ARCHIVED -  Transcript - Calgary, AB - 1998/06/05

This page has been archived on the Web

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

Providing Content in Canada's Official Languages

Please note that the Official Languages Act requires that government publications be available in both official languages.

In order to meet some of the requirements under this Act, the Commission's transcripts will therefore be bilingual as to their covers, the listing of CRTC members and staff attending the hearings, and the table of contents.

However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded verbatim transcript and, as such, is transcribed in either of the official languages, depending on the language spoken by the participant at the hearing.



Examen des politiques relatives à la télévision canadienne/
Review of the Commission's Policies for Canadian Television

Hôtel Ramada
708 - 8th Avenue S.W.
Calgary (Alberta)
Le 5 juin 1998

Ramada Hotel
708 - 8th Avenue S.W.
Calgary, Alberta
5 June 1998

Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des télécommunications canadiennes
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Transcription / Transcript

Consultation régionale / Regional Consultation


Françoise Bertrand Présidente/Chairperson
Joan Pennyfather Conseillère/Commissioner
Jean-Pierre Blais Conseillère juridique/Legal Counsel
Marguerite Vogel Secrétaire/Secretary

TENUE À:                           HELD AT:

Hôtel Ramada                        Ramada Hotel
708 - 8th Avenue S.W.         708 - 8th Avenue S.W.
Calgary (Alberta)                   Calgary, Alberta
Le 5 juin 1998                       5 June 1998

- iii -



Présentation au nome de/Presentation on behalf of:

Calgary Downtown Association 4

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services 11

Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank 18

United Way Central Alberta 23

Alberta Association of Francophone Parents 28

Alberta Council on Aging 33

Carol Tsutsumi 39

Public Interest Advocacy Centre 49

Christine Wandzura 55

Calgary Flames 60

Patrick Mahaffey 65

WIC Alberta 68

Craig Broadcast Systems Inc. 78

Stephen Carter 87

Peggy Rait 95


1 Calgary, Alberta

2 --- Upon commencing on Friday, June 5, 1998, at 1601/

3 L'audience débute le vendredi 5 juin 1998 à 1601

4 1 THE CHAIRPERSON: My friends if you

5 would allow me, we will start our meeting.

6 2 Immediately, I would like to

7 introduce myself. I am Françoise Bertrand. I am the

8 Chair of the CRTC.

9 3 With me is Joan Pennyfather,

10 Commissioner of the CRTC; quite recently nominated.

11 4 At the table just here on my left is

12 Marguerite Vogel, who is going to act as the Secretary

13 and Manager of the Hearing.

14 5 And to her right is Jean-Pierre

15 Blais, legal counsel at the Commission.

16 6 In the room we have friends also of

17 the CRTC. Cindy Grauer, the Commissioner of B.C. and

18 the Yukon, who has been on tour for the last two weeks

19 and in the high cost proceeding.

20 7 On the right is Susan Baldwin, who is

21 the Executive Director in the Broadcasting Branch of

22 the CRTC; and to her right is Carolyn St-Jacques.

23 8 I would like, very formally, to talk

24 about this meeting today. It is our first. It's about

25 television, about programming in television.



1 9 Of course, one of our preoccupations

2 and concerns, given the responsibility of the CRTC, is

3 also Canadian content.

4 10 What we mean to do in the next few

5 weeks is really to come to different cities in Canada

6 to meet with Canadians, with the public, to talk about

7 television and those programs and to hear views,

8 opinions and feelings and emotions, as well.

9 11 We are taking also the opportunity to

10 meet, although we are on what would have been a podium,

11 we would have liked to make it more round-tabled than

12 the formal way that we are accustomed in Ottawa for

13 more of a formal procedure. We would have liked much

14 more a round table, like a dinner table kind of thing.

15 12 So make yourself at home, even if the

16 setting is not what we had in mind. It will be in the

17 next cities we are going to, but the tone will be the

18 same. It is to be really informal.

19 13 We are here to listen to you. We are

20 preparing for a very important proceeding, because we

21 will be reviewing the policy in television.

22 14 We will be, for the next few months,

23 working very hard trying really to get Canadian points

24 of view, and we start with the public.

25 15 The meetings we are making will be



1 entirely transcript. So, we'll be really in the public

2 record, and we'll be part of the proceeding.

3 16 We will be having a public hearing in

4 Ottawa, with all the stakeholders and the public again,

5 the week of the 23rd of September.

6 17 So, it is really a work of many

7 months, and we are happy to have the launch of this

8 operation in Calgary today.

9 18 So without further delay, because it

10 is Friday, and we are all looking forward to our

11 weekend, I would ask Ms Vogel to probably talk a bit

12 about the way we are going to proceed and to call the

13 first intervenor.

14 19 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam

15 Chair.

16 20 Before I say a very few words about

17 procedure, I would like Jean-Pierre Blais to explain to

18 everyone about the translation devices that we have

19 available.

20 21 MR. BLAIS: Yes. I want to just

21 mention to anybody in the audience that wants to follow

22 in the other official language than the person

23 speaking, there are translation devices available at

24 the back.

25 22 For those who would like to listen to



1 the proceedings or to the conversation, in the other

2 official language, you can find your receivers at the

3 back of the room for the simultaneous interpretation

4 service.

5 23 THE SECRETARY: Thank you,

6 24 Jean-Pierre.

7 25 I will be calling the names of the

8 people who have registered for this Forum today, and

9 when I do that, if you would be kind enough to step to

10 the table to my left, in front of a microphone; and

11 when you are ready to speak, press the white button.

12 You will notice that the light on the microphone comes

13 on.

14 26 It is important for you to speak, not

15 slowly, but at a reasonable pace because all of this

16 will be transcribed; and we have court reporters who

17 are going to be trying to keep up with everyone. So,

18 if you could just give that a thought.

19 27 I would like to call our first

20 participant tonight, Mr. Richard White. Please come

21 forward, Mr. White.

22 1606


24 28 MR. WHITE: Thank you very much. My

25 name is Richard White. I am with the Calgary Downtown



1 Association -- sorry that I have my back to everyone

2 else here.

3 29 I guess for those of you who don't

4 know what the Calgary Downtown Association is, we are

5 an association of businesses in the downtown. We

6 represent 3,750 businesses, and we are probably the

7 second largest business organization in Canada.

8 30 I was originally asked to speak a

9 little bit on behalf of one of our partners that we

10 have developed over the last year, A-Channel; but in

11 talking to some of the other people, there are probably

12 a few other issues that I will also just mention upon.

13 31 It is the Calgary Downtown

14 Association's position that A-Channel has provided

15 Calgarians with a fresh approach to local television

16 news, in both content and presentation, which I think

17 was part of their application.

18 32 A-Channel's news broadcast has not

19 only increased the public's awareness of downtown

20 issues and events, but they have also increased the

21 visibility of downtown.

22 33 What makes A-Channel's news

23 programming unique is that the majority of the news is

24 done by the reporters on the street, rather than

25 anchors in the studio.



1 34 Hardly a day -- well, no day goes by

2 that you don't see a reporter on Stephen Avenue or on

3 7th Avenue from A-Channel doing some sort of story

4 about one of the downtown issues.

5 35 As a result, they have made downtown

6 streets, downtown buildings, the people downtown much

7 more visible, and especially the Stephen Avenue

8 pedestrian mall and the 7th Avenue transit corridor,

9 which are two of our most important areas. But they

10 have also done lots of things from Chinatown and from

11 Eau Claire, and certainly they have made downtown much

12 more visible to people.

13 36 It is the Calgary Downtown

14 Association's position that A-Channel has been a good

15 community partner. A-Channel has worked with the

16 Calgary Downtown Association to promote and also

17 broadcast, for the very first time, the Santa Claus

18 Parade and our Christmas Ornament Program. Both of

19 these programs were hugely successful, I think in part

20 due to the participation of A-Channel.

21 37 The parade attracted over 25,000

22 people, twice the usual number; and the ornament

23 program, which featured four historical buildings in

24 downtown, was a success in its very first year. It was

25 sold out, and as a result $15,000 was donated to needy



1 charities. So I think that certainly demonstrates

2 their community mindedness.

3 38 It is the CDA's position, or the

4 Calgary Downtown Association's position, that A-Channel

5 has fulfilled its promise to locate in the downtown.

6 39 We wrote a letter of support for

7 A-Channel's application, based partly on the fact that

8 they made a commitment to locate downtown, which they

9 have done.

10 40 Their renovation of a previously

11 vacant building at 7th Avenue and 5th Street has added

12 much needed vitality to the 7th Avenue transit

13 corridor.

14 41 The A-Channel studio is very easily

15 visible. The Big Breakfast Show is very obvious when

16 you come in on the LRT train every morning, and

17 certainly in the evening the live weather broadcasts

18 from the street corner have become very popular in

19 Calgary.

20 42 It is the Calgary Downtown

21 Association's position that A-Channel's has added to

22 the growing downtown vitality. From our perspective,

23 A-Channel has fulfilled its promises, as outlined in

24 the application, and has become an important and

25 integral part of our downtown community.



1 43 Some of the other things that we also

2 -- in doing a little bit of research and realizing that

3 there probably has been a major impact by the

4 broadcasting industry in downtown Calgary.

5 44 I would like to commend all of the

6 broadcasters who are located in downtown now. Shaw

7 Communications a couple of years ago relocated to

8 downtown Calgary, and as a result out of their building

9 they now broadcast, NOW TV, Country 105 and the

10 Canadian Music Television station.

11 45 Also, last year Power 107 and QR77

12 moved into the downtown, and we continue to have the

13 fortunate presence of CKUA in the downtown.

14 46 The reason I mention that is that

15 many other cities have seen their downtowns decline,

16 while Calgary's downtown is actually experiencing a

17 renaissance and thriving, not only as a place to work,

18 but as a place to live.

19 47 Even Calgarians do not realize that

20 the fastest growing community in the city is not in the

21 suburbs; it is downtown. The downtown has been growing

22 for the last two years at 5 percent.

23 48 I think it is, in part, to do with

24 the fact that the broadcasters are downtown: their

25 producers, their researchers, their reporters. They are



1 here. They see the issues. They see the stories.

2 49 The downtown in Calgary is very much

3 the heart and soul of this city; and I think that we

4 are very fortunate to have these broadcasters here to

5 see for themselves the energy and excitement that is

6 generated when you put 150,000 people into a small

7 area.

8 50 So, I think Calgary is well served by

9 its television, radio and cable stations, all of whom

10 are very community minded.

11 51 I would also like to take this

12 comment -- because I also understand that Telus is very

13 much -- they have to get approval from CRTC for --

14 52 THE CHAIRPERSON: They have the

15 license distribution of television signals, in

16 competition to cable.

17 53 MR. WHITE: Because Telus has

18 certainly been a very major supporter of downtown

19 development, have made a substantial contribution to

20 the Telus Convention Centre, as it is now known and the

21 expansion of the Telus Convention Centre.

22 54 The Calgary Downtown Association was

23 very much aware that Calgary was no longer competitive

24 in the convention business; and they have become a very

25 big player in that and a partner.



1 55 I certainly would like to acknowledge

2 their support in the downtown, in recognizing that the

3 downtown is the proper place for conventions to be held

4 where people can stay in the hotels, see our heritage

5 buildings, visit our Arts Centre, our Glenbow Museum

6 and really see the character and personality of our

7 city.

8 56 This is not to mean that the other

9 broadcasters are not doing a good job. I think

10 Calgarians, and certainly the downtown as well, are

11 served by all of our broadcasters. But I do think that

12 the ones that are located in the downtown have the

13 ability to probably see for themselves more of what

14 downtown has to offer; and as a result, maybe have a

15 little special ability to be able to report the

16 information and the events in a special way.

17 57 I would just like to thank you for

18 this opportunity and hope that you find this

19 information useful.

20 58 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much

21 for taking the time to come and meet with us, Mr.

22 White.

23 59 And certainly you are a very strong

24 supporter of A-Channel. And sometimes, you know, at

25 the CRTC in public hearings, we have people who come



1 and support when it is a competitive process in terms

2 of granting a license.

3 60 We often wonder if the people who

4 have supported some people are there afterwards, and

5 definitely you are one of them, after the existence and

6 the granting of license, who is still supporting.

