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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: REGIONAL PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION (CBC) / CONSULTATIONS PUBLIQUES SUR LA SOCIÉTÉ RADIO-CANADA (SRC) HELD AT: TENUE À: Turner Room Salle Turner The Coast Edmonton Hôtel Coast Plaza Hotel Edmonton Plaza 10155 - 105 Street 10155 - 105 Street Edmonton, Alberta Edmonton (Alberta) March 18, 1999 Le 18 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 REGIONAL PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION (CBC) / CONSULTATIONS PUBLIQUES SUR LA SOCIÉTÉ RADIO-CANADA (SRC) BEFORE / DEVANT: Stuart Langford Chairperson / Président ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS: Michael McWhinney Secretary / Sécretaire HELD AT: TENUE À: Turner Room Salle Turner The Coast Edmonton Hôtel Coast Plaza Hotel Edmonton Plaza 10155 - 105 Street 10155 - 105 Street Edmonton, Alberta Edmonton (Alberta) March 18, 1999 Le 18 mars 1999 StenoTran ii TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES PAGE Presentation by / Présentation par: Mr. Garth Pritchard 6 Mr. Dale Phillips 18 Mr. Doug Lord 30 Mr. William McLean 33 Mr. Ed Wolfe 41 Mr. David and Mrs. Margaret Gilchrist 47 Ms Sheryl Ashton 52 Mr. Michael Phair 56 Ms Linnie Chamberlin 67 Ms Lois Hole 76 Mr. Jay Smith 84 Ms Helen Folkmann 91 Mr. Lawrence Crosthwaite 97 Mr. Henry Kuchison 106 Ms Marjorie Bencz 115 Mr. Andrew Raeburn 118 Ms Diane Webster 122 Mr. Tim Willis 127 Mr. Josh Miller 130 Mr. Greg Falkenstein 134 Ms Susan Wilbert 145 Mr. Grahame Blundell 161 StenoTran iii TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES PAGE Presentation by / Présentation par: Mr. Lance Mewller 167 Mr. David Ferrier 173 Mr. Brian Staples 182 Mr. Allen D. Ronaghan 188 Mr. Fred Yackman 193 Ms Penny Coates 205 Mr. Tommy Banks 207 Mr. R.W. Oldham 214 Mr. Paul Burke 219 Mr. Timothy Vaughan-Bettaker 228 Mr. Don Metz 236 Reply by: / Réplique par: Mr. Joe Novak 152 Mr. Joe Novak 244 StenoTran 1 1 Edmonton, Alberta / Edmonton (Alberta) 2 --- Upon commencing on Thursday, March 18, 1999 3 at 1300 / L'audience reprend le jeudi 4 18 mars 1999, à 1300 5 --- Technical difficulties / Problèmes techniques 6 1 THE CHAIRPERSON: ... incorrectly 7 introduced as a lawyer. "Not guilty", he says. He's a 8 mere, simple employee and he's not a lawyer at all. 9 2 We do have a legal beagle though next 10 door and so if there is anybody who has any really 11 tough jurisdictional questions that we can't handle, 12 we'll call Caroline in from next door and she will set 13 us straight. 14 3 Also next door is Cindy Grauer, my 15 colleague at the CRTC. The response has been so 16 overwhelming to these hearings we have just had to 17 split it. We split it into two rooms and we also have 18 conference calls coming in from the Northwest 19 Territories and the Yukon and what will be Nunavet in 20 just a few days. 21 4 So people in Alberta have things to 22 say about the CBC and that's what brings us here. As 23 all of you know, the CBC licences, radio, television, 24 Newsworld and Réseau de l'information, the RDI, the 25 French version of Newsworld, are up for renewal. The StenoTran 2 1 hearings in that process will be public and will begin 2 on May 25th in Hull, right across the river from Ottawa 3 where the hearing rooms for the CRTC are located. 4 5 Anyone who wants to have a voice in 5 that process, as well as this one is invited to write 6 to the CRTC. You can send in the script you are 7 working with today or after you have heard what has 8 gone on here today, you can rework it and send in 9 another proposal, another piece. 10 6 When you do that, you should make 11 sure that you refer to the CBC Renewal Application. 12 And everyone who is registered here today will receive 13 a copy of the public notice which will be going out at 14 the end of this month, officially notifying you that 15 the CBC is up for renewal and explaining the process of 16 how to get more input in if that's what you wish to do. 17 7 The point of these hearings, very 18 simply, is to save Canadians the expense of coming to 19 Hull. Not everybody can get on an airplane. There are 20 91 of you here today who are official intervenors. Not 21 everyone of you wants to -- you know, all of you have 22 things to say about the CBC, but not every one of you 23 has deep enough pockets that you want to get on an 24 airplane and go to Hull to say it. It's a heck of a 25 lot more fiscally responsible for two of us to get on StenoTran 3 1 an airplane and come to you. And essentially, that's 2 why we are here. 3 8 We want your comments. We want to 4 hear your opinion of the CBC. In the announcement you 5 got about these hearings you were given some sample 6 questions. You don't have to stick to those questions. 7 You don't have to stick to those issues. 8 9 I have got a script here in front of 9 me, but I don't think I will follow it. I will simply 10 say that at the table today, we will have people here 11 that love the CBC; I am sure we will have people who 12 don't love the CBC. 13 10 I think that the best way we can run 14 these hearings is to hear everybody politely, to listen 15 to them. We are going to allow everybody 10 minutes to 16 speak. Because there are so many people I am going to 17 limit my questions, not because I don't care about what 18 you are saying, but just for time's sake so that we can 19 fit everyone in. I will limit my questions to points 20 of clarification. 21 11 I will now turn the microphone over 22 to Mr. McWhinney, who will just take you through the 23 nuts and bolts of how to present today and then we will 24 get on the way. 25 12 Thank you very much. StenoTran 4 1 13 MR. McWHINNEY: Good morning. I just 2 wanted to let you know, procedurally, what we plan to 3 do this morning. 4 14 I'm receiving a list of those people 5 who were on the original list and who have actually 6 arrived this morning. And what I plan to do is to 7 indicate the first, sort of, 10 or 15 of those people 8 who will be invited to speak in that order and invite 9 them to the table. I will then go through and invite 10 each person individually when it's their turn to speak. 11 15 And reiterate now that the allotted 12 time was 10 minutes and out of respect for all of those 13 who have come to share their points of view would 14 appreciate it if we could try to stick to that 15 10-minute guideline. 16 16 Also, just a reminder to make sure 17 you turn on the speaker before you make your comments 18 and to make sure that you turn it off afterwards so 19 that we can make sure we get an accurate transcription. 20 17 And also just a reminder in case 21 somehow we have French-speaking presenters here, the 22 way we have organized it is that those who have 23 French-speaking or need translation services to be 24 provided for their presentations are to be in the other 25 room with the other Commissioner. StenoTran 5 1 18 So if, for some reason, someone has 2 ended up in this room who requires translation 3 services, they should make arrangements with Michelle 4 outside to make their presentation in the other room. 5 19 And a final note is just for those 6 who are present and don't wish to make an oral 7 presentation, we would be happy to receive written 8 comments and we have comment sheets here should you 9 wish to fill those out. 10 20 So I will just go through initially 11 those people who have arrived and who are on the list 12 and the order in which I will invite them to speak. 13 And these people, whose names I will read, would be 14 invited to come and please sit at the table in 15 preparation for their opportunity. 16 21 Mr. Garth Pritchard, Mr. Doug Lord, 17 Mr. Ed Wolfe, Mr. David and Mrs. Margaret Gilchrist, 18 Mr. Jay Smith, Ms Helen Folkmann, Mr. Andrew Raeburn, 19 Ms Diane Webster, Ms Brenda Mannasse, Ms Hazel Wilson. 20 And my apologies if I have mispronounced any names. 21 1311 22 22 MR. McWHINNEY: And Stuart, if you 23 are ready, I would invite Mr. Garth Pritchard to please 24 address the Commission. 25 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION StenoTran 6 1 23 MR. PRITCHARD: Can you hear me? 2 24 How are you? Welcome to Alberta. We 3 are glad you are here. 4 25 My background, basically, is all in 5 journalism, the Montreal Gazette, the Toronto Star, the 6 Calgary Herald. Two and a half years in Ottawa and the 7 last five years producing documentaries here in 8 Alberta. 9 26 For the next 10 minutes when I talk 10 about CBC, I'm talking about CBC Television. I believe 11 the CBC Radio do a wonderful job. 12 27 And if I may, I would like to take 13 you back to my journalistic days in Montreal to try and 14 give you some idea of why some people in Western Canada 15 are upset with CBC. 16 28 For years I covered the Separatists 17 in Montreal. In fact, Walter Leger(ph) was blown up 30 18 feet in front of me while trying to dismantle a bomb in 19 Montreal. I took the only pictures of Pierre Laporte's 20 body in the taxi cab on the south shore of Montreal off 21 Armstrong Boulevard. I covered the riots, the 22 Chenier(ph) cells, the Rose cells and the kidnapping of 23 James Cross. 24 29 Try to understand how we feel out 25 here when we watch our national television on a nightly StenoTran 7 1 basis and the Reform Party of Canada is portrayed as 2 red-necked racists and bigots, while the leaders of the 3 Separatist Party are portrayed in beautiful vignettes 4 on my national TV. These vignettes are produced in CBC 5 Montreal. In fact, I'm told from my counterparts in 6 journalism right across the country that there has been 7 a lot of complaining by Canadians about this. 8 30 Not once in my journalistic time am I 9 aware of bombings or killings to produce the Reform 10 Party, which in fact, represents Western Canada west of 11 Ontario. 12 31 How bad is the CBC? In the most 13 important vote in my estimation and in most people's 14 estimation it was the Referendum in Quebec. CBC 15 national news, one week prior to the Referendum finally 16 announces they think it's possible that Quebec is going 17 to leave. Where the hell were they for 30 years? 18 32 Another insight into the distrust of 19 our national broadcast recently happened in the Supreme 20 Court of Canada. A judgment handed down on whether 21 Quebec could unilaterally leave confederation. 22 33 The national anchor in Toronto was 23 talking to another one of the so-called experts in 24 Quebec. The "what ifs" take place and we go through, 25 again, a 15-minute ordeal where experts in Quebec are StenoTran 8 1 allowed to fearmonger and threaten the country through 2 the national news. 3 34 This, in fact, is forced on us twice 4 a night. We get to watch the national news twice, the 5 same thing, every night for two hours. Why? Why is 6 this happening? 7 35 It's happening so that a 8 Vice-President in Toronto can make the statement that 9 CBC is the most watched news program in Canada. They 10 lie. 11 36 In the six o'clock programming here 12 in -- not in Edmonton, excuse me, in Calgary, for 13 instance, and this is six 'clock, the six o'clock news 14 hour show, the figures are CBC 15,000, CTV 180,000, 15 Channel 7 120,000. I believe if I get my story 16 straight from my confreres in Toronto that it's also 17 happening in Toronto. 18 37 As a journalist, I would like to talk 19 to you about how many times CBC gets the story wrong. 20 They never revisit and they never apologize when they 21 have got it wrong. And I will just give you three. 22 38 On the mega side, I give you the 23 Airbus affair. 24 39 On the medium scale side, I give you 25 Backaviche(ph) Hospital in Bosnia where 40 Canadian StenoTran 9 1 soldiers' careers were completely destroyed by a story 2 run basically weekly by the CBC. It took two and a 3 half years to get the truth out with no apologies from 4 CBC. The man who took the brunt of it was a Colonel 5 Moore, who has been destroyed. 6 40 On the smaller scale here in Alberta, 7 I give you the Suffield horses. In one night, the 8 national news and CBC killed 600 -- 600 horses I'm 9 talking about. In fact, there were only two horses 10 killed in the gather of 1,201 horses. Never an 11 apology. They never went back and revisited and they 12 never, ever told Canadians what really happened. And 13 in fact, they have insisted all along that they are 14 always right. 15 41 I would like to talk to you for a 16 second now, if I can, about documentaries. 17 42 This is the one place where CBC's 18 commitment to the regions can be fulfilled and where 19 we, as Albertans, can talk to Quebecers and where 20 Quebecers can talk to Albertans. 21 43 The documentary unit of CBC is, in 22 fact, allowed to use their privileged position to fund 23 their own ideas. They not only use CBC's money, but 24 they are allowed to put together groups, often 25 off-shore money to fund documentaries. Documentaries StenoTran 10 1 they want done. This is an absolute conflict of 2 interest. I would have no problem if the entire 3 funding came from CBC -- the CBC budget, that is. 4 44 But because they control what goes on 5 television, they are able to use their position to put 6 together large sums of money to do documentaries of 7 their choice and their content. And I might also add, 8 because of the licensing system that the CRTC is 9 involved in, they also can control things like the 10 National Film Board out here, because the National Film 11 Board has to get a licence from CBC to put it on 12 television. So they can also control the National Film 13 Board's budget. 14 45 I give you some disasters that have 15 resulted from this policy. I give you "The Valour and 16 The Horror", $1 million in the making, tens of 17 thousands of Canadians voiced their outrage of the 18 misrepresentation of the facts. This also includes, by 19 the way, letters from The Queen Mother. There was a 20 Senate investigation. Nobody was fired. 21 46 "The Kid Who Couldn't Miss", "The 22 Billy Bishop Story", called a travesty by Mr. 23 Peeden(ph), the author of "A Thousand Must Fall". 24 47 "The Dawn of The Eye", another 25 multi-million dollar "cock up", as the British call it. StenoTran 11 1 They were part of the process. 2 48 These same people now have $25 3 million to do the people's history of Canada. And I 4 must -- you must realize that CRTC gave a licence out 5 in Canada for a History Channel. All the money is gone 6 from our national broadcaster's commitment to the CRTC 7 for their regional commitments. For the last three 8 years CBC, and for that matter, Canadian Telefilm, now 9 Canadian Television Fund, has shown up at the Banff 10 Television Festival broke. 11 49 And what I'm talking about here is 12 that out of the then Telefilm Fund, now Canadian 13 Television Fund, you know that CBC gets $100 million. 14 So every year, when we, as producers/directors, can get 15 to talk to the CBC people, the gene pool out of the 16 tower in Toronto, they always tell us they are broke. 17 50 Let me try to explain here. Two 18 years ago I had a licence to do a documentary on the 19 fiftieth anniversary of Search and Rescue in Canada. 20 It was never done. Why? The $250 million that 21 Telefilm Canada had was -- Telefilm Canada had was 22 gone, $100 million of it was given to CBC. They never 23 made any attempt to fulfil their regional obligations. 24 51 And just so I can whine a little 25 here, Search and Rescue, 40,000 Canadians' lives have StenoTran 12 1 been saved by these people. Nobody ever did their 2 story. Try that one on in the States and see how far 3 you go. 4 52 Interestingly, 24 Western producers 5 were told they would not get any help, even though they 6 had licensing for their documentaries. In other words, 7 it seems only the Westerners paid the price in this 8 case. 9 53 During this time period, I was 10 informed by both the CBC and the NFB that I would never 11 do a documentary again for them. I was, in fact, 12 black-listed. As written by Mr. Peter Worthington: 13 "Film-maker cut by bureaucrats", Toronto Sun, Calgary 14 Herald. Mr. Worthington says, and it's not my words, 15 it's his: 16 "CBC and NFB bureaucrats have in 17 fact black-listed Garth 18 Pritchard." (As read) 19 54 So, why did that happen? I conceived 20 and directed a documentary called "Lost Over Burma". 21 This was a story of six Canadians who went down in 1945 22 during the war. The plane was found in the late 1990s 23 and we were to go in and do a documentary. We trained 24 with the 12 Canadian soldiers who were to leave, and 25 the night before we were to leave, the CBC had the StenoTran 13 1 complete mission cancelled. 2 55 In case anybody is saying that didn't 3 happen, I will tell you some of the people who got it 4 right. Peter Worthington; Jim Duff, Montreal; Bob 5 Blaky(ph), Calgary Herald; and Jonathan Manthorp(ph), 6 Southam News. They got it right. CBC did use their 7 power to, in fact, have the mission to collect the 8 bodies of six Canadians cancelled. 9 56 Of course, as usual, the CBC deny it. 10 No stories were shown on CBC of the outrage of the 11 Canadian ambassador in Thailand: 12 "If we don't go now ..." 13 57 And I'm quoting him: 14 "... we will never get the 15 downed Canadian airmen out." 16 (As read) 17 58 The Prime Minister, because of the 18 written media -- thank God for our written media -- and 19 the average Canadians phoning and faxing in their 20 outrage, the Prime Minister himself turned the mission 21 back on. 22 59 Because I did not leave when I was 23 told to by the National Film Board, I have been 24 black-listed. Both of them have made it very clear to 25 me that I will never work for the NFB, I will never do StenoTran 14 1 a documentary for them, and sure as hell, I will never 2 do a documentary to be shown on CBC. 3 60 Their arrogance didn't just stop 4 there. To make sure they really -- CBC make sure they 5 don't quit because of the very small genetic pool in 6 their ivory tower, six days before Remembrance Day, I 7 was informed that the CBC was planning to broadcast 8 "Lost Over Burma". Imagine my surprise. Because they 9 had told the NFB and myself, and I'm quoting the 10 documentary on it: 11 "This is a documentary on how 12 not to make a documentary and 13 nobody cares." (As read) 14 61 In fact, it received rave reviews and 15 has won two awards. 16 62 Hopefully this will give you some 17 idea of how the CBC in the ivory tower control the 18 industry. More and more Canadians are watching less 19 and less television produced by Canadians in Canada. A 20 very small group of idea bankrupt people are running 21 the programming for CBC from their ivory tower. 22 63 One of the things that Canadians 23 can't understand and what I'm hearing right across the 24 country is the case of Mr. Perrin Beatty. Depending on 25 where you read, you find out the man was either pushed StenoTran 15 1 out, he's quitting, he's retiring, whatever is 2 happening. 3 64 The thing that we don't understand as 4 Canadians is this: Is how is it possible that this man 5 has been given a six-month extension to go before the 6 CRTC to give his wish list of what the CBC is going to 7 do in the next millennium? 8 65 I give you the planet Earth to pick 9 from. Who would you give the outgoing President, with 10 all the controversy surrounding the man's departure, 11 the right to tell them, the future people coming in, 12 the next President, the next management team, where the 13 hell CBC was going? Canadians don't understand that 14 one. 15 66 Anyway, none of this is conductive to 16 the viewer's trust. We have got an $800 million 17 boondoggle, plus another $100 million given to them 18 under the table every year through Telefilm Canada. 19 Zero regional representation and complete control from 20 Toronto and Montreal. 21 67 I learned one thing as a young 22 journalist from Mr. Harry Larkin(ph), they did two 23 movies on his life, it's called "The Luck of Ginger 24 Coffee" and "Don't Rock The Boat". He told me, "If you 25 get your facts straight, we'll never need a lawyer". StenoTran 16 1 68 During recent award ceremonies, I 2 listened to senior producers from CBC thanking their 3 lawyers before they thanked their mother, their dog 4 Blue, and their wife. I believe this shows the depth 5 to which Canadian television has degenerated -- 6 69 MR. McWHINNEY: Mr. Pritchard -- 7 70 MR. PRITCHARD: -- thanks to the CBC 8 influence. 9 71 And I thank you very much. 10 72 MR. McWHINNEY: Thank you. 11 73 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 12 much, Mr. Pritchard. I said I would only ask questions 13 to clear something up. You have certainly opened the 14 door. I'm sure that almost everybody in this room 15 would like to ask you questions, we just can't do it. 16 But I have one question for you. 17 74 You were talking about "Lost Over 18 Burma" and I was lost here in Edmonton on that. Did 19 you make the documentary in the end? 20 75 MR. PRITCHARD: I conceived the 21 documentary and directed it, yes. And I was the one, 22 along with the cameraperson, Darren Donahue(ph), who 23 trained with the Canadian military to go into the 24 jungles of Burma on the recovery mission. The night 25 prior to us departing from Ottawa, CBC had the complete StenoTran 17 1 mission cancelled. 2 76 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So then how 3 did you make it? Sorry, how did you then get to make 4 it? 5 77 MR. PRITCHARD: What happened was I 6 stayed and decided -- I was ordered back to Calgary by 7 National Film Board and we were able, because of my 27 8 years in journalism, we talked to every journalist I 9 knew, and of course, the written media understood that 10 this just was not going to happen. And the Prime 11 Minister turned the mission back on and we were able to 12 go with the Canadian military into the jungles, recover 13 the bodies of the Canadians and bury them in 14 Yangyon(ph). 15 78 THE CHAIRPERSON: And who funded it, 16 if I may ask? 17 79 MR. PRITCHARD: NFB. 18 80 THE CHAIRPERSON: So when it got 19 turned on, it got turned on on the original plan, then? 20 I'm not trying to back you -- 21 81 MR. PRITCHARD: Yes, yes. 22 82 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- into a corner, I 23 just want to make sure -- 24 83 MR. PRITCHARD: No, no, no. 25 84 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- I understand -- StenoTran 18 1 85 MR. PRITCHARD: Absolutely. No, 2 that's exactly right, yes. 3 86 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- what happened. 4 87 MR. PRITCHARD: It was cancelled for 5 two days until Canadians across the board wrote, faxed 6 and screamed to the highest order that this just 7 couldn't happen. 8 88 THE CHAIRPERSON: I got the 9 complaints, I just wasn't sure what happened 10 afterwards, how you got in to do it. So thank you very 11 much for that. 12 1325 13 89 MR. McWHINNEY: Thank you, Mr. 14 Pritchard. 15 90 I would now like to invite Mr. Dale 16 Phillips to please speak. 17 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 18 91 MR. PHILLIPS: Thank you CRTC for the 19 mission west, we appreciate it. You will see us again, 20 no doubt in Hull, but we wanted to make the pitch here 21 and we will continue to work on this pitch over the 22 course of the next couple of months. 23 92 For 25 years, the Alberta Motion 24 Picture Industries Association has represented 25 independent producers and members involved in all StenoTran 19 1 aspects of the film and television industry in Alberta. 2 93 Our mandate is ensure to the growth 3 and development of the domestic industry here and 4 central to this mandate is maintaining an environment 5 in which Alberta producers can initiate, develop and 6 produce films and programs over which they have some 7 creative and financial control. 8 94 In light of this mandate, we would 9 like to address our comments primarily to the following 10 question: How well does the CBC serve the public on a 11 regional, as well as a national level? 12 95 Our comments relate to independent 13 television production and they address the CBC's 14 mandate found in paragraph 1, section 3, item 2 of the 15 Broadcasting Act, which states that: 16 "CBC programming should reflect 17 Canada and its regions to a 18 national and regional audiences 19 while serving the special needs 20 of these regions." (As read) 21 96 It is our opinion that for this 22 mandate to be realized, it is critical that the CBC be 23 strong in all regions of the country and that it 24 develop licence and invest in Canadian programming 25 produced or co-produced by independent producers based StenoTran 20 1 in the regions who own or co-own those programs. 2 97 The region where we see ourselves 3 situated encompasses the three Prairie provinces and 4 our primary focus is on Alberta independent production. 5 98 A year ago, in response to membership 6 concerns about the trend toward larger -- sorry, toward 7 longer broadcast licence terms issued by the CRTC and 8 the absence, if you will, of CRTC annual review of 9 broadcaster Promises of Performance regarding 10 independent production, AMPIA commissioned Project 11 Management and Research, Diane Janzen to undertake a 12 study, which we call "Broadcaster Report Carding". 13 99 I have left two documents with your 14 registration desk out front, together with a copy of 15 this pitch document. One document covers the Promises 16 of Performance for all broadcasters in Alberta, 17 Promises of Performance put before the CRTC and have 18 become part of the record. 19 100 The second is our work on report 20 carding against those Promises of Performance. And the 21 documents that I have placed before you today are the 22 Promises of Performance for all Alberta broadcasters, 23 plus how we think the CBC is doing in that context. 24 101 The document is now utilized by AMPIA 25 as a benchmark for the purpose of comparison to the StenoTran 21 1 actual expenditures incurred by broadcasters. So we 2 have tried to quantify what the commitments were at the 3 licensing level and then go back to performance and 4 just see how they match up. This is going to be an 5 ongoing part of our program and our mandate. 6 102 In the spirit of collegial 7 disclosure, AMPIA sent a draft copy of part two of this 8 study, which is called "Report to Number Two, the 9 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CRTC Promises of 10 Performance and Broadcaster Report Card" to Mr. Joe 11 Novak, CBC Regional Director, for his input. AMPIA 12 felt that it was important that the CBC have the 13 opportunity to provide its feedback so the final 14 version would be as accurate as possible. 15 103 We took in Mr. Novak's comments on 16 March 1st which were reviewed by Project Management and 17 Research and the information was integrated, as best we 18 could, into the final version of part two of the study. 19 104 To briefly review the findings of 20 both part one and part two, we would like to draw your 21 attention to the following points. 22 105 In the not too distant past, support 23 by the CBC for Alberta independent production has been 24 relatively strong. However, since 1995/96, it has 25 declined by 57 per cent. Because Canada Television StenoTran 22 1 Fund, EIP and LFP dollars are triggered by broadcast 2 licences, this decline has contributed to an overall 3 situation where in fiscal 97/98, Alberta producers 4 obtained about $4 million of the $95.5 million of 5 production funding available through the CPF 6 English-language envelope. Based on our population, we 7 should have obtained about $11.8 million. 8 106 The licences for CBC in both Calgary 9 and Edmonton lack any quantifiable commitment to the 10 Alberta independent production industry. With no 11 identification, the budgets or the establishment of 12 funds to assist in the development of the industry and 13 no commitments to purchase programming from the 14 independent production sector in Alberta, not only is 15 that inequitable with regard to private Alberta 16 broadcasters, all of whom have made such commitments 17 and some of whom are also affiliated with a network, 18 CTV for example. But the result is that there is also 19 little impetus for the CBC network to direct 20 expenditures to independent producers in this part of 21 the world. 22 107 In our opinion, this negatively 23 impacts the CBC mandate of reflecting the region to 24 ourselves and to other parts of Canada. 25 108 A recent program schedule review StenoTran 23 1 reveals the overall lack of commitment to Alberta 2 regional programming, a lack of commitment to 3 independently produced regional programming and an 4 overall lack of support for production outside of local 5 crew use. 6 109 Looking at a typical 1999 weekly CBC 7 Edmonton schedule, which consists of 132.5 hours, you 8 will find the following: 106 hours of CBC network 9 programming or 80 per cent of the schedule; 8 hours of 10 regular regional programming, all in the news category 11 and representing 6 per cent of the schedule; 18.5 hours 12 of foreign programming or 14.5 per cent of the 13 schedule. 14 110 No hours of regular regional 15 programming in the unrepresented categories of drama, 16 music variety, documentary and children's programming. 17 No hours of regular programming either produced or 18 co-produced by the Alberta independent production 19 sector. 20 111 In fact, if you are a CBC Alberta 21 viewer, you don't have the opportunity to watch any 22 regularly scheduled Alberta produced drama, children's, 23 documentary, music variety programming, but you can 24 watch six hours a week or 312 hours a year of 25 "Coronation Street" and "The Simpsons". StenoTran 24 1 112 It should be mentioned that we share 2 these concerns about CBC original programming with 3 others such as the Mandate Review Committee, 4 commissioned by the Federal Minister of Canadian 5 Heritage in '96 and chaired by Pierre Juneau. 6 113 While the CBC has been highly 7 successful in the Canadianization of its schedule, for 8 Albertans these increases have not yet seen more 9 Alberta programming, more Alberta stories told or more 10 access by the Alberta public to regional programming in 11 anything but news. 12 114 And finally, certain national licence 13 requirements, such as quotas for the purchase of 14 television programming from the independent production 15 sector, 40 to 50 per cent, are not carried through at 16 the local level. 17 115 The CBC and its Broadcast Act driven 18 mandate has been affected by budgetary cuts, however it 19 has been the CBC's own internal policy that has guided 20 where they channel their remaining resources, and the 21 result of this policy has been less shelf space, less 22 investment and less CBC triggered independent 23 production in this province. 24 116 On numerous occasions independent 25 producers based in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan StenoTran 25 1 have been told by CBC executives that the network would 2 warm to our projects if the financing structures did 3 not require the CBC to access its Telefilm or CTF 4 envelopes. By inference, this suggests that a policy 5 decision has been made that those envelopes have been 6 reserved by the CBC for their in-house productions or 7 for non-regional independent producers. This is 8 inequitable to say the least, as it means that a huge 9 chunk of the CTF, EIP and LFP financing are unavailable 10 to us. 11 117 AMPIA supports the CBC as a strong 12 national public broadcaster, but one that is rooted in 13 the regions. We believe that in order for the CBC to 14 meet its mandate both nationally and in Alberta it must 15 commit itself philosophically and financially to strong 16 regional production operations and more specifically to 17 a revitalized relationship with the Alberta independent 18 production community. 19 118 The recent appointment of a new CBC 20 Alberta Regional Director has created an expectation 21 that the CBC will show with words and deeds that they 22 are serious about commissioning more programming from 23 Alberta independent producers and will reserve the 24 shelf space both regionally and nationally to air these 25 shows. StenoTran 26 1 119 There is another issue that we deem 2 important and it relates to ownership. In order to 3 foster and maintain the growth of the Alberta 4 independent production sector, Alberta producers need 5 to own and control the rights to their programs. This 6 is difficult if we are required to partner with larger 7 non-regional production companies in order to give the 8 CBC network the comfort it requires to grant a licence. 9 120 Independent producers in Alberta now 10 have a proven track record in producing high end 11 dramatic series and documentaries and it is simply 12 unfair that we be asked to share ownership because of 13 an outdated and fallacious perception of capability. 14 121 Looking ahead we would like the CRTC 15 to consider the following recommendations: 16 122 That the CRTC, through its licence 17 approval process, support the CBC's continued 18 Canadianization of its schedule; 19 123 That the CRTC, through its approval 20 process of both the national licence and the Alberta 21 station licences, make a commitment to the importance 22 of regional programming by requiring that CBC Alberta 23 operations designate five hours over and above its 24 current licence requirements for local news programming 25 of scheduled time per week, with a set percentage of StenoTran 27 1 prime time and a set percentage in other time slots, to 2 be filled with programming in the unrepresented 3 categories of drama, children's, documentaries and 4 music variety that is originated and produced or 5 co-produced by Alberta independent producers; 6 124 That the CRTC require the CBC on a 7 national and/or regional licence level to commit to the 8 development and airing of Alberta independent 9 productions by establishing a production fund of at 10 least $2 million annually to support script and concept 11 development licences and airing of Alberta independent 12 productions. It is also recommended that this fund be 13 administered and decisions made at the local Alberta 14 level. 15 125 On that point, in terms of precedent 16 it should noted that A Channel, who have also two 17 Alberta licences in Edmonton and Calgary, have 18 committed $2 million per year from the A Channel drama 19 fund, CFRN in Edmonton has a commitment of $1 million 20 per year through the CFRN TV Fund, CFCN in Calgary has 21 a commitment of $1.5 million per year through the CFCN 22 Production Fund. In the latter two examples, both CFRN 23 and CFCN are CTV network owned stations, yet their 24 independent production expenditure commitments are over 25 and above the network commitments. StenoTran 28 1 126 And finally, we recommend the CRTC 2 require that the CBC network purchase at least 50 per 3 cent of its programming from Canadian independent 4 producers, up from the current licence requirement of 5 zero per cent. 6 127 All this adds up to what we believe 7 that the Alberta public and Alberta producers merit and 8 are entitled to, a proportionate and fair share of CBC 9 funding, which as a concept, certainly does not seem 10 unreasonable. 11 128 Thank you for the opportunity to 12 present here today. 13 129 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, sir. 14 You have covered an incredible amount of product in a 15 short time. I guess that's why you are a producer. 16 130 I have a question. Sorry, again, I 17 didn't get one point and I want to make sure I have it. 18 It will all be in the transcript and I thank you for 19 making your notes. 20 131 But you did an average week, sort of 21 a week in the life of the CBC, with 132.5 hours, 80 per 22 cent of it to this, 14 per cent to foreign, et cetera. 23 None, as I understood it, for regionally produced, 24 independently produced programming and yet, I thought I 25 heard you say earlier that they had spent $4 million. StenoTran 29 1 So I just wonder where the money went. Did I get it 2 wrong? 3 132 MS JANZEN: Just a clarification on 4 that. The review of the schedule is a current 5 schedule. So, for example, if you looked four years 6 back, "North of 60", for example, a series, was running 7 on CBC. But at the current time there is no regular 8 programming outside of the news in Alberta on CBC 9 Edmonton. 10 133 THE CHAIRPERSON: So the $4 million 11 was spent in 95/96 -- 12 134 MS JANZEN: That's right. 13 135 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- but the 14 132.5-hour reference is to '99, is that it? 15 136 MS JANZEN: That's right. That was a 16 schedule I believe of January the 31st to February the 17 5th. So it was sort of a picture in time of the CBC 18 current schedule. 19 137 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. And 20 could we have your name for the transcript, please? 21 138 MS JANZEN: Diane Janzen. 22 139 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Diane. 23 Your 15 seconds of fame. 24 --- Laughter / Rires 25 140 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary? StenoTran 30 1 1336 2 141 MR. McWHINNEY: Can I now invite Mr. 3 Doug Lord to make his presentation, please. 4 142 UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Who did you 5 call? 6 143 MR. McWHINNEY: Mr. Doug Lord. 7 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 8 144 MR. LORD: Thank you for allowing me 9 to come and speak to you today. 10 145 I have come to speak today to help 11 ensure that there will be a strong CBC, particularly 12 CBC Radio, into the 21st century and beyond. We cannot 13 afford to lose the CBC. 14 146 I know that well financed lobby 15 groups wish it to be otherwise. I know that the 16 advertising industry would love to target CBC listeners 17 and that private broadcasters are campaigning to reduce 18 resources to the CBC. I know support for the CBC 19 appears to be lukewarm in our capital and that some 20 political parties are pushing for privatization of the 21 CBC. 22 147 We pay less than half per capita than 23 many other industrialized countries in the world. A 24 strict market economy creates a society of winners and 25 losers. And we, the listeners, will be the losers. StenoTran 31 1 148 Instead, build program quality and 2 the listeners will come and with them, the money. We 3 need strong leadership free from political 4 interference, whether it is on the Board of Governors 5 or from whatever source. Keep the arms' length 6 relationship between government and the CBC strong. 