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TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS FOR THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES DU CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES SUBJECT / SUJET: PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION (CBC)/ CONSULTATIONS PUBLIQUES SUR LA SOCIÉTÉ RADIO-CANADA (SRC) HELD AT: TENUE À: The Battery Hotel The Battery Hotel and Suites and Suites Riverhead Room Salle Riverhead 100 Signal Hill Road 100, chem. Signal Hill St. John's Saint-Jean Newfoundland Terre-Neuve March 16, 1999 Le 16 mars 1999 tel: 613-521-0703 StenoTran fax: 613-521-7668 Transcripts In order to meet the requirements of the Official Languages Act, transcripts of proceedings before the Commission will be bilingual as to their covers, the listing of the CRTC members and staff attending the public hearings, and the Table of Contents. However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded verbatim transcript and, as such, is taped and transcribed in either of the official languages, depending on the language spoken by the participant at the public hearing. Transcription Afin de rencontrer les exigences de la Loi sur les langues officielles, les procès-verbaux pour le Conseil seront bilingues en ce qui a trait à la page couverture, la liste des membres et du personnel du CRTC participant à l'audience publique ainsi que la table des matières. Toutefois, la publication susmentionnée est un compte rendu textuel des délibérations et, en tant que tel, est enregistrée et transcrite dans l'une ou l'autre des deux langues officielles, compte tenu de la langue utilisée par le participant à l'audience publique. StenoTran Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des télécommunications canadiennes Transcript / Transcription Public Hearing / Audience publique PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION (CBC)/ CONSULTATIONS PUBLIQUES SUR LA SOCIÉTÉ RADIO-CANADA (SRC) BEFORE / DEVANT: David Colville Chairperson / Président Vice-Chairperson, Telecommunications / Vice-président, Télécommunications ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS: Karen Moore Commission Counsel / Avocate du Conseil Secretary / Secrétaire Brien Rodger Director, Halifax Regional Office / Directeur, Bureau régional de Halifax Nick Ketchum Broadcasting Planning Service Branch / Services de planification de la radiodiffusion HELD AT: TENUE À: The Battery Hotel The Battery Hotel and Suites and Suites Riverhead Room Salle Riverhead 100 Signal Hill Road 100, chem. Signal Hill St. John's Saint-Jean Newfoundland Terre-Neuve March 16, 1999 Le 16 mars 1999 StenoTran ii TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES PAGE Presentation by / Présentation par: Ms Dorothy Wyatt 6 Dr. Fred French 13 Dr. Douglas Dunsmore 18 Mr. Randolph Edward Lieb 24 Mr. Leo Furey 34 Ms Katie Stein Sather 40 Dr. Jim Orr 46 Mr. John Nicolle 50 Ms Jackie MacNab 53 Mr. Carl Powell 55 Ms Patricia Ploughman 62 Mr. Harry Brown 66 Ms Gisella Kumar 85 Mr. Frank Smith 89 Mr. Ken Pittman 93 Ms Neville Smith 106 Ms Martha Anne Woodworth 111 Mr. Frank O'Leary 115 Mr. Ali Chiasson 135 Mr. Richard Barnes 142 Mr. Chris Zimmer 147 Mr. John Birkelund 155 Ms Susan Knight 158 StenoTran iii TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES PAGE Presentation by / Présentation par: Mr. Chris Brookes 171 Ms Edythe Goodridge 182 Ms Barbara Doran 187 Ms Noreen Golfman 192 Ms Madeleine Florent 202 Mr. George Smith 209 Ms Colette Fleming 217 Ms Joann Harris 219 Mr. Frank Holden 223 Mr. Paul Pope 228 Mr. Desmond McGrath 239 Dr. Bill Kennedy 249 Ms Joan Clark 260 Ms Lois Hicks 264 Ms Laura Jackson 269 Reply by / Réplique par: Ms Dianne Humber 165/283 StenoTran 1 1 St. John's, Newfoundland/Saint-Jean (Terre-Neuve) 2 --- Upon commencing on Tuesday, March 16, 1999 3 at 1300 / L'audience débute le mardi 16 mars 4 1999 à 1300 5 1 THE CHAIRPERSON: My name is David 6 Colville. I am the CRTC's Vice-Chair, 7 Telecommunications and the Atlantic Region Commissioner 8 for the CRTC. 9 2 We are here today to gather your 10 views and comments on CBC radio and television. In 11 your opinion, how should the Canadian Broadcasting 12 Corporation fulfill its role in the coming years? 13 3 CBC is a national public service 14 broadcasting in English as well as in French and it 15 plays an important role in the Canadian broadcasting 16 system. Today, many elements are constantly being 17 added to the broadcasting system as new technologies 18 multiply, converge, open up new horizons and 19 increasingly offer new services. 20 4 In this context, we want to know what 21 are your needs and expectations as viewers and 22 listeners of the CBC? I should point out, CRTC, for 23 those who don't know what the acronym stands for, is 24 the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications 25 Commission. StenoTran 2 1 5 We regulate the various elements of 2 the Canadian broadcasting system, radio stations, 3 private and public, television stations, private and 4 public, the cable television undertakings and 5 direct-to-home satellite undertakings and the telephone 6 companies. So in this particular instance, we are 7 particularly interested in your views as they relate to 8 CBC radio and television. 9 6 We have decided to conduct this 10 wide-ranging public consultation to hear the views of 11 Canadians from one end of the country to the other, and 12 so between March 9th and 18th later this week, we have 13 been conducting hearings in -- well, it started last 14 week with Sydney and Winnipeg and various other cities 15 across the country. 16 7 As I indicated, these consultations 17 are designed to give you a chance, on the eve of the 18 new millennium, to express your opinion on the CBC's 19 role, the programming it offers and the direction it 20 should take at the national, regional and local levels. 21 Through these consultations, we hope to enter into an 22 open dialogue with you and to hear your concerns. 23 8 Your comments will form part of the 24 public record which will be added to the record of the 25 public hearing on the CBC that will begin in Hull on StenoTran 3 1 May 25th. At that upcoming hearing, the Commission 2 will examine the CBC's application for the renewal of 3 its licences, including radio, television and its 4 specialty services, Newsworld and Réseau de 5 l'information. 6 9 You can also take part in that public 7 hearing by sending your written comments to the CRTC. 8 If you wish to do so, please refer to the specific 9 licence renewals being examined when you file your 10 comments. 11 10 Now coming back to today's 12 consultation, let me introduce the CRTC staff who will 13 be assisting us today: our legal counsel, Karen 14 Moore -- they don't let us commissioners travel too far 15 from Ottawa without a lawyer with us; Nick Ketchum from 16 our Broadcasting Planning Service Branch in Ottawa; and 17 Brien Rodger who is the Regional Director of our 18 Halifax Regional Office. 19 11 Please feel free to call on any of 20 them if you have any questions about the process or any 21 other matters related to this proceeding. 22 12 So that you will all have an 23 opportunity to speak, we are going to ask you to please 24 limit your presentation to 10 minutes. We can be a 25 little bit flexible on that but hope you would respect StenoTran 4 1 the others who are following behind you. 2 13 We have, I think, 30-some-odd people 3 registered for this afternoon and another 20 or so for 4 this evening. So in order to be able to give an 5 opportunity for everybody to be heard, I would ask you 6 to respect the time limit. 7 14 I don't intend to pursue any detailed 8 questioning of people in order to respect the time. 9 One thing we were able to do in Sydney, and I leave it 10 open to you as to whether you wish to stay after your 11 presentation has been done, is we were able to finish 12 early enough that we opened the meeting up to a bit of 13 a round table discussion after everybody had had an 14 opportunity to present their views and had 15 representatives from the CBC comment on the comments 16 that they had heard through the day and actually 17 participate a bit in that discussion as well. 18 15 So we will be giving the CBC an 19 opportunity to respond. We will just see how the time 20 goes towards the end of the session. We are scheduled 21 to go from 1:00 until 5:00 and take a one-hour break 22 and then reconvene at 6:00. 23 16 I hope I'm not embarrassing him but a 24 former part-time Commissioner, Bill Callahan is here. 25 I would like to welcome the students from Lawrence StenoTran 5 1 College to our proceeding today. I don't know whether 2 any of you want to make a presentation or not. Bill, 3 welcome to our consultation and I welcome your students 4 here as well. I hope they find it interesting. 5 17 If anyone has any questions on 6 anything else that the CRTC does, I would be happy to 7 try and answer that later in the day. 8 18 So with that as opening comments, I 9 will turn it over to Ms Moore to go over some of the 10 housekeeping matters and then we will open it up to 11 presentations. 12 19 MS MOORE: Thank you. 13 20 I would first like to note that 14 translation headsets are available just outside the 15 hearing room in the hallway. 16 21 I will be calling each person, and 17 when you come to the table to give your comments, if 18 you could please be sure to press the button on your 19 microphone so that your comments can be transcribed. 20 Please be sure to turn it off at the end so we don't 21 have feedback. 22 22 A transcript of this consultation 23 will form part of the public record relating to the 24 applications for licence renewal and they will be 25 available on the Commission's Web site approximately StenoTran 6 1 seven days after today. 2 23 We have comment forms that are 3 available which you can fill out today and leave them 4 with us and those will also be placed on the public 5 file of this proceeding. 6 1315 7 24 With that, I would like to call our 8 first speaker, Ms Dorothy Wyatt. 9 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 10 25 MS WYATT: Thank you, sir, and thank 11 you. I do appreciate the opportunity to appear before 12 the CRTC panel because it indicates to me that there is 13 an opportunity for Canadians to be heard and you are 14 interested in the future and how the policies should be 15 modified or retained in the next number of years. 16 26 I have two instances which concern me 17 and my family, and they are not isolated to these two 18 instances, but since I am the person involved and my 19 family -- my son George is behind me. He came home 20 from Mississauga to be present while I express these 21 comments. 22 27 The two issues: one, a number of 23 years ago, I had a cardiac arrest in the hospital at 24 St. Clare's and I was in the Coronary Care Unit. My 25 daughter was there with me for several days. She went StenoTran 7 1 home to get a shower and on the phone was CBC Newsroom 2 wanting to know something about me. I thought 3 everybody knew everything about me, but for my 4 obituary, this was. 5 28 You can understand that whether you 6 have a journalistic policy or not, this to me was most 7 upsetting to my family and to me. Now, I would like 8 the policy changed so that that does not occur. That 9 is one instance. 10 29 The other was an instance which 11 occurred on the 2nd of November. I was called by Jim 12 Brown who was doing a report which would be aired on a 13 program called "Here and Now" and I agreed. It was 14 discussed that we would be discussing the Civic Centre. 15 The Civic Centre was sort of hot news then, very 16 current. 17 30 It was current for several weeks 18 because I had been advocating a hearing, a referendum. 19 The news would last longer here than it would in 20 Toronto. That would last about one issue. But this 21 went on and on and I wanted to discuss that. 22 31 I understood -- I do have a hearing 23 problem but I understood that was what the hearing was 24 about, the interview. Then what happened was, when 25 they came, we were discussing a number of things and I StenoTran 8 1 should say that I had just gotten out of hospital where 2 I had a broken hip and I had a few other physical 3 things wrong. 4 32 But anyway, in the discussion, I was 5 not watching the red light. I noticed that sometimes 6 the questions were repeated. So I didn't know whether 7 it was still talk, chat or whether it was being taped. 8 I was not very happy with the questions. 9 33 One of the questions was: Did you 10 have a drinking problem 20 years ago? I said, one day, 11 I didn't have any lunch, I didn't have any dinner, and 12 I had a drink. I went to a meeting. I hadn't eaten at 13 all. You might say that I had a bit of a problem, but 14 I said, that is one day. Anyway, this went on for two 15 and a half hours. 16 34 I watched it that night -- about a 17 four-minute clipping. It didn't say one positive thing 18 that I had done for the city. Now I was elected seven 19 times. I was eight years Mayor and the rest of the 20 time as a City Councillor. I was the first woman 21 elected. I was the first woman elected as a Councillor 22 and as a Mayor and the longest-serving Councillor in 23 the history of St. John's and the longest-serving woman 24 in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. I have 25 been honoured for these events. StenoTran 9 1 35 Now, to continue on, I didn't tape 2 it. When I saw this, my family was disturbed and a 3 number of people on the feedback indicated that they 4 were disturbed. They gave reasons. In the paper, 5 there were letters. So I asked for an apology. I 6 asked them, and there was a John Furlong(ph) who 7 produced the program. I have known John for the 30 8 years that I have been associated with Council. It 9 really bothered me that he couldn't find anything good 10 to say about me except that I had a drinking problem 11 that day. There is no doubt about it. It was captured 12 on tape. So I complained. 13 36 I was told that it was journalistic 14 policy -- I am very familiar with policy. One of our 15 jobs at City Council is to make policy. If it doesn't 16 work, we change it. We amend it. But anyway, I was 17 told that because I answered the questions -- and 18 honest to God, the reason I answered the question is 19 because if I didn't, they would say, she's guilty. 20 She's guilty; she didn't answer. She has something to 21 hide. I had nothing to hide. I was so used to -- with 22 a slogan like "Vote for Wyatt, she won't be quiet" -- I 23 was so used to answering questions that I did not 24 refrain. 25 37 Now the response I got to my StenoTran 10 1 questions -- I am trying to be brief -- is that why 2 would I say at the end of the interview where Jim Brown 3 said thank you very much and I said, you're welcome. 4 Do you know the reply I got from CBC? Just because I 5 said you're welcome, I was delighted with the 6 interview, that I was satisfied, and therefore, I was 7 giving my commitment. 8 38 Now that is not accountability. I 9 wrote the CRTC and I must say that the CRTC responded 10 very effectively and guided me to the direction I 11 should go because I thought I am going to start at the 12 top. To me, the basic thing here is this -- is yellow 13 journalism. This is what you would see this fellow 14 Stern do. If you want to be sensational, this is the 15 wrong way to do it, I'm trying to say. 16 39 I don't mind criticism but I love 17 playing on a level field, which is a bit trite I 18 suppose to say that, but on the other hand, CBC appears 19 to have its own agenda. There is no feeling or I am 20 not getting the sensation that this is responsibility. 21 40 The reply I got was we have our 22 policy but nowhere did it indicate that I as a person 23 who pays taxes to subsidize this public station has any 24 rights. So therefore, I am going to leave that. When 25 I related that you're welcome, every talk show, when StenoTran 11 1 the people call in, the host usually says thanks and 2 somebody says you're welcome. That is really 3 stretching the point. That's like saying, have a nice 4 day. You take a supermarket girl at the check-out and 5 somebody has $300 worth of groceries. At the end of it 6 all, she is hoping she didn't make a mistake and she is 7 saying, have a nice day because she is told to say 8 that. Well anyway, I want an apology. I want CBC to 9 program its concerns that would respect people's lives 10 that if they want -- 11 41 I have had lots of criticism -- I 12 don't mind it a bit -- and probably not half as much as 13 I deserve, but most of the time they catch you when 14 you're out. You see I don't think I am getting a very 15 good investment for the taxes I pay, and I have been 16 paying them for a long time. With that, I do want an 17 apology. I don't think you can rest on journalistic 18 policy that has no dimension of a human being in it. 19 42 I am a nurse. I am used to dealing 20 with people when they are at their worst, when they are 21 sick, and there is no feeling in there. I don't want 22 any special treatment but other people I know -- and 23 there is a whole raft here of people who complain and I 24 didn't ask them to complain. There are people now who 25 refuse to go on that program and that is unfortunate StenoTran 12 1 because CBC has not had that in total. 2 43 Sitting next to me is Harry Brown 3 from St. John's, Newfoundland, who has a very 4 distinguished notable career -- see you later about 5 that -- and we are all very proud of him. This is not 6 the total image of the CBC but on behalf of all the 7 people who don't know where to start, I just would say, 8 as we say in Newfonese, "Will you knock that off, my 9 son, and stop going on like that?" 10 44 In the meantime, I thank you for 11 listening and have a good day. 12 45 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 13 much, Ms Wyatt. 14 46 MS WYATT: I'm sorry. Unless you 15 have questions, I have two meetings at City Hall and 16 I'm afraid they are going to spend all the money before 17 I get there. 18 47 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. We will let 19 you go to save the town some money. 20 48 MS WYATT: Does anybody have a 21 question? 22 49 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, we don't have 23 any questions. Thanks again. 24 50 MS WYATT: Thank you very much. 25 51 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will take that StenoTran 13 1 thank you in the spirit that it was intended. It 2 doesn't mean that she approves of the CRTC. 3 52 Next presenter. 4 1323 5 53 MS MOORE: I would like to call 6 Dr. Fred French please. 7 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 8 54 DR. FRENCH: I am a physician in 9 rural Canada and for a physician, of course, the 10 acronym "rural" stands for Remuneration Usually 11 Ridiculous and Laughable. 12 --- Laughter / Rires 13 55 I live in the middle of Gros Morne 14 National Park, the one that a CBC program described as 15 being named after Brian Mulroney because 16 Newfoundlanders loved him so much. Only, they 17 pronounced it "Gros Moron" Park. 18 56 I presume I am one of these odd 19 people -- you mentioned there were 30-odd people here 20 in your introduction; there were 30-some-odd -- who 21 feels that the CBC is wonderful. We are allowed to say 22 good things here today too, are we? 23 57 THE CHAIRPERSON: Most of what we 24 have been hearing so far is good things about the CBC. 25 58 DR. FRENCH: Okay. Well of course, StenoTran 14 1 you can rest assured there is going to be a "but" at 2 the end of the sentence, but still, I do think CBC is 3 wonderful. In my life, CBC plays a big part and I 4 would be very lost if it ceased to exist. But it can 5 improve. 6 59 It is involved in too many areas, in 7 my opinion, and when cutbacks happen to something that 8 is spread too widely, then it becomes spread too 9 thinly. The result is that it does lots of things well 10 but not as well as it could and should, in my opinion. 11 60 Now, I didn't come an eight-hour 12 drive to discuss the quality or the Canadian content. 13 My concerns are more pertinent, however -- yes, I think 14 more basic than that. The quality of the program and 15 the amount of Canadian content it has is totally 16 irrelevant if you can't hear it, if you can't access 17 it. 18 61 I feel quite strongly that one of the 19 main cohesive forces, other than rural medicine, that 20 holds Canada together is a truly national radio program 21 and radio station. I will be very brief actually today 22 -- well of course, anybody who knows me knows that is 23 not true. 24 62 The main two areas of deep concern 25 that I have are: number one, that I cannot get Radio StenoTran 15 1 Two. You cannot get it in much of rural Canada and I 2 am sick of hearing it advertised, quite frankly. 3 63 I would like you to put some kind of 4 an editing on there whereby if you can't get it you 5 don't hear about it because it is most annoying to keep 6 hearing about this and particularly all night long 7 listen to Radio Luxembourg or Radio Denmark and so on. 8 You can't do it in much of rural Canada. 9 64 I brought this up with the -- and I 10 don't know names like Dorothy does -- but I brought it 11 up to the Regional Director here in St. John's, the top 12 doggie whoever that is, several years ago, and I was 13 told that it was under consideration and that they 14 would be doing something about it, but because it was 15 sort of in the works at that time, he asked if he could 16 wait a couple of months and get back to me about it. 17 Well, I'm not too sure which century he is going to get 18 back to me but I haven't heard yet. 19 65 I think this is particularly 20 important to be able to access the services right 21 across Canada. The second area is not only do we have 22 a problem with accessing Radio Two in many parts of 23 rural Canada but there are places you can't access 24 Radio One either. I think it is distressing that 25 cutbacks and things have caused, I presume, StenoTran 16 1 transmitters to be decreased in power and so on, such 2 that you cannot drive across Newfoundland from here to 3 Port-aux-Basques and have continuous CBC available to 4 you. 5 66 You lose it in many places and one of 6 the most amazing to me is how you lose it so near a 7 reasonably sized community as Springdale. You cannot 8 listen to it between Deer Lake and Grand Falls, no 9 matter how good -- well, I suppose maybe depending on 10 the radio receiver, but on the average radio receiver, 11 you just do not get it. 12 67 I would like to suggest that as far 13 as we are concerned with the CBC, we ought to fund it 14 or curtail it so that it can do a good job in the areas 15 that it has enough money to run. I am not just 16 presenting a problem, I have the solution too. 17 68 In my view, the solution is for the 18 CBC to get out of television 100 per cent. There is 19 absolutely no value in my mind in the CBC being 20 involved in television and competing with the 21 commercial broadcast stations across Canada when it 22 can't even give us radio in rural Newfoundland. 23 69 I am not against the programs. I 24 think there are some very definitely advantageous 25 programs on television that CBC produces, but I think StenoTran 17 1 an arrangement should be made if necessary to try and 2 have them covered by other channels who have not -- 3 other people's licences oblige them to use some CBC. I 4 don't care how you do it but give the CBC enough money 5 to do what it can do and stop trying to do too many 6 things. 7 70 Thank you. 8 71 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 9 Mr. French. 10 72 Just a quick question: When you 11 mention that they should get out of television and 12 television is largely competing with private stations, 13 would you make the same comment if CBC didn't have 14 commercial advertising on television? 15 73 DR. FRENCH: I am not concerned about 16 the competition. I make the comment only because of 17 the lack of funding. If you could afford to do both -- 18 and I have no objection to doing both -- 19 74 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. 20 75 DR. FRENCH: But if you can't give me 21 radio, don't give me TV. 22 76 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you. 23 77 Thanks again for your presentation. 24 78 Ms Moore. 25 1329 StenoTran 18 1 79 MS MOORE: I would like to call 2 Dr. Douglas Dunsmore from the Memorial University 3 School of Music please. 4 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 5 80 DR. DUNSMORE: I am a choral 6 conductor and musician and I do not represent Memorial 7 University officially just in case anyone is out there 8 listening. I represent musicians and makers of music 9 in the province through my own ideas. 10 81 Approximately two weeks ago, I was 11 asked whether I might have anything relevant to say 12 about CBC. I replied in the positive and here I am. 13 82 So let me begin by saying that for me 14 and many of my friends and colleagues, CBC has always 15 been a beloved and special organization. Ever since I 16 arrived here in 1979 as a CFA -- that's Come From Away, 17 for those of you who don't know the lingo -- CBC has 18 played a very large role in an area that is not only 19 near and dear to me but basically is my life, and that 20 is music. 21 83 By comparison of my experience in my 22 originating province, Saskatchewan, and the experiences 23 of colleagues in other provinces, we here in 24 Newfoundland and Labrador are very fortunate because 25 there are opportunities to have the results of our StenoTran 19 1 work, that is, performances, concerts, et cetera, 2 broadcast locally, sometimes even nationally. 3 84 The CBC radio network here has always 4 been consistent in a policy to record a vast array of 5 music-making for the enjoyment and sometimes even the 6 education of local listeners. The practice used to be 7 supported, although to a somewhat lesser extent, by CBC 8 television in earlier versions through the broadcasts 9 of various performance projects. This tapered off to 10 almost nil in the nineties. 11 85 However, even amid the cutbacks, CBC 12 St. John's still records and airs more music of various 13 cultures than anywhere else I am aware of. Producer 14 Francesca Swann(ph) is quick to pick up as many 15 worthwhile live performances as her budgets will allow 16 and the Corporation, through her and her office, has 17 also been very generous to help any and all choirs with 18 things like the taping for the CBC amateur choral 19 competitions, a great help indeed. So a great big 20 bouquet goes to CBC for its support of live music in 21 many forums, especially here. 22 86 Having said that, there are areas 23 that still need work, areas that regional producers and 24 coordinators probably cannot control. From the point 25 of view of musicians in the community, it seems almost StenoTran 20 1 impossible to regularly mount large musical 2 productions, especially for television, because of the 3 cutbacks, but even the radio broadcasts that we make 4 are woefully underfunded. 5 87 For example, compare the rates that 6 are paid for a professional programming of a Canadian 7 content to any other profession you know of. Musicians 8 are given somewhere in the neighbourhood of $130.00 for 9 a half-recital. How does that compare to billable 10 hours with any other profession? Now, half a recital 11 represents more than 30 minutes of air time. It 12 represents hours of preparation, not to mention various 13 experiences that have been acquired by the 14 professionals over a period of years, allowing them to 15 create at a high level. 16 88 To be reimbursed at the rate I 17 mentioned above is almost ludicrous. For example, try 18 to get a legal firm or a petroleum engineering company 19 to come up with a project that requires a half-hour 20 public presentation and see what it might cost to do. 21 89 Do not misunderstand me. When push 22 comes to shove, musicians will often opt to get music 23 on the airwaves for what amounts to honoraria and we 24 have been doing that here for years. But that does not 25 begin to approach what needs to be spent to really StenoTran 21 1 develop performances and all the underpinnings that go 2 along with that in the community and cultivate growth. 3 90 Let's not pretend that CBC is paying 4 large amounts of money for Canadian content, at least 5 in this area, because that is not the case in most 6 instances. In fact, the system here works regionally 7 because everyone involved agrees to cooperate and make 8 it work with very little funding, and bouquets are 9 deserved on both sides for that, I believe. 10 91 On the other hand, some of us wonder 11 how much money is spent buying broadcasts. For 12 example, how much does it cost to purchase concerts 13 from the European networks to fill large segments of 14 programs like a choral concert? Is it cheaper than 15 what the Corporation currently spends for a live 16 production here in Newfoundland? I am curious. I am 17 also curious to know if other provinces have like 18 scenarios in which locally musicians perform for 19 honoraria. My suspicion is probably not. 20 92 But my main point is this: the 21 region here is doing a very good job with very little. 22 Give them the funding to be able to do more. Many good 23 things are accomplished here but sooner or later, we 24 need to be able to look for growth. 25 93 In partial summation and on another StenoTran 22 1 topic, I would like to touch on one or two points 2 regarding Radio One in general. For years, the CBC has 3 enjoyed the well-earned reputation of being a unifying 4 force in Canada. In particular, mornings have been 5 times when people in the kitchens of Canada can become 6 educated and even share in the life of Canadians 7 elsewhere, thus beginning to understand more about each 8 other. 9 94 However, just last week, I heard 10 folks on the air telling us that programming must 11 change because CBC is trying to attack -- attract the 12 younger listeners -- not attack them. Is that why CBC 13 local radio is turning to the seemingly endless drivel 14 of talk shows? Is that why music producers are 15 choosing more and more mainstream musical choices for 16 their musical interludes, et cetera? Surely in Canada 17 we have hundreds of commercial stations out in that 18 market already. 19 95 Is it really the desire to draw in 20 young listeners that takes us in these paths or is it 21 actually the lack of funds to do some of the 22 interesting things that we hear so seldom any more, 23 those inter-studio remotes that simultaneously link 24 groups from all parts of the country doing various 25 legitimate, often musical or drama happenings and StenoTran 23 1 sometimes off-the-wall things that were so entertaining 2 and so unifying and so radio? I have been told 3 recently that these are very expensive to coordinate 4 and produce. 5 96 Well then, do we invest less in these 6 items and less on research and opt locally instead of 7 going towards the somewhat smarmy attitude that we 8 often find in talk show radio and some other local 9 features? Do we do that because that is what the 10 lion's share of the listeners want or do we do it 11 because it is easier and cheaper? I suspect the 12 latter. 13 97 Some say, if we don't have enough 14 funding to fulfill the mandate to do more of the 15 expensive things, perhaps CBC should privatize if that 16 would provide money for quality. But somehow I am not 17 optimistic about that. Instead of aiming for quality 18 productions, we would likely see profit margins 19 wielding the axe this time. 20 98 So please try to channel more money 21 into production of quality programming in the regions 22 because many of us believe that this is where the 23 strength of CBC still lies. Aim for quality and less 24 commercial radio imitation on the national scope as 25 well. The feeling exists that cuts have already had StenoTran 24 1 negative effects on the quality of the Corporation's 2 product and further cost-cutting can only make things 3 worst. 4 99 Good intentions and goodwill aside, 5 the patient appears to need substantial transfusions of 6 money if it is to revive, let alone flourish. 7 100 Thank you for the opportunity to 8 speak to you. 9 101 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 10 Dr. Dunsmore. 11 1337 12 102 MS MOORE: Our next presenter is 13 Mr. Randolph Edward Lieb. 14 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 15 103 MR. LIEB: I thought I should first 16 of all mention that I came to Canada 40 years ago and I 17 felt at that time that in asking to be committed into 18 Canada, I took upon myself an obligation to adapt to 19 this country, to its values, its customs and so on. I 20 mean I am not a German in exile. I came here to become 21 a Canadian. 22 104 I have never been back to the country 23 of my birth in all these years. I am the father of 24 nine children, of which eight were born in Newfoundland 25 and they were encouraged to think of themselves as StenoTran 25 1 Newfoundlanders, not Canadians. 2 105 I should say that my perspective of 3 the CBC is from perhaps a somewhat different angle in 4 that I am a painter and I am a writer with modest 5 success. I am also a retired fisherman and a bona fide 6 fisherman. I make very good saltfish, et cetera, et 7 cetera. 8 106 Lastly, I am the manorial Lord of 9 Warmsworth which is a small village over in England. I 10 must send CDs over there and get involved in -- so 11 there are various perspectives. 12 107 My comments have to do mostly with 13 CBC Radio Two. I am troubled by what is going on. I 14 believe that the heyday of course of CBC arrogance is 15 over. I mean I can remember when I wrote some 16 criticism of some program and a certain producer wrote 17 back to me, if you don't like the CBC, go to the 18 private station. 19 108 I also remember Sheila Rogers really 20 giving diatribes against Prime Minister Margaret 21 Thatcher regularly. If she would have done it against 22 anybody else, let's say Mobuto, they were in trouble. 23 I remember Mr. Ferguson regularly disparaging the 24 English. If he would have done it about the 25 Yakouts(ph) or something like that, I -- okay, these StenoTran 26 1 things are over now. 2 109 But my feeling is from listening very 3 carefully that the CBC -- now, I am talking mainly 4 about Radio Two. This is what I have been listening to 5 for the last 20 years. It is sort of floundering. My 6 comments are designed not to criticize, not to demand, 7 not to make anybody feel more bad than they already do 8 but perhaps -- well, I am arrogant enough to think that 9 perhaps I can offer a certain constructive comment. 10 110 The problem that I see with Radio Two 11 is essentially that it has always been committed to 12 something that I see or I would call the official 13 reality. Now if you think about the Soviet Union, you 14 know that there was an official reality controlled by 15 the Party and that is what you got while the unofficial 16 reality was of course how the people lived, how they 17 saw their society, how they saw their environment and 18 their political system. 19 111 Now obviously, we don't have in 20 Canada a political official reality but what we have in 21 Canada is a universal system which keeps on churning 22 out graduates, professionals which are surplus to our 23 needs. In order to make a living, they have to create 24 an official reality which provides employment for them, 25 which sort of serves their ends. I don't blame them. StenoTran 27 1 This is their interest. But it seems to me that CBC 2 Radio Two was far too much committed to that official 3 reality and totally ignored the unofficial reality that 4 I know, as for instance a fisherman. 5 112 Now, I wrote a long thing here and I 6 have to skip some of it for time reasons. I will just 7 speak about a couple of things and that is national 8 unity and Canadian culture. 9 113 On the national unity, what is the 10 official reality that I get from the CBC? Essentially, 11 that Lucien Bouchard is a doubtful character and that 12 separatists sort of, in general, they are disturbed, 13 whatever else, you know. They are a little bit hard 14 people. Any reasonable Quebecer has to be a 15 federalist. It seems obvious from our perspective. 16 114 Well, what I saw was when I first 17 came to Canada I had fellow workers from Quebec. They 18 were constantly insulted. I worked in Ontario. They 19 were called "pea soup"; they were called "frogs", 20 whatever else. And so in listening -- Canada was new 21 to me. I was trying to understand the country. The 22 image that I got is that French Quebecers were some 23 strange lot, about 50,000 of them around Quebec City, 24 who had lots of children, bred like rabbits, were very 25 superstitious, and that was it. StenoTran 28 1 115 Now, this is on a shop level 2 conversation but in the early 1960s I read an article 3 by a lady in Hamilton. This was in "The Star Weekly" 4 -- this is a national -- you remember "The Star 5 Weekly". It was a national thing. This lady exactly 6 held the same sort of language. 7 116 What she wrote was that all 8 French-Canadian women hate their men because in Quebec 9 civil law they have fewer rights than a man, that 10 therefore -- now, we are talking about the 1960s -- 11 that therefore, French-Canadian women have lots of 12 children to mire their own husbands and sons in 13 poverty, which is kind of shocking to my mind. I 14 thought even then it was shocking. This was in the 15 early 60s. 16 117 In the mid-60s, I worked in Montreal. 17 I drove a sports car. I had a mustache which -- God 18 knows why I had it. In those days, you know, any 19 lovely old lady came up to you and said, why don't you 20 shave off this thing? But the French Canadians at the 21 time had mustaches. 22 118 When it came to rural Ontario, 23 fellows were yelling at me -- these were the anglos -- 24 you know, this and that Frenchman. I won't give all 25 the words. A couple of times, beer bottles were thrown StenoTran 29 1 at me and so on. 2 119 In the late 1960s, I worked in the 3 eastern townships in a plant. The office was English. 4 The plant was French -- French workers. The foreman 5 had to speak English to the French workers. Not only 6 that, the French workers had a social club. 7 120 At one time, the president of the 8 social club put up a notice about an upcoming dance on 9 the bulletin board that was provided for the use of the 10 workers. Immediately, this notice was removed. The 11 management put up a notice: "No French will be 12 tolerated on this bulletin board." Now, we are talking 13 about 1966-1967. The separatist business and FLQ 14 already had started. 15 121 In 1971, I was somewhere in B.C. It 16 doesn't even matter. I was talking to a lovely lady. 17 Now, she was an educated lady. Her son had a job with 18 the government in Ottawa. Well, she was actually 19 crying with rage because some gas station attendant had 20 spoken to her in French in Quebec. 21 122 Now, when you add all this up -- 22 there is the singer Félix Leclerc who sang about that, 23 how he became a separatist, a nationalist after having 24 been insulted so many times all across Canada. But 25 nothing of this I have ever seen reflected in the CBC StenoTran 30 1 and I have been listening for 20 years now to these 2 problems. 3 123 I also have never heard anything 4 about the Channel Islands over in Britain, which are 5 culturally, geographically, et cetera, ethnically 6 French, which were loyal to the Crown for 800 years 7 because they had some kind of status that approached a 8 sovereignty association which, to my mind, is a 9 solution. 10 124 Now, the interpretation that I take 11 is that national unity is a great industry. The 12 government loses a lot of money to do something or 13 other for national unity. If we had national unity, if 14 Quebec would get this form of sovereignty association, 15 whatever, well some people would be left high and dry. 16 Okay, this is national unity. 17 125 Canadian culture: Now again, what is 18 the official reality? The official reality is that 19 Canadian culture is something that is supposed to unite 20 Canada, give us a certain sense of identity, help us 21 withstand perhaps American mass culture -- it's always 22 Canadian culture and American mass culture. Even 23 there, it is an implied thing that Canadian culture is 24 not for the masses. 25 126 Anyway, the unofficial reality that I StenoTran 31 1 want to talk about is that I heard over CBC Radio Two a 2 great defense of such great achievements of Canadian 3 culture as a crucifix put in a jar of urine, as a dance 4 that consists of people sitting on chairs yelling 5 obscenities at each other and then the dance goes to 6 pan a little bit -- I heard this on CBC. You know, 7 this is Canadian art. Somebody stood up and urinated 8 in a container on full-front stage. There is of course 9 the alarm clock and the lobster covered with 2000 coats 10 of white paint and there was unfortunately an 11 18-foot-high statue that everybody saw as a vagina. 12 127 Now, the way that I heard it defended 13 over the CBC was that any criticism of these items was 14 an attack on artistic freedom. It wasn't. The issue 15 was not that people shouldn't have the right to do what 16 they wanted. The issue was that all these things were 17 founded by various government agencies. 18 128 The point here is: Now first of all, 19 do you really think you convert a Quebec separatist 20 with a crucifix in a jar full of piss? I mean it is 21 absolutely ludicrous. What does this do for unity? 22 129 But it goes a lot further when you 23 think about it. What if it would have been a 24 Newfoundland housewife who would have first thought of 25 putting a crucifix in that jar full of urine? The StenoTran 32 1 reaction would immediately have been -- from the 2 professionals, you know -- send her to a psychiatrist, 3 her clergyman, whatever else. 4 130 Would the CBC have come up and 5 defended her and said, this is a great work of art? Of 6 course not because she is an unofficial reality. I 7 mean she is crazy. 8 131 Or take a mechanic who puts up an 9 18-foot-high thing in front of his house that looks 10 like a vagina. He is prosecuted and he is told to 11 remove this bloody nuisance. Would CBC defend him? 12 No, because he is not one of the right guys. He is the 13 unofficial reality; he is not the official reality. 14 132 But this goes a lot further. Perhaps 15 the best example -- I would like to say that I am 16 telescoping a few things here -- is this painting that 17 was bought for $1.8 million by the National Gallery. 18 This, from what I heard over CBC, consists of three 19 stripes. 20 133 Now, in defence of this painting, the 21 CBC said, a lot of thought went into this. Well, it's 22 wonderful, you know. Perhaps a Newfoundland fisherman 23 would put a lot of thought in there too, you know, in 24 three stripes on a board of plywood or maybe from his 25 lobster stage. He just might take a board off it that StenoTran 33 1 is splattered from years of painting lobster buoys or 2 something like that. Would the CBC argue it is worth 3 $1.8 million? No. 4 134 What I am getting at here is the CBC 5 is totally committed to the official reality of the 6 professionals. If you are the right kind of person, 7 then you should get the money for whatever you do, 8 again, the crucifix in a jar, whatever it is, because 9 you presumably think the right thoughts while you are 10 doing it. 11 135 Well, the next logical step, of 12 course, would be that you hang up empty frames in the 13 National Gallery for which $20,000 is paid or $80,000 14 is paid because the person has the right kind of 15 university degrees and references and he thought of all 16 these wonderful things in a frame. Now again, I am not 17 knocking the person. If he can get away with it, 18 hurray for him, but essentially what you are doing, you 19 are shoving all the ordinary people out. 20 136 To a fisherman, to a cab driver, 21 three stripes of paint are three stripes of paint and 22 anybody who pays $1.8 million for it is crazy or else 23 is wasting government money. So how can this work 24 toward unity? This is what I cannot see. 25 137 My point is simply that -- I don't StenoTran 34 1 know how this Commission handles these things but the 2 CBC should be instructed or suggested or whatever else 3 to present both realities. You know, I am taking a bit 4 of an extreme point because I feel the other reality 5 has been overrepresented. I am standing here for the 6 unofficial reality. 