exactly. So --
1551 MS COURTEMANCHE: So, what we're telling you is that if they get everything that they want --
1552 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
1553 MS COURTEMANCHE: -- it will represent 11 percent of our total revenues or close to.
1554 THE CHAIRPERSON: Now, what if --
1555 MR. SMITH: Or $173-million based on revenue in 2008.
1556 THE CHAIRPERSON: What is the current rate -- total rate of all the rights that you have to pay?
1557 MR. SMITH: The current rate is 7.1 percent of private radio's revenue. What the five collectives combined are asking for would amount to 12 percent of private radio's revenue.
1558 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Thank you for those clarifications.
1559 I will ask now Commissioner Poirier to initiate the questioning.
1560 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Vice-Chair.
1561 First, a few questions related to today's presentation and be aware that I will ask most of my questions in French later on, okay.
1562 I just wonder, reading page 4, okay, Mr. Shoan, you said that Astral has decided to contribute to some community radios and you mention CHAI and some others.
1563 On what criterias have you decided to subsidize those radios, because this is money you give to those but you could decide to give the money to some others. Why these stations?
1564 MR. SHOAN: Those contributions are made on basic need. We were approached or we became aware of a situation --
1565 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Could you place your microphone closer, please.
1566 MR. SHOAN: Absolutely. Those were situations of simple need. If we became aware of a situation where a community broadcaster had a need for equipment or what have you and if it was in our -- and it was in our ability to give them that equipment and that wasn't an improper use, we were absolutely happy to do so.
1567 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. It's because you know them, they came to you and they asked for money?
1568 MR. SHOAN: Absolutely. And we tend to have a very strong relationship with community broadcasters.
1569 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. You know that I went through -- I visited many radio -- community radio stations. Most of them don't have relations with their commercial counter part.
1570 So, how could they express their needs if they are not in relation with commercial radio station?
1571 Yours were lucky to be in relation with you, but not all community radios are in relation with commercial radios.
1572 MR. SHOAN: Well, I would be happy to answer that and certainly I would encourage my colleagues to give their perspective as well.
1573 I would suggest to you that that dynamic between commercial and community radio stations is definitely in a state of transition, it's an evolving dynamic.
1574 And I would suggest to you recent events such as the creation of the CRFC and certainly the growth of community radio has certainly caused, you know, a change in that dynamic such that dialogue has certainly increased.
1575 And certainly I can speak from Astral's perspective. It's quite common for us to reach out to community broadcasters in our regions and I can certainly speak to the fact that my colleagues here at the table have said to me many of the same things. So, I would encourage them to provide their anecdotes as well.
1576 MS COURTEMANCHE: I would just like to make the point that although, you know, Rogers said that there seems to be a new sensibility, we have for over 20 years been providing I believe a long history anyways, several, several years, a free transmitter to Trent University.
1577 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: M'hmm.
1578 MS COURTEMANCHE: We've given preferential lease rates in another. So, I would say that, you know, it's usually as a result of a particular community group being very active in reaching out to commercial radio broadcasters.
1579 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: M'hmm.
1580 MS COURTEMANCHE: And how can you encourage that? Well, the solutions that we've put to you which would increase what is permissible under a CCD contribution, we believe that would foster that kind of collaborative and types of partnerships because then it would be obvious that, you know, the support that we give would be recognized. So, we'd even be more amenable to creating those and fostering those partnerships.
1581 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes.
1582 MR. SKI: I think too, Commissioner Poirier too, just to add briefly to that, many of our managers, our programming people, et cetera, sit on the various boards -- advisory boards of these community and campus --
1583 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes. Then it leads to two other questions. Do you have official relation with NCRA or ARC? Do you meet once in a while or once a year or --
1584 MS COURTEMANCHE: Not official relationships, but we certainly through the CAB have had communications, constant communications and we also have had conversation with.
1585 We regrouped a number of broadcasters on a phone call with the various NCRA and CRFC or -- CRFC members.
1586 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. But no official meeting or --
1587 MS COURTEMANCHE: No, official meetings, but on an as needed basis there has been communications.
1588 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. And one other question related to that topic too. You know many community radios have a Category A licence. It means that there is no competition, there is no commercial radio in the surrounding.
1589 So, how can they expect to get money from commercial radios when there aren't any in the surrounding?
1590 MS COURTEMANCHE: I can tell you that I know of an example where it could have gotten money. It didn't work out that way, but during the last Ottawa licensing hearing there was a frequency -- a Type A community station in the Pontiac just north of Shawville and it -- CHIP FM, and it has a protected frequency and we certainly solicited and I think other parties had solicited them to work in collaboration so we could expand the frequency that we were going to be using in Ottawa.
1591 And at that time we offered them, you know, support, technical, money.
1592 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes.
1593 MS COURTEMANCHE: So, there are situations that, you know --
1594 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes.
1595 MS COURTEMANCHE: -- that will cause you to do that. But I'll let Pierre Louis finish. I think that those situations where there are those Type As, you know, you're right, it's --
1596 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes. I see a lot of good will.
1597 MS COURTEMANCHE: Yeah.
1598 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: But it's not easy for 160 stations throughout Canada to get in touch with commercial radio stations.
1599 MR. SMITH: For sure, but they are represented by different community radio associations.
1600 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes.
1601 MR. SMITH: And through those associations they can contact the CAB and we can direct them to, you know, if they need for instance equipment and support -- technical supports like this, we can direct them to broadcasters who could be in a position to support them.
1602 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. So, you're open and willing to have --
1603 MR. SMITH: Yes, we are.
1604 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: -- some more official relation with those associations?
1605 MR. SMITH: Oh yes, we are.
1606 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. Let's move to page 6, okay.
1607 You give four solution. I'll start with the easiest one, the fourth one. You would support that the CRTC in its report file a recommendation asking the Federal Government to invest money for the community and campus radio station.
1608 You would support that?
1609 MR. SMITH: Most definitely.
1610 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you very much.
1611 Probably you heard what was said yesterday here at the hearing, only two radio stations got the charitable status, many others tried, couldn't get it, okay, even though they tried.
1612 So, how do you still recommend that most of them try to seek charitable status when you heard probably that it's difficult for them to get it if their mission is not directly related to the condition, or related to those charitable status?
1613 MS COURTEMANCHE: Yeah, I understood that.
1614 I think that, you know, and maybe they just need to -- you know, perhaps greater support from the people that are making representations before the CRA.
1615 I certainly did that kind of an exercise when I once sat as a secretary on a daycare board, so I have a fairly good knowledge of the, you know, the rigamarole and it is a rigamarole that you have to go through in order to get CRA acknowledgement.
1616 I would say that that's perhaps somewhere where perhaps we could engage ourselves, you know, in a collaboration to see, you know, what is the kind of support that could be given to do that.
1617 Often case it just requires, you know, some high priced help that knows the ins and outs.
1618 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: M'hmm.
1619 MS COURTEMANCHE: That's what happened for us. It just -- you needed to get the right person on the file and then obviously that costs money.
1620 So, you know, if we were to expand the CCD contributions to say that, you know, listen, when we said in kind supporter or whatever, anything that, you know, would help them get that kind of stuff, you know, that would be an incentive again, you know, to help them get that status.
1621 But having done the exercise myself, I really appreciate how difficult it is, but it is often a case of having the right person and the right -- the amount of money needed to run through the process.
1622 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: M'hmm. And I will move to French questions now.
1623 Quand je regarde les points un et deux qui sont toujours à la page 6, vous demandez de la flexibilité dans le Fonds. Vous demandez qu'on reconnaisse des dons en nature et une assistance financière de préférence discrétionnaire.
1624 Hier, les radios communautaires et de campus sont venues nous dire qu'elles se gèrent aussi comme des entreprises privées, c'est-à-dire qu'elles cherchent à avoir des plans financiers de développement.
1625 Comment pourraient-elles avoir un plan financier de développement si elles n'ont pas des revenus prévisibles et stables parce que les suggestions que vous faites n'apporteraient pas des revenus prévisibles et stables?
1626 Mme COURTEMANCHE: C'est clair que ça serait très souhaitable pour eux autres, on le reconnaît, d'avoir des fonds qui sont stables et prévisibles, mais on a plusieurs préoccupations à ce niveau-là.
1627 La première préoccupation qu'on a vue ou qu'on a cernée, nous autres, c'est que quand on a commencé -- et je vais demander à Paul Larche d'en discuter un petit peu plus longuement, c'est que quand on a regardé aux problèmes financiers, selon les données financières qu'on a trouvées du Conseil, c'est qu'on a réalisé que la problématique est particulièrement aiguë dans des marchés qui sont plus petits et moyens.
1628 Et on comprend très bien cela parce que c'est la même problématique au niveau des radiodiffuseurs privés. On a une problématique financière qui est plus aiguë dans les plus petits marchés.
1629 Et quand on a commencé à regarder la solution et les capacités de... et quand on a regardé, pardon, à la solution, on a trouvé qu'il y avait... on comprenait mal comment est-ce qu'un financement qui, au tout début, n'était peut-être pas énorme, pourrait vraiment, vraiment apporter un appui qui serait conséquent.
1630 Et la raison qu'on dit ça, c'est que quand on a regardé le dépôt du dossier, on s'est dit le regroupement communautaire, pour lui donner ce nom-là, on parle d'un financement d'à peu près vingt millions. C'est ce qu'ils nous disent, O.k. Ils nous disent qu'on ne va pas aller tout chercher au niveau du secteur privé, inquiétez-vous pas, mais c'est clair que si on commence à financer le secteur, on s'est dit: quand est-ce qu'on va arriver à un point où ce financement-là va être conséquent et est-ce qu'on peut vraiment espérer que, nous autres, en se commettant, on est obligé de fournir, est-ce que ça va vraiment faire un impact?
1631 Est-ce que c'est vrai qu'ils font pouvoir aller chercher tous les autres argents qu'ils préconisent? À date, on s'est que ça ne s'est pas matérialisé.
1632 Alors, on a regardé la nature du problème et on a aussi regardé dans l'industrie. On s'est dit qu'il y a un nombre de gens qui oeuvrent présentement dans la communauté pour laquelle nous autres on fournit des financements en vertu du un pour cent discrétionnaire.
1633 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Hum, hum.
1634 Mme COURTEMANCHE: Et eux autres aussi ils se diraient: ah! bien le secteur communautaire campus, eux autres, ils ont eu un financement stable et prévisible, bien nous autres aussi on a de la misère. Aie! écoute, avec la situation économique, aie! nous autres aussi ça nous aiderait d'avoir un financement stable.
1635 Alors, nous autres, on a vraiment eu la peur que ça aurait un impact, comme ils disent en anglais un flood gate, qu'on aurait une série de gens qui se diraient, bon bien, nous autres aussi on a besoin d'un tel financement. Puis on avait au niveau philosophique, on se disait, quand est-ce... comment est-ce que le Conseil pourrait distinguer entre ce groupe-là et d'autres groupes et dire...
1636 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Bien, c'est facile pour moi de vous répondre spontanément. C'est qu'on gère la Loi sur la radiodiffusion.
1637 Mme COURTEMANCHE: Oui, oui.
1638 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: On ne gère pas les lois de subventions aux organismes communautaires en général, par contre.
1639 Mme COURTEMANCHE: Oui, mais on peut vous donner des exemples de gens, de regroupements qui, eux autres, ont un impact très important dans la communauté. Mais c'était ce point-là.
1640 Mais je vais permettre à Paul Larche de vous expliquer.
1641 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: And you can answer in English, sir, as you wish.
1642 Mme COURTEMANCHE: Oui, mais pour vous expliquer pourquoi on avait un problème avec la demande en soi-même et comment faire...
1643 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Mais vous comprenez le point de vue que je dis, là. Il y a une différence entre la Loi sur la radiodiffusion et les subventions aux organismes communautaires en général.
1644 Mme COURTEMANCHE: Oui, mais je vous dirais qu'il y a des organismes pour lesquels on utilise le un pour cent discrétionnaire et qui sont très reliés à leur...
1645 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Pour les avis.
1646 Mme COURTEMANCHE: ... comme le Canada Music Fund.
1647 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Tout à fait.
1648 Mme COURTEMANCHE: Il y a bien des choses qui sont directement liées. Ce n'est pas toujours, tu sais...
1649 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: La Société du cancer, par exemple, ou d'autre chose.
1650 Mme COURTEMANCHE: ... la société de... bien, on ne donne pas à la Société du cancer, on n'a pas le droit, mais...
1651 M. SMITH: Et si je peux me permettre, juste avant que Paul intervienne, si je peux me permettre. Il y a présentement dans la Liste des organismes que le Conseil reconnaît comme parties éligibles de recevoir du financement par le biais des contributions en développement de contenu canadien, il y a 66 organismes qui vont des associations musicales au Song Writer Association of Canada, la radio autochtone, les rencontres de l'ADISQ, Canadian Music Week, tous ces organismes-là ont aussi à gérer une situation financière où ils ont différentes sources de revenus.
1652 Mais ils ont depuis plusieurs années reçu du financement par le biais des contributions en développement de contenu canadien et sur une base volontaire de la part des diffuseurs. Et jusqu'à date, le système a très bien fonctionné.
1653 Par ailleurs, le Fonds à l'heure actuelle n'a qu'un an d'existence et, conseillère Poirier, il est un peu tôt pour déterminer que l'approche volontaire de la part des diffuseurs n'a pas fonctionné. Il y a déjà deux diffuseurs qui ont fait des... qui ont pris des engagements substantiels à la hauteur de 2,4 millions de dollars sur sept ans alors que le Fonds n'a à peu près pas d'historique en terme de performance.
1654 Et donc, il est un peu prématuré de présumer que l'approche volontaire n'a pas fonctionné.
1655 Et le dernier point que je voudrais faire très, très, très rapidement, c'est que la base d'analyse ou le fondement économique de la proposition du secteur communautaire, à notre avis, repose sur des hypothèses qui sont erronées.
1656 Il prévoit, par exemple, et je vais vous donner juste ça comme exemple, que les contributions annuelles en développement de contenu canadien augmenteraient ou auraient augmenté de 17 pour cent entre l'année de radiodiffusion 2007-2008 et l'année de radiodiffusion 2008-2009.
1657 Or, on voit une réduction des revenus publicitaires importants du côté de la radio commerciale, dès lors la base de calcul est beaucoup plus basse.
1658 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Parfait. Et monsieur Larche, if you have something to add?
1659 M. LARCHE: Merci, conseillère Poirier. Je vais parler en anglais avec votre permission.
1660 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: No problems.
1661 MR. LARCHE: Pierre-Louis pretty much said what I was going to say. I would just like to, you know, just add a couple of things.
1662 Your question was: how can these stations operate with any predictability without funds.
1663 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: That's it.
1664 MR. LARCHE: And, you know, I guess I would just look at the industry itself as well and, you know, when I look at the financial, you know, the 25 per cent of them are losing money; 75 per cent are breaking even or making money, it would appear that it's more of a smaller and medium-size market issue versus the largest markets which have a 17, 18 per cent p-bit and I would love to have in my operations a p-bit at that level.
1665 But 25 per cent are losing money and not unlike our industry where about 33 per cent of the radio stations in Canada are losing money.
1666 But in terms of predictability again, all of these applicants came up with a business plan originally and I would assume they had sources of income that were part of their business plan and, you know, sometimes these work, sometimes they don't. Sometimes, they have to be rethought, but as Pierre-Louis said, if our industry is looked at as the one that has to fund it with a group of 66 others that are eligible for this type of funding, it could -- you know, it could -- it would just be dangerous precedence.
1667 MEMBER POIRIER: Yes? Shortly, please.
1668 MR. SKI: Commissioner, if I could ask, Marc-André had just a brief comment.
1669 MEMBER POIRIER: Yes. Allez-y.
1670 MR. SKI: Thank you very much.
1671 M. LÉVESQUE: Merci, madame Poirier. J'aimerais ajouter un point à votre question.
1672 C'est que, en fait, j'exploite des stations dans des marchés qui se comparent bien souvent à celles dans lesquelles travaillent les stations communautaires et nous partageons ensemble donc plusieurs réalités. Donc, je les comprends, je pense, relativement bien.
1673 Et ce que j'aimerais ajouter, c'est qu'une station communautaire provient, origine du besoin ressenti dans un milieu d'avoir une station qui va se préoccuper des préoccupations locales.
1674 Donc, la base de son financement si elle est nécessaire, devrait tout au moins, si cette base-là est vraiment importante, devrait provenir du milieu, devrait provenir de la communauté et les stations communautaires ont des avantages que les stations de radio commerciale dans des petits marchés n'ont pas; c'est-à-dire qu'elles peuvent demander des subventions à leur municipalité, demander un support des municipalités.
1675 Dans les municipalités où j'ai des stations, moi, il y en a plusieurs qui subventionnent la télévision communautaire pour diffuser les séances du Conseil de ville et vont donner des subventions pour faire différents... suivre différentes activités dans la municipalité.
1676 Il y a aussi des cartes de membres qui peuvent être offertes dans la municipalité, des bingos, des radiotons. Il y a des activités comme ça qui peuvent être à la source de ce financement de base-là dont la station a besoin puis si elle n'est pas en mesure d'aller chercher son financement de base dans des activités comme ça, bien je pense que... puis à ce moment-là, on devrait peut-être se poser la question: est-ce que cette station-là est vraiment un besoin de la communauté?
1677 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Puisque vous avez répondu, monsieur Lévesque, j'étais justement pour vous poser une question un peu plus tard, ce que vous dites, oui, c'est une description de la réalité, vous avez des marchés effectivement dans des régions plus éloignées où les radios communautaires jouent un rôle.
1678 Les radios communautaires, vous savez, jouent un rôle de diversité qui est majeur et ne sont pas soumis à la même réglementation que vous et ne vont chercher en général que .5 d'un point de cote d'écoute. Alors, comment pouvez-vous les considérer comme étant vraiment un compétiteur sur le plan de la recherche de publicité et avez-vous des exemples concrets à nous donner que chez vous, les radios communautaires viennent avec cette faible cote d'écoute et généralement des revenus publicitaires très petits dans leurs revenus, entrer en compétition avec vous?
1679 M. LÉVESQUE: J'aimerais préciser une chose. La radio communautaire dans des marchés où il n'y a pas de radio commerciale, on considère qu'elle a sa place parce que c'est un média qui est extrêmement important dans une communauté, une station de radio.
1680 Dans les marchés où il existe déjà des stations de radio commerciale, des plus petits marchés -- et, là, je ne mets pas en cause donc les stations qui sont des stations uniques dans leur marché à eux ou des stations dans des grands centres urbains où il y a de nombreuses stations de radio et où, là, la radio communautaire remplit un rôle qui est un peu différent de celui des stations de type A, là. Donc, on parle des stations de type B où il existe des stations commerciales.
1681 La station de radio privée a besoin de la publicité, c'est sa seule source de revenus et dans ces marchés-là, la plupart du temps, c'est que comme c'est sa seule source de revenus, tout l'argent qu'elle peut aller chercher dans le marché, il est important.
1682 Quand il arrive un joueur communautaire qui va chercher -- vous parlez de .5 pour cent, ça dépend des marchés effectivement parce qu'il y a une station communautaire au Saguenay qui va chercher un pourcentage d'écoute qui est plus élevé que ça puis qui leur permet de relativement bien vivre, je crois, là.
1683 Alors, l'argent qu'elle va chercher, souvent dans ces marchés-là l'argent qu'elle va chercher va être enlevé directement à la station de radio locale, ce qui rend plus difficile la station de radio privée de rencontrer ses obligations également, là.
1684 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Et ma question s'adresse aux autres: est-ce que la radio communautaire et de campus est vraiment une compétition pour vous sur le plan du marché de la publicité et des cotes d'écoute?
1685 M. LÉVESQUE: Je vous ferais remarquer, c'est eux-même qui le disent d'ailleurs dans leurs mémoires qui sont...
1686 M. LARCHE: C'est ça.
1687 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Oui, mais je vous demande à vous de me dire si vous les considérez vraiment comme un compétiteur direct tant au niveau des cotes d'écoute que du marché de la publicité?
1688 MR. LARCHE: I believe that it's more of an -- I think it's more of an issue in francophone markets. I can speak to my markets as an owner, you know, in Midland Penneytayne(ph), they say there is a French community station that has done an excellent job in the market serving Simcoe counties French population. I mean they do sell advertising, but we would certainly not consider them to be, you know, any threat to us.
1689 In Kitchener, when I had a station there, there is a very active community station there, and probably one of the more active in Canada, that has a full sales team and, you know, at the beginning, we didn't really -- you know, we didn't really consider them competition in that way.
1690 So, I guess what I am also saying is that that's also, you know, Segway into one of our points that, you know, we have no issue with maybe relaxing some of the constraints that they have when it comes to selling advertising in, you know, some other constructions, if that can help them.
1691 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: O.k. And?
1692 MR. SKI: Just one additional point or maybe two. I think there is the one side which is the revenue, the other side is share. I mean, depending on this market, depending on what type of market that station can take a share from your station in the competitive market it makes it a little bit difficult.
1693 But I think if we look at the proposals that are being asked for, the reduction in spoken word, the increase in category 2 music, those particular elements could make those radio stations from our standpoint possibly less community oriented and more competitive with broadcasters.
1694 MEMBER POIRIER: Okay. I know my friend, Mr. Menzies will ask more questions about those elements.
1695 M. SMITH: Si je peux me permettre...
1696 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Oui.
1697 M. SMITH: Si je peux me permettre, conseillère Poirier, simplement pour mentionner, dans les marchés francophones et je vais vous donner l'exemple au Nouveau-Brunswick où la radio communautaire est particulièrement forte.
1698 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Oui.
1699 M. SMITH: Et dans certains marchés où la radio communautaire et la radio commerciale coexistent, de langue française, il y en a certaines dans le nord-est du Nouveau-Brunswick, la radio communautaire a généralement une meilleure performance financière que la radio commerciale parce qu'ils ont une implication et un sentiment d'appartenance de la communauté qui est très, très fort et ils rivalisent pour les cotes d'écoute et ils rivalisent également pour les revenus publicitaires.
1700 Finalement, nous avons vu, ce n'est pas règle générale, mais nous avons vu des exemples où des radios -- et, là, je parle d'un exemple d'une radio plus de campus, mais à Winnipeg -- ou une radio de campus a littéralement sorti de son lit pour décider d'adopter une approche de programmation qui était carrément en concurrence avec des services de radio... des services de radio commerciale.
1701 Donc, il y a cette possibilité-là d'approche concurrentielle de la part des diffuseurs communautaires ou des diffuseurs de campus.
1702 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Parfait.
1703 M. LÉVESQUE: Madame Poirier, juste un petit complément d'information.
1704 Je vais aussi revenir devant vous cette semaine pour parler des membres de l'Association de la radio régionale francophone et un des points que nous faisons valoir, c'est que la marge bénéficiaire des stations des marchés de cette association-là est la plus faible de tout ce qu'on peut trouver dans l'industrie et plus faible encore que celle des radios communautaires.
1705 Alors, quand une station de radio communautaire arrive, est présente dans un marché, elle fait nécessairement compétition à la radio commerciale et lorsque les marges sont aussi faibles que celles de la radio commerciale privée francophone, bien ça peut mettre des stations de radio en péril et nous avons un exemple d'une station qui a dû fermer -- c'est au Nouveau-Brunswick -- suite à l 'arrivée de la station de radio communautaire.
1706 Alors, on ne sert pas l'intérêt public quand on fait fermer une radio commerciale pour en mettre une communautaire.
1707 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Je vais donc tenter de résumer votre position, madame Courtemanche vous pourrez peut-être réagir.
1708 Vous comprenez que les radios de campus et communautaires ont besoin d'argent, de financement, vous acceptez ce principe-là?
1709 Mme COURTEMANCHE: Nous autres, ce qu'on accepte, c'est qu'il y a un problème dans des marchés en particulier. Selon les données financières que vous nous avez données en 2008, on accepte qu'il y a un nombre de stations qui sont au niveau de l'habilité financière...
1710 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Ce n'est pas tout le monde, ce n'est pas tout le monde partout.
1711 Mme COURTEMANCHE: Ce n'est pas tout le monde. C'est ça.
1712 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Vous dites que c'est par secteur.
1713 Mme COURTEMANCHE: C'est le point qu'on veut faire. C'est que c'est dans des marchés qui sont en bas d'un million, que c'est les plus petits marchés, les marchés moyens, et on voulait juste noter que c'est aussi également les marchés ou les radiodiffuseurs aussi...
1714 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Vivent des problèmes?
1715 Mme COURTEMANCHE: ... vivent les mêmes, mêmes conséquences. Ça fait qu'on accepte ça. On n'accepte pas nécessairement ce que vous avez dit...
1716 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Que c'est at large comme on dit.
1717 Mme COURTEMANCHE: ... que c'est at large, exactement.
1718 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: National, c'est le mot que vous prenez aujourd'hui. Donc, ça, on vient de s'entendre là-dessus.
1719 La deuxième chose, je comprends, c'est que vous ne voulez pas ajouter du nouvel argent à cause de toutes les pressions que vous avez subies au cours des dernières années et que vous allez vivre dans les prochaines?
1720 Mme COURTEMANCHE: Aucune contribution supplémentaire.
1721 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Parfait. Vous voulez aussi maintenir le volet discrétionnaire. Qu'est-ce que vous perdriez en acceptant, par exemple, que cinq pour cent ou dix pour cent du volet discrétionnaire que vous donnez soit graduellement -- et je dis bien, graduellement -- au fil du temps, octroyé aux radios communautaires et de campus?
1722 Mme COURTEMANCHE: Bien, pour quelques raisons et je vais permettre à mes autres collègues aussi de répondre.
1723 Mais, premièrement, parce qu'on n'est pas convaincu que la contribution va être.... même si on donne juste un petit peu, quelle conséquence que ça va vraiment avoir? Ça, selon nous, on n'a pas la preuve au dossier que ça va vraiment avoir aucune conséquence pour vraiment aider et on le sait déjà que dans les mémoires du Fonds de la radio communautaire, et on dit il va falloir qu'on revienne dans deux ou trois ans.
1724 Alors, on se demande si on ouvre la fenêtre, quand est-ce qu'on... est-ce qu'on va finir par l'ouvrir grande ouverte? Est-ce qu'on va pouvoir garder? Le 1 pour cent, nous autres, avant tout était discrétionnaire, vous comprenez?
1725 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Hum, hum.
1726 Mme COURTEMANCHE: Alors, maintenant qu'il reste juste un pour cent, on veut le garder parce que c'est notre façon, on est un médium local de la radio locale, c'est notre façon de pouvoir contribuer à ceux qui agissent dans nos communautés. C'est ça qui nous permet de créer les partnerships que je parlais avec, les collaborations avec les gens qu'on dessert.
1727 Alors vu qu'avant c'était tout discrétionnaire et maintenant que ce n'est plus juste un pour cent, oui, on veut le garder, mais je vais permettre à d'autres de répondre.
1728 MR. SKI: I think Sylvie has said it. I mean, it allows us another connection point with the community, it allows us to reflect the community too and so, with talent programs and things of that nature. So, it's something.