7 61 So, that is good to hear, because it

8 is a very important active relationship between the

9 business community and the broadcasters.

10 62 Thank you for coming.


12 64 THE SECRETARY: Our next participant

13 is Mr. Ian Kershaw, representing the Deaf and Hard of

14 Hearing Services.

15 65 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, and

16 welcome, Mr. Kershaw.

17 1614


19 66 MR. KERSHAW: Good afternoon and

20 thank you.

21 67 I'm Ian Kershaw from Deaf and Hard of

22 Hearing Services. I want to thank you for the

23 opportunity of presenting at this Hearing.

24 68 I have kept my comments somewhat

25 focused and brief. I want to talk about two issues



1 relating to programming, and I hope the brevity of my

2 remarks doesn't betray any lack of depth of concern.

3 69 When we talk about Canadian

4 programming, our community would ask that we reflect on

5 what that really means, because when we look at

6 Canadian programming, we are thinking of Canadian

7 productions using Canadian resources with Canadian

8 content.

9 70 In the minds of the deaf and hard of

10 hearing community, we see that Canadian programming

11 also ensures that programming well and truly reflects

12 the diverse cultures that make up our country.

13 71 It seems that we need to remind

14 ourselves that some Canadians are deaf; some of them

15 are blind; some of them use wheelchairs, and so on.

16 72 Yet, we find that that isn't

17 reflected in the mainstream programming that we see

18 right now and is, in our view, a very serious omission.

19 73 We also find that on the rare

20 occasions that disability is reflected, we often see

21 able-bodied actors portraying disabled people; and to

22 those of us that are in the business, it is painfully

23 clear that the research that was carried out was either

24 minimal or was overlooked in the production.

25 74 Even when we have disabled people



1 themselves playing the part, artistic license seems to

2 overshadow reality. The classic example that we have

3 is of the renowned deaf actor who is featured on

4 television crime series and who now has the hearing

5 world thinking that deaf people can lip read the back

6 of people's heads in total darkness, because of the

7 artistic license that we tend to see take place.

8 75 And whilst it brings a smile to our

9 face, it is a sad fact of life that the viewing public,

10 then having seen that, forms an opinion that that is

11 what reality is, and it is very much far from the case.

12 76 In terms of local programming, such

13 things as local news and such things as breakfast

14 shows, and so on, the support that the disabled

15 community and minority groups get varies substantially;

16 and our observation is that it varies and is subject to

17 the vagaries of news events and other issues that might

18 take precedence over a planned arrangement.

19 77 Whilst the broadcasting community is

20 supportive, the coverage tends to be very ad hoc and

21 uncoordinated.

22 78 What we don't see is any planning

23 that might, over a period of time, have some focus to

24 ensure that local community programming has a broad

25 spectrum and covers a wide cross-section of issues and



1 matters so that viewers, and thus the community, can

2 benefit from that wide spectrum and gain a greater

3 understanding.

4 79 Particularly, our concern is

5 disabilities because if you look at any broadcasts,

6 clearly according to the things that we see in the

7 media, particularly in terms of the regular programs,

8 not just local news broadcasts, there are no disabled

9 people in Canada. And that clearly is not the case.

10 80 When it comes to people with a

11 hearing loss, 10 percent of Canadians have a hearing

12 loss. One wouldn't think so if you looked at the

13 broadcasting that takes place.

14 81 My second point concerns captioning,

15 and I can't come to a meeting like this but address

16 that issue.

17 82 Whatever the content of any programs,

18 Canadian or otherwise, it is of little value if the

19 viewer with a hearing loss -- and that is 10 percent of

20 Canadians -- have captioning that's either missing, of

21 poor quality or intermittent.

22 83 You only have to watch television for

23 a couple of evenings or a couple of hours to discover

24 that we really do have a long way to go before we get

25 any quality in terms of captioning.



1 84 Now, I know that the CRTC has

2 addressed that matter, and we have suggested, having

3 set some standards, the CRTC actually has an obligation

4 to monitor and ensure that those standards are met.

5 85 We find from our community that calls

6 to the stations -- and usually they don't have a

7 working TTY, so it is difficult for deaf people to make

8 that call -- but it usually means that people say that

9 there has been a technical problem and that they

10 apologize, but that's just the technical issues.

11 86 I can't help but think that if

12 general broadcasting had as many technical problems as

13 captioning does, there would be very little on screen,

14 and there would be an uproar.

15 87 But because it is deaf people and

16 their needs are difficult to voice, ones feels that

17 very often those needs are, therefore, overlooked. And

18 there are very few consequences for any of the

19 broadcasting stations if they don't meet the captioning

20 requirements.

21 88 We are also very concerned over the

22 efforts of the Canadian Broadcasting Association or the

23 Association of Broadcasters to have the September 1st

24 deadline for 100 percent news captioning deferred to a

25 later date.



1 89 And whilst the CAB says its members

2 are committed to captioning, the suggestion that the

3 deadline be removed or be delayed would suggest

4 otherwise.

5 90 There is no doubt in our mind that

6 the technology and resources to meet those targets that

7 have been set, and that were set some while ago, are

8 available were the broadcasters vigorous in searching

9 them out.

10 91 We happen to have two major

11 captioning companies here in Calgary who have prepared

12 and have the resources to provide captioning at a

13 greater level; but there has been a significant silence

14 in the amount of approaches they have received and

15 their calls to the broadcasters.

16 92 So, one can't help but use the old

17 adage of "where there is a will there is a way," and we

18 have our doubts that the will is that deep.

19 93 Although I have to acknowledge that

20 some of the local broadcasters are absolutely first-

21 class, speaking generally, the service and coverage

22 that we get is very patchy.

23 94 So whilst there might be many aspects

24 to the phrase "Canadian content," I think that there

25 will be, from our perspective of the disabled



1 community, some real concern if we don't address the

2 depth of culture and the needs of our community in

3 terms of being reflected accurately and in a ratio

4 which bears some resemblance to the substantial nature

5 of disability in Canada.

6 95 So, I thank you for the opportunity

7 of presenting these issues; and I hope that they will

8 be taken into consideration.

9 96 I would be pleased to entertain any

10 questions.


12 very much, Mr. Kershaw.

13 98 We certainly appreciate your coming

14 here today and underlining the importance of diversity

15 in television programming, a reflection of the needs of

16 all the citizens of this country.

17 99 Thank you also for highlighting the

18 importance of captioning and the technical aspects of

19 standards. We really appreciate your words today.

20 100 MR. KERSHAW: Thank you; my pleasure.

21 Thank you.

22 101 THE SECRETARY: Our next presenter

23 today is Ms Christine Wandzura. I don't see anyone

24 reacting to that, so we will call Ms. Wandzura later.

25 102 Is Ann O'Donnell with us this



1 afternoon? She is representing the Calgary Inter-Faith

2 Food Bank.

3 103 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, and

4 welcome.

5 1621


7 104 MS O'DONNELL: Good afternoon. Thank

8 you. I would like to thank you for the opportunity to

9 speak at this Hearing.

10 105 My name is Ann O'Donnell. I am with

11 the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank Society, and I am

12 representing the organization.

13 106 I will give a little bit of

14 background on our organization, because it fits into

15 what the local media does for us.

16 107 The mandate of the Food Bank is to

17 supply food to families and individuals who are

18 experiencing financial crises. Last year, 1997,

19 110,000 people visited the Food Bank and received our

20 help.

21 108 In addition to this, we also supply

22 food to other agencies in town: things like drop-in

23 centres, the Mustard Seed and women's shelters, and

24 they also come to the Food Bank for food.

25 109 Each family that comes to the Food



1 Bank must go through a screening process; and if they

2 qualify for food, they will receive approximately one

3 week's supply of food for each member of the family.

4 110 To keep up with the demand for food,

5 we must solicit donations of $6 million in donated food

6 and $2 million in cash donations. As you can well

7 imagine, this is an enormous feat, and we need all the

8 help we can get.

9 111 I am pleased to inform you that we

10 managed to achieve our goal through the community

11 spirit shown by our Calgary media. We, at the Food

12 Bank, are indebted to the local television stations for

13 their ongoing support throughout the year, every year.

14 112 Our TV stations have participated in

15 various events that have raised thousands of dollars in

16 cash and much needed food donations. I will give you a

17 couple of examples, and these are just some of them;

18 they do lots more.

19 113 For many years, the CBC has held an

20 enormous food drive, and they have raised -- during the

21 month of December, and this has brought in thousands of

22 dollars in cash and food.

23 114 In March of every year, Channel 3

24 sends their own staff out to freezing parking lots to

25 collect food, and they do it. They are such soldiers.



1 They do it really well.

2 115 Channel 7 sponsors our "Night with

3 the Stars" event in October and an event that we have

4 in May called "Cans Festival". And we have also

5 appeared on their breakfast show many, many times.

6 116 The A-Channel, a relatively new

7 station in Calgary, has supported the Food Bank since

8 they went on air. These guys have been wonderful --

9 absolutely wonderful -- and they are an excellent

10 addition to the Calgary media.

11 117 After just a few weeks in business,

12 the A-Channel organized an event called "Fifteen

13 Seconds of Fame" and this brought in thousands of

14 dollars, too.

15 118 We have also been on their Big

16 Breakfast Show numerous times; and they have come to

17 our premises and highlighted the Food Bank in their

18 breakfast shows.

19 119 Now TV, another relatively new

20 station, has also helped out the Food Bank and helped

21 us when we have most needed their help.

22 120 All of these events -- and this is

23 extremely important -- have raised thousands of dollars

24 in cash and food donations; and we wouldn't be able to

25 do our job without their support.



1 121 Over and above the events, the

2 stations have supported -- all of them have given us

3 airtime when we needed it. We have been invited to

4 come to their studios and appear on their shows; and

5 they, as I said previously, have come to our own

6 premises.

7 122 They have given us free advertising,

8 run public service announcements; and to be quite

9 honest, the list is endless.

10 123 Thanks to them, they have raised the

11 awareness of the Food Bank throughout the whole city;

12 and people, because of them, are actually being fed.

13 It is quite important that we get this message across.

14 124 The Calgary television stations have

15 been extremely accommodating to the Food Bank. We can

16 say, without doubt, that we would not have been able to

17 serve the many, many people were it not for the

18 absolute dedication to their community.

19 125 On behalf of the Food Bank, keep up

20 the good work, guys! You are doing a great job, and

21 you do really make a difference.

22 126 Thank you very much.

23 127 THE CHAIRPERSON: If I understand

24 correctly -- and I think I do -- you are kind of

25 testifying to the necessity of having television



1 stations to support the Food Bank which you work for.

2 128 But I guess it is the participation

3 and the involvement in the community that you are

4 underlining here as being very important.

5 129 MS O'DONNELL: Absolutely, all of the

6 TV stations -- Calgary is quite a giving city, I think;

7 and all of the TV stations are very community minded.

8 They have a great community spirit, and they have to be

9 applauded for that.

10 130 They don't have to do -- they have to

11 do some community service, we realize this; but they go

12 over and above what they have to do.

13 131 This is the message I would like to

14 convey to you, today.

15 132 THE CHAIRPERSON: It is important for

16 you, for your organization, in your mind, that every

17 television station does that kind of --

18 133 MS O'DONNELL: It is extremely

19 important, and we welcome -- we would welcome more

20 stations to do more because -- I mean I am one

21 organization, one charitable organization.

22 134 But we wouldn't be able to survive.

23 There are so many things happening in our city that we

24 just couldn't -- we wouldn't have the awareness, we

25 wouldn't be able to raise the resources without their



1 support.

2 135 They need a pat on the back for what

3 they do.

4 136 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much

5 for having come this afternoon, and thank you.

6 137 MS O'DONNELL: Thanks very much.

7 138 THE SECRETARY: I would like to

8 invite David Johnston to be our next presenter, on

9 behalf of Children's Health Foundation of Northern

10 Alberta. We will call Mr. Johnston later.

11 139 Is Mr. Scott Cameron in the room

12 today? Mr. Cameron is presenting on behalf of United

13 Way, Central Alberta.

14 140 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, Mr.

15 Cameron.

16 1628


18 141 MR. CAMERON: Good afternoon. I

19 would like to introduce myself. My name is Scott

20 Cameron. I am the Executive Director of the United Way

21 of Central Alberta, in Red Deer.