7 Keep the CBC diverse, rather than concentrated as 8 newspapers have become. 9 149 Choke off attempts by the government 10 to destroy the arms' length relationship between 11 government and the CBC so government cannot gain more 12 control over the CBC. Choke off attempts by private 13 broadcasters to undermine the CBC. Choke off attempts 14 to have advertising on CBC Radio. 15 150 Advertising, for me, already has 16 destroyed CBC Television and there is no PBS as an 17 alternative for CBC Radio. I pay taxes, too, and wish 18 some of the money to go to support the CBC. I am also 19 prepared to make additional donations to help keep CBC 20 Radio healthy, as I do for PBS with no tax receipts. 21 151 Kill the CBC and you kill Canada. Is 22 that what some powerful interests in government and 23 outside government want? Are they anxious to become 24 the 50-some State of the USA? 25 152 Why do I feel this way? It is StenoTran 32 1 because I am a proud Canadian. I do not wish to be 2 swamped by American culture. Their way is not our way, 3 even though, as individuals they are wonderful people. 4 153 I love listening to CBC Radio 5 programs which I can hear nowhere else. CBC "Morning 6 Show", "As It Happens", "Arthur Black", "Perks and 7 Quirks", "Cross Country Checkup", "Ideas" and many 8 more. 9 154 To paraphrase PBS, "If CBC Radio 10 doesn't do it, who will?" 11 155 In conclusion, I urge the Commission 12 not only to renew CBC licences, but also suggest that 13 CBC should be strengthened, not weakened any further. 14 It is a unifying force. 15 156 Thank you. 16 --- Applause / Applaudissements 17 157 MR. LORD: Thank you. I didn't 18 expect that after listening to some of the other people 19 here, I thought I had a very weak presentation. 20 158 Thank you. 21 159 THE CHAIRPERSON: It was a winner, it 22 was clear. I have no questions and we don't allow 23 anyone in with tomatoes, so you are safe here. Say 24 what you like. 25 160 Thank you, Mr. Lord. StenoTran 33 1 161 Mr. Secretary? 2 1341 3 162 MR. McWHINNEY: I now invite Mr. 4 William McLean to make his presentation, please. 5 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 6 163 MR. McLEAN: Thank you for the 7 opportunity to speak here. 8 164 As an old sailor, there's not too 9 many of us around yet, but I have been with the CBC 10 closely and I appreciate it very much. And I see 11 different examples where we don't have an organization 12 with social conscience as the CBC has. 13 165 If I could change it and have my 14 dream a little bit, my dream would be instead of CBC, 15 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, it would be 16 "Canadian Beautiful Conscience". The CBC is the 17 conscience of Canada and I don't like to even attach 18 the word "corporation" to it when I see what the 19 different -- the track record of some of the 20 corporations. 21 166 For example, my beloved Cuba, 22 Dupont(ph) down there, excuse me, them and their rich 23 friends tried to turn Cuba into the whorehouse of 24 America, that's the name -- 25 167 Now their nose is out of joint StenoTran 34 1 because Castro has had some social conscience and has 2 straightened some things out and then they have the 3 nerve to call him a communist. They are not 4 communists, they are socialists. They had to deal with 5 Russia, that's the only one that would have anything to 6 do with them, because at that time, the Reagan cold war 7 was on the "evil empire", building dew lines up in 8 Canada here that still haven't been cleaned up. They 9 are dumping in the water and polluting the area up 10 there, our beautiful northland. 11 168 That's the kind of stuff that really 12 bothers me. 13 169 I say that meetings are very 14 important. Meetings like this where there is meetings 15 of minds have brought out some wonderful things. 16 170 Back in the days of Tommy Douglas, 17 that my dad supported completely, it was from meetings 18 and people with a social conscience that were able to 19 go ahead and create a beautiful Medicare that a lot of 20 people are trying to spoil and get in on the 21 corporations again with their greed for money. It's so 22 refreshing to see an organization that the bottom line 23 isn't dollars, that sense is a lot more value to them. 24 171 When I see the different examples of 25 how people get carried along, I hear people talking, I StenoTran 35 1 did hear a lot of negative things about the CBC, and 2 anyone, a recent tuner into the CBC Radio would find 3 that, yes, it's very discouraging. I hate repeats. 4 Christmas concerts, if you are going to repeat the same 5 stuff, it's no good. 6 172 Why do they repeat? Because they are 7 being cut back all the time. They have been cut back 8 so severely and perhaps there is a personal amenity 9 between Jean Chretien and the CBC. For example, just 10 talking about conscience, I think in all of us there is 11 a small boy that wants to come out, that's our voice of 12 conscience. And it's wrestling with the monster in us. 13 173 And as the people get power, because 14 power corrupts -- I can see the power corrupting Mr. 15 Chretien when it came time to visit -- to go to the 16 funeral of Mr. Hussein, a wonderful statesman that had 17 the kind of leadership that we are so needful of, he 18 was too busy skiing. He could have made that. 19 174 Also, when APEC was having a meeting, 20 what does he do? Uses pepper spray. Those people were 21 trying to solve some big problems. 22 175 And meetings are very important in 23 our Canada here. Some people that cared developed a 24 wheat pool. At that time, before the wheat pools got 25 going, big business corporations had a line elevator StenoTran 36 1 system, we had to call -- as opposition called it, the 2 "lion elevator system", because they were stealing 3 grain on the scale right and left. This is history. 4 176 And if we don't read history and 5 observe, it keeps repeating itself. The wheat pool, 6 with their grassroots cooperation of farmers then 7 developed a Wheat Board. And the Wheat Board was 8 orderly marketing, so people could market their stuff 9 so it wouldn't be a boom and bust. 10 177 This recent pork fiasco that was so 11 hard on the people. With a bit of planning that 12 wouldn't happen. But some big operators got in there 13 and produced, say, 100,000 hogs and upset the whole 14 family farm system. 15 178 I have a farm background and if 16 farming talk bothers you people, I would like to 17 suggest to you that when you spend $1 for food, in this 18 country about 20 cents goes to the farmer and in 19 Europe, or Britain, 50 cents goes. So they are doing 20 one hell of a job of providing us with good food at a 21 very reasonable price. It's the grassroots of our 22 country. 23 179 And when I hear people like Peter 24 Gzowski, a good man, good Canadian, the conscience of 25 Canada, when he gets to the stage where we get a CBC StenoTran 37 1 President in there that -- excuse me, ladies -- Beatty, 2 you know what he called him, and I got to believe Mr. 3 Gzowski, because there's a lot of greedy people for 4 that bloody dollar and I think conscience is worth a 5 lot more than that dollar and we have it with the CBC. 6 180 They air some tremendous programs 7 that are -- could be argumentative and they are not 8 afraid to do it and I appreciate that. 9 181 A tremendous program they had was 10 about MADD, that's Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. And 11 the lady made a very good presentation. But before 12 her, a lady made a presentation and made everything 13 sound so wonderful. Who we checked out, she's a liar 14 and she's speaking for -- you know, they protect their 15 own lineage. 16 182 So then the lady that was in charge 17 of Mothers Against Drunk Driving -- and we should do 18 something about it. Have meetings to do more about it, 19 because the guy, if he's a big shot, he can get away 20 with it and deprive a family of a father. 21 183 Now, we have a lot of good movements 22 like that were developed from meetings like this, which 23 I wish was bigger than what it is. Different people 24 come at different times, I understand that. 25 184 So, as we try to make this Canada StenoTran 38 1 better, we have to have a neutral voice that just isn't 2 after money or trying to cater to somebody. And the 3 CBC can fill that role quite nicely if they aren't cut 4 back on all their fundings. 5 185 Apparently when Mr. Chretien was 6 questioned about not attending King Hussein's funeral, 7 he said, "Well, I made a deal with him", he says, "I 8 think I handled it pretty well". He said, "I didn't go 9 to his funeral, he didn't have to come to mine". 10 186 You know, maybe that's -- I think 11 that's quite cruel. I think that's quite cruel and I 12 don't want to get personal, but when we have good 13 leaders like that with good ideas that aren't 14 supported, it's pretty bad. 15 187 Left in the hands of private industry 16 and corporations with no control that have a conscience 17 for Canada, I am concerned about it. 18 188 I also hear quite a bit about 19 American programming. I also see on the news all the 20 terrible trouble that our kids are getting into. I 21 look at the American shows that they have. "True 22 Lies", what an oxymoron. That's one of their famous 23 shows. "True Crime". 24 189 And turn on the American shows and 25 look at all the violence going on. No wonder young StenoTran 39 1 kids are driving like they are immortal. They think 2 they are worth it. You know, they are told in school 3 that they are worth it and Trudeau, while on that 4 freedom of rights -- we just got one "R" there and we 5 don't have the three "R's" in school any more, but I 6 wish we had that second "R", responsibility. Rights 7 and responsibility. I wish that would go together. 8 And with a strong voice like the CBC, we could 9 emphasize responsibility and help the situation a lot 10 by an organization that cares about Canada, rather than 11 just the mighty dollar. 12 190 I probably used up most of my time, I 13 have to say something about the CRTC. 14 191 I hope they can do a good job. But I 15 hope they can learn something from when a senior 16 citizen phones in to get some information, I think they 17 should be cognizant of the time zones and not call them 18 a little after 7:00 in the morning one day and a little 19 after 8:00 the next day. I don't think -- you know, 20 there are time zones and people should be cognizant of 21 that. And have enough grace -- we have enough friction 22 between eastern and western Canada without that. 23 192 So I am hoping there will be a lot 24 more meetings about things that concern us Canadians 25 and keep our spokesmen for the CBC going really well. StenoTran 40 1 193 My parting thought would be this: 2 Hopefully we can get this business with Quebec smoothed 3 out. But one of the problems I mentioned to you, maybe 4 you didn't hear about it, but I heard about this on the 5 CBC and on different fearless publications, 80 per cent 6 of the people in Quebec smoke. And they think they are 7 being patriotic, because the head offices of the big 8 Reynolds and all the outfits are in Quebec, so they 9 think they are supporting a home industry. 10 194 We know the spurious systems are 11 getting our young people to smoke and the number of 12 young ladies smoking is deplorable. They have 13 subliminal messages for those kids and they are going 14 after it. And we need meetings about that, we need to 15 do things about that. We need to talk about that. 16 195 But it's easier to talk about glory, 17 you know, big holidays, big deals. But deals for 18 people, social, is what I think we should do and I 19 think that the CBC will help us achieve that. 20 196 Thank you. 21 197 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 22 much, Mr. McLean. 23 198 I'm sorry about the early morning 24 call. We are a little bit the victims of our own 25 popularity here. I know excuses are cold comfort, but StenoTran 41 1 we had just such a mass of people that we had to keep 2 trying to change it and we went from one room over a 3 day and a half to two rooms. So I apologize if the 4 call was at an insensitive time. We will try to 5 improve on our performance. 6 199 But thank you very much for your 7 intervention here today. 8 200 MR. McLEAN: Thank you. 9 1352 10 201 MR. McWHINNEY: Can I now call on Mr. 11 Ed Wolfe to present, please. 12 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 13 202 MR. WOLFE: Thank you. I appreciate 14 the opportunity to appear on behalf of the Alberta 15 Ratepayers Association. 16 203 Like myself, most of our membership 17 is small businesspeople and we are very concerned about 18 the financial elites and the U.S. multi-national 19 corporations trying to end the CBC and its public 20 interest role. 21 204 The experience of having lived and 22 worked in the U.S. gives me to realize Canada has one 23 overwhelming enemy, U.S. power economically, culturally 24 and militarily aims for control and domination of 25 Canada, which it has largely achieved already. This StenoTran 42 1 program is aided and abetted by the ruling political 2 class in league with U.S. business centres and 3 multi-national corporations who forced F-Trade on 4 citizens who voted against it. 5 205 I'm speaking to my brief and to a 6 paper we have called "The War Against the CBC", which I 7 will submit. 8 206 Some ask: CBC, large or good? The 9 answer is both and it should be very well funded. I 10 have heard some of the arguments on the radio about the 11 support people give to CBC and we certainly tend to 12 endorse that. I suppose there is over-exposure of 13 sports and things like the Olympics, but in general our 14 membership is enthusiastic about the CBC. 15 207 We won't defeat the U.S. grab of 16 Canada by our $12 billion expenditures of arms. CBC is 17 threatened by the revolt of the elites and betrayal of 18 democracy as documented in the new book by Christopher 19 Lash(ph). We enclose a study by business writer Alex 20 Rankin, which traces the historic and continued 21 harassment and fund shorting of CBC by political 22 figures. 23 208 The Red Book promises have proven 24 false. Private stations enjoy subsidies, no payment 25 for the public bandwidth, dial space or any significant StenoTran 43 1 rent or any transfer fees for the billions paid in 2 transferring stations back and forth. 3 209 Hostile political appointees as CBC 4 officers, directors denote conflict of interest. The 5 ethereal radio waves belong to the people, not 6 corporations who paid nothing and would end CBC use of 7 our common ether. 8 210 Canada's corporation taxes are the 9 lowest in the industrial world. Corporate tax freedom 10 day is early in January. Citizen tax freedom day is 11 around July 15th. Canada's tax expenditures are the 12 world's highest, $34 billion a year. That is tax 13 forgiveness to corporation largely. U.S. tax 14 expenditures are $125 billion. So Canada spends on tax 15 forgiveness much higher than the U.S. does. 16 211 Alberta is proportionately worse. 17 Canada's loans and subsidies to business have a 18 repayment rate of only 2 per cent. 19 212 Canada spends $13 billion a year on 20 arms. I read they were spending $184 on a combat bra, 21 I think it was probably a lot less than that. But they 22 do spend $16 billion a year on RSPs, 65 per cent of 23 Canadians are unable to access the tax relief of RRSPs. 24 213 Atomic Energy has enjoyed $15.8 25 billion in subsidies. Their 1997 subsidy was $197 StenoTran 44 1 million. They have $2.5 billion planned for Turkey, 2 which includes bribes which have been documented to 3 place a faulty nuclear reactor in a dictatorship. 4 214 Hibernia Oil Platform, $1 billion in 5 subsidies, some went to U.S. embassies and $1.6 billion 6 in loan guarantees. 7 215 There is lots of money around in the 8 Canadian system to give good support to the CBC. Paul 9 Demarais subsidized obscene power corporations $1 10 billion with PMO connections. He has complaints about 11 the CBC. 12 216 Conrad Black controls 65 per cent of 13 the print media and I feel that it makes the CBC that 14 much more important to counter the monopoly of the 15 print media. 16 217 The President of BCNI, the Business 17 Council on National Interests, Tom Tokino(ph) boasts of 18 controlling Canada's politicians, policies, agenda and 19 of manipulating F-Trade onto Canada against the votes 20 of Canadians. His wealthy backers, mostly U.S. 21 controlled, have assets of $1.9 trillion, annual income 22 of $500 billion and controlling majority interests of 23 most so-called Canadian business. 24 218 The enclosed Allan Fotheringham 25 article on Peter Newman's book, "Titan", wherein Tokino StenoTran 45 1 blabbed and boasted about the interview on owning 2 Canada's politicians. 3 219 CBC should not give any CRTC 4 oversight of its licence or programming while Jerry 5 Springer continues to foul the public airwaves. I 6 can't understand how that can go on, its such a sewer 7 program. 8 220 Suddenly the critics were being taken 9 more seriously. It was no longer a big stretch of 10 imagination that CBC executives were facing pressure 11 from an angry government. The nearly $1 billion a year 12 subsidy for the CBC works out to less than a dime a day 13 for each Canadian. 14 221 Remarks were made that this is Reform 15 country. And I think one party got 2 million votes and 16 only two seats. There's an awful lot of people in 17 Alberta who have no regard for the rather bigoted 18 practices of the Reform Party, which is much supported 19 by the Southam papers now. And I find those papers to 20 be partizan and narrow and we benefit from CBC exposure 21 of the issues. 22 222 I know some of the Reform members and 23 I find them very bigoted. And I do compliment the CBC 24 on giving the native aboriginal program on TV. I find 25 many good programs about natives are on CBC Radio that StenoTran 46 1 balance some of the discrimination they endure and for 2 over 30 years. 3 223 I have appeared for a number of 4 regulators, mostly captive, like the NEB and AUB. We 5 have never achieved any public interest results in 6 appearing before regulators. 7 224 And I do feel that it's important to 8 continue to fund the CBC and look at some of these 9 other agencies like, what is it, Channel A, the Fox TV 10 station. They are bringing in TV sewage. And I'm not 11 a particularly religious person, I don't approach that 12 from a religious perspective, I just think it's 13 despicable to allow that material to go on the air and 14 there must be better things that the regulator could do 15 with that time. 16 225 I will bring my enclosures about the 17 war against the CBC and my documentation of these 18 expenditures that government make, which I feel are so 19 generous to business that there is lots of room for 20 funding for the CBC for the public interest. 21 226 Thank you. 22 --- Applause / Applaudissements 23 227 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 24 much, Mr. Wolfe. 25 228 And I must say, I want to thank all StenoTran 47 1 of you so far, you are really keeping to time and I 2 know it is a struggle. Every one of you has things to 3 say, you have prepared these briefs and I know that we 4 are forcing you to cherry-pick a little and not give 5 the brief as fully as you want, but I really appreciate 6 the effort you are making. You are sticking to time 7 and everybody is going to at least get 10 minutes today 8 and that's wonderful. So thank you very much. 9 229 Michael? 10 1400 11 230 MR. McWHINNEY: Thank you. Can I now 12 invite Mr. David and Mrs. Margaret Gilchrist to speak. 13 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 14 231 MR. GILCHRIST: Before we begin, I 15 just might say I find it amusing that the whiter the 16 hair, the more we are behind CBC. 17 232 In travelling around Canada, and 18 indeed in other parts of the world, we have realized 19 the tremendous importance of the CBC, and the high 20 regard in which it is held. 21 233 Margaret was raised in England, 22 travelled through most of Europe and studied in France, 23 was 13 years in Zambia, and lived both in eastern and 24 western Canada. 25 234 MS GILCHRIST: So I was brought up StenoTran 48 1 with public radio from being the smallest child up to 2 what I am now. 3 235 So what does the CBC mean to me? 4 During the 30 years I have lived in Canada, I have 5 learned more, I think, from CBC programming on both TV 6 and radio than from any other source. 7 236 The morning shows on radio, in 8 whatever part of the country you are, bring together 9 people from all over, either in person or through the 10 phone or by mail, electronic or otherwise, and they 11 have taught me about different areas of the country, 12 long before I travelled across its breadth. 13 237 It is a forum where one has the 14 freedom to express ones opinion and to discuss issues 15 as on "Cross Country Checkup", although it is sometimes 16 difficult to get a hearing on that. I tried this past 17 Sunday, but was right at the end of the list and didn't 18 get on. 19 238 I lived in Quebec when we first 20 arrived and since then have lived in Saskatchewan and 21 Alberta and visited all the other provinces. And 22 everywhere we go we can find the CBC. It's interesting 23 hearing the different morning shows across the country 24 and we learn from that. 25 239 David grew up in Angola, England and StenoTran 49 1 Canada and has worked from east to west and in the 2 north of this country. 3 240 MR. GILCHRIST: I have lived in seven 4 provinces. I have visited all the others. I lived in 5 four other countries and visited more than a dozen 6 other countries. 7 241 As a senior I still travel as much as 8 possible, but always listen to CBC. It isn't just 9 wanting to keep up with the programs that I am used to 10 hearing or seeing, it's more than that. It's a sense 11 of being part of a country no matter where I am in it 12 and even outside of it sometimes. Of being connected 13 to the folk I have had to leave behind and knowing that 14 they are listening to the same station that I am 15 listening to, so that we have a point of contact. 16 242 So we believe that we are well 17 qualified to assess the value of the CBC as a unifying 18 link, anyway. 19 243 MS GILCHRIST: We don't watch a great 20 deal of television at the moment. We are square 21 dancers, so we are often out in the evenings. But the 22 dancing may not last for too many more years and when 23 we can no longer go out dancing, we want to know that 24 the CBC is going to be there. 25 244 If we are not at home, I still tape StenoTran 50 1 shows like "Marketplace", the "Health Show", "The 2 Nature of Things", "Witness", "Fifth Estate", "The 3 Passionate Eye", "Man Alive", and I can't get by 4 without "Air Farce" and "This Hour has 22 Minutes", 5 that really keeps me going. 6 245 And "On the Road Again" which really 7 tells you about people in Canada. Now, that started 8 out, I believe, as an Albertan show and then was taken 9 over. After about a year or 18 months it became 10 national and stopped being just Albertan. 11 246 What are we looking for on TV? More 12 shows by and about Canadians, a return to the regional 13 programming cut after the drastic underfunding from 14 this government. You may not want to discuss politics 15 in this hearing, but let us say that the way this 16 government has ignored its promise of stable funding 17 for the CBC has completely disgusted us. 18 247 We have been Liberal supporters most 19 of our lives, I started in university in England, but 20 no longer. It seems to me that Chretien is making a 21 deliberate attack on the CBC and wants it closed down. 22 248 Countries like Australia and the U.K. 23 know the value of a national broadcasting system and 24 have made efforts to preserve them. In the U.K. we 25 were buying television licences while I was still at StenoTran 51 1 school. We could do that in this country. 2 249 MR. GILCHRIST: However, we do have a 3 concern about the direction in which the CBC seems to 4 be going. The quality of the program and the morale of 5 the personnel seem to me to be deteriorating. 6 250 We believe that this is, at least, 7 mainly due to the cutbacks of the last few years. 8 Cutbacks which the present government promised us in 9 pre-election rhetoric would never occur. 10 251 One cannot buy a new Rolls Royce for 11 the price of a Volkswagen. Nor can you continue to 12 produce quality programming with fewer staff and less 13 money. We believe that insult is added to injury when 14 managers are offered as much as 20 per cent increase, 15 while technicians receive little or no raise. And that 16 is the situation that is seriously impairing the 17 ability of the CBC to fulfil its mandate. It lowers 18 morale. 19 252 Unless this situation is addressed, 20 our arguments in favour of maintaining the CBC may 21 dissipate. 22 253 MS GILCHRIST: Our Prime Minister 23 seems to dislike the CBC altogether. We have been 24 wondering sometimes if the Board of the CBC has been 25 instructed to starve the corporation to death by asking StenoTran 52 1 it to do more and more with less and less. 2 254 In asking that you renew the licence 3 for the CBC, we also urge you to encourage our 4 government to give back enough money to restore the 5 vitality for which CBC has so long been rightly 6 respected and hire back sufficient staff that the 7 energy of those who are still there are not sapped to 8 exhaustion. 9 255 MR. GILCHRIST: The CBC does not 10 belong to a few elected people -- 11 --- Technical difficulties / Problèmes techniques 12 256 MR. GILCHRIST: -- with some strong 13 recommendations to the powers that be that CBC be more 14 adequately supported so it can continue its important 15 place in our country and in the world. 16 257 Thank you. 17 --- Applause / Applaudissements 18 258 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 19 much. 20 259 Michael? 21 1408 22 260 MR. McWHINNEY: Thank you. Can I now 23 invite Ms Sheryl Ashton to present, please. 24 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 25 261 MS ASHTON: Good afternoon. StenoTran 53 1 262 I'm here representing the National 2 Screen Institute Canada, which is one of the four 3 federally recognized training institutions for Canadian 4 writers, producers and directors. We are the only 5 training institution located in Western Canada and we 6 happen to be the oldest training institution. 7 263 The work that we do across the 8 country and the fact that we are situated in a regional 9 province, gives us a really unique perspective on the 10 state of the film and television industry in this 11 country. 12 264 The reality is that for the film and 13 television writers, producers and directors who we 14 train across the country, if they are centrally located 15 they have a lot more access to the decision-makers, and 16 if they come from one of the regional provinces that 17 access is not available. 18 265 This is an industry that it is 19 important to know what you know, but it's also more 20 important to know who you know. Consequently we have 21 trained these writers, producers and directors across 22 Canada and we have discovered that the people that live 23 in the provinces not centrally located are held hostage 24 by their address. The final result is that Canadians 25 lose a very unique opportunity to view the images and StenoTran 54 1 hear the stories from all regions of this country. 2 266 With this fact in mind, the NSI 3 Canada strongly urges the CRTC to continue to support 4 the CBC by granting them a broadcast licence, but also 5 we encourage you to encourage CBC to decentralize its 6 decision-making process and have Regional Directors, 7 such as Jane Chalmers(ph) and Joe Novak -- give them 8 the opportunity to make the informed instructive 9 decisions about what their specific viewing audience 10 wants to see and what the independent production 11 communities in their regions are able to produce. 12 267 Further, these dedicated 13 professionals should be given the opportunity to assist 14 in the development and broadcast licence 15 decision-making process on a national level. 16 268 Having said all this, I can speak 17 with great appreciation of the support NSI Canada has 18 received from the CBC over the last 13 years. And the 19 support comes in the form of sponsorship of our drama 20 prize, which is a national competition which chooses 21 six teens from across the country and puts them through 22 an 18-month training process that results in a 23 10-minute film being premiered at a festival that we 24 hold now in Edmonton and Winnipeg. 25 269 CBC training and development has StenoTran 55 1 assisted us with workshops, including the National 2 Writers' Round Table, Best of Input and The Making it 3 Happen seminars, and CBC personnel have assisted 4 greatly in sitting on juries for NSI Canada and 5 choosing teams of filmmakers from across the country. 6 270 These levels of participation and 7 support play an invaluable role in assisting us to 8 fulfil our mandate. 9 271 One final point I would like to make 10 is the CBC, since its inception, has played an 11 invaluable role in building a strong and vibrant 12 national television industry. Over the last decade, we 13 in the film and television industry have witnessed a 14 tremendous growth in the strength and talent of our 15 regional producers, writers and directors. 16 272 Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, 17 in particular, have increased their independent 18 activity by a substantial percentage. If the CBC is to 19 continue to have a truly national presence, then I 20 strongly urge the CRTC to encourage all of the 21 centrally located CBC management to travel to these 22 provinces on a more regular basis in order to meet with 23 the independent production communities and witness the 24 reality of what is happening. 25 273 In addition, these centrally located StenoTran 56 1 managers should be encouraged to acknowledge not only 2 the expertise of the CBC's Regional Directors and their 3 staff, but also their front-line knowledge of the 4 stories and images being created in these regions. 5 274 Thanks. 6 275 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 7 much. 8 276 Michael? 9 1410 10 277 MR. McWHINNEY: Could I now invite 11 Mr. Michael Phair to present, please. 12 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 13 278 MR. PHAIR: Thank you very much. I'm 14 Michael Phair, I am a member of City Council here in 15 Edmonton, although I am not officially representing the 16 City this afternoon and I certainly do appreciate the 17 time that both myself and Mr. Edwards, who will 18 introduce himself in a moment, have this afternoon. 19 279 I also appreciate the task you have. 20 As a member of Council we listened to 60 people talk 21 about roadways yesterday from 9:30 in the morning until 22 9:30 in the evening. So I well appreciate what you are 23 up to and the task in front of you. 24 280 MR. EDWARDS: Thank you, Councillor 25 Phair. StenoTran 57 1 281 And thanks for the opportunity to 2 appear here. My name is Jim Edwards. I am President 3 and Chief Executive Officer of an organization called 4 Economic Development Edmonton, a wholly-owned 5 corporation owned by the City of Edmonton, whose 6 mandate is business development, tourism, convention 7 business and film production. 8 282 I want to address, following 9 Councillor Phair, some of the economic implications of 10 the CBC for this region. 11 283 MR. PHAIR: Thank you. 12 284 We will give just a brief overview of 13 some of the local context, talk about a couple of major 14 kinds of directions that we think are important, and 15 Mr. Edwards, in particular will discuss that. And then 16 if there is a minute or two left, a couple of personal 17 comments. 18 285 I think that it's important to 19 realize that from my perspective, Alberta, in fact, has 20 two major city regions. Similar populations when you 21 look at the metropolitan area of Edmonton with the City 22 of Calgary. However, the demographics and the cultural 23 realities, in fact, are quite different and quite 24 unique between the two cities. And of course, Edmonton 25 is the capital. StenoTran 58 1 286 And I mention this because my 2 understanding is there are about 175 or so employees in 3 both cities -- in each of the two cities and that the 4 CBC, as such, spends about $10 million in the region. 5 And being the capital, we would expect that in fact a 6 larger number of employees might be located here 7 because of the provincial aspect that CBC is also 8 involved in. 9 287 I think, though, that it is important 10 to keep in mind that the population that we reach, part 11 of which you also -- that CBC also identifies in its 12 staffing, I think is part of what we will get back to a 13 little bit later. 14 288 I think, though, that we wish to 15 indicate to the CRTC two major directions that we would 16 see for the future of CBC. 17 289 MR. EDWARDS: Thank you, Councillor 18 Phair. 19 290 I should add also that I had the 20 privilege of chairing the committee which drafted the 21 present Broadcasting Act and studied the mandate in 22 1987 and '88 of the corporation as part of that study, 23 as the Chairman of the Standing Committee of 24 Communications and Culture in the House of Commons, 25 later as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of StenoTran 59 1 Communications who took the Act through Parliament. 2 291 At that time I was deeply involved in 3 broadcasting matters and put a proposal to the then 4 President of CBC and its Chairman Designate, Patrick 5 Watson, about how to restructure the corporation for 6 the benefit of the regions. 7 292 As Councillor Phair has said, we 8 calculate and these figures have not been verifiable, 9 but it is based on data available to us that 10 approximately one to 2 per cent of CBC resources are 11 invested in Alberta, a province which has 10 per cent 12 of the national population and 13 per cent of the 13 national output. 14 293 We understand some of the 15 contributory factors, but nonetheless, we think that 16 that is a situation that needs to be improved. 17 294 When we lead economic development 18 missions to other parts of the country, particularly 19 Toronto and Ottawa, we include a cultural component in 20 those delegations, because we consider culture to be a 21 driver and not a passenger of our economy. 22 295 I think you will find that there is a 23 very broad consensus of support for more and better CBC 24 Radio service throughout the land, both Radio One and 25 Radio Two and that there is kind of a split view on the StenoTran 60 1 value and the efficiency of the CBC English television. 2 296 The proposal I presented to Messrs. 3 Juneau and Watson in the late eighties had to do with 4 catching up with latter day technology and delivering 5 satellite to cable and satellite to dish the CBC 6 English-language television service, much as Newsworld 7 is delivered today, thereby saving something in the 8 order of $200 million per year, which could be ploughed 9 back into programming. 10 297 In addition, with the lowering cost 11 of transponders, there would be the ability to deliver 12 one region's programming to another. And a million 13 Canadians, of course, move every year and we have 14 people from all parts of Canada living in Alberta and 15 the same is true elsewhere in the country. 16 298 For something in the neighbourhood of 17 $20 million per year, as opposed to the present $250 18 million we could each have regional service wherever we 19 go in the country seeing how other Canadians see 20 themselves and we would not have the unfortunate 21 experience of looking down the wrong end of the 22 telescope and seeing a miniature view of the rest of 23 the country. 24 299 Those are my own views. I do speak, 25 though, to the issue of CBC investment in this StenoTran 61 1 province, which I think from the time of the 2 construction of that wonderful CBC broadcast centre in 3 Toronto, has sapped the regions. That was a good move 4 and it would have been a wonderful move in a time of 5 ascendent finances. 6 300 Unfortunately when the finances 7 cratered, partly because of my government but more 8 because of the current government, unfortunately the 9 regions paid the price and we are losing the plasma of 10 the Canadian bloodstream which is our identity as 11 portrayed by CBC. 12 301 Mr. Phair? 13 302 MR. PHAIR: And I think that in 14 indicating that the emphasis to the CRTC for more 15 regional programming on CBC, as we have. On a 16 day-to-day basis, what that begins to mean, in fact, is 17 that there will be more in-depth analyses, more 18 documentaries, more biographies, more cultural and arts 19 programs, more comedy done by local artists, local 20 performers, local technicians, local support staff, 21 local suppliers and all of those are a very strong and 22 effective impact on our economy. 23 303 Edmonton likes to see itself and 24 portray itself as a smart city, and that is one of the 25 ways of working into how we see ourselves and how we StenoTran 62 1 portray ourselves and that we would like the CRTC to 2 push the CBC for more regional programming. 3 304 I think it also -- with a push for 4 regional programming is an opportunity for the CBC to 5 establish more, better and in-depth partnerships with 6 other kinds of organizations and groups in the local 7 region. And I think that that, in fact, will pay off 8 for better quality, as well as more quantity of 9 programming. 10 305 The second point I think that we 11 would like to indicate is that we really value and want 12 to emphasize the need for CRTC to push the CBC as a 13 good corporate citizen. And of course, that's related 14 to the resources coming to the region. It's hard to be 15 a good corporate citizen if you don't have much to 16 give. 17 306 And if I can use as a comparison, 18 when you look at CBC in Edmonton, you will note that 19 the resources for French TV and Radio are quite 20 extensive, as they should be, we are the heart of that 21 in here. And in my work with the French-speaking 22 community in Edmonton, CBC as a corporate citizen is 23 seen in a very positive, very strong and very 24 supportive light. And I think it is accurate to say 25 that the French-speaking community is extremely pleased StenoTran 63 1 with and values CBC as a corporate citizen. 