1729 Certainly, there is another, again another touch point with the community for product broadcasters.
1730 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Et à la limite, prenons l'hypothèse que le CRTC déciderait de rentre obligatoire une partie de la contribution qui est actuellement discrétionnaire, vous souhaitez que ça soit pris dans la contribution faite à Factor et MusiqueAction. C'est ce que j'ai compris dans votre document?
1731 Mme COURTEMANCHE: C'est ça.
1732 M. LÉVESQUE: Tout à fait.
1733 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Tout à fait. Est-ce que vous seriez d'accord s'il y a des argents supplémentaires qui sont octroyés, que ce soit géré par le Fonds canadien de la radio communautaire dans son... que ce soit le seul organisme qui soit mandataire de le faire?
1734 Mme COURTEMANCHE: On n'a pas de problème avec ça, sauf qu'on reconnaît qu'il y a des problèmes avec la formulation présente. Alors, pour être plus conséquent, on pense qu'il faudrait qu'ils changent leur mandat un peu pour pouvoir vraiment aider au niveau de l'infrastructure et tout ça, que juste la subvention de programmes, nous autres, on ne voit pas comme étant vraiment une bonne solution.
1735 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Donc, un changement dans l'orientation?
1736 Mme COURTEMANCHE: Un changement dans l'orientation du Fonds.
1737 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: O.k. Parfait.
1738 Mme COURTEMANCHE: Oui.
1739 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Et un changement peut-être même dans la structure parce qu'il y aurait aussi...
1740 Mme COURTEMANCHE: Oui, exactement, parce que dans la structure également. Ça fait que je pense qu'il y aurait des changements à avoir lieu. Le statu quoi ne serait peut-être pas ce qui serait acceptable.
1741 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Toujours en supposant qu'il y a de l'argent supplémentaire qui irait au Fonds, O.k., est-ce que vous seriez d'accord à ce qu'on réserve et ça va un peu avec votre philosophie; c'est-à-dire que vous avez dit que ce n'est pas partout que les besoins sont criants. Il y a des besoins qui sont non nationaux, mais qui sont sectoriels.
1742 Est-ce que vous seriez d'accord à ce moment-là s'il y avait plus d'argent qui va au Fonds, qu'il y ait des parties de cet argent-là qui soient réservées pour les communautés linguistiques en milieu minoritaire ou pour le développement des nouveaux médias ou pour un fonds d'urgence pour une station qui est en problème quelconque?
1743 Mme COURTEMANCHE: Je pense que ça semble raisonnable.
1744 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Parfait. Les radios communautaires sont de plus en plus sur internet, mais ne semblent pas avoir augmenté leur source de revenus en étant sur internet.
1745 Est-ce que, de votre côté, vous les radios commerciales, vous vivez la même situation que les radios communautaires?
1746 MR. SKI: Yes, we are.
1747 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Parfait.
1748 MR. SKI: Oui. This is a -- it's a working file, I guess, to put it that way. I think that these were in the early innings in terms of developing internet revenue, may still be in training camp, but we are all in the same boat in that regard.
1749 So, I mean, we think it's just a matter of time because we are seeing obviously incremental dollars coming from the internet, but it's certainly a slow process and one of the challenges that we have from a broad base standpoint is that the competitive nature of attracting those advertising dollars from a national basis There are more competitors than there are on a local basis.
1750 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Yes.
1751 MR. GORDON: And if I may jump in. It is a work in progress from a revenue point of view, but certainly from expanding a reach and expanding a reach on mobile platforms and the access that the online world is in rapid growth mode.
1752 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Oui. Et en même temps, ça augmente la compétition et la concurrence aussi.
1753 MR. GORDON: Yes, absolutely. Not just for radio, but everyone.
1754 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: C'est ça.
1755 MR. SKI: We apologize. There is a bit of delay here.
1756 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Yes, I know, I know, I know. I am used to that. You'll get used to it.
1757 Another question maybe, to make sure there is no delay in this one, CIBL Radio Montréal as an example gave us a list of former employees they used to have that worked for community station radio and that has moved to the commercial radio side, do you have numbers to show, to give us, that would tell us that, indeed, you use a lot of the personnel, the staff, that began in a community radio station and that moved to a commercial radio. It's a promotion for them most of the time.
1758 MR. SKI: Yes. I don't believe we have actual numbers because those who join the private radio come from various sources quite frankly, so I don't think we have actual numbers.
1759 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Est-ce que vous êtes en général...
1760 MS COURTEMANCHE: We have people in this room.
1761 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Oui. Est-ce qu'en général... est-ce qu'en général vous êtes d'accord pour dire que vous recevez dans vos radios beaucoup de personnel qui a été formé finalement sur les radios campus, les radios communautaires et que c'est une façon aussi que les radios communautaires, indirectement aussi, contribuent au développement de la radio commerciale?
1762 MR. GORDON: I can answer personally I think because we have smaller stations, we will receive entry level positions probably much more so from campus and radio.
1763 The community radio often it's very specialized either it's language, it's to serve a particular language or it's to serve a particular group within a community. And those that are more main stream, I would tend to think sometimes people who are broadcasters end up as they retire or decide to get out of the business go to community radio.
1764 So, you see it goes both ways and I know a few of my employees in Kitchener now work at the community radio station, one of them is doing the morning show.
1765 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: O.k. On va changer de sujet avant de donner la parole à mon confrère, monsieur Menzies.
1766 Du côté des licences de radio secondaire et des écoles secondaires et primaires, vous préconisez une exemption, je pense?
1767 Mme COURTEMANCHE: Oui.
1768 M. GORDON: C'est exact.
1769 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Tout à fait. Et est-ce qu'à ce niveau-là vous avez plus de détail à nous donner, par exemple, sur des enjeux qu'on devrait considérer? Est-ce que vous avez des pistes à nous donner et est-ce que ça vaut vraiment la peine d'aller dans cette direction-là?
1770 MR. GORDON: Well, we think that we have no issues with high school radio stations as long as they, you know, meet all the criteria, you know, Canadian ownership, Cancom requirements, industry codes, technical codes, those kinds of things, we have no issue with those.
1771 CONSEILLÈRE POIRIER: Parfait. Alors, j'ai terminé. Je vais laisser la parole à monsieur Menzies.
1772 THE CHAIRPERSON: Before asking Peter to -- I want to come back on Factor Musique Action where it is public knowledge that Musique Action is not financially very rich and what will be the impact of a CRTC, if the CRTC was to determine, and I know that monsieur Smith, you are an observer on the Board of Musique Action so that you may be able to answer, but if the Commission was to make the decision that a portion of the money that is currently allocated to Factor Musique Action from now on shall be, shall go to a Fund, what will be the impact on both Factor and Musique Action, but I believe the impact is much more negative on Musique Action?
1773 MR. SMITH: Thank you for that question. I am sitting actually as a Board member of Musique Action, same thing for Sylvie Courtemanche here.
1774 It is true, Mr. Chair, that Musique Action is currently facing a declining level of funding and the reason why is because the bulk of the funding that Musique Action was receiving so far was coming mainly from benefits flowing from transfer of ownership, the biggest part coming from the Astral Telemedia transfer of ownership. That benefit package is going down.
1775 We have seen over the course of the last couple of years that bulk of the transactions have occurred on the English side, which doesn't allow funding for Musique Action.
1776 That being said, on the Factor side, we have noticed a significant increase in terms of funding, to the point where, Mr. Chair, private radio has become or became, sorry, the dominant funding partner in Factor.
1777 The reason why we recommended that if the Commission chooses to make it mandatory to have contribution to the community radio fund, that it be taken from that 60 per cent funding level, is that Factor and Musique Action are national organizations, so is the community radio fund and that we the logic there.
1778 So to ensure that the 40 per cent that remains in the annual CCD contribution remain discretionary and allow broadcasters, big and small, to be able to direct their contribution at the local level.
1779 THE CHAIRPERSON: But I am asking the impact, the financial impact on Musique Action?
1780 MS COURTEMANCHE: Well, we don't know what level that you would authorize because, you know, I am told --
1781 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, in your own written submission you volunteer a certain percentage.
1782 MS COURTEMANCHE: What?
1783 MR. SMITH: I'm sorry?
1784 MS COURTEMANCHE: I'm sorry?
1785 THE CHAIRPERSON: You didn't volunteer a .5 percent?
1786 MS COURTEMANCHE: No, not to my knowledge, because if --
1787 THE CHAIRPERSON: No...?
1788 MR. SMITH: No, we did not.
1789 MS COURTEMANCHE: I would be in shock right now.
1790 THE CHAIRPERSON: No?
1791 MR. SMITH: And I would be shot right now.
1792 MS COURTEMANCHE: It's a heart-stopper.
1793 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1794 MS COURTEMANCHE: We didn't volunteer anything, no.
1795 We said that if you were to go there use the music portion. And, you know, generally speaking I understand what you are saying, that there is a funding issue and we are hoping that measures such as the Astral recent application to redirect some monies on CCD Aafin de privilégier MUSICACTION" are going to help and I think there are other situations in which broadcasters will.
1796 When they make an election I know that from our perspective every year we can elect between FACTOR and MUSICACTION so we have been trying to elect more MUSICACTION than FACTOR in order to help that. So that's another way.
1797 But I think Pierre-Louis' suggestion is that if you are going to fund national initiatives then it should all come from the same pot of money.
1798 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, no, that I understood, I wanted to have a -- I knew that Pierre-Louis was on the board of MUSICACTION --
1799 MS COURTEMANCHE: As am I.
1800 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- and you are.
1801 Because if the Commission, in its wisdom, was to determine that a portion of what you gave to FACTOR/MUSICACTION from now on shall go to a community radio fund, obviously it means less revenue for MUSICACTION.
1802 And less revenued for FACTOR but, as you are saying FACTOR has been able to garner its fund through the last round of consolidation.
1803 MR. SMITH: And also, Mr. Chair, if I may add, because there was -- the bulk of the new licences awarded by the Commission over the course of the last couple of years have been in the English market and therefore again we have seen an increase, a significant increase in the funding to FACTOR. I don't have the latest number with me, but it is a significant number, whereas on the French side there has been less new licences awarded and now transfer of ownership that occurred over the last couple of years.
1804 THE CHAIRPERSON: Of significance.
1805 MS COURTEMANCHE: That's why we think that other solutions are better, you know, not make it mandatory.
1806 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1807 Mr. Menzies...?
1808 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
1809 Just a couple of specific questions and then some broader questions maybe in a little devils advocacy.
1810 In your submission you argue for the elimination of the two categories in terms of the difference between campus and community, replacing them with one.
1811 Some might argue that would reduce, not just streamline the overall category, thereby lessening its demands for spectrum and leaving more open for commercial operators.
1812 How would you respond to that?
1813 MR. SKI: I don't think we see it that way, but I would ask Chris and/or Wayne Stacey, but that is certainly not our feeling.
1814 MR. STACEY: I mean from a spectrum point of view, you know, we believe that the status quo is actually working. Driving in this morning and putting my radio on scan and listening to the incredible diverse voices from public, private and community and campus broadcasters, you know,the status quo is working.
1815 We believe that the spectrum should be allocated based on the merits of each individual market and each individual application.
1816 MS COURTEMANCHE: But the objective, just to be clear, Commissioner Menzies, wasn't to reduce the number of people that would be asking for access to spectrum, the objective in simplifying was just that we thought it was highly complex for, you know, this group that often says regulation and the administrative burden and all of the things that are associated with regulation are quite difficult, so we just saw this as a streamlining measure.
1817 It wasn't at all with the objective of saying oh, okay, we are going to create a category not-for-profit, therefore we will have less people at the trough. Absolutely not. It was really a streamlining measure.
1818 MR. LEVESQUE: That's correct.
1819 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So you don't see any impact on spectrum demands through streamlining, negative or --
1820 MS COURTEMANCHE: No. No, we don't see it changing anything.
1821 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay.
1822 Your suggestion for programming that there be an increase to spoken word for 30 percent, could you expand on the rationale for that more fully?
1823 It seems that -- I'm trying to understand where the positive impact of that is. I can see a slight negative impact in terms of the amount of music that could be played and therefore the amount of exposure that emerging and special artists and experimental artists, et cetera, might get, but I'm trying to understand the reasoning for that.
1824 MR. SKI: Sure. A couple of points, Commissioner Menzies, and then I will ask Pierre to fill in on some of the details and also Paul and he will tell you how we came up with those particular numbers.
1825 But I think the Commission has often said, and we believe, that certainly spoken word is a measure of reflection of the community and by and large since these particular radio stations are in essence community radio stations with a mandate to reflect the community, spoken word should be a part of that.
1826 I think, too, that when we looked at specialty stations or in spoken word that are 51 percent or more we realized that recent applicants are in the 15 to 20, 22 percent range when they have applied. So from that we thought 30 percent wasn't an onerous amount and certainly reducing it to 15 seems like a pretty low number.
1827 I think something, too, that I know was touched on yesterday that I think is a little bit strange is that even if there is 15 percent of original programming it doesn't mean that that 15 percent can't be repeated.
1828 When we do reach and frequency analysis of some of the programming that we run on radio stations that is really good programming, repeating that two and/or three times it's a good thing. Repeating programs is not a bad thing. I think that was maybe implied yesterday and we certainly don't believe that.
1829 I mean if these are good programs related to the community, not everybody can listen at 6 o'clock on Friday so if it is played at 3 o'clock on Wednesday, then that just enlarges the number of people, increases the number of people who have exposure to that good programming. So just by producing 15 percent and doubling it you have 30 percent.
1831 MR. SMITH: Paul actually was bang on with respect to the rationale. At the broader level, Mr. Commissioner, it was we wanted to develop a streamlined yet meaningful regulatory framework that would be different than commercial radio and we feel that it is important that the spoken word component is a very important element of how the community radio sector can differentiate itself from the commercial radio sector and therefore we felt it was justified then to have an increase in the level of spoken word requirements and we have set it up but 30 percent.
1832 Again, looking at the level required for specialty format compared also to what has been proposed in numerous new applications for licences, the middle range was around 30 percent.
1833 MR. LARCHE: Also, Commissioner Menzies, yesterday in their presentation the combined groups laid out what they said are the four objectives of what they believe community and campus radio are all about and they said that it should guarantee a local broadcasting service through community ownership;
1834 that it should empower citizens to play a role in fulfilling the community's broadcasting needs;
1835 it should participate in the stimulation of socioeconomic endeavours in the cultural enrichment of the community; and
1836 it should reflect the diversity of the community in its programming; and
1837 create space for voices and perspectives for content that are not commonly heard elsewhere in the broadcast system.
1838 So when you look at it in the scope of their objectives, which is very much in line with the objectives of what community and campus radio is all about, 30 percent does not seem unreasonable, especially if you factor in that some of the stuff may be recycled in the week.
1839 Fifteen percent, it seems to me that it would be quite low to reach the objectives that they have laid out as their own objectives.
1840 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. That seems reasonable, but it kind of takes me into the next question where your recommendation on Category 2 Canadian content is still only at 35 percent; right?
1841 MR. SMITH: Yes, it is.
1842 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Right. So if we are going to frame something to make sure it's different, which is your argument on the 30 percent, why don't we make it really different and not just a little bit different in terms of spoken word going from 25 to 30 percent.
1843 Why would we have Canadian content requirements for community radio Cat. 2 that are exactly the same as commercial?
1844 Why would you be -- put it this way, I wouldn't say your 30 percent was aggressive, why would you be so tepid in our efforts to sort of give it a firm definition?
1845 MR. SKI: We have asked ourselves that question, too.
1846 MR. SKI: We really meant 50.
1847 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Good.
1848 MS COURTEMANCHE: We would have, I think, believed that we have been perceived as the big bad commercial broadcasters who are trying to squash, you know. So we thought to be reasoned and measured and so that they -- you know, recognizing that they do need to attract some commercial revenues, and that they are able to advertise and they want to continue to access that level of funding, that they would probably need to be somewhat attractive to be able to do that.
1849 MR. SMITH: It's not only that, if I may.
1850 The rationale again for what we propose was to look at what is the current campus and community radio policy framework which sets at 35 percent the level of Cancon for Category 2 music, which is the same level as commercial radio. That was established first in 1998.
1851 We look at what is the current level of Cancon for Category 3 music level, specialty music, jazz and classical music, which is currently set at 12 percent, which was 20 percent higher than the previous level of Cancon -- sorry, let me rephrase that.
1852 Commercial radio stations up until 2006 were required to do 10 percent of Cancon for when they are playing Category 3 music. For the campus and the community radio sector it was 12 percent. It is still 12 percent. There is a difference of 20 percent there so it was 20 percent higher.
1853 So we said respecting that logic we are recommending that for Category 3 music on campus and community the level set should be 30 percent, which represents 20 percent higher than the level set by the Commission for commercial radio.
1854 With respect to Category 2 music, given the fact that the Commission had set a same level playing field between community, campus and commercial radio we let it there.
1855 MR. SKI: I should say, too, something that was debated but didn't find its way into our comments and notes here was, since these are community radio stations, whether there should be a local component or a community component as it relates to Canadian content, but we felt that that was maybe putting something else onto the stations that was a little bit more onerous, but being that they are community stations maybe there should be also a community or local component, but that would find its way into the 35 percent.
1856 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. I understand your wish to walk softly on the topic given the relative power dynamics, but at the same time we need to be practical and useful in terms of these things.
1857 One of the things that I'm having difficulty I admit is that while there are some laudable exceptions, some very successful community radio projects here and there, for the most part there isn't a strong economic argument for it. There is a strong social argument at times and that is sort of a balancing thing, but if there isn't an economic argument and the argument is purely social and that requires funding, then it seems to me that it would be perhaps most practical to fund in a way that assists community stations in being the most useful and one of the ways it can be useful is in terms of developing local and Canadian talent, et cetera, et cetera.
1858 Would you see those features playing any role in funding if not in regulation of programming?
1859 MR. SKI: I'm not sure I understand the question.
1860 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Well, for instance, say the Commission stuck with the 35 percent Canadian content, but say the funds that are available to community radio could be -- stations that applied who, say, played 60 percent Canadian content could be funded at a higher level?
1861 MS COURTEMANCHE: Or perhaps you could say if you want to qualify you have to do more. I mean there are two ways of doing it. You either get more money or --
1862 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Yes, that's more or less my question.
1863 MS COURTEMANCHE: Yes. I would see that as a reasonable measure because then it would demonstrate that the Commission's intent is to ensure that this particular segment of the Canadian broadcasting system, if it is going to get funding, which is an extraordinary measure, will have to make an exceptional contribution in order to get it. So I see that as logical.
1864 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: It would give those who have a stronger economic argument the flexibility to go that way.
1865 MS COURTEMANCHE: Yes. Those that are already profitable and working within the current context would say well, you know, I'm not prepared to meet those onerous requirements and therefore I will just walk away from the funding or a much lower level of funding.
1866 MR. SHOAN: Commissioner Menzies, I'm sorry, just a question of clarification.
1867 When you said a community broadcaster could apply based on certain Canadian content commitments, did you mean apply to the Commission or the CRFC or perhaps approach a broadcaster?
1868 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Well, just the funds that are available and any funds that might be available for community radio.
1869 MR. SHOAN: And in that context, would that exclude possibly a broadcaster forming a direct relationship with a local community broadcaster?
1870 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: You know, I should probably stop now because I'm making this up as I go along.
1871 MR. SHOAN: Okay. Fair enough.
1872 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I am not trying to imply that there is any plan. It's a purely hypothetical question.
1873 MR. SHOAN: Fair enough.
1874 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: The longer I talk the less hypothetical it becomes. Okay.
1875 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: But on funding your suggestion is that we suggest to the government that the government fund community radio.
1876 How would that be different than just turning community radio into public radio? I don't understand how that would work.
1877 If we were to make that suggestion to government, which is not a radical or unreasonable suggestion -- it's not like it's the first time anybody has suggested that the government found something -- the idea might be sort of how would you fund -- how would this be different than the CBC?
1878 MS COURTEMANCHE: I mean, you know, where your previous premise was that basically speaking in many situations there is not a real economic justification for having this --
1879 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Right.
1880 MS COURTEMANCHE: -- but there is a social and maybe cultural justification. The CBC, the public radio has a very specific mandate, but if the government believes that there is a social and cultural mandate in having this particular segment of the media -- which is different -- I think we would agree that the type of service that the community and campus radio stations would provide would be different from CBC radio or television, then it would be up to the Commission -- sorry, the government to say well, yes, we believe that Canadian culture, this is good for our sovereignty and that we should find it.
1881 I mean I think it's on purely that basis, but I think it becomes a very different -- does it become another public radio? I mean in Québec, you know, they fund community radio, they fund community television.
1882 Has it become a public service, no. They continue to be independently run, they are not-for-profit that have, you know, their own governance structures and does it help to have them get government funding, absolutely. I don't think it has made them into a public service such as Télé-Québec or CBC Radio.
1883 MR. LARCHE: I think too --
1884 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I understand, but I'm still not clear on how -- from your answer, to be honest, it sounded more like yes, it would just be more public radio and really we have the job of trying to distinguish very clearly between these three segments, community, commercial and public.
1885 I'm just looking for suggestions from you that we might make were we to make this suggestion.
1886 MR. LARCHE: Commissioner Menzies --
1887 COMMISSION MENZIES: Because I'm pretty sure we would get asked that question.
1888 MR. LARCHE: Right. I will make one comment and then turn to Paul.
1889 But I think we don't think it should just be government funding, we also think there should be community support. So we think these are community stations, we think there should be support from the community. That normally is a telltale sign as to whether or not that station can be successful in the community, if there is support from the community, in various ways, whether it's the -- certainly they have the volunteerism, et cetera, but even advertising support which they can get.
1890 We heard them say yesterday that they wanted to change the rules as it related to their ability to advertise and we could understand that. I mean there are some times when there are events or things that happen and you might run six minutes or eight minutes of commercials during that time and you may not run any commercials the next hour or the next day.
1891 So we understand that we are supportive of that.
1893 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Sorry, go ahead, Mr. Larche.
1894 MR. LARCHE: I was just going to add to your question that I think what you are trying to say is what's in it -- you know, would this turn into another CBC if we go to the government for funding.
1895 I think we have to come back and look at the Act, the Broadcast Act, that does lay it out in three different segments of which community is one, Government of Canada of course putting that Act together.
1896 But also I think we have to understand that Heritage is very much at a local level and a lot of these stations are trying to reflect the local makeup of their communities very specific to that market.
1897 If I use CFRH in Penetanguishene again, it's a French radio station providing a service to a very small population, but very appreciative population of having their own community radio station, but this group has received money from Heritage Canada just as recently as this summer, $113,000. So government does have a role to play here.
1898 MS COURTEMANCHE: And I would just finish that when government gives money such as in the context of the CMF it has these Memoranda of Understanding that sets out clearly how this money can be expended.
1899 So I think that if you suggest to the government that we are going to ensure from our perspective, the CRTC, we are going to create a framework that makes very clear that the manner in which these services can operate will be a community-based type operation through our regulatory framework, but we believe that this isn't economically viable and this requires government assistance, then the government can tie the funding through these MOUs as to you have to fulfil the following requirements.
1900 Just like it does in the CMF and it achieves the objectives that they want to make sure that they retain their community status and they don't become public radio.
1901 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So what would your response be to the suggestion, for instance if we were to make that recommendation, that there be tangible -- just let me say, tangible evidence of community support.
1902 I put that in the context of a couple of projects I'm familiar with, the CJSW, the campus station at the University of Calgary, that runs a funding drive on its own that raises a couple of hundred thousand dollars a year anyway, that perhaps that becomes eligible for matching money.
1903 Or CKUA, which also runs a very strong -- where they show, there is not just expressions and letters written by various $5.00, $10, $50, $100 passed along from the consumers should it -- I know I'm asking you to sort of ad hoc a policy position, but is that a reasonable approach to take?
1904 MR. SKI: We certainly believe it is.
1905 There needs to be some measure of local support, otherwise you would be hard-pressed to say that there should be a station. I mean in some markets there maybe shouldn't be a station because there isn't the support for it, but whereas in other communities there certainly is.
1906 But yes, we agree with that.
1907 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay.
1908 MR. GORDON: If I may add that local support also means that the station is living up to its mandate of being a local radio station, because if it has the support in the community, it has advertising dollars and it has donations, obviously it is providing the kind of content and the kind of programming that the community supports.
1909 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Two questions that I will try to make rather quick.
1910 What is your response to the suggestions by some yesterday that funds be delinked from the project basis? There was some suggestion that that was difficult, that was problematic, that --
1911 MS COURTEMANCHE: We agree with that?
1912 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: -- it's time-consuming.
1913 MS COURTEMANCHE: We I agree absolutely.
1914 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So you are happy to delink from projects?
1915 MS COURTEMANCHE: Absolutely. Yes, absolutely.
1916 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. What's the other one?
1917 I think you kind of answered. We spoke about charitable status. I was going to ask you what you saw as the major barriers and it's fair to say that you saw it perhaps a matter of accessing the necessary expertise.
1918 There is no institutional barriers that you have seen or regulatory barriers that get in the way of successful applications for charity?
1919 MS COURTEMANCHE: There may be some mission in like the way they are constituted. I'm not saying it would be easy.
1920 In some cases they would have to, you know, restate their by-laws. I'm not saying that it's not an arduous process I would say, but I mean are there sort of flagrant barriers?
1921 You know, I haven't done it recently, it's been a while so I would have to go back and check so I can't point to one. They may be able to point to one, I certainly can't right off the top, but I do know that it requires certain structure in order to support those types and it's not easy. I totally recognize that.
1922 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. I'm trying to think of some way that we can not leave that hanging because when you mentioned it earlier I saw a little head shaking in the back that this is much more difficult and complex than that and it seems to be a key point if we were to actually get to a point where raising funds locally, having a tax receipt on it is very useful.
1923 MR. LARCHE: I know yesterday it was mentioned there were two stations that had charitable status. I know that again the station in Penetanguishene does have charitable status, it's on their website, so I'm not sure if that was included in the two, but I think certainly you can get it.
1924 I think one of the issues some of the community stations will tell you is that you have to spend a certain amount of your funds that you bring in with a certain amount of time and you have to disburse those funds within a certain amount of time and some of them find that somewhat restrictive.
1925 But again, I think if you go back to governance and by-laws there are ways to get through that and obviously some have.
1926 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you very much.
1927 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just to complete, Mr. Larche, we are now up to three that have charitable status.
1928 MS COURTEMANCHE: We hope it's growing.
1929 THE CHAIRPERSON: The two that we were referring to yesterday were CIUT, University of Toronto campus station and CIBL the Montréal community radio station. So it is my understanding that there is more than --
1930 MR. LARCHE: CFRH-FM.
1931 THE CHAIRPERSON: CFRH-FM now in Penetanguishene, so there are more -- there might be more than that.
1932 Madame Lamarre...?
1933 CONSEILLÈRE LAMARRE: Merci, Monsieur le Président.
1934 Bonjour! Merci d'être ici ce matin. J'ai quelques questions. Je pense que je vais commencer avec la plus difficile.
1935 Vous avez expliqué dans votre mémoire, et encore ce matin, que vous considérez que la radio communautaire devrait se définir d'une manière qui est complémentaire à la radio commerciale.