22 142 What I wanted to address today was

23 the importance of the community partnerships that we

24 have with our local media, and in particular, RDTV, who

25 has stepped forward as a leader in our community in



1 supporting non-profit organizations, and in particular,

2 the United Way of Central Alberta.

3 143 The United Way of Central Alberta has

4 developed a terrific working relationship with RDTV

5 over the past few years, and their support has been

6 instrumental in positioning our United Way as a viable,

7 trusted and progressive community organization.

8 144 I would like to give you a few

9 examples of how they have been involved and the type of

10 impact that they have had on us.

11 145 In the past three years, we have had

12 two different campaign chairs who have been the general

13 managers at RDTV: Lloyd Lewis and Art Reitmeyer.

14 146 In 1995 when Mr. Reitmeyer stepped

15 forward as our campaign director or our campaign

16 manager, there were a number of things that started to

17 happen, and not only with RDTV but with many of the

18 other media sources in the community.

19 147 One of them, for example, was the

20 design and production of campaign videos, which they

21 have done for us since 1995; and with the 1995 edition,

22 they received national recognition from the United Way

23 of Canada, Sentraide Canada for technical excellence in

24 video production; and consequently, nationally Red Deer

25 is seen on those videos because of the content that



1 RDTV was able to produce locally.

2 148 They have produced videos for us

3 since 1995, and up to and including this year -- and we

4 don't see any break in that trend.

5 149 In the past few years, they have also

6 been able to produce agency vignettes to help foster a

7 deeper understanding of what the United Way is and does

8 in Central Alberta, the agencies that the United Way is

9 able to fund due to our successful campaigns.

10 150 It gives the public a better

11 understanding of some of the social issues and problems

12 that exist in our region, some of those issues that I'm

13 sure people think only happen in the large cities, but

14 in fact are happening in our community.

15 151 We have had tremendous support from

16 the RDTV news crew on various special events and news

17 stories that have involved the United Way and different

18 agencies that we fund.

19 152 Their public service announcements in

20 1997 helped us tremendously when the postal strike

21 threatened to affect so many different charities. RDTV

22 launched a campaign to help people understand that

23 their contributions were still necessary and that we

24 were still working on a time line, and that had a

25 significant impact on our campaign.



1 153 Since RDTV and the different media

2 sources have been involved with the United Way, we have

3 seen an exponential growth in our campaign. While the

4 campaign totals are only one aspect of the United Way,

5 it certainly has brought the United Way forward as a

6 leading organization in our community.

7 154 In addition to the work that they do

8 with us on community levels, internally they have an

9 excellent staff program, an excellent staff work place

10 campaign; and the staff publicly support the United Way

11 and many other charities in our community.

12 155 I think one of the greatest

13 advantages to working with RDTV and our media sources

14 and working with the United Way has been the

15 cooperation and collaboration that we are seeing

16 amongst all of our media.

17 156 The United Way seems to be an

18 organization that they have all bought into or support

19 publicly. In fact, our Publicity and Promotions

20 Committee is made up of all the regional media in Red

21 Deer and Central Alberta; and there is no better

22 Publicity and Promotions Committee that we could have.

23 157 In fact, we have become the envy of

24 Canada when it comes to United Ways and our

25 relationship with the media; and I would tend to think



1 that a great amount of credit goes to RDTV and their

2 leadership in making that happen for us.

3 158 In closing, I would like to thank you

4 for allowing me to have the opportunity to step forward

5 and stress the importance of what our local television

6 station has done for our United Way and the many

7 thousands of people that we are able to touch because

8 of it.


10 Mr. Cameron.

11 160 I think you used the term "community

12 partnership" in the beginning, and you have described

13 what is obviously a very productive one, and it is a

14 true partnership.

15 161 Listening to your words, I can tell

16 that it is both a combination of your work and the

17 media, and I think it was important that you noted that

18 it is not just the promotion of the United Way or the

19 raising of funds but also exposure of the community to

20 each other and to the concerns which you all share as

21 part of that community.

22 162 Have I heard your message correctly?

23 163 MR. CAMERON: You have heard my

24 message absolutely correct. One of the things that I

25 forgot to mention was the access to different



1 departments within RDTV, including the News or the Art

2 Department.

3 164 Two years ago we were producing

4 materials similar to this, the photocopy type. Last

5 year they came on board with their Art Department, and

6 our image is a totally different upbeat, progressive

7 image, thanks to their Art Department. That has

8 allowed us to approach other news media sources, and

9 their Art Departments, to help in other production.

10 165 So it is not just the on-air, it is

11 the background support, as well.


13 very much for coming today.

14 167 MR. CAMERON: Thank you.

15 168 THE SECRETARY: I would now like to

16 ask Monsieur Yvon Lefebvre to come forward, please.

17 169 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good day, Mr.

18 Lefebvre, and welcome.

19 1635


21 170 MR. LEFEBVRE: Mrs. Bertrand, Mrs.

22 Pennyfather, Mrs. Vogel, Mr. Blais, friends, my name is

23 Yvon Lefebvre, and I represent the Alberta Association

24 of Francophone Parents.

25 171 First, I would like to thank you for



1 having given us this opportunity to express our opinion

2 about television and radio programs in Canada.

3 172 You must know that you are the ones

4 who have expertise in the technology. This technology

5 is developing, and my report is designed to point out

6 what my preferences are, but in a very modest fashion.

7 173 There used to be the telephone.

8 After the war, television entered our households; and

9 antennas and cable came and now with satellites there

10 is even greater accessibility to these TV stations.

11 Now, we have e-mail, and all of that is integrated.

12 174 So, through electricity, the whole

13 country and all those who have electricity can be

14 reached. There is rampant restructuring going on,

15 while waiting to find out exactly what will be decided.

16 175 For those who already have

17 subscribed, it seems that to decide on the best service

18 provider we are going to have to wait for machines that

19 will interpret from one service provider to another.

20 Right now they aren't compatible, so this can cost

21 quite a bit to the user. So, we will have to be

22 patient while we wait for this type of means.

23 176 I don't have much time to spend

24 watching television or listening to the radio, so

25 programs in my language are of prime importance to me.



1 177 CBC has always been there and has

2 always offered us services. With TV 5 and FDI, we now

3 have a larger view of the Francophone world. This,

4 however, still could be improved with the addition of

5 TFO, TVA, and TVQ, and there are many others that could

6 be added. I would like to encourage you to make these

7 different stations available to us.

8 178 You have to remember that in Western

9 Canada, we don't have daily issue in our French

10 language.

11 179 The CRTC has a policy on religious

12 channels, and I wonder why. I am talking about

13 Christianity, especially Catholicism, which is what has

14 been our religion.

15 180 A religious channel was turned down,

16 and I never understood why. I would like to know if

17 you could give me that explanation.

18 181 The Creator is still here, involved

19 in our planet, and he is the one who has the power to

20 produce ice storms and other disasters that he can use

21 to punish us. You have to be careful and not make fun

22 of your God.

23 182 I would like to thank you for having

24 given me this opportunity, and I hope to be able to

25 speak to you again.



1 183 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr.

2 Lefebvre. We can agree with you in saying that there

3 is going to be even fiercer competition for signal

4 distribution.

5 184 This means that the consumers will

6 have a great deal of choice, and so we are concerned as

7 well with the fact that there aren't very many French

8 signal channels being offered.

9 185 We know what our own rules are for

10 allowing distributors to offer services based on the

11 majority in the different markets.

12 186 However, we hope that the technology

13 that is being developed now -- that this digital

14 technology will make all citizens, whether they are

15 Francophone or Anglophone, we hope that they will be

16 able to choose the signal they want, and they will have

17 a whole bouquet of programs.

18 187 We will have a hearing this summer --

19 you might be interested in this -- in order to look at

20 the possibility of extending across Canada the TVA

21 service.

22 188 So, a decision has not been made yet,

23 but we do recognize that the concern is one that is

24 held.

25 189 Now, insofar as religious programs



1 are concerned or religious channels are concerned, I

2 don't know exactly what the situation is for EWTN. I

3 don't know if Mr. Blais can tell us.

4 190 MR. BLAIS: This is an American

5 service, and because of twinning rules with Canadian

6 services, it cannot be --

7 191 THE CHAIRPERSON: Because there is a

8 Canadian equivalent. So of course, we favour the

9 Canadian service.

10 192 However, we do have a Broadcasting

11 Act that says that a balanced viewpoint must be given;

12 and both in radio and TV there are signals -- how can I

13 say it?--there are radio and TV signals that are

14 religious signals in the United States. We cannot just

15 see one faith expressed.

16 193 But under our policy, I am sure that

17 there are possibilities because there are Canadian

18 signals. I don't know if they are available here. I

19 would have to look into the matter.

20 194 I know that in radio there are some

21 in Quebec, in Toronto. There are signals that are

22 offered in TV.

23 195 MR. BLAIS: And in Lethbridge, as

24 well.

25 196 THE CHAIRPERSON: In any case, we



1 will send the information out to you, all the

2 information we have, because I don't want another ice

3 storm in Quebec, that's for sure!

4 197 Thank you very much for

5 participating.

6 198 MR. LEFEBVRE: I would like to thank

7 you, as well.

8 199 THE SECRETARY: Our next participant

9 this afternoon is Mr. Michael Walters. It doesn't

10 appear that Mr. Walters is here right now, so we will

11 recall him later.

12 200 Would Mr. Ivor Dent come forward,

13 please, representing Alberta Council on Aging.

14 201 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon and

15 welcome, Mr. Dent.

16 1643


18 202 MR. DENT: Good afternoon, Madam

19 Chairman.

20 203 First, I would like to commend you

21 and the members of the CRTC in seeing how valuable such

22 opportunities as this are, I think, to the citizens of

23 the country and to the support that really you want to

24 see as members of your Commission.

25 204 However, I may not be as friendly as



1 some of the others, so I think you have heard from me

2 once before, in another arena.

3 205 As a Board member, I represent the

4 Alberta Council on Aging, an organization with members

5 from all areas of Alberta. We work together to assist

6 seniors and ourselves to enjoy more positive lives.

7 206 This submission is designed to

8 persuade television programming -- not you necessarily,

9 but television programming -- to be more senior-

10 friendly by providing programs that enrich and enhance

11 seniors and everyone's lives.

12 207 There is considerable merit in some

13 television today. However, there is also a tremendous

14 opportunity for improvement.

15 208 I will concentrate on the need and

16 visit one possible solution. I am certain that experts

17 will know of many more and can suggest others.

18 209 But I believe that in many parts of

19 Alberta today there are some 72 cable channels

20 available. Of these, the PBS station from Spokane,

21 judging by seniors' comments, seems to be a stand-out

22 among them.

23 210 Alberta seniors comment positively on

24 the drama, films, comedies, particularly British

25 comedies, the music, operas and orchestras, commentary



1 -- although they do wish that it were Canadian -- and

2 all the programs generally on travel, the natural

3 world, senior fitness, and so on, that that channel

4 puts on.

5 211 On almost all other channels, the few

6 good programs and the bad alike, are interrupted and

7 interspersed by shouted, tedious, deadingly repetitive

8 and distasteful advertising. Maybe this advertising

9 can be a blessing for seniors as many probably need

10 more frequent bathroom breaks!

11 212 An educated guess shows that at least

12 45 percent of the Spokane PBS station's funding comes

13 from Canada. Canadians do demonstrate a desire to pay

14 the costs of good programming, for they pay what they

15 do, and they have to pay it without any tax

16 concessions. And I am not suggesting, nor are we

17 suggesting, that there should be.

18 213 Does the existing situation arise

19 from the fact there are so many channels available and

20 such competition exists for the commercial revenue that

21 stations like CRUD or CRAP cannot afford to buy or

22 produce desirable programming.

23 214 Television: What a gift it could be.

24 What a powerful potential, educational, cultural,

25 entertaining and uplifting experience it could be with



1 proper program production and/or purchase. However, the

2 will to improve it must exist and possibly people on

3 the CRTC might be to first think in that area.

4 215 We are repeatedly told that we can

5 afford no better, as a nation, as a province and as

6 individuals.

7 216 This has to be false for we already

8 pay formidable additional costs caused by advertising

9 our food, shelter, clothing, transportation,

10 communications. Indeed, all our consumer goods and

11 services include the expense of advertising through

12 radio, flyers, newspaper, TV and so on -- all of the

13 media.