2 307 I do not think that is the same with 3 the English CBC because the resources are far too 4 minimal to be able to play the kind of role that I 5 think is really important as a corporate citizen. And 6 I would strongly encourage the CRTC to push through the 7 regional programming, additional resources that go 8 there, the role that CBC can play as a corporate 9 citizen. 10 308 As some final comments, I would like 11 to just add a couple of personal comments. 12 309 I am pleased, personally, to see more 13 Canadian programming on television, particularly less 14 American. I think that is a direction that I 15 personally strongly support and think that has gone 16 well. 17 310 I think that perhaps on television 18 with the Newsworld station, it may be that the other 19 regular television will have less news and more other 20 kinds of programming in the long term. 21 311 I think Radio One and Two and radio 22 in general in this country is under-rated in terms of 23 how often people listen to radio and how much it is 24 actually used. I don't think we really understand that 25 particularly well. And I really do see that there is a StenoTran 64 1 great deal of value in both Radio One and Radio Two. 2 312 It's easy to get caught that TV is 3 the medium these days, and I think that when I think of 4 the time that one spends in automobiles and in other 5 places where radio is on, even the background or part 6 of it -- and the number of radios people have in their 7 homes, I suspect that there is a lot more listening to 8 radio than most of us realize. 9 313 I do think that CBC provides 10 programming that is diverse, that is, in general, of 11 excellent quality and that positively shapes the 12 Canadian identity. And that includes programs around 13 jazz, whether it is P.J. Perry(ph) or Tommy Banks from 14 here in Edmonton, or Holly Cole and Oscar Petersen, 15 "Brave New Waves" that I listen to late at night and 16 otherwise probably wouldn't understand a great deal of 17 the music of the younger generation. Some of the 18 in-depth programming that is done, I will never forget, 19 personally, the program on the origins of rap music and 20 how that fits into the musical world, something that I 21 would never have thought in terms of, in fact, probably 22 like many people of my generation thought that, you 23 know, "What nonsense is this that young people are 24 listening to". 25 314 "Harbour Front Readings" that are StenoTran 65 1 held on CBC, the "Cross Country Checkup", I think there 2 is a great deal to be said for -- that the kinds of 3 programming and the quality of programmings that are in 4 fact offered through radio, as well as TV. 5 315 And I do, again, as indicated, 6 appreciate the opportunity. I think it is a good time 7 for CRTC to look at the mandate of CBC and what it is 8 doing. We are entering a new millennium, it seems to 9 me as I look backwards that CBC, in fact, has kind of 10 reinvented itself every decade and now it seems to be 11 the time again. 12 316 I think it is really appropriate 13 emphasizing again the issue of corporate citizenry and 14 regional programming as the directions for the future. 15 317 MR. EDWARDS: Commissioners, is there 16 one minute remaining or is our time exhausted? 17 318 THE CHAIRPERSON: Go right ahead. 18 319 MR. EDWARDS: Yes. I just want to 19 make one further point as someone who has spent some 20 time in public life and is now clearly retired from it. 21 And also I should declare my interest, I happen to be a 22 supporter of the present Provincial Government. 23 320 But that having been said, I think 24 that the lack of resources, particularly to CBC Radio 25 has sapped the yeasty debate that contributes to a well StenoTran 66 1 functioning democracy, both at the federal, but more 2 particularly within this region, at the provincial 3 level. And probably the same can be said of other 4 provinces, as well. 5 321 For a democracy to function well, 6 there needs to be public debate and it happens to some 7 degree on commercial radio, but it happens in a rather 8 unbalanced way and I think that better CBC resources, 9 particularly to radio in Alberta would make a 10 fundamental contribution to a more functional 11 democracy. 12 322 Thank you. 13 323 MR. PHAIR: Thank you very much. 14 --- Applause / Applaudissements 15 324 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Edwards, you 16 referred to your work on the Broadcast Committee and if 17 you don't mind, I will try to pick your brain a little. 18 We have got you to come out and we like to squeeze as 19 much as we can out of our participants, but -- 20 325 MR. EDWARDS: -- you can squeeze from 21 fog, because it was a while ago. 22 326 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, fog is also a 23 part of Canada's reality. 24 --- Laughter / Rires 25 327 THE CHAIRPERSON: We are hearing, StenoTran 67 1 though they are not necessarily particularly part of 2 the upcoming renewal, the CBC has indicated that it is 3 looking towards a third radio network for young people 4 and it is looking towards doing some fairly substantial 5 investing into Internet broadcasting. 6 328 Do you have any views on that? If 7 you don't I don't want to pin you to the wall, you 8 know, we didn't ask you -- I didn't give you any 9 warning of this question. But if you do have any, we 10 would be pleased to have them. 11 329 MR. EDWARDS: I think public sector 12 radio for young people is a very desirable thing. Very 13 few countries have it. 14 330 But I think we have to be realistic, 15 as well. I would not want to see the already strapped 16 resources that are allocated to Radio One and Radio Two 17 diminished in order to provide that service. I think 18 it would have to be complementary resources and some 19 considerable restoration of resources to the existing 20 services ought to take place at the same time. 21 331 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 22 much. 23 1426 24 332 MR. McWHINNEY: Thank you. Can I now 25 invite Ms Linnie Chamberlin, please, to speak. StenoTran 68 1 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 2 333 MS CHAMBERLIN: Thank you and good 3 afternoon. This is a bunch of tough acts to follow. 4 334 My comments are behalf of my family 5 and friends and myself. And my sister phoned me from 6 Williams Lake and said, "Please get to the hearings, I 7 can't". I would have come anyways, because our whole 8 family has loved and respected the CBC for all our 9 years. It is a treasured friend to us, but also, quite 10 frankly, the only media source we trust to tell us the 11 truth. 12 335 That virtue is, in itself -- that 13 virtue in itself should keep CBC funding at an optimum 14 level forever. And I think that the Prime Minister's 15 criticism proves my point. 16 336 Besides our delight in the innovative 17 programming, the great music and the cross-Canada 18 discussions about everything in the world it seems, we 19 feel that CBC is the single unifying experience in 20 Canada that no one else offers. 21 337 It gives a country-wide picture of 22 our country and all our people so that when a young man 23 in Newfoundland or a senior in Whitehorse or a nurse in 24 Edmonton want to make their thoughts known, only the 25 CBC provides that forum. StenoTran 69 1 338 David Suzuki and Jeurgen Goethe(ph) 2 and all the funny, brilliant Canadian talent portrayed 3 on CBC keeps us entertained, informed, thoughtful and 4 terribly proud of this vast Canadian talent. 5 339 As a homecare nurse, I listen to the 6 CBC as I am travelling from house to house and often 7 when I go inside that house to see a client, they are 8 listening to CBC, as well. 9 340 The money from the taxpayers has been 10 increasingly diverted from CBC and the repeat programs 11 on radio and television reflect the disregard our 12 government feels for CBC. But all Canadians have a 13 vested interest in CBC and want to have the choice of a 14 public excellent broadcaster. 15 341 I was born listening to CBC and my 16 family and friends and I want to be able to enjoy the 17 CBC throughout our lives. 18 342 Thank you. 19 --- Applause / Applaudissements 20 343 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms 21 Chamberlin, and I must tell you, you have nothing to 22 learn from the other presenters. You are clear and you 23 are calm and I certainly don't have you down as 24 undecided. I know exactly where you stand. 25 344 I would ask you a question though. StenoTran 70 1 Since you have been kind enough to be short, I will be 2 mean enough to pin you down a little. 3 345 We heard from Mr. Pritchard, and I am 4 sorry he has just left, the first speaker, that in some 5 areas, I don't think overall, he says he likes radio -- 6 I wish he were still here, I am trying to go from my 7 notes that he found radio good, but he was worried by 8 some of the documentaries on CBC. Remember he talked 9 about "The Valour and The Horror" and Billy Bishop. 10 346 Do you share any of that? I mean, 11 are you an absolute fan of the CBC or do you find some 12 things to be critical of, as well? 13 347 MS CHAMBERLIN: Well, I couldn't live 14 without "This Hour has 22 Minutes" and "Air Farce" 15 because I think we have to have political comment and 16 have to poke fun at ourselves, we are known as a 17 serious group of people. I travel quite a bit to 18 Europe and they say, "Oh, you Canadians are so 19 different from the Americans", which I think is good. 20 348 Documentaries and other CBC programs, 21 I have found none that offended me. Certainly there is 22 a switch to turn off if it does. I think -- we have 23 the right to and must try to expand our horizons and 24 understand other races, other thinking and I find some 25 of it incomprehensible sometimes, but I delight in the StenoTran 71 1 variety. 2 349 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 3 much. 4 350 Michael? 5 --- Applause / Applaudissements 6 351 MR. McWHINNEY: I now invite Mr. Adil 7 Pirbhai, please, to speak. 8 1430 9 352 MR. PIRBHAI: Mr. Chairman, I 10 apologize that I left my speech at work, but I do know 11 what I want to say. 12 353 Before I begin to express my views on 13 the CBC, let me say this: That if you see any of the 14 private broadcasters, private television stations, in 15 Alberta or like elsewhere, they keep on saying to us we 16 are multi-cultural, they keep on saying that we listen 17 to our audience, yet I haven't seen any multi-cultures 18 in the private radio stations. 19 354 Examples, CFRN, they talk about 20 multi-culturalism, that we are number one in Edmonton, 21 yet they have no member of a visible minority as an 22 anchorman or as an anchorwoman. When you ask them why 23 is it that you don't have a member of a visible 24 minority on their television station and their answer 25 is "We don't have a member of visible minority applying StenoTran 72 1 for a job". 2 355 The other comment I wish to make and 3 I would like to urge the CRTC that Shaw Cable has 4 applied to buy out the WIC Radio network. And if I was 5 a member of CRTC, I would oppose, oppose, oppose. That 6 is not in the best interest of Canada or Alberta to 7 have one business buying out every radio station in 8 Alberta. There is no competition and they can do 9 whatever they want and I am totally opposed to a large 10 corporation like the Shaw Cable buying out WIC Radio 11 network. 12 356 And the arguments that you will hear 13 that "If you don't let us buy the WIC Radio network or 14 the ITV, that the media will collapse", it's a false 15 argument. It's a very false argument. The people have 16 a right to know why is it that there is only one 17 corporation buying out everything else. 18 357 Mr. Chairman, I will give you -- many 19 of you in this room may disagree with me, but it is 20 your democratic right. 21 358 Over the past couple of months 22 when -- I may disagree, I may agree -- there have been 23 incidents of Turkish people protesting in Ottawa 24 because one of their leaders was arrested in Nairobi 25 and if you saw the stations like 630 Radio, the media StenoTran 73 1 making a racist remark -- a racist remark on the air, 2 on the air, on the air. Like saying, "If you are an 3 immigrant in this country, if you protest --" sure 4 there were some members of that particular community 5 broke the law, but to provoke the people on the media, 6 what does 630 Radio did, it was intolerable excuse. 7 359 The editorial said that there is a 8 flight going back to Turkey and the people of Edmonton 9 phoning the station after those comments by 630 Radio, 10 people started phoning in. 11 360 Over the last one month, the CBC, its 12 unions, are on strike. And the federal government 13 employees are on strike. And we saw the same kind of a 14 protest in Ottawa and the police were called and there 15 was some major incidents happen, but never heard in the 16 media. I phoned 630 CHEK Radio, I asked them why is it 17 any different? Where are we going to send those people 18 who are on strike? And he tells me, you know, go to 19 hell. 20 361 Mr. Chairman, if you look around in 21 this country, every institution that we owned as ours 22 has been sold. Petro Canada. If you look at the 23 larger organizations that was part of ours, you know, 24 like we can call "ours" and that the government of 25 Brian Mulroney sold out every thing that we owned. StenoTran 74 1 362 I understand that the CBC is facing 2 cutbacks, but the only thing that is remaining in this 3 country that is still ours is CBC. And if you listen 4 on the CBC Radio One at two o'clock, Canadians from 5 coast to coast phoning in with their stories, phoning 6 in about everything that they want to know from coast 7 to coast. And that is what Canada is about. 8 363 And if you see in the private 9 industry, it is there for profit and it should never be 10 there. And if you look at the Alberta CBC, at one 11 o'clock, like, they have a talk show in Edmonton, it's 12 one of the fantastic shows that you ever heard. They 13 have all kinds of guests and they allow all kinds of 14 people to, like, hear their views. 15 364 I speak French, but not much. At six 16 o'clock to eight o'clock -- 17 --- Technical difficulties / Problèmes techniques 18 365 MR. PIRBHAI: -- and I believe that 19 the CBC should and must be allowed to have Radio Three. 20 If you denied them, like, you will hear the arguments 21 from private organizations that the CBC is being 22 supported by the government, surely these -- like 23 supported by government. 24 366 But there is the very element, the 25 very fabric that is the only thing that is left in this StenoTran 75 1 country, it is the publicly owned CBC. And if you 2 don't give them a licence and if you give a licence to 3 the private, I think it will be disastrous. 4 367 That's what I have to say. 5 --- Applause / Applaudissements 6 368 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 7 much, sir, and -- perhaps you could turn that mike off, 8 thank you. 9 369 Thank you very much. I can't imagine 10 what was in that script that you could have added, but 11 if there is something when you get back to the office, 12 if you read it through and say, "Oh, gosh, I wish I had 13 said that", just put it in an envelope and mail it to 14 us and we will be happy to add it to the record of 15 these proceedings. 16 370 Again, thank you very, very much, 17 sir. 18 371 MR. McWHINNEY: Perhaps, Commissioner 19 Langford, we should also reiterate or point out that 20 with respect to your comments that didn't pertain 21 directly to the CBC, that you might want to submit 22 those to the CRTC in writing, just so that you 23 understand that this is a hearing or a consultation 24 that pertains to the CBC specifically and in order that 25 those comments be heard directly, that you address them StenoTran 76 1 separately and submit them to the Commission. 2 372 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's correct. We 3 do have a complaints department and if you have 4 complaints about what you are hearing on the radio, get 5 them to us and we will look into them. 6 373 Thank you. 7 374 MR. PIRBHAI: Thank you. 8 1440 9 375 MR. McWHINNEY: Can I now invite Mrs. 10 Lois Hole, please, to present. 11 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 12 376 MS HOLE: Thank you and thank you for 13 this opportunity to come and speak. 14 377 As you probably know, I have written 15 a letter to the Journal and I did mean to bring it, but 16 I hope you have read it. And if you haven't, it was in 17 yesterday's Journal and I would hope that you will put 18 that on record for my support of the CBC. 19 378 Oh, thank you. I have got it in 20 front of me, thank you very much. 21 379 To describe myself, I would like to 22 tell you that I have been a School Trustee for over 30 23 years. I was on the governing council or governing 24 board of Athabaska University for 11 years. I am a 25 farm woman. A person who gets out into the community a StenoTran 77 1 lot. I am very involved in talking and giving 2 presentations on gardening and sometimes promoting CBC 3 occasionally with the odd little statement here and 4 there, because I quote often from programs I have heard 5 on the CBC. 6 380 I think the CBC is probably one of 7 the most unifying institutions in our country. When I 8 can sit in my home or do my dishes or do my cooking or 9 sit in my car and drive and hear from a farmer in 10 Saskatchewan, a fisherman in Newfoundland, a forester 11 in British Columbia, an intellectual, I guess, from 12 Toronto -- 13 --- Laughter / Rires 14 381 MS HOLE: I didn't say that -- but I 15 had to throw that in. 16 382 But when I can do that and begin to 17 understand and appreciate and feel connected by 18 listening to these programs, I can't tell you how 19 valuable I feel it is. We are a country that is big, 20 it's a sparse population if you think about it. 21 383 It used to be, when I was a little 22 girl, I used to go and -- when I lived in Saskatchewan, 23 we would go to see the train come in every day, because 24 that was -- we lived in a small town of 400 people and 25 that was a big thing. We didn't have a lot to do so we StenoTran 78 1 would go and we would go to the train station and we 2 would wave to all the people that were travelling 3 across the country. And it was almost like a 4 connection. And we would talk to the porters. And it 5 was wonderful. All of a sudden that's gone. 6 384 And somehow I -- it sounds corny, I 7 think, but the CBC has kept the connection. It has 8 kept us all aware of each other, it helps us understand 9 each other and it helps us sympathize with each other 10 when we have problems and when things aren't going 11 quite right. 12 385 The CBC also does promote tolerance. 13 That's what you do when you can listen to people from 14 across the country. I think the CBC has been very good 15 at presenting both sides. When I listen to people talk 16 about education, invariably you will hear both sides. 17 And I think that's quite wonderful. 18 386 I would hate to miss "This Hour has 19 22 Minutes", I think it is one of the funniest, one of 20 the most enjoyable programs. I rush home to get to -- 21 so I can make sure I watch it. I love "The Royal 22 Canadian Air Farce". I don't rush home for national 23 hockey, but my husband does. So that's fine, I mean, 24 that's his prerogative. But I love to watch when Don 25 Cherry is on and then I get mad. And that's good, too. StenoTran 79 1 387 I think on the National news, when 2 you watch the National news and you get programs that 3 sometimes are on science, it's on health, education, 4 they are fun, it's on agriculture, it could be on 5 anything. And there is always something for everybody. 6 388 That, I think, is probably one of the 7 most important things. And when it isn't something 8 that is purely geared to what I am particularly 9 interested in, then I find I'm watching it and I'm 10 learning something. I don't always have time to read 11 the paper every day. Some papers I don't need to read, 12 but that's another -- 13 389 But I do like to read the papers and 14 there's The Globe and Mail and there's The National 15 Post, The Edmonton Journal, The Sun, we even have a 16 little newspaper in our hometown of St. Albert, we only 17 get it twice a week, but you know, I can't always read 18 everything. But if I'm listening to the radio I am 19 keeping up. If I listen to CBC Radio I know what's 20 going on in the world. 21 390 I think it's important to know what's 22 going on in all these countries of the world so that 23 we, again, will have an understanding of what is 24 happening. If I don't have time to read then I still 25 can keep up with things. StenoTran 80 1 391 There is another program that has 2 just started in Edmonton, "The Dead Dog Cafe". It's a 3 marvellous program. It helps us understand our 4 native -- our First Nation people. I just think that 5 what a wonderful thing the CBC is doing by having a 6 program like that on radio. 7 392 I would like to also suggest that I 8 wished that we would -- certainly we have got to spend 9 far more money on our radio and TV. There must not be 10 any further cuts; there must be an influx of money go 11 into CBC Radio and CBC TV. 12 393 I would like to see the CBC TV 13 without any commercials. I think they are a 14 competition to the private sector that the private 15 sector resents. And we shouldn't encourage that 16 resentment, there is a place for all of them. 17 394 But let the CBC be the Canadian 18 channel that can promote Canadian programming, that can 19 give people who are working within our Canadian theatre 20 and drama and so forth, give our people a chance to 21 show what they can do. We have got some wonderful, 22 wonderful clever people around who, I think, we are 23 losing because there isn't the opportunity here, which 24 the CBC could offer. 25 395 It seems to me that for -- and I know StenoTran 81 1 some people might not agree, but I am very willing to 2 pay more money for helping the CBC. If we paid $27 a 3 year per person, if that's what I have heard the amount 4 is, that seems like a very small amount of money to 5 keep our CBC around. 6 396 And I would also like to say that -- 7 I heard you ask the question about "The Valour and The 8 Horror". It was a hard program to watch, but it was 9 necessary. I felt that what the CBC did with that 10 program was show how terrible war is and that's what we 11 need to promote. 12 397 And I also thought that in that 13 particular program they -- shortly after, well not 14 shortly after, but only about a couple of months ago, I 15 watched a program where it showed our people, our 16 Canadian soldiers, going over to Germany and talking to 17 soldiers in Germany who had actually fought one another 18 and now they are trying to bring closure to something 19 that was so horrible for them. 20 398 "The Valour and The Horror" showed 21 that. How terrible, and we should all -- I think 22 everybody should recognize that what a program like 23 that can do for the world, not just our country, but 24 for the world. 25 399 "Billy Bishop Goes to War", I liked StenoTran 82 1 it. I have not watched very many programs that I have 2 not liked. I suppose there is always some you wouldn't 3 like, but I don't find that there are many. 4 400 But I have to say that "The 5 Passionate Eye", "The fifth estate", "Witness". I have 6 learned more -- what would I say -- more tolerance 7 through watching programs like that. I have always 8 thought I was a pretty tolerant person, but I have 9 learned to -- I guess understand is a better word -- to 10 understand people and the kinds of predicaments that 11 people can get into. 12 401 Plus the one thing that I never knew 13 and I doubt that there is very few people that have 14 ever known that there are children out there who are 15 born who have -- born as a little girl and want to be a 16 little boy, born as a boy want to be a little girl. 17 402 And I never realized that that was 18 something that is a very, very difficult situation 19 until we had a situation in our own family where we 20 were told through a genetic situation we could be faced 21 with the problem of having this. Our young 22 granddaughter being born and they wouldn't know for 23 sure if she should be a boy or a girl. And that they 24 would have to, the doctors, would have to make a 25 decision. I never realized that. StenoTran 83 1 403 This program was a marvellous program 2 to help people understand what is out there and how we 3 should not be prejudiced. And I have never seen it on 4 any other channel. I have never seen it anywhere. And 5 it was in three segments. As it turned out we weren't 6 faced with that problem, but we could have been. 7 404 So I guess I would like to say to you 8 people, please, our CBC is very important for the unity 9 of this country. Even though people don't all 10 understand that. Sometimes you have to still promote 11 and people will be in to learn and they will begin to 12 understand. You bring the rural people and the urban 13 people together -- the CBC brings the rural and the 14 urban people together in ways that many, many 15 institutions can't do it. But you sure can there. 16 405 I guess I would like to say that we 17 must look after our public broadcasting like we look 18 after our health care, our education -- public 19 education. 20 406 With that I would like to thank you 21 very much. I thank you for this wonderful opportunity 22 to speak for the CBC. And I would also just let you 23 know that I am constantly promoting the CBC. 24 407 Thank you. 25 --- Applause / Applaudissements StenoTran 84 1 408 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you 2 very, very much, Ms Hole. 3 409 I must say Joe Novak is smiling so 4 broadly at the back there he can't get the coffee cup 5 up to his teeth. So you have made him very happy and 6 you have certainly made us feel the passion. 7 410 And thank you very, very much for 8 your comments here today. 9 411 Michael? 10 1455 11 412 MR. McWHINNEY: Can I now invite 12 Mr. Jay Smith to present, please. 13 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 14 413 MR. SMITH: Thank you. Mr. Langford, 15 welcome. I guess you are a juror and a watchdog and a 16 governor with working on the CRTC and the guard of our 17 Canadian interests. 18 414 Can you -- this is not really 19 hypothetical, but I am quite serious with a mischievous 20 question. Could you express dissatisfaction with 21 Parliament's financial support of the CBC by 22 withholding a licence for some token station, like in 23 Vancouver or Toronto or Calgary? Could you withhold 24 licence for one station and say, "This is because we 25 are dissatisfied"? StenoTran 85 1 415 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, I think it -- 2 we have heard some theories today with regard to the 3 government's attitude that it might be music to their 4 ears, I'm not sure. 5 416 It's a high risk, sir. And, you 6 know, the CBC is a creature of statute and our job, 7 really isn't to take away a licence. We don't have 8 that power with regard to the CBC, but we do have the 9 power to put Conditions of Licence on and to make 10 recommendations with regard to the direction the CBC 11 may want to go or how it may want to use the resources 12 it has. 13 417 We are not Paul Martin, we would all 14 like to be for a day, but we aren't any more than you 15 are. So I think really, the best advice I could give 16 on that or the best counsel I think I could give at 17 this stage would be to say that the strength of 18 feelings that I am hearing in this room really are 19 going to have to be sent both to Hull, to us on one 20 side of the Ottawa River and to Ottawa on the other 21 side of the Ottawa River. 22 418 I think people like yourselves have a 23 double job here today. I am sorry to throw it back on 24 your shoulders. But if you read the Broadcasting Act 25 and the enabling legislation for the CBC, we really StenoTran 86 1 don't have the power to do that and I don't think to 2 play that sort of politics with one community, perhaps, 3 would be a wise course, even if we did. 4 419 I hadn't thought of it before, but 5 that's -- you asked a question, I'm giving you my quick 6 reaction to it. 7 420 MR. SMITH: I appreciate that. I 8 just wonder if you will let it percolate and see 9 what -- because Mr. Pritchard mentioned some rather 10 distressing, but actually very valid statistics. 11 421 He mentioned that private for profit 12 broadcasters in Edmonton are moving in on what we 13 thought -- we, as supporters of the CBC -- was one of 14 the nice things that we could say about the CBC, that 15 it had very highly listened to local television news. 16 422 Part of the reason why the private 17 broadcasters are doing a better job is that money has 18 been cut from the production facilities at the CBC. So 19 now, if you tour there and see what they are doing, 20 what they are making use of, I should say, you have 21 facilities equivalent to what you would expect on a 22 community cable television or a television station in a 23 quite small city. 24 423 There are many ways that we could 25 measure our national broadcaster, I guess. We could StenoTran 87 1 consider whether it should be elitist or should it be 2 pandering to popular, you know, to populace interests 3 or whether it should be profit-making or whether it 4 should be state propaganda tool. Another way we could 5 measure it is, is it serving by presenting the whole 6 country to itself or is it presenting a Toronto-centric 7 view or an Ottawa-centric view to the whole country. 8 424 Forty or 50 years ago I was lucky 9 enough to be with present -- I wasn't aware that I was 10 observing this, but the CBC executives were excited 11 over the possibilities, the technical possibilities of 12 becoming less Toronto's national broadcaster. And they 13 were making very courageous and hard -- a lot of 14 decisions and a lot of hard work went into setting up 15 regional news centres, regional production centres. 16 And this was building on a very good production 17 organization that they already had and which they began 18 to expand to these centres. 19 425 It was a major achievement and we 20 have managed to, in the last few administrations and 21 the government in Ottawa, throw it away. 22 426 Mr. Edwards, Mr. Phair and Mr. 23 Phillips have detailed some of the financial disasters 24 that have happened in Alberta, especially in the 25 Edmonton, Northern Alberta area as a result of this. StenoTran 88 1 And I am sure you are aware of the cultural disasters 2 across Canada that have been the result of this, these 3 cuts, the quality loss is evident in -- well, a 4 telephone interview cannot achieve on the air, the 5 factual breadth or the spiritual depth of a documentary 6 or even a pocket documentary. Documentaries cost a lot 7 of money. 8 427 Without massive drama and arts 9 produced and created by us, our country does not have 10 the hope of maintaining a self image of ourselves as a 11 country. 12 428 There have been a lot of pushing, 13 political pushing, to criticize the CBC for having such 14 a clerical and management and production overload, is 15 what some people have said. These people, I'm sure, 16 are not aware of how many technical staff and clerical 17 staff and production staff are in the background of a 18 Hollywood movie -- a good Hollywood movie or a New York 19 broadcast. 20 429 Our CBC investment, when you compare 21 it to the country to the south of us, which is about 10 22 times larger than us, is considerably less than 23 one-tenth the investment that is to the south of us for 24 comparable achieving national ends. Canada could not 25 achieve the same through private broadcasters. You StenoTran 89 1 people on the CRTC have agreed with that in that you 2 have allowed private broadcasters to take up niche 3 positions. 4 430 You have a situation where a national 5 disaster is the potential of what has been happening. 6 If you don't put a lot of pressure on the public and 7 upon the government officials to make people aware of 8 this, that is why I said the mischievous thing maybe if 9 you could cut one radio station from the CBC in Toronto 10 it would be a very -- it would be a mine, it would be 11 an awakening experience for some people. 12 431 The CRTC, I'm sure, is aware that the 13 CBC is as needed now as it was in the 1920s and 1930s 14 when it was set up. Canada has grown larger, we have 15 grown more sophisticated. The cultural input from 16 outside our country has grown much more technically 17 sophisticated as well. The CBC is still needed. 18 432 As I have said, local private 19 broadcasters have not been able to do the same thing, 20 even the network private broadcasters have not been 21 able to achieve the goals that have been set for the 22 CBC. 23 433 As a matter of fact, locally all 24 across Canada, private broadcasters were a major force, 25 even up through the 1950s in helping local culture. I StenoTran 90 1 think that you will find that -- and I don't want to 2 mention names, but I think the local private 3 broadcasters in Edmonton, although they are very proud 4 of their creative work and they have a right to be, 5 have not been able to achieve anything comparable, 6 overall, in their impact on the community. I don't 7 want to be disrespectful of my friends in the private 8 broadcasting industry, but it's a fact. 9 434 So you are faced with a situation, 10 you have got a job. Canada is an irrational country as 11 far as our shape and our population distribution, et 12 cetera, et cetera. The decision to have the CBC was a 13 sensible decision, it was made by people from every 14 part of the political spectrum and you have possibly a 15 role to play in waking up Canadians to the need for the 16 CBC now. 17 435 Thank you. 18 --- Applause / Applaudissements 19 436 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 20 much. And you said at the beginning that we sit as 21 judges and other things, but we sit here mostly as 22 sponges and we are soaking it up and we are going to 23 bring it back and I assure you, your input will be 24 heard. This is not some sort of an exercise in optics, 25 as the politicos often say. This is an exercise in StenoTran 91 1 information seeking and information carriage, and we 2 will be carrying it back with us. 3 437 I think perhaps we will hear one more 4 and that will put us at about the halfway point and 5 then we will break and take advantage of some of that 6 coffee and tea that I see out on that table. 7 438 So perhaps we could hear one more. 8 Michael, where are we? 9 1505 10 439 MR. McWHINNEY: Can I invite Ms Helen 11 Folkmann to present, please. 12 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 13 440 MS FOLKMANN: Thank you for putting 14 me just before the break. 15 441 My name is Helen Folkmann and I am 16 happy to be here. I also have a long history with the 17 CBC, but first I should tell you who I am. 18 442 First of all, I'm a filmmaker, 19 predominantly that would be in a producer role and what 20 I make are low budget independent films and videos. I 21 work -- what I do for a job is I am the Executive 22 Director for FAVA, which stands for the Film and Video 23 Arts. We are a local production and resource centre, 24 cooperatively owned here in Edmonton. We have just 25 under 250 members who are video and film artists. StenoTran 92 1 443 Provincially I am on the Board of the 2 Alberta Media Arts Alliance which represents 900 video 3 and film artists here in Alberta. Nationally I am the 4 Prairie representative for the Independent Film and 5 Video Alliance, which I am sure your Commission will be 6 hearing from my counterparts across the country. There 7 are over 4,000 video and film artists here in Canada. 8 444 Now again, let me emphasize that 9 these are low budget productions. I was actually just 10 totting up the productions -- the number of productions 11 I have worked on in the last 10 years. There have 12 been, actually, 10 productions. The biggest budget I 13 have ever had to work with was $40,000. We are 14 creative. 15 445 Now, in regards to what I do and the 16 arts discipline -- and I will say they are "arts" 17 because it is a range of expression, the people that 18 are in our membership run the gambit from animation 19 artists to video free expression artists to narrative 20 drama to documentary. Predominantly what these people, 21 artists, produce are generally short form work. It is 22 generally less than a half an hour, generally more like 23 15 minutes. And again, that has a lot to do with 24 budget. 25 446 So how does our work get seen? Well, StenoTran 93 1 quite often it gets seen in art galleries. But the CBC 2 is actually one of the few and a very important venue 3 in which we can show our work. And one of those 4 programs is called "Canadian Reflections". This is a 5 show that airs, for some reason, on Friday afternoons 6 at 3:30, it's a half an hour. It's 25 years old and 7 they have been showing consistently short productions 8 that have come from all parts of Canada. 9 447 I was very happy to see that they 10 have just, since January, been able to add one extra 11 half hour, which is Sunday nights at 11:30, and I guess 12 they can get a little edgy now because it's late night, 13 but this is a huge boon for people from my sector. And 14 it's not just the fact that we can -- okay, this is why 15 it is a boon. 16 448 First of all, CBC lets -- is a 17 national broadcaster. So work -- and I'm hoping that I 18 can sell one of my projects to the "Canadian 19 Reflections", I'm looking at the fact that something 20 that has been produced here in Edmonton can be seen 21 right across the country, and that's wonderful because 22 it is a good piece. 23 449 The other thing is that CBC -- there 24 are not many other broadcasters that are interested in 25 short films or videos, for that matter. The few that StenoTran 94 1 are are in the -- I gather they are in the higher -- 2 --- Technical difficulties / Problèmes techniques 3 450 MS FOLKMANN: -- regional level. 