1936 Et vous n'avez pas besoin de me réexpliquer les toutes bonnes raisons pour lesquelles vous pensez que ça devrait être comme ça. C'est expliqué dans votre mémoire, vous l'avez répété ce matin. Mais moi, ce que je me demande, c'est la chose suivante. C'est : dans un environnement où on a complètement déréglementé les formats de programmation depuis plus de 10 ans, comment est-ce qu'on peut prétendre qu'une telle solution soit un, possible, ou deux, ne serait-ce que raisonnable.
1937 Parce qu'à toutes fins pratiques, ce que vous me dites c'est qu'il faudrait que les radios communautaires soient à la remorque des stratégies de programmation ou des radios commerciales.
1938 M. LÉVESQUE: Oui. Si je peux me permettre, madame Lamarre...
1939 En fait, ce qui est important : il faut que la radio communautaire se distingue de la radio commerciale. Et ça, ça peut se faire par le contenu verbal, la façon dont sont traités les dossiers locaux.
1940 D'abord, une programmation locale. On s'entend, c'est le point de départ. Il faut parler de ce qui se passe --
1941 CONSEILLÈRE LAMARRE: Pour toutes les radios, de toute façon, à peu près.
1942 M. LÉVESQUE: Oui. Mais particulièrement pour les radios communautaires. Et il faut parler de ce que les gens du milieu veulent entendre localement.
1943 Et il faut donner accès aux ondes aux gens du milieu, aux différents organismes, aux gens qui veulent entendre parler de macramé et qui veulent entendre parler de quatre roues, qui veulent entendre parler de chasse, qui veulent entendre parler de pêche. Tous les sujets doivent être accessibles. Et les ondes doivent être accessibles à la communauté. Ça, c'est la première façon.
1944 Au niveau de la musique, bien, il faut que la station communautaire puisse jouer une musique qui se distingue un peu de ce que joue la radio commerciale, sinon... En fait, c'est ce qui fait que la radio communautaire ressemble tant à la radio commerciale actuellement, c'est que les pourcentages de musique qui doivent jouer qui se distinguent son confinés dans des fonds de programmation ou dans des heures de week-end ou de soirée, qui fait en sorte que dans les heures de grande écoute elle va jouer exactement la même chose, va faire le même genre de programmation que la radio privée ou commerciale va faire.
1945 Alors, c'est important que les demandes, les exigences au niveau de la musique soient étendues aussi aux périodes de grande écoute pour faire en sorte que la station communautaire de distingue et qu'elle soit aussi le reflet, là, des goûts des minorités, des gens qui ne se retrouvent pas dans les radios commerciales, qui veulent viser un grand public.
1946 Mme COURTEMANCHE: Mais je comprends votre question parce que comment est-ce qu'on accomplit cet objectif-là dans la mesure où les formats ne sont pas réglementés.
1947 Et je suis d'accord avec vous, nous autres on ne préconise pas que les formats soient réglementés, mais ce qu'on a préconisé c'est qu'il y ait une utilisation qui soit dans la musique de catégorie 21, qui soit ciblée à pas plus que 30 pour cent?
1948 M. LÉVESQUE: Soixante-dix pour cent.
1949 Mme COURTEMANCHE: Soixante-dix pour cent, donc 70 pour cent, donc, on doit s'assurer qu'au moins 30 pour cent du contenu musical ne vienne pas de la catégorie 21.
1950 Et l'autre chose qu'on a préconisée, c'est au niveau des hits. Alors, là, on s'est dit que, là, il y a vraiment une façon parce que vous le savez autant que moi que la radio commerciale privée a tendance à jouer beaucoup de hits et c'est de cette façon-là qu'on va pouvoir distinguer. Alors, on a dit: pas plus que 30 pour cent du contenu musical devrait être des hits.
1951 Alors, ça, c'est l'autre façon qu'on s'est dit que ça va nous distinguer.
1952 MR. SKI: And Commissioner Lamarre, if I could just add to that too. I mean there is currently regulation for formats from a specialty standpoint. There are guidelines.
1953 MEMBER LAMARRE: Yes, but more stations are not regulated.
1954 MR. SKI: There are, but this is specialty stations, certain specialty stations are a different type of radio station, as are community radio stations. There are different types of radio stations and so, if you are in a specialty format, you have guidelines that you have to follow otherwise you don't have that particular licence.
1955 CONSEILLÈRE LAMARRE: Et si je peux poursuivre, monsieur Lévesque, vous avez mentionné plus tôt peut-être avec madame Poirier ou lors de votre présentation, qu'il y avait des circonstances où il y avait une station de radio qui était présente dans un marché commercial, une station communautaire arrivait et adoptait le format de la station commerciale.
1956 Mais est-ce que l'inverse n'est pas aussi déjà arrivé; c'est-à-dire qu'il y a eu des marchés où d'abord il y avait une radio communautaire et que, par la suite, la radio commerciale est venue s'installer et a imité ce que la radio communautaire faisait?
1957 M. LÉVESQUE: Je ne peux pas vous répondre à cette question-là, je ne sais pas dans quel marché ça a pu arriver.
1958 CONSEILLÈRE LAMARRE: O.k. Parfait.
1959 Maintenant, je vous ramène à votre présentation de ce matin. À la page 5 vous parlez de la relation entre les radios communautaires et la radio commerciale qui, d'après vous, est une relation de soutien et d'intérêt mutuel qui n'aurait pas besoin d'intervention réglementaire pour être soutenue.
1960 Cependant, comme vous en avez discuté avec madame Poirier, ça a le défaut, ça, d'être ni encadré ni prévisible, ce qui fait en sorte que, justement, les joueurs qui sont peut-être les plus vulnérables au niveau de la radio communautaire, ceux qui sont dans les plus petits marchés, ceux qui n'ont pas de collègues commerciaux sur qui s'appuyer facilement peuvent trouver ça difficile d'arriver à développer cette relation-là.
1961 Alors, moi, je vous pose une question, vous n'êtes pas obligé d'y répondre maintenant, mais ce que je me demande c'est s'il n'y aurait pas un moyen pour l'ACR d'essayer de la formaliser cette relation-là, de nous proposer un mécanisme quelconque qui permettrait autant aux radios communautaires, aux radios commerciales de se rencontrer régulièrement d'une façon qui est formalisée et qui permettrait justement le développement de ce réseau-là?
1962 MR. SKI: Most definitely. I think that's a good suggestion and one that we will undertake.
1963 CONSEILLÈRE LAMARRE: Merci.
1964 Mme COURTEMANCHE: Si je comprends bien, est-ce qu'il y a une période de réplique qui a été établie dans l'audience? Oui?
1965 LE PRÉSIDENT: Oui, au 1er février.
1966 CONSEILLÈRE LAMARRE: Bon. Alors, on vous répondra le 1er février.
1967 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et nous émettrons d'ici peu un avis vous disant que c'est maximum dix pages.
1968 CONSEILLÈRE LAMARRE: Alors, vous serez concise.
1969 Mme COURTEMANCHE: Comme toujours.
1970 CONSEILLÈRE LAMARRE: Comme toujours, effectivement.
1971 Maintenant, à la page 6 de votre présentation, vous parlez de, bon, d'assistance technique en nature et j'aimerais clarifier une chose. Est-ce que je me trompe en pensant que les circonstances dans lesquelles ces situations de produisent, ce sont les circonstances où la station de radio commerciale a aussi un intérêt direct dans la situation? Que c'est rarement arrivé qu'il y ait des études techniques ou des coûts de remplacement d'antenne sur une tour de transmission qui a été faite, là, s'il n'y avait pas quand même -- et je ne vous le reproche pas là -- mais je veux seulement clarifier le genre de circonstances dans lesquelles on retrouve ça?
1972 Mme COURTEMANCHE: Bien, généralement parlant, oui, mais moi je vous donne l'exemple à Trent où on n'a pas d'intérêt commercial de placé ou rien faire puis qu'on leur donne un accès gratuit à la tour de transmission dans d'autres marchés comme Vancouver où est-ce qu'on donne un taux préférentiel et je vous dirais très, très préférentiel à la radio communautaire à Vancouver, alors... et là où encore on n'a pas d'intérêt.
1973 Ça fait que ce que je vous dirais, c'est qu'où il y a eu des mémoires techniques et ce genre d'appui-là c'était souvent parce qu'il y a une nouvelle radio commerciale venait s'implanter sur une fréquence qui était utilisée et alors, à ce moment-là, le radiodiffuseur privé aidait à financer le déplacement sur une autre fréquence.
1974 Ça, je suis d'accord avec vous, mais ce que je dirais, c'est qu'il y a beaucoup d'autres instances où il n'y a pas de relation avec l'intérêt du radiodiffuseur, on le fait de bon gré, de bonne volonté, alors il y a des deux.
1975 CONSEILLÈRE LAMARRE: Il y a des deux. Et dans l'instance sur laquelle vous insistez, c'est-à-dire les situations où il n'y a pas nécessairement un intérêt immédiat de la part de la radio commerciale, j'en reviens parce que je veux vous encourager à faire une belle proposition au fait que si les relations étaient un petit peu plus formalisées entre les différentes associations de radio commerciale et de radio communautaire, que ce sont des circonstances qu'on pourrait peut-être voir plus souvent, ne serait-ce des fois aussi que de transférer de l'équipement qui est encore valable, mais qui n'est plus nécessaire.
1976 Mme COURTEMANCHE: Bien oui et d'inciter ça avec des modifications à ce qui est éligible en vertu du contenu, ça, ça va aider.
1977 CONSEILLÈRE LAMARRE: Tout à fait.
1978 Mme COURTEMANCHE: Moi, je vous dirais c'est ça qui va vraiment... déboucher le boucher, là, ça serait ça. Ça puis des relations formelles, plus formelles et régulières, les deux ensemble je pense que ça aurait un impact important.
1979 CONSEILLÈRE LAMARRE: C'est noté. Maintenant, je veux en venir à la question de... je commence à glisser sur un terrain un petit peu plus technique là, vous avez constaté, je veux parler de la notification lorsqu'une station de faible puissance doit céder le passage à une station de puissance protégée.
1980 Une représentation récurrente qui est faite par les radios communautaires sont à l'effet que lorsqu'elles sont sur une fréquence non protégée et qu'elles doivent, suite à l'approbation par le Conseil, d'une station à haute puissance et qu'elle doive déménager de fréquence, que les délais de notification qui leur sont donnés par les radiodiffuseurs sont beaucoup trop courts.
1981 Et je n'ai pas besoin que vous m'expliquiez qu'il n'y en a pas de délai de prévu dans les règles, les procédures sur la radiodiffusion et ça... mais ça, c'est le volet technique.
1982 Nous ici on est préoccupé à garder en ondes une station qu'on a approuvée. Elle a beau être sur une fréquence non protégée pour des raisons techniques, pour des raisons de gestion de spec optimum, il demeure que si on lui a donné une licence, c'est parce qu'on estime qu'elle doit rester en ondes, qu'elle a une raison d'être.
1983 Est-ce que vous ne pourriez pas, encore une fois, faire en sorte que... et établir vous-même un mécanisme par lequel lorsqu'une station est approuvée et doit forcer le déménagement d'une station de faible puissance, faire en sorte que les délais de notification soient acceptables pour les deux parties?
1984 Mr. SKI: Chris?
1985 MR. GORDON: Well, I could ask Mr. Stacey to address this specific concern, but we are in favour of information and a web portal or some kind of mechanism that allows the information to be constantly updated and constantly enabling us to have the right communication with the right people at the right time to allow the time for these things to happen. Mr. Stacey.
1986 MR. STACEY: Yes. I think it's primarily a timing problem here. When the consultants prepare applications for commercial stations and there may be an impact on a low power unprotected station, they are required under Industry Canada's procedures and rules to send a notification letter. It's not an optional thing; it's something where they must do that.
1987 And the question is the timing. Some applicants are a little concerned about the confidentiality of their applications and would be concerned if they were to send such a letter the moment they file the application with the CRTC because there is no way of preserving confidentiality. Frankly, once you start sending those letters out, you might as well publish it in the Globe & Mail.
1988 So, what some of them prefer to do is to do this fairly promptly after the Commission has actually gazetted an application.
1989 CONSEILLÈRE LAMARRE: And that's one part of it, but the second part is, you know, that's when the application is in, but once the application has -- sometimes it's approved, sometimes it's not -- and once it's approved, then there is a mechanism in place where the approved broadcaster will want to put its station on-the-air, but then actions need to be taken by the little power station to move out of the frequency that will receive interference or cause interference.
1990 So, is there any way that you can provide -- the broadcasters can provide longer notification to those broadcasters and give them time to react to that?
1991 MR. STACEY: Well, I guess the absolute latest time that anybody would know would be when the Commission issues an approving decision and these decisions are published on the Commission's website and they are accessible to anyone.
1992 When that happens, usually there is a bit of a lag between the time of approval and when you actually get an authorization from Industry Canada to start building the facility, that can often be several weeks to a month and then, of course, there is the time required to actually implement it.
1993 But I think prudent operators would be better to take note of the fact at the time it's gazetted, if there is a potential problem that might come upon them, should the Commission approve an application, I think they should be starting to look at their options.
1994 They may not be in a position to or have to actually file applications for changes, but I think they certainly should be taking steps to see if in fact they might have to do something.
1995 Now, so far as we know, that being said, as far as we know, we don't think any station low power has ever had to go off the air solely because of another application that bumped them from their frequency and everybody --
1996 CONSEILLÈRE LAMARRE: No, but some of them have had to, in certain terms, Mr. Stacey, but some of them have had to deal with great inconveniences because of either the lack of coordination between the broadcaster that was approved and the broadcaster that was on-air and that's the point where I am trying to get here and not as much on the technical side, but more under the responsibility side of things, from the broadcaster who was approved, knowing very well they will be bumping a little power station.
1997 I think your point, Mr. Stacey, I think that point in the past too that every operator should be conscious of what could happen to them, but at the same time, as a commercial broadcaster, potentially causing inconveniences and sometimes great inconveniences to little power operators, what type of measures would you be willing to do to minimize those inconveniences?
1998 MR. STACEY: Well, there was the suggestion, of course, that if the broadcasters had a better handle on who actually they should be contacting, that would help and there was suggestions that perhaps that could be done through having some sort of a portal that would give updated information.
1999 I personally have been involved in quite a number of cases where notification of letters have been sent and in fact, you never hear anything back from these people, possibly because the right person never got the letter because that person you directed it to is no longer even operating that station.
2000 The other thing we should keep in mind is that these situations of unprotected stations having to move, don't -- there are two situations here. One is where the unprotected station would cause interference to somebody who has just received approval for a regular station and if that happens then it's pretty clear that they need to move.
2001 But there are also the other cases where they're far enough away that they wouldn't bother the incoming station, but the incoming station may bother then and in that case, a lot of operators prefer to see what happens when that occurs. They don't actually want to get into a situation where they invest time and money if they don't have to, so they would rather take a wait-and-see attitude and evaluate it at that point.
2002 Engineering can only take you so far along that path in determining actually when interference is going to occur and when it isn't.
2003 MR. SMITH: And if I may add just to complement with what Wayne just said. If the Commission were to allow, for instance, as eligible CCD, that broadcasters helping an LTFM community service to, you know, to migrate from the technical standpoint, the technical brief, the element of support that is needed so that they can be moving with the least disruption possible, that also would help tremendously.
2004 CONSEILLÈRE LAMARRE: Ça serait un incitatif intéressant.
2005 M. SMITH: Tout à fait.
2006 CONSEILLÈRE LAMARRE: Et si je peux me permettre de conclure, ce que je comprends, moi, ce que je retire de l'intervention de monsieur Stacey, c'est que définitivement la formalisation de la relation entre les radios commerciales et les radios communautaires serait une plus-value très intéressante dans le système.
2007 Un autre point, et là je vais vous avouer que je suis un petit peu agacée parce que j'ai lu au paragraphe 74 de votre mémoire et ce que vous dites ce matin dans votre présentation, vous prétendez que, compte tenu de la rareté du spec FM, la bande AM est une solution viable ou intéressante -- je ne me rappelle plus exactement le mot que vous avez utilisé dans un document comme dans l'autre -- pour la radio communautaire.
2008 Expliquez-moi la chose suivante: dans les cinq, dix dernières années où est-ce que le Conseil a vu défiler des demandes continues de modification de la part des radios commerciales, de la radio commerciale pour passer de la bande AM à la bande FM, et dans ces cas-là deux des raisons principales qui étaient présentées étaient (1) le coût important de l'exploitation de la station AM et (2), les difficultés de réception la nuit, comment est-ce que ces deux raisons-là qui étaient déterminantes pour faire passer la radio commerciale de la bande AM à la bande FM deviennent soudainement des raisons intéressantes pour la radio communautaire de se rabattre sur cette bande-là?
2009 MR. GORDON: Well, the issue is from FM -- AM to FM is basically an economic matter. In situations currently, now there is new technology on the AM band and Mr. Stacey can speak to it, that allows you know an operator to provide a relatively low cost alternative albeit without, you know, the same coverage area, but --
2010 CONSEILLÈRE LAMARRE: And you've just said the key word «without the same coverage area». So, I mean, can we agree that AM transmission is more difficult to operate and that it's more expensive to operate and it doesn't usually give as good results as the FM does?
2011 MR. STACEY: I think what we have to keep in mind though is what is the coverage objective of the station.
2012 CONSEILLÈRE LAMARRE: Granted, granted.
2013 MR. STACEY: You have commercial stations which have in their interest, in their best interest the wish to cover as large a geographic area as possible. So, that leads you in a historic context to AM stations that utilized 50,000 watt transmitters with four, six, eight towers. There are very expensive implementations.
2014 The broadcasters were prepared to do that to get the very wide area coverage that that achieves on AM. A lot of campus and commercial stations have a much more contained coverage target and I think the balancing thing we have to keep in mind here is that given that FM is simply not going to be available in a lot of markets, you have to look at alternatives and alternatives can involve non-broadcast facilities such as the internet which have their limitations relating to lack of mobility or you can go to other radio bands, L band comes to mind should that spec remain available, channel 5 and 6 was mentioned in Mr. Gordon's presentation as a possible future potential band for radio.
2015 But all of those require new receivers. The only band we have other than FM where almost all receivers will be capable of picking up the signal is the AM band.
2016 So, I think it is worthwhile looking at that and there are ways of putting on economic AM facilities using single radiator antennas on building roof tops and so on in order to cover contained areas. So, where that can be done, I really think it's worth exploring.
2017 CONSEILLÈRE LAMARRE: Et si, effectivement, l'aide technique était éligible à une contribution de dépenses de contenu canadien à ce moment-là, ça serait un incitatif supplémentaire?
2018 Mme COURTEMANCHE: Un autre incitatif et je remarquerais que la radio communautaire elle-même a suggéré la bande AM comme une solution pour la radio secondaire. Ça fait qu'eux autres aussi ont vécu ça.
2019 CONSEILLÈRE LAMARRE: On va traiter avec une partie à la fois, si vous voulez bien, madame Courtemanche.
2020 Et finalement, mon dernier point c'est un point que j'appellerais «housekeeping».
2021 Dans votre soumission j'aimerais obtenir certaines précisions là et vous n'êtes pas obligée de me donner immédiatement. À la page, au paragraphe 53 de votre soumission, au paragraphe 57 de votre soumission, vous faites référence -- attendez que je vous le donne exactement là -- au paragraphe 53 vous dites que le Canada est le seul pays où les radios privées subventionnent l'industrie domestique de la musique.
2022 Pourriez-vous, s'il vous plaît, nous citer vos sources?
2023 Au paragraphe 57, vous parlez des subventions provinciales auxquelles les radios communautaires ont accès. Pourriez-vous, s'il vous plaît, nous donner vos précisions et au paragraphe 11... non, à la page 11 de votre présentation vous avez mentionné que la radio communautaire avait affirmé qu'ils essayaient d'être plus compétitifs.
2024 Pourriez-vous s'il vous plaît, aussi, citer le passage du mémoire en question?
2025 M. LÉVESQUE: Nous le ferons pour le dépôt du 1er février.
2026 CONSEILLÈRE LAMARRE: O.k. Merci, monsieur le président, pour votre patience.
2027 LE PRÉSIDENT: Bienvenue, madame. Mr. Patrone.
2028 MEMBER PATRONE: Good morning.
2029 THE CHAIRPERSON: For a short?
2030 MEMBER PATRONE: Yes, absolutely, I promise not to -- to be as brief as I possibly can. Two questions.
2031 First of, Mr. Lévesque, you spoke a little bit about some anecdotal reports of economic impact in some areas of your province as a result of commercial radio. Do you have any economic impact assessments in the way of documented numbers that could possibly help us in measuring the impact, the direct impact economically of community radio on some radio stations?
2032 M. LÉVESQUE: J'ai manqué le début de votre question.
2033 MEMBER PATRONE: I can repeat the first part of the question. You spoke a little bit earlier about the economic impact, some anecdotal reports of economic impact on some commercial radio stations as a result of community radio competing against it.
2034 Is there any documented evidence that you could provide for us in the economic assessment that has been done over the years perhaps that you could provide for us or is there simply not any of this evidence around?
2035 M. LÉVESQUE: Non, je n'ai pas de document. Ce que je peux dire, ce que j'ai mentionné tout à l'heure, c'est que, à ma connaissance, il y a eu une station de radio commerciale qui a dû fermer suite à l'arrivée d'une station radio communautaire dans un marché. C'est au Nouveau-Brunswick.
2036 Puis ce que j'ai comme information, c'est.. puis qui sera déposé jeudi lors de la présentation de l'Association des radiodiffuseurs francophones régionaux, c'est les marges de bailleur et de profitabilité avant impôt des stations de radio qui sont membres de l'ARRF, comparativement à ceux de la radio communautaire et de toute une gamme d'autres segments.
2037 MEMBER PATRONE: Yes. It's always helpful when we can get some numbers provided to us in the way of evidence as far as that impact is concerned.
2038 Second question.
2039 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Patrone...
2040 Monsieur Lévesque, je sais que vous comparaissez vous-même jeudi avec plusieurs autres de vos collègues, peut-être que c'est une question que vous pourriez discuter avec eux avant de comparaître jeudi et si vous aviez des informations plus pointues, ce serait peut-être intéressant que vous en fassiez état au moment de la comparution.
2041 M. LÉVESQUE: Merci. Oui.
2042 MEMBER PATRONE: Thank you, Mr. Vice Chair and thank you, Mr. Lévesque.
2043 Second question, purely hypothetical. Do you see any scenario, and this is somewhat an extension of what Commissioner Menzies was sort of getting at, do you see any scenario in which any future commitment of corporate support for certain community stations in certain markets might be acceptable or palatable in exchange for meeting certain requirements, including going commercial free broadcasting higher rates of Canadian content or eventual migration of the FM band?
2044 MR. SKI: I think, commissioner Patrone, I think that something -- we haven't given a great deal of consideration to. I mean off the top, possibly not, but we would like to maybe review that and come back to you.
2045 MS COURTEMANCHE: And come back to you on February 1st.
2046 MEMBER PATRONE: Thank you. C'est tout.
2047 THE CHAIRPERSON: Legal counsel?
2048 MS HULLEY: I apologize, I didn't catch that last undertaking that commissioner Patrone had.
2049 MEMBER PATRONE: You missed it too.
2050 MS COURTEMANCHE: But we've just said that in response to Commissioner Patrone on his last question, we undertake to respond on February 1st to that question.
2051 MS HULLEY: Okay. So, I have four undertakings for the CAB, I will state them in English.
2052 The first was to give details on how the CAB proposed to formalize its relations with the community sector.
2053 The second is to provide the source for the statement at paragraph 53 of your submission that Canada is the only country in the world to fund its domestic music.
2054 The third is to provide further details on how to expand on your assertions at paragraph 57 of your submissions.
2055 And the fourth is to respond to commissioner Patrone's question with further details.
2056 MR. SKI: That's correct.
2057 MS HULLEY: That information will all be due on February 1st.
2058 MR. SKI: That's correct.
2059 LE PRÉSIDENT: Mesdames, messieurs, gentlemen, thank you very much for your presentation.
2060 We will take a ten-minute break and so we will be back at 1110.
--- Upon recessing at 1057
--- Upon resuming at 1113
2061 THE CHAIRPERSON: Ms Secretary.
2062 THE SECRETARY: We will now hear the presentation of Radio CKUT 90.3 FM.
2063 Please introduce yourself, and you have 15 minutes for your presentation. Thank you.
2064 MS CORNELL: Mr. Chairman, Members of the Commission, colleagues, I would first like to thank you for the opportunity to take part as an observer and presenter in this consultation process.
2065 My name is Andrea-Jane Cornell. I am the Music Programming Coordinator and member of collective management at Radio CKUT 90.3 FM in Montreal. I am speaking on behalf of the eight staff members and the 300 plus active station volunteers who own and operate CKUT and make our programming a force to be reckoned with.
2066 CKUT is a large metropolitan station whose collective governance structure is unique amongst campus and community stations in Canada. CKUT does not operate within the traditional hierarchal model with station directors, program directors, et cetera. Volunteers are the foundation of CKUT and occupy a vital role on all decision making bodies that operate on a consensus-based decision making process.
2067 The role of all station staff is to coordinate volunteers and provide them with the necessary resources and tools that enable them to make programming that speaks to the different facets of Montreal's diverse community.
2068 I am going to speak on the following points: funding; the place of campus and community radio in the broadcasting system and the structure of the sector; diversity in programming; music genres; and new media.
2069 I will focus the majority of my presentation on funding and the difficulties that CKUT experiences in regards to funding, which affects our present and future vitality. CKUT's current funding model is broken, like that of most campus and community radio stations.
2070 Our revenues have reached a plateau and are currently declining despite concerted efforts made to tryout different funding models, researching and applying for grants, and consulting with other campus and community radio stations in Canada and abroad.
2071 Reliable, consistent, sustainable, core funding that carries over year to year is a necessity without which campus and community radio is teetering dangerously on the edge of a very uncertain future.
2072 The challenges to CKUT's funding include 40 per cent of our funding comes from the student levy paid by McGill students. Every five years we go to referendum where the students vote on whether or not to continue supporting the radio station.
2073 From September 2008 to the present McGill University implemented an online opt-out system without consulting student body or the groups affected by such a system, where students can choose to opt out of a select few of independent socially active student groups. This opt-out system has generated a loss of $16,000 to $19,000 per fiscal year.
2074 Ten per cent of CKUT's revenue is raised through SCMO subcarrier rental fees, a technology that is being replaced by internet and satellite radio. Our current tenants are both asking for rent reductions and have voiced complaints about inconsistent reception in their communities.
2075 In 2009 CKUT was forced to disconnect a subcarrier tenant of 10 years that served the Tamil community of Montreal, as they were in arrears of $24,000 to CKUT. Their biggest complaint was that there were three Tamil subcarrier stations licensed in Montreal, all competing for a relatively small listenership.
2076 CKUT proposes that the CRTC consider the number of sub-carrier stations serving the same market when licensing these subcarrier stations.