14 217 Let's find a way to divert, perhaps

15 by way of a surcharge, some of those advertising

16 dollars into producing and/or purchasing outstanding

17 programs.

18 218 For example, the diverted dollars

19 could go to the National Film Board for more of its

20 renowned work. Those programs could be made available

21 to the CBC, to Canadian commercial stations and to yet-

22 to-be established, I hope, Canadian PBS channels, and

23 given to them at little or no cost.

24 219 Finally, let's tell the Canadian

25 government to release its stranglehold on the CBC.



1 Give back its funding and provide funds for another CBC

2 channel -- yet another CBC channel -- one without

3 advertising.

4 220 Madam Chairman, thank you for the

5 opportunity to say something like this on behalf of our

6 segment of Alberta seniors. I believe such

7 opportunities as this, I repeat, deserve our sincere

8 appreciation.

9 221 I would like to present to the CRTC

10 through you, Madam Chairman, with a senior friendly

11 tool kit, the development of which was sponsored by the

12 Alberta Council on Aging through a grant from Health

13 Canada.

14 222 Interestingly enough, it contains a

15 short video, produced at a reasonable cost, which is a

16 humorous look at the so-called "generation gap".

17 223 Thank you so much.


19 very much. I am sure it is not often that we hear such

20 an eloquent comment on the importance of quality

21 programming and the existence of quality programming in

22 this country through such organizations as the NFB and

23 the CBC -- speaking very objectively, of course!

24 225 You do raise a very important

25 question which I believe is at the centre of our



1 discussions starting today and throughout the next few

2 months. And I am sure we all appreciate very much the

3 public comment you have made on the value of television

4 to our society -- and programming.

5 226 It is very interesting to hear from

6 the Council on Aging and the obvious work that you are

7 doing in terms of the support, not only for seniors in

8 our society, but our society as a whole, as health

9 changes in this country are changing your role as well.

10 227 Again, we are talking about

11 partnership. How that all will come together in terms

12 of some of your suggestions, we are looking at all

13 different kinds of solutions over the next few months.

14 So we really appreciate your giving some time to not

15 only the problems but the solutions as well.

16 228 Would you like to add anything to

17 that, Madam Chair?



20 very much.

21 231 MR. DENT: Thank you.

22 232 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will watch the

23 video, that's for sure. Thank you very much.

24 233 THE SECRETARY: Our next presenter is

25 Mrs. Carol Tsutsumi.



1 234 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon and

2 welcome.

3 1651


5 235 MS TSUTSUMI: Thank you. Good

6 afternoon.

7 236 Thank you for this opportunity.

8 237 Canadian television programming is

9 extremely important to all Canadians whether they

10 realize it or not.

11 238 This programming should reflect our

12 views, and when we are lucky enough to see some

13 Canadian written and produced material, we see that it

14 does reflect our very unique Canadian views.

15 239 We believe in the dignity of all

16 members of society, and we reject the attempts to teach

17 and perpetuate misogynistic attitudes, sex role

18 stereotyping and glorification of violence.

19 240 I am concerned, firstly, about

20 children's programming; secondly, about adult

21 programming; and finally, about the long-term effects

22 of such programming.

23 241 Consider Sailor Moon, a very popular

24 show originally from Japan -- signs in the background

25 are written in Oriental script.



1 242 Proponents hail it as a unique

2 breakthrough in providing a strong role model for

3 preteen girls, as it stars a girl. It is a good

4 counterpart to the usual male role models, they say.

5 243 In reality, there is always a male

6 who comes to the rescue and issues statements of wisdom

7 to diffuse the crisis.

8 244 In reality, there are some harmful

9 lessons being perpetrated here.

10 245 Some of the dialogue in the show is

11 as follows:

12 246 "It's what's inside that counts

13 lady, but you wouldn't

14 understand that."

15 247 "No, you can't be on my team.

16 You wear so much perfume lately

17 that I can't stand to be around

18 you."

19 248 "Here is my good-bye gift to you

20 -- a bomb to blow into

21 chopsticks, a lot more valuable

22 than the junk gifts you gave

23 me."

24 249 "Neither of you has a boyfriend,

25 so you are stuck with us cats."



1 250 A girlfriend asks:

2 251 "I thought I was your

3 girlfriend. Why are you with

4 her?"

5 252 He replies:

6 253 "I can't go anywhere without you

7 checking up on me."

8 254 She laments:

9 255 "Darrien left me. There must be

10 a logical reason. I will figure

11 it out and win him back."

12 256 Another character says:

13 257 "You need to apologize or you

14 will lose him for good."

15 258 Girls begin to believe that anything

16 is better than to be without a boyfriend, even

17 tolerating belittlement, insults and criticism.

18 259 They learn through this show to

19 tolerate all the behaviours of victims of abuse, to

20 blame themselves, believe put-downs, minimize the

21 seriousness, to feel ashamed and secretive, to be

22 confused because love and affection are present at

23 times.

24 260 In addition to the negative message,

25 the tone of the message is negative. Cranky voices are



1 used all the time in this show. Imitation of that tone

2 of voice gets to be a habit in real life.

3 261 Another cartoon, a foreign cartoon,

4 is Power Rangers with its name calling, derision and

5 punishment as ideals, not to mention the kicking.

6 262 Let me quote from one episode. Lace

7 Face:

8 263 "You are pathetic. I am going

9 to destroy you. I have to

10 penalize this guy."

11 264 What do the children see? -- that the

12 resolution to conflict is violence.

13 265 Since toy manufacturers market toys

14 through children's television shows such as the ones

15 above and Masters of the Universe, GI Joe and

16 Transformers, children are watching fun violence and

17 bringing their courage to imitate it with their toys.

18 266 The violence is kept uppermost in

19 their minds through products such as pyjamas and

20 cereals with logos of these heroes and heroines.

21 267 The supposedly good Sesame Street

22 show teaches rudeness. Statements on one episode --

23 well, repeated episodes:

24 268 "You dummy."

25 269 Ernie says to Bert:



1 270 "Turn down the radio."

2 271 The reply is:

3 272 "Turn it down yourself."

4 273 And the attitude:

5 274 "I am bored."

6 275 Compare these to a Canadian

7 children's show such as Mr. Dressup. The tone is very

8 low key and so not overstimulating, as are the

9 aforementioned shows with their fast-paced, emotional

10 evocations.

11 276 Good manners are learned by example,

12 and greeting protocols are demonstrated. For example:

13 "Welcome to our house" and "Good-bye" at the end.

14 277 The children are exposed to socially

15 acceptable ways to negotiate and are exposed to and

16 therefore begin to develop a sense of humour.

17 278 Mr. Dressup fosters discovery,

18 creativity and divergent thinking. Children, after an

19 episode in which Mr. Dressup role plays at being a

20 robot, cowboy, musician and ball player, use their

21 initiative to role play peaceful situations, not

22 fraught with sexual overtones.

23 279 One episode covers all the curriculum

24 areas one would expect to see in a good kindergarten

25 program from music, through science, to construction.



1 280 Mr. Dressup constructs a musical

2 instrument out of found objects. He connects a mouth

3 piece to one end of a hose and funnel to the other to

4 create a trumpet.

5 281 Some parents complain because of the

6 activities done, children ask for the same materials

7 such as glue, scissors, felt pens and dressup clothes,

8 and this is too messy and untidy for some parents. But

9 ultimately, it develops the better adjusted, all-around

10 child.

11 282 Can pro-social TV such as Mr. Dressup

12 make a difference? According to research cited by

13 Sterling Honig in "Television and Young Children," in

14 the periodical Research and Review pro-social TV

15 increased task performance, self-control, tolerance for

16 delay, cooperative play, and verbalization of feeling.

17 283 Now, for the adult programming. Some

18 foreign, so-called erotic movie was on our TV. I see

19 nothing inherently wrong with eroticism.

20 284 However, this was mislabelled. There

21 was no eroticism to it at all. It was misogyny of the

22 worst ilk.

23 285 Two women hired a man to star in

24 their video. They had him straddle a sawhorse and put

25 weights on his feet. They put a table saw close to him



1 and then informed him that they were going for dinner.

2 When they came back he was dead.

3 286 As bad as the fact that the man was

4 snuffed was the message that women are evil. When

5 women are evil, they are far more evil than men.

6 287 Compare this to a Canadian-made show,

7 starring Marc Strange. There was nudity in the context

8 of tender, caring emotions. The nudity was not used

9 for sensationalism but was a natural part of the story

10 and the plot.

11 288 How does all this affect people long

12 term?-- both those who watch the misogynistic and the

13 violent and those of us who have to negotiate our way

14 through life with these "hate" watchers.

15 289 Dr. Slaby, senior scientist at the

16 Education Development Centre and lecturer at Harvard

17 University, is a developmental psychologist who has

18 investigated violence for nearly 25 years.

19 290 He spoke at the Alberta Teachers

20 Association convention in Calgary, in 1994. My summary

21 of his address is always follows: He refuted the

22 allegations that there have been no studies that prove

23 that media violence increases violent behaviour.

24 291 Citing only two such studies, a 33-

25 year and a 22-year longitudinal study, he states



1 emphatically that there is much proof supporting the

2 fact that violence breeds violence.

3 292 The media makes sure the violence is

4 clean, justified, effective and manly, thereby

5 increasing one's appetite for it. Then the media

6 moguls can say, "We are just giving you what you want."

7 293 The effects of TV and film violence

8 according to Dr. Slaby's research are: The aggressor

9 effect - it increases meanness; number two, the victim

10 effect - increases fear, mistrust and self-protective

11 behaviour; three, the bystander effect - it increases

12 callousness, insensitivity and behavioural apathy;

13 number 4, the appetite effect - it increases desire for

14 media violence and participation in violent events.

15 294 The remedies to TV violence: Number

16 one, reduce violent programming; two, require TV to

17 serve the educational needs of children regarding

18 violence; number three, require truth in labelling

19 regarding violence; number four, develop critical

20 viewing thinking skills regarding violence; number

21 five, develop effective public health education

22 campaign involving media and outreach activities to

23 prevent violence.

24 295 In conclusion, having pointed out the

25 deleterious content of some foreign programming and



1 having contrasted that with the much superior Canadian

2 content, I plead with you and demand from you

3 programming that we know we need, not what some think

4 they want after having had their appetites developed by

5 someone other than themselves.

6 296 One American Vietnam veteran, in a

7 post-war evaluation of how he could have carried out

8 the atrocities that he and some others did, lamented

9 that, "American males are allowed two emotions: to hate

10 and to be horny."

11 297 We need a choice to watch

12 entertainment that allows us, as Canadians, to have a

13 glimpse into the human condition to see the gamut of

14 human emotions, as opposed to being limited to the

15 foreign content emphasizing the worst in human nature.

16 298 Whether we want to admit it or not,

17 given that TV is automatically a powerful teaching

18 instrument and not just an innocuous presence, and

19 given that all age groups watch many hours of TV, we

20 have need to have programming that will help develop

21 and maintain pro-social beings, not contribute to

22 gallows fodder.

23 299 Thank you.

24 300 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very

25 much. It certainly addresses a very interesting point



1 of view, the questions that we will be addressing the

2 next few months.

3 301 As you know, the violence issue is a

4 very important one to the Commission. There has been a

5 long process on this, and there has been a

6 collaborative effort from the industry to really take

7 responsibility and really kind of do and participate in

8 the education of the public and the responsibility of

9 the public itself in terms of the icons that are shown

10 when there are some violent programs.

11 302 But I retained from your presentation

12 something more interesting, and it is your comparison

13 with Mr. Dressup and even Sesame Street. I was a bit

14 surprised -- and I remember the days where my daughter,

15 who is now 26 -- but I remember the days where she was

16 watching Mr. Dressup, Polka Dot Door and Sesame Street.

17 303 It is an interesting thing you are

18 bringing, the way we treat the questions or we do

19 programs is differently, even if we don't have that as

20 being an objective or a goal, but just by being who we

21 are.

22 304 If we want to promote Canadian

23 values, and our sense of identity and what makes us so

24 different, I retain from your presentation that it is

25 very important that we cherish somehow Canadian content



1 for that very reason, and especially for our children.