4 Although we have a national venue, we don't have a 5 regional venue. I was heartened by the fact that Joe 6 Novak, the Regional Director is interested in showing 7 our stories, but I mean, this gives you an indication 8 of perhaps how much power he has as a Regional 9 Director. 10 451 He was able to buy one of my -- one 11 of the fellow member works recently and we got to see 12 it in February. It was a short film, it was called 13 "Samurai Swing", it came from a local artist here, 14 Miaka Ochi(ph). But the only place he could show it 15 was during the six o'clock news. I don't -- I mean it 16 was great that it was seen, but don't you think it is 17 odd that the only place he could show it was on the 18 news. I think he should have been able to show it in 19 another place and I wish he could have. 20 452 And perhaps, maybe it will be a 21 regular news feature, I would really love to talk to 22 him about it at some point. But, you know, I think we 23 should be able to see it. So there, that's enough for 24 that. 25 453 As far as demographic, I mean, it's StenoTran 95 1 pretty obvious that there's a heavy weight on one 2 demographic and I would like to point out to you that I 3 had made a big poll of people from my membership. 4 Their ages range from 18 to 45 with the -- well, the 5 average being around 28 years old. To a person -- and 6 I talked to 27 people -- to a person, they all said 7 they wanted to see more regional programming. They 8 wanted to see work that came out of Edmonton or Alberta 9 or, for that matter, the Prairies. 10 454 They lamented the demise of a show 11 that did, at one point, come out of Edmonton, it was 12 called "Rough Cuts". It was, in fact, broadcast 13 nationally, it was an excellent show and it looked at a 14 range of things in a very fresh and innovative way. It 15 disappeared in the last budget cuts. 16 455 To a person they lamented the fact 17 that CBC as a news gatherer seemed to be losing its 18 broad perspective and this was disappointing. And they 19 wished that it would become what it once was. 20 456 And finally, just to sum up, CBC is 21 very important to what it is that I do, what it is that 22 my colleagues in the film and video arts and in the 23 broader arts community do. It's vital. CBC in a local 24 area -- in a local way and in a national way has been 25 instrumental in publicising things that my -- things StenoTran 96 1 and events that my organization does. They have been 2 very good at returning phone calls and I have been able 3 to hear my organization's work on a national level, 4 like, for example, the arts broadcast or the "Arts 5 Report", that's very important. 6 457 It's also enabled me to hear what 7 else is going on in the arts scene. They have been 8 very responsive to the arts scene here in Edmonton. 9 458 We would obviously like to see it 10 strengthened, but we would particularly like to hear 11 our stories be added to the national mix, because if 12 they aren't then it isn't truly national. 13 459 Thank you very much for hearing me. 14 --- Applause / Applaudissements 15 460 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 16 much. 17 461 I should say that there are CBC 18 representatives here. I mentioned Joe Novak, and some 19 of his colleagues and we are going to give them an 20 opportunity to say a few words when we wrap up each 21 session, which we think will be around 5:00, but 22 sometimes it goes a little later. And then the next 23 one will be at the end of the evening. But we will 24 give CBC a chance and we are here to hear from you, but 25 we think, you know, when in the regions it is fair that StenoTran 97 1 they get to listen too and get to, if not respond, at 2 least acknowledge what they are hearing and share some 3 of their views with you. 4 462 Now, if it is all right with you, we 5 will take about a 10-minute break, unless there is 6 somebody here who just desperately has to get to the 7 dentist or something and needs to give his or her 8 presentation, then of course we will jig things around. 9 But if we can take a 10-minute break, this seems like 10 an ideal time to do it. So we will see you back here 11 in about 10 minutes. 12 463 Thank you. 13 --- Recess at 1515 / Suspension à 1515 14 --- Upon resuming at 1535 / Reprise à 1535 15 464 MR. McWHINNEY: Okay. Can I invite 16 Mr. Lawrence Crosthwaite, please, to present. 17 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 18 465 MR. CROSTHWAITE: You caught me with 19 a candy in my mouth. 20 466 Mr. Chairman, fellow presenters, 21 ladies and gentlemen, my name is Lawrence Crosthwaite 22 and I live in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan. 23 467 I'm 65 years of age and I have 24 listened to CBC Radio from my childhood. My father was 25 a teacher and an avid CBC listener, was so much a StenoTran 98 1 listener that he had a radio in his classroom in his 2 school where he taught as a principal in Yorkton, 3 Saskatchewan many years ago BTV, and that's "before 4 television". 5 468 I grew up with Lorne Greene and Jack 6 Benny and Fred Allen(ph) and John Fisher(ph). You 7 remember John Fisher, Mr. Canada? With "John Fisher 8 Reports" on radio, it is a long time ago. 9 469 I grew up with weather reports and 10 sports and local and national news. And the local news 11 then was truly local from all over Saskatchewan. 12 470 When I left home I joined the Navy 13 and I left the CBC, not because I didn't like it, but 14 because I was young and I wasn't very interested and 15 radio on board a ship in those days was hard to come by 16 and we didn't get CBC in Korea. 17 471 Many years later after I married and 18 television was around, my family and myself became 19 partners with CBC. The CBC produced it and we watched 20 it and we listened. And the programming on TV was 21 varied with both Canadian and American content and we 22 had no problem with this. 23 472 Radio introduced us to Gzowski and 24 Gabereau, Enright and Maitland, Sinclair and Frum, just 25 to name a few. We heard about Canada from coast to StenoTran 99 1 coast and from the Territories. We heard these 2 people's humour, their frustrations, their sadness, but 3 we heard them. 4 473 Then something happened. The network 5 got better, it got smarter and it got bolder. It was 6 capable of producing top notch television and radio 7 programming, it was beginning to show Canadians what 8 was really happening in their land and in our 9 legislatures. And this showed us, for the first time, 10 the soft underbelly of our government and its leaders. 11 474 The government didn't like this very 12 much and became involved with the CBC as it never had 13 in the past. Now CBC had to answer to nervous, 14 frightened and sometimes vicious politicians and 15 bureaucrats. The CBC changed because the CBC had its 16 own bureaucrats and its own nervous nellies. 17 475 The CBC was no longer master in its 18 own house. The result of this is the Government of 19 Canada, and there are no exclusions here, appoints the 20 Board of Directors, not only for the CBC, but for the 21 Commission who is to oversee the broadcasting and 22 investigating and licensing of the CBC. 23 476 So we have here two appointed bodies 24 who answer only to certain select government members, 25 trying to find out what Canadians think of the CBC and StenoTran 100 1 what should be done for the future. 2 477 I urge the following: 3 478 The CBC Board of Directors be elected 4 by the listeners. There be at least one member from 5 each province and territory. The Board is not paid, 6 its members receive an allowance to travel not to 7 exceed a reasonable agreed upon amount. 8 479 The Board is accountable only to the 9 CBC shareholders, that is the listeners and viewers of 10 the CBC. In other words, the Canadian people. 11 480 That the CBC staff do their jobs 12 without interference from the Board or the government. 13 Provide the CBC with a guaranteed income with no 14 reductions and a 2 per cent increase in funding each 15 year for the next 10 years, such funding to be spent on 16 creative people and programming and not on bureaucrats 17 and administrators. 18 481 Provide funding to ensure that all 19 Canadians have equal access to service of what the 20 residents of Toronto and Vancouver now receive. In 21 other words, the people will have the same clarity and 22 the same variety of broadcast even if you live in 23 Lloydminster. 24 482 Provide programming that reflects the 25 national interest and not the centre of itself of StenoTran 101 1 Toronto and Ottawa. Provide the regions with the 2 financial and technical ability to better provide for 3 local and regional programming. 4 483 And this is one that the wife stuck 5 in for me. Get rid of that blasted every half hour 6 news which interrupts the proper flow of programs. 7 484 I maintain that we have an aging 8 population who has listened all these years to 9 Gzowski's and Gabereau's shows and we felt comfortable 10 with them. They spoke our language. They asked our 11 questions and they are gone. And we do not have 12 replacements that care or replacements that are 13 discouraged from being themselves and they are towing 14 the corporate line. 15 485 "Cross Country Checkup" in my opinion 16 is a farce. After the host pontificates his position, 17 we must then endure minutes of selected guest experts 18 who take up reams of time and then we find that the 19 callers are carefully screened and we seldom hear a 20 dissenting opinion. Far too much time is wasted. Why 21 not throw it open to the public like any other open 22 line show and really hear the voice of the country? 23 486 What of the future of the CBC? If 24 the medium of both TV and radio does not inform, 25 entertain and enlighten its audience, it will surely StenoTran 102 1 lose them. If bureaucracy does not get out of the way 2 of the CBC it will slowly fade into oblivion. If we do 3 not accept a reasonable balance between our talents and 4 those from outside our borders, the future of CBC is 5 limited. 6 487 Canadian Content rules and 7 regulations will not move the CBC from mediocrity and 8 poor programming. The communications giant has woken 9 and CBC and regulating bodies must realize this. 10 Satellite dishes and receivers allow people to watch as 11 they please. There is no longer a captive audience. 12 488 I submit if these hearings fail again 13 to hear what Canadians are saying and choose not to 14 change, shortly the CBC will not need to hold these 15 hearings as the CBC will no longer exist. 16 489 I would like to make a couple of just 17 brief comments, if I may, aside from this, it will take 18 a couple of seconds. 19 490 They are talking about a third radio 20 station. We in Lloydminster would be tickled pink to 21 get one that we can hear, because we can't get -- we 22 are kind of unique in there because we can pick up 23 Edmonton and Regina if the weather's okay. It is kind 24 of like being in the Arctic, you know. When at night, 25 particularly if we get Northern Lights, you can forget StenoTran 103 1 about radio. And a lot of people don't believe this. 2 491 CBC from Edmonton, the signal drops, 3 I believe it is 6:30 at night because of some 4 arrangement with the American thing or something from a 5 long time ago. And with all due respect to you and 6 everybody that's here, I couldn't care less about the 7 Americans. I want my CBC. 8 --- Applause / Applaudissements 9 492 MR. CROSTHWAITE: We don't get any 10 Saskatchewan news on TV in Lloydminster, you have to go 11 all the way to, virtually, Saskatoon, because the dish 12 that we use picks up Calgary. So at night, for news 13 broadcasting there is no Saskatchewan news and as yet, 14 they haven't set it up so that we can put another 15 channel of CBC on and then pick up Regina or Saskatoon. 16 And that's just -- 17 493 There was something mentioned about 18 "The Valour and The Horror". And I just wanted to say 19 that history isn't always beautiful. 20 494 Lately we have been getting on radio 21 in the morning on the "Morning Show" that starts at 22 nine o'clock, once a week we get 10 minutes of 23 Saskatchewan news. This morning I heard 10 minutes of 24 Manitoba news. That's it for the week. 25 495 I guess -- I have a question, I would StenoTran 104 1 sure like to know where Terry Milewsky went. Because 2 he spoke, as you know, told us what was going on on the 3 coast and then he mysteriously disappeared. 4 --- Applause / Applaudissements 5 496 MR. CROSTHWAITE: I have got a little 6 problem with these guys in Ottawa, I'm sorry, sir. But 7 I have got a little problem with these guys in Ottawa 8 and to some extent the guys in Regina and Edmonton and 9 Victoria. 10 497 I got a sneaking hunch they don't 11 know how to deal with this medium. They have 12 discovered that if they get up in the morning and Mr. 13 Clark found this out -- God, if he comes home late 14 there is a TV camera in his backyard and he may not 15 like it and I don't like it, but it is there. 16 498 Politicians have to understand that 17 the people are more intelligent of what is going on 18 around them than ever before. And maybe they are 19 intimidated. Maybe they are intimidated when CBC runs 20 the House so that we find out what is going on in 21 Parliament, or better still on television you can watch 22 it. 23 499 I must admit I have never seen such a 24 bunch of yahoos in all my life. They don't seem to 25 understand that they were elected to go there and ask StenoTran 105 1 questions for us. And all we are asking is that there 2 be an answer, but we don't get it from the government. 3 And I digress, I'm sorry. 4 500 But I guess maybe this medium, the 5 television and the radio, has made it that it becomes 6 more difficult for accountability, because it seems to 7 be absent. And I am hoping that as you go across this 8 great land of ours, talk to people, listen to people, 9 and when you go back and you find that, holy smokes, we 10 got a whole bunch of Canadians that kind of like CBC. 11 And so much so that maybe, maybe they would like to see 12 it improved and that maybe, maybe when you are talking 13 to whoever it is from government, because you have to 14 approach somebody, I guess, and somebody could slide in 15 a little thing that says, "I would like to suggest that 16 you come up with a couple of bucks for these guys and 17 let's let them have their network back". 18 --- Applause / Applaudissements 19 501 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 20 much, sir, for coming from Lloydminster and I 21 appreciate that very much, we all do. But I have no 22 questions, you were perfectly clear. 23 502 Michael? 24 1535 25 503 MR. McWHINNEY: Can I invite StenoTran 106 1 Mr. Henry Kuchison, please. 2 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 3 504 MR. KUCHISON: Hi. I first want to 4 thank the CRTC for giving me an opportunity to make a 5 presentation like I am able to today. This is the 6 first time that I have ever made a presentation of any 7 sort on a topic like this and I think maybe that 8 indicates how strong my feelings are about what is 9 happening. 10 505 I'm an Edmonton resident and I have 11 no -- what would you call it? -- great credentials like 12 some of my predecessors here, but I will attempt to 13 indicate to you what the CBC means to me. 14 506 I have been a listener to the CBC for 15 at least the past 50 years and have always been 16 impressed with how this media entity gathers and 17 disseminates news and information to the Canadian 18 public. I find that one can tune into the CBC Radio at 19 almost any time and hear a program on a topic that is 20 being discussed that will capture ones interest. 21 507 You will hear coverage covering 22 politics, sports, arts, economics, science, medicine, 23 general interest stories and so forth. The programs 24 are always presented at a layman's level of 25 understanding, which is a real credit to this StenoTran 107 1 organization. 2 508 And I ask you, what other media 3 outlet covers such a wide spectrum? And I don't think 4 there is one, and I don't think anyone can name one. 5 And as such, I almost have to feel that CBC is almost 6 the culture of Canada and should be preserved at all 7 costs. 8 509 I greatly admire the journalistic 9 professionalism of this organization and I consider its 10 news reporting is far more reliable than many other 11 sources. The CBC does not seem to be bound by hidden 12 agendas or self-interests as other media sources are. 13 510 For example, private media 14 programmers must be very careful in airing programs 15 that might be critical of the corporate sector actions, 16 particularly of those corporations that advertise with 17 that media source since advertising is the source of 18 the media's income, consequently they can't -- they 19 must observe this if they wish to survive. 20 511 And this is understandable and I 21 don't disagree with this, but -- and if ones survival 22 is at stake, he's surely not going to bite the hand 23 that feeds him. The result, however, is that the 24 private medium will shy away from a lot of issues which 25 I do not think is in the public interest. StenoTran 108 1 512 CBC, on the other hand, while it is 2 also dependent somewhat on the advertising dollar, 3 that's TV only, tends to be more moved from this 4 influence and therefore can be more objective, which is 5 what the media should be. CBC Radio has no advertising 6 and is therefore further removed from that influence. 7 513 Because the CBC receives most of its 8 funding from the government, it could be subject to 9 political influences in its news reporting. However, 10 judging by some of the programs that have been aired, 11 such as the Airbus scandal or more recently the APEC 12 incident in Vancouver, it would appear that this has 13 not been a major factor. 14 514 I do suspect that the present 15 government is somewhat hostile towards the CBC over the 16 coverage of the APEC incident and will retaliate by 17 their further cutbacks in funding or by encouraging the 18 present strike to continue, or by attempting to 19 privatize this organization. 20 515 The CBC is very professional in 21 conducting its interviews on contentious issues. 22 Whether or not I agree with the views expressed, I am 23 always impressed how the interviewers will have a guest 24 air his views on a contentious issue and then provide 25 equal time to someone on the opposite side of the StenoTran 109 1 issue. And I really stress that, because that is 2 something that is not done in other media sources. 3 516 The CBC interviews will always ask 4 probing questions, but the interviewer will never 5 express his opinion. It is up to the audience to make 6 up their own mind after the program is over. 7 517 I have never seen or heard a CBC 8 interviewer be rude to a guest or chide him for his 9 views. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for other 10 radio stations that I have been tuned in to. In fact, 11 I have heard incidents that are totally embarrassing to 12 the guest and to the audience. The way the CBC handles 13 this truly represents, I think, freedom of speech and 14 this is what democracy is about and this is what Canada 15 is about. 16 518 The news reporting for CBC is far 17 more reliable and dependable in my opinion. While I am 18 sure that it, too, is subject to inaccuracies, I am 19 prepared to trust this news source more than any other. 20 519 As an example, last November the City 21 of Edmonton sent out revised tax assessments to reflect 22 market value assessment for all residential properties. 23 When I received mine I was upset that the valuation was 24 far above the market value and I attempted to call City 25 Hall several times, but had no success in getting StenoTran 110 1 through. 2 520 That evening on the six o'clock news 3 one TV station reported that there were very few 4 complaints and it was relatively a quiet day at City 5 Hall. The CBC version, however, was that City Hall had 6 been swamped with calls, which confirmed my experience. 7 Later in the week, a newspaper article stated that 8 there were more than 9,000 calls on Monday, the first 9 day, and 11,146 calls on Tuesday. Yet, one TV station 10 reported this as "very few" complaints. 11 521 I ask you, is this responsible 12 reporting? Why was it reported this way and, you know, 13 is there a hidden agenda? Was there an attempt to hide 14 facts or simply inaccurate reporting? I don't know. 15 522 But CBC Radio is very informative. 16 From 6:00 in the morning until 9:00 in the morning you 17 get local news and local issues are aired. From 9:00 18 till 12:00, the concentration is more national topics, 19 information is presented from all other provinces and 20 the audience finds out what is happening in other parts 21 of Canada. And I find this very informative and very 22 useful to me. And this really gives Canadians an 23 opportunity to see how they relate with each other. 24 523 From 12:00 to 2:00 in the afternoon, 25 you get more of the same, but this is restricted to the StenoTran 111 1 provincial issues. And these are most interesting 2 forums and I must say that after hearing both sides of 3 an issue I have had my mind changed on more than one 4 occasion. Nothing is totally black and white and I 5 don't think that anybody brings that out better than 6 the CBC in the media. 7 524 From six o'clock to 8:00 p.m., you 8 get "As It Happens". Again, an excellent program, 9 which, because of its high quality has a large 10 listening audience in the U.S. also. This, indeed, is 11 another credit to the CBC as it probably is one of the 12 only Canadian media sources that penetrates the 13 American market to that extent. 14 525 As an aside on "As It Happens", on 15 Tuesday evening, the Premier of Saskatchewan was 16 interviewed about passing legislation prohibiting an 17 elected MLA to cross the floor to another political 18 party without first resigning and having a by-election 19 to ensure his constituents were in agreement with this. 20 There has been a lot of critical discussion on this 21 point in the past here in Alberta and elsewhere in 22 Canada, yet no other media source, that I am aware of, 23 has reported on that. And you know, interesting, why 24 not? 25 526 After midnight we get CBC programming StenoTran 112 1 from Europe, Australia, Africa and they, again, are 2 most enlightened as they indicate what's happening on 3 the world scene. As an example, about two weeks ago on 4 one of these programs, there was a news report that a 5 privatized electrical utilities in Buenos Aires had 6 failed and had been in operation for 10 days. And 7 considerable havoc had been created with this and the 8 government appeared to be powerless about doing 9 anything about this. 10 527 Right now, we are looking at 11 privatizing electrical utility in this City. It would 12 appear to me that this Buenos Aires incident would be a 13 very timely news item. An investigation into what 14 caused it would be, I think, of great interest to us as 15 consumers and whether it could also happen here. Yet, 16 to my knowledge, this has never been reported in any 17 other media here in Edmonton. And one is left to 18 wonder why not. 19 528 Earlier, I had referred to the 20 influence of advertising on programming. About four or 21 five years ago, the City of Edmonton hosted the World 22 Figure Skating Championships and the coverage of the 23 event was handled by a TV station other than the CBC. 24 529 Advertising was so extensive that 25 portions of the event were cut off to accommodate it. StenoTran 113 1 This prompted many complaints, letters to newspapers 2 and criticism of the TV coverage. And I submit that 3 this would never have happened had the CBC been 4 covering that event. 5 --- Applause / Applaudissements 6 530 MR. KUCHISON: When I listen to other 7 radio stations, I find that at least 80 per cent of the 8 time is devoted to hit parade music and advertising. I 9 don't want to be over critical of this, because I 10 realize that this does appeal to a segment of the 11 population and advertising is the only means of 12 survival for the stations. There is, in my opinion, 13 however not too much substance to this and it really 14 does very little to promote Canadian culture. 15 531 It should also be noted that in the 16 remote, sparsely populated parts of the country, 17 Northern Canada is what I'm referring to here, where 18 advertising is not profitable, the sole media source is 19 the CBC. And I think one has to wonder, like, should 20 the CBC be privatized or, you know, cease to be in 21 existence just what will be happening with those people 22 there. 23 532 In conclusion, I must state that the 24 CBC is one of the most critical mainstays to the 25 preservation of the Canadian culture and I think you StenoTran 114 1 should make every effort to ensure that it stays that 2 way. I am sure that there is a segment of the 3 population to which the CBC does not appeal to, but as 4 it now stands we have a choice to listen to what we 5 want to and I would strongly insist that it remain so. 6 533 According to a letter in the Edmonton 7 Journal and that was by one of the previous speakers 8 here, Mrs. Hole, according to her article, the cost of 9 the CBC -- it would cost every Canadian $27 a year to 10 run the CBC and this is truly a small price to pay for 11 the value that we get. I, personally, would be 12 prepared to pay double that amount to ensure that we 13 continue to have this organization operate as it is 14 operating now. 15 534 And that ends my presentation. I 16 thank you very much for listening. 17 --- Applause / Applaudissements 18 535 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 19 much, sir. No questions, you were very clear. We know 20 exactly where you stand, I do not have you in the 21 "undecided" column. 22 1547 23 536 Michael, our next speaker. Would you 24 mind switching your microphone off, sir. Thank you. 25 537 MR. McWHINNEY: I would just like to StenoTran 115 1 indicate before we go on that for those of you have the 2 agenda, we are continuing as best as we can through the 3 agenda in order. 4 --- Technical difficulties / Problèmes techniques 5 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 6 538 MS BENCZ: -- representing the 7 Edmonton Gleaners' Association, which is better known 8 as Edmonton's Food Bank. We are a central warehouse 9 that collects and redistributes food to over 100 10 agencies, churches and food depots in Edmonton and 11 area. Each month we provide food to over 16,000 people 12 through the hamper programs and we also provide food to 13 200,000 meals and snacks each month. 14 539 CBC, and particularly CBC Radio, has 15 been instrumental in promoting our food drives as we 16 have needed them. They, as an organization, have been 17 very supportive of and promoted their own turkey drive 18 at Christmas and last year that particular drive raised 19 over 2,200 turkeys for our organization -- and that's a 20 lot of turkeys. 21 540 In addition to helping our 22 organization on a local basis, there is definitely fall 23 out to other food banks across Alberta who benefit by 24 being listeners and having donors listening to CBC and 25 encouraging them to participate. StenoTran 116 1 541 While most people want to support 2 local charities and help them out, I think the other 3 way that I would like to say that CBC is very special 4 in our community is that hard issues like poverty often 5 don't get the coverage that are needed. We serve an 6 isolated group of people, about 5 per cent of the 7 population, who are often very disadvantaged and feel 8 that their issues aren't heard by the larger 9 population. And these issues are complex and they 10 require in-depth reporting. And that is what makes CBC 11 and in particular, CBC Radio stand out, is that they 12 will take that time to look at the issues, to dig a 13 little deeper to find out what causes these issues in 14 our communities. 15 542 And it is very important that the 16 public is aware of what causes hunger, what causes 17 poverty in our communities and that there is some 18 public discussion around that. And I feel really 19 passionately that CBC has been a voice of many issues 20 such as hunger and poverty in our community and I would 21 certainly encourage CBC to continue to do so. 22 543 I have also been fortunate to work a 23 little closer with CBC staff because of their interest 24 in these issues. And over the last few years, I feel 25 that they have been under a lot of pressure because of StenoTran 117 1 cuts and changes. And I just want to say that as a 2 group they have represented Canadians very well and 3 brought forward those issues despite having to feel a 4 little bit of pressure themselves and rearrange 5 schedules and to try to keep doing things right, even 6 though they are under those kinds of pressures. So I 7 would really like to add that to the discussion today 8 that a lot of respect and credit needs to go to those 9 individuals on the air and behind the scenes that make 10 it happen. 11 544 I certainly -- I will keep my 12 comments brief because so many speakers have spoken 13 today and their comments have been great and I would 14 just be repeating what they have already said. 15 545 So I will just close by saying that I 16 agree with Lois Hole 100 per cent, "This Hour has 22 17 Minutes" is very special. It's the only show that my 18 14-year old and my parents can both watch and both 19 enjoy and both understand at the same time. 20 546 So I will close with that. 21 --- Applause / Applaudissements 22 547 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much 23 and if you have a 14-year old working for charity, it 24 must be good for you, as you don't look old enough. 25 548 Michael? StenoTran 118 1 1600 2 549 MR. McWHINNEY: Can I invite 3 Mr. Andrew Raeburn, please. 4 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 5 550 MR. RAEBURN: Good afternoon. I am 6 President and Artistic Director of the Ester 7 Honan's(ph) Calgary International Piano Competition. I 8 speak also on behalf of Mrs. Jenny Belzberg(ph) who is 9 Chairperson of the Ester Honan's Competition. 10 551 The competition has worked closely 11 with the CBC for the past seven years. The CBC ought, 12 in my view, to give attention to more aspects of 13 Canadian life than any other broadcaster in the nation, 14 and I believe that it does so, especially on radio. 15 552 The coverage given news, current 16 events and sports on television is first-class. There 17 is something of a void in live television coverage of 18 arts events. 19 553 As for radio, coverage in every area 20 of Canadian life is largely admirable. Despite recent 21 protests about partiality, I find the CBC more 22 even-handed in its coverage of politics than any other 23 broadcaster in Canada. 24 554 It also seems to me appropriate that 25 the CBC should, from time to time, turn its hand to StenoTran 119 1 investigative reporting. Apart from all else, there is 2 little point in having a national broadcaster of record 3 whose programs are unwatched or unheard and such 4 reporting helps build audience share. 5 555 As for the question whether the CBC 6 serves the public on various levels, I find that on 7 both Radio One and Radio Two, local, regional and 8 national coverage are in happy balance. Locally we 9 hear interviews and round table discussions with and 10 between politicians, commentators, cultural and 11 educational leaders who talk about many matters and 12 events of interest in their communities, very often 13 amplifying on the much more skimpy material provided by 14 the printed media. 15 556 The interesting plans for Radio 16 Three, to which Mr. Langford and a couple of other 17 speakers have already referred, show that the CBC will 18 reach out even further to Canadians of all ages. 19 557 On the strictly musical front, the 20 CBC gives Canadian orchestras, chamber musicians, solo 21 artists and the three international music competitions 22 based here in Alberta, a nationwide forum which would 23 otherwise be totally unavailable to them. This 24 coverage is absolutely vital to the continuing health 25 of music in Canada and to music by Canadian composers. StenoTran 120 1 The links which the CBC has to other broadcasters 2 throughout the world means that such work is made 3 available internationally. 4 558 As for positioning its programming in 5 relation to other broadcasters, I believe it important 6 that all CBC offerings reflect a corporate philosophy. 7 How greatly that means programming should differ from 8 that of other broadcasters must of course depend on 9 that philosophy. 10 559 Viewers in the United States have a 11 good idea of the fare they will find on PBS and 12 Canadians will similarly recognize the Bravo! style. I 13 have no doubt that the CBC goes through an ongoing 14 exercise to try to find and maintain a unique identity, 15 although the constant downsizing over the past few 16 years and the simmering labour disputes must have made 17 it extremely difficult. 18 560 The millennium is acting as a spur to 19 dramatic change in many spheres of activity. Where it 20 undermines complacency it is healthy; where it produces 21 change for the sake of change the results may be less 22 happy. It seems to me that in the present end of the 23 century mood, the CBC should be reactive rather than 24 proactive in making change, that it should continue 25 steadily and deliberately altering the face of its StenoTran 121 1 programming in line with its philosophy. 2 561 In summary, I believe that the CBC is 3 doing a fine job in trying circumstances, that the 4 majority of broadcasters, producers and technicians are 5 dedicated and conscientious and that Canadian culture 6 and Canadians would be greatly the poorer without the 7 CBC's programs. 8 562 I strongly support the re-licensing 9 of the CBC. 10 --- Applause / Applaudissements 11 563 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 12 much, sir. One question. 13 564 We have, as you know, the right, some 14 might say the duty, but we certainly have the right and 15 the power to require to put Conditions of Licence on 16 the CBC and that has been done in the past in dramatic 17 ways about Canadian content, going back 30 years and 18 the CBC has responded, I must say, brilliantly and 19 sensitively to this. In fact, they exceed their 20 Canadian content. It's a matter of -- I am not here to 21 praise the CBC, but it is a matter of public record 22 they exceed their Canadian content requirements. 23 565 But there is Canadian content and 24 there is Canadian content. And your association with 25 piano and live performances perhaps point out one of StenoTran 122 1 the areas where Canadian content is at its weakest, 2 particularly on television and that is in live 3 broadcasts of concerts, dance, theatre. 4 566 Do you feel you are getting enough of 5 that on the CBC, particularly on television? 6 567 MR. RAEBURN: No, I don't feel that 7 we get enough of that, unfortunately. And I suspect 8 one of the reasons may well be that the union mandated 9 fees of the artists are rather out of the reach of more 10 than an occasional telecast or broadcast. And that is 11 a matter of considerable sadness to me. 12 568 THE CHAIRPERSON: I suspect you may 13 be right. 14 569 Thank you very much. 15 --- Applause / Applaudissements 16 1605 17 570 MR. McWHINNEY: Could I invite 18 Ms Diane Webster to present, please. 19 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 20 571 MS WEBSTER: Good afternoon, ladies 21 and gentlemen. Thank you for giving me the opportunity 22 to speak with you about the CBC and the CRTC licensing. 23 572 For the better part of 60 years I 24 have been a loyal, devoted and one might say, welded 25 listener to CBC Radio. My husband and I have derived StenoTran 123 1 many hours of pleasure, joy and intellectual 2 stimulation from the programming provided by CBC Radio 3 and Television. 4 573 From the early days with Max Ferguson 5 and Allan McPhee(ph) to the present, the programming 6 has been excellent, and at times, so outstanding and 7 exceptional that it takes your breath away and touches 8 your soul. 9 574 As we know, the past two years have 10 very difficult and unsettled for the CBC and her 11 supporters. Budgets have been continually reduced 12 which has resulted in downsizing and increasing 13 uncertainty on the part of CBC staff and management, as 14 well as her supporters. 15 575 I can only imagine the extreme level 16 of stress experienced by the people on the other side 17 of the dial or channel and I sympathize. But I can, 18 without hesitation, tell you how frustrating and 19 upsetting these disruptions to programming and the 20 uncertainty of the future of the CBC is to those of us 21 on the receiving side of the transmission. 22 576 It is not my place to cast blame or 23 point fingers, but it seems to me that the recognition 24 of the CBC as an integral part of our Canadian 25 identity, coupled with the appropriate funding to StenoTran 124 1 accomplish this goal, is at the crux of the matter. To 2 this end, I have written to the Honourable Sheila Copps 3 asking her to provide assistance. 4 577 To say that the CBC is an integral 5 part of our Canadian identity is an understatement. As 6 a military family, we lived in several parts of the 7 world and have travelled quite extensively. The one 8 constant in our lives is the CBC. Although we are 9 retired now, our travelling days are not over and no 10 matter where we venture, we look for and find the CBC, 11 which makes us feel connected and comfortable. 12 578 While living in Europe, our CBC 13 programming was provided by the Canadian Forces Network 14 on a one or two-day delay, except for the news which 15 was current. We looked forward to that delayed 16 programming like a thirsty person in the desert 17 searching for water. We were connected to Canada and 18 comfortable. 