2077 Our annual funding drive accounts for 25 per cent of our funding and has reached a plateau of $42,000 to $47,000 in collected funds. Despite attempting new models, moving the drive from the spring to the fall, and extensive consultation with the station's membership, board of directors and workshops or the specialists in the field of campus and community radio funding, we have not been able to push our fundraising beyond that plateau in the past four years.
2078 Listeners' options have multiplied exponentially and the internet, radio, podcasting, mobile listening devices, iTunes, and satellite radio provide alternate specialized programming on demand.
2079 The outcome of drawn-out negotiations between the CBC and the City of Montreal has led to an increase in our transmitter site rental fees by 20 per cent retroactive over the period of five years.
2080 Twenty-five per cent of our funding comes from advertising. Many of our local promoters have explained that they have the equal amount of success using social networking forums such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter to advertise cultural events and parties, meaning that the value and effectiveness of CKUT's advertising has decreased in their eyes.
2081 CKUT proposes to the CRTC that campus and community radio self-regulate within its 500-minute per week allowance for advertisement. CKUT advertising is predominantly linked to cultural events and is a form of mutual support between the station and cultural communities who are placing advertising on our airwaves.
2082 In 22 years we have never filled every hour of programming with four hours of advertisement. It would allow us to be able to regulate and allow more access to advertising by small festivals and smaller community-based organizations to place advertisements at peak periods of our year, specifically festival season in the months of May, June and July in Montreal.
2083 With respect to grants, CKUT received CRFC funding for the NCRC conference in the summer of 2009. We are grateful for this funding and what it allowed us to accomplish during the conference. The main drawback to the CRFC funding is that it is project-oriented funding that does not contribute to a station's core funding and, therefore, is not a reliable source of sustainable revenue.
2084 CKUT understands that funding must be tied to conditions. CKUT suggests that grants be made available to support the substantial and initiatives that CC radio is already involved in, such as access to hands-on broadcast training for all student and community members regardless of experience, background, social status and so on.
2085 Access to broadcasting tools and time, support for local communities and cultures, local artist talent development and support, we provide a forum for campus-based groups and students to create media that is relevant to their community, we do campus and community outreach, we provide democratic access to media production, and help in elevating the visibility of campus and community stations within their communities and across the country would also be greatly appreciated.
2086 Non-renewable project-oriented grants provide the opportunity for a project to develop. But what happens the following year when there is no more money to keep the project afloat?
2087 Campus and community stations are having problems sustaining themselves with their current operating budgets and cannot absorb the costs after the initial funding for a project is exhausted, leading to much disappointment on behalf of station members who are involved in the project initiative. Project-oriented grants are also taxing on station human and physical resources.
2088 CKUT does not believe that the campus and community radio sector will collapse if a solution to the lack in sustainable core funding is not attained. However, increasing costs will force stations like CKUT to cut their staff because there is nowhere else to cut. It is a reality that has already begun to be felt, as the station is currently in a hiring freeze.
2089 The outcome of station staffing reductions in our sector, which already operates with a bare minimum staff, will result in a decrease in the quality and accessibility of the stations programming and resources. It will place more burden on unpaid staff and volunteers and will also have a negative impact on the station's capacity to keep up with broadcasting trends, develop new programming initiatives and to continue to carryout the special programming initiatives that we do. The place of campus and community radio sector in the broadcasting system and structure of the sector.
2090 CKUT believes that campus and community radio is defined by its programming, but more importantly by the community that a licensed station is mandated to represent.
2091 Furthermore, the defining characteristics of a campus and community station should be expanded to include a reference to the mechanisms in place at campus and community radio that facilitate the production and programming by and for the community.
2092 The training and participation and the vision and management provided within the campus and community radio sector addresses factors of media accessibility and provide a truly democratic form of media.
2093 CKUT asks the Commission to consider underlying the important role that campus and community stations play in training their student and community members. Without access to this training the station's programming could not fulfil its mandate.
2094 CKUT believes that the two main policies governing campus and community radio could be served by a single policy. However, CKUT does not, at this point, see how instructional stations would fit into this policy as the principles of operation, governance, and programming at play in instructional stations seem markedly different from community and campus community radio stations.
2095 CKUT believes that diversity is a culture and a way of operating, a value held by our institution and the people that work within it. Respecting, encouraging, and creating space for diverse peoples, ideas, music and languages should be fostered in all aspects of the campus and community institutions.
2096 Sensitivity and the ability to encourage diversity within the station's staff, programmers, programming and governing bodies such as the board of directors, steering committees, programming, and grievance committees should be a necessary qualification for all employees.
2097 CKUT believes that when talking about diverse groups it is important to recognize that there are countless communities, groups and identities marginalized in the mainstream media beyond ethno-cultural minorities, Aboriginal peoples and peoples living with disabilities.
2098 There must be a focus on a wide range of marginalized peoples, working class and poor people, gender diversity, sexual diversity, women, youth, elderly, et cetera.
2099 CKUT believes that diversity is intrinsically valuable and necessary to any radio programming that serves a community or number of communities living in the area.
2100 The operation of CKUT's news collected is a good example of how CKUT works to promote the diversity of voices by coordinating the Monday to Friday, Off the Hour news programming in a collective, non-traditional newsroom context. News production occurs outside of the hierarchal, top-down model, stories are not assigned, decisions pertaining to what will be covered, and from what angle, is a collaborative process where everyone's voice is valued.
2101 CKUT's Avalanche news production team is another example that speaks to the station's commitment to reaching out to a section of the population that is grossly under and misrepresented. The Avalanche was a project initiated by Cathy Inouye, a volunteer member who worked with the Montreal West Readaptation Centre for persons living with physical and mental disabilities.
2102 The Avalanche crew independently hosts and texts the Wednesday edition of Off the Hour and produce one hour of news programming once per month. They focus on issues that concern their community while educating and sensitizing the community at large to issues people with physical and mental disabilities faced on a daily basis.
2103 One member of this team is clinically blind, and he has been trained and mentored by Stephane Bertrand, a member of The Avalanche, to operate the radio console and thus participate in an aspect of radio broadcasting that pushes him to achieve something that no commercial or public radio would ever encourage him to do.
2104 CKUT recognizes that it operates in a major metropolitan city that has become a cultural hub for musicians, composers, and bands across all genres. Much of our programming caters to listeners whose musical tastes lie beyond the fringes of established music genres. Our music programming falls off the spectrum of what may traditionally be recognized as music and into a realm of organized sound.
2105 CKUT recommends that the use of the word "classical" in the definition of subcategory 36, "experimental music," be omitted and that the definition make mention of radio art, minimalism and modern composition.
2106 Though I understand the Commission's desire to quantify the air-time allotted to different genres and subgenres of music, the campus and community radio sector could benefit from a simplified system. It is difficult to have volunteer programmers make distinctions between categories, especially if the CRTC continues to expand these categories and does not revise or eliminate certain aspects of some categories that are no longer relevant, such as in subcategory 24's use of "beautiful music."
2107 CKUT recommends that the MAPL system be used to qualify musical selections as Canadian, regardless of genre or category.
2108 With respect to new media, CKUT has been providing live streaming and access to archive programming for a period of time that exceeds five years. This extension of our broadcasting allows our listeners who have access to a high-speed internet connection to listen to their favourite programs at their own convenience while sending our broadcasting signal out beyond its terrestrial range.
2109 Our internet broadcasting presence is essential in order to continue to be relevant to our student population. In the last month I have conducted informal surveys of new student volunteers. I have asked several groups of first to third-year McGill University students if they own a radio or have a radio in their homes. The predominant answer to this question is was, "No." I jokingly ask, "Then what are you doing here?" Of course they said, "We have been listening on the internet."
2110 Listener habits have indeed changed and CKUT is far from the cutting edge, as our stream also goes down and our server has experienced massive corruption due to a power outage in early 2009 whereby the station had to invest in new equipment and hundreds of hours of IT technician time in order to get back online.
2111 We see that we have a lot of web-based listeners. However, large parts of our local community listen to the radio in their homes and in their automobiles. The two modes of diffusion are complimentary. The greatest obstacle to CC's radio participation in the new media environment is funding, resources, training and IT support. Most stations cannot hire a technician to maintain and repair their existing broadcasting equipment let alone hire an IT technician due to finances.
2112 In setting up and maintaining reliable archiving/streaming, software and hardware are very costly. Though complimentary broadcasting via web-streaming has the potential to increase listenership and positively affect fundraising potential, publicity and outreach is necessary to make the local and global communities aware of this new media broadcasting service enticing content-rich websites' aid and bringing in web listeners.
2113 But again, this is a matter that relies on a significant source of funding to develop.
2114 Thank you.
2115 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mrs. Cornell.
2116 Going to your page 3, at the very top, the last sentence where you wrote and read, "In 22 years we have never filled every hour of programming --"
2117 MS CORNELL: Oh gosh!
2118 THE CHAIRPERSON: With I am sure you meant "minutes."
2119 MS CORNELL: I definitely did.
2120 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
2121 MS CORNELL: Thank you.
2122 THE CHAIRPERSON: Then at the bottom of your page 4 -- do you speak French?
2123 MME CORNELL: Oui.
2124 LE PRÉSIDENT: D'accord. Les radiodiffuseurs de langue française proposent de changer le nom de « radio communautaire » à « radio de communauté ».
2125 MME CORNELL: Oui.
2126 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et vous dites, au bas de votre page 4:
« ...CKUT believes that when talking about diverse groups it is important to recognize that there countless communities. »
2127 Qu'est-ce que ça signifie pour vous qu'eux veulent s'appeler une radio de communauté (au singulier) et que vous nous parlez, vous, de « countless communities, groups and identities ». Est-ce que vous y voyez un conflit?
2128 MME CORNELL: Personnellement non. Je crois que s'ils veulent changer la définition pour parler d'une communauté, on le sait tous qu'à l'intérieur d'une communauté, il va toujours y avoir beaucoup de différentes communautés.
2129 LE PRÉSIDENT: Le singulier emporterait le pluriel?
2130 MME CORNELL: Personnellement, mon français, au niveau de la grammaire, n,est pas assez à point pour celui-là.
2131 LE PRÉSIDENT: Habituellement, c'est le contraire... Habituellement, c'est le contraire.
2132 D'accord, merci.
2133 Commissioner Simpson.
2134 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Good morning, Ms Cornell. Thank you very much for coming. Nice tie, by the way. I appreciate the respect afforded the Commission. We have seen presentations in past where presenters have not worn a tie, and my feeling is if I have to wear one, they do too.
2135 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: But if you prefer to answer in French, being bilingual, please do so.
2136 First of all, you are here by yourself today, which I find ironic given, you know, the infinite references to collective effort which seems to be in abundance at the station. Is this because of a cost issue?
2137 MS CORNELL: Yes. I am here on my own dime.
2138 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
2139 MS CORNELL: It is also a resource issue. We can't have more than, you know, one to two people away from the station during staff work week.
2140 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Right. You make reference to CKUT being a large metropolitan station. Have you got any numbers? Do you have any realm or grasp of your audience numbers?
2141 MS CORNELL: We have no numbers that can be verified. We have never undertaken to have studies done. We also are of the belief that knowing what those numbers are will not influence our programming, therefore we are there to provide the service and to provide programming that reflects our community. And we know that our community listens, because they support us through our funding drives, they call us and tell us when we are doing things well, when we are not doing things well.
2142 Our web listenership is moderate; some programs having very high volumes, some none at all. There is no absolute numbers and I think we prefer to keep it that way.
2143 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: How do you communicate with your audience? You say that your audience communicates with you. Is that on an ad hoc basis? Do you have any regular input to be able to help shape programming?
2144 MS CORNELL: Our programming committee is open to input. And when we do send out our funding letters to our presumed audience who are supporting us, we explain the mechanisms in place for our membership and also for the community to participate in station discourse and station policies and programming initiatives.
2145 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: The station has been on the air what, 22 years now?
2146 MS CORNELL: Twenty-two, yes.
2147 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Present -- I won't use the word "management" -- present collective structure, and knowing there is no hierarchy, but what would your guesstimate be in terms of the turnover?
2148 Where I am going with this is what is the average number of years of experience of the present management group in terms of understanding the legacy of community and campus-based radio against what you are working with in management today, sorry collective today.
2149 MS CORNELL: Some positions have a higher turnover rate than others, the positions that deal more with programming; positions that have that amount of responsibility, so spoken-word programming and music programming more have a two-year turnover.
2150 However, I have been there for three years, we have another, our production coordinator, there for six years, and our sales coordinator for 17. So we have people who are around for the legacy, as well as programmers who have been at the station since the McGill close-captioned CFMB Radio days and prior to.
2151 So we have a good understanding of what our legacy is and people on staff currently have lived through the traditional modes of management and were instrumental in changing over to a collective management structure.
2152 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Where I am going with this is my instinct is to frame a lot of my questions around my notion that CKUT is one of the big dogs in the community and campus radio structure, you know, going up there with the Vancouver co-op radios and so on. And so to that extent, I am going to try and mind as much of the depths of what your station and station management have learned about the business.
2153 You indicate, on page 1 of your submission, that the funding model is broken. And I am wondering if you would like to expand on that from the view that was there ever really a funding model for community and campus? I know there were many objectives set out in terms of the programming mandates, but it seems that the whole industry was carved out and set out into the world with a certain name of self-sufficiency rather than a government funding model.
2154 MS CORNELL: M'hmm.
2155 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And so is that model broken or did it ever exist?
2156 MS CORNELL: I think the model is just suffering. In our personal case we are being attacked, every single source of revenue is being attacked in someway and ways that we can't provide a counter-attack.
2157 I think that most stations are funded in the same way, with most money coming from the student levy and other monies coming from advertising and annual funding drives.
2158 Student populations are in Montreal. And I can't speak for all stations, but our population of McGill students are largely from out of province, out of country. It is increasingly hard to mobilize a student population of that size to local campus community issues and to get them involved in their communities. We do have a very high success rate by pairing with students groups who do social activism. As a station that is deeply involved in that kind of programming, we work well with those groups.
2159 I think that in the beginning, like everything when it is born, the drive is there and people fight for it. As CIBL was saying yesterday, that when things started out they were very strong and they go through dips and highs and peaks and lows. And after possibly maybe six or seven years of fighting with our main source of income, with our university, over transference of fees, over changing of names, over style of programming, we feel like our main source of funding may possibly -- and is always sort of volatile. And that in two years when we go to referendum we could easily not pass that referendum and be denied our core funding.
2160 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes, it sounds to me what you are saying is that the whole sector, including yourself, is caught in the same economic downdraft --
2161 MS CORNELL: M'hmm.
2162 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- that the private broadcasters are in and government seems to be in, and students and their costs seem to be in.
2163 So when you look at your submission, you seem to be coming to a certain determination, that about the only productive means by which there is economic salvation is through going to the private broadcast industry and you have to, through some kind of a formula, to tap into some of those revenues because -- and I am editorializing here -- you don't seem to hold a lot of hope that the government funding is going to come about.
2164 With that said, the student body is financially exhausted? Are they voting for economic or for other reasons of relevance to possibly turn you down for funding in the future?
2165 MS CORNELL: The opt-out numbers would say that they are economically exhausted because they are opting out of essential services provided by certain groups such as the Midnight Kitchen who provides free meals to students and QPIRG which does social activism and supports people who are in any kind of juridical problems, CKUT as well.
2166 And so the numbers that come up by clicking on that and saving $67 are saying that not everybody is adamantly opposed to what we are doing, it is that that is an easy $67 in your pocket.
2167 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Dividing question here, are you a campus radio station in your mind or a community station?
2168 MS CORNELL: I think we are both. I think we have a large population to cater to; we are the only English-language campus community station on the island operating on the FM dial.
2169 And we have been around for so long and so many members of the community are part of us, but we are also a very essential training ground and opportunity to provide students with hands-on technical training which, as McGill students, they do not have access to, whereas opposed to Concordia students do have highly technical programs.
2170 Journalism students come to us. We work very very closely with the Daily newspaper at McGill and they send their staff to come and do reports on our station and be trained real quick, real fast on how to make broadcasting happen on a weekly basis.
2171 And we do, you know, countless initiatives to have people come in and understand what campus and community radio entails and try to get them involved with the community that they will be living in for the next four years, and be it by, you know, making music programming or spoken-word programming.
2172 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: What would your guesstimate be of your percentage of total that applies to spoken-word programming?
2173 MS CORNELL: We are at about -- absolutely dedicated spoken-word programming, 30 per cent --
2174 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: That is quite high.
2175 MS CORNELL: -- and it would never go below that, as our programming grid shows and our programming committee stands by the fact that those blocks that are music are music, and those that are spoken word are spoken word.
2176 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And I see in your submission that you have no real belief that there is a need to reduce that content from your standpoint?
2177 MS CORNELL: If anything, even though I am a music coordinator, I believe in increasing that kind of content, because it is possibly the most vital part of our organization, specifically with the current accessibility of, you know, avant-garde music on the internet. And you can't obviously have that kind of -- you don't have access to that kind of broadcasting so much on the internet, you really have to dig for it.
2178 And it is broadcasting that is produced locally. Three per cent of our spoken-word programming is, you know, democracy now and a couple of other sources. But 3 per cent out of the 30 per cent is produced in-house.
2179 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Of that universe of 100 per cent of spoken word, how much would you estimate is directed at the information interests and needs of the campus community as opposed to beyond the borders of the campus? Just on a 50/50 or some kind of a ratio.
2180 MS CORNELL: I would say definitely a 50/50, because the campus population is also from diverse backgrounds and many of our programs can cater to those backgrounds and provide local and global news from those perspectives.
2181 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And on your funding, factoring out grants and factoring out other contributions in kind, in terms of pure revenue generation, what percentage are the students paying of the cash contributions to the station's overhead?
2182 MS CORNELL: Forty per cent.
2183 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Is it in relationship to the percentage of content or is it higher?
2184 MS CORNELL: Forty per cent, so it's a little lower.
2185 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And the rest you're managing to harvest outside of the student population?
2186 MS CORNELL: Yeah, we're squeezing our sources $10 at a time.
2187 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
2188 MS CORNELL: So, our donations are not -- and rarely over a hundred dollars, so to get up to 45, $50,000 from -- like from listener support, it's a big challenge.
2189 And, as most stations, if we make that much money, most of it also goes to pay the staff person who coordinates the funding drive initiatives.
2190 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
2191 MS CORNELL: So, what we're putting into it is often not what we're extracting for it.
2192 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And the majority of that revenue, the cash that's raised has to go to pay reality expenses of salaries and the like, so...
2193 MS CORNELL: Exactly.
2194 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
2195 MS CORNELL: You know, unlike many other stations, we are -- we pay rent for our space, we're not given space by our university. We pay $40,000 a year to rent our space.
2196 We pay $46,000 a year to rent our transmitter site.
2197 So, we have expenses that are operational and cannot be reduced. We can't find a space that size that would be that inexpensive, yet for the space it is it is very expensive and taxing on our budget.
2198 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Given that it's a safe assumption that cash is hard to find no matter what its source, whether it's government and private industry and so on, operationally speaking, is it of any help to get contributions in kind by way of administrative assistance or...
2199 You know, we're looking to shine our light in every corner of where assistance may come from.
2200 And if it's not in cash, are there real benefits to an organization such as yours in seeing administrative, operational, legal, technical, equipment, are you still at that stage where that's helpful, or are you past that stage where it has to be cash?
2201 MS CORNELL: No, we'll never -- I don't think we'll ever be at the stage where it's not helpful. I mean, light bulbs are helpful, toilet paper's helpful, you know, coffee for volunteers is helpful.
2202 We spend a lot of money on little things just to make things run and, you know, equipment breaks all the time because it's being used 24/7. We are live, we're not re-diffusing pre-recorded programming or re-diffusing programming from previous times in the week, it's always live because we're in a market where we have enough access to resources, but it means that the equipment just dies all the time and depreciation of anything that we purchase factors into our budgets.
2203 Administrative assistance would be, you know, greatly appreciated, especially in terms of when we hire new staff and the amount of work that needs to be done to get up to speed and on top of all policies. We can't hire someone because the salaries aren't attractive enough to hire people who are qualified to really know their broadcasting policy to a T.
2204 And assistance in terms of lawyers, we can't hire a lawyer and we are constantly in conflict with our university who pushes the limits on what is lawful in terms of our contract and breaches contract, but we don't have access or recourse to the law because we can't afford it.
2205 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: It would seem to me that given that the Commission regards community and campus in the same parity level as private broadcasting and, therefore, we put you through your paces --
2206 MS CORNELL: M'hmm.
2207 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- procedurally that that type of assistance would be useful I hear you saying.
2208 MS CORNELL: M'hmm.
2209 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: On issues of policy, just in general terms, you're indicating that you think that it would be a pretty good idea to try and render policy down to one policy from two?
2210 MS CORNELL: I think so. I think that -- and, again, I speak for the station that I work at where our capacity for representing the community is as equal as that of a community station or community-based campus.
2211 We wouldn't want to particularly distance from campus and think that there still should be some distinctions because, you know, just in relation to the way that our board of directors is composed and who can sit on the board of directors to represent a campus and community radio station is much different.
2212 But in terms of the programming that is on our air waves, I feel like they're very complementary and I feel like we can follow the same policies which are kind of almost parallel as it stands.
2213 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: In your original submission, your written submission, you went on to say, and I find this greatly interesting to hear your perspective on it because it's a concern of mine and I'm sure the Commission's, you're saying that one policy is not a bad idea but it's got to be sensitive to regional differentiation, or what you're saying is no two stations are alike and they're guided by many conditions, most prevalent is geographic.
2214 Could you tell us more about that?
2215 MS CORNELL: Well, if you're in a location where your population is very small there's no way that you could have access to the resources to produce local spoken word content of 25 or 30 percent, it's impossible, you just don't have access to that kind of resources, nor would you have access to the size of a station required to train all those people to make that programming.
2216 And the community needs to be provided with content that's relevant. Not to say that hearing content that is not particularly relevant to that community though is relevant to perhaps their interests, perhaps, you know, what's happening beyond their small communities but I think that, you know, you can't place the burden -- the same burdens as you would on a large station in a big metropolitan area on those of like a northern region, for example.
2217 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So, I think I'm hearing you say that the smaller the market, the smaller the station, issues like content, which is expensive to create and produce, become an issue and another area of tangible assistance other than cash might be assistance in content from other media sources in collaboration perhaps?
2218 MS CORNELL: And even --
2219 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I'm not trying to put words in your mouth; is that what you said?.
2220 MS CORNELL: No, but even assistance in training.
2221 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
2222 MS CORNELL: To start a small station, somebody needs to know what they're doing, somebody needs to understand what -- how to run a small radio station. Regardless of the size of the community that you're broadcasting to, it entails a pretty intense amount of work and, so, I feel that those things need to be taken into account as well.
2223 And any assistance in helping smaller stations get off the ground because the production, even though it may be small production of local content, is way more important, it's really, really vital for the subsistence of those communities so that they can, you know, hear issues that actually touch home for once.
2224 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. This is perhaps not as productive a question as the Commission needs, but my curiosity just can't help me from asking.
2225 Your proposed solution or what seems to be your most predominant recommendation with respect to spectrum scarcity is for the Commission to concentrate more closely on concentration of ownership.
2226 How does that create more spectrum, or help manage more of the spectrum?
2227 MS CORNELL: I don't think it creates more spectrum, so to say. I obviously didn't write that section of our submissions, so I'm not completely I guess qualified to answer that particular question.
2228 But I think that if you have one station owning four different frequencies, large and small in the same area, is it absolutely vital that, you know, that one station's ideology be or mandate be broadcast through four different channels?
2229 I'm not saying you yank the plug, I'm saying that when it comes up should we be continuing to grant licences to stations who are already operating in a market when, if there is another alternative for another campus community station to be, you know, to be vying for that slot, it may be more viable to have that space go to the community stations.
2230 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah. It may also be just a commentary on diversity of voices.
2231 All right. Going into an area that's near and dear to your heart which is music, could you give me a programmer's view as to why you believe that the application of Canadian content should be more universal than by genre?
2232 MS CORNELL: Genres are increasingly interwoven. When you are a volunteer programmer and you are scrambling to get to the station from work and then going back to work afterwards, you know that you have a certain percentage of Canadian content to fulfil and you try to surpass that percentage and try to play a lot of local music.
2233 But if you have to start going back, and I go back to these definitions all the time because I cannot retain exactly where country music that was composed in 1940 should really go, can it go here, can it go there?
2234 And I have problems even communicating this with programmers who, though I'll train them, want on posts the definitions in the studio. There's no way that they have the ability to be completely one hundred percent sure that it's Category 2 or Category 3 and what category it sits in within those categories.
2235 And, as I mentioned, I understand the validity of, you know, measuring and quantifying how much different types of musics are being played on the air waves.
2236 Within the campus sector, we as staff and programming committee, you know, monitor what's being played and make sure that what we are not mandated to play such as hits and genres that are too close to commercial radio and things that are not Canadian content in entirety, we monitor these and we, you know, do our best to discipline or educate more precisely programmers to be able to fulfil their role within the campus community sector.
2237 People, as I find generally, don't even fill out a 2 or 3 because they're rushed, because they're alone, they're writing out a log, filling out a SOCAN log, they're saying this doesn't work, that doesn't work.
2238 It's a reality.
2239 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
2240 MS CORNELL: And it's a reality that's really difficult to administrate with that many programmers.
2241 When you have, you know, one technician for a block of 12 hours it's easy to log precisely. When you have, you know, 21 technicians in one day, it's really hard to make sure that they're writing their categories precisely.
2242 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you for that. We're a little time pressed here.
2243 I have two more questions and then I'll turn it back to the Chair.
2244 With respect to advertising, the freedom to move as it were with respect to self-administration of the advertising content throughout the week, you've indicated that that will help create better programming because, as you indicated, you really haven't used up your four minutes per hour in past.
2245 But would it have any other tangible benefits with respect to the revenue side?
2246 MS CORNELL: It would have a slight effect on our revenues. We sponsor, as I say, mostly cultural events and we have specific programs, most specifically and predominantly programs that cater to the West Indian community that are consistently full up almost to four minutes.
2247 Outside of that most programs fill up the two and the advertisements that are placed on those are advertisements that are supporting local initiatives and cultural events, musicians.
2248 So, we support them, they support us. It's like a beautiful friendship.
2249 During certain periods of the year, and I would say for the West Indian community it's during carnival, everybody's having a party and these are our members, they are our community and we want to provide them support, and we often end up turning them away because we can't -- we're going to over step our limit and so, we can't have you.
2250 It creates fights, it creates turmoil within the community, people's egos get hurt.
2251 We're not here to pacify but we like to be able to support all of the different projects that are happening within specific festivals and carnival period --
2252 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
2253 MS CORNELL: -- because that's our audience during those programs and they want to, you know, take part by placing ads and you want to take part by supporting their...
2254 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I understand exactly what you're saying. It would give you more elbow room to be able to take advantage of opportunities.
2255 Last question I have. By the way, I commend you on your new media streaming, your Internet streaming, it's obviously where things are going.
2256 My last question is, are you podcasting at all?
2257 MS CORNELL: That's a question that -- yes, we are, I suppose you could see it as podcasting.
2258 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Ad hoc?