2 305 So, thank you for having taken the

3 time to share that with us.

4 306 MS TSUTSUMI: Thank you.

5 307 MS VOGEL: Our next presenter is Mr.

6 Stephen Carter. I don't see Mr. Carter.

7 308 I would like to invite Mr. Ed Wolf to

8 make his presentation, please.

9 309 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, Mr.

10 Wolf.

11 1703


13 310 MR. WOLF: Good afternoon. My name

14 is Ed Wolf. I appreciate the opportunity to appear on

15 behalf of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre.

16 311 I inquired of the CRTC a few years

17 ago what it would cost to attempt to put a radio

18 station together. They said the application would

19 probably run about a million dollars.

20 312 My main concern is diversity in the

21 media, and Conrad Black has limited that quite a bit in

22 the press, and our radio stations and TV here seem to

23 be very much lacking balance.

24 313 Perhaps the main aspects of it are

25 that the business position is presented very heavily,



1 and I would say it is not a very balanced presentation.

2 Even when some stations, TV and others, put on some

3 kind of a panel, it is often composed of the type of

4 columnists that we have in the Conrad Black papers. I

5 feel that is a severe lack of balance in public

6 interest matters.

7 314 The VLTs in Alberta, for instance,

8 are now around for six or seven years, and we are only

9 beginning to hear some of the downsides of the VLTs,

10 which take 2.5 billion a year out of Albertans. Their

11 take is so excessive that it exceeds the petroleum and

12 natural gas royalties.

13 315 Things of this sort have an effect of

14 downloading on to the public all manner of public

15 services, to the detriment of Medicare, social services

16 and education.

17 316 Things that have so long well

18 deserved support, like the Children's Hospital and

19 others, now have to rely on lotteries and things of

20 that sort.

21 317 I find that the media of TV and radio

22 do not adequately bring both sides of these issues

23 forward. It is extremely out of balance.

24 318 The Lubicon, for instance, have

25 endured 60 years of lack of treaty and many



1 discriminatory takings of both their trees and their

2 petroleum and natural gas rights. These things do not

3 get adequate airing in the press, and to me it's a form

4 of racism.

5 319 We have largely what I would call

6 "red neck" radio in Alberta, as far as talk shows go.

7 The hosts tend to either screen the people that come on

8 to the programs or make sure that they dump them or

9 insult them fairly quickly, or cut them off.

10 320 I would say that it's a need for some

11 kind of a modestly funded, easily applied approach to

12 independent radio, like a volunteer radio -- they have

13 them in the U.S.

14 321 One is called Radio Free Berkeley.

15 They had to go around in a truck and broadcast for a

16 time to keep from being pinpointed because all the

17 volunteers were saying things that the FCC didn't want

18 to hear. They were finally granted a license.

19 322 It seems to me that it is time for

20 radio in Canada, which is cheap enough that volunteers

21 could make some use of it, would be funded in a

22 volunteer way. If it costs a million dollars to apply,

23 that would wreck the promise of such an approach.

24 323 I am very familiar with the National

25 Energy Board, and I don't know how the members of the



1 CRTC are selected. But the National Energy Board is

2 entirely staffed with people who are seconded largely

3 from industry.

4 324 In attending there for 25 to 30

5 years, as an intervenor, we have never -- public

6 interest groups have never won a single issue in front

7 of that Board.

8 325 While I wouldn't claim to demean this

9 Board that way, if it costs a million dollars to

10 approach it for a radio station, that is extremely

11 difficult to justify, as far as I am concerned.

12 326 The downloading of public interest

13 funding in Alberta has reached an extreme where I think

14 there are some 250 new charges and fees that amount to

15 $350 million a year.

16 327 People do not realize adequately --

17 and they don't hear it adequately -- that funding of

18 public interest matters needs to be based on ability to

19 pay, rather than who wants to win a home, or something

20 like that, for the Children's Hospital. It is simply

21 out of sight in our community here to bring these

22 things forward.

23 328 The Mayor has -- I won't keep you too

24 long -- the Mayor has an enviro show down at City Hall

25 now. It is totally superficial and trivial. They have



1 skits and things like that which are entertaining to

2 grade schoolers.

3 329 But the real issues of environment --

4 the Bow River basin, over logging in the foothills and

5 many pollution concerns, air emission concerns, the

6 watershed -- are not in any way dealt with.

7 330 Our city, as an environmental entity,

8 does no audits. Our province does no audits, and our

9 national or federal things -- and these matters do no

10 audits.

11 331 For public interest advocates to get

12 these matters on public media is well nigh impossible.

13 And that is why I am here today, to bring these things

14 to your attention.

15 332 The matters are very difficult for

16 public interest people, who deal in that, to approach

17 in any way and get attention.

18 333 It is very valid to say that some of

19 these radio stations are simply "red neck" radio. They

20 do not have any pretence of balance, and they are ugly

21 toward people who would like to bring things to their

22 listeners' attention.

23 334 I don't know whether I am out of time

24 yet or not.




1 Mr. Wolf. You have raised some important issues

2 centered on the importance of diversity in programming

3 in television and radio in this country.

4 336 MR. WOLF: I am a little hard of

5 hearing. I can't hear what you are saying.


7 I will speak louder. Is that better?

8 338 I am saying that your remarks are

9 very important in terms -- particularly as I understand

10 your theme to be diversity in programming, across the

11 system throughout this country.

12 339 I am sure that we will want to

13 consider a number of points similar to that as we go

14 through upcoming reviews on campus radio, on community

15 radio because, of course, we must look at all forms of

16 radio in this country, not just commercial radio, which

17 is, I think, one of the issues you were particularly

18 concerned about.

19 340 Would you like to add anything?


21 342 MS PENNYFATHER: Thank you very much

22 for bringing your points to us today.

23 343 MR. WOLF: I would like to conclude

24 with a quote to this effect: "Barbarism is the system

25 to which no appeal can be made". Jose Ortega y Gasset



1 said that.

2 344 It is very much, it seems to me, what

3 we are burdened with in public media today.

4 345 Thank you.


6 very much.

7 347 THE SECRETARY: Our next presenter is

8 Mr. Ron Bremner, and I don't see him here.

9 348 Is Mr. Ian Proctor here?

10 349 Then I would like to recall two of

11 the earlier presenters: Christine Wandzura. Has she

12 arrived? Could you come forward, please.

13 350 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon and

14 welcome to the meeting.

15 351 MS WANDZURA: Good afternoon. Sorry

16 I'm late. I believed my appointment was for 5 o'clock.

17 352 THE CHAIRPERSON: No problem.

18 1714


20 353 MS WANDZURA: Thank you for the

21 opportunity, first of all. I don't have anything

22 formal prepared, and the reason for that is I am

23 speaking here on behalf of the A-Channel and the

24 positive impact that it has had on our organization

25 over the past couple of months.



1 354 I work for Kids Cancer Camps of

2 Alberta, and over the months of April and May, the

3 A-Channel has provided some on-air opportunities for us

4 that have really helped us increase the awareness of

5 our organization in the community and has had some

6 pretty big impacts on some of our children that

7 participated in the program.

8 355 First of all, our goals are to

9 provide programs and activities that improve self-

10 esteem, sense of control and allow kids to be kids

11 again. In a phrase: To regain a precious piece of

12 childhood that cancer has tried to take away from them.

13 356 In April, I did an interview on

14 A-Channel with one of our campers, and he is a young

15 man that has gone through a great deal of treatment and

16 has endured a lot of side effects.

17 357 The interview that we did with

18 A-Channel that day was a really good experience for

19 Christopher. He was presented at the end of the

20 program with a Roots hat that are very hard to get a

21 hold of.

22 358 He has endured a lot of ridicule from

23 his classmates, and quite literally when he was given

24 this Roots cap -- a very simple gesture on behalf of

25 the A-Channel -- he went back to school where he has,



1 as I said before, endured a lot of ridicule because of

2 his size, because of the effects of cancer and the

3 treatment, that it has had on him, that he was just

4 able to function a lot better within his junior high

5 school setting. That was an important thing that I

6 really wanted to bring forward to you today.

7 359 The next thing is in mid May, we did

8 what was called "The Big Sleepover" at A-Channel. It

9 was, in fact, bringing a piece of what we do so well

10 with the kids out in the wilderness into the studio.

11 360 It was just an incredibly remarkable

12 experience for the kids that participated in it. What

13 they did was talked about camping programs all week,

14 and with the assistance of our program coordinator,

15 brought awareness of the Kids Cancer Camps and what our

16 programs do for kids, as well as just camping programs

17 overall, in general, to the public.

18 361 It culminated Thursday night with the

19 kids coming and sleeping over in the studio, getting

20 the tents sponsored, so they did some fund raising for

21 us, too.

22 362 But the big thing was that it in fact

23 pulled our goals of what we try so hard to do

24 throughout the year in giving the kids back some kind

25 of experience that they are going to be able to take



1 with them, no matter where that road lies for them.

2 363 So, they made a video that night and

3 did their own Big Breakfast Show, which was just

4 incredible. They had the videos ready for them the

5 next day. The kids took them home with them.

6 364 They slept over in the tents, and the

7 next day did the whole show with the host of the show.

8 365 I think a couple of the kids -- since

9 then one wants to go into broadcasting, which isn't an

10 unlikely thing for kids to do, especially after making

11 their own video.

12 366 Another child that has been affected

13 very adversely from cancer and its side effects -- this

14 is a little anecdotal message that was given to me by

15 his mother today -- his treatment has left him very

16 much autistic-like and he does not speak a lot to other

17 kids.

18 367 Since his appearance -- and he

19 actually was speaking to the host of the show, Dave

20 Kelly -- he has started talking again at school, and

21 his mother is just totally flabbergasted.

22 368 I think it is because he was met so

23 positively by Dave and the experience that he had that

24 Dave just brought him out, and he was able to witness

25 that afterwards by watching the video that they had



1 produced for the kids, that he saw what he could do,

2 and it had an incredible effect on him.

3 369 I don't know how long it's going to

4 last, but what we take for now is just gravy in this

5 world.

6 370 So that is all I wanted to say to you

7 today. I cannot thank A-Channel enough for the

8 experience, the exposure, the help with our fund

9 raising, the overall awareness of our small

10 organization. It has just had a really positive impact

11 on us.

12 371 Thank you.

13 372 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you

14 very much. It's certainly very moving to hear you talk

15 on the importance of that kind of partnership and that

16 kind of involvement from a television station.

17 373 The necessity of the involvement in

18 the community is certainly what has made the success of

19 the broadcasters in Canada. Thank you very much.

20 374 MS WANDZURA: Thank you.


22 376 THE SECRETARY: I would like to

23 recall Mr. David Johnston.

24 377 I notice that Mr. Bremner has

25 arrived. Would it be convenient for you to give your



1 presentation now, Mr. Bremner?

2 378 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.

3 379 MR. BREMNER: Good afternoon. How

4 are you today? Welcome to Calgary.

5 380 THE CHAIRPERSON: We are very well,

6 thank you.

7 1720


9 381 MR. BREMNER: My name is Ron Bremner,

10 and I am President and CEO of the Calgary Flames, and

11 as you can see, we are not playing hockey!

12 382 I am pleased to be able to be here to

13 say a few words on behalf of Calgary 7 Television.

14 383 I should state for the record that we

15 do have a business relationship with Calgary 7. They do

16 carry our hockey broadcasts, but I can tell you that

17 unequivocally, as a former broadcaster and someone

18 who's been involved in this business for many years,

19 this organization goes above and beyond both their

20 commitments to their partners and to the public, vis-a-

21 vis their obligations through their Conditions of

22 License.

23 384 There are on Calgary 7 from time to

24 time promotional spots called "The Spirit of Calgary".

25 But I guess what I would probably like to talk to you



1 about today for a few minutes is "The Spirit of Calgary

2 7".

3 385 Calgary 7 goes out of their way to be

4 able to commit people, resources, time and attention to

5 be able to try and focus on aspects of the community,

6 to be able to help those that are less fortunate, and

7 to be able to also put under the microscope some of

8 those unique aspects and characteristics of Calgary

9 that make this marketplace and make this city and this

10 region so dynamic.

11 386 They do not go about it in a

12 traditional way, shall we say, and just play lip

13 service to doing their obligations to the community.