19 579 The same applies to travelling in 20 foreign countries. Radio Canada International is the 21 lifeline. The CBC binds us, no other broadcaster 22 accomplishes this. 23 580 As you can see, I am very concerned 24 that we could lose the CBC with its intelligent 25 reporters and journalists, researchers, producers and, StenoTran 125 1 as we have experienced over the past month, its 2 invaluable technical crew. Exceptional programming 3 flows from this team and we must preserve the medium 4 that allows them to do what they do so well. 5 581 In order to preserve this medium, 6 perhaps we have to look beyond the status quo and take 7 a few painful steps in order to reach the goal of a 8 healthy and productive corporation. 9 582 I heard that senior management is 10 thinking of adding another radio station to the four 11 currently existing. This one would appeal to 18- to 12 21-year olds. To my mind this is folly. Whether or 13 not this concept would work is beside the point at this 14 stage. When your budget is stretched past the breaking 15 point, you do not embark on a new venture. The CBC 16 cannot be all things to all people. 17 583 The CBC should economize, perhaps 18 even consider consolidating -- this might be heresy -- 19 combining Radio One and Two, English and French 20 respectively, for a while and produce programming that 21 would appeal to all her supporters. There is some 22 repetition between Radio One and Radio Two right now. 23 584 Then, as time and money allow, 24 expand. We are all pleased with the many choices and 25 options we now have. But in order to save this jewel StenoTran 126 1 of a broadcaster we must be sensible. 2 585 Another viable possibility may be a 3 subscription system which has already been mentioned. 4 I am certain that this has been discussed as an 5 alternative to advertising on radio. PBS TV out of 6 Seattle, Washington does this effectively and they are 7 able to produce excellent programming. Our family 8 would be willing to pay $30 to $40 a year to subscribe 9 to CBC Radio and Television. 10 586 In closing I would like to say a word 11 about our local or regional programming. It is a 12 lifeline for us. Even though we are out and about 13 doing our daily business, it is essential to know that 14 the airwaves will bring us those familiar voices with a 15 click of the dial. The reporters, journalists and 16 hosts, along with the background crew, have become a 17 part of our extended family and as such, we trust them 18 to complement our lives. 19 587 A commentator on the radio referring 20 to the current labour difficulties said something about 21 the general public perhaps being so concerned about 22 health care problems to give much thought to the CBC. 23 Well, health care delivery and reform are major 24 concerns, but to my mind, the CBC is health care for 25 the soul and the spirit. We must preserve this public StenoTran 127 1 broadcaster, there is not an alternative anywhere. 2 588 Thank you. 3 --- Applause / Applaudissements 4 589 THE CHAIRPERSON: We welcome heresy 5 here. Mr. Crosthwaite earlier could refer to Rex 6 Murphy as "pontificating", I'm sure you can get away 7 with some suggestions on how to save some money. 8 590 Thank you very much. 9 591 Michael? 10 1611 11 592 MR. McWHINNEY: Can I now invite 12 Mr. Tim Willis to speak, please. 13 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 14 593 MR. WILLIS: Thank you and good 15 afternoon and I appreciate being given the opportunity 16 to speak. 17 594 I am the Manager of Exhibits and 18 Marketing at the Provincial Museum of Alberta and I 19 would like to speak in support of CBC's role as a 20 community partner. 21 595 In 1990 the Provincial Museum of 22 Alberta embarked on a series of unique exhibitions and 23 programs aimed at developing new audiences and 24 increasing its own self-sufficiency at a time of 25 enormous budgetary restraint. As a result of this StenoTran 128 1 initiative, the Museum has experienced a 2 revitalization. 3 596 Over the past nine years our 4 audiences have enjoyed 20 unique community events, the 5 replacement of 50 per cent of the Museum's permanent 6 galleries and nine international blockbuster 7 exhibitions. Our audience, during this time, exceeds 3 8 million visitors. 9 597 We have only been able to do this 10 with community partners. CBC Television and Radio have 11 been part of 16 of these projects. As media sponsor, 12 CBC has been a vital ingredient to our marketing 13 effort. CBC support has come in the form of radio 14 spots, 30-second television promotions, contests and 15 on-air features. If we had to buy this support, the 16 bill would total in the hundreds of thousands of 17 dollars, resources that we quite simply do not have. 18 598 At a time when other media charge a 19 significant fee, even for those projects that they 20 sponsor, CBC remains the sole bastion of full-blooded 21 community support. It is support born of a genuine 22 interest in what happens in this community and not just 23 an opportunity to make another buck. 24 599 Right now, CBC is supporting two 25 fascinating projects of the Museum. The largest toy StenoTran 129 1 exhibit in the Museum's history and a lecture series 2 which brings the world's leading archaeologists to the 3 City. 4 600 I would like to focus on one 5 particular example of CBC support. For seven years, 6 every Christmas, the Museum has presented an exhibition 7 of teddy bears. It is a celebration of the teddy bear 8 and its role as a symbol of our childhood. Each year 9 this project has grown and become increasingly popular. 10 601 It is a chance for the public to 11 become part of putting together an exhibition when they 12 loan their bears to be featured in the show. It is an 13 opportunity for young children to become accustomed to 14 the Museum and to view it as a friendly and fascinating 15 place. This year, the exhibition attracted over 60,000 16 visitors and this model is now being copied in Nova 17 Scotia and in Quebec. 18 602 CBC has supported this project every 19 year and as a result of this consistent and enduring 20 involvement we have established an amazingly broad and 21 loyal following and we have created a Christmas 22 tradition. 23 603 CBC has established itself as the 24 leading media voice of support for the arts, culture 25 and heritage in Northern Alberta. There is no doubt in StenoTran 130 1 my mind that the CBC can be directly credited with 2 ensuring that literally thousands of people each year 3 are given the opportunity to recognize and to celebrate 4 their culture. 5 604 Thank you. 6 --- Applause / Applaudissements 7 605 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much 8 and thank you for being brief, I am sure you could have 9 gone on and on, that sounds like a very, very happy 10 story. Thanks very much. 11 1616 12 606 MR. McWHINNEY: Can I now invite 13 Mr. Josh Miller to speak. 14 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 15 607 MR. MILLER: Thank you for the 16 opportunity to speak at this forum. We think it is 17 commendable that the CRTC recognizes the importance of 18 enabling a cross-section of Canadians to express their 19 point of view on the CBC and provide input on its 20 future direction. 21 608 I am an independent producer and 22 President of Mind's Eye Pictures (Alberta). We are an 23 Alberta majority owned production company that is 24 affiliated with Mind's Eye Pictures in Saskatchewan. 25 We produce dramatic TV series, movies of the week, StenoTran 131 1 miniseries and feature films and we also produce 2 documentaries and documentary series. 3 609 I am a native Edmontonian who worked 4 as a freelance screenwriter in the U.S. for 13 years 5 before returning home to head development for Super 6 Channel in 1990. And I joined Mind's Eye Pictures in 7 1995 to head up its development arm and to produce film 8 and television projects in Alberta. 9 610 We think that the CBC is essential. 10 The shared experience of things Canadian over the 11 airwaves helps us to maintain a common identity, which 12 is the basis of our nationhood. A strong public 13 broadcaster can air programs that private broadcasters 14 often won't, which makes the CBC an important venue and 15 we must support it. 16 611 Today, the CBC is being pulled in 17 many different directions. Other corporations in 18 similar circumstances often refer to their mission 19 statements to help refocus them on their core values 20 and for the CBC this mission statement is in the 21 Broadcast Act. 22 612 One of the CBC's core mandates is to 23 ensure regional reflection and yet, with the changes of 24 recent years, decisions have been made that seem to 25 have diverted the CBC somewhat from this goal, StenoTran 132 1 specifically in regard to its commitment to regional 2 independent production in Alberta. 3 613 We believe that a region is best 4 reflected by its independent producers, granted we are 5 somewhat biased on that point, as the ideas that ignite 6 our passion tend to be brought forward from grassroot 7 sources. And moreover, independent producers endeavour 8 to use CBC and other broadcast, but CBC broadcast 9 commitments to lever financing from many other sources, 10 both domestic and international, which means that often 11 we can deliver high production values resulting in high 12 end programs, which is a win/win situation for the CBC 13 and for its audiences. 14 614 Now, while it would be easy to lay 15 all the responsibility for the recent decline in 16 production here in Alberta recently at the feet of CBC 17 executives, the fact is that for three years, Alberta 18 producers have been without any provincial incentives 19 for film and TV production and this has hurt our 20 ability to finance productions here in Alberta. 21 615 That being said, however, it was also 22 something of a double whammy to have the CBC reducing 23 some of its commitments to independent producers in 24 Alberta around the same time. Perhaps the thinking was 25 justified internally by the need to balance shrinking StenoTran 133 1 budgets. The fact is, the CBC made choices that 2 resulted in diverting it away from one of its core 3 missions, which as I said was regional reflection. 4 616 However, now that the Alberta 5 Provincial Government has come around with a film 6 investment program, perhaps the effect will be 7 contagious. Joe Novak has come to Alberta and he says 8 that things are changing and I think we have to support 9 Joe in helping the corporation to direct funds and 10 shelf space to Alberta. As producers, we will provide 11 Joe with the creative ammunition he needs to go in and 12 justify the dollars. 13 617 Now, on the regulatory front, AMPIA 14 has already made its recommendations, so there is no 15 need for me to repeat them. But I would like to 16 reiterate that other broadcasters in Alberta have made 17 specific dollar promises as a Condition of Licence to 18 invest in the Alberta independent production sector and 19 some of them have done so over and above their 20 network's commitments. With this as precedent, it 21 would be consistent from a regulatory standpoint to 22 require the Alberta stations to do the same. 23 618 If such a commitment was made and 24 regularly scheduled regional slots were reserved for 25 independently produced Alberta programming, I think the StenoTran 134 1 CBC will have taken an enormous step toward fulfilling 2 its regional mandate here in Alberta. 3 619 Thank you for your time. 4 --- Applause / Applaudissements 5 620 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much 6 and the pressure is on, Mr. Novak. They like you, they 7 are going to kill you with kindness for a while, and 8 then maybe they will just kill you if you don't 9 deliver. 10 --- Laughter / Rires 11 621 THE CHAIRPERSON: Michael? 12 1620 13 622 MR. McWHINNEY: Can I invite Mr. Greg 14 Falkenstein, please, to speak. 15 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 16 623 MR. FALKENSTEIN: Thank you for the 17 opportunity. I am here to speak as a fan and in 18 defence of the CBC, especially radio. 19 624 CBC Radio and Television is vital to 20 all Canadians who seek intelligent and educational 21 broadcasting. What makes it unique and special is 22 quite simple. Private broadcasters exist for one 23 primary reason, to make profit at whatever the cost and 24 that cost is usually a dumbing down of programming to 25 appeal to the broadest possible audience. StenoTran 135 1 625 CBC, on the other hand, is a public 2 broadcaster where making profit is not the issue, 3 instead providing quality broadcasting is the CBC's 4 prime motivation. So you don't get the kind of mass 5 appeal to the lowest common denominator programming on 6 the CBC that the private broadcaster provides. 7 626 A private broadcaster would never 8 carry such programs as "Ideas", "Writers and Company", 9 "Tapestry" and so on, because these programs appeal to 10 a limited audience, but it is an audience nonetheless, 11 an intelligent audience that has the same right to 12 exist as the dumbed down mass appeal audience that I 13 spoke of above. If CBC doesn't carry programs for this 14 audience, who will? 15 627 And that's just radio. What about 16 television, specials that portray chapters in Canadian 17 history like "The Boys of St. Vincent", "The Arrow", 18 "Net Worth", "Dieppe". When was the last time you saw 19 a private broadcaster produce any Canadian programming 20 of this quality? 21 628 How about "The Valour and The 22 Horror"? Rivetting television that gave the viewer the 23 Canadian perspective from World War II. Some have a 24 problem with its slant, I am not one of them. But 25 whatever your feelings on that, I challenge anyone to StenoTran 136 1 provide even one example of private broadcasting ever 2 attempting such a similar large undertaking on Canadian 3 history. Private broadcasters just don't do long 4 challenging documentaries on Canada; they would rather 5 import a movie of the week from the U.S. that will 6 guarantee them big ratings. 7 629 I would like to speak about 8 advertising, what I consider a necessary evil. So of 9 course now I am only talking about CBC TV. 10 630 You have to keep in mind a private 11 broadcaster can't offend its advertisers and owners. 12 For example, it is simply not good business for a 13 private broadcaster's news staff to report on stories 14 that would shed an unpleasant light on any of its many 15 advertisers or to present any kind of editorial opinion 16 that would be contrary to its owners. It is because 17 the CBC is funded largely from the taxpayers of Canada 18 that it is free to have a voice unhindered with the 19 threat of owner or advertiser retribution. 20 631 And unfortunately the sorry Terry 21 Milewsky proves, meddling from above does happen at 22 times at the CBC. Meddling from the most unwelcome 23 source of all, the Government of Canada. This has to 24 be eliminated. How can a news service function when 25 they have to fear for their very jobs if they make the StenoTran 137 1 government look bad? 2 632 The Milewsky affair shows that 3 sometimes the government tries to muzzle the CBC and 4 that is shameful. Just because poor Mr. Chretien feels 5 he is being slighted, millions of viewers and listeners 6 have to pay the price through reduced CBC funding and 7 interference from above. And it is so easy to do when 8 the Board and the President are Prime Ministerial 9 appointments. This has to be changed. 10 633 My suggestion? An all-party 11 committee appoints the Board, choosing from a list of 12 candidates, hopefully representing all the provinces 13 and territories, who have expressed their interest in a 14 Board position and all of whom must have some kind of a 15 background in public broadcasting in order to be 16 eligible to stand as candidates. I don't think that 17 this could be just open to anyone, because then you 18 would have people like Dave Rutherford running, who 19 would just want to get in there and tear the place 20 down. 21 634 As for programming, only the CBC 22 speaks to the whole country. As an Edmontonian I can't 23 turn on a local private radio station and hear voices 24 from all ten provinces and two territories speaking to 25 me in interviews, in in-depth documentaries, in StenoTran 138 1 specialty programs, in newscasts that last longer than 2 90 seconds. Only CBC Radio provides these programming 3 options, and I consider Canadians so fortunate that 4 they are provided with such a vital educational 5 service. 6 635 The government cutbacks are harming 7 the quality and the output of the CBC. Local radio 8 programming is not as varied as it once was. National 9 radio programming relies more and more on repeat 10 programming, especially in the summertime. And the 11 marvellous television specials I referred to earlier 12 are becoming rare. This is a travesty. We have 13 something so special in the CBC we should be building 14 it up; not whittling it down. 15 636 Ottawa is now in a budget surplus 16 situation, there is no justification for not pumping 17 more money back into a CBC budget that was severely 18 slashed. 19 637 I, for one, would be thrilled to pay 20 more income tax if that's what it takes to restore 21 necessary funding to the CBC. Or perhaps sell 22 memberships, not fundraising drives like PBS, because 23 then the government would justify cutting off taxpayer 24 funding, just simple membership, say $10 a year, 25 devotees would be happy to pay it and it would raise StenoTran 139 1 millions. 2 638 I would like to speak about the talk 3 of changes to television. Some say CBC should get out 4 of providing a local newscast. I strongly disagree. 5 CBC's local newscast is hands down the finest in 6 Edmonton. And yes, that is an objective opinion, 7 because I do watch all of the local newscasts, it is 8 part of my employment. 9 639 I believe more people than not are 10 interested in news about their city or region. A local 11 CBC newscast is simply a must. To not do one would be 12 like a derogation of duty, like a slap in the face to 13 faithful viewers. 14 640 And I would like to take this 15 opportunity to slam the farcical news rating system. 16 Despite being hands down the finest local newscast, 17 CBC's show always comes in last in the ratings. To 18 this, I say hurray! As I pointed out above, popularity 19 has never been equated with quality. The day CBC's 20 local news ratings starts to climb is probably the day 21 they have resorted to sensationalism and more sex and 22 more blood and brain-dead morning radio kinds of 23 contests. 24 641 I'm convinced CBC Television would 25 just get out of the absurd and demeaning ratings game StenoTran 140 1 if it could, but I think there is some stipulation that 2 it has to continue in order to sell advertising at some 3 certain rate. I don't know how that is, but I do know 4 all broadcasting, public and private, would benefit if 5 ratings was abolished, there has to be some other way. 6 642 Also, some are saying CBC should get 7 out of broadcasting sports. Well, I am a firm believer 8 in history and tradition and there certainly is a 9 tradition of sports on CBC Television that people have 10 grown up with and expect. CBC will alienate millions 11 if it drops long-running Canadian sports traditions 12 like "Hockey Night in Canada", CFL, curling. Just 13 don't expand the sports coverage, don't carry sports 14 from outside of Canada and let the private outlets 15 debase themselves by carrying things like snowboarding 16 and beach volleyball. 17 643 Even the Olympics, don't bother. 18 There's no more tradition of Olympics on CBC than there 19 is on CTV. The CBC should only consider carrying the 20 Olympics when they are held in Canada. 21 644 Finally, regarding -- 22 --- Technical difficulties / Problèmes techniques 23 645 MR. FALKENSTEIN: -- logical, then 24 the CBC would have died a generation ago when that 25 current group of listeners died off. StenoTran 141 1 646 Teenagers like popular hit music 2 radio, that's just the way it is. CBC's an acquired 3 taste. Teenagers will never listen to the CBC in its 4 present form and that's okay. It is not until one gets 5 older and more interested in what is going on around 6 them, that something like the CBC would ever appeal. 7 It sure didn't appeal to me when I was young and I am a 8 huge fan now and my experience is certainly not unique. 9 647 Spend a pile of money to create a 10 third network to attempt to woo listeners that will 11 come over in time would be a huge waste of money. Why 12 not spend it instead on improving the existing 13 services. 14 648 In closing, remember that not 15 everyone has or even wants a computer. Not everyone is 16 the least bit interested in the 500-channel universe. 17 Many of us are satisfied with just a few top quality 18 broadcasting options. The key phrase here is "top 19 quality", that the CBC is. 20 649 Even with the massive funding cuts it 21 has had to endure with restoration of at least some of 22 this money and a change at the top away from such 23 severe Prime Ministerial control, the CBC will become 24 even better. 25 650 I am just one of the millions of StenoTran 142 1 Canadians that demands the continuation of the quality 2 informational broadcasting that only the CBC provides. 3 651 Thank you. 4 --- Applause / Applaudissements 5 652 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 6 much. You have covered a lot of ground. 7 653 I probably will regret asking you 8 this question, because it is obviously putting me on, 9 you know, some thin ice, but I am going to ask it 10 anyway and then you can whack away at me. 11 654 You are about the third or fourth, 12 maybe the fifth who has mentioned the Terry Milewsky 13 incident in the APEC coverage. And there is always a 14 sense, at least I gather a sense, that somehow there is 15 a conspiracy afoot, this is what I am hearing a little 16 bit. That, okay, we are using the CBC and Milewsky as 17 a whipping boy. 18 655 But how does the government or in 19 fact anybody who is the subject of news coverage, how 20 do they protect themselves if they think they have been 21 wronged? Are you unsatisfied with the process that the 22 CBC went through to investigate this and to make 23 findings on the Milewsky thing? Do you think all of 24 that has to be restructured? Do you, in fact, see the 25 hand of government reaching into this process? StenoTran 143 1 656 MR. FALKENSTEIN: Yes, because 2 everybody is appointed by the government, by the Prime 3 Minister. Just the fact that he has disappeared, where 4 is he? I would like to know. 5 657 THE CHAIRPERSON: So that you 6 question, in fact, the entire enquiry process, the 7 internal enquiry process that went on. You feel it is 8 tainted because of the appointment process of the Board 9 and how far down do you feel that goes then? Right 10 down into management, as well? 11 658 MR. FALKENSTEIN: Well, I would think 12 so, because it is then management that is approving the 13 hiring that goes on. 14 659 THE CHAIRPERSON: You see, my 15 understanding of this, and I may be wrong and then CBC 16 will get to speak in a few minutes and may have 17 something to say on this. Again, I suppose it is a 18 digression that I shouldn't be taking, but I am 19 interested in it because on the one hand we seem to 20 have a huge amount of support overall for the CBC was 21 voiced here today with some suggestions about how they 22 could boost regional programming, et cetera, et cetera. 23 660 And yet, at the same time there is 24 this sense that somehow there is a taint right in the 25 very tent that this internal process, and this seems to StenoTran 144 1 be exemplified by the Milewsky affair where, what as I 2 understand it happened was the Prime Minister's made a 3 complaint. An internal enquiry then was set in motion 4 and they made a finding. 5 661 And yet somehow you seem to be 6 telling me that that's evidence of tainting and I find 7 that interesting. I am not quite sure how to deal with 8 it, because here you are a CBC booster that seems to be 9 telling me that there is a certain amount of rot or 10 corruption at the very top? 11 662 MR. FALKENSTEIN: No, that's why I 12 said it needs to be changed. The system needs to be 13 changed at the top. It can't be Prime Ministerial 14 appointment any more. I was thinking of how we are to 15 get around this and I thought, well, an all-party 16 committee isn't the best, but what else. 17 663 There still has to be government 18 involvement because it is funded by the government and 19 the taxpayers of Canada, so you can't take the 20 government out of it, they have to be involved. 21 664 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you are 22 convinced in your own mind then, that the wrong 23 decisions have been made on this Milewksy affair, if I 24 can call it that. 25 665 MR. FALKENSTEIN: I am convinced, StenoTran 145 1 yes. 2 666 THE CHAIRPERSON: And that's because 3 of political interference? 4 667 MR. FALKENSTEIN: Yes, because it 5 made the Prime Minister himself look bad and that's 6 terrible when that can even happen in the first place 7 because you are speaking out about the government that 8 all of a sudden you are silenced. That's terrible. 9 668 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 10 much. 11 669 MR. FALKENSTEIN: Sure. 12 1638 13 670 MR. McWHINNEY: Can I invite 14 Ms Brenda Mannasse, forgive me if I have mispronounced. 15 Is Brenda here? Okay. 16 671 Ms Susan Wilbert? 17 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 18 672 MS WILBERT: Hi. I believe I am 19 speaking for a number of people, I think of family and 20 in-laws and cousins and friends sort of across the 21 country who would never dream of speaking at a place 22 like this and I am surprised to find myself here. 23 673 I wanted to speak largely -- I have 24 come to recognize that I think the CBC is a large part 25 of what helps me feel Canadian. And I think it has StenoTran 146 1 helped me develop and maintain my identity as a 2 Canadian. I think it plays a really essential role in 3 our country and I think of marriage or any relationship 4 that if you don't communicate, the relationship won't 5 hold together and I think it has a key role in that. 6 674 A lot of the comments I am going to 7 make are primarily about radio, particularly Radio One, 8 which is a daily part of my life, an integral part of 9 my day. I feel it keeps me informed in a balanced way 10 about what is going on and helps me feel connected to 11 the rest of Canada. 12 675 In terms of how the CBC fulfils this 13 role, I think it does that by providing information and 14 points of view from across the country covering topics 15 that are pertinent to Canadians locally, nationally. 16 It does quite a good job of that. 17 676 I like the use of local or national 18 experts or personalities talking about the topics, 19 giving their input. I think involving the public, they 20 do a fair job of that, like asking people to write in 21 on various things or sort of contests or with requests. 22 677 And certainly on the radio there is a 23 lot of encouragement to give feedback. After each 24 program they are telling you how you can give feedback 25 on what you have heard and I think that's really StenoTran 147 1 important and then they publicize the feedback. And I 2 think that's really valuable. 3 678 Also thinking about the broadcasters 4 they use. A number are from a variety of backgrounds. 5 They are not just people who went -- I don't know if 6 there is broadcasting school, but -- they seem to be 7 people also who have come from different areas. They 8 have done other things with their life and then have 9 come to be broadcasters, and I think that helps bring a 10 different point of view and that's valuable. 11 679 I also really think the 12 non-commercial nature in certainly radio is very 13 important. It helps what they cover not be restricted 14 or influenced and we have heard a lot about how that 15 may or may not happen. I think basically it does 16 happen. They are allowed to cover what they feel needs 17 to be covered. 18 680 As far as how the CBC programming 19 should be different than other programming, again I 20 think being non-commercial is important, because you 21 can cover things without strings attached. 22 681 I think their role is not just to 23 entertain or to make a profit. I think they have a 24 different role and that's to maintain a national 25 identity and national communication. That is a really StenoTran 148 1 unique role. And they can do that by showcasing 2 Canadian talent, Canadian ideas, promoting discussion, 3 covering the news, Canadian news, covering political 4 developments and I think very broad and eclectic about 5 the types of things they cover. 6 682 In relation to this I would like to 7 compliment radio. I think it fulfils that role very 8 well. I enjoy things like the political satires, the 9 "Dead Dog Cafe" and "Great Eastern" and things. 10 683 I also think they make creative use 11 of reruns and that is certainly related to cutbacks and 12 I am sure there is controversy either way. But I think 13 rather than, you know, recreating the wheel all the 14 time, they have produced some really good stuff and if 15 it is aired at different times, it helps different 16 audiences hear it. And I think that is cost effective. 17 684 I would like to compliment the TV. I 18 don't watch a lot, but for things like their sports 19 coverage and Olympic coverage are things we do watch. 20 And it is nice that they are free of the commercial 21 bias to some extent. 22 685 I am also from a sporting background 23 and I really appreciate seeing the Canadian who is 24 coming in 75th, but I understand what it has taken to 25 get there and we should support them and cheer them on. StenoTran 149 1 686 I appreciate CBC "Playground". I 2 have young children and I really like the 3 non-commercial aspect of it and the Canadian content in 4 it. 5 687 Their political satires and comedies, 6 I think are well done. I would like to see, though, 7 more Canadian shows and Canadian content on the TV. I 8 don't think they should be trying to compete with sort 9 of the mainstream television and sitcoms and stuff like 10 that. I would like to see more Canadian stuff, 11 National Film Board or some other people were speaking 12 of films I think, that's out there, they don't have to 13 produce it, it is there. Just provide an opportunity 14 to show it. If I have ever seen National Film Board 15 stuff, it is often great, but it is very hard to come 16 by. 17 688 Things on Canadian history like "The 18 Valour and The Horror" and "The Arrow", all things that 19 the previous fellow mentioned on Canadian research, it 20 is nice to see it a little less commercial, but I know 21 it is expensive. 22 689 So lastly, in terms of what is the 23 CBC's special role, I think it needs to be recognized 24 that it is a necessity. The focus shouldn't be on 25 whether it makes a profit or on its ratings. I think StenoTran 150 1 communication is an essential service in our country 2 and if we want to keep our country together that is an 3 essential service. 4 690 And I think radio, TV and now, to 5 some extent the Internet, are the most important means 6 of communicating with the general public and of the 7 public communicating with each other. And even if it 8 doesn't have the largest audience, I think it has a 9 very significant and very important audience that it 10 serves. And I think as an essential service it 11 deserves to be adequately funded in order to keep 12 performing the vital role it now performs. 13 691 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. 14 --- Applause / Applaudissements 15 692 THE CHAIRPERSON: We get feedback if 16 they are both on. 17 693 Thank you very much. I think you may 18 be our last speaker today, a couple have cancelled out 19 and it is certainly -- our last speaker this afternoon. 20 We are going to have another run at it this evening. 21 694 But if you are the last it was 22 certainly an eloquent summation and I thank you for 23 that. You seem to have captured the spirit of almost 24 everything that has been said on a positive note here 25 today and there were some naysayers and we have them on StenoTran 151 1 tape, as well. So thank you very, very much. 2 695 Michael, maybe you could see if we 3 are missing anybody and if there is no other presenter 4 we will call on the CBC to make a word or two. 5 696 MR. McWHINNEY: Michelle, are we -- 6 --- Off microphone / Sans microphone 7 697 MR. McWHINNEY: Susan has spoken. 8 --- Off microphone / Sans microphone 9 698 MR. McWHINNEY: And Brenda -- 10 Michelle? Sorry. We lost Michelle. 11 699 Ms Mannasse, she didn't show up, is 12 that correct? 13 --- Off microphone / Sans microphone 14 700 MR. McWHINNEY: Sorry for the delay, 15 just two seconds here. 16 --- Pause / Pause 17 701 THE CHAIRPERSON: I hope I didn't say 18 anything to scare her away. I don't feel very scary, 19 but you never know. 20 702 Mr. Novak, are you going to speak for 21 the CBC? I don't know, you might blow it, you might 22 just want to stay with the -- 23 703 No, go ahead. I don't want to get 24 you tense now. 25 REPLY / RÉPLIQUE StenoTran 152 1 704 MR. NOVAK: If I had a choice. 2 705 Thank you very much, Commissioner 3 Langford. 4 706 My name is Joe Novak and I am the 5 relatively new Regional Director of CBC Television here 6 in Alberta. I am speaking also on behalf of my 7 colleague, Don Orchard, the Director of Radio for CBC 8 in Alberta. 9 707 And both of us would like to thank 10 you for coming to Alberta to hear what the people of 11 our province have to say about the CBC services. We 12 also want to thank everyone who took the time, trouble 13 and effort to come out and share their thoughts, their 14 feelings and their ideas about the CBC. 15 708 I think by the turn out this 16 afternoon and probably this evening, it is obvious that 17 many people care very deeply and strongly about their 18 CBC and the role that it does play in the life of the 19 people of Alberta. 20 709 We appreciate their passion, their 21 support, their thoughtful comments and their 22 constructive suggestions for improvement. 23 710 Our role as the CBC in this process 24 has been to listen. I want to assure you that we have 25 been doing that here today. And I also want you to StenoTran 153 1 know that we intend to respond individually to each of 2 the presentations that we have heard and will hear. 3 711 I think many of the issues that have 4 been so thoughtfully brought up and presented are the 5 same ones that we at CBC Alberta wrestle with every 6 day. The issues of how to maintain the quality of both 7 our radio and TV programming with vastly reduced 8 resources. How to provide balanced journalism that 9 goes, indeed, beyond the headlines. How to be and 10 maintain our independence, how to be independent from 11 special interest groups. And how to represent fairly 12 the variety and myriad of different points of view so 13 that everyone can be heard. 14 712 I think it is also important how we 15 reflect the cultural life of Alberta in all its rich 16 diversity. We want to be able to ensure that something 17 as technical as our television and radio signal 18 strengths are heard properly throughout the province. 19 We want to make sure that we better represent this 20 province on the national radio and TV networks in 21 information and entertainment programming, but also in 22 the region for the region. 23 713 I think we want to also make sure 24 that we have the ability and the ingenuity to reach out 25 to new audiences that we have not served very well in StenoTran 154 1 the past and those are the young people of our country. 2 714 We also want to say and clearly state 3 that the stakeholders, the shareholders of the CBC, all 4 of you here, there is a process in place, one of the 5 few processes in place that any broadcaster in the 6 world has, and that is the Office of the Ombudsman, 7 both for Radio Canada and the CBC where you can take 8 issues and complaints and they will be fairly and 9 impartially dealt with. 10 715 I think it is safe to say to you that 11 there is no question budget reductions have affected 12 the CBC's ability to do all the things it would like to 13 do in the Province of Alberta. 14 716 So it is difficult for me to make 15 guarantees, and I am new. I figure I can dine out on 16 saying that I am new for about three to six months, 17 then the rubber will hit the road. But I can sit here 18 and confidently say that we will continue to listen and 19 we will respond to the needs of the listeners, the 20 viewers, the independent producers, the various 21 organizations that make Alberta the province it is, 22 Edmonton the city it is and Calgary the city it is and 23 the rural communities of this province. 24 717 You have told us that you wanted 25 local six o'clock news back in Calgary. That has StenoTran 155 1 happened. There is a completely separate Edmonton 2 television newscast at six o'clock. And as of 3 September of last year there has been a separate 4 Calgary supper hour news and once the labour/management 5 dispute at the CBC is resolved, there will be a brand 6 new supper hour show in Calgary for Calgarians. We 7 have just recently improved and changed the local 8 supper hour here in Edmonton, the CBC Edmonton news. 9 718 You are telling us you want to see 10 more Alberta productions on CBC TV. That, in fact, 11 attempts are underway. Since I have been here there a 12 number of new projects in development for television, 13 both series, documentary, entertainment, music and 14 comedy. In addition, we have two more movie sequels to 15 "North of 60" and there is a pilot that has been shot 16 and produced as a pilot for a possible dramatic series 17 here in Edmonton on community policing called "The 18 Beat". 19 719 My colleague, Don Orchard, and I are 20 committed to make CBC Radio and CBC Television in 21 Alberta even more accessible, accountable, relevant and 22 valued by the people of this province and of the 23 communities within the province. And I think forums 24 like that can only help us do that. 25 720 This has been an extraordinary StenoTran 156 1 opportunity for me, personally, being new to hear the 2 range of views. Your feelings, your thoughts, your 3 hopes, your aspirations for the CBC has been 4 extraordinarily helpful to me in helping to understand 5 the role that you believe CBC should play. 6 721 And I thank you. 7 --- Applause / Applaudisssements 8 722 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 9 much. 10 723 That completes the program for the 11 1:00 to 5:00 section. Those of you who have buns of 12 steel and endurance of steel are certainly invited to 13 come back at six o'clock when we reconvene and hear 14 another list of participants. 