7 138 Now, the truth like in anything is 8 somewhere in the middle, but you have to present both 9 realities to come to a proper picture of Canada that 10 most Canadians can share. If you exclude -- well 11 anyway, I won't repeat myself. I think I made my 12 point. 13 139 Thank you very much everybody. 14 140 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 15 Mr. Lieb. I think you have made your point. 16 141 Ms Moore. 17 1350 18 142 MS MOORE: I would like to call 19 Mr. Leo Furey please. 20 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 21 143 MR. FUREY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 22 144 I have the privilege today to 23 represent the Newfoundland and Labrador Film 24 Development Corporation. It is a Crown provincial 25 agency. The mandate of the Film Corporation is to StenoTran 35 1 foster and promote the development and growth of the 2 film industry, the video industry in Newfoundland and 3 Labrador, and to increase the national and 4 international visibility of Newfoundland and Labrador 5 as an on-site location for filming. 6 145 In 1997, the province established the 7 NFLDC to stimulate investment and employment in the 8 province's film industry. At that time, the film 9 industry was valued at $2 million of production 10 activity. In the fiscal year ending 97-98, production 11 activity was almost $10 million. 12 146 To further the growth of our 13 industry, in January of this year, the province 14 instituted a 40 per cent labour-based film tax credit. 15 This program is administered by our Corporation and is 16 already having a very significant impact on the growth 17 of the industry. We have every reason to expect that 18 Newfoundland and Labrador will increase its film and 19 video production and will experience the same growth as 20 the other provinces who have implemented successful 21 tools such as equity funds and tax credits. 22 147 Now traditionally, the CBC has been a 23 very strong supporter of Newfoundland's independent 24 producers. Prior to the recent regionalization policy, 25 the local CBC played a very important role in StenoTran 36 1 triggering broadcast licences and rendering access to 2 prime time viewing. 3 148 Mr. Chairman, since the 4 implementation of this regionalization policy, there 5 has been a radical change. The local independent 6 production community in this province faces the 7 continuous challenge of trying to gain access to 8 decision-makers in order to obtain broadcast licences 9 which are essential to trigger other funding. 10 149 In the past, competition for limited 11 licences was provincial. Currently, local producers 12 must compete nationally. If independent producers 13 outside central Canada -- read Toronto -- are to 14 continue to tell local stories to local audiences, the 15 CBC must review its regionalization policy, a policy 16 that restricts access to Newfoundlanders on two fronts: 17 one, geographically, and two, artistically. 18 150 For example, many of the concerns in 19 the Maritime region are not necessarily the same 20 concerns Newfoundland writers, actors, performers, 21 fishermen, truck drivers, homemakers, et cetera, have. 22 151 In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, the 23 NFLDC makes great efforts to connect broadcasters and 24 independent producers in Newfoundland in order to 25 create conditions and environments which will promote StenoTran 37 1 and advance our people in the direction of art and 2 wisdom. We will continue to build these bridges and 3 this Corporation will continue to play its role in 4 creating stronger relationships between the local 5 community and the CBC. 6 152 Thank you. 7 153 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 8 Mr. Furey. You didn't use up much of your time, so let 9 me ask you a question just of clarification here. 10 154 I am somewhat familiar with these 11 issues because I was involved in getting the Nova 12 Scotia Film Development Corporation started about 10 13 years ago. I heard stories for years about the $500 14 cup of coffee which, I guess, has become about $1,000 15 now, for people going to Toronto to cool their heels, 16 trying to get a broadcast licence, whether it was with 17 the CBC or private broadcasters. 18 155 When you talk about the issue for the 19 producers here in Newfoundland, and you mentioned early 20 in your presentation about getting programs on prime 21 time, from the perspective of the producers here, is it 22 more important -- and just helping me understand your 23 concern about this regionalization policy of the CBC -- 24 is it more important, do you think, for those 25 productions to get on the network or to be aired StenoTran 38 1 locally or regionally? 2 156 MR. FUREY: Well if I understand your 3 question, I think both. The quintessence of the 4 problem is this. Decision-making right now occurs 5 essentially out of the Toronto head office. 6 157 If I have a Newfoundland story and a 7 Newfoundland producer or some Atlantic producers or 8 even a New Zealand producer who wants to do this story, 9 I am totally controlled as a producer, and I will let 10 the many producers here today -- and I'm sure through 11 NIFCO and PAN(ph) and the various organizations 12 locally, they will speak to this as well. 13 158 But I can't just go over to the local 14 CBC office and engage a dialogue with that person that 15 is a celebratory dialogue that asks that the issues 16 that have defined us as a people in this province be 17 aired either through a docudrama medium or through a 18 fictional medium. I have to go to essentially central 19 Canada. I have the same problem the fisherman has 20 going to Ottawa about his fish. The same problem with 21 culture. 22 159 The CRTC can change this. They can 23 make a very, very important move in that direction so 24 that -- I am a producer. I can go across the street to 25 the local CBC office who understands my history, my StenoTran 39 1 culture, my art, my people, and essentially helps me to 2 deliver to the national and the international as well 3 as the local screen my story. Right now, Newfoundland 4 is at a considerable disability. Regionalization has 5 indeed created cultural marginalization and it has 6 turned out to be somewhat of a nightmare. 7 160 We have, as you know, the richest 8 history on this continent and if somebody in Toronto 9 decides that I can put my Newfoundland story on the 10 national screen if I revamp 40 per cent of the script 11 and that 40 per cent of the script will be rewritten by 12 four people who are living in downtown Toronto and have 13 never been outside that particular environment, it is 14 highly unlikely that that story is going to look like a 15 Newfoundland story by the time it hits the screen. 16 161 It is being rewritten into oblivion 17 so that I can get some dough to make a living and that 18 supersedes at that point the whole purpose of art and 19 essentially wisdom, which ties into nationalism. 20 162 THE CHAIRPERSON: So I take it you 21 would like to see some of that decision-making 22 decentralized? 23 163 MR. FUREY: All of it. 24 164 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. All right. 25 Thank you very much. StenoTran 40 1 --- Applause / Applaudissements 2 165 MS MOORE: Our next presenter will be 3 Ms Ann Bell please. 4 166 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is Ann Bell here? 5 167 We will call through the names after 6 we go through everybody if some people show up late. 7 1359 8 168 MS MOORE: Is Ms Katie Stein Sather 9 here? 10 169 MS SATHER: Yes, I am. 11 170 MS MOORE: Please go ahead. 12 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 13 171 MS SATHER: I wanted to address 14 specifically the question: Is there a special role 15 that the CBC should play in the presentation of 16 Canadian programming? If so, what should this role be? 17 172 When I moved to Canada 25 years ago, 18 this month actually, CBC and Pierre Berton's books were 19 how I learned about Canada. I personally believe that 20 this is one of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's 21 major mandates: to portray Canada to Canadians, to 22 tell us about ourselves. 23 173 It is impossible to know firsthand 24 what is happening across the country or around the 25 world. That is what news and information channels and StenoTran 41 1 shows are all about, quite explicitly. This is also 2 what arts and entertainment shows and channels are 3 about as well. They reflect in narrative and 4 representational form who and what and how we are as a 5 people. 6 174 The CBC is our tribal storyteller. 7 If our storyteller does not tell us who we are, we will 8 not know for we will be left in a vacuum only looking 9 around us immediately. 10 175 CBC radio was my constant companion 11 for a long while until I got busy enough that I 12 couldn't get any work done because it was too 13 interesting. But every once in a while, I did have the 14 opportunity to listen again for longer than the early 15 morning local broadcast, if you call Edmonton news 16 local when I lived 100 miles away. 17 176 Two years ago, I was in the process 18 of painting my house so we could sell it and painting a 19 house is an excellent opportunity to catch up on radio 20 listening. Well, I caught Peter Gzowski's Red River 21 Rally. I think my painting suffered a little with the 22 tears I shed as I realized how few people in Canada or 23 how few institutions could have pulled off such an 24 effort with so little notice. We had all been hearing 25 so much about the flood in Manitoba and feeling so StenoTran 42 1 helpless. He and the CBC gave us the opportunity to do 2 something, to hear about what was going on. 3 177 We were getting ready to move to 4 Newfoundland and it was CBC that was the common 5 denominator as we drove across the continent with two 6 canoes on top of our small truck, with us and our dog 7 and two cats inside. We visited family in the States 8 on the way across. So CBC wasn't always within range. 9 178 Returning across the border from 10 Maine to New Brunswick meant that yes, we could hear 11 CBC again. Once more, we could hear news of home, of 12 Canada. Once more, we could hear more than about local 13 arrests and automobile accidents and house fires -- 14 real stuff, not fluff and filler, and also more than 15 just the news of Canada but the news of the world. 16 179 Once we had moved into our new house 17 here in Newfoundland, CBC, because it was a constant 18 across the country, was the only bit of something 19 familiar for quite a while. Oh sure, we made friends 20 here among the folks here. We even had friends who had 21 moved here before us from Alberta. But it was the CBC 22 who was our closest friend, the one we knew best. 23 180 A couple of weeks ago, we actually 24 did more than flip past The Sports Network. It was 25 because we had a friend participating in a curling StenoTran 43 1 tournament, "The Scott Tournament of Hearts". Yes, it 2 was Colleen Jones of the CBC. No, I have never met 3 her! But we had seen her every morning for I don't 4 know how many years and we wanted to know how she was 5 doing. We cheered for her when she won. 6 181 Newsworld and CBC TV News -- and you 7 know one thing about Newfoundland, I can get Newsworld 8 here. Where I lived in Alberta, it was not available 9 because cable was not available. 10 182 The CBC and Newsworld had introduced 11 us to Colleen along with so many other Canadians that 12 they interview and show us, and that, I believe, is the 13 central task of the CBC, our central public 14 broadcaster: to introduce us to Canada and to 15 Canadians. 16 183 I enjoy Ann Petrie's TV show 17 "Absolutely Canadian", where she shows us what other 18 regional news shows are putting together. I always 19 enjoy the occasional radio holiday program from 20 Yellowknife or somewhere else that I rarely hear 21 anything about. 22 184 The recent strike though has brought 23 home to me that I also very much want to hear about 24 what is going on right here. Living halfway between 25 Calgary and Edmonton, I rarely heard about what was StenoTran 44 1 happening right there in Lacombe. It was sort of 2 nowhere land. 3 185 The tribal storyteller, CBC, is much 4 more than mere entertainment. The stories form us and 5 our identity. They tell us who we are, where we have 6 come from, and what our hopes and dreams for the future 7 are. The storyteller's stories do nothing more or less 8 than keep us together. National unity is the result of 9 many of us knowing the same stories. We identify with 10 those stories that we know. 11 186 Americans are great storytellers, if 12 nothing else. I grew up with stories of frontier 13 settlers and all kinds of heroes, in school, on TV -- I 14 never listened to the radio there. My father added his 15 personal stories of World War II to my picture of who 16 and what the country is. I knew about the tribe I grew 17 up in. Now though, I live in Canada and I want to know 18 about this tribe. 19 187 Storytellers are few and far between 20 these days. The main one, I think, the real one here 21 in Canada is the CBC. I have high hopes and high 22 expectations that it will do its job. 23 188 I want to hear about the great 24 stories of great Canadians, great Newfoundlanders, and 25 how they contributed to the making of this country and StenoTran 45 1 what the current great Canadians are doing now. 2 189 I want it to be more accurate than 3 the report from a rival news service last night which 4 mispronounced the name of the organism which causes 5 beaver fever and called it a virus twice in the same 6 news report, which it is not. 7 190 I want to hear more from Quebec, 8 sub-titled if necessary. I know only enough French to 9 just catch that the news from Quebec has a different 10 tone and a different slant than the English-Canada 11 news. We need to hear more of that to understand their 12 concerns and they of course need to hear about us. 13 191 We need to know about what is 14 happening in the Vancouver west coast fishery and they 15 need to hear about ours. I bet you there are a lot of 16 similarities. Given the politics though, it is not an 17 easy task. It is a difficult one, but that is the 18 CBC's task. 19 192 It is essential. It is our stories 20 which hold us together and we need to hear our stories, 21 not the mass media stories which I think the real 22 definition of that is American stories. 23 193 The CBC is our storyteller. 24 194 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 25 much, Ms Sather. StenoTran 46 1 195 MS MOORE: I would like to call Mr. 2 Brendan Power please. 3 196 Is Mr. Brendan Power here? 4 1406 5 197 MS MOORE: I would like to call the 6 next presenter, Dr. Jim Orr. 7 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 8 198 DR. ORR: Thank you. 9 199 First of all, I want to say that I 10 will be talking about radio. I think pretty well 11 everyone here has kind of ignored TV. I think partly 12 the reason is that TV has a lot of quite good 13 competition and I sometimes wonder what would happen if 14 CBC radio disappeared. Would there be a corresponding 15 growth of a commercial high-quality across-Canada 16 system? 17 200 I somehow doubt it but I think that 18 there is a fair amount of high-quality stuff getting in 19 the TV so that as far as I am concerned, CBC TV could 20 disappear, and although I might be sorry, I wouldn't be 21 as sorry as I would be if the radio disappeared. 22 201 I appreciate from the CBC radio the 23 high level of discussion, good music, which essentially 24 allows me to be aware of the rest of the country, as 25 others have spoken about. StenoTran 47 1 202 My main concern is that there seems 2 to be a lack of science knowledge, fundamental science 3 knowledge among those who are in charge of the 4 intellectual end of the CBC. Probably there is a good 5 deal of science knowledge in those who are keeping 6 everything working efficiently, which perhaps is why it 7 is not working quite as efficiently right now. 8 203 The Girardia(ph) suggestion of the 9 previous speaker is a case in point. We have heard 10 some ridiculous things, things that are ridiculous from 11 a scientific point of view being seriously reported on 12 CBC because there is a lack of fundamental science 13 knowledge in those who are producing the stuff. 14 204 I wonder: Do you have details of, 15 for instance, how many of the CBC radio intellectuals 16 -- people who are concerned with the programming, 17 either reporting it directly or preparing it for others 18 to report -- have a Science degree and how many have an 19 Arts degree, for instance? Is it 5 per cent Science, 20 95 per cent Arts degrees among those who have degrees? 21 I guess it is something like that. 22 205 I have heard things, for instance, 23 like it has seriously been reported that the reason 24 that there was a fire in the Gander dump was that 25 somebody had dumped a whole lot of sulphur there and it StenoTran 48 1 had been rained upon. As if a mixture of water and 2 sulphur is something which is going to ignite! What I 3 did was I actually phoned Peter Miller who had reported 4 that and said, "Peter, you have to take news item off 5 the air -- it's wrong -- until you find out exactly 6 what the truth is in the matter", which is what he did. 7 206 Each year, at Memorial, there are 8 1,100 students who take first-year chemistry. I 9 haven't checked on physics or mathematics or the 10 others. But just with chemistry alone, that means that 11 -- there are 100,000 roughly in the St. John's area. 12 That means about 1 per cent of the population of 13 St. John's is getting at least a first-year chemistry 14 course per annum. So over a 20-year period, that is 15 20 per cent of the population of St. John's, if you 16 care to do the calculation, has at least a first-year 17 chemistry course. 18 207 How does that compare with the level 19 of science knowledge of the CBC? I would say perhaps 20 the general education out in the population may be 21 higher than that of the CBC as far as good science 22 training is concerned. 23 208 Even with the science programs like 24 "Quirks and Quarks", it seems to me that over the last 25 five years or so, there has been a kind of dumbing down StenoTran 49 1 of the science reporting in "Quirks and Quarks". It is 2 more the sociology of science than the actual science 3 reporting that is being done. It is less good than it 4 was. 5 209 "Ideas" on the other hand -- the 6 program "Ideas", I think, has maintained a very 7 interesting, high level of thought, more in the 8 sociology end, but then that is its end. But it has 9 been keeping it up. 10 210 I would also like to say how much I 11 appreciate hearing the world news overnight from the 12 Radio One CBC. This is fairly new, I think. It has 13 only been a couple of years that that has been going on 14 at the most but I really appreciate that. In fact, I 15 have a tape recorder going most of the night so that 16 during the day, during the off periods during the day, 17 I can play these tapes back and listen to radio from 18 Australia or the Netherlands or Deutschvela(ph) from 19 Germany and so on. I do appreciate that very much and 20 would like that to continue and perhaps even expand a 21 bit more into the day in exchange for some other 22 programs. 23 211 I think that is just about everything 24 I have to say. I very much appreciate CBC and although 25 it is possible others might take over from it if it StenoTran 50 1 were to disappear, I doubt it. 2 212 Thank you. 3 213 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 4 much. 5 214 There are a number of CBC folks 6 sitting behind you on the wall over here and I guess we 7 will have to think about sending them all back to 8 school for a Science degree. 9 --- Laughter / Rires 10 215 THE CHAIRPERSON: Michael is getting 11 a little nervous here, I think, and I don't know 12 whether Mr. Callahan should be sending the students he 13 has brought with him today for a first-year chemistry 14 course or whatever so they can all have more knowledge 15 of science if they get to have a job in broadcasting, 16 but we will take note of your points. 17 216 Ms Moore. 18 1412 19 217 MS MOORE: I would like to call 20 Mr. John Nicolle please. 21 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 22 218 MR. NICOLLE: Good afternoon. I come 23 this afternoon as a fan of CBC radio. I listen to at 24 least six hours a day, being that it is on in the 25 morning when I wake up, in the office when I am doing StenoTran 51 1 the church's business during the day, and when I go to 2 sleep at night. 3 219 I have just moved into an area where 4 I can now receive Radio Two. I did live down on the 5 south coast of Newfoundland in Fortune and Belleoram 6 and also in central Newfoundland where I could not 7 receive Radio Two. Like a previous speaker, I was very 8 upset because it removed one of my choices that I was 9 paying for as a taxpayer. 10 220 About CBC Radio One, most of the 11 programs are very good. I do have a problem with the 12 CBC morning show. The other local news programs are 13 very province-wide, but the morning show, which calls 14 itself "The St. John's Morning Show", is very much 15 that, a St. John's morning show. 16 221 I have two examples that I have 17 brought with me, just from yesterday and today's show, 18 about how they concentrate on St. John's and if it 19 doesn't happen outside the overpass, then it doesn't 20 happen. 21 222 Yesterday morning, an interview was 22 on about a vaccine that was coming out for chicken pox. 23 The announcer announced that there was in the Avalon 24 region an outbreak of chicken pox in the last region. 25 Well, at Christmastime, my Sunday School concert almost StenoTran 52 1 didn't go ahead because of the chicken pox. This is 2 not a recent outbreak in the Avalon. It may be recent 3 in St. John's. So why was it not reported back in 4 December when it was broken out in our area? 5 223 This morning, there is a possible 6 nurses' strike going on. One of the hospitals was 7 contacted about how they would survive. Again, it was 8 the hospital in St. John's that was chosen. It was a 9 long interview. There was nothing on the hospital in 10 Marystown, nothing on the hospital in Carbonear or in 11 Harbour Breton, and I could probably go farther but I 12 don't know the rest of the Island. 13 224 The "Noon Hour" show, when it was on, 14 but it's not on now because of the strike, and the "On 15 the Go" show were very much province-wide and were very 16 good in letting me know what was going on in the rest 17 of the province. 18 225 I am, as I say, very much a fan of 19 CBC radio and I would like to see it continued and 20 fully funded. 21 226 Thank you. 22 227 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 23 Mr. Nicolle. 24 228 Just in your comments about the 25 service not being island-wide or province-wide enough, StenoTran 53 1 is that -- I am just picking up on a couple of comments 2 you made towards the end -- has that been more recent 3 than during the time of the strike or does that go back 4 even prior to the strike? 5 229 MR. NICOLLE: That goes back even 6 farther. When I was down on the south coast, I had to 7 regularly call into the morning show to find out what 8 the weather was going to be for that day in the area 9 that they were broadcasting. They would give the 10 weather for St. John's or the northeast Avalon. 11 Eventually, they learned. 12 230 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you 13 very much. 14 1416 15 231 MS MOORE: I would like to call our 16 next presenter, Ms Jackie MacNab. 17 --- Applause 18 232 MS MacNAB: Thank you. 19 233 Hello. I am here as a great fan of 20 CBC but also as a concerned listener. I am here to 21 voice my concern and disappointment over the 22 possibility of losing CBC's foreign reporters. To me, 23 it would be the most negative line of action for the 24 Corporation to take. 25 234 Every 24 hours, we look forward with StenoTran 54 1 the greatest of ease to hearing and seeing the latest 2 events in the world around us. Surely, the very 3 purpose of existing is to keep us informed in the most 4 up-to-date manner possible, not only with the news from 5 abroad but about our own countrymen living in different 6 parts of the world. 7 235 I just can't imagine CBC as a whole 8 entity without foreign reporters. It is important to 9 keep us up-to-date with the latest information, through 10 informative, easy listening and well-presented reports. 11 236 Please keep the good work coming. I 12 think we are really getting a good deal for our dollar. 13 237 To second the few gentleman back, I 14 really enjoy the "World News" at night. I think it is 15 a wonderful listen and if you are working in Great 16 Britain or have family over there, like I have been 17 doing, it's wonderful to sit back and hear Ann 18 MacMillan talking about events in different parts of 19 Canada and even Newfoundland. 20 238 Thank you. 21 239 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 22 Ms MacNab. 23 1418 24 240 MS MOORE: I would like to call 25 Mr. Carl Powell please. StenoTran 55 1 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 2 241 MR. POWELL: Might I explain a 3 little, Mr. Chairman? When I called the number that 4 was advertised to present a paper here or whatever, I 5 didn't receive the format in the mail. I happened to 6 get it just Sunday from the CBC TV. 7 242 So I wrote a report. I was working 8 along. There are a lot of attachments but it was meant 9 as a written submission for you to take anyway. There 10 are just two typed pages, if I may read them. 11 243 My name is Carl Powell. I am a 12 retired mining engineer, a professional engineer. Most 13 of this pertains to the logos and the use of words. 14 244 I would like to say, first, that I 15 disagree strongly with the gentleman who is just 16 sitting on my left here about "The Morning Show". I 17 think it is one of the best things that has happened to 18 this province and I think we have to talk about CBC as 19 a provincial entity from Cape Chidley to Cape Race and 20 as a national entity and not just St. John's versus the 21 south coast. 22 245 Just to give you one example, when I 23 got the format, it was somewhat different -- you wanted 24 to know how the CBC fitted in. I will just read this 25 one paragraph on that. StenoTran 56 1 246 Right now, there are secret and, in 2 my opinion, nefarious talks going on between the secret 3 decree Government of Quebec, Mr. Bouchard, and the 4 Newfoundland Government, Mr. Tobin. And only for the 5 TV reports of RDI on channel 55 here, Réseau de 6 l'information, I would never have known the plans for 7 Labrador and the extent of what is happening to the 8 water and the drought and the reservoirs and the 9 Hydro-Québec things, of which they include the 10 Smallwood Reservoir in Labrador. 11 247 Just last week, Jim Brown on "The 12 Morning Show" said, you should listen in to Barbara 13 Bawd(ph) and to Mary-Lou Findlay on "As It Happens" 14 because they are going to talk about this award to a 15 Ms Monique Fournier from, I think, Melbourne(ph) -- the 16 Eastern Townships, about how they stopped Hydro-Québec 17 with this 1,000-megawatt transmission line which, in my 18 opinion, is going to take the 1,000 megawatts from the 19 new Upper Churchill -- and again, this is all secret by 20 decree. I would have never known that only from 21 listening to "The Morning Show" and listening, when it 22 came on some time later, to "As It Happens". 23 248 RDI has shown us -- to me anyway -- 24 about the global warming and how it is affecting the 25 water in those reservoirs and also how it is affecting StenoTran 57 1 the drinking water perhaps. 2 249 One more comment on "The Morning 3 Show". We would never have learned in Voisey Bay that 4 there is mercury and arsenic in that locale. What it 5 means for us I don't really know but it has tremendous 6 implications if that smelter is going to go down here 7 in Argentia with mercury and arsenic. I would have 8 never known that, only for a reporter on CBC radio. 9 250 Anyway, my paper -- I call it 10 "Transmitting Denigration" and I say this: 11 251 As a self-respecting Canadian who 12 interprets the legislation on what is generally known 13 as hate propaganda as the use and conveyance of any 14 material by any method whatsoever, in part or in whole, 15 that would likely expose people to hatred, contempt or 16 derision, on the basis of race, religion, ethnic 17 origin, whether visible or invisible in the majority, I 18 find that the use of native people of the Americas in 19 general and Canada in particular as sports logos and 20 our mascots to be long overdue for eradication. 21 252 The universal moral values and the 22 proven patriotism of this nation can no longer permit 23 its inclusion. Because this abuse of a race of people 24 should be stopped, the good bearings of the CRTC must 25 be encumbered to forthwith enforce the above StenoTran 58 1 legislation in all its jurisdictions. Most of our 2 fellow citizens give little thought as to what these 3 logos mean nor to how they evolved. 4 253 One example is the Washington 5 Redskins. Redskin comes from the bounty placed on 6 native Americans of the Plains back in the mid-1850s. 7 A piece of redskin replaced the bulk of bodies and the 8 unsightly scalps as chits. That was $0.80 for a man, 9 $0.50 for a woman and $0.30 for a child. 10 254 While this sounds disgusting and 11 belongs in history, I call your attention to the local 12 press of the 27th of February 1999 where the Assembly 13 of Nova Scotia Micmac wanted the Nova Scotia Government 14 to repeal a 242-year-old British proclamation that 15 offered a bounty for native scalps. 16 255 In closing, you might be surprised to 17 know that "squaw" is the Algonquin vernacular for a 18 four-letter English "c" word for a lady. It was the 19 white man who put this name on native women. 20 256 On the use of logos or emblems, the 21 CRTC must enjoin the CBC to resist the federal 22 government order which is in the press lately to brand 23 itself a government-funded service. The CBC must 24 protect and preserve its journalistic independence. It 25 must not only say but it must show its eternal StenoTran 59 1 vigilance in the defence of freedom of expression for 2 all its citizens. Please find attachments illustrating 3 my arguments. 4 257 I also have a video I would like to 5 give you. I know you could never show it here because 6 of the time. It is called "In Whose Honour?" and it is 7 about the American use of logos and how they treat 8 their native people. 9 258 In Canada, I think the United Nations 10 rates Canada as the 47th of civilized nations in how it 11 treats its native people. I think it is long overdue 12 for some correction or some positive thing. I think 13 the CBC plays a major role. 14 259 My second part is again dealing with 15 this but more at home. I call this "What's a 16 eunolym(ph) for?" Slowly but effectively, the present 17 and the past governments of this province have foisted 18 on our people a division within the Province of 19 Newfoundland, a spurious and racially inherited name, 20 that is, the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. 21 260 This title exists nowhere officially 22 and was interjected into usage by the former 23 J.R. Smallwood in 1967 as to be the Government of 24 Newfoundland and Labrador only and all other usages 25 must continue to be Newfoundland. This and Labrador StenoTran 60 1 does not exist anywhere in the federal government in 2 Canada in international usage of any kind anywhere else 3 in the world. 4 261 From my travels and work as a 5 professional engineer in the mainland part of our 6 province, I consistently found a racial distinction 7 engendered by Mr. Smallwood and others which manifests 8 itself in such senseless sayings such as -- if you are 9 white -- I am a native-born Labradorian to distinguish 10 yourself from your grandparents on the Island part. If 11 you are not white, they say, I am a native-born 12 Labradorian native. 13 262 It seems to me that this is the most 14 idiotic name change a country could inflict upon 15 itself. There is strong speculation and suspicion that 16 in late 1995 or early 1996, that is just before Mr. 17 Tobin returned to this province, that a directive came 18 down from the CBC head and, henceforth, the CBC radio 19 and TV in Newfoundland were to use the incorrect term 20 "Newfoundland and Labrador". 21 263 I believe this is the vein that 22 Mr. Tobin is desperately seeking to outdo Joey and to 23 give away the resources situated in the Labrador part 24 of our province, in short, the Lower Churchill, the 25 pellet plant, the iron ore, and those mineral wealths StenoTran 61 1 yet to come, nickel, copper, rare earth metals, et 2 cetera. 3 264 Also and perhaps more important -- 4 and there are attachments here to show this -- the use 5 of "and Labrador" is a constant irritant in the side of 6 our sister province of Quebec and objections from 7 Quebec are usually met in Newfoundland with 8 unfortunately derisive and racial responses. The use 9 of "and Labrador" only serves to marginalize our native 10 people, incessantly rebuffs Quebec, and gives further 11 credence to another racial slur, the Newfie joke. 12 Please find an attachment showing the lunacy that 13 seemingly once patriotic Newfoundlanders -- 14 265 There is also another point, my last 15 point. I would like to see the Regulations used to 16 stop CBC from calling this province by another foul 17 four-letter name: Iraq. This term was also authored 18 by Mr. Smallwood on one of his begging trips to Ottawa, 19 where he said, "Have mercy on us down in Newfoundland. 20 We are but a fog-shrouded rock in the North Atlantic." 21 266 I think the CRTC, in those things 22 about emblems and the use of this word, has a strong 23 role to play. 24 267 Thank you. 25 268 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Powell. StenoTran 62 1 1427 2 269 MS MOORE: I would like to call 3 Ms Patricia Ploughman please. 4 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 5 270 MS PLOUGHMAN: Thank you. I am not 6 representing anybody here but myself and I will keep 7 this as brief as I can. 8 271 I have long been a CBC radio fan 9 because I came to Newfoundland in 1958, having cut my 10 teeth on BBC radio. So my perspective is obviously 11 here mainly directed towards the radio. 12 272 When I received the information from 13 the CRTC, I had been planning, prior to this, prior to 14 learning about these hearings, I had a number of 15 letters sworn and in the writing process to go to CBC 16 management and also to Sheila Copps et al, voicing a 17 number of concerns. Anyway, when I read some of these 18 guidelines here it seemed that some of my concerns fit 19 in with some of these questions. 20 273 The first question: In your view, 21 how well does the CBC fulfill its role? 22 274 Now, I am not quite sure what the 23 role is. However, I heard a discussion on the radio 24 the other day that one of the early proponents of 25 public radio said that public radio should be a StenoTran 63 1 billboard, that it should entertain and educate. That 2 is a paraphrasing of what he actually said. 3 275 Well, I have to say that since 1958 I 4 have been educated and I have been entertained but over 5 the last four years I have been dismayed by the changes 6 and disappointed in the kinds of things that I have 7 seen happening from the point of view of programming. 8 Quite often, the need to streamline and cut costs 9 results in increased creativity but this doesn't seem 10 to have happened. 11 276 It appears to listeners that a lot of 12 these changes have occurred secondary to budget cuts. 13 Nationally, there seems to be a lack of variety, a 14 marked decrease in some program depth, of coverage, of 15 subject matter and background research, and locally, 16 not just all of the above but a complete loss of some 17 programs, and worst of all, repetition, repetition, 18 repetition -- and need I say again -- repetition. 19 277 In fact, what is happening to radio 20 it is in danger of becoming background noise instead of 21 being an educator and an entertainer. We have seen 22 during this recent labour and management dispute just 23 what we may have to face in the future: generic 24 Ontario radio and more repetition, repetition, 25 repetition. StenoTran 64 1 278 It is not that I am resistant to 2 change. Heaven knows I can program a VCR but change 3 does not seem to be -- I cannot see in the changes that 4 have occurred anything particularly positive for those 5 of us who are dedicated radio listeners. 6 279 One of the other questions is: How 7 well does CBC serve the public on a regional as well as 8 a national level? 9 280 Well, I just made that comment and 10 several other gentlemen made the same comment, that the 11 regions seem to have been paired down to the bone, the 12 decision-making has been removed and it is very obvious 13 on a day-to-day basis. 14 281 Should the programming being provided 15 by CBC radio be different? 16 282 Well, it is different. It is 17 different now. I mean, from a radio perspective, if 18 you turn on the radio, you know immediately as soon as 19 you hear it when you have CBC radio on. So I think it 20 would be absolutely devastating if that were to change. 21 283 Is there a special role that the CBC 22 should play in the presentation of Canadian 23 programming? 24 284 Well, Canada is not a melting pot. 25 It is a huge geographically diverse country with a StenoTran 65 1 relatively small diverse cultural population. It is a 2 sum of the parts and we need to maintain the strength 3 of those parts to ensure the strength of the country as 4 a whole. 5 285 If we are to maintain that strength, 6 we need a distinctive public broadcaster to mirror the 7 regions to themselves, to the nation, and the nation to 8 the regions, and to promote and nurture the huge 9 amounts of talent that exist in this country. 10 286 In closing, I would just like to 11 quote Claire Mowatt(ph) in her book, "The Outport(ph) 12 People": 13 "I have often wondered if the 14 Canadian Broadcasting 15 Corporation knows or cares about 16 all those distant and unknown 17 corners of its domain where its 18 unique programs are heard." (As 19 read) 20 287 Thank you. 21 288 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 22 Ms Ploughman. 23 1432 24 289 MS MOORE: I would like to call 25 Ms Dolores Flynn please. StenoTran 66 1 290 Is Ms Dolores Flynn here? 2 291 Okay, we will move to the next 3 presenter, Ms Mary Ennis. 4 292 We will move to Mr. Harry Brown 5 please. 6 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 7 293 MR. BROWN: Thank you. 8 294 I must say I wish -- this would make 9 a great show today. It's too bad you didn't have a 10 licence. 11 --- Laughter / Rires 12 295 THE CHAIRPERSON: I recognize that 13 voice. 14 296 MR. BROWN: Well, it is a rare 15 occasion that the CRTC actually presides over 16 enlightenment -- 17 --- Laughter / Rires 18 297 MR. BROWN: I had the occasion in -- 19 just a few things. I had the good luck to be born and 20 brought up in St. John's east. I was 19 years old when 21 I woke up one morning and they told me I was a 22 Canadian. I didn't have a chance to vote on it because 23 I was only 19. I won't speculate on what my vote would 24 have been but it was a fascinating experience. 25 298 Now, we were mildly aware of Canada. StenoTran 67 1 First of all, it was a foreign country, and if you 2 don't believe me, you should have been here when your 3 troops came here during World War II. I think it was 4 they who coined the term "Newfie" and it was in there 5 with words like "nigger" and "frog". They weren't 6 terms of endearment. 7 299 However, we had other positive views 8 of Canada. "Stage 49" on CBC radio was a must. I was 9 a student at Memorial University -- College at the 10 time. My degree by the way is GE(ph) and we were also 11 accustomed to listening to Wayne and Shuster, who were 12 incredibly creative and incredibly funny. So we did 13 have this brush with Canadians and Canada. 14 300 It seems to me that there are certain 15 conditions existing, conditions over which we had no 16 control, which makes the presence of the CBC in this 17 country of particular importance. These conditions 18 are: the size and geography of Canada itself, our 19 relative low population density, our two languages -- 20 well, four if you include the various Cree and so on 21 languages and the various Innu languages and dialects 22 -- and our border with the United States, which we are 23 told laughingly is also an English-speaking nation. 24 301 One fact makes public broadcasting, 25 radio and television, a necessity and that is that our StenoTran 68 1 population spread out as it is could not be served and 2 would not be served by private broadcasters for the 3 clear and simple reason that it would not be 4 profitable. You simply cannot make money doing a 5 comprehensive job of broadcasting over large tracts of 6 thinly populated areas like Newfoundland and Labrador. 7 302 Now, a comprehensive job of 8 broadcasting does not consist of pop music and 9 open-line talk shows and commercials with the 10 occasional nod towards what passes as a newscast. In 11 this country and in this province in particular, we 12 must have mirror broadcasting. We must show us to 13 ourselves with our own history, our own literature, our 14 music, our own culture. 15 303 Thirty years ago, the CBC in this 16 province, which was then only a few years old -- I 17 think CBC television was only about four years old at 18 the time -- besides the local and national radio 19 schedule had a very impressive list of local television 20 productions. 21 304 There were music programs. There was 22 a high school quiz show which was the pilot groundwork 23 -- a whole year of work went into it -- for what became 24 "Reach for the Top". I'm sure you are all familiar 25 with "Reach for the Top". It was called "High Teens" StenoTran 69 1 and it included, besides the questions and so on, news 2 and issues of interest to high school students, 3 presented by the students themselves. 4 305 We had children's programming 5 produced here in Newfoundland with local boys and 6 girls. We had quiz shows for adults. We had 7 Newfoundland historical recreations. There were shows 8 like -- series shows like "Yesterday's Heroes" and 9 "Where Once They Stood". In 1983, the ACTRA Award for 10 the best Canadian television production for the year 11 was won in St. John's by Tom Call for "Cornerstone of 12 Empire". He did it with local people and with local 13 resources. The list goes on. It is impressive and it 14 is lengthy. I urge you to have someone provide it for 15 your files. 16 306 In 1982, the CBC radio and television 17 staff in St. John's numbered close to 300 people. Now 18 for the entire province -- and you know we are somewhat 19 bigger than Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince 20 Edward Island put together -- the staff for the entire 21 province is around 130 and the program schedule 22 reflects this murderous cutback in staff. I understand 23 that the cutbacks have been greater here in this region 24 than in any other region of the CBC in the country. 25 307 We are reduced to a local TV newscast StenoTran 70 1 a day called "Here and Now", a weekly "Land and Sea" 2 show -- it is an excellent program -- and in an entire 3 season about half a dozen episodes of a show called 4 "Dooley Gardens", also a very fine program. No music, 5 no children's programs, no variety programs. Our local 6 artists must hear of what I am saying now and not 7 believe what they are hearing. But I assure you it is 8 the truth. 9 308 I would not be dismayed if the local 10 CBC television stations became a more frequent producer 11 of Newfoundland and Labrador cultural programs and 12 placed a smaller amount of their already massively 13 reduced budget on news. It seems to me that the local 14 private broadcasters might be able to do an adequate 15 job in news. Perhaps some of our staff could go and 16 show them a few things. I say our because I feel 17 proprietary about the CBC. I have spent 30 years of my 18 life working there. 19 309 Also, I feel that CBC television 20 should be commercial-free. Radio is and in the past 21 25-30 years since it has become commercial free it, I 22 think, has become much better. 