14 387 Many stations, as I am sure you are

15 aware and I have been aware in the past, will simply do

16 the minimum amount to be able to comply with their

17 obligations to the community. They may not really put

18 a lot of resources, a lot of time, but they will read a

19 script or simply showcase a few things from the

20 community.

21 388 Through the Spirit of 7 commercials

22 that Calgary 7 has aired, they have put a tremendous

23 amount of time and resources into showcasing this

24 community in a very creative, innovative and smartly

25 packaged manner to be able to give the viewer the



1 opportunity to see what the community is doing in a

2 very, very professional manner. They entertain the

3 public with their community service work.

4 389 I think that is important because the

5 viewers today are bombarded by so many messages that if

6 you don't do it in a creative way -- albeit it's

7 something that you want to provide to the community and

8 let them know what the right things are that are

9 happening out there -- they won't watch.

10 390 The other aspect that I think is

11 important is the total commitment of the staff,

12 especially the on-air people of Calgary 7, to be able

13 to put back into the community.

14 391 Someone once said that the difference

15 between managers and leaders are that managers do

16 things right, but leaders do the right thing. I can

17 tell you from personal experience that the people at

18 Calgary 7 do the right thing in the community.

19 392 Time and again, I have been at

20 functions and on podiums with people like Ed Whalen --

21 who just celebrated over 50 years in broadcasting --

22 Linda Olsen, Gord Visutti(ph), Grant Polluck and others

23 from Calgary 7 who give up a tremendous amount of time

24 to go out and make a difference in the community and to

25 really be able to use their professional expertise, to



1 be able to use their resources, to be able to use all

2 of the tools at their disposal, both creative and

3 otherwise, to be able to help those who may not be in a

4 position to help themselves.

5 393 I think last weekend was a very good

6 example with the Children's Telethon. They did a

7 tremendous amount of work there, and I know -- having

8 been involved in these efforts in an earlier life in

9 Vancouver with telethons, I can say they do it in a

10 very, very professional manner, with outstanding

11 results.

12 394 So I think the essence of my message

13 today would simply be that these fine individuals and,

14 collectively, fine team at Calgary 7 really do not only

15 live up to their obligations in the community, but

16 exceed them by a wide margin in terms of what I think

17 anyone, whether they be on your side of the table or on

18 the community's side of the table, might normally

19 expect.


21 very much for coming. I really appreciate, and I know

22 the Chair appreciates hearing, as she said earlier, how

23 things are really happening out there in the community.

24 396 I am sure we appreciate your telling

25 us the story of how Channel 7 is supporting the



1 community at large, and best of luck.

2 397 MR. BREMNER: Thank you very much.

3 398 THE SECRETARY: I would like to

4 recall Michael Walters. Has he arrived?

5 399 Stephen Carter...?

6 400 Mr. Ian Proctor...?

7 401 Madam Chair, this might be an

8 opportune moment to take a break. We are in your

9 hands.

10 402 THE CHAIRPERSON: What a good idea.

11 Let's take a break, and we will be back in 15 minutes

12 and maybe that will allow time for the people to

13 arrive.

14 403 Thank you.

15 --- Recess at 1726 / Suspension à 1726

16 --- Resumed at 1750 / Reprise à 1750

17 404 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will begin

18 again. So we will pursue -- I don't know if we have

19 some participants or intervenors who have arrived

20 405 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam

21 Chair. I would like to invite Patrick Mahaffey to

22 present.

23 406 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.

24 407 MR. MAHAFFEY: Good afternoon.

25 408 THE CHAIRPERSON: It is almost good



1 evening.

2 409 MR. MAHAFFEY: You are right, 10 to

3 6.

4 410 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome.

5 1750


7 411 MR. MAHAFFEY: My name is Patrick

8 Mahaffey. I am not representing any particular group,

9 although I must say that the only way I heard about

10 this Hearing was through a mailing from the Friends of

11 Canadian Broadcasting, whom I support.

12 412 First of all, I must say that I am

13 not an active TV watcher -- I haven't been for most of

14 my adult life -- largely because I have a feeling of

15 the low quality, and a concern about the superficiality

16 of most programming has led me to feel that it is

17 really a waste of time. But that is a gross

18 generalization, I know.

19 413 However, I must admit that TV is

20 probably the most influential medium in the modern

21 world, so obviously it is an important issue. So, I

22 thought I would just express a few opinions, since I

23 have heard some of them this evening and some I have

24 not from other presenters.

25 414 I am primarily concerned about the



1 American domination of programming content in Canada,

2 and I know that is an ongoing issue and struggle.

3 415 On the other hand, I am concerned and

4 disappointed about the popularity of the American PBS

5 station in Alberta. It is disappointing that we aren't

6 able to achieve something like that in a Canadian

7 station.

8 416 It is unfortunate that it has such a

9 large membership and then such large donations from at

10 least Western Canadians. It just seems to me that is a

11 siphoning off of a lot of private funds which could

12 perhaps help more local programming.

13 417 I strongly support the CRTC's

14 requirements for substantial Canadian content in all

15 types of programming for private TV stations. I hope

16 that continues.

17 418 And finally, regarding public

18 television, I am very upset about the continuing

19 decline in funding to CBC, which really should be our

20 flagship, I think, in TV in Canada and a role model for

21 private broadcasting.

22 419 That is all I have to say. Thank

23 you.

24 420 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very

25 much. I was wondering, listening to you, what is your



1 assessment --

2 421 Although you have said that you don't

3 watch much TV -- but I understand very much, and

4 especially with your belonging to Friends of

5 Broadcasting, your strong support for the CBC -- what

6 about the special channels in Canada? Do you find they

7 are a plus in the landscape of television? Do you

8 feel, in terms of what they bring, in terms of Canadian

9 content it is valuable? Do you have any ideas about

10 that?

11 422 MR. MAHAFFEY: I am not familiar with

12 most of them so I shouldn't really say.

13 423 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much

14 for having taken the time to come and meet with us.

15 Thank you.

16 424 THE SECRETARY: Our next participant

17 is Mr. Jim Bagshaw, WIC Canada.

18 425 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.

19 426 MR. BAGSHAW: Good afternoon, and

20 thank you and indeed welcome to Alberta and welcome to

21 Calgary.

22 427 I understand you are going to have

23 the opportunity to spend some time in our mountains,

24 and I hope our weather is warm and delightful for you.

25 428 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very



1 much.

2 1754


4 429 MR. BAGSHAW: My name is Jim Bagshaw.

5 I am President and CEO of WIC Alberta, which consists

6 of television stations ITV in Edmonton; CICT in

7 Calgary; RDTV in Red Deer; and CISA in Lethbridge.

8 430 WIC will be filing a formal

9 submission at the end of this month in response to the

10 policy review on Canadian television and will be

11 appearing at the Hearing this fall.

12 431 This sweeping review is occurring in

13 the context of an increasing globalization of the

14 communication environment and expanding choices for

15 consumers.

16 432 As the Commission has noted, we will

17 all collectively need to come up with innovative

18 strategies to ensure the continued success of Canadian

19 television programming in the next century.

20 433 There will likely be a great deal of

21 emphasis on Canadian drama in these proceedings. WIC,

22 as a major broadcaster, has great interests in ensuring

23 the Canadian under-represented programming continues to

24 thrive nationally and attract attention worldwide.

25 434 The purpose of my appearance here



1 today is to say that we should also not lose sight of

2 the critical role that broadcasters play in their local

3 communities at a station level.

4 435 Through our news and public affairs

5 programming, our support of local organizations and

6 charitable events, local broadcasters are deeply routed

7 in their communities. It will, therefore, also be

8 important in these proceedings to ensure that

9 broadcasters continue to have the resources to cover

10 breaking news stories, broadcast live telethons in

11 support of worthy local causes, and generally to

12 maintain that vital link to their communities and their

13 local audiences.

14 436 In this increasingly competitive

15 broadcasting environment, financial resources are

16 finite. The trick will be able to come up with a

17 framework that balances competing objectives and

18 achieves maximum benefits for all elements of the

19 broadcasting system.

20 437 I welcome the opportunity today in

21 addressing items that may not necessarily come in our

22 normal regulatory process. Quite often we get, I

23 think, caught up in the headlines when we think of

24 Baton and WIC and CanWest and all the national systems.

25 In reality, we are all local and very involved in our



1 communities.

2 438 WIC, for example, is not a national

3 system. We are a variety of stations. We are CTV

4 stations; we are CBC; and we are independent stations.

5 439 In Alberta, we are three independent

6 stations and one CBC station. Our oldest station is 43

7 years old; our youngest, ITV in Edmonton, is 25. All

8 of those years have been dedicated to community

9 commitments and local and community involvements.

10 440 In preparation for today, I asked my

11 management earlier in the week to provide me with what

12 we have done in the community in the last year. I

13 received a list literally of hundreds of involvement

14 that we have, so I certainly don't intend to burden you

15 with that today. My intent will be just to review a

16 few highlights.

17 441 I would like to start off with news,

18 simply because news is such a major item for us.

19 442 We are committed to news in a very

20 large way. Our staff complement in Alberta is 400; 190

21 of those are dedicated to producing news seven days a

22 week.

23 443 We produce 67 hours of news a week

24 between ITV and Calgary 7 alone. News for us is a top

25 priority. We know Albertans depend on it.



1 444 We have a very unique weather system.

2 It is unique in Canada. It's a weather metric system

3 that broadcasts weather live as it is happening, so

4 that you can find out temperatures throughout the

5 province anywhere from one of our stations; for

6 example, finding out what the temperature might be if

7 you want to go skiing in Lake Louise, in Calgary or

8 Edmonton or any of our markets.

9 445 We are there in times of crises.

10 Recently, there was a major flood in Lethbridge. CISA,

11 our station there, covered live reports all the way

12 through to the finish of the floods, produced

13 documentaries that ended up with a CANPRO and CAB Gold

14 Ribbon Awards for both.

15 446 Following on the heels of the floods,

16 the worst fire in a century occurred in the same area.

17 CISA was there again to provide coverage all the way

18 through the fire, the events and finally ending with

19 PSAs looking for support from the community to help the

20 survivors of the communities that had to be evacuated.

21 447 That same kind of dedication to

22 Calgary's worst snowstorm just recently, approximately

23 a month and a half ago, was again brought to the table

24 through our Calgary 7 newsroom. Our reporters were

25 actually digging people out of the ditches between



1 reports.

2 448 If you recall during the Gulf War

3 everybody relied on CNN. We like to think that

4 Albertans turn to us when there is a local crisis.

5 449 In regards to community, as I

6 mentioned, we have hundreds of events that go on all

7 year from all of our stations. We provide roughly $2

8 million in PSA support a year.

9 450 On top of that, there are many

10 programs that we produce separate from the PSA support,

11 such as farm and safety programs in our Lethbridge

12 station, to "Grow a Row" for food banks, to "Coats for

13 Kids" in our Edmonton and Calgary stations.

14 451 We do the First Night Celebrations in

15 Edmonton for New Years, through to the WIC Cares Big

16 Brothers and Big Sisters campaign that we are doing

17 nationwide this year, and of course, through to larger

18 events like telethons.

19 452 The Children's Miracle Network

20 Telethon was on this weekend, and between Calgary and

21 Edmonton, we generated $3.2 million. That money stays

22 locally here to help our kids.

23 453 We created an ad campaign a few years

24 ago, "If you drink then drive, you're a bloody idiot".

25 That campaign cost us over half a million dollars in



1 production and roughly $2 million in airtime.

2 454 It got the message through. Not only

3 did we receive acclaim in the province, but national

4 acclaim in Canada and international acclaim.

5 455 Gord Steinke, our anchor in Edmonton,

6 unfortunately had his sister killed two years ago by a

7 drunk driver. Gord has become a very high profile

8 speaker for us in regards to that very key issue.

9 456 One other unique item we started in

10 Edmonton, and I thought I would like to mention, is a

11 program called "Women of Vision". It is news features

12 that we feature throughout year, and we feature the

13 accomplishments and visions of one woman each month.

14 457 We culminate that with a very large

15 luncheon on International Women's Day and salute those

16 12 women that have been featured throughout the year.

17 458 The luncheons have become very

18 popular. In the last two years, we have had 700 people

19 at each. We are moving into a new location because we

20 could have well oversold that. We are now expanding

21 that same Women of Vision into Calgary, and we actually

22 start it next week, on June the 10th.