15 724 I want to thank Michelle at the door 16 who has been the servant of two masters and has served 17 us all well. Jim and Cindy, who are making sure that 18 the tape recordings are going so that we will have 19 clear and accurate transcripts. 20 725 Michael, who has kept us honest and 21 on time. And I want to thank my daughter, Catherine, 22 who gave me a pen before I left to come here with the 23 word "attitude" on it and I think she caught the spirit 24 of this city perfectly. Edmonton is a city with 25 attitude. And it has been a pleasure for me to be StenoTran 157 1 here. 2 726 I look forward to this evening. 3 Thank you very much. 4 727 Michael, any more housekeeping? 5 728 We are out of here, as they say. 6 Thank you. 7 --- Recess at 1700 / Suspension à 1700 8 --- Upon resuming at 1800 / Reprise à 1800 9 729 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good evening, 10 ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Round 2 of the CRTC 11 comes to Edmonton. 12 730 We had a wonderful session this 13 afternoon, went from 1:00 to 5:00, heard a lot of 14 interesting intervenors and I am hoping that this 15 evening will be just as good and just as thought 16 provoking. 17 731 My name is Stuart Langford, as the 18 sign says behind the candy dish, and I am a 19 Commissioner with the CRTC. And we are here today to 20 gather your views on how, if and how and how well the 21 CBC is fulfilling its mandate and what you think it 22 should be doing in the years to come. 23 732 We are here to listen to you. This 24 is part of a process leading up to the renewal hearing 25 for the different licences for the CBC Television and StenoTran 158 1 Radio across Canada. 2 733 The actual renewal hearing itself 3 will take place in the Commission's hearing rooms in 4 Hull, Quebec on May 25th. But we know that, you know, 5 it is a lot easier for my associate, Mr. McWhinney and 6 I to come to you, than for all you to get onto an 7 airplane at great expense and troop down to the 8 Ottawa/Hull area. 9 734 And that's why we are here. We are 10 here simply to bring back what you have to say and to 11 put it into the process which will go something like 12 this: We have been, over the last two weeks, to 11 13 different cities in Canada. From that process we, as 14 Commissioners, will gather, we will review what we have 15 heard from you. We will prepare our questions for the 16 time when the CBC comes to us and we will be able to 17 use the input you give us to examine the CBC, to 18 question them. And of course, there are 19 representatives from CBC here, as well today. They 20 want to hear first hand what you have to say so that 21 they can prepare themselves. 22 735 If you have more that you want to say 23 coming out of this process, you may listen to some of 24 the other people around here, you have until April 30th 25 to get us a written submission and that too will be StenoTran 159 1 made part of the record. 2 736 Everything you say here today is 3 being recorded and it will be transcribed and that will 4 be part of the public record. 5 737 And all of that, as I say, leads to 6 the May 25th licence renewal hearing. 7 738 We would ask you, if you could, to 8 keep your remarks to ten minutes or under. 9 739 You will find that I probably will 10 ask very few questions. I am not here to cross-examine 11 you, I am here to hear what you have to say and because 12 there are so many people that want to speak and time is 13 so limited, I really will only ask questions if I want 14 some clarification. So please don't take it personally 15 if I say, "Thank you very much" and don't have a 16 question. It is not that I don't think what you are 17 saying is worth following up on, it is just that it is 18 clear, I understand it, I have taken my notes, we will 19 have the transcript. And in deference to the other 20 people who are waiting their turn, we will carry on. 21 740 So that is really all I have to say. 22 Again, we are here to listen to you to get your views, 23 to get the views of the people of Edmonton and as far 24 in as you could drive. 25 741 I will turn the microphone over to StenoTran 160 1 Michael McWhinney, who will just go through some of the 2 nuts and bolts of this process. 3 742 MR. McWHINNEY: Thank you, 4 Commissioner Langford. 5 743 Just a few formalities. I am going 6 to name off a few of the list of where we will proceed 7 and the presenters initially, just so that you will 8 have a sense of where you are. For the most part we 9 are following the list that you probably all have. 10 744 Just to reiterate, you will be given 11 ten minutes, give or take. But I ask for your respect 12 for that ten minutes and we will continue along, I 13 think, happily. 14 745 Just a reminder, when you do speak, 15 please turn on the microphone and please turn it off 16 again when you are done. 17 746 And in case, for some reason, people 18 requiring translation services have ended up in this 19 room, we have translation services set up in the other 20 conference room and not in this room. So if that has 21 happened, I would invite you to speak to Michelle Edge 22 outside of the door here and try and get yourself into 23 the other room. 24 747 And also, the last point, if there 25 are those here who feel compelled to submit their StenoTran 161 1 thoughts or comments and don't wish to do so orally, we 2 have comment sheets here you can make written comments 3 or you can submit written comments of your own and we 4 would be happy to accept them in that regard. 5 748 So here is the list of presentation, 6 initially: Mr. Grahame Blundell will speak first; Mr. 7 Lance Mewller will speak second; Mr. David Ferrier; Mr. 8 Brian Staples. And I will leave it at that just for 9 now. I think that the basic orientation and we will 10 proceed on that basis. 11 1810 12 749 MR. McWHINNEY: So with that I would 13 invite Mr. Grahame Blundell to speak. 14 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 15 750 MR. BLUNDELL: Mr. Commissioner, 16 ladies and gentlemen. I am glad to have been asked to 17 make this presentation tonight. 18 751 I would like to thank the members of 19 the staff of the CRTC for the information which they 20 have provided, including a list of the four topics 21 which it was suggested could be a guide to my and to 22 every presentation to this Commission made throughout 23 Canada. This was a good start and I will try to speak 24 to each of these suggestions. 25 752 First, however, I want to make my own StenoTran 162 1 position quite clear. My remarks, while reflecting my 2 views on the CBC as a whole, are inevitably bound to 3 concentrate on CBC Radio One and Two and to a much 4 lesser extent on CBC TV. 5 753 Actually, my wife and I do watch CBC 6 TV, we always try to cover the ten o'clock news. It 7 hasn't been quite so good in the last few weeks. This, 8 for TV, is not a bad attempt to cover the national and 9 international news. Of course, it is bound to be 10 somewhat superficial. 11 754 Every word spoken during the whole 12 hour of the news program at ten o'clock until eleven 13 o'clock would only occupy about 25 per cent of the 14 front page of, say, the Globe and Mail, the National 15 Post or the Journal. But had it not been for the 16 reporting by the CBC on the Somalia and APEC enquiries, 17 both enquiries would have been buried where the 18 politicians would have wished them to have been buried. 19 755 If it had not been for the CBC 20 "Townhall Meetings", would some of our politicians 21 talking about the removal of the GST ever have been 22 exposed as speaking out of both sides of their mouth at 23 once at the same time, I think not. 24 756 Edmund Burke is reported to have 25 said, "It is necessary for the good men to remain StenoTran 163 1 silent for evil to triumph". Thank goodness we have 2 the CBC to speak for us all. 3 757 It must be at all times at arms' 4 length from the government in power, regardless of the 5 party in power. The CBC must be allowed to continue to 6 take the politically unpopular line whenever it needs 7 to do so without the threat of sanctions from the 8 government in power. 9 758 I take heart that every Federal 10 Government in the 21 years that I have lived in Canada 11 has always disapproved and in some cases, hated the CBC 12 when in power. But surprise, surprise, they admired 13 and loved it when they were in opposition. I think 14 this alone is a measure of the value of the CBC to us 15 all. 16 759 I will not refer again specifically 17 to the CBC, neither my wife nor I watch -- we watch 18 exceedingly few TV programs except for the CBC news. 19 So perhaps I should refer from now on in this 20 presentation to CBC Radio One and Two. 21 760 Do not touch either programs. They 22 do fulfil a vital role as a national broadcaster. Who 23 else could or would have programs similar to "Cross 24 Canada Checkup", "This Morning", "As It Happens", 25 "Quirks and Quarks", "Ideas", "Tapestry", "Take Five" StenoTran 164 1 and all the CBC newscasts, especially the 6:00 p.m. 2 news. They alone cover Canada. They alone try and 3 mainly succeed in telling us about our fellow Canadians 4 from coast to coast to coast. They alone provide 5 international news for all Canadians. 6 761 Commercial radio stations do not even 7 attempt, in most cases, to do more than cover local 8 news. 9 762 We are not an island in Canada. We 10 need to know what is happening nationally in Canada and 11 internationally. Only the CBC provides intelligent 12 newscasts from around the world. 13 763 This brings me to another suggested 14 topic. Yes, the CBC should provide program that is 15 different to other broadcasters. Let others carry 16 their commercials to support no brain programs 17 appealing to the lowest common denominator. 18 764 Let the CBC cater to those of us who 19 want to take a national and international view of the 20 world we live in. Only CBC does this. Only the CBC 21 tries to provide this for us all. 22 765 However, if the CBC is different to 23 other broadcasters then it should not try to compete 24 with its competitors by serving the same pap and 25 schlock as they do. It is not necessary to try to StenoTran 165 1 provide programming that is a pale imitation of their 2 so-called popular commercial programs. It is different 3 and it should remain so. 4 766 Now for the future. 5 767 CBC Radio One and Two needs more 6 funding to be able to provide for instance, more 7 offices overseas. It needs more funding and to 8 continue to provide the more intelligent programs that 9 I have already mentioned. No one else will do this for 10 us. I will even live through more organ music. It was 11 organ first thing this morning on CBC Two. If that is 12 welcomed by those who love organ music, no one else 13 would touch such programming. It is not commercial but 14 who knows, perhaps I and others will learn from such 15 broadcasts. Life is a continual learning process. 16 768 I certainly won't learn anything from 17 all the other mindless programs put out on the air to 18 meet the needs of Canadians. We need programs that 19 will provoke and stimulate, not mindless bland comfort 20 programs. 21 769 CBC Radio, not dependent on 22 commercial advertising, can be truly independent and 23 able to provide for all sections of our country. If 24 they are restricted in serving us all, we are a poorer 25 country and we have lost forever an essential part of StenoTran 166 1 our Canadian heritage. 2 770 As Canadians, we all come from 3 different and diverse backgrounds. Obviously with my 4 accent, I wasn't born in Canada. I come from the UK. 5 The BBC provides excellent radio programs but the CBC 6 is even better, at least it is as far as radio goes. 7 It is a national treasure. 8 771 Do not let it wither away just 9 because many politicians do not like being criticized. 10 As I have said before, this alone, in my view, is a 11 measure of its ability to serve us all. 12 772 Let us all realize that without 13 broadcasting that CBC provides, we are all the poorer 14 but what is even more important, if we destroy and 15 continue to destroy the CBC with the death of a 16 thousand cuts, we are in fact driving a nail into the 17 coffin of our democracy. 18 773 If push comes to shove, reduce, 19 sacrifice, privatize or starve CBC-TV but do not starve 20 CBC Radio. 21 774 About eight minutes, I think. 22 775 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 23 much, sir. I think you have set the tone and done it 24 in admirable fashion. 25 776 In fact, I thought I had a question StenoTran 167 1 for you right up until the end. It was the "push comes 2 to shove" question and you read my mind. 3 777 Michael, our next speaker. 4 778 Mr. McWHINNEY: Mr. Lance Mewller, 5 please. 6 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 7 779 MR. MEWLLER: Thank you for the 8 opportunity to make this presentation as part of your 9 ongoing public consultation on how the Canadian 10 Broadcasting Corporation should serve Canadians in the 11 next millennium. Without question, this forum is an 12 important step as CBC gathers information and input for 13 its May licence renewal application to the CRTC. 14 780 As President of White Iron 15 Incorporated based in Calgary and one of Alberta's 16 leading television/video production and post production 17 companies, and as vice-president of the Alberta Motion 18 Pictures Industry Association, I would like to focus my 19 remarks on two key areas. 20 781 Firstly, I will comment briefly on 21 what the CBC has done for and with independent Alberta 22 producers during the last number of years. 23 782 Secondly, I will look at what I 24 believe the CBC should be doing in terms of its 25 involvement with independent Alberta producers. StenoTran 168 1 783 In the past five years, the CBC has 2 worked from time to time with independent Alberta 3 producers, however, their track record is, quite 4 frankly, very disappointing and underwhelming, 5 especially when you consider the level of contribution 6 of Alberta tax payers have made to the CBC. 7 784 At the network level, the CBC has 8 teamed up the now independent Alberta Production 9 Company to produce North of 60, and we applaud them for 10 that effort. 11 785 The corporation has also worked with 12 independent producers on specials like The Boys Who 13 Loved Hockey. As well, the CBC hires independent 14 freelance talent to work on several episodes, network 15 and regional shows like Undercurrents and Man Alive. 16 786 The CBC national programs done in 17 conjunction with Alberta regional CBC stations are, 18 however, in essence, in-house productions. 19 787 My colleagues and I believe there is 20 an attitude that the CBC feels Alberta producers lack 21 the talent, the vision and the expertise to produce 22 network-quality shows, and I believe that that 23 prevalent attitude throughout the CBC is that if the 24 work is not done in Toronto or Vancouver, then it just 25 isn't good enough. StenoTran 169 1 788 As an example, let me refer to an 2 episode of the program, Life and Times and its report 3 on Calgary Police Chief, Christine Silverberg(ph). The 4 idea originated in Alberta. It was submitted from 5 Alberta but I understand the production went to a 6 Vancouver company. 7 789 Generally speaking, for the past 8 several years, it has become apparent that the key CBC 9 decision makers are not really interested in Alberta 10 production. They look at it as more with the 11 pedestrian attitude and sometimes pay us minor lip 12 service. 13 790 But what needs to be done, I think, 14 is really -- I guess I will spend some time talking 15 over what I think needs to be done to improve the 16 relationship between the CBC and Alberta producers and 17 ways to increase the opportunities for our production 18 community to work with the corporation. 19 791 First, Alberta's independent 20 production community must be viewed by the CBC decision 21 makers on the same level as producers anywhere in 22 Canada, including Toronto and Vancouver. Our work 23 speaks for itself. 24 792 My company, White Iron, has produced 25 two seasons, 26 half hour episodes of a program called StenoTran 170 1 John's God's World of Horses for Discovery Channel 2 release here in Canada. The show not only aired in 3 prime time, it has been distributed to more than a 4 dozen other countries and that is expanding as the 5 distribution company who works the international market 6 places. 7 793 We have also produced many other 8 programs and features that have been broadcast on major 9 networks and specialty channels, including CTV, NBC, 10 ABC, PBS, ESPN and A&E. 11 794 But take, for example Kola(ph) 12 Productions in Edmonton, his production of the series, 13 Be A Player, has aired nationally on TSN for a number 14 of years. I would like to say is Alberta producers are 15 very proud of the work they have done. 16 795 I point out that Joe Novak, the new 17 Regional Director for the CBC in Alberta is a most 18 refreshing change. Joe has shown a real and open and 19 positive attitude to the Alberta industry since coming 20 to this province last October. He has become an ally 21 and a promoter for this region which I think is an 22 excellent start. 23 796 We need funding from the CBC to 24 develop our program ideas. Development funds are an 25 essential start at the beginning of almost any project, StenoTran 171 1 be they drama, children's programming, music, variety 2 programming, documentary or documentary drama. 3 797 Next, and I am sure this is the 4 current theme you will be hearing across the country, 5 we need proper funding from the CBC and a level playing 6 field when it comes to licence fees and equity 7 investment. And that, I mean, our proposals must 8 receive the same kind of consideration as those from 9 the larger markets. 10 798 Take a look at the major productions 11 paid for by the CBC in the last five years. Almost 12 every one is Toronto based. A real commitment from the 13 CBC would allow Alberta producers to access a broader 14 pool of actors, talent and technical expertise. 15 799 Finally, and I have saved this point 16 for last because it is the most important, Alberta 17 producers need air time and I am talking about prime 18 time in the CBC's national and regional broadcast 19 schedules. Take a look at CBC's current national 20 broadcast schedule. You know, all of the prime time 21 Canadian programming originates in house or is done in 22 Ontario using Ontario-based independent producers. 23 800 The CBC should make and show a 24 commitment to Alberta producers. That means a key 25 commitment at time slots in the broadcast schedule and StenoTran 172 1 a commitment of air time which is essential if we were 2 to find other sources of funding for our productions. 3 801 In conclusion, the CBC must be 4 willing to invest a part of its future and the future 5 success of the corporation and the talents and 6 abilities of independent Alberta producers. 7 802 CBC decision makers need to commit 8 themselves to this as a goal. As a national 9 broadcaster supported by tax dollars, it must be 10 understood that to compete and succeed in the next 11 millennium, the CBC will have to rely to a much greater 12 extent on the strengths of all regions of this country. 13 803 Thank you very much. 14 804 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. 15 Mewller. I do have a question for you. I know you are 16 in a rush and I certainly don't want to wet your 17 appetite here but I am going to give you a 18 hypothetical. 19 805 If we were to require the CBC, as a 20 condition of license, to somehow distribute their 21 independent production dollars in a way that was 22 compatible with say population numbers or some other 23 guide row, is there the capacity in this province to 24 produce? 25 806 MR. MEWLLER: I would say definitely. StenoTran 173 1 807 My suggestion is, and as a former 2 broadcaster and a producer, that I don't like what was 3 stated earlier today. The other private television 4 broadcasters have committed to broadcast funds in this 5 province which help tremendously. 6 808 There is the talent in this province 7 and the last year since the decline of the AMPDC 8 certainly a lot of talent has left this province but is 9 one of the leading producers in the province. I 10 recruit that talent back here on a per project basis on 11 a regular basis. Most of those people want to come 12 home. They want to live here. 13 809 THE CHAIRPERSON: So the brain drain 14 hasn't been permanent. They may be in Toronto now but 15 they are willing to come back? 16 810 MR. MEWLLER: Well, absolutely. 17 811 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 18 much. 19 812 MR. MEWLLER: Thank you. 20 813 THE CHAIRPERSON: Michael. 21 814 MR. McWHINNEY: I would like to 22 invite Mr. David Ferrier to present, please. 23 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 24 815 MR. FERRIER: Hello, Mr. Langford and 25 the other people who came out tonight where I am sure StenoTran 174 1 we are all happy to know that you are going to take the 2 word back to Ottawa for the hearings. I wish I could 3 be there myself but I am quite happy for you to tell 4 whatever I have to say to the people that need to hear 5 it. 6 816 Mr. Langford, my subject tonight is 7 CBC accountability. The reason I am talking about this 8 is that a number of years ago, I discovered the CBC is 9 not accountable to anyone. As a Commissioner, you 10 would be well aware of this. However, I think most 11 members of the public, including myself as of 1993, 12 were not aware of it. CBC is not accountable to the 13 CRTC, to the Minister of Parliament to whom it reports 14 to Parliament or to the Canadian people. 15 817 By accountable, I mean in the sense 16 that CBC programming can be anything the CBC wishes to 17 air and the CBC makes the final decision. It is the 18 final arbiter of what is does air. And if it does air 19 something that shouldn't have been aired, nobody can do 20 anything about it. 21 818 Now, I have a story that goes along 22 with this, of course. I am going to be making 23 reference to this hand out. I hope you have a copy 24 there. 25 819 Now, this situation that came up in StenoTran 175 1 1993 was a CBC program that had to do with medical 2 research and this was a very serious subject and it 3 tends to get people excited, me included, as a result 4 of this program being aired which constituted a threat 5 to human health and welfare. I wrote this file of 6 letters over the course of 1993 and 1994 to the CBC, 7 the CBC Ombudsman, the CRTC, the minister responsible 8 for the CBC, to the Prime Minister and so on, and I 9 accomplished nothing by doing this, because, as I said, 10 the CBC is the final arbiter of what it puts on the 11 air. 12 820 Now, because the subject of that 13 program was so serious, I am going to talk tonight 14 about a fictitious program on another subject so we 15 won't get confused about whether the CBC should or 16 shouldn't have aired that particular program but just 17 about the process that enables them to put whatever 18 they like on the air. 19 821 So I am going to talk about a 20 fictitious CBC program to do with apple sauce. That 21 is, suppose the CBC aired a program which said that 22 apple sauce should be taken off the market? 23 822 Well, the first thing would happen is 24 a person might write to he CBC and say that the program 25 wasn't the sort of thing the CBC should air and they StenoTran 176 1 would get an answer saying that this letter had been 2 referred to various departments. Then they would 3 write -- the person that was complaining would write a 4 letter to the CBC Ombudsman only to find out that the 5 CBC Ombudsman has no power to make any decisions that 6 are binding on CBC management. All a CBC Ombudsman can 7 do is make suggestions to CBC management. 8 823 Then the person might write to the 9 CRTC and they might get a letter back from the CRTC 10 saying something like this: 11 "...the Broadcasting Act, from 12 which the Commission derives its 13 authority, does not give the 14 Commission any powers of 15 censorship. While the Act sates 16 that programming should be of 17 'high standard', it also gives 18 the responsibility for 19 programming...to the 20 broadcasters themselves..." 21 824 Well, this, in fact, means that the 22 government agency that I thought was responsible for 23 monitoring the CBC, the CRTC, has no authority over CBC 24 programming. 25 825 Then I tried the Minister -- well, we StenoTran 177 1 are talking about fictitious programming again. If I 2 had heard this program about apple sauce I would have 3 said, "Now, let me write to the Minister." So the 4 minister would respond something like this. This is on 5 page 3 of the hand out: 6 "...the Minister has no 7 legislative authority to become 8 involved in the acquisition, 9 production, or scheduling of 10 broadcast programs. The CBC 11 operates independently of 12 government...Under the 13 Broadcasting Act, broadcasters 14 themselves are responsible for 15 the content and selection of the 16 programs they air, subject to 17 the supervision of the CRTC and 18 the requirements of the Act..." 19 826 Well, the act itself, as you are well 20 aware, specifically states that CBC shall enjoy full 21 artistic and license to broadcast what it thinks in the 22 best interests of the Canadian public. 23 827 I have tried to give you an idea of 24 what happens in the process the people might follow in 25 trying to determine whether they could get a specific StenoTran 178 1 program aired by the CBC to be taken off the air or 2 changed. 3 828 I have a couple of proposals to make 4 it possible to actually -- for this to actually to 5 happen. The two proposals that I have are that the 6 federal should amend the Broadcasting Act to add an 7 explicit CBC accountability to Parliament, via the 8 Minister responsible for the CBC, for the suitability 9 of CBC programming. 10 829 Now, you may wonder why did I state 11 it that way. Well, suitability has to do with 12 something that is particularly adapted to an end or 13 design or acceptable from a particular viewpoint, the 14 same as fit, such as a movie fit for the whole family. 15 830 Now, I am not suggesting the CBC 16 should spend all its time broadcasting family movies 17 but I don't think they should broadcast programs that 18 are a threat to human health and welfare. Or if they 19 do, there should be some way of impressing upon the CBC 20 that they shouldn't do it again. 21 831 That was the first suggestion I had. 22 832 The second suggestion was to amend 23 section 85 of the Financial Administration Act to 24 remove the CBC from the list of Crown corporations that 25 are beyond the jurisdiction of the act. StenoTran 179 1 833 I also wrote to the Treasury Branch 2 to see if the CBC could be influenced by their budget 3 but the response I got, of course, was the CBC operates 4 completely independently and is beyond the jurisdiction 5 of the Financial Administration Act. So I would like 6 to see the CBC included in the Financial Administration 7 Act. 8 834 Now, some people would say "Are we 9 right or is it correct to attempt to impose 10 restrictions on the CBC via legislation?" I would like 11 to call attention to the Canadian Criminal Code. It 12 says over 20 sections which limit freedom of speech and 13 that is under the Canadian Charter of Rights and 14 Freedoms provisions which says: 15 "...guarantees the rights and 16 freedoms set out in it subject 17 only to such reasonable limits 18 prescribed by law as can be 19 demonstrably justified in a free 20 and democratic society." 21 835 I suggest that limiting the CBC as to 22 what it can broadcast is a reasonable limit on the CBC. 23 836 Now, telling the CBC what to 24 broadcast is another case altogether. I am not 25 suggesting the government should ever be in a position StenoTran 180 1 of being able to tell the CBC to broadcast something 2 but I would like to see, if possible, for this 3 government to tell the CBC not to broadcast something, 4 something which it cannot do now. 5 837 There are other acts which cover this 6 kind of thing, the Food and Drugs Act restricts 7 advertisements on things like baldness, arthritis, 8 cancer. You can't publish advertisement for a cure for 9 these things in Canada. The Tobacco Act says that you 10 cannot publish advertisement for tobacco in Canada. I 11 think these are reasonable restrictions. 12 838 Now, in conclusion, I would like to 13 say that it has been my experience that CBC can and 14 does broadcast programs that are not in the best 15 interests to the Canadian public. When it does this, 16 nobody can stop it from broadcasting them. I suppose 17 that will continue to be true. But at least somebody 18 should have the authority to say to the CBC, "You 19 should not have broadcast that program." 20 839 Thank you. 21 840 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. 22 Ferrier. 23 841 I must commend you. You are 24 obviously very, very deeply committed to these issues 25 and you have managed to keep yourself within time and StenoTran 181 1 that shows a discipline that is to be, as I said, 2 commended. Good for you. I assume with the ammunition 3 you brought, you could have gone on at great length. 4 842 Obviously we can't enter into a 5 debate but I think you can -- it is pretty clear that 6 one could make the other side of this argument just as 7 forcefully as you have made yours. 8 843 We have heard people here today, for 9 example, who "suspect" they say, government 10 interference in CBC news coverage at all sorts of 11 levels. I remember the old academicians used to speak 12 of "sins of omission" and "sins of commission" and 13 though you were -- I think you may be making too fine 14 line. I would certainly argue although in saying that 15 we wouldn't want to tell the CBC what they had to put 16 on but we would tell them what they can't put on. I 17 can see a lot of room there, personally, for abuse. I 18 understand where you are coming from, as the younger 19 generation says, but I think you could appreciate that 20 given enough time, I think a number of us in this room 21 could make the other side of that argument as well. 22 844 But you have made yours and we thank 23 you for it and it is on the record and we have your 24 brief and again, I commend you for staying within time 25 on a subject that is obviously of great, great concern StenoTran 182 1 to you. 2 845 Thank you very much. 3 846 Michael. 4 847 MR. McWHINNEY: I invite Mr. Brian 5 Staples to present. 6 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 7 848 MR. STAPLES: Yes, Brian Staples. I 8 am born and raised in Alberta and am a retired person 9 and have been an educator for all my life. 10 849 I am particularly interested in 11 community-based learning of all sorts. 12 850 I just wanted to say I find it very 13 interesting to follow Mr. Ferrier because as he was 14 speaking I had many thoughts going through my mind in 15 just the opposite direction, actually. 16 851 I believe that we live in the most 17 interesting times that have ever been and I think they 18 are very dangerous to us. Most of us are so involved 19 in making our livelihood that we don't have the time 20 and the energy to really learn of the complexities of 21 some of the things that are happening to us. I think 22 the CBC is in the best position of all of our 23 institutions in Canada to create or at least to be a 24 major -- the major, I would say, player in fostering a 25 learning, a thoughtful society. StenoTran 183 1 852 I find the business of political 2 pressure very, very disturbing because the people that 3 I know in CBC are always looking for shadows. They are 4 very concerned about what reaction they are going to 5 get and so on and there is, I think, way too much. 6 853 The major role for me is that the CBC 7 must have the political freedom to raise a little hell 8 at all times and if they are not doing that, they are 9 not doing their job. 10 854 The financing thing is another thing. 11 I find it very interesting. I read Lois Hold's(ph) 12 column in the paper the other day that talked about the 13 relatively small amount of money we pay for CBC 14 compared to other countries and it occurred to me that 15 none of us think about the costs of all of the private 16 television we get. We pay for that. We pay for the 17 advertising. Those people write that off against the 18 cost of doing business so our tax base is less and so 19 on. 20 855 So I am just saying to you that we 21 need a stable sufficient amount of financing for both 22 radio and television. 23 856 Now, just to move on and you have my 24 paper there. It is the one with the yellow cover. 25 857 I am also concerned that local StenoTran 184 1 programming has really been hurting since the cutbacks 2 that have come from the federal government. 3 858 This is a very minor point but I get 4 very concerned when I listen to CBC Radio in the 5 morning and hear the sports broadcasters talking about 6 Ottawa and Toronto and so on and nothing about what is 7 happening. 8 859 Now, that is not a good example but 9 it is an example of what I am talking about. I think 10 our local programming in radio and in television has 11 really suffered in the last five or six years and that 12 is extremely unfortunate. 13 860 I even believe that CBC television 14 should be non commercial and it should be totally 15 financed from taxes. The way that that should happen 16 is that all of us should pay our fair share of taxes 17 for this, including the corporate side of the equation 18 which has, in my view, they are simply not doing that 19 and that has changed drastically in the last 15 or 20 20 years. 21 861 As an educator, I remember years ago 22 being involved with CBC television in a program called 23 People Talking Back. It was at the time of the first 24 Quebec Referendum, and through the Canadian Association 25 for Adult Education, we set up study circles all across StenoTran 185 1 Canada and there was a live television series that 2 came, incidentally, out of Edmonton here, and it 3 involved these study circles all over the country. 4 862 I don't think we do enough of that 5 kind of interactive programming. It is just a terrible 6 loss. That was the first time since the CBC television 7 went off programming through all time zones at the same 8 time back in the 1950's, I think it was, that they had 9 done a television program that went right across Canada 10 all at the same time. Everyone got it at the same 11 time. 12 863 So I am saying to you that we need to 13 know more about each other. We need to know about our 14 culture. We need to know about life that goes on in 15 places like Owl's Eye and Hamoorooka(ph) and Come By 16 Chance, Seldom Come By, et cetera. We just need to 17 know that and we really do not. 18 864 I was one of the people that was 19 answering those telephones in the people talking back 20 where those study circles phoned in. It was an 21 incredible revelation to me to hear these voices coming 22 from the east coast and the west coast and so on and 23 all with the same kind of concerns and so on. I really 24 felt we were a people. We need to foster that, I 25 think, a lot more than we are doing. StenoTran 186 1 865 Something that we need not neglect is 2 the development of the internet. I see the CBC as the 3 electronic voice of, for and by Canadians. 4 866 That brings me to the question of the 5 CBC being asked to be different from, I presume, from 6 commercial broadcasters. I think that is very 7 unfortunate to think of the CBC in that way. The CBC 8 should be our electronic voice. 9 867 You could find commercial interest 10 being threatened by what the CBC is doing and move into 11 some of those things that I am advocating, 12 investigative programs, public participation programs, 13 that kind of thing. Then the CBC would no longer be 14 different from, and that is luke warm, that is no good. 15 There should be some passion behind the CBC and it 16 should be the idea of being the electronic voice of 17 Canadians. 18 868 One of the things that I find with 19 CBC is that -- at least I hear this and I hear it from 20 friends and colleagues and so on, is that the CBC is 21 weighed down with bureaucracy. I don't know whether 22 that's true or not but all I am saying is if the CBC in 23 fact is this vehicle for helping us live our lives as 24 fully and thoughtfully and constructively as we 25 possibly can happily as we can, through providing us StenoTran 187 1 the information as we live our lives and struggle to do 2 so in most cases, it must be an example of really good 3 participatory democracy within the work place. It has 4 got to be really committed to that kind of thing and I 5 don't think they are. 6 869 If it is going to do that, then it 7 has got to make a conscious concerted effort to do that 8 and there has got to be a lot of training and so on for 9 the leadership people right down to the janitorial 10 staff to make the CBC a model of participatory 11 leadership and involvement in the workplace. 12 870 Finally, I just think it is amazing 13 that the CBC has done the kinds of things it has done 14 under the tremendous cutbacks they have suffered. I 15 find that just appalling. 16 871 I don't think most people realize 17 that at the end of World War II in Canada, we had over 18 twice the deficit that we had in 1990 when all of these 19 cutback stuff started, over twice that deficit. And 20 yet we paid that back within ten years and the 21 following 25 years was the most prosperous time we ever 22 had. That is because the federal government, which is 23 the key to all of this, borrowed money for the war and 24 for repaying the debt and so on from Canadians. 