23 310 Now in my youth, I had the great 24 advantage of working in a variety of radio and 25 television programs. It was interesting to visit with StenoTran 71 1 the groups of English, Australian, New Zealand, and 2 American broadcasters who were so impressed with the 3 program ideas and program productions that we had that 4 they came here to see how they were done. They were 5 keen to try out some of the ideas that we had at home. 6 311 "As It Happens" was of particular 7 interest and I had the honour to work on the program 8 for the first six years of its existence. They were 9 especially impressed with "Marketplace" and 10 "Morningside" and that the programs were based in 11 Toronto, the centre of the universe. Viewers and 12 listeners in every part of the country were very much 13 included in the content and points of view of the 14 programs and in a great majority of the air time of all 15 of these same programs. 16 312 We quite enjoyed these visits since 17 here in Canada CBC had till then -- and I gather from 18 this meeting that not much has changed. We have not 19 enjoyed the same respect. We were, after all, a child 20 of the BBC. By the way, these comparisons with the BBC 21 bear perhaps another glance. 22 313 All of the United Kingdom is served 23 by the BBC radio and television, AM and FM, and the 24 entire area uses less than a dozen transmitters, this 25 for a population of 60 million -- more than twice our StenoTran 72 1 population -- one language, no English-language 2 competition nearby, and in one time zone. Britain, the 3 United Kingdom, was designed by a broadcaster -- in 4 1066 or whenever it was. 5 --- Laughter / Rires 6 314 MR. BROWN: The CBC uses over 600 7 transmitters, and according to what we heard this 8 afternoon, they could use a few more -- six time zones, 9 English, French, several dialects of Cree and Innu. 10 You always have to remember that this country was not 11 designed by a broadcaster. It was like topsy. It just 12 sort of happened. 13 315 On the subject of language, we might 14 not be having these meetings and the existence of the 15 CBC might not be threatened had we opted sensibly -- I 16 believe we should have opted sensibly in 1867 -- to 17 declare French to be our national language. We would 18 have been much better off in every respect if we had 19 decided to be francophones instead of whatever it is we 20 are. That border wouldn't bother us any more. 21 316 We must recognize that we regard, in 22 this country, still regard literature, music and drama, 23 and folklore and history as culture. There is nothing 24 terribly surprising about that as the United States 25 treats these elements as commodities to be packaged and StenoTran 73 1 sold for profit on the world market. Until they come 2 to recognize this difference in perception -- until 3 they come to recognize this difference and respect our 4 differences, then we must protect and enhance that 5 which is ours. The alternative is that we should sell 6 our souls for a few dollars. 7 317 We might as well then go, cap in 8 hand, to Washington and seek admission of ourselves, 9 our children, our lumber, our minerals, our fish, our 10 water, our acres, our air, to the land of the free and 11 the home of the brave -- I understand you have to be 12 brave to live there. 13 318 Make no mistake about it: there are 14 Canadians who wouldn't hesitate, a majority to be sure, 15 but perhaps influential ones -- ask Mr. Asper. Now it 16 might help if the CRTC and the appropriate federal 17 government departments were made aware of certain 18 facts. 19 319 There is, in nuclear science, a 20 condition known as critical mass and that is the amount 21 of a given fissionable material necessary to sustain 22 the chain reaction but at a constant rate. Is that 23 close? 24 320 UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Close. 25 321 MR. BROWN: Thank you. StenoTran 74 1 322 Let us consider a sufficient number 2 of already creative people to have a significant effect 3 or to achieve a result. Let us call it collegiality, 4 the interaction that takes place amongst colleagues, a 5 most necessary state of affairs for a broadcasting 6 system devoted more to creativity, to art, to 7 entertainment and to knowledge than to the assembling 8 of numbers of viewers or listeners to impress sponsors 9 so that they can sell other commodities. Surely even 10 the Americans recognize this. When some of them 11 created national public broadcasting -- or PBS, public 12 broadcasting, child of the CBC, dare I say. 13 323 Peter Gzowski: we have heard a 14 couple of well-deserved and complimentary mentions of 15 Peter today. He depends upon this as do all the 16 broadcasters that I know of in the business. You don't 17 suppose that the on-air people work alone. Even the 18 viewer and listener might believe that somewhere off -- 19 you know, that this person -- but if you are in the 20 business, you know that there has to be a back-up team. 21 There has to be a creative team and we feed from each 22 other. 23 324 One of the great programs that was on 24 the air on radio in the forties was "Stage 46", "Stage 25 47", "Stage 48" drama on radio -- magnificent drama. StenoTran 75 1 Esther W. Young(ph) was one of the producers as was 2 Andrew Allen(ph). I can't tell you the goosebumps that 3 I encountered when I first met Andrew Allen. He was 4 almost as tall as Nick Ketchum and sometimes as 5 creative. 6 325 Andrew would say to me every once in 7 a while, "Harry, I need a word." Now, this is taking 8 collegiality a bit far, I think. Andrew grew up of 9 course and lived in central Canada and for a while in 10 the U.K. He was on one of those big torpedo wings that 11 happened at the beginning of the Second World War. 12 326 I said to him, one day, "How about 13 sleveen(ph), Andrew?" "Ah, that's fantastic! Sleveen, 14 what a wonderful word! What does it mean?" I said, 15 "It is onomatopoeic in a way. It means a sneaky, sly 16 person." "Oh, that's fantastic, fantastic!" And off 17 he went to create another "Stage 54" whatever it was 18 and I always felt that I, in some small way, had a 19 part. 20 327 I would like to take a moment to take 21 the CRTC to task. Now I am told that you prevented the 22 CBC from rebroadcasting "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" from 23 the news channel after complaints from the Mr. Aspers 24 of this country that this show did not meet the 25 definition of news -- his definition of news. StenoTran 76 1 328 Now, we all know and love, not just 2 "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" but the people who create 3 it. They are all ours, even though they are in Nova 4 Scotia. That is a temporary exile. They will come 5 home when the occasion demands. They need to get their 6 creative juices restored. 7 329 Mr. Asper or some private 8 broadcasters -- what the private broadcaster really 9 complained about was that he couldn't compete with the 10 creativity. So you must and you did relieve him of the 11 need to be more creative. 12 330 Imagine if the Edmonton Oilers 13 complained to the NHL that the Toronto Maple Leafs were 14 scoring too many goals. We have to do something about 15 that. It makes it unfair. You can't get more Canadian 16 than that. 17 331 By the way, "The Antiques Road Show" 18 is on Newsworld. A new show? 19 --- Off microphone / Sans microphone 20 332 MR. BROWN: But maybe Mr. Asper 21 didn't complain. 22 333 Let's get rid of the CBC. The hell 23 with it! Then we can form committees and commissions 24 and give grants to ex-politicians to rediscover it. 25 The Pope also, by the way, should paint the Sistine StenoTran 77 1 Chapel. 2 334 Before we rush to burn the place 3 down, let us recall, if only for a moment, that it was 4 Joan Watson of the CBC, not Mr. Asper, who told her 5 Toronto CBC radio audience in the early seventies that 6 Loblaws charged less than Dominion Stores for beef and 7 chicken and fish and eggs and pork but that Food City 8 had the best quality food and vegetables. What's this? 9 Good heavens! Calling a spade a spade. You can't do 10 that. That's "unbroadcasting". Not on private 11 airwaves where the sponsor knows he doesn't have to 12 flex the old corporate muscle -- no muzzling of the 13 free press after all, just a little wink at contract 14 time. 15 335 Joan, by the way, began the great CBC 16 TV series "Marketplace". Her bosses backed her all the 17 way when she was criticized in that way as long as she 18 had her facts right. It's too bad -- now mind you, 19 these bosses were old bureaucrats, old broadcasters, 20 most of them. Too bad they weren't around for Terry 21 Milewsky. 22 336 Our old Corporation may not be as 23 good as it might be. Even the federal government has 24 seen to that. But if you count the cost at about 25 $40.00 per taxpayer per year -- it comes out at less StenoTran 78 1 than $10.00 a week, two or three cups of coffee -- it 2 probably comes in a lot cheaper than the private 3 broadcasters. Someone has to pay for all that 4 advertising. 5 337 You don't dream for a minute, do you, 6 that when Chevy advertises on CTV that some of the cost 7 of that advertising is not passed down to the consumer? 8 I mean we are all, I'm sure, not naive enough to 9 believe that. 10 338 Let us not overlook the fact that 11 every dollar earned by a CBC employee -- the vanishing 12 breed, God love them -- every dollar goes -- about 13 $0.25 of it goes back to the feds directly in income 14 tax. So it is not a dead loss all the way for you 15 guys. 16 339 The cost per Canadian makes the CBC 17 the best deal in town. There is little chance that it 18 can be replaced. Take a look at tonight's TV schedule. 19 I had a look at it. I didn't bring it with me but you 20 can get it probably in your hotel room. CBC after 6:30 21 tonight, from 6:30 to midnight, which is the whole 22 night -- would you agree? -- the CBC is all Canadian. 23 340 NTV, which is the local CTV outlet, 24 except for local news which ends at 7:00, I think, is 25 all American -- all of it American. ASN in Halifax, StenoTran 79 1 another channel that we get on cable, except local 2 news, all American. Edmonton, CITV, whatever, I don't 3 know what they are affiliated with, except local news, 4 all American. Hamilton in Ontario, just down the road 5 from the Centre, except local news, all American 6 programming -- all of it; 100 per cent. 7 341 If you just landed here from 8 somewhere and watched television, you would be 9 hard-pressed to guess you were in St. John's or you 10 were in Chicoutimi or you were in Regina and not in 11 Duluth or Americville(ph). For a long time, the cable 12 systems provided us here in Newfoundland with ABC and 13 CBS and NBC from Detroit -- 550 murders a year; two 14 million people, around the same size as Toronto. 15 342 I interviewed the mayor one time. He 16 told me that there were 900,000 unregistered handguns 17 in Detroit. I can only imagine the results of pressing 18 that city's culture on Holyrood -- 2,000 people. I 19 live there, 40 miles out of town. On a good day, 20 downwind, I can get CBC transmitter and radio. I have 21 to talk to them about that. 22 --- Laughter / Rires 23 343 MR. BROWN: No wonder our cops 24 demanded and just recently got handguns, another loss 25 in our cultural turn. That kind of uninterpreted StenoTran 80 1 broadcasting would have young people believe that 2 murder was no big deal, that it happens every day, that 3 every murderer is a black man -- lessons in racism here 4 without even having to pay for it; total immersion 5 education in racism yet. A small population lying 6 cheek by jowl with a large one makes Canada an easy 7 target. An even smaller population here in 8 Newfoundland and Labrador makes our cultural situation 9 critical. 10 344 We sang "Thank God We Are Surrounded 11 by Water". Tom Call wrote it -- the same guy who 12 produced that program I mentioned earlier. We have it 13 with a certain security because there was the water, 14 but the radio and television signals find that no 15 barrier and so we have to rush to our own defence. It 16 may already be too late. While we desperately need the 17 CBC to bring us Canadian culture, we need even more to 18 remind us of our own. If not them, that is to say the 19 CBC, then who? You? The feds? 20 345 I must say I called the CRTC office 21 on that one number that was given on the television 22 screen very quickly and I was a little shocked when the 23 young woman who answered the phone -- I found out she 24 was in Halifax -- mispronounced Newfoundland. Now, you 25 know, that is very funny. That is very funny. I am StenoTran 81 1 glad you smiled at that. Can you imagine anyone saying 2 "Ontereeo" and being taken seriously? But it's okay to 3 say "Newfandland", especially if you are in Halifax. I 4 told her I was offended and she was nonplussed. I have 5 her name but I am not going to mention that. That is 6 neither here nor there. 7 346 But you know, on radio last spring, I 8 heard Rafe Mair(ph) and Terry Milewsky and a 9 professorial person from the University of Calgary, 10 which I think might be an oxymoron, discussing hate 11 literature. Somebody mentioned hatred literature here 12 today. They were talking about the fact that people 13 were putting out on the Internet and so on, racial, 14 anti-semitic, anti-french, anti-black, and so on jokes. 15 Milewsky turned to the professorial person and said, 16 "You wouldn't have stopped a Newfie joke, would you?" 17 She said, "Oh, heavens know. It's okay to do that." 18 You can't be more Canadian than that! 19 347 THE CHAIRPERSON: It is with great 20 trepidation that I interrupt somebody who has the 21 reputation you have with the CBC but I have allowed you 22 to go considerably over your time. 23 348 MR. BROWN: I thank you for your 24 indulgence. Thank you very much. 25 349 THE CHAIRPERSON: I should say the StenoTran 82 1 reason I smiled when you talked about mispronouncing 2 Newfoundland is that it is not the first time that we 3 have heard about people mispronouncing words at some of 4 these sessions. Of course, I was screeched in here a 5 number of years ago and told the proper pronunciation 6 of the name and the province. But everybody doesn't 7 always get it, whether you have been screeched in or 8 not. 9 350 MR. BROWN: It's easy if you remember 10 it rhymes with understand and I think it's key to 11 understand. 12 351 DR. FRENCH: As if you know how to 13 pronounce understand. 14 --- Laughter / Rires 15 352 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, let me ask 16 you a quick question. 17 353 MR. BROWN: Yes. 18 354 THE CHAIRPERSON: You mentioned in 19 your presentation that if the CBC here had to make a 20 choice of spending more money on culture as opposed to 21 news, it perhaps should do that. 22 355 My understanding -- and I stand to be 23 corrected here -- is that St. John's is probably one of 24 the few places in the country where the CBC local news 25 actually gets a higher audience than the private StenoTran 83 1 broadcaster. 2 356 MR. BROWN: That's true, yes. 3 357 THE CHAIRPERSON: So it would appear 4 that they do a pretty good job of doing local news 5 here. 6 358 MR. BROWN: Oh, I have no quarrel 7 with that. 8 359 THE CHAIRPERSON: So if you were to 9 do what you suggest, my question is: How would you 10 draw that appropriate balance? 11 360 MR. BROWN: Well, I just think that 12 the daily happenings of unfortunately that young woman 13 in Washington and that clown who calls himself the 14 President -- you see, I thought Bill C-55 referred to 15 the President's age. 16 361 I thought that -- you know, I think 17 that the culture is more important than a kneejerk 18 response to an event that happened which may or may not 19 be important to our daily lives. I think knowing where 20 we came from and how we got here is more important than 21 the fact that somebody has a motorcar accident or there 22 was a barn fire or something yesterday. 23 362 THE CHAIRPERSON: So if you were in 24 the position to have to make those choices then, how 25 would you go about that? StenoTran 84 1 363 MR. BROWN: I think if I were the 2 Director of the CBC in Newfoundland, I would have a 3 helluva job. I would want to do the loaves and fishes 4 number. You are familiar with that? 5 --- Laughter / Rires 6 364 MR. BROWN: Oh, good. I don't know. 7 I think you have cut his money so far back that he is 8 unable to fish or cut bait and so it would be an 9 unenviable job. 10 365 Now, you see before CBC television 11 came along, the private sector used to broadcast a fair 12 amount of local music and drama and so on, but they 13 never paid the performers. They got them all for 14 nothing. 15 366 They had a Glee Club. The University 16 Glee Club used to present regularly on what was then 17 called CJON TV -- it is now NTV -- and it was great. 18 Lovely programs and we all enjoyed them. But if you 19 were a performer or if you were an artist or if you 20 were a musician, you had better have a day job. So I 21 don't know that there is enough money left in the kitty 22 here to do anything but turn the fire on every morning. 23 I rather suspect it is cut back pretty severely. 24 367 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you 25 very much. We appreciate your presentation. StenoTran 85 1 1503 2 368 MS MOORE: I would like to call our 3 next presenter, Ms Gisella Kumar please. 4 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 5 369 MS KUMAR: Mr. Chairman, ladies and 6 gentlemen. I am very pleased to have this opportunity 7 to say how I feel about the CBC. 8 370 What does the CBC mean to me? In my 9 case, it is the radio because I do not have television. 10 The CBC means everything to me, whether I am driving my 11 car or staying at home, whether I am living in remote 12 areas or move to another province and, even when I am 13 bedridden, unable to do anything else, the CBC is 14 there, a steady companion, intellectual stimulation, 15 all sorts of knowledge and information, food for 16 thought, linked to the rest of the world, a means of 17 relaxation with classical music. 18 371 I have a radio in every room of the 19 house and even two radios in the kitchen and the 20 bedroom. One is set on the AM dial, the other on the 21 FM. 22 --- Laughter / Rires 23 372 MS KUMAR: I often adjust my work 24 schedule to suit the time slot of specific programs and 25 when I wake up too early in the morning, "CBC StenoTran 86 1 Overnight" is there providing me with an interesting 2 window on the world. 3 373 What do I expect of the CBC? I 4 expect the CBC to remain a public broadcasting 5 corporation with no advertising, unbiased and free of 6 political interference, and I also expect quality 7 programming for both national and regional 8 broadcasting, reflecting the diversity of our heritage 9 and culture and the distinctiveness of every province. 10 374 What are current shortcomings? 11 Drastic government spending cuts have led to the 12 elimination of outstanding programs which are being 13 replaced with others with contents of inferior quality, 14 too many programs being repeated too many times and the 15 total lack of local representation on weekends. 16 375 I consider a local presence seven 17 days a week as vital as food, shelter and medicare. 18 Without it, we are abandoned and cut off from the 19 happenings around us, which can even lead to dangerous 20 situations. 21 376 Not so long ago, I headed out by car 22 on a Saturday morning. Before too long, I found myself 23 in the middle of a complete white-out in a full-blown 24 blizzard, unable to see anything and wondering how I 25 would make it back home safely. Not a word on CBC StenoTran 87 1 radio all weekend long about hazardous driving 2 conditions. Can you imagine how I felt? 3 377 As far as the replacement of 4 "Morningside" is concerned, I miss the Canadian 5 heartbeat, the human element of Canadians exploring 6 other parts of Canada and Canadians of different 7 cultural backgrounds learning about each other. I am 8 not thrilled with what I would call the dry reporting 9 style of general interest topics presented by the new 10 program "This Morning". In particular, I wonder why we 11 need two hosts simultaneously bouncing off each other, 12 saying their names repeatedly throughout the morning 13 session. 14 378 What do I expect of the government? 15 I expect the Government of Canada to recognize the 16 importance of the CBC as a cultural institution with a 17 mandate to preserve our Canadian identity, enrich our 18 knowledge of each other living in different provinces 19 and to use the CBC as an essential link for the unity 20 of Canada. 21 379 Last but not least, I would like to 22 say a word about those brave representatives of CBC 23 radio on the air and their support staff, hosts like 24 Jim Brown locally, and Rock Clipperton(ph), Dave 25 Stevens and John De Charity(ph) at the national level, StenoTran 88 1 just to mention a few. With their many years of 2 experience, they are not only providing us with an 3 absolutely outstanding service, even in the most 4 difficult times as we can see right now, but they are 5 people with heart and soul, not just the wonderful 6 voices we hear. 7 380 They have the rare ability to provide 8 backbone and integrity. Often, they are facing 9 controversial topics and listeners, all the while 10 having to remain impartial. They provide us listeners 11 with the only forum to speak out and to make our voices 12 heard. These wonderful employees of the CBC need to be 13 treated well and to be paid well for a most demanding 14 job so that we can all continue to enjoy their 15 programming. 16 381 My plea to the CRTC and the 17 Government of Canada: You owe it to the Canadian 18 taxpayer to recognize the importance of the CBC as a 19 public broadcasting corporation deserving support and 20 100 per cent funding as one of the most important 21 cultural institutions in Canada. 22 382 Thank you for listening. 23 383 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 24 much, Ms Kumar. 25 384 I am going to suggest we take about a StenoTran 89 1 10-minute break and then we will pick up with 2 Mme Ragotte and continue on through the session. 3 385 Brien, you are shaking your head no? 4 --- Off microphone / Sans microphone 5 386 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. 6 --- Recess / Pause 7 387 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 8 much. We will return to our agenda now. 9 388 Ms Moore, can we have the next 10 presenter? 11 389 Could we have quiet in the back 12 please? 13 390 Thank you. 14 391 MS MOORE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 15 392 I would like to call Mr. Frank Smith 16 please. 17 1517 18 393 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Smith. 19 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 20 394 MR. SMITH: Good afternoon. I would 21 like to address a number of different issues. 22 395 I am going to begin with one that may 23 seem strange in Newfoundland but I will do it anyway. 24 It's the French-English issues. 25 396 CBC does fulfill its role as a StenoTran 90 1 national public broadcaster, particularly CBC radio, 2 but in my view it could do better by decreasing the 3 ghettoization of these media. English-language radio 4 and television rarely use francophones, even bilingual 5 ones, and I suspect that French-language services 6 rarely use anglophones in their programming. Why? 7 397 If there is one single way in which 8 Canada is demonstrably different from our neighbour to 9 the south, it is the French fact. Change may be 10 coming, but ever so slowly. 11 398 On CBC Two, we have the introduction 12 of music for a while in early evening with Daniel 13 Charbonneau, a refreshingly different sound. On CBC 14 One, we have a new segment of a program with Bernard 15 Saint-Laurent, also coming from Montreal. On CBC 16 television, the face of Francine Pelletier is familiar 17 on "The Fifth Estate". 18 399 Is that all the francophones? I 19 believe so but this country is 20-25 per cent 20 francophone. Why the underrepresentation when other 21 ethnic minorities are so carefully represented? The 22 recent series of TV programs about the lives of both 23 English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians is a 24 helpful step in the right direction. 25 400 Regional radio and television: I was StenoTran 91 1 very pleased to hear Harry Brown's remarks. The CBC's 2 presence in the regions is essential for the private 3 broadcasters do not have the interest in culture 4 displayed by the CBC. I speak from personal experience 5 of working with some of these private broadcasters and 6 also with the CBC. 7 401 The regional CBC radio in particular 8 enables local talent to be showcased and to obtain 9 performing experience before it is quite ready for 10 national exposure. But budgets are severely limited. 11 For example, the regional musical program, 12 "Musicraft"(ph) has sufficient budget to feature the 13 Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra only once per year even 14 thought the orchestra is capable of attracting Canadian 15 artists of international calibre such as André Laplante 16 and John Camirand-Parker(ph) to play with it. 17 402 Furthermore, with recent 18 technological developments in transmission and 19 communication, more, not fewer, programs could 20 originate in the regions. Many programs on radio 21 originate from Vancouver and Winnipeg for example and 22 there has been a veritable explosion of TV programs 23 from the east coast, particularly Halifax in recent 24 years. 25 403 From this city, I know of two StenoTran 92 1 national radio programs originating here: "The Great 2 Eastern" and "That Time of the Night". There may be 3 others and I do believe that TV's "Land and Sea" has 4 been seen outside Newfoundland. 5 404 About CBC programming: CBC radio 6 programming is different from other broadcasters in 7 Canada but has similarities to BBC in the U.K. and to 8 PBS in the U.S.A. and that is as it should be. No 9 commercial interruptions. Stress is on quality 10 programming. Music is well-served by CBC but drama has 11 little exposure and neither do prose or poetry reading 12 or programs aimed at the next generation of listeners, 13 after all, the children. I well recall listening 14 myself to BBC children's programs that were fascinating 15 and led to me becoming a regular radio listener. 16 405 I think TV could do a better job by 17 showing classic, Canadian and foreign films. 18 Sub-titles could be acceptable if the quality of the 19 film justified them. I also miss programs which we had 20 in the past such as the three-hour long music on a 21 Sunday afternoon on "Sunday Arts Entertainment". 22 406 I think it appropriate for the CBC to 23 bring us the Olympic Games but I doubt that "Hockey 24 Night in Canada" should pre-empt all other programs on 25 Saturdays. Could it not be relocated to some service StenoTran 93 1 such as Newsworld? 2 407 Repetition of programs: Some have 3 criticized CBC's repetition of programs and I agree to 4 some extent, but there are some programs aired on CBC 5 One or on CBC Two that I should like to have a chance 6 to hear when they coincide with something else to which 7 I want to listen. Two examples of this are "Quirks and 8 Quarks" and "Writers and Company", both as far as I 9 know on CBC One only, at present. 10 408 Some people have commented on the 11 missing of Peter Gzowski. My own person whom I heard 12 on CBC at one time and now miss is Peter 13 Diefenbach(ph), a recent arrival. 14 409 Thank you very much for the 15 opportunity to make this presentation. 16 410 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 17 Mr. Smith. 18 1536 19 411 MS MOORE: I would like to call 20 Ms Eileen Dicks please. 21 412 We will move to the next presenter, 22 Ken Pittman please. 23 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 24 413 MR. PITTMAN: Mr. Chairman, I just 25 want to say thanks on behalf of the Producers StenoTran 94 1 Association of Newfoundland for the opportunity to 2 present a few ideas or comments to the CRTC for them to 3 begin their work of the licence review for the CBC. 4 414 For the record, my name is Ken 5 Pittman. I am the current President of the Producers 6 Association of Newfoundland. This organization 7 represents approximately 30 small production companies 8 based in St. John's. Our members produce a full range 9 of programs from low-budget, experimental and 10 documentary films to short drama and comedy series as 11 well as theatrical feature films. 12 415 Although some of our members 13 concentrate on making advertising commercials, most are 14 producing regional information and entertainment 15 programs for the television medium. A good number have 16 had their programs aired on the CBC locally and on the 17 network at times and have produced with or co-produced 18 with the CBC or in association with the CBC. 19 416 As well, our Association and the 20 individual members and the CBC have cooperated on many 21 projects aimed at developing a local production 22 industry. For years, there has been a constructive 23 rapport between CBC television in St. John's and local 24 independent producers and both have enjoyed the 25 benefits of this relationship. StenoTran 95 1 417 We feel that the roots of the 2 problems with the CBC are not to be found at the 3 St. John's level, and even at the network level, it 4 hasn't been all bad news. Local production talent has, 5 on occasion, engaged in successful projects at the 6 network level. Without a doubt, there have been good 7 experiences and good people but I think most people 8 will recognize that there are problems and that there 9 must be changes if the CBC is to be a meaningful public 10 agency within the Canadian television industry. 11 418 As producers, we have certain 12 specific concerns about CBC television in particular 13 from an industry point of view. But besides being 14 producers, we are also citizens of this part of the 15 country and members of the CBC audience and, in this 16 respect, we share with Newfoundlanders and Labradorians 17 in general urgent cultural and communications-related 18 concerns respecting the CBC. 19 419 In our view, these two perspectives, 20 that of the regional independent producer and that of 21 the Newfoundland and Labrador television viewer, in the 22 final analysis, rely on a shared understanding of the 23 nature of living as a Canadian in this part of the 24 country as well as a shared understanding of the role 25 of the national public institution that is the CBC. StenoTran 96 1 420 At the root of our perspective is a 2 belief that national public agencies are intended to 3 serve the whole country in all its particular 4 geographical, social and cultural parts, east, west, 5 north, south, central, urban, rural, old, new, and so 6 on. This service, we believe, must acknowledge and 7 thrive on a view of Canada as a vibrant, vast expanse 8 of land and people that in and of themselves are the 9 nation. Their activity and their aspirations are the 10 national activities and the national aspirations. 11 421 This is to say that the parts of 12 Canada are not merely suppliers or feeders of a centre 13 or pinnacle or capital that holds itself to be the 14 epitome of who we are and what we are. Neither are 15 they the many different parts of Canada. Neither are 16 they the burden or the boondocks of the nation. 17 422 They are the nation, wherever they 18 are located and whatever population numbers they may 19 represent, and national agencies are agencies that live 20 and flourish throughout the country where the nation 21 actually exists. They are not at the top of a 22 conceptual or structural pyramid supported by a 23 hierarchy of parts of the country based on a descending 24 order of population, location, history, convenience or 25 economics. StenoTran 97 1 423 National agencies, if they are truly 2 national, cannot be centristic in their structure, in 3 their programming or in their thinking. In other 4 words, public agencies like the CBC are not supposed to 5 be centred in Ottawa or Toronto or anywhere else. They 6 are supposed to be present in Ottawa and Toronto and 7 throughout the whole country. When they cease to be 8 present in all of the country, they are no longer ours, 9 no longer national and certainly no longer public, and 10 no matter what they do, they will not succeed in 11 fulfilling their national public mandate. 12 424 So in answer to the first question 13 suggested for this discussion, how well does the CBC 14 fulfill its national mandate, not well at all in our 15 view because it is behaving neither as a national 16 broadcaster nor as a public broadcaster. Whatever the 17 vision and progress it may have manifested in earlier 18 decades, in more recent years, in spite of the effort 19 of individual creative people within its ranks and 20 individual program success stories, the CBC has lost 21 its public and national vision. 22 425 It seems to be gathering the wagons 23 in a circle by setting up administratively convenient 24 so-called regional centres of production with which to 25 feed the network. This seems to be a part of the StenoTran 98 1 strategy of survival for it does seem that the CBC 2 these days has one goal, survival, and perhaps it has 3 lost sight of its real goal, public broadcasting. 4 426 In plain language, if we still had a 5 national public broadcaster, we would still have a 6 thriving CBC television system in Newfoundland and 7 Labrador, not necessarily the same shape or size it was 8 before the federal government budget cuts and the 9 internal CBC cuts of the nineties, but nevertheless a 10 thriving public broadcaster present here where we live, 11 with a reasonable share of resources and a respectable 12 degree of decision-making power with which to 13 participate in local television-making here where we 14 live. 15 427 In the early- and mid-nineties, 16 notwithstanding the absolute clear popularity of CBC 17 television among Newfoundland and Labrador viewers, the 18 CBC betrayed its dedicated audience by removing the 19 screen time, the financial resources and the 20 programming control necessary to make the local 21 programs that had been the cause of such strong public 22 support. Instead of protecting one of the best 23 demonstrations of CBC success, the national management 24 threw it aside and instead shifted its resources to 25 Halifax, the new centre of the so-called region. StenoTran 99 1 428 Since that shift of direction, 2 decided elsewhere but here, CBC television in 3 Newfoundland and Labrador, in spite of the continuing 4 efforts of individuals within the local operation, the 5 CBC has become less and less effective, less and less 6 in touch with its audience, and less and less capable 7 of partnering with local talent to provide programming 8 that satisfies and sustains its audience. 9 429 From the standpoint of the local 10 independent producer, the irony of this backward 11 direction of the CBC is really exasperating. Just as 12 other national agencies in the television production 13 industry, such as the Canadian Television Fund, are 14 becoming available and just as the provincial 15 government is taking major initiatives to foster the 16 local industry, the local CBC is becoming less and less 17 capable of being a player. 18 430 Where once the local CBC was the only 19 player with the resources and the guts to cooperate in 20 ventures with local independent producers, these days, 21 the same CBC has become the missing link. The simple 22 but incredibly harmful problem is that the CBC in 23 Newfoundland does not have the ability to purchase and 24 broadcast local programs on a regular basis, at a 25 normal licence fee rate, from local independent StenoTran 100 1 producers. Only the national network has the authority 2 for such acquisitions. 3 431 Not only does this prevent the 4 Newfoundland audience from having access to television 5 programming that reflects our distinct experience and 6 situation but it also prevents our indigenous 7 production industry from growing. When the local CBC 8 is incapable of paying for a broadcast licence, a whole 9 complex of financing is blocked. For example, because 10 the Canadian Television Fund, one of the richest 11 investment funds for Canadian production, requires 12 pre-sales to broadcasters to trigger its funds, it 13 remains out of reach for most local producers. 14 432 Other options besides the local CBC 15 do exist in the form of several specialty cable 16 channels that are acquiring programs across the country 17 but they are not in this province or this production 18 community. No Bravo! No Movie Network. No YTV. No 19 WTN. No Vision TV. No Life Channel. Not even HGTV. 20 433 So the contacts and the relationships 21 that produce broadcast licences for producers in other 22 parts of the country are entirely missing from the 23 Newfoundland situation. At best, these specialty 24 channels represent a sporadic and doubtful opportunity 25 for local producers. StenoTran 101 1 434 The CBC, the public broadcaster, is 2 or should be our first and most natural access to the 3 viewing public under any circumstance. But with this 4 starkly unlevel playing field, the responsibility 5 becomes even more urgent. It is not just a matter of 6 the CBC filling a hole in the financing structure of a 7 given project, the inability of the local outlet of the 8 national public broadcaster to play a fully active role 9 in the development of our indigenous television 10 industry is a contradiction of the agency's mandate. 11 435 What better way for Canadians to 12 communicate with Canadians than to make and present on 13 its own television screens programming that is distinct 14 and authentically expressive of the particular place in 15 this country where we live? The national public 16 broadcaster should be a permanent, creative and 17 financial partner in the local industry, above all, by 18 providing the window through which people in this 19 province as well as throughout the country are 20 entertained and informed about Newfoundland and 21 Labrador by programs that are produced here. 22 436 A thriving local production industry 23 producing first for Newfoundland and Labrador viewers 24 grows in the volume and in the quality of what it 25 produces because it learns to respond to the audience StenoTran 102 1 immediately around it as it experiences the successes 2 and the failures of communicating with that audience. 3 Likewise, the audience develops a habit of responding 4 to entertainment and information programming that 5 reflects their own experience, concerns, and 6 aspirations. 7 437 As the Quebec model demonstrates, 8 this percolating process between television maker and 9 audience over time produces, at the local level, 10 television of proven imagination and craft. Sooner or 11 later, this expression overflows beyond the place where 12 it has succeeded and begins to attract audiences in 13 other parts of the country. At this stage, that which 14 was local programming continues to thrive as such but 15 it also becomes programming for the rest of the 16 country. 17 438 It is not a commercial broadcaster 18 who has the mandate to dedicate resources to a 19 long-term cultural and industrial development process 20 such as this. No, this is the place for the national 21 public broadcaster. This is the role the CBC should 22 play in the future, the role of facilitating the growth 23 of indigenous television communications throughout the 24 country in all its variety and richness and difference. 25 This is Canadians talking to Canadians. StenoTran 103 1 439 In summary, the CBC should forget 2 about chasing after ratings and advertisers and forget 3 about imitating American television, whatever the 4 financial consequences. It should get back out into 5 Canada and dedicate its resources, however limited, to 6 being a part of the national communication process that 7 could be the heart of indigenous Canadian television 8 programming. 9 440 Instead of giving the impression that 10 they see us as poor, dependent cousins looking for 11 handouts, they should come to realize that they are the 12 ones who receive a public handout and are asked to 13 administer it with a vision, a vision that celebrates 14 the dynamic creativity and initiative that typifies our 15 full breadth of a country and the full breadth of our 16 television industry everywhere in Canada, not just in 17 the so-called centres. 18 441 Perhaps if the CBC were visibly 19 active in our communities and our neighbourhoods, they 20 would be less vulnerable to unfair treatment by the 21 federal government and less likely to suffer financial 22 cutbacks and therefore less confused and obsessed with 23 surviving as a Corporation. Then perhaps they could be 24 more passionate about and more focused on being our 25 public broadcaster with a unique vision and application StenoTran 104 1 that is distinctly Canadian and meaningful everywhere 2 in Canada. 3 442 Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 4 443 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 5 Mr. Pittman. Interesting presentation. 6 444 Let's say it is September 1999 and 7 Mr. Beatty has just stepped down from his job and we 8 have given you the job. What three things would you do 9 to overcome the problems you just outlined? 10 445 MR. PITTMAN: I think the first thing 11 to do would be -- 12 446 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you turn your 13 microphone on? 14 447 MR. PITTMAN: The first thing to do 15 is to put aside what exists in the status quo and to 16 look at the Broadcasting Act and to see how, by 17 individualizing and reducing the scale of things, you 18 could bring creative and interesting television to the 19 Canadian public. 20 448 I think you would have to explore a 21 lot of field activity where the program material would 22 be coming in from all over the country through simple 23 technology and through ensembles of producing people, 24 so that instead of having a studio mentality and studio 25 organization parameters, you would assume that you are StenoTran 105 1 the broadcaster, the conduit of all of this activity 2 and information and entertainment, and you would create 3 a connection between all of what is going on and what 4 could go on at a diverse and small scale level and make 5 some kind of a flow of that in through your technology 6 to put it in front of the Canadian people. 7 449 So I would see a lot of freelance 8 ensemble-type shooting groups and writing groups and 9 performing groups around the country supplying a lot of 10 the material as independents and freelancers to the CBC 11 to share the expression that exists in a community in 12 northern B.C. with a community that exists in southern 13 Newfoundland, so that what you are doing is you are 14 truly a conduit of the whole dynamic process of motion 15 picture expression that is going on around the country 16 and motion picture communication. 17 450 So it really would require a complete 18 upside down approach. Turn everything on its head and 19 start all over. 20 451 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is that one, two, 21 and three all wrapped up in one? 22 452 MR. PITTMAN: I guess. 23 453 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thanks a lot 24 for your presentation. 25 1539 StenoTran 106 1 454 MS MOORE: I would like to call 2 Ms Neville Smith please. 3 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 4 455 MS SMITH: I speak, in contrast, as a 5 mere individual, as a listener and a viewer, but I do 6 incorporate the views of several of my working friends 7 who couldn't be here. 8 456 I feel I am talking about a close 9 friend in intensive care and I hope the doctors know 10 what they are doing. Perhaps I am already at the wake. 11 The close friend, of course, is the CBC. 12 457 I came to Canada in 1948 and the CBC 13 has been the main instrument of making me feel 14 thoroughly Canadian even if my accent hasn't changed in 15 half a century. There are still immigrants who find 16 the same. For me, it began with the incomparable old 17 "Rawhide". 18 458 I have lived, worked and visited 19 every province and territory. I have travelled by bush 20 plane, on ski and float, by dog team and even a 21 100-year-old birch bark canoe. It was CBC that helped 22 me appreciate the history and the diversity and make 23 sense of some of this splendid country, and the future 24 grows out of the past. 25 459 I would talk mainly of CBC. A lot of StenoTran 107 1 what I wanted to say has been said. Local programming: 2 I agree thoroughly with virtually everything that has 3 been said by people far more knowledgeable than myself. 4 So I won't go into it. 5 460 National programs help us understand 6 other communities. For local, I had referred to our 7 community. We need to understand the other communities 8 in this federated country if we are to be citizens of a 9 democracy. 10 461 Then I list several of the programs. 11 Some of them have been mentioned and the need for it to 12 be a forum for exchange of the parts that make up the 13 whole. I would just like to mention "As It Happens" on 14 radio, a favourite program I rarely miss because I am 15 constantly surprised by the number of Americans who 16 phone talk-back, obviously appreciative of at least 17 this Canadian product. 18 462 The rare time, two or three over -- I 19 don't know -- thirty years, I have called, I have been 20 surprised by how many of my scattered friends have 21 heard me. From time to time, I hear one of them. CBC 22 stretches and should continue to stretch across the 23 land. 24 463 What are the shared emotions when we 25 hear an Allan Maitland reading of "The Shepherd" on StenoTran 108 1 Christmas eve? All this pulls us together and we are 2 in danger of fragmenting. It helps us express our 3 common concerns, for instance, regarding health and 4 regarding the environment. 5 464 Sadly, as has been mentioned by many 6 others, I have noticed steady deterioration in recent 7 years due to cutbacks: increasing repeats and music 8 fill-ins. Since the strike, I have felt really 9 deprived of an essential element of my day, hence, my 10 opening remarks. 11 465 I have been a bit disturbed to learn 12 from a bilingual friend that the messages on CBC radio 13 and Radio-Canada are often not on the same wavelength. 14 I am not speaking of band frequency. How can we 15 understand each other if items are slanted by some 16 hierarchical decisions which reinforces differences 17 instead of interpreting these to each other? We need 18 more exchange and some of these ideas have been 19 mentioned. 20 466 I would put in a plug for 21 Radio-Canada International. Once in Uganda on a 22 CIDA-sponsored project, a young Ugandan asked me to get 23 a more detailed schedule as he tried to listen, along 24 with his friends, to Canada as often as he could. 25 467 Now briefly to CBC TV which I watch StenoTran 109 1 very little. I am thoroughly turned off by repeated, 2 often hyperactive frenetic advertising. No wonder 3 attention spans decrease. The news gets briefer, 4 information is a few bare facts without background 5 allowing little comprehension of the whole, images 6 replace words, news is where the cameraman is. But I 7 must admit coverage of catastrophes like the Ice Storm 8 and the Manitoba floods did help unite us. 9 468 I do watch PBS much more than CBC TV 10 or any commercial station where the advertising is far 11 more aggressive. On PBS, the sponsors are less 12 intrusive. I am happy to pay a little towards their 13 programs. I suppose it is unrealistic to think, in our 14 huge country and our small population, we could ever 15 pay licences as the British do. 16 469 Of programs I haven't enumerated 17 before, obviously, content will vary with subject and 18 the way it is presented and will change with the times, 19 and the media must be adaptable, which brings me to the 20 use of the Internet. 21 470 Canada must ensure its place among 22 the nations shaping this information highway into the 23 21st century. Canadian programs, prepared for CBC 24 radio and television, would increase our sphere of 25 influence across our land and around the world when StenoTran 110 1 transmitted this way. All this, radio, TV, and 2 Internet, needs adequate public funding rather than 3 private. 4 471 Private would return us to the 5 pre-democratic days of royal patronage -- for royal, 6 read "monopolistic media moguls, big business, multi- 7 and transnational corporations" -- and this funding 8 should be sufficient to allow local production and 9 national production. 10 472 Very briefly because I don't 11 understand it but management should obviously be by a 12 board, at real arm's length from the government, 13 without political patronage appointments. It should 14 represent all areas of the country and avoid or at 15 least balance the input of special interest groups. 16 473 In summary, I both think and feel -- 17 and I stress "feel" as well as "think" -- that CBC as a 18 public broadcasting system, publicly funded and 19 managed, is vital to Canada, with a wide range of 20 programs to reinforce our community life at each level, 21 each level of community, whether it be local, national 22 or international, by exchanges. 23 474 Thank you. 24 475 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 25 much, Ms Smith. StenoTran 111 1 1554 2 476 MS MOORE: I would like to call 3 Ms Martha Anne Woodworth please. 4 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 5 477 MS WOODWORTH: Good afternoon, 6 Mr. Chairman. I have been up since about 5:00 this 7 morning and briefly prepared a few notes. Many of the 8 issues that have been addressed by other people are 9 things that I have covered. 10 478 The first and foremost, I think, is a 11 strong, non-partisan president needs to be appointed to 12 make decisive and responsible public broadcasting the 13 major player representing the Canadian voice in 14 maintaining and promoting our national heritage in all 15 focuses of media. 16 479 Local programming: I think most 17 people here heard Harry Brown. I also hail, at the 18 present, from Holyrood. Local programming is so vital 19 to our province, Newfoundland and Labrador. I am a 20 listener. I have always been a listener. 21 480 I can think back to the days of "The 22 Happy Gang", to getting the Opera, the Met on the CBC 23 in the Saturday afternoons. I was brought up with my 24 family as CBC listeners and, to me, as just a national 25 voice, I feel that CBC has been a major educational StenoTran 112 1 influence from the time I have been a young girl to my 2 present date. 3 481 I am a former faculty instructor that 4 has become disabled physically and challenged, 5 obviously, and I find that CBC has been the one thing 6 that has kept me on track, listening to all the 7 different shows, the science, the "Quirks and Quarks", 8 Peter Gzowski, all the people, both on TV and radio, 9 because I went from an academic career to all of a 10 sudden a very inactive position in my life. 11 482 I found that this station has 12 contributed so much to my personal knowledge. The 13 former lady mentioned "As It Happens". I strongly feel 14 -- I heard a story last night, and probably many of you 15 did, about a man from Ohio that had preserved a blue 16 pike for 37 years in his deep freeze and, of course, 17 ridiculed by many, his wife included. Thirty-seven 18 years and now scientists are searching for -- have that 19 specimen and the DNA from the preserved 37-year-old 20 pike that this man had been -- this had been his 21 livelihood, the fishing of this particular species and 22 they had thought it to be extinct. Now, that fish has 23 gone to the proper place where scientists can look at 24 it and decide what mutations have taken place. 25 483 That is just one little, small StenoTran 113 1 example of how time -- I think, over time, things need 2 to be -- we need to remember the Harry Browns. We need 3 to remember the Knowlton Nashes, the Elwie Yosts, all 4 the people, the artists, the superb journalists and the 5 ordinary Canadians that could turn to either radio or 6 TV and know that the information that is provided is 7 backed by a highly qualified team of researchers and 8 the resources that they bring as team players certainly 9 can only be continued and expanded upon. 10 484 I think, for the future, the focus 11 should be on national and international community 12 programs. I feel Newfoundland and Labrador has had so 13 many cuts. There are so many good shows, good people, 14 good topics. Creativity is being lost. I feel very 15 sad that this has happened over the past few years and 16 I also believe that we need to be that public 17 broadcaster that CBC has always been. From my early 18 days, CBC has been the area of interest. 19 485 In conclusion, I cannot understand 20 that our Heritage Minister, Sheila Copps, has been 21 fighting so vigorously. I agree with what she is doing 22 with the split-run and Bill C-55 -- it was passed last 23 night -- but I cannot understand why she is not out 24 there fighting for our heritage and our culture in 25 terms of what is happening to our public broadcasting StenoTran 114 1 system. 2 486 I think the budget cuts of this and 3 past previous governments have brought into effect just 4 totally -- well, it is inconceivable what they are 5 doing. There has to be a balance, I understand, but I 6 certainly would not want to listen to "As It Happens" 7 or "Our Gardening Show" and listen to Peter Scott and 8 be interrupted by an ad. Certainly, there should be no 9 ads on radio. 10 487 I understand that the TV has to be 11 able to compete when the funding is not there. 12 However, there still should be some balance between the 13 amount of advertising and the Canadian content and, as 14 we know, many of the other stations tend to have the 15 least amount of Canadian content. With the budget 16 cuts, obviously, the money is just not being provided 17 for the film people to do the kind of work that they 18 are trained and have the incentive to do and to keep 19 this country together. 20 488 Heaven knows, we are living in a 21 world -- as one previous speaker said, we are going 22 into a new century: the millennium; 2001 will be upon 23 us and we have enough American content. We have had 24 enough American influence from our -- if you go to a 25 mall -- in so many aspects of our life, and certainly, StenoTran 115 1 Newfoundland is as unique as every other province in 2 Canada and far different from areas in the United 3 States. 4 489 I have travelled throughout Europe 5 and the States. I have taught in England. I have 6 spent time -- I have been at Armed Forces bases in 7 Germany, in Lahr and Baden-Baden. It was Radio 8 International that was the voice. It was always there 9 to be heard and I really feel that CBC should be given 10 special, special consideration because it is a special 11 form of broadcasting and especially to this isolated 12 province so rich in cultural heritage. 13 490 Thank you. 14 491 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 15 much, Ms Woodworth, and for your efforts to come here 16 today. 17 1619 18 492 MS MOORE: I would like to call 19 Mr. Frank O'Leary please. 20 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 21 493 MR. O'LEARY: Mr. Chairman, before I 22 get into the meat of my presentation, I should say that 23 I feel perhaps I am in the wrong room because possibly 24 I inhabit a different mental universe, but most of the 25 presentations today certainly seemed to be arguing StenoTran 116 1 persuasively for more CBC, better CBC, enhanced, 2 revamped, improved, and so forth. 3 494 I have reached the point in my 4 attitude towards the CBC that I virtually want no CBC. 5 Now, I am talking of a narrow, special interest, 6 special subject. I am talking about the way in which 7 CBC covers religion and specifically the Roman Catholic 8 faith. This afternoon, I think, is a useful exercise 9 but perhaps not for the reasons perhaps that you might 10 think. 11 495 It seems to me that amongst the 12 presenters there is a pretty universal opinion that CBC 13 is good and we want more of it. We want it to survive 14 and so on and so forth. Yet, the Canadian public has 15 already voted with their feet in the sense that CBC's 16 market share is as low as we all know it to be. 17 496 That seems to me to be a huge paradox 18 and discrepancy that everybody in this room is 19 promoting, encouraging, supporting CBC. But the 20 Canadian out there in the street, as Mr. Lieb referred 21 to before, the official reality versus the street-level 22 reality, these people don't watch CBC. As a result 23 perhaps they don't know that these hearings are on. 24 They have given up on CBC for various reasons of their 25 own and therefore they are not likely to be here StenoTran 117 1 presenting, pro or con. 2 497 Now, I would like to get into the 3 meat of the presentation. My comments are quite 4 severely critical and I hope that since I am 5 representing a point of view which you haven't heard 6 too much of this afternoon, you might allow me a little 7 bit of leeway if I run a little bit long. I noticed 8 that Mr. Brown was given about 25 minutes. I will 9 begin. 10 498 A sham, a fraud, a pretence, an 11 exercise in hypocrisy. No practising Roman Catholic in 12 Canada has the slightest illusion that these hearings 13 will make the least difference in how our church and 14 our faith is represented by our national broadcaster. 15 We will continue to be forced to pay our tax dollars to 16 an institution which mocks and maligns our most 17 cherished beliefs. 18 499 As it is, we are already compelled 19 against our consciences to subsidize the destruction of 20 unborn life. We will continue to be forced to 21 subsidize the intellectual justification for that 22 destruction. This is not democracy. 23 500 Ladies and gentlemen, my name is 24 Frank O'Leary. I am a member of the Board of Governors 25 of the Roman Catholic Anti-Defamation League of StenoTran 118 1 Newfoundland. I have been asked by our Board to make 2 the League's presentation to you this afternoon. 3 501 First, it shouldn't be necessary but 4 past misrepresentations by the CBC of our League, our 5 Church and our Bishop require that we make something 6 clear at the outset. We are an independent association 7 of lay people, Canadian citizens, separate from 8 official Church bodies. 9 502 I mention this because whenever 10 ordinary lay Catholic citizens in this province have 11 spoken up to defend their faith and their church, the 12 local CBC has had a penchant for portraying us as 13 mindless, brainwashed toadies taking orders from 14 autocratic clergy, not thinking for ourselves, merely 15 doing what we are told as automatons. This is 16 something we find highly offensive. 17 503 While the members of our League are 18 personally faithful to the magisterium, which is the 19 teaching authority of the Church in religious matters, 20 we are neither officially sanctioned nor supported by 21 the Church in this diocese nor by our Bishop, Most 22 Reverend James MacDonald(ph). We have not been 23 appointed as an official spokesman for "the Church". 24 We speak for ourselves as Catholic Canadian citizens 25 and we are responsible for the views and the opinions StenoTran 119 1 that we express. 2 504 Therefore, the news media who may be 3 covering these hearings today should not run to our 4 Bishop to ask what he thinks of the presentation we 5 made here in the hope of stirring up a little more 6 controversy as they have so often been wont to do in 7 the past. 8 505 We neither advise nor are we advised 9 by the Bishop, with whom we have a respectful and 10 cordial but arm's length relationship. We don't tell 11 him what to preach from the pulpit in the area of 12 theology. He doesn't tell us what to say to the civil 13 and secular authorities when it comes to defending the 14 reputation and civil rights of Roman Catholics as 15 Canadian citizens. 16 506 Now, in all my experience of media 17 coverage of religious issues -- and I grew up in 18 England listening to the CBC. I went to college in the 19 United States for four years. I lived and worked in 20 four states in the U.S. I worked for a national 21 newsweekly magazine in Washington, D.C. 22 507 In all that experience, I have never 23 experienced anything like the anti-religious and 24 specifically anti-Catholic bias evidenced by the CBC. 25 I am not alone in this view. If you cannot accept the StenoTran 120 1 point of view of an uncredentialled Roman Catholic from 2 Newfoundland, perhaps you might accept the opinion of 3 an American Roman Catholic émigré to Canada whose 4 credentials ought to be acceptable to you. 5 508 Professor Thomas Langdon is the 6 emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of 7 Toronto at the heart of the central Canadian factory. 8 He is a native of Oklahoma in the United States and 9 Roman Catholics in Oklahoma are much more a minority 10 than in Canada. Yet, Professor Langdon told me that he 11 had never experienced the degree of anti-Catholicism in 12 Oklahoma that he has discovered in Canada. As you 13 perhaps already know, Professor Langdon is the 14 President of the National Catholic Civil Rights League 15 of Canada. 16 509 A presenter who was here earlier this 17 afternoon, Mr. Randy Lieb, who has left now, he wrote a 18 letter to the newspaper about three years ago saying 19 that he is not a Roman Catholic himself, he has no 20 official ties to the Roman Catholic Church, but in his 21 opinion, CBC's coverage of the Mount Cashel Orphanage 22 scandal was something that in Mr. Lieb's opinion 23 amounted to a hate-mongering campaign against the 24 Church and Catholics. 25 510 So two opinions: Mr. Lieb, an émigré StenoTran 121 1 from another country, Professor Langdon in Toronto, 2 also an émigré from another country. 3 511 We don't think anyone is Canada 4 believes that there is the slightest possibility that 5 the CRTC would ever actually deny a renewal of CBC's 6 broadcasting licence. Further, we have no confidence 7 whatsoever that these hearings will actually result in 8 any significant modifications to the terms of CBC's 9 licence or any appreciable change in the manner in 10 which it covers our faith or our Church. 11 512 We say this because virtually nothing 12 the CRTC Commissionners hear in this room today comes 13 as news to you. You have known about these drastic 14 shortcomings in the CBC for years and yet, you have 15 done nothing about it. The CRTC itself has almost 16 emasculated the CBC Ombudsman's office. The 17 Ombudsman's office has become window-dressing to make 18 complainants think that something is actually being 19 done. It isn't. 20 513 Last year, you in the CRTC rejected 21 the application of the world's largest religious 22 broadcaster, The Catholic Network, EWTN, while 23 simultaneously granting a licence to The Playboy 24 Channel. How can you, the CRTC, possibly expect to 25 retain any credibility whatsoever with the Canadian StenoTran 122 1 public when you proceed thus? Canada is virtually the 2 only developed nation in the world where EWTN is 3 proscribed. 4 514 The great Canadian, Marshall McLuhan, 5 whom Canadian media people love to celebrate, actually 6 converted to the Roman Catholic faith later in his 7 life. In a letter to a priest friend of his, he said 8 that the modern media is engaged in a Luciferian 9 conspiracy against the truth. What we in our League 10 here in Newfoundland have difficulty with is in 11 deciding whether you in the CRTC are merely apologists 12 for the CBC or outright co-conspirators. 13 515 At its inception, our association 14 defined for itself a narrow mandate: to attempt to 15 work with the news media, quietly, behind the scenes, 16 in this province only, to achieve fair and balanced 17 coverage of the Roman Catholic Church, its doctrines, 18 its hierarchy, its clergy, its lay people. 19 516 Of course, we are concerned about the 20 national perspectives, but a realistic assessment of 21 the limited resources available to us as a small group 22 of volunteers who receive no government human rights 23 funding unlike our philosophical opponents, that led us 24 to focus our efforts on the provincial scale only. 25 517 Does it not strike you as at least StenoTran 123 1 peculiar, if not truly worrisome, that there should 2 have to even be such an organization as a Roman 3 Catholic Anti-Defamation League in any Canadian 4 province today, at the end of the 1990s? After all, 5 Roman Catholics are the single largest Christian 6 denomination in Canada. 7 518 In this country, we hear constant 8 talk about multiculturalism, tolerance, diversity, and 9 self-worth, and of course we are all now protected so 10 much better than we were in the old days by our much 11 vaunted Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I should hope 12 you would find it worrisome that Catholics in any 13 province find it necessary to have an Anti-Defamation 14 League. 15 519 One of the questions, of course, is: 16 Are we hypersensitive? Is this overreaction? Well, we 17 will see. 18 520 I have to tell you that this League 19 was established in this province five years ago 20 precisely because of the anti-Catholicism, the failures 21 and the misdeeds of the Canadian Broadcasting 22 Corporation in this province which, in our opinion, has 23 so degenerated over the years and has so singly failed 24 to achieve its mandate to unite Canadians that we think 25 it is irredeemable. StenoTran 124 1 521 Our League believes that the CBC in 2 its coverage of our Church, our faith, its 3 representation of these matters to our fellow 4 Newfoundlanders has not been simply inaccurate, unfair, 5 and lacking in objectivity, we believe it has been 6 positively partisan and hostile. 7 522 It is our opinion that CBC 8 Newfoundland falls far short of the high standards and 9 ideals which CBC policy allegedly sets for its 10 journalists, standards which the CBC constantly boasts 11 of actually having achieved. In this particular area, 12 religion generally, Roman Catholicism in particular, 13 and the right of religious minority groups to fair 14 treatment, the CBC fails to live up to its mandate to 15 unite Canadians and instead, the CBC itself has become 16 a source of friction and division between Canadians of 17 different faiths. 18 523 Now, we have in our League experience 19 of various complaints to the CBC, trying to work with 20 them quietly, locally, to settle matters behind the 21 scenes without embarrassing CBC, without going public. 22 We just get stonewalled repeatedly. We have had to go 23 to the National Ombudsman. 24 524 We get a letter back from the 25 National Ombudsman saying, "Yes, you are right. Bad StenoTran 125 1 judgment on CBC's part. They shouldn't have aired it. 2 I will write a letter to the Vice-President of the 3 English language CBC." That's it. We asked for an on 4 air broadcast apology. "No." No chance. 5 525 One or two or five incidents might be 6 simply aberrations, coincidences, but the number of 7 instances over the last several years is so high that 8 it indicates a pattern which reveals a more deeply 9 rooted problem within the CBC itself. We wonder: Is 10 it a personnel problem? Is it an institutional bias? 11 Can those two things be separated? 12 526 At the national level -- I just 13 mention quickly a few things. The replacement for 14 Peter Gzowski, Michael Enright making a comment such 15 as: "The Roman Catholic Church is the biggest criminal 16 organization in the world outside of the Mafia." It 17 didn't even make the headlines for more than a day or 18 so. It didn't affect Mr. Enright's appointment. 19 527 The "Father Ted" TV series, which is 20 grotesque. If they were four lay people living 21 together, four lay men behaving like that, the script 22 wouldn't sustain the comedy of the show. It is 23 pitiful. The whole premise is based on the fact that 24 these are priests and it is ludicrous. It is insulting 25 and people are offended. StenoTran 126 1 528 Coming up in the fall, there is a TV 2 series called, I believe, "Our Daily Bread", in which 3 the star of the show gives the Sacred Host, the Blessed 4 Sacrament -- what Catholics believe to be the body and 5 blood of Jesus -- gives the Sacred Host to the dog, 6 feeds it to her dog. This has been complained about 7 already but it is going to go ahead anyway despite the 8 fact that it offends the most deeply held, most 9 cherished, sacred beliefs of Catholics. It doesn't 10 matter. 11 529 You can insult Catholics all you 12 like. You can't say things about Innu, about 13 francophones, about any other minority group in Canada 14 today. People instantly recognize that this is not 15 Canadian tolerance. This is not multiculturalism. 16 This is not diversity. But Catholics are fair game and 17 people are starting to realize that. It creeps into 18 the most unexpected places within the CBC. 19 530 While it is not a specifically 20 anti-Catholic incident, the flagship so-called 21 intellectual program of the CBC, "Ideas", with Lister 22 Sinclair, a couple of years ago, had a program -- now, 23 this airs at 9:00 or so in the evening when children, 24 impressionable teenagers, whatever, can hear it. A 25 special episode devoted entirely to the myth -- or is StenoTran 127 1 it a myth was the premise of the story -- the myth of 2 female orgasmic ejaculation. 3 531 Now, this show came with live sound 4 effects from a clinical seminar put on by a professor 5 of feminist studies, a coaching session coaching ladies 6 to achieve orgasm. This was an on air broadcast of the 7 sound effects of a masturbation workshop. 8 532 Another program that you wouldn't 9 expect to find it: "Quirks and Quarks". The teachings 10 of the Church, the teachings of the Pope were hauled 11 over the coals for being responsible for overpopulation 12 in the Third World. It is just rampant. Now, I will 13 restrict myself very quickly just to outlining several 14 incidents in this province alone. 15 533 In 1994, a callow academic in her 16 first year of graduate studies was invited to CBC to be 17 interviewed because she held the sexy, catchy 18 hypothesis that incest in Catholic families is 19 attributable not to the sinfulness or criminality or 20 mental illness of the perpetrator, it is attributable 21 to the doctrines and the teachings of the Catholic 22 Church and the teachings of the Pope. This is why we 23 have incest in Catholic families. 24 534 The local CBC -- just prior to our 25 first education referendum dealing with a matter of StenoTran 128 1 constitutional rights in this province, the local CBC 2 refused to air the television ad of our referendum 3 committee, implying -- when the refusal became a news 4 item itself, the implication was that it was 5 deliberately misleading. The Catholic and Pentecostal 6 side of the debate is lying to the public in this ad. 7 That is why. It is so terrible that we the CBC refuse 8 to air this. 9 535 Another special report, an hour-long 10 feature called "The Power and the Glory", the thematic 11 background music used in that was the theme music from 12 one of the "Damian, The Omen" horror stories with a 13 very, very malevolent kind of a sound track, with the 14 implications -- associations in people's minds who had 15 seen this "Damian, The Omen" movie, is that this 16 somehow related to demonic possession. 17 536 In that same episode, "The Power and 18 the Glory", one of the typical tactics and methods used 19 by the local CBC is the juxtaposition of what CBC 20 regards as a moderate Catholic that agrees with CBC's 21 perspective and world view, the juxtaposition of that 22 person with somebody who represents a more traditional 23 orthodox view within the Catholic Church. Of course, 24 the person representing the orthodox point of view is 25 always shown to be either a very, very elderly person StenoTran 129 1 or a poor, less well-educated, less well-spoken person. 2 537 In one case, the person representing 3 the traditional view and traditional teaching of the 4 Church was a young man who admitted to a past record of 5 drug abuse and alcohol abuse, and now, he sees visions. 6 This is a very imbalanced way of portraying it. 7 538 Just prior to the second 8 constitutional referendum in 1997, one of the lawyers, 9 who has a personal vested interest because he 10 represents victims of Mount Cashel, was interviewed on 11 CBC. He urged everyone to vote in favour of the 12 government's point of view on this issue in order to 13 prevent priests from patrolling the classrooms and the 14 corridors of classrooms and schools seeking victims. 15 539 Now, that was aired by CBC and that 16 was a Thursday evening. On Monday morning, the Premier 17 of the province came out and said that that was an 18 unconscionable and uncalled for remark and it was 19 repudiated. That remark by that lawyer was repudiated 20 by everyone. 21 540 What was wrong with the CBC's 22 judgment that they did not spot that in the first place 23 and not have that man on air? It turns out that both 24 that lawyer and also one of the principal commentators 25 on the CBC, who is a paid freelancer, a regular StenoTran 130 1 panellist, and so on and so forth, both of these 2 gentlemen, in their past career, were let go from 3 teaching positions in Catholic schools. 4 541 Now, you can disagree with the 5 Catholic church on whatever you like, on doctrines and 6 so forth, but these two individuals were in breach of 7 contract. They signed contracts to agree to certain 8 things, to follow certain procedures and rules. They 9 didn't live up to it and they were let go. 10 542 Now, they have harboured a grudge for 11 years. CBC, in all the interviews of them, has never 12 said to them, excuse me, do you think perhaps your 13 objectivity might just be a little bit tainted? There 14 was never any mention of that. 15 543 The coverage Maureen Brosna(ph) had 16 of CBC radio, of "Gonzagua"(ph), complained about by a 17 local Catholic doctor, the Catholic doctor instead of 18 getting an acknowledgment, gets a saucy, rude, 19 insulting letter back from the CBC radio reporter 20 saying, how dare you impugn my objectivity? 21 544 Recently, Greg Malone(ph), our famous 22 Greg Malone the comedian, was interviewed at the same 23 high school. That is atrocious. I will include a copy 24 of the letter of complaint in my written submission. I 25 won't get into the detail now, but Ted Blades(ph), the StenoTran 131 1 CBC man, was the interviewer. What was Greg Malone 2 doing there, as back-up, as shotgun for the radio 3 reporter? They were interviewing a high school student 4 who was not an equal match to intellectually defend 5 herself. She did an excellent job. 6 545 Advance promotions of upcoming 7 special reports on allegedly Catholic issues. The 8 amount of promotion and advance publicity that these 9 things get turns out, when you actually see the 10 program, not warranted at all by the news content of 11 it. One of the regular TV panellists on "The Here And 12 Now" television program who, I believe, was supposed to 13 be a presenter here and may yet be this afternoon, 14 Ms Noreen Golfman from the University, she refers to 15 Newfoundland in one of her comments as a "priest-ridden 16 society" as though priests were some sort of vermin to 17 be extinguished. 18 546 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. O'Leary, as you 19 pointed out, I did give Mr. Brown more than 10 minutes 20 and I think I have allowed you about a similar amount 21 of time. I wonder if you could summarize your 22 presentation in another minute. 23 547 MR. O'LEARY: I will try to do that. 24 Yes, I will. 25 548 One of the other regular commentators StenoTran 132 1 who is very popular in the province -- he is a clever 2 and a witty man. He used to be much better years ago 3 than he is now but he seems to be a pet of CBC; they 4 keep employing him. Mr. Ray Guy(ph) has a notorious 5 track record for the horrendous, insulting, insensitive 6 things that he says. He has a flea in his ear about 7 the Catholic Church for some reason or other and he 8 never misses an opportunity to bring it into his 9 commentary, even when it is not at all relevant to the 10 subject that he is talking about. 11 549 I will sum up here just by observing 12 a couple of tactics that I have touched on. 13 550 CBC's tactic seems to be that they go 14 out and seek dissenters and critics of the Church to 15 interview. They juxtapose, as I said before, what CBC 16 considers a moderate Catholic with people who are made 17 out to be fanatic kooks. 18 551 Another tactic is this business of 19 concealing or never referring to or asking questions 20 about the background and the biases and the personal 21 experiences of CBC's own panellists, freelancers and 22 interviewees. That program that I referred to, of 23 incest in Catholic family culture, it turned out that 24 the interviewee in question was herself a survivor of 25 incest in a Catholic family. That didn't come up. It StenoTran 133 1 wasn't mentioned. The public didn't know about it but 2 we would be entitled to think that perhaps it casts her 3 objectivity under a little cloud. 4 552 The use of melodramatic techniques 5 and creative licence. I get the impression very often 6 that many of the CBC writers and producers are 7 playwright wannabes. This business of ominous shadows 8 on the stairwell, running up the stairs in the program 9 entitled "Sisters of No Mercy" about the Belvedere 10 incident, a follow-up to the Mount Cashel, a nun 11 chasing a child up the stairs so that they can beat 12 them and whip them with a belt. Well, you don't see 13 the nun and the child because it is creative fiction. 14 What you see is this shadow going up over the stairs 15 and the cries. 16 553 Sauce for the goose: If we had the 17 resources and the personnel and the time and turned our 18 cameras on the CBC and looked at it internally, at the 19 personal lives, shortcomings, foibles of CBC personnel 20 and then alleged that that was representative of the 21 CBC as a whole and that these people were this way 22 because of what the CBC is, people would say, that is 23 unreasonable. And yet, that is exactly the tactics the 24 CBC uses on our Church all the time. 25 554 I wonder: Is there a certain degree StenoTran 134 1 of professional courtesy amongst the media, the non-CBC 2 media, that they don't do investigative journalism on 3 the CBC? 4 555 Conclusion and recommendations -- I 5 will wrap up quickly. Eighteen months ago, a local 6 chapter of the Canadian Journalists Society held a 7 forum on: Is the Media Too Powerful and Irresponsible? 8 556 It was a kangaroo court. It was a 9 media-sponsored event. The media personnel acted for 10 the defense, for the prosecution and sat on the bench. 11 The only strongly critical voice was that of former 12 Member of Parliament John Crosbie who cited Conrad 13 Bain's(ph) book. Crosbie had the media folks -- one 14 man -- he had them all squirming in their seats. 15 557 Our suggestion is: CBC does good 16 things. It has done good things in the past. 17 Hopefully, it can continue in the future. 18 558 But right now, the upset, the anger, 19 the hurt, the frustration at being stonewalled, of the 20 Catholic community is so severe that the recommendation 21 would be: Take every penny spent on the CBC and if you 22 want to unite Canadians, put it into a high school 23 student exchange program so that young people across 24 this country can move to one another's provinces for a 25 period, get to know one another, one-to-one, in person StenoTran 135 1 and face-to-face, without that knowledge having to be 2 filtered through a biased prism of central Canadian CBC 3 intellectual elite who tell Canadians what to think of 4 one another. 5 559 We have little confidence that these 6 hearings will address our concerns. Nevertheless, I 7 want to thank you for pretending to listen to me this 8 afternoon. I will pretend to believe it might actually 9 make some difference. Please over the next few months, 10 prove to us our scepticism about this whole procedure 11 is not justified. 12 560 Thank you. 13 561 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 14 Mr. O'Leary. 15 562 Ms Moore. 16 1627 17 563 MS MOORE: I would like to call 18 Mr. Ali Chiasson please. 19 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 20 564 M. CHIASSON: Monsieur le Président, 21 Messieurs et Madame les Commissaires, bonjour. 22 565 Au nom de la Fédération des 23 Francophones de la Terre-Neuve et du Labrador, 24 j'aimerais vous remercier de m'avoir offert la 25 possibilité de vous présenter nos positions au sujet du StenoTran 136 1 renouvellement de la licence de la Société 2 Radio-Canada. 3 566 Notre présentation sera divisée on 4 trois sections qui traiteront respectivement de 5 l'embauche d'un journaliste radio à temps plein, radio 6 pour la province; du désir d'obtenir pour une plus 7 grande diffusion de la programmation régionale 8 télévisée en provenance de Moncton; et finalement, de 9 nos préoccupations quant à la diffusion nationale de 10 RDI à partir de Montréal. 11 567 Notre province a reçu, pour la 12 première fois, le signal de radio dans les années 13 cinquante puis le signal télé dans la fin des années 14 soixante-dix. Au début des années quatre-vingt, après 15 multiples démarches et efforts concertés, la communauté 16 a enfin obtenu les services d'une journaliste télé à 17 temps plein pour Terre-Neuve et Labrador, puis en 1998, 18 nous avons finalement obtenu la transmission du 19 bulletin de nouvelles le "Ce Soir" via le signal télé 20 de Moncton. 21 568 En guise de mise en contexte, 22 permettez-moi de situer l'importance de la Société 23 Radio-Canada pour les communautés francophones 24 acadiennes de notre province à titre de moyen d'assurer 25 la communication entre les différentes communautés de StenoTran 137 1 notre province. Les communautés francophones 2 acadiennes de notre province sont caractérisées par la 3 division du Détroit de Belle Isle qui divise l'Île de 4 Terre-Neuve et le Labrador, un territoire immense et 5 une population géographiquement éparpillée. 6 569 Cette disparité géographique de nos 7 communautés nous fait dépendre grandement des 8 télécommunications. Avec de si grandes distances qui 9 nous séparent, les services de Radio-Canada nous sont 10 essentiels afin de garder le contact avec des 11 francophones de l'Atlantique et du Canada tout entier. 12 570 La question d'une journaliste à temps 13 plein à la radio. Il faut bien dire que généralement 14 il existe une satisfaction générale des services de la 15 radio. Nous sommes très fiers de l'émission "Bonjour 16 Atlantique", édition Nouvelle-Écosse et Terre-Neuve. 17 Nous sommes également très heureux avec la 18 radiodiffusion régionale issue de Moncton. 19 571 Nous constatons, par contre, 20 plusieurs problèmes avec la quantité de nouvelles 21 diffusées. Nous vivons des situations où, en période 22 d'élections provinciales, par exemple, des équipes de 23 Moncton ou de Halifax doivent se déplacer dans la 24 province pour des courtes périodes très, très, très 25 définies. Le reste du temps, règle générale, on entend StenoTran 138 1 rarement des nouvelles sur notre province sauf, il faut 2 bien préciser, lorsque la journaliste de la télévision 3 produit des reportages pour la radio. 4 572 Cette situation est injuste à l'égard 5 de la journaliste télé qui se trouve alors responsable 6 de deux productions. C'est autant plus préoccupant 7 lorsqu'on constate que des régions périphériques de 8 Montréal comme Chicoutimi, Rimouski, ou même Sept-Îles 9 ont droit à leur propre poste de radio régional de 10 Radio-Canada. Une province comme Terre-Neuve et le 11 Labrador devrait, en théorie, avoir recours aux mêmes 12 services. Nous revendiquons donc un ou une journaliste 13 à temps plein pour la province, en plus de notre 14 journaliste de télévision. 15 573 Toute la question -- on fait allusion 16 ici à la question de la production régionale de Moncton 17 à la télévision. Depuis que nous recevons la 18 transmission du bulletin de nouvelles de "Ce Soir", nos 19 communautés sont heureuses de voir, à juste titre, les 20 reportages de notre journaliste. 21 574 Les gens, de plus en plus, veulent 22 connaître la réalité des communautés francophones et 23 acadiennes de l'Atlantique, mais malheureusement, le 24 temps de transition du signal de Moncton est limité au 25 "Ce Soir" de 19 h 30 à 20 h 30. Nous revendiquons donc StenoTran 139 1 une plus grande diffusion de la production télévision 2 de Moncton. 3 575 Le Réseau de l'information. Depuis 4 l'arrivée du Réseau de l'information, RDI, nous avons 5 constaté que les nouvelles du Québec, voire même la 6 région urbaine de Montréal, ont une priorité sur toutes 7 autres nouvelles. Également, nous avons constaté que 8 les émissions locales qui nous concernent, par exemple, 9 "L'Atlantique en Direct", peuvent être subitement 10 interrompues par l'annonce des conditions de 11 circulation sur la Métropolitaine. 12 576 C'est plutôt dommage de constater, 13 après avoir été obligé de suivre Newsworld par la force 14 des choses, que nos amis les anglophones n'ont pas ce 15 même traitement de la part de Toronto. Nous 16 revendiquons donc une plus grande autonomie de 17 diffusion de la part des stations régionales associées 18 au Réseau de l'information. 19 577 En guise de conclusion, j'ai 20 l'impression qu'on a eu l'occasion d'entendre plusieurs 21 autres intervenants. Je crois que je vais me distancer 22 des revendications plus précises que j'ai présentées 23 dans la présentation et d'étendre un petit peu la 24 vision pour quand même vous signaler que les 25 communautés francophones et acadiennes de cette StenoTran 140 1 province ont quand même les mêmes préoccupations que 2 nos amis anglophones. 3 578 Nous trouvons que la Société 4 Radio-Canada, radio et télévision, ont une 5 responsabilité tout à fait gigantesque et un poids 6 assez lourd à porter sur les épaules. C'est le 7 tissu-même des liens qui unissent, ad mare usque ad 8 mare -- ad mare, qui sont probablement les plus 9 significatives à l'égard de Radio-Canada et ainsi dire 10 le rôle que cette Société-là joue dans la vie 11 quotidienne des francophones. 12 579 Comme vous pouvez constater, la 13 francophonie terre-neuvienne et labradorienne est très 14 lointaine, très isolée, et certainement pas dans le 15 mainstream, si on peut se permettre de s'exprimer 16 ainsi, de la francophonie canadienne et, par le 17 fait-même, j'ai l'impression que c'est incalculable le 18 rôle que cette Société-là joue pour faire rupture avec 19 les distances géographiques que tout le monde doit 20 nécessairement faire face. 21 580 Donc, finalement, je ne voudrais pas 22 nécessairement vous bombarder de chiffres et de 23 statistiques et de vous dresser des tableaux limitatifs 24 de notre communauté. 25 581 Donc, pour essayer de clore et de StenoTran 141 1 vous permettre de faire d'autres délibérations, je vous 2 remercie à nouveau de nous avoir accordé cette période 3 de temps et je vous encourage fortement, mes amis les 4 Commissaires, de poursuivre vos démarches dans le but 5 d'assurer à la fin de la journée que Radio-Canada 6 répond aux mieux des intérêts de chacune et chacun de 7 ces Canadiens et Canadiennes qui sont en position de 8 recevoir, par la force des choses, le seul service qui 9 existe pour nous unir. 10 582 En ce qui s'agit des questions des 11 minorités linguistiques au pays, la communauté 12 francophone et acadienne de notre province est 13 certainement fidèle à cette vision-là du pays, que 14 Radio-Canada est l'organe, et probablement le seul 15 organe, qui est capable de présenter une vision du 16 pays, de cette belle nation que nous appelons le Canada 17 et de solidifier justement les liens qui nous unissent 18 plutôt que de maximiser le potentiel des argumentations 19 qui pourraient nous diviser. 20 583 Merci. 21 584 LE PRÉSIDENT: Merci beaucoup, 22 Monsieur Chiasson. 23 1627 24 585 MS MOORE: I would like to call 25 Mr. Richard Barnes please. StenoTran 142 1 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 2 586 MR. BARNES: Thank you for granting 3 me this time to talk to you about the CBC and welcome 4 to our province. 5 587 I have worked for CBC Newfoundland 6 and Labrador for 25 years in radio and television 7 production and this presentation reflects the views of 8 the provincial locals of two CBC unions, the 9 Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union and the 10 Canadian Media Guild. 11 588 Newfoundland and Labrador is home to 12 Inuit, Innu, Niskapi and MicMac as well as a blend of 13 several European nations that began visiting these 14 shores 500 years ago. The area around this harbour 15 here behind me is one of the oldest European 16 settlements in North America. English, French, and 17 Dutch soldiers fought for possession of this part of 18 the new world right here on this hill and it was just 19 50 years ago this month that we joined Canada. 20 Newfoundland already had a public radio broadcaster on 21 the air for 17 years when we voted to become Canadians. 22 589 With Confederation in 1949, the VONF 23 radio service became part of the CBC radio network. In 24 the early sixties, people fought the Smallwood 25 Government and petitioned to bring CBC television to StenoTran 143 1 our province. 2 590 Culturally, Newfoundland and Labrador 3 is regarded as unique. Our brand of music, comedy and 4 satire are extensions of ourselves and our life 5 stories. They are real. 6 591 The CBC has had a dominant role in 7 recording and presenting these stories and 8 performances. Increasingly though, cutbacks at the CBC 9 have eroded the commitment to that type of programming 10 in this region. 11 592 Since 1991, the budget in this region 12 has been cut by almost 52 per cent and 170 positions 13 have been eliminated. That is 60 per cent of the 14 employees here in this region. Even before these cuts, 15 CBC Newfoundland was known for its efficiency. I 16 believe we produced more quality programming per dollar 17 than any other region. We invented doing more with 18 less here and that has been the mantra of the CBC for 19 the last few years and I believe we are already there. 20 593 In radio, these cutbacks have meant 21 fewer recordings of concerts and special events in the 22 community. In television, dramatic presentations and 23 variety programming have been virtually eliminated. If 24 this type of environment had existed in the seventies 25 and eighties, the evolution of a young theatre troupe StenoTran 144 1 to "CODCO", to "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" would never 2 have happened. 3 594 In radio and television, CBC has been 4 a nurturing ground for local talent in the performing 5 arts. Private radio and television with all their 6 attributes appear to neither have the commitment nor 7 the resources to take the chance on unproven talent. 8 That has been the role of the CBC and it appears to be 9 no longer in the game. 10 595 The CBC radio is a leader in this 11 community. Dr. Dunsmore from Memorial University 12 mentioned earlier the work of Francesca Swann and the 13 Arts Department of CBC radio who are struggling along 14 on a shoestring budget and CBC radio is still the only 15 place on the dial where people can tune into serious 16 regional news and current affairs. It covers stories 17 and issues in a way that goes beyond headlines. It 18 brings voices to the discussion that would not 19 otherwise reach the airwaves. 20 596 But these cutbacks have diminished 21 its ability to do its job. Are we saying the answer is 22 more money, a commitment that the CBC is short of? Our 23 answer is no. We understand these hearings are not 24 about funding the CBC but these hearings are about 25 getting a commitment from the CBC. It is about getting StenoTran 145 1 a commitment in specific terms to regional broadcasting 2 in radio and television and, in this province, that 3 means the commitment to the music and stories and 4 issues of Newfoundland and Labrador. 5 597 We ask the Commission to keep in mind 6 as it reviews the CBC's licences that around here 7 regional broadcasting is not just a concept. It has 8 been working and it is still working because private 9 alternatives to it simply do not yet exist. 10 598 There must be more time slots in 11 radio and television for programs produced in the 12 regions. These are programs that can be broadcast in 13 this and other regions to give real meaning to the term 14 "national". The term "national" has for too long been 15 used as an excuse to remove programming from regions 16 such as Newfoundland and Labrador. 17 599 We have a vision of the country that 18 dares see itself from the regions toward the centre 19 rather than a country that fancies national expression 20 as emanating from the centre. 21 600 The CBC has been allowed to get away 22 with speaking in platitudes about its commitment to the 23 regions. Yet, in television, there is the perennial 24 question of its commitment to local supper hour shows. 25 In this province, despite budget reductions, our supper StenoTran 146 1 hour show is alone in providing full provincial 2 coverage and it is the most widely watched newscast in 3 the province. 4 601 Our only other regular television 5 production is a diminished version of the highly 6 successful resources program, "Land and Sea", which in 7 an earlier study of the CBC was held up by Pierre 8 Juneau as a model of the kind of television the CBC 9 should be producing. 10 602 In the absence of a real commitment 11 to regional broadcasting, we are fearful that 12 Newfoundland and Labrador will become part of a sound 13 stage in national productions. The Newfoundland on 14 radio and television will be a product of the Toronto 15 production house. This is a recipe for 16 misinterpretation of the places and stories of this 17 part of our country. 18 603 For the new millennium, we ask you to 19 demand the CBC to produce real evidence of its 20 commitment to regional broadcasting in radio and 21 television as a condition of having its licence 22 renewed. 23 604 Thank you. 24 605 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 25 Mr. Barnes. StenoTran 147 1 1633 2 606 MS MOORE: I would like to call 3 Ms Paula Flynn please. 4 607 Is Ms Flynn here today? 5 608 Is Mr. Philip Hicks here? 6 609 Mr. Chris Zimmer? 7 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 8 610 MR. ZIMMER: Mr. Chairman, ladies and 9 gentlemen. One of the good parts, I guess, about being 10 near the last is an awful lot of this stuff that I had 11 thought about and written down has already been said. 12 So I will try to avoid restating the obvious. 13 611 I have had the good fortune to be a 14 guest in this province as a film producer and helping 15 to produce one film so far of Newfoundland literature, 16 "The Divine Ryans(ph)". So I just thought I would take 17 the $1,000 cup of coffee and reverse it and come to 18 St. John's from Halifax as opposed to going to Sydney 19 or Charlottetown to make these comments. 20 612 Canada's cultural and knowledge-based 21 industries are dependent on having access to the 22 Canadian people through the media of radio and 23 television. The communication of ideas, thoughts, 24 poetry, music, science, political opinion and current 25 affairs are essential to the very survival of our StenoTran 148 1 country culturally, politically and economically. This 2 activity cannot be a strictly managed process but must 3 be an equal and constant current flowing between all 4 parts of the country in order for the process to be 5 effective and vital. 6 613 CBC, fifty years ago, was then and 7 remains now an important player in the communication of 8 our dreams and of course sometimes our disappointments. 9 I hope, fifty years from now, that a writer or a 10 producer is sitting in front of you, standing in front 11 of your successors, pleading for the continued wisdom 12 of the government in maintaining the activities of the 13 CBC. Some things do tend to stay the same. 14 614 Of course, in order for that to 15 happen, we will no doubt have to lobby for and plead 16 for the continuance of the CRTC as well as an important 17 regulator of our broadcast and telecommunications 18 world. 19 615 I want to address the need for and 20 attention to the change in the CBC. While a supporter 21 of the institution, I do feel that there are grave 22 areas of concern that need to be addressed. As someone 23 who has worked in the cultural sector in eastern Canada 24 for the last 28 years, I have seen growing trends in 25 the CBC which are, I believe, countered to the best StenoTran 149 1 interests of the Canadian citizens in general wherever 2 they might live. These trends, I believe, are rarely 3 malevolent but are indeed often misguided. 4 616 Trendy economic theories, political 5 posturing and personal ambition all too often create an 6 environment which is detrimental to the free flow of 7 ideas which should be at the very core of the CBC. 8 Without getting into particulars which would take far 9 longer than the 10 minutes allocated here, I would like 10 to suggest some areas of concern which reflect my 11 observations. 12 617 I would like you to note that these 13 opinions are indeed mine alone and don't necessarily 14 reflect any of the industry boards or associations of 15 which I am a member. There will be, I am sure, from a 16 number of groups, different opinions that you are going 17 to get right across the country. 18 618 The first of these: I think the CBC 19 should take a more national stance and cease to use the 20 straw dog of regionalism as a means to centralize 21 content, economic benefit or information. The drive to 22 centralize power and control, merge decision-making 23 with a few select suppliers narrows the choice that 24 both the viewers require and the program creators can 25 provide. StenoTran 150 1 619 By filtering all the programming 2 ideas through a narrow funnel of decision- and 3 opinion-makers can only result in a subsequent narrow 4 definition of ideas, making many copies of a small 5 number of books -- many copies of a small number of 6 books does not really make for a very good library. A 7 diversity of ideas is absolutely essential and the CBC 8 should be the means by which everybody across Canada 9 can disseminate those ideas. 10 620 The CBC should increase its dealings 11 with independent producers and at the same time it 12 should be more equitable in its negotiations with 13 independent producers across the country. The 14 independent producers are capable of developing and 15 producing quality work of a diverse nature and at a 16 very economic price. Trust them and respect that they 17 have developed the ideas and financed the major balance 18 of the programs. I think that kind of a dealing with a 19 wider independent partnership is extremely important. 20 621 Distribution rights, Internet rights 21 and other insular rights should be fairly and 22 separately negotiated as an addition to a broadcast 23 licence, not as a take-it-or-leave-it situation, as is 24 now the situation. The principal business of CBC 25 should be the operation of a public-funded television StenoTran 151 1 and radio broadcast system, not acting as a studio or a 2 media conglomerate. This probably is one of the 3 economic theories that is currently, I know, in some of 4 the proposals. 5 622 Feature film is an area where the CBC 6 could provide welcome support. By allocating both 7 programming time and promotion of films to people who 8 make them, CBC could prove beneficial. I do not, 9 however, believe that CBC should engage its human 10 resources in the act of development, production or 11 distribution of film. Committing as little as 90 12 minutes of prime time for Canadian feature films with 13 significant broadcast licences would go a long way to 14 helping. 15 623 Feature film is one of the few forms 16 of independent cinematic expression remaining and 17 giving this a particular political, social or 18 journalistic structure would destroy this expression. 19 624 In conclusion, in an environment of 20 increasing channels and subsequent decline in the 21 number of viewers, the instinct is to grab at straws 22 and do what we see others doing. This is not 23 necessarily a good thing. 24 625 Perhaps what is best is to trust in 25 the diversity of Canadian writers, producers and StenoTran 152 1 filmmakers in creating vital, interesting programs and 2 present these to the rest of the country as examples of 3 their work. "CBC Presents": the programs of the 4 Canadian producers, artists, writers and musicians are 5 what are being presented. The content is the 6 individual and that will help to alleviate some of the 7 concerns that CBC has a particular bias this way or 8 that way. 9 626 A lot of decisions to be made across 10 the country again recognize that there is a diversity 11 of opinion and style and cherish the fact that that is 12 a good thing, not a bad thing. 13 627 As we move into the next century, CBC 14 radio and television should strive to maintain itself 15 not as the creator or arbitrator of what is acceptable 16 culturally, morally or aesthetically, but be a mirror 17 that bounces ideas and creative expression of all sort 18 from one part of Canada to the rest. 19 628 Thank you for listening to me and I 20 trust you will not only do these consultations but act 21 upon what you hear in order to shape the face of the 22 CBC so that it remains active and vital for all the 23 people in Canada. Thank you. 24 629 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 25 Mr. Zimmer. StenoTran 153 1 630 Just a quick question: If you were 2 to do more of what you suggest, and your focus, I 3 think, was particularly on television -- 4 631 MR. ZIMMER: That's right. 5 632 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- what would you 6 do less of? 7 633 MR. ZIMMER: What would I do less of? 8 I think I would do fewer mega-series. I would do more 9 drama, more innovative television programming and have 10 the CBC present it as the best of what is done in a 11 particular part of the country. 12 634 One lady earlier in the day -- and 13 I'm sorry but I don't remember what her name is -- 14 mentioned the fact that we don't often get to see truly 15 what is happening in the west coast, in the Prairies, 16 in Quebec, in Halifax. I assume that it is probably 17 true here as well and I think that is a shame. 18 635 I have a lot of contacts with people 19 across the country in the business and the opportunity 20 for us actually to see the kind of thinking and the 21 shows, the writing that goes on. It just isn't there 22 and so I think that has to be looked at and probably 23 make it a little less deal-driven. 24 636 THE CHAIRPERSON: When you make the 25 suggestion allowing decisions to be made more across StenoTran 154 1 the country, and I presume you mean in the regions and 2 perhaps even in individual provinces, given a fixed 3 budget -- let's assume it is at the level it is at now 4 -- how would you see that decentralization of 5 decision-making being affected? 6 637 MR. ZIMMER: I believe that the 7 decisions that were being made on a local level, on a 8 regional level, on a provincial level, were decisions 9 that are actually the ones that are most important. 10 638 We were talking just a few seconds 11 ago about how "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" came to reach 12 its prominence in Canada, and indeed, if it hadn't been 13 for the support of people here in St. John's, the CBC 14 in Halifax fighting for those early shows and 15 supporting those writers and performers, it wouldn't 16 happen. That is the kind of decision-making that is no 17 longer available to us. 18 639 If we have one show, we have to go 19 through the system, through Toronto, and they will pick 20 and choose which show, which idea goes. I think that 21 is a backward step and it is something that can be 22 reversed. It is just an economic theory of merging and 23 getting bigger that drove that decision. You can just 24 as easily make a different decision. I do believe that 25 there is enough economic resources available. StenoTran 155 1 640 THE CHAIRPERSON: One cell phone 2 rings and everybody goes for it. 3 641 MR. ZIMMER: Everybody jumps, right? 4 I was pretty sure I turned it off. 5 642 I am not at the treasury at CBC so I 6 can only give my opinion. But I do believe that there 7 are resources that are not being tapped, that are being 8 wasted there. Actually, you can take and use a lot of 9 those in a different way but it takes a certain will to 10 do that. I think it is very important because I think 11 you will hear, right across the country, echoes of what 12 you have heard today. 13 643 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, we have indeed 14 already. Thank you very much, Mr. Zimmer. 15 1645 16 644 MS MOORE: I would like to call 17 Mr. John Birkelund please. 18 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 19 645 MR. BIRKELUND: I have been listening 20 to the CBC radio now for years but there is a bit of 21 noise out in our area -- 640 from St. John's -- in 22 night time -- but that is beside the point. 23 646 Now, the signal from other stations 24 coming in -- I don't know from where -- I have been out 25 on the Grand Banks, Flemish Cap, whatever, Labrador StenoTran 156 1 right up to Baffin Island but the CBC, after Saglek, it 2 disappears. There is no strong signal coming in for 3 the original programs like "CBC Morning Show" or 4 whatever that disappear after Saglek. 5 647 If there was any chance, they should 6 have a repeat of the station there 15,000 kilowatts or 7 1,500 kilowatts, 10,000 watts or whatever, to have a 8 signal out there for the original -- I mean from a 9 Newfoundland and Labrador perspective of the fishermen 10 up there in the summertime fishing, plus these fellows 11 are fishing shrimp up there. And say from St. John's 12 and out to 150 miles from here, maybe 200 sometimes, 13 that signal disappears altogether. You hear it go and 14 come back, and some other stations, maybe from down the 15 southern side of the border or from Europe somewhere, 16 but it disappears. 17 648 You have a little country up there 18 now like Greenland. They have a signal coming in so 19 strong it's not even funny. You hear that right down 20 to St. Anthony from Greenland. I will listen to it 21 once in a while. 22 649 Now, say the shortwave: I have been 23 around the world for years and we listen strongly to 24 CBC to get a bit of news from different parts, what is 25 going on. There is one thing I will say for the CBC StenoTran 157 1 reporters, if they could put in on the shortwave or on 2 the AM here locally, the newspapers -- not the big 3 ones, the small ones, original, you know, the small 4 newspapers that come out, say, "The Compass" or "The 5 Log" -- not the headlines because they always come on 6 the headline on the TV or radio but the small things 7 that happen in the communities -- Labrador. That is my 8 opinion. Thank you very much. 9 650 And by the way, I have been taping 10 these programs over the years. I have a little 11 shortwave radio. I pick up CBC "World at Six" and 12 taped it and I brought it to the mess room for our boys 13 to listen to a bit of news in the night-time because I 14 had to go out on a ship and tape this. So I don't know 15 what to say more. 16 651 Thank you very much. 17 652 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 18 Mr. Birkelund. 19 653 Now, I understand those are all the 20 people we had registered on the list for today. 21 654 MS MOORE: That's right. 22 655 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is there anybody 23 else here today who would like to make a presentation? 24 1650 25 656 Susan Knight, is it? Do you want to StenoTran 158 1 come and sit at a chair that has a microphone? 2 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 3 657 MS KNIGHT: Thank you. 4 658 Mr. Chairman and ladies and 5 gentlemen, I am the founder and conductor of the 6 Newfoundland Symphony Youth Choir and also one of the 7 artistic directors of Festival 500, an international 8 choral festival here in St. John's. But really I am 9 here this afternoon as a citizen of this province of 10 this province and of this country, a naturalized 11 citizen, I must say. I was four years old when we 12 became Canadians. So I have been reared very 13 consciously both as a Newfoundlander and as a Canadian. 14 659 I apologize if I make any repetitions 15 here this afternoon because I have just recently 16 arrived and haven't heard the rest of the speakers this 17 afternoon. So I will speak from the mind and the heart 18 and hope I don't have too much repetition from what 19 other presenters have made this afternoon. 20 660 I have listened to the CBC all my 21 life. I have principally listened to it, and watched 22 it as well, and I am coming this afternoon to say that 23 I think not only should its licence be renewed but I 24 want to speak to the power of the CBC as an agent for 25 cultural identity. I just want to speak a little bit StenoTran 159 1 about culture and how culture is conceived and happens 2 in any place in the world. 3 661 When you think of it, I am in receipt 4 of all the generations that preceded me long before the 5 CBC was invented but part of the whole process of 6 cultural renewal in any generation is that you receive 7 from the generations preceding you, both living and 8 then in written record, the traditions, the ideas and 9 the practices that make up your culture. Then in every 10 generation, we reshape those ideas for ourselves to 11 transmit to the next generation who, in their turn, 12 will reshape them. 13 662 So I am probably one of the 14 generation of Canadian children who were born as 15 Newfoundlanders and who have come up with that dual 16 identity, and it is a dual identity. It is not an 17 identity that is at odds with itself at all and I think 18 one of the real reasons for that is because I grew up 19 listening to the CBC and thinking about what I listened 20 to. 21 663 It is an agent and I should perhaps 22 at this point just make a little differential between 23 CBC radio and CBC television. I think CBC television 24 tends to have a very powerful purpose because the 25 visual image is such a powerful image around the world StenoTran 160 1 to explain ourselves to each other and to the rest of 2 the world. But as I see Canadian television at the 3 moment, there is not as great a difference between 4 Canadian television and other national TV agents such 5 as CTV and Global. 6 664 There is a lot of commercial support 7 there which I am sure is necessary for its survival or 8 at least is deemed to be. But it is really CBC radio 9 that I think that serves as an agent that really helps 10 cohesiveness across this country and, in that 11 cohesiveness, allows diversity to bloom. 12 665 I often think of our powerful 13 neighbours to the south of us. I think of them as they 14 explain themselves as a stew. But Canada is a salad 15 and in my way of thinking, I think of almost the CBC as 16 a major agent, almost like a salad dressing would be in 17 a salad that brings all the individual elements 18 together and allows them to coexist and celebrate. So 19 I think it is absolutely critical that the CBC be 20 encouraged, particularly in its radio programming, to 21 continue. 22 666 I heard this gentleman who was a film 23 producer speak about the power and the importance of 24 the regions. That is terribly, terribly important, 25 again because of the nature of Canadian cultural StenoTran 161 1 identity. We are a string of strong regions that 2 coexist and the special nature of Canadian prominence 3 in the world and success in Canadian life is because we 4 have been able to really flourish in our regions and 5 yet agree to be Canadians together. 6 667 I think that the CBC, in all its 7 programming, its political programming, its cultural 8 programming, arouses a curiosity in each of us about 9 our neighbours, about what it is like to be a 10 Manitoban, what it is like to be a Quebecer, and it 11 encourages us to see a connection. I think curiosity 12 and connection are things that have to be nourished and 13 nurtured and I don't think that a commercial 14 broadcasting company would be able or would ever have 15 the same impetus to try and do that. 16 668 I think that the strength of the 17 regions -- I am an artist. I have been making art all 18 day with some wonderful young people here in 19 Newfoundland. We have been taping a CD and that is why 20 I am late here this afternoon. But we have to be 21 affirmed in our regions as we make art. It takes not 22 only passion and reason to make art but courage and we 23 need to be encouraged. 24 669 Certainly in this region, all the 25 makers of art who are expressing culture and expressing StenoTran 162 1 politics are greatly encouraged by CBC programming, by 2 the existence of programming, by the very real life of 3 CBC producers in the community, ear to the ground, out 4 there in the community, wanting to hear what is going 5 on, what is being made, what is being remade, and then 6 playing it back to ourselves because certainly in an 7 area with regional disparity like Newfoundland, the 8 affirmation of ourselves to ourselves is critical for 9 that kind of confidence to go on. 10 670 One of the reasons perhaps that the 11 arts flourish here in Newfoundland is that we are 12 always under siege of some kind or other. I remember 13 my parents talking about the war years. Even though it 14 was a terrible time, they always talked about it with 15 such verve and joy in their recollections of the spirit 16 of the time. In a way, Newfoundland has always been 17 like that. 18 671 So the arts do flourish here but 19 there is so much that one could be oppressed about that 20 it is terribly important to explain ourselves to each 21 other and to affirm ourselves within the region. So it 22 is not just important that Newfoundlanders or Atlantic 23 Canadians be, via the CBC, transmitted to Saskatchewan 24 so they will understand us and we they, but that you 25 have this affirmation of yourself within the region. StenoTran 163 1 672 So I don't think that a commercial 2 broadcaster could do the same thing and I don't think 3 that ratings should be the thing that decides whether 4 CBC continues its life or not, certainly in radio 5 broadcasting. I think that we have a responsibility to 6 each other to have this wonderful idea that is Canada 7 carry itself on in its diverse and unified ways. That 8 is why that is so critical. 9 673 When I think of television -- and I 10 don't know what all the numbers are. I don't know what 11 commercial support brings in, in terms of budget or 12 percentage of budget. I am anxious to even say this 13 but if push came to shove and it had to be one or the 14 other, I think we should keep radio. But I am not 15 advocating or suggesting that for a minute. 16 674 Maybe my suggestion would be very 17 naive if we look to something like having perhaps some 18 of the budget for CBC television come from public 19 subscriptions such as PBS in the United States, who 20 Canadians of course support as well. I don't know what 21 is the validity of that suggestion or that idea or that 22 concept, whether that would ever fly. 23 675 I just wanted to say these few words 24 today about how critical it is that CBC be allowed to 25 carry on, be strong in its regions, and carry on its StenoTran 164 1 national outlook as well, particularly in radio 2 broadcasting. 3 676 I will say that locally here, this 4 producer in this room behind me that has done 5 absolutely stellar work in the region -- and that is 6 Francesca Swann -- who gives the full circle of 7 everything that goes on here in the musical life of 8 this place, gives access to people. In my youth, 9 television was like that and there was so much 10 wonderful television, live programming and taped 11 programming coming out of this region and that has 12 dwindled because of funding. 13 677 But it is certainly still going on in 14 radio and it would be a blow to Canada if we ever lost 15 anything of that nature. But it is not just the arts, 16 it is all the programming that goes on through CBC 17 radio. 18 678 So I thank you for the opportunity to 19 make this address here today. 20 679 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 21 Ms Knight. 22 680 So have we heard from everybody who 23 wanted to make a presentation then? 24 1701 25 681 Well then, as we have done in all of StenoTran 165 1 the locations where we have provided an opportunity for 2 comment, we have also provided an opportunity for the 3 CBC to respond to the comments that they have heard 4 through the day. 5 682 So I will turn it over and perhaps 6 just for the record, if you would identify yourselves. 7 REPLY / RÉPLIQUE 8 683 MS HUMBER: Thank you, Commissioner 9 Colville. I am Dianne Humber. I am here representing 10 CBC radio. I am the Regional Director in Newfoundland 11 and Labrador. 12 684 On behalf of the other CBC 13 representatives here, Donna Wicks and Lloyd Noël(ph) 14 representing regional television, Antea Springman(ph) 15 from the Communications Department and Michael Harris 16 from National Television, I would like to thank the 17 CRTC for allowing us to be part of their public 18 consultations. 19 685 I would also like to thank all of our 20 listeners and viewers who have given of their time to 21 show up today and put so much effort into their 22 presentations and to prepare such passionate and 23 articulate presentations. It is always a pleasure to 24 hear from our audience. 25 686 The issues and opinions that we heard StenoTran 166 1 here today are very important to the CBC. We see it as 2 our role here to listen and to take your thoughts back 3 and to seriously consider them. We value any input 4 from our audiences and appreciate the opportunity to 5 hear it directly. It is also lovely to put a face to 6 some of the names that we have heard as CBC supporters 7 and CBC detractors. 8 687 We will be following up with each of 9 the presenters individually in the coming weeks and 10 trying to address your specific issues and to answer 11 any questions that you may have about CBC radio/CBC 12 television. The fact that so many of you have taken 13 the time today to come here shows us that you are far 14 from apathetic about the CBC. 15 688 It was delightful to hear so many 16 people speak specifically to the role of regional 17 broadcasting and of course, as a regional broadcaster, 18 it is something that is also very near to my heart. 19 Taking an active interest in the CBC, whether you have 20 good things or bad things to say, it is really 21 important for us to hear those things and to take some 22 of those things into account when we are trying to plan 23 for the future. 24 689 Again, thank you for turning out and 25 you will hear from us in the weeks to come. We will StenoTran 167 1 give serious consideration to the things that you have 2 had to say and try to take most of it into account when 3 we plan for the future. 4 690 Thank you very much. 5 691 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 6 Ms Humber. 7 692 Given the hour and that we are going 8 to reconvene at 6:00 and some of us may want to try to 9 get a bite to eat before we start again, I think we 10 will adjourn our session. We will reconvene here at 11 6:00 and go to, I would guess, some time between 9:00 12 and 10:00. 13 --- Recess at 1704 / Suspension à 1704 14 --- Upon resuming at 1805 / Reprise à 1805 15 693 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good evening, 16 ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to this public 17 consultation on the CBC. 18 694 My name is David Colville and I am 19 the CRTC's Vice-Chair of Telecommunications and the 20 Atlantic Region Commissioner of the CRTC. We are here 21 today and this evening to gather your views and 22 comments on CBC radio and television. In your opinion, 23 how should the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 24 fulfill its role in the coming years? 25 695 The CBC is a national public service StenoTran 168 1 broadcasting in English as well as in French. It plays 2 an important role in the Canadian broadcasting system. 3 Today, many elements are constantly being added to the 4 broadcasting system as technologies multiply, converge, 5 open up new horizons and increasingly offer new 6 services. In this context, we want to know what are 7 your needs and expectations as viewers and listeners of 8 the CBC. 9 696 The Canadian Radio-television and 10 Telecommunications Commission regulates private and 11 public radio and television stations in this country 12 and we also regulate the cable undertakings and the 13 telephone companies and telecommunications companies. 14 We wanted to come out across the country to communities 15 from one end of the country to the other to hear views 16 of citizens about the CBC and what your views are. 17 697 The consultations are designed to 18 give you a chance, on the eve of the new millennium, to 19 express your opinion on the CBC's role, the programming 20 it offers and the direction it should take at the 21 national, regional and local levels. Through these 22 consultations, we hope to enter into an open dialogue 23 with you and to hear your concerns. 24 698 Your comments will form part of the 25 public record which will be added to the record of the StenoTran 169 1 public hearing on the CBC that will begin in Hull on 2 May 25th. At that hearing, the Commission will examine 3 the CBC's application for the renewal of its licences, 4 including radio, television and its specialty services, 5 Newsworld and Réseau de l'information. You can also 6 take part in that public hearing by sending your 7 written comments to the CRTC. 8 699 Coming to today's consultations, 9 allow me to introduce the CRTC staff that are with us 10 today: Karen Moore, our legal counsel; Nick Ketchum 11 from our Broadcasting Planning Branch in Ottawa; and 12 Brien Rodger, the Regional Director of our Halifax 13 Regional Office. Please feel free to call on them with 14 any questions you might have about the process we have 15 today. 16 700 So that you will all have the 17 opportunity to speak, we will ask that you limit your 18 presentation to 10 minutes. As these consultations are 19 a forum designed especially for you, we want to listen 20 to as many participants as possible. My notes say that 21 we will not ask any questions unless we need 22 clarification but I may ask a question or two. But if 23 anybody is uncomfortable with that, just indicate to me 24 and we will respect your wishes. 25 701 I should indicate that at the end of StenoTran 170 1 the session, representatives from the CBC who are here 2 listening to the comments will have a chance to respond 3 to the comments that they have heard through this 4 evening's session. 5 702 So before we start, I will turn it 6 over to legal counsel to go over some housekeeping 7 matters and we will open it up for your comments. 8 703 MS MOORE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 9 704 First, I just want to mention that 10 there are translation headsets available just outside 11 the hearing room. I will be calling each person by 12 name. If you could come forward to the table. When 13 you begin speaking, please ensure that your microphone 14 is on by pressing the button so that your presentation 15 can be transcribed. Please also be sure to turn off 16 your microphone when you are finished. 17 705 The transcript of this consultation 18 will form part of the public record relating to the 19 applications for licence renewal and they will be 20 available on the Commission's Web site approximately 21 seven days from today. 22 706 Finally, I just want to mention that 23 we also have comment forms available which you can fill 24 out today and leave with us and they will also be 25 placed on the public file of this proceeding. Thank StenoTran 171 1 you. 2 1820 3 707 Our first presenter this evening is 4 Mr. Frank Holden. 5 708 We will just keep calling out names 6 until we have someone. Mr. Chris Brookes. 7 --- Off microphone / Sans microphone 8 709 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Anybody else 9 who is in the room, judging by looking around, anybody 10 else who is here who is going to make a presentation, 11 if you would like to sit at the table, you are 12 certainly welcome to do so. 13 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 14 710 MR. BROOKES: Hi. I just wanted to 15 say that I think it is unfortunate that this 16 consultation is happening while CBC is undergoing a 17 labour dispute, and I presume and I hope that nothing 18 -- it would be nice to be able to say everything 19 everybody has to say without that. I mean certainly 20 what I have to say has no relation to the shadow of 21 that labour dispute whatsoever. 22 711 I want to speak not so much as a 23 listener, but if I did speak as a listener, I would 24 stress the importance of regional programming on radio 25 in particular and television as well to this region. StenoTran 172 1 In my opinion, Canada is the sum of its regions, that 2 is, that its strength and its identity as a country and 3 it is not something which -- an identity which is 4 invented in Toronto and passed down on tablets of stone 5 or tablets of radio or tablets of television every 6 morning to the rest of us poor hicks in the rest of the 7 country. 8 712 Regional programming, as you probably 9 know, in Newfoundland, was cut drastically in recent 10 years. Radio received a cut of something like 45 per 11 cent, I think. However, I don't want to speak as a 12 listener but as an audio producer. 13 713 I have been a radio producer for 14 years. As an independent radio producer, I have made 15 programs for the past 10 years for CBC and for 16 international broadcasters. 17 714 I am interested in your question 18 about how well does the CBC fulfill its role. In the 19 new millennium, should the CBC fulfill its role in a 20 different manner than it has in the past? I would like 21 to address myself to that if I could. 22 715 I think the best course of action, of 23 course, for the CBC to move into the millennium would 24 be for the government to reverse the cuts it has made 25 to public broadcasting in the country. However, what StenoTran 173 1 if government doesn't do that? It is in that context 2 that I want to raise a couple of questions. 3 716 CBC has not been the only public 4 broadcaster in the world to be hit by cuts in recent 5 years and I would like to just talk a little bit, if I 6 could, about the BBC radio. I am sure there are people 7 in the room that know more than I do about the details 8 of the BBC arrangement, but just briefly, an overview 9 of it. 10 717 BBC was hit by cuts a few years ago. 11 It kind of hit the floor, if you like, with two feet, 12 in a sense, to meet those cuts. One shoe that it put 13 on was it cut personnel and it made cuts to programming 14 budgets. The second shoe that it put on was the shoe 15 of cost-effectiveness. It made an attempt as a kind of 16 a crippled, I think, public broadcaster to at least 17 keep walking on both feet. 18 718 To give you an example of what I 19 mean. Take for example radio drama. It is a highly 20 produced kind of programming. It is very expensive to 21 produce anywhere. The BBC approach, in a nutshell, as 22 I understand it, is to cost out their cost of producing 23 any given radio drama. For example, they cost out what 24 their cost is for the studios, for their equipment, for 25 their personnel, for their producers, for their StenoTran 174 1 supplies, and they come up with a figure of, say, 2 10,000 pounds for an hour of radio drama produced 3 in-house at the BBC. Their conclusion, let's say, is 4 well, the budget won't permit it. Because of the cuts, 5 we can't have any radio drama on the air. 6 719 But the second shoe that the BBC hit 7 the floor with was that cost-effectiveness shoe which 8 now says, within the BBC, that they will look out of 9 house for out-of-house independent productions of 10 programming units. They are required to do that. 11 720 Let's say they can find, for 12 argument's sake, a radio drama production that can be 13 produced to the BBC standards of excellence in quality 14 and journalistic standards for, let's say, 7,000 pounds 15 for an hour. Perhaps then, the BBC may want to make a 16 decision that at that cost, that lower cost, perhaps 17 they can keep radio drama on its schedule rather than 18 cutting it entirely. This is a fanciful example. 19 721 One of the reasons why I think that, 20 in Britain, independent radio production can sometimes 21 be done cheaper than in-house production at BBC is 22 because of digital technology which has come in -- 23 really in the past five-six years, it has really kicked 24 in. Whereas before that, it might cost you $100,000 to 25 have the kind of studio and equipment to produce StenoTran 175 1 high-quality, BBC-style radio drama, now you can 2 probably do that for $20,000. That is what has made a 3 big difference. 4 722 So the BBC is still kind of crippled, 5 it seems to me, from this distance, but walking with 6 two feet on the ground in a difficult way. It has now 7 a community of independent radio producers in England 8 which exists to help BBC create cost-effective programs 9 and get them on the air. It is not unlike the 10 situation in Canadian television. 11 723 Thirty-four years ago, I think, most 12 of the Canadian television production was in-house at 13 the broadcasters. Now, there is a community of 14 independent television producers in this country and 15 they can call together funding from a variety of 16 sources to make their productions work, from the 17 Independent Television Production Fund, from Telefilm, 18 from co-productions with broadcasters, perhaps and 19 sponsors -- I don't know. Some of our most well-known 20 programs actually come from that kind of a production 21 system, as I understand it. 22 724 Pamela Wallin is an out-of-house 23 production; it's a co-production. "22 Minutes"; 24 "Dooley Gardens" which just piloted last week, a 25 regional program. There is a community of independent StenoTran 176 1 producers which exists in Canadian television. 2 725 The bottom line is, it seems to me, 3 if I were the CBC, I would say that perhaps the bottom 4 line might be that the CBC is enabled to put quality 5 programs on the air, television programs, at less than 6 the full cost of producing them if they were going to 7 do the whole thing in-house like they did decades ago. 8 726 When you have a Cabinet Minister -- I 9 notice we did, last year or the year before -- who came 10 along and decided to try and offer up a stop to the 11 cuts that had been made to public broadcasting. I 12 noticed that Sheila Copps put $100 million into the 13 Independent Television Production Fund. She put 14 $10 million into CBC radio. She couldn't put that 15 money into radio independent production fund because 16 there is no such animal that exists. So the money went 17 directly into CBC radio. 18 727 Unfortunately, there was a $3 million 19 accounting error. So some of that disappeared. But 20 aside from that, I think what we have been hearing on 21 radio in the past couple of years is the result of all 22 the cuts despite the fact that Ms Copps has put money 23 back into -- some money back into the CBC. 24 728 I think that I have noticed that the 25 number of highly produced programs are fewer. I was StenoTran 177 1 looking at the ideas, CBC radio ideas -- winter 2 schedule just before I came in and if I am not mistaken 3 -- this is terms of radio documentaries, the number of 4 repeats on their winter and spring season is about 50 5 per cent -- something like 48 per cent according to my 6 notes, I think. I may be wrong. I would guess that a 7 couple of years ago, that was probably more like 20 per 8 cent at the most. 9 729 Dramas are down. There hasn't been a 10 radio drama produced in this Newfoundland and Labrador 11 region in radio for about five years. So it seems to 12 me that unlike the BBC approach of trying to stand up 13 with difficulty on two shoes, the CBC radio approach to 14 the cuts has been to stand on one shoe as best as it 15 can. It has cut personnel and it has cut program 16 budgets. But it doesn't cost out the cost of in-house 17 production in the same way that BBC does. 18 730 It means that it may appear as if, 19 let's say, an ideas program, let's say, produced 20 in-house in Toronto, costs nothing. It may appear that 21 way and nothing is an awful lot cheaper of course than 22 getting it produced any other way. It does obviously 23 cost something but the CBC producers and executives 24 involved often don't know what the real cost is of 25 producing a given program element. StenoTran 178 1 731 If the CBC followed the BBC approach, 2 I suggest that it might find that there would be some 3 cases in which independent producers could do some of 4 those productions perhaps more cost effectively in the 5 same way that in television it is done, like "This Hour 6 Has 22 Minutes" and so forth, under the funding 7 structure that exists in television. 8 732 Television obviously is commercial 9 whereas CBC radio is not and perhaps it is that 10 commercial environment in television that has helped 11 drive a more realistic cost accounting structure and to 12 establish funding structures which assist independent 13 producers and the CBC to co-produce creative, 14 cost-effective programs at a cost less than the CBC 15 could do perhaps in-house. 16 733 So the question you ask is: In the 17 millennium, should the CBC fulfill its role in a 18 different manner than it has in the past? 19 734 The question I would ask is: Will 20 CBC radio in this licence renewal application or some 21 future one be asking the CBC for permission to have 22 commercial sponsorship on radio? 23 735 I would like to say, by the way, that 24 it seems to me that since the details of this 25 particular licence application by CBC aren't going to StenoTran 179 1 be made public until next month, it certainly would 2 have been a bit more fruitful to have these public 3 consultations next month rather than this month when 4 people would have something concrete to respond to. 5 736 However, I would personally be 6 supportive of a CBC radio which would ask the CRTC for 7 permission to have some kind of commercial sponsorship 8 at some time in the future. Of course, this would be 9 the second-best option. I would prefer to have a CBC 10 radio which would have the cuts reversed by the 11 government. But I think that such sponsorship 12 certainly, if it were done in a tasteful manner, in a 13 way that American public radio sponsorship is done, for 14 example, not so much commercials but at the end of a 15 program in the credits: This program was brought to 16 you by The Ford Foundation or whatever. 17 737 I think that something like that 18 could be instrumental in helping to save regional 19 programming in particular from disappearing. You 20 probably don't know but Newtel, for example, this one 21 corporation in this province, which has put a lot of 22 money into sponsoring arts events in this province, and 23 it seems to me that that has helped the regional art 24 scene survive and to grow. 25 738 So my suggestion is that if and when StenoTran 180 1 CBC radio makes this move to request permission for 2 commercial sponsorship from the CRTC -- and I hope it 3 does and I hope it does it before it is too late -- if 4 and when that application is made, I would suggest that 5 the CRTC should consider requiring two things to 6 co-exist with it. One would be some kind of realistic 7 cost accounting for the CBC in-house production 8 arrangements so that producers -- CBC producers know 9 how much it costs to make the given program that they 10 are making, and therefore, whether independent 11 producers could help lower their costs or not and 12 therefore whether high-quality programs could in some 13 way be kept on the air for listeners instead of having 14 to eliminate them. 15 739 The second part of my suggestion is 16 that the CRTC in that instance should really consider 17 perhaps setting up some kind of a public funding 18 structure for radio as exists for television, a fund 19 which would be available for independents in 20 co-productions so that the next time a Cabinet Minister 21 gets generous and decides to pump some money back into 22 radio, she could perhaps get the best bang for her 23 scarce buck by putting it directly into a programming 24 fund. 25 740 If that happens, I would like to StenoTran 181 1 think that then, in the new millennium, you would have 2 a community of independent radio producers and 3 production houses who could cobble together funding 4 from sponsors, from production funds and whatever, to 5 help CBC radio survive the cuts by supplying some 6 national or some regional programming that would 7 otherwise perhaps have to be eliminated due to the 8 cuts. For that matter, you would also have a community 9 of independent producers who could make high-quality 10 radio productions for export to other broadcasters 11 elsewhere in the world. 12 741 Thank you. 13 742 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 14 Mr. Brookes. 15 743 I would just want to note that while 16 I take your point that we are conducting these hearings 17 prior to the public disclosure, if you will, of the 18 specifics of the CBC applications that we did this at 19 this time because we could fit it into the schedule and 20 we wanted general views on the CBC. We still welcome 21 yours or anybody else's submissions once those 22 applications are made public. So at that time, you 23 could still make a comment on the details of the 24 applications once they are made public. 25 744 Ms Moore. StenoTran 182 1 1824 2 745 MS MOORE: I would like to call our 3 next presenter, Ms Janet Peter. 4 746 Is Ms Edythe Goodridge here? 5 747 THE CHAIRPERSON: You can do it right 6 from there if you wish. 7 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 8 748 MS GOODRIDGE: I wonder if I could 9 beg the indulgence of the Commission to let me share my 10 time with a colleague and friend, Barbara Doran. Thank 11 you. 12 749 I am grateful to the Commission for 13 this opportunity to speak to some of its public 14 members. I would like to welcome you in Gaelic but I 15 thought perhaps you might want a translation. It's a 16 hundred thousand welcomes on the eve of St. Patrick. 17 We already have our -- 18 750 THE CHAIRPERSON: ... 19 --- Foreign language / Langue étrangère 20 751 MS GOODRIDGE: Very good. 21 752 With the time at my disposal, I had 22 considered adding my list to the litany of concerns and 23 complaints that I know you have heard throughout your 24 public consultation and/or to consider doing a critique 25 on some of the more important reports and studies that StenoTran 183 1 have been issued over the past decade on the question 2 and issues of the CBC. But I have decided to do 3 neither. 4 753 Instead, I would prefer to try and 5 address what I consider to be the underlying issue 6 facing both the Commission and the CBC at the end of 7 this century, and it is the issue of what I consider 8 the integrity and mandate of the CBC. So I would like 9 to take just a few moments to share with you my views 10 on that issue. 11 754 The issue for me is one of an 12 institution that is perhaps one of the most important 13 that we have constructed in this nation of Canada and 14 it is for me a legacy that has been passed to us by a 15 handful of people and invested in by millions of 16 Canadians over a very short period in our history. 17 755 Like many of our other public 18 institutions and custodian institutions, the CBC was 19 also founded on what I believe is a very simple 20 concept, one that there are resources, both 21 intellectual and physical resources in this land of 22 ours and in this nation that must be preserved and 23 reserved, utilized, protected to ensure that they are 24 used for both the public good and maintained and 25 retained for future generations. StenoTran 184 1 756 I believe that is a fairly simple 2 concept and it is the foundation of many of our 3 institutions, not just the CBC, and a very valuable and 4 prized concept that has given Canada world respect in 5 many ways, whether these are our museums, our 6 universities, our universal systems, social and medical 7 systems or the CBC. They are predicated on the same 8 important premise. 9 757 That premise promised all of us who 10 have invested in the CBC in these past decades that we 11 would be provided a level of information, even 12 education, investigation, inquiry and that the CBC 13 would celebrate and demonstrate both our struggle, I 14 guess, and many of our aspirations as a society. These 15 were the promises that the legacy ensured each and 16 every one of us would have. 17 758 However, I think the issue that is 18 facing some of us, at least in this country -- but 19 before I express my own personal perspective, I think 20 that for these past decades, there have been very few 21 except for some of our politicians and our vested 22 interests who have doubted the purpose, the mandate and 23 the premise for the CBC and our other institutions. 24 759 However, now, some of us are quite 25 horrified to discover that these very institutions are StenoTran 185 1 not being reformed but deformed, in fact, that they are 2 now very seriously threatened at a critical stage in 3 our history, and I would like to touch on that. 4 760 Instead of the vision that the 5 architects of this institution, we have been provided 6 entertainment, amusement. We have opened the CBC to 7 what I call the commercial truckers of North America 8 and their commodities instead of the option of 9 introducing sponsorship as we have heard Chris Brookes 10 refer to. 11 761 We have chosen instead to lay open 12 and bare a public institution with a public mandate for 13 public interest to becoming an electronic highway for 14 commercial commodities instead of a common voice where 15 we would have a different choice to the commercial, 16 sectorial and other interests in our broadcasting 17 system. We have lost that common voice. It was in our 18 broadcasting and our discovery that it is becoming more 19 and more a "narrowcasting" instead and our regional 20 limbs of this organization are being amputated. 21 762 I think that for some of us the CBC 22 and the other institutions that I have identified are 23 in fact very seriously threatened at this stage. 24 Normally, when those of us who feel passionate about 25 such things reach this stage in our discussion and StenoTran 186 1 debate, we would quote from 1984. 2 763 I would prefer to challenge the 3 Commission to consider an obscure French writer instead 4 who wrote a book in the thirties, or an essay that 5 prophesied that those of us in democratic societies 6 would, over the course of this century, relinquish and 7 pass over an enormous proportion of our decision-making 8 to a new class of people, that we would relinquish much 9 of our day-to-day decision-making apparati and 10 functions to others. 11 764 The title of his book was called "La 12 Trahison des Clercs" or "The Treason of Clerks" and it 13 is this which I believe we are witnessing, a serious 14 breach of trust that brings us to the question of where 15 the CRTC as another critical, vital instrument of this 16 country will stand on the question of the CBC in the 17 next century. 18 765 For the rest of us, we can only stand 19 by and make our contributions or lay our complaints. 20 But there are those of us who believe it is the CRTC 21 that must also be challenged at this time. 22 766 Thank you. 23 767 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 24 Ms Goodridge. 25 1835 StenoTran 187 1 768 I'm sorry, I missed your name. 2 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 3 769 MS DORAN: Barbara Doran. 4 770 Thank you for giving me the 5 opportunity to share the chair with Edythe. 6 771 I am an independent producer living 7 in Newfoundland, a member of the Producers Association 8 of Newfoundland, a member of NIFCO, a member of the 9 Directors Guild of Canada, the Writers Guild of Canada, 10 et cetera, et cetera. 11 772 I sit on several national boards and 12 have had the opportunity quite often to feel like the 13 poor cousin in the room, as a lot of Newfoundlanders 14 feel when we go to represent ourselves on any kind of 15 national scene. I will, like other people have done 16 here today, go on with the regional whine. 17 773 It has been said before. I don't 18 think you can say it enough. We feel here in this 19 province, as taxpayers, as part of the Canadian mosaic, 20 that our voice is not being heard, not being 21 represented. It isn't because we don't have the 22 talent. It isn't because we don't have the resources. 23 774 As I said earlier today, our own 24 provincial government who, for years, saw economic 25 development as widget-making have finally come on StenoTran 188 1 stream and are now very seriously pumping money into 2 film and television production, up to 40 per cent of a 3 budget, which is a very attractive thing. 4 775 But if we have nowhere to go when we 5 have all of these resources, if CBC is not interested 6 in our programming, then it all is for naught and we do 7 not have access to other broadcasters as the people in 8 Ontario do, as the people in British Columbia have 9 access. We don't have that access. 10 776 CBC is it and if CBC do not accept 11 our proposals for drama and for documentary, then there 12 isn't anywhere else to go. There aren't any other 13 doors to knock on and that is where the regional whine 14 comes from. 15 777 It is a sense of yes, we are part of 16 this country. We have been now for 50 years and I 17 think it is time for Canada to pony up on some of the 18 promises that were made with Confederation, that we 19 would feel part of the Canadian family. Well, we do 20 but we feel like the poor cousin. 21 778 To get specific, sports on TV, sports 22 on CBC: I think if CBC television took its cue from 23 CBC radio. CBC radio knows what it is. It knows what 24 its audience is. It knows what they want to hear. It 25 doesn't try to compete with the other broadcasters and StenoTran 189 1 I know that there are problems when you start talking 2 about niche broadcasting. But that is what a success 3 is. Whatever enterprise you are running, you have to 4 know what your audience is and you address that 5 audience. 6 779 If CTV is doing sports and doing it 7 well, then why is CBC competing with it, taking up 8 valuable programming time, filling up everybody's 9 schedule at the network? I know what your answer is: 10 Because of the revenue. 11 780 Well, you are not going to get -- if 12 people are watching CTV, and the advertising dollar is 13 going there, that is a portion of the viewing audience. 14 The other portion of the viewing audience who is not 15 interested in sports also are consumers and your 16 advertising can be directed towards them. That is one 17 point. 18 781 My second point again is a regional 19 point. We have been stripped here in Newfoundland -- 20 there was a time when you could actually get a 21 broadcast letter that would trigger "Telly for 22 Money(ph)" and then all the players were at the table 23 and things happened. That is how a lot of our local 24 talent was developed, local talent that now all 25 Canadians are enjoying. StenoTran 190 1 782 It didn't come from nowhere but there 2 won't be Rick Mercers in the next generation because 3 there is no place for them to grow. They grew here 4 because of the CBC and now that the CBC has been 5 stripped here, who will develop that talent? Where 6 will it come from? 7 783 So let's look at setting up regional 8 programming, and maybe Newfoundland is not big enough 9 to justify, as we had in the past, two hours on CBC of 10 local programming. So let's consider another form of 11 region. 12 784 How about an Atlantic region where we 13 have programming that maybe the people in Ontario and 14 the people in Vancouver are not interested in 15 programming from Newfoundland but maybe they are in 16 Nova Scotia, maybe they are in New Brunswick and in 17 Prince Edward Island? And take that idea and build on 18 it again. 19 785 What about a regional programming 20 that included Manitoba, for example? Maybe we have 21 more in common with the people in Manitoba than we do 22 with the people in Ontario and I think that is worth 23 considering. 24 786 The thing that could happen as a 25 result of the regional programming, if it is good, good StenoTran 191 1 enough, that is, for the rest of Canada to see, then it 2 could operate in the same way that Newsworld -- if you 3 do a program for Newsworld now and the network is 4 interested in picking it up, it can. We get our 5 programs done. We get it to air. If it is good enough 6 for Canada, they can pick it up. 7 787 Instead of saying no, all the 8 decisions for drama in this country will be made by 9 three people in Toronto, a very, very narrow window to 10 have to go through. We don't have access to those 11 people. We don't go to the -- we don't move in the 12 same circles, the $500 cup of coffee or the $1,000 cup 13 of coffee. 14 788 We have lost the National Film Board. 15 We have lost the CBC and we do really feel like an 16 island out in the middle of the Atlantic -- cut off. 17 789 Thank you. 18 790 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 19 much. I thank you both for your presentations. 20 1840 21 791 MS MOORE: I would like to call 22 Ms Annette Stapenhorst. 23 792 Is Mr. Brent Quilty here? 24 793 Ms Noreen Golfman. 25 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION StenoTran 192 1 794 MS GOLFMAN: Well, thanks for the 2 time and thanks for coming. I share Chris Brookes' 3 lament that this is happening at this troubled time at 4 the Corporation, but I applaud your willingness to go 5 ahead and do this in spite of all that. 6 795 I think the timing, in some ways, is 7 right. If anything, I think public consciousness has 8 been raised because of the strike and maybe strikes -- 9 a consciousness raised and directed to CBC and its 10 place in our lives. 11 796 So I think generally it is probably a 12 good thing and I agree too that in a month's time when 13 we find out what plans CBC has for us, we should all 14 respond in some way. So I would like to see this as 15 part of an extended conversation. 16 797 I prepared something lest I go on 17 past 10 minutes and get into lecture mode. So I 18 thought this would be the safest way of doing it. So 19 it is a written script, which I have thought about 20 considerably, but it is part again of a longstanding 21 conversation I had with myself and my colleagues about 22 the CBC. 23 798 In the interest of full disclosure, 24 let me say first that -- well, I am not the 25 Anti-Christ. Apparently, that happened this afternoon. StenoTran 193 1 I was identified as the Anti-Christ. I heard this when 2 I came in today. So in case any of you are wondering, 3 that was me. I would like to hear more about that from 4 some of you afterwards but anyhow I am the person 5 single-handedly responsible for bringing down the 6 Catholic Church in Newfoundland. 7 799 I will tell you that I am Chair of 8 the Steering Committee of the Friends of Canadian 9 Broadcasting, a commentator with CBC, now with radio, 10 formerly with TV, and I am a member of the Media Guild. 11 I am also a Professor of English and Film Studies at 12 Memorial -- that is really my day job -- and currently, 13 President of the Association of Canadian College and 14 University Teachers of English, otherwise known cutely 15 as ACCUTE. 16 800 I am speaking here tonight with all 17 of these hats, not to mention as a taxpaying resident 18 of Newfoundland, because it would be pointless to 19 pretend that I could take any of these hats off. But I 20 also need to insist that I am here tonight really as a 21 citizen, as a listener and a spectator, as a baby boom 22 product who has spent most of her almost half-century 23 life, depending on, addicted to the CBC, like a happy 24 addict to chocolate or exercise. 25 801 It is a fortuitous coincidence that StenoTran 194 1 Ian Morrison, whom you all probably know quite well is 2 the spokesperson of the Friends of Canadian 3 Broadcasting, is situated in Vancouver today. This 4 wasn't our plan but that is just the way it worked out. 5 He went to one coast and I am here. He is attending to 6 the hearings in that city of course. 7 802 We did not actually compare notes but 8 it is safe to say that Ian is undoubtedly echoing not 9 only my thought tonight but also those of almost 80 per 10 cent of the Canadian citizenry who believe in the 11 critical necessity of a sound and healthy public 12 broadcasting system. 13 803 Exactly a year ago, as the Canadian 14 representative of the Friends, I attended a lively set 15 of meetings in London, England, hosted by a group 16 sharing the same principles and values as our 17 organization, a grassroots group with which some of you 18 might be familiar, called the Voice of the Listener and 19 Viewer. 20 804 The experience was extraordinary for 21 a lot of reasons but certainly because I was able to 22 mingle, not only with Tony Blair's Cultural Affairs 23 Minister who looked alarmingly like some of our 24 Cultural Affairs ministers, but also with broadcasters, 25 writers, journalists, producers, and artists from all StenoTran 195 1 over Europe. This conference had been organized to 2 galvanize attention to the threat to public 3 broadcasting throughout and partly because of the new 4 European Union. 5 805 It was an intensely empowering and 6 inspirational set of meetings for me, surrounded by 7 many people of the BBC who were rationalizing the kind 8 of changes that Chris Brookes has already talked about 9 and certainly was very useful for Friends because it 10 reminded us of the devouring trends at work in the 11 international community, of the voracious appetite of 12 private interest and commercial greed, and of the need 13 to resist wherever possible and with as many allies as 14 possible in the international community. 15 806 Well, at the end of the proceedings, 16 some time had been dedicated on the program to 17 listening to guest representatives from the allied 18 wider world community such as New Zealand, Australia 19 and Canada. So I spoke. It was not particularly -- we 20 weren't told that we were given this time in advance. 21 It was something that those of us who were there from 22 other countries were asked to do pretty much on the 23 spot. It wasn't hard to come up with something to say. 24 807 I spoke, a year ago, to the 25 demoralizing efforts of this Liberal government to StenoTran 196 1 undermine the Corporation, of its failed campaign 2 promises, its stabled funding, its relentless cutbacks 3 and tragically effective downsizing efforts, its 4 reductions certainly of local production, its 5 increasing dependence on advertising revenues, and all 6 of this in the face of very well-documented results 7 demonstrating the huge majority of citizen support for 8 the public broadcaster. 9 808 It is fair to say that at the 10 conclusion of my remarks people were not only surprised 11 by what they had heard but they were also astonished. 12 The notion that the CBC, one of the world's models of 13 broadcasting excellence, could be under siege and by a 14 government indifferent to the will of a nation was 15 unthinkable. 16 809 Honestly, I felt a little like Alice 17 in a Wonderland of disbelievers who thought that of all 18 systems, certainly the Canadian broadcasting system was 19 immune to the pressures they were feeling in the 20 European Community. Well, perhaps they were naive but 21 certainly it did strike them as unthinkable. But yet, 22 this has been happening. 23 810 I know that thus far and as Doug 24 Saunders reported in The Globe and Mail this morning, 25 the support at these hearings across the country for StenoTran 197 1 the CBC has been large, enthusiastic, emotional and 2 wide-ranging, and I know that you are hearing 3 repeatedly impassioned complaints about everything from 4 the insidious appointment process of the Board of 5 Directors and President of the CBC, the proliferation 6 of commercials on CBC television, complaints about 7 sports, the erosion of quality programming on both 8 radio and television, the cycles of repetition of these 9 programs to the increasing centralization of news and 10 general programming at the expense of strong local and 11 regional production. 12 811 I guess if I were you I would 13 probably be heartened and maybe even overwhelmed by 14 this show of support across the country. If I were 15 you, I would also welcome points of view but not only 16 reinforce these voices of complaint but also added 17 perspective and context to help shape this cacophony of 18 emotion and high-minded rhetoric into a coherent 19 statement for the future. So I have been thinking 20 about how to get your attention and I have decided to 21 focus on a couple of matters that come from my personal 22 experience. 23 812 So to the local. Again, you have 24 already heard today and in part tonight from people in 25 this community who lament the passing and dilution of StenoTran 198 1 what was once an active, thriving, local production 2 house. 3 813 I am not sure you can appreciate how 4 demoralizing it might be to have to tell, say, my 5 university students that if they want jobs as writers, 6 journalists, television scriptwriters, musical 7 producers, radio journalists, they cannot look to the 8 CBC in this region any more to give them the 9 opportunity to apprentice their skills. There is 10 nobody home, as Barb Doran has already suggested, to 11 hire them, teach them, train them, more to the point, 12 inspire them to participate in a public broadcasting 13 system committed to quality work. 14 814 Now, that said of course, it is also 15 true that many, if not most of my students, would 16 rather be a James Cameron than a Terrence McKenna but 17 that is probably another story for another time. But 18 it is true that if the CBC loses its connection to 19 people's lives at the community level where the 20 broadcaster has always reflected the world back to us, 21 providing us with a sense of who we are, then my 22 students won't have any such models from which to 23 choose. 24 815 Of course, choice is so much a part 25 of what this is all about, not the illusion of choice StenoTran 199 1 in a world fragmented by the endless array of specialty 2 channels with specialty content, as far removed from 3 and as indifferent to people's lives here as a Toronto 4 hotel. 5 816 More worrisome to me, I wonder where 6 my students, who are educated, energetic, curious, the 7 best and the brightest young adults in this area, where 8 they will get a public sense of the country, of 9 nationhood, of the relation between the local and the 10 national, of the complexity of social relations and 11 their democratic access to it, of the responsibility of 12 citizenry, if all they are ever exposed to is a 13 multi-channel universe of empty sound bytes and the 14 occasional Canadian news report from Toronto. 15 817 They will not only lack access to 16 participating in the production of their own stories, 17 they will not even have a way, a medium of 18 understanding the country in which they live. As an 19 educator who likes to think she connects with her 20 students, I often waiver, perhaps daily, between 21 thinking that the new technologies are liberating and 22 transformative and despairing at my students' 23 increasing cynicism, their sense of being 24 disenfranchised from the state, from any discussion of 25 public good, from their depoliticization, from their StenoTran 200 1 awareness of the rights of citizens in a democracy and 2 the importance of knowledge itself. 3 818 At the risk of sounding patronizing 4 and self-absorbed, I would add that my students might 5 not care one way or the other if CBC is an active force 6 in their communities or in the nation itself but 7 someone has to do the worrying for them and for the 8 future of their sense of public good, and I worry. 9 819 You are no doubt aware of the huge 10 share of the viewing market that CBC television 11 commands in this region, comparable to the large market 12 and for many of the same reasons, of course, that 13 Quebec radio and television, francophone and Quebec 14 radio and television carves for itself. Listeners not 15 only watch, they shape their whole perception of who 16 they are at the local level. 17 820 Their politics, their sense of public 18 and social policy, their awareness of local music, 19 drama and comedy derives directly from that collective 20 experience of watching themselves and their distinctive 21 talents showcased night after night. That utopian 22 experience was actually once real in this area and had 23 no small part in revitalizing a collective sense of 24 identity, if you value that sort of thing. Such is 25 really no longer the case and things have looked StenoTran 201 1 grimmer and grimmer for some time. 2 821 It is quite difficult for me to 3 accept that this country, or certainly this government, 4 doesn't really care about the CBC, that it would be 5 willing to betray the public broadcaster to the private 6 investors and the commercial market, to fragmented 7 specialty channel versions of itself, to satisfy both 8 the Prime Minister's lust for vengeance for whatever 9 perceived slight and offences and Paul Martin's bottom 10 line, not to mention the wrong-headed plans of the CBC 11 Board itself. 12 822 I think it is difficult for a great 13 many Canadians to accept this trend as well because a 14 country that willingly surrenders it own voice is in 15 serious danger of not being a country at all or perhaps 16 more to the point, in danger of not being Canada and 17 being more like, well, as Sheila Copps knows better 18 than ever this week, our bullying neighbours. 19 823 Thanks for your attention. 20 824 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 21 much. 22 1850 23 825 MS MOORE: I would like to call 24 Ms Madeleine Florent please. 25 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION StenoTran 202 1 826 MS FLORENT: I am here as an ordinary 2 Canadian, and as an ordinary Canadian, I can tell you 3 that it feels pretty strange being in front of a TV 4 camera. 5 827 Mr. Chairman and ladies and 6 gentlemen, I would like to say first how grateful I am 7 for the opportunity to address your committee. 8 Although I have never participated in this kind of 9 public consultation before, I believe that it is 10 crucial for members of the public who are concerned 11 about the quality of radio and television broadcasting 12 in this country to speak up on what is often dismissed 13 as a trivial issue. 14 828 As a proud and passionate supporter 15 of CBC, it was important for me to come here today to 16 add my voice on behalf of a strong public broadcasting 17 system in Canada. You have asked Canadians how well 18 they think CBC fulfills its role as a national 19 broadcaster. I would like to answer by telling you 20 what CBC means to me personally. 21 829 I grew up with the CBC. I can't 22 remember a time when the CBC wasn't a part of my life. 23 As a child growing up in Ottawa in the early fifties, I 24 can vividly remember waiting impatiently for the CBC 25 television signal to finally arrive in Ottawa so my StenoTran 203 1 family and I could stop watching a blank television 2 screen because there was no TV before CBC. 3 830 Shows like "The Friendly Giant" and 4 "Chez Hélène" were constants in my life for many years 5 as were "Hockey Night in Canada" and "Don Messer's 6 Jubilee", my parent's favourite programs. Today, not 7 many moments go by in the run of a day that either CBC 8 radio or CBC television isn't on in my home. A few 9 months ago, I actually cancelled my cable subscription. 10 I felt it was a waste of money given that I seldom tune 11 into stations other than CBC. I do miss Newsworld 12 though. 13 831 CBC keeps me company when I travel in 14 this province or across Canada. It connects me with 15 family and friends on the mainland, like my friends in 16 the northern British Columbia wilds who live without 17 electricity but who listen to CBC on a battery-operated 18 radio. 19 832 CBC entertains, informs, educates, 20 inspires and challenges with top-quality shows like 21 "Here and Now", "As It Happens", "This Hour Has 22 22 Minutes", "The Fifth Estate", "Road to Avonlea", "On 23 the Road Again", "Marketplace", "Ideas", "Dooley 24 Gardens", "Quirks and Quarks", "Cross-Country Check-up" 25 and so on and so on. You will notice that this brief StenoTran 204 1 list draws on both radio and television and both 2 regional and national programs. CBC has something for 3 everyone. 4 833 Some of the programs produced by CBC 5 have had a lasting impact on my life and I am sure on 6 the lives of many other Canadians. They include David 7 Suzuki's riveting series of "Planet for the Taking" and 8 "It's a Matter of Survival" which gave us an 9 astonishing look at the world, our place in it, and 10 what the future may hold. 11 834 Peter Gzowski's interview with John 12 Robins(ph), author of "Diet For A New America", which 13 changed forever the way I look at food and the way I 14 eat; Michael Enright's recent interview with Maris 15 Gaveau(ph), author of "Flying Blind, Flying Safe", 16 which blew the lid off the aviation industry and told 17 me what I could do to fly more safely; and finally, I 18 am sure everyone will remember Bob Cardy's(ph) 19 insightful program "Antibiotics versus the Superbugs" 20 and his recent investigative report on the Health 21 Protection Branch. Both raised awareness about 22 important health issues and I believe the latter played 23 a large part and helped Canada's decision on the bovine 24 growth hormone issue. 25 835 In my opinion, CBC performs a service StenoTran 205 1 that no private broadcaster can hope to do because the 2 CBC's mandate is not just about increasing their 3 audience and selling advertising and making money. CBC 4 provides a cultural unifying force for Canadians. It 5 is the single most important cultural institution that 6 we have, more important than the National Museum or the 7 National Art Gallery because it is with us every day 8 and it is accessible to everyone everywhere in Canada. 9 836 As the bovine growth hormone issue 10 illustrates, CBC is also there to act as a watchdog for 11 human interests and concerns. It reminds governments 12 that they need to listen to ordinary Canadians. 13 837 The CBC is a national treasure. It 14 is an investment that Canadians have made, and at a 15 cost of $27.00 per person per year -- Noreen's figure 16 -- it is an asset that costs peanuts compared to some 17 of the other investments our government makes on our 18 behalf. 19 838 How well does the CBC serve the 20 public on a regional and national level? Well, of 21 course, things are not quite the same as they used to 22 be and one is left to wonder what the Chrétien 23 government's agenda really is with regards to the CBC. 24 CBC's ability to fulfill its mandate has seriously been 25 eroded. StenoTran 206 1 839 There are areas in this country where 2 regional identity remains intensely vital. The cuts 3 made in regional programming over the last five years 4 have sapped that vitality by creating the impression 5 that certain regions are of less than national 6 importance from the human perspective. I know that in 7 Newfoundland and Labrador alone, CBC has been cut by 33 8 per cent in that period and there are forces at work 9 that threaten CBC's future. 10 840 I refer to the crippling cuts to CBC 11 by the Chrétien government, which I have already 12 referred to, which have resulted, in addition to a 13 major reduction in the quantity and quality of local 14 and regional programming, in increased repeat 15 programming; the threat of further cuts -- further 16 major cuts next year; the desire of Liberal-appointed 17 CBC Board members to centralize radio and TV news under 18 an Ottawa-based Vice-President, thereby placing the 19 news under the nose of the government and diminishing 20 regional points of view; and pressure from 21 well-financed lobby groups representing private 22 broadcasters, cable monopolies and the advertising 23 industry to decrease the role of CBC to get it out of 24 local news and to permit advertising on CBC radio. 25 841 With respect to the last point, it is StenoTran 207 1 really no surprise that private broadcasters are trying 2 to erode CBC programming and that advertisers are 3 hungrily eyeing shows like "The Morning Show", "Basic 4 Black", "As It Happens", and others. Private 5 broadcasters would like a bigger chunk of the money 6 pried from the CRTC and advertisers would love to reach 7 some of the 33 per cent of English-speaking Canadians 8 who tune into CBC radio every week. 9 842 CBC still stands as a model for 10 broadcasters in Canada and many parts of the world. 11 Although earlier cuts have reduced the voice of Canada 12 around the world, CBC has a very distinctive and unique 13 voice. Nobody does it quite as well as the CBC. 14 843 It should be said that despite the 15 cuts, CBC and its staff have still managed to maintain 16 a general excellence in programming. While it wasn't 17 easy, for example, saying goodbye to "Peter Gzowski" 18 and "Vicki Gabereau", "The Morning Show" and 19 "Richardson's Roundup" now have strong national images. 20 This is what CBC means to me and I am pleased that 21 there are a great many Canadians who agree with me. 22 844 Polls have apparently shown that 80 23 per cent of Canadians favour a strong CBC. Programs 24 like "Land and Sea", "The Fisheries Broadcasts", "Here 25 and Now" and many others are certainly very close to StenoTran 208 1 the hearts of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. 2 845 In this era of 100-cable channels, 3 the need for CBC is greater than ever to serve as a 4 vehicle for Canadian stories, ideas, values, amid all 5 the foreign voices. It provides the means for 6 Canadians to talk to us and talk to each other in our 7 great national diversity. 8 846 What would I like to see in the CBC's 9 future? 10 847 I wish the CBC and the Chrétien 11 government to maintain the integrity of the CBC now and 12 into the future; restore funding for the CBC to an 13 optimal level to enable the CBC to fulfill its mandate; 14 increase support for local and regional programming; 15 keep commercial sponsorship out of CBC radio; scrap any 16 plans to centralize radio and TV news, thereby 17 protecting the independence of news sources from 18 government interference. 19 848 Finally, I ask that the Chrétien 20 government bargain with the CBC employees in good faith 21 in order to reach a fair settlement that recognizes 22 that they are the best in the business so that we can 23 end the current labour disruptions and get our programs 24 back on the air. 25 849 The CBC belongs to Canadians and it StenoTran 209 1 is a vital service that should be protected just as 2 much as our health-care system and our other social 3 programs. This is how I feel about the CBC, and in the 4 words of the late great French Newfoundland fiddler and 5 storyteller, Émile Benoit, who himself became known to 6 Canadians through the CBC, "It comes from the heart." 7 850 Thank you. 8 851 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 9 much, Ms Florent. 10 852 That is why we are here to hear 11 presentations like that from you, from ordinary 12 citizens among all the others that we have heard. Like 13 you, I remember going to my next door neighbour's house 14 when the only thing on was the test pattern, waiting to 15 see the first television program, which was the CBC, of 16 course. 17 853 Ms Moore. 18 1900 19 854 MS MOORE: Thank you. 20 855 Our next presenter is Mr. George 21 Smith. 22 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 23 856 MR. SMITH: I am here, I guess, as 24 another ordinary listener and viewer of CBC. I would 25 like to thank you for the opportunity of making a few StenoTran 210 1 comments. 2 857 I guess I am going to do a little bit 3 of the regional whine as well and I have kind of 4 disorganized my comments around the questions that you 5 have posed for us to use in considering what we are 6 going to say. 7 858 So I will start first with your first 8 question -- actually, it is not your first one but I 9 dealt with it first: How well does the CBC serve the 10 public on a regional as well as national level? To 11 that, my answer, not surprisingly, is: Not nearly as 12 well as it used to. 13 859 Like the speaker before me, I grew up 14 with the CBC and what I see now is a pale shadow, a 15 vestige of what CBC used to be. Not to give it more 16 credit than is due, but Frank magazine's description of 17 the CBC as a corpse is actually becoming fairly apt. 18 Here in Newfoundland and Labrador, the erosion of our 19 local programming has continued to the point where 20 there is hardly anything left. That is not to belittle 21 what is left but it has to be reversed. 22 860 I think the CBC should reflect 23 ourselves back to ourselves, both locally and 24 nationally. I think we lost that almost completely and 25 I want it back. StenoTran 211 1 861 I should say too that I am a 2 Newfoundlander; I am not an Atlantic Canadian. However 3 administratively and convenient the existence of 4 Newfoundland as separate from the Maritimes may be, I 5 think it is a reality that the CRTC and the CBC and the 6 Canadian government has to adapt to and live with. I 7 would ask that the CRTC not permit this artificial 8 construction, Atlantic Canada -- to the extent it is 9 within your power -- to be perpetuated. 10 862 Should the programming provided by 11 CBC radio and television be different from that 12 provided by other broadcasters? I guess it won't be 13 any surprise to you that I am going to answer that with 14 a resounding yes. Vive la différence! 15 863 Radio is not nearly as good as it 16 used to be but it is still the best there is. The 17 strike has really brought this strongly home to me. It 18 has forced me to browse around the radio dial a little 19 bit and I have to say that I am appalled and I realize 20 now how much I have been coddled by CBC radio and taken 21 it for granted. 22 864 I had really forgotten how much 23 banality and inane prattle and mindless drivel is 24 spewed out to the drooling masses by commercial radio, 25 and yes, we do have some of that on CBC too. The StenoTran 212 1 open-line segment on the local "Morning Show" comes to 2 mind, but even that is nowhere near as bad as the open 3 sewer shows on the commercial stations and it is 4 mercifully short. 5 865 One of the best things about CBC 6 radio is there are no ads. I like that. We need that. 7 I can get my head around the suggestion that 8 Mr. Brookes made as long as this isn't the thin edge of 9 the wedge and perhaps allow sponsorship of programs but 10 I don't want to hear some cretins blathering out about 11 Joe's used cars on CBC, thank you. 12 866 We need more local feature radio 13 production, as has been mentioned here before. CBC 14 radio has been completely gutted as far as I 15 understand. I have heard little CBC-produced feature 16 radio recently. I don't begrudge Victoria, B.C., their 17 CBC radio station and I can't myself imagine having to 18 live without one, but it pains me greatly that one of 19 the prices that was paid for that radio station was a 20 significant downgrading of service and production 21 capabilities here. 22 867 I think if the CBC comes to you folks 23 looking for new licences, I think you should require 24 that they explain how they are going to fund it without 25 this kind of cutback. StenoTran 213 1 868 Turning to TV, someone earlier 2 mentioned sports. I think CBC should get rid of the 3 sports. The commercial operations can make bucketloads 4 of money doing that kind of stuff and I don't really 5 see that it is necessary that our public broadcaster 6 get involved with it. I can somewhat appreciate the 7 argument, although I can't agree with it, that having 8 sports on CBC broadens the CBC's constituency a little 9 and gets some support from people who may not 10 ordinarily otherwise be supportive of the CBC. 11 869 So I would suggest that if sports are 12 to be retained on the CBC, at least don't muck around 13 with the schedule and don't go cancelling stuff that 14 regular viewers want to watch to put some stupid 15 playoff on. 16 870 Again, on TV, the local production 17 has been gutted even more, I think, than radio has. 18 You folks don't have control over budgets -- I know 19 that -- for the CBC but you may be able to stir the pot 20 nicely by making it a requirement of renewing their 21 licences if they do local production. 22 871 Finally, with TV, I think we should 23 get rid of the ads. Let's make it more like radio. 24 Now, I have heard somewhere that ad revenue on CBC TV 25 is something like $400 million a year and that is a lot StenoTran 214 1 of bread. So such a move would, I think, have to be 2 phased in over a number of years both to give them a 3 chance to fill in the gaps with something interesting 4 and also to provide time to financially adjust. 5 872 Finally, on TV, I would like to say 6 that I really appreciate Newsworld although I don't 7 watch it very much. I don't watch much of any TV, but 8 Newsworld, I think, is on the right track. 9 873 In your view, how well does CBC 10 fulfill its role as the national public broadcaster in 11 the new millennium? Well again: Not nearly as well as 12 it used to. 13 874 I think the loss of regional vitality 14 in the CBC is resulting in a central Canadian centric 15 CBC and that might play well in Ontario but I can tell 16 you that here in Newfoundland, it has given rise to 17 resentment and even a little bit of alienation. In 18 fact, it was a recent revelation that some small 19 Ontario community was holding an all-you-can-eat 20 ham-bake that sent me exploring the radio dial. Who 21 cares? 22 875 With respect to the new millennium, I 23 would like to give kudos to the CBC for their 24 activities on the Internet. They have really pioneered 25 the use of real audio in, I guess, the formerly StenoTran 215 1 broadcast media and their news Web site is pretty good 2 and it is getting better. I can say that having 3 recently reviewed a number of Canadian news Web sites 4 for a magazine article I was writing. 5 876 The Internet, of course, is the 6 medium for the new millennium, and if I may briefly 7 depart from the subject at hand, I think you folks, the 8 CRTC, should keep your snouts out of it. 9 877 There is no public interest to be 10 served by a regulator interfering in the evolution of 11 the Internet. There is no scarce resource that needs 12 to be meted out to the most deserving. So I say: 13 Hands off! 14 878 But stay with the broadcast media. 15 The Internet is still a few years away from the kind of 16 ubiquity enjoyed by TV and radio. We need the CBC and 17 we always will need the CBC. 18 879 I would like to finish my remarks by 19 kind of saying, if the role of the national public 20 broadcaster is to tell us what is going on in Toronto, 21 then it is time to turn out the lights. 22 880 If the role of the national public 23 broadcaster is to reflect ourselves to ourselves and to 24 each other, then let's get back to doing that. 25 881 Thank you. StenoTran 216 1 882 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 2 Mr. Smith. 3 883 Let me ask you: Given your comments 4 about the Victoria radio station and your concerns 5 about while that may have been a good thing to provide 6 radio for the folks in Victoria, you are more concerned 7 about the impact of that on the budget for the radio 8 service and you made reference to Newsworld. 9 884 What would your view be with respect 10 to other specialty channels or indeed the Internet 11 which you suggested we should keep our snout out of? I 12 don't mind that suggestion, by the way, but CBC has 13 suggested they would spend about $20 million on new 14 media and the Internet. 15 885 MR. SMITH: I think that is -- I mean 16 it is hard to second-guess the budget decisions. We 17 here in Newfoundland obviously disagree with the 18 choices that they have made and I understand -- I have 19 been told; I don't know if it is true -- that on a 20 percentage basis, Newfoundland was caught more than 21 anywhere else. 22 886 I believe that the government needs 23 to belly up with some more money and I know that is not 24 for you folks to determine or dictate but I think these 25 things need to be funded in the public interest and it StenoTran 217 1 is the government's role to do that. 2 887 THE CHAIRPERSON: In the absence of 3 the government doing that, what would you suggest -- 4 because that is what we are all wrestling with, right? 5 888 MR. SMITH: Well, let's get rid of 6 the sports. That should save a few dollars. 7 889 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Well, thanks 8 for your views. 9 1910 10 890 MS MOORE: I would like to call 11 Ms Colette Fleming please. 12 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 13 891 MS FLEMING: My name is Colette 14 Fleming and I am speaking on behalf of The Right to 15 Life Association of Newfoundland and Labrador. We 16 welcome you and thank you for the opportunity to 17 address some concerns with media issues. 18 892 With regard to CBC program content, 19 as a pro-life organization, we would like to suggest 20 that they would serve the public in a more efficient 21 and informative manner by affording equal time to both 22 parties, pro-life, pro-choice, instead of favouring the 23 pro-choice agenda, which is as is demonstrated in both 24 in your documentary and news reports. 25 893 A case in point: we will refer to StenoTran 218 1 our provincial government's announcement on abortion 2 funding in January 1998, which entailed interviews on 3 both sides. A team of television reporters visited The 4 Right to Life office. They did a 20-minute interview 5 with the President and when the article was aired, very 6 rudely cut her off in mid-sentence after 25 seconds and 7 concluded the article with a 15-minute viewpoint with 8 the other party. It was only because we contacted them 9 to air our displeasure that the President was given a 10 3-minute editorial because of their error in fairness 11 of reporting. 12 894 Pro-life people are ordinary people. 13 We are taxpayers. We hold that life is sacred and we 14 do not believe in any form of violence in attaining our 15 goal of promoting respect for life. 16 895 The CBC is a public entity. It is 17 funded by taxpayers and should afford equal time on 18 both sides of this issue. It should not be too much to 19 expect quality coverage of all news issues and we would 20 like to see documentaries which show abortion in the 21 true light of what it is, the act of the abortion 22 itself and how it impacts on the lives of women who 23 suffer post-abortion syndrome. 24 896 We would like the media to show the 25 true perception of pro-life people, those who work in StenoTran 219 1 the crisis pregnancy centres throughout our country, 2 who contribute to help lines, et cetera, and not 3 programs which negatively exploit our cause. Why not 4 some documentary on the Linda Gibbons, the Bernard 5 Nathansons(ph), the Norman Corbys(ph) which would show 6 another side of the abortion issue? 7 897 It should not be too much to expect 8 from our media sources that they not be biased on these 9 issues and that they provide fairness and quality in 10 their reporting. 11 898 Thank you for letting us make this 12 presentation. 13 899 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 14 Ms Fleming. 15 1914 16 900 MS MOORE: I would like to call 17 Ms Joann Harris please. 18 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 19 901 MS HARRIS: I would like to open by 20 thanking you for the opportunity of speaking. I will 21 keep it very brief. It is very informal and I am here 22 as just a private citizen. 23 902 I will begin my opening remark by 24 saying that I was brought up on the journalist 25 Doyle(ph) news bulletin and I have been a sort of news StenoTran 220 1 junkie, I think, ever since. When I was bringing up 2 two children as a stay-at-home mom, CBC was my kind of 3 umbilical cord to sanity, both for news and for 4 entertainment. There are some, of course, who might 5 argue that CBC has failed in that but nevertheless, I 6 am here to thank CBC for keeping me more or less sane 7 during those years. 8 903 My remarks are directed solely to 9 radio. I don't watch a lot of television. The local 10 programming is excellent. I think that, by and large 11 -- I do have some reservations but it is contingent on 12 the host, male or female, very largely. 13 904 As I was driving up here tonight, I 14 was trying to think, as a sort of middle-aged Canadian 15 citizen, what life would be -- what my perceptions of 16 the country would be without CBC and I simply couldn't 17 imagine that. I think that CBC, whether one listens or 18 not, is very much a component of the Canadian identity. 19 So I think it is essential to hold the country 20 together. 21 905 I do have some suggestions for CBC. 22 I would like to see that there would be in each 23 national news broadcast -- that there be a news item 24 from each province. We often hear about other parts of 25 the world more often than we hear about the Prairies StenoTran 221 1 provinces and I think that it would be useful and 2 helpful to our national identity to hear something from 3 each of the provinces and territories now. 4 906 I think there is a preponderance of 5 news from the Middle East. Canada is a cultural mosaic 6 with connections to the Ukraine, the Pacific Rim, 7 India, Europe, and so on, and I think that the life of 8 a policeman is no more valuable whether that policeman 9 is from the Middle East than from anywhere else. So I 10 would like to see sort of more international news from 11 more regions of the world, I think. 12 907 I would also like to hear the views 13 from other countries expressed. At the moment, one has 14 to read sort of "The Guardian Weekly" or be an 15 insomniac and listen to CBC between the hours of 1 a.m. 16 and 6 a.m. and I think it would be useful to hear what 17 European perspectives are on whatever issues are 18 discussed. 19 908 The most important point, at least to 20 me at any rate, is that the world of which we are a 21 part -- and I think when I say "we" I am speaking of 22 the west -- has as its primary driving force economics 23 and not politics. Multinationals are more influential 24 than many national governments and exert enormous force 25 on governments of major nations, and that of course is StenoTran 222 1 an argument for economic independence of the CBC. 2 909 It is unlikely that "The Fifth 3 Estate" would bite the hand that feeds it. The press 4 must remain independent of commercial forces to offer 5 some points of view or interpretations of issues which 6 may be less than supportive of any given commercial 7 interests, and in Canada, only CBC radio really can 8 claim that status. 9 910 It is equally important that CBC free 10 itself from political pressures. The Prime Minister 11 ought not to hold the power of dismissal over the 12 presidency of the Corporation. An independent press is 13 critical to democracy. 14 911 I think that the Prime Minister can 15 speak with moral authority in international fora about 16 human rights and democratic freedoms only if the 17 independence of the press is essentially guaranteed and 18 free from any kind of political domination. 19 912 Thank you. 20 913 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 21 Ms Harris. 22 1920 23 914 MS MOORE: I would like to call 24 Mr. Frank Holden please. 25 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION StenoTran 223 1 915 MR. HOLDEN: Good evening, 2 Mr. Commissioner. I am here as a private citizen and I 3 would like to address in a few brief moments two 4 important aspects of the very same point just recently 5 brought up by the lady who just left the microphone. 6 916 Political interference with the 7 national broadcaster to the benefit of partisan parties 8 in Canada: The CRTC must make a sustained effort to 9 keep partisan party influence, back-room and 10 parliamentary influence off mainstream broadcasting, 11 off the mainstream prime time programs. 12 917 On February 22nd 1996, three days 13 after Mr. Brian Tobin's first provincial election, and 14 which he won by a landslide, Mr. Tobin appeared as the 15 guest on Sunday afternoon of Mr. Rex Murphy on 16 "Cross-Canada Check-Up". It was a simultaneous radio 17 and television broadcast and it could not have been 18 finalized any more than three days before. 19 918 From the time the polls closed on 20 Thursday night, February 19th, to the time the program 21 started -- I think, earlier on Sunday afternoon than 22 its normal time slot -- was less than a half-week, less 23 than three days. Now, this is the same CBC that can't 24 even get their ideas and pamphlets out on time. 25 919 Mr. Tobin was guest for the entire StenoTran 224 1 afternoon of a close friend and fellow Liberal, Mr. Rex 2 Murphy. No critical calls got through that entire 3 afternoon. It was held in closed circuit at the CBNT 4 studios in St. John's on Elizabeth Avenue. The only 5 critical calls or comments at all on that nationally 6 broadcast simultaneous TV and radio program that 7 afternoon of February 22nd 1996 -- the only ones that 8 got through were one or two questions from the floor at 9 CBNT TV studios. 10 920 I know because I called in. I was 11 curious. I wanted to congratulate our new Premier and 12 I wanted to ask him how he got the nickname "Toes 13 Tobin". Now, the other side -- so it's very clear. 14 Does anybody happen to know -- would you like to tell 15 us and tell the commissioners how Mr. Tobin got -- does 16 he actually have a name like that? 17 921 Anyway, there is another side to that 18 coin. If you can reduce the direct meddling by major 19 partisan politicians -- and that afternoon, by the way, 20 you haven't seen such a love-in since Jesus played 21 Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Nobody -- nobody got to put 22 in a harsh word. Now, that afternoon, we had two 23 Liberals. Rex Murphy ran for the Liberals once. 24 922 In fact, if we wanted to look at the 25 Newfoundland political history, we can start with Joey StenoTran 225 1 Smallwood, the "Borrow Man". We can go right up to 2 people like Don Jamieson, Bill Callahan, Bill Rowe(ph) 3 and numbers of people who have had obvious partisan 4 connections and who have been major political figures. 5 923 And they still work -- which brings 6 me to the next point -- in what is called the political 7 panels, political professional chattering classes, and 8 there are some people here who sometimes perform in 9 them, although I can't say that the company I know this 10 of is of any particular partisan persuasion. 11 924 But they are all either broadcasters 12 or politicians and they fully control the set 13 induction, the parameters of life experience. They are 14 asked for an opinion on everything. You don't get a 15 butcher or a baker or a candlestickmaker. You don't 16 even get a professional teacher talking about 17 education. You get someone who is either a media 18 broadcaster or a politician, one or the other, six of 19 one, a half dozen of the other. It doesn't matter. 20 Sometimes, they make a mistake. They put a fellow like 21 Peter Fenwick in who they thought was an NDP. It turns 22 out he is not. 23 925 However, what is missing when we 24 don't have this -- what is missing when we have that. 25 Now if we remove that, what do we still need? We still StenoTran 226 1 need critical discerning journalism, which is under 2 serious compromise when it is under the pressure of 3 major political influence. I don't know why we had to 4 cut back on Ray Guy(ph) or a few more other 5 commentators like Ray Guy and local CBC television 6 thinks we can't get -- absolutely cannot get enough of 7 Carl Wells(ph). 8 926 However, let me then -- I am halfway 9 through now. Let me illustrate one example as to how 10 critical journalism could bump its game up considerably 11 if it had the opportunity to do so without major 12 meddling from the top down. 13 927 We have an electoral system that 14 really doesn't work for the masses of people. You have 15 a window of opportunity every three or four years 16 whenever they open it and it flies by like a balloon 17 and you try to jump through it. That is your window of 18 opportunity, to choose. You have very little choice at 19 the polls between parties. This is all cliché. 20 928 That's why we don't talk about that 21 any more because it goes over our heads. We don't even 22 think about it any more. We are already accepting of 23 it. We don't have anything on the ballot that is -- 24 that says "None of the above". We allow 25 gerrymandering. We allow all kinds of abuses and StenoTran 227 1 shortcuts to usurp what ought to be a true democracy, a 2 government of the people, including misinformation, 3 disinformation, uninformation, any or all of the above. 4 929 If you had concerned critical 5 journalism, you could have people that don't care if 6 they really are card-carrying members of parties or 7 not, but at least they will talk critically of 8 something so simple as an obviously out-of-date 9 ineffective electoral system. This electoral system 10 doesn't just predate photography and radio, it predates 11 the cotton gin. 12 930 The technology is there to find out 13 what people think before you have an election. You can 14 have an election without having to have an election. 15 Great! These are all different ways that the so-called 16 electoral system that we all live by -- and we accept 17 it every day -- we allow all these people to come on 18 the media and to control our public thoughts. 19 931 We don't hear from a teacher. No 20 teacher would dare come on media as a private citizen 21 as I am doing now and pass comment. I wouldn't get on 22 mainstream TV to say this -- or radio to do this. If I 23 were a social worker, as I once was, I wouldn't dare 24 get on. I had to take an oath of secrecy to the 25 provincial government, like there is a war on. Why do StenoTran 228 1 we all have to keep secrets? No one ever thinks about 2 that. Journalism should be asking those questions. 3 932 So in summary, get the big boys out 4 of the CBC please. It is patently obvious that they 5 are in there in a big way. And do something to bump up 6 the quality of the journalism. 7 933 Thank you. 8 934 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 9 much, Mr. Holden. I think you would make a good 10 counterpoint to Rex Murphy yourself. 11 --- Laughter / Rires 12 935 MR. HOLDEN: Bring him on. 13 1930 14 936 MS MOORE: Our next presenter is Paul 15 Pope. 16 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 17 937 MR. POPE: Thank you. I am here 18 basically representing the Newfoundland Independent 19 Filmmakers Cooperative. It is an organization that was 20 formed in 1975 and at the time the organization was 21 formed because of the film activity in Newfoundland -- 22 film and video activity at the time. There was quite a 23 bit. There was like a burgeoning CBC. 24 938 CBNT locally had a huge plant and a 25 lot of material on the go and there was the film unit StenoTran 229 1 at the University that was producing amazing work like 2 the "Challenge for Change" series out of Fogo. At a 3 certain point, they had their own television station, 4 channel 13, which I am sure we remember. 5 939 That was 1975. Here we are 6 approaching the millennium and I am really sorry to say 7 that we are the only ones left, that NIFCO has stayed 8 and that the CBC hasn't grown with us. 9 940 The significant thing about -- my 10 whole pitch is for regional production, completely for 11 regional production because I think a lot of us believe 12 that it is not possible to have a national system that 13 is centralized into just a couple of areas, that to be 14 a national system, the system has to be represented in 15 as many places as possible. That is where the problem 16 with the CBC is, that term "as many places as 17 possible", and if Halifax, Toronto, Montreal and 18 Vancouver are going to be it, then I don't think what 19 you have is a national system. So the definition of a 20 national system is a very funny thing. 21 941 The interesting question -- I went 22 through the questions. I think they have all been well 23 answered but: Is there a special role that the CBC 24 should play and should it look different? 25 942 I received a letter from Ryerson, a StenoTran 230 1 place I graduated from some years ago. They were 2 letting me know, as an alumni, that I would be 3 certainly interested that the basketball team for the 4 first time ever had made the finals. The finals were 5 going to be in Halifax, and since it is right in my 6 neck of the woods, perhaps I would like to go over and 7 root for the old team, you know, and meet some fellow 8 alumni. I just shook my head and said -- if I bought 9 it, I could write them and say, well actually, it is 10 closer to you. Will you go on my behalf? But I 11 decided not to. 12 943 These are the problems that the 13 nation has, that the people of Canada know very, very 14 little about Canada, to the point that most people 15 believe Newfoundland is only half an hour different 16 regardless where you are in Canada because CBC has at 17 least taught them that -- and incorrectly -- so I mean 18 the problems that the country faces in its small 19 population over a huge area of land is that we know 20 very, very little about each other, very, very little, 21 and as this so-called national network centralizes 22 more, that problem will increase. 23 944 I would just like to touch on -- I 24 think it was what Barbara said about where are the 25 people coming from that are going to make programs and StenoTran 231 1 if there is only national programming made, then you 2 have taken out of the system huge hours of programming 3 that are created at a regional level, that are largely 4 for regional consumption but also available for 5 national consumption. 6 945 If you take these -- well, what we 7 have seen with all of this programming taken out of the 8 system is where are they? Where are they coming from? 9 Where is -- like "22 Minutes" is on the air today 10 because of a show called "The Root Cellar" that was 11 produced here 15 years ago at CBNT, and if Jack 12 Callum(ph) hadn't been involved in "The Root Cellar" 13 and produced it at that time with Bill Donovan and the 14 crowd that were around, who consequently went on -- 15 that led to "CODCO" being produced out of Nova Scotia 16 because the financial regime was better with the Nova 17 Scotia government, the CBHT had a bigger studio, Bill 18 Donovan had moved over. 19 946 So the "CODCO" television series ran 20 its course and then "22 Minutes" became -- you know, 21 it's usually successful. It is like the CBC puts it 22 straight and centre. But everyone should be crystal 23 clear that a bunch of people, you know, Ron Hynes and 24 the crowd doing "The Root Cellar" are the second or 25 third step of that. We go back to "Up At Ours"(ph). StenoTran 232 1 We go back to the other programs that were made at the 2 station. They would be the first step in those shows 3 being made. So that is the problem. 4 947 Should the CBC look special? Being 5 Canadian in terms of the legislation like the prime 6 time Canadian programs, the canadianization of the 7 prime time schedule in television, if you are defining 8 Canadian as a point system that seven of the ten people 9 are Canadian and that it is a Canadian production 10 company and stuff, then that may not necessarily be 11 completely the best way because if you look at -- for 12 instance, the show "Da Vinci's Inquest"(ph), which is, 13 I think, one of the best Canadian American shows that 14 Canada makes. That's like "Traders". They were 15 getting close to it. And "Night Heat" was like a 16 really failed -- it was a CTV show, I know, but a 17 really failed attempt at it. 18 948 So if the goal is to be able to sell 19 in the American marketplace as a Canadian production 20 company, and that is what we all have to pass to get 21 through, then it is a real bastardization of the term 22 "Canadian". So I think the CRTC should be very much on 23 the look of that and I think that when you concentrate 24 production into three centres and when you concentrate 25 it into the hands of very large companies such as StenoTran 233 1 Alliance, Atlantis, and Rombus(ph) and so on, when you 2 concentrate it into those people who are publicly 3 traded companies and that they are going to make money, 4 they are going to have to make a material that will 5 sell in the United States, and if it is a prerequisite 6 that our material must sell in the United States for it 7 to be produced, then simply scoring seven out of ten 8 and having a Canadian-based production company, I am 9 not certain makes it what we would think of as 10 Canadian. 11 949 I think that that in the long run 12 will be harmful for the CBC, which brings me back to 13 that if it is a wider group of smaller companies, in 14 addition to some of these larger companies, if there is 15 a wider group of smaller companies throughout Canada -- 16 and I am including smaller companies based right in 17 Toronto, I am including companies in Thunder Bay, 18 companies in Newfoundland -- that the Corporation will 19 have a better chance at creating material like "22 20 Minutes" that will bring its audience because 21 1.2 million viewers is outstanding. They always talk 22 about the million viewer mark. Now, with the 23 fragmentation, they are down to the 700,000 viewer 24 mark. 25 950 So if the CBC wishes to survive, they StenoTran 234 1 should be looking at the region as a resource and not 2 as an expense. 3 951 Thank you. 4 952 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 5 Mr. Pope. Just a couple of questions coming up from 6 your presentation. 7 953 First, taking your point about 8 getting back to -- I guess it was "The Root Cellar", 9 the original "CODCO" genesis, I guess. How would you 10 propose we get back to that kind of situation? 11 954 MR. POPE: Well, I think that if you 12 -- even for instance, if you went on a trend of under 13 the guise of research and development. It's like if 14 the Corporation just said that in our long-term future, 15 we have to be developing talent. It is like any good 16 corporate decision. If you make computers, if you make 17 an automobile, there is a large chunk of your money 18 that is spent on research and development. 19 955 So under the research and development 20 mandate, to allow organizations to grow and to not just 21 vanish, not to go into oblivion, that that itself would 22 mean that there should be some productions that are 23 taken out of the broadcast centre decision chain, that 24 are put back into the regional directors, that these 25 people are empowered and measured on their ability and StenoTran 235 1 that they would be given some autonomy to make some 2 decisions based on they are on the ground. 3 956 They will likely know who is in the 4 community. They will likely know who can work whereas 5 if your whole environment is in the broadcast centre, 6 then you are not going to have the familiarity with 7 northern B.C. or with Winnipeg as the Regional Director 8 that is there -- so under the research and development 9 and to bring forward because right now the CBC is 10 living off the work that was done over the last 20 11 years and if it continues to try to live off that, it 12 will die. 13 957 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you would take 14 some of the money from the network and put it back into 15 the regions, and if I take Mr. Smith's point, you 16 wouldn't call this the Atlantic region, you would go 17 down to the provincial level? 18 958 MR. POPE: Well, the CBC right now is 19 seven regions and CBNT, which is the smallest CBC 20 region is -- we have heard for years -- there has been 21 talk of us becoming a bureau and that we would function 22 out of CBHT and there would just be some camera people 23 here. I think the seven that they have should be 24 protected but in the way that Victoria received a radio 25 station, that the same way, I think, like New StenoTran 236 1 Brunswick, which has never properly been served by the 2 CBC, largely because of -- I am not going to name names 3 but you can figure it out. New Brunswick has never 4 really been served by the CBC. I think it is time that 5 something more could be done in there. 6 959 THE CHAIRPERSON: You talked about 7 the programs like "Da Vinci's Inquest". You talked 8 about it being -- I think, to use your word, was a 9 great Canadian American show? 10 960 MR. POPE: Yes, it is the best 11 Canadian American show that I think that we have done. 12 Now, everybody in Canada knows that. We have "Hooker 13 Alley"(ph) and all the drug problems in Vancouver, 14 which they have probably had to exaggerate and stuff, 15 but you could put Chicago, put Detroit anywhere -- I am 16 not sure. I like "Da Vinci's Inquest" as I like some 17 American shows. I am not knocking American television 18 per se. I am just saying that if they are going after 19 American sales for that -- that is one of their 20 financial plans. 21 961 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, that was 22 going to be my question because you also referred to 23 "Traders" and other programs that would probably have 24 some commercial value in the U.S., perhaps with the 25 U.S. networks or cable networks. StenoTran 237 1 962 Do you think the Commission and/or 2 the CBC should draw a distinction between those kinds 3 of programs that may have foreign sales and the kinds 4 of Canadian programs that you would define that perhaps 5 would be more Canadian and might not have those foreign 6 sale opportunities? Is that what the CBC should be 7 concentrating on, in your view? 8 963 MR. POPE: Well specifically, what my 9 point was about -- the definition of what is Canadian, 10 like, is it so important that prime time be 100 per 11 cent Canadian that the demand to make it 100 per cent 12 Canadian requires the broadcaster to put less and less 13 money into the licensing of it? As the CBC puts less 14 and less money into the licensing of it, it is more 15 reliant on foreign partners to come in and buy. So 16 consequently, the American appeal has to be greater for 17 those partners. 18 964 My point was I am not denying anybody 19 foreign sales but if we go back to a CRTC hearing in 20 the early eighties which was then held at the Hotel 21 Newfoundland -- I guess your budgets were better in the 22 heydays -- and closer to downtown. I think there was 23 coffee and juice and muffins -- water will do but 24 that's fine. 25 965 At that particular time, they were StenoTran 238 1 struggling with Canadian content, whether it was a 2 screen minutes or a percentage of budget. The great 3 Canadian content was we would drag the cameras out and 4 shoot church on Sundays. There was a nice hour and a 5 half Canadian content and you would add it in. 6 966 The CRTC very cleverly during those 7 periods adjusted the Canadian content as a percentage 8 of budget spent in terms of acquisitions. What they 9 were doing at that time -- and please correct me if my 10 memory fails me -- what they were doing at that time 11 was they were saying, okay, we are going to let you 12 produce less Canadian programming but at a higher value 13 based on the fact that if you can put your money into 14 fewer films that they will be of better value and be of 15 more relevance to Canadian audiences. 16 967 I think that was a very good 17 initiative and we have seen a lot of positive things 18 come from it. But I just worry that with this whole 19 Canadianization of prime time and making this big 20 fanfare that we are nearly at 100 per cent prime time 21 is that while it sounds really good on the surface and 22 seems really good, the side effect of it is that the 23 CBC, what they are paying per program, their licence 24 fee per program, their percentage of ownership in the 25 program is reduced to a point that they are not the StenoTran 239 1 player that they should be. 2 968 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. 3 1945 4 969 MS MOORE: Our next presenter is 5 Mr. Desmond McGrath. 6 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 7 970 MR. McGRATH: Thank you very much for 8 having your hearings here today. I am here today in 9 two different capacities. One is as a private citizen, 10 Desmond McGrath, and the other is as a founding member 11 of a group called Survive that was quite successful in 12 cancelling the federal government's policy in the 13 destruction of the remaining 24 staffed lighthouses 14 here in Newfoundland and Labrador. 15 971 I had to bring that point up because 16 if it had not been for CBC, both radio and television, 17 there would not be 24 staffed light stations remaining 18 in Newfoundland and Labrador today, primarily because 19 none of the major television networks and none of the 20 radio networks in Canada today do any investigative 21 journalism and do any exposés on government policy and 22 how the government in Canada, particularly the federal 23 government, is against the people. 24 972 I think that looking back at the good 25 work that CBC, on a national level, did, exposing what StenoTran 240 1 was going on in light station destaffing on both coasts 2 and tied it together as a mutual interest story for all 3 Canadians, both out in B.C. and in Newfoundland, 4 provided a lot of impetus and gave a lot of public 5 support which then filtered back up to Ottawa and which 6 resulted eventually in David Anderson cancelling the 7 light station destaffing and putting it on hold, and 8 not only putting it on hold but establishing funds for 9 the preservation of the staffed light station heritage 10 on both coasts of Canada. 11 973 As part of that, I discovered that 12 there are a lot of things going on in Canada from a 13 media perspective that the CRTC needs to examine with a 14 fine tooth comb. 15 974 One of those aspects is the fact that 16 when did anyone in this country hear a politician or a 17 member of the federal government criticize CTV or 18 criticize any of the corporate mainstream media. It 19 doesn't happen because what you will find is you will 20 find that the mainstream corporate media is owned and 21 controlled by the very same people who own and control 22 Ottawa and when you hear a politician crying about the 23 media in this country, he is always poormouthing and 24 downmouthing CBC. 25 975 Now, a lot of people who gave StenoTran 241 1 presentations here tonight talked about Canada. What 2 you have to realize is that Canada, contrary to the 3 Jean Chrétiens and the Paul Martins of this world, 4 Canada is a federation. It is a federation of 5 sovereign provinces. 6 976 Newfoundland and Labrador is a 7 sovereign entity and that sovereign entity was 8 recognized as the Dominion of Newfoundland under the 9 Statute of Westminster of 1931, of having all of the 10 powers of the Imperial Parliament that both gave Canada 11 and Newfoundland birth and that we could pass any laws 12 we wanted and we were even given exclusion from the 13 Colonial Laws Validity Act. The only thing was that we 14 had our own Constitution and our Constitution was 15 founded on the basis of anglo-saxon common law going 16 back into the mist of time to the Magna Carta. 17 977 The reason I mention that is because 18 one of the fundamental principles of democracy and the 19 freedoms that we enjoy as Canadians is the freedom to 20 speak, to speak our own minds, to be able to criticize 21 government when government appears to be working 22 against us, and it is very unfortunate that here in 23 this country we have the fraction of a percentage of 24 Canadians who own 99 per cent of Canada, buying up the 25 oxygen supply of our democracy. StenoTran 242 1 978 I am talking about the Conrad Blacks 2 of this world who buy up all of the media, both print 3 and televised and radio broadcast, and it is to the 4 detriment of this country. I think one of the real 5 problems that people have to realize that we have in 6 this country is that we have no money and that was one 7 of the things that was underlined when I first went to 8 Ottawa to complain about the destaffing of light 9 stations. 10 979 I was told by our current Premier, 11 Brian Tobin, "We have no money." So I went back and 12 analyzed why we have no money in this country. 13 980 What I discovered is that when 14 Newfoundland and Labrador joined Canada in 1949, 15 Newfoundland and Labrador had a fairly healthy economy. 16 It had money in the bank. Fifty-six per cent of all 17 its revenues came from customs and excise duties, which 18 were in a sense indirect taxes, taxes on privilege, 19 taxes on corporations and very little of our revenue as 20 a separate country actually came from people's 21 individual pockets, the pockets of the people, or taxes 22 on civil rights and property. 23 981 At the same time in Canada, 24 approximately 46 per cent of all government revenues 25 that went into the federal government's kitty came from StenoTran 243 1 the corporate sector. At the same time, about 44 per 2 cent of government revenues came from the public purse. 3 Ever since then, there has been a divergence and if 4 anyone can get the statistics out of Revenue Canada -- 5 they seem to be very secretive about it. They don't 6 like telling people exactly what they do or where they 7 get their money. 8 982 But what you will find is now about 9 3-4 per cent of federal government revenues come from 10 the corporate sector and that 90 plus per cent of 11 revenues come from people's pockets. What it means is 12 now that the federal government of this country has 13 gone from taxing privilege under customs and excise and 14 indirect taxes to taxing property and civil rights. 15 983 One of the fundamental civil rights 16 that we have in this country, of course, is the press 17 and the media, and because the country was set up in 18 such a way as a federation, there was a basic division 19 of powers that were entered into at Confederation, at 20 union in 1867. Those division of powers surrendered 21 certain very specific enumerated powers to the federal 22 government. The provinces kept the lion's share of 23 powers including everything of a local and personal 24 nature, including the right of direct taxation and 25 including civil rights and property. StenoTran 244 1 984 Now, what is interesting is that the 2 CRTC as an entity came about as a result of a Privy 3 Council decision and that radio and television didn't 4 exist when Canada was formed in 1867. We had morse 5 code. Here in this province, we had the first 6 transatlantic cable. We had messages going back and 7 forth between here and Valencia(ph) in Ireland. 8 985 But as a public medium and as a 9 method of expression in terms of freedom of the press, 10 if you want to call the televised media, both televised 11 and radio, a function of the press, it didn't exist. 12 So as a result, it was a Privy Council decision that 13 gave the federal government control over the media. 14 986 Now, I want to get back to the 15 concept of money. CBC was founded in current terms, in 16 reality, in the 1930s. When we were in severe economic 17 crisis here in Canada, Newfoundland had its own 18 broadcasting corporation, the Newfoundland Broadcasting 19 Corporation, and we had public radio in Newfoundland, 20 in spite of the fact that we were beggars on our knees, 21 begging to join Canada. 22 987 There is much disinformation out 23 there these days about the true instances of what 24 Newfoundland was actually like in the 1930s and 1940s 25 that people of my generation don't really know the StenoTran 245 1 truth any more. 2 988 But getting back to the principles is 3 that we are seeing in this country the fact that our 4 public broadcaster and all of its good programs, all of 5 its investigative journalism is being gutted because 6 the government is telling us that it has no money. At 7 the same time, the reason the government doesn't have 8 any money is because it sold the shop. 9 989 It sold the shop to the transnational 10 corporations, to the multinationals who come in and 11 rape and pillage our resources, to the offshore fishing 12 companies that come and go with enormous amounts of 13 fish in exchange for nuclear reactors and grain from 14 Saskatchewan. 15 990 The very thing that we have to do in 16 this country and the very thing, I think the CRTC has 17 to go back and question the federal government on is: 18 Are the problems with CBC a symptom or are they a real 19 illness? 20 991 I think they are a symptom. They are 21 a symptom of the fact that the federal government of 22 this country is practising social engineering on the 23 extremities of the country and that ever since 1984 24 when our former Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney, said, 25 "Give me a decade or so, you won't recognize this StenoTran 246 1 country", that is exactly what he has done. You won't 2 recognize this country. 3 992 We have a federal government that 4 wants to think that Canada is a unitary state. It is 5 trying to manipulate CBC under the guise of budgetary 6 cutbacks and the removal of funding to the extremities 7 of this country, what I would call social economic 8 hypothermia to give us the illusion that some sort of 9 fiscal efficiencies can be achieved by congregating 10 Canadians, by congregating the Canadian ideology and 11 the Canadian culture into growth centres. 12 993 It is no more different than the 13 whole concept of growth centres that went on in this 14 province during resettlement. We had to bring the 15 people in from the headlands, out where they were close 16 to fish, and put them up in the ends of the bays where 17 they couldn't fish any more so they could go on social 18 assistance. 19 994 Everything that is going on in this 20 country is diverting us away from the truth and I think 21 the truth is that we have a federal government that has 22 gone out of control and that we need more than ever a 23 public broadcaster, not a state media outlet. By a 24 public broadcaster, I mean a broadcaster that is 25 accountable to the public, delivers entertainment to StenoTran 247 1 the public and also does investigative journalism on 2 the public's behalf when the government is against the 3 public. 4 995 There is no people more hopelessly 5 enslaved than those who do not believe that their 6 government is against them. Here in this country, we 7 are constantly in a state of unease because the threat 8 of Quebec separation is being held over our heads like 9 a police state truncheon as though, "Oh, Quebec is 10 going to leave. Quebec is going to leave." Quebec is 11 being pointed at as being the bad person in Canada, and 12 in actual fact, Quebec is not. 13 996 Everything that Quebec does as a 14 country, as a sovereign entity within the Canadian 15 federation of sovereign entities, it is 16 constitutionally obliged to do. Quebec is the only 17 province in Canada that has been consistently upholding 18 the agreements that have been entered into ever since 19 1867 and I find it very strange that the federal 20 government, and sometimes using our public broadcaster 21 CBC, puts a big spin on it and tries to tell the people 22 of Canada that Quebec is the problem. Quebec is not 23 the problem. 24 997 The problem is that Ottawa wants to 25 be a unitary state and it wants to turn all the StenoTran 248 1 provinces into municipalities and then it wants to 2 distribute the CBC back into the more prosperous 3 municipalities in a manner which Ottawa deems to be 4 most cost-effective and economically efficient. 5 998 I would just like to close it off as 6 that the whole concept of economic efficiency is not 7 all that it is cracked up to be because in 1936, Time 8 magazine went and voted Adolf Hitler as being the Man 9 of the Year and you can see what he did within a short 10 decade. 11 999 Thank you, sir. 12 --- Applause / Applaudissements 13 1000 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 14 Mr. McGrath. 15 1001 Now, I am not sure -- we had several 16 other people on the list who had indicated they were 17 going to be here after 8:00. Is there anybody else 18 here who wanted to make a presentation here tonight? 19 1002 Yes, sir, what is your name? 20 1003 DR. KENNEDY: Bill Kennedy. 21 1955 22 1004 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. You can go 23 now and then the lady in the back. 24 --- Off microphone / Sans microphone 25 1005 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are Joan Clark StenoTran 249 1 and company. Okay, after the gentleman here. 2 1006 Okay, sir, you can go. 3 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 4 1007 DR. KENNEDY: Thank you very much. I 5 didn't expect to go this fast, so I am still breathing 6 rather heavily from the rain. 7 1008 I would like to thank you for the 8 opportunity to speak here tonight and to have the 9 opportunity again to express some of my thoughts and 10 some of my feelings, I guess, about the Canadian 11 Broadcasting Corporation. 12 1009 I would like to begin to put the CBC 13 into what I believe is the Canadian context. Canada, I 14 think, can best be thought of as a sort of gestalt, 15 that is, a holistic system which gets its reality from 16 the sum of its various parts or what we call its 17 subsystems. These subsystems generally -- I suppose we 18 could call the provinces the regions and the 19 communities within the regions and all of these 20 geographic entities, or subsystems we could call them, 21 are constituted by the people that inhabit them. 22 1010 Canada then, to me, is only as 23 healthy and as progressive as each of the subsystems 24 are at any given time. Any weakness in any of the 25 subsystems is a weakness in the whole of Canada. For StenoTran 250 1 me, the CBC is a subsystem of that gestalt or the 2 supersystem that we call Canada. The CBC is the 3 communication subsystem. It is a necessary and 4 essential part of the glue that holds the concept 5 "Canada" together. 6 1011 How do we define the CBC? First of 7 all, for me, it is Canadian. It is an integral part of 8 that system we call Canada. Secondly, it broadcasts, 9 which means, I guess, to disseminate knowledge or 10 information. Actually, if you look it up in the 11 dictionary, it says, "to spread by radio", which is 12 interesting. It is an old definition obviously. 13 Thirdly, it is a Corporation. In fact, it is a Crown 14 Corporation. 15 1012 If we look at these in a little more 16 detail, Canadian means Canadian. That means the CBC 17 belongs to Canada and hence to the people of Canada. 18 This means that all people of Canada, whether they be 19 in some remote corner of the Territories or a farm 20 village in Saskatchewan or a remote logging community 21 in British Columbia or a remote fishing village in 22 Newfoundland, all own and all must have equal access to 23 the CBC. 24 1013 This also implies that not only 25 should they have equal access to the CBC but they StenoTran 251 1 should also have input into what happens in and on the 2 CBC. This does not mean that only the regions of 3 Canada have input but the local communities must also 4 have access and input. 5 1014 CBC broadcasts, that is, it reaches 6 people through two media, namely, radio and television. 7 I will look at these separately. 8 1015 Let me say right off the top that I 9 believe that we have one of the finest radio networks 10 in the world. ABC Australia comes quite close to me 11 and BBC an down the line. May I make a note here and 12 that is: please keep our international service. In 13 the age of global technology, it is indeed puerile to 14 even think that we can isolate ourselves. We need 15 them, the world, and they need us. 16 1016 Radio should be information, that is, 17 information in news and current events. Hourly 18 newscasts, morning programs, evening programs such as 19 "Ideas", "Quirks and Quarks", et cetera, fall into this 20 category. 21 1017 Radio should be entertaining, that 22 is, drama, music, et cetera. I think radio, too, 23 excels in this area and has a variety of programming, 24 including a variety of music. 25 1018 I think that the CBC radio, Radio StenoTran 252 1 both One and Two, are on the right track. Why? 2 Because it is distinctive radio and I just want to 3 repeat that. It is on the right track because it is 4 distinctive radio and I would ask you to keep it that 5 way. 6 1019 Let's not call our programs "shows". 7 There is the danger that we slip into the hype of 8 commercial radio without the commercials -- and hype, 9 by the way, is more distinctively American than 10 Canadian. 11 1020 We have two radio stations: Radio 12 One and Radio Two. Let's keep those two. We do not 13 need a third. Any money that is to be spent on radio 14 should be centred on these two. Keep them distinctive. 15 Keep them Canadian. Keep them commercial-free and that 16 includes the hype. 17 1021 If I had to say one negative thing 18 about radio, it would be that it is not local enough in 19 its programming. Radio, as I said before, should be 20 community-centred, I mean represent all communities. 21 It should have input and programming from all size 22 communities and not only the bigger centres and I guess 23 I am speaking here against regionalization. 24 1022 Now, CBC television: I need a shot 25 of positive thinking here. I am sorry but I really StenoTran 253 1 don't share the same positive thoughts about CBC 2 television as I do about CBC radio. For me, CBC 3 television is neither fish nor fowl. For me, it is a 4 lame excuse for what I would define as public 5 broadcasting. 6 1023 I think CBC television has to make up 7 its mind. Is CBC television a public broadcasting 8 corporation or are we just another commercial 9 quasi-public broadcasting company? I ask the question: 10 What is distinctive about CBC television? What 11 distinguishes it from ABC, from NTV, et cetera? 12 1024 I see it as riddled with a lot of 13 Americanism -- and I say that in its kindest way -- and 14 commercialism. I feel sometimes that my tax dollar is 15 going to subsidize a non-distinct -- that is from a 16 Canadian perspective -- a non-distinct run-of-the-mill 17 commercially-driven network. 18 1025 Now, let me say that I believe that 19 CBC is making a valiant attempt to produce Canadian 20 programs and I submit that, by and large, what they do, 21 they are done very well. I would include "The 22 National" here and "The Journal", if we ever get them 23 back. However, these too, I feel, are too commercially 24 driven. When I watch -- or should I say now, when I 25 watched the evening news program on CBC, I'm appalled StenoTran 254 1 at the number of commercials and not only that but the 2 commercialist tone of the program. 3 1026 I ask the question: Why does CBC 4 have to try to imitate the commercial stations? What 5 now differentiates the local CBC evening news hour, the 6 public broadcaster, from the NTV local news hour, the 7 private broadcaster? May I suggest: Very little. 8 1027 Again, the question for me is: What 9 is distinctive about CBC television? I could mention 10 sports but I will let that one go. I think there is 11 too much emphasis on sports. One of the interesting 12 things happened though when the strike -- or the labour 13 and management -- happened. We lost a lot of CBC 14 programming but, by God, we kept the hockey games, 15 which was very interesting. 16 1028 For CBC television, may I suggest, as 17 we approach the millennium, that we do one of three 18 things: one, we go to a publicly funded, 19 commercial-free and distinctive Canadian television 20 programming -- distinctive Canadian television 21 programming, commercial-free; or we give serious 22 thought to buying air time on other networks to air 23 distinctive Canadian programs and/or to subsidize them 24 to produce and air Canadian programs; or, three, that 25 we get out of the television business altogether and StenoTran 255 1 concentrate on radio. Given the 500 or so channels 2 that now exist, maybe that's not a bad idea but that 3 would be my least of the three, to see that happen. 4 1029 Another issue that I would like to 5 briefly comment on is the accountability and the 6 appointment of the Board of Directors of CBC. My 7 belief is that the CBC Board, like other publicly 8 funded boards, should be accountable to its funding 9 body, in this case, the federal government. But it 10 must not be a slave to it. 11 1030 It must also see itself as being 12 accountable to the people of Canada and to realize that 13 having a lot of money isn't really the answer to all 14 our ills, certainly to some of them, but it is how the 15 money is used that is more important. 16 1031 I believe the appointment to the 17 Board should be done, I would grant, by Cabinet, 18 federal Cabinet, and should be comprised of a number of 19 persons who are familiar with that gestalt I mentioned 20 of Canada but also those who are knowledgeable in the 21 area of broadcasting. 22 1032 I believe that all provinces should 23 be represented on the Board and that the provinces 24 should have a strong involvement in the appointment of 25 their representatives. I am not really too familiar StenoTran 256 1 with the Board and I am assuming it is not like that 2 now, but if it is, then we will just scratch that one. 3 1033 In summary, let me say that I regard 4 the CBC, both radio and television, as a vital 5 subsystem in our great Canadian federation. Radio with 6 some minor adjustments, I believe, appears to be doing 7 fine. 8 1034 CBC television, on the other hand, 9 for me, is not a well subsystem of Canada's great 10 systems and I believe it needs major invasive surgery. 11 1035 Thank you very much. 12 1036 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, 13 Dr. Kennedy. Are you a surgeon, by the way? 14 1037 DR. KENNEDY: No. 15 1038 THE CHAIRPERSON: I would like to ask 16 you. Your first choice in the three options for the 17 CBC was to have it commercial-free with distinctive 18 Canadian programming? 19 1039 DR. KENNEDY: Yes. 20 1040 THE CHAIRPERSON: So if we, tomorrow, 21 said, no more commercials on CBC television? 22 1041 DR. KENNEDY: That would make me very 23 happy. 24 1042 THE CHAIRPERSON: That would make you 25 very happy. StenoTran 257 1 1043 How would we do the second part of 2 it, that is, making the programming distinctively 3 Canadian, in your view? 4 1044 DR. KENNEDY: I think -- 5 1045 THE CHAIRPERSON: How would we make 6 this as distinctive to the other television as radio is 7 to other radio? 8 1046 DR. KENNEDY: Well, I think the first 9 distinctive part of it for me is the commercial-free 10 part. I think that distinguishes it and if you let 11 that go -- but that is a very important part because 12 once you get -- to me, if there is commercialism and 13 whatever in the broader sense of that, what happens is 14 that it gets commercially driven and that changes the 15 whole philosophy and the whole belief system underlying 16 the whole process. 17 1047 So that, to me, is -- although we can 18 lay it aside and go back to what distinctively Canadian 19 -- to me, that is a very important issue because when 20 we get into commercialism, if you look at the programs 21 now on CBC television that are commercially driven, 22 that takes away that distinctiveness. But to go back 23 to your other point, it's very difficult. 24 1048 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well no, take that 25 point. What are the kinds of programs that you see as StenoTran 258 1 being commercially driven? 2 1049 DR. KENNEDY: Most of the programs on 3 CBC television, to me, are commercially driven. Most 4 of them are, even our beloved "Journal" and the evening 5 newscast. The local evening newscast are very 6 commercially driven and I think that is a big mistake. 7 1050 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are there programs 8 on that you think the CBC shouldn't be in? You said, I 9 could mention sports, which means you did. 10 1051 DR. KENNEDY: Yes, it's a tough one. 11 It has a small "p" political overtones. But I think we 12 tend to go overboard with sports, yes, and again, I 13 think that is because of the commercial nature of the 14 process. I think we see it as a money-making venture. 15 I am not sure what the percentage of Canadians that 16 watch CBC sports. I am not sure of that. I haven't 17 looked at that statistic but I notice a large 18 percentage who don't. 19 1052 "Distinctively Canadian", I want to 20 go back there if you want. 21 1053 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sure. 22 1054 DR. KENNEDY: I think we have to be 23 -- there is a question here again. This is obviously 24 not a very easy thing to answer but there is a question 25 here of ratings and that sort of thing. StenoTran 259 1 1055 You know, there are programs that 2 don't get very high ratings that could be very good 3 programs. But they couldn't be produced because they 4 are not commercially viable, if you like, because they 5 don't have the ratings. I am going back to this 6 commercialism all the time because I really believe 7 that this is a major factor in how we operate and how 8 we work with the CBC. 9 1056 But distinctively Canadian -- there 10 are programs now, "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" for 11 example, which I think is very distinctively Canadian. 12 There are some programs on Sunday afternoons that are 13 very distinctively Canadian and I think what we need to 14 do is to do more of this sort of thing and not to worry 15 about if from the point of view of whether it looks 16 good somewhere else. 17 1057 Does it look good in Canada and is it 18 portraying the cultural differences that exist 19 throughout our country, from the very north to the very 20 south, to the east and the west? 21 1058 I think if we got away -- and I come 22 back again to my pet peeve, I guess -- if we get away 23 from the commercialism, we will be able to do that with 24 greater ease and with better -- I think we have the 25 capacity and the ability to do that and I think the StenoTran 260 1 listening audience and the viewing audience will be 2 there for that. That is my feeling on it. 3 1059 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you 4 very much. 5 1060 DR. KENNEDY: Okay. Thank you. 6 1825 7 1061 THE CHAIRPERSON: Now, I think -- is 8 it Ms Joan Clark? -- and company. 9 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 10 1062 MS CLARK: First of all, I would like 11 to thank you for including us in the proceedings. 12 1063 We are representing the CBC - Ours to 13 Keep Committee, which was formed nationally in 1997 to 14 protest further cutbacks to the CBC. It represents 15 those Canadians -- I guess you would say average 16 Canadians -- for whom the CBC is of great importance. 17 1064 The two other committee members 18 besides myself who will be speaking are Lois Hicks and 19 she will be providing a view of the CBC from the 20 inside; and Laura Jackson will be speaking about what 21 the CBC means to Newfoundlanders. 22 1065 I will be talking about one thing and 23 that is making the CBC more accessible to the public. 24 As it now stands, the CBC Board has 10 members, down 25 from 15 in 1994-1995. The Board represents only six StenoTran 261 1 provinces which falls far short of representing our 2 country. 3 1066 In a recent letter, Perrin Beatty 4 informed me that the CBC Board frequently meets in 5 different parts of the country so that it can be 6 sensitive to the needs of all Canadians. But when the 7 CBC Board met here two years ago, it declined to meet 8 with the CBC - Ours to Keep Committee. One Board 9 member said that it is not the mandate of the Board 10 members to meet with the public. If this is the case, 11 how can the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation be made 12 more accessible to Canadians? 13 1067 I suggest the following: 14 1068 one, that the CBC Board be enlarged 15 so that all provinces and territories be represented; 16 1069 two, that the process of nominating 17 candidates to become members of the CBC Board be made 18 more transparent and open to the public; 19 1070 three, that the most qualified 20 nominees, which is to say those who have to possess 21 experience and expertise of relevance to the Board 22 should be appointed by Parliament, not by the Cabinet, 23 which is presently the case; 24 1071 four, that the CBC Board members 25 represent a broad political spectrum, not just the StenoTran 262 1 dominant political party which happens to be in power 2 at a particular time; 3 1072 five, that the CBC Board find 4 methods, and I don't mean "Cross-Country Check-Up" 5 however effective the program is to make the CBC more 6 accessible to public input and evaluation; this input 7 and evaluation should play an important part of CBC 8 management decisions about program priorities and 9 policies; 10 1073 six, that the President of the CBC be 11 appointed within the CBC, not by the Prime Minister of 12 Canada; 13 1074 seven, that the CBC be kept at arm's 14 length from government and not in effect be made 15 another government department. 16 1075 These measures would go a long way to 17 counteract the charges of CBC bias. They would go a 18 long way to ensure that the government in power cannot 19 further emasculate the CBC because it has been 20 embarrassed and inconvenienced by investigative 21 reporting. The day this country loses the CBC's 22 investigative reporting would be a sad, even dangerous, 23 day for democracy in Canada. 24 1076 It has been said often and repeatedly 25 by listeners and viewers that the CBC is StenoTran 263 1 Toronto-centred. This is, of course, because decisions 2 regarding other regions of Canada are made by CBC 3 management there. Without representation from all 4 provinces and territories in Canada on the CBC Board, 5 this situation, I can't see it changing. 6 1077 I suggest that for a public 7 broadcasting corporation, there is far too much power 8 invested in a few people at the top of the CBC 9 management pyramid. With a CBC Board that is more 10 representational of Canadians, perhaps some of this 11 power can be diffused to the regions -- the provinces, 12 I am talking about, and territories. 13 1078 Obviously, people living in major 14 cities such as Toronto and Vancouver do not depend on 15 the CBC the way people do in our regions, especially 16 those regions which are the most remote. These are the 17 very people who should have more input into the CBC. 18 They are the strongest, the most eloquent voices, the 19 voices who recognize the CBC as the most effective way 20 of knitting the people of this country together. 21 1079 The biggest investment in this 22 country's culture is the CBC. We must not allow it to 23 be taken apart, piece by piece, block by block, by 24 those who would denigrate and deny its value to 25 Canadians. StenoTran 264 1 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 2 1080 MS HICKS: First of all, I have a 3 piece here written by Ed Cavanaugh. He is with the 4 Writers Alliance. He is not here tonight. So he 5 passed it to me to read and I will do my best. He is 6 not a good writer. 7 1081 It starts off by saying: 8 1082 There is no local drama any more. 9 There is too much emphasis on news and current affairs 10 -- I think he is referring to radio throughout this, 11 although I am not sure, but it appears that way -- 12 there is too much emphasis on news and current affairs. 13 He says that "Tyranno(ph) The Theatre" has gone. 14 "Tyranno The Theatre" was a drama production, a serial 15 that we did here some years back. 16 1083 He goes on to say that "Tyranno The 17 Theatre" had as much as $40,000-50,000 in the late 18 eighties, $10,000 of which was for music alone for that 19 show. He says, six years ago, there were five arts 20 programs. Now, there are only two. 21 1084 He talks about "The Great Eastern" 22 which is a Saturday midday show. He says it has three 23 writers and runs August to April but there is no 24 further comment on that. 25 1085 Everything has to be applied for to StenoTran 265 1 the network. There would be more spoken words if there 2 were more producers. The available producers have to 3 do too much, some of which they are not particularly 4 qualified for. There are no new people coming into the 5 system. The freelance market is gone. The available 6 people are pressed too hard. There is a lack of 7 serious reviews, such as of theatre, books and art 8 shows. 9 1086 The he mentions "Week-End AM" which 10 is an early morning show here on Saturdays and Sundays 11 -- he says is now a news and current affairs show and 12 the host doubles -- he means as producer and host and 13 they have a lot of telephone stuff. 14 1087 That is from Ed Cavanaugh of the 15 Writers Alliance. 16 1088 This is from me as an ex-employee of 17 CBC. I have been retired for three years. 18 1089 I was employed by CBC for 29 years, 19 18 of those in television production and 11 as a 20 Communications Officer handling puppet and community 21 relations, promotion and advertising. Like most every 22 employee in program production or technical production, 23 I felt privileged to have the opportunity to work in a 24 creative environment with professional and creative 25 people, both on staff and within the community. StenoTran 266 1 1090 The hours were often long and 2 stressful but made worthwhile by appreciative audiences 3 and involved the arts community and a committed News 4 and Public Affairs Department, and up until around 5 1986, a decent salary and working environment. 6 1091 As a Communications Officer, I took 7 many thousand calls from avid and appreciative CBC 8 television and radio fans asking for transcripts and 9 tapes of features, news items and entertainment pieces 10 they had enjoyed. Shows such as "Land and Sea" and 11 "Fisheries Broadcast" were the backbone of CBC 12 Newfoundland and Labrador. "Here and Now" had one of 13 the best news hours in the country. 14 1092 What can replace CBC's dependable and 15 accurate national and local radio news programs such as 16 "Cross-Country Check-Up" and the information researched 17 and provided for us by "The Fifth Estate"? How badly 18 would our culture regress without arts programs which 19 showcased our province-wide and national talent? 20 1093 The deep cuts started in 1990 and CBC 21 has been bleeding ever since. As employees on the 22 inside, we feared the demise of CBC from the start. A 23 lot of us wanted to tell the public each time the cuts 24 took place that their public broadcaster was again 25 wounded. Program quality was deteriorating and before StenoTran 267 1 long, the programs themselves would be gone. 2 1094 Head office management, however, 3 would not hear of this, saying, we will handle the cuts 4 quietly. We won't let the public know we are hurting 5 or ask for public support. After 10 years of handling 6 the cuts quietly, the CBC is dying. It is obvious that 7 the quality coverage of news and current affairs has 8 suffered as has good arts programming. 9 1095 The specialized professional staff is 10 fast disappearing as well. For the past 10 years, 11 almost every employee of the CBC, at least here in 12 Newfoundland and Labrador, has done the work of three 13 or four people. Multi-skilling was introduced so that 14 a journalist, technician or producer could be called 15 upon to wear many hats a day such as researcher, camera 16 person, editor, journalist, reporter, on air host. All 17 this has diluted the quality of CBC's product which is 18 good quality programs. 19 1096 It seems that the present Liberal 20 government and the PC government before that dislikes 21 CBC. Is this because governments don't want to stand 22 up to scrutiny and don't want to be exposed by CBC? Do 23 they hope that getting rid of CBC will protect them 24 from criticism? 25 1097 On one hand, the federal government StenoTran 268 1 demands more or all Canadian content. On the other 2 hand, it orders more cuts and talks about 3 privatization. If CBC is destroyed or privatized, what 4 will happen to more Canadian content? We will be left 5 with no unbiased international news, no BBC reports, no 6 country-wide exchange and interaction. 7 1098 Why are 1,800 CBC technicians on 8 strike now and why are 3,300 journalists and production 9 people prepared to join them? Because they are 10 fighting for all of the above. They believe that the 11 work they do at CBC is necessary to keep our country 12 together. Yet, they are overworked and underpaid. 13 1099 CBC doesn't need five more networks 14 or channels. It needs the restoration of respect in 15 the form of funding to bring back quality programs and 16 remain a dependable voice for news and current affairs 17 and the arts. 18 1100 Thank you. 19 1101 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you -- is it 20 Ms Hicks? 21 1102 MS HICKS: Yes. 22 1103 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thanks. 23 1104 Ms Jackson. 24 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 25 1105 MS JACKSON: In the last really big StenoTran 269 1 round of cuts, a number of people wanted to speak out 2 who weren't able to necessarily get to St. John's or to 3 meet Perrin Beatty or to come to a CRTC hearing. So I 4 collected most of these quotes in the course of dozens 5 of interviews, most of them then, in 1997, and some 6 have been collected since then. 7 1106 The ones collected two years ago seem 8 just as relevant today. I noticed when I had finished 9 that there were two common themes among people's 10 reasons for depending on the CBC, especially CBC radio. 11 One was intellectual stimulation and continuing 12 education and the other was a sense of country. CBC 13 appears to be crucial to our feelings of national unity 14 and these two themes are often interwoven. 15 1107 Jacqueline Saunders-Gambeau(ph), 16 School Board member and volunteer: 17 "You can educate yourself by 18 listening to CBC radio. I do. 19 It educates me to what is 20 happening across the country." 21 (As read) 22 1108 Anne Hart(ph), Writer and retired 23 head of Memorial University's Centre for Newfoundland 24 Studies: 25 "Without the CBC, I feel I StenoTran 270 1 wouldn't have a country." (As 2 read) 3 1109 Eugene Conway, Mayor of Conception 4 Harbour: 5 "I listen to CBC all the time. 6 It is our connection with 7 reality. The continuity is 8 there. If we lose that, we lose 9 our connection with the rest of 10 the province and the rest of 11 Canada." (As read) 12 1110 Bernard Martin, Petty Harbour, 13 Fisherman: 14 "Is it any wonder that our 15 country is ripping apart at the 16 seams when our very own 17 governments are doing their 18 level best to destroy the 19 institutions and symbols such as 20 the CBC that have united us as a 21 country?" (As read) 22 1111 Betty Hall, Caregiver, Painter: 23 "CBC radio is my connection to 24 the outside world. As a painter 25 too, I need the stimulation it StenoTran 271 1 gives me. Without CBC, I would 2 be lost. It makes me feel I am 3 part of one country." (As read) 4 1112 Allan Nudio(ph), Businessperson, 5 Northern Bay: 6 "I live off the beaten track and 7 I depend on the CBC to keep me 8 in touch." (As read) 9 1113 Bernice Morgan, Novelist: 10 "When my children were little, 11 CBC radio kept me sane. It kept 12 me educated, connected. It is 13 the common thread for our 14 country." (As read) 15 1114 Jerome Kenny, Fermeuse Postmaster: 16 "I wake to the CBC at 6:00. 17 Most of the day, it is on." (As 18 read) 19 1115 Donna Jeffreys, Coordinator for 20 Immigrant Services in St. John's: 21 "I have moved around a lot. 22 Moving across the country, one 23 thing goes with you, the CBC. 24 For newcomers to Canada, it is 25 the voice they know." (As read) StenoTran 272 1 1116 Greg Mitchell, Gillams, Sawmiller and 2 Environmentalist: 3 "It is the only thing that 4 connects rural Newfoundland with 5 itself and the rest of the 6 country." (As read) 7 1117 Laurie March, Corner Brook, former 8 Coordinator of Newfoundland and Labrador Environment 9 Network: 10 "It is a paper-free lifeline to 11 critical information and 12 viewpoints across the country." 13 (As read) 14 1118 Sandy Newton, Writer-Editor, Port 15 Kirwan and St. John's: 16 "Without the CBC, all we would 17 get is narrow local views. The 18 CBC delivers a unique product 19 with the best standards in the 20 world. The CBC keeps you 21 challenged, keeps you listening. 22 It's a lot of voices." (As read) 23 1119 Jessica Webb, St. John's, Teacher: 24 "When I want to think, when I 25 want to be challenged on my StenoTran 273 1 views, I tune into the CBC." 2 (As read) 3 1120 Peter Armitage, Memorial University, 4 Anthropologist: 5 "We can't count on politicians 6 standing up for the CBC because 7 it is a voice for people to 8 criticize them and give them 9 feedback." (As read) 10 1121 Laura Park, Brigus South, Botanist: 11 "I listen to CBC radio a lot. 12 What other choices do you have? 13 If you want to listen to 14 something intelligent, you don't 15 have any other choice." (As 16 read) 17 1122 Grace Botte(ph), St. John's, Poet and 18 Playwright: 19 "CBC radio has become my 20 lifeline now that I can no 21 longer see. I depend on CBC for 22 everything: for news, book 23 reviews, commentaries, 24 discussion, music, everything 25 that keeps me in touch with the StenoTran 274 1 world." (As read) 2 1123 Clyde Rose, St. Phillip's, Publisher: 3 "I would not live in this 4 country without the CBC. As a 5 medium for promoting our arts, 6 it has no competition." (As 7 read) 8 1124 Julie Britain, Academic, Writer and 9 Immigrant: 10 "I moved to Canada to make it 11 home. I knew very little about 12 the country when I arrived and 13 the single most important factor 14 in my finding out about it has 15 been, and remains, CBC radio. I 16 listen to find out about 17 culture, politics and history. 18 I listen just to get a feel for 19 what makes this country tick." 20 (As read) 21 1125 Ceneca Gow(ph), Trinity, Bed and 22 Breakfast Operator: 23 "The CBC is like the moon. It 24 doesn't matter from where you 25 look at it, it looks the same. StenoTran 275 1 All of us listen to the CBC. It 2 is what we have in common." (As 3 read) 4 1126 Sean French, Springdale, Grad 5 Student: 6 "It is the only alternative to 7 music stations. There is no 8 other alternative." (As read) 9 1127 Margaret Baron, St. John's: 10 "I have lived all over Canada, 11 as far away as Tuktoyaktuk. The 12 CBC was the only thing that kept 13 me connected." (As read) 14 1128 Denis Priddle(ph), St. John's: 15 "The CBC gives opportunities to 16 artists, filmmakers and 17 musicians that they couldn't get 18 anywhere else." (As read) 19 1129 Helen Fogwell-Porter(ph), St. John's, 20 Writer: 21 "I took part once in a contest 22 where you had to complete the 23 phrase 'As Canadian As...' and 24 my answer was 'As Canadian As 25 the CBC'. It is something we StenoTran 276 1 have to have. We won't be 2 Canadians without the CBC. I 3 was born a Newfoundlander. The 4 CBC made me a Canadian." (As 5 read) 6 1130 James Green, Grand Falls: 7 "CBC radio is the thinking 8 person's radio." (As read) 9 1131 Art Bags(ph), President of the 10 Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers Association: 11 "In Newfoundland and Labrador, 12 the CBC is a very necessary 13 forum for public discussion on 14 subjects such as education." 15 (As read) 16 1132 Vicky Walsh, Burnt Cove, Homemaker 17 and Educator: 18 "I am a mother desperate for 19 adult intellectual 20 entertainment. I love CBC 21 radio." (As read) 22 1133 And finally, from Doris Saunders in 23 Happy Valley, Labrador, Editor of the Historical 24 Journal, "Them Days": 25 "The CBC is something to be StenoTran 277 1 proud of. The CBC is the thread 2 that holds this country 3 together. No matter how 4 different, how diverse we are 5 across this big country, it is 6 the one thing that unites us. 7 It is just terrible the way 8 things are going. If they take 9 away the CBC, that will be the 10 beginning of the end for Canada. 11 We will just drift apart like a 12 bunch of little ice pans". (As 13 read) 14 1134 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 15 much, Ms Jackson. I was beginning to wonder if you had 16 surveyed the whole Island. We would be here for a 17 while. 18 1135 MS JACKSON: ... 19 --- Off microphone / Sans microphone 20 1136 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's okay. You 21 can mail those. 22 1137 Now, we had two other people on the 23 list who had indicated they would be here about 8:30, 24 Mr. and Mrs. John and Sylvia Hopkins. Are they here? 25 1138 Is there anybody else here who wanted StenoTran 278 1 to make a presentation? 2 1139 No. Okay. 3 1140 Well perhaps, as we did this 4 afternoon, I will provide an opportunity for the folks 5 at the CBC to respond to comments that they have heard 6 this evening. 7 2040 8 1141 MR. McGRATH: Could I ask the CRTC 9 just one question? What it is is that when I was 10 looking at federal government policy with respect to 11 light station destaffing, I requested, through the 12 Access to Information Act, to find out why the federal 13 government had hired such a high-profile public 14 relations firm as Hill and Knowlton(ph) to manage the 15 consultation sessions with respect to light station 16 destaffing. 17 1142 The document that I got back I found 18 quite shocking. What it said was that the purpose of 19 consultation was to: 20 "...look for individual 21 opponents to government policy 22 and then raise methods of 23 dealing with those opponents as 24 part of the policy directive to 25 implement light station StenoTran 279 1 destaffing." (As read) 2 1143 My concern right now is that this 3 Commission has been set up to hear public input before 4 the desk captains of the Rideau Canal have laid their 5 cards on the table with respect to what their plans are 6 for our public broadcaster, CBC. 7 1144 I dutifully respect that the CRTC 8 would hold similar consultation sessions here in 9 Newfoundland after these policies and this plan has 10 been put out in the public domain so that we will be 11 given an opportunity to review exactly what the federal 12 government has in plan for a public broadcaster and so 13 that we can then provide similar valid comments back to 14 you where we disagree with federal government policy. 15 1145 Thank you. 16 1146 THE CHAIRPERSON: I am not sure of 17 the distinction you are drawing between federal 18 government policy and the CBC's own plans for its 19 future, as contained in its licence renewal 20 applications, but as I indicated earlier this evening, 21 I think it was to Mr. Brookes who made the comment 22 about the fact that we are holding these consultations 23 before the licence renewal applications have been made 24 public. 25 1147 Part of that was simply the timing of StenoTran 280 1 being able to schedule this and scheduling with the CBC 2 hearing itself in May and trying to make sure that we 3 could schedule this and do this tour across the 4 country. I am not sure of the exact date that the 5 licence renewal applications will be made public. 6 1148 We will not be making another round 7 though between now and then. I think I indicated the 8 hearing begins in late May, May 25th, but once the 9 renewal applications are made public, anyone of the 10 public is certainly welcome to review those and provide 11 comments to the Commission in writing or to appear at 12 the hearing in Ottawa. 13 1149 With our budget and resources, we 14 won't have an opportunity to have another round of the 15 country before that hearing in Hull, but certainly 16 anyone is welcome to review that and make their 17 comments known in writing. 18 1150 MR. McGRATH: Well, just one closing 19 comment then. I know that the Senate Standing 20 Committees often provide funding for interest groups to 21 go to Ottawa and provide public feedback on critical 22 government issues. 23 1151 Is it part of the CRTC's funding 24 regimen to provide funding to any individual group that 25 might be here that wants to go to Ottawa and give a StenoTran 281 1 proper discussion to the hearings in this regard? I 2 know that these particular hearings will become part of 3 the public domain and I, as a concerned citizen, am 4 extremely disappointed that after the fact we will only 5 be given an opportunity to send in paper to the federal 6 government. I find, from past experience, that paper 7 that gets sent to the federal government seems to 8 disappear into the X-files. 9 1152 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, we don't have 10 an X-file and either the Commissioners and/or the staff 11 carefully review all of the written submissions that we 12 get. I have been at the Commission for eight and a 13 half years now, and as I have told people, the 14 submissions that we get -- I read everything that 15 crosses my desk, whether it is an oral submission or a 16 written submission. They are all taken into account in 17 all of the hearings. 18 1153 Ms Goodridge who appeared -- is she 19 still there? -- I think, can verify that, from her time 20 when she was a Commissioner representing Newfoundland 21 at the Commission. 22 1154 But to your earlier point about 23 providing costs, interestingly enough, we operate under 24 two pieces of legislation at the CRTC: We have the 25 Telecommunications Act, under which we regulate the StenoTran 282 1 telephone companies, and we have the Broadcasting Act, 2 under which we regulate television, radio stations and 3 cable. 4 1155 The Telecommunications Act provides 5 for cost awards for intervenors. The Broadcasting Act 6 does not. That issue has been raised by a number of 7 public interest groups and we have taken a look at that 8 issue and are pursuing that issue within the government 9 to see what could be done to provide for some sort of 10 public funding. But as of now, the legislation does 11 not provide for that and we don't have the financial 12 resources to pay those sorts of cost awards. 13 1156 What happens under the 14 Telecommunications Act is you provide a cost award for 15 a public intervenor and then the cost award is charged 16 back against the regulated companies. It actually 17 doesn't come out of our budget. We don't have a 18 provision under the Broadcasting Act to do that. 19 1157 MR. McGRATH: Thank you very much, 20 sir. 21 2050 22 1158 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Ms Humber. 23 REPLY / RÉPLIQUE 24 1159 MS HUMBER: Thank you, Commissioner 25 Colville. StenoTran 283 1 1160 On behalf of the CBC, I am here as 2 the Regional Director of Radio for Newfoundland and 3 Labrador, and on behalf of myself and Michael Harris 4 who is here representing network television, Donna 5 Wicks and Lloyd Noël(ph) representing regional 6 television in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Antea 7 Springman(ph) who is with the Communications Department 8 here locally, I would like to thank the CRTC for 9 allowing us to be part of the public consultation 10 process. 11 1161 We welcome this opportunity to hear 12 directly from our listeners and our viewers about our 13 programming and our service. I am not sure you are 14 aware but CBC's role here tonight is to listen and you 15 have given us a lot to listen to and to think about. 16 1162 So again, thank you to the listeners 17 and viewers who have taken the time to be here this 18 evening on what I am told is a pretty miserable evening 19 out there and taking the time to prepare such 20 thoughtful, articulate and passionate presentations. 21 1163 It is vitally important to the CBC 22 that we hear what our audience thinks of us. 23 Sometimes, that is good and sometimes that is bad but 24 it is still important that you tell us what you think 25 and that we take those things into account when we are StenoTran 284 1 doing our planning. 2 1164 We will be following up with each of 3 the presenters individually over the next few weeks. 4 We hope to address specific issues if you have them in 5 those follow-up conversations and we hope also to be 6 able to answer any questions that you may have about 7 our services, both in radio and in television. 8 1165 Again, thank you particularly as 9 someone who has spent all of my life in regional 10 broadcasting, either here or at the other end of the 11 country in Vancouver most recently. It is very 12 gratifying to hear support for regional programming and 13 regional production. 14 1166 The fact that so many people both 15 this afternoon and this evening have taken the time to 16 come here and to share their views on the CBC shows us 17 that you are not apathetic and you are not indifferent 18 and we would rather that than total praise, I guess, in 19 some ways. 20 1167 Radio here tonight has been described 21 as an umbilical cord to sanity for one person. This 22 afternoon, for another, it was described as a close 23 friend in intensive care and by another presenter it 24 was described as a scam. So all of those things are 25 probably valid criticisms and valid thoughts on the CBC StenoTran 285 1 and as we plan into the future, we will take them all 2 into account. 3 1168 Again, thanks for making your 4 presentations and being so passionate about what we are 5 also very passionate about. 6 1169 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 7 much. 8 1170 Let me take this opportunity to thank 9 all those who have presented here today. We are 10 nearing the end of the presentations on this round of 11 consultations. Well, there is one going on right now 12 in Vancouver and I think we have one more in Edmonton 13 tomorrow. 14 1171 We have heard a lot of talk about the 15 CBC, most of it positive. I have heard comments here 16 today about regional whines, and several people 17 mentioned that. I certainly don't consider it whining 18 at all. Unless people raise issues and bring their 19 concerns to the forefront regarding the CBC, either 20 directly to the CBC or to us, then those issues don't 21 get addressed and I certainly don't consider it whining 22 at all. 23 1172 Somebody made reference to being poor 24 cousins, that being Newfoundlanders, being poor cousins 25 to the rest of Canada. I guess I have been on the CRTC StenoTran 286 1 now for eight years and prior to that I worked for the 2 Nova Scotia Government. I was involved in getting the 3 Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation started. 4 1173 But through my work there, I was 5 involved in many federal-provincial committees and 6 meetings and certainly it has been my experience that 7 Newfoundlanders don't have to apologize about being 8 poor cousins or whiners at all. 9 1174 I think Newfoundlanders, in my 10 experience, have brought very thoughtful, constructive 11 suggestions to any of the forums that I have been 12 involved in at the interprovincial or 13 federal-provincial level or whether it has been CRTC 14 hearings. I think the comments that we received have 15 been extremely helpful. 16 1175 I must say that the kinds of views 17 that we have been hearing about the CBC for the last 18 few days in the hearings that I have been involved in 19 have certainly helped shape my own views about a lot of 20 these issues. So to that extent, I think these 21 hearings have been extremely helpful for us to help us 22 better understand what the views and concerns of 23 Canadians are about the CBC and what it should be like. 24 1176 I know from the hearing that we had 25 in Sydney, Nova Scotia, a week ago that Fred Mattocks, StenoTran 287 1 who is perhaps more involved, I guess, with television 2 than radio, was a bit concerned that radio was going to 3 capture all of the attention and I guess it is probably 4 fair to say that it has had a lot of attention, 5 probably the most attention, certainly in the hearings 6 that I have been involved in. 7 1177 I think it is probably fair to say, 8 from what I have heard from my colleagues at some of 9 the other hearings that radio has been a prime concern, 10 which is not to say that people are not concerned about 11 television. But I guess if there has been -- somebody 12 referred recently through a common thread. There 13 certainly has been a common thread to all of these 14 hearings about strong support for the CBC, most 15 particularly about radio. 16 1178 I guess if I could bring my own 17 comment onto this just in terms of what I have heard, 18 it seems, I think, as Dr. Kennedy was suggesting, that 19 radio seems to be more distinctive than television and 20 to the extent people have been commenting about 21 television, I think people are saying we want to see it 22 become perhaps a little more distinctive than it is. 23 1179 I just want to say that I think to 24 some extent, to a considerable extent, we are sort of 25 overwhelmed by the number of people who are turning StenoTran 288 1 out. We were discussing over dinner the fact that -- I 2 think we have 157 people registered for Vancouver but 3 we had 60 people turn out in Charlottetown. If you 4 consider the relative populations of those two cities, 5 that is a huge turnout for a place like Charlottetown 6 in support of the CBC and I think the turnout here has 7 been quite tremendous as well, certainly more so than 8 we would normally get for any other issue that is 9 becoming before us. 10 1180 So it certainly speaks volumes for 11 the support that the CBC has and the concern that the 12 Canadian public has for what is happening to the CBC. 13 I don't think we have heard anybody who wants to see it 14 disappear. People want to see it become stronger, more 15 relevant, more regionally and provincially relevant to 16 them. 17 1181 So with that, I will close this 18 particular consultation, but the issue is still on the 19 table, as Mr. McGrath noted. The licence renewal 20 applications will become public documents in time and 21 we would look forward to comments from any or all of 22 you on the renewal applications themselves. If you are 23 unable to be at the hearing in Ottawa, we would look 24 forward to your written comments on those issues as 25 well. StenoTran 289 1 1182 So with that, I will thank you all 2 again for attending. I thank the TV crews and the 3 sound crews and the translators and the transcript 4 people for their assistance in our proceeding and will 5 declare this consultation ended. Thank you very much. 6 --- Whereupon the hearing concluded at 2052 / 7 L'audience se termine à 2052 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
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