2259 MS CORNELL: Ad hoc.
2260 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
2261 MS CORNELL: Our system was developed a very long time ago by an IT coordinator who programmed it all himself using open source software. Our system is highly complex and if you are not a high level programmer familiar with open software -- open software, I don't see how you could comprehend what's going on.
2262 Our episodes are downloadable, there's an RSS feed. So, essentially podcasting, yes, but the content is the exact same content that is being broadcast on our station. We don't create more content for the Internet, I don't think we're capable of doing so.
2263 We're currently in a pretty big investigation of copyright and ownership at the station, who owns the programming, can programmers podcast on their own the content that they make at the station, can they sell ads on those podcasts, et cetera, et cetera.
2264 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Sort of goes back to the legal administrative question.
2265 MS CORNELL: It's a huge, huge, huge question.
2266 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
2267 MS CORNELL: And opened massive amount of doors, and we're not essentially equipped for such a research project, but we're doing our best to look into these things because it's where the sector's headed and if, you know, we start saying yea to one it could become chaos.
2268 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
2269 MS CORNELL: And I understand that there are regulations in podcasting and if you are to podcast outside of the station you will have to start paying fees.
2270 We do pay CMRA fees applicable to our web archives and streaming. They're not very high at the moment because we do not place advertising on our website. If we were to decide to, we probably couldn't actually sustain that model.
2271 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you very much.
2272 MS CORNELL: You're welcome.
2273 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Mr. Chair, I'm finished my questions.
2274 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Patrone.
2275 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you, Mr. Vice-Chair.
2276 And thank you for your presentation. I just have one question basically and possibly a follow up.
2277 You had spoken earlier about funding challenges relative to equipment and fixing equipment. How big a part of your budget does that encompass right now?
2278 MS CORNELL: Well, our budget is -- we're one of the lucky few to have a production coordinator who works at the station full time who also produces our ads, but also is an electrical engineer, so he maintains our equipment.
2279 I think 25 percent of our budget used to go to maintenance. It's been drastically undercut by in-house repairs, but that's not to say that the equipment doesn't keep on breaking.
2280 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Right. Do you have a relationship with the corporate sector vis-a-vis liaising or some kind of a co-op where you would work with say a corporate partner relative to establishing engineering services, maybe accessing equipment that are deemed perhaps outdated for a commercial station that might be usable for your operation?
2281 MS CORNELL: No, we do not.
2282 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Would such a thing be desirable from your vantage point?
2283 MS CORNELL: Possibly yes.
2284 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you.
2285 MS CORNELL: Thank you.
2286 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, Mrs. Cornell, thank you very much for your presentation.
2287 We will now move to the following intervener for this morning and it will be a video conference from Toronto.
2288 MS ZINIUK: Should I begin?
2289 THE SECRETARY: Yes. Just a second, please.
2290 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. I could see you on the screen. Do you hear me?
2291 MS ZINIUK: I can hear you, yes.
2292 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you.
2293 We'll first go to our secretary who will introduce you and then we will listen to your oral presentation.
2294 THE SECRETARY: We will now hear the presentation of CFRU Radio. Please introduce yourself and you have 15 minutes for your presentation.
2295 Thank you.
2296 MS ZINIUK: Thank you.
2297 I just wanted to say first thank you to the CRTC for the opportunity to be involved with the informal input session which I attended, as well as this formal heaaring, as well to say that it's been very useful to have a single point of contact between the CRTC and the NCRA as an association and member stations as well in the last while.
2298 My name is Tara Michelle Ziniuk and I am the program coordinator at CFRU Radio which is in Guelph, Ontario.
2299 I currently am the only programming staff at my station which has four full-time staff, one reduced full time and one part time, so we have six people in total.
2300 I've also worked at CKLN Radio in Toronto in the past as a news -- interim news director. I also volunteered there for about a decade before starting in '97, so my campus community radio experience really extends past my current staff experience in Guelph and does also encompass a smaller campus-based town as well as a more metropolitan area. So, hopefully I'll be able to speak to some of what the folks who have come before me have said.
2301 I also want to note that there's a lot of collaborative efforts between our stations, campus community -- between the campus community and community sector or stations, so I've been involved with a number of collaborations as well which hopefully will be helpful.
2302 As a bit of an introduction to CFRU, we are a community-based campus station. We are celebrating 30 years on the FM dial this year. Our history goes back to 1939. Until 1950 we were a part of the Ontario Agricultural College's broadcast course. We moved to AM from there, then to FM.
2303 This was only possible because in 1965 we got our $25,000 private grant from one of the Governors on the university board.
2304 Until 1991 we were a 50-watt station and we've moved to 250 watts, so that encompasses Guelph, and we got to Fergus, Rockwood, Kitchener/Waterloo. We encompass a rural community, a suburban community and a small downtown arts and progressive political population as well.
2305 Our campus is pretty distinct. We have everything ranging from a very strong science biology department to a recently defunct women's days program that historically has been very popular and very involved with the station, veterinary college.
2306 All of this said, it's a very transitional town. Most of the population is students. I would say our population goes down about a third in the summer, if not more.
2307 We have about 150 to 185 active volunteers at a time, both programming and non.
2308 We've held media conferences in the past. We have both board and staff with two-year terms right now. Our board of directors is half students, it also involves donors, community members and volunteers.
2309 Our audience as well I would say is very mixed between the campus and community populations. There's also a lot of students who graduate and stay on -- stay in Guelph and become community members. So there is some cross-over there.
2310 We're funded through student levies which for us is a huge discrepancy in the summer months where our summer semester is much less attended and much less paid for.
2311 We also have donations from the community, a very small advertising component.
2312 We broadcast in about seven or eight languages right now: English, French, Spanish, Polish, Turkish, Kurdish, Cantonese and Mandarin among them.
2313 We are very lucky to get some funding from our student government, our student union which is different from a lot of other campus-based -- community-based campus stations.
2314 We right now have three physical music libraries with no digital library. We do have digital archives that stay up for six weeks. We are working with paper logs for both SOCAN and the CRTC.
2315 We bring in about $10,000 in fund raising max I would say a year. We encompass high school teachers and students as well as university teachers and students, experimental musicians, campus groups, community artists and activists. So, we're a really broad station though in a small town.
2316 We're currently working in a situation where we are -- though we're licensed to be at 250 watts, we're operating at 110. Our transmitter has been broken for I would say most of the time that I've been at the station, the last 15 months.
2317 We finally fund raised -- our entire community membership drive was to go towards purchasing a new transmitter but we don't have a budget to pay for engineering costs to put that transmitter up. So, speaking again to just some of the day-to-day but big expenses that the sector faces.
2318 I do want to go over as an overview some concerns about protection, spectrum scarcity, ongoing core funding and the ability to continue to broadcast diverse programming, entertainment, cultural and/or news as alternative to the content of commercial and public radio and for the opportunity to create and maintain volunteer and skill building opportunities to empower and involve our local community and otherwise under represented community members.
2319 I do think that the skill building, training and social environment of campus community radio stations on the FM dial is a huge piece of what we do.
2320 I think there's things that go on at our stations aside from our output that are really integral to our function.
2321 People have talked a lot about spectrum scarcity. I do want to just say that our sector has an internal community, we are largely allied with each other and really want to, even us who are protected stations really want to see those with unprotected status be protected.
2322 We're very aware of who accesses low power stations and these are often small communities, rural communities. In urban communities, what I see is a lot of youth projects accessing the low power frequencies.
2323 And so for us, we see that this is part of giving marginalized voices in communities a right to the air waves and a huge part of the work that we do and our values.
2324 Though I understand that some of this is on Industry Canada as opposed to the CRTC, stations really need to be notified --
2325 THE SECRETARY: I'm sorry.
2326 MS ZINIUK: -- when an application --
2327 THE SECRETARY; Can you just a little bit slow down the speed that you're talking, it's a little bit hard for the...
2328 MS ZINIUK: Sure.
2329 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
2330 MS ZINIUK: Sure. I understand that some of the frequency issues are to deal with Industry Canada as opposed to the CRTC, but what I'm seeing is that there really needs to be notification to existing stations when an application for all or part of a station's frequency is submitted.
2331 Informing stations to cease broadcasting after an application is approved really puts them in an even harder financial situation, needing to move, if they're able to, which often they are.
2332 So, improving communication between our sector, the CRTC and Industry Canada is much needed for protection of our stations.
2333 And definitely to consider the budget of campus community stations versus commercial when looking at moving frequencies.
2334 Spending -- even if we're able to fund raise, we're eliminating our other projects, our other involvements where we would be putting money otherwise, our capacity to bring in local cultural producers, musicians, do training, run the projects that we would otherwise be funding.
2335 I do support a proposal to have campus community radio required in a region whether it's all local content or not.
2336 There are commercial stations that come up that people argue overlap some with what we do and are to reach the same voices, the same perspectives.
2337 I don't think that that's necessarily the case. I also would say that there's always going to be a difference in how we involve our communities, how we allow our communities and our listenership input into our programming and a voice in what we do and the ability to be part of the station on a very different level than even the most progressive and interesting of the commercial stations will.
2338 And I would say that this applies also to like why it is important to have dial space over Internet or satellite routes, again, social training, networking opportunities and a volunteer capacity that really reaches well beyond just the programming that we do.
2339 And as well I would include in that that our third language programming is often very, very different in content than that of third language broadcasters specifically. People do turn to community radio to speak to people in their first languages for reason.
2340 So, I would say that the idea that the FM dial is dead is false. We can see this by a dedicated staff in these forums. We can see this by our hundreds of volunteers and thousands of listeners from the diversity that we represent and serve.
2341 In our trainings, we talk about not being MP3 players, not being podcasts. We talked about prospective volunteers, about understanding this, and those people do go on to want to be part of the legacy of FM community radio.
2342 So the idea of campus/community radio's support by the community only being shown financially I don't think is true at all. There are many of us who come from communities that aren't well funded, that don't have that money, especially in this economy, to be giving to the stations, but there is a huge social function.
2343 I was talking a bit about distinctions between campus and community stations and the ally-ships that we have -- I don't even know if that is a word -- between. And so in that I do want to say that I would like to see the discontinuation of the categorizations of Type A and Type B stations.
2344 I see campus/community radio as an alternative to commercial media, whether commercial media is local or not, and I think that it should be protected as it is important to communities.
2345 I do want to go on to talk some about funding, which has been a big piece of this for everybody.
2346 So we do have a student levy, we do have support from the student union. This is never guaranteed. We never know how levies are going to change, how referendums are going to come up, who is going to be in the position of the student union and what decisions they will make.
2347 It is not reliable funding in a long-term way. Our advertising starts at about $10 a spot. We don't usually advertise for much more than that, unless it is in the rare case that we have a national advertiser.
2348 Our advertisers are often community members, they are also the people who donate to us. They are sometimes volunteers or their friends and families. We are not coming from a very large population where there are lots of different pockets to be pulling from.
2349 Again, our funding drive brought in between $10,000 and $12,000 this year, which is more than we have seen in past years. We very occasionally get very small grants. Those will be for projects or technical expenses. They are always very, very specified and not part of operational costs.
2350 We will run fund-raisers which will, you know, maybe a couple of times -- every couple of months bring in a few hundred dollars. It's very small scale compared to what you are looking at with a private broadcaster.
2351 So we have a small community, we have limited resources. Students are already paying into the levy and as they are a huge part of our population, between the students and their parents who are already paying into the university, it's very hard to fund-raise on campus.
2352 We do have internal policies that are huge to the identity of the station that really prioritize small business advertising and local businesses which are already in an economic crisis.
2353 A lot our four minutes winds up looking like PSAs, community announcements. We are never meeting that full 4 minutes.
2354 But in the case that we have one large festival a year -- two large festivals a year, music festivals, that we could be advertising a few extra minutes for and taking those away from the summer months, that kind of variance would be very, very helpful to us.
2355 So yes, the 4 minutes an hour is a bit of a problem for us, especially because we have everything from like a half an hour program to a few hours per program, an advertiser might be more interested in advertising on a specific genre of music than on a news program or vice versa where their advertising is best suited.
2356 I'm going to answer whatever questions I can to the best of my ability. I will say that I don't work in the financial department of our station and I'm fairly new the station specifically.
2357 I don't think that the 504 minutes a week is a problem, but I do think the four minutes an hour is sometimes hard for us and it would be helpful to be able to rearrange.
2358 As well, our audiences really differ from show to show and so advertisers know that. That's something they consider.
2359 I would say that no more than 4 minutes an hour of national or non-community based or small business ads would be something I would look into. I think that holds the integrity of our policies internally.
2360 And I would say also that what works for us will possibly not work for all other campus-based community stations. Our campuses are as distinct from each other as our regional community is and populations and so again a variance in these restrictions is really helpful to us.
2361 Externally when we are looking at funding we are very happy to have the CRFC, but we need a source that includes core funding. Our programming is not sustainable if we have to reapply or look for funding outside of project and government grants to maintain our quota as volunteer capacity and the quality of our service.
2362 We don't want to be manipulating the grant system, we want to know that we have our needs met.
2363 I'm just looking for key things that I want to make sure I get to here.
2364 I did want to talk about content requirements.
2365 Again, our seasons really change, I would say the school season and non-school season in particular. So I also see, having worked at various stations, that there is a huge difference in stations that employ spoken word staff versus those who don't. It's much easier to reach spoken word quotas when you have dedicated staff working with volunteers helping them produce that content, helping to seek out topics and research and content, so I wanted that to be noted as a consideration.
2366 I also wanted to say that we should be looking a little bit about what we count as syndication. I think the levels of syndication and non-inhouse programming that my station for example runs are often run by other small stations, Canadian stations, they are Canadian content, and so while they may air in B.C. or Alberta earlier in the week, they are talking about under represented environmental issues and social justice issues, and often, because of the nature of our work, allow collaborations, input, contributions from our member stations as well.
2367 So we will have our volunteers contribute to a show that is being produced in the prairies or in Québec, and a couple of projects that exist specifically as collaborations that we all air. So maybe 15 percent will actually be produced inhouse, but we will have part of the scripting or part of the audio editing --
2368 THE SECRETARY: I'm sorry, you have to conclude.
2369 Thank you.
2370 MS ZINIUK: Okay. I'm happy to conclude. There are lots of other notes that you have in my notes, so that's good.
2371 Thank you.
2372 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
2373 THE CHAIRPERSON: I will ask Mr. Marc Patrone to question you.
2374 Mr. Patrone...?
2375 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you, Mr. Vice Chair.
2376 Thank you very much for your presentation this afternoon and congratulations on your 30 years on the air. That is quite the accomplishment.
2377 MS ZINIUK: Thank you.
2378 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I want to ask you about your oral presentation, first off as it applies to providing notice to low-power stations that may be affected when an application comes in.
2379 What kind of notice do you think is appropriate?
2380 MS ZINIUK: I think that as much notice as possible is helpful for stations. I think it's a hard situation for small stations to be in regardless.
2381 Stations are feeling unsupported and often what helps in these situations is having the support of other campus and community stations.
2382 So it takes a while for us to all get together and be able to work on those things so I think as soon as the frequency is threatened it would be ideal for stations to know.
2383 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you.
2384 You speak in paragraph 5(2) of your written submission about:
"... the need for campus and community radio to provide an alternative." (As read)
2385 MS ZINIUK: Yes.
2386 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: There are those in commercial radio whom we have heard from who say that allowing more flexibility relative to spoken word, for instance music, would simply make community radio content sound more like commercial radio.
2387 Is the idea of relaxing requirements relative to those types of programming issues, and perhaps even advertising, at odds with the stated goal of being distinct in terms of your place in the broadcast system?
2388 MS ZINIUK: I think that we still do have distinct genres that we work in, political perspectives. I'm not seeing commercial radio bring high school voices and voices of seniors and the populations that we bring out. So if we are sharing that between our different stations I still think it's quite distinct from what the private sector is doing.
2389 I'm not sure if that --
2390 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes, it does. Yes, you have spoken about a number of areas of programming that I would agree that we don't hear a lot of when you listen to commercial radio.
2391 They are waving the yellow flag, however, and saying if we make these changes, changes that your sector is proposing, then we are really making community radio more like commercial radio and getting it away from what a lot of people like about community radio, if you know what I'm saying.
2392 MS ZINIUK: Yes. I think that we are still sharing content between stations who are underfunded and have the same whack of resources.
2393 I think I said this in the advertising piece, but I think it's really different to look at a national model or a non-campus or community-based model than it is to look at content sharing or partnerships between our stations. That definitely is something that I would want to keep limitations on.
2394 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Let's talk a little bit about Canadian content. In paragraph 6 you speak about that a little bit and the challenges relative to the categories of music.
2395 Do you support the idea of increasing Canadian content levels from where they are now, which is basically at the same level as commercial?
2396 What impact do you think that would have on community radio in Canada?
2397 MS ZINIUK: I have not worked in a music department before so I don't know that I can speak to this as well as our music coordinator might be able to.
2398 I know that for us being able to emphasize local within our Canadian content is a really big piece of what we do. The Guelph and surrounding area is a very distinct artistic community and so playing a Canadian artist who is from across the country who we can't have into the studio, whose work we don't know, who is not working with local labels and stuff -- we would love to support Canadian content across the board, it's very different than when we have somebody who is a member of our own community come in.
2399 So right now I think that our Canadian content categories are working well for our station without change, but I do see that emerging and local talent are places that we really try to emphasize and don't have clear definitions of how exactly to track.
2400 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes. I noticed that in your written submission that you have concerns regarding the definitions.
2401 What is the best way, do you think, to get more emerging -- I will say "emerging" -- artists, new artists, experimental types of music on the air in community radio? What is the best way to get exposure, do you think, for those artists?
2402 Is your sector doing enough, do you think, in that regard?
2403 MS ZINIUK: I think our sector tries as much as we can. I know that some of the stations who have access to sending out packages of local content from their own regions do that. Not everybody is able to. Not everybody who is putting out independent releases is able to give away that many copies, even if it's going to guarantee airtime, because they are just needing to sell. It's all very, very small scale.
2404 I think that having consistent technology to kind of share resources between stations is really important and is not something we have been able to really -- I mean we all have really different technical setups and different technical challenges.
2405 Again, who is emerging in different areas is going to be really regionally specific, too, and who a station's listening audience is. That is going to -- I don't know, that's going to really differentiate itself, you know, what the listener's want, depending on who they are listening to, where they are listening.
2406 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes. I want to get a little bit to your listening audience maybe a little later.
2407 MS ZINIUK: Okay.
2408 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You spoke a little bit about the four minutes of advertising an hour being a challenge, although a small part of your revenues I suppose comes from advertising. Very little ads I understand from what your presentation was.
2409 MS ZINIUK: Yes.
2410 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Might your student levies be in jeopardy if commercial requirements were relaxed, say for the sector?
2411 Would that perhaps discourage academic institutions from providing those student levies which you claim are not very reliable anyway?
2412 MS ZINIUK: Well, I think I'm suggesting that it be able to vary seasonally as opposed to be relaxed across the board. So for us, some of our in-town businesses cater to the student population and close down during the summer, which is the same time that our student levies are not really at their peak.
2413 So if we are able to have a few extra minutes of a summer festival during those months, or if we are not able to have advertising during those months but are able to have 6 minutes maybe in the fall when lots of businesses know that the student population is coming back.
2414 I'm not sure exactly how that would look, but -- I'm not actually saying just to lose the restrictions across the board but that our populations and our businesses really fluctuate throughout the year.
2415 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: And being a little more flexible relative to when those four minutes are applied, that wouldn't threaten your student levies at all?
2416 MS ZINIUK: I don't think so. I think that because we are already getting a student levy what we wind up doing is we wind up giving very, very low rates or free ads to the student groups and stuff, so we do already have some partnerships and some arrangements that I think are mutually agreeable, that people like in the campus community.
2417 I will say that having worked at a station in a big city versus in a smaller university town, that is going to fluctuate from station to station.
2418 I think that CKUT was just saying that same thing, that some places will have a lot more advertising in the summer, some community stations that are in cottage towns or retirement communities, it's really going to fluctuate. Not all campus-based stations are in university towns and so I'm not sure how to make those advertising variances applicable to all of the sector, but I know that for us that is sort of what we would be looking at.
2419 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Could you give me a rough breakdown of where your revenues are coming from?
2420 MS ZINIUK: I will tell you that in the year that I have been working there we have a completely different staff structure, including management and advertising and promotions, so it's probably quite, quite different right now.
2421 I would say our biggest source in funding is our student levy; second to that is our student union. Right now it's contributing quite a bit of money.
2422 After that I would say fund-raising that's not membership driven, so throwing events out in the community, cosponsorships where bands will be a part of, you know, their cover charge or film festivals or things like that, and literally what that looks like is often $1.00 a person. So an event that has $15 tickets will give us -- and we are always looking at small venues in Guelph because our venues are all small. So as our third source it's still a fairly small source of funding.
2423 And then after that I would say our membership drive, followed by advertising.
2424 Where that gets a little bit tricky is that sometimes we will have a bigger paying advertiser which will usually be a government ad, like it will usually be one of our very occasional national ads.
2425 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Right. So there is some sponsorship possibilities for your revenue generation, right: This concert brought to you by, that kind of thing?
2426 MS ZINIUK: Yes. And they are very small. Like we are not usually looking at more than a couple of hundred dollars, I don't think, from those types of partnerships.
2427 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: How would you address the funding issue relative to the community sector?
2428 If you had the power to do that or direct the CRTC, what would you have us do?
2429 MS ZINIUK: Well, I know that there have been different talks about money from the commercial sector versus increasing grant opportunities.
2430 I don't want to say it, but I'm not particular to how it happens, but I think that really ensuring our operational costs be covered, it's necessary regardless of where the money comes from.
2431 I think that staff worrying about their jobs while trying to create funding drives, while trying to put on fund-raising events, while trying to train people in studios that are falling apart, is really hard.
2432 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes.
2433 MS ZINIUK: I think that like having inhouse programming while needing the studio to train people and fix things, like we are faced with all these like day-to-day impossibilities --
2434 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I understand.
2435 MS ZINIUK: -- and it really is our operational stuff, not our kind of bigger projects.
2436 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I want to get to that operational stuff in a second.
2437 So you don't care where it comes from, as long as it comes from somewhere?
2438 MS ZINIUK: I mean I care where it comes from. I think that we have internal policies that prevent us from getting -- I mean at our station a lot of commercial funding options are not places where we would look if it involved a bit like a different scale of business advertising or sponsorship from outside private businesses, so like banks, things like that. We look more at granting systems, particularly government grants and social justice agencies.
2439 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes. Okay. So there is some corporate support out there for you at the moment, is there or are you looking --
2440 MS ZINIUK: No, there isn't.
2441 That's one thing. We actually have a --
2442 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: There is no corporate support. Okay.
2443 MS ZINIUK: No. And I don't think we are in a position where we would accept it, just in terms of our own mandates and what we are trying to create.
2444 For me that's a big difference between our sector and the commercial media. I think it we were running more private ads on a big scale, that would really change what we were doing.
2445 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes. Well, as you know, some community stations have no qualms about accepting substantial amounts of ad revenues.
2446 I want to hear a little bit about your day-to-day funding challenges, because that is where I think a good deal of the pressures are coming from.
2447 How much of your expenditures are directed at the maintenance of equipment and getting new gear, stuff breaking down and not being able to fix it?
2448 Can you answer that for me?
2449 MS ZINIUK: I can't give you exact numbers. It's just not my area, but I would say that at any given point we always have one major piece of technology down, whether that is our phone line, the computers that we run our broadcast software from, something going on with our soundboard.
2450 I mean really for the last 10 months our transmitter has not been working at full capacity.
2451 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes.
2452 MS ZINIUK: I mean our transmitter has not been working at half capacity.
2453 So if we took into consideration those things that we just sort of work around, I would say we constantly have at least one major piece.
2454 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Right.
2455 MS ZINIUK: We have been trying to build a second studio to do trainings in and to be able to accommodate --
2456 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You haven't been able to do it.
2457 MS ZINIUK: Yes. I mean we have been doing it that whole time.
2458 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I remember you mentioned, Ms Ziniuk, the transmitter issue that you are now having.
2459 MS ZINIUK: Yes.
2460 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: It's not working or it has problems and you don't have the money to get an engineer in to fix it; correct?
2461 MS ZINIUK: Yes. I mean our entire membership drive this year was dedicated to raising funds for this transmitter. So if we didn't have that problem we would have $10,000 to $12,000 more to work with. We did have that problem and now we have replaced the transmitter, but we haven't been able to install it because that staff, like engineering staff is not part of our day-to-day staff.
2462 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Understood.
2463 The last intervenor spoke about much the same issue as you have, speaking about challenges around equipment; maintenance, how big a chunk of money it costs, it eats into their day-to-day budget.
2464 Are there any agreements in place that you are aware of with the corporate sector as far as equipment exchanges are concerned, engineering cooperatives and, if not, should there be a kind of formal relationship whereby help could be provided relative to those issues that you are having so much trouble paying for?
2465 MS ZINIUK: There is nothing formal that I know of. I have definitely heard of informal things and I don't know how much of that is hearsay, bigger stations giving away equipment when they upgrade or corporate sponsored festivals having sort of arrangements with individual stations, but on a larger scale, and definitely when it comes to my current station, no, not that I know of.
2466 I think having something in place that would deal with some of these costs on an ongoing basis would be great. I think that we would definitely want to be part of establishing that formal arrangement and making sure that it met our needs as a sector and as a station, but absolutely.
2467 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay.
2468 I just want to get back a little bit to programming stuff.
2469 There have been suggestions the CRTC drop the restriction on hits in campus stations, in part because it's too onerous for volunteers to quantify hits due to the lack of access to historical charts.
2470 Is there pressure on stations to reflect a more mainstream style as far as the airing of hits is concerned do you think?
2471 MS ZINIUK: I'm not going to speak to all stations.
2472 At our station, we are not currently bothered by the requirements around hits. We definitely have volunteers come in who want to play more mainstream music.
2473 We do have two commercial stations in the area and so I am under the impression that people have those opportunities for pop music, for oldies.
2474 I think that that could look really different in a community where the population was different.
2475 We have a huge independent music community where I am. I think that might look really different also where there is not very local commercial stations.
2476 For us the hit requirement currently is working.
2477 It is a hard thing to train people in in terms of what classifies as a hit, but I don't think that what sounds like mainstream music is as hard to qualify in our situation.
2478 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay.
2479 I want to ask you about your online presence. I know that you stream over the Internet.
2480 MS ZINIUK: Yes.
2481 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Any idea of both online and regular listenership numbers? Do you know how many people are out there?
2482 MS ZINIUK: We don't know how many people listen on FM. We have the capacity to know who is listening at a given time on the Internet. I can get that information, but I don't -- it's not me who monitors it.
2483 I know that like we have specific shows that are very highly listened to, like where our Internet listener concentration really happens. Some of those are programs that I think cater to a more international audience so they have communities outside of our local region that listen.
2484 We have one show that is a collaboration between I think five different cities that happens over Skype as an improvisation. So we have listeners online from all of those different towns.
2485 So those are two of the areas, but it really does fluctuate. Like our campus shows probably are not listened to by as many people outside of the region, but again -- and I think CKRT was talking about this -- I think our student listeners listen online more than they listen on the FM.
2486 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You have more online listeners than FM listeners?
2487 Did I hear you correctly?
2488 MS ZINIUK: I think that we have -- I think that more of the students. The students listen online, I think the community members listen on the radio just as a general assessment of things.
2489 I think that the students have their laptops and they are doing other things and they bring the radio with them. I think we have community members who listen.
2490 I get feedback that people listen in kitchens where they work in the community, that people were introduced to our station by taxi drivers who keep the station on. We do have partnerships with local businesses, so cafes and stuff, that will have a presence.
2491 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay.
2492 MS ZINIUK: So I think it varies a little bit between the campus and the community.
2493 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: All right.
2494 Ms Ziniuk, I thank you for your presentation.
2495 I don't have any more questions, Mr. Vice Chair.
2496 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Patrone.
2497 Commissions Cugini...?
2498 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you.
2499 Good afternoon now. I won't keep you here too much longer. I know you had been waiting for the video conference, but I just have a couple of questions of clarification.
2500 On the bottom of page 2 of your oral presentation you are talking about a clear definition of emerging with note to the differences between emerging and independent and then you also ask for a clearer definition of local.
2501 So I think we just need to have a clearer idea as to what you mean by those three categories, because an emerging artist, yes, can be local and can be independent, but it also cannot be -- you know, can not be local or could not be independent. There are just so many variations within those three lines of your oral presentation.
2502 So let's start with local, because emerging and the definition is part of another proceeding.
2503 How would you define a local artist? Would you define any artist that is within the reach of your radio station would be considered a local artist?
2504 MS ZINIUK: We have a local music library as part of our kind of specialty library in the station and I think that how it works -- and it's not me who coordinates it, is that we -- it's artists within the 250 watts that we should be reaching and other neighbouring towns that are not the major metropolises. So we wouldn't have a Toronto artist, though they are an hour away, in our local library. We may have a Hamilton artist.
2505 There tends to also be quite a bit of overlap between people who live in -- again, because it's a student population, people who live in Guelph and then move to neighbouring communities. We don't kick them out of our local releases library because they are doing a semester somewhere else.
2506 So for us, yes, it is maybe a bit of an expansion on our wattage, but it is something very close to it.
2507 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And are you advocating that there should be -- because you say "discussing the introduction of a local category". Are you, therefore, advocating that campus stations in particular, or community-based campus stations, should have a requirement to do this kind of local programming and through the introduction of such a category, therefore, you would get credit for providing this kind of music that perhaps would not be available on commercial stations?
2508 MS ZINIUK: I have to say that I know that's something that would work in our community because again we have a really strong arts community. I know that there are definitely university campuses and much more business and science-oriented campuses that would have a really big problem meeting requirements of that sort if they existed.
2509 I know that when we have volunteers and listeners interact with us that these are the types of tracking that they are interested in. The types of questions they ask are: How much of your content is local? How much is independent?
2510 I think that a lot of the categories that we do track are very broad to them. I mean I think we track probably more of the pop, rock and dance category than anything else and it is because a lot of what is bring produced will fall into one of those three categories which I think can be broken down into categories in themselves.
2511 So I'm hesitant to say that any of these as requirements across the board would work for the entire sector. I know that they are important to our local community.
2512 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: So if I'm understanding your comments correctly, you are bringing this to our attention because, number one, you are proud of it, and so you should be.
2513 Number two, it's kind of what sets you apart from the other radio stations in the market and it draws volunteers to your station?
2514 MS ZINIUK: It is also part of our licence.
2515 It's one of the things that we don't track consistently.
2516 Yes, I mean a lot of -- honestly, the content category piece, a lot of this came from the informal sessions that happened earlier last year and my notes from that so I know that those were ongoing conversations.
2517 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Okay. Well, thank you very much.
2518 Those are my questions.
2519 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
2520 Legal counsel...?
2521 MS HULLEY: I have one undertaking for this intervenor.
2522 Commissioner Patrone asked that you provide statistics on CFRU's online listenership and that should be filed by the 1st of February.
2523 MS ZINIUK: Okay.
2524 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
2525 THE SECRETARY: Mr. Chair, sorry, your microphone.
2526 Thank you.
2527 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: It's wasn't on.
2528 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mrs. Ziniuk, we thank you very much for your presentation this morning and wish you a good afternoon.
2529 In the meantime, we will break for lunch and we will resume at 2 o'clock.
2530 Nous reprendons à 2 h 00, 14 h 00.
--- Upon recessing at 1247
--- Upon resuming at 1402
2531 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please.
2532 Ms Secretary, could you introduce the next appearing intervenor?
2533 THE SECRETARY: Yes.
2534 We will now hear the presentation of CiTR 101.9 FM, who is appearing via videoconference from Vancouver.
2535 Please introduce yourself, and you have 15 minutes for your presentation.
2536 Thank you.
2537 MS GRUNAU: Thank you.
2538 Dear CRTC panellists, radio colleagues, observers and fellow presenters, thank you for hearing the voices of the campus and community radio sector. It's very exciting for us to explain the realities of our sector and present our opinions on the policy that governs us.
2539 I will begin by telling you a bit about my radio station, and then discuss the definition of "community radio", licensing and spectrum issues, funding, diversity, new media, cable service and Canadian ownership regulation.
2540 My name is Brenda Grunau, and I am the station manager at CiTR 101.9 FM.
2541 We are the broadcasting voice of UBC and the surrounding community of Vancouver. We are a not-for-profit, campus-based community radio station that trains students and community members in broadcasting and engages them in the creation of local programming.
2542 CiTR was born in 1937 and gained its FM licence in 1982. We air 75 original, locally developed programs, seven syndicated programs in our weekly schedule and be broadcast in seven languages.
2543 We have many long-term programmers. One of our shows has been on the air since 1982. Only 10 our 75 programs are hosted by students.
2544 We have 300 members in our society. Half are students are half are from the community. Roughly 100 members are involved in on-air programming, and the rest are active in station operations or completing our broadcast training.
2545 We are very active, supporting our local music community, and having a monthly music magazine, as well. Our most famous programmer in Nardwuar the Human Serviette, and he was responsible for the famous interview with Jean Chrétien, in '97, at APEC, asking about pepper spray.
2546 We support the submission filed by the National Campus and Community Radio Association and will outline our specific position in this presentation.
2547 On all issues I have not referred to, please consider the submission and presentation made by the NCRA as our default position.
2548 Firstly, defining our sector in relation to the commercial and public sectors of broadcasting is unrealistic and expects us to constantly adapt to the changing media landscape around us. We would prefer a definition that holds us accountable to our respective communities.
2549 What we do is provide community access to media and engage local communities in broadcasting. We provide a service or a social service, rather than a product. We pull content from our locales instead of pushing prepared content on our listeners. This is the main difference between how commercial stations provide local content and how community broadcasters provide local content.
2550 We provide broadcast training to those in our communities, fulfilling an educational role, and create a focal point or intersection point for many news, cultural and interest groups in our respective cities; therefore, our role in the broadcast environment is not to provide programming define by policy, but to engage communities in broadcasting and the creation of local programming.
2551 Secondly, we believe that all Canadians should have access to participate and benefit from a community broadcaster. As outlined in the Broadcast Act, there are three sectors of broadcasting, and we believe all Canadians should have the option to benefit from all three.
2552 We request that the CRTC reserve one frequency in each locale for a community or campus community broadcaster. The Commission should prioritize diversity of programming and service delivery over the replication of commercial radio formats.
2553 Also, we support the NCRA request for an extension on the January 1st protection deadline. Most stations will not have the ability to pay for an engineering brief to increase in power or to their maximum protection. Even for an established campus station like ours, scraping $10,000 together for an engineering brief is a multi-year process.
2554 Thirdly, our sector experiences significant challenges accessing funding. Our budget is $250,000, which includes 50 grand for our local music magazine. Two-thirds of our budget comes from UBC students who give us $4 of their student activity fees.
2555 We work very hard at involving students in governance on the day-to-day operations of the station, but, in essence, the community of Vancouver receives the main benefit of our station. This is similar at campus stations across the country, where students are paying for community radio across Canada. This is unfair and a great burden on students.
2556 CiTR is ineligible to apply for grants from almost every funding body. Community broadcasters don't fit into programs designed for the arts or social services. Since we are located at UBC, we are unable to apply to many foundations for funding. And since community broadcasters no longer fit within the definition of "charitable activity", we are also ineligible for grants that require charitable status.
2557 Even though the community radio sector accomplishes many of the goals of government funding programs, including training and civil engagement, multicultural programming, we do not fit well into any of these programs and often have to design projects outside our main areas of operation in order to apply for funding and are rarely success at these grants.
2558 We finally have the Community Radio Fund, however, this fund is limited to the CCD money it can chase down and to the funding priorities outlined by those private broadcasters. The fund has only been in operation for a year and has funded six very small projects with $80,000, so a very, very small impact. So far only project funding is available through the fund.
2559 Our funding needs, as a sector, do not necessarily fit within the priorities of the private broadcasters. CCD money is often allocated directly for programming, but this doesn't serve our sector well as our programming is developed by volunteers at little cost.
2560 Our desperate need is for support and admin staff, technical expertise and equipment. Even more critical is support for engineering briefs and CRTC applications.
2561 The Community Radio Fund of Canada is a great way to disseminate funding throughout our sector when not handcuffed by funding priorities determined by those outside our sector.
2562 One could argue that increasing advertisement limit could improve our funding situation; however, at CiTR, we do not come close to approaching our four¬-minute limit. Keeping this limit in place ensures that we're serving our listeners and not our advertisers. We do recommend enforcing an average of four minutes per hour throughout the day or the week rather than an hourly limit.
2563 The NCRA provides an extremely valuable service to community broadcasters across Canada and has impacted the financial reality of our station by lowering copyright tariffs. The lobbying efforts of the NCRA are also critical in raising awareness of our financial needs.
2564 The NCRA, itself, faces dire financial realities, and has existed on project funding for its lifespan. Without additional funding, our membership organization will be forced to downsize from its current two part-time staff, which do all the efforts on behalf of the organization. The NCRA provides extremely valuable services to the entire sector and we would be crippled without it.
2565 Point number four is diversity. The Commission can ensure greater diversity of voices in our sector by supporting our funding recommendations. Our programming is limited by the ability of staff and volunteers to recruit and support on-air programmers that reflect the diversity present in our local communities.
2566 At CiTR, we would like a locally developed first nations program, but we fill this gap by airing a program from CKUT in Montreal. Similarly, we spent one year without a French program. Operational funding will enable increased staff hours for recruiting and nurturing new programmers.
2567 Number five, new media. We believe that there's always a need for local media, whether it's on the FM dial or streamed online. The internet and mobile devices are additional platforms for our programming. Since we provide niche programming, it is a huge service to our listeners to access our programs any time after the show airs live. Our listeners do expect to access CiTR using new media, especially young people, who are increasingly getting their news and learning about music solely on the internet.
2568 Participating in the new media environment is extremely challenging. For smaller stations, the purchase of equipment is difficult due to finances. For larger stations, our main challenge is technical knowledge.
2569 Our computer systems are maintained by volunteers and through student employment programs. We cannot afford to hire professionals and are dependent on volunteers with those skills, and we face constant turnover.
2570 Keeping up with changes in technology is also a big challenge for us. At CiTR, our computer systems are maintained by a long-time volunteer, who works nightly at UBC and a student that works part time. We are extremely lucky that these people work on campus and can drop by in an emergency.
2571 So, for example, last week, our podcast system went down and we weren't able to fix it for three days, losing two days of podcasts. Also, we only purchased a backup system for our files last summer. In addition, we don't have a system that alerts you to when your loggers not working, so last year we had several weeks where our logger was not operational, and we did have a complaint during this time.
2572 In addition, although there is a role for internet-only stations, internet broadcasting cannot replace the value of FM broadcasting for the community radio sector. An FM licence not only enables us to serve the FM listening audience, but also provides legitimacy by ensuring that community stations are meeting a standard of community access, governance and programming.
2573 We are dissatisfied with the decision to not require cable companies to carry community broadcasters. I realize this hearing has been decided and closed, but at CiTR our signal is quite spotty throughout Vancouver. I live at Fraser and 10th, which is dead centre, and I can't access CiTR from my home. We rely on cable to reach some of our listeners.
2574 With spectrum scarcity, it is even more important that community broadcasters have access to their audiences and are carried by cable. We ask you to reconsider your decision.
2575 Lastly, CiTR recently changed our bylaws and had to alter them considerably to comply with CRTC's interpretation of the direction to the CRTC: ineligibility of non-Canadians. Under our old bylaws, 100 per cent of our board directors and 80 per cent of our membership had to be Canadian. The CRTC requested the following addition to our bylaws: quorum at our annual general meetings and SGMs must have a Canadian majority; the station manager and program coordinator must be Canadian; 80 per cent of our student executive must be Canadian; and there is also a request that the student executive president be Canadian.
2576 Our station is governed by a board of directors, with a student executive that governs the day-to-day operations of the station, with assistance from staff, and presents policy for approval by the board. The board of directors is ultimately responsible for the organization and the station manager is ultimately responsible for all staff.
2577 Although we agree with the principles of the direction, the application of this regulation for not-for-profit organizations is unnecessarily complicated, difficult to enforce and apply. So in our station there are so many bodies that participate in the governance that applying this Canadian rule to every body makes everything extremely difficult to administer.
2578 Instead of requiring the two bodies that oversee the station to be Canadian, we now have several other levels of Canadian control that make our administrative burden greater and will not substantively change the operation or programming of our station in any way.
2579 The CEO of a for-profit company has much greater control over his or her company than anyone in a not-for-profit society and not the same motivation to apply the Canadian interest to their company; whereas, in a not-for-profit society, control is balanced by committee, a strong mandate, bylaws and community accountability.
2580 In addition, applying the rule so strictly does, in fact, counter our mandate to serve the student population of UBC, which includes a high percentage of international students. To reflect the community of Vancouver in our programming and serve underrepresented populations, we enable local communities the ability to create their own community-based programming, which is, in essence, the most authentically Canadian programming that exists.
2581 Lastly, community broadcasting, as a sector, has stronger community roots and greater financial support in other countries, so it is in our best interests to take advantage of expertise from other countries, learn their best practices, and apply them to our station to promote our Canadian voices. Denying an international student from a leadership role on our student executive is not in the best interest of Canadian radio.
2582 I'd like to thank the Commission for considering the views of the campus and community radio sector.
2583 Thank you for your time and consideration.
2584 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Grunau, and welcome to the hearing. I hope you find our facilities of videoconference handy, particularly since you didn't have to fly down to Ottawa to meet with us. But we are very happy to see you here.
2585 I will start my questions by dealing with the Canadian ownership issue that you have raised. You're not the only one who has raised that issue so far; however, you're the ones who have developed it the most. And I understand why you have done it, since UBC is a university whose makeup is made of not only Canadian students, but a large contingent of foreigners.
2586 How large is that contingent?
2587 MS GRUNAU: I don't know how many foreign students are at UBC. I'd imagine a quarter. But I can get that information for you.
2588 Definitely some of our best student volunteers are American. They have a strong history of community broadcasting, and they have a lot to contribute.
2589 THE CHAIRPERSON: Because they have been involved in community broadcasting in the U.S. before joining UBC to complete their university education, that's what you're saying?
2590 MS GRUNAU: That's true.
2591 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's true. So they come already trained, with a background, that's what you're saying?
2592 MS GRUNAU: They come with examples of how other stations are doing things successfully, and they also come with a greater passion and commitment, which is, ultimately, more important for us.
2593 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah? And what about the Canadians, are they passionate or are they interested in the community operation of your station?
2594 MS GRUNAU: They definitely are, but it's a lot harder to recruit and promote since there isn't as much of a history of listening to community radio in Canada as there are listening to campus or NPR and the other models.
2595 The community stations are a lot bigger in the States and have a greater impact.
2596 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, if you're including NPR, and considering NPR as a significant place in the U.S. audio-visual configuration. But, then, you will have to say the CBC is somehow a bit like NPR.
2597 So if we are to exclude NPR, what is your knowledge of the community radio in the U.S.?
2598 MS GRUNAU: I would use instead examples of KAOS radio, in Olympia, KXP, in Seattle, or WFMU, in New York.
2599 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you have students that are registered at UBC that have been involved or have been at least listeners to these stations before registering. Obviously, the directive, as you say, it's a directive to the CRTC, it's not a directive from the CRTC.
2600 MS GRUNAU: Okay.
2601 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's an order in council that the federal government issued in the late-sixties and ordered the CRTC what you know about Canadian ownership and eligibility of non-Canadians. So it's really not under our purview, we have to apply the order in council that had been issued at the time, and which has not been changed almost for the last 40 years.
2602 I understand what you're saying regarding the difficulty of keeping enthused foreigners who don't qualify for Canadian citizenship into the student executive; however, it is hard for us to do anything.
2603 I will say that the Americans have fairly similar rules. So if you were to go to study in Seattle and want to get involved in the community radio over there, you may be faced with the similar reality.
2604 MS GRUNAU: I was hoping there would be some flexibility in how the rule was applied to a not-for-profit, so if our board is currently a hundred per cent Canadian, which it is, and our station manager is Canadian, not requiring all the other additional levels.
2605 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, that's something surely with our own staff we will be looking into and make sure that we create you all the flexibility that you may need. But, as I said, we are only applying an order that we have been given years back and at the time when there was a certain reality, maybe a different reality than today.
2606 MS GRUNAU: Yeah, the directive's just real tailored to a corporate setting and not to a not-for-profit, so perhaps I should call up my MP.
2607 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, well, that surely is one way to do it. He has more influence, I will guess, than us on such a matter.
2608 At lot of the issues that you've dealt in your written presentation, and as well in your oral presentation today, have been dealt with by NCRA.
2609 MS GRUNAU: M'hmm.
2610 THE CHAIRPERSON: I don't want to go into that many details, because we already have the gist of what the campus community radio stations want to do and where they want to go. I think it's been very well laid down so far by the associations and those who have appeared before us; however, we are interested in a few specific issues that are pertaining --
2611 MS GRUNAU: M'hmm.
2612 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- to CiTR. One of them is the online situation. The Commission has been, over the last couple of years, very interested by new media, and we've held numerous public hearing on that subject.
2613 Now, you have talked to us about what you are currently doing, but do you feel that it is expanding your reach? Do you have any indication that you are able to reach people that were not reachable before when you were only over the air?
2614 MS GRUNAU: Definitely.
2615 THE CHAIRPERSON: You have that evidence?
2616 MS GRUNAU: Yeah. Yeah, we can look at our web stats and see which countries people are coming from. So we definitely have listeners from outside of Canada that are now listening to our shows, especially the multicultural programs, where they're reaching their audience in the country that they originated. Yeah.
2617 Also, our signal is quite spotty throughout Vancouver. So if you're not in a car and you want to listen from home, people usually in those dead spots will listen on the internet or through cable service.
2618 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah?
2619 MS GRUNAU: We do have web stats, too, on our subscribers for our individual podcasts, so we can track how many people are receiving the download each week.
2620 THE CHAIRPERSON: And are they, at large, members of Vancouver? Or are they specifically students, registered students? Do you have any indication who is your core audience?
2621 MS GRUNAU: We don't really have data on that. I'm guessing that the bulk of our listeners are not students. We did do a BBM survey last year for the first time and it told us that we have 14,000 listeners, on average, per week.
2622 Now, since our size is so small, this data is not nearly as reliable for our station than for others, and we feel there was not enough of the younger population to provide accurate data on the age that students are.
2623 THE CHAIRPERSON: They were still doing ballot surveys at the time, now they are using a people metre. But at the time, if it was last year, it was with --
2624 MS GRUNAU: Yeah, it was right before.
2625 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
2626 MS GRUNAU: Right before.
2627 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- the introduction of the people metre.
2628 But what is your view about an audience of 14,000 in a week? It's not on a per-hour basis, it's on a week. Reaching 14,000 people in Greater Vancouver, are you satisfied with those numbers? Do you think you're doing a good job? What's your view?
2629 MS GRUNAU: It's hard to know. Currently, our stats are imperfect statistics, that don't include all our listeners because of online and podcasting. That stat is the same as Radio-Canada in Vancouver.
2630 So it that positive? Yes, that's positive. Most community stations, campus or community, can't afford to get stats and we paid a chunk of money for a four-page report that gave us nothing on our demographics.
2631 So how do we compare ourselves as successful? I'm not sure we could evaluate success by the number of communities participating in programming or the number of volunteers we have or our relative effectiveness at promoting our station in the community by sponsoring shows and festivals. So it's a typical not-for-profit problem to have difficulty measuring your success.
2632 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand that having BBM do a report for you is an expensive proposition that not many community campus radio stations can afford, even the ones in markets larger than the Vancouver market. So I think you should commended to have at least undertaken it because it gives you at least a broad view of who is your core audience in using the BBM as a tool.
2633 Have you been able to use those results to sell advertising?
2634 MS GRUNAU: So far it hasn't been very effective in selling advertising. Since we have niche programming, we're still only hunting certain types of businesses. So far we haven't seen that it makes a difference but I think it does give us more legitimacy, having some sort of number.
2635 THE CHAIRPERSON: You have a staff of five people, you said. Are any dedicated to sales or is it a function that is done by volunteers or how is --
2636 MS GRUNAU: We have three permanent staff and three to five part-time staff throughout the year -- that's not including our magazine -- and sales would fall on my plate. And I'm also the one who would like to go up in power and who manages all the HR and all the money and anything that's not programming related.
2637 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you have any time left for a social life?
2638 MS GRUNAU: Not much.
2639 THE CHAIRPERSON: Not much.
2640 In your written submission, you raise additional comments -- it's your paragraph 41 till the end -- and one deals with the cable carriage of community radio stations.
2641 Obviously, currently they are carrying your service but your concern is what is going to happen when digital becomes the means for the distribution of signal. You're concerned that you may lose carriage at the time.
2642 But have you ever discussed that matter with the representative of the cable organization in your area?
2643 MS GRUNAU: No, I haven't.
2644 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you think it could be worthwhile trying to contact them and see what are their long-term plans?
2645 If they don't know you and they don't know what you do, it's very easy, by the stroke of a pen, saying "out".
2646 MS GRUNAU: M'hmm.
2647 THE CHAIRPERSON: But if you have built bridges and they have a better understanding of your issues and why you think it is very important to have cable distribution, they may have a different view of your issues.
2648 MS GRUNAU: I agree, building a relationship would be a good thing and may be effective. It may not be possible and effective and I think for a station as relatively big as ours, I can fit that into my schedule but for a really tiny community station, they won't be able to accomplish that.
2649 THE CHAIRPERSON: That, I understand, but I was talking, first, about you, before talking --
2650 MS GRUNAU: M'hmm. It may be.
2651 THE CHAIRPERSON: I know that there are representatives of NCRA in the room here and surely others are listening at this proceeding but I think it could be very beneficial for all of you to undertake a meeting.
2652 In the case of many smaller community radio stations, they may be also in communities where it's a local owner. In small markets, there are small cable systems as well. I understand that the big players are trying to aggregate territories but there are still a good number of small cable operators who could be interested in hearing a situation like yours.
2653 Now, you described your financials in your oral presentation. We heard this morning the McGill University Campus Radio Station talking about their financial obligations. One of them is that they are paying rent to McGill University.
2654 Are you paying rent at UBC for the space that you are making use of or is it --
2655 MS GRUNAU: No. The Student Union provides rent, two types of insurance, insurance excepting media liability insurance. We're included in their audit. They do our bookkeeping and we don't pay for heat or electricity.
2656 THE CHAIRPERSON: So a lot of the backroom operations of the radio station are done by the Student Union?
2657 MS GRUNAU: Yes, that's correct. Our budget would be a lot larger if we tabulated the in-kinds.
2658 THE CHAIRPERSON: Or you would have less means if you had to have the backroom staff to do all these functions?
2659 MS GRUNAU: M'hmm. We're very lucky.
2660 THE CHAIRPERSON: So the money that you're benefiting from is mostly going towards maintaining the operation obviously and making sure that the equipment is -- but the rest is mainly going towards programming? Am I right to say that?
2661 MS GRUNAU: The bulk of the money they give us actually, $135,000 we spend on human resources. So the amount that actually goes to -- it's really small pieces. They provide $150,000.
2662 THE CHAIRPERSON: However, the $135,000 that goes towards human resources goes to paid salaries for the full-time and the part-time staff who are, if I hear you, mainly doing programming functions, working with the volunteers for programming purposes or going on air by themselves? Am I right to assume that?
2663 MS GRUNAU: Two of our permanent staff work in programming: a program coordinator and a music coordinator. All of the part-time students work with me on operating and administering the station. So there would be two people, one full-time and one almost full-time, dedicated to programming.
2664 THE CHAIRPERSON: And how is the volunteer -- you're training volunteers. Who is doing that, you?
2665 MS GRUNAU: No. Our music coordinator and our program coordinator and sometimes volunteers as well.
2666 THE CHAIRPERSON: Because there are volunteers with enough experience to train other people?
2667 MS GRUNAU: Yes.
2668 THE CHAIRPERSON: Now, you spoke about funding and obviously we heard the CAB this morning. I don't know if you had a chance to hear what they had to say when they appeared earlier this morning, the Canadian Association of Broadcasters.
2669 While they said that they understood the funding difficulties that you are facing, they were opposed to the idea of a national system. They were saying that it should be done on a market-by-market basis.
2670 Do you have any comments or views to share with us on such an idea?
2671 MS GRUNAU: Would that be a voluntary basis or just tying smaller station funding to larger commercial stations in that area?
2672 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, it could be both but the latter being the main case in point.
2673 MS GRUNAU: M'hmm. It sounds reasonable to me to pair us up funding-wise.
2674 THE CHAIRPERSON: Because it may mean that the funding that comes through the CFRC will eventually come directly from broadcasters that could commit to -- but in some markets there might be some broadcasters who don't commit to support a community station. As they said, it is a voluntary situation, it's not a mandatory one.
2675 MS GRUNAU: Okay. We are requesting that it be mandatory and not voluntary and I would be somewhat concerned about the strings attached were we to directly create partnerships with commercial stations in our markets, that the strings attached to that money would compromise our ability to adequately serve Canadians and that the strings attached would not suit our operational needs.
2676 THE CHAIRPERSON: Now, part of your funding is coming from advertising and obviously you ask for flexibility but who are your main advertisers, are they cultural and community organizations or are they at large retailers or national advertisers like the breweries or...?
2677 MS GRUNAU: M'hmm. We have an advertising policy that outlines that we will advertise -- accept advertising from local Vancouver companies. So we don't work with chains that advertise across Canada.
2678 So far our main advertisers have been -- we do make an exception in the area of concert promotion. So we accept advertising from Live Nation and from local promoters in the music scene and then local businesses in Vancouver. Currently we're making about $9,000 per year.
2679 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you very much. Those were my questions.
2680 I'm looking around if my colleagues have any.
2681 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: I have one.
2682 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Poirier.
2683 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes. Hello, I am Louise Poirier. Hello, Mrs. Grunau.
2684 MS GRUNAU: Hi.
2685 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: I just wondered, this morning, as Mr. the Vice-Chair asked, CAB said that they would prefer to give voluntary money to community and radio stations, not mandatory, and they would be willing also to support in-kind the campus radio stations.
2686 Have you ever received help from commercial radio stations?
2687 MS GRUNAU: Our current engineer that comes in about three hours a week works for a commercial broadcaster and because of that we have received some handouts of equipment.
2688 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. And money?
2689 MS GRUNAU: Sometimes it's -- sorry?
2690 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: No, go on.
2691 MS GRUNAU: No money. Yes, just equipment that's not being used there anymore and about to be thrown away.
2692 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Do you have a relation with the other commercial radio stations in Vancouver?
2693 MS GRUNAU: No, we don't.
2694 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. They don't know you and you've never asked them to give you money to support your needs?
2695 MS GRUNAU: The only -- the Community Radio Fund and the NCRA has approached broadcasters about funding for the sector but we have never individually gone out and done that. We're somewhat swamped trying to maintain our own operations.
2696 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. If we allowed them to keep on helping campus and community radios on a voluntary basis, what criteria should we put on the table?
2697 MS GRUNAU: I'm concerned that they will use these dollars as marketing or to accomplish their own goals and not without strings attached. So I would want that funding to be discretionary, up to the station.
2698 But I am concerned that voluntary funding would not happen to the extent that FACTOR and other Canadian content developers are supported since essentially we are the Canadian content of the broadcasting sector.
2699 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: And do you feel you are in competition with the commercial radios? And I'm talking about publicity and also about audience, listeners.
2700 MS GRUNAU: I think we offer a very different product than commercial, so we're not -- I don't believe we're in competition for audience.
2701 What we could be in competition for is since they have the marketing dollars to throw around, they can sponsor large events and make a greater impact in their local cities than we can because we don't have those resources.
2702 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: And do you think giving you more flexibility on programming would put you in a situation that you compete more with the commercial radios?
2703 MS GRUNAU: I don't think so but it will vary from community to community. Generally, our mission is to provide programming that's not on commercial stations, so we work very hard actually at identifying groups that are underserved and then trying to fill those gaps. That's part of why we work in campus radio, is so we can accomplish those goals. So I don't think there's a danger there.
2704 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you very much.
2705 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you, Mrs. Grunau. Thank you for your appearance and have a nice day.
2706 MS GRUNAU: Thank you.
2707 THE CHAIRPERSON: Miss Secretary, we will now move to the next item. Thank you.
2708 THE SECRETARY: Yes.
2709 We will now hear the presentation of Erin Community Radio, who is appearing via videoconference from Toronto.
2710 Please introduce yourself and you have 15 minutes for your presentation. Thank you.
2711 MR. MOWAT: Mr. Vice-Chairman, Commissioners, CRTC staff, thank you for allowing me to address you today.
2712 My name is Jay Mowat. I'm retired after 30 years as a broadcast journalist. I am a founder and chair of the board of Erin Community Radio.
2713 We're a small, unprotected 50-watt station serving the Town of Erin, just north of Toronto. The station is run by volunteers as a not-for-profit corporation. We have 70 to 80 regular volunteers and 35 volunteer on-air program hosts.
2714 The station annual budget is about $60,000, so we're very, very small. The revenues come from membership fees, donations and local advertising.
2715 We've been broadcasting since 2006. We are the official emergency broadcaster for the Town of Erin. We do a significant number of live event coverage programs, including the Olympic Torch Relay. We broadcast Remembrance Day services each year and we broadcast local Junior B Hockey games to the community.
2716 We represent the small rural low-power segment of the community radio sector and I'm here today with our story and 8 recommendations for your consideration.
2717 Let me tell you our story.
2718 In the fall of 2008 we faced possible loss of frequency because of applications by several commercial broadcasters in the neighbouring City of Guelph. If any of them were successful, our signal would have been subject to significant interference, forcing us to stop broadcasting on 101.5 FM.
2719 The strain, the pressure and the expense on our small station was excessive when it didn't have to be and we're going to suggest that with small changes to CRTC policy we would have made our case, worked with the major players and come out with an acceptable solution.
2720 In preparing for our intervention in the fall of 2008 we were notified a scant 30 days before the close of public interventions. But more about the notice provisions later.
2721 None of the commercial applicants had been in touch with us to discuss possible options. The station had no excess cash. One Erin Radio board member paid $3,500 for an engineering report. Dozens of other volunteers collected support letters. We collected 850 in all and letters from every local politician and community leader we could find.
2722 The station does not have a great deal of financial or staff resources and certainly nothing to compare to the commercial applicant applicants' ability to pay staff and consultants.
2723 It was a massive effort that drained the station dry but our intervention and a boxful of letters were submitted by the CRTC deadline.
2724 Well, we finally heard from two of the applicants a couple of days after we filed our intervention. One of them said he was impressed with the big box of letters that hit his desk.
2725 Those two applicants agreed if either one of them were successful to pay for Erin Radio to move to a new frequency plus a bunch of the other ancillary costs and technical issues that we had, and then the third applicant agreed sometime later to the same terms.
2726 We found it extremely interesting that suddenly after months of knowing the impact on our station they were interested in helping and were curious why they didn't approach us much earlier in the process.
2727 Late in 2008 the Commission ruled against all the applicants because of economic reasons. If the commercial applicants had contacted us much earlier, we would have saved valuable time and money.
2728 The campus and community sector often does not have the resources or expertise to deal with more sophisticated commercial players.
2729 We would like to recommend that the CRTC encourage commercial applicants to contact affected C&C stations in a timely manner and work out acceptable solutions when a community station is threatened.
2730 We would also like to recommend, while we actually support a National Campus and Community Radio Association recommendation, that financial contributions from commercial stations to assist campus and community stations deal with frequency or power changes be counted as eligible Canadian content development contributions. This would encourage commercial broadcasters to voluntarily offer support and perhaps persuade applicants to participate in negotiating a solution in advance of a public hearing.
2731 I would like to note here that this idea was actually brought up by the CAB this morning and I heartily endorse that particular recommendation.
2732 Continuing on now, in 2008 we knew very little about the processes involved and less about what we should be doing to make our case. We knew nothing about who we should be contacting. We had no money to hire consultants to advise us. Small volunteer stations need help from the CRTC to create a level playing field when dealing with commercial applicants.
2733 We would like to recommend that the CRTC create and distribute simple and clear processes for low-power stations to follow in the advent of a challenge to their frequency and/or power and that's particularly important in the technical area. Campus and community stations do not have technical staff or sufficient cash to commission technical reports from outside engineers or cash to hire outside consultants.
2734 The help line for small broadcasters was instituted after our experience in the fall of 2008 and would have been very helpful. I myself have used that line two or three different times and found the people there very good but we still believe that a guide for low-power stations is an important improvement.
2735 I would like to speak for a moment about the NCRA, the National Campus and Community Radio Association.
2736 They were an invaluable resource for us. Without them we would have likely failed in our efforts and not gone as far as we had. The NCRA helped us navigate unfamiliar processes and gave us invaluable advice. They acted as an advocate for our sector as well as for individual stations.
2737 They have a small staff and most of the people active in assisting stations like ours, particularly when we were putting together our intervention in the 2008 hearing, they're all volunteer people. I spent many, many hours on the phone with one of the volunteers at the NCRA developing our application. She wasn't getting paid. Neither was I.
2738 We would like to make the recommendation that the CRTC find new ways to fund the National Campus and Community Radio Association and consider that a portion of CCD funding be earmarked for the NCRA either directly or through the Community Radio Fund of Canada.
2739 I would like now to address notice requirements, which I also recall was brought up this morning at the CAB hearing.
2740 At the time Industry Canada had no notification requirement for an unprotected station and to date they still don't. We had been notified voluntarily by the engineer for two of the applicants. He did not have to -- as we discovered later, he did not have to voluntarily tell us that we were going to be adversely affected.
2741 Now, we understand that Industry Canada has recently agreed to require that unprotected stations be notified on the same basis as protected stations. But although in practice affected protected stations are notified when an application is filed, Industry Canada Regulation holds that notification can be sent out as late as 30 days before the close of public interventions. We feel that is much too late, particularly for small underfunded stations such as ours.
2742 We would like to make the recommendation that unprotected and protected community stations affected by any application to the CRTC should be notified by the applicant by the date of the filing of the application.
2743 Now, I would like to speak a little bit about our current situation.
2744 In 2009 the story that happened is starting to happen all over again. A commercial applicant has announced he is seeking a station in nearby Orangeville, which is not very far away from us, but has not submitted an application to the CRTC. We understand that the company will apply for 101.5 FM, our frequency, and if successful will cause sufficient interference to stop us from broadcasting.
2745 As it turns out, the Orangeville applicant is one of the Guelph applicants from 2008. He's already bought me dinner and discussed options but only after I called him.
2746 Erin Radio currently has an application in front of the CRTC to move frequencies from 101.5 FM to 88.1 FM and to increase power to 250 watts and to improve our coverage area and seek protected status. If this application is unsuccessful, our station's future viability is in question. There is no other frequency available in the crowded spectrum of Southern Ontario.
2747 Even if our application is successful, a move to 88.1 will mean significant technical costs for us in order to protect co-channel stations in the area, CKLN, another community campus station, a cost we might not be able to afford on our own. If the Orangeville commercial applicant is unwilling to help us out financially, we may be in serious jeopardy without a solution.
2748 I would like to talk a little bit about spectrum scarcity, if I might.
2749 If Erin Radio had been knocked off the airwaves in 2008, the local community would have lost its only community voice in the area. If we are forced to stop broadcasting because of the Orangeville application, the same thing will be true.
2750 The Broadcasting Act clearly states that the radio spectrum should be populated by a mix of private and community and public voices, and the FM spectrum in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario is almost completely full.
2751 We would like to recommend that in a situation of spectrum scarcity that the Commission find a way to guarantee community access to the public airwaves and that a portion of any new frequencies as well as spectrum in other parts of the country need to be set aside for campus and community stations so that all Canadians have the opportunity of choosing to listen to a community-based non-commercial and non-public radio station.
2752 A brief note about funding.
2753 As everybody has talked today, Erin Radio has no annual source of income and relies on local fundraising and advertising. Resources that should be spent on programming are used to keep the lights on and the transmitter operating and in some cases collecting letters to keep us on the air. Low-power stations need an additional source of funding to maintain their mandate and operations.
2754 We would like to recommend that:
2755 - CCD funding be made available to the CRFC, which then would be responsible to develop programming and policies for distributing the money to community stations;
2756 - CCD money be given to the CRFC with fewer no strings attached so that the community radio sector can decide its own priorities without stringent guidelines from the funder. Initial funding given to the CRFC in 2009 was based on criteria supplied by the funders and was not necessarily what the sector needed.
2757 On the issue of spoken word, Erin Community Radio and other low-power stations are chronically underfunded and are operated primarily by volunteers, and, of course, spoken word programming is the most difficult programming to produce consistently at a high quality by volunteers. A requirement of 25 percent spoken word programming makes it difficult to achieve the highest quality programming.
2758 We would like to recommend that the spoken word component should be made the same for Type A and Type B stations, 15 percent. This level is more than most commercial stations provide. Community radio already provides unique and valuable services, including a commitment to be open to community involvement, support of local volunteers and commitments to local content and Canadian music. A level of 15 percent would still make community stations distinct in the overall Canadian radio sector.
2759 I would like to conclude by saying that small low-power stations continually suffer from a lack of resources and funds and at the same time face difficult situations of spectrum scarcity, loss of frequencies to commercial broadcasters and lack of information as to process.
2760 More sources of funding, a strong sector advocate and fair treatment in the process are required to ensure that small low-power, locally focused and volunteer stations can thrive. No low-power station should go through what Erin Radio has gone through in the last two years.
2761 Thank you for allowing me to speak and be here today and I will gladly take any of your questions.
2762 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Mowat. You will be pleased to learn that four of the members of this panel were also seated at the Cambridge hearing where you appeared, so we remember very well your presentation.
2763 So, I will ask my colleague, Suzanne Lamarre, to ask the first round of questions.
2764 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Merci, monsieur le président.
2765 Good afternoon, Mr. Mowat, nice to see you again and thank you for coming to our Toronto offices for this electronic meeting, if I may call it that.
2766 Before I get into the detailed issues of notifications and coordination between applicants or would be successful applicants and low power licensees, I just want to clarify a few issues with you.
2767 Since you took so much advantage of the NCRA, obviously your station is a member of the NCRA.
2768 MR. MOWAT: I must say though that a lot of the work the NCRA did for us was before we joined them.
2769 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Okay.
2770 MR. MOWAT: And after they helped us out so much we paid gladly to join them.
2771 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: So, it was convincing your relationship right there.
2772 MR. MOWAT: Oh, and it has continued to be so.
2773 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: You mention in your introduction that your station's annual budget is about 60 percent -- sorry, $60,000 and those revenues come from membership fees, donations and local advertising.
2774 How is it split between advertising, membership and donations?
2775 MR. MOWAT: Currently in this budget year we're budgeting for 35 to $40,000 in advertising revenue, probably about four to $5,000 in membership revenue and the rest in donations.
2776 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Thank you.
2777 MR. MOWAT: I must say, just as a note there though, is I don't expect that the advertising segment will continue to be that high. I find it not very -- it's not been very good to us in the past year or so like everybody else, so we're actually moving the direction of more membership fees and donations than advertising.
2778 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Okay. Point taken.
2779 Now, going back to the difficult period you've been through in 2008, I'd like to go through that with you again so that we can together try to extract the steps forward and learn from that experience.
2780 And, in order to do that, I'd like to be -- for both of us to be in a mind set where we would be considering two different situations.
2781 If an applicant comes in in a way that may threaten low power stations, two situations may occur. One, the applicant may be approved and then the low power stations then have to change frequency; or, (b), the applicant is not successful as it happened in your case and then we need to take into consideration just how much work had to be done or would have been done in order to get to a status quo situation.
2782 So, keeping that in mind, when you say that the low power station should be notified as soon as possible, and you're even talking about at the time where the full power station is being filed, do you think that it's useful to start the work right there and then, or that it would be maybe more optimum to wait and see what happens, given that if an applicant is successful, enough delay or enough time is given afterwards for a low power station to move to another frequency?
2783 MR. MOWAT: In our particular case, in the initial phases of this, our engineer told us there was no other frequency to move to.
2784 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Okay.
2785 MR. MOWAT: So, what we were faced with was a case of going off the air. As it turned out, the applicant -- or the engineer for the applicants found us another frequency that our engineer didn't even know was possible.
2786 So, under the circumstances that we were operating with, it was either we made a major attempt to the CRTC to dissuade you from making a decision in favour of the applicants or we were off the air.
2787 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Okay.
2788 MR. MOWAT: There was no choice. There was no way of staking around.
2789 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: And I need to correct a perception you mention on page -- I think it's on page 3 when you say that:
"Protected stations are notified when application is filed." (As read)
2790 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: This is actually incorrect. Like, if we were to go to the same kind of regulation as there is right now for protected stations, an applicant is actually at leisure to notify the affected party, it is his own choice of schedule.
2791 What drives that is the fact that the affected party has 30 days to comment, and if the applicant was negligent and Industry Canada does not receive the comments in time, that the applicant may just be turned down and not even make it to the CRTC hearing.
2792 MR. MOWAT: That is correct, yes.
2793 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: So, the reason I'm mentioning that is because this morning, and you listened in, the CAB pointed out that the question of advance notification is an issue for most of their members because there's confidential issue, you know, whoever has applied, has prepared a brief, is getting ready to go, wants to keep this a secret -- if I may use that term -- until it's actually published, gazetted by the CRTC that it's been made public, and a lot of them will wait until that moment to notify all affected parties, be it protected or unprotected.
2794 MR. MOWAT: In practice, however, and particularly in this case, all of the other affected protected stations were notified in the spring of 2008 just after the application -- or just before the application was filed to the CRTC.
2795 As a matter of a fact that's why -- that's how Blackburn Radio had the time to put together their own application for the Guelph market is because they were one of the -- they owned one of the affected stations that was notified in April I believe of 2008.
2796 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: So, I guess you do see the point that some CAB mambers may have, that they'll try and wait until the last minute.
2797 MR. MOWAT: Yeah. But in practice I'm told, and particularly in this case, all of the affected stations were notified six months in advance of the close of interventions.
2798 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: But if you want to come to a point where we have a rule that we can set that also applies for low power stations, do you see us going forward with a rule that is the same that's being applied right now to protected stations?
2799 MR. MOWAT: Well, I would -- unprotected stations, as I mentioned, have such low technical expertise and have such few resources and cash resources, we cannot hire engineers and we cannot hire consultants that easily, so it takes us a lot more time to be able to react and deal with these situations.
2800 So, as far as I'm concerned the longest time that we can get the better.
2801 We were notified, as I mentioned, 30 days before the close of interventions. I basically did nothing for 30 days myself except sit at a typewriter and organize and work.
2802 It's just -- it's a good thing that I'm retired. If I wasn't, there would have been nobody to be able to do any of the work.
2803 We need as much time as we can in order to be able to mount whatever we need to mount to be able to protect ourselves.
2804 So, I think the longer the better.
2805 So, if it's -- and when -- you know, I can understand I guess a little bit what the CAB says about confidentiality, but I've seen in many, many cases where they haven't worried about confidentiality and they've notified affected stations many, many months in advance.
2806 So, I would rather see that happen than the other.
2807 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Than the other. Point taken.
2808 Now, you do make an interesting comment because we heard the same thing but from the other side this morning from the CAB, when you're actually proposing recommending that the CRTC create and distribute, you know, simple and clear processes for low power stations to follow in the event of a challenge of their frequency and/or power.
2809 And in support of that recommendation you quote your own experience saying that you knew nothing about who you should be contacting in 2008 when you were faced with the situation.
2810 And I'm assuming that that's not only within the CRTC but it's also within the industry and, you know, among the applicants.
2811 And this morning CAB made also the same point, that sometimes they need to contact somebody, a low power licensee and they don't know who to contact and they have difficulty reaching the people and they're not getting an answer.
2812 So, this morning we had a discussion with the CAB about trying to come up with a way to formalize a relationship between, you know, the Astral stations that represent community broadcasters and commercial broadcasters and that would be helpful in order to make those contact networks and facilitate those exchanges when they need to be made.
2813 What's your opinion on that?
2814 MR. MOWAT: Oh, absolutely. I think we can all benefit by more talk and more connection and more communication, there's no question.
2815 And the obvious way to do this is between the CAB and the NCRA because the NCRA certainly knows how to get a hold of every community station in the country and knows who the principals are and if you're looking for a repository of that kind of contact information, one simple phone call to the offices will tell you.
2816 Now, having said that, in my particular situation two of the three applicants had no trouble finding me, had none. They found me on book. They sent me an e-mail on the last day before -- or 30...
2817 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: 30 days.
2818 MR. MOWAT: 30th day before it closed, they got -- an e-mail got to me through my website and through the contact information that they had available to them.
2819 So, I'm not so sure how difficult it is to get a hold of us.
2820 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Okay. Now, moving on to the question of spectrum scarcity which you're hands on it with it, I must say, in your community.
2821 You're proposing in a situation where spectrum -- you're recommending in the situation where spectrum scarcity, the Commission find a way to guarantee community access to the public air waves. So, I'll stop right there.
2822 Currently in those areas where spectrum scarcity is very important, and I'm basically thinking about, you know, the Montreal/Toronto/Windsor corridor, expanding it north in Ontario and also, you know, north and south in Quebec.
2823 The way I look at it, in those regions there are community radios already and campus radios that are on air and one could argue that the public actually in community radio already has access to the air waves.
2824 So, in that statement are you referring to getting more of the existing spectrum even in those areas, or protecting those stations that are operating but currently have no protection status?
2825 MR. MOWAT: I would say both. If you're asking the opinion, I think that community stations that are unprotected need to become protected so that their future is secure, absolutely.
2826 By way of answering the first part of your question though, let me tell you a little bit about our community.
2827 We're a tiny little town, maybe 15,000 people on the edge of Toronto. We have no local radio station. The closest radio stations are in Guelph and every once in a while in the winter time they might tell us one of our school buses has been cancelled. But as far as actually talking about and for our community, the two stations which actually happen to be owned by one owner in Guelph don't talk about us at all.
2828 None of the Toronto stations talk about us, none of the Barrie stations, none of any other station that we even might be able to be there has nothing to do with our little community.
2829 The only way that we had to be able to do this, and that's why Erin Radio is here, is we established a community radio station that would talk to our community and talk locally.
2830 We were fortunate, there would be one -- there was a frequency available. You know, in a couple years' time there will be no frequencies available and if Erin Radio hadn't been around, that particular community would not have had a choice.
2831 So, I believe there needs to be spectrum set aside so that all communities can share in community radio that actually talks to that community.
2832 Radio after all I believe, and I think the Commission believes, it's a local medium. There really needs to listen to the local people and program for a local audience and involve a local audience.
2833 In our little community, other than us, there is nobody that would allow that kind of stuff. So, I think you need to set aside frequencies so that every Canadian has the opportunity not only of hearing commercial stations and the public broadcaster.
2834 Frequencies have been set aside for the public broadcaster to be able to broadcast in every community in this country and to be heard by every community; not so for community stations, despite the fact that community stations are held up as equal to commercial and public broadcaster in all communities.
2835 So, just like the public broadcaster gets a chance to have frequencies in every community, I think there should be community stations that have frequencies in every community.
2836 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: I think I will have to correct you right there because no frequencies were put aside for public broadcasters, they were identified and later on applied on.
2837 But I wish at the time they had been reserved, I must say that. I wish that --
2838 MR. MOWAT: But you know what I'm talking about.
2839 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: But I know what you're talking about, exactly. But for the record, I had to set it straight.
2840 MR. MOWAT: Okay. Fair enough.
2841 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Now, going back to the type of programming -- no, before I talk about programming, let me check a specific item with you also.
2842 How much does your station rely on Internet broadcasting or streaming to get to its audience? Do you get a lot of your audience tuning in Internet; do you have the insulation to do that?
2843 MR. MOWAT: It's reasonably negligible in our area. Many -- most of our community is still on dial-up, believe it or not.
2844 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Oh, I can believe it.
2845 MR. MOWAT: We're an hour north of Toronto and I just got high-speed last year. Most of the rest of the community is on dial-up and can't stream very well, not easily.
2846 So, what we're finding is the Internet audience -- we of course stream like everybody else. Most of our Internet audience is outside the country, and actually a funny story I could tell you.
2847 We've had a big spike in our Internet audience since we've started running the Junior B hockey games and it's all grandma and granddad down in Florida who are snowbirds listening for their grandson who's the goalie in the team and we get feedback from them all the time.
2848 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Okay.
2849 MR. MOWAT: That's the only Internet audience we have.
2850 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Okay. And right now where your station and studios are located, you do have high-speed Internet, but the members of the community you are serving, most of them are still on dial-up?
2851 MR. MOWAT: That's correct. The rural community is still on dial-up.
2852 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Okay. Now, in your recommendation in paragraph 19 and it was also in your submission, you recommend that the spoken word component should be made the same for Type A and Type B community, 15 percent.
2853 And you do make the point that was made also by the associations that by reducing the percentage you'll be able to devote more resources to a better quality programming.
2854 This morning the CAB representatives who were here were aruging that, well, even if we left it at 25 percent or even increased it at 30 percent, we should not see this as a negative issue because indeed the broadcaster could rebroad, you know, over the week the same content once or twice.
2855 And to the people who were here this morning it made sense to -- it seemed to be making sense that you could be doing that and then you'd meet the quota or 25 percent or 30 percent.
2856 What's your opinion on this?
2857 MR. MOWAT: Yeah. I used to be in the commercial sector, I know about repeating a program. I'm away ahead of them, I already do it.
2858 So, most of my spoken word program gets at least two plays, probably three at the end of the day.
2859 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Okay.
2860 MR. MOWAT: Just so I get the bigger bang for the buck out of that. So, I understand that issue and I actually support it.
2861 I must say though just in some way to repeat it, I'm a broadcaster and always have been for 30 years, to do appropriate spoken word broadcasting is not easy, it requires a great deal of training and information, proper research. It's not as simple as a regular music program to do out.
2862 So, what we found, at least in our three years of broadcasting, is volunteers are really good and our station depends on volunteers, but volunteers come and go.
2863 So, if you have to invest -- you know, I do training programs, you asked about training to somebody else earlier this morning. We conducted some 50 hours of training, journalistic training programs last year for our volunteers. We're going to probably do about the same this year.
2864 We invest that amount of effort in our volunteers and then some of them don't stick around that long, they find out what the work is, what the workload is. So, we may get, you know, 10 weeks, 13 weeks of the program and then it's gone.
2865 So, we have to start all over again with these folks.
2866 So, it's very difficult to maintain high quality and consistent spoken word programming with volunteers.
2867 And if you ask -- and this I would encourage you for the next two days to ask who actually does the spoken word programming in many of the stations, and in my experience many times, not all the times, but many times it's the staff people who are involved more in the coordination and the production of spoken word programming.
2868 And, of course, we have no staff. I have -- occasionally we get staff if we get a government grant, but we have one person that's going to be here in our station for another four weeks and then we're staffless again.
2869 And it ends up being the staff that are the primary responsibility for the spoken word.
2870 And just to get it down to 15 percent is a manageable amount for a station. You've got to remember 25 percent spoken word content for me translates into about 30 to 32 hours a week of spoken word broadcasting which is a significant number of hours.
2871 So, if you're looking for quantity, then that's fine, you can do 25, but if you want to get quality out of it, I think a reduction to 15 is not a bad alternative.
2872 I would also suggest that many of the members of the CAB don't do 15 percent spoken word content currently. So, still community stations have to do something that is completely unique to them and not -- the only other person that I know that does that amount of spoken word broadcasting is the public broadcaster and I'll take their millions any day.
2873 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: I'm sure you would.
2874 Well, that concludes my questions, Mr. President.
2875 Thank you very much, Mr. Mowat, for sharing your experience and your day-to-day operations with us, it's very enlightening.
2876 MR. MOWAT: My pleasure. Thank you.
2877 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Poirier.
2878 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Hello, Mr. Mowat.
2879 MR. MOWAT: Hello.
2880 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Just to continue on the topic that brought Commissioner Lamarre, is it possible to get I hope the word is a grid of your programmation so we can -- that would be detailed enough so we would know how much of it is spoken word and Category 3 music?
2881 MR. MOWAT: Yeah. I don't have something like that, I'd have to make one up, but it certainly can be done.
2882 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Can it be done with too much effort, yeah, and can be sent to us prior to the 1st of February?
2883 MR. MOWAT: Yeah, I think I can do that.
2884 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: If you can, I would appreciate, okay.
2885 The other question, I think I know the answer but I was told at a point in my life that it's good to ask a question I know the answer of, but I feel a bit ashamed to ask that question.
2886 But did you ever have a surplus in your budget?
2887 MR. MOWAT: I don't even know what that word means. No, absolutely not.
2888 I've lost money the last three years. We broke -- we barely broke even in our last fiscal year on the year-end August 31st, 2009.
2889 The first two years, no. I'm also carrying a bit of a debt load from the community futures fund. They gave us some money to begin with, so I'm constantly paying off a debt at the same time and we just don't have the wherewithall to maintain.
2890 So much so that I don't have any kind of budget for maintenance of equipment. All I do is when something breaks I have to replace it, I do that, but I only do it when I have to.
2891 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. So then considering what you just said and considering the salaries, I'm also ashamed to say that word, but the salaries that some of your employees or whoever can get, considering the small amount of publicity revenue that you get, I'd like to know if you think we can compare the financial situation of a $60,000 community radio station budget to the situation of a commercial radio that is non-profitable?
2892 MR. MOWAT: No, I don't believe so. I think they're two different beasts.
2893 Community stations -- like if the amount of work that's done by volunteers, if you were to actually -- and this might be an interesting exercise some time, maybe I should do it -- if you sat down and actually calculated out the number of hours that volunteers put in, I'll bet we would be up to a level of a commercial radio station because we do -- I have 70 volunteers, I have 35 program hosts that do weekly shows. If you gave them a -- or, you know, the equivalent of a good salary that you would make at a commercial radio station, my budgets would be up there.
2894 But they're not because these people don't get paid. And, as you know, staff salaries and staff budgets, like any budget, commercial radio station, TV station, manufacturing plant are always staff salaries, that's your biggest -- the biggest nut in any of your budgets.
2895 And since we get it all done by volunteer people, we're nowhere close to what a commercial station can actually do.
2896 The corollary to that, though, is that I have nobody that I can call on and depend on to do things other than what they volunteer for.
2897 So, for instance, I don't have any technicians on that can re-do my transmitter, I had to hire that. I don't have anybody who could write a CRTC brief, I do all of that work. I can't hire anybody because I don't have the money to do that.
2898 So, it's a very different beast.
2899 You depend on whatever volunteer skills you have at the time and if you just don't have somebody that can do computer work for you, well, I not only am the chair of the radio station, I'm also the treasurer, I'm also the guy that runs the on-air software. So, if there's a problem that happens, they call me and I have to go in and fix it.
2900 That's how we work, you know, and we just have to accept that.
2901 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. And then my last question. Did you ever receive help in kind from commercial radios or money, subsidies on a voluntary basis from a commercial radio?
2902 MR. MOWAT: Certainly not on a voluntary basis, nobody's walking in my door giving me, you know, like computers or things like that.
2903 We've done two or three very informal mind -- informal asks for certain things at certain stations, including I might add the public broadcaster and never gotten anywhere with it.
2904 So, nobody seems to be interested in helping us.
2905 What we have done with a certain amount of success, and I think you'll find this interesting, that we're continuing to pursue it, we're actually using the local or the private broadcaster in Guelph to extend our reach.
2906 So, for local advertisers, we're actually buying time on that radio station and brokering it. So, that we actually run commercials on our station and the commercial station and we make money off of it.
2907 And I've got four or five deals like that going on. So, we're actually having a business relationship with our local radio station.
2908 But, nah, as far as giving us free stuff, ah, nobody's interested, at least not in my experience.
2909 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you very much.
2910 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, there will be no further questions. Thank you very much, Mr. Mowat, for your very interesting presentation.
2911 We surely have learned a lot about operating small outlets and I think I have to commend your work and your volunteership in doing that, it's very interesting what you told us and we are going to go to bed tonight less stupid.
2912 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
2913 MR. MOWAT: Thank you. It's been a pleasure. Thank you very much.
2914 THE CHAIRPERSON: We'll take a 15-minute break.
2915 MS HULLEY: Oh no.
2916 THE CHAIRPERSON: Excuse me. The legal counsel wants to ask you a question.
2917 MS HULLEY: Just for the record, to confirm, there is one undertaking to provide your program grid that would indicate the spoken word and Category 3 music and that would be due by the 1st of February.
2918 Thank you.
2919 MR. MOWAT: I think she said Category 2.
2920 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: No, 3.
2921 MS HULLEY: Category 3.
2922 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Category 3.
2923 MR. MOWAT: Was it Category 3?
2924 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes, yes.
2925 MR. MOWAT: Category 3. Okay, that's fine. Yes, we'll endeavour to do that.
2926 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much this time.
2927 We'll take a 15-minute break. Pause de 15 minutes.
--- Upon recessing at 1527
--- Upon resuming at 1543
2928 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please.
2929 Mrs. Secretary.
2930 THE SECRETARY: For the record, I would like to know if CJSF Radio, 90.1 FM, is in the room?
2931 I don't think they will be showing up at this hearing, Mr. Chair, so we will proceed with Gabriola Radio Society, who is appearing via videoconference from Vancouver.
2932 Please introduce yourself and your colleagues, and you have 10 minutes for your presentation.
2933 Thank you.
2934 MS RAMSEY: Hello, from Vancouver.
2935 I'm Kathy Ramsey, from the Gabriola Radio Society, proposed CKGI. Thank you for inviting us to comment.
2936 This is Ken Zakreski, on my right, your left; John Hague on my left, your right.
2937 Ken is the president of the society, our fearless leader. In real life, his background includes web publishing and printing, publicity and for-profit print, and was a developer of CHLY, in Nanaimo.
2938 John is new to the society board, and his real life experience is as a chartered accountant, retired from government services, and currently enrolled in media studies at the Vancouver Island University.
2939 I'm a founding director of the society, and, eight years later, I am still here, despite that we still don't have a station.
2940 When I'm not meeting with the eclectic folk who make up radio societies, I'm an owner/operator of a commercial art gallery. I used to be a big city daily reporter in what seems like another lifetime ago.
2941 We would like to invite anyone who's listening, the appropriate assembled staff, and CRTC commissioners, to attend the National Radio Conference that our society is hosting on beautiful Gabriola Island, just off Nanaimo, B.C., June 7th to 11th. You can look for details on our website, CKGI.ca.
2942 Now, I'd like the commissioners to take a look at the view from our chairs for a moment. The ground is shifting. New media has changed everything. Volunteer training is a huge drain on resources.
2943 The Campus and Community Radio Policy is again under review. The rules of procedure are changing. The Radio Fund is not fully funded. The tariff ruling for Part II licensing fees decision is in, yet there is no funding for community and campus radio stations, other than minority language stations.
2944 CCD funding for technical briefs for campus and community stations was requested and denied. Federal Court of Appeal's ruling on internet regulations by the CRTC is forthcoming. The Commission struck section 22 of the BDU Regulations, thereby removing mandatory carriage for campus community radio. Climate change is making everyone nervous. And local Indie Canadian rock is getting harder to find.
2945 The CRTC could go a long way to shoring up the ground underneath community and campus radio by levelling the playing field with commercial radio.
2946 I'm going to ask John to share the view from our chairs on CAB's written submission for this review.
2947 MR. HAGUE: Thanks, Kathy.
2948 Looking at Heritage Canada's website, and what is stated government policy there, you'd think that community radio and not commercial radio was the darling child. We express every aspiration stated by Heritage Canada, not because we are regulated to do so, but because it is our mission to serve the community interest.
2949 It should be noted that CKGI has been innovative in raising funds to keep its vision and application alive during the past eight years, and will continue to do so once we are licensed.
2950 We are solvent from within. We have yet to rely on major government handouts, however, there is a strong logic behind a local property tax levy. It would be excellent if the CRTC would recognize just who it is that's fulfilling the expectations of its mandate, and reward accordingly. It is community radio that is carrying the burden that commercial radio has abandoned, and it is only just that commercial radio compensate for this benefit.
2951 The CAB states that their business model issues really originate in a poor economy in the U.S.A. and problems caused there by a deregulated financial industry. The Canadian economy, on the other hand, and regulatory regimes, are much healthier than in the U.S.A., and the recently released CRTC operating statistics to the year 2008 confirm this.
2952 Small FM is flourishing in British Columbia. That is why large commercial conglomerates are hungry for all the FM territory they can get their hands on.
2953 CKGI, and its blending of new and old media, is a leader of innovation in radio broadcasting, and the benefits will accrue at the most fundamental levels of community participation. Innovate or die is the watchword among business consultants. CKGI is innovating. Where better to invest incentive regulation, spectrum and financial support.
2954 Thank you.
2955 MS RAMSEY: And now Ken would like to highlight some of our points from our written presentation.
2956 MR. ZAKRESKI: These comments are in response to Public Notice 2008-11 and Notice of Consultation 2009-418.
2957 Point number one, 2009-418, question 9: we ask you restore analogue cable carriage in the BDU Regulations.
2958 Point number two, from 2008-11, question 18, 2009-418, question 24: measures are required. New media tariffs for internet access for campus and community stations should be established. Uploading is the problem. It is quite expensive. We are asking for a tariff like you have had in the past with other communication services.
2959 Pointer number three, from 2008-11, questions 6 to 14 and 2009-418, questions 29 to 32: we support a preponderance of Canadian campus and community stations on the internet. If you go and look on your computers at a Canadian install for iTunes, a very popular music service, the player has a radio section in it, and then if you click on "Campus Stations", you do not see a preponderance of Canadians stations, in fact you see...Kathy.
2960 MS RAMSEY: Three out of 140, at last look.
2961 MR. ZAKRESKI: We looked the other day, 3 out of 140 Canadian stations on an Canadian install of iTunes. We support a reduction to the barriers to entry. Internet access costs are that barrier.
2962 Point number four, 2009-418, question number 24: we support CCD funding for technical briefs, period, end of statement, for campus and community stations.
2963 Point number five, 2009-418, question 8: this is an issue of major concern to our community, and we bring it to you having lived it. The evaluation criteria in a spectrum-scarce situation should include local content ongoing and during emergency events. For example, as was mentioned earlier, school closures...
2964 MS RAMSEY: Forest fire, earthquakes.
2965 MR. ZAKRESKI: Exactly. Isolation of the community to other local media outlets should be a criteria, unique attributes of the broadcasting community, the cultural, language, ethnicity and geography, also new and original programming should take preference over repeaters. We have lived this question and bring you those answers from our experience.
2966 The next point, number six, 2009-418, question 3: we object to one policy for both campus and community radio stations as it may diminish the importance of the diversity of community broadcasters in one market.
2967 That concludes my group presentation. The following are based on my individual comments that were submitted to the Commission regarding this hearing. They include two areas, technology and funding.
2968 On the issue of technology, mobile devices and community radio, we still require carriage. Uploading to the internet is the problem. There should be a tariffed rate.
2969 Also, next point, we need to improve CRTC communication. Perhaps you could include a Wiikey site or some method to notify a community when there is an application in their area, for example, two times class A, B or C radius.
2970 Funding. New media tariffs for community radio, uploading is the problem. If the Federal Court of Appeal's rule, and if the CRTC decides to regulate, there should be a tariffed rate.
2971 You are regulating inside a moving target. What does your build-out map look like? Do you regulate for the past, the present or the future? That's a question I have.
2972 We ask you recommend to Parliament donations to the CBC be tax deductible, and, also, that donations now to community radio be personally deductible by individuals.
2973 That's all the time I have for my presentation. Thank you for your attention.
2974 THE CHAIRPERSON: This concludes the overall presentation?
2975 MS RAMSEY: Yeah.
2976 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
2977 MS RAMSEY: Yes. Thank you.
2978 THE CHAIRPERSON: I will ask Commissioner Patrone to ask the first questions.
2979 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes, hello. Good afternoon. Thank you for your presentation today.
2980 MS RAMSEY: Hi.
2981 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Could you talk a little bit about your submission as it applies to the lack of protection vis-à-vis low-power stations, and, as an extension of that, the current notification requirements, which, as we have heard from some intervenors, are currently inadequate?
2982 MS RAMSEY: Ken, do you want to?
2983 MR. ZAKRESKI: Yes, thank you.
2984 It's Ken. I'll respond to that question.
2985 The current notification procedure is inadequate. Feckless comes to mind. We need to establish some sort of notification of the public airwaves that makes the process more transparent, more public. There are other public airwaves. If there is to be a change in how the public airwaves are to be used, that notification should be made public earlier on in the process than you have now.
2986 It is one of the reasons why we would not consider, at this time, an unprotected FM channel. We have the added problem of being very close to the 49th Parallel, and the United States protection would not be extended there.
2987 I understand earlier a Commissioner alluded to if protection is granted to low-power licences, I assume you're referring to domestic and --
2988 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes.
2989 MR. ZAKRESKI: -- out-of-country protection.
2990 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes, go on, or is that --
2991 MR. ZAKRESKI: And if you are, then that protection should be extended to U.S. channels. Recently, a community broadcaster in Canada was affected by a U.S. radio market application. We feel that, if there is to be protection for low-power stations, that it include domestic protection, as well as out-of-country, international protection.
2992 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yeah, we don't have say over rewriting international agreements, as you're probably aware, and those agreements currently are entrenched, as far as the United States and Canada are concerned.
2993 In terms of a timeframe for notification, Mr. Zakreski, in cases where a low-power station does lose its -- or there's a possibility that that low-power station may lose its frequency, what kind of timeframes would you like to see? What timesframes would you consider fair, in terms of notifying that operation of what may happen?
2994 MR. ZAKRESKI: I would answer that with what is our experience only, I cannot speak to the other stations across Canada. But in our case, if the scenario was that we had an unprotected channel, and we were asked how much notice would we require to move to a protected channel, I would have to say the time to find an engineer, raise the money to pay that engineer, do a short-space channels' view, and then an engineering brief, the fundraising alone would be 18 months, minimum, to raise the kind of money you'd need to move to a protected channel.
2995 If the fundraising element was taken out of it, you could say engineering the tower and transmitter site, probably six months would be involved there, in my experience, my guess.
2996 So without funds, CCD funds, to move the unprotected community station, you would be looking at about 24 months, two years.
2997 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: That's a fair amount of time.
2998 MS RAMSEY: We have been doing this for eight years.
2999 MR. ZAKRESKI: We have been fundraising in our community, and let's not forget our community is surrounded by media, yet no regulated media carried the closure of our school over the public airwaves, which occurred just the other day.
3000 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yeah, I wanted to get to that, sir, at some point. But as long as you raise it, I suppose I can further that stream of thinking vis-à-vis the emergency services that you talked about earlier, and what you deemed to be the inadequacy of those services, as they now apply to your community.
3001 The CBC does not provide a service regarding school closures, and that kind of thing, or any commercial station provide that kind of information?
3002 MS RAMSEY: This is Kathy speaking.
3003 Gabriola, in an emergency, is a very isolated community. Our biggest donor to our radio station campaign is the local fire department. If there's a forest fire on Gabriola Island, Nanaimo's not going to be able to tell us what to do. CBC Radio is not going to be able to tell us what to do. It's going to be on-the-ground people that can tell us where to go, what to do, and the amount of emergency.
3004 We're 20 minutes outside of Nanaimo, but if there's an earthquake, a fire, a major storm, if the ferries are down, we are as isolated as any northern community in Canada. And I don't think we're alone. There's a lot of communities that face the same sort of issues that we do.
3005 MR. ZAKRESKI: And if I may add to that?
3006 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Of course, please do.
3007 MR. ZAKRESKI: Just yesterday -- just yesterday -- the wind blew on Gabriola in an odd direction, it doesn't often blow from that way, and, as a result, trees were not used to receiving the wind in that direction and many blew over. I don't have high-speed cable today. I'm using dial-up because there's no Shaw Cable in my area right now.
3008 My wife is an elementary teacher on Gabriola, and the school closure occurred without notification from the local radio stations. The CBC did carry over the airwaves that the power was out on Gabriola, as well as, I believe, most of southern Vancouver Island, but that was my understanding of the extent of the reporting.
3009 There was no discussion of whether the schools would be closed, whether the ferry was running on time, if the roads were open or closed. The internet was down, we had no internet, there was not way to communicate over the internet.
3010 FM is the most practical solution to communicate to the public during an emergency, and it was not available to our community because there are no channels left for us at this time.
3011 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: So I take it that you don't see migration to the internet as a feasible eventuality, at least as far as community radio is concerned. Is that a fair assessment of what I take to be your views?
3012 MR. ZAKRESKI: My view on the internet depends on what timeframe. If you could clarify the question. Are you speaking in the immediate future or in six years from now? What is your timeframe, sir?
3013 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Well, I wasn't speaking immediately, because I just don't think that's practical. But assuming that it was going to happen at some point, which is not clear either, do you think that it --
3014 MR. ZAKRESKI: Well, they are --
3015 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Do you think --
3016 MR. ZAKRESKI: If you were to deploy --
3017 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Why don't you speak and I'll listen.
3018 MR. ZAKRESKI: If you were to deploy, say, an 802N mesh over a metropolitan area network, and the costs to establish and operate that were assumed by, say, the public, as is the case in, say, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, where they've deployed a wide area network, a metropolitan area network, and that internet service is provided over a large area, like as in Regina, at that point in time maybe you could have an internet-based digital community radio service.
3019 But I see the money for innovation is not being put up. Innovation is not being undertaken by the commercial broadcast sector. I really don't see them as leading the way.
3020 The commercial broadcast sector would be followers or profit-takers in any new technology. I don't see them investing in a digital infrastructure that would support internet broadcasting by community broadcasters.
3021 Satellite radio would be inappropriate for local community radio in that it would be national signal, a national service that would come over that.
3022 And I believe John has another point he wants to make, as well, on that issue, if we may.
3023 MR. HAGUE: Thinking of Gabriola, and, really, we need to be thinking about three populated islands and several that are only visited perhaps in the summertime, and, of course, the surrounding sea, so you have lots of pleasure boaters, lots of kayakers, a lot of people weather-dependent. A storm blows through and every kayaker in the water is at risk. Kayakers don't carry VHF. Hopefully, they will carry FM, a small, compact receiver.
3024 So in terms of reach, FM establishes greater reach today, and in the foreseeable future, than any other broadcast medium. And certainly with community-based messages, red tide, fire, other emergencies that are local in nature, the only way to be sure you're going to get informed about those things is through community radio.
3025 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: And there has been some discussion around setting aside spectrum specifically for community stations in order to fulfil aspects of the act, and so forth.
3026 I see one of you shaking your head, another one nodding, so do you want to --
3027 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: -- do you want to address that?
3028 MS RAMSEY: Yeah.
3029 MR. ZAKRESKI: In the last decision, the minority language, the Commission wrote they will not be setting aside spectrum. We believe it should be. We believe that a balanced network would include elements from the community, campus, commercials sectors, the first nations, and the public broadcaster.
3030 If you were take, for instance, a radio receiver to Gabriola today, and count through from 88 to 108, and add up the commercial broadcasters, first nations broadcasters, campus broadcasters, community broadcasters, and public broadcasters, you would see that it is weighted way heavy to commercial broadcasting.
3031 And I believe the Commission has left the door open to adjust that in its previous decisions, and they may reallocated bandwidth, reallocate channels as it sees fit. We would support the Commission reallocating channels, as it wrote in the minority languages report.
3032 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: In your written submission, Mr. Zakreski, you talk about the internet, and I'm just going to quote part of your submission:
"The Commission has an obligation to ensure Canadians can access a preponderance of Canadian service, should require internet carriage of Canadian community and culture services to ensure a preponderance...". (As read)
3033 I'm just wondering how you suggest we deal with the preponderance issues over the internet, which, of course, we don't regulate at the moment, when anybody surfing the web can go anywhere for their, you know, accessing of content. I'm just wondering how, in practical terms, you would approach that. I know you raised the issue of iTunes earlier, but can you help me with that a little?
3034 MR. ZAKRESKI: Yes. Yes, I would be glad.
3035 I would agree with the statement that there should be a preponderance of Canadian content available for those that desire it, so one would be Canadian-compliant browsers. This is the new rabbit hole the Commission could get involved in, if it desires, and the Federal Court of Appeal says it's able to.
3036 One would be to have Canadian browsers, Canadian versions of iTunes, that are voluntarily recognized by the Commission as being capable of providing a Canadian experience. This would be a Canadian version of iTunes that the Commission would recognize as having a preponderance of Canadian content on it. Then the user could decide if they wanted that, and access that browser or that iTunes version that has a preponderance of Canadian content in it.
3037 Also, the Commission could recommend a tariffed rate for community broadcasters to upload to the internet. Bandwidth can be very expensive, and a tariffed rate for uploading could be recommended by the Commission to the appropriate body, be it Parliament or Heritage.
3038 You could also recognize a class of broadcasters, and a developmental licence perhaps, of an internet broadcaster that met the requirements of a community radio broadcaster in its diversity, it's not-for-profit structure, its willingness to cover local material, and provide them with the same tariffed rate for bandwidth, et cetera.
3039 Those are just three things that I think the Commission could do in order to ensure a preponderance.
3040 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Do you want to address the funding aspect of all of this a little bit more? As you're aware, that's one of the areas that community radio has struggled mightily over, over a number of years. You mentioned during your oral presentation that you felt that there should be a levelling of the playing field with commercial radio.
3041 Can you go into a little bit about what you meant with respect to that, and how you would address the funding issue?
3042 MR. ZAKRESKI: Well, currently, if an individual makes a donation to the CBC, it's tax deductible. If a person buys a T-shirt from a community station, it is not tax deductible and they actually pay taxes on that purchase. If you donate to a community radio station outright, it's not tax deductible. It's not really fair.
3043 A commercial broadcaster raises funds by selling advertising. That's tax deductible for a business. A community broadcaster raises funds from its community, those donations, those membership fees, are not tax deductible.
3044 There's an imbalance there. I think you could recommend to Treasury to look at it and report back. Advertising is a negative externality, and that issue has to be addressed, as well.
3045 On the funding specifically, the Commission could recommend Part II licence fees be used for funding startups. It would be nice to know, once a community station is granted the licence, there is some money there for staffing, operations, equipment. It's a very big challenge to raise the money to get the station up, it would be nice to have something that they would be able to work towards.
3046 Also, the Commission could recommend a long-range radio plan for the NCRA as a funding option. The Commission could recommend the NCRA be funded to develop a long-range radio plan similar to what the CBC has.
3047 Another funding mechanism that would work would be if the Commission was to provide a development licence for internet broadcasters if they met the requirements of diversity, local content, not-for-profit structure, the type of elements you look for a community broadcaster, and then provide them a tariffed rate for internet access.
3048 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You spoke a little bit about the challenges associated with technical briefs and covering the costs of engineering services, and that sort of thing. Do you think it would helpful to have some kind of organized, official structure in place that would allow the commercial sector to provide assistance, in terms of the technical expertise that they would have, and/or equipment that perhaps is deemed out of date for commercial stations but may still be of substantial use in the community sector? Do you think that some kind of organized program could be helpful in that regard?
3049 MR. ZAKRESKI: Yes. It seems like a voluntary request is not working right now. We did request assistance from our local commercial broadcaster, the Jim Pattison Group, through their station manager, Rob Bye, and they decided to pass on our request for assistance.
3050 A voluntary regime doesn't seem to work. What does seem to be supported by the commercial sector is CCD funding for technical briefs, and we have stated we would support that. And I believe that would be a good start.
3051 As for a clearing house for used and old equipment, the commercial sector could set up something like that. I'm sure many of the smaller stations in remote areas would be willing to use older technology or surplus technology. I see nothing wrong with that. That's something a voluntary organization could work with, like the CAB. They would be a suitable organization to undertake that.
3052 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Like a central database of equipment, where someone might go on a waiting list for an audio mixer, or something like that, in one community, and perhaps one becoming available in an entirely different community, and somehow that organized system would allow stations to upgrade their equipment periodically with gear that's deemed no longer necessary in the commercial side of operations, I guess that's what you're talking about there, Mr. Zakreski?
3053 MR. ZAKRESKI: Well, I'd say it would be easy as establishing a contact with the NCRA and putting a posting on the LISTSERV. The NCRA maintains an email LISTSERV with member stations, and I believe non-member stations have some limited access to the LISTSERV, as well, and posting equipment that is up for grab, so to speak.
3054 I don't think it needs to be a big grand eBay-type affair here. I think merely the community broadcaster could be approached by their local commercial broadcaster that they have surplus equipment. I believe this is something that the NCRA could be approached to operate, if they were funded to do so, would fit in their mandate to work with the community broadcasters.
3055 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay.
3056 I have no further questions, perhaps some of my colleagues may have, but I want to thank you for your presentation this afternoon. Have a great rest of the day.
3057 MR. ZAKRESKI: Thank you.
3058 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you very much, Mr. Patrone.
3059 I have one question.
3060 You wrote in your presentation that you support CCD funding for a technical brief. But everybody, including yourself, have said that the CFRC shall not be a fund for projects, but shall be there to help finance and to further the activities of both the NCRA and the community and campus radio stations.
3061 Now, funding a technical brief is a project by itself. It's not an ongoing thing. So where are you sitting, project or funding on an ongoing basis?
3062 MR. ZAKRESKI: Well, let's just look at the history of Canada. To answer your question, let's look at the history of Canadian broadcasting.
3063 In my memory, anyway, over, let's say, the decade or so -- you may have a longer memory -- Canadian broadcasters, the commercial broadcasting sector in Canada, reluctantly coughs up the coin to help community broadcasters on a case-by-case basis.
3064 There's a long history of commercial broadcasters supporting community broadcasters in moving them to another channel, be it protected or to better use the broadcast network in Canada, and the commercial broadcasters have moved community broadcasters to another channel.
3065 There's a long history of them paying for that. I'm saying we should sort of make that a little easier for everybody and put a process in place.
3066 In the case of Gabriola Radio, the commercial broadcasters, Rogers, did offer, at the very last minute, to move our request for a channel to another channel, in our particular case low-power FM or AM, not really suited to our needs, however, a structure by the CRTC, a structure by the CRTC to ensure that that process, which has a long history in Canada, the commercial broadcasters have been working with community broadcasters for a long time in doing this type of thing, but just to have it lay out the ground rules a little bit better, one is that the commercial broadcaster would be able to use CCD funding for a technical brief. That's not to say that the Community Radio Fund of Canada shouldn't be able to fund the sector, as a whole.
3067 I hope I have addressed your question.
3068 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. No, I think I understand better your proposal. When I was reading your submission, and thinking about it, I felt that you were talking about funding coming through the Community Radio Fund. Now I understand exactly what you're saying and, obviously, as you say, there are numerous examples of similar situations that have occurred in the past but were not CCD funding, they were strictly out-of-pocket from the broadcaster.
3069 MR. ZAKRESKI: Yes.
3070 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, this completes this completes our --
3071 MR. ZAKRESKI: Thank you.
3072 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- our questioning for today.
3073 We thank you very much for coming down to our Vancouver office. We have surely enjoyed your answers and we have a complete record for the day.
3074 So thank you very much.
3075 MS RAMSEY: Thank you.
3076 MR. HAGUE: Thank you.
3077 THE CHAIRPERSON: This ends the hearing for today.
3078 Nous revenons quand, madame la secrétaire?
3079 THE SECRETARY: Nine o'clock tomorrow morning. À 9 h 00 demain matin.
3080 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1620, to resume on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 0900
Lynda Johansson Jean Desaulniers
Monique Mahoney Madeleine Matte
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