23 459 The money from the luncheons are used

24 for scholarships for young women.

25 460 Another unique thing we are doing in



1 the community is a similar meeting to this, only not

2 quite as formal, called our "Community Forum". It is

3 very much like the town hall meeting, the difference

4 being that our anchors act as hosts and we go visit

5 community halls at their request and bring their

6 concerns to the community through features on our news.

7 461 From the programming side, along with

8 our news events, we produce now more local programming

9 than we ever had since sign-on. A large portion of

10 that is news, but we are involved in many special

11 events throughout the year, such as the Calgary

12 Stampede, Klondike Days, Crime Stoppers, The Miracle

13 Network, that I just mentioned, and the First Night

14 Festivals.

15 462 More recently we just produced the

16 AMPIA awards that ran on our stations throughout the

17 province.

18 463 As well, we have several programs

19 that are under development by local folks that we are

20 hoping to turn into series. Actually, there are six

21 underway at the moment.

22 464 As a point of interest, one of our

23 reporters from Calgary 7 is accompanying Sheldon

24 Kennedy on his rollerblade event across Canada. He

25 will be with him for three months, and we will be



1 producing and airing a documentary at the completion of

2 that.

3 465 In summation, the local WIC

4 television stations are here to provide a vital link

5 with the local community. News, special celebrations,

6 local crises and community events are all relayed

7 because we are here.

8 466 All the news specialty channels and

9 distant signals provide none of what we do. We make a

10 tremendous difference to the local community.

11 467 That concludes my remarks here today.

12 I am pleased to note that we did have some positive

13 folks here today.

14 468 I thank you for your time, and any

15 questions I would be happy to answer. Thank you.

16 469 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very

17 much, Mr. Bagshaw. I would be interested to know how

18 you envisage here maybe in Alberta, rather than from a

19 national point of view, but the reality -- you know,

20 what kind of difference you make between your presence,

21 as a broadcaster in the community, and the role

22 fulfilled by the community channels in the distribution

23 system of broadcasting.

24 470 Do you see a difference, and can you

25 qualify it for me, please?



1 471 MR. BAGSHAW: Community channels you

2 mean that appear on cable?

3 472 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, exactly.

4 473 MR. BAGSHAW: Well, there is a

5 dramatic significant difference. I think it has to do

6 with the professionalism that we bring to the market,

7 the people that we bring to the market.

8 474 Most community channels employ

9 students to air their products. We, as you know, spend

10 a great deal of money to provide this infrastructure.

11 475 Community efforts are really driven

12 to a large degree by our news departments, and news is

13 a very, very intense and large effort by all

14 broadcasters right across the country.

15 476 So I think that it is just a quantum

16 leap of differences between the two.

17 477 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you find -- just

18 a last question, because we are here to listen, and

19 that kind of exploration will be much more the ones of

20 the proceeding coming in September.

21 478 But I would be curious to know when

22 you talk about your involvement in the community, is it

23 something that you reach out yourself, or do you find

24 that just being already present by the news and the

25 information and public affair presence that there are a



1 lot of people will come to you that --

2 479 Is it a two-way street, or do you

3 find that it is yourself going out and fetching the --

4 480 MR. BAGSHAW: I think it is very much

5 a two-way street. We certainly do look to support in

6 any effort that we can. By our very presence, we have

7 a lot of people come forward, there is no question.

8 481 But I can't think of any event that

9 any broadcaster -- and I am not meaning just us -- but

10 any event that any broadcaster would turn away.

11 482 We probably go the other way too far

12 sometimes with events that we perhaps don't need to be

13 involved in, but we believe it is a commitment of being

14 part of the community. And we do go far above and

15 beyond what is suggested in the normal regulatory

16 parameters, and hence why I welcome this opportunity to

17 let you know that.

18 483 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very

19 much. You did that very eloquently, and it is helpful

20 for us, too, in terms of understanding and feeling the

21 community. Thank you.

22 484 MR. BAGSHAW: Thank you.

23 485 THE SECRETARY: Our next presenter

24 this evening is Mr. Drew Craig, President of A-Channel

25 486 THE CHAIRPERSON: Hello. Bring all



1 the chairs you need. It is a real team, I see.

2 487 Welcome, Mr. Craig.

3 1808


5 488 MR. CRAIG: Thank you. Madam

6 Chairperson, Commissioner Pennyfather and Commission

7 staff, I would like to welcome you to Calgary and thank

8 you for this opportunity to appear before you today.

9 489 We, like you, would like to apologize

10 for our formality, too, but we wanted to take this

11 opportunity to tell you what we have been up to in the

12 last few months.

13 490 My name is Drew Craig, President of

14 Craig Broadcast Systems; and it is a great pleasure for

15 me to introduce to you some of our management team, who

16 are part of the A-Channel system.

17 491 Appearing with me today is Joanne

18 Levy, Executive Director of the A-Channel Drama Fund.

19 492 Beside Joanne is Jim Haskins, General

20 Manager, A-Channel in Edmonton; Dixie Baum, Promotion

21 Manager, A-Channel Calgary; and Mark Campbell, Director

22 of News and Entertainment Programming in Calgary.

23 493 The last 12 months have been

24 extremely busy, exciting and challenging for our

25 company. We designed and built two state-of-the-art



1 digital television facilities in both Calgary and

2 Edmonton, at a total cost of over $20 million.

3 494 We now employ close to 300 full-time

4 staff in Alberta.

5 495 The two stations launched last

6 September within two days of each other. They were the

7 first new television stations in Calgary and Edmonton

8 in over 25 years.

9 496 We hit the ground running day one,

10 with over 50 hours per week of local production, with

11 our Drama Fund in full gear and with a highly

12 competitive program schedule driven by a huge promotion

13 and marketing effort.

14 497 The launch, however, was not without

15 its challenges and start-up problems. We can all

16 chuckle a bit about those when we look back on them and

17 reflect. But everyone involved in the start-up looked

18 upon this as a great privilege to be part of Canadian

19 television history.

20 498 We are very proud of the look of the

21 service today. After just eight months on the air, we

22 have offered the viewers in Alberta a bright,

23 innovative and exciting local Canadian program service.

24 499 Viewers have responded

25 overwhelmingly. Recent BBM figures confirm that we have



1 already achieved an audience of over 13 percent in both

2 markets in the critical weeknight primetime periods.

3 500 The A-Channel stations both showed

4 solid growth spring over fall, but while this is

5 encouraging, we are still at the building stage.

6 501 I would like to now introduce Mr. Jim

7 Haskins, our General Manager in Edmonton, to talk about

8 A-Channel's service in the province's capital.

9 502 MR. HASKINS: Thank you, Drew. While

10 there are many similarities between A-Channel Calgary

11 and A-Channel Edmonton, the two stations are separate

12 and distinct.

13 503 For A-Channel Edmonton, decisions on

14 which local events, groups and stories are featured in

15 our local programming are made in Edmonton, and not in

16 Calgary.

17 504 Since the launch, we have seen the

18 station totally immerse itself in the community. Our

19 interactive television environment is located at the

20 corner of one of the busiest intersections in the city

21 - Jasper and 102 Avenue.

22 505 Our building is almost wall-to-wall

23 windows, allowing the community to see us work and also

24 allowing us to interact with the public, and this has

25 worked tremendously. For example, we had 250 people in



1 our studio for breakfast one day. That was during the

2 Championship Final Rodeo.

3 506 This year, A-Channel Edmonton was

4 also proud to broadcast Edmonton Oilers hockey; and

5 through a temporary network license, we were able to

6 send our games commercial free, via satellite, to

7 thousands of viewers in northern Alberta. And once

8 again, the response was terrific.

9 507 Our local programming not only

10 reflects the news, public affairs and sporting events

11 of our community, but also the entertainment, arts, and

12 cultural side.

13 508 Our nightly, half-hour-long local

14 entertainment program "Wired" has given close to 300

15 local musical groups a primetime live television

16 audience; and as well, nearly 100 Edmonton area

17 festivals, theatre groups and dance companies have been

18 featured in the short period of time that we have been

19 on the air.

20 509 I will now turn to Mark Campbell, the

21 Director of News and Entertainment Programming in the

22 Calgary operation. Mark...

23 510 MR. CAMPBELL: Thanks, Jim. I am the

24 news guy, so I will give you a brief synopsis of that.

25 511 In less than nine months, A-Channel



1 has helped define what we hope and believe is a new

2 local newscape in both Calgary and Edmonton.

3 512 With over four and a half hours of

4 locally produced news, variety and entertainment

5 programming in both markets every weekday, we believe

6 we provide a level of reporting that is fresh and

7 innovative, as Drew has mentioned. We believe that it

8 is second to none to any station across the country.

9 513 We do not provide a headline service

10 that relies on stories that are being fed out of

11 Toronto or New York. In fact, you will not hear CBS,

12 NBC, or ABC in any of our programs.

13 514 We are local, all of the time. It is

14 something we are very proud of.

15 515 Certainly a good example of this is

16 "The Big Breakfast". It is a live, two-hour morning

17 show produced in our store-front studio on 7th Avenue

18 in Calgary and on Jasper Avenue in Edmonton.

19 516 The Big Breakfast is a blend of news,

20 weather, traffic -- truly a day-in-the-life reality

21 here and in the market in Edmonton.

22 517 We feature live local musical bands,

23 in-studio interviews and live community events every

24 morning, every day.

25 518 Another example is our program



1 "Wired", Calgary and Edmonton's only local program

2 dedicated entirely to arts and entertainment in both

3 cities, produced in primetime Monday to Friday.

4 519 A third example is "Sharing Circle",

5 Alberta's only First Nations' program, using Native

6 reporters in Edmonton and Calgary.

7 520 I have a bit on the BBM numbers now.

8 In the fall of '97, all of our programs landed on the

9 board after five weeks on the air and entrenched

10 themselves. In the spring of this year, our local

11 programs doubled -- even tripled -- in audience.

12 521 While we certainly recognize we have

13 a long way to go, we are very happy about our progress

14 to date, and we certainly look forward to a very long

15 career here in Alberta.

16 522 I would like to pass it over to Dixie

17 Baum, our Promotions Manager.

18 523 MS BAUM: Thank you, Mark.

19 524 A-Channel is proud to have supported

20 literally thousands of charities, community

21 organizations, theatre and arts groups, and local

22 performers since our launch last fall.

23 525 Our enthusiastic commitment to

24 supporting local events has strongly entrenched

25 A-Channel into the community.



1 526 For example, following A-Channel's

2 promotion of the event, the Jingle Bell Run for

3 arthritis saw a funding raising total of $65,000.

4 There was a 40 percent increase in participation, and a

5 larger venue was required to accommodate the leap in

6 participants.

7 527 Through our four and a half hours of

8 local programming per day, A-Channel responds to the

9 needs of local community groups daily.

10 528 We also work hard to remain

11 interactive and easily accessible to Albertans. Our

12 Web site currently averages half a million hits every

13 month, and many people use the A-Channel's chat site as

14 a forum for community issues, as well a vehicle to

15 respond to A-Channel programming.

16 529 Now let me turn over to Joanne Levy,

17 our Executive Director of the A-Channel Drama Fund.

18 530 MS LEVY: Thank you, Dixie. Good

19 evening, Madam, Madam Pennyfather.

20 531 The A-Channel Drama Fund is scheduled

21 to spend $14 million over the license term to develop

22 and exhibit original Canadian movies, made in Alberta.

23 532 When Drew and I appeared before you

24 last November in Ottawa, during the National Network

25 Hearing, I mentioned that three movie projects had



1 already been completed.

2 533 Today I can tell that you one of

3 those movies, called "Ebenezer", has been sub-licensed

4 to CTV, and it got its national exhibition last

5 December.

6 534 All of which is to say that we have

7 started to accomplish our plan of offering national

8 license fees to Alberta's independent producers so they

9 could access other financing which, of course, is

10 essential if they are to produce Canadian movies, both

11 for theatrical and television audiences.

12 535 At this point, A-Channel has licensed

13 12 movies with production budgets totalling $35

14 million.

15 536 Our fourth movie is in post-

16 production right now. Our fifth movie is halfway

17 through principal photography, and our sixth and

18 seventh movies are in pre-production.