25 872 We are now locked into this whole StenoTran 188 1 global economy thing. We don't seem to have money for 2 anything, for medicine, for education and for things 3 like the CBC. 4 873 Now, I think that is another 5 question, I know, but I think it is possible to have a 6 really vibrant CBC that helps us live our lives as 7 fully as possible. In fact, it is absolutely essential 8 that they do that kind of thing and that is what I 9 wanted to say to you. 10 874 Thank you. 11 --- Applause / Applaudissements 12 875 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 13 much. I hope Paul Martin has a mole somewhere in the 14 room because he perhaps could learn -- 15 876 MR. STAPLES: I am going to send a 16 copy of my paper to Paul Martin, incidentally. 17 877 THE CHAIRPERSON: I would recommend 18 it. I mean, anybody who can work a plan for paying off 19 the deficit and saving the CBC and getting it onto the 20 internet in ten minutes should be listened to. 21 878 Thank you very much. 22 879 MR. McWHINNEY: I invite Mr. Allen 23 Ronaghan to speak, please. 24 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 25 880 MR. RONAGHAN: Mr. Chairman, the name StenoTran 189 1 is Roanaghan and I will give my background first of 2 all. 3 881 I well remember my childhood in 4 Eastern Alberta, near Riley(ph). Radio was not much 5 more than at its beginnings. During the day, some 6 Edmonton stations were heard by us but at night KOA 7 Denver and KSL in Salt Lake City came booming in with 8 so much strength that our local stations were almost 9 forgotten. From KSL I heard all about doings in Salt 10 Lake City. I learned about the Wasatch Mountains and 11 the great Salt Lake. I heard about the trek of the 12 people across the Great Plains and about the decision 13 to stop in Utah. I heard about Joseph Smith and 14 Brigham Young and others. I was learning about a great 15 deal about a far away place and very little about my 16 own country. 17 882 My story is not unique. It could be 18 duplicated all across our country. Far sighted men 19 like Graham Spry(ph) and Allen Plante(ph) saw what was 20 happening and began a movement to get support for 21 public radio. Spry's saying "State or the United 22 States" is as true today as it was then. 23 883 We have the Canadian Radio 24 Broadcasting Commission and in our home, Alfonse 25 Ouimet(ph) became a household word and our country had StenoTran 190 1 a voice. Soon we had the Canadian Broadcasting 2 Corporation, an organization with a reputation for 3 distinctiveness in broadcasting. CBK, the Prairie 4 Regional Transmitter (inaudible) now came booming in. 5 884 We need Graham Spry's and Allan 6 Plante's(ph) today for we have had disciples of Milton 7 Freedman(ph) who began by ... said, "I shall try not to 8 repeat those arguments but I must point out that there 9 are many people in northern or isolated points today 10 who value the CBC but cannot speak here." 11 885 What do I expect of the CBC? I 12 expect the CBC to be good public radio. This has a 13 number of implications I know of and most likely many 14 that I don't know of. 15 886 I expect the CBC to have courage, the 16 courage to be different. Let me be specific. 17 887 The CBC did not need and does not 18 need to have a team at celebrity events like the O.J. 19 Simpson trial, events well covered by many other 20 broadcasters. 21 888 The American people were very badly 22 served by their media at that time. Many other things 23 were going on, things which the public deserved to know 24 about. They did not get to know about them because the 25 media were pre-occupied with a celebrity. StenoTran 191 1 889 Let me come closer to home. CBC 2 Radio's Cross Country Check Up did not need to spend 3 two perfectly good hours of broadcast time a couple of 4 weeks ago finding out what people thought of the 5 Monica Lewinsky affair. Cross Country Check Up is a 6 precious institution. It has a devoted cross-country 7 audience and serves a very useful purpose. It could 8 have made much better use of its time than it did. 9 890 Now, I can guess what the argument 10 was. The President of the United States is a very 11 powerful man. What he does is of worldwide importance. 12 Follow this argument far enough and you conclude that 13 all sensible countries should join the USA and should 14 help elect its president and spend our time following 15 American issues. However, we have not joined the USA 16 although we have some colonial-minded people in our 17 government and in the CBC who seem to think that we 18 should. Meanwhile, we have issues of our own which 19 need to be debated. Issues like whether or not we 20 should sell our water. 21 891 The CBC needs to have the courage to 22 interpret its mandate vigorously and find these issues 23 and bring them before us. 24 892 I expect the CBC to serve its 25 Canadian audience. If in so doing it happens to StenoTran 192 1 attract an audience from beyond our borders, fine. But 2 it should not change its accent or water down its 3 message just because outsiders are watching or 4 listening. It must not say, "The Americans can buy 5 this program" or "The British may buy this program." 6 Let's just change this a bit or hire a big star for 7 this part because these people may be paying attention. 8 Do that and you will end up pleasing nobody and you 9 won't deserve to have your license renewed. 10 893 I expect the CBC to serve its 11 Canadian audience and I use that term in the broadest 12 possible sense. If doing this means moving the head 13 office to Montreal and uniting the two great branches 14 under one management, then I would favour that move. 15 894 In the meantime, the CBC has made 16 some very useful beginnings with such programs as 17 "C'est la vie." This program is introducing French 18 Canada to us in all its variety and country-wide 19 extent. People like Avril Benoit are making a 20 wonderful contribution. When French Canadians are 21 interviewed on This Morning, Avril, in many cases, is 22 able to help and find what that elusive English word 23 they are groping for. We need more like her. 24 895 I could say more but I shall close 25 now and stay within my time. StenoTran 193 1 896 Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 2 --- Applause / Applaudissements 3 897 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 4 much, sir. I have no questions. You were perfectly 5 clear. Thank you. 6 898 MR. McWHINNEY: First of all, my 7 apologies, Mr. Ronaghan, for mispronouncing your name 8 earlier. I hope I got it right this time. 9 899 Can I invite Mr. Fred Yackman to 10 present, please? 11 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 12 900 MR. YACKMAN: And the pronunciation 13 was very good. 14 901 First of all, I would like to thank 15 the CRTC for coming to Edmonton and providing the 16 public an opportunity to express their opinions on our 17 national broadcaster, the CBC. 18 902 I am here this evening wearing a 19 number of hats. First of all, I am a citizen who is 20 deeply concerned about the future of the CBC. I am 21 also a television writer and producer who lives and 22 works in Alberta, and I am the western counsellor of 23 the Writers Guild of Canada. The WGC represents 1,400 24 professional writers in radio, television, film and 25 multi media who work with public and private producers StenoTran 194 1 and broadcasters. The following was a paid political 2 announcement. 3 903 I am going to address two issues 4 briefly. I am trying to be brief. One is what I think 5 the CBC is and should remain and then talk a bit about 6 the issue of what role the CBC should play in the 7 regions. 8 904 First of all, the CBC is our national 9 story teller. CBC tells stories that no one else can 10 afford to tell because the prime market of interest, 11 Canada, is too small. This doesn't mean that these 12 stories don't have an interest to people outside of 13 Canada. Now, this has been witnessed by the number of 14 awards that the CBC has won internationally. But given 15 the size of the returns, no one else would voluntarily 16 take the time to create these types of stories and the 17 Canadian public would be at a loss if the CBC didn't do 18 that. 19 905 For example, here are three or four 20 stories that I think that wouldn't have been produced 21 had it not been for the CBC. 22 906 Keith Ross Lackey worked for eight 23 years in order to get the mini series about the Avro 24 Arrow on the air. The CBC was a partner in that 25 production. StenoTran 195 1 907 Suzette Couture wrote a very 2 brilliant mini series called "Million Dollar Babies" 3 about the Dionne Quintuplets. Again, the CBC involved. 4 908 Another one that has won awards 5 internationally called "Peacekeeper" written by someone 6 originally from Edmonton, Pete White, about a group of 7 Canadians working in the peacekeeping environment in 8 Bosnia. 9 909 Again, these are stories that the CBC 10 will tell and should tell because the private 11 broadcasters just don't seem to pick up on it. 12 910 The CBC's importance to Canadians, I 13 think, is twofold. First of all, it is as a 14 broadcaster, of course, but also more importantly, I 15 believe, as a developer and producer of dramatic 16 programming, documentaries, children's shows and public 17 affairs programs. 18 911 Content is everything. Content is 19 the message, what ultimately distinguishes the CBC from 20 other broadcasters is its commitment to developing and 21 producing Canadian programming to fill its schedule. 22 Unfortunately, CBC's role as a producer and a developer 23 has been severely reduced by a number of factors. 24 912 There is the continuing budget cuts, 25 there is the shift in emphasis to private production StenoTran 196 1 due to lack of funds and pressure from the private 2 production centre, there are cuts to the CBC's CTF 3 envelope and there are calls for mandatory 4 participation by the CBC in new programs without new 5 funds to go with those new responsibilities. 6 913 The results have been a reduction in 7 development in production and a schedule filled with 8 reruns, repeats and very short seasons. 9 914 CBC's role as a national story teller 10 has been greatly diminished. Its ability to invest in 11 developing new stories has been decimated. Its 12 in-house production capacity has been cut sharply as 13 well. 14 915 Now, granting the CBC guaranteed 15 access to the Canadian Television Fund through 16 co-ventures and independent producers only solved part 17 of the problem and it was a short-term solution because 18 the public broadcasters access to the fund is not being 19 steadily reduced. 20 916 The Commission asked us to address a 21 number of questions and was, is the CBC serving the 22 public regionally and nationally? Are they doing a 23 good job? 24 917 Being a true Canadian like MacKenzie 25 King, I will equivocate and say yes and no. Yes, they StenoTran 197 1 are doing a good job nationally. They have gone ahead. 2 They have Canadianized the schedule and they are to be 3 commended for that. As a matter of fact, in the last 4 ratings, I believe, the CBC was the only Canadian 5 national broadcaster to show an increase in their 6 viewership. Mind you, it was .1 per cent, all the 7 others showed a decrease. I think that they are to be 8 commended for this. 9 918 But I also believe if you are going 10 to be a strong national broadcaster, you have to be 11 very strong in the regions and this is where I think 12 the major problem now exists with the CBC. The CBC's 13 capacity for developing and producing original regional 14 programming, particularly from dramatic programming, 15 has been reduced sharply over the past five years in 16 the course of successive realms of budget cuts imposed 17 by the past and current federal government. 18 919 Regional programming is important 19 because it allows local and regional communities to see 20 themselves reflected in the programming carried by 21 their national broadcaster. When it is picked up by 22 the national network, it gives Canadians and other 23 regions a better understanding of the variety of 24 experience across this country, something that Mr. 25 Staples was talking about. StenoTran 198 1 920 Regional programming is the type of 2 programming that plays an important role in developing 3 new creative talent in terms of writers, performers and 4 directors across this country. 5 921 Now, the way to maintain regional 6 presence on the CBC is to continue to develop and 7 produce regional stories for the national network so 8 Canadians in all parts of the country can see 9 themselves again reflected on the national network. 10 922 As the national public broadcaster, 11 the CBC should be empowered to make programming 12 decisions based on criteria that extend beyond strictly 13 commercial imperatives yet it should retain the 14 latitude to develop or acquire projects with a broad 15 audience appeal. 16 923 Now, in talking -- that is a general 17 comment on the regions and I think it is valid across 18 the country -- there are some inequities that have 19 developed because of the way that the cuts have been 20 implemented. 21 924 Eastern Canada has done a tremendous 22 job and I believe that Joe Novak, the new head of CBC 23 Alberta Television, has been instrumental in part of 24 that. There is "This Hour has 22 Minutes", there is 25 "Dooley Garden", there is the "East Coast Music StenoTran 199 1 Awards". 2 925 British Columbia, after lobbying 3 quite hard for a number of years, now has two drama 4 series. One is "Nothing too Good for a Cowboy", which 5 is a co-production and then there is Da Vinci's Inquest 6 as well. Two dramatic series coming out of British 7 Columbia and it is great to see and it is nice to see 8 Vancouver portrayed as Vancouver, not dressed up to 9 look like Washington or wherever in the X-Files. 10 926 In Alberta, we have suffered. North 11 of 60 ended and that basically was it. I think it 12 bears repeating and this is from the AMPIA(ph) 13 presentation from this afternoon when they talk about 14 taking a look at a typical week in 1999 for CBC 15 Edmonton. There are 132.5 hours, 106 of those hours is 16 CBC network programming, basically 80 per cent of the 17 schedule. Eight hours of regular regional programming 18 all, and I underline "all" in the news category. There 19 is 18.5 hours of foreign programming. 20 927 Then we come to, I think, the very 21 damning points here. There are no hours of regular 22 regional programming in the under represented 23 categories of drama, music, variety, documentary or 24 children's, and there are no hours of regular 25 programming either produced or co produced by the StenoTran 200 1 independent Alberta production sector. In fact, if you 2 aren't a CBC Alberta viewer, you do not have the 3 opportunity to watch any regularly scheduled 4 Alberta-produced drama, children's, documentary, music 5 or variety programming. 6 928 Now, first of all, I want to make it 7 quite clear. This is not because of actions of 8 omission or commission, to use a phrase from earlier 9 today, because of the people here at CBC and Alberta. 10 They have done an excellent job with what they have 11 been left and they are to be commended for soldiering 12 on. 13 929 But the thing is, when you look 14 around and you want to reflect a region, in Edmonton, 15 to use a couple of examples, we have more theatres per 16 capita than any city in this country. We have the 17 Edmonton Fringe Festival, the largest festival of its 18 type in North America, 450,000 people attended that 19 ten-day event last year. This means that there was an 20 incredible pool of writing and performing talent here 21 at Edmonton and Alberta that has been built up around 22 that particular festival. 23 930 The CBC desperately needs to tap into 24 that pool of talent. Here would be a great opportunity 25 to reflect what writes think in Alberta to see Alberta StenoTran 201 1 performers, I think it is a great opportunity that we 2 have overlooked and if we are going to reflect the 3 regions to one another, we must look to see the talent 4 that we have in our own community. And that is 5 something that they should be developing. 6 931 Now, the bigger issue though is that 7 the CBC needs sufficient resources to initiate, develop 8 original programming and produce this programming so 9 that we can get it on the air. Though its track record 10 in producing long form dramas, series television, 11 documentaries and children's programming, the CBC has 12 demonstrated its commitment to telling stories that are 13 important to Canadians. Canadian stories that the 14 private broadcasters aren't interested in. 15 932 Although Canadians have been provided 16 with a far greater range of choice in programming 17 through probably dozens of new specialty channels, the 18 CBC retains a unique role as a national public 19 broadcaster. It must continue to play a strong role in 20 dramatic programming, documentaries, public affairs, 21 children's programming, both complementing and 22 challenging the private broadcasters to keep up with 23 them. 24 933 So a few recommendations. 25 934 Number one, stop the cuts. Number StenoTran 202 1 two, provide secure multi-year funding so the CBC can 2 lead versus limping into the 21st century. I wouldn't 3 use the "M" word. 4 935 Number 3, restore funding from the 5 heart outwards. Now, the cuts in the CBC funding have 6 consistently resulted not in a down sizing of the 7 bureaucracy but in a decrease in CBC's development and 8 production capability first. They sacrificed the heart 9 of the corporation for those cuts. So when I say "fund 10 what it takes to fill the schedule and then work 11 outwards from there. 12 936 For the best possible mix of 13 programming, fill the schedule with a balance of 14 private and public production. 15 937 Number five, recognize the importance 16 of the CBC, not just as a broadcaster but as a 17 developer and producer of Canadian stories no one else 18 would or could make. 19 938 I would like to leave you with one 20 final image and that is of the story teller with people 21 huddled around a fire listening to stories about their 22 village, their people and about villages far away and 23 people they will never, ever hope to see but they are 24 interested in their stories. 25 939 In this digital age, we still gather StenoTran 203 1 around the glow of the electronic hearth, our 2 television sets, to listen and watch story tellers. If 3 we allow the CBC to suffer further cuts, pretty soon 4 there will only be one voice at that electronic hearth 5 and it will speak with an American accent and 6 perspective. 7 940 Thank you. 8 --- Applause / Applaudissements 9 941 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 10 much, Mr. Yackman. 11 942 I am going to break my own rule here 12 because I want to pick your brain for just one question 13 even though I know we are tight for time. 14 943 Is there more to Atlantic Canada's 15 somehow success, good fortune, whatever it is, Black 16 Harbour or Pit Ponies? They just finished doing 26 of 17 those. You can name more than I can. 18 944 Is there more to their representation 19 on the national schedule and Alberta's non 20 representation than just luck? Is there something 21 else? Is it just that we have been waiting for Joe 22 Novak to come and he is going to make it all better or 23 is it you just haven't had a good voice or Joe is going 24 to have to buy a new hat. You know, his head is 25 swelling under all of this praise, but -- StenoTran 204 1 945 Mr. YACKMAN: Or fund one of my 2 projects. 3 946 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is there more to it 4 than that or is there something else? Is there 5 something we are missing here? You are the producer, I 6 am not. 7 947 Why has Atlantic Canada been so 8 successful and here you are, bursting at the seams with 9 creativity and you haven't got a voice? 10 948 MR. YACKMAN: I am not party to the 11 internal workings of the decision makers of the CBC but 12 let me hazard a guess. 13 949 I believe that you need a champion 14 for your region. Without that champion you will go 15 nowhere. 16 950 I had the opportunity -- I digress 17 for a little bit -- I had an opportunity to travel 18 across the country two years ago working on a project 19 that I was doing. I had the opportunity to go from 20 coast to coast. No matter where I went, what I 21 was --just overwhelmed to see was the richness of 22 stories about Canada, that they are there. 23 951 So the east coast doesn't have a lock 24 on good stories and good talent but they are very 25 distinctive and I think that works in their advantage. StenoTran 205 1 I believe thee are just as many talented people and 2 story tellers and stories to be told in every region of 3 the country and what it comes down to, I believe, is 4 having that champion to fight for those funds that are 5 very hard to come by and I think that makes the 6 difference. 7 952 Alberta, as you know, I believe is 8 the third or the fourth largest television market in 9 this country. We have been under represented for a 10 long time. It is a quirk, I don't understand why. 11 953 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 12 much. 13 954 MR. YACKMAN: Thank you. 14 955 THE CHAIRPERSON: Michael. 15 956 MR. McWHINNEY: Can I invite Ms Penny 16 Coates to speak, please. 17 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 18 957 MS COATES: Thank you very much for 19 this opportunity to make the presentation. I don't 20 actually have a presentation. I don't work in the 21 business, I don't write, I don't produce, I don't 22 advertise, but I work in health care and it is a highly 23 stressed out field at this point and I guess that would 24 be what I would like to tell you is how important for 25 the listener CBC is. StenoTran 206 1 958 Most of my friends and family listen 2 to CBC and I would say that they listen partly to keep 3 their sanity, something about CBC programming helps 4 people in their daily lives and that is why I came to 5 promote good support for CBC. 6 959 One of the things I would like to 7 mention -- it has been brought up by all these people 8 that know much more than I do about this -- I know 9 Alberta because I live here. I think it is really true 10 that maybe the rest of Canada doesn't get to know 11 Alberta as well as I get to know the rest of Canada on 12 CBC. 13 960 So I would reiterate what you have 14 just talked to him about, that funding in Alberta 15 should be improved because there are good stories here 16 and I know there is good talent here for doing that. 17 So I would certainly like to support that notion if it 18 can be done because cuts have been severe here and the 19 radio station has a lot of trouble covering much at 20 all. 21 961 I think that is really about all I 22 had to say. I just wanted to speak for the listeners 23 so that is it. Mine was short. 24 962 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 25 much. StenoTran 207 1 963 MS COATES: Sure. 2 964 THE CHAIRPERSON: We came to listen 3 to the listeners so you filled a hole for us. 4 965 If I can make an observation about 5 this place, having lived here only for a day and a half 6 now, and almost all the time in this hotel, I did 7 manage to get out and go for a walk this morning. You 8 have the most beautiful river I have ever seen in my 9 life. 10 966 And Mr. Novak, there must be stories 11 about that river. Go get them. 12 967 MR. NOVAK: You bet. 13 968 THE CHAIRPERSON: It is the most 14 dramatic river and riverbank I think I have ever seen 15 anywhere. You are blessed people. So there have got 16 to be stories there. 17 969 Michael, stop me. Get a real speaker 18 on. 19 970 MR. McWHINNEY: Mr. Tommy Banks. 20 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 21 971 MR. BANKS: We have many dramatic 22 things, Mr. Langford. The river is only the most 23 obvious of them. 24 972 I should tell you that I am a 25 musician. I am an independent television producer and StenoTran 208 1 record producer and I make my living in the 2 entertainment business. I should also tell you that 3 despite the colour of my hair, I am not here to be 4 curmudgeonly and bemoan the fact that the CBC isn't the 5 way it was in the good old days. 6 973 I am also not objective with respect 7 to the CBC because I owe the CBC, as does any performer 8 in this country my age, more than I could ever write 9 down or more than I could ever say because there was a 10 time when it was the only game in town and it is 11 directly and solely responsible for the fact that there 12 was, when the other players came into the market, any 13 kind of talent pool of writers, creative people in 14 general in this country. 15 974 That having been said, I would like 16 to associate myself strongly with the remarks of Mr. 17 Yackman who -- I don't know what he was going to say -- 18 I would have mugged outside the room. I read his 19 speech because he is exactly right on all accounts. 20 975 I don't think that you, the 21 Commission, needs to hear all of the good things about 22 the CBC because any thinking person knows that the CBC 23 has done, to some extent now still does, and certainly 24 could in the future, do things which the other guys, by 25 which I mean commercial broadcasters, have not done, StenoTran 209 1 cannot do and will not ever do. And it is for those 2 reasons and all of the things that fall within the 3 envelope that we need to have the CBC. 4 976 However, I recognize that it is 5 inappropriate to lobby you to increase funding for the 6 CBC so I have the temerity, since I have escaped the 7 necessity of saying all the things that Mr. Yackman 8 said, to suggest to you something that the Commission 9 no doubt has already considered but can actually do 10 about the present difficulties in which the CBC finds 11 itself. That is in respect of its promise of 12 performance and/or conditions of its license. 13 977 You have heard references in the past 14 to the pendulum having swung so far the other way with 15 respect to funding that it has, for all intents and 16 purposes, in many respects, disembowelled the CBC and 17 whether or not that is on a proportionately fair 18 regional basis is almost beside the point. I think 19 that most of the questions as to what the CBC ought to 20 do in the future can be left to the management of the 21 CBC and the creative people at the CBC, they have done 22 on balance and estimable job of this in the past, over 23 the past however many years it is and I have no doubt 24 could, in the future, had they not been driven into, 25 and I believe this is the case, a sort of trench StenoTran 210 1 mentality on the basis of the cuts. When you are 2 standing there looking at wave number seven of the cuts 3 coming, it is a fearful thing. 4 978 CBC management at the higher levels 5 have, I think, been driven wrongly and for all the 6 wrong reasons into, as I said, a sort of defensive 7 position which has made them in some respects, at least 8 subject to the tyranny of numbers. Mr. Yackman 9 referred to this and so have several other of my 10 predecessors tonight, about pandering in order to 11 obtain ratings and to do programs which sometimes other 12 broadcasters can do well rather than doing things which 13 for altruistic and aesthetic reasons ought to be done 14 as they have been in the past by the CBC. 15 979 I suggest that the Commission might 16 make a contribution in this respect by reminding the 17 CBC that at least part of its mandate is to function in 18 creative ways which require that it not pay attention 19 to the tyranny of numbers and to the tyranny of ratings 20 and to the tyranny of the lowest common denominator. 21 980 And in that respect, the two things 22 which it needs most, and which I suggest that you might 23 consider putting in its condition of license or its 24 promise of performance is the question of regional 25 development, the regional development of every level of StenoTran 211 1 creativity, regional development of writers, regional 2 development of directors, regional development of 3 actors, of musicians, of designers, et cetera, et 4 cetera, a thing which use to distinguish the CBC from 5 all of its counterparts, not only here but elsewhere in 6 the world. 7 981 Secondly and equally important, and 8 it's part and one of the same thing, to require that 9 air time be given, first in the regions and secondly on 10 the national networks to the exposure of the results of 11 that development. Most thinking people, I think, would 12 recognize that talent development is whether it is ever 13 written down anywhere, not part of the mandate of the 14 CBC and it should be. 15 982 It has, by virtue of some necessity, 16 advocated that aspect of its responsibility for all 17 intents and purposes in the past few years. 18 983 I would hope that the Commission 19 might require it to return to its soul and its roots in 20 those regards that by ensuring that we do not have to 21 look so hard to find programs of the entertainment 22 kind, by which I mean to include drama, music, dance, 23 all of those other things that are important. 24 Contributions in those respects to the network from 25 what is euphemistically referred to by the CBC StenoTran 212 1 management as the regions which is any place outside of 2 Toronto. 3 984 It is hard to find a program that is 4 the result of talent development that comes from 5 Vancouver or Edmonton or Toronto or Regina or Windsor 6 or even Montreal on the English network. As you have 7 pointed out, there seems to be a little bump these days 8 from the Maritimes but that is -- maybe it is just 9 their turn and who knows what the answer to your 10 question is. 11 985 Advocacy of one kind or another and 12 the recognition of a great creativity and I suggest 13 development because there has, for whatever reason, 14 been in the Maritime provinces, a measure of 15 development of regional talent by the CBC in the 16 Maritimes which has been absent elsewhere. 17 986 It is too easy to attribute all of 18 this simply to budget cuts but ancillary to those 19 budget cuts and sort of concomitant with them is this 20 panic on the part of management that we have to show 21 numbers and we have to stop spending money. 22 987 I would hope that the Commission 23 might, in its wisdom, make a requirement of the renewal 24 of the CBC's license. I am speaking mostly of 25 television here. That it return to those two StenoTran 213 1 fundamentally important things that it used to do. Not 2 that it should do them in the way that it used to do 3 them. In fact, it must not do them in the way that it 4 used to them. But the creative people of the CBC, 5 given the release from the constraints of the pendulum 6 having swung to far the other way, or by requirements 7 that they do otherwise, have the means of making sure 8 that regional development happens and if you require 9 it, it will happen and that regionally developed 10 artists have a chance to show their stuff regionally 11 and on the national network. I hope that the 12 Commission will do that. 13 988 Thank you. 14 --- Applause / Applaudissements 15 989 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 16 much. Mr. Banks, could you hit that button there? 17 Thanks. 18 990 Again, it is getting later in the day 19 and one says things probably one shouldn't but you said 20 something that touches on a -- there is one word since 21 I have come to the CRTC -- well, it has been grating on 22 me even before -- the regions. 23 991 There is something about calling 24 everybody outside of Toronto and Montreal the regions 25 that bothers me. I mean, it is almost as though -- StenoTran 214 1 992 MR. BANKS: It bothers you! 2 --- Laughter / Rires 3 993 THE CHAIRPERSON: But it puts you 4 sort of -- they have tied to cinder blocks to your legs 5 before you are even in the race and I think if we could 6 do nothing else, it would be interesting if we could 7 get that word out of the dictionary or at least 8 relegate it to what it should be used for. 9 994 I have taken down your points and 10 they are on the record and I thank you very, very much 11 for your presentation, sir. 12 995 Michael. 13 996 MR. McWHINNEY: Can I invite 14 Mr.Oldham to speak? 15 997 MR. OLDHAM: Well, others have 16 already said many of the things I originally planned to 17 say and my wife tends to think that I tend to be long 18 winded. So this evening I plan to surprise her. 19 998 I am amazed at the quality of radio 20 and television programs that the CBC produces in spite 21 of massive cuts in funding under the Mulroney and 22 Chretien regimes. I would like to tell you how much I 23 value specific programs but there are so many so I will 24 make a few general comments. 25 999 There are a lot of cliches and catch StenoTran 215 1 phrases being bandied about like as we move into the 2 next century or next millennium, we can no longer 3 afford public broadcasting. They say this as though we 4 will move into a new world on January the first. 5 1000 They overlook or they choose to not 6 mention that a year from now, with the exception of a 7 few births and deaths, it will be the same people 8 listening to the same radios and watching the same 9 television sets. Like many, there will be people who 10 might want to be entertained by Hollywood sitcoms that 11 have someone with his finger on the keyboard of the 12 laugh track to let them know when to laugh or to be 13 titillated by the likes of Jerry Springer or Beavis and 14 Butthead. But there are still a lot of us who want 15 something more stimulating and doesn't insult our 16 intelligence. 17 1001 They also overlook the fact that the 18 century in the millennium doesn't actually end until 19 next year but that is good for another program. 20 1002 We were told that global is a mixed 21 national broadcasting obsolete. In reality, globalism 22 is a move towards economics serfdom and away from our 23 freedom to run our own affairs. If we are to survive 24 as a democracy, we need more national broadcasting, not 25 less. StenoTran 216 1 1003 We are also told that we don't need 2 public broadcasting system while we have lots of free 3 private broadcasters. There is no free lunch. In 4 Economics 101, we were told that the cost of 5 advertising ends up in the cost of goods and services 6 and the consumer ultimately pays the price. In the 7 broadcast industry, a large part of the income comes 8 from advertising is spent on soliciting more 9 advertising, not on news gathering and investigative 10 reports. 11 1004 The ratings are often used as a 12 reason for eliminating public broadcasting. The last 13 time I scanned the radio dial, I counted ten AM 14 stations and 15 FM stations. This means that any one 15 of the stations is lucky to get more than four per cent 16 of the listeners. 17 1005 We are not the only country that 18 invests in public broadcasting. Listen to CBC between 19 1:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. -- I guess it's midnight to 20 6:00 a.m. They relay news and commentaries from 21 Australia, South Africa, the U.K., France, Germany, 22 Belgium, Sweden and many smaller European countries, 23 many of which spend considerably more than we do per 24 capita. 25 1006 Are we to develop a carbon copy of StenoTran 217 1 the situation south of the border? PBS suffered 2 cutbacks in federal funding. Do they take up the 3 slack? They resorted to commercial sponsors and 4 seemingly endless pledge campaigns. Spokane gets a 5 large portion of its contributions from north of the 6 border but there are very few programs pertinent to 7 Canada. 8 1007 For example, after the Gulf War, they 9 were in a program called "The Hell Fire Fighters of 10 Kuwait". There were lengthy interviews and action 11 shots of the three American companies, only a brief 12 glimpse of some Canadian equipment. There was no 13 mention of the fact that the Canadian company put out 14 almost as many fires as the other three combined. 15 1008 Without the CBC, the remaining 16 choices of so-called Canadian networks in this area 17 would be CTV and ITV. Very few correspondents outside 18 of Canada -- where do they get the most of the world 19 news? From ABC, owned by the Disney Corporation, whose 20 agenda is entertainment, not enlightenment, NBC and 21 CBS, owned by General Electric and Westinghouse, 22 respectively, huge financial corporations with 23 substantial interests in nuclear energy and the 24 so-called defence industry. One time it used to be the 25 War Department and now it's the Defence Department. StenoTran 218 1 1009 After Eishenhower, who was a 2 Republican, not a radical left winger, warned us 3 against the military industrial complex. These 4 corporations didn't shrink. They expanded and became 5 even more powerful and influential. Then there is CNN, 6 allied with Time Life, whose sympathies are distinctly 7 right of centre. 8 1010 As his country approached the 9 beginning of this century, Jose Dela 10 Cruzportfiliodiaz(ph) said, "Poor Mexico, so far from 11 God, so close to the United States." I shudder to 12 think of a future without the CBC. 13 --- Applause / Applaudissements 14 1011 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much 15 for your remarks and for taking us on that tour. I 16 must say you disappointed me at the very, very 17 beginning. I was a bit heartbroken when you said there 18 would be no change in the millennium. 19 1012 I am one of these people who is 20 hoping the Royal Bank will lose my mortgage when the 21 Y2K bug hits. 22 --- Laughter / Rires 23 1013 THE CHAIRPERSON: Perhaps you are 24 right. I will just be paying as usual. I have visions 25 of Revenue Canada losing my file or something but I StenoTran 219 1 suppose that won't happen. 2 1014 Michael. 3 1015 MR. McWHINNEY: We seem to be at a 4 stage where there are a number of people on the list 5 that have not arrived. If you will indulge me, I am 6 just going to read off the names of people who are on 7 the list who we think have not arrived, just to make 8 sure that they are not here, in which case we may wrap 9 up earlier but we may also want to give them the 10 opportunity to arrive. 11 1016 Mr. Jackson Davies -- just let out a 12 yell if your name is called, if you wouldn't mind -- Ms 13 Marlyn Wahl, Mr. Timothy Vaughan-Bettaker, Mr. Vic 14 Yanda, Mr. Drew Martin, Mr. Don Metz, Ms Valerie Warke, 15 Ms Nicolette Saina. 16 1017 There is one person who hasn't yet to 17 speak, I believe, who is on the list who is here, Mr. 18 Paul Burke. 19 1018 Can I invite you to speak? 20 1019 MR. PAUL BURKE: I don't actually 21 have anything prepared today either partly because I 22 just got bi-focal glasses today for the first time in 23 my life and I can't read anything anyway. I don't know 24 how to do this. 25 1020 I want to say that I am here as sort StenoTran 220 1 of an average Joe Nobody in Canada who is surprised at 2 myself that I would be here today presenting to you 3 people, advocating for the CBC and the continuation of 4 what it does for Canadians. I am one of those people 5 who grew up as a child in small-town Alberta, hating 6 the CBC because it was full of all that cultural crap 7 and wishing for more American television because I 8 liked sitcoms. But as I get old enough now to need 9 bifocals, it is interesting to me how much either CBC 10 has changed or how much I have changed to grow to 11 appreciate the damn thing. 12 1021 I grew up, certainly a redneck, a 13 redneck who knew nothing about Canada and who knew 14 nothing about culture and who was ignorant to how 15 little he knew, ignorant about my ignorance, and I am 16 proud to say that I am now a reformed redneck as 17 opposed to a redneck reformer which there are many of 18 in this country as well. 19 1022 I want to say things like it was 20 really quite a shock to me and an honour to come in and 21 sit down and see Tommy Banks sitting here. Tommy Banks 22 is a bit of a star in the Edmonton area and I wouldn't 23 even know who Tommy Banks was if it wasn't for the CBC. 24 I saw him back in the old days when he ran a talk show 25 when he was always playing piano in Toronto in these StenoTran 221 1 big guilded halls for the Juno Awards and things like 2 that. Then I learned he was from Alberta and that was 3 exciting. Then I moved to Edmonton and realized he was 4 living in Edmonton and here I am sitting at the same 5 panel and the fact that I know who he is a testament to 6 the CBC in and of itself. 7 1023 What I like about the CBC 8 increasingly that CBC doesn't appear to be selling 9 something, particularly, of course, on radio, I feel 10 like I can -- when I want some light potato chips and 11 escapism entertainment, couch potato entertainment, I 12 am free to turn to American television, but when I want 13 good quality information and entertainment, 14 particularly that is relevant to me as a Canadian, I 15 turn on CBC because I feel that CBC is not trying to 16 sell something. I don't have to worry when I turn on 17 the CBC news, whether it be on television or radio, 18 that the government is manipulating what is said or 19 what is covered or not covered on the news, and I like 20 that very much. I don't trust that in any other 21 station that I watch, and particularly, the American 22 stations. 23 1024 The other thing about me is that I am 24 not a particularly wealthy person and consequently I 25 don't get an opportunity to travel much. I've been to StenoTran 222 1 Toronto twice in my life and to Vancouver half a dozen 2 times and that is it from my experience in travel 3 across Canada. But I feel, especially in the last six 4 or eight years, that I know a lot more about Canada 5 than I -- well, I know that I know more about Canada 6 than I would ever know. 7 1025 I work in the public sector -- not 8 for CBC, by the way -- the public sector where it is 9 important for me to be conversant about Canada a little 10 bit. It is important for me to understand, in the type 11 of work that I do, I am a therapist and I need to work 12 with clients, many of whom are from the eastern part of 13 Canada, some of whom are from British Columbia, and 14 many of whom are from Quebec and especially around the 15 Montreal area. 16 1026 I knew nothing about Quebec. I 17 didn't care about Quebec. I was one of these people 18 who felt that the sooner we could get the bastards out 19 of Canada the better until I started to see some CBC 20 television programming, even in the form of 21 entertainment of drama and so forth, that helped me to 22 understand something about the social culture of 23 Quebecers and the plight of Quebecers. Now I find 24 myself hoping the hell they don't leave Canada because 25 I kind of like them and I kind of realize that they are StenoTran 223 1 as Canadian as I am even though they speak a different 2 language and that is not something that I would ever 3 have developed if it weren't for the existence of CBC. 4 1027 If my television set was tuned to 5 American channels and to CTV, I can assure you I 6 wouldn't have that same sensation about Quebec because 7 Quebec doesn't sell Quebec issues, political issues. 8 Black Harbour, I don't think -- I think CBC has done a 9 good job making it marketable and making the numbers 10 game, as Tommy calls it, work, but I don't think any 11 other station would give a damn about Black Harbour. I 12 don't think they would care about North of 60 which I 13 think has done more for the average Joe like me whose 14 understanding of Aboriginal issues and just Aboriginal 15 people. Not even Aboriginal issues, just knowing what 16 it is like for people who live north of 60, of course, 17 knowing that these people don't live north of 60, they 18 live in Brag Creek(ph) but I think the thing is 19 relatively true to its culture, Pit Pony, Avonlea, 20 Beachcombers, way back. Beachcombers was kind of the 21 aura or the era at which I began to warm up and since 22 then it has just got better and better. 23 1028 My mother is another one who 24 absolutely, talk about redneck Albertans, she hates the 25 CBC with a passion. However, her favourite shows are StenoTran 224 1 North of 60, Black Harbour, Pit Pony, Avonlea, On The 2 Road Again -- she would marry Wayne Ronstad in a minute 3 if she got the opportunity -- Man Alive, Witness, 4 Adrian Clarkson Presents. She likes every second 5 episode and the in between episodes, she wants to write 6 to CBC and tell them to shut down because they have 7 something on ballet or, you know, something like that. 8 So every time she talks to me about hating the CBC, she 9 will say, "Except for the following..." and then lists 10 off all the shows and so forth. 11 1029 It means a lot to me to have quality 12 programming about Canada. I get amazed sometimes at 13 how American I feel and the more I learn about this 14 country through CBC television, mostly their dramatic 15 programming, not their documentaries even, the more I 16 feel really proud to be a Canadian in that I understand 17 there is a distinct difference between me and somebody 18 who lives in Los Angeles or New York. That is 19 something I didn't understand 20 years ago and I hope 20 that by the time I am 80 I will understand it a lot 21 more than I do now. 22 1030 Without CBC I would be watching 23 American sitcoms, I would be watching American 24 documentaries and I would be watching American talk 25 shows and I would not have that sense of being Canadian StenoTran 225 1 that I have now thanks in large part to the CBC. 2 1031 CBC Radio, I heard someone over here 3 a few minutes ago say that there is just something 4 about it that makes us as Canadians feel good. We can 5 tune into it and it is in part again that CBC is not 6 selling anything on their radio station. They are just 7 Canadians talking to other Canadians frequently about 8 Canada and helping us to develop, although none of us 9 will admit it, a Canadian culture. If we lose the CBC, 10 unless we replace the CBC with something as good or 11 better that is Canadian and that will feature Canadian 12 product and Canadian talent and will develop Canadian 13 talent and product, then we are doomed to lose whatever 14 cultural identity that we have. 15 1032 Thank you. 16 --- Applause / Applaudissements 17 1033 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very 18 much, Mr. Burke, a fellow bi-focal wearer. Watch the 19 fingers when you are dicing vegetables for the first 20 week or two. It takes some getting used to. 21 1034 Have we got anyone else, Michael? 22 1035 Perhaps we should take a ten-minute 23 break just in case people -- sometimes people look at 24 the list and sort of think, "Oh boy, that looks like 25 about 8:00." So let's take a ten-minute break. We StenoTran 226 1 will come back at about quarter to, twelve to, 2 something like that and we will see what we have got 3 then. 4 1036 Thanks very much. 5 --- Recess at 1940 / Suspension à 1940 6 --- Upon resuming at 2005 / Reprise à 2005 7 1037 THE CHAIRPERSON: Ladies and 8 gentlemen, children of all ages, as we say, we are 9 ready to reconvene and I think we have lost a bit of 10 our audience, I am afraid to say, but I pushed the 11 break time a little farther because my worry is that 12 some of the people at the bottom of the list may be 13 kind of playing the time game and thinking, "Well, I 14 won't get on until around 8:00 or 8:30." 15 1038 Now, I know we have two more 16 participants who have shown up. We may get a few more. 17 Let's hope everyone comes but we will get through the 18 people that are here. We will then ask Mr. Novak, on 19 behalf of the CBC to make some remarks. If some other 20 people show up, we will certainly make time for them. 21 There isn't as big an audience for those of you who are 22 talking now as there was perhaps half an hour ago, but 23 remember, we do have the recording machine going. Your 24 presentation will be part of the official record. So 25 though there perhaps isn't as full a room as there was StenoTran 227 1 a little while ago, your message will get into the 2 process and be part of this very important CBC renewal 3 of license process that we are involved in here. 4 1039 I should say one thing. There was 5 some doubt expressed in the other hearing room as to 6 whether or not we would renew the CBC's license. That 7 is not the issue. The CBC's licenses will be renewed. 8 1040 The issue is whether there will be 9 conditions on those licenses, whether we will have some 10 advice to the CBC based on the sort of hearings that we 11 have had. But anyone worrying about turning on the 12 radio or the television and finding dead air should 13 rest assure that that isn't one of the options that the 14 CRTC is toying with at the moment or in the foreseeable 15 future. 16 1041 The CBC is an institution in Canada 17 created by statute, not by the CRTC. If it is going to 18 be wound up, it will be wound up by Parliament, not by 19 the CRTC. 20 1042 But the CRTC's job is to look at the 21 entire broadcasting system, private and public. When 22 we look at that and when we hear from the people and 23 when we meet with the CBC representatives and we hear 24 from them and we examine the budget constraints they 25 are under, et cetera, et cetera. At that point we may StenoTran 228 1 have some conditions of license that we would put on, 2 for example, with regard to the amount of Canadian 3 content. We may have some recommendations as to 4 directions the CBC could go but the notion that there 5 would be dead air after the May 25th hearings is a 6 little more than fanciful so everyone can rest easy. 7 1043 Michael, would you like to call the 8 next presenter. 9 1044 MR. McWHINNEY: I would like to 10 invite Mr. Vaughan-Bettaker to present. 11 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 12 1045 MR. VAUGHAN-BETTAKER: Good evening 13 and it is my fear, actually, that Parliament will do 14 the wrapping up and they are already starting to do it 15 as far as I can tell. They have trimmed the CBC's 16 budget and I notice the CBC has repeat shows throughout 17 the day which I find quite discouraging because I am an 18 avid listener and I like to work to the CBC and it is 19 annoying that the repeat shows come up. 20 1046 My name is Timothy Vaughan-Bettaker 21 and I am a transplanted folkie from the big smoke in 22 Ontario. 23 1047 Before addressing the guideline 24 questions outlined by the CRTC Public Notice, I would 25 just like to tell you how the CBC helped me and at the StenoTran 229 1 same time fulfilled its mandate. 2 1048 Number one, how the CBC helped me to 3 be an ugly guy. In 1993, I think it was, the Maple 4 Leafs were winning. They were on a winning streak and 5 in the playoffs they faced a certain super star, 6 formerly of the Edmonton Oilers here, who I won't name, 7 who was playing for the Los Angeles Kings. Two friends 8 and I wrote a rally song for the Leafs and we started 9 busking in front of the Gardens and basically 10 everywhere. The chorus went something like this -- I 11 hope this comes out: 12 It's hockey night in Canada, the game will soon begin. 13 The Kings are gonna lose and the Leafs are gonna win. 14 1049 So we played that song over and over 15 and over, ad nauseam -- 16 --- Laughter / Rires 17 1050 MR. VAUGHAN-BETTAKER: -- until 18 basically the CBC agreed to record it for us. They 19 asked us, CBC Radio One in Toronto. We were paid as 20 writers, which I was very -- it was the first time I 21 ever got paid as a songwriter and I was very grateful. 22 From there, our group, The Three Ugly Guys, went on to 23 get a video on MuchMusic and the rotation just after 24 Stompin' Tom's hockey song, which was quite an honour. 25 We appeared on the CHUM FM Radio Station, Q-107 and we StenoTran 230 1 also got to show our faces on the Dini Petty show 2 nationally which was great. 3 1051 So the CBC started a buzz and helped 4 push the love of our game and a song sung by just 5 ordinary citizens forward. We Three Ugly Guys are 6 grateful. I speak on behalf of my comrades. 7 1052 Just as an aside, I used to get 8 stopped on the street and people would say, "Hey, 9 you're an ugly guy." 10 --- Laughter / Rires 11 1053 MR. VAUGHAN-BETTAKER: Number two, 12 how the CBC made me lose my homesick blues. 13 1054 On a cross-continent tour of North 14 America, my girlfriend and I landed in Inuvik in the 15 Northwest Territories. If you have been there, you 16 know it is the end of the road. Basically it is very 17 remote. We were feeling a bit lost and homesick. One 18 day we were tuned into the Radio One because as 19 basically our good friend all the way across and if 20 anyone here doesn't know, you can get CBC anywhere in 21 Canada. It is on the dial, somewhere, on AM or FM, no 22 matter where you are, which is fantastic. 23 1055 So we are sitting in Inuvik, really, 24 living in the back of my pick-up truck in a campsite 25 and got the radio on and I hear a Toronto friend's StenoTran 231 1 voice doing a comedy routine on the radio. They were 2 Trouser Park, they were called. And all of a sudden I 3 didn't feel so alone any more and, of course, I 4 laughed, I just rolled over because I'm miles and miles 5 away and there's my friend in Toronto speaking to me. 6 1056 Also, if you've been up north, you 7 know that the CBC provides a vital link for northern 8 residents from the different towns, especially those 9 ones that you can't get to by roadway. They literally 10 communicate messages from one home to another. "Joe, I 11 lost my spatula," or whatever. I don't know, up north 12 without CBC they would truly be lost. They wouldn't 13 have a way to keep their communities in contact with 14 each other. 15 1057 One great announcement one time when 16 I was there was "The caribou are running." So 17 everybody knew so you could jump on your little plane 18 and go and see them, so thanks again to the CBC for 19 that. 20 1058 Number three is how the CBC stopped 21 me from losing my mind. Not long ago, my wife and I 22 bought a century home in a small town north of the big 23 smoke and proceeded to renovate it. We were stuck at 24 home for long periods and basically days on end. While 25 the other radio stations played insipid commercials too StenoTran 232 1 frequently and obviously their musical tastes catered 2 to the corporate industry and you just hear the same 3 blah, blah over and over and over and over and over and 4 over again. 5 1059 We could tune in to the CBC and hear 6 an eclectic variety all day. Different kinds of music, 7 different voices, different nationalities and 8 basically, all the other commercial-free radio was out 9 of our reach so we had two choices and there really was 10 no choice at all. 11 1060 CBC provided interesting programming 12 wherein I could visit with other Canadians without 13 going to PEI or Kamloops. My vision of our country's 14 citizens became fuller and as did my identity because I 15 knew who I was. I am the son of an immigrant and it 16 meant a lot to me to know who we are and what we are. 17 So again, CBC, thank you. 18 1061 Since the cutbacks, I have had to 19 listen to repeat broadcasts, which I've already said, 20 and these seem redundant to me. I don't get it. Sure, 21 it's saving money but it is not good for us out there 22 in our homes. I am saying, please, CRTC, I hope that 23 we give some kind of favourable review to this national 24 treasure. 25 1062 When I leave the country, I kiss the StenoTran 233 1 ground when I get back and the first thing I do is tune 2 into CBC to its excellent programming and excellent 3 information that I can receive through this shared 4 vision that CBC provides. I believe that it is 5 basically since the rails have been dismantled, it is 6 all we have that binds this country together in a 7 concrete way. 8 1063 Now to address the discussion 9 guidelines here in the public notice by the CRTC 10 1998-134. 11 1064 The first part here, how well does 12 CBC fulfil its role, et cetera, et cetera. Well, I 13 think the CBC fulfils its role and in the period and in 14 the new millennium, it should try and regain the ground 15 that it has lost in the past few years due to the 16 budget cuts. 17 1065 Regional service is adequate but 18 could use some extra funding to bring it up to the 19 national standards which are very, very high. As a 20 matter of fact, if you listen to the radio or watch the 21 television and some of my comrades, whole families, 22 would rather watch CBC television alone -- you know, 23 like rip the cable out of the back of the thing and 24 just watch CBC if that is the only thing they get 25 because they know it is always going to be decent. StenoTran 234 1 1066 So I hope that we can plug some more 2 money back into it and not take it out so Jean 3 Chretien, if you are listening to me, please stop what 4 you are doing. Stop the cuts and just -- I don't know 5 what your problem is but get over it. 6 --- Laughter / Rires 7 1067 MR. VAUGHAN-BETTAKER: The CBC, in my 8 opinion, I guess this is to number -- should CBC be 9 different from other broadcasters, and if so, what 10 should the difference be? 11 1068 Well, to my mind, CBC should be a 12 springboard for up and coming Canadian talent and just 13 Canadians in general. I believe that CBC should have 14 more of an open-stage concept to its programming, both 15 on television and radio. Open stage meaning that not 16 so much auditioning and criticism before the talent is 17 presented but let's just try and help foster our 18 talent, provide a stepping stone for the new talent. 19 1069 We are already a great, obviously a 20 great "farm team" to our southern neighbours, which I 21 don't think I need to go into. I think that is quite 22 obvious. They are always cherry picking our best down 23 south. I just think we should build on this. We were 24 strong. We have a proclivity for developing an even 25 stronger base if we just give CBC the mandate to do so. StenoTran 235 1 1070 I saw the Fifth Estate last night -- 2 let me know if I'm going on too long -- but I saw the 3 Fifth Estate last night and they said we are putting -- 4 Canada is putting billions of dollars into the space 5 arm that is up on the space station which is being used 6 for absolutely nothing as far as I know. It is a big 7 station up there with the arm just like grabbing stuff 8 and changing it around from one arm to the other. 9 1071 I can't understand why we are using 10 billions of dollars to do something like that and 11 taking money away from something that so many of us 12 obviously enjoy, whether we know it or not because I've 13 heard, you know, just from an actor friend of mine, he 14 said, "CBC, they are junk. Why don't they just scrap 15 it," et cetera, et cetera. But when I explained to him 16 that CBC does this and this and this and this and he 17 went, "Yes, oh, yes, you are right." So even in an 18 offhand way, CBC does things for people who don't even 19 acknowledge it. 20 1072 I am just going to wrap it up by 21 saying in my estimation, on the whole, what I think CBC 22 should do is try to give unproven talent a vehicle so 23 just on the whole. 24 1073 Thank you very much. 25 1074 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very StenoTran 236 1 much. For an ugly guy, that was a beautiful 2 presentation. 3 1075 MR. VAUGHAN-BETTAKER: Thank you. 4 --- Laughter / Rires 5 1076 MR. VAUGHAN-BETTAKER: Can I quote 6 you? 7 1077 THE CHAIRPERSON: It is on the 8 record. 9 1078 MR. McWHINNEY: Can I invite Mr. Don 10 Metz to present. 11 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION 12 1079 MR. METZ: My name is Don Metz. I am 13 an independent producer operating in Alberta and in 14 Canada for the last 20 years. 15 1080 Is the CBC relevant to Canadians? 16 Does it have a place in the 500-channel universe? Is 17 it important or necessary that it continue to exist? 18 These are questions that are not only obvious but need 19 to be answered soon, real soon. 20 1081 As English-speaking Canadians, if we 21 have a vision of broadcasting in this country in which 22 Toronto culture, talent, tastes and viewing audience 23 are the only thing that matters, then we don't need the 24 CBC. If, however, we recognize that there are other 25 regions in this country with their own stories to tell, StenoTran 237 1 with their own culture, talent, performers and 2 musicians to share with the rest of Canada, then we do 3 need CBC because nobody else is doing that. 4 1082 If it wasn't for CBC, there would be 5 no place for Albertans and other regions outside 6 central Canada to produce television programs that 7 reflect out interests, to tell our stories, to share 8 our view of Canada and to showcase our talent to the 9 rest of this country. 10 1083 In the world of private broadcasting 11 in Canada, Toronto and Montreal are the cultural 12 centres of this universe. 13 1084 Private sector television in this 14 country is becoming more and more centralized and more 15 concerned about ratings in the U.S. marketplace than 16 relevancy to Canadians, particularly Canadians who do 17 no live in central Canada. 18 1085 Should national ratings be the only 19 measure of whether a television show deserves to be 20 produced or not? I hope not. 21 1086 Suppose a show made and broadcast in 22 Alberta gets a strong regional view and audience of say 23 a quarter million viewers. That is not a very big 24 audience by national standards but that is almost 15 25 sold out crowds at the Sky Reach Centre Arena here in StenoTran 238 1 Edmonton. If it were a live performance rather than a 2 television show, it would be considered wildly 3 successful. If that show was of relevance to its 4 Alberta audience, does it not deserve to be produced? 5 1087 CBC is in the unique position of not 6 having to rely on ratings as its measure of success. 7 1088 For small production companies and 8 independent producers, developing new programs for 9 national audience is almost impossible unless you are 10 based in Toronto, Vancouver. And if your ideas don't 11 reflect the tastes, interests and cultural values of 12 central Canada, the chances that your program will be 13 produced are next to none except for the CBC. 14 1089 Who is to say that the tastes of 15 Toronto audience are the tastes of the nation, or more 16 important, are more relevant? What about the stories 17 and ideas that we in Alberta have to share with the 18 rest of this country? What about our talent and our 19 performers and our musicians? How do ideas for 20 programs and television series that don't originate in 21 Toronto or Vancouver, Montreal ever see the light of 22 day? 23 1090 There are other voices in this 24 country and there are other stories to be told. I own 25 a small production company based here in Edmonton StenoTran 239 1 called "Equilla(ph) Productions". We have developing a 2 country music, comedy series to showcase Alberta comedy 3 and music for over two years. Briefly, our show is 4 called "The Barn Satellite Network". The premise is 5 that a rancher and country star wannabe accidentally 6 gets stuck with some satellite transmitter equipment at 7 a country auction and decides to start his own pilot 8 country music station and go off to this barn with the 9 help of the local farming community. The show features 10 country music guests and sketch comedy, sort of an SCTV 11 meets the Tommy Hunter show, if you get the idea. 12 --- Laughter / Rires 13 1091 MR. METZ: We feel it is a great 14 concept and this show, if done well, could easily be 15 successful as a national network program, both here and 16 the U.S. So far I've raised and spent more than a 17 quarter million dollars in producing a high quality 18 pilot episode to sell the series to a broadcaster. The 19 pilot we did was very well received and there has been 20 much interest expressed by broadcasters in both the 21 U.S. and in Canada who said they would be interested in 22 the show once we were in production. But nobody was 23 willing to take the risk in actually developing and 24 investing in the show and ultimately being the first 25 broadcaster, nobody except the CBC. StenoTran 240 1 1092 My most recent experience with the 2 CBC began last year when they offered to help us 3 develop the show and broadcast it regionally here in 4 Alberta. If it does well after the first year or two 5 of production, it is possible it will move to the 6 national network. The people at CBC have been 7 overwhelmingly enthusiastic, supportive and energetic 8 in helping develop our show. We have been working with 9 people like Joe Novak and Steve Lassman(ph) from CBC 10 Alberta. 11 1093 There is one myth about CBC that I 12 would like to dispel based on our experiences. After 13 hearing horror stories about bureaucracy at CBC, was 14 expecting months of delays, endless unnecessary 15 meetings at which little got accomplished and having to 16 generate mountains of paperwork. Instead I have been 17 pleasantly surprised by the fact that our dealings with 18 the CBC have moved along very quickly and 19 professionally with virtually no red tape or 20 unnecessary delays. I can honestly say that I have 21 enjoyed the entire process. 22 1094 They have truly become our partners 23 and share our vision that this show cannot only be 24 national within the first year or two but could easily 25 gain popularity in the U.S. for the same reasons that StenoTran 241 1 Red Green and Due South have become so popular. But 2 only CBC had the courage and more importantly, the 3 mandate to give a program from a small independent 4 production company in Alberta and give it a chance and 5 for that we are grateful. 6 1095 I would like to dispel another myth 7 about CBC based on our experience and that is their 8 reputation for throwing around money. 9 1096 CBC has offered to air our program 10 but they have only offered a 20 per cent license fee 11 which means we are responsible for finding the other 80 12 per cent of our production funding through investors 13 and sponsors. Obviously we would like the CBC to pay 14 for the whole production if they could but their offer 15 is fair without being overly generous. 16 1097 But the point is, CBC has provided us 17 with a place to air our program and a reasonable amount 18 of money to kick start our efforts and without their 19 commitment, this very promising born in Alberta 20 television series might not get off the ground. 21 1098 Although my company, Equilla(ph) 22 Productions has only 15 full-time employees by itself, 23 we have a list of more than 100 writers, producers, 24 composers, musicians, artists, directors, sound 25 technicians, editors and other production personnel StenoTran 242 1 that we keep busy on a regular basis on a variety of 2 projects. 3 1099 The economic spin offs of a 4 production would be significant to our industry and to 5 the province. You know, by national standards, it is a 6 small budget show being produced by a local company. 7 1100 A show like this also creates untold 8 benefits for the musicians and performers who appear on 9 the show by introducing them to national and 10 international audiences that they may never have had 11 access to otherwise. 12 1101 Only CBC is willing to take these 13 kind of risks and they do it with the tradition of 14 quality and legacy of excellence. As the expectations 15 of audiences grow higher each day, mostly due to the 16 American television shows with bigger and bigger 17 budgets, CBC has kept pace and has always maintained 18 standards of creativity and quality that are truly 19 world class. 20 1102 It is ironic that the Canadian 21 government is passing legislation to protect the 22 Canadian magazine industry to supposedly protect 23 Canadian culture. But in an age where television 24 dominates all forms of mass media, I feel the biggest 25 threat to losing our identity as a nation is the loss StenoTran 243 1 of our ability to tell our own stories to our own 2 people. That is what culture is. 3 1103 The private broadcasting sector in 4 this country can never serve this role as long as they 5 are ratings and profit motivated. Over the years, CBC 6 has spent billions of dollars building a network and a 7 production infrastructure that is second to none. 8 1104 Are we going to dismantle this 9 resource or let it whither or die from lack of use? As 10 long as we consider ourselves to be a different nation 11 and a different people from the United States, I say 12 that it is imperative that the CBC continue to serve 13 its role as Canada's only true national and regional 14 broadcaster. 15 1105 We need to ensure that CBC Alberta 16 has the resources to tell our stories in our own way to 17 ourselves, to the rest of the country and to the rest 18 of the world. 19 1106 Thank you. 20 --- Applause / Applaudissements 21 1107 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Metz, you are 22 our last presenter and you were eloquent beyond 23 measure. Thank you very, very much. 24 1108 Mr. Novak, I don't really know if 25 you need to say anything after that but you are StenoTran 244 1 certainly welcome to. 2 1109 Mr. Novak is here from the CBC and 3 those of you who have been with us this evening have 4 heard his name a number of times and we would like to 5 invite him now to say a few words on behalf of the CBC. 6 REPLY / RÉPLIQUE 7 1110 MR. NOVAK: Thank you very much. 8 1111 This seems to be the seat of choice 9 in this part of the session. 10 1112 Let me thank Commissioner Langford. 11 I am the new Regional Director for the CBC Television 12 Service in Alberta. I am speaking on behalf of myself 13 and my colleague, Don Orchard, the Director of Radio 14 for Alberta, who is in the next room adjoining us, also 15 listening to the comments and views of the people of 16 Alberta. 17 1113 I think the first thing I would like 18 to do is just say thank you to all of you who have come 19 to hear what has to be said, to offer your thoughts, 20 you comments, your insight, your inspiration, your 21 hopes for the CBC. I think that is very important to 22 all of us at the CBC. It is especially important for 23 someone like myself who is new to the province and it 24 is an extraordinary opportunity I have had all day 25 today to listen to the comments of our viewers and our StenoTran 245 1 stakeholders. 2 1114 Our role here in being here is to 3 listen and to listen very carefully to what you have 4 had to say and I want to assure you that we intend to 5 respond individually to each of the presentations we 6 have heard. 7 1115 I think many of the issues discussed 8 are the same ones that we struggle with regionally here 9 at CBC Edmonton and CBC in Calgary and at network 10 headquarters in Toronto. Issues such as how do we 11 maintain the quality of our radio and television 12 programming with greatly reduced resources. How do we 13 provide balanced journalism that goes beyond the 14 headlines? How do we make sure that CBC programming, 15 especially in our news and public affairs, is free of 16 influence from special interest groups, lobby groups. 17 How do we make sure that when we present our stories 18 that they are indeed fair and balanced? 19 1116 I guess the biggest challenge for us 20 is how to reflect the rich cultural diversity of this 21 province to itself and to the rest of the country. 22 1117 I think that the comments that we 23 have heard today are going to inspire us, they are 24 going to guide us and they are going to help us do what 25 we are mandated to do even better. StenoTran 246 1 1118 We want to make sure that here are 2 some under-served audiences such as youth programming 3 that we will provide energy and effort into serving 4 this under-represented audience on the CBC which is 5 youth. 6 1119 I do want to clear up one and only 7 one misnomer at this point and there was a comment made 8 in passing that the prime time schedule emanates from 9 Toronto. In actual fact, real careful examination of 10 that prime time schedule to CBC will find that much of 11 the programming does not indeed come from Toronto but 12 comes from regional production centres across this 13 country whether it is This Hour Has 22 Minutes from the 14 east coast, whether it is Da Vinci's Inquest from 15 Vancouver, whether it is On the Road Again which comes 16 from everywhere. I just wanted to clear up and make 17 that one point clear about the prime time schedule. 18 1120 There is no question that the budget 19 cuts over the past ten years have affected dramatically 20 CBC's ability to do everything it would like to do here 21 in Alberta. While I cannot make programming promises 22 because an awful lot of what we are able to do is 23 dependent on the resources, I can promise you this, 24 that we will continue to respond to the needs of the 25 people of Alberta as efficiently and as fairly as we StenoTran 247 1 most possibly can. 2 1121 You told us to restore local news, 3 the supper hour program in Calgary. That has been done 4 and a new supper hour program will be on the air in 5 Calgary as soon as the labour management dispute at CBC 6 is over. 7 1122 You told us that you want to see more 8 Alberta productions in the region shown to the people 9 of Alberta but also from Alberta to the rest of the 10 country. We have taken small but definite initiatives 11 such as the Barn Satellite Network, such as documentary 12 co-productions between NewsWorld and independent 13 producers in Alberta. We have a number of projects 14 that we have put in in development to be able to bring 15 to the national network for national broadcast. 16 1123 I think I would like to say that Don 17 Orchard, the Director of Radio for Alberta, and myself, 18 are committed to making CBC Radio and CBC Television in 19 Alberta even more accessible, more accountable, more 20 relevant and indeed of more value in the daily lives of 21 the people who live here. 22 1124 I think forums like this such as the 23 CRTC Consultative Hearings are a very important way for 24 us to achieve that. 25 1125 So we thank you very much for this StenoTran 248 1 opportunity on behalf of the CBC and the staff of CBC 2 who work and live in Alberta. 3 --- Applause / Applaudissements 4 1126 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. 5 Novak. 6 1127 Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for 7 sticking with us. I know we lost a few people during 8 the break but we tried to stretch that break out to 9 make sure that the last few people coming would get a 10 chance. 11 1128 Like Mr. Novak, I can only repeat 12 that we are here to listen. The next step in this 13 process will be for me and my colleague, Cindy Grauer, 14 in the next room, to take what we have learned here in 15 Edmonton, to go back to our offices in Hull to sit 16 around that table in the Rheal Terrier(ph) and to put 17 out on that able what we have heard from people in 18 Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Regina, Windsor, 19 Sudbury, Montreal, Quebec City -- I may get them all if 20 I am careful -- Moncton, Sydney and Charlottetown. I 21 think that is the lot, pretty close anyway. 22 1129 Put them all out there, work with 23 that information to formulate some of the questions and 24 concerns that we will be putting to Mr. Novak and other 25 CBC representatives when they come before us at the May StenoTran 249 1 25th hearing. 2 1130 At the same time, the CBC 3 representatives have been here. There are no 4 surprises. Nobody is out to sandbag anyone in this 5 process. These are two public institutions trying to 6 work together to make it better for everyone. This 7 isn't the O.J. Simpson trial we are leading up to here. 8 This is a process of trying to make the best possible 9 product for Canadians. We will all work together with 10 the information that you and other Canadians have given 11 us. We are back and forth with the CBC with what we 12 call interrogatories, wearing the poor people out with 13 our questions but hopefully we are all pulling in the 14 same direction and to try to find a renewed and 15 rejuvenated CBC that will be serving the needs of 16 Canadians. That is why we came to Edmonton. We are 17 very glad we did. 18 1131 Again, thank you very much. I want 19 to thank as well, Michelle Edge, who handled the front 20 desk so well, Cindy and Jim who were doing the 21 thankless job here of making sure we have got 22 everything clear for the record, my colleague, Michael 23 McWhinney, who kept us on time, and of course, each and 24 every one of you for your input into this process. 25 1132 Thank you very, very much. Good StenoTran 250 1 night. 2 --- Applause / Applaudissements 3 --- Whereupon the public consultation concluded 4 at 2035 / La consultation publique se termine 5 à 2035 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
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