19 537 It is very satisfying to visit the

20 sets of some of these movies, to see talented young

21 actors getting bigger and better roles with each

22 successive movie, and they are getting a chance to work

23 with some real veterans.

24 538 For instance, Graham Green has had

25 roles in two of our movies, and he is the star in



1 another one that is in pre-production right now.

2 539 Wendy Crewson, Jessica Steen, R.H.

3 Thomson and Shawn Johnston are just a few of the

4 Canadian actors that we are very proud to have brought

5 to Alberta on our sets.

6 540 Along side our production

7 commitments, our development commitments are giving our

8 writers opportunities to hone their skills and tell our

9 stories. From historical drama, to romantic comedy, to

10 sort of the edgy urban thrillers, we are making a

11 difference that all Canadian viewers will be able to

12 see.

13 541 MR. CRAIG: Thank you, Joanne. As

14 Joanne described, A-Channel is not only focused on its

15 local mandate but plays a much larger role in the

16 context of the Canadian broadcasting system.

17 542 Our model to commission long form

18 movies from Alberta producers as well as to run

19 Canadian movies made elsewhere in the country on the

20 service is working.

21 543 Again, we thank you for this

22 opportunity to appear here today and to give you this

23 progress report. We would be happy to answer any

24 questions that you might have.

25 544 THE CHAIRPERSON: We have no



1 questions. Your presentation is quite clear.

2 545 We are quite happy to see that you're

3 really fulfilling the promises that you had given at

4 the time of the competitive hearing, and we are quite

5 happy.

6 546 There was also presentation today

7 testifying to the fact that you're active in the

8 community.

9 547 So thank you for having participated.

10 Thank you for your warm welcome in Calgary, and it

11 seems that we will need it in the weather to come in

12 the next few days. And good luck to you .

13 548 MR. CRAIG: Thank you very much.

14 549 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

15 550 THE SECRETARY: Our next participant

16 this evening is Mr. Stephen Carter.

17 551 THE CHAIR: Good evening, Mr. Carter.

18 1819


20 552 MR. CARTER: Good evening. My name

21 is Stephen Carter. I am the Chair of the Calgary

22 Professional Arts Alliance, a local group of artists,

23 professional artists, ranging from visual arts to

24 performing arts, and virtually any professional artist

25 who wishes to join us.



1 553 I am also the General Manager of the

2 Pleiades Theatre, which is a small-scale theatre

3 company here in Calgary.

4 554 I am here to talk about Canadian

5 programming and how it affects us.

6 555 There are two basic ways that

7 Canadian programming affects the arts in Calgary.

8 There are the local programs that feature companies and

9 artists in the community; and in addition, there is

10 programming that is developed, produced or post-

11 produced in the local area.

12 556 I will start with the local

13 programming. The folks from A-Channel were just up

14 here, and we have seen a remarkable change in the past

15 few months, since their entry and the change of Shaw's

16 community channel to NOW TV. We have seen a lot more

17 focus on the arts from all of the local stations.

18 557 And how has this impacted the arts in

19 Calgary? It has created a new artistic fervour, if you

20 will, for different groups. That ranges everywhere

21 from large groups, like Theatre Calgary and Alberta

22 Ballet, right down to smaller professional groups, like

23 my own, the Pleiades Theatre.

24 558 In addition, it reaches all the way

25 down to depths that were never really focused or



1 covered before. For example, we have a small group in

2 Calgary known as the Cappucino Players. They are

3 currently performing, in our venue, in a small 227-seat

4 theatre for 10 days.

5 559 We have had local coverage by the

6 television stations covering them. This is the first

7 time, perhaps ever, that a smaller company like that

8 has been given feature-length interviews and such to

9 draw more people to the arts in Calgary.

10 560 This benefits our organizations

11 immensely. We have seen tremendous increases in our

12 ticket sales as a result, we believe, in part because

13 of the increased coverage and increased awareness of

14 the arts in Calgary.

15 561 The changes from CBC that are

16 anticipated in the future will also help us, as they

17 have a more local flavour and more local focus. We are

18 looking forward to that and having our additional --

19 our members will get additional coverage which will

20 help us, again immensely.

21 562 But perhaps the most important

22 element of Canadian programming that will affect each

23 of our individual members is programming that is

24 developed our produced or post-produced in this city or

25 in the surrounding area.



1 563 Traditionally, we have lost artists

2 to major centres -- like Vancouver, Toronto, Los

3 Angeles, New York -- as they go in search of larger

4 paydays, larger roles, and larger exposure.

5 564 This is a drain on our community. It

6 takes away artists that are valued to us, whether they

7 be visual artists or talent in front of the camera. We

8 would like them to stay in the city. It lets us develop

9 a broad-based and vibrant city that has more and more

10 talent that is focused here.

11 565 Over the past few years Alberta has

12 become something of a "hub" of television and film

13 production, and it is continuing to grow. But still we

14 are losing actors to Toronto and Vancouver on a very

15 regular basis.

16 566 I will speak from the acting side, as

17 I am based in theatre; and I have the most experience

18 in that end.

19 567 I know that every summer whenever a

20 major production comes in, whether it's financed

21 locally or financed through Disney, or whoever, our

22 actors are able to earn enough money working in a

23 production like that to actually be able to stay in

24 Calgary for the theatrical season -- the traditional

25 theatrical season.



1 568 Smaller theatre companies like ours

2 are now able to hire larger named actors who can stay

3 in the city and are able to stay at home with their

4 families.

5 569 I know of one such instance where one

6 of our local actors for the first time has been able to

7 spend the entire year in Calgary, financed in no small

8 part due to his Canadian television appearances that

9 have been filmed in this city.

10 570 That is a tremendous asset for all of

11 us, and we look forward to seeing that type of

12 production continue as we want to expand our base of

13 artists that are locally based.

14 571 The more artists that we have in this

15 city, the more likely it is that our art will flourish.

16 We will become recognized as a centre for arts.

17 572 In much the same way that Edmonton

18 tends to have an artist-based community that stays in

19 their community, we want to have that same thing here

20 in Calgary.

21 573 That basically concludes my

22 presentation. Thank you very much for hearing me today.

23 574 If you have any questions, I would be

24 happy to answer them.




1 very much. The positive news that you have brought

2 about the artistic community here, I am sure, is music

3 to everyone's ears -- pardon the late-night pun!

4 576 Just a few clarifications. I am

5 interested in your saying that in fact the promotion

6 you're getting on local television is bringing people

7 to the theatres.

8 577 Sometimes there is concern that the

9 programming will keep people at home. That is

10 encouraging news.

11 578 Is this reaching to a broad section

12 of the community, from the old to the young?

13 579 MR. CARTER: In the fine arts -- in

14 the so-called fine arts, we constantly battle a group

15 of people that come to see us. We feel that 3 percent

16 to 5 percent of the population actively participates in

17 the fine arts, on a regular basis.

18 580 Whether it is 3 percent or 10

19 percent, it is really irrelevant. We have to increase

20 that in size of number.

21 581 The people who watch television or

22 rent videos from the local video rental or go to the

23 movies is a much higher percentage. We are not in a

24 competitive mode with them.

25 582 We are just in a competitive mode



1 with awareness. That is our main enemy, and that is

2 what television, radio, newspapers all can help us try

3 and fight.


5 In terms of loss of talent, it seems to be a common

6 theme in this country. In your case, you are talking

7 about loss of talent to larger centers, be it Edmonton

8 or Toronto.

9 584 Just again, what is the most

10 important thing, in terms of keeping that talent here?

11 585 MR. CARTER: Work.


13 with Canadian production or work with all kinds of

14 producers in the province, mainly American producers?

15 587 MR. CARTER: I think there is a fine

16 line. If you asked any artist, they would take the

17 work wherever the paycheque came from. Disney is a

18 player, for example, in Calgary; and I know a lot of

19 our artists took a paycheque from Disney last year.

20 588 But I also know the average size of

21 that role when the person took a paycheque from Disney.

22 They were happy get the walk-on as the teacher for that

23 particular episode. It was a nice payday --

24 589 They paid them well, but then they

25 were gone the next week, and they never were back.



1 590 Whereas when a series like "Lonesome

2 Dove", a series like "North of 60" shoots in the

3 surrounding area, they can be looking at a complete

4 year, a full year, of being on, not necessarily in a

5 principal role, but in a role that will be continued to

6 be featured.

7 591 Canadian programming will support

8 them to a much larger extent, if that answers the

9 question.


11 Thank you for bringing artistic and artists' points of

12 view to today's discussions. Nice to see you here.

13 593 MR. CARTER: Thank you very much.

14 594 THE SECRETARY: Madam chair, at this

15 point I would like to ask if there is anyone in the

16 room who would like to make a presentation that hasn't

17 already.

18 595 I don't see anyone, Madam Chair. I

19 believe those are our presenters.

20 596 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you

21 very much. I would like to thank everybody who has

22 participated this afternoon --

23 597 Do you want to come forward? Yes,

24 certainly.

25 1828




2 598 MS RAIT: Yes, I am Peggy Rait, and I

3 came here also because I received a letter from Friends

4 of Canadian Broadcasting, from CBC, but I didn't really

5 know quite what to expect.

6 599 Although I am a senior, I don't know

7 that this is particularly relevant to the programming.

8 I don't unfortunately see PBS because I don't have

9 cable, and I haven't felt that it was worth it to me

10 for the one station.

11 600 But I hear a great deal said of it;

12 and I think, too, that it is unfortunate that it is

13 necessary for so much support to go there which could

14 better stay here.

15 601 I don't know if it is appropriate for

16 me to say anything about sound and captioning. I have

17 a hearing aid. My hearing is very poor.

18 602 I have found, since getting a new TV

19 a few years ago, that the captioning, closed

20 captioning, is very useful. Perhaps I depend upon it

21 sometimes when I needn't, but I think it is very

22 helpful.

23 603 I have heard other people say, who do

24 not have real hearing problems, that they do have a

25 great problem, which I have, with particularly



1 documentaries and so forth with crashing background

2 music, and so forth. And it goes on and on, and it has

3 nothing to do with the program really, except perhaps

4 to keep the attention of people who might not be

5 interested in what the program is about anyway. I

6 don't know.

7 604 I think this is just something that

8 could be kept in mind. It is actually troublesome.

9 One can't hear a narrator often, and this seems to be

10 getting more and more common.

11 605 I will say that I have depended a

12 great deal on CBC, and it is very important to me. I

13 think that the CBC programming is becoming less

14 satisfactory, just in many ways.

15 606 I feel that CBC needs a tremendous

16 amount of support. I think it is very unfortunate that

17 Prime Minister Cretien had promised increased money, I

18 think a few years ago; and instead, the money is

19 dwindling away.

20 607 I do think that in Canada we need the

21 support; and wherever people can be encouraged to

22 support CBC also, good. But if people aren't

23 interested in their programming, that is not to be

24 expected.

25 608 I do think that it is of utmost



1 importance that we keep CBC going and keep it going

2 with good quality.

3 609 Thank you.

4 610 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very

5 much. That was a conclusion.

6 611 I would like to thank everyone for

7 having participated in this first town hall about

8 Canadian content.

9 612 Some people at the break were asking

10 me if it was what we had expected. Well, yes and no.

11 We want more and we'll need for that to go from city to

12 city and to come back again.

13 613 Probably we would have to spend the

14 entire week, and we cannot pretend in only one town

15 hall to have met all the people of Alberta and have

16 heard all the comments about Canadian television.

17 614 But certainly what we have heard and

18 listened to this afternoon is helpful, is an eye-

19 opener.

20 615 I often find that sometimes at the

21 office or in a public hearing we talk about elements

22 that don't have always full life.

23 616 When we come in the cities of Canada

24 and we meet the people of Canada, it really means

25 something, and especially when we talk local news and



1 community programming and being in touch with the

2 communities. It has much more flavour and sense when

3 we are in Calgary and other cities.

4 617 So thank you for having taken the

5 time to come and talk to us about those elements that

6 are very important in Canadian programming.

7 618 To all, have a good weekend; and we

8 will be in touch because it is an ongoing process for

9 the next month that is very important, and we count on

10 your continuous participation.

11 619 Thank you.


13 --- Whereupon the hearing concluded at 1832/

14 L'audience se termine à 1832

Date modified: